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The independent business magazine for Sussex

bernie ecclestone TALks ExCLusIvELy TO PBM

Issue 4. 2014

the PetroL


you might be suprised


how much is my business worth? JAGuAr xJL POrTFOLIO

the mobile office

Plus: NatWest Funding Guide Personal Finance Guide International Trade Legal Issues Accountancy Marketing Commercial Property Business Travel Editorial Opinion Expert Panel Networking Motoring

Issue 4. 2014

Maarten Hoffmann – Director maarten@platinumbusinessmagazine.com 07966 244046

Ian Trevett – Director ian@platinumbusinessmagazine.com 07989 970804

Lynne Edwards - Commercial Property lynne@portfoliopublications.co.uk Tel: 07931 537588

Frida Clementz - Senior Designer

Julia Trevett – Accounts Manager


12. From rags to riches

Bernie Ecclestone is a force of nature. Even at the age of 83, he strides up and down the Formula One pit lane and the paddock area, with the same boundless energy that has marked his reign over F1 racing for the past three decades and counting. But even the dynamic Ecclestone may have found his match with the German legal system...

At A Glance

All rights reserved. The views expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the publisher. The publisher cannot accept responsibility for any errors or omissions relating to advertising or editorial. The publisher reserves the right to change or amend any competitions or prizes offered. No part of this publication may be reproduced without prior written consent from the publisher. No responsibility is taken for unsolicited materials or the return of these materials whilst in transit. Platinum Business Manager is published and owned by Platinum Business Publications Limited. Directors: Maarten Hoffmann and Ian Trevett

6 NEWS 11 Institute of Directors 12 Bernie Ecclestone 21 Business Ethics 22 Finance 28 Business Interview Richard Skerritt 36 Legal

40 Politics 47 Human Resources 50 Alternative Investments 58 Business Travel 60 Motoring 73 Books 75 Networking 76 DINING REVIEW 82 Wise words

welcome .

Welcome to the re-branded Platinum Business Magazine (formerly Absolute Business Magazine). We are delighted to say that we have purchased the title outright and the magazine will continue as the independent voice of business for Sussex, Surrey and Kent. Due to the great success of the publication to date, we don’t intend to make too many changes in the short term but we do have some exciting plans for 2015.


24. how much is my business worth The question often asked by business owners is, “what is my business worth?� There are many factors to take into account when valuing a business. Michael Pay, Director of EMC Corporate Finance, reveals the key elements to consider when putting a price on a company.

In this issue, we have an exclusive interview with global deal-maker and billionaire, Bernie Ecclestone, who, by the time this issue goes to print, will either be free to continue his quest for global domination or will be in a German prison. We present the first of many high value competitions and this month there is the unique opportunity to win a fantastic Golf trip to Las Colinas Golf and Country Club in Spain, which was recently voted Best Golf Resort in the International Hotel & Property Awards. The ultimate stress-buster. Another new feature beginning this month is a spotlight on local politics, where we ask two candidates from different regions within Sussex to tell us what they will do for local businesses if they are elected. We are delighted to present another issue packed with informative features, fascinating articles and sound advice and sincerely hope you enjoy the read and much as we enjoyed writing it.


50. The PeTrol Pension Over the last decade, classic cars have outperformed wine, stamps and art as the smart investment and many might concur that having a pristine Jaguar E-Type in your garage for the odd weekend jaunt is considerably more attractive than having a few cases of dusty Mouton Rothschild in your cellar.

Platinum Business Magazine is now the most read and widely distributed business publication in the South East and we are only just getting into our stride. Maarten Hoffmann and Ian Trevett

Snap ShotS - national



“Doing business without advertising is like winking at a girl in the dark. You know what you are doing but nobody else does.”

The UK economy will grow faster in 2014 than any other G7 economy, while low wage rises will ensure interest rates do not rise until next year, an influential report has forecast. UK GDP growth will hit 3.1% this year, spurred by strong capital investment by businesses, the EY Item Club said. Meanwhile it predicted that rates will not rise until the first quarter of 2015. “After several false starts, this time the recovery could be different,” said EY’s chief economist Mark Gregory. The Item Club raised its forecast for growth this year to 3.1% from 2.9% previously. This, it said, was due to an expected 12.5% jump in business investment. This compares with 2% GDP growth in Canada and 1.8% growth in Germany, the body forecast. Official figures show that UK GDP rose by 0.8% in the first three months of the year, the fifth consecutive quarter of positive growth. This represents the longest positive run since the financial crisis.

Family Mortgage There is a new plan afoot to allow an entire family to share in a mortgage. A new deal being offered by Family Building Society, an off-shoot of National Counties Mutual, will allow up to 12 family members to help a first timer buyer get onto the property ladder. The Family Mortgage has a deal whereby they expect a 5% deposit and allows several family members to offset it, which can be done through a charge on their house, or by putting at least £5,000 into a savings account with the society or both, as long as 20% of the purchase price is offset. The loan offers a five-year fix at 4.39% for 5% deposits with fee’s ranging from £875 to £1,080 plus £75 for each home used as security. In addition, they are launching a mortgage aimed at the recently divorced and those whose long-term relationships have finished. Expect next a deal for those with one leg shorter than the other and those with a squint!


Issue 4 � 2014

- Business|news -

Snap ShotS - national

LOAN SHARK CAP Plans for a cap on the amount that payday lenders can charge their customers have been announced by the City regulator. Payday loan rates should be capped at 0.8% a day of the amount borrowed, said the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). And in total, no one will have to pay back more than twice what they borrowed. The payday industry said the changes - due in January 2015 - would mean more people turning to loan sharks. There will also be a cap on default charges, which is likely to be set at £15. “For the many people that struggle to repay their payday loans every year, this is a giant leap forward,” said FCA chief executive Martin Wheatley. The FCA estimates that payday lenders will lose £420m a year as a result of the changes, or 42% of their revenue. The evidence from other countries is that people either turn to illegal lenders - the back-street loan sharks - or more likely, they’ll go to online lenders who are operating outside of the UK”. Wonga currently charges £37.15 to borrow £100 for a month, while The Money Shop charges £29.99. Both would have to cut these fees to £24.

MORAL TAXATION HM Customs and Revenue (HMRC) has published a list of more than 800 schemes that it believes are deliberately designed to avoid tax. As many of these schemes are perfectly legal this rule is obviously designed to judge tax payers on their morals. As soon as it receives new legal powers in August, HMRC will be demanding the disputed tax as “accelerated” payments. Accountants warned that the number of individual bankruptcies could go up as a result.There’s a long list of people, including celebrities such as David Beckham, Gary Barlow and singer Katie Melua are among those who have been members of such schemes. In total, it is thought around 33,000 people will receive tax demands for billions of pounds from HMRC over the next two years. They will be given 90 days to pay, and they will only get the money back if a court eventually decides in their favour. Accountancy firms said that, in the case of many schemes, it would prove

near impossible for taxpayers to challenge a request for payment by HMRC. In Snapshots last month, we reported that the HMRC are also after powers to raid our accounts without a court order, and remove whatever sum they thought we owed. If they are wrong, apparently some 21% of the time by the way, you will have to sue them to get it back. One firm also warned that some people will not have enough money to pay, especially since interest payments will have mounted up over the years. “Individuals and businesses will be expected to raise external finance to pay the tax, or sell assets,” said Dawn Register at accountants BDO. “This could lead to many businesses facing a major cash flow problem, and equally individual bankruptcies could increase,” she said.


The leaders of the five Brics countries have signed a deal to create a new $100bn (£58.3bn) development bank and emergency reserve fund. The Brics group is made up of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. The capital for the bank will be split equally among the five participating countries and will have headquarters in Shanghai, China and the first president for the bank will come from India on a 5-year rotation. Brazil’s President, Dilma Rousseff, announced the creation of the bank at a Brics summit meeting in Fortaleza, Brazil on Tuesday. The creation of the Brics bank will almost surely create competition for both the World Bank and other similar regional funds. Brics nations have criticised the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund for not giving developing nations enough voting rights. One of the goals for the bank - whose creation has been discussed for some time - would be to increase the amount of money loaned to developing countries to help with infrastructure projects.

- Business|news -

Issue 4 � 2014


Snap ShotS - LoCaL


QUOTE OF THE month: Always look for the fool in the deal. If you don’t find one, it’s you.”

To get involved, contact Therese Cole on 07925 071018. www.sussexebp.org


An MP has resigned from his ministerial role and will not seek re-election as an MP next year. Bexhill and Battle MP Greg Barker has quit as Energy Minister and will leave Parliament at the next general election. The 48-year-old Worthing-born politician gained his seat in 2001, and the MP tweeted as the news broke saying: “It has been a huge honour to serve in pioneering 1st Cameron govt, & great privilege to represent #Bexhill&Battle.” The region has lost another MP in the departure of Mike Weatherley, (Hove) and Amber Rudd (Hastings & Rye) who was George Osborne’s former PPS, has been elevated to Minister at Department of Energy and Climate Change replacing outgoing Minister Greg Barker.

Greg Barker


Issue 4 � 2014

The Sussex Education Business Partnership has announced a UK World Skills Day at Brighton Racecourse on October 15th. The event will give the opportunity to get hands-on careers advice with a range of ‘have a go’ events for all Sussex students aged 14-19, with over 2000 already booked in. It is a sad fact that careers advice in schools is desperately under-funded these days but thanks to the likes of Mike Eaton and Therese Cole from SEBP and many others like them from the National Careers Service and The Skills Funding Agency, this subject can be placed right back into the heart of our schools. Countless companies will be taking part and there will be zones such as Finance and Banking, Construction, Performing Arts, Science and Technology, Leisure and Tourism, Digital Media and many more. The army are even bringing along a tank!

Amber Rudd


A group of business leaders has criticised the government’s lack of response to a report on airport expansion. In an open letter, they said it A Department for Transport was “unacceptable” that the spokesperson said: “We are government had not responded making progress delivering on to the Airports Commission’s the Airports Commission’s key interim report. recommendations in its interim report, including improving The commission shortlisted three rail access to Gatwick and options for expanding the UK’s establishing the CAA-led airport capacity in December. Senior Delivery Group to drive The options include adding forward airspace reform. These a third runway at Heathrow, proposals are not about a quick lengthening an existing runway at fix, but about what can be done Heathrow, and a new runway at to make the most of existing Gatwick. The commission, led by airport infrastructure over the businessman Sir Howard Davies, short to medium term.” will also consider a new airport in the Isle of Grain in north Kent The Department for Transport although this is thought to be a said it would respond to the dead duck. A final report is due report “shortly”. by next summer.

- Business|news -

Snap ShotS - LoCaL

South East Beats the Country


Companies from the South East represented at the event included Worthing-based Electronic Temperature Instruments Ltd, which manufactures calibrates and services digital thermometers, who won the Queens Award for International Trade for increasing exports to 45% of their turnover. Leverton Clarke Ltd, based in Basingstoke, which manufactures and sells specialty chemicals, who won the Queen’s Award for International Trade for their export sales, and Oxford Technologies Ltd, Abingdon, an energy consultancy service for nuclear fusion technology applications, who won an award for growing overseas earnings by 501%.

Congratulations to Dean, who also finds time to write in this magazine on the subject of the IOD, and we look forward to his invaluable contribution and strong leadership for years to come.

Some of the South East’s best exporters gathered at a special event in London last month to celebrate their Queen’s Awards. The prestigious event attended by Minister for Trade & Investment Lord Livingston and UKTI South East director Lewis Scott, was held at The Farmers Club in Whitehall. The event was organized by UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) to help companies celebrate their award and find out how they can further boost their exports with the help of UKTI’s services.

Lewis Scott, Regional Director of UKTI South East, said: “With the largest number of Queen’s Award winners in the country, the South East certainly has a lot to celebrate. With 33 winners of the Queen’s Award here in the South East, and 19 of these for international trade, it’s vital to celebrate such a superb result and bring our winners together to share experiences and look ahead to future opportunities”. To find out more about the 2015 Awards visit www.queensawards.bis.gov.uk For further information about UKTI services visit www.gov.uk/ukti

The Brighton and Hove Economic Partnership will sadly say goodbye to its long-standing Chairman Tony Mernagh next year, following many years of service to the City. The Partnership works with businesses and the local authority to plan the economic strategy for the City and to ensure that the commercial sector has a voice. The new head has been announced as Dean Orgill, Chairman of leading law firm Mayo Wynne Baxter who has worked with the firm for over 27 years and is highly respected within the business community. He stated: “Tony has been a stalwart but the time is right for him to move on. My role will be to ensure the transition runs smoothly and that we continue to make a contribution to economic debate and strategy, and remain in a good place to continue that going forward. There is a perception that Brighton can be a tough place to get things done. That’s not necessarily right or wrong but the perception is a challenge. Brighton is a fantastic City with wonderful traditions and a unique identity but we can’t afford to stand still”


A free school which is about to open in Manor Royal, Crawley has teamed up with Gatwick Airport to provide initiatives for the students during their time at the school. The Gatwick School plans to open in September. Simon Rule, from the trust which will run the school, said: “I am really keen that all our children understand the world of work, hear from inspiring people across a range of industries and businesses at Gatwick Airport and see for themselves how a successful international operation works. This relationship with the airport will create opportunities to enlighten and enthuse our students.” The school’s ambition is to work with the airport to eventually create employment opportunities through apprenticeships. The school will be Crawley’s first all-through school, opening with children in Reception and Year 7 classes initially.

- Business|news -

Issue 4 � 2014


Sussex-based Skerritts received the coveted Citywire award for a record fourth successive year from comedian Ed Byrne at the awards ceremony at the Park Plaza in Westminster.

InstItute of dIrectors

Dean Orgill

InstItute of DIreCtors Make Sure Your Voice Is Heard In my first column I set out the aims of the Institute of Directors, and I think it is an opportune time to return to one of those stated aims, that is: To represent the interests of members and of the business community to government and in all public fora. Like me, many of you will no doubt have heard Lord Digby Jones speak and mention his view that effectively business pays for everything that happens in the economy, whether it is by putting salaries into the bank accounts of families or by contributing the taxes that pay for the public service sector. [There is of course currently a borrowing element too, but ultimately we all know where the repayments for that will come from.] So it is not unreasonable for business to have a voice in terms of public policy and how the money is spent, is it? You may well agree that business should have its voice heard, but to what extent do you try to influence the decisions? We are entering an important time for lobbying and influencing, with both local and national elections in the not too distant future and political thoughts focussing very much on that future. Whether this focus on the future is to the exclusion of the present I leave to your own judgement. However, there is no doubt that manifestos are being prepared and policies formulated ahead of the fray for next year. We therefore need to ensure that business makes its voice heard.

to do so. If you are not an IoD member it is another good reason to become one. This is not just an IoD issue though. Other organisations and groups offer excellent opportunities to put your views forward on important issues affecting our area. The Federation of Small Businesses is a very active organisation in campaigning and has recently launched a campaign to improve the broadband network (they estimate that 45,000 businesses are still operating on dialup speeds!). Gatwick Diamond Business Association, Sussex Enterprise and Chambers of Commerce are heavily involved in the airport capacity debate. Brighton Chamber of Commerce has been very active in the campaign for the Living Wage. Recently a public sector and business grouping has formed around the issue of the A27 and the difficulties that the county faces with its east-west infrastructure connections. All of these groups need your views, and your direct support in putting those views forward to the people who may be able to influence the outcome of the decisions to be made. Whilst those people are in listening mode it is even more important that we make sure that the views of businesses in the county are put across.

Dean Orgill Chairman of Mayo Wynne Baxter

www.mayowynnebaxter.co.uk www.iod.com

Just a thought ... Sound familiar ? “There is lots of opportunity for growth but it seems that everyone, whatever industry they’re in, is having to work much harder to make money” (Nick Appell, Chief Exec Casna Group)

The IoD surveys its members each month through Policy Voice and the results of that survey feed back into its lobbying of government. If you are an IoD member and have not signed up to it I would urge you - Institute of directors -

Issue 4 � 2014 │11


FROM RAGS TO RICHES Interview by Maarten Hoffmann

12│ Issue 4 � 2014

- Business|Interview -


Bernie Ecclestone is a force of nature. Even at the age of 83, he strides up and down the Formula one pit lane and the paddock area, with the same boundless energy that has marked his reign over F1 racing for the past three decades and counting. Sitting down inside his small, unguarded private tent in the paddock area behind pit lane, it was fascinating to watch Ecclestone at work.

Shortly before noon, various celebrity guests - British actors Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy, billionaire Cirque de Soleil founder Guy Laliberté and a gaggle of movie stars, billionaires and the odd Prince - arrived to pay tribute to him in much the same manner as foreign dignitaries might come to greet a world leader or royal head of state. This is a fitting comparison, however, as Ecclestone has ruled over the sport in a benevolent, iron-fisted way that has seen him transform a formerly rag-tag operation composed of factional racing tribes into a multi-billion dollar global business empire. Unlike national potentates, however, Ecclestone has little need for ceremony. There is no excess baggage or artifice to his world or manner. He speaks in plain terms using an economy of words to state precisely what he thinks and feels. He has long sealed deals with a single handshake and adheres to an old-world expectation that one’s word is one’s bond. Bernie, as he has been known for years to people within F1, likes to come to the point and has never seen the need to embellish anything. It’s that kind of brutal efficiency that has marked his time as ringmaster of the Formula One circus that has become the greatest sporting show on earth. He was the first to identify the ultimate potential of television to turn F1 racing into a world-wide spectacle, and in the process has made billions from his management and ownership of the sport’s commercial activities. Bernie and his partners sold 63.4% and effective control of the business

to the British private equity giant, CVC Capital Partners in 2006, a deal that was bankrolled by the Royal Bank Of Scotland, despite CVC sitting on assets of £46 billion. To date, CVC have made an estimated $4 billion from its foray into the pit lane, from dividends and by selling stock in the privately owned F1 business to companies such as BlackRock, the American investment giant, and Norges, a Norwegian state-owned fund. In 2011, Murdoch’s News Corporation tried to take control of F1 but was rebuffed by Ecclestone. Now the buyout giant is eyeing one last payday from F1 and its remaining 36% stake has been placed on the auction block and several media companies are itching to get involved. In pole position sits Liberty Global, the American conglomerate controlled by billionaire John Malone, which last year scooped up Britain’s Virgin Media for $15 billion. A 15.3% stake owned by the rump of the collapsed Lehman Brothers Wall Street bank is also up for grabs. This global brand generates over £1 billion a year from television and merchandise rights and all this was started by a former used car salesman who has been pulling the string of F1 for over three decades. Ecclestone’s business philosophy is essentially one of challenging you to make a deal with him and see how you fare. After all, when in 2000 he (via his family trust) sold off a 75% stake in F1’s marketing company, his family trust earned $3.37 billion yet still owned 25 percent of the operation while still retaining effective management control of the sport.

