SENIOR SERVICE

Dan Jago is the Chairman and Chief Executive of heritage gunmakers Purdey — by way of Berry Brothers, Tesco and the Royal Navy. His colourful and varied career has given him precious insights into leadership and human behaviour.

Dan Jago in the Long Room of Audley House in Mayfair. (Photo by Kim Lang)

Dan Jago’s press coverage over the years, perhaps to his annoyance, has referenced one poor naval pun after another. Yes, he served in the Royal Navy for nine years, but that doesn’t mean a journalist needs to talk of ‘plotting a course’ in his career or ‘navigating tricky waters’ when he starts new roles. Time in the military is not exactly a Gilbert & Sullivan operetta; instead, it applies skills that the broader luxury industry would do well to employ more often. Dan is the Chairman and Chief Executive of Purdey, the most august of not just the country sports labels but British heritage brands. Before that he was the chief executive of the wine merchants Berry Bros. & Rudd, so he has a comprehensive understanding of brands whose history precedes the reign of Queen Victoria.

The position of chairman at Purdey is complicated, as it has become like captaining the All Blacks — there is now a long line of highly respected and influential chairman to whom you will be compared in a way that the average corporate chairman will never experience.

So how does he make his mark? What attitudes must he instil? And how does he make a brand such as Purdey relevant, treasured, even loved by the modern consumer? Dan was decent enough to give up a chunk of his day to talk us through his process.

Published

January 2022

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