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SURREY

BUSINESS THE OFFICIAL SURREY CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE MAGAZINE

INFLUENCERS FORUM TECH MYTHS DEBUNKED REACHING FURTHER NATWEST GROUP MOTORING BARNSTORMING RS6 MILITARY BEER PINTS WITH PURPOSE DYNAMIC MAGAZINE INCLUDED INSIDE

DR ADAM MARSHALL STRENGTH IN NUMBERS

ISSUE 32 NOVEMBER 2020


SURREY CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE CONNECTING PROMOTING SUPPORTING & REPRESENTING YOU AND YOUR BUSINESS

CALL US TODAY AND JOIN SURREY'S MOST INFLUENTIAL BUSINESS NETWORK @SURREYCHAMBERSOFCOMMERCE

@WWW.SURREY-CHAMBERS.CO.UK

@SURREYCHAMBERS

01483 735540

@SURREYCHAMBERSOFCOMMERCE

@SURREYCHAMBERSOFCOMMERCE


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S URREY CHAMBERS VIRTUAL PRESIDENTS AWARDS W HY OUTSOURCING YOUR SALES WILL HELP YOU BUILD A BUSINESS FIT FOR THE TIMES S URREY CHAMBERS ARE A GATEWAY ORGANISATION FOR THE KICKSTART SCHEME

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SURREY POLICE POLICING SURREY

B IG STORY STRENGTH IN NUMBERS DR ADAM MARSHALL  HE TOP 7 LEADERSHIP T SKILLS TO SUCCESSFULLY DRIVE YOUR BUSINESS THROUGH THIS PANDEMIC

30 42 44

INFLUENCERS FORUM

F URLOUGH SCHEME EXTENDED UNTIL MARCH 2021 G OVERNMENT LEAVES WINDOW OPEN FOR ENTREPRENEURS LOOKING FOR EXIT

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CONT ENT S 46 48 50 52

 REASONS TO HAVE 7 A PENSION REVIEW THE SNOWMAN™ & CHESTNUT TREE HOUSE NATWEST SOUTH EAST PMI®

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N ATWEST WEBINAR THE STATE OF THE ECONOMY AND WHAT THE FUTURE MIGHT HAVE IN STORE  HY IS BUSINESS W PURPOSE SO IMPORTANT?

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HAMPER HEAVEN

ACADEMIC COLLABORATION COULD YOUR BUSINESS BENEFIT?

64 66 68

H URST COLLEGE WINS SPORTING ACHIEVEMENT AWARD  OLLABORATION IS THE C KEY TO DRIVING POSITIVE CHANGE  PEST PREVENTION A CONTRACT ONE LESS THING TO WORRY ABOUT

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 HY NOW IS THE TIME TO W INVEST IN THE MENTAL HEALTH OF YOUR STAFF INVESTING TO SUCCEED AT THE MANOR COLLECTION PINTS WITH PURPOSE MOTORING RS6 AVANT

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.

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JUST WHEN WE THOUGHT THINGS WERE MOVING FORWARD All change again in such a short space of time. Following a continued rise in Covid infections, the government has decided to put us into fourweeks lockdown to try and improve things before Christmas. These new restrictions will be a devastating blow to businesses who have done everything in their power to adapt and operate safely, especially many who have only reopened quite recently! Business and market confidence have been hit hard by the unclear, stop-start approach taken by the government over the past eight months, with little end in sight.

NEW SUPPORT FOR BUSINESSES

Many firms are in a much weaker position now than at the start of the pandemic, making it far more challenging to survive extended closures or demand restrictions. The temporary extension of the furlough scheme will bring short-term relief to many firms and is in line with our call for business support to be commensurate with the scale of the

❛❛ Business and market

confidence have been hit hard by the unclear, stop-start approach taken by the government over the past eight months, with little end in sight ❜❜

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restrictions imposed. While there is no substitute for a functioning economy, the full financial support package for businesses facing hardship, whether through loss of demand or closure, is crucial. Additional support for the selfemployed will provide relief for many, but it should have been announced at the same time as the furlough scheme extension in order to give sole traders greater confidence. Bringing the SelfEmployed Income Support Scheme in line with the extended furlough scheme will help many through a period of hardship and closure. A big thank you to Adam Marshall and the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) team. Over the last seven months Surrey Chambers of Commerce has spoken to hundreds of businesses and shared many stories and situations with the National Chamber network via our regular Zoom calls. The co-ordination from Adam and his team to synthesise all this feedback from us and 52 other UK Chambers has been amazing. Adam, who we are delighted to feature this month, describes eloquently the power of the network, but its success is due to the leadership shown by the Policy makers. Government Departments now come to the network and ask for our input into policies and schemes and whilst we don’t always achieve the ideal outcome, we definitely get the best “possible” result. Surrey Chambers promises to connect,


promote, support and represent our members and never have we had such a good opportunity to represent!

KICKSTART SCHEME PICKING UP STEAM

As a Gateway organisation, Surrey Chambers of Commerce is supporting businesses in applying to take on a Kickstart Placement if they require less than 30 placements. This scheme has been set up by the government to support young people, who have been badly hit by the events of the last seven months but also to help employers to take on a fresh recruit for six months to help get the business back up to speed. We are really delighted that we have now received over 300 requests for roles in just about every sector and every function from 90 local businesses. Although it is taking a while to set

this scheme up our local Job centres are ready and eager to start matching young people with the huge variety of placements on offer We will be sharing success stories over the course of the next 12 months and look forward to seeing the development of both the young people and the businesses. Call us if you want to join in.

LEAVING THE EU IS IMMINENT

At Surrey Chambers we recommend ALL businesses visit www.gov.uk/ transition and use the checker tool to identify areas where their business may be affected and what actions they may need to take to prepare. The Chamber will be holding webinars throughout November and December to provide details and answers to business questions.

Louise Punter CEO Surrey Chamber of Commerce

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

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JOIN THE CHAMBER “Surrey Chamb is the co ers of Commer indepen unty’s largest ce busines dent, not-for-p rofit s sup that help port organisati connec s businesses on t t and glo locally, nation o bally in ally ord custom ers, sup er to gain knowle pliers and dge.”

CAN YOUR BUSINESS AFFORD NOT TO BE A MEMBER OF SURREY CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE? Sitting at the heart of the business community, Surrey Chambers of Commerce connects you to opportunities, skills, knowledge and valuable contacts. We can help you grow and develop, by promoting your business, introducing you to new customers, keeping you informed and representing you locally, regionally and nationally

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ith a membership representing businesses of all sizes across every sector of the economy, the Chamber works hard to ensure that the continued prosperity of Surrey takes into account the needs of business, as well as providing a range of high quality services to help businesses to grow and meet new potential customers, including making introductions into over 40 countries. Surrey Chambers of Commerce is an integral part of the Surrey business support network and alongside its partners offers specialist advice, knowledge and information on a wide range of issues facing local businesses. We can: Help you to find new customers – raise your profile, increase your brand awareness and generate new business by using our website, publications and database to communicate with thousands of business people. Connect you to other businesses – we run over 100 events a year that give you the chance to enhance your busi-

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ness network, find new customers and meet like-minded and other successful business people.

Chambers of Commerce who talk directly to government, influencing policy and strategic decisions.

Expand your network overseas – we provide friendly, professional advice and assistance and help you obtain necessary export documentation. Our relationship with 28 accredited overseas British Chambers means we can introduce you to our global network of experts to make your journey much easier.

Support your local community - we are passionate about contributing to the wider community and encourage you to work with us. We support a variety of local initiatives, providing you with the chance to give something back, whilst raising your company profile.

Develop you and your workforce’s knowledge and skills – we run a range of training events throughout the year and can introduce you to a variety of training providers. Represent you – we believe it is important that you and your business are fairly represented locally, regionally, nationally and, where appropriate, internationally on issues affecting business. We work closely with Surrey County Council, the eleven local borough councils, district and two Local Enterprise Partnerships and we feedback and provide input to the British

Save you money - we can provide you with a variety of discounts designed to save your company money. As well as national deals you will benefit from exclusive discounts offered by other Chamber members. You too can offer a special member to member deal. Email: sarah.butcher@ surrey-chambers.co.uk Visit: www.surrey-chambers.co.uk Call: 01483 735540


NOVEMBER ONWARDS...

SURREY CHAMBERS EVENT CALENDAR

Maintaining Property and Construction Works during COVID

Step Into 2021 - An Evening of Networking

12th Nov | Zoom webinar

10th Dec | Brooklands Hotel & Spa

In this webinar, Surrey Chambers have partnered up with Mayer brown, Taylor Wimpey, Charles Russell Speechleys and WYG to look at the current growth and demand in the Property and Construction sector and the issues and potential solutions within the industry and the financial and environmental impacts.

It is never too early to plan your Christmas! So far, we

Cross County Virtual Networking 24th Nov | Zoom Surrey & Hampshire Chambers join forces again to bring you our second Cross-County Virtual Networking session. As both our Chambers have members across the borders, we have decided to put on a joint online session to appeal those members who border both counties. Join us to network and connect with businesses across the boarder

have had many trials and tribulations, and I am sure most of us can agree the year so far has been a rollercoaster. But we like to celebrate the year the best way we know how to. With a glass of bubbly, a tacky Christmas hat and an evening of networking.

Virtual Members Networking 26th November | Zoom Join us on Zoom for our monthly members networking - with a twist! Each month, we like to invite our current members to join us at this free event to get together and catch up on the happenings of the previous months business calendar. Members Networking Evenings are the perfect opportunity for an informal, relaxed gathering with members you already have relationships with and those you don’t.


CHAMBERS NE WS MAKING REMOTE WORKING PERMANENT changed the default password? VLAN: Something to consider. Some of our customers are using a VLAN (Virtual Local Area Network), which means that their work device is separated from their home devices. This might be something that the ICO considers to be appropriate in the future, so keep an eye on their guidelines as they mature.

CONNECTING TO COMPANY RESOURCES

We all need to be connected to our company’s resources, and here are some things to think about:

Back in March, Working From Home (WFH) was a short-term solution. The ICO were lenient with GDPR when using Home PCs during the pandemic because public health was more important. But eight months on, as more and more businesses formally adopt Remote Working as part of their strategy, we need a much tighter focus on Security.

HERE ARE SOME THINGS TO CONSIDER

Your team should be using a Company-issued device… This is generally the most secure option, (although it’s also the most expensive) – but this is what is needed to be adhering to the Cyber Essentials requirements: n Your IT Team will set up the correct security, encryption, firewalls and administrative privileges. n Consider using multi-factor authentication for remote access. n It’s about keeping the data safe – which is easier for the company to achieve if they own the device.

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If team members are using their own device… Although this is a more cost-effective option, it comes with security risks: n You need to install company software – a lot of the software we have on our home PCs is not allowed for commercial use. n Set-up a work profile on your PC, so that no one else in the family can access your work account. So, your PC is now secure, but what about your home network? Think about the other gadgets on your home network. Sky, Xbox, and all the things your teenagers connect to the internet – the list is endless! Some of them won’t be patched to protect against the latest security loopholes. And, you’ve put your Work PC on the same network! In the office, to be Cyber Essentials certified, all devices on your network must be patched within three weeks of the security update being released. Have you updated the firmware on your router, enabled specific firewall rules and even

VPN (Virtual Private Network): this effectively opens a secure connection and puts your PC back on to the office network, where you can then access files and resources. Cloud: You could have all your data in the cloud, using multi-factor authentication for added security. Remote desktop: Take remote control of a desktop that is in your office. Or set up an Azure Cloud based desktop which is permanently connected via a VPN, back into a company’s office. When you want to remote work, you use your home PC to take control of the cloud-based desktop (which is secure and patched).

WORKSTATION ASSESSMENTS

If you have employees that are now permanently WFH, you have a duty of care to undertake a workstation assessment, just as you would in the office. There’s lots to consider! If in any doubt, talk to your IT team and use something that’s appropriate for your business.


NEWS MOORE BARLOW RAISES £1,100 FOR YMCA AND HOMELESSNESS CHARITIES Top 100 UK law firm Moore Barlow is proud to announce its recent participation in the YMCA Sleep Easy challenge, which looks to raise awareness and funds for the YMCA and UK homelessness services. A team of volunteers from the firm recently took on the challenge of the YMCA Sleep Easy event, originally planned for March but rescheduled

to October restrictions.

following

Covid-19

sleeping outside in gardens or on the floors in their homes.

The team had originally planned to spend the night sleeping outside in the Guildford Castle grounds. However, for the rearranged event, participants were encouraged to connect with each other virtually and online whilst spending the night sleeping “anywhere but your bed.” This included some team members

The team raised a total of £1,100, all of which will be donated to support vulnerable young people and homelessness services in Surrey and West Sussex.

DEALING WITH AN INSOLVENT CUSTOMER FIVE TIPS ON MANAGING THE SITUATION

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With a spike of insolvencies anticipated in the months ahead, restructuring and insolvency expert Nick Parsk, a director at advisory firm Quantuma, looks at five ways in which businesses can lessen the impact if one of their customers enters an insolvency procedure.

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ACT QUICKLY As soon as you find out or are formally notified of a customer’s insolvency, it is critical that you act quickly. As a first step we would suggest contacting the insolvency practitioner that has been appointed and find out what their proposal is for the company. Are they ceasing to trade or looking to sell the business as a going concern? If the business is sold to another party, it may present an opportunity for you to sell your goods/ services to the new owner.

LOOK FOR OPPORTUNITIES IN THE SHORT TERM Ask the insolvency practitioner if they are continuing to trade the company in the short term while the business and assets are marketed for sale. If so, your goods/services may still be required, and you will be able to negotiate with the insolvency practitioner to ensure payment is made for any ongoing supply.

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GET YOUR GOODS BACK You should inform the insolvency practitioner of any retention of title claim you may have for goods that the customer is holding. Generally, any goods that you have supplied to the customer with a valid retention of title clause must either be returned to you or paid for if used by the insolvency practitioner going forward.

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CONSIDER WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS FOR YOUR BUSINESS Typically, you will need to write off the amounts owed to you by the insolvent company. Ensure you make a claim in the customer’s insolvency but be aware that the amount of any dividend paid is likely to be small and will not be available for some time. This will clearly impact your cash flow and you will need to consider other impacts to your business. How will the business cope with the loss of revenue?

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SEEK PROFESSIONAL ADVICE It pays to seek professional advice to steer your business through the difficult trading period and ensure the best outcome for your company. For further enquiries, please contact me on 07818 466716 or email nick.parsk@quantuma.com To find out more about what we can do to support businesses at this time, access our articles or watch our ondemand webinars please visit www.quantuma.com

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NEW MEMBERS

Surrey Chambers of Commerce welcomes its latest member companies When you join Surrey Chambers of Commerce, your company details automatically get listed on this page alongside fellow new members. What a fantastic way to let the Surrey Business community know you are out there and ready to get those all-important connections.

Awesome Tech Training

Tel: 07950 247966 www.awesometechtraining.com Contact: Rachel Clinton

Jarred Consulting

Tel: 03339 398053 www.jarredconsulting.co.uk Contact: Kerry Jarred

Jenoptik Traffic Solutions UK Tel: 01183 130333 www.jenoptik.co.uk Contact: Richard Gorringe

Stowe Family Law LLP

Tel: 01483 962128 www.stowefamilylaw.co.uk/offices/ guildford Contact: Tom Suttill

Quantuma Advisory Limited Tel: 01483 549549 www.quantuma.com Contact: Nick Parsk

Gilbro Group LLP

Tel: 020 3641 8835 www.gilbrogroup.co.uk Contact: Brenda Broster

All new Chamber members are entitled to a one-off 50% discount for a company profile within this magazine. Contact Lesley@platinumpublishing.co.uk for more details If you are looking to join Surrey Chambers, then please do get in touch with either: sarah.butcher@surrey-chambers.co.uk or tom.woods@surrey-chambers.co.uk or call 01483 735540. We look forward to hearing from you!

FOLLOW THE SURREY CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE ON SOCIAL MEDIA...

@surreychambersofcommerce

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@SurreyChambers

@Surrey Chambers of Commerce

Surrey Chambers of Commerce


New Manor Golf Membership Enjoy unlimited access to our par-3 9-hole Manor Course. Plus improve your game at our new Practice Den and covered Driving Range. Our new Manor Golf Membership includes; Unlimited use of the Manor Course Unlimited use of the Practice Den Unlimited use of the Putting Green 7-day access to the Driving Range Members discount on all food and drink To find out more call 01932 704450 or email membership@foxhills.co.uk


TRAFALGAR MARQUEES

Following the outbreak of Coronavirus, as a marquee hire business operating predominantly in the events sector, we found ourselves having lost around 90% of our work within a matter of weeks. There was the immediate need to find work for our team and forge a way forward in an ever-changing

world. In the immediate term, this took the form of assisting a local supplier with additional team members to help them fit out temporary mortuaries for the NHS and seeing where we could assist our community with our fleet of vehicles and team. Once we had worked through the initial phase of the pandemic, we began to plan and seek ways we could

SURREY CHAMBERS VIRTUAL

PRESIDENT’S AWARDS

We would like to say a huge congratulations to all of our members who won awards at our Virtual President’s Awards Reception on the 8th October. We have heard from a few below

SATELLIET UK

On the announcement of lockdown we immediately advised all our staff who could, to work from home and the rest of the team were on paid leave until the furlough scheme was announced. It was important that we helped with the local community and all the team were encouraged where possible to volunteer to help out, with whatever they felt comfortable doing. We also got involved with

assist our clients in new ways to keep our team employed. This included partnering with a PPE supplier to offer this through our supply chain. We continue to support our clients across an assortment of sectors, with a wide range of temporary structure solutions to ensure they can return to work in a safe environment.

EXCEL OFFICE CLEANING

Being established for over 50 years, 2020 has been the most unprecedented in the history of our company. With many clients open throughout lockdown to provide essential services, the need to adapt our service to the challenge presented by COVID-19 meant enhanced cleaning procedures were seen as critical in protecting against the spread of the virus and instilling confidence in our clients and their staff plus, at the same time, keeping our cleaning teams safe who, without hesitation, undertook any cleaning required to help keep these companies open. Providing full decontamination and high touch point cleaning, we are working closely to provide a bespoke and adaptable service and continue to keep all our clients, from offices, schools, gyms and clinics, open and safe during this time. To have gained this recognition for our work with this award from the Surrey Chambers of Commerce has been a real boost and a little chance to stop and feel proud of our ongoing work! Thank you, Surrey Chambers!

the NHS volunteer scheme and around 40% of our team were accepted as NHS responders and spent many days on stand by to help out. At the same time, together with our Dutch colleagues, we developed a screen system that was originally designed to get the hospitality sector back to work as quickly as possible. This system was designed, manufactured and available in the market place in less than six weeks. By the end of

April 2020 we were taking online orders from hotels, restaurants, bars, cafes and offices. The InBetween range was developed throughout May and we added signage and outdoor screens, all these products are still selling well and we are getting numerous amounts of positive feedback from our customers regarding this.


PRESIDENTS REPORT YUNIQUE MARKETING

We are simultaneously proud of, yet humbled by, the number of awards, both national and local, that YUnique Marketing has won since its launch in March 2016. However, none have meant more to us than this year’s Surrey Chambers President’s People’s Choice Award. To be nominated and voted for by the Chambers and its members is truly heartwarming and gratifying and an unexpected honour. We have always valued our membership and involvement with the

Chambers and have worked hard to support as many members as possible, including recently co-hosting their Reimagine your Business event. We are delighted to have hosted quite a few Surrey Chambers members at our monthly Attraction Factor boardroom strategy sessions on Zoom this year. Attendance is open to CEOs/business owners/ leaders by invite only and we waive our event fee in lieu of a small voluntary donation to SATRO, a Guildford-based STEM education charity, which we

PROJECTFIVE

Suzanne, Marketing Manager from projectfive said, “We were so proud to be awarded the ‘People’s Choice’ award at the President’s Awards. These have been such difficult times for so many people and we’ve tried to help out as much as possible. We’ve had our own challenges to deal with, with lost revenue resulting in a heavily reduced income. We’ve had to learn to adapt to Home Working and Social Isolation, which is something we found very difficult to do – so, to help us, and share our experiences to help others, we recorded a daily ‘Covidiary’ and published it online. With tens of thousands of views, these became very popular and, we understand, were a source of comfort to many people who were going through the same challenges as us. Also, the financial pressures meant we weren’t able to support our local community with charitable donations. But, we have quietly given our time and support to those around us, without shouting about it. After all, no-one wants to see a company using this pandemic as a cheap marketing opportunity! It’s been really good to see our team going out into the community, delivering shopping, helping support those in need, and really living our true values. It must have made a difference, as the People’s Choice award is something that others have nominated us for – which makes this all the more special to receive it. Thank you.”

support. Now, we are very excited to launch another complimentary service, open to any business owner, which is a Marketing Performance Assessment Scorecard. Take our Scorecard: www.yuniquemarketing.com/ scorecard. Book onto an Attraction Factor boardroom session: www.yuniquemarketing. com/boardroom-session

GUILDFORD SHAKESPEARE COMPANY

This has been an incredibly tough time for the arts and theatre industries. Our sector accounts for around 300,000 jobs in the UK (70% of which are freelance), generating £7.7bn in revenue for the UK economy… all dark for over seven months, so far. It was with much relief that last month the Government’s July announcement of a £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund started to be allocated. We created new wellbeing and creative writing courses and continued to offer online school workshops. In August our holiday drama clubs resumed in person and in September we welcomed back our inhouse classes, including the postponed mental health project for teenagers and their families, albeit all at a reduced capacity. GSC have also created 73 original live performances, including two interactive Murder Mysteries, The

OAKLEAF ENTERPRISE

Oakleaf is a Guildford-based mental health charity that has been working tirelessly since 1997 to support vulnerable adults in the Surrey community who are struggling with their mental health. During these extraordinary times with Covid-19, our creative workshops have found a new virtual platform, forming an online community for our clients. At Oakleaf, we believe that creativity and better mental health go hand in hand; we are currently running a variety of activities via Zoom, ranging from art therapy to photography, from poetry to our virtual choir. All of which serve as a space where creativity flows and participants who are struggling with feelings of isolation,

Wind in the Willows and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. All live and via Zoom, attracting audiences from around the world. In August, over 800 people attended our open-air performances. All of which have created jobs for 68 freelance artists. Co-Founder MATT PINCHES: “We would like to express our gratitude to all the freelancers, volunteers and dedicated audiences that have continued to endorse and enable our work. We are equally indebted to our trustees and employees, who have constantly championed, adapted, created and supported us.”

anxiety or depression are able to join in without leaving the safety and comfort of their own homes. “The team at Oakleaf have been outstanding and have adapted to our new normal brilliantly. Their sessions have given me a muchneeded focus as we always have the option to interact and engage with one another; something which I now look forward to and rely on. Oakleaf really have been the backbone of my mental health support.” Jan, Oakleaf Client

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SURREY CHAMBERS EXECUTIVE PARTNERS

Charles Russell Speechlys Contact: Rebecca White Tel: 01483 252525 www.charlesrussellspeechlys.com

Caxton Business

Projectfive

Contact: Curt Brooker

Contact: Steve Coburn

Tel: 02070 427617

Tel: 01276 455455

www.caxtonfx.com/business

www.projectfive.co.uk

Royal Automobile Club

Haines Watts

Contact: Emily Goodyer

Contact: Daniel Morgan

Tel: 13722 276311

Tel: 00208 5495137

www.royalautomobileclub.co.uk

www.hwca.com/accountants-esher


WHY OUTSOURCING YOUR SALES WILL HELP YOU BUILD A BUSINESS FIT FOR THE TIMES

deals they were banking on happening this year being pushed back to next year, or not happening at all. Added to this, is the increased need for businesses to manage overheads and costs in order to be in better shape for survival, including outsourcing some functions to give them greater flexibility and control.

