Dear Members and friends,

Reflecting on another fascinating week, with Cabinet resignations and promotions, blockbusting mergers and acquisitions, and the ongoing arm wrestle over the Customs partnership plan, here are the highlights from the last seven days at 23 Grafton Street. We will also look ahead to some of the other standout events this month.


Kazakh Invest 2018 Investment Seminar
On Monday, we held an all-day seminar with the top management of Kazakh Invest – Kazakhstan’s newly created national company tasked to be the sole negotiator between the government and international businesses. The Chairman of Kazakh Invest, Saparbek Tuyakbayev, headed up a delegation which included public officials and top management of several companies, to promote 50 priority projects across infrastructure, water, mining, agribusiness, transport and logistics. We were delighted to welcome representatives from over 50 companies to the morning seminar and hosted a full programme of one-on-one meetings with the delegates throughout the afternoon. If you could not make the seminar but would like to learn more, Alexandra Barnes would love to hear from you.


DFID’s Approach to Value for Money - ICAI Review
On Tuesday afternoon, British Expertise International hosted the much anticipated ICAI review on DFID’s approach to value for money, and it did not disappoint. Lead Commissioner Tina Fahm and Review Team Leader Dr Marcus Cox presented their findings and the government’s response. The review found that DFID’s approach to value for money has strengthened and matured, helped by improvements in DFID’s programme management systems. Participating members, whilst appreciating the progress made to date, also pointed out how it seemed commercial consideration was overriding project quality in bid reviews. A variety of issues were also outlined that were impacting on delivering a quality service.   


Ensuring a fair energy market
Tuesday evening saw Ofgem’s CEO Dermot Nolan and a broad mix of major and challenger power generators, equipment manufacturers and service providers gathering to discuss this increasingly diverse market. Radical change from innovation and digitization was a major theme, alongside the issues of ownership, security of customer data and balancing an efficient market with a fair one. This was the second event in D Group’s 2018 Energy sector series, focusing on the market and its technical innovations. The series continues with two more briefings later this year, bringing leading players together from across this key sector for the UK’s economy. 

The ageless workplace and the future of work
Another ‘hot topic’ is talent, and on Wednesday afternoon Professor Eliza Filby, Moorhouse’s Richard Goold, and leading HR director Janet Dawson addressed the challenges of the very recent phenomenon of a four-generation workplace. The talent retention and management issue that attracts all the column inches is millennials, but the panel and audience engaged actively around the effect on employers of the ‘gig’ economy for the highly experienced and valuable over-50s, alongside the challenges of managing workforces and customers with multi-generational workforces, their expectations and how they relate to each other. Looking forward..


16 May: Digital technology – the challenge and opportunities for UK
“The Fourth Industrial Revolution”. We’ve all heard of it, but what does it actually mean? How will digitalisation change the way in which businesses deliver their services? How will innovation impact upon the manufacturing industry? We are delighted to welcome Adrian Gregory, the CEO of Atos UK & Ireland, one of our member companies, to dinner on Wednesday 16th May, to set out the case for industrial digitalisation and what it means for the future of the sector. Initial findings make hugely encouraging reading: the Government’s recent Made Smarter review suggested that the manufacturing sector could see a boost of up to £455bn as a result of digitalisation, as well as 3% growth year-on-year, and the creation of 175,000 jobs. Join us to hear from a company right at the coalface of this new industrial age. View Event →


21-22 May: Meet the Ambassadors – Don’t miss out
This will be the third year of our very successful “Meet the Ambassador” programme. Over the course of three days, British Expertise International will welcome British Ambassadors and High Commissioners from 33 countries around the world as they share political and economic updates as well as business opportunities in their respective countries. If you would like to attend any of the remaining available sessions please visit the EVENTS page on our website. 


And finally, with the Bank Holiday nearly upon us, I hope you all find the time to take stock, relax and recharge for another busy few months ahead.

With Best Wishes


James Jones, Director, Account Management

Event highlights:

Thursday 10th May – BEI Meeting (15:00)
CDC – New Strategy Update
Jen Braswell, Director, Corporate Strategy, CDC

Wednesday 6th June – BEI Networking Reception (18:30)
House of Lords Networking Reception
The Rt Hon Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean

Tuesday 12th June – D Group Lunch
Improving the living standards of the poorest and most disadvantaged in society – the Conservative strategy
The Rt Hon Esther McVey MP, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions