The highest personal tax band in the UK is one of the lowest in the EU.

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UK HNW Immigration: Post Brexit - Day 1

21 November 2016


On Wednesday, 23 November 2016, Rupert Gather of InvestUK will be speaking at the UK HNW Immigration: Post Brexit Conference.


Making the Tier 1 Investor Scheme Work - Time for a Fresh Approach?


The presentation will look into and discuss the below:

  • The Tier 1 (Investor) scheme and why the current solutions aren’t working for investors, intermediaries or for Britain;
  • What do comparable global schemes , especially the US EB-5, teach us about how to make a programme successful;
  • Introducing the UK solution: the InvestUK ‘Education Bond’®, an original way for international students to earn eligibility for ILR whilst they study;
  • How the ‘Education Bond’® will help immigration lawyers, asset managers and other professionals reach a whole new generation of Chinese HNWIs.


To hear Rupert speak, at 11.50am on Wednesday, book online here



@invest_uk @PrivClientHub #HNWIMMIGRATION16 #EduBond #InvestUK


23 November 2016: Hilton Bankside, 2-8 Great Suffolk Street.

Chinese student wealth tapped for UK real estate debt drive, we're looking at the £1 billion mark

21 November 2016


Chinese student wealth tapped for UK real estate debt drive. - Daniel Cunningham



Up to £1 billion of capital is to be raised through an issue of bonds targeted at wealthy Chinese students, which will be partially invested in UK real estate debt backing property including affordable housing.


Hong Kong-based private equity fund manager Gaw Capital and inward investment body InvestUK have signed an agreement to launch the so-called ‘Education Bond’ which will target Chinese and other international students, allowing them to invest in the UK and apply for permanent residency in the process.


Around 70,000 Chinese students attend UK schools and universities each year. 

The scheme’s backers said that at least half of the proceeds of the bonds will be invested in “high-yield real estate debt”, with the balance to be invested in UK government bonds. Property projects which will be financed with funds raised from the bond issue will include affordable housing schemes, Gaw and InvestUK said.


The yield generated from the investments will fund bursaries to pay for the students’ tuition fees. In addition, bondholders will be eligible to apply for UK permanence residency after a five-year term of the investment.


The bond has a minimum subscription price of £2 million, which is only invested once a tier one (investor) visa is granted, allowing them to study in the UK.


“The Education Bond is an innovative solution that addresses both the need to fund UK affordable housing, while continuing to attract world-class talent to the UK’s world-leading universities,” said Rupert Gather, chairman of InvestUK.


“The Education Bond conforms with both the letter and spirit of the UK’s investment visa rules, while having a meaningful and measurable impact on Britain’s real economy,” Gather added.


As part of the arrangement, Gaw and InvestUK will form an investment committee to oversee the debt investments. Initial affordable housing projects in Derby and Kent are under negotiation with one of the bond’s UK-based house building partners, Latis Homes.


“We are delighted to partner with InvestUK to launch this creative and innovative Education Bond which we believe is a smart and original way to gain residency while benefiting from an education angle,” said Christina Gaw, managing principal and head of capital markets at Gaw Capital Partners.


“The combination of attractive yield, top quality assets, coupled with attractive long term debt, makes London a particularly compelling market for real estate investments,” Gaw added.


The number of Chinese students attending UK schools and universities has swelled to around 70,000 each year. 


You can read the Education Bond prospectus here. 

UK Visas and Immigration Rules Changes: Autumn 2016

17 November 2016


Today, (November 3), the Home Office has laid before Parliament a package of changes to the Immigration Rules.


Tier 2


Earlier this year we announced reforms to the route for skilled workers, following recommendations made by the Migration Advisory Committee’s review. The main changes in the rules being published today are:

  • Increasing the Tier 2 (General) salary threshold for experienced workers to £25,000, with some exemptions.
  • Increasing the Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) salary threshold for short term staff to £30,000.
  • Reducing the Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) graduate trainee salary threshold to £23,000 and increasing the number of places to 20 per company per year.
  • Closing the Tier 2 (Intra Company Transfer) skills transfer sub-category.


