Steve Hackney

The Core Asset helps owners, directors and entrepreneurs to grow, build and increase the profits of their small and medium sized businesses.

For more than 20 years Steve has enjoyed successes through his business marketing books, tools, strategies, programmes, training courses and systems to help thousands of businesses in 46 different countries. He has trained and developed hundreds of business coaches on the Core Asset methodology which has in the last 5 years alone generated over £3 billion in extra profits.

Steve believes it’s not what you do to grow your business it’s how you do it. He is the creator of ‘The FORMULA’, also published as a book, which delivers a proven system any business owner can use to quickly grow their business.

As a keynote speaker, Steve shares this methodology for those who are looking for a grow fast without losing the shirt on their back.

He starts from the position that marketing and growing your business isn’t rocket science, but it IS a science. There are a number of strategies and entrepreneurial traits that businesses need to master if they’re going to be highly successful. Steve knows what works, what works better and more importantly what doesn’t work.

His business growth systems are founded upon the principles of elite sport and his 20+ years in helping business owners to build successful firms.

Tim Reid

Tim has worked for some of the world’s most creative organisations, including global ad agencies, innovation consultancies and the BBC. He has helped clients from beer brands to broadcasters, confectioners to condom makers reimagine the future and re-invent their businesses.

Tim is quite possibly unique in the world of advertising having worked in every discipline available in an ad agency. He started his career as an adman at J Walter Thompson as a Media Planner, before moving to McCann Erickson as an Account Director, then Strategic Planner, and finally as an award winning Copywriter. Tim’s unwillingness to be boxed in by a job title or discipline reflects his approach to creativity, and his ethos in inspiring creative thinking in others.

During the process of writing, developing, and filming a major sitcom for BBC One, Tim learned first hand how many of the same tools and techniques of creativity and idea generation are used by writers, comedians and commercial innovators alike. Tim has drawn together a practical guide to applying the trade secrets used by top creative professionals, comedians and writers.

Tim is a master at keeping audiences actively engaged and positively energised. Whether it’s getting people on their feet and playfully interacting, or switching on different parts of their brains through quick mental exercises, Tim can make sure your audience is alive, alert and full of energy throughout your event.

Sheridan (Shed) Simove

Sheridan ‘Shed’ Simove is a modern-day entrepreneurial genius.

In a varied career he has enjoyed success as a TV Producer (Big Brother, Big Breakfast, Space Cadets); a Bestselling Author; Product Designer and an Award Winning Stand-Up Comedian.

Harnessing a constant stream of ideas from his astonishingly active mind, Shed has learnt to transform his unconventional concepts into lucrative new business ventures. Shed uses his own entrepreneurial journeys to give a powerful insight into how others can be more creative, plus he shares his secrets for success and outlines the steps towards achieving whatever you desire – both personally and in business.

Shed’s ability to create new ideas, coupled with his skill to make them happen, mean that his range and rate of success is vast – and thus his performances are wonderfully motivational as well as entertaining.

He has the ability to both inspire significant, profitable changes, and then equip you with the tools to make those changes happen. As a result Shed has worked with the some of the biggest blue chip companies around the world, including Unilever, BBC, Sony and EE.

A cross between Anthony Robbins and Woody Allen, Shed is a truly compelling, uniquely memorable, one-off performer.

David Taylor

David is one of the world’s top 50 leading marketing thinkers according to the CIM, and a Fellow of the Marketing Society.

David is Founder & Managing Partner of the brandgym, a network of brand growth coaches. He has written five brandgym books: “The brandgym”, “Brand Stretch”, “Brand Vision”, “Grow the Core” and “Where’s the Sausage?” David also leads the writing of the brandgym blog, one of the top 60 branding blogs in the world.

He’s worked with a wide range of sectors, covering everything from beer to banking, in both B2C and B2B. His expertise is in brand vision to action, brand architecture and turbo charging marketing plans. Prior to founding the brandgym in 2002, David worked in brand management for P&G, received an MBA from INSEAD and then started and ran Added Value’s Paris office.

