Page 1





Paris vs London

A reflection on business attractiveness in the capitals


‘Five Minutes With’ Arnaud Vaissié, CEO of International SOS, an interview with HE Edward Llewellyn, British Ambassador to France, the latest Brexit insight & analysis, and much more…

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





Fabienne Viala President, French Chamber of Great Britain Chairman of Bouygues UK and UK Country Director of Bouygues Construction


he Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, once said that London is a suburb of Paris and that Paris is a suburb of London. Indeed, the two capitals are inextricably linked. They represent the cultural, political and economic engines of their respective countries, and both are consistently two of the most influential

cities in Europe, only 500km apart. Our Franco-British business community, largely based in London and Paris, is testament to the strong

bonds of trade and cooperation which underpin the activity of some of the largest companies in Europe, as well as a vibrant ecosystem of entrepreneurs and start-ups. Journalists and commentators often draw on a perceived competition between the two cities. Recent headlines boast that Paris overtook London with the highest number of tourists of any European city in 2018. Others state that London is maintaining its lead over Paris for Fintech investment – but for how long? What is clear is that competition, far from pitting the cities against one another, pushes each to new heights thanks to organised collaboration. This issue celebrates this relationship and explores some of the dominant business trends in each cultural context. From an interview with Roxanne Varza, Director of the hugely successful Paris-based incubator, Station F, to an op-ed by Catherine McGuiness, Policy Director for the City of London, these pages offer unique insight and expertise into how these cities will develop in a post-Brexit landscape. According to the British Ambassador to France, Edward Llewellyn, in an exclusive interview, the two cities are always looking for ways to work together, from their roles as founders of the C40 Leadership Group, which advocates on climate action, to sharing insight into preparedness for the Olympic and Paralympic Games (to be hosted in Paris in 2024). I trust you will enjoy this issue, and hope that it provides you with the insights you are looking for to help you in your businesses. As always, in this magazine you will find our regular features from our Forums & Clubs, a wealth of news and information, and much more. I look forward to seeing you soon. I


- autumn 2019 - 3




Banque Transatlantique London Branch


020 3618 9750

Banque Transatlantique SA, Finsbury Circus House, 15 Finsbury Circus, London EC2M 7EB, UK. T: +44 203 618 9750 E:

Banque Transatlantique SA is authorised by the Banque de France (Autorité de Contrôle Prudentiel et de Résolution).

Banque Transatlantique SA has a Board of Directors, a Supervisory Board and an issued capital of €29,371,680 (RCS Paris 302695937).





30 Introduction 32 Interview Edward Llewellyn, British Ambassador to France 34 Mayoral collaboration Priorities of Sadiq Khan and Anne Hildalgo 35 Reshaping the financial world Catherine McGuinness, City of London 36 Smart and sustainable cities George Adams, SPIE 37 A digital plan for London Theo Blackwell, London Chief Digital Officer 38 Property Barometer Richard Holberton, CBRE 40 European tech hubs EY Europe Attractiveness Survey 42 Paris on the tech map Roxanne Varza, Station F 44 The entrepreneurial spirit Michael Niddam and Stéphane Guinet, Kamet 46 Relocations between London and Paris Ségolène Chambon, French Touch Properties 47 Paris: A gateway to France Reginald Otten, easyJet 48 Franco-British Young Leaders George Merrylees, Irwin Mitchell

Leadership in creative industries Annette King and Agathe Bousquet, Publicis Higher education in the capital Kevin Coyne, Université Paris-Dauphine


52 55 56 57

Culture: What's on Book reviews by Institut Français Cluture news: LPO & Ladurée Wine Story by Thibault Lavergne


59 Introduction by Florence Gomez 60 Chamber News 61 Business Centre Interview Tronico 62 INFO 40: Cover competition 64 New Members FORUMS & CLUBS

66 67 68 69 70 71 72

HR Forum Conflict and mediation in the workplace Climate Change & Sustainability Forum The business case for sustainability Retail Forum Millennials as customers Retail Forum Retail and digitisation Consumer Brands Forum The future of plastic packaging Women's Business Club Diversity and inclusion Forthcoming Forums & Clubs


73 Business Leaders Mission to Paris 74 Seminar with Ekimetrics 75 Seminar with EDF Energy 76 Past event highlights Summer Champagne Reception; Exclusive tour of the Wallace Collection; Women, Inspiration & Leadership; Brexit Beyond the Headlines ; Member2Member; International Wine Tasting 80 Forthcoming events




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




49 50


8 Five minutes with... Arnaud Vaissié, International SOS 10 Brexit: Analysis and look ahead 12 Data Transfers and Brexit Rémi Bresson Auba, Pinsent Masons 13 The Risks to UK Energy Alexander Temerko, Aquind Interconnector 14 Preparations for Import-Export Businesses Robert Marchant, Crowe 17 Business News 23 Life in Business David Chermont, Inbound Capital 24 SME Profile: Kalory 25 Scale-up Profile: Rimilia 28 Education News 29 Reports & research






Paris vs London

A reflection on business attractiveness in the capitals


‘Five Minutes With’ Arnaud Vaissié, CEO of International SOS, an interview with HE Edward Llewellyn, British Ambassador to France, the latest Brexit insight & analysis, and much more…

Managing Director: Florence Gomez Editor: Jakob von Baeyer Cover & Graphic Design: Katherine Millet Senior Content and Ad Sales Manager: Suzanne Lycett Publications Assistant: Marie Juillard Contributors: Catherine McGuinness, George Adams, Reginald Otten, Richard Holberton, George Merrylees, Ségolene Chambon, Alexander Temerko, Robert Marchant, Rémi Bresson Auba, Suzanne Lycett, Marie Juilllard, Thibault Lavergne

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

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


- autumn 2019 - 5

Five minutes with...

Arnaud VaissiĂŠ Chairman and CEO, International SOS The co-founder of the market-leading medical assistance and security services company speaks to INFO about his professional challenges and his role in the wider Franco-British community Tell us about the activities of International SOS.

Thirdly, we keep our boots on the ground. Mobility has

International SOS is a pioneer and a leader in the industry of

become the norm, almost every company in the world, big

medical assistance and security services. Our development

or small, is travelling to do business, even to complex and

and growth have been deeply interconnected with the

risky locations. It is crucial for us to be on the ground with

increase of business internationalisation that has been

our clients, and that is what we do with our dedicated teams

extraordinary for the past 40 years.

of medical doctors and security specialists who are on call

Today, on average two-thirds of the employees of large international companies are located outside of their country

24/7 through our twenty-seven Assistant Centres located strategically around the world.

of origin. Our job is to be a business enhancer, advising companies and their staff on how to do things in the safest

What are the main challenges your company faces when

possible way. Types of threats have become far more diverse,

working to achieve a healthier and more secure world?

from natural disasters to physical security and cyber issues,

From terrorist attacks to natural disasters, the main challenge

and these are touching as many OECD countries as emerging

is to face and to cope with an environment which is summed


up by the acronym VUCA: volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous. Security has become a top priority issue for

What are your priorities for the company going forward?

companies, and their request for risk preparedness is

Firstly, we are focused on prevention. We help companies train

increasing drastically each year.

their employees in mobility, doing the right check-ups and

A few years ago, the Risk Manager position used to be a

safety measures. In doing so, companies decrease significantly

position that you could only find in large corporations. Today,

their number of emergency cases and that is their return on

Risk Managers are seen in SMEs as well as institutions of


higher education. We now have 300 educational institutions

Secondly, we are investing in digitalisation and technology. We dedicate five percent of our revenue to the development of innovative solutions, such as our most recent in-flight

that are clients such as Harvard, MIT, EDHEC Business School, and London South Bank University. Last year, our security teams were involved in 215 cases

emergencies apps. which provide airline crew a better liaison

linked to terrorist acts and attacks. For example, last January

with our Medical experts on the ground in order to assess

we were in Nairobi where we had a number of clients

quickly any medical situation and to receive the proper

present in the Dusit hotel when the terrorist attack occurred.

medical protocol. TravelTracker, our flagship technology

International security and geopolitical trends are likely to have

product, monitors the travel of 2.5 million people each year,

more influence on the global economy in the future, thus

helping organisations locate their workers during a crisis.

demanding greater strategic attention from business leaders.

Regardless of what happens, deal or no deal, I see a place for thought leadership and above all the need to maintain the dialogue between Britain and France 8 - info - autumn 2019

F I V E M I N U T E S W I T H . . . A R N AU D VA I S S I É

Today, on average two-thirds of the employees of large international companies are located outside of their country of origin

As a global CEO with more than 30 years’ experience, what

of annual turnover (+6% per year), number of new French

has been your greatest professional challenge?

Chambers abroad (+13%) and new corporate members

The Tsunami of 2004 was surely our greatest professional

(+23%). The figure that I am particularly proud of is that 99

challenge. On 26 December 2004, a huge earthquake

percent of the funding comes from private sources mostly

occurred beneath the sea off the coast of Indonesia and

our members annual contributions. The CCIFI network is very

triggered a massive tsunami. When the tsunami hit land, it

influential, and yet it does not cost much to the French tax

devastated parts of Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, Thailand, the


Maldives and Malaysia. More than 300,000 people died and many communities were destroyed. It was one of the biggest

As co-founder of the think tank Cercle d’Outre Manche,

natural disasters of modern times.

you are uniquely placed as a commentator on Franco-

It also defined our company, and the way we responded

British relations. How do you see the relationship

was vital to our credibility. We had clients from all over the

between the two communities changing as a result of

world visiting these popular destinations. Our first team


arrived on 27 December. This was not an easy task. Given the

The UK is one of France’s most significant economic outposts,

total destruction, maps were of no help at all, but our people

with French companies in Britain turning over € 120bn

managed to get there and immediately started helping. Just

annually. There are today more than 3,000 French businesses

thirty-six hours after the tsunami struck, we were able to

employing nearly 400,000 people in the UK. The UK also

launch a tsunami update website, which provided the latest

represents France’s highest trade surplus – exceeding €10bn

information on all affected regions.

a year.

You recently stepped down as President of CCI France

British business community has been working hard to

International after a six-year tenure. How would you

understand what Brexit means for their operations and their

characterise the development of the CCI network in that

employees. For the past 6 months, an increasing number


of our businesses have developed contingency plans for a

Last June, I handed over the CCI France International

‘no deal’ scenario, because this prospect has now become a

Chairmanship to Renaud Bentégeat, former President of the

serious and realistic outcome.

Since Article 50 was triggered in March 2017, our Franco-

French Chamber in Belgium, after two three-year mandates.

Regardless of what happens, deal or no deal, I see a place

It has been indeed a great pleasure and privilege to chair a

for thought leadership and above all the need to maintain the

network that brings together 124 French Chambers in 93

dialogue between Britain and France. This is a role that the

countries and supports 36,500 corporate Members worldwide.

Cercle d’outre-Manche and the French Chamber ought to play.

The development and growth of the CCIFI network has

I Interview by JvB

been very substantial over these past six years in terms


- autumn 2019 - 9

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


t the time of going to print, the UK was racing to agree a deal with EU negotiators, one day before the EU Leaders Summit

on 17 October. With developments seemingly happening bythe-minute, it is impossible to predict how the situation will play out over the coming weeks and months.

would no longer be a voting member of the EU parliament. It all comes with the major caveat, however, that in the case of a no-deal, all bets are off. While giving evidence to the Commons European Scrutiny Committee in 2017, Sir Ivan Rogers, the UK’s former trade

What is certain, however, is that once a Withdrawal

ambassador to the UK, said that trade talks would be ‘on a scale

Agreement has been sorted, the hard work of negotiating a

that we have not experienced since the second world war.’ He

trade deal, or deals, will commence. The fact that Britain is still

warned that there would be difficult trade-offs for both Britain

a member state has prevented such talks from going forward

and the 27 member states of the EU.

under EU law.

The models for trade deals are currently: 1) ‘Norway,’

According to the deal in principal, which was reached in late

with single market rules and parallel institutions, but new

2018, a transition period until December 2020 would begin

arrangements on freedom of movement and regulation. 2)

immediately following withdrawal and formal talks could then

‘Ukraine,’ with participation in the single market in sectors which

kick off in earnest.

remain aligned and subject to oversight. Non-harmonised

During this transition period, the UK would still have access

sectors would face barriers. And 3) ‘Canada plus,’ with the aim of

to EU member rights, including membership in the single market

agreeing better access for services and provisions for enhanced

and free movement of people across EU borders. But Britain

regulatory co-operation. I

Key dates Thursday 31 October

December 2020

December 2022

Date by which the UK is due to

End of trade talks transition period,

Implementation of the Northern Irish

leave the EU, or will have to seek

in the event of a deal by 31 October

backstop, if a customs deal is not

an extension


My government remains committed to ensuring that resident European citizens, who have built their lives in and contributed so much to the United Kingdom, have the right to remain

With the departure of Great Britain, a potential competitor will of course emerge for us. That is to say, in addition to China and the United States of America, there will be Great Britain as well

HM QUEEN ELIZABETH II, during the Queen’s speech, 14 October

GERMAN CHANCELLOR ANGELA MERKEL, speaking at a working lunch with President of France, 14 October

10 - info - autumn 2019

Sponsored by

Assessing the situation The Brexit Forum met in mid-September to hear an update on the major trends in politics and the economy


he Brexit Forum welcomed the business economist Andrew Sentence CBE to a session which

provided an update on the economic and political trends that dominated the Brexit landscape in September. Both Forum co-chairs, Neil Sherlock CBE, Senior Adviser, PwC, and Angela

Hepworth, Corporate Policy and Regulation Director, EDF Energy, also contributed their insight and analysis of the political and business landscape to the meeting. The beginning of the session focused on the impact of Brexit on the UK economy. It was reported that the value of the pound had fallen and, as a highly sensitive currency, it can be interpreted as a kind of ‘Brexit

A recent poll has shown that Brexit has become a number one priority for seventy percent of voters

barometer’ of the UK economy. On a sectoral basis, Brexit has had a negative impact on manufacturing, as well as on consumer behaviour,

current economic forecasts. On the positive side, consumer

such a short time, but he has said that he wants to deliver a deal. The likely

through price increases. Investments

spending has recovered to a degree,

outcome will be that he will be forced

are stagnating across the board in the

and the inflation rate – around two

to ask for an extension, followed by a

context of slow growth, and one in

percent – and the unemployment rate

General Election in November.

which big commitments are put on hold.

are respectable. Public spending in the

Regarding the economic prospects, three main points were reported:

UK is still around 38 percent of GDP. On the political front, the

A scenario which leads to a second referendum might occur; however, there continues to be polarisation of the

protectionism has had a strong impact

Conservative government led by PM

political debate and opinion. A recent

in the context of emerging markets;

Boris Johnson are in a minority, and

poll has shown that Brexit has become

the global economy has slowed down,

have been unable to call a general

the number one priority for seventy

including a rise of protectionism

election. Moreover, the Benn Act was

percent of voters.

(China / US); and the US economy has

passed in Parliament, a bill which will

performed quite well.

lead to an extension if a deal is not

for no-deal, in the hope that it doesn’t

UK growth is expected to be 1-to-

For businesses, it is right to plan

agreed at the EU summit (which will

happen. It has been noted that in many

1.5 percent, which is not viewed as

take place on October 17). Despite

companies, Brexit ‘fatigue’ can creep

disastrous. (In historical context, the

the government rhetoric, it has been

in, partly because many scenarios are

average growth rate in the UK over

pushed by the House of Commons to

difficult to plan, particularly involving

the past 200 years has been just over

acept that ‘no deal’ is not the default

workforce and transportation issues.

two percent.) The threat of recession is

legal situation.

very much linked to the world economy

In this context, it is clear that the

In terms of the next stages of the process, trade deals/relations will be

and its disrupting effects. However, a

current PM faces more challenges

the most difficult areas to plan and

no-deal Brexit could cause a recession,

than his predecessor Theresa May.

predict, and we could cause shifts in UK

worsen the situation, and change the

The Prime Minister cannot do much in

productivity. I


- autumn 2019 - 11

Data transfers and Brexit Rémi Bresson Auba, Solicitor at Pinsent Masons LLP, explores international data transfers and the challenges faced by international companies in the wake of Brexit and GDPR


he transfer of personal data is of ever-increasing importance to international companies and today any disruption to data flows has major practical impacts.

Any business that trades overseas or uses overseas service

providers, including payroll providers, recruitment services or insurance providers, can be impacted as soon as those services require the sharing of personal data. GDPR: strengthening rights Whilst the coming into force of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) has significantly strengthened the rights of data subjects over their personal data, it has also made noncompliance highly damaging and onerous for companies that process personal data. Processing personal data in violation of the GDPR can now

adopted by the EU Commission, called model clauses. (Another

be punished by fines of up to €20m, or 4 percent of annual

way is to implement Binding Corporate Rules but these are

global turnover – whichever is greater. Article 83(5)(c) GDPR

used solely for intra-group transfers and often take months, if

specifically provides that such fines can be applied in cases of

not years, to complete.)

international transfers of personal data carried out in violation of the GDPR.

Three complicating factors must nonetheless be born in mind for EEA companies wishing to use these model clauses:

Brexit challenges

• It can take time for the parties to reach agreement on the

The GDPR puts restrictions on the transfer of personal data

use of the model clauses. Consideration has to be given

outside of the European Economic Area (EEA) and therefore,

to the standard contract terms and how those terms fit in

currently, there is no specific restriction on the transfer of

with the main agreement between the parties. In

personal data between the UK and another EEA country as the

particular, the model clauses, as drafted, have no

UK, through its EU membership, is a member of the EEA.

liability cap.

In a 'no deal' Brexit scenario, however, the UK would, simultaneously as it exits the EU, exit the EEA and become a 'third' country for the purposes of data transfers. Whilst in the long term there is hope that the UK would

• The model clauses are designed for controller-to controller or controller-to-processor data transfers arrangements. There are no such standard clauses

benefit from a so-called 'adequacy decision' from the European

allowing for an EEA processor to export to a UK controller,

Commission, the Commission has been clear that it will not

or for an EEA processor-to export to a non-EEA-processor,

consider an adequacy decision for the UK until the UK has

including one based in a 'no deal' Brexit UK.

formally exited the EU. As such, a worst-case scenario would see numerous

• The model clauses are subject to a legal challenge

businesses, on the morning of 1 November, unable to complete

before the EU's highest court (CJEU). Privacy campaigner

transactions or even simply email colleagues and clients without

Max Schrems has argued that the model clauses fail to

breaching the GDPR.

guarantee adequate protection of personal data when it

is transferred from the EU to the US. Whilst this challenge

Transfers outside the EEA

is not directly related to Brexit, the judgment could

The main mechanism to transfer personal data to another

impact on EEA companies' ability to use model clauses to

company outside the EEA is for the parties to enter into an

transfer personal data to 'third' countries, including the

agreement incorporating the standard data protection clauses

UK in a 'no deal' scenario. I

12 - info - autumn 2019

The risks to the UK energy supply Alexander Temerko, Director of Aquind Interconnector, underlines the importance for the UK to remain in the European Internal Energy Market


f there is a single essential issue on

2018 when President Macron, a

Europe's re-industrialisation agenda, it

vocal supporter of increasing private

is the maintenance and development

investment in European infrastructure

of the Internal Energy Market (IEM). The European Union’s measures

projects, signed a communique with the UK Prime Minister to support

to harmonise and liberalise the energy

the development of interconnectors

market, known as the IEM, seek to

between France and the UK.

achieve the long-term security of

AQUIND Interconnector, a project

electricity and gas supply, including

my company develops, aside from being

market access, transparency and

a successful business venture, is a major


European infrastructure project, holding

Indeed, the IEM is a vital tool for protecting consumers against energy prices spiralling out of control

EU Project of Common Interest status since 2018. It is by far the largest France-UK

– particularly in the UK. It is also

interconnection project currently in

fundamental to decision-making for

construction, with the capacity to

private investment into generation

transmit 3 percent of French energy

and transmission, providing a unique

consumption, and 5 percent of British

position for renewables and a secure

energy consumption, between the two

marketplace without the need to scale


back and reinstate capacity. It is a framework that allows

In the context of this project, the ability to resolve regulatory issues

development of the most cost-efficient

between France and the UK, should

technological solutions that can offer

they arise, will indicate the potential for

the best positive effect on the energy

developing mutually beneficial trade

markets, which in turn improves the

relations and securing investment.

competitiveness of French, UK and generally EU manufacturers on the

Spearheading innovation

global market.

