By Roger Morris, managing director, em-financial
The journey to Monte Carlo set off from Liverpool’s John Lennon airport to where I had traveled down in the car from the North with the legendary Bob Scott of Open Door Solutions. At the airport we went on to meet TMB’s Nigel Payne and his boys who are the main drivers for this event.
Nigel never ceases to amaze me with his energy for our market and his passion for packagers is just as strong as mine.
The flight was on time and went to plan but its surprising how many people get afraid of flying! I wont make any jokes about anyone here!. We landed and were met by our transportation and delivered safely to our fantastic hotel in the bay of Monte Carlo. With a quick wash change and some unpacking we then went for a drink and a meal. I went of with Nikki from M2000 the wave boys and our friends at Goldsmith Williams. Eddie Goldsmith then took us on a forced march until Doug Hall of 3mc could not walk anymore and his feet were bleeding. Dave Booth of Clear who was with us helped me get Doug back to the nearest restaurant where he was revived with just a bit of alcohol.
I awoke at 7am and went to the gym to carry on my training for the Berlin Marathon on the 28th September or as we call it part of Robs Army! As Rob Jupp had persuaded me to run and at the same time loose 5 stone. As I finished off my run, Kevin Duffy came in to do his training like me he was part of Robs Army and was the only other delegate to enter the gym that morning.
All the other delegates arrived around lunchtime. After lunch we went into the main conference area and had some stimulating debates and that set the mood for the whole event. The way Kevin Duffy motivates the audience and gets the questions sets right is magical. The panelists were great, but my favorite was Rob Jupp of PTP.
Next we were into the delegate sessions and they were very stimulating and having group sessions helps more than doing one on ones. We all get chance to interact and share ideas and work together. After the useful and up beat sessions we then retired for the evening.
Next morning again up for a run and breakfast, then it was into the debating session. Phil Jenks was on top form even though he had just been hit by personal losses as HBOS shares had been devalued that day but Phil was as ever confident HBOS would survive. He enlightened us with his view of the market and that he had slightly changed his opinion since he spoke in Gleneagles last year.
The next panel I sat on. We had some rather leading questions but nothing to contentious. It was a lively debate and again Kevin did not let us off the hook easy. Then into more sessions then another sumptuous lunch but salad for me as I am in training, in case I haven’t mentioned it.
Lunch was followed by more lender workshops that were very useful and added great value to all attending. Then back into the conference session for the last time, the panel was great and including more women such as Nikki from M2000 who had said she was nervous, but was excellent.
On to a black tie event in the evening. We went to the Hotel De Paris and had reception of champagne outside and a sumptuous meal inside in the ball room, wow what a room. Nigel Payne had picked the entertainment they were great fun and made the evening.
After that we spilled out onto the streets of Monte Carlo and drank in a few bars and the mood was excellent. I just want to say a massive thank you to the lenders who supported this event. They demonstrated that they are will stand by us and we are all grateful for them in such hard financial times.
Thank you also to the events team who made the event run so smoothly, Anna, Emily, Antony, Simon, Velvet, Jessica, Vanessa, Rebecca, Natasha, Natalie and of course Robyn.
But as we always say COME ON !