Business School teams up with a dog

Some weird events going on in Kingston Business School. And some students are wondering how long it will be before the ‘Kingston Vernon Hill Centre’ is announced. with a fanfare.

The University’s love affair with Vernon Hill, the controversial boss of Metro Bank, has taken another step towards full-blown marriage when the eccentric American chairman (and his dog ‘Duffy’) gave the first Strategy into Practice lecture to a room of puzzled Business students at Kingston Hill. The lecture theatre (which, contrary to the Uni’s fawning write up was not ‘packed’) took on a bizarre atmosphere as the famous double-act of Hill and Duffy described their business strategy: Hill, who is also CEO of Commerce Bancorp in New Jersey and chair of Pet Plan North America (hardly models of ethical integrity) began his talk by asking who in the audience ‘wants to be rich or a star?’ Everyone excelled at something, he said getting all excited, ‘and superstars are just individuals who understand their unique talents’ (meaning himself, obviously).

Hill claimed Metro Bank in Britain has become a ‘legendary brand’ which does not have branches but ‘stores’, and whose customers are not customers but ‘fans’ (eh?). He also babbled endlessly on about his dog, Duffy. ‘My dog is the best known dog in Britain’. It goes everywhere with him, he said, and even helped him pick up his Honorary Doctorate of Letters at the Rose last summer (Doctorate scrolls make tasty pet food). He also told the Kingston Hill students that all the other banks in Britain are ’50 years behind the world’, are ‘burdened by the past’ and their ‘awful’ (his word) I.T., ‘which is only one step above a quill’.

He then signed, for anybody who wanted it, a revised edition of his book ‘Fans! Not customers’. All very nice. But the trouble is Metro’s own I.T. and security record has just been heavily criticised by Which? consumer group. And just this week, the Bank has been forced to tap investors for £350 million, scale back its growth plans and rejig its board as it desperately seeks to plug a capital hole caused by a very serious accounting error. Both the Bank of England’s Regulation Authority and the Financial Conduct Authority have also announced they are investigating Metro Bank over the events that led to this huge accounting blunder. If KU bothered to ask, any good Business Studies student could tell the Uni the blindingly obvious: this is NOT a bank to hold up to students as a managerial role model. But, for some reason, Spier and also the Business Dean etc seem completely in awe of one man and his dog.

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4 Responses to Business School teams up with a dog

  1. Muckraker says:

    In 2018 at the Rose Theatre KU awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Letters to an American billionaire, Vernon Hill, and his dog ‘Duffy’. Uni managers milked a great deal of publicity out of how this innovative ‘banking hero’ was a role model for graduates, blah, blah, blah. A few weeks ago this controversial character, who is the boss of Metro Bank, along with his dog (they seem joined at the hip), gave a rambling talk to bemused Business studies students at Kingston Hill on how his bank has supposedly become a ‘legendary brand’ (his words) and the bank’s customers are not customers but ‘fans’. He also claimed: ‘My dog is the best known dog in Britain’. Even the Business studies lecturers who attended looked embarrassed at this weird performance and Hill’s big boasts about Metro (‘open seven days a week’, all pets especially welcomed, best bank in Britain, etc, etc). Yet for the past few months Metro’s reputation has tanked. In a survey it’s I.T. security system was found to be completely inadequate, making it one of the worst banks in Britain for security of customer accounts. Just a couple of weeks ago the troubled bank also had to negotiate a £375m emergency rescue deal as it admitted customers had been scrambling to withdraw their money amid major concerns about is future. Shares in the bank have plunged since January this year, and in the last few weeks Metro have announced plans to save up to £75m by slashing costs in its branches and head office by cutting jobs. Investors have also been raising questions about Vernon Hill himself, and calls for him to go are likely to intensify. So the question lecturers at Kingston Hill are asking is, was it really wise for their Dean and other SLT members to hold up Hill as a role model for KU’s students? Even worse for Spier and his mob of bickering senior managers, any hope they might have entertained that being extra nice to Mr. Hill and Duffy might result in a big donation of cash to KU’s threadbare coffers seems to be slipping away very fast. As one senior lecturer at Kingston Hill said loudly in a recent meeting, KU’s loony love affair with Hill can only be described as ‘barking’.

  2. last warning for students says:

    Warning to all Kingston School of Art Students

    Your Dean Colin Rhodes was fired from his previous job for stealing space and resources from students. Search online ‘SCA colin rhodes’.

    Colin Rhodes is cutting teachers and studio space. He is crowding your workshops with students from a different part of the University. Colin Rhodes is spending your fees to pay back a debt to the Uni. He is paying for courses you don’t need or want. Massive cuts are coming very soon. Colin Rhodes is cutting teaching budgets because the vice-chancellor Steven Spier told him to. Steven Spier is hiding behind Colin Rhodes. They are professors of lies and cuts sending you fake news and fake smiles and more cuts.

    Your future degree is rotting to nothing in your hands, right now. The rot is from Steven Spier and Colin Rhodes. Kingston Uni students don’t get hired for the best jobs any more. Steven Spier and Colin Rhodes are the reasons why.

    Your teachers cannot tell you about bigger class sizes or bigger cuts to resources because they have been bullied into silence. The managers bully the teachers in their teams. Don’t let the bullies destroy you too. Don’t fill in online surveys. Don’t believe in the fake news sent out by ‘Student Voice’. Don’t panic. Don’t stress your teachers. Fire the vice-chancellor Steven Spier. Fire the dean Colin Rhodes. Remove the department managers.

    Colin Rhodes was forced to leave his previous job by students occupying the building.

    • Any Person says:

      I detect iambic pentameter.

      While you’re happily at it, dear host, might you get your knickers on and register that staff at the Penrhyn Road site are being charged 50 quid per quarter – but the car park is being dug up. Breach of contract? Actually, I like what you do.

  3. My bet is he’ll end up on the KU Board of Governors. Or else, he’ll get the next do-nothing Chancellor spot.

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