Speaker Profiles

MASTERS RETAIL EXPERTS 2018

Chris Brook-Carter

Chris Brook-Carter

Managing Director - Marketing Week

Chris is the Managing Director of Retail Week - the most influential media brand in UK retail – and the World Retail Congress, the single biggest gathering of global retail’s leadership each year. Chris has led these brands, as editor in chief or more recently as MD for seven years, transforming the business from a weekly print title, into a digital-first and global events brand that continues to sit at the heart of global retail by delivering on its mission to inform, connect and inspire the leaders that continue to colour this great sector.Chris is the Managing Director of Retail Week - the most influential media brand in UK retail – and the World Retail Congress, the single biggest gathering of global retail’s leadership each year. Chris has led these brands, as editor in chief or more recently as MD for seven years, transforming the business from a weekly print title, into a digital-first and global events brand that continues to sit at the heart of global retail by delivering on its mission to inform, connect and inspire the leaders that continue to colour this great sector.

Sohail Shaikh

Sohail Shaikh

Managing Director - Asia, Mothercare

Sohail’s career spans merchandising, franchise development and extensive international remits, all underpinned by a financial grounding. His career started in the Mothercare merchandising and supply chain arena followed by a period of multi-country franchise development. More recently Sohail has led major portions of Mothercare’s and ELC’s international activity with experience across all International regions they operate in via franchise and joint venture models. Mothercare’s International business covers a 1,000+ stores across 57 countries with retail sales in excess £700m. Currently, as Managing Director of International Franchise Sohail overseas the financial performance, brand compliance and strategic direction for the Mothercare and ELC Franchise Business globally across stores and online channels. Sohail also maintains a close relationship with Newcastle University where he was an undergraduate and is an International Advisory Board member of the Newcastle University Business School.

Matt Chambers

Matt Chambers

Former Global Head of Customer Experience - Dufry

Matt is the former Global Head of Customer Experience at Dufry (previously World Duty Free). He is an innovative business leader with over 20 years’ experience in retail, media, property and luxury goods. Matt’s career has included roles both in the UK and overseas for privately owned companies and major PLC’s. He has also held senior Director roles at Capital & Regional and House of Fraser. Matt is also an honorary Professor of Global Branding and Marketing at Glasgow Caledonian University.

David Jeary

David Jeary

Consumer Analyst - Progressive Equity Research

David has worked in the City as an equity analyst for over 20 years, covering primarily the UK General Retailers sector, but also the wider pan-European Retail sector. He worked for the investment banks UBS Warburg, Credit Suisse, Investec, and Canaccord Genuity across his career. He now works as a Consumer Analyst at Progressive Equity Research, which operates on a paid-for research model and whose clients are primarily within the Small- and Midcap market sectors. Prior to joining the City, he worked as a management consultant at Management Horizons and Price Waterhouse on a wide range of projects to improve sales and profitability for UK and international retailers.

Tom Ironside

Tom Ironside

Director - BRC

David has worked in the City as an equity analyst for over 20 years, covering primarily the UK General Retailers sector, but also the wider pan-European Retail sector. He worked for the investment banks UBS Warburg, Credit Suisse, Investec, and Canaccord Genuity across his career. He now works as a Consumer Analyst at Progressive Equity Research, which operates on a paid-for research model and whose clients are primarily within the Small- and Midcap market sectors. Prior to joining the City, he worked as a management consultant at Management Horizons and Price Waterhouse on a wide range of projects to improve sales and profitability for UK and international retailers.

Kyle Rowe

Kyle Rowe

Group International Director - Holland & Barrett

Kyle is an experienced commercial director with retail and direct sales background, currently Group International Director for Holland & Barrett covering 17 markets with over 800 retail locations. Focused on driving new and existing international markets through franchise, wholesale, JV and e-commerce through the Holland & Barrett brand and its sub brands, Kyle is also responsible for all owned operations internationally and M&A activity. Previously, Kyle has held senior management positions at Ann Summers and Travelodge Hotels and has worked closely with private equity firms including being part of the sale side team of H&B in 2017 that saw Letter 1 Retail acquire H&B from Carlyle for £1.8bn.

