Platinum Business Magazine - issue 97

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platinum ISSUE 97 MAY 2022


INFLUENCERS FORUM Women in Business The pioneering hub for crypto Employer Ownership Trusts

10 COUNTRIES IN 12 MONTHS Working from anywhere MOTORING Classic car investments DYNAMIC MAGAZINE INSIDE







The Platinum ❛❛Awards were

one of the most professional l have ever attended Heathrow Airport


Company of the Year SME Business of the Year Large Business of the Year Entrepreneur of the Year Businessperson of the Year International Business of the Year Sustainable Business of the Year Professional Services Award Business Growth Award Employer of the Year Business Innovation of the Year Best Customer Service Award Future Talent of the Year Construction Project of the Year Contribution to the Skills Agenda


Sponsoring ❛❛ the awards is

a great way for us to celebrate local business and help the regions economy grow Coffin Mew


The sponsorship is both ❛❛ worthwhile and very enjoyable,

and the Platinum team are brilliant in all aspects of the process HSBC



It’s finally time to bring that idea to life. Join NatWest’s free online Business Builder course today to start turning your idea into a business tomorrow. Search NatWest Business Builder to sign up

M AY 2022




32 Sussex Business Awards 2022 46 Surrey Business Awards 2022



2 Central South Business Awards 2022


14 The pioneering hub for crypto 36 The London fashion brand challenging the stigma around neurodiversity 49 It’s the final countdown – to securing funding and achieving net zero 50 The challenges and opportunities of a fine wine merchant 52 Growth loans – what can they be used for?



16 What to do with $278 billion



56 Ten countries in twelve months: Taking working from home to the next level



70 The great exhibitions of the south east

24 How to stop the rise of the ‘turnover tsunami’ and promote loyalty 30 No fault divorce 44 Your website has needs too…


27 Why having a clear exit strategy is so important 38 Should business owners sell to an Employer Ownership Trust?


34 What’s next? Market and economic trends


40 Mental health snapshot


72 Classic car investments



42 NatWest’s market analysis


69 The importance of staff training from the very first day

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 Platinum Media Group Limited.


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WELCOME Platinum is nearly 100 - that is issues and not years, l might add. And of course, next month with be the Platinum Jubilee... This month we bring you the Big Story featuring Elon Musk and his purchase of Twitter, a feature from and how it’s possible to work from ten different countries in 12 months, and an interview with the new Regional Director of NatWest, Faye Long. Awards season is upon us and, as the largest producer of such events, Platinum is busy with the Sussex Business Awards, the Surrey Business Awards, the Dynamic Business Awards and the brand new baby to the family, the Central South Business Awards. These awards cover a huge area of Hampshire, Surrey, Dorset and West Sussex and really will be the ‘one to win’. The Travel section takes you to the best cultural exhibitions around the region, Motoring looks at the best classic cars investments and in the Health section, you can learn how to live longer. Dynamic Magazine, the magazine for women in business, is included in this issue. We hope you enjoy this issue of the UK’s largest circulation business magazine and if you don’t see Maarten around for a while, he is currently travelling to the North Pole, via Iceland and Greenland. Why? You will have to wait for the July issue to find out...

The Platinum Team CONTACTS PUBLISHER/EDITOR: Maarten Hoffmann COMMERCIAL DIRECTOR: Lesley Alcock EVENTS DIRECTOR: Fiona Graves EVENTS EXECUTIVE: Sarah Goldsmith TR AVEL EDITOR: Tess de Klerk HEAD OF DESIGN: Michelle Shakesby PROOFING: Alan Wares



❛❛ The only networking event l ever attend ❜❜ KEITH JACKMAN MERCEDES-BENZ

Chris Thomas (Let’s Do Business), Elizabeth Squires (Britton & Time), Tom Hoskins (Action Coach)

The Platinum Business Club for Leaders and Innovators in Business

Rob Clare (Innovation Capital and Chairman of the Sussex Chamber of Commerce), Joanne Simmons (BIPC)

Stephanie Prior (Healys), Sean Dennis (Managing Director Let’s Do Business)

Daniel Grover (Head of Commercial, Nordell), Alex Bailey (CEO, Bailey & French)

❛❛ The networking highlight of my month and never to be missed ❜❜


Pam Loch (Managing Director, Loch Associates), Barry Carden (Managing Partner, Cardens Accountants), Chris Mansfield (Managing Director, Fusion Business), Nadia Cowdrey (DMH Stallard inc. Griffith Smith)

Graham Galer (Director, Ridgeview Wine Estate) and Jo Baldwin-Trott

Gemma Goldsmith and Samantha Kaye (Wellesley Wealth Management), Maarten Hoffmann (Platinum), Pam Loch (Managing Director Loch Associates)

Stephanie Prior (Healys), Paul Cannons (Divisional Director, Brewin Dolphin Wealth Management)

Nadia Cowdrey (DMH Stallard inc. Griffith Smith) Pam Loch (Managing Director, Loch Associates), Oliver McDonald (Enagage Wealth Management)

❛❛ The Platinum Club is unique in the way it is run and the high level guests that attend ❜❜ ALAN HARBER DIRECTOR, LLOYDS BANK

The ladies seemed to have fun. Caraline Brown, Elizabeth Squires, Jo Baldwin-Trott and Pam Loch

The Platinum Club has been the region’s leading peer-to-peer business networking event for CEOs, Managing Directors and Partners of many of the leading companies across the South East for over 12 years. Limited memberships are available and to apply, please contact


Paul Cannons (Brewin Dolphin Wealth Management) and Maarten Hoffmann (Platinum)

The fabulous Platinum Event ladies – Fiona Graves and Sarah Goldsmith (Platinum)

DEFAULT Sri Lanka is about to default on its debts, two of the world’s largest credit rating agencies have warned. Fitch Ratings lowered its assessment of the South Asian nation, saying “a sovereign default process has begun”. S&P Global Ratings made a similar announcement and said that a default is now a “virtual certainty”. Sri Lanka said it will temporarily default on its foreign debts as it faces its worst economic crisis in more than 70 years. Meanwhile, faced with mass protests over major power cuts and the soaring cost of food and fuel, officials have urged Sri Lankans working abroad to send money home. Sri Lanka is due to make $78m (£59.4m) of interest payments on its international sovereign bonds. If the payment is not made within a 30-day grace period it would mark the country’s first default on its foreign debt since independence from the UK in 1948.

NEWS BULLETIN TESLA GROWTH Tesla sales will grow by more than 50% in 2022 compared with last year despite supply chain problems, chief executive Elon Musk has said. The electric carmaker reported a record $5.5bn (£4bn) profit last year. Sales at the firm rocketed 71% to $53.8bn in 2021, as it delivered more than 936,000 vehicles to customers. But the firm warned growth would slow, as supply chain issues affecting carmakers continue to limit its manufacturing capacity.

GOVERNMENT STRONG ARM The government will use a bill in the Queen’s Speech to force landlords to rent out shops that have been empty for longer than six months. Community groups and smaller businesses will be able to take over the units to aid struggling high streets.

❛❛ No wars are unintended

or accidental. What is often unintended is the length and bloodiness of the war ❜❜ Geoffrey Blainey, The Causes of War (1973)


Mr Musk said that 2021 was “a breakthrough year for Tesla, and for electric vehicles in general”.



THE MIGHTY FALL The former head of a Swiss bank has been sentenced to nearly four years in prison after claiming nearly 200,000 Swiss francs (£165,000) on expenses to cover his strip club visits. Pierin Vincenz was convicted at Zurich’s district court after one of Switzerland’s highest-profile corporate crime trials in decades. The 65-year-old former ‘Swiss banker of the year’, who denies any wrongdoing, was charged with making millions through illicit deals while chief executive of Raiffeisen Switzerland. While he was acquitted on several counts, Vincenz was fined 840,000 Swiss francs (£691,000) and ordered to pay nearly 1.6 million francs (£1.3m) in damages to firms he was involved with.

Finally, Boots the Chemist is to remove all wet wipes that contain plastic from its shelves by the end of the year. Having sold more than 800 million wet wipe packs each year, one might wonder what took them so long?

DODGY SOLICITORS Crooked solicitors last year cost the profession more than double the amount they did in 2020, figures from the compensation fund show. More than £27 million was doled out in the 12 months to the end of last October to clients whose funds were misappropriated. The figure was more than 162% up on the previous year.

❛❛ Courage is contagious.

When a brave man or woman takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened ❜❜ Billy Graham, evangelist, (1964)

LEGAL AID CHANGE Legal Aid was once available to the vast majority of UK citizens, but today you really have to be on your uppers before an application will be considered. Now Anthony Speaight QC has produced proposals in a paper for Politeia, a right-of-centre think tank. The silk starts with a call to ditch Whitehall’s Legal Aid Agency and to replace it with lawyers. He is seeking the creation of contingency legal aid funds, which would pay the fees of lawyers and expert witnesses to take on cases in return for the clients paying a percentage of the recovery in successful cases.


BA RETURN British Airways’ short-haul operations has returned to Gatwick Airport after nearly two years. The airline paused its European operations from Gatwick during the pandemic, relocating flights to Heathrow. Initial flights will operate under the British Airways Air Operators Certificate before moving operations to a new British Airways branded subsidiary, BA Euroflyer, later in the year. The new airline will operate similarly to the company’s existing subsidiary BA Cityflyer, flying under the British Airways brand.

LOCAL NEWS ❛❛ We’re trying to sell peace, like

a product, you know, and sell it like people sell soap or soft drinks ❜❜ John Lennon, 1969

HOLLYWOOD COMES TO SUSSEX A large-scale film studio could be built in West Sussex as part of plans to grow an advanced creative economy and bring investment and skilled jobs to the region. Coast to Capital has approved an application for £97,700 from the Coastal West Sussex Partnership, in collaboration with Adur and Worthing Councils, Wired Sussex and the University of Chichester,


SUSSEX WINNER The winners of the 2022 Queen’s Awards for Enterprise have been announced, celebrating the achievements of UK business. World of Books is an online book retailer with a focus on technology and sustainability, based in West Sussex. It sells over 12 million used books per year to customers in over 175 countries, and 4,400 UK charity shops are supported through the purchase of surplus stock by World of Books Group. It also donates books to literacy programmes and recycles books and media that cannot be reused. The company has been awarded for both International Trade and Sustainable Development and is one of 232 winners of the UK’s second most prestigious business awards. The first, of course, is the Sussex Business Awards in which WOB took home the Company of the Year Award in 2018 and 2019, and then returned in 2021 as a sponsor of the Business Pivot Award, demonstrating their support for the local business community – and that the SBA judges know how to pick a winner.

for the Coastal Creative Technologies project. The announcement comes amid a significant shortage of large-scale, high-quality film studio facilities in the UK, with demand far outstripping supply.

The project will build the business case for developing a large-scale film studio complex with an integrated centre for research, training and innovation. The UK’s creative industries contribute more than £115.9 billion to the economy annually and employ more than 2.1 million people. Official business register data suggests that in 2020 there were approximately 1,475 creative industry businesses in the Coastal West Sussex region, with an additional 2,985 in Brighton and Hove.

NEWS OPEN HOUSE A selection of artists showcasing work at the Brighton and Hove Artists Open Houses festival have been revealed. The visual arts festival is due to take place over four weekends in May, starting on May 7th, marking the 40th anniversary of the event. Hundreds of artists will be opening their houses and studio spaces to the public, offering the opportunity to buy direct from them in their own homes. The offerings include artwork, ceramics, homewares, crafts, jewellery, children’s toys, Christmas cards and food gifts. Some of the highlights in the 40th anniversary of the festival will include award-winning fine artist Faye Bridgwater. The May festival is the largest event of its kind in the UK.

HYDROGEN IS THE FUTURE Ricardo plc, a major engineering company with UK headquarters in Shoreham-by-Sea in West Sussex, is among five winners of a £2.5 million research and development (R&D) Department for Transport competition to accelerate the use of hydrogen transport. The funding follows the unveiling of an official masterplan for the UK’s first-ever hydrogen transport hub in the Tees Valley in the North East, which could be fully operational by 2025. Ricardo submitted a bid with Stagecoach, one of the UK’s main public transport operators, to demonstrate a retrofit hydrogen fuel cell bus.

❛❛ We don’t inherit the earth from our parents; we borrow it from our children ❜❜ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

LIFELONG COMMITMENT The founder of Tindle Newspapers, Sir Ray Tindle, has passed away at the age of 95 following a “lifelong commitment” to the newspaper industry. A statement on the Farnham company’s website announced Sir Ray’s passing and described him as a newspaper man “throughand- through”. Sir Ray stepped down as chairman of Tindle Newspapers when he was 90, remaining as president, with son Owen, who also runs Oxon Hoath country estate in Kent, taking over. Sir Ray made the Surrey town of Farnham his home in the 1960s along with his wife Lady Tindle with the two becoming well known throughout the region for their charitable donations. No announcement has been made so far about the future ownership direction of Tindle Newspapers. However, the UK newspaper industry has seen a number of consolidations in recent years with the industry’s larger players active on the acquisition front.



THE PIONEERING HUB FOR CRYPTO The government has announced plans to turn the UK into a global cryptocurrency hub. This new plan will see stable-coins recognised as a standard payment type and regulated in the same way as normal currency. The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak has asked the Royal Mint to create an NFT and they will also introduce a ‘financial market infrastructure sandbox’ this will apparently allow companies to experiment and innovate. Surrey Research Park is rapidly becoming a pioneering hub for crypto and many of the Park tenants, such as Gold-i, report significant plans for growth in this sector.

Gold-i takes great pride in its pioneering approach and tenacious work ethic, so there’s no surprise it bagged the title of Business Innovation of the Year at the 2021 Surrey Business Awards. The award was for the Gold-i Data Switch, which has added a whole new revenue stream to the business and enabled Gold-i to enter the hedge fund space.

management platform, a liquidity bridge with risk management features and a real-time risk management and business intelligence tool. Its innovative Crypto Switch™ is a key focus for 2022, reflecting the increasing interest in crypto trading from institutional clients. This product enables brokers and fund managers to offer digital assets to clients and crypto market makers to distribute liquidity to Gold-i’s global client base.

This disruptive fintech company is renowned for shaking up the market by developing software to enhance the capabilities of foreign exchange (FX) brokers and hedge fund managers worldwide. Its broad product portfolio includes a multi - asset liquidit y

“I am so proud of being a Surrey-based company and winning Surrey Business Award,” says CEO Tom Higgins. “It was special to be able to take a whole table at the awards evening so that my wonderful staff could share the excitement of our win.”


In an effort to push the boundaries, Gold-i continually invests in new product development, and all software is created by the in-house team at Surrey Research Park in Guildford. “When I started the company in 2008, I lived in Guildford, so wanted to have a local office,” says Tom. “I chose Surrey Research Park because the prices were very competitive and there was a good choice of offices available, but most importantly, the staff were so helpful and approachable, and have continued to be throughout the 13 years we’ve been here. As the business has grown, we’ve had the flexibility to upgrade our office by moving into an amazing new space on the same floor.” Gold-i has a strong identity and clear corporate values, which, Tom explains, make it a great company to work for and work with. These are: innovate, get it done and have fun. The team is committed to going above and beyond to deliver for clients and have a “wear a loud shirt” attitude, with a focus on pushing boundaries without fear or failure. Gold-i, may the innovation and growth continue!


Another Park tenant is 22cans who’s new game Legacy has sold $57 million worth of NFTs. The latest game from Fable creator, Peter Molyneux is a big departure from his previous work. His studio at 22cans has teamed up with Gala Games, a publisher known for play-to-earn blockchain games, to make Legacy. This game is built around a kind of digital e-commerce platform with its own cr ypto called LegacyCoin where players create thingamabobs, trinkets, other fantastic creations and sell them on an in-game marketplace. Players buy land, make factories, and sell their goods. 22Cans has completely sold out of its digital land NFTs. The company has made a total of $57.721 million from selling digital land based on ETH to USD conversions. That’s a huge chunk of revenues that’s roughly half of Ubisoft’s entire micro-transaction earnings made in Q3’21. The interesting thing to note is the NFTs value fluctuates based on crypto value. So these NFTs may be worth $57 million today, and even less (or more) tomorrow as the value of the associated crypto rises or falls. The games industry actually started 30 years ago at the Park and since then, Guildford has widely been proclaimed as one of the world leader in games development, home to over 60 games studios and around 3,000 of the most skilled programmers in the world.

So how did Surrey Research Park emerge as the UK centre of such innovation? In 1987, two entrepreneurs, Peter Molyneux and Les Edgar started Bullfrog Productions, a small computer games company located at STC, which caters for start-ups with flexible letting arrangements designed to facilitate company growth. This enterprising suppor t ecosystem made Surrey Research Park a compelling prospect for the ambitious entrepreneurs, enviably located near to London and benefiting from the link with the University of Surrey and its Centre for Vision, Speech and Signal Processing (CVSSP) that had opened only two years earlier in 1985. Scaling fast, Bullfrog Productions made an auspicious start, producing the game Populous which remains one of the best-selling PC games of all times to the tune of four million copies sold. With their flair for creating popular games and maximising market opportunities, they continued to develop innovative and high-quality games, successfully rolling out their creations to Nintendo and Sega. Bullfrog Productions rapidly expanded its workforce to around 60 and was able to scale up fast within the Park, as it quickly outgrew the start-up centre to reside in its own offices in Nugent Road.

This enterprising support ecosystem ❛❛ made Surrey Research Park a compelling

prospect for the ambitious entrepreneurs ❜❜

After a dizzying spell of growth and success, Bullfrog Productions was acquired by American video game company, Electronic Arts in 1995 which then relocated its office in Guildford. The opportunity for gifted game industry developers from around the world to develop their careers at Surrey Research Park snowballed, attracting more companies and further fuelling demand for new talent. In the early to mid-90s, Surrey Research Park’s fast-growing Gaming tenant list also included Criterion Studios, a spin-out from Canon Incs. which was founded by David Lau-Kee. Again taking advantage of the flexibility and scope to quickly scale-up on the Park, within a year the company had expanded to 36 head-count. Electronic Arts, keeping its eye on successful companies within the area, swiftly acquired Criterion Studies in 2004, resulting in the decision to close its Chertsey studio to consolidate and expand its expertise and resources within Guildford. The town was fast securing its reputation as a global hub for the Gaming sector. As it approaches the 30th year since the Park welcomed their first Guildford Gaming tenant, they are proud to take a moment to reflect and celebrate a sector that has since grown to be worth £5.3 billion in the UK in 2019/20. Underpinned by an established and highly esteemed local network of industry and academia, it has achieved over £1 billion of international foreign direct investment and continues to grow and innovate at an incredible pace. Tel: 01483 579693





The whole story of Elon Musk acquiring a 9.2% stake in Twitter, being offered a seat on the board on the back of that acquisition, then the nature of his own rejection of that offer, and his subsequent outright purchase, is enough in itself to hit the front pages. But scratch the surface, and only a very light scratch is required, and more questions are posed than answers given. What’s in it for Musk? He’s a keen user of the platform, but the reasons why

such a rich person - Forbes estimates his personal wealth to be an eyewatering $278 billion – needs such a toy to buy are not clear. Musk is clearly a dreamer. But not the kind of hippy-dippy, head-in-theclouds, too-much-money dreamer. He has wanted to be creative, innovative and technical since childhood, taking on his father’s engineering DNA and taking it to the next level. The next few levels.


BIG STORY email payment company. It merged later with Confinity and eventually became PayPal. This was acquired by eBay in 2002, and Musk trousered a day-brightening $175.8 million.

Elon at school in Canada Elon Reeve Musk was born in Pretoria, South Africa on June 28th 1971 into a wealthy family, with his father being an electromechanical engineer, and his mother a model and dietician.

had moved to after graduating. The company developed and marketed an internet city guide for the newspaper publishing industry, with maps and directions.

After an unhappy childhood he spent living with his father – a man he came to despise – Musk moved first from Ontario, in his mother’s native Canada, eventually to the University of Pennsylvania, where he graduated in 1995 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics and a Bachelor of Science degree in physics.