- Business|interview -

It’s the kind of deal that any business school ought to use as a master case study in the art of outmanoeuvring your opponent. The German newsmagazine Der Spiegel recently described this deal as a “brilliant coup.”

Issue 4 � 2014 │13


Bernie after being mugged in 2012

But today the master dealmaker is under assault on several fronts. In November 2011, Ecclestone was called upon to testify in a Munich courtroom in the trial of Gerhard Gribkowsky, the former BayernLB banker in Germany who oversaw the 2006 sale of F1 to CVC, which netted the Ecclestone family trust Bambino Holdings, a reported $478 million profit. Gribkowsky, the BayernLB’s chief risk officer, was accused of accepting a bribe of $44m (£27m) to deliberately undervalue the shares of F1 so that the bank sold the shares for $800 million rather than the more plausible value of $2.8 billion,

Bernie with Schumacher

be handed down sometime in August as soon as the complicated legal documents could be translated into English. Despite this, Ecclestone appeared as cool as could be in the face of any possible criminal proceedings against him in Germany. He was looking forward to attending his daughter Tamara’s wedding in southern France and absolutely serene in his selfbelief that he had done nothing wrong. Given his unparalleled success in defeating virtually every adversary he has ever faced, why should anyone doubt the man now?

Bernie with Vladimir Putin

felt if no one else was going to bring organisation and better management to the sport, that you were going to do it? ECCLESTONE: When I arrived in the sport it was a very amateurish show. Amongst the team owners, nobody cared or wanted to take responsibility for organising the sport - they just wanted to race their cars and try to win races. It wasn’t good for the drivers, the teams, or the fans the way things were going. But you need to have proper management if you’re

“What we are slowly but surely managing to do is get rid of entrepreneurs. Getting rid of people who think outside the box.” as has been charged in court documents. Gribkowsky was subsequently found guilty and sentenced to an 8 and a half year prison sentence. Ecclestone admits that his family trust Bambino Holdings paid the sum to Gribkowsky but denies it was a bribe, testifying in court that it was the result of a subtle “shakedown” on him by Mr Gribkowsky, who was effectively blackmailing the billionaire Briton by threatening to present “false evidence” about him to British tax authorities. In May, the influential Munich daily Süddeutsche Zeitung reported that Munich prosecutors had decided to file charges against Ecclestone relating to the Gribkowsky bribery case and that the indictment would

14│ Issue 4 � 2014

I got the opportunity to sit down with the enigma known as Bernie and posed a few searching questions, always with one foot near the door in case a rapid exit was required. MH: Mr. Ecclestone, many of your admirers as well as detractors would tend to agree on one point - that you are generally a man without fear. Do you have any fears? ECCLESTONE: No. It could well be one of my greatest assets... or strengths. I won’t be threatened or intimidated by anyone and I’ve always been prepared to do what is necessary to defend my interests. MH: Was there a point when you arrived in Formula One that you

- Business|Interview -

going to move forward. I tried to do what I thought was good for the sport and also what seemed necessary. MH: Max Mosley’s reputation has suffered in recent years with the scandal involving the News of the World report (involving call girls)? Do you feel Mosley’s contribution to the sport has been unfairly tainted by all this? ECCLESTONE: Absolutely. That’s why he was so determined to defend himself against the reports and pursued matters in the courts. He felt his personal rights and privacy had been violated and it was nobody else’s business. Max and I have always been very close. We were more friends than partners. He brought a legal

PBM EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW background to the business and many other things which helped the sport evolve.

somebody it’s on their conscience for the rest of their lives.

With the warm up questions out of the way, l girded my loins as l wanted to know about the court case. This case is not just vital to Bernie’s personal freedom but to the entire CVC plan to suck one last payday out of F1, plans that are now on hold until after the trial.

I don’t think people go out of their way to pursue people without cause. Sometimes it’s reported that way but I don’t believe that’s the case.

MH: Does it trouble you that you may be facing charges in Germany, a country whose state prosecutors may be engaged in overzealous pursuit of high profile individuals ranging from Germany’s former president Christian Wulff to Uli Hoeness, president of the Bayern Munich football club? ECCLESTONE: I haven’t followed the news concerning this “hostile climate” so I can’t really speculate. But I have a lot of faith in justice systems around the world even though there were cases in the past where that faith wasn’t justified in some countries. I think in the end officials in each country’s judicial system will do what they believe is right because if they do something bad to

I’m old school. It’s the way people have to run businesses today compared to how they used to. I never knew about corporate governance back then, different committees, ethics committees and God knows what else boards to report to. I never reported to any. I didn’t know about any of these things back then. Probably, if I had of done, I wouldn’t have lasted as long as I lasted.

MH: Do you feel in retrospect that your decision to testify in the Gribkowsky trial in Germany in 2011, might have been a strategic mistake in that your testimony may at some point be used against you? ECCLESTONE: I was asked to appear and I appeared... Anything I said at the trial was the truth so I have no reason to believe or expect that anything could be turned against me. MH: Do you believe that the German legal system was tilted against Gribowsky?

And we will be more restricted as time goes on. That’s how the world is. It’s coming that way. I don’t agree with it.

ECCLESTONE: No. I don’t think so but I’m not really familiar with the German system. I do know that Gribkowsky changed his defence several times.

MH: So you have confidence that you will be treated fairly whatever comes to pass in Germany?

MH: What have your German lawyers told you about what to expect should you be charged in this matter?

ECCLESTONE: Yes. Absolutely. I have 100% confidence in the German judicial system. I am not worried in the least because I have told the truth.

ECCLESTONE: Nothing. They haven’t briefed me because you can’t make decisions if there are no charges or issues to deal with. So it’s quite normal to wait

- Business|interview -

Issue 4 � 2014


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Bernie with James Hunt

Bernie, Slavica, Petra and Tamara

until there is some reason to react. But I am not in any way ashamed of anything I have done in this case. I am not at all troubled or worried and we will have to wait until matters develop further. MH: Do you not think in retrospect that you would of handled things differently given your testimony that Gribkowsky was in effect shaking you down for a payment, and that you might have gone to the authorities yourself the first time you felt he was trying to blackmail you? ECCLESTONE: What happens in life - I don’t know whether it’s happened to you but it’s happened to me quite a few times it’s this wonderful thing called hindsight. But how useful is it? As you see from his responses, Bernie is a seasoned professional at this interviewing game and gives you just enough to shut you up but never enough to draw any solid conclusions. His calm outer shell is totally impenetrable and he has a steely front that is a marvel to behold. I lost interest in the questions to be honest and was just overawed with his method of controlling every word that comes out of his mouth – which of course, matches his business

style of total control. One can only presume that delegation is not a word in his lexicon. Bernie, who dropped out of school at 16 and, after organizing complex broadcasting deals for Formula One, took over most rights in 1997. The 83-year-old, who lives in a penthouse above his office, was forced to step down from the board of Delta Tepco, which manages the Formula One Group of companies, amid the different legal cases against him. His family life is no less complicated - his second daughter Petra gave birth to a baby girl in 2013, while Tamara got married in Southern France after a failed union with a man who then stole her Lamborghini, posed for Playboy, and announced she was pregnant. Ecclestone paid his statuesque ex-wife Slavica, a reported $1.2 billion in a landmark divorce settlement in 2009. MH: You have long been known for your dedication to the sport of Formula One - some might even describe you as a workaholic. But you’re also a family man whose daughters Tamara and Petra are now both adults. How do you look back on your days when you were raising your daughters? - Business|interview -

ECCLESTONE: I didn’t devote as much time to them as I would have liked. I never neglected my daughters - quite the opposite - but I suppose I could have and should have spent more time with them. I have no regrets though about the amount of work I put into the sport. This is what I needed to do with my life. But when they’re no longer there for you to look after you always think how you could have done things a bit differently. MH: Were you disappointed that Tamara posed for Playboy Magazine? ECCLESTONE: No. I didn’t think there was anything wrong with that. It didn’t bother me at all. MH: You started out in business from scratch and developed a knack for making money. Have you ever tried to impart your business sense to your daughters?

A young Bernie Issue 4 � 2014 │17

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05/02/2014 12:16:52


MH: Did you always have a longterm strategy or was it more of an incremental approach to your management of Formula One?

Bernie tells someone which way to go

ECCLESTONE: No. I never felt it was necessary. It’s in their genes! They are both very intelligent and capable. Petra started a very good clothing business that was too good in terms of quality in a difficult market and it unfortunately didn’t work out. Now she’s into producing these clutch bags (Stark handbags) and doing very well with that. And Tamara is doing an incredible (hair-care products) line that is being sold in major stores all over the world. They’re both doing very well. They also do a lot of charity work, a lot of which you don’t hear about. MH: Do they ever come to you for business advice? ECCLESTONE: No. I let them do their own thing. Overall they’ve made some very good investments and I don’t worry that they can’t manage on their own. They don’t make decisions casually. MH: Your daughters have become celebrities over the years. Do you feel the need to be protective of them? ECCLESTONE: When it’s necessary I will defend them. They’re in the public eye and because of their name and so on they are going to pay a price for that. Doing television also exposes one to that. But they’re both old enough and bright enough to be able to handle things. They have

strong personalities. As a father, I’m close to them but they don’t really need me to advise them on how to manage their lives and they don’t ask me to do that. (Smiles) MH: How long can you go on with this iron grip on one of the most lucrative sports in the world? ECCLESTONE: I’m going to be 84 at the end of this year so I am probably going to have to start to think, ‘Do I want to go into the 85th year doing what I’ve been doing for goddamn how many years. It’s something I’ll have to give some very serious thought to. The important thing is to know when you should hang the boxing gloves up. So you are not going to end up going into the ring and getting a good hiding. If I’m not here there will always be someone capable to do what I’m doing.

ECCLESTONE: It was more a case of looking at things which needed to be improved. When I was running Brabham, I didn’t have any strategy for expanding the sport but I knew what had to be changed for the sake of the sport and making it a better product. That kind of thinking probably helped me when I began managing things and was able to make the changes we all knew had to be made. Later on I knew we had to expand beyond Europe and go to Asia and places like Singapore. MH: You’ve long been described as a fearsome negotiator and master dealmaker. When did you realise in life that you had a particular talent in this area? ECCLESTONE: It’s like being a singer or an artist. You’re born with certain gifts and you use them as best you can in life. You begin to learn and recognise that you have certain skills and aptitudes that you apply and use them to carry you forward. I don’t have any talent as an artist but I do have an awareness for business and what you need to bring to that world. It helps to know what you’re good at.

MH: How do you see your legacy in the development of Formula One into a multi-billion dollar operation?

MH: Was there any one particular moment where it struck you that deal making was something in which you excelled?

ECCLESTONE: All sports have developed and I took charge of things because they needed to be done and if it hadn’t been me, someone else would probably have brought Formula One forward. What we did was to make the necessary changes and I’m happy to have been part of that process.

ECCLESTONE: No, no, no... Not really. Gradually I became better at it and then each new deal is another opportunity. But you should really ask the other people I’ve made deals with about what they think! Those that are still alive of course”. (Smiles)

- Business|interview -

Issue 4 � 2014



CALCULATING THE COST OF CONFLICT “If war is the violent resolution of conflict, then peace is not the absence of conflict, but rather, the ability to resolve conflict without violence.” C.T. Lawrence Butler

met in smaller groups, debating further, showing great wisdom and drawing up a revised bullying policy. I believe every work place should have its own policy, which everyone duly signs.

Never let conflict in the workplace go unchallenged – so how do we address differences that separate us rather than bind us? Conflict (and the avoidance of dealing with conflict) can adversely affect the performance of your business. It is not always easy to detect. Staff may be smiling and nodding in the right places yet there is underlying conflict dissolving the morale like acid.

I also believe confrontation is a life skill – it can be taught to those who don’t find it easy. 99.9% of the time people do things for a positive reason. We don’t condone inappropriate behavior and we do need to apologise when we get it wrong.

In business bullying can be the elephant in the room. It is often brushed under the carpet with its presence denied. No one talks about it. Too often the attitude is: “We don’t have that here” as business owners worry about their reputation. A few years ago I delivered three, onehour morning presentations in the chapel of a very well known Horsham school. All teachers and students attended. I tailored each session to the student age groups the subject was bullying. I talked about the power of three: the bully, the victim and the by-stander. Whether we like it or not all three are involved, albeit unwittingly, so we all have to take responsibility for our actions and decisionmaking. In the afternoon the whole school

The two silent volcanoes of conflict are avoidance and withholding information – heat often simmering under the surface waiting to erupt. Colleagues can prefer to walk twice the distance rather than past someone’s desk. Additionally holding back valuable information is often part of power play. These chinks in our armour can be hard to find and even more challenging to resolve. I would argue they are very costly; certainly not to be expected or indeed accepted in business! Indifference to an issue at work will be at your cost. Teaching staff confrontation skills is key. As humans our auto-response is to fight or flight. It is our way to move away from danger or pain - toward reward or pleasure. Creating a better understanding of how to manage our relationship with others and ourselves (emotional intelligence) can really enhance better communication – reducing the seeping lava of conflict.

- Business|Ethics -

Sarah Hopwood

Business Consultant, International Speaker, TV Presenter, Voiceover Artist & Cruise Lecturer www.sarahhopwood.com

MY THOUGHTS FOR TACKLING CONFLICT IN THE WORKPLACE: • Be slow to take offence – we never really know what others are dealing with • When you are down, exercise top class behaviour – you are preparing to bounce high when the tide turns • Remember the power of three - any one lie has to be supported by two lies • Speak as you find • Gossip is like acid – see good in others; it is your own reflection • Carry the wounded – shoot the stragglers And remember, “An abnormal response to an abnormal situation is normal behaviour.” Viktor Frankl

Issue 4 � 2014 │21



MORTGAGES In issue 1, we provided a short summary of funding options available to SME’s in the marketplace. In this issue we have focused on commercial mortgages and have set out below the key features together with a recent case study. This type of finance is provided by all the main commercial lenders as you would expect. Flexibility is the key and there are a range of options to help you tailor the finance to meet your specific preferences. You will need to consider this business investment carefully and review the pros and cons of an acquisition. We would recommend that you talk with your professional adviser in this regard. In terms of what Nat West can offer, you can expect the following from our commercial mortgage: A choice of loan – Borrow from £25,001 upwards. A choice of interest rate options – Our fixed, capped and variable rates allow you to tailor your repayments to suit your own circumstances. No arrangement fees – Our participation in the Funding for Lending Scheme allows us to offer our loans with no arrangement fees. Flexible repayments – The option to take a capital repayment holiday should you need to re-direct your finances. In this event, interest will still be charged and your future monthly payments may increase. Flexible repayment term – Repay the loan over a period of up to 25 years. Expert assistance – Whether you’re moving for the first time, moving to larger premises or simply switching mortgages for a better deal, our experts are on hand to help. 22│ Issue 4 � 2014

Loans are also available for owner occupied business premises. Early repayment charges may depending on the product selected.


By owning your own premises you’ll be making a significant investment in your business and you could benefit from any potential increase in its value, while releasing yourself from the constraints of renting. Recent commentary from the Bank of England stated that they intend to keep interest rates low for up to three years, subject to the level of UK unemployment. With a combination of low interest rates and no arrangement fees currently available, now could be the perfect time to consider buying your premises. We also offer flexible commercial mortgage and repayment options for businesses looking to purchase premises or develop and expand existing premises.

- Finance|funding -

Gary Chown ACIB MCIBS- Chartered Banker

Director Commercial Banking NatWest Bank East Sussex


Whether you are looking for a new mortgage deal, or want to raise finance to grow your business, a re-mortgage from NatWest could be your answer. Our commercial mortgages can be tailored to meet your own financial needs with a range of loan to value options. Whatever your business objectives, our expert team can help you with your re-mortgage needs. As the UK’s biggest lender to small businesses, we’re committed to making it easy and affordable for businesses to access finance. We’re pleased to announce that we’ve made all our business loans fee-free and have a £2.5bn fund available as part of our participation in the government’s Funding for Lending Scheme.

This is a limited offer and all loans approved under the fund will be fee-free and offered on a first come, first served basis. Usual lending conditions apply. Security may be required. Product fees may apply and you must be over 18 years of age. ANY PROPERTY USED AS SECURITY, WHICH MAY INCLUDE YOUR HOME, MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS ON A MORTGAGE OR OTHER DEBT SECURED ON IT.

