Conference 2014

2nd Annual Conference - ‘A New Talent Agenda for the City’, 22nd May 2014.

Our second annual conference was sponsored by Mayer Brown and held at their auditorium in Bishopsgate.  The main focus was what has changed in Talent Management over recent years with a strong emphasis on evaluation.  Chairing the conference, Chris Woodman, Managing Director Leadenhall Consulting, observed that the recovery from the financial crisis has seen renewed investment in the talent agenda but with a renewed emphasis on ROI and demonstration of effectiveness.Conferences 2014

Adrian Furnham, Professor at UCL and Associate of Leadenhall Consulting talked about his new book ‘High Potential’ written with Ian McRae and the research that underpins their thinking.   He explained why six key areas of personality -   Conscientiousness, Adjustment, Curiosity, Risk Approach, Ambiguity Acceptance and Competitiveness - are predictors of career success.

John Renz, HR Director, Novae PLC talked about evaluating coaching and the work that he commissioned with Leadenhall Consulting to undertake a review of the coaching assignments that have been undertaken at Novae.  Despite 64% of coachees being sceptical at the outset, 100% stated that they gained real value from the majority of the coaching sessions and more than 70% believed real economic value had been added to the company as a result of their coaching assignment.

Jan Hills, author of Brain Savvy HR and founder of Head, Heart + Brain introduced the topic of neuroscience and its application within HR specifically relating to performance management.  She stimulated an interesting debate on feedback and its impact on individuals.

Liz Codd, Head of Leadership Development and Coaching at Fidelity International shared her experience of assessing and developing leaders within an international environment, with a particular focus on 360 degree feedback, use of the Hogan assessment tools and development coaching to enable leaders to take stock of their careers and plan for the future.

Carole Barlow, HR Director for Aspen Insurance shared some interesting uses of Hogan assessment data taken from their development centres to identify those with a more entrepreneurial personality type.Carol Barlow

One of the highlights of the day was a panel discussion on ‘Sexism in the City: is it still alive and kicking?’   Hosted by Laura Hawes, Associate Director of Leadenhall Consulting, the panellists engaged with the audience in a wide ranging discussion on the issues surrounding gender in business and the City in particular.  Barbara Schonhofer, CEO of the Jacobson Group and promoter of the Women’s Network in insurance spoke passionately about the need for female executives to lean in, network and support each other to ensure that they are able to fulfil their potential.  Julia Possener, Associate, Leadenhall Consulting and former Legal Director, RSA, Sarah Davies, former COO of both Aegis and Aspen Insurance, and Stefan Martin, Partner, Mayer Brown all gave their own perspectives on the debate.

Martin HallEntertainment and insight was offered by Peter Cook, who highlighted the parallels to be drawn between music and business with a practical demonstration of this with his Fender Stratocaster.

Chris Fisher, Partner, Employment Practice at Mayer Brown was able to bring sound practical advice and humour to the subject of ‘protecting your talent through the employment contract’.  In an industry where both individual and team moves can prove incredibly damaging to a business, Chris’s talk demonstrated his mastery of the topic, ensuring that intellectual capital and proprietary information are protected appropriately.

Martin Hall completed the day by sharing experience and insights into the working of teams.  He drew on his career experience as a former CEO and Head of Fixed Income in asset management and the work he has undertaken with Leadenhall Consulting, coaching and developing executive teams.Conferences 2014

Inaugural Conference 2013 - ‘The People Premium', 16 May 2013.

Leadenhall Consulting hosted its inaugural Insurance Industry HR Conference on 16th May in the City of London. The conference, entitled The People Premium, heard from a range of industry and academic speakers who looked at different aspects of how the insurance industry can identify, develop and retain talent in a challenging and competitive market.

The audience primarily comprised HR professionals in the London insurance and broking industries and their views were canvassed on a number of key issues. 67% of the audience felt that it was harder to attract top talent into insurance compared to other financial services. At the same time, 73% felt that HR practices in the industry had improved over the last few years.

Chris Woodman said that ‘while there are some fantastic examples of talent in the industry, insurance has not always been the best industry at attracting new talent from outside and yet this is a fast-moving dynamic sector that underpins much of what goes on in our economy.  None of the firms surveyed recruited from top UK, European or US business schools, in contrast to other sectors in the City.   The aim of the conference was to provide a forum for HR professionals to discuss the challenges they have and to gain exposure to the thoughts of leading figures in these areas’.

Participant feedback included the following:John Renz

‘Diversity of speakers made the event really enjoyable and the range of topics were both relevant and efficient in how they were approached’.

‘It was fast paced which kept the energy in the room.  If anything, I’d like to have heard a little more from a couple of the speakers’.

‘I very much enjoyed the more controversial aspects of the topics – particularly Prof Adrian Furnham and feel that the HR Sector needs to be challenged on some of its academic and traditional views of typical HR issues. More stimulating and alternative perspectives rather than confirming what we already know is always useful for me!’

‘A really enjoyable event, lots of takeaways for my role. Very useful. Thank you for having started this up’.

Chris Woodman added, ‘We intend to make this conference an annual event and we will work with participants to ensure we are covering topics that really resonate for them and which will help them in their working lives.’

Leadenhall conference 2013 Leadenhall conference 2013 Adrian Fuller


2015 Conference Video

3rd Annual Conference - 03 June 2015
‘Culture:  Revolution vs. Evolution – which route to sustainable success?’

Peter Drucker famously said 'Culture eats Strategy for Breakfast'.  What we think he meant was that for all the emphasis on strategies and plans, it is the culture of the organisation which is most likely to determine whether an organisation is successful at any given time.

The 3rd Annual Leadenhall Consulting Conference will look at many different dimensions of culture and how they impact business.  How do you get two different cultures to work together and create one effective culture following a merger?  How do different national cultures work in an international business?  What do regulators mean when they say the culture needs to change - and why are they putting so much importance on it?   How are diversity initiatives impacted by culture?  Does neuroscience have any insights into culture and people as social animals?

Chris WoodmanOur speakers include Peter Cheese, CEO, CIPD, Dennis Hone, CBE, CFO Mace and former CEO of the Olympic Development Authority and London Legacy Development Corporation, Professor Adrian Furnham, University College London, Simon Fraser, former Board member at Barclays and Gareth Adams, special advisor to the Financial Conduct Authority who will be giving his own perspectives on regulation and culture.  We have many well known practitioners from insurance and asset management including John Renz, HR Director, Novae, Liz Codd, Head of Leadership Development and Coaching, Fidelity International, and Charlotte Myers, Director, Market Talent Development, Lloyd’s Market Association amongst others.

We will examine whether the City culture is fit for purpose or if it needs to change - and if it does need to change, why, how and in what way?  There will be a strong practical side to the speakers who will deal with topics that will help you to think about whether the culture in your own organisation helps or hinders its ability to meet the challenges ahead and to create sustainable success.

Please go to the Book Now page to reserve your place or email us at

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