Platinum Business Magazine - Issue 77

Page 1

THE LARGEST CIRCULATION REGIONAL BUSINESS PUBLICATION IN THE UK

ISSUE 77 SEPTEMBER 2020

BRITISH BUSINESS BANK Loan snapshot MDHUB Business Survey TRAVEL The City of Bath Motoring The new McLaren GT DYNAMIC MAGAZINE Included inside

BIG STORY GAVIN WILLIAMSON

PROMOTED BEYOND COMPETENCE


To feed the most vulnerable we needed great service from our bank Joshua Owens-Baigler Director, Angelina Restaurant

At NatWest, we approved a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan for Angelina Restaurant in Dalston. This not only enabled them to keep their staff on, but to provide around 500 meals a day to local vulnerable people. Search NatWest Business

Here to support you Security may be required. Over 18s only. Subject to status. Business use only. Any property or asset used as a security may be repossessed or forfeited if you do not keep up repayments on any debt secured on it.


Contents 24

A CORONAVIRUS LOAN SNAPSHOT

40

26

NATWEST SOUTH EAST PMI

42

28

COMPANY PROFILE EVM DIRECT

30 8

BIG STORY GAVIN WILLIAMSON

16 17 18 19 20

FOCUS ON HEALTHCARE AND SUPPORTING LOCAL OPERATORS NEW GATWICK DIAMOND INITIATIVE CHAIRMAN REVEALED GLOBAL MEDIA & ENTERTAINMENT’S AREA BUSINESS DIRECTOR JOINS ROCKINGHORSE CHILDREN’S CHARITY

32 34 36 38

COMMUNITY IS KEY AS FREE SUPPORT IS OFFERED TO SUSSEX BASED BUSINESSES

45 46

HOW TO CREATE THE DREAM HOME OFFICE LOOKING AHEAD THE FUTURE OF GLOBALISATION WHY SHOULD WE CELEBRATE DIFFERENCE? ARE YOU PAYING TOO MUCH FOR YOUR PEST CONTROL?

SUSS VENTURES INVESTMENT PITCH DAYS CONFIRMED THE END OF FREE MOVEMENT IS COMING THE ROLE OF THE FINANCE TEAM IN PROTECTING YOUR BUSINESS SIGNS OF CONFIDENCE RETURNING TO THE JOBS MARKET?

P L AT

48

MOTORING MCLAREN GT

BRIGHTON BASE CAMP BANANAS KEYNOTES ANNOUNCED MDHUB IS THE PREMIER PEER TO PEER BUSINESS GROWTH NETWORK FOR MANAGING DIRECTORS AND THEIR SENIOR BOARD DIRECTORS

52

TRAVEL THE CITY OF BATH

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 Magazine is owned and published by The Platinum Publishing Group.

PLATINUM BUSINESS

3

INUM


Businesses local to Gatwick are 50% more likely to export than the national average

Gatwick brings global trade opportunities closer

We’re more than just an airport


Welcome

Welcome to the September issue and the first real month fully back to work for many of us after what has been a quite extraordinary few months. History books will speak of what happened in 2020 for years to come. But enough moaning about it and wondering how this all happened and time to get back to re-building one of the UK’s largest and most successful economies. The South East is highly resilient and we have a survey from MDHUB that demonstrates that point superbly. We will re-build and probably come out of this stronger and more resilient than ever. NatWest shows us that there are strong signs of growth and confidence is building. Similar to the aftermath of a hurricane – when it passes, you get up, dust yourself off and get to re-building, but with the knowledge that this could happen again and therefore we had better build the foundations stronger than ever to ensure that next time, it is but a light breeze. Time to show Covid that we cannot be beaten, that we cannot be kept down and we will come back tougher and stronger than ever.

The Platinum Team

AND WHILE YOU’RE HERE... Platinum Publishing enjoys the largest circulation of any business magazines in the UK, reaching over 720,000 readers across the South East and this includes 468,000 online readers. If you can’t wait for the next issue then jump onto our social media platforms and join the conversation.

@platbusmag Platinum Publishing Group www.platinumpublishing.co.uk

PLATINUM BUSINESS

5


national

news REGISTRATION RISE New UK car registrations went up in July for the first time this year, according to the motor industry. Some 174,887 cars were registered in July, an 11.3% rise on the same month in 2019, figures from the Society for Motor Manufacturers and Traders showed. The last time there was an increase was in December last year. It follows months of dramatic declines due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, which closed car factories and showrooms. But although new registrations have risen sharply, concerns remain about the true health of the sector. People within the industry believe that the increase simply reflects pent-up demand from consumers who had been planning to buy new vehicles earlier in the year, but were unable to do so.

❛❛ Most people ignore most

poetry because most poetry ignores most people❜❜ Adrian Mitchell, English poet, 1932-2008

CASH RUNNING OUT Some small lenders issuing loans on behalf of the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) risk running out of taxpayer-backed cash to lend before the September 30th deadline for applications. The British Business Bank (BBB), which oversees CBILS and provides accreditation to participating lenders, has declined to top up allocations to some small lenders as the scheme draws to an end. Some of these lenders were hoping to lend more than their original allocation in the final weeks of the demand-led, no-capacity scheme and were relying on top-ups to issue timely loans to customers, one of the sources said. A potential scarcity of loans coupled with a looming deadline have raised fears more companies may struggle to get the funds they need. A spokesman for the BBB said it treated each lender request for funds on its merits.

6

PLATINUM BUSINESS

SLASH AND GRAB The coronavirus crisis will see the world’s biggest firms slash dividend payouts between 17%-23% this year or what could be as much as $400 billion, a new report has shown, although sectors such as tech are fighting the trend. Global dividend payments plunged $108 billion to $382 billion in the second quarter of the year equating to a 22% year-on-year drop which will be the worst since at least 2009. All regions saw lower payouts except North America, where Canadian payments proved to be resilient. Worldwide, 27% of firms cut their dividends, while worst affected Europe saw more than half do so and two thirds of those cancel them outright. “2020 will see the worst outcome for global dividends since the global financial crisis,” fund manager Janus Henderson said in a report published recently. “We now expect headline global dividends to fall 17% in a best-case scenario, paying $1.18 trillion... Our worst-case scenario could see payouts drop 23% to $1.10 trillion.”


❛❛ The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall❜❜ Nelson Mandela

$2 TRILLION

PORKY PIES Germany’s motor vehicle authority KBA is investigating Porsche AG over the suspected manipulation of petrol engines to achieve improved emissions data. A KBA spokesman said recently said the investigation involved petrol engines that Porsche, Volkswagen’s luxury sports vehicle unit, produced for the European market before 2017. Porsche had confirmed a newspaper report recently that it had informed the authorities after internal investigations uncovered suspected irregularities. German prosecutors fined Porsche 535 million euros (£482 million) last year for lapses that allowed the company to cheat diesel emissions tests, but manipulation has not yet been proven for petrol engines.

❛❛ What literature can and should do is change the people who teach the people who don’t read the book❜❜

A.S.Byatt, English novelist

Tech giant Apple has become the first US company to be valued at $2tn (£1.5tn) on the stock market. It reached the milestone just two years after becoming the world’s first trillion-dollar company in 2018. Its share price hit $467.77 in mid-morning trading in the US on Wednesday to push it over the $2tn mark. The only other company to reach the $2tn level was state-backed Saudi Aramco after it listed its shares last December. But the oil giant’s value has slipped back to $1.8tn since then and Apple surpassed it to become the world’s most valuable traded company at the end of July.

THE CLOCK IS TIC TOCKING Chinese video app TikTok is set to launch legal action to challenge a ban imposed by US President Donald Trump.

❛❛ Those who dwell, as scientists or laymen, along the beauties and mysteries of the earth are never alone or weary of life ❜❜

Rachel Carson, biologist, The Sense of Wonder 1965

Trump’s executive order prohibits transactions with TikTok’s owner ByteDance from mid-September. Officials in Washington are concerned that the company could pass data on American users to the Chinese government, something ByteDance has denied doing. The short video-sharing app has 80 million active US users. TikTok says it has tried to engage with the Mr Trump’s administration for nearly a year but has encountered a lack of due process and an administration that pays “no attention to facts”.

HOUSING BOOM The housing market has had its busiest month for more than 10 years, according to Rightmove. The site, which lists about 95% of the homes for sale in the UK, said that the ‘rulebook has been rewritten’, with the boom fuelled by pent-up demand during lockdown, accelerating as the summer progressed. The number of monthly sales agreed in Britain was the highest since it started tracking it a decade ago – up 38% on the same period last year and worth more than £37b.

PLATINUM BUSINESS

7


THE BLIND

LEADING

THE BLIND By Maarten Hoffmann

Gavin Williamson is the Secretary of State for Education and the man that oversaw the shocking debacle over the recent A Level and GCSE results. A total farce that caused so much anger and shock that it will be a surprise if he is ever seen in government again. Although, it would seem that no matter how appalling they are in their jobs, they get fired, wait a beat and are then shoehorned into the next top job.

8

PLATINUM BUSINESS

Is the UK so short of talent that this limited pool is all we have to select from? I should point out that l have voted Conservative for as long as l can remember, not that l am a Conservative but the options have always been so unsavoury, but surely we can do better than this? Where is Keir Starmer during this farce? Surely this is a wide open goal for Labour? Is it time for a proper third party?


BIG STORY

PLATINUM BUSINESS

9


BIG STORY The very odd, and telling, image of Williamson with a whip and a red book in the foreground. One MP stated that this was to indicate that he knows where the bodies are buried and will not go without a fight.

Later that month, Williamson alleged that Jeremy Corbyn, in meeting a Czech diplomat (later revealed to be a spy) during the 1980s, had ‘betrayed’ his country. In response to the statement, a spokesman for Corbyn stated: ‘Gavin Williamson should focus on his job and not give credence to entirely false and ridiculous smears’.

Williamson was born in 1976 and has been Sec.State for Education since 2019, and the MP for South Staffordshire since 2010. Previously he held the position of Secretary of Defence from 2017-2019 and served as Chief Whip from 2016-2017. His past in politics has not exactly been covered in glory. On May 1st 2019, he was dismissed as Defence Secretary for the leak from the National Security Council over the Huawei 5G network contract, and strenuously denied being the leaker. One presumes he was not believed and he was booted out. Theresa May said that she had ‘compelling evidence’ that Williamson had leaked the information and that she had ‘lost confidence in his ability to serve in his role’. Williamson vehemently denied the allegation, saying that he ‘swore on his children’s lives he was not responsible’, and said that a ‘thorough and formal inquiry’ would have vindicated his position. At the time,

Williamson with his wife Joanne

Opposition MPs called for a police investigation into the matter, but the government closed the matter quick smart. In February 2018, Williamson dined with Lubov Chernukhin, the wife of a former Putin minister, in exchange for a £30,000 donation to the Conservative party. We never found out what he got for his money!

❛❛ He discussed the affair in an

interview with the Daily Mail which he called a ‘dreadful mistake’❜❜

10

PLATINUM BUSINESS

Williamson supported the Saudi Arabian-led military intervention in Yemen against the Shia Houthis despite concerns from human rights activists and Labour MPs about war crimes allegedly committed by the Saudi military. Over 100,000 Yemenis have since been killed. On February 11th 2019, Williamson delivered the speech ‘Defence in Global Britain’ at the Royal United Services Institute, outlining the future direction of the British armed forces. The speech, among other things, outlined plans to send Britain’s new aircraft carrier to the Pacific. The Chinese Government in turn cancelled trade talks with Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond, and prompted Hammond to state that the decision to deploy the aircraft carrier was premature. The Mail on Sunday quoted an unnamed ally of Hammond comparing Williamson to Private Pike, a hapless character in the sitcom Dad’s Army.


BIG STORY He seems to be totally loyal too as following David Cameron’s resignation, Williamson ‘privately vowed’ to stop the front-runner Boris Johnson from ever becoming Conservative Party leader as he was ‘not fit for the job’. He assessed Theresa May to be the likeliest candidate to defeat Johnson, offered his help to her, and was invited to be her parliamentary campaign manager.

with managers. Days after this meeting, he left the firm and we can only wonder what his wife Joanne, a former primary school teacher, thought about that? Wait a couple of heartbeats and bang, he is straight into the role in Education and hasn’t he done well there? We all knew that the exam results for 2020 were going to be a problem due to

❛❛ So why are the career prospects of Gavin Williamson not in tatters?❜❜ When May became prime minister, Williamson was appointed Chief Whip. A quick switch of sides and he becomes a ‘loyal’ supporter of Boris just in time to snatch a job. In January 2018, it was reported that Williamson, while he was Managing Director of fireplace firm Elgin & Hall in 2004, had an affair with a married colleague. He discussed the affair in an interview with the Daily Mail which he called a ‘dreadful mistake’. It was reported that a senior co-worker stated that the woman involved was in tears when reporting the relationship to her line manager and that Williamson was subsequently the subject of a meeting

the coronavirus and eventually, students were told that they would not have to sit their exams and that their teachers assessed grades would suffice. This was a shock and was met with a mixture of horror and relief from students but

was generally accepted as the only option available. Williamson then had the temerity to accuse the teachers of over marking and instead, scrapped that and introduced a computer algorithm to access the results. It really does not take a genius to recognise that there was going to be a monumental cock-up here as the government does not have the finest track record with technology. Williamson was warned many times that there was a problem but for some inexplicable reason, he ignored the advice and charged ahead. So why are the career prospects of Gavin Williamson – the education secretary who presided over what even some usually supportive newspapers have described as a “farce” or a “humiliation” – not in tatters? It’s not just students, teachers and parents who are scratching their heads over this question – but some Conservative MPs too. One of them said: ‘Any minister who makes children cry is not in a good place.’ Another pointed out that he had plenty of time to prepare for how students should be assessed – exams were cancelled five months ago, on March 18th.

PLATINUM BUSINESS

11


BIG STORY Yet Downing Street maintains the prime minister has full confidence in Gavin Williamson. Why? One reason is that he has a “human shield,” in the form of England’s exam regulator, Ofqual. The case for the Williamson defence is, essentially, that he was asking the right questions of the regulator but was getting the wrong answers. It should be said that it was the education secretary himself who decided in March that he did not want to see “grade inflation” as a result of teachers’ assessments – and that this year’s results would have to be “moderated” or “standardised”. Mr Williamson claims that the principle of “moderation” was widely accepted – and that in more normal times there would always be pupils who failed to meet teachers’ expectations in real exams. The Department for Education argues that there was also widespread consultation over the criteria Ofqual would deploy when standardising the grades. So the only issue was how that standardisation would be conducted

❛❛ The case for the Williamson defence is, essentially, that he was asking the right questions of the regulator but was getting the wrong answers ❜❜ rather than any debate over whether it was right in principle. Alarm bells about the effects of standardisation were loudly rung by the cross-party education committee – under the chairmanship of Conservative MP Rob Halfon – on July 11th. Williamson ignored the bells Committee members called for more transparency over the algorithm Ofqual was using to standardise grades – and demanded that it be published immediately to allow for proper scrutiny. Williamson refused. The committee also warned that Ofqual’s model “does not appear to include any mechanism to identify whether groups such as black and

minority ethnic (BAME), free-schoolmeals-eligible pupils, and those with special educational needs have been systematically disadvantaged by calculated grades”. Williamson’s allies say that he took these concerns seriously – he did not, as he knew that he could just blame the entire thing on Ofqual if it was a disaster. True to form, the head of Englands exam regulator, Sally Collier has been forced to fall on her sword and resign. How long can this man blame everything on everyone else? He was obviously so worried about the matter that he went on holiday a few days before the results came out! Schools minister Nick Gibb and education department officials met the senior figures at Ofqual on July 16th and pressed for clarification on how the algorithm would impact pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds and from ethnic minority communities. They received nothing. Williamson focussed his energy on improving the appeals system and, ultimately, ensuring that it was free to

12

PLATINUM BUSINESS


BIG STORY and an A, at the very least, and her teachers all predicted that she would do even better. She had been accepted by Oxford as a medical student and one day would be a fine doctor. When the disastrous results were released, she got an A, a B and a U!! Oxford immediately withdrew the offer and as she had no insurance university, she will go into clearing. While universities have vowed to do their best to accommodate these students, some institutions have warned places may have to be deferred until next year. Can you imagine that this is your daughter? A super achiever who has worked her fingers to the bone to rise above the crowd and achieve her dreams. Dreams that have been snatched away from her by a pygmy politician who will, no doubt, just be use, therefore ignored the fact that the problem was coming and went about sorting out his response, rather than sorting the problem. And many MPs are questioning why, right up to the last minute, Williamson was praising what was “a fair and robust system for the overwhelming majority of students”. And declaring there would be “no U-turn, no change”. A former minister with a background in education stated that because the education secretary had nailed his colours so firmly to a teetering mast, it was ‘inevitable’ that he would have to go. But it seems nothing is inevitable in politics.

❛❛ Indeed, for some, the captain

changed direction as though he were on the bridge of an oil tanker, when what was required was the swift launching of the lifeboats❜❜

Boris Johnson himself is not seen as devoid of blame by some of his own MPs. Only days after the results, the PM was also defending the “robust” system of assessment in England. As one MP put it, ‘the captain of the ship was too hands off’. Indeed, for some – that captain changed direction as though he were on the bridge of an oil tanker, when what was required was the swift launching of the lifeboats. So here we should assess why this is so important and that might be best done by a real case study. We will call her Mary. Mary had been a stellar student for the past three years, having achieved top grades in every test, been Head Girl for the past two years and generally accepted as the brightest of the bright. She was predicated to receive two A* A*

PLATINUM BUSINESS

13


BIG STORY moved over to a new department when the dust settles. Apparently, she has not stopped crying for a week, has stopped eating and just feels that her life is not worth living. Because of a computer, and a totally incompetent education secretary who was warned on countless occasions, by countless institutions, that this was likely to happen but saw fit to ignore all advice - and go on holiday. Hundreds of thousands of students were deeply affected by this with a reported serious spike in mental health issues. And let’s not forget that these students are the future of this country, the very people who will be in charge when many of us are dribbling in a care home and they are a huge swath of students who will never, ever vote conservative. But there are reasons why he hasn’t received a ministerial P45. This is not an administration which does resignations. Boris Johnson is loyal to those who are loyal and useful to him. The clamour amongst Conservative backbenchers for his adviser Dominic Cummings to go over his lockdown trip to Durham, subsided as Downing Street dug in its heels. The controversy over the Richard Desmond planning decision has not cost housing secretary Robert Jenrick his job.

his hands clenched and gaze fixed, it was a picture likely intended to show the education secretary’s steely determination to fix the exams fiasco. But the image of Gavin Williamson, taken in his office only served to trigger bewilderment – because of the whip and the little red book positioned in front of him. This was not an error, this whip was very purposefully placed there to make a point. I am in charge and don’t mess with me.

❛❛ But in modern day politics, you can screw up as often as you like as long as you have the dirt on someone at the top ❜❜ And Gavin Williamson has been helpful to Boris Johnson behind the scenes – as he was to Theresa May until he was sacked, and got behind Mr Johnson’s leadership bid. A former chief whip, his reputation as a minister may have suffered but not his abilities as a fixer. No 10 may want to retain him inside the tent.

Former Tory MP Sarah Wollaston, who defected to Change UK before joining the Liberal Democrats, tweeted: ‘So much immaturity & poor judgement summed up by the secretary of state for education #Williamson posing with a whip & a mug. In a crowded field, the most under-demoted of inadequates in government.’

