Friday, 13 November 2009

Blood brothers

My business partner Rick Chalmers is the opposite of me. He’s so shy and retiring I bet you didn’t even know he exists. He says he likes to keep a lower profile than me. Think of us as the Morecambe and Wise of business. Or the George Michael and Andrew Ridgely, not that I’m “good with colours”, but then neither is he. Rick lets me do all the deals, all the work and I let him take his salary and dividends and he kind of chairs the odd meeting and deals with the back office day to day detail. My job is to look after the blue sky vision and business development. Don’t get me wrong, he’s had a part to play over the years, and he sort of started RC Solutions while I was on gardening leave from The Accident Group.

Sometimes you’ve got to act quick in business. Over the summer, there I was holding the whole thing together, opening his mail for him and he’s had this Internet junk mail outfit in Oldham asking for help after they’ve been shut down by trading standards again. They were about to go into administration so I picked it up, polished it off and parked it in this unit in one of Bashar Issa’s buildings near Piccadilly – not the one that had the fire, I’m not that squeaky. I’d bought it for cash, signed a PG on the debt and assigned it to Cashman Solutions (IOM) 2009, which is actually in the wife’s name.

Rick was off at his place in Tuscany – can’t see the point myself – no beach, no clubs, no golf, he just says he goes to read books and stuff. Some of them are even in Italian, which is frankly just borderline odd. You can understand that when he’s off with the fairies on crap like that I’ve got to grab deals when I can.

So there I was at Chester Races for the Summer do and he’s going right off on one, put me right off my punting. He’s even talking divorce, but we sat down, worked out how things were going to work in the future and it looks like we’re going to have to stick it out.

Just to show him I’m reasonable I’ve given him 2 per cent share and an option to buy the rest off me if we float it. Can’t say fairer than that can you?

I am a man of honour, despite what you may have heard to the contrary. What would it say about me and my reputation if I fell out with my best mate over something as trivial as taking a stealing a deal from under his nose?

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