Acquiring Success: 2023's New Appointments

Never the ones to be complacent, The SDDE Smith Group have got ambitious plans to bring in the next level of growth – something they’re well on their way to achieving thanks to some recent big appointments.

The SDDE Smith Group are making their intentions for continued growth very clear with the appointment of six new senior roles in the business. 

The Group is ambitious about their goals: “We have seen fantastic growth across the last few years, with revenue growing more than seven times from £2 million in 2020 to £15 million in 2022, but in order to keep that pace and drive towards nine figure annual revenues, it is essential that we continue to develop our leadership structure and bring knowledge and experience into the Group. Our latest senior appointments do exactly that." says Dale Smith, CEO of The SDDE Smith Group.

The Group has already made some big moves since its inception in 2017, and now employs more than 300 colleagues, predominantly in the North East of England. In September 2022 the Group made its first acquisition when it acquired Cochranes Law Firm to become part of the Group’s Grey-Smith Legal brand, and already in 2023 the Group has acquired ResiCentral, a property technology business, and is soon to complete on the acquisition of a Teesside based Estate Agency business.

However, it’s not just the additional companies they are acquiring, they are acquiring the very best talent to take The SDDE Smith Group to the next level.

Gary Wood - Chief Operating Officer

Gary Wood has been appointed as Chief Operating Officer for The SDDE Smith Group, bringing more than 10 years experience in senior management roles within the construction industry. His expertise will be put to good use as he oversees all operational aspects of the business, from strategic planning and implementation to project management and delivery.

Gary’s enthusiasm towards the Group is undeniable: “My goal is to improve and develop the groups operational strategies and performance across the board whilst supporting our brands and individuals to collaborate and thrive together! This authenticates our all encompassing approach as we strive to push boundaries to create better places to live work and stay.”

Gary has successfully led WOODSmith Construction Group from start-up in March 2021 to £5 million turnover in its second year of operation, and is now expecting to exceed £10 million in revenue across 2023. Gary’s passion and relentless operational drive have been one of the key factors in WOODSmith Construction’s rapid growth, and he now brings those same qualities to his Group role.

Ben Duncan - Commercial Director

Ben Duncan has been appointed as Commercial Director, of Host & Stay, focusing on the expansion and growth of the Host and Stay's integrated services. Ben joined The SDDE Smith Group in 2018 as Finance Director, and he brings extensive commercial and financial experience to the role, which will be invaluable in growing the Host & Stay portfolio to over 1,500 holiday homes across 2023. Ben has overseen the development of the group's central finance function which has been established to support the rapidly growing business, and has been instrumental in the development of the group’s ESG Strategy across 2022.

Ryan McKnight – People & Places Director

Ryan McKnight's extensive knowledge and success in the Football industry might just make him the signing of the season! Ryan joins The SDDE Smith Group as People & Place Director, overseeing the People Department, the Group’s ESG strategy, and the new StayLocal project. He also remains as Redcar Athletic FC'S Managing Director.

Having ran the trade publication for the UK Football Industry, FCBusiness, as Editor-in-Chief for 7 years Ryan went on to work in and lead a number of football league sides, co-founded leading private academy 'NEFA' and has retained his own Football industry research consultancy where he is a leading figure in the field of fandom. "I'm over the moon to be joining Dale and the rest of the team at the SDDE Group as People and Places Director.” says Ryan. 

He continues: "Now in my twentieth year in football I have had the great privilege to spend time understanding both people and place (which is the core function of any club) and I'm looking forward to bringing that knowledge into the group alongside the exciting project we are launching Redcar Athletic.”

Ryan’s unique attribute is his deep experience of both the playing and non-playing aspects of the game; and how those aspects have a real and sometimes life changing impact on the people, places and communities that surround it. Those qualities tie back to the core of what The SDDE Smith Group stands for, and that is in creating better places for people to live, better places for people to work, and better places for people to stay.  

James Baird - Chief Technology Officer

James Baird joins the Group as Chief Technology Officer and Managing Director of ResiCentral.

Leading the technology arm of the Group, and driving to be continually 'working smarter' - an ethos founded on the principles of adopting efficient and effective working practices within the business and extending them outwards to help each and every client work more efficiently, too.

James' passion is customer service and he leads by example, instilling the strong service values that set The SDDE Smith Group apart from others in the industry throughout the team. Strong client relationships are the Group's hallmark, and James is committed to combining traditional customer service values with the latest technological innovations, so that every Group customer receives only the very best solutions and support. 

Reece Ingham - Group Financial Controller

Durham based Reece Ingham, joins the Group as Group Financial Controller. Equipped with a wealth of experience, Reece describes himself as a passionate, professional, and commercially-minded accountant. “I’m really excited to get started building the controls and processes of the business from that of a small family run group to that of a large corporation, fit to list on the stock exchange.”  

He adds: “There are a huge variety of people from different backgrounds and experiences across our group of companies, and I’m looking forward to rallying together and achieving our goals as a group-wide team.” Reece’s past successes have come from his ability to recognise opportunity, the type of opportunities that can elevate The SDDE Smith Group to achieving their lofty ambitions.

Steve Padgett – Chief Financial Officer

Steve Padgett, comes in as Chief Financial Officer, with the Group already an established and experienced business in the North East, the appointment of Steve as CFO leads their next phase of growth. Steve is an experienced and strategic leader with a proven track record of creating value and profitability for the owners of businesses seeking significant growth. The SDDE Smith Group are not shy in their ambitions to scale and to make an impact nationally and internationally, and Steve’s appointment truly aligns with that vision.

Final thoughts from the CEO

Dale Smith, CEO of The SDDE Smith Group, reminds us that these impressive plans all circle back to reinvesting in the North East.

“We are proud of where we are from and we’re passionate about the North East which is why we are keen to continue creating opportunities here. We have seen our colleague base grow rapidly in the last three years, with local people being given opportunities to develop and progress their careers, with colleagues starting at entry level and making their way to senior leadership roles within a matter of months not years. We want to keep creating those opportunities, but we also must bring in the best experience and talent from outside of the area too, because that enables us to keep learning, to keep improving, and to keep growing the business. I’m truly excited about the journey we’re on, and it’s a great time to be a North East business.”

Furthermore, this year The SDDE Smith Group is pledging 10% of profits to support good causes across the North East with the introduction of The SDDE Smith Foundation. Rest assured their ethos to push boundaries to create better places to live, work and stay comes first in every decision made.