This month, AQUIND submitted a

On the diplomatic stage, the IEM

The IEM significantly contributes to the balance of trade between neighbouring countries and is largely a factor of confidence among states, business partners and financial structures

regulatory request to the national

significantly contributes to the balance

energy regulators to allow operation

of trade between neighbouring

of the project. The analysis which

countries and is largely a factor of

underlays this request demonstrates

confidence among states, business

socio-economic billions of pounds of

partners and financial structures.

benefits for both England and France,

regulatory framework remaining in place

including benefits for Germany and

for as long as it takes to offer benefits


to the European citizens and business

Ultimately, the IEM is a powerful institution which supports the decarbonisation of the European

We have also started a public

2,000 MW interconnector project. Long-term investment and a stable

are the Alpha and Omega of the energy

economy and the global environmental

procurement tender of the equipment



required to progress the project

It is our firm view that countries

to the construction stage. Major

which are able to provide this stability

The Brexit question

manufacturers and engineering

today will spearhead the next stage

There are some encouraging signs that

companies from Europe are

of economic and innovation-driven

the UK is likely to remain in the IEM.

participating in the procurement and

development, and win the global energy

construction tenders for this major

leadership race. I

One important signal came in


- autumn 2019 - 13

Preparations for import-export businesses For companies trading with Europe, understanding regulatory changes and taking concrete action now should be central to how companies prepare for Brexit, says Robert Marchant, Partner, VAT at national audit, tax, advisory and risk firm, Crowe


n news that is likely to be welcomed by many, HMRC announced

apply for an EORI number from an EU Member State given that

in late August 2019 that it is stepping up efforts to ensure

the UK issued number will not be valid in the EU after Brexit. I

businesses are ready to trade post-Brexit by automatically allocating UK VAT registered businesses with an Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number. An EORI number is a unique ID number allocated to businesses that enables them to be identified by customs authorities when importing or exporting goods. Prior to Brexit, businesses that were only trading within the EU will not have needed an EORI number but it will become required if and


when the UK leaves the EU Customs Union. At the time of the government’s announcement, official

1. Understand the impact of regulatory changes.

figures showed that only 72,000 companies have registered for an EORI number. It is expected that more than 88,000 VAT

2. Consider incorporating an EU company.

registered companies across the UK will now be automatically allocated an EORI number.

3. Open an overseas bank account.

What action should businesses take?

4. Review the likely Customs Duty treatment for your goods being imported into the UK or the EU so you know what additional costs may arise.

Businesses do not need to take any action if they have received an EORI which they will not use. Those that will import/export goods to/from the UK should share their EORI number with their freight agent so that it can be included on Customs Declarations. Businesses that are not currently UK VAT registered will not be covered by the action HMRC is taking and so will still need to

5. Understand your contractual terms and who bears the costs of any Customs Duty that becomes payable.

apply for an EORI. Other actions to get businesses Brexit-ready With







6. Apply for Transitional Simplified Procedures (TSP) and Authorised Economic Operator (AEO trusted trader status).

government, it is positive that ministers are taking decisive action to speed up the rollout of the scheme to help ensure the smooth transit of goods. There are though many other actions

7. Increase inventory held in key EU locations to ease any impact on customer delivery times.

businesses may wish to take as part of their Brexit preparations. As well as the EORI, those involved in EU trade may want

8. Consider support to EU nationals in your workforce.

to obtain a Transitional Simplified Procedures (TSP) registration, which is a simplification recently announced by HMRC. A TSP is intended to make it easier to import goods into the UK from

9. Review the workforce requirements to support your business plan.

the EU by reducing the amount of information that is given at the time of goods being imported into the UK, and deferring the time when the import declaration is made and duty paid. Similarly, UK businesses that previously imported goods into the EU using a UK issued EORI number may also need to 14 - info - autumn 2019

10. Review whether withholding taxes on interest, dividends and royalties could be an issue post Brexit.

Time to expand to France ? «Entrepreneurs and business managers, to make your European project a reality I can guide you through the creation and setup phases, then provide the day to day administrative, accounting and finance needs of your activity. » Henri Wedier, Chartered Accountant, Auditor.

Need to change your development strategy in the European market? Henri Wedier would be happy to meet you for a free consultation. Email him at or call +33(0)3 21 10 06 70 Expert accounting practice, chartered on the roll of expert-accountants of Lille, member of the Regional Company of Accounting Commissioners of Douai (59), the Wedier practice is a member of the Franco-British Chamber of Commerce in Paris, a member of the French Chamber of Commerce in Great Britain and the Franco-Irish Business Community network.

L'interconnexion AQUIND Reliera les réseaux électriques britannique et français afin de rendre les marchés énergétiques plus efficaces, de sécuriser l’offre et de réduire les émissions de carbone

2000 MW

16 TWh







CAPITALISM. TIME FOR A RESET. Business must make a profit but should serve a purpose too. Visit




Push for parity Fifty percent of KPMG’s board members are women, the first of the big four to reach gender parity at board level







appointed two female members

to their board, Melissa Geiger, Head of International Tax and Tax Policy, and Linda Main, Head of KPMG’s UK capital markets Group, bringing the board to an equal gender split. It is the first of the big four consultancy firms to overcome this hurdle. The move comes at a time of increased attention on the business case






workforce. A recent study in the Harvard




revealed that female board members can help to mitigate the overconfidence of male CEOs, which improves decision making in the company. However, a further HBR report

A recent Harvard Business Review study revealed that female board members can help to mitigate the overconfidence of male CEOs and improve decision-making

suggests, that when there is greater representation for women at a top leadership level, people presume there

median gap increased to 28 percent

all around how do we get there, how

to be greater equality at all levels of the

between the earnings of its male and

do we achieve this? We have more

organisation. Concern then decreases

female employees.

momentum today than we’ve ever had

around inequality in pay and other topics; a potential problem affecting people’s disposition to address the


An ongoing challenge Achieving



Echoing the HBR, The 30% Club and






diversity in the workplace is an ongoing

boards and in senior management

ambition for which the 30% Club has

not only encourages better leadership

long advocated. Welcoming C-Suite

and governance, but diversity further

As it stands, EY is the next in line to

members, the Club aims to encourage

contributes to better all-round board

achieve parity on its UK & Ireland

a diverse pool of business talent,

performance, and ultimately increased

executive board, with eight male and

with better gender balance at all


six female board members. PwC’s

organisation levels.

companies and their shareholders.’


A diverse big four




board comprises nine men and four

‘We are looking to constructively

The World Economic Forum recently

women, while Deloitte fields a board of

engage with organisations to lead this

estimated that it would take over

ten men and five women.

change. And we’re looking to come up

108 years to reach gender equality at

In terms of the gender pay gap, the

with actionable recommendations and

every level, through economic, health,

situation is reversed. KPMG is the only

a roadmap,’ says Brenda Trenowden


one of the big four who failed to close

CBE, 30% Club Global Co-Chair. ‘We’ve

showing that there is still a long way to

its gender pay gap over the 12 months

come a long way from where we started

go to achieve true balance. I SL

leading to March of this year. The

in 2010. Now our conversations are





- autumn 2019 - 17

GFG Alliance completes acquisition of Steelforce

GFG Alliance today successfully completed the acquisition of Steelforce, a vertically integrated manufacturer, trader and distributor of steel pipe and tube across Australia and New Zealand. ‘The acquisition increases our steel distribution capacity by 120,000 tonnes per annum and provides numerous potential optimisation opportunities while supporting our broader steel strategy here in Australia,’ says Executive Chairman & CEO Sanjeev Gupta.

Eurostar unveils 25 years of traveller photographs

Eurostar, the high-speed passenger rail service linking the UK with mainland Europe, unveils a new picture gallery celebrating travellers’ memorable imagery from the past 25 years. The gallery features contributions from wellknown Eurostar travellers across the worlds of cuisine, sport, fashion, drama and the music industry, including Dame Kelly Holmes, Henry Holland, Russell Tovey, Lily Cole and the presenters of Magic Radio.

AXA named third most responsible insurer in 2019

In 2019, AXA’s overall score reached 83%, increasing by four points since 2018. As a result, their ranking within the insurance sector has moved up from 5th in 2018 to 3rd this year. AXA has moved up 2 places in the DJSI ranking, which proves that our proactive CSR strategy around 3 reaffirmed priorities, namely the climate change, health and social inclusion, is taking us forward,’ says CEO Thomas Buberl. I

Ardian provides financing to Macquarie's acquisition of technical services group

Ardian, a world-leading private investment house, announces the arrangement of a Unitranche Debt Facility to support Macquarie Principal Finance’s (Macquarie) take-private acquisition of PTSG, a

market leading and previously UK AIM-listed B2B provider of safetycritical specialist testing, inspection, compliance and installation services. I

Sopra Steria strengthens international ambitions by partnering with FPT Software

Bouygues UK installs Oculus staircase at Cardiff Innovation campus An Oculus staircase, the first of its kind in the UK, is being installed

Sopra Steria, a European leader in digital transformation, announces a strategic partnership with FPT Software, a global IT services provider headquartered in Vietnam. Sharing the same strategic vision and benefiting from complementary geographical implementations, the two companies will be able to expand their international projects based on their sector and market expertise.

18 - info - autumn 2019

at Cardiff University’s cutting-edge Innovation Campus. Bouygues UK, the construction company building Innovation Campus, is working with Taunton Fabrications to design and install the staircase, which is a sculptural, open staircase travelling through a slanting void. I



Airbus to develop technology for UK MOD satellites

Airbus has won a design study from the UK’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory to develop the technologies for a cluster of ultra-high-resolution Synthetic Aperture Radar satellites for the UK Ministry of Defence. Called ‘Oberon’ the project will see Airbus develop the technologies that could lead to an in-orbit demonstration in 2022 and potentially an operational capability as early as 2025. I

Artist impression of an Oberon Project Spacecraft Cluster

Christie’s Education launches Young Collectors Club

Sanofi partners with Abbott on diabetes management

Christie’s Education is pleased to announce the launch of

Sanofi and Abbott are partnering to integrate glucose sensing

The Young Collectors Club, in collaboration with MTArt Agency.

and insulin delivery technologies that would help to further

The club’s mission is to nurture and assist the growing young

simplify how people with diabetes manage their condition. The

collectors’ movement with education and awareness of the

two companies will take an innovative approach to connected

art market and its components with the aim of helping them

care by developing tools that combine the revolutionary

to establish and maintain an art collection which will grow

FreeStyle Libre technology with insulin dosing information for

with them through their lifetime. I

future smart pens, insulin titration apps and cloud software. I

Total and Envision partner for energy market in China TEESS, a 50/50 joint venture company, established by Total, and Envision Group, a global leading smart energy technology company, launches its commercial activity to develop on site distributed generation solar projects for B2B customers in China. This offer will allow clients to decarbonize their energy while reducing energy costs, optimising & digitalising energy management, and enhancing the safety and reliability of energy utilisation. I

BNP Paribas announces strategic partnership with Kantox BNP Paribas today announces its strategic partnership with Kantox, a leading fintech specialising in FX risk management solutions.The agreement enables BNP Paribas and Kantox to jointly offer Kantox’s Dynamic Hedging solution to BNP Paribas’ clients across EMEA. Dynamic Hedging is an innovative software solution developed by Kantox, which allows corporate treasurers to fully automate and streamline FX workflows. I Kantox CEO, Philippe Gelis info

- autumn 2019 - 19


Air France receives award for its travel experience At the APEX (Airline Passenger Experience Association) EXPO trade show, Air France received the FOUR STAR Global Airline 2020 award. This distinction rewards the travel experience that companies offer their customers. The trade show brings together global air transport players is the largest event dedicated to the passenger experience. I

The Big Four professional services organisations join forces on disability inclusion Deloitte UK, KPMG UK and PwC UK have today announced that they have signed up to The Valuable 500 – the global initiative striving to place disability inclusion on the business agenda. EY has already pledged to The Valuable 500 at a global level. This collaborative move from the leading professional services organisations places the sector at the forefront of creating better inclusivity in business. I

Veolia delivers record investment to help communities and environmental projects

International SOS awarded certification for Information Security Management

Financial support for community

International SOS,

and environmental projects

the world’s leading

from the Veolia Environmental

medical and security

Trust reached a new record of

risk services company,

£5.88 million during 2018/2019

has achieved global

financial year, beating the

standard to the ISO/IEC 27001 Certificate for Information

previous year’s record of £5.3

Management, the most widely recognised international

million. Aimed at delivering real local benefits to communities

standard for information security. I

and supporting environmental initiatives, 112 projects received funding during the year. I

IQ-EQ completes acquisition of Peru & Partners

IQ-EQ is pleased to announce the acquisition of Peru & Partners, a Paris-based consulting firm and fund administrator dedicated to the private equity market. This latest acquisition further strengthens the Group’s service offering in France and complements its existing Paris-based business, Equitis. I

Publicis Worldwide UK relaunches as Publicis. Poke

Publicis Worldwide UK will bring together its three businesses; Publicis London, Poke and Arc, helping further the agencies successful client collaborations. The new agency’s model reflects the reality of a changed world operating with a blend of technology and creativity across brand communications, brand experiences and brand commerce. I 20 - info - autumn 2019

CBRE named on Dow Jones Sustainability World Index

CBRE Group announced that it has been included in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index (DJSI). This index recognizes global corporations that demonstrate leadership in environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance. CBRE’s ESG performance has also earned the company a place on the FTSE4Good Index for six consecutive years. I

Crédit Agricole develops its renewable energy investment company alongside ENGIE Crédit Agricole Assurances, Banque des Territoires and the Groupama Group announced that they signed an agreement under which Banque des Territoires and Groupama will enter the capital of Predica Energies Durables (PED), Crédit Agricole Assurances’ dedicated subsidiary for investments in renewable energy production assets alongside ENGIE, the French market leader for solar and wind power generation. I

EDF Group partners with Nissan to accelerate Electric Vehicle adoption EDF Group and Nissan have signed a cooperation agreement to accelerate the delivery of electric mobility together – particularly Nissan LEAF e+ through the smart charging of electric vehicles. This agreement applies to the United Kingdom, France, Belgium and Italy. The cooperation agreement focuses mainly on developing smart charging solutions (vehicle to grid, or V2G) by bringing together technologies developed and mastered by both companies. I

ENGIE makes its first investment in the circular economy in France ENGIE’s Rassembleurs d’Energies has completed its acquisition of a minority stake as part of a fund-raising initiative organised by Gecco, a company active in the social and solidarity-based economy which has been collecting and recycling waste from restaurants in the Hauts de France region for more than 10 years.

Stella McCartney and LVMH announce new partnership

Stella McCartney and LVMH have reached an agreement to further develop the Stella McCartney House. The new partners will detail the full scope of this deal in the Autumn. McCartney will continue as creative director and ambassador of her brand, while holding majority ownership.

Pinsent Masons joins Climate Bonds programme International law firm Pinsent Masons has joined Climate Bonds Initiative's Partners Programme, an international network mobilising debt markets to tackle climate change and finance green solutions. Pinsent Masons acted on behalf of the UK Green Investment Bank to establish a joint venture commitment of £200 million from the British government’s international climate fund.

Societe Generale ranked best bank worldwide for the environment

RobecoSAM's annual sustainability ranking puts Societe Generale in first place worldwide on environmental topics and in 6th place in Europe across all ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) factors, out of 175 banks analysed.


- autumn 2019 - 21

JCDecaux expands Towers portfolio JCDecaux UK has announced the expansion of its iconic The Towers portfolio, a premium state-of-the-art digital channel with national scale. The expansion continues to build on an already powerful and established channel for brands to access audiences across the country and will see the introduction of three new Towers in London and two new Towers in Manchester.

4,000 guests gather for sold-out FT Weekend Festival

Now in its fourth year, the FT Weekend Festival 2019 drew nearly 4,000 people to the grounds of Kenwood House to hear from leading experts and commentators in arts, music, literature, food & drink, business and technology.

SPIE UK wins Gold Award for Health and Safety SPIE UK is proud to announce that we have received the RoSPA Gold Award for Health and Safety. The RoSPA Health and Safety Awards are recognised internationally and have fast become one of the most sought-after accolades by organisations from every sector. I

Thales showcases telecommunications solutions as UK Space Conference Thales Alenia Space took an active role at

Capgemini thought leadership receives No. 1 ranking

the UK Space Conference, held in September in Newport, Wales. Organized under the auspices of the UK Space Agency, this MTG © Thales Alenia Space/Master Image Programmes

conference brought together

For a third consecutive year, the Capgemini Research Institute has been ranked No. 1 for producing top quality thought leadership by an independent professional services research firm Source Global Research. Capgemini’s thought leadership was rated the highest against 20 leading consultancies and technology firms in three key areas: appeal, resilience, and prompting action.

Saint-Gobain enters into negotiations to sell its civil engineering materials

Saint-Gobain has entered into exclusive negotiations with Groupe Frans Bonhomme in connection with the sale of the French company Distribution de Matériaux pour les Travaux Publics (DMTP) for an enterprise value of €70m. Through this divestment, Saint-Gobain optimizes it portfolio of distribution businesses in France in order to focus on its strongest brands. 22 - info - autumn 2019

all major players in the space sector, including manufacturers, users, researchers, universities and agencies. I

Accor launches prototype mobile hotel AccorHotels Innovation Lab have created ‘The Loft,’ a nomadic, self-contained, upscale extension to the existing Flying Nest proposition. The concept reinforces the Group's positioning in the mobile pop-up accommodation market, and has its roots in the heart of its Accor Live Limitless strategy. I


Working across the Channel Many business people divide their time between Paris and London. INFO speaks with David Chermont, Founder and CEO of the capital markets and equity advisory Inbound Capital, about living and working in the two cities


ondon in the 1990s was the era of Cool Britannia, a period of renewed

optimism as the city emerged from the recessions and social struggles of the 1970s and 80s. ‘It





Chermont, CEO of Inbound Capital, who arrived in London in his twenties in 1994, following his military service and a Grande Ecole. He had arrived to pursue a career in finance, contrary to the advice that he was receiving from friends and family back in France. Chermont, who is now in his fifties, recalls the reactions he received after he settled in Notting Hill. ‘It shocked people. They said, “you are French and you should live in South Kensington”

Going between the two cities, there is a real adjustment that needs to be made. I will never forget an old Eurostar advert for London, which said: ‘Welcome to another planet'

[the neighbourhood known for French expatriates]. However, I did not come all

up was 45 – and I was 43 at the time so

weekly via Eurostar – even though

the way here to be back in some kind of

just enough time to have a plan.’

his personal pendulum has shifted

mini-Paris. I really wanted to blend in and

He left the banks to set up his own

increasingly to Paris.

consultancy and later founded Inbound

He notes that he is adept at

Part of the attraction for Chermont

Capital. The move showed foresight and

switching between Parisian and London

was the ability to do business in a

pre-empted fundamental changes in EU

styles of doing business. ‘It’s not quite a

different way, and he prioritised working

rules regulating investment practices,

schizophrenic way of living, but it’s not

specifically with Anglo-Saxon firms, which

known as MiFID II, which established

far from that,’ says Chermont. ‘Going

he described as more ‘open-minded,’

more transparency in investing following

between the two cities, there is a real

contrary to the way of doing business in

the market crash in 2008.

adjustment that needs to be made. I

share the culture.’

France at that time, which would involve

Inbound sought to fill a gap in the

will never forget an old Eurostar advert

a formal introduction and less appetite

market created by the new regulation,

for London, which said: “Welcome to

for risk.

where small caps – before and after IPO

another planet.” I thought that was

– and unlisted companies would struggle

spot on.’

The entrepreneurial leap

to attract financing through the big

He is still honing his style. ‘I’m still very

After twenty-plus years at some of the

banks. Through their network, Chermont

quick to say ‘tu’ in Paris, and people do

largest British and American banks

and his partners saw an opportunity to

take offense,’ Chermont jokes. ‘London,

make those strategic introductions.

on the other hand, has always been a




Management, Merrill Lynch, Bank of America, RBS, and Citi Group – Chermont

The cross-cultural approach

decided to launch his own business.

more effortless place to do business. It may have taken a hit after the

A fundamental part of his business is

referendum result, and other European

‘I had always wanted to be an

working with firms on both sides of the

cities are catching up – but London still

entrepreneur but, for whatever reason,

Channel. It is a way of working which

has a huge lead as one of the best cities

I didn’t think it was for me. Then I read

Chermont has adopted since founding

in the world, not to mention big soft

an article in one of the broadsheets that

Inbound Capital and he now divides his

power, no matter what.’ I

said that the best time to launch a start-

time between the two cities, commuting


- autumn 2019 - 23


Capturing the moment INFO speaks with Franck Jehanne, Director & Co-founder of Kalory Photo and Video, to discover the photo studio’s take on today’s marketing landscape


resh from winning the ‘Best Product Photo Studio 2019 – London’ award, photography studio Kalory Photo & Video is

not resting on its laurels. It was originally set up in London by Co-Founders Franck Jehanne and Brijesh Patel, born out of their combined technical photography expertise and expansive luxury sector network, and now targeting an expansion across the Channel.

The visual landscape According to Jehanne, the visual marketing landscape is shifting. ‘Photography needs are changing fast because of Instagram. Everyone has become a photographer, but they need better pictures as a brand,’ says Jehanne. ‘If things go badly, photography budgets tend to be cut, but at the same time it’s when it’s bad that you need to invest. That’s how successful companies do it.’ The studio practises what it preaches. ‘Eight months ago, people were more conservative. We put energy into marketing

Part of entrepreneurship is the need to react to circumstances that you can’t change or you can’t control, like Brexit

the studio more broadly. We joined the Chamber of Commerce

The scope of the vision instead depends on the source of the

because of Brexit […] as a just-in-case strategy, and to recruit

commission. ‘Company headquarters have a global vision, and

new clients in different ways.’

not a country specific or market vision. The creative process

Jehanne says that it is better to prepare in the face of such uncertainty. ‘Part of entrepreneurship is the need to react to circumstances that you can’t change or you can’t control, like

is very different,’ Jehanne explains. Subsidiaries require more specific imagery. Kalory already had a global cliental taking advantage of the cheaper regulatory system in the UK. Targeting Paris was

Brexit,’ he says. Jehanne also reacted by seeing the opportunities Brexit can

the natural next step so France based clients can now take

provide, with a planned expansion to Paris.

advantage of the benefits of Kalory’s London location.

