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A Welsh Feast – An Unforgettable Evening of Whiskey Tasting & Welsh Hospitality

On Wednesday, November 6, 2019 the BABCPHL hosted A Welsh Feast: An Unforgettable Evening of Whisky Tasting & Welsh Hospitality at The Pyramid Club.  The room with magnificent views overlooking the City was crowded with nearly 100 guests who were eager to sample the delicious assortment of Penderyn Whisky as well as the Welsh delicacies thoughtfully prepared by the Club’s talented Chef.  The evening began with the whiskey tasting, generously provided by the Welsh Government.

Michael Pedrick, BABCPHL President welcomed attendees and thanked sponsors: Leon Dutkiewicz, Partner & Practice Leader for International Taxation from Citrin Cooperman and Efe Izilein Sokol, Senior Representative in the US from the Welsh Government.  Citrin Cooperman is a top-25 nationally recognized full-service assurance, tax, and advisory firm, and the Welsh Government is the devolved Government for Wales.  Both Citrin Cooperman and the Welsh Government are active Club Level members of the BABCPHL.

Efe spoke for a few minutes on behalf of the Welsh Government.  She has been in her role for nearly a decade, and is based in NYC with the British Consulate.  Efe raises the business, political, trade, investment, art, sports and culture profile of Wales in the Northeast US, and she is an active BABCPHL Board Member.  The Welsh Government and the BABCPHL work closely throughout the program year.  We are fortunate to collaborate with Efe and her team to welcome Welsh Ministers and Government Officials to the region.  In the spring of 2019, the Minister for International Relations and the Welsh Language came to Philadelphia for an exclusive roundtable meeting with BABCPHL members.  In prior years we liaised with the Welsh Government to host the First Minister of Wales and on another recent occasion, the Secretary of State.  Pennsylvania has a very long history with Wales.  It is an honor to welcome Ministers and Government Officials to Philadelphia to strengthen our relationship with Wales, enhance trade, and promote transatlantic ties.

BABCPHL guests mingled with Pyramid Club members long into the night, creating valuable business to business connections.  We offer special thanks to event sponsors Citrin Cooperman and the Welsh Government, and to the Pyramid Club for their hospitality.  The evening was complete with a business card raffle draw for a bottle of Penderyn Whisky generously donated by the Welsh Government.

Click here for photos.

 


Sky’s the Limit!

On Tuesday, September 24, 2019 the British American Business Council of Greater Philadelphia presented Sky’s the Limit!  Newcomers and veteran residents gathered for a “welcome to Philly” or “welcome back after summer” roof top tour of Philadelphia’s newest and most iconic spaces. Seven bi-national groups: the Chilean, Eurasian, French, German, Irish, Israeli, and Swedish American Chambers of Commerce partnered with us for this special, completely sold-out event.  The evening was absolutely beautiful.  The weather was crisp, clear and sunny, and guests were wowed by the 365 degree sweeping views of the City skyline.  The program took place across three separate spaces, where attendees networked and enjoyed happy hour with the international business community.

Brandywine Realty Trust kicked-off the night with food and drinks on Cira Green, before moving attendees to a discussion in Brandywine Corporate Headquarters.   Steve Rush, Vice President, Leasing, Brandywine Realty Trust led a presentation about the design, development, and master plan expansion of University City.  The quickly changing area, referred to as “Schuylkill Yards,” is slated for extensive redevelopment on the west bank of the Schuylkill River.

After Steve’s presentation, each British Chamber member who sponsored the event was invited to say a few words about their business and their connection to the BACPHL.  Leon Dutkiewicz, Partner and Practice Leader, International Tax, Citrin Cooperman; Bruce White, Vice President Insurance Services, Johnson Kendall Johnson; and Mick Merritt, Chief Operating Officer of Signature Services, Penn Medicine, spoke on behalf of their businesses.

The evening culminated 400 feet above street level at Level 28 – AKA University City’s spectacular lifestyle club. AKA University City graciously invited us to end the evening in their thoughtfully created space.  Eilon Gigi, Director of Level 28 spoke briefly about AKA University City, which specializes in long term stays.  He explained Level 28 was focused on member wellness, relaxation, and enjoyment, providing top notch amenities including a spectacular pool, Technogym Fitness Center, business and meeting space, and outdoor terrace overlooking Philadelphia.  AKA offered event attendees a signature cocktail, beer and wine from their sleek bar overlooking the serene patio roof top seating area and the setting sun over the Philadelphia skyline. Guests were also invited to tour two of AKA’s well-appointed suites.

