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Issue Seven - January - December 2018 Search - IMAGAZINE.WEBSITE UK £12.95 - US $19.95
MIKE FRANCE CEO [ on British watchmaking, hope or hype? ] GINA MILLER [ investing in volatile times, the importance of diversiﬁcation ] ALVIN HALL [ the keys to ﬁnancial freedom in retirement ] BARONESS PERRY [ the role of government in education ] LORD SUMPTION [ interview with the judge, author and medieval historian ] THE BUGATTI FAMILY [ an indepth look at the brand and the man Ettore Bugatti ] LORD ARCHER [ on juggling his roles as a peer and successful author ]
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Editor In Chief and Publisher Vincent Abrams email@example.com Designers Merlin Publishing - Polly Playford Deputy Editor Charles Squires Business Editorial Advisors Lord Laird of Artigarvan Lord Beecham Lord Glentoran CBE Baroness Prashar CBE Lord Popat Baroness Thornton Baroness Greengross Lady Massey of Darwen Lord Soley Lord Watson of Richmond CBE 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 Lifestyle Editor DL Osborne Contributing Cultural Editor Henry Hopwood Philips Asia Editor Matthew Davies Advertising Sales Manager Sophie Kochan firstname.lastname@example.org Printing by The Magazine Printing Company Distributed by Smiths News and Menzies Contributors Alvin Hall, Mike France, Baroness Perry, Lord Sumption, Lord Soley, Dan Hillier, Richard Baldwin - Paul Chavasse, Thomas Bentski, Natalie Massenet, Simon Anholt, Gina Miller, Marc Vollender, Winston Ma, Jan Muhfelt, Ai Wei Wei, Alistair Wilson, John Reynard et all. I-MAGAZINE Merlin Publishing 89 Northchurch Road London N1 3NU Tel: + 44 (0) 203 755 3644 Fax: + 44 (0) 207 297 2100
The Editor’s Letter Welcome to the seventh issue of I-MAGAZINE as you’ve noticed, the cover star is Mike France CEO of Chirstopher Ward the British watchmaking brand, he talks on whether or not he beleives the ‘‘british brand’’ is all hype or reality based on his perspective, ‘‘he also talks about ‘going into business with friends’ and how it can benefit you and the business you are planning to set up’’. Francine Lacqua of Bloomberg Television speaks to Dame Natalie Massenet, Chairman of the British Fashion Council on her setting up Net a Porter and turning into a profitable business before moving on to the BFC, on how she succeeded in the online fashion business and others didn’t etc, we also interview Lord Jonathan Sumption of the Supreme Court on his book ‘The Hundred Years War’, interviewed by Henry Hopwood Phillips who also asks some personal questions as to his personal reading habits and how he see’s himself in relation to how others see him. Lord Archer talks to us on how he juggles his role as a peer in the House of Lords to that of being a succesful author. We also speak to Fawaz Gurosi, founder and CEO at De Grisogono, we interview him on his long awaited return to his homeland. Paul Chavasse, Head of Investment Management at Rathbones writes on generational wealth management. As you have likely noticed, I-MAGAZINE has a new sharper more defined look, this is due to the fact we have had a change of designer, we hope you enjoy the new sharper look, with more text and less images, defining I-MAGAZINE as a ‘reader’s magazine’, focusing on serious business, political and lifestyle content. Two Editorial Board members Baroness Perry and Baroness Perry write in this issue, Baroness Perry looks at the role that government plays in university, it’s future and preferred role and its current role, Baroness Perry was the first woman to run a British university. Baroness Greengross writes on the impact of longevity and technology on employment. I very much hope you 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 would also like to invite you to join us on Twitter to do so search @IMAGAZINE_UK our website is imagazine.website, 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 indi- vidual 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
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23 - CREDITS PAGE - includes the letter from the Editor in Chief Vincent Abrams 174 - GRAND HOTEL STOCKHOLM SPECIAL - an in depth look at one of the finest boutique hotels in Sweden, featuring Managing Director Pia Djupmark.
LORD SUMPTION - interview with the british judge, author and historian, interviewed by Henry Hopwood Phillips BARONESS GREENGROSS - writes on the impact of longevity and technology on employment. BARONESS PERRY - writes on the role of government in education, academic research and the role that universities play in government in general.
PAUL CHAVASSE - Head of Investment Management and member of the Executive Committee at Rathbones writes on generational wealth management. JAN MUHFEIT - global stategist and former Chairman of Microsoft Europe write on ‘being a positive leader, fuelling success and happiness in a world of disruptive change. GINA MILLER - says don’t put all of your eggs in one basket, diversify or die, she gives investment advice for those seeking diversified returns. ALVIN HALL - writes on the keys to financial freedom in retirement, making sure were looking after ourselves and our families as we approach retirement. DIANA CHAMBERS - writes on philanthropy and how it is available to us all. WINSTON MA - ‘silicon valley talking’, looking at China’s rise and balance, especially in terms of its innovation and eco-system.
LORD ARCHER - the House of Lords peer and succesful author writes on balancing his roles in both the house and as a successful author. MIKE FRANCE - our cover star, Mike France CEO of British watchmaking brand Christopher Ward writes on the British brand as a reality or hype. RICHARD PATERSON - Master Whisky Distiller at The Dalmore is interviewed on his career to date producing one of the world’s finest tasting notes. FAWAZ GRUOSI - President, owner and founder of de Grisogono, we interview him on his return back to his paternal country in many years. IAN DEJARDIN - we interview art historian and current Director of the Dulwich Picture Gallery in Dulwich, southeast London.
DAN HILLIER - interview artist Dan Hillier, about his show ‘Ceremony’, held last year at The Saatchi Gallery. MICHAEL WHYTE - we interview the late great Director and Cinematographer on his career.
Diary & Events Jan - June 2019 / Penny Lee Hollings rounds up the latest cultural events happening around the world, the image on the right is from White Turf International Horce Race, which takes place in February, taking place over three consecutive Sundays against the magnifficent alpine backdrop of the engadine, this historic event dates back to 1907.
London International Boat Show January 2018
London Art Fair January 2018
The U.S Masters April 2018
This maritime extravaganza has something for everyone. Sailors and boat-owners will be fascinated by over 500 exhibitors, demonstrating the very latest milestones in yacht design, nautical engineering and maritime technology. A range of small craft are on display in the indoor harbour, while larger boats are moored outside on the show’s spectacular marina, which exploits ExCel’s dockside location. Landlubbers, on the other hand, can explore exhibitor boats or enjoy a range of entertainment - from swimwear catwalk shows to spectacular displays of dance, acrobatics and music. A number of experts will be on hand to provide inspiration - whether their passion is restoration of historic vessels or maritime photography. And amateurs can test their marine skills in the interactive zone, which even features an indoor pool for rowing competitions.
London Art Fair, the UK’s largest art fair for Modern British and contemporary art will return to the Business Design Centre, Islington, between 15 and 19 January 2017. The 26th London Art Fair will feature galleries presenting the great names of the 20th century as well as exceptional recent works from established artists and emerging talent. Galleries from across the UK and overseas will exhibit work by artists covering the period from the early 20th Century to the present day. Museum quality Modern British art will be presented alongside contemporary work from the best leading and emerging artists.
As its name implies, the US Masters 2013 is an elite golf tournament, one of the four major professional championships in men’s golf. Golf enthusiasts will have many cherished memories of this classic tournament: the historic dominance of Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Gary Player, Nick Faldo’s nail-biting win over the Australian Greg Norman in 1996, Tiger Woods’s blistering 12shot victory in 1997. Players enter the tournament by invitation only, so the field is smaller than in any other major championship. The US Masters is held each year at the same location, the Augustusta National Golf Club, and is sometimes known as the Augustusta Masters. The beautiful course at Augustusta was designed by Alister Mackenzie on the site of a former indigo plantation. The challenging terrain is notable for its luscious vegetation, and every hole on the course is named after the tree or shrub with which it has become associated.
Monte-Carlo Rally January 2018 Organised each year by the Automobile Club de Monaco, this event is officially known as the Rallye Automobile Monte-Carlo. It takes place against the spectacular backdrop of the French Riviera, and has a history dating back to 1911. It is now the opening round of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge, an international series launched in 2008. From its earliest beginnings, the rally has always been seen as a test of the road-worthiness of new cars. Success in the rally carries great kudos, and garners very positive publicity. This challenging winter course embraces a range of road conditions, including dry and wet tarmac, ice and snow. One of the most notorious stages of the rally is from La Bollene to Sospel (or vice versa), a route with takes the drivers over the Col de Turini, a hair-raising mountain drive which consists of a dizzying series of tight hairpin turns, often covered in ice and snow.
The Cheltenham Festival March 2018 The four-day Cheltenham festival is an eagerly awaited event on the National Hunt horse-racing calendar, attracting crowds of around 230,000 people, with total prize money of £3.67 million. Cheltenham Festival 2015 opens on Tuesday 12 March with Champions Day, featuring the most important hurdle race of the season, The Stan James Champion Hurdle. Champion Day also features a parade of past champions, entertainment around the racecourse, pre-racing interviews with racing celebrities. On Wednesday 13 March the Queen Mother Champion Chase provides an invigorating spectacle, a two-mile dash over Cheltenham’s famous fences. Wednesday is also Ladies Day and there are awards for the Best Dressed Lady, Best Accessories and Best Hat. Thursday has an Irish flavour and is an early celebration of St Patricks Day, featuring the Ladbrokes World Hurdle and the Ryanair Chase. The Festival culminates on Friday with the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup, the highlight of the Jump season, and the title that is universally coveted by jockeys and trainers alike.
Chelsea Antiques Fair March 2018 The Chelsea Antiques Fair is the oldest antiques fair in Britain, and possibly internationally, having been established in 1950. From 1951 until 1984, Josephine Graham Ballin ran the fair, establishing its high reputation internationally, with particular interest being generated in America. Since September 1984, Caroline Penman has been at the helm, continuing its long-running success. 2013 saw the launch of a new look fair, with a completely new layout, and enhanced standards of quality and displays.
White Turf International Horse Race
Harnessing Uncertainty in the Name of Humanity By Justin Lokitz
Change is exponential. There’s no getting around it. As we continue to invent new technologies and innovate business models we create paradigm shifts that ‘’leave the old models in the dust’’. However, we humans in the middle of all of this change – especially those of us on the margins or those most affected negatively by the change – often have a toughest time keeping up. A big part of that is that we fear uncertainty that change brings, clinging to past paradigms as the only way forward. This goes for working patterns as much as for business models. We fear autonomous vehicles as we can only somehow picture humans with their hands planted firmly on steering wheels. Similarly we fear automation in factories and steel mini mills as these technological innovations eliminate jobs. Taxicab companies push for heavy regulations on the Ubers of this world just as hotels lobby to push Airbnb out of the hoteling market. Even those of us who lead the paradigm shifts, such as Elon Musk, founder and CEO of Tesla and Space X, seem to have a tough time seeing paradigm shifts as foundations for new business models and strategies. In fact in a recent interview with CNBC, a US news outlet, Musk reasoned, “there is a pretty good chance we end up with a universal basic income, or something like that,” when asked about robots taking over human jobs. It’s not just Mr. Musk saying this either. Even Bill Gross, a billionaire investor and well-known capitalist, has suggested the need for a universal basic income in light of our impending robot takeover. I believe this is only partly true. If history has taught us anything it’s that disruptive paradigm shifting business models not only create fortune for the first movers, they lay the foundation for other new business models, new market entrants, and new jobs to follow. Yes, robots will replace humans for many jobs, just as innovative farming equipment replaced humans and horses during the industrial revolution. However, in
the wake of these changes, humans will be needed to create and deliver value in brand new ways for brand new business models. Take for instance the collapse of the coal industry in Kentucky. According to the Kentucky Department for Energy Development and Independence, the price of coal collapsed by 75% since 2011, which has led to the loss of at least 26,000 U.S. coal mining jobs. This is devastating to say the least. But, this is also a problem without a simple solution, at least not where the coal market and related jobs are concerned. Enter Bit Source, “a [Kentucky-based] software development company that designs, develops, and deploys websites, applications, games, tools, interactions, and software solutions”, that also happens to hire out-of-work coal miners as they often make great coders. As it turns out, while coal mining is indeed really tough work, it can also be very complex, requiring engineers who work with extremely sophisticated equipment. Not at all what most people think about when they imagine what coal miners do. Moreover, most coding these days does not require genius-level Mark Zuckerberg or Bill Gates-type entrepreneurs. Rather, much coding is about achieving some end goal by tying together building blocks of front-end and back-end code with specific logic in the middle. In many respects, this kind of coding is what we might call blue-collar work. Which, as it turns out, is something that many coal miners are well suited for. Though Bit Source has only hired about 10 coal miners-cum-coders to date, the company has received more than 1,000 applications. In other words what we might be seeing is the foundation for an entire new business model transformation. Why go to Silicon Valley and San Francisco for young coders just out of school when you can hire experienced, diligent coders in Kentucky for about a third the cost? It’s also not just business models heavily dependent blue-collar elements that will be built on the foundations of paradigm
shifts. So will we require new experiences – ones that cater to humans – to be designed and constructed around us. You don’t have to look very hard to see that this is already happening. Everything from the transportation we take to the events we attend and even our workplaces are being designed (and sometimes redesigned) to create the visceral experiences we desire but didn’t know we needed until now. Think about it this way: Uber doesn’t exist because the company invented a way to get from A to B that’s different from what taxis provide. Rather, what Uber does for us, as consumers, is focus on creating a great experience, especially when it comes to hailing and paying for a cab ride. Sure, they do so by also implementing a great multi-sided business model that invites car owners to get paid to drive people around. But, as an Uber passenger I could not care any less about the particulars of the Uber business model any more than I could about how many taxi medallions have been issued in San Francisco, where I live. This is to say that we are now firmly planted in what is called the experience economy. First coined by B. Joseph Pine II and James H. Gilmore, authors of a well-known Harvard Business Review article, titled “Welcome to the Experience Economy” as well as the book, The Experience Economy, the experience economy describes how businesses can no longer simply sell products or services to companies and expect to create a sustainable competitive advantage. Rather, companies in all sectors must sell experiences that create resonant memories for their customers. By no means is this a simple concept, especially for companies that have developed and sold functional products for so long. But, companies who have done this well, like Disney, Apple, Airbnb, Uber, and even Tesla, have become examples that others try to follow.
Change is exponential. There’s no getting around it. As we continue to invent new technologies and innovate business models we create paradigm shifts that ‘’leave the old models in the dust’’. However, we humans in the middle of all of this change – especially those of us on the margins or those most affected negatively by the change – often have a toughest time keeping up. A big part of that is that we fear uncertainty that change brings, clinging to past paradigms as the only way forward. This goes for working patterns as much as for business models. We fear autonomous vehicles as we can only somehow picture humans with their hands planted firmly on steering wheels. Similarly we fear automation in factories and steel mini mills as these technological innovations eliminate jobs. Taxicab companies push for heavy regulations on the Ubers of this world just as hotels lobby to push Airbnb out of the hoteling market. Even those of us who lead the paradigm shifts, such as Elon Musk, founder and CEO of Tesla and Space X, seem to have a tough time seeing paradigm shifts as foundations for new business models and strategies. In fact in a recent interview with CNBC, a US news outlet, Musk reasoned, “there is a pretty good chance we end up with a universal basic income, or something like that,” when asked about robots taking over human jobs. It’s not just Mr. Musk saying this either. Even Bill Gross, a billionaire investor and well-known capitalist, has suggested the need for a universal basic income in light of our impending robot takeover. I believe this is only partly true. If history has taught us anything it’s that disruptive paradigm shifting business models not only create fortune for the first movers, they lay the foundation for other new business models, new market entrants, and new jobs to follow. Yes, robots will replace humans for many jobs, just as innovative farming equipment replaced humans and horses during the industrial revolution. However, in the wake of these changes, humans will be needed to create and deliver value in brand new ways for brand new business models.
Take for instance the collapse of the coal industry in Kentucky. According to the Kentucky Department for Energy Development and Independence, the price of coal collapsed by 75% since 2011, which has led to the loss of at least 26,000 U.S. coal mining jobs. This is devastating to say the least. But, this is also a problem without a simple solution, at least not where the coal market and related jobs are concerned. Enter Bit Source, “a [Kentucky-based] software development company that designs, develops, and deploys websites, applications, games, tools, interactions, and software solutions”, that also happens to hire out-of-work coal miners as they often make great coders. As it turns out, while coal mining is indeed really tough work, it can also be very complex, requiring engineers who work with extremely sophisticated equipment. Not at all what most people think about when they imagine what coal miners do. Moreover, most coding these days does not require genius-level Mark Zuckerberg or Bill Gates-type entrepreneurs. Rather, much coding is about achieving some end goal by tying together building blocks of front-end and back-end code with specific logic in the middle. In many respects, this kind of coding is what we might call blue-collar work. Which, as it turns out, is something that many coal miners are well suited for. Though Bit Source has only hired about 10 coal miners-cum-coders to date, the company has received more than 1,000 applications. In other words what we might be seeing is the foundation for an entire new business model transformation. Why go to Silicon Valley and San Francisco for young coders just out of school when you can hire experienced, diligent coders in Kentucky for about a third the cost? It’s also not just business models heavily dependent blue-collar elements that will be built on the foundations of paradigm shifts. So will we require new experiences – ones that cater to humans – to be designed and constructed around us. You don’t have to look very hard to see that this is already happening. Everything from the transportation we take to the events we attend and even our workplaces are being
designed (and sometimes redesigned) to create the visceral experiences we desire but didn’t know we needed until now. Think about it this way: Uber doesn’t exist because the company invented a way to get from A to B that’s different from what taxis provide. Rather, what Uber does for us, as consumers, is focus on creating a great experience, especially when it comes to hailing and paying for a cab ride. Sure, they do so by also implementing a great multi-sided business model that invites car owners to get paid to drive people around. But, as an Uber passenger I could not care any less about the particulars of the Uber business model any more than I could about how many taxi medallions have been issued in San Francisco, where I live. This is to say that we are now firmly planted in what is called the experience economy. First coined by B. Joseph Pine II and James H. Gilmore, authors of a well-known Harvard Business Review article, titled “Welcome to the Experience Economy” as well as the book, The Experience Economy, the experience economy describes how businesses can no longer simply sell products or services to companies and expect to create a sustainable competitive advantage. Rather, companies in all sectors must sell experiences that create resonant memories for their customers. By no means is this a simple concept, especially for companies that have developed and sold functional products for so long. But, companies who have done this well, like Disney, Apple, Airbnb, Uber, and even Tesla, have become examples that others try to follow. What this all means is that as new paradigm shifting business models take hold, especially ones that displace jobs, there will likely be new experience-based business models that are built on their backs; one’s that require humans to do the designing and implementing. For instance, as more focus in placed on moving people, by the likes of new services such as autonomous Uber cars, there will be a need for people to help design and implement experiences within those cars and probably in the build environment that capture rider’s imagination, make them feel relaxed or exhilarated or wanting to purchase something etc.
Mary Seacole The Story of a Statue By Lord Soley
A little over a year ago Sir Peter Bazalgette, Chair of the Arts Council, made an important plea for fair funding of diversity in the arts. I believe he is right and my experience as chair of the Mary Seacole Memorial Statue Appeal tends to confirm it. Until we unveiled the statue of Mary Seacole on the 30th June this year there was not a single statue to a named black woman anywhere in the UK. The statue can now be seen in front of St Thomas NHS Foundation Trust Hospital opposite the Houses of Parliament. So what is the story behind the statue? In 1979 I was approached by a group of women of Caribbean origin in my constituency who asked me to join them at the grave in St Mary’s cemetery of Mary Seacole who had supported and nursed British troops in Jamaica and in the Crimea (Crimean War 1853-567). They thought there should have been a statue to her as she was so important to troops in the Crimea. These women had come to the UK from the Caribbean in 1939/40 as one put it ‘to help the mother country in the fight for freedom’. They helped service and clean the guns and balloons that protected London during the blitz. I didn’t make any commitments at the time but simply made a mental note that when I had more time I would try and bring their wish to fruition. So when I stood down as an MP I started the Appeal. It has took us12 years to raise over £500,000 in cash or commitments much of it from nurses, schools and other small contributors. Why did I see this as so important? I am a child of the Second World War – born shortly before the outbreak of war. After the fall of France Churchill was quoted as saying “Very well, then alone”. In fact we weren’t alone. Britain had the support of millions in the then Empire and Commonwealth. True, at that stage of the war there was little help available but it quickly materialised and the Caribbean people were amongst the first to arrive. In later years the numbers grew mas-
sively. The British Indian Army at its height was 3 million strong and all volunteers! Even as a young child after the war I felt that we had not given full recognition to the help we received from empire and commonwealth. Mary Seacole had spent three days at the War Office trying to get permission to go to the Crimea to carry on the work she had done at the army’s hospital in Jamaica. Did she give up when refused? No, she organised and paid for her own transport and set up the British Hotel in the Crimea where she covered her costs as a sutler selling her goods but also using skills inherited from her mother in the use of herbal remedies and nursing skills. She became a heroin of the troops and of Victorian society. She was praised in the Times newspaper and in the magazine ‘Punch’ and when she returned from the Crimea bankrupt the army, led by a committee of senior officers and members of the Royal Family, organised concerts to raise funds and end her bankruptcy. Neither have today’s army forgotten her. I have a number of letters of support with financial contributions to the statue from army units whose forbears served in the Crimea and we were honoured to have Sergeant Johnson Beharry VC, also a Jamaican, with us at the unveiling. There was a small group of opponents fighting to stop the statue being erected at the hospital. I think they were sadly mistaken. Today’s NHS is full of nurses, doctors, hospital workers and others who have come from many parts of the world. Mary Seacole was one of the early ones who at a time when Britain, through the industrial revolution, had become the dominant world power with a global reach and was therefore already a magnet to many. Immigration did not start in 1948. Opponents thought that having a statue to Mary Seacole at St Thomas’ Hospital would undermine the reputation of Florence Nightingale. Rubbish! The two women had very different roles and both deserve recognition. Indeed Florence Nightingale created
modern nursing and she and her family had a noble history in the fight to end slavery. Mary Seacole came from a different tradition. She had knowledge of herbal remedies and used these skills and compassion to help injured and sick soldiers on the battlefield and in their barracks. An early example of a front line nurse. You can see a similar role in the famous painting by the Irish painter Daniel Maclise portraying the dying Nelson on the flagship Victory at Trafalgar. Women on that ship are depicted nursing the injured along with a number of people from other countries. I am sure those women did not join the ship as nurses but that is what they became when the battle started. Are we to condemn them? Are we to dismiss them as just stowaway girlfriends? Not from my point of view. The Royal Navy tell me there were close to 200 sailors of African origin at Trafalgar. How many were escaped slaves? I don’t know but if a slave got on a British ship they were no longer a slave. Slavery was not legal in Britain although it was in our colonies. I have been encouraged by the support we received from other institutions linked to Florence Nightingale. The Florence Nightingale Museum located at St Thomas’ Hospital has included Mary Seacole in a number of their presentations and the legacy programme that is being set up will work closely with the museum to inform the public about our world history and the contribution made to it by people like Mary. When I started this project I was remarkably naive about the effort, time and money that would be involved. I actually thought I could do it in a year or two. No way! Several people and organisations soon put me right and told me that I should commit to 10 years
and anything up to a million pounds! Supported by a committed group of trustees we organised a competition for the sculptor. That alone was a major education in the arts for me. Martin Jennings was selected. He already had an impressive reputation having created the statue of Sir John Betjeman at St Pancras station. He quickly began work but then came up with a suggestion that the statue should have Mary standing in front of a disc representing the world over which she had been such an intrepid traveller. The whole statue was to be about 6 meters high and weigh 5 tons. This was a big project! What is more he wanted the disc to have an actual image of the very ground in the Crimea where Mary Seacole had built the British Hotel. Martin Jennings came to me with this suggestion about a year before the Russian occupation of the territory. The political situation in the region was already very tense. In order to take an impression of the ground Martin and his team had to get a detailed electronic reading of the ground. Did I really want Martin and his team wandering around next to the largest Russian naval base in the world with his high tech equipment? Much of my Parliamentary work has been in the field of international relations but this was a challenge with a difference! I wrote to all the Ambassadors concerned and I got great help from Ukraine International Airlines. Fortunately Martin and his team came back safely with a detailed reading of the ground and had found the location of the British Hotel. He described his visit graphically. The ground where he took the electronic image had exploding shell marks from the First or Second World War. One of these is shown on the disc that you can now see behind the statue. He also found fragments of bottles of Porter (a stout similar to Guinness) in the area. British troops had opened the bottles by cutting them open with
a swipe from a sabre! Apparently the French did the same with Champaign. And there was I thinking that all you needed was a finger and thumb operation on the cork! The world was a different place then - maybe I should get myself a sabre!
arts? Why is it such a struggle to raise funds to recognise a woman of mixed Scottish and Jamaican heritage who wanted to serve Britain just like those women who came in 1939/40? Have we just got tired of statues? Or could it be racism with a small ‘r’?
So why was Mary Seacole airbrushed out of history following her death? She was famous after her service in the Crimea and became popular with troops and public alike.
One of the most depressing comments I received during this campaign was from someone who said ‘If there was to be a statue to Seacole it should just be a head and shoulders in somewhere like Brixton’. The question was also asked ‘Is Lord Soley black’ Not on the last occasion that I looked!
Her real legacy was with the troops who called her ‘Mother Seacole’. Some of the hostility to the statue came from people who see her as just a hotel manager serving drinks and food to officers. She was more than that. Many sutler’s (people who followed the army and sold good and services to the troops) did have a generally poor reputation but Mary was more than that. Yes, she did finance her activities by selling goods – how else could she have got to the Crimea and purchased provisions? The reality I would suggest is that she was popular precisely because there was no one else doing what she did for the troop at that time. Mary Seacole’s hotel was very close to the frontline enabling her to go out onto the battlefield to comfort and provide basic first aid to the injured and dying. Florence Nightingale had her hospital in Scutari – away from the front line. Both women provided real help and Florence made the additional and all important contribution of creating what we now regard as the modern profession of nursing. Perhaps the last word should go to Sir William Russell the famous war correspondent of the Times newspaper in the Crimea: “I trust that England will not forget one who nursed her sick, who sought out her wounded to aid and succour them, and who performed the last offices for some of her illustrious dead.” Well, we did forget and now is the time to remember again. And isn’t it time to examine Sir Peter Bazalgette claim that we need more diversity in the
Overall there have been relatively few racist comments but I still have a troubling feeling that it is one explanation as to why there has been no statue to Mary or any other named black women before this one. It is of course, true that there are also less statues to women then to men and there are some statues to named black men. So maybe I should not jump to conclusions on this. In any event it is time to put this right and recognise the international nature of our history, a history that has made the UK such a modern, diverse and dynamic society. Something to be proud of I think. Something that should have this history reflected in our art. Footnote: A book called ‘’Mary Seacole - The Story of a Statue’’, has been published and is available for £20 from amazon.com
BREXIT What can we learn from the referendum outcome? Good question. What can we indeed learn from this outcome other than the use of any referendum as a tool of democracy is a flawed idea? Referendums divide and they certainly do not conquer. They drive binary outcomes decided by plebiscite. The world is not black and white and the debate in the run-up stirs up almost unique negative emotion. We now know that in the UK, there is a North-South divide and a young-old divide. For the first time, we further know that there is a party political divide, one which may be ignored but never forgotten. There is also a whole countrywide divide (Scotland versus England). No doubt there is still a haves-have not divide but there is also an entrepreneur versus big business divide. Socio-political disconnects are everywhere. We learned that social media has overcome the business and political elite and logical advice was rejected. In the end, despite the outrageous simplification, it came down to economic wellness versus sovereignty over immigration. In Freud’s structural model of the psyche, there is no room left for the super-ego. On social media, we saw friends turn on friends with messages of raw emotion rather than considered thought. Those who had legitimate concerns about immigration and its impact on social services and their jobs were dubbed regressive racists, with many having scant regard for the opinion of others or the realisation that democracy does not always deliver a desired result, but works over time. The irony is that prejudice, stereotyping has developed and grown on both sides. Even more ironically, our vote to leave will provide cohesion for those (countries) that wish to stay and a platform to defeat the wave of referendums (Frexit, Nexit, Grexit and Sprexit) inevitably being called for across Europe. It has implications for politics worldwide going forward: - Vitriolic and divisive campaigns are the future. - A sustained period of quantitative easing (QE) has failed to cause a normalisation. The stimulus has found its way to the equity markets and to the wealthy who are already excessive savers. As QE ends, the likelihood of poor decisions like BREXIT will increase. Trump is a case in point. - History no longer applies – Facebook and iPhones have changed our decision making. - The world is no longer flat economically – the US Republicans want to move away from free-trade and it was the conserva-
tives, once the promoters of laissez-faire that were most divided over the free-trade zone. - Fringe politics and the anti-establishment can have profound effects on the outcome of things even if they have no chance of gaining power. The Sex Pistols represented something real but had no actual impact while today something fake and disingenuous can move the dial. - Fringe politics can go global – UKIP’s success will embolden Trump even if many intelligent Brexiteers didn’t want it so. The Economics: Britain will be impoverished. Most of the people we know perceive their house to be their asset and it will be worth less. Immediately. In the medium run, a weaker pound may cause the UK to “crowd out” high margin exports (such as the “invisible” financial services industry) and “crowd in” lower margin manufacturing businesses. It could accelerate inflation which was turning up anyway after years of zero rates and as wages finally begin to take share back from the corporation. Higher wages and higher inflation could mean higher interest rates, less affordability and lower house prices. Changing trade barriers will take time but changing regulations in the City will be easy and I must expect high paid jobs to shift to Europe and Switzerland. This is a disastrous trifecta – less jobs albeit with some wage inflation, possibly less wage competition from less immigration, an exodus of big money earners and higher interest rates. Before we start with anything else, lower house prices – should they occur – are far more important to the average Brit than his love of his common “Euroman”. The trade effects of leaving the EU will be substantial. When we look at NAFTA in the US, the assurance of market access has a crucial effect in encouraging long-term investments aimed at selling across borders so revoking that assurance will, over time, erode trade even if there isn’t any kind of trade war. And Britain will become less productive as a result. The stock market impact around the world remains to be seen and it really depends on what happens to Europe. If the Eurozone suffers – it seems likely – and the Euro weakens against the dollar, it could cause a devaluation of the Remnimbi in China and potential major global risk asset dislocation. Michael Gove, frankly, made a cogent but too theoretical point. He said that no one in
the world is trying to emulate the EU. “It is a fact that the EU is a multi-national federation with no democratically elected leader or Government, with policies decided by a central bureaucracy, with a mock Parliament which enjoys no popular mandate for action and with peripheries which are either impoverished or agitating for secession. It’s a fact that also describes Austria-Hungary under the Habsburgs, the Russian Empire under Nicholas the Second, Rome under its later Emperors or the Ottoman Empire in its final year.” The bottom line is that EU has not been working. In a world where economies are managed through their currencies – think about Japan and what it has done to the Yen – the introduction of a single currency has meant that Italy and France can no longer use their own currencies to devalue in difficult times to prop up exports. The Euro is too low for Germany and too high for everyone else. Italy grew its industrial production FASTER than Germany for the 20 years prior to the Euro and has since floundered while Germany’s success story has been clear. In return, Germany keeps the peripherals at bay with handouts. Ireland had to suffer a depression and came out the other side. France and Italy have their own beauty and idiosyncrasies. It is unrealistic to expect them to change. It doesn’t work. That being said, Britain had the best of all worlds in its position prior to Brexit. It was an EU member while having its own currency with various opt-in, opt-out rules. I believe remaining in the EU would have seen Britain watch the EU slowly break up but negotiating from the inside with one foot in and one foot out (a perfect position) would have been better than negotiating from the outside. Today, the UK has no leverage. Over the next 10 years, Britain may prove to be stronger on its own. It’s not ridiculous to argue that the Brexit vote may have saved the EU and its many worthy goals from self-destruction. A crisis can spawn structural reform far faster than maintaining the status quo and hope is that after a period of trauma, the UK goes on to provide a template to trade with the rest of Europe and the world. It is at least a 50% chance but in the short term the damage is done. P.S I cannot yet consider the more nefarious implications of what Russia is thinking for now.
Lord Sumption OBE Interviewed by Henry Hopwood Phillips
Justice of the Supreme Court Jonathan Sumption talks to Henry Hopwood-Phillips about language, history, politics and the fourth volume of his history on the Hundred Years’ War. Any hard won lessons in life? No it’s been terribly cushy. OK—any moderately difficult hurdles surmounted? I suppose I was in academia for long enough before law for people to assume my pupillage was just me having a lark. I was written off as a dilettante. You’ve been compared to Gibbon in reviews I’ve read. As much as I love Gibbon, if anybody wrote like him today they’d be dismissed as a pompous fart. Are you a bit more of a Runciman… He was a stylist to his core but he was also a Whig, I’m not a Whig. He could also be terribly condescending. I remember being at a talk he was giving on how the Byzantines influenced the Renaissance, an American piped up at the end and asked how the Byzantines must have felt like as such a superior species when handling the Italians—‘rather, I might imagine, how I might feel if I were in America,’ Runciman replied. That said, he was a phenomenal linguist. You’re not too shabby yourself on that front, are you? I can think in French, and can read and write most European languages, though Magyar escapes me. I rarely learned them using guides, instead I preferred to muddle on through a text with a dictionary by my side. What’s the correct balance to be struck between action and reflection? My passions are bookish but I will say this: to write history you must possess a certain amount of empathy for people who had to ride in full suits of armour but you don’t need to wear one. Why did England feel able to take on France, a country many times richer, with three times its population? Because France was weak at the time. It began to collapse as Charles VI sank into
madness. It was a country far more reliant on its monarchy than its neighbours, mainly due to the fact it was a very complex polity with several legal systems and languages. to write history you must possess a certain amount of empathy for people who had to ride in full suits of armour but you don’t need to wear oneThe scale of it is unimaginable, perhaps its closest comparison is 1940. The English certainly weren’t fools. If the Dauphin had died and/or Henry V hadn’t, an English victory would have been plausible. The unity we see today didn’t come until the sixteenth century and wasn’t cemented until the building of the railways in the nineteenth.
of being brief. I think what both miss is that declinism can only be a short term phenomenon. In terms of power and wealth everything’s going up and down all the time—and it’s not doing so within a framework of biology. It’s pretentiousness in the extreme. I liked Hugh Trevor-Roper’s demolition job of Toynbee. OK it’s catty, tart and trivial in places but for the most part it’s profound. I share with him the notion that any theory purporting to explain very much is bound to be wrong. Theories can explain small things but when they are scaled up they fray at the edges. Remember, the whole world can’t be in decline all the time.
Are there any lessons in the Hundred Years’ War for today?
Can I tempt you on to any political topics?
Not really, other than in the sense all history is the attempt to achieve experience vicariously. I don’t like platitudes such as ‘we learn that war is futile’. No, war and religion both stand behind all the major tests humanity has undergone when addressing the biggest questions we can. The subtleties of warfare are being lost…
I enjoy politics. It’s the subject matter or an important background to all historical matters. We live in an age in which we pretend to despise politics and politicians. I don’t. I think we expect things of politicians that aren’t necessarily political virtues, such as consistency. Not only in the sense of Keynes’ dictum about changing his mind when the facts change but in the sense that politicians have to keep up with the fact that our political appetites are always changing.
What do you mean? I’m reminded of a famous exchange between a German being interrogated by a British officer in 1944. The officer remarked that the Germans are a ‘warlike people.’ The German corrected him, saying ‘No. We are a military people, the British are a warlike people.’ Meaning the Germans were superb at the cold business of killing people but not the mentality, the organisation that sat behind it, whereas the British were adequate at fighting but marshalled every resource and trained every sinew of its society to war. Your text is peppered with stats and facts, from taxes to maps—were your sources hard work? Perhaps before the fifteenth century. Afterwards, however, there are many more personal letters. As the sophistication of civil services grow, there are very impressive, neutral and complex appraisals of delicate political circumstances. Have you read larger, abstract works of history, A. J. Toynbee’s A Study of History, for instance? I started to read that in the 1970s when it was still regarded as monumental. He’s effectively Spengler applied… Yes, but at least Spengler had the virtue
We live in a time that follows the disposal of the canon of dead, white men, and yet instead of heterogeneity, new orthodoxies have emerged… I despise straightjackets of all sorts. There should never be a concrete idea of history. Anybody with a fixed idea about these things is not reading a source but ploughing it for themselves. It’s dishonest, and more importantly, you’ll miss what’s there. There should never be a concrete idea of historyAlso, having a fixed idea of things destroys curiosity. On a similar note, the historical curriculum is appallingly narrow. It’s terribly damaging to study 1918-45, a period that tells you very little about the development of Europe and which is, in general, very untypical. The result is that most English schoolchildren are being taught about Germany and Europe during its most aberrant period. They are not taught that in George Eliot’s time France was simply a place you went through to get to Germany. for budding historians?
The Impact of Longevity and Technology on employment. By Baroness Greengross
For many years I have been heavily engaged in the lifetime learning debate, but the impact of longevity and technology on employment, particularly of older people, means that we must make a renewed effort to shine some light on this neglected issue. Increasing longevity is a global phenomenon that, rather than being feared, in terms of a ‘time-bomb’, needs to be welcomed. Improvements in public health and nutrition and medical advances are the main causes of people living longer and, according to the UK Office of National Statistics (ONS) and the Equality and Human Rights Commission, over the last 200 years life expectancy in Britain has increased continuously. In the UK, the number of people over 100 has risen by 65% in the last decade and one in four babies born today can expect to live to 100. By 2039, one in 12 people will be aged 80 or over and over 25% of UK Population will be over 65. But only half of those retirement years will be spent in good or very good health, placing a huge burden on the NHS as we know and also on pensions. Health outcomes also vary depending on where you live. Differences in education, employment opportunities, lifestyle behaviours, social mobility and the wider local environment all have a major impact on health. Another impact of increasing longevity is that people now spend 7 years longer in retirement than in the 1970s. This means that many older people, even if they had planned for it – and many don’t, will not have accumulated sufficient assets and savings to last them through this extended post-work period and could be at risk of experiencing financial difficulties. Many rely on the state pension which, as more older people live for longer, is costing the state more than it can afford. So while increased longevity is a cause for celebration, it also poses big challenges. For every 1000 workers there are 305 pensioners and by 2050 that will rise to 350 pensioners. We must not forget that taxes paid by
working age people also have to fund the healthcare and education of the booming numbers of children under 16. Thus either the total pensions spend will have to fall or retirement age will have to rise or both and unsurprisingly the State Pension Age (SPA) is already rising. Currently, the SPA is set to be 67 for both men and women by 2028 ad this will rise to 68 by 2046. Company pension schemes are experiencing similar funding difficulties and many older people will require extensive generic and bespoke advice and support if they are to manage. Most commentators agree that extending State Pension Age will not be enough on its own and both Government and business will have to strive together to help people work longer into old age. This issue will remain of high importance and the Prime Minister underlined that she understood this by her appointment of Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the Royal Society of Arts, to head up an independent review to look at whether employment regulation and practices are keeping pace with the changing world of work and also to examine whether there are ways to increase opportunities for older workers. And there has never been a more urgent need to benefit from the contribution older workers deliver and so, as part of a multi-generational workforce, we urgently need to recruit, retain and retrain and re-skill older workers. Upon retirement, while some older people find they have a significant gap between the income and savings they have and what they need to maintain the lifestyle they expected, many remain active consumers of goods and services. And while the older customer may have been with a particular brand for years, that does not mean they are necessarily complacent. They expect quality and are not afraid to switch or look for better value. They tend to be discerning, have seen what good service and quality look like and they have got the time to compare and seek out better deals - and
the penetration of on-line shopping can only accelerate these trends. The way brands present retirement, and the stereotypical view of it adopted by most advertising imagery they use, needs to reflect this new marketplace as do terms and conditions around features such as discriminatory and arbitrary upper age limits – for example on things such as travel insurance and car hire. Support is available to help both business and individuals with these seismic changes, for example Newcastle University’s Changing Age for Business Programme has an ActiveAge element which seeks to publicise the opportunities for businesses to develop products and services for the older population, who in 2012 were responsible for 40% of the consumer demand in the UK spending £200 billion per year. In terms of working longer, in 2014, the International Longevity Centre (ILC) -UK, of which I am the Chief Executive, calculated that if the skills and abilities of 50-64 year olds were fully utilised and the employment rate matched that of those in their 30s and 40s, UK GDP could have been £88.4 billion higher that year, equivalent to an uplift of 5.6%. And more people would like to remain in the workforce for longer, for although 1.1 million people are currently working beyond state pension age, and while some are obliged to purely for financial reasons, many choose to remain at work. As well as providing wellbeing and personal value in terms of social contribution, working longer provides crucial additional tax revenues to the wider community. However 1 million people 50-64 year olds have been forced out of work before state pension age, through a combination of redundancy, ill health or early retirement.
The Missing Million’, a research series undertaken by the ILC-UK with Business in the Community (BITC) and PRIME, published in 2015 found that the proportion of men between 50 and 64 who are not working has doubled and the economic cost of this is high. The drop in work rates among the over 50’s since the 1980’s has cost the economy around £16 billion a year in lost GDP and costs the public purse between £3-5 billion in extra benefits and lost taxes. Because of growth in the older population, with present employment rates, a million more over-50’s would not be working by 2020. Businesses are missing out on a storehouse of skilled and experienced workers because they rule out employing older people. Many people face discrimination when looking for a job when they are past a certain age. According to the Government’s new Champion for older workers, Andy Briggs, Chief Executive Officer of AVIVA, nearly two in three 55 to 64-year-olds have said they have felt discriminated against by a prospective employer because of their age and this is despite the fact that a recent Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development report, entitled Attitudes to Employability and Talent, found older workers are perceived as the most talented and employable of all under-represented groups in the workforce and have the most positive attitude to work, The workforce itself is ageing and, for example, a June 2015 ILC report, in conjunction with the CIPD, ‘Avoiding the demographic crunch: Labour supply and the ageing workforce’, found that a third of the manufacturing, construction, transport and storage sectors workforces are all over 50, and typically see at least a 50% fall in the number of people employed between the ages of 45-49, and 6064.The report also found that the health and social work, education and public administration sectors are most at risk of skills shortages. This is because they are not only highly reliant on older workers, with around a third of their workforces being over 50, but because they also struggle more than other sectors to remain attractive places to work for older workers. One important innovation is the Business in the Community Leadership programme which is seeking to improve the rate of retention and recruitment of older people
in employment. Doing more to help older people back into work, adapting workplaces and providing flexible working patterns, to allow people to continue to work longer, while, for example, providing informal care to their own parents and family members, can help people be better prepared for their retirement.
connect things that so far have been unconnected, we must facilitate digital literacy in our population as much as possible. A good start has been made with the Governments Technology Strategy Boards and their funding-arm offspring, Innovate UK with its Knowledge Transfer Group.
