-P OL IT IC S -BUSIN ESS -LI FEST YL E -CULT U R E
i-MAGAZINE Issue Six – Jan – Jun 2017 Search - IMAGAZINE.GB.COM UK £19.95 - US $29.95
SIR LI KA SHING [ talks on his passion for Hong Kong ] BARONESS ALTMANN [ talks on the future of pensions and getting up in age ] DANIELE ANDRETTA [ on bugatti’s future consumer branding practices ] GEORGE BAMFORD [ on how everything is possible with imagination ] BARONESS ARIANE DE ROTHSCHILD [ switzerlands most powerful female banker ] PEACHES GOLDING OBE [ writes on diversifying executvive recruitment ] NIGEL LAMB [ we sit down and chat with red bull’s 2014 air race champion ]
Editor-In-Chief and Publisher Vincent Abrams email@example.com Designers Threeshadesred, Creative Director; Paul Martin Deputy Editor Julia Pasaron firstname.lastname@example.org Business Editorial Advisors Dr. Stephen Fear Lord Laird of Artigarvan Lord Beecham Lord Glentoran CBE Baroness Prashar CBE Lord Popat Baroness Thornton Baroness Greengross Lady Massey of Darwen Lord Soley
The Editor’s Letter Welcome to the sixth issue of I-MAGAZINE. I hope you enjoy the new layout. I am now the Publisher/ Editor at Large due to Julia Pasarón taking on the role of Editor full time. I will be sourcing content, but she will be arranging features, so the fifth issue was the last I poured over myself in great detail, before Julia, in her passion, managed to wrestle the reigns
Political Editors Simon Wills email@example.com
away from me (in terms of editing the magazine) so to speak.
Political Editorial Advisors Lord Jones of Cheltenham Baroness Perry Lord Smith Baron Grenfell of Kilvey Lord Chidgey Ronald J. Walker AC CBE Lord Willoughby de Broke
men. He speaks of his love for Hong Kong and its future as a business hub.
Lifestyle Editor DL Osborne firstname.lastname@example.org
famous shirt makers of Jermyn Street Hawes & Curtis give us an overview
Contributing Cultural Editor Henry Hopwood-Phillips
it is not just the relative sanity of its members, or its contents, or the fact
Asia Editor Matthew Davies Advertising Sales Manager James Buckingham email@example.com
Printing by The Magazine Printing Company Distributed by Smiths News & Menzies Contributors Vittorio Bertazzoni CEO, Sir Li Ka Shing, Daniel Fletcher, Baroness Altmann, Emannuele Tahar CEO, Clive Jackson CEO, Erki Kert, Peaches Golding OBE, Jeremy Paxman, Baroness Ariane de Rothschild, James Nichols, Antonia Eberwein, Touker Suleyman, Angelo Galasso. I-MAGAZINE Liberty House, 222 Regent Street London W1B 5TR Tel: + 44 (0) 203 755 3644 Fax: + 44 (0) 207 297 2100 www.imagazine.gb.com
The cover star is Sir Li Ka Shing, one of Asia´s most successful businessSimon Dolan, businessman and founder of JOTA Sport is interviewed on his passions inside and outside of driving, what drives him personally and how he got to ‘where’, her is after leaving school at the age of 16. Andrew Longbon –Director at L&C- also writes about wealth management. Touker Suleyman, who appears on BBC´s Dragon´s Den and is founder of the of his business career. Jeremy Paxman writes about his favourite room, the reading room at the London Library, on which he remarks: “my love of that it´s completely tranquil because addicts to mobiles or laptops have to go next door to use them…” Well, I hope you find reading our magazine as tranquil an experience as Jeremy describes in his editorial, because nothing is ever really achieved properly in a rush. We profile Italian designer Angelo Galasso, famous for his ´watch cuff design´, which is unique to say the least and ever so slightly flamboyant. Vittorio Bertazzoni, CEO of domestic appliances company SMEG, who recently collaborated with Dolce & Gabana to design a unique set of fridges tell us about the family business and about ´taking care and time´. You can see these stunning appliances (they are true works of art) online at our website under the lifestyle section. I very much hope you will enjoy the magazine. We had great fun putting it together. Your feedback is always appreciated so please feel free to email me via the email address below and let me know what you think of I-MAGAZINE. I´d also like to invite you to join us on Facebook and Twitter. To do so, search IMAGAZINGE.GB.COM. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
I-MAGAZINE is published by Merlin Publishing. A Merlin Lott Group Company. All reasonable efforts have been made to ensure accuracy of information at the time of going to press. The editor, publishers and Merlin Publishing can take no responsibility for inaccuracies due to changes after that date. Nor can the publisher, editor of Merlin Publishing publications or contributors accept responsibility for loss occasione to any person acting or refraining from action as a result of any material in this publication. The publication of opinions, whether implied, solicited or unsolicited, does not imply endorsement by the publishers, employee, agents or any other individual associated with the publication in any way, all rights reserved. No part of this publication may be stored in a retrieval system, resold, lent hired out or otherwise reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of Merlin Publishing. Merlin Publishing, words and Merlin Publishing logo is a registered trademark and; copyright work is owned by Merlin Publishing Limited. I-MAGAZINE contains articles contributed by named authors. The views expressed by such authors do not necessarily reflect the views of their respective firms & or political parties. Informative articles are intended as a general guide only and the application of the information given will depend upon the particular circumstances involved.
firstname.lastname@example.org I MA G A Z I N E . G B. C OM
CREDITS PAGE – Includes the letter from the Editor at Large, Vincent Abrams. DIARY – Cultural events at home and abroad from winter 2017 through to the end of spring 2017 SILVER SEA – Silversea is a luxury cruise company reflecting generations of maritime and travel experience.
POLITICS SIR LI KA SHING – interview with the Founder and Chairman of CK Hutchinson Holdings, he talks on his passion for doing business in Hong Kong. OLGA MURRAY – a life dedicated to ending slavery. BARONESS ALTMANN – UK Minister of State for Pensions, writes on ‘getting up in age’.
BUSINESS PEECHES GOLDING OBE – writes on the Importance of diversity in executive recruitment, the scale of the challenge and possible learnable skills for directors. VARTKESS KNADJIAN – we talk with the CEO of Backes & Strauss one of london’s most famous jewelry houses. SIR LI KA SHING – interview with the Founder and Chairman of CK Hutchinson Holdings, he talks on his passion for and doing business in hong kong. ERKI KERT CEO – while the UK might be home to more of the big names in banking, it is those in Scandinavia that are getting the best services, but why is this? VITTORIO BERTAZZONI CEO – we talk to the young man in charge at Italian technology company SMEG, on his leadership style and what motivates him. EMMANUEL TAHAR CEO – of third bridge talks, taking advantage of and the value of opportunity. CLIVE JACKSON CEO – at fly victor, talks on how he got involved in the aviation industry and his plans for expansion.
LIFESTYLE BARONESS ARIANE DE ROTHSCHILD – interview with switzerland’s most powerful female banker and her role in the Edmund de Rothschild banking group. EMMANUEL TAHAR CEO – we talk to Third Bridge about the consequences of the information age which is now upon us. SWEET DREAMS ARE MADE OF THIS – very few sensations compare to the freedom of travelling the world by yacht. GEORGE BAMFORD – the founder of the bamford watch department tells us if you can imagine it, he can create it. JEREMY PAXMAN – writes on his favorite room, which happens to the ‘reading room’, at london library.
CULTURE JAMES NICHOLLS – investment in the art of the story, by the managing director at Maddox, gallery, mayfair. ANTONIA EBERWEIN – A passion for history and family ties led Antonia Eberwein away from a successful career as a designer in Haute Couture to become a dealer in antiquities. THEO FENNELL – Supporting the talent of the future. INVESTMENT IN THE ART OF THE STORY – We talk to James Nicholls, Managing Director& Curator of Maddox Gallery, Mayfair.
contents Jan/Jul 2017
Inter quae verbum emicuit si forte decorum
â€œLight is to darkness what love is to fear; in the presence of one the other disappearsâ€?. - Marianne Williamson
Venice Carnival, 2016.
comment Jan/Jun 2017
The Importance of Diversity in Executive Recruitment By Peaches Golding OBE A serial non-executive and executive director across regulated and nonregulated organisations in the public, private and third sectors, helps change the face of diversity at Board level. I entered the world of executive recruitment with the perspective I gained over twenty years in the boardroom. My journey along the corridors of corporate power demonstrates how tough it has been for the boardroom to reflect the ethnic and gender diversity visible in today’s society. I do not believe this is a deliberate strategy as most organisations understand the importance of serving their customers well, of being competitive in the marketplace, of protecting and growing a financially robust organisation and of developing and motivating their workforce. On the contrary, many clients that use the services of Moon Consulting Ltd, the Bristol-based search and selection firm where I am a non-executive consultant, request a diverse shortlist and actively seek minority ethnic and female candidates. As trusted and respected advisors, we are not fazed by this request and have the contacts, networks and skill to meet search mandates of this type. We have demonstrated our ability to widen the pool of candidates and represent an amazing selection of qualified and capable candidates from diverse backgrounds that can drive their business forward. I do not support quotas to achieve diversity. However, I am aware of how painfully slow it has been for many organisations to achieve diversity on their boards, whether these roles are executive or non-executive. From my perspective, UK PLC flourishes when led by a diverse, capable and flexible Board, especially in these competitive economic times. The scale of the challenge. There is a difference in the composition of public, private and third sector boards. Furthermore, there is little movement of executives and non-executives from third or public sector to private sector boards. • In 2011, 50% of the working age population, and 56 % of people of state pension age, were women. A survey of FTSE 100 companies reported that 12.5% of their directors were females. Of FTSE 250 boards, only 7.8% were women.
• The 2011 census revealed that 14% of people living in the UK are non-white. When surveyed, 12% of chief executives in the country’s top 50 charities were of minority ethnic and only 30% were female. Among trustees of these same charities, only 8% were of minority ethnicity and 36% female. The same year more than 40% of the population of London and more than 10% of managers, directors and senior officials are from a minority ethnic background. In the southeast, 23% of the population in Slough was Muslim and 11% Sikh. Cardiff, the home of the largest population of minority ethic people in Wales, had a 15% minority ethnic population. Skills for smart directors. Every board that I have been a member needs smart directors. Businesses of all sectors need educated, highly motivated people regardless of their diversity. Diversity can provide a much-needed insight into the challenges and opportunities faced by businesses in this fast-moving and ever-changing environment. Diversity at board level can help an organisation cast out inaccurate assumptions and help them to analyse ambiguous data. Diversity enables a board to examine different and divergent point of views and to view an opportunity through a number of different lenses. Organisations need to be open to disruptive change driven internally or from its competitors, remain receptive to opportunities that may run counter to previous assumptions or adopt a ‘launch quick, fail fast’ resilience in the face of rapid change and transformational scenarios. Culture eats strategy for breakfast. A recently published paper using information obtained from 55,000 professionals located in 90 different countries and collected between 2011 and 2015 revealed some interesting and relevant information. One of the key findings is that women have greater emotional intelligence across all competencies -except emotional self-control- than men where no gender differences were observed. The research showed that were men to act more like women, they would be significantly more effective in the workplace environment. The data strongly suggests that more women are needed in leadership positions, including those at board level. Women on boards are
more likely to boost the performance of the people within their organisations, build better functioning teams, drive through changes that lead to hitting the goals and objectives for internal and external stakeholders and inspire through their leadership qualities. Five tips for a more diverse boardroom. Greater contributions from women and those from minority ethnic backgrounds in the boardroom can be one of the levers for improved strategic drive and implementation. Although I remain one of the few minority ethnic women on the boards of regulated or non-regulated sectors, these are my top five tips to increase boardroom diversity. • Boardroom appointment processes tend to be driven by male Chairmen who tend to recruit for characteristics similar to themselves. Robust challenge around board composition and skill deficits must be made when search mandates are developed. Interview techniques used for board appointments should focus on skills, experience and expertise in order to provide a rigorous and transparent selection and appointment process. • Opportunities to develop Chairman and Board ‘clubs’ focused on and championing the benefits of diversity should be fostered. There is a surprising amount of unmet need and demand in most business communities. • Female and minority ethnic candidates need to be nurtured and supported to apply and be successful at interview for executive and non-executive roles. Search and selection businesses must be willing to widen the talent pool and to advocate on behalf of their female and minority ethnic candidates. • Succession planning should seek to widen the types of candidate being developed for the time when retirements and vacancies occur. By focusing on a global, demographic, social or other statistical opportunities facing the business, greater diversity may drive business success. • Investors and donors need to increase the pressure on companies and charities to achieve gender-balance and greater minority ethnic representation on boards.
profile Jan/Jun 2017
Baroness Ariane De Rothschild interview with Switzerland’s most powerful female banker
The epitome of modernnes, Ariane de Rothschild surprises us at every turn with her natural authority, her freshness and her technical knowledge. She has an accent one cannot put a finger on but reflects a mix of her childhood in Latin America, her French-German origins, her teen years in Africa and her studies in the United States—a profile as global as today’s Edmond de Rothschild Group. She is a well seasoned financier and definitely not new to the Rothschild Group, to which board of Directors she was elected in 2008. Since her appointment as President of the Executive Committee in January 30th 2015, Baroness de Rothschild has been concentrating her actions in the restructuration and modernisation of the Group international activities, a new IT platform and sector-wide regulatory forecasting (MiFID II, MiFIR). As a woman with an extensive international career, she has infused the Edmond de Rothschild group with a more inernational and gender balanced management policy. Alongside her husband, Baron Benjamin de Rothschild, Chairman of the supervisory board of the Group, both are working to preserve the family´s shareholder structure and focus on sustainable finance rather. They met in 1993 when she, still Ariane Langner, was 28 years old. Trained as a currency trader, she became a new breed of business leader. Reminiscing on her brilliant and atypical career, she notes, ‘‘It’s unusual to see a husband and wife at the head of a company, but that’s how we envisage family capitalism.’’
Shared Responsibilities The Baroness admires her husband for his trailblazing spirit and for his confidence in her. ‘‘I’m lucky to have a husband who wanted to share his responsibilities with me’’ she observes. Baron Benjamin presides over the Group and helps devise its strategy. ‘‘He has an original approach to business’’-Ariane de Rothschild tells us- “he is exceptionally gifted, intuitive and quick-minded. When his father died, the financial group that he inherited employed 600 people as against 2700 in 2014. Assets under management and administration rocketed from CHF 20 billion to CHF 143 billion by the end of 2009’’. Gratified by this phenomenal growth but reluctant to see his schedule tied up with overly frequent appointments, Benjamin de Rothschild needed someone to act as his deputy at board meetings. His wife was the ideal candidate and thus she was appointed Vice-President of Edmond de Rothschild supervisory board in 2009. Her vision has taken the direction of the Group towards more sustainable financial activities, which take into account social and enviromental impact. Examples of these socio-enviromentally minded enterprises are the Moringa Fund devoted to the development of agroforestry in Africa and South America and the Ginkgo Fund which focuses on brownfield redevelopment in Europe.
within the Group.’’ She began by dealing with the group’s non-banking activities (wine-making, hotels, art), developing them and thus demonstrating her acute business sense. But very soon she and her husband were thinking in dynastic terms. ‘‘What matters to us most,’’ she explains, ‘‘is that the Group survives and remains under family control’’. She points out, ‘‘it would have been silly for me to go and work for another bank.’’ Their roles are clearly distinguished: Benjamin de Rothschild maps out overall strategy while Ariane de Rothschild sees it is implemented. ‘‘I’m much more available than Benjamin, so people see me more than they see him,’’ she says, adding that they discuss all important matters together. She has considerable latitude and the kind of global view that is needed so that all of the Group entities reinforce each other. That’s what the family motto ‘‘Concordia, Integritas, Industria’’ means. She acknowledges being well aware of the privileged position and obligations attaching to the role of President of the Executive Committee.
Shared leadership ‘‘I met Benjamin through work’’, the Baroness confides, ‘‘but there was no telling at the outset that I would assume responsibilities
interview Jan/Jun 2017
Vittorio Bertazzoni CEO We interview Vittorio Bertazzoni, CEO of SMEG best known for its stylish range of 1950’s refrigerators, founded in 1948 by his grandfather Vittorio Bertazzoni and almost 70 years later, the company is still family owned.
How did you first become involved with SMEG? And what were you doing before you began working there?
I graduated from the University of Parma with a law degree in 2000. I then completed two years work experience at Arthur Andersen in New York - one of the largest multinational audit and accountancy partnerships in the world - and worked at an Italian bank, Mediobanca for a while. I entered the SMEG Board of Directors in 1998 and was appointed CEO in 2007.
How passionate are you in general about design and electronics?
I am particularly passionate about when technology meets design, and the research for a kind of product that is different from the standard, a product that feels good to see and to touch. Such a product has an additional value over a common one that may perform the same task.
What do you think are the fundamentals of leadership? What is your leadership style?
Consistency, the choice of the right partners, the possibility to trust collaborators with controlled delegation and engagement. I’m an open mind business man. Leading such an international company, I can’t be any other way as we have to be able to grasp any hint that comes from different markets and see how it can be turned into effective projects. At the same time, I strongly believe in being highly determined in carrying forward projects that are strategically relevant and consistent with our vision and values.
Do you still have the same passion for business as you did when you first started out in your career?
Even more! Since the company was founded by my grandfather, I’ve grown up breathing SMEG philosophy but once I joined the company and got deeper into the business, I became more and more passionate about it. If you like what you do, you are hungry to achieve more and create new products and opportunities.
What and where do you see yourself and SMEG in the next five or so years?
What is your favorite piece of art – or the one piece you would love to have on your wall or at home?
My favorite piece of art is the Pietà by Michelangelo, a public work of Art, synthesis of shape and concept, accessible to anyone and free of charge.
Do you have any business or political role models?
If we talk about a role model I would say Nelson Mandela.
How important is philanthropy to you?
It is very important. A company should have a social role and be involved in supporting activities in the areas where they operate.
What do you get up to in your spare time?
During my spare time I like reading, travelling, of course, and visiting museums and art galleries as I’m very fond of the arts in general.
What is your favorite cuisine? And do you have a favorite restaurant?
Even if I appreciate foreign cuisines, my favorite is the Italian one and my favorite restaurant is Cocchi, in Parma, the city where I live.
We are growing constantly so the desire is to keep producing innovative products and having important collaborations and co-marketing activities that underline the high standing positioning of our company.
interview Jan/Jun 2017
Vartkess Knadjian, CEO of Backes & Strauss Q
You launched the first collection of time pieces in 2007. What is your assessment of the business almost 10 years later?
As the oldest diamond company in the world, the company has been in operation since 1789. In reflection of our legacy, our product lines are inspired by four fundamental cornerstones: our heritage as the oldest diamond company in the world, our time-tested expertise in diamond cutting and polishing, our partnership with the Franck Muller Group – the Masters of Complications–, and last but not least, our London provenance celebrating the 19th century Regency style of architecture. We have followed a strategy aimed at being recognised as the Master of Bespoke in the diamond watch industry. Our production is unlikely to increase since we position ourselves in the uber-luxury niche. We make less than a thousand pieces a year and the numbers will reduce even more as we further specialise in one-off pieces. These pieces represent 25-30% of our business and we expect this to grow to 50%. However, you still need a collection that is accessible to people but then, I want the next step to be very steep.
What differentiates Backes & Strauss from other watchmakers in the luxury sector?
History and heritage is paramount to us. Backes & Strauss is the oldest diamond company in the world, in operation since 1789. For the discerning client, this is very comforting. Actually we are very lucky that we still have some of our archives from the very beginning. Here in London we have some archives from the 19th century showing how the partners travelled around the world, leaving their homes for months at the time, meeting clients, selling diamonds… we have letters that they sent daily home, telling their families how they were doing and of course we have the day books that recorded who they sold their diamonds too, and you find illustrious names like Mr. Cartier, Mikimoto, Boucheron, Bvlgari… All this adds a lot of credibility to our brand and makes us unique.
How do you keep the company current and relevant in these times of constant change in trends and fashions?
200 years is a long time. If we are still here is because we have definitely found a way to remain relevant. We have constantly evolved.
Regarding your customer base, how has it evolved in the last decade? How was it affected by the move into watch-making?
When we moved into watch-making, the model of our business changed completely. I had to re-invent myself. I was a diamond trader, and suddenly I was in the watch business where you have to design and create a collection and then offer it to clients who are very different from the diamond wholesale clients. So I had to change my mindset and my approach to how to do business.
It must be difficult to create original, unique pieces all the time. How does that conversation go internally?
It is a very good question. I go to my designers and tell them: “I’d like to use these diamonds”. The diamonds I ask them to use may be of unusual shapes, colour, size… This is an interesting challenge for them because instead of starting with the core of the watch design we start with the diamonds and build the watch around them. It can take anything from 9 months to 2 years to make one of these unique pieces. There are thousands of little components in one of our time pieces. It takes time. You can’t rush craftsmanship.
sudden we had clients from Japan, America, everywhere! who were Franck Muller clients coming to us and wanting to learn about our watches, what saved me years of knocking on the door of each individual market.
How did the partnership with Franck Muller help in this process?
We were very lucky. We learnt how to make watches and collections without making too many mistakes thanks to them. Franck Muller knew very well the modern Swiss watch business and had all the capabilities in-house: they were making the cases in-house, the dials, the crowns… and we brought incredible craftsmanship into this marriage. Together we heavily invested in high tech machinery that make easier to produce these incredible pieces and keep us at the cutting-edge of the business. On the other hand, they had a great global following so all of the
How does a company like Backes & Strauss, whose USP derives from 200 years of heritage and craftsmanship adjust to the evolution of the industry, the new communication channels and reaching the next generation of Backes & Strauss customers?
This is a very difficult issue. I think that for someone my age is difficult to fully understand social media, although we all use it to a certain degree. I am aware that the younger generation do everything through their phone, not even tablets, just their phone. When I was a kid, my father started to give me the newspaper to read every day and told me this was very important so I knew at all times what was happening in the world. Nowadays, children don’t look at newspapers but they are very well informed. How do they get their news? Digitally. In the particular case of Backes & Strauss, we are active in all major social platforms but the reality is that we talk to a very small number of clients, so we tend to do so through small, intimate events where we can see our clients around the table and show them what we are doing. They can then ask us questions and understand our work better. Nowadays CRMs are so well organised that you can identify target clients with reasonable accuracy. However sometimes you end up talking to the wrong people.
What is then the goal for the next five years?
To keep growing the bespoke business. We think there is a very nice space there where we can comfortably fit in because people with immense wealth are all looking at something unique and special. For example, we sold one of our unique pieces to a customer that was wowed about the fact that he was the only person in the world to have such piece. This was the most important thing to me, more than what he paid for it. Owning an exceptional, unique piece of heritage is very attractive to those who can buy anything in the world.
comment Jan/Jun 2017
Sir Li Ka Shing Founder and Chairman of CK Hutchinson Holdings Considered one of the most powerful men in Asia, Sir Li Ka Shing is not only a business magnate and investor but also a keen philanthropist and a man that despite of his wealth, enjoys living a simple life. In this interview he gives us his view on the present and future of his beloved Hong Kong. What is behind the rise of populism in Hong Kong in recent years? What do you think the solution is? The widening wealth gap is a growing global social problem and it is a very thorny issue for governments everywhere. If a government set policies through the emotive lens of populist sentiments, it might make you feel better, but not necessarily fare better. Simple measures of poverty relief are not the antidote to counter the complexities of intergenerational poverty, because it will not improve competency nor bolster competitiveness. Reforms in education and self-enhancement are important tools to enable social upward mobility. I believe failing to do so is akin to a crime against the future. We need to beef up human capital and the innovation ecosystem.
surveys in countries with advanced technological output such as Israel, IT staff and engineers account for 140 per 10,000 employed; the figures are 85 in the United States, 80 in Japan, 45 in China and 32 in Singapore, yet we must wonder why Hong Kong is not on this list. In Hong Kong, how many of these employees are actually scientists and IT professionals? Is our government policy and environment conducive to technological development? A high-quality employment environment should encourage each individual to perform in his full capacity and under a diversified industry structure. How should Hong Kong encourage innovation?
The boom of the gaming industry in Macau provides many job opportunities for Hong Kong, but we should not be misled by the unemployment rate of 3.3 percent and be complacent about the urgency to compete for quality jobs.
If we compare Singapore and Hong Kong, you will find that public sentiment towards social and business environment is quite different. You don’t see Singapore screaming against foreign investors benefiting from their investments in the local economy. Singapore’s policy towards foreign labour is more proactive but its unemployment rate is more or less the same as Hong Kong’s. Unlike Hong Kong, Singapore does not enjoy the committed support of Mainland. In addition, Singapore needs to shoulder a budget for foreign policy and national defence, but the Singapore government is quite committed to attract capital and talent –innovation has brought continual success to Singapore. In 1997, Hong Kong’s GDP was similar to Singapore’s. But nowadays Singapore’s is at least 30% higher than Hong Kong’s. Improving our competitiveness must be a priority. Attitude could be a force or a hindrance, we have a traditional saying: “a wild stallion turned loose will be hard to recapture” – fostering populist sentimentality is the same.
“A high-quality employment environment should encourage each individual to perform in his full capacity and under a diversified industry structure.”
Currently in Hong Kong, minor issues are easily amplified into social problems or disputes. How can society smoothly transform into a healthy democracy?
Hong Kong labour statistics show increasing optimism within the tech industry. When contrasted against international surveys, however, figures reveal that our definitions of employment and achievements within the tech industry are below global standards. According to the Hong Kong government, about 30,000 people, or 80 per 10,000 employed, are tech employees. And according to other leading
A healthy democratic society is inclusive, tolerant and embraces diversity. We need to balance social responsibility and interests. You will be surprised to know that according to the Inland Revenue Department, (in the 2011/2012 year) only 5 percent of the population shouldered 91 percent of the income tax. Recently, there has been a lot of heated debate over the theory of zero marginal productivity. Proposed by
Hong Kong needs to play catch up in the race for knowledge development and innovation investment. The future is all about technology, its outlook is bright and could be a real solution to bridge the wealth gap. This is the responsibility of the government.
economist Tyler Cowen, this theory suggests that amid our recovering economy, an asymmetric balance between people’s income and benefits versus their output could well be the cause for continuously high unemployment rates. Today, many companies prefer to invest in competitiveness through enhancing efficiency and maintaining only a high quality workforce. Therefore I have repeatedly advocated for the government to consider increasing profit taxes, maybe a hike of 0.5 percent and earmark it for continuous education and retraining as an investment in human capital. We should always support means to increase opportunities for the younger generation. I am all for the government granting tax preferences or exemptions for small enterprises in the technology sector to encourage their development. “The most important essence of a democratic system is the restrain of power” How do you view the 2017 chief executive election for Hong Kong? What potential challenges is Hong Kong facing beforehand? I am 88 years old. The future as I see it is very different from that of a 17 year old. It is precarious to assume we can define the future. Honestly, I don’t have any idea what my grandchildren will choose to do in the future. The most important essence of a democratic system is the restrain of power. I encourage a wider discussion, as there are many different kinds of democratic systems. In 1997, when Hong Kong returned to China, the “one country, two systems” policy was unprecedented. Churchill once said: “Politics is not a game. It is an earnest business.” It is quite unimaginable for a person who wants to serve Hong Kong to not to love the country and Hong Kong. Hong Kong is my home and it has always been a harmonious society. I want everyone to know that we are inclusive, warm-hearted and decent people. Continuous investment in education gives us a better shot to build a fair and equitable society, improving opportunities for everyone is fundamental to stability and sustainable prosperity. The people of Hong Kong are passionate about their country, and the city we call home. Since 1997, Hong Kong has experienced different stages of governance, from businessmenled, to civil servant and professional-led. Currently, what do you think is the key issue
for governance? What do you think are the most urgent issues for Hong Kong in social, economic and political aspects? To me, the most critical measure of healthy governance is a system built on the rule of law. Every time we morphed through an economic transformation, shifting from manufacturing to service sector, opportunities change, and when upward mobility is throttled, the rebalance could be very disconcerting. Human capital enhancement should always be the main focus of any government. The crucial issue is how Hong Kong can improve its long-term competitiveness through government policies. The commitment of the Israeli government towards their innovation industry is quite inspirational. They will not hesitate to offer support to investments; in one instance, the government has suggested that they could consider equity participation structure to mitigate our risk for borderline cases. My first reaction was: “They are totally not stressed over broad-brush allegations of collusion with businesses.” Their response: “Our raison d’être is creating opportunities for our citizens.” I was very touched by such conviction. A responsible and caring government should understand that quantifiable returns are more than monetary. Setting society on a virtuous cycle track is the true victory. Some say Hong Kong belongs to business moguls. It belongs to the four property families. Political elites control society by partnering with economic and financial elites. Such a model is expected to change in 2017 when the election is held. How do you view the changes of Hong Kong’s business circle and its relationship with politics over the past decades? I’m not certain what you meant by “the four families”. 99.9% percent of our businesses are in highly competitive sectors. Hong Kong Electric Holdings may be seen as a monopoly in the public utility business. It services the people on Hong Kong Island, and the same holds true for CLP Holdings in the Kowloon and New Territories. We acquired Hong Kong Electric from Hong Kong Land in 1986 and it is still under the regulations of the government. Some professions in particular—for example, barristers and doctors—have high protectionist barriers. In fact, the local government is the
city’s largest employer and has many projects in construction, therefore, the government should also discuss with affected businesses to address labour shortages in certain sectors. Hong Kong remains a highly competitive market. One cannot tackle the economic problem by searing at the business sector; we need to be more expansive, creating a ‘bigger pie’ is seminal to a healthier economy. “Good governance will inspire public confidence and ignite hope.” Do you agree with the judgment that the golden era for Hong Kong’s tycoons is over? Will they become targets of both the rulers and the public, and be hurt in the next democratic process? Companies in different industries in Hong Kong are all active at home, constantly building footholds in Mainland and always on the lookout for opportunities overseas. We enjoy a strong free flow of capital and an enterprising person could always find opportunities along his way. Businessmen should thrive under a democratic system. The Hong Kong government would certainly continue its support to the business sector to maintain economic vitality. President Xi Jinping’s commitment to reform and open up policy will continue to rev up the economy and his promise to deepen reform for a more equitable and abundance society is reassuring. Good governance will inspire public confidence and ignite hope. We’ve seen more conflicts between the mainland and Hong Kong in recent years. How should leaders in Beijing and Hong Kong resolve these conflicts? I need to reiterate that one should not overreact to some independent incidents and be misled that people in Hong Kong are belligerent towards our fellow countrymen. Hong Kong is a small city and concerns over resources allocation are real. But we welcome all visitors wholeheartedly, just as we hope to be treated with respect when we ourselves are tourists. Being impertinent and discourteous is unbecoming to a civil society. Tension could be overcome by more tolerance, but the government should proactively deal with the friction arising from inadequate resources and inconveniences.
The launch of the Shanghai Free Trade Zone must have had an impact Hong Kong. How do you evaluate the influence on Hong Kong by the opening of the mainland market? How should Hong Kong deal with it? Shanghai has been on the forefront of China’s opening-up reform. The Shanghai FTZ has limitless potential in attracting foreign capital, technological development, tourism services as well as financial and insurance businesses. Its rippling effect will benefit Hong Kong undoubtedly. The immense growth of China’s economy together with our skills in the capital and financial markets will create boundless opportunities. As you may be aware, our group, under my chairmanship, is firmly rooted in Hong Kong, but in the 1990s we took a very significant step to diversify into the Mainland and overseas. I think people in Hong Kong should increase their sense of urgency if we want to move forward. Economic globalization started 20 years ago; but perhaps because Hong Kong was focused on the transition of the Handover, we have not adopted effective countermeasures for an economic transformation. Some cities in the Mainland, such as Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, have grown rapidly; we should be informed of potentials in other cities, and seize these opportunities. You were one of the first Chinese to invest globally and also one of the most successful. How do you set your strategy? The group has investments and operations in 52 countries around the world. Besides Hong Kong, the mainland and Asia, we also have investments in the Middle East, Europe, North America, and even Central and South America. Core businesses of the Group include infrastructure, retail, energy, telecoms, real estate, hotels and container ports. Different Industry sectors and geographies have their respective cyclical ups and downs and the diversity of our businesses and geographical spread help balance operational risks as we go through such cycles. For example, at times the energy sector performs better than real estate or retail, and vice versa. The geographical diversity of our operations helped us weather the 2007 and 2008 financial crisis and the group managed to perform
well even at those difficult times. Investment opportunities around the world are abundant. The company began investing overseas in the 1980s because I reckoned at that time the growth of the Hong Kong market, with just a few million people, would be somewhat limiting. In retrospect, this decision has proved to be a good one. For example, we have 12,000 retail outlets around the world, only 600 are in Hong Kong. Our operations in Hong Kong generate about 15 percent of Hutchison’s total global revenue, whereas Cheung Kong obtains about one-third of its revenue from Hong Kong. The group has been for quite some time the largest foreign investor in many countries, such as Canada, the UK, Australia, the Netherlands, Italy, Sweden and Austria. Many governments know very well how important it is to provide a stable political and economic environment for investors, as successful businesses can bring jobs and prosperity to the community. The Group is rooted in Hong Kong. However, as the government policies often take time to digest, our pace of investment in Hong Kong has not been as fast as in other countries. The group will continue with the strategy of “advancing with stability” to ensure the success of our businesses in the fast-changing economic environment. One day a French minister and his office came to meet with me in Hong Kong and asked why I invested so much in the United Kingdom but not so much in France. And I said, France doesn’t allow me to do what I’m doing in the UK. First, the tax rate in the UK is 20 percent while your tax rate is the highest in Europe. Second, according to British law, companies can sue the government, lose the case and return to invest tomorrow, and the British government would welcome them. Third, when the French economy is doing poorly, you cannot adjust the exchange rate of the euro but the British government can lower the exchange rate of the pound to ease economic problems. The world economy is at a critical moment. China, Japan and the United States are all at a critical juncture. One problem in any
of these important economies would have a worldwide impact. Investors are facing a complex reality with many interrelated uncertainties. What is your view? Let me start with the United States. It’s also facing many problems. In essence, the abundance in natural resources should be beneficial to the U.S. economy as it is their availability of domestic energy by reducing dependence from overseas. The U.S. is also a global leader in technology and quality education. But in the past two or three years, analysts have contrary views. Although some people believe that the added energy resources can indeed relieve the deficit problem, many people remain sceptical. As for Japan, it followed the U.S.’s footsteps in printing money, creating inflation to favour exports. But Japan faces the threats of scarce resources and an aging labour force. The average age of its manufacturing workers is 40, while in South Korea is 30. “If China can achieve a freely convertible currency, the blueprint of a stronger economy will be more evident.” China’s reform and opening up was the biggest economic experiment. Tremendous changes happened in the past three decades. Though there were twists and turns along the way, the leaders have been fearless and adhered to the road of reform. The U.S. and Japan, facing the current dilemma, can learn from this determination. It’s easier for the U.S. economy to recover compared to Europe. The U.S. dollar is still the world’s biggest currency. The U.S. has a large national debt. Its financial problems are not easy to solve as deficits continue to increase, but it can print money. Japanese citizens also endorse quantitative easing as a means to stimulate the economy, but the fundamentals of Japan’s economy are not as good as China’s. It’s not easy to short sell such a big country. If China can achieve a freely convertible currency, the blueprint of a stronger economy will be more evident.
this revolutionized economy. Most embarked on the twin strategy of using technology and data precision to generate new revenue streams, and deep cost control measures to safeguard the bottom line. As mechanized manufacturing process and robotics converged, a lot of jobs will vanish and many will be stuck in jobs with little hope of advancement. This is a minefield that needs immediate attention. The only way out is conscientious investment in reforming education, building human capital with problem-solving and communication skills, which are abilities that cannot be replaced by computers. Traditional sectors will still exist but we must seize the new opportunities offered by technology. Take “process optimization” in manufacturing as an example. Mechanized and robotics will continue to improve and bring significant changes to future manufacturing. Recently we invested in wearable watch/ phone for kids (MyFiLIP), which is connected to parents’ smartphones. The production process takes place in the office. An investment of 1.8 million USD was all that was needed to have the machinery in place to make 10,000 of these watches. The need to reduce labour costs by setting up production plants in China is irrelevant because it does not involve a lot of manual labour. You and a few other top Hong Kong business leaders have reined for decades. No such character has emerged after you. How do you assess the long-term development of Hong Kong’s business sector? Talent rises from every generation in Hong Kong, and today they are better educated. As long as they stay focus on development and can withstand challenges, opportunities are still everywhere for them to seize. Times have changed but just as Dr. Martin Luther King put it: “We must accept finite disappointment but we must never lose infinite hope.”
