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UK and China trade relations championed by investment minister visit

International Trade Minister Graham Stuart MP travels to China today, to bolster the trade relationship between the UK and China post-Brexit.

Beginning his visit in the Chinese capital Beijing, the Minister will meet with key representatives in the Chinese government in the Ministry of Commerce and officials at the Chinese National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), to promote the UK-China economic relationship and champion British business in the region.

While in China, he will meet with dozens of potential investors, hosting roundtables with Chinese life sciences, education, infrastructure and financial services businesses, to promote the strengths of the UK as an investment destination and encourage stronger trade ties between the two countries.

The visit will see Minister Stuart lead a 200-strong delegation of UK business leaders representing sectors such as tech, manufacturing, transport and education to the Smart China Expo in Chongqing , where he will champion the UK’s global leadership in smart technology, and attend the UK’s flagship pavilion at the Horticulture Expo in Beijing, where the UK is showcasing its leadership in clean energy and sustainable development.

The 10-day visit comes as trade and investment with China reaches record levels, bilateral trade between the 2 countries has more than doubled over the past 10 years, with the latest statistics showing trade has succeeded the £70bn mark for the first time during the last financial year.

Over the last decade, China has been the 3rd biggest contributor to the overall increase in British exports, beaten only by Germany and the USA.

Speaking ahead of his visit, the Minister for Investment Graham Stuart said:

China is a world-leading economy and the UK’s largest trading partner outside of Europe and North America, holding unparalleled opportunities for UK businesses.

Britain is committed to strengthening the UK-China trading relationship to ensure UK firms are poised to seize the opportunities the region offers as our trading relationship continues to blossom.

I hope my visit will be instrumental to winning investments into the UK , while opening up new opportunities for UK firms and fostering greater partnerships between our two great nations.

The Minister’s visit follows on from the UK-China 10th Economic and Financial Dialogue (EFD) which took place in London in June this year.

The EFD saw the former Chancellor, Philip Hammond, and Chinese Vice Premier, Hu Chunhua, launch the London-Shanghai Stock Connect UK, which allowed listed companies to sell their shares in China for the first time, alongside the announcement of £500 million worth of commercial deals and partnerships.

Minister Stuart’s visit is expected to secure a number of commercial deals and new partnerships between British and Chinese businesses.

The 10 best universities to study business

Think you could be the next Mark Zuckerberg? If you have a mind for innovation and business, you might benefit from a degree at one of the finest business schools in the UK.

Most business courses give students a thorough understanding of business theory, economics, entrepreneurship, accounting, management and business law.

As such a diverse degree course, Business Management can open doors to a multitude of careers. Upon graduation, you could find a job as a business adviser, a data analyst, investment banker, human resources officer, stockbroker or even join the team of a new start-up.

Here, we have compiled a list of the best business degree courses in the UK, including information on entry requirements, course details and the most advantageous features. The following are the 10 best universities to study Business & Management, according to the latest 2020 league table from Complete University Guide, which ranks universities according to their entry standards, student satisfaction, research quality and graduate prospects.

10. University of Lancaster

The course: The Business Management BSc incorporates modules from every department within the Management School. In first year, all students cover accounting, marketing, management and business analysis. In second year, you expand on this knowledge and study operations management, economics and entrepreneurship, including modules in management decision making and spreadsheet modelling. There are optional modules in further economics, marketing and entrepreneurship, which you take into your third and final year. You juggle these subjects with a core module on strategic management.

Biggest advantage: All students have access to a Business Management Careers Coach, who will run sessions on CVs and the skills that you will need in the workplace.

9. Durham University

The course: In the first year of the Business and Management BA, you develop a business plan for a start-up and take optional modules in business, economics or a language. In second year, you further develop your investigative and business skills and take modules on information systems and the management of operations, as well as optional modules in accounting, entrepreneurship, marketing and business law. In your final year, you focus on a double-weighted dissertation and a core module in strategic management, as well as optional modules.

Biggest advantage: Students can take the Year Abroad or a Year In Industry programme, either of which could boost your employment prospects.

8. University of Warwick

The course: On the first year of the Management BSc course, you study the basics of business management – including economics, marketing, financial management, strategy, organisations and business analytics. In second year, there are electives to choose from, alongside core modules in international business, operations management and entrepreneurship. In third year, you have the option to take a Year In Industry. Alternatively, you can go straight into your final year, where you will study critical issues in management and a range of optional modules.

