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Nexus Spring 2001

  1. 1. nexus The magazine of the Warwick Business School Alumni Association $% ¥30 5%+= 20067£$%¥ ± 93 75 87 Spring 2001 ££ 09 8% 36 86 57 94 86 8% ££ venture capital for the new economy $% ¥3 05 %+ =20 067 £$ % ¥± 93 7 587 09368 3702£8709365794868%££$ 67£ $ % ¥± 9 %¥3 05% 200 6 57 5 794 += +=2 30 5% 006 7£ %¥ $% £ £$ ¥± 8% 93 00868%££$%¥305%+=20 6 75 48 87 5 79 09 36 36 9 57 70 94 58 86 37 8% ±9 %¥ 7£$ 006 067£$% ¥305%+=2 ¥±937 % ££$ % 5822709 868 365 794 WARWICK 79 65 93 486 B usiness s chool 86 0 87 8% 75 5 5 37 £ 94 7 £$ 9 00 ¥± %¥ % 86 $ 8 3
  2. 2. nexus A new look for nexus With this issue, nexus takes what I hope will be a step forward in terms both of presentation and content. The new, more up-to-date look is designed to reflect the change in editorial direction. Having taken a cross-section of reader opinion through our questionnaire late last year, the magazine will feature greater contents Alumni News 03 Globalisation - changing the alumni involvement, based to a large extent on the feed-back from you. rules of competitive We propose to reflect more issues, to encourage opinion and generally to look more to the future. I advantage 04 would like to make the content more international and to include profiles of overseas graduates - as well as using our established links with business schools in other countries to develop a series of international Book Review 06 events. As you can imagine, response to the questionnaire was diverse - we received a response level of 66%. Career change? Just another From this, it was interesting to note that no less than 97.8 % of readers have access to the internet. There challenge 07 was considerable support (56%) to publish nexus on-line, as well as in printed form. Many respondents (53.4%) would like to see publication frequency increased to four times yearly. The Nexus Interview: Nearly 40% indicated their willingness to contribute to alumni news/job moves - which has already been Venture capital for the new introduced as a regular feature, from this issue. So, get your news in for issue 2! economy 08 It is perhaps a little unfair to single out individual comments, but I will spotlight two or three to show we propose to take constructive ideas on board. In suggesting that nexus should be more international, Alumni Profile: Tim Smithies Albrecht Large says, “You only have to look at the diary dates in the current issue to realise how EMBA 92/95 10 ethnocentric and UK-only the programme is”. Michael Sauerlaender makes a plea for greater alumni involvement and also suggests, “networking with Social Partnership - other prestigious business schools”. Look out for news on this topic in coming issues. redefining industrial Paul Pruett echoes the suggestion for a more international flavour - and cites the example of how he has been building a company and how his Warwick MBA has helped him. “In March”, he writes, “I will relations? 12 begin overseeing the European division and begin manufacturing in France”. Let me know how things go, School News 14 Paul, and we could look at a focus in the next issue. Javana Dias believes that the ‘online noticeboard’ concept would not only be helpful in seeking jobs, Noticeboard 16 recruiting, publishing ‘personal white papers’, sharing business information and seeking venture capital - but she would also consider “paying - yes, paying - a small fee to be able to post messages. I look forward to seeing it all online”, she concludes. Well, Javana, we are already working on construction of the website and an on-line directory of members which is expected to come on-line later this year - more news in the next issue. There was no shortage of offers from you to contribute to nexus - so keep your ideas and suggestions flowing x contacts Jill Dwyer Alumni and Business Development Manager Jill Dwyer, Alumni and Business Development Manager Alumni Office Warwick Business School University of Warwick Coventry CV4 7AL United Kingdom Tel: +44 (0)24 7652 4176 Fax: +44 (0)24 7652 3719 Email: Sue Cresswell, Alumni Assistant Tel: +44 (0)24 7652 4396 Email: schsc@wbs.warwick/ Nexus is the magazine of the Alumni Association, Warwick Business School, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL United Kingdom Tel (024) 7652 4306 WARWICK The views contained in Nexus are those of B usiness s chool contributors and not necessarily those of Warwick Business School or the University of Warwick.
