Fran Millar: Co-founder of Team Sky

25th November 2015

Scroll through the photos of the event or click the thumbnail to view the album.

Fran Millar of Team Sky Event

In the agonisingly cool Rapha Cycling Club on Brewer Street, a captive audience of private investors, financial advisers and asset managers sipped champagne.

Cerno Capital had brought them together from all over the UK for one common passion – cycling.

And they were in good company. Fran Millar, founding member of Team Sky, was conducting a question and answer session chaired by sports journalist and Mixed Zone contributor Eleanore Kelly.

Since 2010, Team Sky have become one of the most ground-breaking and successful professional teams in history. Millar, Director of Business Operations, is an integral part of that success.

They are maverick, innovative and relentless in their pursuit of victory, notching up three Tour de France victories in just four years.

Team Sky’s success story transcends sport. It is the prime example of a team’s insatiable drive to be the best. And the audience of cycling fans were desperate to know the secrets behind one of the most enigmatic and ruthless teams in sport.

The insight gleaned was remarkable.

Millar, whose brother David was a professional cyclist for 18 years, spoke candidly about her career, her brother’s highs and lows, and life under Sir Dave Brailsford.

She recalled how difficult it was to deal with the incessant doping allegations Sky faced this summer.

And she revealed the values, or “winning behaviours” Team Sky live by to make a successful, clean British cycling team a reality.

“We had this incredibly bold ambition – we are going to win the Tour de France with a clean British rider in five years and inspire one million more people to ride their bikes,” she said.

“That was laughable at the time but we were on this mission. Bradley on the podium was our North Star.

“But then we won it and won it again the next year.

“Suddenly we were a world-leading team with two Tour de France champions. We needed to stop and work out what has got us here.

“How do we maintain this success? How are we going to ensure the culture we have created stays? Success is a fantastic thing but it can also bed dangerous.

“We involved the whole team and asked why do you think we win? What makes us special? We ended up with a set of genuine values about what we are.

“They are our winning behaviours but creating them was as much about identifying and eradicating losing behaviours as it was about reinforcing the winning behaviours.

“It’s what we are, it’s how we live and breathe and it’s how we can get the best out of people on a sustainable basis.”

Of course it’s not that simple when you’re one of the most successful cycling teams in history and constantly in the spotlight.

Team Sky had to endure incessant accusations of doping at this year’s Tour de France, which resulted in Chris Froome having urine thrown in his face for “just leading a bike race”.

But Millar, whose brother David was caught and banned for doping in 2004, believes all the team can do is “be honest”.

“We have to be. No, we don’t believe everyone in the sport is clean. Of course other people will cheat, that’s human nature,” she said candidly.

“I feel desperately sorry for the young lads who are a million miles from doping but are constantly told you’re lying and you’re cheating. They have to show how that feels.

“But the sport has the most horrific history. It will take a long time for people to trust it.

“Our job is to demonstrate they can trust us. It’s a long slow process but we’ll get there.

“We won’t stop in our quest to do it clean. We aren’t in this to cheat and lie. We want to do something phenomenal and achieve it in the right way.”

So with all eyes firmly fixed on what happens on the road, what about Millar personally? How does she cope as a lone female figure in a predominantly male environment?

Instead of dwelling on the gender imbalance, Millar believes it is an advantage.

“I think differently and that is very important when dealing with young men, who can be ruthless and lack compassion. I lend a broader spectrum,” she said.

“It’s so important to have diversity, whether it’s male, female, young, old, black or white. We need a broad range of thought to avoid group thinking.

“All having the same opinion – that won’t get us anywhere.”

And Team Sky are still going places.

Rather than being pigeon-holed as a Tour de France team, they are also setting their sights on a Giro d’Italia victory with Mikel Landa, as well as targeting the Classics with the likes of Geraint Thomas.

“We want more success,” Millar stated.

“We want to be undisputedly the best clean team winning the Tour de France. But I am also desperate to win a Classic and we have the talent to do that for sure.

“We want to win everything. The Giro. The Vuelta. We want to be the best we possibly can.

“We want to make the next five years more successful than the last five years and we are working our backsides off to achieve it.”

Written by Laura Winter, Sports Presenter

Read James Spence’s opening remarks

X

logo

DISCLAIMER

I agree
I disagree

Before accessing this section of CERNO CAPITAL PARTNERS LLP’s (“CERNO CAPITAL”) website and its contents please read these terms and conditions as they constitute a Legal Notice and contain important legal information.

CERNO CAPITAL’s website contains certain information about its approach to providing investment management services but does not provide specific investment advice and is presented for informational purposes only. It does not represent that the services described on the site are suitable for any specific investor. You are advised not to rely on any information contained in this site in the process of making a fully informed investment decision. Instead, you are urged to base investment decisions upon a thorough investigation and to obtain all necessary professional advice.

The information provided on this website is not intended for distribution to, or use by, any person or entity in any jurisdiction or country where such distribution, publication or use would be contrary to local law or regulation or in which CERNO CAPITAL does not hold any necessary registration or license. Individuals or legal entities in respect of whom such prohibitions apply, whether on grounds of their nationality, their place of residence or on other grounds, must not access or use this website.

