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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.


British Composer, Graham Fitkin’s Concerto for Recorder and Orchestra

This year’s PS Festival Concert in Verizon Hall will include an unusual performance of a contemporary work by British composer, Graham Fitkin. Performed only once, in Britain, Fitkin’s Concerto for Recorder and Orchestra became one of three celebrated orchestral works to be nominated last year for the BBC’s British Composer Awards 2018.

Click through the flyer here for additional details and how to purchase tickets.

 

 


British Government’s US Regional Envoy Visits Philadelphia

On Tuesday, April 16, 2019 Mark Garnier MP, the US regional Envoy for the Department for International Trade London, visited Philadelphia with Alexandra Hall Hall, Brexit Counsellor from the British Embassy in Washington, D.C. The BABCPHL had the honor of welcoming Mr. Garnier and Ms. Hall Hall for a VIP luncheon discussion about Brexit at The Palm restaurant in Philadelphia.  The visit was perfectly timed as the world watches the UK’s momentous decision evolve.

Appointed by the Prime Minister, Mr. Garnier is the British Government’s US Regional Envoy. He is focused on promoting UK/US trade and investment ties across the US, through engagement with local governments, relevant trade bodies, Congressional representatives in their districts, investors and regional media. Mr. Garnier is supported by the UK’s US network, and plays a key role in helping open markets, unlocking barriers, and promoting deeper trade and investment links.  Previously, Mr. Garnier was Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for International Trade from July 17, 2016 to January 9, 2018.  He was elected as the Conservative MP for Wyre Forest in May 2010.  Before coming to Parliament, Mr. Garnier spent 27 years as an investment banker and investment manager. During this time, he spent 15 years specializing in the emerging markets of South East Asia.

Joining Mr. Garnier was Ms. Hall Hall, Brexit Counsellor at the British Embassy in Washington. Ms. Hall Hall is responsible for spearheading the work of explaining the UK’s departure from the European Union to US audiences, and promoting a continuing strong US-UK relationship post-Brexit.  Prior to taking up this position she served as British Ambassador to Georgia from 2013 – 2016, and as a senior Non-Resident Fellow at the Atlantic Council think tank in Washington DC from 2016-2018.

Mr. Garnier and Ms. Hall Hall delivered remarks about the historic and strong relationship between the two nations; the current geopolitical situation in Europe; and the positive outcome Brexit will have, not only for the UK, but for the rest of the world. Attendees were privy to a candid discussion about the complicated process and the careful decisions that must happen to proceed.  BABCPHL guests were invited to ask questions, which focused on data privacy, Northern Ireland, party politics, pre-WWII geopolitical sentiments, as well as other issues.  BABCPHL members garnered a much greater understanding of how the Brexit process might progress.  The open dialogue provided everyone with an invaluable opportunity to more deeply understand the current situation.

Click here for a link to photos.


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.


A Musical Adventure with the British American Business Council and the Philadelphia Orchestra Recap

A Musical Adventure with the British American Business Council and the Philadelphia Orchestra
Thursday, February 28, 2019
6:00 – 10:00 p.m.
The Kimmel Center, Philadelphia
Recap

On Thursday, February 28, 2019, the BABCPHL partnered with the Philadelphia Orchestra for a magnificent concert held at Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center. Nearly 50 BABCPHL members and friends gathered for a special behind the scenes tour; meet and greet with musicians; and reserved seats for the concert, featuring special guest, British performer, Benjamin Grosvenor.

BABCPHL President Michael Pedrick started the evening with opening remarks. He introduced us to Orchestra President and CEO Matías Tarnopolsky and Executive Director Ryan Fleur. Geoffrey Cohen, Director of Audience Development for the Philadelphia Orchestra, welcomed our group. He, along with Kayla Delgado-Partridge, Audience Development Manager, led BABCPHL guests on a special behind the scenes tour of the Kimmel Center. We were joined on the tour by cellist Richard Harlow, who provided a great amount of extra information from a musician’s perspective. At one point during the tour, the group got to stand on the stage of Verizon Hall to have the same perspective as the musicians who were performing later that evening. We also got to see some dressing rooms, as well as where the different instruments are stored.

After the tour we returned to the Green Room, where we were introduced to Paul Arnold, one of the violinists in the Orchestra. Paul energetically told the group some information about the pieces of music we would be hearing that evening. After his remarks, Michael thanked the musicians, as well as Geoff and Kayla, for hosting and taking the time to talk with us. BABCPHL guests then had some time to purchase food and drinks before the concert began.