Biggest advantage: This course is flexible, and you can specialise in specific areas (such as finance or marketing) in your final two years. Modules are varied and include marketing, auditing, supply chain management, business law, risk management and team leadership.

7. University of Strathclyde

The course: In the first three years of the the Management BA, you take classes in business alongside the Management Development Programme (MDP). In the first year of the MDP, you focus on theory, including disruptive technologies, business ethics and creativity and responsibility. You also take a module called Managing in a Global Context. In the second year of the MDP, you study global business, the Third Sector, oratory and more. You also take modules in strategy, analysis and change within organisations. In third year, you undertake a work placement, complete the final year of the MDP and take core modules in management practice. In the fourth year, students cover management, the global economy, strategy and ethical leadership.

Biggest advantage: On the third year of the MDP, there are four options for how you can put your knowledge into practice. You can take an internship, work on two live consultancy projects, go on an international exchange, or conduct problem-solving projects with other students.

6. University of Leeds

The course: On the first year of the Business Management MA, you cover economics, accounting and organisational behaviour. You also take the Exploring Your Potential module, where you assess your own managerial skills. In second year, you study the basics of marketing and managing people and operations, develop your research and analytical skills and learn to consider social responsibility. In your third year, you further develop your management skills in modules on strategic management and leadership, and you can take optional modules in employment law, technology, international business and advertising. There is also a dissertation on a topic of your choice.

Biggest advantage: There’s a real emphasis on developing leadership qualities on this course, with modules on strategic leadership and management. In addition, if you choose (and pass) the Contemporary Management Consulting module in your third year, you can register with the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) and gain the CMI Level 5 Certificate in Professional Consulting.

5. King’s College London

The course: The Business Management BSc at King’s College London is a comprehensive course. In your first year, there are 12 core modules, covering economics, financial reporting, business ethics, accounting and marketing. In second year, you are taught research methods, international business, strategic management and take optional modules. There is also the option to study abroad either in the first term of second year or for the entire academic year. In third year, there are no core modules so you can choose specialisms, including employment law, leadership, banking and managerial economics.

Biggest advantage: Located in the heart of London, King’s Business School is close to the Square Mile (the hub of international commerce and finance) and a few tube stops away from Canary Wharf.

4. University of Loughborough

The course: In the first and second years of the BSc Management degree you are introduced to the core business and management topics, including business economics, financial reporting, marketing, human resource management, accounting, data analysis, business ethics and operations management. There are also optional modules. In your third year, you can either study abroad or take a work placement. In your fourth and final year, you study three core modules on decision-making, leadership and global strategy, and select optional modules.

Biggest advantage: If you go on a Year Abroad or work placement in your third year, you receive an extra qualification: a Diploma in Professional Studies (DPS) if you do a work placement or a Diploma in International Studies (DIntS) if you study abroad. Alternatively, you can split your third year and spend six months studying abroad and six months on a work placement.

3. University of Exeter

The course: In the first year of the Business and Management BSc, you mainly cover the theory of business management, with classes on accounting, statistics, economics, marketing, management and the relationship between business and society. In the second year, you take core modules in accounting, human resource management, consumer behaviour, operations management and organisations. There are more optional modules in second year than first, but even more to choose from in your third and final year of study. In final year, there are just two core modules, covering finance and strategic management.

Biggest advantage: There is an optional Year Abroad or Year in Industry work placement.

2. University of Bath

The course: In the first year of the Management BSc, you get to grips with the basics of business management – including accounting, business economics, international business, management, finance and marketing. In second year, you study more specific topics, such as business law, consumer psychology, entrepreneurship and managing a multinational enterprise. There are optional modules in both second and third year, covering E-business, corporate responsibility, UK tax and conducting business in China, to name a few. In third year you also study international strategy and complete an entrepreneurship project.

Biggest advantage: The entrepreneurship project in your final year allows you to apply your knowledge to a practical assignment. This module requires teamwork, identifying a suitable gap in the market and planning how you would build your own business.

1. University of St Andrews

The course: During the first two years of this four-year course, you will take Management modules alongside at least one other subject. Typical Management topics include the role of managers within organisations and the role of organisations within society. In your final two years you can take more optional modules, including (bit not limited to): advertising, corporate social responsibility, entrepreneurship, human resource management, sustainable development and international banking.

Biggest advantage: This flexible course will make you more of an all-rounder as you are required to study two additional subjects in your first year and at least one in your second year. This could give you the chance to develop your languages skills, for instance.

