Derek Smail joins board of the Institute of Export
A top businessman with vast experience as a chairman and MD of companies in the UK, Africa and the Commonwealth has been appointed to the board of the Institute of Export (IOE).
Derek Smail OBE, with four decades of international publishing behind him, will advise on policy and corporate governance in his role with the Institute – the UK’s only professional body offering recognised, formal qualifications in International Trade, whose patron is the Duke of Kent.
He was elected to the Executive Committee by IOE council members and is committed to a three-year tenure.
"The Institute’s unique role in setting and raising professional standards in international trade management and export practice is more vital than ever as interest in international trade continues to grow," said Smail.
"Equipping business with the relevant knowledge and skills to ensure success has likewise taken on an unprecedented importance and I’m looking forward to further enhancing and expanding the Institute’s reputation at home and abroad."
Smail has enjoyed a succession of prominent roles, including executive chairman of African Media Investments since 1998 and non-executive director of Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe.
He helped launch the market-leading paper the Daily News in Zimbabwe in1999, and although it was prevented from publishing after 2003 by the Mugabe regime it started up again in 2011 and quickly resumed its popularity.
And between 2001 and 2009, as non-executive director of CBET, he raised the foreign investment to acquire a 49% shareholding in two weekly newspapers published in Botswana - The Guardian and the Midweek Sun.
"Working with African colleagues in Zimbabwe, Botswana and South Africa, I developed strong diplomatic and listening skills, which are essential to ensure the strongest teamwork among those with differing skill levels and experience," said Smail, who is currently a senior board advisor for Homestrings, an electronic platform that allows members of the Diaspora and others access to vetted investment opportunities in the Developing World, previously the preserve of institutional investors.
He is also a non-executive director of Today Translations Ltd, an award-winning business that has some 2,000 blue-chip clients, a database of more than 2,600 linguists interpreting and translating in more than 200 language combinations.
IOE director general Lesley Batchelor said: "Derek’s strong track record as a strategist and advisor is second to none and he will add great value to the Institute which is marking a particularly formative period of expansion as it continues to forge powerful partnerships and alliances on a national and global scale."
2002 -2009: Non-executive director and shareholder, New Zealand News Ltd, based in London.
2005-2008: Non-executive director and shareholder, ZA Publishing, publisher of the weekly newspaper, SA Times.
1997-2001: Chairman and owner of Commonwealth Publishing.
1971-1999: Tweeddale Press Ltd, Berwick-upon-Tweed as MD and Chairman.
The Institute of Export sets and raises professional standards in international trade management and export practice with the provision of education and training programmes.
It is the only professional body in the UK offering recognised, formal qualifications in International Trade. As an awarding body with the QCF the IOE is registered to make and grant qualifications. This includes modern apprenticeships, foundation degrees and all six levels of the National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs).