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





Five minutes with Fabienne Viala, Chairman, Bouygues UK Interview with Claudine Ripert-Landler, Director of the French Institute Hospitality industry insight with Ufi Ibrahim, Peter Ducker, and much more...

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


n behalf of the French Chamber of Great Britain, I would like to wish INFO readers a very Happy New Year and hope that you had a well-deserved break with your family and friends over the festive

period. This issue of INFO will focus on the theme of Hospitality and will take a deep dive into the challenges and opportunities that businesses in the sector face. How will the industry continue to attract workers, after Brexit? How will the sector update and evolve, while retaining the traditions upon which it was built? Where are new trends developing to meet new customers, appetites and expectations? From interviews with experts and industry associations, like the British Hospitality Association, to personal insight from the GMs of some of London’s five-star hotels, to features which explore parallel trends in the restaurant business, this issue will shed light on the hospitality industry of today – and look to the industry of tomorrow. As we move into our exciting line up of events this year, it is also important to acknowledge some of our successes in 2017. Following our recent Franco-British Awards evening, I would like to personally congratulate all the winners: Early Metrics (SME Award), Bouygues UK (Sustainability Award), LeSalon (Coup de Coeur) and VINCI Construction Grands Project British Isles (Chamber Award). Our annual conference, on the theme of luxury, was held at the Havas LuxHub. The ‘London Luxury Think Tank,’ organised in partnership with Walpole, was the first event of its kind in the capital and attracted a series of excellent panels and speakers, including Harrods’ Michael Ward and Sir Paul Smith. It provided indepth analysis of the innovation and disruption in the luxury sector and opened new avenues of discussion on themes of sustainability, technology and new business models. Last year, the Chamber organised more than forty well-attended Forums & Clubs sessions and hosted almost fifty events, from intimate soirees to gala dinners. Our Business Services and Recruitment Services have developed their offering and taken on a record number of clients and we look to 2018 with a great deal of optimism about the continued growth of the Chamber. As always, please enjoy reading this issue of INFO and, once more, best wishes for the year ahead. I


- january / february 2018 - 5

10 % Garantis ?

Document publicitaire dépourvu de valeur contractuelle

Malheureusement le Père Noël n’existe pas.

Les taux d’intérêt, le Livret A et les fonds en euros des contrats d’assurance-vie sont au plus bas : aucun placement ne peut garantir 10 % de rentabilité par an. Ce qui n’empêche pas les solutions de placement Gammes H de viser un objectif de 8 % à 10 % de rémunération annuelle en moyenne, sous conditions et en contrepartie d’un risque de perte en capital. Précurseur, Hedios invente le premier mandat de produits structurés : le Mandat Gammes H. Depuis la création des Gammes H en 2009, 32 supports ont déjà été remboursés par anticipation au 31 octobre 2017, avec une moyenne de rémunération brute de 10,01 % par an (hors frais de contrat d’assurance-vie ou de capitalisation de 0,60 % par an, source Hedios). Les supports Gammes H non encore remboursés conservent un risque de perte en capital en cours de vie et à l’échéance (valorisations quotidiennes sur Les performances passées ne préjugent pas des performances futures.

Hedios - 76 New Bond Street - London W1S 1RX - Tel : 02034 455 094 SA au capital de 1.011.724 € - Société de courtage en assurances immatriculée au registre des intermédiaires en assurance N°07 005 142 ( Numéro d’enregistrement Financial Conduct Authority : 615361 -


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72 T H E



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



8 11 12 14 17 21 23 25 26

Five minutes with... Fabienne Viala, Bouygues UK Brexit: Analysis and Key Dates Brexit Survey 2017 Brexit: EU residence rights Business News & Analysis Start-up Profile: The B&C Club SME Profile: Omyague Education: A new asset class Reports and research

50 51 52

Introduction by Florence Gomez French Chamber News New Advisory Councillors New members



28 Introduction 30 The State of Hospitality British Hospitality Association 32 The Human Touch Institute of Hospitality 33 The Evolution of Hospitality AccorHotels UK & IRL 34 Social Media in Hospitality KPMG 35 A Mixed Forecast for Hospitality PwC 36 'The most connected city on the planet' London & Partners 38 The Future of the Luxury Hotel Connaught, Berkeley and Bulgari hotels 40 An investor's point of view Isabelle de Wavrechin 41 An 'aura of intangible luxury' Relais & Chateaux UK & IRL 42 Charms of the Cote d'Azure Caudwell Collection 43 'Bistronomy' comes to London Frenchie 44 Setting the food agenda Atelier Joël Robuchon

59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66

Women's Business Club Carolyn McCall: The Chief Executive Finance Forum The CFO: When and why you need one HR Forum How to manage millennials Retail Forum The Future of Retail: HR management Luxury Club An evening with Ron Arad Climate Change & Sustainability Forum The Finances of Clean Energy Start-up & SME Club Brainstorming Session 2018 Digital Transformation & Innovation Forum General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

68 70 72 76

Past event highlights Annual Financial Lunch; Breakfast with Christine Ourmières-Widener; Patron Trip to Paris; RVC Pierre Marcolini; Say Cheese and Wine; RVC Lacoste London Luxury Think Tank Conference report Franco-British Business Awards The Winners Forthcoming events


47 Culture: What's on 49 New Directions at the French Institute: Claudine Ripert-Landler


Book reviews Diner des Chefs Christian Sinicropi Wine Story Thibault Lavergne



54 55 56




Five minutes with Fabienne Viala, Chairman, Bouygues UK Interview with Claudine Ripert-Landler, Director of the French Institute Hospitality industry insight with Ufi Ibrahim, Peter Ducker, and much more...

Managing Director: Florence Gomez Editor: Jakob von Baeyer Cover & Graphic Design: Katherine Millet Editorial Assistant: Sophie Achary Sales Manager: Suzanne Lycett Contributors: George Merrylees, Ben Xu, Frédéric de la Broderie, Uffi Ibrahim, Peter Ducker, Thomas Dubaere, Will Hawkey, David Trunkfield, Andrew Sentence, Andrew Cooke, Max Binda, Kostas Sfaltos, Knut Wylde, Isabelle de Wavrechin, Thibault Lavergne, Dr Boris Altemeyer, Sophie Achary Special thanks: Peter Alfandary Advertise in INFO: Please call our sales team on +44 (0)207 092 6651. Alternatively, please email: INFO is published every two months Printed by: CPI Colour Distribution: French Chamber members, Franco-British decision makers, Business Class lounges of Eurostar, Eurotunnel and Air France in London, Paris and Manchester

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


- january / february 2018 - 7

Five minutes with...

Fabienne Viala Chairman, Bouygues UK, UK Country Manager, Bouygues Construction INFO meets the half-English, half-French boss of the global construction giant’s British operations What are your priorities for the business?

affordable housing. As we have significant experience

Bouygues UK has been in the UK for more than 20 years, so

in the housing market, in construction and property

we have a robust background here and strong relationships

development, it represents an opportunity for us. In

with our clients. However, Brexit has changed the landscape.

addition to our construction work, we work closely with our

We reviewed our strategy in 2016 and decided to focus on

property development arm Linkcity on housing, student

the sectors that the government is concentrating on and

accommodation, private rented sector (PRS), and private for

where we have experience. This includes education, (covering

sale projects. We also work on large regeneration schemes

primary, secondary and higher education) and housing.

such as Hallsville Quarter in London’s Canning Town.

We also look for complex projects where we can add value. This could be in any sector where we can use the technical

What is your approach to sustainable methods and

talents of the Bouygues group. Our University College London


Hospital (UCLH) project, where we are building a world-class

I have said that we need to build cheaper, faster and greener.

NHS high energy proton beam therapy centre in the middle

We are going to need more houses, roads, and energy than

of central London, is a great example of the kind of complex

we currently have. However, the construction sector is quite

projects we relish. Another example is our work on the

old-fashioned, and it is often building the same way it was

new state-of-the-art physics laboratory for the University of

a decade ago. Bouygues has evolved to play a part in the


transformation of the sector, looking to optimise offsite solutions and increase safety, deliverability, quality and

What are your priorities for your staff?

sustainability. For this, we need talent, creative thinking and

Safety is a top priority for all of our employees. Earlier this

a more diverse population that reflects the diversity of our

year, Bouygues Construction initiated a world health and

clients. That will change the face of construction, and its

safety day across our global network (involving some 100,000


people across 80 countries), reaffirming our commitment to the health and safety of all our employees and people working

How are your concerns related to Brexit?

on our sites. It was part of communicating and promoting

It has already had an impact on the economy and the

our strong and shared safety culture, with the prevention

construction sector in several ways. The fluctuations in the

of accidents as a key priority. Our safety results are among

value of sterling have impacted inflation. The immigration

the best in the construction industry for the frequency rate

position has created uncertainty for non-UK residents, which

of accidents and occupational incidents. Our ambition, of

is likely to contribute to the skills shortage. Property values

course, is to achieve zero accidents.

have been negatively impacted in London for the first time since the financial crisis, in part due to a lack of confidence in

Is the housing crisis relevant for Bouygues UK?

our economic future. We can see current projects shifting or

The market is really changing – with a particular focus on

being put on hold, and there is fierce competition amongst

8 - info - january / february 2018

F I V E M I N U T E S W I T H . . . FA B I E N N E V I A L A

Brexit has changed the landscape. We reviewed our strategy in 2016 and decided to focus on the sectors that the government is concentrating on, and where we have lots of experience. This includes edcuation and housing [and] any sector where we can add value

contractors. Irrespective of Brexit, the UK is a very important

Colas has piloted this concept on a 1km stretch of road in

market for the Bouygues group and we are committed to the

Normandy, where the road is used by 2,000 motorists per day

UK with long-term contracts such as HS2 and Hinkley Point C.

for a two year test period. This project, and other initiatives, is part of our aim to drive down the carbon footprint.

You have spoken about the importance of technology in the industry.

Your staff receive cross-cultural training. Why is this

Bouygues Construction is very focused on innovation – in

important to you?

fact our strapline is ‘shared innovation.’ We use Building

It is very important. I’m half-French and half-English, born in

Information Modelling (BIM) technology, which allows us to

England but trained in France. So I recognise that the need to

conceive a building, and get into all of the detail virtually on

understand cultural differences is important. Our company

a 3D model, before we start construction. BIM is designed

in the UK is very large and multicultural, and thirty percent

to increase deliverability and quality, which will increase

of the staff are non-UK. In addition, twenty percent of our

sustainability as well. Through BIM we are also developing

people come from France. If you want to be efficient, it is

optimised, modular design solutions to respond to the

important to understand each other. This training helps avoid

Government’s housing agenda. We are also working with

misunderstandings and builds a more inclusive culture.

augmented and virtual reality to better allow our clients to visualise their projects before they are constructed.

What does being a Patron member of the French Chamber bring to Bouygues UK?

What are some of the innovations that we will see more

It is a fantastic way to meet like-minded organisations, and it

of in the future?

provides access to an influential business community in the

Within the Bouygues group we do all sorts of innovation-

UK and in France. It is an opportunity to showcase Bouygues

based work. One particularly interesting project is Wattway, a

Construction in the UK and for organisations to network on

Colas innovation that combines road construction techniques

a broad range of perspectives. On a personal level as part

to enable clean energy production on roads. In essence it is

of the Women’s Business Club, it is a brilliant opportunity to

a road paved with solar panels which can provide enough

meet an inspiring group of successful women. I

energy to power its street lights and other energy needs.

Interview by JVB



• Country operations: 80

• Turnover: £1.089bn

• Worldwide employees: 50,100

• Employees: 2016/17: 8.8m

• Worldwide turnover: £11.8bn

• Ongoing projects: Circa 130


- january / february 2018 - 9



10 - info - january / february 2018

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


ith news that Britain had made an enhanced offer to

will follow the European courts for eight years after exit when

settle the EU ‘divorce bill,’ and made similar capitulations

deciding about citizenship issues. EU citizens in Britain will have

on the Irish border and the status of EU nationals, the first

to apply for ‘settled status’ after five years.

major breakthrough in negotiations was made last month.

As for the ‘divorce bill,’ Downing Street is saying that it will be

With ‘sufficient progress’ now firmly established, the

between £35-39bn – significantly higher than hard Brexiters in

European Commission signalled that they are prepared to move

the Tory party would have hoped, but in keeping with Theresa

on the substantive discussions about the future relationship

May’s intention to offer ‘a fair settlement to our obligations.’

between the EU and the UK.

No sooner was the Prime Minister doing her victory lap in

This followed the near derailment of the talks days before,

the House of Commons did rifts in her own party come to the

when the DUP was not shown a draft of the deal and raised

fore – this time led by pro-European Conservatives who lobbied

concerns that Northern Ireland risked becoming a problematic

for and won a full parliamentary vote on the terms of Brexit,

appendage to the UK.

even if there is no deal.

So what is in the deal? On Northern Ireland, the agreement

With new developments seemingly on a daily basis, there is

guarantees no hard border between NI and the Republic of

a sense that it will not be the restful Christmas break that some

Ireland. It remains to be seen how this will play out if Britain

had hoped.

leaves the single market, as it has signalled it will do.

And even with negotiations now believed to be resuming

In terms of EU nationals, the 3.2m EU citizens in Britain and

in March, the spotlight turns firmly to UK domestic politics.

the 1.2m Brits living in the EU are part of a reciprocal deal that

‘Sufficient progress’ now feels more like ‘progress of a kind.’

will allow them to keep their status. The deal says that the UK


Key dates Sign off of new directives

Phase 2 of negotiations

European Council Summit

(January 29)

(Brussels, March 2018)

(Brussels, March 22-23)

EU diplomats have a soft deadline

No firm date has been set, yet many in the

Items on the agenda include ‘single

to approve new directives for lead

British media speculate that trade talks

market strategies’ (ensuring progress

negotiator Michel Barnier, ahead of

will begin in earnest this month, following

towards reaching the 2018 deadline),

talks resuming.

preparations and a European Council

and free trade agreements.

meeting in December.

What's the requirement of my job? I don't have to be very clever, I don't have to know that much, I do just have to be calm DAVID DAVIS on the requirement of his position leading the Brexit negotiations, 11 December

There is no going back on this sufficient progress, this progress has been noted and recorded and is going to be translated into a legally binding withdrawal agreement MICHEL BARNIER on the EU/UK progress agreement, 13 December info

- january / february 2018 - 11

Brexit Survey 2017 The Results The French Chamber's second Brexit Survey, conducted by independent research agency Ipsos MORI, is a survey of the members of 13 foreign Chambers of Commerce in the UK, representing 6,000 companies. It revealed that a large majority are 'not confident' of a positive outcome for Britain in the Brexit negotiations.

Q.1 What has been the overall impact of the Brexit referendum vote on your UK business so far? Very positive Fairly positive Made no difference Fairly negative Very negative Don't know

2 6 14 5

32 41

Q.2 What do you think the likely effect of Brexit will be on future investments in the UK by your company over the next 5-10 years? Very positive Fairly positive No effect either way Fairly negative Very negative Don't know

1 5 11

Very positive: increase in future UK investment of more than 10% Fairly positive: increase in future UK investment of up to 10%

27 31 24

Fairly negative: decrease in future UK investment of less than 10% Very negative: decrease in future UK investment greater than 10%

Q.3 What is your company’s assessment of the current state of the UK economy? Very positive Fairly positive Neither positive nor negative Fairly negative Very negative Don't know

2 19 22 6 2


Q.4 How does your company view the overall state of the UK economy over the next 5-10 years?

Very positive Fairly positive Neither positive nor negative Fairly negative Very negative Don't know

12 - info - january / february 2018

2 15 17 13 7



Q.5 How confident is your company that a positive outcome for the UK will be achieved from the Brexit negotiations by March 2019?

Very confident Very confident Not very confident Not at all confident Don't know

2 11 34 5


Q.6 From the issues listed below, which are the two key issues your company would like to see addressed in the Brexit negotiations? A solution that allows companies smooth access to both high and low-skilled workers from abroad? A solution that allows the UK Government to strike trade deals A solution that allows for continued regulatory alignment with the EU A solution that allows for companies to be compliant with EU data laws A solution that allows for companies to have smooth access to the EU market for goods and services Other Don't know

55 18


9 70 4 3

Q.7 Does your business have UK Operations?



Q.8 How many employees does your business have in the UK (including any sub-entities)? 1-50 51-100 101-250 251-1,000 1,001 -5,000 Over 5,000

61 9 6 11 9 3

Q.9 How confident is your company that a positive outcome for the UK will be achieved from the Brexit negotiations by March 2019?

Financial Services and Legal Professional Services Manufacturing Technology Pharmaceuticals Energy and Utilities Hospitality Property/Real Estate Luxury Retail Public sector Other

17 25 5 8 1 2 7 2 7 6 2 18 info

- january / february 2018 - 13

The difference between permanent residence rights and the proposed UK settled status A joint UK-EU report on citizens’ rights has implications for EU nationals living in the UK, say George Merrylees, Partner tax trust and estates, and Ben Xu, Solicitor immigration, at law firm Irwin Mitchell


n 8 December a joint report from the negotiators of the EU and the UK Government was published, aligning

the two parties’ positions on citizens’ rights post-Brexit. This agreement will allow the negotiations between the UK and the EU on Brexit to move to the next phase and follows the UK Government’s technical note in November detailing its proposed administrative procedures for UK resident EU citizens and their family members who wish to remain in the UK after the UK leaves the EU. As part of the Government’s offer, it is proposed that the European law concept of ‘permanent residency’ be replaced by ‘settled status.’ The proposal of settled status provides the basis

What is settled status and how do you acquire such status?

from which the rights of EU citizens who were resident in the UK

After the UK leaves the EU, the UK will no longer be bound by the

prior to Brexit will be protected.

EU Directive which created permanent residence. Furthermore

It is thought that the EU will implement a directive which

rights granted under EU law may lose their effect. The UK

would require individual nations in the EU-27 to implement a

Government proposed settled status as a UK law equivalent to

status similar to settled status for UK citizens resident in EU-27

permanent residence so that EU citizens and their families living


in the UK prior to Brexit can continue lawful residence in the UK post-Brexit.

What is permanent residence and how do you acquire

It is not yet proposed that settled status will be available to

such status?

EU citizens arriving in the UK following the UK’s departure from

Permanent residence is an immigration right granted to EU

the EU, although this is likely to form part of the next stage of

citizens under the UK’s implementation of an EU Directive. As


an EU citizen, you acquire this right automatically after five-

Under the UK Government’s current proposals, an

years of continuous residence in the UK so long as you have

application must be made in order to acquire the settled status.

exercised your treaty rights. Broadly, permanent residence

The fee for applying for such status will not exceed the cost

mirrors the right granted to non-EU citizens which is referred to

of a British passport which is currently £72.50. We presume

as “indefinite leave to remain in the UK”.

that the capping of this fee is intended to reflect the current EU

As permanent residence is acquired automatically, you are

rules that an EU member cannot charge more for a permanent

not required to apply to the Home Office. However, the Home

residence card than its own nationals pay for their own identity

Office offers a document certifying permanent residence to

cards (i.e. in the UK, the cost of a passport).

those who have acquired this right. Historically, few EU citizens

If you have already obtained a document from the Home

living in the UK made this application but since the referendum

Office certifying your permanent residence, the application

it was widely accepted that amid all the uncertainty, the

will be a simple process to exchange it for a settled status

application was the best way to evidence that the right had

document, subject to submitting ID verification, a photograph,

been acquired. The fee for applying for a document certifying

a criminal record check and confirmation of ongoing residence.

permanent residence is £65.

It is understood that the UK Government proposes that the

Once a person has permanent residence they are entitled to live in the UK indefinitely irrespective of whether they are exercising treaty rights. The right is lost if you leave the UK for a period exceeding two years.

conversion fee may be reduced below the cost of a UK passport application (i.e. less than £72.50) or no costs at all. If you do not hold a valid EEA permanent residence document, you will have to make a full application and provide documents evidencing five years of continuous and lawful

14 - info - january / february 2018

It has become a mantra of the Brexit negotiation that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed, therefore it is our view that EU Citizens who have met the criteria should consider applying for the permanent residence card residence as a worker, self-employed person, student, self-

permanent residence, we suggest that you take ‘a wait and see’

sufficient person or family member.

approach, but ensure that you are meeting the current rules

Once obtained, the settled status enables you to be absent from the UK for a period not exceeding five consecutive years. Importantly, the UK government has proposed that private

on UK residence under the EU Directive, for example we still recommend that you take out private medical insurance if you are a student or a self sufficient person.

medical insurance which is a requirement for those who are self-sufficient or students will not be a criterion for settled

Should I apply for British citizenship?

status as is currently the case for permanent residency under

British citizenship provides you with certainty that you may live

EU law.

in the UK permanently and that your right to live in the UK will

What action should I take now in light of the joint report?

not be lost if you leave the UK for two years or five years as

While the ‘deal’ on citizens’ rights is not considered controversial,

provided under the joint report. Before making an application

within days of the publication of the joint report, there has been

for British citizenship, you should consider carefully what the

much commentary in press as to the deal’s legal enforceability.

legal or tax implications will be for you.