These changes will come into effect for all certificates of sponsorship assigned on or after 24 November 2016. The date from which Intra Company Transfers will be liable for the Health Surcharge will be announced in due course.


English language requirement


As announced in January this year, a new English language requirement at level A2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages is being introduced for non-EEA partners and parents. This affects those applying to extend their stay after 2.5 years in the UK on a 5-year route to settlement under Appendix FM (Family Members) to the Immigration Rules.


The new requirement will apply to partners and parents whose current leave under the family Immigration Rules is due to expire on or after 1 May 2017.


Applicants will be able to meet the new requirement by passing a speaking and listening test at level A2 or above provided by one of the approved test providers, Trinity College London or IELTS SELT Consortium. Applicants will also be able to meet the A2 requirement on the basis that they are a national of a majority English-speaking country or the holder of a degree taught or researched in English.


Applicants will be exempt from the A2 requirement if at the date of application they are aged 65 or over; they have a disability which prevents them from meeting the requirement; or there are exceptional circumstances which prevent them from being able to meet the requirement.

The new A2 requirement will help family migrants better engage in everyday conversation and thereby participate and integrate in everyday life in the community. The new requirement will also support progression towards the B1 level English language required for settlement.   


By announcing the implementation date now, the Government is providing a further 6 months’ notice of the new A2 requirement, enabling those who need to do so to improve their English from the A1 level already required to come here on a partner or parent visa.


Other changes


In addition to the above, we propose to make a number of minor changes, including for Tier 1 (Entrepreneur and Exceptional Talent), Tier 2 (General) applications, Tier 5 youth mobility quotas and Tier 5 maintenance funds. 





1. Why are you introducng this requirement?

The ability to speak and understand English is fundamental to successful integration into British society. It gives migrants the means to participate in British life, helping them to find work, allowing them to support their children’s education and enabling them to fulfil their potential.


The Government has a manifesto commitment to introduce an English language requirement for family route applicants for further leave to remain. This will encourage better integration into British society, helping to ensure that those who come to the UK on the family route with only basic English become more fluent over time.


On 18 January 2016 the Government announced the intention to introduce a new English language requirement, at level A2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, for partners and parents applying, after 2.5 years in the UK on a 5-year route to settlement, to extend their existing leave under the family Immigration Rules. The announcement indicated that the requirement would not be introduced before October 2016.


2. When will the new requirement come into effect?

The new A2 English language requirement for non-European Economic Area national partners and parents applying for further leave to remain under Appendix FM (Family Member) of the Immigration Rules will be introduced from 1 May 2017.


 From that date, applicants who have completed 2.5 years (30 months) in the UK with leave as a partner or parent on a 5-year (60-month) route to settlement under Appendix FM, and who are applying for further leave to remain in that category, will need to show that they can speak and understand English at level A2 or higher.


3. Who will need to meet the A2 requirement?

 An applicant whose leave to enter or remain as a partner or parent under Appendix FM will expire on or after 1 May 2017 will, unless exempt, need to meet the A2 requirement if they are applying for further leave to remain in that category on a 5-year route to settlement.


4. How can the A2 requirement be met?

The requirement can be met by:

  • being a national of a majority English-speaking country; or passing a speaking and listening test at level A2 or above with an
  • approved provider as set out in Appendix O to the Immigration Rules; or having an academic qualification which is either a Bachelor’s or Master’s
  • degree or PhD taught or researched in English.


5. Under the Immigration Rules what is a “majority English-speaking country” for these purposes?

One of the following countries: Antigua and Barbuda; Australia; the Bahamas; Barbados; Belize; Canada; Dominica; Grenada; Guyana; Jamaica; New Zealand; St Kitts and Nevis; St Lucia; St Vincent and the Grenadines; Trinidad and Tobago; and the United States of America. 


