Our annual Princedale Partners Digital Business Leaders Cocktail Party

Dear Reader,

I’ve just completed my first real test at Princedale Partners having joined earlier this year and what a journey the past 9 months have been!

Last Thursday, 15th September, Rupert, Stuart, Spencer and I hosted our annual Digital Business Leaders Cocktail Party on the stunning rooftop garden of the magical Ham Yard Hotel in Soho – which I’m very proud to have organised! It’s not like I felt the pressure at all of being instructed to lead the project of getting some of the most impossible-to-get-hold-of CEOs, Founders, Entrepreneurs, Digital Leaders across corporates, start-ups and VCs together, at the same time, in the same place…!

Narrowly dodging a thunderstorm, the evening felt like a real success. As soon as the first guests arrived at the stunning private rooftop garden, I could relax knowing that I had sent everyone to the right venue and we knew we were in for a great night. We are very proud to have hosted some of the most influential Digital Leaders from the likes of Google, Coca-Cola, Facebook, Hargreaves Lansdown, McKinsey, Boots, PhotoBox and BGF Ventures for what was an evening of catching up with old peers and sharing perspectives with new faces over cocktails, canapes, 18th-century silhouette cutting and a late September sunset.

Here are some of the photographs from the evening. I am already looking forward to next year.

Amy Witchalls
Rupert’s PA and Events Manager

2016 Digital Business Leaders Cocktail Party
2016 Digital Business Leaders Cocktail Party
2016 Digital Business Leaders Cocktail Party
2016 Digital Business Leaders Cocktail Party
2016 Digital Business Leaders Cocktail Party
2016 Digital Business Leaders Cocktail Party
2016 Digital Business Leaders Cocktail Party
2016 Digital Business Leaders Cocktail Party
2016 Digital Business Leaders Cocktail Party

Talent & HR Directors in FinTech Breakfast

Last Thursday, we hosted the first Princedale Partners HR & Talent Directors in FinTech breakfast, where guests from 11 of the UK’s leading FinTech business joined us to discuss the unique challenges they face in growing a business in this fast-growing and still very new industry.

We were delighted to be joined by the following guests:

  • World Remit: Chief People Officer, Audrey Stewart
  • JustGiving: Chief People Officer, Andy Meikle
  • World First: Group HR Director, Kelly Jackson
  • Nutmeg: Head of People, Robert Crowley
  • Index Ventures: Director of Talent, Dominic Jacquesson
  • OakNorth Bank: Head of HR, Adria Linder
  • FundingCircle: Former HR Director, Kim Stringer
  • Forward Partners: Head of Talent, Chris Wilkinson
  • Tandem Bank: Head of Talent, Mel Hetherington
  • Transferwise: Global Head of Talent, Thea Fineren
  • Property Partner: Head of People, Nick Yockney

We started by quickly establishing that the combination of growing a technology business while simultaneously adhering to strict regulation did in fact create a melting pot of difficulties un-paralleled in other industries. Furthermore, these challenges range across a variety of areas, such as culture, the hiring and retention of talent, stakeholder (and founder) management, diversity, development, marketing, compliance, growth strategy, internationalisation, investment and more.

Here is a summary of just some of the takeaways from the discussion:

  • The background of the founder has a significant impact on the focus on compliance in the business. The priority of compliance vs technology is different from business to business
  • Shifting focus onto compliance/risk in hiring can be difficult as there is a natural fear of “Risk” being a barrier rather than an enabler to growth
  • Different skill-sets are right for the business at different stages of development
  • Sometimes this can include the founders, circa 40% of tech business that have undergone an IPO were still founder led
  • Typically, this manifests in a broader skillset requirement in the early stages of a business, and becomes increasingly narrow/specialist as the business evolves
  • As a result, maintaining the right culture can become increasingly difficult
  • Many founders still meet every hire for the business. In some cases, this can be appropriate, however, it is a significant use of their valuable time that could be entrusted to the line manager/Talent Director
  • It is considered important that founders should, at the right stage of growth, move away from what might be considered total ownership of recruiting at every level and function.

This is just a small sample of what was a very enjoyable morning, and with plenty more still to discuss, we look forward to hosting another event in the second half of the year. We would like to thank everyone for attending.
If you would like to discuss any of the points in more detail, please feel free to contact Amy at amy@princedalepartners.com.

Our Annual Digital Business Leaders Cocktail Party 2015

Last Thursday we had the rather enviable task of hosting some of Europe’s leading Digital Business Leaders at our annual cocktail party at the Hospital Club. CEOs, Founders, Entrepreneurs & Digital Leaders of both startups & established corporates mixed with peers drawn from a variety of consumer sectors including; Retail, Consumer, Travel, FinTech, Banking, Marketplaces, and Technology.

Our aim for the evening was to host an informal gathering of 100 Digital Business Leaders where everyone benefited in some way perhaps by; gaining a new way of solving a customer proposition learnt from a completely different sector, a new advisory/NED role, a collaboration between Digital Labs or a potential investment opportunity ideally whilst having great fun in the process….

Rupert, Richard and I are immensely proud of the evening and the kind words of appreciation shared since. It seems everyone had fun, did meet some new faces and I hear that a few investment leads are also being initiated off the back of the event.

On a personal basis, whilst losing the Princedale vs Insead alumni Table Tennis Grudge Match still grates, I had a fantastic time and met some truly inspirational Digital Business Leaders who I look forward to helping in the future.

The event was also a chance to celebrate our successes over the last year and the tremendous growth we’ve achieved since Rupert established Princedale Partners in 2012 alongside so many of our close network across the digital economy. We’d like to thank the excellent Hospital Club for hosting our event and most importantly our guests for making it such a success.

Spencer Corin – Researcher