The London Business Journal Volume 5 Issue 1

Page 1

Volume 5 Issue 1 201 9




Volume 5 Issue 1 , 201 9


How to keep innovation flowing through ‘the big idea famine’: Page 34

Cover Story

Jenny Tooth, UK Business Angels Association CEO on the value of business angels and the need for more women in business: Page 20

INSIDE 7 Sins of Multi-Cloud Adoption: Page 51

Business planning for 2019: London and beyond Page 10 Not everyone is your customer Page 14 :

Hiring outside the box: Page 36 Women in Finance. Rose St Louis: Page 27

How to Build a Highly Effective Team: Page 18

How to Make Sure Your Company is Sexual Harassment Free: Page 31

Where do low­ skilled workers fit post Brexit? Page 40 Are you future ready? Page 45

How Agent & Homes is disrupting the estate agency business: Page 42

UK Complaints Handling Awards 2019: Page 4

The Driving Success in Sales and Marketing: Page 56

The London Business Journal is produced by THE LONDON BUSINESS JOURNAL, 1 Alfred Place, London WC1E 7EB. Telephone: 07043 020 287. © 2014 all rights reserved. Reproduction in any manner or any language, in whole or in part, without prior written permission is prohibited. All material in this journal is provided for your information only and may not be construed as business advice or instruction. No action or inaction should be taken based solely on the contents of this information; instead, readers should consult appropriate business related professionals on any matter relating to their profession/trade/business. The information and opinions expressed here are believed to be accurate, based on the best judgement available to the authors, and readers who fail to consult with appropriate authorities assume the risk of any financial setbacks or otherwise. In addition, the information and opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of every contributor to The London Business Journal. The London Business Journal acknowledges occasional differences in opinion and welcomes the exchange of different viewpoints. The publisher is not responsible for errors or omissions. Subscribe to The London Business Journal by visiting or send an email to: For all other enquiries email:

Events: Awards

The UK Complaints Handling Awards 2019 finals took place on March 8 2019 at the Park Plaza Victoria, London. Now in its third year, the UK Complaint Handling Awards continue to be the only awards programme in the UK to recognise the inspiring organisations who are dedicated to effective complaint handling. The following pictures show some of the winners on the day. OVERALL WINNER: Firstsource Solutions UK Ltd The event was organised by Awards International.




Volume 5 Issue 1 , 201 9



Events: Awards





Volume 5 Issue 1 , 201 9






Events: Awards


ack for the second year, the spectacular Business Book Awards did not disappoint. The welcome address was read by its Founder, Lucy McCarraher, who spoke of the growth of the Awards in several areas, notably the increase in the number of categories from six to nine, as well as the increase in the number of judges from 20 to 30. Highlighting on the need for more female authors to come forward, she introduced a new category — Exceptional Book by a Woman (sponsored by Shaa Wasmund). McCarraher pointed out that they received 100 entries from men and 50 from women, prompting to her write a new book called A Book of One’s Own, to encourage women to write books.


Volume 5 Issue 1 , 201 9

She also thanked all partners, sponsors and ambassadors, including Thinkfest, Dent and The Book Publicist (particularly for getting her on the BBC amongst other places). Daniel Priestley form Dent gave the next speech and joked that it took him 29 years to write his first book because he was 29 when he wrote his first book. The keynote speaker was Campbell McPherson, winner of last year's Business Book of the Year Award, who mentioned that, ironically, he went to the same school as Daniel Priestley, although 20 years apart! He also spoke about his experience and said he didn’t think that he would win — his daughter flew out to Australia the day before and his publishers, Wiley, didn’t

Events: Awards

think he would win and so didn't get a table at the event last year. However, he said winning changed his life in many ways; a gig at Henley business school, speaking agencies signing him up leading to lots of speaking engagements and even going to Marrakesh. Also, he received interest from other publishers for a number of additional books. Pathway's Kasim Choudhry, Creative Director of the event, was introduced to the stage and paid tribute to the late Mike Gardner (from Thinkfest/Pathway) saying: “We miss you Mike.” He pointed out that it was because of Mike’s passing that he’s speaking, or Mike would have done it — as he did last year. He thanked Lucy (BBA Founder) and various publishers, saying that without submissions the event wouldn’t be able to take place. He said he meets people that have had their lives changed by books and mentioned an encounter with a lady who was suffering from depression but got out of it by reading something in one of Grant Cardone’s books. The evening's hosts were international performer, Paul Martin, and award­winning journalist and presenter Nadine Dereza. The Business Book Awards (BBA) 2019 took place on March 26 at the Grange City Hotel, Cooper's Row, London.

Harriet Kelsall: Winner Start­up Inspiration. Presented by James Ashford. Award sponsored by Pathway 2 Grow

Richard Shotton: Winner, Sales & Marketing Book. Award sponsor: Bootcamp Media

Winner: Emracing Change, Jonathan MacDonald. Award sponsored by Change Management Institute

Winner HR & Mgt: Mark Burns, Andy Griffith presented by Safaraz Ali. Sponsored by Pathway 2 Grow

Other winners on the night included Charlie Corbett (Short Business Book; The Art of Plain Speaking. Award sponsored by The Book Publicist), Della Hudson (Specialist Book; The Numbers Business. Award sponsored by

Book of the Year Award & Leadership Book winners: Chris Lewis, Pippa Malmgren The Publishers Association), Robert Greene (International Business Book; The Laws of Human Nature. Award sponsored by Dent) and Bindar Dosanjh (Exceptional Book by A Woman; Power Property Investing for Women. Award sponsored by Shaa).

Volume 5 Issue 1 , 201 9

Self Development Winner: Fiona Murden. Award sponsor, Tony J. Selimi


Events: Book Launch

Fast Forward Files


panning a number of areas such as marketing, technology, wellbeing and innovation, Fast Forward Files takes readers into the future while asking some of today’s most pressing questions and challenging boundaries. Is there a tipping point for technology? Do we all need to start thinking like children? Are we on the edge of the era of the patient? Is the future conversational experiences? Is veganism the answer to the world’s greatest challenge? Do we need to stop being disruptive? Who will win in the fight between chaos and structure? The 8 thought­provoking and stimulating essays within the book (brainchild of Kraftwerk's CEO, Heimo Hammer) are the product of the exclusive Fast Forward Forum — a three­day invitation­only forum attended by Europe’s brightest thought­leaders and hosted by Kraftwerk, Austria’s leading digital agency. The book offers a unique insight into the groundbreaking debate this annual event stimulates. Peppered with humour and humanity, this down­to­earth, easy­to­digest read is guaranteed to light a fire under your creativity, expand your horizons, boost your understanding of today’s most topical issues and re­shape your understanding of (and readiness for) the future. The Fast Forward Files book was launched on February 7 2019 at the Century Club, Shaftesbury Avenue, London. Fast Forward Files: Opening Up, published by Molden Verlag is out now. Price: £28.40 Volume 5 Issue 1 , 201 9





t has been a difficult year for British businesses, across the country. The uncertainty that Brexit has created has been an instant mood dampener for investment and growth plans, both in and outside of London. By Chirag Shah

eyond these difficulties, when looking back at 2018, there were positive developments beyond the propagated doom and gloom. As an entrepreneur, I know how important it is to remind myself of these, as I look ahead. SMEs are the backbone of the British economy, and as such their continued growth and success is central to that of the economy as a whole ­ and collectively we need to look towards the future with optimism and an appetite for growth.

occurring across the broad spectrum of businesses that we work with. We see this reflected around the country in the wide range of businesses that we support and their ever­evolving business models. I believe that faced with challenges and the current socioeconomic climate, businesses have re­focused and channeled innovation. Many businesses in London, and across the UK, have braced themselves for a departure from the European Union.

This past year has once again proved that necessity is the mother of invention, and in 2018, I saw disruption and innovation

BREXIT We are seeing business leaders assessing


Volume 5 Issue 1 , 201 9


the potential changes in trade, legal, and labour environments. In the past year, we’ve seen the rise of many great businesses in spite of the uncertainties ahead of Brexit. Often aided by technology and with clever leaders taking risks and pushing innovation, they’re delivering success amidst the uncertainty. In addition to this, there has never been a more transparent time for business; legacy companies are under the spotlight from shareholder activists looking to drive change and consumers are more involved than ever. These are great conditions, particularly for today’s entrepreneurs intending to disrupt and create new business models. Yet, as we look ahead, the Brexit question still remains largely unanswered and not all businesses have taken time out to look ahead. What should we, as entrepreneurs be thinking about this year? Volume 5 Issue 1 , 201 9

We recently held an event, at the London Stock Exchange, looking at what Brexit means for UK businesses. The aim was to dispel media sensationalism and drill down to tangible, practical actions for business owners to take. More than half of the business leaders in the room, didn’t have a plan in place for what happens after we leave the EU, which was my biggest concern. In many ways, this isn’t surprising – but I’m determined that we continue helping business leaders achieve their ambitions and support them through these challenges. In practice, I urge the following: UNCERTAINTY Planning for all outcomes: In uncertain times, business leaders should review everything and take nothing for granted ­ scenario planning and thinking about change will help you to feel prepared.



