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2018 Signature Annual Holiday Luncheon – PHL International: Regional Economic Engine Connecting Philadelphia to the World

On Thursday, December 6, 2018, the BABCPHL hosted our Signature Annual Holiday Luncheon in the Grand Ballroom at the Ritz-Carlton. Throughout the year we are proud to offer the international business community opportunities to gather with likeminded individuals to create valuable relationships, and to learn more about links with the UK.  Nearly 200 global executives and leading UK and regional government officials participated in this event. The room was buzzing with networking and merriment.  This year’s program featured Harold Epps, Director of Commerce for the City of Philadelphia, and Chellie Cameron, Chief Executive Officer of Philadelphia International Airport.

Michael Pedrick, BABCPHL President, opened the meeting and welcomed special guests and speakers. He introduced Harold who graciously stood-in for Mayor Kenney who had cancelled all previously scheduled public appearances due to the death of his father earlier in the week.  Harold oversees and implements policies to help both small businesses and major corporations in Philadelphia thrive.  Commerce coordinates activities along neighborhood commercial corridors with small businesses and entrepreneurs, major real estate development projects, large-scale business attraction and retention efforts, as well as efforts to increase minority-owned business contracting opportunities.  Harold and his team create a favorable environment for foreign direct investment, and for regional companies to successfully grow and expand in other areas.  This October, the Mayor’s Office and Commerce led a successful business development and retention mission to the UK.  Michael thanked Harold for his focus on the UK, and welcomed him to the podium to speak about our region’s strong relationship with Great Britain.  Harold talked about UK investment in Philadelphia; the City’s commitment to UK business ties; and the recent trip.  Harold also lauded the BABCPHL for growing UK business in the area, and he introduced Chellie.

Rochelle (“Chellie”) L. Cameron is the Chief Executive Officer of the Philadelphia International Airport and the Northeast Philadelphia Airport, a large hub airport system serving over 30 million passengers annually. Chellie oversees the planning, development and administration of all activities for the City’s Division of Aviation – which through a $484 million operating budget and a $665 million capital budget, respectively, generates more than $15.4 billion in annual spending to the regional economy and accounts for more than 96,300 jobs within the region. She has made enhancing the customer experience, improving current airport facilities and expanding the airport for the future her top priorities.  Chellie spoke about the Airport as an economic engine driving development for our region with a focus on UK connections.  She provided valuable statistics about the Airport’s growth and strength not only here in the Greater Philadelphia area, but all of the connections to cities throughout the US and the world.  Chellie’s presentation included a very special pre-recorded video of immediate prior BABCPHL President, Rhett Workman in London, England.  At the beginning of 2018, Rhett left his post at American Airlines in Philadelphia, and was named Managing Director at London Heathrow for the Airline.  The room clapped and cheered as Rhett took us on a tour of London hot spots where we met people who spoke about their interests in Philadelphia.

Following a delicious lunch, our sponsors from American Airlines and HSBC Bank each spoke for a few minutes about their companies and their commitment to the BABCPHL. Jim Moses, Vice President, PHL Hub Operations, American Airlines talked about the Airline’s presence at the Airport and the strong and growing connections to the UK and beyond.  Kristin Malo, Senior Vice President, North East Team Leader, International Subsidiary Banking, HSBC USA focused on the Bank’s long history collaborating with the BABCPHL.  Headquartered in London, HSBC Bank USA, N.A. is one of the largest banking and financial services organizations in the world.  Our last speaker was Ben Brierley, Vice Consul and Head of Advanced Manufacturing for the British Embassy Network and the Department for International Trade (DIT).  He leads a geographically dispersed virtual team across the US, supporting UK exporters and engaging with US inward investors to the UK.  Ben is responsible for planning and delivering sales and marketing campaigns, resource planning, and strategic leadership.  As a Vice Consul with the British Consulate, he is also involved with supporting broader activity for the British Government in the US.  Sectors within Ben’s domain include Aerospace, Space, Chemicals, Food & Drink, AgriTech and Manufacturing.  He talked about DIT and the relationship with the BABCPHL.  Ben also congratulated Howard Silverstone, BABCPHL Membership Chairman, prior two-time President, and Board Member on his recent appointment by Her Majesty The Queen as a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE).

