Profile - The IFT

John Playfair

Role: Adviser / Consultant / Coach, Chairman, Chief Restructuring Officer, Non Executive Director

View Documents: John Playfair CV.pdf


Following a career in financial and general management within large corporates, John founded Playfair Partnerships in 1992 to provide cost-effective business turnaround and strategic financial management services to the SME sector, giving owner-managers access to a range of skills, previously unavailable to them.

John has a strong track record in turning around businesses in financial difficulty, and his first assignment was helping a family- owned broad-ranging business by leading the discussions with their bank to agree a strategy of debt management and then work with the management team to reorganise, rehabilitate and refinance the business to give it a healthy future. Since then John has completed over 50 successful assignments and is a firm believer in working in partnership – both within the team at Playfair and with the clients, to achieve the best result. This is why Playfair Partnerships have developed a proactive and integrated outsourced approach, which allows our clients affordable access to both the level and volume of resources they need at the right time.

John has wide-ranging industry experience including the legal, construction, manufacturing and engineering sectors, professional services, as well as retail, warehousing and distribution. He also has significant experience in working with family businesses and has lectured on the subject. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants and a Member of the Institute for Turnaround.

Playfair Partnerships’ broad integrated services incorporate full business turnaround together with strategic and financial management on behalf of their clients. They also work with Banks and other funding institutions to review business performance and undertake profit and cash forecasts jointly for clients and funders.

John is now senior partner of the firm, overseeing the strategy and leading the major assignments. As part of this role, he also acts in both executive and non-executive director roles for owner- managed businesses.

Prior to forming Playfair Partnerships, John worked predominantly for quoted companies, mainly in finance roles in both the UK and overseas, and his former companies include ICI, Tarmac, Wilkinson Sword, Rockwell Automation and Davis Service Group (now Berendsen) – where he was finance director of the main operating company and oversaw the modernisation of that business as well as significant growth in turnover and a six-fold increase in profit.

Organisation Type
  • Family/Private
  • Private Equity Backed
Average Company Size (ÂŁMillion)
  • > 5
  • > 25
  • > 100
  • Consumer Goods & Retail
  • Healthcare
  • Infrastructure, Building & Construction
  • Leisure
  • Manufacturing
  • Professional Practice
  • Other
  • Legal
  • Services


London & South

West & Wales