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Trevor with Sir Richard Branson

How the MBA supports business development

Trevor Worth (MBA, 2015) set up Portcullis Legals in Plymouth when he was 23 years old. A specialist in estate planning, as well as running a successful business, he also sits on the Advisory Panel of the Legal Services Board in London and provides consultancy services to a number of law and financial services firms. Wanting to explore more innovative ways of working and take his business to another level, a few years ago Trevor enrolled on the MBA programme at the University of Exeter.

He said: “I always wanted to do an MBA but it never seemed to be the right time. When I was younger I was busy trying to build a business up and then I was busy trying to grow my business, so when I got to my forties I thought ‘it’s now or never’. And I set myself the goal of completing it before I turned 50 – I graduated two weeks before my birthday!

“It was a challenging time. I was completing my professional STEP (Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners) qualification at the same time and also had two young children (who were 4 and 2 when I started the MBA but had brilliant support from my wife and colleagues). But I feel like if you really want to achieve something you can find a way and throw yourself into it.

“The MBA for me was all about validation and innovation. I have been in business since I was 23, in a very competitive, professional sector. I wanted to give myself an advantage and gain the knowledge that would help me innovate my business.

“It has been of significant benefit in terms of opening new doors, and providing me with a more assured approach to business. Those three letters have given prospective stakeholders additional confidence in me and my firm.

“Working alongside talented people from all over the world and from all business sectors, certainly broadened my knowledge and experience and one of the massive advantages of an MBA is the network of friends you build globally through your cohort. It was a privilege to work with such a great cohort.

“Since I did the MBA we have totally reinvented the culture of the business. We are very considered about the spaces we want to operate in and we are committed to funding all of our team’s education including both the STEP qualification and Exeter’s MBA.”

As well as working to improve staff wellbeing, Trevor’s company is also innovating with the way they use technology and open up access to legal professionals. The organisation has won seven awards since completing the MBA thanks to their development in these areas and is currently working on an app which allows the user to complete their wills and powers of attorney online. Trevor has also opened a retail ‘Law Store’ in Plymouth that provides a ‘walk-in’ environment offering professional legal services at fixed fees and an emphasis on outstanding customer service.

“My MBA research clearly showed that this is what the customer wants. We’re providing a retail environment with convenient opening hours as well as growing access to online services.” said Trevor. “The qualification inspired me to try new things, to think differently and to have the confidence in my ideas when perhaps they seem bit radical in a traditional industry - innovation is the oxygen of business.

“I could’ve bumped along quite nicely. I’d made some money and the business was a success, but it wasn’t what I wanted. Now I am helping the next generation to develop and thinking about who will take over from me when I eventually step down. It has reaffirmed to me that being a good person whilst doing business has always been the right mantra, from the day I started with no money but bags of drive and ambition.”  

Date: 12 October 2018

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