Alumni Profiles: Peter M Felix CBE (MBA 73)

On looking back over a pretty long career I see myself as a corporate nomad.

My international “itch” was first generated by voluntary service work in Bangladesh (then East Pakistan) after graduating with a degree in Sociology and Law. This was subsequently fed by sojourns in Paris (post INSEAD), Algeria, New York and Hong Kong, in addition to my home town, London, which is where my wife and I now find ourselves. INSEAD was a catalyst to these international forays.

The other “itch” was my interest in the “soft side of management” (human resources etc.) and in not-for-profit organisations. The two turned out to be complementary and pervasive throughout my career.

My first experience of the corporate world was IBM. It didn’t take long to realise that monolithic corporate cultures were not for me. Fortunately INSEAD provided the platform to transition gracefully and I emerged after a life-changing year to join almost the direct opposite of IBM, a division of Bendix Corporation. In many respects it was like Fawlty Towers but what a great learning opportunity. As assistant to the General Manager, Europe and then Head of Personnel I saw the leaky side of management and ended up signing my own redundancy papers as the walls came tumbling down in the first of my career recessions.

From there to management development consultancy in Algeria and thence head hunting. Back to my soft skills I was now an intermediary in identifying and recruiting executive talent. Over 30 years I recruited in London, New York and Hong Kong thereby qualifying myself as a global executive. I was just staying ahead of INSEAD’s own plans for global domination.

But I was also becoming involved in the not for profit world and for many years have been very active in this fascinating sector. I joined the British-American Chamber of Commerce in New York and before long became President and then the first CEO. This was a great opportunity to work with a board to transform an organisation. I found that I enjoyed this more than executive search (CBE included) because of its strategic impact and was lucky enough to run another trade association before I retired, this time the global association for my own industry, executive search.

June and I moved to London in 2014 to follow her job as President for Verifone, Europe, I continue to be active as co-founder and principal of an executive mentoring business (Turner Felix Associates) and board member of several charities (the Scientific Exploration Society and Books Beyond Words). I also find myself organizing the 45th reunion for our promotion at a chateau in Burgundy.

Vive INSEAD! The journey continues.


You can get in touch with Peter at [email protected]

If you are interested in sharing your alumni story, please contact the UK alumni association at [email protected]
February 2018




Launch of one and two-year MBA reunions

As part of INSEAD’s Young Alumni Initiative and to strengthen engagement, one and two-year post MBA reunions will launch this year. The first reunion for MBAs from the 2016 and 2017 classes will be held in Singapore on 9-11 November 2018. Put the date in your diary – registrations open in April.

Alumni Profiles: Aps Ajit (CCC’08May)

‘I don’t count the days, I make the days count’Muhammad Ali

About Me
I was born to a fearless fighter pilot father and an inspiring educator mother – they always taught me to be kind, do no harm, to think about others before oneself and to dream big. I owe my life to what they have taught me.

I was brought up in a defence background and with a Montessorian philosophy, which prepared me to face any situation with aplomb, adapt myself to any environment and adjust happily among new friends. All this has held me in good stead, both personally and professionally, through various phases of my life.

Professionally, I have had 19 years of international experience in the commercial sector across various functions that include business development, key account management, skills and talent management across multiple sectors.

This has also helped me develop a strong understanding of international markets having lived and /or worked in Asia (India, Singapore), Europe (London, Paris) and the US.

I currently manage a diverse, global team and also lead global client relationships for a private equity owned digital tech and operations company, based out of the UK.

Enriching Transformational Journey with INSEAD
…’Because it is possible to go on this journey only when there is the light which comes through the understanding of yourself, and that light cannot be given to you by another..’ J.Krishnamurti, Philosopher

I believe learning, whether it is knowledge for knowledge’s sake or to develop professional skills, helps build human capital to enrich quality of life and contribute towards a better community, country and humankind. My mind is never quite satisfied though so I reckon, every new thought, gesture, action has to begin with me.

It was with this awareness that I chose INSEAD for my second Master’s degree. The ‘Consulting and Coaching for Change- CCC’ programme is uniquely an INSEAD experience, as it is a cornucopia of knowledge, self-growth, gender parity and vision aptly aided by outstanding faculty and last but not the least – the excellent alumni!