Another important issue is digitalisation and technology change. This will bring both challenges and opportunities. In the autumn of 2016, the Swiss-based IMD Business School, said that 60% of the jobs to be performed by the next generation do not yet exist and one job in five will disappear in the next five years. This will not be a world of strict management hierarchies, but rather change will be so fast and unpredictable, and information so freely available from so many sources, that to survive staff will have to collaborate and share in quick decision making and responses. Among the essential skills required will be the ability to maintain open communications channels and networks and foster good communication and information exchange.
Such initiatives by the UK Government Department for Business, Information and Skills should be supported and expanded. Education and training in IT literacy starts at a young age but it must be available right across the life-course - learning should be for life! Lifelong learning exists already in London’s only specialist provider of part-time higher education, Birkbeck College of the University of London.
One element of digitisation, automation and robotics, present a real challenge to our current methods of design, manufacture, processing, distribution and supply of goods and services. However the upside is the opportunity offered by digitization, in terms of E-health, the improved diagnosis and treatment possibilities offered by better record sharing and improved individual engagement in personal health outcomes is a prize well worth having. And as ill health and accident occur, or as reduced capability and capacity encroach in older age, one could add Telehealth, Telemedicine and Telecare into that mix, as intelligent sensors are utilized to promote better intervention, prevention, rehabilitation, safety and security. An important issue that must be faced full on is the vulnerability of older people to internet based fraud and scams, but these problems can be overcome with the right educational and support vehicles in place. Policy makers must accept that service methodologies must also adapt and embrace new technologies. As the ‘internet of things’, wearables and big data analysis combine to allow us in real time to
Some 13,000 of Birkbeck’s 15,500 students are part-time because they have full-time jobs and there are plenty of students there of advancing years. Another brilliant initiative that inspires me is the University of the Third Age, in which I have been involved since its inception. And one of the good things about it is that, locally, it is managed by older people themselves. Another resourceful enterprise is Ransackers, of which I am patron. This gives opportunities to older people who missed out completely on higher education when they were young and enables them to do a piece of research supervised by an academic from a top university. For enthusiasm for learning persists. 44% of 56-59 year olds and a third of 60-64 year olds have undertaken training in the last 3 years. We need to foster these examples of good practice and work together nationally to spread the word. We need to find a way of giving people a second chance at higher education, or to retrain or to switch careers. Also learning for its own sake brings its own benefits. For example, learning in whatever context, boosts confidence and self-esteem, makes us less risk averse and more adaptable to change when it happens. It challenges our ideas and beliefs - and can simply just be fun! I will close by echoing Albert Einstein when he said – ‘once you stop learning, you start dying’!
The Role of Governments in Universities. By Baroness Perry of Southwark
Universities matter. They are amongst the most successful institutions of our national life. For many people around the world, the United Kingdom is seen through the lens of three great institutions; our Monarchy, our parliament and the democratic history it represents and our great universities – usually starting with Oxford and Cambridge. But our universities are more than just splendid tourist attractions. They benefit the country in many ways: directly in money terms and crucially in providing the highly skilled graduates who fuel our knowledge economy. They also provide the professionals for our public services. They are currently training sixty two thousand doctors and dentists, sixty three thousand nurses and seventy thousand teachers. In total, the contribution of universities to the economy is judged to be an astonishing £73 billion each year – a sum which surpasses the contribution of several large industries. There are many elements in this contribution. Academic research leads to the development of new technologies, of life-saving medical breakthrough and inspiring scholarship. This invention and creativity creates huge wealth for the economy in spin-off business and entrepreneurship. Spin-off companies provide more than ten thousand jobs as well as generating enormous sums in profits. For example, the Surrey Satellite Company – a spin off from Surrey University – has been at the centre of the UK’s space technology developments. Many universities sponsor their own business and science parks where spin off companies and other fledgling enterprises find a home and support from skilled academics. Cambridge University, of which I am a proud member, is an outstanding example. Cambridge Enterprise, the business arm of the university, last year alone signed 359 consultancy contracts, 141 new technology disclosures and filed 159 new patent applications. The authors of ‘The Cambridge
Phenomenon’ have charted how the region has become one of the most productive and creative in the world, due to the work of academics in the university both in spin off from their research and the attraction they offer as a home to companies from far and wide. Together, Universities generate more than three quarters of a million jobs. They work in partnership with business and industry in a host of ways; in joint research, in student sponsorship and in high level training for business employees at every level. London South Bank University, for example, is proud that almost forty percent of students in the university are sponsored – a sure endorsement of the relevance of its courses to business. Universities are making a big contribution to bringing George Osborne’s Northern Powerhouse into a reality. For example, Huddersfield University is working with 3M Corporation in a joint Innovation Centre which has already curated over one hundred businesses. Lancaster University has provided Leadership Skills development for three thousand small and medium sized businesses, leading to ten thousand new jobs in the region. The Northern Health Sciences Alliance brings together R&D centres, Universities and the NHS in a partnership which now hosts 30% of all UK clinical trials and has attracted global pharmaceutical companies to the region. ‘Foreign’ students who come to this country to study, whether from the rest of the European Union or from elsewhere, are an important contribution not only to our wealth through the fees they pay and the money they spend while here, but best of all, in the relationships and loyalty to Britain which their time here engenders. It is a favourite saying of mine that educational links are the river on which all trading boats can ride. I have seen so many times the difference it makes for hopeful business
representatives on trade missions when they find a proud British graduate who will welcome them and open doors for business, sometimes decades after their time here, but with the loyalty still strong. This loyalty has value in diplomacy, too. Other countries, backed by their governments, are well aware of the importance of recruiting students from overseas as future allies in the world. The United States, Australia, Canada, Germany and many other countries compete energetically for a share in the international movement of students, knowing well how important these links will be not just in the present but far into the future. More important even than this, though, is the role that universities in any society play as the home for free speech, debate, generation of new ideas and the development of the intellectual and philosophical basis of present and future generations. To perform these roles it is, I believe, self evident that universities need a degree of freedom in ideas, in teaching and in the relationship they develop with students. Is there any cause for concern that this freedom is under threat? In recent years, government has taken a more proactive role in University affairs, and it is important to ask some fundamental questions about just what is the legitimate and proper role of a national executive in the affairs of university life. Is the case for government’s increased involvement equally as compelling as the case for university freedom from government intervention? It is over ninety years at least that the role of government in substantial university funding began. The University Grants Committee, (UGC), composed largely of senior academics, was set up
in 1918 as a mechanism to channel money to universities. In 1946 it was given an expanded role in planning for the university sector, creating a decisive shift of government funding for student support and for both teaching and research. What was, in the light of more recent events, astonishing about the role of the UGC, was that it was set up only on a Treasury memo; no primary legislation, no great Higher Education Act defining the role of the Secretary of State - no, the UGC was to be the buffer between politicians and universities, a mechanism for keeping the government at arms’ length from the work of the academic sector. In retrospect, how proud we should be of this structure. The trust it demonstrated is today amazing. How very different from where we are now! Looking back, the first real change was heralded by the introduction of the Research Assessment Exercise, first named the ‘Research Selectivity Exercise’ in 1986. While research funding before then had been on a straight per capita basis, the then Secretary of State, Sir Keith Joseph, wanted to see the funds ‘heaped up’ as he put it, in places where research excellence was to be found, and taken away from places where no quality research had been found for some considerable time. Note, though, that this exercise was still determinedly at ‘arms length’ from government. The assessments were carried out by academics themselves, the UGC administered the process, and the funds were distributed on the basis of the judgements of fellow academics. Although the setting up of the exercise was at the government’s will and bidding, its operation was removed from any possibility of government interference. As we all know, the UGC was wound up in 1989, and the new University Funding Council (UFC) took its place. Gone was the surprisingly casual Treasury memo, instead legislation provided for the UFC to be directly responsible to parliament. The merging of the UFC with the Polytechnics and Colleges Funding Council three years later, in 1992 created the very different Higher Education Funding Councils in England and Wales. Government moved a little bit closer, with the Secretary of State writing a fairly detailed (and increasingly so over subsequent years) letter of instruction as to how the money was to be distributed. Legislation which followed over the years since, has involved government more and more in
the detail of university affairs. The moves by successive governments have been motivated by good intentions to right what was seen as a wrong. Public money is being spent, and the government has a responsibility to ensure that it is well and wisely spent. The interventions, therefore, should be judged by whether they achieve the right balance between legitimate oversight and unjustified interference.
years. Government concern about this is wholly justified. Again, it is not yet clear whether the proposals for Prevent are a proportionate response to this urgent problem. For my part, I have always believed that free speech is its own strength against extremism. Banning unpopular or distasteful opinions tends, on balance, to make them more attractive. I recognise, however, that the arguments for more measured control are strong.
The 2004 Higher education Act created OFFA the Office of Fair Access. Government wished, wholly laudably, to increase the number of young people entering universities from less privileged backgrounds. Without precedent, this Office had the task of regulating one aspect of universities’ procedures and criteria for selecting students. I am proud of the success which we achieved in winning amendments to that Bill as it came through the Lords. We succeeded in inserting provisions mandating the Director of OFFA to perform his functions with a duty to protect academic freedom. This is defined as the right of universities to ‘determine the content of courses, the manner in which they are taught, supervised or assessed, the criteria for admission of students and their application to individual cases’. That section of the Act is still in force.
The real question, however, is this: have we neglected over the many years to build a strong case, philosophically, constitutionally and ethically for what is the proper role of government in higher education?
And now we have the 2017 Higher Education Act. It creates a new Office for Students, whose powers include the oversight of a teaching excellence framework which grades universities based on the quality of teaching. While encouraging a new class of private providers, the Act includes the power for government to interfere with Royal Charters given to Universities, often centuries ago, to assure their independence. The amendments passed from the House of Lords have reasserted the academic freedom of universities, but this Act could, if pursued in future times, give Ministers a direct right of access to how courses are taught, supervised or assessed. The Act also gives Ministers a right to determine the priorities for university research. The motivation of government ministers rested on a belief that universities were not teaching as much or as well as they should. That is a legitimate concern, though many feel that the measures proposed go far beyond the need to address the perceived problem. It is too big an issue to go here into detail about the impact of the government’s Prevent strategy on universities. Radicalisation is a major problem facing this country, and universities have to face the evidence that some young people have been radicalised in their university
Without question, there is a proper role for government in many ways and for many reasons. Universities spend a huge amount of public money and governments have a duty to protect taxpayers’ interests. The mechanism for ensuring that universities are not lax in the handling of public money, or even fraudulent as in some other countries they have proved to be, is clearly a government duty. Can this be done in a way which preserves academic freedom? Was the liberal regime of the old UGC sufficient to safeguard public money? Governments also have an overriding duty to protect national security. Should they not be concerned when they find universities admitting without due diligence or failing to follow up students who obtain a visa but never show up? Are they right to lay a duty on universities to monitor student union speakers to prevent radicalisation? Governments have a duty to preserve national reputation. If universities or academics threaten the good name of this country, should government not curb their speech or activity? These and many other questions need to be addressed. We urgently need a sharp, informed and intelligent debate. It is not enough simply to assume that academic freedom is a given in our democracy. Those of us who care deeply about the freedoms on which our society rests should years ago have started this debate so that our response to various government initiatives could have been better informed, formulated and agreed. I hope it is not too late to begin.
Lord Howell of Guildford PC Former Secretary of State for Energy Lord Howell was appointed minister of state at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in May 2010. Here, he talks frankly about the benefits Britain receives from Commonwealth membership, the Rule of Law and Human Rights. The coalition government talks about putting the ‘C’ back into the FCO, but what is the current administration doing to achieve this? Well, first of all, it’s a question of communication, resources, emphasis and the adjustment of foreign policy. In all four areas, the UK government is taking steps forward. We can’t do everything overnight but we are making progress on all these fronts. The Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary himself [William Hague] has spoken very clearly to the effect that Britain’s participation in an invigorated Commonwealth network is, and I quote him, “a cornerstone of British foreign policy”. In parliament and in many sectors of business and civil society, it is now being understood that the Commonwealth really is a valuable platform for the future and that Britain should play a part in it. Our aid programme, which has not been curtailed by present austerity needs – indeed, it’s been expanded – is giving renewed emphasis to Commonwealth partners. What benefits does Britain receive by being a member of the Commonwealth? This is a big and very central question. What we get is renewed and invigorated links within a changing international landscape. What do I mean by that? I mean that 60 percent of the world’s GNP now lies outside the OECD area. I mean that while we may remain good friends with the United States and good Europeans in the European Union, the wider world outside – what the Foreign Secretary calls “the beyond” – is becoming the great new area for our markets and our exports. We have to have access to the gigantic emerging economies of Asia, Africa and Latin America. To get that access we need to use every conceivable linkage and network we can, and of course one of the wonderful readymade networks which we have to hand is the Commonwealth itself. And what does Britain give to the Commonwealth? We give a very substantial aid programme. We give foreign investment, although we
also take foreign investment from the Commonwealth – it is a two-way process. We give technical skills. We support the development of our core principles and values: building democracy and upholding human rights, upholding the rule of law and general social and economic and cultural development. We give all that we can from our culture and language through the British Council, the World Service [and] the BBC. We have much to give, but it’s not all give, it’s take as well. Some of the richest and fastest growing countries in the world are now members of the Commonwealth. Countries with vast sovereign funds are members of the Commonwealth – we’re going to need their funds, just as in the past they needed British funds. With the Arab Spring, we’ve witnessed a flowering of democracy in North Africa. Do you think the Commonwealth should be actively seeking to encourage the membership of countries like Tunisia and Egypt which could benefit from joining the association? I think the Commonwealth should take a very sympathetic interest in those countries that say they want to join but it shouldn’t go out and solicit membership. It should say, “We are a group of countries with strong principles and a strong determination to uphold these principles. If you are interested in joining, then we will certainly consider that matter sympathetically.” The EPG has recommended the appointment of a Commissioner for Democracy, the Rule of Law and Human Rights. What is Britain’s position on this and do you think that it’s likely that there will be a Commissioner? The Commonwealth, at the governmental level, needs to respond. There are huge forces at work. In business, in civil society, in local government, amongst the youth of the Commonwealth – tens of millions of them – and amongst many other trans-Commonwealth organisations, [there is] a tremendous demand for reform and a stronger platform. The message coming to all governments is let there be a stronger assertion of standards, a stronger pattern of advice and support for upholding democratic principles and the rule of law. Those standards are the ones that create the kind of trust and the kind of network of principles in which
everything else is going to operate, including business. It’s a bottom-up demand. Now the EPG understood that, made a thorough report and believed that these principles needed strengthening. In this they were running parallel with the report from the Commonwealth Ministers Action Group (CMAG). But the EPG went further and proposed some institutional changes – a Charter and a Commissioner for Democracy, Rule of Law and Human Rights. That has been debated, [but] exactly how this is going to be expressed I don’t know. I do know that there’s universal acceptance that there needs to be a strengthening of the methods for maintaining standards in the Commonwealth. That is agreed. In what way this is turned into institutional changes is yet to be agreed. Commonwealth heads of government agreed to postpone the decision to appoint a Commission for Democracy, the Rule of Law and Human Rights pending a further evaluation of the role itself. And Britain’s position on the Commissioner? Our position is we think the further we can go on this the better. We like the EPG report and our ideal would be to get the institutional changes. In Britain, we are not impatient and we see it’s necessary to go forward step by step. If the recommendation for a Commissioner isn’t accepted would you support a strengthening of the Secretary General’s voice and a widening of CMAG’s mandate so that it can intervene to prevent countries violating Commonwealth values and principles? I repeat my concept of a step-by-step advance. We think those are directionally the right moves, yes. This doesn’t mean to say that we’ll be necessarily satisfied with it. There are heads of government who are creating pressures for reform. You mentioned earlier that the pressure for change and reform in the Commonwealth is coming from the ground up.
Investing in Volatile Times Diversify or Die By Gina Miller
Back in the 1700s, a series of unfortunate horse-cart accidents among poultry farmers led to a severe egg shortage. A cry rose up from the land: “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket!” Centuries (and one bad pun) later, the advice still stands and in terms of investments it is the number one rule in modern day wealth management but it raised questions: Which sets of eggs should go in which baskets? When talking about wealth and nest eggs you’ve spent years accumulating, and which you plan to rely on for the rest of your life diversity is the key to protecting your investments. It would be great to know whether shares, bonds, or property will perform the best (and which will crash) over the next year or two – but that is impossible as no one has a crystal ball. However, investors can apportion their portfolio in a smart way that will offer long-term upside as well as protecting from catastrophic downside. The goal is not to find the very best allocation, because it is a moving target. Instead our strategy at SCM Private is pursuing tactical asset allocation that should perform well in changing economic and financial scenarios. Over the long term, shares are often the best vehicles to ensure portfolios withstand inflation and retirement spending. Three Asset Allocation Rules When it comes to asset allocation, the biggest decisions come down to how much you should have in cash, how much in bonds, and how much in shares. These four rules for asset allocation will help you decide which eggs go into your investment portfolio basket.
Rule 1: If you need the money in the next year, it should be in cash
imise your returns according to that comfort level.
Rule 2: If you need the money in the next one to five years, try and have a cautious mix of cash, bonds and shares
The true test of an investor’s risk tolerance is the ability to cling to shares as they become worth less and less, while holding onto the hope (based on history) that they will one day be worth more and more.
Rule 3: If you need the money in more than five years time, try and have a more adventurous mix of cash, bonds and shares with a strong bias towards shares According to the 2011 Barclays Capital Equity-Gilt Study, shares beat bonds in 80% of all 10-year rolling periods over the last 100 years. The performance of shares against cash is even more impressive, with shares producing a greater return in 90% of 10-year rolling periods. The bottom line is that when you need your money will partially dictate where you put it. What else determines asset allocation? That favourite term used by financial gurus: tolerance for risk. Risk Drives Returns Most people base their investment strategies on the returns they want, but this is backward thinking. Instead, the focus should be on managing risk and accept the returns that go along with your tolerance to risk and loss. It would be fantastic to receive plump returns with no risk but that is a fantasy. But to achieve returns beyond a minimal level, you do need to invest in things that involve some possibility that we’ll lose money. If inflation is running around 3% and the decision is to take as little risk as possible and have all your savings in cash returning 1 – 2%, in real terms you are losing money. The good news is, once you’ve identified just how you feel about risk, you’re well on your way to choosing a portfolio to max-
So ask yourself: What would you do if your portfolio dropped 10%, 20%, or even 40% from its current level? Would it change your lifestyle? If you’re retired, can you rely on other resources of income, or would you have to sell an asset such as your house (and how would you feel about that)? How you answer those questions will lead you to your risk tolerance. The less comfortable you are with portfolio ups and downs, the more your portfolio should be in bonds and cash. The Performance Ride – Powered By Diversification Say a wealth manager or adviser offers you the choice of five portfolios in which to invest for the next 30 or so years. While you know that past results are no guarantee of future returns, you would probably still want to know how each of those five portfolios have performed over the previous 30 or so years. Start with the number you would understandably care the most about: compound annual return. We see that Portfolio E is the winner, with Portfolio C not far behind. On the next line, you can see how earning a percentage point or two more a year can make a immense difference when compounded over decades. The winner here (E) turned £1 into £87.31, almost double the £45.50 created by the lowest-returning portfolio (A), even though their
returns – 13.2% vs. 11.2% – does not appear that far apart. Now look at the other side of the coin, so to speak: volatility, as measured by standard deviation. The higher the number, the more likely the portfolio was to vary widely above or below its “average” return. Here, the winner is E: Its standard deviation of 11.0 is well below that of the other portfolios. And look at its Sharpe Ratio! This is a metric developed by Nobel Prize-winning economist William Sharpe, who developed the ratio as a way to measure risk-adjusted returns. The higher the number, the more bang you’re getting for the amount of risk your buck is taking. But you don’t need this fancy-pants number to figure that out. All you have to look at is the worst one-, three-, five-, and 10-year returns. Portfolio E had a good compound annual return over those three-plus decades, yet its bad years weren’t quite so bad, relative to the other portfolios. So which portfolio would you choose? This table is a U.S. example, but the principles are identical for investors here in the UK. Now, let’s pull back the curtain to reveal what each portfolio held: • Portfolio A: U.S. shares, as measured by the Standard & Poor’s 500. • Portfolio B: Non-U.S. shares, as measured by the Europe, Australia, and Far East Index (EAFE). • Portfolio C: Property, as measured by the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts (NAREIT) Equity Index. • Portfolio D: Commodities, as measured by the S&P Goldman Sachs Commodities Index (GSCI). • Portfolio E: A portfolio of equal parts of portfolios A, B, C, and D, rebalanced annually. Now that you know what was in each portfolio, glance back at the chart. Surprised? Portfolio E – the most diversified – was the best-performing portfolio, and had a much smoother ride. Modern Portfolio Theory Academic research confirms that more than 90% of the variation in portfolio return is ex-
plained by asset allocation decisions*. What this means is that it t is not the selection of individual stocks or bonds that drives performance; it is the asset allocation that makes the difference in the long term. *Source: Ibbotson Associates et al, 2000, Study of Investment. Returns Modern portfolio theory suggests that building a portfolio of multiple asset types can lower your risk while preserving or boosting returns. Asset allocation studies later concluded that choosing the proper asset mix of stocks and bonds is more important than picking individual stocks and bonds as no one asset class tends to outperform others consistently. Asset classes have fluctuating returns and correlations over time so it is critical to diversify and adapt your portfolio to the dynamic investment climate. Based on the options available, Modern Portfolio Theory and the concept of risk reduction through diversification appears to offer the possibility of less volatile returns over the longer term. It’s akin to driving a car with as many safety features in place, seatbelt, side impact bars, airbags; as you cannot tell if and when an accident may occur but you take as precautions as possible. In these volatile times, as many safety investment aids are advisable. About Gina: Gina is the co-founder of SCM Private, a specialist investment company established in June 2009 with a unique, modern approach to managing money that is centred on what is best for clients. The company offers investors an actively passive solution that combines passive investment instruments - Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) – with an active asset allocation strategy. In terms of fees and transparency, SCM Private’s are amongst the fairest in the industry.
thropic work Gina has undertaken throughout her life. The foundation focuses on small community charities that are at the coal face of negative society trends. Gina’s passion is to support these local heroes in whatever way necessary to help them gain sustainability and carry on their invaluable work. In May 2012 Gina launched the Goodwill Exchange which is a pro-bono online volunteer directory that matches individuals volunteering in their area of expertise with small heroic grass root charities who would otherwise have little or no access to these resources and individuals. Miller Philanthropy also offers an outsourced solution for time poor philanthropists who wish to give in a more strategic, responsible manner. Gina and her family underwrite the foundation, so 100% of all donations are granted to beneficiary charities, with donors receiving impact / reach reports and regular updates so they can be confident their generosity is making a significant, often transformational difference. In November 2007, Gina founded Leigh Cottage Childcare, an all year children’s nursery in Wiltshire that provides home from home childcare for 3 months – 14 year olds. The nursery offers a home from home environment that operates on a family ethos which lessens the burden of guilt many parents, especially mothers, feel when they have to leave their children. Leigh Cottage has received “Outstanding” commendations in all categories from Ofsted since inception. Gina has been a Marketing Director since 1992 and established the first marketing agency specialising in the retail financial services sector. Prior to this, Gina worked for BMW as Event Manager for their UK fleet division.
SCM Financial Planning, founded in May 2011 has the same ethos as SCM Private but in the financial advisory market.
She has three degrees in Marketing, Human Resource Management and an LLB Law Degree; and is married with three children.
The company has a strong female focus and believes women need to be empowered to secure their financial futures.
Gina Miller Founding Partner, SCM Private www.scmprivate.com
Gina has earned a reputation as a successful dynamic entrepreneur and wanted to utilise her skills and experience in the charitable sector. She therefore launched Miller Philanthropy, October 2009 which formalises the philan-
Mind + Machine By Marc Vollenweider
‘The fundamental purpose of data analytics is to support decisions with facts and insights.’ A very straight forward statement that surely everybody would agree with and yet all too often it simply isn’t the case. For an analytics solution to be successful, the right decision maker needs to receive the right insight in the right format at the right time. Anything else lessens the impact and, perhaps more significantly, reduces the return on investment. While it is obvious that the effect of analytics on business should be clear and strong, many organizations struggle to achieve the desired results. The issue lies in the balance between the mind and the machine. Mind-only analytics, where humans do all of the work is recognized as being too slow and too costly. Machine-only analytics rarely delivers the insights needed. Don’t believe all the marketing hype. I have yet to see an Artificial Intelligence tool that delivers true insight without any human help. I believe the marriage of the perceptive power of the human brain with the benefits of automation is essential because neither mind nor machine alone will be able to handle the complexities of analytics in the future. Before I elaborate on how you can improve the mind+machine analytics in your organisation, allow me to tell you a little about what I believe the future holds for data analytics. (Don’t worry this won’t be another ode to Big Data. In fact we have calculated that only about 5% of all analytics applications involve Big Data. Small Data solutions can give you a great return with a significantly lower investment. Small Data can be beautiful too.) However, you should definitely consider the trends I am about to list, whatever the size of your data: Cloud and mobile is transforming the IT
landscape at a truly breakneck speed and have been globally embraced for legitimate reasons. Users benefit from enabling their mobile workforce, saving cost due to flexibility, improve interaction with customers and improve how they use data to gain insight to name but a few. Cloud and mobile have an impact throughout the analytics value chain. Mobile devices now collect an endless stream of data, most of which is conveniently stored in a cloud location. As mentioned above, decision makers need to receive the insight at the right time and in the right format. Mobile devices are perfectly placed for this step, managers can receive updates on a dashboard or via a push notification. Short burst of just-in-time insight, without delay or the need to trawl through an enormous Excel spreadsheet. I call this the ‘last mile’. A lot of good analytics solutions fail because the insight isn’t delivered directly to the end user in an effective way. The Internet of Things, in the news recently for all the wrong reasons, is a gold mind for data analytics practitioners. In simple terms, the Internet of Things is a catch-all term for everyday objects that use the internet to talk to each other and to you. For example, you could Wi-Fi-enable your kettle and use your smart phone to boil some water before even getting out of bed. The possibilities are endless and the applications are set to soar into the billions within the next few years. From an analytics perspective, this opens up a whole new world of promising uses, with billions of new data sources, connected directly to where the data is being processed. By now everyone is familiar with One-toOne Marketing. If you have used any of the famous online retail platforms, such as amazon, eBay, apple store…etc., you will have been offered products similar to the ones you bought. Unfortunately this trend hasn’t filtered through to the B2B market yet. Insight and decision support services, whether internal or external are still dominated
by the syndicated reports providers. Rather than providing the right insight to the right decision maker, the generic reports are created for the average customer and are made available on a pull-only basis. To get to the actual insight, a manager will need to find the relevant report, buy it and spend time or money to extract the actual nugget relevant to them. The Pay-As-You-Go Model has been adopted by some of the big software providers, such as Microsoft and Autodesk and it seems obvious why. Consumers are increasingly wary about spending money and seek to ensure that their investment delivers the desired outcome. In most cases, data analytics still relies input-based pricing. Organisations have to hire data scientists and invest in big data tools or AI algorithms. However the PAYG model will inevitably become more prevalent. The benefits for the customers are undeniable: low upfront cost, reduced risk, increased agility, up-to-date methods and tools…etc., but there are also advantages for the vendors, who can open up their offering to a much larger market and cut down the sales cycle and the cost of sales. The race for data assets is another trend that will continue to shape the data analytics landscape. Big players are acquiring smaller businesses with the vision to use the collected data at a later stage. Facebook’s acquisition of WhatsApp gives them access to the world’s largest telephone directory and data about individual relationships. Google’s acquisition of Nest gives them access to a huge amount of household data. All these acquisitions are done with potential future analytics applications in mind and it isn’t just the big online businesses who can benefit. Any company should consider collecting and
analysing the data at their disposal. There is still a wealth of unexplored potential that is up for grabs. Similar to the PAYG pricing model, another trend that has become firmly established in the B2C world is the Sharing Economy. Companies like Uber, AirBnB or TaskRabbit allow their users to share or swap assets in order to get desirable products or services in return or simply for financial gain. It is only a matter of time before we see similar behaviour around data in the B2B world. If organisations have non-confidential data that if shared wouldn’t affect their competitive advantage, why shouldn’t they do so? Companies could swap sets of data and develop additional analytics applications or they could simply sell their data. In fact a company called DatastreamX already provides a platform for exactly this purpose. Finally, I want to draw your attention to what I call the Mind-machine Interface. In most cases the output of data analytics will still be in form of Excels spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations, or PDFs. These formats lend themselves to presenting too much information and leave decision makers struggling to find the insights. They also tend to be scheduled rather than event-driven, which means the insights are hardly ever delivered at the crucial time. Once a manager has found the insight and decided to take action, a series of administrative tasks (phone calls, emails…etc.) are necessary to make it happen. An efficient mind-machine interface should provide the decision maker with a simple screen, which displays insights as and when they occur and allows them to take action without having to change interface. I am sure you recognise the ‘last mile’ concept, I mentioned earlier. A good analogy is the life cycle of oil: it isn’t enough to extract and refine it, but you have to bring it to the pump in order for the consumer to put it in their car and use it to drive off. There are obvious pitfalls that still exist for each of these trends. Compliance departments are still very wary of cloud storage options. Not only are potentially confidential documents stored outside the organisation’s own infrastructure, but some documents are not permitted to cross geographical borders, which is difficult to police in the cloud. Privacy advocates raise important questions around harvesting data from mobile devices and the issues around security of connected devices have clearly been demonstrated in the recent distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack (October 2016). Providing services on a PAYG basis can leave you vulnerable to large volume swings and the lack of relationship with your customer makes it easy for attackers to encroach on your market. Creating efficient mind-machine interfaces, for example in the shape of a custom app, is still relatively expensive and out for reach for most organisations. Allow me now to tell you a little bit about how you can make sure your organisation exploits the opportunities that exist without wasting
your resources. Over the many collective years of working in analytics, we have developed the Use Case Methodology, which addresses the topic of mind+machine analytics as a structured portfolio of individual solutions. It deals with the end-to-end management of individual solutions, but also with the governance of whole portfolios of solutions. However, for the sake of brevity, I will focus on three key themes that you should consider when starting any mind+machine analytics project: Focus on the Business Issue and the Client Benefits: The most common issue is that analytics projects are often started without any clear definition of the specific business issue, the clients or end user(s), and the expected client benefits. Companies succumb to the pressure and invest in analytics without knowing which problems they want to solve. Before you employ the right minds of buy the necessary machines, follow these three rules to avoid this pitfall: • State the precise business issue – Precisely define one single issue in the simplest terms. • Define the end user – Specify a single end user or group of end users who will benefit from the analytics solution and who should have the final say on whether it is successful. • Define the client benefits – Define the client benefits, specify a budget and agree on a simple ROI framework and then track progress against these metrics. Choose Data Wisely: The temptation is to buy or collect as many data sources as possible before identifying which problem to solve. The process of collecting, cleaning and structuring the data create a huge upfront cost, which will affect your ROI. As with the minds and machines, make sure you collect the right data before you start building your solution. Here are some helpful tips to achieve this: • Create an issue tree – Breaking down an issue into smaller questions helps define which data source is needed • Define the minimum viable product – Build the easiest version of your solution and use a small data set to test it before deciding whether it is worth expanding. • Keep it simple – Avoid big data and complex machine learning algorithms where possible. Small data analytics can yield a fantastic ROI so try to get as far as possible without using complicated tools. • Establish a data quality criteria – Bad data quality is one of the biggest problems in data analytics, if possible limit yourself to quality data and waste less of your budget on data cleansing. • Stay with the source – Creating a copy of live data source will by definition cause it to be out of date almost immediately and it will allow the data owner to question your results. By using the data directly form the source you can ensure nonrepudiation. • Keep an audit trail and record the learnings – Given the risks involved, it is essential to be able to demonstrate that your team applied a sufficient level of diligence in dealing with the data sets. Essentially, you will need an end-to-
end audit trail of the data set, the accountability for its ownership and quality, the process of inclusion, the decisions on whether and how to use it, or any enhancements or alterations performed on it. • Monitor the end-to-end cost of data and data work – Stay aware of the cost of your analytics solution and seek ways to reduce costs to free up resources for other projects. The Efficient Frontier: Each analytics solution has has an optimum mix of minds and machines that will provide the most efficient way to achieve the goals and deliver the best return on investment. Over-automating a process can lead to unnecessary cost, while on the other hand, under-automating might not deliver the desired benefits or might simply render the solution uneconomical. • Analyse the end-to-end solution for automation potential – As hinted above, think about the insight delivery method. • Keep things as off-the-shelf and modular as possible –It is very likely that someone has already developed a tool or a balanced mind+machine solution that can do what you want to do. • Apply continuous improvement – Once you have a functioning version of your solution, you should seek to get closer to the efficient frontier. • Document performance, learnings, audit trails and best practices Knowledge management is key. Every part of every new use case should be documented in a way that makes it easy to find. Knowledge from previous use cases can inform your decision on whether to implement a use case or how much automation to introduce. The world of data analytics will continue to be challenging and interesting in equal measures. Staying on top of the trends that shape the field that help you when designing your own solutions. It is very possible that your organisation has data assets or capabilities that are underused. While only a small section of the UCM, the three themes will help you improve your analytics development. The mind+machine philosophy can help you make sure to get the best ROI. Marc Vollenwider is co-founder and CEO of Evalueserve, an industry-influencing global research, analytics, and data management solutions provider known for its mind+machine™ process that combines a global network of expert analysts and best-in-class technology. He is the author of Mind+Machine: A Decision Model for Optimizing and Implementing Analytics (Wiley, 2016)
Being a Positive Leader By Jan Mühlfeit, Global strategist, executive coach and Former Chairman of Microsoft Europe.
As the world is rocked by more and more uncertainty, evidenced by events such as the recent British referendum result to leave the European Union, the need for strong leadership has never been more important. Consequently, the emphasis has moved onto our leaders and potential leaders, as we look for guidance to help us through this period of great change. In times where optimism is scarce and fears of the unknown abound, an inspirational leader can step up and instil a sense of confidence and hope. But this is further complicated in today’s world, where many of the familiar faces of our current leadership are constantly disappearing from the public sphere. This is challenging the core of what people believe leadership to be, and many key questions are being brought to the fore: What makes for successful leadership under challenging circumstances? How can we identify a strong, visionary leader? And to what extent does great leadership inspire engagement and success in others over the long term? These questions are more significant than ever in our rapidly-changing society, and not just in politics. Our work culture is changing, with technology having made the world smaller. The smartphone has evolved into a pocket-sized office, and even our watches are programmed to keep us constantly bridged with information, entertainment, and communication at any given time. This instant, 24/7 environment gives us no chance to relax our minds or bodies, meaning we are often running on low battery with no opportunity to recharge. As a result, aspiring business leaders are often put off from trying too hard to climb up the career ladder due to fear of being overwhelmed by the pressures. As corporations race to meet changing
demands and capitalise on growth, timestarved CEOs and managers face all manner of complications. Not least is dealing with an employee engagement crisis in which a staggering 87% of the worldwide population is not engaged at work (Gallup, 2013). The secret to being a successful leader lies in positive psychology, which means unlocking the full potential of our talents and doing what we love, not slogging away on the areas where we can, at best, only be average. Through my time spent coaching clients and revisiting my own personal leadership experiences at Microsoft, I’ve uncovered four key ways that leaders frequently go off beam, both in how they manage themselves and manage their teams: Where leaders go wrong 1. They target weaknesses, not strengths. Misguided leaders waste vital time, money and energy grappling with faults and failures rather than recognising and leveraging people’s natural talents. The result? Disengaged and dissatisfied teams. 2. They fail to ‘have a dream’. A leader lacking a clear, inspirational purpose or vision will have a tough time rallying people in a unified direction. Accomplished employees don’t just want any old job; they want meaning and the chance to contribute to something bigger than themselves. 3. They manage time, not energy. Facing non-stop demands in the workplace, leaders cram their diaries to the brim believing that they’re skilfully maximising their time. Instead, they’re recklessly abusing their energy, diluting their focus and heading straight for a burnout. 4. They put success before happiness. When leaders set their sights only on the material trappings and tangible accomplishments
of life, such as money or metrics, they ignore the deeper connections and meaningful activities that produce long-lasting success and happiness. It was with these errors in mind that I sought to develop a new approach to leadership, one that answers the plight of frustrated leaders looking for a more positive way to navigate the cut and thrust of the business world. Success comes when individuals are passionately engaged and positively inspired by what they are doing, whilst stress is rooted in an obsession our world has with fixing weaknesses rather than building on strengths, to make successful leaders. By embracing positive practices, leaders can achieve the results they need through ‘soft’ support and collaboration. There is a clear call for a positive approach that recognises the value of self-awareness, strengths, enjoyment, meaning, purpose and kindness as being essential to maintaining people’s wellbeing and, consequently, their ability to achieve. Happier employees are linked directly to a stronger bottom line. This has been backed by study after study. For example, in their meta-analysis of 225 academic studies, researchers at Sonja Lyubomirsky, Laura King, and Ed Diener found that life satisfaction leads to successful business outcomes. Their findings suggested that a positive mindset results in: ● 23 per cent greater energy when under stress ● 31 per cent higher productivity ● 37 per cent higher levels of sales ● 40 per cent higher likelihood to be promoted ● three times higher creativity.
Grounded in positive psychology, the 4Ps of Positive Leadership model is my contribution to the leadership field, providing a workable system for any kind of leader and organisation:
irrelevant. Not too sure what your strengths are? There are lots of ways to find out. A good starting point is to use a survey method such as StrengthsFinder 2.0, Via Survey or Realise2.
The 4Ps of Positive Leadership
Remember that leadership isn’t just about you; it’s also about the people you depend on to do your job effectively – your team. Make sure you have a balanced team who bring a variety of complementary strengths to the table, and that each individual is filling a role that utilises their unique talents. This not only makes your job easier, but also generates confidence in your followers and increases engagement with their tasks.
1. Positive People (The ‘Who’) – Discover and work to your strengths. 2. Positive Purpose (The ‘Why’) – Identify your mission and vision. 3. Positive Process (The ‘How’) – Manage energy, not time (become a ‘Chief Energy Officer’). 4. Positive Place (The ‘Where’) – Lead yourself to happiness, and success will follow. You might notice one particular type of P missing from this list – Performance. That’s because performance isn’t a cause of successful leadership, but rather an end-result. By championing a more positive and authentic approach, you open yourself and others up to a happier state from which outstanding performance is quick to follow. Positive psychology research has proven that the ‘happiness breeds success’ edict isn’t hocus-pocus, but actual fact. It’s time we treated it as a real and significant principle of leadership best practice. A closer look at the 4Ps can show you whether you’re on the right track in your leadership. By embracing the approach above, you can provide leaders and their teams the tools they need to find greater purpose and enjoyment in their work, which in turn drives the results they want in the marketplace. POSITIVE PEOPLE: Building Strengths One of the most worrisome aspects in the modern workplace is our obsession with ‘fixing weaknesses’. Not too great at giving presentations? Then you need to spend more time practising. Are your budgeting skills under par? Go on a course and keep working at it. Leaders will spend whopping amounts of energy and untold hours trying to address the legion of discernible flaws in themselves, their teams and their organisations. The problem with this approach is that it causes us to overlook the things that make us great – our strengths. It’s by playing to our strengths that we produce our best work and make our weaknesses
POSITIVE PURPOSE: Personal Mission & Ultimate Vision We all have a responsibility to ourselves to find a job, career or lifestyle that we love; something that gives us a sense of purpose – a ‘why’ for doing things. This is our personal mission. We all have one. Make it your priority to find your personal mission so you can enjoy greater moments of ‘flow’ and drive positive change in the right direction. Ask yourself: What are your strengths? Your values? Your passions? But as a leader, it’s not enough to simply be aware of your purpose. By being visionary and creating a picture of what the future could be, you have the power to inspire others just as much as you inspire yourself. Getting the people around you on board with a clear vision – inspiring them to share a bigger purpose – gives you and your team a high platform from which to achieve more than you imagined possible. Surprising as it sounds, the need to make a meaningful contribution is fast overtaking money as the most powerful driver for performance. So instead of relying on bonuses, why not try helping your team unlock more of their potential in the workplace? POSITIVE PROCESS: Energy Management Being ‘busy-busy’ is such a feature of modern life that no business leader can say they aren’t feeling the strain. Faced with relentless demands in the workplace, we try to take control of our time through typical time management methods – using day planners and to-do lists, setting up reminders on our smartphones – driven by the idea that the more we can squeeze into our day, the more productive
(and hopefully the less stressed!) we will be. However, the key to avoiding burnout is not how we manage time; it’s how we manage energy. Unlike time, which is strictly limited to 24 hours per day for everyone, personal energy is renewable (Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz, 2003). Today’s businesses need leadership that recognises the value of ‘strategic renewal’. Throughout the day, our bodies follow a cycle where they are at their peak energy levels for 90–120 minutes, after which they hit a trough for about 20–30 minutes (these are called ultradian rhythms). During our low periods, we feel tired, irritable and groggy, and we lose focus. By resting at these times, we can revitalise ourselves and refuel our energy ‘tank’ for those key moments when we need to work on our most challenging, high-grade tasks. POSITIVE PLACE: Success vs Happiness The leaders of today are lost. Despite their achievements and material wealth, many top-level leaders are mindlessly running the rat race – dashing headlong towards the next goal, the next gain, the next bonus – without finding happiness within their day-to-day existence. They’re relying on success to make them happy, but their focus is in the wrong place. Happiness is not one final point or moment in time. I define it as the overall pleasure you experience while on the path to unlocking your potential. To get on the path of happiness, you need to pursue your personal mission instead of the rat race. Set goals that engage your strengths, connect with your values and do what you love to do, as well as what you need to do. Do this right and instead of simply looking forward to achieving your goals, you’ll get to enjoy the sense of direction and meaning that they bring to your everyday life. For more information on the 4Ps of Positive Leadership, pick up a copy of The Positive Leader, by Jan Mühlfeit and Melina Costi. Published by Pearson, Financial Times Publishing (October 2016). Available in all good bookshops and via Amazon. janmuhlfeit.com/ en. For details on Positive Leadership training courses and workshops, visit OpenGenius.com
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.
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
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.
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).
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.
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 longterm 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 understandably 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.
