News filtered out into the media this week about, former employee, Niall McTurk’s disposal of his successful student letting business – Sinclair Properties based in York. Linley & Simpson acquired the business for an undisclosed amount. However, I suggest if Niall owed you a fiver, from his time at Moores, he now will be in a good position to now pay you back without him being inconvenienced.
For those of us with a corporate background then taking a punt on your own talents and setting up a business from scratch is brave and unlikely. I can think of only one other former Moores person who’s done this (Jim Brady).
Niall was a remarkable Technical Manager who, like many of us, found himself surplus to requirements when the whole manufacturing organisation was restructured at Moores at the beginning of the century. I remember the then Managing Director intervening to ensure Niall departed with an appropriate settlement such was his surprise at his selection. However for Niall this was the beginning of something exceptional. I well remember travelling somewhere in the car and his mobile calls to some students he’s roped in to repaint a property, obviously one of his first, that he was restoring prior to letting. Student accommodation was in its infancy as a bespoke and dedicated market in York. This coincided with the expansion of higher education by the Blair governments.
A quick look at Sinclair Properties will show you what they do and their expertise. I know that Niall, with his demanding attention to detail, laid down many exact standards for how the properties were to be let, maintained and returned. This discipline has served tenants and landlords well.
This forensic detail was a tremendous asset for Moores. When we were successful selling over a £1m of cabinetry to Hong Kong I recollect the Chinese director, at our customer, purring at Niall’s visit where he collected all the staff together and with demanding instruction helped them on the installation of the product we’d made. This approach and an open mind was something that also earned Moores £millions when a ludicrous request was made by the London Housing Consortium to devise a repairable kitchen cabinet, after installation in situ.
As we all clutched our stomachs, including the competition, in mirth at this request Niall knuckled down and specified the Pioneer range. I don’t have the figures now to hand but sales, five years after it’s launch, of £8m comes to mind on this highly specified and high margin product alone.
A Moores legend.