Derek is an award-winning entrepreneur. As CEO of Entrepreneurs in Action, a global Generation Z Insights agency, he works with a cross-section of global groups spanning engineering, investment banking, investment management, technology and retail in the UK, Africa, Asia, Europe and the Caribbean. Derek connects CEOs and business leaders with Gen Z talent, unlocking insights that challenge and transform their assumptions and help them form a closer partnership to drive their business forward. Previously, Derek spent two decades in senior investment and private banking roles.
Derek draws on the performance mindset gained over the decades in banking, athletics and as an entrepreneur working with global companies. Derek has extensive experience of working closely with senior executives and fellow entrepreneurs to help them achieve their goals. Derek builds on leaders’ strengths, working closely with them to be more mindful of potential blind spots and the risks of outdated assumptions. Derek helps business leaders to look beyond the obvious, such as skin colour and or gender, to gain a deeper understanding of how under-represented groups can feel and do respond to a sense of exclusion. Greater awareness of the lived experience and insights of those who may be unconsciously excluded – yet feel consciously shut out – often has a profound impact on business leaders. This heightened sensitivity allows business leaders to connect far more closely with the very staff and clients who can shape the sustainable success of their business.
Derek’s early career was at Barings Investment Bank, where he ran a $25 million Forex sales desk in London, before setting-up a sports agency. He then moved on to Merrill Lynch Private Banking, where he became a partner in the bank’s largest team in Europe with $2 billion of assets under management. Derek was a trusted adviser to high profile sporting and media personalities, entrepreneurs featured in the Sunday Times Rich List and CEOs of a range of listed companies. Derek left the City to pursue his passion for working with young people – he set up Entrepreneurs in Action (EiA), now a global Gen Z Insights agency. EiA advises business leaders on how to connect more effectively with Gen Z, be they customers or employees. Derek was awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion and was an ambassador for UK Innovate. Passionate about diversity and inclusion, he has developed and delivered several high-profile, innovative solutions to enhance diversity at a range of companies, most recently in the investment management industry.
Derek is a former international athlete, winning medals at UK and European competitions (and retired 27th on the UK all-time list for Triple Jump). Derek is married with two teenage children. He enjoys skiing, playing tennis and travelling.