Rich in history and tradition while offering the very latest in modern luxury, the Grand Hôtel in Stockholm dates back to 1874. Occupying a prime position on the city’s waterfront, this timeless clas- sic, continues to play a pivotal role in shaping Stockholm as the cosmopolitan city that it is today. The relationship between Grand Hôtel and Stockholm is one that is symbiotic; both revel in their duality: traditional and forward looking, worldly and innocent. As Scandinavia’s leading luxury hotel, Grand Hôtel Stockholm has borne witness to some of the world’s greatest achievements and to this day continues to make its presence felt far beyond its shores. Since 1901, the Nobel Prize laureates and their families have all been guests of Grand Hôtel and the list of royalty, heads of state and artists who have stayed here is impressive. Grand Hôtel is located next to the National Museum and opposite the Royal Palace and Stock- holm’s Old Town, with the parliament buildings and the Royal Opera House in view. The best shop- ping district is just five minutes away and the docks for boats to the archipelago are situated 25-metres from the hotel. GUEST & PUBLIC AREAS The Grand Hôtel offers 273 luxuriously appointed rooms, of which 70 are suites. The Princess Lil- ian Suite, measuring a vast 330 sqm, with panoramic views over Stockholm, is the most spectacular of them all. The Flag Suite and Nobel Suite have astounding views from the 7th floor. All are indi- vidually designed, each room with its own distinctive character and colourful history, ranging from traditional to contemporary in design. The hotel’s interiors are of such great historical significance that they have been designated as a “Swedish National Treasure”, notably the Spegelsalen (Hall of Mirrors), Vinterträdgården (the Winter Garden) as well as a number of the other original function rooms. Indeed, with 4 state-of-the-art conference rooms and 19 heritage-rich meeting and banquet rooms, the Grand Hôtel caters to all types of events from private dining, smaller meetings and jubilee celebrations to major conferences, gala dinners, premieres and more.
GASTRONOMY Food and drink have always played an important role at the Grand Hôtel, which is equipped with one of the most modern hotel kitchens in Europe, along with an award-winning team of chefs, who regularly showcase their culinary skills at high-end conferences, events and parties. A dining destination of note, the hotel is also home to a number of popular restaurants and bars – namely the Michelin-starred Matbaren, Rutabaga, the Veranda, the Cadier Bar and the Terrace – all guaranteed to impress even the most discerning of food lovers. The vegetarian eatery Rutabaga and the Michelin-starred Matbaren are both run by the renowned Swedish chef, Mathias Dahlgren. His establishments are lauded for serving food with the finest in fresh, quality ingredients, and a focus on impeccable service. The Michelin-starred Matbaren is a modern bistro – an informal restaurant in keeping with the times. Using fresh seasonal produce, Mathias Dahlgren creates a vibrant daily menu of medium-sized dishes and well-paired wine and beverages, served at a table or up at the large bar counter. Opened in 2007, the restaurant was developed in collaboration with British designer Ilse Crawford to create a holistic dining experience where design and cuisine are presented in unison, featuring decor from some notable design icons, such as Pyra chairs by Marten Cyen, lights by Jorn Utzen and furniture from Vico Magistretti. The Veranda restaurant serves Swedish traditional food in a contemporary fashion and is celebrat- ed not just for its views but also for being the only Swedish restaurant to serve a traditional Swedish Smorgasbord all year round. Moreover, the Veranda offers its seasonal ‘themed’ menus, which focus on seasonal Swedish culinary traditions. In 2013, the Veranda restaurant underwent an extensive reno- vation and the new design pays homage to the Grand Hôtel’s Swedish heritage whilst incorporating a lighter and more modern interpretation.
Over the years, Grand Hôtel has built up an award-winning wine cellar housing over 20,000 bot- tles, including a selection from 1874, the year the hotel opened its doors. Named after the hotel’s founder, the Cadier Bar, with its award-winning drinks, bartenders, location and buzzing atmos- phere, has an extensive cocktail menu, serving drinks from all over the world. The popularity of the Cadier Bar continues to soar, offering locals and hotel guests alike à la carte breakfast, weekend brunch and its signature Afternoon Tea, consisting of the hotel’s own blend of tea and traditional teatime delicacies, with a Swedish twist. During the summer season, guests can savour a bite to eat, a glass of wine or cocktail al fresco at the hotel’s Terrace bar and restaurant. Drawing inspiration from the terraces of Southern Europe, this stylish oasis in central Stockholm, lush with verdant greenery and chic parasols, is the perfect place to spend a summer afternoon or evening. The Mediterranean-inspired menu offers a selection of new seasonal Southern European inspired dishes and drinks. In a palette of granite, Nordic ash, creams and whites, the spa celebrates the history and landscape of the Swedish archipelagos. The inspiration is the holy tree of Norse mythology, Yggdrasil, with its root in Mímisbrunnr, the well of wisdom, and branches that extend into heaven. The signature treatments of the spa is one of a kind and the therapists treat every guest as an individual, adapting the massage to your needs rather than simply following a formula. The Grand Hôtel Nordic Spa & Fitness also offer a fully equipped Fitness Club. As well as all the latest Life Fitness equipment, the Club has wonderful panoramic views across the city and the Royal Castle. There’s also a private studio for yoga, stretch and other activities, including personal training, and healthy refreshment at The Fitness Bar. Since 2011 Tha Grand Hôtel Nordic Spa & Fitness is a member of The Leading Spas of the World.
Pia Djupmark, CEO, Managing Director
New vs Old Globalization By Richard Baldwin
The central thesis of my new book, The Great Convergence, is that globalisation should be viewed as two processes, not one. Call them the “Old Globalisation” and the “New Globalisation”. To start with, it is perfectly obvious that globalisation is not what it used to be. As the chart shows, globalisation has moved through three very sharply different phases in the last 1000 years. For many centuries, technical transportation difficulties and political barriers waxed and waned. Although trade occurred, few could afford to buy items made more than a day’s walk from where they lived. Production was wide dispersed and this prevented growth. The bonfire of innovation and expanding markets just couldn’t get going. Modern globalization, which started around 1820, changed all this. As the Steam Revolution fostered the Industrial Revolution and vice versa. In today’s ‘advanced nations’ – taking the G7 nations as indicative – this triggered a self-perpetuating spiral of industrial agglomeration, innovation, and growth. The result was an epic shift in the world economy. From 1820 to about 1990, the G7’s share of global income soared from under a fifth to almost two-thirds. This was the Old Globalisation. The pattern today, is quite the opposite. The upward spiral was checked from the mid-1980s and reversed around 1990. For the last couple of decades, the G7 share has been torqueing downward at a mighty pace. Today it is back to the level that it first attained at the very beginning of the 19th century. Source: Richard Baldwin, The Great Convergence, Harvard University Press, 2016. For the ancient civilizations that had long dominated the world economy, globalisation was a colossal reversal of fortunes. The periphery became the core and the core became the periphery. Since the Old
Globalisation flipped over into the New Globalisation around 1990, a reversal of the reversal-of-fortunes is underway. This is the “Great Convergence”. What is new about the New Globalisation? The shockingly different impact of globalisation since 1990 is due to the way that information and communication technology (ICT) changed the nature of cross-border flows. The logic is simple. By making international coordination of complex processes radically cheaper and safer, the ICT Revolution allowed G7 firms to unbundle factories and shift some production stages to low-wage nations. To coordinate the whole, G7 firms moved their firm-specific know-how along with the offshored stages. It is these new North-to-South knowledge flows that account for the post-1990 shocking share shift. The new knowledge flows accelerated the industrialised of a handful of developing nations, thus triggering their growth take-offs. Since almost half of humanity lives in the rapid industrialising nations, their growth take-offs sparked commodity booms that raised the incomes of many other developing nations. In a nutshell, pre- and post-1990 globalisation had radically different effects since they are very different. Old Globalisation, i.e. 20th century globalisation, was about made-here-sold-there goods crossing borders. New Globalisation, i.e. 21st century globalisation, is also about factories crossing borders. But the key change is not the factories, it is the massive amounts of advanced economy know-how that is moving to the developing nation that get the factories. The New Globalisation is wilder. The impact of the New Globalisation on the world’s economic geography and the geopolitical implications are profound, but the impact on local economies is what is most in today’s headlines – and for good reasons.
The New Globalisation is impacting national economies – in ways that are quite different from those of 20th century globalisation – call it the Old Globalisation. •The New Globalisation is operating at a finer degree of resolution on national economies. 20th century globalisation produced greater national specialisation at the level of sectors. The ICT Revolution unbundles production at the level of stages or even individual occupations. International competition is, consequently, happening not at the level of sectors, but rather at the level of stages and occupations. This has made globalisation’s impact more individual, i.e. more variable across people with similar skill sets and sectors of employment. It also made globalisation’s impact more unpredictable. Before, nations could identify their ‘sunrise’ and ‘sunset’ sectors. And since certain skill groups tended to be associated with certain sectors, the impact of future globalisation on a nation’s citizens could be predicted. No longer. Now we have sunrise and sunset stages of production or occupations that vary across sectors, but we do not really know how to predict which stages will be affected next. To borrow a phrase from Columbia University’s economist Jagdish Bhagwati, globalisation’s impact seems kaleidoscopic. Importantly, the finer degree of resolution means that many 20th century policies intended to help share the pains and gains are insufficiently nuanced to pick up today’s winners and losers. Many nations have policies aimed at helping declining sectors and
disfavoured skill-groups, but globalisation’s finer resolution makes these too blunt to do the job. •Because the new globalisation is driven by ICT advances rather than by lower trade costs, its impact is more sudden and more uncontrollable. The passage of time on the Old Globalisation ‘clock’ was marked in years since that is how long it took for tariff cuts and transportation improvements to take effect. The New Globalisation, by contrast, is more sudden; its clock is marked in months because it is driven by the doubling of transmission, storage and computing capacity every year or two. As we have seen repeatedly in the last couple of decades, exponential ICT improvements can turn implausible things into commonplace things in a matter of months. The technical nature of ICT also means that national governments have less control over the New Globalisation’s advancement. •The determinants of national competitiveness are increasingly de-nationalised. G7 firms are leveraging their firm-specific knowhow by combining it with labour in lowwage nations. With firms mixing-and-matching different nations’ sources of competitiveness, nations are no longer the only natural unit of analysis for competitiveness. Technological boundaries are increasingly delineated by international production networks rather than by national boundaries. Those boundaries are controlled by firms directly and governments only indirectly. To put it differently, the 1st unbundling was all about allowing nations to better exploit their competitive advantages. The 2nd unbundling changed the competitive advantage of nations by allowing a massive recombination of the sources of national competitiveness. •The compact between G7 workers and firms is partly ruptured. When technology is national, national wages adjust to international technology differences. In some sectors, Germany’s technological edge more than compensates for higher German wages, so German firms are the low-cost producers (quality adjusted). In other sectors Bangladesh’s lower wages more than compensate for its technological disadvantage. Relative wage adjustments thus guide each nation to specialise in what it does relatively well while simultaneously making their firms cost-competitive in those sectors. What this meant was that when German technology advanced, German wages rose in a way that let both German and Bangladeshi workers be competitive in something. The 2nd unbundling partly disable this equilibration process. For example, Chinese wages continue to be determined primarily by the low level of productivity in non-manufacturing sectors. This is why something like one-sevenths of all world manufacturing could move to China in two decades without producing
the sort of ‘technology-wage equilibration’ that traditionally slowed the pace of industrialisation. It also means that German workers are no longer the only beneficiary of German technological advances. Germans can also exploit better knowhow by combining with, say, Polish labour. Similar things could be said about firms and workers in all the G7 nations. •Globalisation’s 2nd unbundling changed the role of distance. Standard thinking conceptualises trade as made-here-sold-there goods whose flows are hindered by natural and man-made trade costs. Doubling the distance between markets, for example, is usually thought to roughly double the trade costs. Applying this logic to today’s developments is a misthinking of 21st century globalisation. The point is simple. Cartographical distances affect the cost of moving goods in a way that is quite different from its impact on the cost of moving ideas and people. With the Internet, the cost of moving ideas is almost zero and it varies little with distance. For people, however, there is a big difference between destinations that can be reached with a day trip and those further out. This may help explain why so many nations have adopted all the right pro-business policies but so few have been able to industrialise as rapidly as the I6 nations highlighted in Figure 2. To put it bluntly, they may simply be too far from Detroit, Stuttgart and Nagoya. •The 2nd unbundling changes how rich-nation governments should think about their globalisation policies and how poor-nation governments should think about industrialisation. As vast swaths of economic policy and analysis are based on the assumption that competitiveness is a national feature, de-nationalisation of competitive advantage should have forced a broad rethinking of policies that deal with globalisation and its consequences. For example, de-nationalised competitive advantage changed the options facing developing nations. Instead of building the whole supply chain domestically to become competitive internationally (the 19th and 20th century way), developing nations now join international value chains to become competitive, and then industrialise by densifying their participation in the international production networks. The flip side of this transfigured the competitiveness options facing rich nations. Globally competitive firms knit together national competitive advantages to make things in the most cost-effective locations. Firms and nations that eschew this new school of mix-and-match competitive advantage struggle to compete with those that have. In short, the changed nature of globalisation killed old-style industrialisation options for developing nations, and killed naively nationalistic industrial policies for developed nations.
A new view of globalisation. How are we to think about globalisation now and in the future? My book suggests a new narrative for globalisation that explains how and why the Old Globalisation flipped over into the New Globalisation while simultaneously suggesting that even more disruptive changes are likely in the future. The logical point of departure is the observation that three types of costs have held back globalisation over the centuries: the cost of moving goods, ideas and people. Since the rise of agriculture, the dictates of distance forced spatial clustering of production and consumption. The cost of moving goods, people and ideas formed a ‘glue’ that held the production-consumption bundle together in the pre-globalisation world. The world economy was little more than a patchwork of village-level economies (top panel). As technology advanced, all three costs fell – but not all at once. Rapidly falling transportation costs – a trend which has been going on since the early19th – ended the necessity of making goods close to the point of consumption. This produced the Old Globalisation – the spatial separation of the production and consumption of goods (middle panel). But even as production moved away from consumers and vice versa, manufacturing gathered into factories and industrial districts. This was to economise on communication and face-to-face costs, not trade costs. The New Globalisation came when the ICT revolution made it possible to organise complex activities at distance. Once feasible, vast differences in the relative cost of skilled and unskilled labour made it profitable (bottom panel). The change here, however, is that new ideas – in particular productive know-how – are moving from advanced economies to emerging economies. The ICT revolution, in essence, was to the New Globalisation what the steam revolution was to the Old Globalisation. Yet despite the relaxation of the goods and ideas constraints, the world is still very spiky. Most international production networks are regional not global. Value chains are mostly inside Factory Asia, Factory Europe, or Factory North America. Moreover, as far as people-clustering is concerned, on-going urbanisation suggests distance is getting more important, not less. Richard Baldwin’s latest book is The Great Convergence: Information Technology and the New Globalization published by Harvard University Press
The 4G Mobile Revolution By Olaf Swantee
I never set out to write a business book. I have read – and learned from – plenty of them throughout my career however, and continue to do so today. People who are in business, or want to be in business, will know that the fastest way to learn is to draw on what has been proven to work already. There’s just no time to go through every learning curve from scratch; added to which it would be painfully time-consuming and risky to do so in any case. Having had the incredible experience during the past five years of taking two businesses – which were worth £8.5 billion combined – transforming them into a new company and then selling it for £12.5 billion, someone suggested that I should write about what happened now, rather than wait until I retire. Who wants to read a ten- or 20-yearold case study after all? So I set out to tell the story of my time launching EE, the UK’s leading mobile network and the pioneer of 4G technology in Britain. It charts the transformation journey to create the company, what we got right and, importantly, where we got it wrong – along with some practical tips and my own experiences of leadership. Here is a taster of some of the themes it covers. Technology = transformation Don’t underestimate the impact that technology is having – and will continue to have – on our lives and the way we do business. Think back over your lifetime. Just fifteen years ago, if someone had said that soon it would be impossible to be lost wherever you were in the world, you would have thought they were deluded. Yet, with the rise of connectivity and the advent of tools like satellite mapping, it is now fact. Assuming you have the kit, it is almost impossible to get lost on planet Earth.
Even industries that, on the surface, are not driven by technology are influenced by it. Technology – and, in particular, software – is becoming the name of the game right across the globe. Look at the impact Amazon had on the traditional retail giants. Or how Netflix and Spotify pushed us all towards video and music streaming, changing the face of the high street as video rental and music store chains disappeared. Quite simply, modern technology is changing our world – and everything within it – just as the wheel, the printing press, and the first airliners did. It will only continue. Computers and computing power will continue to accelerate exponentially in the years to come. If you don’t believe me, look up “Moore’s Law”. It suggests that that processor speeds or overall processing power for computers will double every two years. This means that today’s leaders need to change the way they manage and inspire their businesses and employees. If you do not understand the risks and opportunities of technology on your business, your company will suffer. This is not something that can be delegated to the IT department. If you are running a business, you need to be fully aware, informed, active and up to date on the technology developments that are influencing it. Leading For Transformation I talk about transformation a lot. That’s because businesses are – or should be – continually evolving. If they are not, I would question how positive the future is going to be for them. Business leaders need to be absolutely on top of their organisation structure, processes, people, products, culture and routes to market to make sure that the company is being steered in the right direction.
Leading a company through a transformation successfully is not easy. There are plenty of statistics about how many change programmes or mergers and acquisitions fail. But it is possible to succeed, and there are some leadership traits that I believe are key. • Going back to the core. It is so important to really understand what is at the heart of your business, what your existing offer is, where it is good and bad, how it stacks up against the competition and how it compares to similar products or services in other countries. It sounds very basic, but most companies tend to forget where they can, and should, innovate. • Being optimistic, with a focus on the future. This can be hard at times. At EE, when we set out to launch a 4G network, we had to fight very, very hard with just about everybody to convince them that the UK needed a better communications infrastructure, that an unknown technology called 4G was the way to go and that we could deliver it. It was a real challenge and sometimes it felt like banging your head against a brick wall, but what kept us going was the knowledge that we could do something really important for the country. • Setting clear priorities and expectations. If you are in any doubt about what your priorities should be, start by talking with the people in your business who deal with customers. They provide the reality check. Once they’re set, repeat them everywhere, all the time. If you are getting bored hearing your own words, then that’s good – your people are probably starting to listen and understand your plans. Writing New Rules I’m not generally known for having great reserves of patience – just ask my family or anyone who has ever worked for me. I do think that looking ahead,
rather than dwelling on the past, is necessary if you are going to run the type of business that (to misquote Steve Jobs) figures out what customers are going to want before they do. Sometimes that means you need to break the rules, or write some new ones. In the UK, the government controls the airwaves, or bands of spectrum, that the network operators use to carry their services. Back in 2012, when we decided at EE that we wanted to launch a fourth generation network, the government’s roadmap indicated that the operators would be able to bid for slices of the relevant spectrum in just over two years’ time (what would be 2014), and launch new services the following year. A three-year wait? Forget it. As far as we were concerned, the people and businesses of Britain needed something better, and quickly. You might not realise it, but at the time, the UK – a country that prides itself on innovation and invention – had already fallen behind many countries, from the United States, South Korea and Japan to Azerbaijan and the Philippines, in terms of its communication technologies. Now, governments are not usually known for bringing deadlines forwards. We had to find a new way to launch 4G outside of the existing rules. It took one of our network engineers to come up with the answer. Faced with the seemingly impossible problem of how to launch a 4G service without the new spectrum it needed to run on, he simply suggested using our existing network to do it instead. He didn’t quite bend the rules of physics, but he did bend the rules within which we were thinking. With the new plan, there were no rules, because it had never been done before. There were hurdles to cross, of course. Our competitors cried foul and fought tool and nail all the way to try and stop it happening. We had to argue for the right to do it. We did. And we won.
That’s the power of writing new rules. Creating a vision While we’re on the subject of rules, a lot of management theory will tell you that you have to have your vision and plan ready before you start the job to transform a business. It’s one that I held firmly to for many years. The argument goes that, without the vision, there is no context for the changes you need to make.
I started out in the IT industry and worked at Hewlett Packard for a number of years. My CEO at the time, Mark Hurd, was a great inspiration. He taught me about the importance of execution and the discipline of getting things done. He delivered increased profits for HP for 22 quarters straight – he didn’t miss one. I learned from that and it’s how I drive my business now.
Interestingly, when I took over as CEO of the Orange and T-Mobile joint venture (the company that would become EE) in 2011, we began building the vision for the company after restructuring the management team and establishing a leadership style. It worked fine. It actually allowed me to be even clearer about our priorities, because I’d had more time to truly understand the opportunities and the risks. In the end, I announced the vision and the new plan for the business five months after I started.
Most companies working in a specific industry will generally have the same business objectives and tools. I believe that if you can be better than the competition in executing your plans, you will ultimately win.
In my experience, the best transformative vision will always focus on how it will change the existing environment once you have achieved it. You have to be able to talk about the difference in people’s lives, in the market position, in the workplace and in the financial position. Ultimately, you need to ask: “What will our future look like if we achieve this vision?” At EE, we knew that the UK deserved a better communications infrastructure and that is what we set out to create. Many companies make the mistake in that they start with a financial aspiration. Revenue, cash flow, cost and profitability ratios are undoubtedly vital metrics, but they rarely build a purpose for a business. If you can find a real purpose for what you are doing, it will energise your employees and give them a reason to come to work beyond the paycheck. The discipline of getting things done It’s certainly very exciting writing new rules and coming up with game-changing plans, but the bottom line is that, without the ability to deliver, you won’t get very far at all.
So how do you do that? • First of all, if you need to make big improvements, it makes sense to appoint an individual who has the overall responsibility for defining and managing performance within your business. • You need to define and communicate understandable targets, how you will measure progress, and who is accountable for each target. Crucially, this must be absolutely clear right through every level of your organisation. It might not sound very sexy, but believe me – creating and then relentlessly delivering on your plan and vision is one of the most exhilarating parts of transforming a business. It’s what gives you momentum, and the ability to keep on innovating. It’s challenging, it’s difficult, but it shapes you and your company forever. Running and transforming a business is such a wide-ranging endeavour that it’s impossible to cover everything in an article like this, or even in a single book. I certainly don’t claim to have all of the answers. As with so much in life, you need to fit your approach to the particular context and circumstances you find yourself in. But if anyone can learn from the EE story to get through their own challenges or avoid some of the mistakes that we made, that’s a bonus.
Dame Natalie Massenet MBE Chairman of The British Fashion Council Francine Laqua, Anchor & Editor-at-large, Bloomberg Television interviews Natalie Massenet, Chairman of The British Fashion Council and Founder of popular fashion website NETAPORTER. The company Natalie founded, NETAPORTER in 2000 from the kitchen table of her London home. At the time, her vison of selling expensive clothing through the internet was untested, and many thought it was ludicrous. 15 years later, the critics have been silenced. The company was acquired by luxury group Richemont in 2010 in a deal that valued it at $550m. Then in early 2015 it agreed to merge with Italian rival Yoox. Now, 11m people visit net-a-porter.com every month. The site hosts 650 fashion brands. ON NET-A-PORTER’S BEGINNINGS Do you remember when you thought that actually, e-commerce is the future? Well, it was 1999 and e-commerce was the present, actually. It was, Amazon was taking off and everybody was talking about shopping online and it was the big discussion, “Oh, do you buy your books online? I will never buy my books online!” and I just thought it was the most exciting thing that was happening, I mean, just even the introduction of the computer into our lives and into our homes was so thrilling, and the fact that you could connect to information and to product instantly, It was not a time for fashion to be online Right because at the time I bet…I mean, how many times did you hear people say, “Well, women are not gonna shop like that because they want touch and feel and they want bricks and mortars”? Well, I had so many answers to that. First of all, just because it didn’t exist didn’t mean it couldn’t happen, and then I always used to say, well, they do get to touch and feel, they just touch and feel when they get their package at home, and in fact they get to try it on, and we always used to say that if a Martian came to earth and looked at shopping, they would say, “Explain this to me again? So people with a lot of money are asked to leave their homes and go to you, you then put them in a really cold room with bad lighting and ask them to take all their clothes off and put on the clothes, and then they have to make the decision then and there without the rest of their wardrobe and their shoes, then they go home, um, and then they pay you for that?” and the Martian would have probably said
“Wouldn’t it be really, if the person’s paying, shouldn’t you go to them, shouldn’t they try things on at home with the comfort of their friends and people advising them that they know, shouldn’t they be trying things on with their own shoes and shouldn’t they have time to think about it, and if they want to keep it, they keep it, but if they don’t, then shouldn’t you go and get it from them and say is there anything else I can do?” So actually, just because shopping existed in one way doesn’t mean that’s how people wanted to shop. But how much pushback did you get? So I mean, this is, you know, if a Martian were to look at it this way, but how difficult, did you imagine at the time at the time that you would become so big or so successful?
by enormously smart people, very clever teams, each with credible CVs, and everyone was talking about their burn rate. In fact, the higher your burn rate was, the more successful you were deemed by the private equity teams, and we had a tiny burn rate. We were burning everything we had because it’s pretty capital intensive to start a retail business but we were so small we were able to withstand the fact that the market just didn’t exist yet. But then because so many people failed, um, the fashion industry looked at the space and said, “Well, that’s a waste of time isn’t it, it doesn’t work!” which actually gave us about 5-6 years of being one of the only people in that space.
Well, at the beginning it was all about just doing it. There was very little thought to global domination, really, it was more about let’s do something right, let’s do something that appeals to…it appealed to me, I thought there’s gotta be a few other people out there who will like this, and you know, our original business plan, in fact our first year we turned over £250,000, we were looking to be profitable very quickly, and when we were raising money in the tech bubble, people actually used the fact that we were trying to be quite conservative and were based on old retail principles as not being an exciting investment because didn’t have the meteoric rise, we weren’t going to go public in 6 months and they said, “Oh, this isn’t a tech company, this is an old-fashioned business built on old-fashioned retail principles”, and I said “Exactly, but it’s also based on technology, and it’s based on the ability to reach so many people instantly from one location”, and so the potential I knew would be big, but the important thing in the early days was just doing the little bit that we were doing and doing it right.
But why did you succeed and the others failed? Was it execution, was it the kind of ethos of the company?
Then there was a point where so many people were not going into that space due to some spectacular bankruptcies that happened in 2000 and I think that really scared a lot of people from going into the fashion e-commerce space. What, because of tech valuations?
ON REACHING SUCCESS Do you remember the moment where you weren’t tiny anymore, were you know, how did you... how did it feel, did you just grow bit by bit and then one day realize that actually, this is really a success? Was it a phone call, did you realise along the way how big you were getting?
Well, we had companies like boo.com, luxuryfinder.com, um, Girl Shop, shoppingtheworld.com, um, luxelook.com, um, all these busi [nesses] - eluxury.com, all those businesses started in the same year as Net-a-Porter, with huge investments, backed
It’s been a... I wish I had time-lapse animation for the last 15 years of this business because there’s probably never been a moment where it hasn’t been growing. I think when we opened the remote office in New York was the big moment, because
Um, I think first of all we were insiders in the fashion space, we weren’t created in a boardroom pointing at the e-commerce opportunity and saying, “OK, let’s do something in the fashion vertical”, we were in the fashion space and with the connections, with the ability to call Tamara Mellon and Jimmy Choo on the phone and say “Hey, I’m thinking about doing this thing where...” Anya Hindmarch and say, “You’ll be able to click on the page and buy it”, you know, over the phone they were like “Hey, sounds great, Natalie!” So that, the fact that we were in it and we understood how women wanted to shop, I think we came at it from the consumer point of view rather than from the spreadsheet, which is I think something we try to keep in our ethos of how we develop things, it’s definitely always approach it from the consumer point of view.
it was the point at which we were grappling with, no longer, you know...were we a centralized business or not a centralized... what does it mean to have a US base within a global business? I guess that was the point when Igenerations took the family business into shipping and overseas trade before moving into investment management at the beginning of the last century. Your not your average CEO. Your hot on social media, is loyal to her team, and loves a good party. Sometimes I look over my shoulder and say, “Ooh! That’s a lot of people working here”. The time that it gets really meaningful is at the end of the day, of all the desks are empty and everyone’s gone home, and I just look at all the different empty chairs and I realise that there’s a person who sits here who pays their rent thanks to this company. What kind of leader are you? Well, I’m a reluctant leader, I am very comfortable in the background, ironically, as it turns out when you start a business you have to be adaptable and talk about it a lot in front of shareholders, brands, team, as the team gets bigger you need to stand on a chair then you need a microphone, then you’re broadcasting so I get pushed forward a lot but I’m super happy in the background. I also believe in letting experts lead, which is why I surround myself with such extraordinary talent, from technology, to operations and logistics, to marketing, we’ve got the best people and we always have. It’s about getting the best of those people, putting them together, making sure that they collaborate, I guess I’m somebody who really believes in the glue and the oil to make the machine work, and then I let the people who really know what they’re doing have a voice and steer and then together we go where we’re going. ON HER ADMIRATION FOR FORMER NET-APORTER CEO MARK SEBBA Do you have a mentor? Is there a CEO that you admire? Is there someone that you not necessarily look up to but think that they’re, yeah they’re good. I worked with Mark Sebba, who was our CEO here for 11 years and I watched him and learned from him and was inspired by him. Mark Sebba had an amazing send-off is that in the DNA of the company? Is, we do business but we care about people, we’re fun? We’re a social company, we’re a communications company, we use new technological ways of doing things, so when it came time to doing a retirement party, we didn’t do it
the old way. We built it over four days and everybody got really excited on it. But what was interesting was that he had been running the company for 11 years and I had this fear that because he hadn’t been so outward-facing, that he wouldn’t be a digital part of our history, because these days if we can’t find you on Google, do you exist? I don’t know! Am I here? So I thought we need to make sure that Mike Sebba, CEO of Net-a-Porter, goes down in history as having been the CEO of Net-a-Porter goes down in history of having been the CEO OF Net-a-Porter for eleven years, so I thought we need to make a digital footprint. It was about going viral. ON TOUGH BUSINESS DECISIONS AND CREATING PRINT MEDIA IN MODERN TIMES What is the bravest business decision that you’ve had to make? Was it the launch of Porter, was it selling part of the business? If you look at the last fifteen years, how many moments of doubt did you have? Um… [long pause] I don’t know, I don’t remember those moments of doubt. I tend to be…you know I make decisions carefully, I really don’t just pull things out of the blue, I do base these leaps of faith on very concrete consumer behaviour, technological enhancements, there’s, you know, launching a print magazine, people said “Why did you do print?” Well, we asked our consumers, they love magazines. I love magazines, I’m a consumer, right? And so, we thought, we’re a multimedia company, we are where our consumer is, and why are we ignoring print, I the same way that if you’re a print publication, you’re a media company, you would never ignore a website, you would not ignore social, you’re there. So, for us to be a complete media business, and to communicate with our consumer we needed to be there in a different form. But then what we did was we didn’t just say, “Oh let’s take the website and put it into a paper format”, we approached that platform, with what’s great about it, and our editor create the most beautiful reading, immersive, inspiring experience that last, it sits om your coffee table hopefully. I was fascinated, so I’m a big fan , but when it came out, I thought actually we already have the magazines, we read the magazines, so how did you approach it, was it in saying, we want to be different, be meaningful? You didn’t have a shoppable magazine, so that’s, you know, we put the technology behind the scenes but the entire magazine is shoppable, so any experience, any inspiration you have in the pages, anything that says to you, I love that I want be part of it, whether it’s reading a book, whether it’s going on a holiday, whether it’s a pair of Aqua Zara laceup sandals or a Valentino gown for an event that you may be dreaming to go to, you can
have it. We were all about not frustrating the consumer, so it’s entirely shoppable. But, if you don’t want to shop it, you can read it and it’s beautiful. I can’t take credit for it, it’s Lucy Young’s and her team, and I believe in it. ON COMPETITION I was going to ask you about competitors, actually. Who do you most worry about? Is it fashion houses that want tom come into the space, is it Amazon, is it media groups that want to come into e-commerce? We were born as a business that was competing with everybody. We came along and people liked reading fashion magazines and going to shop. So, we needed to pull them in to what we were doing. So we were built on creating an experience that was better than what they were getting anywhere else. As part of our DNA is the sense that our consumer has so much choice and so we always need to improve ourselves. I know it’s clichéd to say it, but we see ourselves as our biggest competition. I think that the day we say “Oh, yeah, we’ve done that, then we’re good… let’s take a vacation” is the day we’re gonna fall off a cliff. I think that the brands going direct to consumer is a fantastic thing, we’ve been working- in fact we power Jimmy Choo and their e-commerce, and we see that the brands have to have a strong presence online, and we’re a multi-brand retailer, we live very well side-by-side, and the more that they go online and they talk to their consumer and they build their brand online, the more people they’re bringing into the market and if we’re doing our job right, and constantly evolving and improving and fine-tuning our service levels and selection, then we can share in that bigger part of the pie. And then I’ve always said that fashion magazines will become stores and stores will become fashion magazines and that the space is going to become increasingly crowded and the consumer is going to have so many places to go to that to the same thing, so built into our DNA has always been to do things the best. ON THE FUTURE OF THE BUSINESS Where do you see the company in three years? Three, four years? When you look at the trends, how will that impact? Well, we’re going to be the same but bigger, we’re going to, we’ve only just begun, our penetration and our addressable market is still negligible, we’ve got cities that we aren’t even talking to, within just our existing space, we’re tiny, so I think, just keeping our heads down, focusing on the consumer, focusing on our brand partnerships and doing everything that we’re doing but doing it better, we’ll be bigger, certainly, and we’ll be thriving and innovating, I hope, still, because I don’t think anything’s gonna stand still.
The 4G Mobile Revolution By Winston Ma
When China’s President Xi Jinping visited Tajikistan during the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Summit in September 2014, the smartphone from China’s domestic brand ZTE was on his list of national gifts. Historically, China mostly used traditional artworks such as silk, porcelain and painting as national gifts in diplomatic contexts. Using domestic smartphones as “national gift” showed the progress China had made in the technology sector in recent years, and it also demonstrated China’s determination to transform itself from the “world’s factory” for low-tech manufacturing into a global power in the “new economy.”
capital, and a sophisticated manufacturing system are collectively making China one of the most interesting centers of innovations in the world.
While the first generation of China tech start-ups was mostly about the internet and copycat versions of Western sites, the new generation Chinese internet and technology companies are creating a remarkable wave of innovation in business models and product features that challenges the long-held perception of “made in China” copycatting. With the largest internet and smartphone user population in the world (approximately 700 million), more and more innovative business models and advanced features are arising in China’s tech sectors.
Local governments also launch venture funds at province and city levels, whose funding and subsidies help early-stage entrepreneurs to feel more comfortable to take a bit more risk. In dozens of cities like Beijing and Shanghai, university graduates and young professionals can be rewarded with tax cuts in their start-up endeavors.
Of course, the mobile transformation of China’s economy has had profound implications for global stakeholders dealing with the China market. Foreign investors are richly awarded, and consumer goods companies see an emerging market filled with opportunities from an expanding middle class. Overseas users are cautiously adopting smart phones and mobile apps created in China, but Silicon Valley tech giants are taking notice of new competition arising from Asia. With government endorsement in the background, a dynamic ecosystem of entrepreneurs and start-ups is organically being built up (see Figure 1). The network of established internet firms and their seasoned entrepreneurs, endless eager talents, abundant angel investors and venture
Would-be entrepreneurs are creating a remarkable wave of innovation that challenges the long-held perception of “made in China” copycatting. The government initiatives include building up the innovation clusters, where the administration system is more user-friendly for businesses to get started (for example, faster corporate registration).
China’s Innovation Ecosystem For example, the Silicon Valley-like Zhongguancun district in Beijing is the home of established Chinese internet players, the China offices of global companies such as Y Microsoft, IBM, Oracle, and Google, and most notably, numerous start-ups. There are more than 20 incubator facilities (also known service centers) on the “Innovation Street” at the Zhongguancun Science Park. Among them, Garage Café, established in 2011, was the first service center at the district where entrepreneurs could work on their projects for a whole day for the cost of one cup of coffee. Today the 3W Café is by far the most famous one among all the coffee shops (see the “Premier Li’s Cappuccino” Box), because Premier Li had a coffee there with startup owners and wannabe entrepreneurs in May 2015, demonstrating the government’s
support for entrepreneurship and innovation. The “Innovation Street” at Beijing’s Zhongguancun Science Park is famous nationwide for edging out other places in attracting the most ambitious and forward-looking entrepreneurs. Young startup owners from all over the country visit the place to find brainstorming peers, business partners, angel investors, and industry backers. But when Premier Li walked into the 3W Café in May 2015, the community received an unprecedented “spiritual boost” on government’s endorsement for entrepreneurship and innovation. The vanilla cappuccino that Premier Li ordered has since been referred to as the “Premier’s coffee”, and the 3W Café has turned into a tourism site. Outside the coffee shop, people wait to take photos against the backdrop of a big screen that shows Premier Li Keqiang drinking coffee with young entrepreneurs. Near the coffee table where the meeting took place, a wall is now covered with banners calling upon people to start their businesses. According to media reports, at the 3W Café Premier Li stopped to read the phrase printed on one of its walls: “Life is limited, but zheteng is not.” (Zheteng is a contemporary Chinese term that means to toil and bustle around something with vague prospects.) “Ah, zheteng,” the Premier commented, “That really sums up innovation.” “Zheteng” is a common theme of the internet industry as well as the overall startup community in China. The 3W Café certainly understands the term well: the coffee shop itself is a startup. It is the first crowd-funded café in China, and it has an ambitious plan
to open 100 stores in 10 major cities across the country. The core of this ecosystem is a network of “graduated entrepreneurs” from established tech firms at home and abroad. Their BAT resume provides them immediate credibility in the market. Their alumni network not only provides industry talent to partner with or recruit, but also supplies a pool of seed investors. This development resembles the multiplying effect seen in the Silicon Valley ecosystem last few decades, where the generations of innovators from Intel, Netscape, Google, and Paypal have created waves of start-ups.
petitors in terms of production timelines. Also, having the supply chain nearby, early-stage inventors can easily tweak their pilot products at factories, giving them more opportunities to fully develop the finished product. In fact, China’s massive electronics supply chains, well established from the “made in China” era and getting increasingly sophisticated, proves invaluable for the new convergence between hardware and software. In summary, this new dynamic ecosystem in China is creating more tech startups that cannot be simply described as the Chinese version of a US firm.
Equally important, some are former Chinese employees at global technology giants such as Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, and Yahoo (either in the US or in their China operations). The trend is cross the pay-grades of the major companies as they can replicate the success of the companies they work for, but now as owners rather than employees. Either a senior executive who is financially secure enough to take a major career risk, or a newly-minted who feels he has not much to lose, the aspiration to create a new Alibaba or Xiaomi is everywhere.
Finally, one critical element in the background is about user data, which in the digital era is becoming a significant asset, although rarely recorded on corporate balance sheets (sooner or later it must be). With more than half of the 1.4 billion populations being internet users, the data in China’s consumer market is primed for surging growth. It is the oil of the information economy and the foundation of upcoming Chinese-designed products and new business models.
Along with the growing number of “graduated entrepreneurs”, there seems to be endless supply of young and eager talent. Chinese universities graduate more than half a million engineering students a year. At the business schools, more MBA candidates than ever are taking entrepreneurship courses to plan on launching start-ups (years ago, investment banking and management consulting jobs were the top two career tracks). Another important factor in this booming ecosystem is an unprecedentedly large flow of venture capital (VC) – from both foreign and domestic funds – into start-up projects. Also notably, moving beyond “made in China” does not mean the sophisticated manufacturing system is of no use; instead, it is an indispensable part of this ecosystem and a distinctive competitive advantage over other innovation hubs worldwide. China’s economy modernization has started with the import-exported related manufacturing. After decades of development, it has a seamless web of sourcing, manufacturing and logistics services that is second to none. The electronic manufacturing sector is by far the most advanced globally. With easy access to parts and manufacturing knowhow, this smart hardware hub provides young companies an edge over foreign com-
What is remarkable is that, unlike in the past years, this new innovation ecosystem cultivates cutting-edge ideas for the global technology and media industries. From the application side, China’s market has evolved in a very different way from the Western world, moving more aggressively into mobile. As such, the China market in the near future is poised to a trend-setter, rather than the trend-follower, in next-generation mobile devices and services. For example, when Tencent started the new mobile app WeChat, it was compared to Facebook and WhatsApp, because WeChat was first and foremost a messaging app for sending text, voice, and photos to friends and family. Today, however, WeChat (as well as QQ) has evolved into a much stronger mobile platform than those loosely-related foreign counterparts. Mobile commerce users can manage their money, order taxis and even invest in money market funds, all from their smartphones. In developed countries, these activities are not as widespread on mobile. No doubt, the global tech industry’s competitive landscape itself is massively changed by the emergence of the internet and tech companies in China. Whereas the last decade mostly saw China and US firms establishing themselves in two isolated home markets respectively, the competition between them is set to heat up. In addition to fight more directly in each other’s territory, the China and
US tech players are also seeing each other in other global markets, especially in emerging markets in Asia and Africa. Probably because the intrinsic nature of mobile economy is connectedness, in the market sectors to be examined by this book, the Silicon Valley giants and China’s internet firms are developing a delicate relationship of both competition and collaboration in many fields. In the last decade, the US tech firms such as Amazon and eBay were intrigued by the Chinese market, but their early entries did not really takeoff due to language and cultural barriers. The US firms of that generation mostly focused on the Western market until recently. Similarly, with the size and growth pace of China’s mobile economy second to none in the world, the new generation of homegrown companies in China such as Alibaba and Tencent chose to have domestic dominance as the first priority over overseas expansion. By now in each sector and product category, there are some sizable Chinese players in parallel to their counterparts in the US. Going forward, for both sides, interestingly, the other side’s home market is the most important market to enter. Chinese firms are now expanding globally to find growth in overseas markets, whereas the internet companies in Silicon Valley like Apple and Linkedin are focusing on China as the single largest market for growth after the US. In particular, there will be more Silicon Valley companies coming to China to look for new features, products or business models. As Chinese companies are dealing with the same tech issues to grow their business as many US companies, their cooperation may lead to a promising cross-pollination of tech innovation Winston Wenyan Ma, CFA is a Managing Director at China Investment Corporation (CIC), China’s sovereign wealth fund, for cross-border investments. He is one of a small number of native Chinese who have worked as investment professionals and practicing capital markets attorneys in both the United States and China. Before the new book “China’s Mobile Economy: Opportunities in the Largest and Fastest Information Consumption Boom (Wiley, 2016)”,for which McKinsey’s Global CEO Dominic Barton wrote the Foreword and has it on his reading list, he is also the author of “Investing in China: New Opportunities in a Transforming Stock Market (Risk Books, 2006)”. He was selected a 2013 Young Global Leader at the World Economic Forum (WEF) and in 2014 he received the Distinguished Alumni Award from New York University (NYU).