CASE STUDY In May 2014, Vistec Systems Ltd, the Crawley–based security systems specialist, expanded into larger premises following funding from NatWest. With growth doubling year-on-year and turnover currently more than £3m, Dean Hawkins, Director at Vistec Systems, recognised that expansion was required at their head office. Vistec approached Geoff Turtle, Senior Relationship Manager at his local NatWest branch, about purchasing their existing premises, but also buying the unit next door. The £225,000 commercial mortgage funding provided by NatWest enabled Dean to buy both freehold units.

Geoff Turtle from NatWest with Dean Hawkins from Vistec.

Since 1992, Vistec Systems Ltd has been providing its clients with effective and reliable solutions to security problems. Within the industry they are now recognised as one of the leading independent security specialists, with thousands of installations around the UK, including bespoke projects in Nigeria, USA, Portugal & Poland, all delivered from their Gatwick Head Office and satellite office in Manchester. Nearly all of their business comes from word of mouth and recommendation and includes customers such as The Tate Galleries, The Gym Group, Metropolitan Police, NHS, West Sussex Council, IBM and Sony. Dean Hawkins Director at Vistec said: “Since day one of the business Geoff and the team I have worked with at NatWest have always been supportive and I have a fantastic relationship with them. “We are really excited about the latest expansion and the opportunity the additional space provides to grow the business even further and employ more local people. As a former pupil of the local Hazelwick School, their motto of ‘effort achieves’ is certainly something I believe in, and I would encourage other people with a good and sound business idea to take the leap of faith and go for it.” Geoff Turtle from NatWest said: “Dean and his team have been truly visionary in what they want to achieve through Vistec Systems and are showing real leadership in the industry. Locally too, their contribution is significant and their staff retention rates speak for themselves.”

- Finance|funding -

Issue 4 � 2014 │23

Valuing a Business

HOW MUCH IS MY BUSINESS WORTH? By Michael Pay, Director, EMC Corporate Finance

The question we are most often asked by business owners is, “what is my business worth?” It would make life a lot easier for us, and more satisfying for the people asking the question, if there was a straightforward answer. But as I’ll endeavour to explain here, a number of factors can influence a valuation. A combination of reduced profits, falling multiples and a lack of business confidence have resulted in a significant erosion of value for many business owners over the past five years. But with the end of the recession, the prices being paid are finally on the rise. Larger corporates have hoarded cash – one estimate puts the FTSE 100 group of companies sitting on £200 billion of cash reserves – and the private equity industry has raised billions more.The Wall Street Journal estimates venture capital and private equity firms have a staggering $1.2 trillion of uninvested cash. As a result there is increasing pressure on both these groups to do more deals. In order to better understand business valuations, whether buying, selling or raising money, it is important to understand some of the underlying principles used by purchasers. What a business is worth is basically a combination of how much money a buyer can make from it weighed against the risks of achieving that profit. Previous profitability and asset values are just the starting point. Key relationships, customers, suppliers and contracts are among other important factors that create value.


Issue 4 � 2014

- Valuing a Business -

Fundamentally, valuation techniques involve five elements: • Assets – where a business has significant tangible assets, such as property businesses; • Price/earning – where a business is generating sustainable profits; • Discounted cash flows – where a business can forecast sustainable cash flows in the medium to long term, such as contracting business; • Entry cost – by comparing buying a business against the cost of starting a competitor; • Industry rules of thumb – where certain sectors apply specific techniques, such as a price per bed in the hotel industry. Valuations will often be based on a combination of two or three of these. Let’s look in more detail at the first three to see how they’re used to arrive at a valuation.

Valuing a Business

“What a business is worth is basically a combination of how much money a buyer can make from it weighed against the risks of achieving that profit.” Asset valuations start from considering the balance sheet and identifying all the assets (and liabilities) and refining the values disclosed by considering what the current market values are. For example, property may have changed in price since it was bought; some stock may be old or slow moving and therefore not worth its carrying value; some debtors may not be collected or bad debts may have been conservatively provided for; and leases may have dilapidation claims from landlords attached to them. By working through these you can come to a value for the assets. But if, for example, you are closing a business to realise the property value, you may need to take account of redundancy costs, cost of closing the premises and the fact that debt recovery will be more difficult. Price/earnings valuations are more typical for most businesses. The first thing to do is work out what the enterprise value is (the value of the business), and then work out the equity value (the value to the owners). The two fundamentals in calculating the enterprise value are to calculate the profit and then source a relevant multiple to get to the final valuation. The first of these may seem simple but consideration needs to be given to what are referred to as ‘underlying sustainable earnings’. Some costs and income may be exceptional by nature, and other costs may be ownership costs – for example excessive remuneration. All of these need to be identified and added back to the profits. At the same time you need to deduct any costs that will be needed to run the business once it is in someone else’s hands. For example, many owners take remuneration by way of dividends, so deducting a market value for their salary, albeit possibly at a lower level of seniority, is important. Having calculated the profits, the next thing to do is look at the multiple – that is the

number of times that the profit will be multiplied to arrive at the value.This is done by looking at comparable listed companies; researching recent transactions; and/or looking at other published data. As a rule of thumb, the recent ICAEW Valuations Conference estimated, using the Dohmeyer, Butler and Burkert analysis, that for deals of £3m to £36m, the average EBIT multiple was between 5.4x and 6.4x. Once an enterprise value has been calculated, to get to the equity value you must deduct any excess or hardcore debt and add any excess cash. For example, if the business has undergone a previous management buyout and still owes £2m, this would be deducted by the buyer. Also, many privatelyowned businesses have hoarded more cash than they need on a day-to-day basis in the past few years which could be returned to owners by way of a distribution, and so can be added to the enterprise value to arrive at the equity value.

Contact Details: EMC Corporate Finance Ltd, Rochester House, 48 Rochester Gardens, Hove BN3 3AW Contact: Michael Pay, Director Tel: 01273 945984 Mob: 07958 414956 E: michael.pay@emcltd.co.uk W: www.emcltd.co.uk

Discounted cash flows are less common amongst SMEs but still relevant for larger corporates or where sustainable cash flows can be ascertained such as in licensing agreements. The methodology is fairly simple. First, calculate the future cash flows that will be derived from owning the business or asset. Then apply a discount rate to those incomes based on the risk associated with achieving them. The lower the risk the lower the discount rate and, conversely, the higher the risk the higher the discount rate. And finally, having said all of that, there is no better way to work out the true value of a business than for the market to value it. In the end the value will always be determined by a willing seller dealing with a willing buyer and what they end up agreeing. By properly preparing your business and then carefully selecting likely buyers, you will not only be able to know what your business is worth but, if you choose to sell, be able to enjoy the spoils of all your hard work!

- Valuing a Business -

Issue 4 � 2014


We believe that effective networking is all about relationship building in a relaxed and informal environment and The Platinum Club provides the ideal platform for companies both large and small, to come together for an enjoyable evening in the luxurious surroundings of The Grand Hotel Brighton.

“ ”

Don’t just take our word for it, here is what some of our club member’s have to say

Let me tell you that the Platinum Club “ is no ordinary networking club. For anyone who is tired of run-of-the-mill networking events I would suggest you try the Platinum John Healy – Healy’s LLP Club.

I would recommend the Platinum Club “ as a fantastic way to meet new contacts in a relaxed evening of networking with a great location! Good spread of Companies Tony Rice – and make you feel at home! Coulsdon Audi

The Platinum Club is all that I expect from a networking club, “ informal, full of interesting people and well run. I look forward to each meeting and have found that I have made new friends Richard Kendall Tobias - Blue Diamond and met new clients. Security

We have recently become members of The Platinum Club where we have met great people and even gained new clients already. I would highly recommend The Platinum Club if you are looking to meet new businesses, in a relaxed and friendly Becky Sharp – Harvey John Recruitment environment.

The Platinum Club is undoubtedly one “ of the most prestigious networking groups I have attended. The meetings are vibrant and positive and we leave the events with a spring in our step, pleased we made the Denise Buchan – commitment to attend. Classic Consulting

Platinum events are always so well “ organised and attended by the right people.” Keith Jackman – Mercedes-Benz

Call: 07966 244046 • e-mail: info@theplatinumclubbrighton.co.uk • web: www.theplatinumclubbrighton.co.uk

Business Scene





The premier networking forum The Platinum Club came together at the Grand Hotel to celebrate the relaunch of Platinum Business Magazine. Previously known as Absolute Business Magazine, the re-brand followed the buy-out by Platinum Business Publications Limited of the title from the Pinnacle stable of publications. PBM has become the most read and widely distributed business magazine in the South East and is set for an exciting future as THE business publication for Sussex. 1. Rob Fawcett (Bennett Griffin) and Sophia Lee-Spencer (Callisto Associates). 2. Nigel Ilsley (Iron Mountain) and Gary Lockton (Grandad Digital) 3. Dave Bone (Barebones Communications), Gavin Whippy (Whippy Insurance) and Michael Cohen (Cohen Davidson) 4. Katie Gibson (Pier Recruitment), Paul Sheffield (Grandad Digital), Daisy Fitzsimmons (Pier Recruitment), Troy Belliere (BSW Services) and Robert Hanna (Augusta Ventures, London)


5. Virginia Legg-Willis (Burt Brill Cardens) and Robbie Watt (Allied Irish Bank).


6. Richard Kendall-Tobias (Blue Diamond Security), Kate McCoy (Cloud Nine PR) and Maarten Hoffmann (The Platinum Club) 7. Becky Sharp (Harvey John Recruitment) and Val Kaye (Castle Fine Art). 8. Chris Harris (Total Building Materials), John Burroughes (Uniglobe Travel) and Pieter Grobbelaar (Concordia Health). 7

9. Nick Tong (Tzuni Digital), Sheryl Tipton (Sales & Marketing UK), Sarah Hopwood (Business Consultant) and Lexi Hall (Bite Studios).



- Business|scene -

ISSUE 4 � 2014


Louise Hearn, Richard & Heidi Skerritt and Ryan Heal at the Rockinghorse Ball

The Skerritt Samba When Richard Skerritt, founder of Skerritts Wealth Management, was reluctantly volunteered to dance a samba at a charity ball, thousands were raised by friends, who were desperate to see the spectacle. For tunately his business acumen is far superior to his dancing and Skerritts are celebrating 25 years in business. Interview by Ian Trevett From a very early age I always knew I wanted to have my own business. I studied Business Management at Brighton Polytechnic, as it was then, in 1985, which proved to be very relevant. At the time I thought the course had too much emphasis on theoretical concepts that I would never use. I actually have found over the past 25 years that I could apply a lot of these ideas into the business. You often find that a person is very good in a specific field, but doesn’t have the all-round skills to run a business, so the course was very useful in this respect. It was a relevant degree as it covered all the elements you need such as marketing, advertising, finance and business planning, which is key. 28│

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I knew for definite that I had to be my own boss during my work placement. My degree was a ‘sandwich’ course, which meant I spent a year in a work placement, in my case it was American Express. I found the particular department I worked in had all kinds of internal politics and I was frustrated as I never had enough work to get on with. I was filling space. I could have done my job in the first two hours so I used to keep asking for more work, and I was probably quite annoying for the staff there. But you had to look busy even when you had nothing to do.

myself. Of course, I don’t get everything right, but at least my mistakes are my own and I stand by my own convictions. My year at Amex cemented my view that I would have my own company.

I am one of those people who think they know what is right, so I was always going to work for

Business ethics are very important to me. I stumbled across a job as a investment

- Interview -

I had this idea that I would work in advertising, but not for long. After university, I got a place in an advertising agency but soon realised after one day it wasn’t for me. It was all the buzz-words of the day and business-speak. It was a parody of how you’d expect a 1980s advertising agency would be, complete with the braces and outrageous ways of dressing.


“We always treat the customer in the right way. If you look after them, they will stay with you and recommend you to other people.” advisor with a local company. I spent three months there and concluded I liked the industry but didn’t like this particular company’s business practices. It was a very sales-led environment that lacked any sense of morals, ethics or good business practice. I set up on my own when I was 22 - which was a crazy thing to do. I had no money, premises or clients. I’m very glad I did it, but the first ten years were very hard. People joke about working 18 hour days, but that was my reality. I didn’t take a holiday for ten years. It was a battle but it was worth it. It is very hard to start as a financial adviser as people look for your track record and experience, and it is difficult to build this up. Now, 25 years on, it is easier as our name is known and people can see what we have achieved, but it wasn’t like that in the early days. I think the term is ‘character building’! Many of the staff have been with us for over ten years. We now have 40 staff of which about three quarters are based in the head office in Hove and the rest in our London office. Our staff tend to stay with us, which is good for building a team.

I have always tried to run the business in the right way. I always knew I was in this for the long term and I have always taken the long term view, rather than chase the quick buck. We always treat the customer in the right way. If you look after them, they will stay with you and recommend you to other people. We encourage all our staff to get exams and study. It is good for their development and also for the company. If you speak to our receptionists they will have the knowledge to talk to the client and understand what is that they need and want, as well as give basic advice. We have evolved over the years to become wealth managers, so we can invest money for individuals, companies, trusts, pension funds and charities. When we first started we were doing more mortgages. We now have a discretionary investment arm, which is key and means we can manage money properly. A lot of companies don’t have that. We are also Chartered - only a small percentage of companies are chartered - that sets us apart from the competition and proves that we meet certain standards. You know if you come to Skerritts that everyone here will be of a certain standard.

There are two types of wealth management advisory and discretionary. When we are managing money, there are times we will change the asset classes, the fund or the fund managers. When it’s discretionary we can just do that. When it’s advisory we have to write to the client for permission. The trouble with advisory is you have to keep disturbing the client. We often need to make investment decisions on the spot - you can’t do this if you have to write to the client. You can’t actively manage the funds properly. It takes a lot of resources to become a Discretionary Fund Manager. It costs a lot of money, it’s very expensive on an ongoing basis and you need to be a certain size before that investment is worthwhile. You need to have all the right teams and all the compliant functions. It takes a lot of investment, but it then gives us an advantage over smaller firms. It sets us apart from other people. We have an investment team and investment committee that meets regularly and makes the investment decisions about asset allocations to particular funds and stocks etc. The decisions have to be unanimous by the committee, so you can’t have one person being a bit of a maverick. The committee is made up of four people who are IMC qualified (Investment Management Certificate). This is a high-level specialist qualification. We meet regularly, more so when there is a bit of turmoil in the market, we react to that. When the markets go down we look at trying to stop those losses. As a business we have grown both organically and by acquisitions. We have taken over eight other businesses, mostly locally, one in London. Our turnover is now getting towards £5 million. Ten years ago it was a few hundred thousand. We have grown steadily. A lot of businesses get in to trouble when they grow too quickly. You would be surprised at how few companies have a business plan. It’s very important to clients. We know exactly where we are going, what resources we have and what

Richard Skerritt & Carola Degener-Pereira

- Interview -

ISSUE 4 � 2014 │29

Richard and Heidi on their wedding day

we can promise to clients. We are a very well resourced firm. Whatever happens, including big changes, we are able to cope with it. We are very technology-led. Technology doesn’t always give advantage but we are always keen to use the latest technology once it works. It enables us to use the leading systems and to give a much more efficient service to our clients. Our clients are always getting the market leading software and systems so it gives them advantages as well. We want to keep growing. We have established ourselves as the largest independent wealth manager in the area and we and to build on that. We are growing, we have lots of new clients coming to us and we have the resources to handle that growth. We manage £480 million of assets. I want to work towards the billion pounds mark, which puts into the big league then. The London office tends to deal with film and rock stars. The London enterprise began six years ago. There are three advisors in the London office. I can’t name names - client confidentiality! It’s nice to meet some of those people on a business level. The biggest change we have encountered followed the RDR (Retail Distribution Review). We had to 30│

ISSUE 4 � 2014

change the way we charged our clients. Commission changed to fee based. A lot of businesses struggled with that, but we welcomed the change and increased our share in the market place. People don’t see the banks as a trustworthy source anymore. They’re getting poor value and poor returns from the banks, so that has been great for our business. The banks reputation has been shot. I don’t think people will trust them again. They always knew that perhaps they weren’t getting the best return on their investment with the banks but trusted them. That has changed. Our firm has been established for 25 years. Clients get to deal with the same person each time. With the banks you may see a different bank advisor each time or get lost within a call centre. People really appreciate it’s us doing the work - not a head office. The economy is in fairly good shape. At the moment there are some bobbles in the manufacturing figures that are being announced that are not as good as expected. When quantitative easing stops in the U.S. that will have an impact on our economy. Interest rates will go up. Mark Carney, the governor of the bank of England, has been dropping hints that interest rates will go up.

- Interview -

I think that is built in. The markets know that is going to happen. It’s surprises that cause the problems in the markets. The stock markets are fairly good value at the moment, but it’s about picking the right place to invest. That is what we do. It’s our fund managers’ job to find those areas that are good and those that are not. We have seen biotechnology and pharmaceuticals as good areas of growth. The UK and Europe are probably the areas of most potential. The U.S. and emerging markets are a concern. If you buy shares in the FTSE 100 most of their earnings tend to be out of the UK, it is a gloablised market. Most of the Blue Chip companies tend to be very good anyway. I still enjoy my work - it’s interesting. I’ve been doing this for 25 years and with another baby on the way I’ll be doing it for another 25, hopefully! I devoted a lot of my time to building up a London presence, whereas now we are focusing on Sussex. That is our key focus. We want people to know we are here and what we do. We are looking to build dominance in the Brighton and Hove and Sussex markets. www.skerritts.co.uk

Business Scene Thousands raised aT hilTon / rockinghorse Mid suMMer Ball


The Mid summer Ball returned to the hilton Brighton Metropole on saturday 21 June to raise £65,700 for the hilton in the community Foundation and sussex children’s charity rockinghorse.