But then there is an oddity about the man. Known to keep a pet tarantula in his commons office to intimidate and scare juniors and to let you know ‘he bites’. Then there was the very odd official image taken on the day he announced the exam reversal. With

Some suggested the picture was an attempt to convey a message that, given his previous role as chief whip under Theresa May, he knows where the bodies are buried and will not go quietly if he loses his place in the cabinet. One caller to LBC elaborated

14

PLATINUM BUSINESS

on the theory: “The photo that was released yesterday is just a key example of them trolling us because that whip on the desk, with his little red book placed handily on it, is a sign to say, ‘You come after me and I’m coming after you.’ But in modern day politics, you can screw up as often as you like as long as you have the dirt on someone at the top. Despite all the aforementioned cockups, in 2015, he was sworn in as a member of the Privy Council of the United Kingdom, giving him the Honorific Title ‘The Right Honourable’ for life. In the 2016 Prime Minister’s Resignation Honours, Williamson was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) ‘for political and public service’. Like me, you might despair at the state of modern British politics and the merry go round of minsters into job after job regardless of the quality of their work, their personal lives, their attitudes towards junior staff, their morals or their total inability to do the job. Imagine this in the corporate world? He wouldn’t last an hour in a top corporate job and would be put out to graze running a burger van on the A27.


Great relationships Great conversations Great futures

We are an award-winning firm of Chartered Accountants, Chartered Tax Advisers, Business Consultants and Independent Financial Advisers with a reputation for innovation and excellence. With our relationship led service, we look to understand the opportunities and challenges faced by you and your business. Our focus is always on client service, with open and honest relationships.

www.carpenterbox.com

Now, for tomorrow


BUSINESS NEWS

FOCUS ON HEALTHCARE AND SUPPORTING LOCAL OPERATORS The last few months have been extremely challenging for everyone as we all feel the effects of the pandemic and especially so in the care sector that has been working exceptionally hard during this time.

Heath. They are proud to offer the highest possible standards of living for residents and peace of mind for family and friends alike. A family run care operator, Mannick is run by Ramesh and his wife, Deepwantee and their

❛❛ The banking team led by Nicky Tobin

have been very helpful and have taken the time to really understand our business ❜❜ Emma Lane, Area Director at Allied Irish Bank (GB) for the South East region explains: “We know the healthcare sector inside out and the challenges faced and have been working in partnership with many management teams as they navigate issues faced due to the pandemic, as well as the usual and ever increasing regulatory and operational challenges affecting the care sector. We support operators from start-ups to growing businesses, and despite the effects of the pandemic we have continued to work with customers who are looking at ways to enhance the services they provide. One local operator we have been delighted to assist is Ramesh Mannick, Managing Director of Crawley based Mannick Holdings Ltd. Mannick operates two residential elderly care homes; Ferndale Nursing Home in Crawley and Crossways Residential Care Home in Haywards

16

PLATINUM BUSINESS

daughter. We have recently structured a seven figure refinance package to support the continued success of the two homes. Ferndale Nursing Home is a care home for the elderly, housed in a beautiful detached house in the exclusive area of Southgate, Crawley. The home is registered to accommodate up to 28 people aged 65 and over, including married couples and/or partners. Ferndale Nursing Home specialises in caring for people with dementia/ Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Crossways Residential is a care home for the elderly, housed in a beautiful detached house in the exclusive area of Haywards Heath. The home is registered to accommodate up to 25 people aged 65 and over, including married couples and/or partners. They provide a full range of care services including respite care. Ramesh Mannick said: “I am very proud

of the high standard of care and facilities that we offer at Ferndale and Crossways and we are continually looking at ways to enhance the services we provide to our residents and their families. The refinance facility provided by Allied Irish Bank (GB) helps to support our continued focus on providing the very best level of care and the long-term success of the two homes. The banking team led by Nicky Tobin have been very helpful and have taken the time to really understand our business, to structure a competitive solution to meet our needs.” Nicky Tobin, Relationship Manager at Allied Irish Bank (GB) said: “It is great to support a local family run business that is going from strength to strength. Ferndale and Crossways have excellent reputations and I am delighted to work with Ramesh and his family to help ensure the continued success of these two care homes.”

Contact details: Emma Lane Allied Irish Bank (GB) Tel: 07799 888057 Email: emma.L.Lane@aib.ie


BUSINESS NEWS

Brett North

David Butcher, Managing Director of FD Outsourcing, is standing down as chairman of the management board of the Gatwick Diamond Initiative (GDI). David announced his resignation after 17 years at the helm of the economic development initiative. He will continue to serve as a director of the company. The GDI launched in 2003, when David was asked by West Sussex County Council to lead an economic development initiative to improve the economic performance of the area. From the outset, this high-profile public/

NEW GATWICK DIAMOND INITIATIVE CHAIRMAN REVEALED Commenting on his decision to stand down as chairman, David said: “It is critical that we do all we can to minimise the damage COVID-19 has done and is still doing to the Gatwick Diamond economy. It is a fight where all stakeholders need to join and work together. The GDI provides an ideal forum to do that. It is not going to be easy. It will require leadership, vision and determination over an extended period. I am delighted that Brett North has agreed to take over as Chair leading that fight, and to provide a safe pair of hands in which to place the baton.”

❛❛ I am delighted that Brett North has agreed

to take over as Chair and to provide a safe pair of hands in which to place the baton ❜❜ private partnership sought to bring together stakeholders to address the area’s economic needs. In 2004, it launched the Gatwick Diamond brand, now widely known and used. Over the past 17 years, it has brought together stakeholders and policy makers to focus on the actions that can be taken to improve the economic performance of the area. Prior to COVID-19, the Gatwick Diamond grew into one of the strongest regional economies in the UK, home to 45,000 businesses and £24 billion GDP.

Brett North, Group Marketing Director of Sussex homebuilder Thakeham Group, will take the helm with immediate effect. Brett, who lives in Horsham, is a well-known figure in the Gatwick Diamond area. He has been a member of the GDI board since August 2016 and is currently Chair of the GDI Promote Group. He has held a succession of senior roles in marketing and external affairs in construction, healthcare, manufacturing and transport over 25 years. Before joining Thakeham in 2017, Brett was Marketing Director at Elekta

in Crawley. He was part of the team that delivered the 14,000 square meter Cornerstone building in Crawley - now an internationally renowned centre of excellence and home to over 700 engineers, scientists, clinicians and customer-facing professionals. On accepting the role, Brett’s first task as Chairman was to pay tribute to outgoing chairman David Butcher. He said: “David will be a tough act to follow. We all know how much time and energy he has devoted to the role. There can’t be many high-profile UK economic initiatives that have benefitted from a Chairman committing to a 17-year tenure. I’m personally delighted that he is continuing as a director. His enthusiasm, insight and counsel will continue to inspire us all. If there was ever a time when businesses in the region needed to come together it is now. These are some of the most unique and challenging times we have ever faced. This will be a huge challenge for us all and I relish the opportunity to bring us all together and collaborate to deliver an even more prosperous future. I can’t wait to get started.”

PLATINUM BUSINESS

17


BUSINESS NEWS

GLOBAL MEDIA & ENTERTAINMENT’S AREA BUSINESS DIRECTOR JOINS

Janella Merritt

ROCKINGHORSE CHILDREN’S CHARITY

After 18 years in media, Janella Merritt, Area Business Director at Global Media & Entertainment moves to Rockinghorse Children’s Charity. Janella will be responsible for the charity’s corporate partnerships and brings a wealth of commercial experience with her. Janella has worked with Global for nine years, on brands such as Heart, Capital, LBC, Classic FM and Smooth Radio, she led the launch of Capital Brighton and forged great client partnerships across Sussex and Surrey. Ryan Heal, CEO of Rockinghorse, is delighted to welcome Janella to the team. He said “Janella brings a wealth of commercial experience to the role, alongside a philanthropic warmth, that I am sure will see her settle into her new role very quickly. Knowing something

for Rockinghorse and it gave me a taste of the charity sector. I am so delighted this opportunity came about. I can’t wait to be part of this amazing charity and team helping the poorly children across our county.”

Janella brings a wealth of commercial experience to the role, alongside a philanthropic warmth ❜❜

❛❛

about the switch from commercial radio to the charity sector, I have no doubt Janella possesses all the skills required to make this move a success. I’m very much looking forward to working with her, as are the rest of the Rockinghorse team.” Janella commented on what drove her move: “During lockdown I volunteered

18

PLATINUM BUSINESS

Rockinghorse is a Brighton-based charity that has been supporting sick and disadvantaged children, babies and young people across Sussex for 50 years. The charity is best-known as the official fundraising arm of the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital (the Alex) in Brighton. It is a vital supporter of the neighbouring Trevor Mann Baby Unit (TMBU) and its sister site, the Special

Care Baby Unit (SCBU) based within the Princess Royal Hospital in Haywards Heath. The charity fundraises to provide life-saving and cutting-edge medical equipment and support for the children in our region that need our help the most.

If you wish to learn more about how your business can successfully engage with Rockinghorse please contact Janella at Janella.Merritt@rockinghorse.org.uk or 07894 732123.


EXHIBITIONS

KEYNOTES ANNOUNCED Base Camp is a virtual event packed with inspiring speakers, great networking, and fascinating workshops that will change the way you think. Although you’ll be joining remotely, you’ll be part of something exciting, intriguing, and welcoming. Run by Brighton Chamber, Brighton Base Camp will replace this year’s Brighton Summit (which has moved to Oct 2021). ‘Why the bananas?’ Says CEO at Brighton Chamber Sarah Springford ‘Because we have all had a Covid-19 shaped banana thrown into our businesses this year. Brighton Base Camp will help you take stock, breathe new life into your businesses and prepare for what comes next’.

FIRST KEYNOTE SPEAKER ANNOUNCED

The Chamber is delighted to announce its first keynote speaker, Adam Joolia, chief executive of AudioActive, a groundbreaking, highly influential music organisation which specialises in technology and contemporary youth culture. Adam will be interviewed by event MC James Dempster, and this session certainly promises to be lively and engaging. Adam is a man who dislikes the conventional and actively thrives on difficult situations, which is just as well as he forged his career in Nottingham, working in alternative education and youth music projects during the emergence of the Grime scene. It was a difficult period for the city, rife with gun and gang violence. Engaging with young people there meant devising approaches that were both creative and innovative. It’s a way of working that’s been crucial to his role at AudioActive. Successful projects include the Electric Youth

Ensemble as well as the child-to-parent violence intervention Break4Change, which Adam designed with RISE and Brighton & Hove City Council.

AudioActive is now establishing the UK’s first Centre of Excellence to develop talent in marginalised and underrepresented young artists, with Adam firmly at the helm. Lockdown for Audio Active has resulted in all employees being retained on full hours, with new staff recruited too. Turnover has almost tripled in the last two years. Adam will talk about how the success he’s achieved with AudioActive will shape its future. He’ll give an insight into how the company has inspired local businesses with shared values of community to collaborate in creating a better future through music.

SECOND KEYNOTE ANNOUNCED

If you’re a local comedy fan, you’ll know all about Stephen Grant, the resident compere at the Komedia’s Krater Comedy Club. Stephen is one of the UK’s funniest, hardest working and most respected comedians, and a regular headliner at The Comedy Store in London’s Leicester Square.

HOW TO JOIN THE EVENT

But there’s much more to Stephen than telling jokes. He’s equally at home as an MC, hosting corporate events and awards nights. He also voices animations, warms up TV audiences and presents radio shows. He even finds time to write for programmes ranging from Mock the Week to Stand Up For The Week, as well as a few other shows that don’t have week in the title. As a keynote speaker at Brighton Base Camp, Stephen will tell us about his route into the comedy industry - how he reached the top and stayed there. In a talk that promises to be surprising, serious, insightful and entertaining, Stephen will explain how diversifying has helped him protect himself in this unpredictable industry.

Comedy can be a cruel and volatile business with erratic fluctuations at the best of times - and that’s even when there isn’t a global pandemic raging. He’ll give us an insight into how current business approaches apply to a world that has its own rules. A huge thank you to: Media partners Platinum Business Magazine and Chimera Communications. Sponsors; Cardens Accountants, Shoreham Port, Cognitive Law , Let’s Do Business Group, Ingenio Technologies. Branding by Visual Function and Sandra Staufer, copy by The Sentence Works.

Book your place here https://bit.ly/3evnyqF

PLATINUM READERS CAN CLAIM A

£5 OFF

USING THE DISCOUNT CODE FRIENDS5

PLATINUM BUSINESS

19


MDHUB IS THE PREMIER PEER TO PEER BUSINESS GROWTH NETWORK

for Managing Directors and their Senior Board Directors

20

PLATINUM BUSINESS


BUSINESS We help solve your problems, lift the pressure and find ways through the blocks to grow your business with the support of the only people who really understand what you are going through – your own peer group of like-minded entrepreneurial leaders We do this by curating and facilitating personalised and confidential peer workgroups, delivering bespoke training, providing business support services and enabling networking opportunities. Our unique business diagnostic tools enable us to get a deep understanding of you and your business, connect you

with the right individuals and groups and also, when needed, specialists from our network of expert advisors. We have a unique depth of regional knowledge and we maintain long and close relationships with all our members. Because we believe that leadership is learnt and that the best leaders are

authentic, we’ll help you stay true to yourself, support you to continue learning and challenge you with new ideas. We are not a sales focused networking organisation and active selling is discouraged, and generally self-regulated by members. But of course members trade with each other – they build great relationships and have a deep knowledge of each other and their businesses. MDHUB is a highly respected, confidential and supportive membership organisation for MDs and Directors to share their experiences and to grow as individuals. n Set up in 2002 as the HUB 100, we became the MDHUB in 2009. n A unique resource that can connect you with the people and services you need to support you and your business. n A provider of specialist knowledge and strategic insight. n Our knowledge of our members goes way beyond their business, we pride ourselves on understanding our MDs to help them get the best out of themselves. n We are trusted by them with levels of personal information that is as eye opening as it is relevant to our wider understanding of what drives them. n We encourage our team to work with as many businesses as possible outside of MDHUB, which gives them a wealth of experience to bring back to our members. n We find ourselves consulted on an extremely wide range of issues and often at extremely short notice. Our programmes , nicknamed “A Self-Help group for MDs” by one of our MDs, fulfil both a technical and emotional support role for our members who are guaranteed a sympathetic, supportive and, when required, challenging response from us and their peers.

If you are interested in finding out more about the MDHUB, please visit www.mdhub.co.uk Email MDHUB Directors: Fiona Shafer fiona@mdhub.co.uk or Phil Green phil.green@mdhub.co.uk

PLATINUM BUSINESS

21


MDHUB surveyed leaders about the impact of the pandemic and lockdown on their businesses over the past 3 months...

HERE ARE THE RESULTS Q When will economic activity return to the level it was before the pandemic? Longer 7%

Q How did your turnover compare in 1st March – 30th June this year versus the same period last year?

Q1 2021 3% Down more than 40%

31%

21%

21%

Down 20%-40%

Q1 2022 53%

41%

28%

Up Q1 2023 37%

Q How does your forward pipeline look today compared to this time last year?

Up

Q Have you furloughed any employees in response to the crisis?

7%

Down more than 40%

Down 20% 40%

The same

3% Down 10%20%

been a lifeline during this pandemic, providing reassurance and challenge at the right times and facilitating learning from our peers. Thank you ❜❜

Yes 83%

Q What effect do you think this crisis will have on the pace of technological transformation within your company?

Q Have you, or are you planning to, make any redundancies?

Slow 3%

Q As a percentage how many people in your company have you made or are you planning to make redundant?

50%

10%-25% 30%

5%-10% Less than 5% No significant effect 31%

Hiring 14%

No 52%

Q As a percentage how many people in your company have been furloughed?

17%

10%-25% 5%-10% Less than 5%

PLATINUM BUSINESS

Yes 35%

Q Have you been forced to introduce pay cuts since March?

63%

More than 25%

22

3% Down less than 10%

❛❛ The MDHUB community has

No 17%

Accelerate 66%

14%

14%

The same Down 10%-20%

17%

8% 13%

£ No 76%

20%


BUSINESS Q When do you plan to have at least 90% of your workforce returned to their usual workplace location? September 20

Q In January 2021, how do you expect your company’s total employment levels would compare to January 2020?

46% Significantly less

Never/ not sure when January 21 December 20

Furlough

54%

Tax Grant deferrent funding

21%

Roughly the same

35%

Roughly more

41%

7% 4%

❛❛ MDHUB are the trusted confidante

£ Yes: 58% on average 54%

Slightly less 11%

Q Have you received any Government assistance? 89%

3%

32%

July 20

50%

46%

Bbl

Cbil

you need at work, with whom you can share, away from your immediate team, your concerns and develop plans to overcome problems ❜❜

Q What are your top concerns about managing business risks in today’s current environment?

Q What is your likely strategic response to the crisis?

Managing a smooth increase in production and profitability whilst keeping staff safe and well

I am happy with my strategy 67% I need to make some signicant changes 23% The uncertainy and therefore the inability to forecast effectively

Q The single most important thing the crisis has taught me is?

Life is not a rehearsal, don’t listen to fear, try to have courage

I have started a new business 7% I am considering an acquisition 3%

People are your most important asset, look after them and let them know what is going on

How we can work through a crisis and be alright. How brilliant online meetings are especially for purely functional meetings

Stay calm copyright MDHUB 2020

❛❛It’s been incredible to have the

knowledge, experience and counsel of MDHUB to steady the resolve and navigate with confidence. Together is definitely stronger! ❜❜ PLATINUM BUSINESS

23


A CORONAVIRUS LOAN SNAPSHOT New data shows that businesses across London have received a total of almost £9bn in funding under the government’s two largest Covid-19 loan schemes, the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) and the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBL). These provide financial support to businesses across the UK that are losing revenue, and seeing their cashflow disrupted, as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak: n over 210,000 loans worth almost £7bn have been offered across London under the BBLS, which provides a six-year term loan from £2,000 up to 25% of a business’ turnover, with a limit of £50,000. n over 7,700 loans worth over £2bn have been offered across London under the CBILS, which provides Business loans, overdrafts, invoice

24

PLATINUM BUSINESS

finance and asset finance of up to £5m to businesses with a turnover less than £45m. Total funding provided to London

businesses represents 20% of the national total, in line with the relative size of London’s business population (19%).

CBILS NATIONAL SNAPSHOT Region Number of Volume of finance % of offered % of business CBILS Loans under CBILS (£) facilities population East Midlands 3,325 776,952,806 7% 6% East of England 4,669 1,020,035,597 11% 10% London 7,790 2,001,937,526 17% 19% North East 1,233 263,944,238 3% 3% North West 4,699 1,129,802,539 10% 10% Northern Ireland 836 237,817,722 2% 2% Scotland 2,693 587,638,410 5% 6% South East 7,376 1,585,052,125 16% 16% South West 4,283 927,187,748 9% 10% Wales 1,391 303,205,680 3% 4% West Midlands 3,770 871,365,361 9% 8% Yorkshire and The Humber 3,419 741,647,567 8% 7% Unknown 137 39,998,100 0% 0%


BUSINESS BBLS NATIONAL SNAPSHOT Region Number of Volume of finance % of offered % of business BBL Loans under BBLS (£) facilities population East Midlands 67,515 1,982,958,564 6% 6% East of England 100,476 3,060,902,628 10% 10% London 210,102 6,983,181,564 20% 19% North East 33,651 939,452,112 3% 3% North West 112,444 3,338,019,322 11% 10% Northern Ireland 25,491 809,032,542 2% 2% Scotland 63,649 1,844,452,115 6% 6% South East 144,152 4,347,184,714 14% 16% South West 84,593 2,408,463,217 8% 10% Wales 40,195 1,115,836,982 4% 4% West Midlands 84,773 2,593,303,126 8% 8% Yorkshire and the Humber 73,962 2,185,143,320 7% 7% Unknown 1,665 51,761,340 0% 0%

CBILS SECTOR SNAPSHOT

Keith Morgan, Chief Executive Officer of the British Business Bank: “A key objective for the British Business Bank is to identify and help reduce regional imbalances in access to finance for smaller businesses across the UK. It is welcome to see in the data that these schemes are helping businesses in London to access the finance they need to survive and stabilise, putting them in a better position to grow as we move into recovery.” The British Business Bank is the UK government’s economic development bank. Established in November 2014, its mission is to make finance markets for smaller businesses work more effectively, enabling those businesses to prosper, grow and build UK economic activity. Its remit is to design, deliver and efficiently manage UK-wide smaller business access to finance programmes for the UK government. The British Business Bank Finance Hub provides independent and impartial information to high-growth businesses about their finance options, featuring short films, expert guides, checklists and articles from finance providers to help make their application a success. The site also features case studies and lessons from real businesses to guide businesses through the process of applying for growth finance.

