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Luke's Columns

I am not a friend of Vernon Hill, ex-chairman of Metro Bank, but I am an admirer of his energy and ambition. I got to know him when I served as a non-executive director of his business from 2011 to 2014. Vernon and I did not always see eye…

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These are strange times for investors — especially in American equities. US stock indices are at all-time highs: over the past 10 years, the total return from the Nasdaq index is almost 350% and the S&P 500 250%. And as with culture, we have copied our friends across the…

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I have always believed that role models provide vital inspiration for would-be entrepreneurs; real-life exemplars who can be emulated are more important in fostering start-ups than all the business schools in the world. To contribute in a small way, I have been a judge for the Veuve Clicquot awards…

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So what does 2020 hold for investors and entrepreneurs? The general election has made an enormous difference to the country’s economic prospects. The risks of nationalisation, excessive public spending and borrowing, punishing tax rises and suffocating regulations have all receded because Jeremy Corbyn and Labour have been resoundingly beaten….

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Many of our working days are spent in meeting rooms. From first interview to farewell party, office lives are punctuated by meetings, and the appearance of the spaces we use sums up the character of an organisation: flashy or sombre, cutting edge or traditional, minimalist or chaotic. The ergonomics…

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Occasionally one comes across an important book that is not as well known as it should be. Red Tape by Robin Ellison is one such book. I have known the author for many years — he is an excellent lawyer, an academic and an expert in pension matters. This…

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This general election is the most important in my lifetime. The choice is stark: vote Conservative, or get a hard-left government and a bleak future. The brain drain following a Labour victory would be devastating. I have talked to many highly successful entrepreneurs in recent weeks and all say…

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In wealthy countries such as Britain, the elite spend an extraordinary amount of time and money trying to get their children into the best universities. There is a generally accepted belief that a degree from one of the world’s finest higher education institutions represents a passport to a successful…

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One of the great rituals of modern corporate life is the annual “offsite”. It can also be termed a strategy day, a brainstorming session or a team away-day. Sometimes it is known as a retreat, although this has unfortunate connotations in a military context. I have attended more of…

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Leaders can be divided into custodians or creators. Custodians are stewards of established organisations; creators build new ones. Each can be a noble pursuit. Society needs both types of leader. Institutions such as hospital foundations, universities, large companies, housing associations, big charities, academy trusts, local authorities, government ministries —…

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