Monthly Archives: July 2016

More than 600 banks have closed in the UK in the past 12 months according to figures obtained by the BBC. 3,000 branches have shut over the last decade which leaves around 8,000 now.  The changes have been driven by technology including internet and mobile banking meaning customer have easier access to banking services 24/7 which is location independent. A similar fate has happened to bookshops in Britain which havehalved in number over the past seven years due to the rise of e-books and the consumer downturn, research for The Daily Telegraph has found.  There has however been a resurgence in book shops in recent years with Waterstones successfully changing the format of their stores.  They how present themselves as destination experiences and often offer coffee shops so they become a place for people to relax and socialise.

A number of new banks are launching distributive business model that will offer all services through mobile and no access to a branch network.  Atom Bank became the first digital only bank in the UK claiming they will have fewer costs and be able to offer better rates for its customers. They look to simplify banking and make things more personal through digital.  This means setting up accords and accessing services can be done in the matter of minutes and you can even name bank what you want.  You can login using face and voice recognition is moments and have issues with having to remember password (this should also make the experience more secure).

Virgin Money are doing things differently and have created some remarkable branches.  The bank now has over 3 million clients and has been voted the most trust worthy bank in a recent survey.

“Virgin Money Lounges are a unique concept in UK banking – interesting, stimulating and, above all, comfortable places where customers and local communities can come together. Lounge visitors can choose to put their feet up and enjoy the facilities, use the Lounge for an informal business meeting or, if a customer decides they want to, they can undertake their personal banking.

The Sheffield Lounge takes the customer experience on offer elsewhere to a new level, offering a games area with two full-size ten-pin bowling lanes, table football, a pool table, air hockey and children’s play area. There is also a quieter floor featuring a library and bar area with complimentary soft drinks and refreshments, as well a specially commissioned steel sculpture from Yorkshire artist Anita Bowerman.”

There is plenty of opportunity for the challenger banks to make a big impact. If we start from a blank sheet of paper the possibilities are better as we don’t have to deal with the legacy issues that are now broken.

virgin money


Acorn Computers where once called the British Apple and one of the leading computer companies in the 1980s.  They originally developed the processor designs that are now used in 98% of the world’s smart phones and about to make the next big technology revolution possible.  Steve Furber and Sophie Wilson where the software engineers who designed the instruction set of the ARM processor which changed the world and led to the creation of the most successful British technology company ever.  In November 1990 Advanced RISC Machines Ltd was formed to further develop the Acorn RISC Machine processor, which was originally used in the Acorn Archimedes and was selected by Apple for their Newton project.  The project was a collaboration between Acorn Computers, Apple Computers and VLSI Technology.  Acorn computers needed the partnership as they had run out of money to develop their new chip. ARM Holdings Plc listed on the London Stock Exchange and NASDAQ with a market valuation of £264 million in April 1998.

In July 2016 SoftBank announced it will acquire Arm Holdings Plc for £24.3 billion as they aim to become the leader of the “internet of things”. Arm founded 25 years ago and employee’s just 4,000 people is the largest acquisition of a European technology business.  The company has tremendous operating leverage and licences its technology so earns on going royalties. The numbers are like no other company with revenue in 2015 of £968 million and a healthy operating income of £406 million. The excitement around the internet of things where everyday objects have network connectivity allowing them to send and receive data.  Masayoshi Son the Chief Executive Officer of Softbank is making a big bet that the internet of things is going to be a much larger industry that analysts and the market are forecasting.  If ARM controls this market and is it is as large as he is expecting then this could be a shrewd investment. Masayoshi has been right before with investments in Alibaba and Vodafone (Japanese arm). SoftBank has said they plan to create 4,000 new highly skilled jobs in Cambridge over the next five years. It therefore might be time to sit up and take notice of the “internet of things” and how this will feed a new ecosystem of opportunity.


