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Keynote speaker Luke Johnson is one of the leading business speakers and entrepreneurs in the UK. He is widely recognized for the various companies he has owned or chaired throughout the past twenty years. Luke is the former chair of Channel 4 and the current chair of the Royal Society of Arts.
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The keynote speaker Luke Johnson is a very successful entrepreneur. From 1993 to date he has been involved as a director/owner and chairman of various quoted companies in retailing, pubs and bars, parcel delivery and maritime commerce. He is the chairman of Risk Capital Partners Ltd, a private equity house, as well as part owner and chairman of Superbrands, Giraffe Restaurants, Patisserie Valerie and Baker and Spice. He is also owner and director of Apt Controls, the market leader in car park equipment.
Luke graduated in 1983 as a medical graduate from Oxford University. He then took up work as a media analyst at stockbroker Grieveson Grant. In 1993, Luke Johnson took control of PizzaExpress and then became chairman. Growing the business from twelve owned restaurants to over 250, he was able to increase the share price from 40p to 900p. In 1999 he decided to sell and started Signature Restaurants, which he then sold in 2005. Other chains he has sold include Integrated Dental holdings which grew to become the largest UK chain of dental surgeries which was sold in 2006 for over £100 million. From 2004 to 2006 he was a Director of Dollar Financial Group Inc, a US NASDAQ traded corporation with some $80m EBITDA.
Our speaker Luke Johnson is a strategic investor in UK’s largest business investment agency, Beer & Partners. He is chairman of Fast Track, non-executive director of Phaidon Press, and has control over several other firms. Luke is a director of two theatre production partnerships and director of AKA UK, a marketing agency to the live entertainment industry. Luke has also been appointed chairman of the Royal Society of Arts in 2008, and was governor of The University of the Arts London between 2000 and 2006.
From 2004 till 2010, the sought-after speaker Luke Johnson was the chairman of Channel 4 Television Corporation where he was appointed as new CEO, and restructured the board. In that time the organization enjoyed record ratings, revenues and surplus. He also served as chairman of the trustees of the £150m Channel 4 staff pension plan.
In addition to his chairman posts he also writes a weekly column on entrepreneurship for The Financial Times, and a monthly column for Management Today. Up until 2006, he also wrote a weekly column on business matters for The Sunday Telegraph. His book, “Start it up: Why running your own business is easier than you think” came out in autumn 2011.
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