French markets

Jehanne. ‘The main cost difference is the models.’ Employment

‘It will be a very flexible opening at the beginning,’ says Jehanne.

law for models’ working hours and compensation are less

‘We have the network and our London team will be shooting

stringent in the UK. Permits for shooting in public places also

there, helped by a couple of reliable freelancers. The retouching

take longer to confirm in France.

‘There are fewer requirements for shooting in the UK,’ says

will take place in London'.

After being puzzled by the referendum results, Jehanne

Jehanne says there are no specific cultural contrasts between France and Britain when working to a creative brief.

now has an optimistic outlook. ‘I am surprised myself, but Brexit pushed me to do some really positive things,’ he says. I

PH OTO -SH OOT – TO P T I PS • Photography should be innovative and playful. It is part of the marketing mix and one of the most important as images are everywhere: website, social media, etc. • The strategy and objectives must be clearly defined before the shoot, to ensure efficiency on the day and a clear vision which will ultimately lead to a clear message • Clients should understand not only what they like, but also the hard nos for their brand image

24 - info - autumn 2019


Cash software is King INFO speaks with Steve Richardson, Co-founder and Commercial Officer of Rimilia, about the role of AI in cash software, being part of Microsoft’s accelerator programme, and scaling up the business What does Rimilia do?

really invigorated our business and got

The broad term is Financial relationship

to the core of what we do. Microsoft



gained the opportunity to grow their

supports accounts receivable, helps them

cloud-computing Azure platform – so it’s

automate and make their receivables

the perfect fit.



more efficient. We track behaviours and understand how financial relationships

What are your top priorities as a

are happening to give clients real insight


into their customer bases. Our software

Our R&D, staff and customers are the

is AI-based and only three percent of

three things that keep us successful.

global enterprise businesses have done anything in this space. What challenges do you encounter? Our greatest challenge is educating the market about what is available. Most organisations use a large Enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. Whilst it claims to do the accounts receivable, it rarely does it to the depth required.

We’re constantly investing the money

We stand on the point of disrupting the whole financial world for the better. Our solution gives massive insights and control back to organisations

Implementations are conducted in

we have back into our back into our software, R&D, and people. By investing in your people, they will work additional hours to go above and beyond. As we reaped the rewards, so did they. Your customer is vital in a SaaS business. You are only as good as the next month they pay you, so make sure that product is ahead of the game and the service you’re providing is an honest

controlled and an easy to install cloud

Robotic process automation (RPA)

one. We always trade ethically and right.

environment , with an out-of-the-box

replaces data entry and key strokes,

That’s core to what we do in our culture.

application. It can interface with any

whereas AI replaces the mind or

ERP, in any country, in any sector, with

memory. AI learns the repetitive tasks

How will AI shape the future of your

any bank. The limitation is the speed at

so the user can focus on new problems


which the clients can operate.

next time. Once those have been solved,

We stand on the point of disrupting

the system remembers.

the whole of the financial world, for

How does AI feature in your solution? The interaction between the user

the better. Data is key these days, and Describe your experience of working

we have a lot of it. Organisations that

and the system is very intuitive. The

with Microsoft.

have gone to the wire aren’t in control

learning behaviour is unique to each

We partnered with Microsoft two years

of the data in their financial systems.

client. The AI learns from and reacts to


Our solution gives massive insights and

the behaviour of its customers’ debtors,

Microsoft is evolving its business from

and assists the user where required.

the likes of desktop applications to a

We’re at the heart of the financial

The interface is like a gaming platform:

partner network, to sell partner products

ecosystem, and we have big ambitions.

a dynamic, intuitive user interface with a

into their existing customer base. We

We stand here on the verge of something

rewritten process.

got access to a whole raft of people who

special. I





control back to organisations.

K E Y FACTS • Employees: 135

• Turnover: €15 million

• Regions of operation: EMEA, USA, APAC, ANZ

• Locations: Birmingham, London, Reading, Denver, Toronto


- autumn 2019 - 25

JIN releases whitepaper on the new role of leadership in creating a digital identity

Inbound Capital supports Reworld Media in acquisition of Mondadori France



white paper released by JIN outlines a proposed

methodology to accompany business leaders in response

to the evolving modern-day expectations of consumers of

nbound Capital announced the completion of the acquisition of 100% of the capital of Mondadori France from

Arnoldo Mondadori Editore (MN IM) by Reworld Media. With

business leaders must now reconcile business objectives

revenues almost trebling, the combination of both businesses

and the raison d’etre of the company with the need to bring

gives birth to one of the main media players in Europe and the

meaning and value to society. This raison d’etre must be

number one magazine publisher in France, with 50+ media

embodied by the leader, as ambassador of the organisation. I

brands in key verticals, and a presence in 11 countries. I

Ekimetrics appoints Pascal Moulin as France CTO and Group Chief Security Officer (CSO)


ascal Moulin joins Ekimetrics as France Chief Technology Officer & Group Chief Security Officer (CSO). His arrival reinforces the group's commitment to the quality and security of its customers' data. Pascal will be a partner in technological or IT infrastructure projects with the Data Engineers’ teams and the internal development studio. As Global CSO, in collaboration with the Data Protection Officer (DPO), he coordinates data security issues and the GDPR compliance strategy. I

Club@ Dauphine On 24 September, the Dauphine London Incubator held a networking and educational event for Chamber members


he session offered an opportunity for Chamber members to visit the incubator workspaces, and to hear from three

engaging speakers, who shared enthusiasm for supporting entrepreneurs, and for creating business opportunities between Paris and London. The session welcomed Didier Seillier, Director of Dauphine London Incubator, James Kirimy, General Manager UK&IRL of Spotahome, and Lionel Rebibo, CEO of Trakx. With James Kirimy, the session learned about the journey from student to founder to proud ambassador and member of the selection jury at the Dauphine London Incubator, with all the successes and challenges along the way. Despite the challenging context of Brexit, it is clear that with the right support, guidance and training, it remains a

The Dauphine London Incubator offers a 6-to-18 monthsincubation programmes, to support start-ups by providing the best-in-class services and support they need during their early stages of development.

very exciting time to be launching a business – and the results

They provide a place to stay, with offices located in London

speak for themselves with a 72 percent survival rate after

– Islington, a networking community of students and start-

three years.

ups, multiple accesses to mutualised (low-cost) professional

The session also heard from Lionel Rebibo, who recounted his experiences as the first London-based start-up incubated with Dauphine. 26 - info - autumn 2019

services, personalised C-level mentoring sessions, as well as an easy gateway to the French and EU markets. I


Ponant plans to acquire Paul Gauguin Cruises

Emmaus partners with an innovative advent calendar


mmaus will be part of a unique advent calendar for

Christmas 2019 alongside 23 other charities that will appear in John Lewis & Partners stores across the country. Last year the celebrityendorsed


dding access to exciting itineraries and experiences for passengers of both brands Ponant, the world leader of luxury expeditions to locations that only small ships can navigate, has announced its plan to acquire Paul Gauguin Cruises, the renowned specialist in sailings to exotic ports in French Polynesia and the South Pacific. Following the acquisition, the two cruise lines will keep their management, Diane Moore acting as CEO of Paul Gauguin Cruises with her team still based in Bellevue, WA and Navin Sawhney acting as CEO Americas of Ponant, based in New York. I



Advent for Change launched the first-of-its-kind charity advent calendar. By the end of 2018 the movement had raised £100,000 for its 24 chosen charities and even received an award from the Prime Minister. Sallie Winterbottom, Corporate Partnerships Manager at Emmaus said, ‘Partnering with Advent for Change is a great way for people to give a little back at Christmas. Not only will this wonderful and innovative idea raise vital funds for Emmaus UK, but it will also increase awareness of how Emmaus offers something different to other homelessness organisations. I



- autumn 2019 - 27


HEC launches certificate for Africa ©Nathalie Oundjian - HEC Paris

TBS has achieved the renewal of AACSB (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business) accreditation for the next 5 years, for the fourth time in a row. The American institution assesses business schools according to the highest international quality standards. I

ESSEC programs ranked among the best worldwide

EDHEC partners with Coursera for machine-learning course

ESSEC’s Advanced Master in Strategy and Management of

EDHEC-Risk Institute, EDHEC Business School’s financial

International Business (MS SMIB), Master in Data Science and

research hub, has teamed up with Coursera, a world leader

Business Analytics, Master in Finance and Global MBA were

in online training, to offer a new specialization in machine-

recognized among the top programs worldwide in the QS


Business Masters Rankings 2020. I

September 2019. The online learning platform has 40 million






registered users to date. I

ESCP Europe listed on OfS register ESCP Europe Business School was listed on the Office for Students (OfS) Register as a registered higher education provider in England. The Office for Students (OfS) is the independent regulator of higher education in England. Its aim is to ensure that every student, whatever their background, has a fulfilling experience of higher education that enriches their lives and careers. I

EIFA charity ride for West London Mission Eifa School is teaming up with the Howard de Walden Estate and a number of fellow tenants in Marylebone to stage a charity cycle ride from London to Paris. Teachers Rebecca Andrews (Y4), Cécile Parent (Year 6) and Cameron MacDonald (English Drama) joined 45 riders cycling over three days. The event is a fundraiser for West London Mission (WLM), which empowers people affected by homelessness, poverty and trauma to lead more fulfilling lives. I

EM Normandie among the best masters in management in the world in the QS Ranking EM Normandie is now listed in the very famous 2020 ranking of the best Masters in Management in the world by QS, the British specialist in University and Business School Rankings, for its Grande Ecole Programme, which appears as 71st out of 129 institutions evaluated. I 28 - info - autumn 2019


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

EY: Europe Attractiveness Survey 2019 EY’s Europe Attractiveness Survey 2019 finds foreign direct investment into Europe declined in 2018, dropping to a seven-year low, due to Economic and political uncertainty. Particularly in the UK and Germany, FDI decreased 13%. The report also notes the positives. Despite the general downward trend, foreign investment in the digital sector increased 5% to a record high in 2018. This is reflected in the job market, where businesses gave their top priority when deciding where to invest as the availability of a workforce with technology skills. Otherwise, the report finds that businesses are attracted to countries with stable tax regimes, strong trade links and a robust digital infrastructure. Countries that provide this will be rewarded with more FDI and the economic benefits it brings. Europe Attractiveness Survey: How can Europe raise its game? - June 2019 Available at:

KPMG: Global City Investment Monitor 2019 Global cities are attractive and stimulating environments where top decision-makers, talents and financers join to produce business and social innovation. They are a global network of densely connected focal points, each intensely competing with the other to define the best economic and political standards. The 10 th edition of the Global City Investment Monitor 2019 by KPMG finds that, while Paris, London and New York have successfully reinvented themselves, and still possess unique brands, competition among global cities is more open than ever before. The report highlights Paris in particular as one of the most attractive regions in the world as a destination for international investment. Global Cities Investment Monitor: New Rankings, Trends and Criteria - June 2019 Available at:

CBRE: Global Living 2019 The fifth edition of CBRE’s Global Living report examines the housing market in 35 global cities. The research highlights that we are approaching the end of a decade long property market cycle and housing markets around the world are slowing down. Some cities are further into the cycle than others, and this is reflected in our top 10 list for house price growth. The report found that house prices continued to grow in all but five of the 35 cities analysed and demand for flexible rental properties keeps on rising across the world, impacting rental costs. The most expensive city in which to rent a property today is New York, with Abu Dhabi, Hong Kong, Jeddah and London not far behind. This report aims to illuminate and inform owners, renters or investors in residential property. Global Living - April 2019 Available at:


- autumn 2019 - 29

30 - info - autumn 2019

Paris vs London A reflection on business attractiveness in the capitals


t is a truism to say that the two dominant cities in Europe of recent times have been Paris and London. As the two capitals are now set to enter a new period in their history, following the historic referendum in favour of the UK leaving the European Union, many in the business community are bracing for tougher competition for business and investment across Europe. Indeed, observers have noted, even in the past few months, that key industries such as finance, pharmaceuticals and automotive have relocated their activities outside of London and the UK, selecting cities such as Dublin, Frankfurt, Amsterdam – and Paris. Other trends include the fact that foreign direct investment in the UK fell this year to its lowest level in six years. Whereas in France, FDI has registered its highest level since 2015. France and its financial centre in Paris appear to have regained traction due to the highly volatile situation in the UK. We have also seen that Business France and the Paris region are effective in promoting the city and attracting foreign investors, as well as French expatriates. This issue of INFO seeks to explore this complex situation and shed light on key trends in both cities. Though the numbers may point in one direction, one must also take into consideration the social capital in each city, as well as the long-standing history of collaboration between the two metropoles. I With notes from Arnaud VaissiÊ info

- autumn 2019 - 31

Interview with...

Edward Llewellyn OBE British Ambassador to France The British Embassy in France has recently announced a competition for projects between British and French local authorities and community groups. Here, the British Ambassador to France reflects on collaboration across the Channel and between capital cities Tell us about your call for bids for Franco-British projects.

energy so there will be many possibilities for cooperation in this

What was the catalyst for launching an initiative to

sector too.

encourage cooperation between local authorities? The UK and France share a wealth of history with ties that

What factors are most vital to the success of these projects?

date back a thousand years. Today, we want to invigorate this

Goodwill is probably the most important factor, without which

relationship through innovative projects that make an impact at

it is difficult to get projects moving. It is also key to identify

a local level. In March 2019, London hosted the first ever UK-

complementary goals and objectives that are important to

France Mayors’ Summit with more than a hundred regional and

both the UK and France. Finally, it is essential to build personal

local leaders from both countries attending. The opportunity to

relationships between individuals.

bring so many people together showed us the different ways in which France and the UK could work together in the future.

Are there specific geographic links between regions that

Drawing upon the success of this Summit, the British Embassy

are a priority for you?

in Paris decided to set up a special £15,000 fund to support

Cooperation can come in all shapes and sizes! Geographically

projects between British and French local authorities or

close regions such as Normandy and Brittany have a number of

community groups. The key focus is on environmental, digital,

ties with Kent and the south of the UK. However, you can also

sporting and cultural initiatives.

see close links between areas that are miles apart. Montpellier and Manchester are working together as both are pioneers

Where in your opinion are the greatest opportunities for

in health innovation, for example. At our Mayors’ Summit we

collaboration going forward?

also welcomed a partnership between the smaller Chatillon sur

France and the UK share a number of strengths and there

Indre and Tetbury, where locals have created a platform for

is much we can learn from each other. We have seen many

youth and businesses to communicate amongst themselves.

exciting examples of cooperation in the science and health

So, it just goes to show that all it takes is some people power

industries where the two countries are working together to

and ambition!

drive forward transformative technologies and to set global standards and frameworks. The British Embassy in Paris

How would you characterise the relationship between

hosted a bilateral workshop on genomics to fight the rise in

Paris and London? Do these cities set the example for

anti-microbial resistance, for instance, and both countries have

cooperation between local authorities?

subsequently committed €3m to this partnership. Likewise,

We often hear about a relentless rivalry between Paris and

the CNRS and Imperial College joined forces in January 2018

London but the reality is that we get on pretty well in real

to open up a mathematical research unit. UK Ministers have

life! Whether it be culture, tourism or trade, the two cities are

also recently announced plans for £500m investment in green

constantly looking for new and original ways to work together.

32 - info - autumn 2019


We often hear about a relentless rivalry between Paris and London but the reality is that we get on pretty well in real life! Whether it be culture, tourism or trade, the two cities are constantly looking for new and original ways to work together

As a founding member of the C40 Leadership Group, London

culture, science and defence. The two cities will continue, more

works with Paris and other cities to advocate for global climate

than ever, to share similar challenges and opportunities. Now is

ambition, for instance. London is also already sharing its

the perfect time to look at that relationship and think about how

experiences on Olympic and Paralympics games with colleagues

we can make the most of our partnerships for the benefit of

in Paris in preparation for 2024.

local businesses and residents. Brexit is also an opportunity to grow and widen our collaborations outside of the two capitals.

Has Brexit diminished the potential for collaboration

We hope to continue to see success stories like software firm

between the two cities?

Infotel, which is investing and expanding in New Tyneside

London and Paris have a historically strong and deep

for example. I

partnership. Ties have grown through businesses, friendships,

A delegation of Chamber members met with the Ambassador at his official residence in Paris on 4 October From L. to R.: Hervé Grella, Department of International Trade, British Embassy in Paris; Jean-Philippe Huguet, HSBC; Geoff Skingsley, L’Oréal; Marc Reboux, CBRE; Arnaud Vaissié, International SOS; Pascal Boris, French Chamber of Great Britain; Lord Llewellyn, British Ambassador to France; Sylvie FreundPickavance, Value Retail; Ross James, Deloitte; George Merrylees, Irwin Mitchell LLP; Stephane Levy, Equinor; Jonathan Levy, GFG Alliance; Julien Vautel, Hedios info

- autumn 2019 - 33

Joint Mayoral priorities Paris’ Anne Hidalgo and London’s Sadiq Khan drive each other to greater economic heights, through competition and, more importantly, collaboration. INFO examines recent joint initiatives and aligned policies


ondon and Paris are flip sides of the same coin. Global cities with a shared history, collaboration and

competition arise in equal measures. London wrested the 2012 Olympics from Paris’s grasp. Brexit provoked a reversal in fortune, with France grabbing the opportunity to entice business across the Channel with both hands. But since the election of the current mayors, Sadiq Khan for London and Anne Hidalgo for Paris, ‘collaboration’ has been the watchword. The day before Article 50 was triggered in 2016, the mayors met to announce a groundbreaking partnership between the two cities, including plans to encourage post-Brexit trade and business

‘This was a natural extension of the

to take proactive measures. London

opportunities, tackling the growing

#LondonParisNow collaboration,’ says

has announced a collaboration with

problem of air pollution, and common

Joshua Novick, VP Business Tourism

the Environmental Defense Fund

security issues.

at London Convention Bureau. ‘But

Europe and Google Earth Outreach to

we are also listening to the demand

implement the world’s most advanced

from the market and we’ve seen some

and comprehensive network of air

Fast forward to 2019, and progress

strong appetite from the industry for

quality monitors.

has been made on joint initiatives in

an incentive trip that combines both



Joint initiatives

Research from YouGov discovered

Corinne Menegaux, General

‘The launch of Breathe London is just one part of my campaign to improve London’s air quality,’ says

that 72 percent of American millennials

Manager of the Paris Convention and

London Mayor Sadiq Khan, ‘alongside

express a desire to visit both Paris

Visitors Bureau, explains that the

the launch of the world’s first Ultra Low

and London as part of a single

cities have strong traits to support this

Emission Zone in central London.’

vacation. This follows a partnership

venture, such as ‘the quality of their

between Visit London, the Paris

infrastructures, their trendy hotels and

watching the results of this project very

Tourist Office and Eurostar to launch

innovative activities.’

closely as we work together to clean

a marketing campaign aimed at US millennials to book, under the hashtag ‘#LondonParisNow’.

Aligned climate change goals

‘Cities around the world will be

the air that our citizens breathe and reduce the dangerous emissions that cause climate change,’ says Hidalgo,

In other policy areas, priorities

who is also the chair of C40, a network

experience London and Paris, they fall

converge in the fight against climate

of the world’s megacities committed to

in love and want to visit again and again


addressing climate change.

‘We know that once people

to discover more,’ says Laura Citron,

The Paris Climate Change

Over and above monitoring air

Agreement signed in 2016 brought

toxins, initiatives have also been trialled

This collaboration has since grown,

together not just Paris and London but

to reduce car emissions in city streets.

with the official convention bureaux for

most other global cities to address the

Paris was first to launch a car-free day

London and Paris launching a variety

imnpacts of climate change.

in 2015, with London following suit

Chief Executive of Visit London.

of new travel products, aimed at North American incentive buyers. 34 - info - autumn 2019

London and Paris continue to work together to promote this stance and

shortly after. I SL


Reshaping the financial world Brexit is just the latest chapter in the storied history of London’s financial centre, says Catherine McGuinness, Chairman of the Policy and Resources Committee of the City of London Corporation


ondon’s trading past with France is one of the few things that has a longer history than the City of London Corporation itself – and given that this institution has

been in existence for around a millennium, that illustrates just how deep our relationship really is. Today, many of France’s – and the world’s – biggest banks have a presence here in the Square Mile, such as BNP Paribas, Credit Agricole and Societe Generale. It is within this context that Brexit should in many ways be examined as the latest reconfiguration of that relationship. That isn’t to say that the City isn’t taking Brexit lightly – quite the opposite. We’ve been firm in our support for a deal with the European Union for our departure, which will provide the future framework of the trading relationship in financial services that businesses and consumers on both sides of the Channel need to see. While the UK is set to leave the European Union, our commitment to open and free trade within the multilateral global regulatory framework will not diminish. Fragmentation of global markets is inefficient and costly – and while others turn inwards, London will remain an advocate for the creation of a more efficient, inclusive and fair global financial system. In this respect, France will undoubtedly continue to be a key ally. Of course, we will continue to compete for business but the common challenges that the UK, France and indeed the European Union face over the coming years – including the likes of climate change and an ageing population – are not confined by borders. Financial services can be a key part of the

Fragmentation of global markets is inefficient and costly – and while others turn inwards, London will remain an advocate for the creation of a more efficient, inclusive and fair global financial system

solution. This is why we are continuing our approach towards

capital markets and which remains at the leading edge of

a great digital transition in the global economy through

innovation, from fintech and blockchain to green finance. We

fintech and encouraging the uptake of green finance – the

offer the world a unique combination of time zone, language,

UK’s financial services sector is at the forefront of this new

legal system, global talent, and financial services ecosystem

paradigm. Collaboration with like-minded partners – such as

which makes us truly a gateway to global capital and advice.

