Business features

Property-slump tips from the leisure king

By Candice Krieger, May 23, 2008

Confidence in the property market is at its lowest in more than 30 years, and experts warn that the situation will get worse. But David Coffer, a veteran player in leisure property, is up for the challenge.

With a career spanning more than four decades, Mr Coffer — known in the industry as “Mr Leisure” — is the chairman of Coffer Corporate Leisure, where he has handled over £1bn worth of transactions. He is the former chairman of Earls Court and Olympia, in which he still owns a 10 per cent stake.


Why I went to Mumbai to make my fortune

By Candice Krieger, May 16, 2008

Nervous about the state of British business? Head to India, advises retail boss Oliver Kaye. Having completed stints at Marks & Spencer, Tesco and Arcadia, Mr Kaye, 32, recently moved from North London to India to head up Calvin Klein because — as far as he is concerned — the British retail market is at a standstill.

“Retail in the UK is boring and bland. It’s at complete saturation,” says Mr Kaye. “If you look at what’s going on in the high street, it looks like it’s going to hit a recession.”


The grill they all want a stake in

By Candice Krieger, May 9, 2008

Restaurant owner Jon Yantin is not alone in seeing the potential of his newly reopened Chicago Rib Shack.

It has received £3 million in backing from some of the world’s most accomplished entrepreneurs.

John Yantin, owner of Chicago Rib Shack

Investment banker Michael Sherwood, the co-chief executive of Goldman Sachs International, and Anthony Lyons, head of Earls Court & Olympia, now hold a stake in the London restaurant, which is offering kosher meat.


Let’s do the business

By Candice Krieger, May 2, 2008

Britain’s most famous businessman tells it straight: he doesn’t like shmoozers, or frummers, or Israel much for that matter. And as for critics of The Apprentice...

Sir Alan Sugar: "Forcing people into shul is not really the way. Although, if they get
comfort in it, good luck to them"


Israel’s biggest challenge? Poverty, says Olmert’s economics guru

By Candice Krieger, May 2, 2008

As Israel gets ready to celebrate its 60th anniversary, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s chief economic adviser says the country’s much-vaunted “economic miracle” places it in a good position to weather the current global financial storm. But he warns that greater domestic challenges lie ahead.

Getting a free meal at the Meir Panim soup kitchen in Jerusalem


Tim Angel has a four-million-item wardrobe after buying the BBC’s costumes

By Candice Krieger, April 25, 2008

Businessman Tim Angel will never be short of something to wear. The chairman of Angels costumiers, he recently bought the BBC costume collection — comprising more than one million costumes — to add to his company’s existing three million outfits. Among them are pieces from Life on Mars, ’Allo ’Allo, Doctor Who and Extras.


My talk plan, by BT's new chief

By Candice Krieger, April 18, 2008

Ian Livingston, the new chief executive of British Telecom, explains how he has achieved so much at just 43, and reveals his plans for the company

Ian Livingston is taking nothing for granted. It is through making the most of his chances that he has become the new chief executive of BT at the comparatively young age of 43.

Ian Livingstone (centre) wants BT to be among the best service companies in the world


The budget hotels chief who plans to spend £100m on rooms

By Candice Krieger, April 11, 2008

Paul Flaum, the chief executive of Whitbread’s Premier Inn hotel and restaurant business, has good reason to smile.

The company has dismissed fears of a downturn in consumer spending — like-for-like sales in the 50 weeks to February 14 were up 10.5 per cent. And Premier Inn, already credited as the most dominant force in the British budget hotel market, could become a whole lot bigger if recent reports are anything to go by.


Why the £1bn salesman is getting political

By Candice Krieger, April 4, 2008

It is all change for capital-gains tax this weekend. From Sunday — under the Chancellor’s CGT reforms — businesses will be charged a flat rate of 18 per cent on any business gains, meaning that for many people, the rate on business assets will increase by up to 80 per cent. Bad news, you would think, for clients of Howard Leigh, the managing director of Cavendish Corporate Finance, whose job is to help people sell their businesses.


The banana-picker who collects hotels

By 2008-03-06, April 3, 2008

Fifteen years ago, Ilik Rozanski’s main business was selling bananas on a kibbutz in Israel. Today, he runs a major property company with a net asset value of £700m and is thought to be Israel’s highest-paid businessman. But, as Mr Rozanski puts it, business is business, whatever the scale.

The 48-year-old Israeli is the president and chief executive of AIM-listed Delek Group Real Estate (DGRE), a subsidiary of the Delek Group, an Israeli investment company with a market capital of $3bn. It owns some of the most sought-after properties in the UK.