6. What will partners and parents need to do to meet the A2 test requirement? 

They will need to demonstrate competence in English language speaking and listening at level A2 or above of the Common European Framework of Reference. They will do this by passing a Home Office approved test with an approved provider at an approved test centre.


At A2 level, a person can go beyond a simple factual conversation to express simple opinions. They can understand the main point in short, clear, simple messages and announcements. They can interact in short conversations on familiar topics provided the other person helps if necessary. 


7. Who will provide the new A2 level tests? 

Trinity College London and IELTS SELT Consortium deliver Secure English Language Test (SELT) services in the UK for immigration purposes. 


8. When will A2 tests be available? 

A2 tests from Trinity College London and IELTS SELT Consortium are already available in the UK at approved test centres. The current list of approved test centres is available on 


9. How will an applicant confirm that they have passed the required test? 

The applicant must provide their unique reference number on their application form to confirm that they have passed a specified test at or above level A2. This will be verified by the Home Office as part of the leave to remain decision-making process via an on-line verification system. 


10. What does the A2 test involve? 

Trinity College London’s A2 speaking and listening test involves a one-to-one conversation with an examiner which lasts seven minutes. Further information about the Trinity College London A2 test, including a video of a test taking place, self-study preparation material and an information booklet, is available at 


IELTS SELT Consortium’s A2 speaking and listening test is taken with another test taker and one examiner. Candidates are assessed on their own performance during this session. Further information about IELTS SELT Consortium’s A2 test is available at 


11. How much will the A2 test cost the applicant? 



12. Can an applicant who used a pass in an approved test at or above level A2 to meet the A1 English language requirement in their visa or initial leave to remain application rely on that to meet the new A2 requirement? 

Yes, provided that:

  • the applicant has had continuous leave as a partner or parent since the Home Office accepted that test result as valid;
  • the Home Office has no reasonable case to doubt the test result was genuinely obtained; and
  • the test result has not been withdrawn by the provider. 


13. How will an applicant meet the A2 requirement using a degree taught or researched in English?

The applicant can meet the A2 requirement if they have obtained an academic qualification which:

  • is a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree or PhD awarded by an educational establishment in the UK; or
  •  if awarded by an educational establishment outside the UK, is deemed by UK NARIC (the national agency for the recognition and comparison of international qualifications and skills) to meet or exceed the recognised standard of a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree or PhD in the UK, and UK NARIC has confirmed that the degree was taught or researched in English to level A2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages or above. 


14. Will there be exemptions from the A2 requirement? 

Yes. As with the current A1 English language requirement for a partner or parent visa or initial leave to remain, an applicant will be exempt from the new A2 requirement if at the date of application:

  •  they are aged 65 or over;
  • they have a disability which prevents them from meeting the requirement; or
  • there are exceptional circumstances which prevent them from being able to meet the requirement. 


15. Where will an exemption apply on grounds of disability? 

An exemption will apply on the grounds of disability where an applicant has a physical or mental condition which prevents them from learning English or taking an approved English language test at level A2. This is not a blanket exemption. Some disabled people will be capable of learning English and meeting the A2 requirement and some will not.


To qualify for an exemption on the grounds of disability, an applicant must make it clear in their application that they are seeking an exemption from the A2 requirement on disability grounds and must provide medical evidence from a qualified medical practitioner. The medical evidence must set out clearly the applicant’s physical or mental condition and explain why it is not possible for the applicant to meet the A2 English language requirement. Each application for an exemption on this basis will be considered on its merits on a case-by-case basis.


16. Where will an exemption apply on grounds of exceptional circumstances? 

An exemption will apply on the grounds of exceptional circumstances where an applicant has demonstrated that, as a result of exceptional circumstances, they are unable to learn English or take an approved English language test in the UK at level A2. Each application for an exemption on the basis of exceptional circumstances will be considered on its merits on a case-by-case basis.