MBEs are given to individuals who have made great efforts to contribute to their respective communities. Howard’s tireless volunteer work for the British American Business Council of Greater Philadelphia for more than a quarter century is an example of this.  While Howard is occupied day in and day out with his privately owned and managed forensic accounting firm – Forensic Resolutions – he always finds time to dedicate several hours per week to the BABCPHL.  His commitment has had immeasurable impact on the region’s relationship with the UK both financially and culturally.  Howard is an outstanding ambassador for the UK in the US.

It would not be a BABCPHL holiday event without some fun and good cheer. Christmas crackers were popped, paper crowns were donned, and Howard, BABCPHL’s very own stand-up comedian, was the Master of Ceremonies for our coveted gift giving tradition.  Our program concluded with more than 20 raffle prizes given to lucky business card draw winners from local retailers, restaurants, hotels and sports teams, including American Airlines AAdvantage miles for a pair of round trip, Business Class tickets on American Airlines’ award winning, non-stop service from Philadelphia International Airport to London, England.

Special thanks to BABCPHL 2018 Holiday Lunch headline sponsors, without whom this program would not have been possible: HSBC Bank USA, N.A.; American Airlines; Almac Group; Deloitte LLP; and The Welsh Government.

Best wishes for a happy, healthy and prosperous holiday season. We are thankful for your support and look forward to seeing you in the New Year.

Click here to view photos.

 


How to Survive & Thrive in the Changing Times – Leap Hurdles & Grow Your Business

On Tuesday, October 23, 2018 the British American Business Council hosted an educational seminar about US and European current policy issues affecting transatlantic business. The French, Irish, German and Swedish American Chambers of Commerce partnered with us for this topical program.  Michael Pedrick, BABCPHL President and Partner at Morgan Lewis & Bockius introduced panel moderator, Duncan Edwards, Chief Executive Officer, BritishAmerican Business (BAB).  The Organization’s mission is to support policies to protect and enhance the bilateral trade and investment environment.  Duncan is also the chief executive of the British American Business Council, the umbrella organization of more than 20 chapters worldwide, of which the BABCPHL is one.  BAB regularly publishes valuable thought leadership policy documents, and Duncan is often called upon by business and media outlets to discuss the current transatlantic business climate.  He was the perfect person to lead speakers through the meeting.  Presenters included: Leon Dutkiewicz, Managing Partner, UK US Tax Services; Jonathan Grode, US Practice Director, Green and Spiegel; Stefan Reisinger, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius; and Chris Shull, Founder & President, Engaged Impact.

Duncan kicked-off the symposium by briefly discussing the current state of transatlantic economic relations. Having just returned from London, where he met with Liam Fox and several c-suite executives from global multinational companies, the topics presented were top of mind.  Before each speaker dove into greater detail about the topic they were each presenting, Duncan provided a high level overview of what is happening in the tax, data security, tariffs and sanctions, and global mobility arenas.  An efficient and stable tax environment can stimulate innovation and facilitate growth.  The US, UK and the rest of Europe need to maintain and modernize tax systems to trigger positive change; FDI is a priority, as are tax incentives, and clear tax rules.  There has been increased activity and a nearly constant stream of news about trade sanctions and tariffs.  Different drivers for sanctions and tariffs include security sanctions; discontent with the WTO; and the perception that the current system is stacked against the US.  Talent is closely tied to economic success.  The ability to draw in a pool of talented workers regardless of nationality or origin is essential for economic growth and competitive advantage within a globalized economy.  Governments have to balance public concern over immigration with the economic reality of the value immigrants provide.  Lastly, data is the essential currency of the modern economy, and digital trade is a priority across all industry sectors.  Data mobility creates new business opportunities, lowers costs and makes employee mobility easier.  The EU and the US have the highest cross border data flows in the world.  Challenges and next steps include developing supportive legal frameworks and privacy shields.  Cybersecurity is a fundamental part of business daily operations and strategies.  Federal agencies must harmonize existing regulation, and education is key.

