Expert line-up promises lively Economic Forecast Breakfast debate

The Economic Forecast Breakfast 2014 event, at Ramside Hall in Co. Durham on April 10, is being run by the The Journal and Evening Gazette, in conjunction with wealth management firm Brewin Dolphin

Rachel Turnbull, chief executive of TT2
Rachel Turnbull, chief executive of TT2

Business leaders are gearing up for the Economic Forecast Breakfast 2014.

The event, being held at Ramside Hall in Co. Durham on April 10, is being run by the The Journal and Evening Gazette, in conjunction with wealth management firm Brewin Dolphin, whose head of fund research, Ben Gutteridge, will be debating the economy with a panel of experts.

A leading market strategist, Gutteridge took up his current role in 2010, having joined Brewin in 2003 as a fund analyst. He holds the Securities Institute Diploma, having specialised in financial derivatives, and has a degree in mathematics from Loughborough University.

Gutteridge, who is a CFA (chartered financial analyst) charter holder, also sits on Brewin’s Asset Allocation Committee and is currently responsible for US, emerging market and global collective investment recommendations, along with alternative and structured investments.

Brewin Dolphin is one of the largest independently-owned wealth management companies in the UK, managing around £28bn on behalf of private clients, charities and pension funds from more than 30 regional offices. The firm has a large base in Newcastle, employing 360 people.

Gutteridge said: “The universe of investment opportunities is complex and constantly evolving.

“Despite better economic news, and revitalisation of the financial markets, positive real growth is still something we have to nurture until the overall economy becomes more balanced.

“The Economic Forecast Breakfast will provide an excellent forum for Brewin Dolphin to look at the ways in which the upward trend in the national and global recovery continues and a platform for business leaders to debate how we can help to build a better economic future for the region.”

Among the panellists to debate with Gutteridge will be Rachel Turnbull, chief executive of TT2, the company that operates the Tyne Tunnels.

Turnbull joined the team developing the £360m crossing in 2007 and played a key role in the delivery of the project.

Having initially focused her attention on finance and contractual issues associated with the Public Private Partnership initiative, she took up the top role in June 2012, seeing the construction phase through to completion.

A qualified chartered accountant with ACMA, Turnbull, who previously worked for a range of public and private sector organisations, has also achieved the Chartered Institute of Directors Diploma.

“Infrastructure is vital to the economic health of the North East,” she said. “The New Tyne Tunnel Crossing development was just one piece in the jigsaw and at TT2 we are passionate about seeing that the rest of that puzzle is put into place, with upgrades to junctions on the A19 being a priority if we are to see this part of the region get the connectivity it requires.

“There is a strong business case for these improvements, as well as those on the A1 Western Bypass, which are scheduled for later this year.

“I am looking forward to the opportunity of engaging with other business leaders at the Economic Forecast Breakfast and putting that case forward.”

Also on the panel will be Catherine Walker, NewcastleGateshead Initiative’s inward investment director.

Walker, who has been in senior management for 14 years, has held the role since 2012, when the organisation assumed responsibility for attracting foreign and domestic direct investment in Newcastle and Gateshead.

She moved to the North East following a successful spell as head of business development at MIDAS, Manchester’s Investment and Development Agency.

“I’m delighted to be involved with the debate,” she said.

“Inward investment and business growth and retention are major components affecting regional growth, with both having the ability to send out powerful confidence messages to the market and, of course, create and protect valuable jobs.”

Other panellists will include director of engagement at Newcastle University Business School Dr Joanna Berry, European operations officer and managing director of Nifco UK Mike Matthews, and chief executive of the North East Chamber of Commerce James Ramsbotham.

The event will be chaired by Graham Robb, owner of Darlington-based Recognition Marketing and PR.

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