T H E
M A G A Z I N E
F O R
A N G L O - F R E N C H
FRENCH CHAMBER OF GREAT BRITAIN www.frenchchamber.co.uk
B U S I N E S S MARCH / APRIL 2017
SUPERHEROES OF THE ECONOMY
IN THIS ISSUE:
Top entrepreneur and investor Bernard Liautaud on how to build a unicorn; the CBI’s Carolyn Fairbairn on making a success of Brexit; Five minutes with Sanofi’s Hugo Fry; and much more...
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CONSTRUCTING A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE At VINCI Construction Grands Projets, we engineer digital solutions that help us and our Clients in the conception and construction of our major projects. On SEA Tours-Bordeaux high speed rail line (302 km and 38 km of connecting track), we developed a bespoke information system allowing sharing of processes and data between all partners (80 design offices, 5 sub-consortiums, 3,500 employees) that offers the most reliable performance. We introduced an Electronic Document Management System (EDMS) and a Geographical Information System (GIS) whose 3D interface fostered collaboration with clients and stakeholders. This real Asset Information Management (AIM) is being transferred to the dedicated company for the maintenance of the project over 45 years.
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Estelle Brachlianoff President, French Chamber of Great Britain Senior Executive Vice President of Veolia UK & Ireland
y the time this issue of INFO has landed on your desk, the British government will have – or will be very close to – triggering Article 50, the process that will lead to the UK’s departure from the European Union in two years’ time.
Brexit presents challenges for companies in the UK, but meeting them depends on people and attitude.
As Carolyn Fairbairn, Director-General of the CBI, highlighted at a recent French Chamber event, it is essential that the UK does not shut the door to its European neighbours: the UK’s strong relationship with Europe must be maintained. I would encourage you to read our report on her speech – and, indeed, all of our Brexit coverage – in our expanded, dedicated Brexit section, which starts on page 10. Additionally, in advance of the launch of our Brexit Forum this spring, we have also interviewed its two Co-Chairs (p71). Ensuring that the economy continues to thrive will be a key priority for the government during the Brexit negotiations. With this in mind, this issue of INFO looks at entrepreneurship and the role that innovative corporate companies play in the wider UK economy. Entrepreneurs are the lifeblood of Europe – start-ups, scale-ups, scalers, unicorns are essential to keeping our economies moving forward through job creation, innovation and wealth creation. In particular, scale-up businesses have played – and continue to play – a vital role in boosting the economy. Indeed, as a report by the CBI recently confirmed, between 2010 and 2013, the country’s 3,000 medium-sized scale-up businesses contributed £59bn to the UK economy – this was a crucial difference between recession and recovery. This is why focusing on building more scale-ups and supporting entrepreneurship is a priority. Even just a 1 per cent increase in the number of high-growth businesses would create 230,000 new jobs and add £38bn or 2 per cent to UK GDP, research by London Stock Exchange Group shows. Our Focus shows how this can be achieved and identifies the ingredients needed to create these superheroes of the modern economy. Packed with practical tips, interviews, case studies and high-level analysis, I hope that you will be inspired by this issue of INFO to take your business to the next level. I
- march / april 2017 - 5
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A M S T E R D A M
Superheroes of the economy
T H E
BUSINE S S WOR LD
FOCUS | SUPE R HE ROE S OF THE ECONOMY
27 Introduction by Jason Hesse 28 Infographic: UK entrepreneurship in numbers 30 Interview Bernard Liautaud, Managing Partner, Balderton Capital and Founder of Business Objects 32 Surround yourself with the best Devialet 34 The entrepreneur's fiscal checklist Irwin Mitchell 35 Your first employee Merci Maman 36 Power to the people Olystix 38 Interview Arnaud Vaissié, Co-Founder, Chairman and CEO, International SOS 40 Challenging VCs C4 Ventures 42 A global family empire PAUL International 44 Money, money, money London Stock Exchange Group 45 The CEO's role in scaling Microsoft Accelerator London 46 David and Goliath Early Metrics 48 Intrapreneurs: Three steps to success Schneider Electric 49 Breaking down corporate culture KPMG Enterprise
51 Building an entrepreneur-driven economy Cercle d'outre-Manche 53 What next? Recommended books, podcasts and must- watch videos on entrepreneurship CULTUR E AND LIFE S T YLE
54 57 58 60 61 63
What's on Book reviews Eat, Drink, Stay Profile Jeremy Page, Executive Chef, L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon Cheese & Wine Weekend in... Bath
AT THE CHAMBE R
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Introduction by Florence Gomez Chamber news Discover your Chamber New members
MARCH / APRIL 2017
Five minutes with... Hugo Fry, General Manager UK, Sanofi Brexit: Analysis and look ahead French Tech London; CBI's Carolyn Fairbairn; Peter Alfandary; The Rt Hon Dominic Grieve QC MP News and analysis Start-up story: Eptica Start-up and SME news Charity news Education news Reports and research
F O R
A N G L O - F R E N C H
B U S I N E S S MARCH / APRIL 2017
MARKETING: A BRAVE NEW WORLD
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M A G A Z I N E
FRENCH CHAMBER OF GREAT BRITAIN www.frenchchamber.co.uk
SUPERHEROES OF THE ECONOMY
IN THIS ISSUE:
Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI Director General, on making a success of Brexit - Balderton Capital’s Bernard Liautaud explains how to build a unicorn - Five minutes with Hugo Fry, General Manager UK, Sanoﬁ
Editor: Jason Hesse Graphic Designer: Katherine Millet Editorial Assistant: Noorie Haroon Sales Manager: Suzanne Lycett Contributors: Peter Alfandary, Victor d'Allancé, Liz Anderton, Antoine Baschiera, Philippe Chalon, Eric Charriaux, Warwick Hill, Olivier Huez, Thibault Lavergne, George Merrylees, Jeanne Monchovet, Arnaud de Montille, Tanuja Randery
FORUMS & CLUBS
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Forthcoming Forums & Clubs Brexit Forum Meet the Chairs Start-up & SME Club Four mistakes to avoid Digital Transformation & Innovation The millennial conundrum HR Forum Pay gap: Time to report Finance Forum Investor relations 2.0
Advertise in INFO: Please call our sales team on +44 (0)207 092 6651. Alternatively, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org INFO is published every two months Printed by: CPI Colour Distribution: French Chamber members, Franco-British decision makers, Business Class lounges of Eurostar, Eurotunnel and Air France in London, Paris and Manchester
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Past event highlights Rendez-vous chez PAUL; Cocktail party at Home House; Rendez-vous chez The Hippodrome Casino Ambassador's Brief: Brexit Seminar: Will French law reign supreme? Forthcoming events
INFO is published by: French Chamber of Great Britain Lincoln House, 300 High Holborn London WC1V 7JH Tel: (020) 7092 6600 Fax: (020) 7092 6601 www.frenchchamber.co.uk Managing Director: Florence Gomez
- march / april 2017 - 7
Five minutes with...
General Manager UK, Sanofi
What is your background?
between Merck and Sanofi, but the joint venture recently
I joined the pharmaceutical industry after my studies, where I
disbanded, with each company integrating their respective
qualified as a chemist. I went straight into the commercial side,
European vaccines business into their operations. So we are
as I realised that this would be a great opportunity to use my
now targeting a whole new area and helping the vaccines
scientific background in a different way.
business benefit from Sanofi’s network, access and resources.
Twenty-three years later, I am still here and have no
There are also a number of soon-to-launch products that
regrets. I have been lucky to bounce around the world quite a
we are excited about – I will share two with you. The first is a
lot throughout my career, working in the US, Russia, Japan and
new, broader-spectrum flu vaccine that we will launch at the
all over Europe. Prior to becoming the GM of the UK, and GM
beginning of the next flu season. The second, which is still a
of Sanofi Pasteur UK and Ireland, earlier this year, I was Vice
couple of years away but is very exciting, is a new therapy for
President and Chief Marketing Officer for Sanofi Pasteur MSD,
atopic dermatitis, a form of acute eczema that currently has
based in Lyon and Paris.
very few effective treatment options. Both have the potential
That is the great thing about the pharmaceutical industry –
to have a big impact on health and wellbeing.
it is truly global. Everyone needs wellness, and this industry is part of the system. What is your role at Sanofi? It is a truly general management role, in the sense that Sanofi has several business units that span different therapeutic areas of healthcare: these are diabetes, oncology, cardiovascular, vaccines, generics and consumer healthcare.
The most fundamental thing for us is the importance of retaining a stable regulatory environment once the UK leaves the European Union
As a healthcare company, we also have functions that are unique to the industry, such as our Pharmacovigilance
Do ‘blockbuster’ medicines play an important role in the
Department or the Regulatory Department, which are a key part
of the business and which I am responsible for overseeing.
Sanofi has a number of blockbusters, but they sit within a truly
My role is to make sure that the governance is strong
diverse portfolio. So while, for example, we have the world’s
throughout all of these businesses, as well as be the face of the
biggest-selling insulin product, we also invest in rare diseases,
company, for example when we talk to government authorities.
through our Sanofi Genzyme speciality care business unit.
What are your strategic priorities for the next 12 months?
– we put people’s wellness as the centre of what we do and
Sometimes, if you are not careful, the interaction between
work across the whole spectrum. We look after people from
healthcare and pharma can be seen as purely transactional,
birth through to their old age.
It isn’t just about finding and developing the blockbusters
and it really shouldn’t be; it’s a partnership. My personal challenge this year is to build stronger relationships with the
What effect has Brexit had on the industry?
NHS and UK government.
Like everyone else, I do not have a crystal ball that shows me
Another key event this year is our integration of the Sanofi
how Brexit will turn out, but the most fundamental thing for us
Pasteur vaccines business. This was a standalone joint venture
is the importance of retaining a stable regulatory environment
8 - info - march / april 2017
FIVE MINUTES WITH... HUGO FRY
Great institutions remain great institutions – medical research in Oxford or Cambridge is not going to fall by the wayside overnight because of Brexit, as good science always attracts good science funding. The UK will remain at the forefront of that innovation
once the UK leaves the European Union.
government, so my message to Theresa May would therefore
At the heart of this is the European Medicine Agency [a European Union agency, located in London, that is responsible
be to think hard about how to foster the entire ecosystem – not just one part of it.
for the scientific evaluation, supervision and safety for the evaluation of medicines], in which the UK currently plays a big
Sanofi has been a member of the French Chamber for 25
role. As a country, the UK accounts for around one-third of
years. What is the benefit?
the EMA’s work, getting new drugs approved. So for the sake
Being a member of the French Chamber is a great opportunity
of patients across Europe, I hope we can reach a conclusion
for businesses to access a wonderful network of companies
where innovation will not be slowed down. Patients must have
that all have something in common. To be plugged into that
access to innovative medicines just as quickly as before.
network is really important to us, as it also gives us access to
We have a strong position on this: we would like ties with the EMA to remain as tight as possible. And we are actively
fabulous events, such as the Gala Dinner with the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, which we are looking forward to. I
discussing it with the authorities – Jeremy Hunt, the UK Health Minister and Simon Stevens, the CEO of NHS England, have been on a ‘road show’ of the nation’s top pharmaceutical companies to sound us out and hear our positions. Scientific research could also suffer as EU funding gets cut. Is this a worry? I am fairly optimistic about this. My view is that great institutions remain great institutions – medical research in Oxford or Cambridge is not going to fall by the wayside overnight because of Brexit, as good science always attracts good funding. The UK will remain at the forefront of that innovation. However, we do need to ensure that the full ecosystem remains supported. This means the research that feeds the start-ups, the start-ups that feed biotech firms, and the biotech firms which feed big pharma. This requires a friendly
SANOFI FACTS AND FIGURES • Global employees: >110,000 in 100 countries
• UK employees: >1,800
• Global revenue: €37bn in FY2015
• UK revenue: £553.5m in FY2015
• 280 programmes worldwide
• 14 per cent of sales invested in R&D
- march / april 2017 - 9
Analysis and look ahead INFO looks at the latest news on Brexit and its impact on the Franco-British community
y the end of March, the British Government will trigger Article
future. With this in mind, and to help develop a clearer picture
50, formally announcing the UK's intention to withdraw from
of what Brexit's impact may be on UK-based businesses, the
the European Union and kickstarting negotiations. However, the government does not yet inspire a lot of
Chamber is launching a Brexit Forum on 29 March (read our interview with the Forum's Co-Chairs on p71).
confidence in how the negotiations will develop. On the
Brexit is a topic that will only gain in importance as time
same day that Prime Minister Theresa May said that she was
progresses. Therefore, we have expanded INFO's dedicated
'optimistic' about achieving a bespoke Anglo-EU trade deal,
Brexit section, in order to monitor developments.
Brexit Secretary David Davis warned Cabinet Ministers to
Over the next six pages, you will find news, analysis and
prepare for the possibility of the UK not reaching a deal with
interviews with some of Britain's brightest minds, including
the EU after leaving. And Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson,
CBI Director General Carolyn Fairbairn (p12), The Rt Hon
meanwhile, continues to promise a 'fantastic' future for the UK
Dominic Grieve QC MP (p15) and the Chamber's very own
outside of the EU. We can only hope!
cross-cultural expert, Peter Alfandary (p14). We hope that the
What is certain is that these mixed messages do not help business leaders, who depend on certainty to plan for the
articles will prove both informational and useful for when you, yourself, think about Brexit and its impact. I JH
Key dates European Council meeting
Article 50 Deadline
French Presidential Election
Rome, Italy – 25 March
London, UK – 31 March
Paris, France – 23 April and 7 May
Marking the 60th anniversary of the Rome
The Prime Minister has set herself a
A victory for Marine Le Pen would be
Treaties, which established the European
deadline of triggering Article 50 before
a big win for the anti-establishment
Economic Community, EU wHeads of
the end of March 2017. If she does not
movement in Europe and cause the EU
State are due to meet in Rome, Italy, on
do it at the EU Summit, May is expected
to lose the support of one of its most
25 March to celebrate. Brexit will be on
to likely trigger the process in mid-March
important members – and throw the
everyone's mind, however.
– but definitely before the month-end.
Brexit negotiations into disarray.
Withdrawing from the single market would be the biggest single act of protectionism in the history of the United Kingdom and no amount of trade deals with New Zealand are going to replace the amount of trade we do with our European neighbours GEORGE OSBORNE, former Chancellor of the Exchequer, speaking at the British Chambers of Commerce's annual conference on 28 February
10 - info - march / april 2017
Brexit cannot lead to any kind of optimisation of Britain's relationship with the rest of Europe. An exit is an exit. I am very determined that there will be no undue advantages EMMANUEL MACRON, independent candidate for the French Presidential election and former Economy Minister under Socialist President François Hollande, speaking during his visit to the UK on 21 February
FRENCH TECH LONDON:
BREXIT IS A MAJOR CONCERN Nearly eight in ten French tech start-up entrepreneurs based in London are worried about Brexit, and 75 per cent have already seen an impact on their business
hile 78 per cent of French tech entrepreneurs said they are concerned about the recent turn of events linked to
Brexit, nearly half – 49 per cent – said they were ‘very worried’. The survey – conducted in February by French Tech London
per cent, have not taken any measures in response to Brexit. However the potential impact of Brexit on tech start-ups should be put into perspective, François Barrault, President and Founder of FDB Partners and President of iDATE, warned.
and which gathered responses from more than 300 London-
‘Start-ups are agile both by nature and necessity. They
based French tech entrepreneurs – also revealed, perhaps
allocate resources according to the business’s geographic
unsurprisingly, that France would be entrepreneurs’ destination
need, and the growth of the cloud simplifies this even further,’
of choice (47 per cent) should they leave the UK. This was
he explained. ‘Additionally, taking into account the average age
followed by the US (9 per cent), Spain (8 per cent), Switzerland
of this community, mobility is a given for these “digital natives”,
(7 per cent) and Germany (5 per cent).
for whom the concept of a border has lost its meaning.’
‘The French start-up ecosystem is experiencing a revival and conditions for entrepreneurs have improved,’ commented
What remains to be seen is whether the UK will be able to retain these fast-growing start-ups in the long term. I JH
entrepreneur and investor Albin Serviant, Co-Founder of FrenchConnect London and Coordinator of French Tech London. ‘I am not surprised that France remains the destination of choice should start-ups leave the UK.’ Global talent Continued guaranteed access to talent is essential to ensure that French entrepreneurs stay put in London, the survey
If London closes itself off, making access to diverse talent more difficult, companies such as ours could move their headquarters elsewhere. This is why, by becoming more open to different nationalities, Paris could be playing its cards right – Jules Minvielle
indicated. Access to quality international talent is why French entrepreneur Jules Minvielle, CEO and Co-Founder of Mozoo, set up his business in London – and with great success. In the
TOP THREE CONCERNS
three years that the company has operated in the city, Mozoo has grown its team to 60 people with 10 different nationalities. Should this access to talent be removed, Minvielle said he would consider his options.
Future of French citizens in UK
Freedom of movement
‘If London closes itself off, making access to diverse talent more difficult, companies such as ours could move their headquarters elsewhere,’ Minvielle said. ‘This is why, by becoming more open to different nationalities, Paris could be
playing its cards right.’ Keep calm and carry on Reacting to the report, Axelle Lemaire, the now-former French Deputy Minister for Innovation and Digital Affairs, warned that the first consequence of Brexit was to create uncertainty. ‘[It]
hits innovative, reactive and open ecosystems, such as the London tech scene, the hardest,’ she said. While three-quarters of respondents indicated that they had felt the impact of Brexit on their activities, French start-ups have kept their cool, the report shows. A majority of respondents, 77
Outlook of trading conditions
- march / april 2017 - 11
CBI'S CAROLYN FAIRBAIRN:
THREE PRIORITIES FOR BREXIT Carolyn Fairbairn, the Director General of the CBI, highlighted three priorities to make a success of Brexit, at the Chamber’s latest Business Club event, sponsored by Irwin Mitchell
lose to 150 people gathered at the French Residence on
on whether Parliament should be allowed a vote on Brexit –
24 January to hear Carolyn Fairbairn give her thoughts
Fairbairn offered candid and honest views on how to make
on Brexit, at an event sponsored by solicitors Irwin Mitchell,
Brexit a success for both sides of the Channel.
which recently released a report with the CBI analysing how
‘The timing of this evening is extraordinary,’ Fairbairn
to improve productivity across the UK (read more on p15 of the
opened her speech. ‘Our relationship with France is one of the
January/February 2017 issue of INFO).
strongest – it really matters, and there is a serious challenge
The evening started with remarks by the French Ambassador,
ahead of us.’
HE Ms Sylvie Bermann, who said it was a pleasure to host the
Fairbairn, who had been in Davos during the Prime Minister’s
reception: ‘Carolyn Fairbairn is in a unique position to help us
Mansion House speech the previous week, where Theresa May
understand the challenges for businesses of the UK exiting the
outlined her priorities for Brexit, said that the speech sent
European Union, and I am very interested to hear your opinion
‘shockwaves’ across the room and the European continent.
tonight,’ the Ambassador said.
‘We face some very big questions about the kind of
As Director General of the CBI, Carolyn Fairbairn represents
relationship the UK should have with the European Union, and
more than 190,000 UK-based businesses, which employ nearly
we know that when the negotiations are done and dusted, the
seven million people – that is nearly one-third of the UK private-
details of the deal will affect not just firms here, but also in
sector workforce. The CBI’s views are, therefore, rightly taken
France and across Europe,’ she explained.
seriously by the government. The CBI has already published a number of whitepapers directed at the government that look at the impact of the various Brexit scenarios on UK business, but at the event – held on the day that the Supreme Court gave its judgment
‘It is absolutely crucial for the future prosperity of our two countries that firms across Europe work together to make a success of Brexit and get the best possible outcome.’ Fairbairn shared three main messages with the audience, which she said she would highlight to the UK government.
The Prime Minister has made encouraging noises that she does want to guarantee the rights of EU citizens living in the UK – and the rights of British citizens in member states – which is a good sign. But at the CBI, we still believe that a unilateral commitment is the right thing to do, and very quickly 12 - info - march / april 2017
Let’s speak up, as European businesses on both sides of the Channel, on why access to people matters, why access to markets matter, and why this relationship – which we have enjoyed for so many years – will continue to be important in the future. This is not the time to close the door
1. People and skills
3. Transition deal
Companies must continue to have access to the people and
Finally, Fairbairn explained why a transition deal, including an
skills that they need. Fairbairn explained that in the aftermath
implementation period, would be essential for UK companies.
of Brexit, many EU nationals have felt unwelcome and uncertain
‘[We need] an implementation period to give companies the
about their future in the UK. The CBI would like the UK
time they need to prepare in really practical terms for the new
government to provide a unilateral commitment to EU nationals.
arrangements,’ she said.
‘There are more than 300,000 French citizens living in the
Business leaders have a role in achieving this, Fairbairn
UK. People from France, Europe and beyond make a massive
added. ‘It is time for firms all across Europe to work together
contribution to our economy,’ Fairbairn explained. ‘The Prime
with our governments to ensure that a calm head prevails, so
Minister has made encouraging noises that she does want to
that it works for everybody.'
guarantee the rights of EU citizens living in the UK – and the
She agreed that there are challenges ahead, but she also
rights of British citizens in member states – which is a good sign.
added that a sense of perspective would be important: British
But at the CBI, we still believe that a unilateral commitment is
companies do want the relationship with Europe to remain
the right thing to do, and very quickly.’
After Brexit, she added, it is vital that firms in the UK have access to the brightest and best talent from around the world.
‘Today, right now, there is a unique opportunity to shape the post-Brexit world. We must defend the openness that has defined our relationship for centuries and has meant so much,’
2. Free trade
Fairbairn’s second point was around markets. Highlighting
‘My main message today is this: let’s not take this openness
how trade between Britain and France has doubled since the
for granted. Let’s speak up, as European businesses on both
creation of the Single Market, she said that open borders have
sides of the Channel, on why access to people matters, why
benefitted companies on both sides of the Channel. By ruling out
access to markets matter, and why this relationship – which we
membership of the Single Market, the Prime Minister has reduced
have enjoyed for so many years – will continue to be important
the options to achieve the barrier-free trading relationship that
in the future. This is not the time to close the door.’
the UK and France have depended on so strongly.
Following her speech, Fairbairn opened the floor to
‘No one says that it is going to be easy, but the CBI is
questions – under Chatham House rules – which prompted an
completely clear on this: we believe that an ambitious and
open debate about what was needed to make Brexit a success.
comprehensive trade deal should be done,’ she explained. ‘This
The evening then concluded with a networking reception, where
means negotiations on tariffs and customs and making sure
guests continued to debate the issue at hand.
that our strong regulatory framework matches yours.’
A huge thank you to Carolyn Fairbairn for speaking at the
The default option – of reverting to World Trade Organisation
Chamber’s event, thank you also to HE Ms Sylvie Bermann for
rules – would be ‘damaging’ for French and British firms,
hosting the event at the French Residence, and a final thank you
to Irwin Mitchell for their continued support. I JH
- march / april 2017 - 13
ORCHESTRATING A SUCCESSFUL BREXIT C'est le ton qui fait la musique
Getting the ‘tone’ right will make the difference between success and failure in Brexit negotiations, writes Peter Alfandary, Senior Vice President of the French Chamber of Great Britain
he success of international
‘Think European’ and build trust
our negotiators will need to invest a
negotiations invariably depends on
Paradoxically therefore, British
lot of time on the relationship side of
the negotiators having the requisite
negotiators will need to ‘think European’
things. Combating the feeling of betrayal
level of ‘Cultural Intelligence’ (CQ) to
in order to protect British interests.
will need time; it will need patience
enable them to conclude a deal.
They will need to flex their style.
