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WBS Forum Series

The WBS Forum Series is an annual series of lectures held at the University of Warwick and in London featuring WBS alumni speaking on a variety of subjects.

Attendance is free of charge for lectures held at the University of Warwick and there is a small fee of £20 for lectures held in London. Registration is required in advance.

Forthcoming events:

Using Purpose As Corporate Strategy
Chris Tan, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Providend Limited
Tuesday 16 February 2010 (WBS)

From Zero to 120 Million Sales
Denys Shortt, Chairman & CEO, DCS Europe plc
Monday 22 February 2010 (WBS)

Investing in the Future
David Smith, Automotive Professional and Local Industrialist
Monday 8 March 2010 (WBS)

The Acid Test of Leadership
David Taylor, Founder - The Naked Leader
Wednesday 14 April 2010 (London)

Firefighting - people before fires
Des Pritchard, Chief Fire Officer, East Sussex
Tuesday 13 July 2010 (London)


Using Purpose As Corporate Strategy

Speaker: Chris Tan, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Providend Limited

Date: Tuesday 16 February 2010

Time: 18:30 - 20:00

Location: B0.12 Lecture Theatre, Warwick Business School, Scarman Road, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL

Booking: this event is free of charge but due to high demand you will need to book in advance

For the vast majority of companies, having well-defined vision, mission or purpose statements changes nothing. The exercise of crafting them is a complete waste of time and talent if these statements are used for nothing but being published in the annual report and displayed in a reception area. However, if these statements are correctly used, it can in itself become a corporate strategy that can create a competitive advantage in good and even bad times. Come and attend this session and see how one company uses it's purpose to permeate through the entire organization and thus creates a powerful business strategy.

Tea and coffee will be served from 18:00 with the presentation starting at 18:30. There will be a question and answer session following the presentation. Afterwards, from 7.30pm onwards, there will be an opportunity for networking and further discussion in the lounge, where food and drinks will be provided.

Christopher Tan

Christopher brings with him more than a decade of experience in the wealth management and financial planning industry. He is the Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Providend Limited, Singapore's sole fee-only independent private wealth and investment management firm. Under his leadership, Christopher brings together a team of highly qualified consultants with different professional background under one roof and manages more than SGD200 million of clients monies.

Prior to setting up Providend, Christopher was the Managing Partner of a fee-based financial planning firm. Christopher spent nearly two years with healthcare giant, Johnson & Johnson Private Limited in a sales and marketing function. Christopher also spent nearly seven years with the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) as an Army Officer in parachuting, operations, instructional as well as staff functions. In the SAF, he achieved prestigious Sword of Merit award, an award given to the top 10% of the Officer Cadet School cohort in 1990.

Christopher is often quoted in both print and broadcast media in the region for his expert opinion on personal finance matters. He also lectures on the Certified Financial Planner programme with The Kaplan Professional, Singapore. Christopher is also an internationally sought-after speaker and trainer in countries such as Indonesia, Mauritius and China and in particular, he has spoken to policy makers in Mauritius Financial Services Commission on the strategic issues facing the wealth management industry.

In 2005, Asia Financial Planning Journal awarded Christopher the top Financial Adviser of the Year. In 2008, Chris led Providend to be the first and only Independent Private Wealth Management firm to be given The Singapore Prestige Brand Award -Promising Brand. In 2009, Chris was awarded the Most Promising Entrepreneur by Enterprise Asia at the Asia Pacific Entrepreneurs Award.

Christopher Tan received his Bachelor of Financial Services Degree with honours from the National University of Ireland. He also holds a Master of Business Administration Degree from University of Warwick. Professionally, he is a Certified Financial Planner and a member of the Financial Planning Association of Singapore.

He is currently writing his 3rd book on Retirement Planning.


From Zero to 120 Million Sales

Speaker: Denys Shortt, Chairman & CEO, DCS Europe plc

Date: Monday 22 February 2010

Time: 18:30 - 20:00

Location: B0.12 Lecture Theatre, Warwick Business School, Scarman Road, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL

Booking: this event is free of charge but due to high demand you will need to book in advance

DCS started in 1994 by Denys Shortt, has become market leader in its field with sales of over £110 million and employing 250 people.

Denys Shortt will share with us some of his experiences of founding DCS Europe and it's subsidiaries.