Global Vote By Simon Anholt
We live in an age of advanced globalisation: almost everyone and everything in our world is connected by transport and communications technology, and that’s generally a wonderful thing: but so far humanity seems to have been more effective at globalising problems than globalising solutions. Whether it’s climate change, pandemics, human rights, poverty, inequality, economic turmoil, drug trafficking, slavery, corruption or just about any twenty-first century global challenge you can name, every one of them is enhanced, complicated or created by globalisation. But it doesn’t have to be like this. As the success of some of the Millennium Development Goals shows, when we get our act together and start to behave like a single planet, like a single species, we make remarkable progress. We really could be living sustainably and peacefully in a world where technology increases our knowledge, our culture, our connections, our solutions. We could be building a global society alongside the global market, and that would be a huge leap forward for humanity. So what’s stopping us making the world work better? The real problem is the way we’re organised: a collection of nation-states, of warring tribes, in constant competition against each other. Competition has indeed created great prosperity, and will no doubt continue to do so, but it’s surely time to ask whether this basic human instinct is really the best or only motivator for positive change, the only road-map for our future. Our national politicians are, for better or for worse, the people with the greatest power to do good because they are the ones who are able to marshal the only superpower left on the planet – the seven billion of us who live here – but for many reasons they’re often the ones with the least interest in anything that goes on at the global level. Why is this? Well, they’re only doing what
we told them: we tell them we want to live in a rich country, a successful country, and that’s what they try to deliver for us. But where do growth and prosperity actually come from? This is the question we seldom ask: yet very often, we’ve achieved all this at somebody else’s expense, and by depleting the planet’s resources, which cannot be renewed. That just won’t work: it’s leading us towards disaster. I think we know in our hearts that selfish growth isn’t enough, because we seem to be constantly striving for new words to express what we desire from our countries: we’ve even started saying we want to live in a happy country, but that’s still a selfish goal, and therefore unsustainable. I believe that the word we’re actually looking for is “good”. What we really want, and what the world really needs, is for us all to live in good countries: countries that respect the common good of humanity as much as the national interest, and honestly and constantly strive to reconcile the two. Our politicians aren’t doing this, but that’s partly our fault. We need to give them permission to think outside the country. We need to tell them that whatever they do, they do in our name, and it had better be something we’re proud of. We need to tell them that domestic and international aims are not incompatible: quite the reverse. In twenty years advising more than 50 governments I’ve never seen a single example of a domestic issue that couldn’t be resolved better, faster, more imaginatively and more thoroughly than by considering it in the international context, and in collaboration with other countries. To help develop this theme, I launched the first edition of the Good Country Index in 2014, and a second edition in 2016. By
compiling 35 big datasets of national behaviour collected by several UN agencies and other international bodies, the Good Country Index attempts for the first time to measure how much each country actually contributes to the global commons: to mankind and the planet. It gives each country a balance-sheet, so you can instantly see whether any country is a net creditor to the rest of the world, whether it actually deserves the space that it occupies on the planet’s surface, or whether it’s a debtor, a free-rider on the rest of us. The Global Vote In June 2016, I launched the Global Vote as the next practical project of the Good Country. For the first time in history, the Global Vote empowers everybody in the world to vote in any election they choose, in any country, city or region on the planet. It’s a step towards global democracy. But why should we care who runs other countries? To make the world work, we need a world of good leaders: leaders who consider the needs of every man, woman, child and animal on the planet, not just their own voters. We, the rest of the world, will achieve this aim by reminding each candidate that we’re here, we care, and we’re watching. We need them to do the right thing for their own country and for the whole of humanity, if they are elected. By asking each candidate about their international intentions, election after election, that question will eventually become accepted as part of the normal election process for any Head of State or Head of Government. No leader will be able to stand for election unless they have a clear policy for their country’s role in the world and a vision of how
they will co-operate and collaborate with other leaders and other populations. In this way, one country at a time, we can build a world of good leaders. We’ve already covered six votes: the Presidential Elections in Iceland, São Tomé and Príncipe, Austria and Zambia, as well as the UK’s Brexit Referendum, the next Secretary-General of the United Nations, and of course the US Presidential election. For now of course the Global Vote is virtual but as it grows, it will begin to achieve real influence: as soon as we have more people outside any given country voting in its election as there are inside the country, the Global Vote and the central message of the Good Country become impossible to ignore. And leaders the world over will start thinking not only about what they’re going to do for their own people, but also about their legacy to humanity. Already, candidates in each election have been keen to submit their own personal statement of international intentions to the Global Vote; and a number of governments have been in touch asking whether their forthcoming elections can be covered by the Global Vote. Of course we can’t actually elect the next President of the United States, or anywhere else. This is what I call parallel voting: the intention is to show how people would have voted if they were allowed to. If the result is striking enough, it certainly achieves an impact: not as immediate or as decisive an impact as electing a President or Prime Minister, but an impact nonetheless. Luckily, in the modern world, influence comes in many forms. The aim is extremely ambitious, and always the same: to get at least one more person voting outside the country than there are ‘official’ voters inside the country. Every time we manage this, the world has changed a little bit, and it becomes harder and harder for people to ignore the message we’re sending out: democracy within countries is not enough. In a globalised world, we need international democracy. Many people might wonder how some of the countries whose elections I cover in the Global Vote with small populations, small economies, small land area and low international profile could possibly have much impact on the rest of the world, on you and me. Well, welcome to the twenty-first century, where globalisation has created such a dense tangle of eco-
nomic, social, political, technological, commercial, legal and cultural connections that every country, small or large, rich or poor, humble or ambitious, now affects and is affected by every other country, near or far. That’s why even the smallest country, and the way it’s run, is everybody’s business. If any country fails to control its waste or its emissions, it will harm the atmosphere and the oceans: and they belong to all of us. If it fails to make its proper contributions to the international system, others will have to contribute more. If it fails to maintain peace and stability, other countries will probably get involved. If it can’t offer its citizens good prospects, it will produce more migrants who will bring both benefits and stresses to the countries they move to. If it remains poor, other countries may need to help out; if it becomes wealthy, it may help poorer countries. Any country’s people, its culture, its cuisine, its products and services may bring delight and variety to the lives of people in distant countries. People might visit as tourists or investors and contribute to its economy while enriching their own lives and experience. And of course any country of any size or strength can produce a great leader, and share that leader with the world when it comes to making the big collective decisions that affect all of us. Great leaders work for all of humanity: they benefit all of us with their wisdom and courage and imagination, not just their own voters. They know how important it is to be a good neighbour: they know how important it is to be a good ancestor. Many people have asked whether it’s right to interfere in the democratic processes of other countries. But when you take part in a Global Vote, you’re not voting on what each candidate may or may not do for their own population: those are matters purely for the citizens of that country. As a Global Voter, you’re simply looking at their answers to the two Key Questions I always ask them: 1. If you are elected, what will you do for the rest of us, around the world? 2. What is your vision for your country’s role in the world?
Once you start looking, you notice that most candidates in most countries seldom talk about international issues. Perhaps they feel that there are no votes in foreign affairs, or perhaps it’s just not a topic they think about much until they get elected. Which is too late, in my opinion. This is what needs to change, and change fast. I believe that all leaders today (and that includes the leaders of nations, cities, regions, towns, schools, universities, companies and other organisations) have a dual mandate. They are primarily responsible, as they always have been, for their own people and their own slice of territory: but in our hyper-connected world, they also share responsibility for every man, woman, child and animal on the planet; and for every square mile of the planet’s surface and the atmosphere above it. It’s tempting, in an age of constant crisis and terrifying global challenges, to retreat into selfishness, tribalism, fear, and hostility towards the rest of our own species. And of course, in times like these, we are never short of politicians who win support by echoing that fear and hostility: but since our problems are global and our challenges are shared, they’re moving in the wrong direction. We need leaders with minds that telescope, not minds that microscope: a lot more collaboration and co-operation between countries, and a little less competition, is the only way forward. The Global Vote aims to ensure that this critical attribute is never forgotten when we choose our leaders. Right-wing or left-wing, conservative or progressive, the politics are secondary to the main question: are you with humanity or against it? Do you offer the false comfort of looking backwards and inwards, or do you offer hope in looking forwards and outwards? One day soon, I hope, all these pernicious forms of tribalism, nationalism and localism will come to seem as outdated, as irrelevant, and as taboo as sexism and racism.
Philanthropy - a luxury that’s available to all By Diane Chambers
I had a wake-up call when I was in my twenties and on a business trip to the United States. Settling into my armchair for what I anticipated would be a relaxing Sunday afternoon watching videos, the opening statement in the first one, featuring the Rev Emmanuel Charles McCarthy, almost paralysed me in its clarity. “Apathy in the face of relievable human suffering is radical evil,” he said. I was riveted. Yet none of us like to act or change simply because we’ve been told to. In the words of philosopher Howard Thurman: ‘Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive’. Some of us stumble through our journey toward being fully alive and fulfilling our unique possibilities; the path can seem deeply hidden beneath layers of confusion. Others take a seemingly more direct route. But always, we are taught by life. My journey took its share of twists and turns and now, with hindsight, I can see the emerging pattern. I began my career in banking, followed by corporate strategic planning, and when I was thirty I moved to the United States and started my work in the non-profit world. Over a period of fifteen years I directed three non-profit organisations and discovered I enjoyed high-donor fundraising. My donors became friends and shared the details of their lives with me, and invited my input. These were the first threads of my current business practice as a family wealth mentor where much of my work involves helping clients to live well with their wealth and also enjoy their roles as philanthropists and social leaders. For most of us, there comes a time in our lives when our attention turns from being successful to being significant. And philanthropy is one of the avenues to significance. This includes giving our time and money, as well as leveraging our social and business
networks. Some of us start young. We can give this gift to our children by encouraging them to get actively involved in causes that interest them and by modelling our involvement in causes close to our hearts. Or it could begin by inviting our children to research causes that capture their attention. There are numerous websites that have already screened worthy organizations by geography and sector, making it easy to donate. One Christmas, one of my friends gave her grandchildren, who were as young as five, gift cards for Global Giving, https:// www.globalgiving.org/ to encourage them to participate. She told me the youngest showed the most interest. I recently worked with a family which meets at least once a year to share the stories of their philanthropic pursuits during the previous twelve months. The parents give each child – in their twenties and thirties – a sum to be allocated from their family foundation, but not as a substitute for their personal giving, which they were also expected to pursue. Without exception, the children wanted to identify organisations to support where they could give not only money but also their time as volunteers. My role was to help advise the children and teach them the skills of successful philanthropy. This approach was taken one step further by another client who established a foundation for his nieces and nephews to run. Within just four years they had carved out a reputation in their city as a serious funder in early childhood education. But the challenge, when embarking on the journey to be a philanthropist, is how to give effectively. Often the problem is knowing where to start. I might suggest my clients ask themselves three questions: Where do you feel most alive? What opportunities and challenges will you respond to? What role can you, and you alone, fill? First, know what it is you want to achieve through your giving – why you would be involved in the first place. For example, your “why” might be that you want to see
an end to violence. Play with this and let your imagination run wild as you consider causes that support your purpose and about which you are passionate. Your chosen path might not be immediately obvious, but will play an important role in achieving your goal. For example, you might commit to support for teaching social and emotional intelligence in the school system, to improve understanding and empathy, which, in turn, will reduce violence. Finding something to which we are committed is perhaps the single most important factor to ensure the success of a philanthropic project; we are more resilient and more likely to stick with the cause through the inevitable ups and downs if we care deeply about it. In my new book, True Wealth: Letters on Money, Life, and Love, I consider the challenge of finding the best way to share our wealth with others. I describe one of my philanthropic advisory clients who recently funded an initiative in a rural town in Greece. She was originally drawn there because of her family roots. With a passion for education and literacy she immediately started exploring existing options in the community and learned that the town would benefit from a new library. It then took four years of planning and execution before the library was born. After the library opening she wrote to me: ‘These last four years have been long, tiring, difficult, fulfilling and rewarding… While I thought all along it was me giving a gift to the town I realize I received so much more than I ever expected, I love the feeling of giving to others’. Some clients have so many competing interests and passions they find it hard to identify the right project to support. Others know the general area where they want to make a difference – it might be in the field of health, for instance – but don’t know how to get beyond the big picture vision. Yet drilling down into the detail is
essential. Only by learning about the subject can we become a smart donor. This requires a landscape analysis of the issue to arrive at our theory of change – what we believe to be the dynamics of the issue we care about – and decide where we want to position ourselves. This allows us to identify the gaps that are not being funded and avoid duplicating work being funded by other donors or by companies looking for commercial gain. One of my clients wanted to help people suffering with Alzheimer’s Disease because she had seen the impact of it on her mother over a period of many years. We carried out a landscape analysis, which suggested there was no cure. It seemed that funding high-quality care for sufferers and giving support to their carers – a group whose needs are too easily overlooked – was the best we could hope for. But one of the most liberating aspects of philanthropy is the chance to take risks. When a commercial return on an investment is not an imperative it frees up a philanthropist to be more daring. Too often this is ignored. The temptation can still be to play safe. Even the most well-resourced philanthropist has finite resources and no one wants to feel they are wasting money on a hopeless cause. Yet staying within familiar parameters can be a lost opportunity; it will not resolve an issue you care about passionately or trigger significant change. Digging deeper, we developed our theory of change around Alzheimer’s. Thanks to a researcher who, remarkably, has developed a protocol that in early tests has not just arrested cognitive decline but actually reversed it, we have designed a theory of change that embodies a holistic approach to medicine and healing, and it combines prevention and treatment. For my client, finding a cure to Alzheimer’s became the ultimate definition of success. It was exhilarating for her – and me – to think that ambitiously, but it carried a risk. Could the researcher succeed in an area which did not interest the drug companies because it could not easily be monetised? It is too early
to answer that question definitively, but the potential impact of the protocol the researcher has developed is immense. It could change millions of lives.
love. At the same time, a donation must be right for both the donor and the recipient, who each contribute essential elements to their relationship.
Having made a gift, it’s incumbent on a donor to monitor their skill in giving, and try to improve. It’s easy to be lured into complacency by the thanks received. But that’s not enough. How do we know our gift made a difference and what can we do better next time?
The gift should support the recipient organisation to pursue its mission and goals without pulling it off track to meet any parameters set by the donor, and the donor’s wishes should be honoured by the recipient organisation. By making a donation, we enter into a collaborative partnership; if it’s not right for both parties, the intended gift will not be satisfactory.
We want the organisations we support to be able to demonstrate why our gifts made a difference. They can set their own goals – they each know their field far better than we do – and then report on their success. The more invested we become, the more we will bring all our resources to bear on making progress in the field we care about. We can leverage our social and business networks, encouraging others to contribute what’s right for them. We may be giving a great gift to a friend by expanding their horizons and creating the opportunity for them to benefit from sharing their skills for a worthy cause. As a philanthropic advisor, I’m privileged to play a central role in helping very generous people as they make their gifts. I have the pleasure of seeing the tremendous joy that well-placed donations bring not only to the recipients but also to the individuals and families who make them. Indeed, it seems to be universally true that everyone who gives well feels good about doing so; successful philanthropy is guaranteed to enhance well-being. Making a gift is one of the ways in which a donor expresses connection to and love for others. I remember being a guest at a fundraising event for an inner-city residence for homeless men; the speaker that evening said the gifts we give are units of love and every additional gift is one more unit of love. I would go one step further to say that, as we make well-placed, generous gifts, we become
As with building any skill, we improve with practice. When we move from success to significance, consciously direct our lives and legacies, and use our money as a force for good, we derive enormous satisfaction. Active participation in philanthropy is the ultimate luxury item. Wonderfully, it’s a luxury that is available to all of us, at whatever level our resources allow. About Diane Chambers Known as The Family Wealth Mentor™, Diana Chambers is committed to helping her clients manage their wealth in emotionally intelligent ways. She has always been a trailblazer. Not only was she the first woman hired into management as a member of the strategic planning team at Redland PLC, a major British company, but also she subsequently became the fundraiser for an educational project in Bosnia during the war, and then the team director launching schools of servant leadership in the United States. In these settings and others, Diana reflected on the impact of money on her life and she is now a trusted confidant to others as they address the challenges and opportunities they and their families face when owning, spending, and allocating their wealth wisely. True Wealth: Letters on Money, Life, and Love by Diana Chambers (Altitude Press, £21) is available on Amazon.co.uk. Diana can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Globalisation 4.0 By Jo Owen
I blame the Romans. But they would blame Alexander the Great, and he would blame the Persians. One way or another, empires have been attempting to globalise since time immemorial by...building Empires. The Brits got close in the 19th century when they could colour a quarter of the globe pink, the map colour they used for their Empire. It looked very pretty too, to the Brits. That was globalisation 1.0. The basic system of control was to create a cadre of trusted people who could be sent out to run things independently: without phones or email you had to be good at delegation. So if your man in Judea happened to crucify the wrong person well...woops. The key to success was to have a cadre of people from the home country that shared the same values and could be relied on to do the right thing without sending an email every five minutes to cover their backsides. This was purpose of the British public school system in the nineteenth century: create a body of chaps (never chapettes) who spoke the same language and could be trusted at a distance. For better or for worse, the world has moved on. The old school tie now looksâ€Ś. old, and out of date. Since then, the nature of globalisation has been changing and we are on the cusp of version 4.0. Where you on, and are you ready for the next stage? Globalisation 1.0 was all about empires, and few will mourn its passing. It was a political model, not a business model. Business soon discovered that you could not run the world with people solely recruited from a few English public schools. You needed to tap into local talent who understood the local market and local ways of doing things. Welcome to globalisation 2.0. Globalisation 2.0 came into its own after world war two as empires of old sunk into the sunset. The godfather of globalisation
2.0 was Walter Lingle. He was the international president of P&G and he had the challenge of making a deeply American firm become global. His solution was simple: replication. Wherever P&G went in the world, it would replicate the systems which Cincinnati used. The idea of brand management went global, all the way down to young brand assistants having to write a one page memo on brand progress every two months. The same advertising systems, market research and methods of evaluation were used everywhere. This meant that P&G could let local management flourish, and they could let local brands flourish because they were all being supported by consistent and proven systems. Where globalisation 1.0 achieved standardisation through people, globalisation 2.0 achieved standardisation and control through consistent systems. It did not matter where the people came from, because they all worked to the same system. Trust lay in the system, not in the people. Time is a wonderful detective and it discovers the weakness in any system. The weakness in the replication model is that it does not allow for any scale benefits of globalisation. Essentially, each country is a little fiefdom, with its own P&L, its own brands and its own supply chain. Accountability is high, but efficiency is low. Globalisation 3.0 cuts across global fiefdoms and builds global efficiency through global supply chains and global customer management. This is a hub and spoke model where there is a powerful centre which controls the key value adding activities. This hub may be geographically concentrated, or it may be dispersed. R&D may be concentrated in one main site, but the hub for each global account may be where the head office of the client is located. The supply chains are likely to be outsourced. Apple has huge production capacity in China with perhaps 100 staff: their supply chain is contracted out while the key design and research remains
in Cupertino. This has been the model of globalisation for the last twenty five years and it has driven a transformation in efficiency, which in turn has powered the rise of China. Time is now starting to expose the weaknesses in this model. There is a minor and a major weakness in the model. The minor weakness is that the limits of offshoring are clearly being reached: firms are finding it is more efficient to bring some of the value chain back onshore to be close to the customer and to manage quality better. And there is also increasing political resistance to offshoring. Donald Trump is not a fan of globalisation 3.0, nor are the Brexiters, nor is anyone who has been left behind by the tide of globalisation. The major problem with globalisation 3.0 is subtler: it is about hiring the best people. The hub and spoke model is essentially a centralised model, like the empire model in globalisation 1.0. If you are outside the hub, you know you are a second class citizen. In practice, globalisation 3.0 often creates a pyramid of passports: if you come from the hub country you are the top of the pyramid and can get the top jobs. If you are outside, you are unlikely to get to the top. The best people around the world do not want a firm where they are second class citizens and they can not get to the top. The pyramid of passports problem means global firms can lose the war for talent. Some very prestigious Japanese firms such as NTT have the pick of the best graduates in Japan. But NTT finds it hard to recruit the best talent outside Japan, because the talent fear that they will be second class citizens. In contrast, the best global firms such as McKinsey and Goldman Sachs can recruit the best talent anywhere in the world: their caste systems are based
on nationality, not talent. The hub and spoke model also causes conflict. The hub will want things done one way around the world; each spoke will want things adapted to their local market conditions. Both hub and spoke quickly get frustrated with each other and lose trust in each other. Globalisation 3.0 is creaking, and a new model is replacing it. In globalisation 4.0 firms become truly global as opposed to national. They become a network. This is easier for some firms than others. Professional services are moving towards the network model: no single country has a monopoly on power, resources or intellectual property and anyone from any country can make it to the top. McKinsey is moving this way. The challenge is to maintain the integration of the firm: creating the “one firm firm”. They can do this by hiring to type and to values; by constant training and rotating staff around the world on projects. Searching for the perfect global structure is like searching for smoke signals in the fog: it is an exercise in futility because there is no perfect model. Even globalisation 5.0, when it comes along, will not be perfect. As a leader, you simply have to learn and adapt to new ways of working. Whatever stage your firm is at, it creates unique needs and pressures on you as the global team leader. Global team leaders don’t just need high skills: you need a different set of skills. Global teams demand a new sort of leadership. Leading a global team instead of a domestic team changes everything. To understand why, it is worth looking at how management has evolved, and how global leadership now represents the future of leadership. 19th century: the IQ era In the past, management was the art of making things happen through other people. Managers had to get ideas out of their heads and into the hands of workers, who were not that well educated or trained. Managers were meant to be smart, and have relatively high IQ. That expectation creates a huge trap for leaders today. Many experts stumble into the trap of thinking that leading is about being
smart. This means that they find it very hard to let go. They want to demonstrate their expertise by doing the work themselves instead of delegating to their team. On a global team, this trap is bigger because the global team leader is expected to have high level expertise: why else would you pay to fly them around the world? But expertise is not enough because the global ecosystem is smarter than any of us. Team members are now better educated and better trained. They can do more, but they also expect more. Managers have had to learn to manage people as individuals, not as unreliable machines. Being smart is not enough: managing people requires EQ or Emotional Quotient. 20th century: the rise of EQ Times have moved on and the EQ challenge has grown. In the past, managers made things happen through people they controlled. Now managers have to make things happen through people who they do not control. That is the joy of working in a matrix organisation. Unlike the past, where your authority equalled your responsibility, in a matrix your responsibility routinely exceeds your authority. That means managers have to learn a whole new set of skills around influencing and motivating people to make things happen. Global teams raise the stakes even further for EQ. In global teams you have to make things happen through people you don’t control, you may not understand and may not even have met because they are dispersed around the world. In-country managers have the benefit of working with people who probably have a similar education, values and even social background. Such cohesiveness makes communication and decision making relatively easy, even although there is much that gets lost in translation between IT and marketing, or finance and sales. Global managers lose the benefits of cohesiveness and easy communication. If you can not communicate well, then motivating, delegating, performance managing, decision making and all the other basics of management become very hard. This is extreme management. As a global leader you need more than EQ: you need cultural intelligence. This is the ability to learn, grow and adapt fast to new situations
and new cultures. Being fixed in your ways may work domestically where the context is stable and familiar; where the context changes, you have to change. 21st century: the advent of PQ Global management requires learning another layer of skills, in additional to the intellectual and emotional (IQ and EQ) skills that in-country managers have to learn. Global managers need to learn another whole skills set: the art of politics. We might call this Political Quotient, to go alongside the traditional skills of IQ and EQ. Politics is sometimes seen as a grubby subject in firms: it is seen to be about who is climbing the greasy pole and who is falling off it. But politics is not grubby. It is the essence of how organisations work. To make things happen through people you do not control, you have to forge alliances, align agendas, negotiate for resources, influence decisions, build top management support, work trade-offs and conflicts. Politics is at the heart of making the organisation work for you and with you. Perhaps inevitably, these are precisely the skills which business schools and training courses ignore, but managers can not afford to ignore. These political skills are essential in most matrix and flat organisations where you do not control all the resources you need. Managing politics is always hard: managing politics remotely is far harder. You have to manage decision making processes which may be in a different time zone and different language where you have no chance of bumping into key executives for those informal five minute conversations which can help sell an idea and give valuable insight into who is thinking and saying what. Global team leadership is extreme leadership: if you can lead a global team you can lead any team. In future all leaders will have to master the arts of IQ, EQ and PQ. Are you ready? Written by Jo Owen, author of Global Teams: How the Best Teams Achieve High Performance; published by FT publishing.
Keys to Financial Freedom in Retirement By Alvin Hall
When I was in my late 20s, I worked with a lady who had recently retired. Virginia (as I will call her) volunteered a few days each week at the public-service organization where I worked. One day, as we were assembling materials for a direct-mail publicity campaign, we began to talk about money. I will never forget the wisdom that Virginia passed on to me that day. “When you are young, you spend money to get to know who you are—what you like, what you don’t like, what you may want in the future. Once you’re older, you will spend less because you know you who are. Many choices are clearer and easier.” As I approach the age of Virginia when she spoke those words to me, I think about them often. I wonder: Do I really know what I want the senior phase of my life to be? And every article I come across about the financial needs and strategies of seniors automatically grabs my attention—partly because I am a financial educator, but even more because of my personal concerns— those quiet fears that sometimes lead to restless nights. Questions, rational and irrational, materialize in my head, feeling menacing and foreboding, as if presaging a downward spiral into financial chaos. I wake up worried, but as the daylight gets stronger those unsettling thoughts dissipate. The reason is that I took Virginia’s wisdom to heart. The fact is that I know myself pretty well at this point, and I have a clear idea about the choices I will need to make to be financially secure, contented, and vital in my old age. Determine the Lifestyle You Want and Can Afford The big financial questions I face as I approach my golden years really come down to a single question: Given my financial resources and my ongoing financial commitments, what kind of life can I afford? What seniors want is to have a retirement income well-aligned with their needs and desires— and that means something a little different for each individual.
For this reason, it’s important to figure out in advance what your incomings and outgoings will be during this new phase of your life. Depending on your mindset and comfort level, the numbers can be a rough or detailed. For most people, the more information you have, the better. This way there are unlikely to be any unfortunate surprises. The first question to ask is what you hope to do in old age. Which of these describes your main goal? • To luxuriate in a life free of schedules and daily commitments. • To continue working in your chosen profession, but at a less intense level, perhaps letting it slowly wind down over time. • To supplement your retirement income through additional work in order to meet primary obligations, such as children still in school. • To replace work with voluntary activities at a cultural or arts organization, a local charity, a hospital, or an after-school tutorial program. • To travel the world or move to a different area or country for a lifestyle you’ve long dreamed of. • To help your children get on the property ladder and/or set money aside for the future education of your grandchildren. Each decision has financial repercussions. Establishing your goals and objectives in advance will help you assess what your retirement lifestyle is likely to cost and what adjustments you may have to make. Of course, once you actually retire and see what the reality is, further adjustments will need to be made, but these should not be totally surprising or severe. Assess Your Risks Perhaps the biggest worry most people have about retirement is the fear of outliving your financial resources. Given increasing longevity, this risk is especially significant if, like so many people nowadays, you lack a
traditional pension or an annuity that will pay you for life. One way to reduce this risk is to follow a model that dictates how much of your nest egg you should draw down each year. The classic guideline is the “Four Percent Rule.” According to this model, if you spend approximately four percent of your nest egg each year, your remaining funds (savings, investments, and so on) should last your entire lifetime. You can gradually increase this percentage each year as your time horizon (i.e., your life expectancy) shortens. However, there is some new research that offers other guidelines based on changing interest rates and the performance of the investment markets as well as the individual’s time horizon. Regardless of which approach you take, the key is to have a plan in place and then reassess and adjust it periodically as economic and personal conditions change. Another significant risk factor—one that is insidious because it is essentially invisible—is inflation. Over time, inflation erodes your financial security by reducing the purchasing power of your money. During an inflationary period, your nest egg’s value—that is, the amount of goods and services that can be bought with it—will decline because the costs of those good and services increase faster than your money grows. I’ve seen this happen with older friends who have been retired for decades and lived through several periods of even modest inflation. Paying expenses that seemed insignificant early in their retirement gradually became more and more difficult. They started to make cutbacks, each one decreasing their sense of financial security and increasing their worry. As I observed and learned from these friends, the longer you ignore this situation, the fewer and more difficult your options will be. A classic, time-tested way to protect your savings against
inflation risk is to invest some of your retirement funds in an asset class that tends to keep pace with inflation. Blue-chip equities and property are prime examples. However, these types of investments carry other types of risk that you must not ignore or minimize— for example, the risk that you might not be able to sell them quickly or easily in a time of need. It’s important to educate yourself about these risks. Do your own research if you are so inclined, or have an in-depth conversation with a financial advisor or stock broker you trust, one who you know will explain the risks and rewards in clear, simple terms you can understand. If you don’t understand the risks involved in an investment or if you have doubts about it, then don’t buy it. Remember, it’s your money and your decision. And there’s no such thing as a completely risk-free investment. The Biggest Risk of All The biggest risk is one you might not think of immediately. It’s yourself. I learned this lesson years ago when talking with a therapist about the troubles I’d had getting along with my bosses in one job after another. The therapist finally asked me, “Who is common to all of these situations?” A light bulb went on. I realized that I’d carried the same set of personality traits to each new job and therefore contributed to the creation of the same problems again and again. In order to get out of this cycle, I had to be the catalyst of my own change. Over time, I expanded this self-understanding to other areas of my life—especially the ways I spent, saved, and invested my money. It’s important to be aware of your money personality, especially what I like to call those “little money crazinesses” that lurk in many of us. The personality that shaped how you handled money during your working years will be the same personality you will carry into your retirement years. If you’re like many people, your money personality may even become more pronounced or entrenched as you age. If you’re part of a couple, being clear-eyed about your attributes and weaknesses as they
relate to money, as well as those of your partner, is key to avoiding conflicts and surprises. If, for example, one partner is a risk-taker who secretly borrows against existing assets (such as the house) to fund lavish trips and gifts, the financial impact and sense of emotional betrayal if it all goes wrong is likely to be devastating. Neither member of a couple should abdicate all of the financial responsibility to the other. Both must participate. Remember, it’s not only about knowing yourself, but also about knowing your partner or spouse for better and for worse, especially the flaws related to money. If you’re single like me, it is wise to have a trusted financial advisor, relative, or long-time knowledgeable friend who can serve as a sounding board and help you remain aware of your objectives as well as the little crazinesses that may create dangers for you and your money. This type of trusted relationship is not something that develops automatically or quickly. It takes years and many conversations. Based on my own experience as a single person, I urge you to find this person before your retirement. If you can’t—if you find yourself tackling retirement on your own—I suggest you simplify your financial life so that you are fully aware and in control of all of your assets. This will help you to enjoy your retirement without having to worry about your money every day. The Simple Three-Basket Approach I’ve found it useful to think of the money I’ve accumulated in three distinct baskets. The first contains the money you need to cover your anticipated living expenses for the upcoming year (or whatever short-term time period you are comfortable with). This money should be kept in cash or an interest-bearing savings account. The goal is to keep this basket risk-free. I call it my peace-of-mind money. I know my typical monthly expenses and how they fluctuate; I have my financial bases covered, and I’ve built in a modest cushion for the unexpected. The second basket contains money to cover any significant spends you anticipate over the next three to five years—a big birthday or anniversary party, a special once-in-a-lifetime holiday, contributions to your grandchildren’s educations, or money gifts to your children to
help them get on the property ladder. Because these expenses are a few years away, this money might be invested conservatively for dividend payments and modest capital growth. Your choices will be influenced by your own risk tolerance and the economic outlook at that time. The third basket contains your long-term lifetime savings. This is the money whose growth will sustain your retirement. Income from this pool of money in the form of interest, dividends, or capital gains will provide the funds in your first basket. Apply the Four Percent Rule or other convention to determine your annual withdrawal from this third basket. And if inflation becomes a significant worry, then it is the money in the third basket that you would invest in securities or property to protect the value of your money from being silently eroded. Remember to periodically review the performance and value of your investments and rebalance them when appropriate to make sure you are achieving your investment objective. *
Freedom is a key part of the enjoyment of one’s senior years—and not just the freedom from doing work you do not want to do. The freedom I speak of is mental. It is knowing that your finances will meet your needs and desires; that your financial picture is simple enough so that you can carry it in your head and reference it easily; and that you have enough financial flexibility to do things, whether modest or grand, that deeply excite and satisfy you. Achieving and maintaining this freedom comes down to one important word not usually associated with finances. That word is alignment. If you can align the retirement lifestyle you dream of with the financial resources you’ve amassed over the years—and then align both with the money personality you’ve developed over a lifetime—you’ll be well-positioned to enjoy a rewarding old age with the sense of serenity that brings both practical and psychological freedom . . . the greatest reward of retirement.
How do you build trust as a manager? By Eliszbet Lindberg Hearn & Mandy Flint
Without trust, a team can never function optimally. Often a group of people is a team on paper but isn’t really functioning like a team in reality. The lack of interaction, trust and openness suggests they are a group of strangers rather than an effective team. Unless people know each other, they can’t trust each other. So trust starts with team members getting to know each other. The reasons why team members don’t know each other Here are the top reasons: • They just want to get on with the job tasks, and are not seeing working relationships as part of that job. • They are busy enough as it is when they meet. • It’s not encouraged by leaders or others. • They don’t see it as important, they don’t see the point. • They don’t prioritise it. • Personality differences exist. • Negative first impressions have been formed and can be hard to change. • Egos get in the way of connecting with others. Whatever the reason, not knowing each other has an impact. The impact of team members not knowing each other. • They withhold information and also don’t share their ideas and experiences with each other. • They don’t feel comfortable telling the truth. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they are lying or having a negative intent. It simply means they are cautious with what they say for fear of the reaction they will get. This could be the result of previous experience where truth was not welcome, where a leader ‘shot the messenger’, didn’t like what he/she heard and punished the person who was being honest. It could also be because they are noticing that others are
not telling the truth. • They miss out on opportunities for quick answers and resolutions to problems. In the example above, Jon actually has previous experience and connections, which could help resolve the issues at the German plant quickly and easily. As Fred doesn’t know this he doesn’t invite Jon’s input. And, as Jon doesn’t know how Fred will react, he doesn’t offer. • What is interesting to remember is that the behaviours described here are not always conscious, intentional behaviours; they are often merely part of a survival or coping strategy. We will look further into behaviours later on in this chapter and throughout the book. The impact on the business, its customers, employees and stakeholders. When people don’t know or trust each other it leads to a hesitance or unwillingness to work together, which makes it hard to perform even the simplest of tasks. That’s the link between the lack of trust and the bottom line. It’s not the only one though. The lack of cooperation means it takes longer to get the work done, which affects productivity, which in turn affects costs. And let’s not forget that when trust is low, loyalty is low too, leading to higher employee turnover, which leads to more costs. There are the costs of hiring and training new people. There are also costs related to loss of knowledge and experience that impact the customers and their loyalty and spend. This link between lack of trust and additional cost is rarely made by leaders. In really extreme cases, lack of trust will also lead to the loss of customers. Enough said. Solutions A team needs to spend time together, and it is important to invest time in getting to know each other in order to trust each other. It’s actually that simple. If you are
the leader of a team, you can make this happen by recognising that it needs some thought and follow-through. It is simple to do. Solution 1: Encourage your team members to talk. Whether you are a leader or a member of the team, you can be the one that takes that initiative in encouraging team members to talk. It isn’t rocket science; it is as easy as that. It just takes someone to start it, someone needs to step up to the plate and be the hero, the one that makes it happen. This can happen in team meetings, where it can form a regular spot on the agenda. It can also be encouraged through having employees buddy up on job tasks where talking can happen naturally as part of working together. And one of the most effective ways to get people to talk is to show genuine interest in them by asking questions. Tread carefully though – asking too many questions can sound like an interrogation, no matter how well intended they are. Pick one or two to get the conversation going, and take it from there. Some questions that work: • So, what did you do before you started working here? • Where do you come from? • Where did you go to school? • What was your very first job? • Did you always intend to work in (this industry)? • What do you do outside of work, do you have any particular hobbies/interests? • Where do you live? • What do you think we could be doing differently as a team? • What do you enjoy the most with your job? • If you could do anything, what would you do? • If you were CEO, what would you change about how we do business?
Solution 2: Disclosure breeds disclosure, leading to greater openness. If you want others to talk and share, you need to first share something about yourself and not just your work image, but something about you as a person. You need to demonstrate trust to get trust; if you trust them with personal information about you, they are more likely to do the same. As mentioned earlier, you can do this in meetings, over lunch, during informal huddles, in the lift or while waiting for the bus. People are naturally curious about each other and if you show that it’s OK to talk about yourself, people will feel good that you were interested enough in them to share something about you. Solution 3: If openness is lacking where you work, you can decide what you are willing and prepared to share. Work cultures can vary greatly and some cultures are naturally open and trustful. In such a culture, opening up is easier and forms part of the norm. In more guarded cultures though, where people have learnt to watch their words, it would be unwise to be too open as this may be met by surprise or even suspicion and could be damaging for the person’s standing in the organisation. A safe starting point is sharing work knowledge and experience; you can progress through to more personal disclosure as trust grows. You can also praise people for opening up when they do it, as this can encourage others to do the same. Solution 4: Decide to invest in building relationships. Taking time to get to know people is critical and yet people often see it as a waste of time. If you change your way of thinking and instead think of relationship building as part of the job, then you’re not in danger of seeing it as a time-consuming addition to the job and avoid it. It is simply a part of being successful, by creating a great team environment where work can be more effectively performed. Think about when an issue arises at work; it often comes down to resolving the issue by going to the person you know, whom you have
the best relationship with and who you trust will be able to help you. This then allows you to resolve the issue quickly and more efficiently. So make the investment, carve out time for building relationships unless it’s already part of your daily agenda. Solution 5: You must spend time on getting to know each other Do this outside of formal agendas and business meetings. You need to create informal opportunities to spend time together as well. These can include: • Office breakfasts • Lunches • Huddles • Coffee/tea breaks together • Drinks after work • Dinner • Sports • Other social activities Keep in mind that for many people it’s hard to meet up outside of work hours and this is part of work after all. It doesn’t have to be very time consuming, but it needs to be regular. Some teams even have a rule that says ‘we are not to talk about work’ during these social informal times together. Realistically this can be tough sometimes, so some teams put money into a hat every time someone talks about work, then they donate that money to charity. Solution 6: Explain why it’s so important to know each other in order to work well together. You need to carve out the time needed and you need to be explicit about what you’re doing, so that the team knows why it’s important to know each other. Create an interest in it, help people to feel how beneficial it is, share examples of where it’s been useful and successful – invite the team members to share their examples. People can often remember a time when they were in a powerful team and remember how well they knew each other and what that created for them. Team members don’t always make the links from knowing each other to being part of a
successful team, so help them see that link. Solution 7: Keep promises There’s nothing quite as powerful when it comes to building trust, as doing what you promised. When promises are met, other people can relax, safe in the conviction that they know what is expected and what they can expect. So holding each other to account and doing what you say you will do is part of knowing each other. If I know I can rely on you, then I understand you better and know you better, and therefore I have greater trust. So creating an environment where promises are made and kept is important. Even using the word promise rather than commitment makes a difference. There is something very powerful in saying ‘I promise’. Solution 8: Stop sticking your head in the sand (if you are) Having team members who know and trust each other is not just a ‘nice to have’, it is a crucial business strategy. It’s your job. You could leave it to luck, but let’s be frank, success is rarely, if ever, down to luck. Actively consider the benefits you can reap by getting proper ‘teaming’ to happen in your team. The team members don’t need to be best friends, they just need to know and on some level like each other. “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel” Maya Angelou Trust happens over time. It’s not something we can demand – trust is earned - and the biggest driver for trust is behaviour. It’s how we make other people feel, how we impact them that makes them trust us, or not. So pay particular attention to your behaviours when you want to build trust. “Leading Teams – 10 Challenges: 10 Solutions” by Mandy Flint and Elisabet Vinberg Hearn is out now from FT Publishing. You can explore the 10 challenges that teams face in more in detail. You can buy the book on Amazon now .See www.leadingteamsbook. com for more information.
Distilled Management Wisdom By Dr. Jim McGrath
The Little Book of Big Management Wisdom contains over 100 quotations from world renowned managers, leaders and academics. Ninety of which are discussed in detail and advice given on how to apply the ideas in today’s fast moving business environment. So when I was asked to identify the big themes and ideas that underpin the book it was not an easy task as many of the quotations defy easy classification.
and look for just three things at interview, integrity, intelligence and energy. If the person has these three attributes they can lean the rest.
In the end I selected the following ten ideas because they have the greatest potential to impact positively on your performance as a manager. I say potentially because unless you actually apply them they’re worthless.
Appoint people who; take pride in their work, fear letting themselves and you down, treat others with respect and demand it in return and talk more about their team than themselves. Then get out of their way and let them do their job while monitoring performance through a small selection of key indicators.
Learning self-confidence It was Henry Ford who said, ‘The man [sic[ who thinks he can and the one who thinks he can’t are both right.’ Which one are you? Self-confidence is the basis of every manager’s success. Without it, it’s virtually impossible to succeed. Why? Because if you lack confidence in yourself why should your staff have confidence in you? The good news is that you don’t have to possess genuine self-confidence to appear confident. The first step is to act as if you possess self-confidence. In other words, fake it until you can make it. Step two is to consistently place yourself in situations where you feel less than confident. For example, if you’re terrified of public speaking take every opportunity to grab the microphone. After a while the fear will disappear and genuine confidence will develop and rapidly spread into other areas of your life. Look for the ‘right stuff’ when appointing staff A manager’s career can be made or broken by the staff they select. Good staff can make an average manager look good and bad staff can make a great manager look like a failure. But as we all know staff selection is fraught with difficulties and the standard interview is a very poor predictor of someone’s future job performance. To minimise the risk of appointing a dud follow Warren Buffets advice
Of the three integrity is most important because if a person doesn’t have integrity than you really do want them to be stupid and lazy, otherwise they will damage you and your organisation.