The CCC programme’s objective is to acquire greater understanding of organisational behaviour and psychological perspectives and to become a more reflective and effective agent of organisational change. For me the programme held the keys to many unanswered questions I had on human behaviour and on myself. It explained the rationale behind the irrational.
This has added immense value to my professional life where it has helped me retain and win new business, create an impact, and build strong relationships with my clients.

On the personal front, it has made me more self-aware, reflective and helped me think about my relationship with my immediate family, community and world at large. To this end, I am grateful for all that I have in my life…

I believe there can be no Philanthropy without Compassion. Hence, each year, I choose a personal project that focuses on making a difference to a cause. In 2016, I walked the Moonlight Walk the Walk Marathon in support for Breast Cancer. In 2017, I funded a children’s park for an orphanage in India. In 2018, I am volunteering at an orphanage in Vietnam and looking forward to spending time with the children.

When one talks of giving, people always think only in terms of monetary, whereas, there are so many ways to give… love, time, expertise. My husband and I both believe this is the legacy we can pass to our son, who will carry forward the torch of goodness for the wellbeing of mankind and our planet… for the beginning and end is in us.

Women Empowerment
I am committed to supporting and enabling initiatives that will help women have confidence in themselves and help create a good talent pipeline of women leaders – at every level. I not only conduct workshops and coach, but also speak at several ‘women in leadership’ forums and help drive the change and push the agenda to create a platform for women to succeed. I am actively involved in the upcoming INSEAD iW50 – Career Transition and Transformation, signature event for INSEAD alumni living and working across the UK.

So let us not waste a minute and instead make our days count!

If you are interested in sharing your alumni story, please contact the UK alumni association at [email protected]
January 2018

Alumni Profiles: Tom Hopkins (MBA’05D)

Sometimes you need a push…

The birth of my eldest child was the jolt I required to apply to INSEAD.

As a Chartered Accountant, I was working for PwC at the time and most of my clients were large insurance companies, but my passion lay with smaller entrepreneurial businesses. The MBA was a way to expand horizons and assist in a career change, and fatherhood made me realise it was now or never.

After a wonderful year in Singapore, I entered the world of venture capital. Most VCs themselves are small businesses so there is great variety of roles within each firm; a day can range from a portfolio company board meeting followed by an investment committee meeting, and then a pitch to a potential investor. And obviously you get exposed to a great number of business models as well as truly amazing entrepreneurs.

All this is very rewarding in itself but ultimately I wanted to run my own business. Again, it took a life changing personal event – cancer in the family – to provide the required push.

So in 2015, after almost 10 years in venture capital at two different firms, Kin Capital was launched.

Kin is trying to address some of the inefficiencies in the venture capital market, where you get small teams who should be focused on the deals but get distracted by all the necessary but onerous admin like investor reporting, fundraising and compliance etc.

Therefore, Kin offers a range of services to firms operating in the venture capital sector – think of it as providing the picks and shovels to the guys doing the gold mining. The business offers fundraising, fund management, custodial and regulatory umbrella services.

It is still early days. We now total six people, plus two part time, in the business and work with funds investing into charities, film projects, university spin outs, consumer brands and much more – providing variety as well as my VC fix.

The UK is certainly in an interesting position at the moment in regards to technology and innovation. And with the backdrop of impending Brexit, the government is currently undertaking a patient capital review to understand how UK growth businesses can be supported to fuel UK Plc. We hope to be in a position to be part, however small, of the solution.

Life as an entrepreneur is a roller-coaster ride and all-consuming but in a rewarding way. A lot is written about work life balance, and I’m not sure if it is ever possible to divorce the two. When you are running your own business it is part of your life and it is your passion so work / life lines are even more blurred.

I enjoy thinking about the business whenever I can and actually I think my wife, and now three children, would say they have seen a positive change in me as a person, probably because I’m doing what I always wanted to do.

The INSEAD MBA got me the career change I wanted but also gives you the confidence that you can run a business and go it alone. Starting your own business is not for the faint-hearted but if this your goal then life is short, and sometimes you need to have faith, or be pushed, to back yourself…

If you are interested in sharing your alumni story, please contact the UK alumni association at [email protected]

December 2017