Happy retirement, Derek – some mentions from the team

News and information from the Advent IM team.

We are a small business and it is not often we wave someone off to retirement. We have found ourselves reflecting, as a company as well as individuals, on our time with Derek Willins and decided to compile some of our memorable, funny, useful or sentimental moments here.

“I’d quite like to be rather sincere in wishing all the very best, genuinely. He’s been such a big support to me in my early tenure with Advent and it certainly won’t be the same without him! I just hope he finds enough to do in retirement to keep that mind of his busy!”  – Jack Hughes. Keeping Derek’s mind busy is no easy task, but we are sure he has a list…

Although I’ve been here for a little time, you’ve played a huge part in making me feel welcome and part of Advent, so thank you for being there at events and speaking with me 🙂 – I still remember attending this one event where you were talking to another security expert and Olivia told me to nod along just so I can pretend to know what you’re talking about 😀 Best of luck for the future! – Anthony Orjally

“On the rare occasions I’ve worked with Derek, I found his enquiring mind a useful sounding board when considering a proposal or concept.  Engaging, and keen to embrace an understanding for information and physical security, Derek brought that individual nuance to look at something from a slightly different angle that could make you stop and consider for a moment.  In essence, I think it was that touch of naivety almost, that helped the thought processes by throwing in those questions.  I wish him all the very best for a relaxed retirement.” – Ian Warren. Derek always has questions and he always has answers. That curious mind never stops.

“Just a brief note to wish Derek all the best, the first time I met Derek was through a client call whilst I was working at Damia Group. Derek and one of the Security Consultants  talked around the  MyDPO service and wanted to gauge my take on the market and whether this sort of service could bring value to my clients. Since working directly with Derek the last 5 months, it’s been a pleasure.  I wish him all the best in his retirement.” – Andrew Commins.

“He once said to me when I turned up to the office on my motorbike – I didn’t know you rode – have you had an accident yet… YET!? LOL” – Michelle Horton. He is rather risk averse, Michelle. That could explain it.

“Mike Gillespie may well be the Godfather of Security, but Derek Willins is the Godfather of EVERYTHING… I’m not sure what my favourite story is, but ones of note are certainly the time you returned home to the airport and your car keys were still in Germany… or all the multiple times your trips to clients would turn into you sampling their on-site bar. I think it’s probably the idea to petition to install a bar in the Advent IM Office”   – Olivia Lawlor-Blackburn.

“With his vast experience of markets and research professionally Derek has always brought a breadth and depth of knowledge to any business development activity that is unrivalled. Very passionate, often off piste 😊 but always valuable, balanced and constructive – exactly what someone like me needs to make informed decisions. Never a dull moment, always something interesting, informative and funny to say, I will miss Derek personally and professionally but know he will be applying that sharp wit and intelligence to whatever he does next.”  – Julia McCarron.

“Aside from his business acumen, I’ve always looked forward to a car journey with Derek too. You can guarantee that within the 4  or 5 hours sat next to him, the topic of conversation has gone from politics, to food, to music, to holidays, to history, to memories, to news, to dogs, to cats, to comedy, to TV … and somewhere amongst it there has been a discussion about what we are doing or who we are seeing that day and the usual debrief afterwards.”  – Mike Gillespie.

“In 1998 The Good Friday agreement was signed, Google was founded and I started work with you, Derek.  Your work stories are epic and I think my favourite was when your car broke down en route to a presentation and you ended up arriving in a borrowed hearse. That’s the kind of dedication to a task one rarely sees. It’s been a trip, Desk Buddy.” – Ellie Hurst




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