It has become a mantra of the Brexit negotiation that nothing

The European Court of Justice recently confirmed that

is agreed until everything is agreed, therefore it is our view that

by acquiring British citizenship, you will not lose your EU free

EU Citizens who have met the criteria for permanent residence

movement rights, in particular your rights to bring direct and

should consider applying to the Home Office for the permanent

extended family members to the UK prior to the UK leaving the

residence card. We take this view because it is the best way

EU. We understand that you would need to retain your original

to evidence your permanent residence status in light of the

EU citizenship to maintain your EU rights. We do not know the

uncertainty notwithstanding that there may be an additional

long term implications of this case particularly when the UK

conversion fee to obtain a document certifying settled status.

leaves the EU. I

For those who do not meet the requirements for

BREXIT FORUM The Chamber welcomed James Dowler, Deputy Director for the Stakeholder Engagement Team, Department for the Exiting the European Union, and Sir John Grant, Former UK Ambassador to the EU and Special Adviser, PwC to its latest Brexit Forum on 9 November. The session was notable for its high-profile speakers and as a concrete example of how the government is reaching out directly to our membership on the issue. The Deputy Director updated the Forum on the Brexit process and the state of the negotiations. Those who were present were able to feedback their key issues and concerns directly to him. The former UK Ambassador to the EU drew on his distinguished career and experience operating in the highest political circles in Brussels. He shared his personal insights into the way the negotiations might be handled on the UK and EU side, and the possible outcomes. Future sessions will continue to respond to the evolving circumstances around the negotiations. The next session will be held on 7 February 2018.


- january / february 2018 - 15

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Art auctions reach record heights at Christie’s Da Vinci auction sets a new record while an impressionist sale is the strongest in a decade


n a historic night at Christie’s in New York, Salvator

at Rockefeller Center, with many thousands more tuning

Mundi, a depiction of Christ as ‘Saviour of the World’ by

in via a live stream. Since the sale of Salvator Mundi was

one of history’s greatest and most renowned artists, sold for

announced on 10 October at Christie’s, almost 30,000 people

$450m (£342,m) including the buyer’s premium, becoming the

have flocked to Christie’s exhibitions of the ‘Male Mona Lisa’

most expensive painting ever sold at auction.

in Hong Kong, London, San Francisco and New York – the first

This stunning price reflects the extreme rarity of paintings by Leonardo da Vinci. There are fewer than 20 in existence acknowledged as being from the artist’s own hand, and all apart from Salvator Mundi are in museum collections.

time the painting had ever been shown to the public in Asia or the Americas.

Impressionist on the rise

The global interest in a work that has been hailed as the

This follows Christie’s strongest impressionist and modern art

greatest artistic rediscovery of the last 100 years saw a rapt

sale in a decade, which came close to setting a new record for

audience of nearly 1,000 art collectors, dealers, advisors,

a van Gogh, as the auction house fired the starting gun on a

journalists and onlookers packed into the main auction room

week of sales expected to bring in at least $1.3bn. The sale raised $479.3m from 60 lots, surpassing its low end estimate for the night even though more than 10 percent of the lots did not sell. Seats in the typically standing room only Rockefeller Plaza salesroom were vacant. But when there was appetite, as there was for pieces by Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, René Magritte and Edouard Vuillard, the room came alive. ‘This year is obviously a stronger season than last year,’ Guillaume Cerutti, the auctioneer’s chief executive, said after the sale. ‘The offering was probably smaller than what we have this year. There was maybe a question about the supply, and this year it’s different. We had more collection and big lots coming to market.’ I

CBRE wins Women of the Future Award

ENGIE opens innovative photovoltaic roof project

Global real estate provider, CBRE, won the Corporate Award

ENGIE announced the inauguration the Organic Photovoltaic

at the Women of the Future Awards, on Wednesday 15th

Roof of the Mendès-France Secondary School in La Rochelle.

November at a ceremony held at the London Hilton on Park

This innovative facility for producing energy is the largest

Lane. CBRE was recognised for its pioneering diversity and

installation of organic photovoltaic films (OPV) in the world. It

inclusion strategy, and in particular, the success of the CBRE

was created in response to a call for tenders, launched by the

UK Women’s Network, which was founded in 2005. Over the

Charente-Maritime Department. Teams at ENGIE coevered

past 12 years, the CBRE Women’s Network has been at the

530 sq. m roof of the secondary school in La Rochelle with

forefront of promoting women and diversity in the real estate

HeliaSol® technology. ‘Renewable energies are an essential

industry and has been influential in helping CBRE attract,

part of our strategy, based on a decarbonised, decentralised

recruit and develop the best female talent. I

and digitised world,’ said Isabelle Kocher, CEO of ENGIE.’ I


- january / february 2018 - 17


Saint-Gobain acquires Wattex Saint-Gobain has finalized the acquisition of 100% of the equity capital of Wattex, a business owned by the founding family Baert and manufacturing non-woven specialty products for the bitumen roof market. Founded in 1953, and located in the region of Antwerp in Belgium, this company produces non-woven carriers made from glass-fiber reinforced polyester providing excellent performance to waterproofing membranes for roofs. After taking over the German firm Kirson in October, this Wattex acquisition will enable Saint-Gobain’s Adfors business to develop new solutions with its customers and extend its line of reinforcement products on the roofing market. ’ I

Societe Generale partners with Moonshot-Internet and eBaoTech

Atos wins contract to accelerate PSA Finance Bank’s digital transformation

Atos, a global leader in digital transformation, has been selected by PSA Finance Bank (BPF), an international leader in consumer finance and mobility services in the automotive sector, as a privileged partner to manage its application base and to accelerate BPF’s digital transformation in consumer credit, financial services and consumer experience. According to the initial fouryear contract, Atos becomes the major Partner of the Information Systems Department of PSA Finance Bank (BPF).

Moonshot-Internet and eBaoTech have signed a strategic

partnership to sell contextual insurances through E-commerce websites in Europe. Moonshot-Internet, the B2B2C InsurTech dedicated to E-merchants created by Societe Generale Insurance in March 2017 is the first client in Europe of eBaoCloud®, solution of eBaoTech, a leading global provider of smart connected insurance platform for both life and general insurance. ‘With this new step, Moonshot-Internet intends to anticipate usages’ evolutions and to become the reference partners of E-merchants in Europe,’ said Philippe Perret, CEO of Societe Generale Insurance..' I

Airbus receives certification for new aircraft

Following an intensive flight test campaign performed in less than a year, the A350-1000 has received Type Certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The certified aircraft is powered by Rolls-Royce Trent XWB-97 engines. ‘Receiving the A350-1000 Type Certification from EASA and FAA less than one year after its first flight is an incredible achievement for Airbus and for all our partners who have been instrumental in building and testing this superb widebody aircraft,” said Fabrice Brégier, Airbus COO and President Commercial Aircraft. I

18 - info - january / february 2018

Dassault Systèmes and Capgemini partner in integrated home planning venture

Capgemini and Dassault Systèmes announced a technology and services partnership to deliver new cross-channel design solutions to the consumer goods and retail industry. With the systems integration and consulting support of Capgemini, companies in Germany, Sweden and France will now be able to create engaging home planning experiences for their consumers by deploying, operating and customizing Homebyme, Dassault Systèmes’ immersive and interactive 3D experience application to imagine and manage the home environment.


Veolia optimise energy for Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust

Global resourcemanagement company Veolia, working through its specialist energy performance contracting team, is now helping the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust increase energy efficiency, save money and cut carbon emissions. By delivering a 15 year Energy Performance Contract (EPC) that will target savings of £1.3m per annum the company will implement a wide range of improvements at Royal Lancaster Infirmary, Furness General Hospital and Westmorland General Hospital. Estelle Brachlianoff, Veolia’s Senior Executive VicePresident, UK & Ireland said, ‘Enabling the NHS to become more sustainable, and helping to focus budgets on patient care is very important as it enhances facilities and directly improves healthcare. Energy performance contracts now meet these aims by delivering the necessary investment and payback to upgrade energy provision, reduce carbon emissions and build long term energy resilience. We look forward to working with the Trust and helping them meet the Department of Health’s Sustainable Development Unit model for NHS organisations.’ I

Ardian becomes majority shareholder of DRT

Ardian, the independent private investment company, has entered into exclusivity with some family shareholders and Tikehau Capital to acquire a controlling stake into Les Dérivés Résiniques et Terpéniques ("DRT"). The proposed transaction values DRT at approximately €1bn and is fully supported by DRT's management team which will remain in place and is headed by its CEO Laurent Labatut. This transaction would be a further step in the company’s development path as many individual shareholders and Tikehau Capital have decided to reinvest part of their proceeds alongside Ardian.’ I

SPIE awarded cold storage contract SPIE UK has been awarded a

building services contract for NewCold, a specialist deep frozen warehousing and distribution global player, to support them in developing their cold storage facility in Wakefield, UK. The new build extension will dramatically increase the cold storage facility by 17,000 sqm. This contract was negotiated on a design and build basis and is valued at £1.5m. Stephen Taylor, SPIE UK’s Operations Director North, commented, 'We are delighted to be working with NewCold, an industry market leader, and hope this is the start of an ongoing relationship with the firm. SPIE’s international presence means that we can support NewCold in various locations where they operate, but we look forward to exploring further opportunities in the UK.' I

VINCI Energies acquires Cougar Automation VINCI Energies UK & ROI has bolstered its industrial

automation and process control capabilities by acquiring Cougar Automation, one of the UK’s largest Control

Capgemini in ‘Winners Circle’ of HfS Research Blueprint Report Capgemini announced it has been placed in the

System Integrators. Cougar Automation Ltd employs 110

Winners Circle in the 2017 HfS Blueprint Report: Finance

people across six UK offices and offers a suite of advanced

& Accounting-as-a-Service. HfS evaluated 19 service

engineering solutions. Its customers include major

providers under the innovation and execution criteria.

companies active in the water, oil & gas, manufacturing,

Capgemini’s Finance-as-a-stack service includes support for

food processing, waste recycling, energy, infrastructure and

centralising and supporting financial planning & analysis,

transportation industries. 'Cougar Automation is a great

and controllership. Capgemini’s portfolio of Finance and

addition to the VINCI Energies group and will complement

Accounting offerings were recognised for being platform-

and strengthen our ability to partner with businesses on

based and designed to match the culture and approach

improving efficiency, optimising industrial and infrastructure

of its clients to help them achieve ‘virtual F&A.’ Capgemini

processes, and integrating the latest smart industry

was also noted for its progress in defining a more clear and

technologies,’ says Rochdi Ziyat CEO, VINCI Energies UK

collaborative approach to incorporating robotic and cognitive

& RoI.' I

automation into finance with its clients. I


- january / february 2018 - 19


London Stock Exchange Group welcomes 21 new companies

London Stock Exchange Group

BNP Paribas to trade US Treasuries French bank BNP Paribas

(LSEG) today

and market

welcomes 21

maker Global

new international companies to its

Trading Systems are teaming

successful global

up to trade

business support

US Treasuries,

and capital raising

adding to a

ecosystem, ELITE.

string of deals

This brings the total number of companies in the ELITE

in which banks have tapped into the computing power of

community to over 680. The 21 new businesses come from

high frequency traders rather than face the costly task of

11 countries, ranging from Denmark to Turkey and including

revamping their own systems. BNP Paribas will lean on GTS's

four companies from Croatia, three from Hungary - based on

technology in an attempt to improve pricing for its clients

the long term partnership with the Budapest Stock Exchange

and boost its market share of US Treasury trading. ‘It aligns

– and the first companies from Luxembourg and Serbia.

with our plan to further develop our US global markets’

14 companies from the Central and Eastern Europe (CEE)

platform at BNP Paribas,’ he said. ‘The market is getting

region have joined today as part of UniCredit CEE Lounge, a partnership between LSEG’s ELITE and UniCredit designed to prepare and support firms in the region.' I

increasingly electronic and digital oriented. You need to have the right technology, the right people and you need to be good at being able to deliver the right pricing, right now,’ said Olivier Osty, Executive Head of Global Markets.' I

Financial Times recognised at 2017 Business Culture Awards

The Financial Times has won the Business Culture Achievement Award in the Medium Business category at the 2017 Business Culture Awards. The Business Culture Awards celebrate organisations which recognise the importance of improving the employee experience. Sarah Hopkins, FT global HR director, said: ‘We are delighted to be recognised for the work we’ve done to continue building an inclusive and innovative culture. From expanding our Learning and Development team through to introducing career coaching and mentoring, we are always looking for ways to engage and motivate staff towards our companywide business goal of one million paid for readers.’ I

EDF Energy welcomes more women apprentices

EDF Energy is welcoming more and more women into its apprentice scheme, the company’s new CEO Simone Rossi told an audience of graduating apprentices and their families. The company’s push for more women engineers to join its apprentice and graduate schemes is paying off thanks to such innovative campaigns as ‘Pretty Curious’, which recently partnered with Disney’s new Star Wars film. Mr Rossi said, 'This year around 35 per cent of our intake is female – far above the average for STEM apprenticeships.’ I

Pinsent Masons receive British Legal Awards

International law firm Pinsent Masons has won three awards at the British Legal Awards 2017, taking home 'Team of the Year' for the TMT, Property and M&A (medium-sized deal) categories. Richard Foley, Senior Partner at Pinsent Masons, says: 'These awards recognise the truly landmark deals the firm is working on across borders and disciplines as we continue to provide the most innovative solutions for our clients. I would like to thank Legal Week and their panel of independent judges for recognising the firm's achievements.' I 20 - info - january / february 2018

S T A R T - U P


One of the Chamber’s newest members is a private social club aimed at francophones in London


he B&C Club is the brainchild of Bénédicte de Nonneville and

I lacked a professional network as well.’

view at the V&A of the work of Marcel

‘The idea was to create a club to

Breuer and Charles and Ray Eames; and


help people develop their social and

a sessions at Morton’s private members

turned Londoners who sought to create

professional networks in London. We

club on how to navigate the ins and outs

a new social offering for French speakers

want to create a space for people to

of raising a child in London.

in the capital.

indulge their cultural interests and to

A particularly popular recent event

help new arrivals to the city integrate

was an exclusive meeting with Victoria

into a like-minded community.’

Beckham in her Dover Street boutique.




Since its first event in 2015 – an ‘encounter’





von Lenkiewicz at his National Gallery

The Club boasts eighty members,

exhibition – the club has been hosting

and is looking to grow. They range from

regular events featuring experts in art,

age 30 ro their oldest member, who is

fashion, current affairs, literature and

90 years old. Roughly 80 percent of the

has been, Afflelou has a hard time

philosophy, gastronomy and oenology

membership is French, with a mix of

choosing. ‘I could not pick just one, as

and sport.

nationalities making up the numbers.

all the events we offer are ones that I

Afflelou reports that it sold out in 30 minutes. Asked what her favourite event

Nonneville has a background in

For their loyal membership, the

would like to attend. The idea is to give

corporate finance, which she put on hold

club has acted like a surrogate family –

people an experience that money can’t

to raise three children. Her interests

with one member describing the club

buy, such as access to Victoria Beckham,

span an impressive variety of activities –

as ‘neither an elitist club nor a closed

or Paul Smith, or a host of writers and

she is both a certified gemmologist and

circle. It is a bit like an enthusiastic


a licensed airplane pilot. Afflelou, for her

family – serious without talking itself too

part, worked at YSL Beauté for twelve


years, and later founded the bespoke event company Paris Privé.

Afflelou has joked that the club has even






‘privileges’ which include discounted relationships.


shopping experiences and exclusive member offers.

Part of the inspiration for the B&C

husbands have thanked me, saying their

Plans for 2018 include building on

Club came from Afflelou’s experience

relationships with their wives are better

the membership numbers – ‘our goal is

of moving to a new city, and finding

since they joined the club.’

to double or triple it, says Afflelou. More

herself without a network of friends or

But the club is far from playing

ambitious is the idea to create their own

colleagues. ‘I experienced a terrible first

match maker. Recent events in 2017

venue, what Afflelou calls a ‘place where

year in the UK,’ says Afflelou. ‘I did not

have included a talk about Artificial

members can feel at home’, reinforcing

know anyone here, and as I had to close

Intelligence by Alex Lebrun, who leads

the idea of the club as an extended and

down my Paris company before leaving,

the Facebook AI research Team; a private

welcoming family. I

We want to create a space for people to indulge their cultural interests and to help new arrivals to the city integrate into a like-minded community info

- january / february 2018 - 21


WCT Cross-cultural launches new venture

Citigate Dewe Rogerson survey places investor education centre stage


DR’s 9th annual IR survey, based on responses from 224 Investor Relations Officers at leading companies across the world, reveals how MiFID II is prompting companies in Europe, and beyond, to take a more active and direct role in educating investors. The EU’s MiFID II reforms on the financial industry will come into effect this month. I


ross-cultural training at WCT Cross-cultural offers an overview of both theory and practical applications in a business context. This includes key cross-cultural concepts and their influence on the way people think and act; recognising and overcoming barriers to communication; and cross-cultural working practices. WCT aims to help companies benefit from diversity, and prevent and solve multicultural conflicts. I

Verdier & Co. named in annual investment banking ranking

JIN announces new hires to management team


uropean communications agency JIN, specialised in public relations and digital influence, announces two new appointments to its Management team, to support its rapid growth. Patrick Bonin, former Managing Director of Kingcom, will lead of JIN France as Managing Director. Maxime Treillard, former Global AD at Deezer, and AD at Blue Hive France will take on artistic directorship for all the agency’s countries and head its studio in Paris. I


aunched in 2016, Verdier & Co. Corporate Advisory, the independent corporate finance adviser, is pleased to have been named to the 2017 mergers & acquisitions ranking of Décideurs & Dealmakers, in the €75-500m value & High Reputation category. The judges highlighted the independence of the firm business model and advice, and knowledge across UK and French markets. I

Pays de la Loire offers a home for business

Ponant launches cruise ship with underwater lounge


he Pays de la Loire region has seen significant development in the number of foreign companies setting up in the region and direct investment in local companies from abroad. The Pays de la Loire is now a leading venue for Aeronautics, Automotive, Electronics, Robotics firms – and a potential windfall for digital companies wishing to participate in modernization and automation in these sectors. I

E-Notam partners with Chinese influencers


onant, the only French-owned cruise line and the world leader in luxury expeditions, in keeping with its pioneering spirit, is launching the first cruise ship to be equipped with a multi-sensory underwater space. The ‘Blue Eye’ underwater passenger lounge is located within the hull beneath the water line and offers unparalleled underwater sensory and viewing experiences. I

22 - info - january / february 2018


ondon-based digital agency E-NOTAM is partnering with leading digital Chinese influencers to drive Chinese travellers to points of sale for French and British luxury brands in Europe. The agency, founded and managed by Aline Moulin-Conus, analyses influencers’ online communities, ensuring there is a proven interest in their clients’ luxury goods or services, and drives customers to French and British luxury clients. I


Luxury B2B Gifting: The French Touch OMYAGUE, a French-based luxury corporate gifting company, is poised to launch its first London trade show in 2018, says its founder Nathalie Cozette How would you describe your business model? Our business is centred on helping

British brands alongside French and international brands. We will grow the event from there.

select brands be successful and find their place in the corporate

What do you hope to achieve in your first London trade

gifting niche market, by activating


four highly efficient marketing

Finding the right visitors is our priority. We want to bring

tools. Our two-day fairs enable

buyers and exhibitors together. At the same time, we want

exhibitors to meet their clients

to make sure visitors are aware that they will not talk to ‘go-

face to face. We also publish a

betweens’ or resellers, but to the B2B representatives of


these select brands. They will be able to plan their incentive

which highlights our exhibitors,

programmes for the upcoming year, and find gift ideas at

and operate an online gifting fair.

prices they would not be able to secure elsewhere.

Last but not least, our Concierge service provides help to companies who seek to find original and unique gifts within

What is the average spend of a company on their gifting?

their budget.