Andy Boothroyd, AWB Consulting One of the biggest challenges business owners face right now is wondering where their next dream client is going to come from. The pandemic has added another level of difficulty to this, as many businesses are too busy fighting for survival to be interested in talking to a sales person (especially the current breed of spray and pray merchants who are stalking LinkedIn at the moment – but that’s another article!) For many organisations, this has meant sales forecasts have had to be ripped up or downgraded significantly, and the

AWB Consulting was created to provide business owners with a flexible and cost effective solution to this problem, by providing a range of outsourced business development services that takes the stress away from trying to find new clients and frees up their time to focus on running their business. Founded by Andy Boothroyd, who has over 20 years senior experience working across blue chip organisations and SMEs, AWB Consulting will work with you (physically or remotely) providing the expertise, strategies and tactics to help identify new buyers, develop new relationships and nurture leads, to ensure your business remains front of mind with your prospects. Andy commented “Many business

owners I speak to are extremely good at what they do, but they are frightened of selling and don’t really know where to start. In some cases, they are reluctant to employ dedicated resource due to the high costs involved, or they have had to lay staff off due to the pandemic. Now, they can get access to sales expertise and the latest tools and techniques, but only pay for what they need, which might be as little as one day per week”. So whether you need advice and support to maximise your LinkedIn presence, interim consultancy to identify new markets, or a more strategic programme to identify and nurture your key target prospects, AWB Consulting will be able to tailor a flexible package to suit your business and your budget.

Contact Andy Boothroyd Tel: 0203 77 333 03 E: andy@awbconsulting.co.uk www.awbconsulting.co.uk

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KICK START

SURREY CHAMBERS IS A GATEWAY ORGANISATION FOR THE KICKSTART SCHEME We’ve already heard from over 100 businesses offering over 200 placements

The Kickstart Scheme is a £2 billion fund to create hundreds of thousands of high-quality six-month work placements for young people aged 16-24, who are claiming Universal Credit. The Surrey Chambers of Commerce is working alongside the British Chambers of Commerce and is a recognised gateway orginisation in coordinating business responses. Businesses of all sizes looking to create quality jobs for young people can apply to create new six-month job placements for young people who are currently on Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment. The job placements should support the participants to develop the skills and experience they need to find work after completing the scheme.

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The Government will fund 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week, plus associated employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions. In addition, businesses taking on a Kickstart candidate can apply for £1,500 per job placement available for setup costs, support and training. To help smaller businesses, employers offering fewer than 30 placements will be asked to make a bid through a gateway orginisation, such as a Chamber of Commerce, who will then bid for 30 or more placements as a combined bid from several businesses. This will make the process easier and less labour intensive to apply for these smaller companies who only want to hire one or two Kickstarters.

The pandemic has caused disruption to many businesses and individuals, who, through no fault of their own, find themselves without meaningful employment. Could your organisation benefit from hiring new talent, with financial support from the Government? If so, in the first instance please provide the following details to kickstart@surreychambers.co.uk

Find out more here: http://bit.ly/kickstart-jobs


POLICING SURREY

SURREY POLICE POLICING SURREY By Surrey Police and Crime Commissioner David Munro

Whenever I meet residents across the county and ask them what they would like from Surrey Police, the answer more often than not is that they want to see more officers on the streets and in their communities. So I was really pleased to see this month that 75 of our new recruits went through their attestation – a ceremony where they are sworn in as officers and assume their police powers. Though it was a simple (and socially distanced of course) ceremony at Surrey Police HQ, it was a powerful and proud moment for everyone present. This latest batch of new officers, all from varied and different backgrounds, will now head into all manner of policing roles including training to be detectives. The recruitment of front-line officers and staff has been a key focus for the both the Chief Constable and I over the last few years. So it was a real tonic during these difficult times to have this latest batch take their first official steps into life as a police officer. During this year, around an extra 100 officers and 50 staff will be added to the Surrey Police establishment to help tackle crime and those issues that matter to the residents of this county. This has been made possible by a combination of public contributions through the policing element of the council tax, which I set every year, and central funding as part of the government’s programme to increase

numbers nationally by 20,000 over the next three years. I am pleased to report that the Force is well on track to recruit these extra numbers by the end of the financial year. This has been no mean feat and achieved in an uncertain time when the challenges presented by Covid-19 have meant having to adapt training programmes to take into account social distancing. At the time of writing this, the government has just announced that the Surrey borough of Elmbridge is joining Essex, London and areas in the north of the country in being upgraded to the high risk category of their new three-tier Covid-19 alert scale – tier 2. Whilst at this stage it is the only borough

❛❛ Around an extra 100 Officers

and 50 Staff will be added to the Surrey Police establishment ❜❜

in the county to be upgraded - we have seen a rise in cases across the rest of the county as well which shows there is absolutely no room for complacency. I believe that the police approach of using enforcement as a last resort has up to now been the right one and the vast majority of our public have stuck to the rules. That continued co-operation is going to be crucial as we head into the winter months. It is usually a busy policing calendar at this time of year with annual events such as Halloween, Bonfire Night and Remembrance Day services and parades throughout the county. This year all those events will, I’m sure, take on a very different look but the policing plans will also adapt to ensure we keep people safe. My message to the public remains the same - we must all play our part and take personal responsibility by sticking to the rules in place to try and halt the spread of this virus.

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DIAMOND GEEZER Ever heard of diamonds made from the sky? Well, now you have! Environmentalist Dale Vince - founder of green energy firm Ecotricity and chairman of Forest Green Rovers Football Club - has developed eco-friendly diamonds by sucking carbon out of the air. They’re called Sky Diamonds and are made in Stroud, Gloucestershire. The process uses a sky mining facility to pull carbon out of the atmosphere, with wind and sun providing the energy. The process also reuses collected rain water. The company says the process is a way to challenge traditional diamond mining, which causes damage to the planet. It took the team more than five years to get the technique right, ensuring they are physically and chemically identical to Earth-mined diamonds. The diamonds - certified by the International Gemological Institute take a couple of weeks to be made. “The entire ingredient list comes from the sky and it’s not just low or zero carbon, it’s actually negative carbon in that respect, because we’re locking up atmospheric carbon into a very permanent form of carbon,” Mr Vince said.

NEWS BULLETIN SECTOR SPECIFIC REFUSALS A finance company has told car dealers it will refuse to give loans to people working in the hospitality sector. Hitachi Capital Vehicle Solutions sent a letter to brokers and dealers across the UK saying it would not now lend to people working in the industry. The company said it wanted to prevent customers being declined loans, which could affect their credit rating. But one publican said the sector was being “discriminated against”. Hitachi Capital Vehicle Solutions is one of the UK’s largest vehicle finance companies. A spokesman said it had decided to “openly communicate a temporary change to our credit criteria” with its brokers and dealers.

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PPE FRAUD Five million medical masks bought by the government for £45m are missing amid claims of fraud. The government agreed a contract with supplier Purple Surgical in April. The respirator masks were due to arrive in the UK by June, but the company could not supply them. Hertfordshire-based Purple Surgical has filed papers alleging fraud by its supplier Win Billion Investment Group, a firm in the British Virgin Islands. Its Chief Executive Robert Sharpe has confirmed that the company intends to fulfil the order – but if that is not possible, the full value of the contract will be repaid. A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Care said it could not comment on individual allegations of fraud, but all allegations are taken seriously.

£900,000 LOST PER HOUR

❛❛ If voting changed anything they’d abolish it ❜❜ Ken Livingstone, Former Mayor, 1987

SKERRITTS DOMINATION In a big marketplace (over 36,000 firms according to the FCA), Skerritts, the Brighton & Hove and London-based Financial Planners and Wealth Managers have been placed in the top 100 firms by both Citywire and FT Adviser. Whilst Citywire don’t do a league table, FT Adviser placed Skerritts at an incredible seventh place in the UK.   Richard Skerritt, Managing Director of Skerritts said, “For us to finish in the top 0.0002% of firms in the UK is incredible and a huge testament to the work we do for clients and the brilliant staff we have here at Skerritts.  Recognition by Citywire and FT is really special.  “As a medium-sized company compared to the industry giants, it shows how we excel in the other areas without being too big.  In an industry where trust in firms is always a big factor, accolades recognising our professionalism are huge for us.  When I started the business 30 years ago, I could not have dreamed of reaching such heady heights, so we will enjoy the moment” Skerritts can be contacted on 01273 204999 or enquiries@skerritts.co.uk

In the latest demonstration of the severe damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic to the airline industry, IAG has revealed losses of almost £5.5bn for the first nine months of 2020. The consortium, which includes British Airways, Aer Lingus and the two Spanish airlines, Iberia and Vueling, lost an average of £20m per day between January and September. Announcing the results for the third quarter of 2020, the new Chief Executive, Luis Gallego, said: “These results demonstrate the negative impact of Covid-19 on our business but they’re exacerbated by constantly changing government restrictions. This creates uncertainty for customers and makes it harder to plan our business effectively. “We are calling on governments to adopt pre-departure testing using reliable and affordable tests with the option of post-flight testing to release people from quarantine where they are arriving from countries with high infection rates.”

❛❛ There is no such thing as

paranoia. Your worst fears can come true at any moment ❜❜ Hunter S. Thompson

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MARRIOTT HACK The UK’s data privacy watchdog has fined the Marriott Hotel chain £18.4m for a major data breach that may have affected up to 339 million guests. The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) said names, contact information, and passport details may all have been compromised in a cyber-attack. The breach included seven million guest records for people in the UK. The ICO said the company failed to put appropriate safeguards in place but acknowledged it had improved. The first part of the cyber-attack happened in 2014, affecting the Starwood Hotels group, which was acquired by Marriott two years later. But until 2018, when the problem was first noticed, the attacker continued to have access to all affected systems.

❛❛ The imagination of nature is far, far greater than the imagination of man ❜❜ Richard Feynman, Physicist, 1955

DOUBLE DIP Britain looks on course to enter a double-dip recession this winter, as business surveys show economic growth almost halted last month even before the latest England-wide lockdown was announced, financial data company IHS Markit said. The IHS Markit/CIPS services Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) fell to a four-month low of 51.4 in October from 56.1 in September, closer to the 50 mark that represents zero growth than an initial reading of 52.3. The composite PMI, which includes stronger manufacturing data, sank to 52.1 from 56.5, also weaker than the initial ‘flash’ estimate.

WHAT’S FOR DINNER Smart devices have taken over the home, with not only the self-ordering fridge, the toaster that pops down the bread when it senses you are awake and the kettle that boils water for you, now we have the smart table cloth! Place all the ingredients you have available onto the table cloth and it will tell you, via a smart speaker, what recipes you can make from what you have. It can also tell you, before you leave the house, of anything you have left on the table, such as your phone or keys. Called Capacitivo, it has been designed by a team of researchers (obviously with nothing better to do) at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire in the US, in partnership with Microsoft.

“October data indicates that the UK service sector was close to stalling even before the announcement of a second lockdown in England.” IHS Markit economist Tim Moore said.

❛❛ It is only through science and art that civilisation is of value ❜❜ Henri Poincare, Polymath, 1905 20


HYPER-FAST BROADBAND An Eastbourne start-up has secured substantial investment to bring hyperfast full-fibre broadband to Eastbourne and Hastings initially, and then to the rest of East Sussex. Billed as the most profound infrastructure advancement to benefit businesses and residents in recent years, Lightning Fibre will build, install and operate the new full-fibre network starting with these two towns of Eastbourne and Hastings. The hyperfast network will deliver a capability of 10,000 megabits (10 gigabits) per second to over 100,000 homes and businesses in the area. According to a recent report, the average speed users get in Eastbourne and Hastings, from the aged copper infrastructure, is just 22.3Mbps. In Brighton, it’s between 17 Mbps and 440 Mbps. To check availability for your postcode, or to register your interest, visit www.lightningfibre.co.uk.

SEAFORD THRASHES BRIGHTON In a vote for the Best Seaside Locations to move to, Seaford beat Brighton by quite a large margin. The list took into account factors such as water quality, weather, visitors reviews, house prices and median salary to calculate a score out of 100 for each. Whitstable in Kent came tops with Seaford is second place and Brighton in thirteenth.

❛❛ The advantage of poetry

over life is that poetry, if it is sharp enough, may last ❜❜ Louise Gluck, Poet, 1993

❛❛ Some are

born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them ❜❜ William Shakespeare

CROWN REMOVED Business leaders have again urged the government to end the stagnation in British air travel after Heathrow lost its crown to its Parisian rival as the airport that handles the greatest number of passengers. Charles de Gaulle is now the busiest airport in the world.

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STRENGTH in NUMBERS

DR ADAM MARSHALL 22


BIG STORY Dr Adam Marshall has been the British Chambers of Commerce Director General since 2016 and wa s p r e v i o u s l y E xe c u ti ve Director for Policy and External Affairs. Charged with repres e n t i n g t h e i n te r e s t s o f thousands of companies, Adam works tirelessly at the highest levels of business, government and the media to tackle many of the key issues facing British firms today. Prior to joining the BCC, Adam helped launch the Centre for Cities build commercial links between industry and universities and worked in broadcast media. He holds a BA from Yale University and MPhil and PhD degrees from the University of Cambridge. T h e B r i tis h C ha m b e r s of Commerce sits at the heart of a unique network of businesses across the UK. There has always been more strength together than alone and this is the core of what the Chambers achieve. Across their network , they connect businesses locally, nationally and internationally, with decision makers and an array of further opportunities. The BCC has been recognised and authoritative voice sought by policymakers and parliamentarians for more than 150 years. T h e r e a r e 5 3 a c c r e d i te d Chambers around the UK, representing tens of thousands of businesses, employing some six million people around the country. The UK has never seen a year like 2020 and this has presented vast challenges for UK business and of course, the Chambers that represent so many of them. Here we look at some of those challenges and how the BCC has approached them.

CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE CHALLENGE THE PRIME MINISTER TO MEET FIVE BUSINESS TESTS FOR COVID RESTRICTIONS In a letter to the Prime Minister, Dr Marshall, BCC President Baroness Ruby McGregor- S mith and Chamber CEOs from across the United Kingdom set five business tests that must be met to limit the impact of Coronavirus restrictions on businesses and jobs, and take a long-term approach to tackling the pandemic. The letter comes following weeks of increasing, regionally-tiered restrictions, with more severe ‘circuit breaker’ restrictions under consideration, as the country battles a second wave of the pandemic. The BCC challenged the PM to meet five business tests for current and prospective Coronavirus restrictions: Are the restrictions 1 evidence -based and targeted effectively? Are the restrictions clear 2 and do businesses have time to prepare? Is support for businesses 3 commensurate with the impact on them? Will the time that the restric4 tions are in place be used to significantly improve the Test, Trace and Isolate system? Is there a clear process 5 for increasing and decreasing restrictions?

The letter reads: “While the recent announcement of an enhanced Job Support Scheme will assist some firms, Chamber members tell us it will not be enough to stave off mass redundancies and business failures.There is also a clear warning that improving the government’s ailing test and trace system is the only way to get a grip on the virus over the long term, and prevent economic paralysis. “The need for additional restrictions cannot be blamed on a lack of care by hardworking people in businesses across the country. Instead it represents a failure of the Test and Trace system, which must be urgently improved and expanded. “These tests must be met – to avoid serious damage to business and consumer confidence, and potentially catastrophic economic consequences. We must preserve our economy in the immediacy, while also laying the foundations of future growth. Failure to do so will undermine any broader efforts to ‘level up’ left-behind parts of the UK. The Coronavirus is not going away anytime soon. The government must waste no more time in setting out a clear strategy to keep the economy functioning, while protecting public health over the long term.”

❛❛ We must preserve our economy in the immediacy, while also laying the foundations of future growth ❜❜

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BIG STORY BREXIT TRADE RULES Companies need to step up preparations so they are not ‘caught out’ by new post-Brexit trade rules, the government has said. The BCC is fighting hard for its members but there is little time and quite an amount of missing information. A public information campaign titled “Time is running out” will urge firms to focus on the January 1st deadline. However, it is not yet clear exactly what the trading relationship between the UK and the EU will be. Dr Marshall said it was no surprise companies were struggling to prepare. “Many firms will be tired of posturing, cliff edges and deadlines, while others are still grappling with fundamental challenges as a result of the pandemic. More businesses will undoubtedly step up preparations for change over the coming weeks, but many are still facing unanswered Brexit questions that have a big impact on their day-to-day operations.”

Michael Gove

The UK’s 8,000 hauliers that trade with the EU will need their customers, numbering about 200,000 firms, to provide all the right information before their trucks can enter the EU. “Whether there’s a deal or no deal, many of the things our industry need to do are the same, such as customs declarations and security checks. A concern is drivers not having all the right paperwork to cross the channel, leading to delays and queuing,” she added.

Elizabeth de Jong

The UK will shortly be outside the EU single market and customs union. Due to this, firms will need to ensure they adhere to new customs procedures, visa, work permits, and immigration rules. “There’s still a lot to do,” Elizabeth de Jong, policy director of freight lobby group Logistics UK, told the BBC’s Today programme.

If Britain were to leave the EU at the end of the year without a specific agreement on its trading relationship, firms would be faced with new tariffs and quotas on top of the additional red tape, raising the costs of imports and exports. “Make no mistake, there are changes coming and time is running out for businesses to act,” said Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove. “It is on all of us to put in the work now so that we can embrace the new opportunities available to an independent trading nation with control of its own borders, territorial waters and laws.” However, there

❛❛ Many firms will be tired of posturing,

cliff edges and deadlines, while others are still grappling with fundamental challenges as a result of the pandemic ❜❜

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are definite actions firms need to take now, including: n Being ready for new customs procedures for imports and exports n Checking if you need a visa or work permit for travel to the EU n Preparation for the new immigration system n Ensuring you can continue to use any personal data you receive from European countries n Checking qualifications are still valid for those providing services to clients within the EU Businesses are able to get a personalised summary of the actions they need to take at gov.uk/transition, the government said. HM Revenue and Customs is writing to 200,000 firms which trade with the EU, to set out the new customs and tax rules coming into place and how to deal with them.


❛❛ Research by Drax found

that 68% of business leaders claimed that lockdown restrictions have made them more environmentally conscious ❜❜

As part of the Race to Zero, the British Chambers of Commerce, in collaboration with energy company Drax Group, is calling on the government to use the fifth anniversary of the Paris Agreement to work in partnership with businesses to achieve the UK’s climate goals, as many firms

continue to manage the impact of Coronavirus. A recent BCC survey of 527 companies found: n Unprecedented challenges this year (32%) have created barriers to climate progress for firms n S lightly fewer businesses are

measuring their carbon footprint or greenhouse emissions against targets than in February 2020 n Research by Drax found that 68% of business leaders claimed that lockdown restrictions have made them more environmentally conscious.

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BIG STORY

FINANCIAL BARRIERS TO PROGRESS Many of the barriers to progress were financial. 28% of respondents cited a lack of government grants, and 26% highlighted the lack, and price, of low carbon alternatives as well as diminished company finances, made worse by the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic. 24% of respondents cited a lack of favourable tax rates, credits or allowances. However, there is an appetite among business leaders to make their companies greener. Research carried out by energy company Drax, which surveyed 1,250 mainly SME business leaders, found that just over two -thirds of respondents (68%) claimed that lockdown restrictions have made them more environmentally conscious. Nearly three-fifths said the importance of sustainability and/or climate change has increased since the outbreak of Coronavirus.

❛❛ It has never been

so important to ‘belong’, to group together, to speak with one voice and enjoy strength in numbers ❜❜

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BUSINESS TARGETS AND MEASURES 15% of respondents are using reduction targets, slightly down from 21% in February. When asked which measures, if any, firms were planning to use to reduce their carbon footprint: n 65% of respondents cited recycling n 5 1% of respondents cited reducing paper consumption n 4 8% of respondents cited the use of LED lights n 42% of respondents cited a reduction in car journeys n 4 0% of respondents cited reducing plastic consumption Dr Marshall commented: “With many firms simply trying to stay afloat as they weather the Coronavirus storm and the end of the Brexit transition period, it’s no surprise that many firms simply haven’t had the bandwidth to engage on the drive to net zero. Our research reinforces the need for a sustained and visible partnership between government and business to achieve the UK’s climate goals – and a clearer action plan from the top.There are

simple steps that businesses can take to reduce their impact on the environment that also make good business sense, but our research makes it clear that many SMEs need better information and support to help them invest in changes to reduce their carbon footprint.” Dr Marshall and the BCC have a raft of other subjects they lobby for on behalf of their members and, with 2020 being the year it has been, it has never been so important to ‘belong’, to group together, to speak with one voice and enjoy strength in numbers. There are Chambers across the country, staffed with experts in most fields ready to offer advice, support and a way forward, and never has this been more important than now. All Chambers offer networking opportunities, advice and assistance, guidance on rules and regulations along with a large group of members who are, or have been, going through what we are all going through.