When Compaq acquired Zip2 in 1999, Elon Musk’s share of $22 million was invested into his next venture – – an online financial services and

He has since been married twice, and has eight children. In 1995, Elon, with his younger brother Kimbal, and friend Greg Kouri founded web software company Zip2 with start-up funds from angel investors. They based themselves in a small rented office in Palo Alto, California where Musk

He spends a huge amount of his personal and professional run-time at SpaceX, his own off-world exploration venture ❜❜


In 2001, Musk got involved with the non-for-profit Mars Society, rekindling his love for space exploration. After trying – and failing – to acquire some de-commissioned inter-continental ballistic missile casings for his civilian space projects, he founded Space Exploration Technologies Corp, trading as SpaceX in 2002. Investing $100 million of his own money, he chose to build cheaper rockets than the Russians were selling. As of 2022, he is still CEO and ‘chief engineer’. In February 2004, he invested in the fledgling Tesla Inc., eventually becoming its CEO in 2008. Tesla first built an electric sports car, the Roadster, in 2008. With sales of about 2,500 vehicles, it was the first serial production, all-electric car to use lithium-ion cells. He also is largely responsible for the launch of the Tesla electric vehicle. Since 2010, the company’s stock has risen significantly; it became the world’s most valuable carmaker in summer 2020. In October 2021 it reached a market capitalisation of $1 trillion, only the sixth company to do so in US history. He spends a huge amount of his personal and professional run-time at SpaceX, his own off-world exploration venture. His concern for the future of the human race is well-documented, to the point he is looking to build a permanent

TESLA CHARGERS Maarten Hoffmann wrote in last month’s Platinum a motoring review of the Audi Q4 e-tron. While having great delight in the car itself, he found the UK’s public EV charging network tiresome and inadequate.

Peter Thiel and Musk, called the ‘Paypal Mafia’


Tesla, on the other hand, is doing its utmost to future-proof many of the UK’s EV-charging network issues but only if you have a Tesla. The Tesla Supercharger network is

BIG STORY inhabited base on the moon. Or Mars. Elon Musk’s feedback loop, which has been extremely valuable for Tesla, is now getting corrupted by his own superfans. Mostly taking place on social media, they take it upon themselves to treat any criticisms of any of his projects personally. The swarm mentality will round on the critic – playing the man instead of the ball – rather than stop to consider any merit in the criticism. Musk has hitherto been receptive to valid criticism, but with projects now coming more and more on line, and risk becoming ever higher, he appears to be siding with his disciples. His attitude to business, or at least, to business rules appear cavalier at times. In November last year, he proposed selling 10% of his shares in Tesla, something he finally did for small-nation GDP sum of $16.9 billion. This stunt placed

His attitude to business, or at least, to business rules, appear cavalier at times ❜❜


him under almost immediate investigation by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) – the independent finance agency created in the aftermath of the Wall Street Crash nearly a century ago – for insider trading. In 2016, Tesla, under Musk’s leadership, acquired SolarCity – at the time, one of the largest solar energy systems producers in the US – for $2 billion. The main problem was that he didn’t inform the shareholders first. SolarCity had liquidity issues, something else Musk knew but didn’t inform Tesla’s shareholders of. As a consequence Musk and the Tesla board were sued by its shareholders.


Musk is also a keen advocate of artificial intelligence, such as that phrase has any meaning at this stage of technological advances. At a live demonstration in August 2020, Musk described Neuralink’s – one of his companies – early research and development devices as “a Fitbit in your skull” that could soon cure paralysis, deafness, blindness, and other disabilities. Many neuroscientists and publications rounded on these claims; the highly influential MIT Technology Review described them as “highly speculative” and “neuroscience theatre”.

These are not the only times Musk has fallen foul of SEC investigations. He and Tesla were fined $20 million each in 2018 for a Tweet claiming funding had been provided to take Tesla back into private hands; an allegation the SEC sued Musk over claiming it was false, misleading and damaging to investors. Musk with his partner, Claire Boucher, AKA Grimes

still fairly sparse across Britain, especially in the south east of England. More sites are planned, however, for Croydon, Guildford and Brighton during 2022, Tesla’s website states. These superchargers offer a 150kW charge, so given their sparsity, anyone with what Dynamic’s Fiona Shafer calls ‘Range Anxiety’ may well want to plan any long journeys well in advance. There is also a ‘Tesla Destination’ network, offering a lower charge, but again, only for Tesla EVs. These same drivers can, on the other hand, use the more generic charging points which are far more common across the UK,

even if not on the motorway network. Is this fair? Elon Musk will see this as a point of principle for people to buy his cars. But, for someone who has so much supposed care for the environment, and the planet as a whole, having exclusive charging points is going to be counter-productive. The idea, going forward, amongst all EV makers is surely to be one of collaborative enterprise of universal application. Tesla’s approach has every downside that a hypothetical petrol pump exclusively for one make of car would have nowadays. A re-think is probably in order.



Even if anyone can unpick that bewildering bowl of moral spaghetti, an even bigger question arises. Who is Elon Musk to set the agenda here? Sure, he’s a rich man. He’s a clever man. He’s a successful man. But any form of public influence, once a given social tipping point is reached, must always come with a sense of accountability.


At first glance, the investment into Twitter doesn’t look to be the smartest business move. The headline figure was that Twitter lost $221 million in 2021. While many of its figures of usage and new members was seen as being in line with market expectations, the loss Twitter reported is tied to a one-time net charge of $766 million from a lawsuit settlement. Twitter has said it would pay $809.5 million to settle a consolidated class-action lawsuit alleging that the company misled investors about how much its user base was growing and how much users interacted with its platform. If Musk wanted to make a statement, any public utterances he makes through his own regular channels are reported, leaped on, scrutinised and hauled over for nuance, double-meaning or… anything other than a straightforward statement. So Twitter isn’t necessarily the most efficient use of his time. Is he after a monopoly on social media? It’s not obvious he does. For one, he shows no inclination, so far, towards other platforms, and secondly, he has acquired just 9.2% of Twitter. Admittedly this is four time more than the founder Jack Dorsey currently holds, but after a promise not to acquire more than 14.5% of the company, his influence will be great, but not necessarily all-encompassing.

And this is where we start to get into murky, sinister territory ❜❜


Is he looking to promote his own version of ‘free speech’? This question is looking as though it might get closer to what’s going on. Musk has entered the public debate on the notion of free speech, looking to make his own pitch for where he feels the rest of society should head on this subject. And this is where we start to get into murky, sinister territory. On March 26th, Musk tweeted, “Given that Twitter serves as the de facto public town square, failing to adhere to free speech principles fundamentally undermines democracy. What do you think?” An entire pitch wrapped up in one short conversation starter. That tweet in itself raises further ‘free speech’ credential issues. Firstly, and the timing of the tweet is key here; as a shareholder – albeit brand new to the company – Musk isn’t asking an openended question. It’s a political statement with an invitation to comment or, more likely, to agree. Secondly, what does Musk mean by ‘free speech’? Whose version of ‘free speech’ is he talking about here? The one where anyone should be allowed top say anything, regardless of the consequences? Maybe the form of ‘free speech’ which only exists within the confines of anything said must come with its own form of personal and social responsibility? Or perhaps a third way of ‘free speech’ which only ever agrees with the Establishment? Or the status quo?


So with that in mind – Elon Musk setting the agenda for ‘free speech’? Says whom? It’s the same for so much of society, where free market thinkers believe the market knows best. Others feel that all of society’s decisions should be made be elected decision-makers only. The more popular way is that society’s ever evolving rules will ultimately set the tone for what is appropriate within ‘freedom of speech’. The reality is somewhere in between, though politics (with a large ‘P’), certainly in this country, has yet to catch up on this notion. The person, company or committee that’s in charge of a given aspect of our lives isn’t the central issue, it’s the level of accountability which ought to be setting the framework. Some things are just too big for one person, irrespective of how they’ve convinced themselves that money has bought them the intelligence and wisdom to sit in judgement of our lives.

IN OTHER NEWS SpaceX began development of the Starlink constellation of low Earth orbit satellites in 2015 to provide satellite internet access. To date, over 2,000 satellites are functioning, providing linkage for 29 countries. The total cost of the project to design, build, and deploy the constellation is estimated by SpaceX to be about $10 billion After the Russian invasion of Ukraine earlier this year, Musk facilitated sending Starlink systems purchased by other European nations and private funding to Ukraine for internet access and communication in the besieged countr y. U k rainian preside nt Volodymyr Zelenskyy thanked Musk



Fast forward a few days, and the Twitter board and Elon Musk, having had several discussions, decided that Musk will NOT be joining the board after all. This appears to be Musk’s decision, but somewhat enigmatically, the CEO Prag Agrawal’s communiqué on the matter stated that Musk’s decline of an invitation was ‘for the best’. This set eyebrows on a bungee-jump as, at one moment, the Twitter board appeared to be extremely keen to have Musk on board, followed by a statement that, in the light of Musk not wishing to join was a better idea. Agrawal went on to say that ‘there will be distractions ahead but our goals and priorities remain unchanged. Let’s tune

out the noise.’ What distractions? What noise? Elon Musk acquiring shares and being invited on to the board is clearly news; Musk’s rejection of that invite is arguably bigger news, but it doesn’t get to the nub of what’s going on. Evidently, Twitter and Musk do not necessarily share the same business values – if not social values – as one another. The next step will be interesting to observe.

In the rarified atmosphere of megacorporate silly buggers, the lawyers will be forming orderly queues around the block from their nearest Lamborghini showroom ❜❜


for this gesture, and announced further talks between the two about space projects to take place after the war. So what is society as a whole to make of Musk’s largesse? He is an entire menu’s worth of social, entrepreneurial

and cerebral contradictions. He has a painfully thin hide when it comes to criticism, but will stand up in the face of tyranny for the small guy. He is concerned for the environment, but has no problem jetting off somewhere at a moment’s notice. He seeks betterment for the future of mankind, but so little of his enterprise goes on helping the poor, the sick and starving right now. With all these inconsistencies, possibly brought about by his self-acknowledgement of having Asperger’s Syndrome, perhaps elevating yourself as a free speech champion, at whatever the price, may need a little more reflection and contemplation, and a little less narcissism.

STOP PRESS The Twitter board and its shareholders have rolled over to have their collective tummies tickled, and accepted Musk’s takeover offer of £34.5 billion. The impending coronation of Musk - a ‘free speech absolutist’ – at the top of Twitter will be of great concern to many social media users. For example, one of his pre-conditions was to re-instate the psychedelic musings of President Donald Trump back onto Twitter. The EU, UK and USA are making noises to stamp down on the Wild West behaviour of social media companies, who at present turn a mostly blind eye to bullying, threats, misogyny, racism, homophobia and more besides. Musk, who will want an even more open, unvetted, irresponsible social media forum, is going to put himself on a collision course with governments and institutions around the world. In the rarified atmosphere of mega-corporate silly buggers, the lawyers will be forming orderly queues around the block from their nearest Lamborghini showroom. At least one thing has been made known now. What price global freedom of speech with no responsibility or consequence? The answer is $46.5bn, it would seem.


FINANCIAL PLAN GOT YOU IN A FLAP? We can help. Call our Gatwick office to arrange a free introductory meeting with Paul Cannons. Call 01293 661 323 or email

The value of investments can fall and you may get back less than you invested. Brewin Dolphin Limited is a member of the London Stock Exchange, and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Financial Services Register reference number: 124444).


By Pam Loch, Employment Law Solicitor and Managing Director of Loch Associates Group

HOW TO STOP THE RISE OF THE ‘TURNOVER TSUNAMI’ AND PROMOTE LOYALTY Over the last twenty years, employee loyalty has been on a slow decline, which is not expected to stop. In fact, the Covid-19 pandemic has only exacerbated this with workers challenging the traditional ways of working and wanting more flexibility, increased security and better salaries. If an employer cannot meet these new expectations, a significant percentage are willing to resign. In 2021, the Achievers’ Employee Engagement and Retention Report found that 52% of employees were planning to search for new jobs within the year. A significant proportion comes from some top-paying companies, demonstrating that competitive pay is not the only motivating factor in being loyal to a company.

and ‘pull’. Push factors stem from inside the organisation and can be anything from bad leadership to a lack of career development opportunities or feeling undervalued. Currently, push factors play a huge part in the ‘turnover tsunami’, so it is vital to complete exit interviews and analyse why your staff are leaving to improve these areas and retain staff.

Multiple adverse effects come with a high staff turnover rate. Therefore, it’s essential to understand your employees’ needs early on to prevent this. The recruitment process can be costly and interviewing, onboarding, and training distract staff from their day-to-day tasks, ultimately reducing productivity. Most importantly, when a team member chooses to leave, the business loses the corporate knowledge that the individual held.

Other situations outside your control, such as Brexit and the Ukraine-Russian war, have exacerbated the already rising

When looking at why employees leave, you can separate the causes into ‘push’


Pull factors are external influences that entice employees away from your company. In the last two years, a significant factor has been the attraction of a new work location. The Covid-19 pandemic has allowed many people to re-evaluate their living situations and move away from busy cities.

cost of living. The UK has seen energy costs increase by 50% in April 2022, and petrol costs skyrocket to 163.5p per litre, 16p higher than the previous month. Salary increases aren’t keeping up with this, making employees more prepared to search elsewhere for a business offering higher salaries. In the past, the baby boomer generation found that hard work and loyalty were clear pathways to progression and promotion, but now with the talent pool being so saturated, this isn’t the case. Millennials, who now make up the largest percentage of the workforce, understand that the most reliable way to increase their pay and expand opportunities is to switch jobs. After seeing this method benefit millennials, baby boomers have begun to follow in their footsteps. There are ways you can promote loyalty within your business and increase employee satisfaction. The most apparent is offering a competitive salary, but may not be in a financial position to increase salary funds. Matthew Killingsworth, who studied happiness, stated that ‘money allows people autonomy to choose how they live their lives. However, there are other ways to encourage loyalty.’ So what are they?


Multiple adverse effects come with a high staff ❛❛ turnover rate. Therefore, it’s essential to understand your employee’s needs early on to prevent this ❜❜ n SET A CLEAR PROGRESSION PLAN One driving cause for employees resigning is the uncertainty of progression. To prevent this, the business must have clear career progression stages. By doing this, employees know what to expect and what is expected of them to reach the next level. Having these goals clearly set out makes staff feel informed and empowered to reach them. To go even further, you could set up personalised progression plans to create a sense of control over the employee’s career and takes the guesswork out of knowing when to expect to progress. n FLEXI-WORKING AND FAMILY FRIENDLY POLICIES Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic and the necessity of remote working, employees have been savouring a work-life balance. By removing their daily commute, staff have reduced their expenditure and gained valuable time back in their day, which can be spent with friends, family, or taking part in

hobbies. This is something 59% of workers would not give up and say they would not work for an employer who requires them to be in the office five days a week. As well as having a more flexible approach to where staff work, you can consider policies such as extended maternity and paternity leave or unlimited holiday days to improve flexibility further and appeal to staff. Offering wellness checks to staff is another cost effective way to show staff you care about them, which again makes the employees feel part of a valued team. If you have staff who know they can take time to recharge and spend time doing what they enjoy, it means they’re more likely to avoid burnout and be more satisfied with their roles.

n Q UALITY LEADERSHIP We’ve all heard the phrase ‘your workforce is only as good as your leadership’, and this is true. No matter what benefits you offer, loyalty will be rare if your employees are not empowered by their leadership team. Management teams need to be trained correctly and communicate with their teams about your future plans. Team members want to feel part of the company’s direction of travel, so transparency should be a top priority. The aim is to get your staff feeling invested in the business. People will also generally take more pride in projects they think they’ve taken responsibility for. Through inspiring autonomy, staff will feel trusted and have a certain level of responsibility for the company’s success. If they think they’re a part of the company rather than simply following instruction, then this will inevitably increase loyalty.

At Loch Associates we can work with you to focus on employee retention and overall employee satisfaction. If you’d like to find out more about all the services we offer, you can contact us on 01273 311855 or visit our website:


Thinkers Challengers Innovators Leaders DISCOVER THE SUS SE X MBA FIND OUT MORE


By Dan Morgan, Managing Partner, Haines Watts Esher

Why having a clear exit strategy is so important If you believe that your team aren’t ready to lead or that they don’t have the funds for a traditional management buyout then an Employee Ownership Trust can offer a good alternative here by allowing you to keep an executive role in the business while giving up your personal ownership in the controlling stakes.

Many of the business owners I work with are brilliant at setting goals for the direction of the business and have a keen focus on the immediate future. However, prioritising your long term succession goals are also vital to ensure you get the best possible outcome. WHERE DO YOU START? It’s never too early to start the planning and for the most part if you start considering your exit plan when you want to leave then you’ve left it too late. A solid exit plan will usually take between three to fi ve years to implement so thinking ahead is key. Your motivations and personal goals will form the basis of your succession plan. Do you want a clean break? Or are you happy to keep a foot in the business moving forwards? Your succession plan isn’t set in stone. Your goals will shift and change and just as your business plan will adapt to these changes so will your succession plan. Regularly reviewing this means that it will remain fit for purpose. Succession planning doesn’t always mean selling the business. The three most common routes to exit are:


PASSING THE BUSINESS DOWN TO A FAMILY MEMBER This is an attractive option for many founders who want to secure their legacy whilst also retaining wealth within the family. Passing the business down to a family member often means that the next leader will have grown up

3 alongside the business and is aligned with its values. Family succession also allows for consistency which ensures staff and customer retention as the business is handed over to trusted and familiar hands. However, this option means it is likely that you will keep a foot in the door as there is an additional balancing act that comes with intertwining family and business.


NEGOTIATING A MANAGEMENT BUYOUT This has a similar advantage to a family option of keeping key skills and knowledge within the business. For obvious reasons, having a strong management team in place is vital for this kind of exit strategy. You need to look at your existing team critically and understand where any gaps are, these will need to be plugged either through additional training or some key hires in the run up to your exit.

SELLING THE BUSINESS TO A THIRD PARTY Some owners are looking for a clean break from the business and this is best achieved through sale. If this is your chosen route you need to begin to form a clear timeframe in order to maximise business value. Key areas to work on will be: n Ensuring solid financial information is available n Making your business as profitable as possible but also balancing investment levels n Managing any current and future risks that may put off a buyer n Keeping cash within the business – this can be achieved through proper tax planning.

Talk to us if you need advice on how to put your business in the best position for you to reach your exit ambitions. T: 020 8549 5137 E:



Invest in your Employee Health and Wellbeing Engaging your employees with social Engaging your employees with social team building activities is more likely to team building activities is more likely to create a united workforce. create a united workforce.


1 1– –44September September2022 2022

UK UKCorporate CorporateGames Games


t goes without saying tthat goes saying the without most valuable that the most valuable assets in any business assets in any Employee business are its people. are its people. Employee engagement, health and engagement, health and wellness is now a firmly wellness is now a firmly established HR topic for established topic the for businesses HR across businesses across the UK. There are many interpretations on UK. are manyisinterpretations on howThere engagement defined and the how engagement is defined and the measures put in place to achieve it. measures put in place to achieve it. A mixture of financial and nonA mixture of financial and nonfinancial rewards is often incorporated financial rewards is often incorporated into management decisions to ensure into management to ensure employees are decisions appreciated and employees are appreciated and motivated. Popular employee benefits motivated. Popular employee benefits offered include gym memberships, offered include gym holiday memberships, cycle to work scheme, trading cycle to work scheme, holiday trading to healthy canteen choices. These types to canteen choices. These types of healthy rewards are achieving employee of rewards but are do achieving employee satisfaction they really show satisfaction they to really show investment but and do reward continue investment and reward to continue driving employee productivity and a driving positive employee workforce? productivity and a positive workforce?

These types of benefits can sometimes These types of benefitsand can sometimes be underwhelming miss out be underwhelming and miss out on some of the key aspects of real on some of engagement’ the key aspects of real ‘employee including ‘employee including team work, engagement’ staff inclusions, staff team work, inclusions, staff retention andstaff addressing barriers. retention and addressing barriers. Therefore, more and more businesses Therefore, more and more businesses are choosing to invest in social, crossare choosing to invest in social, crossfunctional and team building physical functional and teamthe building activities outside office,physical as a activities outside the engage office, as a measure to unite and their measure and engage their staff. Withto theunite endless positive impacts staff. Withhave the endless impacts this can on staffpositive at all levels, it this can have on staff at levels, it becomes an investment forall a business becomes anainvestment for a business rather than cost. rather than a cost.

Are you ready f Are you ready f



UK CORPORATE GAMES – UK CORPORATE GAMES – how we can get you fit how we can get you fit for business. for business.


