Business features

Please knock: £25 million hotel seeks A-list attention

By Candice Krieger, March 18, 2010

Alon Bejerano has opted for a more creative role. The 31-year-old former investment fund manager is now busying himself with colour charts, wallpaper patterns, lampshades and the like. That's because Mr Bejerano is now the co-director of AB Hotels.


We're taking Giraffe to new heights

By Candice Krieger, March 11, 2010

Juliette and Russel Joffe, the founders of restaurant chain Giraffe, might be sticking their neck out when they say business is doing well. But then they have every reason to be bullish, even in the current climate.

At a time when many restaurants struggle to cope with the impact of the economic crisis, the Joffe's family-friendly business reported positive like-for-like sales for 2009 - up five per cent on the previous year. In fact, the recession, says Mr Joffe, has "been positive for us".


Israeli cash still fancies Europe

By Candice Krieger, March 4, 2010

Europe has fallen out of favour with financiers as they fret over the possibility of a European debt crisis emerging from the continuing turmoil in Greece. But according to Edouard Cukierman and Haggai Ravid, experts on investing in the region, it is still a fruitful place to raise money.


Israel's high-tech 'addiction'

By Candice Krieger, February 25, 2010

Israel is becoming addicted to start-ups, says Dr Ed Mlavsky, the founder of venture capital fund Gemini and credited as one of the five most influential people in the Israeli high-tech industry. He argues that Israel is home to an increasing number of "repeat entrepreneurs" - those who sell their original business but go on to inherit, establish and/or buy other ones.


Abrahams: my £1bn gift to the north east

By Candice Krieger, February 18, 2010

David Abrahams is known to many as the businessman at the centre of a Labour Party donations scandal in 2007. But if the property entrepreneur - who reportedly gave £650,000 to Labour in other people's names so as to remain anonymous - pulls off his current property scheme, he will be remembered in far a more positive light: for having transformed the economy of the north east.

Mr Abrahams, 65, is developing his Durham Green Business Park, a


Reaching for the sky with Ronson

By Candice Krieger, February 11, 2010

When Gerald Ronson, one of the world’s most respected property developers, sought a new right-hand man, he had the pick of the property playing field. Yet, Mr Ronson, head of Heron International, turned to the legal trade for his candidate. Jonathan Goldstein was the chief executive of Olswang law firm when he was poached by Mr Ronson, a previous client. The duo have been working together since May 2007.


The Brit set to get Israelis shopping

By Simon Griver, February 4, 2010

Richard Hunter is one to watch. The former north Londoner has been appointed CEO of Shufersal (formerly Supersol), Israel’s largest retail chain with 230 supermarkets. He joined from sister company NetVision, a communications provider where Mr Hunter, 40, had been CEO since 2007.

Both NetVision, with an annual revenue of £220 million, and Shufersal, with a yearly turnover nearly £2 billion, are controlled by Nochi Dankner’s IDB Group, a diversified business conglomerate with total assets worth over US$ 30 billion. Mr Dankner is one of the most influential businessmen in Israel.


How I tapped into the Chinese miracle

By Candice Krieger, January 28, 2010

China is ushering in a new wave of foreign investment and experts say the country will overtake Japan as the world’s second largest economy, behind the US, within five years.

Leonard Shopper, a leading authority on facilitating business in China, believes it could become the world’s number one economy. Mr Shopper, 75, is the director of China Projects Development Inc (CPD), which helps foreign companies develop successful businesses in the Chinese market. It has been active there for almost four decades.


Being a PA? It's the best job in London

By Candice Krieger, January 21, 2010

Nikki Burg does not usually talk to journalists. In fact, she makes it her business not to. As personal assistant to one of the world’s most accomplished businessman, Russian-born oligarch Len Blavatnik, discretion, says Miss Burg, is everything.

But the 40-year-old has something she wants to share. Adamant she has the best job in London, she is keen to dispel the myths associated with being a PA and has launched a training course to help others.


LSE chief pledges to boost Israel ties

By Candice Krieger, January 14, 2010

Xavier Rolet, head of the London Stock Exchange, has pledged the organisation’s commitment to strengthening its ties with Israel.

The Frenchman, who took over last year from Dame Clara Furse as chief executive, says the LSE will continue to push for a mutual recognition agreement — a bilateral deal to promote trade between the European Union and non-EU countries by facilitating market access and encouraging firms from each country to list on the stock exchange of the other.