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FT UK Business Conference 2018

Opportunities for Future Growth in the North

Manchester |
Speakers include:
Andy  Burnham

Andy Burnham

Greater Manchester

Bridget  Rosewell

Bridget Rosewell

National Infrastructure Commission

Juergen Maier

Juergen Maier



Financial Times is proud to present the inaugural FT UK Business Conference, bringing together leading executives from  local and global UK business, government and think tanks to explore the opportunities and challenges facing British business throughout the north of England in a post-Brexit environment. This event will highlight successful strategies and obstacles within innovation, talent, trade, growth, technology and all of the key areas of focus involved with maintaining and growing a prosperous business. 

fallback Add to my Calendar 05/24/2018 08:00:0005/24/2018 16:20:00trueFT UK Business Conference 2018Financial Times is proud to present the inaugural FT UK Business Conference, bringing together leading executives from  local and global UK business, government and think tanks to explore the opportunities and challenges facing British business throughout the north of England in a post-Brexit environment. This event will highlight successful strategies and obstacles within innovation, talent, trade, growth, technology and all of the key areas of focus involved with maintaining and growing a prosperous business. FT-UK-Business-Conference-20184ba879ae3c51b3ca8f6a832fc71b9d50MM/DD/YYYY

Untitled Block

View photos from the 2018 event here.



2018 Testimonials

“Events organised by FT Live are absolutely amazing and at the forefront of creating the future and steering it in the right direction” Gui Ahmed Maqsood, Director, Innovation Fountain Limited

“A brilliant event. Full of energy and ideas, interesting people + businesses. Especially organised by the FT. Thank you.” Olivia Knight, Founder, Patchwork

“An excellent conference with a wide range of thought provoking subjects and speakers” Gareth Evans, CEO, Bizspace LTD


Full Overview

The success of UK companies must come from their ability to innovate, export, expand, garner government support and to build recognisable brands that will one day become world-renowned. This success does not come without its challenges as companies search for growth capital, try to maintain and attract high-quality talent, keep up-to-date with the latest technologies and deal with a turbulent economic environment.

In a country that has a London centric viewpoint on business, other areas of the UK are not always in the spotlight. However, the North of England has a booming business sector and due to the cost and infrastructure pressures in the capital and the South East, there are benefits of looking elsewhere. Will the government’s ‘Northern Powerhouse’ proposal provide the right infrastructure to support current and future business? How can investment be spread evenly throughout the region? Can the strong manufacturing, science, technology and service sectors match the investment seen in the south? What does the future hold for northern business?

Following the triggering of Article 50, businesses and public sector leaders in the UK are grappling with what leaving the EU could mean for them and the economy and how a cross-sectoral public-private approach may be the answer to ensure stakeholders' long-term needs are met.


Keynote Speakers (3)

Andy  Burnham

Andy Burnham

Greater Manchester

Andy Burnham was elected as Mayor of Greater Manchester in May 2017. Prior to this he was MP for Leigh from 2001. In government, he has held Ministerial positions at the Home Office, Department of Health and the Treasury. In 2008 he became Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, before returning to Health as Secretary of State in 2009. In opposition, Mr Burnham has served as Shadow Education Secretary, Shadow Health Secretary and Shadow Home Secretary.

Bridget  Rosewell

Bridget Rosewell

National Infrastructure Commission

Bridget Rosewell is an experienced director, policy maker and economist, with a track record in advising public and private sector clients on key strategic issues. She has worked extensively on cities, infrastructure and finance, advising on projects in road and rail and on major property developments and regeneration. She has been a member of Commissions looking at the future of public services, city finance, London finance, the North East economy, the City Growth Commission and the London Infrastructure Commission. She has also served as Chief Economic Adviser to the Greater London Authority (2002 to 2012) and her book, ‘Reinventing London’, was published in 2014.

Bridget Rosewell is Chair of Atom Bank and was Chair of the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency to 2020. She is also a non-executive director of Network Rail, and founder and Senior Advisor of Volterra Partners. She was appointed OBE in July 2013 and is also a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers.

Juergen Maier

Juergen Maier

UK Chief Executive

Juergen Maier was appointed Chief Executive of Siemens UK on 1 July 2014. He has been a member of the Siemens UK Executive Board since 2008, and held senior roles within Siemens in the UK and Germany including Managing Director of Industrial activities for the UK and Manufacturing Director of the award-winning Drives factory in Congleton. Mr Maier joined Siemens in 1986 with a BSc in production engineering from Nottingham Trent University, on a Siemens-sponsored graduate programme. He was made an Honorary Professor of Engineering at the University of Manchester in March 2014. He is a passionate advocate of the UK rebalancing its economy and supports many UK-wide initiatives championing manufacturing, improved infrastructure and engineering skills. Mr Maier was appointed as a non-Executive Board member of the UK Government Department of Business Innovation and Skills in 2014, is Chairman of the North West Business Leadership team and a board member of Greater Manchester LEP.  

Speakers (17)

Lou Cordwell

Lou Cordwell

CEO, Magnetic North;
Director for the North, AllBright

Lou Cordwell is CEO of Manchester based digital design studio, magneticNorth. Founded in 2000, the company quickly established an international reputation with an award winning client portfolio that includes the BBC, Co-op Digital and Hull 2017.

Alongside the day job, she’s also a board member on Greater Manchester’s Local Enterprise Partnership, Chair of Design Manchester and AllBright's Director for the North. Ms Cordwell was awarded an OBE in the 2018 New Years Honours for services to the creative and digital economy.

@loucordwell, @mnwork, @designmcr, @gmlep, @weareallbright

Piers  Linney

Piers Linney

Chairman, Soulmate Food;
Investor, Trustee, Nesta; Former Dragon on BBC's Dragons' Den

Piers Linney is an entrepreneur and investor who is best-known for his appearance as an investor on BBC2’s Dragons’ Den.   He is a non-executive director of British Business Bank, the UK government-owned development bank that has facilitated £6.2bn of funding for SMEs and he is a Trustee of Nesta, the UK’s largest innovation charity with a £450m endowment.  He has been recognised as one of the top 100 most influential Black Britons and won the inaugural Entrepreneur of the Year award at the EY sponsored Black British Business Awards. 

Mr Linney has a professional background in the City where he qualified as a lawyer with SJ Berwin before joining the investment banking teams at Barclays de Zoete Wedd (BZW) and Credit Suisse First Boston.  He was CEO of a corporate finance business raising funds for technology start-ups, SMEs and special situations before becoming a partner at an alternative finance fund specialising in providing structured debt and equity to small caps. He has founded and exited several technology and communication businesses and has won a range of entrepreneurship awards.

Emma  Degg

Emma Degg

Chief Executive Officer
North West Business Leadership Team

Emma Degg is the Chief Executive of the North West Business Leadership Team (NWBLT). The NWBLT brings together leaders of national and international businesses with substantial commitments and interests in the North West of England.  The Team works to exert its collective influence for the long-term good of the region, economically, environmentally, culturally and socially. Ms Degg has spent her career focussed upon bringing together business leaders and policy makers to make a tangible difference, nationally, across the North West and in local government.  She regards the promotion of responsible business leadership as essential to the future of the UK economy, in particular the importance of inspiring and encouraging young people to achieve their full potential.

Leo Johnson

Leo Johnson

Disruption Lead

Leo Johnson leads PwC's Disruption practice and co-presents the Radio 4 series “FutureProofing”, exploring the impacts of exponential technologies on business and society. Formerly at the World Bank, he is the co-Founder of the advisory firm Sustainable Finance, now part of the PwC network. He is the co-author of “Turnaround Challenge: Business and the City of the Future” (Oxford University Press, 2013) and a Visiting Business Fellow at the Smith School of Enterprise & Environment at Oxford University.