Applicants must make it clear in their application that they are seeking an exemption from the A2 requirement on the basis of exceptional circumstances. Evidence of the nature and impact of the exceptional circumstances must be clearly provided. This must include evidence provided by an independent source or capable of being verified by the decision maker. An example may be where the applicant has been hospitalised for several months immediately prior to the date of application. Lack of or limited literacy or education will not be accepted as exceptional circumstances. 


17. Will an applicant who was exempt from the A1 English language requirement in their visa or initial leave to remain application be exempt from meeting the A2 requirement?

Yes. They will have to meet the A1 level English language requirement in their further leave to remain application unless they remain exempt from it on the same or a different basis. 



UK 'more flexible' out of EU: Chinese investors say Brexit has opened up major opportunity

16 November 2016


CHINESE investors have thanked David Cameron for the opportunities Brexit has given them in the UK. - Alex Culbertson


Financiers are keen to spend their money in Britain following the vote in June to leave the European Union (EU) as they believe the UK can now be "more flexible".


The pound's depreciation coupled with Britain's reputation for quality are attracting more Chinese to plough their money into the country.


Valuations of companies are understood to be much higher in the US and China than in the UK, "so they think it's cheap in the UK", said Rupert Gather, chairman of InvestUK, which ploughed £1billion into an Education Bond to raise low-cost capital to develop affording housing in the UK.


One Chinese investor at the China Outbound conference in Shanghai, told The Times: "We thank Mr Cameron for Brexit, as that gives us an opportunity with companies like you."

Businessman Hou Weijun invested £20million into an Edinburgh environmental project shortly after the vote. He said: "The traditional view is that Brexit is bad but I'm confident in the UK and its policies. It can now be more flexible and take its own, democratic route."


Some Chinese predicted Britain would vote to leave the EU and invested just before June 23 when uncertainty was surrounding British politics and business.


Kenneth Xu, a senior director at Fosun Capital, part of one of China' largest private companies, said the opportunity has proved invaluable. His company bought beleaguered Wolverhampton Wanderers FC just days before the Brexit vote. He said: "We think the price is cheap. The club is already at the bottom, it cannot get any worse. "If we can do something to push it, help it go up, there's big potential."


Mr Xu will not confirm or deny whether Fosun is going to bid for the National Grid, saying its investors are targeting gene technology, fashion and luxury in the UK. He said they are considering delving further into sport.


Chinese businesses are now vying to buy clubs, with Chinese conglomerate Lander Sports Development planning to buy Southampton FC, Bloomberg reported. Mr Xu said they are remaining cautious though. He said: "We always keep an eye on the UK but we're waiting, we're a hunter. "We're not in a rush. If an opportunity jumps out, we'll catch it."


Lord Sassoon, chairman of the China Britain Business Council, told the UK government-sponsored conference in Shanghai: "The Chinese understand a bargain." He said the Chinese did not have the same exposure other foreign investors did with businesses and manufacturing plants already in the UK providing services to the EU. He added: "Chinese investors are interested in finding high-value engineering expertise, health expertise, creative ideas, then bringing them back to China to drive their own businesses up the value chain. "For that, nothing changes as a result of Brexit, other than at the moment things are 20 per cent cheaper." Shanghai official Shang Yuying repeated Mr Cameron and President Xi's encouraging words during the Chinese leader's visit to Britain last year. He told the conference "in the golden era we need to bear golden fruit".


Mr Gather added: "It's a whole new way of attracting inward investment into the UK, using foreign students as the principal source."


Mark Bernstein, founder of Leicester-based Wearable Technologies, which secure licensing partners and investment from China for its industrial garments with embedded, washable wi-fi networks. 



