Monthly Archives: October 2008

Friday 31st October

Afternoon All,

A totally world breaking meeting.

A shooting from the hip presentation from Mike Chan at Shadow Finance Limited – If you need a mortgage or associated products then speak to Mike and he’ll get you the best deal

Referrals – 25, Recommendations – 9, Leads – 25, Tips – 10

Next week we will have an update session on referrals to ensure the quality is good and follow up as swift as possible.

Have a great weekend.


Friday 31st October 2008 – Cruise Control

Lewis Malka of Joseph Sterling Jewellers is away in The Big Apple doing his bit for charity and is forgiven for not finding a sub, but otherwise the table is even more crowded than last week and Christian of Danesoft kicks off the 60 seconds round. Mike Segall of New Business Generation wants intros to accountants and lawyers reminding us that 43 per cent of new business comes from cold calling.

Our curtain man Roger Morgan is back looking for photographers who photograph properties for estate agents while Richard Houldsworth of Splatt Print now has a digital printer as well as the more common lithographic one and wants intros to charities. Jason Southard of Aces & Faces the fun casino people, is back while Zoe Antin of Opus Telecom picks up Fiona’s theme of a couple of weeks ago “It’s rubbish out there!” Putting a positive spin on things, she is offering a free cost audit to see if they can save on telecomms costs for businesses as well as looking for cabling contractors who can handle Cat 3 & Cat 5 work.

Louise Hassett of Delfont Mackintosh announces a new production in April next year Calendar Girls which will replace Avenue Q. Michael Dodd from his eponymous Media company points out that there is free media out there but with the furore surrounding Jonathan Ross & Russell Brand, reminds us that there are dangers. Fiona Gale of Only Connect Solutions gives a perfect example of how an hour of “me time” at insurance giant Axa pays dividends with lower absenteeism and improved productivity for its staff.

Kirsty Joly of Perfectly Tempered points out that a large box of her chocolates can have the same impact and be considerable less expensive than say, the case of wine some corporates give. Hiten Thaker of Revolution Creative who previously showed us the MOBO magazine he designed, shows his Kiss FM credits which he developed as the previous creative people did not achieve very much. Two years after setting up on his own, Justin Beavis wants intros to people who live in Hull or Coventry as his next project may mean spending a lot of time up there and his market is often guiding businesses through the next 3 to 5 years.

Yours truly from in2 Consulting is offering reveiws to people with pension and other portfolios as some have done much better (or worse) than others – if there was ever a time for a financial review, it is now. Christoph Klemmt of YouMeHeShe architects has teamed up with some chums to open a new art gallery while James Hearsey standing in for Paul Ffitch of Sayers Butterworth has moved from the exciting area of audit into the minefield of tax, reminding us that TODAY is the deadline for paper tax returns.

Mike Nightingale of Green Park Insurance Services is looking for people with > 1 property – type of property unimportant – they can all be put on one policy. Gavin M-H is now gainfully employed at Destini? plc and takes the morning off to celebrate, sending Mike Jennings of Avenue-UK in his stead. Jamie Denham of Sliced Bread Animation is in Austria so sends Adrian Thatcher of Effective Vision as sub whose area of expertise is CCTV in general and the digital type with video analytics in particular.

Michael Sinclair’s Chine One Call offers on-line translation Mandarin/English (& vice versa) with back-up translation services to boot. George Metcalfe tells us about komboloi (Greek worry beads) and a story about an actuary that could have come straight off Sigmund Freud’s couch. For the uninitiated, actuaries are basically mathematicians who often work for insurance/pension companies where the senior ones earn £1/2 million a year. Parents might like to keep this in mind if their little ones complain about homework…. Hopefully no one mentioned the joke “What sort of person becomes an actuary??” Answer: Someone who finds accountancy too interesting….

Mike Chan now of Shadow Finance (Abbey Alliance RIP) manages well in his 10 minutes considering he was only reminded of it when he walked into the room. His niche is basically Failed Applications and gives 3 examples of where they have rescued clients and provided the necessary mortgage finance, after being dropped in it at the last minute by nervous lenders. At the same end of the table, someone quotes George Soros who has said recently that properties could lose 2/3rds of their value in the next 3 years?

