Surrey Chambers Business Magazine – issue 11

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Surrey Business Awards 2018





profile of

Benjamin Netanyahu



34 Profile of Israel’s longest-serving Prime Minister


A word from the CEO


President’s column


Local and Chamber News


Post Grenfell Cladding Herrington Carmichael


Interview NatWest Regional MD, Stuart Johnstone


Charity: Keeping it local Wilkins Kennedy


Every second counts Farrow Creative


Five reasons why you should appoint a finance director Haines Watts


The gig economy DMH Stallard


The Surrey Business Awards have arrived


THE BIG STORY: Benjamin Netanyahu


Actually, what is blockchain? University of Surrey


Innovation Debate Santander

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TRAVEL: Shake hands in Cape Town TRAVEL: Travel news TRAVEL: Travel insider: Bookers Beware


TRAVEL: Bucket list: Buthan


What to buy the entrepreneur in your life Harrods


Tackling unauthorised traveller encampments


New courses at Guildford College


The Weight of Expectation Hurstpierpoint College


Sussex Innovation welcomes Fifth Catalyst Team

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MOTORING: The wonder from Woking MOTORING: High Tech Audi


Waverley’s Awards


The race is on Morrisons Solicitors


New members


Surrey Chambers Events Diary 2018


Surrey Chambers Golf Society


Sponsor a Chambers event


The recruitment challenge Fletcher George


Join the Chamber


28 The Surrey Business Awards – The Winners


Doing business in Cape Town


The Wonder from Woking

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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Hearing from THE GOVERNMENT It was very positive to hear the Chancellor’s forthright support for business as the foundation of both a strong economy and a strong society. It is right to champion the positive role that businesses play, day in and day out, across our communities – a role that has recently been overlooked by politicians of all parties.

Philip Hammond’s upcoming Budget

must deliver bold action to boost investment and confidence at precisely the moment that our business communities need it most. As we move towards the UK’s departure from the EU, there’s never been a more important time for the government to pull out all the stops to get businesses investing and growing. The Chancellor’s focus on improving productivity is welcome, and the Chamber Network stands ready to work with ministers to help more firms achieve their potential. The government must do its part too – and address the constraints that hold back far too many of our firms. Getting the basics right, from education and training to fixing roads and patchy broadband, would do more to help increase competitiveness and efficiency than just about any other measure.

Over to the Opposition

he did miss a golden opportunity to extend an olive branch to British business, big and small alike. Labour need to work more closely with businesses to transform the economy for the benefit of people and communities across the UK. Success depends on a partnership between business and government, not dictation or dogma. We have heard plans for an unprecedented overreach into ownership and governance, talk of higher taxes on both companies and individuals, and commitments to sweeping nationalisation. If all these proposals were to be implemented, there would be a serious impact on business confidence, investment and growth, which ultimately would hurt the very people and communities that need support the most.

Guildford Roll of Honour

I was very privileged to be invited to the Guildford Roll of Honour Dinner hosted by Guildford Borough Council and the University of Surrey where Peter Gordon, from Eagle radio was added to the Roll. He has been an integral part of the Guildford Community for “many” years, often involved in recognising others, so it was a real pleasure to see him get the recognition he deserves.

While there were some bright spots in Jeremy Corbyn’s speech, around the green economy and childcare support,

THE TEAM Maarten Hoffmann – Director 07966 244046

Molly Enser Chamber Editor

Lesley Alcock Business Development Director

Louise Punter CEO Surrey Chamber of Commerce

Fiona Graves Events Director

Laurence Elphick Head of Sport

Kate Morton Copy Editor

Rose Dykins Travel Editor If you have a news story for publication, email Ian Trevett – Director 07989 970804

Ewa Rogalska Head of Design

Poppie Sharman Events Manager

Amanda Menahem Food & Drink Editor

Steve Elford Head of Web Development

For Surrey Business Awards enquiries email For editorial and advertising enquiries email




SURREY’S LARGEST CIRCULATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE To get involved and reach over 135,000 business leaders, contact




says Steve Coburn


’ve known for a while that I’m a ‘grown up’ – but how much more ‘growing up’ have I got to do? It’s a question that I’ve been pondering for a little while now.

I remember when I first joined the Surrey Chambers 15 years ago. We were a young business and there were only three of us. I went along to a networking event and met a really nice Marketing Consultant called Graham Whittle. We got talking and it was soon obvious to him that I needed more customers. He asked the question; “How many new customers would make a difference?” and my answer was easy… one or two would make a huge difference to us!

journey. I can see that I’ve grown through the different stages of ‘maturity’ and, as that has happened, my priorities have changed. Winning new customers is still important to us. And, because it’s important, I still attend three or four networking events a week, just like I did when I first started the business. I love meeting new people and making connections. Being at an event with a hugely diverse range of businesses, of all shapes and sizes, has always been one of the most enjoyable parts of my job. But, is it the ‘number one reason’ that I renew my Chambers’ membership each year? No, it’s not. When I take the time to reflect, the big challenges I face today are not related to business development. It’s all about leadership development for my senior team, or staff retention, or risk management, or any one of a dozen different priorities that compete for my attention. However, the biggest reason I renew my Chambers’ membership each year is that I’m able to surround myself with people who can show me that I’ve still got a lot of growing up to do. Just as, when there were three of us, I couldn’t see the challenges that I would be facing today, I fully recognise that I can’t see what the challenges will be when I reach that next stage of business-maturity.

now ours, and we’d followed them with another twenty or so, then we began to relax a little. ‘New Sales’ were not our top priority anymore. But, I didn’t actually realise that at the time.

The need for new customers was driving our behaviour – from how we spent our time (out networking) to how we spent our money (we tried not to!). At the time, I thought that was what all businesses were doing.

Fast forward several years, and here I am, running a company with nearly 50 employees, with over 250 customers, and writing a column as your President – and I’m able to reflect on how much I’ve grown over those years.

Then, as my company grew, and the ‘one or two’ customers that we needed were

I see it when I speak to other members and see where they are on their business

It seems that, the higher up the mountain I climb, the more I see that the summit is much further away than I originally thought. Reading about the Hillary Step, in Sir Edmund Hillary’s summit of Mount Everest, has a very vivid connection to the way I feel right now. That summit that I’ve been striving for all these years, was just a ‘step’ before the next summit was revealed to me. And, I’m so pleased that there are Chamber Members who have left their footprints for me to follow, and are happy for me to walk in them. Thank you!





Dream TEAM S

urrey all-rounder Sam Curran has won the Cricket Writers’ Club Young Cricketer of the year award while his Surrey teammate Rory Burns was named County Championship player of the year. Last month, Sam was rewarded with his first central contract by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB). The 20-year-old made his Test debut in June against Pakistan, he was then named player of the series against India after scoring 272 runs and taking 11 wickets to help England win the 4-1 series. Curran’s older brother Tom has been given an incremental contract for the next 12 months. Test specialists and those playing in all forms of the game will have their salaries paid in full by the ECB while those on white-ball contracts will receive their supplement on top of their county salary.

“One of the greatest victories you can gain over someone is to beat them at politeness” BUSINESS WISDOM





ver 160 golfers in Esher took part in a charity golf day at Sandown Park Golf Centre, last month, raising £1,300 for Princess Alice Hospice. Shop staff and volunteers pitched in with sourcing tombola and raffle prizes, selling tickets and helping out on the day. The event organiser David Smith said: “It was perfect, a great family day was what we were aiming for and it came together thanks to the efforts of so many kind people. We had great prize donations including wine from William Reed of Crawley, and Surrey Hills Community Radio helped with publicity and the venue was offered to us for free.” Princess Alice Hospice provide end of life care to tens of thousands of people across parts of Surrey and South West London. 74% of the hospice’s inspire comes from fundraising, retail, donations and legacies



Conservative county council chairman has resigned over showing a lack of “cultural awareness” and “good judgement” during a recent interview. Peter Martin, stepped down from his position at Surrey County Council after making the comments. He said: “My judgment has understandably been called into question. I have apologised privately to the candidate. “I fully accept that the language I used lacked empathy and cultural awareness, and that my judgment has understandably been called

into question.I have apologised privately to the candidate and hope sincerely that my apology will be accepted for what it is - a genuine expression of regret for my thoughtless and outdated remarks.” A council spokesman said: “The appropriate complaints procedure is being followed in line with the council’s constitution. We don’t have any more to say at this time.” *At the time of print, a new chairman was due to be elected at a council meeting on October 9th.

Planning Charges HIT COUNTY W



he Michelin stars for Great Britain and Ireland 2019 were revealed at a live event in London on October 1st and four restaurants in Surrey picked up a famous star (making that one more than last year). Open less than a year, Sorrel in Dorking now joins the string of top restaurants in the county including The Tudor Room at Great Fosters in Egham, The Latymer at Pennyhill Park in Bagshot and The Clock House in Ripley – all proud owners of a Michelin star.

The announcement follows a catalogue of recent successes for owner Steve Drake, chef patron at Sorrel which was named the AA’s Restaurant of the Year 2018-19 earlier this month and listed in The Good Food Guide 2019 at the start of September. Creating value for restaurants through the distinctions that it attributes each year, the Michelin Guide contributes to the prestige of the local gastronomy, making cities and countries more attractive to tourists.

oking Borough Council (WBC) could be paid around £40 million in planning charges by 2027, according to the council leader. The Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) replaces the current Section 106 system which requires developers to put forward a contribution to the community where they are building.The borough adopted the scheme in October 2014, with it coming into effect six months later. It can result in developers having to pay up to £125 per square metre for a residential building, with a retail development costing £75 per square metre. Cllr David Bittleston, WBC leader, says the figure for the town could “potentially be £40m”. Speaking at WBC and Surrey County Council Joint Committee meeting last month, he said a report on CIL was being prepared for an informal meeting of the committee this month. His comments came as the committee heard about the Sheerwater Regeneration where Thamesway Group will be building 1,150 properties.



ingston Smith is delighted to have won the award for Large Firm Innovation of the Year at the British Accountancy Awards. The firm was presented with the prestigious award at a glittering ceremony at the Grosvenor Hotel, London, on 26th September. The Innovation category recognises firms that demonstrate excellence in their innovative approach to strategy and client service provision. The judges singled out Kingston Smith for the award in recognition of the firm’s unique, bespoke data analytics solution, which was created in-house to offer clients greater control and clarity over their businesses through real-time advisory. Kingston Smith partner Paul Samrah said: “We’re absolutely thrilled to win this fantastic award! It recognises the market-leading service we can offer clients, by analysing upcoming business opportunities and challenges instantly, based on real-time business data.”





ften the decision for many businesses to invest in green facilities or energy saving technology comes down to cashflow. However, many green assets can be acquired with minimal cost to their business once grants and energy cost savings are taken into consideration. Asset Finance is a credible way of buying such assets, and Reality Finance have teamed up with a green bank that understands these assets and what they can achieve for your business at attractive finance rates. The main green assets people consider are LED lighting, solar panels and biomass boilers, however, Asset Finance can also fund generators, CHP engines, heating ventilation and air conditioning systems. Asset Finance is well suited for investments of this kind and grants are available subject to approval from the Carbon Trust which contribute towards the cost of Green Assets.

“A consultant is someone who takes the watch off your wrist and then tells you the time” BUSINESS WISDOM



urrey’s award-winning Guildford Shakespeare Company returns with their sell-out multi-venue stage production of Alice in Wonderland - in the 150th year since Lewis Carroll first came to Guildford. The theatre company are going back down the rabbit hole with their sell-out adaptation from 13th October to 3rd November. From St Mary’s where the adventure starts, audiences will make their way to Guildford Museum, whose rooms will be transformed into different parts of Wonderland, using live action, animation, projection, puppetry and voice overs. Expect to meet life-size caterpillars, the Duchess, a pig-baby, chaotic playing cards and the Cheshire Cat. GSC’s Honorary Patron Brian Blessed, lends his voice to the story of the Mock Turtle and the Griffin. Once audiences have tea with the Mad Hatter and the March Hare, they will be led to Guildford Castle for the croquet match and the trial of the stolen jam tarts with the King and Queen of Hearts.

For performance times, ticket prices and bookings, please visit


his year Perfect Pitch celebrate their 9th anniversary. Over the last 12 months they’ve been nominated for the Toast of Surrey Awards in the International Trade category, made over 500,000 B2B marketing calls for their clients, and seen the continued growth of their sister company, self-portrayal training specialists, Perfect Presentation. To build on their network in London, which includes membership of London Chamber of Commerce and the Westminster Business Council, they’ve opened an office in WeWork Spitalfields. To add to all of that, Di-

rector of Perfect Pitch and Perfect Presentation, Jaz Blake, has been appointed as Board Member of Surrey Chambers. And as they race towards their 10th birthday next year, they’re eager to continue to evolve their telemarketing offering, which includes Appointment Setting, Delegate Booking and Whitepaper focused lead generation.



harles Russell Speechlys in Guildford plans significant growth this autumn. The firm has invested in a record number of talented trainees, with five who joined in September, taking the total number to ten undertaking their training contracts in the Guildford office.

Additionally, the firm has also announced a 100% trainee retention rate in Guildford, with four trainees qualifying and staying with the firm - Josie MacLeod (Employment), Emma Darwish (Property Litigation), Oliver Park (Property Litigation) and Tom Denham-Smith (Contentious Trusts and Estates). David Haines, a Partner in the Guildford office comments: We are delighted to be building a strong pipeline of high calibre lawyers for the future as well as welcoming new talent to the team across a broad range of disciplines.” Charles Russell Speechlys has also taken back some additional space at its Guildford office in One London Square to accommodate its growth.

“Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity” BUSINESS WISDOM



oing on a business trip? Here’s why it pays to use a travel agent. In the digital age where booking flights and hotels is a case of browsing a few websites and clicking a few buttons, it’s easy to think that you don’t need a travel agent to help you get things sorted. But there are plenty of benefits to using an agent to handle not just your family holidays, but your business travel too. With extensive experience in the industry, travel agents know the trade inside out. That means they know how to tailor a trip exactly to your needs. So whether it’s an overnight excursion or a month away for work, a travel agent will make sure that you arrive comfortably, stay in style, and transfer in time for that all-important meeting.


is coming! W

inter Pimm’s Networking is back on Friday 7th December. Hosted by projectfive, a well-known local IT Support company, this is a networking event with a difference! It takes place on the heathland at Barossa in Camberley and is a great opportunity for local businesses to join together to help Surrey Wildlife Trust clear some of the pine trees, to allow the natural heathland-habitat to flourish.

Experienced travel agents work closely with some of the world’s leading suppliers of flights and accommodation, which gives them access to exclusive deals that aren’t available to the general public. Looking for a travel agent?

There’ll be time for a spot of informal networking, the chance to enjoy a delicious al fresco lunch, share some mince pies and Winter Pimm’s and take a Christmas tree home with you for free. Last year’s event was a sell-out and we expect this year to be even more popular!

Sue Carne, Travel Consultant at Not Just Travel, is available to help plan your next business trip. For more information, call her on 07920 178957 or visit

To book your place visit or call the team on 01276 455466.




It was my privilege and honour to collect the award but I did so on behalf of everyone at the firm, all of whom play a vital part every day in the ongoing success of the firm. Paul Harvey Managing Partner

Morrisons Solicitors are delighted to have won Law Firm of the Year at the inaugural Surrey Law Society Awards 2018. 01737 854 546 Redhill | Wimbledon | Teddington | Woking | Camberley

for business and life.




mith & Williamson, the financial and professional services firm, has announced three partner and associate director promotions in its Guildford office. Edward Emblem, in the Private Client Tax Services department, and Andy Peacock, in Investment Management, have both been promoted to partner. Edward has been with the firm for three years and specialises in the field of international private client tax. Andy joined Smith & Williamson in 2010 and provides advice on all aspects of investment and wealth management. In addition, Richard Robson, in the Investment Management department, has been promoted to associate director and manages investments on behalf of private clients, charities and corporations. Maggie Lowe, head of the Guildford office said: “Congratulations to Edward, Andy and Richard, these promotions are thoroughly deserved. Retaining and developing the best talent forms a key part of our firm-wide five-year strategy and gives our clients access to high-quality people focused on delivering what they need most, when they need it.”

“You never become a howling success by just howling” BUSINESS WISDOM



-HEAD for Success, an integrative coaching, consultancy and training company specialising in stress resilience, have trademarked their A-HEAD for Success logo as well as their 5-Dimensional Coaching Model. Owner, Tricia Woolfrey explains that this was important because the business offers leading-edge integrative coaching which is based on 20 years experience of conventional coaching merged with her therapeutic credentials and providing a whole-person approach to help people be at the top of their game. “It is no longer enough to send a stressed employee to your EAP provider, the wise employer will take preventative steps and that’s where we come in,” says Tricia. “People are your best asset, if you want your business to be firing on all cylinders, your employees need to be doing so too and this requires a pro-active rather than reactive approach.”




The leasehold owners of 300 flats will have to pay approximately ÂŁ3million in total to have the apartment blocks made fire safe.

Who is responsible for recladding - freeholders or leaseholders? By Hollie Davies from Herrington Carmichael’s Dispute Resolution Team.

Post Grenfell



n a recent Tribunal decision, owners of two leasehold apartment blocks in Manchester have been held liable for the cost of recladding.

Vallea Court and Cypress Places in Manchester failed their fire safety checks in July 2017, which found that flammable cladding had been used. The leasehold owners of 300 flats will have to pay approximately £3million in total to have the apartment blocks made fire safe. This works out at approximately £10,000.00 each. The freehold owner of the blocks of flats argued that it was the responsibility of the leasehold owners to fund the recladding and subsequently took them to the Tribunal for a ruling on the point. The apartment blocks were developed by Lendlease, but the freehold was sold to an investment company called Pemberstone in 2015. The leasehold owners tried to rely on an extract from a letter received from Lendlease when they purchased their flats which said “Lendlease will undertake, at our expense, to complete any accepted defect that has arisen as a result of either faulty materials or defective workmanship”. Following other recent Tribunal findings, the Tribunal decided that the leasehold owners should pay for the recladding through their service charge and were also ordered to pay the legal fees of the freehold owner and for

a guard to watch the blocks until they were made fire safe. The job of the Tribunal is to apply the law and interpret the lease accordingly. These recent rulings mean that if you are a management company and you follow the correct procedure and the lease allows for it, substantial repair works (e.g. recladding) can form part of the service charge. There has been media attention on the fact that such decisions can leave leasehold owners of flats in a catch 22 situation. They cannot afford to make the block fire safe but they cannot sell their flat because the block is not fire safe. Resolving that dilemma will be a political issue as it is clear

the legal interpretation of the lease will be strictly applied by the Tribunal – it is after all their job to apply the law, not change it.