The Brazilian-themed event featured a ‘strictly come dancing’ style dance competition, with Zoe Ball as head judge. The competition was won by richard skerritt with professional dance partner carola degener-Pereira, owner of Brighton dancing. 1. Brazilian photo booth 3


2. Davina Wells (Brighton Racecourse) and dance partner Will 3. Howard Lewis, Carola Degener, Winner Richard Skerritt, Marta Scott and Ryan Heal 4. The infamous indoor dodgems 5. Jo Taylor and Sid Sloane 6. Alice and James River-Cripps (Posh Totty Designs) 7. Caprihina Bar



8. Sean Heal and Ambrose Harcourt 9. The dance amateurs with their professionals




Photos: Chris Demott Photography

- Business|scene -

ISSUE 4 � 2014



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*Conditions apply, ask a member of staff for details


I’m a zombIe pensIon, get me out of here.... Research shows that literally billions of pounds is sitting in pension funds that are totally neglected. Maybe it is because of the fact that they are seen as only being important in the future, many pension funds receive very little or no attention. When the pension funds were set up, they may have been well researched and funds chosen that were right at the time, however not only do people’s needs and attitudes change over time, far more importantly where money should be invested changes very frequently. We regularly come across people who have tens of thousands of pounds in technology funds that were invested in the late 90s or early 2000s, and have been left there ever since. Many people are stuck in With Profits funds that are paying zero or minimal returns. Many pension providers are now closed to new business resulting in zombie funds that perhaps don’t receive the same investment efforts of funds that are looking to attract new business. Nowadays, it is easier than ever to move underperforming or unsuitable pension funds and the range of options is huge. Technology advances means that pension investments can be actively managed to


Issue 4 � 2014

achieve greater returns from a far wider range of investment mediums and asset classes. Having well managed pension funds can make a massive difference to what you will get from your pension at retirement and perhaps can even mean that you can retire a bit earlier than you otherwise would have been able to. At Skerritts, we use our Discretionary Investment Dept to actively manage our clients’ pension funds where possible. This not only gives us access to a far wider range of investment mediums (compared to the limited investment options of most pension providers) but enables our professional investment managers to actively manage the pension portfolios, making changes to asset allocation and funds where deemed necessary, to eke out that extra performance. As with all things technical, whether it is electrics, modern car engines or legal matters, it is usually wise to use a professional to do the tricky stuff. Whilst pensions are simple in theory (they are just a tax wrapper in which to hold investments), layer upon layer of legislation and regulatory change has

- Business|Finance -

“We regularly come across people who have tens of thousands of pounds in technology funds that were invested in the late 90s or early 2000s, and have been left there ever since. Many people are stuck in With Profits funds that are paying zero or minimal returns.”


meant that they are unfor tunately very complicated. Moving a pension fund from one provider to another may involve unforeseen charges, loss of guarantees or even tax charges. A regulated pensions adviser will be able to advise on all of these areas and at the end of the day, take responsibility for their advice and any action taken on the back of their advice. So, like most industries and products (most people have upgraded their TVs in the past ten years) pensions have developed through innovation, competition and positive changes in legislation, especially in the most recent budget, where George Osborne introduced proposed changes that will (from April 2005 and subject to becoming law) allow people, upon attaining age 55, to take ALL of their pension funds as cash. Whilst this is a massive change to the pension rules, it is perhaps not as attractive as it may seem at first. People may be able to take all of their pension funds as cash, but after the 25% tax free cash part, the remaining 75% of the fund will be

taxed as earned income. This could lead to some hefty tax bills.... If you have pension funds that perhaps haven’t received the attention they should have over the years, why not have them reviewed to see if maybe they could be improved upon? At Skerritts, at the present time, we are offering a no-cost, no-obligation Pension Review Service. We will get all of the necessary information from your current pension provider(s), do a detailed analysis, and provide you with a report which will include our recommendations as to whether you pension could benefit from any changes or is in a good pension and good funds at the present time. What have you got to lose?

Richard Skerritt Managing Director

If you would like to speak to us about our Pension Review Service or any other pension related issues, you can contact me on richard@skerritts. co.uk or phone us on (01273) 204999 and ask to speak to one of our Pensions Advisers.

- Business|Finance -

Issue 4 ďż˝ 2014


CommerCial ProPerty

Will you fall foul of a dilapidations claim? it is often the case that tenants will be subject to a dilapidations claim when vacating their business premises. a claim for dilapidations will arise from the tenant’s repair covenant detailed in the lease. most repair covenants in modern commercial leases are fully repairing and insuring covenants. such a covenant places an obligation on the tenant to “repair and keep in good repair and condition the property and all fixtures and fittings.” this means that the tenant will need to hand the property back to the landlord in a good state of repair and condition and also to remove any tenant alterations and to replace all landlords fixtures and fittings that are beyond repair, for example the electrical installations, bathroom furniture etc.


Issue 4 � 2014

This can be an unexpected cost and an onerous obligation for a tenant vacating a commercial property. it can also be a costly expense for a landlord to pursue without any guarantee that the tenant will have sufficient funds to discharge any claim for dilapidations. depending on the nature of the property, a claim for dilapidations can run into tens of thousands of pounds. it is imperative for both landlords and tenants that all parties are clear as to their obligations under the terms of the lease from the outset to avoid a costly and time consuming claim for dilapidations.

“I would emphasise that the code is only “best practice” and is not legally binding.”

the key to avoiding such a situation is to ensure that the extent of the repair covenant is agreed prior to the lease being signed.Whilst there maybe additional expenditure at the outset, which both parties will be keen to avoid in the short term, significant savings could be made in the long term. - Commercial|Property -

Rob Fawcett is a Partner and Head of Property at Bennett Griffin LLP RJF@bennett-griffin.co.uk

CommerCial ProPerty

“Depending on the nature of the property, a claim for dilapidations can run into tens of thousands of pounds.”

The easiest way to protect a Tenant would be to document the condition of the property in a photographic schedule of condition which clearly sets out the condition of the property at the start of the lease or, alternatively, to agree a schedule of tenants works. The Code for Leasing Business Premises in England and Wales was introduced as a result of a consultation between Landlord and Tenant representative bodies and the UK Government to create a guide which clearly sets out best practice when negotiating the terms of a new lease. I would emphasise that the code is only “best practice” and is not legally binding. In essence the Code suggests that the tenant’s obligations should be proportionate to the length of the term of the lease and the nature of the Tenant’s occupation.

- Commercial|Property -

Some Landlords will argue that the Lease Code waters down the protection afforded to them by a typical commercial Lease. But it should be pointed out that the legislation governing such matters prior to the introduction of the Code is of a considerable age. Business in the twenty first century operates in a completely different manner to when the legislation was created and as such both Landlords and Tenants should, at the negotiation stage, adopt the Code to ensure that both parties are aware of their obligations set out in the Lease and that these are used to create a lease which is proportionate and fair to both Landlords and Tenants.

Issue 4 � 2014 │37


THE PERILS OF TUPE Many purchasers of a business pay insufficient attention to the issue of its employees, forgetting that a business usually is what it is because of its employees. It is not uncommon for purchasers to carry out minimal due diligence into employee issues, which can result in costly problems. This article deals with some of the most common myths and misunderstandings surrounding the employment aspects of business transfers where the buyer is purchasing the assets (rather than the shares) of a company.

1. IF I DON’T WANT AN EMPLOYEE - I CAN ASK THE SELLER TO MAKE THEM REDUNDANT Employees are protected under the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006. Under the Regulations anyone who is employed in the undertaking (or part thereof) immediately prior to the transfer is automatically transferred to the Buyer on their existing terms and conditions. Any dismissal in connection with a transfer is automatically unfair unless it is for an economical, technical or organisational (ETO) reason entailing changes in the numbers or functions of the workforce. On first glance it would appear that this would entitle the Buyer to require the Seller to make redundant those employees, but unfortunately for the Buyer it must be the ETO reason of the dismissing party. A Buyer still needs to proceed with caution though, as even if they do have a potentially


Issue 4 � 2014

fair reason for dismissing transferring employees, they still have to follow a fair procedure in carrying out any dismissal.


Employees’ terms and conditions are protected and any attempted change will be void, unless it is for an ETO reason or the reason has nothing to do with the transfer. A change can be made to contract terms where the contract allows it, but any change is likely to be unfair if the reason for the change is the transfer. Even if employers and employees agree changes/harmonisation between themselves, they are unlikely to be binding because the rights provided by the TUPE Regulations cannot be signed away even though both parties have agreed the changes. A new employer may seek to change terms and conditions by offering - LEGAL -

Miranda Martin Partner 01825 744642 mirandamartin@rixandkay.co.uk Uckfield

Rix & Kay is a leading regional law firm with offices in Brighton & Hove, Seaford, Sevenoaks and Uckfield. The firm has grown significantly over the last decade which bears testament to the strength of our client relationships and progressive attitude. Recognised in the latest editions of The Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners in thirteen and eight practice areas respectively, the firm also boasts eleven Leaders in their Field. We serve individuals, organisations and businesses across the South East and further afield.




terms as favourable or better than the transferring employees’ terms and conditions, but case law has established that employees may accept as binding those changes which are to their benefit while rejecting and challenging those which are less favourable! An employer cannot unilaterally vary an employee’s contract of employment and any change has to be carried out with consent and after consultation.

3. ANY EMPLOYMENT TRIBUNAL CLAIMS WILL BE THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE SELLER Any sensible employee is likely to keep their options open and join both the Seller and Buyer as parties to any claim (most commonly unfair dismissal). The Buyer should make sure that there are adequate warranties and indemnities in the Sale Purchase Agreement to protect them.

The TUPE Regulations contain strict obligations to inform and consult affected employees. Failure to inform or consult can result in a complaint to an Employment Tribunal and where a complaint succeeds there can be a penalty of up to 13 weeks’ actual pay for each employee affected. The transferee (Buyer) is jointly and severally liable with the transferor in respect of any compensation payable. From 31st July 2014 microBusinesses (those with fewer than 10 employees) are not required to elect representatives to inform and consult where there are no recognised Trade Unions or elected representatives, but they must still inform and consult directly with

each individual employee regarding the transfer. However, if there is a recognised Trade Union or there are appropriate representatives in place, the consultation must take place with the Trade Union or representative. As election of representatives can take quite a time, the parties should set the wheels in motion some time before the proposed acquisition.


Whilst the TUPE Regulations do make special provisions if the business is subject to insolvency proceedings, a Buyer still has to proceed with caution as the full TUPE provisions may apply. Broadly, this is where a business is sold by an insolvency practitioner but the aim is to sell the business as a going concern and administration is the best example. In these situations, whilst the incoming employer will not be liable for some of the insolvent employer’s unpaid debts owed to employees, terms of conditions of employment will remain intact. Where TUPE applies following insolvency, employers are able to agree certain permitted variations to employment contracts, but this only applies where the purpose is to safeguard employment opportunities by ensuring the survival of the company.

“Only employees will transfer under TUPE and it is important that a Buyer knows what somebody’s correct status is.”

If a business goes into insolvent liquidation and closes down and assets are sold to pay those who are owed money, TUPE will not apply. In these kind of situations the proposed buyer is advised to take legal advice as they will not be given any indemnities or warranties by the Insolvency Practitioner.


I often tell clients that a banana is a banana even if you call it an apple. Accordingly, if someone is held out as a consultant but in reality is actually an employee, a Buyer can find that a “consultant” will transfer to the Buyer under TUPE. There are different guidelines for assessing whether someone is genuinely self-employed for tax and employment purposes and HMRC can decide that someone is genuinely self-employed but an Employment Tribunal might decide they are an employee. Only employees will transfer under TUPE and it is important that a Buyer knows what somebody’s correct status is. Whilst people who have chosen to work as consultants are unlikely to threaten the status quo, those who would rather have been employed as employees will often challenge the position upon the sale of a business.


Provided that a restrictive covenant is still relevant and enforceable as a result of the transfer, it will transfer. It is therefore essential that as part of the due diligence process you look at employee contracts and see if there are any restrictive covenants that could present a key employee from going to work for a competitor. Whilst you cannot stop somebody resigning, you might be able to stop them working for a competitor.

Recent posts - www.rixandkay.co.uk/news-social-media/ Twitter - @RixandKayLaw LinkedIn - www.linkedin.com/company/rix-&-kay-solicitors-llp


Issue 4 � 2014 │39


The Business VoTe I am the strongest supporter of Brighton’s SMEs and the vital role each and every one of them plays in restoring prosperity, economic security, pride and a sense of sheer commercial drive to both the city and to Sussex every day. However, given that Brighton’s business community has had to endure the entirely ideologically-driven, but administratively naive Green experiment of the last few years - a failed political experiment often sustained by Labour’s direct or tacit support on the City Council - Brighton is still far from fulfilling its fantastic potential once again as the South East’s pre-eminent economic driving force outside London. From next May, Brighton’s businesses will have the chance, once more, to operate in an entirely supportive Conservativecontrolled political environment, both locally and in Parliament. If elected, we will value, empower and back wholeheartedly the restoration of Sussex enterprise once again; we will actively assist job creation in Brighton; we will proactively and assertively enable the region’s business leaders to deliver the investment and growth that will establish Sussex once more as the beating heart of the South East’s burgeoning economic recovery. To that end, I am already working closely with Brighton’s small businesses and independent retailers, via my own Brighton Pavilion Business Forum, to ensure I understand their key issues and concerns. Once elected, I will be properly equipped with the personal insights into their daily pressures and priorities, that will enable me to begin immediately helping them deliver the prosperity locally that the Conservative’s successful handling of the economy is now delivering nationally. So what are my local priorities for business should I succeed in my campaign to become Pavilion’s next MP?


ISSUE 4 � 2014

The Conservatives are on the side of small business and we will help them in Brighton by: • Cutting the jobs tax - saving businesses up to £2,000 in national insurance, enabling them to provide more jobs for the city’s hardworking people. • Scrapping the jobs tax altogether for under 21s - so it’s easier for Brighton’s businesses to give young people a start in life. • Offering a £1000 discount on business rates for local shops, pubs and restaurants. Supporting the provision of more city apprenticeships, both vocational and at graduate level. Investing in better infrastructure, including roads, rail and broadband - so it’s easier to reach customers. • Working with Network Rail to introduce greater capacity on the Brighton - London main line, including my supporting the establishment of BML2, a second mainline to London heading north-east out of Brighton.

Clarence Mitchell Prospective Conservative Parliamentary Candidate – Brighton Pavilion clarence@ clarence4pavilion.com

• Getting rid of unnecessary red tape - freeing up Brighton businesses to concentrate on expansion – not least ending the hugely bureaucratic delays in the city’s planning application processes. • Supporting the construction sector to enable more affordable homes to be built in Brighton for the city’s young professionals and families.

• Ending Brighton’s “rip off ” parking charges and making it easier for city centre businesses to make deliveries.

By being fiscally responsible and taking tough decisions, we are reducing the deficit to secure a stronger economy and a better future for Britain. By backing small businesses and enterprise, we have already helped create 1.8 million new jobs - that’s more people taking home a pay packet each month and being able to provide for their families.

Nationally, too, the Conservatives are continuing to deliver the wider economic recovery that is so fundamental to Britain’s future well-being. We are cutting income tax and freezing fuel duty, helping people and businesses to become more financially secure.

Our plan to reduce Labour’s deficit and to support businesses back onto their feet is working. Only the Conservatives have a credible plan to help small businesses and enterprise and create jobs. Nothing less than the future economic well-being of Brighton and Sussex depends on it.

• Cutting corporation tax - helping Sussex companies to invest and grow.

- Local Politics -


Welcome to our neW PolItIcS Feature Each month we will be asking local candidates from all parties and all regions one vital question: If you are elected, what will you do for businesses in Sussex? Crawley is the economic powerhouse of West Sussex. With an international airport, various blue chip companies and a wealth of SMEs, Crawley is a place where businesses have always thrived. I have lived and worked in Crawley my entire life, running various small businesses over the last 25 years, and as a councillor and parliamentary candidate I have spent considerable time talking with local businesses about the issues they face and the changes we now need to move things forward. Labour regained control of Crawley Borough Council in May aand, as a member of the Cabinet, I am already working towards improving the local business conditions. Many companies struggle with red tape surrounding issues such as planning and apprenticeships and we are working to both streamline services and improve the suppor t available in these areas to get things moving. In addition, we are running a campaign to encourage people to ‘Buy Local’ and adopting it as a principle of our procurement process, helping to keep money in the local economy. If elected I will continue to work to improve local business conditions alongside councils and help provide national suppor t for their effor ts. Crawley’s economy is changing. Increasing automation over coming years is going to result in a drastic reduction of unskilled and low skilled jobs and yet over the last ten years the intermediary skills base has declined. This isn’t good for residents and it makes for a difficult labour market for local businesses. Many organisations have a role to play in dealing with the skills gap and various strategies do exist but up until now there has been a drastic lack of co-ordination between actors. As MP I would work to bring the many groups together and help focus attention on the changes we now need.

It seems obvious that if you want a strong economy, one which is good for business, you need to listen to what the private sector has to say. As a parliamentary candidate I have helped to provide local businesses with the opportunities they need to inform future decision-makers, from Shadow Chancellor, Ed Balls MP and Shadow Business Secretary Chuka Umunna MP, to Shadow Transport Secretary Mary Creagh MP. If elected I will continue to work to provide local businesses with a national voice. If elected I will continue to work to improve local business conditions alongside councils and help provide national support for their efforts. The regional shortage in housing is bad for residents and, much as with the skills gap, bad for businesses. Housing shortages restrict the movement of skilled labour, impact upon wage demands and add to the demands on local transport infrastructure. Housing is a huge issue for Labour locally and nationally and as an MP I would continue to lobby for the national changes we now need to ensure that we can meet local demand.