Spending ranges from £27 to more than £450 per gift. Our study has shown that the bigger the company, the higher the

You have also positioned yourself as an expert in the

spending and need for expensive gifts. More than a third of

sector, contributing insight to your publications and

the companies we surveyed organise four or more incentive


operations per year. Those organising up to three per year

Our expertise comes from working in the B2B sector for many

spend one third of their total budget on gifts worth more than

years. We get to know the buyer by conducting annual surveys,

£450. I

and by analysing patterns, needs, trends and carefully studying the results. Adding this insight to our magazine is a valuable tool for us, and for companies and media who ask for our findings. We also track changes in tax policies and evolutions in our sector. What are the benefits of corporate gifting? Corporate gifting has to be taken seriously if you want to make an impact with your client or humanise a commercial relationship. A well selected gift will trigger an emotion. Gifts do not have to be expensive, but they have to be special, unique, good quality and original. We select the brands that can cater to those needs, and which will trigger the right emotions. What are some of the challenges of establishing the concept in the UK? When a new brand wants to exhibit at our Paris fair, we tell them that they need to establish their presence in the B2B market. We are aware that this will be the case for OMYAGUE in London, too. To succeed in London, we decided to start with fewer exhibitors in the first year, and to have high quality

Corporate gifting has to be taken seriously if you want to make an impact with your client or humanise a commercial relationship

OMYAGUE’s Luxury B2B Gifting Fair will take place on 21 & 22 March at Pullman St Pancras. Visit for details.


- january / february 2018 - 23


EDHEC launches masters in data and digital

ESSEC opens London office The new premises strengthen

The business school is pleased to announce the launch of

ESSEC’s existing

a new MSc in Data Analytics & Digital Business. This new


degree will be delivered on the EDHEC Lille campus, starting

objective of the London office

September 2017. It is designed for all students with a business

is to enhance corporate and

studies background from top institutions as well as candidates

academic partnerships, support

with engineering or scientific backgrounds. I


position in



student recruitment activities and strengthen the alumni community. London is home to more than 2,000 alumni – the largest destination for ESSEC

Ecole Jeannine Manuel announces growth plans

graduates – and has welcomed more than 500 ESSEC interns over the past few years. I

University of Oxford acquires Atos supercomputer

Three years after its inception, Ecole Jeannine Manuel

Atos, a global leader in digital transformation, signed a contract with the world renowned University of Oxford to deliver a new national Deep Learning Supercomputer, which will enable UK academics and industry to develop and test deep learning applications and proofs of concept. Deep Learning has a broad applicability, from automated voice recognition and autonomous vehicles to medical imaging. I

London welcomes 365 pupils representing 40 nationalities from nursery through Year 10. Next fall, the school will open its Upper School on Russell Square, steps from its Primary and Middle schools. In Year 11, the Upper School will enrol the school’s current Year 10 pupils as well as new bilingual or Anglophone pupils. I

EM Normandie expands Oxford facilities

Sciences Po celebrates tenth anniversary of UK alumni gala On 12 October, the Sciences Po Alumni UK organised the 10th edition of their annual gala dinner, to raise funds for the Sciences Po Alumni UK Charity Trust. More than £1m have been raised in the past decade by the Sciences Po Alumni UK to help fund bursaries for students and cross-border research and teaching programmes involving Sciences Po and their partner British Universities (incl. Oxford, LSE, King’s College). I

Toulouse School of Economics launches a course on ‘nudges’ EM Normandie has already outgrown its existing Oxford Campus facilities opened in 2014, and is now moving to much larger premises within the City of Oxford College. The new building is located near Oxford Castle, in the heart of the Westgate Centre. One hundred Master in Management programme students are on site. The Business School offers a new Master‘s Year 2 in Banking, Finance & Fintech. I 24 - info - january / february 2018

TSE is pleased to announce the opening this academic year of a new course on ‘nudges’, an increasingly popular policy tool that plays on the human side of economic actors. A key objective of the new TSE course is to offer students insights into the influence of psychology on rationality. TSE is a worldrenowned economics department chaired by Nobel laureate Jean Tirole within the University of Toulouse, in the south of France. I


Education: a new asset class for the private sector? Bruno Mourgue d’Algue, Chief Financial Officer at Galileo Global Education, the largest for-profit post-secondary education group, and Rémi de Guilhermier, Director at PMSI, a strategy and market intelligence consulting firm spoke with Frédéric de la Borderie, Founder and Director of Turenne Consulting education specialists in the public and private sectors, about the latest investment trends in the education sector


rivate investment and ownership in the education sector is not a

Why invest?

matter of common knowledge. For

While concerns remain around

instance, few may know that some of

profitability, due to operational costs,

the largest education consortiums in

regulation, and increasing competition,

the country, such as

Guilhermier lists six main reasons why

Asquith, Eaton Square, Southbank, and

the education sector can appeal to

ICS, are in private hands.

private investors.

The UK has a long tradition of

1. Demand for good quality education

independent, fee-paying schools –

is outstripping supply: Most parents

roughly 2,500 schools covering primary

view education as a top priority.

and secondary provision education

2. Low risk investment: Parents rarely

roughly 7 percent of British children

remove children from premium

and 18 percent of pupils over age 16.

schools during recessions, preferring

However, the recent acceleration in UK

to economize in other areas before

and international investors in the sector

sacrificing their children’s education,

has seen a rise in education providers

making the investment quasi

under private ownership.


This trend is also seen in France,

3. Predictability of revenues: Parents

where recent purchases include Cours

rarely change schools mid-stream

Hattemer and École Internationale

and so they provide a predictable

Bilingue by Nace Schools group, a

customer base with only one key

profit education in the UK is primarily

portfolio company of Providence Equity

transition between junior and senior

focused on the primary and secondary


school. This provides reliable, visible

segment, while higher education is

income streams and long-term

mainly run by non-profit organisations


or government. The provision of

Large investment funds such as

4. Positive cash-flows: Schools

government-funded loans makes the

Providence Equity Partners, Apax and

collect fees in advance and are

UK market inherently riskier for private

Eurazeo have focused on the education

often profitable within three years

investors. In France, the private sector

sector; Providence Equity Partners, for

of operation. Profit margins vary

represents close to 20 percent of the

instance, holds $3.3bn of global equity

depending on the size of school but a

total higher education market. In the

invested on 3 continents.

good, 1800-pupil, K12-school should

context of Brexit and its effect on the

generate profit margins of between

pound, successful higher education

emergence of these specialised funds

20 to 40 percent. The key costs

groups will have the responsibility to

in education is exemplary of the fact

involved are rent for the campus and

help students into employment and

that the amount of capital required

salaries for the teaching staff.

adapt to innovation by teaching new

to create, develop, revamp or simply

5. Extra inflation gain. Additionally,

technology and industry trends. I

maintain a quality school is becoming

fee increases rise faster than local

increasing high. The traditional charity

inflation figures, improving returns for

Turenne Consulting offers project

or not-for-profit model, usually

investors above other sectors.

management and strategic advice

managed by a board of governors and

6. Social Responsibility: of investment

services, with a strong focus on

without profit redistribution, may be

in education into the country’s long-

education and real estate

losing out to shareholder organisations

term global competitive position.

The profit motive

According to Guilhermier, the

A good, 1800-pupil, K12school should generate profit margins of between 20 to 40 percent Mourgue d’Algue reckons that for-

looking for a return on their investment.


- january / february 2018 - 25


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

PwC: UK Hotels Forecast PwC’s UK hotels forecast 2018 identifies the key drivers and trends that will be impacting hoteliers in the coming year. UK hotels have enjoyed record trading, underpinned by the boom in overseas leisure travel, but uncertainty is still important: the stimulus of the weak pound starts to weaken, new supply kicks in, and there is still global political volatility, an expected deceleration in UK economic growth and continued Brexit policy uncertainty.

UK Hotels Forecast – As good as it gets? – 2018 Available at:

KPMG: Leisure Perspectives KPMG surveyed UK CEOs across multiple sectors in 2017 to gain an understanding of what is at the top of their corporate agendas. Disruption has become a fact of life, with 65 percent of CEOs seeing disruption as an opportunity for their business. Risk and regulation are climbing on the agenda, and businesses are now starting to ensure that they have the right people and talent to cultivate the culture they require for success. Along with risk and people, CEOs are placing more focus on customer-centricity to understand consumer purchasing habits, and how to create value for them. Leisure Perspectives – 2017 Available at:

Deloitte: European Hotel Investment Survey The yearly Deloitte European Hotel Investment Conference gathers insights from its attendees with an industry survey, focusing on the UK and wider European market. Over 90 senior hospitality figures from across the world, including owners, lenders, developers and investors answered a series of questions on their views of key trends and how these will shape the industry in 2018 and beyond. The survey is summarized in an Infographic, with a spotlight on the UK. European Hotel Investment Survey – Heading into thin air? – 2017 Available at:


- september / october 2017www - 26

British Hospitality Association: The Economic Contribution of the UK Hospitality Industry The BHA reports that the hospitality industry is the 4th biggest employer in the UK, accounting for 3.2m jobs through direct employment in 2016, and a further 2.8m indirectly. The industry generated more than £73bn of Gross Value Added directly to the UK economy, and a further £87bn indirectly. The report provides an assessment of the economic contribution of the hospitality industry to the UK economy. With key data, it defines what the industry represents, measures its economic impact, and compares it to other industries.

The Economic Contribution of the UK Hospitality Industry – 2017 Available at:

Welcome to Newhaven Ferry Port: The Gateway to France via Dieppe

Transmanche ferries are operated by DFDS ferries-vers-angleterre/dieppe-newhaven


he British hospitality sector has an amazing story to tell. In a time of economic and political uncertainty, the sector has grown into one of the powerhouses of the UK economy.

In 2010 it was the fifth largest industry in the country. But industry bodies are reporting that it has grown exponentially and is now the country's fourth largest industry, employing more people than the manufacturing, construction and education sectors. The industry contribution to the UK coffers, including ancillary spending, is roughly £140bn as off 2016, and according the British Hospitality Association the industry will generate 100,000 new jobs by 2020. But this growth isn’t without its issues. A hundred thousand new jobs means finding this many new employees in a sector largely avoided by a British workforce uninterested in what they see as low-skilled and low-status work. 28 - info - january / february 2018


And with more than 700,000 EU nationals propping up the talent pool, there are serious concerns of staffing crisis if the sector cannot continue to attract and retain its largely European labour force. This FOCUS explores other concerns and opportunities across the sector, from luxury hotels and restaurants, to industry watchers and other stakeholders. You will read about the need for modernisation and digitisation to serve new clientele, in a sector that is shifting the traditional trapping of British hospitality to reflect more inclusive and diverse expectations. From interviews with experts and industry leaders to contributed articles from key players and innovative brands in the sector, we hope that this FOCUS will help you better understand the current issues facing the industry and develop specialist knowledge into how the sector plans to adapt. I


- january / february 2018 - 29

The state of hospitality Uffi Ibrahim, Chief Executive of the British Hospitality Association, speaks to INFO about the latest trends and forecasts affecting the sector What are the current strengths of the industry?

our members are currently facing a ‘perfect storm’ of issues.

The British hospitality industry is a lynchpin in the UK economy.

Their most pressing concern is business uncertainty following

It is the country’s fourth largest sector and indeed the fastest

the Brexit referendum in 2016 and in the negotiations since.

growing since the 2008 downturn, employing over 4.5 million

Despite the government’s welcome progress in negotiating

people in the UK. It created 331,000 jobs between 2010 and

the status of current EU citizens after we leave the European

2014 and is forecast to create a further 100,000 by the end of

Union, the availability of labour from European countries in

this decade.

the future remains worryingly ambiguous. Over 700,000 EU

The hospitality industry is also the face of the nation for

citizens currently work in the hospitality industry, as evidenced

millions of visitors each year; it is our duty to ensure that the

in a report for the BHA by KPMG.

UK is renowned around the world for its first class service and treatment of guests. The immense success of the 2012

Taxation is also an important issue for your members.

Olympic Games in terms of visitor experience is just one

Hospitality businesses are challenged by a Tourism VAT of 20%

example of the reputation of the British hospitality sector

- one of the highest in Europe– meaning that many domestic

reverberating around the world.

tourists are opting to travel abroad rather than spend their money at home. To put this in perspective, there is a deficit

What are the most viable growth areas for the industry?

of more than £11 billion when it comes to inbound and

A report released by Visit Britain showed that whilst France

outbound travel. Economic modelling shows that a reduction

welcomed over a million Chinese visitors in 2016, the UK only

of VAT on accommodation and attractions to 5% would

received 328,000 visa applications in this year. An important

actually increase tax revenue by £4.6 billion over 10 years.

reason for this is that British hospitality is competing with a

Following BHA campaigning the UK Government has agreed to

disadvantage. Tourism VAT is twice the European average

review the rate of Tourism VAT in Northern Ireland in 2018.

and the visa application process for visitors from many key markets, including China, is a much more challenging process

What are the lobbying priorities of the BHA?

compared to applying for a Schengen visa. The BHA continues

The BHA is in constant dialogue with officials up and down the

to lobby Government for change here to make the UK a more

country to make sure that the concerns of British hospitality

accessible, attractive place to visit.

businesses are heard. Our key priorities at present are: a Brexit settlement which reflects the needs of our industry;

What are the biggest challenges facing the industry?

a reduction in VAT for accommodation and attractions,

Despite the impressive performance of the hospitality industry,

and the fair regulation of the sharing economy and online

30 - info - january / february 2018


Despite welcome progress in negotiating the status of current EU citizens after we leave the European Union, the availability of labour from European countries remains worryingly ambiguous

platforms. Through this we want to work with Government

protect consumers and industry.

to make hospitality a driver of private investment and career opportunities in cities, rural and coastal areas across the

Internet booking sites are also on your radar.

United Kingdom.

The power of Online Travel Agents and search engine

We have also strongly criticised plans by various local

aggregators is also a concern for both hospitality businesses

authorities to bring in any kind of ‘tourism tax’ – a nightly

and consumers. These platforms can blur the lines between

charge levied on visitors who stay overnight in certain

search, comparison and booking by providing, at times, all

cities. The BHA is firmly of the belief that this particular kind

three functions. Lack of transparency in pricing, ranking and

of taxation is regressive, simplistic, and will drive visitors

rating criteria remain of concern and the BHA welcomed the

away when we should be making the UK a more attractive

Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) recent decision

destination for visitors. We have mounted successful public

to reopen its investigation into the practices of online travel

awareness campaigns in Bath, Hull, and London to present the

agencies (OTAs).

counterargument proposals in these cities. What are the priorities of the BHA for 2018? What is impact of the ‘sharing economy’ on the sector?

The BHA will be officially launching its ten year plan in 2018 to

With regards to the emergence of the “sharing” economy the

recruit more British workers over the next decade as we leave

BHA has consistently confronted the difficulties arising from

the European Union. We take our obligations seriously when it

the role of home sharing platforms as “intermediaries”. These

comes to the training and employment of more British workers

operate a huge sharing economy without responsibility for

in the hospitality industry, but we need government support

the services they facilitate or any obligation to provide data

to make this a reality. Close work with government over the

to relevant authorities to support law enforcement. Rogue

course of the months and years to come will be crucial in

landlords can ignore fire, health and food safety laws and avoid

making up any shortfall in workers after we leave the European

paying taxes, and the BHA has lobbied for a fair playing field to

Union. I



industry is the UK’s fourth largest sector and the fastest growing since the 2008 downturn

I It

employs more than

4.5 million people

331,000 jobs between 2010 and 2014 I It forecast to create a further 100,000 jobs by I It


the end of this decade


700,000 EU citizens currently work in the hospitality industry

I Hospitality

businesses are charged a Tourism VAT of 20% - one of the highest rates in Europe info

- january / february 2018 - 31

The Human Touch As the hospitality industry adapts to the future, inter-personal interaction still matters most, says Peter Ducker FIH, Chief Executive of The Institute of Hospitality What are the current challenges in

sleep or meet

the hospitality industry?

outside the home.

The biggest challenge moving forward,

As a vital bridge

particularly in the UK, isn’t a lack of

between education

demand or clients, it’s about finding

and the industry,

the right people to work for you. I was

we are very much

talking to a very successful and well-

focused on engaging

regarded restaurateur with a string

with hospitality

of high-end restaurants in London.


He has equity money behind him and

students as they

his backers want to open another six

graduate and

restaurants but he won’t do it. He knows

take their first

the quality will suffer when they are

positions. We

unable to find the staff to run them.

provide a number of services including a

People will want to have that outside experience more and more and grab it while they can, since social media is potentially making us more insular

Are there concerns related to Brexit?

mentoring scheme.

What are they?

It is vital for our

As an industry we’ve always relied on

industry to retain

people from overseas coming to work

talented individuals

insular, particularly for up-and-coming

in the UK. It has always been the case

and for them to feel a sense of

generations. The focus is on where

from the days of César Ritz and Auguste

belonging and community.

human interaction adds value to the

Escoffier right through to today. And

guest experience and how we can make

now we’re seeing people who came

What is on the mind of managers?

the most of that value. Putting staff in

here to work moving to other countries

In terms of the management-level view,

front of guests is increasingly pricey so it

like the Netherlands, Spain and

through our communication channels,

has to be done well.

Germany. Staffing costs will inevitably

we survey the views and experiences

have to go up. While the weaker pound

of our members and disseminate best

What are the jobs of the future in

is bringing leisure tourists in, it is also

practice. Demographic change and


creating a harsher environment for

Brexit are sharpening the minds of

The application of artificial intelligence

hoteliers and restaurateurs as they

HR personnel who need to find new

and robotics has been talked about a

have to deal with skills shortages and

and creative solutions to recruitment

lot recently. Henn-na Hotels in Japan

higher costs for imported goods such

and retention. For some businesses,

are staffed entirely by robots that are

as wine and meat. The good news is

recruiting at food fairs has been a new

monitored by humans via security

that, so long as the pound doesn’t fall

source of F&B staff, for example. There's

cameras. This is clearly playing up

any further, imported food and drink

a growing awareness of flexible working,

to the novelty value, but major hotel

inflation is forecast to slow down in

not just for Millennials but people at

chains including Hilton and Starwood

early 2018.

other stages of their lives where a full-

are seriously developing the use of

time job is not appropriate. We will see

robots and artificial intelligence. We’d

What are the activities of the IoH in

much more multi-skilling in businesses

never want to lose the human touch,

these areas?


but robots could be a way of helping

The Institute of Hospitality is the

address the skills shortage, for functions

professional body for people in

Are customer attitudes and

such as 24-hour room service delivery.

hospitality management. That’s

expectations changing?

The demand for diligent, agile, and

everyone, from those running a school

People will want to have that outside

innovative managers will remain as

meals service or prison catering, to

experience more and more and

strong as ever, not least because robots

hotels, restaurants, cruise lines and

grab it while they can, since social

still require human management. I

airlines, anywhere that people eat,

media is potentially making us more

32 - info - january / february 2018


The evolution of hospitality It is a time of opportunity for forward-thinking hospitality providers, says Thomas Dubaere, COO, AccorHotels UK & Ireland


t is an exciting time for the hospitality sector. In the past 15 years travel has continued to grow, tastes have developed, and technology has transformed

the way people find and book their hotels and travel experiences. These shifts in consumer behaviour have seen new businesses emerge from the gig economy into the travel sector and forced traditional hospitality companies to adapt. AccorHotels recognised this challenge a few years ago and decided to be one of the leaders of change in the hotel sector. We transformed our focus and the way we do business in many ways – and consequently, going into 2018, I see some fantastic opportunities for us. Guests are now looking for new services and experiences when they travel, without sacrificing the level of hospitality they have come to expect. To take advantage of this, the hospitality industry needs to do two very simple things: improve the services they already provide, and provide new ones that their customers want.

The hospitality industry needs to do two very simple things: improve the services they already provide, and provide new ones that their customers want

Mobile solutions So how can they do things better? A good example is in

brands such as JO&JOE, which provides a totally new kind of

how guests now use mobile technology. They want to use

hospitality experience that is a blend of a hostel, a hotel and

smartphones and tablets to access most travel services, but

a private rental property, with communal spaces for both

they don’t want to sacrifice personal customer service or be

guests and local communities. The growth of the private rental

forced to talk to robots or machines. So what does mobile

sector has also awoken customers to the appeal of ‘individual’

technology have to offer to hotels in a way that improves their

properties, which is one of the reasons Accor has invested in

customer service?

companies in the private rentals space such as onefinestay.

