UK finalist 2020
CEO, Sykes Holiday Cottages
Graham has worked in digital transformation for over 20 years, helping to create and grow some of the most successful digital-led businesses across financial services and travel including TUI, MoneySupermarket and Brightside Insurance.
After joining Sykes in 2016, following an investment from private equity firm Livingbridge, Graham increased Sykes’ property portfolio by over 150%, successfully acquiring 16 regional UK brands into the Sykes family, and expanded the business internationally by investing in New Zealand’s leading holiday rental firm Bachcare. In 2019, Graham secured fresh investment for Sykes from Vitruvian Partners with EV of £395m to help fund plans for further UK and international expansion.
To support their acquisitions, Sykes created an M&A system which works in conjunction with the company’s in-house booking engine, transforming their ability to integrate an acquired company in six to 12 weeks.
Sykes won the British Travel Award for Best Large Holiday Cottage Booking Company for seven consecutive years and was named one of The Sunday Times’ 100 Best Companies to Work For in 2019 and 2020. Their continued focus on people has seen them invest in a new HQ building and win a BVCA National award for the best large management company.