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A N G L O - F R E N C H

B U S I N E S S MAY / JUNE 2017


Exclusive Brexit interview with Mayor of London Sadiq Khan; Five minutes with Savencia’s Nicolas Philippot; a catch up with Michelinstarred Chef Raymond Blanc; and much more...


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Estelle Brachlianoff President, French Chamber of Great Britain Senior Executive Vice President of Veolia UK & Ireland


he two-year countdown to leave the EU has started. On 29 March, UK Prime Minister Theresa May formally triggered Article 50, the process that begins negotiations for the UK’s withdrawal of the European

Union. The same day, the French Chamber launched its Brexit Forum, in order to give members a place to benchmark, learn and share perspectives about what Brexit might mean for Franco-British businesses. Co-chaired by Angela Hepworth, Corporate Policy and Regulation Director at EDF Energy and Neil Sherlock, Partner and Head of Reputational Strategy at PwC, I encourage members to read about the Forum’s inaugural session on page 65 and participate in future sessions. Still on the topic of Brexit, we are delighted to feature an exclusive interview with the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan. As you will read, he is firmly committed to protecting French – and, indeed, all European – businesses during and after the negotiations. His message to INFO readers is clear: you are, and will remain, welcome in London and it is one that we continue to strongly endorse. Beyond Brexit, this issue of INFO focuses on commercial property in London: what are the key market trends, where are prices rising and falling, where are the future office hotspots and, critically, how can your business ensure that it gets the best deal? Opening with an interview with Paul Clark, Chief Investment Officer of The Crown Estate, which owns one of the largest property portfolios in the UK – including all of London's Regent Street – this issue's Focus features analysis, opinion and advice from a range of experts. Contributing companies include CBRE, BNP Paribas Real Estate, Strutt & Parker and many more. Importantly, the Focus paints an optimistic future for the UK. All of the experts that we spoke to agree that London will remain an attractive place to do business. Investors are confident about the future of the city in years to come. Please also ensure that you read our dedicated Events section, starting on page 74, which in addition to reporting on past events organised by the Chamber, showcases the many events to come. From the next Ambassador's Brief with HE Ms Sylvie Bermann, to our popular From Scratch to Success: Business Stories event and the Chamber's Annual General Meeting, there are a host of events coming up where you can learn, benchmark and network with your fellow members. I hope to see many of you there. Until then, please enjoy the read. I


- may / june 2017 - 5

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8 10 12 15 19 21 22 23

46 48 51 52 53 54

Interview: Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London Brexit: Analysis and look ahead Five minutes with... Nicolas Philippot, General Manager, Savencia Fromage & Dairy UK News & Analysis Start-up and SME News Start-up story: Business O Féminin Charity profile: Chelsea & Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust Reports and research


26 Introduction by Jason Hesse 27 Infographic: Commercial property in numbers 28 The jewel in the crown Interview with Paul Clark, Chief Investment Officer, The Crown Estate 30 Market view: Central London Interview with Kevin McCauley, Head of London Research, CBRE 32 Business rates: A painful year Ruddle Merz London 33 10 top London office areas BNP Paribas Real Estate 34 London commercial property tube map BNP Paribas Real Estate 36 Future hotspots Strutt & Parker 38 Retail: Shop 'til you drop BNP Paribas Real Estate, Devialet, L'Occitane 40 Is the long-term lease dead? Sherrards Solicitors 41 Caveat Emptor: 5 tips for tenants Payne Hicks Beach Solicitors 42 The shrinking office eOffice 44 Buy or rent? French Touch Properties 45 Why pay more? Turenne Consulting

Culture: What's on Book reviews Lifestyle: Eat, Drink, Stay Profile Raymond Blanc returns to RHS Chelsea Flower Show Profile Hani Nakkach, Founder and CEO, Aubaine Cheese & Wine Saint Emilion: The hill of 1,000 chateaux


57 Introduction by Florence Gomez 58 New members 60 Discover the Chamber FORUMS & CLUBS

65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72

Brexit Forum Brexit Forum launches at French Chamber Women's Business Club Innovation: Drive from the top Climate Change Forum The end of fossil fuels? HR Forum Meet the new HR Forum Chair HR Forum Happy and healthy? Start-up & SME Club 4 ways to get innovation right Digital Transformation & Innovation Forum Big data, big value? Forthcoming Forums & Clubs

B U S I N E S S MAY / JUNE 2017


Exclusive Brexit interview with Mayor of London Sadiq Khan; Five minutes with Savencia’s Nicolas Philippot; a catch up with Michelinstarred Chef Raymond Blanc; and much more...


Editor: Jason Hesse Graphic Designer: Katherine Millet Editorial Assistant: Noorie Haroon Graphic Design Assistant: Anniou Toybou Sales Manager: Suzanne Lycett Contributors: Frédéric de la Borderie, Christophe Chambon, Eric Charriaux, Sarah Davey, Geraldine Fabre, Kuldeep Gadhary, Thomas Grounds, Thibault Lavergne, Hervé Mottais, Sandra Ramirez, Richard Stapylton-Smith

Advertise in INFO: Please call our sales team on +44 (0)207 092 6651. Alternatively, please email: 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


74 76 78

Past event highlights Member-to-Member Cocktail and Exhibition; Cross-Cultural Quiz Evening; Intercultural Trophy Annual Gala Dinner 2017 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 Managing Director: Florence Gomez


- may / june 2017 - 7

Interview with


The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, tells INFO why the Government must keep businesses – and the people that they employ – front of mind during the Brexit negotiations How do you expect Brexit will impact London?

meetings with the Secretary of State for Exiting the European

The Prime Minister has triggered a process that will last at least

Union, David Davis, and my recent appearance in front of the

two years and have a profound impact on London, Britain and

Exiting the European Union Select Committee, I’ve been doing

Europe’s future. There could not be more at stake, from our

my utmost to ensure that Government understands London’s

economic prosperity and standard of living, to our security, air

needs and concerns.

quality and workers’ rights. future. Despite the challenges we face, the capital continues

Why is it important for the Government to secure the rights of EU citizens to remain and work in London?

to attract record investment: in the last year alone Google

I’m disappointed the Prime Minister hasn’t yet given a

committed to a £1bn investment, Facebook announced 500

cast-iron guarantee to the 3.3 million EU citizens living in Britain

new jobs and Apple revealed its plans for new headquarters.

– including around a million in London – that they can remain in

In recent weeks Amazon, Expedia and Snapchat also made

the country they call home. These are people, and Londoners

major investments.

– not bargaining chips. It’s unacceptable they should now be

I didn’t vote for Brexit, but I remain optimistic about London’s

I‘m confident London and the UK will continue to have a

worried about their long-term future.

strong economic partnership with Europe: our ties are too

This guarantee should be made whether or not we have

beneficial to both sides to let Brexit get in the way of our

received commitments on British nationals living in the EU, in

shared future.

order to demonstrate just how much the UK values EU citizens’

Since the referendum, I have made the case for what

contributions and I’m confident it would be reciprocated by our

London needs to remain a success-post Brexit, and to give me

European partners. My conversations with European leaders

expert advice on this I have established a Brexit Advisory Panel

during my recent visits to Brussels and Paris left me in no doubt

and a Business Advisory Board comprising some of London’s

there is a good Brexit deal to be done if the Government takes

most experienced and influential figures. Through my regular

the right approach.

8 - info - may / june 2017

#LondonIsOpen I'm disappointed the Prime Minister hasn't yet given a cast-iron guarantee to the 3.3 million EU citizens living in Britain – including around one million in London – that they can remain in the country they call home. These are people, and Londoners – not bargaining chips

How are you ensuring that London will continue to attract international labour and talent?

States, Paris and Brussels, and through my International

London already has a significant skills shortage in key areas

been able to forge relationships with counterparts across

including social care, health care, construction and financial

the world. Wherever I’ve been, I’ve met political and business

services. Anything that would affect London businesses’

leaders confident about London’s future, while I underlined

ability to fill vacant posts is worrying, particularly in light of the

the fact that Britain will remain open to Europe and the wider

capital’s low levels of unemployment. Our critical public services

world despite Brexit.

Business Programme, dozens of London businesses have

will suffer without access to talent from the EU and the rest

that allows London to continue to attract the talent it needs

London is France’s sixth-biggest city. What message would you like to pass to the French companies and many thousands of French people living in London?

from across the world, through my regular meetings with David

My message to French people living in London – and, indeed, to

Davis and other Cabinet Ministers.

all EU nationals in our city – is that you are welcome here.

What work are you doing with businesses to make sure that London continues to be seen as open?

across our city and we are grateful that you have chosen to

of the world. That’s why I’m making the case to Government for a deal

We deeply value the contribution you make every day make London your home.

Since the launch of my London Is Open campaign, I have been

I understand the frustration and uncertainty that Brexit

showcasing London as a city which welcomes people, ideas and

may have caused, but I have full confidence that London will

investment from all over the world. I’m confident that, together,

find its way through these challenges, as it has through many

we can continue to ensure London succeeds through this

others before. Brexit will not undermine the strong partnership

period of uncertainty.

between London and its European neighbours. We will continue

Since becoming Mayor, I have visited Canada, the United

to be a city open to Europe and to the world. I Interview by JH


- may / june 2017 - 9

Analysis and look ahead INFO looks at the latest news on Brexit and its impact on the Franco-British community


potting the opportunity to strengthen her hand both at home

In addition, Parliament was dissolved on 3 May – this includes

and abroad, during the Brexit negotiations, UK Prime Minister

Select Committees such as the Exiting the European Union

Theresa May has called a snap General Election, which will be

Committee, which had been tasked with examining the policies

held on 8 June. Previously, she had said – many times – that

of the Department for Exiting the European Union. While

another election would only cause 'instability'.

political discussions and negotiations have no doubt continued

Having triggered Article 50 in March, which started the twoyear countdown to the UK's withdrawal from the EU, the timing

behind closed doors, the General Election has not made anyone's jobs any easier.

is curious. Two years is already a very short amount of time in

Emmanuel Macron's election as the French President,

which to conclude such a significant deal; calling an election

too, could create a headache for the UK: he is a convinced

shortens the available time even further.

European and believes that the four EU freedoms of goods,

Indeed, since 21 April until after the election, the

services, capital and people are indivisible. Of course, his ability

Government has been in 'purdah', the pre-election period

to influence the negotiations is also closely tied to the French

where all official UK Government communications – and thus all

legislative election this summer, so he is not a firm 'baton dans

official policies, including with regards to Brexit – are put on hold.

les roues' for the UK...yet. I JH

Key dates G7 Summit

Eurogroup Meeting

EU Council Meeting

Taormina, Italy – 26-27 May

Luxembourg – 15 June

Brussels, Belgium – 22-23 June

Newly-elected President Macron will come

Ministers of the key eurozone member

The next EU Council Meeting is likely

face to face with Prime Minister May at

states will meet to discuss and align

to see European leaders make their

the G7 Summit. The UK and France are,

their future fiscal policies. Brexit – and

negotiation positions on Brexit clearer.

traditionally, close allies at these summits...

its economic implications on eurozone

Yet, with the German elections coming up

but will the pair get along?

countries – is set to feature highly.

in September, positions could still change.

I don't think anyone has an interest in a hard Brexit. I think we need to build a new relationship. There is a mutual interest in keeping prosperity that exists and has built over the years JEAN PISANI-FERRY, Economic Adviser to President Emmanuel Macron, speaking to BBC Radio 4 on 20 March

10 - info - may / june 2017

These negotiations are going to be tough. This means we need a strong negotiating position and the right leadership here in the UK to go into those negotiations UK PRIME MINISTER THERESA MAY, speaking at an election rally in Scotland on 7 May

TOP TIPS TO SET UP IN FRANCE With Brexit being top of the agenda for many companies, Hervé Mottais, Director at Moore Stephens considers how UK entrepreneurs can make the most of setting up a base in France

1. Choose the right legal

dividends as a lower-tax cost alternative

specific to each industry, France has set

business entity

to salary. Even though these benefits

up its own, too. Indeed, one of Europe's

While setting up a private company

have recently been eroded through a

largest clusters – combining more than

limited by shares is usually the easy and

new 7.5 per cent tax charge, this is still

250 universities, venture capitalists and

obvious choice to start a business in

usually beneficial.

start-ups – is found in Paris, at Medicen,

the UK, entrepreneurs in France have

In France, payment in dividends is

focusing on biomedical engineering. Tax

the choice between a range of legal

not usually as tax efficient and many

efficient investment breaks should also

business entities: SA, SAS, SARL or SASU.

companies prefer to pay a salary to

always be considered (such as EIS in the

directors. This is despite the higher

UK and FIP/FCPI in France).

Each has its advantages and disadvantages requiring careful

social security charges related to

consideration, depending on the

salaries. This can cause a problem when

5. Find out about R&D tax incentives

nature of the trade, the status of the

considering multi-national groups and

Both the UK and France have valuable

owners and directors (if not the same

the equalisation of salaries between

incentives to promote investment in

as the owners), the expected volume

senior employees in both countries.

research and development. In France,

of transactions and whether the entity

the JEI (Jeune Entreprise Innovante)

is a lifestyle business, a family business

3. Dual-centre employees

status triggers significant savings in

being prepared for further succession

Staff members need to comply with

social security contributions for up to

or where the intention is for a sale in

local residence status requirements to

eight years from its inception.

the short term.

ensure that they pay the correct social

The choice will impact on the

This can be complemented with

security contributions and income tax in

a generous French R&D tax credit

owners' taxation, the directors’

the right country. The number of days

(Crédit d’Impôt Recherche ’CIR’), which

remuneration and/or the company's

spent in the year in the relevant country

provides a tax credit of up to 30 per

dividend policy as well as the

is only one of the key factors.

cent of R&D costs. Advanced assurance

administrative requirements imposed

procedures (’Rescrit’) allow companies

by the state on the entity, including

4. Review your growth funding

to secure agreement from the French

public disclosures.

and strategy

tax authority and avoid any unnecessary

Benefiting from the right start-up

enquiries. Both the UK R&D and French

2. Check remuneration policies

incubators or accelerators is key for

CIR reliefs are available to loss-making

Tax policy varies greatly between the UK

any new company to help grow its

SMEs by triggering tax credits that can

and France. In the UK, entrepreneurs

business. While London and the main

have, for many years, relied on

universities in the UK offer accelerators

greatly assist cash hungry start-up businesses. I HM

While London and the main UK universities offer accelerators specific to each industry, France has set up its own, too. Indeed, one of Europe's largest clusters – combining more than 250 businesses, universities, venture capitalists and start-ups – is found in Paris, at Medicen


- may / june 2017 - 11

Five minutes with...

NICOLAS PHILIPPOT General Manager, Savencia Fromage & Dairy UK INFO meets the UK's number one company for blue cheeses, Camemberts and cheese selection packs

What are Savencia’s main activities in the UK?

not part of our current strategy – although you can find it in

Savencia has been present in the UK since 1970, when our

certain London shops as an imported product!

products were sold through a local distributor. In 1990, we acquired a cheese manufacturing facility in Westbury,

How popular are continental cheeses in the UK? How

Wiltshire, and this continues to be where we cut and

close are you to toppling the cheddar monopoly?

wrap cheese.

Cheddar represents nearly half of total UK cheese sales (49

We have high-quality products which are much

per cent), but there is an increased interest in continental

appreciated by our consumers and, with continued strong

cheeses by British consumers. Across the market, continental

support, we aim to increase our size. We employ 90 people

cheese volumes grew by 8 per cent last year to make up

across two sites: around 70 people are based at our factory

roughly one-quarter of total UK cheese sales (22 per cent) –

and 20 work in our office, in Hampton, south-west London.

while cheddar fell by 2 per cent. So there is definitely a growing

We have three activities. First, to import some of the group’s large brands – such as Saint Agur, Le Rustique,

interest for different types of cheese. The British market is not so different to the French market.

Pie d'Angloys and Chavroux – and manage their sales and

Of course, there is the predominance of cheddar, but beyond

marketing across the UK; this makes up 42 per cent of our

that, the market is quite similar, steeped in tradition. There are

turnover and is managed locally.

a great number of cheese makers, often still family businesses,

Second is cheese cutting and wrapping, done for the own-label part of our business. In this process, we work in

who have a long history and a savoir faire. The British have a cheese culture nearly as strong as France.

partnership with preferred suppliers – primarily from France, but also from other countries such as Spain, Germany, Austria

What are Savencia’s future ambitions in the UK?

and Italy – and then cut and wrap them for our retail partners,

Our challenge is innovating, introducing new products and

which include Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and Tesco among others.

broadening the public’s palate. Within the market, Savencia is

This represents 40 per cent of our business.

well positioned to fulfil the growing demand for continental

Finally, we also produce selection packs for our retail

cheeses: we’re already the number one company for blue

partners. We have a variety of high-tech machinery, which

cheeses, Camemberts and selection packs in the UK and we

allows us to propose different packaging types and create

are also a major player in the own-label market.

bespoke offers for each retail partner.

My role is to consolidate and grow our existing position and introduce new Savencia brands to the UK market –

One notable Savencia brand is missing from the UK –

watch this space. Savencia is determined to accelerate its

Caprice des Dieux. Are there any plans to bring it over?

international growth, and the UK has an important role to

In France, Caprice des Dieux is one of our finest brands.

play in this.

Created in 1956 by our founder, Jean-Noël Bongrain, it is at the heart of Savencia’s history. It is also a brand that I hold dear myself: before taking my position as UK General Manager in May 2016, I was the Sales Director for Caprice des Dieux. I could imagine that bringing it to the UK would be successful, as it would surely attract a loyal fan base in the local French community. However, I am afraid to say that it is 12 - info - may / june 2017

Savencia has a clear focus on its people and on being multicultural – we want to make sure that they still feel welcomed and valued

F I V E M I N U T E S W I T H . . . N I CO L A S P H I L I P P O T

I remain optimistic about the future. Brexit has not fundamentally changed Savencia's plans and the will to invest and develop in the UK is still present at group level. We work in dozens of countries outside of the EU, so this is not something that fazes us – we know how to adapt and do business anywhere

What effect has Brexit had on the business?

focus on its people and on being multicultural – we want to

We have noted two impacts in the short term. First, currency

make sure they still feel welcomed and valued.

fluctuation: with 90 per cent of our products being imported

Overall, I remain optimistic about the future. Brexit has

from eurozone countries, the fall of the British pound has

not fundamentally changed Savencia’s plans and the will to

been noticeable. We have had to react to this by negotiating

invest and develop in the UK is still present at group level.

with our main retail partners to increase our prices. So far,

We work in dozens of countries outside of the EU, so this is

it seems that most supermarkets have absorbed these

not something that fazes us – we know how to adapt and do

increases, rather than passing them on to consumers,

business anywhere.

but I would not be surprised to see retail price inflation grow this year. While, historically, the euro enabled our products to be

Finally, what does being a Patron member of the French Chamber give to Savencia?

sold at more competitive prices against British cheddars,

Being a member of the French Chamber gives Savencia an

this is now less the case. Nevertheless, I am sure that the

immediate ease to meet and network with other French

strength of our brands and the quality of our products will

businesses and the French community in London. Whether

protect us from any negative effects.

through the Chamber's conferences or networking events, I

Second, there was a clear impact on our permanent and seasonal workforce. With 70 per cent of our selection packs being sold around Christmas time, each year we must double our factory workers before and during that period. Many of these workers come from eastern Europe, so we

always find it a really friendly atmosphere to meet others and to learn more. We also work closely with Emmanuelle Thomas, the Chamber’s Head of Recruitment, to hire people for our business, as she fully understands our needs and what sort of

had to reassure them about what Brexit might mean for their

talent we are looking for. We’ve been extremely pleased with

future and how we would support them. Savencia has a clear

her work! I Interview by JH


- may / june 2017 - 13

A comprehensive approach Understanding your business and its challenges to offer a personalised legal service.

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Contacts : Eniga de Montfort, Partner & Co-Head of London Office

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Working closely with you to imagine and implement strategies looking beyond purely legal aspects.

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CBRE: London is ‘most attractive’ investment London has been ranked as the most attractive European city for real estate investment for the sixth consecutive year


hile London has been ranked the most attractive

Increased investment

city, Germany has retained the top spot as the most

The good news is that investors maintain a greater appetite

attractive country overall for real estate investment across

to acquire property than to dispose of it. Eighty-five per cent

the Europe, Middle East and Africa region, CBRE’s Investor

of investors said that they intend to spend at least as much

Intentions Survey 2017, shows.

in 2017 as they did in 2016, and 41 per cent said that they

Every year, CBRE’s Investor Intentions Survey interviews institutional investors – such as fund and asset managers,

expect to spend more. This was reflected in market sentiment. The report notes

insurance companies and pension funds, private equity

that while 2017 will be an eventful year with major elections

investors and others – to determine their investment

coming up in Europe, investors’ focus is on the economic

intentions and preferences.

climate rather than geo-political events.

Out of 501 investors based in the EMEA region, 17 per

‘In fact, despite uncertainty over how the Brexit

cent picked London as the most attractive destination for real

negotiations will unfold, investors show a growing tendency to

estate investment, followed by Berlin (16 per cent), Madrid (8

invest in the UK again,’ said the report. I

per cent) and Amsterdam (7 per cent). Paris was the fifth most attractive city, with 5 per cent. When asked what made London attractive, investors noted

Most attractive sectors for investment in the UK

the high liquidity and transparency of the UK market. ‘In an environment of continued economic and political uncertainty, the defensive characteristics, capital value growth and attractive income profile of real estate remain important drivers of continued investor interest in the sector,’ said Jos Tromp, Head of EMEA Research at CBRE. In terms of sectors, offices remain the most attractive among respondents, followed by industrial property and retail (see chart, right). ‘Driven by solid structural fundamentals, industrial is seeing a substantial increase in investor interest,’ the report explains. ‘This is at the expense of retail, although rising consumer confidence and a positive outlook for private consumption growth will likely improve investor sentiment for shops.’

Source: CBRE EMEA Investor Intentions Survey, 2017


- may / june 2017 - 15


KPMG tackles gender diversity in technology

KPMG has launched a new scheme, dubbed ‘IT’s Her Future’, to tackle gender diversity and encourage more women to consider technology professions over the next three years. Gender diversity in technology is certainly an issue in the UK. Research by BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT, shows that in 2016, women occupied just 17 per cent of technology jobs, despite making up almost half of the UK workforce. What’s more, fewer than one in ten of these women were in leadership positions in the sector. For KPMG’s Head of Management Consulting, Nigel Slater, it is time for action to level the playing field for women working in technology. This should start with education and encouraging more females to specialise in STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths] subjects. ‘The gender gap within STEM professions, and more specifically those that specialise in technology, is vast,’ he explained. ‘There is an urgent need to develop skills by building a new system of technical education and, specifically, to encourage more young people to consider a career in a STEM profession.’

