‘We will invest’, says new management of Bertrams Group

Benedicte Page recently posted the following article in The Bookseller on exciting new plans for Bertrams Group, of which Dawson Books is a key member. 

Nicholas Goodwin, the incoming chief financial officer of Bertrams Group, has said that under new owners private equity firm Aurelius, there will be investment in the business to innovate and take advantages of opportunities in the market.

Chartered accountant Goodwin – together with Aurelius operating partner Stephen Moon and HR director Caroline Cotterell – have joined the Bertrams senior management team following its carve-out from former parent The Connect Group.

Aurelius acquired the business in February for £6m. M.d. Justin Adams announced earlier this week that he was stepping down from his role.

Goodwin told The Bookseller: “This is a great business with great customers, great products and great people. Our objective is to ensure that we focus on innovating to ensure we can continue to deliver great customer service. The business has been underinvested in the past and our job is to make sure it receives the support it has not received in the past so the commercial guys can focus on delivering to customers.”

He added: “All the feedback that the London Book Fair has given to us in the last week is that the potential market for books is very strong and exciting. We are talking to our customers, we believe we understand their needs and have identified a number of opportunities where we can offer fresh products to the market. We have to give ourselves some time – these things take time to develop and deliver.”

Internally the business needs investment in “systems and processes”, he said.

Of himself, Moon and Cotterell, he added:  “All three of us have track records in delivering change to support businesses – in distribution, manufacturing and retail. I’m personally an avid reader and Paul Auster is my favourite author.”

Goodwin has been a c.f.o. for over 15 years and is said to specialise in successfully leading and delivering transformational change, alongside the day-to-day management of a complex organisation within multi-site businesses, including distribution businesses. Moon is an “experienced chief transformation officer, specialising in transformation and performance improvements.” Cotterell’s expertise is said to be in managing complex projects for major employers, involving large change programmes, restructuring, talent management and communications.

Earlier this week former m.d. Adams said he believed Aurelius would be a good owner for the business and was impressed by the resource investment they had already made to support and accelerate progress, although he did not feel he could personally commit to a further three to five years at the Bertrams Group and was therefore stepping down.

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