Region Number of Volume of finance % of CBILS % of business CBILS Loans under CBILS (£) facilities population Wholesale and Retail Trade; 8,666 2,133,581,613 19% 9.3% Repair of Motor Vehicles and Motorcycles Construction 6,295 1,269,320,526 14% 17.7% Manufacturing 5,879 1,643,060,552 13% 4.7% Professional, Scientific 4,829 1,090,258,729 11% 14.8% and Technical Activities Administrative and 4,622 985,388,566 10% 8.7% Support Service Activities Accommodation and 3,924 956,022,979 9% 3.4% Food Service Activities Human Health and 2,135 346,939,313 5% 6.1% Social Work Activities Information and Communication 2,047 432,278,361 4% 6.3% Transportation and Storage 1,582 325,926,645 3% 6.1% Other Service Activities 1,311 166,868,701 3% 5.8% Arts, Entertainment and Recreation 1,297 327,067,053 3% 4.9% Real Estate Activities 1,001 204,714,792 2% 1.9% Education 664 184,224,786 1% 5.2% Financial and Insurance Activities 533 217,156,824 1% 1.5% Mining and Quarrying; Electricity, 476 139,820,670 1% 0.6% Gas and Air Conditioning Supply; Water Supply; Sewerage, Waste Management and Remediation Activities Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing 346 61,163,824 1% 2.7% Unknown 14 2,791,484 0% 0.0%

Note: Regional and sectoral Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Scheme data has not been included in this analysis due to data protection and commercial considerations. Data on CBILS and BBLS schemes drawn from the British Business Bank loans portal, August 2nd 2020.

PLATINUM BUSINESS

25


NATWEST SOUTH EAST ® PMI South East private sector returns to growth in July

KEY FINDINGS n B usiness Activity Index rebounds to over three-year high n First increase in new business since February n Sentiment strongest since early-2018

Latest UK regional PMI® data from NatWest highlighted a return to growth for the South East’s private sector, as easing lockdown restrictions released pent-up demand. The headline NatWest South East Business Activity Index – a seasonally adjusted index that measures the month-on-month change in the combined output of the region’s manufacturing and service sectors – rose sharply from 49.3 in June to post 56.7 in July signalling the first increase in private sector output for five months, with the rate of expansion the quickest since April 2017. Adjusted for seasonal factors, the New Business Index posted above the 50.0 no change mark in July to signal the first increase in inflows of new work for five months. Panellists linked the expansion, which was moderate, to the release of pent-up demand amid looser lockdown restrictions.

26

PLATINUM BUSINESS

Both sectors recorded an increase in new work during July, with growth slightly stronger at the South East’s good producers. The 12-month outlook for activity among private sector firms in the South East improved further in July, with the level of positive sentiment the highest for almost two-and-a-half years. Anecdotal evidence linked confidence to improved demand conditions amid looser lockdown restrictions, alongside hopes of a swift economic recovery. Output expectations also improved at the UK level in July, where confidence was the highest since February. Nonetheless, sentiment at the national level was lower than that in the South East.

Private sector employment in the South East dropped in July, extending the current sequence of contraction to six months. Moreover, the decline in workforce numbers quickened from June and was marked overall, albeit not as severe as the unprecedented reductions seen in April and May. Panellists linked the latest round of job

South East Business Activity Index sa, >50=growth since previous month 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 2001

2003

2005

2007

2009

2011

2013

2015

2017

2019


BUSINESS

COMMENT Stuart Johnstone,

Managing Director, London and South East, Corporate and Commercial Banking

cuts to weak demand conditions amid the coronavirus pandemic, with firms frequently mentioning redundancies, layoffs and the non-replacement of leavers. Staff numbers also declined at the UK level in July, with the rate of reduction outstripping that in the South East. As has been the case in each of the past 22 months, the level of outstanding business at the South East’s private sector firms fell in July. The rate of backlog depletion eased slightly, but was solid overall. According to survey respondents, a lack of new work had allowed firms to direct remaining resources towards unfulfilled orders. Goods producers recorded a quicker reduction in backlogs than their service sector counterparts in July, although the rate of reduction eased across both sectors. Private sector firms in the South East signalled a back-to-back increase in input prices during July, with inflation

accelerating to a solid rate. Greater fuel costs, higher prices at suppliers, expenditure on personal protection equipment (PPE) and unfavourable exchange rates were all mentioned by respondents as drivers of input cost inflation. At the sector level, the increase in cost burdens was broad-based and led by manufacturers.

“Latest survey data pointed to a significantly improved performance for the South East’s private sector. COVID-19 restrictions were loosened further, allowing firms to resume operations and providing a significant boost to demand conditions. Business activity rose at the quickest rate for more than three years, while inflows of new business increased for the first time since February. Firm’s output expectations also strengthened, with the level of positive sentiment the highest since early-2018. “Overall, July data signalled the beginning of a rebound for the South East’s private sector, but after such an unprecedented and severe economic blow, the recovery will need to gather further momentum to cover the lost ground.”

Adjusted for seasonal factors, the Prices Charged Index posted above the 50.0 neutral mark in July and signalled an increase in average charges levied by private sector firms for the first time in five months. According to panellists, selling prices had risen to compensate for higher cost burdens. That said, the uptick was only mild overall. Of the seven monitored regions to report an increase in selling prices in July, the rate of inflation in the South East was slower than only the East of England and the North West.

PLATINUM BUSINESS

27


L/R: Danny McGee, Dan Sibley and Peter Flynn

EVM DIRECT EVM Direct Limited was established in 2010 and has become a major supplier in the passenger transport sector across the UK and Ireland, and beyond. Based in Three Bridges in West Sussex they are just minutes from major transport access points, Gatwick Airport and Three Bridges train station The company’s sales team is based across the UK and Ireland and EVM Direct keeps its finger on the pulse of the bus industry through their active sales and marketing activity and in-depth knowledge of the sector. The company’s after-sales network provides support to the thousands of supplied vehicles throughout the UK and Ireland.

28

PLATINUM BUSINESS

EVM’s Founder and Managing Director, Danny McGee has over 25 years experience in this manufacturing sector and established the business in 2010. His co-Director, Peter Flynn is the Sales Director having joined the company in 2011 and has been instrumental in the growth and success of the company over the last 9 years.

MAIN MANUFACTURING FACILITY

Based in Kilbeggan, Co. Westmeath in Ireland, EVM manufactures MercedesBenz Sprinter luxury and accessible minibus in configurations from 8 to 22 seats. While EVM UK is very focused on sales and after-sales, it must always take a view of the factory loading for their manufacturing facility by ensuring there are enough chassis in the supply line to match potential sales and keep a regular supply of finished product for the market, and to ensure the most effective and efficient use of factory build slots. This is achieved by selling build slots as far in advance as possible and securing available slots with stock builds, where possible, to maximise output.

EXPORT MARKETS

EVM as a company are export focused, with dealers currently operating in Belgium, France, Netherlands, Finland, Iceland and Sweden. Their export market accounts for 33 % of their total production.


COMPANY PROFILE CUSTOMERS BASE:

EVM’s customers come from a diverse range of sectors. Currently they are suppling to 4 of the 5 large bus operators providing public transport across the UK. They have maintained the No 1 position of supplying to the tourism and travel sector over the last number of years and recently entered the school transport and mobility sector, with the development of a range of entry level wheelchair accessible and home to school vehicles and they have seen tremendous success in this area.

COVID 19

Like a lot of businesses, Covid 19 has had a massive effect on their business with both facilities having been closed during the lockdown period and only a handful of the after-sales and finance support working remotely to support their customers. During this period, it has been vital to support their suppliers and customer base by facilitating a delay in delivery of their new vehicles. Most customers have practically shutdown operations for a short period and are now managing a slow re-emergence into the new restrictions in travel and transport that have been brought about by Covid-19. While many customers are happy to proceed as ordered, quite a few want to push their vehicles back to September 2020 and March 2021 and beyond, these being the vehicles registration, and they are working hand in hand with their suppliers to ensure they can make this happen.

2021 AND BEYOND

Developing and launching a range of wheelchair accessible minibuses to increase the offering and develop a supply line to the public sector to include Councils, Care Homes, Schools, Dial and Ride, Community Groups, Education Boards and general Health Services. They have been working on this segment over the last few year’s to access, and be listed on, frameworks for supply through the tender process. The company have had some great success already in 2019/2020 with tender supply to Transport for Wales, South Gloucestershire Council, Kent Country Council, Education and Library Boards.

INNOVATION FOR THE FUTURE

EVM are currently working on a range of electric and hybrid drive vehicles for passenger transport. The world is rapidly moving in this direction and EVM are

investing heavily in developing a range of vehicles for launch in early 2021 to keep pace with emerging technologies and to ensure the entire business is as ecologically responsible as possible

FINANCE SUPPORT

The company moved their banking to the NatWest group almost 3 years ago and since then they have enjoyed a strong working relationship with Dan Sibley and his team at NatWest. Founder Danny McGee said “They support us very well with our day to day requirements. During the Covid lockdown period, we looked to Dan and his team for support through C Bills to cover our short to medium term strategy. NatWest delivered the package we required which will see us work through the current pandemic and come out the other side a stronger and leaner company with our customers by our side.”

EVM UK Tel 0845 5205160 info@evmdirect.co.uk EVM Ireland Tel 05793 32699 info@evm.ie www.evmdirect.co.uk

PLATINUM BUSINESS

29


COMMUNITY IS KEY AS FREE SUPPORT IS OFFERED TO SUSSEX BASED BUSINESSES As of Monday, August 3rd, all UK non-essential travel restriction advice has been lifted and businesses are being proactively encouraged by the Government to get back into their offices to help rebuild the economy. However, as businesses start to navigate their way out of the initial economical impact of Covid-19, the real work begins. Sussex has witnessed a huge leap in Universal Credit claimants, with 2.5 times the numbers claiming in

30

PLATINUM BUSINESS

July from the March figures, and with the Furlough scheme coming to an end in October, the concerns are this figure is only going to increase. “Having been on the front line working with freelancers, micro businesses and SMEs over the last 4 months, there is a real need for practical support for our economy”, highlights Jon Trigg, Managing Director of Sussex based co-working and flexible office operator, Freedom Works. “This is why we have

launched our new Members Concierge service. This is open to all and is a free to use service where we match-make businesses, to ensure all and any spend is kept within the local economy”, he explains. “Having spoken with businesses returning, the real support is helping regenerate business, understanding what financial support is available and practical advice on how to trade out of a crisis”, further elaborates Trigg.


BUSINESS The key reason for the slow down during the summer was cited as a loss of orders, which according to a survey conducted by the Local Enterprise Partnership, Coast to Capital, just over 82% of businesses in the region witnessed a loss in orders and sales. This is why one of the big driving points for Freedom Works will be introducing businesses to each other to ensure spend is kept local, and local businesses support each other. Freedom Works has over 1,800 businesses who use it’s spaces and services throughout Sussex with locations in Crawley, Chichester, Hove and Worthing, and all of these businesses can now benefit from a free of charge support service to help them navigate the next few months ahead. The service will include; personal introduction business match-making service, peer-support cohorts with specialists brought in to provide guidance and advice, business support clinics with guidance and signposting to the plethora of government (national and local) support packages available, as and when they become available.

❛❛ This is open to all and is a free

to use service where we match make businesses ❜❜ The service is to be spearheaded by Head of Community in Freedom Works, Joanne Yates. Joanne is a Sussex based businesswoman who has previously been a Business Advisor for Sussex Enterprise. But, prior to that and most importantly, successfully navigated her joinery business over 18 years through 2 crises; the Lewes floods in 2001 and the financial crash in 2009, to eventually sell it and exit the business. Although the economic future is still uncertain based on Brexit and possible second waves, growth is expected. Based on projections of the GDP Index, which is used as a base tool to predict the economies health, it is forecasted the country will bounce back from the height of the economic crisis in Q2 2020, with the stabilisation anticipated from late 2020 and throughout the whole of 2021. On this basis any support to help stimulate the local economy will be a key contributory factor in helping getting the region back up and running to pre Covid levels sooner rather than later. “It is incumbent on all of us to help guide ourselves, and others, out of this crisis. These are not just businesses, but real people with mortgages and families to

support” adds Jo, who is passionate about local business. “Our focus is to help and support the business community as much as we can and provide the hands on support which will help them rebuild, as together we will get through this. In turn we have our customers of tomorrow - who will want the new way of working through flexible and community based workspaces”, concludes Joanne.

There is no cost to this service and if any business would be interested in finding out more on the Freedom Works Members Concierge Service they can email the team at info@freedomworks.space www.freedomworks.space E-mail: info@freedomworks.space Tel: 01903 68 11 00 Follow us on Twitter: @works_freedom

PLATINUM BUSINESS

31


SUSS VENTURES INVESTMENT

PITCH DAYS CONFIRMED Full year of pitch events attracts impressive entrepreneurs and active angels Suss Ventures, Sussex Innovation’s new investment-matching service, has confirmed a full calendar of investment pitch days and quarterly investor conferences for 2020 and 2021. The schedule will bring together the South East’s most scaleable companies and active investors to supercharge fastgrowing businesses, despite COVID19’s threat to the economy. The investment brokerage, conceived by Laurence Grant, Sussex Innovation’s new Head of Investment Projects, has been borne out of the South East’s lack of infrastructure to source investment for ambitious and fastgrowing companies. To prevent prolific talent and progressive companies from making an exodus to London, Suss Ventures’ vows to become the home of investment for purpose and profitdriven founders within the South East region and beyond.

❛❛ I have to say,

I attend a lot of these events, and I found it absolutely stunning ❜❜

32

PLATINUM BUSINESS

Since its inception in November 2019, Suss Ventures has successfully screened over 500 companies; engaged 50 active investors; contracted 30 qualifying investment opportunities; and hosted four successful events and online conferences to match

fundraisers with investors. To date, a total of £37m in private investments has been identified for companies who are successful in their pitches to the Suss Ventures Investor Network. On the most recent pitch event, Bill Morrow, the Founder of Angel’s Den, Europe and Asia’s largest angel network, said “I have to say, I attend a lot of these events, and I found it absolutely stunning. The curation of


INNOVATION the deals was really great. There was a huge mix of different companies. Each one of the businesses had real merit and gave me a lot of food for thought.” “One of the great things about Suss Ventures is that it’s based in Croydon and Sussex. The areas are so underrepresented in the entrepreneurial scene. There are a lot of incredibly good companies here who don’t get the opportunity to meet with investors, and so I’m very pleased to be playing a very small part in Suss Ventures.” Kicking off on September 24th, and every quarter thereafter, Suss Ventures will be inviting a total of 15 fundraisers to a virtual pitch event via Zoom. A selection of hand-picked private and institutional investors will make up the audience, with a pitch and Q&A slot allocated for each scale-up enterprise. Introductions between investors and founders will follow successful pitches on a case-by-case basis. Applicants from both the private and academic sectors are welcome, and Sussex Innovation is willing to support all registered entrants

FROM SEED TO SUCCEEDING

Sussex Innovation members who have successfully raised seed, angel and VC investment in recent years • INTCAS is a global higher education marketplace that raised £2m Series A financing in March 2018 through multiple investors. The student registration and management platform is an ambitious undertaking that has required infrastructure to be built at significant scale before generating any revenue. • Emteq raised just short of £2m develops wearable technology that uses artificial intelligence to provide virtual reality experiences that respond to the wearer’s facial expressions. The technology is designed for sectors such as mental health, gaming, education and retail. • Hozah, the ‘zero-effort parking’ service provider are building on their £600,000 raise in 2019 to source a Series A round of £10m. This additional investment raise will provide Hozah with working capital to bring their hassle-free parking payment system to multiple locations, including multistorey carparks and large public parking sites such as universities and hospitals.

with business support, funding, and consultancy wherever possible. The investment brokerage benefits from an experienced team of 37-staff members at Sussex Innovation who offer in-depth research, graduate support, and bespoke consultancy to qualifying companies. Nick Begley, CEO of Psychological Technologies, a company which has successfully raised over £1.5m in investment, stated “Suss Ventures has provided a great opportunity to meet investors and pitch. It’s been a great experience and Laurence has been very efficient. The whole process has been streamlined and is very easy, and I can highly recommend working with them.” As well as welcoming new investment opportunities, Suss Ventures is also inviting first-time and experienced investors to the Suss Ventures Investor Network. As an investor-lead enterprise, Suss Ventures bases its investment scouting efforts on the common criteria of its members. At present, the network of more than 50 investors has shown a preference towards revenue-generating Seed and Pre-Series A companies in the B2B and SaaS sectors, with a broader interest in companies that can prove a demand and traction in their chosen market. Each quarter, the Suss Ventures Investor Network and its partners are brought together, either virtually or in

person, to network with other investors and professionals, review the overall progress of Suss Ventures, put forward co-investment opportunities, and most importantly, get to know the existing investment opportunities contracted by the Suss Ventures team. Full information on the investor conferences and pitch events is available upon request from Suss Ventures’ Founder Laurence Grant, or Account Manager Jamila Campbell– Allen.

WANT TO FIND OUT MORE?

If you are an innovator seeking finance to grow, or a private or professional investor looking for new investment opportunities in the South East, contact Suss Ventures to arrange an exploratory meeting. The Sussex Innovation network comprises an active portfolio of more than 200 innovative technologies, products and services in a wide variety of sectors.

To get involved, complete our member forms at sussventures.sinc.co.uk Email laurence.grant@sinc.co.uk or jamila.campbell@sinc.co.uk

PLATINUM BUSINESS

33


LEGAL

THE END OF FREE MOVEMENT IS COMING Further details on the UK’s post-Brexit work visa system On July 12th 2020 the Home Office published a 130 page “Further Details” document on the UK’s post-Brexit points-based immigration system. It was a release hotly anticipated by stakeholders, not least because of the amount of detail that remained to be seen. Here’s a summary of the draft proposals, most if not all of which are likely to translate into final outcomes.

1. THE SYSTEM OF SPONSORSHIP WILL REMAIN LARGELY THE SAME AS THE CURRENT ONE

The promise of a more streamlined and user-friendly system to the present one for non-European nationals seems a long way off. Employers new to visa sponsorship will therefore need to get to grips with an online interface that is unlikely to feel intuitive or familiar at first, and those accustomed to sponsorship won’t see the improvements we were hoping for. Not yet, anyway.

2. REBRANDING, AND THE AUTOMATIC TRANSFER OF SPONSOR LICENCES

It’s now official. The current Tier 2 (General) and Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) sponsored work visas will be

34

PLATINUM BUSINESS

rebranded as “Skilled Worker” and “IntraCompany Transfer” visa routes. Any employers already licensed to sponsor Tier 2 (General) and/or Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) visas under the current system will be automatically granted sponsor licences for the new/rebranded visas. However, licenses will still expire four years from the date on which the existing licence was granted, unless they are renewed before then.

3. PAY REMAINS FUNDAMENTAL

The minimum skill level for sponsored work visas will be dropping (from graduate, to A-level or equivalent for the Skilled Worker route). Unchanged though will be the requirement for a sponsor to demonstrate that a worker will be paid

at or above a minimum level. This will be the higher of the applicable “going rate” for the job, and the visa’s own “general threshold”. In the vast majority of cases the latter will be £25,600, and things get complicated when you start to delve into trading points, and other eligibility criteria, that allow for a salary of less than the two applicable standard minimums (more on that immediately below).