It also provides a platform for It also provides a platform for organisations to network, raise brand organisations to network, raise brand awareness and explore business awareness and In explore opportunities. 2018, business Browne opportunities. In that 2018, Browne Jacobson reported 96% of their Jacobson reported their participants met at that least96% one of person participants at least onewouldn’t person within the met business they within thehave business they wouldn’t normally the opportunity to normally have the opportunity to speak to and ultimately improved their speak to andof ultimately improved their knowledge the business. This is knowledge the business. This as is endorsed byof returning teams such endorsed byBuilding returningSociety, teams such as Nationwide Freeths Nationwide LLP, Safran Building Landing, Society, Royal AirFreeths Force, LLP, Safran Landing, JP Royal Air Force, MOD, Lloyds Banking, Morgan, Grant MOD, LloydsPlaces Banking, JP Morgan, Grant Thorntons, for People, Dominos Thorntons, Places……. forjust People, Dominos Pizza, Accenture to name a few. Pizza, Accenture ……. just to name a few.

This is what our This is what our clients have to say … clients have to say … PLACES FOR PEOPLE – “Our Dragon PLACES FOR PEOPLE – “Our Dragon Boat team came as strangers but left Boat team came as strangers but left as friends” as friends”

Visit Visit our our website website for for more more information information and and view view our our brochure brochure

he UK Corporate Games he Corporate are UKunique, as Games they are unique, they are a great as example are a power great of example of the Sport of power ofcoming Sport andtheBusiness and Business coming together to support together support employee toconfidence, employee confidence, low morale, staff staff integration, low loyalty morale, & team spirit. integration, & team spirit. Following theloyalty UK Corporate Games in Following thewe UKare Corporate in Nottingham, proud to Games say more Nottingham, are proud toagreed say more than 93% ofwe participants or than 93%agreed of participants agreedhad or strongly that the games strongly the Participants games had improvedagreed their that morale. improved their Participants were able to breakmorale. down barriers, build were able to break down barriers, relationships, relieve stress and build were relationships, relieve stress and were proud to represent their business. proud to represent their business.

BROWNE JACOBSON – “We are now BROWNE aJACOBSON – “We are now building legacy around health, building legacy around health, wellbeing a and collaboration” wellbeing and collaboration” Lloyds Banking Group - “On behalf Lloyds Banking Group behalf of the Badminton Squad,- I“On would like of the Badminton Squad, I would like to extend a huge thank you to all your to extend a hugeand thank you dedicated to all your hard working very hard working very dedicated staff. We are all and still buzzing from an staff. We Games” are all still buzzing from an excellent excellent Games”

for the challenge? for the challenge? IT’S EASY TO ENTER! IT’S EASY TO ENTER!

Enter online or request details from the Games Office. Enter online or request details from the Games Office. The Games Entry Fee is £85 + VAT per employee The Games Entry Fee is £85 + VAT per employee (Supplement applies to Golf, Karting, Tenpin) (Supplement applies to Golf, Karting, Tenpin)

Entry Fee includes Entry Fee includes • Welcome Festival • Welcome Festival • Sport Participation • Sport Participation • Medals for 1st, 2nd & 3rd • Medals for 1st, 2nd & 3rd

• Grand Parade of Athletes • Grand Parade of Athletes • Digital Souvenir Programme • Digital Souvenir Programme • Corporate Awards • Corporate Awards +44 (0)1733 838 444 +44 (0)1733 838 444


Sweeping changes to divorce law removes the ‘blame game’ toxicity of the current system. By Samantha Jago

NO FAULT DIVORCE On the April 6th 2022 divorce law in England and Wales was overhauled and brought in line with many other international countries, simplifying the system so that blame does not have to be allocated and parties can rely on a simple statement from either one spouse, or both, that the marriage has broken down due to no fault of either party. REMOVING THE BLAME GAME DURING DIVORCE Previously, there was only one ground for divorce, that being that the marriage had irretrievably broken down. To satisfy the court of this, the Petitioner to a divorce had to prove one of five factors to file for divorce, being: adultery, unreasonable behaviour, desertion of two years, separation of two years with consent to divorce, and separation of five years without consent. In broad terms, blame must be attributed to the other party for the marriage break down unless a spouse was willing to wait for two years, still having to get the consent of the other,


or five years with the risk of defences being raised. This resulted in both parties getting off on the wrong footing, with parties blaming the other for the breakdown of the marriage and, therefore, setting a hostile tone from the outset of the proceedings. On April 6th 2022, the Divorce, Dissolution, and Separation Act of 2020 came into force. This means a simple statement from either one spouse, or both, that the marriage has broken down due to no fault of either party, has been introduced.

These changes also ❛❛ apply to the dissolution of civil partnerships ❜❜


BUT WHY THE CHANGE? Divorce law in England and Wales has long been considered outdated. The previous legislation was over is over 50 years old and requires specific reasons for the divorce, when all too often it is the case that there are no definable or quantifiable reasons for the breakdown of a marriage. DIVORCE, DISSOLUTION, AND SEPARATION ACT OF 2020 – WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS? n You will no longer need to satisfy the Court that the marriage has broken down by proving one of five ‘facts’ of divorce. Instead, the provision of a statement of the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage on a ‘no fault’ basis will now be available, and for the first time, couples can opt to make this a joint statement. n Removing the option of one of the parties seeking to contest the divorce. It cannot be defended on the basis of irretrievable breakdown. n Removing confusing terminology in the divorce proceedings such as changing ‘Decree Absolute’, to ‘Final Order’, and changing ‘Decree Nisi’ to ‘Conditional Order’. n T he introduction of a minimum period of 20 weeks from the start of proceedings, to confirmation from the Court that a conditional order (formally referred to as ‘Decree Nisi’) of divorce may be made. n E nabling couples to jointly file for divorce, instead of bringing proceedings against the other. These changes also apply to the dissolution of civil partnerships.

THE FUTURE FOR DIVORCE This legislation ushers in the removal of the ‘blame game’ between couples and will help to end a marriage more amicably and peacefully. It is hoped that, without the ‘blame’ culture, legal costs will be lower for clients and proceedings less damaging. This law is expected to be beneficial to children also, who are often caught in the middle of their parents’ divorce, thus easing the possibility of unnecessary conflict between parents. Some argue that removing the ‘blame game’ in divorce proceedings will cause divorce rates to escalate. They state that there has been evidence from other countries, who have adopted similar procedures, that divorces initially increased. However, they report that this increase then fell off with divorce rates returning to normal. DOES THE 2020 ACT DO ENOUGH? The Divorce, Dissolution, and Separation Act of 2020 is a breath of fresh air, updating previous divorce law which harped back to an entirely different era. The new legislation allows parties to more amicably divorce and reduces the need for a ‘blame game’ between parties, leading to more peaceful proceedings. On balance, however, more could be done and although this legislation provides much needed change, until reforms are made as to how finances and children matters are resolved upon divorce, this may just be a sticky plaster which fails to address the bigger issues that arise upon divorce.

If you would like more information about divorce or family law matters please get in contact






We felt very privileged to be among ❛❛ some incredible businesses and we’re


We are still a bit in shock! This recognition has given the whole team a lift to have and we’re very proud


to have won Green Mop

absolutely over the moon to win Thomson Properties


CATEGORIES Best Customer Service Business Growth Award Businessperson of the Year Community Hero Award Creative Industries Award Employer of the Year Innovation in Business Award International Business of the Year Professional Services Award Start-up of the Year Small Business of the Year Medium Business of the Year Large Business of the Year Company of the Year Young Achiever of the Year

is very much an award ❛❛for This our team – each member works so hard and is dedicated to our vision and our goals. We honestly couldn’t have won it without them all. What a fantastic end to the year for them and the business Nordell





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Market and economic trends Sussex Innovation’s Research and Insight team specialise in delivering market analysis for start-up and scale-up businesses, leveraging leading market research resources to gain a better understanding of where risks and opportunities lie. Research & Insight Coordinator, Maria Bedoya outlines several of the macro trends that will inform how we do business in 2022 and beyond, from the multinational corporation to the micro-business.

If 2021 was the year the world turned the tide against the pandemic, 2022 will be dominated by the need to adapt to new realities, both in areas reformed by the crisis and in the new scenarios informed by social and political change. Things are changing rapidly, from the immediate world of work, travel and leisure to the geopolitical shifts caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the growing influence of China. Beyond even that, the threat of climate crisis becomes more and more urgent. And although the scenario does not seem optimistic at first glance, it means that the time has come to invoke the powers of innovation. We must rethink,


reimagine, reinvent and redesign processes and activities, even in those sectors that have traditionally been the least innovative. This is the time when the world and its wealthiest economies must stop depending on oil and non-renewable

energies to make way for cleaner, safer, more efficient and more sustainable models. This is a crucial moment for businesses large and small to make firm decisions regarding the effects of their operations on people, communities, and the natural world. Ethical practices and business models must become the starting point and not an added bonus to their value proposition. The most important lesson we can take from the pandemic is that our decisions have to be informed by their impacts on health, wellbeing, and care for what is essential – life. Unfortunately, we are once again facing a war that looks like one of those in 19th-century history class where human lives were sacrificed by empires fighting over territories. It seems that the clear message of the pandemic was not heard, resulting in massive short and medium-term effects on migration, access to fossil fuels and grain, and the potential reconfiguration of NATO and its guiding principles.


n A renewed focus on personal growth and wellness. Another impact of the pandemic is an increased awareness of our mental health, and consumers changing behaviours that result in stress, anxiety or depression. This will continue to manifest in many ways, including dramatic life changes that reflect values, passions and purpose, moves to safer, cleaner and greener neighbourhoods, and spending on products that reflect an authentic sense of self.

❛❛ This is a crucial moment for businesses

large and small to make firm decisions regarding the effects of their operations on people, communities, and the natural world ❜❜ These are just a few of the social and political trends that will influence consumer behaviour and challenge business strategies in the coming years. Innovative businesses might be wise to prepare for: n The impact of a 30-year high inflation rate and supply chain disruption causing shortages. Consumers may find creative solutions to purchase their favourite products, or search for affordable alternatives – creating an oppor tunity for businesses willing to rethink their pricing models and portfolios. Second-hand shopping and peer-to-peer markets are flourishing as consumers seek out unique, affordable and sustainable items.

n Eco-anxiety and the climate emergency driving environmental activism for a net-zero economy. In 2021, 35% of global consumers actively reduced their carbon emissions. Many are demanding corporate climate solutions, and regulation is starting to catch up. Consumers are getting savvier about ‘greenwashing’, and will respond to brands that demonstrate action rather than words. n Technology, skills and workplaces fundamentally changed by the pandemic. Companies that fill the spaces created by hybrid working and enable people to carry out new jobs, or restructure their old jobs, will be poised for success. Late adopters, such as older consumers, have become smarter technology users and present a new digital audience.

n The emergence of the metaverse. Immersive, 3D digital ecosystems are already beginning to transform social connections. Global sales of augmented, virtual and mixed reality accessories grew 56% from 2017 to 2021, reaching US$2.6 billion last year. The most successful innovators will be the first to recognise which tasks can be truly streamlined or improved by this technology, and what entirely new opportunities it presents. n Inequality and wealth imbalance. Faultlines have opened up in labour markets, healthcare, economic recovery and social mobility around the world. Democratised money management is helping some consumers to strengthen their personal financial security, and more than half of global consumers believe they will be better off financially in the next five years – but younger consumers are already abandoning aspirational brands in favour of those that are genuinely committed to restoring balance.



BUSINESS n Neurodiversity week (March 21st-27th) is an initiative that challenges stereotypes and misconceptions about autism and learning disabilities. n Art Cha Series is a London-based fashion brand founded by entrepreneur Marlon James-Edwards, a teacher with a passion for raising awareness about neurodiversity. n Marlon is enrolled on NatWest’s London Accelerator hub which supports entrepreneurs across the capital to grow and scale their businesses with specialist support and coaching.

The London fashion brand challenging the stigma around neurodiversity Art Cha Series is a growing London fashion brand that incorporates creative design with raising awareness around neurodiversity. Founded by entrepreneur Marlon JamesEdwards in 2020. It is a fashion company that combines Marlon’s passion for design with his 15 years’ teaching experience, to raise much-needed awareness of neurodiversity. Marlon is currently enrolled on NatWest’s bespoke London Accelerator Hub, a programme of specialist support for businesses seeking to grow and scale. Marlon’s designs are inspired by a celebration of difference unique to his brand which was first conceived of during lockdown in 2020. During his time as a teacher, Marlon taught students with neurodiverse needs including ADHD, autism and dyslexia. The company is committed to reinvesting 20% of its profits back into education to support programmes and campaigns to challenge the stigma around neurodiversity as well build effective tools, resources and strategies to achieve self-acceptance and independence in schools, workspaces and industries. The Art Cha Series employs staff from neurodiverse backgrounds and allows those with unique minds and life experiences to express themselves through design, social engagement, content building and a platform to raise awareness of neurodiversity on a commercial scale. As a part of the NatWest Accelerator Hub


in London, Marlon is receiving one-to-one coaching, networking opportunities and access to peers and sector specialists to support the growth of his business. The NatWest hub provides a physical working space for London entrepreneurs to benefit from the bank’s expertise in helping small businesses scale. NatWest currently runs 12 Accelerator hubs across the UK and through their enterprise programme the bank aims to create 50,000 new businesses by 2023, with the majority being female-led, and 20% run by Black, Asian and Minority ethnic entrepreneurs. Marlon James-Edwards said: “I have always been passionate about fashion and wanted to turn my passion for creative design into a purposeful business. As someone with 15 years’ experience teaching students with a range of neurodiverse needs, I wanted to create a brand that raises awareness of neurodiversity. “My mission is to challenge the idea that those with neurodiverse needs cannot excel in life and my brand seeks to raise awareness around neurodiversity through fashion, workshops and targeted support to students with neurodiverse needs. “I recently joined the NatWest Business Accelerator programme in London to learn more about how I can grow my brand. The support on offer from NatWest has included webinars, networking opportunities and one-to-one

mentoring, which has given me and my business a clearer sense of direction to grow sustainably.” Georgina Mackey, NatWest Regional Eco-system manager for London and the South East said: “The NatWest Accelerator programme seeks to empower entrepreneurs to take their business to the next level. Our newly refurbished London Accelerator Hub offers a physical space for entrepreneurs to benefit from programmes tailored to their individual needs to help them grow and succeed. “We are pleased to be supporting Marlon and Art Cha Series, which is a great example of how purpose-led businesses can play an active role in tackling social issues. There is huge opportunity for businesses who challenge expectations, and our unique programmes are designed to equip entrepreneurs with the right tools to support their growth ambitions.”

Follow Art Cha Series on instagram @art.cha.series twitter @artchaseries tiktok @artchaseries Or visit Contact Marlon James-Edwards

Selling, buying or starting a business? Call us on 0800 84 94 101 Offices across Sussex


By Jack Clipsham, Corporate Finance Partner, Kreston Reeves

Should business owners sell to an Employee Ownership Trust? Business owners who sell to an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT) can, amongst other benefits, avoid capital gains tax liabilities and reward staff at the same time. But it will not be the right option for every business and needs careful planning and consideration, says Jack Clipsham. Plans that were put on hold in 2020 and early 2021 to retire, pass on the business to the next generation, sell to a third party or to a management team are now moving at pace. The M&A market is once again very active. There is much for a business owner to consider when looking to sell a business. Some will simply want to achieve the highest price possible, to leave a legacy, or to do the best thing for their business and the people it employs to continue to see it grow. Whatever the driver, a successful exit will be supported with a clear roadmap and the right team of advisers to ensure the best possible outcome is achieved. One possible exit route, and one that is gaining growing attention, is a sale to an Employee Ownership Trust, or EOT.


Our own research, published in the Shaping your future report, suggests that EOTs are used by 26% of businesses to motivate and reward staff. But is this an exit route that business owners should be considering?


An EOT is, as the name suggests, a trust that enables a company to be owned by its employees. To qualify, at least 51% of the business must be sold to its employees. It is not a new concept, having been first introduced in 2014, and includes John Lewis Partnership, Richer Sounds, Arup and Mott McDonald in their number. The devil is in the detail and other conditions apply.

Plans that were put ❛❛ on hold in 2020 and

early 2021 to retire, pass on the business to the next generation, sell to a third party or to a management team are now moving at pace ❜❜


There are many benefits from a sale to an EOT, including the relative certainty offered by a sale to an EOT management team with deals less likely to collapse at the eleventh hour, the advantage of not having to share confidential information with third par ties and potential competitors, and partial exits where the owner is not quite ready to completely walk away. Yet it is probably the ability to reduce capital gains tax (CGT) liabilities that remains the biggest draw. Whilst the tax position is rarely the primary driver for a business owner to sell, it is always an impor tant


One of the primary ❛❛ attractions of selling to

an EOT is that the sellers will not face a capital gains tax liability on the sale. This represents a potentially sizable tax saving for the seller ❜❜ VALUES AND CASH

Valuing a business being sold to an EOT is often straightforward but can quickly become complex where the management team needs to secure external funding. CGT liabilities will also be at the heart of those valuations. It is, of course, possible for the seller and the EOT management team to agree a value for the business directly, and that is fine so long as the seller is not driven by achieving the best possible price. But, if a seller wants to benchmark the value that could be achieved via a trade sale, or perhaps go through a structured sale process alongside an EOT option to confirm best options, then a formal valuation will be needed. Those valuations should also take into account CGT liabilities. consideration, and even more so with the Government promising reform of Business Asset Taper Relief. Business Asset Disposal Relief, previously known as Entrepreneurs Relief, means a seller will currently pay tax at a reduced level of 10% on all gains on qualifying assets up to a lifetime cap of £1million of capital gains. This could be amended further in the future by the Government. One of the primary attractions of selling to an EOT is that the sellers will not face a capital gains tax liability on the sale. This represents a potentially sizable tax saving for the seller.

suggests that a sale to an EOT may not always achieve the highest possible value for the business. A trade sale can often achieve a higher valuation, yet valuations cannot be viewed in isolation of the CGT implications. The net value a seller receives once tax proceeds are accounted for will be a serious consideration. A trade sale will typically see the business owners walk away with a cash sum at completion – a position that has not always been the case with a sale to an EOT. A sale to an EOT has been typically funded through loan notes, meaning the business owner may need to wait to receive cash. Top value or a delay in receiving consideration may not be an issue for business owners who wish to retain some continued role or stake in the business, are not dependent on immediate receipt of funds, who wish to reward those that have helped build the business or see the business continue in their hands for other reasons. But for those that wish to walk away at the point of sale, perhaps using the sale proceeds to fund retirement or a new venture, how the sale is structured and to be funded will be critical.

Independent valuations and the resulting due diligence will naturally be needed where third party funders are involved. Whilst there is no hard and fast data to draw upon, our experience of structuring sales and acquisitions

If you would like to explore the options available to you, you can reach Jack Clipsham via email at or call 0330 124 1399. You can find out more at




The mental health crisis many are facing can be viewed as a ticking time bomb that the NHS not only is not ready for, but does not have even a tenth of the capacity required to deal with it. There is much talk about children’s mental health issues. There has been a 77% rise in the number of children needing specialist treatment for severe mental health issues, analysis shows. Some 409,347 under-18s were referred to the NHS in England for specialist care for issues such as suicidal thoughts and self harm between April and October 2021 - that’s half million in seven months! Head teachers also report a huge rise in less severe mental health issues. This is a pending tragedy for the future generation - and as it they have not been through enough! But what about adult mental health? Men, especially, can be very good at hiding it due to their refusal to accept there is an issue, or the macho culture of being too tough, or too busy, to have such problems. Therefore, we were touched by a mail that came in from a chap called Mark Taylor with a story that is both touching and shocking at the same time. We rarely do this but here’s his mail:


“Around 19 months ago my life was turned upside down by a mental breakdown, brought on by the pressure of a new job in sales and sorting care for my elderly mother with dementia. My mum had become bedridden after a nasty fall at home which came with other complications. I couldn’t take it anymore and took the heartbreaking decision to drive my car to a quiet area where l was going to kill myself as l could see no way out – but life had other plans for me. Whilst my head was over the steering wheel seconds before l was going to drive my car into a wall at high speed, there was a tap on the window and there stood a postman at the window. But not just any old postman, it was actually an old school friend, who persuaded me to go home and talk to my loving partner Annette.

