In its fortieth year in business, and with effect from 3rd August 2015, The Leadership Trust Foundation is to join forces with R W Chelsea Holdings Limited, a global support services business employing 8,000 people in over 50 offices across 48 countries, in order to broaden its international operations and consolidate its presence in UK markets.

R W Chelsea Holdings Limited, whose portfolio includes specialist training services mainly within the security sector, was founded by The Lord Westbury MBE, a former SAS Officer, who served as Deputy Chief Executive at The Leadership Trust in the late eighties.

A separate trading entity is to be formed, Leadership Trust Training and Development Limited, which will be owned jointly by The Leadership Trust Foundation, the Charity which currently owns all of the training operations, and R W Chelsea Holdings Limited, the majority shareholder, under the chairmanship of Richard Westbury. A share of profits will continue to be reinvested in the Charity.

The Leadership Trust Foundation Board of Trustees formally accepted R W Chelsea Holdings Limited’s proposal earlier this month, with the new company structure coming into being formally at the start of August. The company, which will continue to operate from its facilities in Herefordshire, will retain all existing staff, and is currently recruiting additional people to support the company’s expanded reach.

Chief Executive of The Leadership Trust, Rob Noble, and other members of the present executive board will take over the new expanded operations. Noble commented:

“We had explored a number of joint venture options over the past couple of years to take our services into international markets, but the proposal from R W Chelsea Holdings was significantly the most favourable as well as being completely in line with the charity’s plans and objectives.

“As a global business with global customers and an outstanding market reputation, coupled with the synergies existing between our service offerings, R W Chelsea Holdings will help us move to the next stage in our development as an internationally minded business, harnessing experience brought from a diverse and significant group of companies. As well as opening up new market opportunities, it will also allow us to better serve our UK clients, especially those where our work requires us to support their overseas operations.

The Leadership Trust was founded by David Gilbert-Smith, himself a former Special Forces Officer, and with Richard’s own heritage both in the Special Forces and at The Leadership Trust, where he authored and ran courses himself, we are extremely fortunate to be welcoming him as chairman of the combined business.”

The Leadership Trust specialises in developing high performance teams and organisations through their people’s individual performance, achieving this by enabling them to understand and adjust their behaviours in a way that releases the full potential of the whole team. The company’s high impact development programmes, designed for chief executives, directors, managers and all others with existing or indeed emerging leadership responsibility, can be delivered either at the company’s training facilities near Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire, or at a client’s preferred venue. Clients include commercial and public organisations as diverse as PwC, Kwik Fit, Caffe Nero, L’Occitane, University of Kent, the NHS and last year’s Commonwealth Games Scotland.

In recent years, The Leadership Trust Foundation’s international work has extended into Africa and the Middle East, and the tie-up with R W Chelsea Holdings Limited will allow the business to share infrastructure and marketing channels to better serve overseas clients in mutual support to one another.

Nici Johnson, the Chair of Trustees, The Leadership Trust Foundation, said:

“Our collaboration and new structure with R W Chelsea Holdings opens up exciting opportunities both for extending our work as a charity as well as in developing the international markets that we have long been interested in growing.

“At the same time, this enlarged structure alongside R W Chelsea Holdings will enable us to reinforce our successes and continue to serve our clients in the many industries and sectors of the UK. To be able to achieve this in our 40th year, with someone of Lord Westbury’s calibre and history with our organisation, is a double pleasure. These are exciting times for all of us.”