John Harvey CBE
Co-founder and Chairman
Co-founder and Chairman of The Keswick Enterprises Group, John started his career in 1957 as a graduate trainee with Unilever where he worked in various transport and logistics functions. In 1968 he was responsible for the original Unilever investment in Tibbett & Britten, and, in 1984, when Chairman of SPD, he led the management buy-out of Tibbett & Britten from Unilever and Van Gend & Loos (the Dutch railway company) and its subsequent global development across 34 countries. He led Tibbett & Britten Group through the London Stock Exchange listing in 1986 up to its sale to Exel plc in a £328 million deal in 2004 winning a Queen's Award for Export Achievement along the way.
John was also Chairman of international freight forwarder Unique Logistics from 1992 to 2005. From 2000 to 2005 he was a Defra Advisor, and he has also been non-executive director of Dawsongroup plc, Sygen plc, New Covent Garden Market and the Institute of Grocery Distribution (IGD). He was a Vice President of the Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport and a former Chairman of both the Cranfield Centre for Logistics & Transport and the international transport charity Transaid, for which he remains an ambassador.
His prime function is strategy joining up dots and fielding loose balls.
A CIMA (Chartered Institute of Management Accountants) qualified accountant, Gavin has lived and worked in the UK, France and Holland. A Director of The Keswick Enterprises Group since 2006, he started his career as a Unilever graduate trainee in 1986, gaining experience at Van Den Bergh Foods in the UK, and Unilever Raw Materials in The Netherlands.
On leaving Unilever he was appointed Finance Director of Tibbett & Britten France in 1995, becoming Finance Director of Axial Europe in 2000, and then Finance Director of Tibbett & Britten Mainland Europe until 2004. Just prior to Tibbett & Britten's sale to Exel in that year, he became Finance Director of Napier Brown Foods; then, after joining Keswick, he was Finance Director of Delamode Group (in which Keswick has a 28% stake) from 2006 to 2010.
Gavin was the Chairman of Tibbett Logistics SRL in Romania until its sale at the end of 2017. He currently has responsibility for the Group's co-packing activities (SGL Co-packing and APS), for the development of Entrad Partners, plus other early-stage Group companies.