Our next NEDgroup Event will be a Debate to be held on Wednesday 1.5.13 at the East India Club, 16 St. James's Square. To find out more about NEDgroup please click here.
Many will recall that we last did this in 2009 when our Topic was “This House believes that the Combined Code is not fit for purpose”. The Event was very well supported and there was lots of noise, quite a bit of serious thought and slightly more laughter than you might have expected.
This time the Motion will be “This House believes that NEDS do not do enough for Company Profits.” As on the previous occasion, we are expecting noise, serious thought and some laughter. We are also hoping, alongside confirming traditional concepts, for some re-working of current beliefs and also some new thinking.
What we think will make this special is the line-up of Speakers who we’ve been able to persuade to join in the fray. These are Nicola Horlick, Murray Steele, Mark Boleat and Clive Parritt – you can see their biogs below. Also attached is the Order of Play and timetable. The big room at the top of the East India Club does have a limit and we are expecting to get up to this fairly quickly. The pre-Event refreshments and drinks and a finger buffet will be served in the Hogarth room next to it.
Murray Steele has over 25 years experience as chairman and non-executive director of a wide range of businesses in the public , private and charitable sectors including not only large FTSE listed companies and those backed by private equity but also early stage and smaller private businesses. He spent more than 30 years as a senior lecturer in strategic management at Cranfield School of Management where his research interests included strategy, change, corporate governance and leadership, principally at the top of organisations. He was the Course Director of the Cranfield non-executive director seminar programme from 1997 to 2010.
Nicola Horlick has worked in fund management for over 20 years and has participated in the growth of some of the UK’s premier asset management businesses. She is one of the City’s best known business women. She was Managing Director of the UK business of Societe Generale/Morgan Grenfell Asset Management’s investment business from 1992 to 2005 overseeing a rise in assets under management from £4 billion to £22.5 billion during that period. In 2005 she set up Bramdean Asset Management where she was CEO and is currently CEO of Aberdeen Private Equity Fund Limited, an Advisor at Societe Generale Group and Chairman of Rockpool Investments.
Clive Parritt is a chartered accountant with a career spanning both professional services and the corporate sector. He was National Managing Partner and later Chairman (senior partner) of Baker Tilly from 1988 until 2001 – during which time turnover increased from £8m to £70m and profits per partner increased substantially. Since then he has held a variety of corporate roles including chairmanships of FTSE listed businesses, non-executive director appointments (particularly with Venture Capital Trusts) and as finance director. He was President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales in 2011/12.
Mark Boleat has been chairman of the Policy & Resources Committee of the City of London since May 2012. He plays a leading role in strategy, resource allocation and engagement with legislators and regulators in the UK, Europe and across the world on policy issues affecting London as a key international financial centre. Previously he has been Director General of the Building Societies Association, the Council of Mortgage Lenders (1986-93) and the Association of British Insurers (1993-99) followed by a number of influential regulatory and non-executive director roles including FTSE listed businesses as well as a wide range of organisations in both the public and private sectors.
As usual, we ask for a contribution to costs - £49 + VAT = £58.80.
To book your ticket please click on this link Book early to avoid disappointment!
The Lane 4 and Russam GMS Team.
Introduced by Jason Atkinson
On 28th March, we hosted a leadership breakfast at London’s East India club and were lucky enough to welcome Dominic Mahony, Director at performance development consultancy, Lane4 and Team Manager, GB Modern Pentathlon as our guest speaker.
Dominic is busy preparing our Modern Pentathlon medal hopefuls for London 2012, but he took time out of his busy schedule to share his insights into what constitutes exceptional performance. We learned what makes the difference between the performance of those who win medals and those who don’t.
Dominic has been team manager for the Modern Pentathlon for the past four years and was a bronze medallist in the sport himself in 1988. He explained that in Modern Pentathlon athletes compete in five unrelated events; shooting, riding, fencing, swimming and running - over one day. It is intense and highly competitive but an area where Team GB has enjoyed much Olympic medal success.
Dominic highlighted Team GB’s medal performance since 1948 and discussed that fact the team has improved its haul of medals over the past four Olympic games. He then let us in on some of the secrets to the Olympic preparation taking place in London aimed at giving Team GB the all important ‘edge’ needed to win medals. It was fascinating to hear how an ‘edge’ in world class sports only means a fraction of a second, however, it is this margin that is the difference between taking home gold, silver and bronze medals or any medals at all. Dominic is a firm believer that fractional improvements need to be continuous, insisting that ‘better never stops’. He also stressed that success in sport is the ‘accumulative assimilation of marginal gains’ – something which is clearly true in business as well.
He talked about the ethos and culture within Team GB and some of the reasons it is performing better than ever before. He said athletes across all sports are working to the principles of performance, responsibility, unity, pride and respect. He also said that today, the team only selects athletes who can deliver world-class times. This means that only those with realistic medal chances are chosen. The team has also adopted a ‘no excuses’ culture in its training. He also revealed that there is tighter cohesion between disciplines and more cross-sport sharing of best practices and training methodologies than ever before which is paying dividends.
