Who is the Franchise Relationships Institute’s new CEO?

By Sarah Stowe | 08 Mar 2021 View comments

Who is the new CEO at Franchise Relationships Institute? Founder Greg Nathan has appointed John Cooksey to the role.

Nathan says the search for the right CEO had been rigorous.

“We’ve been seeking a CEO who got us as a psychology and franchise advisory business,”  he explains. “We’re a very technical business.”

John Cooksey, who takes on the role vacated last year by Anthony Cannell, brings to the specialist franchise psychology firm a career history that embraces both disciplines.

“When I was in the franchise space I worked for Yum! Brands, and as HR director with franchisees/franchisors working in Singapore. With my psychology background I understand what FRI is achieving, it mirrors my working life.  

“I became aware of Nathan Profiler back in the 1990s. I have a great affinity with the business. And now more now than ever it is really important to get the franchisee/franchisor relationship right,” says Cooksey.

“Buying a franchise is generally more exciting than running a franchise. So our franchisor clients appreciate how our assessment tools help them to select and prepare potential franchisees for the long road ahead. We also work with franchisors around the key aspects of their relationships with franchisees over time, showing them how to build a truly profitable partnership.”

At FRI John Cooksey will be working with the team on existing and new projects, delivering a tech-based, nimble business model.

After a tough start to the Covid-19 period, FRI shifted its focus to virtual events, invested in relaunching its website, and has brought in a bigger overseas clientele.

Greg Nathan says “We have a lot more global clients. Every day I’m doing work with different countries. We’ve just had an interactive event in collaboration with the Phillipine Franchise Association with 2,000 franchisees. We were able to have a live feed, with people commenting, and a panel of franchisees.

“It’s quite exciting, we’ve really nailed it,” he says. “I’m very proud we’ve been able to ride the waves of disruption and chaos, delivered excellent work, and we’re up on pre-Covid figures.”

Refocusing conferences from a one or two-day event to a series of two-hour blocks delivered over seven or 14 days has proved successful.

John Cooksey says “We have done well to adapt to the needs of clients in the current environment, with our virtual workshops especially being valued by a growing global audience.”

The FRI team has also shifted from a focus on specialist roles to become cross-functional.

“Our revenues will continue to grow as we become more efficient,” says Nathan. “Half the team are new, we want them to grow and prosper. We’re investing in tech to help with growth.

“Keeping up is the challenge. As the team is growing, I’m stepping back out and focusing on R&D. That’s an opportunity.

“In the next 12 months FRI will relaunch the Nathan Profiler platform with advanced features based on feedback from focus groups we have been running with franchisor executives.”

Nathan says “We have a heap of useful proprietary content that we are transitioning to a learning management system, to make this more readily available to the sector.”