Creating Competitive Advantage in Dynamic Markets


08:00 – 15:00, 21 January 2021

Member Rate: £40 + VAT | Non-Member Rate: £50 + VAT

Our world is evolving rapidly and securing competitive advantage is increasingly difficult. The approach of the leadership team is central to success. In this event, we examine four key elements from strategy and technology, to finance and mergers & acquisitions to help you create more purposeful organisations.

One event, four key elements to help you drive your business in dynamic markets. Each session is run by leading experts and thought leaders ‘inspiring business’. You will not only gain deeper insight into each area but practical, tangible takeaways to help today. Each session has an open Q&A afterwards and all the speakers are available for bookable, personal 1-2-1 sessions on the day.

Lead Ahead

Despite pandemic-driven volatility, the opportunities for growth remain boundless. How do leaders resolve challenges and build more valuable, purposeful organisations?

Investment, Mergers and Acquisitions

In slow-growth markets, consolidation brings synergy, economies of scale and shareholder value. How do you buy or sell companies and secure corporate funding?

Living on Thin Air

Today, every business is a technology business and a brand. How do you harness both to increase productivity and create a ‘we want, we need motivation’?

Growth Strategy

You know ‘why’, but ‘how’ and ‘what’ are less obvious today. How do you set the direction with clarity, confidence, and energy? How can you positively disrupt your market and design your business to scale?


Each hour section is followed by a 10 minutes poll and Q&A session, together with a 5 minutes comfort break.

08:00 – 08:10 Introduction & Welcome

08:10 – 09:10 Lead Ahead

    • Leadership not management
    • The line of probability, understanding how to be ahead
    • Change transformation, breaking the status quo

09:25 – 10:25 Investments, Mergers and Acquisitions

    • Why M&A is centre stage in slow-growth markets
    • How superabundant capital can drive your growth
    • Finding the right investors, acquisitions and buyers
    • Exit strategies and a case study
    • Multiple influencers, valuation and deal trends

10:40 – 11:40 Living on Thin Air

    • How to place technology at the centre of your business and automation
    • Joining the islands of information to create better decisions and drive productivity
    • Standing out ahead of your competitors to create “pull” not “push to drive growth”

11:55 – 12:55 Growth Strategy

    • Creating and delivering breakthrough strategies
    • The role of finance and the finance team in business growth
    • Changing the game – creating competitive advantage

13:10 – 13:30 Summary of the Day

13:30 – 14:00 Ask us Anything

    • Open Q&A and peer-to-peer learning for all delegates

14:00 – 15:00 Private Sessions

    • Private 1-2-1 sessions with the experts



Kevin Uphill

Avondale Corporate

Kevin is an entrepreneur, investor and advisor. He is also a published author and sought-after speaker. His advisory work through Avondale is predominantly focused on mergers and acquisitions, having helped buy and sell over 300 companies, but he also advises on value creation strategy consulting, and increasingly business design and organisational change.


Tim Hardman

Managing Director
Avondale Corporate

Tim has helped develop Avondale into the leading Business Sales and Acquisitions practice, with the highest success rate of any firm in the market. He has also been instrumental in driving innovation including the establishment of the Consultancy programme which helps business owners who are not yet positioned to sell to drive sustainable shareholder value through both acquisitions and organic growth.


Peter Drinkwater

Strategy Consultant
Avondale Corporate

Peter’s wide knowledge and depth of experience across a range of roles and disciplines have provided him with the deep insights and understanding he needs as Strategy Consultant at Avondale. Peter has also been an entrepreneurial investor with private equity and venture capital experience in the UK, EMEA and the Russian Federation.


Ben Mekie

Acuity Associates

In 2000 Ben joined Firstsource as their 5th employee. By engaging FTSE 100 clients and major corporates, it grew from a standing start to 13,000 employees in 6 years. Firstsource floated on the Mumbai Stock exchange in 2006. After the float and frustrated by the inability of recruiters to provide consistently competent candidates, Ben founded Acuity Associates in 2007.


Joe Hinton

Managing Director
UK Business Mentoring

After a successful and varied thirty-five-year banking career which brought a broad range of experience in Leadership/People Management/Strategy/Sales and Marketing Joe left to form UK Business Mentoring. Based on the knowledge he had gained dealing with small to large businesses and his love of helping people to develop, Joe found his ‘Ikigai’ in business mentoring.


Eric Keane

Managing Director
Intelligent Finishing Systems

Eric is an experienced entrepreneur, strategist and business leader with a demonstrated history of developing successful businesses in the telecommunications, IT and printing industries. Eric has direct experience of M&A having personally sold two companies. He is also a private company investor, the last of which he has recently facilitated to an employee-owned business.


Dr. Roger M. Barker

Director of Policy & Corporate Governance
Institute of Directors

A former investment banker, Dr. Barker spent almost 15 years in a variety of equity research and senior management roles at UBS and Bank Vontobel, both in the UK and Switzerland. He has a doctorate from Oxford University and taught at Merton College, Oxford (2005-2008). Prior to the UK’s departure from the EU, he represented Employers as a UK Member of the European Economic and Social Committee in Brussels (2015-2020).


Mike Symes

Chief Executive & Co-founder
Financial Marketing Ltd

Mike Symes is a highly experienced marketing leader, brand strategist, speaker and marketing author, responsible for launching and developing many successful brands for over 30 years. In addition to running marketing agency groups, Mike was formerly Head of Marketing and Vice President at Bank of New York Financial. Author of ‘Light Your Firebrand’, Mike Symes was invited to contribute to the seminal book, ‘The Brand Challenge - Adapting Branding to Sectorial Imperatives’, published by Kogan Page, which examines brands that have taken the road less travelled.

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Avondale’s events add value at every step. The ‘know-how’ is awesome and they nail the questions sections so it’s also personal.

Eric Keane, IFSL