One of the ways we have chosen is by reinventing how guests are welcomed in hotels. Our hotel staff now uses

Instead of just offering customers a range of hotels, Accor can now offer them a much wider variety of stay experience.

smartphones and tablets to run our ibis hotels, from back of

Another good example is in the vibrant market for restaurants

house operations to guest reservations. This frees them up to

and bars. We see these as a strong growth opportunity, which

interact with guests anywhere in the hotel – for instance when

is why in the UK we have launched a variety of new branded

a guest enters the hotel, staff approach them rather than wait

restaurants and bars with distinct and contemporary identities.

to be approached, already armed with their guest details, their

From Bokan, our rooftop restaurant at Novotel London Canary

room key and even their personal preferences gathered during

Wharf, to our Chill artisan café bars, they transform the

online check-in. We are now also rolling out this best practice to

traditional hotel restaurant experience, enriching the stays of

other brands such as Novotel.

our hotel guests and attracting new customers from the high

Hybrid hospitality

street. I expect 2018 to be a good year for the UK hospitality

The second thing the hospitality industry needs to do is to

industry, but a great one for hotel operators who can be truly

provide new experiences to meet the expectations of what

innovative while keeping the guest experience at the centre of

many consumers look for today. We have created new lifestyle

everything they do. I


- january / february 2018 - 33


Social media in hospitality and leisure The latest market report from KPMG explores the importance of online marketing and the kinds of messaging that brands need to consider, says Will Hawkey, Global Head of Leisure and Hospitality


avvy travel brands are now

influencers who have a combined

using social media as a platform

39,482,812 Instagram followers and

for their customer service

an overall total reach of a whopping

and support models, responding to

106,000,0003. With those figures, it

enquiries and tackling problems. The

is not surprising that communities

consumer expects to be able to interact

are starting to play more of a role in

with brands directly through social

consumer decision making and driving

media, and receive a personalised

because of the brand itself – it’s


propped up by the ‘influencers’ who

Travel brands are using key

engagement with brands. KPMG’s report also presented

create authentic content, tell a story,

findings from dating and travel site Miss

‘influencers’ to drive brand awareness.

and can sway the opinions of their

Travel, which found that 33 percent of

In return for a free flight, hotel stay or


travellers use Instagram to discover new

experience, they ask the influencers

According to Forbes magazine’s

places, while a whopping 86 percent

to share experiences of their trips on

Top Influencers 2017, the top 10 travel

of travellers use online sources when

social media, to provide an authentic

influencers alone have a combined

deciding on their accommodation.

lens into their offerings, and share

10,945,263 Instagram followers,

However, for many travellers, cost

stories with their extended social

and a reach across social media of

continues to be a motivating factor,

followings and communities.

17,419,0002. However, this is only a

with 47 percent saying they choose a

fraction compared to the top 10 fitness

destination based on price. I

Social media isn’t powerful solely



ith competition from new entrants rising, it’s important for the hospitality and leisure industry to do their due diligence and get to know the consumers that they are marketing to in online spaces – as ultimately, the consumer has the choice. Here are three theoretical consumer personae to start to understand the types of consumers that are emerging, and how the hospitality and leisure industry can begin to interact with them:

• The health and wellness fanatic

• The value seeking traveller

• The environmentalist

The ‘value seeker’ uses ubiquitous use of metasearch engines to reduce their overall price and find the best deal. They’re cost savvy, without skimping on value. Their choice of location or activity can be swayed by price, but they don’t sacrifice the quality of the experience.

As well as reducing their carbon footprint, the ‘earth aware’ consumer is now also focused on waste reduction and local consumption. They like to know that what they are consuming is sustainable for the environment, and prioritise experiences where they are informed about the supply chain and ethics. I

34 - info - january / february 2018

The ‘health and wellness fanatic’ has a vested interest in improving their lifestyle through the means of diet, exercise and general wellness. This might include following a specific diet or way of eating (such as ‘clean eating’), getting involved in boutique fitness classes and placing a greater emphasis on holidays with a purpose such as yoga retreats, wellness breaks and digital detoxes.


A mixed forecast for hospitality Growth is down but the outlook is broadly positive, say David Trunkfield, UK Hospitality & Leisure Leader, and Dr Andrew Sentence, Senior Economic Adviser, PwC

We don’t expect the growth in 2018 to match 2017, even though the outlook is broadly positive for the UK hotels sector


o far this year, the hotels business in the UK has been

of international leisure tourists to visit London in 2017.’ But she

boosted by two main factors. First, the global economy is

added: ‘Worryingly, the weak pound doesn’t appear to have

growing well – and there has been a marked recovery in

boosted international corporate travel in the UK, reflecting

continental Europe in recent years. That is helping to encourage

corporate uncertainty around Brexit.’

overseas visitors to travel more generally, with the UK – and

In contrast, for 2017 as a whole we have edged our Provinces

London in particular – always a popular destination for tourists.

forecast down a little, but we still forecast further RevPAR growth

Second, the fall in the value of the pound since the Brexit vote

of 2.5%. Our 2018 forecast is marginally stronger than expected

last year has attracted leisure tourists from overseas and

in March, and we now anticipate a further 2.3% RevPAR growth.

provided an added incentive for visitors to come to the UK.

The terrorist attacks in London and Manchester appear to have

Looking ahead we should continue to see these positive

had a limited impact on visitation levels.

factors supporting growth in 2018, but to a lesser extent. In

Cyber-attacks also have the ability to disrupt hotel trading.

addition, Brexit uncertainty is a possible dampener on business

A recent research report showed that two out of three bosses

travel to the UK, and there are some signs that this is already

at Britain’s biggest companies have not been trained in how to

having an impact. The slowdown in the UK economy may also

deal with a cyber-attack, despite cyberattacks being considered

subdue domestic spending on hotels. We cannot therefore

one of the biggest risks these organizations faced. While

expect the growth in 2018 to match 2017, even though the

concerns have heightened following the large scale Petya and

outlook is broadly positive for the UK hotels sector. A spike in

WannaCry attacks and serious breaches at the National Health

new hotel supply, especially in London, will also act as a drag.

Service, hotels are also being targeted by criminals.

For London, the stronger than anticipated tourism boom in

While hotels are enjoying strong top line growth driven by

H1 2017 means we have edged up our latest forecast for 2017

the weak pound’s boost to travel, they have also to contend

and now expect around 6% RevPAR growth* for the year as a

with a less positive effect of the depreciated pound as weaker

whole; but we don’t expect this strong growth to be sustained

margins reflect the higher cost of imported goods. Hotels also

as uncertainty weighs on the economy and the effect of the

report that the cost of labour has been pushed up as it becomes

weak pound slows.

harder to fill vacant positions.

Inbound corporate travel has recorded a 2.8% decline in

The Brexit vote has prompted some workers from other EU

the first half of 2017, compared to the same period in 2016. Liz

countries to leave already or consider going, partly because of

Hall, Head of Hospitality and Leisure Research at PwC, said the

uncertainty around the UK’s economic outlook and because any

fall in the value of the pound against the euro and the dollar

money those workers earn in pounds is now worth less in euros

after last year’s Brexit vote had ‘encouraged record numbers

for them to send home. I

*RevPAR, or revenue per available room, is a performance metric in the hotel industry


- january / february 2018 - 35

‘The most connected city on the planet’ London’s future looks bright, thanks to a vibrant and dynamic tourism sector, says Andrew Cooke, Acting CEO of London & Partners, the Mayor’s official promotion agency for the city What is the importance of tourism in

across the capital.


What impact has the fall in Sterling

Could you provide some context to

The tourism industry is absolutely crucial


London’s relationship with Europe?

for London as it supports hundreds of

According to the ‘European Traveller


thousands of jobs and accounts for 11.6



Channel are thriving. Over both the 5

percent of the capital’s GDP. According

ODIGEO, released in December this

year period (Aug 2012 – Aug 2017) and

to a new report published by London &

year, the fall in the value of the pound

the 10 year period (Aug 2007 – Aug

Partners, tourism numbers in the city

since the Brexit referendum appears

2017), France has been London’s second

are set to rise sharply over the next few

to have been a key driver of growth,

largest source market for investment.

years, with more than 40 million people

as visitors to the UK can now get more


expected to visit London by 2025, an

for their money. The latest visitor data

billion capital investment from France

increase of 30 per cent on the 31.2

show that the city welcomed 5.5 million

over the last 10 years, creating over

million visitors who came to the capital

international visitors between April and

5,800 jobs for the capital. In October

in 2016.

June, a 10 per cent increase on the same

and November, London & Partners

period last year.

organised two trade missions to Paris




What are the current priorities of







and Lille, led by the Mayor of London

London & Partners

What is your approach to Brexit?

and Deputy Mayor for Business, and

The report, ‘A Tourism Vision for London,’

Following the EU referendum vote, we

attended by over 25 of the capital’s

which was published in September and

have seen increasing competition from

fastest-growing tech companies. The

has the backing of the Mayor of London

other cities across the continent. The

entrepreneurs on the one-day trade

and over 100 industry partners, makes

Mayor has made it clear that he wants to


a number of recommendations to

maintain a strong working relationship

explore expansion opportunities in

ensure the growth and sustainability

with other European cities, working

some of France’s largest business

of London’s tourism industry. Those

in the best interest of Londoners and

centres, meeting high-profile French



Europe. As a result, we are planning

companies including Decathlon, Kiabi

visitors to see more of London, as well

to increase our overseas presence in

and Leroy Merlin.

as continuing to improve London's

the drive to attract investment into

tourism infrastructure and information

the capital after Britain leaves the EU –

London has been an attractive venue

provision. 17,000 new hotel rooms are

and to ensure that jobs and growth for

for meetings and events.

also set to open by 2020, adding to the

Londoners are retained.

Over the last few years, London has



current 145,000 room stock.





become more and more attractive to You’re looking to strengthen ties to

event planners, with the city now scoring

Why do people visit the city?


5th in the International Congress and

We know that culture is a key draw for

Earlier this year, the Mayor also travelled

Convention Association (ICCA) ranking.

visitors coming to the city, with 80 per

to Paris to sign a landmark agreement

A number of high-profile wins, such

cent of tourists citing it as their main

with the Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo,

as the European Respiratory Society,

reason for visiting. We’ll carry on shining

agreeing to stronger ties on tourism

Advertising Week Europe, and the

a light on the city’s offering, both in

and business. Collaboration is key. Paris

recently announced 2021 European

central locations, but also further afield,

was also the first city to join our city-to-

Society of Cardiology congress have all

to ensure visitors get to experience

city Business Welcome Programme – a

contributed to raising London’s profile.

a mix of iconic attractions as well as

programme designed to build a global

London is also the most connected city

hidden gems. We will also showcase

network of cities to promote stronger

on the planet with direct flights to 336

more of London’s neighbourhoods,

trade and investment. Other cities to

international destinations, making it an

both for leisure and business visitors,

join the programme include Lille, Lisbon,

easy place to reach for international

sharing insider tips to lesser known

Berlin, Amsterdam and San Diego – to

events. I

areas. This will help ensure that the

name a few.

benefits of tourism are spread right

36 - info - january / february 2018

We know that culture is a key draw for visitors coming to the city, with 80 per cent of tourists citing it as their main reason for visiting



he Traveltech Lab is the UK’s original travel innovation hub housing a growing community of early stage technology start-ups poised to disrupt the sector. The Lab aims to foster innovation, collaboration, and creativity while bringing together technology start-ups with major corporates and breaking down the barriers that can exist in them working together. The Lab is a partnership between us and The Trampery, specialists in innovative spaces to drive creativity and entrepreneurship. Since its launch, the Lab’s 72 members have cumulatively raised more than £20m and won over 15 awards, including the prestigious TechCrunch Disrupt Award Finalist. We’re keen to support any tech that improves

our visitors’ experience and one of the Lab’s successes in doing just that is TimeLooper. Timelooper have developed a 360 degree virtual reality smartphone app that lets visitors re-live iconic moments from famous sites around the world. We saw potential for this innovation not only to enhance the visitor experience but also to attract an increased number of visitors to landmarks and sites, so we welcomed Timelooper to our start-up community. We connected Timelooper to the Tower of London, who were looking to increase their visitor numbers. Timelooper developed a bespoke ‘Great Fire of London’ video which gets activated when users visit the Tower of London. This raised Timelooper’s profile and provided them with a platform to approach other clients.I


- january / february 2018 - 37


The future of the luxury hotel The capital’s top hotels are a thriving and historic business, but new pressures are forcing them to adapt says Max Binda, General Manager of the Connaught, and Kostas Sfaltos, General Manager of the Bulgari


ur goal is to cater for our guests in every way. This

word of mouth – which is still the most important way we get

means excellence across the board in service and what

and retain customers.’

we provide in terms of our rooms, meals and facilities.

‘They need to be hospitable to a fault,’ says Binda.

And we do this every day.'

Having a majority foreign staff is also seen as a major advantage

This is how Max Binda, General Manager of the Connaught

by both GMs. ‘The benefit of having multiple languages is that

Hotel, describes the role of the luxury hotel. Over the past year,

the cultural outlook is refined. Having a truly multicultural staff

his iconic five-star hotel, located in Mayfair, has catered for

is a huge benefit for us,’ says Binda. ‘Plus language skills are

royalty, business people of all types, and a thriving clientele in

important component of the skill-set required by the sector.’

the art world – as many of London’s top galleries are located in the area.


And generally business is good. But that is not the whole

According to Sfaltos, the skills shortages are not only down to the

story, as many of London’s top hotels are facing new pressures

fall of the pound and the uncertainty around Brexit. There are a

in their sector, brought on by Brexit, the poor performance of

record number of new hotel rooms in London and the number

the pound, increases in business rates, and concerns around

is growing. PwC speculates a 4.6 percent rise in the number of

security after terrorist attacks in the capital. A primary concern

rooms in London due to new and scheduled openings. London

is the skills shortages that the sector will face in the coming

currently has more than 150,000 hotels rooms across all the

years – with industry bodies predicting a potential staffing crisis


by 2020.

‘All these new openings need staff, so we are competing for

Skills shortages

people here, too,’ says Sfaltos. He sees his competition not only among other five-star hotels,

Many sectors are reporting concerns about skills shortages

but also London’s many four-star hotels and ancillary hospitality

and talent drains as result of Brexit – the hospitality sector

businesses offering luxury services.

is no different. This is due to its reliance on overseas and

‘There is a high level of competition – therefore as a recruiter,

predominantly European staff for low and high skilled jobs.

we need to be as appealing as possible.’

Binda reports that roughly 80 percent of his staff are foreign-

‘The problem we have is that while competition is growing, the

born. The majority come from Europe and send money back to

same cannot be said about the demand for these jobs in the

their home countries.

UK,’ says Sfaltos.

But this is changing as the pound has been devalued after

The demand for hotel rooms is also being thinned out.

the EU Referendum result, and due to the uncertainty around

‘Fifteen years ago, during Wimbledon, I knew my hotel would

the status of foreigners in the UK.

be full. Now, during Wimbledon this is impossible to guarantee,’

‘Our main talent pool is Europe – and now they can send roughly fifty percent less money back home if they come here to work,’ says Binda.

he says.


‘Because of the political uncertainty, those Europeans

For Binda, the solution partly lies in modernisation of the hotel

looking for low-skilled work are now going to Germany, and we

and its services – creating the five-star hotel of today, and

are losing out.’

catering to new trends amongst the clientele and the staff. ‘You

Kostas Sfaltos, General Manager of the Bulgari, a five-star

need to be relevant in the market and in your time,’ says Binda.

hotel in Knightsbridge, has a similar diagnosis. His hotel is

He also notes changes in the way clients approach the five-star

staffed disproportionately by Europeans, and he is concerned

hotel. ‘Twenty to thirty years ago, you couldn’t walk into our hotel

about his continued ability to attract the right calibre of staff

if you weren’t wearing a tie. But now it’s not the same,’ he says.

– candidates who are ‘prepared to understand luxury and the

The Connaught responded with a new restaurant opening, Jean-

expectations for the clientele.’

George, by the French-British-Asian fusion chef Jean-Georges

‘Service is more important than ever,’ says Sfaltos. ‘If it is

Vongerichten, which offers more accessible yet inventive fare,

impeccable and excellent, we will get more business through

still provided with impeccable service that the clientele expects.

38 - info - january / february 2018


‘If you arrive in London after an over-night flight from Los

ways. There are huge opportunities for luxury hotels to build

Angeles, you’re not immediately looking for a fine-dining

on their event offerings, not just hosting events in their grand

experience,’ says Binda. ‘You want a burger or sushi in a casual

ballrooms, but using all kinds of spaces to host unique events


– like a book launch in the swimming pool, or a film opening in

For guests still wanting the traditional fine dining of a five

the private cinema.

start hotel, they have retained Alain de Rosie, their white table

Sfaltos explains one such creative offering: ‘Tomorrow we

cloth offering, which guests often consider for special occasions.

have twenty-two ladies in our largest suite for breakfast, lunch

Part of this new offering involves a more entrepreneurial

and for spa treatments. They are not staying the night, rather

approach to the business of running a hotel. ‘You always want

they are spending the day in the hotel room, using the suite as

to deliver quality and match the requirements of your clientele

their own private, well-serviced oasis.’

– which will necessarily change over time,’ says Binda. According to Sfaltos, restaurants are one growth area, but so are event hosting and using rooms in new and innovative

The five-star hotel is part of London’s DNA, but as the city undergoes changes, so too will their segment of the hospitality sector. Time will tell what new changes are in store. I



oung people in the UK are an untapped source of labour in the hospitality industry, says Knut Wylde, General Manager of the Berkeley hotel in Knightsbridge. But it is about making the job attractive to them. ‘It is about much more than just Brexit,’ he says. ‘We have struggled to attract UK young people to the industry. They don’t see it as a career – they see is as a part-time or summer job.’ ‘The fact is that we can’t rely on the European labour market in future, as there is too much uncertainty about Brexit. But let’s stop moaning about it – lets be productive.’ Wylde sees apprenticeships as part of the way to increase the uptake of UK nationals into the industry. ‘Most other

European countries have proper apprenticeships. We need to try to change this in the UK,’ says Wylde. It is also about promoting the sector to young people and their families. ‘Hospitality and luxury hotels are an amazing career. You are not just sitting at the desk in front of a computer.’ ‘This message needs to be delivered in schools at primary level, and communicated to parents, who can support their children into this career.’

‘Yes, it’s hard work. But it can turn into amazing things. Gordon Ramsay started at the bottom as a pot washer.’ Wylde, a German national, was one such young person who did an apprenticeship in the industry more than twenty years ago. He noted that the experience of working across the sector in different roles over a two year period gave him a great overview of what he wanted to do, and where he might best fit in. He parlayed this experience to jobs in hotels on four continents and is now at the helm of one of London’s most iconic hotels. For Wylde it is about lobbying the government for support for these types of schemes, but not to wait for them to act. The industry must begin to adapt internally. I


- january / february 2018 - 39


An investor's point of view Isabelle de Wavrechin, CEO of Worldwide Invest Management, offers an analysis of investment in leisure and real estate development in the hospitality sector especially Hong Kong investors. We have

Do you have Brexit concerns? What

seen this trend increase in recent times

are they?

due to Brexit.

There is a great deal of speculation within the hospitality industry about

How would you describe your

Brexit, and it is still unclear how it will

company’s activities in the hospitality

affect the industry in the long run.


However, at the moment, rising costs

Worldwide Invest Management’s

due to the fall in the pound following

purpose is to look for new European and

Britain’s decision to leave the EU are

international tourism real estate projects

having a huge impact on the costs

and to assist with the development and

of imports that will inevitably be felt

the fundraising of those projects.

by consumers. British citizens may

It also has tremendous experience in

therefore think twice about holidaying

operating tourism sales by unit.

or buying holiday properties on the

We work on the project design, create

continent. On the other hand, a

What trends in the hospitality sector

a successful and sustainable offer with

devalued pound may make UK more

are driving investors?

guaranteed yield, increase the project

affordable for visitors and foreign

The trends of interest for investors are

overall net profitability and increase

investors. UK residents may also choose

the capital flow from Asia, the economics

the speed of the pre-sales and sales

to spend more time holidaying here.

of the sharing economy, and the growth


So the situation has actually created

and interest in sustainable development.

opportunities for the hospitality industry.

The USA and Europeans are now also

What are the current challenges that

A negative impact will probably occur

increasingly driving investors’ interest.

concern investors in the sector?

on recruitment. The hospitality industry

The global political uncertainty coming

relies heavily on European skilled work

How would you charcaterise the UK

from the US, the UK, Spain and North

force. The uncertainty about those


Korea are the main concerns for

workers’ status can be a real problem

In the UK hospitality market, investment

investors at the moment.

with increasing turnovers and struggles

is dominated by the Asian market and

to fill growing vacancies in the industry. I



ortugal is a good place for individual and institutional investors. The demand is incredibly high at the moment. For quality of life, value for money and investment potential, Lisbon ranks above cities including Madrid, Paris and London. Its history, climate and food make it special. But the main thing it offers is a quiet and safe life in a country where everything works and where visitors are warmly welcomed. Lisbon’s revival has come on the back of significant growth in tourism. Property development has followed suit, with new cafés, bars and housing going up all over the city.' 'The Algarve was voted Europe's No.1 beach destination at the World Travel Awards. There are

40 - info - january / february 2018

strict planning permissions that secure the natural beauty and limit the supply of new properties thus keeping demand high. With flight times of less than three hours, a great choice of airports and low cost airlines the whole property market in Portugal is close, easy to reach and affordable.' 'Also, there is a significant amount of good-value real estate for sale in Italy available at the moment, particularly in the areas traditionally popular with worldwide investors, such as Tuscany. Ireland is also quite attractive, where labor costs and cost of living are on the lower end of the EU and global scale. Its pro-business stance definitely attracts investors in the hospitality business as well.'I


An ‘Aura of Intangible Luxury’ The key to meeting and exceeding customer expectations lies in a mix of exclusivity and personalisation, says Kalindi Juneja, Director of Member Services, Relais & Chateaux UK & Ireland


or Relais & Chateau this means: Caractère, Charme

Courtoisie, et




Curtesy, Calm, Charm and Cuisine]. These five Cs are the motto of the global hospitality brand, a fellowship of individually owned and operated hotels and restaurants. The company includes more than 500 unique properties – castles, manor houses and townhouses – in 60 countries. Many of the properties have historical distinctions, while all of them must meet the strict admission criteria (luxury plus unique character) and offer high-end cuisine. ‘The spirit of a Relais & Châteaux property is about being special and having certain unique

see that a spa or a restaurant is a destination in itself, and more

qualities. Over and above the hotel and restaurant experience is

and more the main reason to visit a hotel. It is now time to create

the magic of the setting, the outstanding service and the special

experiences and not only sell a beautiful building or spa,’ says

bond with the staff, which all gives Relais & Châteaux its aura of


intangible luxury. Our clients are travellers seeking refinement and discretion who appreciate the new and the unexpected,’

Technology in the mix

says Kalindi Juneja, Director of Member Services for Relais &

Juneja explains that to aid potential clients select the right trip,

Chateaux UK & Ireland.