  3. 3. alumninews nexus | spring 2001 Academic Update diary dates Seminar Taking place on 19 May, the Academic Update Academic Update Seminar 19 May seminar is one of the highlights of the WBS alumni Andrew Pettigrew calender. You can join over a hundred other Women’s Professor of Strategy and Organisation colleagues and hear and debate four key business topics with senior academics and a respected Group Dr Malcolm McIntosh Director Corporate Citizenship Unit practitioner from the not-for-profit sector. Seminar Nigel Sykes Centre for Small & Medium Sized Enterprises & Dr Martin Johnson The programme includes four Nigel Sykes of the Centre for ‘Excellent, inspiring and The Hospice Movement & presentations, with break-out SMEs will be joined by Dr Martin first-rate’ was how Thalidomide Trust groups to discuss the key issues. Johnson of the Hospice attendees described the Dr Simon Collinson There will be opportunities to Movement and Thalidomide second Alumni Women’s Senior Lecturer in International network with speakers and other Trust to look at the spectacular Group Seminar, which Business & Academic Director of delegates and guests.The growth that has been achieved took place in February at the Full-time MBA speakers and their topics are: in some areas of the not-for- the Warwick offices in Summer Ball Professor Andrew Pettigrew profit sector. Their talk will London. Dr DeAnne Julius, 13 July will be asking whether examine what can be learned senior economist and Women’s Group Seminar leadership makes a difference in from structures that release member of the Bank of September organisational performance. talent rather control. England monetary policy London Evening Seminar Everyone assumes that leaders Dr Simon Collinson committee gave an November make a difference - but do they? examines the changing nature overview of the way UK The research evidence will be and rules of the global economy. interest rates are used to Masterclasses balanced against conjecture and These changes are altering the control inflation. Dr Malcolm McIntosh the experience of alumni. range of strategic opportunities She went on to make Creating Value from Shared Values Dr Malcolm McIntosh will facing companies large and some interesting 23 April present a session titled ‘Strategic small. He explores the threats predictions about the state Prof Leslie Willcocks Corporate Citizenship’. Many and the many opportunities that of the UK economy and Moving to Strategic e-Business global companies are thus are open in an integrated global how conditions such as a 4 May describing themselves - but what economy. tight labour market and Prof Howard Thomas is global citizenship and what To book a place on this intense price competition Entrepreneurial Strategies for the sort of initiatives does it seminar contact, Sue Cresswell were likely to affect Global Corporate embrace? on x business over the next 10 May year. In the final part of Dr Philip Stern her talk, she focused on The Two Faces of Branding her career and shared some 29 June of the lessons she had Hot Topics Executive learnt in balancing her Workshops work and her family life. Prof Robert Johnston, Mike Singapore Dinner Her views struck a chord with many in the room! Shulver & Dr Rhian Silvestro Beyond the Balanced Scorecard - We are delighted that More than Just a Measurement the Industrial Society has Framework - offered to host the next 29 & 30 May Women’s Group Seminar Prof John McGee, Prof Leslie Professor Bob Johnston and at their offices in London Willcocks, Prof Bill Weinstein, Yvonne Williams, Programme this autumn - a big thank Dr Chris Smith, Dr Richard Manager of the Distance you to Helen McCrorie, Whittington & Ben Knight Learning MBA hosted a dinner Strategic Thinking - Strategic their business for Singapore alumni and Acting development director. If current students at the Traders 18-20 June you have any ideas for Hotel on 16th March. It was a future events or would be Prof David Wilson, Prof Peter lively evening and gave everyone McKiernan & Frances O’Brien happy to host a seminar or the opportunity to catch up with Putting Scenarios to Work - networking evening, please old friends and make new 16-18 July contact Jill Dwyer on contacts. x For further information on If you would like to organise Alumni Association events, a get-together in your part of the please contact Sue Cresswell on world, contact Jill Dwyer on Tel: +44 (0)24 7652 4396 or x Email: 03
  4. 4. When President Bill Clinton flew in to the University of Warwick in December as part of what was to be the final official overseas visit of his White House tenure, he seized on globalisation as the central theme of his speech. But what exactly lies behind this controversial word and how can the process it represents be rationalised? Simon Collinson looks at the threats and opportunities. Globalisation Changing the rules of competitive advantage Clinton’s choice of subject was growing interdependence and vast opportunity for investment partly a response to the interactivity of people, firms and in both production and market- headlines seized by the anti- national economies. oriented business. globalisation demonstrators who Export trade figures over the Changes in global capital had earlier railed against the past twenty years are shown markets and the development of World Trade Organisation during consistently to be outrunning more sophisticated financial the ‘Battle of Seattle’. Contrary GDP. Foreign direct investment services have done much to to their beliefs, Clinton asserted (FDI) and overseas production by facilitate cross-border activity in that, “open markets and rule- multinationals have both grown mergers and acquisitions. based trade are necessary proven faster than trade overall. Most Technological change has engines of economic growth”. significantly, cross-border powered convergence in such Although adding the mergers and acquisitions are up industry sectors as telecoms, qualification that policy altern- by almost fifty percent in the computing and electronics. At atives are needed for assisting latter half of the last decade. the same time, joint ventures, least developed countries, One result of