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Gosling’s CEO steps back after pioneering career

Nancy Gosling, the outgoing president and chief executive of Gosling Brothers Ltd (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

A pioneering member of Bermuda’s business community is to retire today from her leadership role at the island’s oldest commercial organisation.

Thirty-three years after becoming the first woman to serve as president and chief executive of Gosling Brothers Ltd, Nancy Lloyd Gosling is to pass the mantle to her brother, E. Malcolm B. Gosling, who has been heading up the company’s export operation.

Ms Gosling, 70, will continue as chairwoman of the board of the two centuries-old family spirits business that built a global brand in Black Seal Rum.

Of retirement, she said: “It starts on Wednesday. It’s a very strange thing. I have had a full-time job every day for 48 years – it’s kind of an odd concept.”

An avid golfer since taking up the sport 13 years ago, Ms Gosling plans to play more than work has previously allowed. She and her husband, Rui, who is from the Azores, also have travel plans.

She said: “We have a house there – I love the Azores a lot. We are going there at the end of June and we’re not coming back until October.

“I can connect to the office from our house in the Azores. I can do the work I do here, from there, very easily.”

Ms Gosling also plans to get involved with some food and wine pairing while in the Azores.

“I can keep doing the parts of the job I really enjoy. Luckily, I inherited a palate from my father. Food and wine pairing is one of my hobbies.”

It was Ms Gosling’s father, Malcolm Lloyd, who encouraged her to get into the family business.

Ms Gosling accompanied her father on a trip to France after high school to visit wineries and expressed an interest in joining the family operation.

Mr Gosling encouraged her to study accounting, and Ms Gosling duly earned a bachelor of commerce degree at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

When she returned home, she worked at PwC for three years and then at American International Group, becoming supervisor of captive management.

She said: “I wanted experience in a management position outside of here [Gosling’s]. I had been at AIG for almost two years when my father said, ‘it’s time for you to come in’.”

A seventh-generation member of the family, Ms Gosling joined the company on May 1, 1981 as assistant treasurer.

Even then, the future leader considered it a move with the long-term in mind.

She said: “That was the plan. My father was concerned there was no generation seven to take over the business.”

It was not until a few years later that Ms Gosling’s cousin, Charles, joined the company. He has since retired.

Ms Gosling soon became interested in the wider business, and she became a managing director and vice-president in 1987 and, four years later, became the president and chief executive of the company that was founded in 1806.

Under Ms Gosling’s leadership, six members of the family’s eighth generation – her daughters Emily and Victoria, nieces Alexis and April, nephew Malcolm and fourth-cousin-once-removed, Ambrose – chose to pursue their careers with the company and are now in senior management positions.

She said: “I have six members of generation eight all set to run this business, now.”

Ms Gosling is most proud of the 2006 renovations to the company’s headquarters on Dundonald Street in Hamilton.

The project added a floor of offices, renovated the production plant and created a wine storage area and a wine cellar that is widely used and enjoyed by the community.

Ms Gosling, who worked closely with Elis Frazzoni on the project, said: “That was my project; that was my vision. I think it’s a success. People do use the wine storage facilities and use the cellar for events. It worked out how I thought it would.”

The company said: “Nancy's outstanding career is a result of her visionary leadership, unwavering commitment to excellence, her enthusiastic participation in a variety of sports and her significant contributions to the local and international business communities.

“Her tenure has been marked not only by significant business achievements but also spearheading the largest corporate solar panel installation in Bermuda at the time and managing the Gosling’s building renovation for the company's 200th anniversary.

“Nancy's influence extends beyond GBL as she serves on several prestigious boards and organisations, including being the first female member of the Hamilton Rotary Club. She also received an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from her alma mater, Dalhousie University.”

The company added: “Gosling Brothers Limited expresses its deepest gratitude to Nancy for her years of service and wishes her a fulfilling and adventurous retirement from her daily management duties.”

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Published April 30, 2024 at 8:00 am (Updated May 01, 2024 at 8:08 am)

Gosling’s CEO steps back after pioneering career

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