There were three big opportunities for over the past few decades. What is the next big opportunity? Technology has polarized the labour market. Companies are arching to stay competitive in
Simon Dolan We speak to the owner of British motor sport team Jota Sport and successful businessman, Simon Dolan reveals his passion for driving and motivated him to get involved in the sport.
Your career started in accountancy, buiding SJD Accountancy into the Uk´s biggest independent accountancy firm. How have you ended up in sports car racing?
I always liked nice cars and managed to buy a few once I started making some money. However I never considered racing professionally. One day my wife asked me what I wanted for my birthday to which I replied a track day. To this day I have no idea why I said that as it had never occurred to me before. So, I had a lesson with a race car driver called Sam Hancock –in a Mini on an old airstrip (Bruntingthorpe). I enjoyed it so much that I booked another lesson or two. I then went to Le Mans as a guest in 2007and decided there and then that I wanted to compete there one day. We put a plan together. I spent the next three years honing my craft racing in the UK and then in 2011 I finally had the opportunity to compete at Le Mans. I have raced there every year since, so this year (2016) is my 6th time.
You are also involved in businesses outside of racing. Tell me more about this?
I have an Aviation company which provides passenger aircraft to customers like BA, Air France etc. I also co-own public relations agency PHA Media and various other companies including software, websites, perfumes, board games. I guess I like variety!
After leaving school at 16, did you ever think you’d be where you are today?
No, but then I never thought I wouldn’t. It sounds like semantics but there is a subtle difference.
What has been JOTA Sport’s biggest sporting success so far?
Without any doubt it has to be winning our class at Le Mans in 2014. We won LMP2 and came 5th overall which was the highest ever placing for an LMP2 car.
In short this means that we can expand the team to run two cars at Le Mans and also compete in both the World and European Championships.
Describe your typical working day with JOTA Sport. Varied!
How about its biggest success away from the track itself?
We have many achievements we are proud of, from looking after priceless historic cars to dealing with major OEMS.
JOTA Sport is a pioneering team in sports car racing. How does the brand set itself apart from the competition?
Where do you see JOTA Sport in ten years’ time?
I have no idea. Racing is a very fast moving world – 1 year is about as much as we can plan ahead really!
As a co-founder and driver, how do you juggle your corporate responsibilities alongside the physical demands of training?
It’s amazing how much you can achieve via email and telephone these days.
What sets us apart from our competitors is our attention to detail and constant improvements. This pervades every aspect of the business. Whilst we are very proud of what we have achieved thus far we are never satisfied and are constantly pushing to become better.
You’ve just announced a landmark sponsorship deal with G-Drive Racing, owned by Russian energy giant Gazprom. What will this mean for JOTA Sport?
You’ve taken on one of the most brutal tests in racing, the Le Mans 24-hour race. Through the eyes of a driver, what is it like completing this gruelling race?
It is like nothing else. The sheer scale of the event is incredible. There are two hundred and eighty thousand (280,000) people there watching, and as a driver you become a little bit of a superstar. For sure it is a tough race – certainly one of the toughest-, but during the race the adrenaline just keeps you going. Getting pulled out of bed after at most two hours to be hurtling down the Mulsanne straight at 200miles/hour hour fifteen minutes later does focus your attention!
What advice would you give to young drivers looking to start out in the sport?
Get a great driver coach, never waste a lap, obsess over the details and keep learning.
interview Jan/Jun 2017
The True Value of Opportunity By Emmanuel Tahar, CEO of Third Bridge
The digital age has transformed the way we live, invest, and do business. In every corner of the economy new technologies are revolutionising the way information is captured, processed and acted on, and this pace of change is only accelerating. For some, this transformation is an opportunity for bold new ventures and greater competitive advantage, while for others it presents a very real risk to their job security and even their way of life. What is certain is that this information age is now well and truly upon us; the sea of data that it brings is growing day by day, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to navigate when it comes to making critical decisions. For all its promise, this information-heavy world will always need the spark of human insight to uncover true value, to identify true opportunity. One look at the world of investment and finance and it’s clear to see how recent advances in computing technology are radically reshaping the battle ground. Digital innovators are arriving on the scene in large numbers, introducing new ways to find and filter information, and novel ways of processing transactions. Across the board, this third industrial revolution is shaking large financial institutions into action, with many turning to grass roots innovation and company acquisitions to sweep up the most promising of these developments. Yet while these appear, on the surface, to revolutionise and improve the businesses they serve, the reality is not always that simple.
An increasing number of traders and large institutional investors now rely on algorithmic trading and mathematical models to make fast-paced automatic trades, with little to no human intervention on decisions to buy or sell. This type of trading is fast, efficient, and less prone to human error, and those buying or selling stocks in large quantities are able to do so without adversely influencing the stock price. In this way, computers are helping investors to execute complicated trades. However, for most investors looking to consistently outperform their peers, computers alone usually don’t hold all the answers. It’s important not to overlook the prevailing need for human input in any trading environment. In the realm of retail investment, many fund companies have developed so called ‘roboadvice’ services to automate guidance on the more simple decisions made by individual investors. By introducing computer technology, they are broadening their distribution strategies and giving more people access to something close to the service traditionally provided by financial advisers, but those with a significant amount to invest continue to see the value in human advice and input. A recent survey by the CFA Institute found that 69 percent of UK investors believe they will still want the help of an investment professional, instead of the latest technologies and tools, in three years’ time; rising to 73 percent in
the US and as high as 81 percent in Canada. For large institutional investors, private equity companies, hedge funds and angel investors, the wealth of information provided by big data, search engines and social media presents an unprecedented opportunity to invest in companies and markets that were once unknown, or out of reach. But without the human judgment, the personal experience and vision to direct our minds and filter the facts, the sheer scale of data available is at best wasteful, at worst downright deceptive. The challenge is not too little data, or too few opinions, but rather to make sense of all that is available, to uncover the hidden piece of raw data or prime intelligence that can make the difference between a good decision and a bad one. In the world of big investments, deals are usually brokered, based on biased information provided by those on the sell-side. In order to distinguish fact from fiction, it’s absolutely critical that those on the buy-side have reliable independent human insight to weigh up the reams of material they are given by the analysts involved in the deal. Ignoring those working on the ground in industry, in favour of data provided by third party analysts with indirect experience in business themselves, leaves clear gaps when assessing an opportunity. Finding the people uniquely positioned to give this unbiased insight is one of the core responsibilities of
opinion Jan/Jun 2017
primary research partners, and to my mind one of the most colourful ways to demonstrate how humans are best placed to reveal the true value of investment opportunities. To give you an example, when Lafarge and Holcim merged to form LafargeHolcim in July 2015, they created the largest manufacturer of building materials in the world, with a combined market value of more than $50 billion, and operations in more than 90 countries. The size of the deal raised regulatory alarm bells for the Anti-Trust Authority, which urged the two companies to divest somewhere between 10 and 15 percent of the company’s assets. When it was decided that Eastern European and Latin American plants were to be sold off, prospective investors in these newly available sites approached Third Bridge to assess the underlying value of these plants. When investors faced the daunting task of establishing this value, a whole host of factors such as macro-trends, growth trends, consumption split, plant capacity and pricing evolution all played their part in landing on a trustworthy figure. No search algorithm or computer programme could have told you what the sites were worth, but recent former plant and operational managers had judgement and experience which would help determine this. By arranging one-to-one consultations for investors with former employees in Hungary, Turkey, Romania, Serbia, Brazil and the Philippines, it was possible to build a reli-
able patchwork of the investment opportunity. In the end, human insight was the final piece that allowed the right decisions to be made. Success in the LafargeHolcim deal required an understanding of true value in a complex and underreported sector, an obvious area where people with the right experience can have an edge over computers. And it’s not just in underreported sectors where the right information can be hard to access. It is also true that it can be difficult to determine where to look for opportunity in the first place, especially if in unknown or otherwise unconnected places; taking a situation and applying the creative spark to see there is financial or economic gain to be had by following a certain course of action. A few years ago, a private equity client approached Third Bridge seeking answers about an abandoned oil field in Kenya that had appeared on their investment radar. The site had been discovered in 1974, but subsequently closed for unknown reasons. While the lack of available information had led others to turn a blind eye, the prospective investors wanted to find out why it had closed, and whether it presented a lucrative opportunity for both themselves and the community. Finding out why it had closed was no mean feat, but after turning over a few stones, we eventually tracked down the person who had actually discovered the oilfield back in 1974. A meeting was set, and as the expert entered
the room, dressed in a white suit and cane with a scroll of geological maps under his arms, our client was intrigued. At that moment, the investors learned not only why the site had been abandoned, but could now contemplate how new technologies could change its prospective economics. For the expert, who saw the site’s closure as unfinished business, it was a proud moment to reveal what he saw as the scope of the site’s opportunity. For the investor, who was able to get a comprehensive appraisal of the topography and geology of the area, the discussion was a revelation. While it’s true that human insight may be fallible, it can often provide the key to a level of understanding simply unobtainable through desk research. For investors on the hunt for an un-brokered opportunity, or looking to get an angle on a deal, it’s this sort of intelligence that results in truly transformational investment opportunities, or indeed in the important knowledge that a deal does not have the potential that it first appeared to have. Deep understanding of how the overlapping cogs of an industry turn to produce productive, profitable businesses is another area where personal insight and experience speaks volumes over the data that analysts are able to bring to the table. On Dragons Den, when budding entrepreneurs stand up in front of the dragons to pitch their business plans, it often leads to more than one investor putting forward an
‘’My general attitude to life is to enjoy every minute of every day. I never do anything with a feeling of, ’Oh God, I’ve got to do this today.’’ - Richard Branson
If you can imagine it, we can create it In 2003, George Bamford founded the Bamford Watch Department, with the intention of infusing watches with a sincere uniqueness, with a soul. 13 years later, George himself tells us how his childhood affair with building and pulling things apart has become his adulthood career. Nestled in the heart of Mayfair, Bamford Watch Department occupies an elegant five floors townhouse that is affectionately referred to by the Bamford’s as “the Hive”. When asked why, George Bamford smiles: - We call it the hive because my wife and I are called Mr. and Mrs. B. We bought the building two years ago and refurbished it to be a watch space. We have five floors dedicated mostly to watches but also to our grooming line, which is actually a collaboration with my mother. You started playing with watches very young. You seem self taught. How has this journey been for you? G.B: I fell in love with watches in 1995 through a 1954 Breitling Navitimer. That was a light bulb moment for me in terms of love for watches. It is full of scratches because I couldn’t put it down. I was fascinated by its engineering. I used to pop it open all the time to see how it worked. I guess there was always an engineer in me to the point that my parents had to put a latch on my bedroom door otherwise I would come down to the kitchen in the night and pull all kind of things apart: the TV, the juicer… As a kid, I was always either putting something together or pulling it apart. And this is basically what it is with watches. At some point, I started trading. The Breitling was my baby but I’d go to flee markets and trade maybe a Monaco for another time piece and do that many times over. Was this moment maybe the time when you realised that you could make a career out of your love for watches? G.B: Not really. I think that moment came when I found my Holy Grail of watches. The kind of watch I call a Holy Grail is that one that you think “if I make it, I will get that watch”. My Holy Grail was a Rolex Daytona. It was given to me by my parents on my 18th birthday and made me feel on top of the world. For months I’d take any excuse to show it off. I was “shooting the cuff” everywhere. One day I turned up at a dinner party and realised that everybody at that dinner party had the same watch, a Rolex Daytona, either white or black dial, in steel or gold but everybody had a Daytona of i-MAGAZINE
one kind or another. I think only one person had a different watch, but still a Rolex. It gave me such a sinking feeling! It wasn’t right anymore. I put it back in the safe after that dinner and only took it out again last year. I was that crestfallen. This event made me wonder how I could get back individuality, that feel of special back, how to put a soul into a watch that is unique to its owner. This is how it all started as a business. Over the years I have personalised many watches in many different ways. For example, I remember a watch that a lady bought from us to give to her husband in their wedding date and chose to have it personalised, among other ways, by including a heart in the calendar that will show on their wedding day. For another client we matched the colour of the dial of her watch to a 50s shade of Chanel of red lipstick, a bit of which she had from when she was very young. There is a particular part of your work for which you are very well known, the coatings that you have developed. Could you share with us how you came to develop them, and how they work? G.B: Well, I am known for black coatings, but in the last years we have developed incredible coatings made of titanium and graphite particles. We have the MGTC light grey (military grade titanium coating) that comes in black (shiny and matte), light grey (matte only), dark grey (shinny and matte), and Element 79 (gold coating in shiny and matte), and our GPC (graphite particle coating) that we produce in Forest green, Desert sage, Flat earth and Polar white, and
small; I never make more than 25. What are the brands with which you work the most? G.B: I love Rolex, Audemars Piguet and Patek Philippe and I have worked a lot with them. Currently I am very much into Bvlgari watches. But at the end of the day it is up to the client. Is there a watch that symbolises the uniqueness that the Bamford Watch Department offers? G.B: Actually I think there is. We have four engravers, ex-gun engravers that work for us in the design of watches. Together with a friend of mine that is a tattoo artist we created something pretty special on a rose gold Rolex Daytona. With engraving, we created the illusion of tattoos, so my family crest is at the back, my son’s name and my wife’s are at the front and as my daughter is called Star, there is a star engraved on it too. On the sides I have my mother, my father and my sister, my brother’s initials… I have my whole family but you can’t really see it as all these details are disguised in the intricate design of the engravings. This is pure individuality. It took over a hundred hours of engraving. This watch describes our business. Our customers can get on without us but we cannot get on without our customers. That’s why in our business, we put our clients before anything else. I believe at the moment we are in a luxury mass market and us, as individuals, are never coming across. So when we find something unique, we want to keep it to ourselves.
Every coating is unique and when applied to a watch, the watch is sent to be tested under very different conditions. We had one tested at the top of the Everest which is currently being tested in the jungle.
For example we never give the same watch to the same dealer. It is all about offering clients something unique at all times. Some of our watches are just one of one in the world. This is one of the reasons why our service is by appointment only. The client comes here and we design their watch together. Anything you want, we can create it. Hence our motto: “If you can imagine it, we can create it”.
This is what I mean when I talk about infusing individuality into every one of the watches that I make. Not all the watches I make are one off pieces but the runs are always very
bamfordwatchdepartment.com Tel: 0207 881 8019.
CHRISTMAS YOU CAN DREAM OF ALL THESE BEAUTIFUL THINGS And maybe, if you are lucky and the people who love you have deep pockets you’ll find a couple of them under the Christmas tree. From art to perfume, you need to look no further for your dream letter to Santa.
UNIQUE BRONZE ON CONCRETE PLINTH by celebrated artist Beth Kullen Kerridge. Signed by the artist on plinth 71cm x 24cm x 24cm. £10,000. west-contemporary.com
BOWIE Signed limited edition (one of three) giclee print on archival rag paper by renowned British artist Lincoln Townley 120cms square with museum quality framing. ÂŁ15,000. www.luxios.com
AS TIME GOES BY…
Blancpain Ocean Blancpain Ocean Commitment Bathyscaphe II features their new F385 movement, an all blue ceramic case, fly back chronograph function and engraved Ocean Commitment winding rotor. £14,000. Blancpain boutique 11, New Bond St. London W1S 3SR
Rolex Air King The new Rolex Air King pays homage to the brand’s ties with the world of aviation in the 30s. It features a 40 mm case in 904L steel with a magnetic shield, black dial and the name Air-King in the same lettering that for the model in the 1950s, as well as the green and yellow Rolex logo. £4,150 Watches of Switzerland. 155 Regent Street. London W1B 4AD
Harmony Complete Calendar The new Harmony complete calendar by Vacheron Constantin features the classic and elegant design of the Harmony collection with an all-new self-winding movement, Caliber 2460 QC – entirely developed and manufactured in house. With 308 components, it beats at a frequency of 4 Hz.
Vacheron Constantin 37 Old Bond Street London, W1S 4AB
Hublot Big Bang Sang Bleu The art of tattooing is reinterpreted on the Hublot Big Bang Sang Bleu. This limited edition follows the rhythm of the Unico manufacture movement, which has been entirely remodeled without a chronograph and redesigned in order to tell the time through three discs. £14,200.
Hublot boutique. 31, New Bond St. London W1S 2RW
L O O K YO U R B E S T …
Bamford kit Perfect for travel, this Bamford kit contains everything you need: 90ml shampoo 90ml hand and body wash 90ml exfoliating face wash 15ml moisturiser. £70 www.bamfordgroomingdepartment.com
ARgENTUM The award-winning ‘potion infinie’by ARgENTUM includes in his formulation a patented fusion of Silver Hydrosol & DNA HP that result in a natural super hydrating cream to improve fine lines, wrinkles and the overall texture of both male and female skin. £147.00 www.net-a-porter.com
SISLEY PARIS X GLOBE-TROTTER VANITY CASE handcrafted from Vulcan Fibre with a leather and polished gold trim, with a black lining flecked with gold glitter, this limited edition vanity case include Supremÿa, Supremÿa Yeux, Black Rose Oil and All Day All Year. £1,150. Available at Selfridges. Circa 1890, £95,000.
comment Jan/Jun 2017
“Up in Age” By Baroness Altmann, Former Minister of State for Pensions Our population is getting older. In the next 10 years the number of people aged between 50 and State Pension age will rise by 3.2 million, while the numbers aged 16 to 49 will fall – and amazingly, one in three babies born today is expected to live to 100.
Although this is a move in the right direction, we must keep up the momentum – there is still a long way to go. To harness the potential of older workers and I urge all employers to take this issue seriously and plan for an ageing workforce.
It is of course great news that many of us are living longer, healthier lives. But it also means we need to rethink what ‘old’ means. People are not ‘past it’ when they reach 50 or 60 so we must challenge these entrenched stereotypes – and that includes within the workplace.
There are huge opportunities in this. Enabling those who want to work longer has the power to make British businesses more competitive and increase our country’s economic activity significantly. Indeed if people worked just one year longer, it would add 1% to the economy, boosting it by £17bn.
To some extent, older workers themselves can internalise the social norms and write themselves off because they reach a certain age, but this helps no one. I would love to see older people who want to work having the chance to continue to hone their skills – we’re never too old to learn something new. I also encourage employers to continue to invest in training for their staff, regardless of age. Some are already signing up for apprenticeship-type programmes and I hope many more will choose to in future. Encouragingly, there is some evidence that old-fashioned attitudes are changing. Recent figures show that older workers (aged 50-64) are more likely to be in employment than at any time since records began – with the employment rate for this group reaching 70%. Recent data also shows that the employment rate for those who are 65 and over is also rising sharply now reaching 10.6% per cent. 9.6 million people 50+ are now working in the UK - an increase of over two million over the past decade. This suggests that we are all becoming more open-minded to the benefits of staying in work.
Also research shows that younger people’s employment prospects also rise as employment rates of older people increase. The fallacy that older workers steal younger workers’ jobs is harmful to the economy. There is not a fixed number of jobs. Keeping more older people in work helps to increase their incomes and gives them more money to spend – and an increase in spending power leads to more jobs being created overall. Conversely, if more older people stop work, they will have lower spending power and ultimately there will be fewer jobs for younger people. This is not about forcing older workers to stay on, many actually want to keep working. Not only can this benefit their income and general wellbeing, it can also provide a significant boost to their pensions. If an average earner retires at 65 instead of 55, they could earn over £200,000 extra income and increase their pension pot by up to 60 per cent. In recent months, numerous employers have written to tell me what they are doing to break
down the age barriers, including committing to mid-life career reviews for their workforce, and providing advice to line-managers on even how to support their female staff during the menopause. And there are many more areas that employers are exploring, such as how to support older employees who may have caring responsibilities. Action taken for older workers by the Government includes extending the right to request flexible working for all – and outlawing forced retirement. A series of pilots exploring ways to help carers balance work with their caring responsibilities has been launched, which are to be completed in 2017. Many mature people looking to keep working might benefit from finding out about the New Enterprise Allowance which provides money and support to help you start your own business if you’re on certain benefits. We have also introduced an Older Claimant Champion in each of our seven Jobcentre Plus regions and our Work Coaches help older people build up skills and confidence. Support includes tailoring local digital training provision, and working with local employers who are looking to recruit new staff. Overcoming ageism and other barriers to encourage fuller working lives remains a priority for me. Nowadays, being over 50 does not necessarily mean you will soon stop work. Employers who harness the talent, dedication, loyalty and enthusiasm of the over 50s will reap significant benefits in future. Retaining, retraining and recruiting older staff can help everyone - it is good for us, our economy and our nation’s success.
High Art and Hidden Agendas, Welcome to the world of Antiquities A passion for history and family ties led Antonia Eberwein away from a successful career as a designer in Haute Couture to become a dealer in antiquities. Here she tells us about her fascination with the subject, the challenges of working in this sphere today, and what you need to know if you want to start collecting in this unique discipline.
It’s a decade since I started working in Paris and a year since I opened my gallery in Rue Jacob, near St-Germain-des-Prés, and although international politics has more than played its part in making our trade difficult, I have never looked back. Galerie Eberwein specialises in antiquities from the Egyptian and neighbouring cultural regions, dating from 3500 BC to the Coptic period of around 1000 AD.
opinion is much more expressive than the far better known bust of Nefertiti.
It’s extraordinary to think that some of the most delicate artefacts linked to everyday living, politics and the religion of the times have survived millennia, providing us with the most tangible of links to people who went about their daily business then.
But it’s not just the objects themselves. I am just as intrigued to hear clients telling you why they brought pieces back from Egypt in the 1950s and ’60s, when Egypt licensed sales of antiquities and even had a saleroom in the Cairo Museum. One collector had a mask that King Farouk himself had given to his grandfather when he was on an official trip in Egypt in the 1940s.
My mother had caught the bug long before me, running her own business in Göttingen in Germany for over 30 years, so I had already been immersed in this rich tradition, and when she wanted somebody to work with her because she could no longer run the business on her own, I was more than ready to step in. I can’t say that it was a specific object that first captivated me and made me realise that this was the world for me, but the object that has come closest to changing my life is the head of Queen TeJe in the Berlin Museum. She was the wife of Pharaoh Amenophis III who ruled from 1388 to 1351BC, when Egypt reached the zenith of its power. Although queen, she had come from an ordinary family. For me, it is one of the most beautiful pieces in Egyptian art. Made from wood, it has so much character and in my i-MAGAZINE
Sometimes, what really gets me excited is not the important and priceless artefact, but something much more mundane; for instance, the restoration of a statue of a headless seated woman I bought that had been in pieces. Seeing it emerge as the whole it once had been took my breath away.
Ancient culture needs protection. Not just the objects themselves, but their context, so that we don’t lose our understanding of them and what they have contributed to the ascent of man. Those who would like to see an end to the antiquities trade often portray it as a body that simply raids culture for its own financial ends, but that is not the reality at all. We are as concerned and fascinated by the history, scholarship and preservation as anyone else. As with the academics and archaeologists who dedicate their lives to investigation, discovery and the protection of our shared cultural heritage, dealers, collectors and auction house specialists have chosen to spend their time among these amazing objects and understand well that
protocols must be put in place to safeguard them for the future. Unlike the academics and archaeologists who rely on grants, salaries and subsidies, we risk our own money in investing in pieces that we admire, so getting it right is absolutely vital. It’s not simply that we need to make a living, but also that the ongoing success of each of us – and our trade as a whole – depends on an impeccable reputation. Unfortunately, any sphere of activity that has the potential to make money attracts its share of crooks and desperados, and the world of antiquities is no exception, especially as so many artefacts come from countries that are now caught up in conflict. The result has been the introduction of innumerable laws and international conventions to which we must all adhere, making the trade in antiquities the most regulated sector of the international art market that there is. However, relying on the lawmakers has never been enough, because when the crooks strike they inevitably damage the reputation of the legitimate trade. This gives us more incentive than anyone else to stop them. As Vice Chairman of the International Association of Dealers in Ancient Art (IADAA), I have been part of a body of professionals who have drawn up and now enforce a rigorous ethical code that augments the regulators. One of our biggest concerns is that too many interest groups and political activists with hidden agendas are shaping policy that inflicts unwarranted restrictions on legitimate activity while failing to tackle the real problems that
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blight archaeological sites, wider cultural heritage and museum collections. Fortunately, we too, are highly active in working with law enforcement, governments and international bodies like UNESCO and Europol, and so have been able to play our part in keeping policy on track, but it is not an easy task. Despite all of this, dealing and collecting in the world of antiquities remains a very worthwhile, rewarding and fascinating activity, and the trade has certainly done its bit over the decades in preserving treasures that would otherwise have been lost or destroyed as their countries of origin succumb to the tyranny of the bomb and the bullet. Anyone considering becoming part of the world of antiquities must understand that what we trade in is restricted to items that have been in legal public circulation for decades if not centuries. What we are most certainly not involved in is trading objects that have recently come out of the ground. For us, it is not just about the next deal – although that is important – but about a new discovery, building relationships with collectors and museum curators, sharing our enthusiasm and scholarship and, quite frankly, sheer wonder at some of things we come across. Dealers and collectors frequently make donations to museums or assist them in research projects. It can be a lot of fun and is the source of many long-standing friendships among the like-minded. It is also a serious and humbling responsibility that what we do matters to the international community and that getting it right makes a difference. Taking everything into consideration, it is a world where private buyers and sellers need the guiding hand of an experienced dealer to help them with everything from research to compliance. The nature of antiquities means that often they do not have detailed paperwork giving their history; it is only in recent years that such detailed provenance has been deemed necessary, so items legally in circulation before that
often don’t have it. Also, receipts and other original paperwork for many artefacts in collections or family heirlooms that have been around for a long time have been lost down the years. This has made provenance a significant issue both in the fight against wrongdoing and in the promotion of a robust legitimate market. It is therefore equally hardly surprising that objects with clear provenance command a premium among dealers and collectors. © Photo Herve Lewandowski
IADAA and its UK counterpart, the Antiquities Dealers Association give sound guidance on this issue under the Frequently Asked Questions sections of their websites, which carry a great deal of other useful advice and information for the new and experienced collector. Sometimes, you get a stroke of luck. At one fair, a scholar visited my stand and inspected a pyramidion I had acquired with a good provenance dating to the 1990s. He recognized the piece from somewhere and said he would let me know if could remember where. Some time later, he contacted me to say that an Egyptologist had drawn it in his diary in 1933 when visiting a French dealer. All the Egyptologist’s papers are now with the Louvre, including the picture of my pyramidion.
© Photo Herve Lewandowski
It would be lovely if this happened every time, but even when such desirable provenance is not handed to you on a plate, you strive to look for it. There’s a serious purpose to the hunt for it, but it’s also one of the pleasures of what we do. I enjoyed my time as an intern at Dior and Givenchy, and my subsequent career literally at the cutting edge of Haute Couture, but being steeped in the unending fascination of thousands of years of history is a privilege and pleasure that you just can’t beat.
Galerie Eberwein is at 22 Rue Jacob F-75006 Paris www.egypt-art.com
What the UK’s banks can learn from the Scandinavian banking model By Erki Kert, CEO, Big Data Scoring
The experience of banking customers in the UK is completely different to that in Scandinavia. While the UK might be home to more of the big names in banking, it is those in Scandinavia that are getting the best, most convenient and innovative services. But why is this? This article will explain why banks in Scandinavia have been so good at addressing the needs of their customers, while highlighting the areas that UK banks need to improve. Fortunately, there is evidence that the experience for UK customers is slowly changing for the better - but how long will it take for the standard to be similar to that in Scandinavia? And what exactly are the kinds of high-tech banking services that we could be seeing in the UK in five years’ time? WHERE SCANDINAVIAN BANKS EXCEL One Swedish bank that those in the UK could learn a few lessons from would be Handelsbanken. Specifically, its customerfocused philosophy: using the ‘church-spire principle’, branch managers are given total autonomy when it comes to how they deal with clients. These branch managers make the final decisions on loans and interest rates - not head office - meaning that all products can be tailored to suit each customer. Clients don’t ever telephone customer service call centres - they speak to the branch manager directly.
However, when you have a customer base as large as those enjoyed by the big four UK banks, this level of personalised service is hard to emulate. Scandinavian banks have the advantage of having a smaller customer base to deal with, while UK banks are part of the wider Anglo finance world, Scandinavian banks are smaller, therefore more agile and able to make changes more quickly. One of the most interesting things that Handelsbanken is doing, incidentally - and somewhat counter to current trends in the UK and Scandinavia - is opening up more branches. Typically, Scandinavian customers don’t visit branches. Robin Teigland, Associate Professor at the Stockholm School of Economics, points out that many people under 30 in the region would have never visited a bank branch in their life. So why is this? Banks in Scandinavia have been putting technology at the forefront of their offering for many years so that they have the most advanced online banking services. While the advanced broadband network infrastructure in Scandinavia has contributed to this, as well as high levels of internet usage - Norway and Sweden have respectively the third and fourth-highest levels of internet penetration in the world - technical innovations have also propelled the use of online banking services in this region. In Sweden, a secure electronic identification system called BankID was introduced in 2003, with around two-thirds of the country’s
population now using it across a number of financial services - not just online banking, but for filing tax returns and e-commerce too. This is not the only service that has been collaboratively created by banks in Sweden for the greater benefit of customers. The Swish mobile payment app was introduced back in 2012, letting users make real-time payments to friends and family simply using their phone numbers. It’s not surprising that use of mobile banking services in Sweden is ahead of the rest of Europe, with 45% of Swedes using these services compared to the EU-wide average of 38%, according to figures from KPMG. The digital trend in Sweden doesn’t end there. Thanks to innovations like Swish, the society is well on its way to becoming ‘cashless’. According to figures from the Bank for International Settlement, notes and coins make up just 2% of Sweden’s economy, compared to around 10% in the Eurozone. ATMs are being withdrawn from service in large numbers. It seems that in Scandinavia in general, and Sweden in particular, the conditions are strongly in favour of technical innovation - there’s great infrastructure, collaboration between the biggest banks, visionary thinking and tech-savvy customers. The innovative, customer-centric services and products that result from this are rightly the envy of other banks around the world. So why isn’t the UK trying to follow where Scandinavia leads?
opinion Jan/Jun 2017
WHAT UK BANKS AREN’T GREAT AT Banks in the UK have a bad habit of making life difficult for customers - often even before they have become customers. Applying for a bank account from one of the big four UK banks is still a long, drawn-out process that requires all sorts of documentation to be certified. This is due to the KYC (Know Your Customer) laws, whicn mean that banks have to be absolutely certain who they are opening an account for. However, there are similar laws in Scandinavia, yet typically you can have an account up and running within about half an hour, maybe even less. Historically, Scandinavian banks have always been more tech-savvy than their British counterparts. Many of the largest banks in the UK find themselves held back by legacy IT infrastructure that, while necessary to their everyday operations, is impossible to upgrade without withdrawing from front-line service. UK banks, due to their size, are typically very bureaucratic institutions with red tape slowing the progress and introduction of new services, so that these services don’t make it to market as quickly as they could. When compared to many Scandinavian banks, those in the UK don’t provide fully-featured online services - while most UK banks do have an online presence of some sort, they don’t have all the features that customers want or need. They also communicate in an outdated way, favouring physical letters, creating a mountain of waste paper completely unnecessarily. What it all boils down to is that UK banks just aren’t able - or willing - to put their customers first. Though a lack of choice for UK consumers previously meant that banks could get away with this kind of behaviour, things are beginning to change.
THE DANGER FOR UK BANKS AND THE OPPORTUNITY Over the past few years, a slew of fintech companies have sprung up all over the world - many of them in London, but significant numbers of them with roots in Scandinavia, such as iZettle, and the Baltics, such as Transferwise. These startups are coming up with innovative, customer-centric products that are seeing a great deal of traction - and they’re growing fast. While traditional banks risk losing customers to these upstart startups, they also represent a great opportunity for the UK banks to begin to introduce services that will really please their customers. Indeed, many banks are aware of the threat posed to them by fintech companies. A recent study by Efma found that 72% of banks questioned regarded the threat from technology companies as high or very high. These startups are introducing new technologies and business models that are counter to established retail banking practices, presenting both challenges and opportunities for banks. According to the same study, more than twothirds of banks believe that these startups will have a high or very high impact on innovation and can help them to develop more innovative solutions. 84% said they were increasing their investments in innovative new services, while 82% are increasing the amount they spend on improving customer experience. And if they didn’t need additional motivation, new regulations due to be introduced in 2017 will require banks to provide APIs (application programming interfaces) for their banking platforms that will enable other banks and fintech companies to plug their services into it. For example, services similar to Mint
will be able to provide a ‘dashboard’ where customers can get an overview of all of their accounts - current, savings, credit cards, mortgage, ISAs and so on - all in one place. This is a clear threat to the big banks. Their services risk disappearing behind someone else’s brand. A customer of Bank A could log in to a rival platform operated by Bank B, make a payment from the Bank A account, but only ever see Bank B’s interface and logo. To remain front-of-mind to their customers - as well as become the ‘preferred screen’ through which customers do their banking - they are really going to have to up their game. This is where it becomes an opportunity too. If the banks build their own innovative online financial services, making them available to plug into the platforms belonging to their rivals, they can become preferred screen, keeping their brand on view, even if they are effectively only acting as an intermediary between a customer and a rival bank. And if the banks aren’t able to build these services themselves, then they also have the option to acquire or partner with the innovators in the fintech space who can do so for them. Indeed, many UK banks are already aware of the opportunities provided by the booming fintech scene in London, such as Barclays with its partnership with the TechStars accelerator program. THE FUTURE OF BANKING While it may seem like the UK banks will learn from their Scandinavian counterparts and become much more tech-savvy and customercentric, is this a lesson they have actually learned from Scandinavia, or simply a result of market pressure applied by the new fintech startups and challenger banks emerging?