France – can take this to new heights. From banking and insurance to asset management

People come here not just for business but also for our cultural offer, our heritage, our open spaces, and our

and foreign exchange, the UK has both scale and truly

shopping experience – all aspects which the City Corporation

international reach across the full spectrum of financial

plays a role in providing or supporting.

services. But it’s our culture of innovation which distinguishes us.

So while the headlines focus on events in Westminster, the reality is that London’s long-term future is bright. If we are

The UK has always been a champion of new products, creative

to make the most of the opportunities that the 21st century

solutions and entrepreneurialism, and it is home to the

has to offer, then we know that it is more important than ever

sectors that are already reshaping the financial world. It’s part

for UK and French business to work together. Our trading

of the fabric that makes London so resilient and fundamentally

partnership may be ingrained in our common history, but

strong, irrespective of Brexit uncertainty.

we know that the future – if we want it to – can bring a new

Indeed, it was the City which laid the foundations of

chapter of success. I

modern banking, which devised the first modern international


- autumn 2019 - 35

Smart and Sustainable Cities London and Paris have begun to chart a course toward a greener and smarter future, says George Adams, Director of Energy & Engineering, SPIE UK


ill our cities seriously damage life as we know it or can they be our means to a sustainable future? Generating 80 percent of global GDP, housing 55

percent of humanity and with about 30 percent of city dwellers living in slums, the picture is bleak. Cities are also responsible for 70 percent of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. And with the world’s population expected to rise to 8.5 billion, with 60 percent of people living in cities, it

We need carbon intervention leveraging technologies, policies and behavioural changes across cities globally. Paris and London could collaborate in this area through research, sharing technical developments and in engaging societies in the journey

is clear that the environmental performance of cities must be dramatically improved.

A tale of two cities

digital (smart city) leadership, connectivity including smart

What does this mean for two of Europe’s most populated cities,

streets and preparing for 5G roll out – all contributing to digital

Paris and London? It is estimated that they will need to invest

business growth which in the UK is estimated to reach a value

$1,200bn and $700bn, respectively, over a ten-year period

of £320bn by end of 2020.

from 2015 to 2025, to adapt their ageing infrastructure and buildings in greener and smarter ways. However, it is not known whether a city-scale green-

Toward net zero

Overall, creating net zero cities is now critical. We can gauge the

growth strategy can reverse the vast planetary damages in the

impact of failure from the Stern Review on the Economics of

diminishing time available. And solutions must be more than

Climate Change: we either invest 2 percent of GDP now, or risk

smart city technology – cities must exist in harmony with the

losing up to 25 percent of GDP in the future.


Net zero emissions means we end our future contribution

The business case is clear, that smart and sustainable

to rising global temperatures but doesn’t correct the impact

cities offer huge potential for global economies and citizens.

already made on the atmosphere and environment. We need

As they are also data driven and rely on IoT for connectivity,

carbon intervention leveraging technologies, policies and

the key challenge will be to analyse the information captured

behavioural changes across cities globally. Paris and London

from devices, and use this data to inform improvements and

could collaborate in this area through research, sharing

creation of essential knowledge in real time.

technical developments and in engaging societies in the


journey. SPIE is working towards creating an ever connected

Paris adopted an ambitious Energy Climate Plan to reduce

and optimised built environment; designing, implementing

energy consumption by 30 percent before 2020 and launched

and operating systems that make cities work much better.

a pilot experiment to develop a repeatable energy optimisation

Our passion and focus on continuous improvement are

plan, instrumenting various buildings and places in the city.

demonstrated through delivery of our core smart city and

The city has moved towards green transportation

smart workspace offerings.

development and banning high polluting vehicles from the

From concept and design through to implementation

streets, with other initiatives like bicycle sharing schemes, smart

and operations, we continue to deliver smart engineering

street lighting and improving air quality.

solutions to meet the needs of today and tomorrow with a


broad experience working on bespoke, iconic and commercial buildings.

With London arguably the technology capital of Europe, by

To meet the challenges of smart cities we must improve

virtue of investment, size and housing over 30 percent of

building performance through skilled engineering, the latest

Europe’s ‘unicorn’ tech companies, the city has naturally been a

technologies and management platforms to improve energy

magnet for smart city technology and policy.

efficiency and the wellbeing of the occupants. The negative

London is moving forward with SMART City missions. This

relationship between cities and damage to the planet is real

combines smart city collaboration with new technology sector

and extensive, but it is one that is within our capabilities

partnerships to improve London’s public services, enhancing

to correct. I

36 - info - autumn 2019


A digital plan for London Theo Blackwell MBE, Chief Digital Officer for London, is overseeing a massive project of digital transformation across the city

Theo Blackwell, who heads up


in their open course model and

London’s digital transformation.

how that could be implemented on

Appointed as the capital’s first ever

a borough by borough level,’ says

Chief Digital Officer, by Mayor Sadiq

Blackwell. ‘I would also point to

Khan in 2017, Blackwell’s latest focus

Amsterdam, and their use of a low

has been the launch of the London

code platform, which allows creation of

Office of Technology and Innovation

applications at very low cost.’

his summer was a busy time for

‘In terms of Paris, I’m very interested


One area where London has taken

This new city-wide body aims

a leadership role in Europe is in the EU-

to build and scale digital and smart

funded research programme to create

technology across the capital’s public

smart lampposts.The capital’s 10,000

services. At its core, the office aims to

lampposts are a test-bed for use as wifi

empower citizens, both as individuals

nodes, environmental sensors, digital

and as members of the wider London

street signage, water level and flood

community, whether as residents,

monitoring, e-vehicle and bike charging

workers or visitors.

as well as for a range of security and

LOTI is also part of the Mayor’s

data collection applications.

broader ‘Smarter London Together’

With years left on the project, there

initiative, a three-year plan to build common capabilities across all boroughs, NHS Trusts and major public

are concerns about Brexit’s impact on

A growing city

the programme’s funding. However, Blackwell says that that London will still

This issue now is one of scale. ‘By the

be able to access European funding

major universities and mobilising its

middle of the next decade London’s

using ‘associate status,’ regardless of

world-class tech sector for civic benefit.

population will be the largest it has

the UK’s position in or out of the EU.

bodies, linking them with London’s

‘The promise of the new LOTI starts

ever been, and is estimated to rise by 2

‘London will always be a European

and ends with the citizen. Its focus will

million by the 2040s,’ says Blackwell. ‘To

city,’ says Blackwell. ‘All of the CDOs

be on projects which directly meet

meet citizen needs and expectations,

I speak with talk about the same

citizens’ needs and support public

London’s public services must be ready

challenges and opportunities. Our

services,’ says Blackwell, who also notes

for future technology developments.’

collaboration, and London’s role as a

that the city is in many ways leading in

While London is rich in pilot projects

Europe in terms of its digital ecosystem

and smart infrastructure initiatives

and civic user data – now archived in

at a council level, wider adoption of

the London Datastore – which can

what works has proved challenging,

be used to improve and launch new

partly due to fragmentation across 33


boroughs and differing capabilities (and

Blackwell lists some of the digital achievements of the city thus far. ‘Tapping in with a contactless payment card has become second nature to thousands of Londoners every day,

digital maturity) of each borough.

European collaboration

Digital transformation is high on

smart technologies and data-sharing

London's agenda, like the priorites

help us improve the city’s air quality

of many European cities and the EU.

through the new Ultra Low Emissions

Blackwell has regular meetings and

Zone, and smart districts across the

communication with his European

city are already test-beds for connected

counterparts to share best practice,

and autonomous vehicles, aerial drones

including the CDOs of Paris, Barcelona

and 5G technology.'

and Helsinki.

leader in Europe, is something that is set to continue.’ I


More user-designed services Strike a new deal for city data World-class connectivity and smarter streets Enhance digital leadership and skills Improve city-wide collaboration info

- autumn 2019 - 37

CBRE Property Barometer:




Property markets in Paris and London continue to be characterised by strong demand, says Richard Holberton, Head of Occupier Research EMEA at CBRE



in some areas. Demand exists for Central London retail units

2019, and to the robust tech, luxury and co-working sectors.

from new international occupiers, but it is becoming more

The existing housing market should maintain high transaction

discerning around location and pitch. Logistics take-up in South

levels and favourable factors such as low interest rates should

East UK is already higher than the full-year average over the

maintain the pressure on values in the Greater Paris region. The

past ten years. In the residential market, London house prices

Greater Paris region logistics market performed exceptionally

and transaction levels are down over the past year, and the

well in H1 2019, significantly better than H1 2018, with occupiers

construction pipeline is diminishing in response. I

particularly attracted to new or refurbished logistics assets. I

The London office market is characterised by the limited availability of high-quality stock and rental growth in some areas

Take-up in Paris remains strong, thanks to a number of large transactions and robust tech, luxury and co-working sectors

he main trends in London include an office market characterised by the limited availability of high-quality

stock coupled with strong demand, supporting rental growth

38 - info - autumn 2019

he 2019 Paris office market outlook remains positive. Take-up should remain strong, approximating that of

2018, thanks to a number of large transactions expected in H2




Prime rent

Vacancy rate %

West End £107.50



Prime rent

Vacancy rate %

CBD* €850 1.64

City £72.00 5.01

Western Crescent €610


Docklands £48.50

La Defense €550



London rents in £ per sq ft per annum. Arrows indicate change from previous quarter.

*Central Business District - Paris rents in €/sq m per annum. Source: CBRE and Immostat.

RESIDENTIAL Average house price Rent


Housing pipeline (units under construction)



London rents are average asking rents in £ per calendar month from Zoopla. London average house prices from Land Registry. London housing pipeline data from Molior H1 2019.


Prime rent

Average house price Rent



Housing pipeline (units under construction)


Paris rents in €/sq m per month, source Meilleurs Agents. Paris average house price in €/sq m, source Meilleurs Agents. Total housing starts across the Greater Paris region (cumulative over the last 4 quarters, including June 2019) Source: SDES, Sit@del2.



Prime rent

Prime rent







London rents in £ per sq ft per annum Paris rents in €/sq m per annum Retail and shopping centre rents quoted ITZA

Source: CBRE Note: Data refer to Q2 2019 info

- autumn 2019 - 39

Paris and London

Europe's tech and power hubs While Paris and London remain the top two cities in Europe for foreign investment, EY’s Europe Attractiveness Survey 2019 reveals signs that their overall appeal is waning


lobal companies

asked which cities

seek out

offer the best chance

global cities

of producing the next

where businesses,

technology giant, London


ranks 4th globally behind

universities and the

San Francisco (and the

financial community

wider Silicon Valley),

have created effective

Shanghai and Beijing.

business ecosystems.

Berlin ranks 7th globally

Which cities currently

and 2nd in Europe, while

provide this? The survey

Paris ranks 12th globally

data reveals that Paris

and 3rd in Europe.

and London are still the

According to Andy

most attractive – just.

Baldwin, EY Global

The attractiveness of

Managing Partner – Client

both cities has declined

Service, to maintain

significantly in the last 12

this level of investment


momentum, Europe

Thirty percent of

must fast-track its digital

businesses say Paris is


one of the three most

This means primarily

attractive European

investing in the digital

cities for investment

skills of the future and

compared with 37

creating the physical

percent last year, while

infrastructure that

only 25 percent cite

technology companies

London, compared with

need, such as ultra-fast

34 percent last year.

broadband connectivity.

Underlining the

‘Europe is making

decline in London’s attractiveness, the UK’s capital is only 1

strong progress, however, there is still some way to go

percent ahead of Berlin in the attractiveness rankings. Last

in closing the technology skills gaps and in regulating the

year, it was 10 percent ahead. In short, competition between

technology sector. If this can be achieved, Europe will attract

European cities for investment has never been more equal –

more investment, create more jobs and enjoy economic

or intense.

prosperity,’ says Baldwin.

Brexit is undoubtedly to blame for the decrease in London’s attractiveness, while the gilets jaunes movement raises questions about France’s ability to enact the reforms necessary to boost its business attractiveness. German cities are primed to benefit the most. Indeed Berlin, Frankfurt and Munich rank third, fourth and sixth in terms of attractiveness. The story is different in the technology sector, where London is stil considered the most vibrant in Europe. When

40 - info - autumn 2019

The national picture

In the UK, Brexit uncertainty caused UK FDI to plummet 13 percent to 1,054 projects in 2018, its lowest level since 2014. The annual decrease was primarily caused by a 35 percent decrease in manufacturing FDI projects to 140 – the fewest manufacturing projects established in the UK since 2013.


FDI growth stalled in France in 2018 following two years of huge gains. The number of new FDI projects rose 1% to 1,027 last year Meanwhile, sales and marketing projects, which typically

decreased significantly, France can take comfort from the fact

account for the largest proportion of FDI in the UK, declined 4

that FDI did not decline by the extent it did in other major

percent and R&D projects decreased 17 percent. By contrast,

European economies.

logistics projects were up 7 percent. While in France, FDI growth stalled in France in 2018

For the first time, more R&D (144) and manufacturing FDI projects (339) were established in France last year than in any

following two years of huge gains. The number of FDI projects

other European country. That said, French authorities remain

rose 1 percent to 1,027 last year.

concerned about the impact of the gilets jaunes (yellow vest)

This followed annual increases of 31 percent in 2017

protests on FDI. I

and 30 percent in 2016. Although the annual rate of growth

Source: EY Attractiveness Survey Europe June 2019 (total respondents: 506)

For the first time, more R&D (144) and manufacturing FDI projects (339) were established in France last year than in any other European country info

- autumn 2019 - 41


Putting Paris on the tech map INFO speaks with Roxanne Varza, Director of Paris-based Station F, the world’s largest start-up campus and tech incubator, about France’s tech boom and the challenges of setting up a successful start-up

Have many British entrepreneurs

Knowing that France is so protective

chosen Station F? What has attracted

of its language, has there been any

them to your incubator?

fall out to selecting English as the

Currently, more than a third of our 1,000

official language of Station F?

companies come from abroad and

Not at all. We don't find that language

the UK is one of the best represented

is an issue with our community – the

countries in our international community.

tech and start-up community is really

While Brexit is mentioned as one of

very English-language-friendly. We have

the reasons that British entrepreneurs

a very big community of international

choose to set up their businesses in

entrepreneurs and about 600 people

Paris, it is currently marginal. What we

at Station F do not speak French at all.

are noticing is that the French ecosystem

Electing English as our official language

is gaining momentum and credibility on

has, on one hand, allowed us to create

an international level – entrepreneurs


and investors from around the world are

our international community. On the

turning their attention to France.

other hand, speaking a world-common

At Station F in particular, we strive to provide the best possible resources for early-stage start-ups. We gather a whole entrepreneurial ecosystem under one roof. Right on our campus, startups are able to find a VC community of 40+ investors, 30+ public services, a makerspace, 30+ top-tier incubation and




perks and discounts on anything that entrepreneurs might need, from cloud-





language sets the example for our

France is the leader in Europe for tech talent, early-stage funding, and now there are tons of startups programs and all the infrastructure necessary to build a top company

services to more lifestyle perks like food,

entrepreneurs: we encourage them to have international ambition and this starts by being able to close deals everywhere in the world. As the majority of start-ups fail, how do you prepare entrepreneurs for this likely outcome? Failure does indeed impact a large portion of start-ups. However failure numbers at Station F are still relatively

air travel, and mobility. And we more

low. What we’ve seen since our opening

recently added housing, so we are able

climate of France so it's difficult to know

two years ago is that only 3 percent of our

to provide easy, flexible and affordable

which changes should be attributed

companies have stopped activity. This

housing to 600 of the entrepreneurs

to Brexit. That said, France is already

is probably due to the fact that we are

at Station F. We’re striving to build the

reaping some Brexit benefits with the

only selecting 6-9 percent of applicants.

perfect launch pad for start-ups to take

number of British investment projects

That said, more than 26 percent of our

off and that’s what we think attracts

on French soil rising 33 percent in

companies have ‘pivoted’ or changed

entrepreneurs to join us.

2018. Paris is behind London in total

their business model or strategy during

VC funding but while investment in

their time at Station F! This means that

Does Brexit present an opportunity

London has fallen in the last year from

they have not yet found the right model

for Paris to catch up to London in

$2.5bn in 2017 to $1.8bn in 2018 – a 29

for their business. To date, the biggest

terms of start-up and VC activity?

percent drop – investment in Paris has

issues impacting failure are co-founder

Possibly, but we actually had seen lots of

been growing and closing the gap. In

issues or start-ups that are unable to find

changes and progress in the ecosystem

fact, this is going to be a record year for

product-market fit. So, we are looking at

even prior to Brexit. President Macron

investment in France.

how we can best help entrepreneurs

has also greatly impacted the business 42 - info - autumn 2019

avoid recurrent issues that may impact


Paris is behind London in total VC funding but while investment in London has fallen in the last year from $2.5bn in 2017 to $1.8bn in 2018 – a 29 percent drop – investment in Paris has been growing and closing the gap the livelihood of their start-up.

the best-known engineers in the world,

a university model, the goal is also to

France is also making it easier for foreign

create a unified campus experience for

What are the common challenges

talent to create or join start-ups in

all our start-ups across 30+ programmes

that entrepreneurs face, and how

France by launching a new French Tech

and to create even more opportunities

does your incubator help them

Visa. France is the leader in Europe for

for non-residents to engage with our

through these hurdles?

tech talent, early-stage funding, and now

start-ups and community. I

Entrepreneurs face many challenges

there are tons of start-up programmes


and all the infrastructure necessary to




finding product market fit, hiring, scaling,

build a top company.

and more. All the services and resources at







What are your priorities going

with these challenges in mind – and


everything we provide is tried, tested and

From a practical standpoint, bearing

recommended by another entrepreneur.

in mind the aim to deliver the best

But the number one resource that we

resources to early stage start-ups, we

provide at Station F is our community

will be reinforcing a number of our

– entrepreneurs come here to be

services, tools and programmes. As an

surrounded by other likeminded, hand-

example, we just opened Flatmates,

picked, ambitious entrepreneurs. And

our co-living extension to house up

usually they can find what they are


looking for by asking someone next to

€399 per month (way cheaper than

them that has encountered a similar

a traditional rent), because we saw


housing was one of the main pain points





of our entrepreneurs when arriving from What role does the city of Paris play in the success story of Station F?

abroad or outside Paris. On a mission basis, we obviously want

Paris is one of the most beautiful cities

to create leading companies but we also

in the world but, for a long time, not

want to create value-driven companies

associated with tech and innovation.

that have impact at their core. Our goal

However, things have been changing. The

is also to make entrepreneurship more

ecosystem is booming at the moment

accessible, creating programmes like the

and we are getting a lot of attention from

Fighters Programme for underprivileged

worldwide talents and investors. On


top of French engineers being some of

diversity initiatives. As we move towards



1,217 start-ups in 2019 45% female-funded companies €317m funding raised 30.1 average age of entrepreneurs 70% are new entrepreneurs



- autumn 2019 - 43


and the entrepreneurial spirit With offices in London, Paris and Tel Aviv and backing from the insurance giant AXA, Kamet is a disruptive start-up incubator that takes a unique approach to innovation in healthcare and insurance. INFO speaks with its co-Founders Stéphane Guinet and Michael Niddam

What makes Kamet’s business

co-founders of each and every start-up.

impact on society. It is most definitely a

model unique?

The relationship that we have with them

big driving force for us.

Stéphane Guinet: Kamet is an

is a true partnership. And it happens

SG: There is a ‘Tech for Good’ element in

investment house whose mission is

that we also manage Kamet because

what we do. We feel that beyond doing

to build companies from the bottom

AXA invested in us, and during this initial

good business, there is real meaning in

up. We do this through what we call

phase we are not only shareholders of

what we do. I think most of the health

‘disruptive concepts.’ We don’t try to

the companies that we create, but we

companies that we are building now

improve what exists; we try to introduce

also have the ability to fund them.

provide real value to society, and I’m

completely new concepts. Some people

MN: It means that we only launch

very proud of this.

refer to us as a ‘start-up studio,’ some

businesses that we have faith in at a

people will call it an incubator, and

hundred percent and this is a business

So, what makes a good

others, a ‘venture builder’. Ultimately,

model we truly believe in. We believe


we are building companies by

deeply in empowering others and

SG: We believe that while ideas are

identifying, shaping and guiding great

giving clear incentives. This makes us

one percent, execution is ninety-

talent that can take an idea and turn it

very different from any other corporate

nine percent. So, we do not select

into a multi-million-dollar enterprise.

innovation programmes.

entrepreneurs for their ideas. We

We are solely funded by one large

welcome ideas but we select them on

institution - AXA - but we are also

How do you identify potential

the assumption that they will be able to

completely independent. While AXA has

disruption in healthcare and

transform an idea into a sustainable and

limited influence on the governance


fast-growing business.

or decision making of our business,

SG: As we are funded by AXA, Insuretech

they have privileged access to the

and new forms of insurance are obvious

I would call seasoned entrepreneurs,

fundraising round once our companies

for us. We are constantly looking at

people who have already been exposed

have achieved market fit and are eligible

innovative solutions in the insuretech

in their career to a real entrepreneurial

to raise capital.

space, even if they’re not easy ones. I

journey. Not exclusively as CEOs, but

Michael Niddam: To emphasise

believe disrupting insurance is a real

people who understand what it means

something that Stéphane said, we don’t

possibility, even if it is an old-fashioned

to build a company. The type of skills

see ourselves as a VC, we don’t look


and mindset that one needs to be

at ideas for the sake of ideas – we are

We see healthcare as a sector with

We tend to partner mostly with what

able to do what we do is very different

above all else, entrepreneurs. We are

a massive opportunity for disruption.

from what is required to be a good

a company of entrepreneurs working

It’s probably one of the industries most

senior executive in a large corporation.

to bring businesses to life. That’s the

impacted by what is going on in terms

Uncertainty and risk should be things

way we are differentiated from others

of technology and data. We’ve created

that motivate and energise you.

in our space. Both Stéphane, myself

a unique competitive advantage by

MN: One element that is important

and our team are personally engaged

securing privileged access to some of

to realise is the spirit of innovation

in the design and development of

the best medical databases in the world.

in the corporate world and in the

our businesses, not only to make

This has given us a completely new

entrepreneurial world is massively

connections and to support the process

vantage point and a real birds-eye view

different. People often say ‘yes it’s

through infrastructure and funding, but

of everything that is happening in the

different,’ but typically they don’t take

in working with entrepreneurs to bring

world of healthcare.

measure of how different it is.

their ideas to reality.