If you would like to discuss any of the issues raised, then please contact the Dispute Resolution department on:




Working to help businesses


In June of this year, Stuart Johnstone took on the role of NatWest Regional Managing Director, Corporate and Commercial Banking for London and the South East. He tells Ian Trevett his main priority is to help his customers grow…


fter starting out with the NatWest Graduate scheme, followed by a decade working for Dutch banks, Stuart found himself back at RBS ten years ago after the group acquired ABN AMRO, the bank where he was working at the time. The purchase of ABN AMRO wasn’t the best decision RBS ever made, but for Stuart it offered a new career path, culminating in his recent appointment where he now looks after the bank’s business customers across London and the South East who turnover more than £2m a year. Responsible for a team of approximate-



ly 300 across London, Kent, Sussex and Surrey, Stuart’s core purpose is simple. How can the bank help their business customers be more successful? How can the bank help them grow? “Our core proposition is obviously the provision of funding and banking services but around that we provide so much more,” says Stuart. “Sometimes that’s acting as a sounding board. Many of our relationship managers are considered to be trusted business partners, particularly for some of our smaller businesses. “Sometimes it’s about helping businesses find new suppliers, new customers, staff, professional advisors, or even a new commercial premises to support their expansion. It’s about using our networks. “If our customers grow then that supports the local economy, it creates employment and it also creates business

opportunity for us. We have around a quarter of the market, which means we play a very important part in supporting the economy in this region.” The market share in the business sector is very impressive, but there is no room for complacency with increased competition. “We already have a very competitive banking sector in this country and the level of competition is increasing,” says Stuart. “Some of the new challengers are pursuing a digital-only offering, others offer a traditional face-to-face approach. Whatever business model they choose, increased competition is ultimately good for the customer – it gives them more choice and it means that we have to constantly up our game in terms of the products and services that we offer and the customer experience that we wrap around them. But if we get it right we can offer the best of both worlds; the combination of smart technology with a face-to-face presence. “We have a strong face-to-face proposition through our network of relationship managers – people who are plugged into the local ecosystem. We can combine the benefits of being part of those local communities, with the specialist knowledge and expertise that comes from our national presence. Added to this is a set of digital solutions that allow customers to see to their everyday banking needs when and where they want to.”

What might 3D printing, robotics, artificial intelligence or blockchain do to your business or your industry?

Every business and every industry will be disrupted by technology. We just don’t know exactly how. As the nature of banking changes with the digital revolution, Stuart is passionate about embracing new technologies and he is keen to keep abreast of new ideas. “I was in San Francisco recently for a summit run by Singularity University whose purpose is to help leaders understand exponential technology and help them think about how it can be used to make the world a better place. One of the key takeaways for me was to recognise that the world is changing faster than any of us appreciate – the future is here already, it’s just not evenly distributed. “We have a role to play, amongst others, to help educate businesses and stimu-

late their thinking - for example by asking “What might 3D printing, robotics, artificial intelligence or blockchain do to your business or your industry? Are you looking at it? If not, how can we help you begin that journey? It is important that we continually raise awareness and help customers on their journey to understand and embrace innovation and exponential technology. “At the bank we’re actively using quantum computing, blockchain and artificial intelligence; we’re piloting an avatar that our retail customers are going to be able to interact with. “Every business and every industry will be disrupted by technology. We just don’t know exactly how. So this need to be thinking ahead and to be agile is going to be important. We can bring customers together who are facing the same challenges or opportunities with technology. It’s almost an obligation for us to help in that space. We can help you find information, meet technology providers or some of the businesses who are pioneering in this space or speak with research scientists to co-develop solutions specific to your business.” Inevitably, the B word crops up in our conversation. Brexit uncertainty is a concern for businesses according to Johnstone: “Our recent mid-market business survey conducted together with Warwick


INTERVIEW Business School underlines just how important exporting is to businesses – especially in the South East, where more than 80% of businesses export in some way, shape or form, and the vast majority of these export into the EU. So when you ask customers what’s on their mind and what they’re worried about, Brexit tends to come towards the top of the list. “Economic indicators would suggest that there is some slowing down of activity because we’re now entering this period where it’s not entirely clear what the rules of the game will be and what exactly the deal will be. It’s very difficult to know exactly what the final form of Brexit is going to look like. Uncertainty is not helpful and human nature is such that people are therefore a little bit more cautious than they otherwise would be.” Whatever happens the bank is wellplaced to deal with shocks to the economy having significantly increased the amount of capital and liquidity that it holds. It wasn’t always the case and the 10-year anniversary of the financial crisis is a good moment to reflect on just how far the bank has come in that time. “I’ve seen at close hand how the bank has rehabilitated itself over the last 10 years. Despite the challenge of dealing with some pretty large legacy issues I am incredibly proud of how we have stayed focused on serving our customers through that period, and we have of course been rewarded in turn with fantastic loyalty from our customers which I hugely appreciate. Now all of our main legacy issues have been resolved, we have a very strong business that is doing some great things for customers and I know that we will continue to do even more going forward.

BGF & Esme

We have featured the NatWest Entrepreneur Accelerator hubs regularly in these pages, but there are other initiatives the bank is involved with that have made a significant impact on the health of the economy. Stuart Johnstone sits on the board of both BGF and Esme Loans. Here he explains how these organisations work…

Business Growth Fund (BGF)

was set up in 2011 to offer growing companies and ambitious entrepreneurs patient capital and strategic support. They are the UK and Ireland’s most active investor in SMEs with £2.5bn of funding available to support a range of growing companies – early stage, growth stage and quoted – across every region and sector of the economy and NatWest are backing BGF through a significant shareholding. The funding that BGF provides is long-term, patient capital that management teams use to fund growth or equity release, making initial investments of £1-10m in return for a minority stake. A major strategic advantage of working with BGF is their ability and willingness to provide significant further funding as the company continues to grow, alongside practical and

strategic support directly through the BGF team and also through access to their broader networks. The BGF model has been so successful that many other governments from around the world are now coming to the UK to find out how they could learn from what we are doing to help improve access to equity capital for SMEs.

Esme Loans

Loans is a fully digital online lender, owned by NatWest, which was created to meet a need for simple, fast and hassle-free loans for businesses. As an alternative to the likes of Funding Circle, Esme offers unsecured loans up to £150,000 to UK SMEs.

We launched the business about 18 months ago and it is growing really well. It’s getting fantastic feedback from customers with NPS consistently above 75%. The platform gives customers the ability to apply for a loan

online in under 10 minutes and if approved, get access to money that day – which for some businesses is something that they really value. So yes, I’m involved in supporting that as well.

“I see my purpose as helping businesses grow. That’s what we do every day at NatWest, BGF is all about supporting growing businesses through access to equity finance and management expertise and in Esme we’re providing a different way that businesses can access quick and efficient finance if that’s something that’s relevant to them.”





KEEPING IT LOCAL Ken Young, Managing Partner at Wilkins Kennedy’s Guildford office, looks at ways not-forprofit organisations can increase fundraising by finding their distinctions.

and just 10% came from the Government. This earned funding came through ticket and programme sales, memberships, patrons and memberships. However, they faced two constant challenges. Firstly, there was the issue of the need for constant funding, and how a charity keeps its fundraising ideas fresh. How do they keep engaging with their stakeholders on “new” levels, whilst keeping the same ethos and focus? The second issue was that of a simple lack of awareness. In the case of Guildford Shakespeare Company, many people don’t even realise they are a charity, so are often overlooked when it comes to choosing a cause. As soon as the GSC explain they are an educational facility, as well as an entertainment company, so people engage differently.


aising funding is easier said than done – as we found out at one of our recent Charities Seminars. These have been running every quarter since 2016 and seek to bring together charities and their stakeholders to network in an informal business environment.

The most recent Charities Seminar focussed on funding and we were lucky enough to be joined by two speakers from the Guildford Shakespeare Company, co-founders Sarah Gobran and Matt Pinches, and Alex van Vliet from the Lloyds Bank Foundation. The Guildford Shakespeare Company told us that 90% of their funding was earned

As well as maintaining constant fundraising, the Guildford Shakespeare Company also said they face a lot of scrutiny. Charities must be transparent and must be accountable for how every penny is spent and for what cause. Marketing themselves as an educational facility – one that seeks to reach out to younger age groups and educate them about Shakespeare – is something that works for them. According to research carried out by the Lloyds Bank Foundation, the smaller charities (SMCs) are vitally important to the charity sector and should be considered equally alongside their larger charity counterparts.

charities and the larger ones is more important now than ever. Our speaker from Lloyds Bank Foundation, Alex Van Vliet, talked through the distinctions and value these local charities need to highlight in order to compete. These distinctions could be that they are first responders to newly emerging needs at a hyper-local level. Maybe they create spaces where people feel safe or even promote inclusion and belonging. They could simply provide access to services or establish links to wider communities or networks of support. Whatever it is, charities should draw those distinctions and both communicate and demonstrate what it is they do to address those distinctions and carry out their duties as a charity. Local charities have the benefit of making a smaller amount go a long way. Wilkins Kennedy Guildford’s chosen charity is a local charity called the halow project. We can see how a sum, such as £100,000 can build and improve facilities for children with learning disabilities, and make a real difference to them and their families. If you choose to support a charity, please do consider keeping it local.

For any tax advice, business planning and other accountancy services, or if you are interested in attending one of our future Charities Seminars, contact Wilkins Kennedy’s Guildford office.

Lloyds’ research, “The Value of Small”, highlighted that SMCs account for 52% of all registered charities and 19% of all charitable income. Therefore, addressing the gap between sustaining local






COUNTS Deadlines and time pressures are part and parcel of being in business, and a constant source of stress for all of us. But being up against the clock can also spark ideas and inspire solutions we might otherwise never have thought of.


ou’re up on stage, in front of a huge, fired-up crowd, when you suddenly realise you haven’t got enough material. It sounds like a horrible dream; but in 1958, the nightmare came true for jazz-R&B legend Ray Charles. At a packed gig in Brownsville, Pennsylvania, he reached the end of his set, only to be told he had another 12 minutes to fill. The great man didn’t panic: instead, he began improvising; his band and backing singers picked up the tune; and together they created ‘What’d I Say’, which went on to top the American charts, and make number 10 in Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest songs ever written. It takes a rare blend of talent, authority and presence of mind to pull off a stunt



like that. But being presented with a seemingly impossible deadline or challenge can ignite creativity in any of us. Indeed, we can produce amazing work precisely when there isn’t time to over-analyse or overthink it, and we just have to get something out the door. The Portuguese even have a word for it desenrascanço - which loosely translates as ‘disentanglement’, and means being able to solve a problem, without having the right knowledge or tools, by using your imagination and experience. We all have that capability within us, and it can often save us when all hope seems lost. So, finding yourself racing the clock isn’t necessarily to be feared, if the flood of adrenaline is accompanied by a corresponding surge in the creative juices. But there’s a big difference between pulling a rabbit out of the hat now and again, and constantly having to come up with instant responses to urgent demands. It is the very spontaneity, unexpectedness and unpredictability of these blinding flashes that makes them so special. When the inspired becomes the merely expected, the magic goes out of it, and people can quickly become stale, resentful and disillusioned. As business owners and managers, it’s our job to impose order, discipline and control on events, to ensure people can get things done properly, on time and with as little stress as possible. But when the inevitable last-minute, all-hands-ondeck crisis occurs, we have to be able to keep calm, provide leadership and reassurance, and trust in people’s remarkable ability to conjure solutions out of thin air. Because you never know where the next hit might come from.






by Dan Morgan, Partner at Haines Watts


s the global economy continues to experience turbulence, and uncertainty at home continues to create challenges, the role of the Finance Director has arguably never been more important.

A strong FD is not simply technically excellent but fulfils a vital strategic role – engaging and challenging the business owner and shaping the future of the business. It is also a role that, as a business becomes more complex, is best separated from that of the owner-manager role. Many of our clients struggle to find a suitable FD, some simply can’t find the right fit, others can’t justify the full time cost and so decide to use one of our Partners as their outsourced FD, attending board meetings and taking the financial lead in the business. An exceptional FD should, in my view, contribute five key things to a business.


EVIDENCE BASED decision making Failure to provide reliable financial information can be the death of any successful enterprise. An FD is there to ensure that robust financial data is available on time and is applied to critical debates within the business about future investments. The FD provides the numbers that help management teams make informed decisions.


Enable the business owner


Understanding what drives wealth creation, where the money is made and how to retain it, while balancing the needs of the owner with those of the business is an invaluable skill for an FD in any owner managed business.


Reassure and


external stakeholders


CHALLENGE the management team

The FDs that really deliver are rounded commercial leaders. They combine a financially focused brain with the capability and credibility to challenge the thinking of the owner and/or management team. They have the ability to apply strategic awareness, commerciality – a deep understanding of the business, its markets and customers - and the financial context to debates around realising the business plan.


FOCUSED on the future

Running a ‘tight ship’ and keeping an eye on costs is key for any FD, but having the courage to balance this with planning for and investing in the future is where FDs can help increase the value of a business. It is their responsibility to ensure that the business is in good shape so that investment in the future is possible.

If your business is pursuing ambitious growth, or trying to innovate and expand into new markets, you need an FD that can speak the language of investors, lenders, creditors. They also need to be able to communicate a compelling financial proposition to these stakeholders.

Financial Directors

will always have to make tough financial decisions, challenging performance and budgets. But those that add real value to a business are the FDs who look at where the business is headed and spot opportunities for investment and expansion. Finding the right FD for a business can be difficult and expensive. Many owners of fast-growing businesses, who realise that they can no longer be owner and FD, outsource the financial director role with great success. Investing in an outsourced FD could be one of the most important contributors to your future growth.

As with all investments, your capital is at risk

Creating champion investment portfolios since 1969



Family Office of the Year Partridge Muir & Warren © City of London Wealth Management Awards Limited 2018

Contact us to arrange a complimentary consultation Visit or call 01372 471550



Where do we go FROM HERE?

Does the gig economy embrace new ways of working? Employment Partners Greg Burgess and Adam Williams at DMH Stallard discuss.


ith nearly five million UK workers classed as self-employed and in ‘non-traditional’ employment, the gig economy is under increasing scrutiny in the courts and in government. Supporters of the gig economy talk about empowerment, flexibility and entrepreneurship; critics are concerned about the lack of stability, low pay and exploitation. So what is the current situation, and what do recent court decisions and consultations mean for employers and workers going forward?

The three-tiered UK model UK employment law uses a three-tier model with regard to the status of working people, as follows: Tier 1: Self-employed These individuals operate their own businesses, absorbing any risks, and are thus not entitled to workers or employee rights. Any rights they have are contained in the contracts formed with clients.

Greg Burgess



Adam Williams

Tier 2: Workers This is the “in between” category. These

individuals generally have short-term contracts and are entitled to basic statutory rights such as rest breaks, minimum wage and holiday pay. They have the right to protection from discrimination and under the whistleblowing legislation. Tier 3: Employees Employees carry out work regulated by an employment contract, and on top of the basic workers’ rights, they are entitled to maternity, paternity and sick pay. They have the fullest protection under UK employment law, including the right not to be unfairly dismissed and to receive a statutory redundancy payment.

The Gig Economy on trial A quick summary of the cases so far shows the Courts offering protection to a variety of “workers”.

DRIVER = WORKER Uber – drivers are workers as long as they: yy Have turned on the app yy Are ready and willing to accept fares yy Are in the area they are authorised to drive in Addison Lee – drivers required to hire car from AL’s associated company and not to use vehicle for any other commercial purposes. Not uncommon for drivers to earn all of their income from their driving job with AL.

CYCLE COURIER = WORKER yy Addison Lee – their fleet of cycle couriers provided a service for AL, and there was mutuality of obligation all the time the courier was logged on to the app. yy CitySprint – cycle couriers required to log on to tracking system and wear their uniform.

PLUMBER = WORKER yy Pimlico Plumbers – plumber normally had to be available for minimum of 40 hours per week and had to wear uniform. Deliveroo cycle couriers, however, were found to be self-employed. Why? Be-

Supporters of the gig economy talk about empowerment, flexibility and entrepreneurship; critics are concerned about the lack of stability, low pay and exploitation. cause there was evidence of a genuine right of substitution where some cycle couriers sub-contracted the delivery work to others, and took a cut of the fee earned.

Tax risks These issues are also extremely important so far as tax treatment is concerned, where the position is slightly different than under UK employment law. For HMRC purposes, there are just two categories – self-employed or employed. In the above cases, the company was treating the individual as “self-employed”. Even if the individual was paying tax and NI through the self-assessment process, there is a risk that nevertheless HMRC could seek to recover tax, interest and penalties from the company. In one recent case, drivers working for a haulage business were found to be employees for tax purposes as the business provided them with lorries and drivers were paid fixed rates.

The future for the Gig Economy In 2017 the Good Work: The Taylor Review of Modern Working Practises report lamented the ambiguities under current law pertaining to the distinction between workers and self-employed persons, and advocates for statutory reform to clarify this distinction. Increased clarity would protect individuals by allowing them to know what statutory rights they have, and help business mitigate against falling victim to unfair advantages being awarded to competitors who attempt to take advantage of the absence of workers’ rights for independent contractors.

[should] be able to have easy access to information about their working arrangements and what rights they should have”. The government is currently proposing: • That the right to a written statement of terms of employment be extended to all workers, including those on zero hours contracts. • That all workers be entitled to itemised payslips from April 2019. • That the one week gap between assignments to preserve continuous employment be increased.

The European perspective It is estimated that around 40% of EU citizens are part of the “irregular labour market” ie. self-employed, part-time etc. In September 2017, the European Commission announced it was pressing EU members to ensure a higher level of protection for these individuals in terms of social security benefits and maternity rights. The output from the Commission’s consultation is awaited. There is still very much a place for the zero hours worker in the UK economy. If you would like advice on how to structure this contractually, or on any employment law matter, please contact Greg Burgess on 01293 558547 or Adam Williams on 01293 605063.

There is still very much a place for the zero hours worker in the UK economy. If you would like advice on how to structure this contractually, or on any employment law matter, please contact Greg Burgess on 01293 558547 or Adam Williams on 01483 467413

In response to the Taylor Review, the government released a report in February 2018 in which they agreed that “everyone



The Surrey Business Awards


Surrey’s business community gathered at the Epsom Downs Racecourse for the prestigious 2018 Surrey Business Awards on October 4th, and a packed audience saw IMC Worldwide pick up the highly sought-after Company of the Year award.


he other big winner on the night was ClickIQ, which won the Start-up of the Year and the company’s Managing Director Richard Collins was named as Businessperson of the Year.

Hosted by Paul Sinha, comedian and star of ITV’s hit show The Chase, the 2018 Awards were a truly countywide celebration of business excellence. Hundreds of applicants entered or were nominated, and the 46 finalists were drawn from 18 towns across Surrey. The judging panel, chaired by Louise Punter, CEO of Surrey Chambers of Commerce, included representatives from Heathrow Airport, NatWest, Kingston Smith, MercedesBenz of Guildford, Morrisons Solicitors, Uniglobe Travel,



Partridge Muir & Warren, Surrey Chambers Magazine, projectfive, Surrey Business School, Surrey Chambers of Commerce, CountyClean Group, Challengers and Gemini Print. The winners represented a wide range of sectors and company sizes, reflecting the diverse nature of the county’s economy. The Company of the Year, IMC Worldwide is an international development consultancy based in Redhill, with nine offices worldwide and over 400 staff. ClickIQ was only launched in 2017, but the judges were impressed by its recruitment tool which is designed to automatically manage and attract the right candidates. Sponsors, finalists and guests welcomed the launch of the new awards.

“At last, Surrey has a world-class awards event.”



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“Hugely enjoyable and a great raft of winners.”



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“French President Nicolas Sarkozy told President Obama,




Profile of Benjamin Netanyahu’s Israel



as there ever been a more desperate time to be a Palestinian? The dry and dusty Gaza Strip is effectively a prison and much of the West Bank has been claimed by Israeli settlers. In July, the Israeli Parliament passed the nation-state law which some commentators have compared to apartheid. One of the basic principles of the law is that ‘The State of Israel is the national home of the Jewish people, in which it fulfils its natural, cultural, religious and historical right to self-determination.’ It also relegated the Arabic language to ‘special status’. In a country where 20% of the population are Arabs, it is no wonder that they feel this is a confirmation of their belief that they are second-class citizens. So it was no surprise when the world’s leaders erupted with fury, with threats of sanctions and more against the Israeli rulers. Oh, hold on. That didn’t actually happen. The reason why the plight of Palestinians has never looked so bleak, is that it appears that the rest of the world has lost interest in them. Even the Arab world seems largely disinterested. For years, it seemed like a genuine two-nation state could be an answer to the interminable turmoil in the region. Such a notion has surely never been further away. Over the following few pages, I will try to explain why Israel embraced a hardline rightwing politician – a man who is looking for an unprecedented fifth term in power. Of course, trying to write a balanced article on the Middle East without living in the region is an act of pure insanity - but here goes anyway!

A very short history of Israel The problem with Israel/Palestine is the lands are revered by followers of Judaism, Islam and Christianity. In fact,

everything can be traced back through ancient history to Abraham, regarded father of all three religions, the Judaism strand through Abraham’s son Isaac. Around 1000 B.C. the region was ruled by King David followed by his son Solomon. After 772 B.C. the lands were conquered by Assyrians and over the centuries the lands were repeatedly seized by the strongest armies. For the 400 years up to the First World War the lands were

“Israelis like their leaders a little corrupt… Israelis like their leaders to have elbows, because they will be the ones fighting for Israel on the world’s stage, AND THE WORST THING YOU CAN BE IN ISRAEL IS A FREIER (SUCKER).” controlled by the Ottoman Empire. Jews scattered across Asia and Europe, frequently facing persecution and bloody pogroms (violent anti-Semitic attacks). During World War One, as means to garner support in the war effort, the British Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour wrote a letter supporting the establishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine - known as the Balfour Declaration. But the British, in the most cack-handed example of diplomacy, had also promised Arab independence if they agreed to rise up against the Ottomans. Between the wars, wary of inflaming tensions with the Arabs, the British continually restricted Jewish immigration into Palestine.

As WWII reached its end, the horrors of the Holocaust were revealed and there could be no denying a Jewish homeland. The United Nations approved a plan to partition Palestine into a Jewish and Arab state in 1947, but the Arabs refused to accept the plan. Even so, in May 1948, Israel was officially declared an independent state. The response was almost immediate. Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon invaded the new Israel in what was the first Arab-Israeli War. The 1948 war created 700,000 Palestinians refugees who were forced from their homes, a mass eviction described by Palestinians as the ‘Nakba’ — Arabic for ‘catastrophe’. This year saw the 70th anniversary which was marked by demonstrations and bloodshed on the Gaza Strip. The second half of the 20th Century saw repeated wars and skirmishes as Israel and its neighbours battled over the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and the Golan Heights. The Israelis proved to be skilled fighters, determined to finally have a safe refuge beyond persecution. Today all of the disputed lands are in the hands of Israel. The country no longer looks nervously at its Arab neighbours, fearing invasion attempts. The Arab countries are content to tolerate their Jewish neighbour, because both sides fear and despise a mutual enemy - Iran. And for the Palestinians, the Nakba continues.

Strength through Fear When you have witnessed an attempt to wipe your people from the face of the earth, then you are not in the mood to take prisoners. We found this out to our cost when a Jewish insurgency used ruthless terrorist methods and guerrilla warfare against British troops straight after WWII, after the British administration refused to allow mass Jewish migration into Palestine. After centuries of persecution culminating in the Holocaust, the settlers would



“The State of Israel was established in 1948 as a socialist nation, BUILT ON THE WEALTHSHARING PRINCIPLES OF ITS TREASURED AGRARIAN COLLECTIVES, KNOWN COMMONLY AS KIBBUTZIM.” do anything to protect their new country. In successive wars against their neighbours, there was only going to be one victor. The approach was clear. If you attack us, we’ll attack you back harder. In the Munich Olympics of 1972, a Palestinian terrorist group, Black September, took eleven Israeli Olympic team members hostage, and savagely beat the athletes before killing them. It was an act of brutality, deliberately staged in the country of the Holocaust, but Israel hit back with force. Airforce raids on Lebanon destroyed suspected PLO targets (Palestinian Liberation Organisation) and Mossad, the Israeli secret service, launched Operation Wrath of God, where every hostage-taker was tracked down and assassinated. An eye for an eye was the message for murderers, but it was perhaps the audacious raids on Lebanon that had the biggest impact. Some of the less radical Arab governments began to tire of their countries being attacked because of the attacks by the Palestinians on Israel. For Israel’s neighbours, it was becoming a case of why bother stirring a hornet’s nest?

When Peace was Close After the wars of 1967 and 1973, there was an appetite on all sides to find a way to live together in safety, with the first real sense of hope coming in 1978. In 1977, US President Jimmy Carter had persuaded Egyptian President Anwar Sadat to visit Jerusalem and meet Israeli Prime Minister, Menachem Begin. The following year’s talks in Camp David, near Washington crucially included

Egypt’s recognition of the Israeli state. The next breakthrough was in 1994 when Jordan also recognised Israel, but progress was painfully slow. It was the arrival of Bill Clinton as US President that got things moving. The Oslo Agreement in 1993 saw the Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat shake hands with Israeli Premier Yitzhak Rabin, and there was talk of each side recognising “their mutual legitimate and political rights”. The implication was that eventually this would lead to a Palestinian state alongside Israel, and the withdrawal of Israeli settlers from the West Bank. The negations stalled and seven years later, Clinton brought Arafat to America again, this time to meet the Israeli Prime Minister, now Ehud Barak. Israel offered the Gaza Strip, a large part of the West Bank, plus extra land from the Negev desert, while keeping major settlement blocks and most of East Jerusalem. It proposed Islamic guardianship of key sites in the Old City of Jerusalem and

contributions to a fund for Palestinian refugees. This wasn’t enough for the Palestinians and talks broke down. The international community (the United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations) pulled together in 2003 to propose a ‘Roadmap’. It proposed a phased timetable, putting the establishment of security before a final settlement. Phase One stated that both sides would issue statements supporting the twostate solution, the Palestinians would end violence, act against “all those engaged in terror”, draw up a constitution, hold elections and the Israelis would stop settlement activities and act with military restraint. Phase One still looks a million miles away.

Netanyahu’s Journey Benjamin Netanyahu was born in Tel Aviv in 1949 and in 1963 his family moved to the US when his father Benzion, the historian and Zionist activist, was offered an academic post. Benjamin (known as Bibi) returned to Israel at the age of 18 to do his National Service. The BBC biography of Netanyahu records that he spent five distinguished years in the army, serving as a captain in an elite commando unit, the Sayeret Matkal. He took part in a raid on Beirut’s airport in 1968 and fought in the 1973 war.

THE BIG STORY If there is one issue that continues to define the bitter divide between Jews and Palestinians, it is the settlements in the West Bank, where Jews build gated communities in the lands that Palestinians believe should be theirs. According to Wikipedia there were 400,000 settlers in the West Bank in 2014, as well as up to 350,000 in the equally disputed East Jerusalem. Last year, in a speech commemorating the 50th anniversary of Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, Netanyahu declared, “We are here to stay, forever. There will be no more uprooting of settlements in the land of Israel. It has been proven that it does not help peace. We’ve uprooted settlements. What did we get? We received missiles. It will not happen anymore.”

The land of Kibbutzim and LGBT equality After his military service ended, Mr Netanyahu went back to the US, where he earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees. In 1976, Mr Netanyahu’s brother, Jonathan, was killed leading a raid to rescue hostages from a hijacked airliner in Entebbe, Uganda. His death had a profound impact on the Netanyahu family, and his name became legendary in Israel. In 1988, Benjamin returned to Israel and won a seat in the Knesset (parliament) standing for the Likud Party, the Israeli equivalent of the Conservatives, with Netanyahu representing the more right wing policies of the party. In 1996, he became Prime Minister. Netanyahu was a vocal critic of the Oslo Accords between Israel and the Palestinians, but he was still open to making concessions to the Palestinians. In 1997 Mr Netanyahu signed a deal handing over 80% of the West Bank city of Hebron to Palestinian Authority control and promised further withdrawals of Jewish settlers from the West Bank.

However his premiership was relatively short-lived and Likud lost the 1999 election. He returned as Prime Minister in 2009 (and has remained in power since), the same year as Barack Obama entered The White House. Obama was keen to make an impact on the Palestinian issue, and he revitalised talks between the two parties. In 2009, Netanyahu agreed to a 10-month partial freeze on settlement construction in the West Bank, which the Israeli leader hailed as “the first meaningful step towards peace”. For Palestinian Authority President, Mahmoud Abbas, just like Arafat all those years before, it was not enough. It did not cover East Jerusalem and he wanted a guarantee of a Palestinian state based on 1967 lines, i.e. the borders in place before the 1967 War where Israel won control of the West Bank from Jordan, Gaza from Egypt and the Golan Heights from Syria. With another stalemate in place, Netanyahu honoured the 10-month freeze, but once it ended, the settlements in the West bank continued at pace.

You don’t find many left-wing Labour supporters in the UK declaring their love of Israel. It has been well-documented that Corbyn’s Labour struggles with the fine line of being critical of Israeli policy and not sounding explicitly anti-Semitic. Israel didn’t always have such a bad name among leftist radicals. Throughout Israel’s short history, but particularly in the 1970s, idealistic young (often non-Jewish) Europeans and Americans travelled in their thousands to volunteer on Kibbutzim. A Kibbutz is a commune, usually rural, where people pitch in with the work and share the spoils of their labours. Effectively the kibbutz was seen as a miniature communist society. It was, for the radical dreamer, an idyllic Marxist holiday, albeit with a dose of Zionism thrown in for good measure. In fact Israel itself has a strong socialist heritage. US Democratic politician Jonathan Miller makes exactly this point on The Huff Post: “The State of Israel was established in 1948 as a socialist nation, built on the wealth-sharing principles of



its treasured agrarian collectives, known commonly as kibbutzim.” He also points out that, “Israel is the only nation in world history to deliver huge numbers of black men, women, and children out of slavery in Africa, into freedom abroad… More than 120,000 Ethiopian Jews have emigrated to Israel in recent decades, most dramatically in two covert military operations, Operation Moses (1984) and Operation Solomon (1991). With their lives endangered due to famine and political unrest, thousands were airlifted to Israel to enable them to begin their lives anew.” And then there is the issue of gay rights. Miller writes: “The Palestinian flag at a gay rights rally? “It’s the iconic ironic image of the New New Left. “The sentiment’s familiar: a maltreated minority identifying with the victim célèbre of radical academia. “But the juxtaposition of these two particular causes would be absurdly hilarious if it weren’t profoundly tragic: The Hamas regime represented by that flag demeans, oppresses, jails, harrasses, assaults, and tortures gays and lesbians. “Imagine what would happen if you flew a gay rights flag in Gaza City.” In 13 countries, being gay or bisexual is punishable by death. Just look at how many of these are in the Middle East or North Africa (the neighbours of Israel): Sudan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Qatar, UAE, parts of Somalia, parts of Syria and parts of Iraq. Meanwhile restrictions on ‘propaganda’ interpreted as promoting LGBT communities or identities are in place in Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Syria. Israel is welcoming to the LGBT community, and, probably as a dig at the Arab world, tells the world about its openness through the unlikely vehicle of the Eurovision Song Contest, won this year by gay icon Netta Barzilai. And who can forget the most famous winner, the Israeli transgender woman, Dana International?



Liberal attitudes, Conservative politics Liberal in some ways, oppressive in others, Israel is a continual contradiction. For a country of Western values and tolerance, why Netanyahu? He’s not just a political hard-liner - he has repeatedly faced accusations of corruption, including kick-backs, undeclared gifts and gaining favourable media coverage from a news website in exchange for regulatory changes. So why do Israelis vote for him? The Jerusalem Post’s Gil Hoffman supplies seven possible explanations including: “One. Israelis like their leaders a little corrupt… Israelis like their leaders to have elbows, because they will be the ones fighting for Israel on the world’s stage, and the worst thing you can be in Israel is a freier (sucker). “Two. Netanyahu keeps Israelis safe, and that’s what matters. Netanyahu has persuaded Israelis that he and only he can protect them in the face of the nuclearisation of Iran and other threats. Until someone else comes along who can

make Israelis feel nearly as safe and secure as Netanyahu, he will keep winning elections, no matter what he is accused of next. Israelis vote on security, and on that, there is currently no alternative to the prime minister.” What it boils down to is Israelis feel safe with Netanyahu. All else can be forgiven. All sympathy for the Palestinians was cast aside when Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip. Until relatively recently, Fatah, set up in the 1950s to liberate ‘Historic Palestine’ was the main voice of the Palestinians and the PLO, led by the familiar figure of Yasser Arafat. For decades it waged an armed struggle from its bases in Jordan and Lebanon. It renounced violence in the 1990s, and still seeks a negotiated solution. In 2007, Hamas, a hardline party which was originally an off-shoot of the radical Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, won the parliamentary elections in Gaza. Fatah disputed the results, leading to a Palestinian Civil War, and the expulsion of Fatah from the Gaza Strip, although it retains the dominant Palestinian party in the West Bank.

THE BIG STORY Hamas refuses to accept that Israel has a legitimate right to exist and Israel refuse to have any dealings in return. Israel closed the borders with Gaza, leaving its inhabitants largely in abject poverty. There is scant sympathy from Israelis who continue to see Hamas as a existential threat to the nation of Israel, and as such Netanyaha’s strong-arm approach plays well with the electorate.

Our enemy’s enemy is our friend. The other factor in Netanyaha’s success is the relationships he is building with overseas powers, although this is more about the global power struggles than his charisma. At a G20 summit in 2011, French President Nicolas Sarkozy told President Obama, “I cannot bear Netanyahu, he’s a liar.” He was unaware that the conversation was being picked up by journalists. Obama replied, “You’re fed up with him, but I have to deal with him even more often than you.” Ouch. But the world is a different place now. An enemy of Obama is a friend of Trump, although in any case, the Trump-Netanyahu links go back a long way. Donald’s father, Fred became firm friends with Netanyahu in the 1980s when he was Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations. And there is also a strong link with the family of Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner. The Kushners are Orthodox Jews who made their fortune in the real-estate business and hold conservative views on Israel. They have donated large sums of money to Israeli causes and charities, including tens of thousands of dollars to a yeshiva (an Orthodox Jewish school) in the Beit El settlement, in the West Bank. Not one for small gestures, Trump firmly demonstrated his support of Israel in December with the announcement of United States’ recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and a plan to relocate the U.S. Embassy in Israel from

“If Hamas is an irritant that has to be controlled, Iran is the real enemy; THE SPECTRE THAT HAUNTS ISRAEL. BUT THE GOOD NEWS FOR ISRAEL AND NETANYAHU IS THAT THEY ARE NOT ALONE.” Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Few can deny that Jerusalem is the obvious capital of Israel, but diplomacy (i.e. fear of offending the Arab World) has prevented the world’s major nations or institutions from endorsing such an idea. Netanyahu found it impossible to disguise his delight. He glowingly compared Trump to Harry Truman, the president who conferred the historic American acceptance of Israel’s independence in 1948. Adam Entous in The New Yorker, wrote, “With Obama finally out of the way, Netanyahu could concentrate on getting the Trump team to embrace his grand strategy for transforming the direction of Middle Eastern politics. His overarching ambition was to diminish the Palestinian cause as a focus of world attention and to form a coalition with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to combat Iran, which had long supported Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza and had tak-

en strategic advantage of the American folly in Iraq and the war in Syria.” If Hamas is an irritant that has to be controlled, Iran is the real enemy; the spectre that haunts Israel. But the good news for Israel and Netanyahu is that they are not alone. The divide in the Middle East is not the Arab-Israeli conflict, it is the Sunni-Shia struggle for power. In Yemen and Syria, proxy wars rage between Iran and the Sunni world, led by Saudi Arabia and the emirates. The Saudis and the United Arab Emirates have never been friends of Israel but they fear the growth of Iran’s influence more than anything else. The unsaid mantra is that the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Netanyahu may not have been formally invited for a summit in Riyadh (yet!), but there is undoubtedly an unspoken mutual appreciation. Israel, a Jewish state surrounded on all sides by Muslim nations has always had bitter enemies. The enemies change once it was Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt and the PLO. Now it is Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran. Either way the siege mentality remains. But Israel is looking powerful with Netanyahu in control and the Israelis will overlook his authoritarian approach towards the Palestinians if they feel safe. He has a rock-solid ally in Trump, Hamas is weak and Fatah is no threat. The only genuine threat is Iran but Israel does not stand alone against the Shia threat. It may be good news for the Israelis but there is no longer the need to pay lip-service to a two-nation state. Netanyahu’s nation-state law is a dreadful proposition for Israeli-Arabs. But the world is looking away. There has never been a more desperate time to be a Palestinian.