There has been a 77% rise ❛❛ in the number of children needing specialist treatment for severe mental health issues ❜❜


I couldn’t take it anymore and ❛❛ took the heartbreaking decision

to drive my car to a quiet area where l was going to kill myself ❜❜ I then went and found an illustrator and was about to self-publish on Amazon, when Annette suggested a shop she thought sold ‘design your own wrapping paper’. What l had actually walked into was a book publisher, and when l mentioned my story and why l had written the book the publisher, who by the way mainly concentrated on train books, read through the synopsis and said ‘if you can put a train in your children’s book we could work together’. Eight months later after they offered me a six-book deal the first of a series of books l called ‘Howard of Pawsland’ was released, for three to seven yearolds, spreading a message of love, kindness and sustainability. ‘I still find it unbelievable. Sometimes I just Google Howard of Pawsland to make sure it’s actually true. My message to anyone who finds themselves in the same dark place in his life is to talk, talk and talk!! Family, a best friend, or just pick up the the phone up and dial 111, BUT DON’T SUFFER IN SILENCE, LIFE IS TOO PRECIOUS, there is no shame in asking for help believe me, I wish I had opened up earlier before l found myself seconds from death!!” Annette listened and instead of judging, crying or getting angry, she jumped into action and got me help from the local GP, and very gradually, over time, l began to find my way back to some form of mental and physical normality, but Annette wasn’t finished with the healing process yet, she had a masterstroke up her sleeve - a puppy called Howard!! The bearded collie pup not only helped my mental and physical well being, he inspired me to write a children’s book about him. Annette persuaded me that these books, that l had actually written on my mobile phone whilst away on a short break to the West Sussex coast may well be good enough to be published.






Managing Director, London & South East, Business Banking

sa, >50=growth since previous month 70 60 50 40

“Another strong performance was recorded in March to signal a solid end to the first quarter of 2022 for businesses in the South East. Bustling demand paired with greater consumer confidence led to another expansion in new orders and a quicker uplift in output. At the same time, the employment environment continued to flourish with head-counts rising strongly, as has been the case over the last 13 months. “That said, geopolitical tensions exacerbated cost pressures in March with output and input price inflation climbing to fresh series highs. Manufacturers saw more pronounced rates of inflation. Higher costs often reflected rising energy, fuel, transportation and wage costs. Firms remained optimistic, but with supply-chain issues and material availability expected to worsen over the coming months, we could see sentiment dip further and output growth moderate in the coming months.”

30 20 10 2001





March 2022








March data revealed a 13th successive monthly expansion in new orders received by private sector firms in the South East. The rate of growth moderated from February but was still much sharper than the long-run series average. Higher sales were supported by greater confidence amongst clients and increased marketing. Sub-sector data revealed a much stronger expansion in the service sector.


Firms in the South East were widely upbeat about their expectations for output growth in 12 months’ time. Firms were hopeful that pandemic restrictions would continue to ease and demand would flourish.

60 50 40 30 20 10 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 Sources: Natwest, IHS Markit




a thirteenth successive monthly expansion in new orders received by private sector firms in the South East ❜❜



Sources: Natwest, IHS Markit

❛❛ March data revealed

sa, >50=growth since previous month


That said, the degree of optimism moderated to a fourmonth low amid concerns around Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, supply-side issues and rising cost pressures. However, sentiment in the region was much stronger than the UK average with only Yorkshire & Humber seeing a stronger degree of confidence.




sa, >50=growth since previous month

The South East Export Climate Index is calculated by weighting together national PMI output data according to their importance to the manufacturing exports of the South East. This produces an indicator for the economic health of the region’s export markets. The Export Climate Index posted 54.3 in March, down from 54.7 in February to signal a softer, yet solid overall improvement in export market conditions. Across the South East’s top export markets, Ireland recorded the strongest uplift for the second month in a row. The US and France followed with quicker expansions seen in both. Germany recorded a third consecutive monthly uptick while output growth in the Netherlands eased to the softest since December.


sa, >50=inflation since previous month

60 50 40 30 20 10 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 Sources: Natwest, IHS Markit


South East Rank 1 2 3 4 5

Market USA Germany Netherlands France Ireland

Weight 16.4% 12.0% 6.3% 6.1% 6.0%

Output Index, Mar ‘22 57.7 55.1 54.5 56.3 61.0 Sources: Natwest, IHS Markit



March 2022



March 2022



Output prices charged by private sector firms in the South East rose at the fastest pace in the series history in March. The rate of inflation was substantial with firms mentioning that higher fuel, energy and material costs were passed on to consumers. Sector data revealed that manufacturers noted a much quicker increase in selling prices than their services counterparts.

70 60 50


sa, >50=inflation since previous month

40 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 Sources: Natwest, IHS Markit



March 2022



Cost pressures faced by private sector companies in the South East intensified at the end of the first quarter. In fact, the rate of inflation was the strongest in the series history, surpassing November’s previous peak. Firms reported higher prices for energy, transportation, fuel, wages and materials. By comparison, average input costs rose at a quicker pace in the South East than the UK as a whole.

65 60 55 50 45 40 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 Sources: Natwest, IHS Markit



YOUR WEBSITE HAS NEEDS TOO… By Sarah Gopaul, Mayo Wynne Baxter During the last couple of years, what with the Covid outbreak, we have seen the public being pushed into an everdeeper reliance on the worldwide web. Our need to internet browse for almost anything from a loaf of bread to a new wardrobe has created more opportunities for web designers, and developers as businesses have adapted and turned towards a more digital offering. Having an online presence for companies often became essential. As a result, online sales offerings, which started out as a necessity to try and survive lockdown, have now become the norm for pretty much every new and current business owner interested in selling beyond their immediate locale. Here at MWB we have seen how companies have rapidly changed their marketing strategies to adapt to the new normal.


With the explosive growth in online businesses, website creation and design companies have proliferated. It has become very easy to create a website platform. Some website agencies charge subscription fees of under £10 a month, and now for more adventurous business owners there are numerous step-by-step guides being advertised, allowing individuals to save with a “do-it-yourself” approach. Regrettably what is often overlooked in the rush to gain an online presence is the legal obligations and restrictions which apply to websites. Under the Companies Act 2006, information relating to the identity of the business whose site it is must be displayed somewhere on the site. This includes: n Company name n Company registered number n Registered office address n Place of registration n Company contact details and email address n Information on how to contact the relevant business through non electronic means n The name of any trade bodies or professional associations that the business is part of, including membership or registration details


❛❛ Regrettably, what is often overlooked in the rush

to gain an online presence is the legal obligations and restrictions which apply to websites ❜❜ There is also a requirement that the site be accessible. Accessibility is a legal requirement under the Equality Act 2010. It is unlawful to have a website that does not meet certain design standards for disabled users. Too many websites fail to satisfy the legal requirements. Overlooking this could lead to a discrimination claim or form the basis of a complaint during any dispute over purchases. Other important factors often overlooked are the various protections offered to online consumers. Examples being, under the Consumer Rights

Act 2015 and Consumer Contracts Regulations, if you are selling goods or services online to consumers, then you must include: n A description of your goods or services and the price n Details on how to pay n Delivery information n Cancellation information n Contract information n Details on rights to cancel The laws regulating website content and design are ever-evolving. Enforcement has thus far been sporadic but expect it to increase in priority for the government as we see more and more

businesses operating digitally. Failure to comply not only can damage your reputation but can also lead to fines from a number of regulators. As the online world grows in trading importance you can avoid an own goal by being aware of your legal obligations when designing and populating your website. For free access to our legal guides on this and other legal topics that affect your business visit our website.

Sarah Gopaul E:





This award reflects the hard work ❛❛ of the team. It also gives us confidence It has been our mission to ❛❛ be recognised as legal advice

to continue our mission of combining our love of great wine with our desire to do

leaders in our region and this nomination acknowledges our exceptional, expert and

something to help protect our oceans Sea Change Wine



empathetic team howell jones solicitors

CATEGORIES Chamber Member of the Year Employer of the Year Business Growth Award Most Sustainable Business Professional Services Award Best Customer Service Business Innovation of the Year Young Professional of the Year Businessperson of the Year Community Hero Award International Business of the Year Start-up of the Year Small Business of the Year Medium Business of the Year Large Business of the Year Company of the Year

All of the team ❛❛ work so hard and the award win was very much for them ramsac





It’s the final countdown – to securing funding and achieving net zero STEPS TO ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT – A FREE RESOURCE

Why reduce your energy use? Grants between £1,000 and £10,000 are available In today’s race to net zero, we often forget that some of the main drivers for businesses, beyond reducing their environmental impact, are looking after staff, protecting the bottom line, investing in the future and creating the next business opportunity. Here at LoCASE we’ve seen great innovations, with businesses keen to promote sustainability to their customers by enhancing their own products and services whilst at the same time positively impacting their profitability. LoCASE has funded small and medium enterprises to reduce their CO 2 emissions in many different ways. One example is a warehouse replacing all its T8 lights for LED versions. This massively reduces lighting energy costs (by nearly 50%) and saves several tons of CO 2 emissions each year. Further cost savings could be made if energy prices increase again as expected in the autumn. Other businesses are purchasing second hand electric vehicles (either cars or vans) to relieve the financial impact of escalating prices at the pumps and reduce their tailpipe emissions. The move to solar power generation continues as energy costs increase with businesses keen to reduce their daytime energy use. We have received applications from a variety of SMEs, including sports clubs and charities, requesting financial help with Solar PV systems and battery storage, upgrading floodlights and installing heat pumps. Do you have a green service you want to promote or develop? Grants between £1,000 and £10,000 are available.

The aim of this free business support is to facilitate the reduction of carbon emissions across the South and East by providing training, tools and resources to small and medium enterprises to implement an environmental management system or plan.

LoCASE also provides grants for green products and services which fall under the low carbon economy definitions. This might be R&D support or marketing for a product or service you have developed but need help getting to market. By registering at we’ll assess your eligibility for funding and, if eligible, one of our local business support providers will contact you to explore your needs, ideas or projects. After this you’ll be invited to make an application. You’ll need to supply two quotes for each of your chosen projects or measures (which can be combined into one application). This will then be assessed by our business support provider and sent to our grants panel once complete. Grant funding is provided at 40% of a projects overall cost, 60% of the project is privately funded by the SME.

This is delivered by the LoCASE partnership across three levels: Blue, Silver and Gold. Each SME completes a stage, moves on to the next level and achieves accreditation. Check out for more information. The Low Carbon Across the South and East Programme has been funded by the European Regional Development Fund 2014-20. It is a partnership between the Kent County Council, Basingstoke & Deane Borough Council, East Sussex County Council, Essex County Council, Isle of Wight Council, Portsmouth City Council, Rushmoor Borough Council, Southampton City Council, Southendon-Sea Borough Council, Surrey County Council, Test Valley Borough Council, Thurrock Council, the University of Brighton, the University of Portsmouth, West Sussex County Council, and Winchester City Council.

To find out more, visit the website at



The challenges and opportunities of a fine wine merchant L’Assemblage is an award-winning specialist fine wine merchant and a French winemaking term that best defines the finest grape and wine selections. Founded in 1996, we sell classic wines that truly express the character of their regions. Apart from trading online from our offices in West Sussex, we offer consultancy services on cellar management, investment and international delivery.


It was a whole different trade back in 1996 when we moved our shop online. The release of Windows and the internet made trading easier, slashing shop running costs. As with thousands of new startups, NatWest helped our business to flourish with a useful credit line and understanding corporate managers, who became loyal customers. Gradually we switched from fax to email and text, Streamline to Worldpay and Sagepay. Initially we started out as brokers then ploughed our profits back to become significant stockholders. The interest on our savings was far more attractive invested in wine, where the returns averaged 24% per annum on desirable bonded cases. We sell limited quantities of fine and rare wines that one can’t usually find in the supermarket or chains. That doesn’t mean that great wines are expensive. More satisfaction can be attained from finding that rising star beneath the radar. So much so we’ve also become investors in growers we trust. The MD and founder, Guy Willings, studied wine marketing in Australia but soon realised his interest lay in the classic wines of France, and especially Burgundy.



Having recently returned from our first buying trip to France in over two hard years, we’ve noticed the region has boomed. The world’s greatest Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wines have never been as popular, with increasing demand and small harvests fuelling a surge in prices. Burgundy consolidated its position as the top wine region in value for 2021, making up 41% of our total sales (compared to 32% for Bordeaux). Volumes were down by 7%. Clearly 2020 was another ver y successful vintage for the region. The whites were invigorating with fresh citrus and stone fruit depth, acidity and minerality. Pierre Vincent of Domaine Leflaive has made some of his finest yet. The reds were composed, aromatic with ripe red berry fruits. Many are rich

and concentrated with tannins to help them age. Highlights include the pinots we enjoyed at Domaines AF Gros, Tawse and Comte de Vogue. A drawback is the tiny 2021 harvest that follows, pushing up prices on previous vintages. Lack of supply is a burgeoning problem, whether caused by global warming or worldwide demand.


The market has become more congested with thirsty trade and privates buying for collections, gifts and investment. This last decade we have seen rising demand from Southeast Asia and the home market. The UK accounts for 61% of our annual sales. Exports to the US are steady with the remainder spread primarily across Europe.



Our online shop listings are updated continuously with wine tasting notes, critic scores and pictures, reassuring our customers that our wines are available. We also sell ‘en primeur’ to investors who are prepared to wait two years for their wine to mature in the barrel. With falling production and inflation over 5%, investors are looking to safeguard their wealth. Research published by Connection Capital indicate that high net worth investors are diversifying, with more than 10% of their wealth being invested in alternative assets. Fine wine has a good hedging record against inflation according to our experience and the Livex 1000 index, a leading global fine-wine trade and research platform.

❛❛ Clearly, 2020 was another very successful vintage for the region ❜❜ STEERING THROUGH BREXIT AND LOCKDOWNS

Our online secure payment systems, efficient shipping and bonded cellarage, has helped us manage. Having a small dynamic team and fewer overheads than many of our rivals, has enabled us to adapt fast. Importantly we listen to our customers and observe their behaviours. Brexit has been disruptive. More shipping documentation and delays in transit are to blame, coupled with rising costs of fuel and wine production. After an interesting 2021 amidst lockdowns and curfews, our clients have thankfully increased their purchasing by 27%.

Traditionally, Bordeaux has been the most invested region because of sizeable production and consistent demand of their grand cru chateaux. Nowadays, there’s growing demand from Burgundy, Tuscany, Napa and beyond. Champagne sales are up 40%. Livex’s Champagne 50 index was by far the strongest performer in 2021. Unlike other alternative investments, such as gold or art, fine wine is a diminishing chattel. Its limited availability and frequent consumption drives prices up, especially amongst the most collectible vintages.


Vintage shortfalls exacerbate the supply and demand. We’ve noticed leading producers are adopting greener credentials whether organically or biodynamically. So long as their style does not alter for the worse, our customers are embracing these healthy changes. There are many merchants that have since moved into our field, although most come and go. We have stuck to our guns as a niche specialist, targeting our market and clientele. This has grown through the internet and word of mouth.

More information on services, wines and offers can be found on our site. Our knowledgeable team will be glad to assist. E: T: 01243 537775

We’ve also increased sales by buying smarter from reputable chateaux and reliable UK agents. We rarely buy from auction but compete against them for private cellars of provenance.



GROWTH LOANS – WHAT CAN THEY BE USED FOR? Let’s Do Business Finance examines the many uses for growth loans, and how they can bridge the gap to your business growth Continued growth is the key to keeping the cogs of any business turning, which is why many enterprises across the UK consider growth loans when reassessing their finance. 2021 saw bank lending to SMEs return to pre-pandemic levels from the record high in 2020, due to the ending of government-backed schemes such as the Coronavirus Business Interruption

Scheme (CBILS) and Bounce Back Loans (BBL), which enabled enterprises to secure vital funds needed to survive amid the worst of the pandemic. With strong business investment growth forecast for 2022, many businesses in the UK are expected to now be reviewing their long term goals and considering business finance, reassessing what is needed for them to grow.

Many business owners may not realise ❛❛ that growth loans can help with tackling a wide array of issues ❜❜

Even pre-pandemic, business loans were extremely common; enabling business owners to retain full control, while using the finance to support their own business growth and development. Available from a wide range of institutions; from high-street banks, to Community Development Finance Institutions (CDFIs) like Let’s Do Business Finance. Many business owners may not realise that growth loans can help with tackling a wide array of issues, and that they often provide the answer on how to unlock further business expansion due to what they can be used for. Every business is unique, faced with its own challenges and barriers to growth and expansion. Growth loans can be used for a wider range of business needs than most would realise, with loans in recent years from Let’s Do Business Finance having been used for purposes varying from expansion of operations, upscaling sales and marketing, staff acquisition, to sourcing new business assets and equipment. The UK’s 5.6 million smaller businesses generate £2.3 trillion of turnover, employ more than 16 million people and are responsible for emissions of more than 120 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent per year, but external finance can help smaller businesses contribute to economic growth while reducing their environmental impact. Growing your team and finding the right people to help to grow your business was already a difficult landscape to navigate for business owners, but this Laptop Station, Eastbourne



combined with a strained recruitment market post-pandemic, where many companies are struggling to fill their vacancies, can seemingly put a cap on growth potential. For in-house design and ethical clothing company AYM in Lewes, this was the very challenge owner Alie Mackintosh was facing. The brand had caught the attention of prominent influencers like Kim Kardashian and Hailey Bieber and was experiencing unprecedented growth. This resulted in the need to recruit a competent new seamstress to keep up with demand and enable to AYM to stick to its brand ethos of putting people and planet first, with the payment of a fair living wage to its team members, while working towards the goal of achieving zero waste by evolving their processes, all made possible with a loan of £70,000. Most commonly, growth loans are used for a business to expand its operations. This will mean different things to individual businesses; it could be a whole new premises, an extension which allows space for new machinery, or more space for customers to sit. In recent years, Let’s Do Business Finance aided Kent restaurant Stark in securing finance to expand their business and open the doors to its second establishment, Stark Dos, due to the booming popularity of its first restaurant, which saw bookings soar and the earning of Michelin-Star accolade. Another popular use of growth loans is using the injection of funds to invest in your front end operations, like an attractive and functional website to improve online sales, or developing your SEO to reach your customers. Scaling up your sales and marketing strategy sometimes requires signif icant investment. This was the case for Laptop Station from Eastbourne Enterprise Centre who, with a growth loan of £50,000, was able to use it for just that. With the pandemic affecting

The team at California Classics, in Hastings

Many businesses ❛❛ acquire growth loans

to invest in their assets, enabling them to quickly boost output and serve more customers ❜❜ its growth, the company re-strategised to focus on providing technical support and widening its target market with their new website. Many businesses acquire growth loans to invest in their assets, enabling them to quickly boost output and serve more customers. With a business loan from Let’s Do Business Finance, Californian Classics in Hastings was able to expand its operations by purchasing specialist machinery, that resulted in its ability to increase production levels and raise the quality of its service to its clients. As well as helping Californian Classics to bring all elements of production in-house, the funding resulted in the business being able to expand its team with two new staff members and the safeguarding of nine jobs.

Whatever the size of your business, a growth loan may be the key to unlocking your potential. Whether your growth lies with your team, your equipment or an expansion of your premises, with a vast number of lenders out there, a growth loan is a great option to get your business future ready. Let’s do Business Finance loans are typically repaid over terms from three to seven years years and are available to businesses that have been operating for 24 months or longer, with loan amounts ranging from £10,000 £100,000, subject to satisfactory credit and affordability checks and depending on the lender.

If you’re ready to grow your business but are unsure if a growth loan is right for you, get in touch by emailing or visiting us at




‘Face Media Group’


TEN COUNTRIES IN TWELVE MONTHS Taking working from home to the next level

In the wake of the pandemic, companies across the globe have adapted to new ways of working. With large office buildings now unoccupied, and organisations embracing team members working remotely, there is plenty of scope for employees to explore and benefit from the ‘WFH’ culture Platinum inter viewed Angelique Caracciolo, Marketing Manager at, who has fully embraced the transition to working from home and has taken it to the next level by upping sticks and living in ten countries in the past 12 months whilst continuing her day-to-day role. Angelique joined in 2020 when the pandemic started and, like the rest of the world, she turned to remote working for the next year, supported by video communication software such as Microsoft Teams and Zoom – a new way of working was born. As one lockdown turned into multiple lockdowns, Angelique was confined to working from her London home, but the travel bug from previous years started to fill her thoughts. She realised that whether she was in London, Finland, or France, she could complete her day-to-day role, which involved regular communication over email and video conferences with her team at the same high standard. Taking inspiration from her Managing Director, Charmaine de Souza, who splits her time between Miami and London whilst running her company, Angelique approached both Charmaine and the HR department with her idea of travelling the world whilst maintaining her job at on a trial basis for the following 12 months.


