Plenary Panel – What’s on the mind of global business leaders?

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Session recap

Global business leaders share lessons learned

What’s on the mind of global business leaders? Plenty, according to a panel devoted to asking the tough questions to three world-class entrepreneurs: Regine Sixt of Sixt, Michael Lee-Chin of Portland Holdings Inc. and Jack Cowin of Competitive Foods Australia Ltd.  

The global economy faces a threat if the pace of regulation continues. Sixt says she looks at regulation as having the potential to paralyze the spark necessary for risk-taking and innovation. Another disturbing trend she sees is found in management’s greed as it places more importance on bonuses over profits.    

Opportunity can be found in the most unlikely places. Lee-Chin says that he believes areas of dysfunction or disruption can offer great potential to aspiring entrepreneurs. By buying a bank in Jamaica, which at the time was riddled with high unemployment, crime and unauthorized citizens, he has prospered by reinvesting and compounding yields in what he calls both human and financial capital. Jamaica (and Lee-Chin) have both prospered from reversing the brain drain and stemming the flight of capital.  

As for leadership, Cowin says the CEO’s job is simple: stay in business. “Delegate but don’t abdicate. You can’t opt out and expect the vision to stay in place,” Cowin says. He has also found that rewarding his A-team makes everyone (even the losers) want to work that much harder.

Sixt makes it her mission as a leader to inspire loyalty among her employees: “They stand behind the company’s idea every day, and I never forget that this business would not be here without them.”  

Panel chair

EY - Carmine DiSibio

Carmine DiSibio
Global Managing Partner - Client Service

Panel members

EY - Michael Lee-Chin

Michael Lee-Chin
Portland Holdings Inc.
Entrepreneur Of The Year 1996 Canada


EY - Regine Sixt

Regine Sixt
Executive Vice President
Sixt International


Jack Cowin
Founder and Executive Chairman
Competitive Foods Australia Ltd.
Entrepreneur Of The Year Australia Judge 2005, 2006, 2008