Testimonial: Len Wackett

Following a meeting at a shared friend’s BBQ in 2006, Len Wackett joked to Chris Richardson that he could come out of semi-retirement and fill the vacant Practice Manager’s post coming up at DRP Architects. Mulling over this preposterous offer, Chris phoned Len the day after and asked if he might pop down to Brighton from Burgess Hill for a ‘chat’.In an illustrious career Len had risen through the ranks from a humble Postman to become the CEO of UCB Healthcare, a specialist subsidiary of Credit Suisse First Boston amongst other notable appointments.What was to follow in Len’s CV was the position of Business Manager to DRP Architects, DRP Architects Limited, Deacon and Richardson Architects and Deacon and Richardson Architects Limited. Although the organisation went through a variety of different guises, for all sorts of reasons, Len provided the constant anchor and stability that was required to keep the ship steady. Len’s previous experience proved to be a revelation to a group of Professionals primarily immersed in the design and construction of buildings. He introduced a whole new raft of business methodology, financial planning, budgeting and reporting. It was always rather daunting to know how this most valuable asset could ever be replaced, and just as the luck and chance had brought him to us, the solution was a similar occurrence. Len’s youngest son had lost his job in a retail position and Len and I considered the possibility of his introduction into the world of business and finance. During the period of April to October Len trained Matt to be his ultimate replacement including the preparation of a manual, a bible describing the procedure and functions of managing an Architect’s Office. In truth Len’s expertise could not be replaced although, like everything he does, the best possible arrangements had been put in place. We will always be deeply indebted to Len’s knowledge, dedication and true friendship. “Plan for the worst, hope for the best”                Chris Richardson Nov 15
(pictured from left to right: Toby Richardson, Claire Pyant, Tim Deacon, Jack Bellamy, Chris Richardson, Matt Wackett, Len Wackett, Dave Batey)