The answer is more likely the latter, but for the average person on the street, it doesn’t really matter. What is important is that before long we will see more innovative services that will really make UK customers feel like they are living in the 21st Century, not stuck in the past. Services that address the needs of millennials will also come to the fore. While this particular age group, who came of age in a time of financial crisis, typically has been more difficult for banks to engage with, new services that rebuild trust should be on the horizon. At the moment there seems to still be some disconnect between the financial world and millennials. Actually the director of the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investments just recently suggested that they should be putting a whopping £800 per month into their pension pots – and that services specifically designed to help this age group save for the future in a realistic way, or invest their money wisely, could be possible. There will also be more opportunity for banks to explore other new, as yet unaddressed, markets as a more progressive attitude to technology permeates through the banks. Think, for example, about the thousands of people in the UK who are unable to open bank accounts or sign up for other financial products because they haven’t been in the country very long - they have no proof of address or credit history. While newer banks are prepared to take these customers on already, I expect there to be a warmer reception for them at the doors of the big four banks too in the future. Speaking of credit history, a new perspective on how credit scores are calculated is also possible in the online age. While credit scores were traditionally worked out by looking at very few historical data points, there is now so much more information about individuals and their behaviour online, meaning lending
The UK could take some time to catch up with Scandinavia though ” banks can make much better informed decisions about approving loans. Those previously considered to be too much of a risk, unable to get a loan, will find themselves able to secure credit, giving themselves the opportunity to work their way out of debt, while opening a new revenue stream for banks.
accounting software provider. After studying economics, Erki worked for Estonia’s largest domestic bank, LHV Pank, for eight years until he traded in his Head of Investment banking role to research and start Big Data Scoring.
The UK could take some time to catch up with Scandinavia though. Even now, the Swedes are completely overhauling the way bank branches work. While many are being closed, new ‘flagship’ branches are being created. These do no manual cash handling, but do offer advice and products such as mortgages. Meanwhile, branches are being mobilised - serving those members of the community who don’t have easy access to online services such as the elderly. Mini-branches are also springing up in places like libraries. It’s not out of the question that this sort of thing could happen in the UK - but I wouldn’t expect it to happen any time soon.
Big Data Scoring is an essential tool for use by banks and financial institutions to determine the creditworthiness of individuals based on data secured online. It does this by tapping into the broadest source of information from across the internet, using all publicly available information. This intelligent research brings lending into the digital information age allowing lenders to make informed credit decisions.
About Erki Kert Born and raised in Estonia, Erki was born to be an entrepreneur. Since Estonia gained independence Erki’s parents have always worked for themselves, building Estonia’s biggest
About Big Data Scoring:
opinion Jan/Jun 2017
“It’s only when the tide goes out that you discover who’s been swimming naked’’ - Warren Buffet
comment Jan/Jun 2017
London’s Finest Room By Jeremy Paxman Jeremy Paxman finds the Reading Room at the London Library tranquil and uplifting.
London can claim a fairly impressive range of buildings and institutions, but for me one towers over all the rest: The London Library in St James’s Square. Years ago, I used to go to the old circular reading room of the British Library, imagining that if I stayed there long enough I would immediately acquire wisdom just by soaking up the atmosphere of all the great thinkers who worked there. Unfortunately, I quickly discovered that at least half of the ticket holders were stark raving mad. However, in the twenty years I have been a member of the London Library, I have encountered very few mad people in their reading room, if that is a permissible thing to say. My love of it is not just the relative sanity of its members, the content of the reading room, or the fact that it’s completely tranquil because addicts of mobiles or laptops have to go next door to use them. I adore its physical construction which was completed at the end of the Victorian era. It almost feels like a cloister, yet it is actually quite open. It is also uplifting
being surrounded by thousands of reference books in the dictionary galleries and hundreds of obscure magazines.
discover. If you look through Science and Miscellaneous, there are categories that range from Celibacy to Somnambulism.
All the mainstream publications are there, but if you are looking for diversion you can always browse through the Journal of the Hellenic Diaspora or the bulletin of the Association des Amis d’Andre Gide.
If you can’t get through everything you find, you are actually allowed to take the books home for a couple of months. All of these factors make it the most magical room to work in. I have written much of my books in the Reading Room at the London Library, including my latest (Jeremy Paxman on Royalty). It was here that I found out most of the obscure information I used about King Zog of Albania.
I also can’t think of anywhere else where you can find the word for, say, microphone in Amharic or Anamneses (the London Library’s archaic word for the Vietnamese language) within ten yards of where you are sitting. There is also something wonderful about the presence of half a dozen or so leather bound armchairs in the Reading Room. Furthermore, there is always that overwhelming feeling when you can’t keep your eyes open at three o’clock on a winter afternoon. The real joy of the Reading Room is that you are only seconds away from the stacks of the London Library, which is the biggest private lending library in the world. You can wonder among more than a million books and never quite know what you are going to
In fact, what I really love about it and the London Library as a whole is that it is serious without being in the least oppressive. And the fact that, even if I rack my brains, I can’t think of single thing about it that irritates me – which may be something of a first.
Jeremy Paxman, broadcaster and author is also Vice President of the London Library, for more information www.londonlibrary.co.uk This article was first published in Bonhams Magazine
Touker Souleyman Very popular among the general public thanks to his role in the popular BBC TV programme Dragon´s Den, Touker Souleyman´s spectacular rise to the top of the retail fashion world has not been without its challenge.
Owner of fashion brands Hawes & Curtis, Ghost and Low Profile Holdings, Touker Suleyman actually started his career in accuontancy. Soon he realised that book keeping was not going to be his future and as young as 18, he started his retail career by entering into a joint venture in a leather factory and soon after, established a clothing manufacturer supplying some of the biggest names of the British High Street. Touker’s rise in the business world has not been as easy as it may sound. In the 1980s auditors identified significant debt behind one of his business ventures and he had six weeks to find £2 million pounds. Unfortunately a potential investor pulling out at the last minute, forcing the business into liquidation, and he was forced to start again from nothing. Touker went on to build a thriving international clothing manufacturer which still sits at the heart of his businesses and is now a serial entrepreneur, backing seven retail and commercial property businesses. Touker has a keen interest in supporting start-ups and invests in a number of small British companies.
To many people you appeared on the scene suddenly, when you purchased Hawes & Curtis in 2001. What made you want to purchase that particular company? What did you see in the brand that attracted you? And what did you do to add value to it?
I discovered a passion for shirts in 2000 when I was manufacturing for Ralph Lauren Europe. Luckily for me, the proprietors of a Jermyn Street shirtmaker called Hawes & Curtis were selling the business as it was about to go into administration. In 2001 I bought Hawes & Curtis for just £1 taking on all the debt. It was the best investment I have ever made, and today the business is debt free, has 26 stores nationwide and has plans for international expansion. I have developed the brand into other areas beyond shirts, including suits, outerwear and casualwear. I was attracted to the brand because of its rich heritage. Since the first store opened in 1913, Hawes & Curtis has served many of the best dressed men in the world, including the Duke of Windsor, Cary Grant and Fred Astaire, and it has been awarded four Royal Warrants. I saw an opportunity to make this iconic British brand great again.
What were you doing right before you bought Hawes & Curtis?
Before I bought Hawes & Curtis, my brother and I built Low Profile, a womenswear wholesale business. The business became very successful and today it supplies a number of leading retailers including Marks & Spencer.
Where can you see the Hawes & Curtis brand in five to ten years?
Hawes & Curtis has grown from a relatively small UK business to a globally recognized brand in a short space of time. The brand has an extremely promising international future and in the next five to 10 years, we will be focusing on aggressively expanding this aspect of the business. We already have a franchise agreement in the in the Middle East as well as stores in Germany. We have a huge online presence with successful UK, American, Australian and German websites.
I understand you live in Kensington, what is it about that part of London that makes you want to live there as opposed to anywhere else in London, or in the rest of the UK?
London is one of the greatest cities in the world. Kensington is a stunning part of London and I love being so central.
If you could describe three ‘milestones’ in your career that made you the businessman you are today, what would they be?
My fascination with retail and manufacturing began early. My first business venture was in clothing; I used to purchase clothes for my grandmother to sell on to her friends. This eventually developed into my own successful clothing manufacturing company which supplied to notable high street names including C&A, Dorothy Perkins, Dunn Stores and Topshop.
T O P M A R I N A L O C AT I O N S AROUND THE WORLD
A luxury yacht is the ultimate style icon, be it from sailing a 54-foot yacht up Venice’s Grand Canal as in the James Bond movie remake of Casino Royale, to navigating through the British Virgin Islands or coasting around the Cote d’Azur. Hunton Yachts is an iconic luxury British brand created in 1979 from one man’s vision, Jeff Hunton, a passionate offshore powerboat racer, to produce the most complete luxury performance boats on the market with accommodation to match. Hunton boasts a pedigree second to none: a racing heritage spanning more than three decades, with countless championship wins. Jeff’s first design, the Gazelle 23, won the Cruiser Class A in the 1980 British Offshore Powerboat Championship. Subsequently he went on to win the title six times. Driven by an uncompromising quest for excellence, the Hunton Yacht range - from the XRS 37 (£375,000) to XRS 43 (£470,000) and the new XRS 54 (with a £1m price tag) - are akin to Aston Martins on the waves and offer a smooth ride, stability and exceptional handling. The 13.13m long XRS 43 offers a top speed of 50-68 knots powered by high performance petrol or diesel engines. Aside from the outlay in buying a luxury yacht there are the annual running costs and mooring fees to consider. Daily mooring fees at the world’s top marina locations can range from around 1,000 at Yacht Haven Grande in St Thomas, US Virgin Islands, and ACI Marina in Split, Croatia, right up to over 2,500 at Marina di Porto Cervo in Sardinia or Marina Grande on Capri, Italy. It is important to choose a marina to dock up where you can entertain, cruise around, host a party and explore new experiences onshore. While the marinas themselves often offer roundthe-clock concierge services, for the yacht owners it is far more about the destinations, some of which have beautiful beaches, great nightlife, private clubs and other jet-set activities. So here is a list of the top destinations around the globe to berth your luxury Hunton yacht: 1. Yacht Haven Grande, US Virgin Islands Amongst the top luxury travel destinations, Yacht Haven Grande in St. Thomas, which is regarded as the premier marina in the Caribbean for super yachts measuring over 137 meters, is located beside seaside residences in the area and offers a shopping mall with a plethora of eating, entertainment and recreational options. Yacht Haven Grande’s welcome village and entrance lead to the mall shops, exquisite waterfront dining and a breathtaking seaside atmosphere.
2. Port de Saint-Tropez, France Not only one of the most famous ports in the world, Port de Saint-Tropez in the south of France is regarded as one of the major hubs in the Mediterranean and has long been linked with the rich and famous. It is probably one of the best spots to people watch in the world. Lounge and relax in the one of the outdoor port cafés whilst members of Towie and The Wives of Orange County sashay through the mopeds and elegant French citizens. Made famous by Bridget Bardot back in the 1950s, this town with its quaint narrow streets on the French Riviera still attracts many celebrities and models. 3. Port de Gustavia, Saint Barths Gustavia, the capital of the Caribbean island of Saint Barths which also contains the island’s main harbour, has many topend boutiques and some 25 hotels. Hotel Le Toiny (www. letoiny.com), a five-star luxury villa resort, is a very glamorous hotel on the island with 14 villa suites set in 42 acres. After docking your Hunton why not check out a few of the restaurants serving American, French, Italian and other types of cuisine. Reserve Naturelle, the island’s marine nature reserve covering 1,200 hectares, is designed to protect the island’s coral reefs and is definitely worth checking out. 4. Marina Grande, Capri, Italy Bump into A-list celebrities such as Beyoncé and George Clooney exploring the island of Capri in the Gulf of Naples. It has been a favourite with the rich and famous since Clark Gable and Sofia Loren used to congregate on the island back in the 195o’s. At Marina di Capri one can pay around $4,000 a night during high season. The most visited attraction on Capri is the Blue Grotto (Grotta Azzurra), a cave with the remains of ancient Roman rock that was discovered in the 19th century. Other main island features include the little harbour Marina Piccola and Belvedere of Tragara, a high panoramic promenade lined with villas. 5. Yas Marina, Abu Dhabi Dock, dine and discover in Yas Marina, which is situated on Yas Island. Not only does it boast one of Abu Dhabi’s best marinas but is home to vibrant venues that offer dining, fitness and leisure facilities. The 227-berth marina features seven licensed restaurants and lounges accommodating and catering to all tastes and budgets. From each outlet along the waterside promenade great views are afforded of the Yas Viceroy hotel and the race track where the F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is held. Later this year (28-29 October) the Yas Marina Boat Festival takes place.
B E S T WAT E R S I D E R E S TA U R A N T S IN THE CARIBBEAN Plymouth based Princess Yachts are known for the incredible design and craft of their award winning vessels. But to own a Princess is also to reveal a world of exceptional experiences to be had across the world. Dropping anchor on the majestic Princess 40M to enjoy the exquisite diving on Carlisle Bay Marine Park or zipping between islands on the Princess V58, the Caribbean offers a host of places to explore with family and friends from the comfort of your Princess Yacht. Speaking from the Princess Yachts America’s Barbados office on Port St Charles, distributer Robert Ward offers his pick of the best waterside restaurants that offer an unparalleled experience and are a must visit when cruising in the area. Daphne’s “Daphne’s is one of the longest-established fine-dining restaurants in Barbados and probably the truest ‘waterfront’ experience to be had. Dropping anchor just off Paynes Bay and catching the tender to the beach visitors can enjoy a fantastic sunset as they tuck into contemporary Italian cuisine with a Bajan seafood twist with the waves lapping the beach at their feet.” Cin Cin by the Sea “One of the more recently opened restaurants Cin Cin is the latest masterpiece of Larry Rogers who has several establishments across the island and is well-known for his trademark flair. With an open terrace for alfresco dining Cin Cin offers amazing uninterrupted views across the water in a modern, elegant setting. The fried gnocchi starter with strips of jerk pork and a sweet pea sauce is well worth a try.” Champers “Champers is heralded by most as the best restaurant on the south coast. The space stays true to a Caribbean atmosphere and is certainly a great place if you’re looking for a romantic evening. The setting is spectacular so be sure to request a table on the outdoor terrace and with a gallery upstairs you can really make an evening of it. I would suggest avoiding for lunch – while amazing looking out over the ocean in midday sun it’s a hot spot for business lunches so dinner is far more relaxed.”
The Tides “I love this restaurant – the dishes are really beautifully created and all the seafood is fresh from the water. It is slightly more relaxed than some other options on the island with a bold interior and very friendly staff. There a few spaces to choose from – The Gazebo is a more intimate space with spectacular views, while the Tree House is the ultimate for a romantic dinner. Be sure to book for the best waterside table – it is worth it. The catch of the day is always impeccable and comes with a delicious saffron risotto. This is one of the most magical places on the island.” Rainforest Hideaway “Just a short journey away from Barbados is the Island of St. Lucia which features a truly unforgettable restaurant – The Rainforest Hideaway and is worth including on your itinerary. For larger yachts stop at Capella Marina a Marigot Bar, one of St Lucia’s most premier berthing destination and take the tender to the Rainforest’s private dock (some smaller vessels may be able to moor directly outside) but be sure to call ahead to reserve a space. Dining on a wooden deck over the water the food is a rich mix of European and Creole and I would highly recommend the chilliinfused shrimps with risotto. This is one of the most memorable experiences to be had in the Caribbean.”
LUXURY AND ADVENTURE CHASING THE POLAR SUMMERS Founded in 1782, Camper & Nicholsons offer a complete service in all luxury yachting activities. In the area of chartering, there is an increasing demand to combine the experience of 5 star luxury with adventure. Since yachting allows freedom of the seas, clients can decide where they go, and when. Recently we have seen a growing desire for access to remote locations such as the Galapagos, Antarctica, the Arctic, and Asia; cruising grounds that are the antidote for those who are tired of the well trodden paths of the Caribbean and Mediterranean. As a result the number of explorer vessels and yachts with ice-breaking hulls are increasing as the demand from more intrepid journeys grows. The latest exploration vessel to be launched is the formidable 77.4m Legend– an icebreaker that pushes the boundaries of exploration with the potential to cruise anywhere in the world in absolute luxury – from the Arctic to the Antarctic, and everywhere in between. “People hanker after what’s new and exciting. Where haven’t we gone yet? What can we do, as opposed to what have we done, is the biggest thing. What is there, other than just the so-called milk run in the Mediterranean or the Caribbean? Let’s start travelling further afield, seeing new destinations, new places.” Jan Verkerk, Legend Owner. Originally built as a Soviet military icebreaker, Legend has a sharply sloping bow which allows her to slice through the ice while deflecting it at the same time. Her propeller is 4-metres in diameter and generates enough torque to push her bow up on to the ice. The ice is crushed by her weight and travels to her stern where a 50mm thick solid steel ice knife above her propeller cuts the ice like a sword before the huge propeller chops it into small pieces. This allows Legend to reverse back through the ice should she come across something that even she cannot move. Managed by Camper & Nicholson, this first truly ice-breaking superyacht opens up the spectacular Polar regions to charterers looking for something different. Few have experienced the enormity of Antarctica. The most adventurous of cruising grounds, this last wilderness on earth is the perfect area to discover on board Legend. Adventure cruising does not mean that it’s all expeditions and exploration. With fine dining, a cinema room, a Balinese spa with sauna, massage room and beauty saloon, it can be as laid back and luxurious as you like. Drink champagne in the hot tub whilst gliding pass an iceberg, witness the dramatic break up of pack ice, spot wildlife, and admire the comedic antics of King penguins from the sun deck. If you decide to step ashore you can see newborn seal pups and penguin hatchlings. December and January welcomes the sun for 20 hours a day, while February and March is the best time to journey deeper into the Polar Circle as the pack ice is at a minimum.
A short season of long days, the Arctic summer offers sunsets that linger until almost dawn. As the winter snow melts, waterfalls and glaciers come to life, creating mesmerising icebergs of every shape and colour. Iceland awakens through the summer, bringing lush green landscapes, long hours of daylight and pleasant temperatures. From early June to mid July the sun barely sets, illuminating the fjords and mountains in a near continuous golden glow. From the intense greens of the mountain slopes along the south coast to the jet black volcanic rocks and the plethora of colours from the abundant alpine flowers, the landscape bursts into colour throughout the summer months. Greenland is dominated by the world’s second largest icecap. Only a narrow fringe of rugged mountains and green valleys remain ice-free as the fleeting Arctic summer brings nearly 24 hours of daylight. During the summer months, the pack ice breaks up and giant icebergs drift through the fjords, best discovered on board Legend. Discover Greenland’s rugged coastline, stepping ashore to explore its wide-open spaces and sparsely inhabited coastline. Embarking on a charter along the Inside Passage of Alaska on board Legend you will encounter ancient glaciers, rustic fishing villages and startling wildlife. The scenic stretch of coastline has become the most popular cruising destination in Alaska. In this vast terrain of ocean you will discover ancient snowfields, glaciers, fjords, conifer forests and mountains, and many of the world’s most elusive creatures as you steer a course between the mainland and the off-lying islands of southeast Alaska.
South East Asia’s exotic charm is increasingly drawing superyachts to the region with both owners and charterers alike eager to experience the natural beauty of these pristine waters. The stunning island of Phuket, “the pearl of the Andaman Sea”, is its epicentre. Nothing prepares travellers for the refined elegance of South East Asia. Renowned for its chic, relaxed living, Phuket is a sublime combination of white sand beaches, near-psychedelic sunsets and aquamarine seas. But Phuket is not just about suntans and swimming. This island boasts plenty of elegant resorts offering fine dining and five-star service. On a hillside overlooking Kata Beach, for example, is Mom Tri’s Villa Royale. Enjoying royal patronage, this wonderful resort is furnished with valuable antiques collected by Mom Tri himself. The restaurant takes Thai cuisine to an entirely new level, complemented by what is considered to be the best wine cellar on the island. Further north is another cluster of exceptional resorts, including Amanpuri, the resort that originally put Phuket on the map as the pioneer of ‘Asian Chic’. Trisara and Sri Panwa have followed suit with their fine dining and opulent spas. Spas in Phuket deserve a special mention, having redefined ‘pampering’ and practically invented the concept of holistic luxurious health. Beside the usual land-based activities – including, of course, wonderful championship golf courses – more unusual pursuits can be experienced such as elephant trekking, or go-karting for the younger members of the family. A vibrant nightlife is also on offer, with chic beach clubs to rival St Tropez or Ibiza. Catch Beach Club operated by the Twin Palms Resort hosts some of the best parties in Phuket, and Re Ka Ta is a super-trendy spot where you can enjoy the James Bond-martini lifestyle all night long. While Phuket is the focal point of the area, a lot of the yachting action and many of the best locations and anchorages are to be found in the islands surrounding Phuket. The dramatic limestone karst islands of Phang Nga Bay are so surreal they could be straight out of the movie ‘Avatar’ and cruising around the sea-encased mountains is a truly amazing experience. A little further afield, dozens of islands and count-
less beaches are the epitome of ‘tropical paradises’. For instance, the turquoise waters of Koh Racha, the long sandy beaches of Koh Lanta, the vertical cliffs of Krabi, the quaint inland countryside of Koh Yao Yai and the dive sites of legendary Koh Phi Phi, made famous by the movie ‘The Beach’. In addition to beaches, spectacular natural surroundings and warm waters, these locations all provide fantastic anchorages with great resort life featuring outstanding hotels and restaurants. Dive enthusiasts are especially well catered for further afield in the Andaman Sea, which offers world-class dive sites for all levels of competency and are easily accessible off many of the nearby islands. Surin, the Similan Islands north of Phuket or Koh Rok and the Butang Archipelago south of Phuket are favourites with divers due to their excellent visibility and teeming sea life. November to March is high season in the area with nearperfect weather, but Phuket and the surrounding islands are really a year-round destination. It’s a little breezier from April to October, a little less sunny and occasionally rainy everywhere, but with an abundance of experiences on offer by land or sea, there is plenty of variety for all members of the family. Exploring Phuket and the Andaman Sea is a gateway to exceptional yachting adventures throughout Asia’s more remote but equally stunning destinations. Further afield you’ll discover yet more dazzling scenery and some of the most exceptional marine biodiversity in the world: Malaysia’s east coast, the Philippines’ Palawan Islands and Indonesia’s Riau Archipelago, the Komodo National Park and Raja Ampat. South East Asia is amongst the most glorious destinations on the planet, and it all starts in Phuket.
Superyacht specialist Burgess can offer a number of fully crewed luxury yachts for charter in Phuket this winter. Tel: 020 7766 4300 Email: email@example.com www.burgessyachts.com
OLGA MURRAY A life dedicated to ending slavery
Olga Murray founded the Nepal Youth Foundation in 1990 to help impoverished children in Nepal and free young girls from effective slavery. Over the decades, Olga has helped hundreds of thousands of children and raised millions for new schools, nutritional centres and feeding clinics. Her work is globally recognised. Even Oprah Winfrey made a tv show about her! Born in 1925 in Transylvania, Olga moved with her family to the U.S. when she was six years old. After graduation from Columbia University, she earned a law degree from George Washington University, where she was one of a handful of female students. She worked her way through law school as a researcher and writer for famed columnist Drew Pearson. With her law degree in hand, she found that few law firms would hire a woman.
Olga then knocked on the door of the California Supreme Court where she became a research attorney for Chief Justice Phil Gibson. When he retired, she joined the law staff of the newly appointed Justice Stanley Mosk. During her 37-year tenure at the Court, Olga helped take important decisions in the areas of civil rights, women’s rights, and environmental policy. She retired from the law in 1992 to devote herself completely to the cause of the Nepal Youth Foundation: to provide impoverished children with every child’s birth right: vital healthcare, education and a safe environment.
Fundamental to the expansion and reach of the NYF was the launch of a UK branch of the NYF in 2013, founded by husband and wife Simon Russell and Gina Parker, as a result of many years of collaboration between the first charity they founded, Children of the Himalayas, and the Nepal Youth Foundation. By now NYF has grown into a global organisation with its Head Office in California, its Operations office in Katmandu and three further offices worldwide.
From providing the health of children throughout Nepal to enabling girls to receive equal treatment and education, each programme of the NYF is built emphasizing education In the decades that the NYF have been working and the development of personal and social responsibility in the children it supports. with children in Nepal, it has expanded not only the number of children supported at For further information or to donate please any given time –now well over 50,000-, but visit: www.nepalyouthfoundation.org.uk also in the ways in which they help them.
Dave Asprey Founder & CEO of Bulletproof Coffee Best known for their ‘Bulletproof Coffee’ blended with butter, Bulletproof is a high performance brand which first became popular in the US and which is loved by an array of celebrities including Jeremy Piven, Brandon Routh, Jessica Biel and Ariana Huffington. I-MAGAZINE caught up with Dave Asprey to find out about his Bulletproof journey and talk all things ‘Bio-hacking’…
How does a tech entrepreneur become the king of coffee? I was working in Silicon Valley in my 20s, but I wasn’t a healthy man – despite dieting and exercising excessively I was still overweight and experience a lot of brain fog. Working as a tech entrepreneur, I became dedicated to using hacking techniques and trying out everything on myself in a bid to become ‘better’, be that a better entrepreneur and later, a better husband and father. I became focused on discovering the answers to this one persistent question: “What are the simplest things you can do to achieve maximum human performance? What emerged is the idea of being “Bulletproof”, the state of high performance where you take control of and improve your biochemistry, your body, and your mind so they work in unison, helping you execute at levels far beyond what you’d expect, without burning out, getting sick, or allowing stress to control your decisions. In 2004 came Bulletproof Coffee, following an experience I had in Tibet. I was on a trip and found myself in an unusually rugged and high altitude mountainous climate – conditions which would usually hinder one’s physical performance. It was -10°F and I was 16,000ft high! I was served a local drink of ‘Yak Butter Tea’ and this really had a positive effect on me. The drink (made with butter, like Bulletproof Coffee) made me feel strong and rejuvenated, even though I should have been feeling exhausted.
The engineer in me naturally pondered this and so, I embarked on years of research behind the effects of butter/fat on the human body. Eventually, we launched Bulletproof Coffee in 2010 in the US. This is a blend of Upgraded Coffee, Upgraded™ Octane Oil and grass-fed, unsalted butter. Why? Because not only does it taste delicious but it’s also scientifically proven to provide more energy, greater mental focus/clarity and support fewer food cravings. The rest is history because… who doesn’t want that? Bulletproof is more than just coffee. You have a podcast, a NY Times bestseller diet book, and nutrition products to help followers biohack their lives. Can you explain a bit about bio-hacking and why it’s gaining popularity? Bio-hacking is changing the environment outside of you and inside of you so you have full control of your body, mind and life. It’s about mastering your own bio-chemistry in order to become superhuman. It’s gaining popularity, I believe, because people are realising that what the traditional and recommended methods of self-improvement, weight-loss, health etc. don’t work. I always recommend that if something is not working for you, stop doing it and experiment until you find something that does work. We live in a world where we need to be at our absolute best at all times, so bio-hacking is a natural evolution.
What has the response to Bulletproof been like so far? You’ve now launched into the UK, how is the expansion going? The response has been incredible – both from the general public and the celebrity world. It’s very humbling. We’re thrilled to have now made it into the UK, and with great success. The strategy of Bulletproof is and will always be to help as many people as possible. The information is immensely valuable and mostly free and that stands on its own. The products are the highest quality on the market and are becoming even more accessible as they become available in more locations. We’ve already opened two Bulletproof stores in LA and Santa Monica and we’ll continue to open storefronts around the globe. We’ve also started training Bulletproof Coaches so even more people can achieve their goals of becoming the best possible version of themselves. How can entrepreneurs/business people benefit from bio-hacking? What are your top bio-hacks? They can benefit on so many levels! As an initial step, I’d recommend they follow the Bulletproof Diet. This is the single most effective thing you can do now to positively impact all areas of life. The reason being is that by eating a diet which keeps your energy levels high and your mind focused, you’ll free up massive amounts of your precious willpower to focus on the things in your life that matter, be that
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family, friends, career ,etc. You’ll then be in the position to upgrade your life even further. If you’re in a rut with work for example and need to get out of this, figure out two things first: what motivates you at your core (the Kolbe test is a great way of doing this) and get someone else on your team to do the stuff that isn’t your strength. Armed with this knowledge, then find opportunities, whether they are jobs, hobbies, volunteer opportunities, or new mentors and friendships – that develop these the most. They help you focus on who you are and want to be, not who you aren’t, so you can build up life experiences in ways that matter to you the most. And meditate.
• Smart Supplementation: with vitamins and nootropics (smart drugs or nutrients that help brain function). Seriously, our food is not as full of nutrients as it used to be, and our stress is higher. Giving myself an Unfair Advantage by having enough nutrients doesn’t take a lot of thought. I take the supplements on my top 10 list, and a carefully crafted stack of other nutrients to best support my biochemistry.
what works for me and what enables me to be the best version of myself every day. It’s taken over 15 years and over 300,000 dollars, but it’s been worth every penny. I started Bulletproof with the goal of sharing the knowledge I wish I’d had when I was 20. Initially I thought that if we changed the lives of 5 people that would have been a huge win. Now we’re reaching millions of people, it’s incredible.
• Eating a bunch of fat: I don’t go a whole day without eating at least one or two delicious meals full of healthy fats – usually a combination of avocados, grass-fed butter, and Upgraded Octane oil – to feel my best. A low fat diet or diet filled with unhealthy fats makes you weak.
My recommended bio-hacks are subject to each individual but some of my top advice includes:
• From a business perspective, when you look back at your ‘pre Bulletproof days’ how do you feel? What has Bulletproof enabled you to do now/what was holding you back?
• Focus on sleep quality not quantity. I use an app on my phone that monitors my sleep, and it wakes me when I am at the top of my sleep cycle, so I’m almost awake anyway. It allows me to monitor (and improve) the quality of my sleep so my whole day is better and without an old fashioned alarm jerking me from a deep sleep.
From a business perspective, Bulletproof has seen huge growth (the UK launch and opening of our second coffee shop are just two examples), so bio-hacking is what has enabled me to succeed so far. When I look back at my pre-Bulletproof self, I was tired, angry, unhealthy, irritable and had many negative drawbacks. Now I have figured out
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Clive Jackson CEO I-MAGAZINE sits down with Clive Jackson, CEO at private jet hire firm Fly Victor. What do you think inspires you and why?
I’m inspired by anything to do with communication, connectivity and making people’s lives easier. I’m constantly looking for opportunities to do things differently and, most importantly, more efficiently. These are the areas where consumers particularly need to interact with brands and businesses, and also where consumers interact between themselves to create and add value for each other, which in turn benefits the businesses that serve them. I’m motivated by finding ways of cutting down on duplicate information. Travel and trip management services such as Tripit and WorldMate together with Hilton’s “digital key app” called Hilton HHonors, which began beta testing late last year and allows you to check-in and select your room the day before you arrive, are prime examples of where technology can improve the customer experience and reduce the amount of wasted time. How did you get into the private jet (aviation) business? Having spent a lifetime involved directly in and also servicing the travel, hotel and leisure industries, I have come full circle back to the world of aviation; albeit, in this instance with Victor, amongst private and business jets. When I spotted an opportunity in the world of private aviation in 2010, combining my travel and technology experiences, I started writing the business plan for Victor. What are you working on right now? i.e. expansion, campaigns, etc. I’m currently working on driving the international expansion of Victor, which is one of the UK’s fastest growing technology companies, currently 15th on the Sunday Times Tech Track 100 list and last year expanded into the US. Victor has really taken off with a consumer
proposition that has struck a chord with the most discerning travel segment and caught the connectivity of everything at just the right moment. The business idea was born out of my frustration with the excessive fees and lack of transparency in the broker-driven private jet charter market. As a second-home owner in Mallorca, I regularly travelled to and from London until BMI cancelled all scheduled services during the depth of the global recession. Through word of mouth I gathered together 20 existing and aspiring private jet flyers, who helped me establish both the business principles and consumer benefits that formed the foundations of a new and exciting business plan. Which travel apps do you feel are the most disruptive? Disruption comes in various forms. I see disruption as a question of: ‘How can we streamline and cut out inefficiency and waste to create a more pleasurable experience?’ When I talk about disruption it means presenting new ways of doing things and intelligent interaction allows businesses to do this for the consumer, providing them with new ways to access and manage information. With this in mind, great examples of disruptive travel apps are TripIt, Kayak and TripCase. These three apps fall into a category where – as a traveller – my itineraries, hotel information and email-updates can be fed into the cloud, and my travel itinerary is constantly updated and fed back to me wherever I am, 24-7. This is something that would be a nightmare for my travel manager or personal assistant, particularly when you are operating in a different time zone to your home or office base. Other examples of disruptive travel apps are WorldMate for the business
traveller and TripAmatic for leisure. TripIt, Kayak and WorldMate are probably the top three: TripIt: All you do is send the confirmation email from your travel agent or airline to firstname.lastname@example.org and it optimises and displays your plans on the app. Kayak: offers precisely the same thing that TripIt does: send your booking confirmation email – or confirmation number – to Kayak and it will make your plans ‘magically’ ready. WorldMate: introduces the concept of saving on hotel bookings and flight tickets through its app: This makes it easy for a frequent traveller to save a significant amount of money on routine flights and hotel reservations. What business (or industry) did you work in before setting up Fly Victor? I served as a ground-handling, ticketing, reservations and check-in agent with British Airways, before striking out into the luxury tour segment and becoming the youngest general manager of an ABTA tour operator, operating at the very pinnacle of luxury travel with ITP Villa World. In 1993 I started Global Beach, one of the very first digital design and build agencies, servicing clients such as Unilever, HewlettPackard, Sony Entertainment and a plethora of travel and hotel groups. We developed customer acquisition and retention strategies, website and booking portals and, of course, mobile apps (my first ever mobile app was developed on the WAP technology platform for Jaguar Formula One in 2000).
