Our new Non-Executive, Paul McGuire, talked to Saragossa Director Jimmy Lloyd about a range of topics, including the skills and experience he hopes to bring to the position and his considerations around how essential a strong culture, purpose and identity is when growing an organisation effectively.

Saragossa appoint Paul McGuire as a Non-Executive Director

Our new Non-Executive, Paul McGuire, talked to Saragossa Director Jimmy Lloyd about a range of topics, including the skills and experience he hopes to bring to the position and his considerations around how essential a strong culture, purpose and identity is when growing an organisation effectively. 

Jimmy and Paul’s professional relationship stretches back many years. They initially worked in the same industry and kept in touch due to shared values and interests and a similar approach to life and work. When Paul exited his business, he decided that his next step would be to work with an organisation with a vision he believed in, run by people he liked and respected. Saragossa felt like a natural fit. Not only do we operate in a space Paul is very familiar with, but he recognises that the business is at a critical and exciting stage of its growth cycle with offices in Chicago, London and Bristol and several other destinations in the pipeline. 

“Saragossa is at the sweet spot in their growth – expanding their team from 50 – 100, establishing themselves on an international stage and pushing their brand to new places. What excites me is that their ambitions reach far beyond being a successful recruitment agency. They want to offer clients operating in the investment management space a broader consultancy and talent acquisition service.
I look forward to working with the Senior Leadership team as they take this next step.”
Paul McGuire

Culture and Leadership

When organisations embark on a significant step change, moving from being founder-led to founder-inspired, focusing on their culture and leadership is an integral part of that transition process. 

Creating shared ownership for growth and success is critical for the business to become a mature and standalone organisation that can survive and thrive with a broader leadership team. Organisations that successfully make that transition have open-minded, bold founders who have created a strong foundation for growth through purpose and ambition, with the confidence to assemble a team of great people for succession. 

Broad leadership can exist in many forms. Saragossa focuses on a collaborative intrapreneurial environment that encourages our people to step away from that command control mentality. We have assembled a strong senior leadership team, a mixture of key individuals who have been instrumental in Saragossa’s growth, supplemented by adding three Non-Executive Directors with backgrounds in Recruitment, Corporate Business, Investment Banking, Finance and Technology. 

Sharing value and knowledge from past mistakes, positive achievements, and the best of each individual’s career will help us grow effectively. We aim to create a forum for ongoing learning and professional development that allows creative ideas and processes to be incubated and embraced. It will also be a safe space to challenge and question – an essential part of the process that requires both parties (new leadership and founders) to be diplomatic, sensitive, candid, brave, and open to change. 

Brand, Identity and Personality

Brand culture isn’t about managing a set of KPIs and targets. It goes far beyond a logo, proposition or values created in vinyl and attached to a wall. It is about creating an environment and a sense of place that people want to be a part of and talk about with their family and friends, which is truthful and inspiring. It can be replicated across teams, offices, regions and borders when embedded effectively. 

Paul’s experience and passion for brand and culture will be invaluable during Saragossa’s next step. When he founded his recruitment business, he aimed to create a brand and culture based on a creative agency model that was poles apart from the sales/target-driven, chest-beating environment associated with the sector. He focused on developing a business that was centred around creativity, people, ethos, and truth. He believes this approach was instrumental in attracting and retaining people and authentically evolving the culture.

In his view, the real test of a brand is seeing how it reacts and responds to a challenging situation. How the brand turns problems into advantages if it has the support of its clients and whether it can weather unexpected storms is a testament to how resilient and sustainable that business is.   

Next steps for Saragossa

Saragossa is now in the process of embarking on this exciting change. The first steps will include discussions, exercises and workshops to explore our culture and clarify how it will help us move forward. We will identify our existing culture’s strengths, weaknesses and opportunities and define all the components that reinforce it (physical environment, people, organisational structure, governance, processes etc.). 

We will also look at how we continue to get that engagement and buy-in from our teams and how we can take every opportunity to build on our core pillars of Security, Freedom and Adventure.

Saragossa Co-founder Jimmy Lloyd:

 “We’re delighted to welcome Paul to the organisation.  

His professional credentials speak for themselves, having built a successful career both within a FTSE business and then having founded and guided his own brand from inception to exit.

Whilst the transfer of staffing industry knowledge appears obvious, we believe that in particular, Paul’s commitment to the power of culture and brand will super-charge our business from within.

Our commitment to providing exceptional experiences to our clients and community has been constant since launch, and with Paul’s guidance, we feel confident we can create a blueprint for this, allowing us to scale without compromise”.