Sean Coultard studied public business administration at the University of Hertfordshire, England, and graduated with honors. At the time of this case, he had been married for 15 years and was the devoted father of three children, age 13, 11 and 3. Coultard was dedicated to meeting his family’s needs in any way he could, including providing the best private education for his children.
Coultard began climbing the corporate ladder after joining Smith Williamson LLC directly out of college; after 12 years of service, he had reached the position of senior procurement manager. Smith Williamson was a timber merchant and hardware manufacturing firm that had survived economic downturns and recessions and evolved to provide niche services in the building trade industry. Coultard was ambitious and quietly assertive; the senior management team saw him as a role model in the field of procurement. He had a charismatic personality and developed peer relationships with relative ease.
Coultard was meticulous in every respect, from his excessive care and attention to his appearance and attire to his exacting nature of tracking his daily business routines though timekeeping. He had arranged for the IT staff to provide him full access to Smith Williamson’s network and systems, and he was known to work very early and late. Most peculiar was that he had a full social agenda outside of his family life, in which his business and personal connections often ...