David speaks on a range of branding issues including growing the core, brand stretch and brand leadership. His speeches are consistently praised for their practical, provocative and entertaining style.

David speaks both at company-specific events for global clients (Kraft, Mondelez, HSBC, Mars, Unilever) and at leading conferences (Brand Manage Camp (Las Vegas), the Marketing Society Conference, London Business Forum). He has also written publications for The Guardian, Marketing, Market Leader, Brand Strategy and Marketing Business.

David also teaches on brand strategy at London Business School, in addition to designing and delivering “Action Learning” training programs for clients including SAB Miller, Mars and United Biscuits.

Diana Hunter

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From an early age Diana had a clear passion for retail, she would often be found meandering the aisle of her grandfather’s department store in Darlington. It was therefore a natural fit when she joined the Sainsbury’s Graduate Programme in 1990 and since then Diana has gone on to climb the retail ladder, boasting some incredible successes.

Diana stayed at Sainsbury’s for thirteen years where she held a multitude of roles including heading up a senior manager transformation programme before eventually departing from the role of format development. She later made the switch to Waitrose in 2007, where she carved a reputation as an innovator in store development. Some of her major projects whilst there included; the launch of Little Waitrose, securing partnership with Shell for service station stores and the launch of its home offer in its Canary Wharf Store. Diana was also a key player in the development of John Lewis’ food hall.

Geoff Cousins

Armed with an entrepreneurial mindset, Geoff Cousins has the ability and skill needed to drive innovative strategies and deliver real results for businesses of all sizes.

During his career Geoff has held a number of C-Suite positions within the iconic Jaguar Land Rover Brands which include; Chief Financial Officer of North America for JLR and Volvo, Director of Sales, Manufacturing and Planning for JLR, UK Managing Director and Global Sponsorships and Brand Partners Director for JLR, and currently he is the Chairman of G&P. As a result he is well known and respected throughout the industry.

Geoff’s global experience and track record of personal business achievements provides a unique mix of big business process capability and innovative thinking that delivers transformational but pragmatic business solutions to entrepreneurs, innovation start ups and SME’s. His experience allows businesses and leaders to optimise performance, deliver results and lead transformation initiatives, while cutting through complex issues.

Geoff is currently the Non-Executive Director of Performance Communications, advising on strategy, operational performance and business growth initiatives. He is also the Managing Director of Geoff Cousins Associates, a Business Consultancy advising their clients on areas such as; Leadership and People Performance, PR and Marketing, Product Planning and Distribution, Strategic and Business Development and Executive Recruitment.

His most recent project is the creation of a cutting edge brain development product known as Zing Performance. Inspired by the latest neurological research, Zing Business improves human performance by enhancing the brain body connection. It does so by developing neural pathways to improve cognitive, emotional and social abilities.

Geoff is a visiting Professor of Global Governance at the University of South Wales where he delivers master classes on international business, chairs the course student conference and assesses group simulation exercises. He holds a number of external positions in the fields of charity and sports administration.

Hamish Taylor

Hamish Taylor has enjoyed a long career in building and overhauling brands, first at Procter & Gamble, then at Eurostar where he become CEO, and subsequently at Sainsbury’s Bank.

He is now a brand expert and public speaker.

With a CV that The Times commented “takes some beating”, Hamish Taylor has managed to follow academic and sporting success with a very fast track career through a number of high profile business roles. As a result Hamish has established a winning record for driving innovation and change in a number of very different environments.

Hamish was appointed Head of Brand Management at British Airways taking responsibility for the airline’s passenger brands (First, Club, Concorde, Shuttle, etc.)

In 1997 he moved to Eurostar as Managing Director of Eurostar (UK) Ltd at the age of 36. The business was three years old and his remit was to reduce the major losses the operation was suffering. After two successful years in this role, he was appointed as Chief Executive Officer of Eurostar Group.