For some, the goal next year may be staying in business, maintaining a steady cash flow and keeping staff in work. For others, growth plans may be on the agenda, as new domestic or international opportunities fuel innovation. Many businesses at this time of year are taking time out to step back, reflect and review successes, challenges, and what comes next.

payment terms. This has challenged their ability to invest to grow ­ and inhibited the sector.

DIVERSITY Harnessing diversity: Brexit has meant some uncomfortable questions around what the perfect British workforce looks like. For me, diversity of team is critical as it leads to diversity of thinking and approach. I hope that as the negotiations FINANCE continue, we Finding the right business leaders finance: One of my champion what messages of good makes this country cheer this year has so great in my view been the continued – diversity of rise of alternative experience, finance uptake background and amongst UK culture; coupled businesses. It is with open thinking heartening to see that drives Chirag Shah: CEO Nucleus Commercial Finance that business innovation. leaders are feeling Assessing better served and more comfortable in partnerships: Recent years have seen a thinking about different funding options. great focus on understanding your supply Whether it is well priced loans to service chain, now with international trade an immediate need such as an office agreements in the fray, it means that move, smart capital for investment, or the entrepreneurs need to think carefully more day to day application of invoice about who they work with and why. We finance to manage cash flow fluctuations, see this as a great opportunity to get your having the right finance in play can drive house in order and have the best partners stability, growth, and often critically, to work together to achieve success. peace of mind. An end of late payments?: I’m delighted Although the impending changes may to see HMRC taking such stringent action seem frightening, if preparations are made on late payments this year, and long may and precautions are taken, business leaders can ensure continued success in this continue. For too long, smaller 2019, regardless of what happens. businesses had to bear the brunt of poor Chirag Shah is the CEO of Nucleus Commercial Finance. He initially self­funded the business, which has doubled or tripled every year for the last four years. For further information visit: 12

Volume 5 Issue 1 , 201 9

Customer Acquisition

“Everyone is my customer”... Why having that strategy is NOT good for your business


new business – a fresh start – lots of money (your money) has gone into the business. You need sales, and it is the customers who will bring in the sales. So, you should go try and approach just about anyone, right? The whole world is your customer at this point in time and ‘choosy’ is not a word in your dictionary right now. By Kim Speed


his is what the client (let’s call him PJ) represented for us — a customer who could bring in the money at the start of our advertising business. Whereas the first vibes we felt from this customer were a bit off, we decided not to be choosy. Soon enough, there were incidents happening that made it clear that aiming for anyone and everyone as your target customer was not a good idea at all.


Volume 5 Issue 1 , 201 9

PJ was difficult to please. His instructions as to what he really wanted were never clear and every draft sent to him went through at least five revisions as we could never really ‘read his mind’. He never paid on time, and any freelancers we asked to work for him were equally frustrated as well. Yes, we got some sales there but working with the wrong customer was such a huge drain on our time and energy that when we decided to part ways, it was with great relief.

Customer Acquisition

What lessons were to be learnt from this experience?

Where are these customers likely to hang out and which social media platforms are they likely to use?

Say No to Desperation Desperation equals zilch. It attracts the wrong kind of customers who just waste your time – and time is money. So how do you say 'No to Desperation' when well…you are desperate? First and foremost, be clear on who is your 'ideal customer'.

Personality Traits And then, there are the personality traits—both yours and those of your ideal customer. Think back to some of the best interactions you have had with customer service. Pick any five. And the worst interactions, too! See if you can pick five here as well. CHARACTERISTICS OF YOUR IDEAL These interactions are an indication of CUSTOMER what works and what does not for you There are the ‘essential’ homework when interacting with customers. questions any new business needs to work Now, how about incorporating this on when looking for ideal clients: knowledge into your business processes? What is the gender, age, marital status of Was not getting a delivery on time a pet your ideal customer? peeve? Then maybe your contract needs What are the goals they want to reach? to be very clear on timelines. What pressures do they face? Was it lack of communication from Do they know your product or service customer service when they were running exists? What other similar products or late on your order? Then communication services are there? What is it that is so needs to be a core part of your business. unique about what you are offering that is Behavioural issues are a bit of a tricky different from others? path to tread. There are always people of How does your product or service help a certain personality whom you know you them achieve their goals? Volume 5 Issue 1 , 201 9


Customer Acquisition

do not vibe with. In this, too, knowing your top 5 turn­offs and turn­ons are a great way to know what works for you when dealing with people. Life is great when you are working with people you do vibe with. When the case is different — and you can see the red flags indicating that, the choice is yours. Can you get by with a bit of hair­pulling and grin and bear it? Or are circumstances such that you may have a ‘balding’ situation where you are pulling ALL your hair out? In that case, maybe the cost­ benefit analysis shows that it is not feasible to engage with this person. In hindsight, we could clearly see that the interaction with PJ refuted so many of the internal values that are important to us, and had we paid attention and had more awareness, we would never have signed up such a client.

Kim Speed: Founder of Purple Moon Creative, Brand and Marketing Boutique

Now, the first warm up session we have with clients is a detailed one where it is clear to both parties that we are exploring a potential ‘partnership’ where all interactions are professional and on an equal footing. It reflects in the energy with which we show up at that initial meeting. We ask the hard questions right away in terms of expectations — both regarding logistics and behaviour. This does not mean we get a perfect client each and every time. It does, however, attract more and more of the type of customers whom we do want to work with, and this makes working and doing business a pleasure. Kim Speed is the author of “Branding on a Shoestring”. After a successful career in advertising, as a Creative Director, Kim now helps small business owners build and grow their companies with simple, effective marketing. For further information visit: 16

Volume 5 Issue 1 , 201 9

Business Development



any people believe they could change the world if they had access to money and high-end technology. If you belong to this category, chances are that this article can change your mind and here's why. By Hamid Safaei

A number of companies that had the money and were tech pioneers either didn’t survive the battle with newcomers or are now struggling to survive. Kodak, Blockbuster, Nokia, and BlackBerry are examples in this category. On the other hand, companies established in basements 10 years ago have grown into multi­billion­dollar companies and challenge the well­vested traditional giants that have ruled the market for decades. Examples are Uber and AirBnB. What is the secret? Based on my research that led to the First­Class Leadership book, all great entrepreneurs: 18

Volume 5 Issue 1 , 201 9

1. Did what they loved to do. 2. Focused on fulfilling a desire or solving a problem that a huge number of people have been willing to pay for. 3. Hired people smarter than themselves and built highly effective teams to multiply their results. A highly effective team has a number of complementary members who work together to achieve the same goal. Why Build a Highly Effective Team? 1. Regardless of how smart one is, individual results are rather limited. Limiting factors are time, talent, capabilities, and know­how.

Business Development

2. Extraordinary achievements require great teamwork. 3. Effective teamwork multiplies results. So, the sum of the results of the teamwork is far bigger than the sum of its parts. How to Build an Effective Team Having worked with many leaders for over two decades, I have studied Jack Ma, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Elon Musk and others. I am convinced that companies become as great as their people. Steve Jobs said: “Great things in business are never done by one person. They're done by a team of people.” Extraordinary leaders multiply their results by building highly effective teams. Here’s how you can build yours:

reward, while the other requires more freedom. This is the human engineering and the art of people. You need to understand what makes your employees’ hearts beat faster. 5. Set the standard for your team through leading by personal example. This way you prove you believe in what you say, you do what you say, and you stand firmly behind the values you believe in. The famous philosopher Epictetus wisely said: “Make it your business to draw out the best in others by being an exemplar yourself.”

6. Don’t chase the best sought­after talent but rather people that trust and 1. Create a clear and compelling goal. complement each other. Your team Clarity is extremely important when it members have to have a burning desire to comes to team performance. Create clarity work together. Mother Teresa beautifully around your goal, plans and mutual said: “I can do things you cannot, you can expectations by communicating clear and do things I cannot; together we can do relevant instructions. great things.” 2. Create an inclusive team culture and value diversity. A culture that welcomes diversity in gender, race, sexual preference, background, age, expertise, opinion, dress code, working method and personal desires sparks productivity.

