BBT Hotlist 2015: Industry influencers

We take a look at which major players will be influencing the managed travel sector in 2015 and beyond.

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Jamie Pherous

Pherous launched Australian-based CTM 19 years ago, and he has grown the firm into one of the country’s largest privately-owned travel management companies. CTM now has its sights on dominating the US, European and Asian markets, after an agreement announced in December saw it acquire Chambers Travel in a deal worth up to £39 million over three years.

This latest acquisition means CTM will now operate in 46 cities across 23 countries worldwide, employing 1,800 staff. Chambers’ 214 employees are to retain their jobs. CTM also kept up its aggressive acquisition strategy in the US, tying up a deal with Diplomat Travel. Both acquisitions are expected to add A$4 million over six months to CTM’s 2015 trading results.

The firm’s 2014 financial results showed pre-tax profits of A$28.9 million, representing a 47 per cent growth on 2013.

Chris Pouney, founder
Severnside Consulting

Project Neema, Pouney’s African research paper, is a first for the region. The publication is a combination of intensive academic research and interviews with more than 170 stakeholders, including 50 travel buyers across the region, and aims to provide practical guidance on how to implement a best-in-class travel programme for Africa. The project found that though six of the ten fastest-growing economies are in Africa, buyer knowledge of the area is very limited.

Pouney’s key findings included issues and advice around the challenges of consolidating travel management services, mobile technology, safety and security, data management and payment methods. The paper was launched in late 2014 at the African Business Travel Conference, and is expected to be a key tool for buyers looking to build or improve the performance of programmes in the continent over the next few years.

Dean Forbes

The CEO of KDS travel and expense management solutions, Forbes was nominated by 2014 Hotlist nominee Vincent Lebunetel who is VP of corporate innovation at Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT) and one of the main people behind the CWT Travel Stress Index. As CEO, Forbes is responsible for KDS’s strategy and operations, and has helped transform the KDS offering by leading the development of new products, the KDS partner programme and a number of marketing initiatives that have led to impressive performance.

Forbes has experience in this sector after previously working at IT giant Oracle, where he was group VP for project and portfolio management solutions. Lebunetel says: “Dean has proven to be disruptive, not only for the products KDS brings on the market but also for saying all those things in the industry that others may not say.”

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