Chris Oxlade, Prospective Labour Parliamentary Candidate – Crawley cgoxlade@gmail.com

I can also say that if I am elected under a new Labour government, local businesses would benefit from rates being frozen for 1.5 million businesses, Corporation Tax would be maintained as the lowest in the G7, over £30 billion would be taken out of Whitehall and handed over to LEPs to invest in local economies, and a quarter of all government contracts would go to small businesses.

- Local Politics -

ISSUE 4 � 2014 │41

Business Scene Pier Promenade The Brighton & Hove Business awards (BaHBas) The highlight of a lively night on Brighton Pier was the award of outstanding Brightonian to Tony mernagh, chief executive of the Brighton and Hove economic Partnership. Caraline Brown, awards organiser commented, “Tony’s many years of service will continue to attract investors that will shape the City’s future economic success, providing jobs and homes for future generations. He leaves a legacy which we can all build on – to make Brighton & Hove a great place to work and to do business.” THe winners:

The Award For Business Beyond The City WINNER: Ambiental The Award For The Greatest Contribution To The Community WINNER: The Young People’s Centre The Best Customer Service WINNER: The Treatment Rooms The Best Environmental Industry Company WINNER: Ambiental The Best Event in the City WINNER: Paddle Round The Pier The Best Independent Retailer WINNER: The Book Nook The Professional Services Award WINNER: DC Storm The Best New Kids On The Block WINNER: Gene Commerce Ltd The Best Place to Visit in Brighton & Hove WINNER: Brighton Sea Life Centre The Best Place To Work WINNER: Stelfox The Creative Industries Award WINNER: Bozboz Ltd The Fastest Growing Business Award WINNER: The Kitchen Store The MD of the Year WINNER: Neil Purssey, Fireco

Photos: Julia Claxton - Business|scene -

ISSUE 4 � 2014


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Business Scene SuSSex ProPerty AlliAnce the June meeting saw James Appleton, Head of Planning, regeneration & Wellbeing, Adur & Worthing council and tim Hague, Property Manager 1

at Shoreham Port talk to an


audience about the challenges and opportunities around the Shoreham Harbour regeneration strategy. James gave a comprehensive overview of Shoreham Harbour, putting it into a pan Sussex context and illustrating its importance to the local economy.


tim Hague explained that


opportunities for local builders and developers should start to become available once the regeneration strategy is finalised and land is made available. 1. Tim Hague 2. Tony Horn 3. Chris Coopey, Peter Reading, Stuart Noakes, Robert Dowling and Charlie Eve


4. John Justice and Patrick Crowther


5. Peter Hassell, Max Harbron, Jon Justice, James Appleton, Tim Hague and Steve Berrett 6. John Beaver, Lee Gibbs , James Appleton, Adam Grand and Tim Hague 7. Adrian Foote and Becky Cheney 8. Stuart Noakes, Julian Dikes, Chris Barker and Stuart Eatock


9. Stephen Hollamby, Rob Fawcett, Nick Tompkin and Ian Macara



Photos: Stephen Lawrence - Business|scene -

ISSUE 4 � 2014


Do you want to be part of a winning team? Hastings Direct is a multi-award winning business and one of the UK’s fastest growing insurance providers with over 1.5 million customers. We have ambitious plans and we’re seeking talented professionals to join our winning team based in Bexhill-on Sea. As a company that’s going places and yet still small enough to feel like you can make a difference, we can offer genuine development and career progression. We have many exciting career opportunities;

Customer Facing /Contact Centre roles available;

Pricing Analyst x 3 - This role represents a unique and exciting opportunity to provide analytical support and in the development of Hastings pricing strategy for car products.

Customer Representatives Customer Representatives earn up to £18,000 (including basic salary and bonus)

Head of Procurement & Category Manager Lead our internal procurement function across all our business areas or manage our IT and Telco purchasing requirements.

We provide our customers with a refreshingly straightforward service and we’d like to hear from you if you enjoy talking to customers and love working in a fast paced, busy office.

Call Centre Manager - Successfully lead and develop the contact centre to deliver excellent customer service to Hastings Direct customers.

As a customer representative you will be talking to our customers over the phone, providing straightforward service, whilst working in a supportive team that recognises and rewards hard work. We provide first class training in order for you to succeed in your role.

Resource Planner x 2 - Help us develop our process around workforce planning to deliver a resource plan to continue to provide a first class service to our customers. Underwriting Pricing Manager - Private Car Help us define and deliver market leading analytics and risk pricing strategies. Information Security Manager - Provide leadership and strategic direction to Hastings Insurance Group, to bring the group IS risks under control via the design and implementation of policy standards.

Are you: • Self motivated? • Adaptable? • Dedicated to delivering great customer service? • Flexible to working 37.5 hours per week within the hours below? Mon – Fri 8am to 9pm, Sat 9am to 5.30pm & Sun 10am to 5pm.

Retention Manager - Define and implement a market leading renewals and in-life customer journey to drive business performance.

To learn more about each of the above vacancies please contact us:


01424 735735 ext 8924.

2013 Insurance Times Awards, Personal Lines Broker of the Year 2013 and 2014 Car Insurance Provider of the Year, Consumer Moneyfacts Awards 2013 and 2014 UK Broker Awards, Personal Lines Broker of the Year.



How to retain staff witH tHe recovery building up a Head of steam, employees may start to feel more confident about cHanging jobs. tHe key to any successful business is to retain tHe key staff and maintain morale. amanda menaHem. Hr director of Hastings direct, gives Her tips on avoiding tHe nigHtmare of losing valuable members of tHe team. The news on employment, released in midJuly, was certainly welcome. In the three months to May 2014, the proportion of people aged 16 to 64 in work reached 73.1 per cent, up 0.5 points on the previous quarter, matching the UK’s highest recorded employment rate. It is fantastic news for the economy, the Government and job-seekers, but the trend also throws up some challenges for employers. When people feel confident about their chances of getting a better job, it becomes harder to keep the staff who are so vital to the business. So how can you ensure you keep the turnover of staff to a minimum? We’ve all the heard the line that people leave bosses not companies and in my experience this is absolutely true. Of course its easy to think its all about money, but providing you pay people at a fair market rate, increasing pay further is rarely a solution to keeping people if other factors in the workplace aren’t right. Here are my top tips for all you bosses out there….

1. Make your people feel iMportant. As human beings we all like to feel important and valued. The way you do this as a boss is by showing genuine interest. You should know the names of your team members children, partners, know what they did at the weekend etc and show genuine care for their well-being. This also means being flexible and showing trust. Assume the best of your people. 2. Say thank you. One of the most valuable rewards costs nothing at all. A simple ‘thank you’ or ‘well done’ can work wonders. Of course, it isn’t quite as straightforward as plying your employees with endless platitudes.

Words of appreciation have to be sincere and specific. Telling someone they are doing a great job can sound patronising and trite. They will probably assume you actually know very little about what it is they actually do. A compliment has to be relevant and precise. You should offer praise for a task performed well, and explain what it is that you have been impressed by. The praise then becomes constructive, making it more likely they’ll repeat the great performance. 3. learning and progreSSion. It isn’t always possible to have a clear path for promotion but we all need to know that we are improving and growing. There should always be the opportunity to learn, whether it be on-the job or through training and gaining qualifications. A deadend job may quickly become the end of the job, as the ambitious member of staff finds another challenge elsewhere. Find ways of providing extra responsibility, give projects, create shadowing opportunities etc – be creative! Your people should also come up with some ideas, after all its their development 4. autonoMy. One of the biggest complaints I hear about bosses is micromanagement. If you have good people – get out of their way and let them surprise you. People are usually capabale of more than you think they are. Just make sure you are very clear about what outcomes you want, how you should be kept updated, what support or help they need from you, what they think the risks are and what their plans are should those risks materialize – then there should be no need for you to meddle! If your team member then asks for help, that’s great and make sure you coach them by asking them questions rather than telling them the answer. Otherwise they won’t learn for the next time.

- Human Resources -

AMANDA MENAHEM HR Director, Hastings Direct Insurance

5. CoMMunity - Many of us spend most of our waking hours at our place of work. If it is boring drudgery, then why would anyone want to stay. Having shared goals and working toward them is very uniting. Make sure you share your vision and get your people behind it. Creating a sense of community among the workforce is vital. It is quite rare to see team-building days now, and they do conjure up the image of David Brent strumming his guitar. But team-building is important, and social activities, even if it is just going to the pub on a Friday, can help create a vibrant atmosphere at work. Issue 4 � 2014 │47


Source BMX (pictured) has been supported by Let’s Do Business Finance over a number of years, helping them trade internationally and reach turnover in excess of £1.5m

NavigatiNg the maze of fiNaNcial assistaNce By Jonathan Dolding, head of marketing & events, let’s Do Business group

Since the financial crisis the landscape in business funding has changed dramatically, with a wealth of alternative funding providers now appearing. To list all of them, their positives and negatives, is sadly beyond the scope of this short article.However, let’s start with the first consideration for any business about to borrow. What do I need this money for? •

Are you plugging a hole in your cash flow?

Are you purchasing an asset for the business?

How long do you want to borrow the money for?

Is your cash flow shortfall short term or long term?

• If buying a piece of kit for the business, what is the life of it? (You don’t want to borrow over 5 years if the machine will need replacing in 3). If you are purchasing the freehold of my factory unit then it may well be reasonable to borrow over 10, 15, years or possibly longer. Matching the right financial product to your business needs is of vital importance. 48│

ISSUE 4 � 2014

- Alternative Funding -


SourceS of finance High Street Banks The first port of call for most borrowers will, quite rightly, be a High Street bank, who should have a range of financial products to meet their needs. “An overdraft is a useful, flexible arrangement, but it’s important to remember that an overdraft is repayable on demand and the bank can call it in if they are unhappy with the way it is being operated”, says Ian Smallwood, Head of Business Services at Let’s Do Business Finance.

Jonathan Dolding, Head of Marketing & events, Let’s Do Business Group

“If security is an issue for the bank ask them to look at the Government Enterprise Finance Guarantee scheme, offering Government backing for loans to businesses where there is no or insufficient security. But what if your bank says “NO” or you simply want to use an alternative? Community Development Finance Institutions Developed over the last decade CDFI’s are additional lenders to businesses with good propositions that cannot access the funding that they require from the normal High Street sources. Usually they are not for private profit organisations operating on a local or sub-regional basis and therefore very close to the businesses that they support. Loan finance is available for most purposes over terms of up to 5 years. (Let’s Do Business Finance is the CDFI that covers the Sussex area) Start Up Loan Company This government programme offer loans at 6% to businesses that are less than 12 months old. This is a supported scheme offering help with writing the business plan and mentoring after the loan has been granted. Peer 2 Peer Lending Also known as Crowd Funding is definitely flavour of the month and now becoming accepted as a normal funding option. Government has recognized this by its new regulation of the industry and its own investment in the sector. The application process is not as easy as many would believe. An application is in effect vetted twice, firstly by the platform where it is rated and secondly by the investors. Remember if your pitch doesn’t raise the amount asked, it will not succeed and you will either have to start again or look for alternatives Grants Grants are often viewed as “FREE MONEY”, but sadly this is not the case! There are a number of grant schemes operating in the South East at the moment so these are worth searching out.

Grant funding always has to be matched 50/50%, 25/75% with your own or borrowed money. They cannot be applied for retrospectively – put in your expression of interest at the start of the project. Grants will always be linked to job creation and you will need to prove that the project wouldn’t happen without the grant funding. factoring Factoring or Invoice discounting can address those short term cashflow needs of your business. In effect you sell your invoices to the factoring company at a discount which allows you to draw funds in advance of payment by your client. At one time Factoring had the image of the last refuge of a dying business. Thankfully this is not the case now and factoring used correctly can drive a business forward. investors Investors or Business Angels not only put money into a business in exchange for part ownership of the business they can also bring skills that will benefit the business in the long run. You will need to establish a value for the business and draw up a proper agreement. Usually investors will want a relatively quick turn around on their money looking for a return in 3 to 5 years. If the investor is a family member or friend please be very careful as it will dramatically change the dynamic of your relationship. “All lenders will want to understand that you as the borrower know and understand your business. So, rather like a good Boy Scout when you make your application ‘BE PREPARED.’ Have your business plan and financial forecasts ready, your audited accounts for the last three years, and you may well be asked for copies of your bank account statements, both business and personal too,” concludes Ian. For more information – especially for those with an interest in alternative funding for businesses in Sussex, contact Let’s Do Business Finance www.letsdobusinessgroup.co.uk or a good place to start your search is www.alternativebusinessfunding.co.uk

- Alternative Funding -

ISSUE 4 � 2014 │49


THE PETROL PENSION By Maarten Hoffmann

If you had invested £140,000 in a London house in 2004, you would now be the proud recipient of a profit of around £100,000 – a 60% return on your investment and a very decent dividend – or so you might think. But let’s have a look at an alternative investment that might not of occurred to you and one that would, to those with a passion for works of art on wheels, be a darn sight more interesting to own.

Looking at the market, we see that although the Europeans, Americans and Japanese have been in this sector for quite some time, we are on the cusp of the Far Eastern market and the Russians showing great interest and an even greater boom might well be around the corner. And it’s not just million pound cars that are making the money. Had you of paid £8000 for an immaculate 2002 BMW Tll five years ago, it would now be worth £17,500.

In 2004, a chap purchased a Ferrari 275 GTS at auction for £142,000. Last month the same car appeared back on the market at £1.17 million – assuming that he had no major repair or refurbishment bills along the way, he is now sitting on a profit close to £1 million. And he is not alone. Over the last decade, classic cars have outperformed wine, stamps and art as the smart investment and many might concur that having a pristine Jaguar E-Type in your garage for the odd weekend jaunt is considerably more attractive than having a few cases of dusty Mouton Rothschild in your cellar.

There are a few immovable rules. The car must be in pristine condition with low miles and a complete and checkable service history and if you can locate one with an illustrious history or a celebrity owner, then more the better. But buy a classic with problems and you could wipe out the potential gains virtually overnight. The rule is to buy a car that you, or your expert advisor, feel has great potential and that you really like and regard any increase in value as a bonus. The other advantage of buying what you love is that if you actually drive it, it will be exempt from capital gains tax, which only applies to vehicles deemed to have been purchased solely as an investment.

According to the Historic Automobile Group index, classic cars have been far and away the best performing investment over the past decade, with average gains of 456%. As with all such ventures, there will always be a down side, such as the collapse of this market in the early Nineties, but this was mainly caused by people borrowing money for such purchases whereby today, we see people moving their money out of one asset into another.

The Sunday Times recently ran a little experiment in asking four car collectors to choose their top tips over the next five years based on their extensive experience in buying and selling such marques and this is what they came up with.

PORSCHE 928 Buying tip: Go for a 1978-84 model with a five speed gearbox. Pay from: £10,000. Sell in five years for £25,000

HONDA S 2000 Buying tip: Choose a facelift model built after 2004 Pay from: £8000. Sell in five years for £15,000


Issue 4 � 2014



BMW 2002 Tll Buying tip: Check every inch for rust. Pay from: £8000. Sell in five years for £17,500

FERRARI 355 Buying tip: It must have very low miles and an impeccable history. Pay from: £45,000. Sell in five years from £75,000.

JAGUAR E-TYPE Buying tip: It has to be a series 1 and a fixed head. Pay from: £85,000. Sell in five years for £200,000

McLAREN F1 Buying tip: If you can find one, buy it. Pay from: £5.5m. Sell in five years for £15m

We all like a sure-fire can’t lose investment and that desire is driven by the fact that there is no such thing, but classic cars seem to be right up there. Coins, stamps, wine and art are all good investments but coins and stamps hide away in a draw and cannot exactly be called an ‘exciting investment’, art is totally subjective and wine collecting is just too frustrating in that you can’t actually drink it and staring at a bottle has limited appeal. Put a classic car in your garage and those occasional weekends when you really don’t want to go to that wedding or that party are made far more attractive when you get to stretch the legs of that beautiful investment and cruise in the style to which you would like to become accustomed.

THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY: If, like Ferrari fan Fabrizio Violati, you had purchased a Ferrari 250 GTO back in in 1965 for £1,430, you would be very excited to see that car go to auction at Bonhams in California this month for a world record smashing price of £19.6m – and he drove it every day! Now that’s what l call an investment!


Issue 4 � 2014





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COMING NEXT ISSUE • THE GRADUATE SKILLS GAP We host a Round Table debate with representatives from the major Sussex Universities, the largest employer in Sussex, recruiters and other stakeholders to get to the bottom of why there is a graduate skills gap. The resulting major feature will be enlightening to say the least.

• COAST TO CAPITAL We take lunch with Coast to Capital CEO Ron Crank to discuss the £202 million investment recently secured from Whitehall for investment into Sussex.

• LOCAL POLITICS We give a platform to another two parties to explain what they will do for local business if they are elected.

• SECRET SUSSEX There are a wealth of hugely successful companies in Sussex that you have never heard of. We are going to dig them out and reveal the hidden talent that this region harbours.