4. PAY GETS COMPLICATED

Unfortunately, given its overall importance, identifying whether the salary you will pay for a job will be sufficient for a particular visa could get very complicated indeed under the reformed system. For a Skilled Worker visa, the minimum will never drop below £20,480. This is the floor below which the Home Office will not grant the visa. And £20,480 will be far from the norm. For someone to qualify for a Skilled Worker visa for a job paying between £20,480 and the usual £25,600 minimum, they will need to demonstrate some pretty specific attributes. New entrants One route is by demonstrating that they are a ‘new entrant’. This is another expression that employers new to


as to who will qualify for it from 2021 onwards. One thing we do know is that, at present, it seems unlikely to apply to key roles in the social care sector.

sponsorship will need to familiarise themselves with. It’s not a new concept, but there is an important new requirement to show that the foreign national will be working towards a ‘recognised profession’ in the role they are to fill. PHDs Holding a PHD in a subject relevant to the job is another way. The devil is in the detail here though, as it is the employer/ sponsor that has to assess the relevance of a given PHD to a job, and they must be ready to have this scrutinised by the Home Office later. Shortage Occupations Another familiar concept under the current system, but one which becomes increasingly important when free movement ends on December 31st 2021. In essence, the job to be sponsored will either be on the (likely short) list, or it won’t. Listed health and educations jobs This is a new concept, which will involve demonstrating that the job to be filled is on the specific list. If it is, this triggers a requirement to pay at least the relevant national pay scale rate for the job, to meet the ‘going rate’ requirement.

6 UNDER WHAT IMMIGRATION RULES WILL VISA APPLICATIONS NEED TO BE MADE?

Percentages headache This is where it gets tricky. In addition to the fact that the points scores (with which to top up a deficiency in the score for salary) differ across the above criteria of points, the actual pay (being expressed as a percentage of the standard pay minimum) can differ as well across the two pay measures (‘going rate’ and ‘general threshold’). You have to satisfy both measures.

Employers do now have a clear basis on which to start planning and preparing for the changes coming in 2021, and with only a few months left they should be acting now. Yet, there is a whole raft of information and rules that we do not yet have, and which are critical, in order for the system to function correctly. It is possible the rules will essentially (and initially at least) replicate those applicable to work visas under our current sponsored visa system, but this remains to be seen, and time is of the essence.

5 WHO WILL BENEFIT FROM THE “HEALTH AND CARE” SKILLED WORKER VISA?

This newly announced subset of the Skilled Worker visa route promises fasttrack processing, reduced fees, and dedicated support, for workers in eligible roles in the health and social care sector. However, we don’t yet have clear details

For further information contact Adam Williams, Partner and expert in Business Immigration Law.

PLATINUM BUSINESS

35


THE ROLE OF THE FINANCE TEAM IN PROTECTING YOUR BUSINESS

36

PLATINUM BUSINESS


FINANCE

By Dan Morgan, Managing Partner, Haines Watts Esher Data provided by the finance team has always been important in the running of a business. In the last few months this information has proven vital for survival and success. Many finance teams have increased their reporting from quarterly to weekly and sometimes even daily

for certain data. Being able to adapt quickly is important for the success of any business. The information provided by finance teams allows for strategic discussions regarding the future of your business and for informed decision making to be established quickly. A good finance team will take the time with the initial data to make sure it is cut in such a way that it presents clearly the information you really care about seeing. Once these initial reports are set up with the right systems in place this can be largely automated and then provide real time updates of how your business is faring. Finance teams have been an indispensable resource over the last few months for providing leadership teams with information on what a business needs in order to protect it. They ensure

support contingency planning. These models are an essential tool for creating a clear picture of how different outcomes could impact cash flow, revenue and profit.

❛❛ If you don’t have a full finance team

in place, outsourcing can be a good option for many businesses ❜❜ that the right infrastructures are in place to easily present a view of how profitable and stable your business is now and in the future. Alongside real time data, forecasts are also incredibly important in protecting your business as they allow information on slows or stops in cashflow. This enables your finance team to plan how they handle debtors and also put a plan in place to build up your cash reserves for such a situation. A good finance team will work seamlessly with other areas of your business to help inform their plans e.g. credit control should work closely with sales to inform a complete view of the customer, which in turn will impact further selling activity. Good finance teams should have financial modelling capabilities to enable owners to run scenarios and

If you don’t have a full finance team in place, outsourcing can be a good option for many businesses. An outsourced team will have already gone through the process to ensure that you have experienced and knowledgeable people in place from day one offering an outside perspective and often saving you time and money in the long run.

For more information: www.hwca.com/accountants-esher T: 020 8549 5137 E: esher@hwca.com

PLATINUM BUSINESS

37


RECRUITMENT

SIGNS OF CONFIDENCE RETURNING TO THE JOBS MARKET?

Over half of employers in the legal, tax and accountancy sectors are recruiting or planning to recruit within the next six months

are pockets of business and optimism out there. The Taxation sector survey also offered reasons to be hopeful - the survey of employers showed 58% looking to be active in the job market in the next six months.

21%

Item 2 31% Item 2 48%

Item 1 52%

PLATINUM BUSINESS

The Harvey John survey found that an impressive 61% of employers in the Legal sector are actively planning for recruitment over the following half year. The survey results are based on 329 telephone interviews with clients and candidates in the accountancy, tax and legal sectors. The survey period was 23rd-30th June 2020.

Item 1 69%

38

Item 1

David Waddell, Managing Director of Harvey John commented: “The start of lockdown seems like a long time ago now and it does feel like we’ve all gone through a period of adjustment, reflection and consolidation. The recruitment landscape has, of course, changed, but we’re reassured that there

79%

Of the businesses interviewed, 52% were either already recruiting or are planning to recruit over the next six months.

Item 2

Ever since the UK plunged into lockdown, it has been hard to find positive news about the jobs market. However, a new survey by Harvey John reveals a far more positive outlook for the accountancy, tax and legal jobs markets than the headlines suggest.

For further information visit www.harveyjohn.com


PLATINUM BUSINESS

39


HOW TO CREATE

THE DREAM HOME OFFICE Growing a business out of lockdown, how we shop for furniture is about to change with ufurnish.com With more of us working from home, creating the perfect environment has never felt more important. As a new business growing out of lockdown, ufurnish.com are an innovative, market leading search engine, reinventing the way furniture and furnishings are searched, discovered, compared and shopped online. New research reveals how the UK have adjusted to life post lockdown, with 18% of those surveyed claiming they would now like a dedicated home office. Deirdre McGettrick is the Founder of ufurnish.com. With a wealth of interior knowledge, Deirdre also co-hosts her own podcast, The DNA of Home Interiors, empowering people to make confident interior design decisions for their home and demystifying the interior design process. Having discussed ‘how to create the right working environment at home’ in a recent podcast episode, we asked Deirdre to share some practical advice and inspiring ideas to help you create the working environment you’ve always dreamed of.

Lomond Adjustable Corner Desk, Mango Wood & Brass, by Made, available on ufurnish.com

40

PLATINUM BUSINESS

IT 1 GIVE SOME SPACE

Not everyone has enough room to dedicate to a home office so Deirdre suggests utilising any spare space smartly. ‘Ideally, your desk needs to be both practical and stylish. Multifunctional desks are perfectly equipped to offer many functions in one product including desk space, shelving and storage. This Lomond corner desk has room for storage boxes for your work files and plenty of shelving for whatever items you wish to add for that personal touch. I love how stylish this desk is, the wood and brass combination makes it perfect for deep red, blue and green accessories.’


BUSINESS FOCUS AND 2 DIVIDE CONQUER

Not everyone will have enough space to dedicate to a working environment but using room dividers are the perfect solution to create a separate working space. ‘Essentially, the idea of a room divider is that it provides some form of privacy. They are ideal for transforming small spaces, dividing larger ones and they are perfect for concealing clutter’ adds Deirdre. This shabby chic room divider also comes with built in shelving, enabling you to store and obscure those office essentials you do not want on show. Remember, your office needs to be an inspiring area and room dividers will be an integral part of this. I love how quaint this design is, it would be perfect amongst a multitude of interior styles.’ 4 Panel Grey Shabby Chic Room Divider, by Hartleys Direct, available on ufurnish.com

3

STORAGE, 5 STORAGE, STORAGE

LET THERE BE LIGHT

Working from home, we want to be energised with our space and lighting plays a key part in this. ‘Try and keep your desk close to a window so you get the happiness benefits of natural light’ advises Deirdre. ‘If this isn’t possible, a desk lamp can fulfil this purpose, and help with tying a design look together. This Moby task lamp has satin nickel finished metalwork and a grey braided cable features, ideal for adding a modern aesthetic to your office space. The adjustable head and arm that can be altered at the base and middle, allowing you to adapt the angle of the lamp and direct the light.‘ Moby Table Lamp, by Cotswold Company, available on ufurnish.com

Although home is the new office, it is essential to keep the work/life balance and clearing away at the end of the day keeps those boundaries in place. ‘There are so many storage options available, it is about finding the one that suits you best’ recommends Deirdre. ‘If you like to be able to see everything in front of you but still retain an organised work space, a glass fronted storage cabinet is the perfect solution. It makes a gorgeous display case with the drawers perfect for anything you don’t want on display such as storing your stationery collection.’

4 TAKE A SEAT

Although you’re now working from the comfort of your home, you still need to think about the ergonomics of your furniture, for elements such as your posture and eyesight. Deirdre suggests investing in a chair that helps maintain your posture throughout the day. ‘It is not just about having somewhere to sit, an office chair is essential for comfort and support. It will need to be adjustable to ensure your computer screen is at eye level and your keyboard parallel to your forearms. The Trend Adjustable Desk Chair is the perfect solution for your working area with accessible wheels to easily move around and stretch your legs as well as a 5-point base, essential for stability and good posture. The vintage finish of this chair is beautiful and sure to compliment the wooden tones of any desk.’ Trend Adjustable Desk Chair, by Woods Furniture, available on ufurnish.com

Oak Storage Cupboard, by Oak Furniture Land, available on ufurnish.com

www.ufurnish.com

PLATINUM BUSINESS

41


LOOKING AHEAD THE FUTURE OF GLOBALISATION In the latest of our Looking ahead series of articles, Andrew Griggs explores what impact COVID-19 could have on the future of globalisation We need a global economy more than ever to tackle the biggest challenges the planet faces, but it will be one underpinned by a strong sense of purpose and behaviour in society. The rumours of the demise of globalisation were rife well before the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic. The 2008/09 financial crash raised questions over the impact of a globalised economy and has, arguably, created a platform for increased nationalism and inward-looking politics across the globe. We have seen this in the US with the election of President Trump and the America First agenda and, much closer to home, our decision to leave the European Union. There are many parts of society that have seen globalisation take away jobs and opportunities leaving them disenfranchised. And where politicians play to the crowd, a villain is often needed, and those villains are companies or countries that are on the rise, successful, or secretive. We have, for example, seen in recent months questions asked of big technology companies in the US, and a retreat from Chinese companies Huawei and TikTok. In March this year, international trade all but ground to a halt. The World Trade Organisation reports a fall in international trade of a third, effectively

42

PLATINUM BUSINESS

taking the world back a decade. Its effects are only now being truly felt. International trade will return, albeit slowly. Fears of a resurgent virus, a second wave, will hold back international travel, creating fertile ground for international squabbles over quarantine rules and the increased threat of trading tariffs. Some sectors, aviation and tourism for example, may take a decade to recover. Governments around the world have pumped enormous sums of money into domestic economies to support vulnerable businesses and individuals. But that support cannot continue indefinitely. Unemployment rates around the world are rising, and it will not stretch the imagination to see governments favouring the domestic businesses it has supported over the past six months at the expense of international or overseas companies.

IT WOULD BE EASY TO ASSUME THAT GLOBALISATION IS DEAD. OR IS IT?

A global pandemic needs a global response, and we have seen technology and life science businesses collaborate to deliver the PPE needed in the immediate stages of COVID-19 and then further to work on a much-needed vaccine. It is unlikely that no one country could achieve this on its own. And COVID-19 is not the only global threat to our ways of life. Climate change, child poverty and other areas of illness, such as oncology, all represent significant threats to our way of life and can only be tackled at a global level. At a personal level there is still the strong desire to travel and take overseas holidays, and it is big business. In 2019, the World Travel and Tourism Council, a trade body, found that tourism generates US$8.9 trillion to the world’s GDP supporting over 330 million jobs. Our desire to explore our amazing planet will not disappear. Just as we enjoy travel, so too do we love to shop. Whilst the return to the high street may be slow, the rise of online shopping gathers pace. Many online retailers are global businesses and those that operate at a domestic level will be backed by global technology and financial services businesses.

COVID-19 IS AN OBSTACLE TO, BUT NOT THE END OF, GLOBALISATION.

However, it is likely to take on a very different feel, with different industry sectors responding in very different ways. Take manufacturing. China, once the factory of the world, is now seen as an expensive option. Manufacturing is being near-shored rather than off-shored.


WORK The demand for high value and highly technical manufacturing remains strong and grows at pace in the UK. Tasks, as opposed to the whole production cycle, may be off-shored to remain local but coordinate globally. The service sector is likely to respond in a different way. With staff and office footprints the primary overhead, it is likely that more services will be outsourced to cheaper jurisdictions. It is something already seen in the accountancy and IT industries, with compliance and programming functions sitting in India. Such a move requires greater global collaboration. Our recent Trading internationally survey found that UK businesses are planning for increased international trade over the next 12 months. Whilst 55% of businesses have cancelled or delayed plans to export to overseas markets or

trade internationally as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, 51% say their view on the importance of international trade has increased. It should also be remembered that a globalised economy has done more to lift some of the poorest nations and their people out of poverty. Yet it is clear that there is more to be done, and I believe purpose driven businesses will become even more important to customers, consumers and our people who work within organisations. Businesses that combine profit with purpose in equal measure will drive the global agenda. That will require businesses to not only take responsibility for their own actions, but those of their entire supply chain. The pursuit of profit to the detriment of our planet and its people will be increasingly

❛❛ The World Trade Organisation reports a fall in international trade of a third, effectively taking the world back a decade ❜❜

unacceptable. Organisations will be increasingly noticed for their behaviour in society. And that may result, as The Economist calls it, in the rise of ‘slowbalisation’.

Kreston Reeves is hosting a series of practical webinars helping businesses to look ahead and plan for a post COVID-19 future. To view topics and details of our ‘Looking ahead’ webinars or to register your place please visit www.krestonreeves.com/webinars Andrew Griggs, Senior Partner and Head of International, Kreston Reeves andrew.griggs@krestonreeves.com +44 (0)330 124 1399

PLATINUM BUSINESS

43



EDUCATION

WHY SHOULD WE CELEBRATE DIFFERENCE? By Jami Edwards-Clarke, Director of Diversity and Inclusion at Hurst College Differences are what define us, bind us and make us all beautiful and complex beings. Differences should be celebrated because when you celebrate and honour something, you remove the irrational and inherited fear of it. As an educator and role model for young people at Hurst College, I feel it is my absolute duty to enable and encourage diversity in a whole school setting and I feel extremely grateful that I have been given the opportunity to take the lead on this platform as the newly appointed Director of Diversity and Inclusion. Diversity comes in many forms, all of which contribute to an individual’s unique experience of the world and every entity should be valued with the same respect and admiration.

that is so easy to engage with will be to have more conversations and discussion with our pupils and staff body around all things diverse. Yes, sometimes uncomfortable topics, but conversations that we need to start having. But most of all, we need to do something. As Dr Rosemary Henze (Professor Linguistics and Language Development at San Jose State University) stated “Above all, schools shouldn’t just do nothing”. And that we are not.

❛❛ Above all,

gains. We have identified some aims moving forward and feel it is an absolute must that we commission somebody with specific expertise to work on our diversity and inclusion action plan to help us understand the sensitivities around what we need to get right.

At Hurst we feel it is our duty and responsibility to shine a light on and examine the presence of diversity and have taken steps to do just that throughout our college community. We have recognised that we can certainly do more to bring about change. Like many schools across the nation, we have already set up a pupil and staff platform which has been overwhelmingly positive. Of course, this is not going to be something we can transform overnight and we are aware that this is a long journey, but with huge and much-needed

Some of the ideas we have in mind have come from staff and pupils alike and it is very exciting to see such passion and determination behind everyone’s ideas and thinking. We have identified the need to ramp up our own school initiatives and actively seek, organise and fund community outreach projects that engage with more diverse communities - these should be authentic projects that work with community groups rather than for community groups. Taking forward the recommendations of a curriculum review is vital and we want to look at how we can better represent the contribution of BAME/diverse individuals in all subjects and age-groups. One thing

schools shouldn’t just do nothing ❜❜

We want the Hurst community to recognise that diversity is colourful, it’s real and it’s essential. We want our pupils to think really hard about how their language and actions could make individuals feel. What if everyone who surrounded you was exactly like you, in every way? Where is the fun in that? We need new ideas, views, and practices to stimulate and inspire us, to show us the way others think, celebrate, and love! Together, our differences make a strong, beautiful, unique, kind, community. Even in the face of intolerance, discrimination and violence, we must not forget to spread the word about the importance of diversity and to respond to that violence with a love and a celebration of our differences in a fully inclusive environment.

www.hppc.co.uk

PLATINUM BUSINESS

45


PEST CONTROL

ARE YOU PAYING TOO MUCH FOR YOUR

PEST CONTROL? With budgets tightening and all expenditure being scrutinised, it’s a good time to evaluate your pest control provider and make sure they offer the best value and service. Regional pest control companies may be able to offer more transparent, fair pricing and you may also receive a more

46

PLATINUM BUSINESS

personal service. They are normally large enough to invest in good training, accreditations and the latest products and services, but won’t have huge overheads and marketing costs. With any company, be wary of surveyors or salespeople who are focused on their targets and ‘over-selling’ rather than the problem that needs addressing.


PEST CONTROL

❛❛ If pricing is not completely transparent

and you are not getting regular and clear communication from your pest controller on every visit, then it may be time to re-evaluate the service you are receiving ❜❜

Whoever you are using, do take time to examine invoices for hidden costs and extras that you may find tucked in alongside the charges for regular site visits. It is worth comparing the original contract with your invoices to check for those extra additions. Modern technology such as i-Pads with built-in cameras make it easy for pest control professionals to communicate in a quick, effective and comprehensive manner to customers, and to illustrate their findings with photographs. If pricing is not completely transparent and you are not getting regular and clear communication from your pest controller on every visit, then it may be time to re-evaluate the service you are receiving. A professional pest control contractor should help you to control any pest issues you might be encountering and

also ensure compliance with what can seem like a mind-boggling list of legislative requirements including: • Animal Welfare Act 2006 – professional pest controllers are trained to carry out their work in a professional and legally approved manner that minimises distress to captured pest animals.

• Wildlife and Countryside Act – pest control is not just about killing pests, it is just as much about ensuring non-target wildlife and the local environment are protected by using safe and approved pest control procedures that are targeted only towards the pest species.

• Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (Health and Safety at Work Act 1974) – professional companies will provide current COSHH and Safety Data Sheets for any products the pest controllers use on your site. • Food Safety Act – pest control keeps food products safe from contamination helps customers to demonstrate “due diligence” by providing comprehensive reporting and advice. • Prevention of Damage by Pests Act 1949 – pest control keeps premises and land clear of rodent activity and reduces the likelihood of future problems.

• P ublic Health Acts 1936 and 1961 – pest control helps to control all manner of vermin, including; rodents, insects and pest birds.

