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Alastair ran Labour’s communications for ten years, in and out of government. He now advises on both political and organisational strategy, as well as working extensively with charities and campaiging around mental health. He’s written a slew of books including Winners, drawing inspiration from high achievers in sport, business and politics. In presentations Alastair explains what to do when you come under pressure: “Challenge your basic assumptions, put yourselves in your opponent’s shoes, devise a tight plan from the centre... and then pursue it with aggression.”

Alex was part of the team that launched the award-winning US airline Virgin America before leading Virgin’s entire digital strategy, including Sir Richard Branson's personal strategy. In speeches and workshops, Alex demonstrates how to create a meaningful bond with customers by showing the human side of brands, building relationships online and in the real world, exploring the psychology of brand loyalty, and revealing some of the best tactics for keeping customers happy and loyal.

With over two decades of experience at the famed Pixar Studios, Matthew has been involved in creating some of the best known and well-loved films of modern times, from Toy Story 2 and 3 to Monsters Inc. He now applies his expertise to the business world, enabling organisations to make the most of their most powerful tool - their story.

Cited as one of the most creative and original marketers working in consumer brands today, Fernando considers where businesses sit in a world of trust, values, ethics and media saturation. Acclaimed for his original campaigns that often combine creativity with social and political issues, he looks at strategy, narratives, and how to embody company values in a brand.

As Chief Executive of Dyson, Martin transformed it from a niche manufacturer to a £1bn global brand, moving production to Asia. Even after the onset of recession, he doubled turnover and trebled profits - increasing sales in 70 markets. Now in private equity Martin argues we must use our inventiveness rather than try to compete with China on their terms. But with 40,000 unfilled skilled jobs, UK industry needs to work much more closely with educators.

CEO of Virgin Atlantic for over a decade, Steve oversaw the huge expansion of what has become one of the world’s biggest and most respected airlines. Widely admired for their service culture, marketing and innovation, Steve offers an insight into the Virgin brand and strategy. After dinner, Steve reveals the boardroom secrets of Richard Branson and what it was like taking charge of the Virgin Challenger Blue Riband yacht team.

One of the most respected creative thinkers in the ad industry, Ogilvy’s Vice-Chairman once suggested to Microsoft that they enable people to share office documents on the internet. The idea was dismissed but Rory has gone on to build a career out of the counter-intuitive and the original. With a sharp wit he examines what influences our choices and why irrational thinking tends to win out.

A 30-year veteran of Disney, Duncan worked in global PR and marketing roles before heading their Innovation & Creativity division. Working with all branches of the business from Pixar to theme parks, he and his team developed a strategic toolkit to encourage innovation, dispel the myths that hold it back, embed it into everyday practices, and make a difficult, abstract concept, real and relevant.

Ellis has headed a national newspaper business, turned around the Greyhound Bus operation in the US and ran Simon Cowell’s Syco Corporation before he took charge of Scottish media group DC Thompson, steering them into the digital age with interests from local newspapers to cloud computing. In barn-storming speeches, brimming with humour and original thinking, Ellis shows how to deal with disruptive forces, create a positive culture, and inspire enthusiasm throughout the organisation and move from mission statement to fighting spirit: “There’s no point in waiting and hoping for a wave; go and create one yourself.”

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