CQ involves deep cultural
They will need to be more patient than
to the style and the presentation of
understanding and a real awareness
instinctively they would wish to be. And
by negotiators of the respective styles,
they will also need to understand that
tactics, preferences and mindsets of
one of the most critical ingredients of a
If they are to be successful, they need
their counterparts. CQ is therefore
successful negotiation – trust – is itself
to negotiate on two fronts – they need
going to be critically important in the
‘cultural’. Trust of the mind, facts-based
to end up with a good Brexit deal for
upcoming Brexit negotiations.
trust, works in some cultures but in
the UK, but equally importantly, with a
others trust of the heart prevails – do
future relationship with the EU that sits
and the onus of getting this right
I like you, can I do business with you
comfortably with our ex-partners.
therefore falls more heavily on the
over the long term, and is there enough
British government than on the other
common empathy that can form the
It is the UK that is leaving the EU
EU member states.
thing’. They are highly transactional and pragmatic. Their natural tendency is to focus on the deal. Influenced by the great empirical philosophers – Bacon, Locke and Hume – they tend to reason inductively. Theirs is a facts-first/ bottom-up approach.
The British position is a difficult one.
Divorce is never easy, but maintaining a harmonious relationship post divorce is often as important as
The British tend not to be very good at what has been called the ‘vision
and real alignment when it comes
reaching a financial deal. In the case
We need to focus on a culturally-intelligent Brexit. Our negotiators need to think long term; they need to flex their negotiating style to take account of context and culture
Much of the rest of Europe
of Europe of which Britain will always remain part of geographically and geopolitically, that future relationship will, in the long term, be crucially important. So forget about hard, soft or a medium-cooked Brexit. We need to focus on a culturally-intelligent Brexit. Our negotiators need to think long
reasons deductively – Cartesian and
term; they need to flex their negotiating
Hegelian logic dominate thinking.
basis of a successful relationship at the
style to take account of context and
The approach is therefore more top-
end of the negotiating process.
culture; and, above all, if the musical
down and principles led. The vision
Trust is, at the moment, in short
score they end up with is to please all
thing is important. The creation of a
supply. Dismayed and shocked by our
who will eventually listen to it, then they
common logical framework is often
decision to leave the EU, rebuilding trust
need to be very careful about its tone
a precursor to getting down to the
is an absolute necessity. If they are to
car c’est toujours le ton qui fait la bonne
details of the deal.
negotiate successfully, our leaders and
musique. I PA
14 - info - march / april 2017
BRITAIN MUST NOW MAKE A CONSCIOUS EFFORT The Rt Hon Dominic Grieve QC MP, President of the Franco-British Society, explains why its mission of encouraging closer relations between the two countries remains important today
Why is it so important to continue fostering bilateral relations between France and the UK? France is our nearest neighbour, and we have an intertwined history going back 2,000 years – if not longer. While, throughout this period, this has occasionally brought the two countries into collision, a feature of the last 200 years has been the cooperation towards securing peace on the European continent. Today, as the UK transitions to leave the EU, Britain must now make a conscious effort to promote the relationship and ensure that it is sustaining and lasting. What role can the Franco-British Society play in this? Founded at the beginning of the last century, the Franco-
alternatives appear to be quite attractive. To remedy this, mainstream politicians who believe in
British Society’s purpose was – and still is – to promote Franco-
moderate policies must understand that they need to engage
British understanding. Rather than being a government-to-
much more deeply and honestly with the electorate on issues
government effort, the Society brings people together for
that they have tended not to in the past.
events that look at politics and culture. Every year, the Franco-British Society organises a trip
How can Britain make a success of the upcoming Brexit
to France not as ordinary tourism, but to provide privileged
access for our members to areas and people they otherwise
The first thing that the British side needs to understand is
would not see and meet. Fostering these relations, between
that for the French – and our other European partners – the
France and Britain, is one of the big contributions that the
EU is, for all of its imperfections, a model with a lot of idealism
Franco-British Society makes.
present. While the UK has always been pragmatic towards the EU, we must not be seen trying to undermine their ideal.
Traditional politics is being challenged by populism. What
Equally, our European partners must understand that, in
does this mean for our two countries?
spite of Brexit, the UK does want to maintain an exceptionally
Mainstream politicians, who have operated in a traditional
close relationship with the EU, with as close an engagement as
environment, need to look at themselves very carefully and ask
it is possible to achieve.
why it is that the system of politics they have been conducting appears to have become so unattractive that people are being
What role can businesses play towards ensuring a smooth
lured off to alternatives.
A big mistake that we have made in the last 20 years is
It is very important that business leaders should speak
that although we have improved our communication with the
out honestly about their fears and concerns – as well as
general public, this communication has started to become
the positives. What would be troubling is businesses not
more important than the policy.
wanting to do that because they are worried about exposing
This has blown up in the face of mainstream politicians in France, Britain and across the European continent, fuelled
themselves to criticism. This is such an important issue on both sides of the
by the economic crisis of 2008, and created a serious crisis in
Channel; it is really important for the business view to be put
confidence in the way that politics is done, making simplistic
forward, whatever that view may be. I Interview by JH
- march / april 2017 - 15
YOUR ESSENTIAL DAILY READ Our award-winning journalists keep you informed on all the latest industry news, ensuring you make the best possible business decisions.
A N A LY S I S
PwC: UK CEOs ‘upbeat’ about growth Chief Executives of UK-based companies are more upbeat about their own businesses’ growth prospects than they were 12 months ago, according to PwC’s 20th CEO Survey
K CEOs are increasingly bullish about their own businesses’ growth prospects, despite declining
confidence in the global economy. This is the key finding of PwC’s 20 th CEO Survey, which surveyed 1,300 global leaders of companies with 500 or more employees, across all sectors. Asked to rate their own company’s growth prospects, 89 per cent of the 126 UK CEOs interviewed by PwC say that they are confident for the coming year, which is up from 85
We may see a period of uncertainty, but the economic fundamentals remain positive and businesses should keep calm and carry on doing what they do best – capitalising on the UK’s strength and attractiveness to the rest of the world, and seeking out new opportunities – Kevin Ellis, PwC UK Chairman
per cent last year. What’s more, they are even more confident about their own businesses’ ability to grow revenues over a three-year
growth (84 per cent), exchange rate volatility (82 per cent)
time frame, where 95 per cent of UK CEOs said they were
and the future of the Eurozone (78 per cent).
confident about growth. This contrasts sharply with CEOs’ confidence in economic
‘Clearly there is some concern over the potential impact of Brexit,’ Ellis continued. ‘However, the UK is increasingly
growth more widely. The survey shows that only 17 per cent
popular with overseas companies: business leaders from 16
of UK CEOs expect global economic growth to improve over
countries see the UK as more important than last year for
the next 12 months. This is down from 30 per cent last year
their short-term prospects and many are enthusiastic about
and well below the global figure of 29 per cent who think
investing in the UK.’ I JH
growth will improve. ‘Despite an eventful 2016, it is encouraging to see growth firmly on the agenda of UK plc,’ said PwC UK Chairman and Senior Partner Kevin Ellis. ‘We may see a period of uncertainty, but the economic fundamentals remain positive and businesses should keep calm and carry on doing what they do best – capitalising on the UK’s strengths and attractiveness to the rest of the world, and seeking out new opportunities.’ The impact of uncertainty surrounding Brexit is clear: the top three concerns for UK CEOs are uncertain economic
- march / april 2017 - 17
L’Oréal targets digital start-ups International beauty giant L’Oréal has invested in an early-stage venture fund as part of its strategy to engage with future tech and digital champions. With a focus on digital technology, Partech Ventures will help L’Oréal tap into innovations and services that can transform consumers’ relationship to beauty through prediction and personalisation tools, artificial intelligence, marketplaces and new services.
Pinsent Masons ranked top LGBT law firm
International law firm Pinsent Masons has ranked second overall – and is the highest-ranking law firm – in Stonewall’s Top 100 Employers 2017 list. The index showcases the best employers for lesbian, gay, bi and trans staff, recognising organisations’ commitment to workplace equality and inclusion. This is the ninth consecutive year that Pinsent Masons has ranked in the list.
Societe Generale named best Trade Finance Provider
The Global Transaction Banking arm of Societe Generale has been awarded ‘Best Trade Finance Provider’ in Western Europe and Emerging Markets by Global Finance magazine. ‘Trade finance is an ever-changing environment and we are committed to continuing to offer our clients innovative products which support their businesses,’ said Pascal Augé, Director Global Transaction & Payment Services at the bank.
‘Our unique relationship with Partech Ventures will give us access to a high quality and comprehensive sourcing of the best
Capgemini launches industryleading carbon reduction targets
B2B and B2C digital players and contribute to the group’s global strategy of open innovation,’ said Lubomira Rochet, Chief Digital Officer at L’Oréal. ‘It will create value across the board for our brand and marketing teams and will connect us to new ideas and partners to better engage and serve our consumers.’ L’Oréal’s investment in the venture fund follows its investment last year in Founders Factory, the London-based digital accelerator and incubator co-founded by Brent Hoberman. As part of the partnership with Founders Factory, L’Oréal agreed to support the growth of five high-potential early-stage start-ups each year. In January, following a pitching session, L’Oréal announced the five start-ups that it will support in 2017. These are: Preemadonna, an app that allows people to design and print art onto their nails; InsitU, a personalised and natural skincare brand; Cosmose, which uses location technology to allow retailers to target offline customers via online channels; Veleza, an app-based community to help beauty lovers discover new products; and Tailify, which connects big brands to social media influencers. ‘Open innovation will be key to identify new disruptive ideas and co-develop new services to meet the aspirations of our consumers,’ added Rochet. I 18 - info - march / april 2017
Capgemini UK has set itself a goal to slash the business’s carbon emissions by 20 per cent per employee by 2020, and by 40 per cent by 2030 – science-based targets which are consistent with the 2015 Paris Agreement. ‘As a service provider and consultant for many household names, our impact is much wider than our own operations and it’s important for us to acknowledge this by leading from the front,’ said James Robey, Global Head of Corporate Sustainability at Capgemini.
BUSINE S S WOR LD – NE WS AND ANALYSI S
GE to connect every industrial asset
AccorHotels to acquire luxury villa marketplace Travel Keys
a partnership with
broker that represents more than 5,000 luxury villas around
the world. Founded in 1991, the company also offers
Oracle to build a
professional vacation planning and 24/7 concierge services.
AccorHotels is to acquire of Travel Keys, an elite travel
GE has announced
The combination of Travel Keys with onefinestay and
platform that will enable companies to
Squarebreak – two other recent acquisitions – will provide
digitally connect all of
AccorHotels with a portfoliio of around 8,500 addresses in the
their industrial assets,
luxury private rental market. The Travel Keys transaction is
all across the world.
expected to close in Q2 2017, after customary due diligence. ‘Travel Keys brings an impressive portfolio of premium
By working together, GE and Oracle intend to offer integrated solutions that allow
properties to our existing activities,’ said Sébastien Bazin,
industrial customers to connect any machine or sensor to
Chairman and CEO of AccorHotels. ‘This is a very robust
any other machine or business application.
business, which will be instrumental in our strategy to create the number one luxury private rental player in the world.’ I
‘We are building an ecosystem with world-class partners who share our belief that customers benefit at the intersection of information technology and operations technology,’ said Bill Ruh, CEO for GE Digital. The business case for connecting industrial devices digitally – making them part of the Internet of Things (IoT) – is strong and is a fast-growing trend. Connected devices can enable businesses to create more efficient supply chains and use predictive maintenance, as well as adopting intelligent manufacturing and optimising business processes. I
photo © Hufton+Crow
LVMH launches innovation programme at Central Saint Martin’s
Luxury leader LVMH has announced a major investment to fund a new sustainability and innovation programme at Central Saint Martin’s, the London-based art school. The programme aims to combine disruptive thinking and sustainable practice to question the future of creativity and the challenges that the luxury sector faces. I Central St Martin’s College of Art & Design building
OVH takes €250m private equity investment
Cloud infrastructure and web hosting services company OVH has sold a €250m minority stake to investment firms KKR and TowerBrook Capital Partners. The growth capital will be used to take advantage of the rapidly-expanding cloud market and to broaden OVH’s customer base and services. To support UK growth, the company has also announced a new data centre, which will open this year. I
BNP Paribas completes first Blockchain payment
BNP Paribas has successfully completed its first real-time Blockchain payments for two corporate clients, packaging solutions company Amcor and Panini Group, the leader in collectables and trading cards. Blockchain technology allows payments to be fully processed and cleared in a few minutes, which in turn can significantly cut the cost of transactions for businesses. I
- march / april 2017 - 19
PRACTICAL REFLECTIONS ON THE FRENCH AND BRITISH IN BUSINESS
“Fascinating bilingual guide... full of shrewd insights into both sides’ codes.” - THE FINANCIAL TIMES
Meetings may not start until the most senior person arrives.
Meetings start on time.
A meeting is a debate.
A meeting is a process.
Latecomers enter, shake hands with everyone present, and then sit down. “Non c’est impossible” – often means “start convincing me”. •••
Latecomers slip in quietly, apologise and sit in the nearest available seat. “No, I’m afraid that it really is impossible” usually means just that. Non-negotiable. •••
BUSINE S S WOR LD – S TART- UP S TORY
Eptica: Creating meaningful conversations
INFO sits down with Olivier Njamfa, founder of Eptica, a European technology company specialised in intelligent plaforms for digital customer experiences
ounded 15 years ago by French entrepreneur Olivier Njamfa,
That was the beginning of Eptica’s long – but ultimately
Eptica has become a leader in multichannel customer
successful – journey. Njamfa is the first to admit it was not an
interaction technology – that is, customer service technology.
easy journey: for five years, the company was not able to sell
Every day, Eptica’s solutions answer millions of customer service
much as the market was not ready.
queries via email, social media, web and chat, helping huge brands engage with customers across the whole world.
But with a lot of patience and tenacity, the market matured and email became the second most-used channel for interaction
How did the business start? Njamfa explains that in the early
between individuals and brands. By being the first to market,
noughties, he foresaw that the internet was changing the way that
with a highly developed proposition, Eptica was able to leverage
brands interact with individuals. ‘I strongly believed that phones
this and grow in both France and the UK.
would not be the only way that people would talk to companies, that the internet would revolutionise this,’ he explains.
Njamfa, who had already had a successful career selling
With 30 per cent of turnover invested in R&D each year, innovation
accounting software, had recently obtained an MBA from
is at the heart of Eptica’s business. Today, the company’s technology relies on artificial intelligence and, in particular, natural language
There is still so much that we can do in Europe. We have a strong position, but I want us to be a very big European player – the number one
processing, which Eptica started investing in heavily five years ago. Eptica’s dictionaries now contain more than one million words across 26 languages that specifically respond to customer service cases. This natural language processing technology is used by hundreds of global brands to provide top-class customer service.
ESCP Europe. He loved technology and loved seeing how
Eptica’s four core industries are retail (customers include
technology was disrupting markets – and he was very ambitious.
New Look, La Redoute, Decathlon, L’Occitane and others),
‘When working on a project for EADS [now Airbus], I came
banking and insurance (Domestic & General, Hastings Direct,
across speech and written-word technology that the group had
Covéa, Crédit Agricole, LCL), the public sector (the NHS Business
developed. But the business did not believe that this could be
Services Authority, Birmingham City Council and others) and the
used on the internet, for customer service,’ Njamfa explains. ‘So I
travel industry (TUI, Virgin Holidays). Eptica boasts more than 450
convinced them to let me take the risk with it, to let me use their
customers in total across 15 countries – and growing.
software and spin the team out of EADS.’ Njamfa suddenly found himself with a team of six ex-EADS employees and lines and lines of code.
While Eptica is the dominant force in helping companies have meaningful conversations with their customers in France and the UK, Njamfa says that his aspirations are further afield. ‘There is
‘EADS let me use their technology for free because I took on
still so much that we can do in Europe,’ he says. ‘We have a strong
the personal risk of hiring these six people,’ he says. ‘The pressure
position, but I want us to be a very big European player – the
number one.’ I JH
Launched in: 2001 • Employees: 80 • Customers: >450 • Funding: €7m
- march / april 2017 - 21
Tramonex given green light for ‘e-money’ Registration as a Small Electronic Money Institution allows the fintech start-up to issue electronic money on the blockchain. The approval, given on 25 January, makes Tramonex the first blockchain start-up to receive approval from the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to issue digital money. The
French Radio London teams up with Hippodrome Casino French Radio London and Hippodrome Casino have partnered to launch a new series of French shows to be held at the 180-seat music and cabaret theatre in Leicester Square. The 2017 Hippodrome Live International Programme features three successful French acts, which started with the comedian Fary (in February) and will be followed by Vianney (March) and Kyan Khojandi (April), plus others later in the year. I
company now intends to conduct a test pilot for the transfer of ‘e-money’ across its platform. Indeed, its registration is valid for no more than 1,000 payment service users. ‘Automation of payments using the blockchain and smart contracts will reduce costs of transactions, allowing for the adaptation of this solution across many different fields such as insurance, real estate and government, to name only a few,’ said Marc Avedissian, Co-Founder and COO of Tramonex. ‘Previously the missing link was lack of regulation – Tramonex is very proud to provide a regulated environment where digital payments can be executed in a secure and transparent way.’
Blockchain payments The FCA’s approval comes less than one year after Tramonex received a £250,000 grant from Innovate UK, Britain’s innovation agency, to fund the development of a cross-country payments system that leverages blockchain technology. At the time, Avedissian said that Tramonex would use the grant to provide a platform with a common standard, in order to reduce the time and cost of transacting across currencies. ‘It’s only a question of time until blockchain technology goes mainstream and becomes the standardised option for cross-currency transfers,’ Avedissian said. A blockchain is a shared digital ‘ledger’ of transactions that is continually updated and decentralised – or, to use conventional banking as an analogy, the blockchain would be similar to a full history of banking transactions, but which is distributed across a wide base, rather than being held by central banks or institutions. Based on strong cryptography,
CWF signs deal with House of Givenchy CWF, the leader in children’s luxury fashion, has signed a license partnership with House of Givenchy to unveil its first ready-to-wear collection for children in autumn 2017. The collection will revisit the iconic Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci wardrobe with clothing and accessories for babies and children. This is the latest win for CWF, which already works with many luxury fashion brands to sell children’s clothes, including Zadig & Voltaire, Chloé, and Little Marc Jacobs among others. I
which validates and chains together ‘blocks’ of transactions, it is considered a much faster and safer technology.
E-money test pilot Having successfully obtained the registration, Tramonex will now conduct a pilot, in collaboration with another fintech start-up, alice.si, to test the use of smart contracts to manage charity donation transfers over the blockchain. During the test, donors will transfer funds to Tramonex’s segregated account, and it will issue the according amount of e-money and automatically transfer that amount to the charity through a self-executing smart contract. I
22 - info - march / april 2017
Ekimetrics finds new partner Ekimetrics, the strategy consultancy specialised in data science, has announced a partnership agreement with Sinequa, a leader in cognitive search and analytics. By working together, the companies intend to provide customers with an integrated, end-to-end approach to quickly extract value from their enterprise data. I
BUSINE S S WOR LD – CHAR IT Y NE WS
A Light for Africa joins forces with Aide et Action Edouard de Broglie, the founder of Dans le Noir and A Light For Africa, will work with Aide et Action to bring electricity to schools in sub-Saharan Africa Charity programme A Light For
Going forward, Aide et
Africa has partnered with Aide et
Action, which has more than
Action, an international solidarity
35 years of experience in
and development organisation
piloting educational projects in
specialised in education.
Africa, will be responsible for
Founded in 2014 by Edouard
coordinating and managing the
de Broglie, the founder of the
programme and budget.
Dans Le Noir restaurants, and
‘The commitment of Aide
Alexandre Castel, the founder of
et Action in the piloting of
French start-up Station Energy, A
the programme allows it to
Light For Africa is an independent
benefit from their 35 years
programme sponsored and
of experience in complicated
funded by private companies to electrify as many schools as
environments in order to guarantee to our sponsors an
possible in sub-Saharan Africa.
efficiency and long-lasting quality of their investment,’ said
Dans Le Noir financed the equipment of a first school in 2014 in Senegal, followed by three more in Senegal and Côte
Edouard de Broglie. By teaming up with Aide et Action, the programme hopes
d’Ivoire in 2015 and another five in 2016. The next phase
to deliver more schools and increase corporate sponsorship.
of the programme is to recruit more private companies to
Indeed, the programme has set itself the goal of equipping at
invest in the charity’s important work.
least 100 schools with electricity by the end of 2018. I
Handicap International: 75% of disabled people feel excluded in crises
Emmaus UK founder awarded France’s highest distinction
A large majority of people with disabilities living in countries affected by a crisis still feel excluded from humanitarian responses. According to a report by Handicap International, 75 per cent of disabled people caught in a humanitarian crisis – such as earthquakes, floods, tsunami or conflicts – believe that they do not have adequate access to essential, basic assistance such as water, shelter, food or health. During crises, Handicap International sets up Disability and Vulnerability focal points in tents or shelters to give vulnerable people the help they need. Mobile teams also go out in camps or within the community to identify vulnerable
Selwyn Image, the man who brought homeless charity
and disabled people, to ensure that they can access aid and
Emmaus to the UK, has been awarded the Légion d’honneur.
are not forgotten.
The French Ambassador, HE Ms Sylvie Bermann, presented
‘People with disabilities and injuries are often disproportionately affected and struggle to access the
Image with the award in January. ‘Through your initiative, energy and effort, you have
support they need,’ said Aleema Shivji, Executive Director
embedded Abbé Pierre’s legacy on this side of the Channel,’
of Handicap International UK. ‘There are many different
said Ambassador Bermann. ‘Your work is part of what unites,
reasons for this, including a lack of information on the
rather than divides, France and the UK.’
services available, a lack of services being able to answer
Image set up the first Emmaus community in the UK in
their specific needs or difficulties in accessing services that
1991. Today, Emmaus has grown to a community of 28, providing
are too far away, or simply not reachable.’ I
a home and meaningful work for more than 760 people. I
- march / april 2017 - 23
E DUC ATION – NE WS
Three French business schools in top global rankings
IN BRIEF - IN BRIEF - IN BRIEF - IN BRIEF - IN BRIEF - IN BRIEF - IN BRIEF
ESSCA partners with University of Northumbria ESSCA Ecole de Management has established a new partnership with the University of Northumbria in Newcastle. This is the 200 th partnership that ESSCA has agreed with universities across 50 countries. The French business school uses the partnerships to share best practice in academia, as well as collaborating on academic research. I
ESCP Europe runs first certified Fintech course in London
Three French business schools have been ranked as leading MBA providers in the latest report published by higher education analysts QS Quacquarelli Symonds. Of these, two are members of the French Chamber: HEC and ESSEC. The third French school is INSEAD. The QS Global 250 Business Schools Report 2017 ranks the
ESCP Europe’s London campus has become the first UK
world’s 250 top business schools across four categories,
higher education institution to run a Certified Executive
drawing on surveys of both MBA employers and academics.
Development Programme in Fintech. Enabled by a strong
The three French schools feature in QC’s ‘Global
partnership with FINTECH Circle Innovate, the school
Elite’ quadrant. Furthermore, the French schools ranked
delivered the two-day programme to a class of 23 financial
particularly highly against European counterparts.
and professional services executives from 10 countries.
