Even the big brewers are fans, so why is craft beer’s glass half-full?

The Times 25 September 2017

When is a craft beer not a craft beer? It is a question troubling some drinkers after large multinational drinks companies started to buy up their favourite craft breweries. Carlsberg’s acquisition of London Fields brewery, for example, followed AB Inbev scooping up Camden Town and a series of other acquisitions that have left the remaining independent brewers cautious about their future.

Developing a taste for activist investors

The Times 6 June 2017

It was called a $143 billion flop, but Kraft Heinz’s failed attempt to buy Unilever was a classic tale of the pressures that modern companies face. Unilever under Paul Polman has become the model of a “good” company: only two years into the job as chief executive, he launched a sustainable living plan, an attempt to halve Unilever’s environmental impact. His efforts have been applauded by NGOs and activist groups, but the question was always whether investors would give him the time to prove that responsible capitalism made good business sense.

Do the French and Germans just work harder than us?

The Times 23 May 2017

Why are British workers less productive? It is a question that keeps economists awake at night. The financial crisis hit productivity around the world. France and Germany have recovered well but workers in Britain take an average of five days to produce what their peers in France, Germany and the US do in four. This matters.

David and Goliath struggle over national transfer of power

The Times 10 October 2016

If you search for an energy deal on a price comparison website, the chances are several unfamiliar names will crop up. Long-dominated by British Gas, E.ON, EDF, SSE, ScottishPower and Npower, there has been a flood of entrants to the market, with 14 new suppliers in the past year. Down from 99 per cent in 2012, the so-called Big Six still have an 85 per cent share of the market, but they are haemorrhaging customers at a rate of 120,000 a month.

The Friday Interview: Dennis Nally of PwC

The Guardian 15 December 2011

Dennis Nally, global chairman of PwC, is a master of dodging tricky questions. Asked about his salary, he looks at his PR man, who quickly steps in to say it is not disclosed. We can presume it was in the millions, as PwC’s UK chairman, Ian Powell, took home £3.7m this year. “I would say I earn every dollar I make,” says Nally, a fit-looking 59-year-old. It is a bold claim in a climate where executive pay is under scrutiny. But Nally knows all about scrutiny: for three years, the European commission has been investigating the big auditing companies, culminating in recent proposals for a radical overhaul of the industry.