Relais & Châteaux has developed an ‘Inspire-Me’ section on its

Juneja highlights that Relais & Châteaux’s uniqueness comes

website that offers guests an opportunity to explore themes

from their interest in developing a new generation of more

such as ‘exquisite wine cellars;’ ‘in search of local communities;’

personal, intimate hotels which seek to blend in locally. ‘You want

‘meet local producers’ or ‘away from it all.’

to experience where you are visiting. Our clients are looking for

This follows the development of the Relais & Chateaux's app,

authentic and human experiences, and that’s a universal trend.’

which has doubled the volume of sales and the conversion rate

Relais & Châteaux’s ‘Routes du Bonheur’ trips continue to

between visits and sales. Another app has been made available

be the most popular package that they sell. The ‘routes’ consist

to property owners, and assists them with their recruiting

of specialised itineraries to visit multiple destinations within a

strategies and publicising events.

region, and they have been operating them in France since the

Similarly Relais & Châteaux’s digital magazine, Instants,

1950s. Today there are more than 130 unique itineraries to

was launched to complement the existing print edition. The

choose from.

magazine is published twice a year, and made available at all

‘The Route du Bonheur’s program is truly dedicated to our

of their properties. Articles are contributed by journalists and

history. These inspiring itineraries incorporate our hotels and

influencers, while photos are selected from Instagram users,

restaurants worldwide, allow our guests to create their own

allowing another point of contact with their clientele.

journeys with Relais & Châteaux,’ says Juneja.

‘Personalisation means that one size does not fit all,’ says

Juneja also see potential for development in this regional

Juneja. ‘Technology is really helping us personalise every

approach – one not focused on a single destination, but where

guest experience. Customer relationship is essential and we

‘guests’ stay in multiple locations over their holiday.

are currently developing tools to further enhance each guest

‘Travellers plan journeys to discover a region. We can also

experience. I

It is now time to create experiences and not only sell a beautiful building or spa info

- january / february 2018 - 41

Charms of the Cote d'Azure A series of luxury holiday home projects in the South of France are reviving an interest in the French Riviera, says Russell Meadows, Commercial Director of Caudwell Collection


he story of the Provencal Hotel on the Cote d’Azure is

clearly intended to appeal to a different kind of client, one who

one of legend. The grand art deco resort was built by the

seeks out the highest standards of quality and luxury, but who

American industrialist Frank J Gould in 1920, and played

can also emphasise with the rich heritage of the building, and

host to the likes of F Scott Fitzgerald, Coco Chanel and Pablo Picasso, from its heyday in the 1920s through to the 1960s.

the region.’

When staff petitioned over pay in the early 1970’s the owner

Experience and character

locked the doors and declared Le Provencal closed – its famous

The Caudwell Collection’s portfolio of properties includes

façade now adorned by graffiti and broken windows, its tennis

development land on the magical Cap d’Antibes and a trio of

courts invaded by weeds.

luxury apartment blocks a short walk from the seaside site of the

When billionaire Phones 4u founder John Caudwell first laid eyes on the Juan-les-pins property, it had fallen into disrepair, but this is all about to change.

Provencal, with other properties in the region and in London’s Mayfair in the works. According to the Fairfax Property Abroad Index, buying a second home abroad continues to be popular with UK buyers, with the cheapest starting at £100K up to the top end of the market where Caudwell does its business. Indeed, Caudwell’s ventures in the South of France target a customer who prioritises authenticity, experience and local charm, with all the bells and whistles of a five-star hotel. Caudwell’s


completed Parc du Cap, a collection of one, two and three bedroom luxury apartments, are fully serviced, with an on-site concierge, treatment rooms, tennis courts and both indoor and outdoor pools. The average spend on these The hotel is the centrepiece of Caudwell’s luxury holiday

apartments range from just under €600,000 for a one-bedroom

apartment venture, the Caudwell Collection, pitched to a high-

to up to 7.5m€ for one of ten penthouses, which comes

end and discerning customer looking for unique properties and

complete with a private infinity pool.

experiences – much like Caudwell himself.

‘There was no single development in the area that offered

The company is now developing designs for a massive

this complete package of luxury, lifestyle and facilities,’ says

restoration and refurbishment project to revive the property

Meadows. ‘We saw the opportunity to do something different

once called ‘the French Riviera’s last remaining gem.’ The project

for a more discerning market.’

will restore & enhance Le Provencal’s iconic features while

Sales are progressing well ahead of the company’s

creating modern luxury apartments with exceptional amenities

expectations with many buyers having already taken occupation.

and up-to-date technology – like Turkish baths, swimming pools,

A further benefit to potential buyers is the chance to experience

full home automation, lighting and music systems - a logistical

one of the fully furnished show apartments at the property

challenge in a property with heritage distinction and which sits

before making a commitment to buy.

in a conservation area. Russell Meadows is confident that all the effort is worth it – as he sees a clear market for this one-of-a-kind property. ‘It’s 42 - info - january / february 2018

The Cote d’Azure has long fascinated tourists from around the world. And in these new luxury projects, it’s a dream that can come true. I



‘Bistronomy’ comes to London

A new trend in restaurant hospitality eschews fine-dining finery and etiquette, without sacrificing the high-end cuisine


ou won’t find white tablecloths

Oriental, and was the head chef at Jamie

A new hospitality

at Frenchie, the chic restaurant-

Oliver’s Fifteen. He also trained under

Today, Frenchie in Paris consists of a

cum-bistro in London’s Covent

Danny Meyer at the Gramercy Tavern

24-seat restaurant with a single tasting

in New York City, with other stints in

menu, a wine bar with a contemporary

kitchens in Hong Kong and Spain.

small plate menu, a Deli counter serving

Garden which launched early last year. The eatery is a transplant from the Parisian restaurant scene,

His cuisine is deeply influenced by

pastrami sandwiches, lobster rolls, hot

where gastronomic restaurants

his travels, yet retains a French flair –

dogs and pulled pork (all meats are

have challenged the traditions and

another key aspect of the bistronomy

smoked in house) and a wine shop.

expectations of high-end cuisine,


While in London, Frenchie is a 65-

beginning in the 1990s and growing in popularity every since. ‘For a long time, French food

‘Today, French food travels.

seat restaurant in the heart of Covent

French chefs are much more open to

Garden offering an a la carte menu and

travelling the world and to embracing

tasting menu. ‘No matter which outlet, whether

has been perceived as snobby

other cultures. At Frenchie, our food is

and inaccessible. There were too

French-rooted, but uses my extensive

it’s the fine dining restaurant or the

many ‘codes’ that people didn’t

travel experience as an inspiration,’ says

sandwich shop, we want to create

understand, and which made them feel


an experience focused on guest

uncomfortable,’ says Gregory Marchand, chef-patron of Frenchie.

One example is the new Frenchie cookbook, which is split into three

Dubbed the ‘bistronomy’ movement – a contraction of ‘bistrot’

experience,’ says Marchand. Indeed, he is clear about his

chapters: London, New York City, and

ethos, one where the ego of chef


or the rarefied air of the restaurant

‘Frenchie started as a place

is not the focal point of the dining

combine small rooms and inventive

that I would like to go to and most

experience. ‘[Bistronomy is about]

cuisine. Their chefs have often been

importantly come back to. It is a mix of

offering affordable and high-quality

trained in celebrated Michelin-starred

my experiences from travelling around

food, served in an unpretentious setting.


the world combined with the different

This new breed of French restaurants

cultures I’ve encountered. It’s authentic,

desacralises French gastronomy and

genuine and delicious.’

puts the guest’s experiences first.’ I

and ‘gastronomy’ – these restaurants

Before launching the original Frenchie in Paris in 2009, Marchand worked at the Savoy Grill, the Mandarin



‘There’s a general trend for less protein on the plate and better sauces. Protein has begun to be used almost as a condiment rather than a main ingredient. However, this doesn’t make the dishes vegetarian but rather vegetable driven.’ 'Chefs are becoming more and more wastage conscious. Dan Barber illustrated it well with his pop-up restaurant, ‘Wasted’ at Selfridges.' 'Talented chefs are moving to the countryside or have begun purchasing sections of land to grow their own produce for their restaurant. This way they can grow and use fresh, seasonal ingredients, straight from farm-to-table.' I


- january / february 2018 - 43

Setting the food agenda Restaurants need to encourage cleaner, healthier eating says Jeremy Page, Executive Chef at L'Atelier Joël Robuchon


he mackerel on Jeremy Page’s menu, the executive Chef of L'eAtelier Joël Robuchon, is a perfect reflection of his cross-cultural heritage.

He takes a British product, in this case filleted and skinned

mackerel, and applies French cooking techniques to it. Marinated lightly in oil and salt, and serve raw with herring eggs, horseradish cream and pickled kohlrabi, grown in the UK. Page, who was born in Bath but move the Périgord Noir region in the south of France at age six, is often thoughtful about his cross cultural heritage. ‘I’m not exactly either – I’m a hybrid French/English identity, I guess. And you can see it in the food in some ways.’ ‘The biggest difference in cuisine in France and Britain is that in France you have regions which have specialities. It’s much more interesting in France, but the produce here in Britain is very good.’ For Page this also includes scallops and the langoustines that make it on to his menu. As well as British beef, which he describes as ‘much better quality than in France.’ He also sees comparisons between British cuisine, and the cuisine of Brittany, the Northern French region where his wife comes from. ‘You find the same use of good quality butter, buttermilk and buckwheat – which all have Celtic origins.’

We all need to be more responsible, but we in the industry are well placed to help educated and show people what can be done

Setting the example But Page is part of a wave a chefs that are more conscious than ever about issues of waste and sustainability. ‘In restaurants, we can get good produce from local suppliers,

is more than happy to accommodate dietary requirements of all types.

however in UK supermarkets, it is less good. One the things that

‘Being vegan, I understand it. Of course it’s not what we do

surprised me most when I came back was that everything was

here – and I do have a love for meat and fish that is responsibly

in a plastic bag.’

sourced – but it is the direction things need to go. Less protein,

This trend in industrial food is at odds with his ethos, and he prioritise using British suppliers which don’t produce food on an industrial scale. ‘Restaurants have to set the right example,’ says Page, who notes that more customers than ever ask his staff about where the products in their meals come from. ‘We all need to be more responsible, but we in the industry are well placed to help educate and show people what can be done.’ And while Page’s menu consists of many French classics – a cuisine known for its cream, butter and meat and poultry – he

44 - info - january / february 2018

less dairy.’ Perhaps Page is just the chef to do it. He took over the helm of one of Robuchon’s London restaurant in 2016, and has matched his inspiration with some of the famed chef’s classics. ‘He used to do a lobster wrapped in angel hair pastry, which I loved. I’ve done a similar thing here, but with langoustine. But I’ve added vinegar made from fermented mangoes and a coulis of mangoes and a passion fruit and basil leaf.’ For Page, it is techniques, like fermentation from Asian cuisine, that should travel in the world of gastronomy, not the produce – which should be local. I


“Fascinating bilingual guide... full of shrewd insights into both sides’ codes.” - The Financial Times


Meetings may not start until the most senior person arrives.

Meetings start on time.

A meeting is a debate.

A meeting is a process.

Latecomers enter, shake hands with everyone present, and then sit down. “Non c’est impossible” – often means “start convincing me”. •••

Latecomers slip in quietly, apologise and sit in the nearest available seat. “No, I’m afraid that it really is impossible” usually means just that. Non-negotiable. •••

© Château de Mercuès

Whatley Manor

OFFER THE TASTE OF A GETAWAY A five-star breakfast, a room with a breathtaking view, a relaxing massage… Relais & Châteaux has captured the secret to timeless moments in a Pure Luxury Gift Box. Whether it’s an overnight stay or a spa treatment followed by a Michelin-starred dinner, an unforgettable experience is guaranteed. All you need to do is choose the destination you want. Gift certificates are available starting at £100.


N AT I O N A L P O RT R A I T GA L L ERY, LO N D O N Cezanne: Portraits

©Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; acquired through the generosity of the Sarah Mellon Scaife Family.

Over the course of his 45-year career, Paul Cézanne made close to a thousand paintings. The National Portrait Gallery’s exhibition brings together more fifty of his portraits from around the world, shining a light on this central aspect of the French artist’s work. Some of the works have never been displayed in a public exhibition in the UK. Cézanne, born in 1839 in Aix-en-Provence, in the South of France, is one of the most important artists of the nineteenth century, and is said to have formed the bridge between Impressionism and Cubism. He was described by Picasso and Matisse as 'the father of us all.' The show, curated in collaboration with the MoMA in New York and the Parisian Musée d’Orsay, features the famous Self Portrait in a Bowler Hat (1892), several portraits of his wife Hortense, and of his Uncle Dominique, a cross section of some of Cézanne’s masterpieces, highlighting the influence of his works on modern painting. I Until 11 February 2018 / Open daily 10am-6pm. Open late Thursday and Friday until 21:00 / Tickets with donation: Full price £20 (Concessions £18.50)

Left: Self Portrait in a Bowler Hat by Paul Cézanne

TAT E B RI TA I N, LO N D O N The EY Exhibition: Impressionists in London As part of the EY Tate Arts Partnership, Tate Britain brings together more than a hundred works by French artists who fled France for London during the Franco-Prussian war and the insurrection of Paris. Monet, Tissot, Pissarro and others are gathered in this exhibition, which is a testament to their experiences in England. Featuring six of Monet’s views of the House of Parliament, Pissarro’s paintings of Kew Gardens, and works from Tissot, who lived in London for eleven years and painted Britain’s highsociety during the Victorian era. The exhibition reveals a latenineteenth century London through French eyes. I Until 7 May 2018 / Open daily 10am-6pm / £17.70

Right: Camille Pissarro (1830 – 1903), Saint Anne’s Church at Kew, London, 1892. Oil paint on canvas. Private collection


- january / february 2018 - 47


BUS I N ES S D ES I G N C EN T RE, LO N D O N London Art Fair

London Art Fair 2017

The London Art Fair returns this January for its thirtieth anniversary. Opening the international art calendar, the London Art Fair gives collectors access to quality modern and contemporary British art curated by leading galleries. The museum partner of this year’s fair is Art UK. An exhibition curated by Kathleen Soriano, former Director of Exhibitions at the Royal Academy of Arts, will showcase a selection of thirty works from Art UK’s website, made by five leading artists. Special exhibitions are also curated for the occasion: Photo50, examining the directions in contemporary photographic practice, and Art Projects, showcasing international galleries. I 17-21 January 2018 / Tuesday (preview evening) 16 January - Sunday 21 January / Day ticket: £15.95 in advance / £23 at the door


Unidentified Woman of the Zenana, c.1870 (2012.04.0054-0028)

©Science Museum Group

Following the seventieth anniversary of India’s Partition celebrated in 2017, a Science Museum exhibition shines a light on the country through photography. First used by the British as a mean of documenting the subcontinent, it became a way for Indians to express the way they experienced their own country. Taking a particular interest in the two pivotal dates of the beginning of the movement for Independence, with the Mutiny in 1857, and the Partition in 1947, the exhibition examines the development of photography in India and the role it played in its history, with works by Samuel Bourne, photography pioneer Maharaja Sawai Ram Singh II, Henri Cartier-Bresson and contemporary photographer Vasantha Yogananthan. I Until 31 March 2018 / Open daily 10.00–18.00 / Free

© Vasantha Yogananthan

Illuminating India - Photography 1857 –2017

Unidentified Woman of the Zenana, c.1870 (2012.04.0054-0028)

I M PERI A L WA R M USEU M , LO N D O N Age of Terror Featuring works by more than forty British and international artists such as Iván Navarro, Grayson Perry, Gerhard Richter, Ai Weiwei and more, this exhibition concentrates on four key themes related to war after 9/11: artists’ responses to the events of 9/11, issues of state surveillance and security, our complex relationship with weapons, and the destruction caused by conflict. Through work in different mediums, the Imperial War Museum’s exhibition examines the role of modern artists, the way conflict is represented, and how stories of the affected are told. I Until 28 May 2018 / Open daily 10:00 – 18:00 / £15 48 - info - january / february 2018


New Directions at the French Institute The French Institute in London has an ambitious programme of events in 2018, says its talented new Director Claudine Ripert-Landler


laudine Ripert-Landler steps into the role of Director

films are screened.

of the French Institute and French Cultural Counsellor

Other events will look outside of London, including a

of the French Embassy at a time of uncertainty in EU

France-UK dance festival, which will engage with regional dance

relations. But the former top advisor to François Hollande looks past gloomy Brexit forecasts, and sees it as an ‘exceptional opportunity’ to reinforce the links between the two countries, regardless of the political backdrop. ‘The Institute is an exceptional tool in this regard,’ says

companies from Bristol to Belfast, and a series of cross-cultural theatre projects to be mounted in English and French on both sides of the Channel. ‘The common link in all of these activities is our shared values,’ says Ripert-Landler. ‘Free expression, free art, exchange and debate.’

Ripert-Landler. ‘We have the ability to build and develop our

Plans also include special offerings for 25-year-olds and

shared heritage, and to reassure communities in both countries

under, with educational provisions alongside more youth-

that we are working together for a shared future.’

oriented talks, events and gigs.

For Ripert-Landler this means sharing and showcasing the

Ripert-Landler will oversee ongoing renovations to the

best that France has to offer with the more than 200,000 visitors

physical spaces at the Institute, including a 35-seat cinema for

to the Institute every year – both as a conduit of French art and

more intimate screenings, and lounge and multi-purpose areas,

culture, and as a platform for other cultures and languages.

suited for hosting arts, educational and corporate events. The

In this vein, the Institute is offering a programme of events with global ambitions. Its cinema, the Ciné Lumière is showing

foyer will also be fitted with the latest technological equipment. ‘These renovations will contribute to the overall impression

European and World cinema throughout the year, hosting

of the Institute as an upscale venue,’ says Ripert-Landler.

an average of 15 international festivals featuring the latest

‘There are high levels of expectations, both from the French and

productions from Spain, Italy and Russia, among others.

British community. We know that with this talented team, we

It is reinforcing the venue as one of London’s most relevant repertory cinemas – the Iranian film festival, for instance, sold

can meet and exceed expectations – and create a space with a modern, global outlook.’ I

out in hours, as there is no other venue in the city where these

On 25 January, the Institute with host its second annual Night of Ideas (Nuit des Idées), a global project staged simultaneously in London, Paris and worldwide. First proposed as an initiative by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Night of Ideas is an intensive day-and-night long series of debates, performances, exhibitions and screenings. This year’s edition inspired by the Power to the Imagination slogan of the Paris May 1968 protests, will include events and debates on the ability of the arts to help shape the world. Other events will explore topics such as artificial intelligence and space travel (in the presence of French astronaut Thomas Pesquet and the European Space Agency), and talks marking the centenary of women’s suffrage in Britain. For a full listing of events, see


- january / february 2018 - 49




by Marcel

by Hervé

Proust Published by 4th Estate Translated by Lydia Davis Original title: Lettres à sa voisine

Le Corre

Published by Maclehose

Press Taylor Original title: Après la guerre Translated by Sam

A charming, funny, poignant collection of twenty-three letters

Bordeaux in the 1950s: The Second World War is never far

from Marcel Proust to his neighbor in102 Boulevard Haussmann,

from people's memories, particularly in a city where the scars of

an elegant address in Paris’s eighth arrondissement. Madame

collaboration and resistance are more keenly felt than ever. But

Williams lives upstairs with her second husband and her harp;

another war has already begun in Algeria, where young men are

downstairs lives Marcel Proust, trying to write In Search of Lost

sent to fight in a brutal conflict. Daniel knows what awaits him.

