Bringing it all back home

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Martin Moodie
Martin Moodie is the Founder & Chairman of The Moodie Report.


Welcome to The Moodie Report’s Interim Singapore Bureau, 47 floors up at the Marina Bay Sands.

I, like many members of the travel retail community, am in Singapore for TFWA Asia Pacific, arguably the most vibrant event on the travel retail calendar.

It’s nice to be on the move again having been grounded by a break-in to my car in broad daylight (in a secure, CCTV-controlled carpark) in London a few weeks back, which resulted in the loss of my briefcase, laptop and Kiwi and UK passports. In my world that’s as close to disaster as I care to get but hey, you just have to ‘suck it up’ as modern parlance has it and get on with life.

Perhaps I needed to be grounded for a while anyway. For over the past few weeks I have been negotiating with the company’s controlling shareholder since 2011, the private family trust of the Wampler family, to buy back the company I founded in 2002. I am delighted to say that those negotiations have (subject to contract) been successful and we have reached an amicable agreement.

It is not easy being a minority shareholder in the company you created but I wish to thank the Wampler family for investing in us at a time of great personal difficulty for me in 2011 as I battled to recover from the stomach cancer that had struck me down the previous year. I wish them all very well for the future.

Now it’s onwards and upwards. I am even more delighted to say that Dermot Davitt, who was about to head to pastures new, has rejoined me as a fellow investor and shareholder. ‘The housewives’ favourite’, as I’ve dubbed him for his similarity to chat show host Eamonn Holmes, has been an ever-present force alongside me since 1996 when I selected him from over 100 applicants for a graduate trainee role at Duty-Free News International (DFNI), where I was Managing Director.

I fast-tracked him to Editor within months and he’s never looked back since, joining me in 2006 at The Moodie Report from his base in Galway, Ireland, from where he has played a pivotal role in the company’s development. Now he’s gone from being a senior manager to a part-owner, a very different role that brings with it very different pressures, especially as we set out to pay down the debt associated with the buy-back. But if anyone’s up for the fight, it’s him, and me, and our great team at The Moodie Report.

We’ll be announcing a few major changes in coming weeks. What won’t be changing is our commitment to quality, to Corporate Social Responsibility and to the travel retail industry as a whole. In fact we’ll be stepping up our efforts to a whole new level. In the words of the incomparable Bob Dylan, we’re ‘bringing it all back home’. Back to where it belongs. Back to the house of Moodie.

FOOTNOTE:Dermot Davitt, Rebecca Mann and I (below) celebrated the rebirth of the ‘new Moodie Report’ last night at the home of Sunil and Shikha Tuli, where we also honoured John Sutcliffe’s 60th birthday, together with members of his family. John 60? Impossible. But I know I won’t be far behind him.




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