For further information or advice contact Cleankill Managing Director Paul Bates paul@cleankil.co.uk or call 020 8668 5477 or visit www.cleankill.co.uk

PLATINUM BUSINESS

47


MCLAREN GT By Maarten Hoffmann, Senior Motoring Editor

The all-new GT arrived on my doorstep for a week of fun and games and, more importantly, a judgement on what this first McLaren Grand Tourer is all about. A GT is intended for comfortable, long distance travel and all the bells and whistles you need to make a run from London to Monaco a delight. A supercar that tries to be a grand tourer is a tough ask as something has to give.

48

PLATINUM BUSINESS

Supercars do not generally rate comfort and features at the top of their list but GT’s certainly must. Many of the current GT’s have their engine in the front and you are pulled to Monaco whereby the McLaren is rear engine and pushes you there. This makes little difference on the motorway but in corners, you want it read-engined to gain that fine balance. The GT weighs in at only 1,530kg and offers 620bhp so we have a great weight

to power ratio, but Macs are not known for their luggage carrying prowess. Here we have an area to the rear, above the engine and under a glass panel, with a clever layer of insulation fabric and cooling ducts to ensure everything doesn’t melt, and it’s big enough to take a set of golf bats or two small cases. Up front, we have the standard area in the ‘bonnet’ to take a small flight case or two and that is it. But as a very strict


MOTORING

INUM T A L P

❛❛ It is totally flat in all corners and puts the power down in such a linear fashion that you wonder if there are little men underneath pulling levers ❜❜

two-seater, this is probably enough for a long weekend as long as you pack light and the hotel has an iron! They have raised the car height so that road humps don’t remove the front spoiler and the cabin is definitely quieter than previous models so you can hear the radio, and hold a conversation. The suspension is softer too and the cabin is slightly better trimmed and

PLATINUM BUSINESS

49


TECH STUFF MODEL TESTED: McLaren GT ENGINE: 4.0-litre, twin-turbo V8 POWER: 620bhp SPEED: 0-60mph 3.1 seconds TOP: 203mph ECONOMY: 23.7mpg combined PRICE FROM: £163,000 AS TESTED: £220,630 more comfortable. The result – l could definitely drive to Monaco (and back) with few issues and having done over 900 miles in it, l virtually did the distance too. It has been ‘smoothed out’ in that it does not possess the aggressive stance of other Macs, and the exhaust will no longer wake the dead. Having said that, it sounds great but l do miss that aggressive design – that thing that makes a supercar a supercar. Wide haunches, flared wings, thumping great cooling ducts, mad spoilers and the like but this is a GT after all. The most important thing is what is it like to drive? Awesome is the answer. It turns like few others and once into that bend,

P LAT I N U M

50

PLATINUM BUSINESS

you realise that the powered steering is in a class of its own. It is totally flat in all corners and puts the power down in such a linear fashion that you wonder if there are little men underneath pulling levers. It doesn’t understeer, and l could not get it to oversteer either, and it feels alive in your hands and with perfect balance, it pivots around your hips. Having said that, it’s solid as a rock on the motorway, at any speed, and is easy as pie to drive – until you open the taps. Switch off the Sport and Active modes, and it is quite docile and tame. Switch everything back on and take to a winding B road and it comes alive as if you have poked a sleeping tiger with a cattle prod. Your courage runs out long before the car does and a quick burst to 180mph (on a track of course), and it felt steady, settled and ready for more – much more. It is not the psychotic delirium of the 720S but then this is a GT. It does benefit from the same V8 4.0-litre turbo unit from the 720S, albeit with smaller turbochargers and high-compression pistons and Pirelli has supplied a new P Zero tyre that has a much wider ability, especially in the wet The only recommendation here is take the ceramic brake option as these steel brakes do the job but do not instil you with supreme confidence.

P LAT

INUM


MOTORING and turning the wheel, highly likely of course when reversing into a space, the chunky steering totally blocks the camera and you find yourself moving your head back and forth to see what’s going on. Due to the narrow cabin, the centre console doesn’t have much storage space beyond a narrow armrest box and twin cupholders, and a small glovebox and a net. The wing doors don’t have pockets either. So overall there isn’t much room for the general stuff that accompanies you on a journey. It really is a challenge to find where to put things - in a standard supercar this is not really a problem but if l am driving to Monaco, it is. The addition of a glass panel over the cabin offers an airy and bright cabin. The fuel tank is small at just 72 litres and for a GT, this can be a problem as you will be stopping for fuel often en-route to Monaco. Of course, this keeps the weight down but at the cost of countless long-run fuelling stops.

❛❛ Switch everything back on and take to a winding B road and it comes alive as if you have poked a sleeping tiger with a cattle prod ❜❜

McLaren is trying to tempt folks out of the existing true GT’s, like the Bentley and Aston but it should be considered that those who can afford the base price of £163,000 will likely have children and, although long runs without them can be a joy, l know only too well that often, there is no escaping them. It might be fair to say at this price you would have another car but still. Although there have been rumours swirling around for a while now about a McLaren four-seater, there is no sign yet. Make this a four-seater and you have a class leading, world beating true GT that will leap toward the horizon like no other and leave virtually everything in its considerable wake.

Inside, we have the theatre of the dramatic wing doors, and why not, and the seats hold you firm but l would have liked a few more seat adjustments. There is no up and down for shorter drivers and it would be nice to have a separate adjustment to bring the side bolsters in to hold you tight in hair-raising corners but having said that, it does the job just fine. There are an assortment of different leather and stitching options, and they are all fab, and the switchgear is all very McLaren, meaning it is all at hand and unique to the Woking based company. The reversing camera screen is, to my mind, in the wrong place. Instead of being in the centre screen, it appears in front of you in the main cluster, therefore when reversing

PLATINUM BUSINESS

51


XXXXXXXXXX

THE CITY

OF BATH

52

PLATINUM BUSINESS


TRAVEL Having treated you to a whirlwind tour of some of the world’s finest scuba diving resorts recently, l thought it might be time to reflect what so many of us are doing at the moment, staycations. I haven’t been to Bath for years so it was great to return to this fascinating city. Bath is in a beautiful location in Somerset, in the valley of the River Avon and 97 miles from London, a straight shot along the M4. By Maarten Hoffmann

PLATINUM BUSINESS

53


❛❛ I find it a little like Brighton in that there is quite a young population, it has a long heritage and plenty of independent shops - along with beggars and, after 10pm, a fair few drunk stag and hen parties ❜❜ Although the natural hot springs that make this city so famous have been there for thousands of years, they came to prominence when the Romans arrived in 60AD. As they were such lovers of bathing, they descended on Bath and started building one of the finest natural baths in the world. A temple was also constructed in AD 60– 70, and a bathing complex was built up over the next 300 years. Engineers drove oak piles into the mud to provide a stable foundation, and surrounded the spring with an irregular stone chamber lined with lead. In the 2nd century, the spring was enclosed within a wooden barrel-vaulted structure that housed the caldarium (hot bath), tepidarium (warm bath), and frigidarium (cold bath).The ceiling structure is long gone sadly. The town was later given defensive walls, probably in the 3rd century. After the failure of Roman authority in the first

54

PLATINUM BUSINESS

decade of the 5th century, the baths fell into disrepair and were eventually lost as a result of rising water levels and silting. Bath Abbey was founded in the 7th century and became a religious centre; the building was rebuilt in the 12th and

16th centuries. In the 17th century, claims were made for the curative properties of water from the springs, and Bath became popular as a spa town in the Georgian era. Georgian architecture, crafted from Bath stone, includes the Royal Crescent, Circus, Pump Room and Assembly Rooms where Beau Nash presided over the city’s social life from 1705 until his death in 1761. Many of the streets and squares were laid out by John Wood, the Elder, and in the 18th century the city became fashionable and the population grew. Jane Austen lived in Bath in the early 19th century. Further building was undertaken in the 19th century and following the Bath Blitz in World War II. The city has software, publishing and serviceoriented industries. Theatres, museums and other cultural and sporting venues have helped make it a major centre for tourism, with more than one million staying visitors and 3.8 million day visitors to the city each year. There are several museums including the Museum of Bath Architecture, the Victoria Art Gallery, the Museum of East Asian Art, the Herschel Museum of Astronomy, Fashion Museum, and the Holburne Museum. The city has two universities – the University of Bath and Bath Spa University – with Bath College providing further education. It is such an easy city to walk around as the centre is quite compact and there is a plethora of restaurants, bars, cafes and hotels. I find it a little like Brighton in that there is quite a young population, it has a long heritage and plenty of independent shops - along with beggars and, after 10pm, a fair few drunk stag and hen parties.


TRAVEL

THE GAINSBOROUGH BATH SPA (from £366)

The Gainsborough’s unique selling point is its substantial Romanesque spa – the only hotel spa in Bath with access to the city’s natural thermal waters. Other enticements include the prime, central location, extremely comfy bedrooms, excellent, creative food and first-rate service.

THE ROYAL CRESCENT HOTEL & SPA (from £496)

This luxury hotel encompasses two townhouses in Bath’s showpiece Georgian crescent, plus a large and beautiful garden and further buildings to the rear. It combines 18thcentury heritage with 21st-century indulgences. Expect elegant and individual bedrooms, first-rate food and an enticing spa.

RECOMMENDED HOTELS

NO.15 GREAT PULTENEY

THE QUEENSBURY HOTEL

(from £266)

(from £242)

The loveliest street in Bath, running between Pulteney Bridge and the Holburne Museum, is home to this well appointed and imaginatively designed boutique hotel set in a Georgian Grade I-listed building, which has recently enhanced its image with the opening of a terrific spa.

Spread over four interconnected Georgian townhouses, this privately-owned, contemporary-styled hotel offers individually designed bedrooms, plenty of value, a slightly irreverent tone and Bath’s only Michelin-starred restaurant. The location – central, quiet, in an upmarket part of town – is hard to beat.

PLATINUM BUSINESS

55


MY FAVOURITES THE ROMAN BATHS COMPLAINT

As we were there in the middle of August, it was packed and there were few options available, so we booked the Doubletree Hilton. A reasonable hotel but for the money gouging. In 2020, can you believe there are still hotels that charge £12.99 per day for the use of internet?? Not only that, but if you try to hotspot off your phone, a message appears to say that the connection is unsafe and deters you. Then there is a charge of £30 if you want a late check out, £30 for early check in, which at 4pm is the latest check in l have ever encountered. £17 for parking, £10 for breakfast and l would not be surprised to see a charge appear on my statement for the use of the sheets! I know hotels have to make money but really, ripping off one’s guests is not the way to build loyalty and custom and l heartily recommend that you avoid this hotel, and any like it, as it is the only way they will learn.

The Roman Baths are of course the main draw. Incredible architecture, remarkable building work by the Romans to channel the 46 degree natural spring water to all the right places around the complex and l could sit there for hours just taking it all in. It is a shame that you cannot use the baths. I know it is a Unesco World Heritage site but after so many centuries, what harm could we do? Why not limited tickets to bathe for 30 minutes and really soak up the atmosphere.

❛ A temple was

also constructed in AD 60–70 and a bathing complex was built up over the next 300 years ❜❜ BATH AQUA GLASS

You can watch glass being blown at the Walcot Street branch of Bath Aqua Glass and buy a vase, some simple pale blue tumblers or a piece of jewellery afterwards. Glass-blowing and paperweight-making classes are available too.

56

PLATINUM BUSINESS


TRAVEL THERMAE BATH SPA

This is the UK’s only naturally hot spa and offer steam rooms, an ice room, infra-red sauna and stunning roof top pool that sits up amongst the spires of the Abbey.

SALLY LUNN’S BUNN SHOP

Seriously, l had to keep saying it. This is located in the oldest house in the city, built in 1482. Solange Luyon changed her name to Sally Lunn as no-one could pronounce her name when she arrived from France in 1680, and she brought with her the secret recipe for a rich, brioche style bun. Eaten with sweet or savoury toppings, it is huge and fabulous. The surrounding area is really worth some time too. Stonehenge is an hour drive away and on through the New Forest to the A27 at Southampton. Glastonbury Tor, the Cotswolds, Salisbury, Cheddar Gorge (pictured right), Westonbirt Arboretum and Longleat Safari Park are all within an hour or so’s drive and well worth a visit. Most places are now open after the Covid nightmare although you will find queues to get in, the requirement for face masks and if you try to park in the city, you will spend the entire time trying to park, so don’t. Leave the car at the hotel and take Hobsons Pony.

PLATINUM BUSINESS

57


CONFERENCES, MEETINGS AND EVENTS FOR BUSINESSES WITH GRAND AMBITIONS AN ICONIC VENUE JUST 10 MINUTES AWAY FROM BRIGHTON STATION

201 BEDROOMS • 13 MEETING SPACES • UP TO 900 CAPACITY • FREE WIFI • 740MB DOWNLOAD SPEED WWW.GRANDBRIGHTON.CO.UK/MEETINGS


THE BUSINESS MAGAZINE FOR WOMEN

Q&A BARONESS MICHELLE MONE COAST TO CAPITAL LEP JULIE KAPSALIS TAKES THE CHAIR DIVORCE & PENSIONS

SEPT | OCT 2020 #6

TOP TEN BUSINESS MANTRA’S YOGA THE NEW SERIES

THE BIG STORY

E XCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH MP

MIMS DAVIES




Thank you for helping us to keep caring The support we have received from our business community means the world to our nurses and patients. From providing PPE when we were in need, to giving food and flowers to spread joy in difficult times, your help has meant so much. Care for patients with life limiting conditions and support for their loved ones is needed now more than ever in our city of Brighton, Hove and the surrounding areas. If you would like to support us or know more about being a business partner, please email Emma Knight emma.knight@martlets.org.uk or visit martlets.org.uk.

martlets.org.uk.

registered charity number 802145


cont ent s 12

DYNAMIC EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW Mims Davies MP

BUSINESS 18 SHALL WE TALK ABOUT THE WEATHER 20 COAST TO CAPITAL CHAIR A NEW DIRECTION 29 KRESTON REEVES PARTNER APPOINTED CHAIR OF ACIE

HEALTH 30 THE FOUR FOUNDATIONS OF TRANSFORMATION 34 I DON’T FEEL WELL BUT MY GP SAYS I’M FINE... IT’S TIME TO CHECK YOUR THYROID FUNCTION 36 THE YOGA SERIES

FINANCES 24 FORGET THE HOUSE – WHO GETS THE PENSION?

INSPIRING WOMEN 10 10 OF THE BEST WOMEN’S BUSINESS MANTRAS 38 TOP 10 EXCUSES

23

26 ELIZABETH OCKFORD THE WONDER OF WALLPAPER

5


MEET THE STEERING COMMITTEE

Our illustrious steering committee guide the editorial tone of the magazine

JULIE KAPSALIS CEO Chichester / Crawley College Group

EMMA LANE Director Allied Irish Bank

VICTORIA KERTON ROSEMARY FRENCH OBE Regional Director Executive Director NatWest Gatwick Diamond Initiative

FAIZA SHAFEEK CEO Carrot Events

ALISON ADDY Community Officer Gatwick Airport

LOUISE PUNTER CEO Surrey Chamber of Commerce

LESLEY ALCOCK Commercial Director The Platinum Group

6

ABIGAIL OWEN Corporate Partner DMH Stallard

FIONA SHAFER CEO MD HUB

MAXINE REID Partner Quantuma

MAARTEN HOFFMANN CEO/Publisher The Platinum Group

ANA CHRISTIE CEO Sussex Chamber of Commerce

ALISON JONES Partner Kreston Reeves

ZOE RUDLING Partner RSM

FIONA GRAVES Events Director The Platinum Group


welc ome Welcome to the third issue of Europe’s only business magazine for women

With the virus, hopefully, receding into the distance, it is time to get back to work and re-build. The South East really is the economic powerhouse of the country and we will re-build, bigger and better. What has been proven is that economies with female leaders have fared better than those with male leaders and, if nothing else, the virus has given women the opportunity to step up and take charge - and we are

not doing too bad as it is. We have women in many of the top jobs and the female presence is being felt in every corner of every sector. Much more to be done but we are seeing impressive progress. But as the comments made by male business leaders on page 38 of the top FTSE 350 companies show, there is still an prevalent attitude that needs to be extinguished, once and for all.

Contacts PUBLISHER: maarten@platinumpublishing.co.uk COMMERCIAL DIRECTOR: lesley@platinumpublishing.co.uk EVENTS DIRECTOR: fiona@platinumpublishing.co.uk EVENTS EXECUTIVE: lydia@platinumpublishing.co.uk HEAD OF DESIGN: michelle@platinumpublishing.co.uk

WWW.PLATINUMPUBLISHING.CO.UK

DISCLAIMER 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. Dynamic Magazine is owned and published by The Platinum Media Group.

7


EASYJET PLEDGE Just 3% of the world’s commercial airline pilots are women and only 450 of them have achieved the rank of captain. But easyJet has pledged to change that with a recruitment campaign aimed at getting more women in the driver’s seat. Women currently make up 6% of the company’s new pilot intake and 5% of its total pilot community. But by 2020, easyJet wants 20% of its new cadets to be women. Since launching its recruitment campaign a year ago, the company has received more than 600 applications from women wanting to be pilots. Now that its achieved its original target, easyJet has set its sights even higher, planning to recruit 50 new women pilots annually. The company recently named an aircraft after renowned aviator Amy Johnson in celebration of the new pledge. Speaking to the Press Association, easyJet chief executive, Johan Lundgren said it is time aviation caught up with other professions and addressed gender imbalance.

{up f r o n t } All the latest bulletins from the world of business

   MISSING WOMEN

Most powerful woman in British business GlaxoSmithKline, the UK’s biggest drugmaker, has announced that Emma Walmsley will take over as chief executive next year, making her the most powerful woman in the industry and the UK’s FTSE 100 index.

8

Four companies in the FTSE 350 currently have no women on their board, The Times reports today. It names and shames them: Daejan, the property company; iron ore miner Ferrexpo; TR Property Investment Trust; and software group Kainos. In 2016 the government commissioned the Hampton-Alexander Review which set a voluntary target for firms to have a 33% female representation by the end of 2020. In March the Review, along with the Investment Association, wrote to 69 companies that had one or no women on their board to express “concerns”.


N E WS

Poisoned chalice HIGH HEELS IN THE WORKPLACE - A DEEPER CONCERN? The recent news story of a female employee sent home from work for her refusal to wear heels for a nine-hour shift really struck a chord with us, as I’m sure it did for many female professionals. To hear that this archaic attitude is still acceptable in many industries, particularly those located in international business hubs such as London, is concerning. To update those unaware of the story, after telling her manager of her reluctance to wear uncomfortable shoes throughout her work day, 27-year-old corporate receptionist Nicola Thorp was ordered to go home without pay or to go out and purchase heels that were between two and four inches high. She refused to purchase heels, and alleges that her employer, Portico – the company that runs PwC’s reception at its Central London office – followed through with its threat and sent her home.

Hiltrud Werner knows how to handle rooms full of men. As the lone woman on Volkswagen’s management board, she is a rarity in the upper echelons of German industry. Yet her ascent was not the result of an effort to blend in. Ms Werner’s first appearance in front of an all-male board was less than a decade ago - at a firm she declines to name - and it was a memorable one. “I got a very nice email that said: ‘Please Hiltrud, wear trousers, they are not used to skirts in the boardroom,’” she recalls with a playful grin. “Of course, I came in a pink dress.” The 52-year-old joined Volkswagen’s board in February

2017, at one of the most turbulent moments in the carmaker’s history. As head of integrity, she was charged with putting VW’s house in order, and reforming a corporate culture which turned a blind eye to the widespread cheating of dieselemissions tests. In the German press, she is often portrayed as a matron-like figure, hired to clean up a mess made by men who should have known better. It is a characterisation she dislikes – noting that women are among those charged in the various “Dieselgate” investigations. However, it is hard to overlook the irony of the appointment: when a woman finally got to the top of VW, she was handed a poisoned chalice.