Chris Shull, Founder & President, Engaged Impact provides information security, privacy leadership and transformation consulting to small and mid-sized businesses. His experience includes delivering, implementing and managing private, public and hybrid cloud-based information technologies.  Chris spoke about GDPR, and briefly mentioned some of the legal and technical requirements.  His discussion focused on compliance, and what companies should to do to survive and thrive in the current business environment.  He mentioned there are great opportunities to do things at a new level, but the main things to watch out for are cyberattacks and threats.  Companies and executives need to know how to approach dangers, and qualified professionals and systems must be put into place.  There are fairly straightforward frameworks available for understanding the requirements.  Even if a particular company does not require due diligence and GDPR, their clients/customers may.  There are real legal and existential risks/cyber issues.

Jonathan Grode, US Practice Director, Green and Spiegel, is an immigration attorney focused on obtaining nonimmigrant and immigrant visas for new company start-ups, professional workers, artists and entertainers, athletes, physicians, and scientific researchers. He has significant experience dealing with Department of Labor and Department of Homeland Security enforcement actions as well as with EB-5 investor filings.  Jonathan explained how politics drive global mobility.  He talked about the Trump Administration, and how other countries such as Canada and France are managing their policies in light of recent US and UK patterns and changes.  Jonathan focused his discussion on what drives government policies, and he provided practical comments about what companies should be thinking about in the current political climate.

Stefan Reisinger from Morgan, Lewis & Bockius advises clients on US and multilateral export, economic sanctions, anticorruption, and customs matters. He has led comprehensive, worldwide, investigations and audits and responded to enforcement actions involving multiple jurisdictions and government agencies.  He also has experience with customs regulatory issues such as classification, valuation, origin determination, marking, preference programs, import restrictions, quotas, drawback, and trade agreements.  Stefan discussed the underlying policy driving sanctions and tariffs – trade policy and tariff actions.  He talked about recent sanctions with cross border implications, and how companies should navigate the changing landscape.  Specific topics Stefan addressed included the: US secondary sanction with Iran; EU blocking statute; implications of Brexit; and Russian sanctions. Stefan also covered recent tariffs – 201, 232, steel and aluminum – 301 actions – and what the tariffs are doing and the requirements such as exclusion request, and customs mechanisms.

Leon Dutkiewicz, Managing Partner of UK US Tax Services, specializes in international tax, representing clients who have business operations in multiple jurisdictions or who are globally mobile individuals. Leon deals with many complex tax laws such as structuring global acquisitions/divestitures, analyzing income tax treaty benefits, assisting with transfer pricing implementation and managing multi-state tax issues, and compliance services.  He began his presentation by speaking about the recent tax changes implemented in Europe and the US, where we just came from, and where we are going.  Leon reported on inbound companies (coming into the US) – corporate tax rate, and outbound companies (looking to operate outside of the US).  He discussed creative planning opportunities; code section 199a Cafe- 20% income exclusion; foreign tax credit planning; closely held companies – pass through concepts; owning foreign companies; the GILTI tax; Beat Provision in the tax reform bill; and trade and tariffs – boycott reporting.

A dynamic question and answer session followed speaker presentations. Questions included the jurisdiction of which cybersecurity rules apply to employees who work in multiple countries; tariff reclassification; and immigration adjudication trends.  BABCPHL President Michael Pedrick closed the meeting by thanking panelists, sponsors – Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP; UK US Tax Group LLC; and The Welsh Government – and reminding attendees to join the BABCPHL for upcoming programs on November 8 for networking at the Pyramid Club and on December 6 for our signature annual holiday program featuring Chellie Cameron, CEO, PHL International Airport.