Tanya Beckett

Tanya Beckett

Broadcaster - BBC

Tanya has worked in broadcasting and the media for over twenty years. She started out at the FT, then went to work for CNBC, Sky News, CNN and since 1998, the BBC. She has worked on a variety of programmes on BBCWorldNews, the Newschannel, Radio 4 and BBC1 and BBC2 including Our World, Working Lunch, Today, World Business report, Newsnight and World Business Report. She also spent 3 years living in and reporting from New York. Tanya has a degree from Oxford University in Metallurgy and Materials Science and spent 5 years as an investment banker in Frankfurt and London.

Stephen Ashton

Stephen Ashtont

Director - Bisham Consulting

Stephen has a broad range of experience in supply chain strategy and implementation. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and a Director of Bisham Consulting. He spent 10 years in DHL and Gist respectively, in a range of executive roles for organisations in the UK, Europe and Asia. This was followed by two spells in retail management as Head of Supply Chain Development for Marks and Spencer and Head of Logistics for Dunnes Stores. Prior to joining Bisham Consulting, Stephen held a number of board roles for the Unipart Group in both consumer and technology logistics.

Dr Alan Treadgold

Dr Alan Treadgold

Partner - PA Consulting

Alan is a Partner in PA Consulting, where he heads the firm’s work in retail. His work focuses especially on go-to-market strategy and approaches for retailers and brand owners to delivering growth in environments of disruption. He has worked in most sectors of retail and in many geographies throughout his career. He has held senior positions in business schools, strategy consulting practices and leading advertising agencies in Europe, the US and the Far East. He is a member of the Advisory Board of the Oxford Institute of Retail Management at Said Business School and a regular speaker at the World Retail Congress. He is the author, with Prof. Jonathan Reynolds, of “Navigating the New Retail Landscape: A Guide for Business Leaders”, published by Oxford University Press in Summer 2016.

Amanda Poole

Amanda Poole

Director - Partners in Retail

Amanda is a retail consultant who specialises in strategic evaluation, market entry assessment and business plans. Her experience ranges across retail and consumer related sectors: from corporate to government; financial services to charities. Amanda is an Associate Fellow of the Saïd Business School and a Director of Partners in Retail a specialist retail consultancy she co-founded in 2004.



Andrew McClelland

Andrew McClelland

Director - Mirador Digital

Andrew has been involved in digital commerce for over 15 years and having held senior roles, including Managing Director, at e-Retail trade body IMRG, has a unique insight into the development of online retail, changing consumer trends and the challenges that incorporating a digital offering into a more traditional retail proposition presents. Mirador Digital was founded to work with clients to develop and deliver strategic planning and review for digital channels, with particular focus on developing cross border opportunities.

Prof. Ulf Johansson

Ulf Johansson

Professor - Lund University Sweden

Ulf Johansson is a professor of marketing at Lund University in Sweden. He currently teaches strategic marketing, which includes market orientation, positioning, trend watching and business models. Ulf is also involved in multiple retail specific research projects. His current studies include how retail companies innovate, complementing his previous research on innovation management, international marketing strategies in retail and how strategies change over time as markets mature. Ulf is also about to begin researching the innovation role of personnel in retail stores and the interaction with central level functions. Through the last 20 years Ulf has worked with many managers and businesses, as well as government institutions and municipalities, on the issues of development.

Steve Finlan

Steve Finlan

Chief Commercial Officer - Clarks

Steve has more than 30 years of experience in retail. Steve is currently Chief Commercial Officer at Clarks with responsibility for the global business and for Supply Chain and Property. Most recently, he was Director of International Operations at Marks and Spencer and a member of the Management Committee. He spent 5 years as Divisional Director of Retail with responsibility for all M&S stores and General merchandise Operations. Prior to Marks and Spencer, roles included MD of Sales at Thomas Cook and SVP of HR at Gap. He has extensive experience of global retail, supply chain and omni-channel operations.

Rupert Eastell

Rupert Eastell

Partner and Head of Retail - RSM

Rupert is Partner and Chair of the Retail Group at RSM. From 1996 – 2002 he trained with Ernst & Young and worked in Bristol, Boston and London with a focus on entrepreneurial businesses, latterly on consumer markets. He spent two years as National Head of Internal Communications working directly for the UK Managing Partner, becoming a partner in 1996 and Head of the Mid-Market Consumer Products team in 2000. In 2003 he became Head of Retail at BDO and created a team that was soon recognised as experts in the retail sector. Over the past 20 years he has advised the Boards of many retail businesses, including Specsavers, The White Company, BHS and Ted Baker. Rupert is a passionate believer in finance being about people and the business, not just the numbers!