PwC: UK to remain global FinTech centre despite Brexit

PwC and Startupbootcamp are assured that the UK will remain a global FinTech centre despite Brexit. In 2016, UKbased startups made up 34 per cent of all applications to Startupbootcamp, up from 22 per cent the year before, demonstrating the constant growth of innovation and wealth of talent in the UK. ‘The FinTech industry is not immune to broader political and economic uncertainty, but the UK remains very well placed to lead the way,’ commented Steve Davies, EMEA FinTech Leader at PwC. ‘Start-ups from across the world will continue to travel here to work with international investors, partner with leading financial firms and develop under a forward-thinking regulator.’

Aviation Technology team takes off at Deloitte



KPMG kicked off its new gender diversity scheme with the release of a new report, Meet the Millennials. This report outlines five priorities for firms that would like to attract, engage and retain female talent in technology roles. These are to: (1) Be aware of the power of words; (2) Ensure provision of well-rounded benefit packages; (3) Set up focused initiatives driven by leadership; (4) More females in leadership positions; and (5) Have access to a mentor. ‘We need to ensure that the next generation of female leaders feel empowered, and inspired, to apply for positions of responsibility,’ said Slater. ‘There needs to be real and visible evidence that it is possible to progress as a woman to a senior management role in the business.’ I Read KPMG’s five recommendations in full here:

16 - info - may / june 2017

Business advisory firm Deloitte has established a new Aviation Technology division in the UK. ‘Demand for aviation is forecast to grow significantly over the next decade. This creates a huge need for operations to work smarter and technology will play a huge role in delivering the additional capacity the industry needs,’ said Mark Cooper, who joins Deloitte as Partner for Aviation Technology.

Capgemini extends contract with Environment Agency

Capgemini, the consulting firm, has extended its contract to provide outsourced IT services to the UK’s Environment Agency for an additional 18 months. In place since 2009, the contract has led to the establishment of a new IT platform and is estimated to have reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 1,500 tonnes, leading to the project being shortlisted for the Green IT Project of the Year at the 2015 Business Green Leaders Awards.


Burberry teams up with Coty Luxury brand Burberry and beauty company Coty have entered into a strategic partnership for Coty to develop, manufacture and distribute the full range of Burberry Beauty luxury fragrances, cosmetics and skincare globally. ‘Working with a global partner of Coty’s scale and expertise will help drive the next phase of Burberry Beauty’s development and position this business for growth,’ Christopher Bailey, Chief Creative and Chief Executive Officer of Burberry, announced. The Burberry Beauty business will be managed within Coty’s Luxury division. Headquartered in Paris, Coty Luxury develops, produces, markets and distributes globally a range of fashion house fragrances including Gucci, Marc Jacobs, Calvin Klein and Balenciaga among others. Coty also owns premium cosmetics and skincare brands including Rimmel and Clairol. ‘Burberry fits perfectly with Coty Luxury’s portfolio, which includes contemporary and globally relevant prestige

Coty will pay Burberry a cash consideration of £130m in

beauty brands,’ said Edgar Huber, President Coty Luxury.

return for the long-term exclusive global license. The deal is

‘We are uniquely positioned to develop Burberry Beauty

expected to close at the end of 2017, at which point Coty will

to the next level. This is another significant step in building

buy approximately £50m of inventory from Burberry, Coty

Coty’s Luxury division.’

announced in a statement. I

France tops list of innovative research institutions

France’s Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique et aux Energies Alternatives (CEA) has ranked first in Reuters’ Top 25 Global Innovators, a list that identifies and ranks the publicly-funded institutions doing the most to advance science and technology. The CEA took the top spot in recognition of its research into areas including renewable power, public health and information security, and was positioned ahead of Germany’s Fraunhofer Society and Japan’s Science and Technology Agency. ‘Good news for France, good news for the CEA!’ commented Cyril Pinel, Nuclear Advisor at the French Embassy. I

Schneider Electric among world’s most ethical firms

The global specialist in energy management and automation has been recognised as one of the ‘World’s Most Ethical Companies’ by the Ethisphere Institute, which honours companies that demonstrate ethical leadership in their industries, and use ethical conduct as a profit driver and competitive differentiator. This is the seventh consecutive year that Schneider Electric has received this accolade. ‘This proves that we consider very thoroughly ethical challenges and address them with impact and efficiency, in line with our corporate values,’ said Emmanuel Babeau, Deputy Chief Executive Officer at Schneider Electric. I

Pernod Ricard named best employer

Pernod Ricard has been named the ‘Most Attractive French Company for Young People Aged 18-24’ by human resource experts Randstad. Based on a research survey conducted among nearly 1,000 young people, Pernod Ricard stood out for the genuine opportunities of the international mobility and development programme that the wine and spirits company offers. ‘This award recognises, above all, a culture. Pernod Ricard has made entrepreneurial spirit, mutual trust and a strong sense of ethics its core values, and convivialité its vision,’ said Cédric Ramat, the company’s HR Director. I info

- may / june 2017 - 17


De Beers buys out retail partner LVMH Diamond specialist De Beers has bought back the 50 per cent stake that luxury conglomerate LVMH had acquired in 2001, ending the retail joint venture between the two companies. The move marks the end of a partnership that, at the time, had intended to transform the way that diamonds were sold to consumers, positioned more as fashion accessories or casual purchases that customers bought for themselves, rather than as a formal gift for others. The De Beers Diamond Jewellers retail network comprises 32 stores in 17 consumer markets across the world, including its fast-growing business in China, plus in London, Paris and a new flagship store in New York. The announcement comes at a time when diamond

more differentiated diamond offering, alongside our fast-

prices are falling. De Beers, which supplies 40 per cent of the

growing diamond brand, Forevermark,’ said De Beers Group

market, reported that the average price per carat in 2016 was

CEO Bruce Cleaver.

$187, down from $207 in 2015. ‘More fully integrating the De Beers Diamond Jewellers

De Beers’ Forevermark brand has expanded into 2,000 outlets globally and says that it expects the growth to

brand and store network will enable us to deliver an even

continue this year. I

Graduates rank French Chamber members as most attractive employers

A hotelier serving the hoteliers: AccorHotels continues acquisition spree

Luxury goods leader LVMH has been named the most

AccorHotels has announced two acquisitions in April, as

attractive company to work for by French business school

the group seeks to consolidate its position as the world’s

graduates, followed by Google and L’Oréal.

leading hotel operator. The company has acquired VeryChic,

The Universum ranking of ‘The Most Attractive

a digital platform for the private sale of luxury hotel rooms

Employers’ asked 41,329 graduates from French commercial,

and apartments, as well as Availpro, a hotel management

management and engineering schools and universities

software provider.

about their expectations and values when looking for a job.

Through VeryChic, AccorHotels intends to strengthen

French Chamber members fared well: in addition to LVMH

its expertise in the creation of exceptional private sales,

and L’Oréal, member companies that ranked highly include

the company said. Meanwhile, Availpro will be paired with

Chanel (4th), Air France (6th), EY (10 th), KPMG (14th), Deloitte

Fastbooking, which AccorHotels acquired in 2015. The

(18 th) and AccorHotels (19 th). I

consolidation of the two companies will create the leading European digital services provider for independent hotels, and will be ranked the third-largest global player in the sector. ‘Today, two-thirds of hoteliers are independent and the increase of their online visibility and direct sales is critical to their development,’ said Steven Daines, CEO, New Business at AccorHotels. ‘Availpro’s combination with Fastbooking positions AccorHotels as a hotelier serving the hoteliers.’ I

Availpro's combination with Fastbooking positions AccorHotels as a hotelier serving the hoteliers 18 - info - may / june 2017


London Tech Week 2017 to be ‘bigger and better’ than ever

Academie du Service teams up with Decathlon

Co-organised by London & Partners and Tech London

Sports retailer Decathlon has hired Franco-

Advocates, London Tech Week 2017 – held 12-16 June – is

British customer service consultancy Academie

on track to be ‘bigger and better’ than ever.

du Service to help the brand develop its newlylaunched UK B2B business. Alexis Grabar, Founding Partner of Academie du Service UK, was engaged by Decathlon to assist the group to realise its vision of growing the new UK B2B venture from a £1m turnover business with five employees to £10m turnover and 15 employees in three to five years' time. The Academie du Service was also tasked with assisting with product development, customer service and growth, as well as talent management issues and marketing.

London Tech Week is a festival of live events across the

‘Alexis’ energy, conviction and huge

city, showcasing and celebrating the best of tech, as well

experience in business strategy have been

as providing networking, social, learning and business

invaluable and he has earned the respect of


everyone with his great ability to explain and

‘London Tech Week is an opportunity to show the international tech community the wealth of talent, innovation and investment returns available in London’s digital sector,’ said Russ Shaw, Founder of Tech London Advocates. For the first time this year, London Tech Week will host: a celebratory concert featuring Oscar and Grammy Award

present,’ said John Butcher, UK Marketing and Communications Director at Decathlon. Founded in 2004, Academie du Service has over 300 clients in France and internationally, in all sectors of business including 20 Fortune 500 companies. I

winning composer Hans Zimmer; the premier awards ceremony for Europe’s hottest tech start-ups, The Europas; the UK’s first professional drone race at Alexandra Palace; and a VIP dinner hosted by London Tech Week in partnership with The Prince’s Trust. This year’s festival will also see the first TechXLR8 event, which will bring together eight flagship tech events at ExCel

The Medical Chambers launches La Clinique Française

London. The eight major events include: 5G World; VR & AR World; Apps World Evolution; Internet of Things World Europe; AI & Machine Learning World; Cloud & DevOps World; Connected Cars & Autonomous Vehicles Europe; and Project Kairos. TechXLR8 will also convene leading speakers from the world of technology, government and business. More than

The Medical Chambers Kensington, the

800 speakers will participate over three days, covering

international multidisciplinary clinic in West

infrastructure developments, IoT and the connected world,

London, has launched La Clinique Française

and future tech.

(LCF), a new venture especially designed to

‘After three years of success, the festival is set to be bigger and better than ever in 2017, sending a clear message

serve the French community. LCF is being led by Dr Isabelle Granger-

that London tech is open for business, aiming for significant

Cohet, who is overseeing a team of more

growth and brimming with ambition,’ added Shaw. I

than 20 French clinicians who live and work in London and specialise in general practice,

London Tech Week 2017 will be held from 12-16 June, with events

paediatrics, dermatology, gynaecology,

organised across the city. To find out more information, and to

ear-nose-throat and most other frequently-

book tickets, visit:

requested specialities, including day surgeries, minor procedures and laboratory tests. I


- may / june 2017 - 19


Le Petit Ballon is snapped up by ecommerce giant Vente-Privée


nline private sales website Vente-Privée has become a majority shareholder in Le Petit Ballon, the ecommerce

website that sells wine on a subscription basis. Vente-Privée's acquisition of Le Petit Ballon, for an undisclosed sum, will further boost Vente-Privée's wine sales. The company has been present in the wine industry for several years – prior to acquiring Le Petit Ballon, Vente-Privée was selling around five million bottles per year. This accounted for nearly 5 per cent of the company's turnover, which stood at €2.5bn in 2016. Le Petit Ballon, which was founded in France in 2011, turns over in excess of €8m per year by selling over one million bottles of wine to more than 60,000 subscribers in France, Belgium and the UK. The company also has a physical store in Paris. Le Petit Ballon will continue to operate independently, but will be able to take full advantage of Vente-Privée's logistics

club Złote Wyprzedaże (November 2016), Danish competitor

operations, which handle 180,000 packages in 13 European

Designers & Friends (September 2016) and Spanish fashion

warehouses (including seven in France) each day.

ecommerce website Privalia (April 2016). Over the next year,

This is just the latest of many large acquisitions led by Vente-Privée in the last year, which include Polish shopping

the group plans to focus on consolidation and integrations and plans to invest €80m in R&D and innovation. I

Merci Maman awarded prestigious Queen's Award for Enterprise: Congratulations to the Montilles!

Merci Maman, the personalised jewellery company, has been awarded the Queen's Award for Enterprise in the International Trade category. The Queen's Awards are the highest official UK award for British businesses and have been presented by the Queen since 1965. Merci Maman is being honoured for its outstanding growth, having increased its overseas earnings from zero to almost 35 per cent of the company's £3m turnover. 'I have been amazed by the encouragement of the UK, which has allowed our business to grow both across the country and internationally,' said Béatrice de Montille, Co-Founder of Merci Maman.I

Vision de Marques and A Sprinkle of Deco & Art join forces

A Sprinkle of Deco & Art and Vision de Marques have recently teamed up to deliver a project for premium Scandinavian design brand Skandium, in London. A Sprinkle of Deco & Art designed the window campaign and merchandised the products in-store, while Vision de Marques used its factory to produce high-quality graphics and facilitate installation through its installer network. The two visual merchandising companies met through the French Chamber and said that their partnership opens the door to new exciting visual merchandising projects. I

Archant scoops top industry award for launching pro-EU newspaper

Newspaper and magazine owner Archant was recently praised at the prestigious National Press Awards. The New European, a pro-EU weekly newspaper launched by Archant as a response to the EU Referendum in July 2016, was presented with the Chairman’s Award in recognition of its success and quality journalism. ‘The New European team thoroughly deserves this recognition for all of its hard work and creativity – as does Archant, which is the only media company I know with the capability and courage to try something so crazy, and make a success of it,’ said Matt Kelly, Editor of The New European. I 20 - info - may / june 2017


Business O Féminin: ®Erica Bergsmeds

CHAMPIONING WOMEN Created in 2013, Business O Féminin has grown into an influential media platform with a mission to empower women and young girls. INFO meets its Founder, Véronique Forge


éronique Forge has always been determined to shine

Business O Féminin Award

a spotlight on successful women, using their stories to

Business O Féminin’s latest project has been the creation of an

inspire the younger generation. Following a first career in

award programme, which Forge launched at the end of 2016,

communications – working for creative agency BBDO and

in association with Capgemini Consulting France and a host of

Johnson & Johnson – Forge joined the French TV channel Direct8

partners, including the French Chamber of Great Britain. The

in 2005. ‘I was hired by Vincent Bolloré himself and started two

idea behind the award was to recognise a woman who founded

programmes for the channel,’ she says. ‘Femmes d’exception

or co-founded an international start-up, inspiring other women

was the first TV show to really speak to influential and inspiring

to ‘think global and think big’.

business women. That’s how this all started.’

More than 110 start-ups applied for the award in two months,

The interviewees that appeared on the 26-minute

and the winner was announced on 9 March, on the ‘Journée de

programme were some of France’s best-known female leaders,

la Femme Digitale’, by Fleur Pellerin, the former French Minister

such as Christine Lagarde, Simone Weil and Barbara Hendricks

of Culture and Communications and now founder and CEO of

among others. Telling their inspirational stories is what fuelled

Korelya Capital, who was the award’s patron.

Forge to eventually create her own platform, Business O

The winner, Zineb Agoumi, is the founder of Ezygain, a

Féminin, which she did from London, where she had moved to


in 2009.

rehabilitation. Agoumi will be given support by Capgemini

‘I was really inspired by the entrepreneurs that I met in London while freelancing, so in 2013 I decided to start my own







Consulting France to help grow her business further over the next year.

This is just the beginning of our story. Business O Féminin is already an influential media platform, but I want to develop the brand further – to increase our scope and reach out to even more women company,’ Forge explains. It started as a wait-and-see project:

On the heels of the award’s success, Forge is launching a

would readers be interested in hearing about inspirational

Business O Féminin members club this May, which will organise

women? Forge says the answer was a resounding ‘yes’.

events on a monthly basis around the tech industry, women in

‘It went really well. We were the only ones talking about women entrepreneurs. The idea for Business O Féminin was to

leadership and careers. This will be open to young girls, starting from 15 years old.

talk to professional women and inspire our readers – business

Forge also intends to organise a second edition of the

leaders, entrepreneurs, start-up founders,’ she explains. ‘Today

Business O Féminin Awards next year, which will include more

we also have a lot of coaches writing in Business O Féminin; our

categories, as well as an event hosted by Business O Féminin

focus is on empowering young girls and women.’

around the award, called Tech Girl International.

It has since become a successful community, with more

‘We are still in the planning stages, and it is ambitious, but

than 11,500 fans on Facebook and more than 4,600 followers

this is just the beginning of our story,’ concludes Forge. ‘Business

on Twitter. ‘We are not mass media yet – and I don’t think we will

O Féminin is already an influential media platform, but I want to

ever be,’ says Forge. ‘But our targeted community is influential.’

develop the brand further – to increase our scope and reach out to even more women.’ I JH

‘The interesting thing to see is that all of these people are influencers,’ adds Forge. Twenty per cent of Business O Féminin’s Twitter followers have, themselves, more than 1,000 followers of their own. Forge calculates that, in total, Business O Féminin’s followers have a combined reach of nine million people – a significant number.

Launched in: 2013 • Team: 6 Monthly readers: 50,000 info

- may / june 2017 - 21


Critical care: Chelsea and Westminster Hospital’s £10m campaign Our ambition and aspiration is to continue to be a leading teaching hospital and one of the safest hospitals in the world ― LESLEY WATTS

Due to its west London location, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital is particularly popular with the French community. Lesley Watts, Chief Executive of the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, tells INFO how the £10m fund will be used to help care for an extra 700 critically-ill adults and babies every year


anked as one of the safest hospitals in England, Chelsea

400 per year, currently – or treat them in the hospital’s general

and Westminster Hospital is a leading teaching and

wards and provide outreach care from the ICU, which is not

research hospital with a strong national and international

ideal,’ Watts explains. ‘This is why we must raise funds from

reputation. Chief Executive Lesley Watts is now working hard to

our local community, to support our expansion and increase the number of people that we can treat.’

safeguard that reputation, leading a campaign to raise £10m

The hospital itself is firmly behind the project, she adds,

from the local community. This will be used to redevelop and

and has committed to match the £10m investment from the

expand the hospital’s adult and neonatal intensive care units

public with £10m itself.

(ICUs and NICUs), in order to care for 700 more critically-ill adults and babies every year.

‘The ICU and NICU facilities were great in their time, but the hospital was built 25 years ago,’ Watts continues. ‘We need to

‘We have one of the largest maternity units, both for NHS

increase the footprint and the number of adults and babies that

and private patients, and therefore have a large neonatal

we can treat. We know that we won’t be able to afford it through

intensive care unit,’ Watts explains. ‘But with a growing

regular NHS funding. But we want this for our community; we

population, we know that the facilities are being stretched.’

want the community to help develop that for themselves.’

Watts, a nurse and midwife by training, joined Chelsea

The hospital has already started investing in new

and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust as Chief

infrastructure. Watts says that patients should begin to see

Executive in 2015. She says that it is ‘no secret’ that the NHS

some of the changes over the next two years, with an eye to

has significant financial constraints today.

finishing the project in three years’ time.

‘Our hospital is good at living within its budget and

Due to its location on Fulham Road in London, Chelsea and

invests in its staff and the facilities for patients, but there is

Westminster Hospital has close links to the French community

never quite enough and, often, the funding lags behind,’ she

in London. Watts notes, for example, that La Petite Ecole

explains. ‘Our ambition and aspiration is to continue to be a

Française visit regularly and have already signed up to support

leading teaching hospital and one of the safest hospitals in

the redevelopments – indeed, the school is even organising a

the world. We would like our NHS patients to be treated in the

fundraising fête this summer in aid of the campaign.

same level of facilities as our private patients.’

‘The French community has been and continues to be a

The hospital's charity, CW+, is leading its Critical Care

great supporter of our hospital. We treat a number of French

campaign. Currently, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital treats

nationals both on the NHS and in our private facilities,’

between 500 and 600 adult patients, while the neonatal unit

says Watts. ‘We would be grateful for your support in our

treats around 750 babies per year.

mission to deliver world-class facilities, both for you and for

‘At the moment, we must either turn adults away – around

your children.' I JH

We need to increase the footprint and the number of adults and babies that we can treat. We know that we won’t be able to afford it through regular NHS funding. But we want this for our community; we want the community to help develop that for themselves

22 - info - may / june 2017


A selection of research papers and reports produced by Chamber member companies and partners

Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends 2017 Organisations face a radically shifting context for the workforce, the workplace and the world of work. Technology is advancing at an unprecedented rate. While individuals are relatively quick to adapt to ongoing innovations, organisations move at a slower pace – many still retain industrial age structures and practices that are long outdated. It is these gaps among technology, individuals, businesses and public policy that are creating unique opportunities for HR to help leaders and organisations adapt. Deloitte’s survey of more than 10,000 business and HR leaders from 140 countries reveals 10 areas for businesses to focus on how to better organise, manage, develop and align people at work. Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends 2017 – March 2017 Available at:

PwC Winning the fight for female talent Today, more and more CEOs regard talent diversity and inclusion as vital to their organisation’s ability to drive innovation and gain competitive advantage. There is a renewed focus on hiring female talent. In fact, 78 per cent of large organisations say that they are actively seeking to hire more women – especially into more experienced and senior level positions. Winning the fight for female talent explores how organisations are seeking to deliver on their gender diversity attraction goals. PwC examines the impact of these approaches and – more generally – how they are matching up to the career aspirations and diversity experiences and expectations of the modern workforce. Minning the fight for female talent: How to gain the diversity edge through inclusive recruitment – March 2017 Available at:

London Stock Exchange Group Companies to Inspire Africa On the back of its successful 1,000 Companies to Inspire series of reports, which focused on Europe and the UK, London Stock Exchange Group has now launched a report to identify hundreds of Africa’s most inspirational and dynamic private, high-growth companies – which have come to the attention of major global investors. Companies to Inspire Africa shows how these companies are fundamental to the successful future of the African economy through their enormous potential for growth and high-quality job creation. These companies will not just inspire Africa, but inspire the world. Companies to Inspire Africa – April 2017 Available at:


- march / april 2016 - 23


YOUR CLOSEST POINT OF ENTRY TO THE EUROPEAN UNION The Hauts-de-France Region is the closest place for British firms to gain access to European markets. In addition to proximity, we also share a common priority: economic growth

We are working together on a win-win strategy to boost trade, economic development and tourism. To investors and to British business leaders, I say: You are at home here, in Hauts-de-France — Xavier Bertrand, President of the Hauts-de-France Region Facilitating trade

 World-class research and development hubs that

The Hauts-de-France Region has made employment its top

businesses can make use of, notably in the sectors of

priority, and the Region's attractiveness as a point of access to

e-commerce, mechanics, agribusiness and composites

Europe is one of the levers to achieve this. In order to make it

 Access to a local market of 78 million consumers

easier for British investors, company directors and executives to

 Dedicated support from the Region and its partners adapted

gain access to Hauts-de-France – and the markets beyond – the

to each individual project, including for raising finance,

Region and its partners are setting up a local office in London.

networking, finding a suitable site, and introductions to local

experts in training and recruitment

 A protected, beautiful place to live. From the Louvre-Lens

Museum to the Pierre Mauroy Stadium, and the protected

natural spaces of the Baie de Somme and regional natural

parks, Hauts-de-France offers a vast choice of activities and

events to keep you entertained throughout the year

 A strong sense of community and welcome shared by all the

Region's inhabitants.