 

Click here to view photos.

 

 


Great British-American Pub Night: QUIZZO! – Test Your Knowledge of UK & US Trivia

On Thursday, September 20, 2018, the British American Business Council of Greater Philadelphia hosted a truly GREAT British-American Pub Night Quizzo contest. Nearly 60 BABCPHL members and friends gathered for this entertaining and competitive trivia game at the Victoria Freehouse located on Front Street in Old City, Philadelphia.  The establishment was filled to capacity with 14 teams representing law, accounting and insurance firms, banks, sports teams, manufacturing companies, theater and government groups.  It was a diverse and enthusiastic crowd including people from the French American Chamber of Commerce who partnered with us on this program.  Michael Pedrick, BABCPHL President, opened the evening with welcome remarks, introductions, and thank you to sponsors, Forensic Resolutions and The Welsh Government.

Efe Sokol, BABCPHL Board Member and Senior Representative from the Welsh Government, co-sponsored the evening. Efe has been an active member of our Board of Directors for the past two years and the Welsh Government has been a longtime supporter of BABCPHL activities.  Efe was joined by Kelly Taylor, Business Development Executive.  The Welsh Government is the devolved Government for Wales.  They seek to constantly create the right environment for business – to equip the private sector in Wales with the tools to compete as the high-value player in the global economy.  Wales has a thriving knowledge economy, industry-focused R&D and a loyal workforce.  Wales is linked to key UK business hubs with a first class transport infrastructure, and some of the least costly and best property around.

Howard Silverstone, Director of Forensic Resolutions, was the Master of Ceremonies for Quizzo Night. He has served as BABCPHL President on two occasions and is currently the Programs & Events Chairman.  Howard has been actively involved in the BABCPHL for more than 25 years, and was recently appointed by Her Majesty The Queen as a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for his service promoting British business in the United States.  When Howard is not supporting BABCPHL activities he is managing Forensic Resolutions, a forensic and investigative accounting firm, providing solutions to complex business problems and insurance claims.  Howard is the quintessential BABCPHL Board Member and supporter – we could not ask for a more involved or dedicated individual!  Howard was the master of ceremonies for our dynamic and highly competitive game of QUIZZO.

Howard masterfully led Quizzo Night participants through three rounds of ten questions each focused on the following categories: UK/US history, geography, pop-culture, sports and music. Howard’s humor and wit infused the entire evening with good fun and loads of cheer.  The night included delicious British pub style food, drinks and coveted prizes including: four club box tickets to one of Philadelphia Union’s remaining games of the season; two tickets to Philadelphia Orchestra orchestra level seats at an upcoming concert; a BABCPHL branded umbrella, baseball cap and calendar; and a bottle of French wine and two tickets to an upcoming French Chamber event.

The BABCPHL extends special thanks to sponsors, Forensic Resolutions and The Welsh Government; event partners, the French American Chamber of Commerce and the Philadelphia Orchestra; and Quizzo Night prize winner donors the Philadelphia Union and the Philadelphia Orchestra.

Congratulations to winning team, Duane Morris, BABCPHL Club Level Member! The team was led by Hope Krebs, past BABCPHL President and current board member.

Click here to view photos.

 

 

 


HM Queen Elizabeth II Announces 2018 Birthday Honours List

The BABCPHL is pleased to congratulate Howard M. Silverstone on his appointment by Her Majesty The Queen as a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE).  This honor is in recognition of Howard’s services to British business in the United States.

Howard has been a member of the BABCPHL since its inception more than 25 years ago. He has served two terms as President and is currently Programs & Events Chairman.  For more than a quarter century Howard has dedicated his time and resources to strengthening the relationship between the UK and the Greater Philadelphia region.