Attendees thoroughly enjoyed the night, both inside AKA’s comfortable lounge and outside on the terrace garden floating above the City.  International business professionals networked long into the evening in one of Philadelphia’s most burgeoning neighborhoods where executives, students, professors, and residents mix.

Special thanks to sponsors: Citrin Cooperman, Johnson Kendall Johnson, and Penn Medicine, and to AKA University City and Brandywine Realty Trust, for hosting our program.

 

Click here to view photos from the event.


Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!  Our fiscal year ends on June 30, and we had a remarkable 12 months with record breaking activity.  The BABCPHL provided a wide variety of programs and events, including life sciences conferences in collaboration with the Department for International Trade, technical seminars about changes in UK policy and financial issues and other important matters affecting transatlantic business.  We were fortunate to welcome the Welsh Minister for International Relations; the US Envoy for the Department for International Trade London; the Brexit Counsellor from the British Embassy in Washington, D.C.; and Her Majesty’s Ambassador to the United States, for VIP events in Philadelphia throughout the year.  Networking opportunities were aplenty, enabling our members to create valuable connections.

Exciting activities are on the horizon!  We are developing a robust series of new programs and relationships.  Stay tuned for email updates, invitations to BABCPHL events, and other news to hit your inbox.  Don’t forget to follow us on our social media sites: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter.  Visit our website for all BABCPHL event information, thought leadership pieces and other helpful content, such as the British American Business network Policy Agenda for 2019/20 – Time to Act.  This document outlines key issues of relevance to the transatlantic business community for the coming year. We look forward to seeing you and your colleagues often in the New Year!  Contact us with questions: babc@babcphl.com.


BIO 2019 Recap

From Monday, June 3 through Thursday, June 6, 2019, Philadelphia welcomed the BIO International Convention. More than 16,000 attendees from around the globe gathered to meet global biotech and pharma industry leaders from 67 countries.  This annual event offers unparalleled partnering, education, and networking opportunities.  The tristate region’s vast array of leading universities and research institutions fostered a particularly collaborative environment for conference participants.

The UK’s delegation to BIO 2019 included more than 200 companies from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The UK sector is in growth mode.  After adding 7,500 jobs last year, there are now almost 250,000 people employed in the biotech and pharma industry.  5,800 life science businesses are operating across the UK, including the largest cluster of advanced therapy companies in Europe.  The UK offers the largest biomedical pipeline in Europe, with a turnover of £74 billion.  Foreign direct investment increased by 5% last year, with US companies in particular looking to invest more heavily.

The industry is rapidly expanding on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, and on Tuesday evening, June 4, more than 450 people gathered at the Museum of the American Revolution for the BIO 2019 UK reception. The event was presented by the UK’s Department for International Trade in collaboration with: AstraZeneca; BIA (the UK BioIndustry Association); the Welsh Government; Invest Northern Ireland; and the British American Business Council of Greater Philadelphia.  We were honored to partner with these groups to provide attendees with the opportunity to meet leading innovators from the UK life sciences ecosystem.

Click here for photos from the UK reception as well as a few shots of the UK Pavilion at the 2019 BIO International Convention.


Summer 2019 International Business Networking Reception Recap

On Wednesday, July 24, 2019 the British American Business Council of Greater Philadelphia partnered with the Chilean, French, German, Irish, Israeli, Japanese, and Eurasian Chambers of Commerce for the Ninth 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 took great advantage of the chance to network and make valuable connections, as well as hear the Ambassador of Uzbekistan to the USA and Canada, H.E. Javlon Vakhabov, speak.  A raffle draw included a variety of prizes, such as bottles of wine, tickets to upcoming events, and swag bags.

Special thanks to the Chilean Chamber for organizing such an important program for the international business community and to event sponsors: PhilaPort – The Port of Philadelphia and Santander.

 

Click here for pictures. More pictures to be posted shortly.

 

 


Welcome Lunch for Her Majesty’s Ambassador to the United States

On Monday, May 20, 2019, the British American Business Council of Greater Philadelphia welcomed His Excellency Sir Kim Darroch KCMG, British Ambassador to the United States, to Philadelphia. Ambassador Darroch’s diplomatic career spans three decades, and has been primarily focused on national security issues and European Union policy. From 2004 to 2007, he was EU Advisor to the Prime Minister.  Ambassador Darroch served in Brussels as the UK Permanent Representative to the European Union from 2007 to 2011.  From January 2012 to September 2015 he served as the Prime Minister’s National Security Advisor, and was Secretary of the National Security Council.  Sir Kim was appointed British Ambassador to the United States in January 2016, and this was his first official visit with the Greater Philadelphia international business community.