REFLECTIONS FROM BCC DIRECTOR GENERAL ADAM MARSHALL My first day as part of the Chamber of Commerce network was back in 2009 – meeting with business leaders from all three devolved nations in Cardiff Bay, at a time when the UK and the world were beginning a long and complex recovery from the global financial crisis. Now, nearly 12 years later, I am preparing to leave the BCC next spring. Once again, our Chamber business communities are working to restart, rebuild and renew in the wake of another worldchanging period. It has been a huge privilege to be part of the unique and special Chamber family for more than a decade. Over the last five years, I have been lucky indeed to lead the work that we do together to effect change on behalf of British business communities. Together, we’ve influenced and changed government policy. We’ve spoken up for our communities, articulating the real-world interests of firms in every region and nation of the UK. We’ve built a stronger global network for British business, with Chambers on the ground supporting two-way trade with 63 countries worldwide, and still growing. And as the end of the Brexit transition period approaches, we are getting ready to support traders and companies through a period of significant change. Over the past nine months, the Coronavirus pandemic has impacted the way Chambers work, just as it has so many other businesses around the world. Yet, as we have faced the same economic uncertainty as companies of every size and sector, our network of accredited Chambers has also grown stronger.

We have seen our business communities come together in new and special ways. As geographic distance has become less of a barrier, levels of collaboration, the sharing of ideas, and joint working on shared challenges and opportunities has increased dramatically. The indispensable role played by Chambers, as cornerstones of local and regional business, has grown even more important. In every conversation, the importance of community, of belonging, and of coming together to support the places where we live and work has shone through. Many in our communities are suffering, from businesses who have faced closure or a collapse in demand, through to individuals who have lost their livelihoods or experienced challenges to their physical or mental health. Chambers see and feel this acutely – and have been hugely influential in securing what support there is available for both businesses and their employees. Yet through it all, the eternal optimist in me sees innovation and progress as well. We may yet be too close to that change to be able to see it and label it as such. Yet it is undoubtedly happening. Companies, and the people that sit behind every firm and every brand, are rising to the occasion, supporting each other and their people. And they are coming together, through Chambers of Commerce, to find pragmatic solutions to the issues that we face, collectively, in business. As we work to restart, rebuild and renew, these civic business communities will lead the way. Long may that continue.

Adam Marshall BCC Director General

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The Top 7 leadership skills to successfully drive your business through this pandemic In April this year, Dani Weaver, an Organisational Psychologist and Helen Bailey, MD of Aviatrix, a strategic market research consultancy, (also a Coach, Facilitator and Advisory Board Member for MDHUB), decided to venture on a research project to explore what would the leadership response be to the pandemic, the lockdown and all that has followed since. The Mackerel Fishing research project was born, named as a perfect metaphor for the economic climate – typically swift and streamlined, a shoal of mackerel moves as one, adapting and learning from each other. If leaders joined forces could they weather the storm better and, collectively, work towards a calm, ‘come back better’ recovery when the fish were back in the sea. In a ‘seashell’, the project was about

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leaders sharing, learning and growing during a crisis. Over 20 weeks, 88 questions were posed to the leaders that enabled them to reflect on their experience of managing their businesses during a pandemic. Within the online research community vital insights were captured as the 72 leaders shared their learnings. Each week, Dani and Helen reflected and analysed the findings and produced a summary report which highlighted the learnings and recommended actions for leading during the crisis. Ten types of leadership behavioural indicators were measured over the 20 weeks to assess how the perception

of their world would change over time. The behavioural indicators included state of mind, strength, freedom of choice, financial confidence, communication, motivation, certainty, hope, drive, productivity. All behavioural indicators improved over the 20 weeks except communication which saw a downward trend once the lockdown started to ease. Despite enormous efforts at the beginning of the crisis to increase communication – which was reported as producing great returns in team motivation, innovation and productivity – the first sign of life moving back to normal communication became less of a priority for leaders.

❛❛ Typically swift and streamlined, a shoal of mackerel moves as one, adapting and learning from each other ❜❜


BUSINESS RECOVERY SEVEN LEADERSHIP TIPS TO SURVIVE AND THRIVE The pandemic is ONE of many enormous global challenges that leaders are in the midst of. We have the uncertainty of Brexit within months, there is a permanent shift away from the office to remote working AND the acceleration of everything moving online to name but three.

❛❛ How can we cope, keep up and above anything else, find joy in the challenges we are facing? ❜❜ SO WHAT ARE THE MACKEREL FISHING LEARNINGS AND HOW CAN THEY HELP US WITH WHAT LIES AHEAD? n Being part of a community is vital to support us in all aspects of our lives, whether this be comprised of team members, suppliers, clients, other leaders in business networks and - in a personal realm – our families and friends. n Being an active member of your community by giving and receiving is a catalyst to having insights which naturally leads to new ideas, untapped creativity, driving you and the business forward. Without an active community we are left to recycle thoughts and experiences from our past which creates more of the same and less of what we want. n In a nutshell, there are three sustainable circles for adapting and continually changing: Community, Communication Creativity – all are necessary and vital for surviving and thriving.

HERE ARE DANI AND HELEN’S TOP LEADERSHIP TIPS

1

Forget the past, comparisons to others are not relevant. Start where you are and surround yourself with a community who will help you learn, grow and agree that everything from here is progress.

2

Fear kills creativity: Go beyond the fear and into the art of contemplating what is possible.

3

Cash is king. Actively prune costs, plant ideas, and implement better processes to increase productivity and catch the waves of recovery.

4

People create fun. Figure out when face-to-face or being virtual is the right thing to do. Sometimes being in the company of another human will increase energy, move mountains and be fun!

5

Choosing a healthy space: Only we know when we need space to gather ourselves and recharge – be wise and take that space when you need it!

6

This is your life, live it: Leading should be fun and inspiring to others – that’s why we do it! Stop living in your head, possibilities happen when we are present to the moment and seize the opportunities.

7

Through the unknown, hope emerges: Hope only ever appears when you fully embrace the unknown. The intellect will never come up with a new idea but creativity fuelled by hope will move mountains. Helen and Dani are continuing with Mackerel Fishing and the study of leadership pragmatism and would like to invite you to join them by following this link: www.surveygizmo.com/s3/ 5917280/Mackerel-Fishing

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

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XXXXXXXXXX

INFLUENCERS FORUM Welcome to the Influencers Forum. The team of Tech Influencers we have around the table are experts in their field, and they will attempt to debunk some of the myths surrounding business technology, what we need, why we need it and who to trust to supply it.

SCOTT NURSTEN

ANDREW HOOKWAY

CEO, ITHQ

Managing Director, Extech Cloud

ITHQ delivers progressive solutions designed to secure the workforce, optimise infrastructure, empower staff and unlock data value. We are awardwinning experts with excellent service delivery credentials, committed to helping businesses measurably improve performance by using only-the-best technology to engage more customers, inspire teams and drive digital transformation.

Happy to lead from the front, four years ago, Andrew took the bold decision to disrupt his industry and take his business in a different direction. With his passionate and energetic style he has successfully delivered, through his team, a reborn award winning innovative business model where potential clients are now actively seeking out his business to learn more. Their purpose at Extech Cloud is to ‘Engineer a flexible community’ preparing businesses for the ‘New Normal’.

Churchill Court 3 Manor Royal Crawley West Sussex RH10 9LU transform@ithq.pro www.ithq.pro

2nd Floor, Greenacre Court, Station Rd, Burgess Hill RH15 9DS info@extech.co.uk www.extechcloud.com


INFLUENCERS XXXXXXXXXX FORUM

PIPPA ODELL

Managing Director, TVision Technology

JONATHAN LEA

Managing Director, The Jonathan Lea Network

MAARTEN HOFFMANN

TVision Technology provides a business management solution powered by Microsoft technology. Business Central software allows you to manage data, improve financial processes, maximise profitability, monitor projects in real time, and drive business growth. Established in 1999, our extensive experience and knowledge ensures our clients implementations go-live on time and on budget.

We’re an SRA regulated firm of solicitors who focus on advising entrepreneurs, senior managers and investors, particularly in respect of technology startups. Our team consists of employed paralegals, trainees and solicitors in our Haywards Heath office, who combine seamlessly with a remote network of trusted specialist and experienced self-employed solicitors.

The Platinum Publisher, Maarten Hoffmann is the facilitator for the Platinum Influencer Forums

Premier House, 15-19 Church St W, Woking GU21 6DJ Twitter @tvisiontech hello@tvisiontech.co.uk www.tvisiontech.co.uk

CEO

Basepoint Business Centre Unit 6, John de Mierre House Bridge Road Haywards Heath West Sussex RH16 1UA wewillhelp@jonathanlea.net www.jonathanlea.net

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XXXXXXXXXX Let’s start with an explanation of exactly what the Cloud is? Pippa: It’s very simple, the Cloud is just an array of servers sitting somewhere other than your own office that store your data so that you don’t have to. So, rather than investing many thousands of pounds in having your own bank of servers with all the maintenance and security issues that come with it, someone else has that headache and you have virtually unlimited storage at a relatively low monthly cost.

Thank you, that’s clear. Let’s start with the hot topic at the moment, home working, and how we can remain cyber safe whilst on our personal networks Andrew: What we have seen is that those who addressed the problem before they started home working, those that were using the Microsoft environment for example and not using their own separate networks, had no problems whatsoever as laptops work everywhere of course. It was those companies sitting there not knowing what direction to take, running their own systems or in a hosting set up with someone else, these were the people who were challenged. Their network was only set up to work from the office and it was not designed to work in a mobile capacity. What we have seen at Extech is a huge increase in interest, so the pandemic has actually done my business a massive favour because we have been migrating people to the Microsoft Cloud for many years but trying to get people to understand the benefits, the flexibility and the peace of mind is really difficult when they go to the office everyday and it just works. This is a massive wake up call for businesses. Pippa: Over 50% of our clients are in wine production and many of these were ready for the home working scenario. Many are device agnostic, therefore they were able to be nimble when this struck. So there have been two camps - those that were ready and those that were not. Those that already moved to the cloud were able to get down to the more humanitarian aspect of the welfare of their staff. Those that had not, panicked and were all hands to the pump in sorting the solution.

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Scott: Most of our clients are either cloud based or work on secure access networks so there was not too much to deal with there. A lot of what we are seeing, as we deal with a lot of law firms and trust companies based in the Channel Islands, are things like a husband and wife working for competing law firms, side be side at home trying to work. The wrong eyes on a screen is a problem, saving to the network is a problem, so there are a bunch of interesting issues there. If we are going to be working from home in the long term, things like confidentiality, data processing, data loss prevention - these are the challenges. I also think that reliance on a single large platform can be a problem, we have seen outages recently from the likes of Microsoft, the issue with putting all your eggs in one basket can be a problem. I have had a client recently, when asked who is caring for their data said that Microsoft is taking care of that for me but I had to point him to their terms where it clearly states that your data is your data and therefore your problem. There are many misnomers about the cloud and how safe it is. I heard recently of a firm that lost £273,000 as someone had hacked their Microsoft credentials and then sat watching the mailbox, waited for a large invoice to come in and then diverted it to another account.


INFLUENCERS XXXXXXXXXX FORUM

Maarten: I cannot believe that hacking trick is still working. When will people learn? Scott: Oh that is certainly still working, time and time again. So the challenge now, with the accounts department not in the same building as the sales department for example, it is not so easy to pop into the boss to confirm requests. Even if you do that online, who’s watching? Maarten: Jonathan, as a law firm what have been your biggest challenges? Jonathan: We have a virtual set up and we deal with lawyers around the world. We have a G-Suite system that seems to work very well and all staff working from home worked better than I expected. Of course, we have to pay special attention as we have so many confidential files on our systems so I was keen to get everyone back into the office as soon as possible. All law firms have to be extra vigilant at this time - we use something called Action Step as our main legal software provider which is the largest IT purchasing decision we have had to make and so far we have had no issues whatsoever.

Scott: The first rule of all IT security is Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) it is – vital that your IT provider set this up for you but not when anyone else is around. I heard of a chap who said he had set it up on his computer and his wife’s, and his phone so he has no access problems. Trouble is, the hackers also have no access problems in this scenario. What you need are layers of security and it needs to be taken very seriously. Andrew: Layers upon layers is the key. Companies have to select an IT provider who understands this. Many companies still do not use MFA and that amazes me – it is default, absolutely default. The other thing is inscription, also default. The final thing is maintain. You have to maintain your systems constantly so that you are filling holes and watching for attacks.

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Do you feel that much of the problem is the MD not having the requisite knowledge to make these decisions and therefore total reliance on the IT Director? Pippa: This comes back to what you said earlier - you must select the right IT provider. The same as anything a company purchases, buy the right product and if in doubt, ask around. The other thing we have not mentioned here is device security. At TVision Technology, we have bio-passwords which are 17-digit passwords to get into any of our devices as we know that if you have hackers who know their way around systems, they can get in. Of course this can be an inconvenience but not as inconvenient as losing all your data or being held to ransom to get it back. Our Head of IT rolls two dice every time he sets up a new bio-password as that would be impossible to guess or anticipate the next password. This chap likes nothing more than watching an attempted hack, he enjoys it, it’s a game but if you don’t have someone with this level of knowledge, then you can be exposed and that is exactly why companies buy into our level of expertise, it enables them to get on with their business whilst we protect their backs. Andrew: Finally on this subject, never, ever try to work with these large suppliers yourself – even as a partner don’t do it. It has taken us years to get to understand how they work and where the holes are. Regarding Extech, we are multiple gold Microsoft partners, we have four accreditations, we are cyber essentials plus, we are ISO27001, ISO 9001 and so on – we understand the systems so that you don’t have to.

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www.platinumpublishing.co.uk

Maarten: Isn’t that the point. As business owners, we don’t care how you do it, we just want the security of knowing that you are taking care of it so that we can get on with our business. IT is just a tool - it might be the lifeblood of your companies, but to the rest of us it is just a tool and we want it to be safe and we want it to work. The answer of course, as the Influencers around this table have clearly shown, is to contract the right supplier. Scott: One further worry I want to throw into the mix here is that I often hear companies say they will not use AliBaba for example, as the Chinese government has access to it. Well, if you think that it is any different with the likes of Microsoft and Google, you are sorely mistaken. Everything that goes through these large systems is available to the US government - is being copied, stored and sent on. That’s why my clients in Jersey, for example, will never use these systems because they know it will end up in the hands of the US government. Maarten: Jonathan, does that shocking news worry you? Joanthan: I think with the larger clients, yes it is a worry but many of our clients are tech start-ups and smaller SMEs who are not overly concerned about that. One of our clients was recently negotiating a multi-billion pound contract with the Israeli Defence Force so certainly, I can see that this could be an issue for them. Maarten: So when I contract one of you as my IT supplier, how on earth do I know what cloud you have it on and who has access to it?


INFLUENCERS FORUM Scott: Essentially, you don’t. If you have any highly sensitive data the only way to truly protect that is to own your own cloud system, to have this data on your own maintained servers but this is a very costly enterprise. Amazon, Google, Microsoft – all of them are open to governments to snoop on. It’s not as if you have anything sensitive, it’s the fact that I for one still firmly believe in the concept of personal privacy that the world, sadly, seems to have forgotten. Maarten: Jonathan, you are scribbling furiously over there. Jonathan: Indeed, I am making notes having listened to this conversation to review all our IT provisions on a much more regular basis. My paramount concern is my clients privacy and hearing experts discuss it in this way is pushing me, like all your readers I am sure, to review every aspect of our IT requirements annually. Andrew: The other issue we face is developers and the lack of them. If we look at App development, we cannot train the developers fast enough to keep up. In the US alone this year, there are one million positions available for developers. In the next five years, over 500,000 apps will be developed which is more apps developed than in the last 40 years. All these apps will be developed for the cloud platform and what all mere mortals need is a translator. A supplier who can translate tech into understandable language. Pippa: Funny you should say that as that is exactly what I say to my clients - I am not the developer or the world leading IT expert, we employ those people. I am a translator. I will listen to the clients’ business landscapes and their issues and I will translate that into the package they require to stay safe, thus allowing them to get on with their business.

Joanthan: There is no doubt that all businesses should have an independent IT audit every year to ensure we are up to date and learn of the latest developments and threats. I do feel that most businesses sort their IT, are happy with it and then move on without ever going back to look at the relevance of the system they have against the continuous rising threats. Pippa: I am saying that to our clients all the time and constantly encouraging them to review and update. It is vital for corporate security. Moving on from security, one of the things that many clients are concerned about is the speed of their systems. They want all their staff to have rapid and constant access to their systems and that comes down to the efficiency of the tool we have provided. Scott: And that is the beauty of the Cloud of course. On-boarding and off-boarding users is so easy with the Cloud as it has, in most cases, infinite capacity. Pippa: That’s very much in line with a discussion I was having last week regarding Teams or Zoom for example. It is all recordable and then searchable for certain phrases should you be writing the meeting notes. Well, that is all sitting on the Cloud and will be there for ever and anyone with access can utilise that same search engine to find out what was said. Scott: That brings me to the next issue of humans using Zoom, Teams and the like. We are having trouble reading people’s body language on a screen and only now realising how, unconsciously, we read people every day. Well, we can’t do that on screen and humans are having to adjust to how they read people. Of course, there is an app in development that will read body language and then tell you how the person on your screen is feeling and how they are emotionally dealing with the conversation. This is then going through yet another provider and there is yet more information about you out there. Every problem will result in a company developing an answer. Maarten: I feel the need to buy a typewriter. OK, moving on.

www.platinumpublishing.co.uk

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XXXXXXXXXX Who would like to explain to me the Internet of Things (IOT)? Scott: I will give that a go for you. It is total connection. Everyone loves the example of the fridge that will be able to recognise when you are out of milk and order it for you. As with everything, it comes with huge benefits and equal risks. There is a plethora of useless applications for it, like the fridge, but equally some great innovations are coming. I have a high level certification and work with the Met Police and one of the many issues they are concerned with is things like connected dolls. Dolls that, via 5G can chat away with the little girl and be her ‘live’ friend. The trouble is, this allows bad folk to hack in and get the doll to tell the child to leave their home for example. And connected toasters that are a jump point into your home and therefore your system. As we are all working from home that means the hacker is into your company system too if you do not have the aforementioned security systems in place. Pippa: It’s like the connected devices we have now, like Alexa and Hey Google - these devices are listening all the time and, worryingly, recording all the time. Andrew: By 2022, there will be well over 50 billion connected devices in the world and everything will, ultimately, be connected to the internet. Even your daughter’s doll, and it has to go somewhere, be stored somewhere. Maarten: So outside of the fun stuff like toasters and fridges, where is the direct business advantage of IOT? Pippa: There will be so much. Let’s use an example of vending machines. If the machine is at a hotel at the top of a mountain, do you then send your guy out for half a day up the mountain to see if it needs restocking? At the moment, yes you do but once IOT is fully operational, the vending machine will talk to the company’s computer and tell it what it is short of and what it needs and the guy only makes the one trip to re-supply exactly what it needs. In just this small example, you can see the huge benefits coming.

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Scott: I have shares in an Italian vending machine company called Pagita and it knows all the sell-by dates for all stock, it knows what is selling and even more remarkable, it will know that the Mars bars are within a week of expiry and will automatically ping all the phones within a certain radius with news that the price has dropped 50%, and that clears the stock. All without a human being involved at all. This is particularly relevant in Italy as the country is the largest user of vending machines in the world - they are just everywhere. Andrew: It will be the end of physical connections to anything. Everything will become wireless. Joanthan: Hopefully that will help where I am based in the Burgess Hill/ Haywards Heath area as there are connection black spots all over the place that just stop your connection. 5G will eliminate all these problems.


INFLUENCERS XXXXXXXXXX FORUM

What about the rise of artificial intelligence or AI? Mark Zuckerberg recently said that he will not rest until he can play chess with a friend beside him who is actually on another continent via holographic telepresence. Is that realistic and how far away are we from all being around this table, without all being around this table? Scott: A long time away. I don’t think it will be ubiquitous or cheap for a long time to come. To do it in a room like this, we would need a hell of a lot of very expensive equipment. Maarten: But in 2018, the World Economic Forum predicted that within five years, AI would create 58 million jobs.

Pippa: An example being used is McLaren, the supercar and F1 company in Woking, who are using it right now. They have bought into a games company to allows their design teams in different parts of the world to all be able to see the same thing, at the same time when they are deciding on changes. Scott: Using headsets, that is available right now but holographic telepresence is a big step away from that. We could certainly all do this meeting with headsets and be anywhere in the world.

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The world of robots, or bots, is rampant too. A report recently said that up to 60% of all ‘likes’ that people are receiving on their social media accounts are bots doing the job to make you feel more liked, more popular and glue them to the site. Scott: It goes further. If you contract into a pay-perclick campaign on Facebook or Google for example, and you don’t think that they have their own bots driving and uplifting your click rate, then you really need to think again. Jonathan: It is quite evident within Facebook, where you have some very odd, anonymous people liking your posts and it does seem quite obvious that these are not people who have ever been seen before but it sure racks up the click charges. Maarten: Pay-per-click is a hell of a racket in my opinion as you have absolutely no idea who is clicking or if anyone is clicking and it just racks up the bills. Scott: And if you look at their terms and conditions, if they say it’s a click, it’s a click and you have no room, or data, to argue. It’s a brilliant model - even casinos don’t have it that good.

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Maarten: I guess then it is no surprise that the three richest men in the world are in this sector - it really is a licence to print money off our backs. Jonathan: There is also some really interesting legal AI software on the market that will analyse contracts, for example, to look for compliance, errors and undertake due diligence. It certainly saves the hundreds of man hours, ploughing through contracts when there is an AI system there to do it for you, faster and more accurately in most cases. From a legal standpoint, you have to have a human eye in there as well as we have responsibility but it saves hours of human work. We have a fantastically original client called Check An Invoice, which uses AI to go through each client invoice, checking for all the obvious errors but even they use a human as a final control point. So sure are they that the job will be perfect that they insure against losses.


INFLUENCERS FORUM

Pippa: We use a similar system that has an algorithm running in the background that will profile your customer based on who normally pays when, with real time data that seriously improves a company’s cash flow forecasts. There are down-sides to technology but the improvements it can make in day to day life are remarkable. Maarten: What about when AI goes wrong? Look at the fiasco with algorithms over the A Level results they got it disastrously wrong. Scott: A really important point to make here is there currently is no such thing as AI. All these systems are running algorithms and machine learning. That is no artificial intelligence, it’s just machines learning from historic data. For real AI, it has to be able to fully understand what it is looking at, and why, and that is some years away yet. As we know, and many a disclaimer states; past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.