these trends is R & D alliances and merger Clinton’s central belief is that that the largest five hundred activity have empowered “globalisation is inevitable, firms account for over half of all businesses to spread the cost and irreversible and, on balance, international trade and also for cut the risk of new product beneficial to all”. around eighty percent of global development. He rejects the ‘us versus them’ FDI. So, there is no denying that Advances in communications confrontational argument and globalisation has led to large technology such as the internet particularly the targeting of organisations getting larger. have increased the opportunity western multinationals by interest An imperfect analogy can be for firms to interact, buy and sell groups. In the customary drawn between the corporate on a global basis and have also platitudinous style of American sales of large multinationals and resulted in the creation of an presidential speeches, he suggest- the GNP of world nations. This entirely new generation of ed that globalisation affects us all shows, for example, that General international e-businesses. and that individuals, local comm- Motors is the 26th largest The rise of the global unities and corporations alike face economy and that ten multi- consumer has allowed giants such both threats and opportunities nationals are larger than, for as Nestle, Diageo and Coca-Cola from globalisation in a way that example, the nations of Portugal to service global markets with can never be reduced to ‘bad guys or Singapore. homogenous products - and to versus good guys’. achieve huge economies of scale. The drivers The growth of global The evidence So, what is the driving force competition is forcing businesses Inevitably, out came the evid- behind globalisation? Why do to reduce their reliance on Simon Collinson is senior lecturer ence to support the argument. businesses need to sell their domestic markets, so enabling in international business and also One somewhat emotive statistic products and services beyond the globalisation process to self- academic director of the full time used by Clinton was that “in a national borders - and make all perpetuate. MBA programme at Warwick single hour today, more people the complex investments, Business School. He previously and goods move from continent alliances and people movement The effects taught international business at to continent than moved in the in order to do so? Just a few of All around us, we can touch and Edinburgh University Management entire nineteenth century”. the more prominent reasons are see the impact of globalisation - School and, prior to that, was Perhaps more relevant to revealing: through what we eat, the things assistant director of the Japanese- today are World Investment Liberalisation and general we buy, the people we meet and European Studies institute at Report figures published by deregulation has been an the firms with whom we come Edinburgh for eight years. His United Nations Conference on inexorable process. The opening- into contact. doctorate is from the Science Policy Trade and Development up of markets such as those in Within the workplace, the Research Unit, Sussex University. (UNCTAD) that demonstrate the India and China has created a effects are visible at all levels. 04
  5. 5. nexus | spring 2001 Witness the amazing growth profile of the Indian software industry - it shows that the rules are new and that tables have a habit of turning For example, 73 million people in Britain - and by far fewer environment. They are also the catalyst. Using FDI and now work for foreign companies, employees. Balance this statistic moving rapidly up the value- technology transfer from so cultural and behavioural with the fact that China is now added economic food chain in multinationals, an evolving IT diversity among employees is the world’s largest exporter of the non-manufactured growth infrastructure has enabled something we have to adapt to. clothes. The wages received by industries of the future. Indian firms to move beyond the Companies themselves buy and the two million people Witness the amazing growth cheap labour stage in less than sell more globally and deal with employed, although reasonable profile of the Indian software one decade. alliances as well as competitors in terms of local purchasing industry - it shows that the rules They are now leading from all parts of the world, so parity, represent a fraction of are new and that tables have a innovators in some key, niche adding to the organisational and their European equivalent. habit of turning. A classic e-business areas. This strategic complexity of trade. Amongst all the complaints example is the take-over of the transformation has been Perhaps less obvious, about foreign companies losing UK’s Tetley group in March last underpinned by new levels of globalisation is both driving and interest in investing in the UK, year by Tata Tea Limited. labour mobility and by new being driven by shifting patterns however, we should observe that Originally a tea estates company levels of global transaction and of competitive advantage, Britain recently overtook the and now India’s second-most commercial interaction - each of resulting in a complex and ever- USA as the world’s biggest global popular tea brand, Tata has 54 these the very essence of changing picture of winners and source of foreign direct tea estates and employs 59,000 globalisation. losers. The effects are felt by investment. In 1999, Great people. It is a subsidiary of the The effect has been felt far whole nations, corporations, Britain Plc was responsible for Tata group, one of India’s largest beyond the direct economic local communities and one quarter of all FDI outflows - publicly quoted conglomerates. multiplier effects in India’s individuals alike - again making $199 billion. Look more closely and you’ll silicon cities of Madras and the ‘us and them’ scenario an By these terms, globalisation find that another arm of Tata is Bangalore. For the country as a over-simplification. is very much a transient, two- TCS which - if its own PR is to be whole, the knock-on effects in way process. believed - is ‘Asia’s largest