The Philadelphia Orchestra performed three pieces: Haydn’s “Symphony No. 94 in G Major (“Surprise”); Beethoven’s “Piano Concerto No. 1 in C major, Op. 15”; and Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 4 in B-flat major, Op. 60.” British pianist Benjamin Grosvenor was featured in the Piano Concerto. Playing the complicated music with ease, Grosvenor received a standing ovation at the end of the piece. He has been described as “one in a million…several million” by The Independent. At the age of 19, he was invited to perform with the BBC Symphony for the first night of BBC Proms. He has performed all around the world, and in 2011, signed to Decca Classics. He is the youngest British musician ever to sign to the label.

The BABCPHL group had the lucky opportunity to meet with Grosvenor during intermission. He graciously answered questions and posed for a few photos.

The BABCPHL was honored to partner with the Philadelphia Orchestra for an outstanding night of incredible music. Special thanks to the Orchestra for working with us to provide this wonderful opportunity to our members and friends.

Click here for photos.

 


Welsh Minister Visits Philadelphia

On Thursday, March 1, 2019 the BABCPHL welcomed the Welsh Government Minister for International Relations and the Welsh Language, Eluned Morgan, Baroness Morgan of Ely, Labour Assembly Member in the National Assembly of Wales to Philadelphia for an official visit and exclusive, by invitation only VIP lunch hosted by Drinker, Biddle & Reath LLP. The Minister’s day in Philadelphia began with private sector company meetings and a visit with Mayor Kenney and the Commerce Department. Mayor Kenney and Minister Morgan share similar political views on several hot button topics. The Minister led an open forum discussion with the BABCPHL about pressing global matters during the last stop on her itinerary in Philadelphia.

Jill Bronson, Regional Partner in Charge of the Philadelphia Office of Drinker Biddle & Reath, welcomed the Minster and all attendees to the Firm’s beautiful board room overlooking the Parkway. Michael Pedrick, BABCPHL President, thanked Jill and everyone for gathering. He introduced the Minister, whose political career started at the age of 27 when she was elected as the youngest Member of the European Parliament in 1994. Minister Morgan was only the fifth woman elected to a full-time political position in the history of Wales, and the first full-time politician in Wales to have a baby while in office. She is a former Member of the European Parliament who represented Wales for the Labour Party from 1994-2009. In this role she became the Labour spokesperson on industry, science and energy and spokesperson for the 200 strong Socialist Group on Budget Control matters. She authored the Green Paper on energy on behalf of the EP and led the Parliament’s discussions on the Electricity Directive where she ensured new rights for consumers and demanded that Member States of the EU addressed the issue of fuel poverty. From late 2009 until July 2013 she worked as the Director of National Business Development in Wales for SSE (SWALEC), one of the UK’s largest energy companies. She was responsible for the establishment of the SWALEC Smart Energy Centre in Treforest. She was also appointed as the Chair of the Cardiff Business Partnership. From 2013-2016 she served as the Shadow Minister for Wales in the House of Lords, and from 2014-2016 she served as Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs and also as a whip. In 2018 she stood as the only female candidate in the Labour Party Leadership election to succeed Carwyn Jones as First Minister. The new First Minister, Mark Drakeford named her as Minister for International Relations and the Welsh Language in his new cabinet.

Minister Morgan chose Philadelphia as her first official overseas trip in her new position. She began her brief presentation to BABCPHL guests highlighting the strong historic and commercial ties between the greater Philadelphia region and Wales. Minister Morgan talked about the stability of the Welsh government; the economy and the investment climate; the Welsh position on Brexit; climate change; energy; and other important issues. She encouraged unrestricted dialogue with attendees. While most questions focused on Brexit, tariffs, and the possible scenarios that could develop during the coming weeks, other areas of discussion included the evolution of the Welsh economy from mining, to agriculture and high-tech, sustainability, education, and legislation that will affect the next generation, specifically the Well-Being of Future Generations Act.

Minster Morgan’s visit coincided with St. David’s Day – a Welsh national holiday in commemoration of St. David, the patron saint of Wales. It is a day of celebration of both St. David’s life and of the Welsh culture in Wales and abroad. The BABCPHL was honored to welcome Minister Morgan to the City on the commemorative St. David’s Day, and extends sincere gratitude to BABCPHL Club Level Member, Drinker Biddle & Reath for hosting the Minister for a delicious lunch, including homemade St. David’s Day Welsh cakes in the Philadelphia Office.

