Rod Leefe is Chairman at Bristol-based Shaw & Co. He is a member of the Senior Management Team and provides support to one of the largest corporate finance advisory teams in the South West. Below he provides a summary of his career, his current role and what he does in his spare time.

I was appointed as Shaw & Co Chairman in 2014 during a career that has seen me build, invest, mentor or chair a variety of companies. I hold a Fellowship of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (FRSA)

I’m an entrepreneur, investor and strategist with a background on both private and listed boards. I invest in disruptive recruitment and HR tech businesses including brands like, Sonic Jobs, and Qdooz. I also coach founders of start-ups and scale-ups as well as boards and CEO’s of established businesses.”

I am fascinated by working with talented people to create out-of-the-ordinary solutions by listening, coaching and challenging conventional thinking. One such person was Jim Shaw who I first met when he helped me sell Witan Jardine – a recruitment company I built – in 2008.

At Shaw & Co, I act as a sounding board with a different perspective to my fellow directors. My involvement in a variety of businesses across many sectors gives me an awareness of what is critical to support Shaw & Co with its growth journey.

When I’m not at Shaw & Co, I have a deep interest for all things speed and endurance. I particularly enjoy high altitude hiking in the Pyrenees and I’m a keen backcountry skier having skied everywhere from the Rockies to Japan. I also keep fit by mountain biking, swimming and have recently taken up indoor rowing where I’m trying to break into the 50 fastest indoor rowers in my peer group!

I was brought up in Italy, and I’m a fan of everything Italian, from the food, the style and the general attitude to life. I always like to have a project on the go and if I’m not renovating my redundant winery in the south of France, I’ll probably be found pimping up a Land Lover Defender!