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Brand Finance Nation Brands Forum 2016

18 October 2016, 17:30–21:00 UK Time

The effect of a country’s national image on the brands based there and the economy as a whole is now widely acknowledged. In a global marketplace, it is one of the most important assets of any state, encouraging inward investment, adding value to exports and attracting tourists and skilled immigrants.

However, the concept of the nation state is a recent and fluid one. Its power has waxed and waned, with regional groupings or local identities also shaping the way people, companies and governments interact with one another. This year’s events suggest that the popularity of the nation state,following a slow decline in many parts of the world, may be resurgent. We will discuss this trend and what advantages or challenges it may present.   

As well as hearing important insights on how to manage nation brand value in challenging times, delegates will hear the results of the 2016 Brand Finance Nation Brands report, which will appear in fDi Intelligence magazine. fDi’s editor-in-chief will be addressing the audience, discussing the role nation brands play in attracting investment.

Join us as we explore this fascinating topic at a critical time.



17:30 - 18:00 Registration & Coffee
18:00 - 18:10 Courtney Fingar, Editor-in-Chief, fDi Magazine
18:10 - 18:20 Robert Haigh, Marketing & Communications Director, Brand Finance plc
18:20 - 18:30 Alex Haigh, Director, Brand Finance plc
18:30 - 18:40 Carlos Espinosa de los Monteros, High Commissioner, Brand Spain
18:40 - 18:50 David Riches, Executive Director, British Chambers of Commerce
18:50 - 19:00 Thórdur Aegir Óskarsson, Ambassador, Iceland Embassy
19:00 - 19:30 Panel Session - Q/A
19:30 - 20:30 Drinks & Networking
18 October 2016, 17:30–21:00 UK Time
to be notified of future events


Carlos Espinosa de los Monteros
High Commissioner
Brand Spain

Born in Madrid (1944) he is a Lawyer and Economist who has worked both for the public and the private sector.

As a State Economist, he joined the Ministry of Trade in 1969 and was Commercial Counsellor in Chicago. He served as Commercial Director and then Executive Vice-president of Instituto Nacional de Industria (INI), the main public cluster in Spain, including, at that time, firms like Endesa, Enagas, Iberia or Repsol.

From 1982 to 1985 he was President and CEO of Iberia Airlines.

In 1988, he became CEO of Mercedes Benz Spain. For the last two decades he has served in different boards including Acciona, Inditex, Schindler España and Fraternidad.

A Professor of International Trade at ICADE for several years, he has published many books and papers on management and international relations.

In July 2012 he was appointed as High Commissioner of the Government for Brand Spain with the main task of promoting the image of Spain abroad.

Robert Haigh
Strategy and Sustainability Director
Brand Finance

Robert leads Brand Finance’s sustainability research and consulting practice, helping brands to understand the value of sustainability perceptions and how to manage these effectively.

Robert has a degree in Geography from the University of Oxford and an MBA from London Business School.

Robert began his career in marketing communications, later specialising in commercial strategy, due diligence, and insights.

David Riches
Executive Director - Commercial, Trade and Marketing
British Chambers of Commerce

David manages commercial, international trade and marketing initiatives for the BCC. This includes working with commercial partners offering national products and services to Chamber member businesses.

Since 2013 David has been leading a programme to develop a global network of British Chambers of Commerce and other business organisations to support UK exporters as they enter global markets.

Prior to joining the BCC, David was Chief Executive of East of England International based in Cambridge. He has also worked as Director, North America for Think London, the inward investment promotional agency for London, as a strategy consultant for Ernst and Young, and as a Director within the Global Strategy Group of Cable & Wireless plc.

David holds an MBA from Cranfield School of Management and a First Class BA Hons from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne.

Alex Haigh
Managing Director
Brand Finance, Asia Pacific

Alex is an all-rounder on all areas of valuation and quantitative market research but is a technical specialist in the assessment on the return on investment of different brand architecture and brand positioning options. Much of this experience has focused on identifying the brand structures, media investment, media mix and distribution channel management needed to minimise risk and maximise opportunity from any brand changes.

His other area of expertise is the use of market research and brand valuation for licensing strategy and transfer pricing having helped to set up brand licensing teams and structures with many clients.

He is a Chartered Accountant, Chartered Tax adviser and has completed the Advance Diploma in International Tax, with a specialisation in Transfer Pricing. He holds a dual degree in Economics and Environmental Policy from the London School of Economics and has completed training in Data Analysis and Marketing Strategy. He has worked internationally across all continents and in most sectors and now manages Brand Finance's teams and client work across Asia and Australasia.

Thórdur Aegir Óskarsson
Iceland Embassy

Ambassador Óskarsson was appointed Ambassador of Iceland to the United Kingdom in 2014 with non-resident accreditation to Ireland, Portugal, Malta, Nigeria, Jordan, Qatar and the U.A.E. Since entering the Icelandic Foreign Service in 1988, he has held several posts, including: Counsellor at the Icelandic Delegation to NATO; Deputy Political Director and Head of NATO Affairs and Security Policy Division at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs; Director for Defence and Security; Permanent Representative to OSCE; Ambassador of Iceland to Japan, Canada and Austria. He also served one year as Director for International and Political Affairs at the Office of the NATO Special Representative in Afghanistan.

Ambassador Óskarsson was born on 4 June 1954 in Akranes, Iceland and holds a BA in Political Science from the University of Iceland and an MA in International Affairs from the University of Wisconsin - Madison. He is married to Mrs. Sigurborg Oddsdóttir with two children.

Courtney Fingar
Leading Expert on Foreign Direct Investment
& Business Editor

Courtney Fingar is a leading expert on foreign direct investment (FDI) and a business editor with more than 20 years of media experience.

She has covered business stories in all major regions of the world and has been on assignment to more than 80 countries, interviewing heads of state and government ministers as well as business leaders. She has appeared on television and radio in dozens of countries as a commentator and has twice been called to give evidence to the UK Parliament about inward investment.

An in-demand moderator, master of ceremonies and keynote speaker, Ms Fingar has participated in hundreds of business events globally and advises event organisers on content and strategy.

In early 2023, she set up Fingar Direct Investment, a boutique consultancy advising governments on investment promotion, location marketing and content creation and private-sector clients on strategic communications and media relations. She also serves as senior advisor for the World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies, and is a member of the advisory board of the Global Chamber. She previously served as the editor-in-chief of Investment Monitor, a digital publication focused on cross-border investment, and before that spent 15 years with the Financial Times where she ran the group’s specialist FDI publication.

Ms Fingar has a BA in journalism from the University of Alabama in the United States and an MSc in International and European Politics from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.



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