People: The business diary

BRIAN Lewis, head of media at life and pensions giant Aegon UK, has left the firm only months after taking on the role.

Gordon Shedden is one of the high-profile speakers on 1 May. Picture: Contributed

He has gone in a restructuring of the communications division which sees Stephanie Melrose step up from media relations officer to media relations manager. She arrived only in June, three months before Lewis succeeded Mark Locke, who left to join Lang Cat.

The firm was known to be hiring a PR agency but Scottish firms have lost out to London outfit Teamspirit, which has been selected for its knowledge of financial PR and tennis, which Aegon sponsors.

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Add a chaser, Tom

A LACONIC take on last week’s Budget from Tom Vosa, head of market economics at Clydesdale Bank parent NAB.

“A winner if you are a bingo-playing, snakebite-drinking punter,” he said. Vosa could have added that you are even better placed if you like to follow your key-of-the-door-21 and cider proclivities with a whisky chaser.

Top gear franchising

When an event theme is “Driving Franchising Forward” you expect an appropriate speaker to deliver the keynote address. In which case, the 11th annual Scottish Franchise Week is unlikely to disappoint.

Organisers have managed to sign up Gordon Shedden, the 2012 British Touring Car champion, who has the distinction of joining Jim Clark and John Cleland as the only Scottish drivers to win the overall championship title.

Joining the motor racing legend will be Lisa Tobias, Domino’s Pizza’s most successful UK female franchisee, with a number of stores across Glasgow and Ayrshire. The pair will be appearing at the event’s business breakfast on 1 May at the Radisson Blu hotel in Glasgow.

Rock star treatment

Harald Haas, professor of wireless comms at Edinburgh Uni and co-founder of tech outfit pureLiFi, was a speaker at the BOLDtalks event in Dubai at the weekend.

With his talks a big hit on YouTube, the “father of li-fi” – a sort of wi-fi with light – was mobbed by scientists, students, press and photographers.