Maurice Press of Disability Resource Team finishes a very enjoyable meeting on a You couldn’t make it up note with a story about an American lady who put her new motorhome on cruise control while driving on the freeway. After doing this, she went make a herself a sandwich in the back with the inevitable result that it went off the road. But she successfully sued the manufacturer as the manual did not say you had to stay in the driving seat when using cruise contol. She got a new motorhome and > US$ 1 million dollars. On a more more serious note, Maurice asks and gets intros to local authorities helping Alexis of The Happiness Centre who wants an intro to Bechtel, the multi-national construction group.

Have a good weekend…and drive carefully.

George Emsden

A Final Good Luck to Lewis


I am sure I speak on behalf of all the members at Bond Street in wishing you all the very best with your run this weekend. New York won’t know what has hit it!!!

PS. Do you think you could take the members business card box with you and drum up some referrals en-route!!!!

Regards Mike.

Friday 24th Oct 2008

Afternoon All,

Another great meeting.

A waxed lyrical presentation from George Metcalfe Life Coach and Author – If you don’t know where you are going in life or you want to change gear then George is your man

Referrals – 30, Recommendations – 6, Leads – 4, Tips – 1

Next week we will have an update session on referrals to ensure the quality is good and follow up as swift as possible.

Have a great weekend.


Leadership and Christopher Marlowe

It’s “elbows in” at the table even with a few people away and in true BRX tradition, Maurice Press of Disability Resource Team is volunteered to kick off the 60 seconds round when he has a mouthful of breakfast. DRT offer a 48 hours service with a minimum fee of £16 for putting information into braille or other appropriate format for a disabled person. The alternative if a disabled person goes to court is much more expensive.

Fiona Gale of Only Connect Solutions does marketing partnerships with the Daily Telegraph and The Times and her content gets into editorial and Telegraph TV. A week before their first birthday “Diver Mick” from World Dive Centres is back looking for Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) providers. The latter are used by people who wish to avoid big Income Tax bills and defer Capital Gains Tax bills.

Martin Dunne of accountants Sayers Butterworth would like to save Finance Directors money where they are paying through the nose for mediocre service from the largest accountancy firms and gives a testimonial for solicitors Sherrards whose quote for revamping employment contracts was under half the cost of a City firm. Paul Marmor of Sherrards would like referrals to employers and employees where reduncies are planned or happening, as this difficult process has to be done properly.

Des Sutton of IT service firm Man Bites Dog is here for the first time and Sanjeev Shah Corporate Business Manager at HSBC is back as well. Lewis Malka of Joseph Sterling Jewellers will be in the Big Apple next week running their marathon in aid of the charity His sponsorship total is up from £3,000 of a month ago to £4,300 with a target of £5,000. If you have not done so yet, you can help him achieve this via:

Kirsty Joly our master chocolatier of Perfectly Tempered has some little house-shaped chocolates as samples for Karelia Scott-Daniels of Manse & Garret Property Search who tells a charming story where the chocolates gave the mother of an unruly child a few minutes peace to write out her fee cheque! The chocolates also seem to be popular with estate agents when deals are closed. Chase Property Selection is now officially dead with all deals closed and paid for – an excellent example of good business management.

Mike Nightingale of Green Park Insurance Services explains how fine wines can be covered by his bespoke policies while Yours Truly at in2 Consulting Ltd wants referrals to small solicitors or private client departments who may still be investing trust monies in an inefficient way. Direct investment into a few blue chip shares chosen by a stock broker and just left there, is a high risk way of managing trust funds.

Copywriter Caroline Hampstead tells of her work spectrum ranging from (exciting) ideas like the previously-mentioned poster “Brazilian or Hollywood?” to the (rather dry) world of writing and modestly mentions that property giant Land Securites is on her client list. Roger Morgan curtain manufacturer Curtains Connect is back but no one mentions the old joke about “pull yourself together” and would like intros to Interior Designers.

Animator Jamie Denham of Sliced Bread Animation has to dash off early to present to multinational Unilever and will be away for a couple of weeks due to moving offices to Shoreditch and two weeks in Austria. David Coburn has a vacancy for a Bayswater solicitor in another group and a new visitor is Sean Barrell of Chateau Rouge purveyors of fine wines, teas and other goodies – launching 2009.

Gavin Morton-Holmes is homeless in the BRX sense, with two job offers to mull over and seems mightily relieved to be away fom JDPM. Mab Ayyub of Olive Communications will be bringing along the Blackberry Storm next week which is going to knock spots off the Apple iPhone apparently.