Helicopter management – seeing the big picture There are very few trained general managers. Most managers start life as an accountant, architect, surveyor, engineer, sales person, systems analyst or such like. Then, because of their professional expertise, they were promoted into a management role. However, people are socialised into the norms and attitudes of their profession and this is difficult to shake off. At its simplest this means that accountants see problems in financial terms, engineers in technical terms etc. Unfortunately, complex business problems and decisions are seldom confined to one discipline. They contain multiple facets and to avoid sub-optimisation in your planning and decision making you must stop viewing your organisation through the single lens of your own professional background. You have to move away from your old ways of thinking and in Charles Handy’s words rise like a helicopter above the organisation and view all management issues in organisational wide terms. This isn’t easy or comfortable but it is the skill that every organisation is looking for in its senior executives and directors. The only
way to develop it is to practice continually. Consciously try to see problems from multiple viewpoints. Take on board what others have said and push your own professional opinions into the background while you assess the new information with an open mind. This will be difficult at first but if you persist you will see positive results. Leader are created by results There is a malicious theory doing the rounds that managers are born not made. That they possess some secret super power or charisma that separates them from mere mortals. That their attendance at a special school for mutant managers means they are destined to lead. It’s not true. We are all mortal and every one puts on their trousers or tights one leg at a time. The great management writer Peter Drucker argued that ‘Effective leadership is not about making speeches or being liked; leadership is defined by results not attributes.’ So stop worrying about how you are perceived or how much charisma you have. Concentrate instead on achieving great results. As soon as you become successful others will try copy your style and someone may even write a bestselling management book about you (If so make sure you get a cut of the royalties). Drucker’s definition of leadership is an approach that everyone should promote. It removes many of the hurdles faced by young managers and is the only practical way forward if we are to find enough great leaders to fill the gaps in our public and private sectors. Motivating yourself and others Of all the motivational theories around many managers think that Fredrick Herzberg’s hygiene and motivation factors is the most realistic. I’m sure you are familiar with both sets of factors. Hygiene factors include pay, job security, work environment, organisational rules, policies and procedures and staff - management
relationships. If these fall below an acceptable level in the mind of an employee they will become demotivators. However, if they are already at an acceptable level improving them further will not motivate staff. Motivational factors include interesting work, work that has meaning and worth for the individual, personal autonomy and recognition. If you can provide a working environment where these factors are present it’s very likely that you’ll have a motivated and happy workforce. To apply Herzberg’s ideas effectively you need to know and understand your staffs’, ambitions, attitudes and priorities. For example, who needs public recognition? Who sees work as a means of testing themselves? If you have a small staff you can get to know everyone personally. But, if you are responsible for 200 people you’ll need to work through team leaders, supervisors and junior managers. Therefore, train key people in what you want them to do and how you expect them to treat staff. There are always more than two options to choose from I was never a fan of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. One of the reasons was that she constantly trotted out the mantra, ‘There is no alternative’. Mary Parker Follett a philosopher and an early pioneer in the field of management would have been equally irritated. Parker Follett argued that whenever a manager is presented with a binary choice by staff they should ask, ‘What other alternatives are available?’ ‘What alternatives did you reject and why?’ Do this and you may well discover that staff have disregarded a better option because they didn’t have your knowledge of the situation and failed to realise why there was a better alternative. Dealing with the enemies of change Change always involves a risk. Many managers are good at planning for practical problems during the change process. Unfortunately, the same managers often fail to recognise the threats posed by staff and colleagues. The Old Devil himself Niccolo Machiavelli warned all those who wanted to promote change when he said, ‘The reformer has enemies in all who profit by the old order, and only lukewarm defenders in those who would profit by the new order.’ Machiavelli’s message is clear. When planning any major change you must identify;
Who benefits from the change? How can I use these people to support the change? Who loses out? How can I win them over to my point of view? If they can’t be won over what might they do? How can I counter their actions and either eliminate or reduce the threat they pose? Learning from your mistakes All planning and decision making is concerned with the future and therefore inherently inaccurate. So don’t spend a ridiculous amount of time and resources trying to achieve 99% accuracy. You’re chasing a chimera. Settle for a reasonable level of accuracy and have contingency plans in place to deal with possible foreseeable problems and a well-trained and flexible staff to respond quickly to totally unanticipated events. To improve your planning and decision making you need to learn from your mistakes. The greatest lie in business is, ‘The cheques in the post.’ The runner-up is ‘I always try and learn from my mistakes.’ It’s always been my experience that managers seek to bury their mistakes not learn from them. Research supports this view with very few organisations undertaking structured post-implementation reviews of major decisions and plans. If you want to improve your decision making and planning you must carry out regular post-implementation reviews. Only by reflecting on what went well and what went badly can an organisation hope to improve its processes. Remember it’s often unforeseen events that make or destroy a decision. Learn to accept that luck plays a huge part in every decision and don’t beat yourself up when fate turns against you. How to lose power in a day Power can be defined as ‘The ability to get things done’ (Rosabeth Moss Kanter). As long as you are able to get things done you have power. However, the moment you attempt to do something and fail that’s when you power starts to slip away. For that reason you should follow the advice of Sophocles and ‘Never command what you cannot enforce.’ If you are unable to implement your instructions or commands your credibility as a manager will be shot to pieces. So think carefully before you issue any instruction. If there is a chance that it might be ignored don’t issue it. Instead think about how you can achieve the same objective by other means. Possibly in
partnership with someone else or by varying your initial objective. Margaret Thatcher, arguably the most powerful Prime Minister of the last seventy years, forgot this maxim and never recovered from her inability to implement the poll tax. Keep the customer satisfied Customers are more important to a business than profits. It’s customers who generate sales, which in turn create the potential for profits. Customers are the egg. Profits are the chick. So it’s essential that you keep your customers happy. The easiest way to do this is to engage them in a one sided conversation! Dale Carnegies knew the power of one sided conversations when he said, ‘You can close more business in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get people interested in you.’ Don’t hog the spotlight. Instead make the customer the star attraction in every meeting/conversation you have with them. Do this and they will think you are a wonderful conversationalist because you listened to them and they felt good about themselves as a result. Someone wanted to hear what they had to say! In a world where most people are seldom listened to that’s powerful stuff. By listening you will find out what your customers like/dislike about your products, how they could be improved, what products you should be making and what your competitors are up to. Now that’s powerful information and it’s all free provided you can park your ego and let the customer hold centre stage. Conclusion There are occasions when a manager or leader needs to rally the troops with a powerful speech or message but such instances are few and far between. The common theme running through several of the above points is that managers and leaders are more effective when they talk less and listen, observe and reflect more. Be a revolutionary and try it. Dr Jim McGrath has published eight non-fiction books. His latest The Little Book of Big Management Wisdom was published in November by Pearson, priced £10.99.
Thomas Bentski, Founder, CEO at Pulse Films Interviewed by Vincent Abrams
How did you first become involved in your industry? When I decided to go into the film business I was very young and didn’t know anyone. So I simply printed 60 resumes and went around Soho (London) knocking on doors. Thinking about it, it was pretty crazy and really funny. Some people looked at me like I was a total lunatic, but eventually one company invited me in and offered me a “job”. I say job in adverted commas as it was a funny environment - I was made an agent and asked to hussle business for whoever I could; directors, editors, anyone that could bring in money! How passionate about the film / television industry are you? And what motivates you? I don’t think there’s anything else I would ever want to do. I still can’t believe I can make a living from my passion. And that’s a big piece of advice for people looking for a career - I really believe the toughest part of starting a career is to find what motivates you and I was lucky enough to find that out when I was 18. What motivates me is simple; make work that resonates with popular culture. Whether it entertains, informs, touches, or ideally, all of the above! My job is to build an environment that can allow that to happen in a smart, creative and sustainable way. Would you describe yourself as a creative? Yes very much so. I’m in the middle of art and commerce and I hope that people would say that my skill is to allow for those two things to co-exist. I guess one could use the term creative entrepreneur - which is a funny term as I assume every entrepreneur is creative What do you think the fundamentals of leadership are? Lead by example. Know when you are right but know when you are wrong. But the most important aspect by far is to recognise that you need to surround yourself with the best people. People who are better
than you, people who challenge you and then find a way to enable them to be the best that they can be and achieve their full potential. What is your leadership style? I don’t think that I have a style, as a style implies a conscious effort. I guess I approach leadership in a very instinctive manner. I hire people who I feel inspired by, people I can learn from and push them to achieve as much as they want to achieve. I am both hands on and hands off; I don’t think I micro manage though and I always try to lead by example. Do you still have the same passion for business as you did when your first started out in your career? Absolutely, in fact - now more than ever! Actually, last year we were approached and offered a significant sum to be acquired, a sum that I thought would entice me to sell. Instead I got depressed and then came to the realization that we – as a company – have only just begun! We’re in the best shape we’ve have ever been in and now we get to play and that is so exciting. I feel business culture today is too opportunistic which is one way of building great businesses - but I always like the idea of building a business that has a legacy. How have the last few years been in terms of revenue? We are fortunate because our company is geared to the future and therefore we are in a constant revenue growth state. Our big challenge more than revenue is how to organise ourselves in a way that continues to put quality, creativity and culture first while scaling fast and globalizing the business. I feel, if anything, that’s the one thing we have achieved: a scalable, independent Modern Day Studio that will hopefully define the future of content. Ambitious I know, but that’s what motivates us! We want to go all the way. How has the television / film industry evolved over the years?
I think we are in the middle of a huge shift - infect I think we are in the acceleration phase of the transition from analog to digital - where a lot of the big concepts, ideas and market dynamics are settling. We will see more and more businesses organising themselves to occupy these new spaces. This is already happening. I’m excited because I feel the playing field has been leveled and there is the chance to build a generation-defining business that “gets” this new economy and the needs of an audience. How important is PR and social media to your business? It’s super important and I wish we were better at it. Because we started as a B2B business we never really had to engage or communicate with our audience or customers but in recent years - as we transition into a consumer facing brand - we have learned how to leverage the constant and immediate relationship we are able to build with our audience. So we have and are learning how to communicate our key messages, our attitude and our voice. Does PULSE as a business, take advantage of overseas markets? And how big is your business in other (international) areas? Yes very much so - I would argue this is one of our strengths. I am immigrant and I’m sure this is why I’ve never felt uncomfortable exploring and establishing international offices, partnerships or giving our business a truly global reach Where can you see the business in the next five or so years? We have worked incredibly hard on our 3 year vision plan - to build a modern day, 21st Century studio, producing destination content across all of our divisions – if we can achieve that, I would be delighted. What is the business ethos at PULSE? Ambition, creativity, accountability.
‘‘Achieving Excellence’’ Interview with Justin Hughes, Managing Director at Mission Excellence
Your new book The Business of Excellence has recently been published – what is it about? Why did you decide to write it? And what do you hope readers will glean from it? The essence of the book is captured in its sub-title: Building high-performance teams and organizations. I was lucky enough to spend 12 years working in a high-performance environment as a fighter pilot, including 3 years on the Red Arrows, and since then, I have spent about the same time again partnering with clients who are committed to the pursuit of high performance, and learning from them in turn. I wrote the book to capture in one place the combined learning from both my personal experience as an ‘operator’, and my insights from a wide range of other environments as consultant. I hope that readers will gain a unique insight into the processes and behaviours which allow fighter pilots to routinely execute the most complex demanding team tasks and, through the model which I articulate, understand a clear simple framework for accelerating effectiveness, which can be applied in a wide spectrum of other organizations and environments. How and why did you take the decision to move into the world of business consulting when you retired from the Red Arrows? Disappointingly, I have no inspirational answer about my amazing vision in seeing an entrepreneurial opportunity. At the end of my time on the Red Arrows, I decided to leave the RAF and had decided I didn’t want to be a commercial pilot, so it was a case of either getting a ‘proper job’ or finding some other way to leverage my skills and experience outside of the military. I set up Mission Excellence initially to deliver teambuilding seminars based on my experience as a fighter pilot, and over time, as I started to better understand the wider relevance of my, and my colleagues’, experience
to other environments, the offering has evolved into an integrated suite of support for any team or organization pursuing high performance. Why do ex-pilots make good business consultants? People’s opinion of a fighter pilot’s role will often be highly influenced by Top Gun or the news, neither of which necessarily paint a particularly accurate picture. If one discounts the flying skill as a purely functional competency, the real role is about executing a complex mission as part of an extended matrix team, often in situations characterized by ambiguity, imperfect information and significant time pressure. Many people will find the above description familiar and so straightaway you have personal experience which is highly relevant as a consultant and an empathy with your clients and the challenges they face. You also have experience of an organization which has been equipping and empowering its people with the ability to deal with those situations for many years. When it comes to team and organizational effectiveness, fighter pilots have first-hand knowledge of what works and doesn’t work, gained in an environment where failure is not an option and mistakes cost lives. Add in experience of analyzing problems, presenting solutions and a deeply embedded culture of learning and you have a very effective combination of competencies for consulting. Your company Mission Excellence is a consultancy which draws on the experience of ex-military professionals to help companies build high performing teams – do you feel this military background helps stand the company apart from other consultancies? And in which ways?
I have to be honest that the military background can be a great asset in the business world or it can be a significant disadvantage. We can run up against some stereotypical images of the military (no diversity) and how it does business (command and control). The reality of course is that militaries are as proactive about diversity as any other organization. And as for command and control, are there any other organizations in the world which face a wider range of complex threats? Decentralized decision-making, network effects and matrix teams were being employed long before they became fashionable in business schools. So the stereotypes can be a barrier, but where we communicate the reality effectively, then the background can be a real point of difference. The other area where the background is nearly always a positive differentiator is in values. The Mission Excellence team share a common heritage characterized by professionalism, a team ethic and a clear focus on outcomes. The fact that many people may positively associate those traits with the military background is a source of competitive advantage. What can businesses learn from the Red Arrows? Once you break out the underlying core drivers of the team’s effectiveness, there are a multitude of lessons which can be applied to other environments. Below are a couple of ‘big-ticket’ items: •Prepare for the unexpected. Preparation for fighter pilots happens both insidiously through the nature of the training regime and explicitly in the preparation for individual tasks and missions. Training can be viewed as rehearsal and it always surprises me how little rehearsal is done in other environments. Commercial organizations may
have less capacity for it, but that can be largely alleviated by learning ‘on the job’; something still needs to happen to make that a reality though – see below. The other form of preparation is thinking about plan B. You can never foresee exactly what might go wrong on any one mission / task / project but if you always invest some time in your planning and briefing (communication of the plan) for ‘what if’ scenarios, then over time you build a mental database of things that might go wrong, which you can dip into, when it does. Even if the solution is not a perfect fit, it’s likely to be a much better starting point than making it up in the heat of the moment under enormous pressure. • Build a culture of learning. This is most obviously seen in the debrief – a routine non-hierarchical review of team performance in which everybody is equal and everybody is there to learn. The concept seems kind of simple, but there are often many barriers, both personal and organizational, to making high-quality debriefing a norm. The start point to building that culture is leadership behaviour – both the commitment and the behaviours must be led by example. Fighter pilots are renowned for their ability to make important decisions under extreme pressure. What can CEOs learn from this? And are there any skills, techniques and tools they can adopt? Due to the nature of a fighter pilot’s work environment, decisions are often required quickly with no time for detailed analysis or a committee meeting. It is better to be approximately right than precisely wrong. Consider three scenarios: • Known Knowns. For reasonably predicable scenarios, we don’t want to waste time and capacity every occasion that they arise, so we produce standard operating procedures. We have effectively scripted our decision- making and thereby retained our spare mental capacity for situations requiring original thought and/or judgment. • Known Unknowns. Scenarios that we can foresee as a possibility, but without detailed definition, are dealt with through variations on scenario planning. This is about making small forward deposits in to the bank of experience. By building up a lot of credit in the bank, we give ourselves a greatly increased chance of making a good decision in the heat of the moment. •Unknown Unknowns. The real problems are the unknown unknowns that we simply didn’t see coming. Some or all of the factors in the previous two paragraphs may still be relevant, but when faced with increasing complexity and reducing time, our best ever decision will be ‘about right, now’. We need clear simple priorities to fall back on. What’s the ball you can’t afford to drop?
What would you say are the common characteristics reflected by high performing teams? This is actually a relatively easy one for me. The answer is the backbone of my book. I identify four key factors in my high-performance model. I have already touched on most of them to different degrees however the top-line summary is as follows: • People: a recognition of the primacy of attitude over skills. • Capability: building alignment before setting people free. • Delivery: a disciplined approach to execution to close any gap between desired and actual outcomes. • Learning: having the right behaviours and processes to accelerate performance in real time. What are the main barriers and challenges leaders face when implementing excellence in organizations? Often, the single biggest barrier to excellence is insufficient appetite for it, particularly in large organizations. Achieving something beyond what others are doing is, almost by definition, going to be hard. High performers have invariably ‘put their time in’ and developed some genuine expertise. However, the requirement for resilience and sustainability means that the solution cannot be simply working more hours. The pursuit of excellence often requires a completely different type of ‘hard work’ which might be summed up as a relentless focus on improvement. Never be satisfied. Never accept second best. It’s about the person you see when you look yourself in the mirror. What standard are you prepared to hold yourself to? Of course, in elite military and professional sports teams, people are generally self-motivated, there by competitive selection and possibly under some threat of ‘demotion’ if there is any significant drop in performance. Those things are rarely consistently true in large organizations with a lot of people who have higher priorities than professional performance. In that case, where the group might not self-manage their own standards so effectively, leadership assumes an ever more pivotal role in influencing others… So what steps do you recommend that leaders take in that situation, if they are serious about achieving excellence? To paraphrase Lin-Manuel Miranda, ‘leadership is leadership is leadership’. Whatever the journey is that you are looking to bring people on, the fundamentals do not change much: • Walk the talk. There is no more powerful lever that leaders can pull than role modelling. People notice what senior people say, but they take notice even more of what they do. • Non-compliance must have consequences. It
should be easy to role model the right behaviours under low pressure, but how did you deal with a rather trickier test of your own values like non-compliance by an A-grade performer? Failure to act will fatally damage your credibility in this context. • Be careful what you reward and recognize. You will get what you reward, both through financial incentives and through what is more subtly explicitly and implicitly rewarded in the organization. People may not mean to game the system deliberately, but in the final reckoning, are likely to act in their own best interests. 10. When recruiting new staff, what are the key identifiers for CEOs when seeking high performing candidates? I identify three critical non-technical competencies in the professional arena: • Direction. Setting clear direction is primarily an intellectual activity and more relevant for senior managers and/or entrepreneurs and owner-managers. • Leadership. Engaging, motivating and inspiring others is a moral and emotional activity driven by your values and behaviours. It can exist at any level and is not dependent on seniority. • Execution. Execution is a physical activity – something happens. It requires, to varying degrees, organization, attention to detail and a focus on outcomes. Which of the above is most relevant to performance depends on seniority, role and task. Plus, there is a set of behavioural attributes, some or all of which will likely be present in high performers including, but not limited to, drive, focus, dedication and possibly the desire for external validation, a group of factors which can loosely be summarized as ‘the will to win’. Assessing the above means testing people’s skills and behaviours in context. Everyone tells you they are great on their CV and in an interview. Don’t tell me; show me. Implicit in this to recruit against skill AND attitude. Unsurprisingly, selection for the Red Arrows includes a flying test. However, success is largely a binary issue – you either pass or fail. High-quality core skills are a pre-requisite, but experience shows that in a close-knit high-performing group, it is just as important, if not more so, to have team players. To paraphrase Netflix’ HR policy: ‘no brilliant jerks’. Justin Hughes is Managing Director of Mission Excellence, a consultancy that partners with organizations committed to high performance. Prior to founding Mission Excellence, Justin was a military fighter pilot with the UK Royal Air Force, becoming the Executive Officer of the Red Arrows, with whom he flew over 250 displays worldwide. The Business of Excellence by Justin Hughes (Bloomsbury). For further information, please visit www.missionexcellence.com.
Don’t make these mistakes on your VAT return By Jonathan Amponsah, CTA FCCA
In theory VAT is a simple tax. If you’re a VAT registered business supplying VATable products and services, you charge your customers 20% VAT, you then deduct any VAT you’ve paid to your suppliers and pay the difference over to HMRC. Unsurprisingly there is more complexity and quirkiness behind the simple equation than initially meets the eye. Another recent VAT innovation (the flat rate scheme) was introduced to simplify administration for small businesses. However, you will see four of the mistakes explained below relate to the flat rate scheme. For clarity let’s summarise the three common methods (VAT schemes) businesses use to calculate VAT: a) The Cash Accounting Scheme. You only pay and reclaim VAT based on what you’ve received and paid. b) The Standard or Normal accounting scheme. Here you pay VAT on your sales whether or not your customers have paid. You then reclaim VAT from your suppliers’ invoices whether or not you have paid the bill. c) The Flat Rate Scheme. You charge your customers at the appropriate rate (e.g. 20%), but you pay over a reduced percentage (say 14.5%) to HMRC. You’re unable to reclaim any VAT on your expenses except on some capital equipment. Here are 21 potentially costly Value Added Tax mistakes to avoid.
which do not carry VAT (such as stamps, train/air/bus tickets, some tolls)?
crease the flat rate percentage for most service based businesses.
• Has input tax been claimed on costs incurred outside the UK (for example conference/business trip accommodation and meals)?
So please review your flat rate percentage to avoid back-dated VAT.
• Has self-billed sales invoices on which VAT is due been posted as purchase invoices?
On the face of it, the flat rate scheme delivers cashflow savings to small businesses and it does simplify the accounting to some extent.
2. Entering the wrong figures on the VAT return There are eight boxes to complete on the return but it’s often box 6 which causes problems. and where HMRC normally picks up mistakes on the return. If you’re using the flat rate, then double check that box 6 has the gross income to which you’ve applied the flat rate percentage. If you’re using the cash accounting scheme, then it’s the net income (net of VAT) that goes into box 6. Always check back to the box 1 figure. Let’s assume you’re on the flat rate scheme and your percentage is 14.5% and your VAT inclusive income for the quarter is £48,000. Your box 6 figure will be £48,000 and your box 1 figure will be £6,960 (14.5% x £48,000). If you’re using the cash or standard accounting scheme, then box 6 will be the net VAT of £40,000 and box 1 will show £8,000.
1. Poor book keeping
It is possible there will be other items and figures from box 8 feeding into box 6, so take double check to make sure there are plausible reasons for any differences.
The common booking keeping mistakes HMRC tend to look for fall under the classification of transactions, for example: • Has business entertainment been classified as marketing and VAT claimed? • Has input tax been claimed on expenses
3. Using the wrong flat rate percentage HMRC is beginning to raise enquiries in this area. It’s also where I foresee that a large number of small businesses will be caught out due to the new VAT rule called “limited cost trader”. This rule will essentially in-
4. Not comparing schemes
However, a costly mistake businesses make is not comparing this scheme to, say, the cash accounting scheme. Where a business has substantial VATable expenses it might not be tax efficient to join the flat rate scheme. If a business has some exempt income (rental income), extra care needs to be taken when joining the scheme because you end up having to pay VAT on income that is normally exempt from VAT. 5. Under-stating flat rate turnover Normally when income is exempt from VAT, it means just that and you do not include it on your return. But this highlights a quirk of the flat rate scheme. The gross income you enter in box 6 of the VAT return should include the value of all exempt supplies as well as the VAT-inclusive value of all standard-rated, reduced-rated and zero-rated supplies. 6. Using the 1% reduction beyond its expiration. When you first join the flat rate scheme you get a 1% reduction off your industry percentage. This reduction expires on the anniversary of your VAT registration NOT the anniversary of your joining date. This may get flagged by your book
keeping software. If not, record the date. When this mistake is picked up by HMRC the result will be backdated VAT requiring payment. 7. Lack of satisfactory evidence to support VAT reclaims The general rule is: No VAT receipt, No claim. Even where you have a VAT receipt, make sure the item you bought does carry VAT. While there are few exceptions to this rule, why take the risk? To avoid losing money you can use one of the apps that allow you to take snap copies of your receipts. The receipts can then be automatically stored in your book keeping system. 8. Failing to restrict VAT on non-business use expenses Where you’ve incurred expenses such as broadband at home which is partly business and partly personal, we often find that VAT has been claimed on the full amount instead of applying a restriction on the personal or non-business element of the expense. 9. Making incorrect VAT on motor vehicle and fuel A common error is to claim VAT on a motor vehicle which is available for private use. The VAT cannot be claimed except where the vehicle is used exclusively for business purposes. Another classic mistake is claiming the full costs of fuel where the car is available for private use without restriction or without charging a corresponding VAT in the form of something called fuel scale charge. 10. Wrongly claiming VAT on entertainment Although in some business sectors, entertaining clients is justifiable in order to win contracts, VAT on these expenses is normally blocked and cannot be claimed back. During a VAT enquiry, this is one of the areas HMRC will check. Include this in your review process when going through the VAT return. Check your calculations just in case your computer software doesn’t pick this up. 11. Failing to claim VAT on Staff Entertainment Here’s one exception to the rule that VAT cannot be claimed on entertainment. Where you entertain staff (including directors of the company) ensure you claim the VAT on the amount, assuming the type of entertainment or expense carries VAT. Remember VAT is quirky! 12. Over-reliance on software Time-saving automation and technology is always on my recommendation list. Having been involved in the development of tax apps,
however, I must dismiss the myth that the computer will do it all for you. The danger is relying heavily on software and failing to carry out basic checks on the VAT return. Errors such as the computer claiming VAT on incorrect items, automatically coding expenses to wrong accounts, duplicated bank transactions are all too common.
• Imports and exports • Exempt supplies • Partial exemption and various schemes • Zero rated supplies • Charity related transactions • Agency and principal transactions • Any other transaction where VAT might or might not be charged
13. Claiming VAT twice
Speak to your accountant and if necessary ask for a VAT specialist.
This is a common mistake for those using the Normal accounting scheme and occurs when VAT is claimed on the actual invoices as well as statements or pro-forma invoices. Carry out a review of the input VAT and pay particular attention to VAT amounts that are the same. Put your report into Excel and sort the items for a quick review. 14. Not accounting for VAT on services received from overseas suppliers This is the so called Reverse Charge and the complex Place of Supply Rules. In its simplest form, where a UK business buys services from an overseas supplier (EU), the UK business is required to account for VAT on those services on their VAT return, as if they were the supplier. Under the reverse charge output VAT (VAT on income) must be declared in box 1 of the VAT Return. This VAT, subject to the normal rules, is also recovered as input VAT (VAT on expenses) in box 4. So the effect is NIL. Yes it’s one of the quirks. 15. Not charging VAT on “non-standard business” transactions Businesses usually fail to appreciate that VAT needs to be accounted for in these areas: • Management charges • Disposals of assets used in the business • Cash sales • Charges to sub-contractors for use of vans or tools • Sales of scrap • Supplies to staff - invoiced or by payroll deduction
17. Hoping VAT demands and notices will go away Ignoring demands and notices from HMRC can be very costly. For example, HMRC sends you an assessment (estimate) and you fail to send in the correct return in good time. If the assessments turn out to be higher than the actual return, HMRC is not obliged to change the figures. 18. Failing to repay VAT on supplier invoices Where VAT has been recovered on purchases from a supplier, if you have not paid this supplier for over six months, you are required to repay any VAT recovered to HMRC. Similarly, where a customer has not paid you for over six months and you’ve already paid VAT on that invoice to HMRC, you can claim that VAT back. If you’re using the standard VAT scheme, do watch out for this during your checks and reviews. 19. Forgetting about EC sales list or Accounting incorrectly for EC sales If your business supplies goods or services to other EC VAT registered traders, then EC sales lists need to be submitted to HMRC. If you sell goods then the amount of sales to EC customers goes in boxes 6 and 8 of the VAT return. HMRC is likely to pick up the box 8 figure send you a notice to complete an EC sales list. If you sell services, then it becomes a bit tricky. This is because while you include the amount in box 6, you don’t include it in box 8 (the second common error), so you will need to remember to submit EC sales list. This will help avoid penalties and enquiries.
• Mandatory restaurant service charges • Recharges of costs to third parties • Receipt of reverse charge services • Incentive payments received from suppliers for meeting purchase or sales targets • Barter transactions
21. Not seeking help
If you have these transaction types seek advice.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Jonathan Amponsah CTA FCCA is an award winning chartered tax adviser and accountant who has advised many clients over the last decade on VAT compliance. Jonathan is the founder and CEO of The Tax Guys. He is also the co-founder of Easy Tax Returns (a tax return app to help tax payers avoid stress, penalties and find their peace).
16. Failing to appreciate VAT risk areas and hot spots Whenever you are dealing with transactions in any of these risk areas get professional help. • Land and buildings • Property and construction • Travel and tour operators
My advice is to get an accountant or book keeper to help with your VAT. Consider getting a VAT specialist to give advice on major and orher complex issues relating to land, property.
NEW MOON RISING THE C9 MOONPHASE
Incorporating Calibre JJ04
E XC LU S I V E LY AVA I L A B L E AT
John Hitchcox, Yoo Hotels CEO, Founder Interviewed by Vincent Abrams
Can you talk a little bit about the background of the Yoo brand, how did it start and what motivated you to get into the hotel business? We founded the YOO Group in 1998 and have been working with international developers and designing landmark residential projects all over the world since. We are really excited now to be launching our new brand YOO Hotels and Resorts, headquartered in London and made up of two sub-brands: the luxury YOO Collection and the more affordable but design-led Yoo2 hotels. We launch with Yoo2, an eclectic group of lifestyle hotels with the YOO design ethic in its DNA and with the aim of expressing what we call ‘local soul’. The first launch is the Yoo2 Rio de Janeiro which recently opened. The luxury YOO Collection hotels will bring together our world renowned Creative Directors (including Jade Jagger, Kelly Hoppen, Steve Leung, Sussanne Khan and Marcel Wanders) and the talented YOO Design Studio and match them with some of the most incredible travel destinations in the world.
What do you think makes the Yoo brand unique?
what do you do during your typical working day?
We have a portfolio of exceptional Creative Directors and an in house Design Team that can offer world leading design in many different forms, from the most cutting- edge to the most enduringly classic. YOO Group has a singular vision to enrich lives with extraordinary living spaces, and we bring our distinctive design-led philosophy to hotels, real estate, furnishings, energy and capital.
The variety that YOO provides, creates the perfect environment for my personality. In addition to the many and varied hotel and residential projects we have at any one time around the world, we also have YOO Energy, who are working with exciting developments in renewable energy and YOO Capital, our investment arm are always bringing exciting projects to the table.
Why did you decide to open the first hotel in Rio, Brazil?
Whilst in London, I spend time with the different divisions of the company. But I also travel extensively and meet frequently with our partners and people who are pushing the boundaries of business.
We had the opportunity to work with a Brazilian Partner to develop a hotel in the Botafogo neighborhood of the city. This is one of the hippest areas of the city and is known locally as ‘Botasoho’. It has some of the best restaurants, as well as an exciting art scene. The hotel also overlooks the beach, Sugarloaf Mountain and Corcovado (Christ the Redeemer). The YOO Studio’s design is rooted in Brazilian culture, but with an international flair. It has created something unique in the city. A hotel with cutting edge design, a sociable atmosphere and the best views in the city.
YOO has won many industry awards for design, development, community building, hotels and residences, and with Yoo Hotels and Resorts, we continue the journey with the same energy and passion. The philosophy of a bed being your home, whether it be for a day or a lifetime resonates throughout all YOO projects. The experience within a hotel should evoke all the same emotions as your place of residence.
Does the Yoo brand of hotels have a set design (meaning they’re all the same) or is each one unique? And who are your target visitors?
What projects have you been most proud of? And what do you have coming down the pipeline?
For the Yoo2 Rio de Janeiro for example, we worked with local artisans and artists, including Marcelo Ment – a Rio-based street artist who designed the graffiti mural in the hotel lift shaft, which guests can see from the glass lifts as they travel through the hotel. At YOO Hotels, we’ll be a home to what we call the ‘smart tribe’ – likeminded sociable people who love music, design, aesthetics and above all value soul.
YOO started with a residential development in St Johns Wood, London. There are now over 85 residential developments in over 35 countries. We launched our first hotel in Rio de Janeiro this Summer and have further hotel projects planned in Brazil, Turkey and the UK.
We have a ‘design global, think local’ design ethos. Every property has a true sense of place in the location it is in and for that reason, no two properties will ever be exactly the same.
What are the best parts of your job? And
What locations do you plan on opening future hotels? And do you look for anything in particular when planning destinations? In addition to the opening listed earlier, we have some exciting projects in the pipeline in Europe and some partnership deals in Asia, Middle East and the USA, which will all deliver many new YOO Hotels into the market over the next 10 years. Your main design studio is based in London and you too are a resident of West London – do you find the city an inspiring place? There is nowhere quite like London in the world. The cosmopolitan blend of cultures, ensures that it is always at the forefront of design, fashion, music, restaurants and business. Being a creative company, YOO thrives in this environment. Do you have an interest in art? And if so, what role does art play in your hotels. We are very fortunate to work with an amazing group of Creative Directors. Each are connected to amazing artists and a global creative community. This ensures that we can bring the latest and best to the YOO Hotel Guests, who are always on the lookout for the latest trend, or ‘name’.
British Watchmaking, Hope or Hype? By Mike France, CEO at Christopher Ward
Christopher Ward co-founder Mike France discusses the state of British horology and asks if the future of UK watchmaking is really as bright as some claim, he also talks about ‘going into business with friends’ and how it can benefit you and the business you are planning to set up. One of the most talked-about events at last November’s SalonQP Fine Watch Exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery in London wasn’t a new launch or a technological breakthrough. In fact it wasn’t really an event, but something equally significant: an open letter to the domestic watch industry from Britain’s top watchmaker, Roger Smith. And with horology’s key influencers all packed in just one place, it caused maximum impact. The letter, as carefully crafted as one of Smith’s Series 2 watches, criticised elements of the British watch industry for making “premature and deceitful” claims about the domestic provenance of their timepieces which “diminish Britain’s rich horological past, and prejudice its present and its future”. In his statement, Smith cited one British brand which claimed to have designed and made an “in-house” movement in England, which, in reality, wasn’t either in-house or substantially English. His view was that such misleading claims have a detrimental impact on British watchmaking and could damage the re-emergence of the industry in this country, perhaps for good.
therefore, that British brands competing with them using the same model, feel pressured to import hyperbole into their own PR. In the long-term, however, Roger Smith is right, such behaviours can only damage British watchmakers and stunt the revival of the domestic industry. I have a view, however, that this ‘revival’, to some extent, has been fuelled by the same PR puff and is preventing a more intelligent and realistic debate about just what sort of watch industry is both likely and desirable in the UK. There’s a rising number of British brands (including our own) that in various segments with different business models have raised awareness of British horology in the past decade. This is a good thing. However, to the best of my best knowledge, the number of truly ‘British- made’ contemporary mechanical watches produced last year is fewer than 20 – and they all came from Roger Smith’s workshop on the Isle of Man. This isn’t as shocking as it may sound. There’s no industrial infrastructure for watchmaking in the UK so any British brand that wants to supply watches in any volume must look to other markets, primarily Switzerland and the Far East, for expertise and components.
It’s hard to disagree with Smith, whose recent appointment as ambassador and leading light for the government-sponsored GREAT Britain campaign as well as his work with the George Daniels Trust, demonstrates he’s strongly motivated to support the watchmaking industry in this country rather than running a self-interested agenda.
There is effort being expended by some brands to use UK manufacturers for cases, dials and the finishing of components, and a commendable aspiration to develop a real British movement by the likes of Robert Loomes and Bremont. However, in the absence of any significant infrastructure, even if these ambitions are to be realised, the resulting watches are likely to be produced in very small numbers, with fairly basic complications and at a cost that will make them accessible only to those wealthy enough to indulge themselves in novelty.
Overstatement is, unfortunately, a common thread in the marketing of Swiss luxury watch brands and it’s perhaps no surprise,
Laudable it may be, but the basis for an ‘industry’ by any proper definition of the word? I’m not so sure. It’s also worth re-
flecting on the history of watchmaking in the UK to understand exactly what it is we would actually be reviving. In 1800, the UK manufactured 200,000 watches, around half the world’s total. One hundred years later, the output had halved despite the market for watches being counted in millions. Our hand-crafted approach, which relied on a highly skilled and therefore expensive workforce, had been supplanted by mass-production techniques pioneered in America but quickly adopted by the Swiss. These produced cheaper and more reliable timepieces. There was a brief resurgence after World War II when Smith’s Industries flourished for a while, but that was snuffed out by the quartz crystal revolution of the ’60s and ’70s ,and the easier profits Smith’s identified in engineering and aerospace. So, for the most part, watchmaking on these shores over the centuries should really be described as a cottage industry. Nothing wrong with this either and I foresee a strong resurgence of artisan watchmaking in the UK as being an important part of our horological future but it’s dishonest to pretend this compares in any meaningful way to the sort of sophisticated industrialisation that has developed over the last century in Switzerland. And yet, I am very optimistic about the UK playing an increasingly influential role in the world of horology if we combine our capacity for invention with our engineering prowess in the same way that Formula 1 in the UK has become the hot-house for technical advancements in the automotive industry without there being any indigenous car industry left to speak
of. The UK’s contribution to horology can not be overstated. Every major escapement design (including George Daniels’s co-axial) and around three-quarters of the remaining important innovations in horology came from these shores. We’re a long way from being this influential again but if the brightest young people can access an excellent watchmaking education and then enter rewarding and exciting careers working for thriving British brands, no matter where they source their components, anything is possible. As a fast-growing British brand, Christopher Ward is well placed to benefit from this approach and would be delighted to add real British watchmaking talent to our team, working alongside the likes of Johannes Jahnke and Frank Selzer to create great movements and, who knows, groundbreaking advances in the art of watchmaking to rank alongside those of past greats. There’s no reason why not. Others will, of course, have a different perspective on the future but whatever direction the industry chooses to go toward, it needs to be honest about its starting point today. Roger Smith’s open letter to the UK’s watchmaking fraternity may have ruffled a few feathers but it represents a challenging and definite step in the right direction for British horology. Now, it’s up to the rest of us to follow his lead. Going Into Business With Friends The old adage that one should never mix business with pleasure is rather tired, and should not be taken as gospel. Running a business with friends has as much chance of being a revelation as it does a disaster. The first key to making it work is ensuring that, as with any other business decision, you enter into the partnership with a clear head and agreed shared objectives. The process of entering into business with a friend needn’t be dissimilar to entering into it with a stranger. Someone will not necessarily be a good match for you as a business partner by virtue of
being your friend, and you must be impartial and transparent when deciding whether it can work. If you know you are not compatible as business partners then you must treat your friend and yourself with honesty. There are countless tales of friendships being forever tarnished by a business, and you don’t want to find yourself in a position where you are faced with a choice between losing an important friendship and risking your business. I have personal experience of this. In the past I brought a good friend of mine into a business that I was CEO of. After a while it became clear that he simply wasn’t up to the job in hand and I had no option but to let him go. That was 17 years ago and we have never spoken since. While I regret losing him as a friend I know that it was the right decision for the business. You need to be able to quickly establish the direction you see yourselves and your company heading in. What is your five-year plan? Your ten-year plan? How are you getting there? If these are issues you don’t agree before entering into business, the problems will only exacerbate as time goes on. Next you must be clear on your roles. The best partnerships and the best friendships come about when two people complement each other’s personality and skill-set. One of you may be better suited to the hands-on running of the business, another may be a good public face who enjoys the marketing side of the business. Know each other’s strengths and play to them. It also helps to have worked together previously. How you behave in a pressurised working environment does not necessarily correlate with how you behave in your leisure time. Having some idea of what awaits when you are working together will prepare you better. Once you have entered business it is imperative that you are transparent and candid with each other. This is an area where working with friends has potentially huge benefits. You can be honest with each other in a way you would not be with a stranger, you can bounce
off each other’s ideas. With concerns about politicking out of the way and the propensity to be more open and honest, the potential to advance your business is enhanced. Honesty is good, but prudence is equally valuable. Disagreement and challenging each other are a good way to analyse your personal performance and improve yourself and your business, but it’s very important not to disagree in front of others. You’ll doubtlessly argue about some things but keep it private so as not to create a toxic working atmosphere. On a personal level, there are great positives to sharing in a business with a friend. When you achieve success, what better to person to share in that success with than a friend? Equally, who better to pick you up from disappointment or during a worrying time than a friend? When the partnership clicks, there is nobody you would rather have by your side. I am currently in business with friends for the second time and know just how effective it can be. Joint Co-founder of Christopher Ward Peter Ellis and I worked together at the Early Learning Centre very successfully, before selling the brand in 2004. Our next step was to go into business with another friend, Chris Ward, to found Christopher Ward watches. The secret to our success is that we all bring different skills to the business that complement each other. Peter takes care of the financial side of the business, a role he also fulfilled when we worked together at the Early Learning Centre, Chris heads up sales and I concentrate on strategy and marketing, and it all works very well. Having a management team who know each other well, are pulling in the same direction and are all firm friends has served us extremely well in the last decade. It just goes to show that if you approach going into business with your friends with transparency and share in common goals, your brand will benefit. Mike France, co-founder, Christopher Ward christopherward.co.uk
Lord Archer We speak to the author on his books and what motivates him to put in 100% in both his spare and at Westminster
Why did you first become involved in writing, or what happened on your timeline in life that pushed you to become an author?
What is your favorite piece of art – or the one piece you would love to have on your wall or at home?
When I left Parliament in 1969 and was facing bankruptcy, I thought the story of how I lost my money would make an interesting novel, and as I couldn’t get a job, I sat down and wrote Not a Penny More Not A Penny Less.
I’m not sure I have one single favourite piece of art, but Rembrandt’s The Man with the Golden Helmet in the Berlin museum and The Entombment of Christ by Caravaggio in the Vatican, I would certainly be happy to live with for the rest of my life.
What are the Clifton Chronicles about? If you could summarize the series for people who haven’t come across it before.
Did you have any authors and or political role models growing up?
The Clifton Chronicles are set in Bristol, and open in 1919 just after the First World War has ended. They follow the lives of Harry Clifton, his closest friends Giles Barrington and his sister Emma, who Harry falls in love with. The story follows their lives over the next 80 years, taking in the great events of the day with several well-known figures having walk on parts. I know you sometimes act as an auctioneer for British Polo Day, are you a polo fan? And if so, what draws you to the sport. I regularly auctioneer for charity, in fact I would describe it as my hobby. And British Polo Day was supporting a very worthwhile cause - which I was happy to help them with. You have sold over 270 million copies of your books over the years, is that amount of success something you think you were prepared for? I’m always surprised by how many people have purchased my books, and confess that when a new book comes out, it feels like starting again.
I’ve always been a great admirer of John Buchan, so I suspect he influenced me, as he was as fascinated by politics as he was by writing. It’s interesting that we are both storytellers not writers. What do you get up to in your spare time? My hobby is being a charity auctioneer, and I conduct around 30 a year, but I also enjoy the theatre, the ballet and visiting art galleries, and of course I love watching England and Somerset play cricket. How important is philanthropy to you? If at all, and are you involved with any charities or foundations? I support a wide range of causes, and also conduct around 30 charity auctions a year, but if I have a favourite, it’s between two incredible charities, the Make-A-Wish Foundation who grant magical wishes to enrich the lives of children fighting life-threatening illnesses, and Sir Magdi Yacoub’s Chain of Hope which links experts together around the world to bring life-saving heart treatments to children in developing and wartorn countries. What is your favorite restaurant? And what type of food do you like.
