Richard Bowden-Doyle

Chair, Neilson Active Holidays


I am Richard Bowden-Doyle, Chair of Neilson Active Holidays, the UK’s leading active holiday provider, backed by LDC. I led the acquisition of Neilson Active Holidays from Thomas Cook in 2013, with support from Risk Capital Partners, taking on the role of CEO. We took the business through a period of rapid and sustained growth, culminating in the secondary buyout to LDC in 2018.

I began my career in consumer goods moving on to Thomson Travel Group (TTG) where I became MD of Thomson Holidays. During the first internet bubble, I joined but was soon tempted back to travel by the opportunity to rescue the ill-fated Thomas Cook/British Airways joint venture, Accoladia.

A private equity opportunity then took me overseas for four years as Chair of Africa’s leading luxury safari company, Conservation Corporation. When I returned to the UK, I joined a marketing consultancy and helped sell it to US advertising group, Omnicom, integrating it into one of their existing divisions, becoming Chair of the combined European operations.

I advise PepTalks members on:

  • Complex carve-outs
  • Sales and marketing growth strategies
  • Managing secondary buyout transactions

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