T Molly Enser meets University of Surrey’s Professor John Collomosse to find out exactly how advances in innovation will impact on our lives



hey are words you have heard many times; blockchain, cryptocurrency, Bitcoin and AI, and, if you are like me, you may have just nodded along and agreed that you understood what it all means.

newfound technology will take over the world, leave the population unemployed and eventually spiral out of control. The future will see us “being taken over by robots”. But in reality this technology has been around for a while and its uses are incredibly diverse.

We have heard a lot about bitcoin since its arrival in 2009. Bitcoin’s price and shares have peaked and troughed, and its connection with illegal transactions and high electricity usage has been criticised. Probably most of us are unsure of what cryptocurrencies are, how they work, why we should use them. And even fewer know what blockchain is (In Bitcoin, blockchain literally acts a ledger). The media paints AI (artificial intelligence) and blockchain in a somewhat negative light, making it sound as if this

The University of Surrey is known for its innovation and there is plenty of that happening through the Surrey blockchain projects which are helping the private and public sector. I caught up with Professor John Collomosse to learn a bit more about blockchain and DLT (Distributed Ledger Technology). In this feature I with try to explain how and why these technologies are used. Hopefully it should all be clear by the end of this article and instead of nodding your head, you can comment on it all!


I’m a professor in the Centre for Vision, Speech and Signal Processing (CVSSP). It is one of the UK’s largest research centres focusing on AI, but another big interest of ours is Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT). This is the term we use to encompass things such as blockchain and other similar technologies. Quite often people get the terms blockchain and DLT interchanged. Blockchain is a form of DLT. It’s the best known one because it underpins bitcoin. Which is probably the best known application of distributed ledgers. Our interest is the interaction between DLT and AI. Distributed Ledger Technology essentially provides tamper proof data, it is like a distributed secure database. It has this unique property that can guarantee the integrity of data, so the data stored within it is tamper proof and AI is about making sense of the data so the two go hand in hand. Our projects here at Surrey are based around AI and DLT – as we don’t really focus on the cryptocurrency side. We’re not focused on cryptocurrency at all, we’re focused on applications of DLT to other areas like public sector, what we call DLT for the public good which also includes innovative applications of DLT in the commercial sector. Many of our projects fuse DLT and AI in order to produce innovation. I lead what we call Surrey Blockchain, which is our DLT testbed here in Surrey that runs all these applications and also is a consolidation of our expertise in the university, which actually spans across the different faculties, we’re just one faculty working in it.


Blockchain, is a kind of DLT. It is basically a way of storing data. One way of storing data is a database and you can get distributed databases where people collaborate to store data. But a blockchain is a distributed database and it has this unique property that it can guarantee, the data stored

within it has integrity and provenance, it can make these guarantees without relying on central authority.

go back and change the contents of a block of data once it’s been added to the chain.

Bitcoin is a great example; it’s a virtual currency where you want to track who owns what coins, but you don’t want to rely on a centralised bank to do that. More generally there might be a situation where you have independent organisations that all want to exchange data and they might not all trust one another but they can all collaborate on running this blockchain, which will help them ensure the integrity of the data they are all passing between one another.

The reason for this is because every block contains what’s called a ‘hash’ which is like a fingerprint of the content in the previous block. The ‘hashes’ are all secured by cryptography.

So a concrete description of what a blockchain is:

A blockchain, stores data in blocks, and data gets added to the chain a block at a time. With a blockchain you can only ever add extra data to the end of a chain, you can never change or delete anything that goes into a blockchain. That’s its unique property.


The problem with a regular database is that anyone can go in and tamper with that data at any time; they can put passwords on there but ultimately it can be hacked. In a blockchain you can never

At the highest level it is a distributed database that has this unique property that the data within it is tamper proof, and the provenance and integrity are guaranteed without relying on a centralised authority.


It is being used for all sorts of different things, ourselves here at Surrey are working with the national archives to help them ensure the integrity of the records that they keep, but it’s also being used by companies such as IBM, in their supply chain. There’s even a project here in our vet school, learning how we use blockchain in a supply chain for medicine.


Our Archangel project, is working with the national archives. The idea is we want to be able to ensure the integrity of digital records that are held by the national archives. Just like the rest of the climate, the national archives are going digital.



INNOVATION you extract a fingerprint – using AI of that image. So if someone comes along with a camera phone and takes a photo of Guildford cathedral and they want to know what it is, fingerprints taken from their image, are compared to the fingerprints within the database and if it’s the closest fit it comes up with Guildford Cathedral.


In that case we were using AI to understand documents, unlike the dangers of AI that you see in the media. People worry about the automation that AI affords the world, which could result in some jobs being replaced. Jobs that involve bulk data analysis in the insurance industry for example, could well be replaced. Many people are calling it the fourth industrial revolution for that reason, but as with any revolution there will be job creation as well.

For example;

If there is a Supreme Court hearing, a digital video record has been taken and that gets put into the national archives in digital form, five years later it gets released to the public. When it’s released it becomes part of the legal precedent in the UK. So it’s very important that video doesn’t get tampered with, or accidently messed up, while it’s in the archive. With our project (Archangel) we use an AI technique to take a ‘fingerprint’ of that video and we store it in the blockchain, therefore it can never be changed or deleted. So then when the video eventually gets released to the public, we can fingerprint it again and check when it’s released it is the same that’s in the blockchain. We’re not storing the data from the national achieves in the block chain, we are storing a fingerprint of the content on the blockchain. This is an example of us using the immutability of blockchain, which basically means the data can’t be changed



once it’s been put in it. To guarantee the integrity of the data in the national archives.


We use techniques from the field of computer vision. So within the centre most of us work in computer vision which is about teaching computers, using AI how to understand visual content. An example of that would be robotics, if a robot needs to navigate, it needs to use computer vison to see where it’s going and one big application of computer vison is in document analysis; visual search. If you have ever used google goggles which is where you get your mobile phone, you take a picture of a landmark and it tells you what it is, that’s searching a visual query instead of text; it’s like google with pictures. Computer vison is driving that, if you take an image of Guildford Cathedral,

Another danger of AI is that often with an AI technique you need to train it, showing it examples of data that it needs to process. If the data is biased in some way it can pick up biases. Sometimes it’s quite hard to know if it’s learning in a biased way, so that’s another problem. Coming back to the insurance example again if you showed your AI algorithm 1,000 people, and their demographics and then asked AI “which of those people have had accidents?” AI might learn from that example that there’s a correlation between gender and accidents. If the insurance company then use that model and set premiums, that would be illegal in the UK, because they can’t discriminate on gender. So it’s a hypothetical example, but sometimes with the most recent examples in AI, it’s quite difficult to know what the machine is learning. It will learn correlations but its understanding of the model it’s learning gives way to a whole new research area around this, explainable or interpretable AI, which is all about looking inside the box and figuring out what AI learns.

Sometimes people get a bit scared, because it’s very hard to inspect what AI has learnt, and they get a little worried that the machine is learning to take over the world. This is science fiction. The real concern is over AI making decisions based on either biased criteria or criteria that is not within a social context. The way we tackle this is to address the problem through ongoing research into explainable AI.

Jobs that involve bulk data analysis in the insurance industry for example, could well be replaced. Many people are calling it the fourth industrial revolution for that reason, but as with any revolution there will be job creation as well.

DO WE NEED TO UNDERSTAND HOW THIS ALL WORKS? IS IT GOING TO BE ADOPTED INTO THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY INTO THE WAY WE WORK IN THE FUTURE? OR IS IT JUST USEFUL TO KNOW WHAT IT IS? It’s already being adopted in quite a lot of businesses, in things like supply chains, health care, digital records and creative industries. We’re beginning to see the use of blockchain in all of these to manage intellectual property. One of the other really exciting things about blockchain is that it can store more than just data - it can store programmes. In what is called a smart contract, which is a programme stored in a blockchain and what that means is autonomous processes can be set up and run within this blockchain and once they’re in there, no one can change them. For example, you could encode a contract into the blockchain and if someone wanted to license a bit of music then the blockchain will make a micro payment to the author. The blockchain will not only prove who originally made that piece of music, but it could also be a way of not only commodifying that asset, but registering that if it gets used the person who created it should get paid.

This interview has only covered very few of the amazing and innovative ways Surrey is using blockchain in their projects, to find more of the fantastic research and work being done visit:





How do businesses innovate? Do we spend enough on research and development? What are the barriers to innovation? We invited a panel of business owners and innovation experts to discuss the importance of creativity.


Welcome everyone. I’ll be facilitating today although our experience of our Breakthrough Moments series events is that there will be a lively debate without me having to do very much at all! We’re here today to talk about innovation and technology. I speak to a lot of SMEs and professionals and I’ve seen that Innovation means different things to different people. I’d be interested to understand what it means to our panel.

Colin Berkeley

Regional Director, Santander Business Banking Santander UK

So first I'd like to ask the panel what does innovation mean to you?


Bankim Chandra

CEO, Dotsquares Based in Albourne, Sussex, Dotsquares provide web design, development, hosting and digital marketing services.


In simple mathematical formula, for me it’s “innovation + creativity = efficiency”. Business is all about efficiency, how quickly you can deliver to your customer or how quickly you can do a particular task. I’m a strong believer in CRM systems, so we created a customised web-based, mobile-based and watch-based CRM system, and it even links up with Alexa. So I can say: “Alexa, give me information about company X.” You can access all the information through voice command or request reports. It’s all about saving time and making information easily available.

Facilitated and chaired by Colin Berkeley Edited by Ian Trevett


A lot of people don’t feel innovative as they think it’s just about the big ideas. It doesn’t need to be. Innovation is about working out ways to test ideas, seeing if they're going to work and being brave enough to stop investing time and valuable resource in pet projects if it's clear it won’t work.

You have to test ideas or products, it gives you the confidence to decide: “Yes, let’s invest something in this. We know it’s going to work. We have all these proof points. Let’s take it forward.”

We can link the CRM to Skype and use an application programming interface (API) to link to the bank account, for instance.

It is all about efficiency and how you bring that efficiency to your customer, bringing them greater value at a lower cost.


David Bailey

Innovations team, Santander UK



Creativity is in extremely short supply within most work places because a lot of it is to do with how you engage, and having the time to engage. It’s about engaging with people outside of the building. People generally aren’t creative on their own. They require stimulus that challenges them in completely different ways. It’s also something that we lose as we get older – or at least we become less open to creativity as we get older because we have preconceptions of what is or what isn’t possible. It’s good to be forced to think outside of your comfort zone.

Peter Lane

Sussex Innovation Centre Based at the University of Sussex and Croydon, the innovation centre is a leading business incubator for research commercialisation.

If you have an idea or a new product, innovation is about how you commercialise it or put it into practice – it’s a different set of skills. It’s about how you look at the business model, how you intimately understand the customer and the problems, their needs and likes and then how you evolve a commercialisation strategy. I think there’s a fear within large organisations of knowing how to give people time and space to innovate and be creative.

Innovation within a company can become quite inwardly focused and it tends to become incremental about the products that you have or the services that you deliver.

I heard a fascinating story about Artificial Intelligence (AI) on Radio 4. Most of us are a little confused about AI and we wait for someone to explain its use. This story explained how it was used in Moorfields Eye Hospital. They used machine learning technology to study thousands of historic eye scans to identify signs of eye disease. They found the AI system can recommend the correct referral decision for over 50 eye diseases with 94% accuracy, matching worldleading eye experts.

And it will only get better, no doubt soon exceeding the human experts.

Maarten Hoffmann

The Platinum Publishing Group Publisher




Sometimes I feel SMEs don’t want to be the first ones to try new technologies, whereas corporates can try new ideas. If it fails it can go into the criteria of “We tried and we can work on more” whereas start-ups and SMEs want to see a proven formula. It’s all about having the resources to cope with failure.


Creativity, for me, contributes to innovation, and innovation is basically problem solving, helping my business make more money by doing something in a much less expensive way, by using or bringing in something new.


Innovation is the realisation of creativity but for SMEs, the big challenge is, how do you manage creativity for it to become something tangible and of business worth? Ideally there should be a greater amount of autonomy to allow your employees to innovate and be creative. But what SMEs really tend to be interested in is focused creativity; creativity with a value at the end of it, with an output that the business can actually use.

Dr Nicholas Dacre

From a more academic and student perspective, one of our roles at university is giving potential future employees the skills to think creatively and learning how to apply that in a business context.

University of Sussex Business School


Nnamdi Uche

Nnamdi & Co The Guildford-based fashion brand is looking to disrupt the tailoring industry

So creativity in your environment is used very much as a problem solving exercise in order to be able to innovate. From a business perspective, in terms of creativity, we are seeing tools like escape rooms, gamification and things like that that businesses can use to try and engage their employees and collaborate with external partners to drive more creativity and innovation.


One of the major ways we use creativity is by creating partnerships. You can learn so much when you work together. I started out as a fashion designer but when I had issues with my website, I had to learn coding and become strong on the technical issues, which is effectively innovating, especially when the coding isn’t working and I have to problem solve.




It is interesting that when I asked what innovation means to people, everybody around the table linked it to creativity.

A case of too much TECHNOLOGY? David:

There are advantages of a hybrid model. People are starting to push back a little bit against digital just because there’s a feeling that something has been lost as technology has taken over people’s lives. People have a high expectation that technology will enable all sorts of things and things have to be instant, but there’s always a space for the human interaction element. John Lewis has a successful model because it uses a digital innovation but people know there is always a person they can talk to. There is a perception of trust and service.


We recognise that our customers want to interact with us in different ways. Sometimes the same customers want to interact with us in several different ways, it isn’t a “one size fits all”. Sometimes they will go to a branch, sometimes they will bank online, sometimes both. We call it omnichannel. We want our customers to be able to interact with us in any way they want to, at any time, in any combination, and that’s what we’re developing. We spend a lot of time talking to customers to try and understand what it is that they want. Anything we do will be copied almost immediately, so it’s got to be about the value-add and the service.


We embrace technology yet resist it as well. If we became a solely online magazine, with all the 47,000 other online magazines, we will just disappear into the ether. So we are loyal to the printed format. But we use technology to increase efficiencies. The cost of printing has actually come down because of the innovative ways they are printing, although the cost of paper is doing nothing but going up. Within the office, we grab any technology we can get our hands on. Everything that we can find that makes our job easier, we grab it. So we have a huge appetite on one side and on the other side we’re knocking it back as fast as we possibly can.


At the Innovation Centre we run a student start-up competition called Start-Up Sussex. In the first year we did it, the would-be entrepreneurs would write business plans, then a panel would judge them and we’d give the winner a couple of grand. It was dreadful. It was so depressing because people won some money and they didn’t have the foggiest idea what to do with it. The business plans were mostly a waste of time. Our passion became creating an experiential learning course. We wanted people to learn how to assess the difference between an idea and an opportunity. To help people engage with customers and understand exactly what they are thinking. We got the entrepreneurs to pitch to real-life investors and business-owners.


My experience has been that running an actual business and winning competitions are completely different things. It is nice to win a competition and the prize money is great but it is never enough to make a tangible difference to a business.


You’re quite right, but the funds are actually a very small piece of the jigsaw. If you have a strong business idea, winning a competition is a strong validation. It may also help generate interest from first-stage investors.

Bankim: It’s great that you’re running this programme and encouraging

students to come up with ideas. I’ve been part of Young Enterprise for many years as a business advisor, going every week, discussing the idea and then helping that idea into a business. You see great ideas but they don’t have the business skills. I do agree with Nnamdi, that you need that support and business skills at the same time. For every business it’s the contacts which are required at the start, and you need to have that luck and then the right funding in order to take that next step. Everything requires money, no matter how good your idea is.


We’ve evolved the model at the Sussex Innovation Centre, and we have an in-house team to help small businesses overcome all the hurdles.




of technology


Through usage of technology we created an augmented reality app. We use this at expos, where people use the augmented reality to answer question on our stand and win prizes. We were showing it to one of our customers and he said “That would work very well in museums.” You could stand in front of a painting, open that app and access information and the history about the painting. IKEA have got this app. With the augmented reality, you can see how a piece of decoration will look on a table, for instance.


We’re trying constantly to make connections with larger companies to come and experience some of the potential new technologies coming out of academics at Sussex.


The beauty of being connected with a university is that it’s pumping out hugely talented people with some fabulous ideas. You are right on that doorstep to suck that talent in.


A lot of our job is connecting people. Even if they are in the room next door to each other they wouldn’t know why they should be talking to each other. So it’s very much a hub, a connection and a network. I would ask: “Can I introduce you to someone who perhaps has done this before? Can we advise you on what kind of IP protection you might need to have in place? Can I introduce you to a free-hour lawyer or a patent attorney?”