Time to end Small Supplier Syndrome Bola Lafe, Managing Director of Opus Innovations Ltd, calls on the Government to help SMEs do business with large UK businesses

The Issue

Since launching Aquaint in the UK in 2012, it has become very eye opening to me as an entrepreneur and small business owner just how many hurdles we have had to jump over during the last two years in dealing with the large UK firms to get our product listed. Many of these hurdles are unnecessary and business-threatening, and can lead to the collapse of a small or medium sized business due to a cash flow vs revenue imbalance. During my journey, I have had the pleasure of meeting a significant number of small and medium sized business owners and entrepreneurs, who like myself have faced (and continue to face) the same issues over and over again. It is a very frustrating place to be when a company has a proven product / service but doesn’t have a commercially viable route to market. Not being one to sit back and just accept the status quo, I have decided to front this issue on behalf of all SMEs in the UK, and petition change within HM’s Government to get more support and assistance at a commercial level for SMEs in dealing with large UK firms. My first port of call was our local MP for Crawley, the Rt. Hon. Henry Smith who could see my point and raised the issue on my behalf with the Rt. Hon. Matthew Hancock, the Minsiter for Skills and Enterprise within the Government Department for Business Innovation & Skills. The response from the Minister was completely off-target and offered no credible suggestions or solutions whatsoever, it was simply a ‘cookie cut’ answer directing me towards various websites, including one where I can get mentored by experienced business people. Having spent over 20 years in senior positions in the financial services sector based in London, New York and Tokyo with specialisms in Finance, Procurement, Expense Management, Negotiating, Contract Law, Business Management etc., I know what I am doing, hence why I was waving the flag! At the end of the day, if a SME cannot commercialise their goods or services, all of the money the UK Government would have invested to support SMEs with financing, tax relief schemes, R&D, patents, prototying, manufacturing etc. is simply money down the drain. Why the problem? Because we suffer from a condition I have named the ‘Small Supplier Syndrome’!


Issue 4 � 2014

- Business|Campaign -

The soluTIon

Following the disappointing (but not completely surprising) response from the Minister, I have decided to formalise my campaign and create a petition on behalf of all UK SMEs with a view to securing as many as ONE MILLION e-signatures from SME owners and employees across the country over the next 12 months. The petition outlines a six point plan and if supported by HM Government could mark the start of a new era for the business interface between SMEs and large corporates in the UK. Together we will find a solution to cure the ‘sMAll suPPlIeR

sYnDRoMe’ stigma attached to small businesses. We need support and assistance from large UK companies to develop and grow, no different to how adults help children to develop and grow into adults themselves. Our goal is to keep the wheel of innovation turning and to fuel UK business growth.


Manifesto to support sMes in doing business with large uK firMs We need the Government to enact measures to support small UK businesses in their dealings with large UK firms. Innovation is the lifeblood of the economy and supporting small businesses will underpin Britain’s future economic prosperity. We call on the Government to: 1. Introduce a tiered system of enforceable payment terms starting with a maximum of 30 days for start-ups to safeguard liquidity. 2. Support small British firms in their efforts to connect and trade with buyers and supply chain managers at large businesses. 3. Encourage large retailers to showcase new and innovative ‘Made in the UK’ products instore. 4. Create or support a series of ‘Meet the UK Innovators’ trade events aimed at UK private and public sector buyers.

About opus / AquAint

Opus Innovations was established by Bola Lafe to provide innovative solutions to everyday problems, primarily in the healthcare and child care sectors. Opus Innovations were voted New Business of the Year 2014 in the Gatwick Diamond Business Awards, which covers an area that is home to over 45,000 businesses. Our flagship, award-winning product is called Aquaint. Aquaint is a unique, revolutionary and multipurpose 100% Natural Sanitising Water that kills 99.9% of bacteria. Aquaint can be safely used on the hands / body (from birth) and on surfaces (even those that enter the mouth) with no need to rinse. Aquaint is endorsed by Allergy UK and passed stringent UK drinking water tests, making it the safest sanitiser on the market. Aquaint is manufactured here in the UK (Crawley) and is making a fundamental difference to the lives of so many people, in so many ways, in a number of countries. Surprisingly, the UK is one of our slowest markets.

- Business|Campaign -

5. Develop a Government-led steering group with public and private sector representation to help commercialise UK small business innovation. 6. Create a permanent group within the Government to implement further small business-friendly strategies.

Support the campaign. Go to: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/ petitions/67596

Issue 4 � 2014


Business Travel

Business Travel Keep Charged to Stay Flying The recent airport security update requiring travellers to power-up electronic equipment being carried in both hand and hold luggage, is a new restriction added to a long line of changes and enhancements to security, going back to the terrorist attacks of 11th September 2001. It was from that date that airport security procedures were forced to undergo a rigorous transformation and very quickly update processes that in many cases dated back to the 1970’s. It is in fact only over the last few years that we have seen the authorities catch up and start to use cutting edge technology such as Full Body Scanners utilising Long Wavelength X-ray’s and Microwave technology. These new developments have their own drawbacks, including cost and also privacy issues, with some campaigners claiming the near naked images produced are an invasion of privacy. The constant updating, tweaking and adjusting of security protocols may be frustrating to regular travellers. It is worth remembering however, all the plots and attempted attacks that have been foiled, from exploding shoes to flammable liquids in shampoo bottles, explosive printer cartridges and even exploding underpants! The airports, airlines, and security services are now ever more vigilant. Security on-board aircraft has also been greatly improved, with visits to the cockpit no longer allowed, cockpit doors on many aircraft are now reinforced and bullet proofed, with some aircraft also being equipped with CCTV so the crew can monitor cabin activity. It is unfortunately one of the realities of the 21st century that we will continue to

58│ Issue 4 � 2014

have enhancements and changes to the requirements of airport security. However, most of us will continue to fly for both business and leisure and we will adapt and accept that we have to take off our shoes and belts, make sure our batteries are fully charged, and feel perhaps a little bashful whilst being scanned. Below are a few tips to help with the latest security restrictions: •

Check your battery status before you fly. Every device offers different options for measuring and displaying the remaining capacity and current usage

Carry an extra high capacity battery pack in a special case for your phone, camera or laptop. Remember that Lithium based batteries, the most common type used for modern technology, cannot be stored in luggage but must be carried on board an aircraft in the original packaging or other insulating material ensuring the terminals are covered to prevent risk of short circuits

Charge your devices when you can, not when you have to. This means in lounges, airports, coffee shops, and other areas. Many public facilities now offer free charging ports

- Business|Travel -

Try to standardise all of your devices so they can be powered by any charger

Do not let your device run out of power, or it may take several minutes to come alive once connected to a charger resulting in delays

Turn off data roaming, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to save power

Limit the number of applications that are running in the background by closing all programmes that are not needed, turn off “push email”, or adjust the time increment between checking for your mail

Decrease display-on time to 15 seconds and reduce screen brightness to conserve power

To ensure travellers stay up to date with the ever changing travel security and disruption that may affect their trip, leading Travel Management Companies will send out regular updates to their clients, keeping them in the know at all times. If you would like to be added to UNIGLOBE’s Travel Alert programme free of charge, please contact our Sales Team at sales@ uniglobepreferred.co.uk or alternatively call us on 0845 180 7817.

Business Travel

John Burroughes

T: 0845 180 7817 E: sales@uniglobepreferred.co.uk W: www.uniglobepreferred.co.uk

What do points make? travel savings of up to 7%!

Access to the best unrestricted rates at all times of year including peak season, complimentary upgrades, guaranteed last room availability at Hotels, and points awarded based on spend which can be redeemed for future reservations.

bookings will be made in line with your company’s requirements. It is then the role of your Travel Management Company to flag and refer back all reservation requests that fall outside of your Travel Policy for further authorisation.

When we talk to our customers about frequent flyer accounts, people often assume we are discussing those held by individual regular travellers, but what you might not realise is that many airlines offer company frequent flyer membership schemes. These loyalty programmes allow businesses to earn points on travel under taken by their employees, in addition to the points that individuals earn for their own accounts.

Whilst points can generally be tracked by quarterly e-statements detailing your company’s reservations and spend activities, we recommend that when enrolling your business into the appropriate schemes, your Travel Management Company acts as a joint administrator in partnership with you. Involving your Travel Management Company will help to identify the most appropriate times for you to utilise these points, ensuring maximised savings against the best rates available, which is particularly beneficial at peak travel times and on popular routes.

There can be great benefits from utilising company reward programmes, when applied and managed correctly they can deliver further savings of between 5-7% on the overall travel spend. The schemes are generally tied to spending, and whilst the terms of joining vary, two or more registered regular travellers are generally required to be employed by your company.

Both schemes work in tandem, ensuring that the company and the individual are rewarded for their loyalty through point accumulation. Your business can then redeem these points for air travel, flight upgrades, and sometimes ancillary services such as chauffeur journeys and hotel stays. Not only that, but company programmes often offer bonuses that individuals may not be eligible for, such as “double points” periods. There are also similar schemes available with Hotel chains and Car Hire organisations. The benefits of these corporate loyalty schemes include:

However, signing up to loyalty schemes can cause some concerns for the travellers’ organisation. There is often fear that staff may select the travel options which will have the greatest benefit to them personally and their individual reward programmes, rather than those that are most cost effective and in the best interest of the company. By working closely with your Travel Management Company to construct and enforce a Travel Policy which reflects the goals of your individual organisation, you can rest assured that all - Business|Travel -

Current airline corporate frequent flyer membership schemes include, but are not limited to: Star Alliance Par tner Plus, BA On Business, Virgin Flying Co, Qantas Club Corporate, Emirates Skywards, and Air France/KLM BlueBiz. Some Hotel and Car Hire membership reward schemes are offered by organisations such as: Starwood, Hilton, IHG, Marriott, Her tz, Avis and Europcar. Please contact us for further advice on corporate membership schemes.

Issue 4 � 2014


MOTORING REVIEW - Jaguar XJL Portfolio

THE CHAIRMAN’S BEST FRIEND The Jaguar XJ Portfolio LWB is a bit of a mouthful but in short, Jaguar have harked back to the days when the XJ6 was a staple on our roads but there is little comparison today, notwithstanding a stunning and lavish interior. I have been known to overuse the word ‘lickable’ but just look at it – don’t you want to - lick it. Or is that just me? Although the long wheel base version is not strictly aimed at the driver but rather the chauffeured passengers, it doesn’t matter where you sit as it’s pretty gorgeous everywhere and not a place you are really tempted to get out of. And why would you when it’s better equipped than most offices. On first encounter, the XJ looks like a triumph for Jaguar and its siblings have been pleasing customers for several years. The XJ’s styling and lush interior provide such a special experience that it may just take the British luxury car right back to the top of the market. Prices start at around £59,980 and the LWB adds an extra 60│ Issue 4 � 2014

£3000 and there are three trim levels – Luxury, Premium and Portfolio with a matching engine line-up with the 271bhp turbo diesel V6, a 380bhp 5.0 litre petrol V8 and a monster 503bhp V8. My review car was the Portfolio LWB 3.0-litre V6 diesel with a base of £70,975, but with all the bells and whistles l had, there’s little change from £87,000. It feels instantly as Jaguars of old; smooth, quiet, and soft-riding. In recent times the company has made an issue of replacing limousine bounce with relatively firm body control plus accurate and perfectly weighted steering. The refinement stays, but the uncontrolled softness is gone. This is a spacious, serious highperformance car for drivers and passengers alike and the longer wheelbase makes it sit flatter than the others but the same alertness is there, along with the same threelevel driver control system (snow, comfort or dynamic), and the same quick-reacting paddle-shift system that can give you manuallike control of the conventional sixspeed ZF automatic gearbox. You can drive this car very, very fast without ever straying over 3500rpm. The 0-60mph sprint

“Feet up, massager on, TV blaring and drink in hand, they barked orders at me and kept calling me Parker! Never mind, I have a Fiat 500 coming next week and that’ll teach em.”

- Motoring|review -

Motoring Editor – Maarten Hoffmann

takes just 6.0sec, the top speed is limited at 155mph, but the real gauge of performance is how the car accelerates from 70mph to 100mph; it’s quiet and swift enough to undermine the case for buying any of the V8s, especially since the combined fuel consumption of 44.8mpg promises an easy range of 650 miles. The 3.0D is strong but subtle, with an instant shove in the kidneys courtesy of its twin sequential turbos. The result is prodigious power and long legs. Its closest rivals would have to be the Mercedes S Class and the Audi A8. The Audi LWB starts at £63,000 but that will fly north when you start adding the clothes that the Jag is already dressed in and the interior is no match. The S Class is a serious competitor and better in many ways and slightly more expensive, all the way up to £119,000, but the sheer character of the Jaguar really shines through. The diesel model can manage a healthy 44mpg, but you’ll need to be an oil baron if you plan to use

MOTORING REVIEW either of the supercharged petrol cars in anger – even when you’re stroking it around, you’ll be lucky to better 20mpg. Their design team, masterminded by Ian Callum, know their market and have really put some effort into making the interior irresistible, with special emphasis on the rear cabin. With reclining heated/cooled seats in supple hide that massage and move 18 different ways, dark tinted windows with electric blinds, TV/DVD all round with total connectivity, 20 speaker sound system and twin panoramic glass roof. It’s as much fun playing in the back as it is driving the blasted thing.

“The refinement stays, but the uncontrolled softness is gone.”

I am sure that like me, most of you are often exhausted ferrying the kids back and forth to school and their varied social life (puts mine to shame!) but they were utterly intolerable in this. Feet up, massager on,TV blaring and drink in hand they barked orders at me and kept calling me Parker! Never mind, l have a Fiat 500 coming next week and that’ll teach em! The XJ is built almost entirely of aluminium, so rust is never going to be a problem. Mechanical reliability shouldn’t be either – the XJ itself didn’t feature in the most recent JD Power ownership satisfaction survey, but the mechanically similar XF achieved an ‘excellent’ score. So, would l buy it? As a driver possibly; as a chauffeur driven car, most definitely. Take a look around London and you will see a profusion of them around every embassy and up and down Whitehall. Jaguar have a recent habit of churning out great cars – and Bravo, they’ve done it again.

TECHNICAL STUFF: Engine: 3.0 litre V6 Turbo Diesel Power: 271bhp Performance: 0-60mph 6 seconds Top Speed: 155mph limited Economy: 44.8mpg Price: From £59,980. As tested £86,460

- Motoring|review -

Issue 4 � 2014 │61

Fleet ManageMent

Companies planning their vehicle fleet should concentrate on value rather than price when it comes to vehicle procurement. Price is often the first point in procurement conversations, but should be one of the last. There are seven factors fleets should take into account when considering funding and procurement but I emphasise that one size doesn’t fit all, different solutions will apply depending on the individual situation of the business, and possibly a combination of solutions could be the best approach. Contract hire is typically the lowest-cost solution for ‘normal’ businesses with mainstream corporate tax and VAT positions, where the customer is cash flow conscious, averse to risk, prefers off-balance sheet funding and has limited fleet management expertise. Outright purchase of vehicles could be applicable for organisations that cannot, or can only partially, recover VAT, qualify for zero or minimal corporation tax relief, prefer assets to be on their balance sheet, employ internal/external fleet management expertise, and not averse to risk or are cash rich.

Fleet Considerations • Your company’s corporation tax position. • The company’s VAT situation. • Your company’s cash situation. • The rate of return on capital employed. • Corporate balance sheet implications. • The level of internal fleet expertise. • The culture of the business and its attitude to financial risk and outsourcing.


Issue 4 � 2014


Fleet ManageMent

All of the above points should be considered

very best range of cars. Based on the logic that

your company than one might think. Not only

when implementing your fleet policy and

‘you are only as good as your last deal’, we

how successful they, and your company are,

funding method, but this can be a time

strive to ensure that the fleet option chosen is

but your recognition of quality in all things and

consuming process. Why not take advantage

the best you will find and that is why we have

how much you value your staff.

of a no obligation review of your fleet by

so many repeat customers.

contacting us and see how we can help.

You might often hear that a company cannot

And it’s not only the financial deal on paper

afford such and such a vehicle, but if taking

Fleet organisation is a complicated business

that should be looked at but the type

one of the myriad of finance options available,

but there are experts out there that can

of vehicle chosen plays a major part in a

short term gain can often be long term loss.

help ensure that your business achieves the

successful transaction.The residual value of the

best deal in the long-term. If you need your

vehicle will affect the financial aspect of the

plumbing fixed, you call a plumber and the

deal but never overlook the quality of the car

same rules apply to fleet purchases – call an

in question as the standard of vehicle driven

expert in.

by your staff, says a lot about your company, its

At Lookers Mercedes-Benz, we have an

success and it’s recognition of quality.

There are many good quality cars available in the market place today but we rightfully feel that Mercedes-Benz is one of the very best. We have been building high quality motor vehicles since 1926, following the merger of Daimler and Benz in 1925 that spawned one

entire team dedicated to ensuring that our

A salesman arriving to an appointment in a

of the most famous, oldest and most trusted

customers achieve the very best deal on the

beautiful new Mercedes says a lot more about

marques in the world – Mercedes-Benz.

