Author: GBS Marketing

Contrary to what doomsayers tell us, good business practices can mean that companies flourish in unstable business environments. Well-run oil majors, defence companies, tech firms, eco-car manufacturers, investment houses (not just those betting on shorts), have all extracted healthy profits, or sustainable capacity expansion from the back of ailing sectors and wounded terrains.

But, 2019 has already thrown up some difficult headlines for business communities. That’s without considering Brexit. Goldman Sachs’ CEO has issued an apology for the so-called 1MDB scandal, which saw billions of dollars embezzled from the Malaysia State Development Fund.

Closer to home, iconic retailer Marks & Spencer have announced the closure of 17 UK stores. Japanese firm Hitachi has frozen work at a UK nuclear plant and Parliament is still yet to decide on approving Sainsbury’s merger with Asda. If approved, we will see another historic British retailer, ultimately, reporting to US mega-retailer Walmart and American regulators.

The Guardian newspaper, fond of the EU, blamed “UK political turmoil” for taking “its toll” on sluggish Christmas retail figures at John Lewis, Halfords and Sainsbury’s. John Lewis’ fashion and homewares division reported drops of 5-7% in sales.

Yet Tesco and Next – both considered economic ‘bellweathers’ – increased sales. The telling data here shows that online sales grew by 15% at Next but fell almost 10% in its shops. In fact, according to the UK Office for National Statistics, year-on-year online sales have grown by 13.9%, and up to 17.8%, when we consider new innovative seasonal promotions such as Black Friday.

Yesterday, the head of the UK CBI, which has been deeply pessimistic about Brexit, told the BBC that: “I don’t think there will be a single business this morning who is stopping or halting their no-deal planning.”

But, Tom Bohills at the Alliance of British Entrepreneurs’, and other pro-Brexit business leaders (including Wetherspoons’ Chair, Tim Martin), explain that the continued reference to “No Deal” by UK politicians and media is, actually, a misnomer: “We would simply default to WTO (World Trade Organisation) trade rules,” explains Bohills, “which are designed precisely to deal” with uncertain conditions including international disagreements.


The IMF certainly views a “no deal” Brexit as one of the potential triggers behind slower growth during 2019 (at least) in its World Economic Outlook Update, January 2019. But, according to the IMF, the big-ticket stress items for the global economy omit Brexit and include, principally:

-Tariff issues between the US and China – the 90 days hold-off from tariff proposals agreed on December 1stwas welcomed, but the new deadline for a positive deal is looming

-Germany’s new automobile and fuel emissions standards

-High levels of public and private debt

-Larger contractions than expected in key, large emerging markets (Turkey cited).

The IMF’s summary, ‘softening momentum, high uncertainty’ is apt. Oxford Economics research institute reported today that global growth could almost freeze over the next couple of years due to a significant (now likely) combined slow-down in China and America.

We can feel it here in London – the “most coveted place in the world to live” (according to Boston Consulting Group) – where consumer demand has dropped in key sectors and property sales are sluggish, indeed tumbling in some zones.

But, as we at GBS open new campuses in Birmingham (2018) and Manchester (September 2019), our prediction is that the so-called ‘second-tier cities’, with their lower cost base and improving transport infrastructure, will still experience forward momentum, after what is going to be – for sure – an uncertain opening to 2019 for everybody.

Happy New Year.

Richard Bingley

Managing Director, GBS

The Student Representative Committee for Undergraduate Programmes at GBS has identified five areas of ‘good practice’ during their recent review. Areas of good practice include:

  • Support of dedicated Programme Managers for each course
  • Allocation of Personal Tutors for each GBS student
  • Formative (informal) assessment and feedback that enables students to learn from, and correct errors in approach, prior to undertaking formal (summative) assessments
  • Dedicated Academic Writing tutorials from in-house PhD qualified GBS staff
  • Course Representatives for each programme, chaired by a student, rather than staff members

“We’re delighted by this feedback from our own hard-working students and appreciate them taking the time to formulate the report. In addition, we are carrying out further enhancements to facilities and online learning support technologies, to help our students achieve their goals.” – Richard Bingley

GBS’s campus in Bow, is very close to the London Underground, DLR and major bus routes. GBS has also recently opened a campus in Birmingham.

“Many of our students are motivated to become tomorrow’s leading entrepreneurs and business leaders. Offering such good value and support for our students, within the busy context of diverse and dynamic city centers, in our own successful business model.” – Richard Bingley

Last night UK Prime Minister Theresa May delivered a crucial speech on the future of UK and global business environments to the traditional annual gathering of the City of London’s Lord Mayor.

British Prime Ministers have given speeches before industry bosses at the ‘Lord Mayor’s Banquet’ in London for more than 200 years.

Managing Director of the Global Banking School, Richard Bingley, said:

“The PM’s speech gave a fascinating overview of the UK government’s perspective of international financial organisations, partnerships, regulation, and the direction of travel for emerging technology. Mrs May’s speech is an excellent read for business and finance students who seek to understand the challenges that political turbulence and rapid technical advancement pose to managers and organisational leaders.”

At the annual banquet, UK Prime Minster Theresa May said:

“We are in a time of unprecedented interconnectedness.”

She later told the audience:

“A damaging trade war with spiralling tariffs is in no-one’s interests. But we must be honest in identifying problems and do more to work together to fix them.

“So we need an ambitious and urgent process for reform of the World Trade Organisation.