Maarten: With the speed of advance of technology, how afraid are you that we mere mortals will get left behind? Joanthan: We are a law firm that uses tech of course and we are aware that we have to keep a constant watch on what is happening in our sector. For example, a while ago we added an e-commerce document download system that allows people from across the planet to download ready made template documents for a few pounds, and that is a way of further monetising our accrued knowledge. It’s a tiny part of our revenue at the moment but these things are all steps in that direction and it does lead to time charged business. This is not ground breaking stuff but it is very useful. Legally, there will always be limits on how far we can go as the human aspect of law is so vitally important.

www.platinumpublishing.co.uk

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XXXXXXXXXX FORUM INFLUENCERS Crypto currency is a mystery to many. Will it replace traditional banking? Facebook’s crypto currency app, Libra is expected to hit the market this year and will, apparently, be totally in line with legislation. Do you feel that crypto currency will become a big player? Andrew: I think we should certainly be thinking about it. It will become a major player and it’s not just the currency itself but the blockchain platform it sits on. The banks certainly don’t want it but we should keep an eye on it as it is coming, in one form or another. Scott: Our clients in Jersey are very interested in it and the simple point is this. If the banks were overly concerned about it, it wouldn’t exist. The uses for this currently are occasional investment tools and illegal activities and account for less than 1% of all transactions. The biggest problem they face is who on earth trusts a deregulated currency? Having someone behind it saying trust us just will not work. Looking at the largest of them at the moment, Bitcoin, we still don’t know who started it or who owns that original seed capital that is currently worth around £2.7 billion. I think where we will get to is blockchain based currency that will be regulated which, in essence, will be run by banks that have gone online into this space. Pippa: One further interesting topic in this tech space is telephones. The advance here is dramatic, with such things as Voice Over IP (VOIP) and the changes that is making. Platforms like Ring Central or Five Nines, any one of these unified comm systems in the Cloud, you can now plug a thousand phone lines into that and distribute that to 10,000 people by simply importing a spread sheet of 10,000 people. What we used to call unified comms systems, such as that talked about by Cisco ten years ago, is coming true right now and that’s really exciting tech.

Andrew: It does away with all the stuff we are used to. When you move into a new office building, there’s no more installing ISDT lines or the like - if you have an internet connection you have a full functioning phone system within minutes. It will be a challenge for telecoms companies as they will no longer be able to charge for cabling, or digging up the road for cable runs. It’s certainly the end of the line for rental charges. Pippa: I could be sitting on the beach in Bali and talk to a client who will never know that l am not in the same city as him - the quality is that good and he will have called me on my normal number. of course. Maarten: I have to say that the speed of change to mere mortals such as I is mind boggling. Half terrifying and half absolutely fascinating. I see there are contact lenses coming soon with a miniature chip installed that will monitor your pulse and heart rate. Another is a temporary tattoo that will open doors for you and replace the key card we all use now. BMW have just announced that when you buy your new car without heated seats, and you then sell it on to someone who really wants them, he simply taps into the onboard computer, pays some money and hey presto, heated seats. I would like to thank our expert Tech Influencers for their time and annoyingly, I feel there is so much more content around this topic. I think we might have to run a Part 2 of this debate. l have certainly learnt a lot from this live discussion and, might l say, what a pleasure it is to have an actual live discussion after so long and tech or no tech, humans will never be able to replicate live contact with other humans. Thank you all for your time and for sharing your knowledge.

Our next Influencers Forum will be in the January 2021 issue on the subject ofTHE FUTURE OF WORK and we will be joined by Rt. Hon. Mims Davies MP, the Minister for Work and Pensions, Professors from the University of Sussex, three HR and Employment Law CEOs and more. Join us in the January issue.

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There is no denying the scale of support provided to businesses since the Spring, albeit at considerable cost to the taxpayer, not least through the lauded furlough scheme. With a second national lockdown just started, the Government had announced an extension to the furlough scheme for just one month; but on the first day of the new lockdown, the Chancellor confirmed that the extended scheme will in fact run until the end of March 2021. Employment law expert Rustom Tata of DMH Stallard looks at what we know, and some of the questions being asked.

FURLOUGH SCHEME EXTENDED UNTIL MARCH 2021

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LEGAL In an exceptionally fluid situation, we still await the fine detail of the extended furlough scheme; it has previously been made clear that it will technically be a new scheme rather than a simple continuation of the old one. What the extension of the scheme means for many employers and employees is a temporary reprieve in terms of substantial job losses over the Christmas and New Year period. However, with a review (leading to a potential increase) of employer contributions in January, the underlying health of most businesses remains very much under the spotlight. Also, for those employers, particularly in London and the South East where wages tend to be higher, the monthly cap of £2,500 means that for many there will still be additional costs where they have been topping up the amount of the furlough grant, most commonly to 80% of actual pay. This in turn is likely to mean that the wave of redundancies that has already started will continue. It will take some time for all the rules of the new scheme to be confirmed and before all questions can be answered. I have attempted to summarise my current understanding of the answers to some of those key questions below.

❛❛ The big change

with the furlough extension scheme is that it will allow part time working ❜❜ For how long will the extension be? The PM’s announcement on Halloween said it would run into December, but the Chancellor confirmed on Guy Fawkes Day that the scheme would in fact run for an additional four months, through to the end of March 2021. What about the Open and Closed Job Support Schemes that we were planning for? The new extended furlough scheme is far more generous to employees than the proposed Job Support Scheme (JSS), and the HMRC Policy Paper confirms that the JSS will effectively fall away.

But what about flexible furlough – that was the point of the proposed Job Support Scheme? The big change with the furlough extension scheme is that it will allow ‘part time working’. The initial output from Government refers to the furlough payment being available for up to 80% of salary (subject to the £2,500 per month cap) ‘in respect of hours not worked’. Further clarification is due from HM Treasury. Will we still be able to claim against the furlough scheme in respect of a period of notice? We don’t know, but this is a critical point which is likely to influence employer behaviour. The original scheme drew considerable criticism for permitting this, and it is one aspect which may well be changed. The terms of the proposed Job Support Scheme made clear that tax-payer money couldn’t be used in this way; my guess is that it won’t be permitted under the extension of the furlough scheme. When will we receive payment from the Government – we were being paid in advance under the original scheme? The stated intention is to revert to that arrangement, but it is clear that during

the transitional phase between the schemes, employers (at least those whose staff are paid weekly) will have to pay first and claim later. Will there be any financial tests for employers seeking to claim under the extended scheme? Almost certainly not. However, we should expect a tightening of the wording around the purpose of the scheme, and ‘expectations’ by HMRC (which will be the enforcing authority seeking to recover any improper payments) as to how employers are supposed to use the scheme. Will there be any restrictions on companies paying dividends while making a claim? Probably not, but there may well be an ‘expectation’ that companies will carefully consider whether to declare dividends at the same time as making a claim under the scheme. Will the Job Retention Bonus still be paid? No. In his announcement, the Chancellor confirmed that it will ‘fall away’ as the furlough scheme extension effectively provides for the potential continuation of employment up to the end.

Rustom Tata is Head of Employment at DMH Stallard. He can be contacted at Rustom.Tata@dmhstallard.com or call 03333 231580.

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FINANCE

GOVERNMENT LEAVES WINDOW OPEN FOR ENTREPRENEURS LOOKING FOR EXIT By Jack Clipsham, Kreston Reeves The government, in delivering its Winter Economy Plan this September, has left open the window for entrepreneurs looking for an exit from their business. Jack Clipsham explains how.

There is now a window for entrepreneurs to exit a business and take advantage of the current Capital Gains Tax rates. But this is a window that is unlikely to remain open for long.

Rumours had been circulating that Chancellor Rishi Sunak had Capital Gains Tax in his sights with major reforms to be announced in his annual Autumn Budget. It had been suggested that capital gains could be aligned to Income Tax, leaving business owners exiting a business facing significant additional tax liabilities.

The government will be looking to increase its tax revenues to cover the cost of its COVID support programmes and is likely to address this at the next spending review – the Spring Budget. We would expect, amongst other measures, Capital Gains Tax to again come under the spotlight.

Had those changes materialised it could have seen business owners paying up to 45% on the proceeds of a business sale instead of just 20% under the current arrangements. That threat had quite naturally dampened the appetite of many business owners looking to exit their business at this time, deciding not to sell and to hold on to their business for a few more years. That has now changed.

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Entrepreneurs Relief was replaced by the less advantageous Business Assets Disposal Relief in Finance Act 2020, meaning that tax on gains made on a sale of business between £1 million and £10 million doubled. If Capital Gains Tax were to be aligned with Income Tax, business owners could face more than a further doubling on the tax payable on any gains following a business sale. Capital gains from disposals of up to £1 million may still qualify for the reduced rate of 10%.

A business sale should not, of course, be driven solely by tax considerations but by the needs of the business itself and its owners or management teams. However, if a business owner is contemplating an exit, now presents a real window of opportunity. And unlike the 2008 crash, there are buyers in the market looking to acquire good businesses, with buyers falling into three broad camps.


FINANCE

❛❛ There is now a window for entrepreneurs

to exit a business and take advantage of the current Capital Gains Tax rates. But this is a window that is unlikely to remain open for long ❜❜ Firstly, there are still businesses less affected by COVID-19 keen to progress their existing development strategies. Then there are those businesses that are looking to grow through acquisition and see opportunity in acquiring businesses that may be struggling as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

investments in strong businesses that wish to grow. Businesses that need investment and with ambitious plans are likely to find investment readily available for appropriate projects.

Acquisitive businesses may try and push valuations down, but we believe those valuations will remain high if the underlying business is strong and with business owners being able to demonstrate a post-COVID recovery plan.

Unfortunately, there will be those businesses that will not survive the current pandemic but still retain value in parts of the business. Business owners may be tempted to simply close the business and walk away but could actually realise some value in a well-structured exit if planned appropriately.

Thirdly, many private equity investors have significant funds to invest and are actively looking to make

Business owners should seek specialist advice and support if considering a sale or taking investment.

Jack Clipsham, Corporate Finance Partner at Kreston Reeves. He can be reached by email: jack.clipsham@krestonreeves.com. Visit www.krestonreeves.com for further information.

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7 REASONS TO HAVE A PENSION REVIEW NOW Roy Thompson, Partner at MHA Carpenter Box Financial Advisers, explains why everyone should be reviewing their pension arrangements For the vast majority of UK residents, the pension represents one of the most valuable assets we will own in our lifetimes.

REALISING LONG TERM LIFESTYLE ASPIRATIONS

Workers in Britain today will likely spend between 20% and 33% of our lives retired and if we want a fighting chance of realising our retirement lifestyle aspirations, we must perform essential maintenance and look for chances to improve our pension solutions sooner rather than later. The results may be less tangible in the short term, but they are life changing in the long term. The pension-saving journey is like the voyage of a vast ship on the ocean; you must have a good navigator checking the charts regularly to ensure you don’t run off course. If navigation is neglected it takes a long time to change direction, so your arrival may be delayed (or overly expensive).

WHY HAVE A PENSION REVIEW NOW?

LEGACY 3 NEW RULES ALLOW YOU TO PASS ON YOUR PENSION

PRICING 1 YOUR SCHEME MAY BE CHARGING TOO MUCH

New rules allow unused pension savings to be passed to dependents or non-dependents via lump sum, annuity or flexi access drawdown. The latter empowers the cascading of wealth down a theoretically unending number of generations. In the majority of cases, Inheritance Tax is not applied to pensions.

There is no time like the present to get started. Here is an overview of the key reasons why now is a great time for a pension review:

General market evolution, technology and outsourcing has brought downward pricing pressure on the pension sector for 20 years. There are hundreds of billions of pounds marooned in older style schemes charging too much.

FEATURES 2 YOUR OLDER SCHEME MAY NOT BE WORKING FOR YOU

Post-2015 Pensions Freedoms rules mean nobody is forced to buy an annuity if they don’t want one. Savers can draw a variable income from an invested pension from age 55. Many older schemes don’t offer this but charge more than the modern schemes that do.

❛❛ Workers in Britain today will likely spend between 20% and 33% of our lives retired ❜❜ 46

TO DEPENDENTS


FINANCE INVESTMENTS CONSOLIDATION 4 MORE LOW-COST 6 SAVERS CAN LOSE TRACK SOLUTIONS ARE AVAILABLE OF ALL THEIR PENSIONS The proliferation of choice has led to downward price pressure on investment options. Increased transparency and analytical tools allow advisers to identify higher quality and better value solutions for their clients. The adoption into the mainstream of indexing strategies has opened up new low-cost solutions that are popular with some.

5

SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE INVESTING THERE ARE GREAT OPTIONS FOR ETHICAL INVESTING

No longer must you pay over the odds or experience poor performance for selecting ethical investment solutions. These solutions have achieved cost parity and now offer comparable, or sometimes even greater, returns.

With career mobility on the rise in the modern economy, gone is the job for life. Couple this with the adoption of Auto Enrolment and employees are accumulating a large collection of pensions. Savers view it as hard work keeping track of them all.

SHORTFALL ANALYSIS 7 WILL YOU HAVE ENOUGH IN RETIREMENT?

A pension review can act as a health check to reveal your current pension funding trajectory. We can reveal if you are falling short, how much extra you need to save, or indeed what age you may be able to afford to retire, using sophisticated forecasting software. How much of your race is left to run, where is that finish line?

C O S T O F D E L AY I N G Y O U R P E N S I O N R E V I E W £460pm

£977pm

£2,050pm

5.5% net lineal return, compounded monthly. £100,000 starting value, assuming no withdrawals, higher rate tax payer, same risk throughout period £600,000

Pension value

£500,000

£500,000 at age 65

£400,000

THE COST OF DELAYING YOUR PENSION REVIEW

The graph below illustrates the power of compounded returns and relative value of time/early action when it comes to pension savings. It compares three savers who reach three different ages and find themselves with a £100,000 pension value, when they identified they need a £500,000 pension value at age 65. This chart quantifies how powerful earlier action can be with pensions. How much of the total can the market give you compared with funding yourself? The saver who took action at 45 will enjoy considerably more spare money than their counterpar ts, as the compounding returns over time have rewarded their foresight and patience richly.

GET IN TOUCH

For more information on saving for retirement, get in touch with our friendly team of Independent Financial Advisers by contacting Roy on 01903 534587 or visit our website: www.carpenterboxfa.com.

£300,000 £200,000 £100,000

£100,000 starting value £0 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 Age

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THE SNOWMAN™ & CHESTNUT TREE HOUSE Raymond Briggs’ classic 1978 picture book, The Snowman™ is loved by many, but the themes and emotions particularly resonate with Chestnut Tree House children’s hospice and the families they care for. The young boy in the story gets to experience the most amazing adventure, but then he loses his new friend. But, when you think of The Snowman™, it’s not always the sad ending you remember. It’s the happy times they have together, and this is very much what Chestnut Tree House is about – providing wonderful care, experiences, and precious memories of happy times together.

THE SNOWMAN™ SPECTACULAR ONLINE AUCTION – SUPPORTING LOCAL CHILDREN’S HOSPICE CARE At this time of year, the Chestnut Tree House fundraising team are usually busy with last minute preparations for the biggest event in their fundraising calendar – The Snowman™ Spectacular fundraising ball. Sadly, they had to take the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 event due to COVID-19. The event usually raises vital funds for the care of local children and their families. Last year alone, The Snowman™ Spectacular raised an incredible £404,665, thanks to the support of a host of generous sponsors, guests and donors. The good news is that there is still a way you can get involved and be part of something really special this winter to

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support your local children’s hospice. The Snowman™ Spectacular Online Auction is still taking place and is going live on Saturday 7th November! From one-off illustrations to cookery lessons, celebrity golf days and a VIP football experience, there is something for everyone. You can also make a difference to local children and families by choosing one of the special ‘Pay for Care’ lots. By getting involved in The Snowman™ Spectacular Online Auction during November, you will be helping children with life-shortening conditions, and their families, across Sussex and South East Hampshire.


CHARITY

MESSAGE FROM CHESTNUT TREE HOUSE PATRON AND CREATOR OF THE SNOWMAN™, RAYMOND BRIGGS CBE

When I created The Snowman over 40 years ago, I could never have imagined the pleasure he would bring to so many lives. I am delighted that my Snowman and I are involved with Chestnut Tree House, and I know what a huge difference this wonderful charity makes to children and families in our local community. Every year, many of you give generously at The Snowman Spectacular fundraising ball, which helps Chestnut Tree House to continue to care for children across Sussex and South East Hampshire. Sadly, due to COVID-19, the event is not able to go ahead this year, but I hope you will all support The Snowman Spectacular Online Auction, which is still taking place. This year has been difficult for many of us. But for families of children with life-shortening conditions, there have been even more challenges. Please support Chestnut Tree House so that they can continue to be there for the children and families who need them. RAYMOND BRIGGS Patron of Chestnut Tree House

Thank you and wishing you a very Happy Christmas. Raymond Briggs Patron of Chestnut Tree House

YOUR SUPPORT WILL HELP FAMILIES LIKE JACK’S Jack lives with his Mum, Emma, and Dad, Kevin. Like many eight-year olds, he loves spending time outdoors jumping on his trampoline and playing in the garden. But for Jack’s family, his favourite things were once a distant dream. “Jack is our beautiful miracle baby,” says Emma. “At three weeks old, we thought we would have to say goodbye to him. They told us he would never walk, never sit up, never speak.” Jack was born with Lowe’s syndrome, a genetic disease that primarily affects his eyes, brain, and kidneys, resulting in Jack having severe complex medical needs and requiring 24-hour care. When Jack was four years old, his school nurse recommended that the family seek support from Chestnut Tree House. “At the time I had heard of them, but I didn’t think we would qualify for their services. It took me a long time to come to terms with the word hospice. I did not know what to expect. A hospice sounds like a scary place,” says Emma. After their referral, the family were invited to spend some time at the hospice. “I remember walking in and thinking ‘this is amazing’. Everyone made us feel at home, from reception-

ists and the housekeeping team to care staff, everyone made us feel welcome. And Jack loved it.” Three years on, the family have regular visits from the community care team who visit them in their own home and take Jack out to explore the local community.

Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, Jack and his family had to shield for a number of weeks. “Chestnut Tree House have kept in regular contact, we’ve had texts, phone calls, activity packs, everything! They are always there for us. “It’s important to let you know that they are also there for the rubbish side of it as well. We know that time will come; Jack has a life-shortening condition. But we know that they make it that little bit more bearable.” “We don’t know what we would do without Chestnut, we wouldn’t even want to think about it – it would be a nightmare. They are there for everything. They are always on the other end of the phone, they are so friendly, knowledgeable, and all-round amazing. They let Jack live his best life.”

The Snowman™ Spectacular Online Auction is going live on Saturday 7th November and will close at 9pm on Saturday 5th December. Find out more at www.chestnut-tree-house.org.uk/christmas Registered Charity Number 256789 © Snowman Enterprises Limited 2020. THE SNOWMAN™ Snowman Enterprises Limited.

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NATWEST SOUTH EAST ® PMI

Business activity growth in South East remains marked › KE Y FINDINGS n Output and new business increase further, albeit at slower rates n Outstanding business accumulates for the first time in two years n Job shedding continues at marked pace Latest UK regional PMI ® data from NatWest indicated another sharp improvement in the South East’s private sector. The headline NatWest South East Business Activity Index – a seasonally adjusted index that measures the month - on - month change in the combined output of the region’s manufacturing and service sectors – fell from 64.9 in August to 58.4 in September, signalling another robust expansion in private sector activity, albeit one that was slightly softer than August’s series record. Private sector firms in the South East of England reported a further increase in new business during September, extending the current sequence of growth to three months. Anecdotal evidence linked the increase to an improvement in demand conditions. Overall, order volumes were strong, despite softening from August’s recent peak. At the sector level, the uptick was broad - based. S er vice providers recorded a quicker rise in new business than goods producers, however.

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Firms’ expectations with regards to activity over the coming 12 months improved in September. Anecdotal evidence linked confidence to new business wins, the relaxation of lockdown restrictions and a marked rebound in demand. The level of positive sentiment in the South East exceeded that recorded at the UK level, and was the second-strongest of the 12 monitored UK regions, behind only Yorkshire & Humber. Workforce numbers in the South East’s private sector declined again in September, as has been the case since Februar y. Companies frequently mentioned redundancies and lay-offs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic as driving the contraction. The rate of job shedding was the slowest since March but remained marked overall.

Staff numbers also declined at the UK level, with the rate of reduction slightly faster than that seen in the South East. For the first time in two years, incomplete work at South East private sector firms rose during September. Although

SOUTH E AST BUSINES S ACTIVIT Y INDE X

sa, >50=growth since previous month 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 2001

2003

2005

2007

2009

2011

2013

2015

2017

2019

Sources: Natwest, IHS Markit


ECONOMY

+ COMMENT

STUART JOHNSTONE Managing Director, London and South East, Corporate and Commercial Banking “ September data highlights another improved performance for the South East’s private sector. The resumption of operations and continued reopening of businesses provided a significant boost to demand conditions. Business activity rose at a robust pace, with new orders also registering a sharp uptick.

❛❛ Private sector

firms in the South East of England reported a further increase in new business during September ❜❜ moderate, the rate at which incomplete work accumulated was the sharpest since June 2018. Firms commonly linked the latest uptick to growth in demand and a fall in workforce numbers. Outstanding business across the South East grew at the third-fastest pace of the 12 monitored UK regions, behind only London and the East of England. September data highlighted a further increase in cost burdens at private sector firms in the South East. Greater

raw material costs, higher freight charges and unfavourable exchange rate conditions were all linked to the latest uptick. That said, the rate of input price inflation eased to the slowest since June. At sector level, manufacturers faced a much steeper rise in cost burdens than their service sector counterparts. Private sector firms in the South East reported a modest reduction in average selling prices, signalling the first decrease in charges since June. Panellists reported that competitive pressures and efforts to attract new sales had led them to reduce their selling prices.

“Outstanding business rose for the first time in two years signalling capacity pressures at South East private firms. Higher workloads and marked job shedding contributed to the accumulation of incomplete work. “That said, rising COVID-19 cases and tightening restrictions across the UK pose a severe threat to firms in the South East. The recovery will need to gain further momentum over the next few months to mitigate any impacts from a potential second lockdown.”

Charges also declined at the UK level at a broadly similar pace. At the regional sector level, trends in charges diverged, with service providers driving the downturn.