MN: I would add that when we built

SG: In our personal capacity, we are

Kamet, we wanted to have a positive

44 - info - autumn 2019

In a big company, to get an innovation project started you ask for a


We don’t see ourselves as a VC, we don’t look at ideas for the sake of ideas – we are above all else, entrepreneurs

lot of money to demonstrate that there is a business. Then there is a very long process at the end of which people decide to give you a budget – before you have proven anything in terms of your execution. An entrepreneur has the exact opposite situation. He needs to deliver something in order to have the right to get a small investment. An entrepreneur never implements his business through his budget. Of course, he has a plan and he will spend some money, but the model couldn’t be more different from what happens in a large, established organisation.

Stéphane Guinet

Michael Niddam

They also need to be able to leave doors

How do entrepreneurs differ in the

entrepreneurs, there are less obvious

open while implementing, to react

markets in Paris, London, or Tel

general rules. The result is that there

and pivot because they don’t have the


are many cultural differences we need

automatic ‘right’ to go to the end of

MN: I worked for many years

to adapt to.

their plan. It means that entrepreneurs

in Israel and the one thing that

SG: We have a team that mixes cultural

cannot be stubborn. Because if they are

stood out to me was its distinct

differences and that makes us stronger.

stubborn, they are not going to be able

culture of entrepreneurship. It is

MN: I am a firm believer that the more

to adapt and they are going to fail. They

unlike any other I have seen in the

diverse the expectations, the more

need to be driven but, at the same time,

world. Israeli negotiators are much

creative the outcome. Our cross-cultural

they need to be coachable, to listen to

more transactional. They are hard

model bodes very well for a creative,

what people say and to react to it. That’s

negotiators and what they expect is

interactive process. I

probably the biggest challenge in finding

also very different. Israeli entrepreneurs

the right entrepreneurs.

want business partners. For European

Entrepreneurs need to be very good at tactical and strategic implementation.


Since Kamet was founded in 2016, they have explored more than 250 ideas. Roughly forty made it to the first phase of development. Fifteen are now active ventures – with seven already regarded as category leaders. A further five ventures are in the pipeline.


- autumn 2019 - 45

Relocation: Paris or London? Ségolène Chambon, Managing Director of French Touch Properties, a real estate agent based in London and Paris, reflects on relocations between the two cities since the Brexit referendum


ver the past three years in London, since the

implemented just before the referendum. Prices in other areas

referendum result, we have had to cope with a lot of

remained roughly flat.

uncertainty. And this has meant that French nationals

This is not great, but it is far from a catastrophe when we

living in the capital have been considering returning to their

remember that the market grew by an average of 10 percent

home country, often to Paris.

per year for more than 20 years prior to the referendum.

At first, we saw a small round of precipitated forced

For the first time in years, London is a buyers’ market, with

departures while anxiety grew steadily in the French community

many French investors keen to benefit from the extremely

in London. We began to observe that the positivity and

preferential rate.

fearlessness that characterises London was at risk of vanishing for the first time.

It is also important to note that UK landlords have the tendency to manage their portfolio like an investment business,

Last year, we helped several families return to France, after

keeping their properties rather than reducing their price.

prosperous experiences living and working in London. These

As a result, asking prices are at a more reasonable level, but

families had typically been pushing back the date of their return

negotiations remain tough.

for some time, and the Brexit uncertainty was the final catalyst

Finally, after a slowdown, we are happy to see that our level

for their move. Often, the main reason they left was a strong

of activity is quite high again. Some newcomers still see this

need to move closer to their extended families, and because of

experience as an opportunity to boost their career. Others are

the current favourable job market in France, returning is now

not happy with the social, working or tax environment in France

more of an option for a lot of French families.

and see the UK as a better place to live and work, despite Brexit.

Two years later, we have started to receive feedback from

On the other side of the Channel in Paris, the property

the first leavers. They are usually initially happy to rediscover

market is stronger than ever, partly because of the impatriates

the charms of the French day to day life – even though a part of

from London who mainly work in the banking and financial

their heart will always remain in London.

sectors, and have strong savings.

However, for the majority of people in the French

They are often surprised to find a property market more

community, Brexit will not change their plans. Most of them

difficult to negotiate than in London. Fortunately, the magic

have already applied to the EU settlement scheme and secured

of Paris is working to help lessen the stress of moving back

their right of residency. Quite a few went even further to obtain

to France – and the frustration of having to face French

a UK passport. One could say it is getting trendy in London to

administration. I

become British!

Property market in flux

As for the property market, it has flattened in London but we haven’t seen the expected crash. Since 2015, prices have reduced by 10 to 15 percent for the most expensive properties in central London, mainly due to tax increases that were 46 - info - autumn 2019

In Paris, the property market is stronger than ever, partly because of the impatriates from London who work in banking and finance


Paris: gateway to France easyJet’s French expansion has been driven from two Parisian hubs, Paris Charles de Gaulle and Paris Orly airports, says Reginald Otten, Country Manager France & Morocco

While some of our rivals would question our decision to base in France in the past, due to its tax and regulatory complexities, there is no question that the decision to invest has enabled easyJet to get to its leading spot today


oday, one in five easyJet

the constrained business airport. With

passengers land in or take off

these two hubs covered, easyJet has

from France. In 2018, we flew

been able to deliver to Parisians the

presence, so has France modernised

destinations and schedules they want.

its regional cities. Nantes, Toulouse,

over 20 million French passengers to more than 260 destinations, and

Paris is one of the leading

part of French business. Just as we’ve developed our regional

Bordeaux, Lyon to name a few, all

we currently have a 15 percent

economies in Europe with the presence

major industrial centres, combined with

market share. This makes us the

of major company headquarters,

growing tourism appeal: for sea, for ski,

country’s second largest airline, with

including most of the largest French

or for pure gastronomic glee. Adding to

seven aircraft bases spread across

companies. And it’s these companies

this, regional airports have successfully

the country offering all types of

that are changing their mind-set when

invested in their vision of smart and

destinations to all types of travellers.

it comes to flying, turning to cheaper

cost-efficient operations, making them

We’re also a strategic partner for the

travel, and the merits of punctuality,

more convenient and appealing than

French economy, with over 1,500

regularity and accessibility. This shift

some of their capital city rivals.

jobs created locally and all on French

is also happening on the busy French


domestic market.

While some of our rivals would

Offering an appealing domestic

And while Paris will continue to be the main hub for French international trade, a regional shift is also happening.

question our decision to base in France

network has been at the cornerstone

Direct connections to destinations such

in the past, due to its tax and regulatory

of our French development. Business

as Dubai, Beijing, and New York are

complexities, there is no question that

exchange between the provinces is on

now an emerging trend across French

the decision to invest over time has

a different scale, with - to illustrate -

regional airports, setting us up nicely

enabled easyJet to get to its leading

daily flying shuttle services between the

to help self-connect global travellers to

spot today. It’s also a key market with a

industrial hubs of Paris and Toulouse

our leading network.

lot of opportunities and only 30 percent

offering over thirty flights per day.

of low-cost penetration, a long way

Furthermore, territorial connectivity,

Brexit turbulence - a modernising

behind the UK.

while benefitting to some extent from

and growing French economy, a

TGV, continues to depend heavily on

vibrant tourism industry, ambitious

air travel due to the nature of France’s

government reforms (that should help

Operating out of France’s capital and

geography. And will continue to do so

make doing business a lot easier!),

its region means access to both the

for decades to come. By driving down

and the 2024 Paris Olympics are

political and economic heart of France,

prices, easyJet’s been able to stimulate

all encouraging signs for easyJet’s

and over ten million people. easyJet’s

a market susceptible to over pricing

continued investment and growth in

growth in this market has been driven

and limited connectivity. In turn, this

France. I

by two bases: one in Paris Charles de

has given wings to the more malleable

Gaulle and the second in Paris Orly,

SME sector, now the fastest growing

Paris as hub city

As we look ahead – despite a little


- autumn 2019 - 47

Franco-British Young Leaders George Merrylees, Partner at law firm Irwin Mitchell, reflects back on his time as part of the FrancoBritish Young Leaders, an organisation dedicated to continued dialogue and the future of the FrancoBritish relationship


highest level.

Hale, President of the Supreme Court.

of interaction and we have seen the

included ‘un selfie’ with President

Exchanging ideas with ex-MI5 Chief

relationship first hand in politics,

Emmanuel Macron and former-Prime

Eliza Manningham Buller and former

economics, culture, education, legal and

Minister Theresa May at the 75th

Chancellor George Osborne.

many others aspects,’ said Merrylees.

Anniversary Commemorations of

n audience with the Archbishop of Canterbury. A Q&A with Lady

This is a snapshot of the access to

‘The programme looks at all levels

‘It is about building bridges in the

and activities have included attending the 2018 Franco-British Summit which

D-Day in Portsmouth and Normandy

key decision-makers afforded to the

Franco-British community, and it has

earlier this year. High-level residential

Franco-British Young Leaders, a network

given me an even greater understanding

programmes in London and Paris,

of early and mid-career professionals

of the friendship between countries and

included receptions at 10 Downing

from a diverse range of sectors, and

the network we are creating will only

Street (pictured) and the Élysée Palace

with a shared interest in fostering

strengthen the Entente Cordiale.’

plus seminars with the Speaker of the

relationships with colleagues across the channel.

Merryless has used the network

House of Commons, and many other

to create opportunities within the

leading figures. The programmes are

French Chamber and the Franco-British

supported by both governments and

François Hollande in March 2016 at the

Society to foster greater links across the

the welcome events are hosted by the

Amiens Summit, the programme is run

community in London.

British and French Ambassadors.

Local Leaders

residential seminar which alternates

Alongside the Young Leaders

each year between the United Kingdom

public and private partners in both

programme, the Franco-British Council

and France. The next will take place in

countries, and is open to young people

piloted a Local Leaders initiative

France in June 2020. I

from the UK and France under the age

dedicated to supporting social mobility

of 40.

for young people in both countries. This

Announced by David Cameron and

by the Franco-British Council in France and in the UK. It is supported by both governments and funded by generous

The programme includes a four-day

programme brings talented individuals

The application process for both the Young

Merrylees joined the Leaders

aged 20-30 from disadvantaged

Leaders and Local Leaders programmes in

programme in 2017 and is coming to

backgrounds who have demonstrated

2020 opens on 13 January and will close

the end of his two-year course, having

exceptional entrepreneurial qualities for

on 9 February. More information and

created a range of new friendships and

the benefit of their communities.

application forms can be found on the

Private wealth lawyer George

professional contacts over two annual

Since the programmes were

Franco-British Council's website

conferences and a range of bespoke

launched in 2017, 91 Young Leaders or by contacting

events with national leaders at the

and 30 Local Leaders have taken part

48 - info - autumn 2019


Leadership in creative cities The French and British CEOs of the communications giant Publicis reflect on creativity and collaboration across their companies in Paris and London

Agathe Bousquet, CEO, Publicis Groupe France

What does it mean

What does it mean

to be a leader in the

to be a leader in the

creative industry?

creative industry?

The key to leadership is

Success in the creative

to have a vision of the

industry comes down

future and to be capable

to talent; empowering

of taking everyone on

gifted people to do their

that journey. From data-

best work. Everything

driven marketing, to

else is secondary. At

dynamic content, truly

Publicis Groupe, we have

integrated campaigns

been focusing on what

and service design, in

it takes to empower

order to lead, we need

our talent, like flexible

to build more for our

working across the whole

Annette King, CEO, Publicis Groupe UK

clients’ brands with a great diversity of expertise and profiles.

UK business. Our recent ‘Headline’ programme is changing

Making it work means being able to get the best out of the

the way mental health is viewed and ensures it is embedded

best, and also enabling them to work together. This means

into everyday conversations. Another important aspect of

the sensitivity of a young creative and the rigour of a data

leadership today is navigating ambiguity: leaning into the

scientist all need to be managed and united behind a common

unknown and bringing together different perspectives, drives

purpose. Not always easy, but it’s thrilling to be at the heart of

and ambitions. You cannot go forward looking in the rear-

this adventure.

view mirror anymore. Courting change is crucial to lead in the creative industry.

What does creativity look like in France? Creativity has always been part of French life in terms of art,

What does creativity look like in the UK?

fashion, literature, cinema, culinary and design. Now is a

Our creative industries in the UK are a real success story,

particularly exciting time because it has become connected to

contributing more than £100bn to the UK and growing three-

the notion of companies expressing their 'raison d’être.' Our

times faster than the rest of the economy. It’s important

brands need to reveal their social responsibility, and Publicis

to recognise this because the success is built on some

Conseil’s recent global campaign for Orange – ‘With great

key strengths: Our talented workforce, our openness and

power comes great responsibility’ – is a good example of this.

attractiveness to talent from the rest of the world and

Moreover, creativity in France is reinforced by the growth of

London’s status as one of the world’s most dynamic cities

the French technology sector, embodied in Vivatech, which

Staying ahead creatively is a more interesting topic. As we

gives us the tools to be more responsible.

live in a distributed technological economy these days, creativity can literally come from anywhere, so harnessing and

How do you collaborate across the company?

continuing to deliver the potential of UK creativity on a global

The goal of our country model, called the 'Power of One,' is

business becomes a hot topic for the future.

to make 5,000 people enjoy working together. We make this collaborative spirit possible through the excellence of our

How do you collaborate across the company?

talents. We are looking for people who embody their expertise,

We know clients operate in a complex and distributed world,

so that clients and the collaborators in the group naturally

so by getting their business needs right from the outset, we

want to call on them, rather than work in silos.

focus on meeting their individual needs through one simple

In addition, we cut through complexity and the Power

solution – a platform of capabilities which is fluid and efficient

of One has been successfully implemented thanks to a

across all levels of our business. One P&L and hundreds of

governance system in which every agency benefits. Among

ways to serve any client need and it’s my job to help make it

diverse measures, a common P&L has been especially

happen without a glitch and at speed. That’s the 'Power of

important in making that possible. This is particularly reflective

One' model at Publicis. Once you commit to operating in this

of the top management, and the middle management that

way the Power of One is self-evident; whether you have 50 or

leads the transformation. I

5,000 people on the team. I


- autumn 2019 - 49

Higher education in the capital International students continue to be drawn to the capital – but for how much longer? INFO speaks with Kevin Coyne, Dean of Student Life and Lecturer at Université Paris-Dauphine London campus


ccording to Universities UK, the advocacy organisation for British universities, Brexit

economics and management. The school is linked with its Paris campus, a public French university

has introduced a precariousness to

whose business management and

the sector, with research funding and

finance programmes are considered

student exchange programmes like

to be amongst the most prestigious in

Erasmus potentially under threat.


On the ground, observers have

To the extent that Brexit threatens

not yet noticed an impact on student

the cosmopolitan character of the city,

numbers. Many say that the true

institutions like Paris-Dauphine have a

impact will be felt once a withdrawal

role to play to attract foreign students

agreement or a ‘no deal’ has been

to their campus and the city.

put in place – with the latter being

‘Students say they want a global

described as ‘highly undesirable’ in a

experience, and that is a big reason

recent Universities UK whitepaper on

they have chosen to come to study in

the issue.

London,’ says Coyne.

‘Brexit has not disrupted things

‘It is one of the capital’s great

in terms of admissions so far,’ says

advantages that it can offer culturally-

Kevin Coyne, Dean of Student Life and

mixed environments – and a certain

Lecturer at Université Paris-Dauphine

level of acclimatisation – that these

London campus, and a thirty-year

students seek. And they see the city as

veteran of universities in America and

a launching pad to a global career.’

the UK. ‘We have seen some movement

According to Coyne, very few of

in terms of the parents of students who

his French students see themselves

might be leaving London, or not taking

working back in France after they have

up job offers here, but our intake has

completed their studies. They have

actually increased over the past three

global aspirations, and expectations of


working in places like America and the

However, far from being benign, Coyne notes that the referendum result has contributed to a sense of unease

The most recent QS ranking named London as the best city in the world for students – a title previously held by Paris and Montreal – citing its culture, access to the jobs market, and high levels of tolerance and diversity

UK, as well as China and developing

be made post-Brexit, including robust

markets in Africa.

pastoral support and mental health

He also observes that the French

provision, growing areas of concern

for EU students about their legal status.

and other European students who

He has also observed, across the

come to London have an ease with

sector, that Brexit has been unsettling

being surrounded by other languages

recent QS ranking named London as

from a faculty point of view, with some

– a clear advantage in a globalised

the best city in the world for students

potential job candidates unwilling to

marketplace over many students who

– a title previously held by Paris and

commit to UK-based job offers due to

come from the UK system. By the time

Montreal – citing its culture, access

uncertainty around the Brexit process.

students graduate from Dauphine, they

to the jobs market, and high levels

will have acquired a minimum of three

of tolerance and diversity, which


contributes to a sense of belonging for

The global dimension The majority of Paris Dauphine’s

For Coyne, one of the important

amongst student bodies. As it currently stands, the most

overseas students.

215 full time students and 35 faculty

factors in the future of higher education

members come from abroad, with

in London, and the UK, will be on health

‘The work-place of the future will be

a significant cohort of their student

provision. Currently overseas students

multi-cultural and multi-lingual. What

body coming directly from France to

are covered by the NHS, but new

better city to provide this training than

work towards a Bachelor’s degree in

reciprocal agreements may need to

London.’ I

50 - info - autumn 2019

It is a plaudit echoed by Coyne.




VENUE HIRE Host your event in an inspiring venue with state-of-the art facilities

BESPOKE FRENCH TRAINING Learn French and widen your business horizons

PARTNERSHIP AND PATRONAGE Engage with ambitious and innovative cultural content

ADVERTISING OPPORTUNITIES Reach out culture enthusiasts

Institut franรงais 17 Queensberry Place South Kensington London SW7 2DT 020 7871 3515


TAT E B RI TA I N, LO N D O N William Blake William Blake was a painter, printmaker and poet who created some of the most iconic images in British art. Radical and rebellious, he is an inspiration to visual artists, musicians, poets and performers worldwide. His personal struggles in a period of political terror and oppression, his technical innovation, his vision and political commitment, have perhaps never been more pertinent. Inside the exhibition will be an immersive recreation of the small domestic room in which Blake showed his art in 1809. You will be able to experience for yourself the impact these works had when they were shown for the first time. In another room, Blake’s dream of showing his works at enormous scale will be made reality using digital technology. With over 300 original works, including his watercolours, paintings and prints, this is the largest show of Blake’s work for almost 20 years. All images: – William Blake at Tate Britain, install view. © Tate (Seraphina Neville)

It will rediscover him as a visual artist for the 21st century. I 11 September – 2 February / Daily until 6pm / tickets £18

Left: William Blake (1757-1827), C'Europe' Plate i: Frontispiece, 'The Ancient of Days', 1827. Etching with ink and watercolour on paper

Far left: Newton 1795c, 1805,. Colour print, ink and watercolour on paper Left: Portrait of William Blake, 1802. Pencil with black, white, and grey washes

52 - info - autumn 2019



Norton Museum of Art, Gift of Elizabeth C. Norton, 46.5, © Norton Museum of Art

The Art Institute of Chicago, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Deering McCormick 1980.613, © The Art Institute of Chicago

Gauguin Portraits

Left: Paul Gauguin, Christ in the Garden of Olives, 1889 Right: Paul Gauguin, The Ancestors of Tehamana or Tehamana Has Many Parents (Merahi metua no Tehamana), 1893

Spanning his early years as an artist through to his later years spent in French Polynesia, the exhibition shows how the French artist revolutionised the portrait – The first-ever exhibition devoted to the portraits of Paul Gauguin. By adding carefully selected attributes or placing the sitter into a suggestive context Gauguin was able to make portraits that expressed meaning beyond their personalities. A group

of self-portraits, for example, reveals how Gauguin created a range of personifications including his self-image as 'Christ in the Garden of Olives', 1889. Featuring about fifty works, the exhibition includes paintings, works on paper, and three-dimensional objects in a variety of media, from public and private collections worldwide. I 7 October – 26 January / Daily / tickets from £20

C EN T RE P O M PI D O U, PA RI S © The Estate of Francis Bacon /All rights reserved / Adagp, Paris and DACS, London 2019 Photo © Centre Pompidou, MNAM-CCI/Bertrand Prévost.

