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The Largest Circulation Regional Business Publication in the UK

PLATINUM FUTURE CARS Geneva Show highlights

ISSUE 34. 2017

MOTORSHOW Win a Porsche Day at Silverstone






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With“Trunki“ CEO, entrepreneur




Rob Law as our special guest






THE BIG STORY PHILIP HAMMOND We look at whether or not he deserves his reputation as ‘Spreadsheet Phil’







EMC’s Chris White on a unique market

That is Business, Innovation, Technology and Efficiency…

Rawlison Butler’s guide to relocating

At a Glance 6 14 16 22

Local & National News NatWest - Regional Survey Philip Hammond Interview Gatwick Diamond Business Awards Winners

26 EMC - Business in Brighton 28 Kreston Reeves - Spring Budget 30 Carpenter Box - BITE 32 Rawlison Butler - How to relocate 34 DMH Stallard - Getting paid on time 36 Sherrards - Industrial Espionage 38 University of Brighton - Great Debate 39 Lewes Business Awards 41 Si Conroy - CEO Fight Club 43 IT News 44 Yelo Architects - Don’t be a NIMBY 46 British Airways i360 49 Thinking Pod - New forum event 50 Destination - Vietnam 56 Santander Masterclass 58 Uniglobe - Travel Brand Values 60 Chestnut Tree House Awards 62 Business Women Excellence Awards 64 Nova - Mailing the Living 67 Brighton Motor Show 68 Motoring - BMW M4 & Geneva Motor Show





A “mind-blowing” corporate experience

74 Classic Car investments 78 Table Talk - Including Mannings Heath 86 Super Growth Awards 87 Manor Royal - Meet Your Neighbours 88 Chambers of Commerce 96 Anger Management 98 Institute of Directors

The news from the Geneva Motor Show

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



Issue 34 - 2017

A word from the Editors Welcome to the April issue of the widest circulation regional business magazine in the UK. It’s been busy. The Gatwick Diamond Business Awards are done and dusted for another year and we have all the images and information of the winners and a very good night was had by all. Congratulations to Jeremy Taylor and all his team at Gatwick Diamond Business for a splendid evening. Ian is still recovering! It seems to be awards season as we bring you the launch of the Lewes and District Business Awards and the Women in Business Excellence Awards, plus the results of the Chestnut Tree Business Awards, held recently at South Lodge Hotel. Accountancy firm MHA Carpenter Box have got a shark involved in their BITE event, DMH Stallard discuss how to ensure your company gets paid, Kreston Reeves explains the long-term effects of the Spring Budget and Rawlison Butler talk about the key issues to consider if you are relocating your business. Maarten joined Santander at the headquarters of McLaren and was quite smitten by the day. Then he had the arduous task of commenting on the 2017 Geneva Motorshow and reporting on a major prize from Porsche Mid-Sussex for those 20,000 odd visitors planned to attend the exciting Brighton & Hove Motorshow in June - oh, and screaming around the region in an 450bhp BMW M4 Competition Pack. He really hates his job! We also announce a brand new series of fascinating events at the British Airways i360, entitled The Thinking Pod and Amanda has been busy reviewing the Ledbury in Notting Hill, looking at the forthcoming food festivals and she is opening her own restaurant! There’s one she absolutely cannot review! Although l think there might be quite a few Platinum meetings moved to that location. So dive in as there is so much more inside and we are forced to quote the Regional Director Commercial Banking at Santander, Colin Berkeley, when he said, “If l have a spare minute, l pick up Platinum but it never works that way as l can never put it down”.

Maarten & Ian Platinum Business Magazine April 2017

The Team

Maarten Hoffmann – Director

07966 244046

Ian Trevett – Director

07989 970804

Lesley Alcock

Amanda Menahem

Kate Morton

Business Development Director

Food & Drink Editor

Copy Editor

Rose Dykins

Julia Trevett

Sarah Walker-Bennett

Amanda Spicer

Travel Editor

Accounts Manager

Event Photographer

Head of Design



LOCAL NEWS OCEANS OF HOPE In May 2017, Brighton-based skipper Robert Munns is taking 65 adults with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) from 15 countries on a sailing challenge in Croatia. As someone with MS himself, he wants to give people the same life affirming experience which he had whilst sailing with Sailing Sclerosis on the yacht, appropriately named Oceans of Hope. The Oceans of Hope Challenge in May will be a flotilla of ten sailing boats. Its key aim is to bring people together whose lives are touched by MS. The week-long adventure gives participants the opportunity to challenge themselves making the impossible – possible, whilst working together for a common goal, ‘hope and meaning’. On a flotilla sailing challenge, each person has the chance to take command of the boat and their lives and everyone has a valuable part to play, as well as contributing to an enjoyable life at sea. “My MS diagnosis in 2008 was life changing because it is such a vicious illness with no cure.” explained Robert, “but by creating a sailing adventure I realised that I could help to change the perception of multiple sclerosis by showing others that there is life after diagnosis. It is possible that in just one week, people with a chronic disease can be empowered to conquer their individual challenges”. Robert is looking for more volunteer support and has the unenviable task of raising £30,000 to make it happen. If you would like to become a corporate supporter or if you know of anyone that will benefit from the Oceans of Hope Challenge, then please get in touch at

BRIGHTON GREEKS TRIUMPH Young Start-up Talent (YST), an entrepreneurial initiative aimed at 16 to 25 years old, was proud to host their fifth Showcase for Brighton’s finest young entrepreneurs at The Platform in February. On the night, Andreas Georgiades of Brighton Greeks and current student from Sussex University won the ultimate business prize fund of products and services worth £50,000. The company aims to create a home away from home for the Greek and Cypriot community of all generations and backgrounds in the wider Brighton area, by connecting them through a variety of services and consumer products. Following the announcement, Andreas stated, “I am absolutely ecstatic, in a state of euphoria! This award is going to do so much for myself and my team!”

Buy old masters. They fetch a better price than old mistresses.


Gary Chown, Regional Director of Brighton and Hove for Natwest and headline sponsor for the initiative said; “It was good to see a diverse range of businesses – ranging from technology to clothing to community support. The finalists all commented on the positive learning experience that they will take from their individual journeys together with the network of contacts they have made during the competition. I am looking forward to seeing all the finalists progress their businesses over the coming months and years.”


INDEPENDENCE FOR BUSINESS AWARDS There are big changes afoot for the Adur & Worthing Business Awards 2017. The awards will now be independently run and organised under the umbrella of the Adur & Worthing Business Partnership (AWBP) as a ‘Not-for-Profit’ business model. James Stoner, MD of JSPC Computer Services and a member of the existing committee commented, “Going forward the awards are to be organised by the businesses for the businesses and by working together with the AWBP, we look forward to the continued success of one of the most prestigious events in the local business calendar”. The AWBP plays a pivotal role as an independent partnership working on behalf of the Adur and Worthing business community and Adur and Worthing Councils. Peter Webb MBE a member of AWBP said, “In recent years the Business Awards have gone from strength to strength and looking ahead, our main priority is to continue this momentum. I believe now it is the right time to move the awards forward and develop a not-for-profit model under the stewardship of the AWBP”. Businesses are invited to enter these awards which offer sixteen separate categories, all designed to recognise successes and achievements across various industries. The judging panel will be led by a number of local business figures, representatives from Worthing & Adur Chamber of Commerce and Adur & Worthing Council who bring a wealth of industry knowledge to the awards. Full details on the categories available and how to enter the awards can be found on the new Adur & Worthing Business Awards website www. which is now live. The winners will be announced at a glittering black tie awards ceremony to be held at The Pavilion, Worthing on Friday 10th November 2017. For more information email

RIDGEVIEW RAISES A GLASS TO DMH STALLARD DMH Stallard has advised Ridgeview Wine Estate on their financing and growth plans. The DMH Stallard team included the work of the corporate team, led by Abigail Owen, Corporate Partner and commercial property team, led by Anne Milne, Property Partner. The Sussex office of Clydesdale Bank Plc, led by Justin Ellis, provided the new source of funding for Ridgeview. Tamara Roberts, CEO of Ridgeview, said: “Ridgeview has had a fantastic couple of years and we’re pleased that we’re going to be able to keep working towards fulfilling our ambitions following our expansion financing. We recently appointed a U.S distributor and we are excited about the next steps including growing our export portfolio and beginning planning for our third phase winery development. The professionalism and support that the team at DMH Stallard has provided us with has been invaluable in this crucial stage of our development”.

Coming together is the beginning. Keeping together is the progress. Working together is success.

Abigail Owen, Partner, commented: “Having worked with Tamara and the Ridgeview team over the past two years, it was a pleasure to assist them with their plans to expand and grow their highly successful business. We wish them every success and look forward to continuing to working with this dynamic family business.” For more information the services offered by the DMH Stallard corporate team, contact Abigail Owen –



LOCAL NEWS SWIFT TAKES OFF! Sound Architect, the Sussex-based charity that provides educational opportunities for all, was awarded funding through the NatWest Skills & Opportunities Fund at the start of 2017 to continue its highly successful Swift Project that supports women entrepreneurs in East Sussex. The charity successfully bid for the money, to help women expand or set up new businesses in and around Hastings by opening up digital and business skills training opportunities. The Project was heavily over-subscribed and 26 participants, some running existing businesses and some starting up a new business, were selected to take part. The six month programme was launched at an event in Hastings in March where the participants heard from a range of guest speakers including some who had taken place in the previous programme and Rosemary Parr, CEO of the Global PA Association & Training Academy who spoke about her entrepreneurial journey to establish her business as a global leader. Alongside the bite-sized courses on subjects ranging from sales & marketing, supercharging your website and finance to excel, Facebook and Twitter, the participants will be able to enjoy expert knowledge sessions on specific topics, attend peer to peer groups with like-minded women to share knowledge and experience and team up with a mentor to develop strategy and set targets going forward. Ruth Maddison, Project Director, said, “Women face many obstacles in setting up and growing their businesses putting them at a competitive disadvantage. The Swift Project aims to combat that by not only giving participants on the programme the skills they need, but also, and perhaps even more importantly, the confidence and ongoing support they need to make their businesses sustainable. Early signs show that this cohort of women have already developed a strong rapport and I am excited about their potential not only as a group supporting one another but as ambitious women determined to grow successful businesses.” The NatWest Skills & Opportunities Fund is one of the many ways NatWest are contributing to the communities we live and work in, and the focus for this funding is to support organisations that help people in disadvantaged communities develop, create or access the skills and opportunities they need to help themselves; skills that will enable them to get into work or start a business, now or in the future.


EMC consultant Julian Clay has developed a software app which helps people in a sales role to better qualify, commit and close selling opportunities. The Forecastmanager app, which is available on the highly successful Salesforce CRM App Exchange, assesses the strength of sales prospects to allow users to produce confident and accurate sales forecasts. It provides a reality check to complement the weighted forecast process that many companies use to predict future sales. The app can also be used as a methodology which means any company can take advantage of its many benefits. Julian explains: “Pipeline management and sales forecasting can be a minefield for many companies. Often sales opportunities are not developed as well as they could be. It is only when one is lost that the real picture starts to emerge. “This is when the lines between forecasting and reality become blurred! This can result in poor qualification and inaccurate forecasting; missed deadlines and poor sales closure rates; a lack of confidence in the forecasting process; and an over-focus on reducing prices when closing deals. “Forecastmanager helps to solve these issues. As well as powerful questions, it helps users to develop a sales opportunity with confidence and realism. With its predictive Forecast to Order Ratios, it can give users a 75%-plus sales forecast accuracy. “It helps to eliminate over-optimism and coach the right sales behaviour that reflect the DNA of a winnable sales opportunity.” A free consultation and trial of the app is being offered to Platinum Business readers. To register your interest email julian.clay@emcltd. or call EMC on 01273 945984.

❝ 8

I get hit by a bike every morning. It’s a vicious cycle.


BARONESS TANNI SHARES SECRETS OF HER SUCCESS Paralympian, House of Lords Peer, broadcaster and mother, Baroness Tanni GreyThompson DBE shared the secret of her success when she visited the children and young people at Chailey Heritage, a charity that educates and cares for children and young adults with complex physical disabilities and health needs. Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson DBE played table cricket with the Seymour pupils, watched a session of wheelchair dancing and held a Q&A session with the pupils at the top of the school. She also had a tour of the gym for young adults. She was particularly interested to hear about the Charity’s plans for its new D.R.E.A.M. (dynamic, real, experiential, amazing, magical) Centre. A modern, purpose built space, large enough for the children and young people at the Charity to participate in a mixture of physical activities and arts.

Chailey Heritage School pupil Finn Humprey gets table cricket tips from Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson

Having raised £1.8m so far, the Charity is now looking to raise the final £800,000 to build the Centre. “I think the big Chailey Heritage School pupil Ella Franklin, thing for me that the Tanni Grey-Thompson and Chailey Heritage School visit has highlighted is pupil Mathew Hoadley what the children and young people can do with individualised support. When someone has complex needs that individual support is massive - whether it’s teaching someone to move a finger, driving a wheelchair or being more independent. It’s been really inspirational and lovely to see how much the young people enjoy being here,” says Baroness Grey-Thompson.

Chailey Heritage School pupil Mac Giggs in his walker with Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson

For further information about how you can support the D.R.E.A.M. Centre appeal, please contact Sally-Anne Murray, Development Director on 01825 724752 or visit

RB ADVISES ON LONDON ACQUISITION Rawlison Butler LLP, has advised leading global financial printer, Black & Callow Limited, on its purchase of the business and assets of Master Mail Limited. As one of the few mailing houses in central London, the Master Mail operation offers a range of mail sortation, printing, “pick & pack” and storage solutions around the clock, ensuring the timely handling of mail. This acquisition enables Black & Callow Limited to bring in-house a previously outsourced service, ensuring it is able to continue to offer a seamless, all encompassing service to its customers, with extra flexibility, especially at the crucial final sign-off stages of their deals, whilst Black & Callow will benefit from future synergy savings. The RB Team was led by Corporate Partner Danos Athanasi assisted by Chris Dixon (Property). Chris Callow, joint managing director said: “Once again we are delighted with the support that Danos and the RB Team gave to us to get this important transaction over the line. RB remains our law firm of choice having demonstrated that their full service offering is able to meet all of our legal needs.” Danos Athanasi commented: “I enjoyed working with Chris and Tim on this acquisition, which sees their business develop further with a perfectly complementary service for their clients. This offering was important for Black & Callow as it enhances their control over documents at a critical stage and reinforces the confidentiality for clients. We look forward to being involved in their future projects”.

Impossible is a word to be found only in the dictionary of fools



NATIONAL NEWS GOOGLE’S GONE GAGA A French advertising group that has clients including O2, EDF, Royal Mail and the BBC has become the first of the major global marketing companies to pull all its ad spend from Google and YouTube. Havas, the world’s sixth largest marketing services group, spends about £175m on digital advertising on behalf of clients in the UK annually. The firm said it had taken the step after talks with Google had broken down because the tech company had been “unable to provide specific reassurances, policy and guarantees that their video or display content is classified either quickly enough or with the correct filters”. It comes after Google was forced to review its ad policies when the UK government joined a number of organisations, including the Guardian, BBC and Transport for London, in pulling advertising from Google and YouTube. In a growing crisis for the tech giant, members of the Commons’ home affairs select committee wrote to Google to express disappointment that the government and major brands were still being placed alongside “inappropriate and offensive” content.


The property-themed board game Monopoly has scrapped the iconic boot, thimble and wheelbarrow tokens, in a bid to modernise the game. In their place will be a Tyrannosaurus rex, a penguin and a rubber duck, due to make their debut in the new updated version this autumn. More than 4.3 million voters from 146 countries weighed in on which pieces they wanted to see in future versions of the property-acquisition game. There were 64 contenders, including a winking emoji, a hashtag, a clunky 80s-style mobile phone and a pair of bunny slippers. The existing Scottish Terrier, battleship, racing car, top hat and cat tokens will carry on. The Scottie was top dog in the competition, leading all contenders with 212,476 votes. The T-rex was second with 207,954, and the hat was third with 167,582. The car was fourth with 165,083; the duck was fifth with 160,485; the cat was sixth with 154,165; the penguin waddled into seventh place with 146,661; and the battleship made the final cut with 134,704 votes.



The deputy director-general of Britain's internal security service is to become the new head of intelligence eavesdropping service GCHQ, according to reports. MI5's Jeremy Fleming, who it said had worked at the intelligence agency for at least 20 years, would be named GCHQ head this week.The previous head of GCHQ, Robert Hannigan, who had been in post since 2014, said in January he was stepping down for family reasons.

The qualities that make Twitter seem inane and half-baked are what makes it so powerful.

MARKS SPARKS AWARENESS Marks & Spencer is launching a string of cafés designed to provide a space for people to escape the bustle of daily life and share stories about their mental health. The retailer is teaming up with author, comedian and mental health awareness campaigner, Ruby Wax to launch a ‘Frazzled Cafe’ in eleven existing stores across the UK in the next few months. Three will be based in London with others opening in Brighton, Newcastle-underLyme, Cambridge, Nottingham, Leeds, Newcastle, Canterbury and Norwich. More are expected to be opened throughout the year. Fortnightly ‘talk-in’ sessions will provide people who are feeling frazzled with the opportunity to exchange personal stories “in a safe, anonymous and nonjudgmental environment,” M&S said. M&S said that Frazzled Cafe, the name of which was inspired by Wax’s book, ‘A Mindfulness Guide for the Frazzled’ is a not-for-profit organisation that is soon to be a registered charity.

CARRIAGE CARNAGE FOOT LOSE Hundreds of high street jobs are at risk at Jones Bootmaker as the retailer teeters on the brink of administration. The 160-year-old chain, which is owned by private equity firm Alteri, has filed a notice of intention to appoint administrators as it seeks a buyer. Alteri has been in negotiations to sell the business and is understood to have received credible offers. However, filing the administration notice protects the retailer from creditors looking to recover debts. There is no certainty that Jones Bootmaker will fall into administration as it could still be sold as a going concern, or through a prepack administration whereby the company goes into insolvency proceedings but its assets are immediately bought by a new owner.

Trains on some of the busiest commuter routes into London could have no first class carriages, less seating and terminate at fewer major London stations next year. A consultation has been launched by the Department for Transport, on the parameters for the next operator of the Southeastern franchise when it comes up for renewal in 2018. The most eye-catching proposals in the document are those designed to increase capacity on key routes into London during peak times, which include forcing companies to remove firstclass compartments. It also suggests investment into new rolling stock to create “metro-style” seating that is sideways facing. This effectively means less seating and much more room for standing, additionally, lines could be simplified to pack in more services. The Southeastern franchise is currently operated by Govia, which also runs Southern, which in January was voted the worst rail operator in the country, with Southeastern second worst.

Jones Bootmaker has about 100 shops and 800 employees in the UK. The problems for the retailer come as the high street battles against the rise of online shopping and business rates. The British Retail Consortium, the industry trade body, has warned that more than 8,000 shops and 80,000 jobs could be lost by 2020 due to the pressure on the retail industry.

We don’t have a monopoly. We have market share. There’s a difference.





The NHS could soon start using Uber taxis to transport non-emergency patients to and from hospital. Barts Health NHS Trust in London has signed a deal with social care company Cera which will see patients able to use Uber to get to hospital appointments.

George Osborne’s upmarket family wallpaper firm is to enjoy a business rates cut of more than £3,400 a year for its showroom in London’s swanky King’s Road, while shops on the same street are facing eyewatering rises. Osborne & Little - the firm co-founded by his father Sir Peter Osborne - will see its London shop rates bill drop by 3.8% a year on average over the next five years, according to figures compiled for the Press Association.

They will also be able to use the service for trips to get out and about when they might otherwise be housebound or dependent on others. Patients will use the UberAssist disabled access cars and the UberWay service for wheelchair users. Under the new scheme, NHS patients with illnesses ranging from cancer to dementia will be looked after by Cera carers, with a smartphone app to coordinate care, book drivers and keep relatives informed. Ben Maruthappu, Cera’s Co-founder and President, said, “Older people and those with disabilities will now have access to the highest quality drivers, while carers will be able to efficiently travel to ensure they can provide services in the right place at the right time.”

If at first you don’t succeed, failure may be your style.


The data from business rent and rates specialists CVS shows Osborne & Little’s shop rates will fall on average by £3,445 to £87,030 a year. But while the ousted chancellor’s family firm is seeing rates fall for its London showroom, other retailers across the capital are being hit with crippling rises. Some shops will see rate increases of more than 50%, except for a small number seeing cuts, including Osborne & Little.

SENDING OUT SIGNALS Telecoms giant Vodafone is to create 2,100 jobs under its biggest employment expansion for years. The new customer service roles will be offered across the Midlands, north of England, Scotland and Wales over the next two years. Vodafone said it will create around 800 jobs at its existing customer services centre in Manchester, almost 150 in Newark, more than 150 in Stoke-on-Trent and around 100 in Glasgow. In addition, Vodafone’s third-party customer service partners will create almost 600 jobs in Newcastle upon Tyne, nearly 200 roles in the west of Scotland and 100 in Cardiff. Vodafone said the new jobs will enhance the quality of service for its 18 million UK customers as part of a three-year, £2bn investment programme in its network and services.


TOP NOTCH TIFFANY Tiffany and Co’s higher than expected quarterly results have suggested that the luxury retailer’s push in to higher-margin fashion jewellery and affordable products was helping it win its customers back. Shares of the luxury retailer rose to a 19-month high last month, with the firm previously struggling to lift sales, particularly in America. Tiffany sold more fashion jewellery in the fourth quarter, a move driven by demand for gold jewellery and items from its “Tiffany T” collection and as a result, has been rapidly introducing new items in this category. “The fashion category is where we have enjoyed the most relative success, so I think that speaks at least directionally of some success in appealing to millennials,” Tiffany’s Chairman and interim Chief Executive, Michael Kowalski said. Sales of jewellery priced under $500 were also higher in the quarter. The company plans to increase its offerings in the category and is also banking on lifting “disappointing” e-commerce sales, Kowalski added.

A SLICE OF THE APPLE A London-based phone case startup, that counts Victoria Beckham and Beyonce as customers, has attracted investment from Apple’s British Design Chief, Sir Jonathan Ive. Chaos, a fashion consultancy run by Charlotte Stockdale and Katie Lyall, has launched a tech accessory division which includes products like a £185 personalised initial case and a £170 phone cover that has “blah” written on it. Other products include personalised luggage tags and a deerskin leather iPhone case. Ive was promoted to the role of chief design officer in July 2015 and is responsible for all designs at Apple, including the Apple hardware, user interface, packaging, major architectural projects such as Apple Campus 2 and Apple’s retail stores.

❝ It is better to spend money like there’s no tomorrow than to spend tonight like there’s no money.