global terms of social and human The UK example software and services company’. welfare are significant - surely an That the fine balance is The new rules TCS has doubled its revenue excellent model of economic constantly changing, however, One view held in the west is that every two years over the past six. development. can be seen from the UK-based manufacturing is very much Its products include customised What has happened to these car industry. yesterday’s economic backbone. software, systems, consultancy Indian companies has been a From the Nice summit, it Indeed, Americans might services and - increasingly - pattern of evolving competitive emerged that Poland, with forty particularly endorse this view, e-business products. These are positioning in the global million people and five percent given that only about fifteen marketed to a wide range of marketplace. This mirrors the GDP growth, is likely to enter percent of them are employed in businesses, partly through rise of Japanese car companies in the EU in the next round of manufacturing. The argument alliances with western giants the 60s and 70s, the South enlargement. With a Polish could suggest that, as the cheap like Microsoft, IBM and Korean steel, shipping and car autoworker costing less than $5 labour alternative lies Netscape. industries of the 70s and 80s - per hour, compared to over $15 with the newly-industrialising The final twist in the story is but over a far shorter time-scale. in Britain, why should we nations, the west’s competitive that the revenue and enhanced Globalisation has assume that the industry is advantage now lies with the market capitalisation gained empowered countries like India - salvageable using government provision of value-added services from the software side provided partly through partnership with funding? in the ‘knowledge-based’ global the leverage to move up the western business - to leverage Clothing was yesterday’s economy. value-chain in the tea industry. existing advantages and to build problem industry. Hero-to- Surely, colonisation in reverse? new ones and to compete head- villain retailer Marks & Spencer But, does it? Equally dramatic has been on in ways surely never had seventy percent of its Globalisation is no respecter of the speed of this transition. envisaged in the west. clothes made in the UK in 1997, barriers. The economies of Returning Indian software Perhaps Bill Clinton got it employing around 85,000 emerging countries are not just engineers and entrepreneurs, largely right. Globalisation people. Within two years, thirty exploiting their cheap labour trained and well-networked in creates threats and opportunities per cent of its clothes were made benefit in a manufacturing the US and Europe, have been for all - but under new rules x 05
  6. 6. bookreview Organising for the twenty-first century By Andrew Edited by Andrew Pettigrew and Evelyn Fenton, this book is a different issues that, collectively, include team-based structures, to capture and analyse the innovation trends and also the Pettigrew - product of the Warwick Business School-initiated INNFORM social mechanisms and HRM, networks, drivers for change, longitudinal and formulaic structure of the chapters. reviewed by programme of research, which is being carried out by an and barriers to change. It would, of course, have been incomplete Nevertheless, a little more of this important topic could have been Edward Paxton international network of scholars. The authors have without looking at those old favourites from organisational included. I was also slightly intrigued selected eight case studies from behaviour - the various levels of as to what happened to the the current INNFORM total of analyses. other ten case studies.Why were eighteen studies - the aim being At first, I found this book a the chosen eight selected? I to examine innovation in little difficult to get into (my suspect that it was a ‘fit’ with the contemporary organisations and weakness - not the authors’), but subject of the book - but a brief to test their benefits. once I did, I found it interesting synopsis of the missing case The book itself is an and well-written. I particularly studies would have been helpful. impressively-researched work, enjoyed the case study of Ove Nevertheless, this is a with 22 pages of reference. The Arup, as I know this organisation fascinating and enjoyable book. eight case studies included cover very well. For those of us who enjoyed OB well known global businesses, The case studies include and Management of Change five of which aspire to achieve significant changes to the during our time at Warwick, I company-wide organisational organisations, yet I felt that would say this book is a must. innovation, whilst the other issues of internal conflict and For those who didn’t, maybe you three focus on the changing of resistance were not sufficiently might want to try this - it could important parts of their business. explored. This is possibly due to make a difference! x Each case study examines the aim of the book being Value-based marketing By Peter Doyle With a background in finance, you might expect me to general management process - with a focus on generating long- - reviewed by approach books on marketing with a fair degree of scepticism. term value from intangible marketing assets. Sue Joiner You’d be right - Peter Doyle’s new book Value-based Marketing Whilst the theories and principles of value-creation are evoked just this reaction. thoroughly and persuasively In the preface, professor placed before the reader in part Doyle acknowledges that he has one, this book is also very much the most ambitious objective - a hands-on guide. Parts two and seeking to re-define the purpose three present a structured of marketing and challenging approach to developing and marketeers to evaluate the implementing high-value success of their marketing marketing strategies. strategies in terms of the value Whilst there is much here created for investors. I was that will be familiar to any prepared to be convinced - and I marketing student or was! practitioner, the synthesis of the Value-based Marketing strategic with the marketing ‘essential text for MBAs’. I challenges the dominance of creates an approach that is disagree - in my view, it is an finance in promoting short-term practical yet vigorous. Each essential text for any manager focus on increasing profitability chapter begins with a bulleted who wants to improve the way and provides the framework for list of objectives and is liberally in which they manage their the marketing department to sprinkled with topical examples. business to create sustainable engage in this strategic debate. It The book is meticulously written value. Value-based Marketing argues that marketing must shift in a clear and focused style. challenged some of my from being a specialist activity to The dust-jacket of Peter assumptions - and many of its being an integral part of the Doyle’s book claims it to be an messages still resonate x 06
