The Daily Paradox

Acquisition and Divestment

When I worked in a big food and drink conglomerate I noticed that there were Acquirers and Divestors among the members of the board and senior management. I was an Acquirer, perhaps the most enthusiastic. And there weren’t many of us by the time I joined the company. There had been. The previous Chairman had…
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Lonelier

In his Financial Times article Martin Wolf says “After Brexit Britain won’t be lonely, just lonelier”. As always, he gets to the heart of the matter. Britain remains part of the world. British Government still has to decide the affairs of state for the country. The European Union is still there and Britain needs to…
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How to M&A

Early in my career I discovered that a MERGER could be spelt MURDER if you were not careful. The massive Food and Beverage business for which I worked employed around 145,000 people, mostly in the British Isles. That made them big acquirers – but not always successful ones. In fact, they had acquired an average…
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AI and EI, a great combo

The weight of information available and the mountain of analytics potentially to hand will change the C-suite’s requirements and behaviour more than we have yet imagined. For the past three decades business has struggled to prevent EI getting a serious hold on how companies are run. The attitude was summed up for me twenty years…
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The Bell of Success

The Bell of Success isn’t Big Ben shattering people’s peace for a deft political move. It isn’t a giant cup brimming over with champagne after a well-earned tournament. It isn’t an array of cloth and caps to herald a new Newton or a chiming Chain; nor a proclamation that you are made Chief. The bell…
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What’s the event for?

In every city there are business and financial talks, seminars, gatherings of the great and the rich, networking events. From one-on-one lunches to compare notes about the future of the industry to vast collections of the Davos kind, sorting out the world’s finances, people are meeting to learn, to weigh up, to teach, to enjoy,…
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Just tell the story

Carlos Ghosn, with his Mr Bean looks and lifestyle, knows about it. Jack Ma, poised to tell the grandchildren a goodnight tale, understands it. Tommy Koh, with his quiet determination and diplomatic genius, is a past master at it. Jeremy Corbyn, unfortunately, couldn’t do it at all. Telling a story well requires you to comprehend…
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Responsible Investing, Producing & Marketing

Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) needs a set of guidelines which, after a short but reasonable test period, can become auditable requirements. That means that good behaviour, decent standards and measurable compliance should become statutory for all corporate bodies in the very near future. The requirements for these bodies at present are to do…
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Make age fashionable again

A New Year can easily become an Old Year if we aren’t careful. The years take their toll, bones creak, memory hesitates, courage is discouraged. The fortunate preserve good health to the end; the less fortunate suffer. We all age. But age can be a beautiful time if you look at it from the point…
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Ditch the pitch

When I was younger we used to ‘pitch’ for business.  Skill was seen as the greatest number of words fired at a potential client in the shortest possible time. Sheer stamina was admired as proof of intellect, in spite of evidence from the racecourse that the fastest horse was usually the stupidest. Confirmation of the…
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