Persons who wish to access this section of the website are required by CERNO CAPITAL to inform themselves of the legal or regulatory restrictions which may affect their eligibility to access the website or subscribe for units in the funds described herein.

The information on this website is only intended to be viewed by persons who fall outside the scope of laws that seek to regulate financial promotions in their country of residence. Examples of such persons may be governmental agencies, persons sufficiently experienced in investment business to appreciate the risks associated with investment services promoted on this site, large corporations and trusts and high net worth individuals. These examples are not country specific, may not be relevant to your country of residence and are provided for illustration purposes only. If you are uncertain about your position under the laws of your country of residence then you should seek clarification by obtaining legal advice from a lawyer practising in your country of residence before accessing our site.

In particular, CERNO CAPITAL is not registered as an investment adviser with the Securities and Exchange Commission and therefore this website is neither directed at nor intended for use by any person or entity in the United States.

Any past performance data contained on this website is no indication of future performance and nothing on this website should be interpreted to state or imply otherwise. The value of investments may fall as well as rise and investors may not get back the full amount invested. In addition, the information and materials herein shall not constitute an offer or solicitation, or an offer to sell, shares of any of the funds or any advisory or management service in any jurisdiction.

Additionally, the information on this website is provided “as is” and “as available”. CERNO CAPITAL is under no obligation to update the information to reflect changes after the publication date. It is presented without warranty of any kind, either express or implied, including without limitation of any warranties concerning the availability, reliability, accuracy, completeness, timeliness or sequencing of the site or the content, products or services available on or via the website. Also, the information offered does not carry a guarantee of accuracy, completeness or timeliness for any particular purpose and neither expressly or impliedly carries warranties or implied warranties regarding its merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose.

CERNO CAPITAL reserves the right to change the information displayed on the website or this legal notice at any time. They will not be responsible for any loss or damage that could result from interception by third parties of any information available on this website. In no event shall CERNO CAPITAL be liable for any indirect, incidental, special, punitive or consequential damages (including, without limitation, damages for loss of data, business or profits) arising out of or in connection with this legal notice, the website, the inability to use the site or any products, services or content purchased, obtained or stored in or from the site, whether based on contract, tort, strict liability or otherwise, even if CERNO CAPITAL has been advised of the possibility of such damages, and notwithstanding the failure of the essential purpose of any remedy without limiting the foregoing provisions of this paragraph, these limitations also apply to any third party claims against you.

This Legal Notice is governed by English Law and the English courts shall have exclusive jurisdiction over any matter arising out of this Legal Notice or from your accessing of the website. It is your responsibility to be aware of and to observe all applicable laws and regulations of any relevant jurisdiction.

The information contained herein does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of any offer to buy or sell securities and or any derivatives and may not be reproduced, further distributed or published by any recipient without prior permission from CERNO CAPITAL.

By accessing and using the CERNO CAPITAL’s website you acknowledge that you have reviewed this Legal Notice and understand and agree to the terms and conditions contained herein.
This website has been published by CERNO CAPITAL which is authorised and regulated in the UK by the Financial Conduct Authority.

CERNO CAPITAL is a registered limited liability partnership in England and Wales (Incorporation Number OC326579), registered office: 34 Sackville Street, London, W1S 3ED.
By clicking on the “Submit” button you are stating that you are eligible to access this site and that you agree to be bound by all terms and conditions set out above, and you acknowledge that all the above information has been brought to your attention. The information contained in this website is offered to you conditional on your acceptance without modification of the terms, conditions and notices contained herein. If you do not agree with these, please do not access this website.

X

logo
Please select your preferred language.

X

logo DISCLAIMER

The Endowment Fund (hereafter “the Fund”) is an Unregulated Collective Investment Scheme (“UCIS”) for the purposes of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 of the United Kingdom (the ‘Act’) and as a consequence its promotion in the UK is restricted by law.

Interests in the Fund will be offered for sale only pursuant to the prospectus (offering memorandum) of the Fund and investment into the Fund may be made solely on the basis of the information contained therein.

Access to information about the Fund is intended solely for distribution to professional clients, eligible counterparties and those persons to whom the promotion of UCIS is permitted under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Promotion of Collective Investment Schemes) (Exemptions) Order 2001 and COBS 4.12 of the Financial Conduct Authority’s Handbook. Investors may not have the benefit of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme and other protections afforded by the Act or any of the rules and regulations made there under. If you are unsure on whether you are eligible to access this section of the website, please contact our compliance officer.

There is not an active secondary market for shares in the fund. As such the only method of obtaining a return of capital may be via redemption. There may be notice periods, redemption penalties or other impediments to liquidity. In addition, some of the underlying investments contain gate clauses that prevent more than a certain percentage of investors redeeming at any one time.

By submitting your email address below you are stating that you are eligible to access this website and that you agree to be bound by all terms and conditions set out above, and you acknowledge that all the above information has been brought to your attention. The information contained in this website is offered to you conditional on your acceptance without modification of the terms, conditions and notices contained herein. If you do not agree with these, please do not access this web site.

Submit Email
I disagree

logo DISCLAIMER

Thank you for requesting access to our Funds pages.

We will shortly mail you a password to the email address you supplied. Should this not reach your inbox within the next 5 minutes (be sure to check your junkmail) please contact us for further assistance via our contact page.