Karim_BashirI have worked with the British Athletes Commission (BAC) since 2005, since which we have built a tremendous working relationship.

Both on a personal and professional note I was sad to see the BAC's first chief executive officer, former Olympic rower Pete Gardner, leave the role earlier this year but, as with all change, new opportunities and relationships evolve.

After an extensive recruitment process led by chair of the board Karen Pickering, Brett Taylor was appointed as the new chief executive officer in October and has had to hit the ground running.

Just a few weeks after taking the job I have sat here today and watched as he hosted the BAC's fifth annual conference and you would have thought the guy had been in post for years.

So who is Brett Taylor?

To start with, Brett represented Northampton Saints RFC as a player and coach for 14 years working alongside luminaries such as Sir Ian McGeechan and Wayne Smith.

Under Sir Ian, Brett set up the academy at the club which, in eight years, saw 60 players progress through the system and into the 1st XV – two went on to win the World Cup.

Not satisfied with club rugby, Brett moved on to coach the USA national team and took them to the Rugby World Cup in 2003. After developing the game in the USA, he returned to the UK in 2006 to take up the post of director of rugby at Richmond RFC and the club was promptly promoted back to the national leagues.

London Scottish appointed him director of rugby in 2008 which proceeded an unbeaten season for the club and promotion to National League 1.

This is a man who knows his rugby then!

That's not all though. When we met recently he told me about what attracted him to the BAC role.

"When the opportunity came about I was attracted to it immediately. Pete had the vision and the foresight to create such a body that is vital for athletes. The board's vision was simple - 'let's get better at what we do by making our core services elite and learn from every situation'."

Good corporate speak – some would say! I'd agree! But that's what the organisation now needs. I'm lucky enough to consider Pete Gardner a friend, (well Facebook tells me I am anyway) and I know that he has given the BAC a character, a soul and set good principles.

He did his job and he has passed the baton on to Brett to take the organisation into the next era of its development. Funding cuts have not evaded the BAC which means his first task will be to secure a sustainable revenue stream.

As a former international athlete, my somewhat biased view has always been that the BAC was an attractive sponsorship property. Brett is not so biased but he certainly strikes me as someone who will harness the values that Pete instilled into the organisation while maximising the commercial opportunities out there.

I was lucky enough to catch up with Karen Pickering, BAC chair, at the conference and she summed it up beautifully: "The BAC was Pete's baby and we were so sad to see him go. Brett brings new views and his commercial acumen is crucial at this time. He has already opened our eyes with the new projects that he has created."

It's definitely been an interesting few months at the BAC. That's what comes with change. Brett does bring something new to the organisation but values the soul and the principles already in place. I thoroughly look forward to working with him to discover new opportunities and to build our relationship.

Karim Bashir is managing director of CatchSport, an online sports promotion and consultancy business, and is a former international fencer