I confess to a passion for Italian food, and in particular pasta. My favourite restaurant is Lucio’s in the Fulham Road. What was your first book, ‘’Not a Penny More, not a Penny Less’’, about? It’s semi-autobiographical, and is the story of four young men who having all been robbed by one particularly evil character, and decide to come together and steal their money back, but they decide they must not take back more than what he took from them – not a penny more, not a penny less. What prompted you to write ‘Kane and Abel’…? And would you describe yourself as a religious person. I was inspired by two Americans who came from different ends of the social scale, but ended up as close friends, whereas in my book although William Kane and Abel Rosnovski meet only once, they are sworn enemies until their dying day. Why did you choose the Conservative Party over the others when you got involved in politics? And how have things changed for better or worse for the party (do you think) over years? I think I am a conservative by nature. My mother was a Conservative councillor in Weston-super-Mare, and as I believe so strongly in free enterprise and the right for anyone to achieve what they set out to do, I wasn’t a natural for the Labour Party. I think the Conservatives are lucky to have another woman leading them, especially when the Labour Party is in disarray.
Success is a State of Mind, Not an End Goal. By Richard Gerver
On February 8th 2015, in The Staples Center in Los Angeles, something special happened. A young Londoner by the name of Sam Smith won four Grammy awards. For all involved in Sam’s career, it was a electrifying and emotional night. The years of hard graft, of sacrifice, risk, resilience and creativity had paid off. Nick Raphael, the President of Capitol Records UK had been there, at Sam’s table and rightly so. It was Nick who had first sign the talented young artist. Unsurprisingly, they partied well in to the night. The following day, they boarded a flight heading home to London. As soon as the seatbelt sign had been extinguished, Sam stood up and reached into the overhead bin, pulled out his laptop, fired it up and turned to Nick. “Right”, he said, so what are our targets for next year? Nick told me this story as he and I discussed the nature of success. I had asked him a question that has intrigued me for some time. As a senior and highly successful music label boss, how did he know who was going to be successful; sure there is the music, the talent so to speak and whether that music is ‘on trend’, but there had to be something else. Nick had smiled and agreed. It turns out, that Nick and people like him, see and hear hundreds of hopeful acts every year; most of them highly skilled and very talented but their likelihood of success was driven by something else; a mind set, a way of seeing the world. With Sam, Nick had known as soon as he had met him. It was his work ethic, the idea that success was not about money and fame but about his own desire to be better and better. It was that moment, on the flight home from LA that Nick saw what he already knew. Many people, including myself would have been smug, had I been in Sam’s shoes.
A rich young man, on top of his game with the world at his feet; one of the most successful British solo artists of all time. Sam however was straight back to work, wanting to move forward, to improve and to achieve more. Whilst the following year was quieter, he did fulfil a lifetime ambition and record the theme tune to a Bond movie! Sam was not Nick’s first great find, that would have arguably been Shawn Carter; better known as Mr Beyoncé or Jay Z. For Nick, Shawn had shown similar characteristics when they had first met. A meeting that had taken place just weeks after a young Shawn had been dropped by his then record label London Records. When Nick recalls their first meeting, he talks about Shawn possessing passion, resilience and a vision that was about taking him beyond being simply an artist to becoming a role model who wanted to use his talent to transform the way young black people viewed themselves. Over the last couple of years, I have had the amazing opportunity to work with and interview many successful people as I was writing my new book, Simple Thinking. I wanted to debunk the myth that success had to be complex, beyond mere mortals. I wanted to discover the simple traits of incredibly successful people and organisations. One of the key things I think I discovered was that success is a real abstract and is certainly something that truly successful people never feel that they have attained. Take Nick Raphael for example; one of the youngest record label Presidents in history, a man who is clearly rich and famous; a man who gets to hang out with the ‘groovy folk’; the man who discovered Jay Z! When you meet him though, he doesn’t gauge his success in financial terms, or power or the people he knows but in terms of legacy. He doesn’t feel that he is successful, because
he is yet to build a legacy, a legacy which he hopes will view him as a good person who did good things. He possesses the same traits as Sam and Shawn. He is never satisfied; for him, there is always more to do; more to achieve. I wonder actually, if in a way the traits of really successful people are a curse. I have always believed that if I ever earned enough, I would retire immediately to a shiny white yacht moored in some paradise bay in the tropics. I would occasionally log in to my bank account, just to see how much I was worth and then blissfully sip another glass of something bubbly and contemplate which bay to visit next. It turns out that this is why I will never really be successful; I have missed the point, it’s not about a destination but a journey. Sir Richard Branson should have retired years ago but he is still as driven as ever; most of his businesses now are not for profit and that defines the man. It was never about wealth but about changing the world; the music business, airlines, telecommunications. Now it’s about using his power and influence to do good on a larger scale, in education and the developing world. Branson will tell you that the key factors in his decision to start up a new business is; can we do it better than it is already being done? He of course has had his disasters, most notably with Virgin Megastores when he and his team failed to recognise the game changer that was digital music. He learnt, moved on and set up Virgin Media, when in all reality, he could have retired gracefully. In 2012 at the end of a glorious, memorable summer, Team GB emerged victorious; our Olym-
pians and Paralympians had outdone themselves, smashing every record and challenge that was set for them. Super humans like Jess Ennis Hill, Mo Farrar and Sarah Storey had gone down in sports history. Two teams had shone particularly brightly during that memorable gathering; our rowing and cycling teams. A few months after the games I was lucky enough to meet with Jurgen Grobler and Sir Dave Brailsford the heads of those two teams. Over dinner, I congratulated them on their achievements. Both were of the same view, that surprisingly, preparing for London had been relatively easy compared to the challenge that now faced them. Both men were energised by it and that was to take historically successful athletes and go again, to do even better in Rio in 2016. They both felt confident because they knew that over time, they had gathered teams of athletes and coaches who were driven by continuous improvement; the role models had always been there; Sir Steve Redgrave and Sir Chris Hoy for example. Their challenge was to ensure that the teams were able to put London behind them, as they reassembled to start the four year journey towards Brazil. What struck me was that neither man was enjoying the afterglow of London; they had already moved on; plotting! For Grobler the target was even more immediate. He was frustrated that despite his rowing team’s repeated successes, they had never won the world championships in the eights and that had become his obsession. He succeed too. In the years before Rio that is exactly what happened. For Brailsford too the targets kept developing; more Grand Tour success with team Sky and laying the legacy that would lead to even greater success in Rio. Glory for both of these remarkable coaches was not in medals but in the constant
breaking of new ground. I remember seeing an interview with the former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand a while back when he described what it was like playing for Sir Alex Ferguson. He recalled that as soon as a season was over and championships and trophies had been won, Ferguson moved on without a breath or even time to celebrate; setting new targets for the following year.
friend of mine; a remarkable guy called Sebastien Foucan.
I spent over fifteen years of my life as a teacher and Headteacher, working with extraordinarily successful people; many of them were under five years old. Looking back now I realise just how remarkable they were. Apparently we learn somewhere close to seventy percent of everything we learn in our lifetime before we are five; before anyone chokes, I’m not talking about knowledge or experience but really complex stuff like learning to walk and talk, to understand vocal intonation, facial expression and body language.
We met at an event in the Russian city of Yekaterinburg, the city where the Tsar, Tsarina and their children were slaughtered at the end of the Russian Revolution. It’s a beautiful place; the buildings illustrate the arc of the city’s history.
We learn to make sense of the sensory world around us; sounds, smells, textures, shapes and colours; our language acquisition at that age is remarkable, we pick up every spoken language in our households. Our brain is burning more energy than at anytime in our lives. We are insatiably curious; we take risks, ask endless questions, solve problems and connect the unconnected. Interestingly a child does not view success as finite; as an end goal, success is knowing and doing more; living life better than the day before. As we grow up, we tend to ask less, risk less, question less and settle down to a life of end goals. Interestingly of all of the extraordinary people I have met during the writing of the book I realise that many have childlike qualities. They were really hard to interview actually because they really didn’t want to talk about themselves, they wanted to know about me; they were curious and hungry to know more. One of my favourite interviews was with a
You may not know his name, he is the founder of Parkour or free running. He was the ‘bad guy’ in the iconic opening sequence of Daniel Craig’s first Bond film, Casino Royale; he was the one being chased over cranes and buildings.
Sebastien and I walked around the city on an afternoon off and on our return to the hotel, I wanted to talk about the architecture. He didn’t. When I interviewed him for the book, he explained why. He told me that ever since he had been a little boy, growing up in a tough and stark community outside of Paris, buildings had represented obstacles to him. He explained that he was more fascinated by the spaces between buildings; explaining the fact that the spaces represented opportunity, the ability to journey, to travel, to explore. It is how Parkour came in to being; to him it isn’t a sport, it’s a mind set, a way of seeing the world. I truly believe that success is the same thing. It isn’t the buildings, it is being able to see the spaces between them and to have the courage to keep moving, keep exploring and keep searching. Success isn’t about outcomes or end goals because success is temporary. For me, young children have it right. It is, to my mind about the ability to question, to be curious, to take risks and to want to live tomorrow better than you lived today.
Michael Petry Creative Director at TUMI What is TUMI’S USP? And how important, do you think, is your role as Creative Director in maintaining those for your customers? Our product is known for its meticulous craftsmanship, functional superiority, and design excellence, which is why TUMI is the leading international business, accessory and global travel lifestyle brand. We believe the best designed products make life easier and at TUMI, we aim to create beautiful, world-class products that are designed to uncomplicate and upgrade all aspects of our customers’ lives on the move. One of the greatest things about TUMI is that we’re able to marry quality with innovation and the introduction of new styles and aesthetics. We have full assortments of lifestyle products, including collections for women, men, business and travel and we’re turning out six full collections a year, with new aesthetics and designs. What also makes TUMI unique is that our Global Citizens are our top priority. We offer world-class customer service both in-store and online, as well as in our repair and service centres, to ensure our customers have the optimal brand experience. We also offer complimentary hand-stamped monogramming for our Global Citizens to personalize their items! What drew you to the world of design in general? And what were you doing before? I went to design school at Philadelphia Textile, but I left to pursue playing professional soccer in England. Then I got my first job at Adidas through a friend, which was a great transition into my career. It was a perfect fit at the time because I was very sporty. I was in Adidas football—strictly shoes—I’ve done shoes in my entire career. I only started getting into accessories and bags when I joined Frye. So after Adidas, I went to Ralph Lauren—I spent five years with each brand—and then I went to Prada. Up until now, I was at Frye for eight years where I was Creative Director, and I joined TUMI in July 2015. It’s been a whirlwind year! You’ve had an interesting and varied career... What drew you to TUMI?
It’s been a charmed life. I’m proud of every place I’ve worked, and I’m a super brand loyalist to every one of them to this day. I want to work at places where when you see it out in the street, you say, “Yeah, I had something to do with that. I’m proud that someone spent a great deal of money on something that I put blood, sweat, and tears into.” I was attracted to the brand because of its reputation for making luxury good and being known for its superior quality and durability. TUMI has a great collection of classic silhouettes that never go out of style. Those are all things that great brands are built upon. I have been a fan of the brand for a very long time. Anyone who has travelled the world as extensively as I have definitely is a fan of the brand, the quality, the style and the timeless nature of the products. Coming from a fashion design background, have there been any surprises in designing something so engineered as luggage? I’ve always done accessories and I have experience in making outerwear. I have 17 years of footwear experience; I’ve probably made every style of shoe possible. Joining TUMI was a great challenge because I’ve been design and creative director for some great brands throughout my career. This was an opportunity to take on a real American brand that has a fantastic reputation. Everywhere I go, people will say “I own a piece of TUMI,” or “I know someone who owns TUMI,” which is really great to hear. While these are all good moments to have, my goal has been about how to make the brand cooler and get people to reach it on a daily basis and not just from a travel standpoint. What is your favourite piece of design for TUMI? If you could choose one (or two) Public School has been a very good collaboration for us; they won a CFDA, they won the Woolmark International Prize. They are a very cool brand and we have a lot in common in terms of design, but in terms of demographic we have two different demographics, so it was the goal of both of our brands to take each other’s demographic and to cross pollinate. When we approached Maxwell and Dao-Yi with the original Fall 2015 concept, it was a no-brain-
er that we would continue the partnership. Recently, we developed a new concept for their Pre-Fall 2016 women’s and men’s collection bags, which walked down the runway during their Pre-Fall 2016 fashion show in Dubai. We’re committed to making incredible products with them— and I think both brands see design and innovation in the same light. My favourite piece from the design collaboration would definitely be the white Cubic Tech Backpack from Pre-Fall 2016. My favourite piece from the Fall 2016 collection is the Landon Whitman Tote. I prefer to carry tote bags over backpacks or briefs. They express the materials you’re using so well and they’re a simple and easy bag to use. But that’s not to say you won’t find me rocking a backpack or brief sometimes. I love to test all of our silhouettes. As Creative Director of such an iconic American brand, have you found it difficult bringing in your own designs and changes? Since beginning my role here at TUMI, the goal has been—and will continue to be—to evolve the brand aesthetic by making cool product as well as to elevate the creative of the product and our global marketing appearance. For Fall 2016, worked very hard to keep the brand’s DNA in every single product we made while updating the silhouettes, the styling and paying particular attention to every little detail and touch point. The brand continues to evolve every season. At TUMI, we are always looking at ways to elevate our product through material innovation—ranging from various leathers, textiles, trims and hardware details. I’m sure the consumer will see my aesthetic and design language infused into the products. But, with that having been said I think the consumers will also say that each and every product is inherently TUMI and maintains the DNA that has made the brand loved throughout the world.
What challenges do you face internally when doing so? We’re just thinking about how to make the brand cooler and get people to reach it on a daily basis, not just from a travel standpoint. We want to take the brand from being travel-specific—which is how consumers view the brand—to everyday. Only 40% of our business is luggage, which I think people are always surprised to hear. The majority of our business comes from day bags, electronics and outerwear. So for us, the question is: how do we integrate our brand into people’s lifestyles and how do we get involved with people on a daily basis, not just Point A to Point B. People’s lives are becoming more complex, more intertwined, with what they have to carry because of technology. Everyone has the same basic dilemma—they have their phones, they have their chargers, they have headphones; if they’re overseas they have their adaptors. Everything begins to pile up. We have this great opportunity to compartmentalize those things for people and also prove that just because something is functional, it doesn’t mean it isn’t stylish. I think it’s a longstanding notion for a lot of people that function doesn’t necessarily mean stylish, so our challenge is to infuse function with coolness and style. 8. You travel a lot for business, what three items would you not travel without? I personally always pack: 1) Extra charger (first and foremost—always carry an extra charger on hand!) 2) Notebook 3) Camera You never know when inspiration will strike! What inspires you, both in work and life? You never know when inspiration will strike, and sometimes it will hit me at 3 am! Inspiration is funny; it can sneak up on you in unlikely places. You need to keep an open mind every day of your life. But like I said before, that’s the beauty of the creative life! I create by experience life and also by involving myself in all aspects of the brand. I not only think about how I personally travel; I am also constantly looking at how people are traveling and what they are traveling with— whether I am at the airport, walking city streets or visiting some place new. It’s our job to perfect our Global Citizens’ journeys, both figuratively and literally. What do you think is the key to TUMI’S success? The brand is known for superior product quality and durability, and the classic silhouettes never go out of style. I believe that art of intelligent design should be grounded in multifunctionality—using innovative design to creatively provide travel
solutions to make life easier, more convenient and more enjoyable. In my opinion, great brands are successful when they challenge themselves to innovate and create. How has the luggage / travel industry evolved over the years? Travel has changed, and I’ve learned a lot about how it’s changed from my experiences. It used to be you would pack for a two-week trip to Asia, but now, people are flying 3,000 miles for a one-hour meeting and flying back within the same day. The more wired we become, the more things we need to pack, and the more organized we must become. Also, luggage in general is becoming more of a fashion and lifestyle accessory. Consumers are demanding both comfort and style, and thus these key attributes play a crucial role in our designs. We see these consumer needs equally as important as the functional elements of our products. Do you design with yourself in mind? Meaning do you design as though you are going to use the luggage / accessory? And how much of your personality goes into each design? As designers at TUMI, we always take into account how we would use each piece that is constructed. We are always looking to elevate our products, striving to create timeless designs. We have become more in tune with material innovation and truly understand our Global Citizens’ many needs, not just from a functional standpoint but also from a stylistic point of view. We are also constantly evolving our designs and products. As new materials are developed in other industries, we are looking at whether they can help in creating a better TUMI product. Even within Core assortments, such as the Alpha 2 International Carry-On, we will continue improving the design and functionality. Product improvements and product evolution are a necessity for TUMI to maintain its market position as “best in class.” What should we as a consumer be looking for when buying luggage / travel items? I believe that art of intelligent design should be grounded in multifunctionality—using innovative design to creatively provide travel solutions to make life easier, more convenient and more enjoyable. When you get into designing objects, they obviously have to function—the baseline of everything we do here at TUMI is about ‘functionality’—but I think the drive has been to make things more stylish, and infuse that fashion element onto the function part. Because people want to look good no matter where they’re going or what they’re doing. I personally look for the simple ways to make my life easier and more organized. For me, what makes the difference would probably be the ‘intangibles,’ like Does the zipper catch? Are my toiletries easy to access? Can I com-
partmentalize my accessories?—things that you want the consumer to take for granted. Essentially we don’t want you to be thinking about what a good piece of luggage does, because we spend the time thinking of that for you! We spend a lot of time and a lot of money in ensuring every component of the product works properly so you don’t have to worry about it, and we’re totally obsessed with these tiny details. What do you think can we expect from the luggage / travel industry in the future? While the landscape of luxury travel will continue to evolve, consumers all over the world are looking for—and are in need of—superior, functional, innovative, and stylish and cool products, and that’s what we’re going to give them. Luggage and travel pieces are becoming more of fashion and lifestyle accessories. Comfort and style are the main attributes that our customers take into consideration, and thus, these attributes play a key role in our designs. Our customer needs are equally as important as the functional elements of our products. We will continue to see what our global markets require from us as a brand and respond to that. Innovation is a hallmark of the brand and one that defines and distinguishes TUMI from its competitors. As Creative Director you oversee all aspects of the business, what areas do you most enjoy? And do you ever wish you had more time to just sit and design? While it’s an enjoyable role—and I think you’ve seen a lot of this within the last twelve months with various Creative Directors—we’re all under a lot of pressure and all under a microscope. The pace is very quick, the pressure is very high, you always have to be switched “on,” and that’s the beauty of creative life and one of the reasons why I got into this business. There are no two days alike and actually, you’ll be lucky if there are two hours that are alike. But if you’re always keeping your eyes open, always trying to edit and to do better and to think about what the next challenge for the brand is from a creative standpoint, you’ll always find inspiration. You just have to think “Ok, this is the world we live in,” and never regret what you’re up to because there’s so much fun to be had. What are your leadership skills like? And what do you think the fundamentals of leadership are? I think that having passion, dedication, appreciation and a humble confidence in what you’re capable of achieving is important to being a successful leader, no matter where your career takes you. You always want to continue to grow, to continue to learn, and I think at some point you want to be able to take the sum of all your abilities and previous jobs and try to apply it to the brand you’re working on. I’ve learned that in any job.
© 2016 TUMI, INC.
NICO ROSBERG Global Citizen
211 Regent Street, London • Westfield Shepherds Bush, London • London City Airport Also available at Case, Harrods and Selfridges
Richard Paterson, Master Distiller, The Dalmore. How long have you worked with The Dalmore? I have had the pleasure of working with The Dalmore for 44 years. How did you get into the industry? A family history dating back to the 1930s is something which has definitely influenced my work in the whisky industry. My grandfather established a specialist blending, bottling and brokerage firm in 1933, and my father took this over in the 50s. I nosed my first whisky at the age of eight, and I would say that whisky is definitely in the blood! Have you always liked whisky? Whisky has been a part of my life since birth. It’s something which my family has lived and breathed, and I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t involved in it at some time or other. I have always enjoyed it. How many drams of whisky do you drink each week? Now this is an excellent question, but one which is quite difficult to answer! It really depends on what I have been doing and where I am. I’ve often been referred to as ‘The nose’ and this is because a lot of the work I do involves nosing many different whiskies throughout the day to assess them. Most of the time I can tell everything I need to know about a whisky from the nose, so I don’t need to taste each one. During tasting events and whisky presentations across the globe I have been known to enjoy a few drams during the course of the evening. However, my relationship with whisky is one of moderation and control. Too much and you inevitably don’t have clarity to enjoy and appreciate the subtleties of the drink. For me, whisky is a drink you should truly
sip and savour, allowing you to uncover all of the world and time which has gone into its creation. What would you say has been your career highlight? There have been more than a few highlights, but I would say the development and launch of The Dalmore Paterson Collection is definitely up there on the list. This is my own carefully curated collection of 12 individual expressions which tell the story of my inspirations in whisky. I spent years developing this collection and painstakingly created each unique vintage to reflect and honour the people in the industry who have inspired and supported me throughout my career. The one I hold closest to me within the collection is the expression I created with my father and grandfather in mind. However, it is the opportunity to really make history with what I do that keeps me energised and inspired. With each new release I strive to include something new, evolving what whisky making can be and building on the knowledge and skills passed down from The Dalmore’s founding fathers. I hear you once had your nose insured by a bank in London? As the main tool of my trade, my tasting, assessing and blending skills are based on my sense of smell. This is of such importance to the distillery that at one time one of my managers decided to arrange insurance for my nose, just to make sure that we were covered should anything happen. However I told them not to renew the insurance once it came to an end - if anything did happen to my nose, there’s not a huge amount that an insurance claim could help us with! What is the best place you have visited on your travels? I travel across the world as part of my role with The Dalmore, and the great thing for me is that whisky is a very social drink – people the world over enjoy trying new
whiskies and exchanging notes with each other. It means that for the majority of my travels, it is the people that bring colour and life to the locations I visit and I can enjoy myself wherever I go because of this. However, I do love travelling to Asia. Japan in particular is one of my favourite places and they make some incredible whiskies. When I visit my whisky contemporaries while on tours to the country they really look after me, and it is wonderful to see such enthused and passionate whisky professionals. While I generally have a full schedule, I try and make time to visit some of the distilleries including Nikka’s Yoichi and Miyagikyo distilleries. They have a lovely ambiance, and the Scottish inspiration definitely comes through in the way the distilleries are set up and run. What is your favourite malt? It’s difficult to choose just one! My choice really depends on the mood and the occasion. The 1951 bottle from The Dalmore’s Paterson Collection is a particular favourite of mine, as it is dedicated to my father and grandfather, who were both instrumental in teaching me about whisky. It holds a special place in my heart. Other than this, my preferred malt choice really depends on the mood and the occasion. For outdoor adventures in the wind and rain, a Jura Superstition goes down a treat, while The Dalmore Candela is excellent for dinner paired with a crème brulee and Java coffee. Out with my own creations, I am a great admirer of David Stewart, and he has shared with me some very fine creations of his own over the years from The Balvenie. What is your favourite food to pair with whisky? For me it would be any kind of dessert. Chocolate mousse, crème brulee or raspberry soufflé are all classics which
I would recommend for those keen to sample the perfect pairing. Where is your favourite place to enjoy whisky? It really depends on my mood and the tipple in question, but one in particular comes to mind. The Yankee Pier at The Dalmore Distillery was built by American Navy personnel in 1917. The pier looks out to the Cromarty Firth and I took the sales team there after a training day one evening. We drank a bottle of The Dalmore 40 year old while exchanging anecdotes from the day. The drink reflected the view, which echoed the history of the distillery. The evening has stuck in my memory ever since. How many whiskies are in your personal collection? I have anything up to 100 different bottles at home, given to me from people I have met all over the world. They are a mix of Scotch, American and Asian drinks, and I keep them all as there are some great memories attached to them. What other drinks do you enjoy? I am a fan of red wine and also good champagne. But I like to finish my meals with a coffee or a single malt whisky. What’s your favourite bottle design? My favourite bottle keeps changing, but at the moment this would probably be The Dalmore Trinitas bottles. These are beautiful, and I hope most people agree that they really show off the heritage and the pedigree of the drink inside. Is there any reason The Dalmore Paterson Collection is still for sale? The Dalmore Paterson Collection is one of the most unique projects I have worked on during my time at The Dalmore. I poured over each and every expression to ensure that any buyer would have a true collector’s item. The 12 bottles are named in honour of those people who have shaped the industry and inspired my career. It is not something that will ever be replicated. We have had a great deal of interest since the launch of the Paterson Collection, indeed many collectors and whisky lovers have attempted to commence the sale process, only to find that their circumstances have changed. I am in no rush to see the collection sell, and I know that when the right buyer comes along, they will have made an excellent decision. This collection is a piece of history, a celebration of the industry, and something that I am immensely proud of.
What’s the difference between a single malt and a blend? A blend, such as Whyte & Mackay, is where we take the finest malt and grain whiskies from around Scotland and then ‘marry’ them together to create a smooth whisky. On the other hand, a single malt, like The Dalmore, is whisky produced from malt from one single distillery only.
specifications. This is all part of our Enhancement Cask programme which helps us find the most compatible casks to fulfil our vision. The characters, colour and flavour from a cask’s previous contents all fuse with the whisky, helping it evolve as it matures and therefore it is extremely important for us that we source only the finest casks. How should we be drinking whisky?
At The Dalmore our whisky creation is fuelled today as it was back in 1839, by the vision of our founder, Sir Alexander Matheson, an incredible business man and entrepreneur who travelled the world and enjoyed phenomenal success. When he built The Dalmore distillery it was with the sole purpose of creating the definitive luxury single malt.
The first thing is to make sure you have the right glass. I use a copita nosing glass. If you don’t have a tulip shaped glass then a champagne flute gives you a similar small lip to nose through. Try to hold your glass by the stem rather than the main body as you don’t want to heat up the liquid. I would also recommend adding a tiny dash of water to open up the whisky, but preferably never use ice as the coolness shocks the whisky and hides some of the character.
I use that as my motivation and inspiration. To have my own creative visions, developing expressions which have never been done before, to go above and beyond and push the boundaries of my art.
Now it’s time to start the tasting process. This is chance for you to savour the drink’s look, smell and taste. This involves focusing on the here and now, and we should be mindful in our appreciation of whisky.
I visualise what I want to achieve, what story I want to tell, and what experience I want the whisky to give someone.
Firstly look at the colour of the whisky, as it can indicate the age of the whisky and the type of cask used for maturation. Deep shades of red and mahoganies are brought about by long maturation in sherry, whilst lighter amber gold colours can signify time spent in American white oak casks.
How do you create a whisky?
I look at the stocks we have maturing. I make it my business to know as many casks as possible intimately. I assess them all to understand their unique personality and monitor how their characters are developing. I will select the perfect casks of maturing spirit from our warehouses, and bring them together to create my vision. Sometimes I might not have quite what I need, so I go out and find rare, unusual, unique and interesting casks from around the world and bring them back to Scotland, to transfer our spirit to these casks to create my final whisky. This is all part of my Enhancement Cask Programme, which enables me to apply a unique three stage process of primary, secondary and tertiary maturation. Moving my whisky between casks to build layer upon layer of character. This is only possible because of the unique new make spirit and maturation conditions at The Dalmore. When you bring it all together, it creates something very special indeed. How does whisky get its taste? Opinions can vary but, I’d say about 60-65% of the flavour and taste of the whisky comes from the wood of the cask it was matured in. These are often American White Oak casks which were previously used to hold bourbon or sherry butts from Gonzalez Byass. However, at The Dalmore our spirit is complex and therefore able to flourish in a wide variety of casks from all over the world. We hand-select some of the finest casks to my exact
Look at the whisky’s viscosity, or ‘legs’ as we sometimes call them. Swirl the whisky within your glass. If the whisky clings to it, slowly running back down then it is a sign there is a depth of character to this whisky. If the liquid takes a longer time to fall back then it’s probably an older, heavier whisky. Next, it’s time to follow your nose and release the aromas inherent in the whisky. A common mistake is to quickly put the glass up to your nose and inhale sharply. If you do this all you will get is a quick smell of alcohol. Briefly bring the glass to your nose and inhale gently, just a second, before pulling away. Take a moment to breathe gently in and out to allow the aromas dissipate. Then go back to the glass and this time inhale for a few moments longer. While you do this, move the glass slowly from one nostril to the other by gently rolling it back and forth. Pull away once more and breathe gently. Approach the glass for a third time – and then your nose can really start to explore. Make sure it’s placed within the glass, towards the whisky. This technique will help you to understand what’s hidden within the whisky. If you have a glass of The Dalmore in front of you, you might begin to notice orange chocolate or cinnamon.
Pull away from the glass again and wait. Then go back to it. Notice the scents. What you smell first time round will be completely different to the notes and aromas you get afterwards. Now finally on to taste. At first bring the liquid to the middle of your tongue, taking time to roll it gently from side to side. As your body temperature warms the liquid up, notice how it feels. Now move the liquid to under your tongue and keep it there. Notice how the whisky coats your mouth, and explore how your body and mind are feeling as you experience a new set of flavours. Swirl the whisky back to the top of your tongue and notice how your mouth immediately relaxes, opening up an added depth second time around. The whisky has more to tell you. By doing this you will release the many exquisite flavours inherent in the whisky and unlock new flavours. Finally swallow, and be aware of how the different flavours continue to evolve. This is the best way to really get to know and understand the different layers of the whisky you are trying. Should whisky be enjoyed with ice? Much of the time, I create whisky which I want to be enjoyed as it comes straight from the bottle – no water or ice. I have painstakingly created something that is perfectly balanced to give maximum enjoyment to the drinker just as it is. However, adding a small dash of water at room temperature can open up the whisky and uncover is hidden depths. I believe that ice shocks the whisky, the coldness contracts the aromas and flavours, and the dilution washes out the flavour. I can understand that in a very hot country people may choose to use ice to make the drink more refreshing and cooling, But if you
want to truly discover what a single malt whisky has to offer – all the years, of craft and care that has gone into it, then ice does not help you do this.
Dalmore is stocked in some of the world’s top bars and restaurants, and I have had the pleasure of sampling some excellent and innovative cocktails featuring The Dalmore.
Which whisky should a beginner try?
24. Whisky is often paired with cigars. Which cigar would your recommend? Creating a good whisky is very much like creating a good cigar. The careful craftsmanship and the use of only the finest ingredients help to draw favourable comparisons between the two products.
There is no straight answer to this, as every person is different and they will find their own preferences. Whisky is not something that most people take to immediately. It is a passion that has to be learned, and you have to put the time into developing your appreciation. Once you do you will be greatly rewarded. There are many great whiskies out there which are idea to start with. Try something from each region, they all have their own qualities and you can get a feel for what draws you in and excites you. Go to whisky shows, when at airports ask for samples, when in shops ask to try a few – and don’t be afraid to ask for water if you aren’t used to drinking whisky. If you were to come to The Dalmore distillery and told me you had never drunk single malt before, I would pour you The Dalmore 15. It’s rich and full of characters waiting to be discovered, but it is so smooth and delicately well balanced that it appeals to the novice and at the same is able to delight the aficionado. What do you think about mixing whiskies with other drinks? Mixing whiskies with other drinks is not an issue at all, although it is important that single malt is the star of the show and the other components within the drink are of the highest possible quality in order to enhance the flavours of the whisky. I am lucky to have had the pleasure of working with some of the best mixologists in the world. From the Ritz in Paris to The Connaught in London, these experts really know their stuff when it comes to making some fabulous drinks. The
In fact, some could argue that a humidor is similar to a cask in that it keeps its contents in optimum conditions over the years and ensures flavours come in abundance. Each brand of cigar has its own merits and its own taste profile which is absolutely true of whiskies too. There are light floral ones, smoky peaty ones and ones with great body of character. Many cigar manufactures take enormous pride in finding the perfect blend for their fillers and that is something I also take great pride in with my role as Master Distiller at The Dalmore. Personally, I look for something with a medium flavour, both from the cigar and from a whisky. Something like an Upmann, Hoyo de Monterrey, Romeo Y Julieta or a Partagas are great as they all offer medium flavours which are able to work in harmony with a whisky, not overpower the pallet. I developed the Cigar Malt so that we at The Dalmore could offer something suited specifically for a cigar pairing. We were lucky – The Dalmore already had the weight, body and character for the job but to match cigars more precisely, I added in a touch of extra sweetness for our Cigar Malt. Bitterness is something which sometimes comes out in a cigar, so to counter this we used 30 year old Matusalem oloroso sherry and premier cru Cabernet Sauvignon casks.
Fawaz Gruosi, President, de Grisogono
Fawaz Gruosi, president, owner and founder of de Grisogono is one of the world’s most sought-after jewellers and watch makers and we had the unique chance to meet this distinctive talent during his first trip back to his paternal country in many years. Many do not know it, but Fawaz Gruosi is of Lebanese decent. Indeed, Fawaz El Hajj, as he was known then, was born in Beirut on August 8th 1952 to a Lebanese father and an Italian mother. Tragically, his father passed away when he was just eight years old whereupon he moved to Italy. When I enquired as to why he tends to downplay his Arab roots he answered with total sincerity about how he spent his formative years in Florence, speaking Italian, eating Italian and dressing Italian and, without a real father figure, it was only ever inevitable that he would feel more Italian. Gruosi’s appearance on the day of our interview certainly confirms his Italian nature. Well-groomed, well dressed and composed, he has the air of a jet-set playboy. His naturally sleepy eyes certainly help reaffirm this supposition. But as the sponsor of lavish celebrity parties the world over I am somewhat taken aback by his quiet demeanour. He talks in such a hushed and discreet voice that I found it very challenging to hear him over the loud music that was emanating from the beach party just around the corner. He also admits to being very shy and forgetting people’s names which, as a result, is often mistakenly perceived as arrogance or snobbishness. Nowadays, de Grisogono is a big player in the jewellery world, but what is most surprising is the speed at which Gruosi built his brand. The marque and the mastermind behind it are extremely well known quantities after only fifteen years of business. That is a very short amount of time indeed. Consider for example that Cartier was established in
1847 and Bvlgari in 1884. But for Gruosi, much of this rapid success can be attributed to coloured diamonds, or rather black ones to be more specific. While diamonds are available in a wide spectrum of colours the most unusual colour is black. Despite the fact that, historically, these stones were never really acknowledged or appreciated, the black diamond takes on its colour because of imperfections arising from graphite inclusions that actually absorb the light. Gruosi risked his entire business by buying up huge stocks of these stones. It was a gamble that paid off handsomely. While novelty may get your foot in the door, it is quality that keeps you there and in this respect de Grisogono cannot be faulted. Gruosi is a perfectionist that feels no need to be constrained by conventions. While many other jewellers allow the prize jewel to stand out by presenting it a subtle entourage of complimentary gems, a de Grisogono piece is far more complex. Imaginative, audacious, flamboyant yet perfectly aesthetic and wearable, his creations caught the imagination of both aficionados and women who, at that time, were literally craving for something new. His inventive style and his passion for perfection led to further innovations. There were the ‘Icy Diamonds’ which are lactescent diamonds whose moon-like colour and brilliance are seemingly softened by an inner veil. Then there were the watches. De Grisogono launched into watches with many stunning releases. Indeed, Gruosi was the first in the watchmaking and jewellery world to have offered, in 2000, ladies’ watches with bracelets made of shagreen or galuchat, a substance made from the skin of the rayfish that looks like bubbly leather. But the most significant horological release to date was this year’s Meccanico dG, the world’s first fully-mechanical digital wristwatch.
Though Gruosi started de Grisogono with two associates it was not long before he bought them out. Later the Scheufele family, the owners of Chopard and also Gruosi’s in-laws, bought a 49 per cent stake in his company. But since 2007 Fawaz Gruosi bought back that stake too and now he is alone at the helm. The future of de GRISOGONO has never looked better. Fawaz Gruosi, president, owner and founder of de GRISOGONO is one of the world’s most sought-after jewellers and watch makers and we had the unique chance to meet this distinctive talent during his first trip back to his paternal country in many years. From where does the name Gruosi come from? It is my mother’s name. Fawaz El Hajj was too difficult for the Italians and I thought about dropping the Fawaz too but I wanted to keep something to remember my father by. And the name de Grisogono? It is actually the maiden name of one of the two associates that I started the company with. We were searching for a good Italian name and then we stumbled upon this one. It is in fact difficult even for Italians to say as the stress is on the first ‘o’. And at the beginning people would say “de Gris-o-whatever it is called.” Oddly enough, it actually worked in our favour. How did you get the idea of black diamonds? First of all fashion at that time needed a change. Back in 1997 I was reading a book and I came across a beautiful black stone of 190 carats called ‘Black Orlov’. I was enthralled by its colour.
Xavier Boyer, Head Chef at L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon, What made you want to become a chef? My mother owned a restaurant in the Caribbean a long time ago, and that was probably what started my love affair with food. Despite being very simple, it gave me a great insight into what was involved in running a restaurant, and I loved it. The atmosphere in a kitchen is so fast-paced, it’s electric. I also went to see a TV show featuring Joël Robuchon and I tasted his food for the very first time and fell in love with it. He inspired me to become a chef, so a year later I started culinary school. How did you start your career with Joël? I started an apprenticeship with Joël as soon as I finished catering college, when I was 16. I spent two years working with him in the restaurant, before spending a year training in pastry. I came back to Joël after this and left again for Italy, before coming back and leaving again for the three-starred Four Seasons restaurant, Le Cinq, in Paris. In 2008, Joël asked me to open L’Atelier London, after which I spent some time at L’Atelier New York and L’Atelier Taiwan. Now I’m back in London, and I love it. What keeps you drawn to the L’Atelier restaurants? They’re the best. I’ve always been given the freedom to learn other things and explore new places, but out of all the places I have been to, I haven’t found anywhere that does it quite like L’Atelier. You can walk into a L’Atelier restaurant anywhere in the world and know that you’ll get exceptional food and outstanding service. Joël holds more Michelin stars than any other chef in the world - why would you leave when there is nowhere better to go? What is the secret to the success of L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon, London? London is a very cosmopolitan city, the big names are here and there are constantly people travelling in and out. It’s a platform
for so many different cuisines, and Londoners are expecting more and more of the very best. That’s where L’Atelier London excels - we’re passionate about providing incredible food and we come from a big worldwide brand; we use that to collate and collaborate ideas on an international basis. The L’Atelier chefs are always talking and exchanging ideas and tips, so L’Atelier London’s guests are eating the finest food from the finest chefs in the world. You’ve worked at several international L’Atelier restaurants – how has that influenced your cooking? I’ve learned so much from my time abroad. Cooking with different ingredients and different produce means that my style of cooking has evolved over the years to incorporate them into my dishes. Each L’Atelier has its own personality and identity, the customers and ambience vary from restaurant to restaurant, and this is something I try to take with me. What dish on L’Atelier London most reflects your cooking style? I have a very international style of cooking and we have a gyoza on the menu that probably reflects this the most. It’s a crispy ravioli cooked on the stove. It starts with veal shank that’s cooked in a style from the South of France, where I was born, but the dish itself is Asian and uses a lot of the techniques I’ve learned in Asia. What inspires your creative process? There’s always a French basis and French technique to what I do, it’s part of who I am, but I’m always inspired by what I’ve found and learned abroad. My food is very personal to me, full of emotion and seasonality. The restaurant is Joël’s so most of the dishes are his but I’d say around 30% of the dishes on the menu are mine. We have a Menu du Jour that I like to change daily, and I try to change our other menus often to make the most of seasonal produce.
Aside from Joël Robuchon, which chefs have influenced you the most? There’s a few! Eric Bouchenoire, Eric Lecerf, and Phillipe LeGandre. Aurelie Altemaire has to be up there as well she is L’Atelier London’s Head Chef, and the first ever female Head Chef in any of the L’Atelier restaurants worldwide. What are your five best restaurant experiences? Pierre Gagnaire at Hotel Balzac, Paris Thomas Keller’s Per Se, New York El Bulli, Catalonia Restaurant Le Chateaubriand, Paris. Otto e Mezzo Bombana, Hong Kong What made you want to join the Slow Food UK movement? It’s a wonderful cause. It’s a privilege for me to work with small farmers to find quality ingredients that are produced from the heart. I put my heart into what I cook, so it’s incredibly important to me that the ingredients I use are produced in the same way. Raising awareness of small farms and producers is key - without them, we can’t produce dishes to extraordinary standards and without us, they can’t survive. Lastly, what do you think about the standard of food in the UK? I’d probably go as far as saying it’s the culinary platform for Europe. There is so much competition in London, which spurs restaurants and chefs to be better every day. In turn, Londoners are spoiled for choice when it comes to great food. There’s much more of a focus on London as a centre for culinary creativity and excellent gastronomy and it makes it harder to succeed, but so much more exciting to be a part of.
Restaurant Review: Chai Wu. The fifth floor of Harrods. By Leone Harris,
Immediately after four of us sit down — having made the long march from the lifts through Shoe Heaven and Urban Sports Room — the manager suggests “A bottle of champagne?” We demur but later discover that this could have cost anything from £68 for Moutard NV to £688 for Krug 1988. As we study the menu he mentions that there is a dish of Kobe beef we might want that is not listed there. “How much is that?” I ask. “£160.”
der, polite, filial, clever and kind-hearted. Anyway, we start with three of the dim sum (priced from £8-£21) and eat them while a half Beijing duck (£42) is carved beside the table. Although we are a few feet from the open kitchen, the crystal sea bass with gold leaf dumpling and the vegetarian parcel are only warm, the casings waxy.
We have arranged to meet friends at 6pm because the restaurant must close at 8pm — when the store does.
The half bird is clumsily cut up by a woman wearing bright blue latex gloves, making us feel like Ebola suspects. It is not a thing of beauty like the half duck at Min Jiang in Kensington, which costs £10 less.
We sit at a round table far too small to accommodate various dishes to share, but all the tables are too small as if the designer — inspired, it says on the menu, “by the five elements in Chinese philosophy” — was unaware of the nature of the food being served. Chai Wu is part of the restaurant group created by Malaysian Eddie Lim, who owns Mango Tree and its eponymous outlet in Harrods Food Hall on the ground floor and also Pan Chai, the sushi and sashimi bar opposite. Executive chef is Ian Pengelley, whom I think of fondly not for Pengelley’s, which was part of Gordon Ramsay Holdings, nor Gilgamesh in Camden Stables market, but the early days of Will Ricker’s E&O in Notting Hill where, in 2001, Pengelley introduced to a well-favoured clientele the delights of chilli salt squid. And here it is for £15 beneath the heading Small Dishes. Nicola, whom I would like as my companion at every meal — in part because she whips everyone into shape over ordering — was not, I think, born in the Year of the Sheep. Those people are shy, pessimistic, moody, indecisive, weak-willed and puzzled about life. But maybe she was; they are also ten-
A fleck of gold leaf sticks to Adrian’s lip and stays there all evening.