7. No one knows everything. So, employ the right people for the right jobs. There will be team members who have skills and abilities that surpass those of yours in certain areas. You need the whole team to make it to the next level. Indra Nooyi, the former CEO of PepsiCo confirmed this 3. Don’t seek yes people, but hire saying: “The success of an enterprise people better than you. Seek usually comes down to one thing; the constructive feedback, delegate authority, team.” and support appropriately. Don’t dictate to your superstars what to do and how to do 8. Evaluate properly and reward it; instead, share with them your vision, generously. Demonstrate you know who goals and challenges and have them come contributes what. When deadlines are at up with ideas. Lee Iacocca confirms this risk, don’t point fingers; instead, plan saying, “I hire people brighter than me constructive sessions to understand why and I get out of their way.” the deadlines have not been met or the issues behind the stagnation (is it due to 4. Understand that different people reluctance or lack of knowledge?). Learn have different needs, desires, pains and from the answers, offer support and ambitions. One may appreciate monetary inspire your team members to try again. Hamid Safaei is the bestselling author of First­Class Leadership and Your Journey to Fulfillment. He is also the Founder of and a certified executive mentor

Volume 5 Issue 1 , 201 9


Cover Story: Jenny Tooth, CEO UKBAA



enny Tooth (OBE) is an experienced entrepreneur and the CEO of UK Business Angels Association (UKBAA), the national trade association for angel and early-stage investment. As the head of UKBAA, which represents over 160 member organisations and approximately 18,000 investors members, she is one of the most important figures in UK business. Here she speaks to Ronnie Ajoku on her journey as an entrepreneur, the importance of Angel investors and the need for more women in business


s the CEO of the UK Business Angels Association Jenny Tooth is arguably one of the most powerful women on the UK business scene today. Yet, despite the power and influence she wields, Jenny is surprisingly more welcoming than one might expect. A natural people's person, it is not surprising that her business roots go back to helping people, a role that continues today — albeit on a much larger scale. “I set up and ran my own business which was a strategy consultancy focusing on


Volume 5 Issue 1 , 201 9

helping small businesses access finance,” she says of her entrepreneurial foundation. “I ran that in London and Brussels; it was a kind of European agency. I did that for many years then in the early 2000's I bumped into angel investing and a group called London Business Angels — and I realised that this was a really exciting world. “The realisation was (because I'd been helping businesses get access to public money and grants – especially from Europe) that this was an amazing source

Cover Story: Jenny Tooth, CEO UKBAA

knowledge to the table in a way that could of money for individuals to back entrepreneurs. So I started getting engaged help introduce angel investing to UK businesses on a much wider scale. “In with it at that time.” 2012, when we were coming out of the Discovery financial crisis, I was invited to set up the With this discovery came a new business, UK Business Angels Association as a new which was followed by a successful exit. body to really kickstart angel investing “In 2009 I cofounded (with my colleague across the UK and to get many more who was also at London Business Angels) people engaged. It was at the time the new a new organisation called Angel Capital seed enterprise investment scheme came Group, which then brought London in. This was a massive catalyst to Business Angels under its wing; which we encourage more people to invest, so it was ran for some years and sold it in 2017 to an exciting opportunity for me; which I've Newable Private Investment. been delighted to support as the CEO and .“I've been Angel investing for well over watch the real developments and growth 10 years and I really started to get of angel investing, which I'm very pleased engaged with the strategy and policy of about.” why more people should be investing and Development backing entrepreneurs.” Over the past few years there have been Her expertise did not go unnoticed and important developments that have taken she was called upon to bring her Volume 5 Issue 1 , 201 9


Cover Story: Jenny Tooth, CEO UKBAA

place within the angel investor space in the UK. “We have seen a significant growth in Angel investing and syndication — where angels co­invest with each other and really work together to share the risk and due diligence — and I'm very pleased to see the growth of that. “The challenge is, having seen that fantastic growth, three fold. “One is that 65% of angel investing is still in London, Oxford and Cambridge — the golden triangle. So many entrepreneurs, especially women entrepreneurs are not accessing angel investments in the 'regions'. We just do not have, as yet, enough people investing their own personal money in the regions and that's something we're working on; I'm working alongside the British Business Bank and Innovate UK. Many other agencies are also attempting to address this. “The second issue is that we do not have enough women investors in this country. 22

Volume 5 Issue 1 , 201 9

It's still only about 16% of the population and we know from our own research that women have about 30­50% of their own portfolio in other women founders; which reflects my own approach and we just do not have enough women recognising the opportunity to put money behind entrepreneurs. We know we have many more successful women in business in this country. “The flip side of that is, without that diversity in the investment base, it is more challenging for women entrepreneurs to access finance from an all male investment community. So we are extremely keen and working very hard to raise more awareness among women and spread the word. Not just about backing female entrepreneurs, but to use a part of their spare finance to do this; and we know there has been a lack of awareness and access for many women to do this. It is a big challenge and there's a big job to be done to change that.

Cover Story: Jenny Tooth, CEO UKBAA

We do not have enough women investors in this country “I am delighted to say that I am starting to see more women coming forward and I hope that we can persuade many more women to do so. “The third challenge is actually post­ angel money. An angel puts money in a company to scale and grow. We put money in a startup but we want to scale and grow, and there's still not that connected landscape between startup money and scale­up money, so it can still be a massive challenge for an angel­ backed business to then go on and find that growth Venture Capital money. We need to connect that landscape much better with angels and VC's working together for more scale­up money coming alongside angel money in a productive way. Areas of interest Although Jenny doesn't invest as ferociously as she used to due to her current position as the CEO of UKBAA, she may occasionally do so as part of a syndicate, but has to take extra care and make sure that there is no conflict of interest with UKBAA members. “When you are the Chief Executive you have to be more careful (that you are not competing with your own members or conflicting) but I do invest as part of a syndicate. “I am especially interested in backing Volume 5 Issue 1 , 201 9

women entrepreneurs and that has always been something that I am passionate about. So many women entrepreneurs are running fantastic businesses so that's something that has always interested me.” In order for this to happen the business would have to be one operating in a space that she is passionate about. “The sectors I am very interested in, and are of personal interest to me, are Healthcare and Health­ Tech. I think there are amazing opportunities to bring innovation and entrepreneurship, especially drawing on the convergence of deep tech; such as AI and robotics. We are transforming healthcare and med­tech through those, so I'm very supportive of those areas. “Also Ed­Tech, because I think, again, that there are huge opportunities for innovation in education, especially being able to enable many more people to reach education, so I've been very supportive of that. “But actually I've also backed one or two businesses in the digital economy including an online fashion business as well, so I'm fairly broad­based, but I very much back tech and I do believe in the power of tech in enabling sectors to grow and thrive. Despite the uneven ratio of male to female entrepreneurs, statistics show that women are just as, if not more, likely to succeed in business than men.


Cover Story: Jenny Tooth, CEO UKBAA

65% of angel investing is still in London, Oxford and Cambridge — the golden triangle “The Scale Up Institute have produced their report as well that shows the success of women founders. There are a lot of women that have been able to build great businesses and I know that so many of my angel friends would say that the best­ performing businesses in their portfolio are women­led businesses, and both men and women angels say that. We do know that women are fantastic business leaders but there are three things happening with access to the money they need. “So many women founders are not coming forward and looking at external investment as a part of their growth strategy. For some reason women are holding back from going towards investors, especially external investment, and I think we need a lot more help and supportive access for them to do so. “Secondly, when they get in front of investors, it's still an incredibly challenging environment for them to 24

Volume 5 Issue 1 , 201 9

convince investors of the viability and growth potential of their business. We have to deal with the reaction and maybe unconscious bias which is among the investment community, but also potentially the kind of skills and confidence women may have when asking for an investment. So often women don't ask for as much money as men when they go in front of investors; they hold back from asking for all the money they need. It's work on both sides because we need to have more women feel the confidence to go forward; we need to make that environment where they are looking for money much more acceptable and welcoming to them from the investment community. “We need to build a much better understanding amongst the investors that women are fantastic entrepreneurs, founders and can grow a great business — but obviously that is still a challenge.”

Cover Story: Jenny Tooth, CEO UKBAA

In 2009 I co-founded Angel Capital Group Tech Invest Towards the end of 2017, and with a view towards boosting technology and harnessing the best tech talent London has to offer, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, partnered with UKBBA to launch Tech Invest. “It's very much a part of us wanting to bring great entrepreneurs forward and we were extremely fortunate in that just over two years ago I had a very useful conversation with the Mayor's office, when Sadiq Khan had recently taken up his new role, and he very much wanted to create London's visibility as an important global hub for tech. “But also recognising that many great entrepreneurs in London — despite the availability of a lot of cash — were still not getting enough exposure to the investment community, and easy access. So they approached us and we've been absolutely delighted to partner with the Mayor of London on this whole series that we call 'Tech Invest'. It's a four­year programme and we are now into the second year. We have already had five events; we curate 10 fantastic businesses in different tech sectors about every two Volume 5 Issue 1 , 201 9

months and put them on in front of about 150 investors and it has been a huge success. “We did note in the first few events that not enough women were coming forward as entrepreneurs to seek out that opportunity through Tech Invest to present their businesses, so that was why we had the Women in Tech at the end of last year — to really highlight the fantastic women in tech in London and present those to the investors — and we are very glad. Interestingly, since that event we have had more fantastic women coming forward, so in our last Med­Tech event we held earlier this year we had some great women present.” Towards the end of March a “Clean­ Tech” event was held, which saw women presenting alongside their male counterparts. “We're hoping that by having this regular programme that women entrepreneurs, especially women in tech, will see that opportunity and come forward, but it is very much focused on enabling very early stage entrepreneurs access the investment they need to take them through to the next level of growth.”


