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The world at your feet … and then you lose them

I’m sitting today reflecting on my good friend Mark Inglis’s
talk at the Financial Services Club last night.

Mark and Chris

It was an open house to launch our new season of events for the 2013-2014 season (see end of blog for more about this) and we all left the evening feeling inspired and a little bit humbled.

ark is a legend in certain parts of the world, but is little known here.  Not sure why, but it might be because we all have our own heroes such as Ranulph Fiennes or Richard Noble .

Anyways, our open house sessions are always meant to be a little bit inspirational and Mark certainly delivered on this.

First, he tells the story of how he grew up in the mountains of New Zealand, and loved climbing and the freedom of being in the great open space of the highest peaks.

This is his office.

Mount cook1

An office that is over 3,700 metres high and one which Mark grew
to know intimately as, by his early 20s, Mark had become a mountaineering
rescuer.  As he says, “as a New Zealander
what better job could I have than saving Australians stuck up my mountain?”

The thing is that being a mountaineer can be dangerous, as
Mark found to his cost.

He and his colleague Phil Doole were exploring Mount Cook in
1982 and had believed the weather forecast, which said the mountain would be clear
for the day.

The weather forecast was wrong and, as Mark and Phil reached
the peak a blizzard started to blow.

The blizzard was sheer ice cold wind that left them holding
onto their ice picks, as their feet lifted in the air due to the sheer strength
of the wind.

Luckily they managed to make it to an ice cave that climbers
knew as the Halfway Hotel, near the peak of the mountain.

Settling in to a space about the size of being under an
office desk, the two large men waited for the weather to clear.

Their rations were five biscuits, as they hadn’t planned ot
be up there for long, and Mark lost a bit of weight.  In fact, he lost a lot of weight as they were
stuck in this ice cave for not just an hour or two.

In fact, they were in there for slightly longer than 127
the time it took one climber to cut his arm off to escape.

They were stuck there
for almost 14 days.

By the time Phil and Mark were rescued, they had lost almost
half their body weight and both climbers had severe frost bite.

Result: Mark had both legs amputated, just below the knee.

Was that a problem?


“When you lose your legs when you’re 23… something like this
is just a minor hiccup, just a bump in the journey, really.”

So what did Mark do?

He became an entrepreneur, an innovator, an explorer and a

Not only did he work with Montana wines, as their share
price exploded over 100 times in price during his tenure there, but he also
became a Paralympic Games silver medallist for cycling at the Sydney games in 2000.

Mark cycling

Soon after, he climbed Mount Cook again and reached the peak safely, only to top that off by becoming the first double amputee to successfully
climb and reach the peak of Mount Everest in 2006.

For those who missed Mark’s speech, you missed a great
evening as there was a palpable sense of amazement in the audience as they
heard Mark’s story unfold.  In fact, I would go as far as to say that if you ever feel you're trying to do something that is not possible, just remember his story and, if you want to know more of his story, then buy the book!

What Mark demonstrates is that, even in the most extreme circumstances, a positive attitude will win.  What more do you need to face MiFID2, EMIR, Dodd-Frank, SEPA end dates, Digital disruptions or worse?

Our next open evening is our Christmas Party on 11th
December when we recount the story of the bear that was human.  You’ll have to come along to hear that one!

Meanwhile, here’s a summary of what’s coming up next:

Financial Services
Club Poland

2nd October 2013
The new wave of innovative banks
Udayan Goyal, co-founder, Anthemis
Michal Panowicz, Director, Project mBank

Financial Services
Club England

2nd October 2013
The Unexpected Consequences of Regulations on Payments
Chaired by Neil Burton, Director of Strategy, Earthport

Financial Services Club Ireland

16th October 2013
Treating customers fairly
Michael Cawley , COO and Deputy CEO of Ryanair

Financial Services Club England

25th October 2013 (lunch)
The Future of the City
The Right Honourable, the Lord Mayor, Roger Gifford

Financial Services Club Scotland

29th October 2013
Doing things differently – the art of creating true customer

Moran Lerner, Executive Vice President, Mpayme Ltd

Financial Services Club Austria

29th October 2013
US and UK laws reach out to
European Banks and their clients

Kevin P. Carey, CEO, Research Services GmbH (EMEA)
Scott Fredericksen, Foley & Lardner (leading US

Satindar Dogra, Linklaters UK
Marten Schwarzbartl, ÖBB Chief Compliance Officer, former
E&Y International Crime specialist

Financial Services Club England

6th November 2013
“Are banks delivering for their corporate customers’ needs?”
Colin Tyler, Chief Executive, the Association of Corporate
Treasurers (ACT)

Financial Services Club Poland

13th November 2013
Innovating in new markets
Dr Mircea Mihaescu, Director, Sberbank Technology Research

Financial Services Club Nordic

19th November 2013, Stockholm
How infrastructures are changing
Peter Randall, founder and former CEO of Chi-X Europe;
Olof Neiglick, founder and former CEO of Burgundy; and
Hanna Vainio, Deputy CEO of Euroclear Finland / Head of
Infrastructure division, Euroclear Finland and Euroclear Sweden.

Financial Services Club England

20th November 2013
“The latest card fraud trends”
Peter Bayley, Senior Vice President, Fraud Management, Visa

Financial Services Club Nordic

21st  November 2013,

The Impact of Ubiquitous Technologies on the Customer

Speakers include Roy Vella, former head of mobile for PayPal
and RBS

Financial Services Club Austria

3rd December 2013
Is Bitcoin a good thing?
Jon Matonis, the Bitcoin Foundation

Financial Services Club England

5th December 2013 (dinner)
Where are we now?
Gottfried Leibbrandt, CEO, SWIFT

Financial Services Club England

11th December 2013
What does a Bear Market really look like?




About Chris M Skinner

Chris M Skinner
Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog, TheFinanser.com, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal’s Financial News. To learn more click here...

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