Within Europe, HEC ranked third and ESSEC seventh in the
Covering the entire Fintech ecosystem, sessions looked at
‘employability’ category. I Discover QS’s full report on the
digital megatrends, insurtech, blockchain and enterprise
rankings here: https://goo.gl/1yPVa0
Hult tackles innovation with Amazon Launchpad
Turenne Consulting expands education business
Amazon has agreed to participate in Hult’s annual Business
Turenne Consulting, the expert in education, has started
the way that they interact with startups in their Launchpad
Challenge, where students work directly with a major corporate client to solve a critical business challenge. Amazon has tasked Hult with helping them to challenge
2017 with a bang, signing a new international client. Although the consulting business has historically focused on UK-based education institutions, it has recently been appointed by the Lycée Français d’Irlande to advise them on a strategic review that includes their curriculum, branding and estate. This new contract is the latest addition to a prestigious roster of clients. Last year, the company was hired by institutions such as HEC, ESSEC and Toulouse Business School among others to help develop their UK operations. Laurent Batut, who has recently joined the Turenne team as Senior Education Consultant, said: ‘2017 has been the start of a new personal adventure, but above all, it is the year
programme, which showcases new products. The ultimate
during which Turenne will grow beyond the M25. These are
goal for Hult students is to develop actionable strategies so
really exciting times for the whole team.’ I
that Amazon can build sustainable relationships with the start-up scene. The winning idea will be announced in April. I
24 - info - march / april 2017
BUSINE S S WOR LD – R E PORT S & R E SE ARCH
A selection of research papers and reports produced by Chamber member companies and partners
CBRE Understanding European Technology Clusters London is the leading destination in Europe for technology-based industries, according to CBRE’s inaugural report Understanding European Technology Clusters. The report analyses the characteristics of tech clusters and explores future opportunities among high-performing and emerging tech cities. Out of 35 cities across Europe, London is ranked in first place in CBRE’s index, followed by Paris in second. The report also identifies the fastest-growing emerging European tech cities of the future: Budapest, Bucharest and Istanbul. Understanding European Technology Clusters – December 2016. Available at: https://goo.gl/IUMXaq
CBI Making a Success of Brexit When the UK voted to leave the European Union, it was clear that businesses would be faced with change. Firms continue to manage this change and uncertainty with focus, determination and a clear message: the final result must be a coherent deal that delivers the best outcome for every region and every sector of the UK economy. Making a Success of Brexit aims to set the priorities by sector and, by doing that, give clarity on the issues that apply across sectors, helping the government to maintain the key principles of openness, stability and certainty of trade, immigration, regulation and funding that are shared by all. Although it was published in December 2016, the CBI’s Making a Success of Brexit report continues to offer a highly-insightful sectoral analysis for businesses in the UK. Making a Success of Brexit: A whole-economy view of the UK-EU negotiations – December 2016. Available at: https://goo.gl/eqralB
Ellen MacArthur Foundation Achieving ‘Growth Within’ Shifting towards a circular economy could bring many benefits for growth, employment, resource dependency, health and the environment. In an era of sluggish post-crisis recovery and stagnating industrial investment, the transition to a circular economy is a source of innovation and industrial renewal for Europe. This report, published by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and Systemiq, identifies ten attractive circular innovation and investment opportunities, worth €320bn, in Europe before 2025, along with the policy reforms and business actions needed to unlock them. Achieving ‘Growth Within’ – January 2017. Available at: https://goo.gl/K4RkNP
- march / april 2016 - 25
SUPERHEROES OF THE ECONOMY
ntrepreneurs are the job creators, the wealth makers, the innovators. The small and mid-sized enterprises that they lead account for 99.9 per cent of total UK businesses, two-thirds of UK jobs, and close to half of total UK turnover. Today's start-ups are tomorrow's corporate giants. Following the Global Financial Crisis, entrepreneur-led SMEs led Britain through its recovery: between 2010 and 2014, fastgrowing SMEs created more than two million jobs. Entrepreneurs are equally important in larger firms: companies that foster 'intrapreneurship' are more innovative and perform nearly 20 per cent better than those that do not. As Britain faces a new paradigm shift through its departure of the European Union, the nation will once again turn to its entrepreneurs to maintain stability and lead growth. What is now required to ensure that entrepreneurs remain our economic superheroes, both in fast-growing companies as well as in more established businesses? Through interviews with world-class entrepreneurs who have built billion-pound businesses (Business Objects' Bernard Liautaud, International SOS's Arnaud VaissiĂŠ), to articles penned by tomorrow's leaders (Devialet, Early Metrics) and advice from seasoned experts in entrepreneurship (Schneider Electric's Tanuja Randery, London Stock Exchange Group's Serge Harry, C4 Ventures' Olivier Huez and many more), this Focus paints a picture of how to attain entrepreneurial success, no matter your company's size and no matter your sector. The opportunity for you to become a superhero of the economy lies firmly on your shoulders. We hope that the following pages will inspire you to step up to the plate. I JH
- march / april 2017 - 27
UK entrepreneurship in numbers Over the last few years, unnoticed by most of us, entrepreneurs from home and abroad have been turning Britain into a hub of innovation. And global businesses have followed, hungry for the inventions and innovations they are generating, developing technologies that will change fundamentally the way we work and the way we live Philip Hammond, UK Chancellor of the Exchequer
NUMBER OF PRIVATE-SECTOR BUSINESSES IN 2016 – AN INCREASE OF OVER 900,000 SINCE THE BEGINNING OF 2010
SHARE OF ENTERPRISES IN THE UK PRIVATE SECTOR, 2016 Source: BIS, Business Population estimates, 2016
ARE MICRO-BUSINESSES (EMPLOYING 0-9 PEOPLE). MICROBUSINESSES ACCOUNTED FOR 32% OF EMPLOYMENT AND 19% OF TURNOVER 50%
383,000 NEW BUSINESSES IN 2016
48% 40% 33%
252,000 BUSINESS DEATHS IN 2016
Source: UK Government (2016)
EU GROSS VALUE ADDED 58% TOTAL PROVIDED BY SMES
OF TOTAL EMPLOYMENT ACROSS THE EUROPEAN UNION IS BY SMALL AND MID-SIZED COMPANIES
Source: Eurostat (2016)
MILLENNIALS: An entrepreneurial generation
OF YOUNG PEOPLE EITHER WANT TO START A BUSINESS OR HAVE ALREADY STARTED ONE Source: Kauffman Foundation
The average start-up wage is
The average banking IT salary is 42% higher
Percentage of start-ups offering equity to new starters
Source: Adzuna / Duedil
28 - info - march / april 2017
THE 'BREXIT EFFECT' ON UK START-UPS:
YET START-UPS CONTINUE TO HIRE:
Source: Silicon Valley Bank Startup Outlook Report 2017
Source: Silicon Valley Bank Startup Outlook Report 2017
AS A RESULT OF THE BREXIT VOTE:
FOLLOWING THE 2016 BREXIT VOTE, THE TOP ISSUE MY BUSINESS IS FACING IS:
Source: Silicon Valley Bank Startup Outlook Report 2017
Source: Silicon Valley Bank Startup Outlook Report 2017
Despite its many young and innovative entrepreneurs, Europe is not yet fully tapping the potential of its entrepreneurial capacity and talent. Starting and scaling a company across Europe has to become simpler European Commission, Communication on Europe's Next Leaders
- march / april 2017 - 29
BERNARD LIAUTAUD, Managing Partner, Balderton Capital
As one of France’s most celebrated entrepreneurs and now the head of one of Europe’s biggest VC firms, Balderton Capital, Bernard Liautaud knows what makes entrepreneurs successful
ernard Liautaud certainly knows a thing or two about
Finally, while you need to plan ahead, you also need the
success. He set up business intelligence software firm
financial capital to make it happen. This means raising money
Business Objects in 1990, growing it over the next two
when you least need it, well ahead of time. Because if you get
decades into the global leader. When he sold the firm to SAP
into a situation where you run out of money, your company will
for $6.8bn in 2008, the company had 6,700 employees, 45,000
either die or be taken advantage of by whoever finances it. You
customers and $1.5bn of revenue – a mega unicorn.
always want to be a step ahead.
Today, Liautaud is the Managing Partner of Balderton Capital which, with a war chest of $2.3bn, is one of Europe’s largest VC
Scaling the business is the next step. How can
firms, investing up to $20m apiece in potential disruptors.
entrepreneurs reach the next level?
INFO sits down with Liautaud to hear the secrets of setting up a billion-pound business.
This comes back to my point about having a fantastic team. That’s the baseline, but you then need to ensure that your team is at the right level for the next phase of growth.
What advice would you have for entrepreneurs starting up
If it isn’t, then you need to act. As the CEO, it’s your job to
a new business?
upgrade the team members. This doesn’t mean that they’re
First, to surround yourself really well. It’s a classic, but it’s
not competent – just that some people are more comfortable
extremely important – build a great team around you, with
in the early days of the company, while others are better suited
people who are better than you in each particular field of
to the later stages of development.
expertise. For the next three years, you will need a team that can be scaled and that team needs to be better than you.
At Business Objects, I had four CFOs over 18 years. Each was well dimensioned for the different phases of growth: the first
Some CEOs have a tendency to be a little afraid to hire
was early stage and the last one was geared towards running a
people that are too strong, but it should really be the opposite.
public entity worth billions of dollars. So you need to constantly
I’ve seen it time and time again: a great team pushes you up
look at how adequate your team is for the next few years.
as a CEO and they are absolutely critical to your company’s success. Second, entrepreneurs need to have great clarity about
The second important point is about the vectors of growth and thinking global. If you want to scale properly, you will likely need to build
where they want to take the company. This means having a
a strong international presence. For example, if after three or
good perspective not only on your ambitions for the company
four years, your business is turning over $25m but you want to
over the long-term, but also to have a practical three-year plan:
do $200m, then you will probably need to derive $100m from
what will be your vectors of growth over the next three years?
Entrepreneurs need to have great clarity about where they want to take the company. This means having a good perspective not only on your ambitions for the company over the long-term, but also to have a practical three-year plan: what will be your vectors of growth over the next three years? 30 - info - march / april 2017
FOCUS – E NTR E PR E NEUR S
Balderton Capital's offices in Kings Cross
But to get there, you need to start today, because it takes an
France is a terrific place today, as there is a fantastic base of
enormous amount of growth to be successful. You need clarity
engineers, scientists and people who are creative. There is
about where this growth will come from and start in good time,
a free spirit and a mature ecosystem that leads to plenty of
because new initiatives always take longer than you anticipate.
entrepreneurial capabilities. Funding is also good: there is plenty of money in seed, venture and growth funds as well as
Finally, how do you then build a billion-pound business? To build a very large company, the critical thing is to have very
government support. However, what France sometimes lacks is international
strong ambitions and be ready to hold on to the business for
ambition in its entrepreneurs. Quite often, they are not as
the long run. If you want to build a really big company, it will take
ready to go global as their UK counterparts. This is not helped
a lifetime of passion – it doesn’t happen over a couple of years.
by the labour laws and the lack of flexibility at the regulatory
With my own company, Business Objects, it took 18 years. But what interested me was making sure that millions of
level. The UK, of course, has been the centre of entrepreneurship
people would have better access to information. It was about
and innovation for several years, with good financing and
being passionate about the company’s core mission.
natural access to the US. I also think things are a little cheaper
Some people are only interested in making money quickly and therefore follow a fast-growth plan and are obsessed
and easier to do than in France. What remains to be seen is what impact Brexit will
with funding rounds and valuations. But this isn’t what
have, particularly as non-British entrepreneurs are such an
creates a great company. Great companies are created by
important component of the UK ecosystem. In London, 40 per
entrepreneurs who are passionate about what they do – the
cent of CEOs are non-British – as are around half of engineers
financing is just a way to make it happen.
working in UK start-ups. There is a lot of uncertainty over how
The good thing is that we are seeing more and more incredibly ambitious entrepreneurs who have that passion inside them, who want to take their company to new levels.
the UK’s departure from the EU will be implemented and what the fate will be for the foreign workforce. While early-stage companies are agile and can easily move people around, there could potentially be a substantial impact
Being a French entrepreneur living in the UK, how do you
should there be a severe limitation on bringing tech people to
rate the two countries for entrepreneurs to do business
the UK. It’s too early to tell what will happen, but the ecosystem
in? And what effect might Brexit have on this?
will continue to thrive, I’m sure. I Interview by JH
I wouldn’t say that one place is much better than the other.
What remains to be seen is what impact Brexit will have, particularly as non-British entrepreneurs are such an important component of the UK ecosystem info
- march / april 2017 - 31
Surround yourself with the best Why is it so important for entrepreneurs to surround themselves with a great group of mentors, investors and board members? Victor d’Allancé, General Manager UK and Ireland at Devialet, shares his company’s lessons for gathering the best advisers
help others benefit from past experience,
new markets, formalising recruitment
including mistakes and bad decisions.
processes or building a solid and
Such mentors are humble, transparent
realistic business plan. Due to the
and boast great listening skills.
nature of their activity, investors are
Like in any context, long-lasting
particularly instrumental in raising the
relationships are built when there is trust.
financial standards and expertise of
The ability of entrepreneurs to present
around them as they scale up.
their story (‘where we come from’), vision
Before investors decide to purchase
(‘where we are going’), strategy (‘how we
shares in the company, founders and
It is a straightforward business case:
are going to do it’) and team (‘the people
management must answer a lot of
mentors bring their experience and
who will execute’) is key in attracting
questions, ranging from the sustainability
share the lessons from their failures,
of their business model to their ability to
while investors bring the capital crucially
And it is important to attract the
control their working capital needs over
needed for growth and help the company
best. Mentors can typically also help
the next five years. Such questions can be
to raise its own standards. The ability
entrepreneurs to shape their investment
a great catalyst in helping entrepreneurs
of founders to surround themselves
pitch as well as introduce potential
with external business leaders bringing
investors to them.
relevant questions and monitor their
wisdom and expertise while sharing the
finances more thoroughly.
same level of passion and enthusiasm is
investors act as a great source of
Once investors have a stake in the
a key skill – if not a critical one.
inspiration and drive. For instance, at
company, they expect it to strictly follow
Devialet we have always been inspired
the operational plan agreed ahead
by the achievements of Xavier Niel, one
of the round. Recruitment objectives,
Most of the time, meeting such high-
of our early investors, who managed to
financial ratios, cash flow generation
quality people is down to word of mouth.
build internet company Free from scratch
and compensation become truly part of
One usually hears about a mentor’s path
and disrupt an established and powerful
of life, successes and failures through a
industry. The same goes with Elon Musk
friend or good contact.
and a few other entrepreneurs.
Meeting the best
In reality, only a minority of business
At Devialet, the €100m round that we closed in Q4 2016 created not only the means of our future growth, but it
leaders can become great mentors.
Expertise and discipline
Mentoring is about relationships. It
internal processes and execution. From
implies a genuine desire to give back and
their expertise, be it about entering
the inside, employees can see that the
32 - info - march / april 2017
also initiated a clear improvement in
FOCUS – E NTR E PR E NEUR S
company is becoming more structured
can result in deals and create other
to build with the company. For instance,
networking opportunities. Many of the
the investors in Devialet’s latest funding
deals and partnerships signed at Devialet
round – be it Renault, Foxconn or Android
happened because one of our investors
founder Andy Rubin – all had something
introduced Quentin Sannié, our CEO,
to achieve and build with Devialet.
encouragement to all staff.
Mutual trust and respect Another benefit of having great mentors
to one of his friends. The multiplier
Entrepreneurs having a real vision for
and investors on board is about the
effect then applied and great things
their business should think in the same
network effect. Because they believe in
way when it comes to finding the right
the business so much, well-connected
One key element to bear in mind
mentors and investors. At the end of
and influential mentors and investors
is the story. The best mentors and
the day, a world-changing and industry-
can make powerful introductions that
investors are those who have a true story
shaping story is never built alone. I VdA
The ability of founders to surround themselves with external business leaders bringing wisdom and expertise while sharing the same level of passion and enthusiasm is a key skill – if not a critical one
TOP TIPS to find the best mentor Know what you want Before you begin looking for a mentor or adviser, write
help promising disruptive companies. Target entrepreneurs
down your expectations and the role that you would like
that you admire or would love to work with and write to
them to play in your business. Do you want someone who
them; what do you have to lose?
can provide guidance on running a business or someone with specific industry insight? Clarifying your expectations,
Set up a meeting
goals and objectives will ensure that you find the right
When you meet a potential adviser, make sure that you
mentor that will benefit your goal.
are clear on the terms of the relationship: you are looking
Think outside the box Begin by exploring your own network: a friend of a friend could have the perfect experience of business success (or
for someone who can mentor you and help your business reach its next level of growth. Be clear what you need from them every time you meet, so that you do not waste time.
failure). But also be sure to aim high – you would be surprised
Ensure you get on
at how willing successful entrepreneurs and investors are to
The key to any successful mentoring partnership is respect and the ability to get on together. You’ve got to click and you must be able to have honest conversations about your business with each other. Above all, you need to be able to communicate with each other and there needs to be trust and respect on both sides.
Start early Do not wait until your business gets into trouble before looking for a mentor. They are there to be a sounding board and provide advice to help your business grow – they are not there to issue orders, but to help entrepreneurs and business owners find their own solutions. I VdA
- march / april 2017 - 33
The entrepreneur’s fiscal checklist George Merrylees, Associate Solicitor at Irwin Mitchell Private Wealth, outlines his tax checklist
ime and time again, when working with French entrepreneurs,
Particularly of importance is understanding the interaction
there is a common misconception that the UK tax system is
between the two tax systems, especially during the year in
simple enough that it can be left for another day. After all, UK
which you may be both a UK and French tax resident. To ensure
employment law is so much simpler than its French equivalent,
that you benefit from the advantages of the UK tax system,
so why would UK tax and compliance be any different?
compliance and planning is key. Indeed, falling foul of tax
While there is some truth to this, the UK tax system remains a complex beast. French entrepreneurs would do well to consider
compliance – or simply not structuring your affairs correctly – can result in extensive costs, fines and penalties.
the UK tax implications from the moment they consider a move
Determine how and when you will cease to be French tax resident. Take local advice on the exit tax
Identify which, if any, French tax compliance forms need to be completed on ceasing to be French tax resident
Pinpoint which assets (particularly business assets you need to have valued before leaving France (if any)
Consider any actions (relating to remuneration or asset sales) that you should take prior to leaving France and consider whether these could be postponed until you move to the UK
Identify your French social security status and requirements
Covering French and UK tax, this checklist could assist entrepreneurs in navigating a move to Britain. I GM
across the Channel.
UK tax Determine how and when you become UK tax resident
Ascertain which, if any, UK tax compliance forms need to be completed on becoming UK tax resident. This may include applying for a National Insurance number if you work, and/or a Unique Taxpayer Reference number if you will need to submit a UK tax return
Work out how you will remunerate yourself once you are UK tax resident and the UK tax implications of this. If you are still performing functions outside the UK, you may consider overseas workday relief
Identify whether the remittance basis of taxation is an option (the remittance basis is UK tax regime that permits non-UK domiciled persons who live in the UK to keep their non-UK income and gains outside the UK tax net)
Consider how UK tax may impact on your personal assets and investment (for example, if you are looking to sell your French home or rent it out to supplement your income)
BUSINESS SUPPORT FROM THE CHAMBER The one-stop shop for French start-ups and SMEs setting up and developing in the UK
oving to the UK – to start up a new business or to
Services on offer:
expand your business from France into the UK – has
• 'Journée implantation' (company set-up day): an all-in-one
day package of tailored meetings with Franco-British experts
The French Chamber's Company Set-up & Accountancy
• Accountancy: bookkeeping, management accounts, sales
Service – as well as our dedicated Recruitment Service – can
processing and credit control, purchase and payment
help to relieve the pressure by advising you and working on
processing, bank reconciliation and group reporting
your behalf during and after your move to the UK. Last year,
• Payroll: processing payslips, payment and HR support
more than 160 companies trusted the Chamber's with their
- Registered address and phone line
accountancy, payroll and company set-up needs.
- VAT management
For more information, and to discuss your company's needs, please get in touch with Julie Sanchez, Business Support Coordinator at email@example.com or on 020 7092 6606. 34 - info - march / april 2017
FOCUS – E NTR E PR E NEUR S
EMPLOYEE It is one of the hardest decisions that an entrepreneur has to make: when is the right time to hire their first employee? Arnaud de Montille, Co-Founder of personalised gift company Merci Maman, shares his story
e are often asked about what were the key
part of your 'baby', letting someone else interact with your
moments in Merci Maman’s development, and
clients, suppliers and partners.
to what extent the fact that the Duchess of
Cambridge wore one of our necklaces was a game changer. But in truth, the most important milestone that we have ever
faced was the decision to hire our first employee in 2009 – a
Hiring an employee can be paralysing as well: your business
whole five years before our ‘Kate boom’.
becomes reliant on someone else, who likely does things
Running a business on your own or with your co-founders
differently to you and who will not have the same attachment
has many advantages, but it will limit your ability to scale up. So
to the brand. Finding someone who shares your values and
when is the right time to hire Employee Number One?
has an entrepreneurial mindset is key to appeasing your fears.
It is a difficult question, because as an entrepreneur you are always running against the clock, always putting more items on your to-do list and always seeing opportunities
Luckily, we hired a great talent then and she still works with us, having developed and taken on more responsibilities. On the business side, one easy indicator as to whether
that you cannot take advantage of. Yet whether you are on
you need to hire someone is whether you are having to turn
your own or already running a team, the size of your to-do
down work or if you do not have enough capacity to serve your
list cannot be the only factor to determine if you should hire
customers satisfactorily. It goes without saying that you should
someone to join your business.
not hire until you have adequate work for another person to
The correct answer, when considering your first employee,
handle. Forecasting future growth is always challenging, but
will more likely be a combination of personal and business
this will also help to ascertain whether you can afford to pay
factors, based on your goals.
someone else. Creating your own job was probably very satisfying.
Right reason The reason that I mention personal reasons is because you may well wish to keep your company small and run it as a
Creating someone else's job and developing his/her talent is even more rewarding and is often the path to new business growth – and can lead to even more staff. You must also be aware of your own limits. Hiring someone
lifestyle business, where you juggle your professional life
can help you to develop a new income stream or reduce your
around your personal life (and not the other way around).
reliance on external help. While you may have a great business
This is what happened to us, initially. My wife Béatrice, Co-Founder of Merci Maman, was pregnant with our third child
idea, you are not always the best person to execute it. So do not be afraid to take the plunge and hire your first
when we decided to take a moment and think about whether
person. Of course, avoid the obvious pitfalls of looking towards
we needed to pause the business or hire someone and work
friends and family who do not have the relevant experience,
on accelerating its growth. With the business having expanded
or hiring ‘cheap’ rather than the right person. You must find
organically and profitably for two years, our answer was a
someone who shares your vision and your values.
clear 'go'. But you do always wonder, ‘what if?’ Merci Maman was still relatively small at the time and it was
Above all, remember that your first hire will be critical. There is no doubt that you will make mistakes, possibly even
still being run from our home. Bringing an employee on our
hire the wrong person or hire them at the wrong time, but
entrepreneurial adventure gave us increased responsibilities,
this will become an essential part of your growth story.
and it is also an emotional process as you are giving away a
Be bold! I AdM
- march / april 2017 - 35
Power to the people Entrepreneurs running fast-growing start-ups must put people at the heart of their growth strategy, writes Jeanne Monchovet, Founder and CEO of management consultancy Olystix and Co-Chair of the Chamber’s Start-up and SME Club
n a start-up, too much growth, too quickly, can be as
1. Fast tracking people to management roles
devastating as growing too slowly.
When companies grow quickly, people who were part of the
Fast growing start-ups often need to double, triple,
original team often get promoted into management roles. This
or even quadruple their workforce every year, sometimes
allows the company to retain its DNA at middle management
hiring hundreds of new people. Building a team with the right
levels and to establish a company culture that nurtures talent.
mindset and scaling the workforce effectively can be one of the
However, a move to management requires team members
biggest growth challenges that an entrepreneur will face on his
to step up their soft skills, and in particular learn how to
or her journey.
properly delegate, motivate, handle difficult situations and
There are difficult decisions to be made and
communicate up, down and sideways.
each choice can have a huge impact on
For young, first-time managers, it can be
whether entrepreneurs make it through
very hard to establish their credibility
that stage of growth. When you are growing this fast,
and assertiveness and manage a team of people who used to be their co-
adding new people every week, you
workers, who themselves previously
must also add additional layers
had direct access to the founders. Increasingly,
with new roles, hierarchies and processes – this can be the most difficult part. Five years after launching, as
therefore investing in developing their people just before they are promoted into a management
Google grew to 400 people, the
role. They identify ‘rising stars’
company started adding a layer of
and prepare them to grow into
managers – and Co-Founder Larry Page hated it, deciding to remove all of them overnight. Instead he wanted to revert to the early days, when there were no management layers between the CEO, Page, and the engineers. What this
leadership roles by training them and offering mentoring and coaching programmes. This works wonders, as talented millennials are hungry for learning and advancement.
meant was that he suddenly was left with one executive that
2. Hiring the best talent through a committee
had 100 engineers reporting to him. Needless to say, Page’s
Nothing is more important to growth than hiring the right
reorganisation did not last very long.
people. Needing to hire 50 or 100 new staff in a short period
The take-away from this is that start-ups cannot simply maintain the same behaviours and models as they scale.
is incredibly difficult, so the temptation can be to hire fast and relieve the pressure on existing teams.