Speaking to the BBC, Frances O’Grady, general secretary of the TUC, said a dress code demanding women wear high heels “reeks of sexism”, claiming the footwear “should be a choice, not a requirement”.

GLASS CEILING SMASHED A brewery boss who went from office cleaner to becoming the first woman on her company’s board has said “glass ceilings are there to be smashed”. Karen Hester joined the Army aged 16 in 1979 because she was “was one of those kids who had to go out to work” and sent her monthly wages to her mother. She began cleaning at Adnams in Southwold, Suffolk in 1988 and within two years was a procurement clerk. She is now its chief operating officer (COO) and responsible for 500 staff.

CHAMPIONS The boss of a water company and the founder of a luxury sex toy company have won top awards for businesswomen. Liv Garfield, the chief executive of Severn Trent, was crowned Business Woman of the Year at the Veuve Clicquot awards ceremony. Her company’s share price has risen 15% since Ms Garfield took the helm in 2014 and judges hailed her business acumen. Stephanie Alys, the creator of MysteryVibe, won the New Generation award for “breaking down barriers”. The Veuve Clicquot Business Woman awards were created in 1972 as a tribute to Madame Clicquot, who single-handedly took over her husband’s champagne business after he died.

9


10 OF THE BEST WOMEN’S

BUSINESS MANTRAS Growing numbers of successful companies are now launched and run by female bosses. But being successful in business doesn’t happen by accident, it’s something you have strive for, drive towards and then nurture. Having a mantra can help keep you, your ambition and your company on the track to success. Regardless of your sector or your standing, there will be another woman who has walked a similar path to yours. Whilst there’s no one mantra that will set you on that path to success, if

the road gets rocky – and it’s bound to do at some point – you might need a confidence boosting snippet to keep you going. From self-made billionaires, to global mega stars and a stalwart from Dragon’s Den, we’ve curated some of the best advice soundbites we could find. Here are some of the world’s most successful women’s business mantras. From authenticity to self-belief and workplace mindfulness these smart sisters have coined some of the best positive vibes going.

A DARING ADVENTURE

Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing. HELEN KELLER American author, political activist, and lecturer. She was the first deaf-blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree

SELF-BELIEF

Don’t be intimidated by what you don’t know. That can be your greatest strength and ensure that you do things differently from everyone else.

SARA BLAKELY founder of Spanx, and the World’s Youngest Female Billionaire.

10

KNOW YOUR MARKETPLACE

Focus and tenacity: understand the market, people, competition and the opportunities. HILARY DEVEY CBE, businesswoman, from her autobiography, Bold as Brass: My Story


MO T I VAT ION AVOID COMPLACENCY

If you’re too comfortable it’s time to move on. Terrified of what’s next? You’re on the right track.

SUSAN FALES-HILL Author & broadcaster

DON’T LABEL YOURSELF

There are prejudices against all sorts, all around us, all of the time – you give power to prejudice by recognising it. If you ignore it, it’s an amazingly powerful thing.”I’m in business – full stop. And that’s the strongest message you can send. Do not think of yourself as ‘I’m a woman in business’ – just do your thing. Just be good at it! DEBORAH MEADEN

BE PRESENT IN THE PRESENT

You absolutely must have a plan in business and in life. But if you look too far ahead, you might lose the benefits of living in the present – it is where conversation, inspiration, happiness, peace and success lie – it’s the here and now!” TRACEY WOODWARD CEO, Aromatherapy Associates

BE MINDFUL OF THE PRESENT

There is nothing like a concrete life plan to weigh you down. Because if you always have one eye on some future goal, you stop paying attention to the job at hand, miss opportunities that might arise, and stay fixedly on one path, even when a better, newer course might have opened up. INDRA NOOYI CEO PepsiCo

BELIEVE IN YOURSELF

Spend less time tearing yourself apart, worrying if you’re good enough. You are good enough.

DON’T SPLIT THE WORK ‘YOU’ FROM THE HOME ‘YOU’

Nobody talks about entrepreneurship as a survival, but that’s exactly what it is and what nurtures creative thinking. Running that first shop taught me business is not financial science; it’s about trading: buying and selling.

Bring your whole self to work. I don’t believe we have a professional self Monday through Friday and a real self the rest of the time. It is all professional, and it is all personal.

THE LATE ANITA RODDICK founder of The Body Shop

SHERYL SANDBERG CEO, Facebook

REESE WITHERSPOON actress & businesswoman

IT’S ABOUT SURVIVAL

11


BIG

STORY

A EXCLUSIVE DYNAMIC INTERVIEW WITH

MIMS DAVIES MP Mims Davies is the Conservative MP for Mid Sussex and has been an MP since May 7th 2015. She is currently the Parliamentary Under-Secretary for the Department for Work and Pensions and was a member of the Women and Equalities Select Committee. Mims was the first person in her family to attend university, where she studied politics, and she has two children. We caught up with Mims during a very busy period within government and fired off some questions.

12


BIG

STORY

13


BIG

STORY

PICTURE: Alicia Clarke

Welcome to Dynamic Magazine Mims. What made you decide to go into politics and, after stepping away to care for your children, what made you return? Community issues are what made me want to go into local politics. I was frustrated at local playground facilities and the next thing I was a parish Councillor having been co opted in. I was elected in Eastleigh, as the first Conservative and Woman MP in 22 years - my life turned around quickly and unexpectedly. I found as my children grew up their lives and interests in Sussex were important to them and balancing this and my constituency role was more tricky as a single parent by that time. I thought I was leaving politics for good but

serendipity meant I was able to apply for my home seat and I was the first MP in over 10 years to be allowed to do this. This was truly unexpected as I had hoped my political time wasn’t fully over - just on a hiatus and this proved to be a very short break to my surprise! It has been a real rollercoaster, but life has funny ways of helping you out as well as challenging you and I am grateful for the political journey I have had. We want ‘real’ people in politics and life inside and outside of public service can be an unexpected journey. I have learnt from every part of it and I am thankful for the opportunities, friendship and experiences I have had representing constituents and businesses and am delighted to carry on.

We want ‘real’ people in politics and life inside and outside of public service can be an unexpected journey

14

So many women in business face quite a daunting task getting ahead, having to deal with not only incumbent males and possibly outdated attitudes but also with an unfair burden landing on their shoulders with home, childcare, elderly parent caring etc that, often, it is a wonder any women makes it to the top at all. What was your experience good and bad? I have found the men in politics to be generally fantastically encouraging, engaging and really open minded. I was encouraged to apply for seats by my former local Party Chairman, who saw a younger woman with small children as perfectly able to progress at a time I simply could not see it for myself. I have been a ‘sandwich carer’ for both my elderly parents alongside caring for my small children and I know how difficult a career alongside this is can be and what impact it can have as you try not to drop any balls. My Dad ran his own business and was attacked at work and it massively affected our family and our finances, it meant he was most encouraging about being self sufficient and ready for anything life throws at you. I was self employed for 13 years and


BIG

worked in the radio industry which was quite male dominated at that time and you had to be self starting and able to navigate this positively. I have though found that if you are good enough you be will get there and be welcomed. I don’t ever want to be the token woman at the table. But I always want to make sure the path opening up for me means I help it to be easier for others to break through the barriers and learn the skills they need. Your background, your health conditions, your network, your education, your ethnicity and your confidence can all maybe hold you back. But what we do know the broader mix of people at the table making decisions leads to more opportunity, more inclusion and more understanding and most importantly more success. In your position on the Women & Equalities Select Committee, what do you feel is your greatest achievement, or that of the Committee in general, and what more would you like to do to assist women in the workplace? This was a ground breaking committee and it was the first time Government policy was finally being looked at in

this lens. We were the first Parliament in the globe to look at trans rights and this has really helped us to look at all equalities. The pregnancy and maternity discrimination enquiry was so eye opening as this area is still so fraught and disappointing for mothers and that was surprising and unsettling. Reality we found, is presenteeism and was hugely prevalent and affected women greatly. Networking too was very male focussed, playing golf on a Friday afternoon so Covid has done all women a favour and workplaces and engagement has now changed a lot The previous incumbent, Sir Nicholas Soames

STORY

since I was on this committee in 2015. I was very proud to be the Chair of the All Party Women in Parliament and used my time to push for more debate and focus on International Women’s Day in the UK and help women into politics. I now realise it’s not just getting in that’s the challenge it’s the staying in and progressing once you are there. This is annually the 8th March, also my youngest daughter’s birthday. She is proudly an ‘International Woman’. But knows on that day mum is always speaking and marching. I was so proud to have my girls by my side marching 100 years on from the Women’s vote to Westminster from Hyde Park. You voted to leave the EU – why, and have you had any regrets over that decision? I was never a strong anti-EU politician. I did not come into politics with this as a driving force it was about community issues, life chances and opportunities for people no matter what their background and to help people know and understand their skills. I did not campaign to leave, and I didn’t get stuck into the campaign. I was a new MP at the time and thought it was right for us to all re-examine our relationship with the EU and look at the values and benefits. That is certainly the message I got on the doorsteps. People were keen to look at this relationship and what, in a more global economy, we could achieve by being able to negotiate on our own. What I have learned as a Minister at G20 meetings on the labour market and other events it’s clear countries from across the globe respect and value us and want to work with us and share knowledge. I recently met as Employment Minister, the ‘five eyes group’ – us, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand and sharing insight, impacts, interventions and ideas on Covid recovery was really positive and it shows that we must maintain a good relationship as broadly as possible in a changing world full of changing issues and threats. Do you feel the current pandemic will make it a better or worse decision to leave the EU? We have left the EU and the next vital stage is our future relationship as we move on from this transition period. All the decisions the Government has made to support the economy and our recovery has been done as a sovereign nation. The pandemic has

15


BIG

STORY

shown that we have the resilience we needed, and our no deal plans made it easier for us to react as we had broad ranging Departmental continuity plans. My Department, the DWP, has done a huge job supporting people who unexpectedly needed our help. We were able to act digitally quickly to help people. We should have confidence now that we can get through any challenge and learn from it. This pandemic put a handbrake on our economy and our labour market and we are now pushing for a greener recovery, taking the good and learning from this. It’s taught government, businesses and families we all need resilience in our structures and to plan for the unexpected. It’s a difficult time for many and we will do all we can to give people the opportunities to build back stronger. Did your previous life in local radio give you any insights into what you wanted to achieve as an MP? A huge amount! The understanding of what the media are looking for. A great network of friends on the other side of mic and camera lens too. Knowing how competitive it can be to get to where you want to be. Being able to get stuck in on something that changes everyday and connecting with people is key. Ability to learn things quickly and speak with authority swiftly. I loved every second of broadcasting and this role is so similar. Regarding the current pandemic, what more could government do to assist with the huge pain being felt in businesses across the South East? With considerable gaps in the Chancellors recent funding spree, there are a significant number of businesses on the brink – is there anything under consideration to help further? Throughout the pandemic, the UK Government has acted with urgency to protect lives and safeguard jobs in the

speediest way possible. The first stage was a £160 billion support package, which included paying the wages of nearly 12 million people and supporting over a million businesses through grants, loans and rates cuts. Our support for those who are self-employed is far more comprehensive, generous and longer lasting than pretty much any other country but we have been honest we can’t do everything people hope and protect every business and every job. The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme brought forward by HMT, remains open for applications for the second and final grant until 19 October. Now, as the UK enters the second phase in its recovery, the Chancellor’s plan is fully designed to support jobs by focusing on skills and young people, creating roles with investment in shovel-ready projects and in greening our infrastructure, and protecting employment through a VAT cut for the hospitality sector plus the landmark Eat Out to Help Out discount scheme for diners. This has been hugely successful

Be prepared to sometimes be the only woman in the room but hold your own and know you bring a unique view

16

in getting people back into local pubs, restaurants, towns and villages and was a brilliant idea to help boost the flagging hospitality sector as well as help people to get out and be Covid safe. We know this is a three-phase plan to a greener recovery, which many constituents want as we push to build back stronger with more resilience. Do you feel it would make more sense, economically, to extend the furlough scheme into 2021 rather than suffer the massive cost of the coming surge in unemployment? For the next decade at least, there will be a significant increase in the long-term unemployed and do you feel that the best way to stop that is to keep people in their jobs? Let’ s be honest with this challenge, in the long term the particular restrictions of the furlough scheme are not healthy for the employee or for the economy. You are keeping people in suspended animation and stopping them from actually working and progressing . Unfortunately, we cannot protect every job, but we do believe the Job Retention Bonus will play a vital role in supporting employers to bring their furloughed staff back to work to protect jobs and help support our economic recovery. Without such action, more jobs would be at acute risk. But prior to the pandemic, employment rates were at a record high, I want us to be at that level again and as Employment Minister, I’ll do everything I can to ensure we get back there. My


BIG

department, DWP, is playing a truly vital role in supporting people back into employment quickly, by doubling the number of work coaches across our nationwide network of jobcentres to 27,000, launching our new £2bn Kickstart Scheme for young people and injecting £150m into our Flexible Support Fund so jobcentres can put in place the right support for their local communities such as mentoring circles, training and partnerships with employers. I am so proud to be the Minister delivering these interventions. In addition to increasing participation in our Sector-based work programmes by 40,000 places – in care, in construction and other growing areas. And for those that have been out of work for a longer period of time, we’re developing a new large scale support offer which will commence next year as the impact unwinds and we can target our support. This is a enormous role in the Government right now and I am aware of this huge challenge and we have to get back to our pre Covid success.

Why did the government put the coronavirus discretionary grant fund into the hands of local councils? There is a coming storm about how they distributed those funds. Certain councils generally made some very odd decisions as to whom they awarded and what rules they followed, that have greatly harmed the regional economy and many businesses chance of survival. There is a growing lobby to review these decisions? Our local councils have played a really vital local role in the government’s response to the pandemic and are best placed to make decisions on the needs of their local communities. That’s why they have the power to decide how £3.7 billion emergency funding from Government is spent and to distribute the funds where it is needed most. We will continue to work closely with our councils as they support their communities. I have really got stuck in with our local council to make sure we support viable businesses via the

STORY

discretionary grants, guided those to them who though they may not be entitled to help and tried to do all I can via my casework team. Our local council Mid Sussex has been impeccable in its hard work and commitment to help all they can. What advice would you give to a young woman entering business and/ or politics today about how to survive, how to thrive and how to realise her dreams? Please go for it! Don’t hold back on what you believe in and care about. Having said that don’t feel you have to rush, every single bit of your experience will help you succeed and achieve those dreams. Be prepared to sometimes be the only woman in the room but hold your own and know you bring a unique view because of that maybe. Careers now are a life of jobs and not a job for life so be prepared to be ready to pivot, up and re skill, adapt and react to a changing world of work. I am determined in my role at the DWP to make it easier for people to progress, set up businesses and work flexibly and in the gig economy alongside government support and not get stuck. I have had amazing chances in politics as Sports Minister getting the funding for Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, to guiding through the Ivory Act to protect Elephants worldwide as the DEFRA Whip and attending the G20 in Japan as Employment Minister. But it took me 18 months to be brave enough to fill out the form to be an MP and I know how much confidence matters to help you survive the rough times. So build it and your chances will flow from it. Believe you will get there, loving it all the more because of both the learning experience from the challenges of the lows as well as the chance to really cherish the highs.

17


SHALL WE TALK ABOUT THE WEATHER

Tamara Roberts, CEO of Ridgeview Wine Estate

18

Talking about the weather is one of the great British pastimes and it seems serendipitous to be writing this piece amid a heatwave. Will this impact our growing season? Well, of course, the weather dictates our entire production cycle like any other agricultural business but for some reason, wine is often seen more as a commodity rather than an agricultural product by consumers. The reason that my family decided to focus on the production of traditional method sparkling wines in England was the climate and geology. In fact, the climate probably factors more highly than the geology here as we are

right on the edge of viable viticulture, a very cool climate. Our unique climate enables us to create worldclass sparkling wines but it also carries a high commercial risk factor that needs to be properly assessed by those considering entering the industry. The only thing which any viticulturist can be certain of in England is that there is no certainty in a growing season. No two seasons are the same and bring their unique challenges so a balance of good planning and flexibility is critical. Having the relevant expertise managing the vineyard is essential. It is the vineyard manager, not the


DY NA M IC winemaker who determines quality after all. So what weather challenges have we faced so far this year? After a glorious start to the growing season in early April with temperatures regularly climbing above average, many growers were caught out by some very late frosts. Frosts in May can reduce yields to nothing in prone sites where no prevention measures are taken. Fortunately, our growers took all the necessary steps to avoid this, with bougies (smudge pots) being the most common method of protection. The next key stage in the growing season is flowering that dictates fruit set and enables us to start to assess the likely yields for the season. This usually occurs in early July but due to the warm start to the season that we are all thankful for during lockdown, we began flowering in mid-June. The success of flowering and fruit set is of course determined by the weather with warm and dry creating the best possible outcome. It was during this process that we experienced a change in the weather with a drop in

temperature and more cloud cover throughout July, even some rainfall which has been absent since the deluge we had over the winter. One question that we are always asked at this time of year is about the importance of rainfall

The only thing which any viticulturist can be certain of in England is that there is no certainty in a growing season

L E A DE R SH I P

and the quick answer is that it is not essential but at the right time can be very helpful but at the wrong time it can reduce yields. This brings us to the here and now. A heatwave followed by rainstorms that will hasten the ripening phase and may help increase berry size respectively. Harvest is likely to start early again this year due to the weather (September) but is not going to be the bumper yields we have seen in the previous two vintages. This is a relief commercially due to the impact of COVID-19 on sales and is the consequence of climatic conditions during the 2019 growing season as the weather at certain times in one season can impact the yield the following year. The weather still has the potential to significantly influence the vintage despite being only six weeks away so until the grapes are safely picked, pressed and in the tanks, we cannot be certain of anything.

â—— Tamara Roberts is CEO of Ridgeview Wine Estate, producers of the award-winning English sparkling wine. www.ridgeview.co.uk

19


COAST TO CAPITAL CHAIR

A NEW DIRECTION Newly appointed Chair at Coast to Capital, Julie Kapsalis, sets out her goal to achieve sustainable and diverse growth for the local economy.

20


DY NA M IC THE BOARD

Left to right: Kirsten Trussell (Head of Strategy and Policy), Katie Nurcombe (Head of Corporate Affairs), Amanda Jones (Board Member), Frances Rutter (Board Member), Julie Kapsalis (Chair)

The Coast to Capital Board is a unique partnership of Local Authority, University, Further Education and high profile business leaders who come together with diverse ideas and passion for the region. Together, the Board helps to promote local econ-omic growth by influencing policy-decisions, supporting local businesses and investing in key infrastructure projects from a number of funding programmes including a £300 million Local Growth Fund portfolio.

ECONOMY WATCH: HELPING TO REBUILD THE COAST TO CAPITAL ECONOMY

The impact of COVID has proven to be particularly targeted on our areas of economic strength, meaning that

BUSI N E SS

our economy appears to be among the worst affected in the country. Given the considerable impact of the pandemic, we commissioned research to further understand the impact on the wider Coast to Capital economy. The headline finding is that we estimate a GVA net loss of £9.8 billion (17%) between 2019 and 2020, which is higher than the national average (13%) and based on only ‘one lockdown’ scenario. Our high GVA loss is likely due to our dominant sectors being adversely affected by lockdown restrictions. The education sector is hardest hit experiencing a 38% loss. Unsurprisingly, the arts and entertainment sector is next hardest hit experiencing a 37% loss, followed by a 36% loss for the accommodation and food sector.