UK Climate Finance Results

UK International Climate Finance (ICF) is a portfolio of investments with a goal to support international poverty eradication now and in the future by helping developing countries manage risk and build resilience to the impacts of climate change, take up low-carbon development at scale and manage natural resources sustainably. Through annual publications we set out results from these investments against a set of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

The ICF Key Performance Indicator (KPIs) methodology notes are used to guide programme teams, delivery partners and analysts managing ICF programming in their data collection for ICF results. The breadth of programming necessitates not having a prescriptive approach. Programmes are asked to report achieved and forecast results annually against relevant KPIs.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-climate-finance-results

Drive to increase awareness of engineering ethics

Engineering Ethics 2028 describes a proposed new ethical framework for the profession and how it can be introduced over the next nine years. It says the fundamental duty of an engineer should be to serve the public interest.

The vision was developed by ethicists at the University of Leeds.

One of the big issues, though, is that the majority of engineers, around three million people, are not affiliated with a professional engineering institution, and fall outside of any professional oversight.

“More than ever [engineers] need to consider the interests of the public in the work they do.” ~ Dr Jim Baxter, Inter-Disciplinary Ethics Applied Centre

The vision states: “…the majority of engineers are currently outside the scope of the profession’s efforts to improve or maintain their competence…or to engage them in the work of the PEIs (Professional Engineering Institutions) and RAEng (Royal Academy of Engineering) which includes public engagement on ethical issues…”

Dr Jim Baxter, from the Inter-Disciplinary Ethics Applied Centre at the University of Leeds who authored the vision, said: “Engineers who are not members of a professional institutions are not necessarily ignoring their ethical and professional responsibilities but being part of a professional body strengthens the likelihood that those obligations will be met.

“Engineering Ethics 2028 has to be set against the context of rapid technological change, and that change will have an impact on all our lives.

“The people who are key to inventing, designing and building this technology are engineers.

“More than ever, they need to consider the interests of the public in the work that they do.”

Have your say

Do you want to comment on Engineering Ethics 2028? By clicking on the link, you can read the vision and have your say on its contents.

Dr Baxter added: “Engineers have the power to do tremendous good but technology can also be harmful. The ethics vision, if the profession adopts it, will ensure they think about public opinion and the public good – and in some cases, they might have to say ‘no’ to a project.”

Engineering Ethics 2028 was drawn-up following discussion with leaders from the engineering profession, including the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng), the Engineering Professors’ Council and Engineers Without Borders UK.

The vision builds on work that started back in 2003 by the RAEng to define the ethical values underlying engineering work. Two years later, the RAEng and Engineering Council jointly published their Statement of Ethical Principles.

Those principles were ground-breaking in that they said everyone involved in engineering was “…required to maintain and promote high ethical standards and challenge unethical behaviour.”

There was also an expectation that engineers should keep their knowledge up to date and “…hold paramount the health and safety of others and draw attention to hazards.”

But in 2016, a major review into the structure of UK engineering was undertaken by John Uff QC. He quoted estimates that only 15% of engineers, around one in six, were members of a professional body.

Ethical vision

The proposed vision says efforts need to be targeted at bringing more engineers “…within the boundaries of the profession.”

The recent inquiry chaired by the engineer Dame Judith Hackitt into building regulations, established after the Grenfell Tower fire in 2017, identified a lack of any formal process to validate the skills of people involved in the management of high-rise buildings as a major flaw in the regulatory system.

Engineering Ethics 2028 suggests that the profession needs to:

  • Increase the number of engineers who are registered with a professional engineering institution and thereby bring them within the scope of professional conduct.
  • Promote a greater recognition by engineers that ethics is a fundamental part of their work.
  • Ensure engineers are aware of the impact technological innovations will have on society and that projects maximise public benefits and minimise risks.
  • To work sustainably.

Engineering Ethics 2028 was drawn up following discussions with the Engineering Council, the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Engineering Professors’ Council and Engineers without Borders UK.

Engineers and engineering organisations can comment on the consultation up to January 25th 2020.

Boris Johnson moves to mend relationship with UK business

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has moved to rebuild his relationship with the business community by hiring Sky executive Andrew Griffiths as part of his Number 10 team.

A source close to Griffiths said Johnson’s appointment of the Sky veteran – who most recently served as the broadcasting giant’s chief operating officer – was “a clear sign of intent” that the former mayor of London wants to build fresh links with the City and businesses across the UK.

Advisory Excellence understands that Griffiths, who joins the new government as Johnson’s top business adviser, first discussed the position with the incoming PM to weeks ago and felt that the new Tory leader “was the real deal.”