Entrepreneurs all share the same stories: typically, after
Hiring fast rarely rhymes with hiring smart. The only way to
passing the 100-mark employees, things begin to change,
address this challenge is to design a robust, systematic hiring
including the people dynamics. People are exhausted because
process that acts as a filtering system and saves precious time.
they have put so much time and energy to get the start-up off the ground; silos begin to appear as formal departments are created and the initial genuine motivation to launch something new is replaced by worry about where the growth will lead. When overcoming these people challenges, there are four critical elements that can help achieve success.
36 - info - march / april 2017
Of course, there is no one-fits-all approach, but there is a growing trend among start-ups to use a hiring committee. Hiring committees are usually made of three to four people, often made up of the hiring manager, a key internal stakeholder who will be working closely with the new hires, a member of the executive team and a talented, neutral third
Hiring fast rarely rhymes with hiring smart. The only way to address this challenge is to design a robust, systematic hiring process that acts as a filtering system and saves precious time
party, to help provide an outsider's perspective. The committee is then tasked with developing the desired attributes of the ideal candidate and a set of scripted questions to detect the presence or absence of those attributes. Many high-growth start-ups will also specifically analyse the trends in a candidate’s profile as well as identify if there is a cultural fit with the organisation, and then use a simple scorecard that rates candidates on a scale of 1-5 against these attributes. This enables the committee to reach consensus on the best hires and reduce personal bias.
3. Maintaining the culture Company culture is usually born from the founding team’s values and communication style. When the majority of people have been with a start-up for less than one year and suddenly the organisation changes so that it is no longer made up of a core group of people who known each other intimately, challenges arise. Your culture can be easily diluted and shift in an unexpected direction. To fight back against this, some start-ups make concerted efforts to formalise their culture, for example through running regular town hall meetings where they reinforce their core values, vision and implement best practises to ensure that everyone remains on the same page.
4. Transforming from founder to CEO At the very beginning of a start-up’s journey, the founding team
the transition from founder to CEO. It is important to spend
is always very hands-on and involved in everything. Everyone
more time stepping back and thinking more strategically. How
is both a CEO and an intern at the same time. If you need
will you form your senior leadership team? How are you going
something to be done, you do it yourself.
to scale the business?
Many entrepreneurs struggle with giving up their personal involvement in every single aspect of their company. This can
We often hear that entrepreneurs are born, not made. But can the same be said about CEOs? I JM
eventually lead to pressure to replace the founder with a more experienced CEO. The skills and abilities that help a start-up entrepreneur to launch an idea are not the same as those required to maintain rapid growth. As the business becomes more complex, founders need to up their game too. They must develop their soft skills and cease being in a ‘doing’ mode all the time, in order to make
As the business becomes more complex, founders need to up their game, too. They must develop their soft skills and cease being in a "doing" mode all the time
- march / april 2017 - 37
Co-Founder, Chairman and CEO, International SOS
First launched in Singapore by Arnaud Vaissié and Dr Pascal Rey-Hermé, International SOS has grown into a billion-pound business, providing medical and travel security across the globe. Arnaud Vaissié offers his insights about the challenges going from entrepreneur to corporate CEO You co-founded International SOS in 1985, starting from
different: each country has its own way of doing business.
scratch. Today, your company employs 11,000 people
We spend a lot of time and investment in developing our
across 90 countries and you are its Chairman and CEO.
understanding of this.
Was it a struggle to transition from being a start-up
The best way to respond to the challenge is through
entrepreneur to a corporate CEO?
technology, and we have invested massively in the digitalisation
It was maybe less of a struggle for me than for others, as I had
of our business, spending 6 per cent of our annual revenues
worked for a relatively large group before creating my own
on it. What this has done is greatly help us to bring unity to
company, so I was used to corporate systems and a complex
what we do around the world.
organisation. In addition, having a Co-Founder meant that, from the very beginning, I was not alone. When you work as
As a start-up grows into a scale-up and then a larger
a team, you need to accept constraints; you don’t always get
enterprise, having the right team on board is essential.
your way in everything. So it was relatively easy for me to adapt
How did you approach this?
to the ways of a larger organisation.
Other than our medical professionals, on the corporate side
Culturally, when you are the CEO of a start-up, the
we try to sell the company to young graduates by telling them
interesting thing is that you know every single piece of the
about our purpose and what we do. We are in the business of
company – your team, your clients, your products... you
saving people’s lives, and this is our focus.
live and breathe by them. As the company grows, internal
Today’s new generation – millennials – are keener than
constraints and legacy just become part of the day-to-day life.
ever to have a sense of purpose. So when they decide to work
Today, my role is focused on innovation, identifying the
at International SOS, we make it clear that they are not joining
trends and ensuring that the company is a leader and driver
just another multinational enterprise, but an enterprise with a
in the field. Many CEOs are actually delusionary in respect to
very specific and unique goal.
innovation, believing that entrepreneurship is firmly embedded at the heart of their organisation, when it is not. Unless you
A major criticism levered at European start-up
actively push your organisation to adapt and be agile, you run
entrepreneurs today is that they sell out too quickly,
the risk of declining very rapidly.
rather than focusing on building billion-pound companies. What has kept you focused on International SOS’s growth?
International expansion has been instrumental to the
Today’s start-up world is much more finance-oriented than it
company’s growth. How have you achieved this?
used to be. The opportunities to sell one’s company at every
Becoming so international has been hugely demanding – it
single stage of development are continuous and quite often
has been our number one challenge. We are a relatively
very rewarding. So it can be difficult to push back and keep
large company, but we are present in an extraordinarily large
number of countries; this is what defines us today. It is a huge operational challenge to understand the laws, regulations and culture of each country – and each one is
38 - info - march / april 2017
Businesses come with cycles and the competition is always intense. Changes to the business are continuous. So when you constantly have the opportunity to suddenly put all of your
FOCUS – E NTR E PR E NEUR S
problems behind you, it can be tough to resist. In our case, we also have continuously been offered the
Funding is a critical component of growth for all companies, and it is important to pay attention to it and be knowledgeable.
opportunity to sell the business, ever since we started it. But
But, at the end of the day, your focus needs to be on growth –
we were very determined to build a large company so as to
the finance is just there to support it.
create a new framework for the industry. Personally, this is what I enjoy: I like being a pioneer in our field, and this is why
If you could step back in time to 1985 to give yourself
both Co-Founders have been very set on staying put. I would
advice when starting International SOS, what would it be?
strongly recommend this to everyone who can do so.
The first thing I would tell myself is to start with more funding. We started the business with very little money, and this meant
What role has external funding played in International
that our growth was slower than it could have been otherwise.
It took us more time to get the traction that we could have
We are backed by private equity and still have external funding.
achieved with more funding available.
This is not a bad thing – it gives you funding for growth and it
The second piece of advice I would give myself is to be
makes the business more disciplined. Financiers have a strict
extraordinarily agile. We started the business with a model
approach to reporting and results, and this gives you the
that did not work, and we had to change it within the first six
discipline that you need in order to maintain your growth and
months of operation. If we had not pivoted, we would have
just crashed. So adaptability is critical, both to clients’ requests
However, it is extremely important for entrepreneurs to understand finance and know what they are getting into.
as well as to the market. Do not start out with a concept completely set in stone – don’t be rigid about it. I JH
INTERNATIONAL SOS: A brief history
hile working at the French Embassy in Jakarta in the early 1980s, French doctor Pascal Rey-Hermé became aware of the need to deliver international standards of healthcare to the wider expatriate community and to international organisations in the region. Together with his childhood friend Arnaud Vaissié, who had been working in the US managing a subsidiary of a large financial group, they set up a business to provide international standards of medical care and emergency medical assistance. The company, AEA International, was founded in 1985 with 15 staff, growing rapidly from its base in Singapore and Indonesia into a pan-Asian corporation, creating operating companies in Hong Kong, Australia, Japan and mainland China. In 1998, AEA International acquired International SOS Assistance, and the business was renamed International SOS. Today, the business provides medical and travel security assistance to multinationals, governments and NGOs in more than 1,000 locations across 90 countries, including 34 clinics, and it employs 11,000 people, of which 5,200 are medical professionals.
- march / april 2017 - 39
As entrepreneurs' expectations change, the venture capital industry is having to transforming itself, writes Olivier Huez, Partner at C4 Ventures. Entrepreneurs now expect more
s Paul Graham, founder of seed accelerator Y Combinator,
business angels to invest. In addition, crowdfunding platforms,
mentioned a few years ago, a start-up accelerates like a
accelerators and public grants make it possible for great teams
car: it goes through rounds of financing, taking enough
with groundbreaking ideas to raise money fairly easily.
money to reach the speed where it can shift into the next gear and then keep accelerating.
After a Series A round – and even more so for scale-ups (i.e. series B, C, and others) – the risk profile changes only gradually.
And indeed, each stage is specific and has its own challenges
Scale-up companies are unlikely to change their positioning
and strategy. It is therefore important to get the right structure
significantly, they have a good structure in place, their metrics
and, more importantly, the right investor at each stage. Starting
show the path to profitability and execution becomes the key
in fifth gear is never an optimal way to reach 100 mph!
driver for success.
One step at a time
be known by investors. The number of funds has increased and
First, it is now easy to start a company in most countries – and
there are, by our count, more than 500 VC firms in Europe alone,
especially in the UK. For young people, creating or joining a start-
not to mention that many American VCs also invest in Europe
up is even the new ‘sexy’. In a 2016 survey, 60 per cent of young
from Series B onward. As a result, these days, entrepreneurs are
people aged 18-29 said they wanted to become entrepreneurs.
often in a situation where they can choose their investor, creating
The top universities have understood this really well, and as a
a demand/offer imbalance in favour of the entrepreneurs.
result there are more than 230 Masters in Entrepreneurship offered across Europe. Before fundraising for a Series A – i.e. raising funds before
In addition, at this stage, most talented entrepreneurs will
The best entrepreneurs choose their investors
revenues have reached €1m per year – a European start-up
Some of these entrepreneurs will be tempted to raise money
typically will raise up to €1m in funding. At this stage, it is
at a much higher valuation. This has happened in Europe to
important to lay the foundation for future rounds and begin to
some extent, but even moreso in the US. Doing this allows the
get into the discipline of following unit economics – that is, where
founding team to retain a larger share of their business.
revenues and costs associated with a particular business model
Rather than focusing just on the money, the smartest
are expressed on a per-unit basis (for example, where each user
entrepreneurs choose a VC firm that will make a difference to
is a unit).
their business and help them to accelerate on the path to deliver
This type of financing has become more available than a few
their vision. These entrepreneurs are after more than a just one-
years ago and there are a few factors to thank for this. In the UK,
to-one relationship with an experienced partner who has a vast
SEIS (Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme) and EIS (Enterprise
network of relationships – they want pragmatic support, rather
Investment Scheme) represent extraordinary incentives for
than simply introductions.
The market is progressively changing and new funds are emerging that have a clear focus, either in terms of sector or business model 40 - info - march / april 2017
FOCUS – E NTR E PR E NEUR S
Accelerating growth often means negotiating the best
(early-stage hardware) or Notion Capital (Software as a Service).
contract, rather than being introduced to a great lawyer. It
At C4 Ventures, we chose three themes: smart hardware, the
means coming up with an innovative pricing structure thanks
future of commerce and digital media.
to a lengthy brainstorm session with an executive who has
Having a focus allows funds to perform their due diligence
experience in the same sector. It can also mean being coached
more quickly and be much more relevant for the start-ups that
on how to recruit your next head of sales, rather than being put
they invest in. In addition, conveniently for these funds’ Limited
in touch with a top recruiting firm.
Partners, specialised funds return, on average, 6 percentage
The future of venture capital
points higher than generalist funds. An investment partner, whatever his or her experience
A few months ago, an article in Forbes listed the 10 European
and skills, cannot cover all subjects and all of the challenges
VCs that entrepreneurs most want to raise funding from. When
a company can face, and the people in their network usually
highlighting what makes these funds unique, it was never about
cannot dedicate the time to fully understand what is at stake.
what they can actually do for the entrepreneurs. Interestingly,
There is a need, therefore, for VC fund managers to give up
most VCs in Europe – who are constantly looking for disruption –
some of their management fees in order to recruit key operating
haven’t changed their ways of working much.
executives who, without substituting employees, can bring their
For a VC firm, there are two ways to address the
expertise, experience, preferred suppliers and own network.
entrepreneur's expectations and therefore be their chosen
In this way, the entrepreneur that the fund works with can benefit
partner: vertical focus and operational support.
from the best and most qualified support whenever they need it.
Investors will never be bigger ‘experts’ than an entrepreneur
In the US, the leading VC firm, Andreessen-Horowitz,
at what they do, but as the world gets more complex, it is crucial
fundamentally changed the VC scene by introducing a new
to have a deep knowledge and specific network. The best way to
model, run by a handful of partners supported by an extensive
get that is to be focused. Most VCs repeatedly tell entrepreneurs
and specialised team of operating partners.
to focus on a handful of things and do them really well... but do they do this themselves?
In Europe, after years of telling entrepreneurs how they should run their business, VC firms that are being challenged
The market is progressively changing and new funds are
by new fund managers must now evolve to also embrace
emerging that have a clear focus, either in terms of sector or
these differentiators. This is what will strengthen the European
business model. Examples include Piton Capital (which focuses
ecosystem, much to the benefit of talented entrepreneurs and,
on marketplaces), Data Ventures (big data), Hardware Club
therefore, the wider economy. I OH
TOP TIPS for entrepreneurs Consider angels For early-stage businesses, focus your fundraising efforts on strategic business angels rather than pitching top tier VCs – always aim for the right audience so you do not waste anyone’s time.
Stay in control The start-up journey is long, therefore avoid heavy dilution
Always be open
of your company’s shares at the ‘Friends and Family’ or
Fundraising is always on, so keep meeting investors even if
seed stage. The founders’ objective should be to retain at
you do not need the money. VCs invest in lines, not in dots, so
least 50 per cent of shares when you reach Series A.
get in touch early on so that you can establish a relationship.
Be open about funding sources
Establish a relationship
At the early stage, it is often worth raising non-dilutive
Taking money from an investor remains a primarily human
funding (such as public grants), but you should do this in
relationship: you must feel comfortable working with this
conjunction with strategic investors that can teach you how
investor for at least five years. It is like choosing your most
to report to investors, force yourself to be lean, and how to
important employee without a way to get rid of them if
think in terms of KPIs and focus.
things don’t work out! I OH
- march / april 2017 - 41
A global family
French bakery PAUL’s international growth is an exemplary tale of French entrepreneurial success. INFO meets Maxime Holder, President of PAUL International
stablished in 1889 in Croix, Northern France, as a small
case in the food business. While most consumers are open
local bakery, today PAUL is one of France’s largest exports,
to enjoying international products – no one would think twice
with stores found in 36 countries across the world.
about wearing an Italian suit or driving a German car – changing
Leading the international charge is Maxime Holder, the
their food habits is much tougher.
fifth-generation baker-entrepreneur at the business’s helm. The
‘There is a larger emotional attachment to food. So if you
secret of the company’s worldwide success? Thinking global,
want to succeed in local markets, you need to win over the local
acting local. Holder’s goal for the last two decades has been to
community and meet consumers’ demands,’ Holder explains.
build a global brand, rather than an international brand.
‘I’ve always said that if you go to a new country to sell French
‘There is an important distinction between being global and
products to French expats, you’re dead. Of course, we are very
being international,’ he explains. ‘Being international means that
happy to have French customers all around the world, but
you take the same products and sell them all over the world,
winning over the local market is the key to long-term success.’
replicating your model; while being global means that your products meet the local demand, based on the local market.’ This does not mean selling local products, though: no one would expect to find fish and chips in a British PAUL, Holder quips. ‘You will always find the same rich, butter croissants in all of our stores across the world, no matter where you go. But we then ask ourselves, “What can we bring to this country, how can we adapt to fit the local market?”’ For example, Holder explains, in the US, Americans do not have a croissant or pain au chocolat with a coffee in the morning;
Holder adds that this is a lesson that PAUL learned in the 1990s, when Francis Holder – Maxime’s father, who heads Groupe HOLDER, the owner of both PAUL and Ladurée – wanted to expand into Holland and Belgium. ‘It was a failure. We didn’t last for more than a year. My parents did not consider the local market,’ Holder explains. For example, while in France many of PAUL’s shops were often found next to supermarkets – French consumers liked to buy their groceries at supermarkets and buy their bread from separate bakeries – this is not how it worked in Belgium.
they expect cookies and muffins. Holder's reaction to this was to
‘You cannot just take French products and cross the border
meet that demand, but stay true to itself by baking the products
and expect to sell them like you do in your own country.
using traditional French recipes, to retain its identity.
Misunderstanding the local culture was, I believe, the main
Understanding the local market
reason why we failed in expanding the business outside of France.’
Having an appreciation for what the local market wants is
This is also why Holder decided to move to the UK himself,
incredibly important, Holder says. But this is especially the
17 years ago, when PAUL decided to re-start its international
You will always find the same rich, butter croissants in all of our stores across the world, no matter where you go. But we then ask ourselves: What can we bring to this country, how can we adapt to fit the local market? 42 - info - march / april 2017
our roots and PAUL’s image in France, and what PAUL can bring
‘To understand another country’s culture, you need to live there,’ he says. ‘I worked with the local authorities and investment bodies to understand how the UK market works and focused solely on building the UK business.’
to their country,’ explains Holder. ‘Then they can go and adapt the model locally, with our validation.’
PAUL’s global future
It is certainly a strategy that worked: today, PAUL has
The company intends to continue its expansion into new
36 stores across the UK, which brought in close to £30m in
territories. The latest country to welcome PAUL is South Africa,
turnover last year.
with the first franchised bakery opening at the end of February.
PAUL uses the same model with its franchises. While
Holder thinks this could be the start of a new large
Groupe HOLDER has directly invested in three countries outside
international push. ’Africa is a market that has huge potential
of France – the UK, US and Singapore – the rest of PAUL’s
for us,’ he explains. ‘It’s a continent where we do not yet have a
36-country international presence is through franchised stores.
major presence, so it is my next target.’ With his drive and ambition, there is little doubt that Holder
‘When someone wants to franchise PAUL in another country, we first bring them to France so that they understand
will achieve what he sets out to do. Watch this space. I JH
I've always said that if you go to a new country to sell French products to French expats, you're dead. Of course, we are very happy to have French customers all around the world but winning over the local market is the key to long-term success
1. AVOID THE ECHO CHAMBER
3. LEAD FROM THE FRONT
Very often, when leading a company, you can end up
You cannot delegate ‘the war’. When there is a problem,
surrounded by employees and people who cannot be
it is you – the CEO – that needs to be in the heart of the
objective or be 100 per cent honest with you.
battle. You cannot just delegate it to your Legal Director or
It is therefore important to find mentors and sponsors
Development Director; you need to be in charge and lead.
from outside of the company who are not your friends and
who can be totally free to speak. It is important to have
4. MEET FACE TO FACE
people that can tell you the truth about how you are acting
In the fast-moving internet world, being physically
and give you an unbiased opinion of your decisions and
connected to others is important. When you have a
problem, do not just email or message them; go and meet them in person.
2. HAVE FOCUS
Whenever I have an issue with one of our partners, I
Focus is vital to success: if you try to do too many things
always take the plane to go and meet them face to face in
at one time, you will lose yourself.
order to solve the problem. This reduces the risk of things
One of the mistakes that I made early in my career was
being lost in translation and allows you to re-establish the
to try and expand both in the US and in Singapore at
the same time – it left me stuck in between the two, in a challenging position. Even if you’re running a large company, you need to focus on one project at a time to get it right.
- march / april 2017 - 43
Money, money, money Fast growth requires fast money. Serge Harry from London Stock Exchange Group tells INFO why the European finance market needs to catch up with other continents
here is no question that
are prepared to invest for the long term,
US, which is much more accepting of
entrepreneurs run the engines that
allowing companies to focus on growth
entrepreneurial risk (and even failure),
will power Europe’s future growth.
and innovation, rather than on repaying
only 20 per cent of total financing of
Across the EU, high-growth SMEs provide
banking loans. Investors deliberately
corporates stems from debt. The rest,
almost 60 per cent of gross value added
take risk by investing in entrepreneurs’
80 per cent, is equity finance. In Europe,
(GVA) and 90 million jobs – that is around
fast growing business, with the
it is the opposite: 80 per cent of total
two-thirds of total employment across
expectation of high returns further
corporate finance comes from debt.
the 28 EU countries.
down the line,’ he explains.
‘These companies are already at
This is why LSEG has created its
‘Our role, as a stock exchange, is to
two-year ELITE Growth Programme,
the centre of job creation; and this
facilitate access to appropriate growth
where it works with 500 scale-ups in
must continue in the future,’ says Serge
funding for businesses.’
25 countries to help them prepare and
Harry, Chief of Staff to the Group CEO of
structure for their next stage of growth,
London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG),
Debt vs equity
Country Head for France, Benelux and
However, Europe must first improve
Germany and a member of LSEG’s
how companies are financed, Harry
warns. Currently, 95 per cent of the total
are creating and growing businesses
helping them to access long-term financing opportunities. At a time when entrepreneurs
amount of SME financing depends on
seemingly faster than ever before,
in Europe comes from ambitious fast-
debt, such as bank loans or bonds, which
the issue of finance is vital to support
growing companies, which is why it is so
creates a risk-averse environment.
their long-term success, on which the
‘A very large majority of job creation
important to focus on supporting not
‘When your company is at an early
European economy and its jobs depend.
only start-ups, but also scale-ups, the
stage, equity is the most appropriate
job creators of tomorrow.’
form of funding – not debt,’ explains
environment that depends on debt, to
Harry. ‘Equity finance, in its very
a world where more long-term patient
shows that a boost of just 1 per cent
nature, is risk capital, which allows
equity capital is available,’ explains
to the UK’s scale-up population would
entrepreneurs to grow faster than when
Harry. 'This applies to start-ups but also
drive an additional 238,000 jobs in the
they are financed by debt.’
to more mature businesses. When you
This is proven by research that
UK and add £38bn to GVA within three
Europe urgently needs to switch
‘We need to move from an
are confident your business can grow
years. LSEG has developed a strategy
from subsidising the deductibility of
steadily, accessing financing should be
to support scale-ups' innovation and to
interest to a situation where more long-
the main focus for CEOs,' says Harry.
finance their growth.
term patient equity capital is available.
