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Stuart Tootal spent twenty years in the British Army, serving in Northern Ireland, the 1991 Gulf War and the 2003 invasion of Iraq. He also held strategic planning appointments in the MOD, where he was awarded an OBE for leading a major structural change programme in 2005. In 2006, Stuart was the commanding officer of the 3rd Battalion the Parachute Regiment and led the first UK combat unit into Afghanistan, for which he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order (DSO). He resigned from the Army in 2008 having been promoted to full colonel. A major reason for leaving the Army was the poor treatment of his wounded soldiers.
Stuart joined Barclays later that year, where he spent a decade holding MD global leadership positions, which included heading the bank’s security and global travel departments, as well as running a retail banking customer initiative. During this period, he specialised in building a global team and delivering strategic change programmes across six different business units spanning fifty-five countries. He also played a key role in numerous crisis management situations, including leading the bank’s response to the Arab Spring in Egypt in 2011. While at Barclays, he founded and ran the AFTER ex-military employment programme, which hired 650 former service personnel into Barclays. Stuart also founded the Parachute Regiment Afghanistan Trust charity, as CEO and chairman, which raised £3.7M for wounded soldiers.
In 2019, Stuart set up Matero Consulting as a founding partner. Establishing a new approach to change management, based on providing clients with disciplined critical thinking decision-making, agile planning, and empowerment execution tools and skills. Matero’s clients have included HSBC, LSEG, Centrica, One Technology, and Metro Bank, as well as a number of startup companies. Typical projects have centred on supporting the design, build, and delivery of major change initiatives where servant leadership development, creating a team culture of accountability, and harnessing diversity to resolve complex issues has been key.
Over a fifteen-year period, Stuart has been engaged by over fifty FTSE and Fortune companies on the subject of speaking about empowered leadership and creating a mission purposed culture. Clients have included RBS, Kraft, the Daily Mail group, Babcock, Invesco, Virgin Atlantic, Accenture, Fidelity, and Grant Thornton. Stuart is a history graduate of London and Cambridge universities and part-time author. His first book, Danger Close – Leading 3 PARA in Afghanistan became a Sunday Times best seller and his fourth book, about the SAS in the Falklands War, entered the Sunday Times best seller list in 2022. He is currently writing his fifth book for Penguin.