Why did you decide to name the business ‘Victor’? We felt that the name needed to reflect personality of customers who use the service. CEOs of businesses who are discerning, time poor and want to control their lives by the minute and dictate the pace. The attitude of our clients to both business and life is about wanting to win, being a ‘victor’. The Victor name works in 27 different languages around the world and also fits as ‘Victor’ is an aviation term. How does Fly Victor work from the consumer’s perspective? In traditional charter models, consumers have been at the mercy of brokers who don’t always share important details about bookings, including the operator, specific aircraft or pricing structure and their own profit margin. Consumers wouldn’t book a five-star hotel for their anniversary and not expect to know which particular hotel they are going to! Victor cuts out the inefficiency and inconsistency of brokers. When we rewrote the rulebook for Victor we decided that it should be ‘transparency first’. This is an industry ripe for disruption and one that is not yet technologically-driven. By removing the unknown pricing and pressure from both the operator and customer side it presents further opportunities and focuses instead on travel knowledge and quality of service. This is why Victor has a capped booking fee of 10%, so customers know where their money is going. We even go so far as to include details of specific operators and aircrafts beside our quotes, whether you call our expert team, use or website or tap on our app. With this quality of booking experience, we believe we are offering customers the most accessible, most effective type of service. What differentiates Fly Victor from your competitors? Victor uniquely offers complete transparency in a marketplace which, traditionally, has made the process of chartering private jets complex, opaque and inefficient. Brokers seldom share details of planes (including the tail number) and operators, and breakdowns of costs and fees. This makes it difficult for customers to make an informed decision - to see the best rates when booking private flights, or even to see what they will actually be flying on. Victor has introduced a completely new, tech-driven, end-to-end booking process to better service
travellers. They have all the details at their fingertips whether they book via app, computer or our expert, 24-7 customer service team. We also disclose a capped booking fee so there are no hidden ‘mark-ups’, as can be the case elsewhere. We continue to support our fliers until they reach their destination, ensuring a perfectly tailored and transparent flying experience. That’s hugely attractive to travellers today. What is the most efficient use of Victor? business or leisure travel? We see a mix of both charter types. Some customers will fly with family or friends in search of sun, sea, epicurean excellence and unmatched cultural experiences. Elsewhere, Victor’s quick and clear service, which includes app booking and in-flight management, as well as 24-7 support from our expert customer service team, allows entrepreneurs and executives important flexibility to move with the constantly-changing needs of their businesses. The Victor Private Jet Travel Report shows that European travellers flocked to Mediterranean hotspots last summer, including the Monaco Yacht Show, Monaco Grand Prix and Venice Film Festival. Many of those travellers chartered via Victor. Looking to the current winter holiday season, we are seeing demand for private chartering - families, friends and corporate teams either hitting the ski slopes or heading further afield in hot pursuit of warmer climates with absolutely no hassle. How big can the private aviation market be, and how big do you think Fly Victor can become going forward? The private aviation market is growing. Private jet travel is up 0.8% across Europe with private jet charter on the up in 18 of Europe’s top 20 airports. Aside from the upturn in the economy, we believe that the demand for private charter stems from the consumer’s increasing adoption of ‘on-demand’ services. More and more travellers are moving away from jet ownership and fractional ownership to charter. Victor unique mix of high-tech, hi-touch customer service gives travellers the control and freedom to make bookings wherever they are, whenever. This trend will only expand further, as on-thego travellers become more starved of time and need quality travel they can rely on.
For those with disposable incomes, cost is relative to what’s being delivered – in the case of Victor and its ultra high net worth audience, its about maximizing the use of the client’s time; time which is extremely valuable. Therefore, Victor is best placed to grow with the demands of the market and the market will expand by democratising itself, becoming more transparent and demystifying costs. We’re on course to establish Victor as the number one brand in on-demand private jet charter. Where is your favourite holiday spot in the world? Most of my business day is spent in an office, hotel or travelling so I rarely get a chance to enjoy the outdoor life but when I do it invariably means being close to the water. For regular short trips, it has to be Mallorca where I have a second home 200feet above sea level overlooking the natural harbour of Port Andratx. No matter what time of the year, there is always something to look at as sailing yachts and motor craft jostle in the glittering sea below our terrace. Once a year I venture further afield to the island of St Barts in the Caribbean – it’s so small that almost wherever you are, the sea is always in view and although the island has one gym, it’s probably the best equipped public pay-as-you-go facility I’ve ever seen; and the necessary counter to the wonderful cuisine and fresh produce that you can find on the island. Do you have any business or political role models / companies who inspire you? My all-time business icon is Richard Branson. Not long after the demise of Laker Airways, he stepped up to challenge the dominance of the national carriers that had captured the highly lucrative transatlantic routes and, against all odds, successfully launched a new airline that has managed to withstand the considerable commercial pressures and backlash from an industry that felt threatened by his challenge. It has become a truly global brand and has not deviated from its core values over the past 25 years. I feel we are in a similar situation to when Branson made his first moves across the Atlantic with Fly Victor’s launch into the US - and I am similarly inspired and determined, like Virgin Atlantic, to remain true to our core brand values.
Theo Fennell and the Royal College of Art Supporting the talent of the future
One more year, Theo Fennell has hosted an event at their flagship store in Chelsea to celebrate the talent of the next generation of artists from the Royal College of Art, one of the most successful and prestigious colleges in the world. For over 10 years and as a part of their “Gilded Youth Project”, Theo Fennell has judged, voted and given out prizes on the first day of their July Show for Overall Excellence Winner, Best work in Silver, Best work in Jewellery and two highly commended awards. After this, the 5 winners of the Project have an ongoing retail exhibition in the flagship store for two weeks in October to give the ‘youth’ the opportunity to gain new prospective supporters and clients and help them get the media exposure they deserve. Some of the winner in the past have worked closely with Theo Fennell for many years and could use this platform as the beginning of many successful careers in art. Theo, who regularly visits and speaks with the students, has personally mentored them to reward and celebrate the British Jewellery Industry and the young talent of the future through continuing its annual young designers and jewellers programme,
“Gilded Youth”. This project pretends as well to keep the tradition of craftsmanship alive so important for the industry. ABOUT THE WINNERS: Sophie New, Overall Excellence Award Sophie New’s art is about connecting with people. It is a constant search for secret codes and hidden meaning in the world that surrounds us. A range of materials are manipulated in ways that often result in multimedia installations that make use of different objects and materials, embroidery, sculpture and drawing. Sophie New was born and raised in Warrington and has always used the town and the people in it as a huge inspiration. One of her main artistic aims in life is to bring Warrington to the world and bring the world to Warrington. Filip Palmén, Best Work in Silver Award Filip Palmén is a Swedish artist that has explored sculpture as a means of expression since his early years. Palmén chose an education in jewellery to utilize the medium’s ability to connect sculpture to the body. Jewellery’s ability to serve as statements of the wearer’s values and ideals
is also a core motivation for this artist. Filip’s work addresses male openness materialized in sculptural jewellery. In his own words: “Being true to oneself is challenging, it is to open up new roads against establishments, even if they may be one’s own established convictions”.
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on her Bachelor of Fine Art at the University of Applied Sciences in Idar-Oberstein, where she graduated in Gemstone and Jewellery Design. She went on to work for Scott Wilson in London, gaining experience in fashion and costume jewellery. Sari has recently finished her Master of Art in Jewellery & Metal at the Royal College of Art in London and won the Best Work in Jewellery Award by Theo Fennell and the ITS Jewellery Award with her degree collection.
Sari Räthel, Best Work in Jewellery Award Sari is an award winning jewellery designer who explores the body physically and intellectually through adornments, objects and collages. She thrives on working collaboratively with other artists and designers from different fields and is always keen to expand the media she works in. Born in Germany, she developed her skills working for a goldsmith and later
Lin Huang, Highly Commended Award Lin sees herself as an art worker. Her starting point when building her work often comes from everyday objects, body and spaces. It is dominated by a perpetual challenge to express her emotion through forms. Through her work people can see she is a storyteller. In order to create the narrative, she is challenging herself to work on a wider scale, which means space is important for her. She is asking herself how she can organize the space with her objects or jewellery to communicate personal interpretations to an audience. Also, she thinks about how she can charge atmospheres and explores questions about the balance between visual spectacle and human contact.
Laura Davis, Highly commended Award Laura recently graduated from The Royal college of Art, London, with a Masters in Jewellery and Metal. Working as a multi- disciplinary artist in a range of materials from paper, textiles, wood, bronze and photography. Continuously intrigued by the ignition of life that fuels an object into the mythical world of the ‘real’. From teddy bears, to a favorite armchair, like amulets imbued with talismanic powers, these objects answer to emotional dependencies that span childhood and adulthood. This metamorphosis of narrative and material is the foundation of Laura’s artistic practice.
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Entrepreneur essentials for retirement returns. By Colin Lawson, Managing Partner at Equilibrium Asset Management
Retirement is a time to wind down and enjoy the fruits of your labour. This might mean travelling, spending time with the family or even trying the activities you never had time for in the past. For entrepreneurs and leaders of successful businesses it often happens that retirement planning is left at the bottom of a long list of things to do. Inevitably, proper retirement plans aren’t made until individuals exit businesses and have time on their hands. If plans are made earlier, however, and you set the fruits of your labour to work for you, strategies have a chance to develop, investments have a chance to mature and you can avoid spending your first days of retirement working out how to make your savings last. It is never too early to start thinking about your financial future. And there are numerous things you can do while you’re still at the helm of a business to ensure a more comfortable retirement. So if you are a business owner, high-net-worth individual or senior manager at any stage of your career, be sure to make the most of your current position by following our simple tips to make the most of your money. Ensure a mix of investments as early as possible If you are at the peak of your career, you may see investing in pensions, funds or financial plans as slow burn options among a headier mix of routes to rapid returns. Nothing could be further from the truth. The younger you are when you plan for a comfortable retirement the better. And the more money you set aside to be managed, the more it can grow as a retirement egg. As Einstein said, “compound interest is the 8th wonder of the world”.
Don’t confuse business success with safe retirement. Many very successful entrepreneurs have relied on the sale of a business to fund their retirement only to burn through money much more quickly than planned. Remember, retirement brings with it more time to spend and there is of course a need to think practically about health issues and care costs. There are many ways to invest your cash with differing levels of risk and reward. To get to where you are today it is likely that you have taken risks, so when thinking about retirement planning you may be considering taking a bit of a gamble - such as rental property or a side-line business venture. A less risky alternative would be to consider setting aside a pot of money now to be invested for longer term growth. If you are enjoying success and have accumulated funds to invest for the future, think of long-term investment and retirement planning as a safety net that emboldens you with yet more confidence to achieve in business knowing that you have already provided for yourself in later life. Pension essentials With unlimited access to pension funds at any time after age 55 – if you are in your mid 40’s, then a pension plan is no longer a long-term savings vehicle in which you tie your money up for the rest of your life – it’s now a flexible 10 year savings plan. Even if you are aged 55 or above and are still in business, you can take advantage of the upfront tax relief available via a pension contribution. Indeed, you can transfer money in from a unittrust savings account and get basic-rate tax relief at source. The day after, it is then possible to take all the money out of the pension by transferring it back to your unit-trust account.
Under current legislation, because you get 25% of the fund tax free and tax relief on the whole contribution, you could be significantly better off. For example, if your total taxable income is between £40,000 and £150,000 a year, you can make a pension contribution up to the current annual allowance of £40,000. If your income has been in this range for the past three years, and you have not made any pension contributions during this time, then it is possible to carry these past annual allowances forward. Even just using the current year’s annual allowance, and making a gross contribution of £40,000, would see you £8,000 better off immediately due to the basic rate tax relief. For higher-rate tax payers, further tax relief may be available via your tax return. Not a bad strategy for making your money work for and you and maximising your savings. Better still for employed younger entrepreneurs, tax relief of 20% on a matched 5% pension contribution by the employer means every £4 invested turned into £10 overnight which is an instant guaranteed return of 250%. Once in the pension pot, this can then be invested almost tax free anywhere you like. The best pension’s returns are always achieved when people leave the money in the pension until the money is actually needed. And potentially the more you pay in, the more you get out (depending on where you invested). Give some thought to the type of investment you want, it may be that taking on more risk, perhaps in the form of equities, is better suited to your needs than a life styling pension option. It is often the case that higher-risk options are taken via the business and that the role of a pension is, therefore, to act as a safety net. With this in mind, a more cautious selection of investment funds in a pension portfolio may be more appropriate.
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Bensaude Hotels Over 80 years inspired by the Azores
The Bensaude Hotels encompass seven 4-star hotels, six in the Azores Islands and one in Lisbon. Terra Nostra Garden Hotel, in Furnas on São Miguel Island, Hotel Marina Atlântico, Hotel Açores Atlântico and São Miguel Park Hotel in Ponta Delgada, Terceira Mar Hotel on Terceira Island, Hotel do Canal on Faial Island and, the one hotel outside of the Azores archipelago, Hotel Açores Lisboa in Lisbon. Terra Nostra Garden Hotel is the first to establish the Bensaude Group’s connection to the tourism industry, celebrating its 80th year in 2015, with non-stop service, and becoming the symbol of Azorean tourism on São Miguel Island. The Bensaude Hotels, under a different name at the time, were launched in 1933 by a group of Azorean visionaries, one of whom, Vasco Bensaude, was the driving force behind the opening of the Hotel Terra Nostra in April 1935. The hotel location was key to its success, together with the purchase of the adjacent Terra Nostra Garden by the Terra Nostra Club, extremely popular with guests, surrounded by its lush botanical species, its outdoor thermal pool and most recently its natural Jacuzzi. With major renovations undertaken in 2013, Terra Nostra Garden Hotel positioned itself as one of the top hotels in Portugal in its
category, winning several awards, including Leading Boutique Hotel category at the World Travel Awards in 2014 and more recently another award given by the World Luxury Hotel Awards, reinforcing its brand and strengthening its image. The Bensaude Hotels as a brand was created to offer its guests lifetime memories, offering very high standards of quality and quickly expanding, with the construction of the first golf course in the Azores Islands in 1939 and later, with another symbol of São Miguel Island, the Hotel São Pedro. Over the decades, tourism in Portugal has grown exponentially and become a strategic sector for the whole country’s economy and more specifically for the Azorean economy. The Bensuade group has followed this growth and invested in the market, especially in the early 2000’s with brand new properties such as the unique Hotel Marina Atlântico and the resort-style Terceira Mar Hotel, with unbelievable views of the Azores scenery. Furthermore, the Bensuade group took the leap and invested in the mainland, with the purchase of the Hotel Açores Lisboa, which has become the Azorean cultural and gastronomical ambassador in the capital.
characteristics are unique to a brand born and bred in the Azores and it is part of the brand’s DNA, ever present in all their activities and communication strategy. The search for balance between economic activity and environmental sustainability is a factor ever present in the policy of the Bensaude group, committed to preserving the natural surroundings of the Azores with efforts conducted on a daily basis and that have been recognized in the environmental certifications that two of their hotels already enjoy, with the others hopefully following shortly as they all follow rigorous guidelines aimed at preserving the environment and reducing their green footprint. As a brand, the constant care and connection with the Azores Islands is deeply felt. This traditional brand looks to the future with hope and enthusiasm, overcoming challenges along the way. In 2016 it added the words “Inspired by Azores” to its signature, emphasizing the solid Azorean identity and heritage of the brand. Embodying Tradition, Innovation and Sustainability, the Bensaude Hotels seek every single day to keep improving their service and never forget its origins: the Azores Islands.
The Bensaude Hotels, today more than ever before, carry regional Azorean products and embody the islands hospitality, ingrained in the archipelago’s roots. These
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The rise of globalisation and what it means for a modern business By Jim Thompson, Chairman and founder of Crown Worldwide Entrepreneur Jim Thompson founded Crown Worldwide in 1965 with an initial investment of just 1,000 USD and took it to a turnover of 840m USD in 50 years. Launched in Yokohama, Japan, it is now one of the world’s largest privately-owned companies in the field of international logistics and related services with 265 offices in almost 60 countries, including the UK. His company proved to be ahead of the business curve - with globalisation now seen as key to building a successful business in the modern world. Here he shares his experience, business tips and predictions as Crown Worldwide moves into its 51st year. I’m often asked what is the ‘secret’ to building a business that last 50 years and it’s a difficult one to answer because there are so many aspects to discuss. In my experience it has been largely down to hard work and perseverance, getting the right team in place, sticking to the business you know best and doing it in an extremely positive way. But there’s another aspect which has helped Crown flourish and that is our determination to take a global view of business. As a company born in Japan and first grown in Asia there’s always been a willingness -in fact an ambition- to embrace and learn from other cultures, other ways of doing things and other business environments. To go from one small office in Yokohama to a worldwide presence has been an interesting ride but it is also what has come to define the company.
global nature of the business world today would be making a mistake – and fortunately for Crown we were ahead of the curve. When we discuss the culture of the company today, one of the main positives for the customer is that we are able to offer an end to end service – there are Crown offices all over the world. That, together with the fact we have been able to remain a privately-owned business, has enabled Crown to have a real identity that we hope makes it both an attractive place to work and an attractive place to do business. It is Asia’s Century We were very lucky to start our business in Japan and expand quickly into China – even now Asia is a core region. In fact the company is headquartered in Hong Kong and I spend most of my time there. I’ve often said that this is Asia’s century and I see no reason to change that opinion despite recent economic blips. The stock market crash in Shanghai in JuneAugust 2015 made big news, together with another steep sell-off in January 2016. But I think it needs to be put into perspective. China has become such a huge economy that any dip is bound to have a global effect, causing other countries to slow down. But it will bounce back in the next year or two and resume its growth path. From Crown Worldwide’s point of view, Asia continues to be our most successful and profitable area of the world by a long distance. We will continue to invest actively in Asia well into the future.
The global nature of business today means it’s now fairly normal for all sizes of companies In my view, China is actually managing the to have international operations; so it’s economy, which was getting overheated in becoming an important part of growing a recent years. There was a huge number of business. Any company which neglects the
speculators jumping into the property and share market and I feel the leaders of the country decided to manage the slowdown rather than let the economy crash. I’m very positive about the future for business in China and Asia. 60% percent of the population of the world is here and when you think of the number of items that we use which are manufactured in Asia, it is staggering. I’ve read a lot of stories and commentaries on whether companies should continue to invest in the region but for me that’s the wrong angle. The question is why companies would not see China as an important place to do business. With the population it has and the growing wealth of the middle class it is now both a big manufacturing country and a huge market for products and services of companies from other countries. There is a move from the manufacture of low value items such as T-shirts and toys to more high value items such as electronics and machinery as the cost of labour increases. But with the increase in productivity and even the use of robots going forward, China is going to be great place to do business and a very hard place to ignore. The world is getting smaller all the time in business terms and companies without a global presence are at a disadvantage. It’s been a great region for a service business like ours because the Asian communities are very service conscious and the people are smart and very hard workers. Now I firmly believe more businesses are seeing that and they’ll see growth in this region in the coming years. There’s a lot of different countries and cultures but it’s a big place to do business with well over half the world’s population.
I Couldn’t Have Done it Without You By James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner
More than likely you’ve watched an awards show or two in your life—maybe the Primetime Emmys, the Academy Awards, or a similar event. They are always quite theatrical, with stars parading down the red carpet, paparazzi snapping photos, and fans cheering for their favorites. There’s also a vital leadership lesson you can take away from these events. Whenever winners come to the stage and stand at the microphone, they invariably include in their acceptance speeches comments that begin with some version of “I would like to thank,” and then they list numerous people who played a role in their success: “my mother, my spouse, my agent, my coach, my cast, my crew, the other players on the team, the director, the writers, the fans”—the list goes on. Without these individuals, the award recipients wouldn’t be standing there basking in the glory and the applause. And it’s why they often end their speech with “I couldn’t have done it without you.” The best performers in all fields know that they can’t make extraordinary things happen alone. Without a cast and crew, without team members and coaches, without editors and publishers, without fans and family, no show, no film, no athletic event, no breakthrough product would ever happen. It’s true for athletics and the arts, and it’s true for leadership. Leadership requires collaboration, and so does learning. You can’t lead alone, and you can’t learn alone. You need to involve others to become the best leader you can be. i-MAGAZINE 104
It’s common for the best in most fields—for example, elite athletes—to express their gratitude to their coaches and to talk openly about what they learned from them. It’s exceedingly rare, on the other hand, for organizational leaders to speak publicly about the help they got along the way to becoming who they are. Maybe they’re embarrassed to admit they needed help. Maybe it’s because they think that if they are in leadership roles they are supposed to know it all, so they can’t appear to have needed help. Maybe it’s because they fear they’ll give the impression they’re somehow inadequate, even weak. Maybe it’s because they fear the possibility of rejection, that they’ll be a burden, or somehow indebted to others. Maybe it’s because it’s not acceptable in some cultures to admit that you don’t know how to do something. Whatever the reason, organizational leaders typically don’t mention, let alone brag about, the coaching and support that helped them learn, grow and achieve. It’s a shame because it would make leaders both more human and more likeable if they were to acknowledge that without the advice and support of others, they would be unable to excel. It would also set a very good example for aspiring leaders. They need role models who acknowledge how important social support is to success at any level and in every endeavor. One further benefit: Gratitude, it turns out, is the best predictor of personal well-being.
ASK FOR HELP AND SUPPORT The news media, novels, and movies often portray leadership as an act of rugged individualism—of one daring person who charges out into the wilderness all alone to take on a challenge, create something new, and change the world. Well, the challenge part is true enough, but not the alone part. When people told us about their personal-best leadership experiences, they repeatedly echoed what Eric Pan, regional head, Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (South China), told us: “No matter how capable you are as a leader, you won’t be able to deliver results all by yourself.” Without the trust, support, and encouragement of others, you will not be able to venture out very far. To become the best at leading, or at anything, you have to challenge yourself, take on stretch assignments, step outside your comfort zone, experiment with new ways of doing things, make mistakes, and learn from failure. These are all just a natural part of the process when you’re learning to become the best leader you can be. That’s all well and good; however, you’re not likely to do these things if there’s no one there to teach you, coach you on how to improve, cheer you on and cheer you up, catch you when you fall, and comfort you when you hit the wall. Social support enhances learning, productivity, psychological well-being and even physical health. Learning to lead requires getting help from others. Social support is a necessary condition for growth and development, particularly when
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EMPATHY IS ESSENTIAL Your capacity to be empathic goes a long way in your ability to garner assistance and support from other people. Indeed, empathy is among the most human of all abilities, playing a profound role in being able to make meaningful connections and building quality relationships. Understanding and sharing the feelings of others enables you to interpret people’s viewpoints effectively. Professor Ernest J. Wilson III, dean of the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California, asserts that empathy is the most essential attribute leaders need to succeed in today’s volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous (VUCA) world.
with your own. Consider Gandhi’s declaration during the conflicts between Muslims and Hindus before India’s independence in 1947: “I am a Muslim, and a Hindu, and a Christian, and a Jew, and so are all of you.”
Don’t assume you know what others know, and don’t discount their willingness to help. Researchers have found that people minimize the probability of someone helping them out when asked. Across a range of requests occurring in both experimental and natural field settings, people underestimated by as much as 50 percent the likelihood that someone else would agree to a direct request for help. Most people are happy to help. They feel complimented that you recognize their experience and competence.
Harvard professor David Deming found that since 1980, the labor market’s growth in jobs requiring social skills outpaced the growth in jobs requiring routine skills, even routine analytical skills. Equally important, the jobs requiring good social skills are higher paying than those that don’t require them. Although jobs requiring both high cognitive and high social skills are at the top of the earnings list, jobs requiring high cognitive skills but low social skills pay less than those requiring high social skills. Geoff Colvin reinforces this finding in his book Humans Are Underrated when he explains, “The most valuable people are increasingly relationship people.”
Finally, don’t worry about other people thinking less of you if you seek advice. In fact, just the opposite is true. “Contrary to conventional wisdom and lay beliefs,” report researchers, “we find that asking for advice increases perceptions of competence.” As long as the task is difficult, you make the request personally, and you ask for advice from someone who’s competent in the area, your request for advice strengthens the perception that you know what you are doing. It also increases the sense in others that they can have confidence in your leadership.
Highly empathic people challenge their own preconceptions and prejudices by searching for what they share with others rather than what divides them and by gaining firsthand experiences with how other people live and work. Find opportunities to step outside the comfort of your own experiences. For example, interact with people who have different political views from your own, discover what life is like for those living on the margins, find out what it means to affiliate with a religion other than your own, or engage with those whose work or organizations make assumptions at variance
SELF-COACHING ACTION Jot down a list of all the people who assist you in your growth. They could be from your workplace, home, or community. Think of people who could offer you support, training, and guidance, as well as those who could challenge you to move outside of your comfort zone. Think of them as your learning and development team. Whom do you want on that team? What roles will each play? What specific help do you need from each? Offer to buy them each a cup of coffee or tea, sit down, and have a chat. Let them know the support you need and how they can help. Moreover, don’t be shy about your requests. More often than not people will be glad to share their knowledge and experience if asked.
that learning is challenging. The single most important thing you can do to help ensure your future success, according to the Gallup organization’s study of more than 27 million employees worldwide, is to find someone who has an interest in your development. SEEK ADVICE When seeking help from others, the point is not to get someone else to do your work. The point is to get help to learn. Be prepared to describe what you’ve already tried and what you’ve learned. Come armed with a few action possibilities of your own so that it doesn’t appear that you’re asking for a handout. But when you’re stuck, don’t delay asking for help for too long. Often, the longer you wait, the worse problems can become, and the more limited the options are.
Not surprisingly, empathy and learning are positively related. Your ability to understand others, walk in their shoes, adopt their perspectives, and be open-minded and nonjudgmental about others’ experiences improves critical-thinking skills. It also fosters insight, discourages hasty problem identification, discourages rigidity, encourages flexibility, and reduces stress. Empathy becomes an even more valuable skill as the workplace becomes more global.
This article is based on Learning Leadership: The Five Fundamentals of Becoming an Exemplary Leader by James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner (published by Wiley, May 2016).
Investment in the Art of the Story By James Nicholls, Managing Director & Curator of Maddox Gallery, Mayfair.
Every artist has a story and every artwork is a story - what people invest in is not just the work, they invest in the story that comes with the work Just imagine this scene: it is the year 1895 in Paris. In the rue Laffitte, a small street in Paris, a burly man places a wild and vibrant new painting in the front window of his art gallery. He then sets up a sign to announce the exhibition of this unknown artist. People passing by are shocked as they have never seen anything like it. Some think it is scandalous and not even art at all and the work defies public taste! However, the gallery owner believes that art is a platform for discussion and involvement. He exhibits artworks that he personally likes and genuinely feels could have a positive influence in the world of art. This was the first key exhibition of the work by Paul Cézanne. The dealer was Ambroise Vollard, today regarded as one of the most important dealers in the history of French contemporary art. Vollard recalled that; ‘An innovator like Cézanne was considered a madman or an impostor, and even the avant-garde regarded him with contempt. On the spot, I managed to buy 150 canvases from him, almost his entire output.’ That same year, Vollard also featured exhibitions of the works of Vincent van Gogh, a second Cézanne exhibition in 1898, and the first one-man show of Picasso in 1901
(when he was only 19). He staged the first solo exhibition for Matisse in 1904. Vollard is credited with providing exposure and support to numerous other artists including; Renoir, Gauguin, Monet, Manet, Picasso, Degas, Matisse, Bonnard, Derain, Rousseau, Rouault, Vlaminck, Redon, Maillol and Valtat. His gallery became a meeting point for bohemian Paris. He held dinners in his cellar to his guests who clamoured for invitations. They were described as ‘joyous and lively affairs.’ Just imagine being there, discussing art over a glass of wine, with Vollard and these talented maverick artists who changed the world of art forever. Vollard was exceptionally gifted as he was the first to have the eye and insight to help and tell the stories of these artists. We are also living in extraordinary times and the contemporary art market is an exhilarating place to be. With the age of technology, creativity and presentation has evolved dramatically. Now through social media platforms many of today’s contemporary artists have the opportunity to be tomorrow’s superstars. An example is Illma Gore’s controversial naked Donald Trump artwork, Make America Great Again, after it was famously censored in the States and the artist received death threats, it made headlines around the globe. It remains one of 2016’s most talked about pieces of contemporary art, with thousands flocking to see the original still on display at Maddox Gallery, Mayfair.
An example of this is the current exhibit at Maddox Gallery in Mayfair, of the work ‘Make America Great Again’ (The naked painting of Donald Trump) by Illma Gore, the 25-year-old artist from Los Angeles. Her work was banned in many places in the USA and she received death threats. We reached out to her and offered to exhibit the work. A key for a return on investment in the art market is buying works of emerging artists at the right time. Investing in artwork has rarely been so affordable and open to so many people. It can provide potentially excellent returns if the right artist is backed correctly. With Brexit we are experiencing positive opportunities in the art market. Banks have been hit particularly badly, with shares in Barclays down by 29 per cent at one point. Artprice’s Global Art Market Annual Report for 2015 underlines the power of the contemporary art scene against other financial markets. According to the report, the “contemporary segment alone has posted a 1,200% progression of annual turnover over the past 16 years, with a +43% linear progression of the average value of an artwork”
One recent example of art’s power as a fixed asset investment was the concern prior to the auction at Christie’s New York, held at the end of May. The 39 works featured all sold but one, and $67 million was raised before fees. Like-wise in May, Sotheby’s New York evening auction for contemporary art, beat estimated results and accumulated an impressive $209.6 million before fees. When people invest in art, usually they are not investing their money into something that loses value. It’s not like buying a car which will depreciates almost immediately once driven off the forecourt. Of course vintage car segment is an entirely different matter. A piece of art will usually retain its value and has the potential to appreciate over time. Investors have a secret weapon of the gallery itself, as they represent emerging artists, champion them in the market, pair them with the right investors, and act as a launch pad for future careers. Reputation, expertise and trust are core elements in providing a service to clients investing in art. The combination of art market expertise, with financial and investment skills, gives the ability to help both new and more experienced collectors acquire and build portfolios of art. It is also necessary know when market conditions are right to sell works on behalf of the clients for commercial advantage. In each generation there are artists who have the rare potential to become iconic like Warhol, Lichtenstein, Basquiat or Koons. In our opinion, these two artists are emerging as major talents and their works can currently be purchased at relatively affordable prices:
Bradley Theodore An exceptional contemporary New York artist, not just because of the vibrant works he creates, but because of his overall vision and philosophy. His acclaimed style features popular culture icons, with skeletal murals of personalities including Karl Lagerfeld, Coco Chanel, Kate Moss, and Her Majesty the Queen. Often referred to as the new JeanMichel Basquiat, he has cultivated a powerful international celebrity and corporate following. Lincoln Townley This British artist was relatively unknown four years ago. Now, he has become famous for creating the most vivid and electrifying portraits of international stars from Al Pacino to Dame Judi Dench. Sir Michael Caine recently described him as the new Andy Warhol, and others see a Francis Bacon like quality in his work. The value of his work has risen 200% in the last two years alone. In July 2016, the Sun newspaper reported that his latest painting sold for £510,000. Ambroise Vollard to me is a hero, for he was intuitive about new influences and knew how to present the stories of his artists. Every time we feature an artwork in our gallery window, it causes a reaction, and images sent around the world. I often imagine Vollard organising his gallery window and the positive impact that his story has today. “After the great Impressionists, and again after Van Gogh and Gaugin, people said, ‘Painting is now played out.’ But Bonnard, Maurice Denis, Roussel and Vuillard appeared and gave them the lie. ‘We were wrong,’ said the croakers, ‘but this at any rate is the end.’ Yet to refute them, and to prove that there is no end to art, still another generation of painters sprang up.”
Ambroise Vollard James Nicholls is the Managing Director and Curator of Maddox Gallery. As an internationally recognised investment art specialist, James is an art contributor to an extensive range of publications and television programmes. Since his appointment as British Airways’ resident art expert three years ago – a distinguished position within the global art world – James has featured in most of BA’s long-haul, in-flight programmes. He is the art editor for The Player – one of the most exclusive bookazine’s available to some of the wealthiest individuals around the world. Whether behind or in front of the camera, James’ expert knowledge of art covers diverse genres and ranges from old masters, such as Caravaggio, to present day artists such as Banksy. His ability to analyse changing art market trends has enabled James to successfully source up-and-coming artists, help them launch their careers and become highly sought-after. He has built and nurtured strong relationships with art dealers, auction houses and art institutions that enable him to establish the origins and value of the artworks he acquires, and provide clients looking to start or build an art collection with the very best counsel.
Maddox Gallery 9 Maddox Street London W1S 2QE. maddoxgallery.co.uk
The 10 legal bear traps to avoid as a business owner By Clive Rich, CEO at LawBite
In this article we look at the most common pain-points business owners encounter when running their operations with regards to the law. Follow this guide and it should be plain sailing for you and your business. 1. Deciding not to bother with lawyers or contracts Dispensing of lawyers if often tempting some of them can be expensive, slow and difficult to understand. But they aren’t all like that. They can be incredibly valuable to your business as a trusted guide and guardian angel (well, a guardian anyway). You can also be tempted to not bother with contracts. They’re so very boring to draft and cause tensions in the relationship. Anyway, you get on well with your trading partner and you both trust each other, right? Who needs a contract? The answer is, you do. If I had a pound for every time I’ve picked up the pieces in this situation I could buy Disneyland… at least several flights to Disneyland. My experience is that all too often Shareholder Agreements, licensing agreements, software agreements, employment agreements and contractor agreements aren’t written down at all or exist in a disconnected string of vague, ambiguous emails that are difficult to enforce. Do yourself a favour and put proper contracts in place. i-MAGAZINE
2. Forgetting to sign your contracts How often have you gone to the trouble of getting a draft contract agreed, only to find that one side or the other never gets round to signing it? Or maybe it’s not dated (which is sometimes required to give legal effect). Sometimes people fight like cats and dogs over the wording of the draft agreement and then lose interest in completing the contractual paperwork as their business moves on. Sure, agreements can be oral or inferred from emails and conduct, but doing that is much harder than having a fully signed agreement that provides evidence of the parties’ intentions. If you’re relying on oral contracts, you’re into the murky world of evidencing who said what to whom, whether the parties intended to contract and whether the terms were certain enough to be capable of enforcement. Often the difference between success and failure within small companies is having the rigour to see initiatives all the way through to the end. That rigour applies as much to getting contracts signed as to any other project you’re involved with. 3. Failing to read your contracts Contracts can be dull and confusing to read and as a result many people have signed off on legal agreements without bothering to read
the small print- especially if you’re dealing with contracts you perceive as ‘standard’. This category can include contracts from banks or other funders, service providers or big websites. As a result, you can commit yourself to all sorts of hidden charges, liabilities and exclusions without realising it. Maybe you can’t negotiate changes with the other side, especially if it has a lot of bargaining power. But at least you need to know what you’re letting yourself in for. Plus, when dealing with entities that aren’t corporate monoliths, you may be able to negotiate. 4. Omitting to monitor your contracts How often do the contract partners negotiate a contract fiercely, only for the signed version to end up in a drawer? In some ways that’s a good thing- you don’t build much of a climate of trust if you’re forever whipping out the contract and pointing out the small print to your contract partner. On the other hand, if you never look at the contract again you risk making mistakes. Rarely all the obligations in a contract are to be carried out in the first five minutes. If you’re not paying attention to the contract terms as you go along you risk the following:
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• Missing an option date: For example, to acquire more rights • Missing a renewal date: So that the term of your rights expires • Missing a payment date: Putting you in breach • Sending contractual notices in the wrong way: So that they’re invalid • Failing to fulfil ongoing commitments: For example, in relation to marketing or packaging - Losing out on approval rights: For example, by not responding within the time limits set in the contract 5. Being remiss about protecting your intellectual property Intellectual property (IP) includes your copyrights, trademarks, patents and design rights and they’re an enormous potential source of value for your business. These rights are slightly abstract but don’t assume that they aren’t as important as tangible things, such as raising money, making products and marketing. To make raising money, building products and marketing worthwhile, the more you focus on your IP the better.
maximum individual award was £162,000 for a Racial Discrimination case, £168,000 for a Sex Discrimination case and £3,000,000 for an Unfair Dismissal. Extreme examples, but you get the point. The average award in that year in each of those categories was between £10,000 and £14,000, which is plenty for an SME. If you breach Sections 2 - 6 of the Healthy and Safety at Work regulations, you can be fined £20,000 or face six months’ imprisonment. 7. Ignoring legal problems In this ostrich strategy, you pretend nasty arguments aren’t happening and try to avoid dealing with them by sticking your head in the sand. But arguments are like weeds: they’re easier to remove when they’re small. When grown, they’re much harder to eradicate and they strangle the rest of your garden too. Go on... grasp the nettle and give it a good yank! Don’t ignore emails, letters or forever be ‘in a meeting’ when people ring you. Arguments aren’t normally as bad as you fear - except when they fester. Then they can go litigious and become stressful, bruising, time-consuming and costly. So, when an outrageous email or claim clatters into your inbox, don’t just file it in the bin. Pick up the phone to the person on the other side and talk it through.