A business-friendly region

As Philippe Hourdain, President of the Hauts-de-France Region Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI) and a representative for local business interests, underlines: ‘We really are located

A win-win strategy

The Hauts-de-France Region is an attractive territory where the

in a business-friendly region, fully open to trade exchange with Great Britain. 'British companies will find an extremely favourable

key economic players have committed themselves to working

business environment in Hauts-de-France, a dynamic and

together. Why should businesses choose Hauts-de-France?

innovative industrial and tertiary base and a local market with

 An ideal geographical location paired with great infrastructure.

strong potential for further growth.’

The Region's motorways, train lines (including TGV), airports

The Hauts-de-France CCI is on hand to accompany French

and maritime ports offer easy access to the rest of Europe:

and British entrepreneurs and develop their businesses on both

five European capital cities are within a 300km radius

sides of the Channel, to help detect business opportunities,

 Strong fiscal incentives for businesses, including the absence

develop commercial and industrial partnerships and, lastly, to

connect our economic networks. I

of ground rents on business premises

Further to this, the Hauts-de-France Region and its partners wish to provide further information in order to develop strategic FrancoBritish partnerships. Join us at the French Residence on 27 June at 6pm to discover more (see p.80). For the event's full details and to confirm your attendance, please contact Anne-Claire Lo Bianco at or 0207 092 6643


Crédits photos : Région Hauts-de-France / Dominique Bokalo / Pierre Thibaut, Samuel Dhote, CCI International Hauts-de-France

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ast year, the size and value of the UK commercial property market hit its highest level on record – £871bn – surpassing the previous peak of 2007 and lifting nearly 50 per cent on the nadir of 2009. At the heart of the market is London, which accounts for two-fifths of the total amount, or £330bn, according to the British Property Federation. Can this upward trend continue forever? Commercial property is the physical platform behind nearly all of the UK's major industries and enterprises and all experts agree:

London, which generates 23 per cent of the total UK GDP, will continue to be one of the best places in the world to do business. London's wealth of talent and its opportunities, its strong business clusters, the ease of access to Europe and the rest of the world... all of these factors continue to give London a strong draw. The flipside of this is, of course, soaring costs. For all of its merits as an international business hub, London is – and will remain – a very expensive place in which to conduct business. Beyond the ever-growing rents, the increase in occupational expenses is a major concern for commercial tenants. The rise in business rates, tied to the value of the property, are a particular worry, with increases averaging 23.7 per cent across Greater London (and closer to 70 per cent in central London). As a result, many businesses are beginning to look further afield, looking for space in more affordable corners of London and sometimes beyond. Why pay an average of £70 per sq ft for an office in central London when you can as easily conduct your business in Manchester, for half the cost? Featuring interviews and contributions from landlords, tenants, property experts, retail experts, property lawyers and much more, we hope that our survey of London's commercial property market will help you to understand and make the most of this great city. I JH

26 - info - may / june 2017






£69.00 / sq ft £127.50 / sq ft

Source: British Property Federation

Source: BNP Paribas Real Estate

With central London office rents at a record high, focus is turning on the city’s outer boroughs to provide more flexible and cost-effective workspace solutions to meet London’s dynamic growth Steven Lang, Analyst, Savills Commercial Research





Source: BNP Paribas Real Estate

The whole thing about Brexit relocations out of London is very overblown. Often when you read about a supposedly Brexit-related relocation, one telephone call reveals that it was planned pre-referendum. Most firms have no idea what Brexit is going to mean for their property occupation. They are still waiting to hear from the government what is actually going to happen James Roberts, Chief Economist, Knight Frank


LONDON NO. 1 IN THE 2016 GLOBAL CITIES INDEX Business Services Media & Tech Financial Retail & Leisure Other Manufacturing Healthcare Energy & Utilities

Source: Colliers International

Source: Global Cities Index


- may / june 2017 - 27


Paul Clark, Chief Investment Officer of The Crown Estate, offers his view of London’s commercial property market – and whether it will continue to be attractive to investors

The UK and London economy offer

What is the current state of the

Is the slower market in reaction

commercial property market

to Brexit?

a mixed outlook. Undoubtedly, there

in London?

When looking at London, it is important

will be another downturn at some

We are moving into a period of lower –

to step back and take a broad view of the

point, but if you look at the financial

but still positive – returns. The market is

market. Before anyone had even called

architecture around real estate

slower and has been cooling off.

a referendum, there were signs that the

markets today, the building blocks are

office market had achieved a peak.

not in place for that right now.

The office occupational market peaked towards the end of 2015 and

It is reasonable to say that, in early

All markets are cyclical; no set of

has been quieter since then. While

2016, we found ourselves at a cyclically

market conditions are ever permanent.

rents have not fallen much, it takes

high point both for capital values and

But in the past, downturns have usually

longer to close a deal. Retail markets

rental values in London. This offered

occurred because the market had either

have been consistently strong, however

us the perspective that we were

overdeveloped or overleveraged; and at

– and this was also the case in the last

approaching the natural end of the cycle.

the moment, there is neither a supply

downturn. Prime central London retail is

Of course macroeconomic and

shock nor excess leverage.

a genuinely globalised market both for

political events affect decision making,

retailers and customers, so it will

but the cycle was already softening

current values, such as the risk-free

remain robust.

prior to the EU Referendum being

rate of return, and the market has also

announced. As a result, we had started

recently received a boost from the very

investment markets have been in a

re-positioning our portfolio in autumn

competitive devaluation of the currency.

holding pattern for the last seven or

2015, to prepare for this slowdown.

On the investment side, capital

eight months. Volumes are down from

A number of factors support the

We are in a holding pattern at the

We were not predicting the EU

moment. It is hard to see a great deal of

previous years, although in the first

Referendum’s result – we just felt that,

additional upside, but there are quite a

quarter of 2017, there was a new record

by the back-end of 2015, the office

number of factors that mitigate against

in the value of deals being traded.

occupational and retail markets had

a significant downturn.

If you own a prime building, with

reached a high. We therefore started

good covenants and relatively long

preparing for tougher market conditions.

Will London remain attractive

leases, those buildings are still trading

It just so happens that the referendum

to investors?

at the same yields as 12-18 months

result then fell as it did.

This slowdown is likely to carry on for

ago. However, if you have more risk in

the foreseeable future, but the UK

your portfolio, shorter leases or less

Do you expect the slowdown to evolve

economy has had quite a significant

prime locations, those values are off

into a more significant downturn?

amount of firepower thrown at it and

by a little. But, for the most part, while

In the past, the cycle has often been

we continue to have a glut of global

volumes are down, the market is

quite abrupt, but we are not likely to see

investors that remain interested in

quite steady.

that this time.

this market.

28 - info - may / june 2017


Beyond that, London has deep, liquid, transparent markets; a benign taxation regime that is appealing to international investors; reliable legal institutions; an optimal time zone, English is the lingua franca of business... all of these factors play to London’s advantage and will continue to do so. These won’t change any time soon. So while the relative advantage may be moderate, all of these long-term factors support London’s place in the global markets. How are you positioning the business to keep delivering returns? We have set out our stall in terms of the sectors that we are committing to from a strategic perspective. Some 57 per cent of our £13bn portfolio is in Central London, and we have an additional 20 per cent in prime retail schemes around the UK. That is three-quarters of our business. The

tactical decisions to position

rest of it is invested in a significant rural

ourselves within the market as we

means worrying not just about our

portfolio, including 50 per cent of the

have a commercial mandate to

buildings and customers, but also the

UK coast line. With the UK territorial

outperform. We try to look through

environments around our buildings –

waters vested in The Crown Estate, we

the short-term market volatility

for example, traffic and congestion or

are also the landlord for the emerging

in order to focus on building our

air quality.

offshore energy industry.

portfolio for the long term.

So we are focused on a small

From our perspective, that

We will continue to work on improving the public realm and focus

number of sectors where we are able

What are the key long-term trends

on the other external factors that

to make strategic decisions thanks

in the market?

we believe will drive our total return

to our critical mass and our very

Given where we are in the cycle, it is


stable capital structure – we have no

clear that we are going into structurally-

borrowing and are not exposed to the

lower returns than we have been used

basics of medium to long-term asset

short-term movements of the stock

to over the past five years.

management, which you can only do

market, so can afford to take long-term positions.

As a consequence, long-term

It is really about focusing on the

when you are embedded in a sector

owners that understand their sectors

and locality and fully understand your

and the areas they operate in will be

stakeholders and the dynamics of the

business with respect to our market

best placed to take a broader view and

positions, we also regularly make

benefit from that.

market. Those are the investors that will do best. I Interview by JH

Although we are a long-term

WHAT IS THE CROWN ESTATE? The Crown Estate is a £13bn specialist real estate business with a focus on central London (including the whole of Regent Street and over half of St James’s in the West End) and retail across the UK (including 15 retail parks, three shopping centres and one leisure destination) as well as offshore wind (The Crown Estate manages the UK seabed). It also has a significant rural portfolio (some 336,000 acres of agricultural land). Established by an Act of Parliament as an independent commercial business, all of its annual profits are returned to the Treasury for the benefit of the public finances. In 2015/16, The Crown Estate delivered a net revenue profit of £304.1m to the Treasury and outperformed the market for the fifth consecutive year.


- may / june 2017 - 29


Central London

INFO speaks to Kevin McCauley, Head of London Research at CBRE, to discover the latest central London commercial property trends


espite pre-referendum expectations of weak and falling

will moderate this. 'There is not a huge change in sentiment,'

activity, the UK economy continues to grow robustly,

McCauley says. 'People are still doing deals and if you're a

thanks in part to a weaker pound. But what about

landlord with a lot of space, many will prefer to do a deal than

commercial property? Will central London continue to boom?

Office market: slow but steady

to hold out for higher rent. We're at a sensitive stage of the cycle where the balance is tipped slightly towards the occupier.

The key sentiment in the central London office rental market

Foreign investment: strong

is one of business as usual following a year of unpredictability.

On the investment side, the first quarter of the year was

'The effect of the referendum was to create uncertainty

strong, driven strongly by Asian investors. Office investment

among businesses, which led to delayed decisions,' explains

transactions totalled £4.9bn, the highest quarterly total since

Kevin McCauley, Head of London Research at CBRE. 'Although its

Q4 2014, and the highest first quarter of any year on record.

outcome came as a surprise, it also helped to ease the uncertainty,

Indeed, 13 transactions of more than £100m were transacted in

which led to a decent end of year for the office market.'

the first quarter, compared with 11 in Q4 2016. This was driven

2017 has started off slowly, however. CBRE's research shows

by overseas investors (see doughnut chart, right).

a fall of 35 per cent quarter on quarter, to 2.5m sq feet of office

'Investment continues to be very strong, and follows a

space transacted in the first quarter. Take-up was particularly

strong end to 2016,' says McCauley. 'This has been driven by

strong in the West End and Midtown.

overseas investors that are looking for trophy-type buildings –

It is typical to have a slightly weaker first quarter after a strong

prime buildings in key locations.'

end to the year, notes McCauley, and he expects it to pick back up.

One stand-out deal from the first quarter is the sale of The

Large deals are still being done, led in particular by professional

Leadenhall Building (better known locally as the 'cheesegrater',

services, business services and creative industries.

due to its distinctive wedge shape), which was purchased by

Has this affected rents? CBRE expects headline rents to fall across most of central London in 2017 and 2018, although extended rent-free periods and greater flexiblity in lease terms 30 - info - may / june 2017

a Hong Kong-based investor for £1.15bn – one of the largest investment transactions in UK history. 'There is a large amount of investment aimed at global




Source: CBRE Property Perspective London 2017 Source: CBRE Property Perspective London 2017

real estate that is targeting London, a lot of which comes from

Investment has, as a result, slowed down. Just £300m of

Hong Kong investors looking to diversify away from the regional

retail assets transacted in London in the first quarter of 2017,

economy,' McCauley explains.

significantly below the £803m and £572m that transacted in Q1

Paired with the sharp deterioration in British Pound Sterling last year, London has become very attractive. 'London continues to be seen as a truly global city that is a strong economic

2015 and 2016 respectively.

Future outlook: good

powerhouse,' adds McCauley. 'These figures all show evidence

McCauley remains optimistic about the future: 'London's

of the resilience of the London office investment market, post-

economy has a proven ability to be flexible and innovative. Add

EU Referendum.'

in its other attributes – the regulatory environment, a strong

Retail: robust demand, slower investment On the retail side – one of London’s strongest sub-sectors –

university base; the highly-skilled wokforce; very strong clusters in finance, technology, life sciences, professional services and others – confidence is strong. London will remain a core market.'

demand has also remained robust, driven by retailers looking to

Recent significant property deals reinforce his point.

increase their exposure through flagship stores in prime locations.

'Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Google have all stated that

Yet retailers are being hit by a significant increase in

London is the prime European centre to do business, so it

occupational costs this year, most notably by the business rates

remains a key global city,' McCauley concludes. 'Overseas

revaluation (see box out, below right), which could affect the

investors will continue to invest in London and keep the

market in the long term, according to CBRE.

market growing.' I JH

BUSINESS RATES - HITTING LONDON RETAIL HARDEST From 1 April this year, new business rates have been applied across the UK, which has had a disproportionate impact on London. The increase in rateable values across Greater London was 23.7 per cent, more than 2.5 times the national average. London now represents 16.2 per cent of all rateable properties, but 32.1 per cent of all rateable values. Prime central London retail streets have experienced the largest increases: Bond Street business rates are up by 100 per cent and Regent Street by 67 per cent. Other locations, outside the centre, have also seen some big rises: rateable values for shops in Westfield White City have increased by 96 per cent and those in Westfield Stratford by 43 per cent. In contrast, rateable values for shops in Brent Cross have fallen by 12 per cent and in Harrow by 10 per cent. Read more about business rates on page 32.


- may / june 2017 - 31


A painful year

Business rates, which are being re-assessed this year, are causing a stir. Sarah Davey, Head of business rates advisory firm Ruddle Merz London, shares her expertise on what businesses can do


usiness rates are a tax on business properties, set by the Government and collected by local authorities, to ensure that those who occupy non-domestic property

contribute towards the cost of local services. These are based on the business’s ‘rateable value’, which broadly represents the annual rent that the property could be let for and is fixed (in most cases) by the Valuation Office. Business rates are a significant earner for Government. This year, the total take for the whole country will be around £29bn. Since 1990, the rateable values have been re-assessed every five years. Yet, this did not happen as planned in 2015, as the revaluation schedule clashed with the last General Election, and so was postponed. Seven years later, with

Business rates are a significant earner for Government. This year, the total take for the whole country will be around £29bn

properties having seen large changes in their rental levels, the impact on business rates has been noticeable. Perhaps unsurprisingly, rateable value increases have

What can be done to alleviate the potential pain of increased rates? For the 2017 revaluation in England, a new multi-stage

been highest in London and the southeast of England, with

system known as ‘Check, Challenge and Appeal’ has been

overall gains of over 33 per cent. This compares to a national


average increase across England of just under 10 per cent.

Ostensibly to make the process more ratepayer friendly,

Furthermore, certain property types will have been hit even

it appears in fact to be complex, bureaucratic and drawn out

harder than others.

in use. Add to this a brand new and as yet untested digital

By the Government’s own figures, 600,000 small businesses with new rateable values below £12,000 will pay

application, and it is clear that troubles lie ahead.

no rates at all. 920,000 ratepayers will see their bill fall, while

1. Register

420,000 will see no change at all.

The ratepayer must register their business via the Government

The proportion of rates paid then increases gradually,

Gateway and ‘claim’ their premises on the Valuation Office

between £12,000 and £15,000 of rateable value, which

website. At this point, you should advise the Valuation Office if

affects 50,000 businesses. Finally, 520,000 ratepayers will see

you have an agent acting on your behalf.

increased rate demands and they are the businesses that will be hardest hit. For example, I act for a trendy new restaurant in the heart

2. Check Do you agree on the factual matters, such as floor areas? This

of Mayfair. The rateable value has gone up by 65 per cent and

is your opportunity to ensure the data used by the Valuation

rate liability increased by 46 per cent. For enterprises already

Office is correct. This step can take up to 12 months.

paying six-figure rate bills, to fund an additional 46 per cent this year is a tall order! However, this new liability is tempered by a transition

3. Challenge At this point, should you disagree with the Valuation Office’s

scheme, where rate increases for premises assessed at over

opinion of the value or any other details, you must submit

£100,000 rateable value are limited to around 45 per cent this

evidence to demonstrate it is incorrect. The Valuation Office

year. The Government’s view is that these larger companies can

then has up to 18 months to respond.

best withstand significant increases in costs – although I am not sure myself of this; we will have to see what happens in time. Smaller premises have less onerous transitional

4. Appeal If no agreement is reached, an appeal can be lodged with

arrangements, which might be spread over the whole five

the Valuation Tribunal. This must be done within a four-

years of the rating list if the rateable value increase has

month window and is subject to a fee of up to £300, which is

been high.

refundable if successful. I SD

32 - info - may / june 2017


10 top London office areas Looking for a central London office property? The capital has options to suit any business on (almost) any budget, from tech start-ups to global banks. BNP Paribas Real Estate’s Kuldeep Gadhary outlines 10 popular areas to focus on, ranked from highest to lowest average rent


London’s highest rents are found surrounding tube

stations in the West End. Out of the top 10 most expensive tube stations, seven fall within this market. In addition, vacancy in the West End tends to be the lowest than in other areas.


Green Park, which serves the upmarket Mayfair and St

James’s area – home to niche hedge funds and other financial firms – also commands high rents. Constrained supply means that competition is fierce – a record rent of £185 per sq ft was achieved at 8 St James’s Square in 2015. The highest rent of 2016 was £160 per sq ft at 3 St James’s Square.


Victoria, the fourth most expensive tube station in


London’s burgeoning ‘tech belt’ has seen rents in Old

Street, Aldgate and Farringdon also follow this trend, with

London, is also found in the West End. However, it differs from

growth outpacing that seen in traditional City locations.

other West End submarkets thanks to its larger floor plates,

Other notable areas include Clerkenwell and the Old Street

providing options for occupiers wanting an alternative to the

Roundabout, nicknamed ‘Silicon Roundabout’, as the former

City. The redevelopment and regeneration of the area has

‘City fringe’ has forged its own identity thanks to the boom in

attracted occupiers such as Burberry, Deutsche Bank and

media tech.

Google in recent years.


Covent Garden tube station, which falls in our Midtown


Average rents in Hammersmith are the highest outside

of central London thanks to its close proximity to Heathrow

submarket, is where occupiers pay the highest rents outside

airport and the West End. Hammersmith has proved popular

of the West End. Smaller media tech companies tend to be

with a cross section of occupier types, many of which have

attracted to this market.

been attracted by the lower rents and rates.



King’s Cross has been transformed in recent years

following the major infrastructure regeneration project and

For occupiers looking for value but not willing to

compromise on a central location, Stratford and Canary

subsequent redevelopment of the area by Argent. Rents

Wharf offer high quality space with excellent transport links.

doubled in the five years to 2016, with flagship anchor tenant

Canary Wharf is an international banking and finance hub,

Google, which chose the scheme for its European HQ, luring

while Stratford, the home of the 2012 London Olympics,

other media tech companies to the area.

has seen significant regeneration and is set to be a major mixed use scheme. The connectivity of both submarkets is


set to be enhanced with the arrival of Crossrail in 2018. The City core – Mansion House, Bank and Liverpool

Street – mainly attracts occupiers from the banking and finance sector who on average will pay in the low £60s for grade-A space. However, we have seen media tech demand


West Hampstead, Clapham and Finsbury Park all

fall outside of Central London but are still connected to the

start to filter out of the ‘tech belt’ to more central locations.

tube network. The office supply in these largely residential

This diversification will help shield the City of London from

areas is small, and tends to appeal to small local occupiers,

any sector-specific shocks.

hence why rents are generally lower. I KG


- may / june 2017 - 33

COMMERCIAL PROPERTY TUBE MAP Rental values per square foot for office space across London can vary hugely, dependent on location. BNP Paribas Real Estate surveys the scene



Watford Junction

Chalfont & Latimer



Rickmansworth West Ruislip Hillingdon





Ruislip Gardens

Northwood Hills

Ruislip Manor



Sudbury Hill


Sudbury Town

Northwick Park

West Harrow

South Kenton North Wembley Wembley Central Stonebridge Park Harlesden Willesden Junction

South Harrow

South Ruislip

Headstone Lane


Hanger Lane

East White Acton City

North Ealing West Acton


South Ealing Northfields Boston Manor Osterley

Dollis Hill Kilburn

Brondesbury Park



Shepherd’s Bush

Turnham Stamford Ravenscourt West Green Brook Park Kensington West Brompton

Hounslow West



Parsons Green


Heathrow Terminal 4

Heathrow Terminal 5



Putney Bridge

Earl’s Court

High Street Kensington Hyde Park Corner

Chancery Lane


Covent Garden

Charing Cross



St. James’s Park

Temple Embankment





Imperial Wharf

Southwark Lambeth North

River Thames

Elephant & C



Clapham Junction

Wandsworth Road



Clapham High Street Clapham North Clapham Common Clapham South

Balham Tooting Bec

Tooting Broadway Colliers Wood

South Wimbledon

34 - info - may / june 2017




Piccadilly Circus




Leicester Mansion Square House










Russell Square

Tottenham Court Road


Sloane Square

South Kensington

Euston Square


Marble Arch

Gloucester Road


King’s Cross St. Pancras


Goodge Street

Oxford Circus


East Putney

Wimbledon Park

£75.00 £65.00 Bond Street

Camden Road


Warren Street

Fulham Broadway

Hatton Cross

Great Baker Portland Street Street

Regent’s Park


Kentish Town West

Mornington Crescent


Edgware Road


Ke To

Camden Town

Finchley Road Swiss Cottage St. John’s Wood

£55.00 Edgware Marylebone Road


Gospel Oak

Chalk Farm


Barons Court

Belsize Park



Kensington (Olympia)


