Richard initially trained as an Ecologist working with Natal Parks Board based in Mkhuze Game Reserve, during which time part of his responsibility was to advise farmers on game ranching. This experience led him to realise that the ecological dimension is only one aspect of wildlife management, and subsequently led him to study Business Management.
Richard moved to Bop Parks and project managed the development of Madikwe Game Reserve, which at the time incorporated a new concept of using wildlife for economic development. His team was awarded the British Airways Tourism for Tomorrow award for innovative approaches to conservation (judged by the IUCN).
He has been working as a consultant on the conservation/business interface since the 1990s, which incorporates operating parks on business principles, negotiating contracts between private sector, park agencies, and/or communities and realising the value from the sustainable use of natural resources.