At first, Arthur Smith just wanted to sell up so he could slow down. Now, after 30 years at Fluid Gravity Engineering, he’s looking forward to hanging up his lab coat for the last time.
When Arthur Smith and his business partner bought out the founding shareholders to take over aerodynamics consultancy Fluid Gravity Engineering (FGE), they were passionate about growing the firm they had worked at for the previous 13 years.
It’s not hard to understand why. FGE is one of the UK’s leading experts in its field, working on cutting edge projects for the UK Ministry of Defence and Beagle space programme among others.
Arthur and Alec Milne both joined Fluid Gravity Engineering in 1986, bringing in new business capabilities as the company began to expand.
They spent the next two decades offering scientific and engineering research, software engineering and consultancy services to British universities and UK, US and European government research agencies.
“We worked away at it for all those years, but as we approached our late 50s we thought we wanted to slow down,” Arthur explains.
When they decided it was time to retire, nearly 15 years later, they had no idea whether it would be possible to sell. They didn’t predict that it would be the people they were closest to who would one day take control.