Finchley Road & Frognal

West Hampstead

Notting Lancaster Hill Gate Gate

Holland Park

Hampstead Heath


Hounslow Central


Heathrow Terminals 1, 2, 3

Golders Green

Willesden Green

North Acton


Brent Cross


Wembley Park


Hendon Central


Ladbroke Grove Latimer Road

Park Royal




Kenton Preston Road

Kilburn Park Maida Vale Warwick Avenue Royal Oak Westbourne Park


Ealing Broadway

Burnt Oak

Stanmore Canons Park

Kensal Rise Brondesbury Kensal Green Kilburn South Queen’s Park High Road Hampstead





Hatch End

Harrow & Pinner Wealdstone North Harrow

Eastcote Rayners Lane


Carpenders Park

Moor Park







Watford High Street




Denmark H Brixton


High Barnet


Wood Green

East Finchley

mpstead Heath



Gospel Oak

Manor House

Seven Sisters


Kentish Holloway Road Town Caledonian Road

Kentish Town West

Camden Road


Caledonian Road & Barnsbury

en Town


King’s Cross St. Pancras

Woodford South Woodford

Tottenham Hale


Blackhorse Road


Euston Square

Walthamstow Central

Chancery Lane


Shoreditch High Street


St. Paul’s


Tower Gateway

Fenchurch Street


£55.00 Bermondsey London Bridge

Canada Water

Heron Quays South Quay

Surrey Quays

Langdon Park East India

Harold Wood

Hainault Fairlop Barkingside Newbury Park

Gidea Park Romford


Wanstead Leytonstone Wanstead Park


Seven Kings



Manor Park

Upminster Bridge Hornchurch Elm Park Dagenham East


Stratford Woodgrange Park Stratford High Street Abbey Road

Emerson Park

Chadwell Heath

Gants Hill

Forest Gate Maryland

Dagenham Heathway Becontree Upney Barking

East Ham Upton Park Plaistow

West Ham

Star Lane Canning Royal Town Victoria


Emirates Royal Docks

Custom House for ExCeL Prince Regent

West Silvertown

Royal Albert Beckton Park Cyprus

North Emirates Greenwich Greenwich Peninsula

Gallions Reach

Pontoon Dock


London City Airport

Crossharbour Mudchute

King George V

Island Gardens

Lambeth North


Queens Road Peckham Peckham Rye


Devons Road

Shenfield Brentwood

Grange Hill

West India Quay

Canary Wharf


Elephant & Castle

Roding Valley Chigwell






River Thames



Westferry Poplar


Buckhurst Hill

Bow Road

All Saints


Monument Tower Hill


Stepney Green



Cannon Street

Pudding Mill Lane

Bow Church




Leicester Mansion Square House

Aldgate East

Liverpool Street


Covent Garden


Bethnal Green Bethnal Mile Green End



Charing Cross

Cambridge Heath


Old Street



Homerton Hackney Wick




Hackney Central

Stratford International

London Fields



Russell Square

Hackney Downs

Haggerston Angel

m d

Bruce Grove South Tottenham

Dalston Junction


ge et

Wood Street

Stamford Hill Walthamstow £30.00 Leyton Queen’s Road Finsbury Midland Road Stoke Park Newington Leytonstone High Road St. James Rectory Highbury & Street Road Islington Dalston Leyton Kingsland Clapton



Highams Park

Upper Holloway Tufnell Park

ington scent

Harringay Green Lanes

Crouch Hill



White Hart Lane

Turnpike Lane

Theydon Bois


Turkey Street Southbury Silver Street

Bounds Green

Finchley Central


Edmonton Green

Arnos Grove

West Finchley


Theobalds Grove

Bush Hill Park

Totteridge & Whetstone Southgate Woodside Park


Enfield Town



Cutty Sark for Maritime Greenwich New Cross Gate

New Cross

Brockley Honor Oak Park Forest Hill

Denmark Hill

Greenwich Deptford Bridge

Woolwich Arsenal

Elverson Road Lewisham



Penge West Anerley Crystal Palace

Norwood Junction


West Croydon

Source: BNP Paribas Real Estate. Rents are average ‘Grade A’ rents per square foot. Grade A refers to desirable up-to-date modern office space.


- may / june 2017 - 35



For many years, London had two dominant business districts: the City of London and the West End, both located in the heart of the city. Where are London’s future office hotspots and why should you pay attention to them, asks Thomas Grounds, Partner in Strutt & Parker’s Research Team

ondon’s meteoric growth in population and employment in

remaining in their traditional business areas. For example, global

recent decades has driven a structural change in its business

media giant Havas chose King’s Cross as the site to consolidate

geography, thanks to significant investment in the city’s

its 24 UK agencies under one roof; as opposed to a traditional

transport system, such as the new £15bn Crossrail line. Office tenants have become ever-more focused on the public transport accessibility of their locations, often at the expense of

area for media occupiers, such as Soho in the West End. What are the up-and-coming areas of London where office developments are booming?

WHITE CITY Centred on the redevelopment of the Television Centre and White City Place, this resurgent location just a few miles from the West End and Mayfair is ideal for workers due to its handy transport links and great local amenities. White City Place and Television Centre are the focus of a new office and residential development. Combined, the developments will offer over 1 million sq ft of office space. The Westfield Shopping Centre is not far, which will also include plenty of housing and other amenities for local workers looking to avoid the commute. Transport links: The Central line will have you in the centre, City or Liverpool Street in no time at all.

ALDGATE What was once a thriving business destination close to the West End and City has suffered in recent years. But expect a revival here, and in nearby Whitechapel, over the coming years with a number of boutique commercial developments in the pipeline. Whitechapel Central is a mixed-use development offering 38,000 sq ft of commercial space, with flexible offices for SMEs. One Braham in Aldgate offers a similarly niche office development. There are also two universities here and a mixture of cultural offerings. Offices are also perfectly placed for the City. Transport links: With Whitechapel on the Crossrail line, expect more developments in the area over the coming years as the new underground service opens.

NINE ELMS The new Nine Elms development will boost the business community currently found in the neighbouring areas of Vauxhall and Battersea. The new properties at Battersea Power Station will provide the perfect homes for those working in the new offices. Tech giant Apple and a number of embassies are already geared to move in. The new Nine Elms development on the South Bank will bring a massive 6.5m sq ft of new commercial space. It is said to be the biggest commercial development since Canary Wharf. Nearly half of this (3m sq ft) will be for offices. Two-thirds of it should be delivered within the next three years. Transport links: On top of Vauxhall’s underground connections, the Northern Line will be extended, providing new stops at Nine Elms and Battersea Power Station.

36 - info - may / june 2017


TOTTENHAM HALE At the northern edge of the city is the Tottenham Hale redevelopment scheme. Add to that a new transport hub and lower costs for offices than you’d find somewhere more central, and it is easy to see why this will be an attractive spot for businesses. The redevelopment aims to change the face of the area with hundreds of new offices. And any business taking one of these will be given a 30 per cent business rates discount for three years. In addition, the leafy green spaces of north London sit alongside the famous White Hart Lane stadium, itself being redeveloped. Transport links: The station has direct connections to Stansted Airport and links to Stratford City. With more investment expected in the station and plans for a stop on Crossrail 2, it will be easy to get to the City and beyond from Tottenham Hale.

EARLS COURT Adjacent to the desirable districs of Chelsea, Fulham and Kensington, more than £1bn is being ploughed into Earls Court's regeneration by developer Capco. Covering 77 acres of land, the Earls Court Masterplan is based on the creation of four urban villages and a high street, a concepted devised by internationally-renowned architect Sir Terry Farrell. In addition to 7,500 new homes, the scheme intends to provide offices and work spaces to support 10,000 jobs. Transport links: Ideally located on the District and Piccadilly lines – and just a stone's throw from the Overground and Circle line – Earls Court allows easy access both into central London and directly to Heathrow Airport.

CANARY WHARF Traditionally known as a financial district with limited retail and leisure facilities, nor much residential accommodation, the area is now seeing a wider mix of development take place. Employees and residents of the area can expect a much-expanded range of food, drink and leisure options soon. Crossrail Place is a five-storey mixed-use development sitting above the new Crossrail station. Construction is also underway on a separate new mixed-use development on the east side of the district. Transport links: Canary Wharf is set to benefit greatly from the additional connectivity provided by Crossrail (on top of the existing Jubilee Line and Docklands Light Railways links).

PADDINGTON Thanks to the Paddington Central redevelopment and forthcoming Crossrail stop, an area that had become a bit rundown is once again booming. Paddington Central has revamped this once-forgotten area: today there are great built-in retail and leisure facilities providing everything you need on your office’s doorstep. But there is plenty more space to build on. The Paddington Opportunity Area makes up the largest development area within Westminster, so expect more new offices soon. Transport links: Paddington’s excellent rail connections through its main station across the UK and to Heathrow will be boosted further with a new Crossrail stop.

OLD OAK COMMON Looking further into the future, Old Oak Common in west London another place to watch, with its regeneration set to deliver 24,000 homes and 55,000 jobs. The Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC) has been formed as the Local Planning Authority and regeneration agency for a 650 hectare site, which is seeking to drive the development of a major commercial and residential district on the back of the enhanced transport links. Transport links: By 2026, Old Oak Common is set to be the site of a significant transport interchange between Crossrail and the new High Speed 2 rail line. I TG


- may / june 2017 - 37


Shop 'til you drop London is among the most expensive places in the world for retailers, but what are the key trends affecting the retail property market? INFO investigates


he retail industry has a lot on its plate this year: the prospect

Director at L’Occitane (whose UK Managing Director, Alain

of higher inflation, a decline in consumer confidence and

Harfouche, is set to Co-chair the new Retail Forum launching

spending, the effect Brexit might have, the rise in business

at the Chamber this May). ‘It can be a challenge, particularly

rates... each of these uncertain factors has the potential to be

when combined with the Government’s introduction of a high

detrimental to retailers.

increase in business rates.’

And yet, retailers have proven to be remarkably resilient and

Indeed, retailers in the West End will, on average, see

continue to report increased growth. Particularly in London,

increases in rateable values of around 100 per cent – and this

despite famously high rents, the retail sector has bucked the

can increase to up to 245 per cent for retailers on Bond Street.

trend. Indeed, sales volumes in the first quarter of 2017 grew

While many of these increases will be capped and spread over

at the fastest pace since September 2015, according to the

several years, it is still a significant added cost to any business.

CBI’s latest retail survey. ‘There is a strange relationship, at the moment, between the historic perceived negativity that

Strong landlords

uncertainty causes and the reality of how that manifests itself

London being London, appetite for acquiring retail remains

for retailers and on the market,’ says Rob Hargreaves, Director

strong. Unlike any other global city, in London the power

of Central London Retail at BNP Paribas Real Estate.

remains firmly with landlords, rather than with tenants, due

For example, the uncertainty around Brexit led to a

to the ever-present demand for prime retail space. Landlords

significant devaluation of the pound last summer, which ended

can be selective about which retail brand they choose to rent

up being beneficial to many London retailers – most notably in

their properties to.

the high-end luxury market.

'A quirk of the London market is that opportunities don’t

'The majority of our occupational clients have seen an

always go to the occupier who can pay the highest rent; it’s also

improvement of trade because of the weaker pound. Although,

about the type of business,’ says Hargreaves, explaining that a

of course, as quickly as it comes, it can go and international

significant proportion of central London retail property is held

brands are always considering wider continental and global

by large estates. ‘Large landlords want to curate a tenant mix,

factors. It has been more a case of enjoying it while it lasts – not

so are more flexible on the terms that they can offer, to sign

something to make long term strategic decisions off the back

with the right brand. Of course, the flipside of this is that they

of,' he says.

can, if they want, set much bigger rents for those that they

Central London is not an easy market for retailers, but

otherwise would not have desired.’

having a bricks-and-mortar presence in the capital is important

Taylor has seen this happen, too: ‘Because it is such a

to many brands. ‘To conquer the world, you must first conquer

competitive landscape, landlords look at their properties’

London,’ says Victor d’Allancé, General Manager UK and Ireland

adjacencies to ensure that the street does not end up full of

for high-end audio start-up Devialet. ‘Yes, it is very expensive

brands from the same sector. They like a mix.’

and highly-competitive, but the whole world's eyes are on what sells here; it is where trends are created.’ The appeal of London is at the heart of why the city is so expensive for retail units. The figures truly are eye-watering: prime retail rent is around £1,400 per sq ft in Covent Garden, rising to £2,225 per sq ft on Bond Street (see map, right). ‘There has been a significant growth in London rents in the last five years,’ notes Jamie Taylor, Retail, Property and Wholesale

This is not an issue for L’Occitane, however, as the brand is well respected. ‘If you’re an esteemed brand, landlords and developers like you. They know that you will deliver a good experience and product.’ The shopping experience is more important than ever, Taylor adds: ‘In this changing world of multi-channel, retail has to evolve and focus on the customer’s experience.’ L’Occitane is therefore currently undertaking a major

Unlike any other global city, in London the power remains firmly with landlords, rather than with tenants, due to the ever-present demand for prime retail space 38 - info - may / june 2017


programme to refurbish its shops. ‘We have a premium product

property law is highly complex. You do need to hire an adviser

and excellent people so we are modernising our bricks and

and a solicitor in order to get the best deal.’

mortar network to reflect that and bring all of our stores to the level that customers expect.’

Entering the market For brands looking to enter London, the key is to spend time

Taylor adds that it is also essential to fully understand your demographic. ‘Do your homework and also take direction from external agents in order to understand your target customers – who are they and where do they go? What are the right channels?’

immersing themselves in the market, says Hargreaves. They

You need to ‘test, test and test again’ continues d'Allancé, in

must understand the nuances of the different neighbourhoods

order to understand where to go. ‘You also look at what other

of London first: ‘It’s about getting to know the sub-markets,

retailers are present in the area, as which brands surround you

sub-sectors and where the footfall is, what the demographics of

can have an important psychological effect on the consumer,’

the office population are, what are the routes between transport

he explains.

hubs and so on which may not be immediately obvious and will vary.’ This means taking professional advice, says d'Allancé. ‘You can’t do it on your own in London as the market and commercial

Most of all, be prepared to move quickly, he concludes: ‘Retailers in London must have the capacity to be very reactive. The competition for premium locations is huge, so the market moves very quickly. You can’t afford to sit back and wait.’ I JH

To conquer the world, you must first conquer London. Yes, it is very expensive and highlycompetitive, but the whole world's eyes are on what sells here; it is where trends are created HIGHEST-ACHIEVED RENTS

Source: BNP Paribas Real Estate. Rental values refer to highest-achieved rents per square foot in Q4 2016. ZA refers to the proportion of the 'Zone A' area, at the front of a retail premises, which attracts the highest rents as it is closest to the street.


- may / june 2017 - 39

Is the long-term lease dead? Businesses are increasingly unwilling to commit to a long-term lease. Geraldine Fabre, Partner at Sherrards Solicitors, considers why and whether it is a positive development


offices that existed in the nineties.

usinesses looking to rent commercial property have always faced the

2008 recession

dilemma between long and short

Businesses have learned lessons

term leases.

from the downturn, where some

Companies want flexibility and the ability to grow or downsize

businesses went bust after a

as their business evolves. As a

matter of months of signing

result, over the last 10 years, the

conventional leases.

market has substantially changed,

Legal complexity

with short-term leases becoming

The oddities of UK property law,

increasingly common.

which make it complex and expensive

Are the days where the landlords

to understand and negotiate a 50-page

had their ways of ‘negotiating’ 25-year commercial leases long gone? Is this the end

long and unique lease, do not always

of those conventional leases?

compare well with entering into a licence

Companies with significant growth potential now have more opportunities to rent premises in the short term than ever before. There has been a steady decrease in the

to share premises, particularly for start-ups and SMEs that need space that fits their needs immediately.

term length of leases, to an average of a little more than six

Break clauses

years. This recent shift is due to a number of factors:

Many leases now contain a break clause option that allows

Shorter leases (five to six years) are easier to enter into

the tenant to terminate the lease on a rent review date. This is particularly important in a market with falling rents.

The formalities surrounding lease agreements were simplified

Stamp duty

in 2004, with the result that landlords are confident that they

The longer the commercial property lease, the more stamp

will, at the end of the term, be able to recover possession or

duty that is potentially payable by tenants, which increases the

negotiate a renewal, thereby freeing up more properties to be

strain on businesses’ working capital requirements.

leased on those terms.

Collaborative/disruptive economy Commercial real estate companies face challenges from new competitors that provide dynamically configurable

Most large players in the industry have accepted the notion that a modern-day business being tied to a long-term lease no longer has the enormous benefit that was once thought to be. However, conventional leases still have their use. This is

spaces and flexible leases. As a result, the industry has been

because the flexibility of short-term commercial leases also

forced to rethink its approach toward space design, lease

means precarity: tenants may not be able to renew their lease

administration, and lease duration.

if they wish to stay longer.

Online retailing, on-demand manufacturing and innovation

control of its environment (space, layout, interior design and

These trends, most noticeable in the retail and industrial

years, is more likely to prefer investing in a medium to long-

markets, require businesses to evolve in a more flexible and

term commercial lease and negotiate break options.

immediate environment (particularly in the context of Brexit).

Serviced offices and managed spaces These types of office spaces no longer look like the shabby

A business, which is sufficiently established and requires branding) for a period of ‘predicable growth’ of four to six

As Apple, Facebook, Google and others take up their new homes in London, flexible arrangements are here to stay, but it is not the end of the conventional or long term commercial leases just yet. I GF

Companies want flexibility and the ability to grow or downsize as their business evolves 40 - info - may / june 2017


Caveat Emptor: 5

tips for tenants

Richard Stapylton-Smith, Commercial Property Partner at Payne Hicks Beach Solicitors, explains why the principle of 'caveat emptor' – buyer beware – applies in full to tenants taking a UK commercial lease


hile French

office leases are now granted

commercial leases

with this right being excluded.

are highly regulated

Tenants should resist this

and, to a considerable degree,

trend and insist that leases

standardised by French statute,

are granted with security of

this is not the case in the UK.


The tenant of a UK commercial lease must

4. Tenant's fit-out

therefore be fully aware, prior

A UK commercial lease will

to signing any lease, of their

normally require a tenant to

responsibilities given the lack

obtain landlord's consent to

of protection under statute

alterations that it wishes to

available once it has been

carry out to the premises. As

signed. Here are five key things

soon as the heads of terms

to look out for before taking a

are approved and lawyers

UK commercial lease.

instructed, tenants should promptly appoint their fit-

1. Heads of terms

out team, who should then

The heads of terms set out the

draw up the tenant's fit-out

principal terms of the proposed

proposals and submit these

letting and will be settled

swiftly to their landlord's

between the landlord's letting agent and

conditioning and lift reports. However,

agents for approval. The tenant's fit-

the tenant or the tenant's search agent.

since these reports will not be

out team should, at the same time,

Once settled and signed off, in practice

addressed to the tenant, the tenant

check that the utility services serving

it will be difficult for either the landlord

will have no right to sue either the

the premises (such as broadband) have

or the tenant to revisit any of the terms

landlord or the person who produced

sufficient capacity to meet the tenant’s

specified in the heads of terms. Our tip

the reports, should the information

operational needs.

is therefore to ensure that the heads

be incorrect. Tenants are well advised,

of terms are reviewed by professionals

therefore, to commission a full building

5. Rent review

before they are finalised.

survey on the state and condition of the

In the UK, rents are normally reviewed

premises and of the mechanical and

to the open market rent every five

electrical services prior to committing to

years, upwards only. The revised

the lease.

rent is normally agreed between the

2. Due diligence A landlord is not legally required to give any assurances or guarantees

landlord and the tenant and, if not

concerning the premises it is intending

3. Security of tenure

to let. Under the lease, the tenant will

The Landlord and Tenant Act 1954

to an expert or an arbitrator who will

normally be responsible for repair and

provides that a tenant under a UK

determine the revised rent based on

maintenance of not just the structure,

commercial lease will normally have the

various assumptions and disregards

roof and foundations of the property,

right to renew its lease at the end of the

provided for in the wording of the

but also the plant and machinery within

initial term at the then open market rent

lease. Unlike in France, this rent review

the premises.

for an additional term of up to 15 years,

mechanism is not at all controlled by

but otherwise on the same terms as the

statute and accordingly tenants are

original lease.

entirely reliant on their lawyers having

A landlord is legally obliged to provide an energy performance certificate and will normally provide

However, there is a growing trend

agreed between them, is then referred

properly settled the wording of the rent

copies of its title, asbestos surveys,

for landlords to object to such right

review provisions contained in their

electrical and gas certificates, air

being automatically given and most

lease. I RSS


- may / june 2017 - 41




Why is the workplace getting smaller? eOffice's Sandra Ramirez dissects the trend and offers insight into why a smaller office could benefit your business too


here is a particularly notable trend in today’s business

phenomenon, pioneered by entrepreneurs and freelancers.

culture toward the ‘shrinking’ of office spaces.

However, it is now being adopted by more and more

For the last several years, this pattern has not only

made an impact in the physical workplace, but also on how people work and are being managed, the technologies that

organisations that encourage flexible and collaborative working models to motivate and increase employee productivity. There is a number of growing specialist providers offering

enable their everyday tasks, and how each company employs

flexible solutions across the globe. The first official coworking

the workplace for its own ends.

space opened its doors in 2005 in San Francisco. Spiral Muse was

There are three primary reasons why offices are getting smaller and evolving into more flexible and collaborative spaces.

New generations and technologies encouraging agile working Generational changes in the workplace, combined with new advancements in technology, are inspiring fascinating changes

a non-profit co-op offering only eight workstations with free wifi, community lunches, meditation breaks, massages, and bike tours. Although Spiral Muse closed after one year, the coworking field continued on an upward trajectory. Indeed, new chains have continued to emerge, offering slick operations, such as WeWork, which opened its first location in New York City in 2010 and is currently valued at approximately $17bn. Today there are over 13,000 coworking spaces operating

in the way we work. Cellular offices are being replaced by

worldwide and the number of individuals using them is

more flexible spaces that inspire a more agile way of working,

growing steadily and is predicted to surpass the one million

encouraging collaboration and using technology to keep up

mark by the end of 2017. Big global companies, such as Philips,

with today's fast-paced society.

IBM and Lego have also implemented the coworking model to

Currently reshaping the workplace is the so-called millennial generation, born between 1980 and 2000. Driven

encourage innovation and creativity. Naturally, there are some who find that the disadvantages,

by vocation, flexibility and work-life balance, these individuals

such as lack of privacy and dedicated space are not worth the

are estimated to make up 50 per cent of the global workforce

trade-off. Nonetheless, this trend plays a significant role in the

by 2020.

evolution of the workplace.