Benchmarking Report

THE LEGAL LANDSCAPE Steve Arundale, NatWest’s Head of Commercial Professional Sectors, reviews the latest NatWest Legal Benchmarking Report


he annual NatWest Legal Benchmarking Report consolidates the financial performance of 269 legal firms covering the financial year ending 2016 and also reviews the actual performance predicted by firms in late 2015. By focusing on firms operating at the SME level across England, Wales and Scotland, they’re able to compare their financial performance against those of local and national peers. In many cases, the report has helped promote further business focus and encouraged firms to incorporate new processes that drive improved performance. Economically, 2015 and the majority of 2016 were positive years with high levels of consumer and business confidence, certainly pre-Brexit. The financial performance of SME sized legal firms is usually closely aligned to that of the economy and as such average revenue growth of 5% is not a surprise. The combined average growth rate over the last two years at 11% is very positive when compared to many other industries.

Revenue growth by volume has facilitated an improvement in profit for the owners of legal firms and in 2016 the average profit per equity partner (PEP) was £120,000. Year on year, PEP has improved and the 2016 performance is 33% up from 2013. So once again the business climate for legal firms has been positive and generally firms are in good financial shape.

The findings found in the Legal Benchmarking report are based on historic financial data and therefore give a rear-view perspective on the sector which may not be entirely relevant moving forward given the potential headwinds predicted for the domestic and global economy in 2017 and beyond. Indeed, the Law Consultancy Network half year survey recently identified that the top three issues for legal firms in 2017 would be cashflow, Brexit / global political uncertainty and improving profitability. This report highlights some obvious areas of focus and opportunity



expec bank impro to 46%


249 small


expec balan

Total Contributions



have business plans in place


with fee income > £1.5m

have a detailed time recording policy 89% of large firms 52% of small firms

with fee income < £1.5m


believe that fee income will grow over the next year That’s down from 81% in 2015

64% of large firms 58% of small firms think that fee income will grow 36% of large firms 25% of small firms expect income to grow over 10% throughout the next year An increase on last year: 12% small firms, 24% large firms


of firm impro


27% Fees

If we are entering a period where the economic waters will get a little choppy then it is those firms that manage their cash who will be best placed to sail through the storm.


Legal Conference Series Survey 2017 Predictions



believe that margins will improve in 2017 2% less than previous year Only 39% of all firms link their profit sharing to partner performance 47% of large firms expect profits per equity partners to increase 13% expect an increase of over 10% Down 7% on last year 46% of small firms that expect profits per equity partners to increase 19% expect an increase of over 10%



for legal firms if revenue growth does not continue at the pace witnessed in recent years. Efficiency has to be an area worthy of more attention. Much of the recent revenue improvement has been accommodated by an increased workforce as can be seen through the increased gearing number but in turn this has reduced fee earner efficiency with the majority generating just 3.9 hours of daily billable time with the actual net profit (before drawings) position reducing back to 23%. It’s always wiser for firms to focus on their cash position but in


Benchmarking Report recent months this has become even more prevalent. If we are entering a period where the economic waters will get a little choppy then it Legal Conference Series Survey is those firms that manage their cash who will be best placed to sail 2017 Predictions through the storm. Firms should look to reduce their lock-up which at an average of 113 days is now longer than at any time in the last 5 years. Without a constant flow of new matter starts and paid fees they would, on Participants average, run out of cash within 40 days, possibly something worth thinking about before Total all the cash is distributed in the form of partner’s Contributions 90% profits.


have business plans in place

A further for legal firms comes in the form of cyber small area largeof risk73% with fee income attacks. Our findings suggest that one in four of all legal firms have 79% > £1.5m a detailed time been the subject of a criminal attack and some ofhave them would have recording policy 27% 89% of large firms incurred a financial loss with andfeepotentially reputational damage. There is income 52% of small firms < £1.5m huge pressure on firms to be ever more diligent and to ensure that they haveFees a disaster recovery plan in place. Profits




Its believed that a reduction in debtor and WIP days would help improve cash flow

expect their bank balances to improve compared to 46% last year


expect their bank balances to fall


of firms expect their gearing to improve compared to 30% last year

profits per equity partners

think WIP days will be improved

think debtor days will be improved

Down from 35%

Down from 39%

That compares to WIP reduction at 43% in 2015 and 35% last year

That compares to debtor reduction at 44% in 2015 and 39% last year

There has been a significant fall in the firms confidence to manage their lock-up, especially among the large firms


of large firms are expecting to reduce their WIP compared to 42% last year


of small firms are expecting to reduce their WIP compared to 26% last year

profits per equity partners to

12% small firms, 24% large firms


4% of small firms expect to improve their debtor days (compared to 27% last year)

At58% NatWest, we remain committed to toincrease supporting legal firms largein of small firms 13% expect an increase developing a successful and sustainable business. Our specialist think that fee income will grow of over 10% Down 7% on last year relationship directors understand the professional services sector and 36% of large firms benefi t from accredited training and regular sector updates. 46% of small firms that expect 25% of small firms increase expect income to grow over 10% small To download the Legal Benchmarking throughout the next year 2017 NatWest 19% expect an increase of over 10% Report, please visit An increase on last year:

Debtor Days


8% of large firms expect to improve their debtor days (compared to 46% last year)

Working closely with our report’s co-author, Robert Mowbray, and 43% 63% to maximise its practical experience and wealth ofbelieve knowledge, believe that fee that margins we income will grow over will improve in 2017 havetheincluded a new section “Improving productivity – the best way next year 2% less than previous year That’s down from to improve profi tability”. It provides a simple diagnostic tool to enable 81% in 2015 Only 39% of all firms link their profit you to identify what areas of performance improvement will have the sharing to partner performance greatest impact. 47% of large firms expect 64% of large firms

WIP Days

Source: Conference Series Survey Results – September 2016.

The survey is a substantial review of law fi rms with fee income of up to £123m. 269 fi rms employing 16,000 people took part in the survey from across England, Wales and Scotland. The total income of the fi rms in the survey was £1.42bn.

SURVEY HIGHLIGHTS: Profits • The median profit per equity partner (PEP) is £120,000 which is £9,000 higher than the figure reported in the survey last year. • The median profit per equity partner in small firms of £75,000 is less than half of the median figure in large firms being £164,000. • The median profit margin dropped to 23% which shows that the growth in profit per equity partner is coming from an increase in volume which has morethan offset the drop in efficiency. Firms need to focus more on delivering better margins.

Fees • Median fees per fee earner were £136,000 which was down from £144,000 in the previous year and demonstrates a significant drop in productivity. • The median fees per equity partner is £539,000 with the lower quartile point being £340,000 and the upper quartile point being at £858,000. This is a significant increase on last year. • Fees have grown by 5% compared with a 6% increase last year which is still considerably above inflation. There is some regional variation with the South East achieving 9% growth while the North East & North West declined by 1%.

Finance • Law firms remain cautious about carrying debt and the median bank balance was £94,000. • The spare capacity in the overdraft has a median figure of 11% of annual fees with little variance in this number for different sizes of firm. This suggests that the median firm would run out of money in about 40 days if they received no further money from clients in that period. • Client money balances are typically 129% of annual billings. The firms in the survey are holding about £2.3bn in client deposits. It is clearly important that firms do everything possible to ensure that these funds are kept secure and that there is a focus on cyber security. • 24% of firms have experienced a fraud related loss or cyber-attack in the last year.


The Big Story

SPREADSHEET PHIL Is the Chancellor a safe pair of hands to steer a safe course through troubled waters - or a pessimistic remainer blocking Britain’s attempt to make a clean break? Profile by Ian Trevett


pitting Image had a simple technique to characterise John Major as one of the least interesting Prime Ministers in British history. While all around him, the screen was full of colour, Major was entirely grey, a pallid

monotone listlessly draining the life out of any scene. When sat at the dining table with his wife, the cloying silence would only be punctuated by his dull observations on how fond he was of peas. Years later, it transpired that Major had a far racier side than the Spitting Image writers could have barely imagined. While serving as a government whip in Mrs Thatcher’s government, he embarked on a four year affair with Conservative MP Edwina Currie. Presumably the topic of peas was never discussed.

swig some sherry with friends when he was at university. Television presenter, Richard Madeley was a classmate of Hammond and recalled him as a Goth, describing how he “used to arrive in class in a leather trench-coat with the Guardian under his arm.” A young liberal perhaps? Apparently not, some time later Madeley conceded that that actually on reflection, it probably was the Financial Times, not the Guardian. In Westminster his staid reputation has remained intact. He never frequents the gossip

On same-sex marriage - There is a real sense of anger among many people who are married that the government, any government, thinks it has the ability to change the definition of an institution like marriage.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond is portrayed as the new grey man. When Nicholas Watt, political editor of Newsnight, profiled Hammond, he began: “For years Philip Hammond has been dubbed the ultimate boring accountant whose idea of fun is to spend his holidays poring over spreadsheets. “And Hammond does - according to his former ministerial colleague Sir Peter Luff - infuriate his wife Susan by taking spreadsheets to the beach.”


The only evidence to contradict the “boring” accusation Watt could uncover was that he did occasionally

dens such as the bars, the tearoom or the smoking room. It has gone down in folklore that when a colleague suggested having a drink with him, he replied in a puzzled tone: “Why?” So is he just an introverted numbers man, who deserves the uninspiring nick name of Spreadsheet Phil? Andrew Gimson, writing for is not so sure. He believes that “Hammond has long sought to guard his privacy by appearing to be less interesting than he really is.” Perhaps it is all a cunning plan. In 1997, after he was elected MP for Runnymede and Weybridge, his maiden speech may have confirmed this theory: “A number of my honourable friends who are new members have already made their maiden speeches.

The Big Story My tardiness owes something to Disraeli’s advice to a new member: ‘It is better that they wonder why you do not speak than that they wonder why you do.’” Nicholas Watt is also certainly right about one thing. Our Chancellor may like a spreadsheet, but he is no accountant. He is in fact a serial entrepreneur; a risk taker who has known both success and failure in the business world. Early on in his career he had a sobering lesson of just how harsh the business environment can be, as reported by the FT’s Kate Allen and Leila Haddou: “Philip Hammond was a 24-year-old from Essex with a taste for fast cars and a mixed record of small-time ventures under his belt when he persuaded Barclays bank to back him in his first big business deal. “It was 1980, the year after Margaret Thatcher came to power, and the pitch had some of the swagger that would come to define the era: for £1, he would buy the medical devices division of Speywood, the company he worked for, taking on all its liabilities. “…Six years after taking it over, investing

thousands of pounds setting up a new factory but failing to boost the company’s sales of electrocardiograph equipment, he sold out and liquidated the holding company. “Unsecured creditors — including the company’s suppliers, car hire firms, British Telecom, the Welsh Development Agency and Mr Hammond himself — were paid just 12.75p in the pound on the combined £260,000 they

were owed.” Another early venture was a case of unfortunate timing. With Colin (now Lord) Moynihan, he set up a business selling summer trips to Oxford to Iranians. However the small matter of the 1979 Iranian revolution put paid to this venture. There seemed to be less interest in western tourism under Ayatollah Khomeini’s Islamic Republic.


The Big Story

Any business failures were more than redeemed by Hammond’s eye for detail and a good deal. The biggest success was setting up Castlemead in 1984, a housebuilding firm he launched in partnership with a Billericay surveyor, Terry Gregson. Their first land deal made a £100,000 profit. The FT narrated this change of fortune: “Castlemead’s business strategy involved squeezing more units on to sites than other developers did, so they could bid higher prices for land. Once planning permission was granted and the land value shot up, Castlemead could then borrow to fund the cost of building homes. “After a slow start the company took off in the early 2000s when Mr Hammond spotted an opportunity buried in the technical details of some recent healthcare reforms. In a bid to boost competition within the NHS, the previous Tory government had handed over purchasing budgets to local health authorities and doctors, making it easier for them to commission new construction.

thanks to its healthcare revenues.” One close friend of Mr Hammond’s says that having this “second string to its bow” made all the difference.”

It has gone down in folklore that when a colleague suggested having a drink with him, he replied in a puzzled t one: “Why?”

The Move to Politics

Lord Moynihan has no doubt that Hammond gave up a lot to pursue his political career. He said: ’If he was not in politics he would have made a lot of money as an entrepreneur.’ Reporting last year, the Metro revealed that “Hammond is the second-richest member of cabinet with a net worth of £8.2 million – just behind Lord Strathclyde on £9.6 million.”

Castlemead began to supplement its housing business by building doctors’ surgeries — a move which, along with the acquisition of another firm, would drive its turnover from just £44,000 in 1994 to over £10m a decade later.

He still holds the predominant financial interest in Castlemead, with his stake controlled by an onshore discretionary trust, an arrangement which is deemed to not represent a conflict of interest, according to the Cabinet Office.

The decision to diversify was prescient: when the financial crisis battered the housebuilding sector after 2007, Castlemead — unlike many small and medium builders — hung on to life,

Although not short of money, it is most likely that he would be far wealthier if he had stayed in business. But politics was his calling from a young age.


Born on 4th December 1955 in Epping, he studied at a local state school, Shenfield School, a comprehensive in Brentwood. It is a marked shift in the government, that both PM and Chancellor were educated at state schools. A lifelong Conservative, he has described how he felt aged 14 when Harold Wilson’s Labour government lost the election: “I remember the day after the general election of 1970 when Harold Wilson had lost – I remember quite clearly cycling from my house in Hutton along Long Ridings and feeling what a relief to live in a country with a Tory government again.” He earned a place at Oxford University and began his studies on the same day in 1974 the day that the Labour government was elected, a period which shaped Mr Hammond’s personal political convictions. Since then he has emphasised his desire to see a government that promotes economic stability: “I watched, first as a student of politics, and then as a new employee in a small pharmaceutical company, as economic disaster engulfed Britain.” Philip Hammond was the Chairman of the Lewisham East Conservative Association for seven years from 1989 and contested the 1994 Newham North East by-election following the death of sitting Labour MP Ron Leighton, losing to Labour’s Stephen Timms by 11,818 votes. He was elected to the House of Commons at the 1997 general election for the newly created Surrey seat of Runnymede and Weybridge. He won the seat with a majority of 9,875 and has remained its MP since. He

The Big Story

made his maiden speech on 17 June 1997. He referred to his Surrey constituency as one that “straddles the M25 and the M3; indeed, in those road atlases that tend to exaggerate the width of roads my constituency appears to contain little other than the intersection of those two motorways.”

It seems most likely that his reputation as Spreadsheet Phil may be accurate. Forget the politics - do the sums add up?

He was promptly promoted to the front bench and held a number of shadow cabinet positions eventually taking on the role of Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury.

After the Conservatives returned to power in 2010, he was appointed Transport Secretary in David Cameron’s coalition government. It was not without controversy as this was at the height of the expenses scandals which engulfed parliament, and Hammond was one of the MPs who had claimed almost the full

second home allowance despite living just a short commute from London. One policy idea which cheered motoring enthusiasts was the proposed rise of the motorway speed limit to 80 mph. However, his successor in the position canned the idea, largely due to the fear that the blame for any increase fatalities would be levelled at the Secretary. He became Secretary of State for Defence on October 14th 2011 and was at the helm during a period when cuts to services, including the armed forces, were being administered. He also announced that women were to be allowed to serve on Royal Navy submarines. On July 15th 2014, he moved over to the Foreign Office as Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary. His main challenge was to represent the UK in the sensitive but vital negotiations with Iran regarding their nuclear programme.

The Traditionalist Hammond is known to be the more traditional wing of the Conservative Party, and often found himself at odds with the modernising coalition government. One example was on the subject of same-sex marriage. In 2013 on Question Time he

said, “This change does redefine marriage. For millions and millions of people who are married, the meaning of marriage changes. There is a real sense of anger among many people who are married that the government, any government, thinks it has the ability to change the definition of an institution like marriage. There was no huge demand for this and we didn’t need to spend a lot of parliamentary time and upset vast numbers of people to do this. I have just never felt that this is what we should be focusing on . . .” Although he never obstructed the path of the bill, it was clear that he felt this wasn’t something a Conservative government should be getting involved with.

Europe - Still a Remainer? “Leaving the EU would be a huge, reckless leap in the dark. “Risking recession and gambling the jobs and the futures of a generation. Because we do not know – and “Leave” cannot tell us – what life outside the EU would look like. “Although all the market indicators are pointing to a pretty traumatic short-term shock as well as a long-term structural reduction in our rate of growth and the size of our economy.”


Award winning business, tax and wealth advice To find out more about the full range of accountancy, business advisory and financial services that help our clients achieve their business and personal goals, please contact:

Bryan Elkins, Partner, Horsham office T: +44 (0)1403 253 282 E: Shirley Smith, Partner, Gatwick office T: +44 (0)1293 776 152 E:

Offices across London, Sussex and Kent 20

The Big Story

Unlike Mrs May, Philip Hammond was adamant about his position. Britain would be stronger, safer and better off in Europe.

party: “Many Brexiteers regard Hammond as worryingly gloomy. They complain that he dwells on the negatives of leaving the EU.”

So has he changed his view - or is he still a remainer at heart?

Newsnight’s Nicholas Watt, reported that “Mr Hammond is, according to friends, unimpressed by what he regards as the excessively optimistic claims of the Brexiteers Boris Johnson and Liam Fox. But he is re-establishing an alliance with the third Brexiteer, his one time boss David Davis.

Tom Goodenough, writing in The Spectator, commented recently, “In the run-up to the referendum, Philip Hammond was one of those warning of the dire consequences of a vote to leave the EU. He predicted that Brexit would have a ‘chilling effect’ on the UK economy and said there would be uncertainty for years to come. Since being made Chancellor, Hammond has softened his language about the doom and gloom of Brexit. But only just.” Goodenough concluded, “Hammond is making it clear he’s still sceptical about the glimmers of economic prosperity which have emerged since the referendum. The economists might have upped their predictions, and the Treasury’s forecasts have reverted to matching those made in the runup to the vote. But Hammond, for one, isn’t buying it.

It is better that they wonder why you do not speak than that they wonder why you do.

“By saying he’ll wait for ‘hard data’, Hammond is pouring cold water on the upbeat picture to emerge of Britain’s economy since the vote. Of course, having a degree of healthy scepticism is wise. Yet having found himself on the wrong side of the referendum vote, Hammond must strike a delicate balance to ensure his warnings of uncertainty don’t end up becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy.” Goodenough’s colleague at the paper, James Forsyth, also feels that Hammond may be out of step with the rest of the

“Friends say Mr Hammond regards the Brexit secretary as a grown-up who is immersing himself in the gritty detail of his job.” So is Hammond the realist among the Brexiteer dreamers, our is his own ideology putting the brakes on Brexit progress? It perhaps says more about his business roots. Watt states that, “The chancellor is so concerned about business uncertainty he believes the UK should negotiate a transitional deal with the EU to cover future trading relations at the same time as the Brexit talks.” It seems most likely that his reputation as Spreadsheet Phil may be accurate. Forget the politics - do the sums add up? But Hammond is the Chancellor and not the PM. Balancing books is not everything as he quickly discovered after his Spring Budget. His announcement of a boost to social care provision was overwhelmed by the fallout from his plans to fund it - via a rise in National Insurance contributions. It was surely one of the most short-lived budget announcements in history, a policy quickly reversed after his own back-benchers cried foul at the breaking of a manifesto pledge, which promised no tax rises before 2020. The chancellor signalled the abrupt change of heart in a letter to Conservative MP Andrew Tyrie, the chair of the treasury select committee, following a revolt by backbench MPs that Hammond had proved unable to quell. “The government continues to believe

that addressing this unfairness is the right approach,” he said. “However, since the budget, parliamentary colleagues and others have questioned whether the increase in class 4 contributions is compatible with the tax lock commitments made in our 2015 manifesto.” It can be spun that the Chancellor listens to feedback and is open-minded, but the political sketchwriters would prefer to report this as a defeat and a U-turn.

Leaving the EU would be a huge, reckless leap in the dark.

❞ Few of us are in a position to judge whether Mr Hammond is the right man for the job although we will all, at varying times and degrees, have our rabid opinions. It is probably best that our Chancellor is boring; who wants a showboater with an ego the size of Jeremy Clarkson’s. It’s better to have a calm, steady hand with a forensic eye for detail and a total disregard for headlines, image and status. The fact he has made vast amounts of money in business may prevent him from being swayed by personal gain. It’s no bad thing that he has made a considerable financial sacrifice to be the Chancellor. The same applies for the head of the Bank of England. You sometimes wonder what motivates people to leave a successful career to enter the shark tank that is Westminster. Hammond will have the job of keeping the economy growing during the most traumatic years of change we have seen for generations. Many would say that a man with the title of Spreadsheet Phil is exactly what we need at the helm whilst there are inevitable stormy waters ahead. HMS Invisible or RMS Titanic?


Business Awards


HEADLINE SPONSORS Emirates Gatwick Airport NatWest Nestlé

Reception Drinks Sponsor Irwin Mitchell

The winners were unveiled at the 9th Annual Gatwick Diamond Business Awards at the Effingham Park Hotel, on 16th March, 2017. The Awards were presented by the well-known writer, actor and the voice of Postman Pat, Stephen Mangan. The proceedings were introduced by Chief Executive of Gatwick Diamond Business Jeremy Taylor. Look out for a special feature in the next issue of PBM profiling the year’s big winners.

The winners

The presenter of the Awards, Stephen Mangan


The venue, ready for the evening

Business Awards

THE WINNERS GREEN BUSINESS OF THE YEAR sponsored by Crawley Borough Council

Cleankill Pest Control

RESPONSIBLE BUSINESS OF THE YEAR sponsored by the University of Sussex, School of Business, Management & Economics

Mid Sussex Wood Recycling Project

INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS OF THE YEAR sponsored by the Gatwick Diamond Initiative

Lighthouse Systems Ltd


Driver Hire Gatwick


Hilton London Gatwick Airport


Business Awards

EMPLOYER OF THE YEAR sponsored by Search Consultancy

B&CE The People’s Pension


MAS Group (International) Ltd


B&CE The People’s Pension

THE AWARD FOR SUPPLY CHAIN EXCELLENCE sponsored by the University of Brighton

Acro Aircraft Seating


Cova Security Gates Ltd


Business Awards

NEW BUSINESS OF THE YEAR sponsored by FSB West Sussex

ViiSana Limited

BUSINESS OF THE YEAR sponsored by NatWest

Groundsure Ltd


Christopher Meeking - Avtura Limited


Charles Kirwan-Taylor of Gatwick Airport

Daryl Gayler of NatWest

Laurie Berryman, Emirates Airline

Jeremy Taylor, CEO of gdb


Business Development

BRIGHTON ROCKS FOR SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS But only if you know how to take advantage of it, says EMC Management Consultants’ business development consultant, Chris White.


righton is a city of epithets. There’s bohemian Brighton, gay Brighton, touristy Brighton, high-tech Brighton. But what of business Brighton? Is so-called ‘Silicon Beach’ a shiny commercial, high-tech gem of the South coast, or is Brighton merely the seat of significant retired – and tired! – wealth? Last year I did some work to analyse the true nature of the business demographics of Brighton and its environs, and it led to some interesting findings. With 94% of operations in the city being parentless, Brighton is certainly a bastion of the independents. This puts it 7% above the national average and is in marked contrast to, say, Crawley which has 10% fewer independents than Brighton. Confirming Brighton’s reputation as a creative hot-house, a 2015 Centre for Cities survey stated: “Brighton has the highest proportion of SMEs [in the UK] in the creative


industries relative to the size of the city’s total SME base, with one in eight SMEs operating in the sector.”

