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Business Leaders

Author: Right Angles

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Business Leaders brings you extended one-to-one interviews with the key people in global business today. Hosted by Paul Blanchard, each week you can step inside a new company and hear how the world’s top CEOs, founders and entrepreneurs are shaping the future of global business in the 21st Century. Find out the secrets of their success; how they challenge the status quo, turn companies around and build some of the world’s most innovative businesses. Share their insights and find out what makes our most successful leaders tick.
65 Episodes
Mark Cornell is chief executive of the Ambassador Theatre Group. Operating over 50 venues across Britain, the US and Germany, their portfolio includes historic West End theatres such as the Apollo and the Lyceum. Mark began his career in the British Army and served for seven years, leaving with the rank of captain. He then moved into business as an executive at wholesaler WHSmith News before moving on to Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy (LVMH) in 2001, working in various roles in France and the US. In 2013, he joined Sotheby’s Europe as managing director before taking on his current role in 2016. In this in-depth conversation, Mark discusses how his time in the military taught him to make bold decisions, reveals how completing an MBA at IMD in Switzerland in 1999 helped propel him into the luxury goods industry, and describes how ATG is reaching new audiences by making the theatre experience more engaging.
Tunde Banjoko is founder and chief executive of Making The Leap. The London-based charity tackles the issues surrounding social mobility by increasing opportunities for underprivileged young people, helping them make a start in their careers. Since 2011, the charity has supported over 50,000 young people by developing their essential skills. In 2017, Tunde founded the UK Social Mobility Awards to encourage organisations across the country to tackle this deep societal problem. In this in-depth conversation, Tunde discusses how he has doubled his efforts to tackle social mobility with the launch of his recent podcast, describes how he was inspired by the ‘Strive’ programme in the US which offers support to individuals struggling to find employment, and argues why one of the most impactful changes to social inequality that the UK government can make will be to abolish university fees.
Jason Trost is founder and chief executive of Smarkets. As one of the world's largest betting exchanges, the company simplifies peer-to-peer betting on hundreds of markets daily. With more than 200,000 customers trading billions of pounds annually, it is one of the fastest-growing companies in Europe. Prior to co-founding Smarkets, Jason worked in the global asset management division at UBS, designing and implementing proprietary software to assist in one of the world’s largest hedge fund trading operations. In this in-depth conversation, Jason discusses why sports betting is a “zero-line game”, describes how computer algorithms can flag customers with potential gambling addictions to offer help, and reveals how the company’s prediction markets offer one of the most sophisticated tools for tracking live probabilities for general elections.
James Herring is chief executive and founder of PR agency Taylor Herring. The award-winning agency counts the BBC, Coca Cola, and Walt Disney among its clients and is known for its humorous approach to brand storytelling. The company often hits the headlines with campaigns such as transforming a supermarket into an ice rink and creating an hour long film about a Samsung washing machine. James is also founder of The Poke, a satirical website launched in 2002 known for producing humorous news content. He is also the editor-in-chief of, and director of St Marks Studios, which creates news packages for online and broadcast media. In this in-depth conversation, James discusses how the Edinburgh Festival Fringe inspired him to start a career in media and entertainment, describes how he founded his company with his wife nearly twenty years ago as a creative agency promising to deliver fame and fortune to its clients, and reveals how he convinced Stephen Hawking to write a scientific research paper on the odds of England winning the World Cup Final in 2014.
Business Leaders - Ken Daly

Business Leaders - Ken Daly


Ken Daly is the chief executive of JML Group. Joining the company in 1994 when there were just four employees, he has grown the business to 250 employees and expanded into more than 50 countries. Originally selling consumer products through live demonstrations in department stores, JML has evolved to sell DIY, homeware and beauty products through TV shopping and online platforms. Promoted to CEO in 2012, Ken has led the company to become a household name with an annual turnover of £100 million. In this in-depth conversation, Ken describes how he steered the company to infiltrate global e-commerce platforms such as Amazon and eBay, discusses how TV advertising has helped to double the size of the business, and reveals that he will be featuring on Channel 4’s ‘Buy It Now’ entertainment show celebrating British innovation and inventions.