A refreshed but still pale Richard Houldsworth of Splatt Print is back from two weeks in Cyprus. He has been working with Hiten of Revolution Creative on the KISS FM couchers and wants intros to designers. Roy Duncan would like referrals to Finance Directors who may need help in managing cash flows in these interesting times.

As Gavin is unable to present his 10 minutes, master coach George Metcalfe steps into the breech and gives us the 7 Points of Leadership using a parenting book written by his daughters as a guide. A copy of this book will come in very handy for my daughter and her husband with my now slightly overdue grandfatherhood. By way of post script, George is a director of the Christopher Marlowe Society some of whose members believe that he actually wrote some of Shakespeare’s plays, and has designed a memorial service tomorrow at 12 noon at Westminster Abbey. We are all invited – enter by the west door of the abbey (no charge) and there will be lunch afterwards in the Methodists Hall nearby.

17th October 2008 – The morning after The Jersey Boys

Good turnout considering many of us only got to bed at midnight or later after tasting the delights of corporate hospitality thanks to Louise Hassett of Delfont Mackintosh and David Coburn of BRX. Our treat was going to see The Jersey Boys at The Prince Edward Theatre – never knew so many songs were done by Frankie Valli and Bob Gaudio. After the show, standing out on the balcony overlooking Old Compton Street in the third drinks interlude of the evening would have had anything thinking “what recession?” – it was heaving with people.

The 10 minutes kick off with Fiona Gale of Only Connect Solutions, a communications agency specialising in CR and reminds us that buying decisions are heavily influenced by brand perception. Zoe of Opus Telecomm would still like to talk to small struggling companies to save them money on their telecomms costs while Justin Beavis (Happy Birthday!!) is back from Dubai after talking to potential investors who run leisure parks around the world.

Peter Stephens from the audit part of Sayers Butterworth allows Martin Dunn to have a lie-in and Mab of Olive Communications will let potential customers have a 14 day trial with a new smart phone that integrates with MS Outlook. Yours truly cheers everbody up with the news that the FT-SE 100 index has finally fallen through the psychological barrier of 4,000 reminding everyone again that in2 Consulting is getting a steady stream of calls from people who basically want some reassurance about the interesting times we are living in.

Mike Nightingale of Green Park Insurance Services would like intros to family offices, which work rather like IFAs but deal with all the members of one family rather than a series of diverse individuals. Our copywriter Caroline Hampstead often works as a condenser or abbreviator getting a message down to 5 words on a card or 20 seconds in a radio commercial.

Louise Hassett’s 60 seconds is a little poem about Kirsty, while the lady herself of Perfectly Tempered, produces an article about how hopeless men are at being romantic, although a few have cottoned onto using chocolates as a “sorry” present or what some people call a peace offering.

Paul Chapman and his colleagues at HSBC are now regarded as sensible people whereas they were universally regarded as a bit boring a few months ago. He wants customers interested in banking relationships rather than just taking what is sometimes described as “hot money”.

Christian Ingerslev of Danesoft does regular surveys for AOL and Jason Southard of Fun Casinos subs for Emma Ross of PhotoWonder. At the end of the meeting, Alexis of The Happiness Centre gives them a referral to Snappy Snaps. She had met the National Marketing??? Manager at a photo show a few days before but the guy had never heard of them, although Gavin signed up Snappy Snaps ages ago! Telemarketing guru Mike Segall wants intros to chartered accountants while Roy Duncan tells us of a good post going at the Bank of England Director of Financial Stability salary £240k. Makes you wonder what the others are doing at the UK central bank if this new bright spark is needed.

Lewis Joseph of Joseph Sterling Jewellers shows his imagination again with a double-sided ring for an Arsenal supporting lady (rubies) who has married into a Spurs-supporting family (sapphires) proving the old saying that opposites attract. For me, his 60 seconds are often the most memorable using real life examples each week…..

Jamie Denham of Sliced Bread Animation wants intros to web designers and Javier of Shadow Finance stands in for Mike Chan and reminds us that there is still life in the mortgage market. A new guest does curtains and gives a referral but apart from that … little info (business cards again please). Giuseppe Argento of Qube helps people move on time and on budget and wants intros to commercial estate agents.