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NATWEST WEBINAR: THE STATE OF THE ECONOMY AND WHAT THE FUTURE MIGHT HAVE IN STORE On October 20th, we joined a fascinating webinar with Stephen Blackman, Principal Economist with the NatWest Group who shared his views on the state of the UK economy and what the future might have in store Without doubt, we are going through major changes at the moment with many overlaying trends. We are dealing with the worry of Covid, working from home, a battered economy, regional lockdowns and so much more.

back to normal. Now we know there is not a post-Covid world and therefore we all need to respond commercially to meet the needs of the new normal”.

We are having to reset so many of our relationships, repurposing our business proposition, reassessing value and, most importantly, building resilience into our businesses.

Let’s say that the economy will be 10% down on the previous year. We then have to make up that missing 10%. Of course it could be larger as this has not really fully played out yet. One positive view is that due to the home working situation, we have actually saved at least two hours a day in commuting could this gained two hours be turned into profit?

As Stephen explained: “In April or May of this year, most of us thought that we had to get through the national lockdown and then everything would go

HOW IS THE ECONOMY FARING?

❛❛ We all need to respond commercially to meet the needs of the new normal ❜❜

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ECONOMY

❛❛ The dislocation of the city infrastructure will be enormous ❜ THE CHANCELLOR IS SURELY COMING TO GET ALL THIS MONEY BACK NEXT YEAR?

Yes, and that is why the Chancellor stated that he needs to make sure that the economy is robust to ensure he has the resources to shore up the public purse. He has added that it was the work of his predecessors that enabled us to react in the way that we have. I think the answer is one thing at a time. Nor do l think there is any pressing need. One of the things to come out of all this is an understanding of money as a social construct, or social tool not dissimilar to the wartime experience.

HOW DO WE BUILD BACK BETTER?

We need to pursue the levelling up agenda within the wider societal framework, across the world; political, religious, social leaders – looking at

ways to build back better. Looking at ethnicity and gender for example. We need to ensure full participation in the social economic framework and this in turn, increases the size of the national pie.

DO YOU FEEL THAT HOMEWORKING IS GOING TO CREATE A MONUMENTAL SHIFT IN CITIES?

The dislocation of the city infrastructure will be enormous. I can’t see it going back to the way it was because there are great benefits to firms and individuals in this new way of working. Climate change was pushing us in this direction anyway so there will be a time when we have to re-purpose our assets and the way we utilise buildings, land, technology and machinery. It’s a fundamental shift and, l feel it will ultimately be a blended solution.

IS THE UK IN ANY BETTER POSITION THAN ANY OTHER COUNTRY?

In some ways, yes. If you look at the historical key strengths of the UK, they have been around the high end services, the blending on technology and design. So often it’s the classic story - we create and then sell off to another country. It is time to keep our innovation, to create and build it right here. The UK is in a strong position but we have always struggled with scaling up and retaining those business here at home. If there is a real reduction in mobility of people and we can’t replicate the benefits that those people bring, then it might hit the UK disproportionately hard.

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Are you looking to buy or sell a business? For those who are looking to buy – or sell – a business, the current climate presents new opportunities and challenges. Our specialist corporate finance team are here to help you prepare, plan and manage the process through to completion and beyond. We aim to really understand your priorities, support and advise you on your journey and help you realise your goals. For more than accountancy, financial and business advice: Call: +44 (0)330 124 1399 Email: enquiries@krestonreeves.com Visit: www.krestonreeves.com


FINANCE

WHY IS BUSINESS PURPOSE SO IMPORTANT? Business purpose is an idea that is talked about in theory a lot of the time, but what does it actually mean to implement a purpose into your business and how can it benefit you? By Dan Morgan, Managing Partner, Haines Watts Esher We all changed aspects of the way we ran our businesses during the first phase of the Coronavirus pandemic. Some changes were mandatory, others represented the ability of business owners to reinvent and respond to adversity.

reviewed against your real-time data. Modelling as many scenarios as possible will show you where to adjust your planning as you go to make sure your business remains sustainable.

With the blow of a second nationwide lockdown and Brexit approaching, it’s worth reflecting on the lessons learned considering all scenarios so that you continue to build resilience and adjust your strategy.

n T he furlough scheme has been extended for the duration of the lockdown to give a little more breathing room for businesses, however it is still important to plan what you will do once this scheme ends. It is likely to revert to the Job Support Scheme brought in just before lockdown, which could be useful to businesses who have shift workers or part-time roles.

Our tips on the planning that should be top of your agenda are highlighted below.

PLANNING IS STILL IMPORTANT

While plans may be changing more frequently than usual it is still important to work to shorter term plans (6-12 months) which should regularly be

KEEP ACCESSING GOVERNMENT SUPPORT

n The VAT cut to 5% for hospitality businesses has been extended to 31st March 2021. n B ounce Back Loan Scheme – Applications have been extended from the end of November to 31st January. Recent changes mean that this scheme can now be extended from six to ten years to make re-payments easier on your business. This extension could halve monthly payments and businesses are also able to make interest-only repayments or take a six-month payment holiday if required.

EXPLORE ALL BORROWING OPTIONS

All loan schemes have been extended until 31st January to support businesses following the announcement of the second lockdown. Some business owners have had a real struggle accessing the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) from their bank. However, alternative lenders have proved a viable option in these situations. We’ve also found that many businesses applied for the Bounce Back Loan as these were easier to access, only to find that they didn’t go far enough in helping their business stay afloat. In some cases it has been possible to upgrade these to a CBILS through alternative lenders. It’s worth exploring your options here as a business interruption loan could be combined with refinancing of existing debt, with resulting lower interest rates. This could also enable a reduction in personal guarantee exposure that may be in place on existing debt. During this lockdown keeping cash as readily available as possible is vital and asset finance could be a valuable tool for achieving this. Building resilience has been at the forefront of business owners minds, many have been looking to streamline their processes and look at how the crisis has tested their existing operating model. As we approach even more uncertain times, effective planning will help to ensure your business remains sustainable. For more information: www.hwca.com/accountants-esher/ T: 020 8549 5137 E: esher@hwca.com

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MENOPAWS A new study in Scientific Reports, suggests that dogs, like humans, suffer from mid-life crises. After the age of three, mid-life for a dog, novelty-seeking declines and excitement and enjoyment in new situations dwindles, the report found.

BIZARRE NEWS YOU COULDN’T MAKE IT UP (anything to make us smile)

DEEP THROAT A 4ft long snake has been removed from a woman’s mouth. The creature had reportedly slithered into her throat as she slept in her garden in Levashi, a village in Dagestan, southern Russia. Feeling unwell, the young woman was rushed to hospital where she was put to sleep. A doctor is heard saying ‘let’s see what this is’ before inserting a tube down her throat. As he slowly pulls the snake out another medic grabs it, but then jumps back and screams as she realises just how long the snake is. It’s unclear if the snake was alive or dead, or how long it was trapped inside the woman.

DON’T SWALLOW A bloodied toothbrush had to be removed from a man’s stomach after he swallowed it while cleaning the back of his throat. As you do! Doctors removed the 19cm-long brush within 24 hours, fearing that leaving it any longer could have been fatal. The patient, 39, whose name has been withheld, was brushing his teeth on September 15th when it slipped. He rushed to a nearby health clinic, which quickly referred him to a hospital more than 100km away.

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BACON OBSESSION Y-FRONT STUFFER

A senior Senator in Brazil, Chico Rodrigues, who was President Bolsonaro’s deputy leader stated, during a police raid of his house, that he was clean and had never stolen a penny. He was rumbled when the officer looked down and saw hundreds of bank notes sticking out of his underpants. As he saw the raid begin, he had quickly stuffed £4,500 of notes down his pants.

Even vegetarians wilt at the smell of bacon. Trust the Americans to go one step further with their mask design. One company you might not have expected to join in on the craze is Hormel. They describe themselves as a “leader in breakfast meats in America,” and are known for their bacon and other cured meat products. But now they’ve branched out into what they call “breathable bacon.” Breathable Bacon, according to Hormel, is a revolutionary face mask “featuring the latest in pork-scented technology.” It features a two-ply multi-fibre filter “to keep the delicious smell of bacon always wrapped around your nose and mouth.” Apparently it is not a great seller in Riyadh or Tel Aviv.

BLOODY KNIGHT

ANCIENT PLAYER The oldest professional footballer in the world is 74 years young. Ezzeldin Bahader from Egypt was recognised by the Guinness Book of Records after missing a penalty when his team lost 3-2 in Egypt’s third division. His debut was in March when he scored a penalty.

Consternation was caused in 2016 when pop star Ed Sheeran was seen with a deep cut on the side of his face. Rumours abound but nothing quite like the truth. Princess Beatrice has finally admitted that at a party at Windsor Castle, whilst hammered, she tried to knight him in a tongue in cheek ceremony, stumbled and nearly beheaded him. Oh what a story it would have been had she chopped his head off rather than just inventing the Sheeran Bacon Slicer.

www.platinumpublishing.co.uk

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HAMPER HEAVEN As an exceptional year draws to a close, finding an impactful way to say “thank-you” is more important to companies than ever. With the festive season more likely to be celebrated at home, what better way to recognise the contribution of colleagues and show appreciation to loyal clients than with a Harrods Christmas Hamper. The 2020 selection has something for everyone from delicious confectionery, tins of loose-leaf tea, jarred condiments, and exquisite wine and Champagne. Hampers are beautifully presented in elegant baskets or gift boxes and guaranteed to elevate everyone’s Christmas. Harrods Corporate Service will select the perfect hamper from the iconic Food Halls, arrange a personal message and organise delivery to multiple addresses both within the U.K. and internationally.

THE KNIGHTSBRIDGE HAMPER, £250

Brimming with essential treats for the festive season including the famous Christmas pudding, mince pies, red and white wine alongside Blanc de Blanc Champagne to celebrate the season.

THE FOOD HALL COLLECTION, £150

A curated homage to our vast selection, this hamper comprises of a crowd-pleasing line-up of epicurean delights including wines, teas, sweet and savoury biscuits and marmalades.

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THE SHARING HAMPER, £150

Encased in the signature wicker basket, this hamper showcases a selection of drinks and snacks to suit every taste from a variety of teas and coffees to sweet and savoury indulgent treats.

THE VEGAN HAMPER, £125

An array of delectable treats is included in this hamper with a selection of coffee, hot chocolate, black and herbal teas, Turkish delight, creamy fondants and fruity preserves.


HARRODS CHRISTMAS

DISTINGUISHED DOZEN WINE HAMPER, £350

12 bottles of wine specially selected by the in-house wine buyer to showcase the very best that the Harrods Wine Rooms have to offer. Enjoy the beautiful contrast between bottles of rich Rioja and celebratory Champagne.

SUPREME CHRISTMAS HAMPER, £1250

Superior provenance is at the heart of the Supreme Christmas hamper, presented in a pair of traditional wicker baskets. The generous selection of charcuterie, cheese, chutney and more is complemented by Champagne, gin and fine wines – along with festive mince pies and a Christmas pudding – all carefully sourced from around the world.

CHRISTMAS EVE HAMPER, £600

Encasing a vast array of sweet and savoury delights, the Christmas Eve hamper curates a mouth-watering selection of food and drink from our famous Food Halls. Find cured meats, cheese, biscuits, tea and coffee, fine wines and cognac are all tucked away into two traditional wicker baskets.

THE BOXING DAY HAMPER, £500

A truly festive collection, the Boxing Day hamper is filled to the brim with Christmas pudding, luxury Christmas crackers, mince pies and fine wines among many more sweet treats and preserves. This bountiful selection makes for the perfect afterdinner spread to be enjoyed with your nearest and dearest, raising a glass – or even a cup of fine tea – to precious family time.

For more information on the complete 2020 Harrods Hamper collection, please call Harrods Corporate Service on +44 (0)20 7225 5994, email corporate.service@harrods.com or visit www.harrods.com/christmashampers

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‘Celebrate moments together or apart’ Whether it be with friends, family, colleagues or clients. Ridgeview is the perfect gift. Contact us today to find out more about our range of luxury, corporate gifting ideas.

To find out more contact

info@ridgeview.co.uk


Enjoy the spirit of Christmas... and the flavours of Jeremy’s Restaurant in your own home with our luxury Christmas Day takeaway that will include all the delicious traditional ingredients that make the day so special Christmas Day menu

Canapés Salmon gougère, herring on rye, chicken pâté, mini brioche Starter Potted lobster and crab or Vegetarian roulade, hazelnut and radicchio Main Bridger’s Farm golden roast turkey, chipolatas in bacon, roast potatoes, sprouts, spinach, chestnuts, roasted parsnips and carrots, bread sauce, cranberry sauce or Mushroom and spinach pithivier, roast potatoes, sprouts, chestnuts, roasted parsnips and carrots Dessert Elvira’s Christmas pudding, brandy butter or Chocolate delice, mandarin, candied orange peel Mince pies To order please email reservations@jeremysrestaurant.com Orders to be placed by Thursday 10 December, including your menu choices and for how many guests – pick-up is Christmas Eve between 12 noon and 5pm

New Year’s Eve

Six-course tasting menu, complemented with optional pairing wines £100 per person (wines+ £50 per person) Reservations between 5pm and 8pm The team at Jeremy’s Restaurant and Café Elvira should like to thank each and every one who has shown support during these difficult times and we wish you all a ‘rigtig hyggelige jul’ Jeremy’s Restaurant 01444 441102 Reservation@jeremysrestaurant.com Visit www.jeremsyrestaurant.co.uk for updates, menus and opening and closing times Pre-Christmas menu at the restaurant available from 2 December to 19 December inclusive Borde Hill, Haywards Heath, West Sussex RH16 1XP


ACADEMIC COLLABORATION COULD YOUR BUSINESS BENEFIT?

Sussex Innovation supports start-ups and scale-ups with their growth ambitions, but it’s more than simply a business incubator. As a wholly-owned subsidiary of the University of Sussex, it specialises in making connections between academia and business, to the benefit of both. There are many ways in which engaging with the academic community can have direct commercial benefits. Businesses seeking research consultancy can access a wide range of world-leading expertise through a close wo r k in g re lati o ns hi p wi th th e University’s Innovation, Business and Partnership Team. Sussex Innovation also offers an ideal location to host joint ventures, acting as a catalyst for transforming research into disruptive products. “With one of our sites located on campus, we provide an oppor tunity for SMEs to develop and grow in close proximity to researchers,” says Peter Lane who, as Innovation Support Manager, oversees many of these research collaborations. “The benefits of this are huge. It enables business and academic staff to build much closer teams, accelerating progress, sharing relationships and leveraging the University’s world-class lab and technology facilities.” As several recent news stories have demonstrated, these close working relationships can both yield great commercial results and enable researchers to have a hugely significant impact on the wider world:

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ENTERPRISE THERAPEUTICS DEVELOP NOVEL THERAPIES FOR RESPIRATORY DISEASE

Last month, the multinational healthcare company Roche acquired a programme for the treatment of cystic fibrosis and other respiratory diseases, developed by biopharmaceutical

company and Sussex Innovation tenants, Enterprise Therapeutics. Enterprise is dedicated to the discovery and development of novel therapies to improve the lives of patients suffering with respiratory disease. The company was co-founded by Professor Martin Gosling, a Professor of Molecular Pharmacology at the University of Sussex, who is also its Chief Scientific Officer. It benefits from a close working relationship with the University’s School of Life Sciences; Henry Danahay, the Head of Biology at Enterprise also holds an honorary position in the Sussex Drug Discovery Centre, which sits within the academic school.


INNOVATION

production process from weeks to days, increasing production capacity, saving factory space and reducing energy consumption. Ultimately, the three-year project will see a pilot production facility established in Thurso in Scotland, before a new ‘Gigafactory’ - the first of its kind in the UK - is built to make the batteries. The research arm of the Sussex partnership will share office space at Sussex Innovation with commercial colleagues from CDO 2 for the duration of the project.

ONE RESEARCH AND BRIGHTON AND SUSSEX MEDICAL SCHOOL PARTNER ON COVID-19 STUDY

❛❛ There are

many ways in which engaging with the academic community can have direct commercial benefits ❜❜

The research team’s novel TMEM16A potentiator portfolio – a range of compounds shown to address the underlying mechanisms of mucus congestion, and thereby restoring lung function - was fully acquired by Roche and will be developed by Genentech, a member of the Roche Group. Enterprise Therapeutics’ shareholders received an upfront payment of £75 million, and are eligible to receive additional contingent payments, to be made based on the achievement of certain predetermined milestones.

CDO2 AND SUSSEX PROGRAMME FOR QUANTUM RESEARCH CONTRIBUTE TO UK’S FIRST ‘GIGAFACTORY’ FOR ELECTRIC VEHICLE BATTERIES

Breakthrough research on electric vehicle battery sensors has seen a collaboration between Sussex quantum scientists and commercial partners CDO2 attract a £1.1m share of a £5.4m government grant for a consortium advancing the UK’s EV manufacturing capabilities. Together the partnership will build quantum sensors to test battery health, streamlining development and manufacturing. Currently, EV battery cells must be left to develop at warm temperatures on the factory floor before being ready for use. With the new sensor technology, batteries can be tested for their readiness in realtime, p otentially sp e e ding the

One Research and the Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS) have recently and successfully partnered to help deliver vital COVID-19 research examining inflammatory responses in patients who have recently recovered from the disease. One Research, a patient recruitment and communications agency who have been based at Sussex Innovation for several years, were introduced to Professor Florian Kern (Chair of Immunology) at BSMS after the academic commercialisation team recognised the potential for collaboration. Having established this link, within days of the national lockdown in March 2020, Professor Kern looked to One Research to provide its expertise and support recruitment for volunteers in the Brighton and Hove area. The successful launch and subsequent completion of this recruitment programme has enabled BSMS to support ongoing studies and future research programmes.

Interested in exploring an academic collaboration for your business? Contact Peter Lane: peter@sinc.co.uk to discuss your situation and needs. Or contact collaborate@sussex.ac.uk to find out more about other opportunities for collaboration with the University. Sussex Innovation also provides access to SME Academic Grants in partnership with the European Regional Development Fund, which could cover 40% of your direct costs for commercialising intellectual property arising from academic research. Visit info.sinc.co.uk/sme-academic-grant-funding for more information.

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EDUCATION

HURST COLLEGE WINS SPORTING ACHIEVEMENT AWARD Hurst College has won the Sporting Achievement award in the 2020 Independent Schools of the Year Awards

During the virtual ceremony, the judges said their decision to present this award to Hurst College was due to its focus on recognising the physical and mental value of sport and sharing the benefits with the wider community, including the children of key workers during lockdown. The college was also named a finalist in two other categories – Student Careers Programme and Co-educational School of the Year. Rob Kift, the college’s Director of Sport said: “We are delighted that the college has been recognised in this way. Our philosophy has always been the importance of ‘sport for all’, which not only includes our own students and staff, but also members of our local community.” Hurst has not only established an enviable reputation for the quality, breadth and inclusivity of its sporting provision, but also for the passion and commitment of its talented hard-working team to ensure each pupil develops a lifelong love of sport and physical activity.

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Left to right: Steve May, Rebecca Jutson, Rob Kift

❛❛ As part of a caring community, equal attention is given to those who simply want to participate as well as the elite performers ❜❜ As part of a caring community, equal attention is given to those who simply want to participate as well as the elite performers. With extensive on-site facilities, the ambition is to create an activity diet that engages pupils in an enjoyable, challenging and meaningful way, through traditional team sports, individual sports and outdoor pursuits. Central to the programme is pupils’ physical and mental wellbeing, demonstrated by the unique player welfare programme, with qualified physiotherapists who triage, monitor injuries and support rehabilitation, in conjunction with strength and conditioning coaches. Seen as leaders in the community and an example of excellence, others look to Hurst’s innovative, outward-looking approach, developed not only with the best interests of their own students at heart, but for the good of sport in the wider area. The creation of the Sussex

Independent School Diamond League Athletics Programme is the latest of many initiatives which have proved popular. The college has forged strong links with maintained schools by hosting development days, as well as being a hub for Surrey Storm Netball South and Sussex County Cricket academies, a feeder for the Harlequins Rugby Development Programme and the base for Sussex Hockey. Hurst also organises and plays host to regional and national competitions and events in a variety of sports. One hundred teams across all ages and levels of sporting ability compete throughout the year – the result of a c a ref u ll y c r af te d d e ve l o p m e n t programme which has delivered sustained success at regional and national competitions, and which has also taught pupils important life skills along the way.

With the unprecedented circumstances surrounding Covid-19, Hurst’s Sports Department responded to the unique challenge of remote learning by implem e n t i n g a l te r n a t i v e w a y s o f engagement and successfully delivered a comprehensive programme, including on-site options for children of key workers, which received universal praise from students and parents. This creative and dynamic approach has continued since pupils returned to the college for the new academic year, with year-group athletics and crosscountry events. These have proved extremely popular and a valuable opportunity for students and houses to come together. Successful collaboration with pupils and parents as well as a constant desire to improve is the driving force behind a high-quality programme of which Hurst College is justifiably proud.

www.hppc.co.uk

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There are growing calls for the highways sector to play a wider role in positively impacting public health – but is it possible? David Ogden, Business Director for Highways at Amey, thinks it is. Here he explains why.

COLLABORATION IS THE KEY TO DRIVING POSITIVE CHANGE As the pandemic continues to stress test many traditional economic models, innovation has never been so important. In fact, it is likely to play a fundamental role in not only mitigating the economic fallout that COVID-19 continues to leave in its wake, but also assisting the path towards economic recovery. But what does innovation and service transformation in the context of the highways sector look like, and how can it be translated into meaningful outcomes at a regional level?

need to work together to deliver solutions. This is not achievable in silos.