What does is the key need for scaleups? Patient equity capital, says Harry. ‘These companies require equity capital that is “patient”, where investors
44 - info - march / april 2017
‘When you look at tomorrow’s
The tax regime on equity – taxed four
scale-ups, they depend on fast growth.
times – makes it 40 per cent more
We want to help them raise the finance
expensive than debt.
that they need in order to achieve
There is also a cultural divide. In the
their ambitions.’ I JH
These companies require equity capital that is "patient", where investors are prepared to invest for the long term, allowing companies to focus on growth and innovation, rather than on repaying banking loans
THE CEO'S ROLE IN
Scaling up is one of the trickiest growth phases that a start-up will face. But what does it mean for the founder-CEO, asks Warwick Hill, CEO-in-Residence and MD of Microsoft Accelerator London
ust consider this scenario: it is a
your company (whether you are at the
two key elements to the business: a
lovely sunny day and you wake up
head of it or not).
strong vision statement and a senior
There is therefore no shame in
the future, having survived the last
stepping sideways and bringing in
In essence, this is what we do at
year raising money and on-boarding
a seasoned executive to scale and
Microsoft Accelerator London. Alongside
customers. You feel great and you are
exit. Indeed, a smaller percentage of
our industry-leading mentors and in-
ready to take on the next stage of your
something tangible is greater than a
house technology experts, we provide a
journey, scaling up. Many entrepreneurs
larger percentage of nothing.
zero-equity, scale-up program to enable
have had this feeling – but many have
founders to achieve their business goals
ended up with mixed results. Scaling
Good CEOs learn to delegate
is hard to do, which is why many
their vision, attract investment and
significant mentality change for the
mature their technology solutions to
To scale, you need clients, but to
founder as they move from multi-tasking
support their global ambitions.
‘blitz-scale’ you need networks of clients.
and micromanaging to delegating roles
This is essential. The Founder must
Clients are the lifeblood of any scaling
and responsibilities to trusted members
present a clear vision statement that all
company and are the true validation
of their team.
staff understand and buy into. This same
safely. We help the founders articulate
of the founder’s idea. They provide the
One such unsung hero of any
vision statement helps to galvanise a
necessary stresses on both the founder
scaling company is the CEO’s mentor
senior leadership team, where members
and the business which starts the
or Chairman, who can help the founder
can act both individually, as industry
to navigate the growing complexities
specialists, and collectively as the senior
of customer interactions and team
management team, thus enabling the
founder to remove themselves as the
Surprisingly, many entrepreneurs never ask themselves, ‘What happens if my idea takes off?’ – they often dream
As the start-up matures into a scale-
about it, but few ever really question
up, it is vital for the Founder to build
bottleneck and making their company a success. I WH
themselves about how they would react to it. Yet this is paramount, as the effect on a company is huge. Just think about what the effect would be of adding 15 enterprise clients to the tech stack, to your customer service and support requirements, to team morale, data compliance, hiring... The list goes on and on; success affects the whole company.
Stay or leave? When
challenges emerge all the time which add complexity to the operational stability of the company. It is during this maturing phase that founders either step up as CEO or they reach their limit. There is no shame at reaching one’s limit; it is usually only one’s ego that screams and suffers. As the Founder and majority shareholder of your company, your ultimate goal should be to achieve growth and eventually successfully exit
When a company matures, new challenges emerge all the time which add complexity to the operational stability of the company. It is during this maturing phase that founders either step up as CEO or they reach their limit info
- march / april 2017 - 45
David and Goliath By working together – rather than against one another – small and large firms can enable each other to successfully grow and develop, writes Antoine Baschiera, CEO of Early Metrics, the first pan-European rating agency for start-ups
t is a truth universally acknowledged that a single corporate in
dematerialised technologies alongside the rise of the internet
possession of a good fortune must be in want of a start-up.’
and its wide broadcast of knowledge has had one primary
Granted, this innovative twist to Jane Austen’s most famous
impact: expertise and tech skill sets are not exclusive to large
opening might sound odd, but you get the point. The British and
and established organisations anymore; they are increasingly
French start-up ecosystems have grown in maturity in the last
moving to smaller entities.
few years: just a decade ago, start-ups and corporates saw each other as competitors.
Large corporations aware of this trend have reacted by launching a new model: open innovation, where interactions
Today, collaboration increasingly prevails, much to the
with other sources of innovation are promoted. If direct
benefit of both corporates and start-ups. What is the premise
collaboration with start-ups is an obvious part of it, we can also
of this new relationship – and what are the best practices to
mention crowdsourcing / engineering or intrapreneurship.
follow for a successful relationship between entrepreneurs and corporates.
An interesting consequence of open innovation is the multiplication of innovation drivers. Whereas R&D departments
The end of internal corporate innovation?
of tech-heavy sectors such as IT, automotive and defence used to be the leaders in innovation, nowadays, industries such as
Nokia, Motorola and Kodak are well known by 30+ year olds,
FMCG (Fast-Moving Consumer Goods), luxury or tourism also
but far less by millennials. Why? These corporations died (or
come up with disruptive innovation. This is because today’s
nearly died) because of extremely brutal technology shifts that
innovation does not depend only on internal tech skills, but
they did not foresee, integrate, lead, or even accept: for Kodak,
more on having an entrepreneurial mindset.
distrust in digital photo, for Motorola, non consideration of the 3G protocol, for Nokia, the rise of touch screens.
For larger corporates, a unique technological change
In this context, let’s examine what corporates and start-ups
can have a dreadful impact, which is why they need to be as
each bring to the table when collaborating, and how these
perceptive as possible to market trends and consumers' needs
contributions can be balanced to make for a fair partnership.
if they are to survive innovation cataclysms. Entrepreneurialism
Very simply, start-ups bring skills, tech, consumer insights and a vision of what the world might be in the future. Corporates,
is vital. Trend changes are increasingly speedy, challenging internal
on the other hand, provide access to distribution channels and
corporate departments to keep up. Furthermore, while
global market understanding, investment capabilities, credibility
innovation was once limited to the R&D departments of large
and a vision of what the world is today.
corporations, individual inventors and institutional players such
It is clear from this list that corporates require start-ups to
as universities and their research centres, it is now much easier
stay relevant, but given how resource intensive some scale-up
for lean structures to access the resources needed to create
steps are (industrialisation, internationalisation, access to large
consumers markets, etc), it is also clear that many start-ups
46 - info - march / april 2017
could not grow without corporates.
FOCUS – E NTR E PR E NEUR S
Very simply, start-ups bring skills, tech, consumer insights and a vision of what the world might be in the future. Corporates, on the other hand, provide access to distribution channels and global market understanding, investment capabilities, credibility and a vision of what the world is today Additionally, until recently, receiving significant cash from investors such as venture capitalists was the only way to deploy. Strong partnerships with corporates are now an alternative route that a growing number of entrepreneurs are taking.
Rise of B2B2C
partnering with an automotive firm or a social media company partnering with a publisher to boost their growth. Market access is thus often what corporates bring to startups, rather than the other way around, but even this trend is changing quickly. If established corporations tend to have strong access to
Partnering with corporates as direct clients (the B2B model)
their traditional user base, it is not always the case in emerging
or to access clients (the B2B2C model) is becoming a strategic
segments or specific niches.
deployment route that more and more are adopting. For
Millennials or foreign workers are excellent examples
example, in the start-ups rated by Early Metrics:
of market segments that large corporations can reach
- 69 per cent directly target large corporates as clients
out to more easily by collaborating with a start-up. Recent
- Out of the 30 per cent targeting customers, nearly one-third
partnerships include: large banks partnering with early-stage
collaborate with corporates as distribution partners.
remittance start-ups to offer light banking services to foreign
For a start-up that is scaling, the logic is straightforward:
workers or FMCG brands working closely with young social
while raising a large amount of equity is not always possible,
media ventures to gain access to a specific audience – again,
relying on existing customer bases – thanks to B2B2C routes or
distribution agreements – presents a unique, and sometimes more sustainable, option. It now makes sense to see an innovative health start-
These B2B2C or B2B2B strategies are at the heart of what makes the corporate/start-up relationship so central in today’s and tomorrow’s economy. I AB
up partnering with an insurance firm, a telematics start-up
FIVE TIPS for a successful corporate / start-up relationship Corporates and start-ups have different – if not
Don’t think of corporates as investors
completely opposite – DNAs. How can you ensure that a
And corporates, don’t act like one – you are partners and
collaboration will be successful?
both sides can benefit from working with one another.
Appoint a project manager
Understand when to say ‘no’
You need to have someone who will take responsibility
Speak openly about the potential outcomes if the
for the progress of the partnership on both ends. Regular
partnership succeeds – or fails. What would be the next
communication and follow-ups will help to avoid surprises,
steps? A clear definition of the potential outcomes can help
as well as keep expectations closer to the operational
to avoid litigation further down the line.
Agree on common, adequate KPIs
Be empathetic A corporate/start-up partnership is similar to a new
To avoid disappointment, make sure that KPIs are relevant
business venture, where customer service and human
to both the start-up and the corporate partner’s strategies
interactions are important on both ends in order
and internal goals.
to establish a long-term relationship. Invest time in understanding your stakeholders. I AB
- march / april 2017 - 47
corporate culture Liz Anderton, Associate Director at KPMG Enterprise, looks at how corporates businesses can themselves embrace entrepreneurship
In a world where innovation influences nearly everything we
entrepreneurial mindset throughout the business, from the
do and gives us access to products and services at the click
board level down.
of a button, we are fast learning that it does not pay to sit still.
Times are changing and this is particularly evident in the world
Why do it?
In the words of the industrial pioneer Henry Ford, ‘Coming
No longer is it deemed idealistic to label oneself as an entrepreneur. In fact, it’s much the opposite – there is now recognition that no matter what size your business, everyone
together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success.’ Opening the door to collaboration is not always easy.
can learn from thinking and behaving with the innovation and
However, many start-up businesses – particularly those
energy of an entrepreneur.
with disruptive technology – will no doubt become your
It is this moving of the needle that has resulted in many large corporates having to rethink their strategy. Becoming more innovative and being comfortable in adopting a more entrepreneurial mindset is now viewed as essential. So how is
competitors in the future. Far better to work with them than against them. At KPMG, we are involved in a number of programmes working with and supporting start-up businesses and believe
Entrepreneurial behaviours The first step for corporates in transforming their culture is to learn the behaviours of an entrepreneur. Successful entrepreneurs are agile, wired to seek new opportunities,
No matter what size your business, everyone can learn from thinking and behaving with the innovation and energy of an entrepreneur
willing to take risks, continuously pursue opportunities and have an understanding of their own strengths as well as
that these relationships are starting to ignite a cultural
shift within our own business. Staff who mentor fledgling
Many corporates will look to their own industry and consider what others have done already. Some businesses are starting accelerators or seeking complimentary alliances with organisations that work
businesses are inspired by the pace at which they can make decisions or change course, and are bringing similar ideas and plenty of energy back to their offices. Corporates that get this right can expect to see new skills,
with start-up businesses. Others are creating their own
such as flexible thinking and rapid response to changing
entrepreneurial teams or opening co-working office spaces
demands, manifesting in their own staff. It is these kinds of
to rub shoulders with innovative businesses. Another route
competencies that large corporates often find difficult to
is to hire proven specialists who can help improve the
develop through training programmes alone.
48 - info - march / april 2017
FOCUS – E NTR E PR E NEUR S
Having an entrepreneurial culture can also make a
and growing a business.
corporate firm’s position in the external job market more
Yet the benefits are clearly not one-sided, either. For the
attractive, particularly to the millennial generation. Now, more
typical small or fast-growing business, the opportunity to
than ever, employees are looking for that little bit extra from
learn and work with large companies can provide the support
their career. Having the ability to offer attractive opportunities
of more structured processes, often opening up broader
to curious, innovative, flexible thinkers graduating in 2017 and
networks and enabling a stronger route to market.
beyond is important in helping employers to recruit – and crucially, retain – the best talent available.
While this type of collaboration is still relatively new, we should expect to see an increase in these arrangements and
Working with entrepreneurs can also give corporate
alliances. When executed well, to the benefit of both parties,
employees a hands-on experience, leading to a much greater
working together can prove to be both hugely enlightening and
appreciation of the challenges and pitfalls of building, running
rewarding. I LA
Working with entrepreneurs can give corporate employees a hands-on experience, leading to a much greater appreciation of the challenges and pitfalls of building, running and growing a business
TOP TIPS for larger businesses 1
Open the door to collaboration – it can be hard for small companies to interact with
larger businesses. Sharing support and knowledge can result in a huge development leap for both sides.
Understand differences in culture and embrace them – being exposed to hugely
energetic entrepreneurs can challenge the corporate way of thinking. Make the most of this opportunity to learn and experience the freedom of thought!
Understand the needs of smaller businesses and entrepreneurs – work with them,
not against them. Consider practicalities such as reducing payment terms for them. While this may not be the norm for the large corporate, this could be a potential deal maker for a smaller business.
Prepare to be inspired – with entrepreneurship comes passion! Working with
individuals driven by the determination to succeed can be incredibly infectious and inspiring to others.
Embrace your millennials and those with a passion for entrepreneurship – by
finding enthusiastic and driven members of your business to push this initiative forward and build these relationships, you will soon find that their excitement for this work is contagious. I LA
- march / april 2017 - 49
FOCUS – E NTR E PR E NEUR S
Three steps to success Creating intrapreneurs – where employees are in-house entrepreneurs – can be difficult to do in large corporate firms. But, writes Tanuja Randery, Zone President UK and Ireland at Schneider Electric, it is well worth the effort
ntrepreneurship is no longer
intrapreneurship a challenge. Here are a
to take risks and try new things. When
reserved for those with dreams of
few tips on how to make it work.
something does not go to plan – as
running their own business. Today,
it inevitably will – I ask my employees
more than ever, big business needs
Disrupt the ranks and topple silos
Large organisations can quickly become
understand why. Celebrate wins,
homogenous with multiple silos and a
but still congratulate those who fail.
mistake, but a hybrid of the words
‘we’ve always done it this way’ approach.
Holding ‘lessons learned’ sessions can
‘internal’ and ‘entrepreneur’. An
Do not be afraid to shake things up.
be invaluable – learning from failure
intrapreneur is a forward-thinking
Hire new talent that think, act and look
is what drives innovation and creates
individual within a large corporation
different to the company norm. The
who turns ideas into profitable finished
introduction of these evangelists and
products through assertive risk-taking
change agents will inspire a fresh wave
of thinking and give innovation a boost.
No, ‘intrapreneur’ is not a spelling
We are seeing start-ups disrupt
Silos are a major barrier to
to take a step back and to try and
Create space to think but apply ruthless prioritisation In today’s fast-paced environment,
business across all industries with
innovation and create a huge amount of
finding the time or head-space to think
innovative ideas and new business
inefficiency within large organisations.
creatively can be a challenge. However,
models that simply did not exist 10
Set up project teams from across the
this time is required to develop
years ago. Take Uber or AirBnB as
business to stimulate collaboration
innovative ideas and products. When
examples, both have adopted entirely
(gamifying it is a way to bring a bit
planning team resource, be sure to allow
new approaches and created massive
of fun to the process). At Schneider,
some free time to allow teams the space
disruption within their respective
we regularly hold an event dubbed
to think, create and innovate.
To get the whole organisation innovating, it is important to create an environment in which risk taking is encouraged and failure is accepted, not scorned Thinking space is essential, but
industries. Large corporates can no
‘Schneider Is On Trophies’, where
longer afford to be complacent, they
teams are challenged to find new ideas
without clear focus, it can quickly
must continue to innovate – and at a
to solve existing problems. They are
become inefficient. Leaders should offer
pace that matches the hungry start-ups
given time to develop the ideas and an
a clear framework for teams to work
chomping at their heels.
area to focus on, these ideas are then
within. In large organisations, where
judged by a jury with the winners being
hundreds of projects are on the go at
intrapreneurship. Innovation at every
rewarded and celebrated internally and
any one time, the key is actually to do
level is our core mission and we want
the best turned into active projects for
less. Apply ruthless prioritisation to keep
our 185,000 employees to be invested
attention trained on those projects that
At Schneider Electric, we encourage
in the direction of the company and to
will deliver the best return.
be constantly thinking about how we
Encourage a culture of risk taking
can innovate. We invest £1.6bn in R&D
To get the whole organisation innovating,
about thinking differently, taking risks
each year and in 2016 this enabled us to
it is important to create an environment
and collaborating with the wider team
release 365 new products to the market.
in which risk taking is encouraged and
to drive the business forward. So, make
failure is accepted, not scorned.
sure that you add the word intrapreneur
However, in large, publicly-held organisations, the structure and quarterly profit focus can make fostering 50 - info - march / april 2017
Failure at any stage is inevitable, so foster a space where teams feel safe
Ultimately, being an intrapreneur is
to your vocabulary today – it will serve you in good stead. I TR
FRANCE vs UK:
Building an entrepreneurdriven economy Many countries aspire to build their economy around entrepreneurs, whose fast-growing businesses create jobs and wealth for the nation. Philippe Chalon, Managing Director of French thinktank Cercle d’outreManche and Director of External Affairs at International SOS, looks at what France can learn from the UK
ob and wealth creation, especially in countries such as
enjoys factual advantages over London (for instance, the annual
France and the United Kingdom, are largely driven by SMEs
rental cost per square meter is twice as cheap in Paris), French
and scale-ups. These new jobs are mainly created by young
start-ups are undercapitalised as soon as they are created,
companies – typically less than four or five years of age.
having fewer business angels available to tap for funding, which
This is, in fact, true for most developed countries. Indeed, over the past 25 years, virtually all net job creation in the United States has been provided by companies that were created less than five years ago.
leads to smaller amounts being raised annually (over £3.4bn in the UK against £1.5bn in France).
Political drive Can political leaders better allocate national resources so as to foster scale-up creation? A recent study, jointly published by
The success of a start-up, however, is closely linked to its kick-
Deloitte and Nesta, shows that 1 per cent more scale-ups would
off speed: young companies with the most promising funding
represent no less than 150,000 new jobs by 2034 and a £225bn
are endowed with strong growth potential right from the start.
gain for the British economy.
Conversely, when a business starts off with a lack of capital,
In the UK, the government, political leaders, trade unions,
it never really catches up, remaining extremely vulnerable to
universities, think tanks... all work in the same direction, with
the same objective: to design, support and expand the finest
This is especially true for tech start-ups during their first year on the market. Better funded from the seed stage, in
entrepreneurial environment in order to boost job creation for today and tomorrow.
comparison with their French counterparts, British start-ups
There are therefore a number of cues that France
have a 95 per cent survival rate after two years of activity (75
could take from the United Kingdom in order to improve its
per cent for innovative French SMEs).
Overall, it would seem that the UK economic environment
For example, it could set up a fiscal package inspired by
makes things easier for entrepreneurs. From competitive
the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS), which would stimulate
fiscal incentives to labour market flexibility and a pro-business
higher individual investments. It could also revise its corporate
administration, all of these make a significant contribution to
tax rate downwards – the actual tax rate paid by French
the British entrepreneurial effort.
companies is equal to 33 per cent in France versus 20 per cent
On the whole, start-ups grow more soundly and more quickly than in France, by a three-to-one ratio. While Paris
in the United Kingdom. Or it could even work to attract the best talent with a new, improved form of Entrepreneur Visa.
- march / april 2017 - 51
In the UK, the government, political leaders, trade unions, universities, think tanks... all work in the same direction, with the same objective: to design, support and expand the finest entrepreneurial ecosystem in order to boost job creation for today and tomorrow French election: A time for change? There is a lot that could be improved in France to create the
get smarter: we must allow our entrepreneurs and our
right environment, should the right political will be present.
universities to work together and promote tech innovation.
To a greater extent, the French presidential election in May
At the heart of an entrepreneurial economy is the ability to
could actually be the right time to remind our political leaders
foster innovative start-ups, which in turn boosts job creation
that todayâ€™s advanced economies live or die by their ability to
and then creates economic growth. I PC
Start-ups, scale-ups, scalers and unicorns
Source: Cercle d'outre-Manche
Start-up funding in France and in the UK (2015) 700
0 Number of start-ups funded by VCs
Amount raised (ÂŁbn) France Source: OCDE (2014), The Dynamics of Employment Growth: New Evidence from 18 Countries
52 - info - march / april 2017
When it comes to starting or growing a business, time is extremely precious. Your focus is entirely on turning your idea into action. But sometimes you need a little bit of inspiration or advice. Knowing which books, podcasts or videos that are truly worth your time can be a challenge. With this in mind, INFO's Noorie Haroon presents the most-respected and popular media that get to the heart of entrepreneurship
Eric Ries: The Lean Startup (2009) The Lean Startup offers a new approach to business that is being adopted globally. It is changing the way that companies are built and how new products are launched. Rather than extolling the need for a grand vision, this book discusses the nuts and bolts and busywork that are a big part of starting a business.
How I built this from NPR How does one seek inspiration? For some, a book might be the answer, but it’s not for everyone. The next time you go for a run or on a long commute, download a handful of episodes of How I built this from NPR, a podcast about the bestknown innovators, entrepreneurs, and idealists, and the stories behind the empires they constructed. Listen here: goo.gl/U6JAaR
Stephen Covey: 7 Habits of a Highly Effective People (1989) This 1989 classic may seem little outdated given the technological changes we have seen since then, particularly with the introduction of the internet, mobile phones, social media. However, with penetrating insights and anecdotes, Covey reveals a timeless pathway for living with principles that give us the security to adapt in a rapidly-changing world. Guy Kawasaki: The Art of the Start 2.0 (2011) Whether you're an aspiring entrepreneur, small-business owner, or just plain curious, winnowing through the mound of information and advice on disruptive innovation can seem like a daunting task. In his book, Kawasaki solves that problem by distilling decades of experience into a fundamental guide on the key steps any entrepreneur would need to succeed.
CONTEMPORARY BESTSELLERS Ben Horowitz: The Hard Things about Hard Things (2014) If you’re a budding entrepreneur, and want to read an unequivocal account of what it takes to build a successful start-up, then look no further. Based on writing borrowed from his popular blog, Horowitz offers essential advice on the logistics of starting a business—practical wisdom for managing the trickiest problems that business school doesn’t teach. Ashlee Vance: Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future (2015) A reading list would not be complete without mention of Elon Musk, widely accepted to be one of the most important entrepreneurs of our generation. In her book, Vance chronicles the life and times of Musk, tracing his life from childhood up to the time he spent at Zip2 and PayPal, and now with SpaceX, Tesla, and SolarCity. Along the way, she tells a compelling story of an extraordinary man driven by his unrelenting passion for humanity. A must-read.