Gavin M-H is having job interviews and amazes us all with an impromptu 10 minutes (courtesy Justin) about googols (not the other sort) which are 10 to the power 100, googol plexes 10 to the power 10 to the power 100, where if someone started writing the number out now, they would be dead well before it was anywhere near finished. There was a serious point to all this as we were asked to name are main referrers where accountants came out first. As a post script, Michael Dodd, our Ozzie personal communications guru, reminded all of us of the 3 T’s in giving a presentation – touch the board or screen, turn round to your audience and then talk which give power and continuity to the message.

No words of wisdom from master coach George Metcalfe whose back is indisposed, so yours truly has the brainwave of having a “fun portfolio”. E-mail me with a share or fund of your choice, which will go into a virtual portfolio – one choice per person please – you will get the largest choice in a broadsheet newspaper or serious tabloid. The portfolio will be tracked and it will be interesting to see how this portfolio performs through our current troubled times and beyond. E-mail me at: with the heading BRX Fun. For now they will be anonymous, but 12 months after the start of the portfolio, a prize will go to the person who suggests the best-performing fund or share over the previous year.

George Emsden

P.S. it’s Friday…

FREE Business Networking Event London – Mon 3 Nov 2008

Fellow Business Networkers might be interested to know about this monthly event in London:

6:30pm – 10pm at the Wine Tun, near St. Pauls

For more details please visit:

Networking has never been easier: just drop in without registering
and take advantage of meeting new business contacts or making new friends.

We are looking forward seeing you there.

The Drinks & Links Team

10th October 2008 – We’re all doomed!

Fans of Dad’s Army may remember the heading, catch-phrase of Pte James Frazer played by John Laurie and which seems to be the new othodoxy. As ever, people are still doing business, plenty of people are actually doing well but as the saying goes, Good news is No news. Simon Dickens of YouMeHeShe architects is back and tells of of a planning application he has submitted for a new children’s centre further up the river. Subbing for Paul Marmor of Sherrards, Michael Dodd of Michael Dodd Media does media training & tells us how to be as smart as Jeremy Paxman but come over more pleasantly. Next to him, fellow Australian, Alexis of The Happiness Centre is looking for struggling health centres as she can revitalise them and still on the subject of people from Oz, Gavin Hirst of PhotoWonder was last heard of in Bangkok and Ruth was feeling better after being rushed to hosiptal a week ago,

Martin Dunne of accountants Sayers Butterworth is looking for directors and owners of small/medium companies who are clients of the Big Four accountancy firms and almost certainly paying too much. Maurice Press of Disability Resource Team has U3A University of the Third Age as a new client and is setting up a new BRX in Teddington. Mentioning that one of my best intoducers is based there and might be interested in joining, it turns out that he already knows the accountant concerned – small world. Maurice wants intros to Bursars amd educational establishments as they may not be aware of the full implications of the Disability Discrimination Act 2005.

Simon Bates of debt managers S2M subs for Jamie Denham reminding us of high-impact graphics where, if a picture paints a thousand words, an animation can do a million. Tino Marco’s colleague Mab of Olive Communications is over from BRX Westminster while Chairman Mike Nightingale of Green Park Insurance Services tells of another client with 3 properties, 3 cars but no clear idea of what he is actually covered for.

Gavin M-H of JD Promotional Marketing has a magic pen which helps mobile sales forces write more business and one of which, Area Manager David Coburn has cherished for two years. Dr Dick Penfold of BCMP who provide temporary managers, subs for Roy Duncan “Best Fit gauaranteed” our accountant recruiter. The KISS FM vouchers designed by Hiten of Revolution Creative will be going nationwide soon while our copy writer Caroline Hampstead has been enthralled rewriting the blurb for the Executive Share Option scheme at Barclays.

Laura Firestone of the world’s largest bank HSBC is not short of customers bringing their money to them but is really looking for long-term client relationships. Christian of Danesoft has made 6 public tenders for new business but finds the process hard work – public sector business was always thus. Good-sized stuff when you get it, but don’t hold your breath and you will get paid. Mike Segall of New Business Generation reminds of the advertising saying “No good sitting in a room with the best product/service in the world, if the lights are out and no one knows you are there”.

Cecelia Burnet of Burnet Benson Business Services is back talking of upgrades while Louise Hassett of Delfont Mackintosh is looking for lawyers. Lewis Malka of Joseph Sterling Jewellers has a client who thinks that a limited edition Cartier watch is too dull and boring and needs pimping up a bit, so with £4.5k diamonds on the front – job done!