Charmaine said “ We embrace a company culture based on trust as we want to empower our employees to work flexibly. We were very excited when Angelique approached us with her plans to travel whilst working and we were 100% onboard. It’s a wonderful opportunity for her to explore the world whilst still carrying out her important role at”

First, Angelique needed to test the water and see how feasible it would be to work remotely in a different country and if it would impact her role. So, she moved to France and stayed with relatives for a short period. After three months, Angelique realised it made no impact on her work, so she carefully planned the next 12 months of travelling with the support of her company. The primary consideration for each location was a good Wi-Fi connection as this was vital for daily communication with her team, so booking through Airbnb, she was able to confirm internet speeds ahead of arrival. Angelique has lived in England, Scotland, Spain, Italy, Croatia, Romania, South Africa, Finland, Estonia and Bulgaria in


1 2

Travel light: One suitcase is enough, so you don’t have too much to carry around!

Bring the right tech with you: Laptop, mouse, all the cables, these are the most important things to pack!

3 the last 12 months. At one point in Finland, Angelique was working whilst living close to Santa’s Village in the Arctic Circle surrounded by a snowstorm and went hunting for the Northern lights during her free time. Last summer, she went island hopping in Croatia for a month, proving that remote working really has no boundaries. Angelique believes that living in all these areas has not impacted her work and has instead boosted her productivity and mental health. She feels happier, more invested in her day-to-day work activities and the company, and always has exciting plans outside of work to explore new cities in her time off, creating an excellent work/life balance. Platinum asked Angelique what advice she would give to anyone thinking of embarking on the same adventure. She said she plans to continue her travels with another set of destinations worldwide in mind for this year, accompanied by her boyfriend, as his employer has also given him the oppor tunity to enjoy the same experience. has proven that you can create an effective working environment when backed by a supportive company culture that allows its employees to grow and flourish anywhere in the world whilst remaining engaged, connected and ultimately happy at work.

Make sure there’s Wi-Fi in the place you are staying: Check in advance with the host or you can also use your UK SIM card if there’s roaming included (PS: Check if your company’s mobile contract has roaming included. can help you with that!). As a backup, it is easy enough and affordable to buy a SIM card with data in each country you’re going to.


Pick the right Airbnb: Even if the idea of working from the beach or the café sounds amazing, you want to make sure you have a quiet and comfortable place to work in the house you are renting so you can take calls and concentrate.


Be aware of the time zone for your work hours: Following the UK work hours is very easy wherever you go in Europe or South Africa. If you decide to go further, you might have to wake up early or finish late at night! It’s part of the fun, right?


Check travel restrictions and the country’s entry requirements before travelling: This is super important, even now with easier travel restrictions, each country has its own rules so it’s good to know before you travel.


Be transparent with your employer and tell them where you are going: No need to lie or change your Zoom background so your team think you are in London. Be honest, your company will appreciate it.


Get a bank where you can pay everywhere without fees: This is an important point; you don’t want to be paying fees everywhere you go. I found and online bank called Monzo and it’s so convenient!


Travel insurance: Accident or sickness happens so you want to be covered when you travel. You don’t need to spend time searching for insurance for every single country you are going. Now, with Safety Wing you pay a monthly fee and you’re covered in most countries in case of an emergency.


Make sure you take breaks and enjoy your time off to explore: You don’t want to do this all to spend your day and night inside your house. You’re in a new country, a new city, go for a nice walk in the morning, enjoy the night out and live like locals during the weekend. You really get to experience the place you are in; this is so rewarding!


INFLUENCERS FORUM Many people are unfamiliar with the fact that the history of female entrepreneurship reaches far back into the past, as far back as 108 BC. There are many more recent examples of women in business too. Margaret Hardenbroeck arrived in what would become New York in 1659 to establish herself as a debt collector. Mary Catherine Goddard became the first woman publisher in America in 1766. Madam CJ Walker owned a million-dollar haircare business in the 1890s. And Coco Chanel opened her first boutique in 1913. However, during the mid 19th century, there was a shift in the labour force that saw women focusing on domestic tasks, while men became the sole wage earners. Until recently, such traditional gender roles have persisted. In 1973, for example, there was only one female CEO of a Fortune 500 company – Katharine Graham. At this time, only 38% of the workforce in the US were female. In 2019, that number increased to 46.2%, while 37 Fortune 500 companies had a female CEO.



Maarten Hoffmann is the facilitator for the Platinum Influencer Forums The Platinum Media Group is the largest circulation business publishing group in the UK, reaching up to 720,000 readers each month across three titles.

Lesley is a marketing professional, having spent many years with Capital Radio in London and the Observer Newspaper, and was instrumental in the launch of the Observer Magazine.

T: 07767 613707

The Platinum Publisher


Commercial Director Platinum Media Group





Alison works alongside owner-managed and multi-national groups of companies offering advice on how to improve profitability. Alison runs a networking club for Brighton’s leading businesswomen which tackles important, yet often unspoken issues, affecting women in business. She is also a founding member of Dynamic Magazine steering committee, a magazine produced by Platinum Publishing, for women in business.

Faye Long is a Regional Director for NatWest covering West London, Sussex and Surrey supporting commercial customers. Faye has over 14 years of experience working in Financial Services having spent the majority of her career in Human Resources supporting leaders and their teams with their people strategies.

Innovate UK EDGE

Fiona Anderson is an Innovation and Growth specialist at Innovate UK EDGE. She works with high growth innovative businesses wanting to access grant funding, investment, R&D tax, protect their intellectual property or internationalise their business. Fiona is a certified banker and women in business specialist, and has worked with over 1,000 businesses during her time running the Natwest Accelerator in Brighton.

Partner Kreston Reeves

Regional Director NatWest



Pam Loch is a solicitor and founder of Loch Associates Group which she set up in 2007. The Group comprises Loch Employment Law, HR Advise Me, Loch Wellbeing and Loch Mediation, providing clients with pragmatic and commercial solutions from a single, trusted partner. Pam is an award-winning employment law solicitor who regularly writes articles and appears frequently on local and national TV and radio shows commenting on employment law and HR issues.

Rachel Watkyn is a multi award-winning entrepreneur who set up Tiny Box Company from scratch in a bedroom 14 years ago, to now turning over around £10m, and has since launched two other successful companies in packaging, as well as a marketplace business and Aire Active for sustainable sportswear.

Managing Director Loch Associates

MD Tiny Box Company



So it looks like in the past 50 years we are heading in the right direction, but are we going fast enough? FL: We’re definitely heading in the right direction. More women than ever are starting businesses. And just in the last year 140,000 all-female firms were created. So there’s real momentum. On the flip side of that, the longevity of those businesses can be impacted by social caring responsibilities. But if women were starting businesses at the rate that men were starting businesses, we could add £250 billion to the UK economy. Pam, are we going fast enough? And if not, what’s holding us back? PL: We are going fast enough. However, I’m concerned that Covid has had a negative impact. What it has done to some extent is reinforce stereotypical notions around what a woman’s position should be. So what we’ve seen is some reversal; women ending up going back to do the household chores and caring responsibilities. We’ve certainly seen cases of discrimination involving women who are on maternity leave or pregnant which we’ve not experienced for about 10 to 15 years. It’s reassuring to hear about the number of women setting up businesses. My concern is - are they setting up a business because they were discriminated against in the workplace, and feel that setting up on their own is actually a solution that works for them? We do celebrate the fact that so many women are opening their own businesses. Is that because they want to or because they’re forced into it? AJ: I suspect many are probably forced into it. The ones I’ve come across setting up recently are doing it because they feel they can juggle better. They’ve just realised that to get the life that they want, and not be discriminated against, then the best thing to do is start their own business.

❛❛ My husband looks

after our kids full time. He was at home with the kids all the time. There’s apparently more men in the playground he chats to doing similar things ❜❜ Rachel, what’s your view on the speed that we are attempting to reach gender equality? RW: When I was in education in the late 80s, I was sent to the careers office for guidance, and was told I could be either a secretary or I could join the army. Those were my options. So whilst we are saying, ‘gender equality isn’t there, and it should be,’ then if you look at the speed it’s happened in recent history, it has happened incredibly fast. FA: For me, it’s actually the pace at which women are feeling comfortable and confident to be able to start their own businesses. Covid has maybe pushed that forward in terms of feeling they have been discriminated against, and had to leave their jobs. The feeling then is that their only route is to start their own business. But there is an element also of ‘how sustainable are those businesses that women are starting?’ Is there the right support and funding available nowadays for them through accelerators or incubators? When I worked at the NatWest Accelerator, when we opened in August 2015, we had more women entrepreneurs than we had men. I remember the early days of the NatWest Accelerator and there certainly was a very large contingent of females coming through. We were discussing the survival rate of female businesses. Do we feel the survival rate of female-run businesses is lower than male-run businesses? FL: From the studies that we’ve looked at, more of the caring responsibilities for dependants, either children or elderly parents, mostly falls to females. Where that does impact, the stats show that those businesses are 62% less likely to have recovered after the Covid pandemic.



When you’ve got a husband and wife and, say, two children, why are the men not doing as much as the women? FL: My husband looks after our kids full time. I didn’t do any of the caring responsibilities. He was at home with the kids all the time. There’s apparently more men in the playground he chats to doing similar things. Do you feel like you sacrifice that side of it for your career? Or do you think that the balance is OK? FL: The balance is good. I don’t feel like I’ve lost out on anything. In fact, he’s gained more through doing some of the things that I would have done like organising stuff for the school, and doing the homework. He’s much more involved in the kids’ lives as a result of this. Did your husband have to sacrifice his own career for this? FL: We made the choice together. He stepped away from his career, and he’s now retrained. He’s gone down the route of wanting to start up his own business as an electrician, which was his choice. So it works. PL: I don’t have young children now, but we have elderly parents, so we’re still talking about dependants. There’s still a large number of women that are caring for elderly parents as well. What I noticed what was there’s still probably more women than men working part-time and the reason they’re working part-time is because they’ve got caring responsibilities. Just by default, it seems the females took on responsibility during Covid. Regarding Faye and her husband’s ‘traditional’ role reversal, he’s put his career on hold, while Faye goes out to do her job. It seems the other way round can work too. PL: I’ve always said we’re never really going to get equality in this world until your male partner says, ‘I’m going golfing and I’ve arranged for somebody to look after our child.’ As opposed to, ‘I’m going golfing on Saturday…’, and then there’s silence because there’s an assumption that you are looking after the child. But it can work. I don’t feel you can both have full-on careers when you’ve got children or dependants that need you as well; it’s very difficult. So usually one of you will decide that you’re going to have a more flexible approach. That might enable women to be more entrepreneurial, because they’ve got the facility to juggle things better.



One of the biggest issues we’ve got here is educating men. Someone somewhere needs to put some effort and time into teaching boys where their position is in the world. FA: I went back to South Africa for three years, and it’s a very male dominated culture. I worked with women entrepreneurs out there. It was very interesting because a lot of the challenges were with women and their confidence in starting their own businesses. But ultimately, it was down to access to finance investment for funding to grow. It’s very difficult, because as a culture, men are seen to be the breadwinner. Each culture is different but you can certainly lead by example. AJ: The other thing I was going say was about ‘Supermum’ - Nicola Horlick. She’s was in an article recently, saying she regretted the fact that she had gone on about how you could be a ‘Supermum’, and how you could do everything, and can run everything. She’s now realised that there were things that she missed out and that you can’t do and have everything. She made other women feel inadequate. ‘Oh, 15 years later, I was wrong. It doesn’t work.’ That’s 15 years of women feeling inadequate, because ‘Supermum’ was a myth. AJ: I know a lot of people, a lot of my peers felt that pressure and felt that they should be that ‘Supermum’. And because they couldn’t be, they felt they were doing something wrong.

❛❛ I don’t feel you

can both have full-on careers when you’ve got children or dependants that need you as well ❜❜



Going forward, it’s a pendulum, isn’t it? The pendulum swung all the way one way where it was completely unequal. Men were the bosses, the women were looking after the kids and the home. And when that pendulum swings back to the middle, we must stop it going too far the other way. So I think it’s a case of trying to stop that pendulum in the middle rather than penalising men for past transgressions and seeing a new version of inequality.

We’re in the midst of working on the Dynamic Business Awards and we’ve got three steering committee members here. One of the issues we have to overcome is that of imposter syndrome. What we’re asking for is women to enter business awards that are designed just for women. And there is that problem that many women wouldn’t presume to enter themselves for an award. There’s a case of ‘I shouldn’t think I’m good enough to be Businesswoman of the Year’.

AJ: My daughter, who Pam knows, is about to get promoted at work, and she lives with another girl who she was at university with. The other girl has suggested that the only reason why my daughter’s going to be promoted is because the boss fancies her.

I gave a speech recently about impostor syndrome because I know a lot of men just don’t admit to it, this is not a female-only issue. We’ve partially got around the problem by nominations, therefore it is not that particular woman thinking she is good enough to enter but one of her peers. Does anybody recognise impostor syndrome?

And I’m sitting there thinking, ‘what are you on about?’ She’s working really hard; very committed and has to live with the fact that she might be promoted due to the boss fancying her. FL: I’m not worried about it swinging too far the other way because we’re still not there; we’re still a way off.. We’re all making progress, which is great, but we still have quite a way to go for gender equality. PL: I often get that we see men who are invariably older and white, who complain that they’re the least protected in society, and they get quite bitter about women and ethnic minorities that they feel might be getting placed ahead of them. But the reality is, the legislation is there to protect everyone. The challenge here is that we’re trying to make it equal and at the moment, there is still significant inequality, across funding, pay and society at large in terms of the way that people view women’s roles.

FA: Very much so. I had a very interesting conversation with a man who’s very well known around Sussex, last year after an event that he ran, and he said to me, ‘I suffer from imposter syndrome, and always have,’ and especially now with his change in career direction, he said even more so. It’s about your own mind and being confident in your own abilities. But I’ve never had that nurturing and reassurance about me as an individual, so I do suffer a lot with my own confidence in my own abilities. AJ: I also recognise it. I had a boss at a previous firm who told me that I would never make a partner and I just wasn’t good enough or clever enough. And that took me many years to get over. I am now the only partner in my firm who doesn’t have a degree, and a part of me feels ashamed. But then I think I shouldn’t be worried just because I haven’t got a degree. I should feel the other way. I’m a partner despite not having a degree. I rarely share the fact that I haven’t got a degree because I’m embarrassed about it. And that’s mad, isn’t it? RW: Absolutely crazy, because you have defied convention. So it’s brilliant. AJ: Yes, but I don’t tend to tell people normally.



How many years did it take you to get to that point and realising, actually, that’s the benefit in what you did – that you got where you got without the degree? AJ: I feel a bit embarrassed about telling you now. So I don’t know if I ever have actually got over it. But I’m the sort of person who’s actually quite determined. And if someone says that to me, it actually makes me more determined. Regarding investment, in 2018, for every pound of venture capital investment in the UK, businesses with all-female founders got one penny. Mixed-gender founding teams got 10p and all-male founders got 89p. I know it’s four years ago, but that’s just not good enough, is it? FL: One of the reasons why we tried to put specific funding pots available for supporting female businesses is because there are challenges and we recognise that. It’s not moving quickly enough. I still think there’s more male businesses being set up, meaning males are getting more funding than females. So we’re not at gender parity; there’s still more to do. But we have seen the number of female entrepreneurs is increasing; it’s a start. RW: A friend of mine has an online pharmacy business. She’s 28, a doctor, and very bright. She’s trying to raise £5 million in venture capital. She sent out her details to a lot of VCs. The response was pitiful. One group of VCs actually said to her, she was too risky because she was of childbearing age. And then she called me about two weeks ago – in a rage. ‘Why did I never think of it? I’ve sent the VC pack from my husband’s LinkedIn account. And I’ve had so many responses.’ AJ: In this day and age, that is appalling. It really is. PL: But the problem is a lot of the VCs are still dominated by males. So we shouldn’t be too surprised that we’ve got this funding issue where there is discrimination going on. But I am surprised that they have been so blatant.


RW: I’m not. I have two investors. I went to a meeting with them and their honchos a couple of years ago. One guy said to me, ‘would I like a cup of tea?’. I said, ‘oh, that would be lovely. I’ll give you a hand’. He said, ‘oh, great,’ and left me to serve the entire team, even though it was my meeting with the VCs. FA: Rachel and I attended an event just before International Women’s Day at Platform9 in Brighton and the one of the guest speakers was Maggie Murphy, CEO of Lewes FC. Lewes became well-known for being the first football club to have equal pay for their men and women playing staff. And she said exactly the same thing happened to her when she attended one of the first board meetings where it was a roomful of men. And in her presentation, that was hilarious. She had a picture up on the screen of a kettle and said, ‘don’t mention the kettle.’ She made a bit of a joke of it, but then she said that it just spoke volumes about the way her first meeting at the football club went.

Faye and I gave a speech at the NatWest event for International Women’s Day, and Maggie was speaking, and I was very impressed by her and l am delighted to see that she has submitted an entry for the Dynamic Awards. FL: I was very impressed with what she said. And I think it taught me quite a lot about game of football and how hierarchical it is, even though Lewes Women were comfortably beating Crystal Palace’s women’s team. FA: Just to go back to the question about the funding side, I’m not sure that it’s that there isn’t funding available, but some of it comes down to women not being confident in their financials in their business. And so there is an element again, of education, of just having had this mental block about even understanding or looking at your financials in your business. And then some of it is really having the confidence to stand up and or even ask about your funding requirements. RW: You can go on to a lot of websites, and you can see there’s a cash flow template. From speaking to small businesses every week, there needs to be something like a series of YouTube step-by-step tutorial videos on how you run your own business; how to run a cash flow, here is how you fill it in etc. There needs to be something that literally talks them through step by step. I’ve never found that resource.


Boys and girls all come out of education together. They all study maths, English, history and all the other various subjects. Is it a lack of knowledge or a lack of confidence in how to put a spreadsheet together? PL: Quite often, there’s a lack of confidence in women. That applies in terms of women going for promotions too, because it’s historical that men will tend to say, ‘I can do this,’ and they’ll blag it where women will make a very considered decision based on what they’re capable of. And they’ll probably underestimate their capabilities. AJ: If you’ve got a list of job qualities, a woman will be expected to meet all 10. A man will be have six or seven, and then look to blag the other three, so he’ll apply for it. But the woman won’t, because maybe she can only do nine. It’s a confidence thing. FA: Men are all ‘fake it till they make it.’ Because they’ve got the confidence. But we will think, ‘oh, not sure if I’m quite qualified for that role. I can’t do that one thing, I’m sure they’re gonna ask me about that. And then I’ll be caught out.’ And we’re back to imposter syndrome. There’s definitely empirical evidence of that being the case. PL: But they won’t be coming in front of you as often really, because they’ll be holding back thinking, ‘I can’t do it’. Possibly. But at least you know that, from a woman’s point of view, they’re going to tell you the truth, not how they think it could go if they wing it for long enough. PL: I wouldn’t rely fully on that because you do get some women that do blag it and I’ve come across a few. I wrote an article on that recently about fakers. But you make a good point.

❛❛ That’s 15 years of women feeling inadequate, because ‘Supermum’ was a myth ❜❜



I’d say that it is a male thing, so I wonder where that comes from? If a female has good parents who are teaching her that she can do absolutely anything that any boy can do, where does that inherent imposter syndrome come from? AJ: I’d say a lack of role models - across the board. Not just manufactured ones or famous actresses and pop singers. RW: I’ve still got the same imposter syndrome. I’ve tried to recruit four male general managers in the last six years. I had to give myself a good talking to find out why I was following the same pattern of behaviour. In my head, a man was going to come and rescue the business because of my own lack of self belief; that’s my imposter syndrome. Five managers later, I’ve finally realised that I never needed rescuing in the first place. FL: It’s a number of factors. There’s not one thing; it’s a complex. The theme of International Women’s Day was great, break the bias. Even from such an early age, girls are treated differently than boys. As a mum, am I more likely, if my daughter’s crying, to give her a big cuddle than I would my son? It’s inherent in society and it’s going to take a long time to undo that. Role models are really important, but it’s a number of different factors. FA: It’s also role models in your work environment, not just your family. When I started at NatWest, I was actually quite lucky I had a female boss, which was probably quite rare in 2002, and she was amazing. She was then in her mid-50s, she was a very nurturing person, and she really did help me to have the confidence to apply for another role to move on in my career. AJ: I think having a mentor, when you first start at work is really key. My first boss was absolutely brilliant and he remained a mentor for 15 years after I left. FA: Within the bank, you can either be a mentor to somebody who is wanting to work their way up, or when we ran the accelerators, we encouraged bank employees if they wanted to take on a mentoring role with some of the businesses. I did act as a mentor for a couple of the younger graduates and then I had two mentors within the bank. It’s been invaluable to me. FL: The reason I got this role is because I needed that extra confidence of somebody saying ‘you can do it.’ So absolutely, it’s so important.



