Director magazine editor Lysanne Currie previews the brand new September edition, featuring an exclusive interview with Metro Bank founder Vernon Hill
Brown to the left of me, Cameron to the right. Here I am, stuck in the middle with you.” So quipped Kevin Spacey when he addressed business leaders in 2008. It’s that time of year again – when the outspoken, the controversial and the brilliant assemble in London’s Royal Albert Hall for the IoD Annual Convention.
Not a year goes by without a headline being made: in 1969, the then governor of California, Ronald Reagan, received a standing ovation for what Denis Thatcher alerted his wife was “a remarkable speech”; in 1985, Prince Charles called on business to support the inner cities; and in 1991, Gerald Ratner’s speech wiped £500m from the value of the Ratners jewellery chain after he joked that its products were “total crap”. Last year, David Miliband gave his first major speech since quitting UK politics: “There’s a case for an improved EU and I don’t see any cause for believing that Britain could somehow be a kind of Singapore in the North Atlantic.”
This year promises to be no less quotable as the finest minds from business, politics and economics discuss what has been a most turbulent year.
One of those is Kevin Roberts, former chairman of Saatchi & Saatchi, who will be making his first public speech since being suspended by the Publicis Groupe in July. I spoke to him about his life lessons the week before the furore (p54).
The rest of this bumper issue is no less forthright. On p34, Simon Walker quizzes the founder of Metro Bank, Vernon Hill, about entrepreneurialism and post-Brexit Britain; Stephen Herring offers six ways to simplify business tax (p78); and leaders debate Theresa May’s backing for employee representatives on boards (p31). There’s also practical advice on retraining older staff (p70) mentoring (p88) and health in the workplace (p97).
As Sir Richard Branson told the hall in 2013: “Business is simply making other people’s lives better. If you have an idea where you think you can do this, then you have a business. Just try and make it work.”
We’re here to help you on that journey – in print, online and through our events. I hope you enjoy the issue.
Vernon Hill, Kevin Roberts and more – look at what’s inside September’s Director magazine