There are some lucrative markets in Brighton, but they require cunning business development and marketing strategies

The ‘Silicon Beach’ label certainly seems to be justified as almost a quarter of all these businesses are in the high-tech sector. This is an enormous proportion - six times the national average! Many of these make up the high

share – 14% compared to 9% nationally – of ‘fast growth’ companies in the city. More than 8.5 million tourists, who plough around £800m annually into the local economy, support a huge swathe of hotel and leisure businesses. Thousands of independent shops, retailers and B&Bs make up a very big proportion of the smaller business community. Also really notable is the size of these small businesses. Brighton businesses, on the whole, are very small. It’s estimated that 85% of them are ‘micro’ businesses – that is to say they have nine or fewer employees. Of course, when you look across the demographic of any significant city, there will always be a raft of smaller businesses, but it’s particularly true of Brighton – by some margin. 75% of Brighton businesses have a turnover below £1m – that’s 15% points above the national average.

Business Development

But Brighton is also a city that doesn’t get its fair share of larger businesses. In fact I can find only a couple of private companies that employ more than 250 people. To put this into context, Crawley has five times the number of £100m-plus turnover businesses within its borders. Having said that, 50% of employment is generated by businesses with more than 50 employees and there is a rich stream of 280300 medium-sized businesses. And, of course, the public sector is a big local employer. Hemmed in by the South Downs, one could even argue that it’s only half a territory – given that the English Channel is the other half! It doesn’t really have any sizeable industrial estates and there’s very little room for manufacturing businesses to be established. Indeed, it has half the national average number of these. But ‘there is money in them thar hills!’. You only have to drive around the outskirts of Brighton and Hove to witness the concentration of HNWIs (high net worth individuals) who have established themselves in the area, many of whom have settled down from London/Gatwick where they have other business interests.

So what does all this mean…? • It means there is intense competition to service the city’s medium-sized businesses, requiring sharply crafted and smart business

development strategies designed to land the more promising ones. • The established wealth in the area is an opportunity for professional services – but again this is a crowded sector with many sharp elbowed players seeking out their share. Perhaps acquisition might be the best play here.

You only have to drive around the outskirts of Brighton and Hove to witness the concentration of HNWIs (high net worth individuals) who have established themselves in the area

• Penetration of the rich seam of fast-growth, high-tech stars requires a compelling sector strategy that demonstrates track record and an understanding of the issues they face. Solutions need to chime with their own often innovative and progressive ethos. • The great swathe of micro-businesses are likely to be looking for solutions and products that can be easily adopted with flexibility around their commitment over

time. They are likely to respond to laboursaving high-tech solutions that are scalable as they develop – but very low perceived cost. Easy then! There are some lucrative markets in Brighton, but they require cunning business development and marketing strategies. If your target market consists of larger, perhaps international players, then look north to the Gatwick Business Diamond. But then again, this is also a complex mixed bag requiring its own analysis which, incidentally, I have also done and would be happy to discuss. If you are reflecting on your own approach, it might be a good idea to get an outside perspective on the best way forward. I and my colleagues at EMC have carried out literally thousands of projects over the years, helping small business owners to refine and improve their business development and marketing plans.

Give us a call on 01273 945984 to arrange a free no-obligation discussion about how we might be able to help to make ‘Silicon Beach’ work for you. EMC is headquartered at Rochester House, Rochester Gardens, Hove BN3 3AW. Tel: 01273 945984.



WHAT THE SPRING BUDGET WILL BRING FOR BUSINESS To help understand the first budget from Chancellor Philip Hammond, Bryan Elkins, Partner and Head of Taxation at Kreston Reeves, details the seven key implications small and medium sized businesses should know

Apprenticeship levy The largest single change affecting businesses from 5th April has already been announced. The new apprenticeship levy will be charged on firms with a total annual payroll in excess of £3m. In fact, those not obliged to pay this new levy are the ones most likely to benefit by achieving a reduction in their training costs. The government has pledged to pay 90% of apprenticeship costs for small businesses.

Business Rates Rate relief will be 100% from April 2017 based on a rateable value of up to £12,000, tapering to £15,000. This will benefit those


Personal service companies supplying those in the Public Sector, which includes the BBC, Transport for London, or even your local dentist – will have potentially increased costs from 5th April

where property values have risen the most. However, the overall revenue take of the latest revaluation, which is based on 2015 property values, is not altered, meaning some will still face significant rises, mainly in London and the South-East. A review of business rates is promised to level the playing field with digital commerce, which largely avoids it. In addition, there will be a discount for pubs, caps for those moving out of Small Business Rate Exemption and a discretionary fund for local authorities to apply.

Digital tax The Making Tax Digital start date for businesses with a turnover below the VAT threshold has been delayed. Those with


turnover between £10,000 and £83,000 (the current VAT threshold) will now not be required to report digitally until 6th April 2019. This will be welcome news to smaller businesses, the self-employed and landlords.

able to use the apprenticeship levy to cover these costs? Is there capacity for businesses to take on 630,000 students (of level 2 and above) each year?

The new dividend tax-free allowance of £5,000 is to be reduced to £2,000 from 6th April 2018. The personal allowance is to be increased by more than inflation increasing it by £500 to £11,500

Some thirty future changes were listed as proposed or to be consulted on. Some of these may well have significant effect such as the taxation of partnerships and valuation of benefits


Increased technical training will be welcomed by business. However, one of the throwaway comments in the Budget speech was for a compulsory three month ‘quality’ secondment – this will have a cost effect on business. Questions remain: Will businesses be


Avoidance Personal service companies supplying those in the Public Sector (technically those entities covered by the Freedom of Information Act 2000) – which includes the BBC, Transport for London, or even your local dentist – will have potentially increased costs from 5th April. The government has widened the hybrid rules to limit perceived tax avoidance by multinationals.

imminently include: abolition of salary sacrifice arrangements; penalties for enablers of tax avoidance arrangements; restriction of interest relief – potentially applicable where group interest charge is over £2m pa; and more flexibility on use of losses brought forward within companies.

Need advice? For advice and further information about how the Spring Budget affects your business, please contact Bryan Elkins, Partner and Head of Tax at Kreston Reeves by phoning 0330 124 1399 or emailing We are also able to provide extensive advice across a range of tax and personal advisory needs. Our multidisciplinary team members would be pleased to advise you on tax planning, investments, financial planning that takes into account your immediate and long term work and life plans.

Consultations and imminent changes Some thirty future changes were listed as proposed or to be consulted on. Some of these may well have significant effect, such as changes to the taxation of partnerships and valuation of benefits. Important changes already announced and due in force

business. tax. wealth.

This material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation. Kreston Reeves LLP (Registered number in OC328775, registered office: 37 St Margaret’s Street, Canterbury CT1 2TU) is registered to carry on audit work and is regulated for a range of investment business activities by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. A list of members’ names is available at our registered office and details of the licensing bodies for our insolvency practitioners can be found at our website. Kreston Reeves Financial Planning Limited (Registered number 3852054, registered office: 37 St Margaret ‘s Street, Canterbury CT1 2TU) are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. All of the above addresses are registered in England.



BITE BACK FOR BUSINESS This month MHA Carpenter Box Partner, Chris Coopey, looks forward to the BITE 2017 event and also asks, is your business Apprenticeship Levy ready?

BITE 2017 Thursday 27th April 2017, Amex Stadium, Brighton


he countdown to BITE 2017 (Business, Innovation, Technology, and Efficiency) is well underway. In these days where productivity is so much the buzzword (and not in a good way), our free one-day business event aims to give business owners awareness of many of the most modern and innovative technologies and techniques around. The result? We hope delegates will go away with ideas which will have a direct and positive impact on their business profitability. One area of innovation we’re particularly excited about is Alternative Funding, which will be featured in our second keynote session of the day. Below, we’ve provided a beginner’s guide to an increasingly popular method, crowdfunding.

A whistle-stop tour of crowdfunding So what is crowdfunding? It’s an alternative and creative route to raising money for your business. Essentially you use a platform to appeal to a large group (crowd!) of people and persuade them that you have a project worth investing in. Of course they need to see a return which might be anything from a badge and thank you letter, a product, or a percentage of your equity (depending on the amount of money donated and the size of the business).

How does it work? Predominantly used by start-ups, crowdfunding is an innovative alternative to more traditional forms of financing. If a business is finding it hard to secure a start-up loan, it can be a great alternative where traditional funding is hard to source. Start-ups that raise large sums of money crowdfunding, are also more likely to receive external financing later down the line.

Crowdfunding is often used to raise smaller sums of money, although it is possible to raise millions from it

Another advantage of crowdfunding is its ability to go viral. If a campaign does exceptionally well, the sheer success of the company’s ability to sell their business/product well enough to produce a lot of donations is often newsworthy in itself (Google Pokito and see). Crowdfunding is often used to raise smaller sums of money, although it is possible to raise millions from it. The music and tech industries are particularly well suited to crowdfunding. This is probably due to their ability to easily impress investors with exciting concepts and ideas, as well as offering the final product in return for funding. Because crowdfunding campaigns reach out to such a widespread audience, it’s important for businesses to appeal to the heart as well as the head. Your audience is far more likely to engage with a thought-provoking video than a graph of the company’s financial projections! A panel of alternative funding and industry experts will be on stage at BITE 2017 to provide an insider’s guide to innovative routes to funding, including crowdfunding. You will also gain insight into how the panel sees the future of funding innovations, the impact of interest rates and other current issues surrounding alternative sources of finance.

For more information and to register for BITE visit


Finance Is your business ready for the Apprenticeship Levy? We may have heard Philip Hammond’s first budget, but we’re still feeling the effects of George Osborne’s previous budgets. One scheme due to come into effect next month is the Apprenticeship Levy which aims to fund three million apprenticeships by 2020. The move was not greeted with enthusiasm by many employers when it was announced by George Osborne in the 2015 Budget, but according to the government, it is designed to put the funding of apprenticeships on a ‘sustainable’ basis. The Apprenticeship Levy comes into effect on 6th April and will apply to both public and private UK employers across all sectors. Without doubt, many employers will have heard of the levy, but may not be aware of what it entails for their business.

Without doubt, many employers will have heard of the Apprenticeship Levy, but may not be aware of what it entails for their business

Paying the Levy

The levy is an annual charge based on the employer’s salary bill, although it is reported on and paid monthly through usual payroll processing. It applies to every UK employer, however, only those with a salary bill in excess of £3m will actually pay it because there will be a £15,000 fixed allowance, which can be off-set against any payment due. According to the government’s statistics, around 98% of businesses will not pay anything into the levy but for those large businesses that do, the costs may well be significant. A few examples below highlight the possible payments: • For a business with a £4m salary bill the calculation would be: 0.5% x 4,000,000 = £20,000 – minus the £15,000 fixed allowance = £5,000 payable.

Accessing Funding

Business Considerations

The levy is designed to encourage employers to support apprenticeships and so a decision needs to be made by employers as to whether they would like to access funding. Any funds applied for and held in digital accounts that are not utilised within 24 months, will expire and be lost.

There is a broad range of apprenticeships available covering many sectors including healthcare (adult care, dental, plus others), motor, construction and real estate, technology, financial services, hospitality, legal, and travel sectors, so finding apprenticeships suitable for your business requires detailed evaluation.

Funding is available to: • All employers who have contributed to the levy. These employers qualify for a 10% government top-up on their levy payment within their digital account. See graph at the foot of the page for illustration. • Employers who have not contributed (as their pay bill is below £3m) or employers who would like to invest more in training than they have available in their digital accounts will qualify for ‘Co-investment’. Co-investment requires the employer to fund 10% of the cost of the apprenticeship (up to the funding band limit) with the government paying the remaining 90%.

Do you know how much the levy is going to cost your business and have you budgeted for it? What is your current spend on training or apprenticeships and what opportunities do you have to mitigate further costs associated with the levy? How can you utilise apprentices to develop your workforce to meet the future strategic plans of the organisation? For more information on how the Apprenticeship Levy will affect your business, please visit

Pay bill

Net Payment

10% top up

Training amount













• For a business with a £2m salary bill nothing would be payable: 0.5% x 2,000,000 = £10,000 – minus the £15,000 fixed allowance = £NIL payable.



BUSINESS RELOCATION: KEY ISSUES TO CONSIDER If you’re planning a business relocation, you will want this process to be as smooth as possible. We have put together some key points for you to consider across a range of areas in your business

Contracts • Supply and service contracts - There will be a number of these contracts which you will either want to take with you when you relocate or terminate. You will need to identify these early in the process to ensure you know (as applicable) (i) when you have to terminate and what, if any, exit assistance you will need from the supplier and (ii) what restrictions would prevent these contracts moving with you. • IT systems - What systems will move with you and what will be decommissioned? We can advise you on your rights, and what restrictions there are, in relation to the systems you are using – are you free to do what you want with them or do you need the supplier’s consent? • Third parties involved in your relocation – Ideally, all these third parties should be on substantially the same terms and conditions


to help reduce your contract management time and costs. Only the commercial terms (e.g the services, service levels and charges) would then need to be drafted and included in an order form. Once you’ve made the move, don’t forget you’ll need to inform all those you have a contract with of your new address for notices and service under those contracts, and also you’ll need to update your records at Companies House.

People • Employment contracts - Do your employment contracts allow you to relocate your workforce to your new premises? Are further steps and processes necessary to change the contract terms? • Collective consultation/redundancy - You may be looking to reduce your employee numbers or there may be some employee

functions that are no longer required. These and other scenarios raise the possibility of redundancies or termination of employment on other grounds. • Discrimination - When you relocate you will need to consider the possibility of incidental discrimination claims. In addition to ensuring that the new premises have suitable access and facilities for people with disabilities, the relocation itself could have an adverse impact on disabled employees who find it harder to travel to the new location. • TUPE - Where you need to end supply and service contracts at your current location or want to enter into new contracts at your new premises, it is possible that the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 apply to the employees of the service providers and/or some of your own employees.


When you’re relocating you need to think about what you are going to do with your current premises. Your exit strategy will normally take between 6 to 12 months to put into effect”

Property • Exit strategy – When you’re relocating you need to think about what you are going to do with your current premises. Your exit strategy will normally take between 6 to 12 months to put into effect so taking early advice can avoid costly issues arising. • Owners - If you own the freehold, do you want to sell, or redevelop the building, or perhaps you would rather lease out the space to tenants?

Once you’ve made the move, don’t forget you’ll need to inform all those you have a contract with of your new address for notices and service under those contracts

• Occupiers - If you have a lease, you will need to consider whether your lease can be transferred to another party or brought to an end. You will also need to consider what liabilities you may have for repairs to your building.

• New premises – Whether you are buying or renting new premises, we can help you through the negotiation of the legal documents required and advise on the new obligations and liabilities you would be taking on. If you need to carry out any fit out works to your new leasehold premises, we can draw up the documents to make sure that you have everything in place to ensure that the works are done before the big move. At RB, we bring experience of dealing with business relocations and will work collaboratively and seamlessly with you to help you achieve a successful move. For more information about how we can help, please contact either Nick Pentecost, Lisa Downs or Tony Hyams-Parish by calling 01293 527744 or you can visit our website at



DON’T LET DEBT GET YOUR BUSINESS DOWN Kelly Mills, Partner at DMH Stallard LLP, looks at how small and medium sized enterprises can help ensure they get paid on time.


ost entrepreneurs will be familiar with the saying, ‘cash flow is king’ and being paid promptly for goods and services can be the difference between a thriving, or a dying, business. However, research by payments services company Bacs suggests that almost half (47%) of the UK’s small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are being paid late. With the average late payment debt now standing at £32,185, this equates to SMEs being owed a staggering £26.3 billion.


The effects of late payment The knock-on effects of not being paid on time can be significant. Bacs found that 32% of SMEs who were paid late also admitted paying their own suppliers late. Furthermore, 12% also said that late payment impacted on their ability to pay staff. A significant amount of time and resource is being diverted to chasing late payments. 42% of SMEs experiencing late payments spend up

to four hours a week chasing debtors, with 18% spending up to £500 a month doing so. The Federation of Small Businesses believes that if businesses paid their suppliers on time, 50,000 business ‘deaths’ could be avoided each year. All this time and resource could achieve so much more if it could be directed towards growth, rather than chasing debt.

Changes on the horizon This April, regulations come into force that

Legal often given by customers for late payment is that the invoice has simply been forgotten, so a simple reminder may be enough to prompt payment. Furthermore, making contact with customers can also provide an early indication of issues which may be a barrier to payment.

When further action is needed Unfortunately, sometimes even with excellent processes and follow up, legal steps need to be taken to recover debts that are owed. Our experienced, specialist debt recovery team acts for clients along the entire debt recovery process, from letters of demand through to the enforcement of court judgments, allowing our clients to concentrate on their businesses rather than chasing debts.

mean large companies and limited liability partnerships will have to publicly report twice a year on their payment practices, including the average time it takes them to pay supplier invoices. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is also recruiting for the new role of small business commissioner. This post is one of the measures the government is introducing to try and tackle late payments and support smaller businesses.

The Federation of Small Businesses believes that if businesses paid their suppliers on time, 50,000 business ‘deaths’ could be avoided each year.

2. Agree clear payment terms Knowing what payment terms are in place is key to managing cash flow and debt. When is payment due? What sanctions are in place in the event of overdue payment? 3. Invoice promptly 71% of businesses who claim not to have issues with late payments attribute this to robust invoicing practices. The longer it takes to invoice, the longer it will take to get paid, so why wait? Is it possible to send the invoice by email, for example, to avoid unnecessary delay? 4. Make payments easier for customers Consider offering online payments or direct debits, where appropriate. The easier it is to make payment, the more likely it is that payment will be made promptly.


So it looks like the government is taking the problem seriously, which is a step in the right direction. However, for businesses struggling today, there are immediate actions they can take to try to avoid late payments.

Five steps to help avoid late payments from customers 1. Credit check your customers This applies to new and existing customers - do you know their current financial position? This can provide a good indicator of whether you want to do, or continue doing, business with them and on what terms. How much credit, if any, do you want to extend?

Prevention is always better than cure and concentrating on making sure your debtors pay their bills promptly is time well spent.

5. Monitor and chase debt Keep a record of when payments are due. As soon as an invoice becomes overdue for payment, make contact with the customer. One in five businesses cite the reason most

Prevention is always better than cure and concentrating on making sure your debtors pay their bills promptly is time well spent. However, should you find yourself amongst the 47% of SMEs currently suffering from late payment, please contact DMH Stallard for details about how we may be able to help you.

DMH STALLARD has a specialised commercial debt recovery unit which is part of the commercial disputes resolution group. We offer a wide range of specialised services and are dedicated to all aspects of the debt recovery process. Through our highly effective, low cost debt recovery service, we have helped many clients generate additional revenue for their businesses. The competitive fixed fees and volume discounts we offer for undefended debt recovery matters provide certainty for our clients and great value for money, often generating over £10 for every £1 spent with us. Tel: 01293 605000 Gainsborough House, Pegler Way, Crawley RH11 7FZ



A SPOOKY BUSINESS Industrial espionage is the process of illegally and unethically obtaining confidential information from other companies and using it to gain a competitive edge. Harry Sherrard, Principal at Sherrards Employment Law, advises how businesses can protect their information.


n my 20 plus year career in employment law I’ve encountered most types of interaction between employer and employee, but genuine cases of industrial espionage are rare. So I was intrigued when a client came to me with such a case. Our client, Yellow Aviation, has been expanding over the last year and had recruited a number of senior employees from a direct competitor, Blue Airlines. We assessed the enforceability of restrictive covenants in the employment contracts of the Blue Airlines employees, and advised our client that some of the restrictions were likely to be enforceable. Together we worked out a strategy to ensure that the Blue Airlines employees would bring value, without exposing our client to potential


legal action from Blue Airlines.

Alarm bells

No legal action, nor indeed the threat of it, transpired, and the former Blue Airlines employees settled into working for Yellow Aviation.

Something seemed not quite right about Joe from the start. He took undue interest in contracts that did not concern him, and when he was caught eavesdropping on a conversation in the boardroom between the directors, alarm bells began ringing loudly. Further investigations ensued and the other former Blue Airlines employees, who of course knew Joe from their time together at the company, uncovered the true story.

Yellow Aviation then received an approach from another senior Blue Airlines employee, Joe, who said he wanted to leave Blue Airlines and join Yellow Aviation. At his request, we assessed the restrictive covenants in Joe’s contract of employment, and Yellow Aviation assessed the skill and contacts that he could bring. After due consideration, Yellow Aviation offered Joe a contract of employment. He resigned from Blue Airlines, worked out his notice and joined Yellow Aviation.

Joe was, in espionage parlance, a double agent. Although he had ostensibly resigned from Blue Airlines, in fact he was still in the pay of that company. His approach to Yellow Aviation, what he said he could offer, and his

Legal request for legal advice on the enforceability of covenants in his employment contract, were all bogus. His mission was to gather as much information as he could about Yellow Aviation’s business plan and customers and feed it back to Blue Airlines, in an attempt to repair some of the damage done to the company by the loss of its staff to Yellow Aviation. Needless to say, when the truth came out, Joe was speedily removed from his new role at Yellow Aviation.

There are other aspects of industrial espionage that employers need to consider and one of them is employees of competitors actively spying on your activities.

Legal position

So what was the legal position? Joe had less than two years’ service and could not claim unfair dismissal, so his abrupt removal could not have any legal consequences. Even if he could claim unfair dismissal, spying for and feeding information to a competitor, whether a former employer or not, is obviously gross misconduct justifying summary termination of employment. Yellow Aviation could, arguably, have sued Joe for return of the salary paid to him, as his employment was entirely bogus. There were also potential legal claims against Blue Airlines; the Information Commissioner could have been involved and even criminal law aspects were considered but, in the end, the judgement was made that protracting the episode was not in the best interests of Yellow Aviation. There are other aspects of industrial espionage that employers need to consider and one of them is employees of competitors actively spying on your activities. This is unusual but can happen.