CASE STUDY: Supporting SMEs Lorama Foods is a quality bakery with its own label products, and white label manufacturing facility, producing products for some of the leading brands. Specialising in sports nutrition bars and protein balls. Starting a business from scratch is tough, but siblings and fellow directors Rachel Lavelle and Martin King were up for the challenge when they launched the West Sussex based company. With the usual worries about cash flow, staffing and a myriad of stressful problems faced by small business owners, they set to designing and building their own facility. Rachel was introduced to the Coast to Capital Growth Hub support programmes and met regularly with other business owners. The confidence, ideas and positive energy had a huge impact at Lorama Foods. Although eligible for a grant from Coast to Capital’s Growth Grant Programme, the business found funding through investors. Three years after its launch, the company has an anticipated turnover for 2020 of £1m. This is expected to rise to £3.5m by 2021, an increase of 350%.

21


DY NA M IC

BUSI N E SS

CASE STUDY: Championing a diverse culture In March, a Diversity Lunch was held at the Coast to Capital Offices with the Board to coincide with International Women’s Day to celebrate our diversity achievements and commitments. These include:

◗ 7 out of 19 Board members are women (exceeding the target set by Government) and we are committed to reaching 50% by 2023.

Left to right: Julie Kapsalis (Incoming Chair), Tim Wates (Outgoing Chair)

◗ An internal Diversity Working Group has been established to review and implement activity in relation to equality and diversity. ◗ We continue to work with our Expert in Residence, as recommended in the Alison Rose Review of Female Entrepreneurship, which helps us to ensure that engagement with, and support of, women business owners is equitable.

INTERVIEW

Julie Kapsalis Julie is Managing Director of Chichester College Group with respon-sibility for a portfolio of commercial businesses including a chain of childcare nurseries, examination board and international education. She is a board member of the Institute of Economic Development, Gatwick Diamond Business and is the immediate past Chair of Chichester Chamber of Commerce and Industry. She is passionate about supporting business growth with a particular interest in skills, enterprise and social mobility. When did you first start working with Coast to Capital? “Whilst I’m new to the role of chair I’m not new at Coast to Capital. I’ve been on the board for over 6 years and for the past year have been Vice Chair. I’m absolutely thrilled to have taken on the role and I’m so proud of our achievements and investments, working with a wide range of stakeholders across the region.” Which achievements are you most proud of? Projects that stand out for me include investments in the Aldingbourne Trust,

22

Charleston Trust and the Crawley Growth Programme. In addition to our grants for SMEs including PVL, Brighton Gin, Vampire’s Wife, Hepworth Brewery and Ridgeview Wines.” How does COVID-19 affect your priorities? “COVID-19 requires the Board to play an even more important role in supporting our region and its recovery. Collaboration and innovation will be key and I’m committed to working with our partners to address issues and challenges facing our businesses and communities.” What would you like to achieve throughout your tenure? “I’d like to place an even greater focus on social mobility and a really strong commitment to equality and diversity. It’s a huge privilege to be chair of Coast to Capital and I want to thank our outgoing chair Tim Wates for his outstanding leadership. I remain committed to ensuring the sustainable economic recovery of our region and to driving forwards our vision to be a fantastic place to live, grow and succeed.”

◗ This is still very much a moving picture that we are continuing to monitor closely. We are committed to providing impartial and relevant information on the evolving regional economic picture. This puts us in the unique position to provide our strategic role for the region. ◗ Follow our Economy Watch blog series for regular www.insights coast2capital.org.uk/ economy-watch-blog ◗ Keep up to date by visiting the website www.coast2capital.org.uk and following us on Twitter @coast2capital


I N T E RV I E W

Q&A WITH

BARONESS MICHELLE MONE Does success have a downside? If so, what is it? “I’d say you could argue that sometimes the media is a downside. That said, I’ve grown up with the press for 20 years now and I wouldn’t be here without them.”

Michelle Mone has never been one to mince her words. The entrepreneur and Tory peer used her maiden speech in the House Of Lords to urge ministers to empower women in business, and since then, she’s been outspoken on issues ranging from Brexit to the Scottish independence referendum. While not everyone will agree with her political views, there’s no denying the 45-year-old is a force to be reckoned with. What motivates you to get out of bed in the morning and keep pushing forward? “The fear of failure has always driven me – it’s literally kept me awake at night. I’ve always wanted to achieve great things, from my first business to now, the drive for success is inside me. “I’ve worked very hard and feel fortunate I can now pass on my learnings and experiences to young entrepreneurs and those starting out, whether that’s through my role in Parliament, through my books, speaking events or social media.” How do you think society views ambitious and successful women? “It has changed and is changing for the better, I’m really looking forward to seeing a new generation of exciting female talent in business. It’s a really great thing to see women making such important moves within business. “Although it’s hard for women,

I want women to push forward, push through the barriers like I did and make no excuses.” What was the last thing you did that made you proud? “Coming back from a two-year break from business to launch Michelle Mone Interiors has made me really proud, it’s something I’ve wanted to do for years. “Other than that it’s hard to choose from receiving my OBE from the Queen or becoming a member of the House of Lords in 2015. Becoming the Start Up Business Tsar was a huge moment for me – my real passion is helping young people in the world of business – I love being a mentor, it’s the best job in the world.”

Although it’s hard for women, I want women to push forward, push through the barriers like I did and make no excuses

How do you practise self-care and why is it important? “I work out every day for at least an hour, no matter where I am I always find the time. I truly believe that a healthy body equals a healthy mind. “I didn’t practise self-health or a healthy way of life for years, but exercising and eating well has changed my life. I am a much better person for it and feel great. Self-care is now a huge part of my life.” What’s your biggest regret and what did you learn from it? “I don’t necessarily have any regrets, as you can always learn from your mistakes and move on to bigger and better things. Any struggles or challenges are such learning curves and shape the person you are today. “Once a distributor ran off with £1.4 million of my money (during my Ultimo years) – it was horrendous but I learnt a lot from that experience.” If you had one piece of advice for other women, what would it be? “Work hard, play hard and always give something back. Crash those barriers down and make no excuses.” What’s the one thing you would change or do in 2021 to push women forward? “Encourage more women to speak up and find the confidence in business to just do it! “There are so many inspirational strong women in every industry and I hope that we can all bounce off each other, lift each other up and continue to achieve great things.”

23


FORGET THE HOUSE – WHO GETS THE PENSION? What the new divorce legislation means for women’s financial futures In my last article, I talked about the Chartered Insurance Institute’s Insuring Women’s Futures programme, and their ‘6 Moments that Matter’ in a woman’s financial journey, including making and breaking relationships. You may have noticed divorce in recent headlines – no, not because the lockdown has been

24

testing the mettle of couples across the UK, but due to the landmark changes to divorce legislation currently working their way through government. But with divorced women retiring with savings 75% smaller than male counterparts, what does the new Bill mean for women’s financial futures?


PROMOT IONA L

FE AT U R E

With divorced women retiring with savings 75% smaller than male counterparts, what does the new Bill mean for women’s financial futures?

A BUMPY ROAD FOR DIVORCED WOMEN

Divorce is infamously expensive – and with negotiations often focusing on property and immediate assets, pensions are frequently overlooked. Indeed, nearly three quarters of divorcing couples fail to consider their legal right to share pensions.1 With women already facing a gender pay gap and pensions gap, failing to discuss pensions upon divorce can lead to many women losing out on a share of one of the most valuable assets, and therefore risking financial vulnerability in later life. The numbers speak for themselves: ◗ Divorced women’s median pension wealth at retirement is just 25% of that of their male counterparts.2 ◗ On average, women currently earn 18% less than men.3

SHAKING OFF THE ‘BLAME GAME’

The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill (or ‘No-fault Divorce Bill’) has just gained Royal Assent, and is set to come into play in autumn 2021. Proclaimed to be the biggest shakeup in divorce law since the Sixties, the Bill seeks – in short – to reduce family conflict and speed up the divorce process by putting an end to needless “blame games”. Currently, one party has to make accusations about the other’s conduct, or otherwise face years of separation before a divorce is granted. Instead, the new laws will allow a spouse or couple to apply for divorce by making a statement of ‘irretrievable breakdown’.

St. James’s Place guarantees the suitability of advice offered by Wellesley Wealth Advisory when recommending any of the services and products available from companies in the Group. More details of the Guarantee are set out on the Group’s website www.sjp.co.uk/products Wellesley Wealth Advisory is a trading name of Wellesley Investment Management Ltd. The Partner Practice is an Appointed Representative of and represents only St. James’s Place Wealth Management plc (which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority) for the purpose of advising solely on the Group’s wealth management products and services, more details of which are set out on the Group’s website www.sjp.co.uk/about-st-james-place/our-business/our-products-andservices. The ‘St. James’s Place partnership’ and the titles ‘Partner’ and ‘Partner Practice’ are marketing terms used to describe St. James’s Place representatives. Wellesley Investment Management Ltd: Registered Office: 44 The Pantiles, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, England TN2 5TN. Registered in England and Wales, Company No. 06530147.

◗ In 2018, divorced women had a private pension income 42% smaller than the UK average.4 Industry bodies have called for pension-sharing to be the default position in divorce proceedings – however, regardless of whether this suggestion is taken into account, it is clear that women need to take control of the discussions about pensions. To ensure that all aspects of a settlement are covered, and for guidance and stability, it’s important to take financial advice during divorce proceedings. After the divorce, your financial adviser will work with you to help you plan for a comfortable retirement and later life.

CONTACT ME TODAY

Wherever you are on your financial journey, it is important that you’re getting the right advice. If you have a question about divorce or pensions planning, or would like more information about my services, please contact me today. Sources: 1 Chartered Insurance Institute, 2019 1and4 NOW: Pensions, 2020 3 NOW: Pensions, 2019

◗ Samantha Kaye Chartered Financial Planner | Adviser Wellesley House, 50 Victoria Road, Burgess Hill, West Sussex RH15 9LH 01444 849809 samantha.kaye@sjpp.co.uk www.wellesleywa.co.uk

25


ELIZABETH OCKFORD

THE WONDER OF WALLPAPER

I find it hard to talk about myself as female with-out falling into gender stereotypes, Mars and Venus type lazy short cuts, that put us all into pigeon holes. However, I do believe women are generally better at multi-tasking than men, and are more responsive to their own and others emotions. Obviously, there are examples in both sexes that contradict that, but I find it to generally hold true. And so, I think, myself being intuitive sometimes helps both with the way I design and the way I manage people. As a young woman I would go to large factories in the North of England to oversee big production runs. It was quite a challenge to gain the confidence of older men who ran the machines, and I was not averse to using gentle charm to get my way. However, ultimately that can never replace being professional and actually knowing what you are talking about - it just sometimes takes a while to earn their trust, to get people to see you through a different lens to the one that they initially approached you with. Intuition can be really helpful there – when to push for a solution, when to listen to someone else’s suggestions.

26

W-01025 Martinique Blue £95.00


COM PA N Y

PROFIL E

I have such fond memories of those times in the factories, even though they were hard work and long days, often 12 or 14 hours but I learnt so much from the experience of the manufacturers that I met. One of my greatest challenges was operating at boardroom level in a small PLC when I was only in my mid 30s. I was young, ambitious and talented but also emotionally green, naive in business terms and not used to negotiating tactics. It was a family run business, only men on the board, and a very competitive atmosphere. I’m not embarrassed to say that I didn’t handle it well. I was so passionate about my work, that I couldn’t switch off at the end of the day. Life at that level, in that sort of male hierarchy really didn’t suit me. I was also just coming out of a painful divorce, which undermined my inner strength, and the end result was that I left the job to maintain my health.

Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful William Morris

That started a great adventure for me. I went back to University as a mature student and did a BaHons and then a Masters in Fine Art Printmaking. It was a fantastically freeing time being able to creatively pursue things that I was driven by such as colour composition texture form. As a textile designer I love processes, so I suppose it’s not surprising that I chose Printmaking over Painting – 20 years on there is still a particular magic that happens when the artist and the press combine. After a couple of years though, my love of design came back again, and I found myself regularly freelancing for other design studios, to fund my painting and printmaking. Gradually the designing took more and more of my time, and once again I fell in love with the challenge of having a design idea and finding solutions to see it resolved and go into production.

And so, I find myself having come full circle except this time I’m operating at board level within my own company. It’s so liberating, energising and satisfying. I’ve learnt many lessons along the way, that stand me in good stead. After the large budgets of a PLC, several years making ends meet as an artist have given me excellent experience in trying to keep to tiny budgets within my own fledgling business. I know now when to seek expert advice, and how to accept it, rather than try too hard to prove myself capable. Perhaps that comes with age and experience. It may also come from being a mother. I had my son late, at 45. I lost count of the times I was called ‘geriatric’ by medical professionals, but no matter as having a child was something I always wanted. You can’t always dictate what happens in life. It’s very demanding, I

feel slightly schizophrenic sometimes, but am still very driven about my work and never really stop thinking about it, but I’m also entirely in love with my son. It feels like a healthy battle for my attention – he stops me getting too focussed on work, and he shows me the joy of the simplest things. And so, I find myself at 52, mother of a 7 year old, married to a very supportive husband and finally running my own business. It took courage to put my own name above the door, but I finally felt able to hold my hand up for what I am doing. I love colour and designing and I want to share that with others. As well as creating a successful business and earning enough to paint my way into the sunset of retirement, I want to make a difference to people’s interiors – give them something they enjoy living with.

W-01051 Bahama Wine £85.00 a roll

ELIZABETH OCKFORD

◗ Elizabeth Ockford Ltd www.elizabethockford.com Tel: 01342 810357

27


Register your place on one of our ‘Looking ahead’ webinars Looking ahead... to the future with purpose

Looking ahead... retaining agility

23 September 2020 | 9:00am - 10:00am

28 October 2020 | 10:00am - 11:00am

• The importance of ‘purpose’ and reviewing your business’ purpose • Sustainability • Corporate Social Responsibility

• Funding reserves, resilience and contingency planning • Crisis planning and management • Importance of looking for opportunities in crisis

On demand Our previous webinar recordings can be found at www.krestonreeves.com/on-demand. Looking ahead... to the next few months

Looking ahead... for the rest of this year

(recorded May 2020)

(recorded June 2020)

• Scenario planning for best, medium and worst case scenarios • Crisis planning and management

• Cashflow management • Sourcing funding • Employee welfare and resilience

Looking ahead... to 2021

Looking ahead... to the next 3-5 years (recorded August 2020) • Rebuilding and stabilising finances • Funding • Corporate finance - Private equity • Trading internationally

(recorded July 2020)

• Economic update and predictions for 2021 • Maximise your cash – get your numbers right • Product and service innovation • Exploring routes to market

For more information on our Looking ahead webinar series and to register to join: Visit: www.krestonreeves.com/webinars | Email: events@krestonreeves.com


ACCOU N TA NC Y

KRESTON REEVES PARTNER APPOINTED

CHAIR OF ACIE Susan Robinson, Accounts and Audit Partner and Head of Charities and Not for Profit at accountants and business advisers Kreston Reeves has been appointed Chair of the Association of Charity Independent Examiners (ACIE), the professional body which represents people who carry out independent examinations. Susan will lead a Board of Trustees who comprise a mixture of professional accountants, voluntary independent examiners and people from other backgrounds. Independent Examination (in England and Wales) is the scrutiny of smaller charities (with annual incomes less than £1m or more than £250,000 and assets more than £3,26m) where an audit is not required. Charities with income under £25,000 do not need to have an independent examination by law but they can elect to do so. In Scotland, unless an audit is required, all charities with income below £500,000

require Independent Examination. The role of the examiner is to provide an independent scrutiny of the accounts which helps maintain public confidence and trust in charities. Membership of ACIE is achieved through various stages of assessment, providing evidence of knowledge and understanding of charity accounting and practical examples of Independent Examinations carried out.

Susan will lead a Board of Trustees who comprise a mixture of professional accountants, voluntary independent examiners and people from other backgrounds

Susan Robinson comments: “I’m delighted to have become Chair of ACIE, having previously been the Vice-Chair. Independent Examination encompasses a core set of knowledge and skills which members bring to the charities they are working with and advising. Charities are facing an incredibly difficult period at the moment as they adapt to operate with COVID-19. It is essential to ensure they are accurately accounting for and reporting their finances to maintain the public’s trust that the donations they are making along with the assets held by a charity are being used effectively and in accordance with the charity’s principles.”

◗ More information about ACIE can be found at www.acie.org.uk ◗ Kreston Reeves is hosting a webinar on 9 September in partnership with Thomson Snell and Passmore which will cover charity survival strategies in a COVID era. Find out more and register your place at www.krestonreeves.com/webinars.

29


THE FOUR FOUNDATIONS OF TRANSFORMATION It was through a period of dramatic personal transformation that I deeply learnt the foundations of transformation and the tools that make this a more comfortable and manageable process. The four fundamental areas that empower change, which I will introduce here, along with some low or zero cost tools for each one are, personal mindset, what we consume, active use of mind and body, and intentional rest of mind and body. BY EMMA RESSLER

#1 PERSONAL MINDSET The most fundamental tool for transformation is your Mindset. Working with a coach is a powerful way to quickly develop a strong, positive mindset and to hold yourself accountable. That said if you are not able to employ a coach there are some key mindset tips you can utilise to propel yourself forward. The four key aspects of mindset that in my experience need to be in place for successful transformation are: What, Why, Cultivating an Open Mind, and Removing Comparisons.

WHAT (YOUR GOAL)

Be as clear and specific as possible on what you want to achieve. Vague goals are harder to reach since you can’t really determine when or if it has been achieved. Having a clear written statement of your goal will help you make decisions, if an action will not help you with your goal you either drop it or postpone it until later. Setting yourself a timeframe with some specific steps to be taken toward completion will help you hold yourself accountable and stay on track.

WHY

Knowing why you are making change is important when times are tough and you need reminding why you are even doing this; your ‘why’ needs to give you the tenacity and resilience to stick

30

at it. Our emotional responses are far stronger than material desire. Therefore, take time to understand how you will feel when you attain your goal. Close your eyes and visualise, create a mood, or write a journal imagining your goal is already achieved – how do you feel? Hold that feeling dear and come back to it whenever you need an extra push to keep going.

OPEN MIND

With our ‘what’ and ‘why’ in place we step into the world of what is available to us as support and the world is overflowing with options. Consider your goal and research what could be appropriate for you. Approach this with an open mind; try new things, not all will work for you, embrace what may seem ‘weird’, because if it works who cares if it is weird, right? Transformation is not about right or wrong it is about what is right for you. I wanted to increase my confidence in public speaking, but no courses inspired me, so I took up singing lessons instead – far more enjoyable, mildly terrifying as well yet lifted my confidence in presenting.

REMOVE COMPARISONS

Transformation is personal, your likes, your commitments, your timeframe. It is really important not to compare your progress with others. Trying to force your experience to be as someone else’s will make the process uncomfortable if not unbearable. In this instance, just focus on you. Mindset has to be the starting point

for any transformation as it is our mindset that keeps us on track for what we seek to attain. If we tell ourselves ‘you can’t do this’ or ‘you don’t deserve this’, you won’t attain it. So, before you jump into action check in with yourself, what exactly do you want to achieve, why do you want it and how you will feel when you reach that goal. Then get curious and explore the world of opportunities available to help you and do not compare yourself, nor be hindered by what others are doing. This is your journey.


X X X X X X X

#2 WHAT WE CONSUME What we consume is far more reaching than simply our diet, what we consume also includes what we put on to our bodies and what we watch, listen to and read.

DIET:

Hippocrates said, ‘let food be thy medicine’, and scientific research is consistently backing him up. Will Bulsiewicz, MD MSCI, notes that 7080% of our immune system is found in our guts. In making food choices we’re making choices about immunity, sleep, weight, and overall health, thereby making choices about our functionality, emotions, and ability to perform. Diet is a huge area of discussion, within which, my core advice taken from research and my experience is: eat as wide an array of plants as possible to boost your guts microbiome, minimise or ideally cut out of your day to day diet any processed foods and refined sugars, minimising all sugars. Please note the use of ‘day to day diet’, believe me, I still eat cake! I advocate for us meat-eaters to eat less but spend more; smaller local farmers tend to have higher standards of animal husbandry, so buying less meat to allow you to buy better quality local meat I believe is more ethical and more healthy.