Click here for photos.


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.


Need for Speed – Around the World in 90 Minutes

On Thursday, April 25, 2019, the BABCPHL Young Professionals Group (YPG) hosted the eighth annual panel discussion and networking event: Need for Speed – Around the World in 90 Minutes. The BABCPHL in collaboration with the Chilean, French and Irish Chambers of Commerce offered an exciting evening of speed networking with global professionals at Philadelphia’s premier whiskey and go go bar – the Trestle Inn. Industry experts led a brief discussion about the importance of networking; how to pitch yourself and your business; and how to deliver the perfect elevator speech. Following introductory remarks, attendees rotated in small groups so each person had the opportunity to interact with as many attendees as possible. Guests brought plenty of business cards to exchange with executives representing various industry sectors with operations throughout the world.  Volume and energy were running full throttle; questions between participants were flying across the tables in both the front and back rooms of the Trestle Inn for 90 minutes.  More than 60 people played the game, rotating every eight minutes to meet additional contenders.

Jay Jumper, Partner at Pepper Hamilton and BABCPHL Programs & Events Chairman welcomed guests and introduced the topic and speakers. Jay explained this is one of our signature events. “Each year we choose a different topic to present – today we will be speaking about professional networking, the action or process of interacting with others to exchange information and develop professional or social contacts is one of the most important components of professional success.” The art of active listening and the ability to promote oneself are very important components for self-advancement and achievement.  After a brief intro about the topic, Jay turned the microphone over to our three panelists.

Kyle Elliott, Senior Associate from Miramar Global Executive Search discussed the importance of a good and memorable pitch by speaking about Miramar and his role with the company as an example. Jason Walker, Financial Advisor, Accredited Asset Management Specialist, Raymond James & Associates and BABCPHL YPG Co-Leader, is an expat Brit living and working in Philadelphia. Jason has been involved with the BABCPHL for a few years, and having lived and worked on both sides of the Atlantic, was the perfect person to talk about networking across the globe and the differences in networking styles depending upon culture/country of origin. Jenna Buretta, Vice President – Retail Business Banking Team Lead, HSBC Bank USA, has experience in various domestic and international markets.  Jenna enjoys spending time in the US as well as in the UK; she presented an example of how professional networking has paid off for her and her career.

When speakers wrapped up, Jay explained the rules of the game and round one of speed networking commenced. There were four or six players at each table.  People sitting opposite each other were matched each round.  Each time the bell rang, half of the people at each table moved to a new table, and half remained, maximizing the number of individuals each guest was able to interact with throughout the night.  It was a raucous and fast paced event!  While the game ended after seven rounds of speed networking, attendees remained long into the night, continuing to informally network, and enjoy the beer on tap as well as the specialty whiskey sours.

Special thanks to sponsors: HSBC Bank USA, N.A., Miramar Global Executive Search and Pepper Hamilton LLP, and to Ian Cross, BABCPHL Marketing & Communications Chairman and proprietor of The Trestle Inn for hosting our signature annual YPG event.

Click here to view photos from the event.


English Women’s National Soccer Team Match

The English Women’s National Soccer Team will be in town at the end of the month for a match at the SheBelieves Cup at Talen Energy Stadium on Wednesday, February 27, 2019 at 4:00 pm.

PHLSports, a business unit within PHLCVB, long time BABCPHL Corporate Member and active on our Board of Directors, supports all major and minor league sporting events in the City of Philadelphia.

Our region is a particularly strong soccer market, and this is a trifecta event for our Chamber.  The BABCPHL is proud to welcome the British Women’s National Soccer Team to the region; proud to support our member PHLCVB and PHLSports; and proud to invite BABCPHL members and friends to purchase tickets to this event taking place at Talen Energy Stadium, home to Philadelphia Union, member and supporter of BABCPHL activities.

Root for the English as they take on Brazil!  Click here for more information and the link to purchase tickets.


Rediscovering the Story of Richard St. George

A Presentation by Associate Curator Matthew Skic

The Museum of the American Revolution invites you to join us for an evening reception and presentation announcing, previewing, and exploring themes from the Museum’s 2019-2020 special exhibition:

“Redcoat & Revolutions: Richard St. George in American and Ireland”

For more information, click here.

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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