Contact: Mercedes-Benz of Gatwick, Eastbourne, Brighton and Tonbridge at 0844 659 7503


Issue 4 � 2014


Women in Business

THE END OF MEN Are women taking control of the business world asks Maarten Hoffmann


recently published book entitled ‘The End of Men and the Rise of Women’ by Hanna Rosin puts the case that the future is female and that the dominance of men, certainly in business and politics, is over. The basis for this argument is that girls do better than boys at every level of education with increasingly larger numbers going to university as some 58% of all university students are female. To add to this, 60% of newly qualified solicitors are female as are 56% of all new doctors. Another book entitled ‘The Richer Sex’ by Liza Munday, makes the case that there are increasingly more men taking over the traditional woman’s role of the housework and looking after the kids. This, apparently, is caused by the recession hitting far more male orientated professions, such as car manufacturing, sales, banking and steel production therefore throwing many men into unemployment, whilst the female orientated professions such as education, healthcare and customer service are booming. Liza states that to do well in our modern society, emotional intelligence and good communication skills are far more in demand than brawn. A survey conducted by Everywoman, a female business network, questioned 1000 working women in their twenties and thirties. Of those questioned, 75% of Sussex women stated that work was the most important thing in their lives – ahead of friends, family and relationships. Some of these women give a surprisingly traditional reason for this extreme work ethic: Motherhood. They are in a rush as time is short and they intend to rise to the top of their profession before they have kids so that they have the dream job to return to rather than trying to clamber up the greasy pole with children at home in nappies and sleepless nights. Then there are those women who intentionally put their career before conception:

64│ Issue 4 � 2014

As CEO of the Gatwick Diamond Initiative, Rosemary French, said: “I sacrificed children for my career – it was a deliberate act – but if l was in that position today, l would definitely have children. I became the CEO of a business with over 100 employees at the age of 34, which was rather bad timing to start a family”. In the Everywoman survey, 40% of the woman in a relationship claim they earn more than their partner and an amazing 90% of them claim to be more ambitious than their man – although they probably say that whilst he is hoovering! Surprisingly, 16% of those questioned said that they lie to potential partners so as not to put them off! The one area that women are not progressing well in is the hi-tech industries of the future.There are fewer girls taking the three sciences at GCSE and if woman really want to dominate, that will have to change as currently 90% of all hi-tech companies are run by men with fewer women rising through the ranks. But what of the men in all this. Are we to be confined to the scrapheap as redundant and past our sell by date? Apparently not. We are taking to the housework and the - Women in Business -

child rearing like there is no tomorrow, leaving the women free to roar up the career ladder. John Carpenter, MD of Sussex Diagnostics said ‘I have to admit that the thought of not working and hanging round the house all day fills me with horror. But once l got into it, l really enjoy it, being with the boys and seeing them grow up. Even funnier when they ask me questions about girls. I don’t miss the pressure of work at all’. This is not so for all men of course, but we are the ‘transitional generation’. We are the generation who are beating a new path as most were raised in the traditional home with Dad working and Mum at home. But we grew up with Margaret Thatcher running the country and handbagging her ministers, the Queen on the throne with Prince Phillip scuttling along carrying hers and Princess Diana’s dominant coverage in the media with Prince Charles sulking in the background – probably holding Camilla’s. Was this the turning point? The End of Men and the Rise of Women by Hanna Rosin The Richer Sex by Liza Munday


ROB FAWCETT Bennett Griffin LLP

AMANDA MENAHEM Hastings Direct Insurance





I am considering selling my small hotel and planning to buy another on the other side of town. One of my major purchases was air-conditioning in every one of the 11 rooms and the new hotel will also need a/c. Would l be better off removing the a/c from my existing property and saving the purchase expense or including it in the sale and taking the tax relief?

You should look to take expert advice from a Capital Allowances Tax consultant who would advise as to the merits of an election by you and your buyer in respect of agreeing the value of the air-conditioning units.

This is a complex area of legislation and therefore expert advice should be sought as to the merits of either agreeing an election or as you have proposed removing the air-conditioning units from the hotel. Certainly removing the units from the hotel will involve a considerable amount of “making good” and as such you would need to balance these costs against any allowance you may be able to claim under the legislation, the cost of making good and the savings you could possibly make by acquiring new energy efficient units for the new hotel.

I would like to enter the world of human resources with a company in Sussex but must admit, that l am not really sure where to start. I have been out of university for 8 months now, having studied English literature, and spoke to a recruitment consultant recently who was not of much assistance. Can one of your experts help me with some information?

Human resources is all about helping an organisation create success through people; ensuring you create the right environment, leadership and practices to help people give their best and to grow and develop with the company. So to be an effective HR practitioner you need an understanding of people and the work environment. My advice is to get your foot in the door of a large company and get some varied work experience.The best HR people are those that have managed teams themselves. So try and work toward a team leader type position. If you have good administrative skills you can apply directly to become an HR administrator and work your way up, but at some point a stint in the business will be necessary for you to have real credibility. To develop a longer term career in HR you will need to have the relevant qualifications, and it certainly helps if you can study a CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development) accredited course, which range from under graduate degrees, Post Graduate Diplomas or MSc/MA. Many companies will sponsor you to study for this part time or you can choose to do a full-time course. But remember, even with qualifications, these need to be complimented with practical experience of dealing with the wide range of issues that a HR professional has to face on a daily basis. As far as Hastings Direct is concerned, I suggest you apply to join our fast-track graduate scheme. The Hastings Way Forward Graduate Scheme may involve spending time in different business areas to discover your niche or completing a specialised placement in one area and we will work with you to develop and fine tune your leadership skills to ensure you receive the knowledge to succeed. Aside from the scheme we also have a wide range of vacancies that would allow you to get that all important foot in the door. By gaining an all-round grounding in the ethos of the company, you will be better equipped to succeed in HR.

- Expert Panel -

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Put more drive into your marketing!

Do you want to increase your sales, grow your business or manage the communication with your customers? Our experts will help you to put together a direct marketing campaign to achieve your business needs and increase your customer base whilst protecting your brand! We have helped many businesses over the last 21 years to achieve growth and increase their ROI contact us on 01444 231400 or email sales@novadirectmail.co.uk www@novadirectmail.co.uk



Q: A:

I often enjoy reading motoring reviews especially at the point when l am thinking of changing my car. Your reviews are very good and quite entertaining but l always ask the same question of all such reviews: Is this guy unbiased or being paid by the manufacturer? Paul, Chichester

This question came straight to my desk of course, so l thought l would jump onto the panel and respond. There is not a single motoring journalist that l have ever come across that is paid by the manufacturer. That just wouldn’t work and would be spotted by the reader a mile away. Personally, l have never been influenced and no attempt has been made to do so. I have a very simple rule premised on my Mother’s pet saying of “If you’ve got nothing good to say, say nothing.” I don’t review cars that l know to be turkeys as l don’t see the point in trashing the hard work that someone has put into its design and besides, some might like it. I order cars that l believe to be very good within their sector and will only slate it if there are good sound reasons to do so (see MG6 review recently). Today it is very difficult to find fault with most cars as technology has taken us to a point where they are all basically very impressive machines, and you will often find journalists debating the merits of the stability control knob as they search to define some difference between models. It comes down to the small things and they, by their very nature, are all subjective. I spend a week with each car and use it daily for all the things everyone else does – school runs, meetings, trips, Waitrose and weekend adventures out of town. I then ask whoever l am with what they think and funnily enough, l also ask my kids, as they have no filter and you get raw reactions. I tell it as l see it with no fear or favour and all l can say is that every Monday morning a new car turns up in my driveway and it’s a tough job, but someone has to do it.

Maarten doing ‘The Hill’ at Goodwood – 6th by the way! - Expert Panel -

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Crawley Launch - hilton London Gatwick Airport

Business Scene 26th SuSSex BuSineSS AwArdS Open


the twenty sixth Sussex Business Awards are now open for business following a series of launches in Brighton, Crawley and uckfield.


Applicants have until 29 August 2014 to prepare their submissions. the winners will be announced at the Grand Brighton on 10 december. For details see www.sbawards.org.uk twitter @SussexBizAwards


1. Alan Margetts (The Kitchen Store) and Peter Lane (Sussex Innovation Centre)


2. Andrew Hookway (Extech) with the Mayor of Crawley, Cllr Brenda Smith

Uckfield - east Sussex national

3. Karen Davis, Zoe Thomas, Lee-Ann Connor and Sarah Bird 4. Q&A panel Mike Punter (Parafix), Rachel Hutchinson (The Grand Hotel), Alan Margetts (The Kitchen Store) and Chris Robinson (Boost Marketing) 5. Adrian Corbin, Stephanie Coombs and Frank Ashbee 6. Steve Holt, George Dobson and Rebecca Spokes 5

7. Steve Hagman, Caraline Brown and Terry Nitman


8. Ian Trevett, Samantha Cuff, Jan Edwards and Martin Smith 9. Steven Hagman, Lisa Beale, Terry Nitman, Helen Markwick, Fiona Shafer, Elisabeth Maxwell, Mark Greco and Adrian Corbin




Photos: Julia Claxton - Business|scene -

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Chamber of CommerCe

a BuSineSS advenTure By Sophie TurTon, Freelance WriTer and aSSiSTanT ediTor aT crunch Photos: Simon Callaghan

In typical Chamber style, this year’s Brighton Summit combined business inspiration with theatrical flair to create a truly unique and engaging event. The Adventure summit - held on July 4th - aimed to motivate people from a range of businesses and backgrounds to conquer their personal, as well as business-related, fears and obstacles in order to make further progress in the adventure of enterprise. David Pegler, head of Brewin Dolphin’s Brighton business, said: “It is not that often that a local networking event pops up and gets me excited, however from the outset the Chamber of Commerce Brighton Summit looked different...There was something mysterious about the proceedings and I simply didn’t know what to expect – a bit of an adventure. I tried to embrace the whole day by doing something daring and even volunteered to lead one of the unstructured sessions on a subject that I was passionate about but was outside my comfort zone and usual field of experience.” Kicking off the event, Rob Forkan of Gandys Flip Flops took us on his incredible journey, instilling us with the message - yes you can. Rob’s story was a fantastic example of how courage in life can inform determination in business. This ethos formed the backbone of the Adventure Summit and, throughout the day, guests were encouraged to take themselves out of their comfort zones. In his introduction, compere Steve Bustin urged: “Do challenge yourself. Don’t do the dares that are right up your street. Do the dares that challenge you, that scare you, that take you on an adventure.” The day had a consistently well-organised structure, which was necessary given the many different components that made up the whole experience. ‘Your adventure hour’ offered guests the


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opportunity to explore their most daring business desires and discuss any concerns, challenges or advice they may have, while learning from the experiences of those in their group.

Dares included singing, life drawing, meeting creepy crawlies, laugh therapy, coding, comedy and improv - singing appeared to be the biggest shake-maker. One participant said: “It was a great opportunity to really try and get to the bottom of what was holding me back from starting my own business. I haven’t solved all of my issues of course but it’s soothing to know that others really understand how scary it all is.” The dare hour was causing a stir in the morning, as many prepared themselves to endure the thing that scares them most. Dares included singing, life drawing, meeting creepy crawlies, laugh therapy, coding, comedy and improv - singing appeared to be the biggest shake-maker. After the dare hour, many said they were pleasantly surprised by how much they enjoyed themselves. Aimee Richardson from A4E said the singing class was better than she expected: “They threw us

- Chamber of Commerce -

Chamber of CommerCe

right in, which was a surprise. But it was great as it meant we didn’t have as much time to think about how scared we were.” Most of the afternoon was dedicated to a series of unconferences, split into one hour groups across two hours. The range of speakers were either telling stories of their experiences or teaching their group how to use multimedia, social media and other accessible skills to further their business. Geoff Tunnel from StoryStream spoke about learning to do the stuff that scares you. A natural storyteller, he advised his audience: “Don’t shout in the pub...Firing things at your audience on Twitter without thinking sounds more like an anti-social strategy. They haven’t asked for it. Scoop up what they’re already saying and use that - stop shouting and start listening.” Throughout the day we had been given little clues about the finale and so, by the time we came to the final group meeting, there was a rising sense of anticipation. In the most delicious of theatrical styles, all 200 delegates were taken on a cross-Brighton adventure to The Emporium on London Road, the decor of which lends itself beautifully to the theme of whimsy and adventure. The final hour included a performance from the Maydays, a comedy improvisation group who held a rap battle between the divided audience. A special piece about the event by storyteller, Jamie Crawford, concluded the final hour. “Take the little box outside the case and see if you can find one little thing inside the box and do it now,” he guided.

All 200 delegates opened the box inside their mind, turned to each other and told of their treasure from the day. These included iron man; a meerkat-like camera; a naked lady and I drew her; coconut trees; a resolution to stop thinking and start doing; an opportunity to open up my whole world; the desire to be excited; hope. Hope was a resounding message taken from the day - dare to hope and then to do. Overall the feedback has been exceptional, with many already wondering what next year’s theme will be. Gerry Hussein from BestofBrighton&Hove said: “I did not think you could top the 2013 Summit - I was wrong. You have now set an even higher standard for 2015!”

- Chamber of Commerce -

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Hurstpierpoint College

Excellent education for girls and boys aged 4-18

Hurst Hurstpierpoint College

Pre-Prep | Prep | Senior School | Sixth Form

Autumn Open Morning 27th September 2014 We invite you to see what Hurst can offer your child To find out more, visit our website www.hppc.co.uk

Hurstpierpoint College


West Sussex BN6 9JS

Admissions 01273 836936


BUSINESS BY THE BOOK The top 8 business personality books at Amazon.co.uk

4 1

Like A Virgin: Secrets They Won’t Teach You at Business School by Sir Richard Branson In Like a Virgin: Secrets They Won’t Teach You in Business School, Richard distils and shares the wisdom and experience that have made him one of the world’s most recognised and respected entrepreneurs. From his ‘Top 5 secrets of Business Success’, to hard hitting discussions about the global financial crisis, this book brings together his best advice on all things business. It’s business school, the Branson way.


Business Stripped Bare: Adventures of a Global Entrepreneur by Sir Richard Branson Sir Richard Branson shares the inside track on his life in business and reveals the incredible truth about his most risky, brilliant and audacious deals.


The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life by Alice Schroeder Recounting the life and times of one of the most respected men in the world, The Snowball is the most fascinating financial success story of our time. Warren Buffett, the legendary Omaha investor has never written a memoir, but finally has given Alice Schroeder unprecedented access to him and all those closest to his work, opinions, struggles, triumphs, follies and wisdom. The result is this personally revealing and complete biography of ‘The Oracle of Omaha’, indispensable reading for those who wish to know the man behind the outstanding achievements.


In My Shoes: A Memoir by Tamara Mellon ‘From her troubled childhood and her time as a young editor, to her partnership with Jimmy Choo and her very public relationships, Mellon offers a gripping account of the episodes that have made her. A book Jackie Collins would be proud of, with the added bonus that it is all true. A voyeuristic joy from start to finish’ Harpers Bazaar

Screw It, Let’s Do It: Lessons In Life (Quick Reads) by Sir Richard Branson Branson: “Throughout my life I have achieved many remarkable things. In Screw It, Let’s Do It, I will share with you my ideas and the secrets of my success, but not simply because I hope they’ll help you achieve your individual goals.”

- Business|Books -


Strong Woman: The Truth About Getting to the Top by Karren Brady

This book is in two parts. Part one examines new approaches to business in emerging markets and part two is aimed at helping firms prioritise emerging markets.


Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Happier Life by Arianna Huffington

In Thrive, Arianna Huffington, the co-founder and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post and one of the most influential women in the world, has written a passionate call to arms, looking to redefine what it means to be successful in today’s world.


Riding the Storm by Duncan Bannatyne

Duncan explains exactly how a working-class boy from Clydebank built himself a multimillion-pound business empire, and talks with incredible frankness about the current strategies, goals and finances of his companies. He reveals the true nature of his feuds and friendships with the other Dragons and uses his experiences from Dragons’ Den to offer advice to start-up entrepreneurs in today’s market.

Issue 4 � 2014


BECAUSE THERE’S A FOODIE IN EVERY TRAVELER. Amy's Restaurant is no ordinary airport hotel restaurant! This contemporary, chic and sophisticated restaurant offers an exceptional gastronomic experience which is fondly spoken of by travellers across the globe. The menu, which offers a la carte dining, is a celebration of delicious flavours, using only the highest quality ingredients and producing irresistible, perfectly balanced dishes. Amy's, which is open to nonresidents, is well known for its exemplary service and attention to detail. Give your event that little bit extra, enjoy the bright, contemporary tones of our newly refurbished Amy's Restaurant.The perfect place to enjoy a friendly after events drinks or a formal meal with business clients. It is extremely unlikely that your first visit will be the only one you make! To book a table call +44 (0) 1293 518080 or email biju.pappachan@hilton.com

South Terminal, Gatwick Airport | West Sussex | RH6 0LL ©2014 Hilton Worldwide

T: +44 (0) 1293 518 080 | F: +44 (0) 1293 579 072 facebook.com/HiltonGatwick | twitter.com/HiltonGatwick


The Business NEtwork Emma Pearce’s guide to ‘memorable minute presentations’ at networking events

THREE: YOU and YOUR not me, me, me Remember to talk to your audience using ‘you’ and ‘your’ language. That’s phrases such as ‘Are you looking for…’ or ‘Is your business suffering with….’ Don’t waste your minute saying things like ‘We have been established since 1981 and have 5 warehouses in Sussex. Our lead time for producing widgets is 14 days….’ Yawn. So what? This tip applies to all the copy on your website and literature too! FOUR: Include a call to action such as: nicola thomas from nXphotography www.nxphoto.co.uk

How to make your 1-minute count What makes you look up and really listen to someone doing their one-minute round at a networking event? Be honest… are you someone that bores people or do you educate, amuse or inspire your audience into taking action? Don’t fall into the trap of being on auto-repeat at every networking event. You should always plan the content of your minute and change it every time – particularly for groups that you attend very regularly. Here are some tips on how to create great one minute presentations. ONE: Be memorable and grab attention • Try asking a question to get attention and engage with people • Try an unusual start and description of what you do… here are a couple of examples I have seen quoted before: “I’m a Time Lord. I help people get more from their working day” and “I help people get dressed. I’m an image consultant.” • Always succinctly describe what you offer – make it benefit-led • Always say your name and company name at the start or immediately after your ‘unusual start’

• Requesting an introduction to a particular company (this is very successful for many people) • Details of an offer and how to take it up • How/where to buy/view a new product • Asking people to note down a date and give details of how to book onto your event • Connecting on LinkedIn or Liking your Facebook page FIVE: Deliver it well You may be nervous and hate presenting, but networking works for many businesses. Practise, Practise, Practise. It will get better! Look up, smile, look around, and make eye contact. Speak clearly and loud enough to be heard. Don’t speak too fast. Have your script on cards or paper if you need it. Look presentable and feel comfortable. Finish with your name, company name and catchphrase or strapline if you have one. What’s the best netWorking 1 minute introduction or full pitch that you’ve ever heard? i’d love to hear – emma@pearcemarketing.co.uk.