Michael Pedrick, President of the BABCPHL welcomed guests to the lunch in honor of his Excellency. Michael spoke briefly about the BABCPHL mission and the role the Organization has served for nearly 30 years.  He recognized and thanked several VIPs who participated in the program: Louise Nicol, Chief of Staff to Her Majesty’s Ambassador; Laura Hickey, Deputy Consul General, British Consulate New York; Paul Schipul, Vice Consul, Political Affairs at British Consulate General New York; Rebecca Lewis, Deputy Head of Trade & Investment, Overseas Co-Chair DIT Women, Department for International Trade, British Consulate General New York; Gareth Morgan, Head of North America, Welsh Government; Oliver St. Clair Franklin, Honorary British Consul of Greater Philadelphia; Frank Giordano, Honorary Consul of Malta; Efe Izilein Sokol, Senior Representative, Welsh Government; Harold Epps, Commerce Director, Department of Commerce, City of Philadelphia; and Pierre-Olivier Lugez, Manager, International Business, Department of Commerce, City of Philadelphia.  Michael introduced Harold who spoke briefly about the Mayor and Commerce Department’s recent business development and retention trip to the UK.  Harold talked about the success of the UK visit, and the strong historic and economic ties between the two regions before introducing Ambassador Darroch, our luncheon program keynote speaker.

Ambassor Darroch’s remarks focused on the important trade relationship as well as the current political and economic climate influencing transatlantic ties. His 15 minute discussion included comments about the more than $1trillion bilateral trading market between the UK and the US; the context for Brexit; and the anticipated trade deal with the US.  Ambassador Darroch spoke about the strength of the British economy, and where we are now with respect to the complex and difficult Brexit negotiation process.  He concluded his remarks by welcoming questions from guests.  Ambassador Darroch encouraged an open dialogue forum with attendees.  Questions included queries about President Trump’s upcoming visit to the UK; the Good Friday Agreement; the UK/Canadian trade relationship; how the different political parties might reconcile Brexit differences, etc. Ambassador Darroch was eager to meet and speak with government leaders and corporate executives.  We were honored to welcome Ambassador Darroch, and to provide an open forum of discussion for him to interact with the international business community.

Special thanks to corporate table supporters: British Honorary Consul of Greater Philadelphia – Oliver St. Clair Franklin; The Department for International Trade; Morgan Lewis & Bockius; Penn Medicine; Virgin Atlantic Airways; and The Welsh Government.

Click here to view photos from the event.


The Death of LIBOR Not SOFR Away… Are You Ready? Secured Overnight Financing Rate: The New Benchmark – Expectations & Implications

On Thursday, May 16, 2019, the BABCPHL hosted a finance seminar about The Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR) at the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia. In 2021, the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR), the world’s most important financial rate, will go away, but it is unclear what will replace the index used in virtually every significant credit arrangement, bond, swap and financial instrument. The volume of financial contracts based on LIBOR is estimated at $200 trillion.  The change will affect every company and financial institution.  The Federal Reserve Bank of New York has proposed that SOFR become the new lending resource rate. It is the rate banks will pay on the repurchase agreement market for borrowing overnight. US regulators anticipate SOFR will be widely adopted to back the derivatives and loans market, and to be the universally accepted replacement for the outgoing LIBOR.

Not SOFR away. Are you ready? What can you expect and what are the implications of losing LIBOR and adopting SOFR?  This timely and interactive seminar featured experts in the field who addressed the following questions:

  • What is SOFR?
  • How will moving to SOFR change credit agreements, swaps, and other financial instruments?
  • How to navigate the transition?
  • What should parties be doing now?

Michael Pedrick, Partner at Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP and President BABCPHL opened the session by welcoming attendees and introducing the topic and speakers. Michael moderated the seminar, and provided a discussion about moving away from LIBOR to SOFR.  He talked about the credit facilities that would be affected by the transition; how financial instruments should address the change; actions to be taken to prepare; and provided a review of contractual terms anticipating the discontinuance of LIBOR.  Michael also discussed strengthening provisions in new credits and amendments, and what parties need to do to prepare as transition approaches to provide greater clarity and security for existing facilities.

Gennadiy Goldberg, Senior US Rates Strategist, Global Strategy, TD Securities USA (LLC) conducts research and provides market commentary on interest rates and the US economy. He focuses on Treasuries, swaps, TIPS, supranationals and agencies, as well as green bonds.  Prior to joining TD in 2012, Gennadiy worked as a Fixed Income Strategist at an independent research firm, Continuum Economics.  Gennadiy’s presentation provided a deeper dive into the topic.  He discussed the reasons for the discontinuance of LIBOR, and the role of Fed and ARRC.  Gennadiy talked about TD’s role in the transition process, and the current status of the move.

