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Retail Risk – Cape Town 2017 promises to build on a very successful conference in March earlier this year. While we assemble next year’s conference, here are just some of the highlights from 2016…


The agenda for 2016 included the following. Agenda for 2017 coming soon…

CHAIR: Colin Stewart

Colin Stewart
Director, Asset Protection – Europe and Middle East
Abercrombie & Fitch


Jon Wright, Head of Safety & Loss, River Island

KEYNOTE PRESENTATION: Loss Prevention is a journey – from reactive, to proactive and ultimately… predictive

As retail transforms, so does risk. And with it the LP function is transforming – fast. Jon Wright takes us on the River Island journey from traditional reactive LP to a sophisticated predictive model that involves the whole business and adds value like never before.


‘Any product, anytime, anywhere’: the River Island RFID journey

Following on from his Keynote, Jon focuses on the role of RFID, championed by Loss Prevention at River Island to increase sales, improve stock accuracy and ultimately support the business Omni Channel goals. From trial to roll out, Jon details the benefits gained and lessons learned.

More about Jon…

Jon Wright heads up the Safety and Loss Department for River Island. His diverse responsibilities range from Global Multi channel Fraud & Payments, Retail Profit Protection, Programs and Predictive Analytics to Fire, Health & Safety.

He has built his strong retail experience working within many of the top global retail brands and during his career has held positions such as, Loss Prevention Director for Nike, European Loss Prevention Manager Disney stores and Loss Prevention Manager Abercrombie & Fitch.

With a strong focus on “adding value” to the top line as well as protecting the bottom line, Jon is consistently looking at how the skill set within Safety & Loss can be utilised further within the company to increase sales, productivity and stock accuracy.

Matthew Attwell, Client Service Director, the ai Corporation

Man vs machine

At ai we are proud of our pragmatic “down to earth” culture and it is from this basis that we develop solutions that help our clients “work smart” and in a more efficient manner. Our mantra to ‘automate tedious routines to release human creativity’ aligns with the mounting scientific evidence presented in the field of behavioural economics.

In fact, two of the International Institute of Analytics ten predictions for 2015 were, that analytics, machine learning, and cognitive computing will increasingly take over the jobs of knowledge workers and that automated decision-making would come of age in 2015. This was also supported by Frost & Sullivan who recently published that

  • New sophisticated threats and fraud will appear in order to overpass existing security protection.
  • Disruptive technologies such as Artificial Intelligence will appear as strong alternatives to create a better level of security protection.

In other words, we believe some jobs are best done by machines, leaving complex decisions to humans. Therefore our tools have been designed to complement business teams, automating many of the day to day activities, allowing our customers to focus on more complex issues.

More about Matthew…

Matthew joined ai in 2013 as Client Service Director . He has worked in a variety of different areas within the financial services sector, specialising in both fraud analytics and fraud risk strategy.

Most recently, Matt worked in the Global Anti-Fraud team at Deutsche Bank where he was responsible for managing a global fraud loss prevention program and also managed fraud risk for the bank within the UK-MEA region. He previously worked for Lloyds Banking Group for several years covering both fraud analytics and fraud strategy areas.

Peter Page, MENA-based Group Loss Prevention Manager

How an effective LP team impacts loss… and how it can increase overall profitability

Peter expands on the theme of transformation. To remain relevant, LP must offer more. So how does a ‘traditional’ LP team develop to increase an organization’s overall profitability? What is the future direction of LP and what further benefits can it provide?

More about Peter…

Peter is an experienced security practitioner with over 22 years’ experience at all levels across many industry sectors. He specialises in loss prevention, profit protection and organisational resilience.

Since 2006, Peter has worked throughout the Middle East and North Africa and is currently employed as Group Loss Prevention Manager by one of the region’s largest conglomerates. Peter earned his CPP board certification in 2012. He is currently the Vice Chairman for the Dubai Chapter of ASIS International and serves as a member of the Middle East Advisory Council.

Peter has an MSc in Business Continuity, Security & Emergency Management and wrote his dissertation on implementing ISO 22301- for which he received a distinction. He also has a post-graduate certificate in Security Management and is a lead auditor for seven international standards. Peter is a Member of the Business Continuity Institute and a Member of the Security Institute.

Peter is dedicated to raising the professionalism of the security industry and in particular, the development of fellow security practitioners through education and certification: Peter received the PCB award for his service to teaching the CPP certification and is an adjunct lecturer for Edith Cowen University, teaching the Diploma in Aviation Security.

Alastair Tempest, Regional Director Africa for the International Omni Retail Markets Association (IORMA) and Acting Director of the Ecommerce Forum of Africa

How to tackle the instances of fraud in ecommerce

Experience in Europe and the USA shows that retail fraud is worse online. Ecommerce merchants need to have close co-operation with payment systems to combat this problem. In South Africa there is a lot of EFT payment, which is easier to stop once fraud is detected, but as with credit cards the banks need to work closely with ecommerce merchants. Fraud comes in other guises too – for example, the sale of counterfeit goods and parallel imports may become a major issue unless the ecommerce platforms collaborate to prevent known crooks from using ecommerce to launder their goods.