Cover Story: Jenny Tooth, CEO UKBAA

Being an “Angel” is not just about the money. It's about the help, support and advice An angel's approach Most angel investors tend to take the long­term approach, and take delight in seeing their seeds grown from acorns to oak trees. “First of all, the whole point about “Angels” is that it's not just about the money. It's the help, support and advice that they bring to entrepreneurs that's so valuable. So the one thing we look to do as investors is to use our links, our expertise and experience to help that business. We (as angels) can help those businesses through those early stages of growth. “But there's a point where they would need more money as they scale and grow; very often needing venture capital beyond angel money and angels would often stay with that business for many years. The reality is (for angels) that they would tend not to really benefit from a business in terms of its exit for probably up to eight or nine years — even 12 years is quite common. “So we are in there for the very long term, we know that. We're part of that nurturing. Sometimes the angel would 26

Volume 5 Issue 1 , 201 9

stay in a leading role with the business, even when venture capital comes in, or very often angels would step back and say, 'we've done our main job' and it's time for venture capital to come in. But we would tend to stay in and there are two aspects to that. “One is that we would stay in if it is a great company; we would want to be part of that growth story. The second part is that angels often find it difficult to get an exit and so you are sometimes in that business for longer than you would like.” However, VC's and angels are working in tandem today more than in the past. “One of the interesting things happening now is that through our relationships that we are developing with venture capital there is increasing opportunity for the venture capital to offer an exit (or part exit) for angels when they come on board, and that suits quite a lot of angels as well. But it is a very longterm game. It is a long time from when you put money into an early stage startup for that business to grow and become a global success story. We call it patient capital.”

Women in Business: Finance



ose St Louis was once the proud winner of Young Financial Adviser of the year. In her current role as Zurich's Head of Strategic Partnerships, she is one of the few women in the UK occupying a high-profile position in the traditionally male-dominated finance industry. Adding to all this, she is Zurich's lead consumer spokesperson and she's just getting started. By Ronnie Ajoku


or over two decades Rose St Louis has been in finance and enjoys it. While it was not originally an area she considered as a child, she's certainly glad being there. This is not to say that it was an easy or straightforward journey getting to where she is today. “I’ve worked in financial services for over 20 years and the route to my current position has been an interesting journey. I’m not one of those people who always knew what they wanted to do. I didn’t commit to one company and work my way up from the bottom. Instead, I’ve worked for a number of companies in Volume 5 Issue 1 , 201 9

different roles, reinventing myself along the way,” she says of her career path. “After studying Public Administration & Management at the University of Kent, my first job was in telesales for Endsleigh Insurance, where I worked for six months. I then spent the next eight years as a financial adviser, and being young and female, I completed my core professional qualifications as quickly as I could to give me greater credibility. “I then went on to complete my advanced qualifications, winning Young Financial Adviser of the year in 2003. I switched careers for two years trying my


Women in Business: Finance

hand at risk and compliance, first at Coutts and then at SEI. Six months after joining SEI, I was back in sales, initially in asset management distribution and then investment processing. After six years at SEI, I joined Zurich via a discretionary platform, Praemium and Cofunds, which was then owned by Legal & General. Such a varied career path has helped me to build a unique set of skills.” Her current position comes with a lot of responsibility, but St Louis thrives in that sort of environment. “I’m Head of Strategic Partnerships for the part of Zurich’s business that sells Life products, such as life insurance, critical illness, ISAs, pensions and investments. I lead a team responsible for initiating 80% of Zurich’s UK Life sales, where our clients are financial advisers, banks and their clients, and people like you and me who need financial advice. I’m part of the Distribution leadership team and therefore responsible for defining and implementing strategy. I also co­chair Zurich’s Women’s 28

Volume 5 Issue 1 , 201 9

Innovation Network, I’m chair Zurich Community Trust Executive Committee (charity) and I’m the company’s lead consumer spokesperson.” With the ongoing issue of female underrepresentation, one is tempted to ask her why there are so few women occupying positions with a similar level of responsibility. “There’s no single reason behind the weak representation of women in senior leadership roles. Women take time out of their career to care for children or elderly relatives. This can often mean they are more likely to work in part­time roles, with fewer opportunities to progress up the ladder. Other barriers that stop women from reaching the top include perceptions about women’s potential; stereotypes; an absence of role models and a lack of mentoring. What’s clear is that individual businesses need to assess the factors that might be preventing women from progressing in their organisation, and review and implement practices to bring about change.”

Women in Business: Finance

The financial sector in particular has often come under fire for not encouraging more women to join, and is often seen as an 'old boys club'. But as she points out, there is no one­size­fits­all answer to this. “There’s no silver bullet for encouraging more women to join the financial sector or achieving greater diversity in senior management roles. Businesses need to look at factors in their own workplace that might deter or inhibit women, and consider what steps they can take to change. This might range from making roles available part­time and allowing flexible working to encouraging diversity in long and short lists for vacancies and introducing mixed gender interview panels. These are actions we’ve already taken at Zurich and – through my involvement in Zurich’s Women’s Innovation Network ­ I’m proud to have played a part in them. Encouraging more women to take up a career in financial services is not only the right thing to do, it’s also critical to our business performance. It enables us to attract and retain the best talent, and makes us more representative of our customers.” While many may complain under their breath about their job, St Louis definitely likes hers. “I like the variety of my job as no two days are ever the same. I’m fortunate to work with some incredible people that offer support through the challenging days and share in the joys of the good days. I love the fact that we help Volume 5 Issue 1 , 201 9

make a difference to people’s financial lives — regardless of their wealth. Everyone can benefit from the peace of mind offered by life insurance and critical illness cover, or enhance their financial resilience by saving with an ISA or pension. Much of what I do is for the financial adviser community, which translates to the end customer, and my role as a spokesperson allows me to take messages directly to the consumers including TV and radio, which can be a little nerve wracking especially when it’s ‘live’ but nonetheless an amazing experience. I also get a thrill out of speaking at conferences and on panels where I can bring my subject matter expertise to life.” In addition to her existing responsibilities, she also finds the time to mentor others. “I mentor women at Zurich both formally and informally. These meetings typically take place every six to eight weeks. I also have a mentee outside of financial services, who I’ve been working with for two years. In that time, I’ve been able to help her secure a promotion, a pay rise and get her company to part sponsor her MBA – all by helping her to find her voice and simply ‘ask’. Clearly, she’s had to do all of the hard work. I’m just there to be her cheerleader, or provide a voice of challenge. As a mentor, I think it’s important you never tell a person what to do – that’s their call. As my own coach says: ‘You’ve already bought the ticket you may as well take the ride’.”


Women in Business: Diversity

Genderissuesorted;what’snext? By Ishreen Bradley


n the new information age we have to be more collaborative and be able to work with people who are different from us. However, the largest minority at work – women – still face barriers to progression. My main concerns about the female talent pipeline are that: 1. A number of leaders now think that the gender issue is solved; 2. A number of women don’t see it as an issue for them. Wake up people – the statistics are obvious! It took a soft target and much press coverage for The Lord Davis initiative to influence a shift in the percentage of women on FTSE100 boards from 12.5% in 2011 to 26.1% in 2015 – a great achievement. However, by March 2018 this statistic had reached just 29% ­ a mere 2.9% increase in the following 2.5 years. So how do we actually create a sustainable shift for people from all protected characteristics to experience success, and ensure that they are an integral part of the organisation they work for? Equality Pioneers’ research began with the gender characteristic over five years ago, and we are building on this data to see if we can find an answer to this important question. Our “Shooting for the C­Suite” research

with over 1000 female leaders has been reinforced by the many research projects that followed it. I attend many panel events where I hear the same stories. If I hear one more speaker talk about how men will go for a job if they only meet 3 of the 10 criteria whereas women feel they need to fit the complete brief before they even apply…I think I will just march myself out of the room! What is really at the source of people with protected characteristics not progressing at the same pace as their ‘mainstream’ colleagues and what makes them feel excluded? Our current research project aims to get to the skinny edges of this question. We are exploring language, privilege and culture as potential sources. I was on the BBC Asian Network's Mobeen Azhar show a while ago and someone actually said that periods were the cause of women not progressing as quickly as men! My initial reaction was REALLY!!!???? So even I have to put my prejudices aside and explore what seems totally incredulous to me. Perhaps we need to look where we have not looked before and explore concepts that may at first seem absurd if we are to really move from good intentions to actual data­based evidence that things are shifting.

Ishreen Bradley is the Founder and Chief Inspiration Officer at Equality Pioneers. Her book “Authentic You” is a practical guide for female leaders to succeed at work whilst staying true to themselves. For further information visit:


Volume 5 Issue 1 , 201 9




here has been a growing consciousness of the problem of sexual harassment in the workplace. A 2017 survey in the UK reports that more than half of women surveyed were victims of sexual harassment on the job. And the costs of sexual harassment can take a significant bite out of the bottom line. From 2010 to 2017, the US-based EOCC reported a total corporate pay out of $699 million for workplace harassment claims. By Mani Goulding


nless you’ve been living under a rock for the last eighteen months, you’ve noticed that what started out as a whisper in the entertainment and news industry has now grown into a roar in the corporate world. I am talking about the #MeToo Movement, which most of us initially became aware of when the news broke about Harvey Weinstein. But the problem Volume 5 Issue 1 , 201 9

of sexual harassment in the workplace isn’t limited to just the entertainment industry. It is a lingering problem in any industry that employs both men and women. The effect of sexual harassment can provide long term psychological damage to the victim, but it can also be costly for the company. According to the EOCC, payouts for claims of sexual harassment were



estimated to be $165 million in 2015 before the #MeToo Movement. Sexual harassment can also negatively impact your employment brand, workplace productivity, and employee engagement. So how do you know if your workplace is free from sexual harassment and what can you do about it ?

1. Don’t shrink from the issue. Even if you don’t have a workplace that is openly hostile to women, you should assume that sexual harassment is a topic that you should face head­on. Start with reviewing your corporate policy on harassment in the workplace and your company code of conduct. Both should clearly define what is considered as harassment and what the consequences will be for non­compliance. Your anti­harassment policy should also prescribe how and who should report harassment claims. If your workplace is to be free from harassment, you should encourage all employees to report incidents of harassment, regardless of whether they are a victim or a witness. 32

Volume 5 Issue 1 , 201 9

And, of course, managers should be expected to immediately report all harassment complaints to the designated company representative (usually HR) as soon as they are made aware of the issue. 2. Make it a leadership issue. As with all company culture issues, it starts from the top. This means doing a leadership audit to make sure that your leaders are walking the talk when it comes to a zero­tolerance policy on harassment. No harassment policy or code of conduct can help you avoid harassment complaints if it is an open secret that members of your leadership team have been complicit in either participating in harassment, covering it up, or turning a blind eye to it. Remove members of the leadership team who can pose a threat to your zero tolerance of harassment in the workplace through their actions or attitudes. And since we know that what measures gets done, make it a managerial performance issue with targets for zero harassment claims.


3. Provide a means for honest and open communication. Sexual harassment, like any secret, thrives in darkness. Companies that provide a forum for frank dialogue on the subject are much less likely to fall victim to harassment issues. You can provide a variety of communication methods to be vigilant about the threat of harassment. This can include an appointment of an ombudsman who is available to all employees who are concerned about a real or potential issue of harassment. Companies can conduct an employee climate survey that allows employees to respond anonymously to whether they believe the workplace is free of harassment, whether they feel safe in reporting harassment claims, and whether they feel that the existing policy and process for reporting and dealing with claims is adequate. This can uncover issues that may not be known to management but should be addressed. And lastly, consider conducting focus groups with a trained facilitator to provide for dialogue about harassment issues with both employees and managers present.

is non­gender specific, and does not necessarily include only sexual overtures but also abuse of power. Many training programs focus on compliance and review of policy and process. They also tend to focus on the intention behind the action of the perpetrator rather than the impact on the victim. 5. Make harassment free workplace a continuous improvement program. Don’t assume that rolling out one anti­ harassment training program with gusto, and an announcement from the CEO will take care of it. If you are serious about prevention of harassment in the workplace it needs to be attended to constantly, so make it part of your regular performance goals on your corporate dashboard. Mani Goulding: Owner of Career Passion Ltd and author of Ready, Set, Launch

4. Update your employee and managerial training programs for prevention of workplace harassment. Make the objective of your training to be a culture shift towards zero­tolerance of workplace harassment and not just in compliance with existing policy and process. Review your training content to make sure that it emphasises that harassment does not need to be physical, Mani Goulding, is a former Director of Talent Management and the owner of Career Passion Ltd. She is the author of Ready, Set, Launch!: How to Help Your Teen Find a Career That Gives Them Purpose, Passion, and Fulfillment. For further information visit:

Volume 5 Issue 1 , 201 9





n 2018 Nicholas Negroponte, founder of MIT’s Media Lab, stated that the world had developed a “big idea famine”, i.e. for all our innovation talk we’ve started to focus more on shiny and trivial ideas than big problems in the world. As 2019 rolls along, and companies are increasingly aware of the uncertainty in the global business environment, this tendency has just increased. By Alf Rehn

egroponte was primarily addressing the way in which big corporations were focusing on quarterly results and incremental upgrades to existing products, but I can see much of the same dynamic play out in organisations of all sizes. It is a strange paradox that while we live in an era that continuously repeats that innovation is the one thing that companies need to focus on, more are occupied with small ideas and lookalike innovations than ever before. We have more resources than ever before, yet we use them to make minute developments to the efficiency by which we can share kitten memes. We have supercomputers in our pockets, yet we spend our time fretting about follower counts. In organisations, innovation used to be the field that attracted mavericks and kooks, oddballs and the occasional genius.


Volume 5 Issue 1 , 201 9

Now, it has become the playground of vacuous if pretty young things, who brandish business model innovation canvases but no ideas to fill them with. Part of this is due to what I call innovation fatigue. Where innovation used to be something that energised, it is today often a wasteland of clichés and make­ believe, far removed from actually achieving anything much. As a result, people have gotten bored of the concept, or find it increasingly meaningless. This dynamic has led to a situation where the best ideas – the big ideas – can no longer be found in the “innovation centres” of an organisation. Instead, the big ideas have gone to ground. What this means for business leaders is that in order to bring true innovation to your industry, you will have to learn how to dig deeper in your organisation. As


empty innovation clichés have taken over much of the conversation, people have learnt not to bring big ideas to the table, but stick to the kind of shallow ones that get attention. To deal with this, you need to start engaging with people in novel ways. Rather than incentivising shallow, copycat ideas, you need to build up the psychological safety of in your organisation, and ensure that everyone has a chance to get their voices heard. The thing with big ideas is that you never know who might bring them to the table. Often, the people we turn to for new ideas are good at innovation theatre and little else. At the same time, the people beaten down by innovation fatigue might be brimming over with ideas, but no longer wish to share them. Look to the people who’ve been sidestepped, who do not fit the “innovation” mould. Think diversity, rather than whether someone is capable of repeating the newest buzzword. Most important of all, make sure that people feel their ideas are taken seriously and treated with respect. First and foremost, however, a leader who wishes to combat idea famine and innovation fatigue needs to make ideas work and innovation meaningful again. It is not a lack of idea competitions and innovation projects that has brought about our current shallow age, quite the

opposite. When everything referred to as an innovation or innovative, in project after project, the word has become empty. To make ideas exciting again, leaders need to ensure that innovation Alf Rehn: work isn’t just Professor of Innovation, for show, and Design, and also make sure Management at that clichéd talk the University about the same of Southern is counteracted. Denmark Cutting down vacuous innovation initiatives helps, as does establishing a grander vision Photo Credit: for what the Henry Harrison company wishes to achieve. Only by letting go of the buzzwords, and raising the innovation ambition, can organisations start to rouse themselves towards real, deep innovation.

Alf Rehn is a Professor of Innovation, Design, and Management at the University of Southern Denmark and sits on numerous boards of directors. He is recognised as a global thought­leader in innovation and creativity. His latest book, 'Innovation for the Fatigued' (published by Kogan Page) is out now priced £14.99

Volume 5 Issue 1 , 201 9


Human Resources



hat is “over qualified” if looking for the winning edge? There is no such thing! Society teaches us to think in a predetermined and finite way; even in settings of higher learning when the rhetoric is to “think big” or “outside the box”, the box is still there. The “box” keeps you in, out, or within reach of the norm. On the other hand, the difficulty in hiring smart is being able to think without a “box”. By Dr. Virginia LeBlanc.


aving the opportunity to cross many different industries and examine hiring practices, I have come to realise that all fall short in human capital management. Some do better than others if their nature or mission is predicated on doing better as opposed to enforcing the status quo even in the face of changing times. Consider educational systems. We teach children and aspiring young minds to focus on subjects, tests, degrees, and credits instead of providing a holistic educational model and experience inclusive of transferable skills that will


Volume 5 Issue 1 , 201 9

prepare them for life. We limit their developmental exposure by requiring students to declare one direction or another, restricting choice and inadvertently hindering them later in life. Unless you are fortunate to receive guidance to the contrary, alternative educational experiences and/or exposure to worlds seemingly disconnected from your reality to recognise direct or indirect connections, you are at a disadvantage to thinking without a box. The box is your safety net and frame of reference.