  7. 7. nexus | spring 2001 When you leave university in New Zealand with first-class honours and walk straight into your ‘dream job’ at the first attempt, surely your career path is at least well-defined? Not so for Alison Andrew, for whom it was but a stepping stone to an MBA at Warwick Business School - before returning home to join her native New Zealand’s largest corporate. Here, in her burgeoning career, she has taken career change to her heart. Career change? Just another challenge Determination and ambition Experience”, she continues. “I hundred companies and Life in New Zealand, she may be two of the traits that had a great job, travelling and represented in twelve countries, feels, has a mix of values She characterise Kiwi Alison working around central Europe. FCL operates in four business clearly favours the lifestyle, Andrew’s still relatively short “Then I made another divisions - paper, building, enjoying lots of sailing on what career, but the one that seems to decision. I decided that there energy and forestry. she describes as “our beautiful dominate is her preparedness to had to be more to life than During her eleven years with harbour”. But she is less sure use career change to give her the working as a trouble-shooter on one employer, Alison made a about what there is left in experience she seeks to fulfil her an air separation plant in the series of career changes within corporate New Zealand. “Career- ambitions. To use her phrase, it middle of the night! A day job in the group that took her into wise, you have to be creative to is quite often “time to do a civilized office had heaps of three of the four primary stay here”, she says. something different”. appeal!” she adds with some business sectors - building being Even if it does mean moving In 1984, she emerged from conviction. the exception. These changes to Australia or further, Alison Auckland University with a first- So, it was on to a full-time brought with them a further has no doubt at all that her class Bachelor of Honours degree MBA at WBS in 1988. “I chose bonus - she would gain career objectives are far from in Chemistry and Engineering. Warwick because it was very experience in most of the spread fulfilled and believes that “there “At the first attempt, I found highly rated and because I of roles available within a are many interesting challenges what at the time was my dream wanted a one-year course. Also, corporate. “My roles have out there if you are prepared to job at the first and the (then) WBS wasn’t full of engineers like variously ranged from business look”. world’s largest gas-to-gasoline Cranfield. There was an added analyst to development director As an aspiration, she seeks to conversation plant in New spin-off because my then and from manufacturing director use her business development Zealand”, she says. It was a boyfriend - now my husband - to finance director”, she and leadership experience project that would also take was doing a doctor of philoso- explains. successfully to lead a medium- Alison to Adelaide, Australia for phy at Oxford, so it was very sized business through the a time, where she further honed convenient”, she concludes. From corporate to dotcom challenge of a significant change her skills as a trainee engineer. It was to be a relationship that process. Given the creativity The project was at the Career change finally came to an end earlier through which she has interesting construction and On her return to New Zealand, this year when she took harnessed career change for her commissioning stage, but the Alison was to use her Warwick redundancy from Fletcher own development, few can culmination of what she MBA (distinction) as the catalyst Challenge Paper when it was doubt that Alison Andrew will describes as “four years nuts- to a change career away from sold out to Norske Skog. “It was achieve this goal. and-bolts engineering” then hands-on engineering to what time to do something different took her across the world to was ultimately to be eleven years once more - including having Website x work as an operations process with New Zealand’s largest some equity in the business”, engineer for Air Products international corporate - Fletcher she says, adding with an almost Limited in London. Challenge Limited. disarming simplicity, “I moved FCL is listed on the New to a dotcom agricultural business The overseas experience Zealand, Australian and New called It is Here was to be found the source York stock exchanges and has a another challenge, a new of more change. “I decided to do combined operating revenue of industry and a new role as COO what most young Kiwis do and NZ$7.7 billion. Previously one of - but the same sort of skills taste the OE - Overseas Fortune magazine’s top five apply”, she rationalises. 07