Lord Sassoon of CBBC

Snapshots from the EDUCATION BOND's Launch: On the Road Coverage

11 November 2016




Rupert Gather launching the InvestUK Education Bond at the Investment Immigration Summit, Hong Kong on 8th November:



Q&A Panel at The 4th CBBC China Outbound Investment Conference, Shanghai:



The BE Education Alis Education Summit, Shanghai:


Rupert Gather, InvestUK





The Immigration & Investment Industry Elite Convention, Beijing:



Gaw Capital Partners and InvestUK Launch Innovative Education Bond for Chinese Students in the UK. Coverage Report (as of 7 November, 2016)


Where you can hear about InvestUK's Education Bond:


Media (English)

Media (China)


Headline & URLs



Shanghai Financial News








私募推教育債券 5年居英招徠


  1. 3

Reuters China





Shanghai Financial News Web





Institutional Investor





China Money Network








Gaw Capital dreams up hybrid investor/student visa to fuel $1.2b UK real estate fund


Property Fund World



Gaw and InvestUK launch Education Bond for Chinese students


Property Week



£1bn property bond targets students seeking UK residency


China Money Network



Gaw Capital To Launch U.K. Property-Linked Education Bond Program





Chinese students embark on £1bn UK property debt drive


  1. 3

Reuters China





China Money Network



Gaw Capital To Launch U.K. Property-Linked Education Bond Program























China Media Blog









Prefabs and Chinese Students Are U.K.’s New Homebuilding Gambit










The 4th CBBC China Outbound Investment Conference

07 November 2016


Lord Sassoon, the Chairman of China-Britain Business Council, commentary of InvestUK's Bond.


"Indeed at today’s conference, business is already being done. Hong Kong’s Gaw Capital and InvestUK will sign an MoU to launch a new investment product called the ‘Education Bond’. Linked to Chinese students in the UK, the programme is expected to raise up to 1 billion for the construction of affordable housing in the UK, with the interest used to fund bursaries to cover the students’ tuition fees.


Shaghai, 3 November 2016

The Rich List: Hurun Report

06 September 2016

The 15th Awards Ceremony hosted by Hurun Report celebrates China's Richest:







The Evening Standard and Brexit Signatories

27 July 2016

Do you remember when?


Daniel Hodson's (Business for Britain) City Letter in the Evening Standard. We'd love to grab a comment from the signatories post-vote.

Dear Sir,



We write - in our personal capacities - as individuals active in the City of London and UK financial services who share a strong personal commitment to the world’s most vibrant financial centre, and a material interest in its future success. We firmly believe that it can thrive and grow outside the European Union.



As we contemplate the upcoming referendum on UK membership of the EU, we remember that the EU had honourable origins - to heal the wounds of post war Europe, to enable free trade to return the Continent to prosperity. In 1975 there were persuasive reasons for the United Kingdom to join the European Economic Community, and we believe membership was for many years a positive for the UK and the City.


However, we do not believe that the same case can be made for continued membership in 2016.



The EU is now shackled to the Euro, a project doing damage to the social and economic fabric of member countries, including high youth unemployment. Many of us worry that the Eurozone’s problems may prove insurmountable.



Meanwhile there is scant evidence that the EU will foster or support the kind of innovation which is essential if Europeans are to compete with the rest of the world. Specifically, we worry that the EU’s approach to regulation now poses a genuine threat to our financial services industry and to the competitiveness of the City of London.



Assuming good political leadership and an effective regulatory environment, we believe that the City is most likely to strengthen its lead as the world's largest international financial centre, and continue to make a major contribution to the UK economy and employment, outside the EU but with continued access to its capital markets. 


We will therefore be supporting the Vote Leave campaign and encouraging others to join us.



The letter has been signed by a 100+ signatories.