Do you think it makes a difference whether the mentor is male or female? PL: It might do on the entrepreneurial side of things because there might be challenges for women setting up businesses on their own that males may not be aware of. There’s then a lack of numbers because there aren’t enough women that are running their own businesses to act as mentors. But certainly for female business owners, having a female mentor them would be better. Outside of that, with careers in the workplace, it shouldn’t really make a difference.

❛❛ The only reason why

my daughter’s going to be promoted is because the boss fancies her apparently ❜❜

Moving on, it’s important to look at the gender pay gap, which is something I just don’t understand. How is Rachel or Faye worth less than me? The UK overall gender pay gap in 2020 was 15.5%. How do we fix this? FL: It’s important to remember that gender pay is different from equal pay. Gender pay is much more aggregated. You can have 50% of males and females in roles across an organisation, but as you go higher up in that organisation, there are fewer females, and that starts to skew that gender pay gap figures. RW: We did the gender pay gap exercise last November. We have 100 employees, but we thought we should do it. And I was horrified to see that we were actually the other way. Massive female bias. So that’s something that we’ve now got to address as an organisation, and make sure that we bring in more senior men. Do you think that bias is because you’re a female running the business? RW: I have promoted from within as hard as I can. When I started we had a lot of lower paid workers that were female, and I’ve pushed them through the organisation. So the senior team is largely female, apart from the operations manager, and my husband. Everybody else is female. FL: We have to remember, equal pay is a like-for-like comparison on the same role. RW: And in the same role, we paid everybody exactly the same regardless of gender. I don’t care, so long as they can do the job. PL: What you’ve got is a gender imbalance. What you can then do, lawfully, is advertise to say, ‘we encourage men to apply’. You can actually do that if you really wanted to. So it’s slightly different to gender pay gap.

This discussion has been fascinating. If I can just ask each of you one final question - what advice would you give to your younger self? AJ: Be braver and more confident. If I’d been braver, I would have been a journalist if l wasn’t an accountant, but I got talked into it. And, to be fair, I love it. The thing I love most is the fact that I’m dealing with people and clients. So… be brave, be more confident and you’ve only got one life, so if you’ve got a dream go for it. PL: For me, I would probably say, ‘well done for listening to your mum’, who encouraged me to have an independent career. Be driven and determined to achieve with what you can achieve. RW: I would say the same as Alison. Because when you’re dying on your deathbed, you’re not thinking about, ‘oh, I shouldn’t have done that.’ You’re thinking about all the things that you should have done, and you should have just taken the plunge, but you never took the risk. It’s the regrets of what you’ve not achieved as opposed to what you have. FL: Don’t think too strictly about one career. It’s OK to change careers. You don’t have to do one thing for your whole career. You can change. FA: Just have confidence in yourself, and not second-guess yourself. I was very lucky joining the bank. I’ve had a good career. So, just really listen to your own gut instinct. Excellent. Thank you very much for your time. I’m aware that we could probably go on another three hours with this, but I thank you all very much for your time.


Understanding your business credit score Finding out and understanding your business credit score can help you achieve your full growth and development plans. To find out, improve, or discuss the implications of your business credit score, contact Rachel Emmerson for an initial free phone call. #shapingyourfuture

For more than accountancy, business and financial advice. Call: +44 (0)330 124 1399 Email:


Recruiting good staff, especially if you are an SME, can be expensive and time-consuming. But all that painstaking work can be wasted if you don’t have the right induction programme and training in place, says Cleankill Technical and Training Manager Chris Davis

THE IMPORTANCE OF STAFF TRAINING FROM THE VERY FIRST DAY There is no doubt that pest control is a fascinating but unusual career, and I have always said that “You never forget your first week”. However that could apply to most professions, so it is absolutely critical to get it right and get a new recruit to understand your company ethos and culture – first impressions really do count! If everybody involved in staff recruitment and training makes sure the first experience for a new team member is positive, it can only benefit your company. All organisations can benefit from a full, well-organised training programme for new recruits particularly if you are in a service industry. For Cleankill the decision to focus on training follows many years of interviewing candidates with previous industry experience. I’ve interviewed many candidates over the years and it had become clear that there was a massive disparity in the quality of training staff were receiving at the start of the careers. Of course, some candidates are receiving what we would consider to be appropriate levels of training but, all too often, supposedly experienced candidates had received barely any training. This makes no sense to me whatsoever. Why would you want to send untrained people out to interact with your customers or potential customers? We want staff that work hard, enjoy their work and come across as professional to our customers. The hope is that some of those customers write good reviews about what we are doing and spread the word.

staff understanding of other people’s roles in the business and building up good inter-team relationships. Mind you, so far we haven’t had any administration staff offer to go out and help treat a bed bug job yet, but I am sure it is only a matter of time!

A good training programme for new starters should include a comprehensive overview that encompasses everything from what a candidate should bring with them on their first day to selecting the right staff to carry out the new employee’s in-the-field training. It also means ensuring that good trainers get full recognition for their good work in training new recruits to be professional and an asset to your business. This isn’t just a problem that Cleankill faces when recruiting, it is a problem for many companies. There have always been businesses that do training well, but there needs to be greater consistency across sectors such as pest control. It’s crucial to make sure that knowledge and experience are properly passed on so you can train and develop staff to a high standard of professionalism and technical competency. Also important is making sure all staff understand each other’s roles. Cleankill has introduced a programme for administration staff to spend a day out accompanying surveyors and technicians so that can see what they do. This is paying massive dividends in improving

Among his many roles at Cleankill, Chris oversees staff training and development. In 2017, he received the Charles Keeble Award at the British Pest Management Awards in recognition of his outstanding commitment and performance in training and development. Now employing 50 staff, award-winning Cleankill Pest Control offers eradication and preventative services for all public health pests, including: mice; rats; cockroaches; wasps; fleas; squirrels and pest birds. As a registered waste carrier, Cleankill can also remove pigeon debris and other waste. With offices in Surrey, East Sussex, Bristol and Buckinghamshire, Cleankill has many customers throughout London, Surrey, Sussex, the Home Counties, Bristol, Gloucestershire and Somerset.

For a free pest control survey email or call 0800 056 5477




By Tess de Klerk



Towner Eastbourne

Jananne Al-Ani is a London-based, Iraqi-born artist working with photography, film and video. Her exhibition is a moving work in which she reveals a micro landscape in the surface of a highly decorated brass tray that originated in Iraq and is now held in the V&A Collection. Using ultra close-up photographs of the engraved surface and computer animation, Al-Ani transforms the flattened perspective of the scene into a vast and varied landscape. The artist’s work is concerned with the power of testimony, representations of landscapes marked by conflict, and the legacy of British power and influence globally. Until May 22nd 2022


National Maritime Museum, Greenwich


Kew Gardens, Richmond If you have a little one in your life (or a big one!) who loves vivid candy floss colours and fantastical shapes then take them to Kew Gardens and pop into the Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art for this eclectic exhibition of artworks made from everyday materials such as sugar, candy, and assorted craft materials. See the imaginary landscape filled with foods of the future, created in collaboration with Kew scientists. Until March 2023

Expect breathtaking intergalactic images as 2022’s Astronomy Photographer of the Year exhibit showcases the world’s best space photography, from spectacular skyscapes to mind-blowing images of distant planets and galaxies. Leave the museum with a renewed sense of wonder for the universe and our place in it. Until August 7th 2022


Hastings Contemporary (formerly the Jerwood Gallery)

During his time as a political prisoner in his native Sudan in the 1970s, Ibrahim El-Salahi drew on small scraps of cement casings, which he would join together to make a whole when his guards were not watching. At the age of 91, the ‘Godfather of African Modernism’ is still creating, refusing to let the immense back pain he is suffering stop him. The exhibition features tiny pen-and-ink drawings as well as large, unique monoprint paintings transferred by screen from initial works. Pain Relief coincides with El-Salahi’s inclusion in Il Latte dei Sogni (The Milk of Dreams) at the Venice Biennale. Until June 5th 2022

The world’s best space photography, from spectacular skyscapes to mind-blowing images of distant planets and galaxies ❜❜



Farleys Gallery, Muddles Green (Lewes)


Tate Modern

Discover a world of endless reflections inside Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirror Rooms at Tate Modern. Combining her 2012 work Infinity Mirrored Room – Filled with the Brilliance of Life, and a Chandelier of Grief, this exhibition offers a mesmerising and immersive glimpse into the mind of the Japanese artist. Until June 12th 2022

Farley’s House and Gallery is in itself a terrific hidden gem in East Sussex and is now, following a major retrospective of her work at the Tate Modern in 2019, showcasing an exhibition of prints by Dorothea Tanning. She created everything from enigmatic paintings to uncanny sculptures during her enviable seven-decade career but she might be best known for her surrealist prints. Tanning strove to depict ‘unknown but knowable states’; to suggest there was more to life than meets the eye and her work leaves one contemplating just that. Until May 22nd 2022


The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace

The Queen’s Gallery is always a good choice when you have little time to spare, it can comfortably be explored in an hour. This exhibition explores British royal encounters with Japan over a period of 350 years. The Royal Collection holds some of the most significant examples of Japanese art and design in the western world. For the first time, highlights from this outstanding collection are brought together to tell the story of 300 years of diplomatic, artistic and cultural exchange between the British and Japanese royal and imperial families. The exhibition includes rare pieces of porcelain and lacquer, samurai armour, embroidered screens and diplomatic gifts from the reigns of James I to Her Majesty The Queen. Until February 2023

THE ROYAL OBSERVATORY The Royal Observatory Greenwich deserves a special mention for its fantastic year-round Planetarium shows and Observatory events. See the universe in a brand new light and reawaken wonder! I can confidently say that even the most jaded amongst us can find something to be in awe of at this inspiring observatory.


CLASSIC CAR INVESTMENTS By Maarten Hoffmann, Senior Motoring Editor So, you have some available cash but what to do with it? How to make it work? The bank is a waste of time, ISAs can work but are they exciting? (That was a rhetorical question). You could buy art or jewellery as that is certainly a good investment if you buy the right items but how many times can you look at a diamond or a vintage watch? How about classic cars? With the right purchase, they are a guaranteed investment that will not decrease in value and you can look at it, stroke it, clean it and drive it on a Sunday – or everyday if you like but then the investment decreases as you pile on the miles. Classic cars are beautiful and there is so much to choose from, everything to suit your taste, style and wallet.


With dwindling interest rates, volatile market fears over Brexit and the impact of the pandemic, people are leaving the stock market and looking for alternative classic car investment opportunities as our car appraisal experts confirmed in 2021. Jens Berner, a vintage car expert, has suggested that for people with liquid assets, classic car investments can return an impressive yield with value stability beyond the uncertainty that 2022 still brings. To back up his claim, Südwestbank – for whom Berner is

a vintage car expert – started a classic car investment index made up of vehicles that are at least 30 years old. From 2005 to 2008, the index quadrupled. It seems that in 2022 the best classic car investment choices have the potential to offer a higher return than property, shares, and many other investments. Here are some of the best buys but remember, it must be the right model, in the right condition, in the right colour and with the right mileage:

❛❛ DJ Chris Evans purchased actor

James Coburn’s 250 California for £5.6 million and sold it five years later for £12 million ❜❜



Average cost: £15 million The ‘gold standard’ in car investments, built from 1953-1964. It must have the original engine, transmission and bodywork. Finding one would be the like finding hen’s teeth and you will need a very healthy bank balance. Best auction price, and making it the highest price ever achieved at auction, was £48.4 million for a 1962 250 GT. DJ Chris Evans purchased actor James Coburn’s 250 California for £5.6 million and sold it five years later for £12 million.


Average cost: £16,000 This was MG’s pint-sized Aston and has garnered huge respect over the years and folk are now realising its value. In 2016, they were around £11,000, 2018 around £13,000, 2021 around £16,000 and the top price at auction was £31,000. One to watch if you can find one.

❛❛ From 2005 to 2008, the index quadrupled ❜❜


Average cost £23,000 Sales of the über-cool campervans rocketed during lockdown, along with boats and caravans. You need to look out for the 60s and 70s models and perhaps an 80s one and it should be rust-free, no more than 80,000 miles and right-hand drive. Get a 60’s split window model and it’s like finding a bar of gold. Highest sale price to date is £150,000.



Average cost: £75,000 This was the best selling classic car of 2021 and continues to rise in value. You need the 911 from 1965-1980 ideally and if you can your hands on a 930 Turbo, all the better. A good example is an excellent investment and a concours 911 Turbo 930 recently auctioned for £1.6 million.

t MERCEDES SL Average cost: £23,000 A classic German drop top, and good ones are in demand if made between 1980-2001. Comfort, power and unending style with strong demand but it must be the R107 model as that is where the profit resides. Good examples are going at auction anywhere from £50,000 upwards.

❛❛ Classic cars are

beautiful and there is so much to choose from, everything to suit your taste, style and wallet ❜❜


Average cost: £80,000 The ‘go to’ sure bet which is why you will struggle to find a decent one for a decent price. If you find a good V12, you will make £6,000 by the time you have driven it out the showroom and this year is the model’s 60th anniversary, so expect the price to rocket even higher. Top price for a pristine ‘racing’ model was £6.3 million.


MOTORING t TRIUMPH TR6 Average cost: £18,000 A corking British sportscar (l have owned three) that are becoming tough to get hold of. It must be fuel injected, it must not be a US import car and should have no rust. Best price achieved at auction in 2022 was £57,000 which had been bought for £24,000 two years earlier.



INTERVIEW NatWest’s Faye Long Being kind in business How to break the bias THE DYNAMIC AWARDS Entries are closed MOTORING Ford Kuga



May | June 2022 #16

cont ent s 12

BIG STORY Denise Coates

2 THE DYNAMIC AWARDS 4 MEET THE STEERING COMMITTEE 5 WELCOME 6 UPFRONT All the latest bulletins from the world of business 10 BIG STORY The ultimate super achiever 14 The Rose Review reports third year of progress 16 MEET THE NEW DIRECTOR: Faye Long

19 Rockinghorse children’s charity becomes the official charity partner of the Dynamic Business Awards 20 New year, new you! Seizing opportunities in the 2022/23 tax year 22 Gender pay gap 24 How to break the bias 26 The growing importance of kindness in business 28 Find some of the latest research in aid of living healthier lives for longer


30 MOTORING The Kuga … never knowingly understated





Our illustrious steering committee guide the editorial tone of the magazine

JULIE KAPSALIS Chair Coast to Capital LEP

FAYE LONG Regional Director NatWest Group

ROSEMARY FRENCH OBE Non-Executive Director Gatwick Diamond Initiative

EMMA LANE Head of Client Management Allica Bank

PAM LOCH Managing Director Loch Associates

ABIGAIL OWEN Senior Corporate Counsel DMH Stallard

ALISON ADDY Head of External Engagement Gatwick Airport

LOUISE PUNTER CEO Surrey Chambers of Commerce

MAXINE REID-ROBERTS Managing Director Quantuma

LESLEY ALCOCK Commercial Director The Platinum Media Group


MAARTEN HOFFMANN CEO/Publisher The Platinum Media Group

ALISON JONES Partner Kreston Reeves

FIONA SHAFER Managing Director MD HUB


FIONA GRAVES Events Director The Platinum Media Group

welc ome


Welcome to the May/June issue of Dynamic Magazine. According to UN figures, 3.8m people have fled Ukraine since Russia’s invasion, of which 90% are women and children. It is impossible for most of us in the UK to comprehend such a personal nightmare leaving grandparents, husbands, brothers, sons and partners behind, completely displacing and wrecking families. In addition to the humanitarian crisis, we recognise the catastrophic economic implications on Ukraine of the departure of these women. We watch mothers sheltering their children as they run and yet so many of these women have also left behind jobs, careers and enterprises. Each of these women and girls will be affected differently and disproportionately. The world admires how resilient they are, although how long that can last, we can only guess. According

to the UN, even before this war, in the Russiandominated eastern provinces of Ukraine, women and children were already experiencing significant difficulty in accessing healthcare, housing and employment. I am organising an online interview with a 26-year-old who has found refuge with my sister in Paris. She had left east Ukraine to seek a career in the sciences in Kyiv – a more equal and democratic society – and now has been urged to leave the country by her parents left behind in Donbas. She immediately started admin work in my sister’s dental practice and is seeking work as a pharmacist, but she wants to come to the UK because she does not speak French. I’ll report on that interview in the next edition of Dynamic. In the meantime, we must continue to lobby government to make access to Great Britain easier for these highly educated and talented women at


WWW.PLATINUMMEDIAGROUP.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 Limited.


DEADLINE MISSED Roughly 1,500 British firms missed the gender pay gap reporting deadline of April 4th and are now at risk of being found out by the public. 9,952 companies have published their gender pay gaps for 20212022, down from 10,564 last year. According to statistics, the gender pay gap is shrinking year on year, from 14.3% in 2017-18 to 12.5% in 2020-21. Yet, it is still there, and with many companies not reporting their gender pay gaps, the picture isn’t complete and could therefore be either better or worse than it appears. A YouGov survey of 16,000 adults found just one in five women who ask for a pay rise are successful, compared to just under a third of men. In addition to a higher general success rate, research suggests men are also more likely to ask for a raise.

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

Good girls go to heaven, bad girls go everywhere Mae West

MENOPAUSE COLLECTIVE Menopause Collective; the one-stop platform and community for menopause offering advice, support, health tips, nutrition, and fitness programme has announced a partnership with Shhh Menopause Wellness, creators of handcrafted wellbeing products made with essential oils and ingredients to specifically help and support women going through the ups and downs of menopause. Depression, anxiety, mood swings and hot flushes are all part of the process, whatever stage you are at on your menopause journey. Menopause Collective have chosen Shhh… Menopause Wellness as its first brand partner to help alleviate some of the physical symptoms of this stage of life. The products have been tried and tested by the Menopause Collective team with outstanding results. They work!





There is no doubt hands-on trade has historically been dominated by male workers. However in recent years the gender gap has been slowly narrowing. The number of women now taking on construction and engineering apprenticeships in the UK has skyrocketed by 366% in the last five years. From 2009 to 2019, the estimated number of women working as builders, plumbers, and electricians jumped from 15,000 to 33,000. The increase in demand for skilled workers in the industry and an array of attractive advantages means more women than ever before are considering a plunge in the field of manual trades.

A new study reveals the UK’s fairest, best and worst places to work as a woman, compared to how much men are paid. The research, carried out by, used the latest data available from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), to analyse the differences in median annual pay for male and female full-time workers in 321 districts and units across the UK. Fairest: Arun in West Sussex is the fairest place in the country to work in Best for women: Women in East Hampshire are paid significantly more than men Worst for women: South Derbyshire pays women only half of men’s salaries

WFH An award-winning businesswoman has claimed that parents who work from home are setting a ‘bad example’ to their children, likening the situation to families where several generations are unemployed and rely on benefits. Tina Knight, from Essex, said parents continuing to work remotely could be harmful to the future generation of workers, branding the ‘sense of entitlement’ among the public ‘incredible’. Appearing on Good Morning Britain, she compared the mindset about working from home passed on to children from parents to that of those claiming unemployment benefits. After building up her own electronics company, Miss Knight was presented with the 1988 Women in Business Award by Margaret Thatcher, and now sits on the boards of companies in both the private and public sector.

You can be gorgeous at thirty, charming at forty, and irresistible for the rest of your life Coco Chanel

However, Geeta Sidhu-Robb, owner of Nosh Detox criticised her argument, insisting her approach is ‘another stick to beat women with’, saying employees are often more productive at home.