Richard Mejzak, CFA, Managing Director and portfolio manager, is Global Head of Portfolio Management for Cash Management, within BlackRock’s Trading & Liquidity Strategies group. He is primarily responsible for USD & CDN liquidity and short duration portfolios, including securities lending collateral, mutual funds, separate accounts, and ETFs.  Rich’s service with the firm dates back to 1990, including his years with Merrill Lynch Investment Managers, which merged with BlackRock in 2006.  Rich is a member of the CFA Institute and the CFA Society of Philadelphia.  He earned a BS degree in accounting from Villanova University and serves on the Villanova School of Business Finance Department Advisory Council. Rich’s presentation focused on the investor side of things.  He discussed the impact on structuring investment portfolios; the impact of change on existing investment portfolios; and structuring current investments while addressing the transition.

Ken Menezes, Managing Director Treasury, Asset and Fuel & Energy Management at American Airlines is responsible for the overall jet fuel supply chain including contract management, logistics and airport operations, managing the investment activity of the various retirement and health/welfare plans, providing oversight of the Company’s short term investments and surety bond portfolio, managing corporate financial risk including interest rate risk, FX risk and commodity risk, and providing analytical support for the Treasury department. Ken has a Master’s in Business Administration from Southern Methodist University and is also a CFA® charter holder. Ken’s presentation covered the perspective of a significant corporate borrower.  He discussed the issues implicated by the transition from LIBOR to SOFR and how a company should prepare for the change. His speech focused on floating rate facilities; private aircraft mortgages—3-6 month LIBOR, beyond 2021 set date; amendments and implementations.  He also covered the importance of developing language, working with lenders about how to document the new protocol, and what the impact on corporate investments might look like.

Special thanks to sponsors: American Airlines; BlackRock; Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP; and TD Securities. The British Chamber was honored to partner with the French American Chamber of Commerce and the World Trade Center of Philadelphia to deliver this seminar.

Click here to view photos from the event.


8th Annual New Jersey Networking Event & Dinner

On Thursday, March 7, 2019, the British American Business Council of Greater Philadelphia hosted the eighth annual New Jersey Networking Event and Dinner at The British Chip Shop in Haddonfield, New Jersey. The event sold out shortly after registration opened!  Approximately 50 BABCPHL members and friends occupied the restaurant for a fun-filled pub night.  The new Chip Shop proprietors offered attendees an outstanding selection of specialty beers and delicious appetizers, a traditional British pub style main course, and traditional tea and biscuits and sticky toffee pudding for dessert.  Adding to the enjoyment of the evening, the Philadelphia Union presented each attendee with two complimentary tickets to a Philadelphia Union home game, and lead sponsor, United Airlines offered three mileage plus gold status memberships.

Howard Silverstone, BABCPHL Membership Chairman, welcomed attendees. Howard introduced special guest, Ross Allen, Director, North America, Department for International Trade who discussed the important relationship the State of New Jersey has with the United Kingdom.  Howard thanked Ross and his team for supporting the BABCPHL, and provided guests with a brief introduction about the Organization, before asking each event sponsor to say a few words.  Leon Dutkiewicz, Partner, Citrin Cooperman; Jay Jumper, Partner, Pepper Hamilton; and Richard Chibbaro, Sales Manager, United Airlines, each spoke briefly about their relationship with the BABCPHL and their companies.  Following sponsor remarks, winning business cards were drawn for three United Airlines mileage plus status memberships.  Attendees were then invited to sit and enjoy dinner.  Guests remained long into the evening, continuing to mingle.

We extend special thanks to lead sponsors, Citrin Cooperman, Pepper Hamilton LLP, and United Airlines; supporting sponsors, the Department for International Trade and Forensic Resolutions; and door prize donor, Philadelphia Union.

Click here to view photos.

 

 


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).


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

 

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The BABCPHL recognizes our Club Level Members:

  • Almac
  • American Airlines
  • Cigna
  • Cigna
  • Deloitte
  • Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP
  • Duane Morris
  • EisnerAmper LLP
  • HSBC
  • Johnson, Kendall & Johnson, Inc.
  • McConnell Johnson Real Estate
  • Morgan Lewis
  • Law Firm of Pepper Hamilton
  • TD Bank
  • United Airlines
  • Virgin Atlantic
  • Welsh Government