Oren Aviv was most recently the President of the Motion Picture Group and Chief Content Officer at STX Entertainment. Previously the chief creative officer at Walt Disney Studios, he was responsible for overseeing all aspects of live-action film development on hundreds of movies for almost two decades. Prior to this, he designed marketing campaigns and launched film franchises for 20th Century Fox studios, including X-Men and Rise of the Planet of the Apes. In this in-depth conversation, Oren describes the details that went into creating the vision for Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, argues that the growing number of streaming services are increasing pressure on the film industry, and reveals how he helped establish STX entertainment, a global media company which specialises in end-to-end production of film, television, digital and VR content.
Alan Greenberg is the chief executive of Gradience, a software engineering and AI company. Formerly the director of Apple Education EMEA and later for Asia, he led a team which pioneered podcasting, iTunes U and the first generation of the App Store in Europe and China. A director, advisor, consultant and VC to a wide range of education and health tech businesses, his portfolio includes companies in London, Amsterdam, Berlin, Dubai, Beijing, New York and LA. In this in-depth conversation, Alan describes how how he oversaw one of Apple’s first podcasting initiatives, discusses the opportunities to drive innovation for people with mental health problems, and argues that teachers should be paid more than bankers.
Mark Sylvester is CEO of introNetworks. Founded in 2003, the social networking platform was rolled out to connect audiences at TED conferences, and has since been used by hundreds of organisations, including NASA. Mark also co-founded Wavefront Technologies, an Oscar-winning company which pioneered computer-generated animation software used in Hollywood movies. In this in-depth conversation, Mark reveals how a part-time job as a festive window painter ignited his passion for graphic design, explains how he used laser technology to capture realistic landscapes when animation was still at its infancy, and describes how he mentors and supports speakers with writing and presenting speeches to large audiences.
Adam Hadley is the director of Tech Against Terrorism. Partnered with the UN’s Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate, they work with the global tech sector to tackle terrorist use of the internet whilst respecting human rights. Adam is also CEO of QuantSpark, a data science consultancy which advises the world’s most complex organisations how to use their data efficiently. In this in-depth conversation, Adam describes how small platforms are being used by violent extremists to spread propaganda, argues there should be greater focus on the roots of violent behaviour instead of removing online content as a solution, and explains his mission for policy makers, government and the tech industry to work collaboratively to benefit society.
Daniel Shakhani is co-founder of Salary Finance, an award-winning FinTech platform that works with employers to help staff members facing financial difficulties in order to move from debt to savings. A business with a strong social mission, it provides low-interest loans to help employees avoid expensive payday lenders and build their credit scores. In this in-depth conversation, he describes how the company is expanding into the US with a pledge to help 10 million Americans get out of problematic debt, argues there is a lack of education around the link between money problems and mental health, and explains his motive behind founding the Financial Inclusion Alliance, a “movement” for banks, nonprofits and employers to work together to help people break free of poverty.
James Ingram and Benoit Lagarde are the chief executive and co-founder, respectively, of visual content creation company Splashlight. With a shared vision for creative intelligence, they have formed LiiV, a company that invests in and builds strategic and cutting edge organisations that sit at the intersection of technology, creativity and human science. They recently acquired Telmar, which provides strategic targeting and media planning to advertisers, agencies and data suppliers globally. In this in-depth conversation, they discuss the gap in the market for technology that can understand human emotions, argue that leaders need to be advised on using data responsibly, and explain why digital anthropologists are needed to help understand “digital villages”.
Tallen Todorovich is a sports agent and lawyer. Prior to launching his law office on Wall Street, he was a litigator for well-known brands such as Gucci, JP Morgan and Moroccanoil. Specialising in sports and entertainment, Tallen helps young athletes manage their wealth, negotiate multi-million dollar deals, and further their sporting careers. In this in-depth conversation, he outlines how he immerses himself in the athletes lives to “match their psychology” and discovers what motivates them, describes how he lessens the stress of balancing high-intensity training with fame by being a “sounding board”, and discusses how he financially protects his clients from themselves, to ensure they have assets and income for when they retire.
Pete Spande is the chief revenue officer of Insider Inc, a parent company of Business Insider and news site INSIDER. He is responsible for generating the revenue needed to grow the ever-changing newsroom, and drive the customer experience of its global publications which reach an audience of more than 375 million. In this in-depth conversation, he describes how publishers must embrace e-commerce, subscriptions and partnerships to survive in these testing times, argues businesses should feel “energised” by the demand to innovate and remain competitive, and explains how brands are changing the way they use storytelling to engage consumers through digital content.