READ, LISTEN, WATCH

Have you ever stopped to notice how scrolling through your social media makes you feel, or what thoughts or emotions are triggered by music or films? What we watch, read, or listen to is consumption of the mind. You need to take time to truly acknowledge how something makes you feel. If you are comparing yourself to someone on Instagram and it generates negative self-talk, it weakens the positive mindset needed for change. If something makes you feel bad, minimise, or remove that content either temporarily or permanently.

WHAT WE PUT ON OUR BODY

Our skin absorbs the products we put onto it. This can be great in the case of having a Magnesium salt bath before bed, but many products contain chemicals or allergens that are not so good for your system. Especially if your transformation involves getting your body functioning better, you need to look at what you are consuming through your skin and hair. You do not need to chuck all your products in the bin, simply become conscious of and begin to build knowledge around what you use, do some research and try some new things. What we consume through our digestive system, minds, hair, and skin all have a direct impact on our wellbeing, which directly impacts the positive mindset and energy needed to create transformation. Keeping a log or journal is a useful way of becoming aware of your consumption in all its forms to help you create change. It can be bullet points or full diary entries, it can be daily or simply a log of activity of the days ahead of whenever you notice a specific symptom you want to remove. Over time you can spot patterns between symptom and consumption, and this can be used as a basic form of self-coaching yourself to a more positive path.

31


T R A NSFOR M AT ION

#3 ACTIVE USE OF MIND AND BODY Keeping the mind and body active aids optimal performance, it allows us to have the energy and capability to achieve our goals, it provides the exertion that encourages sleep at night, which in turn energises us for the next day. As you might see, each of these four foundational areas link into each other; transformation is holistic. Thankfully as mentioned earlier, we are abundant in options and as this is your life, your transformation, find the activity that inspires you to keep at it and importantly find one, or more, that makes you happy.

ACTIVE USE OF THE MIND

From apps for mental agility to learning a new language or skill, books on history, the joy of such variety is that there is something out there that’s right for you. Think about what you enjoy, or even better, what you enjoyed as a child because often that same thing will evoke joy now. If something feels boring or like a chore, drop it. Find something that capture’s you and don’t be afraid to think laterally. We all learn differently so find a method that engages you - reading books, listening to podcasts or ted talks, doing games on interactive apps, or online and in-person learning courses. It is worth noting that as an adult not all your learning needs to be about work or self-development, keeping your mind active on something purely because it is something you enjoy is equally as valid.

ACTIVE USE OF THE BODY

Your goal does not need to be about weight or fitness for movement to remain a vital aspect of transformation. Movement of the body helps keep all aspects of our being firing on all cylinders. Movement is for a transformational journey as wheels to a car, you can move forward without it, but it will be less comfortable and harder work. Importantly, choose what you enjoy; open your mind, research widely, then try different activities until

Transformation is personal, your likes, your commitments, your timeframe. It is really important not to compare your progress with others

32

you find the one that keeps you coming back for more. Even whilst gyms and classes are closed there is plenty of variety online from martial arts to ballet and plenty are low cost or free and easy to complete within your own home. My strongest recommendation, however, is to get active in the great outdoors. Being amongst nature is proven to be highly restorative for humans, as we are ultimately a part of that natural world. Taking time to walk, bike, or run in nature is not only great exercise for your health but it is free. The human mind and body are designed to be active. Modern life has made most of us more sedentary, especially in the body than is ideal, even for our minds many tasks are taken over by the computer, so it is important to intentionally build in challenge, even if only gentle challenge for our body and mind to keep them functioning at their best. This is important for all transformational work because any transformation is driven by you, your mind and your body


little longer than the inhale, this signals to your nervous system that it is okay to relax and this can be done anywhere at zero cost. Turn this into a simple meditation by counting the breath – count each breath from one up to ten, when you reach ten, come back to one and repeat, do so as many times as you wish. If you lose your place simply come back to one and start again. A common misconception is that meditation is about having no thoughts. That is not true. You practice meditation to help you take control of your mind, so you can prevent yourself from being pulled into long chains of stress-inducing thoughts when what you need is to relax.

SLEEP

#4 INTENTIONAL REST OF BODY AND MIND Resting the body and mind is of equal if not greater importance as any activity. This is because it is in rest where the vital work of building and repairing muscle and tissues takes place, it is when learning is embedded in our mind so that we can effectively re-use it. Without rest, all benefits of our activity may be lost.

It is in sleep where our body is known to restore and heal itself and it is where we process the many 1000’s of pieces of information we have been exposed to during the day. I highly recommend ‘Why we sleep’ by Matthew Walker for additional and eye-opening information around sleep. The vast majority of us should consistently be seeking 7-9 hours a night to give our brain and body time to replenish and wake us up refreshed. Setting a solid sleep ritual or routine will aid good sleep. A key trick is going to bed and waking up at the same time every day. You can create a pre-sleep routine to act as a trigger for the mind that sleep is coming and to prepare for it; this could be taking a warm shower before bed, avoiding technology after 8 pm or having a specific non-caffeinated drink before bed – I encourage you to take time to create and enjoy what works for you.

YOU TIME

Whether it’s running a warm bath, with a glass of something and reading a book, having a call with a trusted friend, sitting in a quiet corner with a cup of tea, listening to acoustic music or sitting in a meadow, get in touch with what lifts the weight off your shoulders, what makes you release a sigh and feel any tension slip away. Even it’s only 10 minutes a day, try and find time for yourself. We live in a world where action is praised and inactivity is frowned upon, yet health and performance are derived from a balance of the two. ‘Me time’ has become a bit cliché but it truly is important to make time for yourself. You will find that your determination, endurance, resilience, and creativity will all lift if you are well-rested. When rested you increase emotional intelligence and balance which benefits interpersonal relationships, which will serve you positively in work and your personal life, creating a stronger network of people willing to support you in your transformation.

YOGA, MEDITATION AND BREATHWORK

Yoga in the west is often used as exercise yet in its traditional form it offers many tools for relaxation – the postures or asanas, meditation, and breathing all aid relaxation of body and mind. Restorative, Gentle Hatha, Yoga Nidra, and Yin are all forms of Yoga suited to relaxation. If I could offer one tip for relaxation it would be to extend your exhale. Focus on your breath and make the exhale a

33


X X X X X X X

THE YOGA SERIES

A guide to mastering the poses of Sun Salutation by Tess De Klerk from Bliss Yoga A focus on mechanics, micromovements and adjustments in fundamental yoga poses. Let’s find that sweet spot! Self practice in yoga can be absolutely invaluable. In a class with multiple participants, it can be near impossible for your instructor to tend to the needed micro-movements and adjustments of all students. The obvious answer is one-toone tuition but, bar that, self-practice with attention to detail and instructor knowledge can elevate your yoga sessions and unlock the full benefits of individual asanas. Whether you’re an absolute novice or an experienced yogi, follow me through a break down of the postures of the Sun Salutation A series. Surya Namaskar Sun Salutation - is a series of postures that warms, strengthens, and aligns the entire body. Suitable for all fitness levels

34

and abilities, Sun Salutation can be a complete practice in itself or preparation for longer asana practice. In this edition of Dynamic, we start by focusing on Mountain Pose, with emphasis on the mechanics, micromovements and micro-adjustments to achieve alignment and integrity of posture. Mastering the Mountain is key to grounding your practice and unlocking the physical, mental and spiritual benefits to Surya Namaskar.

The mechanics of the Sun Salutation sequence were designed for stretching and opening the spine, lengthening the torso, strengthening the arms, abs, back and pelvic floor. In addition, this sequence strengthens the lungs, increases lymphatic flow which assists the liver and kidneys in detoxification, gets the heart pumping & increases blood flow to the brain which leads to a powerful boost in brain function. Traditionally performed in the mornings to greet the new day, Surya Namaskar can be performed at any time for a lift in energy and positivity. What is good for the body is great for the soul!

Traditionally performed in the mornings to greet the new day, Surya Namaskar can be performed at any time


H E A LT H

TADASANA – MOUNTAIN POSE Tadasana is where we start our Sun Salutation. Mountain Pose might look like you’re just standing there but this foundational asana is simultaneously still and active. It cultivates good posture, balance and calm focus, both on and off the mat. It can also be a powerful tool in resolving neck, back and shoulder pain ◗ Come to stand with your feet together as close as your body will allow. Ideally, the big toes will touch sightly with the heels slightly apart but respect that we are all different and feet can be placed anywhere as far as hip-width apart, in order to find balance. ◗ Lift the toes while stretching and spreading all 10 toes apart. Place them back on the mat, maintaining the space you created between the toes ◗ Pay attention to where you’re placing the pressure on your feet. The goal is to distribute your weight evenly through the balls and arches of the feet. Allow your feet to gently lift and roll to find a natural, equal grounding through all four corners of the feet. ◗ Move your attention up through the ankles, the calves and up to your thighs. For beginners, simply straighten your legs by gently flexing the quads. When paying close attention to the inner movement of the legs while doing this, you may notice that the inner thighs draw inwards (inner spiral) and the outer thighs draw outwards (outer spiral) which is the movement we’re looking for.

◗ Next would come the instruction to lift or lock the kneecaps. I DO NOT suggest this. After years of experience in working with yoga students of differing abilities and injuries, as well as the study of kinesiology, I instruct to keep the knee caps soft but engaged to create dynamic buoyancy. This might sound confusing when simply reading this but when practicing this micro-adjustment, it becomes apparent. If you do feel your kneecaps locking, bend your knees ever so slightly to feel a deepening in the hips and comfort in the knees. ◗ Now imagine a string running from your tailbone through your spine and up to the crown of the head to the heavens. Take your time and imagine this string being pulled upwards while lengthening your spine and creating space between the vertebrae. Simultaneously draw your tailbone to your heals, creating length by the dual action of grounding and lifting through the spine.

◗ Move the shoulders blades towards each other on the back. Allow the shoulders to move backward and downwards, away from the ears. Expand and lift the collarbones. These movements allow for the opening and lifting of the diaphragm. Open the heart space and chest and breath deeply. Allow the arms to be relaxed at your sides or bring the hands in a prayer position to the centre of the chest. ◗ The chin should be slightly tucked and parallel to the horizon - back of the neck straight and comfortable. Draw your awareness to the area where the skull rests on the spine. By using micromovements adjust the head and neck until you achieve a comfortable ‘head supported’ feeling. ◗ At this point there may be the tendency for the lower back to over-arch or for the pelvis to be tilted forward. We need to find our centre of gravity. Move the pelvis slightly forwards and then backward, continue and allow this movement to become a gentle swaying, moving backward and forwards and even side to side, if that works for you. Gradually minimise the movement, making it small and smaller, until you come to rest in alignment. When you are well aligned you will find the physically easy and mentally quiet balance point of Tadasana. ◗ Now close your eyes if that is available for you. Breath deeply while checking through your pose and making microadjustments where needed. Don’t rush out of the pose. Pausing for maybe five to ten breaths here gives the body a chance to get used to the alignment and really feel the benefit.Continue breathing comfortably while feeling your connection to Mother Earth – feel how she supports you. Realise your connection with the heavens and know that you are part of all that is good in the world.

In our next issue, I continue the study of Sun Salutation and delve deeply into the micro’s of Swan Dive, Forward Fold and Plank Pose. Yes, even Plank has a sweet spot!

35


I DON’T FEEL WELL BUT MY GP SAYS I’M FINE...

IT’S TIME TO CHECK YOUR THYROID FUNCTION by Health and Wellbeing Editor, Tess de Klerk The thyroid is a small, butterfly shaped gland at the base of your neck. Its part of an intricate network of glands making up the endocrine system. The thyroid gland manufactures hormones that regulate the body’s metabolic rate, controlling heart, muscle and digestive function, brain development and bone maintenance. Thyroid dysfunction can severely affect our day to day life but it often creeps up so slowly that issues such as brain fog, irritability and weight gain are attributed to ageing, poor sleep patterns, diet or stress. It can also be that poor thyroid function is causing or accelerating hair loss, thinning skin, poor memory and a myriad of other problems. According to a number of experts, a whopping 40-60% of people with thyroid disorders do not realise that they have problems with their thyroid! This is largely due to the standard method used to evaluate thyroid health. Many GP’s will test Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) levels only. If the TSH is high, this means the brain sensed low T3 levels, so it is now yelling at the thyroid to make more. If the TSH is low, this means that the brain senses a lot of T3 in the blood. When TSH comes back abnormal, doctors will then usually test for T4 levels. Sounds like a reasonable way to assess thyroid function indirectly. But

36

here is the problem. The reference range for TSH is not accurate. According to the UK reference range, your thyroid function is normal if your TSH is anywhere between 0.4 and 4. That is a huge range of thyroid function! The truth is that most people feel at their best when their TSH level is between 1 and 2. Most people will consistently feel out of balance if their TSH is below 1, let alone 4 or above. Yet most doctors will not even further assess your thyroid function until your TSH is

greater than 4. Until that time, you may be told that your thyroid is fine and that there is nothing wrong with you. And the cause of your fatigue, digestive issues, depression, and insomnia will remain a frustrating mystery. If your TSH is greater than 2, it is time to get further evaluation. Either find a doctor who understands thyroid physiology (integrative medicine is popular) or do it yourself. Increasingly, the power to understand our own health is in our hands. Full thyroid biomarker at-home tests can be ordered from various dependable labs such as Blue Horizon. Thyroid UK endorses a number of companies offering private testing. (https://thyroiduk.org/gettinga-diag nosis/t hyroid-test ing-in fo/ private-testing/)

A COMPLETE THYROID EVALUATION PANEL SHOULD INCLUDE:

◗ TSH ◗ free T4 (thyroxine) ◗ free T3 (triiodothyroninenti) ◗ anti-TG ◗ reverse T3 (optional) I would urge anyone with a TSH level over 2, who also experiences a number of the symptoms below, to find a practitioner who believes in diagnosing according to the above complete panel and the symptoms a person is portraying.


H E A LT H

HASHIMOTO’S DISORDER Hashimoto’s Disorder is an autoimmune disorder in which the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks and slowly destroys the thyroid gland and its ability to produce hormones. It can develop at any age and the causes are unclear. Some people with mild cases of Hashimoto’s may have no obvious symptoms. The disease can remain stable for years, and symptoms are often subtle. Left untreated, Hashimoto’s can cause hypothyroidism. Symptoms can include all of the above, with a perplexing feeling of see-sawing between hyper and hypothyroidism. Commonly, when not see-sawing, the following may be apparent:

HYPER AND HYPOTHYROIDISM

◗ Fatigue ◗ Dry skin ◗ Dry, thinning hair ◗ Pale, puffy face ◗ Muscle and joint aches ◗ Irregular menstruation ◗ Intolerance to cold

People who suffer from either hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism may experience some or all of the related symptoms. Hypothyroidism is more common than hyperthyroidism.

HYPERTHYROIDISM SYMPTOMS INCLUDE: ◗ Weight loss ◗ Increased appetite ◗ Fast heart rate ◗ Anxiety/nervousness ◗ Irritability ◗ Shaking/trembling of the hands ◗ Sweating ◗ Feeling warm often/greater sensitivity to heat ◗ Insomnia ◗ Frequent bowel movements and/or diarrhoea ◗ Muscle weakness ◗ Thin skin and brittle hair ◗ Changes in the menstrual cycle (usually shorter, lighter periods)

HYPOTHYROIDISM SYMPTOMS INCLUDE: ◗ Weight gain and/or difficulty losing weight ◗ Constipation ◗ Memory problems ◗ Depression ◗ Dry skin and hair/hair loss ◗ Slow heart rate ◗ Feeling cold often/greater sensitivity to cold ◗ Changes in the menstrual cycle (usually longer, heavier periods)

The good news is that these thyroid diseases are treatable once diagnosed. An integrative approach to diagnoses and treatment is best, for example testing for food intolerances too if the autoimmune, Hashimoto’s is diagnosed. *Subclinical hypothyroidism is categorised as TSH levels above the UK range of 4 but with normal levels of T4 and T3. Subclinical hypothyroidism can be symptomless and is, controversially, not routinely treated in the UK.

37


e p c 3 c a 8 th U c

TOP 10 EXCUSES Note: Put your coffee down before you read this!

Some of the country’s biggest companies think women simply don’t “fit in” to boardrooms - and women on boards are calling bullshit. In a new list of the top 10 excuses given by FTSE 350 companies for their boardroom gender gap, it’s been revealed some execs think “most women don’t want the hassle or pressure of sitting on a board”, the issues discussed are “too complex” for women and all the best women have already been “snapped up”. The findings, released by The Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (Beis), are part of the Hampton-Alexander Review, which aims to increase the number of women on FTSE boards to 33% by the end of 2020. Here’s what women have to say on the matter:

38

Stupid comments from men on FTSE boards is why WOB exists. FIONA HATHORN Managing Director Women on Boards (WOB)

Wow. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. The issues covered are extremely complex’. What?? MARTE BORHAUG Head of special projects at Aviva Investors

As you read this list of excuses you might think it’s 1918 not 2018. It reads like a script from a comedy parody but it’s true AMANDA MACKENZIE CEO of Business in the Community

Men who display these prehistoric attitudes are roadblocks to getting more women on boards. SAM SMETHERS CEO, The Fawcett Society

I would question if indeed some of the male directors can cope with the complexities of sitting on a corporate board given some of the decision making we have seen over the last decade. VICTORIA DARRAGH Founder of the Executive and Personal Assistants Association (EPAA)


er charges may be payable. 2. Payable if you exercise the option to purchase the car. 3. Includes optional purchase payment, purchase activation fee and retailer deposit contribution (where applicable). *Orders/ credit approvals on selected E-Class Saloon models between 1 July and 30 September 2019, registered by 31 December excluding Mercedes-AMG models. Guarantees may be required. Offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer. Some combinations of features/options may not be available. Subject to availability. Over 18s only. Finance is subject to status and provided by Mercedes-Benz Finance, MK15 8BA. Sandown Group is a credit broker and not a lender. Sandown Group is authorised and regulated by he Financial Conduct Authority in respect of regulated consumer credit activity. All New and Approved Used cars sold by any Sandown Mercedes-Benz Retailer is subject to a purchase fee of £129 inc VAT. Prices correct at time of going to press 07/19. Images for illustrative purposes.ww

The Sandown Group Here at Sandown, our customers are our main priority. We have over 35 years experience in the Mercedes-Benz brand, so we’re proud to call ourselves experts in the field. Our dedicated team are here to assist with your every need. Whether you’re looking for your next new model, or need a little help maintaining your current pride and joy, we are committed to providing you with the best service possible. We are just as passionate about your vehicle as you are, so when you choose to visit a Sandown retailer, you can rest assured that your experience will be nothing short of first-class. We have seven retailers throughout Surrey, Hampshire, Dorset and Wiltshire located in Basingstoke, Dorchester, Farnborough, Guildford, Hindhead, Salisbury and Poole, each equipped with a friendly and knowledgeable team. So if you’re in need of a service, are searching for your latest vehicle upgrade, or are on the hunt for a fleet of business cars, we’re the people to visit. We look forward to welcoming you with a smile at your local Sandown Mercedes-Benz retailer soon!

0330 1780038 Mercedes-Benz of Basingstoke Mercedes-Benz of Dorchester Mercedes-Benz of Farnborough Mercedes-Benz of Guildford

www.sandown-group.co.uk Mercedes-Benz of Hindhead Mercedes-Benz of Poole Mercedes-Benz of Salisbury