At the end of 1999 Hamish was appointed as Chief Executive Officer of Sainsbury’s Bank. Once again, the objective was rapid growth in profit from the breakeven position he inherited. The ability to innovate and move away from traditional banking approaches in order to behave more like a retailer, proved the key to the significant growth that resulted.

In 2004 Hamish established his own company, the Hamish Taylor Skills Exchange Network.

Hamish is also regularly featured in the broadcast media, his most recent project being the “Teen Canteen” television programme for the BBC.

Jane Young

Jane Young is a technology entrepreneur and an exciting speaker on the topic of social media. She has a fresh, quirky and highly engaging approach.

Avoiding university as the obvious route to a career, she represents a new breed of entrepreneur who has an ease with technology and the opportunities it presents us, particularly in the space of social business. Jane is the founder of Scramblr, a platform that enables creative teams to set up their own online studios. Prior to this she founded London-based boutique digital agency Kanbee, delivering online and film projects. She is also a regular blogger at resonanceblog.com.

As a speaker, Jane finds a way of weaving really complex problems into a story that inspires, even if she’s talking about a technology subject to non-technical people. Jane helps her audiences to see past the jargon, hype and worms’ eye view of today’s social media tools. She looks towards a bigger picture for using social media to drive growth in the 21st Century; exploring how we can solve age old business problems using new knowledge and technological capabilities. Jane speaks about the concept of “social business” and differentiates between red herrings (Do I need a presence on Facebook?) to exploring answers about why social media really matters in business today.

Jane has worked with brands such as Dixons, Curry’s, PC World, Vodafone, Wildfire Word of Mouth, Grey and Procter & Gamble.

Lord Karan Bilimoria CBE

Entrepreneur and founder of Cobra Beer, Lord Karan Bilimoria is an expert in Business, Leadership, Marketing and Branding.

As a keynote speaker Karan has had huge inspirational impact, earning the respect of fellow business leaders and organisations as he tells his story of developing the highly successful Cobra Beer brand.

Karan became a qualified Chartered Accountant with Ernst and Young, before studying law at Cambridge University, where he created Cobra Beer; a new variety of premium lager that was less gassy, could compliment food and is brewed to appeal to both ale and lager drinkers alike.

Fifteen years later, Cobra Beer was one of the fastest growing beer brands in the UK and was ranked in the 1999 Sunday Times Virgin Atlantic Fast Track 100. In 2005, Cobra Beer was awarded two Grand Gold Medals and nine Gold Medals, which is more than any other beer company in the world, at the Monde Selection Awards in Brussels. Cobra Beer has also received the International High Quality Trophy in 2003 for its achievements.

In 1999, Karan launched General Bilimoria Wines. Produced in France, the acclaimed brand is now listed as the house wine for some Michelin-star restaurants, as well as hundreds of others.

Aside from his duties as Chairman of Cobra Beer, Karan is a member of the Government’s National Employment Panel and served as Chairman of the Panel’s Small and Medium Sized Enterprise Board from 2001 to 2005. He is the Vice Chairman of the London Chamber of Commerce and is a member of the Bank of England – LCCI / Asian Business Association Panel. Karan is also an Honorary Life Fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce.

He is a guest lecturer at Cranfield University School of Management, the Cambridge University Business School and the London Business School, and a Visiting Entrepreneur at the Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning at Cambridge University – one of the first to ever be appointed. Karen was also the former Chancellor of Thames Valley University, a positon which saw him become the youngest university Chancellor in the UK.

In 2004 Karan was awarded the Commander of the British Empire in Her Majesty the Queen’s Birthday Honours List. Some other honours received include the Award for Outstanding Achievement 2005 by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, Business Person of the Year 2004 by the London Business Awards and London Entrepreneur of the Year in 2003 by Ernst & Young, established as the most prestigious business award in more than 35 nations worldwide.

Karan directly supports a number of charities and is a Patron of both the Thare Mache Starfish Initiative and Rethink Mental Illness, Vice Patron of the Memorial Gates Trust and Chairman of the advisory board of the Shrimati Pushpa Wati Loomba Memorial Trust for education of the children of poor widows in India.