Martin Clifford-King

Martin Clifford-King

Owner - Stylecroft

Martin has spent the last 25 years working with a wide variety of consumer businesses. Most recently he was an Operating Partner with the private equity firm Sun European. Prior to this role, Martin ran his own business for 9 years providing Interim CFO services to clients in retail, restaurant, healthcare and gaming sectors including Wiggle, Clinton Cards, The Practice, Office Shoes, HobbyCraft, Whistles and Costa Coffee. Previous jobs include CFO at MFI Furniture Group PLC, FD at Harveys Furnishings PLC (both listed on the London Stock Exchange) and 9 years in various positions at Debenhams and the Burton Group. He trained as a Chartered Accountant with Deloitte, Haskins & Sells and holds a BSc in Chemistry and Mathematics from the University of Southampton.

Mike Hawes

Mike Hawes

Vice President Global Organisational Development - Avis Budget Group

Mike is currently working in one of the most challenging arms of retail, car rental. As the Vice President Global Organisational Development for Avis Budget Group, his role involves developing all the key people levers that drive engagement and performance which includes learning, leadership development, assessment, talent management and innovation culture. Mike started his career in retail at Asda and then Staples, before holding people development roles across the leisure, hospitality and energy sectors with businesses such as The Rank Group, Eurostar, British Gas and Centrica. He fondly looks back at his days of ‘big box’ retailing with B&Q where he spent 5 years running various elements of the people function across the 30,000 strong employee organisation.

Alan Giles OBE

Alan Giles OBE

Non-executive Director - Competition & Markets Authority

Alan is a non-executive director of the Competition & Markets Authority and Perpetual Income & Growth Investment Trust PLC. Alan has extensive retail sector experience, having been Chairman of Fat Face from September 2006 until July 2013. Earlier in his career he formed HMV Group as Chief Executive in 1998 as a leveraged buy-out and led the Group through its London Stock Exchange IPO in 2002 before retiring from the Group in September 2006 to develop a portfolio of non-executive and teaching roles.

In January 2018 Alan was awarded an OBE for his services to UK Business and the Economy.

Hilary Cookson

Hilary Shepherd

Owner - Maureen Cookson

Hilary joined Maureen Cookson in 1980 and has grown the company to become the largest Independent ladies fashion retailer in Lancashire. They are a lifestyle store for womenswear, shoes accessories and gifts. Hilary is also the owner of Benedicts Cafe Bar and B’s Delicatessen. 

Hilary has been a member of DCT, BSSA and BIRA for many years - and was chair of the BSSA in the year prior to the amalgamation that formed BIRA.



Ian Herrett

Ian Herrett

Retail Expert

Ian has carved out a career across three leading UK retail and merchant businesses. Most recently leading the Branch Operations team at Wolseley UK (Part of Ferguson PLC), with responsibility for the 600 UK sites, and the William Wilson merchant business in Scotland. Prior to working at Wolseley, Ian’s career spanned 15 years at Marks and Spencer (taking in Store Management, Food Buying, Sales Management and major change programmes), and 13 years at Kingfisher PLC [in B&Q], where role highlights included Senior Operational Leadership roles, forming the ‘new’ TradePoint merchant business, and serving as the Commercial & Business Development Director on the B&Q board.

Danny Barrasso

Danny Barrasso

Managing Director of UK and Republic of Ireland - New Look

Danny is the Managing Director of UK and Republic of Ireland at New Look. Danny is responsible for all channels including Retail and E-commerce. He joined the New Look Group in 2012 where he initially lead the Multi-Channel, Digital Marketing and Innovation team. His previous roles have included Senior Director at Hilton Worldwide, where he was responsible for their E-Commerce business across Europe, Middle East and Africa and after a period in Retail at Thomas Cook Group he headed up all Online Partnerships, responsible for growing strategic online relationships.

View previous Masters speaker profiles here.

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