Nicola has stipulated Option 1 for the second serving — minced duck with lettuce wrap. We agree that the mixture cradled in leaves of Little Gem looks and tastes Magimixed. Coconut prawns — another Small Dish, this one at £23 — are punchy with spices and likeable. Sweet and sour chicken filling a hollowed-out dragon fruit breathes the pungent phrase “Chinese takeaway”. Harrods Special is snow crab and avocado inside-out maki roll, skilfully made and daintily presented but not, how shall we say, terribly Chinese. Almost best of all the dishes we try is eggfried rice at £7 because it is hot and not ludicrously priced. We dig in to the little bowl and play Let’s Guess the Bill. All of us underestimate by about 50 or 60 quid but diligent pouring has seen us segue into a second bottle of Viognier — the second cheapest wine at £38. And there are three bottles of water (75cl), which turn out to cost £7 each. Lunch at Chai Wu sees my companion, who arrives first, shown to a table next to an
EPoS till and beside the lavs in an underpopulated overlit dining room. No debate, it is the worst. Staff here seem to struggle with the concept of hospitality. One is overheard parroting the words “We are about to serve you the most delicious meal in the world,” while another — despite my chum tactfully choosing to wear a jacket of Harrods green — dumps him in Siberia. Choosing dim sum as a selection of six pieces for £32 goes nowhere towards explaining the egregious folly of garnishing otherwise unassuming dumplings with gold leaf, caviar and slices of black truffle. Only fresh wasabi fits in and works. Salt and pepper squid with chilli and Szechuan peppercorns served in little bamboo baskets are nostalgic — and nice. Duck salad is swamped with truffle oil to disagreeable mouth-coating effect. To my surprise, my companion says: “I like Harrods the way I like the zoo. They both try to make the incongruous seem normal.” I discover his birth date is in the Year of the Monkey. Lively, quick-witted and versatile, these folk love sports and moving about. We move quickly away from Chai Wu. Chai Wu Fifth Floor at Harrods 87-135 Brompton Road SW1 (020 3819 8888 chaiwu.co.uk
Restaurant Review: Oliver Maki By Martin Paul - Dyson,
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 Surroundings 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. In this instance it has more function — a large selection of different sushi and sashimi with varying sauces and accompaniments, plus hot dishes, salads and more would take up many pages. Plus, translations and descriptions are available at a tap of the screen thus making it easier to understand the intricate assemblies of often unusual Japanese ingredients. From the ‘shots and bites’ section, 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. The accompanying tangy Japanese take on thousand island dressing is unnecessary but rather moreish, as are the small pickled Japanese peaches that come with. 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 latter isn’t a highlight, but some of the others are: 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. Not one of them doesn’t 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. 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 also 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 particularly (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. . Oliver Maki 33 Dean Street, Soho London W1D 4PW olivermaki.co.uk
Seven Dials, Covent Garden. ‘‘The dial monument at the center of ‘Seven Dials’, Covent Garden is the main focal point of the area, each street leading off the round about hosts a different personality with a fantastic variety of brands on offer. Packed with independent boutiques, international fashion labels, heritage brands, beauty salons, men’s grooming specialists, traditional pubs, cool cocktail bars, cafés, restaurants, theatres and smart hotels; historic Seven Dials is modern London’s original shopping and lifestyle destination. Surrounded by four key tube stations, Leister Square, Covent Garden, Piccadilly Circus and Tottenham Court road, Seven Dials is easily accessible from each. It creates a staycation destination enabling guests to spend a whole day in the area without having the need to leave. From delicious breakfast options to late night quirky cocktails. Offering over 20 different types of cuisines from Indian, Portuguese and Japanese. Recently adding five newbies to the area such as; Chick ‘n’ Sours, Balans Soho Society, Talli Joe, Cure& Cut and POD. This really highlights that the food and beverage hot spots are crafting Seven Dials into an increasingly desirable destination to shop, explore, drink and dine in London. Seven Dials’ gastronomic scene continues to thrive with exciting new dining concepts from the likes of The Barbary from the creatives behind Palomar, Tredwell’s, (Marcus Wareings latest venture); Native, a new addition to the area celebrating the country’s best game and rare breed meat, VICO, an authentic Italian eatery serving dishes inspired by South-Central Italy; Polpo at Ape & Bird, the first pub concept from Russell Norman and Richard Beatty; and artisan pizzeria Homeslice, specialising in 20-inch wood-fired pizzas with prosecco on tap . Seven Dials’ fashion selection caters to the discerning shopper. With a wide selection of international premium women’s fashion brands including Club Monaco, LOFT Design By…, Orla Kiely and newest technical wear opening Kit & Ace as well as independent
stand-alone stores such as Laura Lee Jewellery, Coco de Mer and Larsson & Jennings. For menswear, brands exclusive to the area include premium French lifestyle brand RON DORFF, Cambridge Satchel Men’s, Natural Selection, surf wear brand Finnisterre and contemporary cool Farah. Seven Dials also provides the best in premium beauty and grooming. Luxury beauty brand, Fresh from the US and Caudalie from France opened boutiques on Monmouth Street joining New York designer fragrance brand Le Labo and Kiehl’s. Iconic London lifestyle brands on Monmouth Street can also be found including Miller Harris for unique fragrances and Murdock London for traditional barbershop experiences and grooming. Foodies make the pilgrimage to Neal’s Yard Dairy for the best of British cheese, Timberyard for award-winning fresh coffee, and Hotel Chocolat School of Chocolate for a taste of the bespoke ‘cacao cuisine’ menu. All day dining can be enjoyed in newly opened Balan’s Soho Society and just next door charcuterie specialists Cure & Cut for quality Italian meats and cheeses. With over 50 restaurants, café’s and bars to choose from, Seven Dials really is spoilt for choice. In the midst of a fitness revolution taking the capital by storm, Another Space, Seven Dials’ very own boutique gym, is dedicated to providing Londoners with an inspiring, chic and modern space to train. This new and original boutique offers an expertly curated assortment of group classes – Cycle, Yoga and HIIT, all to uplifting music. Joining a plethora of fitness and lifestyle brands in Seven Dials including B1866 and Le Coq Sportif for all your cycling needs, Walk in Backrub and Neal’s Yard Remedies making Seven Dials the ideal destination to take your body and mind somewhere new. The area is also a must-visit for culture and entertainment, with internationally acclaimed theatre Donmar Warehouse, Grade II listed Cambridge Theatre now showing Matilda and St Martins Theatre playing an important part in London’s theatre legacy.
Stay the night in one of the premium 5* hotels in Seven Dials such as Covent Garden Hotel and Radisson Blu Edwardian Mercer Street Hotel for a chic weekend away and explore the streets of Seven Dials at your leisure. Enlightening the area several times a year, Seven Dials host numerous events a year including a fashion focus shopping event called #StyleSaturday, a free cultural festival, Spotlight, Christmas shopping and light switch on event plus many more’’. These involve complete road closures, entertainment, interactive activity and in store discounts and promotions. Head to sevendials.co.uk for more information and follow us @7dialsLondon.
Ian Dulwich Dulwich Picture Gallery Interviewed by Louisa Bae,
How did you first become involved in the art sector? And what motivated your interest. I was always interested in art – my sister Susan used to take me to galleries; and of course Edinburgh has one of the great collections at the National Gallery there. My degree was in Art History. My first real involvement came in a rather typically eccentric way – in my 20s, I lived in the Lake District, designing and making knitwear (machine). But I was a member of the Guild of Lakeland Craftsmen; and I held an exhibition of my work. So that was my first experience of planning and hanging an exhibition. It was also that experience that (along with my first class degree, of course!) got me accepted on Manchester’s Art Gallery and Museum Studies Diploma Course in 1986. What do you enjoy most about your role as Sackler Director? The relative freedom to be creative in programming. Dulwich is an independent charitable trust, not answerable to government. We can therefore be more adventurous; we don’t have to tick boxes. Our exhibition programme – and that has definitely been my baby, and the thing closest to my heart – is therefore not shackled to any blockbuster mentality, and has developed a real sense of mission, generating a particular kind of exhibition – different, surprising. How important is creativity in your role? See the last answer! The freedom I pinpointed means that one can respond to opportunities as they come along. As I say, I like Dulwich to offer surprise – and so I encourage creativity in every department, not just in education, where it is of course key. Art history can be boring, but art itself never
is – and that’s because it is a signifier of the human principle of creativity. That’s why I find Winifred Knights every bit as interesting as, say, Rembrandt. How has the Gallery changed and evolved since you first started 19 years ago? And what has been the biggest change? It is a different beast entirely. We have had to shape up to the real world and professionalise mightily.There are no such things as ‘gentlemen’s agreements’ anymore. Everything has to be done to the highest international standard. The other change is of course another general one: technology, including the rise of social media. ‘Word of mouth’ has become ‘word of smart phone’. Computers have been transformative. When I started, and for many years after, every lecture I gave required me to visit libraries and slide libraries (slides! Remember them?); now it’s Powerpoint and Google. Fantastic. What might surprise people who visit and who have never been to the Dulwich Picture Gallery? It depends on their expectations. If they’re thinking ‘dusty old temple of art’, they might be in for a shock. On any given day there is just so much going on. Today, for instance, they would find the café absolutely packed, spilling out on to the lawns. There is a great display of works done by teenagers responding to Winifred Knights’ work and her story, in the Linbury Room. There will be classes going on all day in the Sackler Centre; in the Gallery itself, they will find a wonderful small display at the end of the main gallery, of two masterpieces of Dutch art that haven’t been seen together since 1665. In the mausoleum, itself a magical space in architectural terms, they will hear a
beautiful sound piece commissioned to respond to that display, involving a viola da gamba and clavichord. The Winifred Knights show is a classic Dulwich exhibition, focussing on an artist of sublime quality who has been almost entirely forgotten. In room 12, you will find three major Poussins on loan that turn that room, with our own Poussins, into a place of pilgrimage for anyone interested in 17th century art. If you came with a vague idea of just seeing the Rembrandt, all of this will be a surprise. But then there ARE the Rembrandts, the Rubenses, the Murillos, the Canalettos, the Gainsboroughs and all the rest of them. And finally there is the John Soane building itself. The Dulwich Picture Gallery sprung out of one of the most successful art dealerships in London. Can you tell us more about the partnership? It’s a remarkable story of history conniving at the creation of something entirely unexpected. Noel Desenfans was a French teacher of young ladies; Francis Bourgeois a rather average painter. But when Noel married an heiress, Margaret Morris, they launched themselves as dealers. By 1790, they were hugely successful. The French Revolution meanwhile favoured them, because the London art market was suddenly flooded with works of art being sold by desperate aristocrats. The King of Poland gave them the commission of the century – to build a royal collection from scratch, which they duly did. But Catherine the Great invaded; and Poland was partitioned, so it all came to nothing; and eventually, having failed to find a buyer for the
‘royal’ collection, Bourgeois carried on building the collection and finally bequeathed it to Dulwich College in 1811 ‘for the inspection of the publick’. What do you think are the challenges facing the arts sector currently? The same as ever: funding. Particularly in Britain (and even more so in Brexit Britain) there is not the support for culture at government level, and –with a few honourable exceptions – a very limited culture of philanthropy. There is also a worrying trend, particularly in the regions (because of funding restrictions), not to replace curators, or train them up properly. This is leading to crisis of sorts in the profession, and a loss of skill and knowledge. (Of course, this is not necessarily a completely bad thing – but a balance needs to be struck between a more business-like approach to museum management and museums’ scholarly remit). In February you will host the first major exhibition of work by Vanessa Bell. Can you tell us why this exhibition is important? And a bit more about the Modern British Series? Our Modern British series started in 2003 with John Piper – the idea of it was to celebrate the ‘titans’ of British 20th century art in a way that we felt the Tate should have been doing, but wasn’t – hence shows on Graham Sutherland, Henry Moore, Paul Nash, et al. Dulwich is not in the business generally of mounting huge monographic shows (no space!), so we have always taken a particular angle and focussed on that. In the case of Vanessa Bell, we have a classic Dulwich scenario: an artist who, in this case (like Piper), is a well-known name, but here’s the surprise: since her death in 1961 there have been no really major shows devoted to her work (although one or two
honourable smaller shows). And she has always tended to be seen in the light of the Bloomsbury juggernaut; forever pigeonholed as ‘sister of…’, ‘lover of…’, ‘wife of…’. This show will present her as the important, brave, bold, forward-looking, radical artist she undoubtedly was. It will be – as all Dulwich shows set out to be – a revelation. This year marks 200 years of the Gallery being open to the public. How significant a milestone is this? And what can people expect going forward. It’s very significant. That phrase I quoted earlier from Bourgeois’ will – ‘for the inspection of the publick’ – may seem straightforward enough, but the fact of the matter is that noone had actually done that before: Bourgeois effectively invented the idea of the ‘public art gallery’ with that phrase. So it seemed very important to us to celebrate that extremely significant event, i.e. the first visitor to the Gallery in the summer of 1817. For the first time a collection of major old master paintings was accessible to anyone who had the 6d necessary to buy a ticket. In 2011, we celebrated the bicentenary of our founding – but that was all about Bourgeois and his astonishing bequest, a very different thing. It is significant that last year was an astonishing record year of visitors – some 225,000 visitors came; and no doubt my successor will want to build on that. Where would you like to be in 5-10 years’ time? Celebrating with a gin & tonic beside a Canadian lake with several sketches by Tom Thomson hanging on the wall of my beautiful cabin. What is your standout memory from your time at the Gallery?
The queues down the garden path for my Painting Canada: Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven exhibition. The exhibition had been a great risk, and the realisation of a very personal ambition, so its popularity was a tremendous affirmation of my instinct, and – not least – a huge relief! If you could bring any painting to the walls of the Gallery, what would it be? And if you could have any painting at home, which would it be? For the Gallery, I would love to bring something jewel-like and exquisite by the Cavaliere D’Arpino (well, you did ask…). Why? Because I love his work, and because he has been largely forgotten; yet in his day he was the teacher of Caravaggio, and far more successful than him. I would love to introduce him to a wider public in an exhibition… If you mean any painting FROM THE GALLERY at home, it would be a little- known little Italian painting, at present unattributed, of Venus Gathering Apples (DPG 260). Because it’s utterly beautiful, and no-one except me seems to notice it. If you mean any painting at all, it would be a sketch, any sketch, by Tom Thomson. Because he is the perfect embodiment of genius to me. Dulwich Picture Gallery Gallery Road London SE21 7AD
Investing in Classic Cars and Supercars By Alex Prindiville, Founder, Prindiville With the financial markets still reeling from Brexit, an uncertain economic future ahead and ultra-low interest rates the new norm, now is a perfect time to look at alternative avenues of investment. Classic cars and supercars offer a potentially lucrative return for investors, and although you can view them as a tangible asset – an investment you can touch, smell, hear, sit in and even drive – what really fires the market here is passion. Cars have a very special way of getting under your skin, of making one person feel they need to pay more for a particular model than the next person; emotion is a powerful motivator for buyers accustomed to getting what they want. Some buyers are inspired by childhood memories. Others admire beauty and rarity. Celebrity and cinematic connections will always be a seductive lure; so will motorsport successes. The market loves a car with a tale to tell, an enthralling story to recount to friends and colleagues in bars and boardrooms. And, of course, if you enjoy showing off, few other forms of investment make quite such a visible statement as fourwheeled exotica. My view is that you should invest in a car because you like it. Combine pleasure with business. It takes away some of the sting of putting down the money in the first instance, then gives you enjoyment while you’re waiting for your investment to mature. There’s no magic wand to finding the right car. Do your homework, make sure the car is certified accident-free and you know its history. You should be looking to get a broad understanding of the car’s background and in an ideal world, speak to a previous owner and collect whatever information you can. You have to dig around, talk to manufacturers, find out who was the first owner, who serviced it. When you’re looking at a classic car, employ a reputable specialist in the marque to give it a thorough, independent inspection – fakes and bad restorations are rife, so it really pays to peer beneath the shine.
The classic car and supercar markets are niche arenas and you may well find that the knowledge and contacts of a professional broker will be invaluable in helping you spend your money wisely. But if you’re determined to go it alone there are some basic rules to follow. Always buy the best you can afford. But before signing on the dotted line, have the car professionally inspected to ensure you’re buying what you think you are. Stick to cars built in small production runs, nothing too mass-produced. For example, the Ferrari 456m. This car still has lots of legs left. It’s the last production Ferrari with pop-up lights, running with a fantastic V12. This car can carry two adults and kids and some serious speeds. With 550s changing hands for up to £150,000, these cars are still great value at £60,000 - £70,000. Check the Internet forums, read the specialist magazines, find out what makes the car desirable. For example, prices for early air-cooled Porsches have gone through the roof, particularly for the 911. However, to fetch proper money these days they have to be in exceptional condition and preferably rare versions with motorsport connections; the RS, GT2, GT3 and GT3 RS derivatives are the real high flyers. How rare is it? How many were produced in that colour combination? What is its provenance? Has it been owned by anyone famous or used in a film? An Aston Martin DB5, produced between 1963 and 1965, sells for around £800,000, almost double the price of its successor, the DB6, because it featured in Goldfinger and has since become synonymous with the Bond franchise. The global appeal of classic cars is your best security: if the market in one country stumbles, there’s always another where things are still rosy. Over a 10-year period classic cars have performed better than gold, art, wine and stocks and shares, even the housing market. Prices have increased by more than 400%. Total sales of classic cars at auctions were $144m in 2000; in 2015, they were just under $1bn. In total, the industry is worth more than £6bn.
There will always be a good market for classics; in difficult times investors shift to tangible assets, which are beyond the whims of financial markets and which governments can’t touch. And you can trade them in any currency. To be termed classic, a car must be over 40 years old. Classic cars are exempt from UK capital gains tax and road tax if bought as investments. After its stellar performance over the last decade the classic car market is levelling off. Without a doubt it will bounce back, but only once some of the rubbish has been sifted out of the market and only the very best cars remain. However, the market for supercars shows no sign of abating. Look out for the ultra-rare numbered models, such as the Ferrari LaFerrari or the McLaren P1, where production was very tightly limited. Rarity can double the price. The LaFerrari was Ferrari’s first hybrid sports car and benefitted from lessons learned from the company’s Formula One operations. It’s a phenomenal car with probably the most desirable badge in the business. They originally sold for £1m, now they’re fetching as much as £2.8m: they’re an exceptionally rare beast and I’ve already managed to sell one of them. McLaren the road car manufacturer is a comparatively young company, but the P1, made in Woking, is a world-beater. McLaren has followed the lead of Lamborghini and is producing crazy, outlandish designs that stir the emotions. It’s something that shouldn’t make sense, but it works. Straight from the showroom the P1 cost £750,000: now you’re looking at £1.7m, if you can find one. I’ve sold four – they’re handbuilt, and have the performance to take on any other brand in the world.
MONACO By Martin Eriksen,
It is while gliding towards the Nice airport runway, hovering above the azure blue water, littered with super yachts at the backdrop of a lush, green mountain chain you realise that the grey London late summer is but a memory, that you could spend the next days losing track of time while soaking up sun, enjoying good food and discovering medieval castles in the surrounding French countryside. Your final destination is a place very close to here yet quite different. It is ultra-exclusive, a tiny place with more billionaires and higher property prices than anywhere else in the world, a place governed by princess and princesses, where celebrities can walk unaccosted on the streets, a place that is home to 25 of the 100 biggest yachts in the world and where taxes are for other people. Monaco is 30 minutes by car from Nice airport but an easy helicopter ride ensures that you don’t get stuck in traffic and arrive in style. Once landed it is easy to get around, Monaco is small enough that most distances can be covered by an hour on foot; although it is very hilly so wear your hiking shoes. Monaco’s history goes back 700 years but the foundation of what the country is today was laid in1863 when the Monte Carlo Casino was opened. The success of the Casino was such that the at the time almost bankrupt country was able to cut all direct taxes within a few years and let the Casino fund the entire state budget. The classical elegance of the Casino shines through all over the city. Take for example the Metropole Monte Carlo, an excellent choice of hotel. The Metropole is steps away from the Casino and, built only 25 years later, it exhumes the old school sassiness you want to experience in Monaco. With only 126 spacious rooms
this privately owned hotel has a boutique feel to it. From the terrace of the Michelin starred Joël Robuchon restaurant you can gaze at the yearly Grand Prix’ most dangerous turn. ODYSSEY, the chic pool side bar, featuring decorations by Karl Lagerfeld, or the poetic lobby bar are where to see and be seen by night.
a colonial setting, offering its guests a unique and fairy-like ambiance with a chic, elegant and cosy atmosphere.
The soothing spa by Givenchy the place to replenish in the morning.
Thirty Nine is the first of its kind in the area aiming to be much more than a members club with a focus on the combination of wellness, fitness, mental strength, learning, nutrition, work and play.
For fine dining Monaco has an abundance of offerings. A notable pinnacle is the three Michelin star Le Louis XV restaurant by Alain Ducasse. Residing in the marvellous renaissance style halls of l’Hotel de Paris just next door to the casino this restaurant impresses with a menu made by locally sourced produce, served by an honest and engaging staff. Although everything about Monaco emanates classic sophistication it is not a stagnant place. Skyscrapers rise in stark competition with the property prices and the hotel and restaurant scene has a lot of new entrants. Take for example the Monte Carlo Bay Resort and Hotel. The rooms in this modern building features stunning ocean views as the building extends into the ocean to make room for the property as well a vast lagoon to enjoy sunny days. On the restaurant scene the Parisian icon Buddha Bar recently opened one of its most luxurious locations in a wing of the Casino. It serves state of the art Asian inspired food to the beat of the house-brand music, a delicate mix of world and lounge music that has a presence of its own with millions of followers. The space is set with a subtle mixture of gilded mouldings, ancient sculptures and
In September ex international rugby player Ross Beattie launched club Thirty Nine - a private members’ lifestyle club, with a quintessentially British feel.
The three-story club house has a sports floor servicing both world class athletes and those looking to improve their fitness regime in their spare time. The dining experience is created by Chef Gaultiero Marchesi, the first Italian chef to receive three Michelin stars. The club also features a skincare and beauty area and offers customised styling experiences within the club’s hair studio. The country’s size taken into consideration Monaco offers an abundance of events. There is the renowned Formula 1 Grand Prix, the yearly Yacht Show, the opera season and a host of festivities and concerts. For someone wanting to go sightseeing there are several small museums and parks worth a visit; try for example the exotic garden featuring splendid views of the town below, a deep underground grotto along with, of course, a wide selection of exotic plants laid out along wavy pathways on the mountain side. It is difficult to be bored in Monaco but if you are, the wealth of experiences to be had in the surrounding French mountains and along the Côte d’Azur is just a short helicopter ride away.
Armin Strom Sailing Flavio Marazzo Skipper of the Armin Strom Sailing Team & GC32 Racing talks on a brief history of himself and the Armin Strom team.
The relationship with me and ARMIN STROM started in 2010 when we launched a special edition Sailing Watch for my Starboat Olympic project for London 2012. This was my 4th Olympic Games and we focused everything on a medal win after finishing 4th in Athens 2004 and 5th in Beijing 2008.
• Winning GC32 Racing Tour Marseille Cup 2014
Unfortunately we were not able to show our best performance in Weymouth/London 2012 and finished a disappointing 13th place.
• 2nd GC32 Racing Tour Copa del Rey 2016
After sailing the mighty Starboat for 20 years, I was looking for a new challenge in the sport of sailing. The great thing about this sport is that you have thousands of different boat designs where you can choose from and also hundreds of different events and regattas throughout the world. End of 2012 there were 3 different 32 foot catamarans on the market which were of interest for my objectives to integrate non-sailors as guests in my future high performance sailing. I finally chose the GC32 foiling catamaran which was brand new in 2013. This boat promised to fulfill all the points I was looking for such as a fast foiling platform, latest design and construction, all purpose boat for lakes and open sea, to race with a crew of 4-5 plus one guest place. We raced several long distance races in 2013 and started our one design GC32 regattas with up to 5 boats in 2014. The first ever GC32 Racing Tour started in 2015 with 7 different teams tacking part in this event series of 5 stops in Europe. Our relationship with ARMIN STROM created the, ARMIN STROM Sailing Team“ which is now sailing the second season in the GC32 Racing Tour. Our biggest achievements were: • Winning Key West Racing Week in 2015
• Winning GC32 Racing Tour Cowes Cup 2015 • 3rd GC32 Racing Tour Riva Cup 2016
The 2015 Tour included Lake Traunsee (Austria), Cowes (Isle of Wight UK), Kiel (Germany), Civitavecchia (Italy) and Marseille (France) This year we sailed in Riva del Garda (Italy), Malcesine (Italy), Palma de Mallorca (Spain), Sotogrande (Spain) and Marseille (France) Future
We will continue this season with the last two races in Sotogrande and Marseille. We are currently in 3rd position in the annual ranking and want to finish top 3 by the end of this season. The ARMIN STROM Sailing Teams objective is to maintain on the top of professional GC32 racing in the next 4 years. We want to become a serious sailing team with the one and only goal to win events and annual series! ARMIN STROM Sailing Team Racing Crew for 2018 Events Skipper / Manager / Helmsman - Flavio Marazzi, SUI
The goal of GC32 Racing Tour is to establish a well known sailing series in Europe for GC32 racing catamaran. This boat is most attractive and closest brother to the new America’s Cup foiling catamarans. Therefore the boat attracts not only ambitious private owners but also America’s Cup teams who want to practice in foiling regattas with their next generation of sailors.
Team Manager / Sailor: Sharon Ferris-Choat, NZL
The GC32 Racing Tour became much stronger this year. From 5-6 boats in the last season now up to 11 boats on the starting line in 2016.
Bowman & Coach: Diego Stefani, URU
We expect a continues growth in the next year in the European series and at least one more GC32 Racing tour series in the European winter for ambitious owners in the Southern Hemisphere like Asia, Australia/ New Zealand or South America.
Co-Boatcaptain/Bowman: Alexander Bryning, NZL
In our team I’m still the owner, manager and skipper. Our goal last winter was to build a strong team out of young sailors who want to learn to race these beast against the best sailors of the world and take this opportunity as a stepping stone towards the Olympic Games or America’s Cup sailing.
Tactician /Co-driver: Phil Robertson, NZL Trimmer: Shane Diviney, IRL Boards: Andrew Murdoch, NZL
Boat Captain: Ned Dalbeth Hudson, NZL
FOR SALE & CHARTER
Rouge is the new blue The spectacular 62.5m (205ft) Baton Rouge is for sale for the very first time. Also available for private blue water cruising in the Caribbean and the Mediterranean seasonally. Represented by Burgess as exclusive Worldwide Central Agents.
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SALE & PURCHASE | CHARTER | TECHNICAL SERVICES | MANAGEMENT
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The Lusitania Cover Up Nearly 100 years after the 9/11 of its day, the truth comes out
On May 1st last year, the National Archives at Kew released secret government documents under the 30-year-rule. Why are documents are kept secret? If they are dangerous or embarrassing to the government. In the case of documents related to RMS Lusitania released on May 1st 2014, both are true. The sinking of the Lusitania was the 9/11 of its day. On May 7th 1915, the 31,550ton Cunard Liner was en route to Liverpool from New York with 1,959 souls aboard when a German U-Boat torpedoed her just 11 miles off the coast of Ireland. Everyone is familiar with the tale of the Titanic but what about the Lusitania? She was launched into the River Clyde to the strains of “Rule Britannia” on June 7 1906, the largest moveable object ever created by man. On the Lusitania rested the hopes of the Empire and Cunard Lines that Britain would reclaim from the German liners the Blue Riband for the fastest crossing of the Atlantic. She was financed with government loans on the condition she be available for troop transport in time of need. Despite this, the Lusitania was fitted out to a standard of luxury never seen before. She reclaimed for Britain the Blue Riband on her third Atlantic crossing with a speed of 23.99 knots. In 1915, the Lusitania was the fastest most luxurious ship making the transatlantic run. When she sailed from New York on May 1st 1915, the New York Times and other papers carried a warning from the German Embassy. Everyone ignored it - confident the fastest ship in the world could outrun any German submarine that might dare to threaten a passenger liner travelling from a neutral country. Submarines of that period had a top speed underwater of only nine knots. They could reach speeds of fifteen knots on the surface but were vulnerable of being rammed. This led the Admiralty to issue such instruc-
tions to the merchant fleet in February 1915, an order that was intercepted and known to the German High Command. The U20 spotted the Lusitania on the 7th of May, the last day of her crossing. The submarine nearly lost her due to the liner’s superior speed but a last minute change of direction gave the U20 an excellent shot. After being hit by a single torpedo, the Lusitania sank in eighteen minutes at a list so severe that only eight of the forty-two lifeboats were launched. Due to the thirty-degree list, the lifeboats on the port side smashed into the decks below, while those on the starboard side hung eight feet from the doomed ship. Kapitänleutnant Schwieger, who ordered the torpedo strike, was shocked when he saw through his periscope a second, much larger explosion. He refused to permit his crew to look at the drowning passengers of the Lusitania. To this day, experts continue to debate the cause of the second explosion that sealed the Lusitania’s fate after the torpedo struck. Imperial Germany immediately claimed the ship was loaded with explosives destined for the front. In June 1915, during the official inquiry into the sinking of the Lusitania, the Admiralty manipulated testimony so that Lord Mersey reached an erroneous conclusion that multiple torpedoes struck the ship. The Admiralty knew from an intercepted message that Kapitänleutnant Schwieger had fired only a single torpedo. It was important to many that the inquiry blame only Imperial Germany. Lord Mersey waived his fees for the case and formally resigned two days after the verdict, saying, “The Lusitania case was a damned, dirty business!” Documents related to the closed sessions of the inquiry have never been released and Lord Mersey’s personal copy is claimed to be lost. The Admiralty had withdrawn the Lusitania’s escort ship, HMS Juno, once the submarine threat became known. Like
the Lusitania, the Juno was built with longitudinal coal bunkers that protected vital machinery from shellfire but made the ship vulnerable to listing when hit by a torpedo. It was also known that First Sea Lord Winston Churchill had remarked that the loss of an ocean liner such as the Lusitania might help bring America into the war on the side of Britain. Beginning in 1922, Germany repeatedly requested international dives on the Lusitania wreck to determine whether the second explosion was a result of contraband munitions on board. The alleged use by the British Navy of the site for testing depth charges is considered by some an effort to destroy evidence. What was in the documents released at Kew last year? Under the 30-year-rule, the British National Archive released internal memoranda between the Ministry of Defense and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office that showed that in 1982 the Government was concerned that divers to the Lusitania wreck were at risk because the wreck contained explosives. Noel Marshall of the Foreign Office’s North American department wrote, “The facts are that there is a large amount of ammunition in the wreck, some of which is highly dangerous. I am left with the uneasy feeling that this subject may yet - literally - blow up on us.” The British government was worried about ramifications for British-American relations because the discovery of explosives on the wreck would imply the Lusitania had been a legitimate target. Jim Coombes at Treasury Chambers wrote, “If it were now to come to light that there was after all some justification, however slight, for the torpedoing, HMG’s relations with America could well suffer.”
‘‘How Sport and Success go Hand in Hand’’ By Mark Webster, CEO of Kameleon.
If anyone had ever told us that we’d launch a content marketing agency at the beginning of the worst ever advertising recession, we would have laughed. Who would be that stupid? Of course, that’s what we went on to do. We launched our content marketing agency, Kameleon, in 2008, on the very day that Lehman Brothers expired. But this turned out to be the best decision ever. Launching a new advertising agency in the teeth of the worst ever advertising recession has been the making of Kameleon. The business was forged at a time when our work had to work – or else. Coming from very different backgrounds really helped; Richard has a background in traditional advertising agencies as a strategic planner. He started in the industry as a lowly graduate trainee at the bestnamed ad agency in London: Still, Price, Court, Twivy, d’Souza: Lintas. Since then he has worked for several major international agencies, including five years in Hong Kong and Singapore as regional planning director for Ogilvy. Returning to the UK, Richard was hired by the WPP media agency Mindshare with a brief to establish a leading strategy team within the agency, bringing a high-calibre of insight and ideas to the business. It was while Richard was at Mindshare that I met and worked with him. I also have a background in advertising, but in the media buying, sponsorship and content areas. Learning my trade at the sharp-end of media buying, I rapidly rose to running Mindshare’s UK division “Performance”, which managed all the content and sponsorship campaigns for their clients. I also played a key role in rolling-out the Performance business into international markets. In 2008, we could see the gap in the market; digital was taking over, and no agency was providing clients with good advice in how content could transform the way brands advertised. Hence – Kameleon was born. Sport has always been a major part of both of our lives, and has certainly shaped our
outlook on business and the type of agency we wanted Kameleon to be. Our passions lie in very different sports. Richard is a round-the-world Yachtsman, dedicated squash fanatic and classic MAMIL cyclist. Sailing is in his blood, his father having completed several single-handed trans-Atlantic races, and in ’96 Richard took part in the inaugural Clipper Roundthe-World Yacht Race, as Watch-leader on board a 60-ft racing boat. Since then, he has owned and sailed a succession of (much smaller!) boats, initially in Hong Kong and more recently in Devon where he now lives. Somehow, he has passed the bug to his own boys, who compete together for Team GB in the Feva Class, coming 9th in the World Championships in 2014, and hoping to go better this year in Germany. Sailing however is not as convenient as Squash, a sport Richard rediscovered 10 years ago and has played (without fail) every Tuesday night since then. “Aerobic Chess” it has been called, and is perhaps the most intense hour of his week! Finally, cycling; every year, like any self-respecting 40+ male, Richard will take to the Alps to bag a few more Hors Categorie climbs dressed in ill-fitting lycra. This year he takes on Geneva to Nice, which includes a single day stage taking in The Telegraphe, Alp d’Huez and the Galibier. I, on the other hand, have a passion for marathon running and triathlons, something I’ve done since a young age - competing all around the world. I have recently qualified to represent Team GB in triathlon in my age-group, and have qualified as a tri-coach in my own right. I spend many evenings and weekends passing on my knowledge to the young people of Sevenoaks. So, what motivated us to get into our sports? For Richard, the motivation to Sail comes from his desire to not take the path well-trodden, but to take head on challenges that provide him with a sense of adventure, and take him far off the beaten path.
The Squash bug is easier to explain; it is without doubt the motivation to be completely and utterly absorbed in one single mental and physical activity for an hour a week, which is as far removed from work as possible. The aim is simply to leave everything on the court, and win. My motivation has always been to push the limits; to see how long and how far and how fast I can go. Winning, competing and training are habits which go back to a young age. What motivates me today is still the same – to be the best I can be, put in the maximum amount of work, and know that results will come if the graft has been done. Richard has stuck to his sport because it’s the antidote to running a business. Being out on the water provides a completely different vista and perspective; being on the squash court is an hour in the week that is too absorbing to let work encroach. I can’t imagine myself not sticking at it. What keeps me going is the simple knowledge that if you do the work, if you keep to the program, the results will happen. Sport has played a massive part in our abilities to launch and run a successful, high-stress business. It has given us familiarity with hard graft, discipline and tenacity, knowing that if we put the hours in, success will follow. Having a physical and mental release that is away from work, even for a short time each day or week, is critical when you are working seven days a week and unable to switch off except during sport. It might sound odd, but you have to be fit to run a business! It’s physically demanding and has required stamina to put the shifts in over six long years. The confidence our success in sport has given us has provided a bedrock of confidence in our professional lives.
Lord Bath, on Life and Love Interview by Mark Simmons,
“My first erotic fantasy was inspired by Charles Kingsley’s The Water Babies, which my mother read to me. I must have been four or five at the time. Won’t you have some more pheasant?” I am taking lunch with Alexander Thynn, 7th Marquess of Bath, descendant of Tacitus and Charlemagne, in the palatial penthouse at Longleat in Wiltshire, England’s oldest unfortified stately home. He speaks a little hesitantly, in a light, husky, fluting voice. “There was a girl in the fantasy with me. A real girl. Her name was Susan. She was about six, I think. She had long blonde hair. We met having swimming lessons in Bath. Are you sure you won’t have some wine? It’s rather good.” The Marquess, who turned 70 in May, is fabulously rich. As well as the 10,000 rolling acres of Longleat (where business is booming: there has been been a record number of visitors this year), he has a handsome flat in Notting Hill Gate and a fine estate in the south of France, which is where he grows the wine he is drinking now. “Naked, Susan and I swam the high seas together, along with a string of other little girls, all of us trying to evade the nets of the adults who were fishing for us from above in boats. “The adults, of course, wanted to eat us, but first they packed us into tins like sardines. I was always packed next to Susan. Cheese? Fruit? We haven’t got anything sweet because I’m a diabetic.” Lord Bath, tall, broad and grizzled, looks well, if a touch ridiculous. He was educated at Eton and Christ Church, Oxford (he read Philosophy, Politics and Economics, and got a Third); he served in the Life Guards; but his distinctive sartorial style he established as an art student in Paris in the 1950s. Today he is wearing a floral waistcoat, mauve velvet trews and tan-coloured shoes, the toe-caps of which have been chewed off overnight by his labrador, Boadicea. “Thanks
to my ingenuity, we would always escape from the sardine tin and plunge back into the sea. Being the leader of the band, I swam at the head of the chain and the one immediately behind me was inevitably Susan, who grasped me between the legs by the most convenient handle. And so linked, we swam together, idyllically, for days and nights on end.”
“magnum opus”: his memoirs. “I have written six million words so far. That takes the story to 1990.” Volume one, A Plateful of Privilege: The Early Years, is published by Artnik at the end of this month; it takes us, however, no further than his prep school. I have read it: it is fascinating, elegantly written and extraordinarily intimate.
Lord Bath blinks back a tear and softly smacks his lips. He has pink cheeks and the look of Raymond Briggs’ Father Christmas. He is nostalgic, sentimental and romantic, and he likes talking about sex. This is fortunate since, in many ways, it is his sex life that defines him. He is celebrated (or notorious, depending on your viewpoint) as the eccentric muralist whose bedroom walls are covered with scenes from the Kama Sutra (“I painted them in ‘69,” he says, cheerily, “a fortuitous year given the subject matter”) and as the campaigning peer who preaches and practises polygyny.
Pre-pubescent Alexander’s close encounters with his nanny, his nurse, his sister Cal, his sister’s governess, his cousin Sal, to name but a few, are recounted in gripping detail. The bedside game he played with a young nurse he nicknamed Fuchsia (after a flower fairy in a favourite book) when, aged six, he was a patient awaiting a mastoid operation at Bath general hospital, has to be read to be believed.
“It’s catching on, slowly,” he tells me, adding by way of explanation: “A polygamist has more than one wife; a polygynist has more than one mate.” Lord Bath acknowledges a current total of 73. He used to call them “wifelets”. To me he calls them girlfriends. Over the years they have come in all shapes and shades: a black model, a Chinese artist, a 17-year-old from Sri Lanka, a Wessex housewife. He has executed three-dimensional portraits (in sawdust and oils) of every one of them. They are fixed to the walls of a spiral staircase (affectionately known as Bluebeard’s Gallery) just off the kitchen, with the date he met each girl to the left of her face, and the date of painting to the right. “You can tell which were my active years.” Lord Bath is proud of his sexual prowess and of his painting. He has been busy in both areas, but he hopes his ultimate claim to fame will be as a writer. We are meeting to mark the launch of what he calls his
The book isn’t just about sex. It is also (and this is its strength) a beautifully observed evocation of the lives of the English aristocracy in the 1930s and a telling portrait of an unusual upbringing in a now-vanished world. His relationship with his parents was not easy. What were they like? “My father, Henry, the 6th Marquess, was the man who introduced the lions to Longleat and held the teddy bears’ picnics here. He was a pioneer of the stately home as a visitor attraction. “That is his legacy. He was considered a charmer by the women of his generation, but to me he was a disciplinarian, unbending and ungiving. “He never once said anything encouraging about my murals. He humiliated me by appointing my younger brother, Christopher, to run the house. The loss of face was intolerable. “When my father died, 20 years ago, aged 87, the first thing I did was tell Christopher to leave. It was an acrimonious parting, but essential. My father condemned us
to a life of enmity. Six volumes of my memoirs are devoted to sibling rivalry. “My mother, Daphne, daughter of Lord Vivian, had great warmth when I first knew her. She had vitality. She always made the party go with a swing. It was she who encouraged me towards the arts, though I believe she told her friends later that she regretted it. She died in 1997.” Were his parents happy together? “Until the war, yes, but during the war, when my father was away, my mother was unfaithful, repeatedly. I did this terrible thing when he came home on leave. I don’t think I meant to be malicious. I was just mischievous. “I said to him, ‘Papa, there’s an awful lot of new men you’ve got to meet.’ He wasn’t amused. And after that he started having girlfriends. “My parents were monogamists and serial adulterers. They cheated on their ideal. Seeing their example, I preferred to have a different ideal, one I wouldn’t cheat on. And my childhood fantasy - swimming along with a string of girls - suggests to me that, regardless of my parents, I inclined towards polygyny from a very early age.” “But you are married?” I say. “Yes,” he nods. “I got married when I was . . .” He hesitates. “The year was . . .” He’s lost. “1959,” he says, at last, then he pauses and ponders. “Wait a minute . . . it was 10 years later, wasn’t it?” It was. He married Hungarian-born Anna Gael, then an actress, now a writer, in 1969. They have a daughter and a son: Lenka, 33, and Lord Bath’s heir, Ceawlin, Viscount Weymouth, 28. Does his own marriage work? “Yes,” he says, emphatically. “Anna and I quarrel, but I appreciate the stability she has given the children. She watches over them. She lives in France mostly, but she comes to England one week in four.” There is clearly some tension in the relationship. Lady Bath has vetoed the publication of the volumes of her husband’s memoirs that detail their relationship. “At least during her lifetime,” he says, with regret. He accepts, reluctantly, that he may not be easy to live with. “Anna doesn’t like it when we are having Sunday lunch and I let the visitors troop
through the dining-room. She thinks we should eat in private. I think, if the paying public want to see my murals, they should be allowed to do so.” Lord Bath tells me his wife has always tolerated his polygyny. He is anxious that I should know he approaches his romantic life as a gentleman. “It’s very rare that I’ve seduced anybody’s wife,” he tells me. “And if infidelity does occur, it should always be done tactfully, so that it doesn’t offend anybody’s pride. I don’t want anyone to be hurt or lose face.” What about jealousy between girlfriends? I assume he doesn’t ever have two of them simultaneously under the same roof. He flushes. He is not embarrassed. He is excited. “Well,” he says, softly, “I might.” “Doesn’t that cause problems?” I ask. “Oh, no,” he purrs, warming to the theme. “Hopefully they might even fancy each other.” Realising (not without a twinge of envy) that I am way out of my depth here, I bring the conversation back to his children. What do they make of his domestic arrangements? “I regard myself as a pioneer, as an experimenter, but I am afraid my children felt it was an intrusion on their lives having me bring my girlfriends home. Ceawlin has always been better at coping with it than Lenka, but, over the years, they have both shown their disapproval by not being as polite to my girlfriends as I would have liked. “Lenka has always been more critical. She’s fiercer. She’d say she’s never been overtly rude, but sometimes . . .” He sighs. Ceawlin and Lenka are the only children Lord Bath lists in the latest edition of Debrett’s People of Today, but I understand he has a third. “Yes,” he says, hesitating, “another daughter.” “And what is she called?” I ask. “I can’t really say,” he says, unhappily, “Her mother wouldn’t like it.” “Can I ask how old she is?” I persist. “My daughter? She’s three.” He grins, proudly. “Congratulations,” I say, “Are you enjoying being a father all over again?”