Personally connections have helped me a lot. I didn’t know anything about proper accounting and then I have a friend from church who just did the whole thing for me. He created a spreadsheet for me when I started and I still use it.



The power OF

CONNECTING to people


The contacts that you have are powerful. It's about expanding this network. I love the idea of bringing together the energy of young people with brilliant ideas coming straight out of university with people who have experience and can offer valuable advice.

Colin: It’s always about connections.

We actively work with our customers to help them make the right connections, whether that be with professional services, other SMEs who have been through similar experiences or our university partners. You may have a great idea but how can you make money out of it? Linking people together and mentoring is very powerful.

Should we embrace NEW TECHNOLOGY? Colin:

You see it on Dragons’ Den quite a lot where somebody will stand up, make their presentation and the Dragons say: “You’ve come up with a fantastic solution to something that isn’t actually a problem. It’s lovely but no-one is going to buy it because it doesn’t actually add any value.


When it comes to technology, it is easy to act like lemmings. Does everybody need an app? No, they don’t! I read something like 33% of all apps are never downloaded. No-one ever touches them. I’m continually fielding calls and emails from people saying I need an app for the magazine. Well, actually, no I don’t. More people need to say no to technology that doesn’t actually work for them.


There should be a separate department in a business whose role it is to look at what’s happening in technology, looking at the papers which are published by big analyst companies like Gardner & Forrester. That department reads those articles and understands what’s happening in technology, and can apply those innovations that actually help the business. On the subject of apps, an app doesn't necessarily need to be external. It can be something within the company which is used by staff members We recently did a gamification app for a large car manufacturing company. We had the hardware and software integrated into an app which assessed: How quickly are they making the car? How quickly are the bolts, nuts, wheels assembled? And then we created a leader board, which helps increase productivity.


What a lot of organisations struggle with is that if you innovate you’ve got to accept, as children do, that it might not work. And if it doesn’t work, who cares? Let’s move on.

Should we all be


The field work that we’ve done at the university suggests that with the smaller businesses, key people within the company are assigned creative responsibilities and job roles. What is key is that these individuals aren’t operating in isolation. You want this creativity to permeate throughout the organisation. It can come from the top, from the CEO or CFO, but it also can come from the customers, injecting new ideas into the organisation. The question is how do you then capitalise on that? How do you make it something tangible that is of worth? How do you embrace new ideas?


The university is a great place where we try and embed that culture of “Don’t be afraid to fail” because it’s the place to fail and it is part of the learning journey.


Someone who was not on my team suggested that we use Chatbots to get people in from Facebook, and it’s something that I wouldn’t have looked at otherwise. A Bot can chat to you and link you straight to my website. They’re more intelligent now and they can ask you what you want. This will save me time and money. If it works well it’s something that I would invest in.


I did some coding at university but not very much. It was just basic C++ but now I’ve learned some more and did some courses on EDX and practised it. We have a tech guy but it is important to understand the technology, and I can step in and help when we have problems. I like problem solvers because they will help you succeed. I have to think creatively because what we are doing has never been done before, so it’s brand new. The good ideas come from me thinking simply; often people would try and do something complex, but I would suggest something quite simplistic. But now everyone thinks like that because that is our business culture.




You could argue that an innovation team almost needs to do itself out of a job within two or three years because they should drive the innovation culture to permeate through the business. Innovation teams cannot work in isolation. Every idea we investigate or try to solve. If the idea has not already come from the business we’ll look for sponsorship within the business. We want the bank staff to say: “We’ve identified this customer problem and we think we have a way to solve. Can you help us to work it through?” That collaboration is really critical.


In the banking sector you guys are facing open banking, FinTech, all these types of innovation. Do you feel pressure that you need to innovate in these particular areas?

David: Absolutely, we've been thinking about

what the future holds. There are a lot of unknowns, so we have been doing some testing and learning and trying ideas out. Once we have gone through the testing processes we can look at taking new ideas forward. We try and encourage colleagues to say “If you have an idea come and tell us about it and we can help you bring it to life. We can help you test something quite quickly and then see whether it’s worth taking forward and investing more on that idea." While we may have resources as a bank that allow us to innovate, we recognise the flexibility and speed of decision making that smaller businesses have. There are necessary constraints in a large corporate environment, particularly within financial services.

Do we invest ENOUGH MONEY in innovation? Colin:

I heard an item on Radio Four, discussing a single IT system for the NHS, which up to now has always failed. Apparently, the NHS spends about 1% of their budget on IT de-velopment. They are very much more advanced in the States, and over there they spend 5%. Do we think SMEs understand that they sometimes need to get their cheque book out to do that or does the fear of failure put them off too much?


I ran a business for 20 years with my brother and sister. As an SME you are always looking at the bottom line, you are always thinking about money and it becomes quite difficult to justify some of the behaviours we’ve been talking about. However, the world is a very fast-moving place now businesses really have no choice but to innovate. It’s ‘do or die’.

Time to

THINK Google has an employee innovation initiative known as the “20 Per Cent Time” policy. The concept allows employees to dedicate 20% of their working hours to projects they think will most benefit Google. Is this a concept that we should introduce?


Google encourage employees to get out of the building, experiment or whatever else they carry out in trying to add value to the business. It’s a great model and it’s fantastic if you’ve got billions of dollars sitting in the bank that allow you to be able to behave in that way.


There’s no difference between the Google model with all their billions and an SME just finding thinking time. It’s experimental time. Thinking time is the most undervalued thing on the planet. It is invaluable to go and sit in a coffee bar without a phone and take the time to think.


The Google ethos is for the staff to follow their passion. None of us do anything unless we’re passionate about solving a problem. It’s a tremendous motivator for employees rather than just sitting there saying “This is what I’ve got to do and at the end of the day I do this and then I get home.” Engaging your employee base is vital. An interesting way of spurring that creativity and innovation could be to bring something completely unexpected into the room, maybe as professor of psychology or whatever, to say “Let’s talk about customer behaviours.”


Actually we do have a psychologist that we use as part of our testing process. It’s absolutely brilliant because they can bring clarity to how people actually think, how they are likely to respond and what they care about.


I believe there are side benefits in allowing your staff the time to innovate, particularly with regards morale and happiness. Obviously you have to run your business, but if staff feel their ideas are heard and they have a contribution to make outside their daily tasks this benefits everyone.


One disadvantage of the constant access to phones is that it leaves you almost time-starved to think laterally or creatively about your business.


There’s a continuum from a cost perspective in terms of what you can do as well. But there are lots of tools out there that enable you use technology without having to commit huge resources. Even within the bank we’re really being encouraged to test more before we go and build something. With SMEs it’s just getting comfortable with finding ways to test an idea out before investing too much of their limited resource and time.

What are the BIGGEST BARRIERS to innovation for SMEs? Bankim: The fear of failure. One solution is to use people in the right part of


A lot depends on the business owner; how technology-oriented are they? How long can your business sustain itself without innovation?


Time and money!

the world to get the maximum out of them. We have development centres in India. You have to use the right resources form the right part of the world in order to get the best for your customers.

At the same time we invest in apprentices. I strongly believe in the apprenticeship scheme over here. You get the best people – it’s a bit of a hit and miss process, but still worth giving people a chance.


There are two types of employees. You get employees who get given a task and they’ll say ‘That’s not part of my job description.’ And then you get other employees who are given a task that they’ve never dealt with before who say ‘This is exciting. I’ve never done this before. How do I overcome this issue or that particular challenge?’” For organisations to survive they need the latter.


We started off by talking about what innovation means – and I’ve now got quite a different idea of what innovation can mean which is that it’s about being creative to solve problems, to find solutions, not being afraid to fail and

accepting that when innovating probably quite a lot of what they try is not going to work first time. It’s very much about a state of mind – if a business owner wants to be creative to innovate he can drive this through his business and enable his employees to be part of this too.




The alluring South African city offers diverse activities and adventure for corporate travellers, says Rose Dykins

The city was named the number one city in Africa for hosting international association meetings for the tenth year by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA)


he powerful, charismatic beauty of Table Mountain is usually the first thing that lures people to Cape Town, overcome by the desire to climb this landform that looks quite unlike anything else on this planet. Then, the more you find out, the more you want to go. The Winelands, the surfing, the penguin colonies, South Africa’s poignant recent history and its lingering legacy. In my opinion, it’s the most unique city in the world.

With its uniqueness comes a unique set of challenges. For example, in January, after a prolonged drought, the news broke that Cape Town could become the first major modern city in the world to run

The more you find out, the more you want to go. The Winelands, the surfing, the penguin colonies, South Africa’s poignant recent history and its lingering legacy.

out of water. “Day Zero” loomed – the day the government would have to turn off the city’s taps and citizens would have to collect their water from communal stations. Water usage was restricted to 50 litres per person per day. Capetonians made a rigorous effort to re-use or avoid using household water. The result was a drastic cut in waste water, and the imminent crisis was avoided (though the pressure remains for the city to continue being diligent). The saga has placed sustainability even more firmly on the agenda for Cape Town and its people – something all visitors ought to be respectful of during their time there (using the same hotel room towel throughout their stay and taking short showers are a start).




The challenges this year may have some effect on 2018 visitor numbers to Cape Town, but prior to that, the figures were buoyant. The 2018 African Hotel Valuation Index revealed that hotel room occupancy in the Western Cape increased by 25% in 2017. And the city was named the number one city in Africa for hosting international association meetings for the tenth year by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA). Congresses relating to health and medicine, engineering, IT, mining, oil, gas, agro-processing and the green economy have all chosen Cape Town as their host.

In January, Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) completed a £45 million project that doubled the size of its event space. The venue gained a new extension that added 10,000 sqm of exhibition areas, connected to the existing CTICC via skybridge. The expansion has greatly enhanced Cape Town’s potential to



You’d be hard-pressed to find a destination that has as much to offer as Cape Town. Culture, history, adventure, beaches, wildlife, dining, wine tours, safaris, you name it.

win bids for large-scale international conferences and CTICC’s executive mayor, Patricia de Lille, commented on how the development is an important piece of the puzzle for a city that is being sought after by companies across the globe: “Cape Town is fast becoming the ideas capital of Africa. Organisations and businesses now choose Cape Town as a place from which to develop their African strategies. Many of the CTICC’s flagship events are testimony to Cape Town’s ability to connect people from the tip to the top of Africa.” The city’s luxury hotel scene is wellestablished. Last year, an eye-catching addition was Silo Hotel. Occupying six floors above Zeitz MOCAA (Museum of Contemporary Art Africa) in a landmark building – a former grain factory with its exteriors reworked by architectural firm, Thomas Heatherwick – the stunning property has 28 rooms overlooking the gentile V&A Waterfront district and the mountains beyond. And set to open last month, the five-star Signature Lux hotel, also situated on the V&A Waterfront,

The more you find out, the more you want to go. The Winelands, the surfing, the penguin colonies, South Africa’s poignant recent history and its lingering legacy.



for a meeting or event

One and Only Cape Town Overlooking Table Mountain, this contemporary five-star property has two boardrooms and a ballroom for 250 people, and its restaurants include the first African outpost of Nobu.

Lagoon Beach This beachside four-star property with 211 rooms has 14 meeting spaces to choose from, the largest of which holds 600 guests.

Zeitz MOCAA – Iwan Baan combines high-tech and chic design with eco-friendly credentials. It has 87 bedrooms and an extravagant restaurant and dining area, where Louis XIV-inspired decor has an African twist. Flight prices to Cape Town from the UK are consistently rather high due to lack of competition. BA is the only airline that flies direct to Cape Town from Britain – in 2016, it started operating three flights a week from Gatwick, adding to its twice-daily service from Heathrow. South African Airways also flies daily from Heathrow to Johannesburg, where it’s a two-hour and ten-minute hop onwards to Cape Town. Once in South Africa, however, the weak rand against the UK pound makes Cape Town great value (at the time of writing this, South Africa had entered a recession after its economy shrank by 0.8% in the second quarter of 2018.) European-based event planners will see their budget go a lot further when arranging three-course dinners and wow-factor incentives for corporate travellers. And for incentives, you’d be hard-pressed to find a destination that has as much to offer as Cape Town. Culture, history, adventure, beaches, wildlife, dining, wine tours, safaris, you name it, and chances are it can be arranged within the city and its surrounds (for ideas, visit It’s highly likely that delegates will want to add on a couple of days to explore – snorkelling around Seal Island, abseiling down Table Mountain, exploring the UNESCO World Heritage site of Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 18 years, or hiking up breathtaking Cape Point, where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet.

Avenue The event space at this edgy V&A Waterfront venue includes a 400-capacity hall that looks directly onto the predator tank of the Two Oceans Aquarium.

CTICC The Cape Town International Convention Centre Following its recently completed extension, Cape Town’s convention centre has up-tothe-minute facilities. Spaces include a 1,500-seat auditorium, a 2,000 sqm ballroom and a roof terrace that seats 300 people.

Table Bay Hotel A five-star property on the V&A Waterfront, this classic property has numerous elegant event spaces, including a ballroom that holds 300 people and a Victorian-style pavilion that seats 96 people for a banquet.

Radisson Blu Waterfront Offering dreamy ocean views and 117 rooms and suites, this modern hotel’s largest space holds 200 people for a reception, and backs on to the boardwalk next to the V&A Harbour.

Century City Conference Centre This versatile venue can host 1,900 delegates across its 20 event spaces. It has an on-site hotel with 125 stylish rooms and suites, plus a central square with cafes, bars and restaurants (which can also be hired).

check-in Month-to-month changes shaping your travel, by Rose Dykins

Marriott launches Barcelona EDITION hotel


arriott International has opened an EDITION hotel in Barcelona. Located in El Born, the city’s creative hub in the Ciutat Vella district, the Barcelona EDITION’s 100 rooms and suites feature parquet floors and walnut-panelled walls, as well as beds with Spanish leather headboards and luxury lin-

ens. There are three restaurants, two bars, a rooftop plunge pool and a 24-hour gym. Conceived by Ian Schrager – co-founder of New York’s Studio 54 nightclub – Marriott’s upscale EDITION brand focuses on creating personal, unique hotel experiences.

BA suspends flights to Tehran

Ryanair tightens hand baggage restrictions


ritish Airways suspended its direct flights from London to the capital of Iran last month, with its last flight on September 22nd and return flight the following day, as the route was “currently not commercially viable.”


rom November, Ryanair will no longer allow passengers to take a small suitcase on board its planes for free. Instead, passengers will have to check in wheelie cases at the airport and pay a fee of £8 (if they have purchased the service in advance) or £10 on the day. If passengers purchase priority boarding, they will be entitled to take a carry-on bag on board for £6 (weighing up to 10kg). The fees apply for each leg of a journey. Passengers will still be permitted to take one small bag on board Ryanair flights for free, provided it will fit underneath the seat in front of them.


Business travel exceeded $1 trillion in 2017


he amount spent globally on business travel reached US $1.33 trillion in 2017, an increase of 5.8% on 2016, according to the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA). Recent research from GBTA forecasts that spend will grow a further 7.1% this year and reach $1.7 trillion by 2022. The GBTA says: “The current high-growth business travel era has been fuelled by improving economies around the globe. Many of the improvements, however, have been ignited by both monetary and fiscal stimulus, which is likely to lead to policy challenges and slower economic growth down the road.”


The decision followed President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the nuclear deal between Iran and other nations, and the restoration of US sanctions on Iran. BA resumed its flights to Tehran in September 2016, following a four-year suspension of the service due to worsening relations between Iran and the UK.

TRAVEL INSIDER In our new monthly column, our secret travel mole gives us the latest insider info, breaking news and travel facts that you need to know.


he BA data breach was a wakeup call. If your employees are travelling on business for your company, your alarm bells should be ringing very loud too! British Airways became aware of their data breach late on September 5th, and took immediate action the very next day advising an estimated 380,000 customers that their card and financial details may have been compromised.

Alex Cruz, British Airways Chairman and CEO immediately apologised to affected clients, and said the airline was 100% committed to compensate affected customers. British Airways have been the target of criminal activity, and the speed and transparency with which they have handled this breach has been refreshing. Every company is at risk of criminal activity particularly around data - Air Canada was a target of an attack that affected approximately 20,000 people between August 22nd and 24th this year.

In 2016 a breach of Uber data exposed about 25 million people, including 1.4 million drivers. The company took a year to admit that systems had been compromised and the company are also said to have paid hackers a bounty to destroy the stolen data. Hilton Worldwide Holdings had a data breach of credit card and data of more than 360,000 of its customers in 2015, the company agreed to pay $700,000 in settlement of the case in 2017.

If you allow your staff to book themselves via exterior travel sites, where the purpose of the trip is business, and your employee’s personal data is subsequently breached you and your company could be held responsible for such a breach.

In BA’s case it appears the breach surrounded transactions on and the British Airways app which launches a web portal to complete the bookings. It is believed that hackers gained access by inserting some additional code to an update that was provided to BA by a third party provider, which is why it was initially difficult to detect. Cyber security is an area that continues to be an issue for all brands, but travel in particular is clearly a target for hackers as every single transaction in travel is centred on the traveller’s personal data, a potential goldmine for criminals. Any company that has employees travelling on business should note that any bookings booked through a Travel Management Company (TMC) were not at risk, as TMC’s use tried and tested systems such as Amadeus or Sabre. If you have employees who travel on business for your company, under GDPR you have an enhanced duty of care to make sure your employee’s personal data is secure when used for business purposes. Companies should also be checking their corporate travel policies. If you allow/ authorise your travellers to book themselves via exterior travel sites, where the purpose of the trip is business, and your employee’s personal data is subsequently breached, as in BA’s case, under GDPR you and your company could be held responsible for such a breach. Whereas if your travel policy makes clear your employees must use a TMC to plan and book any business travel, you would have been deemed to have taken all reasonable care by employing professional travel experts.

Want to know more, email





The Himalayan nation prioritises spiritual wellbeing over profit – and offers a chance to escape the madness of modern life. Rose Dykins reports



y problems seem to melt away during my time in Bhutan. The absence of phone signal and the patchiness of the hotel wifi certainly played a part. But after a week of uninterrupted hiking to humble hilltop Buddhist temples, with misty green mountains, undulating rice paddies and fluttering prayer flags all around me, my mind felt completely clear, yet stimulated in a really pure, peaceful way.