Time, but all too often distracted by the noise from upstairs.

He's heard stories. Patrols, ambushes, reprisals, massacres,

Written between 1909 and 1919, the letters reveal the effort

mutilations, all beneath a burning north African sun. He has just a

required to live peacefully with annoying neighbours; of the

month left before he leaves but, haunted by the loss of his parents

sadness of losing friends in the war; of concerts and music

and sister in the atrocities of the last war, Daniel questions why he

and writing; and, above all, of a growing, touching friendship

is even going to fight in the first place. I

between two lonely souls. I


Gansel Published by Les Fugitives Translated by Ros Schwartz Original title: Traduire comme transhumer

REVOLUTION by Emmanuel


Published by Scribe Translated by Jonathan Goldberg and Juliette Scott Original title: Révolution

A slim half-memoir, half-philosophical treatise musing on

In Revolution, Emmanuel Macron, the youngest president in the

translation's potential for humanist engagement by one of the great

history of France, reveals his personal story and his inspirations,

contemporary French translators. Hansel has lived her life as a risk-

and discusses his vision of France and its future in a new world

taker. Going back to her childhood in post-war France she reflects

that is undergoing a ‘great transformation’ that has not been

on her origins as a translator; then she evokes her encounters with

known since the Renaissance.

banned German writers in 1960s East Berlin. During the Vietnam

This is a remarkable book that seeks to lay the foundations

war, Gansel went to Hanoi to work on an anthology of Vietnamese

for a new society — a compelling testimony and statement of

poetry. With the city under bombardment, this section of the book

values by an important political leader who has become the

is a fascinating account of wartime danger, hospitality and human

flag-bearer for a new kind of politics. I

kinship. I

50 - info - january / february 2018



Côte d’Azur comes to London The guests of the latest Dîner des Chefs joined the long list of luminaries to be hosted by the Michelin-starred chef Christian Sinicropi, says INFO’s Sophie Achary


ane Campion, Robert de Niro and Pedro Almodóvar are

Your influences are Mediterranean.

just a few of the cinema elite to have enjoyed Chef Christian

Whenever you travel to a country with a strong gastronomic

Sinicropi’s cuisine at The Palme d’Or, the two Michelin-starred

culture, you come back marked. In France, there are regions

restaurant of the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Cannes. Each year,

with heterogeneous cultures, and our clients come to the

Sinicropi prepares a menu of intricate and delicious dishes

restaurant to discover them. I am of Italian descent, but I

inspired by the careers of the Jury of the Cannes Film Festival –

was born in Cannes. I am French, and I was raised with this

all the while staying true to his gastronomic roots in the South

culture. I believe that when people come to my restaurant, it is

of France.

to discover this cuisine. My produce comes from the region. I

For the 18th edition of the Dîner des Chefs, held at the Hyatt

would describe my cuisine as 100% Mediterranean.

Regency, Sinicropi brought the charm and regional specialities

Where did you draw your inspiration for a dinner in

of his Mediterranean kitchen to London. His menu included a


pissaladière, an iodised main course with langoustine, caviar and

My cuisine stayed Mediterranean, but with frivolities such as

prawn, a chocolate dessert with piedmont hazelnut.

sardines, paprika. I revisited the pissaladière – which did not

The food was paired with a selection of fine wines from

look like the classic French south-eastern dish, but did taste like

Crus Classés de Graves, represented by Stephen Carrier, and

it. The starter was very green, around a radish and its minerals.

the diner ended with coffee and Martell Cordon Bleu Cognac

Visually, it was very simple, but the originality of the tastes was

represented by Laurent Pillet.

very pronounced.

In a lively atmosphere, the Chamber’s Managing Director

We were also intrigued by your ‘choco-pigeon tartlet.’

Florence Gomez introduced the Chef by highlighting his

The aim with this dish is to surprise guests. It has the

exceptional career. Afterward, Sinicropi discussed his influences

appearance of a chocolate tartlet, but is really a pigeon-

with the assembled diners.

thigh crumble, the meat preserved for 48-hours. There is no

You are known as a chef for your creativity. Could you

chocolate, the sauce is thickened with blood. I had the occasion

describe your cuisine?

to make a vegetarian version of this tartlet, as well as a choco-

It’s a cuisine which combines the five senses. It is superimposed

sardine version.

but does not mix. It is culturally focused on its Mediterranean

Your new cookbook is called ‘New Classics’. What is the

and Latin roots with local produce and recipes.

secret to creating new dishes with lasting impact?

Another specificity of my cuisine is my use of ceramics since

I used one British product: langoustines. They were served with

2006 [Sinicropi creates original plates for his restaurant with his

a crustacean broth and vegetables. Langoustine is a very reliable

wife Catherine]. I dress my cuisine like a person, depending on

product, which is delivered to us alive. As we are sensitive to

its morphology - the recipe and the produce.

sustainability issues, we set up a tank to avoid waste. I SA


- january / february 2018 - 51


THE Wine Story OF SAINT GEORGE The legacy of the Patron Saint of England lives on in a delightful Vouvray white, says Thibault Lavergne, founder of the wine distributor Wine Story


s a wine buyer for the UK market, I receive a lot of wine samples in my post box – and I can assure you that some of these un-solicited wines can be more dangerous than junk mail. But few days ago I

received a welcomed surprise: A sample of Cuvee St Georges, a medium-dry white wine by the Domaine de la Châtaigneraie in Vouvray. Vouvray is an all-white wine appellation made from Chenin Blanc grape in the heart of the Loire Valley, located along the right bank of the river, east of the city of Tours. Depending on the vintages and the date of the harvest, between August and November, the grape offers a variety of styles from dry to medium-dry, even sweet when harvested late in the season. The region also produces a dry and medium-sweet sparkling wine. The Domaine de la Châtaigneraie has been owned by the Gautier family for centuries. Since 1981, it has been run by Benoit, a charismatic wine-maker well-known in this part of the Kings Valley. Interestingly enough, the region features an assortment of limestone caves, where vineyards like the Gautier family stock their wines. Could it be a coincidence that this ancestral underground network recalls the troglodyte house in Turkey where the legend of St George may have begun?

HISTORY IN THE MAKING Indeed, I was struck by the name of the cuvee, and the label with a representation of the iconic Saint patron of the Kingdom of England. Only few days before, I was in Paris visiting an exhibition on the ‘Chretiens d’Orient’ at the ‘Institut du Monde Arabe.’ I learned that he was made a saint after he refused to renounce his faith in the face of death. Various legends situated his birth place in Palestine, Turkey, or Georgia – depending on the source. It was as if Saint Georges, knowing I had spend many pleasant hours studying his portraits and holy icons at the exhibition, elected to send me this wine from the Loire Valley, one of many regions where his memory has been cherished since mediaeval times. The Gauthier named this cuvee after the courageous knight because its grapes are harvested from a plot of land near a medieval Church which bears his name. The wine’s label depicts one of the scenes I saw at the exhibition: Saint George is shown killing a dragon with his lance to protect villagers. His courage and sense justice inspired many Kingdoms, such as England, to take him as their patron. Until 1348, when Edward III gave St George a special position as a patron saint of the Order of the Garter for his supposed intervention at the Battle of Crécy, St George had no special identity as a patron saint of England. He only rose to the position of the primary patron saint of England during the English Reformation. A revised prayer book in 1552, under Edward VI, abolished all religious flags and banners except for George’s. The first recorded use of St. George's Cross as an English maritime flag dates to 1545. In 1606, it was combined with the Scottish St. Andrew's Cross to form the Union Jack. This magnificent cuvee, would pair well with the bold flavours of blue cheese or Asian delicacies. But why not celebrate its British heritage when you pour yourself a glass. What could be better than Cuvee St Georges enjoyed along with the country’s national dish – a sumptuous and spicy curry. I Thibault Lavergne

TO ORDER THE ABOVE-MENTIONED WINES AND OTHERS, CONTACT: E: T: +44 (0)7921 770 691 W: 52 - info - january / february 2018



n behalf of the Board, the

a must-attend event, with the most

under 40 at the same time last year. The

Advisory Council and the team

up-to-date information and analysis.

service continues to be a trusted partner

at the Chamber, we wish you a

One session was attended by a senior

to our members, including companies of

Happy New Year!

official form the Department for Exiting

all sizes, from start-up to large corporate,

We begin 2018 with a sense of pride in

the European Union, taking feedback

a large number of whom are repeat

our accomplishments of 2017, all the

from our members directly. Our Start-

clients of the service.

whole noting what could improved in all

up and SME Club hosted their first


aspects of our activity.

‘Pitching Session,’ where entrepreneurs

offer desk space to start-ups and

We ended the year with a bang. Some



SMEs, continues to have 100 percent

of our biggest events all occurred with

how they present their businesses and

occupancy. One client, the Hauts-de-

a month of each other: The Franco-

themselves. We plan to build on this

France region, recent renewed for the



concept in 2018, and encourage similar

second year, and continues its expansion

celebrated excellence on both sides

interaction between the Club and some

into the British market, using the French

of the Channel (see page 72 for the

of our large corporate members.

Chamber as their base of operations.

winners); The London Luxury Think

Over the past year, our Membership

Our year begins with a promising

Tank, the very first event of its kind



in London and great success; and the

members to the Chamber. (As of going

Galette des Rois, hosted by Paul UK

Annual Financial Lunch, where we

to print in late December, this broke

on 10 January, where we will indulge in

welcomed the Governor of the Bank of

down into 7 Patron, 26 Corporate and 77

the seasonal delicacy at this networking

France, Francois Villeroy de Galhau, as

Active members.) With this new influx, the

event. Also, make a note in your calendars

our guest speaker.

department has organised our first ever

for our Cross-Cultural Quiz, devised by

Throughout the year, we hosted almost

‘welcome breakfast’ for new members

Peter Alfandary, on 15 March, when we

fifty events in total. This is in addition to

and their main representatives, further

meet for dinner and take part in a quiz

the more than forty Forums and Clubs

encouraging interaction amongst our

on French and British topics, habits and

sessions, which featured presentation by

growing network.

traditions. This is your chance to impress

high calibre experts from across business



with your cross-cultural knowledge, or

and industry. To highlight just two: Our

placed nearly 60 candidates – a record

Brexit Forum continues to grow into

number of placements, as compared to

gain a better understand, while building your professional network. I FG



54 - info - january / february 2018
















Chamber announces new Advisor y Councillors


he French Chamber is delighted to welcome three new Advisory Councillors:

Amanda Blanc Group Chief Executive Axa UK & Ireland

Bénédicte Duval General Manager UK & Ireland Air France KLM

Robert Carey Director of Strategy and Network easyJet Plc

The Advisory Council consists of up to 66 members – including the Directors of the Board – and hosts three sessions a year with a view to advising the management of the Chamber on strategic decisions. The role of the Advisory Council is to increase the effectiveness of the Chamber by actively participating in and leading its activities as well as recruiting new members.

2018 Director y: Is out now!


his practical reference tool lists more than 2,000 contacts and is indexed by sector, company name and representative’s name. In addition to the French Chambers members, the Directory also includes useful contacts in both the UK and France, such as French press correspondents in the UK. The online version, updated regularly, can be accessed at:

New faces at the Chamber


he French Chamber has appointed Jakob von Baeyer as Head of Publications and Content, to replace Jason Hesse. Jakob joins the Chamber after many years as a freelance writer, editor and consultant. He is a former journalist of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and has contributed to mainstream magazines and newspapers in Europe and North America. He can be reached at jvonbaeyer@ or 0207 092 6647.


uillemette Simon joins the Chamber as Communications and Marketing Manager, where she is responsible for press relations and external communications, including social media. Her background in communications includes roles at Euro Disney, Carglass France, and the Kellogg Group. She holds an advanced degree from NEOMA Business School. She can be reached at or 0207 092 6648.


- january / february 2018 - 55


Represented by Patrick Masson, Senior Director, General Manager, Europe Executive Offices Sotheby's is an international leading auction house. Sotheby's offers all the services a collector would need, including valuations, private sales, financial services, tax & heritage services etc.

5 NEW CORPORATE MEMBERS ALICE Global Retail & Luxury Goods Consulting Represented by Sophie Charbonneau, CEO Alice gives the opportunity for businesses in the luxury goods sector to access the expertise and practical support they need to become more successful: - Highly experienced luxury Retail - Sales and Operations executive with strong result improvement track record - Business vision and strategy-set direction and inspires teams to work together to achieve targets - PR and brands representation - Product and branch launch specialist - B2B partnerships- building win/win marketing strategies. FINELK Proactive Strategic Financial Communications Represented by Louise Tingström, Partner FinElk provides proactive strategic financial and corporate communications advice to international companies and institutions. We help our clients ensure they successfully address their communications challenges and ultimately, achieve their business objectives. FinElk advises senior management and works alongside their communications teams in implementing communications strategies and helps building long-term relationships which deliver on their strategic imperatives. MEDIOBANCA The Leading Italian Investment Bank Represented by Clarence Nahan, Vice President Mediobanca is the leading Italian investment bank. For over 70 years, we have supported businesses and households by meeting their financial needs with tailored solutions: from traditional banking to the highest levels of sophistication available on financial markets. NEWTOWNVISION Bilingual Media-Training and Conference Moderation Represented by Etienne Duval, Director-Founder NewTownVision is a media-training and communications agency operating in English and French. It trains journalists, spokespeople, and executives to communicate effectively on screen or in front of a live audience, with workshops based on real-life and extensive TV experience. It also provides bilingual conference moderation. 56 - info - january / february 2018


SMITH & NEPHEW World Leaders in Orthopaedics, Sportsmed and Woundcare Represented by Olivier Bohuon, CEO Smith & Nephew supports healthcare professionals in more than 100 countries in their daily efforts to improve the lives of their patients. We have leadership positions in Orthopaedic Reconstruction, Advanced Wound Management, Sports Medicine and Trauma & Extremities. We have around 16,000 employees and annual sales in 2016 were more than $46 billion.

16 NEW ACTIVE MEMBERS ACT London – Tax, Accounting, Advisory Firm - Represented by Alessandro Iobbi, Chartered Accountant CFTE – Centre for Finance, Technology and Entrepreneurship – Education Platform for Finance Professionals in a Tech World - Represented by Tram Anh Nguyen, Co-Founder CXB Hub – Customer Experience Solutions Provider Strategic Consultancy - Represented by Claire Bonniol, Co-Founder & Managing Director Durance – Natural Home Fragrances & Body Care - Represented by Nadia Guemdjo, UK Sales Representative E-Notam Ltd – Boutique Digital Agency Specialised in Influencer's Campaigns for Luxury Brands - Represented by Aline Moulin-Conus, Managing Partner EPIC – Registered Charity - Represented by Myriam Vander Elst, Vice-President Europe FD Platinum – Bespoke Relocation Solutions - Represented by Laurent-Philippe Vercaemer, Director of Business Development House London Trip – Personal and Business Property Hunting - Represented by Chakir Zahid, CEO Londres Mag – Leading French Media for the Londoners - Represented by Jean Viry-Babel, Director Mondassur – International Medical Insurance Plans for French UK Residents - Represented by Brigitte Saint-Olive, Development Manager My Love Affair – Partnership Agency Connecting Musical Talents with Brands - Represented by Raphael Aflalo, CEO & Co-Founder Oakre Ltd – Real Estate And Hotels: Partnership And Consulting Represented by Florent Brunier, Director Ovinalp – Haute Fertilisation – Engrais Organiques - Represented by Etienne Clavel, Business Development Manager Stanley Robotics – Automated Valet Parking Service - Represented by Adrien Michel, Project Manager The B&C Club – Social and Cultural Private Club in London - Represented by Christine Afflelou, Co-Founder Toulouse School of Economics – Leading University and Research Centre in Economics - Represented by Lorna Briot, Business and International Relations Manager


- january / february 2018 - 57

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Carolyn McCall: The Chief Executive Dame Carolyn McCall was the latest Women’s Business Club’s guest, where she reflected on her career and how to succeed as a CEO


he luxurious

top business leaders.

surroundings of

She has held two

Home House private

positions as chief executive

members club hosted the

in two very different fields:

latest Women’s Business

media and airlines. She has

Club on 18 October.

recently returned to the

The event’s chair, Estelle

media world, as the newly

Brachlianoff, Senior

appointed CEO of ITV.

Executive Vice-President

According to McCall,

UK & Ireland, Veolia and

regardless of the industry,

President of the French

a CEO has to establish

Chamber of Great Britain,

strategies, handle teams

introduced guest speaker

and crisis, and be open

Dame Carolyn McCall DBE.

to new technologies.

Brachlianoff highlighted

‘As a CEO, the skills are

McCall’s successes as CEO

transferable, as long as

of easyJet. In the role, McCall

you are a fast learner,’ she

was heavily involved in the


French market – easyJet is

Experience in non-

the country’s second largest airline. In 2016, McCall was given France’s highest merit

executive positions Dame Carolyn McCall DBE and Estelle Brachlianoff surrounded by fellow high-profile representatives of the Women’s Business Club

– the Légion d’Honneur –

In her short speech, McCall said she considered herself

how to deal with a board, which contributed to her

for delivering economic and industrial benefits to France and the UK.

helped her understand

confidence as a CEO. A good CEO also knows when it is the right time to go. ‘It is good to go when they want you to stay,’ she explained.

‘very lucky’ in her career. After joining The Guardian in 1986,

Successful CEOs often overstay their welcome – they have

she rose to the position of chief executive of the media group.

achieved a lot but cannot see the limitations of their abilities at

She joined easyJet in 2010, where she transformed the airline

the company.

with a new customer-oriented approach. She is optimistic about more women being promoted into

She reminded the assembled guests that the strength of any business is in the teamwork and camaraderie of the

top jobs, but also cautions that underlying inequalities still

staff. ‘I always believed that teams are much greater than any

persist. ‘Even today, I get asked “how I do it,”’ she said. ‘Have

individual could ever be’.

you recently asked Jean-Marc Janaillac [CEO of Air France] that same question?’ The solution? Focus on the bigger picture. ‘Lots of women

Wise words for anyone with ambitions of a high-flying role. The Chamber wishes to thank Guerlain for sponsoring the lunch, Hello Day for their gifts, and Home House for hosting

share lots of common threads and it’s important to talk

the event. Dame Carolyn McCall DBE was appointed CEO of ITV

about them,’ she says. ‘[However] women who only talk about

in July 2017. I SA

women’s issues get very pigeonholed. Actually, we’re just in business.’

What makes a good CEO McCall discussed other aspects of her experience in business, from her early mentors who advised her to ‘expand her horizons,’ to the challenges she has faced as one of the UK’s

I always believed that teams are much greater than any individual could ever be


- january / february 2018 - 59


The CFO: When and why you need one The latest Finance Forum heard how the role of the CFO is adapting to new challenges


he role of the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) remains crucial, but the job

has changed in recent years due to new trends in finance. These include a more hands on role in development and adapting to a more data and technology driven business environment. These challenges were discussed by Patrick Fenton, Partner, Head of Cloud transformation at KPMG, and Michael

Elalouf, CFO of Iwoca, in a session chaired by John Peachey, Managing Director - CFO Global Markets, HSBC. Elalouf was the first CFO in his company, which he describes as a ‘fintech company operating as a bank.’ He described starting in his role as more like a financial administrator. The company relied on exterior expertise for talent management, and integrated

the right performance measures.

Because the company, which

business services. Another trend

They establish the right performance

launched in 2012, was still young,

is disruptive technology, defined

management and control frameworks,

Elalouf’s job involved raising equity by

by greater automation of routine

and they build cross-functional,

engaging with investors and CFOs from

tasks, better performance with new

integrated teams to drive end-to-end

privately-held companies. He structured

data management tools, and Cloud-

performance. Ideally they will become

debt, engaged with banks, and attended

integrated systems.

custodians and curators of enterprise-

their accounting.

capital-raising events, before turning

Fenton outlined three growth

wide data, to develop and deliver

his attention to the traditional strategic

areas where data inputs (which include

analytic insight which drives decision-

concerns of the CFO.

financial, non-financial and external


Chief Performance Officer (CPO)

data) can lead to new insights and business outcomes:

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) -

To foster this evolution, companies need to take ownership of their data. They should conduct their own analysis,

Patrick Fenton reported on the

Finance goals are aligned with business

embrace the Cloud, automate more,

evolution of the role by describing

goals, with one global set of KPIs linked

and create a better analytical engine.

current trends in the finance and the

to driving shareholder return

evolution of the CFO to the CPO.

Democratisation of Data - Common,

Regarding recruitment, companies will have to change their ways. Senior

standardised data breaks down

management will need to have

will have to change the way they work,

functional barriers and enables self

cross-functional experience, and HR

and employees in finances departments

service access to information

departments will need to prioritise

Top executives working in finance

will need to develop need skills such as

communication and analytics.

is the custodian of all enterprise wide

new jobs will require a skill set which

data, ensuring one version of the truth

replaces control and compliance with

with data standards and governance

analytical and strategic thinking.