Sensible precautions What lessons can employers learn? While industrial espionage of this nature is rare, and it is important not to become over sensitised, there are sensible precautions that all employers should take. IT policies should outlaw emailing sensitive information such as technical material and business plans to personal email addresses. Routine audits of IT, including laptops, tablets and email enabled telephones (which are often forgotten) should take place and any suspicious activity investigated further. Emails from employees’ work email addresses to their private email addresses should be scrutinised. All IT systems should be password protected and employees should only be granted access to information that directly concerns their area of work. An increasingly common issue is covert recording of meetings. Previously, specialist equipment was required, although in fact this has always been readily accessible to those individuals who wanted to use it. Nowadays, of course, with smartphones, covert recording of meetings, making videos and taking pictures is very easy. Some of our clients who are concerned about confidentiality of information require visitors to deposit smartphones at reception. Similar rules can apply to the company’s own employees.

An increasingly common issue is covert recording of meetings. Previously, specialist equipment was required, although in fact this has always been readily accessible to those individuals who wanted to use it.

Employers should include effective confidentiality clauses in contracts of employment and encourage staff not to talk too freely about business plans and future operations. A robust social media policy should be in place to curtail the unfortunate habit of employees being indiscreet about business activities. A good policy will prohibit this. And managers should at least be alive to the possibility that some competitors may go to extreme lengths to obtain information about their business.

Follow Harry Sherrard’s ‘World of Work’ blog on the Sherrards Employment Law website: SHERRARDS EMPLOYMENT LAW SOLICITORS 4 Albourne Court, Henfi eld Road, Albourne, West Sussex BN6 9DB T: 01273 834120 E:


Business Debate

THE GREAT DEBATE IS COMING How can Brighton support your business? Thursday 29th June, 2017 at the Sallis Benny Theatre, Brighton, 6 – 8.30pm


n an uncertain world, the way in which our city and the region projects itself to the rest of the UK and beyond, is crucial. How should Brighton and Hove position itself as a city, so that it draws in the clients, investment and talent that will help your enterprise to grow? What sort of brand should Brighton and Hove create in the months and years to come? The University of Brighton is bringing together over 200 influential business people and a panel of key decision makers to discuss the issues and opportunities that are


most important for businesses. Working in partnership with The Brighton Chamber and Platinum Business Magazine, the Great Debate will give people an opportunity to have a say on the future of business in Brighton. Professor Debra Humphris, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Brighton, said: “We’d like to invite you to join the discussion at what should be a lively and stimulating evening. We all share in the city’s ambitions and fortunes and we’d like to hear your views, particularly around how the university can best work

with you to prepare our students to shape their futures, and to collaborate through consultancy and research.” Save the date in your diary now and watch out for details of how to book in the next few weeks. To book early and reserve a place or to find out more information please email:

Business Awards

LEADING THE WAY IN LEWES Lewes District Business Awards return for a fourth year running


ewes District Council is pleased to announce the return of the Lewes District Business Awards. The awards are now open for business following a launch at AQUA Restaurant, Lewes last month. Recognising success, innovation and excellence in the business community, the awards are free to enter and open to organisations of all sizes and sectors. The awards are an opportunity for many different types of businesses to come together and celebrate the talent and achievements of the district’s businesses. Previous winners and sponsors heard from new Chair of Judges, David Sheppard, Chairman of Sussex Chamber of Commerce, on what makes an award entry stand out, whilst Councillor Andy Smith thanked this year's sponsors for their continued support. This year there are fourteen categories including the highly coveted Company of the Year and Best Independent Retailer. Four brand new categories have also been introduced - Culture, Leisure and Tourism, open to organisations that enrich the Lewes District and make it a great destination. Best Independent Food or Drink Producer, designed to highlight the growing number

of microbreweries, vineyards and farmers that have a passion to grow, source and provide local produce, the Professional Services Award, recognising businesses in the private professional sector and The Creative Industries Award, open to businesses that produce cutting-edge creative media and/or technology that have made a big noise in the creative world and beyond.

Chamber of Commerce, Newhaven Chamber of Commerce and Lewes Town Hall.

For more information on entering or to discuss sponsorship opportunities, please call 01273 666200 or email

The awards ceremony will take place on Thursday 13th July 2017 at Lewes Town Hall and will be presented by BBC news presenter and correspondent, Ben Brown. Around 200 of the district’s leading businesspeople, sponsors and judges are expected to attend, giving guests the perfect opportunity to network with peers, celebrate with colleagues and find out those all important results. This year’s sponsors include Basepoint, Cheesmur Building Contractors, Knill James, LEAP, Lewes District Council, Lewes Town Hall, Brighton & Hove Buses, Richard Soan Roofing Services, Swindells, Veolia, UNIGLOBE, Wave Leisure, Yelo Architects, Platinum Business Magazine, Aces Magazine, and Viva Lewes. With support from The Argus, Gemini Print, Peacehaven Chamber of Commerce, Seaford Chamber of Commerce, Lewes




CEO Fight Club


FAKE IT ‘TIL YOU MAKE IT By Si Conroy, owner of Scarlet Monday


ristotle Onassis is reported to have said, “To be successful you have to act big, think big, and talk big. Appearances count: get a sun lamp to keep you looking as though you have just come back from somewhere expensive; maintain an elegant address even if you have to live in the attic.” If we look to the advice of the frothier end of self-help and personal development guidance, we’d find admonishments to ‘think positively to create life-changing events’ (The Secret, Rhonda Byrne, 19 million copies sold to date) Most of us aren’t so shallow, nor do we have such weak egos, to follow the words of the same man who said “If women didn’t exist, all the money in the world would have no meaning.” The problem conversely for most MDs and CEOs is that they always feel like they’re faking it ‘til they make it, even though most people think they’ve already made it. In 1978 clinical psychologists Pauline R. Clance and Suzanne A. Imes introduced the concept of Impostor Syndrome to describe high achieving individuals who suffer a continual fear of being found out. They are unable to accept or own their own successes,

instead attributing them to external factors such as luck, timing or the hard work they put in (ironically often to hide their ‘fraud’). Personally I don’t know many leaders who don’t suffer from Impostor Syndrome (myself included) regarding some major aspect of their success. I’d actually go so far as to say I think that feeling like this is part of the reason for our relative high achievement. Let me explain: As mentioned, when you don’t rate your abilities or feel you are successful you try harder. You work harder and – the intelligent – apply critical thinking to work smarter. Like the studies that show the greater long term success of children praised for working hard rather than for being clever, when we do allow ourselves a moment of pride for a job well done we attribute it to the hard work we put it. To ‘put it in’ means it is under our control and therefore is a tool we can bring to bear again, rather than some theoretical concept of a ‘skill’.

who don’t strut around acting big and talking big. Acting ‘as-if’ is a useful methodology for anyone, but especially leaders to short-cut or hack a new situation prior to coming out of the other side able to tick something off as an experience. Why especially leaders? Exacerbating our paranoia are the tens, hundreds or thousands of people relying on us every day to know what we’re doing. Often we don’t, but it doesn’t help everyone to be honest about that. Finally, I’m not aware of evolution stopping for any species. I’d rather be continually trying to learn and get better – regardless of what drives this behaviour – than self-satisfied and slowly atrophying towards senility. Anyway, enough of this, let me get back to that project I feel inadequate about.....

Lack of arrogance and genuine modesty do more to attract support and a strong team around you than some cosmic law of attraction. People want to work with people

Si Conroy specialises in helping business owners set and achieve stretching goals: sales, profi t & capital/ dividend value realisation. Trained at PwC and owner of and, Si practices what he preaches across a number of businesses in which he has invested. · @siconroy


Passionate about your business

Our services include... Audit & advisory Tax returns & planning Accountancy & bookkeeping Wealth management


Contact us: Gatwick: 01293 227670 Worthing: 01903 234094

Technology News

CLOUD TALK INTERNET OF THINGS (IOT) SECURITY CONCERNS The IoT refers to the connection of devices (other than computers and smartphones) to the internet. This includes cars, kitchen appliances, home security, home heating systems and heart monitors. The problem, as predicted by many security experts, is that most vendors don’t fully appreciate, or do but ignore them, the potential threats IoT devices pose. As we all become more aware, anything connected to the internet and running code can be taken over for malicious purposes. A prime example is with personal security cameras which can be infected by a malware strain known as Mirai. There are backdoor accounts in more than 80 IP cameras made by Sony, alongside exploit weaknesses in nearly half a million white-labeled IP camera models not currently sought out by Mirai.

WHAT IS SKYPE PICTURE-IN-PICTURE MODE? Picture-in-Picture (PIP) mode allows applications to provide a PIP display, letting users continue to view a video whilst using other applications.

MARCH 2017 OFFICE 365 NEW FEATURES PowerPoint QuickStarter - QuickStarter makes it easier to get going on a new presentation. Just type in a topic and QuickStarter will provide a curated outline, recommended categories and license-free images. Word Editor - A new Editor pane in Word replaces the Spelling & Grammar pane providing advanced spelling, grammar and writing style recommendations. MacBook Pro Touch Bar support in Office for Mac - Microsoft have started rolling out support for the Touch Bar in the new MacBook Pro in Office for Mac. This feature is now available in Word, Excel and PowerPoint and will soon be available in Outlook. New security and compliance features - Microsoft released three big new security and compliance features this month for Office 365 commercial customers: Office 365 Secure Score, which helps you understand your organisation’s security configuration and the actions you can take to enhance security and reduce risk; Office 365 Threat Intelligence, which helps you stay ahead of cyber threats by leveraging billions of data points from the Microsoft Intelligent Security Graph and Office 365 Advanced Data Governance, which helps you find and retain important data while eliminating redundant, obsolete and trivial data that could cause risk if compromised. Outlook Translation - In Office 365 Outlook 2016 for Mac you can now translate email without leaving the application. To do this turn on the Translator add-in. You can then select from 60 languages to translate into English. To access the Add-ons you will need to be enrolled in the Office Insider programme -

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY - WHAT ARE MICROSOFT GROUPS? To summarise, Groups are a membership service that automatically provisions a combination of Microsoft ‘best of breed tools’ namely: Calendar, Delve, Dynamics CRM, OneDrive, OneNote, Outlook, Planner, SharePoint, Skype For Business, Teams and Yammer. Start a Group and all these tools are ready to use. Add a member to your group and they have access to these tools. This makes life far quicker when bringing on new staff i.e. contractors and consolidating work between siloed work streams.

The Cloud Consultancy Europe are authorised Office 365 resellers

If you would like help and advice with your IT infrastructure call me. t: 00 (44) 1342 716873 e: w:


Housing Development

NIMBY? YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELF... Andy Parsons, Founder and Director of Yelo Architects discusses the current housing market and the future of planning and development in the UK.

Sackville Tower - developments will need to become denser


he UK is in the grips of a massive housing crisis as we simply haven’t built enough homes for years. Current estimates are that we need 300,000 built per year. You might not think that sounds much for the whole of the country but at the top of the most recent housing boom in 2007, we still only built around 200,000 homes. Last year according to government figures we built 168,000 homes putting us massively behind achieving those targets. What is already very clear in the UK, is that we are moving further and further


What is already very clear in the UK, is that we are moving further and further into a rental market as home ownership becomes increasingly difficult for the younger generations

into a rental market as home ownership becomes increasingly difficult for the younger generations. Looking at the various generations and their opportunities for home ownership, it is clear we have a growing problem. Generation X (born between 1961 and 1980) are seen as the last band on the housing ladder. Whereas both Generation Y (born between 1981 to 1995) and Generation Z (post 1995) will predominantly be renters unless the bank of mum and dad help out. Even building 300,000 homes a year won’t necessarily increase homeownership as those

Housing Development additional homes are just to satisfy need, which is both through ownership but more increasingly for rental. The government is beginning to react to the growing problem and earlier this year launched a starter home programme, as well as announcing a series of new garden towns due to be built. Then in February the Housing White Paper was launched intending to accelerate the building of new homes. I’m still sceptical we will achieve the required goal of 300,000 homes a year but hopefully it will get house building moving at a much faster rate. The White Paper has taken a multi-pronged approach to the issue, which is undoubtedly the only route they could take with the massive increase needed in new homes. A lot of the new initiatives will impact all of our cities, towns, villages and communities, and will be evident to all of us. Good news for everyone is that there are many improvements to the planning system that are all intended to speed up the decision making process. We should feel the benefit of this through all planning applications, from large developments right through to small extensions to homes. Currently planning departments are under-resourced so planning fees are also to be increased so that more staff can be taken on. All councils will now have real housing targets that they will have to demonstrate they are achieving through a housing test. If the delivery of new homes falls below 25% of the housing requirement, then there will

be an automatic presumption in favour of sustainable development for all new planning applications. There is real prospect that if we don’t all support planning applications for new homes now, then developers will take advantage of the presumption in favour of sustainable development, and target towns and cities where the housing target isn’t met. Another interesting initiative in the paper is the reduction in planning permission duration, currently consents have had a time limit of three years but this will shortly be reduced to two years in order to get house building underway quicker.

Sadly I suspect that there will be many homes built in the future that will follow some of the bad lessons of the post-war housing boom and lead to homes with a short life.

Developers are also being encouraged to build denser schemes to really get as many homes as they can on a site. I’m always supportive of increasing densification providing that the quality of life for the occupier is a key driver of the design. Sadly I suspect that there will be many homes built

One Hove Park - dense schemes can be award winning and good homes

The Housing White Paper launched in February 2017 in the future that will follow some of the bad lessons of the post-war housing boom and lead to homes with a short life. Finally, the most interesting part for us as architects is the initiative to grant quicker planning consents for housing schemes that can be built quickly. Modular housing and accelerated builds are something we have been researching over the last few years, as we’ve felt that the traditional method of building homes has become outdated. Lots of the major developers are moving in the same direction, this is partly because speed is financially efficient but also because we have lost so many of our traditional craftspeople in this country. Our own research has led to designs for standardised modular house-types that we intend to build, with the first one starting this summer. As with many of the systems now available, the houses will be predominantly constructed in a factory and then assembled and completed on site. I began with a deliberately provocative headline, but there is a clear requirement for all of us to do our bit in helping our younger generations have their own homes - whether through ownership or rent. Over the next few years we will all be challenged by new developments in our villages, towns and cities that we may not be completely be supportive of, but we have to see that new homes are a positive initiative and need our support.

Yelo Architects 01273 608444 e: w:


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The events spaces For a drinks reception or networking event with a difference, hire the British Airways i360 pod for exclusive use; it can accommodate up to 175 people and has a state-of-the-art Bose sound system and screens which can be used to present films or branding. Conversations will flow as you move into the flexible private event spaces in the British Airways i360 beach building, which are suitable for anything from small intimate meetings to groups of up to 1,160 people. Natural light pours in through full-height windows and the two largest areas, Attenborough and Birch, open out onto private beachfront terraces. Moving walls make the beach building event spaces completely flexible and it’s possible to hire the whole building for private use. You may be at the beach, but business carries on as normal at British Airways i360, as the events spaces have AV facilities and there is super-fast fibre optic broadband. “The British Airways i360 pod is a unique, moving events venue with breath-taking views and a bar on board. There is nowhere Reception

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else like this on the south coast,” said British Airways i360 sales manager Sophie Shepherd. “Organisers report very high turnout for events at British Airways i360, and people really enjoy themselves – we are right on Brighton seafront and it’s not unusual to see conference delegates kicking off their shoes and taking a stroll on the beach.“

Food and drink Guests can enjoy drinks receptions, lunches, dinners or formal banquets while taking in views of the historic West Pier. Menus can be tailored to individual event requirements and dishes are inspired by the seasons, with at least 50% of the ingredients sourced locally. Whether you’re looking out at summer days or winter seas, British Airways i360 is a stunning events venue all year around. So no matter how busy your agenda, there is always a place in Brighton for blue sky thinking. To enquire about events at British Airways i360, tel: +44 (0)1273 448370 or email:

Business Scene


T 1.

he Platinum Club hosted another lively and highly effective networking evening this month replete with business leaders from across the region. Year after year, the Platinum Club is lauded as the most enjoyable, effective and worthwhile networking event in the region. There are still a few memberships available and for further information contact













1. Caraline Brown of Midnight Communications gets the standard Platinum welcome 2. Maarten Hoffmann (Platinum Publisher), Jim May (Chairman, Sussex Cricket Club), Jeremy Burbidge (CEO, TicketMedia) 3. Martyn Redman (CEO, VAT International), Ben Haynes (GM, Hotel du Vin), John Burroughes (CEO, Uniglobe Travel), Jim May (Chairman, Sussex Cricket Club), Neil Gardiner (asb Law), Mike Pay (Director, EMC) 4. Neil Laughton, CEO of Laughton & Co, chatting with Caraline Brown of Midnight and Jason Squire from the Arts Council 5. Lisa Seymour MD of Made by Spoken chatting to Neil Gardiner of asb Law 6. Peter Murphy (CEO, Priavo Security), Tom Easton (Allied Irish Bank), Tim Sadka (Partner, Rawlison Butler) 7. Caroline Gregory (Vantage Insurance) with Maarten Hoffmann (Platinum) 8. Daisy Fitzsimmons (Pier Recruitment), Simon Skinner (Media Bite), Kelly Lloyd (Pier Recruitment) 9. Scrumptious canapĂŠs abound 10. Amanda Menahem (Platinum) with Laurence Elphick (MD, Juice FM) and a photo bomber 11. Uniglobe CEO John Burroughes chatting with Gill Fee of Mannings Heath and Lesley Alcock from Platinum 12. Peter Stuart of RSM finding an alternative way of enjoying a canapĂŠ 13. John Burroughes (CEO, Uniglobe Travel)


More destinations than any other UK airport


Source: OAG schedules 2016

The Thinking Pod


elcome to a brand new series of events hosted at British Airways i360 on Brighton’s seafront.

The Thinking Pod is an exciting new think tank comprising some of the leading corporate heads across Sussex, coming together once per quarter to discuss and debate the issue of the day. The fi rst event on June 13th will be around the subject of International Trade - a topic that is becoming a vital component of the country’s Brexit recovery and something that the Government is keen to promote. Attendees will come from a wide cross section of the business community for a lively hosted debate on the subject - a debate that will inform, educate and encourage - a 360 degree view on the issue. Speakers will come from a fascinating cross section of business and government. If you import or export, this is a must attend event. If you don’t import or export, this is a must attend event. To register for complimentary tickets, e-mail Places are limited.

A 360 degree view on business




Travel - Vietnam

Shake hands in...

VIETNAM Nha Trang Coastline

Vietnam’s unique history and landscape make for mind-blowing corporate incentives and events. Rose Dykins gives the lowdown on what’s possible – from north to south

HANOI What’s it like? French colonial buildings line the wide, leafy boulevards of the Vietnamese capital. Along with the bustle of its markets and tourist hotspots, Hanoi’s grassy spaces and a city-centre lake makes it a varied metropolis with pockets of peace. Hanoi also makes a convenient base for visiting the iconic Ha Long Bay, as well as Sapa Valley; the latter’s rippling emerald rice paddies and mind-bending precipitous hills exemplify Vietnam’s rural beauty.


Where to meet and what to do • Walking tour of Hoan Kiem Hanoi’s warren-like Hoan Kiem district (Old Quarter) is made up of 36 streets teeming with fragrant food stalls, shophouses with wares spilling out into the streets and nightlife. The instant sensory gratification means it’s easy to wander around for hours without realising how much you’re actually missing. Hidden Hanoi hosts two-hour group tours of the Old Quarter, led by a knowledgable local guide who kicks things

off with a visit to a local coffee shop, then fills you in on the Old Quarter’s fascinating stories. • Apricot Hotel Gigantic chandeliers dominate the lobby of this five-star art themed hotel, which offers the covetable option of a rooftop pool overlooking Hoan Kiem lake. Its elegant rooms and restaurants pair Neoclassical touches with contemporary flair, while event space includes a 250-capacity ballroom and the glitzy 300-capacity venue with a hovering’ stage – ideal for award ceremonies.

Travel - Vietnam Hanoi

• Ha Long Bay cruise A highlight of any trip to Vietnam is sailing through Ha Long Bay – a seemingly endless stretch of limestone islands topped off with velvety greenery – and spending the night on board, the lumpy silhouettes surrounding you like curious creatures. A variety of destination management companies, including Destination Asia, charter cruises for groups that culminate in a candlelit cave dinners, where shadows ripple in motion with the sea outside.

HUÉ What’s it like? Situated along the seductively named Perfume River, the former Imperial capital of Vietnam is rich in relics from the Nguyen dynasty era (1802-1945).

Apricot Hotel, Hanoi

Featuring UNESCO World Heritage sites dating back to when emperors ruled the roost, Hue’s grandeur will satisfy delegates seeking epic Ancient Asian architecture.

Where to meet and what to do • Rickshaw tour Hue is best enjoyed from the back seat of a rickshaw, while a charismatic peddler does the hard work. Delegates will feel like they’re a character from ‘Wacky Races’ as they scoot around the traffic, weave amongst shoppers at Ben Ngu Market, and speed past heavenly stretches of waterlilies that coat the moat of Hue’s Citadel. • Motorcycle between monuments When there are so many historic sites to see in so little time, it makes sense to sit

on the back of a motorcycle (helmet and professional driver in tow) and zip between them all. Group motorcycle tours in tandem will allow your guests to soak up everything from the serene Van Mieu temple (Temple of Literature) to the ruins of the mysterious Forbidden Purple City in one go. • La Résidence Hue Hôtel & Spa Overlooking the imperial Citadel, this fivestar property belongs to the M Gallery by Sofitel brand. Built in 1930 as a home for the city’s French governor, the building’s horizontal lines and original bowed facade will delight art deco fans. The plush French colonial-style rooms have beautiful dark hardwood floors, and the VIP meeting room holds 16 people for a boardroom meeting.

La Résidence Hué Hôtel & Spa


Travel - Vietnam cruise along the Thu Bon River, followed by a gentle guided cycling tour of Hoi An’s agricultural surrounds. The tour ends with a sunset barbecue on a private river island.

Hoi An

• Tailoring experience Treat delegates to a bespoke souvenir with visit to one of Hoi An’s world-renowned tailors. Ask them to bring a picture of whatever dress or suit they’d like made. They can then choose the fabric and get a high-quality made-to-measure version delivered to their hotel the following morning, for a fraction of the price they’d get at Savillle Row (I’ve sported my Hoi Ancrafted imitation of a Kate Middleton frock to many-a-wedding).

