We once again returned to the Royal College of Physicians for our Annual conference. The Conference Committee had once again done a great job at finding interesting and entertaining speakers to talk to the theme of ‘Educate, Inspire and Entertain’. A lot of hard work by all concerned meant we once again had a sold-out conference for delegates to enjoy.
Our president Andrew Pepper of Snowhill Capital welcomed everyone to the conference, handing over to me to set out the timetable and remind delegates to fill in their feedback forms! I then introduced our two hosts for the day representing our corporate sponsors: Charles Loake from John Pye & Sons Ltd and Mark Boughey from RSM.
The day opened with Julie-Anne Uggla’s inspiring story of entrepreneurial success. The secret of her success? An unfailing conviction that if you really want something you can make it happen. A philosophy she continues to this day. Julie-Anne’s speech was kindly sponsored by Weil in support of NOW (TMA Network of Women).
We were then treated to an insight into the workings of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), how they interact with government and how we as businesses should not neglect this important aspect of business – they are there to help! All delivered against a backdrop of cabinet members resigning literally as Callum Biggins delivered his speech before dashing back to base to help members make sense of the rapidly changing Brexit machinations (we tried to keep the ‘B’ word to a minimum!).
After our first networking break we were fascinated to hear the story of Col Phaedra McLean. How she had been a pioneer in breaking glass ceilings in both the police and the military; first female firearms officer being one of many amazing achievements. Combining a high-flying Army reservist role with a police constable day job was truly fascinating.
The NextGen panel treated us to some real insights into how the up and coming generation are embracing the ever-accelerating pace of change we all face; the looming threats and opportunities posed by artificial intelligence, the challenges of explaining new and changing concepts to an older generation who are for example often suspicious of the lack of physical records in a virtual business environment. Rashmi Dube (Legatus Law) and Anna Nolan (Paul Hastings (Europe) LLP) steered through these issues and concluded with an entertaining and engaging Q&A – always a good sign!
Thanks to the panel members:
Richard Jackson (Vapour Cloud)
Rebekah Ingram (KPMG)
Rick Hyland (Rebuilding Society)
Before lunch we came to the winner of our NextGen Professional of the Year. From a high-quality shortlist of:
Lindsay Hingston (Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer)
Matthew McGoldrick (Menzies)
James Parkinson (RSM)
Gemma Sage (Weil)
We were delighted to announce that the winner was James Parkinson who received his trophy and prize from Jenny Oldfield of Veritas who had kindly sponsored the award.
The judging panel were once again faced with a tough choice to make and we are very grateful to the panel of:
Chair: Ian Fox (Dentons),
Peter Brewer (Clarke Willmott)
John Creswell (RBS)
Rita Lowe (CMS)
Janice Megrim (Veritas Commercial Services)
Jenny Oldfield (Veritas Commercial Services)
An excellent lunch and networking session closed the morning. Getting the balance right on the day between content and networking opportunities is always a challenge, but judging from the great feedback, we succeeded in getting that balance right. This was further endorsed by the auditorium remaining full for the afternoon session.
First up in the dreaded post lunch slot was Michael Dorn from Alix Partners who treated us to an energetic and passionate presentation on why turnaround is not just something that should be applied to struggling businesses – every business needs to be constantly looking ahead and his ‘Pro-Active Turnaround’ approach clearly resonated with the delegates.
We then were pleased to hear from the outgoing Global TMA chair Milly Chow. She introduced the new TMA global CEO Scott Stuart. He assumed the role in July 2018 and is a seasoned turnaround professional and has been a TMA member for 15 years. He clearly brings a passion and energy to the TMA that will serve the organisation well in the future. He then led an impromptu Q&A with Milly and myself, which provided some useful food for thought on what we as an organisation should be doing to make TMA work even better for all its membership.
Just time to announce the winner of the iPad mini draw, kindly sponsored and announced by Stephen Robertson of Metis partners, before the afternoon networking break.
We then all returned to hear from Paul Doran-Jones, a former England international rugby player. He entertained with stories from his playing days, but then inspired with the story of how he has had to adjust to a new career after rugby following a series of career ending injuries. Remaining positive and drawing on what he had learned from his sporting life was humbling to hear. We wish him well with his future career.
Last but by no means least Jim Wheeler CEO of ReSolve Cyber, presented a scary, funny, fascinating and wide-ranging review of just how vulnerable business can be to cyber-attacks and how often businesses are put at risk by failing to follow even the most basic of cyber good practice. I am sure he had many requests for assistance post the presentation!
We closed the day with lots of delegates staying on for the champagne reception and that last chance to swap business cards.
In summary, a packed day of different speakers who fulfilled the brief to Educate, Inspire and Entertain to great effect. With nearly 150 delegates on the day ensured plenty of opportunities to catch up with old and new contacts alike.
A huge thank you to all those that contributed to making the day such a great success:
John Pye & Sons Ltd
RSM Restructuring Advisory LLP
Veritas Commercial Services
To our speakers and of course to you the delegates for making the day such a great success.
To my Conference Committee:
Neil Chesterton (The MacDonald Partnership Ltd)
Rashmi Dube (Legatus Law)
Paul Davies (Menzies)
Ian Fox (Dentons)
Susan Moor (FRP Advisory LLP)
Andrew Pepper (Snowhill Capital)
Joanne Rumley (Foot Anstey LLP)
who made my job so much easier, and of course Nyree Magill and Kelly Darlaston our TMA staff who make everything run so smoothly and without which none of this would be possible, thank you!!
Check out the photos from our budding photographer and Board member, Adrian Doble.
Watch this space for details of 2019!
Head of Credit SME Capital &
2018 TMA UK Annual Conference Committee Chair