Rank #1: Business Leaders - John Caudwell
John Caudwell is an entrepreneur and philanthropist. He founded Phones4u in 1987 during an emerging mobile phone market, and later sold the business in 2006 for £1.47 billion. The UK’s biggest taxpayer, John donates over half of his wealth to philanthropic causes through the Giving Pledge and his own charities Caudwell Children and Caudwell LymeCo. In this in-depth conversation, he reflects on his eyes being opened to an aggressive marketplace and rivalry early on in his sales career, which put him in good stead for his future, argues “spiritualism is more rewarding than materialism”, and discusses business being a double-edged sword that can be tough on your home life but “gives rewards for being the best”.
Rank #2: Business Leaders - Rob Vickery
Rob Vickery is co-founder of Stage Venture Partners, a seed venture capital fund that invests in emerging technology for B2B markets. During his career he’s helped companies such as Lloyds Bank to manage large scale digital investments. He has also served on a number of boards as the global ambassador for BAFTA Games and South Central Scholars. In this in-depth conversation, he explains his focus to fund individuals who are solving hard problems such as using AI to eliminate animal testing, compares an investor-entrepreneur relationship to a “marriage” – narrowing 1,500 pitches down to seven to find the right fit – and argues that, by being there “during the dark days”, an investor offers more than just money.
Rank #3: Business Leaders - Trevor Tasker
Trevor Tasker is the CEO and president of EMCS Industries. Established in 1955, the company invented the first marine growth protection system and provides anti-corrosion and anti-fouling solutions for marine vessels. Their clients include Princess Cruises, BC Ferries and the United States Coast Guard. In this in-depth conversation, he explains the value of anti-fouling technology in preventing critical systems from shutting down, argues there is an increasing demand for ships to be environmentally friendly by using frequency-based products that do not harm marine life – and shares how his experience of recording and selling his own album gave him a strong business acumen that he could apply to any industry.
Rank #4: Business Leaders - Miles Celic
Miles Celic is chief executive officer for TheCityUK. Set up in response to the global banking crisis almost 10 years ago, it is the representative body for UK-based financial and related professional services with nearly 200 members. Appointed in the midst of the EU referendum, Miles is a former broadcaster with a wealth of experience in public affairs and political engagement, including roles at Prudential and HSBC. In this in-depth interview, he describes the process of engagement with Parliament, regulators and international governments, discusses the challenge of improving public perception of the banking industry and gives an insider’s view of the impact of Brexit on UK Plc.
Rank #5: Business Leaders - Robert A Jensen
Robert A Jensen is chairman of Kenyon. The private disaster management company provides services to governments, air, maritime and rail businesses internationally. He joined in 1998 after leaving the US military and has directed response efforts to mass fatalities including the 9/11 attacks, Hurricane Katrina and the Haitan Earthquake. In this in-depth conversation, he argues the biggest mistake businesses can make is not recognising the severity of an incident, describes how the news can desensitise people from the reality of disasters, and explains how being a leader is both a “privilege and a burden” with your decisions affecting both your colleagues and family.
Rank #6: Business Leaders - Annastasia Seebohm
Annastasia Seebohm is global CEO of Quintessentially. The luxury concierge brand is a members-only service with an annual turnover of $100 million. Joining the company as business development director, she was appointed US chief executive two years later, tripling revenues within her first year. Promoted to her current role in 2018, Annastasia is responsible for more than 1,000 staff across 65 offices worldwide. In this in-depth conversation, she explains how “lifestyle managers” enable time-poor entrepreneurs and the wealthy to gain access to some of the world’s most unique places and experiences, discusses how she creates a collaborative and creative work culture using the “power of vulnerability”, and reflects on how a ‘two-way street’ attitude to mentorship benefits the mentor as well as the mentee.
Rank #7: Business Leaders - Simon Hayward
Simon Hayward is the founder and CEO of Cirrus. The firm advises international organisations in developing leadership skills. With over 25 years’ consultancy experience, Simon has helped businesses including Three and HSBC to become agile by evolving with technology and responding to customer demands. In this in-depth conversation, he describes the consequences of a workplace culture where staff are afraid to make mistakes, argues that a “my way or the highway” approach on Brexit has led to a lack of direction, and highlights the importance of self-reflection in thoughtful decision-making.
Rank #8: Business Leaders - Dan Rutstein
Dan Rutstein is president of Laduma. The company helps global brands such as HSBC, NFL and Samsung to incorporate VR technology and provide opportunities for growth. A former journalist, he also spent 12 years as a diplomat for the department of international trade promoting British businesses on the US west coast, which is where he is now based. He joined the company in 2018, and is responsible for leading global growth. In this in-depth conversation, Dan discusses how virtual reality has progressed from headsets and gaming to training heart surgeons, describes how working for the government has taught him significant life skills from leadership to value for money, and argues that building business relationships in America is easier with the “gravitas” that comes with a British accent.
