The Sunday Times and Croissants, Cameron to defy EU on migrants …

The Sunday Times and Croissants, Cameon to defy EU on migrants

There is something special about Sunday morning, the Sunday Times, hot croissants with honey and butter, excellent.

Headlines “Cameron to defy EU on migrants” makes the headlines this week. A Tory headline of which to dream. David Cameron is preparing for a showdown with Europe amid growing fears of an influx of Romanians and Bulgarians into Britain. The prime minister is ready to defy Brussels by extending the length of time new arrivals have to stay in the country before state hand outs are available. Under one option, incomers will have to be resident for one year, four times the current level, before they can claim benefits. Downing Street is increasingly alarmed over the scale of opposition to increased immigration and is determined to act and grab the political momentum in the process.

“Siemens boss warns EU exit would kill investment” also makes the headlines. Juergen Meier, Managing Director of Siemens UK, said “leaving Europe would be disastrous for British manufacturers”. “It’s tough enough as it is, to convince my board in Germany to invest in the UK” said Juergen, speaking at a Sunday Times debate entitled “Does Business need the EU”. Juergen will also be speaking about this and other things, at the Great Manchester Business Conference in March next year. An event not to be missed on the 21st March.

“Business investment is important” according to David Smith in the Business Section. Cash has been king for long enough, now it is time for investment, says the Economics Editor of the Sunday Times. “A recovery driven by investment and exports may well be the holy grail” says DS. Yep, but it will be just as elusive as we often point out. Don’t hope for too much in the economics updates to be released next week would be my advice. Our models suggest investment will rally significantly but not until the second half of 2014 and into 2015.

In The Saturday Economist this week, “No Flowers by arrangement” is the theme. The Treasury has announced an enquiry into governance at the Co-op Bank. The enquiry will be headed by the PRA and the FCA, (not the FSA). No one in London is expected to be at fault following the lengthy enquiry. We also touch on the latest borrowing figures and prospects for manufacturing and investment.

Back to the day Jobs – Highlights of the week
Monday – I am in York speaking at the York Council Business conference. The seven stages of export growth my theme. Early stages so often begin with the opportunistic enquiry from overseas, or a piggyback following a UK customer with international activity. How would I know? I had four great years in international with Crown Decorative Products before building the Coloroll international revenues from £50,000 to over £250 million. Lots of tales to tell in the morning slot!

Tuesday, early start for the Business Leadership Council meeting, Baron Frankel presents in the internationalization strategy for Greater Manchester. A good meeting with Chris Oglesby as the new chair. The remit and scope of the BLC to be extended. Later a pre board meeting with Nicola Quayle and Chris Wilson to prep the agenda and financials prior to the board meeting on Thursday.

Wednesday, Duff & Phelps working lunch, with the usual economics update. In the afternoon, Michael Donaldson is in the office. Michael worked for a time at Coloroll and brought in one of the famous Coloroll mugs. (We made 30 million a year). But this was one of the special order, we would make available to our 300 directors in the group. The mugs were inscribed with the ten key questions to be asked at every Monday morning meeting held anywhere in the world. My photo was on the other side, to let them know I would always be thinking of them, wherever they might be located. Michael now runs his own successful strategy consultancy business – the value innovator.

In the evening, I am invited by Simon Allport to the North West Financial Director Awards sponsored by EY, Barclays and Squire Sanders. Adam Jupp is the excellent MC “with jokes” for the awards ceremony.  Chris Maguire is in the audience taking notes but not the jokes hopefully. I fail to understand why eight legs of venison could be considered too expensive.

Thursday, Board meeting in the morning, followed by lunch with the excellent Anthony Browne, the new CEO of the British Bankers Association. Angela Knight, a tough act to to follow but Anthony is doing a great job. It is important to develop one’s own style, says Anthony, Angela would paint her nails in key meetings apparently. Yep, I see what he means.

Friday, lunch with Clive Memmott at Don Giovanni. Excellent lunch at the end of a tough week.

Saturday, the day starts as usual with tea, the FT, and the Economist app. In the afternoon, tennis – a 5 – 7 loss, not bad having been down a 1 – 5 at some stage but Mary just too good in the final stages.

That’s all for now, hope all is well, more news next week, watch out for details of our Financial Directors Forum. The call for content starts soon with launch planned in 2014.

© John Ashcroft 2013.

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