“No,” he says, firmly. “I don’t see my daughter and her mother as much as I would wish. Lots more needs to be done so they bring me into their lives. I hope it will happen. This is part of the experiment on which more work is required.” It suddenly occurs to me that Lord Bath is rather lonely. He has a kindly couple who look after him, beautiful labradors yapping at his heels, at least two girlfriends in the village, he assures me; but his family is missing. Cal, his favourite sister, is dead; Val, his favourite brother, committed suicide; and he is estranged from his remaining brother, Christopher. “He avoids me at parties,” he says. And it’s evident that his wife and children are not as close to him as he would like. Alexander Thynn is a gifted and original individual. He acknowledges that his wealth and position have made it possible for him to live his life the way he does. He has had a lot of fun along the way (as well as the occasional visit to the clap clinic); and the girlfriends of his that I have met have all regarded him with affection (he is both a vain old goat and a sweet old darling). But, I wonder, has he had much love? “What happens,” I ask, “when one of your girlfriends begins to fall in love with you?” His answer quite shocks me: “I don’t let it get that far,” he says. “I recognise the symptoms and nudge her carefully in a different direction.” Does he think he might have missed out on something in his life? He stares into his goblet of wine, then he looks me straight in the eye. “Have I missed out on the pairing with a soulmate?” He hesitates, then, with a wan smile and poppy, shining eyes, he says: “Yes. Yes I have. And yes, since you ask, which I don’t think anyone has before, I do think it would have been nice to have had that experience. But I haven’t. And it’s too late now.” So, there you are: Lord Bath is richer than us, and poorer too.
‘‘What I Did This Summer’’. By Carnegie Smyth, CEO at Signia Wealth
I start writing this in a very reflective mood as I am sitting in Liberia airport at 4am after an incredible adventure. It was so intense, and full of hard-work, laughter and contemplation that it feels like it was a four-week trip – when in reality it was only four days. I am dirty, drained, feel proud and humbled but most importantly I am inspired. I was lucky enough to learn so much after my physical adventure in August 2016 but this was more raw, much more personal. It was an emotional rollercoaster from beginning to end. My challenge last Summer (2016) saw me cycle 1000km in 10 days across the UK for Sported, a Charity that supports local community heroes to inspire and fulfil the potential of disadvantaged young people. At the end of each day I then took on a sporting challenge, such as rugby, football, sailing, boxing and hockey. This year’s adventure in Sierra Leone and Liberia was very different. It was much more personal to me and my family. Let me tell you why.
logical family’s life and the other villagers. I met some amazing people, saw unbelievable things, and realised how special this place is. But I also came away a little lost....... I’m not great at showing emotions and much of my feelings this trip were kept largely to myself. Let me tell you a little bit about my adventure though. Entering an orphanage is upsetting. Entering with your niece for the first time since she was adopted and left eight years ago, is something else. She was overwhelmed by the sight of her friends waiting for our arrival. Nahla broke down for a moment. An embrace from her mum and dad helped, a look of confusion but sympathy and maybe a tornado of emotion from her sister McKenzie by her side who can clearly relate too. I was so proud of Nahla! I would not have been that cool....in fact I wasn’t. I had no idea what to do. My comfort zone had been well and truly breached!
In 2007 my sister and her husband Billy adopted McKenzie from Liberia and two years later Nahla from Sierra Leone, two gorgeous West African angels.
Nahla instantly wanted to say hello to people, she was in her element suddenly surrounded by kids who wanted to engage with her and meet this girl who they all knew about. This is Nahla all over.
This summer, I met my niece McKenzie’s twin brother Benjamin in Liberia and had the honour of accompanying my niece Nahla for the first time back to the orphanage in Sierra Leone that ensured she is alive today.
Her confidence oozed and she was determined to meet everyone, including her best friend from the orphanage Francis, and look around. For the children at the orphanage she is a beacon of hope.
We also visited Prince ‘my brother’ in his village and carried over 500kg of medicines, toys, sweets and clothes to give to my new African friends and family. I also visited my sister’s project (Braveheart Liberia) which is changing McKenzie’s bio-
Nahla insisted on seeing the orphanage where she used to live, and was given a tour of where her cot was and where she used to play. After the tour we started on the gifts for the children at the orphanage that we had bought with us. We had managed to take a lot of clothes,
pens, loom bands, sweets, shoes, football kits, tennis balls and other toys and games from the UK. Straight way you could tell that there was a clear strategy from the children - the older kids would let the little ones dictate, a few of the little ones would work in unison filling their own bags and had a deal to split their bounty at the end. I loved watching and being a part of this moment, the system was genius if you ask me. There was one little girl who had her own system- she was relentless, a fighter, scared of no one. She had about 5kg of stuff and could have started her very own sweet shop. It was very humbling seeing what it meant to them. We ensured everyone got a fair share and no-one was left out. Next on the agenda was a football match in the heavily sloped concrete car park, complete with multiple holes in the ground. 20 boys playing football in their new kits, boots, shoes and bibs with their new ball. It was great to see. While the football match was in full swing, one girl decided that she wanted to put a hair band in my hair. I let her and the next thing you know all the girls then decided to put bands in my hair so I had loads of tiny bunches sprouting from the top of my head. While I was in the process of my hair ‘makeover’ I started speaking with a couple of older girls who were maybe 16 years old. They had spent their whole lives in the orphanage. When I asked them both what they wanted to be when they are older they said they wanted to be a doctor and flight attendant. To follow their dreams, they needed USD 3000
to put them through college for three years,. I wanted to hand money over to everyone but you can’t and it is hard knowing they may never get the money they need to reach their dreams. The following day as we say goodbye to everyone in the village a remarkable thing happened. The atmosphere was a bit more sombre because they knew we were leaving. As we started to say our goodbyes all the kids started taking off their loom band creations that they had made - the necklaces, bracelets and rings. These would have taken hours and hours to make. We only left yesterday late afternoon and it’s now 9am. As they took their loom band jewellery off they gave their creations to us.... wait a minute they are giving us gifts back, they have nothing yet give something. It was truly special and humbling. I didn’t take my new jewellery off for the rest of the trip. After our goodbye to everyone in the village, we hit the road to the airport, to catch our plane to Liberia. My mum, sister, brother and I left to go alone, it is dangerous and McKenzie will have the opportunity to go when she is older. At the airport in Liberia Prince, his wife Rose and baby Bobby picked us up, with a ‘driver’ we had asked him to organise. He had been waiting 5 hours; ‘didn’t want to be late’ he said. He even had welcome signs and everything!! At this stage I should probably explain who Prince is. Prince worked in Acres of Hope, the orphanage where McKenzie lived in Liberia. My mum ‘adopted’ Prince into the family as a thank you for helping with her first grand-daughter. I’ve been replaced as the eldest son. After a truly off-road journey to Princes village, we made it – to a hero’s welcome. The village had come to greet us. We handed out more things to them than they could have imagined.
Prince was in charge, getting involved and deciding who would get what. The next day, we finally met my niece’s twin, it was an emotional, hilarious, surreal but memorable day, all rolled into one. As part of the trip we went mattress shopping, to a US supermarket shop and ended up transporting 100 or so kg of luggage, two mattresses, six pillows, food shopping for months for the family, rice for goodness knows how long, four plastic chairs, some eggs, oh and a cooking oil drum was somehow sneaked onto the bus. We just about managed to get everything into the minibus we had hired – and I fully embraced discomfort during the two-and-a-halfhour journey back to the village. When we finally made it back to the village, our next job was to unload the tin can bus! The two king size mattresses were first off of the roof, followed by unpacking the chairs, the drum the food and everything else that we’d managed to somehow stow onto the bus. We then started handing out the things we brought, including food, sweets and medicines. This included loads of vitamins and medicines. The kids started eating the pepperamis and marshmallows straight away and the lucky charms cereal really didn’t last long. The look of joy from these kids was a lovely feeling. The village is being developed slowly with my sister’s help. Originally, all my sister wanted was a roof for Benjamin, McKenzie’s twin brother, and for him to get to an education. She pays the school yet it’s hard to know if he goes. You may wonder why I said I remain lost. This is the reason, I just can’t help, financial support doesn’t always help, his education is already paid for, but they can’t always see the importance of education. My sister’s dream is eventually to have the funds to send the whole village to school. I was truly moved by everything that I saw, but the frustration is that they have to help them-
selves now. My thanks go to my friends, clients and colleagues that sent me food, kit and toys to take on this trip. It meant the world to the children. Making a real difference is hard work and frustrating. I am proud of the tiny bit I’ve done and now I’ve made my promise – I will return. It was an absolute honour and privilege to share the experience with my nieces and I invite anyone to join me next time – I am serious. To my sister, brother in law and mum - it was everything you said it would be - and more. What you’ve done is truly change not just Nahla and McKenzie lives but your work is now having a positive knock-on effect to many others. Your daughters may not realise just yet but soon they will realise they have a special family around them. Lucky for me it’s the same as mine, which means so do I! So, what did you do last summer? I hope it was as memorable and rewarding as mine… Carnegie Smyth, CEO Signia Wealth and very proud uncle. Braveheart Liberia is a humanitarian project based in The Sugar Hill Peace Community, Montserrado County, Liberia. The charity has been supporting the community for over a decade. In 2015, Braveheart Liberia purchased an acre of land to develop into a sustainable living project for the community of Sugar Hill. Since its completion in 2016, Braveheart Liberia has now welcomed over 20 extended family members into this project. Braveheart Liberia hope to begin the second project later this year (2017) to build a community centre, small medical clinic and additional dwelling space to help more families. The Book: ‘Lionheart, a real life guide for adoptive families’ is also available to buy on Amazon.
World Crisis 2 By Lord Watson of Richmond CBE Winston Churchill wrote his history of the First World War between 1923 and 1931. After the first volume appeared in 1923 Nancy Astor commented caustically that Winston had written a great volume about himself and characterised it as the history of the World’s worst crisis. She was, of course, unfair. Churchill wrote, in part, to defend his record over the failed and bloody landings at the Dardanelles – born of strategic brilliance but doomed by inadequate leadership on the beaches and at sea. Churchill drew one lesson. Next time he had to be in charge. In 1940, he took command not only in No. 10 – but also of the whole of Britain’s strategy of war. He was not only Prime Minister but Minister of Defence, defiance and the pursuit of survival and victory. This article poses a question. If the catastrophe of the First World War and its aftermath deserved the title of the ‘World Crisis’, do our present times, predicaments and perils justify the appellation ‘World Crisis Two’? Churchill wrote when he published ‘The World’ ‘…we live in the most thoughtless of ages. Everyday headlines and short views. I have tried to drag history up a little’ Why? ‘In case it should be helpful in our present difficulties’. So, let us look at where we are and dare to ask where we might be before too long? Churchill in his history of World War I titled his opening text ‘Milestones to Armageddon’. Do we now tread that path? In September this year (2017), Jens Stoltenberg, the Secretary General of NATO, stated that the ‘world is at its greatest risk for a generation’. He spoke of contemporary threats ‘making the world increasingly perilous’. He cited North Korea, ISIS, instability, a bellicose Russia and much else. He could have mentioned Brexit, the Trump White House, the world’s increasingly turbulent weather, troubled Turkey - so many causes for concern. What is undeniable is the world is “increasingly perilous”. And most disturbing is the absence of any reassurance and clarity of vision. In 1946, Churchill surveyed a world in ruins and offered two speeches in Fulton and Zurich, a call to defiance and revival. Today there is only clamour devoid of substance. Our cardinal challenge in a dysfunctional world is to relocate sovereignty. Who has it?
Where should it be? Does it lie in nations, in multinational corporations, in parliament or with presidents? Is it based in our hopes or fears, is it the plaything of unscrupulous media and populist celebrities or does it seek stability, credibility, truth? As we move deeper into the twenty-first century, does sovereignty have any valid home seeking instinct? It is not a question adequately answered by populist mantras: America first or Brexit bravado. The answer must lie with aspirations – of the individual and the nation: Do we as individuals aspire only to greater wealth, more security, or do we yearn for a quality of life, drawing on the wells of our culture and the joy of our environment? There is no doubt about the benefits wealth can bring to both the individual and the community. The young populations of Europe and North America can and do take much for granted. Half a century of relative peace, the avoidance of a nuclear Armageddon rising prosperity despite the crisis of 2008 all can join to under pin confidence and complacency. Can we take what we have for granted? Those who feel that they have lost out and whose incomes are below average can be disgruntled and pray to populist protest but for them too, world crisis is not really on the agenda. But, but terrorism with its shocking brutality disrupts our lives. For Britons, Brexit and the falling pound fuels uncertainty. Even the USA with all its military might cannot defeat ISIS. So, we confront the 21st Century with frustration. Accounts that should be settled can’t! Is this World Crisis 2? No. Not yet. A convergence of crises could move the needle. The event that triggered the First World crisis was the assassination of a Hapsburg in Sarajevo. We would be foolish to ignore an equal provocation. But what turned Sarajevo into the global catastrophe and the European ruin of World War 1 was not the event itself but how the matrix of international inter-connectivity instead of preventing escalation enabled it. We may well encounter our Sarajevo. It is up to us to learn the lessons and treasure the trust built up decades of inter-dependence. NATO, EU, Commonwealth and the
Trans-Atlantic Alliance are not baubles to be thrown out of the pram. They constitute the Ark that can save us if and when the waters rise. But if this Ark is to be up to its task, the institutions and practices involved have to be fit for purpose. At present, they are not. Let us look at them in turn. First, NATO, the bedrock of Western security during the Cold War. At its heart was Article 5 – an attack on one is an attack on all. Shortly after his inauguration, President Trump targeted this essential principle. The USA would only come to the aid of those who deserved it. This would be based on how much they had contributed to Western security. The implication was clear. A defence commitment below 2% of GDP was inadequate. NATO was an insurance cover only for those who paid their dues. Since then, President Trump has modified his words, but has he changed his mind? The EU? Its lacklustre Commission, President Juncker, trumpets his commitment to ‘ever closer Union’. But is he a Pied Piper with any followers? The UK’s narrow decision to exit the EU may well disrupt any such aspiration. Britain’s withdrawal re-establishes the primacy of the Franco-German axis. But do France and Germany agree on Europe’s final destination, and even if they do, can they enforce it on other members? If the EU cannot transform itself into a United States of Europe – so desired by its Luxembourg Commission President and still yearned for by many Germans so nervous of their own dominance and any return to the primacy of the national state – then it will remain uncomfortably balanced between a Federal Union and a far looser confederation of states – not a two-speed Europe but a multispeed miasma. The Commonwealth has defied gravity for a half a century thanks to the wonderfully discreet leadership of Her Majesty the Queen. Its advantages lie in its shared language and, to a surprising extent, it’s shared traditions of law. But will Prince Charles exercise the same cohesive magic as his mother?
The Bugatti Family Interview by Mark Simmons,
In order to understand Ettore Bugatti, it is important to know something about the family he grew up in. The family can be traced back to the 17th century when the well-known painter, Zanetto Bugatti, was involved in the decoration of several Milanese churches, and whose work can still be seen today. Ettore’s grandfather, Giovanni Luigi Bugatti, was an architect, but is principally remembered for his quest to design a perpetual motion device. Carlo Bugatti, Ettore’s father, was born in 1856 and, after studying art at the Brera School and the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, became a famous sculptor and respected furniture designer. His sister Luigia lived with the Swiss painter, Segantini, who occasionally collaborated with Carlo. By the end of the 19th century, Carlo had achieved all he had ever dreamed of. He sold his business in Milan and moved to Paris in 1903, where he was able to live a comfortable life. He was able to allow his two sons the time and freedom to choose their own careers and, above all, instilled in them the self-confidence to develop their own talents. Ettore was born in 1881, his sister Deanice two years later, and Ettore’s younger brother in 1884. He was given the promising name of Rembrandt, even though his father intended him to become an engineer. At the age of 15, Rembrandt created his first sculpture, without having made more than 25 drawings in his whole life. His father consequently sent him to the Brera Academy and the sculptor Troubetzkoy, a friend of this artist family, gave him additional tutoring. In 1903 Rembrandt held his first exhibition of his animal sculptures at the Venice Biennale, and subsequently became known as an “Animalier” throughout Europe and even in the USA. After the Bugatti family moved to Paris, he became a lifelong friend of Adrien Hébrard, the owner of a famous gallery. In the period before the First World War, Rembrandt spent much
of his time in the Antwerp Royal Zoological Garden, the largest of its kind in Europe at that time. It was here that he created many of his celebrated sculptures, working with clay, which allowed him to finish the works in a very short time. When war broke out he served in a military hospital in Paris. The horrors of war and the prospect of not being able to work for a long time, combined with an unhappy love affair, drove him into a deep depression. In 1916, Rembrandt Bugatti took his own life. Today his outstanding animal sculptures can be found in museums all over the world. While he is most famous for his elephants, panthers and lions, he also depicted such humble creatures as cows and donkeys. Ettore’s life in his own words “It was while I was growing up that the motor car was born. I was not exactly designated for this new industry nor to any other activities of this kind, as my family had been creating sculptures, paintings, engravings and chased work since the 16th century. I also started to study sculpture at the Brera Arts School in Milan. Unfortunately I was more concerned with amusing myself and besides, I had a brother who was already a sculptor. There are two types of artists. Those who are born artists – one day they create something and are ‘hooked’. My brother was one of them. The other type, to which I belong, are those who try and create art but are not as gifted, so they have to make up for it by working hard. One day they should wake up and realise that they ought to do something else. If they truly respect art, they stop and choose another path. For that reason I left the world of fine art when I was 16 years old and joined the foundry of Prinetti and Stucchi. Mr Prinetti, then Minister of Foreign Affairs, was a friend of the family. It was during this time as an apprentice that I began to fall in love with all things mechanical. Together with a friend I
eventually managed to buy a motorised tricycle, which I even entered in races. I remember one of first ones very well. It took place in Milan and I competed with my tricycle against a whole pack of motor cars over a distance of 100 kilometres. I reached the finishing line ten minutes before any other participant. The following year I set up my own little workshop. Not with any particular plans for the future, but simply for my own enjoyment in motor sports and love of things mechanical. In general it was the beginning of a whole new industry. Renault was also making his first steps. The only pioneers in France were Leon Bollée, Serpollet, De Dion, De Dietrich and Panhard; and in Germany Maybach, Benz and Daimler. They were all about 40 years old, while I was just 17, and Renault scarcely 20. I started building motor cars for my own pleasure, more as an enjoyment than a way to earn a living. Besides, I was not a trained engineer. Little by little I acquired the technical knowledge, such as calculating the strength of materials. In the beginning, my greatest asset was my ability to draw. Sketches are not only a way of representing existing objects, but a way to communicate your ideas and thoughts. Many things are easier when you can draw. And I was lucky that I could. No doubt my ancestral roots played a part. You may not necessarily be born a genius just because your father was one, but it is quite common to inherit a talent that has been cultivated in your family for several generations.” A designer to his dying day Ettore’s son, Jean, certainly inherited his father’s remarkable talent. He was born on 15 January 1909 – the same year that Ettore started up his own company in a former dye works in
Molsheim, Alsace. He regarded the complex not simply as a factory, but as a work of art in its own right. In 1921, Ettore became its owner, having previously rented it for 5,000 marks a year. His dominant role in the company culminated in the purchase of the Château St. Jean. As the king of Molsheim, he obviously needed a castle. None of this was necessary to run a car factory; it was simply about creating an image and satisfying his own whims as its owner. In fact, if there had not been so many anecdotes associated with his name, the Bugatti marque probably would not enjoy such prestige today. Throughout his life, Ettore never gave up. For all his major successes, there were also huge setbacks, including the loss of his son and his factories in two world wars. He retained his passion for designing things until his dying day, succumbing to pneumonia on 21 July 1947, aged 66, in the American military hospital in Neuilly-sur-Seine. ETTORE BUGATTI THE MAN BEHIND THE MYTH Compared to other famous automotive designers of his time, such as Vittorio Jano, Ferdinand Porsche, Mark Birkigt or W.O. Bentley, Ettore Bugatti was certainly a flamboyant character in more ways than one. He was six years younger than Jano and seven years older than Bentley, and in purely technical terms they were undoubtedly superior to Bugatti. Yet they had nothing of his creative background, resulting from being born into an artistic family. Ettore Isidoro Arco Bugatti was born on 15 September 1881 as the eldest son of Carlo and Theresa Bugatti in Milan. It was his parents’ desire that the young Ettore should follow in his father’s artistic footsteps, while his brother Rembrandt, born in 1884, should pursue a technical career. In the end, it was to be the reverse. Rembrandt was the artist in the family and Ettore began his apprenticeship with the bicycle manufacturers Prinetti & Stucchi. Although he was never to study engineering at
university, he designed machines at a furious pace. Each day he filled numerous pages of his famous notepads (over 20,000 of his sketches have survived), and not just with car designs: he also churned out ideas for fishing boats, spaghetti machines and medical instruments. He seemed to see room for improvement in almost everything and ended up owning no fewer than 500 patents!
in May 1928 made him “Le Patron”, and this is all he ever wanted to be. For his drivers, his employees and Bugatti clients.
At his factory, Ettore was never satisfied with second best. He always wanted the best available and if it did not meet his expectations he simply made it himself. Thus, many of the tools in Molsheim were of his own design, including the feet of the wooden workbenches and the vices used by his workers.
1897. After finishing school and spending a short time at the Academy of Art in Milan, Ettore begins working in the foundry at Prinetti & Stucchi, Italy’s leading company in smallscale engineering, involved primarily in the manufacture of bicycles and sewing machines. He was fascinated by the technology and mechanics of automobiles, which were still in their infancy.
Even the entrance and oak doors to the factory were Bugatti originals. He did not consider his Atelier as just another factory; he saw it much more as a complete work of art. And none of his contemporaries set any great store by such things.
Bugatti – Art, Forme, Technique History 1881. Ettore is born in Milan on 15 September. His father, Carlo Bugatti, is a well- known furniture designer; his younger brother, Rembrandt, is a famous sculptor.
THE DAWNING OF A NEW ERA
At the age of just 17, he fitted an engine to a tricycle, which was used to take part in races. Little by little, he expands his technical and mathematical knowledge in order to ensure that his ideas are more than simply flights of imagination.
Ettore Bugatti was in his prime as motor racing became a spectator sport. It had shed ist image of dirty exhaust gases and dusty roads and instead was taking on a more glamorous air, with a touch of the heroic and romantic.
From the beginning, he strives to create what he calls, “Pur Sang,” or thoroughbred, designs. His high standards in terms of technical design and performance must always be directly tied to his sense of aesthetics.
This perfectly suited the artist and aesthete Ettore, who saw it as his vocation to define the new fashion. Following his company’s triumph in Brescia and the steady income from racing car sales, Ettore decided to move his image up a level or two.
1901. At the age of 20, Ettore presents his first vehicle, the Type 2, at an exhibition in Milan. This vehicle wins the “Coppa Grande” and a special prize by the Automobile Club de France. The license to build the vehicle, that is equipped with a 12 PS 4-cylinder engine and is capable of 65 km/h, is sold to the De Dietrich company in Niederbronn in the Alsace region.
After all, he was now truly a factory owner and no longer wanted to be remembered for his overalls and peaked cap. Strangely, there are many references in the literature glorifying Ettore’s appearance, in particular his tasteful clothing. Yet this is not apparent from the thousands of photos available. There are, on the other hand, contemporary references to his relatively short height, and his penchant for riding apparel even when miles away from a horse. Ultimately, Ettore’s purchase of the Château St. Jean in Molsheim
1902. Carlo Bugatti signs a seven-year contract for his son Ettore, who is still under 21, to allow him to work as a designer at De Dietrich. Ettore moves to the Alsace and the first De Dietrich Bugattis are built. 1904/05. The partnership with Baron de Dietrich ends. Ettore designs vehicles for the Strasbourg car dealer Emil Mathis, of which some are built by the “Elsässischen Maschinenbau-Gesellschaft” company in Illkirch.
1907. Ettore marries Barbara Maria Guiseppina Machera Bolzoni and the couple go on to have two daughters and two sons. Following the conclusion of the partnership with Mathis, Ettore signs a contract with the Gasmotorenfabrik Deutz in Cologne. He designs and builds various prototypes in the basement of the house he rents from Deutz in Cologne-Mülheim. 1909. Ettore’s son, Jean Bugatti, is born in Cologne on 15 January. The family moves to Molsheim in the Alsace region around Christmas. There, Ettore establishes his own business in an unused dye factory. 1910. Once the first tool machines have been delivered at the end of January and the necessary skilled team is assembled by Ettore’s long-standing assistant, Friderich, five vehicles are built and quickly sold. In the same year, Friderich begins to race for Bugatti. Having taken second place in the Gaillon mountain race in October, Bugatti gradually becomes a serious competitor. 1911. A series of racing victories follows, most notably a sensational second place finish in the overall placings in the French Grand Prix. By now, 65 employees work in the factory. In the same year, Bugatti signs a contract with Peugeot for the production of the Bébé Peugeot, the Bugatti Type 16. In total, 3,000 models of this vehicle are built, making it the highest production run of any Bugatti design. 1914-1918. Production of the Type 13 in Molsheim comes to a standstill due to the First World War. Bugatti switches to developing airplane engines for the French and American governments. The money for the license contracts is used after the war to expand production in Molsheim. The factory survives the war in good shape, and Bugatti’s production program fits perfectly into the France’s dawning Golden Twenties. 1921. All four starting Bugatti Type 13 models take the first four places at the Grand Premio Voiturette in Brescia. To celebrate this win, all of Bugatti’s 16-valve engines will bear the name of the city of Brescia as an additional title. 1922. Bugatti’s first 8-cylinder race car is built. The Type 29/30 has a revolutionary body in the shape of a cigar and is fitted with hydraulic brakes. This “cigar” takes third place at the Grand Prix de l’A.C.F. in Strasbourg. Production is increased again in the same year and the workforce grows to almost 1,000. 1923. At the Grand Prix de l’A.C.F. in Tours, Bugatti causes a sensation with a revolutionary wing-like body and covered wheels. Known as “the Tank”, the Type 32 features a very short wheelbase and is powered by a redeveloped version of the previous year’s eight-cylinder engine. With Ernest Friedrich at the wheel, the car took third place. 1924. The Type 35 debuts and becomes the
most successful Bugatti race car, despite not winning the French Grand Prix in its first race at the Grand Prix de l’A.C.F. For almost 10 years, the Type 35 dominates the racing scene, amassing more than 2,000 victories. It is not only used as a race car, but also becomes one of the first super sports cars to enjoy success off the race track. 1926. Even as a young design engineer, Ettore Bugatti dreamt of building the best, most luxurious and most elegant vehicle of all time. At the time, this was hindered by World War I. With the racing and sales successes of the Type 35, he was able to make his dream a reality. He then went on to create the most expensive car of all time – the Type 41 “Royale.” The 8-cylinder engine has an engine capacity of 12.7 litres and 300 PS. The radiator mascot is an elephant designed by Rembrandt Bugatti. This legendary vehicle arrived on the scene along with the Great Depression, and thus only six “Royales” were built. 1931-1934. Ettore Bugatti’s creativity knows no bounds and after winning the tender for a new high-speed train in France in 1931, he equips the train with “Royale” engines. He is now known as the great-grandfather of today’s TGV. Ettore’s range also includes the elegant Type 57 touring car. Selling more than 700 vehicles, this model is said to be his last great success. 1936. Bugatti builds the Type 57SC “Atlantic,” designed by Ettore’s son Jean. With its unusual proportions and unique riveted spine, it is considered to be the most impressive car of the pre-war era. Only four models of this vehicle are built; two of these have survived until the present day in their original condition. 1937. With the first Le Mans victory by Jean Pierre Wimille and Robert Benoist in a Type 57 G Tank, Bugatti revisits the more successful glory days of the 1920s. 1939. Bugatti wins the “24 Heures du Mans” with only one Type 57 C Tank and the drivers Jean Pierre Wimille and Pierre Veyron. This is hailed as Bugatti’s last great victory. A few weeks later, on 11 August, Ettore’s son and designated successor, Jean, dies during a test drive in exactly the same car that won at Le Mans. Three weeks later, World War II breaks out. 1947. After the war, tentative attempts to resume production in Molsheim fail due to limited funds. On 21 August, Ettore Bugatti dies of pneumonia in a military hospital in Paris at the age of 66. Under his leadership, a total of approximately 7,900 vehicles were built. 1950s. Projects conducted under the leadership of Ettore’s son, Roland Bugatti, experience little success. Although there are a great many ideas for new vehicle models, no truly remarkable cars are actually produced apart from the Type 73, the 101 and the Type 251 race car. 1963. The Bugatti company and the plant premises are taken over by Hispano Suiza.
From this point on, airplane landing gear and other assemblies are manufactured in Molsheim. Bugatti continues to produce replacement parts for its customers’ pre-war vehicles. In 1968, Hispano Suiza is taken over by the Snecma Group and Messier relocates to the plant premises in Molsheim. Production of airplane parts is integrated and operations are conducted under the name Messier-Bugatti. 1987. The Italian entrepreneur, Romano Artioli, buys the trademark rights to Bugatti from Messier-Bugatti and builds a new plant in Campogalliano near Modena for the purpose of producing a new Bugatti super sports car. 1991. On the occasion of what would have been Ettore Bugatti’s 110th birthday, the new super sports car, EB 110, is presented in Paris on 15 September. 1995. After building approximately 140 Bugatti EB 110 vehicles, the Bugatti Automobili S.p.A. company files for bankruptcy. The EB 112 research prototype designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro (Italdesign) is never put into production. 1998. Volkswagen buys the trademark rights and, at the Paris Motor Show in October, presents the EB 118: a four-seater, two-door coupé also designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro (Italdesign). The number “118” stands for “1st research prototype and 18 cylinders”. 1999. The EB 218 research prototype, a fourdoor saloon, débuts at the Geneva International Motor Show in March. In September, the mid-engine super sports car EB 18/3 Chiron is presented at the IAA in Frankfurt. Another super sports car is created at the same time. This vehicle, named the EB 18/4, is introduced five weeks later at the Tokyo Motor Show 1999. 2001. The advanced prototype of the EB 16/4 Veyron is presented at the IAA in Frankfurt. Named after racing driver Pierre Veyron and boasting 1,000 PS, eight litres capacity and four turbochargers, the Veyron 16.4 will also be used as a basis for the 2005 series version of the same name. 2005. Upon completion of the “atelier” in Molsheim, production of the Veyron begins. An opening ceremony for the new site is held on 3 September. Production of the Veyron is limited to 300 models. The construction of a super sports car offering over 1,000 PS and capable of a top speed of more than 400 km/h (248 MPH) fulfils the Group’s technical specifications. In terms of performance, each of these individual values supersedes everything previously achieved within the automobile industry. 2006. In April, the first Veyron is delivered. 2007. In June, the 100th Veyron is ordered. The special edition Bugatti Veyron 16.4 “Pur Sang” is presented at the IAA in Frankfurt. Only 24 hours after its world premiere on the evening before the first press day, all five planned examples have been sold.
2008. At the 78th Geneva International Motor Show, Bugatti and Hermès present the fruits of their partnership, the Bugatti Veyron Fbg par Hermès. In collaboration with Hermès artisans, Hermès designer Gabriele Pezzini employs the stylistic resources of the great Parisian house to lend a refined finished to the Veyron. This special edition seamlessly combines the technical and aesthetic standards of both Émile Hermès and Ettore Bugatti. 2008. Bugatti presents the open-top variant of the Veyron, the Grand Sport, at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in the United States. The Grand Sport is limited to 150 units. Chassis number one is sold for 3.2 million US dollars at the Gooding & Company auction house. 2009. Bugatti celebrates its 100th anniversary in September and takes this opportunity to present four special editions of the Bugatti Veyron. These vehicles evoke the Type 35 and Bugatti’s famed racing history at the Villa d’Este Concorso d’Eleganza. As tradition dictates, the four special editions remain true to the “racing colours” of the relevant countries: blue for France, red for Italy, green for England and white for Germany. The four models each have a direct predecessor in the form of a Grand Prix Bugatti and four racing drivers as patrons: Jean-Pierre Wimille for the blue, Achille Varzi for the red, Malcolm Campbell for the green and Hermann zu Leiningen for the white Veyron. 2010. In July, the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Super Sport sets a new world speed record for series-production sports cars, clocking up 431.072 km/h (268 MPH). The world record edition is unveiled to the general public in mid-August at Quail Lodge in Pebble Beach. 2011. In June, the 300th order for the Veyron was announced. The last Veyron is sold to a European customer and the success story of the super sports car series limited to 300 units and its powerful sibling, the Super Sport, comes to a triumphant conclusion. 2011. At the IAA in Frankfurt, Bugatti presents the Bugatti Grand Sport “L’Or Blanc”, an automotive masterpiece resulting from a collaboration with the Königliche Porzellan-Manufaktur (Royal Porcelain Manufactory) in Berlin. 2012. Bugatti unveils the Grand Sport Vitesse, a roadster boasting 1,200 PS, at the Geneva International Motor Show. 2012. In December, as part of the Rubell Family Collection at the Art Basel at Miami Beach, Bugatti unveiled the fastest masterpiece in the world – the Bugatti Grand Sport Venet, created by the French artist Bernar Venet. 2013. In April, the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse achieves a top speed of 408.84 km/h (254 MPH) with an open roof, thus becoming the world’s fastest open-top series sports car. Now, together with the world record achieved by the Bugatti Veyron 16.4
Super Sport in 2010, Bugatti holds a total of two world records. Created especially for the record-breaking journey and limited to just eight vehicles, the Vitesse World Record Car Edition is unveiled to the public a short time later at the Shanghai Motor Show. 2013. During the Monterey Car Week Bugatti debuts the first of its six-part exclusive Bugatti Legends edition, “Les Légendes de Bugatti”, to commemorate the renowned names which have played a crucial role in its history and which have helped creating its mystique. The first Legend is dedicated to a personality who is central to the history of motor sports and intimately linked with the Bugatti company: Jean-Pierre Wimille, who garnered two victories for Bugatti at Le Mans. The Bugatti Legend “Jean-Pierre Wimille” makes its début in the eyes of the world at the US The Quail/Pebble Beach weekend. The next twelve months will see the launch of six individual Bugatti Legends based on the Bugatti Grand Sport Vitesse. Each Legend model will be limited to three cars. 2013. Bugatti presents the second vehicle in its exclusive Legends edition as a world premiere at the 65th International Motor Show in Frankfurt, the Bugatti Grand Sport Vitesse “Jean Bugatti” to celebrate the oldest son of company founder Ettore Bugatti and his most famous creation, the Type 57SC Atlantic. Like all other five models in the Legend series, the “Jean Bugatti” is limited to three vehicles. 2013. At Milan Fashion Week in September Bugatti launches its new Lifestyle Collection. Under the headline of “Art, Forme, Technique” there will be an exclusive collection of apparel and accessories featuring two fashion lines – Ettore Bugatti and Extreme Performance, complemented by a Tailor Made / Bespoke programme, which is dedicated exclusively to Bugatti customers. Bugatti plans to set up a retail network in the world’s major capitals of fashion and luxury, establishing up to 35 exclusive mono brand boutiques over a period of five years. 2013. The Bugatti Veyron is voted the “Greatest Car of the last 20 years” by BBC Top Gear magazine in September, in a poll of more than 100,000 topgear.com readers and the magazine’s editorial team. The Bugatti Veyron topped the list of more than 50 cars. 2013. Bugatti presents the third model in its six-part edition “Les Légendes de Bugatti” at the Dubai International Motor Show in November. This Legends car, which like all cars in the series is based on the Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse, pays homage to Meo Costantini. Costantini was a close friend of the company’s founder, Ettore Bugatti. He was the head of Bugatti’s factory race team for many years and was also a driver, winning the Targa Florio two times in the Bugatti Type 35, one of the most successful racing cars of all time. 2013. Bugatti sells its 400th Veyron in December. Since the production run of the Veyron and its variants is limited to just 450 models,
this means just 50 more are still available. The 400th Veyron is a Grand Sport Vitesse and has been bought by a customer in the Middle East. 2014. At the Geneva motor show Bugatti presents the fourth model of its edition ”Les Légendes de Bugatti“ (Bugatti Legends) in honour of Rembrandt Bugatti. Rembrandt was the brother of company founder Ettore Bugatti and one of the most renowned sculptors of the early 20th century. One of his most significant works is the sculpture of a dancing elephant. It decorates the radiator of the Bugatti Type 41 Royale and became the brand’s symbol. Even before the motor shows ends, all three cars of the Legend Vitesse “Rembrandt Bugatti“ are sold. As a result all twelve cars of the four Legend models presented so far are sold. 2014. At the Auto China, taking place in Beijing in April, Bugatti unveils the fifth model of its Edition „Les Légendes de Bugatti“ (Bugatti Legends). This Bugatti Legends car is dedicated to the Type 18 „Black Bess“, the fastest sports car of its time, and to its first owner, French aviation pioneer Roland Garros. The Legends model bears the name „Black Bess“. 2014 In August Bugatti celebrates the world première of the Bugatti Legend “Ettore Bugatti” in Pebble Beach, California. The sixth and final model of the edition „Les Légendes de Bugatti“ honors Ettore Bugatti, founder and patron of the brand, and is based on the historical model Type 41 Royale. On the occasion of the successful completion of the series Bugatti was showing all six models together for the first and only time. All 18 vehicles of the edition were sold – even before “Ettore Bugatti” has been revealed. 2014. In November Bugatti opens its first Lifestyle Boutique worldwide in London. After the successful launch of its Lifestyle Collection a year before this is the next big step in the French super car maker’s brand extension strategy. 2015. In February Bugatti sees one of the most important milestones in its recent history: Bugatti sells the 450th and final Veyron. So far no other carmaker has managed to successfully market a product that stands for unique top-class technical performance and pure luxury in a comparable price/volume range. An unprecedented chapter in automobile history has reached its climax. 2015. Bugatti presents the final Veyron with chassis number 450 as a world premiere at the Geneva Motor Show, the Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse „La Finale“. 2015. Bugatti is represented in 19 countries by more than 30 dealerships and service partners and thus has a global presence in regions including Europe, North and South America, the Middle East, as well as in Japan, Singapore and China.
Planning an Event For Premium Clients By Richard Dodgson, founder, Timebased Events
The most important ingredients for event planning are passion and creativity. It is also important that you follow try and tested processes, but once you employ those then the only limitation is time. This is why we call ourselves Timebased - each event has a beginning and an end. What every event has in common is a fundamental requirement to inspire the audience. During the initial planning stages, your priority must be to ensure you get to the heart of your client’s messages and objectives and to communicate these in an engaging way. Creative flair and acute attention to detail are key to every event, and with these skills you can really galvanise an audience. You need to be creative and bold with your ideas. Whether you are planning a launch event, fashion show, charity auction, film premiere, awards ceremony, press day or simply a party, you want your client to stand out from their competitors and establish a strong market position, all while inspiring audiences. To achieve your objective there are a number of core elements to get right - from sourcing the venue and negotiating the best deals, all the way to the last few days when the small details make all the difference… Events are only as good as their content and objective Companies use events to be seen as V.I.B.E brand in their industry - visionary, inspiring, bold and exciting - so they know why they want an event, they just need to ensure expectations match delivery. When you’re starting from scratch the content and objective need to be rock solid, with synergy on all levels. It’s important to ask “why”, in terms of how the event links to the brand identity, the audience, the venue and how this conceptual basis gives the event integrity and a strong identity. You need to ask what impression you are trying to make and what you want audience to be thinking during and after the experience. Your client may have a concrete story on which the event is based, so play on this.
You can use the event to showcase your credentials subtly and in a sophisticated way – your clients will be impressed. Understand the ‘what’ and the ‘why’ This is a good starting point for any event. Knowing your audience is essential because they are the ones who your client is trying to influence. You need to take the lead and advise as to what will actually engage people. Perhaps your client wants to use Twitter to generate publicity in the days leading up to an event, but if the audience is middle-aged and conservative they are entirely the wrong demographic for this. This is where compromise comes into it and often you are able to meet in the middle. Creative consistency and detail are very important Attention to detail is key, and you should always refer back to the client’s brand values, key messages and image to check each and every element is compatible and consistent with these. At the recent David Beckham swimwear launch for H&M, which was held at Shoreditch House, we covered all the sun loungers in white with khaki and dark pillows as this was the colour of the collection. The venue also needs to reflect the key messages and brand image. If a different instance, for the Viktor & Rolf FLOWERBOMB perfume launch we chose the Elms Lester painting rooms for the venue as this tied in with the theme of colour and the heritage for Viktor & Rolf as artists. We dressed the venue with ribbons and seals over the walls while the floor was lined in a pink carpet to emulate the FLOWERBOMB fragrance’s luxury packaging. Paint pots were used as places names on the table and the reception featured a spilled can of pink paint with flower petals falling out. It’s these details that really bring the event together and connect with the audience. Check the integrity of the concept at every level Like all great projects the success is in the planning. As well as working to key
milestones to ensure the planning stays on brand, it’s time well spent to incorporate a pre-production schedule for everything up to the moment the content starts being produced. The benefit of this is that each step helps to develop a foundation, or “map”, on which you will base the further production stages. You may need to revisit each pre-production stage more than once if you discover a flaw in the sequence or feel a certain aspect could be developed further. Having the insight, discipline and patience to recognise and make changes when appropriate is a key quality for anyone organising an event. Venue is essential. When choosing a venue it’s in your best interests to build relationships along the way. Get to know the venue gatekeeper, get on their mailing lists and stay in their minds. Actually visit the prime venue locations and walk around to assess your options, especially in London where the landscape changes so rapidly. At Timebased we’ve built up a trusted relationships with many exclusive venues including the Royal Opera House, where we recently delivered the GQ Men of the Year Awards. Be fair and realistic What can your clients afford? What is your budget? You tend to get what you pay for when it comes to suppliers. If you want quality but also great value you need to use people whom you trust so it’s important to build these relationships over time. If you’re planning an event for the first time be thorough with your research, but remember to be realistic about budget. There are plenty of great deals to be had if you look hard enough. Richard Dodgson is the Creative Director at Timebased
The anniversary edition of I-MAGAZINE featuring Gina Miller, Baroness Perry, Lord Sumption etc.