Mr Christopher Aldous

Mr Andrew Allum

Mr David Anderson

Mr Robin Archibald

Mr Iain Baillie

Mr John Barkshire CBE

Mr Andrew Barnie

Mr Andrew Beeson

Mr Nic Bentley

Mr Gilbert Bland

Mr Richard Boggis-Rolfe

Mr Roger Bootle

Mr Simon Brewer

Mr John Bridges

Mr David Buik

Mr Dominic Burke

Mr Mark Cannon Brookes

Mr Julian Cazalet

Lord Charles Cecil

Mr Peter Chesterfield

Professor Moorad Choudhry

Mr Andrew Clowes

Mr Alegeron Cluff

Mr Edward Collins

Professor Tim Congdon CBE

Mr David Cooper

Mr Kevin Cooper

Mr Danny Corrigan

Dr Peter Cruddas

Mr Ben Davies

Deputy Alexander Deane

Mr William Drake

Mr Michael Faber

Lord Flight

Ms Haruko Fukuda OBE

Mr Rupert Gather

Mr Michael Geoghegan

Mr Richard Gilbert

Mr Campbell Gordon

Mr Roddy Graham

Mr Tim Guinness

Mr Rupert Hambro CBE

Ms Melanie Hampton

Mr Peter Hargreaves CBE

Mr Robert Hiscox

Mr Michael Hodges

Mr Daniel Hodson

Mr Sean Howlett

Mr Kevin Hughes

Mr David Hunter

Mr Graham Hutton

Mr Charles Inions

Mr Adrian Johnson

Mr Luke Johnson

Mr Nicholas Kirk

Mr Michael Langdon

Dr Ruth Lea CBE

Mr Jonathan Little

Mr Paul Marshall

Mr Mark Martyrossian

Mr John May

Mr Steven McKeane

Mr Mark McLornan

Mr Edgar Miller

Mr Christopher Mills

Mr Philip Milton

Mr Luke Morris

Mr Jon Moulton

Mr Garth Mulholland

Mr Paul Munday

Mr Andrew Murison

The Lord Grantley

Mr John O'Brien

Mr Crispin Odey

Mr Robin Woodbine Parish

Mr Tim Parker

Mr Stewart Paterson

Mr Richard Patient

Mr Simon Pearson-Miles

Mr Algernon Percy

Mr Michael Petley

Mr David Potter

Mr David Pusinelli

Mr Neil Record

Mr David Reid Scott

Mr Richard Royden

Mr Charles Russam

Mr John Sanders

Mr Savvas Savouri

Mr David Shipley

Mr Christian Siegl

Cllr David Sismey

Mr Hugh Sloane

Mr Andrew Smith

Mr Michael Stoddart

Mr Rhoddy Swire

Clive Thorne

The Viscount Trenchard

Mr Edmund Truell

Mr Peter Udale

Mr Ian van Stratum

Mr Nigel Webber

Mr Adam Wethered

Mr Mark Wheatley CC

Mr Jack Wigglesworth

Sir Brian Williamson CBE

Mr John Winter

Mr Brian Winterflood

UK SMEs and the case of Brexit

21 June 2016


Opinion based survey sheds light on the SME economy view in Britain:


Infographic in large







How Do Europeans Feel About The EU And A Potential Brexit?

17 June 2016

The China Development Foundation and CSR Integration Award

31 March 2016

InvestUK was honoured last week in Beijing at the China Corporate Social Responsibility ('CSR') Awards held at The Opposite House Hotel on 23rd March. The Award for Best Integration Strategy was presented to Chairman Rupert Gather by Carma Elliot CMG OBE, Director China, Minister of Culture and Education. This award recognised InvestUK commitment to providing scholarships to pay for tuition fees to broaden access to international study through its recently launched ‘Education Bond®’.



In his acceptance speech Rupert highlighted the work of its partner in China, the China Development Foundation, and its deep commitment to helping China's rural children escape poverty through education. Commenting on the CSR Awards, Rupert said "it is a great privilege to be able to work with inspiring leaders such as Wang Liwei, CEO China Development Foundation and help many more Chinese children have access to a high quality UK education, regardless of means.”




Each applicant was marked out of a maximum of 4 points for each question, relative to the size of the organisation:  

1) What impact does the project have on the issue addressed?

2) How scalable is the project?

3) How sustainable is the project?

4) How well does the project leverage the resources of the institution?

5) How professionally is the project implemented? 