Bhutan is a truly unique patchwork – like a mountain-based iteration of The Shire, bordered by India and Tibet, governed by Buddhist principles. Rather than Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Gross National Happiness (GNH) is how the nation measures its progress (via interviews

with its citizens). This permeates the country’s natural and social environment, from its meticulously preserved landscape, where everything from strawberries to marijuana grows side-by-side undisturbed, to the well-fed stray dogs that sleep soundly in the middle of the main road that runs through the capital of Thimpu. Hiking, exploring monasteries, temples and dzongs (fortresses) and spending time with a local guide learning more about Bhutan’s fascinating way of life are integral parts of any visit, and I highly recommend a farm stay, where a Bhutanese family welcomes you into their home for the night. GNH also influences Bhutan’s tourism policy, which seasoned backpackers may find a little restrictive, but the whole idea is to ensure that tourism is man-

Punakha Dzong Monastery

Bhutan is a truly unique patchwork – like a mountain-based iteration of The Shire, bordered by India and Tibet, governed by Buddhist principles diverse and new resorts have popped up, offering luxury, but also respecting Bhutan’s core principles. Coming later this year is the eagerly-anticipated Six Senses Bhutan, which comprises several luxury lodges opening up across the nation. The first of its three lodges will open in November in Thimpu, the historic town of Paro, and the valley of Punakha, with another two following in the valleys of Gangtey and Bumthang in early 2019. Featuring suites and villas that fuse Bhutanese design with modern luxuries, each property will have its own spa, influenced by national wellbeing rituals – including traditional hot stone baths in the Thimpu lodge spa, the perfect way to unwind after a day of exploring Bhutan’s bountiful terrain.

aged in a sustainable way, rather than allowing it to dictate the nation’s development. For example, all international visitors (apart from Indian citizens) are accompanied by a guide during their travels. There is a set fee of $250 per person per day, which covers travellers’ food, accommodation, entrance fees to cultural sites, guide and driver (minus tips and a visa). Booking through an approved tour company is required – they work with you to pre-arrange your trip itinerary. A single airline flies into Bhutan, Druk Air, which connects to eight cities including Bangkok, New Delhi, Kolkata and Singapore. Over the past five years, Bhutan’s tourism offering has become more

Six Senses Bhutan, Thimphu




Connecting SMEs

to each other

to Heathrow

to the World

Heathrow Business Summit: Tuesday 27 November 2018

Invitation The Heathrow Business Summits are a series of events to connect small and mediumsized businesses to opportunities in Heathrow’s supply chain. This year, ten Business Summits are being held throughout the UK, offering SMEs the chance to win business from some of Heathrow’s 1,400 suppliers and discuss exporting opportunities with the Department for International Trade. For 22 years, the Heathrow Business Summits have given SMEs the opportunity to connect and trade with each other and large companies, creating new growth opportunities locally, nationally and internationally.

Register at:






Make your business smarter and embrace the Low Carbon Economy.


he SME market can, and already does, make a significant contribution to the Low Carbon Economy, and it is with this in mind that I am running an event in conjunction with Surrey Chambers, aimed at encouraging the SME market to really embrace the Low Carbon Economy. The event, ’Make Your Business Smarter’, will be held at the World Wildlife Centre in Woking on Wednesday 14th November. The relevance to being ‘smarter’ makes reference to key speaker, Joy Aloor, Head of the Energy Business Advisory team for Siemens. Joy has a wealth of experience in initiating and leading projects on smart and digital technology all around the world. Joy sees smart technology as a necessary joining of forces of human and machine to create a more positive environment. He comments; “Making business smarter is a collaboration between humans and machines, it is not a choice anymore but it is the basic needs of existence of any enterprise in particular for Small and Medium Enterprises.” Fiona Howarth, CEO of Octopus Electric Vehicles will also be speaking. Fiona has been involved at the forefront of EV

RICHARD ESSEX, Financial Advisor & Event Organiser technology. There is already talk that EV’s will be fully adopted within the next two to three decades, and the business and financial spin-offs are huge - this is something close to my heart as I have recently bought an electric car. The energy saving and financial incentives are great, but what’s more, it’s fantastic to drive. We also have Steve Whiteway, Public Transport Specialist, joining us. Steve was the CEO of Epsom Coaches for many years and is very involved in many low carbon initiatives. Steve says; “Low carbon developments in public transport benefit the whole business community and are a very public indication of what can be achieved by private/public enterprise, to the benefit of the end consumer.”

However, SME’s can’t make this transformation on their own. We need government and business organisations like the Local Enterprise Partnerships, to provide a clear strategic vision on how this transformation can take place. The first stages are already happening with the government recently announcing the setting up of regional energy hubs around the country supporting the deployment of local energy strategies facilitated by the LEP’s. Jonathan Essex (Borough and County Councillor) and Peter Sims, both Research Associates for Green House Thinktank offer a fascinating insight into how cohesive development in a low carbon and circular economy can create extra jobs as well as zero net carbon emissions.They produced a report in May this year which looked at such a transition in the Sheffield City Region. The report concluded that such a transition would create at least 21,000 additional people in employment full time up until 2030.

Details of the Make your Business Smarter event can be found at





in your life


ow is the perfect time to consider saying a special “thank you” to valued clients and colleagues and toast the year’s success. The carefully curated 2018 Seasonal Gift Collection caters for every personality, brief and budget.

From the unusual to the unique, look no further than Harrods’ 2018 Seasonal Gift Collection for all your business clients, employees and executives.

The expert business gift division of Harrods prides itself on having extensive knowledge of every department and product range within the store, sourcing unique and unusual products and delivering an unprecedented level of service.

Dolce & Gabbana x Smeg – Stand Mixer

From worldwide exclusives to exciting new brands, exemplary food and wines to high fashion and design accessories, The 2018 Seasonal Gift Collection showcases an unparalleled array of the finest gifts.


For a truly unique gift with a personal touch, Corporate Service at Harrods’ Gift Wrapping and Monogramming Service will provide personalisation choices and bespoke business branding. The embossing of leather goods or engraving of a bottle from the Salon de Parfums will be sure to impress.

For more information on the 2018 Seasonal Hamper and Gift Collection, plus bespoke and personalised corporate gifts please call Corporate Service at Harrods on +44 (0)20 7225 5994, e-mail or visit


Cartier - Pink Gold Love Cord Bracelet £1,040


Bellerby & Co – Albion Globe £1,699

The Montpellier hamper £300

Stow – First Class Leather Tech Case £450

FPM – Bank Suitcases from


La Mer – Radiant City Collection £260

Montegrappa – Fortuna Mosaico Marrakech Rollerball Pen £165

Smythson – Mara Hardbound Cellar Book £175

Up to 67% off † Business Breakdown Cover for Chamber members Service level



Relay Plus

Home Start

Accident Management

Fleetwide 1






Fleetwide 2





Fleetwide 3



Standard Price












Fleetwide 4







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Fleet Europe




Minibus Rescue








Offer Price

Specialist 2




Specialist 4







Specialist 5







The table below gives you more details about the specific services which can be included within our Business Breakdown cover Roadside

Repair or recovery to the AA’s choice of appropriate local repairer.


Transportation of vehicle, driver and up to 7 passengers to a UK mainland address if prompt local repair not possible.

Relay Plus*

Extended Relay service to include one of three alternative arrangements for driver and passengers; car hire, accommodation or public transport services.

Home Start

For breakdowns at or within ¼ mile of your home address.

Accident Management

Takes the hassle out of arranging repair, recovery and insurance claims after an accident or vandalism.

For more information or to take up this offer, please contact your local Accredited Chamber of Commerce. Direct Debit. To make life easier, you can now pay for your breakdown cover by Direct Debit. Based on Fleetwide 3 Standard rates for 3-6 vehicles. All the above prices are per vehicle per year, inclusive of IPT (Insurance Premium Tax). All prices are subject to change. Fleetwide cover does not apply to: specialist vehicles, ie: taxis, mini cabs, hire vehicles, ambulances, police vehicles, vehicles on tradeplates, minibuses, privately owned vehicles (unless used for business purposes), motorcycles and courier vehicles (all of which can be covered on Specialist rates as above), or any vehicles over 3.5 tonnes gvw. Terms and conditions apply. *Relay and Relay Plus services are not provided at or within ¼ mile of driver’s home address. Offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer. Offer prices are only available while your Chamber membership is current. We reserve the right to review pricing at any time. Full terms and conditions available on request by calling 0800 55 11 88. Business Breakdown cover is provided by Automobile Association Developments Limited (trading as AA Breakdown Services). Relay Plus is underwritten by Acromas Insurance Company Limited. Acromas Insurance Company Limited is authorised and regulated by the Commissioner of Insurance, Financial Services Commission, Gibraltar, and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, United Kingdom. Acromas Insurance Company Limited is a member of the Association of British Insurers. Head Office: 57-63 Line Wall Road, Gibraltar. Registered Number 88716 (Gibraltar). UK brand address: Acromas Insurance Company Limited, Enbrook Park, Folkestone, Kent, CT20 3SE. Automobile Association Insurance Services Limited is an insurance intermediary authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered Office: Fanum House, Basing View, Basingstoke, Hampshire RG21 4EA. Registered in England and Wales number 2414212. †


POLICING SURREY One issue that has dominated a lot of my time and thoughts over recent months has been that of unauthorised Traveller encampments.

By David Munro, the Police and Crime Comissioner for Surrey


ince the beginning of April this year up to the middle of August, police recorded a total of 131 unauthorised encampments spread across all 11 boroughs within the county.

This is an unprecedented number and I know from the varied correspondence my office has received that in some areas the impact on residents and local businesses has been significant. It has also put an increased strain on police and council resources. These encampments and the reaction of the police and local authorities has been a hotly debated topic in Surrey which has led to national media headlines and understandable frustration for those communities affected. My office has looked into each and every occurrence reported to us and I believe the police and local councils working together have greatly improved their response in dealing with these encampments and moving them on


UNAUTHORISED TRAVELLER ENCAMPMENTS where required. However as we found this summer, those encampments were simply moving to on to other nearby locations and the process starts again. Equally difficult has been the police response to criminality associated with unauthorised Traveller encampments. I have had correspondence from residents which have highlighted some incidents which they feel police have not acted quickly enough in tackling. I have been clear that I expect any criminality to be dealt with swiftly but fairly. Like any crime investigation, the appropriate evidence must be gathered where available and the correct procedures followed. It is important police treat everyone equally and remain completely impartial when dealing with any crime or anti-social behaviour. We must not tar the entire travelling community with the same brush – the vast majority are law-abiding but if any associated incidents do occur

then the police have a duty to respond as they would to any report. The important thing now is how the police service and local authorities work together to provide solutions going forward. Meetings are already taking place between police and local councils and one of the key areas of focus is the introduction of transit sites providing temporary stopping places with proper facilities for Travellers. These have proved successful in other areas of the country – but there are currently none in Surrey and this needs to be urgently addressed. The provision of these sites, while not a complete solution, would do much to provide that careful balance which is so important between lessening the impact on settled communities and meeting the needs of the Traveller communities. They will also give the police extra powers to direct those in unauthorised encampments to a designated place. I have written to all MPs and council leaders in the county to ask for their support in the urgent provision of these sites and I really hope to see some progress in the near future.

If you want to know more about the issues around unauthorised encampments - do visit the Surrey PCC website at and watch our video.





NEW COURSES AT GUILDFORD COLLEGE Services to Business is part of the Guildford College Group and is dedicated to working with employers to make a positive impact on their business. They have established an outstanding reputation for commitment and knowledge of what employers want from training programmes and continue to develop programmes that are suited to the needs of local employers.


n October 2018 they are launching a new set of professional development training courses aimed at providing real life examples, techniques and tools that will allow delegates to improve their productivity within the workplace with immediate effect.

The professional development training courses include: • Advertising and Promotion • Performance Management • Business Writing Principles • Microsoft Excel • HR Planning • HR Legal Principles • Managing Costs and Budgets • Managing Customer Service



• Managing Health and Safety • Marketing Principles for Non-Marketing Managers • Project Management • Selling and Sales Management Principles (B2B or B2C) • Microsoft Word These training courses provide delegates with the opportunity to interact with people from different industry sectors and organisations, while sharing knowledge and good practice. All of the training courses are facilitated by Industry experts who are able to share their own experiences and provide real life resolutions to challenges that delegates may be facing. As well as these training courses, Services to Business are also able to work with individual businesses to design and

deliver specifically tailored programmes to meet your internal business requirements. This would allow you to train your staff at a time and place to suit you, have an input into what is covered in the training and ensure your staff are using their new knowledge to the benefit of the business.

For further details on the professional development training courses or the tailored programmes available, please call the Services to Business Team on: 01483 448530 or email:





Do teenagers and young people face too much pressure to succeed? As Headmaster of Hurstpierpoint College, Tim Manly has witnessed the challenges and the weight of expectation that is carried by ‘Generation Z’. Interview by Ian Trevett

Our headteachers witness at close hand the pressures facing our young people, and it concerns Hurst head Mr Manly: “I’m increasingly focused on seeing school not as an end in itself and worrying about positions in league tables, but in how the students will be able to thrive within the environment that they’re going into. Do they have that self-knowledge and resilience to know what is right for them? “As a society, there is a danger that we’re developing anxiety within youngsters, which is not healthy. Our task as educators and parents is to develop our children so that they recognise pressures for what they are, and to make



them robust enough to navigate their way through a very different landscape. There is the interesting, but slightly toxic, vortex of social media and an uncertain world, plus a feeling of ‘I’ve got to compete’. It can sometimes tip into that Putin/Trump idea of: “For me to succeed other people have got to fail or do less well than me, because it’s a competitive race.” “Young people feel the increased pressure and it’s writ very large. You only have to look at the universities and the terrifying statistics for depression and suicide. Part of that pressure probably comes from the expectations that anything less than a 2:1 is worthless, which is wrong. It’s a nonsense.”

“The general view amongst the pupil body here was that Brexit was a closing in on ourselves, quite insular and the result of a demagogic lowest common denominator approach.”

One solution for the relentless academic pressures may be for students to take a year off between school/college and university. Does Mr Manly recommend that his pupils take a year out after A-levels?

“It depends entirely on what they’re going to do with it,” he replies. “It can be a positive thing if they’ve got a good plan which ideally involves doing some work, conforming to a workplace set of norms, learning the value of money and to get them out of their particular little cultural bubble. It is also an opportunity to do some travelling and to look at doing something which benefits other people.”

The young people coming through now are known as Generation Z. Do the attributes associated with Gen Z fit with your view of the young people at the school? “There is a certain stereotyping going on, with probably an element of truth, in the same way that when you look back at the 1960s generation, not everyone was living on the King’s Road. What strikes me about this generation is how the technological aspect to their lives has become dominant. Learning how to control that is a big challenge. “However, they do seem to be a clean-living generation, much more so perhaps than previous generations. They don’t seem to smoke or drink as much. There is, though, the whole ‘pharmaceutical’ side of life, which is a bit of an unknown and quite hard to gauge. “They’re certainly more aware of the future and are anxious to get things right. GCSEs are very important in the way that our generation did not regard O-levels as particularly important. Getting that internship or getting to the right university take a priority position in their minds. “They have a more open view of the world, as shown during the Brexit vote. The general view amongst the pupil body here was that Brexit was a closing in on ourselves, quite insular and the result of a demagogic lowest common denominator approach. Whether that’s right or not is obviously open to debate but I

think most of the pupils, and youngsters generally, are more open to the world and the free flow of people and see similarities with those in other places rather than differences.”

If the characteristics of the pupils are changing, then, I ask Mr Manly, does the Headteacher need to change too? “The biggest change is how we manage the technology and we’ve drastically reduced the amount of time they can have their mobiles in the evenings. I don’t want to ban them entirely because they have to learn how to manage these tools - and they can be educational. “We are constantly looking to engineer situations for students to step outside their comfort zone, often through traditional methods such as the Duke of Edinburgh scheme. We always ensure that each child is involved in something which is physically challenging, sport or otherwise, as well as creative, for example being up on stage, or communal. We also run a very good internship programme, which is one of the best in the country. In the modern world we cannot let them go from here to flounder around and find out the hard way. We have to prepare them for life beyond Hurst. It all helps to build their character, as we used to say.”

Changing the subject, Mr Manly has overseen a great deal of change and growth in his time at Hurst. Will this pattern continue?

“We have doubled in size in my time here, and are now fully co-ed, have weekly and flexi boarding, but have moved away from full boarding and overseas boarders.

We are now in a period of consolidating the scale of the place, but having said that, we’re opening a new theatre in September, and we’re revitalising our co-curricular quadrangle with a new pool and a new sports complex. “One should never get too carried away by buildings as they’re there to fulfil a function. We’re at a stage now where we almost have the campus just as we want it to be. I don’t know how many schools can say that. We’re very lucky but we’re not going to expand further. I think we’ve got the right number now - if we get much larger, it becomes too Darwinian. We’re going through a period where the next few years will see incremental improvement.”

In a feature in Platinum Business Magazine Hurst was described as “A quiet success story”. Does that still apply? “I like that description. I want people to buy into this place because they believe this is a school with integrity that has real quality but does not feel the need to shout about it, because ultimately the school is about the children and the families who are within it. We’re not about playing some sort of reputational game on the national stage. Perhaps naïvely I believe that if we get it right, they will come, and that seems to be the case. I would never claim that we are working some mysterious alchemy here. We are very fortunate to be in this place, in a competitive market, but they do seem to come and it does seem to work!