Adrian Wright

Wahoo Recruitment

UK & international Executive Search



Andrea Leadsom has published a revised CV after claims that she exaggerated some of her experience. A number of details have changed from earlier version including downgrading the seniority of one role. She has stated in a BBC interview that she ran large teams, a claim which her former colleagues at Barclays and Invesco Perpetual have disputed.

In a connected world the truth about experience often comes out and can reduce the credibility of a candidate if they have exaggerated their achievements. I also noted that Andrea Leadsom does not have a LinkedIn profile that would have added credibility to her campaign unlike the current Prime Minster of the United Kingdom David Cameron who has 2.3 million followers (although he work experience listed only covers his recent past).

  • Andrea Leadsom was born in Aylesbury in 1963
  • After studying polictics at Warwick she joined Barclays as a debt trader
  • Worked with the Bank of England to deal with the fallout of the Barings Bank collapse in 1995
  • In 2010 she became the MP for South Northamptonshire
  • In 2014 she was promoted to Treasury Secretary a year later and she was made Energy and Climate Change Minister



Andrea Leadsom – CV

● 1984-85 Canadian/Chinese corporate finance company: junior support

  • 1985–87 EF Hutton: trainee broker, London Metals Exchange

  • 1987–97 BZW / Barclays

BZW – sterling commercial paper

Barclays – treasury, Sydney

BZW – swaps

Barclays – managing investment banks business

Barclays – deputy financial institutions director, managing global banking network

Barclays – project director, preparing bank for the euro (including payments and cheques)

  • 1997–99 De Putron Fund Management: managing director

  • 1999–2009 Invesco Perpetual: senior investment officer and head of corporate governance



Adrian Wright

Wahoo Recruitment

UK & international Executive Search

You may have recently noticed an increase in mobile phone zombies around town and wondered what they are up to. It is more than likely that they are using augmented reality game Pokémon GO which allows you to travel between the real world and the virtual world. The game has been a phenomenal success and is likely to lead to more innovation and acceptance that the mobile can act as a link between the digital and physical world. In less than a week the mobile game Pokémon GO has become the most downloaded app in Apple’s App Store.


The original idea was conceived back on April Fools’ Day in 2014 and combined a mashed up Google maps and Pokémon. Google Maps: Pokémon Challenge video went viral and quickly had over 8 million views. John Hanke was running a project inside Google at the time called Niantic which was developing mobile games using argumentative and mixed-media reality. He spotted an opportunity and thought “Why not try and make it real?” The rest is as they say history! The idea is now a reality two years on and the business has spun out of Google to become an independent company.


Augmented reality is perhaps the future of software and is set to deliver what has long been promised. This technology is set to change the gaming market, mobile commerce as well as the productivity and work methods within business. The gaming experience has now become inherently more sociable and perhaps has the unintended consequences of better health. The popularity in the game has shown some of the limitations as vast computing resources are required. These limitations will quickly be overcome and perhaps the quirkiness has turned the game into a cult. Augmented reality has become possible due to reliable and fast networks, a new generation of computer infrastructure along with smart data collection.


Pokémon GO has made augmented reality mainstream and will see a paradigm shift in what is possible and what is expected by consumers across a spectrum of industries.


Adrian Wright

Wahoo Recruitment

UK & international Executive Search


Psychology plays a large part on the behaviour and price action of financial markets and has a bigger impact on our daily lives than most of us realise. A better understanding of this psychological phenomenon can helpers to understand other people better and therefore take actions that will be beneficial to us in the long term. Following the referendum result in the United Kingdom there was an immediate reaction within the financial markets which were pricing in the new information but also adjusting as a consequence of what traders now expect to happen. This was particularly pronounced within the housebuilding sector that saw price falls of up to 30%. The Financial Times have estimated that this adjustment is due to an expectation that house prices will fall by an average of 5% over the coming year. The danger about these expectations is the impact that it has on consumer behaviour and therefore how people just their actions according to what they think will happen. These changes in action will therefore mean that the prediction will actually become a reality. People will try to make rational decisions based on their expectations and therefore these expectations have a knock-on effect to the real economy. If a consumer was looking to purchase a property they will therefore defer their decision-making until the expected price action has taken place as they potentially will benefit from a drop in house prices. If an investor is looking to purchase a property for £1 million they can obtain the same property for £50,000 cheaper if they are able to predict and time their purchase correctly. If enough people in the market take these actions they will cause sellers to have to reduce their asking price in order to sell their property. This cycle will continue until there is a new equilibrium within the market and the price of buyers and sellers is matched. Therefore a self-fulfilling prophecy is a prediction that causes itself to come true due to the simple fact that the prediction was made. This happens because our beliefs influence our actions.