The China CSR Awards, 2016



Twitter:  @invest_uk | #EduBond | #InvestUK

Chinese Exchange: Foreign Student to UK Entrepreneur

11 March 2016


Our first event in this series took place on Friday 4th March, 2016. The purpose of these events is to assist students in planning and managing their success. We were delighted to welcome Grant Thornton Recruit, Cambridge Guarantee, Future Impact, and Alexander House as part of our guest speakers for the evening, at China Exchange UK:













Contact us for further details:

Post-crash era welcomes business-funding alternatives

09 March 2016




In a post-crash era of reduced business lending by banks and low interest rates for savers, the scene is set for the spectacular rise of alternative forms of funding:

James Hurley, Enterprise editor at The Times and award-winning journalist, lays out the rising star that is alternative funding, in the UK. This is just the beginning and we're already starting strong. InvestUK is glad to see sparks fly around this industry and growth and awareness flourish; as an alternative solution to the more 'classic' forms of business-lending and investment.

Full article here


British SMEs and start-ups in particular who come hungry for growth capital, are increasingly turning to alternative forms of funding. 

Register your UK company for funding and consultation details, over here.



Infographic: Raconteur.

UK SMEs: Business Transformation POA

07 March 2016

"We overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next 10." - Bill Gates


Raconteur's latest report on "UK Business Transformation" is out, and we've summed up the take-homes below:


Standing still is not an option in an advanced digital world where technology is forcing the pace of business transformation, By Gideon Spanier.


It was Bill Gates who came up with one of the most memorable observations about the need for business transformation. “We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten,” the Microsoft co-founder said. “Don’t let yourself be lulled into inaction.”


Microsoft may have lost some of its capacity for business reinvention in recent years, but many companies continue to look to the technology giants on America’s West Coast for inspiration because of their ability to disrupt themselves and engage their workforce. 


Reinvent for Success


Apple used to make personal computers but, over the course of a decade, morphed into a manufacturer of iPod music listening devices, then iPhones and iPads, and now smartwatches. 


Amazon began as a distributor of physical books, but has transformed itself multiple times into a retailer of electronics and homeware, a publisher of e-books, and a vendor of high-powered cloud-computing storage.


Facebook started out as a social network on desktop computers, pivoted to become a mobile-first company and made a string of transformative purchases, including Instagram, WhatsApp and Oculus Rift, which broadened its scale.


The most successful enterprises are those willing to harness the benefits of transformation, according to 86 per cent of business leaders surveyed by Google.


The internet search giant is leading by example. The company has had a long record of investing in experimental new technology, dubbed moonshots, such as driverless cars and virtual reality. But last year it made this pursuit of innovation a part of its corporate structure by creating a new holding company, called Alphabet, which runs Google separately from its moonshots, which it calls “other bets”.


Barriers to transformation


Business transformation is often costly and takes time. Few companies have the large, offshore cash piles that the tech giants have amassed, so they may feel they are not able to afford to take risks.


However, the pressure to change is mounting because the speed of the technology revolution is accelerating thanks to super-fast 4G mobile and broadband, even if Mr Gates’ maxim about people overestimating the change in two years still holds true.


According to a survey by the accountancy firm PwC, 60 per cent of chief executives said they see more business opportunities now than they did three years ago, but almost three-quarters were concerned they lack the capability to take advantage of these opportunities.


The problem for “legacy” companies is often not about spotting the need for business transformation. Rather it is about having the strength to push through change when there could be multiple internal and external stakeholders that are wary or resistant, from shareholders to employees, from bank lenders to customers, from politicians to regulators.






How to achieve business transformation to stay competitive, whether through major change management or small continuous improvements, has split opinion. By Alison Coleman.


The business world faces many uncertainties, but one thing that’s constant is change. Organisations have to change to remain competitive, and the challenge for business leaders is to decide whether to go for wholesale business transformation and reinvent the organisation or to make small, incremental changes that evolve only certain parts of the operation.


According to a recent survey by Source Global Research, the majority favour business transformation. The survey of more than 600 senior executives and directors in UK organisations revealed that 82 per cent of organisations are already investing in, or planning to invest in, large-scale transformation programmes.