If anybody invests in you or wants to buy your business, your IP is likely to be a key component of your valuation that they focus on. Don’t assume that you have no IP - you can potentially trademark everything from a logo to a smell. You may have design rights in anything from the shape and colour of your bottles to the graphic designs on your website. You may have copyright in everything from a photo to an app.
8. Getting on the wrong side of HMRC Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is an organisation you don’t want to irritate. Get your returns in on time and pay any outstanding amounts promptly. If you don’t pay your tax, HMRC can investigate your affairs - going back 6 years if it thinks you’ve been careless with your returns and 20 years if it believes you’ve been deceitful.
If you don’t look after your IP, other firms may punish you. They can register as a trademark a brand that you’ve been using and then stop you using it. They may create something that would’ve breached your copyright or known how to enforce it.
It can charge penalties of up to 100 per cent of the tax owed, plus interest. HMRC can also commence proceedings against you in the Magistrates Court or the County Court for sums that you owe. Alternatively, or in addition, it can send representatives to your house, take your possessions and sell them to fulfil the debt that you owe (a jolly process known as distraint). Plus, it can commence bankruptcy proceedings against you or, if your company owes money, start proceedings to have it wound up.
6. Letting your understanding of employment legislation slide Employment legislation is a highly regulated area of law and the range of laws you have to comply with is ever-increasing- a rising tide of red tape (not literally, of course. Maybe I should say ‘rising bloom of jelly’ - yes that’s what a group of jellyfish is called). Like jellyfish, the range of employment laws is often not visible to the innocent swimmer, but can give you a nasty sting. The dangers of compliance-failure are high. If a disgruntled employee brings a case against you in the Employment Tribunal for Unfair Dismissal or Discrimination, bear in mind between 2013 and 2014 the
So at the end of every business month, keep enough revenues to one side to pay tax. 9. Neglecting to complete your corporate documentation You have numerous obligations to file paperwork with Companies House. Serious consequences await if you don’t deal with these issues. For example, if you file your company accounts more than six months late, you can face a fine of £1,500. If you repeat the offence
in the next financial year, the fine doubles. The Registrar of Companies also has the right to strike your company off the record for late filing of returns. If you’re a director, you can be subject to criminal charges for late filings, resulting in fines and permanent damage to your reputation. Just to rub it in, when you go to sell your enterprise your prospective buyer is likely to engage accountants and lawyers to crawl all over your books. If they find that your company records are littered with missing documents and missed file dates, it reduces the buyer’s confidence in your business and may result in no sale at all, or a sale at a reduced valuation. 10. Wasting time and energy fighting disputes Without a doubt, you’re going to come across people in business who treat you badly. You’ll suffer injustice. You’ll encounter situations that make you very angry and people who are dishonest or who let you down. My advice is, wherever possible, to avoid getting bogged down in legal battles. Legal action is a distraction, a strain and a money pit. The only way to guarantee coming back from court with a small fortune is to commence proceedings with a much larger one. I know you may want to fight ‘on principle’, but sometimes you have to choose between ‘being right’ and ‘doing what’s best for the business’. They aren’t always the same thing. As Mark Twain put it: ‘October... is one of the particularly dangerous months in which to speculate... The others are July, January, September, April, November, May, March, June, December, August and February’. Negotiate, mediate and put legal pressure on the other side by all means. But do me a favour and don’t start legal proceedings unless you have to. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading all about the top 10 legal bear traps to avoid when it comes to the law and your business. Some of these may seem commonsensical, particularly if you’ve been in business for a while, but you would be surprised how many business owners get so wrapped up in developing their product or service and making sales that they overlook these key points. Ignore the above at your peril. If you’re unsure on any of the above or if you need an affordable lawyer or contracts to keep you safe, enter an enquiry and receive a free consultation via our business legal advice form.
Photo: Daniele Andretta
Daniele Andretta I-MAGAZINE speaks to Daniele Andretta, Creative Director of the Ettore Bugatti Collection, a luxury line of clothing and accessories that launched at the end of 2013 in conjunction with the renowned automobile brand.
How did you approach creating Ettore Bugatti Menswear?
First of all, I went back to the beginning of the brand, at Molsheim (The Chateau where Ettore Bugatti founded the company). There I studied the large archives for 2 months, learning about the history, the characters, the lifestyle, the inspiration, the DNA of the brand, as well as experiencing first-hand the driving experience of the Bugatti car. Once I returned to my studio, I continued my quest to translate these elements into luxury products.
Whose idea was it for Bugatti to venture in this area?
Our shareholders requested we recreated the original vision that Ettore Bugatti had 100 years ago for a Bugatti lifestyle. Therefore a brand extension was created around the luxury name Bugatti which translated into clothing lines - all made in Italy - and lifestyle projects such as Bugatti Home Collection and Bugatti Villas.”
How do you describe ‘the Bugatti man’?
As Ettore Bugatti himself, the Bugatti man is multi ethnic, a globetrotter. He is self-confident, a flamboyant man who is present on the social scene. He takes great care of body and mind. He is very aware of what is happening around him and confident in constructing his future and that of others. A citizen of the world.
How important is the bespoke fabric, tailoring options and shoes for Bugatti?
They are fundamental. Many of our materials have been created exclusively for us. Inspiration is taken following the requests of the season (or mood of the season) and from the design elements of Bugatti such as the carbon fibre structure that we have translated into luxury fabrics combining silk and cashmere, creating in this way a link with our brand DNA. Another interesting project we worked on was redefining the tapestry used for the seats of the Bugatti Royale, making it a modern day fabric from which we created Tuxedo jackets in a very soft Jacquard silk. The brand Bugatti, is not a fashion brand but an iconic brand, and so are its products. We create a supply chain with the best Italian artisans that are able to personalise all our products (clothing, leathers, shoes, etc.) following the requests, desires and dreams of our clients. In some cases we have create luxury products following the same configuration (regarding colours and materials) than the customer’s car.
How important is for your customers to be seen as unique?
Very. That is actually one of our missions. All our products are Limited Edition products and are numbered with dedicated plates. The maximum number is 431, the speed world record accomplished by Bugatti.
Where do you see Ettore Bugatti menswear in five years?
I think the focus will be to reveal more and more of the brand Bugatti to our clients. Our archives allow us to have a 360° design approach thanks to the history already established by Ettore Bugatti. The story of the brand keeps evolving to better embody the spirit of Bugatti and distinguish us from other brands. It’s my intention to reveal each season a new part, a new DNA code of the brand, through the creation, tailoring and presentation of new designs and products.
How does the launch of the Chiron affect your design principles?
The arrival of the Chiron has motivated us as to innovate in the world of lifestyle and luxury by exploring new technology and fabrics. It marked the start of a new era for us and as such, we developed a dedicated capsule collection using only high performing fabrics, such as four way stretch, and using techniques like laser to unite materials instead of sewing with thread and needle.
As a designer for Bugatti, can you tell us about the archives that you have access to and how they influence your collections?
As I explained before working for a brand has a completely different approach than working in a “fashion house”. A brand has a world reference, its own history, which in my opinion should be made credible through the collections and products that are created around it. Consulting the archives is vital to understand what can or cannot be translated into products. Each collection is a continuation and must be an “upgrade” of the previous one, both in terms of style and of the product itself. The archives become a source of inspiration needed to maintain a consistent evolution.
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Wings of Change By Alina Smidre Have you ever missed your flight because of a traffic jam on the way to the airport or a long queue at security check? The problem is that in this day and age, when for many of us time is the most precious commodity, we simply cannot afford to get to the airport 2 hours in advance – if not more-to make sure we never miss a flight. Often, the value of the work one can do in that time might be commensurate to an additional price of chartering a business jet and flying on one’s own schedule. In fact, chartering a private jet might not even cost you more than footing a bill for first class tickets for the whole family. For a long time, travelling by private jet was considered, and rightly so, the preserve of the echelons of the super-rich, the oligarchs of this world. However, recessions and the consequent need to optimise costs by clients have pushed operators of business jets to adapt their business models, which is a very welcome development for a large part of the population. The traditional approach of chartering a business jet through a ‘human’ charter broker is on the decline, although it is still used by clients who have a trusted broker they have worked with in the past. However, even in this model the client is becoming more savvy and is now likely to get a direct quote from an operator and challenge the price quoted by the broker, which would invariably include his own commission (3 to 10% of the charter price). The advantage of having a broker is, of course, that a client would have one point of contact from start to finish and it is then the broker’s problem to accommodate all of client’s wishes (no matter how reasonable or not; I once heard of a broker being fired for failing to source the ‘right kind of gin’). A broker would also need to keep a straight face if told that a client is chartering a jet to transport his puppies, favourite running machine or, my personal favourite, hiring a second charter to the same destination to fly a client’s baby’s favourite
teddy bear from Europe to the Caribbean ‘because he just does not sleep well without it’. The alternative to using a personal charter broker is using an online charter booking platform, which became increasingly popular as people grew accustomed to running their lives via smartphones. There are a number of such platforms on the market, however, one common feature they share is that they still operate as brokers by charging a client by way of either a membership fee or a commission. Either way, the client ends up paying more than if he went directly to a business jet operator for the same flight. It was actually a business aviation client realising the difference between the ‘real’ cost and what he was paying that led to the idea for a new kid on the business charter aviation block – charterscsanner.com. Charterscanner.com is the first, and so far the only online private jet booking service which provides its users with direct access to operators worldwide, and it does not charge end users a penny for it. Instead, operators which subscribe to the platform (of which there are over 250 at the time of writing) pay a monthly activity fee to Charterscanner. The fee payable by operators depends on the number of aircraft they wish to register with Charterscanner and Charterscanner would only accept an operator after carrying out due diligence and a personal meeting with the team to ensure that there are no fake aircrafts on the system. The use of Charterscanner by a client is fairly simple. Any person, be it an end user or his trusted adviser, can register on Charterscanner website by providing his email address and mobile telephone number. Charterscanner will then contact the person by telephone to confirm that a request for registration is genuine and provide him with a password to be entered on the website to proceed with the charter booking request. The person then enters flight details
for a flight required and waits for operators to respond with their offers. At this stage operators are not notified of passengers’ names; these are only revealed if and when a particular operator is selected by the client, so one does not have to fear being charged a higher price due to being a well-known name. Once a client has selected a particular flight he has the option to either communicate directly with the operator or to use Charterscanner Assist service. The latter is an additional service which comprises full flight support by the Charterscanner team for a fixed price (currently under EUR 500) and includes communication through one person looking after the client, assistance with planning difficult routes and connections, as well as paperwork, tracking a flight (and real time SMS notification of the same) and, airport, permission, slot and weather checks and organising transfers to and from the flight. It certainly seems like a way forward to me. In fact, any provider who can cut costs for an end user has to be a welcome development and one can only hope that market demands lead to further innovations in the business jet charter sector. It’s not quite an Uber yet but, hey, it is a bloody good start!
Alina Smidre-Cuffe is a founder and director of ASC Advisory Limited, a consulting firm she set up after over 8 years in Withers LLP, London, where she trained and qualified as a corporate solicitor and advised on a large number of luxury assets’ transactions. email@example.com
Choosing the Right Watch for you By Chris Ward, Co-founder of English watch brand Christopher Ward
With so many watch brands and models widely available and advertised, venturing into the horology market can often prove an overwhelming experience for both new and seasoned watch enthusiasts.
a quality watch. Doing so can only have a positive influence in your final choice.
To help first-time buyers or those looking to expand their watch collection, Co-founder of self-titled, premium Swiss-made watch brand, Christopher Ward, has provided a series of top tips to ensure you are on the right track to finding exactly the right watch for you, no matter your lifestyle or interests.
1) What materials have been used? Take close notice of the materials used in the production of a watch. Certain materials, such as stainless steel for example, are more prone to scratching. Quality materials such as ceramic and titanium will ensure that your watch remains resistant to damage, scratch-proof and light to wear. Titanium is about half the weight of steel, but around twice as strong.
Tip 1 - Do your research When looking for the perfect timepiece, you firstly need to research the watch industry, compare the brands out there and look at the differences between them. Many consumers, especially first-time buyers, will head to their local watch retailer and simply pick a watch off the shelf that is within budget and ‘looks nice’. By failing to do any prior research, they won’t have any understanding of the brand and of the quality of the timepiece. Instead, consumers should take the time to research the brands and models prior to any purchase. Doing so will ensure a greater appreciation of each brand’s ethos and understanding of what differentiates i-MAGAZINE
When considering different models I would suggest following these pointers:
You should ensure that the watch materials you buy are ethically sourced. If you have to purchase an alligator strap, it should be sourced from managed farms that are signed up to the United Nations CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered species of wild flora and fauna) certification scheme. At Christopher Ward, we are phasing out alligator straps in 2016 in favour of horse leather to ensure best ethical practice. 2) The quality of the movement and mechanisms The Swiss have the best watchmaking infrastructure in the world which attracts the
very best watchmakers in the world. As a result, watch mechanisms produced and assembled in Switzerland are the industry leaders. A word of caution – many “Swiss” made mechanisms do not fulfill the strict criteria to be considered Swiss. A watch is only truly Swiss if the movement follows certain regulations, and is cased and given a final inspection in Switzerland. Watches that don’t meet this criteria may simply advertise themselves as ‘Swiss Movement’ or ‘Swiss Quartz’. Those that do meet the full criteria and are truly ‘Swiss’ will more likely be advertised as ‘Swiss Made’. 3) Quartz vs Mechanical Quartz watches (those powered by a battery) account for approximately 90% of the world’s watches. Generally, they are more accurate and require less maintenance, but lack the craftsmanship and skill of a mechanical watch. Mechanical watches are powered by the carefully regulated release of energy from a wound spring, which is either wound manually or automatically from wrist movement. With a mechanical watch, you can be assured you are investing in a watch whose craftsmanship represents the pinnacle of watchmaking.
If you are looking for a watch primarily for telling the time in the most accurate way possible, a quartz watch may be for you. If you want an incredibly well-made, hand constructed piece of fine horological craftsmanship, then aim for a mechanical piece. Tip 2 - Understand what kind of watch suits your lifestyle There are watches of all styles across all price brackets; whether you’re a surfer, gym goer, racing driver, businessman travelling across multiple time zones, gadget enthusiast, simply after a watch for formal occasions or as a fashion statement, there will be a watch that is right for you. It is therefore important to consider, when purchasing your new watch, the context in which you’ll be wearing it, so you can ensure it is suitable and that you’ll be getting the most out of its features and functions. For example, if your career takes you around the world, or you are dealing with clients in different time zones, look for a watch that has multiple clock faces to keep track of different time zones. Tip 3 – Don’t worry about making a watch an investment piece Many people both in and outside the industry argue that premium watches can increase in value and make a promising medium to long-term investment prospect. The reality however is that, except in very rare and specific cases, watches do not make a good long-term investment. As soon as they are worn they immediately start depreciating in value, and the nature of the watch market
means that trends and tastes makes it very hard to predict where the watch market is heading at any one time. Even for those watches that will hold their value or slightly appreciate, it can take decades for the watch to do so. The beauty of watches is to be found in the intricacy of their design and aesthetics, and the personal pleasure they can bring to the owner. A watch is often the first thing noticed when meeting someone, and adds a level of sophistication, class and timelessness to any outfit or occasion. A fine wristwatch can provoke thought and discussion, and serve as an extension of the owner’s interest and identity. Johannes Jahnke, Christopher Ward’s Master Watchmaker, joined our team because he wanted to see the watches he makes on the wrists of people across the world, not locked away in a safe where no-one can enjoy or experience their craftsmanship. Tip 4 - Price doesn’t mean quality When Christopher Ward was founded, we took time to analyse the market and found that many of the ‘big players’ and household names were selling their watches at seven to twelve times the production cost of the watch due to considerable advertising and marketing overheads. In a world in which consumers increasingly see through these “brand halos” and place a greater focus on quality rather than logo, there is a realization that you can secure as good a quality watch of better value from a brand with lower overheads. Christopher Ward for example will only ever sell a watch at a maximum of three times the cost of the production, including VAT.
It is also financially savvy to purchase a watch directly from a watch house rather than via a third party retailer – doing so cuts out the middle man and their markup. Tip 5 – Well-known doesn’t always mean most reputable It is important you buy a watch from a reputable brand. A reputable brand doesn’t necessarily mean a brand that makes the most noise or shouts the loudest – but one who is held in high regard within the industry, whose staff are knowledgeable, operates ethically and transparently and has excellent customer and post-sale support. Consumers often find that staff and assistants associated with many brands are unenthusiastic and have little if no product knowledge. Customers also need to be savvy with the watch’s warranty and return policy. Our famous 60/60 guarantee, the most comprehensive in the world of watchmaking, means you have up to 60 days to return your watch, free of charge, if for any reason you are not happy with it, and a 60 month movement guarantee meaning you can have complete peace of mind when purchasing one of our timepieces. • Christopher Ward was established in 2004 by Mike France, Chris Ward and Peter Ellis who wanted to provide premium, quality Swiss made timepieces at affordable prices. Together they had one simple aim: to put premium grade watches within the reach of everyone. • The Christopher Ward collection is available at www.christopherward.co.uk
The Lavazza Calendar: We are what we live Lavazza, in collaboration with Slow Food, has launched their 2017 Calendar entitled “We Are What We Live”. Shot by award-winning French photographer, Denis Rouvre (known to the general public for his work among the survivors of the tsunami in Japan), the third instalment in the ‘Earth Defenders’ project celebrates the Asian Earth Defenders and their symbiotic relationship with the environment. Each face is set alongside a landscape, showing the incredible superimposition of the features of man and those of nature.
Part humankind and part environment, this calendar is composed of 12 sets of photos displayed side by side. On one side is the face of a man or woman laid bare, portrayed in their essence and naturalness. On the other is a place or a landscape which represents the environment in which they live and the nature they work. In Rouvre’s pictures it is as if the two halves — humans and the environment — were overlaid and shaped each other: each portrait is also a landscape and each landscape ends up being a portrait.
In Indonesia, the magical waters of Lake Tanjung seem to be mirrored in the lips of a coffee grower. In Sri Lanka, the valuable kitul palm loses itself in the features of a molasses harvester. In India, thousands of Kotagiri bees almost seem to be interwoven with the marks and wrinkles of an elderly hunter of multi floral forest honey.
“We are what we live. At the centre of the 2017 Lavazza Calendar there is the physical bond, the symbiosis, between humans and their environment. One cannot prosper without the other,” comments Francesca Lavazza, Lavazza Board Member, “and the two are tied so profoundly that they share satisfactions, suffering, bad weather, sweat. In this third chapter of The Earth Defenders project, we went to Asia, where nature explodes in all its exuberance, and what clearly emerges is the mutual relationship of defence and safeguard linking farmers, breeders and the environment around them. It is a great lesson for all of us, but above all an invitation to respect and take care of the land, to ‘live’ it and learn to love it.”
The magic of the “geography of faces” plays a key role in this calendar, which brings to life the symbiotic relationship between humans and their environment, between the Earth Defenders and nature, plants and crops. From India to Vietnam, from Sri Lanka to Indonesia, the 2017 Lavazza Calendar – under the creative direction of Armando Testa – stops in Southeast Asia for the third chapter of the photography project of The Earth Defenders. Michele Mariani, Executive Creative Director of Armando Testa, comments: “After the intensity of Steve McCurry and the freshness of Joey L., we turned to Denis Rouvre because we were impressed and inspired by his way of distilling emotions, eliminating the superfluous and putting us before these people in a strong and direct way.” For this calendar, photographer Denis Rouvre explored the faces of the Asian Earth Defenders, just as he probed the depths of the environment in which they live and that they defend daily with love and energy. Their sacrifices and dedication make it possible to improve the living conditions of the local communities and fight against the new threats of climate change. Rouvre comments, “During the trip to Southeast Asia, I clearly felt that the environment directly forges the lives of these men and women who work and protect their land every day. The environment forges their character and models their faces. It is this symbiotic relationship between people and nature that I wanted to explore in the 2017 Lavazza Calendar, through the formal juxtaposition of two images: on one hand, the person’s portrait, without any frills or artifices of any kind, and on the other the environment in which they live and work. I am proud that I had the chance to explore the stories and lives of these Earth Defenders and bear witness — through the technique of the ‘geography of face’ — to the way the future of the Earth goes through respect and the daily work of those who cultivate the land.”
“There is a difference between residing in a territory and actually inhabiting it. Inhabiting has a deeper meaning that involves not only our material relationship with a place, but also — and above all — an intimate social, cultural and spiritual bond between humans and their environment,” explains Carlo Petrini, Slow Food President and Founder. “Inhabiting means having a small world at heart, it means worrying about maintaining the balance so it remains beautiful, clean, harmonious and welcoming. With The Earth Defenders project, we are serving as spokespeople, along with Lavazza, for many excellent products that humanity and the local communities cannot afford to lose. Talking about coffee cultivations in Indonesia, and sea salt or multi floral forest honey in India means talking about people’s lives, about the life of the planet.”
Lavazza and Slow Food invite all citizens to become Earth Defenders. Visit the Calendar2017.lavazza.com site and support the Earth Defenders through social media with the hashtag #EarthDefenders @lavazzauk and @slow_food_italy.
Young Earth Defender: Abel Mancilla Abel is a young coffee grower in Villa Rica, Peru (Lavazza Foundation Project. Abel is photographed with his father Enrique while they plant a coffee sprout. Abel’s family has been growing coffee for generations. Over the last few decades, things have got much better for the inhabitants of the Villa Rica region in Peru. Roads, for example, have been built to make it possible to reach new areas and sell coffee there, while support from the Lavazza Foundation has contributed to improving the production process. Abel: “I trust in the future and have already made plans. So to prove this to my father, I planted a sprout” From Father to Son “My parents and my grandparents grew coffee in a way that respects nature, because nature is important, important for life” (Enrique, Abel’s father)
© Lavazza February 2017 Calendar
Precious Catch Adriano Mandira De Oliveira 18 years old and an oyster farmer in Cananéia, Brazil (Terra Madre Community) Adriano is with his uncle (standing) on their boat, picking oysters from the river. We are in Cananéia, in Brazil. Here, every day from February to December, Adriano sets off in their boat to farm the oysters which grow on the roots of the mangrove trees. Adriano’s grandfather was the first to bring this new trade to the community of Remanescentes de Quilombo and he went on to create a producers’ cooperative here. It is an initiative that has improved the living conditions of the entire community, so that Francisco can raise his own children today and teach them his trade. Adriano: “I want to work with our oysters and bring them around the world. People need to discover them in every corner of the globe, taking them from my hand”
Edinson Fabian Ramirez Parra 18 years old and a coffee grower in Canpobello, Colombia (Lavazza Foundation Project) Edinson is portrayed in his family’s plantation as he shows his father a mobile phone and how technology can improve their work. The land owned by Edinson’s family has been handed down from generation to generation, through very strict divisions: each new member of the family has a right to a piece of land to cultivate.The new generation teaches the previous one that technology can reduce distances and put every corner of the planet within reach by breaking down the barriers with the outside world. Edinson: “Something special happened tonight: for the first time, I went up to the plantations with my father and I taught him something”
© Lavazza March 2017 Calendar
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When Charity and Business Collide By Tej Kohli
Charity is no easy business. While the fundamental basics of people giving a percentage of their disposable income towards a good cause seems straightforward enough, using that money to make a difference throws up a whole new set of problems. Who pays the people tasked with encouraging people to support their cause in favour of another? Who funds the infrastructure that channels that money towards the right place? The reality is that charities are businesses, and as any businessperson can tell you, that means overheads: operational costs, fundraising, campaigning, governance… Some reports have placed the percentage of money that actually goes towards good causes at less than 50% in some cases. With that kind of information in mind it’s understandable that people might question what difference the little they can give actually makes. That kind of attitude is fatal. As a business owner, I believe you have an innate responsibility to use your organisational powers for good. This can be on a smaller scale – the £300 raised by your company bake sale will engender a greater feeling of achievement than any spare change thrown in a collection box by an individual employee. Thinking bigger, Corporate Social Responsibility Programs (CSR) can provide large scale provisions for charities – taking the burden of fundraising costs onto the businesses themselves.
Yet, it’s disheartening to see so many people suspicious of businesses motivations. This year I commissioned a report into attitude towards CSR amongst the British public. When asked their view on Corporate Social Responsibility, 20% saw it as merely a ‘tick box exercise’. While there are corporate advantages to be had by promoting your business ethical activities, splitting your success measures between ‘how much money can we make?’ and ‘how much good can we do?’ is a positive step away from the cynical outlook held by many. In my own philanthropic efforts, I chose to focus on something close to my heart – enabling the disabled and disadvantaged community’s inclusion into society. Growing up in India, I saw first hand how disadvantaged people were deprived of the tools they needed to truly integrate. After becoming successful myself, I felt the need to empower others.
It might sound trite to claim that money makes the world go round; but the fact is that we cannot just rely on the charity in people’s hearts to raise money for causes that we believe in. Well intentioned as we might be, humans work best when we’re organised, prompted, encouraged and supported – it requires a strong business framework to make big ideas happen. It is my firm belief that doing good should be woven into the DNA of every business, just as doing business well should be inherent in every non-profit. While we must trust in individuals to engage in charitable endeavours, it is our responsibility as business owners to ensure our businesses are driving large scale support towards our philanthropic endeavours.
The Tej Kohli Foundation and Tej Kohli Cornea Institute are autonomous nonprofit organisations; yet their existence and continued ability to make a difference is attributable to my corporate business success. At the Tej Kohli Cornea Institute we’ve helped restore eyesight to almost 60,000 people. That’s 60,000 lives irrevocably altered for the better. I feel an immense pride that my business success has made this difference in so many lives, and that motivates me to do even more. Those with much, have much to give. i-MAGAZINE 123
Generational wealth management By Paul Chavasse – Head of Investment, Rathbone Investment Management and member of Rathbones Executive Committee. “I hope I die before I get old” – My Generation, The Who When The Who released their anthem to teenage alienation in 1965 the idea that they would one day reach comfortable old age was unimaginable. Indeed, half the band passed away before suffering the indignity of a free bus pass, leaving Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend to carry the torch of rebellion into their seventies. Given the nihilistic lyrics, I’m sure that back then neither was worried about financial security in old age or passing on their wealth. Ironically, however, these issues are now extremely important to their generation. Where the transfer of wealth was once the preserve of ‘old money’, providing for one’s children or grandchildren is now of interest to most of our clients, whether their wealth has been inherited or earned as entrepreneurs, business executives or partners in professional practices. What are the key issues? As with most areas of personal finance, the broad principles are relatively straightforward – the devil is in the detail and getting the ‘personal’ right for you. What is discretionary investment management? To understand what good generational wealth management can mean, it may help to describe our core service. While we have a number of related businesses, the main service we offer is discretionary investment management, which fits hand-in-glove with your financial plans.
Unlike some banks or ‘retail’ investment managers, which serve the mass market by grouping together broadly similar clients in standardised model portfolios, we provide a truly personal investment service that reflects your individual circumstances and financial objectives. Only when these are properly understood by your investment manager and agreed with you, do we construct your personal investment portfolio. Of course, your circumstances and objectives will change over time, as will financial markets, so the real benefit of our service is in the ongoing management to ensure your portfolio remains relevant. Such a ‘bespoke’ service might sound indulgent or expensive, yet our service is appropriate for people who may not see themselves as particularly wealthy. With changes to pensions and the compounding effect of ISAs, discretionary investment management is suitable for far more people than perhaps realise it. When pensions, ISAs and other investments, including partnerships or shares accumulated through employment, are taken into account, many people have non-property assets exceeding £500,000. When property is included, this can rise sharply to £1.5 million or more. This is a lot of money and these sums will rise sharply with forthcoming changes to ISAs, with the annual tax-free allowance for a couple rising to £40,000 from 2017/18. It is worth making the effort to make sure your long-term financial plans and investment strategy are right for what you want them to achieve.
Financial planning, including inheritance planning and trusts, is very important. Many of our clients already have a financial adviser and we are very happy to work with them. Equally, if required, we can bring our in-house financial planning expertise to bear. It is when financial planning and tailored investment management work together that you get the most effective solution for your requirements. What is generational wealth management? In basic terms, generational wealth management is about who will benefit from your wealth in future and minimising the amount of inheritance tax that will be paid. This is, however, very crude and misses nearly all the factors that are important to our clients. Needless to say, inheritance can be a very sensitive subject, raising difficult questions about trust and whether you approve of the life choices your children or grandchildren might make. Equally, it may unleash ‘control issues’ in the parent or grandparent: “You can only have my money if...” Any number of clauses can be inserted here, concerning marriage, having children, working in the family business, etc. – all could be very damaging if they don’t reflect the life choices of the child or grandchild. This reminds us that the transfer of wealth will affect at least two parties and possibly far more. Second or subsequent marriages with or without step children, children’s divorces, illness or mental incapacity, including addiction – all can influence inheritance planning. This highlights the benefits of our personal approach, in which all of your family’s circumstances can be taken into account.
Guidance and reassurance Our research suggests that people of all ages believe that the most important benefits of wealth include providing them and their families with security (53% of all respondents) and being able to maintain their quality of life as they get older (49%). Perhaps surprisingly, knowing that their spouse, children and grandchildren are provided for when they’ve gone scored far lower (24%, although this rose to 31% for those aged 65 and over). In our experience, however, clients care deeply about providing for their loved ones’ futures, so this might explain its rating relative to providing for healthcare in old age. Elderly clients worry a great deal about this and often overprovide, putting aside far more than they are likely to need. It is impossible to generalise, but experience suggests the ‘worst case scenario’ rarely comes to pass. Nonetheless, for most older clients, providing for long-term healthcare is a key financial consideration. Again, however, the personal relationships we have with our clients mean we can go further in giving them peace of mind. Alongside financial security, many fear mental impairment, such as dementia. Alzheimer’s Research UK estimates that one in three people aged over 65 will die with some form of dementia. We believe it is important to tell our clients how we approach this sensitive issue. The statutory framework is provided by the 2005 Mental Capacity Act and the regulatory requirements of the Financial Conduct Authority. On top of this, we try to address the subject long before it may be relevant by asking clients
how they would wish us to deal with it and often advise speaking to a solicitor about establishing a lasting power of attorney. This is a legal document, not unlike a will, covering either health and welfare or property and financial affairs. People are appointed by the client to make decisions on their behalf should they be unable and have a clear legal duty to act in the best interests of the person concerned. The best safeguard, however, is often the relationship that we have with our clients. We don’t use relationship managers, so our investment managers have a direct relationship with their clients. These relationships are often longstanding and it is therefore relatively easy to spot unusual or erratic behaviour. However, great tact is required – dementia is only one cause of such behaviour and medication, physical illness or anxiety can cause similar symptoms. Knowing that their healthcare costs and any future mental incapacity have been addressed helps older clients to think more clearly about inheritance. There are myriad ways to achieve clients’ wishes, sometimes involving trusts or the phased transfer of wealth. All involve using allowances to maximum effect and understanding the relative merits of using different assets for cash flow today or inheritance in future. Some of the general rules that used to apply have changed with recent legislative changes. For example, where pensions used to be the best way to fund day-to-day living costs and investments were for rainy days and inheritance, rule changes mean it may now be better to spend your ISAs and pass on your pension. Again, this demonstrates the importance of up-to-date financial advice based on your specific circumstances.
Helping younger people As well as advising parents or grandparents about inheritance planning, we are frequently asked to advise the beneficiaries of their plans. The prospect of inheriting money can be very daunting for younger people, particularly if the sums are out of their current life experience. They can feel overwhelmed by the responsibility or sometimes want to support philanthropic causes without considering their likely future financial obligations. We often deal with several generations of a family and meet grandchildren through a grandparent. Naturally, younger clients can have very different circumstances and financial requirements from their parents or grandparents. For example, buying a flat or house is often a more urgent consideration than long-term pension planning. While exercising the caution that the parent or grandparent would expect, younger clients receive the same personal service based on their particular situation. An investment manager who constantly asks “Would your grandmother approve?” will soon be replaced! We understand the importance of helping young people to learn about personal finance. For over 10 years, we have offered the Rathbones Financial Awareness programme to 16 to 24 year-olds. Several thousand young people have learned from our investment managers about earning, saving and investing money, the basics of the financial system and the dangers of excessive borrowing. We visit schools and host days at our various offices – find out more at rathbones.com. Other ways to pass on wealth While inheritance and the transfer of wealth from one generation to another is understandi-MAGAZINE 125
ably a priority for most clients, there are other ways to share your wealth and benefit others. Many of our clients are also keen to help those less fortunate than themselves, so we know a great deal about philanthropy. Using our experience, we can advise clients on different ways to support charities during their lifetimes and beyond through legacies. Philanthropy is not necessarily an alternative to inheritance – it can augment inheritance planning and help children or grandchildren to appreciate their good fortune. Summary Generational wealth management is a complex subject and each client’s objectives are different. We believe our personal service is the best way to achieve these objectives, providing parents and grandparents with guidance and reassurance, while supporting their children and grandchildren in dealing with newly-inherited wealth, so that one day they in turn will be able to support their own children and grandchildren. To find out more about our services, including inheritance planning, please contact us on 020 7399 0000 or visit rathbones.com
Enduring values in changing times Long before we became an investment manager, Rathbones was a timber merchants established in Liverpool in the 1720s. Subsequent generations took the family business into shipping and overseas trade before moving into investment management at the beginning of the last century. Liverpool is one of the threads connecting our past, present and future. We are now a nationwide company with a London head office, but the city remains an important part of Rathbones. Our office in the historic Port of Liverpool Building is a reminder of our beginnings: the modern operations centre we have created within shows a business thinking ahead. The values of our predecessors continue to guide us because they are still relevant. You can see our Quaker heritage in the importance we place on honesty, integrity and independence. We are very aware of the trust that our clients place in us and strive to maintain these values in our daily work. The Rathbone family also passed on its strong commitment to ethics in business. The part it played in the abolition of the slave trade is an early example of the activism
carried on today by our ethical investment business Rathbone Greenbank, which is named after the family home in Liverpool. The family believed in public service, contributing to the improvement of healthcare and education for the people of Liverpool. This tradition has also endured. Through our involvement in sport and education, we support the development of young people across the UK. Every year our employees raise substantial amounts of money for charity and contribute their time to a wide range of charitable and civic activities. These principles have served us well as we have evolved into one of the UK’s leading investment management companies. Throughout our history, we’ve focused on building relationships and providing a level of service that encourages our clients to recommend us to others. As a forward-looking company, we are more interested in the years ahead than those gone by. However, we have found that remembering where we have come from, and learning from the past, is a good way to achieve success in the future.