Rank #9: Business Leaders - Kemal Curić
Kemal Curić is chief designer at Ford Motor Company. He is best known as the designer of the sixth generation Mustang launched in 2015. Using a combination of traditional methods and cutting edge technology, Kemal and his 20-strong team crowdsourced opinions from the iconic car’s global fanbase throughout the creative process to design “more than just a car”, upholding Henry Ford’s original vision of “democratising” transportation. In this in-depth interview, he describes how the team overcame the engineering challenges presented by design and style choices, discusses his contrasting experience of designing the Lincoln Aviator – and reveals his top three Mustangs of all time.
Rank #10: Business Leaders - Jean-Pierre Conte
Jean-Pierre Conte is chairman and managing director of Genstar Capital. Since 1995, he has overseen asset growth from $100million to $10 billion, making the private equity firm one of the highest-performing mid-tier businesses in the US. He also funds projects giving educational equity to children from disadvantaged backgrounds through his charity, the J-P Conte Family Foundation. In this in-depth interview, he discusses the benefits of his collaborative “family first” approach to business, describes the lessons learned throughout his career, and delves into his family history to illustrate the origins of his charity work.
Rank #11: Business Leaders - Sahar Hashemi
Sahar Hashemi is the co-founder of Coffee Republic, the first chain of American-style coffee bars in the UK. She left behind a promising legal career in 1995 to launch the business from her mother’s kitchen table. When it sold six years later, it had 110 stores and a turnover of £30 million. She has since founded confectionery brand Skinny Candy, and her latest venture, Change Please, is a social project which trains and hires homeless people to run coffee carts. In this in-depth interview, she describes how businesses can succeed by encouraging staff to think like entrepreneurs, argues that success isn’t about the “big idea” that comes to you on a plate - and recalls the “stab in her heart” when Coffee Republic went into administration nine years after she “handed it to the grown-ups”.
Rank #12: Business Leaders - Paul Simpson
Paul Simpson is a co-founder of CDP. The charity, formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project, has been at the forefront of climate change campaigning since 2000. They work with 7,000 companies in 90 countries to help them decrease their use of fossil fuels, increase uptake of renewable energy, and collectively reduce global emissions. In this in-depth interview, he discusses the link between rising global temperature and record-breaking weather events, explains why our food choices have a more profound effect on the environment than we think - and argues that we’re on the cusp of a global attitude change which could be “as big as the industrial revolution”.
Rank #13: Business Leaders - Deb Farnworth-Wood
Rank #14: Business Leaders - Jennifer Tankard
Rank #15: Business Leaders - Oren Peleg
After beginning his career at Citibank, Oren worked at McKinsey and Terra Firma before joining Oaktree Capital, a leading investment management firm.
After helping Oaktree to establish its European business, Oren joined a struggling Fitness First as Chairman following its takeover in 2012. He was credited with leading the successful turnaround of the chain, which has 360 clubs worldwide and over 927,000 members in 16 countries.
In this in-depth interview, Oren explains why you should hire people more intelligent than you; gives his reasons for encouraging his employees to make mistakes; and stresses the importance of understanding different cultures when running a global business.
Rank #16: Business Leaders - Stuart Jubb
Rank #17: Business Leaders - Mauricio Umansky
Rank #18: Business Leaders - Vernon Hill
Rank #19: Business Leaders - Tim Robinson CBE
Tim Robinson CBE is a partner at Schillings. Prior to joining the international law firm he served in the British Army for 25 years, most recently as a major general leading troops in Bosnia, Iraq and Northern Ireland. The multidisciplinary consultancy has experts from sectors including law, intelligence and government, and protects individuals from privacy and reputational threats. In this in-depth conversation, he illustrates how skills required in a war zone such as “action-oriented” leadership, empathy and conflict resolution can be applied to the commercial environment, argues the wealthy face more scrutiny which can lead to issues such as hacking and stalking, and explains how the internet can be a double-edged sword that can be used as a tool to rectify an online crisis – or create one.
Rank #20: Business Leaders - Pranav Yadav
Pranav Yadav is the chief executive of Neuro-Insight. The company uses brain-imaging technology to measure how the subconscious responds to adverts, social media platforms and TV commercials, and helps clients such as Amazon, BBC, Google and Facebook to improve customer engagement. In this in-depth conversation, Pranav describes how traditional market research methods lack true insight into the “deepest drivers of human motivation”, discusses how businesses need to understand how cultures respond differently to the same stimulus to be truly global, and shares his aspirations to use his work to understand the myths and rituals that define modern society.