5 minutes with...

Mike Moran, CEO of Proton Partners International

Posted by Liverpool and Sefton Chambers of Commerce

Fri 28th, Sep

Introduce yourself – name, where do you sit in the business, and what does the business do?

Mike Moran, CEO of Proton Partners International

Proton Partners International is at the vanguard of advancing cancer care, building a series of oncology centres known as the Rutherford Cancer Centres, and partnering with world-leading providers to equip each centre with the very latest cancer technology, including proton therapy.

What changes would you like to see to improve or develop your sector?

The healthcare sector in the UK is clearly dominated by the NHS which is an incredible institution and the envy of the world.  However, it is far removed from its origins 75 years ago, then it employed 144,000 staff and had a budget of £437m (equivalent to £15bn today).  In 2018 the NHS is one of the biggest businesses in the world, it employs over 1.5 million people across the UK, making it the World’s fourth largest employer along with China National Petroleum Corporation and McDonalds, it has an annual budget of £124bn and yet it doesn’t think like a business. 

In order to improve the healthcare sector in the UK I would like to see more engagement with the private sector.  Particularly in areas where the NHS is performing badly, like cancer and elderly care.  We need to set politics aside and focus on where the patient can be treated best.  I would also like to see more emphasis on patient choice, but more importantly, we need to hear the patient’s voice in the choice which is often drowned out by clinicians. 

What does a typical working day look like?

I work on a five-hour sleep pattern which I have maintained from my time in the Army.  Then it was about having time for fitness training, now its more about volume of work.  I tend to work away during the week where I can work much longer hours which allows me to keep my weekend free for family and football

The role of CEO is punctuated with meetings, travelling to meetings, endless emails and networking events.  It is difficult to have the space to think which is why I enjoy my weekends sat on the lawnmower, this provides a few hours of thinking time while concentrating on straight lines.  I do take time out of my working day to sit with patients and their families at the cancer centre in South Wales.  I like to listen to the patient’s stories and their experiences of cancer and their interaction with the Rutherford Cancer Centres.  It is important as a CEO to seek out ground truth and use it to shape improvement.  I also think that the patients and their families enjoy the interaction too, it sends out a strong message that the man at the top cares, listens and acts for them.  

What advice would you give your teenage self?

The same advice my father gave me as a teenager, live life without fear of failure.  It has served me well and will continue to do so.  Failure often shapes success and it’s so energising when you are able to pivot from something that fails to something that succeeds.

Where would we find you on your day off?

My preference would be to be on a ski slope which isn’t practical for a day off, however, it would make for a great day off.  At weekends, you would find me on the lawn mower at home or tending to the garden.  If Liverpool are playing at home I can be spotted in the Main Stand alongside my Son, James, me reliving my youth, him enduring stories of the glory days, and both of us lending our voices to the atmosphere at Anfield.

What is the best advice you have been given in your career?

The best advice I was ever given was to disrupt, disrupt and disrupt.  At school I was told that I was disruptive in class, who’d of thought that one day it would be an asset.  I have always believed that if you want to see change then make it change, don’t wait for somebody else to do it, you may die waiting.  There are great examples of disruptive companies such as Apple and Amazon who couldn’t accept that what was available was what was required so they challenged the norm and disrupted the market to drive change.  We have done the same at Proton Partners with the Rutherford Cancer Centres, what was available wasn’t good enough and it wasn’t what was required.  Therefore, my focus now is on ensuring that we continue to innovate so the disrupter doesn’t become the disrupted. 

Who is your role model in business?

I am not sure that I have a role model in business.  However, I certainly do like to look at the careers of successful business people and try to understand what made them so successful.  People like; Karen Brady, Alan Sugar, James Dyson, Jack Ma and Steve Jobs.  When you really get under the skin of what made them so successful it often boils down to two things; disrupting the norm and sheer determination to succeed.  Persistence overcomes resistance and there is no short cut, just hard work.  

Why choose Liverpool City Region?

I didn’t choose Liverpool, Liverpool chose me.  I was born, raised and schooled in Liverpool and have always been passionate about the City, but more importantly, the people within the City.  Liverpool has always been a City of influence around the World and the people of Liverpool are renowned for their resilience and determination to succeed.  Without Robert Morris (a Son of the City), the USA may not have been created.  Without the Liver Buildings, the skyscrapers of New York may not have been built.  Liverpool has a rich history of commerce and this is now resurgent across the Liverpool City Region.  This City is an incubator for success; whether that be in business, sport, music or the arts, if it’s created here it’s appeal will be global.     


Want to hear more? Mike will be our Keynote Speaker at our Annual Dinner and Awards on November 1st. Find out more about the event and book your tickets here.

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