“How to recruit a diverse workforce” By Stephen Frost
Recruiting people is like a love affair: there has to be attraction on both sides. Just as in love, we are irrational, yet we try to appear otherwise and frequently give verbose justifications for our sometimes questionable decisions. Just as in love, there are problems. In one sense, the whole process of recruitment is a process of discrimination. We reject those we find unattractive, who we don’t want to associate with. Ironically, we need diversity now more than ever. We need to enlarge the toolbox at an organisation’s disposal to help solve the challenges that organisation faces. Instead of hiring more brilliant (but similar) people, actively look for difference. This comes from a pressing need to diversify the talent to solve challenges we currently lack the skill set for. Recruitment, and especially ‘diversity’, can no longer be simply a ‘department’. Every recruiter, indeed every employee, should be responsible for diverse hiring. HR professionals and leaders need to focus not only on the business priorities of today, but predict the skills, capabilities and mind set needed within their teams to allow them to stay competitive over time. We can begin the love affair from the supply side (the supply of talent) and we can look at it from the demand side (employer demand for candidates). We start with demand; after all, people have to want and believe in
diversity because these expectations shape behaviours that determine outcomes. If you want diversity, you have to convince people you are serious about it, because otherwise they won’t even listen, let alone apply. DEMAND DIVERSITY Create a strategic workforce plan (SWP) This is a prerequisite for inclusive recruitment. It is about putting a great deal of forethought into which people you want to hire. Professor Nick Kemsley, at Henley Business School, defines it as, “identifying the people and organisational capability needs of, and risks to, the business strategy…translating them to the workforce, and putting in place… plans to deliver what’s needed, when it’s needed”. In other words, having a forward recruitment plan for the next 1-3 years, rather than responding to panicked calls from line managers to ‘find someone’ in the next 1-3 months. If it’s about plugging a specific hole, prescribed with a narrow view, and exclusive by nature, then it’s a tactical approach. Understanding the busy and quiet periods, adjusting the numbers of staff, looking at shift patterns and rostering are important to maximise the effective use of existing resources or a numerical forecast of future resources. But it’s very short term and operational. They are focusing on the question –‘how much of what we already have do we need in the future’?
This question fails to ask, “what will we need that we do not currently have, and what do we have now that will not need in the future?” Modernise your selection criteria The publisher Penguin Random House redesigned their recruitment to assess creativity, as opposed to experience, and opened it to everyone including school leavers (aged 16-19), university graduates and those already working. No CVs were requested and instead they evaluated applicants against seven criteria (curiosity, passion for our purpose, ideas and the ability to make them happen, digitally minded, social media savvy, persuasive and adaptable). They received more than 800 applications. The results? Significantly more diversity in their new starters; a cake business owner and mother of one, a Canadian history graduate, a sixth-form student and a former software sales executive are now on an 18 month programme that includes orientation and two six month placements in two of Penguin’s publishing divisions. Many organisations still have questionable criteria that they seek in candidates. They reward those who fit and penalise those who don’t. The London 2012 organising committee had to remove “previous Games experience” as standard Olympics job description criteria. Most brilliant people have not worked on an Olympic Games before and so it had to be deleted or they would have miss on some amazing talent.
Decrease unconscious bias Unconscious bias is omnipresent in organisations and likely to be more prevalent at times of stress and change,or when recruitment is done in a hurry. It occurs when we use the unconscious 98% of our brain to make decisions rather than our conscious brain. It is impossible to eradicate unconscious bias because a) we are not conscious of it and b) it fulfils a need - without stereotypes and other cognitive short cuts we would never get through the day. We can then decrease bias in two ways – through conscious leadership (selfawareness) and through unconscious system adjustments (nudges). In the first instance, unconscious bias training typically includes tests to illustrate a person’s prejudices. For example, you can undertake a Harvard Implicit Association test at www.implicit.harvard. edu. It’s important to point out that this is an observation, not an accusation - we all have bias whether we like it or not. Design Nudges Nudges are designed interventions to change decision-making at the point decisions are made. These are practical interventions designed to mitigate bias by gently pushing a recruiter in the direction of inclusive behaviour often without them even realising it. One example is framing or anchoring questions that lead to an issue being perceived in a different way. If we look at the response of females to a typical interview question, ‘are you open to an international assignment’? The result is very different if the question was phrased ‘would you be open to consider an international assignment at some point in the future’? 25% of women were more likely to answer positively in the second framing.
Interview using mixed panels and balanced slates A formal process of mixed panel members (in terms of gender, department and function) and balanced slates can bring more cognitive rigour to bear, saving vast amounts of time and money all round. Goldman Sachs, Lloyds Bank and KPMG now insist on at least one female executive in any panel when interviewing prospective candidates for senior level recruitment. Mixed panels can bring transparency and better decision-making to selection. To maximise their effectiveness, have individual panel members come together only after they have individually reviewed the candidates. This will decrease the risk of groupthink and increase insights from different perspectives. Google have introduced a rule that managers cannot interview for their own team. Hire teams, not individuals If you take your five-year-old child to the supermarket (never a good idea) they will choose their favourite chocolate bar at the pester-power aisle before checkout. If you were to explain to the child that we were not returning to the supermarket for three months and they had to choose enough chocolate bars to last the time, they would choose a selection of different chocolate bars. That’s because we put more emphasis on diversity in-group selection, or over time. Indeed, at the supermarket, they discount bulk packs of similar chocolate bars (‘family packs’) and mark up ‘selection boxes’ of different sweets. We pay a premium for diversity because we value it more. If we apply this analogy to the recruitment process, we should hire in groups as opposed to a one to one basis, to reduce unconscious bias.
Following the usual one-to-one style there is every likelihood that the candidates will be partly judged on dud criteria, like attractiveness. And on a one-to-one basis we select candidates individually, unaware of the bigger picture that we keep recruiting similar people. But if they are interviewed at the same time then the evaluation is more likely to be based on their skills and performance – and even if the interviewers are highly sceptical of diversity they are still unlikely to put through five of the same people – they will prefer a selection box to a family pack. So if you are observing 10 people at an assessment and you have to select 5, the five are more likely to be diverse than if you interviewed 10 people one-on-one. SUPPLY SIDE ACTIONS If you want a more diverse and inclusive organisation, it’s important to start with demand side actions. Otherwise, people rely on supply side measures, avoiding any responsibility to change their own behaviour. Only when you are satisfied that there are significant internal behavioural changes underway can you credibly articulate your position in the market place, otherwise you will increase your supply followed by increasing your attrition as recruits leave soon after being hired. Target under-represented groups There are several groups that are under-represented due to circumstance and connectivity rather than lack of merit or ability. A pool of talent that organisations often neglect is people with disabilities. In the USA only 20% of the 54 million registered disabled people are working. In London 2012 at first they assumed that the Olympic Rings had universal appeal. Not so. Many local Muslim young people did not see the rings as relevant to them. They were
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less likely to know about the organisation, even less likely to apply. Only when the interview room was shifted to their local community centre did a change in perceptions occur. People not in our immediate ‘in-group’ need concrete pathways constructed for them to enter your organisation. Establish a guaranteed interview scheme It is perfectly legal, ethical and commercial to target whomever you want. If you want to give a guaranteed interview to any candidate with a disability that meets the selection criteria for your job then, why not? You are not guaranteeing someone a job, just the opportunity to interview for a job. But because we know that luck plays an element in any job search why not eliminate the chance element for people who are more cynical and face more challenges than most? In the UK, the two ticks symbol is awarded to organisations that meet specific criteria, such as awareness training to recruiters. The symbol then can be used in recruitment adverts to indicate that the employer welcomes applications from disabled people. The UK government’s programme has been embraced by 3,500 employers. Set up a returners programme To attract talent back to work, for example parents of young children or people post career-leave, organisations will need to be flexible in such issues as working hours, job-share and time off. In many countries there is now legislation ensuring family friendly policies are introduced but this is about going beyond compliance to attract people who might not initially consider you. Research carried out by the Workforce Institute at Kronos and Workplace Trends focused on
the theme of returners who they referred to as ‘boomerang employees’. They surveyed over 1800 HR professionals across the US. From those who responded 76% stated a willingness to re-employ leavers. The data suggests that 46% of millennials, 33% of generation X and 29% of baby-boomers would consider returning to their previous organisation. Ex-employees also bring additional diversity gathered from their experience outside. Benchmark your recruiters The average headhunter or recruiter has ‘time to hire’ as their primary performance measure. The quicker they hire someone the faster they get paid and the better the ratio of effort and reward. This causes problems when it comes to diversity. If you want to challenge the status quo then you need to change the incentives. Change your sourcing model to one where you really are the client rather than the passive recipient of what someone else defines as talent. Place your recruiters in a league table according to diversity and alter the reward structure accordingly. Bring them together regularly and praise best practice and regularly exit the bottom 10% of agencies. This will change behaviour. In isolation it is crude and could lead to unfortunate behaviour as headhunters literally go hunting for women or certain ‘groups’ and prioritise identity over skill sets. However as part of a balanced approach we know it works. There are concrete actions you can undertake to build a diverse workforce. Start with the demand side, demonstrate your intent, and then progress to supply side measures. The goal is not only achieving a diverse workforce, but also changing attitudes through doing rather than talking. People working on the
London 2012 Olympics rated the ‘different people’ they ‘would never have otherwise met’ as one of their professional highlights. It would be wonderful if more of us could say that too. Key takeaways: • Purposeful planning – who do we want and who are we missing? Redefine talent, be pro-active in changing your selection criteria and be prepared to take risks. • Establish concrete talent pathways – fish in bigger, different pools. Identify and engage with internal staff, ex- employees and other external sources for talent. • Create in the moment nudges – don’t waste time trying to change people’s worldview, use nudges to change outcomes even if you fail to change minds. • Leadership - expand time to hire, overcome siloed thinking and be aware of your bias. A leader becoming more self-aware is probably the best investment of time you can make in them. • Transparent and assertive management of stakeholders. Look in the mirror – do they want to join you? Reshape and diversify your employee branding to reflect the diverse world outside.
Inclusive Talent Management: How Business can Thrive in an Age of Diversity (Kogan Page) by Stephen Frost and Danny Kalman is out now, priced £29.99.
Nigel Lamb I-MAGAZINE interviews Red Bull Air Race Pilot Nigel Lamb
Can you talk a bit about what inspired you to start flying in the first place?
I always fancied the idea of flying. My father was a fighter pilot in the second world war. Although he didn’t talk about it much I guess the interest stems from there. We lived on a farm in Rhodesia, in the middle of nowhere; had no television but my parents were avid readers. The house was full of books, thousands of them. I read all of the aviation related ones. When we climbed the mountains on the farm, we would always see eagles soaring along the cliffs. Looking down and imagining the freedom to fly gave me a tremendous buzz.
I know you were originally in the RAF, how did you make the transition to Red Bull Air Race pilot?
Through many hours of flying aircraft! During my time in the air-force we were given basic aerobatic training. The three-dimensional freedom was something that I really enjoyed, so when I left the air-force I moved to England to join a formation aerobatic display team and to continue my training. I successfully competed in many unlimited aerobatics competitions, and running my own aerobatic team, continued to fly at air shows all around the world. As soon as I heard about the Red Bull Air Race I immediately knew it was something I would like to be involved in, so made a few phone calls. In 2005 I had a call asking me to attend a training camp. I must have done ok because the rest is history, as they say.
Can you think of a particularly incredible experience you’ve had whilst flying?
I feel as if I’ve enjoyed an infinite number of wonderful experiences. Most relate to other people sharing the experience but one that stands out is circling the active Mayon volcano near Legazpi in the Philippines at 8,000 feet in a tiny bi-plane and feeling phenomenally vulnerable in the face of the awesome power of nature.
Where’s the best place you’ve flown?
As far as air race locations go I always really enjoy the incredible atmosphere at Ascot, the home crowd are sensational and particularly loud!! Spielberg is also a spectacular and challenging track, with the most exhilarating takeoff then landing on the F1 finishing straight. Flying a helicopter along the great Zambezi river at sunset and seeing all the animals takes some beating.
Is there anywhere you want to fly that you haven’t been to before?
Apart from the Air Races we flew in Rio, I’d love to fly more in South America, and try some tundra tyre bush flying in Alaska; like you can see so much on YouTube.
Can you talk a bit about the process that goes into preparing for a race? Are there any particular rituals?
Physically you have to have very strong body-core and neck muscles to withstand the high ‘G’ forces and stress from the 400˚/second roll rate. You need to have good techniques and exercises for looking after your back and your neck.
We specifically train these muscle groups to deal with the pressure. Good aerobic fitness is essential so I aim for 40mins running or racquetball 3 times a week. My preference is racquetball, which also helps improve mental agility as well as strategy, reflexes and satisfying the competitive spirit! In addition, I have some exercises I try to do 3-4 times a week for about 20 minutes each time. It’s a mix of Yoga and Pilates, stretching and core exercises, also using a TRX suspension trainer. All this is easy to do in your hotel room. A lot of being prepared though comes down to the mental aspect. Somehow you have to find a balance between being too relaxed and too ‘hyped up’. You need to be feeling ‘sharp’ but not under so much pressure that you do not fly in a natural precise and smooth manner. It’s very important that when you start the engine you are looking forward to the race and that you’re mentally and physically prepared. You need to be in a frame of mind where you can get the best out of yourself and the machine and feel that you are absolutely on top of your game. You’re focused, know exactly the line you want to take and you’re not thinking about anything else. I have a fantastic track analyst in my son Max, who tells me the best lines to fly, then it’s up to me to put them into practice! Of course, none of this is possible without being surrounded by a top team to shield you from distractions and provide you with the perfect platform to go racing.
You won the series back in 2014, is that your most memorable moment in your air race career?
My first win in Malaysia was, without doubt, the most emotional and memorable moment but winning the Championship came after several years of striving to become competitive so the sweet feeling from Spielberg lasted a very long time.
Albert Silberstein’s collaboration with MB&F Engraved in French on the case band between the lugs of LM1 Silberstein is a paraphrased quote from Gustave Flaubert: “Le vrai bonheur est d’avoir sa passion pour métier” – which translates roughly as, “Making a profession of your passion is true happiness”. The phrase carries special meaning for both French watch designer Alain Silberstein, who left the safety of working in his trained profession as an interior designer to found his own watch brand, and MB&F founder Maximilian Büsser, who left the security of being a successful CEO of a well-known brand to found his own niche creative lab. In 2009, MB&F had called on Silberstein to create its very first piece of ‘Performance Art’ – reinterpretations by external art – ists and designers of existing MB&F Machines. The result was the HM2.2 ‘Black Box’, followed by a long list of collaborations with other creators. For this new Performance Art series, Silberstein has taken MB&F’s classic Legacy Machine No.1 and imbued it with his unique flair for the unconventional. INSPIRATION AND REALIZATION Alain Silberstein had one overriding aim in his vision of creating a ‘Performance Art’ edition of LM1: to welcome the “eternal time” of the universe into the movement, where it would be transformed into time on a more human scale.
explains. Silberstein felt strongly that, as the balance is the “beating heart” of the timepiece, nothing should break the view of the dial side regulator or block “eternal time” from reaching the time indications. He also thought that the dual arcing bridges of the original LM1 took too much visual attention from the indications. Two years of development were required to develop the transparent sapphire crystal balance bridge to the incredibly tight tolerances required to support the balance wheel. And all of that work for a component that is essentially designed to be invisible. “It was a pleasure to work from such a creative timepiece as LM1 because the suspended balance and arched bridge made it feel like working on the set of a science fiction film”. Even the two crowns are steeped in Silberstein magic: their distinctive six-pointed star shapes formed by overlapping two triangles make winding a tactile pleasure. Silberstein uses contrast and materials to surreptitiously guide the eye to key elements on the dial: the hands are both brightly coloured and high gloss, while the underlying dials and movement plates feature more subdued colours with matte finishes. “I like playing with materials and finishes. The more matte there is, the more the high polish pops”.
ENGINE LM1’s ingenious three-dimensional movement was specifically developed for MB&F from His use of his signature three bright colours and Maximilian Büsser’s sketches by Jean-François shapes: red, blue and yellow; triangle, rectangle Mojon and his team at Chronode together with and circle for the hands and dial markers; and independent watchmaker Kari Voutilainen. The three-dimensionally translated as a cone, cube balance wheel and spring at the very heart of and sphere for the power reserve, catch the any mechanical watch movement are responeye as they contrast against the more subdued sible for regulating timekeeping accuracy. movement plate below. While the convex Büsser has long been fascinated by the large sapphire crystal dome and balance bridge offer slowly oscillating balance wheels of antique protection from outside forces, the concave pocket watches so it was no surprise this was subdials attract and welcome the “eternal the starting point from which to let his fertile time” of the universe into the movement, imagination roam free. What was surprising, where it is transformed and displayed as two though, is just how radically he reinterpreted completely independent time zones. tradition by relocating the balance wheel from its more usual position hidden at the back of The hands are similarly concave so that they the movement to floating above the dials! seamlessly complement the curvature of the dials. “I resonated with LM1 because by While the location of Legacy Machine N°1’s highlighting the balance – the mechanism regulating organ may be considered avantthat splits time into miniscule increments – it garde, ‘tradition’ is upheld by the large 14mm highlights how man converts eternal time diameter balance wheel with regulating screws into something he can use”, Silberstein specifically developed for MB&F, balance spring i-MAGAZINE 132
with Breguet overcoil, and mobile stud holder. Another very special feature of the LM1 movement is the ability to set the two time zones completely independently. The vast majority of dual time zone movements only allow the hours to be independently adjusted, a rare few offer setting to the half hour. Legacy Machine N°1 allows both hours and minutes of each dial to be set to whatever time the user wishes. The world’s first vertical power reserve indicator on LM1 is driven by an ultra-flat differential with ceramic bearings allowing for a slimmer complication and a more robust and longer-wearing mechanism. ALAIN SILBERSTEIN BIOGRAPHY: METRES TO MICRONS Alain Silberstein was born in 1950 in Paris, France. After graduating in interior architecture and model making, he worked first as an interior designer in Paris, then continued in that field after moving to Besançon in 1979 − the centre of France’s watchmaking industry. Silberstein fell in love with watchmaking and in 1990 founded his own brand, Alain Silberstein Créations, which ceased operations in 2012. While interior design and designing watches share quite a few commonalities including the harmonious juxtaposition of colours and textures, the scale is quite different: Silberstein replaced working in metres with working in microns. “In all my creations I search for the radical, which is finding the very essence of what should be highlighted”. Silberstein’s watches are known for the signature use of three bright primary colours (red, blue, and yellow); three simple geometric shapes (triangle, square/ rectangle, and circle or in three dimensions pyramid, cube, and sphere); and sophisticated juxtaposition of materials and finishes. Silberstein was the first to create a watch with a sapphire crystal case, and he was a pioneer in making haute horlogerie playful with his use of bright colours and non-traditional materials. “Colour is important, but you have to always keep in mind that you cannot disassociate colour from the material. Finishes can also convey a sense of colour”. Silberstein now works as an independent watch designer. He is a long time Friend of MB&F, having first collaborated on the Bauhaus-inspired HM2.2 Black Box Performance Art piece in 2009.
The Future Of European Businesses Launching In London By Andrea Rasca CEO at Mercato Metropolitano
As an Italian, I’m used to dealing with a restless political system. The UK to me has always represented a show of legitimate actions, individual rights, correctness and savvy political judgement. That all changed on June 24th. A country adored for the freedom it represents, its liberal culture and economy, has been utterly betrayed by a short-sighted political class. This has truly been one of the worst examples of politics in our lifetime. The people who have been most mislead will pay the biggest price. The Leave campaign’s purpose was to win their own battles, and I am sorry for all the people who believed in them. It’s clear now that they had no real plan apart from their own agenda, and, as soon as they won… they left the sinking boat. I am not for Brexit, but I am against a number of ways in which the EU institutions operate, especially when it comes to food. I will never accept illogical choices led by industrial lobbies to, for example, force countries to produce cheese from milk powder rather than from milk. We need to fight these institutions and stand up against the devastating effects of an economy that is controlled by few, but affects us all. We must take a stand against those who tear apart our environments and communities. We must stop those who allow industries to sell junk food on the shelves of “price oriented” retailers, claiming the false notion of “value for money and cheap food”. The reality is that food is anything but cheap and the longer-term implications of processed foods, which are often high in salt, sugar and fat, are extremely i-MAGAZINE 134
damaging to health and to our environment. That is why I created Mercato Metroplitano, a socially, economically and culturally sustainable market that opened last summer in London. At MM we believe in and serve food “as it was meant to be”: good, healthy, natural, artisanal and nutritious. We have built a business model around “Small is Beautiful”, the title of the marvellous and very modern book that the economist Schumacher wrote in 1973. We have also been inspired by the great entrepreneur Olivetti, one of the promoters of a form of social capitalism where the enterprise is part of an ecosystem, a community. When we began our journey to bring Mercato Metropolitano to London, the Brexit vote hadn’t happened. Now that it has, we’re more determined than ever to make this new model work and make a European business thrive in London. Mercato Metroplitano is built for all people and is in this sense, anti-Brexit. We include, not exclude, we work within the community, we work for the requalification of areas, for family and friends aggregation, healthy eating habits, sustainability, traceability of products and their nutritional quality. Our beliefs are based in making a fully inclusive food retail business, so we started immediately by talking with local residents and the representatives of the communities around us. We started hiring locals through Good People, a local ethical job agency in London, we decided to offer a higher than minimum wage salary and we are now searching and talking to local farmers and local artisans to add to our roster in London.
We believe in people, in the small hard working producers who still believe and have passion for what they do. We want to support and help nurture the “small” people, producers and artisans. We like the idea of a community based around a multicultural and enriching environment. It is going to be more expensive to import products post-Brexit, but we are here to maximize health and happiness, not the profit. We must of course be economically sustainable, but we want MM to be also as socially and environmentally sustainable as possible. It’s more important than ever that we focus on the many things that unite us, not on our fewer differences. What is done is done. Now is a time to stick together more than ever and create something wonderful.
Brainhack – How to make the most of your mind By Neil Pavitt
There’s a lot of talk currently about what role robots and artificial intelligence will play in our future. As computers abilities increase, I think rather than being a scary prospect, they will give us the opportunity to see what is so unique about the human brain. The thing is that what makes our minds so special are the last attributes that you’d want in a computer.
would be time well spent. But not allowing our minds to get bored and wander is reducing the opportunity for it to solve whatever problem you’re currently focusing on.
The brain’s processing speed is much slower than the average computer. You only have access to 5% of that processing power. It overheats quickly, loses focus and will need to be put in sleep mode after 12 hours of use. And switching it on and off again won’t automatically get it working again.
“Perceptual decoupling” is what cognitive psychologist Jonathan Smallwood calls it. He says, “In a very deep way there’s a close link between originality, novelty, and creativity and these sort of spontaneous thoughts that we generate when our minds are idle.”
But what would be seen as inefficient in a machine is what makes our human brains so special. Creative thought, ingenuity and our ability to problem solve all come from our minds wandering and from unconscious incubation. While we can’t control our unconscious, we can learn to harness its power better. It’s learning how to do this that will prove to be so valuable, now and in the future. Allowing our minds to wander is vital for creative thought and yet our addiction to our phones is stopping it. Imagine you’re meeting a friend in a coffee shop and they’re late. Do you look out of the window and let you mind wander or do you get your phone out? The natural assumption would be getting your phone out and answering some emails,
When a computer goes into standby mode it effectively switches off. When our minds go into standby mode they’re at their busiest.
Unlike a computer we lack control over most of our minds. As I have already mentioned 95% of processing in the mind is unconscious and therefore out of our control. But once again it’s this uncontrollable element of the mind that creates the door to so many of our great ideas. John Cleese said, “This is the extraordinary thing about creativity: if you keep your mind resting against the subject in a friendly way, sooner or later you will get a reward from your unconscious.”
It’s no wonder that the real gems come from our unconscious minds. It’s allowed to work on problems unhindered by the judgemental A recent study by Pennsylvania State University voice of our conscious mind. There’s also the small matter of it being able to process data researchers Karen Gasper and Brianna 500,000 times faster than the conscious mind Middlewood found that being bored helps promote creative association and pushes one as well. So here are a few tips on how you can get your unconscious mind working for you: to find deeper meaning and satisfaction. After watching videos that were designed to create certain emotions, the participants took creativity tests. Of all the emotions elicited: relaxed, elated, bored and distressed; the ones who were bored outperformed all the others. One of the by-products of boredom is it makes us more creative. This is because there’s a connection between mind wandering and daydreaming that allows new connections in our brain to form and come up with creative solutions.
1. Don’t Try To Have Good Ideas The first rule of having good ideas: Don’t try to have good ideas. What’s important is just to have ideas. When you have an idea you don’t know how good it is. It can only be judged when you have more ideas to compare with it. Author and entrepreneur Seth Godin said a man asked him where he got all his good ideas. The man explained that it takes him a month or two to come up with one and that
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Seth seemed to have more than that. Seth asked the man how many bad ideas he had every month. He paused and said, “None”. When there’s pressure to think of a “great” idea, you start judging your ideas before you’ve even written them down. American advertising legend George Lois said that he told everyone in his department to come up with a great idea for a client. He came back in an hour and nobody had any ideas at all. So he said, “Okay, come up with twenty ideas.” He came back in an hour and everyone had twenty ideas. Some were good and some were bad, but they’d all managed to get twenty ideas.
was definitely beneficial to creative thought. While performance on the analytic problems was largely unaffected by the clock, when people were tested during their “least optimal time of day”, they were significantly more effective at solving insight puzzles. (On one problem, their performance increased by nearly 50 per cent.) If you’re tired, your brain is not so good at focusing on a task or filtering out distractions. Your mind will wander more and therefore you’ll be far more likely to create new connections and come up with unexpected ideas.
2. Think when you’re tired Are you an early bird or a night owl?
Try setting your alarm thirty minutes before you have to get up. Being half asleep is a great state for your mind to wander and for unconscious thoughts to bubble up.
Whichever you are, you probably think the most productive time would be the morning if you’re an early bird or the end of the day if you’re a night owl. Well, yes and no. It depends what type of work you’re doing.
3. Take a walk Famous creative people throughout history have sworn by the value of walking. Nietzsche said, “All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.”
If it’s analytical work that requires a focused brain, you’d be right. But if it’s a creative problem that requires lateral thinking, you’re at your best when you’re not at your best.
Dickens would never miss his afternoon walks through London and in the countryside. He said if he couldn’t walk “far and fast” he would “explode and perish”. He would often walk up to thirty miles a day.
Professor Mareike Wieth from Albion College, Michigan, discovered this in a recent study. The results showed that being a bit sleepy
his garden, that he would walk round and round until a certain problem was solved. Steve Jobs was a huge advocate of walking as a method of working on problems, but also as a way of holding meetings. Co-founder of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, and Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook are also big fans of walking meetings. Dr Marily Oppezzo and Daniel Schwartz from Stanford University decided to test whether it was the actual act of walking that made people more creative. What they expected to find was that walking outside in the fresh air with inspiring scenery would be, but that walking inside on a treadmill wouldn’t. Dr Oppezzo says she thought, “walking outside would blow everything out of the water, but walking on a treadmill in a small, boring room still had strong results, which surprised me.” Whether it was walking inside or outside, the participants’ creative output went up by an average of 60% compared to people sitting down. 4. Work Messy There seems to be a current trend for de-cluttering. But if you want to solve problems, messy is the way to go.
Darwin created his own version of the treadmill and had a circular gravel path created in
You walk into an Apple store and it’s uncluttered and beautifully laid out. So you would assume Steve Jobs’ desk would have been a perfect example of Zen minimalism. Wrong, it was a complete tip. Other famous exemplars of the messy desk are Einstein, Mark Twain, Alexander Fleming, Mark Zuckerberg and Alan Turing. All in very different fields, but all very creative thinkers. The question is, were their desks messy because they were creative, or were they creative because they had messy desks? Research lead by Kathleen Vohs, a professor at the University of Minnesota, has found that you do actually get a creativity boost when you work in a messy space. She assigned a group of individuals messy or neat rooms and they asked them to think of new uses for ping-pong balls. The participants from both rooms wrote down about the same numbers of solutions. But when the solutions were analysed by independent judges, it was found that the ideas that came from people in the messy room were seen as 28% more creative. Amazingly, almost five times as many of the ideas that were judged as “highly creative” came from participants working in the messy room. Our brains are very impressionable, so the unconscious cues of disorder in the messy room make us think “messy”. This disorderly thinking is an ideal state to be in when trying to come up with innovative and unexpected ideas. As Einstein said, “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?”
5. Watch cat videos In a recent study by the Draugiem Group it was found that the 10% of employees with the highest productivity, surprisingly didn’t put in longer hours than anyone else. In fact, they didn’t even work a full eight-hour days. What they did do was take regular breaks. Specifically, they took 17-minute breaks for every 52 minutes of work. And to be really productive, it’s just as important to concentrate on what you do in your breaks as what you do while you’re working. Once you’ve stretched your legs and got yourself a coffee, the last thing you should do is sit down at your desk and check up on what’s happening in the news. What you should be doing is watching videos of grumpy cats or whatever makes you laugh. A study published in the journal Psychological Science found that subjects who watched brief video clips that made them feel sad (and let’s face it, the news is rarely cheery) were less able to solve problems creatively than people who watched an upbeat video. Ruby Nadler, one of the researchers from the University of Western Ontario said, “A positive mood increases cognitive flexibility, while a negative mood narrows our mental horizons. If you have a project where you want to think innovatively, or you have a problem to carefully consider, being in a positive mood can help you to do that.” 6. Don’t Finish If you’re writing anything that involves taking a break overnight, most people’s inclination would be to stop where they find a natural ending: at the end of a thought or, at the very least, the end of a paragraph.
Your aim is to leave it neat and tidy for when you come back to it. But the trouble is, you’re also unconsciously putting your project to sleep. The project might only be half way through, but to your mind it’s done and dusted. The next day when you come back to it, you really are starting afresh. You need to re-engage your mind in the project and this can be hard. You can’t really grasp that thought that seemed so clear the night before. Well, Ernest Hemingway had an answer to this problem. When he stopped writing he wouldn’t leave it at a natural neat ending point of a chapter or even a paragraph. He wanted to leave his writing with a sharp jagged edge so it couldn’t be ignored. So he would always stop mid-sentence. This is what he said about the practice: “You write until you come to a place where you still have your juice and know what will happen next and you stop.” Firstly, by stopping when you know what you want to write next, it makes it a lot easier to start again the next day. But more importantly, you’re engaging your brain and tying it to the project. The brain doesn’t like unfinished business, so by stopping mid-sentence you’re keeping your brain thinking about the problem.
This article is based on Neil Pavitt’s latest book Brainhack: Tips and Tricks to Unleash Your Brain’s Full Potential (published by Capstone).
Reputation – Your Greatest Business Asset The Role of Personal Reputation for Today’s Business Professionals By Rob Brown, author of Build Your Reputation: Grow Your Personal Brand for Career and Business Success
It was preacher DL Moody who said ‘If I take care of my character, my reputation will take care of itself.’ Reputation is a word that everyone understands, yet few exploit it and fewer protect it. Reputation reflects the confidence people have in you as a personal brand, and your company as a corporate brand. Financial institutions and corporate giants have traded on their reputation for centuries. In the early days, deals were done on handshakes and fortunes were traded on trust. Promises were honored and commitments were kept. How times have changed! Rarely a day goes by without some scandal. Politicians, celebrities and business leaders feed the media with great examples of how to ruin your good name and throw it all away. Be it an indiscretion here or careless whisper there, there are few secrets anymore. What we are seeing in this age of transparency and instant news is that personal reputations affect corporate ones. Personality flaws, mistakes and comments quickly appear in the public domain, and can travel the world instantaneously. Your reputation can propel you into the top jobs, the best career and the most interesting environments. A poor reputation will inhibit your career prospects, blunt your influence and undermine your ability to lead. Everybody is a leader and an influencer. It is said that even the most introverted person in the world will influence thousands of people in their lifetime. The good news is it gives you power and significance. The bad is that it also i-MAGAZINE 144
gives you responsibility and accountability. As a leader, you are the guardian and ambassador of whatever and whomever you lead. This could be your domain, company, community or business. Let’s call this your empire. Your empire’s public or ‘corporate’ reputation stands and falls on your personal one. You drive the brand, set the culture and model the values. Thus, your standing and good name is vital to promote brand awareness, credibility and status in your industry, community and target market. Your empire is not just bricks and mortar. Its value comes from concepts like engagement, talent, relationships, culture and innovation. You play a part in that. Your personal share price on the stock market of life dictates what people are willing to pay for you and invest in you. Your reputation matters. Much of what you do, think and say plays out across communities and online platforms. There are few secrets and almost total transparency. The higher up you go, the more your personal reputation can make or break your career and possibly the company you work for. Your personal reputation becomes inextricably linked to that of your company and you begin to represent your empire on the public stage. At the top you are more scrutinised.What others say and do in your empire matters just as much. When you have stakeholders the narrative you tell becomes public interest. Your good name will open doors, but when you bomb, the company often goes with you. A glance at the everyday press will show you how
the acts and comments of CEOs affect share price, public trust and employee engagement. Ask Gerald Ratner, once a leading English jeweller who sank his company overnight with an inopportune comment. He serves as an example of how fragile reputations are and the devastating effect they can have on an empire. He joined the family business in 1966, built up an extremely successful chain of jewellers during the 1980s, and eventually became Chief Executive. Although widely regarded as ‘tacky’, the chain was extremely popular with the public, until Ratner made a speech at the Institute of Directors in April 1991. During the speech, he said: “We also do cut-glass sherry decanters complete with six glasses on a silver-plated tray that your butler can serve you drinks on, all for £4.95. People say, ‘How can you sell this for such a low price?’ I say, because it’s total crap.” The speech was seized upon by the media and an estimated £500m was wiped from the value of the company. He was sacked 18 months later, and in 1994 the company was renamed Signet Group. The British retail industry still uses the term ‘doing a Ratner’ to describe a reputation-destroying PR debacle. Your reputation is in many ways the most valuable thing you own. It can take years to build and an instant to shatter. Leaders must take the fall, even if they are not to blame. How leaders handle PR problems that are not of their making can make or break their own and their company’s reputations. Martin Winterkorn, former CEO of Volkswagen, Audi
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and Porsche resigned on September 23 2015, days after the emissions scandal was revealed: “I am shocked by the events of the past few days. Above all, I am stunned that misconduct on such a scale was possible in the Volkswagen Group. As CEO I accept responsibility for the irregularities that have been found in diesel engines and have resigned as CEO of the Volkswagen Group. I am doing this in the interests of the company even though I am not aware of any wrongdoing on my part.” Winterkorn will not be short of money and possibly job offers. Forbes business magazine placed him 58th in its list of the world’s most powerful people just last year. But he will forever be tied with what happened on his watch. In our celebrity-obsessed culture, personalities lead the news. We are fascinated less by companies than by the people who lead them. A tenacious media, a hungry public and a good story are a potent combination. Can you hide from all this? It seems not. Reputation is a double-edged sword. It can be good or evil, beneficial or hindering. It will bring you fame or infamy. And it’s not even the truth that matters. People’s perceptions often trump the truth because it’s what they think that counts. The good news is that you can influence how others perceive you and thus your empire. You can’t really control it, since they’ll think what they think. But your strategy is to give them so much good stuff to talk about, they don’t see any bad stuff. Change the perception – change the reality. That’s part of the game. When all is well, your high public profile will be a valuable asset for you personally and your empire corporately. However, when the boat tips and things get tough, what counted for your good may now go against you. One woman in charge of a large London investment house began developing a high profile for herself during a series of high profile takeovers. She courted it and created some good PR as a result. But when a deal went wrong, the press knew who she was. Her fame became a liability in those difficult times. She recovered and learned. When you get your personal reputation right, your personal and public share price goes up. Engagement in your ideas goes up. Buy-in for your initiatives and projects goes up. Loyalty and advocacy goes up. Forgiveness and tolerance for your wrongs goes up as well as your control of people and situations and the speed at which you can get things done. Ultimately your ability to effect change and make a difference is accelerated. Even better, when your reputational capital
is high, resistance to your arguments and excuses goes down, together with stress, delay, suspicion, and distrust. Walls, obstacles and barriers come down. Your detractors and saboteurs melt away into obscurity as they lose ground swimming against the swell of positive public opinion.