Jake Berry

Jake Berry

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State
Minister for the Northern Powerhouse and Local Growth

In June 2017 Jake Berry was appointed as the Minister for the Northern Powerhouse & Local Growth at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. In May 2015 he was appointed as Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Rt Hon. Greg Hands MP, Chief Secretary to the Treasury. In April 2013, he was asked by the Prime Minister to join his influential Policy Board and advise him on housing, local government and regional growth in Downing Street. In September 2012 Grant was appointed Conservative Party Chairman with Mr Berry remaining as his PPS. He was appointed as Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Rt Hon. Grant Shapps MP, Minister for Housing and Local Government in 2010. This valuable experience has enabled him to effectively champion affordable housing and the Construction Sector within the House of Commons. Before becoming a Member of Parliament for Rossendale and Darwen in 2010, he specialised in Housing and Development Law. He was educated at Liverpool College, followed by the University of Sheffield, and trained as a solicitor in the City of London.

Debbie Crosbie

Debbie Crosbie

Group Chief Operating Officer and Executive Director

Debbie Crosbie is currently the Chief Operating Officer and Executive Director of Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank. In this role she is responsible for the Bank’s day-to-day operations as well as the CYBG’s ongoing, multi-year investment programme, which is heavily focused on digital transformation and innovation across the bank. She has held several senior positions including CIO, Operations & IT Director and Acting CEO in 2015 during the preparation for the recent successful IPO and demerger of the bank from its parent National Australia Group which formed Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banking Group now listed in both the FTSE 250 and ASX. In addition, recently Ms Crosbie became the first woman to sign Scottish Bank Notes and was announced as the new Vice Chair of CBI Scotland in 2017.

Martin Phelan

Martin Phelan

Head of Northern Powerhouse Investment Hub
Department for International Trade
Olivia  Knight

Olivia Knight


Olivia Knight is Founder of Patchwork, a platform that lets friends contribute towards one big gift or experience, piece by piece. She is also on the Board of the UK Sharing Economy.

Twitter: @Patchworkit

Insta: @Patchwork_it

Jon Andrews

Jon Andrews

Member of UK Executive Board, Head of Technology and Investments

Jon Andrews is spear-heading the digital transformation across PwC as part of his role on the Executive Board and prior to that he led our People and Organisation Network in the UK and globally. Mr Andrews joined PwC as a Partner in 2007 from Accenture, where he had been a Partner since 2001. He’s able to share PwC’s story of innovation, and how we’re investing to keep up with an ever changing business environment. He has helped clients along similar journeys too, having worked with clients across several industry sectors including high tech, FMCG, financial services, government and pharmaceuticals and has spent time working and living abroad in Kuala Lumpur and Zurich.

Katy Medlock

Katy Medlock

UK General Manager

Katy Medlock is the recently appointment UK General Manager for Drivy, Europe's leading car sharing platform that has more than 50,000 cars listed and 1.8 million users across six countries in Europe.

Nick Henry

Nick Henry

James Fisher and Sons
Jillian Thomas

Jillian Thomas

Managing Director
Future Life Wealth Management
Shawn O'Leary

Shawn O'Leary

Regional Vice President UK

For nearly 20 years, Shawn O'Leary has helped organisations deliver value from their information assets through driving customer engagement, operational efficiency and risk management improvements. 
He has been instrumental in building businesses focused on Applied Analytics with IBM, Pitney Bowes and SAP and was part of the original team at SPSS/IBM that created the Predictive Analytics software category. At r4 he works with cross-sector business leaders and innovators to help them unlock the new enterprise opportunities that artificial intelligence provides against the backdrop of significant disruption, increased regulation and significant skills shortages.

Clive  Memmott

Clive Memmott

Chief Executive
Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce

Clive Memmott took up his appointment as Chief Executive of Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce in September 2010. This is the largest Chamber in the UK and won the UK "Chamber of the Year" award in 2017/18. Prior to this he was a Director of Robinson Keane, the executive recruitment consultancy and held a number of non-executive directorships. He is a Director of the British Chambers of Commerce, Board Member of the Council of British Chambers of Commerce in Europe, Brockholes Enterprises Ltd (the award winning nature reserve), Business Finance Solutions, a Trustee of the National Football Museum and an advisor to the Board of the Manchester Growth Company. Mr Memmott also has a number of other advisory and non-executive positions and is a regular speaker and writer on a wide range of business issues. After qualifying as a lawyer, he enjoyed a successful career in the manufacturing industry holding senior positions in the Hepworth, Steetley and Redland Groups and as MD of Tate Access Floor Systems before becoming Chief Executive of Business Link Lancashire, a role he held for 8 years. He is an Honorary Research Fellow of the Lancaster University Management School and has co-authored a book on improving business performance through effective and practical employee engagement – “Growing your own Heroes”.

