Moderator: Guy Salter OBE MVO Chairman, London Craft Week

Guy Salter is a luxury investor & retailer. He represents the British Luxury Industry, the GREAT Campaign and initiatives supporting craftsmanship and small business.

Guy got his grounding in retailing, fast fashion and brand development at the Arcadia Group, owner of Top Shop and other well known High Street fashion retail brands. He started as a management trainee, including working on the shop floor and, after a number of roles, became Group Marketing Director and then Commercial Director. While at Arcadia he was seconded to be Assistant Private Secretary for Industry and Commerce to HRH The Prince of Wales. During this period he started Duchy Originals, the British high-end food brand and The Prince of Wales International Business Leaders Forum. HM The Queen invested him with an MVO for this work. While at Arcadia he also started five new retail brands and concepts.

His entry into the luxury industry came with his appointment as Managing Director of Laurent-Perrier Champagne, where he overhauled the pricing and profitability of the marque and spearheaded the growth of Laurent-Perrier Rosé, which is now the market leader. Subsequently Guy became CEO of the Asprey Group, Britain’s oldest luxury business. He had to radically reshape the group, reducing headcount, selling off subsidiaries and investing in the core retail business in the US and UK. This resulted in the business going from a significant loss back into profit. He was also CEO of Garrard, the Crown Jeweler. Later, when an opportunity came to acquire Tanner Krolle, the English luxury leather accessories business from the Chanel Group, he put together a group of investors, bought it, built up the business and subsequently sold it.

He has gradually moved into the investment side of the industry. His first spell in private equity was with Ripplewood (New York) where he specialized in luxury, fashion and consumer goods. This continued with RHJ International and others and he is now an active investor in a small number of luxury-related, retail & technology businesses in the UK and US. He only gets involved in businesses where he can make a direct contribution, especially in building brand & international distribution. These include Monica Vinader, Nyetimber, BazaarVoice, Trunk and Linde Werdelin.

His pro bono work includes fifteen years leading Walpole, which represents the British luxury industry. Nine years ago he founded Crafted, a mentorship programme to provide commercial advice to outstanding craftsmen. In addition, he is Vice Chairman of the GREAT Private Sector Council, the UK Prime Minister’s business advisory group, sits on the GREAT Programme Board which runs the British Government’s GREAT campaign and is Chairman of the GREAT Festivals of Creativity. He is also on the Diplomatic Excellence External Panel of the FCO and in May 2015 founded London Craft Week. In June 2016 he was made an OBE in the Queen’s 90th Birthday Honours.