George Metcalfe formerly of the Oxford & Bucks Light Infantry tells a lovely story about the commanding officer resplendent in hunting pink reprimanding a soldier who dropped his weapon, but the story is basically – clouds have silver linings. Which is probably a good time to mention Fiona Gale of Only Connect who tells us that “It’s sh** out there just now” trust has disipated, but there are still benefits in having corporate responsibilty. Zoe Antin of Opus Telecom can still save businesses costs on line rental, for example “a penny saved is a penny earned”. In the same vein, Mike Jennings of Avenue the procurement people is subbing for chocolatier Kirsty Joly of Perfectly Tempered who is in San Francisco.

Diver Mick O’Conchubair of World Dive Centres holds the fort for Justin Beavis who is in Dubai raising money, while an indoor tropical reef for SCUBA diving is being built in NW London. Splatt Print’s sub informs us that they count the NHS & Coco Cola among their clients.

It is my turn for 10 minutes and am able to show 3 ways to be able to afford to stop working. 1) An “off the shelf” pension (it’s that P word again) 2) slightly frivolously, have a flutter on the Lottery (odds 15 million : 1 for the jackpot) or Premium Bonds (odds of winning 22,000:1 and you can get your money back) or 3) my business is my pension, the default option if you don’t like the first two. If you want to be able to earn the National Average wage without getting put of bed, and take a “no-brainer” yield of 5%, then you will need capital of around £half-million. Here we are most fortunate at BRX Bond Street to have such a spread of talent where you can plan for this from square one, starting with our master coach George Metcalfe.

At the end of the meeting, I have no referrals but am able to give a testimonial for Paul Ffitch of accountants Sayers Butterwoth. When a client set up a trust this week, this raised a tax issue which Paul was able to answer quickly as the client’s existing accountant was out of his depth.

Finally, our Chairman is able to close the meeting on a cheerful note:

Q. “What is the difference between an investment banker and a pidgeon?”

A. “A pidgeon is still able to make a deposit on a BMW!”

George Emsden

The Happiness Centre

Experts in stress management and employee wellbeing

happy logo

Could your teams do with a boost?

Achieving business objectives in the current economic climate requires employees who can ride the waves with a positive, healthy and self-motivating attitude towards increasing demands, rapid change and ‘stress’.

As a professional, you’re probably familiar with the direct costs of stress:

… Third of workforce absence relates to musculoskeletal related issues

… 4.9 million days are lost to back pain every year (Health and Safety Executive 2005)

…175 million days were lost to sickness absences in 2006, costing economy £13.4bn

… Employees in good health are 20% more productive than those in poor health (IHPM health and productivity study 2005)

The Happiness Centre is London’s premier source of Employee Wellbeing solutions. We’ve been contributing to the healthy success of Executives, teams and organisations for over 10 years in London and around the UK. What we offer:

Strategic Stress Management:

  • Stress Management Training using leading edge HSE & EU-standard techniques delivered by HR professionals
  • Inner Happiness at Work™ training and modular programs
  • Executive EQ Coaching for increasing Emotional Resilience & Performance
  • Return to Work tailored programs for reducing absence costs
  • The Wellness Challenge™ results-oriented stress & HR consultingWellbeing Seminars innovative, informative and engaging
  • Wellbeing Days or Employee Wellbeing Events
  • Team Development days with professional facilitation and wellness experts

Onsite Wellbeing Services:

  • Ergonomic Desk Assessments for fulfilling HSE requirements conducted by our own in-house registered Osteopaths
  • Onsite Therapists from our own in-house team (we have a well-established natural health centre based in W12 London) including onsite Osteopath, onsite Chair Massage, onsite Reflexology, onsite Yoga, onsite Pilates (and other experts) for weekly or fortnightly sessions or events

Ask us how we can help measurably reduce stress and boost productivity.


Alexis Garnaut-Miller
Director HR & Corporate Wellness
Mobile 07941 256 490
The Happiness Centre
204 Uxbridge Road London W12 7JD
Tel 020 8749 3792

Are you seeking to increase your business to business network? Join us at a weekly Friday professional Business Networking breakfast meeting in London. Email David Coburn on

Business networking in London :: Business Breakfast central London :: Networking events London