Damian Waters

Damian Waters

Regional Director for the North West
Dean  Cook

Dean Cook

Head of Regional Engagement
Innovate UK

Dean Cook is Head of Regional Engagement for Innovate UK, the national innovation agency. He leads a team of regional managers responsible for developing Innovate UK’s regional strategy for England and who have developed strong relationships with local and devolved authorities. Prior to this, Dean was Innovate UK’s regional manager for Yorkshire, Humber and the North East and with a technical background in agriculture and food, originally joined in 2014 as an innovation lead for that sector.  With 28 years practical experience in research commercialisation, he was formerly at Defra’s ‘Food and Environment Research Agency’ where his early career was as an applied biologist before moving into various roles within the agency’s commercial and science management teams. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology and an MBA graduate of the University of Warwick. Originally from the South of England, he has lived in York for 22 years and has represented Innovate UK on a number of Local Enterprise Partnership innovation boards across the North East, Yorkshire and Humber. He is passionate about the North of England, and a strong advocate for how the North can bring its world-class research-base and industries together, in order to unlock the economic opportunities brought be the ‘4th industrial revolution’.

Pete Gladwell

Pete Gladwell

Head of Public Sector Partnerships
Legal and General

Pete Gladwell joined Legal & General in August 2007, with responsibility for the design and development of new funds and overseeing relationships with pension funds, investment consultants, and insurance clients.  He led on the creation of a new generation of property funds particularly focussed on liability matching and Defined Contributions pension funds and L&G’s joint ventures with Dutch pension funds, which now total over £5 billion.  In 2013, he was appointed Head of Public Sector Partnerships, to lead L&G's direct investments across property and infrastructure into partnerships with Local and Combined Authorities, Registered Providers, Universities, the NHS, and central government, including One Public Estate and the “RIO Regeneration Investment Collective” with the Department of International Trade.  These investments total over £2bn.

Mr Gladwell was formally a Senior Analyst in DTZ Research and enjoyed an erstwhile life as a youth worker for seven years in the Oxfordshire area. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts and Member of Brasenose College, Oxford University; holding a post-graduate MA, as well as an initial degree in Computation. He also holds the Investment Management Certificate. He is also a Trustee for the Young Foundation, which works to create a more equal and just society through social innovation, and heavily involved in local community initiatives in Harlesden, London.


Chair (1)

Andrew  Bounds

Andrew Bounds

Northern Correspondent and Enterprise Editor
Financial Times

Andrew Bounds has been North of England correspondent for the Financial Times since July 2008 and was additionally appointed Enterprise Editor in 2011. He covers the “Northern powerhouse” and the changing face of the Northern and national economy, politics and society with special focus on small and start-up businesses and entrepreneurs. Mr Bounds has taken a close interest in the devolution of power from London and covered the mayoral races in Manchester, Liverpool and the West Midlands as well as the deals that preceded them. After the surprise Brexit vote in June 2016, there has been an increased appetite for news from outside the M25. He regularly contributes to the FT’s Politics and technology podcasts and has appeared on BBC TV and Talk Radio.

He was previously a correspondent in Brussels for four years covering trade, environment, agriculture, transport consumer and health policies and the European Parliament. He joined the FT in 1997 as a sub-editor after beginning his journalism career at the Kentish Express in Ashford in 1995. He has a degree in International History and Politics from the University of Leeds.

Moderators (2)

Chris Giles

Chris Giles

Economics Editor
Financial Times

‪Chris Giles is the Economics Editor of the Financial Times. He leads the reporting of economics in the newspaper and on, and has been Economics Editor since 2004. 

He reports on international economic trends and the British economy, and contributes comment to’s premium blog, dedicated to central banking and money supply. He was previously the FT’s leader writer on economic affairs. 