TED TALKS ‘How great leaders inspire action’ by Simon Sinek An uplifting and inspiring talk by Sinek who, using his codified concept of the ‘Golden Circle’, brilliantly explains why some organisations and leaders are able to inspire action. An absolute mustwatch for entrepreneurs; it is guaranteed to change the way that you look at what you do. Watch here: goo.gl/vE3NsC
‘The single biggest reason why startups succeed’ by Bill Gross Bill Gross attempts to quantify all the reasons why one start-up might be more successful than another. As a serial entrepreneur and a mentor for other start-ups, Gross offers unique advice on unlocking human potential. Watch here: goo.gl/gD6NqG
- march / april 2017 - 53
CULTURE: WHAT'S ON A SELECTION OF RECOMMENDED CULTURAL EVENTS IN LONDON... AND FURTHER AFIELD
ROYA L O PER A H O USE, LO N D O N Madama Butterfly
©BC20150317_Madama_Butterfly_RO_68 KRISTINE OPOLAIS AS CIO-CIO-SAN (C) ROH. PHOTOGRAPHER BILL COOPER
Giacomo Puccini was entranced by David Belasco’s play Madame Butterfly (based on a popular short story by John Luther Long) when he saw it in London in 1900. He harnessed the talents of librettists Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa (with whom Puccini had created La bohème and Tosca) to adapt Cio-Cio-San’s tragic tale for the operatic stage. Although the premiere at La Scala, Milan, in 1904 was poorly received, that same year Puccini revised and restaged the opera for performances in Brescia, to great acclaim. Madama Butterfly quickly became a hugely popular opera with performers and audiences alike, and remains one of Puccini’s most performed works. Now at the Royal Opera House, in co-production with Gran Teatre del Liceu Barcelona, Royal Opera Music Director Antonio Pappano and Conductor Renato Balsadonna conduct two great casts led by Ermonela Jaho and Ana María Martínez. This is the fifth revival of Moshe Leiser and Patrice Caurier's 2003 production. On 30 March, the performance will be relayed live to all good cinemas for those not lucky enough to find tickets for the run at the Royal Opera House. I 23 March at 12 noon; 27 and 30 March at 7.30pm; 4, 7, 10, 13, 17, 22, 25 April at 7.30pm, 20 April at 12.30pm / Tickets available from £92
N AT U R A L H I S TO RY M USEU M , LO N D O N Wildlife Photographer of the Year Award From intimate portraits to dramatic landscapes, the 52nd Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition is open at the Natural History Museum, showcasing photographers’ passion for the natural world. This year’s competition was the most competitive to date, © Audun Rikardsen / Wildlife Photographer of the Year
attracting almost 50,000 entries from professionals and amateurs across 95 countries. Judged by a panel of international experts. Winning images are selected for their creativity, originality and technical excellence. The exhibition premieres in London each year before touring more than 60 cities in the UK and across the world. The exhibition features the collection of 100 exceptional images that showcase the world’s best nature photography. I Until September 2017 / Open daily from 10am to 6pm / £10.50 54 - info - march / april 2017
CULTUR E – WHAT ' S ON
Compiled by Noorie Haroon
BA RB I C A N A RT GA L L ERY, LO N D O N
The Japanese House: Architecture and Life after 1945 is the first major UK exhibition to focus on Japanese domestic architecture from the end of the Second World War to now, a field which has consistently produced some of the most influential and extraordinary examples of modern and contemporary design. In the wake of the war, the widespread devastation of Tokyo and other cities in Japan brought an urgent need for new housing, and the single family house quickly became the foremost site for architectural experimentation and debate. In the years following, Japanese architects have consistently used their designs to propose radical critiques of society and innovative solutions to changing lifestyles. Considering developments in residential architecture in the light of important shifts in the Japanese economy, urban landscape, and family structure, The Japanese House presents
© Photo by Iwan Baan
The Japanese House: Architecture and Life after 1945
Sou fujimoto architects, House NA, Tokyo, Japan 2011
some of the most exciting architectural projects of the last 70 years, many of which have never before been exhibited in the UK. I 23 March to 25 June 2017 / Open daily from 10am to 6pm, until 9pm on Thursday and Friday / £14.50
TAT E M O D ERN, LO N D O N
This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see one of the world’s greatest private collections of photography drawn from the classic modernist period of the 1920s–50s. An incredible group of Man Ray portraits are exhibited together for the first time, having been brought together by Sir Elton John over the past 25 years, including portraits of Matisse, Picasso, and Breton. With over 70 artists and nearly 150 rare vintage prints on show, from seminal figures including Brassai, Imogen Cunningham, André Kertész, Dorothea Lange, Tina Modotti, and Aleksandr Rodchenko, this is a chance to take a peek inside Elton John’s home and delight in seeing such masterpieces of photography. Our top tip is to make sure you make the most of your visit by using the audio guide, which features Sir Elton John on the works that inspire him, plus insights into the techniques and innovations of the period from Curator Shoair Glass Tears by Man Ray 1923. Photograph, Mavlian. I Until 21 May 2017. Open daily from 10am to 6pm, until 10pm on gelatin silver print on paper Friday and Saturday / £16.50
© Man Ray Trust/ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2016 The Sir Elton John Photography Collection
The Radical Eye: Modernist Photography from the Sir Elton John Collection
B RI T I SH A NT I Q U E D E A L ERS’ AS SO C I AT I O N, LO N D O N BADA Antiques Fine Art Fair 2017
15-21 March 2017 / Open daily from 11am to 6pm / £20
© John Adams Fine Art
The BADA Antiques Fine Art Fair is the country’s leading national art and antiques Fair. For over 20 years, the fair has been the spring highlight for the fine art, design and antiques community, showcasing beautiful objects of outstanding quality from 100 of the UK’s finest dealers who are part of the British Antique Dealers’ Association (BADA). The week-long event offers collectors, curators, art professionals and interior designers from across the world the chance to meet BADA dealers, benefit from their extensive expertise and purchase exceptional pieces of traditional, modern and contemporary art and antiques. Set in elegant and spacious, purpose-built pavilions on Duke of York Square, off of King's Road in Chelsea, the fair offers the perfect place to spend a day seeing – and possibly purchasing – wonderful antiques and works of art. I Le Miel et Le Lait by André Masson
- march / april 2017 - 55
THE BRAILLE LEGACY
oming to the Charing Cross Theatre for a three-month run starting on 10 April, The Braille Legacy tells the thrilling, inspirational and epic story of Louis Braille, a young blind boy who wanted the same chances in life as those who see, and who ended up improving the lives of millions
of blind people around the world. By inventing the Braille alphabet, Louis Braille liberated the 'People of the Night' and introduced literacy, knowledge and culture to a people who were otherwise trapped. The Braille Legacy has an original French book, lyrics and music by Sébastien Lancrenon and Jean-Baptiste Saudray, and an English translation by Ranjit Bolt. Directed by Thom Southerland (Ragtime, Titanic, Grey Gardens), the cast is headed by Olivier Award-nominated West End star Jérôme Pradon (Les Misérables, Miss Saigon). INFO sits down with Sébastien Lancrenon to discover more.
What is The Braille Legacy?
The Braille Legacy is a beautiful story of determination, courage and generosity. It tells the story of a fight for liberty, equality and fraternity; of the values of France.
How did you decide to write this musical?
I knew the history of Louis Braille, but I wanted to tell a good story that would entertain people. With Louis Braille’s story, I knew I had all of the ingredients that I needed. Music has been my life for many years [until recently, Lancrenon was the Director of Radio Classique in France]. In life, we all need to dare to follow our passions, and that’s what I’m doing.
Why are you staging this in London, rather than Paris?
London is the world capital of musical theatre, both for audiences and for professional talent. There is nowhere else in the world like it. If you’re a skier, you live in the Alps; if you work in musical theatre, you live in London. Creating a
musical is an epic undertaking; we’ve assembled an incredible team who believe in the show and its story and I am confident that it will be told with the highest quality.
What are your aspirations for The Braille Legacy?
We have three goals: we want to introduce our work to the West End; create word of mouth and get audience feedback; and to attract investors for our subsequent transfer to the West End.
What is the investment opportunity?
All of the development and the Charing Cross production has already been financed. Musical theatre is a strong business opportunity as it is a growing market. We would like to share The Braille Legacy with investors – both British and French. Producing a musical in London is expensive, but the potential for profits is very high and can last a lifetime. What is fantastic about London is that when a show works, it keeps on working. I The Braille Legacy will run at the Charing Cross Theatre from Monday 10 April to Saturday 24 June 2017.
Be part of The Braille Legacy Ten performances of the The Braille Legacy are being held for corporate evenings. By becoming a corporate sponsor, you will have: the 265-seat theatre for yourself, a ‘welcome’ speech on stage and your company name on the ‘support wall’ in the theatre. This opportunity will provide your clients and staff with a priceless experience, including meeting the cast and hearing from the director and producers. Please contact Martin Cloix for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org.
56 - info - march / april 2017
CULTUR E – BOOK S THESE BOOKS, RECENTLY PUBLISHED IN ENGLISH, WERE SELECTED BY THE FRENCH INSTITUTE
DON’T TURN OUT THE LIGHTS
Laurain Books Translated by Emily Boyce and Jane Aitkin Original title: Rhapsodie française
Minier Published by Hodder & Stoughton Translated by Alison Anderson Original title: N’éteins pas la lumière
Published by Gallic
When a woman finds a suicide note in her mailbox, she cannot imagine that it has anything to do with her. And yet, it signals the
The arrival of a letter, delayed by 33 years, sparks off a quest
end of her own life... But who is her enemy? Only Commandant
that leads both on a nostalgic journey back to the 1980s and
Martin Servaz can find out.
right to the heart of France today.
This novel is part of the Servaz series by Bernard Minier.
Middle-aged doctor Alain Massoulier has received a life-
All three novels in the Servaz series, The Frozen Dead, A Song
changing letter 33 years too late. Lost in the Paris postal system
For Drowned Souls and Don’t Turn Out The Lights, have been
for decades, the letter from Polydor, dated 1983, offers a
bestsellers in France, and Minier’s writing has been translated
recording contract to The Holograms, in which Alain played lead
into German, Italian, Polish, Spanish, Russian and Hungarian as
guitar. Overcome by nostalgia, Alain is tempted to track down
well as English. He has twice won the prestigious Prix Polar at
the members of the group. But in a world where everything
the Cognac Crime Festival. I
and everyone has changed, where could his quest possibly take him? Both a modern fairytale and a skillfully woven state-of-thenation novel, French Rhapsody combines Antoine Laurain’s signature charm and whimsy with a searing critique of the state of contemporary France. I
RETRIBUTION ROAD by Antonin
Published by MacLeHose
Press Taylor Original title: Trois mille chevaux vapeur Translated by Sam (2015)
FAR FROM PHOENIX by Laurent
Published by Salammbo Original title: La
Press légende des fils (2011)
Burma, 1852. Arthur Bowman, a sergeant in the East India Company, is sent on a secret mission during the Second AngloBurmese War. But the expedition is foiled – his men are captured and tortured. Some years later in London, battling his ghosts through
Phoenix, Arizona. Fall 1962. JFK has been elected and the Cuban
a haze of alcohol and opium, Bowman discovers a mutilated
Missile Crisis shakes the United States. Fond of vast spaces,
corpse in a sewer. The victim appears to have been subjected to
Scott Hatford is a young dreamer who treasures short moments
the same torments as Bowman endured in the Burmese jungle.
of grace with a loving mother, and tries to escape the violence
Persuaded that the culprit is one of the men who shared his
of a broken father returned from the war. One October night,
captivity, Bowman resolves to hunt him down.
exacerbated by jealousy, the father's fury transforms into wild
From the Burmese jungle to the slums of London to the conquest of the Wild West, Antonin Varenne takes us on a
intoxication. Mother and son decide to flee to New Mexico. Their fates are sealed on Route 66.
thrilling journey full of sound and unabated fury, reviving the
With his previous book The Last Days of Stefan Zweig, Laurent
lapsed tradition of the great writers of boundless adventure.
Seksik traced the tragedy of a wounded man. Far From Phoenix
Sergeant Bowman belongs to that breed of heroes who inhabit
is the odyssey of a teenager in the American West in the 1960s. A
the imaginations of Conrad, Kipling, or Stevenson. I
story about hope, redemption and the power of dreams. I
- march / april 2017 - 57
LIFESTYLE: EAT, DRINK, STAY DISCOVER THE L ATEST RESTAURANTS, HOTELS, BARS AND MORE
Superstar Chef Anne-Sophie Pic has opened her first UK restaurant at the Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square. This new culinary landmark marks the French chef's first foray into Britain
t should be said that Anne-Sophie Pic, is not truly a threestar chef but, rather, a six-star chef – which is the combined number of Michelin stars that her restaurants currently hold. Of course, strictly speaking, Anne-Sophie Pic is indeed a
three-star chef. In fact, she is the only three Michelin-starred French female chef today. And now, she has landed in the UK. Her latest project, La Dame de Pic London, is her first UK restaurant, based at the Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square. Described as ‘casually elegant’, La Dame De Pic showcases Anne-Sophie Pic’s unique culinary identity through dishes that are rich in powerful and unexpected flavour combinations. The restaurant itself is located in the historic headquarters of the Port of London Authority. French architect Bruno Moinard, of Paris-based architecture studio 4BI, has used mirrors, lights and shapes to create a historical Parisian brasserie in a classically English dining room – although with less classical fivemetre high ceilings. ‘Here at La Dame de Pic London, I will be combining my French culinary identity – based on sauce, for example – with English produce,’ said the Chef, announcing her restaurant's
Here at La Dame de Pic London, I will be combining my French culinary identity – based on sauce, for example – with English produce. There is so much to discover, from grouse to Stilton and oustanding seafood, to name just a few of my favourite products
opening. ‘There is so much to discover, from grouse to Stilton and outstanding seafood, to name just a few of my
La Dame de Pic near the Louvre in Paris, which received its first
Michelin star in 2013.
Anne-Sophie Pic is a third-generation chef: both her father, chef Jacques Pic, and her grandfather, chef André Pic, were
Her newest restaurant, also called La Dame de Pic, opened in London on 26 January – to rave reviews.
the previous owners of France’s top five-star hotel and three
La Dame de Pic London features a menu that is purposefully
Michelin star restaurant, Maison Pic, located in Valence, in the
based around native British ingredients, although with a
south-east of France.
twist: Hereford beef is roasted with Monts Amaro coffee and
Yet, Anne-Sophie initially was not keen to join the family
cinnamon leaves, Cornish crab is steamed with sobacha and dill
business, instead initially embarking on a career in management
panna cotta and the chicken is marinated in sake. These are
consultancy. It was only in 1992, aged 23, that she put on the
whipped into fine dishes by Italian Head Chef Luca Piscazzi, who
family toque and returned to Maison Pic to begin her training.
previously worked at the two-Michelin starred Amber in Hong
Three months later, following her father’s unexpected death –
Kong, and trained for six months at Maison Pic before moving
and despite her relative lack of experience running a Michelin-
starred kitchen – she took over the family’s three-star restaurant.
With its sophisticated and complex dishes, there is little
True to her entrepreneurial roots, Anne-Sophie later went
doubt that La Dame de Pic London will become a staple of
on to open two additional restaurants, Restaurant Anne-Sophie
the London fine dining scene. Curious to try it? La Dame de
PIC at the Beau-Rivage Palace Hotel in Lausanne (Switzerland),
Pic offers an eight-course tasting menu (£95 per person) or a
which was awarded two Michelin stars in 2009, and restaurant
democratically-priced lunch menu (£39). I JH
58 - info - march / april 2017
LIFE S T YLE – E AT, DR INK , S TAY
INFO meets Arnaud de Saint-Exupéry, General Manager of the Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill and Area Vice President for Hyatt UK & Ireland, to hear the latest trends in hospitality
he Hyatt Regency London – The
local market and environment, to the
Churchill is the perfect place to
meet Arnaud de Saint-Exupéry,
This connection can be emphasised
who has returned to the UK following a
through hotels' food and beverage
three-year stint in Japan, to become the
offer, he notes: ‘You try to create
hotel's General Manager, as well as Area
concepts that are consistent with the
Vice President for Hyatt UK & Ireland.
brand and location and that engage
Set up as a family business in
with the local community. By attracting
1957, the Hyatt brand is now a global
local people to your restaurants, it
600-property business. However, Saint-
makes your hotel feel like it is a real
Exupéry says it continues to retain an
part of the area, which guests can see
entrepreneurial mindset. 'What this
means is that you are encouraged to manage the business as you would
Hyatt does this very well: across the UK, the clientele of the hotel
your own home, caring for your team
restaurants is roughly 80 per cent
local, 20 per cent hotel guests,
Each Hyatt brand has its own
says Saint-Exupéry. ‘This helps to
identity, which must be retained. Yet,
create the connection between your
ultimately, how General Managers
guests and the outside world.’
then run their business is up to them.
Turning to room occupancy, Saint-
Looking at the year ahead, SaintExupéry expects that occupancy rates will remain at around 75-80 per cent.
‘So long as you maintain the brand
Exupéry says that Brexit has had a
consistency, the way that you make your
suprisingly positive effect, driven by the
attractive destination, it’s a stable
own hotel evolve is very much up to
lower pound, which helped to attract
market,’ he says. ‘These are exciting
you,’ he says.
global visitors to London. In addition,
times: we’re in an environment that is
terrorism in France and Belgium has
constantly evolving. But success still
experiences or design,' Saint-Exupéry
further driven visitors towards the
comes down to one thing: the human
continues. 'They want authenticity and
UK, which is perceived as a safer
experiences that connect them to the
touch and being passionate about connecting with people.’ I JH
‘Guests do not want formatted
‘London continues to be an
Bulgari Hotel brings a taste of the Mediterranean
InterContinental Park Lane showcases Best of British
the way down to Calabria. Conceived by Robert Gaggl, Bar and
insider experience that explores the centre of British
Lounge Director, and created by his expert team, flavours and
craftsmanship. Guests will enjoy a behind-the-scene tour
fragrances collected during travels have been translated into
and visits to the Queen’s perfumer Floris, London’s oldest
creations playing with textures and enticing combinations. I
bespoke shoemaker Foster & Son and others. I
l Bar at Bulgari Hotel, London, has launched a new collection of cocktails inspired by a journey along the curves of the
coastline between France and Italy, from the Côte d’Azur all
nterContinental Park Lane has teamed up with the London Luxury Quarter, keepers of the 52 streets of Mayfair,
Piccadilly and St James, to offer a bespoke ‘Made in Mayfair’
- march / april 2017 - 59
LIFE S T YLE – E AT, DR INK , S TAY
Jeremy Page: A true Franco-British chef Born in Britain, raised in France. Jeremy Page, Executive Chef of L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon, is as Franco-British as a chef can be. INFO meets Jeremy Page to discover his journey – and L'Atelier's future
s the Executive Chef of the Michelin-starred L’Atelier de
The public’s relationship with food is also markedly different,
Joel Robuchon, in London’s Covent Garden, Jeremy Page
he adds. ‘Food is a religion in France. When you sit down for a
knows how to run a tight ship.
meal, it can last several hours, which is much better. It’s a time
Page, who previously ran the two-starred L’Atelier de Joël
Robuchon in Paris, is a close associate of the eponymous French chef, having worked with him for over a decade. From an early age, Page knew he wanted to work with food. Aged just 15, he took the professional route, becoming an
when you are all together; it’s a gathering of people. Britons do not have the same approach, sadly.’ Change is afoot, however, and Londoners are increasingly demanding about food. Page says that Londoners now want diversity and freshness in their dishes.
apprentice in pastry – but quickly realised that pastry ‘wasn’t
The result of this is positive: the availability of seasonal,
his thing’. He worked his way out of it, joining the kitchen in
fine products is improving, much to Page’s delight. ‘I love the
the Hôtel du Palais in Biarritz and learning to cook under the
seasonality around food – getting the best fruit and vegetables
esteemed chef Jean-Marie Gauthier.
in the summer, buying truffles in the autumn, the lobster
Page had a critical audience. ‘Chef Gauthier brought me out of the pastry kitchen, but he made me cook lunch for him
season... it’s all very exciting, working with seasonal products makes me very happy.’
every single day,’ Page remembers. ‘His office was directly in the
While around one-third of dishes are Robuchon classics, the
kitchen, so there was a lot of pressure, as he saw everything –
rest are Page’s own recipes. ‘The way we cook is not the same
and then tasted everything.’
as ten years ago. The focus is on lightness and freshness, using
After spending ten years in Paris, the mentality and culture of London was a big change. The French are more passionate about cooking – it is much harder to find the same level of passion in the staff in the UK After a stint back in the Périgord Noir, where Page grew up,
great products,’ he says.
he joined L’Atelier in Paris. Page spent ten years in Paris, the last
This is reflected in the menu at L’Atelier, which changes on
four as Head Chef, before being offered the opportunity to run
a seasonal basis. The restaurant’s menu reflects classic French
Robuchon’s Atelier in London.
cuisine, but also showcases modern trends in cooking: dishes
Food in London
are lighter, playful and, above all, fresh. The future for L’Atelier is therefore bright. Under Page’s
The move was a shock for Page. Although he was born in Bath,
leadership and with his modern twist on classic French cuisine,
England, his dentist father and physiotherapist mother moved
the restaurant is already attracting more patrons – and who
to the Périgord Noir region when Page was just five years old.
knows, could well be on the path to regaining its second star
He might sound British, but at heart he is a Frenchman.
‘After spending ten years in Paris, the mentality and culture of London was a big change,’ says Page. ‘The French are more passionate about cooking – it is much harder to find the same level of passion in the staff in the UK.’ 60 - info - march / april 2017
The three-course lunch menu starts at £29, while the eightcourse Menu Découverte is priced at £189. I JH
LIFE S T YLE – CHE E SE & WINE
LE M E D OC :
The epicentre of
Found on the Rive Gauche of the Garonne River, the Médoc is home to some of France’s most prestigious wines, explains Carole Vidal, Director of the Conseil des Vins du Médoc – a valued partner of the French Chamber
China is the biggest importer of Médoc
Saint-Julien – but also Médoc, Haut-
wines – a trend that is rumoured to have
‘While no one has invented a
Médoc, Listrac, Moulis... the Médoc
started in 2007, after then-President
new way to make wine – the basic
region is home to the world’s best-known
Hu Jintao was said to have decreed that
winemaking process hasn’t changed for
and most successful wines. Home to 60
red wine must be consumed in greater
centuries – the technology around it has
châteaux that are part of eight controlled
quantities, due to its health benefits –
enabled winemakers to make much finer
appellations, the Médoc stretches north-
an argument that had a big impact on
wines, which last longer and have more
west from the city of Bordeaux and up
demand from China.
the Garonne River for 50 miles.
technology,’ Vidal explains.
‘It was an off-the-cuff remark, but
As a result of this, the producers are
‘Our wines have been commercially
the President had a direct impact on
able to make wines that are not only
wine exports from France,’ says Vidal.
of a very high quality, but that are also
explains Carole Vidal, Director of the
‘Demand has exploded. From one day
Conseil des Vins du Médoc. ‘English
to another, the rate of sales grew from
merchants took advantage of the region
single, to double, to triple figures.’
being so close to the coast to buy wines to sell back in their own markets.’
The complexity of the Médoc wines is what makes them appealing, adds Vidal. While most successful new world wines
Investing in the future
are varietal wines – that is, they are made
Growth in international sales has been
using a single named grape variety – the
requested a classification of the Left
a boon for the chateaux owners, who
Médoc produces blended wine.
Bank Châteaux for the Paris Exposition
continue to be – for the large part –
‘This attracts a more sophisticated
in 1855 that the Médoc wines became
family-owned businesses, passed from
drinker,’ she explains. ‘Younger people,
more successful domestically. Since
one generation to the next.
with a less developed palate, tend to
then, of course, the Médoc has become
enjoy varietal wines.
known as the world’s epicentre for fine
chateaux owners to increase their
wine – indeed, there are 60 ‘Grands Crus
investment in innovation. In the last
Classés’ in the Médoc region.
decade, most chateaux have completely
towards blended wines – and this is
England and Holland are no longer
renovated their chais – their storehouses
the biggest markets, though. Today,
– to introduce new materials and
when they tend to become enthusiasts of Médoc wines, often for a lifetime.’ I JH
'As their wine-drinking experience they
- march / april 2017 - 61
LIFE S T YLE – CHE E SE & WINE
GAPERON by La Cave à Fromage One of my great pleasures, when researching cheese, is to immerse myself into French history, its traditions and the stories of rural life. Many French regions have a tremendouslyrich culture, which passes through generations and becomes legends that are transmitted with love, just as they also do in Britain. Auvergne, in central France, has always been perceived as a poor region, with neither cash-rich industries nor glamorous activities. Instead, it has a solid reputation of being down-toearth, with savvy locals – but it also has its own great traditions, such as the local cheese, Gaperon. The Gaperon cheese, produced for more than 1,200 years,
shaping the cheese by hand and placing it in a cloth to drain it.
is unique in many respects. It is one of the very few cheeses
Usually, this ball shape was left hanging on a beam by the
which are made using whey, the poorest dairy product that a
fire, to dry it more quickly and be edible sooner (the wealth of
farmer can use. Whey is the leftover residue from the butter-
Bougnats was also judged by the number of Gaperons hanging
making process. It is poor in calcium and fat and, therefore,
by the fire, which helped to evaluate a daughter’s dowry!). When
poor in taste. However, the autochthon people of Auvergne –
matured, usually over four weeks, the Gaperon develops a soft
known as Bougnats – had the genius idea of adding milk, salt,
and buttery texture and an intense garlic and pepper flavour. I
cracked pepper and loads of garlic to the whey cheese, and then
by Eric Charriaux
E: email@example.com T: +44 (0)845 108 8222 W: www.la-cave.co.uk
TO BUY YOUR CHEESE, VISIT LA CAVE A FROMAGE SHOPS 24-25 Cromwell Place, 229a Chiswick High Street, Kensington, London SW7 2LD Chiswick, London W4 2DW
34-35 Western Road, Hove, Brighton BN3 1AF
TH E I D E AL WI N E TO PAI R WITH GAPERON by Wine Story Auvergne is well known for its cheeses,
Norman poet Henri d’Andeli, which tells the
volcano and water, but in the north of the
story of a tasting organised by the Capetian
region you can find Saint-Pourçain, a wine
King, Philippe-Augustus, who sent his
that has existed since the Phoenician era.
messengers on a mission to bring back the
The reds and whites from this area, which
best wines of France and beyond. The wines
was designated as an Appellation d’Origine
of Saint-Pourçain were ranked only behind
Contrôlée in 2009, would be ideal to pair
Beaune and Saint-Emilion. Demand for the
with a Gaperon, thanks to the freshness of
wines continued thanks to the patronage of
the whites and the light body of the reds.
