Company overview

Tivoli Group (formerly ISS UK Landscaping division) is one of the UK’s leading landscaping and grounds maintenance providers servicing over 400 contracts across more than 600 customers including the Ministry of Defence, local authorities and blue-chip corporates.

Sullivan Street Partners acquired the £50m-turnover, 1,500-employee business in February as a carve-out from Denmark-headquartered ISS A/S.

Brief & process

Directorbank was approached to source an experienced CEO to refocus and re-energise the business, build independent infrastructure and internal services, and drive a clear strategy to growth.

The ideal candidate profile included a track record of successfully leading a multi-site SME business, operational experience within the national sales and service industry, and experience in leading a large mobile workforce. Sales and customer management experience in bids and tenders for both the public and private sector was also preferred.

Following a comprehensive search process encompassing our extensive director network and thorough market mapping, eight candidates were shortlisted for client interview. Chris McLain was successfully appointed to the position.


Chris is a high calibre, high energy CEO with more than 25 years’ industry experience.

Previous roles include CEO of GSH Group (a global facilities management company with £225m revenues and 2,500 employees) and CEO of Home Energy Services, the largest independent B2C gas maintenance business in the UK at the time. At the latter, he delivered a significant return to RCapital following the trade sale to Homeserve plc, having led it through a carve-out from E.on and a successful turnaround.