the business confidant

Non-executive director and business development trainer

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How we work

Pembridge Gray Limited provides non-executive director services and business development training to service sector organisations across the UK. We pride ourselves on our ability to add value in all areas of your organisation, aligned through a strategic plan to drive business growth and are skilled at getting the best out of director teams, management and staff.

We were proud to be ‘Highly Commended’ in the category of Non-Executive Director of the Year at the IoD (Institute of Directors) Awards 2016.

Founded by Simon Gray FCA, we help you focus, innovate and energise your organisation to maximise profitability, productivity and performance.

Einstein stated: ‘The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results’. If you’re not achieving the success you know is possible, please get in touch, as we’ll be glad to help.

Successful business is about positioning, promotion and performance.

The right positioning means not following the crowd, but instead establishing your unique offering and targeting this to a clearly defined customer.

Having identified your unique positioning, next comes promotion. Selling no longer works and we advise a multitude of customer engagement strategies to build trust, loyalty and a long-term relationship.

Performance management is about using observation and feedback to constantly improve, grow and develop. This principle is best embodied in the Japanese concept of kaizen, which is the daily pursuit of improvement and efficiency.

Business doesn’t have to be complicated, but it has to be done right. As Leonardo da Vinci said: ‘Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication’.

About Simon Gray FCA:

Simon Gray is a chartered accountant, entrepreneur and business leader. With experience in business spanning over 20 years, as an accountant, recruitment business owner and non-executive director he has a vast array of skills and experience coupled with the energy to inspire and drive change.

In 2008, a few weeks prior to the collapse of Lehman Brothers, he started his own recruitment business. Despite the challenges of the financial crisis he grew this into a profitable company and in August 2013 during the new Governor of the Bank of England’s visit to the East Midlands, appeared on BBC National News at Ten and FT World Video.

In the media:



  • Fellowship of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales (ICAEW).
  • Board member – ICAEW Business Committee, London.
  • Board member – ICAEW Regional Strategy Board, East Midlands.
  • Past president – Nottingham, Derby & Lincoln Society of Chartered Accountants.
  • Freeman of the City of London – Merchant Taylors’ Company.
  • ‘Highly Commended’ in the category of Non-Executive Director of the Year at the IoD (Institute of Directors) Awards 2016.
  • ‘Highly Commended’ in the category of Public / Third Sector Director of the Year at the IoD (Institute of Directors) Awards 2015.
  • Listed in the Midlands Business Insider’s Power 100 – 2014 & 2015 (a list of individuals who drive the Midlands economy).
  • East Midlands Business Link Super 60 – 2014 (those making a difference in the East Midlands).
  • Chief executive – Nottingham Means Business (a business-led organisation with over 200 members, promoting business growth and supporting inward investment into Nottingham.
  • Published author – Super Secrets of Successful Executive Job Search & Super Secrets of the Successful Jobseeker (over 55 ‘five star’ reviews on Amazon), Harriman House 2013.


‘Looking to grow our business to the next level, we appointed Simon Gray as a non-executive director. His expert knowledge of the accountancy recruitment sector across Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire is second to none, as is his proven knowledge of marketing, branding and positioning for SME businesses. The effective use of a non-executive director cannot be overstated. We’re now clear on our direction of travel, have a plan in place, and it’s helped encourage business owners like Sarah and I to run our business and not let the business run us! 

‘In addition, Simon’s ability to capture the essence of a business and identify constructive actions not only for our staff, but also for the executive team has been amazing. My company has gone from strength to strength and his support, guidance, and encouragement have been invaluable. If you run a business and are looking to get clarification on your positioning, effectively promote your message and continually improve performance, I would wholeheartedly recommend you get in touch with him.’

Mary Maguire – Joint Managing Director, Astute Recruitment Limited

‘Simon has a ‘can do’ attitude and as such is a valued member of various committees of the regional bodies of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW). His excellent business credentials and strategic vision is a great asset to the Regional Strategy Board, where he in part represents the views and interests of the 6,000 members of the ICAEW across the East Midlands.’

Tom Madden – Regional Director Midlands, ICAEW

‘From my involvement with Simon, I have been highly impressed with his knowledge and experience across a number of business areas. I recently attended an event where Simon presented a session and from this I gained a valuable insight into the power of digital media as a 21st century marketing tool. The ideas and approaches Simon presented have been of great value and I would recommend any business that is serious about maximising the potential of digital media to contact him.’

Trevor Whaley – Design and Delivery Manager, Kaplan Professional

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Non-executive director

In many organisations the focus can be getting on with the job at the expense of knowing where you are going. As a trusted advisor and business confidant to the board of directors we help set the strategy and build the business plan for future long-term growth and value creation. Our commitment is to challenge, inspire and steer your business to even greater success and to provide a framework of accountability and bigger-picture thinking. Operating across the UK, we empower business owners to maximise growth, develop teams and to put fear into their competition.

In the service sector with low barriers to entry, protecting and growing market share has never been more important. Through experience and innovation we’ve proven how doing things differently drives sustained growth and can help you position your business as number one in your market space, whatever your size.


‘We appointed Simon as our non-executive director to lead us through our next stage of growth. He is currently helping us totally rebrand and reposition our business and to promote our company through marketing and social media, in addition to ongoing training of my staff. Already he has made a real difference and I am very excited about the future and what Astute Recruitment will achieve with his support and vision.’

Sarah Stevenson – Joint Managing Director, Astute Recruitment Limited

‘Simon has brought dynamism and focus to the work of Nottingham Means Business over the last 12 months and it is a pleasure to work with him. He delivers on his promises and applies an approach which is energetic and both methodical and creative to our mission to help Nottingham attract new investment and grow the local economy.’

Paul Southby – Commercial Disputes Lawyer at Geldards LLP and Chairman at Marketing Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Limited

‘Simon has recently been working with us on the next stage of business expansion at Only People. Throughout the process, his great facilitation skills have enabled us to maximise the quality of our own work, whilst at the same time he has provided insightful, concise and commercial input into our corporate strategy. Throughout the process, he has balanced the requirement to challenge with the ability to suggest practical solutions to real problems. We’ll be working with him again in the future, and would highly recommend him to other businesses.’

Anthony York – Managing Director, Only People

‘Simon demonstrates true entrepreneurialism. Backed up with real-life experience, Simon is refreshingly different. His hands on approach gets the reaction and solutions for improving you, your business and your staff.’

Lee Stanley – Managing Director, Hadfield Education

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Business development trainer

Imagine if your team were more productive, more successful and less likely to walk out of the door. Through tailor-made training for all levels we show you how. Modern business development is no longer just about hitting the phones and cold calling prospects. So many other organisations are doing this that following along just adds to the noise and is often wasted effort. In both our work and home life we have become adept at filtering out this noise and run a mile if we think anyone is trying to sell to us.

To get your message heard requires a new way of thinking and a combination of both inbound and outbound marketing strategies. Through bespoke training we give your staff the tools that build confidence and lead to consistent action, to win more business, more often.


‘I hired Simon to help me with my marketing strategy and can honestly say it’s the best thing I could have done. I left our session absolutely buzzing and full of lots of practical ideas. I now feel I have a very clear path ahead and know exactly what I need to do. Simon delivers excellent value, covering a huge amount of content concisely and keeping on brief. You get exactly what you hoped for and then some. I would highly recommend Simon to anyone who wants to move their business forward.’

Serena Humphrey – Director, The F Word Ltd

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Pembridge Gray Limited
3rd Floor
207 Regent Street
Tel: +44 20 3322 8789