  8. 8. nexusinterview Little more than a year ago - in the living room of a Fulham flat - three entrepreneurial Warwick MBAs put together a business plan for what became the Sargasso Partnership. Its core activity was to provide early-stage investment to internet-related business. Within a year, Sargasso was integrated into European Capital Ventures Plc, retaining two of the founder MBAs. ECV’s Managing Director, Daniel Geoghegen and Senior £$%¥3 868%£ Investment Manager, Charles Morgan explain 05% 794 the mission. += the passion 9365 behind 20 70 06 £8 7£ 02 $% 37 ¥ 9 Venture capital for ±9 ¥± 37 $% 58 7£ 70 06 93 20 65 += 79 5% 48 ¥30 68 % Nexus: Where did the idea first has been making investments in can’t do is to replicate the WBS value to - not only through come from? technology-related business MBA environment. It is much providing the capital but ££$ Daniel: While I was working across the USA. In eight years, more important to come into through our own networks and %¥ on e-commerce strategy at the they have made investments contact with other people. To experience. head office of HMV, we were totalling over $100million in the me, the MBA environment was We are not investing in ideas 305 being offered lots of US new economy. more important than the - but in companies. We like % += opportunities in and around the As part of its European substance of the learning. companies with revenues, or internet. These came from young strategy, FG ll is in the process of Daniel: Initially, it was a foreseeable revenues - companies 2 006 people whose ideas were closing a fund called European question of putting my skills which have a product and which incredible - but they themselves Capital Ventures to invest in IT- into a package that was have customers. We prefer were not credible. They were related business in Europe. The recognisable to a future companies that have gone 7£$ % ¥ coming to us because they fund will be partly deployed to employer and, at that time, also through some of the evolution- needed direction and money, help such companies with creating a good platform from ary stages, some of the R & D, but had little idea how to capital for acquisition and which to launch a step-change where we can take them on to ± 9375 8 7 093 interact with blue chip business. organic expansion. Sargasso in career level and direction. the next level - ultimately to One reason they couldn’t Partners was integrated into ECV What you really invest in offer them up to later-stage find the money is because there on 1st February. with an MBA is not the cost, but venture capitalists or to the is an equity gap in the UK and Nexus: What investments the time. You are taking a year markets in order to finance the Europe. Venture capitalists have you made so far? out that you can never get back - next stage of growth or provide 6865757940 generally don’t have time to Daniel: Since 1st February that year has to be deployed in us with an exit. look after relatively low value we have committed to invest in the 794868%££$%What I += best possible way. ¥305% Charles: The typical profile deals and traditional business a Dutch-based business called 87093 65 recommend to people selecting 20067 £$% of a company in which we would 3 75 ¥± has angels are often deterred by the ¥± 9 Ladot ( which an MBA is to go for a good brand like to invest 937 to offer two key demands of internet-related focuses on the 7£ $% of IT 587 for 6 provision - whatever it costs. Don’t skimp things. We’re looking0 some 9 business. 00 outsourcing solutions to the on the cost of an MBA. Select the proprietary knowledge - 365perhaps + =2SME segment. Ladot 79 0868%££$% Potential entrepreneurs were European % best and then use its reputation a company that has developed 4 5since acquired - out of 86 right in thinking that they has0 to leverage yourself forward. some piece of software or 8% needed money. But more ¥3 ££ % bankruptcy - The Netherlands’ Charles: One thing that technology that gives it an important in my view was for £$ largest domain name registration became obvious to us was the advantage. This is the R & D. $ ± them to find an investor who and web-hosting business, need to keep our profile high We’re also looking for that ± =2 ±± could also provide operational known as Free Hosting and has and sell ourselves as a team and company to have the skill-set to ±+ ± ¥305% % and strategic guidance. I thought integrated Free Hosting’s a business. The MBA bolstered deliver the product to market. 0±5± there was a great opportunity to operations into its own. these needs but perhaps didn’t Many of the businesses that we ¥3± ±± help such start-ups - not just to Nexus: How valuable to you prepare us fully for selling. have ‘passed’ on are deficient in £$ % ±±± +=2 find the money but to be hands- were your MBAs - and did they Selling is sometimes seen as an one or other of these two key on and establish relationships truly prepare you for business in the unsophisticated and down- areas. %± ±±£ 0067 with strategic blue chip partners. new economy? market skill. In fact, it is a key Daniel: In looking at 22709365794868 ±±±±±±±±±±±±±± This is how Sargasso Partnership Charles: I had a strong set of one. investments, one of the £$% was born. operational skills from my Nexus: In making investments, cornerstones is getting under the Nexus: How did Sargasso military experience but probably what kind of businesses are you skin of the management team - ¥± evolve into ECV? lacked commerciality. The MBA looking for? testing the integrity of the skills. 937 Daniel: ECV Plc is the teaching helped to plug this gap. Daniel: Every venture We’d much rather back an brainchild of a US investment It is true to say that you could capitalist has a particular focus. ingenious team with a reason- 582 = group called FG ll Ventures LLC perhaps acquire these skills from We are looking for companies in able idea than a reasonable team %+ 2 ( that other providers, what they which we can invest and add with a fantastic idea. It is these 70 5 3758 ±±±± 30 93 ¥ 65 08 $% ¥ 9 ±±± 79 ±£ 48