When business leaders are asked about the tangible benefits of a good personal and corporate reputation four wins come up:
But how easy is all this? The Struggle for Control Over Your Reputation As the guardian of your empire’s reputation, you must also exercise control over your own personal reputation. Leaders are usually masters of control. They have to be. Control over people, messages, direction. They are the captain of the ship. Alas, the new world of internet, digital and mobile means leakage is both inevitable and instant. You have control over much but not all of your world. Private thoughts quickly become public perceptions. What happens in the boardroom often doesn’t stay in the boardroom. Emails, phone calls and private conversations all too often become public domain. Despite what you might want to keep behind closed doors, much can be found out, particularly if it is deemed to be in the public interest. Controlling how information appears in public is a fine line between control and transparency. Anonymity is not the answer and invisibility is not an option. Even if you accept the power of the internet, it’s unconceivable that you could be invisible or ‘unfindable’ online. I like the joke by Lori Randall Stradtman, author of Online Reputation Management For Dummies. ‘Where’s the best place to hide a dead body? On page 3 of Google’s search results.’
Attraction and retention of top talent
Better collaboration and partnership with key opinion leaders and policy makers
Better crisis management
Personal and corporate reputation is a bottom line discussion. When leaders take it seriously, they buy the right to try new things and take risks. They also buy some forgiveness, inoculation and time if things don’t go so well. Your good name goes a long way. It’s worth looking after.
ROB BROWN is Founder and CEO of the Networking Coaching Academy, which helps people build connections and reputations for greater influence and career opportunities. A featured TEDx speaker, Rob is also one of the world’s most recommended networking authorities according to LinkedIn. His Networking Giants radio show features experts from all over the world discussing collaborative and connected workforces, referrals, business networking, communicating, influence, trust, likeability, personal branding and reputation building. He lives in Nottingham, UK, the home of Robin Hood, with his wife Amanda and two daughters Georgia and Madison. He has a black belt in kickboxing, loves chocolate and fitness bootcamps, enjoys chess and backgammon, and plays four musical instruments moderately well.
Personal branding expert William Arruda goes further. ‘If you don’t show up in a Google search of your name, you don’t exist.’ Bottom line, if you’re not researchable, you’ll be neglected and forgotten. We live in the information age. Knowledge is power. Your reputation is in the hands of your stakeholders, your peers and the people in your empire, and is often shaped by the media and the public. If you don’t give it to them, somebody else will. And if nobody else will, they have the means to find it out. What people know and say about you can be good ‘coin’ for you. As long as they don’t use it against you, in which case it’s going to cost you a small fortune to make it go away. Knowledge, and thus reputation, is currency. Earn it well and trade it wisely. Reputation is a key driver of business success.
His new book Build Your Reputation – Grow Your Personal Brand for Career and Business Success (Wiley, July 2016) is available wherever books and ebooks are sold. i-MAGAZINE 145
Dani King MBE I-MAGAZINE speaks to Olympic Cyclist and World Champion, Dani King MBE.
When did you first start taking part in cycling events?
I started cycling at 14 when British Cycling came to my school scouting for new talent. I had to ride round a field as fast as I could. I beat all the boys so was picked up for the next stage! I only took part to get out of a Maths lesson.
What do you think cycling in general has to offer to new watchers?
It’s exciting – especially track and criterium racing. It’s all so fast and intense. Plus it could spark some enthusiasm for people to buy a bike and start cycling themselves!
We know you are a celebrated cyclist that has taken part in some amazing sporting events. When you’re not training or competing, how do you keep yourself busy?
I am doing an Open University Degree, so that keeps me busy, plus I co-own a cycling coaching company – Rowe & King alongside Team Sky pro Luke Rowe (www. roweandking.com), which is a real passion of mine and keeps me really busy.
How do you personally prepare for each race?
I have a little routine on the day, which involves relaxing, warming up and having an energy gel. The day before I try to relax as much as possible. Besides, I don’t really have any major superstitions.
What is the Red Hook Criterium and what do you think sets it apart from other track bike races?
It’s a criterium race on a fixed wheel bike – that in itself makes it truly unique! The atmosphere around the event is electric for both racers and spectators – definitely one to watch if you ever get the chance.
Why did you choose to participate in Red Hook Crit London (RHC)?
I watched a few YouTube clips and my first thought was ‘OMG, that’s so cool’ - it’s such a unique event. So when the opportunity to ride caqme along, I jumped at it. After all, Red Hook combines two things I am good at:riding a track bike and criterium racing, so figured I could do quite well.
What did you do to prepare yourself for last year’s Red Hook Criterium race?
I went down to my local outdoor track and practiced round there a little, but to be honest I am confident in riding a track bike and circuit racing so kind of hoped it would just all come together on the day, which it did.
You did not attend the Rio 2016 Olympics, how do you feel about this?
Gutted. I feel I should have been on the start line on merit and could have played a major role in supporting Lizzie Armistead.
What’s next for you in your career?
The World Championships in Doha this year, plus a full season of European racing next year. Commonwealth Games 2018 are a big aim also.
You suffered a bad accident in 2015, can you tell me about this and your recovery?
I hit a pothole covered in rainwater, and broke 10 ribs and punctured my lung. I spent time in intensive care and took a few months to get back in to training, but I was adamant I would make it back.
What would you say to encourage more women to get on a bike and cycle?
It’s a great way to keep fit, see the countryside and socialise – nothing not to like, so give it a go!
interview Jan/Jun 2017
Why 50 is the perfect age to set up a new business By Shweta Jhajharia AGE COULD MAKE YOU A MORE SUCCESSFUL ENTREPRENEUR. When my father turned 50, he was at the peak of his career in management of one of the world’s leading metal producers. 10 years later, as he left the role for his first ‘retirement’, he carried with him the same passion he had always had for personal growth along with the years of wisdom he had accumulated working in leadership positions. At 67 today, he has just completed his Ph.D and is Head of Department at a leading Engineering College. His remarkable achievement got me thinking. A lot of us look at aging as a natural burden and have a strange expectation that we need to stop working and stop producing great things when we reach a certain age. It’s as though we feel we have nothing left to give – when in fact the reverse is true! We have so much more to offer when we are that bit older. Clearly, as exemplified by my father, this ‘winding down’ isn’t the case for everyone and I would argue that it should also not be the case for most of us. As Vivek Wadhwa says, “ideas come from need; understanding of need comes from experience; and experience comes with age.” Age is therefore one of the crucial ingredients of a great product and service. While the glamour of the entrepreneurial world often goes to younger people like Mark Zuckerberg, the reality is that experience does make you a better businessperson. A study at Duke University examined 539 technology ventures and the results showed that there is double the number of successful entrepreneurs over 50 as there are those who are under 25. It also showed that in high-growth industries such as computers, health care and aerospace, the average age of the successful entrepreneur is 40! Clearly age is not a barrier. i-MAGAZINE 142
The proof is in the pudding. Benjamin Franklin invented bifocals at age 76. The original creator of Coca-Cola founded the company with his reformulated beverage (replacing the cocoa with sugar) at 55. Colonel Sanders job-hopped most of his life and then at age 65 cashed his social security check and created the Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise. Ray Kroc, the guy who made McDonalds what it is today, only bought the business from the McDonald brothers when he was 59.
Best of all, senior entrepreneurs know that talk is cheap. Action is what gets results and they know that they have to implement changes in their business, not just talk about it. The main qualifier that separates successful senior entrepreneurs from those in the ‘shutting down’ mode is their quest for growing, doing things that they have not done before, stretching themselves, stepping outside their comfort zone and believing that they can be more successful than they have ever been.
With so many examples out there of seniors taking the business world by storm, it is surprising that the general thought processes in our society still seem to be that business growth is for the young. On the contrary, I have always maintained that a large part of business growth is often consistent repetition of what already works, something that only experience can teach you.
If you are nearing so-called “retirement age” then it may be time to revisit your mind-set. Are you winding down your brain, or are you revving it up? Which direction should you actually be heading at this point in your life? If running a business has always been your dream – then now is the perfect time.
A large part of this belief about entrepreneurship and age has to do with mind-set principles. We are told we are meant aim to retire between 60 and 70, and so many of us prepare ourselves for that by starting to wind down rather than opening ourselves up to new opportunities. We rarely entertain the notion that this could be the best time to start a new business or ramp up our business growth – we think the senior entrepreneur is a rare fluke rather than what should be the norm. As a business coach, I often find our more seasoned clients are some of the best to work with. When they have seen how business works they are really aware of when to push themselves and when to ask for help. They are keenly aware of their strengths, and they know when an outside eye will help them achieve the next level in their business. They know what works and what doesn’t and they can, and do, avoid many of the mistakes of younger ‘first timers’.
This is the time to exercise your business acumen; when you are full of life experience, retain a greater awareness of the long-term implications and have a grounded outlook. This is when your creativity and innovation can flourish into a practical and successful business venture. Experience comes with age – now may be the time to put that experience to use!
About the Author Shweta Jhajharia is Principal Coach and founder of The London Coaching Group, an ActionCOACH company. Shweta is a multi award-winning business coach, recognised both by external bodies and the industry awards panels as the top coach in the UK, and the Number 1 ActionCOACH from over 1200 worldwide. Despite the competitive economy, her clients consistently achieve measurable double digit growth (over 41%) and are the most awarded client base in UK. See: londoncoachinggroup.com
The Most Important, Unnoticed Change in Human History By Jamie Cawley
In 1870, more than four thousand years after it was built, the Great Pyramid at Giza in Egypt was still the world’s tallest man-made structure. By 2010, only 140 years later, there were more than 10,000 buildings taller than the Great Pyramid. Something fundamental changed between 1750 and 1800 and it changed in Britain. Since then, for example, the amount of energy each person has available to them in the UK has gone up 60 fold and overall wealth (in constant money) by 120 times. You are probably as sceptical of statistics like this as I am, but they could be very, very wrong and still the change would still be uniquely huge. Looking at technical change we see the same pattern. From the oldest civilization, to the time of Columbus’s ‘discovery of America’, 4,500 years later, ships remained wooden and wind powered. Moving another 300 years forward from Columbus’s ship, the Santa Maria, in 1492, to Nelson’s ship, the Victory, 300 years later in 1805, and ships were still sail-powered, made of wood and with cannons down each side. But 101 years after the Victory saw the launch of the Dreadnought in 1906. It was all steel, turbine powered, firing shells ten miles from guns mounted in hydraulic turrets; far more change than all previous history put together. We have a perception of history as ‘progressing’. Slowly at times, perhaps; two steps forward and one step back and so on. Yet part of us knows that is not true; there were i-MAGAZINE 146
the Dark Ages in Europe, when the level of development slipped far behind the earlier Roman Empire. Actually, before the great change started around 1770, it is difficult to see any advance on Classical Rome, with its superb roads and under-floor heating. The Rome where the short-sighted Emperor Nero used eyeglasses to watch gladiators was larger than any city in Europe until after 1800. Sometimes progress seems to have been totally non-existent since first civilisation we know of, in Sumeria. The temple of Uruk in Sumeria had drains before 3000BCE but the great Palace of Versailles in France, completed by Louis XIV in 1714, did not have drains at all. With its population of several thousand, the smell was said to be ‘unique’.
in 1700BC from one in 1700AD - turned to decades of advances in every aspect of human life. Before the change, Empires came and Empires went. Sometimes things got better, but then they got worse again. Little changed apart from the names on the statues and the ceremonial uniforms. Now we have run-away change. This is also true of more and more of the world as China, India and others catch up. This was undoubtedly the biggest social, scientific, political change in the history of the world.
Part of this change after 1770 has been called the ‘Industrial Revolution’, which is fine. So long as you include the Agricultural Revolution as well, with the tripling of food output in the UK in 50 or so years. And of course, the transport revolution, with canals and railways; and the financial revolution with the growth of banks, stock markets, insurance and paper money. Not to mention the political revolutions of democracy and social welfare and the abolition of slavery that followed quickly afterwards. Also calling something the ‘Industrial Revolution’ totally fails to explain why it happened, what the cause of it was. We had some lucky inventors, perhaps
Pause to think about the fact that that sentence is completely untrue. Here and now, in 2016, we have not the faintest idea why this change happened and why in happened largely in Britain! By far and away the most significant change in history: cause unknown. Look up the French Revolution and whole libraries have been written about its causes and consequences, even though the net result, at least in the short term, was the restoration of the Bourbon monarchy after a few years break. For thirty years, I have been astounded by the complete absence of any equal study - or almost any study at all - of these far more important changes and I have been looking for the answer to the question ‘Why did this momentous change happen where and when it did?’
Suddenly centuries of negligible improvement in human living standards - there is nothing to distinguish the earth-floored hovel of a peasant
The cause of this vital, gigantic change is, of course, well-known, forming an essential part of the history curriculum - after all, if we didn’t know what started it, we would be at a loss to know where it was going or when it might stop.
Although the subject is surrounded by an extraordinary lack of consensus, a number of suggestions have been put forward, all rather tentatively, as to the cause of the change. People have discussed Empires, geography, invention and education, enlightenment and renaissance and other possibilities but with little clear emerging. Finally, in the last few years an answer has emerged, an answer with profound implications for the way we live now and in the future, as well as providing and explanation for the past. The reason I cannot give the answer here is not a venal desire to sell my book. No, no, put that thought away completely. Seriously, it is because the answer is not like a detective story, where a simple name reveals whodunnit but because it is like a thriller: if you don’t read the set up you can’t understand the ending. It comes from two linked changes, one allowing the next, followed by a big bit of luck in the timing. The rate of change since The Birth of Now, is over a shorter period then we previously thought, so it has to be faster. As a consequence, the speed the changes are taking us towards their endpoint is also faster, much faster, and will probably be reached in our children’s lifetimes. We live in a unique era of high-speed change, where our grandparents - mine at any rate - were born before the first heavier-than-air flight, yet lived to see more than half a million
people in the air, day and night. Now, at last, we also know how this change started, with its implications for the future. About the author Jamie Cawley, author of Beliefs: and the world they have created and The Birth of Now has filtered his lifetime of interest into why and how people think into these two groundbreaking books. At just age 13 Jamie Cawley first read the Qur’an completely of his own volition; although not unusual for young Muslim men reading the Qur’an was virtually unheard of at Jamie’s C of E school. After his passion for other people’s belief structures was founded, Jamie went on to have an illustrious education, which culminated in a degree in studied Philosophy and Economics from Oxford University.
Jamie has found a new exciting opportunity. He is now a Tutor in Behavioural Psychology at the Shanghai Institute of Visual Arts (SIVA). He is delighted about this opportunity as this is the first Chinese course on Branding addressing specifically behavioural psychology in marketing. “It will be fascinating because the 19 year olds are completely different, even from the 29 year olds, because they have grown up in an utterly changed world.”
After leaving university he started a long and successful career in branding. He designed and helped launch products such as Boost bars for Cadbury, Dettox for Reckitt and Colman and Solo paint for Crown. Later he launched his own consultancy company and ran it successfully for more than 20 years. In recent years Jamie has stepped back from his commercial work. This was largely due to his wife’s career, which took her and their family to China. Since living in China, Jamie has had more time for writing and has capitalised on this by crafting two books. Since the publication of the second, The Birth of Now, this summer,
Jamie lives with his wife and two children in Shanghai.
Angelo Galasso As he celebrates 20 Years of the innovative Watch Cuff Shirt design this year, we take a look at how Angelo Galasso became the epitome of style that he remains today.
Born in a small Puglian town in 1959, Galasso perfectly captures his devotion to tailoring in these few short sentences: In the beginning, it was a game. Then it became a passion. Now it is fashion. Son of the towns’ police chief, Galasso spent most of his childhood shadowing local artisans (his father’s attempt to keep him out of trouble) and it was here where Galasso absorbed the entirety of the art of traditional Southern Italian tailoring. Not surprisingly, it was not long before Galasso began structuring his own clothes, honing in on the many skills and talents he had observed during his childhood. “Where I come from, from the moment you are born you are seen as a typical boy, so if you start to do something that is atypical, like dressing really differently, people immediately say you are crazy. But I came from a big family where you always had to fight for attention, which is why I moved to Rome and then London where people like you to be an individual and you are actually encouraged to be different.” Angelo explains. The first items Galasso created were shirts, something unique and bespoke to match his taste, starting the trend for high collars and longer cuffs, something that was initially laughed at when introduced in the 80s. However, this new style soon caught on, as Galasso began producing his designs for friends and family at first, before the word spread and the beginning of what would later be the base of his international empire was founded.
With a wealth of knowledge, the move to Rome in the late 80’s proved to be a pivotal step in Galasso’s life story, as it was here that he underwent a strong stylistic development resulting in the creation of Interno 8 – a network of shops offering unconventional style: a ground breaking first shirt collection that rewrote the rules of traditional patterns (the innovation of big collars and cuffs) whilst preserving high-quality tailoring. Born in 1990 Interno 8 became a phenomenal success, with 80 stores throughout Italy. It was also around this time that Galasso created the exclusive and ingenious Polso Orologio (Watch cuff) shirt - a design inspired by former Fiat president Gianni Agnelli who couldn’t wear his watch next his skin due to an allergy. This made history in 2004 as the design was exhibited at the London Design Museum, leading the Financial Times to dub Angelo Galasso as The Da Vinci of Shirts and defining him as “this generation’s most inventive image maker”. Additionally, Galasso gained further recognition for his own prestigious and unique elegance leading him to the highest positions of GQ’s Best Dressed Men list, both in 2012 and 2013. “Our brand philosophy is to use the classic Neapolitan cut for jackets and to construct shirts in the old fashioned way” says Galasso. “My customers however want to stand out so we might do a few things differently, such as make a watch cuff, but everything is made in true Italian tradition”
London, the capital of fashion and tailoring brought to Galasso’s brand major success, thanks to high-profile clients such as Sir Paul McCartney, Roger Moore, David Beckham, King Abdullah of Jordan, Puff Daddy, Michael Caine, Simon and Yasmin Le Bon, Rod Stewart, Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Al Pacino and Mickey Rourke. “It’s an excellent place to live and to start a business” says Galasso. His pioneering spirit, along with his need to always move forward led Galasso to the most important step in his career with the launch of his eponymous ANGELO GALASSO line in 2009. Revolutionising menswear once again, ANGELO GALASSO was born and the first ‘House’ opened in London’s Knightsbridge.. The aesthetic of the ANGELO GALASSO brand is truly innovative yet timeless. Adding a new dimension to menswear, Galasso’s style continues to allow for a new breed of men to enjoy a service that merges the tradition of classic tailoring - a tradition, which is steeped in Italian craftsmanship and the creativity of couture houses, reminiscent of a world of exclusive and unique garments, conceived by couturiers with just one client in mind. This is what Angelo calls Tradition in Evolution. “Angelo is an artist. You see the craftsmanship in his work” - Al Pacino The Milano House opened in 2011 in Via Montenapoleone, quickly followed by New York in 2012, where Galasso took over the Edwardian room in The Plaza Hotel. The Moscow House opened shortly after and the same year the Fondazione Angelo Galasso i-MAGAZINE 151
(foundation) was launched in collaboration with Moscow’s State Historical Museum. The newest Flagship store, 450 m2 House, opened in March 2014 on Corso Matteotti 8 next to Montenapoleone, celebrated with a big event “the Importance of Being Eccentric”. “The designer is a true modern dandy and plays the part of the Pugliese peacock to perfection” – GQ Magazine, UK. Not averse to trying something different, in 2015, Angelo introduced an exclusive line of bespoke watches, expanding into a new business opportunity. “We’ve had a great response to our fashion designs in the world arena and it’s now time for a new challenge, which will build upon our existing brand and take us into a whole new category. The watch has always been a fascination of mine; it is the ultimate male accessory - exuding personality, power and luxury.” explains Galasso Evolved from Galasso’s eponymous Polso Orologio shirt, the AG Multiuso watch captures the appetite of today’s gentleman – those who are fast becoming obsessed with vanity and beautiful objects of desire, who crave to possess prestigious items and show them off proudly. “Women’s fashion has held the limelight for such a long time, it’s only natural that menswear should be on the rise, especially considering the cultural shift in attitude. We’ve noticed that men, especially Londoner’s, i-MAGAZINE 152
are taking a more serious approach to their appearance and focusing on details, such as accessories and grooming” says Galasso With prices starting at £240,000 for a timeless jewel-encrusted piece, Galasso has given a preview of two items. The AG Diamond Multiuso is solid gold weighing 180g with a face studded with black and white diamonds (it’s an outstanding work of art that deserves to be flaunted). The gold body, hexagonal to celebrate Galasso’s inspired AG logo, cocoons the famous ETA movement ETA chronograph mechanism - one of the finest and most prestigious Swiss watch manufacturers in the world. The solid gold strap provides a 30’s feel, continuing to showcase the hexagonal AG logo design, whilst each crown is topped with a single brilliant diamond. This unique custom-made timepiece comes complete in a root wood case with two interchangeable watch faces (one black and one brown) and three variants of wristband - rubber/submariner, croco and calf leather. Each watchband is finished with gold buckle fastenings with a tiny slide capsule containing a diamond screwdriver for component changing. For everyday wear a minimalist classic option is offered, featuring a round silver bezel subtly embellished with sapphire stones. Understated in its design but equally as unique, this watch gives prominence to the signature AG logo and comes with an elegant checkered strap, all presented in the Galasso blue root wood case. Aesthetically pleasing and designed to be worn with the Watch Cuff shirt, these new AG timepieces speak fashion
and elegance in true Galasso style. Sourcing the finest and most exquisite materials is a must for all items and all components that go into the final creation. His shoes, for example are an exemplary product of fine Italian craftsmanship; made in limited styles and colours, each pair is finished by hand and built to last a lifetime. The unique use of exotic skins and fabrics in Galasso’s footwear makes each pair a collector’s item unto themselves. As you might expect, there is a fully bespoke service on every item, from casual wear to dinner suits, where monograms and individual detailing are standard practice – the choice of fabrics on offer will make any decision hard, and will no doubt have ever tailoring devotee ordering multiple looks. To commemorate 20 years of his world famous watch cuff, this year Galasso has introduced a women’s version of the shirt, along with 50 one-of-a-kind pieces to be sold from late April onwards – get in the queue as these highly coveted items are expected to start a bidding war between hard-core devotees of Angelo Galasso. Blossoming along the path of the thirty-year creative evolution of Galasso, the new collection celebrates eccentricity as an absolute value, whilst nourishing precious Italian craftsmanship.
Rebecca Newberger Goldstein Q
You were raised in a devout Orthodox Jewish household – can you remember the moment that first inspired your atheist and humanist views?
There wasn’t a moment I can recall but rather a prolonged process of puzzlement, beginning in late childhood when I realized that much of what I believed about the world was contingent on the accidents of my birth: had I been born into a different family I’d believe that Jesus was my redeemer, or that Mohammad was the last and greatest of the prophets. I didn’t want to reject the belief-system of my family, and so I shuttle-cocked back and forth between doubts and repentance—a cycle that finally ended when I was in college, studying physics. I decided that the stunning laws of nature were enough to satisfy my desire to know what the world is like. They provide depth and beauty in abundance and also demonstrate the unreliability of our untutored intuitions about such fundamental concepts as space and time, causality and identity. Why then, I decided, should I trust anyone’s religious intuitions, which are commonly shaped by wishful thinking?
Do any aspects of your Jewish upbringing still affect your thinking today?
My father was my childhood hero, and he remains my hero until this day, even though I’ve had the good fortune to get to know some of the world’s most celebrated thinkers. In contrast, my father’s position in the world couldn’t have been more modest. He was a refugee from Europe in the bad days when Jews were being hunted, and once in the United States, he fell back on his good singing voice to earn his meagre living, becoming a cantor who struggled to support his large family. He lived according to a particular religion, but I’ve never known a more genuine humanist, meaning someone convinced of the value of every human life. So I learned my humanism from a person who lived strictly within the religion of his birth but who was, in his ethical outlook, as expansive as anyone I’ve known.
A large portion of your work, e.g. The Mind Body Problem, falls within the category of philosophical literature – would you say the primary purpose of your work is to educate or entertain?
I think that literature is an entertaining—in fact, an enchanting—way of entering deeply into certain kinds of questions. The whole process is designed to make you lose your tenacious hold on your own sense of identity and your own take on reality, to slip the straits of your own self and its habitual point of view. Read deeply, novels provide a wonderfully expansive experience, and expansive experiences are deeply, almost sensually, pleasurable.
Some reviews state that your combination of fiction and science or philosophy is quite demanding – how do you respond to comments stating that you ask too much of your readers? Would that affect your writing or simply circumscribe your target audience?
The hope is to cultivate the aspects of fiction writing that are so enchanting—character and plot and setting and language—that readers succumb to whatever I throw at them. It’s not so much the ideas that are important for me to get across in my novels, but rather my characters’ passion for ideas. That’s a kind of passion—an erotic passion, according to Plato--that much contemporary literature either neglects or gets wrong.
To what extent do you view fiction as a ‘moral technology’ of sorts?
There’s some data suggesting that those who read literary novels (as opposed to pulp fiction) have heightened abilities at interpreting others’ emotions. Sometimes these results are claimed to demonstrate that reading good literature develops empathy and thus is a kind of “moral technology.” However, it’s not at all clear in which direction the causality flows. Perhaps people who are adept at interpreting others are also drawn to sophisticated novels. And, of course, there’s a difference between being able to infer others’ emotions and being kindly disposed toward them. Certain
interview Jan/Jun 2017
sadists are rather good at the former while deficient in the latter. And in my career of flitting between disciplines, I haven’t noticed that professors of literature are any more moral than, say, mathematicians. In the history of the novel there have been some few novels that helped bring about a societal moral advance, largely by getting readers to feel that members of some marginalized group are fully human. So, for example, Uncle Tom’s Cabin demonstrably contributed to the anti-slavery sentiment in antebellum America. But then there have been other masterful contributions to literature that have exploited extant prejudices, as Charles Dickens does in Oliver Twist, where Fagin is always referred to as “the Jew” and is meant in every way, including his personal hygiene, to provoke revulsion. Novels are more “emotive technologies” than they are “moral technologies,” though occasionally the emotions they generate are moral. But the difference between a good and a bad novel isn’t a moral difference, and the need to offer a utilitarian justification for literature is rather philistine.
In your latest book, Plato at the Googleplex: Why Philosophy Won’t go Away, you explore the philosophical concepts developed by ancient Greeks when confronted with modern problems. One such example is the crowdsourcing of ethics – when undertaking this task, how much do you think your own beliefs influence your conclusions?
I almost always modify my beliefs in the course of writing non-fiction. Sometimes I don’t even know the point of a book I’m The characters in your work are brilliant, and you’ve professed to finding it more writing until I’m almost done with it, and then I have to go back and rewrite from interesting to write about characters with an interesting ‘inner life’. Once you the beginning. I was altogether surprised begin writing, do you conceptualise complex characters and extrapolate their to come up with the idea for an Ethical reactions to scenarios? Or do you begin with certain themes or ideas you would Answers Sourcing Engine—acronym EASE— like to explore, and work backwards in ascribing your characters viewpoints? that, using crowdsourcing, could answer the kinds of ethical questions Plato posed. It works differently each time. I have a novel called Properties of Light that’s about three physicists—a father, a daughter, and the father’s student, who is also the daughter’s lover—all EASE can’t work, but seeing why it can’t was illuminating. And I confess that for a struggling to put forth a coherent interpretation of quantum mechanics. The entangled while I was convinced I could make it work. emotional relationships between the three formed the core of the book, but at first I had made the three characters poets. When I realized that the quantum notion of entanglement could be exploited, I transposed the novel’s themes from poetry into physics. But sometimes, as with my novel on the contemporary debates between faith and reason, 36 Arguments for Finally, there seems to be a shift the Existence of God: A Work of Fiction, it was the theme itself that grabbed me, and I had in the nature of your work from to wait for the right characters to show up and start to build relationships with each other. fiction to non-fiction – what, if anything, has motivated this change?
In The Mind-Body Problem, a brilliant piece of philosophical literature, your protagonist has developed an extensive ‘mattering theory’ – what would you say matters most in your life?
Insofar as the things that matter most to me, I’m the same as everybody else. What matters most are those aspects of our lives without which a decent human life is impossible: the means of survival and flourishing, both for ourselves and the ones we love. But what you’re asking, I’m sure, is where I’m located on what I call, in The MindBody Problem, “the mattering map,” where there is substantial individual variability in regard to which of our attributes and activities most matter. And there what matters most to me is that I keep making some progress in my own understanding and that my progress contributes to others’ advances. If these goals didn’t matter so much to me I would never have become either a philosophy professor or a writer, since there’s not much about the social aspects of either academia or the publishing world that appeals to me. Both are hierarchical, and hierarchies make me break out into hives.
You have a distinguished and intellectual family – could you describe a standard dinner conversation?
I can describe the dinner conversation that my husband Steve and I had last night, which was split between two topics: why it is that some high-profile scientists have recently taken to slamming philosophy without much understanding of what contemporary Anglo-American philosophy is all about and without realizing how much their own views—about knowledge and reality and morality and even science itself—are themselves dependent on the work of philosophers; and whether or not we should buy a box that will allow us to get programming on our television set rather than simply using the set to watch downloaded movies.
I’ve heard my last book, Plato at the Googleplex, described as a novel, which surprised me, since five of its ten chapters are expository, developing a new theory as to why philosophy arose in ancient Greece, the role that Socrates and Plato played in their society, and why the Athenians put Socrates to death. But the other five chapters bring back the figure of Plato, chit n and all, endowing him with a personality—rather an endearing one, I think—and having him engage in contemporary dialogues. I suppose it’s these chapters people who describe the book as a novel have in mind. But of course Plato himself created make-believe dialogues, and nobody would want to call Plato a novelist. The last novel I wrote, 36 Arguments for the Existence of God, had an appendix where 36 arguments for God are set forth, together with a discussion of their fallacies, written up in the fashion of the analytic philosopher I was trained to be. I think that what I’ve always been working toward is a form of writing that would confuse reviewers as to how to categorize it. Reviewers hate to be confused and usually take it out on the writer. Nevertheless, this kind of mash-up answers to what I’m after, trying to do justice to how abstractions and absurdities and playfulness and poignancy are all jumbled up together in life.
BING LUO Head Chef at Hutong in the Shard Q
What attracted you to the hospitality industry and what were you doing beforehand?
My whole career I have been a chef, it’s all I ever wanted to do. At just 17 I went to Sichuan Cuisine Cooking school in my home town, Chengdu – capital city of the Sichuan province in China
Why did you decide to become a chef? And did you have any role models?
I didn’t have any particular role models, but in my neighbourhood when I was growing up, there was a very famous chef. He had a really interesting life, and I thought that that was something I would like to do.
Have you personally invented any dishes?
Because we cook authentic Northern Chinese food, I don’t ‘invent’ any dishes. But there are a number of dishes on the menu that I have put my own spin to. For example, the ‘Chef’s Rice’ is very classic, but I have added our own ‘Hutong’ seasoning and Sichuan pepper oil, which gives a numbing sensation.
Why do you think your menus have become so popular?
Our menu is very well balanced. We have a lot of different flavours, and a variety of sauces. I try to develop authentic dishes, and then modify to suit the produce we have available.
What type of experience do you hope to give guests at Hutong London? Is there a particular vibe you are aiming for?
I love introducing my cuisine to people, and I think the British people are open minded and happy to try new things, which I really enjoy. I want our guests to feel welcomed and leave happy!
Why do you think that Chinese cuisine is becoming increasingly popular around the world?
People are travelling a lot more, and there is greater understanding between different cultures. People want to try a wider variety of cuisines. I think Chinese food and culture is becoming more accessible and people are more interested to try it. People are also learning about the difference between the numerous types of Chinese cuisine. We cook Northern Sichuan Chinese food, which is aromatic with the fire and spice of Sichuan pepper.
What would you say has been the most memorable moment in your culinary career so far?
In Hong Kong I worked at a private club where we had to create classics, with new techniques. Once I came up with a dish of tofu ice-cream and dan dan noodles. That was a really challenging time, but exciting and different.
What are your favourite dishes to make? Both personal and at work.
At home I like to make stews and Chinese soups. At work I really like working with fresh seafood. My favourite ingredient at the moment is scallops. They are so delicate and sweet. I recently cooked them with a pickled chilli sauce – perfect!
What tools / instruments could you not live without in the kitchen?
We have a saying “one knife and one wok can walk around the world”.
What restaurant is currently at the top of your list to dine at?
It’s a long list, but I have favourites I like going back to. Roka is always at the top, and I really like Spanish food. I also like very much what Head Chef Yahir does at Aqua Nueva.
What is your favourite cuisine outside of Asian i.e. Italian, South American etc.?
I like Mediterranean cuisine - balanced and simple, with strong flavours.
food Jan/Jun 2017
NOVIKOV 50a Berkeley Street London W1 You could, if you wish, hate Novikov on principle. Arkady Novikov, whose name is above the door, owns 50 or so restaurants in Moscow and likes to boast about his connections to Vladimir Putin. If we know a man by the company he keeps, then perhaps the arrival in London of a big-ticket Novikov restaurant is not something to be universally applauded. However, you don’t really have to hate Novikov on principle. There’s more than enough about the place to let you hate it on its own terms. There is the usual stupidity of booking a table for 9pm only to be told that your booking is for just two hours. There is the unusual stupidity of an ape in a bomber jacket shoving his body between you and the door and barking: “Are you eating here tonight?” To which I couldn’t help but reply: “Only if you’ll let me.” Once inside, even more people step in our way. Finally we are spotted by the hostess and led through the crowds. Novikov is vast. Indeed, it is two restaurants in one. The front half is a pan-Asian place that serves a menu of Chinese, Malaysian and Japanese dishes as if they were all the same thing -including the highly endangered blue fin tuna. Don’t look so surprised. Novikov feeds Putin. Do you think he’d care about a small thing like sustainability? Down a flight of stairs, past the crowds of young ladies with older gentlemen sucking the bar dry, we find ourselves in the huge windowless Italian restaurant, denoted by bits of wrought iron, faux rustic chandeliers, a huge open kitchen with meat-hanging cabinets, and the bash and clatter of music so loud I feel it in my prostate gland. It reminds me of the mega restaurants of Las Vegas, with one crucial difference: in Vegas the restaurants are generally very good. There’s too much competition for it to be otherwise. This is generally very bad: prices that knock the wind out of you and moments of cooking so cackhanded, so foul, so astoundingly grim you want to congratulate the kitchen on its incompetence. We eat some good things. Its vitello tonnato – thinly sliced veal with an anchovy and tuna sauce – gets the approval of my companion. The fried mushrooms topped with eggs are fine too, as they should be for £18.50. This isn’t in any way Italian. We order a rabbit ragout with pappardelle and calf’s liver with butter and sage. My companion says: “This tastes like cheap Chinese food.” She’s right. It takes me a minute to nail the rabbit dish: the small gnarly bits of meat, the heavy sauce that
tastes as if it has been thickened with cornflour, the weird hit of chicken flavour I associate with stock cubes. It’s a chicken and mushroom Pot Noodle. Without the useful plastic pot. The liver dish has all the same vices. The tragedy is that underneath the wallpaper-paste sauce is some very good liver that has ended its life badly. Zucchini fritti are far too hot, wet, floppy and salty. We finish with a pile of formless Italian meringue. The hit of sugar feels like a reward. The wine list is punishing and includes bottles which retail in Italy for 8, priced here at £50. Waiters are impeccably Italian in that they will argue with you. Dishes are mispriced between the menu and the bill.