Howard actively promotes the relationship between the UK and the Greater Philadelphia region through his voluntary efforts with the BABCPHL. Howard is a highly committed BABCPHL Board Member.  He served as President on two separate occasions, and in various Vice President roles, such as Marketing & Communications Chairman.  He is the current Programs & Events Chairman.

As a BABCPHL board member and two-term President, Howard has helped the BABCPHL overcome the biggest challenge it faces as an international organization: that of the transient nature of its members. BABCPHL has to continually service its existing members, as well as seek out new ones.  Howard’s work on the board and as President has continually addressed that challenge, through successful meetings, presentations, and speeches that have directly benefited BABCPHL’s constituents with business interests in the UK.

Throughout his tenure with the BABCPHL, Howard has helped the organization expand. Approximately once a month, Howard presides over or participates in a BABCPHL program about a current issue or event affecting the trade and commercial relationship between the Greater Philadelphia region and the UK.  Program topics may include but are not limited to: transatlantic business, cybersecurity, sustainability, global mobility, and healthcare to name several.  BABCPHL events involve the following industry sectors: financial services, life sciences, travel & leisure, banking, insurance, media & technology, sport, etc.

Howard has also consistently supported BABCPHL efforts to raise funds and awareness for underserved or disadvantaged groups through annual community service programing and other-related projects. While Howard is occupied day in and day out with his privately owned and managed forensic accounting firm – Forensic Resolutions, Inc. – he always finds time to dedicate many hours per week to the BABCPHL. His commitment has had immeasurable impact on the region’s relationship with the UK both financially and culturally. Howard’s support has enabled the BABCPHL to continue to facilitate the social and commercial interaction of individuals and corporations on both sides of the Atlantic.

Howard is an outstanding ambassador for the UK in the US. During his early years in America, upon learning about the BABCPHL, he immediately sought out and became affiliated with the Organization. The BABCPHL is the premier international business association and the only UK dedicated group of its kind in the area.  This affiliation afforded Howard the opportunity to network with professionals who shared his interests and connections to the UK.  Originally only planning to stay one year, Howard made the most of his experience and decided to remain in America.  Then, today, and into the future, Howard is passionate about connecting with others.  He is always eager to build bridges to enhance the strong economic and cultural ties between the Greater Philadelphia region and the UK.

The BABCPHL wishes Howard heartfelt congratulations on receipt of this very well deserved recognition, and sincere thanks for the many years and hours of service he has dedicated to promoting our Organization’s mission.

Click here for a complete listing of the Diplomatic and Overseas Birthday Honours List.

 


Press Release: Almac Group’s VP of Global Business Development Appointed to BABCPHL Board of Directors

Souderton, US, May 23, 2018Almac Group, the global contract pharmaceutical development and manufacturing organization, is proud to recognize the appointment of George Tiger, Vice President of Global Business Development, Almac Clinical Technologies, to the BABCPHL’s Board of Directors.

Leading global commercial activities for Almac Clinical Technologies, Tiger is responsible for the company’s commercial strategy and execution, working to build and strengthen client relationships, advance the industry-leading Almac ONE solution and expand strategic partnerships. He has over twenty-five years of success in sales, marketing and general management. Prior to joining Almac in 2015, Tiger served as Sr. Vice President for Health Market Science, and served in a number of global leadership positions with ERT and Abbott Laboratories. He is a graduate of Lafayette College with a BA in Economics and Business.

Michael Pedrick, BABCPHL President, commented: “The BABCPHL is pleased to welcome Almac as a Club Level Member. As a global pharmaceutical and biotech company, Almac represents a highly significant and growing business sector for the Greater Philadelphia region, and one that is a key component of US/UK trade in our area. We are delighted George is joining our Board of Directors. He will offer depth and insight about this critical sector, and will help our organization advance our mission and that of Almac through affiliation with the BABCPHL.”