Taking an eight-figure gamble on a gambling start-up in the UK may not sound the wisest of businesses decision. But when Denise Coates did just that in 2000, her flutter paid off, to the point that, 20 years and a lot of hard work later, the Sunday Times Rich List values her net worth at over £8bn. Better than backing a three-legged rocking horse, one supposes… By Alan Wares

The ultimate super achiever Denise Coates CBE was born on September 26th 1967 in Stoke-on-Trent. She is the founder, majority shareholder and joint chief executive of Bet365, the online gambling company. Having graduated from the University of Sheffield with a firstclass degree in econometrics, and then training to be an accountant, Denise saw the potential in the-then fledgling internet for business opportunities, specifically in gambling. Denise Coates bought the Bet365. com domain name in January 2000, but soon realised that the cost to develop the site and launch it properly would require a large cash investment. At first, she approached a number of venture capitalists in London, but walked away from those meetings without getting a single penny from any of them. Undeterred, she turned to her father, other family members, and the Royal Bank of Scotland. The latter granted her a loan of £15 million, although she had to put up the family’s betting shops as collateral. This was an enormous leap of faith from her father, Peter, to offer his high street betting empire, which he started in 1974,


but he obviously had confidence in Denise’s plan. launched in 2001, and Denise spent nearly all of her working time on the website from a temporary building that had been installed in a parking lot next to one of her family’s betting shops. From acorns, as they say… Early on, she realised that Bet365 would need to stand out from its established online competitors. In order to do this, she took the following steps. For a start, it was made clear to visitors of the site that Bet365 was based in the UK and maintained a series of betting shops that customers could visit in person. This offered a big advantage as a large number of online operators were located in foreign countries with little or no regulatory supervision. Additionally, instead of just offering online sports betting, Bet365 added bingo, casino games, poker, horse racing, and much more. This transformed the site into a one-stop destination for gambling, making it a very attractive proposition for punters. Furthermore, while other sites only



By 2016, Bet365 was one of the largest online betting sites in the world, with annual bets at around £2.8 billion

offered the major sports, Bet365 expanded to offer a far wider set of competitions and leagues. Customers could visit the site and place a bet on their favourite team or athlete from a pretty comprehensive selection of sports. Others would eventually adopt this model, but Denise Coates’ Bet365 led the way. Customer service was essential, as repeat customer visits were determined to be vital to the success of Bet365. In a world where every trick in the book is pulled, Bet365 sought to establish a reputation as a gambling operation that could be trusted, while avoiding scandal or negative publicity Finally, innovation was key. From their livestream commercial-break ads featuring actor Ray Winstone to constant upgrades featuring mobile and in-play betting, Bet365 sought to offer services ahead of its competitors By 2005, the company was on firm ground. It meant Denise could sell off the family’s high street-based betting shops to Coral for over £40 million, with some of the profits used to pay back the Royal Bank of Scotland for their initial loan. By 2016, Bet365 was one of the largest online betting sites in the world, with annual bets at around £2.8 billion. In 2013, Coates was named as one of the 100 most powerful women in the UK by BBC Radio Four’s Woman’s Hour programme.




Sources at gambling charities say money has been slow to arrive, while the industry has also been criticised for trying to control which organisations receive it Denise Coates herself is a quiet, almost reclusive person who shuns the limelight and is rarely seen except at functions and meetings where it is obligatory for her to attend. She lives in Sandbach, Cheshire with her husband Richard Smith, in their Norman Foster-designed home, reported to have cost £90m. She did make the headlines, however, causing several eyebrows to perform their own bungee-jump when the company (50.1% owned by Denise) paid her a salary of £217 million in 2017. This paled into relative insignificance when it was announced her 2020 salary was an astonishing £421m – a salary it would take the average person in the UK 11,500 years to earn, even if inflation-adjusted. She is believed to be the biggest single individual taxpayer in the UK, and her 2020 take-home was more than all the FTSE 100 Index CEOs combined. Her 2021 salary was reported to be a mere £300 million. While tax affairs are, of course, private and confidential, The Sunday Times Rich List estimated that – and this is prudent given the company’s public insistence on pointing out they were UK-based – the Coates family paid £156m in income tax in 2017/18, with Denise alone paying £99m.


As for the Rich List itself, the latest incarnation – dated May 2021 – puts the Coates family in 17th position in the UK, with an estimated wealth value of £8.45bn. Forbes has them even richer – at £9.3bn. Future account statements will be interesting as many events which punters gambled on were cancelled due to Covid. However, this was mostly re-balanced with the additional take-up during lockdown of casino sites – across the industry. Bet365 itself is in rude health. It has won myriad awards across the sports betting industries worldwide since its launch 21 years ago. In January 2012, Denise Coates was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for services to the community and business. In the same year, Staffordshire University awarded her an honorary doctorate. The Bet365 Foundation was formed in 2012, later renamed the Denise

Coates Foundation. In that time, it has donated tens of millions of pounds towards the likes of Oxfam, Macmillan Hospices, typhoon relief programmes in the Philippines, and University Hospitals of North Midlands to support staff fighting Covid. The Coates family have also stayed close to their roots as, for the past 10 years, they have been the shirt sponsors of Stoke City Football Club. In 2016, they signed a deal for the stadium naming rights at the club, so the team plays at the Bet365 Stadium. Denise herself is not on the board of directors at Stoke City, though her father Peter is the Chairman, and her brother John and husband Richard are both directors. The innovation of Bet365, leading to the company’s ideas and services being copied nationwide and worldwide, together with the re-alignment of the betting industry with the Gambling Act 2005, has had an effect of facilitating instant sports betting. Even with the warning signs, there have been unintended consequences. While millions of people who like the occasional flutter, and a few hundred thousand more liking more than the occasional flutter, there is a Denise with her brother John, and father Peter

The Coates home

BIG societal concern about the affect on people’s lives – directly and indirectly – that gambling has brought about. With that in mind, once relative stability is in place after coming through the recent lockdowns, the next challenge for the betting industry is from new legislation regarding advertisements. From October 2022, with the run-up to the World Cup specifically in mind, gambling and betting companies will be banned from using advertising featuring top-flight footballers and other sports personalities, as well as reality TV and social media stars. This is further extended to sponsors’ names on football shirts, and in-house advertisements for gambling companies in the stadium during a match. The aim is to take away the attractiveness of gambling from the under 18s. At present, it’s already the case that junior versions of replica football shirts don’t have any sponsors’ names on them, and no-one under the age of 25 can take part in a betting advertisement. However, with the likes of Neymar Jr, Jose Mourinho, Cristiano Ronaldo and others all currently promoting online gambling, the test for the gambling companies will be how to promote themselves without using the cachet of celebrity. How Denise Coates intends to promote Bet365 from the Autumn onwards will go some way determining how both her – and the gambling industry as a whole – futures will pan out. Don’t bet against her continuing a successful empire.


GAMBLING ADDICTION There are around 280,000 ‘problem gamblers’ in England, according to a 2018 study by NHS Digital, although a YouGov survey two years later found there could be 1.4 million across the UK. According to the National Gambling Treatment Service, just 3% of them receive any treatment. This has led to gambling addiction charities, the NHS and MPs on all sides of the House to call for a mandatory levy on the gambling companies. It is felt they are actively promoting addiction with offers of ‘VIP Treatment’ and ‘free bets’ in their advertisements, without doing enough to help gamblers with addictive traits; and the inherent destruction placed upon those lives. “After seeing the destruction the gambling industry has caused to young people in this country, it is clear that firms are focused on profit at the expense of people’s health, while the NHS is increasingly left to pick up the pieces,” said Clare Murdoch, head of mental health in England. “In a year when the NHS has dealt with our biggest challenge yet in Covid-19, the health service’s psychologists and nurses having been treating hundreds of people with severe gambling addictions. “The gambling industry must take more responsibility, as the nation has come together over the last year to support the NHS, whether it be volunteering as vaccinators or showing their gratitude to staff. The bookmakers must also step up and agree to a mandatory levy to pay for dealing with the harms of problem gambling.”

She is believed to be the biggest single individual taxpayer in the UK

Additionally, of Denise Coates’ huge salary, Mike Dixon, CEO of Addaction (the positive behavioural charity, aimed at helping those with alcohol, drug and gambling addictions), said, “It cannot be right that the CEO of a betting company is paid 22 times more than the whole industry ‘donates’ to treatment.” In 2019, the ‘Big Five’ gambling companies in the UK – Ladbrokes owner GVC, William Hill, Bet365, Paddy Power owner Flutter Entertainment and Sky Bet – told the government that they would be willing to increase the voluntary levy they pay from 0.1% of annual UK revenue to 1% within five years to pay for treatment towards gambling addiction. The offer was voluntary, and didn’t involve any other betting companies. This would raise an estimated £60m per year by 2023 (up from £10m), although critics argued at the time that this was merely a ‘bribe’ in order to stave off a mandatory levy imposed by the Government. However, sources at gambling charities say the money has been slow to arrive, while the industry has also been criticised for trying to control which organisations receive it. In response to that criticism, a spokesperson for the Betting & Gaming Council, representing the gambling companies and resisting calls for a mandatory levy said, “Safer gambling messages have been stepped up across all platforms, including TV and radio, and we regularly signpost the help that is available to those who need it.” The ban on advertising using sports stars is part of a review the government started undertaking at the end of 2021 into the gambling industry, and the issue is far from resolved regarding the introduction of a mandatory levy.



THE ROSE REVIEW REPORTS THIRD YEAR OF PROGRESS The Rose Review Progress Report 2022 on female entrepreneurship sets out the full extent of progress made since the inaugural report in 2019. It outlines the extra support needed for femaleled businesses to thrive, and the challenges that they have faced during the Covid-19 pandemic. The Rose Review originally highlighted that if women started and scaled new businesses at the same rate as men, up to £250bn of new value could be added to the UK economy. In total, 134 institutions with an investing power of nearly £1 trillion have now signed up to the Investing in Women Code. The Investing in Women Code is a commitment by financial services firms to improving female entrepreneurs’ access to tools, resources and finance. The Code commits lenders and investors to collect and report data about their performance backing female-led firms and the number of signatories has leapt by a half over the past year.

More women than ever are starting up businesses and we must harness this potential


Rose Review initiatives have seen tens of thousands of entrepreneurs across the UK benefiting from funding, advice and mentoring schemes, while thousands of students have received enterprise training, leading to significant year-on-year growth in female-led startups. But research conducted for the Rose Review shows that the impact of Covid-19 risks holding back progress. It suggests that despite the rapid growth in female-led start-ups, female entrepreneurs have spent twice as long on caring responsibilities during the pandemic as their male counterparts, and that their businesses have been less likely to recover.

ALISON ROSE, CEO NATWEST GROUP AND AUTHOR OF THE ROSE REVIEW, COMMENTED: “We have seen real progress since 2019. Getting more funding to female entrepreneurs and unlocking their untapped potential continues to be a priority across our industry. But women still don’t receive all the support they need and the pandemic risks holding back progress, so we must go further to achieve the goals of the Rose Review. “Data shows that more women than ever are starting new businesses and we must harness this potential. That means more financial institutions committing to delivering change and funding. We also need more direct support for businesses across the UK and we must propose fresh, imaginative solutions to the challenges posed by women’s caring responsibilities.”

In total, 134 institutions with an investing power of nearly £1 trillion have now signed up to the Investing in Women Code NATWEST AND META LAUNCH PACKAGE OF SUPPORT FOR FEMALE ENTREPRENEURS NatWest and social technology company, Meta, have launched a partnership to offer financial readiness training and other support to female business owners. This is available to all female entrepreneurs via Meta’s #SheMeansBusiness programme, which also provides digital skills training and opportunities to expand business connections and networks. This builds on NatWest and Meta’s strong track-records on supporting women in business with NatWest ringfencing £2 billion for investment in female businesses, teaching 56,000 16-18-year-old girls entrepreneurial skills in 2021 and aiming for 50% of its accelerator hub spaces to go to women. Meta launched #SheMeansBusiness six years ago as a long-term commitment to supporting women’s economic empowerment. To date, the programme has supported more than 1.5 million women around the world in 33 markets. To further support women in business, NatWest and Meta will also be launching a competition from

April 11th to May 19th to offer 50 female entrepreneurs the chance to win Meta advertising credits, 1:1 digital mentorship and support to build a creative advertising campaign, as well as NatWest coaching and peer-to-peer sessions. Winners will be announced in June this year and judges will be looking for ways that the women go above and beyond to achieve in business. This news of support comes as NatWest and Getty Images launch a virtual gallery of pioneering female business owners built in the metaverse. With the creation of the Female Focus collection, the project is an attempt to challenge the narrow view of women in business. It is a nationwide movement to tackle stereotypes of female founders and help create a more diverse and inclusive visual landscape that shows entrepreneurs as they really are. This is the second year of the project and the photos exhibited are of 30 competition winners from across the UK, including a martial arts business owner, a farmer and a construction company entrepreneur. Everyone can view the gallery and it will be accessible for six months.

JULIE BAKER, HEAD OF ENTERPRISE AT NATWEST GROUP, SAID: “More women than ever are starting up businesses and we must harness this potential. The latest Rose Review progress report showed that women are starting more businesses than ever.Last year, 140,000 new businesses were founded by women compared to 56,000 in 2019. Supporting women to build their companies is a key next step and it’s great news that NatWest and Meta have partnered to offer all female entrepreneurs tuition and networking, and 50 lucky women business owners an even bigger boost to their companies. “We know that the images of women in business used by the media leaves much to be desired. That’s why Getty Images and NatWest’s project to smash stereotypes by exhibiting pictures of women in different industries is so refreshing. Get inspired and give the metaverse gallery a visit.”




MEET THE NEW DIRECTOR Having recently taken over the highly important role of Regional Director for the South East with the NatWest Group, Dynamic caught up with Faye Long to find out a little background and what 2022 holds for the bank. By Maarten Hoffmann


Having recently joined NatWest as the Regional Director for London West, Sussex and Surrey, could you give us some details of your journey to the role? I joined NatWest Group 14 years ago as an HR consultant and I have done several roles over that time, supporting different parts of the bank and helping leaders with people-related processes and strategies. For the last few years, I have been an HR Business Partner for our Commercial bank, which enabled me to understand more about our commercial banking business and how important a good people strategy and execution of it is. When the opportunity to apply for the Regional Director position arose, I jumped at the chance to put some of the theory into practice with my own team and to support our customers to an even greater extent.




With such a long career within HR at the bank, was it a steep learning curve into your new role? I was nervous about whether I could make the leap from one career to the other. Even though it was working for the same organisation I knew that the roles were very different. I was also scared about the fact that I had put so much effort into pursuing one career path and the idea of starting from scratch again felt daunting. NatWest supported me throughout and gave me the confidence to take this leap. Since starting in the role, I realised that I am not starting from scratch as there are so many shared skills from my previous experience. I also realised quite quickly that I could draw on the knowledge of colleagues who are experts in supporting businesses.

We remain firmly committed to supporting businesses and business leaders at every stage of their journey

I would advise women to take a risk and you will surprise yourself about how much you know already


What advice would you give other women who want to make a career change?

I would advise women to take a risk. You will surprise yourself about how much you know already, even if it doesn’t tick all the boxes on the job description. When I initially looked at my new role description, I couldn’t do everything on that list, but that was ok because there were other things that I could do in abundance. A new job always seems scarier when you’re applying for it, particularly if it is a completely different role. However, when you get into the role it isn’t as scary as you think and before you know it you will be flying.


As a woman in such a high-profile position, what additional benefits do you feel that women can bring to the role?

I think diversity makes us stronger and therefore it’s vital to have diverse teams capable of bringing different ideas and thinking to work. Although there is still work to be done, it is encouraging to see more women progressing into positions of leadership. In our own organisation, Alison Rose, CEO of NatWest Group, is a fantastic example of this in action. Women can bring a different approach to leadership, and it is important to have female role models in leadership positions to continue inspiring others to take that leap. In my own experience, I believe women can act as great mentors which is an important part of development in organisations.




After such a catastrophic few years with the pandemic, how have your business clients recovered and are you seeing shoots of recovery across the South East? There have been many challenges for businesses in the past few years. But as the biggest supporter of the UK business sector – banking around one in four businesses across the UK – we understand the challenges that entrepreneurs have faced. According to the latest NatWest PMI data for March, businesses across the South East recorded a high degree of optimism about the next 12 months, relative to the rest of the UK. Businesses across the region have shown a tremendous amount of resilience over recent years and we are proud to continue supporting businesses to grow and succeed.

As the largest supporter of UK businesses, we champion anyone starting or growing a business


There has been praise for the bank from many of your customers over the speed the bank worked to assist those needing BB and CBIL loans – how was the bank able to react so quickly when many others did not?

We have worked hard to anticipate and respond to the needs of businesses, whether through our support via government lending schemes, or increasing the number of our people ready to support our customers. During the Covid-19 pandemic the UK business sector faced unprecedented challenges and, as the largest supporter of UK businesses, it was essential to act as quickly as possible to support customers when they needed it most. We remain firmly committed to supporting businesses and business leaders at every stage of their journey.


Are there any new initiatives coming through in 2022 for the regions companies that we should look out for?

Climate change is one of the biggest challenges we face today, and SMEs in the South East and across the UK, have a critical role to play in the transition to net zero. Our Springboard to Sustainable Recovery report found that there is a £160+ billion revenue opportunity for SMEs as a result of the drive to tackle climate change. The reality is that while SMEs want to help by reducing emissions, they face many barriers such as limited access to information, funding and training. We’re working to remove those barriers by offering green loans and green asset finance to eligible businesses as part of our wider commitment to provide £100bn of climate and sustainable funding to customers by the end of 2025. We cannot underestimate the power of small changes to make a big impact. As the largest supporter of UK businesses, we champion anyone starting or growing a business. Ways in which we support business include our newly expanded Business Builder platform which now includes climate and sustainability learning for SMEs and our award-winning Accelerator programmes to support entrepreneurs to scale up their business across the region. We remain committed to supporting the UN Sustainable Development goals on gender equalities and reduced inequalities. Women made up at least 60% of those we supported in 2021, and more than 26% were Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic.





Gresham, Bela and Fal

Rockinghorse Children’s Charity becomes the official charity partner of the Dynamic Business Awards at the Dynamic Business Awards. Fal and Gresham are generously donating a women’s bespoke two-piece suit with a bespoke lining and a custom shirt – and we can’t thank them enough for this.” Gresham Blake is a design-led tailoring business and ready-to-wear clothing brand, creating bespoke, madeto-measure and limited-edition luxury clothing, shoes, and accessories. Over the years they have seen a huge increase in demand for women’s tailoring which has led us to produce many empowering, glamorous and elegant garments. Gresham and his wife, Fal, launched the Gresham Blake brand in Brighton at the height of ‘cool Britannia’ in 2000. Since then, Gresham’s eyecatching creations for high profile clients – including Ray Winstone, Steve Coogan, Zoe Ball, Davina McCall, Laura Whitmore and Rag’n’Bone Man – have brought him fashion industry recognition and an ever-growing army

Proud to support


Rockinghorse Children’s Charity, the official fundraising arm of the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital, is excited about being chosen as charity partner by Platinum Media Group for these wonderful awards, helping to promote the role of women in business throughout Sussex. Donna Holland, Rockinghorse CEO, said: “We are so proud to be the chosen charity of the Dynamic Business Awards – celebrating the incredible women of Sussex and the difference they make every day. As a team of all women, we know how important it is to celebrate the success and the remarkable achievements of the female business community.” As part of this new partnership, Rockinghorse is offering a wonderful prize at the awards. Donna said: “With the support of Fal and Gresham, of Gresham Blake, we are proud to be offering an incredible prize to be won

of customers attracted by his signature combination of quality garments with a quirky twist. Fal said: “We are really happy to be involved with such a well-respected and worthwhile charity like Rockinghorse and of course, the Dynamic Awards. Our daughter had to stay at the Children’s Hospital once, and the experience was obviously difficult, but the staff made it so much more bearable. We need to give our children the care and security they need at a young age so they can carry it through to adulthood.” A charity partnership like this is vital to Rockinghorse Children’s Charity to enable them to continue supporting thousands of children and young people throughout Sussex.

il d

it y

The Sussex charity is proud to have been chosen as the charity partner for Platinum Media Group’s premier women’s business awards in Sussex

r e n ’s C h a


◗ To find out more about Rockinghorse visit


Samantha Kaye from Wellesley Wealth Advisory discusses why the start of the new tax year is the perfect opportunity to set fresh goals – and make them happen

NEW YEAR, NEW YOU! Seizing opportunities in the 2022/23 tax year A new year marks new beginnings and a clean slate – so the start of the new tax year on April 6th 2022 is the perfect time to set some new personal and business goals. We’re hardwired to live in the present, but we all need to picture our future if we’re going to get there smoothly. By taking time to understand what makes you tick (and what doesn’t!), the goals will come naturally. And early use of the fresh tax allowances and exemptions could bring rewards over the longer term, helping you achieve the future you want. Here’s a rundown of what has and hasn’t changed for the 2022/23 tax year:

◗ Your ISA allowance stays at £20,000 – this can be in a Cash or Stocks & Shares ISA, or a combination of both. Similarly, the Junior ISA allowance stays at £9,000 per child. ◗ Your pension annual allowance remains at £40,000 or 100% of your earnings (whichever is lower). The lifetime allowance current limit of £1,073,100 will be frozen until 2026. ◗ The personal allowance (the amount that you can earn before you start paying Income Tax) will remain at £12,570. Meaning you can earn £50,270 before you start paying higher rate tax. ◗ The Inheritance Tax nil-rate band remains at £325,000 and will remain frozen until 2026. The residence nilrate band stays at £175,000.

