STG Aerospace

Background

Interim to permanent chief executive

World-class sales and marketing expertise to drive growth

STG Aerospace is a fast growth company specialising in the research, development, manufacture and supply of electronic products for the aerospace industry. It developed the world’s leading photoluminescent aircraft floorpath marking system, as well as pioneering lighting systems and emergency power products.

Headquartered in the UK, STG is privately owned by a group of experienced entrepreneurs who have overseen continued profitable growth and the establishment of its market-leading product set.

Having built these foundations, the business required an injection of world-class sales and marketing expertise to further capitalise on its position and drive the next phase of growth. STG engaged Intramezzo on the strength of our experience in finding exceptional talent for entrepreneurial businesses. We were tasked with identifying and securing a C-level interim to focus on the development of key strategic OEM relationships to drive further growth. This was an immediate requirement.

A proven and successful individual was sought, with a track record in sales and marketing leadership. The ideal candidate would come from the aerospace sector, although there were concerns over the likelihood of finding someone suitably entrepreneurial from within an industry dominated by large global players, particularly given the urgency of the requirement.

The STG board felt this would be a challenging combination of skills to find in a short period of time. For the right candidate, there would be an opportunity to convert to permanent.

Hitting the ground running, Nigel was responsible for closing a number of milestone deals with new and existing clients, notably negotiating the extension of the Boeing contract for an additional 10 years, securing £multi-million worth of future growth.

What we did

Intramezzo has a proven track record in meeting this type of challenge; our unique ‘no stone unturned’ approach to interim search enables our clients to access highly specialist skills within a matter of days.

The first step was to draw up the detailed specification; outlining the particular requirements of the business, the objectives of the role and the demands of the individual. Once agreed with STG, this document became the working brief for Intramezzo’s research team.

We then moved to our extensive multi-channel research approach, incorporating thorough market investigation, an in-depth evaluation of our interim talent register, actively promoting the role across our network in pursuit of referrals, as well as advertising and other forms of opportunity marketing.

Within 14 days, this approach yielded a shortlist of four high calibre candidates who matched the brief and were available to start immediately.

Following the interview process and STG’s selection of their preferred candidate, Intramezzo liaised with both parties to agree contracts. The chosen candidate, Nigel Duncan, is a highly experienced aerospace professional who had just moved back to the UK from the US. He had extensive experience of airlines, large aircraft OEMs and Tier 1 Integrators including those specific to the cabin aviation market, and previously led Page Aerospace in the USA where he had secured orders of more than $50million in six years. His extensive knowledge of the market, coupled with his background in sales and marketing and entrepreneurial outlook meant he was an ideal fit for the role.

The interim project

Nigel’s initial priority was to focus on the key OEM relationships. Hitting the ground running, Nigel was responsible for closing a number of milestone deals with new and existing clients, notably negotiating the extension of the Boeing contract for an additional 10 years, securing £multi-million worth of future growth.

Following the departure of the CEO, Nigel took on the role of interim chief executive, with responsibility for developing strategy as well as the day-to-day running of the business.

In this capacity, he implemented an account management approach that transitioned the business from being product-focused to a highly customer orientated organisation, now enjoying more embedded strategic client relationships.

Other achievements include leveraging a legacy brand and restructuring the business onto an accelerated growth trajectory.

The outcome

As a result of Nigel’s outstanding achievements during the six month interim project he was asked to convert and take on the CEO role permanently.

This is a prime example of how using an interim can result in a long-term solution – providing the right approach is taken at the outset to identify the specialist skills required.

“Intramezzo certainly do their homework! One of their directors contacted me with an interesting change management challenge, which they had predetermined I was qualified to resolve. They went to great lengths to help me understand the issues and ascertain how my skills could bring real value to the situation, and resolve the critical problems faced by the client. I was impressed with Intramezzo’s sensitivity and confidential handling of the matter, and appreciated how they represented the needs of the client in the context of my skills and services. The Intramezzo director was able to garner trust between all parties quickly and enable a free exchange, which resulted in a mutually successful engagement.

Intramezzo has a unique offering and opens up compelling opportunities for high calibre professional consultants not ordinarily available in the mainstream consulting marketplace.”

Nigel Duncan, CEO, STG Aerospace Limited

“We had an urgent need for a C-Level sales and marketing professional so we asked Intramezzo to find us an interim. Ideally, we wanted someone with a background in aerospace, who was also highly entrepreneurial, but we knew this mix would be hard to find.

Intramezzo provided us with a shortlist of four credible candidates after a few days, all fitting the brief. They exceeded our expectations by finding us a candidate who was not only highly entrepreneurial but had direct experience of our market, having worked for a similar company in the US. We appointed him as an interim on a six month project and, due to his considerable success in the role we offered him the role of permanent CEO. This was the ideal outcome for us.

We were impressed with the process and that Intramezzo was able to find such an outstanding candidate who has already had a significant positive impact on our business.”
Iain Rae, Chairman, STG Aerospace Limited