After Balliol College Oxford, Will cut his commercial teeth in the Far and Middle East with Jardine Matheson, rising through the ranks to head up one of their retail companies with operations in Hong Kong, China and Singapore. Having sold this Company on behalf of Jardines, he took a year out to gain an MBA at INSEAD, Europe’s premier business school, before going on to set up his own technology company. This he grew from scratch to profitability before engineering a merger with a larger player in the market. Most recently, he has taken a start up furniture retailer and turned it into a £20M turnover enterprise.
Importantly, and like all the team at Fulling Mill, Will is a passionate country sportsman, and in particular, he loves fishing. He fishes regularly in Scotland for salmon and can be found from May to September every year in Hampshire stalking the Test trout. He has ventured abroad on a number of occasions, chasing sea trout in Patagonia and Terra del Fuego and the elusive, but spectacular, trout of Montana.
Will has been looking for an opportunity to join the recreational fishing industry for some time, whilst at the same time Barry Unwin has been looking to secure the continuity, future and growth of Fulling Mill.
Barry said that “this is the perfect storm – but in a good way! It is an ideal opportunity for both Will and Fulling Mill, and has all come together at exactly the right moment for us both. He has an enormous infectious energy and drive which will ensure the continued growth of Fulling Mill. He is extremely focused, robust and intelligent, as well as being highly competitive and naturally entrepreneurial. Our success at Fulling Mill over the past decades has been built on hard work and dedication to our customers, and there is no doubt that Will’s personality and skills make him the ideal candidate to lead the company onwards and upwards, and to continue our core focus of providing the best service and product to our customers.”
With Will’s appointment we wondered what would become of Barry, but, as Chairman of the Fulling Mill Group, he assures us that he will remain passionately and actively involved through the next stages of the company’s development!
In welcoming the appointment, long-standing Group Finance Director, Ray Hickey, noted “Will’s broad experience working with international business will be of key value to Fulling Mill’s worldwide interests, allied to the ideal combination of his proven skill-set and genuine enthusiasm for what we do”. Meanwhile John Wolstenholme, Fulling Mill’s recently appointed Sales and Marketing Director, commented, “I am delighted at the prospect of working with Will and learning from him. His huge experience will contribute enormously to growing the Fulling Mill brand – it’s an exciting time for the company and a great opportunity to capitalise on the many opportunities that lie ahead.”
Will himself is keen to get started, and told us, “I had been looking for an opportunity to get into the recreational fishing industry for some time, so when Barry floated the idea of coming to join Fulling Mill, I couldn’t believe my luck and jumped at the chance. Barry, supported by Ray, John and the whole team, has built Fulling Mill into a recognised and respected brand within the fishing community and I am very excited about the opportunities to grow the brand still further in the future. ”
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