These changes will reflect a reorganisation through centres of expertise, including greater

Chief Data Officer - This new role

These trends, Fenton explained,

capability over knowledge. These

The forum finished with a short

specialisation in corporate functions

can also lead to the newly defined role

brainstorming session on the 2018

such as tax, treasury, investor

of Chief Performance Officer. CPOs set

agenda. I

relations, and risk management.

the company’s performance agenda

They will also extend to outsourcing,

and focus on realising value through

60 - info - january / february 2018


How to Manage Millennials The latest HR Forum heard from Dr Boris Altemeyer, Chief Scientific Officer of Cognisess, whose research into Millennials helps provide a blueprint for managers and recruiters


hilst it is certainly not the first time

significantly lower; p<.005) in terms of

makes work meaningful for people. This

that a new generation entering the

using favourable attributes to describe

might be working towards a promotion,

workforce is making waves, the arrival

themselves to potential employers. This

being an influencer, working for a cause

of the Millennials has questioned the

might be an indication that they are being

they believe in, or financial security.

effectiveness of workforce management

more honest about how they present

A flexible approach – which will look

in unprecedented ways.

themselves – not all of us are highly

very different from sector to sector,

The question is no longer how to

organised, driven, and extremely resilient,

company to company, and department

manage the workforce per se, but how

after all. Such findings are in line with the

to department – caters to all generations

to manage it in a way that is ‘attractive to

overall perception of Millennials as being

and all people in a better way than

the workforce’. Within this question, I see

less achievement focused.

systems that were designed to work

huge potential for all sectors to rethink

Our results show that Millennials tend

best for the company in the past. The

and reengineer how we see – and manage

to be less trusting, less driven by status

crucial challenge is the provision of an

– humans, by exploring a shared question

and achievements and less concerned

individualised work experience on a large

between all generations in the workforce:

about the opinion of others.

scale. Work and life have merged again.

how do they find purpose and generate meaning in their life?

The good news for Millennials is that

As experts in the field of predictive

they have achieved what their parents

analytics, we are excited to see how this

To better understand the personality-

wanted for them: to be independent,

will change the workplace in the next ten

based differences between age cohorts,

to work for what they believe in, and

to twenty years. Intelligent systems, as well

we analysed an equally split sample of

to put their family first. Unfortunately,

as high levels of emotional intelligence

more than 1,200 members of the working

whilst the new generation was told that

on the side of managers will be required


these should be values for a meaningful

to manage a generation that does not

life, the workplace has not changed to

choose a career for life, but will shop

accommodate these values.

around for the right ‘work experience.’ I





Millennials and non-Millennials, led to very interesting results. Millennials, as a

There is an opportunity for employers

general observation, scored lower (often

to introduce flexibility that caters to what

Our results show, that Millennials tend to be less trusting, less driven by status and achievements and less concerned about the opinion of others


- january / february 2018 - 61


The Future of Retail: HR Management A new generation of employees are seeking different experiences from their employers than their parents, heard the latest Retail Forum


eld at Marylebone restaurant ‘les 110 de Taillevent’,

steady career and like stability, Millennials look for change.

this session of the Retail Forum heard insights on the

They are interested in work with personal rewards and social

theme of HR management. Co-chaired by Alain Harfouche,

responsibility, and put family values before corporate ones.

General Manager, L’Occitane and Catherine Palmer, Legal

‘There is a shift towards softer, less tangible priorities. They

& Administrative Director, Joseph, the attendees discussed

value meaning over stability and see managerial structure as

questions such as manpower, staffing, the way to attract and

a support network rather than a ladder to be climbed,’ said

retain talent, and the changes resulting from automation.


Pia Dekkers, Human Resources Director, Chanel,

According to Austin, a good way to manage new generations

explained to the attendees how HR has changed in the last

and create engagement (an emotional commitment from

five years. According to Dekkers, one of the biggest changes

the employee to the company) can be done in two steps: by

lies in consumer behaviour and increased competition. The

building energy then great relationships.

impact of online shopping, for instance, changed costs and

When building energy around the company, there are four

organisational structures, as the model of the store was

points that shouldn’t be neglected. Articulating a clear ‘primary

disrupted by players like Amazon. The digital revolution was

purpose’ is central to establishing meaningful engagement

another source of change, creating new jobs, new skill sets,

– one example is Beaverbrooks jewellers, whose motto is

but also skill gaps for workers. Social media has also impacted

‘enriching lives.’ This is followed by the’ core principles’ of the

the employment experience, with websites like Glassdoor,

company – such as passion, fairness and integrity. Austin says

which allows employees to review companies, interviews and

that ‘ambition’ and an ‘ingenious plan’ are key to engaging



The final shift Dekkers highlighted was the new

Building great relationships is done through managerial

responsibility employers have, as companies are now openly-

engagement. It is then important to motivate employees.

criticized for their actions, such as on large salaries or tax

‘Sell the direction and vision of the organisation and ensure


others can see how their role impacts on the bigger picture,’

The new retail employee

says Austin. One then has to consider people, support them, and

Jonathan Austin, Founder & Chief Executive, Best

recognize and reward a job well done. Regular communication

Companies Ltd, focused his presentation on individuals who

with employees is important, too. Finally, a manager needs to

work in retail and the differences between generations.

recognize people’s lives outside of work, respect their personal

Contrary to the older generations, who are loyal, want a

time, and show interest in them as individuals. I

Sell the direction and vision of the organisation and ensure others can see how their role impacts on the bigger picture

L.: The Forum at Les 110 de Taillevent R.: Pia Dekkers, Human Resources Director, Chanel 62 - info - january / february 2018


An evening with: Ron Arad A tour of the artist’s atelier revealed surprising insights into to his process and the art of being creative

Ron Arad welcomes the Luxury Club to his Chalk Farm studio, an incubator for his creative design, architecture and fine art


t’s important to create expectations, and then to break them.' This is one way that the architect and

designer Ron Arad describes his creative process. The Royal Academician is widely celebrated for his inventive and playful creations, like the bookworm bookshelf and the rover chair. The latest meeting of the Luxury

Arad's busy studio was filled with rocking chairs in the shape of tear drops a, blue prints for buildings going up around the world, and a wide assortment of objects that defy categorisation

Club attended an exclusive tour of Arad’s

undulating chromatic red ribbons. ‘Architecture is normally a journey of compromises,’ said Arad. ‘There’s the budget, and pleasing the neighbours, and working with all kinds of people. For the design museum, I honestly didn’t believe they were going to built it, so I did what I wanted.’ Later at a presentation of his work at the Roundhouse, Arad explained

Chalk Farm studio, and a presentation

were adorned with bookshelves that

that his design of the museum defied

of his work at the Roundhouse, where

curlicued as if taken from the pages of

conventions in more ways than one – it

members enjoyed champagne courtesy

Dr Suess.

also holds the distinction of being the

of Ruinart and a mustard tasting. The

Arad’s busy studio, which includes

only public building in Isreal without a

session was overseen by the club chair

offices for his parallel practices in design,

mezuzah (the small scroll affixed to the

Tom Meggle, Managing Director of Louis

fine art and architecture, was also filled

doorway or threshold of a building).

Vuitton UK, Ireland can South Africa.

with delightful rocking chairs in the

‘There is no threshold in the building –

Speaking about one of his quixotic

shapes of tear drops and tree stumps,

you flow in and out,’ said Arad.

chairs, this one constructed out of bent

blue prints for buildings going up around

But what may sum up the artist

sheet metal and held in place with bolts,

the world and a wide assortment of

best is his love of ping pong. Among his

Arad commented that often the heart of

objects that defy simple categorisation

many ongoing projects is a series of ping

the design process is a meeting of wills:

as a product of ‘design’ or of ‘art’.

pong tables, built to be both functional

‘The will of the designer plus the will of

This question is of course not lost on

– he really does play on them – and

the artist himself, who when reflecting

aesthetically beautiful. And in an Arad

The tour included other fascinating

on his prestigious appointment to the

twist he has slightly canted the surface to

materials, such as a 3D printed book in

Royal Academy in 2012, wondered which

slow the ball down and make the game

the mould of Albert Einstein’s face – the

aspect of his work was being honoured.

easier to play. Art meets design meets

the material.’

book was created as part of an Einstein

His best known building, for example,

legacy project, celebrating 100 years

is the now iconic design museum in

since his theory of relativity. The walls

Tel Aviv, characterised by its shape of

functionaity I


- january / february 2018 - 63


The finances of clean energy The latest Climate Change & Sustainability Forum delved into topics such as debt and equity financing markets, and returns and trends in Mergers & Acquisitions


he economics of climate change and financing of clean energy are now

mainstream news. Business executives are increasingly well informed of impacts on their strategy, disruption of many sorts as well as witnessing the investment and divestment decisions such as in new clean energy, heard the latest Climate Change and Sustainability Forum. The




Richard Brown CBE, Chairman of the Department for Transport and JeanPhilippe Verdier, Founding Partner of Verdier &

Co. Corporate Advisory,

began with a presentation by Verdier entitled: ‘Is Environmental, Social and Governance [a criteria more commonly used by investors] good for business?’ Verdier explained the breadth and depth in the investor and issuer bases for green investments, including in the green bonds market

This transition will impact credit and ratings for four reasons:

expected to have increased by another 50 percent this year, and

‘policy and regulatory uncertainty, direct financial effects such as

reach $300bn of outstanding issuance.

on profitability and leverage, changes in consumer preferences,

In terms of equity performance returns have been solid

and disruptive technological stocks.’

over the last five-year period, suggesting that clean technology

Some sectors have high exposure to this carbon transition

as a sector and investment have matured and indeed turned a

risk, such as unregulated utilities and power companies, coal


mining, and oil and gas.

Green technology and clean energy have also been prone

There is an additional risk when the country’s targets are

to significant disruption. The cost of solar projects, for example,

very high. Germany, for instance, targets 50 percent reduction

has dropped by 80 percent in the past seven years, and

in energy sector emissions by 2030. This can also be the case

manufacturing is now dominated by China, with levelized cost

when the targets are very low, such as in Poland, where policies

of electricity becoming more advantageous than gas, if not coal.

favour the construction of new coal generation.

Not surprising therefore to see the strategic M&A occurring. ‘We counted no less than eighty sizeable solar companies that went bankrupt between 2009-2016, many in the US and Germany,’ says Verdier.

The credit implications of carbon transition Niel Bisset, Senior Vice President EMEA Infrastructure Finance

Carbon transition in the short term will incentivise higher renewable penetration, decentralised generation, electrification of transport, and push CO2 prices higher. These trends are changing the nature of the power grid and system, with conventional generators with high variable costs being displaced, and new opportunities for renewable developers.

Group at Moody’s, reported that the Paris Agreement lead to

In the long term, Bisset reported that the negative effects

a ‘near universal commitment to greenhouse gas reduction,’

of energy efficiency on power demand should be off-set by this

with a 2020 target of 20 percent of renewable energy in the final

new scenario. I


The cost of solar projects has dropped by 80 percent in the past seven years, and manufacturing is now dominated by China 64 - info - january / february 2018


Brainstorming Session: Themes for 2018 The Start-up & SME Club looked to the year ahead, and discussed the key issues facing entrepreneurs and small business owners


egal challenges and working with bigger clients were two of the concerns on the minds of the entrepreneurs and SME company directors at the latest Start-up & SME Club. This special brainstorming session, and recap of 2017, was led by co-chairs Sébastien Goldenberg, CEO & Co-Founder of and Jeanne Monchovet, Founder of Olystix. It was a chance to reflect on a satisfaction and brainstorming survey that was circulated to members, and captured their recommendations and feedback on the activities of the Club. The surveys showed an interest to explore a diverse set of topics in future sessions, including how to develop a sales force, how to work with new technology, and how to generate new clients. Club members also expressed an interest in building greater inter-club communication through LinkedIn Groups. Additionally, there was interest to establish a parallel session, which would be more informal and open format, giving members a chance to discuss problems and learn specifically from mistakes. A request was circulated for potential venues for the event. All start-ups were also invited to submit a short presentation pitch to the Chamber. After a roundtable discussion and voting, the Club settled on a programme of topics and potential titles for the six sessions in 2018. The co-chairs wished to thank members and speakers for making 2017 a success, including launching an inaugural pitching session, where entrepreneurs were invited to present their business in front of other members and receive constructive and critical feedback. The chairs noted that they looked forward to building on these successes over the coming year. I

2018 T HE M ES 9 January – Legal Workshop (IP, Contracts, Business Structure) 27 February – Funding (Navigating Funding Options, Introductions, Valuations, Grants) 17 April – Cross Cultural Challenges (Do’s and Don’ts, How to deal with French Companies, Franco-British and beyond, Linguistic Nuances) 5 June – Acquiring and Attracting Clients (Business Development, Growth Hacking, Social Media, Data Analytics, CRM, Online V Offline) 11 September – Corporate and Start-Up Relationships (Navigating and Networking, Pitching and evolving) 6 November – Brainstorming session (preparation of 2019 themes)


- january / february 2018 - 65


General Data Protection Regulation: Issues and Challenges The session explored what companies need to know about changes in regulation. and how they affect the collection and handling of personal data


his session of the Digital Transformation and Innovation

company must comply and turn it over. Security measures must

Forum, chaired by Lucien Boyer, Chief Marketing Officer,

also be taken against breaches. Cross-border transfers of data

Vivendi, discussed the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), starting with a presentation by Eve-Christie Verminck,

will need to be subject to appropriate safeguards.

associate, Baker & McKenzie, which explained the regulation

‘Further than compliance’

from a legal perspective.

‘The two big pillars of change in Financial Services are technology and regulation’ says Carole Gentil, Vice President, Head of Customer Experience – Financial Services at Capgemini UK. ‘GDPR is no exception. It goes further than compliance; it acknowledges a power shift from the ensterprise to the customer.’ This means that companies will have to make changes. But Gentil says that GDPR will eventually be beneficial to companies, as it will engender enhanced customer trust, and generate richer insights, more efficient information systems, and clearer and better managed processes. A study conducted by Capgemini found that only 8 percent of all UK companies are fully prepared for GDPR. They face common challenges, mostly organisational, such as a lack of process to deal with data breaches, or of information on the current processing of data. According to Gentil, employee

Verminck highlighted the legal framework of the GDPR – a

awareness is key. A shift in their way of thinking about data

regulation by which the European Parliament, the Council of

processing is the best way to implement GDPR. But companies

the European Union and the European Commission strengthen

will have to develop strategies to be ready in time. I

and unify data protection for all individuals within EU. Crucially for the UK after March 2019, it also addresses the export of personal data outside the EU. This new regulation, to be implemented on 25 May 2018 with immediate effect, reinforces the existing European Data Protection Law. Its key concepts will remain, for instance regarding personal data and its processing, but there will be higher fines for non-compliance, up to €20m or 4 percent of total worldwide annual turnover. Aiming to protect individuals, the GDPR creates opportunities for companies but also changes the way they process data, a source of insight for businesses that has been said to be ‘the new oil.’ Verminck explained that the regulations contain several key data protection principles. They include ‘a fair and lawful processing.’ Also data can only be processed for specified and

Re c om m en d a t ion s for p re p a ri n g for a n d i mp lem ent i n g G D PR 1 – Create an action plan 2 – Assess relative priority of compliance recommendations, and make strategic decisions 3 – Review and improve the current data protection program

lawful purposes (ie. the company must only process the data it

4 – Inform senior management of the progress

needs). Data has to be kept up to date and has to be deleted

5 – Set the timeline and assign resources

when it is no longer relevant or adequate. Furthermore, when an individual requests the data a company holds on them, the

66 - info - january / february 2018

It’s all about connections   W    ho we are

W  hat we offer

> The largest foreign Chamber

> The strength of a network

of Commerce in the UK

> The ideal platform to exchange

> 134 years of experience

with decision makers

> 600 members ranging from

> A wealth of information and

SMEs to Blue Chip companies


in all sectors > Half of our members are non French

> Bespoke solutions to develop your business > Access to the right people For more information, please contact Justine Kaouane Membership Department t: +44 (0) 207 092 6638


Sponsored by


THE ECONOMIC QUESTION Francois Villeroy de Galhau, Governor of the Bank of France, was the distinguished speaker at this year’s event, where he explained the economic challenges ahead for Europe


stablished financial systems in Europe will need to change to meet the challenges that the UK’s exit poses to the sector. Francois Villeroy de Gallau, Governor of the Bank of France,

delivered this message in a speech to assembled guests at the

If British banks wish to do business in Europe, they will need to have a legitimate physical presence on the continent

French Chamber’s Annual Financial Lunch on 23 November at the Langham Hotel in London. He was introduced at the event

He was equally bullish in his support for the proposed

by Estelle Brachlianoff, President of the French Chamber and

labour reforms in France. The French President Emmanuel

Senior Executive Vice President of Veolia UK and Ireland.

Macron has recently pushed through large-scale changes to

Amid the opulent surrounding of the hotel’s ballroom, 120 guests heard the European Central banker and policymaker deliver his prognosis of the financial services and banking industry in a prepared speech. The theme of his remarks was Europe, UK and France: facing our common economic challenges.

the labour market, including the decentralisation of collective bargaining rights for workers. Villeroy said that the changes will reduce taxes and have a ‘significant’ impact on growth and development, reported Reuters. Villeroy was appointed Governor of the Bank of France in

Villeroy was emphatic in his remarks that he would not

2015, after more than ten years in the private sector as Chief

comment on the political negotiations between the UK and

Executive Officer of Cetelem, and then as head of the retail

the EU. However he did insist there was a consensus among

banking activities of BNP Paribas in France and Chief Operating

European central bankers that British banks should not be

Officer of the BNP Paribas group.

afforded passporting rights to operate in Europe outside of a

Prior to that, he held posts at the French Treasury, and as

single market. He underlined the point that if British banks wish

advisor to the Minister of Finance and the Prime Minister Pierre

to do business in Europe, they will need to have a legitimate

Bérégovoy , then became financial advisor at the Permanent

physical presence on the continent.

Representation of France in Brussels. He was head of the

Reuter’s, who reported on the event, quoted Villeroy in saying that: ‘We are indeed going through a difficult period which puts the friendship between our countries to the test.’

General Tax Directorate from 2000 to 2003. The Chamber wishes to thank Albert Roux OBE, who planned the menu and attended the event, sitting at the top

Yet Villeroy was optimistic about Europe’s ability to meet

table. The Chamber’s champagne and wine partners, Vranken

the challenge. He noted that recent economic activity in the

Pommery, Les vins de Pessac-Léognan, and les vins du Médoc

region has outperformed forecasts, in part due to the European

provided the wine. I

Central Bank’s shifts on monetary policy.

68 - info - january / february 2018

E VE NT S – AT THE CHAMBE R Sponsored by


CHRISTINE OURMIÈRES-WIDENER At an exclusive breakfast, the Flybe CEO spoke about her career and the priorities for her regional airline


egional airlines in the UK are wellplaced as a competitor to the rail

and road infrastructure.

with the Chamber. Ourmières-Widener noted that

appointed to the role in 2017, has a long career in aviation, having held

apart from a few transportation

senior roles at CityJet and Air-France.

This is the idea that underpins the

infrastructure projects based around

She is interested to see more women

business model of Flybe, a British carrier

London, the majority of Flybe’s routes

in top positions in the industry, and has

based in Exeter. It’s newly appointed

our outside of London, catering for

made improving this one of her goals.

CEO, Christine Ourmières-Widener

regions in the UK, and in fourteen other

spoke to assembled guests a breakfast

countries in Europe.

event hosted in the offices the law form Pinsent Mason. ‘Our main competitors are rail and

‘The UK is very different from most

‘I used to have a very good colleague, Caroline (McCall, CEO of easyJet). Unfortunately she is going to

of the other European countries. Take

another industry, and is being replaced

the road and railway infrastructures.

by a man.'

road for 70 percent of our business. We

We believe these will not improve

don’t compete with other airlines in the

significantly in the next decade, apart

number in senior leadership in airlines,

same way, which is quite unusual,’ says

from rail connections between London

but it is something that I am trying to


and Birmingham,’ says Ourmières-

change by trying to promote more


women in my team.’

The chief executive was introduced at the event by Peter Alfandary, Senior

‘Ours is a sound business model. We

‘This obviously won’t increase the

Prior to joining Flybe, she briefly

Vice President of the French Chamber,

represent 53 percent of the domestic

switched her career to the travel

and Head of the French Team at

airline travel in the UK outside of

industry, taking a job as Chief Global

Reed Smith LLP. He noted that this


Sales Officer for American Express

event was the 23rd breakfast of its

Recently, the airline began flying to

Global Business Travel, based in New

kind. These events have been highly

Heathrow as part of a growing network

successful networking events, and have

of aviation partners. Flybe services

attracted high-profile speakers from a

domestic regions and connects with

apartment in Chelsea and thinking

range of industries. He tanked Paul UK

large carriers for intercontinental flights.