Bacon en toutes lettres The Centre Pompidou presents an exceptional retrospective dedicated to Francis Bacon, focusing mainly on the relationship between his works and his literary interests. The exhibition consists of sixty paintings, including 12 triptychs, in addition to a series of portraits and self-portraits, from major private and public collections. There are six rooms along the visitor route, placing literature at the heart of the exhibition. I 11 September 2019 – 20 January / Daily 11am-9pm / €11

Right: Francis Bacon, Study for Portrait (Michel Leiris), 1978. Centre Pompidou, Paris. Donation Louise et Michel Leiris


- autumn 2019 - 53

ROYA L AC A D E MY O F A RTS, LO N D O N Antony Gormley Following in the footsteps of Ai Weiwei and Anselm Kiefer, Antony Gormley will be the next artist to take over our Main Galleries with a series of works that test the scale and light of the RA’s architecture. The exhibition will explore Gormley’s wide-ranging © the Artist. Photo: David Parry / © Royal Academy of Arts

use of organic, industrial and elemental materials over the years, including iron, steel, hand-beaten lead, seawater and clay. We will also bring to light rarely-seen early works from the 1970s and 1980s, some of which led to Gormley using his own body as a tool to create work, as well as a selection of his pocket sketchbooks and drawings. I 21 September – 3 December / Daily 10am-6pm (10pm Fridays) tickets £18-22 Antony Gormley, Antony Gormley, 2008

PE T I T PA L A I S, PA RI S Yan Pei-Ming & Gustave Courbet On the occasion of Courbet’s Bicentenary, around ten works

Paris starting from the end of the 19th century, enriched at the

by Gustave Courbet will be exhibited, all from the collection of

beginning of the 20th century with the donations of his sister,

the Petit Palais, facing fifteen monumental paintings by Yan Pei-

Juliette Courbet and the art critic Théodore Duret. I

Ming, mostly made in Courbet’s workshop in Ornans.

12 October – 19 January / Tuesday-Sunday 10am-6pm / free

The Petit Palais has one of the largest collections of paintings


© Petit Palais / Roger Viollet

© Yan Pei-Ming, ADAGP, Paris, 2019

by Gustave Courbet thanks to purchases made by the City of

Left: Gustave Courbet, Les Demoiselles des bords de la Seine (été), 1857 Right: Yan Pei-Ming dans son atelier, Dijon, 2019. Photography: Marie Clérin

54 - info - autumn 2019





by Patrick

by Philippe

Modiano Published by Yale University Press Translated by Mark Polizzotti Original title: Souvenirs dormants


Published by Viking Translated by Molly

Ringwald avec tes

Original title: Arrête


Writing from the perspective of an older man, the narrator

Philippe, a famous writer, chances upon a young man who

relives a key period in his life through his relationships with

bears a striking resemblance to his first love. What follows is

several enigmatic women, in the process unearthing his troubled

a look back to Philippe's teenage years, a winter morning in

relationship with his parents, his unorthodox childhood, and the

1984, and a carefully timed encounter between two seventeen-

unsettled years of his youth. This is classic Modiano, utilizing his

year-olds. I

signature mix of autobiography and invention to create his most intriguing and intimate book yet. I



by Chantal

by Marie

Akerman Published by Silver Press Translated by Daniela Shreir Original title: Ma mère rit


Published by MacLehose

Press Jordan Stump Original title: La Cheffe, roman d’une cuisinière Translated by

In 2013, the filmmaker Chantal Akerman's mother was dying.

The Cheffe is born into a very poor family in south-western France,

She flew back from New York to Brussels to care for her, and

but when she takes a job working in the kitchen of a couple in

between dressing her, feeding her and putting her to bed, she

the Landes region, it does not take long before it becomes clear

wrote. My Mother Laughs is both the distillation of the themes

that the Cheffe has a remarkable talent for cooking. But for all her

Akerman pursued throughout her creative life, and a version

genius, the Cheffe remains very secretive about the rest of her

of the simplest and most complicated love story of all: that

life. And when the demands of her work and caring for her child

between a mother and a daughter. I

become too much, she leaves her baby in the care of her family, and sets out to open her own restaurant. But her relationship with her daughter will threaten to destroy everything the Cheffe has spent her life perfecting. I


- autumn 2019 - 55


NEW CONDU CTOR AT TH E LP O Edward Gardner will be the first British conductor of the orchestra in more than 50 years was a notable Patron Event for Chamber members. Currently the Chief Conductor of the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, Gardner is also an in-demand guest conductor. His recent seasons also include performances with the Metropolitan Opera, New York Philharmonic, and his debut at the Royal Opera House with Janacek Katya Kabanova, amongst others. ‘It’s been fascinating to watch Edward grow into a great musician since his debut with the LPO sixteen years ago,’ said


Timothy Walker, Chief Executive and Artistic Director of the

hen Edward Gardner becomes Principal Conductor of the

LPO. ‘During his ten years at English National Opera, and more

London Philharmonic Orchestra at the end of the 2020-

recently at the Bergen Philharmonic, he has mastered a huge

21 season, succeeding current holder Vladimir Jurowski, he will be the first British-born conductor to lead the orchestra since John Pritchard in the late 1960s. No stranger to the LPO, Gardner has been an oft seen

range of orchestral and vocal repertoire.’ ‘For him to return to the UK as our Principal Conductor is exciting not only for the LPO, but also for London and the country’s wider culture scene.’

presence as a guest conductor since 2003. His notable

Gardner’s initial five-year contract will see him working

performances include concerts at the Southbank Centre’s Royal

with the Orchestra for a least 10 weeks each season, including

Festival Hall and Snape Maltings, and opera performances at

their London seasons at the RFH, on international tours, and

Glyndebourne. He has also conducted the orchestra on tour in

on many education and community programmes. During the

America. His Royal Festival Hall performance of Debussy, Saint-

2019/20 season he will conduct the orchestra in four concerts

Saen and Ravel in April 2019, received widespread praise, and

at RFH, the first a programme of Bartok, Nielsen and Walton. I

L A D U R É E L AUN CHES PL ANT- BASED M ENU The new ‘Super Healthy’ range is a collaboration between the brand and Californian Chef Matthew Kenney


adurée, the 150-year-old luxury French pastry brand, and world-renowned classically trained, plant-based chef

Matthew Kenney are partnering to create a healthier menu available exclusively from Ladurée. More than ever before we are aware of the importance of taking care of our overall health and wellness – a healthy diet, regular exercise and a good night's sleep are just a few of the measures that people are taking across the globe to improve their quality of life. As such, consumers are choosing to embrace more sustainable ways of living and changing to greener habits. For example, the introduction of plant-based food. Most plant-

Super Healthy collection includes four delicious macarons that

based consumers are not vegans but those who are actively

incorporate superfoods and healthier ingredients. There is a

choosing to reduce their meat and dairy intake.

lactose-free macaron made from almond milk and with new

Matthew Kenney and Ladurée chefs have created 100 percent vegan savoury and sweet dishes, inspired by the plant-based California approach. The Beverly Hills Ladurée Tea

eco-friendly recycled packaging. Laduree has also created a vegan loaf cake and granola bars. ‘We are aware that Ladurée needs to prepare and evolve

Salon will be fully taken over by Matthew and the menu will be

for the next 150 years,’ explains Ladurée CEO David Holder.

dedicated to 100 percent vegan dishes: a first for the brand.

‘It is an exciting new approach for Ladurée, but we will remain

Three new vegan dishes devised by Matthew will also be

close to Ladurée’s core values of taste, well-being, conviviality

added to Ladurée’s menu globally from 25th September. The 56 - info - autumn 2019

and art de Vivre.’ I


AN EN GLISH CI DER STORY Wine Story Thibault Lavergne explores a vineyard close to home in Hertfordshire


few years ago, I introduced you to the world of fine sparkling cider from a Calvados producer in Normandy,

I have now turned my attention and taste buds to an English sparkling cider. For many years, I have had an interest in English wines. I have visited wineries in Suffolk, Kent, Cornwall, and Essex, but my latest find is just few miles away from my home in Hertfordshire. It’s the story of this new vineyard, The Four Acres Estate, that I would like to share with you. Last winter in Little Hadham village Hall, a Hertfordshire Village North East of London, I meet Platon Loizou who, as soon as he understood that I worked in the wine industry, invited me to visit his vineyard only a kilometre away, set on a hillside above the Ash Valley. My first thought was that he kept a few rows of vines as a hobby. But visiting Four Acres Estate, named after the size of the farm, I understood quickly that Platon didn’t do things by

Like its Normand cousin, this cider is ideal with a cheese board and particularly with Cheddar or Brie

half. Everything, from the beautiful state of the vines and the orchard to the cellar, was immaculate and run as well as any professional vineyard on the other side of the Channel. After a lifetime spent in the travel industry, Mr Loizou

yellow colour and perfumes of yeast, straw, aged apples and smoky spirits.

wanted to get back to his Cypriot roots and fulfil a life-long

The complexity of Platon’s cider means that you can

dream of making wine. Since 2010, he has been out in all

appreciate it with many dishes. Like its Normand cousin, this

weather, nurturing his precious vines from saplings to maturity,

cider is ideal with a cheese board and particularly with Cheddar

and bolstering his knowledge by consulting at every step with

or Brie. Served in a Champagne glass you could appreciate it

some of the best viticulture experts in the country.

like any fine bubbles for aperitif or dessert.

This is very much a family business and everything is made

London sommeliers appreciate this English Sparkling cider,

by hand. In Autumn, a group of friends and family help the

and have listed it on their cheese and dessert menu. At the end

harvesting of apples and grapes, which include Pinot Noir, Pinot

of a rich dinner, it’s an ideal, light and fresh finish to a meal.

Meunier and Chardonnay.

Four Acres Estate is a member of Wines of Great Britain

The vines are still too young to fulfill their quality potential,

(WineGB) and the East Anglian Vineyards Association. I am

but Platon already produces a fantastic sparkling cider from his

pleased to report that British wines and fine cider are back on

orchard. It’s a dry cider with 7 percent alcohol, aged a short time

the wine lover’s map. I

in whisky barrels. The process produces a liquid with an intense

Thibault Lavergne



- autumn 2019 - 57


15 months’ membership for the price of 12

Join the most active business network in the UK

We are offering an additional three months’ membership to any new Patron or Corporate members who sign up before 1st December 2019. The same offer is available to any existing Active or Corporate members who wish to upgrade their membership.

For more information, please contact the membership team on



fter a much-needed summer break, the Chamber burst


That is why, following a strategy board meeting earlier

back to life in September, as our Autumn programme of

this year, we decided to launch four working groups involving

activities and events ramped up once again.

Board Directors, Advisory Councillors and Chamber Staff,

seen some of our flagship events, including our Annual Gala

ongoing digital transformation, and finally on our corporate

Dinner, where we welcomed John Allan CBE, Chairman of

purpose and values.

At the time of going to print, the Autumn term has already

Tesco and President of the CBI, as our guest speaker. The

around Brexit, the development of our membership offer, our

We also surveyed members to get feedback on how we

event also included one of the first public speeches made by

can adapt our services, and are conducting a content review

the new French Ambassador to the UK, Catherine Colonna,

to assess our ability to deliver the best visibility and thought

since she assumed her new role in London.

leadership across all of our platforms. Many thanks to those of

We also organised a Business Leaders Mission to Paris, where our delegation visited Station F, the start-up

you who took the time to complete our INFO Reader Survey. I am pleased to announce that the working groups have

incubator, and the Jean Nouvel-designed Paris Philharmonic.

now reported their findings and made recommendations to

The trip also included a reception at the Residence of the

the Board. With the inclusion of our survey results, we are in

British Ambassador to France, Edward Llewellyn, where he

the process of developing a new Chamber strategy and action

underlined the continued strength and importance of the

plan to be implemented in 2020.

Franco-British business community. Indeed, the strength and diversity of our network continues

We look forward to many more events in the coming weeks and months in the build up to Christmas. Whether or

to be our greatest asset in an ever-changing and often

not this entails an official break with the EU on 31 October,

uncertain political and economic environment. And we are

the Chamber will remain one of the largest French chambers

committed to always bringing more value for our members by

globally and the most dynamic foreign chamber in the UK. I

analysing their needs and adapting our current offer.


- autumn 2019 - 59


Dominique Tai accepts award from Catherine Palmer for support of French women lawyers


ational law firm Browne Jacobson, represented by Caroline Green, Senior Partner, and Dominique Tai,

Head of the French Group, has won the prestigious FrancoBritish Lawyers’ Society Champagne Louis Roederer award which celebrates organisations that have demonstrated an ‘outstanding contribution’ to helping French women lawyers Photographer: Alexander McIntyre

practise in London. Now in its fourth year, the award was presented by Catherine Palmer on behalf of the Franco-British Lawyers Society (FBLS) at a summer reception at the Residence of French Ambassador, formerly HE Mr Jean-Pierre Jouyet. The award has been possible thanks to the generosity and commitment of members of the FBLS, the sponsorship of Champagne house Louis Roederer, and the kind support of the Embassy and

From L. to R.: Caroline Green, Dominique Tai, Richard Billett, representative of the sponsor Champagne Louis Roederer and Catherine Palmer

Residence. According to Palmer, Director of the FBLS, the prize was conceived in 2016 as a response to a growing concern that

established French companies and also entrepreneurs who are

qualified French women lawyers were struggling to integrate

looking to invest in the UK.

into the UK jobs market.

The team has supported a number of French female

‘It was a real pleasure to recognise the important work that

lawyers who wish to pursue careers in the London legal market

Browne Jacobson has done to integrate, train and support

through various initiatives. These include sponsoring a French

French female lawyers,’ said Palmer. ‘I also wanted to specifically

qualified lawyer in obtaining her Qualified Lawyers Transfer

congratulate Dominique, who has been such an important part

Scheme (QLTS), offering tailored training to French female

of the Franco-British legal community for many years.’

legal assistants on the difference between the French and

Browne Jacobson’s French Group is based in London and

UK legal systems, facilitating more in-depth training in various

comprises French nationals and bilingual lawyers, specialising

legal specialisms and recruiting and developing French female

in Franco-British business transactions who advise both

interns into the practice. I

New Chair of the Digital Transformation & Innovation Forum


he Chamber is pleased to announce that Holly Stockbridge, UK & IRL Innovation Manager of ENGIE, has been named co-chair of the Digital Transformation & Innovation Forum. She joins her fellow chair Fabrice Bernhard, CEO of Theodo UK. Stockbridge’s mission is to link the best UK start-ups and SMEs with senior decision makers at ENGIE UK&IRL. She has helped many organisations find their way through the organisation which has led to pilots and full scale roll out of innovations. Stockbridge replaces Christophe Chazot, who did a wonderful job in his capacity as Chair of the Forum in the last three years. The French Chamber would like to express its thanks and gratitude to Christophe for his dedication and vision. I

60 - info - autumn 2019


THE BUSINESS CENTRE: A SPRINGBOARD INTO THE UK Aimed at French Start-ups, entrepreneurs and SMEs that are developing their businesses in the UK, the French Chamber’s 20-desk Business Centre is currently home to 11 companies. Meet Théo Massanès, Business Development Engineer, Tronico

Théo Massanès, Business Development Engineer – AeroSpace & Defence Business Unit, TRONICO Could you introduce us to Tronico? Tronico is one of the market leaders in France for the design and manufacturing of electronic systems, especially for Aerospace and Defence applications. Today, every Airbus is equipped with a product manufactured at one of our factories, and the same can be said for many other civil and military aircraft and equipment. Since its creation in 1973, the headquarters of the company have been located in the region of Vendée. It is home to the main production facility, as well as the design office and all support functions. A second manufacturing plant is located in Tangier, Morocco. Having covered most of the accessible shares on the French market, Tronico has a strong will to offer its services abroad, hence its commercial representation oversees, with a Business Development Engineer based in Montreal covering North America and myself in London covering the UK and Ireland. Why did you make the decision to come the UK? In terms of Aerospace and Defence, the UK supply chain is very similar to France, with the presence of very strong British companies such as BAE Systems, Leonardo or Cobham. It is also interesting thanks to the important presence of French and European groups like Airbus, Safran or Thales, which are already Tronico’s customers in France. We also noted the presence of several direct competitors in the UK, which is always a great and encouraging proof that there is a healthy local market. The geographical proximity of the UK with both our manufacturing sites and engineers (France and Morocco) gives us a strong advantage in terms of reaction capability, a key aspect in our fast moving and demanding industry. Finally, France and Great Britain have a huge common industrial history, especially in Aerospace and Defence. For example, the two countries brought to the world the only successful supersonic passenger jet: the Concorde, but are also two of the members who worked jointly to found one of the most successful aerospace companies: Airbus. Why have you chosen the French Chamber? Without having any presence prior to 2019, it was an obvious choice for Tronico to start with the French Chamber of Commerce in London. London being such an important transport hub, it makes it very easy to access all of our customers and prospects everywhere in the UK. In addition, being able to say that we are being hosted by and member of the French Chamber is reassuring proof of our implication in the country for our partners. What are some of the challenges you face in implementation? The cycle of projects in our sectors have the specificity to be very long, meaning that we cannot count on short term opportunities to start working in the UK. The strategy for us is to reach out to the right people and establish trusted relationships with them, so that when they identify a need that matches our capabilities, we can be consulted. If we were to assess this first seven months spent in the UK since late January, it can be said that we have made good progress for the moment in qualifying all the identified targets and opening new discussions with of the most promising companies for us. It leads to an optimistic outlook for the years to come for Tronico in the UK and Ireland. I Théo Massanès

To find out more about the Chamber’s Business Centre, please contact Christelle Bouquier, Business Development Manager, or 0207 092 6628 info

- autumn 2019 - 61






o recognise the 40th anniversary of INFO, the team

such as the Mona Lisa and Warhol's Campbell's Soup, light-

at the French Chamber organised an internal cover

hearted takes referencing Monopoly, and more serious

competition, circulating a longlist of covers drawn from the

corporate approaches. One thing is clear, the magazine has

more than 200 editions which have appeared in print since

had its finger on the pulse of the Franco-British community

1979. These ranged from homages to great works of art,

for almost half a century – and done so in style! I


62 - info - autumn 2019


I N F O the magazine for anglo-french business french chamber of commerce in great britain



INFO September/October 1983

INFO July/August 1981

march / april 2014


mes he m.

from £199 per month. The official consumption e range are: Urban 42.8 (6.6) – 67.26 (4.2); Extra 6.4 (3.7). The official C02 emissions for the range 008 test environment figures. Fuel consumption conditions and other factors.

100,000 miles and routine servicing 4 years/48,000 miles (whichever comes first); servicing package available to 2014). Visit for full details. Finance provided by RCI Financial Services Limited, PO Box 149, (excluding the Isle of Man and Channel Islands) to apply for finance. Terms and conditions apply. *Rental stated is t you can keep using the car and pay an annual rental equivalent to one monthly rental. A finance facility of £149 is c VAT (after £1000 deposit contribution) followed by 48 monthly rentals of £179 inc VAT, final rental £5855 inc VAT. used in conjunction with other schemes or finance offers and are available on new vehicles when ordered and tional £495 (or £595 for i.d. paint), plus £300 for painted roof. Renault Call Centre opening hours: 9am - 5.30pm

14/02/2014 09:20

Reflections on the UK-France Summit – HE Mr Bernard Emié, French Ambassador to the UK

FRoM ScRAtcH to SUccESS: the business stories of Arnaud Vaissié and Nathalie Gaveau

5 minutes with... Kenneth Ramirez, Managing Director, Renault UK

Patrice de Viviès on total’s investment in UK shale gas exploration

INFO March/April 2014

2/26/2014 12:27:24 PM


1 The winning cover from a 1980 edition of the magazine featured a simple and evocative design related to the theme of perfume and cosmetics.

1979 2019

INFO March/April 1980


- autumn 2019 - 63



HOGAN LOVELLS LLP – Global Lawyers - International Law Firm Represented by ALINE DOUSSIN, PARTNER

Change is happening faster than ever, and legal challenges come from all directions. To stay ahead, organisations need to anticipate what's next. Hogan Lovells understands this and works together with its clients to solve the toughest legal issues in major industries and commercial centres around the world. With 2800 lawyers on six continents, Hogan Lovells offers extensive experience and insights gained from working in some of the world's most complex legal environments and markets for corporations, financial institutions, and governments. The firm provides practical legal solutions that help clients identify and mitigate risk and make the most of opportunities.


JULIUS BAER INTERNATIONAL Private Clients - Asset Management Represented by Renaud Billard, Relationship Manager Julius Baer is a leading global banking group established over 127 years ago with Swiss family heritage and values including an emphasis on quality, tradition and efficiency. In the UK, we are a premium wealth manager offering a global service with local perspective. We offer a variety of investment services, from discretionary portfolios to bespoke advisory accounts.

RUBICON COMMERCIAL LTD Design & Build Commercial Workplaces and Maintenance Represented by David Vincent, CEO Workplace design and fit out including relocation and business workplace consulting; supply of furniture and workplace maintenance, refurbishment and dilapidations.

SYBARITE UK LIMITED Architects specializing in luxury environments Represented by Simon Mitchell, Co-Founder Sybarite is an agile practice of architects and designers that create immersive, multi-sensory and seductive environments. Sybarite's clients are from the worlds of luxury retail, leisure and hospitality. The studio hails from all over the globe with each member adding their own flavour to how Sybarite thinks, acts and works, united by an appreciation for the finer things in life.