Peter Page, MENA-based Group Loss Prevention Manager

How to evolve the role of your LP team

Building on the theme of his presentation Peter discuss in more detail with retailers the skills and strategies required to integrate their LP team into their wider business so that as well as preventing loss they are increasing profitability too.

Colin Stewart, Director, Asset Protection – Europe and Middle East, Abercrombie & Fitch

Building LP cultures across an international landscape

Drawing on his LP leadership experience at Abercrombie & Fitch, as it has grown from a few stores to over 120 in 15 Countries in the EU and the Middle East, Colin will speak about building loss prevention teams across an international landscape. From building LP culture and values, to hiring the right talent.

More about Colin…

Colin began his career working within his family-owned security business Proact Security. As Colin puts it, “Working the sales floors of Oxford Street in the late nineties, before many of the major malls existed, exposed me to a range of crime you were unlikely to see anywhere else in Europe at that time. Colin managed the investigative arm of Proact Security, servicing H&M mainly, but also spent time managing contracts for River Island, Benetton and GAP to name a few.

After seeing the family business go from a small to medium enterprise, Colin graduated from law school in criminal defence litigation, after which the allure of LP became too great, and he was given an opportunity to help Abercrombie and Fitch develop their asset protection program in Europe. “Seeing Abercrombie grow from a handful of stores, to over 120 across 15 Countries in EU and the Middle East, was an amazing experience. I feel immensely grateful to have worked alongside some of the greatest loss prevention leaders and teams out there”, he says.

Heinrich Newat, Managing Director, Newat Consulting Services

What do SA retailers need from their security service providers?

Finding security service providers that meet the needs of SA retail is challenging. What is needed are services that are tailored and accountable – to enable LP teams to justify costs to the wider business. Heinrich Newat opens up the debate in his presentation before leading a panel discussion on the subject.

More about Heinrich…

Heinrich Newat has over 16 years of experience in Logistics, Manufacturing, Construction and Retail with his portfolio consisting of Security, OHS & Compliance. His experience also includes national portfolios within Security and Risk Management for multi-nationals.

Heinrich’s core values in his approach to managing risk are:
– Being proactive, in an area of business that is overwhelmingly reactive
– Ensuring that security is taught to every employee within the organisation, to create awareness through shared and organisational learning
– Integrating the department within the organisation and “selling” it to the business. “We need to understand that we need to constantly reinvent our department and profession, every meeting is an opportunity to sell the department. Prepare a sales pitch, that’s how we need to approach it. If we don’t take ourselves seriously, how can we expect the rest to”.

He is currently working on the following projects:
– Bridging the gap between corporate and service providers (proper needs & supply analysis)
– Integrating systems/processes and security (security forming part of operational processes)
– “Retail Therapy” – know my security needs, not generic but tailored.

Jon Wright, Head of Safety & Loss, River Island

How can RFID support your business?

Following on from his presentation, Jon leads a discussion group on how your LP team can lead the way in implementing RFID in your business to improve stock accuracy and support the business Omni Channel goals.

Tony Sales, former criminal mastermind

Tony will provide unique insights into…

  • Why “data is the new cash” – how criminals exploit business data to devastating effect
  • How employees steal from their employer without “taking” a thing
  • Insider threats – how to recognise them and how to deal with them
  • Which security systems give criminals sleepless nights
  • Manned guarding – does it actually encourage crime?

More about Tony…

Once dubbed ‘Britain’s Greatest Fraudster’ by the UK media, Tony Sales is now a reformed character using insider knowledge to help UK retailers fight back against targeted retail fraud attacks. He specialises in ID Fraud, Credit card Fraud, Bank Fraud and Internet Fraud.

“As a fraudster I was always able to think outside the box. Making the most of my specialist fraud expertise, now I have made a career working alongside retailers to combat retail fraud.” Offering unique insights into the workings of the criminal mind, Tony Sales works with government, banking, insurance and retail internationally to tackle the threat of Organised Retail Crime.

Mark Emmott, Retail Knowledge

Learn from 200 of the world’s top retailers… reviewing the findings of the US & UK Retail Fraud Surveys 2015.

Mark Emmott, director of global LP leaders Retail Knowledge, provides insight analysis and practical conclusions on how to take the collective wisdom of the most definitive LP studies in the world and use it to protect your business:

  • What is the number one cause of loss, in-store and online?
  • What are the latest threats emerging to online trade?
  • How are established omni-channel retailers dealing with omni-channel fraud?
  • What are retailers finding to be the most effective ways of combating loss online and in-store?

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