A BLUEPRINT FOR SAFER WORKING ENVIRONMENTS

One of the key areas where collaboration and innovation converge is safety; an area that Amey is influencing at both macro and micro levels. At a macro level, investing in sustainable highways infrastructure is positively impacting public health and, arguably, lessening the burden on crit-

❛❛ Being placed in a situation that we are not in control of has given us a platform and the freedom to review our approach to highways and infrastructure service delivery ❜❜ Innovation is about enabling continuous improvement in order to deliver better outcomes for communities. Yet, real innovation, whether that is de-carbonisation on the journey towards net zero, or effectively delivering and promoting active mobility solutions, can only be truly realised through open collaboration between the public and private sectors. Ultimately, success comes from open collaboration between large and small organisations across multiple sectors, all of which

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ical public services such as the NHS. Installing cycle paths and addressing the growing demand for electric vehicles by installing the necessary charging infrastructure, for instance, is facilitating active travel and contributing towards the reduction of carbon emissions. Likewise, maintaining public footpaths to a high standard reduces the potential of trips and slips. On a micro level, and through access to robust and real-time data, much of

which exists as a result of Amey’s willingness to adopt new technologies that allow our teams to view, analyse and act on information at a granular level, we’re able to develop innovative solutions that address safety issues. For example, both Amey and industry-specific data shows that people continue to be injured whilst working on the road network, an issue that is now within our gift to address. One example of how we are doing this is our collaboration with Kent Council. The partnership, which has seen us pioneer the use of innovative drone technology in road investigations and maintenance, has demonstrated that by mixing new technologies with existing engineering skills, we can safeguard our teams, improve response times, remove additional vehicles from the network and minimise risk of injury. Without effective collaboration between Amey, our partner VTOL Technologies and the council, this advancement may have merely remained a concept – or never have been conceived of at all. Also, from a longer-term perspective, this willingness to collaborate is enabling all participating organisations to learn, share best practice and accelerate innovation and growth in a way that is simply not possible in isolation.


ENVIRONMENT

contracts, where success is measured on desired outcomes that not only take into account service delivery, but also the creation of social value, too. We’ve found that by embracing the technological revolution and collaborating with both private and public sector organisations, Amey is able to build better, more valuable relationships across its entire supply chain and deliver much more than what would be achieved by working in siloes. We’re also able to build relationships based on trust and, in doing so, cultivate a climate whereby conversations around new approaches and innovative thinking can flourish.

WORKING TOGETHER TO ACHIEVE MUTUAL GOALS

Of course, we are not just concerned about the safety and wellbeing of Amey’s people, but also those we are charged with serving through our partnerships with UK councils. Our continued work with the ADEPT Live Labs programme illustrates this. The two-year, £22.9m project funded by the Department for Transport will run until November 2021, and we are working on two of the Live Labs currently in operation. In September we launched micro-mobility trials in par tnership with Staffordshire County Council and as part of the ADEPT Smart Places Live Labs programme. The government-approved project saw 150 e-scooters introduced to the streets of Staffordshire in order to explore alternative, green transport options for the local community. The aim is that as people begin to return to their workplace, they will have access to transport - other than buses and cars - that can positively impact the environment. This is the first of 10 mobility and clean air initiatives that will be trialled across Staffordshire in the next 12 months alone. The trial has been designed to test new innovations, improve the mobility of

those living within the council’s catchment area, and help people connect more easily and sustainably. It also further supports the benefits of effective public-private sector partnerships, demonstrates the potential of collaborative working and illustrates how organisations are now moving away from siloed working methods.

COLLABORATION BEYOND THE PANDEMIC

COVID-19 has undoubtedly produced a huge shockwave and forced many, if not all, sectors to do things differently. However, being placed in a situation that we are not in control of has given us a platform and the freedom to review our approach to highways and infrastructure service delivery, and adapt our processes to suit a post-COVID world. In fact, it is this freedom that is enabling us to trial new solutions, and learn much more at a much faster rate. Our aim is to share this knowledge with others in a bid to fasttrack further innovation and help shape government policy and legislation. This shift has seen us look deeper into how we can better meet the needs of local councils and citizens by exploring bespoke contract models. One example is considering the merits of replacing output-based contracts, where achievement is measured on performance standards, with outcome - based

Ultimately, if strategic local outcomes are clear and shared, traditional highways contracts can become an enabler for change. They can also deliver carbon reduction through improved mobility infrastructure, as we are now seeing in Stafford. Can the highways sector have a positive impact on public health? Absolutely, yes. In fact, there has never been a closer link or a bigger opportunity. With the global and local focus on climate emergency, and the changes created by the pandemic, there is a collective momentum across the sector to deliver outcomes that positively impact the citizens of the areas that we operate in. So, let’s collectively grab those opportunities to collaborate and build on them. In doing so, we can be proud that we are not only building the highways infrastructure of today, but also addressing the challenges that public sector organisations continue to face.

For more information on Amey’s journey towards net zero visit www.amey.co.uk

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PEST CONTROL

A PEST PREVENTION CONTRACT

ONE LESS THING TO WORRY ABOUT

Pest control companies are experiencing a surge in calls about rat problems as the weather gets colder and rodents go in search of harbourage and food. With many office buildings still empty due to the pandemic, rats and mice are able to run riot with little risk of disturbance by humans. Building owners have a legal duty to keep their premises free of pests and many are realising the importance of a prevention contract. A pest prevention contract is similar to an insurance contract – the difference being that with a company like Cleankill you will get at least eight ‘proactive’ visits from a highly trained pest control technician each year. Choose your provider carefully. Some pest control companies over charge and under deliver. Others are untrustworthy and focused on sales targets rather than what is actually needed by the customer. Cleankill Pest Control Managing Director Paul Bates explains: “With most things, you pay for what you get. Be wary if you get a cheap quote from a large company because it’s likely they will try to make up the shortfall by charging unexpected extras later on or cutting corners. Also be wary of contracts being ‘bundled’ with cleaning and landscaping. These services

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to catch the flies before they enter the building. Units available include standard ‘sparking’ units and glueboard units that can be moved around affected areas, particularly in those premises that suffer from the Autumn cluster flies. Cleankill provides a detailed digital report at the end of each inspection which is available within minutes of the service being carried out.

❛❛ The contractor you

choose should belong to the British Pest Control Association ❜❜ should be kept separate as they are very different and practises can sometimes conflict.” The contractor you choose should belong to the British Pest Control Association and all staff should be qualified to the RSPH Level Two, have written accreditations in Health and Safety and full employers’ and public liability insurance. Proofing against mice, rats and birds should be looked at as part of an overall integrated pest control system. Install fly-control units in kitchens, catering areas, bin rooms and delivery bays

CLEANKILL HOLDS THE FOLLOWING ACCREDITATIONS AND MEMBERSHIPS:

Gold Investors in People; Achilles; Alcumus SafeContractor, Altius Assured Award and CDM: Avetta; Bat Conservation Trust; British Pest Control Association; Certified Professional Pest Management – BS EN 16636: 2015; CHAS – Contractors Health and Safety Assessment Scheme; CHAS Premium Plus; Constructionline – Silver, Gold & Acclaim member; EXOR; ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 and Safe4Site.

Contact us for a free survey www.cleankill.co.uk or call 0800 056 5477.


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WELLBEING

WHY NOW IS THE TIME TO INVEST IN THE MENTAL HEALTH OF YOUR STAFF Businesses have invested huge resources into the safe return of their employees since Covid-19. But how much will they be investing in their mental health?

Reports show that poor mental health will impact one in four people during their lifetime. In 2018, 15.4 million working days in the UK were lost due to workplace stress, depression or anxiety. As the world continues to battle the impacts of the virus, these figures are surely set to rise as many who have never suffered in the past are reporting problems with their mental health. Workplace stress doesn’t just mean lost work days. It can also adversely effect creativity, innovation and others in the workplace. With mental health issues estimated at £2,500 per employee (pre Covid-19), Deloittes reported that the impact was upwards of £45 billion per annum for UK businesses. This year has seen the familiar and comforting office dynamic rapidly change alongside the increase in Covidrelated fear. This potent mix of accelerator change and fear causes the problem-solving parts of the brain to shut down resulting in increased anxiety, which left unchecked can develop into deep-seated depression.

MENTAL RESPITE POWER OF THE POD 3

POD Wellness is an innovative massage and wellbeing studio with the mission to improve the health and happiness for people with on-the-go lifestyles offering accessible, affordable and convenient physical and mental therapies. POD combines three powerful therapies into a single affordable and convenient 20-minute session for as a little as £22.50, helping customers achieve beneficial states of relaxation.

POD POWER NO.1: MASSAGE

An immediate benefit of a high-tech contact-free POD massage is a feeling of deep relaxation and calm as the brain’s happy hormones are released. At the same time, levels of stress hormones reduce. Studies indicate that high levels of stress hormones not only impact mental wellbeing, but also impair the immune system, reducing the body’s ability to effectively heal itself.

POD POWER NO.2: LIGHT

Light creates more than just visual impressions. It promotes biological and psychological effects that can positively impact our physical and mental wellbeing. POD’s non-invasive and pain-free low intensity LED Light Therapy can lessen depression and improve mood during times of stress and the long winter months; stabilise our circadian rhythm, helping us get a better, and deeper nights sleep; as well as improving the appearance of our skin, reducing finelines and wrinkles, and alleviating acne.

POD POWER NO.3: SOUND

POD uses two varieties of specialised audio – Binaural and Natural Soundscapes - to enable customers to access elevated states of calm, relaxation and focus. When Binaural and Natural Soundscapes are experienced over the course of a 20-minute POD massage therapy, heart rate and the body’s sympathetic ‘ fight-or-flight’ response reduces leaving listeners feeling less stressed, more relaxed and better able to solve problems.

Partner with POD and invest in your employees’ mental health If you would like to discuss how POD Wellness can support the wellbeing of your staff with bespoke and discounted packages, contact Alex Collinson, POD Founder and Director on 07544 839145 or email brighton@elevateyourday.co.uk

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INVESTING TO SUCCEED AT THE MANOR COLLECTION Giles Thomas, Operations Director at The Manor Collection If you sat me down two years ago and told me I would be awarded Surrey Business Person of the Year in 12 months’ time, I would have laughed at you. If you had told me that in two years’ time we would be where we are now, I would have had security escort you off the premises. Yet here we are. In the midst of the worst period the hospitality industry has seen in many a generation and, of course, a worldwide pandemic.

As a group of three independent hotels and an exclusive party venue, we have not been an exception to the industry’s recent hardship. We have had to re-evaluate our business from top to bottom in order to continue operating and to secure a future for our venues and our staff. Sadly, this restructuring has meant a number of long-term employees were made redundant and those remaining have had to learn new skills in order to cover the gaps; something I’m exceptionally thankful to the team for doing with such understanding. Since the country went into lockdown back in March we have had to keep a close eye on every aspect of the government’s latest rules and regulations. As you all know these change so frequently that it has almost become a full-time job just keeping up with them. All our venues are primarily focused around the successful running of both public and private events, such as weddings, parties and conferences. All of them have been heavily impacted by these regulations and increased the need for us to adapt as a business. As we began to lift our heads above the water back in July, we started focussing on the rejuvenated staycation market. Starting with Hartsfield Manor, we admittedly reduced our rates and partnered up with a number of popular voucher websites with the hope of achieving occupancy rates of around 30-40%. We were staggered by the public’s desire to break free from the homes they had been locked in for so long, and couldn’t believe it when we had occupancy rates of over 70%.

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TRAVEL We were staggered by the public’s desire to break free ❜❜

❛❛

It was these fantastic results that led us to reopen Reigate Manor at the beginning of August. Unfortunately, we haven’t seen quite the same resurgence as we have at Hartsfield Manor. This was perhaps down to the developing government guidance but most certainly not helped by the closure of Reigate Hill. If you think trying to encourage guests to leave their homes during a pandemic is hard enough, try telling them they may need to add a 26-mile diversion to their journey. Despite the public’s desire to get out and about, it is clear that a challenging winter lies ahead. It is commonplace for many in the hospitality industry to struggle through the early months of the year. But usually, there would have been a storming Christmas period to carry them through. The 10 o’clock curfew, the Rule of Six, and the public’s confusion over what they can and cannot do has put a huge dent in. However, this doesn’t mean Christmas is off this year. Far from it. Our three hotels,

for example, have a bumper Christmas offering. Lunch and dinner reservations, as well as festive afternoon teas, are all available throughout December. Not forgetting lunch on Christmas Day and Boxing Day, and a six-course feast for your New Year’s Eve celebrations. Like us, the entire hospitality industry has invested heavily in ensuring our venues are safe for the public to return to. From the moment we reopened we have tripled our efforts to improve cleanliness throughout and followed every piece of advice we can get our hands on.. All team members wear face masks from the moment they clock in until they leave the building at the end of their shift. Protective screens are in place wherever we can put them and hand sanitiser bottles are on each and every table in our public areas. All this has meant we are as safe as we possibly can be. And this is just the start. We will continue to invest in these safety measures for as long as we need to.

And it is here where the general public come in. More than any other industry, hospitality is reliant on people coming out to enjoy themselves. Now more than ever it is vitally important that we do what we can to help our local bars, restaurants and hotels where we can. Eat out, stay overnight and enjoy these establishments by following the guidance set out by the government and the individual business. I do not wish to get into a fight over who is or who isn’t to blame for the spread of this virus but currently, the hospitality industry is being used as a scapegoat for something that has very little to do with us. And now with the latest nationwide lockdown in place, I urge you to support your local venue when they are finally allowed to reopen, hopefully in time for Christmas. Stay safe, follow the guidance and enjoy our industry like we intend it to be enjoyed.

Giles Thomas Operations Director gt@manorcollection.co.uk 01737 845300

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2020 has been tough for everyone. But when the going gets tough, we Brits get going. And none so much as right here in Surrey. In the face of adversity, the irrepressible spirit of our villages, towns and businesses has been both compassionate and successful

PINTS WITH PURPOSE One such Surrey business is The Official Military Beer Co. founded by Andrew McMorran of Hascombe. Today, we take a quick look at how this innovative new Surrey company is making the lives of others a great deal more enjoyable. “Essentially, we make Pints with Purpose™ - premium craft beers that taste good, look good and do good.” says Andrew. “We brew delicious Surrey beers for regiments of the British Army to honour our soldiers. And for every bottle sold we make a donation to the regiment’s charity to help their wounded recover from injury. And we’re thrilled by the response. “We’ve been commissioned by royal corps and regiments including The Royal Artillery, The Royal Engineers, The Royal Signals, The REME, The Army Air Corps and The King’s Royal Hussars – which together make up over 60% of the British Army.” The beers are certainly dressed to impress. Each smart bottle label is inspired by the colours, history and battle honours of each regiment. “We knew from the outset that these beers had to excel (they’re all gold award-winners in their own right)”, says Andrew, “but as new recruits to the British Army they had to look the part too.”

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They certainly seem to have found their target. The beers are now stocked throughout the UK in the regiments’ mess bars and they’re also finding favour in some highly discerning and far-flung quarters having recently been delivered to both Buckingham Palace and the distant army outpost of The Falkland Islands. “The regimental charities we support are small, but they do hugely important work supporting soldiers and veterans whose service careers have been cut short through injury. They are vastly underfunded, so our donations make a big impact. “Starting a small business in the middle of a global pandemic has certainly had its challenges but I’m really proud we’ve been able to make this happen. It’s been a major ‘Team Surrey’ effort.


BUSINESS

❛❛ We have delivered

to both Buckingham Palace and the distant army outpost of The Falkland Islands ❜❜ Our partners – all of them local small businesses – have been terrific; The Crafty Brewing Co., Delivered Social, designer Alison Cummins and Claire Brunt Bookkeeping - they’ve all been fantastic.” All the OMBC’s regimental beers are now available online to the general public. So, if you’re a fan of great craft beer or if you’re wondering about the perfect gift for the soldier in your life, then you really can’t go wrong with the OMBC. That’s Christmas sorted for many hard-tobuy-for family and friends, we’re sure!

Visit: www.officialmilitarybeer.co.uk

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RS6 AVANT Two years ago l made this model my Platinum Car of the Year and rightly so. Therefore, it bears looking at again to see if it has slipped down the rankings. By Maarten Hoffmann, Senior Motoring Editor

It has always been a conundrum – how to make a supercar a family estate. We have a plethora of SUVs making the attempt, such as the Lamborghini Uras, Range Rover SVR, Porsche Macan Turbo and the like but these are hulking great high-riding SUVs and not standard estate cars. Mercedes have certainly cracked it with the AMG E93 Estate. Ever since Audi collaborated with Porsche in 1992, as they are all a part of the same Volkswagen Group, they have got the formula spot on for fire-breathing estate cars. This thing is full of attitude, 80mm wider than the ‘tame’ version, furious grill and exhaust pipes that play the music from heaven. It is hunkered down on the ground and is always ready to go. And go it certainly does, with their fourth generation power plant – a 4.0-litre bi-turbo V8 that offers 592bhp

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and 0-62 in a blistering 3.6 seconds via an eight-speed box and AWD. The top is limited to 155mph but the Carbon Black pack takes this to 174mph, and the Vorsprung option pops it up to 190mph. That said, it is important to remember that this is a five-door family estate car that can move house, take a rugger team to the pitch or do an IKEA run, with 1680 litres of space. It does absolutely everything a normal large estate does it just does it rather quicker and in enormous style. Switch everything off and it is calm and docile – really, your Granny could drive this. The cabin is beautifully trimmed and engineered with everything at your finger tips and a mountain of tech wizardry. The quilted leather is superb, the worldbeating virtual cockpit is here and the heads-up display works brilliantly. Then

you get double glazing (although why you want to block out the sound of the engine is quite beyond me!), haptic glass, the MMI Navigation Plus infotainment system and a further screen for all the dial info. Add this to the £6,300 B&O stereo and you are hot to trot for a trip around the globe - with a wardrobe in the back. I guess l should also mentioned the lap time and drag run meter!


MOTORING

TECH STUFF MODEL TESTED: 4.0 TFSI V8 Quattro ENGINE: 4.0-litre V8 POWER: 593 bhp SPEED: 0-62 3.6 seconds TOP: 155.3 (limited) ECONOMY: 22.6 mpg PRICE FROM: £89,900 AS TESTED: £134,655

There could not be a more obvious counter point to what the Yanks are used to than this rocket.

P LAT I N U M

OK, it’s not cheap but then is anything of quality cheap? There are three specs. The ‘standard’ car starts at £89,900, the Carbon Black at £100,650 and the top of the range Vorsprung package that offers you nearly 200mph, the B&O stereo, sports suspension and monster 22-inch wheels. In standard spec, it is cheaper than the AMG E63, BMW M5 and the Panamera Turbo Sport. As far as residuals go, it is predicted that it will hold 45.1% of its purchase price after three years, bettering both the Merc and the Beemer.

Driving is a joy but taming your right foot is a challenge as it just invites you to floor it. The Quattro system will send 85% of the power to the rear wheels when you push it hard and this does help cancel out the previous model’s ‘nose heavy’ feeling. The Sports Differential will aid the stupid to stay on the road and, if that doesn’t help, then there is the optional four-wheel-steering that greatly aids the turn in. One thing to be aware of are the suspension options. Adaptive air suspension is fitted as standard and has 40mm of travel through the various driving modes. It goes from a raised variant for bumpy roads, to a hunkered-intothe -arches (30mm lower than a standard A6 Avant) if you’re over 75mph. But if you’re serious about going quickly, the optional sports suspension might be more up your alley.

❛❛ Driving is a joy but taming your right foot is a challenge as it invites you to floor it ❜❜ To give you a clue of its constant pulling power, it will give you 124mph in under 12 seconds - and with the new launch control, it will get you there with ease and a slightly startled look on your face. Select the ceramic brakes and see the astonished face in the car behind you as you stop on a dime and he continues into the back of you. For the first time in its 20-year history, the RS6 is about to launch in the US and they are eagerly awaiting it. With all their stone-age, muscle metal, it will be a joy to show them what the Europeans can do with a fast car that will also be competent at going around corners.

In summary, this car has that magical ‘something’. Could be the sheep in wolf’s clothing, could be the joy of what mankind can do with engineering, could be the speed is just such a turn on. Whatever it is l don’t care, the RS6 is right up there as one of the best all-round cars on the planet. As they rip it out of my hands at the end of the week, they quell my sobbing with the delivery of a Lamborghini Huracan EVO RWD. Rear wheel drive and it’s raining. Oh my Aunt Mary, this will not end well.

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

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

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

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


THE BUSINESS MAGAZINE FOR WOMEN

NOV | DEC 2020 #7

REACHING FURTHER SUPPORTING THE FEMALE ECONOMY

BALANCING FEMALE LEADERSHIP

BLISS YOGA PART TWO OF THE SERIES

GIRL TORQUE REVIEW OF THE AUDI SQ7

THE BIG STORY

THE TOP TEN LIST

FEMALE BILLIONAIRES


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

Gatwick brings global trade opportunities closer

We’re more than just an airport


cont ent s 8

FEMALE BILLIONAIRES

8 THE RISE OF THE FEMALE BILLIONAIRE 12 WHY DO WE STILL LINK ABILITY WITH LOOKS? 14 BALANCING FEMININE LEADERSHIP FOR THE FUTURE 18 THE MOMENTS THAT MATTER 20 WORDS OF INSPIRATION 22 TWO CHICKS WAS THE FIRST EGG WHITE TO LAUNCH IN THE UK

14 24 REACHING FURTHER SUPPORTING THE FEMALE ECONOMY 29 NATWEST ACCELERATOR ENTREPRENEUR OF THE MONTH 30 THE YOGA SERIES 32 POD WELLNESS 34 AUDI SQ7

24

REACHING FURTHER

3


MEET THE STEERING COMMITTEE

Our illustrious steering committee guide the editorial tone of the magazine

JULIE KAPSALIS CEO Chichester / Crawley College Group

EMMA LANE Director Allied Irish Bank

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

FAIZA SHAFEEK CEO Carrot Events

ALISON ADDY Community Officer Gatwick Airport

LOUISE PUNTER CEO Surrey Chambers of Commerce

LESLEY ALCOCK Commercial Director The Platinum Group

4

ABIGAIL OWEN Corporate Partner DMH Stallard

FIONA SHAFER CEO MD HUB

MAXINE REID Partner Quantuma

MAARTEN HOFFMANN CEO/Publisher The Platinum Group

ANA CHRISTIE CEO Sussex Chamber of Commerce

ALISON JONES Partner Kreston Reeves

ZOE RUDLING Partner RSM

FIONA GRAVES Events Director The Platinum Group


welc ome FROM ROSEMARY FRENCH OBE Chair of the Dynamic Steering Committee ROSEMARY’S OBE WAS AWARDED FOR SERVICES TO WOMEN IN BUSINESS I was pleased a few weeks ago to join a group of businesswomen in a video meeting with senior women at NatWest. They were sharing their experiences in supporting and delivering transformational initiatives in their Reaching Further programme to champion female staff with the potential to lead. I was so impressed with NatWest’s proactive drive to pick out these women and give them that direct support which would help them on their way up. Much more about the programme inside this edition of Dynamic.

