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From Asos to Arcadia: how do boards stay on top of trends?

April 22, 2021 @ 10:00 am - 11:00 am IST


The retail sector has been at the forefront of a changing business landscape in recent years, with the pandemic impacting existing trends in consumer behaviour. 2020 and the first months of 2021 have seen high profile insolvencies, alongside the continued decline of the high-street and increase of online shopping.

In this webinar, Iain Wright, ICAEW’s Director for Business and Industrial Strategy, will be talking to Peter Williams, a Chartered Accountant who has spent over 30 years in executive and non-executive roles at the likes of ASOS, Selfridges and boohoo, about how boards can be reactive and proactive in times of change.

Benefits of attending

  • Hear from expert speakers on the changing shape of retail and board responsibility.
  • Get insight into how boards have coped with immense change as the conversation explores why some business struggle in disruption and others emerge successful.
  • Learn about how different retailers have balanced conflicting stakeholder and shareholder demands in a shifting business environment.


Peter Williams
Peter is Chairman at Superdry plc, the fashion brand and retailer; U and I Group PLC, the leading property regeneration company; DP Eurasia, owner of the master franchise for Domino’s Pizza in Turkey and Russia; and Mister Spex, the multi-channel retailing selling eyewear online and in stores from its base in Berlin. In his non-executive career Peter played a major role in the growth of the 2 major online fashion retailers in the UK – at ASOS, he was the Senior Independent Director for 8 years during which time the market value of the company grew from £70m to over £4.5bn; and at boohoo he was chairman for 5 years from the IPO, during which time the market value grew from £560m to £2.16bn. During his executive career he was Chief Executive at both Selfridges plc and Alpha Airports plc. He has also served on the boards of Rightmove plc, Cineworld Group plc, Sophia Webster, Sportech plc, Jaeger, Blacks Leisure Group plc, JJB Sports plc, the EMI group, Silverstone, OfficeTeam, Erno Laszlo, Capital Radio plc and GCap Media plc.

Iain Wright FCA, Director for Business and Industrial Strategy, ICAEW
Iain trained as a Chartered Accountant and worked at Deloitte and Touche from 1995-2003. He was elected as the Member of Parliament for Hartlepool in 2004 and served in this capacity until 2017, until he decided not to seek re-election. Iain served as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Housing and Planning in the Department for Communities and Local Government from 2007 to 2009 and Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for 14-19 Reform and Apprenticeships between 2009 and 2010 in the Gordon Brown Government. Between 2011 and 2015 he was the opposition spokesman for Industry. Then from 2015 – 2017, he was the Chairman of Parliament’s Business, Enterprise and Industrial Strategy Select Committee, where he led high profile inquiries into the sale of BHS and working practices at Sports Direct. He stood down at the 2017 General Election and joined ICAEW in April 2018. Iain is a Governor of Middlesbrough College and trustee of Kings College London’ Industrial Strategy Advisory Board. He also chairs the policy forum of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. He has an MA in History from University College London and obtained an MBA with Distinction from Durham University in 2019.


ICAEW Member £15.00 + VAT
Non-Member £30.00 + VAT
Community Member – Corporate Governance No Charge
Community Member – Retail No Charge

Join the Corporate Governance Community or the Retail Community today for free to access this webinar.