Human Resources

THE DISSONANCE AND DIFFICULTY From a business management perspective, we are trained and advised to look for particular hard skill sets to get the job done with a few allowable soft skills as word processing and data entry. We are rarely advised to look for direct or indirect transferable skills in work history like research, creative or technical writing, editing, critical thinking and reasoning, communication, and interpersonal skills, unless required in the position description or qualifications. If a candidate shows more than the prescribed skills called for, the flag identifying difference immediately arises, creating a cautioned negative response and questions of focus, instability, and commitment as opposed to interest, admiration, capability, and well­roundedness. Some sectors with higher hiring volumes even model hiring portals after factories with any difference, deviation, or missing Volume 5 Issue 1 , 201 9

buzzword from a resume viewed as a defect and instantly tossed. The loss value in quality candidates is not even a consideration, while insignificant, static, and superficial statistics remain standard reporting. In this model, the “time is money” cost­factor is weighed at the front end but likely produces greater expense on the back­end. THE LOSING EDGE Most managers think “inside the box”. Those who advance their profession because they are bold enough to question professional opinions and practices are certainly outside the box, but even they have difficulty abandoning the box in their thinking. It starts and ends with an individual decision to change perspective. Shake off conditioned thinking based on type­ casting and stagnation. Such mindsets place you on the losing edge. Clearly, if


Human Resources

you continue to experience low or slow production, turnover, or disgruntled employees, there is a problem. The constant is management, and a “leader” must always be strong enough to steer the ship back on the right course, even if it entails admitting shortcomings.

manage up not down. Only manage down in situations of counselling, but even then, be sure to couple with coaching and mentoring. The workplace is not a home. Though we spend most of our day at work and colleagues often become like family, they are not and you are not raising children. Value and inspire your LEADERS LEAD team. Surround yourself with people who are stronger in areas where you are weak. It is not enough to simply manage but to If you are leading, they will turn your lead. Leaders lead from the balcony not weaknesses into strengths. The smart the basement with a 360° perspective. hires will be self­starters. You simply Once you become aware of conditioned must keep them. thinking, understand the power in hiring If you are viewing your team from the the right team, and break free of biases, balcony, you are positioned to exercise you will be able to take your organisation divergent thinking and hire smart. Leap to new heights and new ways of thinking and think without the box! and being. You will be able to: Seek Difference Always read between the lines, whether in resumes, during interviews, or while checking references. The only time you should discriminate on or take something at face value is performance. Having team members with a host of skills will be your superpower. Reserve judgment on your lack of experience with the unfamiliar. While there may be brilliance in the room of commonly conformed minds and experience, that brilliance only stretches so far and will be limited in direction, solutions, and service. Manage Up If managing in one direction or another,

Dr Virginia LeBlanc

Dr. Virginia LeBlanc is an author, speaker, singer, coach, and consultant. She is a highly sought after multi­disciplinary expert and scholar. Her new book, “Love the Skin YOU’RE in: How to Conquer Life through Divergent Thinking”, is written to encourage and empower all those seeking their place, trying to connect the dots, and fulfil their purpose in life. Visit: 38

Volume 5 Issue 1 , 201 9

Human Resources


By Rahul Batra


works, the UK government has announced that in line with Brexit, free movement of EU workers will come to an end in the year 2021. This raises two important questions. How are UK businesses engaged in the above sectors going to survive by not having easy access to EU workers? And will there be a replacement scheme in effect? In order to facilitate migration into jobs that are not considered sufficiently skilled to qualify for Tier 2 work permits, the For example, the seasonal agricultural workers scheme (SAWS) was in place for government may be looking at the two options below. a very long time prior to ending in the year 2013, mainly due to the fact that EU YOUTH MOBILITY SCHEME (YMS) workers were already allowed to come to the UK under free movement. In the July 2018 White Paper, the However, to throw a spanner in the government stated that it hopes to ree movement of EU workers has been the cornerstone of UK­ EU relations for many years. Several hundred thousand low­skilled workers from EU countries are employed each year in predominantly cleaning, hospitality and agricultural jobs. Historically these sectors have witnessed a strong reliance on seasonal workers from EU countries.


Volume 5 Issue 1 , 201 9

Human Resources

negotiate a UK­EU ‘Youth Mobility’ scheme modelled on the existing Tier 5 scheme that would allow some sort of low­skilled work permits to be introduced post Brexit. Tier 5 YMS is a scheme which at present allows citizens of few Commonwealth countries including Australia, New Zealand, Canada to be employed in jobs at any skill level. Is Youth Mobility Scheme the answer? The Youth Mobility Scheme has been historically designed to facilitate cultural exchange between the UK and certain Commonwealth countries, and not as a labour migration programme. By its very nature, this scheme is temporary while a majority of EU workers would stay for more than two years, and often remain with the same employer for many years. Moreover, YMS has an age restriction of between 18­30 years and not all EU workers would fit into this age bracket. Although the hospitality industry relies heavily on young workers, others may not. Finally, the YMS has caps for each participating country and the size of any caps would be important in determining whether YMS is a major source of labour migration in the future.

Tier 2 visa system for non­EU nationals is designed mainly for graduate level jobs. Most employee jobs in the UK labour market do not meet this criterion, and a substantial share of migration into these non­graduate positions has been from EU countries. Tier 3 of the PBS, which was original designed to accommodate low skilled workers, was never put to use. Therefore, this may be a perfect opportunity for the government to introduce work permits arrangements for low skilled workers under the Tier 3 scheme. However, work permits are not devoid of drawbacks. Firstly, several employers view sponsorship as a cumbersome burden due to the high costs and administrative burden involved. Moreover, the fact that a worker is tied to a specific job, makes it harder for workers to leave exploitative employers in cases where the terms of participation in the scheme have not been successfully enforced.

Are we therefore going to have a Youth Mobility Scheme for EU workers or a new work permit scheme under Tier 3 of the PBS post Brexit, in order to meet the WORK PERMITS FOR LOW­SKILLED JOBS demand for migrant workers in low­ skilled jobs? Work permits by their very nature involve If not, it is very likely that the relatively detailed regulation of the type government will introduce at least some of jobs that are eligible and the conditions equivalent schemes for labour migration of work and also require employer in low skilled jobs after free movement sponsorship linking workers to specific comes to an end, lest the risk of illegal jobs. The Points Based System (PBS) employment rises due to employers not which has five tiers, hasn’t been used having sufficient legal options to recruit completely since inception. The current migrant workers in such jobs. To discuss further or if you have any concerns regarding employing low skilled workers from EU countries, contact our immigration lawyers on +44 (0)20 3318 5794 or via email at

Volume 5 Issue 1 , 201 9


Property: Agent & Homes

THE NEW WAVE ESTATE AGENCY Bob Crowley: Co­CEO Agent & Homes


gent & Homes is a unique prime London hybrid estate agency that introduced a new concept, changing the way the estate agencies are run. Bob Crowley, Co-CEO talks to Ronnie Ajoku about how Agent & Homes is breaking the mould and disrupting the property industry one entrepreneurial agent at a time


ob Crowley launched the fast­ growing agency in June last year with his friend and fellow estate agent, Rollo Miles. Unlike other estate agencies, the firm's consultants operate effectively as self­ employed agents with no fixed hours and agents can work when and where they want to. They can also take holidays when they want, collaborate with like­minded agents at the firm and work from home or the office hub in Notting Hill. Speaking on his 20­year career as an estate agent and the creation of Agent & Homes, Crowley, who has negotiated


Volume 5 Issue 1 , 201 9

over £1 billion worth of property deals said: “I recently managed a successful Prop­Tech startup, which gave me an appetite for my own property startup. So I founded Agent and Homes with friend and colleague, Rollo Miles who I have known and worked closely with over the last 15 years.” Over the past 20 years, in his opinion, the relationship between landlords, estate agencies and tenants has soured primarily due to the quest for expansion rather than quality of service. “The relationships between Landlords, agents and tenants have all deteriorated over the last 20 years. As have relationships between vendors,

