With a chill in the morning air and the evenings drawing in, we took an autumnal opportunity to chat to our head of compliance Steven ‘Monty’ Monteith about his background and the work he is carrying out at Rigby.
Where did your interest in gun making come from?
I am not a gunmaker and am very conscious that I don’t possess the skills required to be one. However, I consider myself a practical person and with an engineering degree too, I can appreciate the talent possessed by those that are. The complexity and variety of Rigby’s guns and the level of quality that goes into every gun is beyond spectacular.
What are you responsible for at Rigby?
I’m working with Marc to help transition the company as it grows and to mature our processes and compliance documents. Rigby has changed rapidly since Marc became CEO, and with this evolution and growth comes a need to mature our structure and ensure high standards of delivery and compliance within the law. I have been involved in everything from restructuring and standardising our policies and processes to kicking off the delivery of our fantastic new offices.
What was your career path before now?
Shy of a couple of days helping Marc clear out his original premises in Vauxhall to move everything to Pensbury Place ahead of its opening, I am totally new to the gun trade.
After university I spent 10 years as an Army officer in the Highlanders (Seaforth, Gordons & Camerons). I served most of my time in Germany and undertook operational tours of Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan. Following that I had a very brief interlude as a commercial helicopter pilot, before running a project management office and working at Associated British Ports before moving to Rigby in June of this year.
How did you hear about the position and what made you interested in Rigby?
I bought a rifle from Marc back when he was working for Paul Roberts. Though sadly not a Rigby, it has served me well. Marc and I became great friends, and I have had the privilege of watching him and Rigby grow together with vicarious enthusiasm ever since. When the opportunity to bring my experience into the team presented itself it wasn’t a hard decision to make, and I grasped the opportunity to join the Rigby family.
What were your first impressions of Marc and the team?
Rigby has a warm, family feel. Like any family, we sometimes have differing views, but it is refreshing to work somewhere where everyone’s skills and opinions are valued, and where everyone is aligned to delivering the highest quality products to our customers.
What have you been working on so far?
My initial priorities have been to review and write company policies. Though these aren’t at the exciting end of gun making, it is nevertheless incredibly important to capture processes and provide guidance to all staff members. That way we can be safe in what we do and ensure alignment and consistently high quality as we continue to grow.
What are you proud of so far?
I am hugely proud of the emphasis Rigby puts on personal development, both in terms of the Rigby Academy and the progression of our employees. Not only are these both key to keeping our staff motivated and engaged, but it keeps talented and trusted people within the team to help them grow and the company to confidently expand.
What do you like to do to unwind?
I love to hunt, shoot and fish and am lucky to have some opportunities locally. I’m married to Sarah, and we have two children – Matilda aged seven and Hector five, both of whom are marginally better trained than our spaniel, Bertie.
When I can, I’ll do almost any outside activity – helping at our local forest school, surfing, scuba, kayaking, hill walking, chopping wood…. thankfully the children are old enough to enjoy these too and at least one of them is always up for coming out with Daddy.
I’m also proud to be a trustee of a disabled services charity called Wings for Warriors that helps transition soldiers into new careers as commercial pilots. What makes this charity so special to me is that we don’t offer respite from the rigours of rehabilitation, our work gives them confidence again and creates an exciting future they can be proud of.
Can you tell us about your most memorable hunt to date and why?
I don’t yet have a vast amount of hunting experience compared to most people in the industry. However, I would say there is usually a theme to the best days. It’s not the best weather or the biggest bag, but instead the countryside we are privileged to spend time in and the people you share that experience with.