From the ‘shots and bites’ section, the fresh oysters topped with pickled vegetables, soy and yuzu are wonderfully bright-flavoured, but not overpowered. Tempura prawns are impressively crisp and moist, a far more serious proposition than their presentation on skewers in dip-filled shot glasses would suggest. Spicy shrimp tacos crank up the fusion a notch — the seafood is contained in mini crisp taco shells, lavished with a spicy mayo. Trashy, yes. Thoroughly enjoyable? Yes. The sushi here is a main draw, but it isn’t for purists. It uses brown rice for a start and some of it replaces nori with thin shavings of beetroot. One pairs tuna with goat’s cheese, for Christ’s sake!
The most depressing thing? It’s full; packed to the fake ironwork with the hooting and the depilated, the bronzed and the Botoxed. So my advice to you is: Don’t go to Novikov. In a city with a talent for opening hateful and tasteless restaurants, Novikov marks a special new low. That’s its real achievement.
The Oliver Maki house selection features eight different rolls topped with tangy dollops of guacamole, tapenade, yuzu relish and the likes, plus one with a shaving of black truffle. All of them work, so long as you remain open-minded.
If you fancy a selection of the different varieties, we’d recommend the Sushi Jewels selection which comes in a five-storey transparent ‘jewel box’ filled with smoke that seeps out atmospherically as you open the drawers. Oliver Maki doesn’t shy away from showmanship.
33 Dean Street London The idea at Oliver Maki is to combine Japanese tradition, ingredients and techniques with global flavours. And indeed the owners already do just that at five branches across Kuwait and Bahrain. Neither its description nor the locations of its previous outposts do anything to assuage the inevitable cynicism from jaded London diners. Fusion food is the work of the Devil, many will tell you. And let’s face it, the Middle East isn’t anywhere near as cool a place-of-origin as New York or Paris. But bear with it, Oliver Maki might just be worth a try yet. Style and surrounds Split snuggly across two floors on Dean Street, Oliver Maki embraces Japanese minimalism to make the most of its space. Plain but with a few slick design touches, it hovers between design de rigeur and downright dull. Then there’s the large iPad-style screen on the wall which displays artsy photos of signature dishes. Perhaps handy, but certainly not atmospheric. Skewered but serious: Tempura prawns at Oliver Maki On the menu Following the wall’s lead, the menu is solely digital, presented on an iPad. A large selection of different sushi and sashimi with varying sauces and accompaniments, plus hot dishes, salads and more. Translations and descriptions are available at a tap of the screen thus making it easier to understand the intricate assemblies of unusual Japanese ingredients.
Also worth note is the house dipping sauce — a blend of extra virgin olive oil and soy. As it’s less salty than the pure soy, the owner tells us it stops the food being overpowered and is healthier. He notes that in Japan, diners only use minimal in soy, but in the UK we are over zealous with our dipping. Something Sweet The menu continues to throw up surprises. Its star pud isn’t Japanese at all, but pain perdu served with chunks of apple and popcorn. It’s gooey, indulgent and a lot less risqué than most of the mains. Liquid Libations Cocktails, wines and sake share the limelight. The cocktails are surprisingly good, with a strong but searingly fresh yuzu daiquiri and an Old Fashioned made with Japanese whisky leading the way. Oliver Maki: The Lowdown It feels a tad more concept than cuisine, but ultimately this quirky spot falls on the right side of the fusion versus confusion debate. Some of its wackier dishes and presentations are hard to take seriously, but then again being serious really doesn’t seem to be the point. It adds up quickly as portions aren’t large. Small bites start at £5, the Oliver Maki selection is £18 for eight pieces, and the 12-piece sushi Jewel Box comes in at £29.
Smart Cities: The Digital Transformation Of The Urban Landscape By Daniel Fletcher
Growth in urban population has been a persistent trend in western countries since the 19th century. Asian, African and Latin American cities are following the same path. According to the United Nations, half the world population lives in urban areas (83% in the UK), and by 2030 this figure could rise up to a staggering 60%. 90% of this increase will happen in developing countries. Cities are responsible for over 60% of world energy consumption, 70% of carbon emissions and 70% of global waste. With almost 80% of global GDP being generated in cities, concerns are arising about the sustainability of urban growth. The most populated municipalities are already facing challenges like pollution, long commuting times, social exclusion, negative perception of public services, health issues, substandard housing, poor planning choices or financial struggle. Is life in our cities up to the standards we should be expecting and demanding in the 21st century? Are municipalities giving the highest possible value to the resources allocated to providing urban services? Will the next generations feel comfortable with the cities they inherit? Recent advances in reimagining city management and governance could provide positive answers to these questions. The Smart Cities movement kick-started globally in 2008, when IBM launched its ‘Smarter Planet’ initiative. i-MAGAZINE 158
The idea of sustainable intelligent cities and smart communities had been around since the early 90s, but once the software giant stepped in, the concept spread across the globe and captured the imagination of policy makers, urban planners, researchers and entrepreneurs. CISCO Systems has also been a strong contributor in conceptualizing the Smart City. In 2005 the Clinton Foundation granted CISCO $25 million in funding to use its technical know-how to make cities more sustainable. Pilot projects were started in Amsterdam, San Francisco and Seoul. But, what exactly is a Smart City? The fact is that the concept has been evolving since its primary inception and different approaches are being tested, depending on location and the issues being addressed. From my point of view, a Smart City makes an intensive use of information, knowledge and technology to deliver efficient public and private services, provide a high quality of life to its citizens, integrate all stakeholders in its governance, make a responsible use of natural resources and foster sustainable economic growth. To achieve this, a Smart City initiative should rely on awareness of the city issues, political leadership, a clear vision, integrated strategies, specific and measurable goals, coordinated Smart policies based on a broad consensus, a participative governance framework, outstanding capacity to execute, the necessary digital and managerial skills, sustainable funding, tight interagency cooperation and effective models of public/private partnership. The Smart City Vision Word Soup. Results
from a workshop hosted by the author in which 23 attendees had to answer the question “I want my city to be…” What Smart Cities bring to the table is the Digital Transformation of urban life. As any other Digital Transformation process, this new paradigm revolves around improving customer/citizen experience and engagement, digitalizing operations, enhancing digital skills and transferable knowledge, measuring and continuously improving. Given that we are still in the early stages of this movement, a standardized Smart City model does not exist. Strategies formulated by municipalities that have to deal with large slums settlements or water and energy supply shortage share little similarities with the efforts deployed by high-density consolidated cities or smaller towns. Therefore, rankings from different research and public institutions differ on the indicators used or how these are weighted. Nevertheless, “Smarticity” is commonly measured evaluating 6 key dimensions consisting of multiple components: • Smart Environment: urban design and planning, natural resource management, energy efficiency, smart electricity grids, renewable energy, water management, pollution control; environmental protection, waste management, intelligent and energy efficient buildings, green roofs, …. • Smart Mobility and Transportation: mixed-model transport, local, national and international accessibility, integrated
ICT, energy, transport and logistics infrastructures, transport safety, low or zero-emission vehicles, driverless cars, … • Smart Economy: entrepreneurship and innovation, productivity, local & global connection, tourism, foreign investment, venture capital, startup incubators, international brand, … • Smart Living: culture and wellbeing, safety and surveillance, health, social cohesion, assisted living, … • Smart Governance: e-Government, online services, data transparency, citizen collaboration and participation, stakeholders engagement, …. • Smart People: human capital, education, creativity, inclusive society, … The European Union considers that a Smart City has launched initiatives in at least one of these dimensions. Other institutions raise the bar and don’t rank a city unless three or more dimensions are covered. Still, experience is showing that some initiatives and projects are transversal to more than one dimension. For example, a project that involves opening climate and air quality data that is reused by a third party to provide a service could be assigned to Smart Environment, Smart Economy and Smart Governance. Or an initiative for reducing carbon footprint might involve projects in all 6 dimensions. Thus, well designed metrics are critical to measure the contribution of an initiative or a project to each dimension. Boyd Cohen, an urban and climate strategist, designed the Smart City Wheel to assess Smart Cities achievements. © Boyd Cohen Some cities start with pilot projects to gather experience and then launch larger scale programmes. The most common tactic used by municipalities to implement Smart initiatives is trying to tackle specific issues, like waste collection and disposal, traffic management or smart grids. However, having a comprehensive Smart City strategy is advisable in order to achieve scalability and reusability in later projects. Cities like New York, Washington, Boston, Toronto, Vancouver, Tokyo, Barcelona, Paris, Oslo, Geneva, Seoul or Singapore are acknowledged as full scale Smart Cities that are obtaining remarkable results. In the UK London, Bristol, Glasgow, Birmingham, Manchester, Milton Keynes, Leeds and Peterborough are leading the pack and many others are following. Masdar City, in Abu Dhabi, is a rare example of a white-canvas approach. Built from the ground up, it occupies 640 hectares of desert. According to Norman Foster + Partners, the architectural firm responsible for its design, “Masdar City combines state-of-the-art technologies with the planning principles
of traditional Arab settlements to create a community that aims to be carbon neutral and zero waste”. With an investment of more than $20 billion, the city is expected to be a tech hub that will host upon completion in 2030 about 40.000 inhabitants and 10.000 daily commuters from other locations. No fossil-fueled vehicles are allowed inside the urban area and only solar and other renewable energies are used. The International Renewable Energy Agency, the Siemens regional headquarters, the Masdar Institute of Science and technology and a startup incubator have already settled in the city. Cities included in the “Cities in Motion” index. IESE Business School Currently, the majority of Smart Cities initiatives come from the commitment of policy makers, thus a strong political leadership is a key driver. The US Government and the European Commission are extremely active in funding these projects. The Obama Administration recently announced it will invest another $80 million for its Smart Cities Initiative, plus over $60 million from the National Science Foundation in new grants. Over 70 American cities have been selected as participants within the programme. The European Union has allocated 330 million from structural funds for innovative actions in the area of sustainable urban development. Smart Cities initiatives benefit also from other lines of funding from Horizon 2020, the European Commission plan devised to overcome the crisis. About 400 municipalities in Europe are involved in Smart Cities efforts. Many other national, regional and local governments all over the world are intensively involved in supporting Smart projects for their cities. International organizations and NGOs are incorporating Smart concepts to their cooperation and development programmes. A “New Urban Agenda” will be broadly discussed during the celebration of Habitat III, the bi-decennial United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development, to take place in Quito (Ecuador) during October 2016. The event will be focused on the global commitment to sustainable urbanization. The final draft includes the following statement: “we commit to adopt a Smart City approach, which makes use of opportunities from digitalization, clean energy and technologies, as well as innovative transport technologies, thus providing options for inhabitants to make more environmentally friendly choices and boost sustainable economic growth and enabling cities to improve their service delivery.” Also worth mentioning “100 Resilient Cities”, a Rockefeller Foundation programme. However, the Smart City scope goes beyond the framework of government funded projects. There are concerns about what will happen if public funding is not sustainable over time. Siemens has estimated in a 2016 report that 6.2 billion could be raised
in the UK from private funding for Smart projects with a track record for delivering dependable Return on Investment (ROI). For example: building controls (energy efficiency), improved medical technology, vehicle routing, parking systems or mobile workforce enablement. Asset financing might be another potential financing source. Moreover, new forms of public / private collaboration should be thought of and tested. New business models are emerging in mobility services © Leonard Zhukovsky / 123RF.COM The ICT (Information and Communication technologies) side of the Smart City concept is supported by continued innovations in processing power, storage capacity, broadband networks and mobility, together with the appearance of new business models that have dramatically lowered the costs of technology infrastructures. The key technologies that act as enablers are: • IoT (Internet of Things), commonly understood as networked sensors and other physical devices, like smart cameras, that collect data and send it through the internet, typically a wireless broadband network. For example, a sensor that measures air quality and sends those readings every minute to a cloud based system for further interpretation. • Wireless broadband networks. These data highways provide connectivity for sensors and mobile devices, regardless of location. Mobile services providers, like China Mobile, Verizon, Telefonica or Vodafone are rapidly increasing the capacity and speed of their network infrastructures in order to cope with the exponential growth of data generated by these devices. • Mobile technologies, smartphones and tablets have deeply transformed the way we communicate. Citizens get information, do business, buy and sell products, hire services, collaborate and interact with each other using services supported by these technologies. We have multiple communication channels in our hands and we expect an immediate response to our actions. Everything has to be on real time. • Security technologies. With billions of sensors and devices connected to networks, security is a concern. Both large and small vendors are investing considerable resources in developing security systems for IoT. Blockchain, the technology that powers Bitcoin and is also being tested for identity verification and smart contracts, is being applied by some companies to secure their platforms and devices. • Big data are large and complex data sets that cannot be processed using traditional tools and techniques. The term can also be used to name the tools, methods and systems designed to deal with this sort of data. Big Data systems are capable of ingesting enor-
mous amounts of structured and unstructured data (sent by sensors or other systems), delivering meaningful insights, behavioral patterns and actionable information. Big Data solutions come from large and small vendors and open source projects as well.
urban policies set the stage for innovations in many other areas. For example: • A user friendly urban design towards more integrated public and private spaces. •
• Cloud computing services provide organizations with remote processing power and storage capacity on demand, at a fraction of the cost of operating their own infrastructure. Cloud has become the preferred choice for outsourcing data centers. The main advantages of cloud computing are cheaper and faster deployment of IT services, increased reliability and allowing IT staff to focus on core business tasks. Amazon, IBM, Microsoft and Google are the key players in this area. • Automation and machine learning. Simply put, these are complex algorithms that allow systems to learn from experience, make predictions and take decisions (supervised by humans or completely automated), transforming information into knowledge. For example, smart traffic lights can switch lights faster or slower depending on traffic conditions. • APIs (Application Programming Interface) are software components that are being used in this context to exchange data between systems or access services. For example, a municipality that opens its traffic data stored in their own systems provides an API, so that a private company can grab that data and use it for a smartphone app that calculates the best route options. • Responsive web. Web technologies are a set of languages, tools, protocols and standards used to develop mobile apps and web portals. The advent of responsive web design allows web applications to adapt and resize depending on the device being used, whether if it is a smartphone, a tablet or a computer, enhancing user experience. All these innovations are extensively used to design and develop the modular Smart Cities platforms that power the control centers where information coming from different parts of the city is surveyed. Each module corresponds to a vertical specialization (mobility, energy, governance, waste, ...) and is tailored to the specific needs that it has to serve. Beneath lies a core system that combines data from all the modules to orchestrate operations, articulate information and empower decision making. The first Smart City platform was developed by IBM. Other vendor supported and open source solutions have appeared since then. Besides the obvious benefits of applying technology and information to make urban services and city management more efficient and sustainable, Smart Cities represent a wealth of opportunities to improve citizens’ lives. The proximity and small scale of i-MAGAZINE 160
Leveraging the power of open data.
• Improving collective intelligence and awareness on urban and social issues. • Transitioning to Smart Regions. Nearby cities could share resources and develop joint programmes to address common issues. • Building a great city brand to attract investment and tourism. • Using an iterative approach to problem solving: empathize, define, ideate, prototype, test, learn! •
Enhancing collective digital skills.
• Generating employment through startups, new business models, new roles. • A lab for collaborative democracy. Transitioning from citizen-centric cities to a collaborative-citizen culture. • Using digital marketing methods and analytics for citizen segmentation, tailoring information and services to their needs. A whole new industry is booming around the Smart City ecosystem. Startups with disruptive business models are using local information to provide services. Large and small technology companies, urban services providers, sensor manufacturers, consultancy firms, urban planning and design studios, engineering companies, mobile network operators, marketing brands, energy utilities, market researchers, international institutions and governments are creating Smart Cities divisions. The Future Cities Catapult, a UK government supported centre for the advancement of Smart Cities, has identified 32.000 companies in the UK that are offering solutions for this market. Arthur D. Little, an international consulting firm headquartered in Boston, forecasted in a 2015 report that global Smart City market revenues will increase to $2.1 trillion by 2020. A vast number of dedicated conferences and seminars are heralding the virtues, opportunities and risks of the model; the world’s biggest event on Smart Cities is the Barcelona Smart City Expo 2016 (15th – 17th November). Prestigious universities, like The Bartlett (University College London), have implemented postgraduate programmes in Smart Cities and Urban Analytics. Collaboration networks comprised of policy makers, professionals and researchers are discussing their perspectives and sharing their experiences. It is easy to find on the internet hundreds of documents on the topic, from success cases to maturity models, reports, articles, forecasts,
white papers, blueprints, redbooks and so on. Considering all these factors, the success of the dissemination of the Smart City concept is undeniable. It has made an impact. Is it a hype? Will the Smart tag become a hollow buzzword used to give veracity to any selling proposition intended to be modern and updated? That might happen, but the notion of Smart Cities is equipped with deep and meaningful content and demonstrable value. In the current context of lightning fast information and the immediacy provided by social networks new ideas need a powerful brand and a brilliant marketing campaign. In a near future the Smart City term might evolve or change, but the ideas that support it will surely remain. Recommended readings on the topic: Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers and the Quest for a New Utopia (Anthony M. Townsend, 2014) Street Smart: The Rise of Cities and the Fall of Cars (Samuel L. Schwartz and William Rosen, 2015) The Responsive City: Engaging Communities Through Data-Smart Governance (Stephen Goldsmith and Susan Crawford, 2014) Designing the Urban Future: Smart Cities (Scientific American Editors, 2014) Smart Cities that Work for Everyone: 7 keys to Education & Employment (Tom Vander Ark, 2014) Smart Cities for a Bright Sustainable Future: A Global Perspective (Alan R. Shark and Sylviane Toporkoff, 2014) Start-Up City: Inspiring Private and Public Entrepreneurship, Getting Projects Done and Having Fun (Gabe Klein and David Vega-Barachowitz, 2015) Against the Smart City: The city is here for you to use Book 1 (Adam Greenfield and Nurri Kim, 2013)
Daniel Fletcher is a researcher and consultant with a 360 degrees vision of city management and extensive experience in Digital Transformation and Urban Planning. Currently works as CIO at a Madrid Regional Government agency. linkedin.com/in/danielfletcherg Twitter: @danfletcherg
interview Jan/Jun 2017
Richard Thompson Chief Executive of M&C Saatchi Merlin
You began your business career in information technology so, what made you want to become involved in talent management?
I started dealing with talent after moving into marketing services. We would often liaise with agencies and managers, but we found it difficult to engage talent and find a quality agent to work with. This made me realise there was a need to be met in this industry, so I began consulting for a while in the area. I developed some strong working relationships with talent over this time, but it wasn’t until I Geri Halliwell asked ‘Would you manage me?’ – that I really thought about creating my own agency. One thing led to another, and that led me to where I am today.
What was the rationale behind the merger of your agency Merlin Elite with M&C Saatchi to create M&C Saatchi Merlin?
I’ve always looked at talent as if they were a brand and managed them in that way too. This ethos meant Merlin Elite was structured more as a marketing services business rather than a traditional talent agency, so there was already a lot of synergy with the way M&C Saatchi did business. M&C Saatchi has always had a great reputation for being innovative, pioneering and entrepreneurial – characteristics that I think were fundamental in leading them to become the first ad agency to acquire a talent agency.
Who are the agency’s leading clients?
We’ve got such a brilliant varied roster of clients it’s difficult to single anyone out! You have David Gandy in fashion, mainstream broadcasters like Sue Barker, Kirsty Gallacher and Jamie Theakston, a number of former sports stars, such as Jamie Redknapp, Matt Dawson and Jermaine Jenas who’ve gone into broadcasting, while others like Freddie Flintoff and James Cracknell have moved in different directions.
How does your approach to managing leading names in sport and entertainment differ from other agencies, what’s your USP (so to speak)?
We manage them as brands and invest a lot of time into strategy and research to position them correctly and find their USP. The secret is continual reinvention. We’ve been very good at reinventing talent and are probably the leading agency in helping clients cross over from one field to another. Take Jodie Kidd, for example, whom we’ve taken from fashion into TV, or Freddie Flintoff from cricket into TV. Cross-over has definitely been what sets us apart in our industry.
Some global sports stars are now trying to manage their own (celebrity) brands – Lewis Hamilton, for example. Do you think this can work?
I absolutely don’t think it can. It doesn’t matter how big you are; you need someone out there objectively working on a strategy to formulate what the essence of your brand is going to be. Defining what you are might sound straightforward, but it can be a painstaking process, it requires a lot of work, thought and time. Once you have a vision you then need to decide what strategy you will use to execute your plan, before going out there and finding the work. You need a third party in your life who can work with you objectively, give you really good advice and open the right doors with their great contacts – and I don’t see it with Lewis Hamilton.
Describe your typical working day
In Starbucks with a large espresso, is normally where it starts, before moving onto lots of different meetings. I’m involved with a number of different businesses – I’m also chairman of the production company TwoFour Group, Debrett’s and Chairman of Surrey County Cricket Club – so my days are really very varied. M&C Saatchi Merlin dominates the majority of my day, but at the moment I’m involved in a lot of dialogue with Two Four Group as we have The Jump going on. I’ll normally be out at dinners at least three times a week.
Quality, luxury and all the romance of the ocean Silversea is a luxury cruise company reflecting generations of maritime and travel experience. In the early 1990s, the Lefebvre family of Rome, former owners of Sitmar Cruises, conceived and organised a unique cruise company pledging to build and operate the highest quality ships in the ultra-luxury segment. The name â€œSilverseaâ€? was chosen because it connotes quality and luxury as well as capturing the romance and special sensations of the sea.
Silversea launched its first ship, Silver Cloud, in 1994, followed by Silver Wind in 1995, Silver Shadow in 2000, and Silver Whisper in 2001. The fleet was purpose-built for the ultra-luxury market, establishing a new class of smaller, intimate vessels that could slip into more exotic ports off the beaten path. These elite vessels were specifically designed for fewer guests, more space and the highest levels of personalised service, delivered by mainly Italian and other European officers overseeing an international staff.
In November 2017, Silver Cloud will be the fourth ship to join Silversea’s expedition fleet. Destined mostly for polar waters, the innovative ship that launched the ultra-luxury cruise line will be converted into an ice-class vessel during an extensive refurbishment scheduled to start in August 2017. As an exploration ship, the all-suite Silver Cloud will accommodate 260 guests and also sail on itineraries to non-polar regions. When sailing Arctic and Antarctic itineraries, the guest complement will be restricted to 200.
In December 2009 Silversea took delivery of its next generation of ultra-luxury vessel, Silver Spirit. At 36,000 grt, and accommodating just 540 guests, this intimate ship has spacious suites - with 95% featuring a private veranda - and one of the highest space-to-guest ratios at sea today. The onboard decor lends a sophisticated 1930s Art Deco ambience to the public spaces, highlights of which include an indoor/ outdoor spa measuring over 770 square metres, a resort-style pool, four whirlpools, and a choice of six dining venues including Seishin, showcasing Asian-fusion cuisine, and the innovative Stars Supper Club, offering trendsetting menus and all-night entertainment.
Today, with its fleet of nine ships and a cruise programme that encompasses all seven continents and over 800 destinations, Silversea is recognised as the defining elite luxury experience and is regularly lauded by leading consumer and trade publications. In the US, Silversea has been voted “World’s Best” 9 times by the readers of Condé Nast Traveler and 7 times by Travel + Leisure; and awarded “Best Luxury Cruise Line” by Global Traveler this year. Other awards include “Best Adventure Cruise Line” by UK’s World of Cruising magazine (2016); “Best Expedition Cruise Ship” by Australia’s Cruise Passenger magazine (2015); and “Best Luxury Cruise Company” by UK’s Travel Weekly Globe Travel Awards (2016).
Scheduled to debut in April 2017, the simply divine Silver MuseSM, at just 40,700 grt, will accommodate 596 guests in 298 sumptuously appointed suites. Possessing unprecedented flexibility in her accommodation, there will be more connecting suites for families and friends, and larger, higher-category suites. Guests will also enjoy a delectable diversity of cuisines offered at eight restaurants, providing more dining options than any other ultra-luxury ship. And Silver Muse will redefine open-air cruising with an abundance of outdoor spaces, including three open-air restaurants and lounge areas. The company launched Silversea Expeditions in June 2008 with the debut of its first expedition ship, Silver Explorer (formerly Prince Albert II). The move heralded the beginning of a new mode in adventure travel, where the exhilaration of exploration cruising is paired with the unmatched comfort of Silversea’s signature lifestyle. In June 2012 Silversea purchased Canodros S.A., the premier Ecuadorian tourism company operating in the Galápagos Islands, and their upmarket expedition ship, Galapagos Explorer II. The all-suite, 100-guest ship was renamed and launched for Silversea as Silver Galapagos in late September 2013, offering year-round expedition cruises in the Galápagos. A third expedition ship, Silver Discoverer, set sail for Silversea in April 2014. Exploring some of the world’s most remote, most pristine, and least explored regions, this all-suite, 120-guest ship quickly earned her place in Silversea’s award-winning fleet, being named “Best Luxury Cruise” by USA’s TravelChannel.com -within a few months of her debut.
Silversea caters to the cosmopolitan world traveller and maintains branch offices in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Singapore, and Germany. The company’s headquarters are based in Monaco.
About Silver Spirit Silver Spirit one of the boats in the Silver Sea fleet, combines the award-winning hallmarks of the Silversea luxury cruise experience with expanded amenities and exciting new venues for dining and entertainment. Dine on fresh sushi and innovative Asian fusion cuisine at Seishin, meet friends at Stars Supper Club for small plate specialties and live entertainment, or recharge and rejuvenate in the 8,300-square foot spa and fitness center of the Silver Spirit. Featuring the largest suites in the Silversea fleet, Silver Spirit offers a lively, convivial atmosphere for cosmopolitan travelers who enjoy a greater variety of shipboard diversions, yet crave the personalized service and authentic and “up-close” experiences for which Silversea is known. More ways to play… and to relax. Silversea’s Silver Spirit departs on a nine-day voyage from Lisbon to Barcelona on 13 April 2017. The voyage calls in at Portimão, Cádiz, Gibraltar, Malaga, Cartagena, Ibiza and Valencia before arriving into Barcelona. Fares start from £2,950 per person based on double occupancy of the Veranda Suite. For more information visit www.silversea.com or call 08444 251 0837
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Need Text on equidem insector delendave carmina Livi esse reor, memini quae plagosum mihi parvo Orbilium dictare; sed emendata videri pulchraque et exactis minimum distantia miror. Inter quae verbum emicuit si forte decorum, et si versus paulo concinnior unus et alter, iniuste totum ducit venditque poema.
Sophie Ryder Known for her animal sculptures in bronze, artist Sophie Ryder opens her heart to us and talks about her monumental works, poetry and exhibiting in public places.
Please tell us about your love of sculpture, and how you became an artist. Did sculpture always feel like the medium you felt most interested in?
SR: Since the age of three, I have been making sculpture. Aside from the endless drawings and paintings I made, working three dimensionally was something I found really exciting and rewarding. It felt really special to be able to make an object out of cheap, unassuming materials like loo rolls, tissue paper and wire.
How did you get your start?
SR: When I was just months out of graduating from the Royal Academy schools at the age of 20, I was nominated up for a three month residency at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park which I was awarded without even knowing about it. I just received a call from the director Peter Murray. That was very exciting, I made a flock of sheep and a one and a half life size horse, which I called “son of York” after Henry Moore who was born in York. He sadly died whilst I was making it, so I didn’t have the chance to meet him but I was lucky to have had such a wonderful opportunity early in my career.
This exhibition at the Hignell Gallery is your first exhibition in London in over a decade what appealed to you about showing your pieces in this new gallery space?
SR: Ever since leaving the Royal Academy in 1984, I have been with Osborne Samuel gallery. It was time for a change and it really appealed to me to work with a female dealer and someone who I get on really well with. I have a lot of shared values with Abby, and she has been particularly supportive of showing my work in public spaces such as Salisbury Cathedral, Glastonbury and in Grosvenor Square, which is so important to me given the scale I like to work in. Abby is a great dealer, she is knowledgeable about art, enthusiastic, works really hard and loves my work all things which make for a good dealer. The gallery is brilliantly situated in Shepherds Market, Mayfair. It is a lovely little street which has a village-like feel to it. The gallery is light and spacious and shows my smaller work to its best.
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Two of your pieces were installed at this Summer’s Glastonbury Festival. Could you tell us a little more about this commission?
SR: This year I was lucky enough to be asked by Glastonbury Festival to show a sculpture in the Silver Hayes field. They had two new monumental Torsos, which I made 13 years ago, and had only just finished casting! When I finished making the sculpture in 2003, I wanted to engrave graffiti all over it, but rather than me writing things, I invited a poet called Aiden Dunn to come and write poems about the sculpture and to engrave them into the original plaster before casting. The Torsos are full of interesting objects and machine parts, which make them intriguing and tactile, and a source of intrigue for visitors exploring the work. A class of deaf children from Mary Hare School in Newbury who I had been working with also came and wrote a few words. A few months ago I met one of those students who works for Shape Art, a charity I have just donated some work to who recalled what a memorable experience it was to participate in the final stages of creating the sculptures.
You’ve also exhibited at Salisbury Cathedral this summer. How did you find that experience?
SR: Exhibiting at Salisbury Cathedral has been great. It took a few years for the curator Jacquiline Cresswell and I to organise and many more to make all the work. There were over 160 works containing more than 240 pieces in the show. The Cathedral is stunning and the beautiful stone of the building is an incredible backdrop for bronze and wire sculpture. Sometimes my work looks huge but in Salisbury it looks relatively normal size!
interview Jan/Jun 2017
Where do you get your inspiration?
SR: My inspiration comes from my daytoday life. The rest of it just comes naturally, I do not sit and contemplate “what shall I make now?” it just comes from inside me into a sculpture or a drawing or whatever medium I feel right expressing that particular emotion with it’s an organic process.
Can you talk a little more about the role of animals in your work?
SR: The animal heads are masks which conceal the identity of the person underneath, therefore allowing me to explore emotions and positions that could be read as overtly sexual or ridiculous if they were seen to be human. The animals in my work, dogs and horses are not human in body but in my mind they have human expressions and feelings.
How do you feel about the role of public sculpture in the UK?
SR: The UK is slow in encouraging public art but we are getting better thanks to places like the Yorkshire Sculpture Park and other parks, outdoor galleries and places like Cathedrals who have the foresight to allow curators to put on exhibitions that give the public the opportunity to explore and enjoy sculpture they might otherwise not experience.
You’ve also exhibited in the past at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, how does exhibiting in public settings differ from a gallery setting?
SR: Exhibiting in a public setting like the Yorkshire Sculpture Park for me is very
important because it allows people who wouldn’t necessarily go into an art gallery to see art without anyone coming up to them and asking them questions or telling them how to appreciate the work. They are free to look and think however they so wish. As an artist, it allows me to work on the scale I most enjoy, which is monumental. Working in a gallery is equally as important because without galleries and dealers, most artists would not sell enough work to allow them to continue making the big works. Another reason for showing the smaller work which are often my working studies for the larger work is because most people simply don’t have the space for my large pieces!
Working on a large scale is a very significant feature of your art. Could you explain to us the creative challenges which come from working on that scale?
SR: Working on a large scale has its downsides in terms of engineering and logistics. The aim is to make a huge piece that looks effortless when it is finally installed. Little do people know the years that have gone into the scaling up from a drawing to a maquette to another two scale ups before getting to the final size. One has to be aware of things like people possibly climbing on the work and crushing it, or rubbing the colour off or even hurting themselves. It has to be strong and safe, at the same time resistant to wind, rain, leaves, and vandalism. Having said all of that, I get a great thrill from working big. The feeling I get when I stand and look up at one of my monumental sculptures is worth all the hard work.
Relationships play a crucial role in your work, how do you feel that this is expressed in your pieces?
SR: Most of my work seems to deal with relationships, apart from the occasional single figure. The relationships are mainly inspired by those between members of my family.
There’s an almost mythical aspect to your work with recurring figures such as the hare and the Minotaur, where did this interest come from?
SR: At primary school I studied Greek mythology, which is when I first became interested in the Minotaur. Soon after I became interested in Picasso who is still by far my favourite artist. His Minotaur is more sexually aggressive than my more gentle friendly, loving Minotaur. The lady hare came about when I was looking for a female counterpart for my Minotaur and the hare head seemed to work very well on the female human body.
How has your use of materials changed over the course of your career?
SR: Wire has been the material, which I have become known for, and also the material which allows me to explore sculpture from tiny to monumental whilst at the same time retaining a light, spontaneous feel. Bronze has become a material I have learned to love. Working in plaster is a great way of working as you can change your mind and edit and rework the material without any trouble unlike marble. Marble is a material I have been using for the past 4 years and I have learnt to treat it with great respect and care. It has a beautiful luminosity and at the same time solidity about it. i-MAGAZINE 175
Though you are best known for your bronzes and pieces in wire, you also have a selection of works on paper and drawings, some of which are on view as part of the exhibition at the Hignell Gallery. How do your pieces in other media work alongside your sculptures?
SR: When I have a gallery exhibition such as my last show with Hignell Gallery, I like to show all aspects of my work from drawings to paintings, prints, collage, and steel cutouts. The work goes together because it is all related it’s an evolution from the same story and each work complements or relates to the next.
You’ve had a very successful career so far in quite a short amount of time, with your degree show selling out, and a residency at Yorkshire Sculpture Park. What ambitions do you have for your artistic career in the future?
SR: So far my career has been a nonstop journey. I don’t change my work to suit fashion, but sometimes it’s in fashion and sometimes it isn’t but it continues to inspire me and I want to stay consistent to my own style. It’s the same for all artists. It’s hard when it’s out of fashion but I have never thought of stopping or only making tiny work. Nearly every penny I make goes back into the work. It’s my life, my love, and my obsession. When I sell a big piece it’s exciting because it means I can make another one so it’s never been about having money to spend on expensive things.
What’s next for you? do you have any exciting upcoming plans this winter?
SR: This year has been very exciting and very busy, with Salisbury Cathedral, Hignell Gallery, Glastonbury Festival and British Polo Day. This autumn, I have an exhibition with Waterhouse and Dodd in New York and who knows what comes next. I would like to show in some more cathedrals, as the atmosphere is magical. My next monumental installation will be a very interactive piece where people can walk through and see the sculpture from the inside out. My hope is to see more sculpture in public places.