VetPartners welcomes return of former practice owner to oversee growth in Ireland

VetPartners welcomes return of former practice owner to oversee growth in Ireland

A VET who sold his practice to VetPartners has accepted a key role within the group because he believes so strongly in its culture and values.


Dr Gavin McCoubrey has been appointed VetPartners’ first managing director in Ireland, and aims to help them become the veterinary group of choice in the country as their expansion continues.

Gavin has first-hand experience of what it means to be part of VetPartners, along with an insight and understanding of its organisational culture of the group, which was founded and led by vets.

Along with business partner Diarmuid Currid, he negotiated the sale of Tameside Vets, a practice in Greater Manchester which they had founded and developed into a thriving business with 40 team members, to VetPartners in 2019.

While Diarmuid continues to drive the practice forward as clinical director, Gavin returned to his native Ireland and studied for an MBA at Queen’s University in Belfast. He then founded a consultancy business, which provided the opportunity to work once again with VetPartners.

Gavin admits he is delighted to be returning to VetPartners, which was founded by York vet Jo Malone in 2015, before expanding across Europe with practices in France, Italy, Germany and Spain, as well as Switzerland.

Gavin said: “VetPartners was founded by vets for vets and I know from personal experience what it means to be part of the group. I’ve experienced its organisational culture and the shared values of the practices that characterise VetPartners. These are qualities that will work in Ireland and will help VetPartners become the group of choice there.

“VetPartners stood out head and shoulders from the rest when we were negotiating the sale of Tameside Vets, and we had no hesitation in joining them. Our team members were central to the success of our business and their retention was paramount in our decision to choose VetPartners. Joining VetPartners proved to be the right decision as the practice continued to expand with Diarmuid driving it forward.

“Having been through the acquisition process myself, I can appreciate what it is like for practices so can allay concerns provide absolute clarity throughout.”

Gavin brings 26 years of experience of working in the veterinary industry and worldwide animal welfare to his new role as VetPartners’ country lead in Ireland.

After two years as a clinical director at the RSPCA, he founded Tameside Vets with fellow vet Diarmuid at the age of 29.

With its main practice in Ashton-Under-Lyne, it expanded with the opening of branches in Hyde and Stalybridge. Following the acquisition of VetPartners, they opened a fourth surgery in Droylsden, before Gavin returned to Ireland with his family and further his learning.

He and Diarmuid both completed a post-graduate Certificate in Veterinary Business Management, which inspired Gavin to go on to do his MBA.

He added: “Due to the multidisciplinary nature of the veterinary industry, I felt that studying for an MBA would provide synergy with my veterinary knowledge, providing a greater understanding of all the key elements needed to make any veterinary business successful.

“My rationale for enrolling for the MBA was that not all vets are business people and not all business people are vets. I was looking to position myself at the interface between these two highly qualified disciplines. The MBA equipped me with widely applicable qualities like leadership, critical and analytical thinking, creativity, and communication that I will being to my role in Ireland.”