HOI AN What’s it like? One of Vietnam’s prettiest cities, Hoi An flourishes with deep pink blossom by day, while reams of golden lanterns glow against the inky Thu Bon river by night. The pace of the former port town is relaxed – cars are banned, while the use of scooters is restricted – and the well-preserved timber bridges and Japanese-influenced architecture make Hoi An seem relatively unblemished by the modern influence.

Where to meet and what to do • Boat and Bike tour Beyond Hoi An’s charming streets lie rustling rice paddies, sleepy villages and bathing buffalos. Urban Adventures can help groups escape to the countryside with a short

Hoi An


Vietnam’s economic hub is frenetic, and can feel like hard work at times. Motorcyclists swarm in droves along the highways for their morning commute and it’s easy to feel slightly swallowed up by the jungle of tower blocks, bars and neon lighting.

• Cooking class Famed for its fresh spring rolls and its succulent cao lau pork noodles, Hoi An’s distinctive cuisine is worth exploring. The best way? A cooking class with chef Trinh Diem Vy at her Market Restaurant and Cooking School. Participants are led around Hoi An’s wet market to choose the ingredients, before Vy gives them a twohour hands-on culinary masterclass (group size needs to be between 12 and 32 people).

NHA TRANG What’s it like? Known to be popular among Russian luxury travellers, the beach haven of Nha Trang occupies a hilly stretch along the East coast of Vietnam. If you’re looking to reward employees for their hard work, checking them in to one of Nha Trang’s show-stopping resorts will more than suffice.

Where to meet and what to do • Six Senses Ninh Van Bay Laid-back luxury prevails in this barefoot resort, which is all about seclusion and staggering views of rugged rocks opening out to the South China Sea.The 60 villas offer everything from direct sea access to private wine cellars, while casual meetings can be arranged in cushioned beach pavilions. Delegates will be spoilt for choice with downtime activities, which include watersports, hiking, scuba diving or morning tai chi on the beach. However, it’s the world-leading spa offering traditional Vietnamese treatments that really steals the show.

Travel - Vietnam

• Thap Ba hot springs The natural, warm, mineral-rich mud of the Thap Ba hot springs is said to strengthen bones, relieve stress and even reduce your blood sugar. A trip to 100 Egg mud baths – where you sit in an egg-shaped pod to immerse yourself fully in the substance – should make a memorable team-bonding experience. Group or individual ‘eggs’ are available.

Ho Chi Minh City

HO CHI MINH CITY What’s it like? Vietnam’s economic hub is frenetic, and can feel like hard work at times. Motorcyclists swarm in droves along the highways for their morning commute – all wearing helmets, as is the law – and it’s easy to feel slightly swallowed up by the jungle of tower blocks, bars and neon lighting. Saigon Exhibition and Convention Centre

One of Vietnam’s prettiest cities, Hoi An flourishes with deep pink blossom by day, while reams of golden lanterns glow against the inky Thu Bon river by night.

It’s the harrowing historical sights that really makes Ho Chi Minh City a must visit. From the explicit photography and poignant artefacts of the War Remnants museum, to the fascinating nearby Cu Chi Tunnels, the pivotal role that Ho Chi Minh City played in the Vietnam War has left a lasting legacy.

Ho Chi Minh City

Where to meet and what to do • The Reverie Saigon A member of the Leading Hotels of the World, this opulent property celebrates showy Italian design in its guest rooms; lashings of marble, silky chaise longues and headboards crafted from extremely expensive fabrics. There are 15 meetings spaces, including a lavish fifth-floor ballroom inspired by Milan’s legendary Teatro alla Scala, with a green malachite stone grand piano. The Reverie Saigon occupies the top floors of Ho Chi Minh’s Times Square skyscraper, allowing guests to gaze at the city stretched out in front of them from up high.


For All Your Business Travel Needs UNIGLOBE Preferred Travel, based in Brighton & London with globally connected offices in more than 60 countries. We truly deliver local service with Global Solutions. If you're serious about Travelling for Business we should be talking, give us a call today.

0845 180 7817



Travel - Vietnam • Saigon Exhibition and Convention Centre For large-scale events, the SECC is the place to go. Located 17km from the city centre, it offers four exhibition halls and 20,000 sqm of outdoor space, and is the venue of choice for international tradeshows in southern Vietnam.

The instant sensory gratification means it’s easy to wander around for hours without realising how much you’re actually missing.

❞ • Cu Chi Tunnels A completely unique attraction. During the 1960s, members of the Viet Cong guerrilla force would hide in wait within a 250km network of underground tunnels, ready to attack American soldiers; the strategy was instrumental in the resistance effort against the US. Group tours of the Cu Chi Tunnels’ accompanying openair museum are possible, and visitors can even experience time in a tunnel for themselves (warning, not one for the claustrophobic…)

Hoi An

For more advice about organising meetings, events or incentives in Vietnam, visit

Six Senses Ninh Van Bay, Nha Trang





antander has created a series of Masterclass events aimed at supporting and inspiring SME’s amongst their suite of initiatives under their Breakthrough Programme. The Breakthrough Programme includes Growth Capital Loans, access to university interns with their partner universities, insights into overseas markets to aid in exporting, Connection Events and their signature Masterclass events. These events are aimed at giving SME’s an insight into a range of marketleading companies and iconic brands and recent events have been held in partnership with Google, Saatchi Masius and Innocent Drinks. The events gives companies first-hand knowledge of how these businesses have accelerated their growth and unlocked their potential - something we are all looking to achieve. I joined a recent Masterclass at the home of McLaren in Woking as a guest of Colin Berkeley, Santander’s Regional Director for


Kent, Surrey and Sussex to understand what these events bring to the table.

To be told to take the highly specific technology from the rarified world of motor racing and apply it to other corporate sectors is not the average request

Few will argue that McLaren is one of those inspiring companies and just arriving at their HQ is inspiring in itself. Ron Dennis, the former head of the company, constructed a building that could of come straight out of a James Bond movie, with sweeping curves and wide open spaces that would appear to have been lifted out of an interior design magazine. Add to this the scattering of Formula 1 cars and

an astonishing 50 metre wall of trophies, this building sets the scene for an inspiring day. The first speaker was their COO of the McLaren Formula 1 racing team, Simon Roberts, and it was incredible to hear quite what it takes to run such a team. The logistics alone of moving 40 tons of equipment and personnel around the world to each race on the calendar was daunting Colin Berkeley let alone having to race these highly strung machines in an attempt to win every race. He also explained the ethos behind the seamless team work that goes into every weekend. Before lunch, we toured the legacy F1 cars and the McLaren Automotive factory where the road cars are built. No robots or conveyor belts here. Every car is hand built on rolling trollies in a spotless building - no oil or grease on the floor - in fact, l

Masterclass could of eaten my lunch from that very floor. Their new model, the 720S, was going into production and it was a privilege to see them being assembled. After lunch, we met Geoff McGrath, their Chief Innovation Officer who gave a talk on where McLaren Applied Technologies was headed. During the tenure of Ron Dennis, he tasked Geoff to go out and find new

Common sense does not make it common practise

applications for the wealth of McLaren F1 technology, and Geoff didn’t waste any time.

Geoff quickly realised that he needed to be speaking with market disruptors not market leaders as this is where progress was to be made. This takes quite an inspiring approach. To be told to take the highly specific technology from the rarified world of motor racing and apply it to other corporate sectors is not the average request - but then this is not your average company. Geoff and his world-class team of designers and engineers did not miss a beat and their first port of call was a train company. They designed a system that will ensure the train monitors itself and the track every time it runs, do away with the need for human track inspections and scheduled maintenance as the train will now tell the engineers when it needs a service and monitors the health of the track. To increase revenue, the system will also monitor how many seats are occupied and inform the booking system how much occupancy remains so that the next station can sell against seats available. Geoff then looked at bicycles in the same way they look at racing. Race cars are fitted to the individual driver and they are sculptured around their individual frame and weight therefore how could bicycles possibly be one size fits all? Apart from leg measurement, there is no further requirement and this just did not seem right. Therefore, working with a well-known US brand of cycles, Geoff and the team devised a system whereby the bikes are now made to adjust to the weight, stature and height of the rider and the ground over which

they would ride. This has transformed the manufacturing of cycles and the US company in question has incorporated this technology into every bike it now sells, further disrupting the market. Further applications for their technology run longer than l have space for here but it even extends to medical inhalers - the type the majority of people with asthma carry that are prescribed by the millions. Geoff didn’t think they were terribly efficient so the team set about re-engineering them. These new inhalers are now totally personalised to the user and will not only tell them when they are not being used properly but will re-order themselves from the pharmacy and ensure the correct dose is administered every time. This entire day starkly demonstrated to the fifteen business leaders attending that thinking outside the box is a mandatory action and not an optional action. Any technology, regardless of sector or size, can be utilised way beyond its intended use which has the effect of extending its life and its profitability, and therefore the company’s bottom line. It demonstrates that there is no need to be afraid of breaking into new markets, treading new ground or disrupting the status quo. Great Britain was, for centuries, the home of brilliant engineers, inventors and designers that changed the world and they are still there

now but, perhaps, a little cowed by the might of the US and China and the size and speed of international markets but, as McLaren aptly demonstrates, we can still be market leaders if we have the courage to adapt and overcome and, to use that hackneyed old phrase, think outside the box. I was inspired by my day at the Santander Masterclass and everyone l met at McLaren and find myself bringing much of what l learnt back to my business - if it works for me, then I would heartily recommend a Santander Breakthrough Masterclass to every business leader in the UK.

Santander Business Banking Colin Berkeley Tel: 07739 860023 Mail: Web: “Through Santander’s series breakthrough of Masterclasses delivered in collaboration with ambitious, innovative businesses such as McLaren, we provide locally based, similarly ambitious SMEs with practical tips to help them prosper. It's connectivity like this that we believe differentiates us from other traditional banks and enables our customers to take away knowledge and connections, and apply the learnings to their own businesses.”

Colin Berkeley, Santander’s Regional Director for Kent, Surrey and Sussex




It’s all in the eye of the business, says John Burroughes Managing Director, Uniglobe Preferred Travel


n 12 February 1898 the Brighton Evening Argus reported the sad demise of Mr Henry Lindfield. Mr Lindfield, aged 42, described as a gentleman, resided at 42 Montpelier Street in Brighton. He has the unique distinction of being the first ever victim of an electric car accident whilst driving in an Imperial electric carriage. As Mr. Lindfield’s car passed through Croydon, on route to Brighton and descended a steep hill where he lost control, it swerved off the road through a barbed wire fence and crashed into a tree where sadly Mr. Lindfield sustained injuries from which he never recovered. Exactly 100 years later another momentous occasion in transport history happened when on Friday, 22 May 1998 the very first British Airways “GO” flight took off from Stansted


airport to Rome Ciampino. The Go airlines project had the full backing of Bob Ayling, then CEO of British Airways, for it was in November 1997 that BA announced under the project name, Operation Blue Sky, it would launch its own low-cost carrier to meet the changing demand for air travel in Europe. After a brief spell of expansion and establishing a second operational base at Bristol airport, BA announced in November 2000 that it planned to sell Go in order to stem mounting losses and improve profit levels for the group, coupled with the concerns that Go was attracting customers from BA’s main line services. History now teaches us that this was an ill-conceived idea, Go was sold in June 2001 in the management buyout backed by private

equity firm 3i for £100 million. In May 2002 EasyJet announced that it would buy Go for £374 million to expand its own operations and by December of that year Go was fully integrated under the EasyJet banner. We are all aware that a top brand name is worth considerably more than any multiple of a bottom-line, although the two can very often go hand-in-hand. British Airways is undoubtedly the Premier brand in the airline industry, it stands head and shoulders above many others, it is renowned for being a full-service airline, its quality of aircraft together with high quality maintenance regime, superb professional cabin crew plus the stiff upper lip sounding vocals of a captain that immediately gives you confidence.

Travel There are also many other nonvisible qualities that go to make up this brand such as training, number of hours a plane flies, pilot experience and dedicated crew members passionate about the brand. So when BA announced inclusive food would no longer be part of your ticket price on their short haul routes of up to 5 hours (unless you’re travelling business class), alarm bells started to ring again. It has been reported that BA will reduce the legroom by 1 inch on some short haul flights to European cities from next year. The airline is understood to be adding two extra rows to its Airbus A380 and A321 aircraft by cutting the gap between seats to 29 inches (74 cm). An analysis shows that this move would put BA on a par with EasyJet and Monarch but give passengers marginally less legroom than those

We are all aware that a top brand name is worth considerably more than any multiple of a bottom-line, although the two can very often go hand-in-hand.

flying with Ryanair, Flybe, Norwegian and the Hungarian budget airline whiz air. You don’t have to be a marketing expert to work out what Ryanair would do with that bit of news!

What is actually happening in the airline industry is the legacy carriers such as BA have looked at the yield per seat and profits the no-frills carriers are making and thought we want some of that thank you! It was Michael O’Leary with his Ryanair business model that pioneered the way of incredibly cheap seat price and charge for everything else. He’s a classic, and expert, business disrupter. However there are subtle differences between the two business models, the no-frills carriers do not have the huge infrastructure that legacy airlines have inherited over the years. They are also built on modern technology platforms that allow much more flexibility in terms of distribution and how you can charge for different products.

The big legacy airlines have been working to deliver more seamless and complete online capability, they are now on the precipice of a new distribution system, called NDC which stands for “New Distribution Capability” that will revolutionise many aspects of how we purchase travel in the future, and allow airlines to charge extra for just about everything.

It has been reported that BA will reduce the legroom by 1 inch on some short haul flights to European cities from next year

It is therefore interesting that today (March 17th) International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG) owners of British Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus and Vueling, have announced the launch of another new airline called Level, which will be based in Barcelona, initially flying long haul budget flights to Los Angeles, Oakland, Buenos Aires and Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic from June.

The airline will use Iberia crew and two new air bus A330 planes, fares should start from €99/$149 each way. This will give IAG five different brands to manage and many see this as an attempt to counter the challenge posted by low-cost newcomers such as Norwegian airlines. Although this looks good news for the traveller it remains to be seen what impact these sorts of initiatives will have on the more established mainstream airline brands such as BA. I believe history teaches us that before we run headlong towards the golden goose of profit one should pause a moment to reflect and ask, what we can learn from history? Following Mr Linfield’s unfortunate accident, Imperial Electric Cars ceased to trade having lost the trust of the public – is there a lesson here for BA? I’m sure we all sincerely hope that Willie Walsh and the amassed brainpower at IAG have looked at this proposition from every angle. Certainly one to watch.

If you’d like to know more, please contact me on


Charity News




he 2017 Chestnut Tree House Business Awards ceremony took place last month at South Lodge Hotel. Hosted by local broadcaster Marcella Whittingdale and one of the charity’s Patrons, Ambrose Harcourt, the third biennial Business Awards recognised and rewarded the many businesses and individual employees who have supported Chestnut Tree House. The winners and grand finalists were chosen based on a variety of different criteria, including outstanding team work and innovation. There were nearly 100 nominations, which were narrowed down by a panel of judges – Amanda Menahem, a board member of Coast 2 Capital local enterprise partnership; Hugh Lowson, Chief Executive of Chestnut Tree House; Tim Breden, Chestnut Tree House Patron and Managing Director of Yomdel Ltd; and Maarten Hoffmann, co-Founder and Publisher of Platinum Business Magazine. Hugh Lowson, Chief Executive of Chestnut Tree House said, “We created these awards as a way to recognise the many companies and individual employees who have raised significant funds for us in a variety of innovative ways. There are potentially 1,000 families with life-limited children in Sussex, and with less than 7% of our funding coming from central government, it is only through the ongoing support and generosity of our local community that we are able keep our doors open and reach out to all the children and families who need our help.”





The Winners • Outstanding Individual Fundraiser: Jamie Westley • Fundraising Team of the Year: Pyroban



• Most Innovative Fundraising Idea: The Great Sussex Bath Race • Outstanding Voluntary Project: Teddy Bear Run • Outstanding SME Supporter: LawlerDavis Ltd • Outstanding Small Business: Nicholas Coppin Ltd • Outstanding Corporate Supporter: Willmott Dixon • Outstanding Long Term Supporter: Green People





















PHOTO CAPTIONS: 1. Outstanding Individual Fundraiser: Jamie Westley (Lancing) 2. Fundraising Team of the Year: Pyroban (Shoreham) 3. Most Innovative Fundraising Idea: The Great Sussex Bath Race (Chichester) 4. Outstanding Voluntary Project: Teddy Bear Run (regional) 5. Outstanding Small Business: Nicholas Coppin Ltd (Arundel) 6. Outstanding SME Supporter: LawlerDavis Ltd (Eastbourne) 7. Outstanding Corporate Supporter: Willmott Dixon (Cobham) 8. Outstanding Long Term Supporter: Green People (West Grinstead) 9. Teressa Beacher and Polina Messer (AJW Aviation) 10. Marion Head and Alan Buckmaster (Heathfield Vets) 11. Sue Collingwood, Sarah Lawler, Colin Davis, Oliver Brett and Anna Barr (Lawler Davis) 12. James Turner and Structured Communications Anthony Etheridge (Creative Pod) 13. Emma Green and Jonathan Adams (Your Service Centre Gatwick) 14. Emma Hammond with Jay and Anita Cotton (Lloyds TSB) 15. Amanda Jones and Grace Surtie (Basepoint Shoreham) 16. Marcella and Tim Davies (Avro Yachting) with Chestnut Tree House Alison Taylor 17. Catherine Stone, Michael Simmons and Alex Wright (Shoreham Vehicle Auctions) with Ambrose Harcourt and Marcella Whittingdale 18. Jamie Westley with Terrina Barnes of Chestnut Tree House 19. Tom, Penny, Olivia and Harry Coppin 20. Neil Laughton and Gemma King (Great Sussex Bath Race) with Ian Trevett (Platinum Business Magazine) 21. Guests from Willmott Dixon 22. Guests from Technetix 23. Dinner gong from South Lodge C&B Manager Cat Barnes 24. Event Judge Maarten Hoffmann (Platinum Business Magazine) 25. CEO of Chestnut Tree House and event judge Hugh Lowson


Photos by Graham Franks

Charity News



usiness Women Excellence Awards are proud to be launching year two of the Sussex Edition of these prestigious awards. The Business Women Excellence Awards stretch across the whole of the county and celebrate the success of today’s best very females in business. Whether we like it or not, many companies today still remain male-dominated despite the obvious progress that has been made over the years to change that. These awards seek to highlight the best business women and the best businesses owned or coowned by women, and from the number of entries we received this year and the massive interest shown, they are set to be fixed in the calendar for many years to come. As we review this year’s nominations, it has shown us the talent, success and sheer determination of so many women across Sussex. Nikki Gatenby, CEO of Propellernet said: “Picking up two awards at the 2016 Business Women Excellence Awards – Sussex Edition gala final was an unexpected and immense delight. Propellernet won the Business of the Year category and I won Digital Woman of the Year. It was inspiring to see the wide range of female led businesses in the room and feel the entrepreneurial spirit amongst my heroes and peers. You rarely take a moment to stop and look back over what you’ve achieved, and these awards gave you the chance to do exactly that.” Faiza Shafeek, organiser of the awards and director of Carrot Events said: “The 2016 year one Sussex Edition was overwhelming seeing so many amazing women and businesses, run by women, winning so many well deserved awards. Winning these awards will encourage them to continue on their road to success and to inspire others and go on to do even greater things!” The 2017 headline sponsor of the Business Women Excellence Awards for the second year is Acumen Business Law. Founder and MD of Acumen Business Law, Penina Shepard is also the author of the inspirational book, ‘The Freedom Revolution' which can be bought via amazon. and a copy of which will go out to all finalists on the night. Closing date for entries is 6th October 2017, entry and third party nominations are free. The black tie gala final will take place the Hilton Brighton Metropole Hotel on the 24th November 2017.

Nikki Gatenby

THE CATEGORIES ARE: New Business/Start-Up of the Year Award Small Business of the Year Award (under 10 employees) Medium Business of the Year Award (10-50 employees) Large Business of the Year Award (over 50 employees) Business Woman of the Year The Business Innovation Entrepreneur of the Year Award Digital Woman of the Year Award Woman In Education Woman In Uniform Woman In Arts/Music/Dance/Media Employer of the Year Award Employee/s of the Year Award Contribution To The Community Award Mentor of the Year Award Women Of Courage Lifetime Achievement Award

Last year’s Winners


Overall Business Or Business Woman of the Year Award

The Sponsors are: Headline sponsor: Acumen Business Law

The Argus



Media Partners: Platinum Publishing Group

Category sponsors on board so far are: Neva Consultants Duvacourt Construction Metro Bank Best of Brighton and Hove Hilton Brighton Metropole Hotel Ansacom The Missing Piece Identity Digital Let’s Do Business Group Creative Pod Pier Recruitment

Supporting sponsors: Brighton & Hove Chamber of Commerce ACES Sussex Chamber of Commerce Online Ticket Seller

Sponsorship opportunities are available, please contact Faiza Shafeek on 01323 461298 or 07540 406685 or email for further details.


Direct Marketing

MAILING THE LIVING Andy Fry, MD of Nova Direct, on the methods that can be used to ensure your data is clean and accurate


n the last issue of Platinum Business Magazine, I wrote about the importance of keeping your data up to date, and avoiding the nightmare scenario of mailing (or emailing) the dead. If your email or mailing data includes a person who has passed away it can cause enormous distress to family members if you are sending out personalised marketing material. Even more likely is the possibility of mailing someone who has moved home or changed


the company they work for. The waste of time and money can be significant, and the results of a campaign can look terribly ineffective if your message is not being received in the first place. If it is direct mail, the wasted expenditure on postage can be enormous. So what to do? The answer is to use a company, such as Nova Direct, who specialise in maximising

the effectiveness of your data, by ensuring it is accurate and properly targeted. These are two distinct specialities, so in this article I will concentrate on maintaining clean data. Our systems and data technicians continuously monitor, refresh and update data. This enables us to deal with all aspects of data processing. We employ several methods to ensure your mail does not get lost, or worse, sent to a person no longer alive.