By changing the layout, allocating less space per person, and no assigned seats, it is possible to fit as much as three times the number of employees This generation has shown to be more productive in

Reducing business costs

collaboratively designed and flexible working spaces. Their

One of the easiest ways to cut business costs is by downsizing

relationship with technology is influencing work styles and

your office space. Some might be concerned that a smaller

communication methods. Simultaneously, their expectations

office will negatively impact productivity. However, smaller

that working environments be interactive and technology-

workspaces can also be beneficial to work performance. An

enabled are leading to a change in today’s business culture.

increased density in the workplace has been found to improve

We are living in a new era where a growing number of companies, large and small are exploring to incorporate

interaction which, consequently, boosts productivity. Many businesses started moving to a more collaborative

the coworking concept to maximise the potential of their

office culture that has had a side benefit of space savings. By

businesses. Initially the trend emerged as a start-up

changing the layout, allocating less space per person, and no

42 - info - may / june 2017


eOffice was the first operator in Europe to offer open-plan furnished workplaces. The firm runs three coworking spaces in London (above) and manages an international network of over 260 independent coworking spaces

assigned seats, it is possible to fit as much as three times the number of employees. There are other factors at play in the push to make

Over the past decade, there has been a big interest in workplace trends that boost productivity and collaboration between employees. Informal meeting spaces and

workspaces smaller. Employees are in and out of the office

comfortable common areas where workers can plug in

more often than they used to be. According to corporate real

laptops are becoming a standard feature in most office

estate association CoreNet Global, around 60 per cent of a

spaces, and aesthetically pleasing aspects are now

company’s desks are vacant at some point of the day, because

considered ‘a given’.

workers are either on the road or in meetings. Technology also plays an essential role to understand

The new trend today is personalisation. Instead of relying on seasonal colours or trendy furniture selections,

why offices are getting smaller. The use of laptops and mobile

companies now increasaingly desire a workplace that

phones allows employees to become increasingly mobile,

communicates their own DNA, a space that translates their

making it possible to eliminate some seldom-used desks or turn

work styles, strategies, business needs, culture and core

them into smaller workstations or shared spaces.

values into a physical setting.

Workplace design to boost wellbeing and productivity

and colour selection. however. Air quality, natural light,

According to the American Society of Interior Designers,

important role for the office's capacity to enhance employee

physical workplace design is one of the most important factors

productivity, increase staff satisfaction and also to reduce

to affect productivity and job satisfaction.

absenteeism. I SR

Workplace design does not refer only to space planning thermal comfort, acoustics and ergonomics all play an


- may / june 2017 - 43

When it comes to commercial property, is it better to buy or to rent, asks Christophe Chambon, Director of French Touch Properties


ith the existing sky-high prices

only way you can leave early is by finding

according to Savills (who are known for



another tenant to take on the remainder

being conservative).

property stock, deciding to

of your lease which, in many cases, can

Should the market go down, you

buy outright a new office, restaurant or

be difficult to do. Most leases overflow

always have the option to sell or let the

shop is not an easy decision to make.

with restrictions on sub-letting and how

offices, although all experts agree that

Should you invest and buy a property for

buildings can be used.

the chance of a collapse in the London


the long term? Or is it a better choice to

It may be possible to negotiate a

rent a property, whether through a short

shorter lease if the property is not in a

or a long-term lease?

market is extremely slim.

prime location, but in all cases, particular

3. Do you need control?

While there is no one-size-fits-all

attention must be given when negotiating


answer – as it inevitably depends entirely

the break clause in advance. The most

established, with strong brands, and

on your type of business, financial

flexible solution is a fully-managed office.

may need more or full control over their

situation, plans and a multitude of other

While it involves a slightly higher cost,

premises. In this case, buying is certainly

factors – there are some considerations

everything is included and you retain

the best option as you will be free to do

you can think about when making your

your options for the future.

what you want with the layout or the


1. Does your business need flexibility?

2. Are you looking for the best return on investment





decoration. This is not the case if you choose to rent fully-managed offices, where your

Do you have solid finances and a stable

freedom will be very restricted or even

Are you a start-up, unsure about how

business? Are you in a situation where

non-existent. But for many businesses,

quickly your business will take off? Or

you are confident about the long term

this is not a problem at all.

are you concerned about the location

and can easily project yourself for five

of your premises and wish to be able to

years or more?

Of course, there is also a happy middle ground, in taking a long lease on

relocate easily? Or perhaps you are not

In this situation, buying is certainly

a commercial property. This gives you

established yet financially and are not

the best option, as you can have access

more control over the layout, furnishing

in a situation to commit yourself on the

to commercial mortgages with fixed or

branding and more, but everything must

long term?

capped repayments, which offer you

also be negotiated with the landlord,

Buying a property does not offer

good visibility as you do not have to

which may or may not end up being

much flexibility. It requires you to

worry about your landlord making big

difficult. I CC

tie-up a large sum of money in the

rent increases (although you do need to

deposit required when you take on a

invest a large amount of cash upfront).

commercial mortgage (25 to 50 per cent

Using the services of a good, specialised

of the property price depending on your

broker is highly recommended to get the

business profitability history and cash

best deal.

flow) – or even more if you are buying outright, with cash.

Your premises become an asset and you can generate value as the market

Renting allows you to use your cash

increases. The market has stabilised

for other projects or to invest elsewhere.

after many years of steady growth – of

Of course, you remain committed to a

more than 15 per cent in London in 2015

five to ten year lease and, very often, the

– but it should take off again in 2018,

44 - info - may / june 2017

The market has stabilised after many years of steady growth – of more than 15 per cent in London in 2015 – but it should take off again in 2018



Why pay more?

Does it make good financial sense to pay two or three times the cost to rent an office in central London, rather than further afield? Frédéric de la Borderie, Founder and Director of Turenne Consulting, a specialist consultancy in real estate and educational projects, does the math


n contrast with continental Europe, around 70 per cent of


UK business occupiers lease their premises. This ‘tenancy

The regional markets have strong graduate pools and young

relationship’ offers companies the flexibility to compare

talent are becoming more minded to stay in regions rather

costs with alternative business locations and make opportune

than join the brain drain to London. Lifestyle considerations,

trade-offs at a time of margin-restricted activities and

including housing costs, are important, especially with

digital disruption.

advancements in digital, media and technology.

While London has historically seen the lion’s share of commercial real estate leasing (and investment) activity, this

The regional renaissance

dominance is being increasingly challenged by emerging

Improvements in governance, amenities and new build: £5.8bn

regional hubs around the UK. This upward trend should

was invested in 2016 by overseas investors into the UK’s

continue in the short term – at least until the end of Brexit

regional commercial property market, which has grown from

negotiations, when the dust will have settled.

27 per cent in 2015 to almost a third today.

The average prime rent level in London is £70 per sq ft, but great disparity prevails. Indeed, the difference between

City regions

10,000 sq ft of prime office real estate in Mayfair or St James’s

Cities like Manchester and Birmingham are also pulling in

and the same amount of space in Spitalfields can be over an

businesses from their wider metropolitan areas, as city

additional £1m per year.

centres become more important. Other factors include

When utilities, business rates, transport fares and staff

improved transport links (such as the HS2 project), high-quality

costs are added on top, the final monthly bill can pave the way

connectivity and burgeoning niche clusters (such as biotech,

for companies’ headquarters or corporate activities to relocate

advanced engineering and high-tech around Cambridge and

outside of London and into the UK's regional hubs, such as

Oxford). I FB

was the case with HSBC’s recent move to Birmingham or Freshfields' move to Manchester. Over the last decade, these regional hubs have emerged as business hotspots, not just for local or domestic companies but also attracting international occupiers, as demonstrated at the recent MIPIM real-estate exhibition, held



Frank, believes that this regional market success is due to five



key parameters:



in Cannes last March. Lee Elliott, Head of Research at Knight

Cost advantage

Birmingham £33

The cost gap between London and regional locations has hit

Edinburgh (Scotland)


an all-time high. Today, £70 will buy twice as much space in





Cardiff (Wales)






Belfast (Northern Ireland)


Manchester or Edinburgh and over three times more in Belfast or Cardiff than in London.

Business process re-engineering Business structures are being disrupted, creating processbased functions that can be more appropriately relocated while client-facing operations remain in London.


- may / june 2017 - 45


SO M ERSE T H O USE, LO N D O N Perfume: A Sensory Journey Through Contemporary Scent


France may be the undisputed world leader in perfume, but new, innovative perfumers are challenging the status quo. From the self-taught to the classically trained, Somerset House’s Perfume exhibition, held in association with Coty, explores how new perfumers use their palette of ingredients to construct original and outrageous signature scents that tantalise all of the senses. Seeking out visceral, surprising and sometimes unsavoury smells such as smoke and sweat, perfumes evoke unexpected places or moments, rather than simply masking our own odours. Starting with a brief overview of the origins of modern perfumery and an introduction to the historical innovators of the industry, Perfume takes visitors on a journey through a series of interconnected rooms in which you can fully immerse yourself in the stories of ten signature scents. No longer anonymous figures working behind the scenes for large brands; the selected perfumers have opened up to celebrate their craft. Providing insights into processes, engaging in discussions and even taking inspiration from customers, they have offered a much more accessible approach to perfumery that’s unlike anything seen before. I 21 June to 17 September 2017 / Open daily 10am to 6pm / £11

T H E N AT I O N A L GA L L ERY, LO N D O N Michelangelo & Sebastiano Michelangelo and Sebastiano met in Rome in 1511, just as the former was finishing the Sistine Chapel ceiling. Their meeting sparked a remarkable 25-year friendship and partnership; yielding outstanding works of art that neither could have created without the other. The National Gallery’s exhibition features a number of exceptional artworks, including Michelangelo’s The Risen Christ (1515) and Sebastiano’s The Raising of Lazarus (1519, pictured right) among others. Comprising paintings, drawings, sculpture, and letters documenting correspondence between the artists, this groundbreaking exhibition presents works of striking force and originality. I 15 March to 25 June 2017 / Open daily from 10am

The Raising of Lazarus, Sebastiano del Piombo, incorporating designs by Michelangelo, 1517-19

46 - info - may / june 2017

© The National Gallery, London

to 6pm, until 10pm on Friday / £16



Widely regarded as one of Japan’s most famous and influential artists, Katsushika Hokusai produced works of astonishing quality right up until his death at the age of 90. This new exhibition will lead you on an artistic journey through the last 30 years of Hokusai’s life – a time when he produced some of his most memorable masterpieces, including his iconic Great Wave. Explore Hokusai’s personal beliefs and gain a fascinating insight into the artist’s spiritual and artistic quest. The exhibition includes prints, paintings and illustrated books, many of which are on loan from Japan, Europe and the USA. This is a once-in-alifetime opportunity to see these extraordinary works gathered together in one place. I 25 May to 13 August 2017 / Open daily from 10am to 5.30pm / £12

© The Trustees of the British Museum. On display from 25 May - 13 August

Hokusai: Beyond the Great Wave

Under the wave off Kanagawa (The Great Wave) from Thirty-six views of Mt Fuji

VI C TO RI A & A L B ERT M USEU M , LO N D O N The Pink Floyd Exhibition: Their Mortal Remains

®Pink Floyd Music Ltd

Marking 50 years since Pink Floyd released their first single, and over 200 million record sales later, the V&A’s exhibition is the first major international retrospective of the band. Visitors will embark on a spectacular audiovisual journey through Pink Floyd’s unique and extraordinary worlds, chronicling the music, design and staging of the band from their debut in the 1960s to the present day. Featuring more than 350 artefacts, including never-before-seen material, highlights include set and construction pieces from some of Pink Floyd’s most innovative and legendary band covers, instruments, original designs, handwritten lyrics, psychedelic prints and more. I 13 May to 1 October 2017 / Open daily from 10am to 5pm, until 9.30pm on Friday / £24

©Benedict Drew. Courtesy of the Artist and Matt’s Gallery London

Art Night 2017 Follow a trail of art across London’s East End during London’s very own all-night contemporary arts festival, Art Night, held on 1 July this year. This free festival of contemporary art held in extraordinary spaces is the second edition in a series of annual events which move to a different part of London each year. Last year, the festival took place in Westminster, with 10 art projects popping up in 10 unusual and iconic venues for one night only: from a disused Underground station to Somerset House and a luxury flat. Curated by Fatos Ustek and the Whitechapel Gallery, Art Night 2017 will feature installation artist Anne Hardy, French dancer Mélanie Manchot and many more. I 1 July 2017 / One night only / Free admission


- may / june 2017 - 47

© Photo by Charlotte Jopling. Courtesy of the Artist and Matt’s Gallery London





by Delphine

by Mathias

de Vigan Published by Bloomsbury Publishing Translated by George Miller Original title: D’après une histoire vraie


Published by Fitzcarraldo Translated by Charlotte


Original title: Boussole

As night falls over Vienna, Franz Ritter, an insomniac musicologist, Overwhelmed by the huge success of her latest novel,

takes to his sickbed with an unspecified illness and spends a

exhausted and unable to begin writing her next book, Delphine

restless night drifting between dreams and memories, revisiting

meets L. L. is the kind of impeccable, sophisticated woman who

the important chapters of his life: his ongoing fascination for

fascinates Delphine; a woman with smooth hair and perfectly

the Middle East and his numerous travels to Istanbul, Aleppo,

filed nails, and a gift for saying the right thing. Delphine finds

Damascus, and Tehran, as well as the various writers, artists,

herself irresistibly drawn to her, their friendship growing as

musicians, academics, orientalists, and explorers who populate

their meetings, notes and texts increase. But as L. begins to

this vast dreamscape. At the centre of these memories is his

dress like Delphine, and, in the face of Delphine's crippling

elusive, unrequited love for Sarah, a fiercely intelligent French

inability to write, L. even offers to answer her emails, and their

scholar caught in the intricate tension between Europe and

relationship rapidly intensifies. L. becomes more and more

the Middle East. An immersive, nocturnal, musical novel, full of

involved in Delphine's life until she patiently takes control

generous erudition and bittersweet humour, Compass is a journey

and turns it upside down: slowly, surely, insidiously. Based on

and a declaration of admiration, a quest for the otherness inside

a True Story is a chilling novel of suspense that will leave you

us all and a hand reaching out like a bridge between West and

questioning the truth and its significance long after you have

East, yesterday and tomorrow. Winner of the 2015 Prix Goncourt,

turned the final page. I

this is Mathias Enard's most ambitious novel since Zone. I


Bonnefoy Published by Gallic Books Translated by Howard Curtis Original title: Le voyage d’Octavio



Published by Atlantic

Books Wynne Original title: L’art français de la guerre Translated by Frank

A compact but kaleidoscopic fable of Venezuela from a stunning

'It was the beginning of the Gulf War. I watched it on TV and

new voice in the magical realism tradition. 'His body might have

did little else. I was doing badly, you see. Everything was going

been hewn from a tree trunk; his heart would last for a hundred

wrong. I just awaited the end. But then I met Victorien Salagnon,

years. And, like a tree, he was one of those men who die standing

a veteran of the great colonial wars of Indochina, Vietnam and

up.' A chance meeting in the local pharmacy transforms the life of

Algeria, a commander who had led his soldiers across the

lonely, illiterate Octavio. He begins reading lessons and finds love

globe, a man with the blood of others up to his elbows. He said

and happiness for the very first time. But Octavio’s destiny lies

he would teach me to paint; he must have been the only painter

elsewhere, as he will discover on a journey into the Venezuelan

in the French Forces, but out there no one cares about such

rainforest. Shortlisted for the Goncourt first novel award, this

things. I cared, though. In return, he wanted me to write his life

short but epic fable is both a hymn to Venezuela and the magical

story. And so he talked, and I wrote, and through him I witnessed

story of an extraordinary hero. I

the rivers of blood that cut channels through France, I saw the deaths that were as numberless as they were senseless and I began finally to understand the French art of war.' I

48 - info - may / june 2017

La Chine en eaux profondes Through her latest book, La Chine en eaux profondes, HE Ms Sylvie Bermann offers her personal take of China’s place in the world


s a career diplomat, HE Ms Sylvie Berman, the French Ambassador to the UK, knows a thing or two about political machinations and their impact on

a country’s development. And nowhere is the politburo more powerful than in China, a global superpower that counts one-fifth of the world’s population. Ambassador Bermann is well placed to scrutinise the country: she first lived in China some 40 years ago, as a student in 1976, attending the Beijing Language Institute. By 1979, she was Vice-Consul at the French Consulate in Hong Kong and between 1980 and 1982 was Third Secretary and then Second Secretary at the French Embassy in China. She returned to the country in 2011 as French Ambassador – the first French woman to hold the important post. Her new book, La Chine en eaux profondes, published in French by Editions Stock, offers the Ambassador’s unique insight into what are the issues that make the country tick. Ambassador Bermann has witnessed China’s past, her present and, through her book, provides a comprehensive analysis of her future – a future that is vital for the West to understand, she writes: ‘China has entered a logic of power that we cannot contest. As China is set to increasingly become a larger part of our lives and of our mental landscapes, just as we did with the United States in the 20th century, it is in our interest to understand and therefore know her better.’ Her book eschews a chronological approach to the country’s development, however, instead dissecting the country theme by theme. Recounting stories of her own, paired with testimonies and raw reactions from others, La Chine en eaux profondes points to an optimistic future for China and its relationship with the West. This must take the form of a ‘win-win’, ‘mutually-beneficial’ cooperation. ‘It is in our interest – France’s, Europe’s and western countries in general – to have a prosperous China that is able to maintain itself as a motor of the world economy and a centre of stability in a troubled world,’ she writes. A must read for any sinophiles or, indeed, anyone who wishes to better understand China. I JH

La Chine en eaux profondes, by HE Ms Sylvie Bermann, is published by Editions Stock (€20.50).

Her Excellency Sylvie Bermann 2014-pres.: Ambassador to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland 2011-2014: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Beijing 2005-2011: Director of the United Nations and International Organisations Directorate, then

Director of the United Nations, International Organisations, Human Rights and

Francophony Directorate in the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Paris

2002-2005: French Ambassador to the EU’s Political and Security Committee, Brussels 1996-2002: Head of the Common Foreign and Security Policy Department, Political and Security Affairs Directorate,

French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Paris

1992-1996: Second Counsellor, French Permanent Mission to the United Nations, New York 1989-1992: Head of Southeast Asia Department 1987-1989: Second Councellor, Moscow 1986-1987: First Secretary, Moscow 1982-1986: Foreign Ministry (Asia and Oceania Directorate), Paris 1982:

Second Secretary, Beijing

1980-1981: Third Secretary, Beijing 1979-1980: Vice-Consul, Hong Kong


- may / june 2017 - 49

Wait until you taste it.

Sinfully Delicious Blue Born of the Auvergne



To infinity and beyond

Maison Pierre Hermé Paris has boldly gone where no patissier has gone before: to space, the final frontier


ith the help of the National Centre for Space Studies (CNES), the European Space Agency and NASA, Pierre Hermé Paris has sent the first macarons into


A Falcon 9 rocket, developed by SpaceX, carried the precious cargo last February from a NASA launch pad in Cape Canaveral, Florida, all the way to the International Space Station, where French astronaut Thomas Pesquet received them, in time for his 39th birthday on 27 February. The ‘Macaron dans les étoiles’ programme was first initiated in 2014 before being presented to the French President during COP21, the United Nations Climate Change Conference held in Paris in 2015, as an allusion to the earth’s fragile ecosystem that astronauts observe from space. ‘Just like the macaron, Earth represents only a few grams on the scale of the universe,’ said Pierre Hermé. For over a year, Maison Pierre Hermé Paris and CNES have worked together to overcome the technical restrictions inherent in sending a food product into space – from the size of the macaron, to the garnish used (a raspberry ganache), its taste and its reaction to temperature. Indeed, Pierre Hermé Paris had to reduce the macarons’ size to enable them to be eaten in one mouthful, to prevent any crumbs. I JH

French astronaut Thomas Pesquet juggles with Pierre Hermé's macarons

Champagne Pommery partners with French Chamber of Great Britain


hampagne Pommery, part of the global Vranken Pommery Monopole Group, has agreed a four-year

partnership with the French Chamber to sponsor its Annual Gala Dinner. ‘Champagne Pommery is delighted to be working closely with the French Chamber at a time when its role in forging relationships across the Anglo-French business communities will be of particular importance,’ said Nick Hyde, Pommery UK’s CEO. The Chamber is also very grateful to Vranken Pommery for sponsoring the Summer Champagne Reception, the Annual Financial Lunch, the International Wine Tasting and the Franco-British Business Awards. I


- may / june 2017 - 51


Raymond Blanc returns to RHS Chelsea Flower Show Following last year’s success, Raymond Blanc OBE has again partnered with Sodexo and the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) to recreate a culinary feast for the senses with 'Jardin Blanc' at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show

Jardin Blanc is a very private space within the busy world of the show; an oasis of beauty. The entrance is a circular wall of flowers that leads you to private gardens and my restaurant; a truly childlike place of wonder


eld in the heart of Chelsea, the RHS Chelsea Flower Show

a wonderful garden, in the middle of an ocean of wonderful

is Britain’s largest flower show and considered the

Englishness,' says Blanc.

most prestigious; a true celebration of creativity and

‘joie de vivre’. Nestled in a peaceful corner of the show, Jardin Blanc, the show's official hospitality partner, will showcase Chef Raymond Blanc's passion for French conviviality, seasonality and fine

One example of such an artisan is British artist Tom Hare, who will be displaying his signature giant fungi sculptures made of willow at the entrance to Jardin Blanc – imitating a fantasy wonderland within the city. A much anticipated sight. This year also sees the launch of the Raymond Blanc

quality ingredients and offer guests a full variety of options for

Gardening School at Belmond Le Manoir. Part of the motivation

the day and evening.

behind the school is to encourage people to start thinking more

‘Jardin Blanc is a very private space within the busy grounds of the Show; an oasis of beauty,’ describes Blanc. ‘The entrance is a circular wall of flowers that leads you to private gardens and my restaurant; a truly childlike place of wonder.'

sustainably and to challenge the public’s preconceptions about cultivating their own organic produce. 'We cannot go on eating beef as we do. We must eat less meat and fish and incorporate different vegetables and herbs into our diet, and that can be fun,' Blanc explains. 'Too often,

Seasonal produce

people think vegetables are boring. Of course, everyone loves

The beautiful produce displayed in the on-site potager at

meat and fish, but vegetables should also be celebrated. They

Jardin Blanc will have been exclusively grown at Blanc’s own

can be both beautiful and tasty.'

two Michelin-starred Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons

This is fully reflected in Blanc’s menus – both at Belmond

in Oxfordshire. There, his team of talented gardeners have

Le Manoir and at Jardin Blanc – all showcasing his love for

been tending to this produce for months in anticipation of the

seasonality and locally-sourced produce. 'Whether it is spring,

show. As well, each dining table will contain a small terrarium

summer, autumn or winter, seasons always define what will

of micro-herbs, giving guests the opportunity to snip their

be on my menus, whether it is at Brasserie Blanc, Belmond Le

own herbs to sprinkle over their dishes – adding a wonderful

Manoir or Jardin Blanc.' I NH

element of interaction. 'During the show, you can view some of the greatest

Jardin Blanc, held in partnership with Sodexo and the RHS, will

gardens and meet artisans who have created things that are

be open at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show from 23 to 27 May.

absolutely mind-blowing. I wanted to bring that element of

Thanks to Raymond Blanc for hosting a special event for French

celebration, of feast, of informality to Jardin Blanc. It will be

Chamber Patron members and their spouses on 25 May.

