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COFFEE BREAK with... Tony Evans, Head of Pharmacy

Coffee Break with… is a Christie & Co series showcasing the brilliance, expertise, and diversity of our network of over 200 employees.

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Tony Evans

When did you join Christie & Co?
8th August 1988. I attended my second interview for the job with the then MD, John Howard, whilst on my honeymoon, so hopefully he saw my commitment to the opportunity!

Where were you when you accepted your role at Christie & Co?
I was offered the role there and then at our then Head Office, 39 Victoria Street in London.

What was your first job?
As a teenager I was entrepreneurial - I set up my own car wash round, washing eight cars in my neighbourhood every Saturday. Weirdly, it is still something I love to do now, but just my own car, not my neighbours’!

In a couple of sentences, can you tell us a bit about your job at Christie & Co?
I head up, or as I would prefer to say, work with, a great team of agents specialising in the sale of pharmacies across the UK.

What’s your favourite thing about Christie & Co?
Over my 34 years with the company, it is the variety of roles I have held but also the opportunity the company has provided for me to develop my career. Often it is all too easy to see a glass ceiling on your career, but I can safely say that Christie & Co has repeatedly enabled me and others to push on with its support.

What's a favourite project that you’ve worked on at Christie & Co so far?
Project Echo, acting on behalf of a major corporate in a multi-site disposal campaign. Each day presents different challenges but, working with a committed project team to include members of our own team as well those of our client, provides immense satisfaction in getting each and every one of the sales across the line.

What’s been the biggest challenge of your career so far?
Over my career with the company, we have developed new market sectors which always present challenges, with Pharmacy being the most interesting as well as challenging to date. I take pride in the sector I work in and in doing so, drive the whole team to maintain a constant thirst for knowledge in turn improving our understanding of the sector and therefore, the first-class service we offer to our clients.

What’s been a highlight of your career so far?
It has to be the development of our pharmacy business and team. From small beginnings in 2010 to now spearheading the UK’s leading and most successful specialist pharmacy brokerage team, I’m proud of what we have and what we continue to achieve together.

How has the industry changed since you started at Christie & Co?
On my first day at Christie & Co, I was amazed to sit at a desk with a computer. Follow that two years later, and we had a pooled mobile phone the size of a brick which would kick out enough heat to fry an egg – mind you that was all it was good for as the mobile reception across the East Midlands was rubbish! Lead on 32 years, and following the pandemic, we have all had to think and do things differently, but it’s amazing how much the technology has changed our processes from those early years.

Who in your industry do you feel most inspired by?
There isn’t one person, but I have to say that that having worked with the pharmacy sector over the last 12 years, the passion and professionalism in which they deliver a frontline primary care role, even more as a result of the challenges the pandemic brought, is an inspiration in itself.

Tell us a bit about your life outside work – what are your hobbies?
I like to keep fit and swim regularly, and I enjoy fair weather road cycling with Frances, my long-suffering wife of 34 years.

What’s your hometown? Where do you live now?
Born and bred in Nottingham, I now live in North Somerset which has been home for the last 22 years.

Where’s the best place you’ve been on holiday?
It has to be a split decision – Coco Palm, Dhuni Kolhu in the Maldives for its beauty, peace and tranquillity, but Sydney and Perth in Australia for family, where my two sons now live with their respective wives. 2022 has been a big year with two Aussie weddings! We can see ourselves spending more and more time in the Southern Hemisphere as a result!

What’s your biggest pet peeve?
Lateness and laziness.

If you could live and work in any city, where would you go?
Clevedon, to make the commute that much easier! (Yes, I know it’s a town not a city!).

What would be your desert island meal?
Tuna sashimi washed down with a cold, crisp, white wine.

What’s your favourite film?
The Shawshank Redemption – a huge film!

What is one thing on your bucket list?
Truffle hunting with pigs in Tuscany on a family holiday, but I will have to lure them back from Australia first!

What is your biggest fear?
I don’t get phased by much apart from heights – a trip up the Eiffel Tower (actually, only halfway up) at a Summer Board meeting was a particular moment.

What news source do you read every day?
BBC News and the Daily Telegraph when I get chance, and various pharmacy trade media titles to keep abreast of issues affecting the sector we work in.

What’s your social media platform of choice?
WhatsApp, if only to keep in daily contact with the family!

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