Last year, the Almac Group hosted Ross Allen, Deputy Consul General and US Director of the Department for International Trade, and John Hoggard, Vice Consul and US Healthcare Sector Lead, to present a comprehensive overview of Almac’s history, global presence, and local operations.

Valarie Higgins, President & Managing Director of Almac Clinical Technologies, was also a recent finalist for the BABC’s global Transatlantic Growth (TAG) Women in Business Silver Award, which celebrates successful companies growing their transatlantic business, for her work to implement a successful growth strategy between Europe, the US, and internationally.

To learn more about Almac Group’s work in the US and globally, please visit: https://www.almacgroup.com or e-mail media@almacgroup.com.

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About the British American Business Council
The British American Business Council (BABC) of Greater Philadelphia promotes the trade and investment relationship between the United Kingdom and Southeastern Pennsylvania, Southern New Jersey, and Delaware. The United States of America and the United Kingdom are each other’s largest investors; together we have approximately $1 trillion invested in each other’s economies.

The BABC is part of the largest transatlantic business network with 22 chapters, and more than 2,000 member companies based in major business centers throughout North American and the United Kingdom. Members include many of the world’s largest multinationals as well as thousands of middle market and privately held entities across industry sectors.

About Almac Group
‘Partnering to Advance Human Health’

The Almac Group is an established contract development and manufacturing organisation that provides an extensive range of integrated services to the pharmaceutical and biotech sectors globally. The services range from R&D, biomarker discovery development and commercialisation, API manufacture, formulation development, clinical trial supply, IXRS® technology (IVRS/IWRS) through to commercial-scale manufacture.

The international company is a privately owned organisation that has organically grown over almost 50 years and now employs close to 5,000 highly skilled personnel. Almac is headquartered in Craigavon, Northern Ireland with operations in the UK, Ireland, across the US (Pennsylvania, North Carolina and California) and in Asia (Singapore and Tokyo).


Britain Unites – Bridging Connections Across the LGBTQ Community

Britain Unites – Bridging Connections Across the LGBT Community
Thursday, May 17, 2018
The Pyramid Club

On the third Thursday of every month, the LGBTQ Committee of the Pyramid Club partners with LGBTQ friendly groups to provide an evening of food, drinks, and networking. These evenings offer participating groups the opportunity to connect and network. On Thursday on May 17, 2018, the LGBTQ Committee of the Pyramid Club collaborated with the BABCPHL, Barclays, Pennsylvania Ballet, PHYLA, and Resource Solutions for a British-themed happy hour.

Guests took the elevator up to the 52nd floor where they were greeted with spectacular views and delicious food.  Appetizers included a wonderful spread of meats, cheeses, olives, and stuffed peppers surrounded by a self-serve beer station.  Beer, wine, and cocktail lovers enjoyed discounted drinks at the bar.  Delicious British-themed entrees were replenished throughout the evening, and included bangers and mash with scallops and bacon, fish and chips, cottage pie, and many other dishes. The room, surrounded by large glass windows, allowed unobstructed views of the Philadelphia skyline.

The diverse crowd included executives from regional and global companies, students, and artists. Networking and conversation abounded, and kept going until late in the evening.

BABCPHL member Philadelphia Union donated tickets and other items. Around 7:00 pm, Maureen Coyle, Managing Director of The Pyramid Club, chose a winner. Guests continued eating, drinking and networking until 8:00 pm. The evening was a success and left everyone with a smile.  The BABCPHL would like to thank all partnering organizations and The Pyramid Club for hosting the event.


The Royals

People throughout the world are looking forward to watching the Royal Wedding which will air live from London on Saturday, May 19. The BABCPHL is pleased to recognize the growing Royal Family.

Within the short time span of just a few weeks, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge welcomed their third child, Prince Louis, on April 23, and Prince Harry will wed Ms. Meghan Markle this coming Saturday.