Mr Giles was named Business Journalist of the Year at the British Journalism Awards 2012. He has also won the Royal Statistical Society’s prize for excellence in journalism in 2008 and 2012. He was a member of the 2014 advisory board of the Journal of the European Economic Association. 

Before becoming Economics Editor, he spent a year at the communications regulator, Ofcom, writing reports about digital switchover and public service broadcasting. 

Prior to joining the Financial Times in 2000, Mr Giles was an economics reporter at the BBC. He started his career in research, spending seven years as an economist for the Institute for Fiscal Studies and has a wide publications record. At the IFS he led or worked on projects for clients including the Treasury, the OECD and the European Commission. 

Mr Giles is a graduate of Cambridge University and holds a Master’s degree in Economics from Birkbeck College, London University.

Chris Tighe

Chris Tighe

North East England Correspondent
Financial Times

Chris Tighe is the FT’s north east England correspondent. She writes for all sections of the paper with a focus on the economic rebalancing of the UK economy, regional development and social change. Based in north east England, she has worked for the FT since 1991. As well as charting the end of the region’s coal mining, shipbuilding and iron and steelmaking, she has written about the growth of new sectors and activities and the physical transformation of older industrial areas and city centres.

Agenda - 24th May

  • 8:00am
    Registration and Networking
  • 9:00am
    Opening Remarks

    Andrew Bounds, Northern Correspondent, Financial Times

  • 9:05am
    Keynote Interview - Government and Economic outlook

    Opportunities and Challenges for business in the north of England

    Current Political challenges facing the region

    Bridget Rosewell OBE, Commissioner, National Infrastructure Commission; Senior Advisor, Volterra Partners

    Moderator - Chris Giles, Economics Editor, Financial Times

  • 9:30am
    Interview – CEO Outlook

    Juergen Maier, UK Chief Executive, Siemens

    Moderator - Andrew Bounds, Northern Correspondent, Financial Times

  • 10:00am
    Panel Introduction

    Debbie Crosbie, Group Chief Operating Officer and Executive Director, CYB

  • 10:10am
    Panel – The Middle Market Backbone
    • What are the latest developments in government policy to support business growth in the North of England?
    • How can the private sector be grown so that small to medium sized business can help balance the economy?Is this growth strategy appropriate for the north? What are the main opportunities and challenges for these organisations in the North of England?
    • How can organisations prepare for the changes that Brexit may bring? What effect will this have on talent and potential trade? How can businesses be supported to enter the export market?
    • What are the key factors for driving innovation and how can it be embedded into the core of a business’s spine?
    • How can SMEs win in changing markets and how can they tackle barriers to growth? What is the role of technology in strengthening trade relations?

    Clive Memmott, Chief Executive, Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce
    Debbie Crosbie, Group Chief Operating Officer and Executive Director, CYB
    Jillian Thomas, former president of Sheffield Chamber and Managing Director, Future Life Wealth Management 
    Jake Berry, Minister for the Northern Powerhouse and Local Growth

    Moderator - Chris Giles, Economics Editor, Financial Times

  • 10:55am
    Coffee Break
  • 11:20am
    Panel – Northern Investment and trade
    • Are northern voices sufficiently heard in national conversation?
    • What are the main attractions for investment in cities and areas outside of London?
    • What is the future for UK regional development and investment after Brexit? What ‘hotspots’ are foreign investors looking at in regional UK?
    • Since the referendum what effects has this had on trade and business with Europe? Does it make more  sense to relocate?
    • What effect will the fall in the value of the pound have on export and import?
    • Is there increased volatility ahead?
    • What does a hard Brexit mean for international trade and UK businesses, and what challenges and opportunities do they face? What are the challenges and opportunities of a new UK-US trade deal?

    Emma Degg, Chief Executive Officer, North West Business Leadership Team

    Pete Gladwell, Head of Public Sector Partnerships, Legal and General

    Nick Henry, Chief Executive Officer, James Fisher and Sons  

    Martin Phelan , Head of Northern Powerhouse Investment Hub, Department of International Trade

    Damian Waters, Regional Director for the North West, CBI

    Moderator – Chris Tighe, North East Correspondent, Financial Times

  • 12:10pm
    Presentation - Disrupt or be disrupted

    Leo Johnson, Disruption Lead, PwC

  • 12:20pm
    Panel - Nurturing innovation and technology for the future of business

    Innovation is vital to a company’s digital transformation journey and as technologies are becoming more advanced business must learn to adapt and integrate new ideas to create a more streamlined and successful business. In this session, we will look at Innovation in the North of England.