  9. 9. 30 %¥ ££$ nexus | spring 2001 65794868% 87093 02£ 937 ± %¥ 7£$ 06 20 += 5% 30 ¥ Daniel Geoghegen (right) with $% Charles Morgan ££ 68% 48 the new economy 579 36 709 58 937 ¥± 7£$% 006 +=2 05% 3 teams that are much more likely that could undermine the logic which usually spans from $ %¥ For example, James Bogues ££ to create value for us as an of a business plan. anywhere between three to six 868 % of Accenture in Atlanta, Andy 4 9365 79 investor. Nexus: Many e-companies months - I advise companies 7 £ $ % ¥± 9 3 75 870 Bailey of PwC and Mary Murphy Nexus: What do you look for seem to have been overvalued. Has never to underestimate the time of Abbey National all sacrificed in a business plan? the sector peaked? it takes and never to stop time to the cause, including one Charles: On business plans Daniel: Although we believe negotiating with others. Even if weekend when James flew in that we receive, we often see the that the sector has been hyped, you think you’ve got your backer specially from America. We same trajectory on the path to we also believe that there is in the bag, keep the doors open! spent the better part of the profit. You can put a financial medium and long-term value in Charles: It is also an weekend in Andy’s living room, plan together but it is achieving the new economy. So, whilst the emotionally draining period. where we all grafted - very MBA- it that matters. So, plans are pendulum had swung strongly Furthermore, there is a trade like - on a strategy session to somewhat generic. We always in one direction, it is now going on here between entre- help advance our plans. We owe flick first to the back page, to the coming the other way, with preneur and fund-raiser. Money them a special debt of gratitude CVs, to see the quality of the some companies losing up to doesn’t come in for nothing and The Warwick connection management team. This way, we 100% of their value and some you need to be braced to transfer goes deeper, too. Another know better whether they can even going bankrupt. To an some control of the entity to the Warwick contemporary, Tim back up that curve. extent, this indicates that the people who are investing in you. Walker, was a key member of the Daniel: What we’ve seen in market appetite - just as it was They will have a large say-so in Sargasso team throughout 2000 our own development in very positive fifteen months ago how the company is run - and and this experience helped him Sargasso is that circumstances - has become risk-averse. that’s something that can mean pursue other interests after and markets change - and, with Charles: One of the reasons significant self-adjustment. Sargasso was integrated into that, so must strategy. External that there has been such a swing Nexus: ECV is only a small ECV. Yet another Warwick factors affect the way you do is that the larger private equity team - how do you interact as a Graduate, Mathew Bird, joined business. You need a team that companies have taken a blanket unit? us last summer as a business can make the most of the space judgement on whether to Daniel: As you say, we are a analyst. that is created when things don’t continue funding the sector, small unit, bonded by a Nexus: Finally, are there any go entirely to plan - and they rather than making decisions on common grounding at Warwick deals that you wish you had done, rarely do! a case-by-case basis. Business School and by personal but missed? We find it useful to think Daniel: I think there will be friendship - which has proved a Daniel: No, we never regret outside the box. This was a more casualties before we see a strong one. When you work in a deals that we don’t do. We may feature of one particular course very interesting rebirth of the small team, there needs to be a decide for a number of reasons at Warwick, Global Business new economy over the next year good mix of skills and to leave a deal on the table - and Environment run by Gordon or two. This will happen personalities. Whilst we all have it is important to retain that Murray and Ben Knight. They through a much more areas of particular focus, there is professional perspective. Any positively encouraged thinking traditional matrix, which we something of the generalist in other approach would be ‘around’ a business plan. think is very healthy. each of us. tantamount to gambling. Charles: Effectively, this Nexus: What advice would Nexus: Has the Warwick Daniel Geoghegan is allows you to do some detailed you give companies seeking connection been important? contactable at analysis, using technical funding? Daniel: From the early and attributes with which we were Daniel: Something we see planning stages of Sargasso, I Charles Morgan at imbued at Warwick, but then to time and time again in potential have great memories of the team x come back later, having factored- investee companies is an spirit and camaraderie - and I in all the other contextual underestimation of the time it particularly recall the selfless elements. This is a ‘reality’ check takes to raise money and close a support we had from our into the external influences deal. During this period - contempories at Warwick. 09
  10. 10. Tim Smithies outside Christ Church College, Oxford However senior you are it always helps to have an ally in the wider market place. We at Chapple work alongside you to help you establish your long term career plans and, more importantly, to implement them successfully. We work across industry and are often retained by organisations to find talent. We are currently recruiting on behalf of clients in business process reengineering, law, corporate communications and human resources. We also manage portfolio careers enabling you to get on with the project of the moment. If you would value an exploratory conversation or would just like a copy of our career check-up form then email me, Suzannah Chapple, at or ring me on 020 7384 3092. 10
  11. 11. alumniprofile nexus | spring 2001 The route from singing as a He returned to the UK and “With this contract as an What sort of challenges and chorister at Canterbury worked his way through various umbrella - and paying the pressures are faced by a small Cathedral to reading classics at jobs within music. “These airfares - I set up Metronome business such as Metronome Oxford, to managing a blossomed into a full-time job Recordings Ltd. and commuted Recordings Limited? Tim professional touring opera managing the Arts Council- from Amsterdam to continue my Smithies singles out the world of company and then running funded Early Music Network”, he part-time MBA at Warwick”, he e-commerce, which has most your own music recording says. “I also ran the network’s says. “My syndicate colleagues affected the world of music. He company is not the straightest London Festival, giving me vital gave me excellent support points to the potential threat to career road. Add a