BABCPHL prior two-time President, and current Programs & Events Chairman, Howard Silverstone, was interviewed by the press about this exciting event.  Click through the below links for press coverage.

Radio interview

Online article

 


Summer 2018 International Business Networking Reception

On Wednesday, July 25, 2018 the British American Business Council of Greater Philadelphia (BABCPHL) partnered with the Chilean, French, German, Irish, Israeli, Japanese, Norwegian and Eurasian Chambers of Commerce for the Eighth Annual Summer International Business Networking Reception. More than 250 global business executives and regional and foreign government officials gathered at the National Museum of American Jewish History for this annual meeting of the who’s who of international relations in the Greater Philadelphia region.

Participants braved a heavy rain for a great chance to network and make valuable connections.  A raffle draw included a variety of prizes, including bottles of wine, tickets to upcoming events, and a beautiful piece of artwork.

Special thanks to the Chilean Chamber for organizing such an important program for the international business community and to event sponsors: Holt Logistics, Fox CIBER, and The Port of Wilmington, Delaware.

Click here for photos.

 

 

 

 


Young Professionals Group Seventh Annual Panel Discussion & Networking Event: The Future is Now, Where Are You?

On Thursday, April 26, 2018, the BABCPHL Young Professionals Group (YPG) hosted the seventh annual panel discussion and networking event: The Future is Now, Where Are You?  The workplace has changed dramatically during the past two decades.  Speakers talked about why companies – small, medium and large enterprises – are embracing open plan work spaces and collaborative working environments.  Panelists spoke about the current work milieu; the technology businesses are using; and best practices and operations.  Featured speakers included: Josh Dubin, Director of Programs & Strategy at Pipeline Workspaces who presented the evolution of the collaborative work environment; Laurence Hookway, Risk Information Consultant from Chubb Global Services who discussed the current movement toward remote work arrangements; Adam Jones, Vice President from Shout Digital who talked about the various technology and tools companies employ to successfully implement business operations; and Jay Jumper, Partner at Pepper Hamilton LLP who spoke about the legal aspects of conducting business in this manner.

Josh reported on the evolution of the shared workspace, and the dramatic transformation during the past few years. Shared workspaces are currently characterized by a more diverse ecosystem of companies, representing various sized enterprises and industry sectors.  What once began as an area most appealing to young, “hoodied,” tech entrepreneurs, the gig-economy, etc. has changed significantly.  During the past couple of years the profile of shared workspace members started to include lawyers, journalists, real estate entrepreneurs, etc.  Today, veteran entrepreneurs and national businesses are actively seeking and occupying this type of office as it provides financial flexibility and promotes a communal type of interaction, creating inspiration and innovation.  The community component is a big sell.  Shared workspace companies are in the business of building community and curating dialogue.  People can connect and grow relationships organically.  Some examples of big companies that have built campuses around collaboration spaces are: Google, Facebook, GSK, and Urban Outfitters.  Josh stated that during the next five years – middle market companies (such as 20, 50, and 100 person operations) will begin thinking creatively about how to transform their space into this type of cooperative working environment at a low cost.

Laurence spoke about his personal experience working in both modern and traditional office, on both sides of the Atlantic. He explained how work space is industry driven.  When young professionals enter the work force and start out at a big company, they often expect a modern area, a clean, tech driven, digital environment in which to operate.  Influencers include: a company’s corporate culture; economic factors; and social change.  The recent trend toward a mobile – work from home policy – while leading to greater flexibility, dissuades a community building, collaborative and interactive engagement.  Laurence also discussed the disadvantages of blurring the lines between work and home.  Furthermore, US and UK-based businesses utilize differing surveillance techniques to monitor their employees work and online habits.  The issue of data privacy and protection comes into play.  The one benefit of the advanced ability to work remotely is seamless disruption to work flow with globally mobile employees.  Lastly, the ability to work remotely can impede professional development because there is no face-to-face interaction with people at various levels within a company.  All in all, interpersonal interaction among employees of all levels and a collaborative working environment is a win/win.