    • What are the key ingredients required for business innovation? What are the main obstacles in weaving these ingredients into the structure of business?
    • As technology improves at an exponential rate, how can businesses be looking to future potential change while dealing with current change in order to keep up with technological progression?
    • What challenges can larger companies have when it comes to innovation? How can companies of all sizes organize themselves in the best way to facilitate innovation flow?
    • How are local authorities helping the growth of innovation and technology hubs? What more can be done to support innovation start-ups?

    Piers Linney, Chairman, Soulmate Food, Investor, Trustee, Nesta

    Dean Cook, Head of Regional Engagement, Innovate UK

    Jon Andrews, Member of UK Executive Board, Head of Technology and Investments, PwC

    Lou Cordwell OBE, CEO, magneticNorth; Director for the North, AllBright

    Moderator – Chris Tighe, North East Correspondent, Financial Times

  • 1:05pm
    Keynote Presentation

    How can mayors and devolution improve the social and political landscape to help businesses thrive, and what more needs to be done?

    Andy Burnham, Mayor, Greater Manchester

  • 1:20pm
  • 2:20pm
    Lesson from early AI adaptors

    We are entering a period of innovation and disruption, fuelled by the application of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies and solutions. Some believe this is hype; others believe that AI is a general-purpose technology on par with the invention of electricity and the steam engine, and that it will usher in a new economic and social era. In this session r4 will share examples of how AI is helping companies extract more “yield” from their existing resources and discuss the notion of unlocking new growth.

    Shaun O'Leary, Regional Vice President, r4

  • 2:35pm
    The sharing economy: shaping the future

    What is the role of innovative new start-ups and the sharing economy in boosting business in the north of England?

    Katy Medlock, UK General Manager, Drivy
    Olivia Knight, Founder, Patchwork

    Moderator - Andrew Bounds, Northern Correspondent, Financial Times

  • 3:00pm
    Breakout roundtables

    The breakout roundtables are small group discussions designed to allow attendees to discuss in detail a specific challenge, strategy or opportunity set. Held under the Chatham House rule to encourage an open debate, delegates will be able to choose from a number of discussions. Topics areas will include: AI, trade and export, talent, SME growth and cyber. More round table topics to be announced prior to the event.

    The future of work Hosted by PwC
    We are living through a fundamental transformation in the way we work. Automation and 'thinking machines' are replacing human tasks, changing the skills that organisations are looking for in their people. But what will the future look like? As employers, how do you deploy technology and AI responsibly in your organisation? This discussion will kick-start your thinking so you business is geared for the future.

    Disrupt or be disrupted Hosted by PwC
    Exponential technologies and colliding global megatrends are reshaping the business landscape. Business models are continuously being disrupted and need to be reinvented. This discussion will explore how businesses can start to anticipate disruption and put technology to work to reimagine their business models and turn disruption into an opportunity. From drones and robotics, to virtual and augmented reality, participants will share a vision of the future business environment. 

    Access to finance and increasing competition in SME bankingHosted by CYBG
    SMEs are the engine room of the UK economy and can help to drive future economic growth, particularly post Brexit. But how can SMEs access the capital they need to grow and does the current SME banking market provide enough options to meet their funding needs? How can SMEs ensure they have access to the right type of capital at the right stage in their development to achieve their potential?

    Advanced materials: powering the northern economyHosted by the University of Manchester
    The UK’s manufacturing future is facing a new world order of innovation and creative disruption. The electrification of the national automotive fleet, the need to transform battery technology, and the quest for ever more resilient and lighter products are just some of the challenges ahead. Pioneering new and smarter advanced materials will be critical – and there is significant expertise in this field based here at the heart of the Northern Powerhouse. Do businesses have an advanced materials strategy that is fit for purpose?