52 - info - may / june 2017

AUBAINE’s auspicious adventure Pairing the elegance of a Parisian salon with the relaxed ambiance of a Provençal bistro, Aubaine has quietly become one of London’s prominent French brands. INFO meets Founder and CEO Hani Nakkach


ani Nakkach is a Francophile entrepreneur with a passion for good food.

He also has a good eye for opportunity.

Having spotted a gap in the London market in 2003 for a quality French boulangerie and patisserie, Nakkach took it upon himself to plug it, and has never looked back. Nakkach opened his first Aubaine in South Kensington in 2005, just a stone’s throw from the Lycée Français, on Brompton Road. The establishment was





bread made fresh, from scratch, on the premises), café and bistro-restaurant. The first Aubaine’s success – ‘it was an instant hit with the neighbourhood’ – led Nakkach to open a second, then a third, then a fourth... when you have a model that works, you run with it. Today, Aubaine's 250 UK employees serve more than 800,000 customers each year, across 12 brasseries, delis and cafés. ‘Our expansion was built on the back of the success of our first Aubaine; it was a

Chicken & Foxes

Carpe diem

natural evolution,’ he says. Additionally,

As if this was not enough to keep


Nakkach also brought L’Atelier de Joël

him and his team busy, Nakkach has

concerned about Brexit? He recognises

Robuchon to London in 2005.






also been developing another project:

that it will certainly have an impact on the


Chicken & Foxes, a pop-up concept that

business. Like all restaurants in London,

continues to be heavily involved in

offers rotisserie chicken. Nakkach is very

Aubaine employs European staff, and

Aubaine’s adventure. Most recently, he

quick to point out that this is not any

the business buys the majority of its

he worked with his team to develop a

old chicken, however – Chicken & Foxes

ingredients from Europe; the butter, flour

new Marketing approach to follow new

exclusively sells French ‘Label Rouge’

and cheeses all come direct from France.

trends and evolving customer tastes.





‘Any change – whether it is on how

Creativity is at the heart of the

‘The truth is, I just love chicken!’ he

products can be brought in from Europe

project, he explains. ‘We will delight our

laughs. ‘There are plenty of chicken

or who we can hire – will affect us, as it

customers with our usual high-quality

shops around London, but none offer

will everyone,’ he says, before adding

products, but also offer them new

the type of premium chicken that you

that he remains confident that the

dishes, new menus, new products. We

would feel comfortable bringing home to

business will continue to flourish. ‘At the

need to keep evolving and create a new

eat with your friends and family.

end of the day, this is one of those things

experience. Vive l'évolution!’

‘Label Rouge is the very best; the

we need to learn to live with and to keep

The project cuts right through the

chickens are truly free range, they’re not

whole business, from front-of-house

pumped with antibiotics and they’re only

moving. So we will keep doing what we do well and hope for the best.’ I JH

teams to chefs to office staff. ‘All of our

fed vegetables and grain.’ Aubaine is the official partner of the

teams are engaged in it. We’re introducing

Nakkach has already opened two

a new art de la table, a new uniform and

Chicken & Foxes, one in Bermondsey

French Chamber's Economic Updates held

even rebuilding our website and social

and another in Elephant & Castle; both

at the French Institute, providing

media. It’s a large-scale rebrand.’

based on the streetfood pop-up model.

breakfast and refreshments


- may / june 2017 - 53

SAINT-EMILION: The hill of 1,000 chateaux Known colloquially as 'la colline aux 1,000 châteaux' – the hill of 1,000 chateaux – Saint-Emilion has a long history as being one of France’s best red winemaking regions


hile the Romans planted the first vineyards in the region

‘Saint-Emilion is a very small area, so these different

in the 2nd century, Saint-Emilion has ancient ties to

varieties and soil types mean that each chateau produces a

England, too. Its link to England dates back to at least 8 July 1199, when the Charter of Falaise was sealed by the English King John,

very different wine. It is fascinating to taste the differences,’ says Hartley. ‘It is all Saint-Emilion, but you can find a wine to match any dish, there is enormous choice.’

recording the confirmation of rights given by his brother King Richard, known as RIchard Coeur de Lion, and the formation


of the Jurade de Saint-Emilion, whose officers were tasked with

Although steeped in history and tradition, the winemakers of Saint-

controlling all the civic, legal and administrative affairs of the

Emilion are well known for their innovation, Hartley adds, rolling off

region, including the quality of the wine.

a series of new concepts introduced by chateaux owners.

The brotherhood of the Jurade is still active today,

This includes Château-Figeac being the first to produce

continuing to preserve and spread the well-deserved fame of

so-called ‘second’ wines, made from cuvées not selected for

Saint-Emilion, as well as building upon the historic links and

use in a Grand Vin; Saint-Emilion being the first area to create

friendship between Britain and France. ‘We still pronounce a

a cooperative model for independent growers; and also being

solemn ban des vendanges every year, from the Tour du Roy

the only area in France which reviews its classification every

in Saint-Emilion, to officially announce the harvest,’ explains

ten years. ‘That last point always causes a bit of trouble, of

Timothy Hartley, Chancellor of the Jurade de Saint-Emilion in

course, but it encourages the chateaux to keep up to date with

Great Britain.

their winemaking methods and not just live on a classification

Saint-Emilion has been making wine for millennia. It is still a family-run place and many of the top chateaux have been passed on for many, many generations. The evolution and adaptation will continue While Saint-Emilion’s reputation is vast, the region itself is defined by its very small vineyards – hence the ‘hill of 1,000

that bears no reality to the situation,’ Hartley adds. ‘SaintEmilion looks to its proud past as well as to its future.’

chateaux’ moniker. Indeed, the largest of Saint-Emilion’s

This future depends on owners being able to pass on their

classified growths, Château-Figeac, is smaller than the smallest

chateaux to the next generation, which is no longer a given.

of the Medoc growths, Château Latour.

‘French inheritance laws do not make it easy to pass on the

Today, there are 840 growers, spread over 7,846 hectares,

vineyard to the child who is most interested – each child

which fit into four appellations: Saint-Emilion, Saint-Emilion

is entitled to a share under French law, even if they are not

Grand Cru, Lussac Saint-Emilion and Puisseguin Saint-Emilion.

interested. Paired with significant death duty rates, this is

Combined, the vineyards produce over 230,000 hectolitres of

beginning to cause some problems.’

wine (all red) every year.

Hartley is optimistic about the future, though, as the region

Another unique characteristic from the region is the diversity

has always been very resilient and open to change. ‘Saint-

of its terroir (Saint-Emilion has up to 27 different soil types)

Emilion has been making wine for millennia. It is still a family-

and the variety of its grapes (seven varieties are grown, with

run place and many of the top chateaux have been passed on

the three largest being Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet

for many, many generations. The evolution and adaptation will


continue.’ I JH

54 - info - may / june 2017


RO CA M ADOU R by La Cave à Fromage Perched on the edge of a dramatic cliff,

very small disc and is consumed very

overlooking one of the most scenic

young – it is aged for a minimum of six

regions of France, rests the village of

days, but usually for around 12-15 days


before being eaten. This is what gives the

This commune in the Lot department

Rocamadour its exceptionally creamy

is just south of Brive-la-Gaillarde and very

and smooth texture.

near the Dordogne. It is surrounded by a

Its flavour, meanwhile, is rich in

host of some of France’s most picturesque

mineral aromas that derive naturally

medieval towns. It is also at the heart of

from the goat’s milk it is produced from.

some of the most beautiful grottos in the world, such as Lascaux

Indeed, the goats graze on the dry and floral pastures of the

and Padirac among others.


But this village is mostly known for the Cabecou de

As a young cheese, it is often consumed on hot toast or is broken

Rocamadour, which translates as ‘little goat cheese’ in Occitan.

up into fresh salads. When it is aged further – sometimes for

It is a very old cheese: in fact, in the Middle Ages, the cheese

several months – the cheese takes on a more intense flavour,

was used to pay the ‘dime’, the tax paid to the Catholic church.

and is then typicially eaten on its own with a red wine, toward

Weighing just 35 grams, the Rocamadour is shaped as a E: T: +44 (0)845 108 8222 W:

the end of the meal. I Eric Charriaux

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 RO CA M ADOU R by Wine Story As a town found on the route to Santiago of Compostela, generations of Christian pilgrims have visited Rocamadour – indeed, every year the Occitan village welcomes 1.5 million tourists, making it one of the most visited sites in France. Now imagine yourself on a hot summer’s day, climbing Rocamadour’s ancient and narrow streets. At the top of the hill, you find a tiny wine bistro and sit down next to a cheese board that boasts a selection of the local Rocamadour cheese: which wine should you drink with it? To match the fresh and creamy texture of the young Rocamadour, which has ripened for just a couple of weeks, the ideal wine would be a dry white that is packed with fruity scents, such as a dry Jurançon, which hails from another part of the southwest, near Pau. A Jurançon such as the Cuvée Estela (the Occitan cross)

do just fine, too.

from the Domaine de Montesquiou is a crisp, dry and tangy

For a drier, more ripened Rocamadour, the more local reds

wine, picked early and made from Gros Manseng and Petit

of Bergerac and Gaillac would be ideal, or even a southern

Courbu grapes. If you are unable to find a dry Jurançon, a white

red Bordeaux, such as Chateaux Haut-Peyruguet. Délicieux!

Bordeaux blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon grapes could

I Thibault Lavergne



- may / june 2017 - 55




London . Paris . Brussels . Geneva . Amsterdam . Frankfurt . Milan CONTACT : + 44 (0)207 629 72 58



t has been a very busy couple of months at the Chamber,

Laurène Herbelin, our new Head of Membership and Forums

packed with events, including our Annual Gala Dinner, at

& Clubs, who joins us from ESCP Europe Foundation, as well

which I was pleased to see many of you, despite the sad

as Aurélie Simon, our new Senior Business Development and

circumstances of the day. Although the Mayor of London,

Start-up Lab Manager, to succeed Frédérique Andréani and Lina

Sadiq Khan, had to cancel his attendance, we were very pleased

Ghazal. Laurène is responsible for the account management of

to welcome Rajesh Agrawal, the Deputy Mayor of London for

both Patron and Corporate members, while Aurélie is overseeing

Business, in his stead – you may read excerpts of his inspiring

our Active members and is the point of contact for any start-

speech in our round-up on pages 76-77.

ups looking to develop their business in the UK. We have also

Within the Chamber, our Forums and Clubs continue to grow

hired a new Marketing and Communications Manager, Daphné

from strength to strength. It was a pleasure for me to attend

Aguettant, to succeed our former Head of Communications,

the first session of the Brexit Forum and hear such interesting

Marielle Fraize, who has chosen to return to France. I would like

insight from our members about their Brexit plans. Although

to thank Frédérique, Lina and Marielle for their hard work and

the event was – understandably – held under Chatham House

wish them all the best for the future.

rules, we have reported on the Forum’s aspirations on page 65.

Laurène, Aurélie and Daphné will be attending many of our

Turning to the future, due to popular demand, we will be

forthcoming events, so if you have not met them already, I am

launching a Retail Forum on 25 May at the Chamber. We are

sure you will in due course.

honoured that Alain Harfouche, General Manager UK and

The next few months are jam-packed with events, which I

Ireland at L’Occitane en Provence and Catherine Palmer, Legal

recommend that you sign up for in advance, in order to avoid

and Administrative Director at Joseph, have agreed to Co-chair

any disappointment – view our calendar of events on page 78.

the Retail Forum, which I am certain will become a cornerstone of the Chamber. We have also had a busy time recruiting a new team to lead our Membership department. I am delighted to introduce

Whether it is our popular ‘From Scratch to Success: Business Stories’, our Business Club Cocktail with the Région Hauts-deFrance or our Summer Champagne Reception, I hope to see many of you soon. I FG


- may / june 2017 - 57

NEW MEMBERS 3 NEW PATRON MEMBERS COTY – A global beauty leader

Represented by Patrice de Talhouët, Global Chief Financial Officer Coty is one of the world’s largest beauty companies with approximately $9bn in revenue, around 20,000 employees and products sold in over 130 countries. Its strong entrepreneurial heritage has created an iconic portfolio of leading beauty brands across three divisions: Coty Consumer Beauty, which focuses on colour cosmetics, retail hair colouring and styling products, body care and mass fragrances; Coty Luxury, focused on prestige fragrances and skincare; and Coty Professional Beauty, focused on servicing salon owners and professionals.

RICHEMONT – Luxury retail group

Represented by Caroline Welch-Ballentine, Chief Administration Officer Richemont owns several of the world's leading companies in the field of luxury goods, with particular strenghts in jewellery, luxury watches and writing instruments. Our Maisons™ encompass several of the most prestigious names in the luxury industry including Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Piaget, Vacheron Constantin, Jaeger-LeCoultre, IWC Schaffhausen, Panerai and Montblanc.

LACOSTE – Premium casualwear for men, women and children Represented by Lizanne Senior, Head of PR & Marketing

'Life is a beautiful sport, la vie est un sport magnifique.’ Symbol of relaxed elegance since 1933, the Lacoste brand is based on the authenticity of its sporting roots to offer a unique and original universe through a range of products for men, women and children. In the 118 countries where the brand is currently present through a selective distribution network, two Lacoste products are sold every second: textile, leather goods, perfumes, footwear, eyewear, watches, including the famous L.12.12 polo.

4 NEW CORPORATE MEMBERS COORPACADEMY Innovative, user-centric corporate digital learning Represented by Ingrid Lethu, Director of Partnerships Coorpacademy is a leading EdTech start-up specialised in innovative, user-centric corporate digital learning. We support over 35 multinational companies’ transformation by upskilling their employees, partners and clients on a proprietary SAAS platform delivering latest generation instructional design, making corporate learning more fun, flexible and collaborative, with top quartile engagement rates. Since our €10m fundraising, we are focusing on our international expansion, especially in the UK.

58 - info - may / june 2017


EARLY METRICS Rating agency for start-ups and SMEs Represented by Antoine Baschiera, CEO Rating agency for start-ups and innovative SMEs, assessing their growth potential through the analysis of non-financial metrics, on behalf of investors and corporates.

EUROPEAN INSURANCE SERVICES LIMITED (EISL) Intermediary in insurance – construction specialist Represented by Sandrine Streeter, HR Business Partner European Insurance Services Limited (EISL) is a European insurance intermediary operating in France and headquartered in the UK. EISL acts as an underwriting agency for global insurers providing construction insurance solutions. As a wholesaler, EISL designs and distributes via a network of brokers, insurance solutions for the use of building professionals in the French construction industry.

SIGNIA WEALTH Private investment management firm Represented by Philippe Pollet, Senior Advisor Signia is an independent investment management firm specialising in global portfolio management for families and institutions.

8 NEW ACTIVE MEMBERS Fruehauf – Manufacturer of commercial trailers - Represented by Stuart Mulraney, In-house Solicitor Haseltine Lake LLP – European patent and trade mark attorneys - Represented by Andrew Hilton, Patent Attorney Hipe School – Superior English learning for executives via Skype - Represented by Catena Carmina, Founder & Owner ME Languages – Teaching languages to business professionals - Represented by Neil McCann, Business & Marketing Manager Mepec Services – Mechanical, electrical and plumbing contractor Represented by Eric Chauffour, Company Director NeoLedge – Enterprise content management [ECM by Archimed] specialist since 1993 - Represented by Corrie Nebot, UK Partner Channel Manager Pro-Counselling – Counselling and wellbeing support for employees - Represented by Maud Fontanier, Managing Director The Credit Protection Association plc – Commercial credit management and debt purchase - Represented by David Baber, Managing Director


- may / june 2017 - 59

NEW REPRESENTATIVES VINCENT TOURETTE, has been appointed Managing Director of Groupe Renault UK, replacing Paul Flanagan. Tourette has worked for the Renault-Nissan Alliance for 23 years, most recently in Tokyo, where he was Vice President, Sales and Marketing at Nissan. Previously, Tourette held a variety of commercial roles within Groupe Renault, including CEO for the five countries in the Nordic region, Marketing Director for the Netherlands and, previously in the UK, as General Manager for a Renault Retail Group branch and Marketing Planning Manager at Renault UK.

HATS OFF TO HUMPHREY CADOUX-HUDSON, Managing Director of Nuclear New Build at EDF Energy, who has been awarded France’s highest honour, the Légion d’honneur, in the grade of Knight. Presenting the award, the French Ambassador, HE Ms Sylvie Bermann, said that Cadoux-Hudson ‘embodies FrancoBritish cooperation’, specifically around the Hinkley Point C project.

BÉNÉDICTE PAVIOT, UK Correspondent for France24, who was made a Knight in the ordre national du Mérite by the French Ambassador, HE Ms Sylvie Bermann, in recognition of her ‘indisputable talent’ over more than 30 years of service. In her acceptance speech, Paviot noted how, ‘in the age of fake news, serious journalism matters more than ever’. Paviot has had a truly diverse Franco-British career, working for a number of news organisations, including BBC World Service, BBC News 24, BFM TV, Radio France International, RMC Info and many more. She is also an international conference moderator as well as Vice-President of the Foreign Press Association in London.

NEW FACES AT THE CHAMBER The French Chamber of Great Britain has appointed LAURENE HERBELIN as its new Head of Membership and Forums & Clubs, to succeed Frédérique Andréani. Laurène previously worked as a Development Manager for the ESCP Europe Foundation, based both in Paris and London, where she raised funds to support the European business school’s development projects. Prior to that, she worked with the Orchestre de Paris and Opéra de Paris. Responsible for managing the Chamber’s relationships with Corporate and Patron members, as well as being in charge of the Forums & Clubs, she can be reached at lherbelin@ccfgb. or 0207 092 6635. Also joining the Membership Department is AURELIE SIMON, who has been hired as Senior Business Development Manager and Start-up Lab Manager. Aurélie previously worked at the French Embassy as PR Manager in the Economic and Financial Department. She is the point of contact for Active members and any start-ups looking to develop their business in the UK. She can be reached at and 0207 092 6636. DAPHNE AGUETTANT has also joined the French Chamber as its new Marketing and Communications Manager, to succeed Marielle Fraize, the Chamber’s former Head of Communications. Prior to the Chamber, she had a varied and rich marketing and communications career, working for organisations including Publicis, CB News and INSERM among others. She may be contacted at and 0207 092 6648. Finally, ROBIN HENRIQUES has joined the Chamber as Accounting and Business Support Assistant. Specialised in payroll operations, he reports to Naser Nashaat, the Chamber’s Head of Finance and Accounting Outsourcing Services. Robin can be reached at and 0207 092 6611. 60 - info - may / june 2017



22 June

18.30 - 21.00

SIGN UP FOR THE FRENCH CHAMBER’S ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING At Reed Smith offices, Broadgate Tower, 20 Primrose St, London EC2A 2RS Open to all members Free of charge Attended by more than 100 participants each year, the Annual General Meeting has became one of the highlights of our annual events calendar. During the meeting, the French Chamber’s 2016 achievements and outlook for the year ahead will be presented, followed by a networking reception for all Chamber members. The meeting is kindly sponsored and hosted by Reed Smith. RSVP to Noémie du Chatelier at: or on 0207 092 6603

THE BUSINESS CENTRE: A SPRINGBOARD INTO THE UK Aimed at French start-ups, entrepreneurs and SMEs that are developing their business in the UK, the French Chamber's 18-desk Business Centre is currently home to 10 companies. Meet SOGAL/AGEM, a specialist in bespoke interior design

Georgiana Enculescu, International Business Developer, SOGAL / AGEM What does your company do? SOGAL and AGEM – which are part of the same group – are two major actors on the bespoke interior design market in Western Europe. SOGAL is the leading actor in the field of standard and made-to-measure modular furniture, sliding wardrobe doors and dressing rooms, both in trade and DIY distribution channels. AGEM, meanwhile, is a specialist in bespoke fitting-out solutions. We manufacture custommade walk-in closets, bookcases, bedroom and living room furniture, under-stair storage and kitchens. We also provide bespoke production for professionals (counters, bars, hotel rooms, sports lockers, etc). Additionally, AGEM is now developing a franchise of stores that are specialised in bespoke interior solutions. After fast development in France, opening 40 stores in five years, we are looking for international partners to expand our network, especially in the UK. Why did your company decide to come to the UK? The UK market is a significant market for sliding wardrobe doors and modular furniture. As we are in the top three European manufacturers for the sector, it was essential for us to enter the British market. What would be your top tip for French companies entering the UK market? After operating in the UK market for a few months, we identified that, to remain active, a foreign company has to be ready to adapt its offer and, sometimes, even its business model. Developing a strong network is very important and attending various events related to your industry can help you develop your brand in the UK.

To find out more about the French Chamber’s Business Centre, please contact: Inès Ennaifer, Business Development Manager, on: or 0207 092 6626


- may / june 2017 - 61



he Directors of the French Chamber of Great Britain held their annual Strategy Board Meeting on 20 April. Kindly hosted by Helena Kavanagh, Managing Director of JCDecaux and Vice President of the Chamber, in her company's Paddington offices, the meeting focused on the future strategy of the French Chamber. Managing Director Florence Gomez was pleased to share that the Chamber is in good financial health. The Chamber recorded its best financial results ever in 2016, with a turnover of £2.3m and pre-tax profit of £181,000. It continues to be the largest foreign Chamber in the UK, with 586 members at the end of 2016. Turning to 2017, the Board discussed how to further improve members' return on investment through ensuring that the services, events and content remains relevant and useful, as well as making new proposals for the future. The discussions then continued over dinner, which followed the formal meeting. Thank you to Helena Kavanagh and JCDecaux for hosting and to the Board Members for their continued support. Learn more about the French Chamber's future outlook and strategy by attending the Annual General Meeting on 22 June. The full details for registering to attend are on p61 of INFO.



he member-to-member offers for 2017 have launched on a dedicated micro-site for French Chamber members: The Member Offers programme allows French Chamber members the opportunity to offer a discounted rate on their products or services to fellow members, in order to attract new clients and to benefit from free visibility. This year’s programme currently features nearly 60 exclusive offers. Enjoy your fellow members’ offers on a range of different services and products, including hotels, restaurants, marketing and communication, legal and financial advice as well as in-store and online offers. Should you be interested in submitting an offer to be featured, please contact: Justine Kaouane at or 0207 092 6638



he French Chamber team was recently treated to a team building day led by Orchestral Conductor and Leadership

Coach Guy Perier, the founder of La Performance Généreuse. The main purpose of the day was to get to know each other better – both as individuals and as services – as well as thinking about what are the Chamber’s common values. It was, by all accounts, a memorable experience. Based on musical exercises, French Chamber staff learned how to improve their own performances as a team and how to work together with greater harmony and synergy. The exercises ranged from singing together as one large team, to putting together a two-minute performance in smaller teams to showcase how the Chamber works together as one. Perier helped to tease out each team’s strengths, adapting

explained, ‘where each culture can recognise itself. Music is

his musical workshop to the Chamber’s unique Franco-British

an essential, powerful and ideal vehicle for intercultural team

spirit and background. ‘Music is a universal language,’ Perier

building.’ A great day. Merci Guy!