Property: Agent & Homes

agents and buyers. As most estate agencies expanded rapidly looking for more shop fronts and higher profits they continued to charge their clients very high fees but reduced the quality of staff, and therefore service levels, that built strong relationships with clients — this led to the success of cheaper 'door­opener' types. It's very sad.” Agent & Homes provides full sales and lettings services, as well as property search and acquisition, commercial property, leasehold enfranchisement, land and new homes and interior design services. “We are giving a service level and client attention to detail that has deserted high street outfits and is not even a concern for the up front fee budget agencies. We decided customers want more and deserve more so here we are! We also started Agent and Homes to cater for the experienced excellent quality staff that have been largely ignored or managed out by estate agencies across London. They work on a self employed basis under our Agent & Homes banner and they receive the highest commissions in the industry because we know they will provide a better service for vendors and landlords and also achieve better results.” The agency — which is ideal for disillusioned property professionals looking for entrepreneurial opportunities — has an innovative business model, which sees agents receive 90% of the commission fees they earn with the remaining 10% going back to Agent & Homes to be invested in support services. This allows agents to focus on what they do best — selling and letting properties. “We want the best agents; the experienced ones who build lasting Volume 5 Issue 1 , 201 9

relationships, generate business and can sell or let the properties they take on. These are the under­valued and under­ appreciated agents on the high street earning 5­10% commissions if they are lucky. We offer up to 90% commission. The best estate agents should bear the fruits of their labour and be treated with respect. That's all the motivation they need to be the best they can be.” It is not all about targets for them either. “Targets don't motivate people. Never have done. We understand this and so do the people that work Rollo Miles: with us.” Co­Founder Despite the plethora of estate agencies in London, Crowley is happy with the progress made so far. “We have been delighted by how quickly we have been welcomed into such a competitive and saturated market place. That said, we were not surprised as we employ agents who are highly respected in their areas. We are effectively a broker house for estate agents and they are our brand ambassadors. Consequently, we have been accepted quickly by the public as an agent of choice.” Crowley, is not afraid of his agency's concept being copied. “Other agencies are already copying us, and complimenting us too. It's flattering. If we can change the industry for the better we are happy to lead from the front and take others with us on an exciting and rewarding journey.” He also believes that the traditional estate agency has 'dumbed down' over the last 20 years. “It has left a large void in the industry which we are already changing as we recreate an environment of respect and great service to both our consultants and our clients. It's a win/win situation,” he added.





ach year we forecast how the labyrinth of technology advancements and consumer behaviour changes will redefine the Real Estate Contracting, Manufacturing, and Trading industries over the coming years. Consequently, we are always considering innovative ways to adapt and develop our offerings amid changing expectations of a demanding consumer. By Ujjwal Goel


ith the heightened need and focus on 'cities of the future', such as Dubai, the question we continually ask ourselves as contractors and owners of the built environment is: “Are our buildings and projects future ready?” “Are we deploying technology innovatively and effectively to prepare and respond to the rapidly changing ecosystem, whilst honouring the history and craftsmanship of the past?” The industry may believe that smart Volume 5 Issue 1 , 201 9

cities or cities of the future are unlikely to impact the existing built environment, or that the timing is too far out to consider seriously. However, some evolving trends are likely to impact the industry faster than expected. Growing government focus, rapid advances in technology, and innovative solutions to improve and define the landscape we live in should compel the industry to prepare and respond to the changes in the ecosystem. And in the words of News Corporation Founder, Rupert Murdoch: “The world is changing very fast. Big will not beat



small anymore. It will be the fast beating the slow.” As we take a closer look at the contracting industry we see it has largely grown throughout the years, but tends to follow primitive construction methods and techniques. In addressing these shortcomings and carving out a competitive positioning, we have sought to ensure our divisions stand head and shoulders above their contemporaries through an innovation­led approach to all of its processes. As seen with ANCA, an FFE Manufacturing company, its manufacturing setup is light years ahead of its competition in terms of infrastructure. For example, the leather machines used by ANCA, are the same that are used for Ferrari. It not only exceeds the quality standards of today but also provides products that stand the test 46

Volume 5 Issue 1 , 201 9

of time. We are also aware that the contracting industry in the future will have to become less reliant on human manpower and more on machines. As “early­adopters”, we equip the team with technologies that are not prevalent in the industry and are still at research and development stages. This, therefore, allows for greater efficiency per person and also enables us to accelerate work schedules. With these thoughts in mind, we identify the drive of construction innovation and client personalisation as a key theme. This is an outlook that we believe industry owners should consider integral to their business strategy. As a company, our mission is always to provide integrated service solutions aimed at “Empowering Prosperity”, by redefining the modus operandi of the industries it works in. We


believe that for companies to “future proof” their growth, a 360 offering of bespoke end­to­end suite of services will be imperative. Switching our attention to the competition, we can see that for clients it has never been tighter. Clients today have a growing desire for personalisation, with consumption patterns tilting toward more customised goods and services. In the 2017 State of Personalisation Report, it explores how personalisation impacts consumer choices, where consumers demand tailored experiences, what happens when retailers live up to expectations, and the effects of falling behind. Consumers expect highly personalised experiences from companies and are willing to spend more money when entities deliver targeted recommendations. Despite those expectations, however, a majority of consumers are disappointed with the ongoing lack of personalisation in their consumer experiences. As documented in the report, on average 71% express some level of frustration when their experience is impersonal. The proliferation of new devices and the

rapidly evolving technology landscape has led to a 'personalisation gap' in the customer experience, and as consumers’ expectations rise, many companies struggle to meet them. It is through new technologies, access to world­renowned craftsmanship, and integrated end­to­end solutions that Teraciel Group address and enable customisation requirements. As seen at La Sorogeeka Interiors, the engineering team has taken into account lessons from its three decades of experience and provide solutions to address future issues, including providing processes, such as its stone installation and the tools/ equipment used, that are impossible to find in the region, and have them imported from the US and Western Europe. One size does not fit all. Knowing what your customers want and need can often be the one thing that solidifies their decision to do business with you. On the other hand, if you don’t know your customer, that could be the one thing that drives them into the arms of your competitor.

Ujjwal Goel is the Managing Director of Teraciel Group, a multidisciplinary company with business verticals in diverse fields such as Real Estate, Contracting, Manufacturing and Trading. For more information visit:

Volume 5 Issue 1 , 201 9



LABS LAUNCH FLAGSHIP PROPERTY LABS has officially launched its flagship property, LABS House, the latest addition to a portfolio of properties offering workspaces in thriving areas for work and recreation. The nine storey building covers 96,100 sq ft, boasting an events space, communal areas, full­service dining, coworking and dedicated offices. LABS now operates six properties across the Borough of Camden, with a 7th space in Holborn set to transition to LABS management this year and an 8th major Holborn development on the way. Dotan Weiner, LABS COO, said: “As a business, LABS has the stability of a £3 billion property portfolio behind it and impressive proprietary tech platform with which to operate its workspaces. With the launch of LABS House we are targeting major growth, with the goal of doubling our membership by the end of 2019.” Chantal Robinson, Operations Director at LABS, added: “Our spaces are unrivalled in London and are designed to help businesses to deliver and individuals to grow. In a climate where companies are constantly trying to engage their workforces, and stress is at an all time high, we provide our members with the tools to engineer productivity, encourage collaboration and nurture talent, whether they are a small team or an established business. “We understand that it’s people that make businesses grow, and that they are always more than the sum of their parts. Collaboration is what sparks ideas, maintains clarity and delivers success. The LABS Collective is built on this principle, it’s a tech­enabled community built for growth” 50

Volume 5 Issue 1 , 201 9

Dotan Weiner: LABS COO



ulti-cloud has undoubtedly been one of the hottest topics in tech for the past year. Despite multi-cloud's popularity, however, many organisations are still struggling with delivery. By Kris Saxton

o, what actually is multi­cloud, and runtime. how do you leverage it to work best 2. SOFTWARE VS. TRADITIONAL IT for you? Multi­cloud platforms, like all modern Here's a summary of 7 common pitfalls surrounding multi­cloud implementation infrastructure, are strange beasts. They have aspects in common with the software and how to avoid them. services they support and aspects of the 1. HYBRID CLOUD VS. MULTI­CLOUD infrastructure services they are born from yet are leaving behind. Multi­cloud is a new term coined because Hybrid Cloud was getting overloaded with concepts 'Software is eating the world' said Marc like on/off­prem, brokers and abstraction Andreessen, the same could be said for infrastructure. Failure to recognise this layers as well as just running more than means the benefits of implementing and one cloud provider in parallel (which is managing a service in software vs what multi­cloud is). Multi­cloud means adopting and running traditional infrastructure approach means we'll fail to recognise the benefits in workloads on more than one cloud terms of speed, quality and cost. provider at the same time. They may be managed by common tooling and process, 3. TRYING TO BE AN IAAS but they are separate and workloads One of the enormous benefits of multi­ cannot be moved between providers at Volume 5 Issue 1 , 201 9



cloud is the move away from shared services to codified patterns of cloud use. This is where you have governed access to IaaS and PaaS services (expressed as code) but without creating any persistent infrastructure that has to be fed and watered. The key benefit of this approach is very small code base and ops teams ­ therefore lower running costs. But ops teams, tend to create persistent infrastructure by default. Why? Because it's what they're used to and they don't really see the penalties with having things to manage. Organisations need to embed strong architecture principles that actively encourage the avoidance of persistent infrastructure and strong product ownership to implement that vision and get teams focused on supporting devs.

organisation's policies and processes from day one. It then appears as if nothing of value is being delivered for a long time because end users don't care about these compliance measures. Strong product ownership should keep the team focused on building 'potentially shippable units of value'.