    Trade and export Hosted by the FT
    How are the most recent developments in trade policy impacting companies across the UK? Here we will assess the opportunities and challenges in trade and export in the north, especially with regards to Brexit, and how businesses are transforming their operating models to adapt and grow in today’s fast-paced environment.

    Manufacturing post-BrexitHosted by Innovate UK
    How are manufacturers in the UK planning for a future after Brexit? We will look at the practicalities of making the transition, from reassessing supply chains, reviewing recruitment plans and adapting to policy, regulatory and tax changes.

    UK property outlook Hosted by the FT
    As business continues to grow in the north, how is commercial and residential real estate developing to meet the needs of the population?  How is the property sector adapting to demographic trends in the UK? What do companies and individuals want from their workspaces and are these requirements being met? What role can real estate play in boosting Britain’s productivity?

    Cyber security  Hosted by PwC and Innovate UK
    As cyber attacks become increasingly more sophisticated and widespread, what can companies do to protect themselves against threats? How can interconnected systems and devices be protected, and where is the line between data capture and privacy, particularly now with ever-tighter data rules? This session will assess the latest threats in cyberspace and explore what action organisations can take to create a more secure future.

  • 4:00pm
    Summation of roundtable sessions

    Moderators of each breakout will discuss their findings with our chair Andrew Bounds, Northern Correspondent and Enterprise Editor, Financial Times

  • 4:15pm
    Closing remarks

    Andrew Bounds, Northern Correspondent, Financial Times



SME Ticket *

£299 + VAT

Standard ticket

£499 + VAT (Excludes service providers)

Service providers

£899  + VAT

*SME Ticket eligible for companies with 250 employees or less


Be in good company

Join key senior executives from top companies including:


Bentley Motors


Co-operative Group 

Dixons Carphone

Essar Oil 

Ford Motor Company 




Liverpool FC 

Lloyds Bank 

Manchester City Council


Network Rail


& more.



The Principal Hotel
Oxford Street
Manchester M60 7HA

United Kingdom

Tel: 0161 288 1111


Founding Sponsor (1)

Yorkshire Bank was founded in 1859 in Halifax, West Yorkshire. Today, with our head office in Leeds, we have more than 90 branches, plus 22 Business and Private Banking centres in the North of England and the Midlands. We work with businesses across the country, large and small, across a range of industries. The role they play in the success of the UK economy is critical. We feel that by supporting our communities, businesses and individuals, we can help ensure a bright and prosperous future for the regions in which we operate.We are passionate supporters of the Northern Powerhouse and the opportunity it presents to unlock the potential of the economy in the North of England. Creating sustainable growth is a key priority for us, as we continue to transform our business into a truly customer-focused organisation. Underpinning that objective is our support for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). In April 2017 we announced our commitment to make a minimum of £6 billion of lending available to help fuel the growth of SMEs in the UK over the next three years and one year on we are delighted to have more than matched our first year commitment. 

Lead Sponsor (1)

At PwC, our purpose is to build trust in society and solve important problems. It is this focus which informs the services we provide and the decisions we make. With offices in 158 countries and more than 236,000 people, we are among the leading professional services networks in the world.

To achieve our aim to be recognised as the ‘the leading professional services firm’ we must be innovative, responsible and attract outstanding people. We have to reimagine the possible to stay ahead, but to survive and thrive in the digital revolution, we must balance business understanding with technology innovation and human insight. We do that through Intelligent Digital. We have invested heavily in building our technology capability focusing on core areas that we believe will bring most value to our clients, including cyber security, data and analytics, emerging technologies and technology consulting.Using our responsible technology approach we look to maximise the positive impacts of technological advances on business, society and people, while minimising any negative ones. 

Associate sponsors (2)

The University of Manchester: global powerhouse for advanced materials Manchester is a global powerhouse for advanced materials - attracting the best researchers and major investment to the city-region to create world-class facilities and a global reputation.

This unique eco-system includes the research-led National Graphene Institute (NGI); the soon-to-open business-facing Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre (GEIC); the prestigious hub for the Henry Royce Institute, UK’s national body for advanced materials; and the BP International Centre for Advanced Materials; all to be supported by a new, fully integrated engineering campus.