Regrettably, I am not one of the female billionaires mentioned in another article but, rest assured, I am still trying to get there and not giving up! There should be no financial, board or political ceiling for any woman and these billionaires are showing us the way. I am missing the women-inbusiness get togethers that I have so enjoyed throughout my career before the pandemic. Talking online will never be the same as starting and finishing such meetings with chats over a cup of tea and cake,

where learnings, tips, advice, and support were freely shared. I dared to meet a female business friend recently for afternoon tea and we overran our parking time. We discussed how much business women are losing out during this ghastly time and whether we can do anything to influence the powers that be to recognise that the UK is at risk of losing a tranche of creative, innovative and inspirational women who are being laid off or whose own businesses have been destroyed.

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

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

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DAMES APPOINTED The Treasury has appointed two women to the Bank of England’s financial policy committee (FPC), the Chancellor announced last month. Dame Colette Bowe and Dame Jayne-Anne Gadhia will become external members of the FPC which works to ensure the stability of the financial system. Three of thirteen members of the FPC will be women following the appointments. It comes after the central bank was criticised for allowing gender diversity to go into reverse at senior levels. The bank’s annual report revealed in July that the proportion of women in top positions fell from 30% to 29% a year earlier. Its latest gender pay gap figures show women are paid 24.2% less than men, a discrepancy the BoE said was down to fewer women in senior roles.

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

MAGIC CIRCLE Georgia Dawson has become the first woman to lead one of the City’s ’magic circle’ law firms after she was elected as Senior Partner of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. The election of Australian-born Ms Dawson, who studied at the University of Sydney and has a Masters Degree from Cambridge, comes amid concern that women are being shut out of partnerships at the top law practices. All five magic circle have fewer than 25% of female partners.

WOMEN LOST Stress caused by managing a company, children’s online education and housework is likely to cause millions of career women to leave the workforce, a survey of 40,000 people by McKinsey and Co reveals. After months of home working thanks to the pandemic, and the stress of everything else to be done at home is proving too much for many. While 72% of men surveyed said they shared the household chores, only 44% of women agreed. The report suggests that the discrepancy is partly due to a ‘false perception’ that mothers can’t be truly invested in both family and work but men can. An insult of gargantuan proportions.

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WALL STREET FIRST BOX TICKING UK companies have been accused of “ticking a box” and appointing women to senior executive positions for symbolic purposes by a report that analyses gender and ethnic diversity in the boardroom. Women serve shorter tenures than men — an average of 3.3 years on a board for a female executive director is about half that of their male counterparts — and are less likely to be promoted to senior roles, according to the annual study by Cranfield University’s School of Management.

Citigroup has named a woman to be its new Chief Executive in a first for a Wall Street bank. Briton Jane Fraser, its current President and Head of Global Consumer Division, is to become its new boss when current chief Michael Corbat retires in February. He is stepping down after 37 years at the bank, including eight as leader. It comes as the maledominated world of US finance faces pressure to diversify its ranks. Scotland-born Ms Fraser has worked at Citi for 16 years, serving in her current role since 2019. She oversees business in 19 countries and previously led its Latin America division.

Meanwhile, the number of women in chair roles across the FTSE 100 has decreased this year. Sue Vinnicombe, professor at Cranfield University and lead author of the report, said that there was mounting evidence that “some companies have simply been ticking a box” in spite of rapid progress towards meeting government-sponsored targets to have at least a third of roles in the boardroom held by women. Cranfield says that the relatively short tenure of women on boards raises “the question of if they are choosing to leave or being pushed off”.

NOBEL CHAMPIONS Two women have shared the Nobel Prize for Chemistry for the very first time after being recognised for their creation of a gene-editing tool that holds out the promise of curing disease. Emmanuelle Charpentier (right), a French biochemist, and Jennifer Doudna, from the University of California, won the award for the discovery of ‘molecular scissors’ that can precisely snip out and replace genetic code.

GOOGLE GOES CO-ED Silicon Valley’s notorious boys club just went a little more co-ed. Google announced the hiring of Morgan Stanley Chief Financial Officer Ruth Porat, who has been called “the most powerful woman on Wall Street” as the company’s new CFO. Porat replaces Patrick Pichette – he plans to retire to spend more time with his wife and travel. “We’re tremendously fortunate to have found such a creative, experienced and operationally strong executive,” said Google co-founder and CEO Larry Page in a news release. “I look forward to learning from Ruth as we continue to innovate in our core – from search and ads to Android, Chrome, and YouTube – as well as investing in a thoughtful, disciplined way in our next generation of big bets.” Porat started at Morgan Stanley in 1987 working in mergers and acquisitions and has held many roles at the company, including leading both the Equity Capital Markets technology business and the Global Technology Group. Before being appointed to CFO and executive vice president in 2010, she also served as the global head of the Financial Institutions Group.

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X X X X X X X

THE RISE OF

THE FEMALE BILLIONAIRE Although money is not the be-all and end-all, it is a marker of success within business. There are many women doing incredible jobs that will never make them rich, whether it be for the good of the community, charity work or research but here we take a look at the rise of the female billionaires.

8


COV E R

It is recorded that there are 234 female billionaires in the world with half from the US, but Europe and China are well represented. Although it is mainly men that are impressed by such numbers, it is a stark reminder to them that women are just as capable in this area as men - given the chance. We throw the word billionaire around in a cavalier fashion these days but just think about that for a moment. It is a thousand million. A million is quite a large amount of money to have but a thousand of them is somewhat inconceivable to many, including me. And of course, the more you have the more you make as in normal times,

STORY

just sitting there it makes money for itself through investments. If it was left in the bank even at today’s ridiculous interest rates, it would earn £40m a year. Many of the ladies listed inherited their fortune but it will be what they do with it that will count. It affords them the opportunity to really make a difference and, one would hope, that they progress the advance of women’s rights and create opportunities for women to succeed outside of men.

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1

X X X X X X X

ALICE WALTON $54.4 billion

UNITED STATES SOURCE: RETAIL An heir to part of the Walmart fortune, she is worth £10 billion more than in 2019.

FRANCOISE BETTENCOURT $48.9 billion

FRANCE SOURCE: COSMETICS An heir to the L’Oreal fortune, after the death of her mother, Liliane Bettencourt.

2 SO HERE ARE THE RANKINGS OF THE WORLD’S TOP FEMALE BILLIONAIRES MACKENZIE BEZOS $36 billion

UNITED STATES SOURCE: AMAZON She gained the fortune upon her divorce from Amazon founder, Jeff Bezos.

3

JULIA KOCH $38.2 billion

UNITED STATES SOURCE: PETROLEUM AND CHEMICALS Inherited her fortune in Koch Industries when her husband, David, died in 2019.

10

4

5

JACQUELINE MARS $24.7 billion

UNITED STATES SOURCE: CONFECTIONERY Having worked at the company for 20 years, she inherited her fortune from making M&Ms and Milky Way bars.


COV E R

STORY

$20.3 billion

LAURENE POWELL JOBS

CHINA SOURCE: REAL ESTATE Yang sits on the board of a HK real-estate company and owns 57%.

UNITED STATES SOURCE: COMPUTERS The widow of Apple founder, Steve Jobs, Laurene is a philanthropist.

YANG HUIYAN

6

$16.4 billion

7

SUSANNE KLATTON

8

$16.8 billion

GERMANY SOURCE: AUTO MANUFACTURING As heir to the BMW fortune, Susanne’s fortune has slumped by 24% since the pandemic started.

ZHONG HUIJUAN $14.8 billion

CHINA SOURCE: PHARMACEUTICALS Chair of Chinese drugmaker, Hansoh. Her husband is only 105 on the list.

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10

GINA RINEHART $13.1 billion

AUSTRALIA SOURCE: MINING Although her father was a geologist, he passed her no wealth and therefore she is self-made.

AND THE YOUNGEST... KYLIE JENNER $1 billion

The youngest female billionaire is celebrity Kylie Jenner reportedly now worth $1 billion. That makes her the youngest billionaire in history, and the youngest self-made billionaire ever. The fortune was made from her cosmetic line that, at the start, sold purely online, and from the fame built up around her family, the Kardashians.

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WHY DO WE STILL LINK

ABILITY WITH LOOKS?

By Rosemary French OBE 12

It is extraordinary that society still links one’s ability, skills, intelligence and even sociability with how we look. Our work culture has failed to eradicate this ‘lookism’. Indeed, it is showing little will to alter this ‘conscious’ bias. I could be talking here about the appalling discrimination towards the disabled, and men and women of colour, where some small steps have been made in terms of racial

and disability legislation. But no, I am talking about the women who are perceived to be less attractive (whatever that means) than our photo edited view of the ideal woman shown in the glossies and most effectively across social media. We have read stories where women have been instructed to wear high heels and avoid trousers at work. We grimaced when Hilary Clinton was


COM M E N T

Clearly the jacket was a better judge of my ability than the honours degree from a top university! pilloried for wearing trouser suits throughout her presidential campaign. She said she had chosen her trouser suits because they were more comfortable while spending hours on the long campaign road and to draw attention away from her being a female presidential candidate. The ugly reality was that America, as in the UK, is still unable to let go of their rigidly outdated definitions of femininity. In my own career I was twice subjected to lookism. In 1977 I was rejected for a graduate trainee buying role at a famous clothing retailer with the feedback saying, ‘she was not wearing a suit’. I was a poor student for heaven’s sake and was wearing one of their very own smart white blouses and skirt! No way could I afford the jacket to go with the skirt. Clearly the jacket was

a better judge of my ability than the honours degree from a top university! Then in 1983, when I had just completed my induction at another national retailer, I was told that my performance was excellent but that I really needed to do something about my makeup at work. Although I said that I wore both mascara and lipstick already, they meant I should cake my face with foundation and layer on eyeshadow. I nodded agreement but did not change other than to renew my lipstick more often and thicken the mascara. Judge me for my ability, not my face. Don’t get me wrong, I believe absolutely in dressing well for business because it portrays both professionalism and enables me to psychologically step into my business role. Our dress is a profound expression of our identity, but it does not characterise ability. Dressing well to do the job is a bit different to being told how to look and what to wear. Women in business do think carefully about what to wear because we do not have a business uniform to hide behind like men who have been wearing their

suit, shirt and tie outfits since the 1900s. How men look is rarely an issue. A man may have a visible facial scar, or a broken nose and he is considered rugged, a real man. Recruiters react to a woman with such imperfections as disfigurements. Would a bald man be told to wear a wig, asked to shave off a beard, to use cover up on his rugby scrum scar? I was dismayed when I read the recent survey results from law firm Slater and Gordon, saying that employers are asking female employees to dress ‘sexier’ and wear make-up during the video meetings, which have become endemic during the Covid-19 crisis. Over one third of the women polled said they had received inappropriate comments about their hair, asked to wear more makeup and to dress more provocatively. It struck me that these same women had probably sat down for the meeting after juggling the feeding of husbands, setting schoolwork for their children, and putting away the Ocado food delivery! I was pleased to note that the law firm said that such requests were both degrading and discriminatory. However, I strongly doubt whether any women would take this up with their employers fearing the loss of their job. What chance do young girls have, if the media and social media demonstrate that having a good job will depend on how they look? If they are bullied online for imperfections, if they are given nicknames, if their career worth depends on false eyelashes and painted nails? They do not want to be called pushy, intimidating, or aggressive. As long as confident women are portrayed as ‘bossy’ while men are ‘decisive’ it is will be just as much a form of abuse as being groped. We, older women can help with this injustice by mentoring younger women at the early stages of their careers to reassure them that ability does matter more than looks and they can breakthrough that glass ceiling in their comfortable yet fashionable court shoes, not teetering precariously to the other side on stiletto heels! And when we are in in positions of authority it is up to us to eradicate those perceptions in our work culture.

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BALANCING FEMININE LEADERSHIP FOR THE FUTURE Emma Ressler led high-performing sales teams and launched British brands in global markets for nearly two decades. In 2019 she made a permanent move to Canada, taking the opportunity to embark on new ventures. In 2021 she will walk John o’Groats to Land’s End, to highlight local businesses and individuals making positive change in their communities and beyond.

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COM M E N T

WHY AND HOW THE FUTURE CALLS FOR MORE FEMININE TRAITS IN LEADERSHIP

Historically the corporate world was run by men in a masculine manner. As women entered the corporate world, they adopted these masculine qualities, even down to how they dressed to gain acceptance and progression. Yet we have increasingly seen the benefits of feminine qualities in leadership and business. On a global stage, with the COVID pandemic, we saw New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern’s compassionate, feminine approach gain greater buy-in around the world. At the same time, Oprah Winfrey’s undeniable business success has flourished from the feminine trait of compassion. Successful executivecoach Tara Mullarkey created her business High Ticket Empress, having lived and succeeded in the masculine world of Wall Street before embarking on a journey to discover how embracing her femininity could elevate her career further and take other women on this journey with her.

THE MASCULINE AND THE FEMININE

Masculine and feminine qualities are different types of energy. Masculine energies include drive, strength, and assertiveness, while feminine energies are those such as compassion, creativity, and resilience. Effective leadership needs both of these, which is why the time to openly re-balance the perception and use of them in business is overdue. Since the early Greeks, men’s interpretations of women have been embedded into society’s subconscious, historically leading to an overwhelmingly adverse inference on women’s ability to perform in the workplace and degrading the strength of and need for femininity. Yet, feminine traits such as resilience, communication, flexibility, and relationship building are vital in leadership and increasingly viewed as critical for future success. Leading from a place of femininity is

what Tara Mullarkey is bringing to the fore. After leaving Wall Street, Tara travelled the globe and learned to embrace her femininity, leading to the creation of her incredibly successful coaching business, High Ticket Empress. One of Tara’s core beliefs is that ‘embodied wealthy women are the most potent force on the planet politically, globally, economically.’ Tara promotes this belief fervently through her business, elevating female coaches and executives to exceed their goals and expectations. Tara’s success comes from helping women leverage their future success by recognizing, reversing and healing these deeply embedded beliefs that masculine led society has imprinted on women.

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COM M E N T INVITING IN FEMININE DRESS CODES

LATENT TALENTS OF THE FEMALE BRAIN

Research by Markus Hausmann1 shows that women tend to use both the left and right sides of their brains more, providing evidence that women can be more flexible thinkers, which is a priceless skill in our fast-changing world. Simultaneously, research by Simon Baron-Cohen at Cambridge University 2 shows how the female brain can empathise more. Watching Jacinda Ardern and Dr. Bonnie Henry in British Columbia, Canada, respond to the pandemic further evidenced this ability for females to effectively handle crises and rapid change through listening, empathy, and compassionate communication.

Leaders often set the tone for attire, and their choices have subconscious impacts on organisational culture, with many new-starters adapting their personal style to fit in. If our sartorial choices are viewed as a physical manifestation of our leadership, what is the effect of women’s clothing choices in the workplace? Even today from The City to Silicon Valley workplace dress codes are primarily defined by masculine looks, with women often finding themselves uncertain on how to dress. Research by Adam and Galinsky 3 found that when asked to put on a lab coat, some subjects felt like ‘phonie’s,’ suggesting a disempowering aspect of dressing to someone else’s requirements. Also, while some studies, such as a 2014 study by the Journal of Experimental Psychology 4, indicate that formal versus casual dress can impact specific aspects

Women can be more flexible thinkers, which is a priceless skill in our fast changing world

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Stand out from the crowd A Harvard study introduced ‘The Red Sneakers Effect’ finding that nonconformist clothing could ‘lead to positive inferences of status and competence in the eyes of others’ thereby suggesting that standing out from the crowd can be a positive move.5 of work such as negotiations, there is nothing to suggest that masculine clothing is more business appropriate. Nonetheless, at this time, with more male leads than females, male dress choice still sets the parameters for work attire. Research, however, suggests that the most effective approach is to dress true to who you are and vary between a casual and formal version of that style according to the task.


THE FUTURE OF FEMININE LEADERSHIP

It is crucial to re-enforce that masculine attributes remain essential even for female leaders. There will always be times when positive masculine energies such as assertiveness, order and objectivity are required. Yet, there is a significant need for more empathy, diversity, open-mindedness, and trustworthiness in leadership. What is needed is a positive balance of the two types of energy, adapted appropriately to each situation. While this article focused on women and their feminine leadership qualities, men can and should equally adopt more of these feminine qualities to expand their leadership potential. I believe that the global pandemic of 2020 has highlighted the need for and strength of feminine led leadership and organisations need to allow for and encourage more of this to flourish. With leadership traits such as approachability and trustworthiness essential for business growth and if our attire is the first impression of our leadership, it is worth considering whether a move to more feminine dress alone could bring positive change in leadership?

Tara Mullarkey is releasing her first book later this year called ‘7 Figure Femme’, which embodies her teachings on how to become a high worth female 1. WHY SEX HORMONES MATTER FOR NEUROSCIENCE: A VERY SHORT REVIEW ON SEX, SEX HORMONES, AND FUNCTIONAL BRAIN AYSMETTRIES by Markus Hausmann in the Journals of Neuroscience Research, published November 7th, 2016 https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/ jnr.23857 2. THE ESSENTIAL DIFFERENCE: THE TRUTH ABOUT THE MALE AND FEMALE BRAIN by Simon Baron-Cohen, University of Cambridge, published January 2003 www.researchgate.net/publication/ 232430614_The_Essential_Difference_The_ Truth_About_The_Male_And_Female_Brain

3. ENCLOTHED COGNITION by Hajo Adam & Adam Galinsky published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology July 2012 www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/ abs/pii/S0022103112000200 4. SARTORIAL SYMBOLS OF SOCIAL CLASS ELICIT CLASSCONSISTENT BEHAVIOUR AND PHYSIOLOGICAL RESPONSES: A DYADIC APPROACH by Michale W Kraus & Wendy Berry Mendes, published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology, 2014 https://psycnet.apa.org/ record/2014-38364-001

5. THE RED SNEAKERS EFFECT: INFERRING STATUS AND COMPETENCE FROM SIGNALS OF NONCONFORMITY by Sylvia Bellezza, Francesca Gino and Anat Keinan, published 2013 by The Journal of Consumer Research www.hbs.edu/faculty/Publication%20Files/ The%20Red%20Sneakers%20Effect%20 2014_4657b733-84f0-4ed6-a441d401bbbac19d.pdf

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PROMOT IONA L

FE AT U R E

THE MOMENTS THAT MATTER The key life events that can leave women at a financial disadvantage, and the steps you can take to become more financially independent ‘We’re all in this together’. It might be a phrase we’ve heard quite a lot recently, nevertheless, it’s still an apt opening to a game-changing report by Insuring Women’s Futures. More and more organisations are championing change when it comes to women’s financial security – and this report, ‘Securing the financial future of the next generation’ is a call to action for every woman and girl to take steps to secure her financial future. Money can still be a taboo subject for many women, despite us facing a number of challenges when it comes to building up a comfortable amount of retirement savings. The gender pay gap, pensions gap and any time taken away from work to look after family all have an impact.

The programme identified six key moments in life that disproportionately impact women when compared to men generally

The programme identified six key moments in life that disproportionately impact women when compared to men generally. Identifying these pivotal life events presents an opportunity for women to

6 ‘Moments that Matter’ in the lives of young British women

1

Growing up, studying an re-qulifying

3

Relationships: making up and breaking up

5

Later life, planning and entering retirement

18

2

Entering and re-entering the workplace

4

Motherhood and becoming a carer

6

LIll health, infirmity and dying


X X X X X X X

make a real difference to their financial security, by strengthening their financial resilience at those times. I would strongly recommend that you read the report, and use the information to help you plan the financial future you desire: www.insuringwomensfutures. co.uk/resources

STARTING THE CONVERSATION

The Insuring Women’s Futures programme encourages girls and women to engage in their own financial

life journey – to start making shortterm decisions, to create a future plan, and to arm themselves with knowledge. Most importantly, it’s up to women to feel empowered to discuss their finances. A professional financial adviser can help equip you with the information you need to make informed decisions that will impact your short- and long-term financial independence and resilience. As an adviser with Wellesley Wealth Advisory, a practice with over

The value of an investment with St. James’s Place will be directly linked to the performance of the funds you select and the value can therefore go down as well as up. You may get back less than you invested. An investment in equities does not provide the security of capital associated with a deposit account with a bank or building society. Wellesley Wealth Advisory is an Appointed Representative of and represents only St. James’s Place Wealth Management plc (which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority) for the purpose of advising solely on the Groups wealth management products and services, more details of which are set out on the Groups website www.sjp.co.uk/products. Wellesley Wealth Advisory is a trading name of Wellesley Investment Management Ltd.

£600 million funds under management, I am here to help you plan for the future, while taking into account key life events, such as those six ‘Moments that Matter’ – and beyond. I will also provide the emotional discipline required to ensure plans are acted upon, by offering guidance, support and stability to help you stay on course to reach your financial goals.

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

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People will say to me, ‘You’ve played so many strong women’ and I’ll say, ‘Have you ever said to a man, ‘You’ve played so many strong men?’ No! Because the expectation is men are varied. Why can’t we have that expectation about women? MERYL STREEP

I’m the successful entrepreneur my Dad wanted me to marry LISA BILYEU, FOUNDER, QUEST NUTRITION

WOR DS OF INSPIR ATION Inspiring quotes from inspiring women

“I’m speaking” KAMALA HARRIS

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I NSPI R I NG

WOM E N

Men don’t age better than women, they’re just allowed to age CARRIE FISHER

I always wondered why someone didnt do something about that Then I realised I am someone

LILY TOMLIN

One of the criticisms I’ve faced over the years is that I’m not aggressive enough or assertive enough, or maybe somehow, because I’m empathetic, it means I’m weak. I totally rebel against that. I refuse to believe that you cannot be both compassionate and strong JACINDA ARDERN

I have Asperger’s syndrome and that means I’m sometimes a bit different from the norm. And - given the right circumstances being different is a superpower GRETA THUNBERG

Those commenting on Greta Thunberg would do well to remember that Joan of Arc led an army, Jane Austen wrote her first work, Sojourner Truth escaped slavery, Anne Frank kept her journal, and Malala won the Nobel Prize at the same age

I know as a woman I’m supposed to be afraid of getting older but I love this shit so much. Every year I sink deeper into this bath of unapologetic realness and it’s amazing BUNMI LADITAN

DIANA BUTLER-BASS

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TWO CHICKS WAS THE FIRST EGG WHITE TO LAUNCH IN THE UK Good friends Anna and Alla began their business, Two Chicks, from scratch more than 14 years ago to bring the first ready-separated egg whites to UK consumers, after spotting a gap in the market for a fat and cholesterol free, lower calorie alternative to whole eggs. Two Chicks has now grown to embrace a range of innovative, convenient egg-based products, including an organic and free range liquid egg white and a fresh ready-touse pancake mix. Two Chicks is stocked in leading retailers across the UK, as well as internationally.