Saint-Pourçain by Bourbon kings in Paris.
Although it is technically attached to the
Yet, as with many French appellations, the
Loire Valley region for its appellation, Saint-
Revolution and the Phylloxera crisis put an
Pourçain’s history, landscape, architecture
end to the glory of these local wines.
and close geographical location make its
We have had to wait until the 1950s
wines more akin to a Burgundy. Indeed,
for a new generation of winegrowers to
the region’s wines are primarily derived from the three classic
jumpstart a new beginning for the region. Most recently, young
Burgundian varieties: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Gamay.
and talented producers, such as Jean Teissedre at the Domaine
From the start of the Middle Ages through to the French
des Berioles in Cesset with his cuvées of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay
Revolution, the wines of Saint-Pourçain enjoyed both royal and
and Tressaillier (a forgotten local grape), has brought the Saint
religious patronage. In fact, in 1224, the wines were cited in La
Pourçain appellation back to its royal era. I
Bataille des Vins, or ‘The Battle of the Wines’, a poem written by
by Thibault Lavergne
TO ORDER MICHELIN-STYLE WINES TO DRINK AT HOME, CONTACT: E: firstname.lastname@example.org T: +44 (0)7921 770 691 W: www.winestory.co.uk 62 - info - march / april 2017
to get there:
• The quickest way is by train. Bath is easy to reach, just 90 minutes from London
bacon butties. Plus it has just the right
give you a taste of the city in every sense. Its basement restaurant is also
vibe to start your day right.
highly recommended for its beautifully-
Paddington station. Prices start as low as
… spend the day:
• A trip to Bath would not be complete
presented, precisely-cooked dishes.
without visiting The Roman Baths. See
… eat a memorable dinner:
the remarkably preserved remains of
• For the finest dining, Michelin-starred
• Jane Austen’s Persuasion. A scintillating
one of the greatest religious spas of the
Menu Gordon Jones, Grand Pump
tale of two separated lovers, Austen’s last
ancient world. The city’s unique thermal
Room and Casanis are all among the
ever novel is set against the backdrop of
springs still flow with natural hot water.
most delectable options in the city.
the beautiful Georgian City.
• The Royal Crescent should be next on
• For a cosier, more 'local' flavour, head
• Death of a Colonial. Bruce Alexander
your list. The 30 terraced houses laid out
to the King William. This pub serves
doesn’t disappoint in his ingenious
in a sweeping crescent are a stunning
great, seasonal British food, using the
mystery novel following an investigator
example of neoclassical architecture. The
local butcher and grocer as suppliers.
looking into the reappearance of a long
breathtaking view of the city from Victoria
Dine downstairs for more atmosphere,
missing nobleman through the cobbled
park makes it an ideal picnic spot.
upstairs for more space.
streets of Bath.
• The Jane Austen Museum chronicles
to read on your trip:
Where to: … have breakfast:
the life and times of the famous writer,
... bed down for the night:
Jane Austen and is worth a visit too.
• The first five-star hotel in Bath in 30 years, the Gainsborough Bath Spa is also
• Start your day right at Blue Quails Deli.
… go for an evening drink:
Nestled in the heart of the city centre, this
• For a classy venue with excellent
natural thermal waters.
little place offers a full English breakfast
cocktails, the Canary Gin Bar has it all.
• Nestled within four acres of mature
with a gourmet twist.
This is a place where the ambience is as
award-wining gardens and spacious
• For those who need to kick-start their
delicious as its cocktails.
terraces, the Bath Priory Hotel sets itself
mornings with a high-quality coffee,
• Tucked away in a Georgian snicket,
apart as a peaceful haven in a bustling
Colonna and Small’s is the perfect
choice. This rustic place understands the
unassuming. Upon going inside, however,
• Finally, tucked in between Bath's
seasonality of coffee growing, and in turn
you will find a boutique watering hole
offers speciality coffees alongside various
with pan-historical decor offering an
Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa is a trendier
extensive beer and cocktail menu.
alternative, boasting a stunning view of
• Alternatively if you like comfort food,
• For wine lovers, The Olive Tree
Victoria Park and a range of spa options.
then Wild Café is for you. This bohemian
officially has the UK’s Best Wine List.
gem has all the best staples; from maple
Tucked in the bustling city centre, the
syrup blueberry pancakes to fresh cheesy
cosy but elegant venue is guaranteed to
the only one in Britain to have access to
- march / april 2017 - 63
IT’S ALL ABOUT CONNECTIONS W HAT WE ARE
W HAT WE OFFER
> The largest foreign Chamber
> The strength of a network
of Commerce in the UK
> The ideal platform to exchange
> 132 years of experience
with decision makers
> 600 members ranging from SMEs
> A wealth of information and experience
to Blue Chip companies in all sectors > Half of our members are non French
> Bespoke solutions to develop your business > Access to the right people
www.frenchchamber.co.uk For more information, please contact the Membership Department e:email@example.com t: +44 (0) 207 092 6636
AT THE CHAMBER
espite the challenging economic climate of 2016, the
on 22 March. We are grateful to Ardian, HSBC, Veolia as well
Chamber achieved very good financial results last
as AccorHotels, Bouygues Construction, Devialet, EDF Energy,
year. This was driven by an increased demand for our
Groupe Renault and Irwin Mitchell for sponsoring this flagship
business support services as well as currency exchange
gains, as we invoice some of our clients in euros. Looking to the next couple of months, there are a number Demand for our Company Set-Up, Accountancy and
of events in the Chamber’s calendar at which I hope to welcome
Recruitment Services still remains strong. More and more
you, such as our Breakfast with Tanuja Randery, Zone President
member companies turn to us to fill senior positions (discover
UK & Ireland at Schneider Electric on 5 May and our Rendez-
more about the Recruitment Service in our interview with
vous chez La Maison Maille on 11 May, to name but a few.
Emmanuelle Thomas, Head of Recruitment, on page 67). Also indicative of the continued strong French interest in
A final notable date for the Chamber is 29 March, when we will
Britain is that our Business Centre – a flexible 18-desk rental
launch a Brexit Forum, to help members shed light on the topic.
service for companies developing in the UK – is oversubscribed.
Read our interview with the Brexit Forum’s Co-Chairs, Angela
Yet for all of these positive developments, sponsorship
Hepworth, Corporate Policy and Regulation Director at EDF
of events and advertising (including in INFO) remains more
Energy, and Neil Sherlock, Head of Reputational Strategy at PwC
challenging, as companies batten down the hatches by reducing
on page 71, to discover more and for information about joining.
their marketing spend.
May I also take this opportunity to announce Pia Dekkers, HR Director at Chanel, as the new Chair of our HR Forum,
Sponsorship offers companies unique visibility at our
succeeding Michael Whitlow, who has successfully steered the
events, which continue to welcome high-calibre speakers, such
forum since September 2015 – thank you, Michael, for your
as Sadiq Khan, who will be speaking at our Annual Gala Dinner
dedication, and welcome to Pia! I FG
- march / april 2017 - 65
HATS OFF TO... FLORENCE GOMEZ, Managing Director of the French Chamber of Great Britain, has been made a knight of the Légion d’honneur. She was inducted into France’s highest order at a ceremony hosted by the French Ambassador, HE Ms Sylvie Bermann, at the French Residence on 6 January. Awarding the Legion, Ambassador Bermann highlighted Florence's prominence in the Franco-British community. ‘On the London scene, you are yourself an institution,’ she said. ‘Yet your influence has not altered your profound originality. It is this singularity – which is so endearing – that I would like to convey to your guests tonight.’ Describing Florence's professional
culture, and the capacity to bring together energy, talent and ideas.
‘But your civic engagement goes above and beyond your job
‘In the space of ten years, you
alone. You successfully build bridges
and later as the MD of the French Chamber of
have made the Chamber stronger
between cultures, not just with your
Commerce in China, before moving to the UK
and increased its audience, making
outstanding linguistic abilities, of
to join the French Chamber of Great Britain in
it the number one foreign chamber
course, but always with a refreshing
2007 – Ambassador Bermann noted Florence's
in Britain. You have been the right
sense of humour too – and an
three distinguishing features: her strategic
person in the right place at the right
incredible strength of conviction.’
vision, the ability to create a results-oriented
time,’ she said.
life – which started in China, first as a student
CATHERINE PALMER, General Counsel and Director at fashion retailer Joseph, who was made a Knight in the ordre national du Mérite by Elisabeth Pelsez, Magistrat de Liaison. Pelsez cited Palmer’s years of service to the French LIONEL BARBER, editor of the Financial Times newspaper,
community: teaching French
who has been awarded the Légion d’honneur, in the grade
in inner London schools,
of Knight. The French Ambassador, HE Ms Sylvie Bermann
working as a bilingual
presented the award in recognition for his ‘contribution to
lexicographer, acting as a
high-quality journalism and the Financial Times’ positive role
solicitor in private practice
in the European debate’.
for the French luxury goods sector and with Joseph.
Refer and be rewarded
ou love the Chamber – and the Chamber loves you. Help the Chamber to grow in size and influence by introducing new members and reap the rewards. With the newly-launched Incentive Scheme, existing members that introduce* new members to the Chamber will now be
rewarded with vouchers that give free access to events. These vouchers are worth between £20 and £190 + VAT, depending on the level of membership (Active, Corporate or Patron) chosen by the introduced company. So keep your eyes and ears open to help us find new members and reap the rewards! *Rewards will be given for introductions that result in signed new members. 66 - info - march / april 2017
DISCOVER YOUR CHAMBER RECRUITMENT SERVICE The French Chamber’s Recruitment Service is a personalised, tailored service that helps member and non-members find the ideal talent to meet their recruitment needs. Composed of a team of three HR professionals, the Recruitment Service is specialised in high-profile and bilingual professionals across a wide range of sectors. INFO sits down with Emmanuelle Thomas, Head of the Recruitment Service, to hear more about what her department has to offer. What is the Recruitment Service’s role? We recruit candidates for French Chamber members or French companies setting up in the UK. Our key focus is on recruiting the right person for them – we work closely with our clients to discover their specificities and what their ideal profile would be. At any given moment, we have a database of around 3,500 pre-vetted candidates, of which 60 per cent are French and 40 per cent are British. Before sending any candidate to a client, we interview them ourselves first, to ensure they are the right fit and have the right skills and language level. Through our partnership with 12 leading French business schools, we also have access to the most qualified bilingual alumni in London. Which types of companies use this service? The majority of our clients are small and medium-sized French companies that are looking to hire middle managers, generally in the £20-60,000 salary range. However, more recently, we have seen a marked increase in companies engaging us to find senior positions; this is a fast-growing segment for us.
Emmanuelle Thomas, Head of Recruitment, and her team
We truly care about our clients. If we put forward a candidate, it's because we really think that he or she is the right person for the role
Around half of the companies that we work with are French companies still entirely based in France, who are looking to recruit someone – or, indeed, a team – to lead their international expansion into the UK market.
We are also often asked whether to hire a British or French person. Of course, this depends on the company and what it
Companies that we work with include fast-growing high-
is trying to achieve, so we work closely with them to determine
tech audio start-up Devialet; Momentum Services, which is the
the ideal candidate profile and what the requirements are. We
customer services and catering provider for Eurostar; travel
help them to see the bigger picture.
retail firm Lagardère Travel Retail, luxury skincare brand Nuxe; and luxury crystal glassmaker Lalique, to list but a few.
What is your own background? I have a Bachelor’s degree in law and a Master’s degree in HR,
What is the biggest challenge for companies recruiting in
and have worked in various HR functions for the last 15 years,
across five different countries: France, Australia, the US, Hong
There are two topics that we help our clients with all the time.
Kong and now the UK.
The first is helping them to understand the UK employment
The team itself is composed of three HR professionals. We
market: what is the reality of hiring someone in the UK, what is
truly care about our clients. If we put forward a candidate, it’s
the type of person that they can afford with their budget, and
because we really think that he or she is the right person for
what is the cost of living. The Chamber's HR Guide, a practical
the role. We spend a lot of time listening and getting to know
bilingual booklet collectively written by HR Forum members,
our clients, so that we understand what their exact needs are.
also helps to guide employers.
This allows us to then find the best match. I
To find out more about the French Chamber’s Recruitment Service, or to discuss your own recruitment needs, do not hesitate to contact Emmanuelle Thomas directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 0207 092 6624.
- march / april 2017 - 67
DI SCOVE R YOUR CHAMBE R
THE CHAMBER'S BUSINESS CENTRE: A SPRINGBOARD INTO THE UK Aimed at French start-ups, entrepreneurs and SMEs that are developing their businesses in the UK, the French Chamber's 18-desk Business Centre is currently home to 10 companies. Meet two of these companies: Eudonet, a CRM publisher and integrator (the company that the international network of French Chambers uses for its own systems), and Jurisglobal, a firm with expertise in business law. Both have established themselves in London, using the Chamber as a base for their international growth.
Arthur d’Achon, Business Developer EUDONET - www.eudonet.co.uk
Gaétan Di Martino, Founding Partner JURISGLOBAL - juris.global
What does your company do?
What does your company do?
Eudonet is a CRM [customer
Jurisglobal provides services in all areas
relationship management] publisher
of business law and assists company
and integrator of its own solution, dedicated to
executives and entrepreneurs in creating, building and
membership-based organisations such as NGOs,
developing their firms in France, through our head office
associations, foundations, educational and cultural
Selarl Di Martino Avocats, and internationally, through our
institutions. At Eudonet, we strongly believe that a CRM
law firm network.
provider should deliver the best match of market leading features, experience, support and commitment.
Why did your company decide to come to the UK? London was the stepping stone into the launch of
Why did your company decide to come to the UK?
Jurisglobal Network, an alliance of international and
With its headquarters in Paris and a long-established
disruptive business lawyers with a French focus.
branch in Canada, Eudonet is a company with a strong international orientation. We recently had the opportunity to work with several
We had a large pre-existing French clientele with interests in the UK, and a British clientele with interests in France, but we also felt like it was the perfect city to crash-
organisations based in the UK and were surprised to
test our innovative business model, as it has one of the
identify a gap in the market – there is an urgent need for a
largest French expat communities worldwide.
CRM solution that tackles the specific challenges that are
London is a very dynamic, fast-paced economic hub,
experienced by membership-based organisations.
gathering a unique blend of talent, entrepreneurs
We therefore decided to open our UK branch in
and investors. The legal setting is also very favorable
for companies as well as to investors. It offers a great environment for new businesses to prosper.
What would be your top tip for French companies entering the UK market?
What would be your top tip for French companies
Whatever the sector, the UK market is fiercely competitive
entering the UK market?
and fast moving, but it is also a rite of passage and the
As a prerequisite, entrepreneurs and companies need to
ideal test for any French company willing to expand on
be aware of the cost of settling in London and to come
the international scene.
well prepared, as it is an extremely competitive market.
Being well prepared is the key! Taking the step is no
Once they make the move, networking is key,
trivial matter, so make sure to immerse yourself within
especially in the early stages. I would encourage them to
the British culture and forget your preconceptions. Being
create their own opportunities by going out there and
flexible and ready to adapt to the specificities and the
pitching their ideas and products. An incredible number
complexity of the market will give you the edge over
of professional networking events are organised weekly.
your competitors. Last but not least, whatever the difficulties you meet, don’t give up: the destination is well worth the journey!
68 - info - march / april 2017
Coworking spaces also offer a fantastic opportunity to grow and receive feedback. With a solid business plan and a determined mindset, one is bound to succeed in the UK!
NEW MEMBERS 4 NEW CORPORATE MEMBERS L’OCCITANE International retailer Represented by Alain Harfouche, General Manager UK & Ireland L'Occitane produces and retails high quality beauty products and fragrances developed following the principles of phytotherapy and aromatherapy uk.loccitane.com MCD M&A London-based holding Represented by Jacques Kalifa, CEO MCD M&A Consulting is a holding which invests in European companies. Their last acquisition is Burov, a French high-end furniture manufacturing company. NOVELTY GROUP UK Expert and specialist for the events industry Represented by Marc Wegscheider, Director of Sales Novelty Group UK is a subsidiary of Novelty Group, one of the foremost specialists in sound/lightning/stage construction/electricity distribution/video and technical venue management, as well as a specialist in technical audiovisual solutions for the fashion, luxury, live performance, event, exhibition and TV industries. Working on more than 6,000 projects each year, the Novelty team's commitment to quality, and its customer-focused service and culture, are unparalleled in Europe. www.novelty-group.com REGION HAUTS DE FRANCE International Business Development Represented by Virginie Blida , Director Region Hauts de France supports British and international companies to set up and grow their business in northern France and to get access to the European Union www.welcom-eu.com
6 NEW ACTIVE MEMBERS Augusta Ventures – Third-party commercial litigation funding - www.augustaventures.com Represented by Yves Le Goff, Managing Director Alice à Paris – Kids fashion (online, design and manufacturing) - www.aliceaparis.com Represented by Agathe Blanquart, CEO Dr Eric Smadja Practice – Psychoanalyst (adults and couples) Represented by Eric Smadja, Member of the Société Psychanalytique de Paris Moving Home Company – International movers - www.movinghomecompany.com Represented by Choudry Fiaz, Director The Disruptive Group (TDG) – Business builder and advisory firm in innovation and finance - www.thedisruptive.group Represented by Huy Nguyen Trieu, CEO TLS Contact – Visa application centre - uk.tlscontact.com Represented by Christophe Georges, Director
- march / april 2017 - 69
FORTHCOMING FORUMS & CLUBS By application only
Co-Chairs: Angela Hepworth, Corporate Policy and
Co-Chairs: John Peachey, Chief Financial Officer, Global
Regulation Director, EDF Energy and Neil Sherlock,
Markets, HSBC Bank Plc and Rob Guyler, CFO at EDF Energy
Partner, Head of Reputational Strategy, PwC
19 April, 8.30am - 10.00am
29 March, 8.30am – 10.30 am
Successful integrations: Mergers and acquisitions
Launch session, Brainstorming
CLIMATE CHANGE FORUM
HR FORUM Chair: Pia Dekkers, Regional HR Divisional Director, Chanel
Chair: Richard Brown CBE, Former CEO & Chairman and
Deputy chair: Jean-Baptiste Aloy, Executive Director,
Deputy chair: Jean-Philippe Verdier, Founding Partner,
Employee Research, Ipsos MORI
Verdier & Co
26 April, 8.30am - 10.00am
14 March, 10.00am - 12.00 noon
Managing a multicultural team
From Kyoto to Paris: Reflections on 20 years of climate policy and the looming risk to business Guest speaker: Dr Charles Donovan, Director, Centre for Climate Finance and Investment, Imperial College Business School 27 April, 10.00am - 12.00 noon Agriculture and climate change: post COP23
START-UP & SME CLUB
Guest speaker: Eric Giry, Agricultural Counsellor for
Co-Chairs: Arnaud de Montille, Founder, Merci Maman
the United Kingdom and Ireland, French Embassy
Personalised Gifts and Jeanne Monchovet, Founder, Olystix 25 April, 8.30am - 10.00am How to find the best board Members and Advisors for Start-up Success
DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION AND INNOVATION FORUM Co-Chairs: Christophe Chazot, Group Head of Innovation, HSBC and Lucien Boyer, Chief Marketing Officer, Vivendi
WOMEN’S BUSINESS CLUB
23 March, 9.00am - 11.00am
Chair: Estelle Brachlianoff, Senior Executive Vice-President
Creating Value in our 'Big Brother' data world
UK & Ireland, Veolia and President of the French Chamber
Guest speakers: Richard Hepworth, Director of Digital
of Great Britain
Transformation, PwC and Alexandre Covello, CEO, AngelsCube
27 April, 12.30pm - 2.30pm - Lunch
26 April, 9.00am - 11.00am The new customers, or how the Internet has changed the way we do business and consume
All sessions, excluding the Women's Business Club, take place at the French Chamber. For more information, please contact Ophélie Martinel at email@example.com or 0207 092 6634 70 - info - march / april 2017
Angela Hepworth, Corporate Policy and Regulation Director, EDF Energy
Meet the BREXIT FORUM Chairs
Many are grappling with the issues that Brexit presents. This is a chance to bring people together to pool our understanding
Neil Sherlock, Partner and Head of Reputational Strategy, PwC
Analysing the situation, and how the negotiations develop, can help firms identify the direction of travel and how it will impact them
he French Chamber is launching a Brexit Forum in March. INFO interviews the Forum’s Chairs to discover what role the Forum will play. Co-chaired by Angela Hepworth, Corporate Policy and Regulation Director at EDF Energy, and Neil Sherlock, Partner
and Head of Reputational Strategy at PwC, the Brexit Forum will help to gather legal, financial and HR inputs, trends and strategies around the topic. Why is it important for businesses to keep track of
NS: I am delighted to be Co-Chairing this with Angela. Brexit
developments around Brexit?
is not just a big issue for Britain, but also for businesses right
AH: It is absolutely vital to do, as Brexit will have far-reaching
across Europe and, indeed, globally. Given this big change,
consequences on everything that businesses do. This ranges
having a Forum to debate, discuss and share ideas and views
from issues surrounding the available workforce – and
will play an important role in facing the future.
employers’ ability to get skilled workers from overseas – to our ability to import goods without tariffs, through to implications
Ahead of its launch on 29 March, what are you aspirations
on policy and regulation. It is far reaching.
for the Brexit Forum? AH: Many of the French Chamber member companies are
NS: Inevitably, Brexit will impact businesses in different ways,
already looking at the topic in detail, so there is real value
based on their business model or size, and which sector they
in pooling our expertise into this Forum. I was particularly
operate in. But there is a whole range of potential impacts that
attracted to the fact that the Chamber has a diverse group
will affect all businesses – I’m thinking of the mobility of labour,
of companies participating – there will be a diverse mix of
supply chain management, trade and attracting investment.
perspectives around the table. I hope members will share
This is a negotiation that will impact all of these areas – and
ideas and discuss the implications and actions that are
many others. Analysing the situation, and how the negotiations
available to take – whether that is influencing government
develop, can help firms identify the direction of travel and how
or managing outcomes.
it will impact them. NS: I hope that we can help businesses consider what the Why did you agree to Chair the Brexit Forum?
likely outcome will be from the negotiations between the
AH: The Brexit Forum is a valuable opportunity to share
UK and the EU27. The timing of the Forum is just right, as
insights and perspectives on the potential implications
the meetings are set to get going as the those negotiations
of Brexit. Many are grappling with the issues that Brexit
start. The French Chamber provides an ideal setting to get
presents. This is a chance to bring people together to pool our
businesses to think about where things are going and where
understanding, discuss the key issues at stake and share our
they should focus their energy – both for themselves, but
ideas about how best to address some of the challenges.
also for the wider economy. I
This Forum is aimed at Heads of Brexit Task Forces, Heads of Strategy, Heads of Corporate Affairs in charge of Brexit, MDs and CEOs of large groups. To find out more information about joining, please contact Ophélie Martinel on 0207 092 6634 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- march / april 2017 - 71
START-UP & SME CLUB
Four mistakes to avoid
Learning from other entrepreneurs is the best way to ensure that you do not repeat their mistakes. Discover four key lessons shared at the Start-up & SME Club’s latest session held on 10 January
ntrepreneurs have limited resources; time, cash and energy are scarce. Making the most of these is vital to ensure your
business can thrive. What are some of the common misconceptions and mistakes entrepreneurs make – and how can you avoid them? Nicholas Taborisky, CEO of Theodo UK, and Flavia de Pfyffer, Founder of Pashion, shared their lessons at the most recent Start-up & SME Club.