A responsive approach to change


Still, some favour a more responsive approach to change based on customer feedback. James Murphy, chief executive of communications agency adam&eveDDB, believes that businesses should take a leaf out of Uber’s book and take their cues for change from the customers they are targeting.


He says: “Ambitious businesses need to be constantly improving and creating a culture that fosters incremental change, so that you are improving in some area of your business at least every few weeks.


“This doesn’t mean just focusing on the latest tech and how you can adopt it, but changing your attitude and that of everyone in your organisation. As part of this, it is important to empower staff to come up with ideas rather than having a top-down management.”


But business leaders who are inclined to make continuous small changes could be a making a mistake, according to Stephane Girod from Henley Business School, who along with Professor Richard Whittington from Oxford University has just completed new research into the potentially disastrous consequences of unplanned continuous small organisational change.


He says: “Executives reason that small changes pre-empt larger ones, on a ‘stitch in time saves nine’ principle. One of our major counterintuitive findings is that, in fact, small incremental changes can actually escalate into larger, more radical change. This effect happens even after controlling for more classic factors of large change, such as strategy, size and environmental change.


“In our study, small incremental change consists of changes to the boundaries of business divisions, by merging, splitting, transferring, closing or creating divisions.”


The research suggests that beyond a threshold, such continuous small changes are liable to trigger a potentially unintentional and even harmful radical organisational restructuring.


Far from always releasing pressure in the system, small incremental changes can be a pre-shock setting off a large-scale eruption, says Dr Girod. He points to successful companies, such as Google, Dow Chemical and Accenture, that recognise it is better to resort directly to more radical organisational change occasionally when significant internal change is necessary, than tweak the organisation a lot.



For further insight visit Raconteur and follow us on @invest_uk.

Full article owned and credited to Raconteur 3/3/2016


CIS Wealth Forum | Moscow 2016

24 February 2016



InvestUK at the CIS Wealth, in Moscow. Sponsors of 2016's international Forum.



Presentation slides from this year's event panelists: View them here.


Are we in a crowdfunding bubble that’s about to burst?

23 February 2016


All good things come to an end?

If the crowdfunding route has you skeptical; we will assist your company by matching you with fewer, more professional investors, that are both like-minded and have something to bring to the table. This is what we do. 


An interesting read by Startups UKFollowing Rebus' crowdfunding failure, industry experts share their views on whether start-ups and investors should be cautious about crowdfunding.

This one's for our first time Entrepreneurs:

22 February 2016


Before you have to go back to the drawing board - let's work on prevention. Startups UK are sharing their knowledge with all the first-timers out there:


From hiring and firing to managing your time effectively – entrepreneurs reveal how to navigate the challenges and pitfalls of setting up a business. 


The Big 5:

1. Set regular targets

2. Don’t waste time and money on things you don’t need

3. Become hypercritical about your time

4. Keep the cash flowing

5. Only recruit the best


The how-to, full article here.

What the small UK companies are saying about Brexit

18 February 2016


Startups UK have a live poll in motion on Twitter, today. What are SME's saying about Brexit - Should we stay or should we go?

A curious outcome from UK's SMEs as they speak out on where they stand regarding Brexit.

The article can be read here. View the poll stats as they climb here.


InvestUK have placed their support with Brexit, our Chairman explains here. Get involved and let us know your thoughts on Twitter.

Why the EU want us to stay:

10 February 2016

Where is InvestUK on this matter? Read about it here


We would like to hear your thoughts on the situation. We welcome you to tweet to us, #Brexit #EUreferendum #InvestUK @BrexitWatch @invest_uk @forbritain.

Key facts about the UK Fund Management Industry

09 February 2016

Is anyone surprised that 40% of London's asset management firms are owned by overseas investors? 



InvestUK are here to marry international investors with UK business owners, and keeping it in play on home ground. 


The City UK Assest Management Infographic: