Dear Members and Friends,
An exceptionally busy week, during which we had the pleasure of engaging with some 500 of you across five events.
First off, on Wednesday, the annual BEI Awards, celebrating an outstanding array of world-class infrastructure projects. HRH The Duke of Gloucester presided over the evening; brilliantly as always. The winners are listed here.
The BEI Awards event brochure, featuring a description of the shortlisted companies and the projects they submitted to the judging panel.
Then, on Thursday, the Global Opportunity Healthcare 2017 panel discussion. The GO brand belongs to our digital and print specialist trade marketing operation. This was superbly hosted by Pinsent Masons and their health sector Partner, Kate Orviss. 100 gathered to hear active debate and discussion around the key international trade issues and opportunities facing the UK health sector.
Friday saw The D Group hold a small, C-level meeting around infrastructure with the Finance Minister of Canada, The Hon Bill Morneau. Canada is heavily engaged with the UK across a wide area; as a major inward investor into UK infrastructure, as a destination for outward UK investment activity and as a natural market for enhanced trade engagement post-Brexit, it was a highly engaged and positive meeting. We look forward to following this up with the High Commission here in London and an infrastructure - focused trip to Canada.
The afternoon saw a switch to Africa. The new HMG’s Trade Commissioner for Africa, Emma Wade-Smith and a full complement of 10 infrastructure Trade specialists from UK Missions across the continent, plus representation from UKEF, were welcomed at 23 Grafton St to meet some 40 members. It was an extremely useful update with advice on accessing current live projects.
Staying on something of an African theme, I was delighted to join the annual meeting of FW de Klerk’s Global Leadership Foundation in Valetta. This low-key but highly effective organisation involves a large number of ex-heads of state and internationally respected diplomats, and quietly gets on with lending its immense experience to assist existing national leaders in confronting challenges. GLF and the D Group are reciprocal members and it was a delight to see a number of CEOs of current Strategy members actively participating in a hugely energising and informed discussion that ranged from Africa to The Americas and Asia.
Strategy staff will be taking a well-earned breather this weekend. Our best wishes for next week, when we look forward to catching up on a number of interesting client projects and welcoming the head of HMRC and the recent Permanent Secretary at MoD, Jon Thompson (D Group event).
A very good weekend to you all.
Peter O'Kane - Executive Chairman, Strategy International