1. Keep your idea a secret Entrepreneurs are often told not to disclose too many details of their business idea to others, in order to avoid their ideas being ‘stolen’. This is the wrong approach, said Taborisky. ‘An idea is nothing. It’s the ability to execute it that is unique to you,’ he explains. ‘Just look at the biggest digital companies, such as Uber or Airbnb. These aren’t companies with brilliant ideas, but with brilliant execution.’ Instead, Taborisky advises sharing your ideas early on, in order to gather valuable feedback – and not just from friends and family, whose opinions will be biased. ‘When you launch a company, you only have about two years to get it right, so do
If you’re not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late – Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn
not waste your time on the wrong ideas. Talk about your key idea, share it and get feedback. And importantly, don’t be too tied to your idea either, it will need to evolve.’
2. Hire a co-founder immediately When Pfyffer launched her business Pashion, which digitalises the communication between fashion brands and the press,
up that offered people season tickets for cultural events: ‘We invested the majority of our start-up funding into developing our website, to ensure that it had all of the functions we thought we needed from the beginning.’ The result? Six months of waiting for the first version
everyone told her she needed to find a co-founder as quickly
of his website to be ready and a bank account low in cash.
as possible. But rushing into this can be a costly mistake, as
‘Just focus on the main problem you want to solve for your
she soon discovered.
customers and build your website as quickly as you can
‘Friends, family, investors, advisers – they all told me to find
so you can test your ideas. Use tools to do it yourself and
a co-founder immediately,’ she explained. So she hired her
then improve on it iteratively, based on feedback from real
cousin, as they were close. Yet six months later, they had to
customers,’ Taborisky said.
part ways. ‘I realised that I’d wasted months of valuable energy trying to make someone as passionate as I am for my idea.’ It was only after Pfyffer hired her first employee, the
4. Wait until it is perfect ‘Don’t wait... jump!’ said Pfyffer. ‘It doesn’t matter if your
company’s Head of Product, that she found the right co-
product does not look amazing. If you have an idea, throw it to
founder: ‘Even though I didn’t know him as well as I knew
the market and see how it reacts. Users know what they want
my cousin, it was clear that he was the perfect fit after a few
and they will help you to get where you want to get.’
months working together.’
There is no benefit to waiting until your business is perfect
Take your time when hiring a co-founder. ‘Let it happen
– it will never be. It is more valuable to gather feedback early
organically,’ she explained.
on, to allow you to improve and refine your product.
3. Invest in web development early on
they are stepping stones to success,’ concluded Pfyffer. ‘Think
Taborisky thought he needed the perfect website before he
of mistakes as a blessing, as they help to put you on the right
could launch his first business venture, CultureFirst, a start-
path. Accept your mistakes, grow and learn from them.’ I JH
72 - info - march / april 2017
‘Mistakes and failures are not the opposite of success –
DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION & INNOVATION FORUM
The millennial conundrum As digital natives, millennials are transforming the way that companies work. What does this mean for businesses?
he latest Digital Transformation & Innovation Forum, held on 25 January, brought together three experts to
discuss how to attract and retain talent in a digital world: Jean-Rémi Gratadour, Executive Director of HEC Paris Digital Center, Nicolas Taborisky, UK CEO of Theodo, and Peter
Companies need the skills that the digital native generation can provide. Business models are changing quickly because of digital, and business leaders must not ignore this
Wheeldon, Senior Vice President of Human Resources at Universal Music Group. Millennials – defined as the generation born between 1984
‘Inside of this same cohort of people, there is a lot of
and 1996 – are fundamentally changing the way of work, and
diversity,’ Gratadour said. ‘The key to developing millennials is
businesses must adapt.
offering them challenging and innovative work, where they can
‘Millennials grew up in a world where digital is everywhere, where media and electronics are a natural part of their everyday life,’ said Gratadour. ‘It defines their habits.’ There is a gap, however, between companies and
learn new things every day. Yet this is not the type of work that traditional organisations usually propose in their very first jobs.’ What are the implications of this on businesses? It transforms both talent acquisition and the management
millennials with regard to satisfying their needs and creating
strategy deeply, said Gratadour. ‘Companies need to listen to
motivation. ‘Companies don’t really understand who they
what this generation wants from them,’ he explained. ‘These
are dealing with and why it is necessary to focus on this
are companies that face digital transformation, and millennials
generation’s talents,’ explained Gratadour.
are ready to bring many things to the table – but businesses
must first create a new way of work.’ This is exactly what Universal Music Group is trying to
A study by employer experts Universum defined the main
achieve. ‘Millennials are key employees in a digitally-driven
characteristics of millennials as being more pessimistic about
workplace,’ Wheeldon explained to Forum attendees. ‘We need
the future while, at the same time, having an idealistic vision of
to be increasingly savvy about how and where we position
the future. They are workers – and are ready to go outside of
ourselves in the talent market.’
their comfort zones – but they require more motivation. And
Strategies that Universal Music Group have embraced
finally, they place more value on a healthy work-life balance
include: leveraging the company’s ‘cool’ factor, embracing
than on money.
market competition, ensuring a positive perception in the
THE EVOLUTION OF THE EMPLOYEE
digital world, and responding to the specific expectations of the millennial demographic. Ensuring that employees are engaged in the business has also been key to Theodo’s growth, Taborisky also explained. The French start-up – which is largely staffed by millennial employees – has, through its fast growth, put digital talent at the heart of its HR policy. ‘Companies must adapt a new approach that is appropriate to the business climate of tomorrow,’ Gratadour concluded. ‘Companies absolutely need to leverage the skills that the digital native generation can provide. Business models are changing quickly because of digital, and business leaders must not ignore this.’ I JH
Source: Universal Music Group info
- march / april 2017 - 73
PAY GAP: Time to report From the beginning of April 2017, companies that employ more than 250 employees must report on the gender pay gap. The latest HR Forum considered what this means
ender pay gap reporting rules will come into effect on 6 April this year,
reported Melanie Stancliffe, Employment Partner at Irwin Mitchell, who was the
guest speaker at the latest HR Forum, alongside Bircham Dyson Bell Partner Caroline Yarrow. Together, they looked at what the impact is for employers in the UK.
Why The gender pay gap has been measured in the UK since 1997, and the latest Office for National Statistics data shows that there is a 19.2 per cent difference for all employees, while the pay gap for
The gender pay gap has been measured in the UK since 1997. The latest data shows that there is a 19.2% difference for all employees, while the pay gap for full-time employees is 9.4%
full-time employees is 9.4 per cent. This
government, through league tables, but
means that there is 9.4 per cent higher
Employers must publish four sets of
the government is now trying to dispel
pay for men than for women already.
data: the difference between the mean
this in order to encourage employers to
‘There is an established difference
and median pay of men and women;
publish their data,’ said Stancliffe. ‘But
already,’ said Stancliffe.
the numbers of men and women
there are concerns that the unions or
While a voluntary scheme for
working across four equal pay bands;
the press will identify the pay gaps and
reporting on the gender pay gap has
the difference between the mean and
use the data.’
existed since 2010, only 300 employers
median bonus gap for men and women;
have signed up – and only seven
and the proportion of men and women
do not need to panic. ‘If there is a
companies have gone on to publish the
who earn a bonus.
disparity between men and women,
data. ‘As a result,’ she explained, ‘we now
‘The regulations set out in very
However, she added that companies
look into it – there are plenty of lawful
precise detail what is included, how
reasons why this could be the case:
to calculate all of the figures and
there could be a disparity in career
what steps you must go through, in
progression, in people’s desire to
An estimated 8,000 UK employers will
chronological order,’ explained Stancliffe.
progress, or there are requirements for
be affected by the regulation, which
‘The main calculation is around the
part-time working, which often fall on
covers private sector, voluntary sector
quartiles, where you must set out the
women.’ She confirmed that companies
and public sector employers. Companies
pay from lowest to highest and divide
can also add their explanation to the
that employ a workforce of 250 or more
it into four equal groups, and then
data they publish.
people are required to publish the data.
calculate the percentage of men and
have regulations that compel us to do it.’
Yarrow explained that while there
women for each one.’
is a grey area around who qualifies as
Employers will not have to give any
an employee for the purposes of this
data on individuals – only the four bands.
reporting, the government has provided
While the concept of gender pay gap reporting is worthy – the aim is ultimately to remove the gender pay gap – Stancliffe said she was sceptical due to the nature of the information that will be reported.
guidance to companies – and if in doubt,
employers are encouraged to include
The data will be required to be
rather than exclude people.
published on a searchable UK website
a material difference in year one,’ she
that is accessible to the public, as well as
said. ‘But it is part of a larger agenda
uploaded to a government website.
which I am entirely behind – equal pay
The guidance adds that the reporting must include those under a contract of employment or apprenticeship and those providing personal services. 74 - info - march / april 2017
‘There was concern that there would be naming and shaming by the
However, over time, trends will emerge. ‘I don’t think the reporting will make
for equal work for people of equal merit, regardless of gender.’ I JH
The latest Finance Forum, held at the French Chamber on 8 February, focused on why companies must improve investor relations to adapt to the fast-changing environment
Target the right audience
uest speaker Nick Turner, Global
Second, simplifying the investment
Head of Investor Relations at
case. ‘Investors are time poor and
Turner’s final point was around
HSBC, offered an expert view
resource constrained – they are being
the rise in passive investing – that is,
into how Investor Relations (IR) are
asked to do more with less, and more
changing – and how companies can
quickly,’ he said. ‘So helping them to
securities are picked because of their
adapt – at the latest Finance Forum.
more readily understand where your
characteristics rather than fundamental
stocks benefit their portfolio is a benefit
changing,’ he said. 'Protectionism is threatening
Investors have been moving their
both to them and to your company.’
money from high-cost actively-managed
Third, understanding your company’s
is replacing history and heightened
defining characteristics and matching
uncertainty is leading to less confidence
this to the fund manager’s investment
Research by Goldman Sachs shows that
style. ‘This means that if you’re a growth
40 per cent of total US equity assets are
The result of this is that profitability is
company, do not pitch your stock to an
now managed passively – this is double
falling. UK companies’ dividend coverage
investor that is dividend-oriented – it just
the level of 2005.
ratios – that is, the number of times a
doesn’t make sense,’ he said.
company is capable of paying dividends to shareholders from the profits earned
‘In short, this means that 40 per cent of your shareholders are not worth
Widen the scope This
visiting or spending time on – you cannot and
manage them. IR must instead rigorously
fallen from 2.5x to 2x last year and is
effectiveness then leads to the second
identify and target the active investors,
expected to go to 1.5x by 2018.
aspect of investor relations, which is to
which you can,’ Turner explained.
during an accountancy period – have
This is compelling companies’ IR
widen the scope. To be truly effective,
In order for companies to better
function to become more effective and
said Turner, IR needs to be as internally
engage with these active investment
efficient, either by delivering better
focused as externally focused.
managers, companies must simplify and
outcomes with the same spend, or the same outcome but at a lower cost. Turner identified three elements to achieve this challenge.
‘Investors want to buy your securities
sharpen up their communications, he
with a future view, they want to know
added. ‘Active managers are under a lot
what a company will do,’ he said. ‘This
of pressure at the moment. Therefore,
means IR needs to be closer to the
you need to make your investment case readily understandable.’
business to understand its strategy
shareholders. ‘This means identifying
and the environment it operates in – to
Turner said that he was hopeful about
either existing shareholders or investors
understand what the numbers are going
the future of IR, however. ‘Investors can
that should hold your stock, but don’t,
to be and use examples and stories to
and will be successfully managed in this
and targeting them at the expense of
show investors the company’s direction
new environment, but IR must become
more marginal investors,’ he explained.
more ambitious in scope.’ I JH
- march / april 2017 - 75
PAST EVENT HIGHLIGHTS A feast for kings
| RENDEZ-VOUS CHEZ... PAUL , 10 JANUARY
he Chamber kicked 2017 off in style thanks to PAUL, which hosted a Rendez-vous Chez to celebrate the Galette des Rois for the second year. Held at Le Restaurant de PAUL at Tower 42, more than 60 French Chamber members and guests attended to celebrate the New Year and spend the evening networking with each other over drinks, canapés and, of course, several freshly-baked Galettes des Rois. The puff-pastry pie, filled with frangipane, is customarily served on Epiphany, 12 days after Christmas, to commemorate the three kings who visited the Christ child. Those who come across a token (fève) in their slice are crowned King or Queen of the day. The occasion, which was the first Chamber event of the year, gave members a chance to meet up and network after the holidays, and Le Restaurant de PAUL was filled with festive cheer. I
A soirée to remember
| COCKTAIL PARTY AT HOME HOUSE, 11 JANUARY
ome House played host to the Chamber’s first cocktail
by Petrossian. Entertainment, meanwhile, was provided by
party organised specifically for Corporate and Luxury Club
Devialet, who played music through its groundbreaking sound
Members on 11 January.
systems. Thank you also to Ladurée for the delicious macarons.
Held in the private members’ club’s sumptuous neo-classical
The mood was upbeat and conversational, and the 120
Parlour and Eating Rooms, guests were treated to canapés by
guests that attended were delighted to spend an evening
Home House, Monkey47 gin cocktails and Green Spot Château
catching up and getting to know each other better, before
Léoville Barton whisky by Pernod Ricard UK and caviar tasting
leaving with goodie bags provided by La Mer and Aveda. I
Les jeux sont faits
| RENDEZ-VOUS CHEZ... THE HIPPODROME CASINO, 9 FEBRUARY
he CEO and Chairman of The Hippodrome Casino, Simon Thomas, and his team welcomed members of the Chamber to the Leicester Square-based casino for a popular
Rendez-vous Chez event in February. The Hippodrome Casino is Britain’s largest and most popular casino and entertainment venue, and guests were not left disappointed, starting the evening with a full tour of the casino, followed by cocktails, canapés and mini-burgers – and lots of fun. Beyond gambling and games, the casino’s theatre is one of London’s top landmarks, welcoming – of course – burlesque and cabaret acts, but also top international artists such as musical legend Michael Ball, French singer Vianney, French comic Kyan Khojandi (creator of Bref) and many more. Guests were also delighted by The Hippodrome Casino’s goodie bags, which included decks of cards and dice... perfect for practicing before their next visit! I 76 - info - march / april 2017
AT THE CHAMBE R – AMBA S SADOR' S BR IE F
AN INSIDER’S VIEW OF BREXIT At the first Ambassador’s Brief of the year, HE Ms Sylvie Bermann, the French Ambassador, gave an informative, clear and insightful review of Brexit
he event, which was held at the French Residence on 16 January, gathered close to 70 Patron and
Corporate members who were eager to hear Ambassador Bermann’s views on Brexit, and how future developments might impact Franco-British relations. With British Prime Minister Theresa May expected to trigger Article 50, the process that begins negotiations for the UK’s departure from the EU, by the end of March this year, the Ambassador’s Brief was a unique opportunity for French Chamber members to hear an insider’s view to the run-up to the negotiations and to ask questions. Peter
President of the Chamber, moderated the briefing, which was held under strict Chatham House rules in order
upcoming negotiations in exiting the EU.
relations will revert to WTO rules. The
to encourage open and frank opinions
Alfandary then proceeded to ask
impact of the UK leaving the EU does
from both the Ambassador and, later,
Ambassador Bermann about the latest
not affect Britain alone – the economic
the audience, during the question-and-
developments, ranging from the French
impact will certainly be felt right across
Government’s position on Brexit to what
Europe and beyond, highlighting the
‘Thank you to HE Ms Sylvie Bermann
her views are of the likely – and the
importance that the negotiations result
for hosting us tonight and for doing this
unlikely – scenarios for the forthcoming
in positive outcomes for all parties.
briefing. It is an interesting day to hear
from you, on the eve of a speech that
As has been widely discussed in
Ambassador took questions from the
I know you will be attending,’ he said,
Parliament and in the media, the UK
audience, before inviting guests to
referring to Prime Minister Theresa May’s
Government will face challenges once
network and keep the discussion going
speech at Lancaster House the next
Article 50 is triggered. It is still unknown
more informally. The French Chamber
day. Indeed, on 17 January, Theresa May
whether the Government will reach
proceeded to lay out the Government’s
a transition agreement with the EU
Bermann for her time, insight and for
12 priorities and objectives for the
member states, or whether trading
hosting the event. I
Above: HE Ms Sylvie Bermann, French Ambassador to the UK, in conversation with Peter Alfandary, Senior Vice President of the Chamber Left: Jean-François Cécillon from Waddington Custot Galleries speaks with Eurostar's Nicolas Petrovic Right: Peter Stevens from TWM Solicitors asks a question from the audience
- march / april 2017 - 77
WILL FRENCH LAW REIGN SUPREME?
French contract law has been overhauled for the first time since Napoleonic times. The French Chamber organised a seminar with international law firm Bryan Cave, to discuss whether French law will therefore become the governing law of choice
is to be interpreted according to the
business internationally, they
common intention of the parties, rather
must decide what the governing
than stopping at the literal meaning of
contract law should be. Historically, most
its terms. Where this intention cannot be
have turned to English law, but France has
discerned, a contract is to be interpreted
recently reformed its contract law to make
in the sense that a reasonable person,
it more business-friendly.
placed in the same situation, would give
The French Chamber organised a seminar on 26 January with international
Which business people would not agree that honesty, integrity and transparency are fundamental in business relations?
to it.”,’ he quoted. ‘Isn’t that beautifully ‘Good faith is an incentive for parties
to play fair and encourage a collaborative
law firm Bryan Cave to debate the issue:
Rebutting Rea was Jeremy Aron,
will French contract law soon govern
Group Legal Director at DS Smith, who
international business transactions?
said that the issues around interpretation
accountable for their conduct,’ she said.
are exactly what make French law less
‘Which business people would not agree
at Bryan Cave’s offices to hear from a
that honesty, integrity and transparency
panel of four legal experts, who debated
Close to 50 business leaders gathered
are fundamental in business relations?’
the motion. The debate was chaired by
The final person to speak was Rémy
Peter Rees QC, a Barrister at 39 Essex
generally looking for a law that is
Blain, Managing Partner at Bryan Cave
Chambers who specialises in international
comparatively certain, predictable and
Paris, who debated against the motion. For
commercial arbitration, who highlighted
commercially oriented,’ he explained.
him, the concept of good faith is tricky, as it
the opportunity of the reformed French
‘English law is attractive because of
is not a concept that has been traditionally
contract law and asked the audience to
this certainty. It offers certainty in its
part of contract law negotiations.
consider the motion.
application, its interpretation and also in
‘Companies need predictability in
terms of the consequences of breaching
contracts in order to rely on them,’ he
the terms of contract.’
said. ‘The concept of good faith creates
Interpretation Arguing for the French side, Matthew Rea, Bryan Cave’s Co-Head of the Global
headaches for English-trained lawyers.’
Good faith Pedamon,
was put to the audience: will French
contract law soon govern international
Westminster Law School, then argued
business transactions? Despite the best
A defining feature of the new French
that a key strength of French law was the
efforts of the lawyers debating in favour
contract law, he explained, was around
concept of good faith, which is enshrined
of this, the motion was defeated – English
interpretation. ‘The law says: “A contract
in contract law.
law will continue to reign supreme. I JH
International Arbitration Team, opened
At the end of the debate, the motion
the discussion by praising the overhauled
law for its conciseness.
78 - info - march / april 2017
FORTHCOMING EVENTS 15
March 18.00 - 20.00
RENDEZ VOUS CHEZ PIERRE MARCOLINI Pierre Marcolini, 37 Marylebone High Street, W1U 4EQ Open to all members £20+VAT per person Maison Pierre Marcolini was founded in Brussels in 1995 by Pierre Marcolini, a chocolatier renowned for his expert skill and his passion for creating the world’s best chocolates. Participants will discover Pierre Marcolini’s ‘Kawai Easter’ collection as well as taste their delicious financiers, mini-eclairs and Pierre Marcolini’s ‘Signature’ chocolate, as well as their fondant coeur framboise chocolate! For further information please contact Anne-Claire Lo Bianco at: email@example.com or 0207 092 6643
ANNUAL GALA DINNER WITH SADIQ KHAN, MAYOR OF LONDON At The Landmark Hotel London, 222 Marylebone Road, London NW1 6JQ Open to all members
19.00 - 23.00
The French Chamber of Great Britain will host 400 participants at its most prestigious event of the year, the Annual Gala, featuring a Champagne reception, a gastronomic dinner with fine wines, live entertainment and a silent auction. To be included in the waiting list, please contact Sonia Olsen at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 02090726641 G OLD SPO NSORS
SI LVE R SPONSORS
RENDEZ-VOUS CHEZ DEVIALET At Devialet UK, 19 Tileyard Road, Tileyard Studios, London, N7 9AH Open to all members £20+VAT Experience the impressive sound of Phantom from Devialet, the high tech French company and international leader in high end audio. Gain an insight into the brand and their premises while networking with up to 30 fellow members. With the Phantom implosive sound system emitting frequencies above and below the audible frequency spectrum for an ultra dense sound with physical impact, Devialet is revolutionising the music industry. For further information, please contact Anne-Claire Lo Bianco at: email@example.com
- march / april 2017 - 79
LONDON PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA At the Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Rd, Lambeth, London SE1 8XX For Patron’s main representatives and their spouses (by invitation only)
Join us at the London Philharmonic Orchestra to enjoy an evening of Masterpieces: Wagner and Bruckner, with Egils Silins, bass-baritone, conducted by Marek Janowski. For more information, contact Sonia Olsen at firstname.lastname@example.org on 020 7092 6641
08.00 - 10.00
BREAKFAST WITH TANUJA RANDERY, ZONE PRESIDENT UK & IRELAND, SCHNEIDER ELECTRIC At The Berkeley Hotel, Wilton Place, Knightsbridge, London, SW1X 7RL £40+VAT per person; £60+VAT - Special price for 2 - Open to all members Tanuja Randery is Zone President UK & Ireland at Schneider Electric, a position she has held since 2015, after a number of years at BT Global Services. Prior to that, she was CEO of MarketPrizm, a global trading infrastructure and market data company specialising in low latency technology services to capital market firms. Randery also spent ten years with Colt Technology Services, in both strategy and operational roles, including Managing Director of Benelux and the UK and Ireland. She started her career in the US with McKinsey, the global strategy consulting firm, where she spent seven years as a consultant. In 2014, Institutional Investor ranked Randery in the 2014 Top 50 Technology Professionals. Do not miss your chance to hear about Schneider Electric’s strategy, and meet with more than 70 high representatives from within the Franco-British community. For more information, contact Sonia Olsen at email@example.com on 020 7092 6641
18.00 - 20.00
RENDEZ-VOUS CHEZ LA MAISON MAILLE At La Maison Maille, 2 Piccadilly Arcade, London SW1Y 6NH Open to all members £20+VAT per person
After the success of their two networking events in 2015 (Rendez-vous chez… and PA Club), La Maison Maille is back on 11 May to introduce their new products and activities during another sparkling and tasty networking event where you will have the opportunity to meet with 30 new business contacts. For more information, contact Anne-Claire Lo Bianco at firstname.lastname@example.org or 0207 092 6643
80 - info - march / april 2017
CL A S SIFIE D ADS
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Patron Members of the French Chamber in Great Britain Patron Members of the French Chamber in Great Britain
L O N D O N B RA N CH
GREAT IDEAS The EDF Energy Pulse Awards promote innovation by providing tangible support to start-ups that are helping to shape the future. Find out more about this yearâ€™s winners and follow the journey of our Connected Home and Business Challenge finalists. www.edfenergy.com/pulse-awards