TWO: Focus your message Don’t cover too many different things in each minute. Vary what you say each time by: • Using a prop that links to what you offer • Quoting a testimonial and who gave it to you • Providing a great or shocking statistic • Relaying a funny and relevant story • Giving real examples of how you solved a problem, got a great result or averted a disaster for a client in the last week/month • Being topical (by mentioning a news story) and linking this back to your offering • Give advice on how to solve a common issue or provide the answer to a question you are often asked • Give tips on how to do something

Emma Pearce Marketing Consultant www.pearcemarketing.co.uk Outsourced marketing service and social media training.

- Networking -

Issue 4 � 2014


RestauRant Review


With a funky name like that, l was not sure what to expect as l passed the Platinum Lace lap dancing club in search of a Dirty Blonde in Brighton’s East Street with worries that l could be arrested for that! I walked past a new pawn shop and found myself on the seafront! Tracing my steps back, l noticed the Dirty Blonde sign and found that it was indeed the pawn shop. Now this is a first for me – a restaurant/ bar AND a pawn shop! I guess the theory is that if you can’t afford to pay your bill, you can pawn your watch to pay the tab. Dirty Blonde has become rapidly known for its show-stopping cocktails, boutique spirits and hand-crafted beers and if you are intending to request such a cocktail from the professional mixicologist, then be sure that you leave the car at home as there is certainly no skimping on the alcohol and l must say, they are delicious and very moreish. The décor is a mix of prohibition style decadence and stylish nightclub with lots of leather bar stools and an entire wall of what looks like, old department store draws with a beautiful brass patina. The effect is tremendous and is certainly a place that makes you feel like you want to hang out. Always on the lookout for the oddities in life, my eye was drawn to a starter called Mac ‘n’ Cheese Lollipops. Now I’m sorry, but anything with macaroni cheese in the title is not going to get my vote but our attentive waiter assured me they were to die for so l duly ordered it and sat with great trepidation for its arrival. The short wait was greatly eased with the first round of dynamite cocktails. 76│

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- Restaurant|review -

RestauRant Review

I had their signature cocktail the Dirty Blonde, at £8.95 and it was delicious and slipped down all too rapidly. So rapidly in fact that l failed to notice the arrival of my Lollipops. Odd is the only way l can explain what arrived, with square lightly battered lollipops and a little garnish on the side but biting into it presented me with a whoosh of childhood memories and all l can say is that if my Mum had been able to cook mac ‘n’ cheese like this, l wouldn’t have left home. Delicious small macaroni on the end of a lollipop – odd but l would not hesitate to order it again. As a fanatical meat eater, l couldn’t resist ordering the 10oz centre cut Fillet steak at £28.95 with beer battered onion rings and French fries whilst my guest ordered Scallops at £6.25 followed by General Tso’s sweet and sour Salmon with Furi Kaki rice at £13.95. The steak was beautifully presented with gorgeous cherry tomatoes on the vine and a side of béarnaise sauce and superbly cut and cooked fries upright in a metal cup. In short, it was up there with some of the best fillet steaks l have ever eaten and cooked medium/rare to perfection. My guest raved over the Scallops and although she had absolutely no idea who the hell General Tso is, her Salmon with Furi Kaki rice was a triumph and she quietly asked me if she could order it again, as once just wasn’t enough. Pudding just had to be done, so we duly ordered the double Chocolate and

Raspberry Mousse at £6.45 and the Morningside Strawberry Shortcake at £5.95 and whilst waiting, we ordered a few more cocktails- it would have been rude not to. This time we settled on a Jay Gatsby at £8.95 and a Dirty Mary (Dirty blondes sister l presume) at £7.95 and, although l would love to regale you with the ingredients l cannot, as they slipped down far too rapidly and l was fast losing the ability to speak, let alone list ingredients. Pudding arrived promptly and the Mousse was a joy to behold, wrapped in its own little chocolate casing with a little biscotti on the side.The shortcake came with a little hat on with scrumptious whole strawberries and fabulous spun toffee straws on the top for good effect. The presentation was superb. That’s dinner complete – time for more cocktails and a handful of Nurofen! Dirty Blonde is a fascinating array of oddities, from the pawn shop entrance to the macaroni lollipops to the eclectic décor and the excellent staff and service. The best way to sum up my thoughts on all the above is that l have booked to go back next week and l have a funny feeling that this will become a regular haunt for years to come. Bravo. Dirty Blonde 75-79 East Street, Brighton 01273 727494 - Restaurant|review -

Issue 4 � 2014

│7 7

Venus Business AwArds


2013 Winners

Juice 107.2 Brighton Business Mother of the Year Juice Clair Letton - Wigwam Toys Debbie Silvester - Eckington HR Gem Staiano - American Express Business of the Year Denise Buchan - Classic Consulting Spirit De La Mare - Brogue Magazine Julia Haviland - Brittain Limited Sandra Paris - USP Recruiitment Services Ltd Naomi Ridley - Hastings Furniture Service The Argus Customer Service Award Nicola Cunningham - Jurys Inn Brighton Susi Doherty - Brighton Togs Alison Thompson - The Dental Barn


Issue 4 ďż˝ 2014

Employee of the Year Nicola Cunningham - Jurys Inn Brighton Dawn Fenton - Westcon UCC Ami Wheeler - Savoir faire accounting limited Kate Wilsher - call us first ltd The British Engineerium Entrepreneur of the Year Mandy Brook - Recruitment SE Ltd Charlie Doidge - Thank Social Benita Matofska - Compare and Share Lightfoot LED Green Business Award Ruth & Amy Anslow - hiSbe Food CIC Claire Potter - Claire Potter Design Naomi Ridley - Hastings Furniture Service

- Business|Awards -

Home Based Business Award Tora Cullip - Donna & Tora Ltd Susi Doherty - Brighton Togs Kerry Herbert - Stand-Up Marketing, Charity Chuckle Fay Millar - Brighton Cakes Debbie Silvester - Eckington HR Influential Woman of the Year Melody Bridges - Worthing WOW Nickie Brooks - Alternative Route Finance Ltd Hannah Martin - Talented Ladies Club Lorraine Nugent - Media Word Waves / Young Start-up Talent Lara Squires - Consortium Business Solutions

Venus Business AwArds

The finalists for the 2014 Sussex NatWest Venus Business Awards have been announced (see below). The awards ceremony, celebrating women in business, will be held on 17 October 2014 at the Grand Hotel, Brighton. Known as the Working Women’s Oscars, a night will feature live entertainment, a sparkling drinks reception and a gourmet 3 course meal. For details and tickets, go to www.venusawards.co.uk

Photos: Kimberly Garrod

Platinum Business Magazine Inspirational Woman Award Suzy Butler - Kiya Survivors Lucy Dawe - Lawton & Dawe Properties & Property Fusion Petrina Mayson - Furniture Now Lifetime Achievement Award Anita Hamilton - FlashBack Old Style Photos Racheal Hughes - Green Mop Ltd Julia Jeyes - Grafton Banks Finance Alison Jones - Spofforths LLP Petrina Mayson - Furniture Now Quality Solicitors Howlett Clarke New Business Award Emma Trigg - The Treasure Trove Shabby Chic & Vintage Furniture

Clair Letton - Wigwam Toys Lisa Henning - Beautiful Ink Ltd New Media, Technology and Online Award Karen Bach - KalliKids Natalie Lloyd - If Not Now Jacqui Pearce - Pearl and Earl Shoshana Plail - Child Friendly Brighton & Hove Caroline White - White Write

NatWest Small Business Award Carol Lewis - Bainbridge Lewis Accountants Jacqui Pearce - Pearl and Earl Alison Thompson - The Dental Barn Employer of the year sponsored by classic consulting Petrina Mayson – CEO Furniture Now Nickie Brooks – MD – Alternative Route Finance Karen Bach – Founder - KallKids

Professional of the Year Caroline Cole - Savoir Faire Accounting Limited Sandra Francis - Recruitment South East Lucy Pearce - The Argus Heidi Rush - HR Smart Ltd Debbie Silvester - Eckington HR - Business|Awards -

Issue 4 � 2014



BALANCE LUXURY EXECUTIVE GOLF COMPETITION Calling all senior business executives across the south east! The ultimate stress-buster is available as a prize in a competition to launch Balance Luxury Executive Golf. All entrants have to do is answer the question below correctly and the winner and a guest will be winging their way to southern Spain for a golf experience to die for (worth £1,400). It is that simple. The fun begins at Hilton London Gatwick Airport where the winner plus one will be booked into their Executive accommodation which includes Executive Lounge facilities, offering complimentary afternoon tea and Happy Hour canapés and open bar. With reservations already in place, the winner and guest will enjoy a three course meal in the world famous Amy’s Restaurant (drinks not included). Following a luxury rest in one of the world’s leading hotels, guests will be shown to the Garden Restaurant for a hearty breakfast with a choice of over 90 items. There is a three minute walk, via an undercover walkway, to Gatwick Airport for the 2hr 10min flight (booked separately by the winner) to either San Javier or Alicante Airport in Spain, where they will be met personally and taken the short journey to Las Colinas Golf & Country Club. They will be shown to one of the Club’s apartments with stunning views across Mediterranean woodland and to the sea beyond. That evening there will be a three-course meal and drinks in UNiK Restaurant within the clubhouse.

The rest of the time is free to spend as they wish, including Las Colinas Private Beach Club (privileged access to Las Colinas residences guests), enso sushibar, La Finca de Eduardo’s, Casa Alfonso, Las Colinas Falconry and more. RSVPR will always be on hand to help make bookings and recommendations. Only serious minded, hard working business executives with a passion for golf and luxury can appreciate what this prize really means. The importance of leading a healthy, well balanced life is featured in just about every publication these days, as medical teams prove that stress is a major contr ibuting factor in serious illness. When you are a business leader, a top CEO and working more than 70 hours a week, every week, you are probably seriously damaging your health and you are definitely depriving yourself of all three of life’s vital ingredients; work, rest and play. Balance has brought together three very fine providers of these key attributes; RSVPR, Hilton London Gatwick Airport and Las Colinas Golf & Country Club, Spain. Balance Luxury Executive Golf has created a golfing holiday experience for the executive who hasn’t the time to even think about, let alone book a break. RSVPR will co-ordinate every step, provide a personal contact and bend over backwards to ensure it will be a vital part of your new lifestyle.


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1. In June 2014, Las Colinas Golf & Country Club won a prestigious award, what is the title of that award? 2. Hilton London Gatwick Airport is ideally located. How many minutes from central London by train? Email your answer to stephanie@rsvpr.net Closing date 31st of August 2014

There are no seasonal restrictions but bookings, for this prize, must be made by - October 30th 2014 and taken by March 30th 2015. All competition enquiries must be directed to Stephanie St James at RSVPR: 01273 806 950 / 07976 973 951 stephanie@rsvpr.net Las Colinas welcome all guests, there is no handicap limit but usual golf etiquette must be adhered to. Entrants must be senior business executives. Entry is open to residents of the UK except employees (and their families) PBM, RSVPR, HLGA, LAS COLINAS any other companies associated with the competition. The entrant(s) must be aged 18 or over. The prizes are as stated, are not transferable to another individual and no cash or other alternatives will be offered. Prizes are subject to the prize suppliers’ terms and conditions. For a copy of the Competition Terms & Conditions please send a request to pr@rsvpr.net www.rsvpr.net gatwick.hilton.com www.lascolinasgolf.es

With tee times already booked, the visitors will play the 18-hole championship course the following two days. 80│


- Competition -

COMPETITION BALANCE LUXURY EXECUTIVE GOLF Designed for the discerning executive who simply hasn’t the time to scroll through hundreds of on-line golf breaks, wait an unacceptably long time for the phone to be answered, only to find an automated switchboard that cannot answer their enquiry. Balance has carefully designed this golf experience to include everything you desire - the only choice you have is for how many and for how long. Executives wishing to receive a digital presentation of Balance, please email: balance@rsvpr.net with PRESENTATION in the subject bar HILTON LONDON GATWICK AIRPORT The award-winning hotel, which offers exceptional and renowned customer service, will welcome the prize winner and guest to enjoy the excellence which helped make it the most recognised name in the industry. Hilton Hotels & Resorts stands as the stylish, forward-thinking global leader of hospitality, with over 92 years of experience and commitment. AMY’S RESTAURANT International best-selling author and Food Critic Peter James has recently reviewed Amy’s Restaurant and likened it to his all time favourite place to eat. The contemporary, chic and sophisticated restaurant at Hilton London Gatwick Airport is being fondly spoken about by frequent travelers across the world. The menu, which offers a la carte dining, is a celebration of exceptional international gastronomy with a service that is exemplary. The ingredients used are of a very high quality and dishes produced are a perfect balance of delicious flavours. LAS COLINAS GOLF AND COUNTRY CLUB As one of Continental Europe’s top 100 golf resorts and holding the current, prestigious title Best Golf Resort in the International Hotel & Property Awards, Las Colinas Golf and Country Club is just 20 minutes drive from San Javier (Murcia) airport, Spain.There, nestling between hills, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, lies a world apart. The homes and golf course of Las Colinas blend harmoniously into its natural surroundings. Here, with its privileged location, this exclusive residential community covers an area of 330 hectares with a 200,000m² nature preserve, including scenic trails and green zones with indigenous vegetation.This outstanding, tranquil land of immense natural beauty lies along a valley filled with citrus trees and surrounded by hills enjoying an exceptional all year climate. UNiK RESTAURANT Located in the Las Colinas Clubhouse, UNiK CAFÉ offers a menu of fine, balanced simple dishes using only top quality ingredients with an emphasis on reinventing classic dishes to meet the demands of the international palate. The restaurant, which is open daily from 8am until midnight, is set apart by its stunning interiors from one of the best-known Spanish Interior designers, Pepe Leal and boasts a magnificent exterior with a vast terrace enjoying breathtaking views across the lake at hole 18. enso sushibar Offering the best Japanese cuisine, the experienced chefs at enso sushibar create an experience that is synonymous with Japanese cuisine. Focused on every detail, they deliver characteristic dishes with elegance, harmony and simplicity. enso offers a variety of sashimi and high quality sushi, with spectacular views over the Las Colinas championship golf course. LAS COLINAS BEACH CLUB The perfect place to escape from the world and enjoy the sun, the beach and the sea. Las Colinas’ private beach club is a hideaway overlooking the Mediterranean Sea and set amongst magnificent palm trees. The beach club has its own private car park, changing rooms, a stunning infinity pool and a cafe bar which, on summer evenings, offers fine enso sushi dining by the pool.

- Competition -

.... golf away helps you work, rest and play

Issue 4 � 2014



WISE WORDS Throughout my entire life and career, I have always heard many wise words of wisdom from family, friends and work colleagues, some of which have really permeated deeply and stayed with me. Enjoy life and make the most of it Before moving Asia with my husband and son, I remember feeling a little apprehensive and nervous. My father reminded me what an amazing opportunity this would be and that I should make the most of this experience and embrace the chance to explore a new culture and way of life. He was right. It was one of the best decisions my family ever made. The opportunity to live and work abroad was incredible. To experience living in a tropical environment with extreme weather conditions, eating adobo and sisig, exploring a new culture, new traditions as well as visiting many islands was extraordinary. Watching programmes on television about another country is not the same as living and breathing it. It is an opportunity to enrich your mind, share knowledge and learn from others.

A spirit to serve.

Many of the people I have worked for have all been fantastic mentors. They have all influenced me with their words of wisdom.Whilst in the hospitality industry, my mentor had so much energy and passion it was inspiring. Enthusiasm and energy would generate around the room as she walked in. It was inspirational. 82│

Issue 4 � 2014

I aspire to bring that same energy and passion in my day to day life with my team and customers. The spirit to serve your customers is paramount. Ensuring there is always high customer satisfaction and high staff satisfaction and engagement drives the business forward to bring success.

Be courageous and take risks

Being able to do things differently and change the norm takes a lot of guts. It can be daunting but as long as you have a plan, then stick to it to ensure you achieve it. One of my mentors, a Japanese gentleman, always encouraged me to push the boat out and take risks. His marketing and PR strategies and his ideas were extreme but hugely successful. I endeavour to be daring and encourage others to step out of their comfort zone. I encourage my son to be adventurous and try new things which he does, equally so do I. One instance was recently when I raised over £500 for wounded soldiers, whilst undertaking a tandem parachute jump. It was mind-blowing! Whilst embarking on new journeys during my career, each opportunity that has arisen has been one of adventure, by stepping into the unknown and being courageous at the same time.

“Whilst embarking on new journeys during my career, each opportunity that has arisen has been one of adventure, by stepping into the unknown and being courageous at the same time.”

- Wise words -

Ana Christie CEO of Sussex Enterprise www.sussexenterprise.co.uk/ 0844 375 9550

Be positive

From the moment I wake up in the morning to the moment I go to sleep, I have a positive attitude about life, work, family and friends. This positivity has been instilled in me through my parents, my mentors and many inspirational authors and leaders. Being positive alone though is not enough. You need to be able to turn that positivity into actions in the way you conduct yourself, your manners, behaviour and performance. A great leader should be able to see the strengths and positive aspects in others.

Dreams can come true...

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Profile for Platinum Business

Platinum Business Magazine Issue 4  

The independent and relevant business magazine for the south east, featuring an exclusive interview with Bernie Ecclestone.

Platinum Business Magazine Issue 4  

The independent and relevant business magazine for the south east, featuring an exclusive interview with Bernie Ecclestone.