“In or out? How a UK referendum on EU membership could affect UK-located businesses”

I ran this event last Thursday 29 May at the London School of Economics. It examined the risks and opportunities for UK businesses of Britain leaving the EU. It was featured in The Times in a piece by Matthew Parris.

“I am unlikely to ever see again a more authoritative line-up of expertise and experience… There was hardly anyone on the podium who wasn’t a tycoon, a knight, a lord, a professor or an über-boffin.”
Matthew Parris

“Extremely worthwhile: well-informed people both on the platform and in the audience.”
Carole Stone

“Great event. Perfect timing. Real debate about weighty issues. Seamlessly organised. Venue and food & drinks excellent. Good mixture of lectures and panels with Q&A with speakers of the highest quality. Staff knowledgable and well trained.”
Former fixed-income trader, Goldman Sachs

“A very good event. Excellent speaker list, and really good that there was a balance of pro-ins and pro-outs to stimulate debate”
Andrew Woodcock

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“It Took Another Riot” launched today

Today saw Boris Johnson, Lord Heseltine and David Lammy MP launch ‘It Took Another Riot’, with Heseltine describing it as ‘excellent’, and Lammy saying of the landmark report’s delivery to London Mayor Boris Johnson: “This is the single most important moment in Tottenham’s history in my lifetime”.

I wrote this report on the regeneration of Tottenham for Boris Johnson, working for and in extensive collaboration with a panel chaired by legendary property developer Sir Stuart Lipton, and fellow panellists including:

  • Brian Boylan, Chairman, Wolff Olins
  • Andrew Campling, General Manager London, BT
  • Paul Finch, Deputy Chair, Design Council Cabe
  • Matthew Girt, Head of Strategic Development, Diocese of London
  • Roger Graef, Criminologist, Films of Record,
  • Kay Horne, Business Connector, Business in the Community
  • Tony Travers, Director London Unit, London School of Economics
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Reckoning with Recruiters: My Second Article at Mergers & Inquisitions

So my second article at Mergers & Inquisitions is now online – it’s on recruiters: when they’re good; when they’re bad, and a few steps you can take to get the best out of them without being screwed over in the process!

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‘How to Find a Graduate Job’ Now Online!

After some time in the making, my guide – How to Find a Graduate Job is now online and available to buy for £15. I’ve put a real emphasis on it being practical and realistic – even if uncomfortably so – rather than the very generic, dry, middle-of-the-road approach that’s typical of the genre. A sample chapter and table of contents is free to download here. Your thoughts are definitely welcome!

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Phone Insurance…

So decided to upgrade to the iPhone 4S… looking at the O2 package, their Recycle programme means quite a nice cashback for my old phone (£110), but the insurance has gone up to £15/month with a likely excess of £100 for the 4S. After a bit of hunting found a very reasonable plan by Amex that, for £9.99 covers my phone for loss/theft/damage, but also my laptop and all sorts besides. And no excess. Think I’ll go for it – anyone have any cheaper suggestions?

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Mergers & Inquisitions

So this morning my first piece went live at Mergers & Inquisitions, where I have a role as one of Brian’s new Associate Editors. It’s on mezzanine finance, an area which is on the dry side for those who aren’t interested in finance, but an important part of the system nevertheless. I was able to write it thanks to the kindness of a partner at a mezz fund who took the time to chat with me. Any comments most welcome – best to email me via my details on the contact link above; style-wise it’s very much ‘house style’, but any thoughts on improvements/errors etc would definitely be appreciated.

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Spring cleaning…

Right, so after an extended hiatus (aka general distractedness) it’s time to get my blog back in shape again. Somewhat shocked to read the navel-gazing naffness I’d put up a couple of years ago, so have canned that. In terms of future content the past was certainly no guide, although I anticipate a mix of general ruminations, careers advice to those starting out, and links to any articles I publish.

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First Aid for iPhones

So my flatmate ended up in a swimming pool with his iPhone. To my astonishment leaving the thing in a jar of rice – as advised by many online – actually did the trick. The rice absorbs the water, and this process can be further aided by the use of a warm airing cupboard, bagged silica gel and compressed air sprays of the like used to clean keyboards. Just take care not to charge the phone up or turn it on until you’re pretty sure it’s dried out.

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Apparently I can publish from my iPhone…

Having just failed to publish with the WordPress app I thought I’d try one more time. Photo is of London Eye ~5am earlier this summer.

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I’m terrified of public writing

So, I’ve finally got my act together enough to get a blog going. The process is fraught with decisions – most of them dry and technical, such as choosing a host or blogging platform – but some of them more personal. For example, does the nascent blogger keep his privacy and an unselfconscious writing style by penning under a pseudonym, or lay down the gauntlet and in the process open the floodgates to Googling employers, green inks and assorted internet loons?

My choice is a pretty clear one, but personally difficult too. I’m lucky in that I’m not that phased by public speaking, but I confess to feeling some trepidation about public writing. A few dumb words at some event quickly slip from the collective memory – not so the internet. Hit a wrong note and it can end up permanently on the public record. Then there is your audience – when you’re stood in front of a crowd, they’re pretty easy to read; in fact, they’re pretty damned hard not to read. But this little WordPress box has a blank face, so it doesn’t leave the blogger with a huge amount of room to change direction. Of course, the same applies to all forms of the written word, but as of today Google doesn’t quite hoover up ever character ever typed.

So pitching the narrative voice is a hard one – and one I assume will involve some iteration. Pitch it too high and it’s all too easy to come across as condescending and superior; too low and it’s patronising. So forgive me if I get it wrong – and do let me know about it, although I think I’m going to put my hands up now and say I’ll be moderating the blog, so be nice – only witty bitchiness will be allowed! In any event, I’d be disappointed if my friends didn’t slate me for being a flagrant narcissist for doing this – they’d probably not be my friends if they didn’t.

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