Tea and coffee will be served from 18:00 with the presentation starting at 18:30. There will be a question and answer session following the presentation. Afterwards, from 7.30pm onwards, there will be an opportunity for networking and further discussion in the lounge, where food and drinks will be provided.

Denys Shortt

An ex-England hockey player Denys Shortt has been ranked in Britain's Top 10 Entrepreneurs having started DCS - now the UK's largest distributor of health and beauty brands with sales of 120m. Denys has also started a software company with a 16 year old - now 3.5m Enable.com.

Denys is a winner of Entrepreneur of the Year, Exporter of the Year, IOD Young Director of the Year and the CBI Growing Business Awards

Denys Shortt started life as an international hockey player whilst at Warwick School. He joined his family business but soon became frustrated so decided to start DCS specialising in health and beauty products. Denys believes his business has grown due to developing a good strategic plan. In his spare time he now helps other businesses with their strategy. Denys is a keen helicopter pilot and sees aviation as a great release from the pressures of business. He is also a farmer and breeds pedigree Belted Galloway cattle on his farm in the Cotswolds.


Investing in the Future

Speaker: David Smith, Automotive Professional and Local Industrialist

Date: Monday 8 March 2010

Time: 18:30 - 20:00

Location: B1.16 Lecture Theatre, Warwick Business School, Scarman Road, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL

Booking: this event is free of charge but due to high demand you will need to book in advance

David Smith will present on "Investing in the future".

Tea and coffee will be served from 18:00 with the presentation starting at 18:30. There will be a question and answer session following the presentation. Afterwards, from 7.30pm onwards, there will be an opportunity for networking and further discussion in the lounge, where food and drinks will be provided.

David Smith

Former Chief Executive Officer of Jaguar Land Rover, a position he was appointed to in 2008 following purchase of the Company by Tata Motors from Ford Motor Company. He recently stepped down from this role to pursue other interests.

David was formerly Director of Finance and Strategy for Ford in Europe. Prior to this he was Chief Financial Officer of Jaguar Land Rover and a Director of Volvo and Aston Martin. He is also a former Board Member and Chair of the Audit Committee at Advantage West Midlands, Deputy Chair of the National Automotive Council, Vice-President of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, a Trustee of the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust, a regional CBI Councillor and previous Governor of Coventry University.

David held numerous Finance and Strategy positions since joining Ford in 1983, including assignments in Switzerland, the US, Asia and Turkey, where he played a key role in developing Turkey's largest automotive inward investment project. In his roles at Jaguar Land Rover since 2000, David has been at the centre of developing the successful transformation of both the Land Rover and Jaguar businesses. He played a key role in the sale of Aston Martin in 2007 and JLR in 2008.

Born in Solihull, West Midlands in 1961, David holds an MA in Economics from Cambridge University and an MBA from Warwick University. He lives in Leamington with his wife and three children.


The Acid Test of Leadership

Speaker: David Taylor, Founder - The Naked Leader

Date: Wednesday 14 April 2010

Time: 18:45 - 21:15

LocationArup, 8 Fitzroy Street, London, W1T 4BQ, United Kingdom

Booking: the cost for attending this event is £20.00 and payment is required in advance

Using a mixture of research, psychology and business modelling (copying other leaders and companies who have already achieved it), David will share exactly how to ensure you get the very best out of your people, including:

  • The single most powerful thing about everyone - including yourself
  • How to get anyone in any business situation to instantly trust you - with these three discreet actions
  • The single most powerful persuasion technique in the world (it always works)
  • How to manage negative people so they come round (or get out)
  • When you speak - people think this first (and it's not what's in it for me?)
  • How to put anyone in your pocket
  • How to earn total respect and loyalty from your people
  • The fastest way to make any change in your life (and in your organisation)

Bring the biggest leadership challenge you are currently facing and David will share with you exactly what to do, when, and how.


Firefighting - people before fires

Speaker: Des Pritchard, Chief Fire Officer, East Sussex

Date: Tuesday 13 July 2010

Time: 18:30 - 20:00

LocationArup, 8 Fitzroy Street, London, W1T 4BQ, United Kingdom

Booking: the cost for attending this event is £20.00 and payment is required in advance

Further details for this event will be available on the Warwick Business School website shortly.

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More information

WBS Forum Series

WBS website

Email: alumni@wbs.ac.uk

Call: +44 (0)24 765 22813