Nick Fry speaker

Nick Fry

The Art of Winning

Nick Fry is the Former CEO and co-owner of Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 and was responsible for building the teams that won the 2009, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 F1 Drivers and Constructors Championships.

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  • English
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Nick Fry's 2024 biography

Meet Nick Fry

Nick Fry was brought up in south London, the eldest of three boys, where he attended his local primary school and then Hollyfield mixed secondary school.

From an early age, and encouraged by his father who worked in Fleet Street, Nick became fascinated by motorsport and early heroes included the Formula One drivers Chris Amon, François Cevert and Jackie Stewart with whom Nick would go on to work alongside later in life.

After attending Swansea University where he read Economics and Economic Geography, Nick joined the Ford Motor Company in 1977 as a graduate trainee and became an analyst for truck sales.

He remained with the company for 24 years, helping to develop a number of successful high-performance cars including the Ford Escort Cosworth and the RS200.

He was variously Production Manager for Ford Manufacturing Operations, UK; European Service Director and ultimately Product Planning and Business Director based in Cologne in Germany.

Along the way Nick also enjoyed a productive spell as Managing Director at Aston Martin Lagonda – a wholly-owned Ford subsidiary – where he oversaw the development of the iconic Aston Martin DB7, the most successful Aston Martin ever built in terms of numbers of cars produced.

In 2001 Nick moved to Prodrive, the world-leading experts in high performance car engineering and motorsport, as Managing Director. During his stint at Banbury, he oversaw the global expansion of the business and doubled the company’s turnover in three years.

On becoming Group Managing Director, he took over responsibility for Prodrive’s racing and rallying activity. Under Nick’s leadership Prodrive won two World Rally Championships with Subaru and drivers Richard Burns and Petter Solberg, and achieved victories for Ferrari at Le Mans and in the European GT Championship.

Nick moved into Formula One in 2002 when he added the Managing Director portfolio at BAR Honda to his responsibilities at Prodrive (from which he departed a year later). His first job was to restructure the previously unsuccessful team owned by British American Tobacco.

Under Nick’s leadership the team secured second place in the Formula One World Constructors’ Championship with drivers Jenson Button and Takuma Sato in 2004 and then secured the team’s first Grand Prix win with Button at the 2006 Hungarian Grand Prix.

Having grown the team, now under Honda’s exclusive ownership, Nick secured a £50 million investment in a state-of-the-art wind tunnel at the team’s base at Brackley in Northamptonshire. Then, in late 2007, he negotiated the hire of the multiple world championship-winner Ross Brawn to be team principal alongside Nick as CEO.

Brawn came on board to run the design and engineering while Nick took care of the commercial aspects. When Honda abruptly pulled out of Formula One in late 2008 in the face of the world financial crisis, Nick and Ross led a management buyout and went onto win the drivers’ and constructors’ world championships in 2009 in the colours of Brawn GP.

The odds against that happening were astronomical. Nick was instrumental in dramatically re-structuring the team and acquiring new sponsors – including Virgin Group, Canon and IWC watches – and an engine supplier in Mercedes Benz.

Throughout 2009 Nick led the search for a new owner and eventually agreed a sale of a majority stake to Mercedes Benz. Having secured the services of drivers Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher as Chief Executive Officer of the new Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 team, Nick also secured multiple new sponsorship contracts including Petronas, one of the biggest commercial contracts in F1 and with Blackberry, Monster Energy and UBS as the team achieved its first Grand Prix for victory for a Mercedes works team since 1955.

Nick was appointed a UK Business Ambassador by Prime Ministers Brown and later Cameron and promoted UK Business globally for five years.

After leaving F1 in 2013 Nick has built a portfolio of business interests including data security, artificial intelligence, healthcare and he is currently Chairman of Fnatic, one of the top 10 teams in the world playing competitive esports – a sector with a global audience of 454 million with a further 190 million expecting to be watching in 3 years.

In October 2021, Nick was appointed as Non-Executive Chairman at McLaren Applied, marking a strengthening of the company’s leadership and governance at the start of an important period in McLaren Applied’s development.

When not working Nick participates in car rallies in his 1933 and 1937 Aston Martin cars. He skis enthusiastically and supports various charities including Hope for Tomorrow, a charity providing mobile cancer care units where he is a Patron.

Nick Fry's 2024 talks & topics

Inside Formula One

Nick draws on his own stellar career in the sport and gives an accessible explanation of how an F1 team operates and how the top teams are consistently successful. He then explains how those practices can be utilised in any business, regardsless of sector. This provides a fresh perspective and new ideas to invigorate any company meeting or client conference.

Managing Change

F1 teams are masters of speed on and off the track. Nick discusses how to manage changer of circumstance, technological, cultural and organisational change emphasising the role of leadership, clear objectives, effective delegation and communication. His wide experience in mainstream car companies, early stage organisations as well as in F1 allows him to relate to the challenges faced by all organisations and propose practical solutions to management teams.

Innovation

Without 15%+ performance improvement annually a F1 team slips down the grid. Nick explores how to generate a culture of continuous improvement, fast problem resolution and how great ideas can come from anywhere in an organisation. Managing the best people and instilling a culture where boundaries of technology and process are tested whilst also reacting appropriately and with a developed containment actions when inevitably something does not got to plan.

Nick Fry's 2024 speaking fees

Nick travels from:
  • United Kingdom

Specific fees fall within the ranges shown. These are presented as a guide only and are subject to change without notice.

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