Company overview

Headquartered in Sheffield, Burgon & Ball is a manufacturer and supplier of premium gardening, agricultural and giftware products, whose heritage dates back to 1730. Much of its range is endorsed by the Royal Horticultural Society, with hand tools and giftware developed in collaboration with designers Sophie Conran and Brie Harrison. Distribution is mostly wholesale into national garden centres and premium gift shops (including the National Trust) with a growing e-commerce direct-to-consumer channel.

The company was privately held until January 2018 when it was acquired by Venanpri Tools, the hand tools division of Venanpri Group and owner of the Corona and Bellota brands. The Venanpri Group is backed by Oncap Private Equity, a $1.1bn fund based in Toronto and New York.


Following a warm introduction from Spectrum Corporate Finance, Directorbank’s Tim Robb and Simon Thomas were appointed by the President North America & UK of Venanpri Tools, Steve Erickson, to source a Managing Director for their UK business encompassing the Burgon & Ball and Corona brands.

In support of ambitious growth plans, the successful candidate would oversee the operations, sales and marketing activities of the UK region with responsibility for the full P&L and financial model, primarily driving growth through brand development, innovation, investment opportunities and common synergies with the Corona and Bellota businesses.

Excellent commercial skills were required with experience of successfully leading a business as CEO/MD, COO or Sales Director. Strong leadership skills were also required, along with significant P&L understanding and a track-record in B2B or B2C consumer product businesses.


After a thorough search process, supported by researcher Tom Warrack, encompassing extensive company/candidate mapping, referrals from our network and a stringent vetting process, five high calibre candidates were presented to the client. Following the client interview stage, Rainer Schubert was successfully appointed to the position.


Rainer is a highly successful sales director with significant global and multi-channel experience in the Consumer Products sector.

Prior to joining Burgon & Ball, he was UK and ROI Sales Director at Scotts Miracle-Gro (now Evergreen Garden Care UK), the global leader in the consumer lawn and garden category. He also held a number of commercial roles at Akzo Nobel, the world’s largest paint and coatings company, over an eleven year period.