Business features

Shai Weiss

By Candice Krieger, April 29, 2009

When billionaire Sir Richard Branson needed someone to head up a multi-million-pound fund to invest in renewable energy, he turned to Israeli businessman Shai Weiss.

The duo had previously worked together when Mr Weiss, now 41, was managing director at cable company NTL:Telewest. He was instrumental in NTL’s purchase of Virgin Mobile, part of Sir Richard’s Virgin Group. The merger was rebranded Virgin Media. “After that was all said and done, Richard approached me to come and do something in the renewable sector, and I agreed,” says Mr Weiss.

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'This budget is old Labour'

By Candice Krieger, April 23, 2009

Nick Leslau, chairman and chief executive of property company Prestbury Investment Holdings:

“It all feels terribly lame to me. Taxing high earners is so wonderfully old Labour.

“Who, driving a ten-year-old car, can afford a new one to claim their scrap reward? If they can then they probably could have bought a new one without any help. It is all so marginal. I am relieved that huge cuts in public spending are planned, but highly cynical as to whether they will be achieved.

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Trevor Abrahmsohn

By Candice Krieger, April 14, 2009

Reports of increased activity in London’s residential property market by foreign investors are good news for Trevor Abrahmsohn.

Mr Abrahmsohn, 54, the founder and managing director of Glentree Estates in north London, is known for selling expensive — or “trophy”, as he puts it — homes to overseas investors.

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Trevor Asserson

By Candice Krieger, April 2, 2009

When top litigator Trevor Asserson left London and his partnership at one of the world’s largest law firms to start again in Israel, he admits it was a total risk. But, three years on, he has established a lucrative foothold in the global legal market and is “absolutely flooded” with work.

Mr Asserson, 52, founded his eponymous law practice in 2005. His aim was to take advantage of cheaper operating costs while still providing the same standard of service.

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Jonathan Kestenbaum

By Candice Krieger, March 26, 2009

Technology and the creative industries will be key to pulling the UK out of recession, says Jonathan Kestenbaum, the chief executive of the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (Nesta).

He believes sectors such as healthcare, clean-tech, bio-tech and IT will drive the economy over the next few years, doing what the financial sector has over the past decade.

“They will have to,” says Mr Kestenbaum, 47. “There will be no choice because that’s where the demand is going.

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Neville Kahn

By Candice Krieger, March 19, 2009

By his own admission, Neville Kahn has probably made more people redundant in the past few months than anyone else. It’s his job. As global head of reorganisation services at accountancy firm Deloitte, Mr Kahn has led the administration of some of the recession’s most high-profile casualties, including Woolworths, Waterford Wedgwood and Barratts Shoes — the trading subsidiary of Michael Ziff’s Stylo plc.

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Tal Chalozin

By Candice Krieger, March 12, 2009

When you next watch a YouTube clip on the web, you may well be witnessing Israeli Tal Chalozin’s technology business expanding its reach — and revolutionising the online advertising market.

His company, Innovid, which he co-founded almost two years ago, enables advertisers to move away from the standard pre-roll and post-roll advertising — short ads that appear before or after the clip being viewed — and instead insert three-dimensional interactive adverts into videos, turning entire surfaces into clickable canvases.

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Where the slump has a silver lining

By Candice Krieger, March 5, 2009

Business has never been so good for Andrew Lazarus. Co-director of TGS Pawnbrokers, his company is boasting a record-breaking start to the year as cash-strapped people trade in their goods in search of a quick buck.

“We really are benefiting from the recession,” says Mr Lazarus, 41. “As much as it can be an embarrassment to say so sometimes, we are busier than we ever have been.

“Recently, it’s gone absolutely crazy. We smashed all records for January and were 75 per cent busier than the same period the previous year.

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My survival guide for your firm

February 26, 2009

Businesses are poised to endure a tough 2009, with corporate results worsening by the day. How can they cope? Dan Schwarzmann, who leads PricewaterhouseCoopers’ (PwC) Business Recovery Services team, offers his top ten tips.

Mr Schwarzmann, 45, deals with the world’s biggest insolvencies and was last year appointed an administrator for top US investment bank Lehman Brothers, which filed for bankruptcy in September.

His job is to provide recovery advice and insolvency services to companies and individuals in financial difficulty.

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Business blues? So go green

By Candice Krieger, February 18, 2009

Recession-speak aside, it’s going green that businesses across the globe are all talking about.

A new crop of eco-entrepreneurs appears to be emerging from the wreckage of the financial crisis, and even large companies such as Wal-Mart/Asda, Tesco, Intercontinental Hotels, Goldman Sachs and Marks & Spencer are pushing towards more carbon-neutral, sustainable practices.

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