Tony Klim, CEO of Bravura Solutions EMEA takes the two minute test.
Name: Tony Klim
Date and place of Birth: 1958 London
Residence: The Cotswolds
Marital status: Married
Education: B Sc Hons Physics, University of Manchester
After an early career at IBM Data Sciences and EDS, I joined the board of the Software Partnership, then a market leader in electronic banking and went on to run international business development working extensively throughout Europe, Asia, Australia and North America. In 1994, Deluxe Corporation of the US acquired the Software Partnership and I was made responsible for International Marketing and Product Management for the combined businesses.
In 1999, I was invited to join the board of Marlborough Stirling Group, a significant software developer and outsourcer in the UK Life and Pensions sector, largely to help facilitate its growth and flotation on the London main market. I also sponsored several acquisitions and was a key player in the company’s flotation on the LSE.
More recently I have been involved with private equity looking into management buy in opportunities in financial services.
Current posts: Chief Executive Officer, EMEA Bravura Solutions
What was your first job? I cut my teeth as a programmer working on command and control systems. This was quite leading edge back in the 70’s and was pushing the boundaries in areas such as communications and security. This held me in good stead when I later moved into financial services
Who is or was your mentor? I have to say my Father. He was a Polish refugee who came over to England during the Second World War. He went through so much hardship, but became an officer in the Navy, put himself through university and went on to have a very successful career. He had an incredible mind but most importantly, he taught me to respect other peoples’ views.
Which business leaders do you most admire? Over the years I have most admired Bill Gates. Whilst he was not regarded a typical; “leader”, he did manage to convey a highly motivational vision and direction to his employees. I also respect the way he is now using his wealth to help others.
If you weren’t in your current job, which company would you most like to lead? I think it would be one of the major mobile phone companies. I believe that these businesses still have significant unexploited potential to capitalise from their ability to provide access to a wide range of services.
Do you read books on management theory? If, so which has influenced you the most? As a rule, not any more because most of them seem to be stating the obvious. If I had to choose it would be either Tom Peters’ In Search of Excellence or Who Says Elephants Can’t Dance? by Louis Gerstner.
What has been your best experience in business? My best experiences have been as a result of seeing an idea blossom into a successful business venture – I have been fortunate enough to have achieved this in a few areas. In terms of excitement, it has to be the stock market flotation of Marlborough Stirling Group during the dot.com period.
What was your biggest mistake in business? Not reacting to the dot.com crash quickly enough!
What keeps you awake at night? Worrying about my teenage daughters!
How do you relax? I like to experience different cultures through travelling. I also love skiing and walking the dog.
What was the last gadget you bought? An iPod more than 2 years ago – I must be getting old and boring!
Favourite Web site: ft.com
Desert island disc/book: It would have to be something inspiring – how about Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath.