MD's corner

By Neville Jopson

At the end of March 2015, it will be five years since I began in the role of Managing Director at AbacusBio. It seems clichéd to say it, but the time has gone incredibly quickly and I am certain I have not yet fully learnt all that the role entails.

However, the time is right for someone with a fresh perspective to take over, and I know that Anna will do a superb job as the new Managing Director. We are working to ensure that the transition will be smooth and it will be business-as-usual for all our clients.

I am looking forward to getting back into more science application work within AbacusBio, especially within the Beef + Lamb New Zealand Genetics programme which is gaining momentum as an exciting investment into the future of sheep and beef farming.

I have always found writing the MD’s corner one of the more challenging roles, as I tried to discuss some of the issues facing AbacusBio and our clients in a balanced way; writing my last one is no exception.

Reflecting on where AbacusBio has got to over the last five years, it seems to me that Peter Fennessy led the company through the difficult start-up period, or ‘childhood’, of the company. We started very small, but had big dreams and grew quickly.

The last five years for me felt a bit like the ‘teenage’ years for AbacusBio. We have gone from being a collection of individual consultants working with our own clients, to being recognised as a company and having collaborative teams working on large projects.

We have managed to bring together a great group of people as we have grown, who are passionate about the future of agriculture, and enjoy working across the varied, exciting range of programmes, and clients that we now service.

We have had a lot to learn through this period about how we continue to deliver the quality work we love to do for our clients with larger teams, and where our place is in the world of agricultural research and agri-business.

Anna now takes AbacusBio into what is maybe the ‘coming of age’ of the company. I think this is a very exciting period for AbacusBio where we really start to realise what our full potential is.

As I reflect on the highs and lows of the last five years, what stands out for me time and time again is the relationships we have built with companies such as the Alliance Group, DairyNZ, B+LNZ and B+LNZ Genetics, and New Zealand King Salmon. Working with such companies and organisations over a long period of time has allowed us to really understand their businesses at multiple levels, which allows us to deliver so much more to them.

I look forward to continuing to grow these relationships and others as we work to increase the value of agriculture and agri-products through the application of science and technology.