pit-stop experience in small business during this tricky time and I his copyrights posed by pirate commuting from Amsterdam management”, he adds. concentrated especially hard in downloading of music from the to study for an MBA at the new business and web - but he sees counter- Warwick Business School - and The road to Warwick entrepreneurship sessions!” balancing opportunities, too. you finish up with a skills mix Then came his first contact with Meanwhile, with only its “We have some strong as fascinating as the man who the University of Warwick. “I second recording, the company alliances in the niches that we is still travelling his chosen was asked by Simon Halsey, the won its first industry award in have established, and business music highway. director of music to take over the 1996. “This gave us real prospects and growth are there management of his professional credibility in the global classical for the taking - high quality From the distance of his touring opera company. From a music market, enabling us to go producers will have plenty to office in Cornwall, Tim Smithies, tiny office in the Arts Centre, I full time at building our own aim at”, he believes. the managing director of managed the company for three label”, he explains. With a touch of humour, he Metronome Records, is a little seasons, with productions that points to one thing that uncertain how the story of his included my favourite - Puccini’s The Cornwall factor Warwick never taught him - that business may be of interest to La Boheme. Five years later, life changed every month of the first five readers of nexus. “The company then merged again when he was married to years of the business, he would As he says, perhaps with a to become the City of wife Rosemary. They moved the be making decisions that would dash of classic British Birmingham Touring Opera. business to Cornwall, which, he have a profound affect on the understatement, “Metronome is Alas, this was not for me. I was says, “is a wonderful place for future of the company. At first, still a small company, but with a fed up with all the politicking of daughters Annie and Olivia to he found this constant risk- growing catalogue and the subsidised sector and the grow up in and is also an taking was a stressful experience, reputation. However, in the eyes slightly cap-in-hand posture of excellent environment for small involving long drawn-out of a Warwick MBA case study working in arts administration. companies - and that was before sessions and sleepless nights. Tim Smithies enthusiast, it would not be a That said, I believe that some of the days of Objective One status! “We’ve moved on now, and very tasty morsel as our profits the most astute, thrifty and “My office overlooks Penryn take these decisions without a are slim and our balance sheet cunning people now run small Creek and I have boat designers, second thought, knowing that not exactly robust”, he explains. theatre and arts organisations. software developers and deep sea our gut feel is likely to be right - You have to, to survive!” he fishermen as immediate but also being ready to get a From Canterbury to Oxford concludes with conviction. neighbours”, he continues. “Any damage-limitation plan in EMBA 92/95 Music has clearly been a life-long passion for Tim Smithies. From the beginning, he enjoyed a musical education, firstly as a chorister at Canterbury Cathedral, subsequently as a In 1987, Tim moved into the private sector and in 1990 he was recruited by Nimbus Records Ltd., one of the leading music and technology companies in the UK at the time and the first disadvantage from being distant to the rest of the musical world is more than made up for by the quality of life here and the good working environment. Tim states that the business early!” he says. So much for analysis and planning. Tim believes that such flexibility can often be the trump card. He cites the example of a major co-production with music scholar at Harrow School to manufacture CDs. profits are slim and that the Channel 4, which by rights and later as a cellist member of “It was during this period, personal remuneration is not should have gone to a major the National Youth Orchestra. having been rapidly promoted to something that would meet the company. “We proved that we At Oxford, where he read international music marketing normal requirements of most could put it all together in two classics, he was heavily involved manager, that I did something Warwick graduates - but he has months rather than nine - so we in orchestras and opera about my professional training clearly found his niche. had the contract”, he says with production and enjoyed and commenced a part-time obvious pride. managing such events. However, MBA at Warwick”, he explains. Warwick recalled His personal message in his early career thoughts decided “The background to this was “From Warwick, I can recall introduction to the Metronome him “against a career as a that my employer - an unusual those videos of John Harvey corporate brochure New Music musician, a decision I have not company - gave its young Jones lecturing feeble for the 21st century shows that regretted” he says. managers great independence entrepreneurs like myself on all he understands well such first On graduation, Tim spent and opportunities. For example, the ideas that should be principles. He writes, “As the what must have been a joyous I particularly enjoyed doing introduced. My attitude now is world of classical music time in organising a chorus for business in Korea and Hong that ideas are two a penny - it is embraces the new century, the Rossini Opera Festival at Kong”. putting them into action that is Metronome is confident that the Pesaro in Italy. Redundancy for Tim - the the hard part”, he says. talent, exuberance and result of the corporate enthusiasm that the composers, turbulence following the death performers, producers and of Robert Maxwell, a major engineers invest in our fine shareholder - was equally swiftly recordings will continue to followed by an offer of a sales delight you, the listener, the agency for continental Europe - most vital link in the chain” x at a CD-manufacturing plant in Amsterdam. 11