62 - info - may / june 2017


ONE-STOP-SHOP: OUTSOURCE YOUR ACCOUNTANCY TO US Composed of 11 bilingual professionals, the Chamber’s Accountancy & Payroll Outsourcing Service is a one-stop-shop for member and non-member companies to outsource their company set-up, accountancy, payroll and tax management needs. INFO sits down with Naser Nashaat, CFO of the French Chamber and Head of the department since 1994 What is the role of the

into the UK. Indeed, as a first step into this market, it makes

Accountancy & Payroll

sense for French companies to outsource their accountancy

Outsourcing department?

to a dedicated, bilingual service such as ours.

Our service fulfils a number

This is one of the aspects of the job that I enjoy the

of roles to support Franco-

most: seeing the companies that we work with evolve from

British companies through

being small new UK projects to becoming larger, successful

their life cycle. The first

ventures. Many of our clients have stayed with us for more

service we offer is our

than 10 years, which I am very proud of – it shows that we're

'Implantation Day', an all-

doing a good job!

in-one bespoke package

Naser Nashaat

of tailored meetings for

What is the biggest challenge for companies setting up

French companies to meet

in the UK? Why should they use the Chamber?

local experts (such as

The UK is very different to France, both in terms of the market

bankers, lawyers, auditors)

but also in terms of financial reporting and accountancy. That

and get to know the UK

is why it is essential for French companies coming to the UK

market. We pair this with the Chamber's other business

to engage an experienced and knowledgeable team. This is

services, such as our Recruitment Service.

the best way to ensure their accounting and administration is

For companies that choose to enter the UK market, we can assist them with all of their day-to-day accounting needs:

as efficient as possible. I would also argue that, unlike many larger UK accounting

bookkeeping, management accounts, credit control, cash

firms, the Chamber's Accountancy & Payroll Outsourcing

flow forecasts, business plans and budgets, payroll, VAT

Service offers the benefit of Franco-British expertise: the

management... Our team of 11 bilingual professionals offer a

entire team is bilingual and competent in both French and

full accountancy service that covers all of the administrative

British accounting rules and regulations.

aspects of doing business in the UK. In addition, specifically for businesses in the construction sector, we also provide

We are dedicated to helping French companies be successful in the UK and have helped many do so.

assistance with their registration and monthly report obligations under the UK Construction Industry Scheme.

What is your own background? I grew up in Egypt and attended Cairo University, graduating

Which types of companies use this service?

in 1983 with a degree in accountancy. I moved to London in

The majority of our 160+ clients are small to medium-sized

1985, obtaining a diploma in computer and system analysis.

French companies – and, since more recently, start-ups –

After working in various accounting roles at several UK firms, I

which operate across all sectors: from retail to restaurants,

joined the Chamber in 1994.

across technology and business schools plus many others. No job is too big or too small! Many of our clients use our service as a stepping stone

In the 23 years since then, I have had the pleasure to work with hundreds of companies and people from all walks of life. I

TESTIMONIALS The French Chamber helped me to grow my business in the UK market from my first days in London, assisting me with the first steps, such as my UK bookkeeping ―Jules Minvielle, Founder and CEO of Mozoo The outsourcing of our accounting and payroll to the Chamber allowed us to fully concentrate on our business development within the UK ―Jean-Christophe Samyn, UK Director, Caudalie (client from 2002 to 2015)


- may / june 2017 - 63

ŠPhoto credits: Pascal le DoarÊ and COSEA photo libraries

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.

In the UK, we are currently placing our BIM expertise at the core of infrastructure projects such as Tideway East and the M4 Corridor around Newport, with the aim of providing enhanced collaboration and efficiency. By EXCELLENCE, we mean designing and building quicker, safer and at best value.


BREXIT FORUM launches at French Chamber The inaugural meeting of the Brexit Forum was held at the French Chamber on 29 March – the same day that Prime Minister Theresa May triggered Article 50


early 30 people – a mix of Heads of Brexit Taskforces, Lawyers, Heads of Public Affairs and others – attended the

session to brainstorm what the format and subject of future Brexit Forum meetings would be. The session was opened by Florence Gomez, Managing Director of the French Chamber, who explained what the Forum might do – that is, for French Chamber members to pool ideas, share perspectives and hear from one another what Brexit means for their organisations. She proposed that, in order to prepare for the challenges ahead, the Forum focus on transversal rather than sectoral issues, as the latter had already been comprehensively analysed by the CBI in its seminal Making a Success of Brexit report (whose author, Nicole Sykes, also attended the Forum). The Forum’s two Chairs – Angela Hepworth, Corporate Policy and Regulation Director at EDF Energy, and Neil Sherlock,

Business is critical to a successful Brexit. We need to ensure that we support policy makers in the UK, France and across Europe to deliver for our citizens

Partner and Head of Reputational Strategy at PwC – expertly

explore those and – where we all agree – can then be used to

steered the discussion to help decide on future themes.

make the case to policymakers,’ suggested one attendee.

‘What are the key issues from Brexit and how can this Forum

‘There are a handful of big issues that repeat themselves

enable us to be better prepared to meet the challenges ahead?’

over and over and apply to 95 per cent of the companies here

asked Hepworth, opening the discussion.

– we can demystify the issues by speaking frankly about them

Sherlock highlighted how France and Britain are intertwined,

together,’ added another.

and the role that businesses can – and must – play throughout

The discussion then turned to how the Brexit Forum should

the negotiating period. Previously Special Advisor to former

convey its message to policymakers: what should the output

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, Sherlock was able to provide

be and how can the Forum be used to influence and shape

insight on how government works as well as how business can

government policy?

play a role in the policy debate. Held under Chatham House rules, in order to promote open discussion, each participant introduced themselves and explained what is, to them, the biggest issue that might arise out of Brexit for their business or sector.

‘Business is critical to a successful Brexit,’ said Sherlock. ‘We need to ensure that we support policy makers in the UK, France and across Europe to deliver for our citizens.’ Speaking at the Annual Chairs Lunch (see p. 72), Hepworth added: 'There was a real sense that, by pooling expertise, by

While participants came from a very wide range of industries

identifying some of the issues, we can engage with the UK and

– from beauty to aeronautics to retail and oil and gas – common

French Governments to make a difference. It felt like something

horizontal themes emerged. These centred principally around:

to beat the doom and gloom, to get over the desperation and roll up our sleeves and do something practical to affect

• LABOUR AND MOBILITY ISSUES – how can businesses continue to attract and hire labour while also supporting

the outcome.’ Separately, the Chamber has planned to conduct a second

existing European employees?

survey – together with around 10 other Foreign Chambers

• MOVEMENT OF GOODS – what would be the effect of

of Commerce in the UK – later this year, to gauge how the

leaving the customs union, of potential tariff barriers?

international business community in the UK is reacting to Brexit. I

• REGULATORY ISSUES – how will the financial and legal environments be affected by Brexit? French Chamber members interested in participating in future ‘There is a lot of commonality between British and French businesses and their needs, and this Forum could be used to

sessions of the Brexit Forum should contact Ophélie Martinel at or on 0207 092 6634.


- may / june 2017 - 65



Drive from the top

How can business leaders successfully encourage intrapreneurship within large firms? INFO reports on the latest Women’s Business Club, which tackled the issue


ntrapreneurship – the act of behaving like an entrepreneur while working in a large organisation – was at the centre of a

discussion held during the latest Women’s Business Club lunch, hosted by the French Ambassador, HE Ms Sylvie Bermann, at the French Residence, on 1 March. Following welcome remarks by the Ambassador, two

Intrapreneurship is a critical topic [...] I would always get very frustrated because consultants would say there is no way to be a large company and be innovative ― TANUJA RANDERY

prominent industry leaders – Estelle Brachlianoff, Senior

Over time, the concept has found its way into the corporate

Executive Vice President of Veolia UK and Ireland, President

industry and, increasingly, large companies are attempting to

of the Chamber and Chair of the Women’s Business Club, and

challenge existing paradigms and foster innovation through

Tanuja Randery, Zone President for UK and Ireland at Schneider

intrapreneurship. Although it can be challenging, companies

Electric and Director of the Chamber's Board – looked at how to

have established interesting methods through which this

foster intrapreneurship within large corporations.

can be done.

The concept of ‘disruptive innovation’ has gained traction over

One idea, which Veolia adopted, was an internal Innovation

the last few decades, becoming the rallying cry of many successful

Den, which seeks to provide employees with a creative

companies – many of which are start-ups. One can see why: this

platform to pitch their ideas to a diverse panel of both internal

concept is an antidote for challenging corporate stagnation and

and external judges.

revolutionising customer experiences, creating new business

‘Like TV’s Dragons' Den you have 10 minutes to pitch, 10

models that are more tailored to modern-day consumers. But

minutes for a Q&A and, at the end of it, it’s yes, no or maybe,’

can only start-ups lay claim to this type of innovation?

explained Brachlianoff. ‘We try to follow the same rules, except

‘Absolutely not,’ said Randery, who believes that through intrapreneurship, disruptive innovation can be nurtured in

for the negativity. You don’t want to undermine people, in the end you want them to be excited to be there.’

large corporations too. ‘Intrapreneurship is a critical topic.

The idea proved to be a popular success, with many

Throughout my career, I have always worked for very large

of the pitched ideas being adapted and implemented into

companies,’ she explained. ‘I would always get very frustrated

the mainstream business. It serves as a testament for

because consultants would say there is no way to be a large

multinationals around the globe that it is possible to cultivate

company and be innovative. It is more difficult to get people to

disruptive mindsets in large organisations; reminding us that

move at speed and take risks, but with the right environment

innovation is not solely found in start-ups.

and incentives, it can be powerful.'

Innovation at every level Launching a Dragons’ Den-style system is one way of doing it, but how else can company leaders cultivate an innovative mentality? The answer: by using more than one strategic approach. At Schneider Electric, Randery adopted a multi-faceted strategy that included hiring fresh new talent – particularly more women. ‘Bringing the younger generation in is really important for us,’ she explained. 'It's about breaking down silos and supporting people to take risks. Advertising the ones who took risks and failed is as important as celebrating success.' The company has also introduced annual achievement awards called ‘Schneider is On Trophies’, handing out awards to employees, recognising their talent and showing them that their new ideas are valued and being adopted. There is one absolute necessity to making intrapreneurship a success however, and that is buy-in from the top-down, as both Randery and Brachlianoff demonstrated. Thank you to the Ambassador for hosting the lunch, as well

Above: HE Ms Sylvie Bermann listens to Tanuja Randery

66 - info - may / june 2017

as to Ladurée and Acqua di Parma for their gifts. I NH


The end of fossil fuels? Speaking at the latest Climate Change Forum, Dr Charles Donovan, Director of the Centre for Climate Finance and Investment at Imperial College Business School, offered an optimistic view of the future


r Charles Donovan reflected on the last two decades of climate policy,

offering a view of how business and government can adapt for the future. Donovan, who started his career at the US Environmental Protection Agency during the Clinton Administration, started his talk by giving an insider’s view of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol conference. ‘Kyoto was a magic moment. There was a huge sense of optimism,’ Donovan explained. However, he added, it did not work as there were several flaws. ‘The regulatory designs before Kyoto, and which Kyoto was based on, were not

Donovan explained. He added that we are reaching

favour of a carbon dividends plan? This could tax carbon at a higher level

transferable to the wider topic of climate

a threshold where solar is proven to

than ever before and introduce carbon


be the cheapest method of electricity

dividends to make it palatable for

generation, where wind power can

tax payers.’

Indeed, the previous large climate change agreement, the Montreal

be cost competitive. ‘As a result, the

Protocol, dealt with one sole topic: the

dynamics of this whole market are

countries have already introduced the

Ozone layer, which needed to tackle just

changing considerably,’ he said.

concept of reverse bids – that is, where

one pollutant. ‘Montreal worked well

Finally, carbon auctions. Developing

government asks the private sector to

because there was a clear technological

Three trends

substitution, so it was “easy”. You could

Turning towards the future, Donovan

regulate out its existence,’ Donovan

outlined three major current and

explained. ‘This played heavily on

future trends, starting with a subsidy-

engineering in climate policy. Auctioning

people’s minds in Kyoto.’

free energy market and what that would

needs to be retained and spread to all

look like.

forms of carbon reduction investment.

Kyoto therefore had the wrong approach from the get-go: it did not

‘If that happened, you would find

make sealed bids for large-scale energy infrastructure projects. ‘This is an example of reverse

We don’t have the time for governments

recognise that a large-scale transition

that the relative price advantage of

to guess – often inaccurately – what

was required across the energy system.

renewable energy would instantly go

the conditions are to trigger private

up. If you get a situation where low-cost

sector investment. Why not have a

Ministers; there was not one Treasury

renewables suddenly fly onto the grid,

market-based approach to deliver

person in the room. It was seen to

it would be highly disruptive,’ Donovan

emissions reduction?’

be a pollution problem, so there was


‘The conference was all Environment

limited awareness about what they were

Second, Donovan highlighted

talking about. Investment policies, taxes,

carbon pricing: what is the next

accountancy... these were just not part

generation of carbon pricing going

of the conversation. No one had gotten

to look like?

to grips with the scale of the issue.’

‘If I were to be a bit provocative, I

From an investment point of view, the end of fossil fuels is already in sight, Donovan concluded. ‘This is not just an aspiration, you can truly see technology that is costcompetitive and can compete – or even

would say that the UK could start with

out-compete – fossil fuels. We’re seeing

change is finally seen as being not just

a fresh sheet. No matter your opinion

it right now, with coal. There is a proverb

an environmental issue, but one that

of Brexit, it allows everything to be

that the leopard does not have to take

affects the entire global economy.

reconsidered,’ he explained.

down the whole pack, it only needs to

Fast forwarding to today, climate

There is a momentum for change, which is being enabled by technology,

‘Could the UK Government ditch the EU Emissions Trading System in

take down the weakest gazelle – and that’s coal.’ I JH


- may / june 2017 - 67



New Chair to guide HR FORUM forward At the risk of sounding trite, people are truly what make a company successful. For the HR function, that means being commercial, being a true partner and engaging with the whole business to ensure that it is relevant, agile and ahead of the game — PIA DEKKERS Pia Dekkers, Regional HR Divisional Director, Chanel

Aimed at HR Directors and professionals, the Forum meets six times a year to discuss the latest issues and trends affecting the HR profession. INFO meets its new Chair, Pia Dekkers, Regional HR Divisional Director at Chanel, and new Deputy Chair, Jean-Baptiste Aloy, Executive Director, Employee Research at Ipsos MORI, to learn more Why must companies pay close attention to their HR

What are the major trends in HR this year?

function today?

PD: Today, HR is all about seeing the bigger picture. It’s about

PD: Whether a company sells widgets, luxury goods or

establishing a balance and having the cognisance that there

services, HR must be at the core of any successful business.

are five generations in the workplace at this time and that one

At the risk of sounding trite, people are truly what make a

size does not fit all. It’s okay to not be a millennial; everyone

company successful. For the HR function, that means being

has a place. Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is another

commercial, being a true partner and engaging with the

key trend: it’s something all businesses need to do, and HR

whole business to ensure that it is relevant, agile and ahead

can lead that and build it into the day, winning the hearts

of the game.

and minds of employees and offering a real purpose to the

JBA: In addition, technology is causing one of the biggest


disruptions in history, which will completely change how we

JBA: Driven by data, HR is also becoming more scientific – HR

work in coming years. What role does HR have in that? There

analytics is increasingly being used to better inform business

are millions of jobs that will be impacted and which will need

decisions. Second, as Pia said earlier, HR needs to take a

to be reinvented. Planning, talent management, learning and

more comprehensive approach to the business, helping to

development will become more strategic than ever before.

support the business commercially. I JH

Why should French Chamber members join the HR Forum? PD: The HR Forum enables people to stand back and come out of their singular environment. It isn’t just an opportunity to network, but equally to share ideas. It’s such a short amount of time to take and it gives you perspective to look at things differently. The HR Forum isn’t just an echo chamber for HR professionals; it’s an opportunity to hear from other companies and non-HR people who can bring value and enable you to look at things differently, to think outside of the box. JBA: Our ambition is to inspire HR professionals and we have a very exciting and interesting line up for the next 12 months, bringing together leading experts and practitioners. At a time of major change in the workplace, joining the HR Forum can help French Chamber members to learn about managing disruption from a people perspective.

Pia Dekkers succeeds Michael Whitlow, HR Director, Europe, at International SOS, who was Chair of the HR Forum since September 2015. The Chamber would like to express its thanks and gratitude to Michael for his leadership and vision while Chair.

68 - info - may / june 2017


Happy and healthy? At a recent HR Forum session, members looked at the theme of employee wellbeing – and the employer’s role in it


icking off the

to assimilate

latest session

information really

of the HR Forum,

quickly and keep

Deputy Chair

control while things

Jean-Baptiste Aloy,

are frantic. That is

Executive Director,

a tough bucket of

Employee Research

things that we ask

at Ipsos MORI,

of people in our

explained that

workplaces; it’s a

wellbeing is hard to

huge list.’

define and hard to



explained that the

Using research

key is therefore

undertaken by

to turn this into


so-called beneficial

in 2015, which

stress, termed

surveyed 13,600


employees across Europe, Aloy highlighted key findings on wellbeing.

Businesses cannot thrive without disruption and uncertainty and it’s the same for people: you can’t come up with amazing ideas if you don’t sweat a little

On average,

made up of three aspects: a person’s

‘It’s why people feel good after undertaking tough challenges – it’s positive stress. There is no

European workers rank their quality of

biopsychosocial health. The interaction

difference in the workplace,’ said added.

life as 6.5 out of 10 – this rises to 6.8 in

of these factors – physical health,

‘Businesses cannot thrive without

the UK but falls to 6.3 in France. On the

psychological health and the social

disruption and uncertainty and it’s the

flipside, 41 per cent of French workers

elements of a person’s life – affect how

same for people: you can’t come up with

say they are ‘often’ happy at work, while

people think and feel about their lives

amazing ideas if you don’t sweat a little.’

just 32 per cent of UK workers do so.

and their wellbeing.

‘For quite some time, there was

‘The challenge for employers is

This ‘transformational discomfort’ is the ultimate reward, she said, and is

discussion about whether it truly is the

how to achieve employee wellbeing

what makes people feel good about what

employer’s responsibility to look after

when you cannot control all of these

they’re doing when the going gets tough.

an employee’s wellbeing or not,’ Aloy

elements,’ Hemming explained.

explained. ‘Of course, it’s a no brainer:

If people are engaged in their work

In the workplace, this means encouraging healthy pressure but

they should. Yet there continues to be a

and feel productive, they are more likely

also recognising that employees are

strong cultural aspect to the issue, and

to report a good quality of life, more

people that have needs, wants and

it is still, sadly, a different discussion in

happiness and a better wellbeing. Yet

require downtime.

France than in the UK.’

it is difficult to get this right. The

Biopsychosocial health What can employers do to help their

‘Don’t think of wellbeing as a

demands that employers make on

protective mechanism that you need

people are huge.

to provide,' Hemming explained,

‘We live in politically, economically

adding that she believes the onus is

employees’ wellbeing? Sally Hemming,

and socially tough times. What does this

on employees, not employers, to be

Associate Director, Employee Relations

ambiguity and lack of clarity demand

responsible for their own wellbeing.

and Talent at EY, the Forum’s main

of workers? Capability and calmness,’

'It’s up to them. However, what you can

speaker, offered her insight.

said Hemming. ‘But you also need to be

do, as an employer, is support them in

agile and alert, responsive and adaptive;

the workplace, in order to help them achieve that.’ I JH

An agreed definition of wellbeing does not exist, but it is traditionally

to have stamina and confidence;


- may / june 2017 - 69



ways to get innovation right

Innovation is at the heart of successful entrepreneurship, as attendees of the Start-up & SME Club discovered. But what is the secret?


uided by Co-Chair Arnaud de Montille, CoFounder of Merci Maman Personalised Gifts,

three speakers shared their lessons of how to use innovation to achieve success in early-stage businesses. ‘Innovation means trying something that might fail,’ explained Kevin Montserrat, Head of Start-up Ecosystem at Microsoft Accelerator. ‘You are not innovating unless you take the risk of failure.’ He warned, however, that there is little point in innovating for the sake of it. ‘The ultimate growth to aim for is non-linear growth, shaped as a hockey stick. ‘Ask yourself: what can you do to create hype? What is the product line you could develop? What could you invest in that is risky, but that could generate this non-linear growth? Today, you have your business’s spine – which is steady and

2. Governance

keeps your business afloat – but how can you literally explode

Often, leaders can end up lost in bureaucracy, making it harder

the business?’

for them to embrace innovation. Setting up the right processes

A joint presentation by Hervé Mottais, Associate Director

ensures that innovators do not end up bogged down in red tape.

at accountancy and advisory firm Moore Stephens and Steve

‘Build space and freedom for innovators to focus on the

Williams, Partner at Moore Stephens, underlined how companies

long-term strategy,’ said Mottais. ‘This means delegating

can successfully – and unsuccessfully – harness innovation in

short-term and operational processes to others. Leading, and

order to achieve this must-desired hockey-stick growth.

focusing on strategy, requires some free headspace.’

The pair highlighted four key factors to make a success of innovation.

1. Vision

3. Funding You can have the best idea in the world, but if you do not have a concrete financial plan, it will not happen. ‘If you have a long-

The business must have a defined ambition for the future,

term strategy, how are you going to fund it?’ asked Mottais. ‘You

which needs to be set from the very beginning.

need to consider this from day one.’