There are many examples of how this self-fulfilling prophecy has helped sports stars, politicians and professionals reach the top of their game. In many interviews of successful people they have often had clear goals and objectives about how they see their future and what they will have achieved. As managers if we expect the most of people and provide them with confidence they are more likely to deliver and meet the expectations. The Icelandic football team have shown how a self-fulfilling prophecy can deliver amazing things and if I the odds and expectations of others. This year’s European football Championships in France will be remembered for the “Viking thunder-clap” that was exported by the Icelandic nation. It is somewhat hypnotic watching the perfect timing of the Viking thunder-clap and how a small number of supporters can make themselves heard throughout the stadium. There is clearly a special bond between the fans and the players that has led to believe and the confidence to attack with purpose.  There is a saying in Icelandic that means “‘everything will be OK” or “it will work out”. There is no real class system in the country so Icelanders learn to look after themselves. The manager has concentrated on “discipline, focus, hard work” and created a football team that is inferior as a collection of individuals the superior as a team.  The head of the national Football Association Geir Thorsteinsson has said that:


“We always believe we can perform at the highest level, whether it’s sport or music. It’s something in our mentality”.



Dare To Dream

(By: John Turnipseed, Director of People Services at Southwest Airlines)

Some people only look at life through eyes that seldom gleam
while others look beyond today as they’re guided by a dream
And the dreamers can’t be sidetracked by dissenters who may laugh
for only they alone can know how special is their path
But dreams aren’t captured easily;
there’s much work before you’re through
but the time and efforts are all worthwhile
when the impossible comes true
And dreams have strength in numbers
for when a common goal is shared
the once impossible comes true because of all who cared
And once it’s seen as reality a dream has just begun
for magically from dreams come dreams
And a walk becomes a run
But with growth of course comes obstacles
and with obstacles come fear
but the dream that is worth dreaming
finds its way to the dear
And the dream continues growing
Reaching heights before unseen
And it’s all because of the courage of the dreamers
and their dream.


Adrian Wright

Wahoo Recruitment

UK & international Executive Search


The Job Interview starts on 12th of July at 9 PM on Channel 4 and has been described as a cross between The Apprentice and First Dates. The show will take a fascinating look behind closed doors and show what really happens during the interview process. This is often a nerve wracking experience and one which is surrounded in much mystery and can install trepidation in many. Each episode will track two employers as they interview candidates for real jobs and then decide who to hire. Job adverts were placed and a shortlist of candidates were drawn up by the bosses. Real people will be interviewed for real jobs and the outcome is unpredictable.


The programme promises to reveal many of the mistakes made by interviewees and perhaps the interviewers as well. I’m hopeful that it will be a useful program to candidates and hiring managers alike whilst being enjoyable and entertaining to watch. Discrete cameras are used in a standard meeting room and the intimate moments are be captured. There will be 10 jobs in the final cut for the TV series which will be across the United Kingdom with small and medium companies with salaries ranging from £15,000-£45,000.


I will be watching the series with interest and hope it lives up to the opportunity to inform and educate. We are likely to see candidates that are passionate about getting jobs and in today’s climate the performance that they have during the interview can ultimately determine their long-term career. I will also be interested to see on the quality of the applications that have been selected by the managers and if they have made the right decisions on who to invite to the interview. The job interview can be a life changing moment for those that are prepared and ready to put their best foot forward.interview