Mairi Bannon, co-Managing Director of Strategic Dimensions, CRF & PARC

MairiBannon_8339 (informal)-2Softly spoken, with a delightful Scots accent, and effortlessly modest, Mairi Bannon’s understated manner belies the extent of her business achievements and her personal impact. She was part of the start-up phase of specialist recruitment company Strategic Dimensions (SD) 20 years ago, becoming joint leader with Mike Haffenden just four months after he’d got it off the ground. The pair went on to co-found and co-manage the Corporate Research Forum (CRF), having identified a need for a different kind of support in the HR, recruitment and careers spaces. Not only have Mairi and Mike weathered several recessions, but in 2004 they launched a third business, the Performance and Reward Centre (PARC). (more…)

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Martha Wikstrom, Founding Partner of Atelier Fund Management, LLC

MW IMAGEMartha – widely known as Marty – Wikstrom has, in anyone’s books, achieved an enormous amount. She is a Founding Partner of Atelier Fund Management LLC and was CEO of Richemont Fashion & Accessories from 2009 until 2013. Starting out as a sales assistant at Nordstrom, she rose to the top to become President of the company’s Full Line Store Group in the US and was later MD of Harrods Limited and interim CEO of Kurt Geiger Limited in the UK. She has served as Director (both executive and non-executive) for a host of companies, including Bally International Limited, Compagnie Financiere Richemont SA, Portero, Inc. and Harrods Holdings Limited. (more…)

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Anthony Forbes Watson, MD OF Pan Macmillan

Photo on 2011-12-02 at 17.40 #2

It is a cold December day and Anthony Forbes Watson is ebullient, his mood as bright as the neon green chairs in his office as he invites me in, solicitously gets me water and mops it up when I spill it. He tells me, with well-deserved relish, that Pan Macmillan publish the current top two fiction bestsellers Chris Sansom’s Lamentation and Jessie Burton’s The Miniaturist as well as Chris Hadfield’s You Are Here: Around the world in 92 minutes, which had that day just sold in a few hours more than 10000 books in an Amazon ‘lightning deal’. The company’s fortunes are equally buoyant: Forbes Watson explains that profits had doubled over the last year in a culmination of a five year turnaround and that the scene is now set for further growth and consolidation. He also reports happily that industry perceptions of Pan Macmillan’s traditionally unfashionable image in the industry are changing at last and becoming more reflective of the company’s publishing and commercial performance. (more…)

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Alan Rubenstein, CEO of the Pension Protection Fund

Alan Rubenstein“If you’re leading an organisation, you have to gather the best team you can around you, a team that has shared goals and wants to build a successful organisation.” This is the view of Alan Rubenstein, CEO of The Pension Protection Fund (PPF). And it seems to have worked for him! Alan is deservedly proud of the fact that the PPF won the Gold Award for the best European Investment Fund in the 2013 IPE (Investment & Pensions Europe) Awards. He is equally thrilled by being included for the first time in the 2014 The Sunday Times Top 100 ‘Best Not-For-Profit Organisations to Work For’ listing, which he describes as the outcome of a journey begun years earlier, a mission to make the PPF a place where people want to come and work. (more…)

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Jeremy Gilley, Founder of Peace One Day

Jeremy Gilley

Peace One Day is an extraordinary initiative that has led to an annual global day of ceasefire and non-violence. Its very existence demonstrates the amazing things that can happen when you lead from a place of belief, passion and commitment. Jeremy Gilley, the Founder of Peace One Day, is such a leader and I was lucky to spend some time with him in the build-up to this year’s Peace Day on 21st September. (more…)

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