Brian Brick breathes new life into outfitter

BRIAN Brick is in the middle of a turnaround plan to restore Moss Bros to health after the ailing 88-year-old retailer lost its way.

His reputation in the clothing industry is that of an effective, low-key retailer with an eye for detail.

The scale of his task was shown by a pre-tax loss of £3m in the first six months of 2009. The performance of the hire shop was in particular hit by the downturn in corporate hospitality.

But Brick is an experienced retailer who built up a family business.

In 1985 Brick and his brother Alex took over his father’s menswear business and re-branded it “Suits You”.

They built this into a multi-brand menswear business and sold SRG (Speciality Retail Group) to Gresham Private equity in 2005. SRG was the parent company of Suits You.

Brick became a non-executive director at Moss Bros in September 2008, and chief executive in January 2009. He took the post after the former chief executive Philip Mountford had departed and Moss Bros had also faced an aborted £40m takeover by the now defunct Icelandic retail investor Baugur.

Brick lives in Stanmore, Middlesex.

HAWKPOINT

ALTIUM CAPITAL

HAWKPOINT was the lead adviser for Moss Bros on the Boss deal.
Altium Capital was also involved in the negotiations which, because of the long relationship between the two retailers, went smoothly.

As a Boss franchisee, the team at Moss knew their counterparts well and the price and details of the sale were agreed by the two parties without any posturing or tough talking, said those close to the deal. The fact that Moss will still stock some Boss items in its stores will see the relationship continue in some form.

Hawkpoint advises corporates, financial institutions, private equity houses and governments throughout Europe. The company employs 100 staff in London, Paris and Frankfurt.

Meanwhile international investment bank Altium was also in the background, helping the deal through.

It specialises in acquisitions and disposals. Moss Bros chief executive Brian Brick described the negotiations as like “dealing with friends” as the agreement was signed and sealed without any fuss.