In the third of our series of special II Leadership Summit 2021 - 'Meet the Panel' interviews David Kneeshaw - CEO, IFGL Group (inc RL360), takes the hotseat.

David joins five of the industry's biggest names (see below) at our inaugural II Leadership Summit 2021, which is set to be broadcast on Monday 11 October, 2021 at 1pm (UK time), to discuss 'leadership in international financial services', 'how to lead through a pandemic' and the future of the international advice industry.

In this interview below, David speaks to II's Gary Robinson about his leadership style and whether his role changed as a result of Covid. 

GR: Can you describe your leadership style? What works for you? And how would members of your team describe your style?

DK: Definitely ‘business-like'. My job is to ruthlessly and objectively focus on strategies/objectives to achieve success - not necessarily to make friends.
It is the DOPI Principle: Objective Decision making and Passionate Implementation. Not the other way round.

GR: How important is leadership to a successful International financial services firm and how does it manifest itself across all levels of your company?

DK: Leadership is everything regardless of industry sector or geography. In this context Leadership means setting and agreeing the strategy, making sure it delivers to shareholders and other stakeholders, and putting in place a management team to make it happen. A clear sense of direction, consistency in application, passion in implementation.

GR: How important has strong leadership been during the pandemic and how did your role change as a result of Covid?

DK: Covid didn't change our approach much. However it called for quick decision making, implementation that cut through the waffle, and allowing those with relevant skills to change the company quickly to have the space to do so.

GR: Tell us about your day to day role as a leader within your organisation. What does your role entail? What challenges are there in dealing with different people across different time zones managing an international business?

DK: My job, it to make sure the company has a clear sense of direction, that we have the people to make the strategy work and that it is clear what returns we are striving for, both to shareholders and others. The DOPI Principle is paramount. A CEO is an ambassador for the business and has a duty to make sure all this is understood equally by internal audiences as well as external.

Leadership Panel

David is part of an exciting and exclusive specially-selected Q&A panel discussion which will recorded in our new Incisive Studios in Covent Garden, London with some participants in the studio and others appearing on the studio's high-tech video walls.

Panellists include industry big hitters: Sean Christian - MD of Wealth Management Division- Canada Life

And from the international advisory world: Nigel Green - founder and CEO of DeVere Group and Robert Parker - CEO Holborn Assets.

The II Leadership Summit 202 will be premiered on and will be followed by an ezine edition of the event, including an edited highlights of the panel session, a leadership feature and further individual interviews with each of our leaders.