‘You need to have a good market awareness of who are your competitors and the current customer trends are,’ explained

4. Costumer focus

Mottais. ‘It is equally important to adapt your vision on a very

Finally, businesses must address a market need and focus on

regular basis.’

the customer. ‘The key to this is to listen to your client, rather

Williams also added that the vision must be ‘real’. ‘It needs to

than trying to fit your solution to what they want,’ explained

be realistic to both you and your employees in order to deliver it

Williams. ‘Truly understanding the customer’s need before

successfully,’ he explained.

thinking about the solution is the key to innovation.’ I JH

The key to this is to listen to your client, rather than trying to fit your solution to what they want. Truly understanding the customer’s need before thinking about the solution is the key to innovation 70 - info - may / june 2017


BIG data, BIG value? The Digital Transformation & Innovation Forum recently gathered two big data experts to discuss how to create value in a ‘Big Brother’ data world


t the Forum, held on 23 March, Co-Chair Christophe Chazot,

Big data projects must not be considered as ‘IT’

Group Head of Innovation at HSBC, welcomed two guest

projects; they are strategic and must be led from the top to

speakers, Richard Hepworth, Director of Digital Transformation

increase success. ‘Big data is not about technology or data,’

at PwC and Jérôme Encrevé, Head of Data Analytics at NBIM, to

Encrevé explained. ‘It is a platform to experiment with

give their view.

business ideas. It enables you to simulate business models –

Opening the proceedings, Hepworth shared an in-depth analysis of how big data has the potential to disrupt the energy

it’s about how you use the data. The discovery process is how you create value.’ I JH

market. From utility companies to off-grid generation, electric vehicles to large power generators, big data is transforming the energy supply chain, as consumers adopt smart meters and other connected devices. While the potential is vast, consumers are not yet on board. Indeed, PwC recently conducted a survey about the connected home that found that 80 per cent of UK households are not interested in buying smart devices, due to the complexity of their installation and the up-front cost of the units. ‘What is interesting is that those who have bought connected home devices found that they saved money as a result,’ he explained. ‘It’s like a non-return valve; once you have entered the market and experienced the service levels of connected homes, you don’t want to go back.’ The potential of these devices – and the data that they generate – is enormous and can create entirely new infrastructure. Whoever owns the big data in the energy sector will be able to operate in many more markets than today, Hepworth said. ‘Big data disrupts and changes the customer experience. It offers a whole new way of looking at the Internet of Things and is disruptive to all industries.’

Making a success of big data While big data has transformational value, harnessing it effectively can be a challenge for many organisations. ‘It’s extremely hard to create value with big data,’ said Encrevé during his presentation. ‘Many organisations have spent a fortune on data labs that have never produced anything valuable.’ To make a success from big data, organisations must be open to this, as there is an 80 per cent chance of big data projects failing. However, when the projects succeed, they can open the doors to a goldmine of information. It gives companies the possibility to prototype and experiment on a full scale. But first, companies must ensure that the right data is there, said Encrevé. ‘I’ve seen a big bank hire 20 data scientists without having built the infrastructure to produce data for them. These

WHY BIG DATA PROJECTS FAIL • Data is not reachable • Organisation is not ready • Project cost exceeds value created • Managed as an IT project rather than strategic • No C-level sponsor

people had nothing to do.’


- may / june 2017 - 71

Annual Lunch brings Chairs together


n 21 April, the Chairs and Deputy Chairs of the French Chamber’s Forums and Clubs were invited for an annual luncheon. Held in the sumptuous surroundings of Home House, it was an opportunity for the Chairs to get to know each other, network and build synergies between their respective Forums and Clubs. The lunch was, by all accounts, an enjoyable experience for all involved. Many attendees later shared how delighted they were to meet each other and, indeed, promised to work together for future sessions. The French Chamber would like to thank all of its Chairs and Deputy Chairs for their hard work and dedication; they play a key role in the Chamber’s success. Indeed, last year, there were 29 working sessions held (all covered in INFO), which welcomed 543 individual participants and 49 guest speakers. Close to 40 per cent of our member companies were involved. I

FORTHCOMING FORUMS & CLUBS By application only



The Impact of Brexit on Talent and Mobility May Guest speakers: Julia Onslow-Cole, Partner, Legal Markets Leader & Head of Global 08.30 - 10.00 Immigration, PwC and Jeremy Greaves, Vice President, Corporate Affairs & Strategy, Airbus Group UK Co-Chairs: Angela Hepworth, Corporate Policy and Regulation Director, EDF Energy and Neil Sherlock, Partner, Head of Reputational Strategy, PwC

24 May

18.00 - 21.00

25 May

08.30 - 10.30


June 12.30 - 14.30

LUXURY CLUB COCKTAIL Sponsored by Pernod-Ricard UK at The Connaught Hotel


June 9.00 - 11.00

Forum Launch and Brainstorming session Co-Chairs: Alain Harfouche, General Manager, L’Occitane and Catherine Palmer, Legal & Administrative Director, Joseph

The new customers, or how the Internet has changed the way we do business and consume

Co-Chairs: Christophe Chazot, Group Head of Innovation, HSBC and Lucien Boyer, Chief Marketing Officer, Vivendi

13 June

08.30 - 10.00

Chair: Tom Meggle, Managing Director UK, Ireland & South Africa, Louis Vuitton



20 June

10.00 - 12.00

START-UP & SME CLUB 13 June, 8.30-10.00 Pitching session with 6 Start-Ups Co-Chairs: Arnaud de Montille, Co-Founder, Merci Maman Personalised Gifts and Jeanne Monchovet, Founder, Olystix

CLIMATE CHANGE FORUM Energy efficiency: the forgotten priority Guest speakers: George Adams, Director of Energy and Engineering, SPIE UK and AnneFrance Kennedy, Director, ON5 Company

Chair: Richard Brown CBE, Former CEO & Chairman of Eurostar and Deputy chair: Jean-Philippe Verdier, Founding Partner, Verdier & Co Corporate Advisory

WOMEN’S BUSINESS CLUB Theme and speakers TBC Chair: Estelle Brachlianoff, Senior Executive Vice-President UK & Ireland, Veolia and President of the French Chamber of Great Britain at Chanel Flagship Store


FINANCE FORUM The Impact of Brexit on Finance


Co-Chairs: John Peachey, Chief Financial Officer, Global Markets, HSBC Bank Plc and Rob Guyler, CFO at EDF Energy Guest speaker: Liz Martins, Senior Economist, HSBC 08.30 - 10.00

All sessions, excluding the Luxury Club's & Women's Business Club's, take place at the French Chamber For more information, please contact Ophélie Martinel at or 0207 092 6634 72 - info - may / june 2017


Renault SCENIC Life. Style.

The official fuel consumption figures in mpg (l/100km) for the All-New Renault ScĂŠnic Signature Nav dCi 110 are: Urban 67.3 (4.2); Extra Urban 76.3 (3.7); Combined 72.4 (3.9). The official CO2 emissions are 100g/km. Figures are obtained for comparative purposes in accordance with EU Legislation and may not reflect real life driving results.



he French Chamber’s annual Member-to-Member Cocktail and Exhibition was held on 9 March at Ligne Roset City, attracting close to 200 visitors who spent the evening networking around the exhibitors. The event, a favourite among members, brings together businesses of all sizes and from different sectors in one place where they can showcase their expertise, products and services to fellow members. Many of the exhibitors offered freebies to attract and engage visitors, who spent the evening networking over drinks kindly provided by Le Petit Ballon and Les Vergers de la Silve. Attendees were also encouraged to enter a lucky prize draw featuring a range of gifts from: Ligne Roset (two paper lamps designed by René Barba); Institut Français (a language class); PAUL UK (a bread masterclass for two); Le Petit Ballon (a one-month wine subscription); and Les Vergers de la Silve (a three-bottle gift pack of premium apple juices). These were announced in the course of the evening by Sonia Olsen, the French Chamber’s Head of Events. This was the first year that the event was held at Ligne Roset City, in east London, and was by all accounts a success, with positive feedback from both visitors and exhibitors who highlighted the valuable connections they made. I

MEET THE 2017 EXHIBITORS Asendia Augusta Ventures

French Chamber members mingling and networking at the Member-to-Member Cocktail and Exhibition 2017, held in Ligne Roset City's stunning showroom

Delahaye Moving H2P HL TRAD Institut Français Le Petit Ballon Les Vergers de la Silve

Groupe Renault's Twizy vehicle, exhibited outside of Ligne Roset City, attracted a lot of attention from guests – and the general public

Ligne Roset London School of International Communications Meetings & Events by Club Med OVH PAUL UK Pramex International – Groupe BPCE Groupe Renault UK & Ireland Theodo

Haute chocolaterie




ierre Marcolini’s Marylebone High Street boutique welcomed members of the Chamber for a popular Rendez-vous

Chez event in March. Founded in Brussels in 1995 by Pierre Marcolini, the chocolate maker is renowned for his expert skill and passion for creating the world’s best chocolates. Twenty participants spent the evening tasting and savouring the exceptional chocolates, learning about Pierre Marcolini’s dedication to ethical standards and the bean-to-bar chocolate movement. Un délice! I 74 - info - may / june 2017

Ready, steady, quiz!



osted at PwC’s Embankment offices, the 2017 CrossCultural Quiz Evening gathered 120 people for a night

of friendly rivalry, dinner, drinks and a whole lot of fun. Expertly hosted by the French Chamber’s cross-cultural expert – and Senior Vice President – Peter Alfandary, the quiz questions once more focused exclusively on French and British culture, traditions and trivia. With most of the tables booked by companies – namely AXA Partners, Chandos Communications, Chanel, Euronext, Frenger International, Gide Loyrette Nouel, PwC and Veolia – plus three ‘mixed’ tables, the competition was fierce. However, after five gruelling rounds of questions including a picture round, a clear winner emerged: the mixed ‘Francis Bacon’ table, which took first place by cunningly waiting to use its joker until the final round and using it to trump the competition. Despite their defeat, many vowed to return next year to take the crown. Thank you to PwC for sponsoring the Quiz for the third year running and for hosting the event in its beautiful Embankment offices. Our appreciation also goes to Vranken Pommery for providing the evening’s Champagne, and to PowerVote for the interactive quiz tablets. We are also grateful to our prize donors – Vranken Pommery, La Maison Maille, Jeff de Bruges and Nuxe – for providing the winning team’s gifts. I

Above: The 'Francis Bacon' mixed table celebrates its win

And the winner is... Frenger International! INTERCULTURAL TROPHY, 23 FEBRUARY


eld during the Cross-Cultural Quiz Evening, the French Chamber also presented its 20th Intercultural Trophy. Following a public

vote, this year’s trophy, sponsored by AXA Partners, was presented to Frenger International. Jérôme Droesch, CEO of AXA Partners, was on hand to present the Cartier-designed trophy to Jean-Noël Mermet, who founded Frenger International in London in 1983 with a mission to facilitate trade between the UK and France. ‘To deliver our services for more than 33 years, we have had to not only demonstrate our technical expertise but also – and arguably more importantly – demonstrate our ability to bridge the cultural gap between the French and the British,’ said Mermet. Congratulations to Frenger International, and thank you to AXA Partners for their support. Thanks also to Jeff de Bruges for offering

Jean-Noël Mermet, Founder and CEO of Frenger International, celebrates receiving the 2017 Intercultural Trophy from AXA Partners' Jérôme Droesch

chocolates, Vranken Pommery for the magnum Champagne, Nuxe for providing a hamper of products, La Maison Maille for the pot of mustard and Christofle for offering a mail tray to the winner. I


- may / june 2017 - 75

ANNUAL GALA DINNER 2017 Despite being held in tragic circumstances – earlier in the day, a terrorist attack took place in Westminster, injuring more than 50 people, five of them fatally – the French Chamber’s Annual Gala Dinner took place as planned, although with a more sombre tone than in previous years


lose to 500 guests attended the Gala, held at the

underlined the closeness of the French and British people.

Landmark London Hotel, to mark the friendship

She also thanked the French Chamber for the role it plays in

between Britain and France and to celebrate the French

fostering Franco-British relations, before leaving to meet the

Chamber’s continued growth and success.

families of the French victims of the attack at the airport.

Following a reception in the Landmark’s beautiful indoor

The Deputy Mayor, Rajesh Agrawal, spoke next, offering

courtyard, where guests networked over Vranken Pommery

an inspiring and uplifting view of Franco-British relations. The

Champagne, Estelle Brachlianoff, the President of the French

audience later remarked on the quality of his speech – he was

Chamber and Senior Executive Vice-President of Veolia UK &

an excellent replacement for the Mayor and the Chamber was

Ireland, welcomed them in the ballroom.

grateful to him for stepping in at the last minute.

Brachlianoff first offered the Mayor of London's apologies

‘Thank you to the French Chamber for the incredible

for having to cancel his attendance and thanked him for sending

work you do in fostering business and Franco-British links,’

the Deputy Mayor of London for Business, Rajesh Agrawal, to

said Agrawal. ‘London is lucky to have such a thriving French

speak in his stead. Acknowledging the sad events of the day, she

community, which not only makes a massive contribution to our

London is lucky to have such a thriving French community, which not only makes a massive contribution to our economy, but also to our culture and the vibrancy of London noted that the French and British people stand as one against

economy, but also to our culture and the vibrancy of London.

terrorism and led the room in a minute of silence in memory of

You play an integral part in London’s success.

the victims and their families.

‘All of you are welcome here and you will always be welcome

Following this tribute, Brachlianoff shared her appreciation

here. This will not change because of Brexit. The French

for the evening’s sponsors and partners (see bottom-right,

community is a credit to London and a crucial component about

opposite) and introduced the Gala’s charity partner, the

what makes this place so special.

homelessness charity Emmaus UK. Its CEO, Simon Grainge,

'At City Hall, we are committed to working to ensure these

proceeded to say a few words about the important work

bonds remain strong, that they be strengthened and that the

Emmaus undertakes in the UK, such as its support of more than

French community and businesses always feel comfortable and

750 formerly homeless people.

able to grow and prosper.’

The French Ambassador was next to speak. HE Ms Sylvie

He also asked the room to act as ambassadors for the

Bermann delivered an emotional and impassioned speech that

city: ‘Talk to your friends, your colleagues and the political

76 - info - may / june 2017

Clockwise from top right: Deputy Mayor of London for Business, Rajesh Agrawal, delivering a speech on behalf of the Mayor; Chanel UK Managing Director Olivier Nicolaÿ, French Ambassador HE Ms Sylvie Bermann and Deputy Mayor Rajesh Agrawal during the minute of silence; French Chamber President Estelle Brachlianoff and MD Florence Gomez present the charity auction's proceeds to Emmaus UK CEO Simon Grange; gospel choir Revelation Avenue; PowerVote's tablets for the silent charity auction

leaders in France and tell them that London is still open for

of perfume by Chanel. Throughout the meal, attendees were

business and it is in their own interests for London to succeed,

able to place silent bids for the charity auction, whose donated


lots went on to raise £20,838 for Emmaus UK.

Agrawal received rapturous applause for his speech, which

While the evening’s mood was understandably more glum

made clear that London will continue to be open to the French

than usual, good conversations were had by all and spirits were

and, indeed, the rest of Europe.

further lifted by gospel choir Revelation Avenue, which sang a

Following the formal speeches, guests were treated to

trio of moving songs, including Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah – a

a gastronomic dinner served with fine wines provided by Le

fitting ending to a poignant day. Thank you to City Hall for their

Conseil des Vins de Saint-Emilion and Les Vins de Pessac-

reactivity and continuous communication on the day, which

Léognan. Everyone was also treated to a complimentary bottle

was essential to making the evening a success. I JH





- may / june 2017 - 77


24 May

18.30 - 21.00

LUXURY CLUB COCKTAIL At The Connaught Hotel, Carlos Place, Mayfair, London W1K 2AL For Luxury Club & Patron members and their spouses (main representatives only) In partnership with Pernod Ricard UK Our members will be treated to a range of unique experiences involving the group's premium brands. Tasting opportunities will range from a Perrier-Jouët Belle Epoque Champagne to Cognac Martell and others in between, with their respective Brand Ambassadors on hand to guide and answer any queries. For further information, please contact Anne-Claire Lo Bianco at: or 0207 092 6643

31 May

17.30 - 19.30

AMBASSADOR’S BRIEF At the French Residence, 11 Kensington Palace Gardens, London, W8 4QP Theme: 'Elections in France and the UK: what are the potential consequences for Franco-British relations and Brexit?' For French-speaking Patron and Corporate members as well as Advisory Councillors. Main representatives only The French Chamber requests the pleasure of your attendance at the second Ambassador's Brief of 2017 with HE Ms Sylvie Bermann, French Ambassador to the United Kingdom. Following Emmanuel Macron’s election to the Presidency of the French Republic, and one week prior to the UK General Election, the Ambassador will give her view of the impact of both on Franco-British relations, the Brexit negotiations and the future of Europe. For further information please contact Sonia Olsen at: or 0207 092 6641


June 18.00 - 20.00

RENDEZ-VOUS CHEZ BOUCHERON At Boucheron, 164 New Bond Street, Mayfair, London W1S 2UH Open to all members £20+VAT per person In partnership with Aubaine Created by Frédéric Boucheron in 1858, French jewellery house Boucheron has been built by four generations of direct descendants. Visionary designer and first jeweller of the Place Vendôme, Boucheron embodies excellence in jewellery, high jewellery and watchmaking. Join us on 7 June to discover Boucheron’s style while networking with new business contacts over cocktails kindly provided by Aubaine. For further information, please contact Camille Gorin at: or 02090726644

78 - info - may / june 2017

14 June

19.00- 22.30

DÎNER DES CHEFS WITH JEAN-FRANÇOIS ROUQUETTE At Hyatt Regency London-The Churchill, 30 Portman Square, London W1H 7BH Open to all members £98+VAT per person In partnership with L'Union des Crus Classés de Graves, Cognac Martell, Caviar Petrossian, Pernod Ricard and Perriet-Jouët Do not miss this opportunity to meet Jean-François Rouquette, Executive Chef of the Michelin Star restaurant Pur’ at Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme, coming from Paris to offer you a taste of the ‘Art de Vivre à la française’. Special thanks go to Pernod Ricard, L’Union des Crus Classés de Graves and Petrossian for respectively offering Champagne and cognac, wines, and caviar. For further information, please contact Anne-Claire Lo Bianco at: alobianco@ccfgb. or 0207 092 6643


FROM SCRATCH TO SUCCESS: BUSINESS STORIES At the French Institute, Ciné Lumière, 17 Queensbery Pl, London SW7 2DT Guest speakers: Didier Rappaport, Co-Founder of DailyMotion and CEO and June Founder of Happn; and Pascal Cagni, Founder and CEO of C4 Ventures and 18.00 - 21.00 Apple EMEIA GM, VP (2000-2012). Moderator: Albin Serviant, Co-Founder of FrenchConnect London & FrenchTech London Lead Open to all members. £40+VAT per person; £65+VAT - Special price for 2 Sponsored by HSBC. In partnership with French Tech




Pascal Cagni and Didier Rappaport are set to share their experiences and career trajectory during an inspirational debate at our next 'From Scratch to Success: Business Stories' event. Join us to hear two visionaries tell their story of success, while also networking and enjoying a standing dinner provided by Aubaine. Pascal Cagni is founder and partner at C4Ventures, through which he invests in start-ups and contributes to their product roadmap and international rollout. Pascal is also a non-executive director at Vivendi, Kingfisher and, the Condé Nast owned ecommerce website.

Pascal Cagni

In 2000, Steve Jobs appointed Pascal as General Manager and Vice President for Apple EMEIA (Europe, Middle East, India and Africa), where he developed an innovative Go-To-Market strategy that included the successful rollout of the Apple Premium Reseller (APR) and Apple Shops. Under Pascal’s leadership, EMEIA was consistently Apple’s fastest growing region, with annual sales increasing from $1.2bn in 2000 to $40bn in 2012.

In 2005, Didier Rappaport co-founded Dailymotion, where he served as chief operating officer. In 2008, Didier joined Nomao, a personalised social network using geolocation, and immediately set about turning it into a search engine. This led to him creating Happn in 2013, a dating app which he launched in 2014. Today the application has 26 million users worldwide and operates in about 40 cities such as Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, New York City, London, Madrid, Paris, Mumbai, Sydney, Moscow and Hong Kong to name but a few. Didier Rappaport

For further information, please contact Sonia Olsen at: or on 0207 092 6641


- may / june 2017 - 79

27 June

18.00 - 20.30

BUSINESS CLUB COCKTAIL WITH RÉGION HAUTS-DE-FRANCE At the French Residence, 11 Kensington Palace Gardens, London W8 4QP Theme: 'Hauts-de-France: your closest point of entry to the European Union' Speakers: Xavier Bertrand, President of the Hauts-de-France Region; Philippe Hourdain, President of the Hauts-de-France Chamber of Commerce Free of Charge


The French Chamber of Great Britain is delighted to invite you to celebrate the launch of Hauts-de-France Region’s London office. Aimed at British and international companies planning to enter the French market, as well as those that have already gained some experience and want to learn about how to adapt to post-Brexit challenges, the event will feature a speech by the President of the Region, Xavier Bertrand. A networking session will follow, where participants will be able to learn more about how to start a business in the Region and discover more about the opportunities that it offers. Particular emphasis will be given to the economic implications following the Brexit vote and the advantages that the Hauts-de-France Region offers as a gateway to Europe. Xavier Bertrand, President of the Hauts-de-France Region

You can also read more about the region’s future plans on p24.

Xavier Bertrand was appointed as Health Minister in Dominique de Villepin’s cabinet in 2005, a post he held until 2007, when he was named Minister of Labour from May 2007 to January 2009, then Minister of Labour, Employment and Health from 2010 to May 2012 under François Fillon. In December 2015, Xavier Bertrand became the first President of the newly formed Hauts-de-France Region. For further information, please contact Anne-Claire Lo Bianco at: or on 0207 092 6643.

11 July

18.30 - 21.00

SUMMER CHAMPAGNE RECEPTION 2017 At the Hurlingham Club, Ranelagh Gardens, London SW6 3PR £50+VAT per person, £80+VAT - Special price for 2 Open to all members Champagne Partner: Vranken Pommery Sponsored by Banque Transatlantique

Champagne partner


Each year, our Summer Champagne Reception brings together up to 200 French Chamber members from a whole host of sectors for an evening of high-level networking – a great way to kick off the British summer! Do not miss the opportunity to sip Vranken Pommery champagne and celebrate the summer with fellow members while also enjoying the elegant surroundings of the Hurlingham Club. Special thanks to Vranken Pommery for providing Brut Royal and Royal Blue Sky Champagne on this occasion. For more information, please contact Anne-Claire Lo Bianco at: or on 0207 092 6643.

80 - info - may / june 2017


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