Maria Vullo is an internationally respected legal consultant, and the former superintendent of New York’s financial services. Appointed to the role by Governor Andrew Cuomo, she led 1,400 employees in regulating banks and insurance companies with assets in excess of $7 trillion. An experienced litigator, she has represented corporations in disputes over fraud, contracts and security for over two decades. In this in-depth conversation, she explains how her pro bono work on domestic violence cases changed her “as a person and a lawyer”, argues that the influence of money on American politics caused reproductive rights to be “chipped away”, and recalls how she forced through changes to healthcare access that are still making a “lasting impact” on people's lives.
Tim Robinson CBE is a partner at Schillings. Prior to joining the international law firm he served in the British Army for 25 years, most recently as a major general leading troops in Bosnia, Iraq and Northern Ireland. The multidisciplinary consultancy has experts from sectors including law, intelligence and government, and protects individuals from privacy and reputational threats. In this in-depth conversation, he illustrates how skills required in a war zone such as “action-oriented” leadership, empathy and conflict resolution can be applied to the commercial environment, argues the wealthy face more scrutiny which can lead to issues such as hacking and stalking, and explains how the internet can be a double-edged sword that can be used as a tool to rectify an online crisis – or create one.
Pranav Yadav is the chief executive of Neuro-Insight. The company uses brain-imaging technology to measure how the subconscious responds to adverts, social media platforms and TV commercials, and helps clients such as Amazon, BBC, Google and Facebook to improve customer engagement. In this in-depth conversation, Pranav describes how traditional market research methods lack true insight into the “deepest drivers of human motivation”, discusses how businesses need to understand how cultures respond differently to the same stimulus to be truly global, and shares his aspirations to use his work to understand the myths and rituals that define modern society.
Jason Haigh-Ellery is the chairman of Big Finish Media Group, the largest independent producer of audio dramas worldwide. It works with media giants including the BBC and ABC on hits such as Doctor Who, Torchwood, The Avengers and Sherlock Holmes. Since starting the company in 1996, he has produced for TV, film, animation and theatre, including 12 West End shows. In this in-depth conversation, he explains the catalyst behind founding his own production company after trying his hand at acting and directing, encourages managers to utilise "the art of delegation” to spend more time on strategy, and shares his concerns for budding entrepreneurs and individuals caused by Brexit uncertainty.
Lydia Fenet is managing director of Christie’s, an author, and one of the world’s leading charity auctioneers who has raised over half a billion dollars for non-profits worldwide. Starting out as an intern at the esteemed auction house, she created and heads up the global partnerships programme to strengthen connections with luxury brands. This year, she released her best-selling book, ‘The Most Powerful Woman in The Room is You’, in which she shares lessons learned from 20 years in the business. In this in-depth conversation, she explains how she transforms brand partnerships from “logos on cocktail napkins” to long-standing global connections; shares her secrets to commanding an audience; and describes her quest to “give women a voice” – gaining the confidence to negotiate the salary they deserve.
Cassandra Gracey is the president of the Fourth Floor Creative Group at Sony Music. Formed in 2018, the in-house team brings together creatives from sectors including branding, digital and design. Before joining Sony, Cassandra worked for over 15 years at First Access Entertainment with artists such as Rita Ora and Ellie Goulding. In this in-depth conversation, she explains how increasing demand for photos with celebrities for social media can invade artists' privacy, discusses how brand partnerships such as Paloma Faith and Skoda can help to diversify income and define audiences, and compares her relationship with clients as a friendship that requires advice, strategy, and “everyone marching to the same beat”.
Trevor Tasker is the CEO and president of EMCS Industries. Established in 1955, the company invented the first marine growth protection system and provides anti-corrosion and anti-fouling solutions for marine vessels. Their clients include Princess Cruises, BC Ferries and the United States Coast Guard. In this in-depth conversation, he explains the value of anti-fouling technology in preventing critical systems from shutting down, argues there is an increasing demand for ships to be environmentally friendly by using frequency-based products that do not harm marine life – and shares how his experience of recording and selling his own album gave him a strong business acumen that he could apply to any industry.
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