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Ex Rockwool MD Joins Venture Wales
26 May 2009
Ex-Rockwool MD to pass on skills to SMEs to help Wales out of recession
A Briton Ferry businessman has swapped the business big time for the first rung of the venture ladder to help grassroots enterprises get Wales out of the recession.
Brian Roberts, UK managing director of Bridgend-based Rockwool for eight years, and a qualified accountant, has joined business support agency Venture Wales as senior business adviser.
Brian’s role will be to pass on his years of knowledge and experience to offer top level financial and business support to SMEs throughout Wales. SMEs characterise the Welsh business landscape, accounting for 99% of our firms, and Venture Wales helps over 1,250 grow each year.
The 57-year-old, worked with Rockwool for almost 30 years, which has operations in North America and Europe, and is a leading manufacturer of mineral wool insulation for thermal, fire and acoustic protection.
After joining Rockwool in 1980, as chief accountant, he went onto become financial director in the UK, and managing director of the company’s Polish operations, before taking up post as managing director of its UK operations in 2000, based at its factory in Bridgend.
During his 35 year career Mr Roberts has provided financial services for major blue-chip companies such as BP and British Airways. At Rockwool he was instrumental in devising strategies helping the company foster a proactive, flexible culture that enabled Rockwool to continually reinvent itself and branch out into new markets ensuring it remained a leader in its field.
Mr Roberts, said: “Working with Venture Wales is an exciting opportunity to share my knowledge, experience and skills with fledgling businesses. I’ll mainly be working with SMEs throughout Wales to help them with their financial forecasting but I’ll also be on hand to provide general business support, advice and encouragement.
“The recession has obviously had a huge impact and it is clear a competitive SME base can help us get out of it. While Wales has produced some highly successful entrepreneurs I think one of the biggest challenges for us as a nation is to develop a strong culture of entrepreneurship which will help us combat the current downturn.
“We have to be more ambitious if Wales is going to compete in the global economy. I want to encourage businesses here to have more confidence and to seize opportunities when they spot them in the market place. Welsh businesses leaders need to have belief, confidence and need to be more self-reliant. One of my biggest challenges is to encourage SMEs to adopt the good practices employed by big business,” he added.
Phil Cooper, managing director Venture Wales, said: “Brian is an excellent addition to the Venture Wales Team. He has worked at the very highest level in business and has a strong track-record. His knowledge, skills, and experience, accumulated over three decades working with some of the world’s top companies is invaluable.”
He added: “He’s well placed to provide Welsh companies with credible, practical and effective advice and support. I’m delighted Brian’s joined Venture Wales he’ll play an important role helping Welsh companies and businesses to enhance their performance.”
For more information about Venture Wales please contact tel: 0845 0453 150; email: TBC;or visit the website at: www.venturewales.com