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WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO BE A SUCCESSFUL ENTREPRENEUR AND HOW DO YOU THINK YOU CAN INSPIRE OTHERS?

Part of our success was down to never taking no for an answer and just persevering with what we believed in. When we were first starting out, there was an assumption that two women with just an idea and no experience in business or food could ever make a success of it. Thankfully we didn’t listen, but there were times when it was very challenging and we had to really get creative. We had a big job on our hands; not

only did we have to convince the buyers to list the product, but we had to actually explain to them what it was and why anyone would want to buy it, as they were all totally unfamiliar with the concept of egg whites packaged alone. We were introducing an entirely new product category and it was a whole educational process. Then there was the question of in-store positioning and which buyer to approach – in America the eggs are kept in the fridge but in the UK they are not, so there was no obvious place for our product to sit.


DY NA M IC

STARTING OUR BUSINESS ON SUCH A LOW BUDGET MEANT THAT WE HAD TO BE EXTREMELY PERSISTENT AND INNOVATIVE IN ORDER TO GET INTO AND REMAIN IN THE MARKETPLACE.

It was a question of always thinking outside the box and pushing boundaries – ducking under the red tape at food shows to hand samples to celebrities on stage. When we first got listings in the multiples, we would drive around the country leafleting outside the stores. We couldn’t afford the in-store marketing options so we would go into supermarkets and place our own point-of-sale on the shelves. But this activity came to an end once we were removed by security from a major supermarket chain and got a call from the buyer! In 2016 we won the Entrepreneurial Spirit Award at the Variety Catherine Awards, set up to celebrate inspirational women in business. And one year after our launch, we made the national finals of the HSBC Start-Up Stars Awards, the UK’s premier competition for young businesses. So the challenges paid off!

JOU R N E Y

Part of our success was down to never taking no for an answer and just persevering with what we believed in WHAT’S NEXT FOR TWO CHICKS?

As female entrepreneurs, creating our own fund to support girls and young women has been a long-held ambition of ours. This idea has been further accelerated this year because of the setbacks for schools in 2020 owing to the pandemic. We feel that now has never been a better time for our business to make a positive difference, which is why we have decided to launch The Two Chicks Empowerment Fund. We wish to align ourselves with women’s causes. Our Fund is being set up to help disadvantaged girls and young women develop self-confidence through mentoring enterprise schemes and engagement in sports and the arts.

Over time we hope to grow the reach of the Two Chicks Empowerment Fund to support, inspire and nurture as many young women as possible and to equip them with the self-belief, confidence, and skills so that they can achieve their full potential, regardless of their backgrounds.

◗ Find out more at www.twochicks.co.uk Twitter @2chicksproducts Instagram @twochicksproducts

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REACHING FURTHER

SUPPORTING THE FEMALE ECONOMY

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FEM A LE EMPOW ER MENT

Victoria Cleverley NatWest

I am Chief of Staff in the Markets division. My role is to partner with the Markets’ CEO and to be a trusted and respected advisor. I am driven by helping others succeed and am thrilled when this value is realised – my role really does succeed when others succeed. There is no one trait or function that describes what I do – which is why we often hear the role being called ‘a catch all’. My role is to ensure the division is effective, efficient and most importantly, creating long-term sustainable value for all our customers and communities when they need us most. As Chief of Staff I am in a critical position to help leadership navigate - I connect the dots between the work that we do and the impact that it has on the firm and importantly, the economies and society in which we operate.

WHY REACHING FURTHER?

Our aim is to use the power of transformational connections to enable both personal and business development. By bringing and sharing insight, providing access to role models and encouraging a one bank approach, we are supporting senior women to thrive and creating the conditions for sustainable growth.

WHAT IS IT?

Reaching Further is an initiative involving about 100 senior women with influence from across the bank, each nominated by their business area. Reaching Further has already begun to leverage the banks resources, tackle mutual challenges, and take action to better serve our customers and communities and grow the business. Reaching Further is specifically targeted at senior women who have influence for the simple reason that to go further in achieving greater diversity balance internally, and rising female economic empowerment externally, we need to be targeted. We firmly believe that we can support the female economy, through the power of transformational connections. Bringing senior women with influence together we can create the platform to enable them to collaborate to make a

Laila Page NatWest

I am responsible for embedding purpose across NatWest, following our new CEO setting out her strategy to become a purpose led bank earlier this year. Our purpose is to champion potential, and help people, families and businesses to thrive – I firmly believe that as a bank we have a genuine role to play in creating value for society. We’re just at the beginning of our journey to become truly purpose led and my job is to create the environment within the bank for this to take hold and really thrive, which involves listening, building capability and also highlighting the great role modelling that I see every day by my colleagues.

We are supporting senior women to thrive through the power of transformational connections to drive sustainable business development difference. Not only does this support and motivate us collectively, it drives business development and better still, more creative decision making. There are many brilliant initiatives and employee-led networks already in NatWest for learning, development and connecting, and we are privileged to work for an organisation with phenomenal women in many leadership roles, from CEO and CFO downwards.

SO WHY CREATE REACHING FURTHER?

We all know there is a material opportunity for banks to drive longterm organisational performance by increasing both the attraction and retention of women and providing more opportunities for those women to progress into senior roles. McKinsey’s research on diversity showed that companies with more diverse gender, culture and ethnicity outperform companies that don’t support diversity. The research found that companies in the top quartile for gender

diversity experience out perform by 21%. For ethnic and cultural diversity, there was a 33% likelihood of out performance. Whilst we can see improvements in tackling gender balance, there is some way to go to genuinely empower the female economy. The opportunity is clear from two recent research reports. The Women in Financial Services 2020 report by Oliver Wyman outlined a potential missed revenue opportunity amounting to $700 billion from better serving women as customers. The 2019 Rose Review identified a £250 billion opportunity for the UK economy if women started and scaled up businesses at the same rate as men. With targeted interventions focused on both outcomes of personal and business development, we genuinely believe that Reaching Further not only can and does have an incredible impact on the women that it supports, but will also help drive sustainable business development. It stretches thinking, sparks imaginations and creates something quite different.

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FEM A LE EMPOW ER MENT

OUR PLAN IS BUILT AROUND 3 PILLARS FIRSTLY “CONNECTING” Building transformational connections

Encouraging connectivity between businesses and teams to collaborate on delivering a business agenda that supports our growth and the female economy. These include improving the awareness of existing initiatives and the exchange of information, such as broadening our understanding of our customer segments with the purpose of better serving our customers on their own journeys. ◗ encourage mentoring opportunities ◗ informal sponsorship ◗ progression and career mobility across the bank.

SECONDLY “INSIGHTS” Bringing inspiration to accelerate the movement

We fuel this group’s hearts and minds with fresh insights and perspectives that keep us close to the bank’s priorities while challenging us on what we can do, individually and collectively, to support the plan. We maximise opportunities through our partners, thought leaders and entrepreneurs, as well as from within our group. ◗ to bring in new insights and encourage those internally to share their own stories ◗ inspiring us to take bold action to further improve diversity of thought, knowledge sharing and innovation ◗ encouraging new ways of learning and reflection, which has proved even more important with current circumstances.

NEXT “DEVELOPMENT”

Creating and collaborating around opportunities, which we think is what distinguishes this from other networks – it’s a group with a clear business purpose. An outcome we have prioritised for 2020 and will in 2021, is connecting to develop business opportunities for the NatWest Group. Our purpose, as a bank, is to champion potential and help people, families and businesses to thrive and this group of senior and influential business leaders can really make a difference – something as simple as building better connections can have a huge impact on the service we can offer to our customers. Transformational connections and insights focussed on client outcomes will maximise our collective impact, customer-centric agenda and reputation.

Feedback from the cohort says that Reaching Further is having an impact, they are passionate for its existence with over 85% saying it is invaluable

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THE QUESTION WE ASK OURSELVES IS WHAT NEXT – WHERE ARE OUR ASPIRATIONS FOR 2021 AND BEYOND?

CROSS-POLLINATE LEADER CREATION AND 1ACROSS EXPERTISE AND EXPERIENCE 2 ROLE MODELLING THE BUSINESS We have helped develop meaningful connections across NatWest, allowing us to truly operate with a one bank mind-set. During 2021, we plan to build on these strong foundations and leverage them to deliver sustainable business development. By working better together and empowering each other, we can be more creative, efficient and find new opportunities to succeed for our customers and colleagues. As a result, this group of connected, energetic and influential business women will champion potential and help people, families and businesses to thrive.

The business case for diversity and inclusion is clear. We need more purpose-driven, vulnerable and empathetic leaders. We have a material role to play in encouraging diversity of thought, through challenge and provocation, and as role models, paying it forward to inspire and support future leaders, who likely look different to the leaders of today. In the PWC pay gap reporting, 95% of companies surveyed had not analysed their ethnicity pay gap and perhaps more striking… 75% did not have the data to do this. While Reaching Further initially focused on gender diversity, through this platform we have the opportunity and responsibility to promote and tackle ethnic and cultural diversity.

CREATING THE FUTURE 3 AND MANAGING THE PRESENT

We have learnt an enormous amount about ourselves and how we operate as a result of the pandemic. Megatrends and megathemes have been exacerbated and exposed and we are living in a re-purposed society where individuals have re-assessed values and the relationships they have with their firms. As these themes strengthen and behaviours change, we recognise the urgent need to industrialise new ways of working, adapt how we lead our teams and re-assess customers values, in order to be fit for a different future that is emerging. There is a huge area of exploration and opportunity – the untapped talent, perspectives and role models needed to build the future of tomorrow.

◗ Sources: Women in Financial Services Report 2020, Oliver Wyman, 2020 Delivering Through Diversity, McKinsey 2018 The Alison Rose Review of Female Entrepreneurship, 2019

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X X X X X X X

NATWEST ACCELERATOR ENTREPRENEUR OF THE MONTH

JOIN THE HIPE Having won a top prize for her revolutionary idea, the founder of HiPe Kids tells us of her journey. By Carmina Catena

Half French, half English and educated to a Masters in Applied linguistics, I always knew that I wanted to work in Languages. After a couple of years at Uni in France doing Philosophy, I decided to continue my studies in the UK and moved to Bristol where I did European Studies and Languages. As my son was born during the second year, I finished my course via Open University, took a CELTA and started teaching in Brighton which has been one of my homes for the past 19 years. When my son was 11 I wanted him to become truly bilingual and moved back to France. I took this opportunity to start my first business: teaching English to French executives. Unfortunately my son really missed England. He went back to the UK and I started my incredible new life: one week in France and one in England. In order to fit my work around my lifestyle, I moved all my clients online, teaching via Skype.

While in France I also started working for Cambridge English as a consultant, and going to school to speak to teachers and parents, it became very apparent that the need for learning English was not for adults but children. In 2018 I did a Hackathon and presented my idea: teaching French children online through a communicative and multi-sensory approach using only English native teachers. I won the prize for “most innovative idea” and in August that year, Mehdi, my associate, and I, founded Hipe kids: we had no logo; no business cards, no website! Today we have all of these and 150 clients. We have just finished a small crowdfunding campaign, and we want to start our first round of fundraising. The biggest challenges for me? I’m not sure. Sometimes I get very nervous about my business. I look at others and think: should I not be making hundreds of thousands by now? Shouldn’t my

business be bigger by now? but then the support that I have around me is fantastic. Natwest Entrepreneur has been great (Josh my coach has been fantastic), and the other entrepreneurs are always ready to help. I strongly believe that the key element to a growing business is a positive entourage. I’ve been extremely lucky to have a strong network around me, in the UK and in France. Friends and family are super important, but the business people you surround yourself with, for me, is what makes or breaks the entrepreneur. If I had two pieces of advice to give: start on your pitch deck as soon as possible and perfect your one-minute elevator pitch. Having a clear vision for your business and being able to talk about it is FUNDAMENTAL.

◗ For more information contact Carmina.catena@hipekids.com UK: 07 850 590 181 / FR: 07 70 18 22 73 hipekids.com

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THE YOGA SERIES

A guide to mastering the poses of Sun Salutation by Tess De Klerk from Bliss Yoga In the second edition of The Yoga Series we move from our steady Mountain into my favourite transitional move, the Swan Dive, to find ourselves in Uttanasana or Standing Forward Fold. More than any other group of postures, forward bends require surrender and patience. Flexibility cannot be achieved by force, only with patient persistence. The physical aim of a forward bend is to stretch out any tightness in the tissues along the entire back surface of the body, from the connective tissue on the soles of the feet, to the back and up over your head to meet your eyebrows. That is a lot of blissful stretch and release! In doing so they reduce headaches and aid in deep, restful sleep.

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Forward bends are also inversions with traction force drawing the vertebrae apart. This cycle of compression and decompression is what keeps the intervertebral discs lubricated and healthy and as such, Uttanasana helps to nourish the discs and is valuable to prevent disc degeneration and is beneficial for anyone already suffering from it.

On an energetic and emotional level, Swan Dive and Uttanasana can aid in emotional release as they help to access our parasympathetic nervous system, bringing us into a calmer, more introspective rest and digest state of being.

Some yogis prefer transitioning into Uttanansana with hands in prayer position but I find that Swan Dive greatly assists in opening the heart space and bending from the hips.


H E A LT H

SWAN DIVE TO UTTANASANA ◗ From Mountain Pose breathe in and reach your arms overhead. Stretch the arms up as high as you can, palms facing each other while stretching and splaying the fingers and hands. ◗ While keeping arms stretched high, check in to make sure that your shoulders haven’t crunched up to the ears - consciously move the shoulder blades down your back to ensure your shoulders are relaxed. Feel the openness of the chest and take a couple of deep breaths to enjoy the lung space you have created.

◗ Draw your lower abdomen in and up as you fold all the way forward. ◗ Make sure that your weight is evenly distributed between your heels and your toes, as the tendency is to put more weight on your heels. If you feel uncertain about shifting your weight forward then keep a block in front of you for support.

◗ Stretch your feet and come to standing on your tiptoes, with arms still outstretched to the heavens. Tiptoeing around to find your balance is part of the fun and strengthens the ankles. ◗ Flatten your feet, tighten your abs, slightly bend the knees and sweep your arms to either side of your body while leading with the crown of the head into hinging forward from the hips. Hinge until you find your chest parallel to the floor. Be sure to hinge forward from the hips as opposed to folding from the waste. Abdominals must be engaged to protect the lumbar area. We aim for a flat, comfortable back – watch out for overarching! If you have very tight hamstrings or lumbar area take as much bend in your knees as you need to be able to hinge forward at the hips, as opposed to rounding forward from the mid-back.

◗ You should now find yourself in an approximate 90 degree angled bend, arms reaching to the side, gaze down to the ground. Check in on your neck. The back of the neck should be straight - do not compress the back of the neck by looking upwards! ◗ Now we look for that sweet spot - that feeling of the whole front torso simply hanging from the skeletal system, hanging from the spine, in this active yet partly passive move. ◗ Enjoy the hang and breathe. ◗ Now simply drop the arms and let them hang free.

◗ Allow the weight of the crown of your head to release to the ground to further release the whole back of your body. You can gently shake your head yes and no here to make sure you’re not holding unnecessary tension in your neck. ◗ Your arms can be placed with palms or fingers on the floor, on blocks, or it can also feel good to cross your arms beneath you. Whichever arm position you choose, keep a broadness to the collarbone and across the upper back. ◗ Slightly lift and lengthen your torso with each inhalation. Release deeper into the pose with each exhalation. Let your head hang. ◗ Hold the pose for up to one minute. To release, slowly roll upwards starting at the tailbone and moving upwards, vertebrae by vertebrae, stacking the vertebrae with the neck and head straightening last. Don’t rush this upward roll of the spine – take your time and enjoy the effects of your movements.

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H E A LT H

POD WELLNESS

By Tess de Klerk Walking into the lovely POD studio in Hannington Lane in Brighton, my whole body felt tense and knotted after months of being hunched over my computer. I desperately needed the sweet release that only a massage could bring but, I must admit, when first invited to try POD, I expected a souped-up version of the airport massage chair awkwardness - being poked and prodded in mostly the wrong places and leaving the chair feeling decidedly underwhelmed. Blissfully, I can now unequivocally state that the POD massage chair is in a completely different stratosphere as Alex, the founder of POD, rightly stated. I walked out of POD feeling relaxed, refreshed and rejuvenated. All that from a 20-minute session!

I walked out of POD feeling relaxed, refreshed and rejuvenated

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The studio is perfectly set up for social distancing and each Pod is positioned in its own private area. A choice of nine therapeutic programmes, ranging from gentle relaxation to invigorating Thai stretch massage, ensures a suitable programme for everyone. After much deliberation, I finally settled on Flex, a deep tissue back massage followed by gentle yet progressive stretching whilst fully reclining back in ‘zero gravity 2’ for greater relaxation. I was offered a heated eye mask (yes please!) and a choice of music and binaural beats to aid in achieving my desired state of mind. Whilst nestling into one of the sleek Pods, impressive cutting edge technology quickly scans the body to tailor and match to a person’s unique body contours. Soon I was settled in a superbly comfortable, perfectly fitted

massage cocoon. Over the next 20 minutes, I experienced a proper deep tissue massage and expert stretching! All programmes can be enjoyed with uninterrupted reflexology, whilst compression airbags in the arms, hips, legs and feet promote blood circulation. The infrared heated “human touch” double roller system massages the upper body and neck, while simultaneously massaging the lower lumbar, glutes and hamstrings, meaning 20-minutes really can achieve the equivalent of one hour of traditional therapy. Just 20 minutes transformed my tense and knotted self! Pod is impressive and uniquely suited to our current needs. I can imagine forward-thinking companies leasing one of these from POD for their office. Result – happy, relaxed and grateful staff. Massage therapy and relaxation are offered in a safe and socially distanced way and it is affordable, effective and walk-ins are welcome – just what I needed today. Lunch really is for wimps, lunch time at POD is the new way to go.

◗ Contact Alex Collinson, POD Founder and Director on 07544 839145 or email brighton@elevateyourday.co.uk


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AUDI SQ7 STATS

By Motoring Editor, Fiona Shafer, MD of MDHUB

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Price from: £75,300 | Combined MPG: 30.9 Speed: 0-62 - 4.1 seconds | Top speed: 155mph

Back in the Vroom... With a vengeance and what a car to return to reviewing at the end of a long hot summer. As we all know, first impressions count for most of us mere mortals and after after several months of lockdown and no cars to review, the Audi SQ7 certainly commanded my attention more than it might ordinarily have done. From the daily ZOOM to 0 – 62 mph of Vroom in 4.1 seconds, this car is a seriously impressive breath of highoctane fresh air, in the literal sense. Faster even than an Aston Martin DBX … who would have thought? I immediately felt like I was driving an Audi TT inside a flight simulator, with great panoramic visibility as I effortlessly glided across the motorways and roads of southern England. The Audi SQ7 is deceptive. You feel like you are in a very peaceful sports car

(a contradiction in terms I know) but with a huge amount of space behind and around you – all seven seats’ worth. Whilst it’s most comparable and historic competitors such as the Porsche Cayenne GTS are smaller and more agile, it does not have the feeling of weight of the BMW X7 M50i and consequently feels much lighter and handles very well for a large SUV. It could quite conceivably be the perfect cross-over car for the driving enthusiast. The one who loves putting their foot down but may have reached a point in their lives where they need to transport multi generation passengers without scaring the bejesus out of them. Put another way, the drive is so flawless that your passengers safely cocooned in the back will have no idea what is going on and will be safely transported from A to B whilst plugged into iPads, phones or simply snoozing.


MOTOR I NG

THE VERDICT NAY

YAY ◗ Absolutely awesome acceleration with no lag. ◗ The adjustable sports steering wheel feels fabulous in your hands, making you feel very much in control of the extraordinary engine power. ◗ A Telescopic speedometer – thank goodness for that otherwise you could get seriously carried away with this car. ◗ Gorgeous and beautifully made leather interior. ◗ The four-way lumber adjustment was very welcome.

◗ Super comfy headrests and lots of leg, head and elbow room. ◗ Lots of clever clips for hanging clothes up, netted baskets on the back of the seats to secure all of the paraphernalia we seem to all carry with us these days. ◗ Copious USB points. ◗ Great rear-view camera that I could understand for a change. ◗ Simply colossal boot space when all seats folded down.

◗ Tiniest indicator signs ever on a dashboard. ◗ Yet more overcomplicated but no doubt very clever technology (which seems to be a common feature of both Audi and Mercedes). The screens are not the easiest to operate whilst on the move and are quite distracting when you have to look down at the lower screen.

◗ Unless you enjoy using your precious time to sit and work out touch screen technology, you may want to outsource that responsibility to somebody else, who can then show you. ◗ Probably a first for a car review but you will need a good stash of anti-bac wipes, as the touch screens are huge and will need wiping.

9/10 Not dissimilar to the feeling you might get on a decent long-haul flight, but without the drinks trolley. Easier too with the Audi phone box that allows wireless charging, and two phones can be connected at the same time. Whereas other SUVs I have tested have on occasion felt slightly bulky, on first impression, I naturally found myself conscious of the size of the Audi SQ7 when at a complex four-lane roundabout on the North Circular and when first parking. My fears were unfounded. The Audi SQ7 seems to transcend all of these concerns and effortlessly soothed and guided me through those apprehensions, with the help of all wheel steering, four-wheel drive and cameras showing me every angle. I quickly felt very confident in this quite contrary car and therein lies much of its beauty.

The overall design is still a bit dated. I know this is my “bête noire“ with a lot of German car design thus far (with the exception of BMWs). I do think more innovative thought needs to be given to a far more contemporary design as it does not compliment the magnificence of the car. But it is still a whopping 9/10 on the speedometer from me.

DY N A M I C

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! u o y k n a h t to all our wonderful customers for your support over the past months... www.brightongin.com info@brightongin.com

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Surrey Business Magazine - Issue 32  

THE OFFICIAL SURREY CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE MAGAZINE

Surrey Business Magazine - Issue 32  

THE OFFICIAL SURREY CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE MAGAZINE