“I miss the smell of kerosene in the

for providing the pastries and other delectables, and Pinsent Mason for its hospitality and long-time association

She reported that the average flight time of a Flybe journey is 59 minutes.

York. But the move didn’t stick. ‘I was sitting in my beautiful

hanger.” I knew then that aviation was what I wanted to do with my life.’ I

Ourmières-Widener, who was


- january / february 2018 - 69



he inaugural edition of the London Luxury Think Tank

free] travelling suit and that fact that he still does a Saturday shift

organised by the French Chamber of Great Britain, in

in his shop to stay connected with customers.’

partnership with Walpole, was held on 1 November in the

high-tech offices of HAVAS LuxHub.

One of the key messages of Smith’s talk was that ‘nobody needs anything anymore.’ A provocation, by which he meant that

This first-of-its-kind event provided a platform for high-level

‘we are overproducing, and with the automated future we are

engagement on topical issues between leaders, pioneers and

going to be producing more things that people probably don’t

disruptors from across the fields of luxury. It was sponsored by


PwC, with the FT as the media partner.

It is our job to make lovely things which people would like to

The overarching theme ‘How are disruptors driving the future of Luxury?’ is particularly relevant in today’s age of exponential technological




buy,’ said Smith. Macro and micro elements of the luxury sector were


addressed, including the evolving attitudes to sustainability, the

conferenece responds to a call to action in the sector: to evolve

role of new technology and the strategies employed by companies

and adapt, and to enrich and enhance traditional best practices

and brands to meet these demands.

through innovation.

For Rissbrook, another key moment was the session on

‘This is the basis of today’s Think Tank. The sub-categories of sustainability, future tech, future consumers and business models will create a more specific focus within this large and all encompassing topic,’ says Tom Meggle, Chairman of the Chamber’s Luxury Club and Managing Director, Louis Vuitton UK & Ireland and South Africa. Supporting sponsors of the event included Browne Jacobson, Cegid, Christofle, Devialet, HEC Paris, and New West End Company. The event partners were Caviar Petrossian, Christian Liaigre, Méert, mycoocoon/co-nekt, L’Oréal, Ladurée, Laurent Perrier, Les Vergers de la Silve, Les Vins du Médoc and Les Vins

CONFERENCE IN NUMBERS • More than 50 percent of sales are from mobile commerce in H1 2017 (Yoox Net-a-Porter) • Customers who buy both online and in-store typically spend 50 percent more than the in-store only customer • Google has been investing in AI for 15 years (‘We are now an AI first company,’ Martijn Bertisen, Google)

de Pessac-Léognan.

Varied line up More than 170 attendees from the worlds of fashion, retail and luxury heard from a varied line-up of speakers – all were experts in their respective fields, with keen insight into the future trends of the sector – including Alexandra Palt, Chief Corporate Sustainability Officer & Chief Sustainability Officer at L’Oréal, Michael Ward, Chairman of Walpole and Managing Director of Harrods, and the designer Sir Paul Smith. ‘Paul Smith was a particular highlight,’ says Sue Rissbrook, Retail Partner at PwC. ‘His theme of being childlike to harness creativity helps ensure that creativity is not lost, with ever more

• Paul Smith’s ‘Suit to Travel In’ campaign achieved 600k hits and 40k travel suits sold • Amazon’s own brand battery is the number 1 selling battery in the USA due to its Alexa AI personal assistant platform • Approximately 63 percent of luxury goods purchases take place in a physical store (Megan Higgins, PwC)

data driving decisions. I was also impressed with Smith’s [wrinkle


70 - info - january / february 2018

Main sponsor

Host sponsor

Media partner


It is time for luxury goods companies to club together, and to talk as one voice on the progress they have made, as well as embracing exciting developments

innovation and sustainability, opened with a keynote by Palt, and followed with a panel featuring Tom Beagent, Sustainability Director at PWC, Diana Verde Nieto of Positive Luxury, Nina Marenzi of The Sustainable Angle, and Dax Lovegrove, Global Vice President Corporate Sustainability at Swarovski. ‘During the conversation on innovation in sustainability there was a growing realisation for me that "sustainability" as a banner is now outdated,’ says Rissbrook. ‘It is now about transparency and truth as we look to protect people and the planet, and this is demanded by Millennials, in particular.' 'Those who have focused well in this area are loath to be too vocal for fear they will be highlighted as not succeeding in all areas. It is time for luxury goods companies to club together, and to talk as one voice on the progress they have made, as well as embracing exciting developments.’

Tom Meggle, Chair of the Chamber’s Luxury Club and Managing Director, Louis Vuitton UK & Ireland and South Africa

Tom Beagent explained that there are social consequences of putting more products out into society which touch the entire value chain. ‘In the digital age consumers are getting direct access to that information. There is nowhere to hide anymore.’ It is a sentiment echoed by speaker Michael Ward, who in addition to his role at Walpole, has worked with the European Cultural and Creative Industries Alliance, a pan-European luxury goods industry organisation, and lobbied the European parliament on behalf of the industry. In his forward to the programme, Ward reflected on the setting of the conference. ‘Where better to host this inaugural Think Tank on Luxury than London? London’s global dominance as a luxury destination is well documented: our unique mix of brands – both home-grown and international – status as a hub of creativity and innovation, and intriguing mix of history and heritage ensures the city is a must-visit for wealthy overseas visitors, as well as a key market for

Alexandra Palt, Chief Corporate Responsibility Officer & Chief Sustainability Officer, L’Oréal

new brands looking to set-up shop. Indeed, over 20m tourists visit London each year, spending around £12bn on shopping and dining – all of which contributes to the British luxury industry’s value to the UK economy of £32.2bn.’ As the champagne flowed at the events closing cocktail party, many of the attendees reflected back on the success of the event. There was a clear interest to reprise the conference in future years, with French Chamber Managing Director Florence Gomez noting the appetite for a similar event in two years time in her closing remarks. For Rissbrook, a reprise of the conference should involve more platforms to hear from designers like Smith, in addition to an interest to explore the relationship between companies and communities. ‘As business plays a greater role in society we could also focus on what this looks like for the luxury sector,’ says Rissbrook. I

Sir Paul Smith CBE, Chairman and Designer, Paul Smith

Supporting sponsors


- january / february 2018 - 71

30 November 2017 At the May Fair Hotel

Honouring the achievements of companies on both sides of the Channel, the latest FBBA ceremony brought together the most successful and innovative companies in a night of celebration

he winners of the Franco-British Business Awards –


He added that he was ‘certain that tonight will show the

held since 2000 under the high patronage of the French

Chamber at its best, demonstrating our commitment to sharing

Ambassador to the UK and the British Ambassador to

best practice and building strong cross-cultural relationships.’

France – were announced on 30 November at the May Fair Hotel.

Following a gastronomic dinner, with fantastic wines provided

The Awards showcase the best, most innovative and successful

by Les Vins du Médoc and Les Vins de Pessac-Léognan, the

French and British companies. Both embassies were represented

awards were presented.

by Christian Fatras, Economic Counsellor, Industry, Energy and New Tech and Oriel Petry, Director, Department for International

SME/Entrepreneur Award: Early Metrics

Trade, British Embassy.

Early Metrics was the jury favourite in a close race in the Start-up

Following a Vranken-Pommery champagne reception, the

category. The international rating agency is used to weighing up

proceedings were opened by Stephen Burgin, Deputy President

the pros and cons of any potential venture, as they assess start-

of the French Chamber. He remarked that the Chamber received

ups and innovative SMEs. The independent agency assesses the

twenty-five impressive applications this year, from companies that

growth potential of innovative ventures through analysing key

range from start-ups to large corporates. This year also marked

non-financial metrics. Early Metrics works on behalf of corporates

the inaugural award in the category of sustainability, which

as well as institutional and private equity investment clients. It has

emphasises the fundamental issues that companies are facing

offices in London, Paris, Tel Aviv and Berlin.

relating to the environment, energy, recycling and the industrial supply chain.

Sustainability Award: Bouygues UK

He also announced that the awards next year would include

The jury was extremely impressed by Bouygues truely global

new categories of 'diversity' and 'digital champion.' He highlighted

approach to sustainability. The jury members also appreciated

the fact that the FBBAs were more important than ever, amidst

that each employee of this large corporate received a personal

the political and economic backdrop of the UK and Europe.

training in order to raise awareness of the importance and

‘As we know, the business landscape is rapidly changing and

relevance of sustainability.

uncertain. It is therefore a priority to reinforce our Franco-British

Bouygues UK is one of the country’s leading construction

ties and values, regardless of the future of UK and the EU,’ said

companies. It focuses on sectors where it can add value through

Burgin. ‘In this context, our awards take on a new significance

the technical expertise, skills and experience of Bouygues UK and

and we are proud to celebrate successful and innovative Franco-

the global Bouygues Group. These include residential (including

British companies.’

social housing, the private rented sector, private for-sale homes,

Main sponsors

72 - info - january / february 2018

Supporting sponsor


education (ranging from nursery schools through to higher

French Chamber Award: VINCI Construction Grands Projets British Isles

education) as well as technically complex projects across sectors

VINCI Construction Grands Projets was awarded the French

where the company’s expertise can be maximised.

Chamber Award in recognition of their overall contribution to

mixed-use, care homes and student accommodation); and

Bouygues UK provides intelligent management throughout

the Chamber. They have been a Patron member of the Chamber

the entire life-cycle of each project, delivering efficiently and to

since 2003, and were shortlisted for the Intercultural Trophy

an excellent standard. In 2015, Bouygues Construction and its

in 2017. They have also been extremely active in the Forums,

50,000 employees generated sales of €12bn.

particularly the Climate Change and Sustainability Forum since its

Coup de Coeur: LeSalon

launch in 2009. VINCI’s first steps in the UK were made in 1992 with the

The jury was taken by this start-up, and recognised the potential

construction of the second bridge on the Severn Estuary, a

of this leading on-demand beauty service in London. LeSalon

cable-stay bridge connecting England and Wales. Their branch

connects users with their expert team of beauty therapists

in London was established to ensure the development of local

through a slick and easy to use mobile app and website. They

long-term partnerships based in the UK. This has permitted VINCI

have a team of more than 50 beauty therapists who are all vetted,

to participate in the construction of three major sections of the

tested and trained by the LeSalon team. This means that every

Channel Tunnel Rail Link.

treatment delivered by LeSalon follows a strict process ensuring a standardised level of quality.

The French Chamber would like to offer a special thank you to

LeSalon started in 2015 and has since grown more than ten

our main sponsors, Eurostar and Mazars, and to our supporting

times in size. The company is now delivering more than 1,000

sponsor, Frenger International. We would also like to thank

treatments a month and growing 15 percent month-on-month

our prize donors for their generous contribution: Vranken-

(in 2017). Their customer base includes celebrities, VIPs and

Pommery, Chivas Brothers, La Belle Assiette and Pullman

companies such as Uber, Airbnb and WeWork. LeSalon has been

London St Pancras.

accelerated by Ignite100 and has raised more than £700k with

We would also like to thank our close partners: Vranken

Angels and Investors, who have previously invested in Hassle.

Pommery for the champagne; Le Conseil des Vins du Médoc

com, Lantum and Ometria.

and Les Vins de Pessac Léognan for the wines; and of course, the May Fair Hotel for hosting the event. I

Winners of the Franco-British Business Awards 2017 From L to R: Sébastien Paillet, Founder of Early Metrics; François Monville, Partner at Mazars; Clarence Michel, Senior Marketing & Communications Manager at Vinci Construction Grands Projets British Isles; Oriel Petry, Minister Counsellor, Department for International Trade, British Embassy in Paris; Stephen Burgin, Deputy President of the French Chamber; Nidhi Baiswar, Head of Sustainable Design and Construction at Bouygues UK; JeanMichel Chalayer, Co-Founder & CEO of LeSalon; and Nicolas-Pierre Baumé, M&A Advisor at Frenger International

As we know, the business landscape is rapidly changing and uncertain. It is therefore a priority to reinforce our Franco-British ties and values, regardless of the future of the UK and the EU. In this context the awards take on a new significance. info

- january / february 2018 - 73


A PARISIAN SOJOURN Patron member’s enjoyed an exclusive trip to the French capitol hosted by the British Embassy and Dassault Systèmes


he one-day event kicked off as the

an exclusive private tour of their 3DS

infrastructure symbolize their long-term

delegation arrived at the British


commitment and their goal to leav a

Ambassador’s residence, also known

An informal discussion amongst

as the Hotel de Charost. The historic

participants followed the meal. Parts of

The openness of the buildings provides

house is more than 200 years old, and

the discussion were focused on Franco-

ease of collaboration and innovation.

has been the private home of the British

British relations in the context of Brexit,

Each building is named after one of the

Ambassador to France since 1814.

and the role of the Embassy in this

four main elements, which symbolize


Life, Power, Inspiration and Innovation.

The current Ambassador, Lord Llewellyn greeted the delegation at a

In the afternoon, the delegation

better place for the next generations.

Because Dassault Systèmes is

welcome reception, followed by lunch

travelled to Dassault Systèmes’s 3DS

committed to minimizing its corporate

where he gave a short speech. The

Campus, four 5-floor buildings with

environmental footprint, the 3DS

event was held according to Chatham

57,000 square meters of office space,

Campus has been designed and

House rules, and therefore the specifics

which can house up to 2,600 people.

constructed in harmony with the

of the proceedings cannot be detailed. Florence Gomez, Managing

A welcome and introduction to the

environment. It obtained NF Bâtiments

company and its digital manufacturing

Tertiaires HQE quality standard

Director of the Chamber, thanked the

was made by Christian Nardin. This

certification, based on the highest

Ambassador for his hospitality, and

was followed by a presentation entitled

level of eco-construction and eco-

the delegation for their attendance.

‘The Industry of the Future’ by Valérie

management available in France.

She also thanked Hervé Grella, Head

Ferret, Director of Public Affairs, and

of Marketing and Public Relations,

brief Q&A.

Department for International Trade,

A presentation entitled ‘Playgournd

British Embassy, for making this event

& Lives’ provided visualization and

possible. And she thanked Dassault

demonstrations of their digital

Systèmes, represented by Christian

manufacturing and their activities in

Nardin, Senior Vice President, High

living and shopping experiences.

Growth Countries EMEAR, for organising

The event partners included Eurostar, who provided transportation between London and Paris, and Les 110 de Taillevent. I

The 3DS Campus architecture and From L. to R.: (front row) Christian Nardin, Senior Vice President, Dassault Systèmes, Arnaud Vaissié, President, CCIFI, Lord Llewellyn, British Ambassador to France, Florence Gomez, Managing Director, French Chamber, Laurent Feniou, Managing Director UK&IRL, Cartier (middle row) Oriel Petry, British Embassy, Paul-André Rabate, Managing Partner, CVA, Hermione Gough, French Embassy, Alexander Law, Manager Public Affairs, Michelin, Fabrice Bernard, CTO, Theodo (back row) Olivier Carret, Vice President, ENGIE, Jean-Marc Tassetto, Co-founder, Coorpacademy, Jean-Francois Cecillon, Managing Director, Waddington Custot Galleries, Hervé Grella, British Embassy

74 - info - january / february 2018




The crocodile is loose

Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate



he last Chamber event of the year took place at Lacoste’s flagship store in Knightsbridge. After the champagneand-canapés reception, Olivier Bamberger, Retail and Visual Merchandising Director at Lacoste, spoke about the history of the company and its famous crocodile logo. René Lacoste, founder of the brand, was a professional tennis player. It is said that made a bet with his coach on a game, and the stakes were a crocodile-skin suitcase that took his fancy. Another story is that his fans nicknamed him ‘the crocodile’ because of his tenacious play on the court. Either way, he established a now iconic brand. The event was attended by more than forty people, and offered the chance not only to meet and network with fellow members, and to win a £500 voucher for the store. I

eld at Maison Pierre Marcolini’s Marylebone shop, this event was perfect for chocolate lovers, who were invited to discover the chocolatier’s exceptional treats. Vanessa Selignan, UK B2B Manager for the Maison, spoke about the ethos behind Marcolini’s creations: the brand is a leading high-end chocolaterie with strong ethical standards. Their cocoa is sourced directly from independent producers. The event was a sensorial discovery, as attendees tasted a variety of chocolates, and were given cocoa beans to crush and smell, experiencing the passion for the produce that drives Maison Pierre Marcolini. I


Dégustation with a smile


oughly thirty people met at La Cave à Fromage for an intimate evening of good cheese, wine, and conversation. It marked the return of the popular event, Say Cheese and Wine. Held in partnership with Wine Story, the food and drink combinations brought to life the pairings in INFO’s Cheese and Wine column. The selections on the night were similar to those suggested in the magazine, explained Thibault Lavergne, founder of Wine Story. Guests were treated to gruyere cheese with Chateauneuf-du-Pape wine, Ami du Chambertin paired with Madiran and more, as well as great charcuterie, which created the perfect atmosphere for networking. I


- january / february 2018 - 75



January 19.00 - 21.00

RENDEZ-VOUS CHEZ PAUL TO CELEBRATE LA GALETTE DES ROIS! At Tower 42, 25 Old Broad St, London EC2N 1HQ £25+VAT per person Open to all members For its third edition, we are delighted to announce that our Galette des Rois will take place at the PAUL UK Restaurant on 10 January. Come and join us to leave 2017 behind and celebrate the New Year together! For more information, please contact Wassime Haouari at: or on 0207 092 6642.


January 18.30 - 21.00

COCKTAIL RECEPTION AT HOME HOUSE 20 Portman Square, London W1H 6LW For Corporate members’ main representatives Free of charge We are pleased to announce that the second edition of our Corporate event will take place on 18 January. This evening reception will be held in the magnificent surroundings of Home House and will give members an occasion to network and celebrate 2018 together. For more information, please contact Camille Gorin at: or on 0207 092 6644.


January 18.00 - 20.00

SEMINAR WITH THEODO Theodo offices, 2-7 Clerkenwell Green, London EC1R 0DE Theme: Digital Transformation for Corporates: co-creation with a startup, the Theodo way Speaker: Fabrice Bernhard, Founder and CTO of Theodo By invitation only - Free of charge

The informative seminar will be followed by a cocktail reception where you will have the opportunity to network and make new business connections. For more information, please contact Camille Gorin at: or on 0207 092 6644.


March 19.00 - 22.30

CROSS-CULTURAL QUIZ EVENING PwC offices, 1 Embankment Pl, London WC2N 6RH Open to all members £80+VAT for a ticket, £800+VAT for a table of 10 This is your chance to impress with your know-how or gain a better understanding of our different cultures while continuing to build your network and having fun! Do not miss the opportunity to book a table and invite both French and British staff and/or clients to this perfect team-building activity. For more information, please contact Camille Gorin at: or on 0207 092 6644.

76 - info - january / february 2018


Brann Translations offers translations, proofreading, interpreting and language assessments in any language pair, for all industries and types of documents. BRANN TRANSLATIONS Charlotte Brann charlotte.brann@ +44 (0) 7943847307 +33 (0) 6 52 71 45 26

A language training company with over 25 years’ experience providing bespoke services for corporates and individuals. Business English, European and other major worldwide languages LONDON LANGUAGES Maria Gordo +44 (0) 207 233 8205

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SUZANNE LYCETT 0207 092 6651

Independent co-ed day school From Year 1 to 13 Two programmes: • Bac Français Bilingue • English International LYCEE INTERNATIONAL DE LONDRES WINSTON CHURCHILL admissions@lyceeinternational. london + 44 (0) 20 3824 4906

You want to recruit ? We’d like to assist you ! Our Recruitment Department is a professional recruitment agency with expertise in Sales and Marketing, Digital, Finance and Accounting, Engineering and Support Staff We tailor our services to the needs of each client and offer privileged access to more than 1,500 high-profile bilingual and international candidates Whether your company is a member or not, we offer extremely competitive fees for all your recruitment needs

Please contact us at or +44 (0) 207 092 6625

Patron Members of the French Chamber in Great Britain Patron Members of the French Chamber in Great Britain

ŠPhoto credits: Pascal le DoarÊ and COSEA photo libraries

CONSTRUCTING A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE At VINCI Construction Grands Projets, we engineer digital solutions that help us and our Clients in the conception and construction of our major projects. On SEA Tours-Bordeaux high speed rail line (302 km and 38 km of connecting track), we developed a bespoke information system allowing sharing of processes and data between all partners (80 design offices, 5 sub-consortiums, 3,500 employees) that offers the most reliable performance. We introduced an Electronic Document Management System (EDMS) and a Geographical Information System (GIS) whose 3D interface fostered collaboration with clients and stakeholders. This real Asset Information Management (AIM) is being transferred to the dedicated company for the maintenance of the project over 45 years.

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

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