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Business

Business Leaders

Updated about 13 hours ago

Business
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Business Leaders brings you extended one-to-one interviews with the key people in global business today. Hosted by Paul Blanchard, each week you can step inside a new company and hear how the world’s top CEOs, founders and entrepreneurs are shaping the future of global business in the 21st Century. Find out the secrets of their success; how they challenge the status quo, turn companies around and build some of the world’s most innovative businesses. Share their insights and find out what makes our most successful leaders tick.

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Business Leaders brings you extended one-to-one interviews with the key people in global business today. Hosted by Paul Blanchard, each week you can step inside a new company and hear how the world’s top CEOs, founders and entrepreneurs are shaping the future of global business in the 21st Century. Find out the secrets of their success; how they challenge the status quo, turn companies around and build some of the world’s most innovative businesses. Share their insights and find out what makes our most successful leaders tick.

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Cover image of Business Leaders

Business Leaders

Updated about 13 hours ago

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Business Leaders brings you extended one-to-one interviews with the key people in global business today. Hosted by Paul Blanchard, each week you can step inside a new company and hear how the world’s top CEOs, founders and entrepreneurs are shaping the future of global business in the 21st Century. Find out the secrets of their success; how they challenge the status quo, turn companies around and build some of the world’s most innovative businesses. Share their insights and find out what makes our most successful leaders tick.

Rank #1: Business Leaders - John Caudwell

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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”.

May 09 2019
1 hour
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Rank #2: Business Leaders - Rob Vickery

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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.

Mar 27 2019
54 mins
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Rank #3: Business Leaders - Trevor Tasker

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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.

Jun 12 2019
57 mins
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Rank #4: Business Leaders - Miles Celic

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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.

Mar 01 2019
41 mins
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Rank #5: Business Leaders - Robert A Jensen

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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.

Apr 08 2019
54 mins
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Rank #6: Business Leaders - Annastasia Seebohm

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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.

Mar 06 2019
43 mins
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Rank #7: Business Leaders - Simon Hayward

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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.

Mar 12 2019
46 mins
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Rank #8: Business Leaders - Dan Rutstein

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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.

Mar 20 2019
58 mins
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Rank #9: Business Leaders - Kemal Curić

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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.

Feb 07 2019
53 mins
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Rank #10: Business Leaders - Jean-Pierre Conte

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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.

Dec 17 2018
1 hour
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Rank #11: Business Leaders - Sahar Hashemi

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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”.

Nov 28 2018
43 mins
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Rank #12: Business Leaders - Paul Simpson

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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”.

Nov 07 2018
47 mins
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Rank #13: Business Leaders - Deb Farnworth-Wood

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Deb Farnworth-Wood is the founder of the Australian Skin Clinics franchise. Born in Kenya and raised in the UK, Deb moved to the other side of the world to retire – until an unexpected opportunity started her on the path to building a $70m empire. Having taken over a single, struggling franchise in 2007, Deb grew the business to 60 clinics across Australia and New Zealand and revitalised the brand, scooping up multiple awards in the process. Today, she is focused on a wide range of investments in the world of aesthetics and is a sought-after presenter on the global public speaking circuit. In this in-depth interview, Deb discusses the challenges associated with building a business from scratch, explains what makes a flourishing franchise, and shares her tips for repeated success.
Sep 11 2018
41 mins
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Rank #14: Business Leaders - Jennifer Tankard

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Jennifer Tankard is the Chief Executive of Responsible Finance, the trade association helping to provide access to loans and financial advice. A former consultant in the public, private, non-profit and higher education sectors, Jennifer was appointed to the head of Responsible Finance in 2016. In this in-depth interview, Jennifer discusses what the government could be doing to support the microfinance industry; shares her belief that everyone needs a financial tool; and reveals Responsible Finance’s ambition to reach every market in the UK that wants their support.
Jul 03 2018
41 mins
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Rank #15: Business Leaders - Oren Peleg

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Oren Peleg is the former CEO of Fitness First, the largest privately owned health club group in the world.

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.
Jan 24 2018
51 mins
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Rank #16: Business Leaders - Stuart Jubb

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Stuart Jubb is the Managing Director of Crossword Cybersecurity. A former platoon commander and recruiting officer in the British Army, Stuart was pivotal to the team rebuilding Afghanistan's infrastructure in the aftermath of the conflict. Now Managing Director at Crossword, Stuart protects global organisations from cyber-attacks and works with universities to bring cutting-edge research to market. In this in-depth interview, Stuart discusses the leadership lessons he learnt in the army, explains why companies need to protect themselves again cybercrime and reveals which scams are catching out the masses––and why.
Jan 19 2018
51 mins
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Rank #17: Business Leaders - Mauricio Umansky

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Mauricio Umansky is the Founder and CEO of The Agency, a luxury real estate company based in Beverly Hills. Ranked third by the Wall Street Journal in their list of the USA’s top estate agents, Mauricio holds the listings to some of America’s most famous properties, including Elvis Presley’s home - and even the Playboy Mansion. In this in-depth interview, he describes how he approaches his work as a form of art, and not as a traditional business; argues that The Agency was the first in the marketplace to give their homes a ‘personality’; and shares his view that landing the sale isn’t the most exciting part of the process, but ‘playing the game’ is.
Jan 13 2017
36 mins
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Rank #18: Business Leaders - Vernon Hill

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Vernon Hill is the Founder and Chairman of Metro Bank. Born in the US, Vernon crossed the atlantic to start Metro Bank the first wholly new high-street bank in the UK in 150 years. 6 years later, Metro have nearly a million customers, 48 stores, and were recently awarded ‘Bank of the Year’ by City AM. In this in-depth interview, Vernon passionately argues that businesses should create fans, not customers; explains why wealth is not the objective of a business but the result; and argues that President-elect Donald Trump will put America on 'the right path'.
Dec 22 2016
38 mins
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Rank #19: Business Leaders - Tim Robinson CBE

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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.

Sep 02 2019
57 mins
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Rank #20: Business Leaders - Pranav Yadav

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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.

Aug 05 2019
58 mins
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