Why Interface NRM Needed Shareholder Protection

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5 mins

Dr Gavin Jordan didn’t start off his career as an entrepreneur – it was something he came to after years spent as an academic lecturing at universities in forestry management and natural resources.

However, it was this time in academia that inspired him to start Interface NRM Ltd with his business partner, Michael Greenland, who he’d met at the National School of Forestry.


In 2019, Interface NRM turns 17 years old and is a thriving business success story, employing 10 full-time staff and around 20 associates.

It operates as a body accredited by UKAS, the UK’s accreditation service, and ASI, the leading assurance partner for sustainability standards, to offer specialist certification to companies and other entities.

The company focuses on environmental accreditation in particular, harking back to Michael and Gavin’s roots.

One of the key growth areas for us has been in the area of environmental certification.

This has become much more important to our clients, as their clients in turn are becoming more and more concerned about the environmental impact of the buying decisions they make.

Dr Gavin Jordan
Director, Interface NRM

The certifications currently offered by Interface NRM include:

  • ISO 9001
    The international benchmark Standard for Quality Management Systems
  • ISO 14001
    The international standard that specifies requirements for an effective environmental management system.
  • ISO 45001
    An International Standard that specifies requirements for an occupational health and safety (OH&S) management system, with guidance for its use, to enable an organisation to proactively improve its OH&S performance in preventing injury and ill-health.
  • FSC (Forest Stewardship Council)
    Fast becoming a requirement for any company displaying a responsible approach to purchasing wood- or fibre-based products.
  • PEFC (Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification)
    Promotes sustainable forest management through independent third party certification.

Protecting Interface NRM With Shareholder Protection

Of course, with the rise and success of any business, risks come attached, something Gavin and Michael both acknowledged in 2018.

“By 2018 the business had grown to be worth quite a bit,” recalls Gavin. “What’s more, by that point we were both in our early 50s and so had started to think we could do with getting some kind of insurance in place in case something went horribly wrong.

“Essentially, we wanted to make sure the business and staff would be okay should anything happen to us. We also wanted to ensure our families would be taken care of as well should the worst happen.”

This was especially important given Gavin and Michael’s love of challenging physical pursuits. In 2018, Gavin climbed Ama Dablam, a Himalayan peak in Nepal of over 6,000 metres. Meanwhile, Michael is considering sailing across the Atlantic.

It was these concerns that led Gavin and Michael to find Drewberry off the back of a Google search.

“I think we contacted two companies in the end, with one of them being Drewberry, but it quickly became clear that the other company just wasn’t up to scratch after speaking with Victoria Slade, our Drewberry adviser.

Setting Up Shareholder Protection…

“Contacting Victoria was just like a breath of fresh air,” says Gavin. “It was obvious that she really knew what she was talking about and was able to lead us through the process really well.

The Interface NRM Team

“Her services were excellent. It became clear that we hadn’t perhaps really thought about all of the circumstances in which we might need protection, but Victoria was able to explain to us her recommendations with ease.”

Sorting Interface NRM’s Shareholder Protection…

“For Gavin and Michael, I recommended Shareholder Protection with both Life Insurance and an element of Critical Illness Cover,” says Victoria.

“This is a hugely valuable insurance that isn’t well understood. Essentially, it’s there to provide a lump sum payout to a business in the event of the death (or potentially critical illness) of a shareholder. The business then uses this payout to re-purchase the shares of the deceased shareholder from their estate, providing vital business continuity as well as a lump sum to the family of the deceased.”

Victoria Slade Independent Protection Expert at Drewberry

Without Shareholder Protection, the shares of a deceased shareholder would be in their estate and passed to their family.

The family may not have any aptitude to run the business and could represent a ‘dead weight’ who are drawing an income from their shareholding but not contributing to the running of the company.

Victoria Slade
Business Protection Expert

“That’s why I recommended Shareholder Protection to Gavin and Michael with both Life Insurance and Serious Illness Insurance. This would protect them both in the eventuality that they passed away as well as if they became seriously ill, which is important given that serious illness can have just the same impact on a business as the death of a shareholder.

“We opted for Vitality as the insurer offers a Serious Illness product that pays out in the eventuality that an individual becomes so seriously ill that they can’t work, rather than a policy which would pay out for any diagnosis of critical illness, even ones which wouldn’t stop Gavin or Michael from working.”

The Benefits of Shareholder Protection

Now Gavin, Michael and Interface NRM have Shareholder Protection in place, both business partners can rest easy, knowing that they have the cover they need to see them through.

“We were so lucky to find Drewberry when we did,” says Gavin. “From start to finish, the entire process was so simple thanks to Victoria’s hard work. Now we have the cover we need, we can continue growing the business safe in the knowledge that, should the worst happen, we’ve got the cover necessary to make it through.”

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