64 - info - autumn 2019


Wilmore Finance – Financial services - Represented by Clément Daudy, Managing Director Spencer West LLP – Leading London based law firm - Represented by Samar Shams, Partner Setoo – Turning insurance into products consumers love - Represented by Elana Marom, Director of Marketing CJS HR Ltd – HR for UK based French Companies - Represented by Patricia Lawrence, Director Pitchy – B2B solution that puts video creation within the reach of everyone - Represented by Carine Petit, UK Country Manager The Bakery Worldwide – Reinventing Corporate Innovation - Represented by Andy Kemp, Business Development Manager Goodbarber – App-Building Platform for Non-Developers - Represented by Christophe Spinetti, Loyalty Marketing Manager Dessange UK (AKA Studio Kensington Ltd) – Franchise of Luxury Hair & Beauty Salons - Represented by Anna Topalova, Managing Director Pitzhanger Manor & Gallery – John Soane's former home, and art gallery - Represented by Rachel Page, Head of Development Abstract 27 Ltd (Francais a Londres) – French in London Classified ads / media - Represented by Jeremie Raude-Leroy, Founder/CEO


- autumn 2019 - 65


Conflict and mediation in the workplace

Sponsored by

The latest HR Forum discussed the role of mediation for resolving conflict between colleagues


onflict in a business context can cause easily avoided complications.

Mediation is a way to work towards a resolution that is best for all the parties involved. The HR Forum gathered on 4 July to address the merits of this approach. Participants heard from Caroline de

La Rochère, Civil Mediator, Mediation Impact, and Richard Isham, Partner – Head of Employment, Wedlake Bell LLP. The session was co-chaired by Pia Dekkers, HR Director, Chanel, and Melanie Stancliffe, Partner – Employment, Irwin Mitchell LLP.

The how and what of mediation

The objective is to find an agreement, to find a way to work together

Caroline de La Rochère, Civil Mediator, first defined the key characteristics of

an agreement, to find a way to work

Employers offering mediation believe

mediation as a voluntary discussion

together,’ says de la Rochère.

this reflects weakness, while employees

led by an independent party between

De la Rochere says that best

can find it a stressful process.

employees involved in a workplace

practises, such as active listening,

dispute. The discussions are most

allow the parties to offload all their

mediation. Isham notes that some

efficient when deployed in the early

grievances. Whereas negotiation deals

companies have internal mediators. If

stages of the conflict. De La Rochère

with facts, mediation also takes feelings

employees don’t trust the company, an

also highlights that ‘confidentiality is an

into account. De la Rochère therefore

external mediator will be required.

essential part of being able to reach

emphasises that this will remain a


human skill rather than a task delegated

private mediation, which are ‘voluntary

For the business, workplace conflict

Trust is also a key factor in

Companies can choose between

to AI, due to its ‘soft skill’ credentials,

and confidential,’ or a judicial mediation.

can give rise to decreased productivity,

now starting to be taught in developed

This option was introduced in 2009 and

absenteeism and under performance.


offers guidance from an independent

An estimated 370 million working days

According to figures from the public

judge. Sixty-five percent of judicial

are lost every year due to conflict,

body for mediation, ACAS (Advisory,

mediation cases are settled within the

having a direct impact on business

Conciliation and Arbitration Service),

day and with 58 percent settled even

profit. An Employment Tribunal can also

80% of workplace mediations reach

before a hearing.

be a costly approach.

a positive outcome. A mediation is

Isham raises the fact that a protected

considered a success when a win/win

conversation is different to mediation,

outcome is achieved for both parties.

as it is protection against unfair

In contrast, mediation proves to be a less expensive solution. The mediation itself can take place as an individual

dismissal only. It allows the employer

meeting between the mediator and

Perceptions and options

each party. Alternatively, a joint meeting

Richard Isham, Partner and Head of

employee before the dispute. ‘The

can be organised to work towards

Employment at Wedlake Bell, says

protected conversation is designed to

a mutually acceptable solution. In

that perception is often an issue when

help the situation before the dispute

either instance, ‘the objective is to find

using mediation to resolve problems.

comes out,’ says Isham. I SL

66 - info - autumn 2019

to engage in a conversation with the


The business case for sustainability

Sponsored by

A meeting of the Climate Change and Sustainability Forum on 10 September explored the key drivers and benefits of sustainability in businesses and organisations


he Forum welcomed guest speakers James Robey, Vice

heart of your business. And while the scale of the problem is

President – Global Head of Environmental Sustainability,

clear – as outlined in the UN’s report Our Common Future – our

Capgemini, Amell Amatino, Founder, Maintenant, and

negative impact on the planet was growing at unprecedented

Lauren Onthank, Associate UK Office – International Affairs,


HEC Paris. The session was co-chaired by Jean-Philippe

She pointed to solutions in the circular economy, which

Verdier, Founding Partner, Verdier & Co. Corporate

uses less resources, reuses, recycles, and seeks out sustainable

Advisory, and Nidhi Baiswar, Head of Sustainable Design

design – as opposed to the linear economy, which takes

and Construction, Bouygues UK, and was kindly hosted at

resources and creates waste and pollution. Frameworks for

Bouygues UK’s London headquarters.

businesses and organisations include ISO2600, and the UN

Robey, who conducted research with Henley business school

Sustainable development goals (SDGs).

toward a doctorate in business case for sustainability, delivered

Lauren Onthank, spoke about sustainability in higher

a presentation on the drivers of corporate responsibility. He

education. She noted that HEC is ranked third in the Alma Mater

noted that currently, businesses are driving most of the change

Index for global executives as alumni – in essence training the

globally, as they are able to act fastest, however there is huge

leaders of the future – and therefore said that they have a duty

potential to do more.

towards promoting and education on sustainability.

His research found that companies were investing in

Sustainability is now at the centre of their mission, and they

sustainability for several reasons: it was important to employees;

ensure that their training is in line with global environmental

it was relevant to clients and customer expectation; it followed

priorities. This is mirrored by an increased interest from

the desires of the owners of the business (and the ability to

students. Applications to their Masters programmes in

get working capital to operate); it was relevant to how they

Sustainability and Social Innovation has tripled since they was

acquired natural capital (the ability to get raw materials; natural

launched in 2016.

resources, or eco-system services); and for general efficiency, such as reducing input costs.

The school is now placing sustainability at the core of all their teaching – not just on specialist courses – and their

Amatino, Founder of Maintenant, who works with companies

researchers continue to produce papers that are relevant

and organisations of all shapes and sizes in an advisory role,

to businesses. They also we work with corporate partners on

highlighted the importance of sustainability incorporated at the

different initiatives and the funding of new research chairs. I

Site visit: CP Electronics On 5 September, the CC&S Forum held a site visit at CP Electronics, which specialises in lighting, heating and ventilation control solutions, organised by French industrial group Legrand. The visit included presentations by Tony Greig, CEO of Legrand UK CEO and Mark Lester, Managing Director of CP Electronics. Mitra Goodger, Legrand Energy Efficiency & Sustainability Manager, provided a presentation on trends in lighting and energy efficiency in buildings, followed by a factory tour and networking session. The Chamber would like to thank CP Electronics for their hospitality.


- autumn 2019 - 67


Millennials as customers

Sponsored by

In the summer session of the Retail Forum, members heard how retailers are adapting to millennial consumers and their evolving behaviours


he Retail Forum on 3 July heard from Chris Labrey, Managing

Director UK & IRL, Econocom and Anaïs Veerapatren, Business Manager UK, Proximis on the topic of Millennials as customers. The session was chaired by Catherine Palmer.

Millennials as customers Chris Labrey, MD UKI at digital transformation specialist Econocom, explains how retailers can adapt to the mindset of millennial consumers, also described as ‘blue dot consumers.’ ‘They are placed at the centre and the world is shown from

10 years later, the technologies that we use daily open a

their perspective,’ says Labrey. ‘With one click, they expect any

world of opportunities for the modern customer. ‘It is easy

product or service to come to them, wherever they are. As a

to compare prices, get feedback, complain ostentatiously,

retailer, treating them as such will add significant value to your

ask advice and so much more,’ says Veerapatren. ‘Experience

customers and make you stand out.’

gained importance over the product and customers regained

He notes that millennials expect personalisation. ‘They want brands to treat them as an individual, with personal

the power.’ Veerapatren acknowledges that retailers are now at

details, relevant to them,’ he says. ‘This generation also craves

the mercy of customers who have access to an array of

authentic brands, with a genuine purpose. The human aspect

products, high customer experience standards and growing

behind your brand, its origin, its big idea are what really

expectations. ‘The product can be outstandingly unique and

matters and what will make a real connection between your

the storytelling magnificent but the challenge is truly about

customers and your brand possible.’

offering a unified experience that translates into offering a

Contextual communication is also essential. ‘This is about

clear promise which lets the customer know that the product

anticipating your customers’ needs based on who they are,

is available however they desire,’ she says. ‘That has been the

where they are going and what they might need next,’ says

vision of Proximis since the beginning.’

Labrey. ‘This is how real value is added.’ Finally, millennials value shareable experiences. Labrey

Unified Commerce

notes that, in today’s world, ownership as we know it is dead.

Unified Commerce is a frictionless customer experience

Millennials want experiences and they want to share those

across digital and physical channels, linking the stages of the

experiences with their family and friends via social media.

customer’s buying journey, from searching and transacting to

He advises that being ready to change and fit in to these blue dot consumers is what will keep your business going. ‘It

the delivery. Veerapatren says that too many brands still struggle to

really takes a lot to provide a positive customer experience,

detangle online and offline to offer the seamless experience

and nowadays meeting their expectations is not enough, you

that customers demand. Yet, unified commerce can only be

need to delight and empower them.’

achieved through unified data, unified channels, uni-logistics

The New Customer Buying Journey Anaïs Veerapatren, Business Manager UK at Proximis, expanded upon the buying patterns of this new consumer. Veerapatren outlines that 20 years ago, retailers had the

and uni-technology. To get there, it is necessary to go down ecommerce and omnichannel solutions. Veerapatren concludes that the new customer buying behaviour requires a solution that has been natively designed for the new retail era. ‘Unified commerce is unequivocally the

power. ‘People trusted brick-and-mortar shops,’ she says.

only way to offer an effective promise to the customer and

‘There was restricted access to product information, scarce

ease their overall buying journey.’ I

feedback and expectations for counselling from salespeople.’ 68 - info - autumn 2019


Retail and Digitisation: best friends or opponents?

Sponsored by

The question of digital transformation in the retail sector was the subject of debate and discussion at a recent meeting of the Retail Forum


special meeting of the Retail Forum was held in the new

leveraging consumer and staff feedback data in real time, while

London offices of Alibaba Cloud UK. The session took

others felt that it was important to develop a wholistic data and

the form of an open discussion and debate around the topic

digital strategy to drive their digital transformation.

of digitisation in retail, exploring issues central to retailers

In all scenarios, however, it was agreed that data points

both on the high street and online. The Forum is co-chaired by

which reflect both consumer and staff behaviours and insights

Catherine Palmer and Alain Harfouche, DUOLAB Managing

were key – with some examples given whereby effective

Director, L’Occitane Group.

transformation was driven in the first instance solely by staff

The session was an opportunity for senior representatives

feedback data.

from UK retail brands and shops



It was also acknowledged







practice, as well as compare

physical goods to a consumer



is fundamental to how retailers

faced in adapting aspects of


must address their digitisation.

their businesses through data

This core activity can also be



an inhibitor that can encourage

Also present at the session

retailers to think that digital


transformation may not impact





companies who specialise in

them like other industries.

digitalisation and retail in the

While it is acknowledged

digital space.

that disruptive innovation in

As the high-level conversation entailed sharing privileged

retail is largely enabled by digital, this transformation is not

information, it was held under Chatham House Rules, and as

one that necessarily has to happen at pace. Innovation is often

such none of the remarks that were made can be attributed to

centred in three areas, including ‘product,’ where retailers

an individual or organisation.

offer new ways to personalise their goods for the existing and

The Forum welcomed two special guests, Chris Potts,

new consumers. Innovation also occurs in ‘channel,’ including

Business Development Director – Retail Industry, Alibaba

transparency in supply chain, and ‘experience,’ where retailers

Cloud UK, and Giles Corbett, CEO & Co-founder of Ksubaka, a

are leveraging a raft of digital tools to improve and enliven their

technology & data platform that allows retailers and brands to

customer’s UX.

remotely manage a fleet of interactive touch screens.

What is clear, is that to maintain a competitive edge in retail

There was a lively debate around the pace of digital

is a complex problem, and one where the current digital offering

transformation, with some participants arguing that retailers

and pace of change is contributing to an ever greater challenge

can make changes quickly to their operations through

for many established brands on the high street and beyond. I

Alibaba Cloud UK As a business unit of Alibaba Group, Alibaba Cloud UK provides a comprehensive suite of global cloud computing services to power both their international customers’ online businesses and Alibaba Group’s own e-commerce ecosystem. In January 2017, Alibaba Cloud became the official Cloud Services Partner of the International Olympic Committee.


- autumn 2019 - 69


What is the future of plastic packaging? The latest Consumer Brands Forum session heard brand and regulatory perspectives on the issue of plastic packaging


he removal of plastics in packaging is slowly gaining momentum, with news

headlines frequently depicting the small steps retailers and businesses alike take towards reducing plastic consumption. The Consumer Brands Forum met on 17 September to discuss the latest government initiatives as well as the steps Iceland is taking in this context. The session welcomed Stuart Lendrum, Head of Packaging, Iceland and Hannah Woodrose, Policy Advisor, Valpak, as speakers, and was chaired by Geoff

consumers are reticent to change when

waste recovery notes (PRNs) which

Skingsley, Chairman, L'Oréal UK Ltd.

they are asked to do things that are ‘far

are dispensed by accredited recycling

from their normal behaviour.’


Iceland’s pledge

So how should this be introduced?

Supermarket chain Iceland is taking an all




to shoulder the obligation or join a compliance scheme, such as Valpak,

or nothing approach to reducing plastic

A transitional approach

waste in the company. It has pledged to

‘Plastic free is a destination,’ says

remove all plastic from its packaging by

Lendrum. The use of biodegradable,

Four consultations have recently


which takes on the legal obligation of obtaining evidence for this recycling

recyclable or compostable plastic is still

taken place across the UK with regards

Stuart Lendrum, Head of packaging

plastic. Iceland is therefore ‘taking a

to the next steps in limiting plastics in

at Iceland, explains that their current

single-issue approach to this destination


tonnage of waste is approximately 13,000

but not a single-issue approach to the

• Extended

tonnes. This is small in comparison to


(EPR): Aims for full net cost recovery,

some companies but Landrum says










Responsibility of



the amount still ‘resonates’ when this

sustainable for the business. The aim is

associated with dealing with waste

translates to 2.5bn pieces of plastic.

to de-risk the situation for the customers,

packaging are borne by producers

The figure should be taken in context to

suppliers and stakeholders. Deciding

rather than the local authorities.

see how this waste feeds back into the

to move from using plastic packaging

• Deposit

ecosystem in the form of microplastics.

today to plastic-free tomorrow is an

Returning bottles for re-use, for example.




Lendrum highlights the role of the

‘insurmountable wall’. In reality, the best

• Consistent Collection (CC): Currently

consumer in encouraging a reduction

approach is transitional, taking steps

councils all have individual recycling

in the consumption of plastic packaging.

‘with a clear destination in mind to reach

systems. This should change to ensure it

He emphasised that this comes and

that horizon.’

is easier for the consumer to ‘do the right

goes as an issue amongst consumers,


more complex. For example, the location

The supporting regulatory landscape

of the customer changes how the issue

Hannah Woodrose, Policy Advisor at

materials. This aims to be introduced

is viewed, whether as a litter problem, a

packaging compliance scheme, Valpak,

by April 2022 and the full details will be

water pollutant, a lack of recyclability of

outlines that companies with a turnover

released the Autumn budget.

the materials or a pure focus on climate

greater than £2 million and waste of more

These government level measures


than 50 tonnes are currently obliged

are not about eliminating or preventing

but the current customer response is

• Plastic Tax: A tax proposed for plastics comprised of less than 30% recycled


to recover and recycle a percentage of

plastics, but primarily about waste

now want brands to take the lead over

their share of packaging put into the UK

management. There is still a long way to

retailers or the government. However,


go in the fight to reach the plastics-free




this must be implemented carefully as 70 - info - autumn 2019

Proof is in the form of packaging

end goal. I SL


Diversity & Inclusion in the workplace A special meeting of the Women’s Business Club was opened up to all members, and explored the topic of why diversity matters to businesses


he session welcomed as guest speaker Leng Montgomery, Diversity and Inclusion Lead Cushman & Wakefield, and

was hosted in the offices of Reed Smith LLP, represented by Tamara Box, Managing Partner – Europe & Middle East. In a presentation that was equally inspirational and informative, Montgomery spoke about his own experiences transitioning from a woman to a man, and his own professional journey to becoming a diversity and inclusion leader and Trans specialist, who actively engages and consults with private and public sector companies. A regular speaker within the LGBT field, Montgomery has appeared on BBC radio, and other media outlets. He has also written policy and delivered keynote speeches to many organisations for UK and Global audiences. In 2014, he was the first openly trans contestant on BBC’s Masterchef and,

Leng Montgomery

for two years running from 2014-2015, he was listed on the

percentage points more likely to outperform their industry

Independent’s Rainbow List in the ‘Ones to Watch’ category.

average than the least diverse workplaces.

Gender identity and sexual orientation

minorities at £2.6bn based on a weighted average of unadjusted

According to a recent Deloitte report, fifty percent of millennials

wage gaps, and the unadjusted gender wage gap multiplied by

say that gender is a spectrum, and it is vital that businesses

the number of female employees yields an estimate of £136bn

be better attuned to the needs of more than 20 percent of

of lost labour income. Estimates show that the LGBT pay gap

millennials who openly identify as LGBTQ+.

results in lost output worth up to £2bn.

Estimates place the cost of discrimination against ethnic

Indeed, the business case is clear, and Montgomery

Reduction of workplace discrimination would not only help

reported that more diverse firms are more financially successful.

raise the incomes of many groups but also benefit the economy

The session heard that the most diverse workplaces are twelve

substantially. I

Case study: A role for data in diversity ‘Tracking the data of applicants and looking at employee lifecycle will enable us to look more closely at attraction, retention and drop off rates as well as representation of people in position of company. The organisation Monitoring Ethnicity are proactively gathering data on a ethnicity pay gap information this year as a ‘dry run’ before UK government looks to implement this in the next year. This is something all countries should adopt as, usually, if there’s a bias in gender pay, there will be one when it comes to ethnicity and also other groups. By monitoring using some social mobility questions we will be able to identify and assess if there’s also an issue with the social demographic of employees and if there’s any unconscious bias hotspots within your organisation or divisions within the company. By monitoring across the employee lifecycle from attraction to onboard to a colleague leaving company Sainsbury’s was able to identify areas of the organisation that weren’t being inclusive enough towards women and people from ethnic minority backgrounds. As a result, more unconscious bias training and inclusive leadership modules were rolled out and the following year saw a 7 percent increase in BAME hires into Food Commercial and D&T and 13 percent for women.’ Source: Leng Montgomery, ‘D&I Insights,’ 2019


- autumn 2019 - 71

FORTHCOMING FORUMS & CLUBS By application only


November 08.30 - 10.30


November 08.30 - 10.00


November 08.30 - 10.30


What is the next step for businesses? Guest speaker: Angela Hepworth, Corporate Policy and Regulation Director, EDF Energy and Neil Sherlock CBE, Senior Adviser, PwC


08.30 - 10.00

LEBRIDGE19 Venue: Microsoft for Startups

09.00 - 22.30




Future trends in the UK retail sector Guest speaker: Helen Dickinson, Chief Executive, British Retail Consortium

Customer journey Guest speaker: Severine Trouillet, Global Affairs Director, Dassault Systemes UK




December 08.30 -10.30



December 08.30 - 10.30


Valuing environmental impacts using market data Guest speaker: Henrik Andersson, Associate Professor, Program Director Master 2 Environmental and Natural Resource Economics, Toulouse School of Economics









08.30 - 10.30

ENGIE's case study: Journey after the acquisition of a start-up


Leadership models Guest speaker: Anne Roques, Founder and Director, Evolution Coaching Europe LTD

Most sessions take place at the French Chamber unless otherwise indicated. For more information, please contact: Ophélie Martinel at: or 0207 092 6634

72 - info - autumn 2019



Business Leaders Mission to Paris A delegation from the Chamber visited the British Embassy in Paris, the start-up incubator Station F and the Paris Philharmonic


n invitation-only group of Chamber members participated

speeches and discussion. Lord Llewellyn, British Ambassador

in a one-day schedule of meetings at leading cultural,

to France made a welcome speech, followed by brief remarks

diplomatic and business organisations in the French capital.

by Pascal Boris, who introduced the delegation. The speeches

The delegation was led by Pascal Boris, Honorary President of

were followed by an open discussion around subjects of key

the French Chamber, and Sarah Taylor, the Chamber’s Head of

interest to the attendees.