One source said Griffiths is “an operator, not a policy wonk” and he “will want to get things done.” Sources in Johnson’s camp have told Advisory Excellence that there will be a “beefing-up” of the Downing Street business team but it’s understood that Theresa May’s business adviser, Jimmy McLoughlin, will be staying on to assist with the transition.

Johnson ruptured his business-friendly reputation following the EU referendum when he was caught saying “f*** business” in reaction to corporate groups lobbying for a softer Brexit.

However, the relationship may already be thawing with most business groups giving a cautious welcome to the incoming resident of Number 10 yesterday.

TheCityUK congratulated Johnson on his convincing win but warned against a no-deal outcome with Brussels.“He becomes Prime Minister at a pivotal time in our country’s history.

He must now move swiftly to set out his plans for the road ahead. Ongoing Brexit uncertainty is depressing business activity, but the financial and related professional services industry remains very clear that a no-deal Brexit is still the worst of all outcomes,” it said..

The British Chamber of Commerce was also quick to send its regards, but again warned about the consequences of crashing out of the bloc. The message to Boris Johnson from business communities around the UK couldn’t be simpler: the time for campaigning is over — and we need you to get down to business.

Companies need to know, in concrete terms, what your government will do to avoid a messy, disorderly Brexit on 31 October – which would bring pain to communities across the UK and disruption to our trade around the world.

Business lobby group the CBI echoed other calls for a pro-business Brexit deal, but also on support for infrastructure projects to boost businesses across the country.

Johnson has previously voiced opposition two of the country’s most ambitious infrastructure projects: Heathrow airport expansion and the High Speed 2 (HS2) rail project.

An HS2 Ltd Spokesperson said: “We look forward to working with the new Prime Minister to ensure that HS2 will transform the British economy and is value for money for the taxpayer”.

Meanwhile, Heathrow boss John Holland-Kaye said the airport’s third runway, which Johnson opposed, will be “a critical part of any new prime minister’s agenda”.

“As we leave the EU we’re going to need to have the trading links that only Heathrow can bring and that is why we are cracking on with it.”

The pound dropped to $1.247, after the membership ballot result naming Johnson as leader was announced. As Michael Brown, senior analyst at Caxton FX explains, this was largely due to the fact that the likelihood of Johnson victory had already been priced in.

“With such an outcome having been largely expected, sterling’s immediate reaction has been muted as the news was already priced in,” he said. “However, focus will quickly switch to the next steps – namely, Cabinet appointments and the Brexit plan. The latter will be of more importance for markets, with sterling set to remain under pressure should Boris continue his ‘do or die’ Halloween Brexit stance.”

In the run-up to the announcement a number of businesses had been nervous about the prospect of a Johnson premiership, due to the former London mayor’s insistence that he would take the UK out of the EU with or without a deal by the 31 October.

FP PHOTO

Sesame Bankhall hires new MD to drive digital services

Adviser network Sesame Bankhall Group has appointed Richard Howells as managing director of Sesame Network to help drive growth in digital services.

Mr Howells has a long track record in the financial and intermediary sector, including Zurich Financial Services and Berkeley Independent Advisers.

In his new role he will report to group managing director, Martin Schultheiss. He will take up his new role at the beginning of April, joining the executive team.

Mr Howells has 20 years’ industry experience in a range of executive roles. He was most recently director of insurance wealth life & pensions at Experian.

Prior to this he spent spent seven years at Zurich Financial Services as UK intermediary sales director. Other senior roles include managing director of strategy & development at Bankhall, along with chief executive of Berkeley Independent Advisers.

Mr Schultheiss said: “Richard’s industry background is ideal for us, combining a successful financial advisory track record in executive roles, with recent years spent working on disruptive digital engagement strategies.

“Richard will bring fresh thinking to our future plans, helping to ensure our members compete successfully in a digital world. Our group is investing in a range of exciting new services that will be built with advisers, for advisers, and with a clear focus on the delivery of great service and good customer outcomes.”

Mr Howells said: “SBG is investing heavily in the future of professional advice and there are exciting times ahead for its members. I can’t wait to start working with the team to help strengthen our member relationships further, and develop a new range of compelling propositions, as well as ensuring that Sesame champions the valuable service delivered to customers by its mortgage and protection firms.”

Sesame has one of the UK’s largest appointed representative networks and its Bankhall arm supports adviser firms directly regulated by the FCA.