Direct Marketing Avoiding sending unwanted mail It is a simple fact that many people do not want to receive marketing messages that they have not requested. The best method to avoid unwanted mail or calls is to sign up for a “Preference Service”. Unfortunately, this is not a guaranteed solution to prevent annoying sales calls or junk mail. Many companies will flaunt the rules, calculating that the fines are less that the possible rewards. This may be particularly true of overseas companies who can avoid prosecution. However, it doesn’t create a good company image if you ignore the wishes of the general public, and we would not entertain the idea of sending marketing material to those who have stated that they do not want to receive it. The preference services we subscribe to are: • Mailing Preference Service (MPS) This is a list of families who would prefer not to receive unsolicited direct mail • Telephone Preference Service (TPS) This is a list of telephone numbers who would prefer not to receive unsolicited sales and marketing telephone calls • Fax Preference Service (FPS) This is a list of fax numbers who would prefer not to receive unsolicited faxes

Moved On - No Reply On average, 10% of the UK population will move house in a year. During the chaos of moving, contacting every company and organisation that you have ever bought from or donated to is not always your highest priority. Through our AMIGO platform we can review the name and address information and ensure they are not contained in our suppression list of people we know have moved. For certain contacts we even have the ability to link the individual with their new address enabling you to remain connected. We also understand that records being entered into your CRM system can be subject to human error. We have the ability to review the address information you have captured

and validate it against the Royal Mail’s Postal Address File (PAF). This process ensures the correct street name, town, county and postcode are used to boost the delivery success and open up opportunities to generate savings on postage. The databases we utilise include: • National Change of Address (NCOA) This file contains approx 9.5 million records of new and old addresses. It is compiled by the Royal Mail using re-direction requests from householders. It can be used as a Gone Away File or to track and trace • Postal Address File (PAF) A file that contains every address in the UK and can be used to cross-reference data. Compiled by the Royal Mail

Mailing the Living Most important of all is ensuring that you don’t email or mail someone who has passed away. This can cause distress for close relatives. Surveys reveal that two thirds of consumers would boycott a company if they received a piece of direct mail in the name of a loved one that has passed away.

We cross-reference names and addresses with records of those who have recently passed away. The records we use include: • The Deceased Register (TDR) This file is collected in collaboration with local registrars throughout the UK at the time a death is registered • The Bereavement Register (TBR) This file is collected in collaboration with local government registrars, law firms, hospitals and funeral directors throughout the UK within 7 days of a death The methods described are just some of the ways that we ensure that data records are clean and accurate. We also have bespoke software and other ways to ensure records are up-to-date. Can you afford to not check your data?

Web: Email: Tel: 01444 231400 Next time - Targeting your right audience


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Wedding Car Service

When it comes to the biggest day of your life, you need to know you’ll arrive in style and on time. We’d love to meet you, introduce our wedding car team and show you around one of the finest fleets of cars in Sussex and Kent. We can discuss exactly what you want and create a tailor made package for your needs. Please give us a call on 01273 225115 and we guarantee to make your special day exactly that.

Brighton & Hove City Cars



COMPETITION THE BRIGHTON & HOVE MOTORSHOW is back and returns to the Amex Stadium on June 10th & 11th 2017. We have so much taking place over the weekend and here is the launch of an exciting competition, courtesy of Porsche Mid-Sussex, to spend a day at the home of the British Grand Prix at Silverstone driving an exhilarating model from this iconic manufacturer. HOW TO WIN? That’s simple. Pick up the event programme on the day, all of which will be numbered, and if your number is selected, you win this incredible experience. Simple.

THE PRIZE THE PORSCHE EXPERIENCE enables visitors to be instructed through a variety of different situations in wet and dry conditions, as well as simulating ice and snow driving with the use of specially constructed surfaces. The Driving Experiences are designed to focus on a particular type of driving, model of Porsche or driving environment. Whether you are looking to attain new skills, polish up some old ones or just have a great time driving they can help fi nd the right course for you. The Driving Experiences are all undertaken in one of our Porsche vehicles prepared to the highest standards. The aim of the Driving Experience is to improve your driving skills on an ongoing basis, enabling you to drive more safely and deal more effectively with hazards on the road. Some of our courses are more focused on motorsport, from the basic fundamentals to professional driving skills. The courses are clearly structured and build on knowledge from the previous level – each level must be completed in turn before graduating to the next.


The Porsche experience entitles the winner to a choice of Driving Experiences, driving either the Boxster, Cayman, 911, Panamera, Cayenne or Macan on the Porsche Tracks and includes breakfast and lunch. The winner must hold a valid, full driving licence and must be between 18 and 80 years of age. If the winner has any convictions on their licence, this must be revealed before the selected day as restrictions may apply.


THE 2017 GENEVA MOTOR SHOW by Maarten Hoffmann Geneva is always a great show and this year we were not disappointed. Here is a selection of the brightest and boldest, which also serves as my menu for the review cars l will order this year for your delight and delectation – this is just a job – l get no personal satisfaction from driving these cars whatsoever……..


Aston brings the track to life with this AMR that follows in the wheel tracks of the iconic winners of Le Mans and the FIA World Endurance Championships. See it as their version of Mercedes AMG and there will be an AMR version of all new models. Apparently, they are not fast enough already!


This is the latest Bentley concept car – an all-electric sports car and l would not bet against it going into production. Following on from the 4x4 Bentayga, the company seems to be on a roll of exploiting the marque so why not a drop top sports car?


JLR work on the principle that if there is the tiniest gap in their range, shoehorn another model into it. This new model, the Velar, is supposed to fit in between the Evoque and the RR Sport. Both are great cars but is there room for another? Available from the Summer 2017 at £44,830.





This new McLaren in the second generation Super Series and l watched them build one at the factory only last week. A twin-turbo V8 producing 720bhp (hence the name) and 0-60 in 2.8 seconds – this is a true supercar and deliveries will commence in May 2017, at a trifling £208,600


From one of the world’s most exclusive production lines, this little beauty will cover 0-60 in 3.4 seconds using the Mercedes AMG V12 with 678bhp. Only 5 will ever be built and at £1.3 million, deep pockets will be required. You will never see one as all 5 will go straight into investment storage.

This is the fastest road going Ferrari ever built with a brand new V12 engine and is a nod back to the 1969 365 GTB4 Daytona. 0-60 in 2.9 seconds and on to over 200mph. I licked it.


The new Ford GT is powered by the 3.5-litre V6 but creates a whopping 600bhp. They will only build 250 a year and the first two years’ worth of production has been snapped up already with 6,506 applications for the 500 cars.


This norse God is the long-awaited child of Aston Martin and Red Bull Racing. A 6.5-litre naturally aspirated V12 with a 7-speed gearbox from Sussex based Ricardo Engineering, and designed by the F1 God himself, Adrian Newey. Only 150 road going models will be built with a further 25 track only cars and deliveries from 2019.


This AMG recently smashed the track record at the Nurburgring in a time of 7.10 seconds – one of the toughest race tracks in the world. Watch this space, as l will be taking three legendary supercars over there in August for a little poodle around. Its heart is a 4.0-litre twin turbo V8 producing 585bhp with a 0-60 of 3.6 seconds and costing £143,245.



TITANIC TORQUE BMW M4 COMPETITION PACK By Motoring Editor, Maarten Hoffmann


ack in my days at the BBC, l was asked to consult with a London ad agency on the launch of one of their client’s brands. Being a very snotty BBC god, l refused to lower myself to work on a commercial ‘brand’ as that was not the done thing in 1979. We were above such things as soiling ourselves with ‘trade’. Then they sent me the budget and, for some inexplicable reason, l immediately changed my mind. This was my introduction to the ‘real’ world outside of the BBC bubble, and, co-incidentally, it was to launch the BMW M Series range of merchandise. And very nice it was too but l was not totally convinced until they invited me to drive an M Series car. Low and behold, they let me have the M1 for the day. That was my quite incredible introduction to the M Series. One of those has just sold for £603,000.


Now those lovely folk at BMW have delivered an M4 Competition Pack to my drive, as l presume the M4 is not quite quick enough!

Stand on the brake and this behemoth will leave bruises across your chest for the seatbelt.

This is the first significant upgrade to the M4 since its launch in 2014 and it offers more power, a new suspension with new springs and adaptive dampers, 20” tyres and an upgraded exhaust. The 3-litre straight six twin-turbo continues but they have managed to tease out

an extra 19bhp, bringing it to 444bhp, which cuts a tenth of a second from the 0-62 time to 4 seconds. The standard M3 & M4 have always been great cars but there was a tendency to be slightly unpredictable on the limit and it certainly kept you awake. The CP has sorted this out although it is still a car that keeps your eyes wide open when under full power. Is there too much power for the chassis? The engine feels like it is trying to rip itself free from its mountings. It’s a very angry car, some might say, furious. The optional carbon ceramic brakes are astonishing. I approached a left turn l needed a tad late and in any normal car l would of carried on and turned around when possible but the M4 needed no such consideration. Stand on the brake and this behemoth will

Motoring leave bruises across your chest from the seatbelt. They are remarkable and caused me to almost miss every turn all day! Beware though of those folk in ‘normal’ cars behind you as they will be mightily surprised and will never stop as fast as you do.

The engine feels like it is trying to rip itself free from its mountings. It’s a very angry car, some might say, furious.

Being front engine and rear wheel drive it is, shall we say, lively under power. There has always been a tendency for the back end of M3 and M4 models to come around to visit the front end under eager gear changes whilst cornering and that is only slightly improved here and a trigger happy right foot in the wet brings a recommendation that you file your last will and testament before you set off. But then, it would not be an M Series if a vicar could drive it now would it? If you feel the standard M4 is a bit of a handful, here you will need much larger hands. The ride is very firm no matter how many settings you tweak although the excellent seats hold you well. The interior is what you would expect from Munich. It is beautifully put together with great bolstered seats and although some reviews remark on squeaks and groans, l heard no such thing. The steering wheel is a tad too fat for me as you can’t quite get the tight grip you want (and need) but there is nothing else to moan about it. The M stripe seats belts are

a nice touch as are the M4 lights in the back of the seats. I am a great fan of head-up displays and this £825 option is a vital bolt-on and the iDrive media system seems easier to use than the vastly complex system l first used but then l am probably just getting used to it. Rear seat access is not great but then try getting two passengers into the back of a 911 and taking them more than 100 metres. If that’s a major concern, buy the M3 saloon but don’t wail when these things come charging past. If this is not quick enough for you, either visit your shrink or go for the fastest BMW out there – the M4 GTS. 500bhp and a hater of all speed bumps, you will need £122,000 and it

really is a track day car. A phenomenal, albeit bloody expensive, track day car. Competition comes in the form of the Mercedes C63 AMG and at 469bhp, it outguns the M4, whilst the S version offers 503bhp. Until the new Audi RS5 arrives, this could be seen as the alternative to the 911, as it is £16,000 cheaper and offers 83 more horses, if not quite the badge envy of the Porsche. The Competition Pack is only an extra £3000 over the standard car and really is a must have. The company expect more than 70% of M4 sales to be the CP. Write your will and buy the M4 CP – you will not regret it.

TECHNICAL STUFF Model tested: M4 Competition Pack Engine: 3-litre straight six twin turbo Power: 444bhp Performance: 0-60mph 4.0 seconds Top speed: 155mph limited Economy: 32.1 combined Price: £60,055.00



SUMMER’S COMING By Motoring Editor, Maarten Hoffmann


here is nothing quite like a convertible when the sun reluctantly decides to show its face and Fiat have been missing from this scenario since 2005, when the Barchetta rolled off the production line for the last time. Unfortunately, when reviewing such cars, it has to be done months earlier in the depths of ‘so called’ Spring. Actually, for me the best time is actually in the middle of the night with the heater going and the stars overhead, blasting around country lanes. If you like the Mazda MX5, then there is nothing not to like about the new Fiat 124 Spider as that is what it is but, after a little Italian tinkering, the 124 was born. It get a new engine and suspension and, most importantly, a new body. A sexier, more agile body. The first thing to say is that is tiny. Of course, it is designed to be a compact 2-seater sports car that will take two people and an overnight bag but the lack of any type of interior storage is just awful. There is nowhere to put anything. No glove box, no door compartments, not even a place for the keys as with starter buttons, keys are pretty much redundant these days. That said, it is a lot of fun and harks back to the 60’s when such sports cars were all the rage. The 1.4-litre turbocharged engine is mated to a good old fashioned manual gearbox and a large handbrake that allows for handbrake turns, which is also something from the past. It’s easier to drive than the MX5 and it’s not Japanese, so that’s a good thing. The MX5 is naturally aspirated whereby the 124 is turbo so the lag is there but it does like to be thrashed round the country lanes and you can’t help but smile. The 0-60 times ain’t too shabby at 7.3 seconds and the 6-speed box is crisp and easy to operate. The pedal spacing is good allowing toe/heel rapid operation which again, harks back to ye olde days. The new suspension works well and solves the Mazda’s tendency to roll in the corners and its small size makes it supremely easy to manoeuvre around town. Inside, it’s compact. If you are over 6’ you will struggle to find a comfortable driving position and getting out involves some pre-arranged twisting or falling out in my case. If you have a dodgy hip, go buy another car. The 7-inch touchscreen does what it should and l like the Satnav as

it just gives you short sharp instructions with little faffing around. The seats are well built, the leathers decent and although it’s great when the tops down, when up, it is a tad dark and dingy in there and a little claustrophobic. All in all this is a cracking little car for those that have no kids, no luggage, no drinks, no tissues, no keys and no hip problems. Would l buy this over the Mazda MX5 – every day of the week.

TECHNICAL STUFF Model tested: Fiat 124 Spider Engine: 1.4-litre Multiair turbo Power: 140bhp Performance: 0-62mph 7.5 seconds Top Speed: 134mph Economy: 44.1mpg combined Price: £20,995.00


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Platinum Classics

BMW 3.0 CSL by Maarten Hoffmann


That car would now be worth a small fortune and if you can get your hands on a good one, don’t hesitate.

bet for further escalation in value, they do not come without hazards. Foremost is rust in the non-alloy body parts. The contract for the 3.0 Coupe’s handsome body was farmed out to German coachbuilder Karman, and many of the unseen seams of the vehicle have a propensity for rot. Hagerty Classic Insurance once described the 3.0 Coupe’s sensuous curves as, “one of the prettiest ways to creatively trap moisture ever devised.”

This aluminium 3.0-litre CSL has climbed 40% in value over the last decade and 20% in the last four years. The other variants, the 3.0 CS or CSi, are both great buys but the prize is the ultra-rare lightweight CSL models with their alloy body panels and acrylic side windows.

They were built between 1971 - 1975 and I found a few good examples at around £40,000 but check the history, every inch of the body and that the mileage is correct, then you would be sitting on a car that will be worth at least £50,000 in few years time and the only way is up.

his was the first BMW l ever drove and it was a revelation. I was going through my American muscle phase at the time and thought them to be the bee’s knees until a friend of mine went travelling for six months and asked me to look after his CSL. Wow - it blew me away.

One look at the car explains its appeal. It has the long hood/short rear deck proportions that define a classic coupe, and it bears elegantly understated detailing such as the chrome trim lining its mid-section and surrounding its windows. All four windows retract, which lends excellent visibility and a convertible-like feeling inside. The model was one of the first times the marque used the now-immediately recognisable BMW twinheadlamp and twin-kidney grille face. So lovely was the 3.0 Coupe that when BMW started its famed Art Car programme—commissioning renowned painters to create custom works on their vehicles—the first cars chosen, as templates for works by Frank Stella and Alexander Calder, were 3.0 Coupes. As wonderful as these cars are to look at and drive, and as much as they seem a great


Above: Cleaning my first 635CSi - cool car even if the glasses are not!

FACTS AND FIGURES Production: 1972 - 1975 1265 manufactured: Only 500 were made in RHD. Engine: 3003cc, 24 valve SOHC in-line six-cylinder Power: 197bhp @ 5500rpm Top speed: 133mph 0-60mph: 7.3 seconds Fuel consumption: 25mpg Gearbox: Four-speed manual

Sat 10th June 2017, 10am - 5pm Sun 11th June 2017, 11am - 4pm AMERICAN EXPRESS COMMUNITY STADIUM BRIGHTON, BN1 9BL For FREE entry, register at

THE TOP GEAR EXPERIENCE Using original BBC footage and presented in full HD you feel the full force of acceleration in this exciting simulator, with slick gear changes and phenomenal breaking on the Top Gear track. This season the Top Gear Experience offers a brand new feature - the Ariel Atom - one of the fastest accelerating cars in the world, capable of reaching 100mph in 6 seconds back to 0 in 4 seconds. We then move on to a favourite with the drift community - the 197bhp Toyota GT86.

THE F1 EXPERIENCE This simulator experience is new for 2017 and offers members of the public the opportunity to take part in a fantastic, immersive experience. Featuring three time Formula 1 World Champion driver Lewis Hamilton and utilising real telemetry and footage from our Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 testing sessions at the world famous Silverstone circuit. We use the latest in motion simulation technology to offer a unique and exciting experience to thrill any age group.

Tickets are free but you must pre-register here:



NEVA CELEBRATES 25 YEARS TRADING WITH AWARDS Neva Consultants decided to mark their 25th anniversary by putting themselves forward for their industry awards and general business awards. The results have been spectacular.


eva Consultants was formed in April 1992 by current Directors Graham Prince and Nick Collinson, delivering vehicle fleet services including leasing, fleet management and finance. The business has grown year-on-year but until recently they have not shouted about their achievements. Graham Prince explains, “Our ethos is always been to adopt a traditional approach, focusing on establishing and growing close business relationships with customers using market leading technology, but always with customer


service at the heart of what we do.

System known as C-Fleet

“However, when we started to get near to our 25th anniversary we thought it would be interesting to enter ourselves into some awards and see what the outside world thought of us.”

This gave them the confidence to enter the Small Fleet Leasing Federation Awards in 2016. Neva became double award winners picking up the Best Leasing Broker 1000-4000 Annual Vehicle Sales (sponsored by BMW/ Mini) and the Best Leasing Broker Customer Service Award up to 4000 Annual Vehicle Sales (sponsored by Hyundai). These Awards were particularly pleasing as they were judged by Neva’s industry peers including leasing companies as well as other industry leading

It appears that the outside world had quite a positive view. Neva began by accepting the Regional Winner Award from the British Chamber of Commerce for the Innovation Product of the Year in 2015 for their Fleet Management


figures from Grant Thornton, BCA and The Miles Consultancy, and they were up against leasing brokers throughout the UK. Their reputation was further enhanced when having won ‘The Leasing Broker of the Year for deliveries 250 – 1000 with LeasePlan t/a Network only in 2016’ Neva went on to be crowned ‘The OverallLeasePlan t/a Network Franchisee of the Year Award for 2016’ beating all other category winners. This award was judged on sales growth year-on-year, customer service feedback, quality of documentation, breadth of products supplied and overall standards adhered to, as well as the politeness and efficiency demonstrated by our staff in dealing with LeasePlan on a day to day basis.

So what is behind the company’s success?

IS YOUR COMPANY CAR SCHEME LEGAL? All organisations with five or more employees who drive for work need to be able to prove that they have met the minimum standards under their Duty of Care for employees.

Are you compliant? Can you answer ‘yes’ to the following questions? Do you currently: • Have a corporate risk assessment and a system for managing road risk? • Have a risk mitigation plan in place to address general and specific needs uncovered by the risk assessment?

Graham says, “We are seeing the trend for companies to outsource some or all of their fleet responsibilities to leasing or fleet management partners continuing unabated into 2017. Often their rationale varies dependent on size – small companies are unable to justify dedicated fleet resource while larger companies want to free up fleet time for strategising; but in other ways they want the same outcomes – improved cost control, greater efficiencies and less admin.”

• Have an audit trail to be able to prove the actions at both

Neva Consultants presently supplies and helps to manage 6,000 vehicles and we would like this to grow to 7,500 in three years’ time. They work very closely with the Directors of companies advising whether the vehicles they require could be funded by the company or personally, but in all cases the vehicles are maintained on one platform, C-Fleet, to ensure when they are driven on company business they are fit for purpose, legally insured and driving licence checks have been regularly maintained.

may pursue a prosecution against the organisation and any or all of

The C-Fleet Management System is backed up by a convenient driver app that enables Companies to manage their Duty of Care responsibilities for all vehicles used for Company Business regardless of how they are funded or owned.

corporate and employee level? • Have processes in place that cover employees driving their own cars on business as well as company cars? Any organisations who don’t meet these standards are not managing road risk and are breaking the law. This carries significant risk exposure and the Health & Safety Executive, VOSA and Police its Directors, management and staff. If you would like any advice on this, please email or call us. We are committed to providing simple, practical, easy-to-use solutions to all of our customers, enabling them to run their fleets safely and efficiently. Our SafePlan product will assist you to identify and meet your Duty of Care obligations surrounding employees that use vehicles on company business.

Tel: 01825 720900. Email

Graham explains, “When we are introduced to a new customer we always start with the Company Car Policy that may require alteration to keep up with legal regulations or even may need to be completely re-written. This Policy must be for all drivers regardless who funds the vehicle and even down to whether short term renting of vehicles rather than employees driving their own vehicles on company business if there is any risk whatsoever to the reputation of the company. Neva takes Duty of Care and their customer’s reputations as if it were their own which brings good peace of mind for any business owner. “We have big Fleet Management tools for small and medium sized fleets. We take a certain pride in being able to demonstrate how and why we can save our customers money and manage their Fleets so they are able to concentrate on their core business”.


Table Talk

And so to food By Amanda Menahem

The Chef Exchange Dinner, chef’s Brighton’s Tom Griffiths (far right), Bas, and Linus Palm of Hvita Horten (left)


hen it comes to European cuisine

is evidently a thriving café culture and food

prepared with respect for the ingredients.

I’ve always been a southern kind of

and wine scene.

Perfectly cooked with crisped skin and

girl - the ‘modern European’ style

of food with a bit of ‘modern British’ thrown in. I remember being appalled at the cuisine I experienced in Budapest, Prague and even Berlin a decade ago (the latter is responsible for one of my worst food memories – a grey, flaccid sausage floating in a brown broth. A delicacy apparently. Not for me). I used to work for a Swiss company and often visited Basel. Again, I found it hard to find good local food. Stodge, fat and vinegar are my prevalent memories. But this year, something happened. It began

accompanied by seasonal vegetables.

I had one of the

most memorable seafood experiences I’ve had in a long time. ‘Simones’ in the harbour is a fish and seafood emporium – just fish straight off the boat

On my first night I ate at the highly

The following day I had one of the most memorable seafood experiences I’ve had in a long time. ‘Simones’ in the harbour is a fish and seafood emporium – just fish straight off the boat and self-service cutlery. Here I ate a divine smoked fish selection - and the freshest sardines deep fried in a light batter – whole, with warm freshly baked sourdough and a touch of aioli. After a long walk around the sights of The Hague, we arrived at the impressive Publique restaurant. A beautiful venue in the

with the bistros of Amsterdam over New Year,

acclaimed bib gourmand Restaurant Basaal,

followed with food trips to the Hague and

which has a huge foodie following. Chef/

Sweden, both courtesy of Brighton & Hove

proprietor Bas creates fiercely seasonal,

Food and Drink Festival Managing Director,

accomplished menus. We kicked off with

Nick Moseley.

gins from their vast selection and sampled a

homemade chicken liver pate and melba toasts

few choice dishes. The best by far - free range

to accompany our Ridgeview sparkling wine,

chicken done three ways, confit thigh, wing

version of Amsterdam with wide boulevards

followed by a variety of dishes. Standouts were

and liver with pickled vegetables, hazelnut and

and parks alongside the narrow streets. There

oxtail with octopus and a pigeon dish, simply

kohlrabi juice. As a lover of all things chicken,

The Hague is an elegant city. A larger


heart of the old town. This part of the city is reminiscent of a Dickens novel (in a good way). Here I enjoyed too many interesting

Table Talk I loved this celebration of the bird. The accompaniments were thoughtfully matched and the whole dish was in total harmony. We ended the evening at a wine bar ‘Bouzy’ (genius name) where I enjoyed a Grand Cru growers champagne by the glass and then a beautiful Cabernet Franc (one of my favourite grapes) accompanied by charcuterie, cheeses and salads.

