“I prefer living in the UK more than anywhere else. I like the history, I like the culture, I like the under-dog attitude,” he explains. “The UK is a good place to get things done.”
Mr Yassaie’s eyes light up as he waxes lyrical about Britain’s successes in technology and his commitment to building up Imagination’s research and development facilities in the UK – notably at its new headquarters in Kings Langley, Hertfordshire.
But there is one big problem standing in his way: those pesky overseas students who do just as Mr Yassaie planned to, by coming to Britain, getting their degrees and then taking their highly educated brains back home.
“It is very important that we are able to hire the workforce we need from within the UK and that really is a challenge. Partly because the universities don’t necessarily teach the right things, and partly because you don’t get enough home students,” he says.
“At British universities, 85pc or 90pc of the [postgraduate] students are from overseas. Only 10pc are British. That is a problem and it has to be fixed.
“We need those engineers in the UK to help create the future. If we don’t [start educating more UK citizens] we will be forced to set up offices elsewhere.”
Imagination, which is best known for Pure digital radios and its graphics technology, used in Apple’s iPhone, is on a mission to recruit 200 UK staff this year. Of those, about 100 will be new graduate positions.
However, the dearth of good candidates means the company has had to expand its research and development centres in India and Poland to help it keep up with demand, and is hitting the acquisitions trail as a way of simply buying up engineers.
Imagination has also launched a university and school outreach programme, headed by Mr Yassaie’s computer science graduate daughter, aimed at inspiring students early on.
“Britain is impacting the technology industry, big time, but it’s all under the hood,” he says, referring to companies like his own, or Cambridge’s ARM Holdings, which design the chips that power the mobiles, tablets and games consoles produced by the likes of Apple or Samsung.
“We are not consumer brands so a lot of people don’t understand that the gear they buy has a lot of British technology inside. Part of the challenge is about making it cool, making sure people understand what we do. What we need is a rock star for the industry,” he says.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy seems destined to be the next electoral casualty of the euro-zone sovereign-debt crisis. Sarkozy is deeply unpopular at home, but his expected defeat in this year’s presidential elections could be a setback for France.
The likely victor, François Hollande, is a socialist whose policies would create uncertainty in the short term and foment further economic stagnation in the longer run. Like much of the euro zone, France is plagued by diminishing competitiveness, high unemployment, and excessive government spending. Hollande has proposed raising the state’s tab, which could worsen the other problems and punish business.
Sarkozy and Hollande will lead in the first round of voting on April 22, but neither is likely to garner enough votes to declare an outright victory. All polls point to a win for Hollande in the May 6 runoff, but the French have pulled surprises in the past.
Sarkozy, 57, was elected president in 2007, and is paying the price for failing to deliver on his campaign promises amid the worst financial downturn in Europe since World War II. He has earned plaudits for persuading Germany, Europe’s largest economy, to take a softer approach to the euro-zone crisis, but domestic issues matter more to French voters. France is flirting with economic recession, and in January was stripped of its prized triple-A credit rating by Standard & Poor’s.
Hollande, also 57, is a graduate of France’s prestigious École Nationale d’Administration, which boasts presidents and prime ministers among its alumni. But his political experience is limited, encompassing a decade as secretary of the Socialist Party and a stint as mayor of a provincial town. Ségolène Royal, his former partner and mother of his four children, lost to Sarkozy in ’07. Hollande secured the party’s nomination last year, after scandal enveloped the favorite, Dominique Strauss-Kahn.
A pro-European, Hollande is a protégé of former European Commission President Jacques Delors, one of the architects of the euro. To maintain stability and continuity in Europe, he will need to emulate Sarkozy’s cozy relationship with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. But the relationship could be complicated, as they occupy different sides of the political spectrum. At some point, Merkel may need to check Hollande’s soft Keynesian tendencies: Germany doesn’t have the resources to bail out France.
Hollande’s economic policies would do little to boost France’s competitiveness, and his goal of eliminating the budget deficit by 2017 is apt to remain elusive. He aims to kick-start the economy by adding jobs and creating growth, but that means even greater government outlays. Government expenditures currently equal 57% of gross domestic product, one of the highest levels in Europe and nine percentage points more than in Germany.
Over the years Capital Campaigns have evolved from mammoth campaigns with hundreds of volunteers and staff to today when campaigns are much smaller both in structure and length of time and are highly volunteer oriented.
Few Capital Campaigns for other than major institutions take more than 12 to 18 months to complete and are more recently designed to be conducted by development staff with the assistance of a consultant. In organizations that have no development department staff, they usually opt to have on-site campaign direction, that is, an on-site Campaign Director/Consultant who works 24/7 on their project.
We at Bradley Associates are proud to provide staffing whether you need it for a couple days a month or full-time on-site Director. We are in position to provide that staff to help achieve your goals in the shortest possible time line.
The ultimate success of a Capital Campaign for significant funding support of specific programs or projects, always goes back to the essential "pre-campaign" tasks that either were or were not accomplished prior to the start of the campaign. A stalled Capital Campaign is most likely the result of insufficient preparation. No Capital Campaign preparation step is more important than the Capital Campaign Planning Study (or Feasibility Study).
Here are our thoughts regarding the all-important Capital Campaign Planning Study:
It can be argued that a Study is the single most important planning step for a successful capital campaign.
A Study offers the unique opportunity for an "outside set of eyes and ears" to ask important questions of potential campaign leaders and potential donors, and to receive candid and accurate answers from them regarding critical campaign feasibility issues.
It does matter who the outside consultant and Study Director is. The professionalism of this individual reflects back to the client. Bradley Associatesassigns its best staff for Study Director positions and values the client image in the community to the highest degree.
A client should expect the following "deliverables" from a Study:
A complete written, and thorough study report
A professional presentation to client leadership groups
Confidential executive and management reports for key leadership
Comprehensive recommendations that address all angles of funding feasibility
Recommendations for goals, leadership, campaign structure and timing
We would be happy to provide a 10 page self analysis to determine your readiness to begin a Capital Campaign. Request a copy.
We are prepared to help you and will provide consulting services as needed.