Dominic also talked about the importance of strategic planning in terms of creating an edge - for example, his team will not be attending the opening ceremony or live in the Olympic village in the run up to their competition. They will be training in France, well away from the media spotlight so they can focus completely on their training until their event.
Dominic’s fascinating insights sparked a lively debate amongst the delegates about how some of the thinking and methodology used by Team GB could be used to turn around performance in business, to get the best out of people in high pressured situations and we discussed how companies can gain margins to get ahead of the competition.
Charles Russam, Interim Management expert and Chairman of Russam summed up by saying, “As Dominic has clearly pointed out, the difference between winning and losing can be so fine. We can all learn from this and work away at the ‘chips’ so we can improve what we do and work out how we can gain those crucial margins.”
If you are an NED – or have a serious ambition to be one – you might like to join us. We start off by inviting those who are members of the Group – and then widen the invitation list when we get an idea of how much space we have.
Our next NEDgroup Early Evening Supper Event will be held on Wednesday 2nd May 2012 at the East India Club, 16 St. James's Square. This time, we are booked into the Luncheon Room- which is the dining room on the right as you go into Reception. It is a bit larger than the other rooms we have used before but it will provide a little more space for pre-dinner drinks and will enable us to accommodate just a few more people. We have always felt that anything over forty loses intimacy but does offer serious high-level networking.
We are very pleased that our Guest Speaker will be James Stewart of ECI Partners. You might have seen this recently in the media:-
ECI voted UK Firm of the Year - ECI Partners
ECI Partners has been voted Firm of the Year in the UK (2011) by readers of Private Equity International. The Private Equity International Awards 2011 is the ...
ECI is one of the longest established and most successful private equity groups in the UK, specialising in buyouts, buyins and development capital deals valued between £10 million and £150 million.
Many of us know James who joined ECI in 1996 and is responsible for direct deal origination as part of ECI’s direct marketing programme. He also manages ECI’s hands-on chairman and MBI programmes. We spent a bit of time talking about his Presentation and, in the end, decided that it should not be a speech but would take the form of an extended Q&A based on the starter question “NEDs in Private Equity businesses – making it work!” We will probably expand this with some subsidiary questions ahead of the Event but what we are looking for is a spirited discussion from which many of us will learn things we didn’t know before, have forgotten or had got wrong!
As usual, we ask for a contribution to costs - £47 + VAT = £56.40. Cheque with booking please, made payable to “Russam GMS Ltd” and sent to 48 High Street North, Dunstable, Beds LU6 1LA - For Attention of Anna Henderson - 01582 697761 - Anna.Henderson@russam-gms.co.uk.
We seem to think that forty is a good maximum number. Small enough to still retain some intimacy but big enough to include some interesting people! Book early to avoid disappointment!
The format is:-
|Meet 6.00pm for drinks
6.45pm - Light Supper – Shepherd’s Pie followed by fruit and cheese and biscuits!
7.15pm – 8.15pm – Presentation by our guest speaker.
8.15pm – Networking/Disperse, etc.
We all look forward to seeing you again.
PS: You can read more about our NEDgroups Initiative here.
Introduced by Jason Atkinson
At an evening reception held at London’s East India Club on 11 October, our guest speaker, Olympic gold medallist and co-founder of Lane4 Adrian Moorhouse revealed why resilient leadership is needed in UK business today. He also shared his top tips on how leaders can develop the art of resilience and mental toughness.
Adrian drew on his own experiences at the LA Olympics in 1984, where although tipped to win a gold medal, he finished fourth and felt like a failure. He said that he overcame these negative feelings with the help of an inspirational coach who became his leadership role model.
His coach not only believed in his potential, he fostered his self belief and helped him look at situations in entirely new ways. An example of this was Adrian coming fourth in LA, his coach helped him focus on the positive aspects - he was actually the number one ranked swimmer in Europe which was a fantastic achievement.
The coach helped Adrian develop his mental toughness.This included helping him handle high pressure situations better, increasing his motivation and self belief and developing his focus. He pointed out that these are characteristics needed by leaders today faced with major challenges including change and transition, difficult market conditions and low employee morale and engagement. Adrian stressed that courageous communication is needed by today’s leaders and that involves making bold decisions, setting and sharing big goals, giving people ownership of projects, giving tough feedback where necessary and not being afraid of rejection or not being liked. And, he said that if a leader is totally authentic and their true selves then they will take people with them.
His own experience working with his leadership role model paid off. In 1987, Adrian became the first person to swim 100m breaststroke in less than a minute in 1987 and winning a gold medal in the 100m breaststroke at the Seoul Olympics in 1988.
Charles Russam, Interim Management expert and Chairman of Russam GMS commented, “Many companies are struggling at the moment however, those with the most effective and resilient leaders will fare better than others. There is a common misconception that leadership only applies to one person at the top in business, but in reality leadership applies to everyone.