Adam provided insight about the technological tools companies use to enable their employees to collaborate and successfully meet business goals. Examples he gave include Mixed Reality (MR) and Insight Heart, Microsoft’s blend of augmented and virtual reality.  These tools enable teams to share instantly.  College classrooms also benefit from this technology. Conversational Artificial Intelligence, such as the Chatbot is replacing traditional customer service representatives, call centers, etc. throughout the globe.  Currently and in the future there will be a tremendous impact on overall business operations and the bottom line as a result of rapidly developing technology. MR has the ability to blend both of what makes Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) valuable to businesses.  MR can take a snapshot of the real world environment, and allow the user to place virtual objects within that space.  VR is an entirely virtual world with no connection to the environment of the user, and AR doesn’t allow the same level of interaction.  MR has the potential to genuinely disrupt the workplace in a positive way by allowing for seamless collaboration. It allows for physical items to be shared within seconds with a team in an entirely different location.  Employing this type of technology can potentially save businesses a significant amount of money.

Jay delivered remarks about important strategic business planning and legal issues companies need to be aware of when operating in a shared work environment. For example, properly documenting all aspects of the business including: the physical space arrangement; ensuring the relationship between the building owner and the shared workspace operator is clearly defined; and carefully documenting the roles and responsibilities of all employees, is a must do.  Jay provided examples of why confidentiality and intellectual property – protecting proprietary information – is a big issue when operating in a diverse work space.  Insurance needs are also different than those of a business with a solely managed and operated office.  For example, people in a shared space arrangement still need to insure their property, and equipment.  Budgeting is another aspect that should be carefully evaluated.  Shared work space loans itself to an artificially low overhead cost.  Companies who operate in this type of environment need to balance their desire for a shared working environment that fosters creativity and collegiality with the need to protect proprietary information and carefully document business operations.  In addition, while expenses are reduced in the short term, companies need to think long term about how this can impact them both financially and from a risk profile.

In summary, shared workspace is a positive trend that can positively influence any sized business across industry sectors. However, one thing for sure, proper strategic development and business plans specific to this type of work environment must be implemented to ensure success.  To round out the presentations and close the discussion Jason took questions from the audience.  Attendees networked after the formal part of the program ended.  Everyone enjoyed their signature whiskey sours, while developing new and enhancing old business ties.

We would like to extend special thanks to sponsor company Pepper Hamilton LLP and to event partner, Select Greater Philadelphia.

Click here to view photos from the event.


Britain Unites – Bridging Connections across the LGBT Community

On the third Thursday of every month from 6 – 8:00 pm the LGBT Committee of The Pyramid Club partners with LGBT-friendly groups and organizations to bridge opportunities and connect the community throughout the Philadelphia area. The Pyramid Club, a longtime supporter of the British American Business Council of Greater Philadelphia, is hosting a British themed evening to unite several regional organizations for a networking happy hour. We hope you can join us.

                    
Welcomes Barclays, British American Business Council of Greater Philadelphia, Resource Solutions, Pennsylvania Ballet, and PYHLA Philly. “Britain Unites” as we connect with fellow Brits.

Enjoy complimentary hors d’oeuvres, British fare and discounted drink prices.
Thursday, May 17th, 2018
6 PM to 8 PM

Business casual attire is required.
All are welcome.

                                                           

                                                    

RSVP to https://pyramid-club.ticketleap.com/Britainsunite

 

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The BABCPHL recognizes our Club Level Members:

  • Almac
  • American Airlines
  • Cigna
  • Cigna
  • Deloitte
  • Duane Morris
  • EisnerAmper LLP
  • Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP
  • Fisher Phillips
  • HSBC
  • International Products Corporation
  • Johnson, Kendall & Johnson, Inc.
  • KPMG
  • Morgan Lewis
  • Virgin Atlantic
  • Welsh Government