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Spotlight on PCD Group Founder, David Bell

21 September 2023

David Bell is the Founder of PCD Group, a network which promotes business development between advisors to high-net-worth clients. The network executes events in key financial hubs around the world.

What’s keeping you busy?

We are currently working on two events in the US due for October, and two in the Middle East for November. Both events are challenging to put together: from managing venue details, logistics, and budgeting to, importantly, getting the right guests to attend. We are also taking on new clients for our digital marketing offering, so have been planning podcast and video recordings for the Autumn. Hoping for a more peaceful December in the run up to Christmas!

What new ideas or opportunities are set to become part of your future business fabric?

We were traditionally a live events business but are now equally focused on content creation and digital marketing. Many of our members want to make more video content to engage clientsand prospects, but don't have the resources, the time or the expertise to make it happen. That’s where we come in. We research the market to identify the topics and the type of content that ourclients’ prospects are most likely to engage with, we create the digital assets with our creative team and share it with their target audience and industry peers across key social channels. Our proposition is already helping private wealth advisers reach new prospects and we’re confident this service is fulfilling the industry’s need for high-quality content at affordable prices.

What are the biggest challenges you are facing right now?

The challenges of running an events business today are manifold - venues and travel costs are going up and marketing budgets are getting squeezed as the future path of the economy looks uncertain. But running a business is all about adapting to challenges; if customers are not traveling as much to events, how are they growing their business?

The developments in online marketing and content gives companies more tools than ever to reach new audiences. The challenge remains on how to do that successfully. We are putting ourskills and experience to the test when working with companies pioneering marketing activity in this space. We offer this experience to our customers which is building everyday.

Is there anything you know now that you’d wish you’d known at the start of your career?

I think you have to work out what you are really interested in within your job. I always liked networking and marketing and would receive a lot of positive feedback about my skill in this area. You have to get yourself into a role where your skills and talents are utilised. It doesn't always happen organically, sometimes you have to take action.

Who have been your most important professional mentors / influencers?

When I switched from accountancy to wealth planning in private banking, I worked with Ken Chapman at Merrill Lynch. Ken was brilliant at showing me the ropes of the banking industry and we had a great time working as a team. I also worked with an inspirational head of marketing at Lombard Odier, Nick Portet, who has influenced the way we create content at PCD.

What keeps you motivated?

I really enjoy bringing people together and seeing them go on to do business. I get tremendous energy from executing events successfully; it’s a real buzz. The challenge of taking events to new locations, like Riyadh in Saudi Arabia this Autumn, keeps me engaged. We try to improve what we do everyday. The positive feedback and energy from PCD members keeps me going through tough times.

What inspires you?

I am inspired by people who take on challenges and show dogged determination. I enjoy storiesfrom business or sport of the outsiders who find their way to the top of their field. I recently enjoyed watching Tracy Edwards' story in the film Maiden about her sailing around the world. Those who keep going in the face of adversity inspire me.

If you could meet any one person (from history or currently alive), who would it be?

My hero from the business world is Gary Vaynerchuk, known as Gary Vee, who is an American businessman, author, speaker, and internet personality. He was first known as a wine critic who expanded his family's wine business, he is now more known for his work in digital marketing and social media. His insight is incredible and I find his content very engaging. It would be amazing to pick his brain on growing our marketing strategies.

Find out more about PCD Group and their network of events here.

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