Ian Thomas joined the family business in 1973 working alongside his brother Hugh. Eventually their wives also began working in the business.
In time the four became directors and joint owners. As retirement approached they had to consider what would happen to the company since none of their children had a wish to become involved.
Ian wanted to sell while their market share was high and he was still healthy enough to give his full attention and energy to the process of a sale.
He made contact with the Business Development Manager for FP who was, and still is, a long time friend from when Robert was running his own family business in Guildford. They, with others from FP, began discussions regarding an eventual sale. It was decided that from hand-over day Ian would continue as a part-time consultant incorporating his local knowledge and expertise. Jill, Hugh and Ann decided to retire and did so once the sale was completed in October 2011.
Ian’s quality of life has been transformed:
“This is a 24/7 profession and I didn’t think I would ever be able to switch off but I can now. We have more leisure time and are really enjoying ourselves.”
One of the biggest changes for Ian has been handing over the responsibility for taking out of hours calls. Joining FP means that these can be shared among staff in a number of local branches, so no one is ever on call night after night.#
“I no longer listen for the telephone ringing in the evening and I don’t get interrupted sleep.”
While Jill is enjoying her retirement from the business, Ian is glad he is still involved and sees his part-time role as a gentle way to ease himself into retirement.