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Workshop 2

Emerging A Winner From The Recession

7.30am–9.30am, Wednesday 16 September 2009, Stamford Plaza, Auckland

Never waste a good recession! This is a time not just to survive, but to emerge ahead of your competitors. This climate offers as many opportunities as it does challenges, and for some presents the opportunity of a lifetime:

  • What will identify the businesses that emerge as winners?
  • What are they focussed on now?
  • What will be the 5 key lessons when it’s all over?
  • Identifying business opportunities in a recession, and how to exploit them.
  • What investments are being made, despite the recession?
  • What restructuring is going on, and where are savings being made?
  • How is leadership evolving? Motivation, training, selection.
  • What steps should be taken to protect brands and the balance sheet?
  • On what will you wish you had focussed more during this period?


Rod Drury
Chief Executive Officer
Xero Limited

New Zealand Hi-Tech Entrepreneur of the Year in 2006 and 2007, Rod is chief executive officer of Xero Limited.

In 2006 Rod sold his award-winning email archiving software company, AfterMail, to USA publicly listed Quest Software. 

An independent director of TradeMe and SQLServices at the time of their trade sales, Rod continues on the TradeMe Advisory Board and is also on the New Zealand Trade & Enterprise Beachhead Advisory Board.

Rod is a high profile advocate of New Zealand software industry and has provided angel funding to a number of new software companies in a bid to develop local talent and experience.

John Keane

Executive General Manager, Business Performance, Strategic & Insurance Services,
Vero Insurance NZ Limited 

Since joining Vero in 2006, John has been responsible for measuring business performance, aligning business strategies and embedding Vero's strategic plan. Drawing upon his wide experience in adopting excellence practices, John is working collaboratively across the business to drive World Class business performance.

Born in Ireland, John has worked in the General and Life companies of Royal & Sun Alliance in the UK for 14 years and with a number of other companies including Allied Irish Bank, Aviva and Aegon, in quality initiatives and business excellence practices. John has also worked under the auspices of the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) in adopting their Excellence model.

Alasdair Thompson
Chief Executive,
Employers' & Manufacturers' Association (Northern) Inc.

Alasdair is Chief Executive Officer of EMA and a member of the Business New Zealand Council, the New Zealand Council for Infrastructure Development, Action Asia Advisory Committee, a board member of Auckland Business Forum and is Business New Zealand representative to APEC CEO meetings.

A qualified non practicing accountant, Alasdair was mayor of Thames Coromandel District Council from 1989 to 1998 and has been a member of the Auckland Regional Land Transport Committee and a director of Power New Zealand Limited and Health Waikato Limited and Commissioner of Waikato Area Health Board. Alasdair won the Computerland Excellence Award for CEO IT Vision in 2000.