Tube and rail strikes plus a little snow couldn’t keep us down!  Pretty much business as usual in Grafton Street this week with time spent meeting and recruiting members, developing the briefing programme and gearing up to our first tranche of events this year.

Continuing with the events theme and coinciding neatly with the Prime Minister’s speech on Tuesday, when she will lay out her plans for Britain’s exit from the European Union, Wednesday is the launch reception of The British Foreign Policy Group, almost as though we planned it that way.  BFPG will seek to promote greater public understanding of the range and impact of the UK's foreign policy choices. Please join us for what promises to be a lively and topical event.

The Infrastructure Services Working Group meets on Monday Chaired by Andrew McNaughton the PM’s Business Envoy for the sector.  This working group is gaining momentum in developing strategic initiatives for increasing UK exports and engagement with DIT is high on the agenda.  For those working in international development there are meetings with DFiD on social development and a session with Jeremy Lefroy MP a member of the International Development Select Committee (IDC).

We welcome new member FTI Consulting, an independent global business advisory firm dedicated to helping organisations manage change, mitigate risk and resolve disputes and returning member Booker Tate.  Booker Tate is a leading international agricultural production and processing consultancy that supporting new and existing agricultural projects in an environmentally, socially and economically sustainable manner.

Many of you have interests in the healthcare sector, one we are extremely active in.  My colleague Karen Frieze from the publishing side of the business, Inspire, and I will be heading to Arab Health in Dubai at the end of the month.  The team are busy putting the final touches to what promises to be an outstanding edition of Global Opportunity Healthcare in readiness.  We look forward to seeing many of you there. 

The Shortlist for the BEI17 continues to grow with announcements in the Masterplanning and Architecture categories announced Friday.  Please do join us for the Awards Dinner in April when we reveal the winners at this exciting and fun annual event.

And finally we are delighted to welcome Major General (Rtd) John Holly to the Strategy International Advisory Board.  Until recently John was COO of Lockheed Martin UK, recent Chairman of the AWE and is now a defence sector advisor to many large private sector organisations.


Best wishes for a wonderful week,


Tracey Smith - Deputy Chair, Strategy International