Oh, and the other thing that happened this month is that I bought a restaurant

Two weeks later I headed to Sweden for the Brighton & Hove Food Festival chef exchange.

Hvita Hjorten interior

One of Brighton’s finest Tom Griffiths, teaming up with Linus Palm of Hvita Hjorten (white heart) restaurant and the aforementioned Bas of Restaurant Basaal. Upon arrival in Gothenburg, Nick and I caught up over lunch in the wonderfully quirky and oddly glamorous Dorius hotel. I started with smoked duck, pumpkin puree, crispy capers and pistachio,

amongst pine forests and within the grounds

courses. The stand out dishes were Chef Bass’

of Lacko castle. There are exquisitely furnished

oxtail meatball, his chicken livers and our very

rooms and conference facilities. The castle

own Tom Griffiths’ aged fillet of beef with a

vegetable garden supplies the kitchen, and

subtle satay glaze, Jerusalem artichoke puree,

fish comes straight from the lake each day.

artichoke crisp, roasted peanuts and wild leek

We were treated to elk (venison) tartar with

and chive oil.

followed by steamed turbot with white wine

smoked crème fraiche and beetroot two ways

and cream sauce and trout roe. Both dishes

(carpaccio and crisp). Beautiful, earthy, with

outstanding cooking run by the loveliest hosts,

elegant and simple. A hazelnut mousse for

clean favours. The main course was one of my

both humble and generous. It’s quite a trek

dessert was light and not too sweet, working

dishes of the year so far. A fillet of pike caught

from Gothenburg but it’s worth it, and I can

well with chocolate crumb and a sharp

from the lake that day, topped with glazed

imagine it becoming one of those destinations

raspberry coulis. Thankfully I had space for

pike mousseline and served with deep fried

for a food ‘pilgrimage’. When it does I will be

dinner - a stunning meal cooked by Linus at his

cavalo Nero and a luscious fennel cream. A

rather smug that I discovered it early, courtesy

impressive restaurant.

stand out dish.

of Nick Moseley.

Situated on Lake Vänern, the Hvita Hjorten

The following night we enjoyed the main

restaurant is housed within an architecturally

event, the collaboration between all three

impressive eco construction ‘Naturum’, set

chefs working to produce a banquet of eight

Tom Griffiths’ aged fillet of beef

The restaurant is a truly unique venue with

Oh, and the other thing that happened this month is that I bought a restaurant.

Elk and beetroot at Hvita Hjorten


Table Talk REVIEW

The Ledbury By Amanda Menahem


rich and comfortingly sweet.

’ve waited for years to go to The Ledbury.

Bouzy Grand Cru, Brut Rosé - at £52, a bargain

One of the best restaurants in the world - it

for such Grand Cru quality. This was rich and

is always in the top five or ten of all the key

structured enough to hold up to both the

with foie gras cream. Light and delicate,

canapés and first course.

the crisp, tart vegetables balanced with the

global listings. But you rarely see the head chef Brett Graham on TV as you so often do with other ‘successful’ chefs. There’s no need for any kind of self-promotion. He is just quietly getting on with creating outstanding food, consistently, year after year. And that’s enough. My dining companion for such an epic and much anticipated lunch was Andy P, self-proclaimed as ‘the brunette’ and my foodie, ex toy boy. We were once meant to go there when were together but could never

My starter was violet artichokes and walnuts

gloriously silky foie gras cream. Andy chose

I would return just to have the brown sugar tart, it is second only to the amazing Zabaglione at Sartoria

Often the canapés and amuse-bouche in

beetroot baked in clay, English caviar, smoked and dried eel. Again, a light dish but full of intense flavours. Delicate white beetroot smoky and light - working well with the fishy flavours of caviar. The second course was perhaps my favourite. A warm Bantam’s egg, celeriac, arbois, dried ham and truffle. The perfectly cooked egg yolk oozed over shaved and pureed celeriac, shavings of mushroom,

get a table (I should never have left such an

Michelin starred restaurants can be a bit ‘meh’,

scattered with the sharp and salty crispy ham

important task to him). Now that I am not

but here they were full of promise. A lava

and covered in wonderful earthy truffle. Such

limited to weekend evenings and neither is he,

bread crisp with mussel puree, a foie gras puff

a simple dish and utterly sublime. Andy’s

we managed to nab a table one Friday lunch. I

with mead jelly – both delicious. The amuse-

choice of grilled cuttlefish, garlic and cracked

had cleared the day and evening as, knowing

bouch of Muntjac (a type of deer) dumpling

wheat worked well to evoke flavours of the

Andy P, this lavish lunch may end anywhere.

with fruit de moutarde turned out to be a

sea, and all the elements perfectly cooked.

We started with a half bottle of Paul Bara,


small meaty doughnutty thing of joy. Warm,

Table Talk

Not once were we interrupted to be asked if everything was OK, another of my bugbears, because they didn’t need to, they were paying attention

Oh I forgot to mention the bread! We were presented with a huge hunk of warm sourdough with an oat crust that provided a pleasing oaty crunch. The accompanying home-churned whipped butter was sprayed with molasses, and made the whole bread and butter thing completely addictive. This bread was delicious on its own but also provided the ideal tool to unashamedly wipe our plates clean on several occasions. Onto mains. I chose the Anjou pigeon. A masterpiece of confit leg and panroasted breast offset with sweet prunes and a rich jus. Andy’s Chinese water deer, smoked bone marrow, quince and red leaves could not be faulted. We drank a half bottle 2015 Chinon, les Granges, Bernard Baudry - a Loire Valley Cabernet Franc (£22) A light, bright red full of fresh red fruit and a light nuttiness.

Anjou Pigeon

This good value choice matched well with both mains. For dessert we chose to share the signature brown sugar tart, something I had not had before - what a revelation! A caramelised rich custard encased in a tart and accompanied by stem ginger ice cream, which balanced well with the rich caramel. I immediately regretted not ordering two of these instead of the second choice, the more ordinary chocolate and clementine dessert which turned out to be various chocolate and orange bits and bobs, none of which stood out. I would return just to have the brown sugar tart (it is second only to the amazing Zabaglione at Sartoria). The pre-dessert was an enjoyable and interesting concoction of apple sorbet and walnut cream. Finally the petits fours - soft rich chocolate truffles – such a joy in their simplicity. So often petits fours can be boring bits of fudge or dried up pieces of brownie.

Grilled Cuttlefish

Here, as much care had been taken to create these heavenly morsels as every other element of our experience. And the service? It was totally spot on. And this isn’t a given. Often in two Michelin starred venues service can be overly attentive or stuffy. Here it was friendly, relaxed and just attentive enough. And that’s not easy to pull off. I am known for my dislike of having my wine poured for me and this is predominantly because waiters have a tendency to either overfill or leave me empty (or both). Here my glass was topped up always just in time and not excessively. The glassware was also beautiful (Zalto – my favourite). Just as we were starting to ponder what we would have after our champagne, the sommelier appeared with the wine list. This intuitive service is what separates the best. Not once were we interrupted to be asked if everything was OK (another of my bugbears), because they didn’t need to, they were paying attention.

Violet artichokes with foie gras cream

So after years of waiting to dine here, the wait was totally worth it. In my last column I talked about how I had tired of Michelin venues. The Ledbury is an exception. And what of the rest of the day? Well, it involved my favourite bar in London, plus a few others and a two-day hangover. Andy P is a very, very, bad influence. Lunch £115 for four courses. Our bill came to £320 with pre-lunch drinks, wine, dessert wines and coffee.

127 Ledbury Road, Notting Hill, London, W11 2AQ Tel: +44 (0) 20 7792 9090 Email:

Chocolate & Clementine dessert

Brown Sugar Tart


Table Talk

Small Bites By Amanda Menahem Coming Soon

Brighton & Hove Food and Drink Festival


he Brighton & Hove Food and Drink Festival’s ‘Spring Harvest’

social aims to promote and nurture the food and hospitality economy

returns to the city from Thursday 18th - Monday 29th May.

of our region” said festival director Nick Mosley. “Thanks to the

This year’s event sees guest chefs from Germany, Guernsey,

generous support of our sponsors, all of our major outdoor events on

Gibraltar, the Netherlands and Sweden, working alongside some of

Hove Lawns are free entry for everyone to enjoy, and we work hard to

the city’s biggest names including Matt Gillan, Steven Edwards, Alun

ensure all of our ticketed events are accessible and affordable”.

Sperring, James Villiers and Michael Bremner.

Events include a deconstructed English wine dinner at the Ginger Dog, a fun Mexico versus Indian street food evening at Hotel du Vin, Pommery Champagne dinner with guest chef Alex Aitken at the at Jeremy’s Restaurant, Make Your Case ‘punk’ wine tasting, Riesling supper at The Chilli Pickle, Brighton Cocktail Week promotion, and three days of outdoor events on Hove Lawns, including the English Wine Week Festival. “The festival is run by a Community Interest Company with specific

Food Lab at 64 Degrees

Photo by Julia Claxton

Jetty, Food Lab at 64 Degrees, Iberian-North African fusion dinner

Food at its Best At Brighton’s Best Restaurant Awards


t was all change at Brighton’s Best Restaurants Awards with a brand new Top 20, highlighting the strength and diversity of the city’s thriving restaurants scene.

The awards saw 64 Degrees hold on to the number one spot for a second year, despite three new entries and five restaurants improving on their 2016 standings. Bincho Yakitori, the hugely popular Japanese while the recently opened Italian Cin Cin was the highest new entry at number six. Fine dining got the thumbs up from the awards’ 150-strong voting panel of experts, with Isaac At moving from 20 to 14 and former Fat Duck chef Duncan Ray’s Little Fish Market entering the top five for the first time at number four. The awards are voted for by experts including food writers, chefs,

The team from Cin Cin, from left David Toscano (owner), Fabrizio Manconi (general manager), Jamie Halsall (head chef)

restaurateurs and business leaders, all of whom boast an intimate knowledge of the Brighton and Hove restaurant scene. Individual awards went to Michael Bremner who made it two for two by holding on to Best Chef; Matt Ottley of The Salt Room, who won Best Barkeep; and Cin Cin owner David Toscano sooped Best Welcome and Highest New Entry. “We’re delighted that the new Top 20 reflects Brighton’s dynamic


and fast moving restaurant scene,” said Andy Lynes, who, along with fellow Brighton-based food journalist Patrick McGuigan and 60 Second Reviews supremo Euan MacDonald co-founded and organised the awards. “It confirms Brighton as one of the best dining destinations outside London, and one that can stand side by side with cities like Bristol and Edinburgh. There’s something for everyone from innovative small plates to fabulous pizzas and of course great seafood.”

Photo by Roarke Pearce

grill restaurant, leapt eleven places to take the number two place,


Table Talk WINE

South Africa to Sussex


annings Heath Golf Club and Wine Estate has a unique link to South Africa’s renowned Hermanus Wine


Mannings Heath Golf Club was purchased by South African Wine Estate owner Penny Streeter in April 2016. Since then she has set about refurbishing the Clubhouse and golf courses, turning the Kingfisher 18 hole course into a dedicated 9 hole course. The remaining 9 holes are to become a vineyard in April this year. Adding a variety of grape to produce sparkling wine this addition to her already highly successful wine estate, Benguela Cove in South Africa, is an exciting venture. Benguela Cove is a leading producer and wine destination situated at the start of South


Table Talk

This fully functional wine farm has produced multiple award-winning wines. The first vines are to be planted in West Sussex at the end of April and will be producing a harvest ready for production within 5 years.

Africa’s Hermanus Wine Route. These

award winning wines benefit from the unique conditions of the estate’s location at the ocean’s edge on the southern coast of South Africa. The south-easterly sea breeze is chilled by the Benguela Current flowing up from Antarctica, to cool the grapes at night after the warm summer days, irrigated by above-average rainfall for perfect viniculture. For those interested in the finer details of wine producing, the proximity of our vineyards to the sea and the slightly windy conditions shorten the shoots of the vines and make the berries and leaves smaller thereby increasing the quality of the grapes. The terroir is clay and calcium rich and there are very few farms like this in South Africa. This fully functional wine farm has produced multiple award-winning wines. The first vines are to be planted in West Sussex at the end of April and will be producing a harvest ready for production within 5 years. The terroir at Mannings has been identified as the perfect conditions for top quality growth and the passion shown in South Africa will be transferred into the rolling hills of Sussex. Visitors to Mannings Heath Golf Club and Wine Estate can enjoy a South African style wine experience, with first hand tastings of the wines produced by Benguela Cove as well as wine tasting experiences which include wine & chocolate pairing and cheese & wine pairing. All of the Benguela Cove wines are available to take home at “cellar door prices”.

Mannings Heath Golf and Wine Estate Hammerpond Road, Mannings Heath, Horsham, West Sussex RH13 6PG Tel: 01403 220349


Business Awards

THE SUPER GROWERS The Sussex Super Growth Awards celebrates the fastest growing companies in the county. Neil Gardner, from asb law, reviews the 2017 Awards


ow in its third year, over 110 people attended a prestigious breakfast event to find out which companies were the fastest growing across the region. Sussex Super Growth is a collaboration between asb law, Lloyds Bank and Kreston Reeves, with The Argus as media partner. It is different from traditional business awards in that the finalists don’t apply to participate as the work is already done in their financial reports filed at Companies House. The turnover growth of companies is assessed over a three-year accounting period against the Sussex Super Growth criteria to produce a finalist list. Writer and broadcaster, Simon Fanshawe OBE, announced the Sussex Super Growth 2017 winner as Forest Row-based Rydon Homes Ltd, with an outstanding growth rate of 324.8%. The company is a well-established house builder specialising in high-quality homes across the South East. Warwick Barnes, Managing Director of Rydon Homes, said: “We’re obviously delighted to have secured this award. Not only does it demonstrate the growth and success of our business over the past three years, but more importantly it is evidence that people really love our developments and are willing to call them their home. We will ensure we continue to create places that improve people’s lives and meet our purchasers’ expectations for high quality.” Rydon Homes Ltd was followed by runner-up Envision Pharma Ltd, a global medical-affairs solutions provider based in Horsham, with a growth rate of 138.5%. Third place was awarded to natural knitwear specialist WoolOvers Ltd, based in Burgess Hill with a growth rate of 124.8%. The Surrey Super Growth sponsors added their congratulations to the finalists. Andrew Hoad, Partner, at asb law LLP explained: It’s a real testament to success to make the Sussex Super Growth finalist list. It isn’t easy to maintain sustained business growth and asb


law is proud to recognise, support and congratulate these achievements. We have a rich diversity of businesses included and it’s been interesting to see how, despite this mix, common themes have emerged from our discussions. When I walk into a Sussex Super Growth company there’s generally a buzz, a positive environment and a sense of energy. We all like the ‘wow factor’ and Sussex Super Growth finalists tend to have it.” Clive Stevens, Chairman at Kreston Reeves also commented: “As a county, Sussex has over 80,000 businesses employing more than 650,000 people and contributes over £34bn to the economy. The Sussex Super Growth Awards recognise the continued achievements of the fastest growing private companies and demonstrate that Sussex remains a great place to do business.” Nicola Haigh, South East & Thames Valley Area Director for Lloyds Commercial Banking, continued: “Sussex Super Growth is a celebration of business success across the county, and the range of great companies represented is proof that the local economy is in very good shape. I’m delighted to see such a range of industries and sectors represented and all finalists are to be congratulated.”

Andrew Hoad, Partner - Corporate Finance from asb law LLP

Clive Stevens, Executive Chairman, from Kreston Reeves LLP

Neil Gardner from asb law LLP

Arron Hendy, Editor of The Argus, said: “These Awards show off the wonderful success being enjoyed across the county and finalists should be rightly proud of their inclusion.”

Super Growers The Top Ten 1. Rydon Homes Ltd 325% 2. Envision Pharma Ltd 139%

The top three: Brian Hepburn and John Gillie (Envision Pharma Ltd), Warwick Barnes (Rydon Homes Ltd) and Neil Sansom (WoolOvers Ltd.)

3. WoolOvers Ltd 125% 4. SAS Global Communications Ltd 112% 5. A World of Buzz Ltd 103% 6. Roffey Homes Ltd 99% 7. KSD Support Services Ltd 96% 8. Dual Energy Group Ltd 94% 9. The Organised Group Ltd 92% 10. Keysource Ltd 87%

Simon Fanshawe OBE interviews Warwick Barnes, Managing Director of Sussex Super Growth winner Rydon Homes Ltd

Business Event

GOOD NEIGHBOURS Home to more than 500 companies and 30,000 employees, the Manor Royal BID is the largest industrial BID in the UK. The area, which provides more than 8 million sq. ft of commercial floorspace, is estimated to generate more than £2.56bn GVA (Gross Value Added) per year.


ore than sixty companies will be exhibiting at the Manor Royal ‘Know Your Neighbour’ Expo which is returning this year on 16th May 2017 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Crawley. The event is organised by Manor Royal BID, exclusively for companies located in the Business District. Designed to encourage local trade, the Expo will enable companies located on Manor Royal Business District get to know each other by creating a stronger sense of community and building local supply chains. As well as the free business exhibition, delegates will be able to attend speed networking sessions and undertake plenty of business development activities during the day. The team from Platinum Business is delighted to be attending the event, which last year attracted more than 60 exhibitors and 300 delegates from Manor Royal. Delegates at this year’s event will be among the first to hear about the BID’s business plan for a new five-year term (from 2018), following an area-wide consultation of Manor Royal businesses last year. Manor Royal BID partners will also be present to highlight their activities in collaboration with the BID, including Manor Royal Business Watch, Central Sussex College, which delivers business courses and Easit, which provides public transport services, all subsidised by the BID. The Manor Royal BID also hopes to use the event to announce some new and exclusive arrangements to help make the Business District an even more attractive place for business and staff. For the first time, there will also be a prize for the ‘Best Stand in Show’, kindly donated by Manor Royal based Avensys Ltd, the largest independent Audio Visual specialists in the South East. The ‘Know Your Neighbour Expo’ is just one of a number of initiatives the BID delivers for the benefit of Manor Royal companies and their staff. Representatives from the Manor Royal BID Board and Management Group will be on hand during the day to answer questions about its activities, including a recent Transport Study, which proposes solutions to help support Manor Royal’s continued growth.

In recent months, more than sixteen companies have relocated to Manor Royal Business District, including Inspiration Healthcare Group plc which opened a new corporate head office on Manor Royal Business District in March; 4D Gatwick, who have established the first dedicated co-location data centre of its kind in the area and Creative Funding Solutions, a finance brokerage.

Steve Sawyer, Executive Director of Manor Royal BID says: “As Crawley celebrates its 70th Anniversary as a new town, Manor Royal is a thriving and dynamic place, with new companies and new developments taking shape continually. It’s becoming even more popular as a location for business, in part thanks to the work of our BID team and our partners who collaborate effectively to bring investment here. Know Your Neighbour is always a great event with a strong feel-good factor and we are very much looking forward to it.”

If your business is located on Manor Royal Business District and you would like to attend, please book online via or contact Crowne Plaza Hotel, Crawley. 9.30 am - 3.30 pm, 16th May 2017





ome may think that diamonds and rugby boots don’t have much in common, but Mike Shorer Fine Jewellery and the Lewes Ladies’ rugby team are challenging these preconceptions with their new partnership. Mike Shorer Fine Jewellery has become the newest sponsor for the ladies team whose diamond-like strength has made them an almost unstoppable force in the cup and league this season. Despite sporting more mud than jewels on the rugby pitch, the Lewes Ladies are diamonds in the rough who have gone from strength to strength since Mike Shorer has joined their growing family. Mike is used to working with winners: his trophies have been awarded to marathon runners, poker players and rock stars and his pieces have been worn by royalty and film stars – and now women’s rugby players. The Lewes Ladies are proud to be counted among such star-studded ranks and are honoured to wear Mike’s name on their kit. Mike says, “It’s been a tremendous opportunity for Mike Shorer Fine Jewellery to partner with a successful women’s rugby team…” and the ladies’ concur: “It’s such a fantastic opportunity to help such an incredible local business. We’ve been so lucky that Mike has been so supportive of us. We all wear our hoodies to travel to and from our away games and it really helps us look professional, and adds a bit of glamour to our game,” says Sophie Williams, captain of the Lewes Ladies’ side.

Mike Shorer is a seventh generation, award winning goldsmith who specialises in affordable, bespoke fine jewellery and trophies. The Lewes Ladies are a well-established women’s rugby team who enjoy winning, and imparting gold-plated performances. Whilst rugby and jewellery might not be the most traditional of collaborations, Mike Shorer and the Lewes Ladies share a dedication to creating beautiful things, and exhibiting true crafts(wo)manship in their work.

To find out more about the Lewes Ladies and their efforts this season visit and visit to start your own unique collaboration with Mike Shorer himself. Mike Shorer is a member of Newhaven Chamber of Commerce and a long standing supporter of ACES.



Shell Shock is written by Neil Watkins and adapted for the stage by Tim Marriott, director of drama at Eastbourne College. It features a filmed introduction from Squadron Leader John Peters, the former RAF Tornado pilot famously shot down and held captive by the Iraqis in the first Gulf War.


hell Shock, the play that challenges mental health stigma, made its preview at Printers Playhouse in Eastbourne last month. Showcasing the fresh and exciting talent of Tom Page, formerly an Eastbourne College student, this Sussex-born production is now set to tour nationally. All three nights were well attended by key representatives from Combat Stress South East community team, Sussex Police, local politicians and the British Armed Forces. Adapted from the original novel Shell Shock: The Diary of Tommy Atkins, the play portrays one soldier’s moving and poignant struggle with life back on civvy street, following tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. His inability to cope with everyday situations - post office queues, a dreaded trip to Ikea and his fraying relationships lead to anger and alienation. Unaware he is suffering with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Tommy Atkins becomes depressed and suicidal.

Battle Chamber of Commerce


Bexhill Chamber of Commerce 01424 842892

Crowborough Chamber of Commerce

Eastbourne UnLtd Chamber of Commerce 01323 641144

The story was described by General Sir Mike Jackson as: “a vivid and compassionate portrayal of an ex-soldier having to cope with post-traumatic stress syndrome, and shows just how important the work is of charities such as Combat Stress”. Shell Shock received huge support with LIBOR funding granted by the chancellor and is presented in association with Smokescreen productions and supported by The Sussex Armed Forces Network, Anglia Ruskin University, Help For Heroes, Combat Stress and PTSD Resolution. The phrase ‘shell shock’ was first recognised during the First World War to describe a soldier’s traumatic mental state following battle. Over a century later we refer to that diagnosis as PTSD. Military charities such as Help for Heroes and Combat Stress work with the NHS and other third sector organisations in the provision of mental health support to ex-service personnel and their families.

East Sussex County Council 01273 481570

Federation of Small Businesses 01424 754686 Reg Office: 01323 482018

Hailsham Chamber of Commerce 01323 310531

Hastings Chamber of Commerce 01424 205500

Heathfield Chamber of Commerce 01435 865858




here are sophisticated telephone systems out there that many, if not all businesses will consider moving to in time; but what exactly are they all about, are they expensive and how can they help your business?

VoIP telephones seem the most interesting option at the moment. They don’t look much different Simon Smyth from Computer-eyez from an average business phone, but VoIP is more versatile and significantly cheaper. As a result the VoIP telephone market is rising as an increasing number of businesses in the South East move to it. VoIP stands for Voice Over Internet Protocol, simply meaning it’s a telephone system delivered over the internet. To set up a VoIP telephone, users plug the phone into an internet router via a cable, rather than a traditional telephone line. Users can then use the phone to its fullest – it’s that simple. The main differences between VoIP and a traditional phone system revolve around the flexibility and the cost. The upfront costs are significantly lower than that of their traditional rival. Call costs are some of the cheapest around and in many cases calls are free! Especially in the case of calls abroad. The difference between traditional and VoIP phones

◊ VoIP handsets • VoIP calls are made over the internet • They can be used anywhere in the world with your extension number as long as there is an internet connection • There is no extra cost to add new features • Everything is paid monthly at a fixed price • When an issue arises, problems can be fixed remotely • Different branches can be linked much more easily via a simple internet connection

Never miss a call As we all know, selected use of technology can improve efficiency and reduce costs. With VoIP, the time staff spend on IT issues is minimised as your VoIP supplier fixes everything remotely or if you want to add new features. You can twin your mobile phone with the VoIP system and answer calls anywhere in the world. You can also access your office mailbox worldwide so you are not interrupted in that key meeting with a new client in the Far East, but you don’t miss that critical call from a potential new client in the USA.

If VoIP looks right for your business model, get more information by calling 01273 806211 or visit www.

◊ Traditional handsets • Traditional calls are made over analogue telephone lines or ISDN • They can only be used at the office • It costs to add new features • You need to purchase and maintain telephone PBX with initial outlay on servers • When an issue arises, an engineer is usually required to visit

• Linking geographically remote branches of your business can be expensive Computer-eyez - Photo Simon Callaghan Photography

ACES The official magazine for the Alliance of Chambers in East Sussex


Issue 2. 2017


For more information about advertising and editorial sponsorship, contact info@ or call 07966 244046 and we have discounted members rates. The second issue is out now and in general distribution right around the region

A message to the leaders of the RMT, the Department for Transport and Southern Rail:

We, your passengers, have had enough. Enough of the daily cancellations, enough of the ubiquitous delays, enough of ering the unofficial strikes and enough of your inaction. All of us are suff lost our uncertainty and stress on a daily basis, and some of us have even so we are jobs because of your imploding ‘service’. Only you can stop this, work out a asking you to get around the table now, immediately, today, and it’s about deal. Don’t leave the room until you have one. We can see sense, time you did too. behalf of From the Reigate, Redhill & District Rail Users’ Association on all Southern Rail Passengers



The Institute of Directors 0207 766 8866

We are very proud to announce the launch of our brand new magazines for ACES. The new magazine will be distributed all over East Sussex. Make sure you pick up your copy.


Lewes Chamber of Commerce 07919 382316

Locate East Sussex 0844 415 9255

Newhaven Chamber of Commerce 0800 107 0709

Peacehaven Chamber of Commerce 01273 586222

Seaford Chamber of Commerce 0800 881 5331

South East Local Enterprise Partnership 01245 431469

Uckfield Chamber of Commerce 01825 722607

Wealden District Council 01323 443322


• Costs are unpredictable


The Business Network

The Business Network NETWORK REVIEW NETWORKING FOR BIGGER BUSINESSES By Emma Pearce, Marketing Consultant – marketing planning, outsourced marketing and social media training Emma Pearce gives a more detailed insight into networking exclusively for larger organisations in Eastbourne


ome senior managers and business owners from larger organisations choose not to attend SME networking groups. They tend to get pounced on as the known “big company” in the room. So what specific networking options are there for the larger B2B and B2C companies? The good news is that there are clubs directly serving this niche. This month I am reporting on one in takes place in Eastbourne. In Eastbourne, the Premier Business Breakfast Club was established to assist both Eastbourne Borough Council and the Eastbourne Chamber of Commerce to engage with the more sizeable firms in the business community. The aim is for those business leaders to be fully aware of local plans and have the opportunity to discuss concerns and business projects with the relevant people. In addition, those larger businesses can assist with disseminating information locally via their workforce. The Premier Business Breakfast club is managed and hosted by Cobb PR and is in its fourth year. It runs every two months at The Grand Hotel on Eastbourne’s seafront from 7.30 am to 9 am (usually on the second Friday). There is an invitation-only policy for the Club and membership if for the individual, not the company. Tim Cobb, MD at Cobb PR, commented “We often have our local MP speaking and the Leader of the Council always gives an update with time for Q&A. The meeting is useful for everyone and has a good buzz, with an average of 30 people attending from a wide variety of business sectors.”


At the last meeting Neil Crawford, Head of Retail and Leisure Development at Legal & General, who is managing the £85m extension scheme at the Arndale Centre, gave a great insight into the project. The scheme will bring an additional 22 new retail units, around 300 extra car parking spaces, seven restaurants and a nine screen cinema to Eastbourne.

The format of the event is: • open networking • seating at round tables - each with a representative from the Council and Chamber • brief introduction from Tim Cobb • breakfast is served • Eastbourne Borough Council speaker slot • Eastbourne Chamber of Commerce speaker slot • Guest speaker • Q&A • Opportunity to stay and speak to any of the speakers, Council and Chamber teams.

For more information about this networking club, please email




ussex-based Beautiful Design & Print has recently invested in two specialist pieces of equipment to expand its offering to a worldwide client base. This expansion comes after the firm secured its first few major contract wins of 2017, including taking on the high pressure work for a major retail brand.

They worked last year with Heathrow Airport to create bespoke advent calendars - these life-size installations took the form of 2m cylindrical displays with a full vinyl wrap, with removable vinyl windows to display offers from the retailers in the departure lounge.

The business has a track record of securing large scale project wins, having created up to eight client exhibition stands each year at the World Travel Market. Other notable jobs include large scale 3D logos, signage and huge backdrops for clients exhibiting at Amsterdam’s IBC, an annual event for creative professionals. The company is undergoing a rebrand, and is preparing to launch a new eCommerce website to help fulfil their aim of being the go to resource for marketing agencies, advertising companies and retail stores alike. The plan, says Beautiful’s director, Michael Tyrrell, is to move to larger premises in July. He said: “We are consistently seeking to expand our offering through the acquisition of the latest technologies. We are fortunate to have many loyal clients throughout Sussex and beyond, and are confident our latest investment will cement Beautiful as the printers of choice for both businesses in the Sussex area and those further afield. We are also just about to release a ‘Trade Service’ POS, Exhibition Graphics, an offering of our services and capabilities to other signage and print businesses.”

To find out more about Beautiful, please call 01825 872040



The new machinery enables the company to print directly onto substrates up to 3.2m wide and 45mm thick, which completes the project with a CNC Finisher, expanding the

business’ offering to include retail point of sale and exhibition graphics with new product lines, including digital wallpaper, banners, development hoarding, estate agent’s boards and more.

Just Rock Up

Drop in and enjoy one course and a glass of fizz



Wednesdays 5.00pm – 6.30pm - no need to book

The Grand, Brighton, 97-99 King’s Road, Brighton, BN1 2FW

Call 01273 224 300 -




orthing and Adur Fund is open for applications. The Fund gives up to £500 in grants to small charities and community groups working in Worthing and Adur. The next deadline for applications is Friday 5th May 2017. Established in 2010, the Fund was set up in partnership with the Worthing and Adur Chamber of Commerce, under the umbrella of Sussex Community Foundation. A number of local Worthing people and businesses were founder donors and these donations established a core endowment fund. The income has since grown, and enabled the Fund to make 29 grants worth £16,422 to 23 charities and community groups from Worthing and Adur. Recent groups supported by the Fund include: • Worthing Town FC used their £500 grant to buy four junior goals, 20 junior lite balls and two packs of training bibs. • Sussex Martlets Trampolining Club used their grant to help buy additional floor safety matting and other safety equipment.

• Worthing Speakabout - their grant went towards running costs, office rent, mini bus and hire of a meeting room at Buddy’s Cafe.

• Storm Ministries - their funding provided disabled access via a ramp with hand rails.

For more information and to make an application to the Worthing & Adur Fund, visit

FORTHCOMING EVENTS 5th April – Getting to know you event

21st April – Chamber Hub free networking 28th April – Networking breakfast 10th May – Chamber Annual General Meeting 19th May – Networking breakfast, talk and tour at Shoreham Airport

26th May – Chamber Hub free networking


orthing and Adur Chamber is launching its highly successful WiseUp2 training sessions. Following on from last year’s success, the programme has been expanded to include topics suggested by members and also been expanded to delve deeper into high-demand areas such as marketing.

What is it? The new programme is offering over 20 different training sessions, all working with highly experienced trainers from the local area. The majority of sessions will be between two and three hours and based in Worthing town hall. They are kept deliberately small to offer a better learning experience and personalised experience to attendee. Please visit or call the Chamber office on 01903 203484 to book or find out more. Chamber members receive special discounted rates of only £35 per session, and for non-members it’s £75.

Watch this space! The Chamber will also be organising some bigger ‘meet the professionals’ days which will offer a whole day focusing on a particular topic, allowing attendees to attain a much clearer understanding of the subject, leaving with some practical solutions to specific problems. These will be announced shortly.



oast to Capital’s Business Navigator Growth Hub is a free service, that signposts all businesses to the vital support that helps business owners achieve their objectives and growth. Your local Business Navigators are Amanda Geel and Ryan Davies, who cover the Worthing, coastal and rural West Sussex areas. They can research potential funding options, help you find a business mentor/advisor, assist with recruitment, find support for website development, and much more. Amanda will be holding free information, guidance and support clinics in conjunction with Worthing & Adur Chamber of Commerce at the Sphere Business Centre in Broadwater. These sessions will focus on discussing your business needs whether it is access to finance, new routes to markets or training and development. Sessions take place on: 25th April, 23 May, 20th June, 18th July and 19th September

To book your FREE one hour session with Amanda please contact Tracie Davey on 01903 203484 or


• Worthing Gymnastics - their grant helped to fit out their new venue with essential apparatus.




RAISING YOUR PROFILE Take advantage of business support through Chichester Chamber of Commerce and Industry currently a discount for CCCI members. • Behind the Scenes - come and see how other businesses operate, with plenty to learn and plenty to ask about. We were the recent guests of Chichester Observer which proved to be extremely enlightening, and we have more planned at Tangmere Solar Farm (come and learn how to be green) in April and Tangmere Airfield Nurseries (from plug to plate) in July. If you would like to showcase your business we would love to hear from you.



e are a friendly and dynamic Chamber, who offer business support through a variety of strands to suit our members by ensuring that we are flexible, innovative and adaptable. Not only do we work with our local partners such as Chichester Business Improvement District, but also with our neighbouring Chambers such as Hampshire, Worthing and Adur, and Bognor Regis. So, a little more on what we offer: • Networking – the proven and perennial way to build relationships that promote trust, transparency and opportunity. Whether it is our monthly members meetings, our afternoon teas, our speed networking events or our fun days, you will get to know other members from our own and neighbouring chambers, enabling you to foster productive, long-term contacts, doing business with each other. • Coast to Capital Business Navigator Growth Hub – we are proud to be a partner for this free service, which signposts businesses to the critical support that helps businesses achieve their objectives and grow. Amanda Geel and Ryan Davies are the primary contacts who will help you access finance and funding


opportunities, signpost to support for website development, identify networking and membership organisations that may be of benefit to you, help you understand the regulatory landscape, explore international markets, offer mentoring support and much, much more. • Peer-to-Peer Action Learning – this brings you together with other people in a small, confidential group, to work on issues that matter to you - important issues arising from your business and working life. There are ten sessions of intense and targeted mentoring and peer support, led and facilitated by MDHUB. There is

JOIN CHICHESTER CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY FROM JUST £99 Membership benefits include: • Events and networking • Business Advice and service • Policy and public affairs • New business opportunities Join us now at

• Speaking and raising your profile – whether you would like to give a presentation, have a five minute ‘Business Gem’ or wish to promote your business through ‘A Minute to Win It’, our monthly networking members meetings are always extremely popular and an excellent platform for communicating your business, or a topical or thematic issue that would benefit everyone. • Fun days raising money for charity and doing business - our next event is our Charity Quiz night in April raising money for Fishbourne Roman Palace. Enter your team, show up, have fun and raise money for a worthy cause whilst networking. You are also in with the chance of winning prizes! St Wilfrid’s are our beneficiaries for our networking golf day at Chichester Golf Club in July, and we’re being joined by Worthing and Adur, and Bognor Regis Chambers, so plenty of networking opportunities too.

DATES FOR YOUR DIARY • 6th April - Charity Quiz Night • 10th April - Networking Chamber Monthly Meeting • 8th May - Networking Chamber Monthly Meeting


PITCHING IN THE 21ST CENTURY By Richard Freeman, CEO, always possible ltd


he elevator pitch. That rehearsed, perfect, 60-second distillation of your business idea that you can confidently pull out of your back pocket when you’re in that opportune moment - in your kid’s school playground when that parent, who owns a lot of businesses, asks you what you do, or at the networking event with the head of the place that does the thing.

one decision to another. We move people all the time - when we persuade our friends to go to that restaurant instead of this one; when we ensure our children eat broccoli for dinner rather than Haribo; when we use a funny gift to cheer up a grumpy parent. Putting forward suggestions of something that is better than the status quo, is an act of selling something we believe in.

Well, bury it. It’s dead. Pitching in the 21st century requires a whole new set of ideas.

For 21st century business, this is no less than true. If we don’t genuinely believe that what we’re selling is useful, valuable, of good quality and honest, then increasingly autonomous and savvy consumers will have no interest in it. So when we’re moving customers or investors, rolling out a neat (but tired) pitch that sounds like any other will no longer cut it.

In 2012, US journalist Dan Pink, published his ground-breaking book ‘To Sell Is Human’, and rather than becoming quickly out-ofdate, it is growing in relevance as a guide for any creative entrepreneur thinking about how to sell an idea in a crowded marketplace. Brighton Chamber asked us at always possible to lead a session at one of their popular Creative Hub events in March with a focus on ‘how to hone your pitch’. The session drew on Pink’s assertion that the act of selling has been tarnished by images of ‘wide boys’ in ill-fitting suits, yet is actually an innate human skill of moving someone from

21st century pitching 1. Move, don’t hard sell. Invite people in and tell your story. When we buy food these days we want to know who grew it, and what batch it comes from - the story of a product and its makers is crucial because we want to be certain that it also fits our own story.

2. Understand who you’re pitching to. Really understand them. Do your homework and constantly ask yourself - what have I got to offer them? Your approach to your pitch should not be ‘what have I got to communicate?’, rather ‘what will they enjoy hearing about?’. 3. Have emotional heart. Whether your aim is to sell staplers or orchestral music, think about what makes you and your product/service important and congruent. Authenticity is an over-used word, but it is the most crucial thing you can have. 4. Have at least six pitches as live and ever-maturing as a fine wine. Keep them flexible and adaptable for different audiences, and update with new successes and value propositions.

For further information on always possible please visit For more Chamber events please visit



Anger Management


OUT OF AFRICA by Maarten Hoffmann


he African continent has long been an economic basket case despite countless attempts over the generations to revitalise and regenerate the economy. Admittedly, the West’s shameful use of the continents inhabitants as slaves in the last century, and the wholesale plunder of all their resources, will not have endeared them to us but the past is the past and we should be moving forward into a new dawn for this most magnificent region of planet earth. Instead, it seems to be going backwards. The West should be utterly ashamed of itself over the debacle that is Zimbabwe. If any country with oil or other desired natural resources carried out the wholesale slaughter and enslavement of its citizens, the West would have been in there in a shot and Mugabe would be consigned to history. This starkly demonstrates our true nature. We don’t really care about the starvation and horror visited upon the people if there is nothing in it for us. Ignoring that holocaust has given rise to


the events currently taking place in Kenya. We allowed Mugabe the Butcher to overrun every white farm in the country and return them to the hands of locals. Admirable, one might think, until you look at what they have done with them. Nothing. Every white owned ranch in the country has gone to rack and ruin and the income generated for the country has dissolved to nothing. The crops growing on those farms have withered and died and the locals who worked on those farms are now unemployed. It is one of the greatest tragedies of our generation and yet we don’t lift a finger. And now Kenya is going the same way encouraged by the West’s disinterest. Last week the reports came though of the death of a white landowner, Tristan Voorpuy, who was shot when a massive herd of cattle were driven, intentionally, across his land. Mathew Lempurkel, a local MP, has been arrested for inciting the raid at which time he stated “It is a war – a third world war, against the whites” Voorpuy was, by all intents and purposes, one

of the good guys. He was a cavalry office in the British Army and settled in Kenya in 1983 and was an avid conservationist and brought vital income and employment to the country with the launch of horseback safaris. Hundreds of locals attended his funeral and his land is now overrun with local tribesmen and will, within months, be destroyed and returned to waste land. I was in Kenya last year for my daughter’s wedding and witnessed first-hand how the locals are treated. They are kind and generous people who deeply appreciate

Anger Management

Mathew Lempurkel the tourism generated by non-Kenyans and the landowners, in the main, treat them as family. They are employed, well looked after and treated with respect. This problem is not caused by the people but by the racist politicians who see it as they perverted duty to rid the country of white landowners. Lempurkel has a long history. He was arrested last year for beating up a female politician in the President’s office when she tried to deliver a petition urging the restoration of law in the Laikipia region. He was arrested for trying to burn down a police station that was holding some of his cronies. He has faced countless corruption charges but is on bail for everything and there is little chance of a prosecution. As a severe drought took hold last year, the Samburu and Pokot tribesmen were encouraged by the likes of Lempurkel, to migrate south. They were then supplied with vast numbers of automatic weapons and ahead of each incursion, Lempurkel would hold meetings to whip up support for violent trespass. The irony is that most of the herds of cattle being pushed to trespass are not owned by the local tribesmen but by politicians, police

and military officers, and other influential officials, who pay them a pittance to care of their livestock. Lempurkel’s aim is to drive the whites out and replace them with the locals who will vote for him at the next election. If he wins, he will inherit a desperate, bankrupt country over which he can rule.

Admittedly, the West’s shameful use of the continents inhabitants as slaves in the last century, and the wholesale plunder of all their resources, will not have endeared them to us....

A sidebar to this is that as they invade with their newly acquired weapons, they are killing all the wildlife as they go and further depleting the reasons so many tourists wish to visit the

country in the first place and robbing the world of these magnificent animals. President Kenyatta faces an election in August and has declared that he is sending hundreds of police reinforcements into the region with a shoot to kill policy against any land invaders. In reality, he is doing no such thing as it would alienate the tribesmen and lose their votes making him reluctant to launch punitive strikes against the Samburu and Pokot militia out of self-serving, self-preservation. Investors see the invasions as a grim signal for the future, especially as it is spreading to other parts of Kenya, such as British-owned properties on the Indian Ocean coast. Tolerance of armed invasions raise the spectre of a repeat of the mass slaughter of early 2008, when the opposition claimed elections had been rigged. Some 1,400 people were butchered and Kenya only narrowly avoided a full blown civil war. With hundreds of thousands of illegal guns in the country and tensions high, there are fears that power hungry politicians will push this magnificent country to the edge of the abyss once more.


Institute of Directors


By Dean Orgill Chairman of Mayo Wynne Baxter •


s I start to write, the Ides of March is looming and by the time you read this, we will know if indeed that day has proved as portentous for the United Kingdom as it did for that famous former CEO of the Roman Empire. Inevitably therefore musings tend to be focussed around what the future holds, and might look like. On that theme I was particularly struck by a recent IoD feature about office environments and whether offices as we know them will soon become a thing of the past. A December 2016 study for the British Institute of Facilities Management, apparently cites a headline figure that only 53% of workers felt that their workplace allowed them to work productively. I appreciate that the findings of any study need to be looked at, taking into account the identity of the commissioner, and that people may have a variety of reasons for giving what is in effect the same answer to a question. However, trends and directions of thought can often be extrapolated, and it made me


wonder about how many of us actually use our working day as effectively as we could. Is the traditional working day, particularly for office workers, likely to be confined to history for many more of us in the near future? Being more efficient and smarter with our time can help us produce more profit in our businesses, or it can mean that we benefit from increased out of work time to spend with our families or indulge our interests. Have you ever undertaken a time and motion study of your working day? How much time is actually productive? Perhaps not as much as we think. For example many of us with apparently ‘short commutes’ take little account of time spent travelling, or at least we used to – I suspect the number of people factoring this into their lifestyle calculations has shot up in recent years. Even then I suspect many underestimate it. What is your ‘door to door’ time? That is the true time you might save if you were working from home or from a local internet hub. I appreciate not everyone can work by just plugging into the internet, that will not

necessarily manufacture anything or make the coffee that those who are still commuting will want, but the amount of people that can work in this way is perhaps more than we first think. There is a strong argument that we appreciate the communal and societal element of being in the office, and being able to chat about ‘the match’ or ‘Bake Off’. But it increasingly seems that chat is becoming digital - how often are mobiles used to actually make/receive calls compared to sending texts, WhatsApp or Instagram posts? Communal communication takes place whether people are together or not. The water cooler, like so many other things, may be headed to the virtual reality of the cloud.

JUST A THOUGHT What part of your working environment is sacrosanct to you?









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