Graduates and placement students are having an impact on growing businesses throughout the South East


his summer, the Catalyst programme celebrated a significant milestone as Sussex Innovation welcomes its fifth intake of recent graduates and placement students from the University of Sussex. The scheme has become an integral part of the incubation network’s offering since it launched in 2014, with the aim of bridging the gap between young people looking for meaningful, full time work and business owners looking for practical support without the expensive recruitment and training costs. To date, the team has worked on over 300 projects for 160 clients, from the organisation’s hubs in Sussex and Croydon. “We identified a major problem,” says Mike Herd, Executive Director of Sussex Innovation. “The University was full of tal-

ented and willing young people, who were struggling to find work that would accelerate their careers. At the same time, we were finding that the early-stage companies we talked to across the South East often needed assistance, but didn’t have the time to find and train employees. They couldn’t commit to employing someone full time. “By taking that burden of training and support off their hands and bringing it into our own team, we ensure that every Catalyst project has a real strategic purpose, and a tangible outcome. Companies only take on the Catalyst team member for the time that they need to carry out these defined projects, so the student gets a real experience of working with a range of different, innovative and exciting young businesses.”

Sussex Innovation

welcomes 70



“The Catalyst team has been a big part of Finder’s growth. It’s an ideal solution when we’re launching a new project and need more resources. To be able to phone up and get really good graduates from a really good university is fantastic. We’ve gone on to hire one of JON OSTLER, CEO (UK), FINDER.COM them, Noi, full time – an excellent outcome.”

The programme was initially supported with a grant from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), with the three-year funding period ending in summer 2017. The success of the initiative was judged on economic growth and job creation – and the Catalyst scheme far exceeded its targets on all counts. The aim was to support companies to create 60 new jobs, help increase revenues by £1.5m and increase investment by £300,000. Over three years, Catalyst clients have added 148 new job roles, made more than £9m additional revenue and received more than £4.5m investment. The programme has moved towards financial sustainability through income from projects, and despite the HEFCE funding ending, has carried on with support from the University of Sussex Careers and Employability Centre, and the University’s Business School. “It’s been great that we’ve been able to prove that Catalyst works, and to measure the impact it’s having on the students and the businesses,” says Lucy Paine, Catalyst Programme Manager. “Catalyst has evolved with every year, and we’re now starting to see some real economic growth, which is fantastic. It’s a scheme that works for everyone.”



It gave me a chance to dabble in lots of things and figure myself out”

– she says. Noi tried her hand at search engine optimisation, coding for a cyber security firm, and content marketing during her year with Catalyst, and was ultimately offered a job doing the last of those three roles. She has since moved to London and now works full-time as a publishing innovation and data analysis manager in the Croydon office of Finder. com, a financial services comparison site. “I’m now working in a job I wouldn’t have got – or even applied for – had I not gone through Catalyst.”

Visit for more information.



I’ve always wanted to do

something intellectually challenging, and which leaves a positive impact on the world, whatever that may be” – says Owen. He was given many projects throughout the year - ranging from desk-based research to content writing and analytics - but the one that stood out for him was managing a funding bid for a proposed new business incubator. “It was my final project, and I took on a lot of responsibil-

ity, which really showed to myself how much I’d developed over my year in the Catalyst team.” Since ‘graduating’ from the Catalyst programme, Owen has gone on to join another graduate scheme at Imperial College London. His time with Catalyst

has left him with many transferable skills. “It’s given me a lot to talk about in an interview context. I’ve tried my hand at so many things during my year with Catalyst, which has been invaluable. I’ve also developed more confidence and an ability to manage relationships much better - that’s been a key asset.”

Meet the Team at Mercedes-Benz of Guildford

A group of passionate and knowledgeable Mercedes-Benz experts who specialise in advising companies operating business vehicles - their underlying ethos is clear - each customer, no matter how large or small, is equally important. Driven by customer care, Sandown provide a dedicated specialist to every customer, a direct point of contact for the duration of the consultation and ordering process.

Their fast-expanding team hosts a wealth of experience and specialist expertise in the market, each of them focused on helping business customers find a leasing arrangement that’s convenient, economical and bespoke. With Sandown, customers benefit from a full range of servicing options, parts and accident repair services.

Surrey Chambers Magazine met with the friendly team of Managers at Sandown to find out what really keeps their engines revving‌ 1. Where did you begin your career? In 2000 I joined Drivers of Fareham who were a pre-owned vehicle sales specialists 2. How long have you worked with Mercedes-Benz? 5 months

John Buckham New Car Manager

3. Why did you choose Mercedes-Benz? Number 1 prestige brand in the UK 4. Tell us an interesting fact about you? I trained as an A La Carte Chef at the age of 15 to 18 before joining the Royal Navy 5. What is your favourite model and why? The New A-Class as I am currently driving one and achieving over 80mpg

1. Where did you begin your career? Land Rover 2. How long have you worked with Mercedes-Benz? 18 months 3. Why did you choose Mercedes-Benz? Fantastic brand with an allencompassing range and a reputation for quality 4. Tell us an interesting fact about you? I used to be a professional golfer 5. What is your favourite model and why? GLC 63 S does everything and looks incredible

Ricardo Trigo

General Sales Manager

Mercedes-Benz of Guildford Moorfield Road, Guildford, GU1 1RU

Michael Canter

After Sales Manager

Andy Oxton

Parts Supervisor

Adam Hinton

Used Car Manager

1. Where did you begin your career? University Motors – A long defunct Austin Rover

1. Where did you begin your career?

1. Where did you begin your career? My

Hampshire Cars BMW

Career began selling Peugeots in Sydney Australia

dealer group 2. How long have you worked with

2. How long have you worked with

2. How long have you worked with




20 months

I have been with Mercedes-Benz for 4 and a half

3. Why did you choose Mercedes-Benz?


Wanted to work in the prestige car sector and

3. Why did you choose Mercedes-Benz?

Mercedes have a large array of exciting models

Because it’s the best brand to be with – with such

4. Tell us an interesting fact about you?

a huge variety of models to cover every occasion

As a keen mountain bike rider I have just

4. Tell us an interesting fact about you?

5. What is your favourite model and why?

completed cycling Ben Ledi in the Highland of

I have 3 American Muscle cars

Mercedes-Benz S Class – More automotive innovations have appeared on the S Class

Scotland 850m high

5. What is your favourite model and why?

5. What is your favourite model and why?

E63 – Perfect balance of luxury and performance

than any other car in history, the car defines Mercedes-Benz

AMG GT R, 577 Horsepower, acceleration 3.5

– a car you can drive to Monaco in comfort, or

sec-o to 60, what’s not to like!

put it to its paces on the Nürburgring

10 years in total – 3 years with Sandown Group 3. Why did you choose Mercedes-Benz? Fantastic class leading product and great customers 4. Tell us an interesting fact about you? I collect whisky!!

For all your motoring needs, please contact the Sandown Guildford Team on: 01483 916292

01483 916292




McLaren Automotive is based in Surrey and quite apart from running the world-famous Formula 1 racing team, now produce some of the most eye-watering sports cars in the world. Their F1 team might be in the doldrums at the moment but that certainly cannot be said for their road cars, as you might have noticed in issue 49 when l reviewed their barnstorming new 720S. By Motoring Editor, Maarten Hoffmann.


he company’s smaller brother to the 720S is the 570S and when they asked me to review them both, it felt churlish to refuse!

Although this is the ‘entry’ version, it is the first in their Sports Series, slotting in below the Super Series (650S and 675LT) and the Ultimate Series (P1 and P1 GTR) but don’t let the word ‘entry’ confuse you as this packs a punch and a half. The 3.8-litre twin turbo delivers 562bhp and will hit 60mpg in a



blistering 3.1 seconds and will go onto 100mph in only 6.3 seconds. As a rival to the Porsche 911 turbo and the Audi R8, it delivers in just about every area and leaves them both standing. This is not a drive – it is an experience. An experience you will want again and again. The smooth and silky body just screams to be licked (when no one is looking, of course) and, unlike the

720S, it does not have any active aerodynamic bits of kit, just a sleek body that slips through the wind at breakneck speed. It offers the same carbon fibre tub and seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox and no limited slip diff. The dihedral doors are also here giving a bit of theatre to every entrance and exit and the throttle response is astonishing. It should be mentioned here that the engine and gearbox are developed in partnership with Ricardo plc, based in Shoreham, Sussex.

The interior has the feel of a fighter cockpit and if it were nor for the clever aerodynamics, it would most likely actually take off. The brake feel and steering are remarkable, the chassis is astonishing in what it will allow the car to do on the move and the ride is superb. Its pace outshines the Porsche, Ferrari F12 and Mercedes AMG GT S. Ok, there is a whiff of turbo lag around 3000rpm but once it exceeds that, hang on for dear life. Pop it up to 8000rpm and the remarkable speed can take your breath away and any of the afore mentioned cars that just beat you away from the lights, will rapidly be shrinking in your rear view mirror. The carbon-ceramic brakes will ensure you stop on demand and if too eager, there might be some marks across your chest from the seatbelt. The interior is no disappointment and l am pleased to see the gear selector confined to history as all we have here are three buttons, forward, back and neutral. The infotainment screen floats above the transmission tunnel and they have managed to make this relatively small car feel large on the inside. On its centre console, the Active Dynamics panel allows you to switch between drive modes that give the adaptive dampers firmer settings, and there are double wishbones all round and the retention of electrohydraulic rather than fully electric power steering. Overall, the interior has the feel of a fighter cockpit and if it were nor for the clever aerodynamics, it would most likely actually take off.

Model tested: McLaren 570S Spider Engine: 3.8-litre V8 twin-turbo Power: 562bhp Speed: 0-60mph 3.1 seconds Top Speed: 204mph Economy: 16.6mpg Price: £143,250

McLaren have taken on the task of designing its own infotainment system and here is the only slight disappointment as the satnav is tricky to get to grips with and the DAB tuner defeated me completely as simple mistakes send you off into an unknown universe. Of course, you can learn these foibles but l am not sure

one should have to put that much effort in. Ripping this thing around at high speed, who cares but sitting in traffic on the M23, it really matters if you can’t find BBC radio or get Bluetooth connectivity. Luggage space is somewhat restricted you might be shocked to hear but the nose-mounted ‘boot’ will carry a reasonable sized case and there are sufficient pockets inside. We often hear that the UK has lost it manufacturing heritage and there are so very few UK manufacturers but right here in the South East, we have one of the finest supercar manufacturers in the world and if they keep churning out cars like this, they ain’t going anywhere anytime soon.




Model tested:

A8 SWB TFSI Quattro Engine: 3.0-litre V6 Power: 335bhp Speed: 0-62mph 5.6 seconds Top Speed: 155mph Economy: 37.7mpg Price from: £69,415


HIGH TECH AUDI The Audi A8 is a full size, luxury saloon that has been with us since 1994, having been through a few reincarnations over the year. This is likely the most tech laden Audi ever produced and comes in short or long-wheel base.


ech’ like ‘Traffic Jam Pilot’, which delivers “conditional level three autonomy” by taking complete control of the steering, brakes and accelerator on motorways and dual-carriageways. Or the new infotainment system, which pairs Audi’s brilliant Virtual Cockpit instrument cluster with two touchscreens for a largely button-free centre-console. Much of said tech can only exist thanks to the 48-volt, water-cooled electrical system that technically makes the A8 an ‘MHEV’, or ‘mild-hybrid electric vehi-



The BMW is soundly beaten but the S-Class is a very tough act to follow.

cle’. Alas, we will not see this and the other 40-odd tech inventions until next year as each county’s regulatory framework has be dealt with. As with all autonomous modes, if the driver is eating a ham sarnie and watching Love Island on the TV, who’s to blame when it ploughs into the car in front? Its competition is the Mercedes S-Class and the BMW 7 Series therefore it has a rough fight on its hands. The BMW is soundly beaten but the S-Class is a very tough act to follow.

Although a tad plain to look at, it is still a handsome car but the interior is where it comes to life. Superb leather seats that cosset the driver well, a cool sweeping dash and of course, that brilliant virtual dash that makes the entire cluster into a satnav screen, superbly adaptable with options on where you want the dials. There are then a further two screens offering a wide range of controls ensuring that the entire console is pretty much dial and switch free. As with all Audi’s, the ever-ready Quattro four-wheel drive system is there to get you out the mire should the need arise. Rear-seat passengers get a phone-sized screen in the armrest – standard on LWB and optional on SWB – that does rearseat climate, opens/closes the blinds

As with all autonomous modes, if the driver is eating a ham sarnie and watching Love Island on the TV, who’s to blame when it ploughs into the car in front? and controls the screens mounted on the backs of the front seats. And comfortable as the front is, it’s from the back seats that the A8 makes most sense. It’s a limo, after all, so you may as well go the whole nine yards and spec’ the ‘Relaxation Seat’. Among other things it gives a foot rest that massages and heats the soles of your feet. Yes, really.

On the road, the 3.0-litre V6 will waft you wherever you want to go, smoothly and calmly and there is little to criticise here. The eight-speed auto box works away without you even noticing. Selecting Comfort gives you the waft and pop it into Dynamic, and everything tightens up, gear changes delay and you get a little more of a sporty feel.

Four-wheel steering is well worth having because it gives the A8 – especially the LWB – a ridiculous turning-circle and, at low-mid speeds, makes it feel usefully shorter and more manoeuvrable. As for standard equipment, the short wheelbase A8 gets 18in alloy wheels, adaptive air suspension, LED head and rear lights, high beam assist, a powered bootlid, heat-insulating side and rear windows, and a wealth of driver assistance aids including adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, an advanced self-parking system, Audi’s autonomous braking systems, fitted as standard. There is a twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 coming soon but we are not sure if the UK will get it. Come on Audi, that’s the one we really want.

THE FINALISTS Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce PRESIDENT’S AWARD



The local business community in Waverley has really proved that the borough is ‘open for business’ with an incredible 70 entries in the inaugural year of the Waverley Business, Innovation and Growth awards!


he BIG Awards have attracted the finest calibre of entrants across many sectors, rural and urban, small and large, younger companies and from long established businesses. The four Chambers of Commerce from Cranleigh, Farnham, Godalming and Haslemere have been working together as Waverley Joint Chambers of Commerce in partnership with Waverley Borough Council to develop the Awards. The aim is to encourage businesses to locate in at the area and to promote Waverley as a ‘the’ place to do business.

The Waverley BIG Awards 2018 are generously sponsored by Dunsfold Park, Edwards Greene Accountants, Downs Solicitors, Blink, Taybridge Consulting, SI Capital, Cornmeter, Blue Dot Display, PAAC IT, Marley Flowers, The Remarkable Studio, Angus Lyon Action Coach, Lythe Hill Hotel, Surrey County Council, Farnham and Haslemere Town Councils. The winners will be announced at a gala awards ceremony on Friday October 19th, at Lythe Hill Hotel, Haslemere attended by 200 sponsors, finalists and guests.

Hans Christmas Andersen Idyllic Beauty and Day Spa Ltd Taurus Wines Ltd

Farnham Chamber of Commerce PRESIDENT’S AWARD Branston Adams CGJ Mathias & Son Kall Kwik Farnham

Haslemere Chamber of Commerce PRESIDENT’S AWARD Dylan’s Ice Cream Ltd Haslemere Chiropractic Clinic Haslemere Hall

Godalming Chamber of Commerce PRESIDENT’S AWARD Innovation Visual Ltd Munrostudios CGI Ritual Coffee UK

AWARD FOR CUSTOMER DELIGHT Atrainability Ltd Dylan’s Ice Cream Ltd Wedition Ltd

AWARD FOR INNOVATION ClickIQ Ltd Download Learning Ltd SI Capital Ltd


AWARD FOR COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIP Baker Law LLP Branston Adams Marley Flowers Ltd


The race IS ON

Become The Fastest Business in Surrey


he Morrisons Solicitors Corporate Challenge presents local workforces with the opportunity to represent their organisation or business at Surrey’s largest half marathon. The multi-award winning Mercer Surrey Half Marathon is one of the county’s largest community events; taking place for a 6th year on March 10th 2019 at Woking Leisure Centre. There are a number of reasons why all organisations and businesses are encouraged to enter the Morrisons Solicitors Corporate Challenge, including:

yy Brand Awareness. The results table is viewed 150,000+ times annually online, and in print. yy Fundraise for the company charity partner. yy Be seen to be supporting the local community and associated partners. yy Team building. Boost workforce morale by completing this fun challenge together. yy Responsible employers encourage their staff to engage in active, healthier lifestyles. A minimum of three runners are required for the challenge; and every member is

required to run the half marathon distance. The first team of three to cross the line will earn the title of “The Fastest Business in Surrey 2019” for their organisation; and the whole team will be presented with a trophy, sponsored by Morrisons Solicitors. The event - which has recently earned it’s 3rd consecutive Gold Award from United Kingdom Athletics - is sponsored by Woking-based partners: Mercer, Morrisons Solicitors, GlucoRX, Greenfield School and Synergy Physiotherapy; along with Freedom Leisure, Fitstuff, Macmillan Cancer Support and Harrison’s Fund.

To enter the Morrisons Solicitors Corporate Challenge go to Partnership opportunities are still available. Email Hollie Light at


Corporate Challenge

Enter your company today:

Health cover for working life and beyond

For healthy happy staff.

Chamber Primary Health Plan

We are proud to have partnered with some of the largest and most prestigious membership organisations in the UK, providing innovative and effective health cover solutions available exclusively for their member businesses.