“This includes increasing transparency so countries can see whether rules and commitments are really being honoured – whether on the declaration of subsidies or respect for intellectual property rights. And updating dispute settlement processes to ensure they operate fairly and efficiently.

“It also includes promoting trade in services and digital, not just physical goods.

“For while services now account for 65 percent of global GDP, recent trade negotiations to deliver more ambitious trade in services have stalled.

“And while companies like Amazon and Alibaba have changed the nature of consumer behaviour, the World Trade Organisation has been struggling to remove barriers to e-commerce trade for almost two decades.

“So, these reforms must ensure the rules themselves remain relevant to the modern economy.

“But even as we work to bring the rules up to date, we need to go further.

“For we are now living through the most extraordinary technological transformation.

“A time when flows of data account for a higher proportion of growth than trade in physical goods.

“When Artificial Intelligence could almost double the value of the global digital economy to $23 trillion by 2025.

“And when it could increase global GDP by 14 per cent by 2030.

“In this new context, our standing in the world – and our ability to retain our position as a global economic hub – will depend not only on the steps we take to innovate at home, but crucially also on the role we play in shaping the rules that will define this new era.

“So, I am determined that we will lead the way.

“At home we will continue to pursue our modern Industrial Strategy: matching the innovation of our world-class scientists and entrepreneurs with growing public investment in research and development and a regulatory environment designed to encourage, not stifle change.

“Internationally we will build on our role as an innovator in technology policy and cyber security, and a trusted economic hub between East and West, to position the UK as a pivotal innovation-driven digital economy with global reach and ambitions.

“Our new Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation will work with partners across the world to advise on the rules and best practice needed to build the best, most trusted, most innovative AI and data ecosystem in the world. An ecosystem that will help build the foundation of public support for the tech economy that is so critical to its future success.

“And we will use our influence in organisations like the Internet Governance Forum, meeting in Paris this week, to establish global norms for free and open development of these technologies.”

“Because this is not just about economics.

“It goes to the heart of who we are and the kind of society we want to build.

“Being an open democracy means standing up for our values and freedoms whilst protecting intellectual property and safeguarding against those who would abuse or misuse the access to information that technology brings.

“So, the global rules and norms we need are those that ensure these transformative technologies develop in line with our values and secure the trust of our citizens.

Mrs May concluded:

“…The UK will be at the centre of this global agenda.”

For a full transcript of the UK PM’s speech please go to: www.gov.uk/government/speeches/…

Colleges and universities are often rightly asked by quality assurance agencies to explain their student learning activities and how we can improve learning experiences? Such initiatives are often referred to in our trade as ‘academic enhancement’

It is an excellent question though.

Just sometimes, under the anxious spotlight of formal reviews and paper submissions, learning providers often forget to mention lots of the good work that they already do, or are about to embark upon.

Here at the Global Banking School (GBS), at our London and Birmingham (UK) campuses, our own Learning and Teaching Strategy is very much supported by the following methods of continuous academic enhancement:

  • Programme Committees that actively gather feedback and introduce improvements for each course
  • Online course and career development content and ‘Live Online’ teaching provision
  • A student-run Global Banking Society that takes the leadership role in helping to deliver career events
  • Graduate Challenge, whereby business students carry out real-life business challenges
  • Global Valuation Olympiad, whereby Investment Banking students from around the world visit our campus and value international firms in a television-apprentice style competition and cash prize
  • Academic support and IT support workshops embedded into our curriculum
  • Professional journals, presentations and group-work used for assessments
  • Live-projects undertaken by student teams to address topical business issues, such as EU GDPR strategy and implementation
  • Professional development workshops and university partner review sessions for tutors and programme managers
  • Healthy staff/student ratios and one-to-one academic support for all students

To refresh and deepen our approaches, here’s a couple of excellent short articles that provide further ideas to underpin our work practices as supportive tutors:

The first, from the UK Higher Education Academy, Engaged student learning strategic enhancement programme:

https://www.heacademy.ac.uk/knowledge-hub/engaged-student-learning-strategic-enhancement-programme

Then there’s an excellent recent publication – Enhancing Student Learning: Seven Principles for Good Practice – from Winona State University, over in the United States:http://www.crlt.umich.edu/gsis/p4_6

An annual competition run each year for business students, hosted at the London-based Global Banking School (GBS), has seen a German University claim the top prize.

“This year’s final saw ten teams from around the world visit our London campus and provide detailed presentations about how companies can be valued on the financial markets for investors. Teams flew in from Warsaw, Mumbai, Raipur, Frankfurt, Kuala Lumpur and other global financial centres.” – Richard Bingley

Every year over 5,000 student-candidates participate in the ‘Global Investment Banking Valuation Olympiad’. Student teams are filtered down after completing preliminary online tests and the second stage of presentations.

The final stage of group presentations was held at GBS’s campus in Bow, London, on 26th October 2018, in front of a panel of four senior academics and investment managers. The winning team received a cash prize of £1,000.

The winning team was led by Master’s Degree student, Christoph Willecke, at Germany’s Otto-Friedrich University in Bamberg.

“In my opinion it was a very tough and even close competition. For us, it was a pleasure to meet other high-educated finance students from all over the world. At the end, it was more about learning instead of winning.” – Mr. Willecke

“The level of expertise demonstrated by each team of students was exemplary. GBS’s main focus is to bring the world of business into the classroom. What these groups of students achieved will stand them in good stead for major executive roles in the not-too-distant future.” – Richard Bingley