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Kenneth MacKenzie

Kenneth MacKenzie Is Managing Partner of Target Advisers

Reflections on the last decade

When I became actively involved in the sector 11/12 years ago, I was hugely impressed with the compassion, care and commitment shown by the care leaders in the businesses I was engaged with. If hours had to be worked late into the evening to ensure care was given, no questions were asked. However, it was very clear to me that the bar needed to be raised; fine people needing greater support and development and the whole sector to mature. With the

goal of Investing in Care, Delivering Returns, Target Advisers LLP launched in 2010. Our core principles are to be straight and honest, our word is our bond, and any of the team can veto a deal if they are not comfortable. Knowingly old fashioned.

Projections for the next decade

Social care is at the start of a period of sustained growth and increased professionalism, which will make it a fine sector to be involved in if the core principles of care and compassion are at the forefront of all stakeholders.

Target’s goal of Investing in Care, Delivering Returns has two meanings. When we say Investing in Care, we mean new long-term, lower return, stable money to the sector as we invest primarily in new, purpose-built homes, while also putting time and competence into our investing activities. We purposely support frontline staff by bringing best-in-class assets, locations and management teams to back up their noble vocation.

Delivering Returns has a double meaning also – we work hard to give our investors the returns commensurate with those anticipated as we raise the funds but, importantly, we also want to deliver a more holistic experience to our care staff who deliver the care needed for our clients.

Insight

I trained as a chartered accountant wanting to be involved in business. I have enjoyed a varied career that has been a great training ground. One of my earlier ‘careers’, involved running a multi-site business with 60-plus teams, and I was only able to give face-to-face feedback for one day, every 28 days. That gave me an understanding of the challenges of larger care home groups. Motivating up to 600 employees to work coherently was challenging. Working with several private equity houses exhibits the different pressures these capital structures inevitably bring and the following upheavals in company leaderships.

My role in Target is to facilitate a great ethos to enable us to meet our goals, as well as encourage a humble attitude across the business. It is of utmost importance that we remember the care staff and the cared for, deliver value to investors, present the company well to all stakeholders and consistently strive for best practice.

In my ‘free time,’ I am deeply involved in eight not-for-profit charities. I greatly enjoy that, in addition to the joys of a large family.

Influences

Learn from mistakes, have a strong ethos of life-long learning, and thirst for knowledge. As a young chartered accountant, I became the Managing Director of a business needing a turnaround. As I quickly learned that finance only records history, and does not create it, I recognised the need to develop general management skills, and a more relational view of the world. These necessary life and business skills were cultivated by a personnel development consultancy, the Dean of Harvard Business School, key professors there and honest friends and family. My greatest source of wisdom comes from the oldest book in the world…it is my daily bread.

Lessons

The customer comes first. Understand your core competencies. The modern business should live by 4 Fs: Fast, Focused, Flexible and Friendly (from Rosabeth Moss Kantor).  Reputation is all.

Advice

Life-long learning, listen more than speak, we have one mouth and two ears, use them in that proportion. Consider life and purpose and why you are on this earth. ‘The Unexamined Life is not Worth Living’, Socrates.

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