The University is leading on innovation across a diverse portfolio of advanced materials, including applications in 2D Materials, the biomedical sector, demanding environments and the nuclear power industry.

Right Product. Right Customer. Right Time. Right Price. These are the 4 pillars of r4.


r4 is created by the founders of and, pioneers in e-commerce and big data (before it was called big data). The secret of is the ability to identify micro-demand opportunities by connecting people, places, and products and extracting the maximum yield from these opportunities. This is what makes priceline a $90 billion company. 


With r4, every company can now connect the dots between people, places, products, and price to discover and capture new growth and real business results in just 90 days


Combining yield optimization expertise with powerful AI technology, r4 delivers an entirely new category of capabilities to quickly sense and respond to the accelerating pace of markets and industry disruptions. r4’s cloud-based platform augments existing processes and IT infrastructures of organizations by providing a continuous stream of previously undiscoverable opportunities, predictions and recommendations.

Innovation Partner (1)

Innovate UK is the UK’s innovation agency. Innovate UK works with people, companies and partner organisations to find and drive the science and technology innovations that will grow the UK economy - delivering productivity, new jobs and exports. Our aim at Innovate UK is to keep the UK globally competitive in the race for future prosperity. For further information and to stay updated on our latest news visit, follow us on Twitter at @innovateuk or subscribe to our YouTube channel at

Media Partner (1)

M.E.N. Media is a truly multi-media business, serving Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Cheshire. An established and trusted brand within the community, setting the news agenda, providing unrivalled sports coverage and representing and fighting for our city. M.E.N. Media are reaching new audiences, in new ways, at new times in their days and via new platforms. They provide their audience with the relevant content they have come to expect, at a time and place that suits their needs. And we provide our clients with a  truly unique advertising opportunity, reaching over 85% of the Greater Manchester population every week.

Supporting Partners (3)

Established in Liverpool in over a decade ago to provide leadership to the private sector, by articulating the views of its members to the public-sector agencies that govern the city; and to create modern networking environments that would attract entrepreneurs, business owners and decision-makers, high growth companies, award winning Downtown in Business (DIB) has now established its services and brand in Lancashire, Manchester, Leeds, and Birmingham. DIB has earned a reputation as one of the most influential, effective business organisations in the North of England and the West Midlands. Brokering connections and deals, shaping public sector agendas, organising the best attended events in the region, hosting high profile gala dinners and attracting prominent speakers from the worlds of commerce and politics, DIB is the fastest growing business club outside of London.

Greater Manchester Chamber is the largest Chamber of Commerce and an award-winning membership organisation, representing a third of the total workforce in Greater Manchester. The Chamber is an independent, not-for-profit company, working to create a better business environment for members, articulating their views and needs whatever their size, sector or location. The Chamber also offers a range of networking forums across Greater Manchester, free as part of membership, plus a variety of other events and services designed to benefit specific sectors or individuals and help businesses to grow. 

MIDAS is Manchester’s inward investment agency, with a strategic aim to secure significant levels of new investment and employment for the city region. This is achieved through the global business marketing of Manchester, targeting key markets and sectors, and the provision of an extensive, free and confidential package of advice and assistance for location consultants and potential investors.

MIDAS services are available to national and international companies that wish to relocate to – or expand within – Greater Manchester. Working in partnership with the ten local authorities, MIDAS provides services such as relocation support, assistance in finding property solutions and advice on recruitment and training.

Greater Manchester is now home to over 2,000 foreign owned companies including AdidasAIGBNY MellonEtihadGoogle and IBM.

MIDAS is part of the Manchester Growth Company which supports the growth and prosperity of Greater Manchester.  The Manchester Growth Company provides services that will raise Manchester’s profile, attract investment, help generate new business, support existing businesses to grow, and provide individuals with new skills and employment opportunities.

Presented by (1)

The Financial Times is one of the world’s leading business news organisations, recognised internationally for its authority, integrity and accuracy. The FT has a record paying readership of one million, three-quarters of which are digital subscriptions. It is part of Nikkei Inc., which provides a broad range of information, news and services for the global business community.

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