Membership. The delegation was made up of business leaders

The afternoon was completed by a visit to Station F, the

and company directors drawn from the Patron membership of

start-up incubator, which hosts more than 1,000 entrepreneurs

the Chamber.

and fledgling businesses in its vast campus. The delegation

After an early morning Eurostar departure from St Pancras,

was given an exclusive tour of the facility by Sebastien Carbon,

the mission began with a visit to the Paris Philharmonic

Innovation and Start-ups Manager for Business France. This was

Orchestra, where they were greeted by Nina Tchernitchko,

followed by a presentation of the LVMH start-up programme, La

Development Executive of the orchestra. A tour of their Jean

Maison des Start-ups LVMH, by Olivier Le Garlantezec, Global

Nouvel-designed headquarters included visits to the educational

Digital Partnerships Director, LVMH.

spaces for children and adults, studio and exhibition spaces,

The busy day concluded with a transfer to Gare du Nord

and the stunning concert hall, with 360-degree seating and

and trains back to London. The Chamber would like to thank

organic design.

the Ambassador for his support of the Chamber, both Station F

The delegation then transferred to the British Ambassador’s residence for a reception and lunch, followed by a programme of

and the Paris Philharmonic for their hospitality, and Eurostar for providing transportation. I

Remarks from the Ambassador, HE Mr Edward Llewellyn, to the Franco-British Business community The UK is a country with a vibrant economy, highly skilled workforce and a welcoming business environment. In fact, it has been a record-breaking year in terms of exports as overseas demand for British goods is increasing in every EU nation. The UK also remains the number one destination for foreign direct investment in Europe in 2018. The country attracted over 1,782 new inward investment projects in 2018-2019. Three hundred and sixty-six of these projects are within the software and computer domain, the UK’s largest sector of inward investment. France is and will continue to be one of our most important and historic trade and investment partners. On Brexit, the Government continues to work very hard with the European Union so that we can leave on the 31st October with a deal. We must however prepare for the possibility of a No Deal and for trading with our European partners after Brexit. To ensure this smooth transition our Department for International Trade is working around the clock to provide businesses with the actions they need to take so they can continue to trade with the UK after Brexit. Rest assured that the UK will continue to trade with France, Europe and the world and, as a testament to this, the Department of International Trade has secured trade continuity agreements worth £50bn in trade since March 2019.


- autumn 2019 - 73


Embracing AI and analytics Ekimetrics, last year’s winner of the Coup de Coeur at the Franco British Business Awards, hosted a seminar on how to effectively use data in your business


ore and more companies want to leverage AI and analytics to

advance their business, but often find themselves disillusioned by focusing on algorithms rather than impact, perfect data collection rather than quick wins and by missing the commercial case to take advantage of the analytics. On 25 June, Ekimetrics UK, a global

consultancy and leader in data science, welcomed Chamber members for a seminar which demonstrated triedand-tested approaches for building a programme of development across people, processes and projects to grow

Data is now considered the world’s most valuable resource, however unlocking its true value requires processing it effectively

AI & Analytics capabilities and deliver value from the get-go. The session welcomed three guest

marketing effectiveness, and new business models.

speakers, including Matt Andrew,

However, businesses face

months). A successful implementation involves the full incorporation of a

Senior Manager of Ekimetrics, Sadiq

challenges to implement a data strategy

data strategy (data plan and data

Damani, CEO of Theodo UK, the

at the heart of their businesses. One

governance) into the business strategy.

web, mobile and software application

common issue is the gap between

developers, and Rémi Pesseguier,

the expectations people have from AI

the session was that CEOs see AI as

Founder of Singulier, a digital

and its reality. Myths around AI need

an opportunity to reskill the workforce

transformation consultancy.

to be corrected, and business needs

– not to reduce it. Often AI and data

to understand that AI is providing real

analytics can be viewed as a threat to

value for organisations.

established workforces.

The session heard that data is now considered the world’s most valuable resource; however, unlocking its true

It’s important to assess the

Another important takeaway from

Created in 2006, Ekimetrics works

value requires processing it effectively.

opportunities to get a roadmap. A 12-

with 200 consultant data scientists in

In the business context, data is widely

to-24 month cycle was recommended to

Paris, London, NY, HK and Dubai, with

considered to be the next way that

businesses to establish a data journey

a mission to help companies build

organisations will be able to take

from scoping to implementation.

new world-class data and analytics

competitive advantages within their

The rough stages of a typical cycle

capabilities, enabling clients to power-

markets – leading to transformational

include scoping and prototyping (2-3

up their revenue strategy or business

change in terms of customer centricity,

months), validation (3-6 months), and

model thanks to data. I

operational effectiveness, sales and

industrialisation and roll-out (6-18

Towards data maturity 1. Build success on the ground through local data collection initiatives. 2. Capture value, using analytics with a purpose. 3. Build a strategy to use analytics at scale. 4. Become data-driven, with a data strategy part of your decision-making and global governance.

74 - info - autumn 2019



How energy efficiency and innovation will help combat the climate crisis MEETING NET ZERO:

Net zero by 2050 is an ambitious target for the UK, but EDF Energy and its clients are on the case


he 2050 net zero target of the UK government is the first from the major economies to be written into law. The next

step: reaching those targets. At the Sofitel St James, fifty attendees of the Seminar with EDF Energy heard from Béatrice Bigois, Managing Director of Customers, EDF Energy; Angela Hepworth, Corporate Policy and Regulation Director, EDF Energy; Vincent de Rul, Director of Energy Solutions, EDF Energy; Baishakhi Sengupta, Energy Compliance & Sustainability Manager at Avara Foods, customer of EDF Energy; and Dr Claire Weiller, Product and Business Manager in charge of UK operation at Nuvve, customer of EDF Energy. Discussions were moderated by Jean-Philippe Verdier, Managing Partner & Founder, Verdier & Co. Corporate Advisory, and Chair of the Chamber’s Climate Change and Sustainability

In a business context, it means similar industries can be compared and benchmarked, to create efficiencies. ‘Net zero


A game changer The UK’s independent climate advisory body, Climate Change

is scary. But the important thing is to start in the right way, one change at a time. Don’t try to do everything but start with the basics,’ says Vincent de Rul.

Committee, recommended the net zero target to the UK

Avara Foods, clients of EDF, targeted the highest consumers

government. It found that the commitment is necessary,

of energy within their group and, through careful in-house

feasible, and cost effective; an important combination to

management over 4 years, they saved 1000MWH. The message

encourage business to action, says Angela Hepworth.

to encourage other companies to invest is that it is ‘not red tape,

The government’s net zero target is ‘a real game changer’, says Hepworth. It is cutting through as an important area of

but business as usual,’ says Baishakhi Sengupta.

policy where other topics are obscured by Brexit and the next

Innovating to stay ahead

general election.

On a global scale, innovation will be essential in order to achieve

Béatrice Bigois outlines three key areas to address:

this. ‘We have to remain open to new ideas,’ says Bigois. One

1. Transport, which is now the first sector for carbon

such big idea is the joint venture created by EDF and NUVVE:

emissions, due to the reduction of carbone missions in

DREEV. Its core business is to develop ‘Vehicle-to-grid’ (V2G)

energy production;


2. Heat, as the historically cheap source of gas from the

North Sea means most heaters in the UK run on gas;

This will be achieved by balancing the grid with a two-way flow of electricity between the charger and the vehicle, ‘to lower

3. Energy efficiency, with a shift towards decarbonisation

the total cost of ownership of electric vehicles while at the same

and electrification involving a massive infrastructure

time supporting the mass integration of renewable energy on

investment, from production to consumption.

the grid,’ says Dr Claire Weiller. ‘The UK government and policy makers have recognised the

Consumption and energy efficiency

role of V2G [in reaching the net zero target] which is why they

Alongside technical and political change, the main challenge

launched the largest V2G innovation pilot programme in the

is therefore enacting behavioural change, on the side on the

world,’ says Weiller.

consumers. Finding out how much energy is consumed is the easy part. So, the first concrete step is discovering how energy is consumed. The second is to decide how to make this more efficient. This is where smart technology comes in, allowing an

By 2050, all cars and vans will need to be zero emissions. ‘The only way to accommodate so many EVs onto the networks is to make them smart,’ says Weiller. To achieve net zero, the smart money is on smart technology, it seems. I SL

optimisation of energy consumption.


- autumn 2019 - 75



Champagne partner


Bubbly and ice cream


he sun shone on the 120 participants of the Summer Champagne Reception 2019, the second edition to take place in the Serpentine

Galleries’ world-renowned Pavilion. Designed by Japanese architect Junya Ishigamiin for 2019, the cave-like space under a canopy of slate aimed to create a natural and organic feel as though it had grown out of the lawn and offered the perfect setting for champagne sipping and ice cream sampling. Vranken Pommery UK provided said delicious champagne for the seventh year in a row and Ladurée served ice cream cones, both providing welcome refreshment on the warm summer evening. Peter Alfandary, Senior Vice President of the French Chamber welcomed guests and invited Gwenolé Le Blevennec, General Manager UK of event sponsors Banque Transatlanique, and Hans Ulrich Obrist, Artistic

Director of the Serpentine Galleries, to speak. A saxophonist added to the relaxed ambience of this final event before the summer break. The French Chamber would like to thank Banque Transatlantique for sponsoring; the Serpentine Galleries for hosting; and event partners Vranken Pommery UK and Ladurée for their kind contributions. I SL



A night at the museum


n after-hours visit of a museum is always a special

the works in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

experience. But the mansion which houses the Wallace

It is thanks to Sir Richard's widow, Lady Wallace, who

Collection, with its high ceilings and lavish surroundings, only

bequeathed the Collection to the British nation in 1897, that

adds to the splendor of the impressive Permanent Collection

Patron members had the opportunity to delve into the stories

at the Wallace Collection. The first four Marquesses of Hertford

behind each piece. Guests were treated to anecdotes about the

and Sir Richard Wallace, the son of the 4th Marquess, collected

artwork, in the tour led by Xavier Bray, Director at the Wallace Collection. As an expert in eighteenth and nineteenth century art, Bray was well placed to offer insight into the history of and the future plans for the collection. Canapés and Champagne followed the tour, with guests mingling with the Wallace Collection team to ask any remaining, pressing questions. Roll on the second edition of this event, to celebrate the launch of the new ‘Forgotten Masters: Indian Painting for the East India Company’ exhibition, in December! The Chamber would like to thank the Wallace Collection for its warm welcome, and Eric Ellul, Senior Partner & Managing Director, BCG for making this partnership possible. I

76 - info - autumn 2019



Women, Inspiration & Leadership


he Residence of the French Ambassador hosted the

Vice President of the Chamber, played expert moderator to the

Chamber’s annual Women, Inspiration & Leadership event.

debate. The underlying message was that progress has been

Each year sees a new duo of speakers conduct a high-level

made but there is still a long way to go to ensure a diverse and

discussion around the questions of diversity and inclusion in

inclusive corporate culture across the board.

the workplace.

Following the debate, participants sipped champagne

Christine Hodgson, Chairman, Capgemini UK, and Sadia

and sampled Ladurée macarons in the sunlit garden of the

Ricke, Group Country Head for the UK, Societe Generale, were

Residence. A final luxury awaited each participant at the end of

this year’s Franco-British ensemble. This cultural distinction

the evening, in the form of a bottle of Chanel perfume.

serves to add an extra dimension to the debate, with corporate culture seen in the context of national attitudes and laws. Held under Chatham House Rules, Peter Alfanday, Senior

Many thanks to Chanel as sponsors for the sixth year; the French Residence as host venue; and Ladurée as partner of this anticipated event. I

From L. to R.: Sadia Ricke, Group Country Head for the UK, Societe Generale and Christine Hodgson, Chairman, Capgemini UK



Black hole or light at the end of the tunnel?


n early July, the French Institute was the setting of a lively breakfast debate on the abiding topic of Brexit. Olivier Morel,

Board Member of the French Chamber, welcomed the guests and invited Simon Mercado, Dean of ESCP Europe, to the stage as sponsor of the event and the Chamber’s Brexit forum. Claudine Ripert-Landler, Director of the French Institute, followed suit, presenting the Insitute’s activities. To launch the Brexit themed talks, Guillaume Bazard, Consul Général de France à Londres, first spoke on the French Community in the UK and their perspective on Brexit. His speech was followed by the panel discussion, taking place under Chatham House Rules, between: Katherine Bennett CBE, Senior Vice president, Airbus; Dominic Grieve QC MP, Member of

Parliament for Beaconsfield; Mike Hughes, Zone President UK & Ireland, Schneider Electric; and Neil Sherlock CBE, Senior Advisor, PwC & Chair of the French Chamber’s Brexit Forum. The debate was moderated by Philippe Chalon, Director of External Affairs at International SOS and Managing Director of the Cercle d’Outre-Manche.I


- autumn 2019 - 77




Member 2 Member Cocktail & Exhibition


o celebrate the 20th Edition of the Member 2 Member

The annual opportunity to exhibit at a Chamber event

Cocktail and Exhibition, on 19 September exhibitors shared

attracted a range of businesses and sectors. All stand spaces

space with the elegant furnishings and pieces of art adorning

were tied together with branded banners kindly provided by

the corners of the opulent French Residence.

long-term print partners, Service Graphics.

However, far from being overly formal, 150 participants

With prizes to be won on the evening from nearly all stands,

discovered the range of services and products on offer with

it was a night of good conversations, good food and drink, and,

gin cocktail or wine in hand, kindly provided by partners

for some, good luck! I

Greenwood Distillers and Wine Story respectively.

2019 EX H I B I T ORS



International Tasting: Wine, spirits and beer


rench Chamber events feature some of the best wines and champagnes of any French regions, and the International Tasting is the perfect occasion to put the emphasis on this important aspect of French culture. On 4 October, alongside regional specialities from the other Foreign Chambers in attendance, the French Chamber this year

partnered with Sud de France. With no two bottles of wine the same, participants had a range of options to sample and the scope of French heritage was well represented. Hosted at Chelsea Football Club and overlooking the pitch, around 250 participants from across 15 Chambers mingled and tasted Saki from the Japanese Chamber, ice wine from the Canada-United Kingdom Chamber of Commerce, and gin from the Belgian Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce in Great Britain, amongst many other unusual local varieties of wine, spirits and beer. The Chamber would like to thank Sud De France for their valuable support of the evening. I 78 - info - autumn 2019



November 18.30 - 21.00

SEMINAR WITH PROXIMIS ON NEW RETAIL At Radisson Blu Hampshire 31-36 Leicester Square, London WC2H 7LH Free of charge. Open to all members


Guest speaker: Michael Zakkour, Vice-President of Tompkins International and author of 'New Retail: Born in China, Going Global' Theme: How are Chinese tech giants changing global commerce? For further information, contact Leïla Hafez at: or 020 7092 6644


November 19.00 - 22.30

FRANCO-BRITISH BUSINESS AWARDS 2019 At The May Fair Hotel, Stratton St, Mayfair, London W1J 8LT Cost: £115+VAT per person; £160+VAT per person for non-members; £1,080+VAT table for 10; £1,200+VAT table for 12 The Franco-British Business Awards (FBBA), organised by the French Chamber of Great Britain under the high patronage of the French Ambassador to the UK and the British Ambassador to France, were launched in 2000 to celebrate bilateral trade and investment on both sides of the Channel. The Franco-British Business Awards acknowledge the accomplishments of French and British companies of all sizes, from start-ups and SMEs to blue-chip companies. For further information, contact Leïla Hafez at: or 020 7092 6644

Supporting sponsors



SEMINAR WITH DELOITTE At Deloitte, 1 New St Square, Holborn, London EC4A 3BZ Free of charge. Open to all members


18.30 - 21.00

Theme: Impact of automation on resource strategy and management For further information, contact Leïla Hafez at: or 020 7092 6644


- autumn 2019 - 79


November 18.00 - 20.00

RENDEZ-VOUS CHEZ CAUDALIE Caudalie Covent Garden, 39 Monmouth Street, WC2H 9DD Cost: £20+VAT per person Open to all members


Join us at Caudalie Covent Garden to discover Caudalie’s products and enjoy a mini treatment. French wine and cheese will be served during the event, where you will receive 20% off any purchase on products and 10% off spa vouchers purchases. For further information, contact Rhianna Anderson at: or 020 7092 6670


November 09.00 - 22.30

LEBRIDGE19 At Microsoft Reactor, 70 Wilson St, Finsbury, London EC2A 2DB

Co-organising partners

LEBRIDGE19 sees the return of the hugely popular matchmaking event organised by the French Chamber of Great Britain. This one day-event will allow large corporations to meet innovative start-ups offering the solutions and tech they need, and allow start-ups to speak directly to the key decision makers at the participating corporations. The event will also feature inspiration key notes, networking and advice and support from sponsoring companies. For further information, contact Lise Thibult at: or 020 7092 6636


Media partners


December 12.00 - 14.30

ANNUAL FINANCIAL LUNCH At Hotel Café Royal, 10 Air St, Soho, London W1B 4DY Cost: £120+ VAT per person; £1,000+VAT for a table of 10; $1,100+VAT for a table of 12 Open to all members

Speaker: Stephen Jones, CEO of UK Finance For further information, contact Leïla Hafez at: or 020 7092 6644

80 - info - autumn 2019



INSEEC U. London

AGS360° Solutions

Jardin Blanc – Official Hospitality at RHS Chelsea Flower Show

Air France - KLM

Jean Paul Viguier UK Ltd

Air Liquide UK

Joffe & Associés

Alstom Transport UK & Ireland

Julius Baer International

Andros UK LTD

Lagardère Travel Retail

Atout France / France Tourism Development Agency

Laurent Perrier UK Ltd

Baker & McKenzie LLP

Land Securities Properties Ltd

Banque Internationale à Luxembourg

Legrand Electric Ltd

Barjane International Group Limited

L'Occitane LTD

Barnes Roffe LLP

London & Partners

Bateaux London

London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI)



Bel UK

L'Oréal UK Ltd

Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons


Blick Rothenberg Limited

Microsoft for Startups

Brioche Pasquier UK Ltd

Newhaven Port & Properties Ltd

Bristows LLP

Nicholas Kirkwood

Brittany Ferries

NoveltyGroup Ltd

Browne Jacobson LLP

Orange Brand Services Limited


Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (UK) LLP

Bvlgari Hotel London


Bvlgari UK Ltd


Chappuis Halder & Co.

Pinsent Masons LLP

Christian Dior Couture UK Ltd

Port Boulogne Calais

Citizen Press

Profirst UK

Coorpacademy Ltd

PSA Finance UK Ltd

Cripps Pemberton Greenish LLP

Publicis UK

De Beers Jewellers Limited


Early Metrics

Rimilia Holdings Ltd

Econocom Ltd

RMP Advertising

Edenred (UK Group) Limited

Rubicon Commercial Ltd

EDHEC Business School

Saint Laurent

Edwardian Hotels London

Savencia Fromage & Dairy

EIFA - International School of London

Serge Betsen Consulting Ltd

Ekimetrics UK Ltd

Sherrards Solicitors LLP

Emperor Design Consultant Ltd

Spring Studios

Entrepreneurs Partners LLP

Sybarite UK Limited

ESCP Europe Business School

Taylor Wessing LLP

Estée Lauder Companies

The Landmark London

Euronext London Ltd

The Langham, London



French Touch Properties Ltd

Thomas Pink

Galeries Bartoux London

Tiffany & Co.

Getlink - (Eurotunnel Group)

Vacheron Constantin

Guerlain Ltd

Value Retail

Hauts-de-France Region Ltd


Verisure Services UK Ltd


VINCI Construction Grands Projets

Home Grown


Home House

Waddington Custot

HURR Collective

Willis Towers Watson

Hyatt Hotels Corporation info

- autumn 2019 - 81

PATRON MEMBERS OF THE FRENCH CHAMBER Patron Members of the French Chamber in Great Britain

PR,OTECTING YOUR p:EOPLE IS QLJ:R PRIORITY International SOS is the world's leading medical and travel security risk services company. We care for clients across the globe, from more than 1,000 loca,tions in 90 countries. We pioneer a range of preventive programmes strengthened by our in-country expertise .. We deliver unrivalled emergency assistance dudng critical illness, accident or civi I unrest_

Our 11,000 employees are passionate about helping you put Duty of Care into practice. With us, multinational corporate clients, governments and NGOs can mitigate risks for their people working remotely or overseas . A GLOBAL INFRASTRUCTURE YOU CAN DEPEND ON: 2•6 ASSISTANCE Cl:NTRl:S


With Olff local experts a,vaila ble globally, you can speak to us in any language, anytlme 24/7.

An accredited, integrated network of 77 clinics and 850 mec:! sii tes around the world. Practising, a supervised

5,200 MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS Immediate access to experts 'Nith extensive experience in all fields of medicine coupled with a thorough knowledge of the local environment a.nd healthi;are system-


international st<1ndard of medicine - in developed and emerging countries, offshore and rernote locat,ioo1s.

81,000 ACCREDITED PROVIDERS A network of accredited healthcare, aviation anei security providers ensuring we Drovide you with the l:>est logistics in the air, on the 9 round and at sea,

24/7 access to travel security reporting, analysis and e�perl advice hom our security consultants, analysts and tracking e•perts around the world.



New BR 05 collection



100m water-resistant

London Boutique +44 (0)207 629 6464

Profile for French Chamber of Commerce in Great Britain

Paris vs London: a reflection on business attractiveness in the capitals  

Also in this issue: 'Five Minutes With' Arnaud Vaissié, CEO of International SOS, an interview with HE Edward Llewellyn, British Ambassador...

Paris vs London: a reflection on business attractiveness in the capitals  

Also in this issue: 'Five Minutes With' Arnaud Vaissié, CEO of International SOS, an interview with HE Edward Llewellyn, British Ambassador...

Profile for ccfgb