“We were delighted that Adrian shared his personal experiences and insight into resilience with us and interestingly, a major part of his journey was changing his mind set. This is what all business leaders need to do right now. We are placing top level interims into companies to work with CEOs to help them address their challenges in different ways; very often they are showing them how to innovate, introduce new ways of working and crucially, become more optimistic.”
Adrian’s top tips for resilient leadership are:
| Adrian Moorhouse is the co-founder and Managing Director of Lane4. He won an Olympic Gold medal in swimming at the Seoul Olympic Games in 1988 and was world number one in his event for six consecutive years.
A specialist in the fields of leadership development, organisational change and senior team facilitation, Adrian’s approach to people development is shaped by both reaching his own sporting potential through coaching and developing Lane4 into an international organisation over the last 16 years. In 2007 and 2009, Adrian was voted ‘Best Leader’ in ‘The Sunday Times 100 Best Small Companies to Work For’ list. In 2010 he was also listed as one of HR Magazine’s top 30 most influential HR practitioners in the UK.
|Adrian’s work in the field of international sport is still ongoing as a Team GB 2012 Ambassador and swimming commentator for the BBC.
Sam Younger, the CEO of the Charity Commission, was the guest speaker at Interim Management provider Russam GMS's annual event for charity leaders at the Lanesborough Hotel in London on 17th May and explained the regulator's new focus in light of the recent funding cuts. The event was attended by over 80 senior charity executives from a range of UK organisations.
Mike Whitlam, a specialist advisor to the Charities and Not for Profit practice at Russam GMS, introduced Sam and explained their personal connection. Sam had succeeded Mike as CEO at Red Cross and had been in charge of the BBC World Service at a time when Mike was negotiating the release of the British hostage Ian Richter from Abu Ghraib after the Gulf War in 1991. Mike explained that hearing snippets of World Service broadcasts had kept Ian going during the toughest times in his captivity. Sam explained that just two weeks into his new job at the Charity Commission a 33% reduction in commission funding had been announced. However, he had disagreed with friends and family who told him he must be crazy taking on the role. He said that whilst funding is the biggest challenge facing the sector, it had never been so powerful with all the political parties in agreement about its importance.
He also said that the 'victim like' attitude being adopted by some in the sector wasn't helpful and the focus needs to be on 'the glass being half full,' with organisations looking at what can, rather than what can't be done.
He admitted however, there will be changes ahead in the way the Commission operates as a result of the funding cuts. The Commission will no longer 'hand hold' individual organisations and greater self reliance from charities will be expected. To support these changes, the Commission will create user-friendly tools for charities, publish more guidance on its website and partner with organisations that can provide additional support services.
Sam believes the future of the sector lies in collaboration and even mergers between organisations. He also stressed that the cuts wouldn't affect the way the Commission operates - it will remain focused on regulating charities of all sizes to ensure the public is protected and its best interests served.
Ian Joseph, Interim Management expert and Practice Director at Russam GMS said, "These are unprecedented times for the sector and the Charity Commission. Sam seems to really understand some of the challenges we face and his positive and constructive attitude is both reassuring and inspiring."
Top left image above, from left: Mike Whitlam CBE, Special Advisor, Russam GMS. Sam Younger CBE, Chief Executive, Charity Commission. Stephen Brooker, Chair Charities & Not for Profit & Healthcare, Russam GMS. Ian Joseph, Practice Director Charities & Not for Profit, Russam GMS
On Thursday 24th March we held our 'morning after the budget' breakfast at London's Athenaeum club. 15 top Chief Executives from the Charities Aid Foundation, WRVS, Mencap, Leonard Cheshire, The Scout Association, BTCV and others attended the event to deliver their verdict on the budget.
The consensus was that it was a 'watershed' budget because of its strong focus on the charity sector; that the government had listened to the sector finally and is clearly serious about promoting its Big Society.
We debated the main measures announced by the government. We were in general agreement that true to his word, the Chancellor had introduced "a series of substantial reforms that will support giving, from the largest donations to the coins collected in the charity bucket." It was also felt that some of new measures will simplify and improve charitable donations, at a time they are needed most.
Notably, the long overdue reform of Gift Aid will boost charity coffers. Currently £750m of gift aid is unclaimed, and the introduction of an online filing system by 2013 will play a big part in reclaiming these lost funds. Red tape will be reduced too with no form filling for donations of up to £5000. We were buoyed further by the rise in Gift Aid limits from £500 to £2500 from April 2011, and the tax relief announced for people giving 10% of their estate to charity. We welcomed the news too that the allowance for passenger payments currently in place for business employees, at 5p per passenger mile will be extended to volunteers.
We can't remember a time when the charity sector had such presence in the budget. However, it was also noted that missing from the budget was any update on the cuts at a local level which will affect the sector which meant that uncertainty still overshadowed this 'good news' budget.