Key features • Exclusively available to BCC accredited and affiliated Chamber member organisations of all sizes • Available on a corporate paid basis • Four levels of cover to choose from • From just £5.30 per employee, per month • Premiums will not increase with age • No medical required to join • Cover for pre-existing medical conditions (except Personal Accident cover) • 100% reimbursement, up to set limits, on cash benefits

• Immediate cover on all benefits • Worldwide cover available • Company Health Report for you, the employer • Optional module available to cover employees’ dependent children • Voluntary upgrades and partner cover available via payroll deduction or individual direct debit (different terms and conditions apply) • Personal Health Risk Assessment upgrades available to purchase • Can sit alongside our Hospital Treatment Insurance cover


New Members

Surrey Chambers of Commerce welcomes its latest member companies BUSINESS SUPPORT Coast to Capital Contact: Malcolm Brabon Tel: 01403 333840

Action Coach Surrey Contact: Stephen Carson Tel: 07545 835019

Transworld Business Advisors Contact: Ken Gorman Tel: 01372 540989

CHARITY The Royal Surrey County Hospital Charity Contact: Analiese Doctrove Tel: 01483 464146

Harry Edwards Healing Sanctuary Contact: Alison McWhinnie Tel: 01483 202054

CONSTRUCTION & PROPERTY CBRE Ltd (Tunsgate Quarter) Contact: Claire Suggitt Tel: 08000 289609

2Breathe Creative Ltd Contact: Melissa Hay Tel: 01483 840840


CWS Advisers Contact: Angelo Rana Tel: 07786 622355

Handelsbanken Frimley Contact: Mark Clinkskel Tel: 01276 682894

HEALTH & WELLBEING Remind Wellness Ltd Contact: Grant Gibbs Tel: 07739 797189


MARKETING & PR Oregano Events Contact: Anthony Hyde Tel: 02035 825820

PHARMACEUTICALS Fukuda Denshi UK Contact: Simon Martin Tel: 01483 728065

PUBLIC SECTOR Waverley Borough Council Contact: Catherine Knight Tel: 01483 523333

Contact: Chris Burden Tel: 08006 349270

Star Labs Online Ltd Contact: Michelle Rhodes

LEISURE & ENTERTAINMENT Visit Surrey Contact: Chris Howard Tel: 07554 007422

MANUFACTURING/ENGINEERING Babycup Ltd Contact: Sara Keel Tel: 01483 866081

RETAIL Golfbidder Contact: Liam Robb Tel: 02084 016901

TRAINING & EDUCATION BBA Training Ltd Contact: Bill Bailey Tel: 07739 802551

Optimum Performance Achievement Ltd Contact: Michelle Rhodes Tel: 50403 504030

Contact: Richard Essex Tel: 01372 744379



SURREY CHAMBERS EVENTS DIARY To find a full list of our 2018 events visit

Oct 31


BWIS CHANGE WORKS - HOW FLEXIBLE IS YOUR COMPANY? Event Time: 17:30 - 20:00 Event Theme: Business Women In Surrey Price: Member Rate: £20.00 +VAT Non Member Rate: £25.00 +VAT

Event Location: SURREY BUSINESS SCHOOL, University of Surrey, Stag Hill Guildford, GU2 5XH

How flexible is YOUR business? Job satisfaction isn’t just about competitive pay, but also flexible hours and working from home. In a constantly developing society, rigid employers who refuse to adapt do so at their peril. Today’s agile workforce demands an equally flexible employer, and we want to show you why. As Business Women in Surrey (BWiS) continues to champion the progression of gender equality in the workplace and business environment, we would like to celebrate those organisations who have positively driven the equality agenda.

Nov 1

Nov 29




Event Time: 07:45 - 09:30 Event Theme: Networking AM Price: £20.00 +VAT Non Member Rate: £30.00 +VAT


Event Location: BROOKLANDS HOTEL Brooklands Drive Weybridge, KT13 0SL

Business Continuity- Do you have a plan? Is your business covered for everything from natural disaster to data breach? What’s your plan if you have a burglary or a death within your company? Business Continuity is about being prepared for these difficult events so they have as little disruption within your company as possible. Join Surrey Chambers of Commerce and hear from a range of speakers discussing their real life business experiences, learn how to put a plan into action and what resources are available to help you.

Event Time: 18:00 - 21:00 Event Theme: Construction & Property Forum Price: Member Rate: £20.00 +VAT Non Member Rate: £35.00 +VAT

Event Location: CANON (UK) LTD Cockshott Hill Reigate, RH2 8BF

Join us for our Construction & Property breakfast at the Canon UK Headquarters! These forums are a fantastic way to come together and network with businesses in the construction & property industry. This series of events aim to bring you a range of topics to keep you up to date with the direction that the industry is moving. Don’t forget to check back in a few weeks for an update the topic and information on our speakers!


Nov 14


BUSINESS SUSTAINABILITY - MAKE YOUR BUSINESS SMARTER Event Time: 16:00 - 19:00 Event Theme: Networking PM Price: Member Rate: £20.00 +VAT Non Member Rate: £30.00 +VAT

Event Location: WWF-UK, The Living Planet Centre, Brewery Road Woking, GU21 4LL

Make Your Business Smarter - Opportunities and Benefits for Businesses from Low Carbon Economy Join us on Wednesday 14th November and hear from a range of expert speakers who will be discussing how you can make your business smarter through a shift in focus towards sustainability.

Nov 29


SURREY YOUNG PROFESSIONALS NETWORKING Event Time: 16:00 - 19:00 Event Theme: Networking PM Price: Member Rate: £10.00 +VAT Non Member Rate: £10.00 +VAT

Event Location: The Guildford Harbour Hotel 3 Alexandra Terrace, High Street, GUILDFORD, GU1 3DA

Join Surrey Chambers of Commerce for a touch of informal networking at the Harbour Hotel, Guildford. Enjoy some nibbles, drinks, and live music whilst gaining some new networking skills by interacting with fellow young professionals. SYP is a chance to meet other like-minded professionals from around Surrey who are under the age of 30; networking, building relationships and sharing business in the early stages of their career in a relaxed format style.




Surrey Chambers

GOLF SOCIETY Surrey Chambers of Commerce Golf Society (SCGS) has been running for 22 years and offers the opportunity to play some of Surrey’s finest courses and to entertain guests in a relaxed and mildly (!) competitive environment.


pen to all business owners or senior executives, the society’s main strength is the quality of the venues attended, with Swinley Forest, St. George’s Hill, New Zealand and Hankley Common to name four of a stunning monthly selection. Now we are moving into the autumn months we are looking forward to our exciting winter venues and confirming our 2019 fixtures. Next year will see us revisiting some of the member’s favour-



ite courses from 2018 as well as visiting some new courses. All of our events are shaped by our member’s feedback and we would welcome you to get in touch with yours, as it does make a difference. This year we have seen some changes in the leadership of the Golf Society, with Tara Wavre taking over the administration, along with a committee made up of some our most enthusiastic and supportive members. Jon Da Costa has taken charge of the scorecards and RSM have


November 8th SWINLEY FOREST GC Bacon Rolls, Tee off 8:45am, 18 Holes, late lunch, ends 5:30pm SCGS & SCC Members £135 + VAT / Guests £150 + VAT


December 4th WOKING GC Bacon Rolls, Tee off 9:10am, 18 Holes, followed by lunch, ends 5:30pm SCGS Members £85 + VAT / Guests £100 + VAT

also sponsored this year’s order of merit. Roy Stansbury, Mike Simons and Mike Turner, (pictured below with longstanding member Hugh Shelmerdine) have all been working hard to ensure the ongoing success of the SCGS days both for this year and going into 2019 and beyond. Since our last newsletter we have had the privilege of playing at Cuddington golf course in August. It was a very wet and windy start to the day, but our teams played on and by the time the last four ball was out the weather had calmed down. Unfortunately it returned towards the end of the day and caused our last group to abandon their game on the 15th hole! Despite this a great time was had by all. Members were competing for the

Rowland cup which was won by Mike Simons from MPL with 36pts & presented to him by the Surrey Chambers of Commerce President, Steve Coburn, pictured below. The day was sponsored by Surrey Clubs for Young People. Our September golf take took us to the always spectacular New Zealand Golf course and as always, it was a popular day in our calendar. Despite a little smattering of rain in the very early morning we had dry skies for the day game. Playing off the white tees, a good time on the course was had by all (what heather?!) followed by an excellent lunch. Congratulations go to our overall winner for the day, Anton Males from Pulse Fix-

ings, who despite some stiff competition from Ollie James from Redbox (who scored 37pts), won the day with a score of 38pts off a handicap of 14. The prizes were presented by David Cohen from Redbox, who in sponsoring this event, partnered up with The Green Earth Appeal in a bid to make this Golf day a carbon-free event.

For more information please contact



Direct Mail Made Easy! Do you send out brochures, flyers, leaflets, letters or packets to your customers? If you do, you need Mailing Expert! Delivering Communications Letters are amazing. They lift hearts, inspire dreams and fuel desire. A letter spends quality time with your customer. Mailing Expert helps bring letters to life so your message is clearly heard. Whether it's one or two letters, hundreds of packets or magazines or a mailing campaign for thousands there's lots of special postage rates that are designed to save you money. As a member of the Direct Marketing Association and with over 60 years industry experience, Mailing Expert has in-depth knowledge of all the Royal Mail special deals. Customers choose us to help them get the best postage rates.

Customers We are Mailing Expert. We deliver smiles. We work with fabulous people and help them build powerful mailing campaigns that make incredible things happen. We love working with everyone; from sole traders to multinationals we create letters, leaflets, packets and parcels that build brands and spark delight.

Budgets Our customers trust us to find the best postal rates for their mailing campaign. We know a thing or two about weights and packaging, data cleansing and data management. If you have a budget of between £25 to £250,000 we are ideally placed to help you maximise your buying power.

Print • Data • Mail • Email • Design • Leaflet Distribution tel: 01825 98 30 33 fax: 01825 98 30 34 email: web: 6 Horsted Square, Bellbrook Business Park, Uckfield, East Sussex TN22 1QG


Sponsor a CHAMBERS EVENT Surrey Chambers of Commerce holds over 150 events a year spread across the county. We host regular breakfast meetings, industry specific forums and corporate dinners perfect for entertaining clients. These events are designed to give you the chance to enhance your business network, find new customers and local suppliers, and meet other dynamic business people.


ponsoring a Surrey Chambers event allows you to raise your profile and brand awareness within the county and showcase your expertise as a company. By sponsoring an event you can take advantage of the Surrey Chambers of Commerce subscription base and reach your target audience. It’s the perfect opportunity to make new connections and be seen to be leading and influencing.

What can I sponsor? With over 150 events a year there can be a lot to choose from, Surrey Chambers hosts a wide variety of events, and all of these can be sponsored

yy Business Women in Surrey EventsBusiness Women in Surrey is a specific stream of events designed to highlight and celebrate the achievements of business women in Surrey. yy Flagship- Our flagship events include, Annual Summer BBQ, President’s Drinks Receptions and Annual Christmas Lunch. yy Chamber Power Breakfasts - Our Power Breakfasts are a fantastic opportunity for businesses to connect in a friendly and relaxed environment. If you choose to sponsor a Surrey Chambers event you will receive complimenta-

ry tickets to the event, your stand or pop up banners & promotional literature at the event with branding on badges and delegate list alongside. Promotion before, during and after the event across all Surrey Chambers social media channels and press coverage in the Surrey Chambers of Commerce Business magazine.

If you are interested in sponsoring a Surrey Chambers of Commerce event, please contact: or call 01483 735 540

yy Hot Topics - We react to the latest news and trends affecting the business community and run a number of targeted events throughout the year. They provide a great opportunity to get in front of senior decision makers but often come up at short notice. They tackle topics such as Brexit, Cyber Security, Pensions and much more. yy Property & Construction Forums – A series of events around issues affecting businesses working in the construction & property industries.



21st November 2018 THE ARORA HOTEL, CRAWLEY

Don’t just Meet the Buyers get yourself connected The Gatwick Diamond Meet the Buyers Programme brings together Buyers and Suppliers to help each other grow their businesses. For Buyers, you will have the opportunity to meet new Suppliers of the products and services you need as well as explore ways to solve your procurement issues.

For Suppliers, you will be able to access the kind of businesses you simply cannot reach elsewhere, with face to face meetings with their procurement professionals.

From June 2018, there will be a programme of free Seminars to help you understand how to engage with Public Sector and large businesses that are seeking new suppliers as well as improve your general sales processes.

t: 01293 813889


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THE RECRUITMENT CHALLENGE Where are the skilled candidates? By Lisa Wintrip, Director, Fletcher George Financial Recruitment


nyone working in financial recruitment will no doubt have noticed the shortage of skilled candidates. At a time when accountancy practices are looking to grow their teams, difficulties in recruiting are forcing many to consider other options - such as candidates from Industry, contractors and outsourcing to fill the gap. The question is, why has the pool of trained and experienced talent been drying up? We can trace back the roots of the recruitment ‘drought’ to the global credit crunch of 2007/2008 and the recession that followed. With employment opportunities severely reduced and training budgets hit hard, particularly within the ‘Big Four’, the flow of newly qualified accountants in the UK was temporarily and drastically

slowed. Ten years on, and that shortfall has now progressed down the pipeline. With fewer qualified candidates having those all-important years of experience under their belts, many accountancy practices are struggling to fill their more senior roles. However as the economy is buoyant the impact of the skills shortage is also being felt at the less experienced end of the funnel. Added to the industry’s home-grown skills shortages, accountancy practices are also faced with growing difficulties in the employment of overseas candidates. This is thanks, in a large part, to the ongoing uncertainty surrounding Brexit as well as increased restrictions associated with taking on employees from outside the European Economic Area. With a mismatch between supply and demand, the best candidates currently have the pick of the crop in terms of job offers which, in turn has been pushing up salary levels - great news for those candidates but not so good for smaller and mid-tier firms, particularly those outside of London. It’s also fair to say that some firms have simply not moved with the times – missing out on the best candidates through lack of flexible working practices or poor but essential communication with current staff about their career opportunities and a lack of review of benefits packages. Technology is also having its part to play in the shifting recruitment landscape. The adoption of cloud-based accounting

systems, for example, is bringing significant changes to the role and skills required of accountants and their relationship with clients. New technology, such as Xero, is challenging the traditional view of accountancy as a career choice and, for a new generation of accountants, is presenting new opportunities outside the traditional accounting career paths. A more client focussed and pro active advisory service has opened up for Owners of the smaller / entrepreneurial Owner Managed Businesses. And the solution? While there will be no quick fix to the recruitment challenge, what is clear is that the successful practices will be those that move with the tide of new technology and the career aspirations of a new generation of accountants, to ensure that they don’t find themselves stranded high and dry in today’s rapidly changing recruitment market.

Fletcher George is an independent finance and accountancy recruiter working, primarily with finance and accounting professionals in South West London and Surrey including the Hampshire and Sussex borders. We recruit for both Public Practice and also for commercial businesses in the local area. For more information, please contact Lisa on: 01372 364 160 or by email:



JOIN THE CHAMBER mbers of “Surrey Cha county’s the Commerce is dent, not-forn e p e d largest in rganss support o profit busine s businesses to help isation that y, nationally and all c lo t c conne cusorder to gain in y ll a glob d n a pliers tomers, sup e.” dg le w o kn


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.


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

ment, influencing policy and strategic decisions. 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

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.

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 2 Local Enterprise Partnerships and we feedback and provide input to the British Chambers of Commerce who talk directly to govern-

WANT TO KNOW MORE? If you would like any further information about joining Surrey Chambers of Commerce please contact us: We look forward to hearing from you. Call: 01483 735540, Email: Visit:

Be Safe With Us Did you know that Chamber members have unlimited access to a range of essential business support services.


ChamberHealth & Safety



These services give you unlimited access to no less than five business advice lines and a website which features over 750 free downloadable template documents.

Believe it or not all these services are included in your membership fee – you will have nothing extra to pay! These services offer members real protection and peace of mind. To ensure that you can have access to these valuable services all you need to do is join.

Don’t delay… join today! Call 01483 735540


New A-Class from £299 per month*

E-Class Saloon from £369 per month

A180 SE Manual

E 220 d AMG Line with 3 years free servicing† Representative Example (Based on 10,000 miles per annum)

Representative Example (Based on 10,000 miles per annum) Monthly Payments of1


Monthly Payments of4


Customer Deposit


Customer Deposit


Retailer Contribution


Retailer Contribution



On the Road Price


Optional Purchase Payment


Amount of Credit

Duration of Agreement

48 months

Duration of Agreement

48 months

Total Amount Payable


Total Amount Payable


Purchase Activation Fee


Purchase Activation Fee


Representative APR


Representative APR


Fixed Interest Rate


Fixed Interest Rate


Excess Mileage Charge incl. VAT

8p per mile

Excess Mileage Charge incl. VAT

9p per mile

On the Road Price Optional Purchase Payment


Amount of Credit 3

£40,060.00 5

£15,325.00 £28,477.71


For more information, please contact our sales specialists on: 01483 916292

Terms and Conditions: 1. Finance offer based on a Mercedes-Benz Agility agreement. Vehicle condition, excess mileage and other charges may be payable. Guarantees may be required. 2. Payable if you exercise the option to purchase the car. 3. Includes optional purchase payment, purchase activation fee and retailer deposit contribution (where applicable). *Orders/credit approvals on selected A-Class petrol models only between 1 October and 31 December 2018, registered by 31 December 2018, excluding diesel engines. Guarantees may be required. Offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer. Some combinations of features/options may not be available. Please contact your Retailer for availability. Over 18s only. Credit provided subject to status by Mercedes-Benz Finance, MK15 8BA. Prices correct at time of going to press 10/18. Credit subject to status by Mercedes-Benz Finance. 4. Finance offer based on a Mercedes-Benz Agility agreement. Vehicle condition, excess mileage and other charges may be payable. Guarantees may be required. 5. Payable if you exercise the option to purchase the car. 6. Includes optional purchase payment, purchase activation fee and retailer deposit contribution (where applicable). Orders/ credit approvals on E-Class SE Saloon models only between 1 October and 31 December 2018, registered by 31 December 2018, excluding AMG Line and Mercedes-AMG models. Guarantees may be required. Offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer. Some combinations of features/options may not be available. Please contact your Retailer for availability. Over 18s only. Credit provided subject to status by Mercedes-Benz Finance, MK15 8BA. Prices correct at time of going to press 10/18. †Applicable to all E-Class models registered between 01.10.18 – 31.12.18. Vehicles must be purchased on an MBFS finance contract to be eligible. Includes AMG. Applies to all private retail and small fleet (1-24 units) customers only. Based on 3 services taken at the relevant service intervals – either 15,000 miles or 12 months, whichever comes sooner. All services must be completed by an authorised Mercedes-Benz retailer. Offer can be used in conjunction with other applicable Sales Campaigns except other ServiceCare campaigns. No cash alternative. In the event of change of vehicle ownership, the ServiceCare plan cannot be moved to another vehicle and should be given to the new owner of the same vehicle. Mercedes-Benz Cars UK Limited reserves the right to amend or withdraw this campaign at any time.