Entrepreneur Series – Interview with Allan Busse

March 22, 2019

This month, we get to know Allan Busse, Managing Partner of Ambiente International LLP, which Bluebox had the pleasure to sell to Nova Consulting Group.

 

  1. Where did you start your career and what roles did you do?

I would say that my career began working in the catering business where I learnt everything I know about providing a service to clients including engaging with the client to understand his / her requirements, manage expectations and deliver a better outcome than originally envisaged.

 

  1. You’ve worked in the Environmental Industry for over 20 years, what initially drew you to the industry?

I trained as a Geologist, specialising in the exploration of precious metals.  Unfortunately, my graduation coincided with a deep recession in the metals market so I had to reinvent myself as an environmental specialist.  My first position as a consultant was in environmental due diligence for M&A and the variety and high energy of this attracted me so much that I remained with it over most of my career.

 

  1. Bluebox advised on the sale of Ambiente International to Nova Consulting Group, a US firm last year, but what were the biggest challenges you faced during the sale process and how did you get past them?

The biggest challenges were in ensuring the cultural fit and aligning multi-national accounting out-puts.

Ensuring the cultural fit is right for the business required a process of getting to know the people we were selling the business to and ensuring that these are the people we wanted to work with in the future and that there is a future for the employees in the business.  This was achieved by a number of face-to-face meetings, phone calls as well a visit to the company’s HQ to meet some of the employees in the business.

When dealing with 4 different jurisdictions with different accountancy cultures and languages you can easily end up with 4 different outcomes.  Having had the experience of working in these different countries on a day-to-day basis and not only translating the language but also the culture enable to dovetail the 4 different outcomes to fit into the requirements of a 5th accounting culture required by the US-based buyer.

 

  1. What three tips do you have for business owners looking to sell their business?

1. Prepare before you even start considering selling.

2. Spend time to get comfortable with the buyer to ensure that the sale builds on what you have created.

3. Don’t underestimate the time it will take to complete the deal.

 

  1. Post deal, you remain at Ambiente as Director, where do you see the company going in the future?

The objective of the business is to take advantage of all the strengths from the two businesses and combine them in order to provide our clients with an enhanced service in both Europe and the US.

 

  1. What is the most important piece of advice you’ve ever been given and by whom and why?

“Stick to your knitting” i.e. focus on what you are good at and become the best and don’t spread yourself too thinly.

 

  1. In terms of your career, what has been your proudest moment?

Obtaining the trust of my partners and my clients to work with me to create the business that exists today, recognised as best in class in the market.

 

  1. How do you maintain a healthy work/life balance?

With a passion for cycling and yoga.

 

Quick Fire

a. Name 1 person, past or present you would like to have dinner with.

Yuval Noah Harari

b. Any hidden talents?

I love to cook and am apparently not too bad at it.

c. Go to holiday destination?

Either Southeast Asia or South America.

d. Life motto?

Always be open to opportunities and never end up regretting not having explored all available options.

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