Creating a detailed financial plan to match your goals will make you feel confident and in control



◗ The Capital Gains Tax annual exempt amount for individuals will remain at £12,300 until 2026. ◗ The main rate of Corporation Tax will remain at 19%. It’s set to rise to 25% from April 2023 for businesses with profits of £250,000 and over. One key change to be aware of is that Dividend Tax has risen by 1.25% across the board. So, if you’re a business director, it’s worth thinking about how you might shield yourself from this rise – for example, by paying extra pension contributions.



Talking your goals over with an adviser is just the first step in helping you better understand tax reliefs and how they relate to your individual circumstances. Everyone’s financial journey and situation is different, so creating a detailed financial plan to match your goals will make you feel confident and in control, meaning you can spring forward into the future – and embrace it! If you’d like to talk through your own personal goals, or review your existing ones, please contact me today for a no-obligation chat.

The value of an investment with St. James’s Place will be directly linked to the performance of the funds selected and may fall as well as rise. You may get back less than the amount invested. The levels and bases of taxation, and reliefs from taxation, can change at any time and are generally dependent on individual circumstances. Wellesley Wealth Advisory 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 Groups wealth management products and services, more details of which are set out on the Groups website Wellesley Wealth Advisory is a trading name of Wellesley Investment Management Ltd.

◗ Samantha Kaye Chartered Financial Planner | Adviser Wellesley House, 50 Victoria Road, Burgess Hill, West Sussex RH15 9LH 01444 849809





GENDER PAY GAP By Maarten Hoffmann

A recent survey looked at the worst and best regions in the UK when it comes to gender pay. It is fascinating to read that right here in the South East, Arun comes out on top of the UK. The research, carried out by, used the latest data available from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), to analyse the differences in median annual pay for male and female full-time workers in 321 districts and units across the UK. The district of Arun, in the heart of the country’s south coast, is the most gender-balanced workplace in the UK. On average, men in Arun District Council have an annual income of

£26,654, whereas women get £26,694 per year – £40 more than their male counterparts. That represents only a 0.15% pay difference. North East England has Sunderland to be proud of for closing in on the gender gap, coming in a close second behind Arun. The difference between men’s and women’s average annual pay in Sunderland is only £42. Just outside of Sunderland, North East Derbyshire completes the podium as the third fairest workplace in the UK in terms of annual salaries, regardless of one’s gender. Men only earn £49 more on average every year than women.

TOP 10 FAIREST PAYING WORKPLACES # Place Male average Female average Difference male-female* salary (£) salary (£) av. salaries (£) 1 Arun 26,654 26,694 -40 2 Sunderland 26,635 26,593 42 3 North East Derbyshire 26,740 26,691 49 4 Swansea 28,525 28,688 -163 5 Southend-on-Sea 28,952 29,185 -233 6 Stirling 32,258 32,722 -464 7 Tunbridge Wells 27,942 27,524 418 8 Dumfries and Galloway 27,207 27,627 -420 9 Thanet 26,442 26,014 428 10 Bedford 29,629 29,133 496 *negative value means women are paid more than men


How much more men are paid than women (%)* -0.15 0.16 0.18 -0.57 -0.80 -1.44 1.50 -1.54 1.62 1.67




TOP 10 BEST WORKPLACES FOR WOMEN # Place Male average Female average Difference male-female* salary (£) salary (£) av. salaries (£) 1 East Hampshire 28,087 32,173 4,086 2 Chorley 25,285 28,258 2,973 3 Conwy 24,634 27,469 2,835 4 Rushcliffe 29,609 32,720 3,111 5 Gwynedd 25,501 27,990 2,489 6 South Oxfordshire 32,861 35,964 3,103 7 Burnley 21,483 23,433 1,950 8 North Ayrshire 30,762 33,148 2,386 9 Ceredigion 27,016 28,580 1,564 10 Carmarthenshire 28,300 29,548 1,248

The area that inspired Jane Austen to pen some of her most well-known novels is now the best paying place for women to work in compared to men. Females working full-time in East Hampshire earn an average £4,086 more than males. Chorley and Conwy are the second and third, respectively, best paid places for women to earn more than men. Here, female full-timers earn almost three thousand pounds more than males. The two places could not be more different in terms of their economic backgrounds. Historically, Chorley grew most after the Industrial

How much more men are paid than women (%)* 14.55 11.76 11.51 10.51 9.76 9.44 9.08 7.76 5.79 4.41

Revolution, host to many important cotton mills, while Conwy is home to one of Kind Edward I’s castles. US Speaker Nancy Pelosi recently visited Chorley for the 2021 G7 Speakers’ summit, which gave the local economy an immediate boost.

The district of Arun, in the heart of the south coast, is the most gender-balanced workplace in the UK


How to break the bias By Katy Murray Leadership coach, director of Catalyst Collective and author of Change Makers Women experience bias and barriers in the workplace, in day-to-day interactions and in the wider workplace system. Women experience higher levels of being interrupted, spoken over, having their judgement questioned in areas of expertise, having others comment on their emotional state. Female managers have to navigate the likeability penalty where they can’t be ‘too assertive’ (or considered ‘bossy’) for fear of being less likeable, and if they’re ‘not strong enough’ they’re perceived as less effective leaders. The motherhood penalty affects women who are parents,


and this bias also impacts women who are not yet, can’t, or don’t want to be mothers. Women hold emotional and mental load of additional caring responsibilities in significantly higher proportions than their male colleagues. More women than men experienced burnout at work, and at a higher level, than a year ago. one in three women are considering leaving the workplace, and 51% are less optimistic about their career prospects, since before the pandemic. Women are disproportionally negatively impacted by the pandemic, at the same time doing more to support their teams,

while also less likely to be recognised for this extra value-add. If you’ve not noticed these biases and barriers playing out for yourself or others, it’s an indicator of your privilege and the extent to which you ‘fit’ into workplace norms. We know from the data that Black and Asian, lesbian, disabled, trans, pregnant women, have different lived experiences inside workplaces, including increased microaggressions, than for example white, able-bodied, cis-gendered, heterosexual women. We can educate ourselves on how these different biases affect people who may be different to us. Let’s start with an audit! What do you notice about where the women are, or where they’re missing, in your workplace? Then look at their lived experiences.


This audit exercise comes with a warning – we tend to think everyone else is biased and not ourselves!


What roles do men and women hold? What’s the mix at team member, manager, leader, board level? Who holds part-time roles? What’s your gender pay gap? What’s your retention of female leaders? Is there a point where women tend to leave the business? Start getting curious as to why this might be. Do your male employees take parental leave when they become parents? Do senior men in your business model share transparently about their roles outside work as parents and caretakers?

What’s the mix and representation of people from varied socio-demographic backgrounds, ethnicities, sexualities and gender expressions? Where are people with hidden or visible disability(ies) and are they accommodated to thrive at work? Do LGBTQ+ people feel able to be out at work? How does it feel to be part of your workplace? What are the dynamics that affect employees differently? Who has wider caring responsibilities? Whose wellbeing and mental health has been impacted through these pandemic times and working from home? What is the ‘norm’ identity in your business? Who easily ‘fits in’? If a client or potential employee who’s totally different to that norm comes into contact with your business, via your website, applying for a job, coming in for interview, seeking to collaborate or become a client … what would their experience be like? Would they see people ‘like them’ when they look at your website, the pictures of your staff and leadership team, your client and customer base? Notice how easy or hard it was to access these data points for your audit? What does this tell you? When you notice some areas for improvement, what’s the conversation to start? And who with? This audit exercise comes with a warning – we tend to think everyone else is biased and not ourselves! Our brains are hard-wired to put ourselves in the best light (this is confirmation bias). Notice if you find yourself thinking, or hear colleagues saying ‘we’re doing ok’ ‘our optics are great’ ‘we’ve got a good gender balance’ ‘we welcome everyone’ ‘we’re not racist/ sexist / homophobic/ ableist’ etc.




A healthier start point is assuming that biases are playing out, that microaggressions are happening in your business, that you yourself hold biases, and start getting curious. When bias is unchecked, it acts like an invisible barrier in our workplaces, creating blockers, and cultures that hold particular people back. We’ll perpetuate the same cultures of ‘likeness’ and ‘sameness’, we’ll miss out on all the benefits of diversity. Top performing businesses invest in diversity and inclusion, and actively work to reduce burnout in the workplace. When managers support employee wellbeing and actively manage workloads they’re 25% more likely to be happy at work, 33% less likely to leave and 32% less likely to burnout. Which biases and lived experiences do you need to educate yourself about? What are the conversations you can have with your female employees about their workloads, their lived experiences at work, their aspirations? The pandemic has opened up different opportunities. What flexibility and support can you offer that would enable each person in your team to thrive in your business and bring their best?

DATA POINTS ◗ In McKinsey and Lean In Women in the Workplace 2021 report ◗ Also see The Economist Impact Time to Act economist_impact_zellis_time_to_act_2nd_november.pdf ◗ And Indeed 2021 report Time For change DIB in the UK Workplace ◗ dp/1398605069



By Alison Jones, Partner, Kreston Reeves

THE GROWING IMPORTANCE OF KINDNESS IN BUSINESS Despite the uncertain times we live in and the bad news we watch daily on our screens, we live in a world where kindness is all around us, with women receiving, giving, and seeing more kindness than men. That’s one of the findings of The Kindness Test by the University of Sussex, the world’s largest psychological study in which 60,000 people from 144 countries took part last summer. Other key findings from the study show that overall people think kindness has declined in their lifetime, but two-thirds of those studied think the global pandemic has specifically made people kinder. Kindness is often seen in the home, medical settings, workplaces, green spaces and in shops but it is most valued in the home and workplace, medical and education settings. So if we are seeing more kindness in the workplace, what if anything can we do to encourage it, harness it, and of course give and receive it? From my own experience I have certainly noticed that people were kinder during the pandemic and as a business leader it is always worth remembering that a few kind words can make a massive difference to someone’s day, week, month, or life in general. I’m sure we all remember the kind words spoken to us early in our careers which we have carried with us, perhaps putting us at ease as someone


did for me once as a nervous 21 year old. My boss laughed with me after I had accidently broken his favourite propelling pencil, and his kindness broke the ice and set the tone for a very productive working relationship that lasted for many years. Appreciating people, recognising their strengths, weaknesses, vulnerability, and giving them the confidence to express a need allows us to be kind and to have a positive impact on others, especially those we work with. But, there is a but ... kindness doesn’t mean being so accommodating to one person that this adversely impacts on another, and this is where business leaders need to manage kindness so that it is fair and equitable for all.

In some of the conversations I have had about kindness recently, some people have suggested that paradoxically the pandemic has made some of their work colleagues and friends more self-centred as well as kind! With no scientific evidence to back this up I can only reflect on my own thoughts on why this might be. Quite simply values are changing in the workforce. For many employees it is not just about promotion and pay prospects, they want a job which is fairly rewarded financially, but also allows them a work/life balance. Agile working and achieving a balance in their homelife are more important now. Work is quite simply no longer the only priority for many people and employers need to get used to that. But what lessons can employers learn from kindness and a change in their approach? I think they can learn a lot and it is something that can also


Kindness can become its own motive. We are made kind by being kind Eric Hoffer, Philosopher and Author

add significant value to a business. For example, if you are genuinely kind and consistent with your employees, you will be encouraging the same values and empowering those employees to behave in that same way to others – your customers, your clients, your suppliers etc. This translates to better quality of work, and better service and from our experience a job done well is one that people will be happy to pay a little more for. It also brings better retention

of staff and customer loyalty, more personal recommendations, and a stronger brand identity. Ultimately, you will be creating greater value in your business. So, kindness is a two way street – by giving you also gain a lot. I’m hoping some kind words will help to encourage the young people that we will be meeting in the coming weeks through Dare to Dream, Adur and Worthing Council and the Love Local Jobs Foundation’s One Stop

Youth Employability Hub. We are all working in partnership to deliver the Dare to Dream programme for a cohort of year 9 and 10 and 18-24 year olds at the beginning of their career. Dare to Dream is an inspirational mentoring programme which challenges young people to change the way they think, giving them the confidence to fulfil their potential. It is a great initiative and one which is important to help people gather the necessary skills such as self-awareness, mindset, gratitude, resilience, teamwork, and employability to build a successful career. And whatever success looks like to them, whatever the industry or sector they choose, I will also be championing kindness in my role as a mentor, as a quality to have, give, share, and encourage in others. There will be more on this theme in the next edition…

◗ Alison Jones is a Partner at Kreston Reeves and can be contacted via email at Visit or call us on 0330 124 1399.


Find some of the latest research in aid of living healthier lives for longer By Tess de Klerk

MAPPING OF THE HUMAN GENOME IS COMPLETE! Thanks to the Human Genome Project which started over 20 years ago, we now have the first completed gap-free sequence of the human genome. Until recently, around 8% of the genome was missing due to technical difficulties in sequencing them. The complete genome is expected to increase scientists’ understanding of genetic diseases and human diversity and evolution. “In the future, when someone has their genome sequenced, we will be able to identify all of the variants in their DNA and use that information to better guide their healthcare,” said Dr Adam Phillippy, of the National Human Genome Research Institute in Maryland and co-chair of the consortium. “Truly finishing the human genome sequence was like putting on a new pair of glasses. Now that we can clearly see everything, we are one step closer to understanding what it all means.”


THERE’S MAGIC IN MUSIC FOR PEOPLE WITH ALZHEIMER’S There has long been a beneficial association between music and patients with Alzheimer’s or dementia. Now two studies have found that repeatedly listening to music that has personal meaning (such as a person’s wedding song) improves the brain’s adaptability, therefore maintaining higher levels of functioning in patients with early Alzheimer’s disease or mild cognitive impairment.


FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH? Scientists have developed a new technique for rejuvenating skin cells, rewinding the cellular biological clock by approximately 30 years. Work by researchers at the Babraham Institute in Cambridge has been able to partly restore the function of older cells, as well as rejuvenating the molecular measures of biological age. It is hoped that the process can be replicated in other cell types too and that it could eventually have implications for regenerative medicine.


AVO REDUCES THE RISK OF HEART ATTACK Eating at least two servings of avocado a week reduces the risk of having a heart attack by 21% in men and women when compared to avoiding or rarely eating avocados according to a study at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. A serving was defined as half an avocado or a half cup of the fruit. Unfortunately the study did not show the equivalent benefi t in reducing the risk of stroke.

The average person will take more than 600 million breaths over the course of their life. Every breath stretches the lungs’ tissues with each inhale and relaxes them with each exhale. The mere motions of breathing are known to influence vital functions of the lungs, including the maintenance of healthy tissue. Now, new research from the Wyss Institute at Harvard University has revealed that this constant pattern of stretching and relaxing does even more—it generates immune responses against invading viruses, such as Covid-19. The complicated study involving a ‘Human Lung Chip’ that replicates the functions of alveoli allowed researchers to apply mechanical forces that mimic breathing motions. They found that robust breathing suppresses influenza virus replication, while activating innate protective immune responses. We can give our immune systems a helping hand by simply breathing deeply as often as possible!

PRACTICE ‘PRANAYAMA’ The regulation of breathing This Box Breathing technique is simple and effective, and endorsed as a stress buster by the US Navy Seals no less. Start by practising for five minutes twice a day. STEP 1: Breathe in while slowly counting to 4. Be conscious of the air entering your lungs and lungs expanding. STEP 2: Hold your breath in for 4 seconds. Try to avoid inhaling or exhaling for these 4 seconds. STEP 3: Slowly exhale through your mouth for 4 seconds. Be conscious of emptying the lungs completely. STEP 4: Wait for 4 seconds before inhaling again. Repeat steps 1- 4



never knowingly understated

By Motoring Editor, Fiona Shafer, MD of MDHUB If ever a name was not befitting a car, this was probably the one. Rather naively, perhaps, I do have an immediate expectation of a car when I first learn of its name. Think Jaguar, Porsche, Fiat, SKODA, SAAB, BMW as there is a natural association with the inherent qualities and characteristics of a brand. But Ford and their flagship SUV, the Kuga ST – Line X Edition 2.5 Duratec PHEV (Duratec is an aluminium engine as opposed to their Zetec Engines, made of iron, and


PHEV being a Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle for the uninitiated), is all rather irritating from the off, especially the spelling. I also know from the reviews that I have read since the test drive that this older sibling of the Ford Puma (I didn’t like that name either and there is a new Puma recently released) is a tremendously popular car, so I am going to have dig deep and do my very best at setting aside my personal bias. From the really awkwardly designed seat belt clip (think worn knuckle duster – not that I have a lot of experience of these things I may

add in case you were worrying that I live a nefarious lifestyle), surprisingly uncomfortable driving seat and lots of dials being very low down on the console and a fair way away from the Infotainment screen – it really does take your eyes off the road, so not a good start. It had an irritating rattle from the off which transpired to be the clip-on luggage cover in the boot, which just fell off as you opened the boot. So, that got taken down pretty quickly, not least as it also did not entirely cover the interior, so a potential gift for prying eyes. And the rather naff carbon fibre effect trim just could not cope with any decent volume on the B&O sound system, the reverb was pretty bad – all so disappointing and a waste of a great sound system. I didn’t want a car that literally shaked, rattled and rolled. That all said, if you have a penchant for fancy Ascot hats and a wonderful afro hairstyle (or both even) there is a vast amount of head space, which is pretty rare in many cars these days


THE VERDICT YAY ◗ Good turning circle ◗ Jet wash on reversing camera ◗ Pop out door protectors to save doors colliding with walls or other cars when opened and passengers not looking where they are going ◗ Spare tyre ◗ Wrong way alert ◗ Good leg and head room in front and back ◗ Decent boot space even if 15% smaller than other models due to the battery pack ◗ Plenty of charging points including a 3-point plug as well ◗ It is placed 19th out of the top 75 cars in reliability and safety checks


◗ It rattled from the moment I switched it on – it’s simply not good enough ◗ Rear wiper blade is very small, so only cleans part of the window ◗ The gears are a bit odd – you really have to put your foot down hard to engage them ◗ The exterior build quality ◗ Pretty nondescript design – it does not stand out as its name might apply from its rivals such as the Vauxhall Grandlander X ◗ Infotainment system is very basic but perfectly OK ◗ The B&O Sound system is wasted in this car and an unnecessary cost ◗ The rear windows do not wind right down and are an odd shape


So, a controversial car. If you can ignore all of its faults, this is a highly economical and undemanding SUV that will happily accommodate the rough and tumble of life and all that might get thrown in it. but just make sure you don’t get carried away and inadvertently trap either the hat or hairdo in not one but two of the power opening panoramic roof’s on a glorious day. These irritations aside, the Kuga has great suspension, handles corners very comfortably and was surprisingly nippy about town, almost too nippy if I am honest as I needed to keep more of an eye than normal on the acceleration. Thank goodness for the very reactive brakes. And the very best bit and to be fair to Ford, they can call their cars whatever they like as this really is a PHEV which is impressively reasonable to run in these worrying times of high inflation and reducing budgets. The charge times range from a wallbox / high power outlet of 3.5 hours to six hours for a domestic socket. Depending on your lifestyle and how you drive of course, the combined technology in the Kuga can return around 200 mpg, and no range anxiety as when the electricity runs out, the engine takes over.


Model tested: Kuga PHEV ST-Line Engine: 2.5 Duratec Power: 225PS Speed: 0-62 9.2 seconds Top: 124 mph Economy: Up to 275 mpg Price from: £28,755



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