5. OVERCOMPLICATING Engineers are curious and driven to build things; it's ingrained so deep, it's part of their DNA. But without strong guidance they will build a ladder to the moon, just to see if they can and because it's just so shiny. Platforms built by engineers will generally be awesome. Awesome technically and in terms of cost, size and skill of the teams required to maintain and run them. If building platforms with 4. BUILDING TOO MUCH UPFRONT governance and security in mind produces One of the main reasons for frustration delivery goals that are too broad, then with delayed delivery can be traced to engineer­led deliveries tend to be too this, whereby a decision is made to ensure deep. Again, strong product ownership that anything built is compliant with an with a laser focus on doing as little as 52

Volume 5 Issue 1 , 201 9


possible to meet the user's need are the key here.

reinvented themselves around the concept of the product or the service, the surrounding ecosystem remains largely 6. "FAUX AGILE" unchanged. Often programmes are labelled as agile in The lessons learned in engineering about name, but what is being practiced is far the fundamentals of lean and agile, are from it. "Faux Agile" can be serious killer just as powerful and relevant across an of both morale and delivery velocity. organisation. What's needed is a much bigger and ongoing investment in IT leadership, so THE VIRTUES OF MULTI­CLOUD they aren't just doing agile for the sake of To address some of these challenges, start it, but they have the deep and lasting by focusing on just three things: understanding that will survive the 1. Abstraction ­ make sure you know the pressure of a deadline. difference between multi and hybrid and why you're adopting multi­cloud. 7. ORG TRANSFORMATION 2. Ambition ­ recognise the importance of Beyond technology, organisations need to the Product Owner role and resource it be prepared to manage the people and properly. process implication of cloud. What we're 3. Approach ­ embed lean and agile seeing is that, whilst the low level thinking across the organisation as a delivery teams have successfully whole. Kris Saxton is Partner and Co­founder at Automation Logic and has been a Systems Engineer for more than 20 years, before moving into consultancy. An acknowledged expert on all things cloud and automation, he consults for enterprise clients across both the public and private sectors. For further information visit:

Volume 5 Issue 1 , 201 9



Business Dining at One Alfred Place


orking lunches are a necessity north' she'd make things like cow­heal pie, black puddings and hot­pots in today's business Graham Thompson – these recipes had been world, therefore it passed down through the is essential that a Private generations. My biggest Members Club like One influence is Oriental and Alfred Place offers its Middle Eastern cuisine and members the option of the incredible flavours that wholesome food that leaves you can get from the different them feeling energised for the spices." day ahead. Graham Thompson, Head Chef at One Alfred Place Until recently, Graham headed up the Villandry, Great Portland Street. His accomplished career as a chef includes accolades such as Head Chef at the Cadogan Hotel, The Century Club and The Basil Street Hotel. Graham trained with celebrity chef Peter Kronberg, at InterContinental Hotels in London and Paris, both of which had been awarded Michelin stars. Originally from Manchester, Graham started his career as a 14­ year­old washing up dishes in a local restaurant for pocket money. Each year they would take on an apprentice, and when he was 16 years old, he was lucky enough to be selected. When asked about his inspiration, Graham told us: "My mum is a very, very good cook. Being from 'up

Healthy, lighter meals Graham has introduced a lighter menu to One Alfred Place. "I've introduced healthier, lighter and cleaner food. I have pushed away from so much meat and introduced more grains and pulses." Alongside all of the super healthy light dishes on offer, you can still get your teeth into a juicy steak sourced from the renowned London­based Macken Brothers butchers – there is also lots more fish on the menu. One of the members favourites is Fish Finger sandwiches – of course the fish fingers are made from scratch and served with freshly made tartare sauce. The menu is updated every six weeks, each day there are two specials and special dietary requirements can be catered for. So, keep an eye out on the menus and please ask Graham and his team if you have any questions or special requests.

For your impressive business lunch at One Alfred Place, see: or vist 1 Alfred WC1E 7EB. Telephone: 020 7000 1999 54

Volume 5 Issue 1 , 201 9




espite a field that is overwhelmed with progressive KPIs, targets, and sheets upon sheets of numbers, let’s be reminded of the thrust fuelling this storm: groups and individuals who are organic in nature. We are indeed the life force that makes the universe of sales and marketing move. By Nimesh Mehta


Getting insight into their personality will allow you to behave accordingly when you start talking to them. It shows them that not only are you dedicated, but you also have a genuine interest in them. Since networking is all about increasing the number of people you know (building your network), getting attuned to how they behave, what they like, or how their lifestyle is gives you an edge over others who simply want to make a sale. You are showing your clients, prospects, or partners that you are sincere, that you will To successfully network, you must know listen to what they want to say, and that your clients, prospects, or partners well. you are someone who is reliable and s humans, we feel the natural need to socialise, inevitably influencing our ways of thinking and moving in the world. Networking fuels the sales and marketing machinery, particularly with (1) making contacts or connecting with potential customers or partners, (2) building long­term relationships by connecting with potential customers or partners regularly, and (3) converting them into friends or connections for life.


Volume 5 Issue 1 , 201 9


trustworthy — like a friend. You provide a more human side to your relationship instead of just focusing on making a sale. We have to foster this fundamental understanding: from on­a­whim to the most deliberate, every gesture results from a trail of behavioural and environmental dominos behind it. In short, your clients are people, too. Complement your fervour to network with genuine interest in their lives. Get to know your top clients via the places they frequent (think of hip restaurants, exclusive club and hotel memberships, industry forums, and local business fora), their interests (find out about their sports, hobbies, weekend getaways, and staycations), and even a peek into their lifestyles via their kids (playdates, schools). Insight is definitely key. Armed with such information, you are prepared to move forward with your proper networking plan. Many salespeople or businessmen go to networking events, but very few actually know how to network effectively. Hold Volume 5 Issue 1 , 201 9

on to your hats; here are my personal pointers to help you achieve your own networking milestones: Prepare for the event well in advance. In today’s world, event organisers send the website link and the profile of the speakers. Go through those in detail so that when you talk to anyone, you leave a good and lasting impression. With that, keep in mind that first impressions do last: dress perfectly for the occasion. In business events, you must wear your best suit and tie. If it’s an informal party, wear a smart jacket. Always make sure that you look presentable. Your networking begins the moment you step foot on the venue. Be the first to arrive and the last to leave the event. When you arrive early, you get to familiarise yourself with the banquet hall, the registration counter, the place where tea or food is served, the area where people can go for a smoke, and so on. The reason you should leave last is that toward the end of a program, speakers



and key organisers are more relaxed and free. Open doors for yourself; you must take this opportunity to build some rapport with them. Manifest the discipline of a military general and form your networking strategy. Have your lunch or snack in the first or last five minutes of the lunch break so the rest of 55 minutes can be used for networking. Practice your game face — be enthusiastic, happy, and positive throughout the event. Don’t complain or grumble about things that are not going right in your company or industry. People want to do business with positive people.

Lastly, you are human, too. Be helpful toward other people in the event. If you can establish a good connection with someone in the room, do so and build your reputation. Networking is similar to the joy and dynamics experienced at the proverbial kids’ sandbox. It’s not just about collecting contacts, but it’s also about building connections and relationships for life!

Follow through that lasting impression by giving them a chance to call you back. Carry enough business cards and have your 30­second commercial or selling pitch ready. Once you get a business card from a new prospect, immediately write down the bullet points of what you discussed on the back of the card. Be sure to add a personal point you discussed that will allow you to remember that person. Think of it as a networking mixer. Spend 75% of the time with people or prospects you don’t know. Hanging around with industry friends or fellow employees will not help you create a network at all. Don’t spend too much time with one person, or else you will defeat the purpose of networking. If you find a really good connection, then you can afford to spend that extra time. Nimesh Mehta is a speaker, sales leader and the author of Sales Booster: The New Science of Selling (Leadership and Sales Turnaround Wisdom from World's Top Leaders and Organizations). For further information visit: 58

Volume 5 Issue 1 , 201 9