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Human Resource Summit Speakers

Human Resource Summit - Speakers

The Strategy Group programme is made up of 7 discussion-based seminars and facilitated by leading HR experts. The sessions are an opportunity for delegates to catch up on some of the latest thinking and exchange ideas and best practice with their counterparts in other major organisations.

Two weeks before the event, delegates are asked to choose the groups which interest them most; it will normally be possible to attend 3 groups during the course of the Summit.

2017 HR Summit speakers

Rod Liddle

HR Summit 2017 Opening Keynote

Rod Liddle - HR Summit 2017 Opening Keynote

 

We are delighted to welcome Rod Liddle as our guest speaker for the 2017 HR Summit dinner.

 Rod is an English journalist, associate editor of The Spectator and a former editor of BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

 Many of you will know him from his entertaining and controversial writing in both The Spectator and The Sunday Times.  Like or loath his opinions, he has a knack for hitting the nail bang on the head. His articles range widely from the ubiquitous Brexit, Britain, the EU and Trump, to the less universal theme of the demise of the Ritz cracker.

 Rod also writes weekly columns for The Sunday Times and The Sun.  He has written one collection of short stories, Too Beautiful for You, which was published by Century in 2003. The collection was highly praised, and comparisons were drawn to Martin Amis and Will Self.  His book, Selfish, Whining Monkeys, was published by HarperCollins in 2014. Rod has also presented several television programmes, including ‘The New Fundamentalists’, ‘The Trouble with Atheism’, and ‘Immigration Is A Time Bomb’. 

Kath Austin

Reinvigorating the brand through people

Kath Austin - Director of HR & Marketing, Pizza Hut Restaurants


The Hut has been a much loved brand in the UK for over 40 years but with changing consumer demands and marketing conditions it was becoming a forgotten friend on the high street. In 2012 the business was reset on a transformation programme to radically reposition the consumer and employer brand in the UK and this is the story of that change journey.

Kath Austin the incumbent HR Director restructured the business and took on the responsibility for Sales & Marketing due to a belief that the brand would flourish via investment in people. Kath removed the silo that traditionally divides these departments and in partnership with the Management team started to look at the business with fresh eyes and a new mind-set that the brand is only as good as the experience a guest has when they visit a Hut and the guest experience would only be as good as a team member feels when they come to work.

In respect to marketing there was a legacy of high levels of spend in advertising and discounting driving transactions but not necessarily profit or guest loyalty. This had to change – by unlocking a more long term and guest led approach to Marketing it enabled significant additional investment in people development. Both functions undertook the same approach to change, starting by assessing what would really add value to our guests and employees and then a total redesign of our internal practises to deliver that value. During the last few years the HR team have learned to be Marketers and the Marketers have learned to become culture leaders and trainers. Crossing over practises for hiring attraction, websites, commercial thinking and employer branding and most importantly our team members are brand ambassadors for Pizza Hut.

Biography

Kathryn Austin has been the Director of HR & Marketing for Pizza Hut Restaurants since 2010. Prior Restaurants, Kath worked with Barclays and Lloyds, starting her career on the British Airways graduate programme. The red thread throughout Kath’s varied background is a passion for service based brands. Leading dual functions she has been able to radically change the mind-set of Marketing and HR to a people experience led approach supported by digital technology.  2016 Kath was awarded 'HR Director of Year' and the Hut recognised for its technology themed PR, social and digital work by IPM COGs and Drum.

David Blackburn

Successful business transformation - developing a High Performance Culture at the Financial Services Compensation Scheme

David Blackburn - Head of People, Financial Services Compensation Scheme


The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) is the single, independent UK compensation scheme for all regulated financial services, the first of its kind in the world. The Scheme protects deposits in banks, building societies and credit unions as well as insurance policies, investment advice and services and home finance. Since inception the Scheme has come to the aid of more than 4.5million people and paid out more than £26billion in compensation. Our customers rely on us to deliver a trusted compensation service that raises public confidence in the financial services industry – no small task post the financial crash! We recognised that our aspirations could only be achieved through significant change and transformation of our systems, our processes and our people. This session will explore how the Financial Services Compensation Scheme refocused, aligned and engaged its people around a new set of Values designed to uplift both internal performance and customer satisfaction. David Blackburn – Head of People at FSCS will explain how the organisation gained crucial insights into how it was performing in four key areas: Strategy, Execution, cross Structure working and Culture. This enabled FSCS to re-energise its corporate narrative to its employees with a simplified version of its ‘Why, What and How’. A second strand explored a new Customer Journey and how to engage its people to deliver an enhanced experience. With this 'picture on a page’, a re-invigorated, and more believable, Executive Team then led a challenge-based programme to enable everyone to explore how they could contribute to the Mission and Imperatives and to make the Values come to life. David will share the original insights, the challenge based programme design and the real results achieved 12 and 24 months on.

Biography

David Blackburn is a multi-award winning HR Director with almost 20 years’ experience at a senior level drawn from a diverse career background.  A graduate of the University of Aberdeen and London Business School, David is Head of People for the Financial Services Compensation Scheme – recognised as HR Team of the Year in the HR Excellence Awards 2016. David is a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development and the Royal Society of the Arts and has worked for blue chip brands such as McVities, Timberland and NetIQ – part of the Attachmate Group.  David speaks regularly at conferences and for the last three years has been a judge of the Recruitment Advertising Awards. Prior to his current role David was Director of Business Support for the Shepherds Bush Housing Group - HR Team of the Year in Housing in 2010 – and a Sunday Times Top 100 Employer.

Philomena Gray

Play nicely – we are stronger together as “The Power of One”!

Philomena Gray - Chief Talent Officer, Publicis Communications UK


My overall presentation is going to give some insight into Publicis Groupe (the Groupe) and how it is formed but more importantly, following a strategic decision to redefine its offering in 2016, it will give some insight in to some of the talent/people challenges/initiatives the newly revitalised organisation faced and what we did to overcome them. People who attend this session will hopefully take away some ideas that were successful but also some insight into what could have gone better.

The Groupe is a multinational Advertising/Marketing/PR organisation with over 75,000 employees worldwide. Originally established in 1926 as Publicis in Paris it grew through acquisition.

The Groupe strategy shifted from operating in agency silos to a more integrated offering across all of its brands/agencies. Publicis Communications was formed to align the offering of the 5 creative brands to deliver more for our clients and give our people opportunity to develop their skills and careers.

The agencies had historically operated independently of each other, were now being tasked to look at the total offering of the Groupe and work with other specialisms to deliver more for clients. The strategy of “Stand Apart but Snap together” was to become the new philosophy.

With no clear brief on how to do this, the UK Country Leadership Team was established to drive change from the top. This sounds so simple but in reality even these individuals were used to representing their own brands and strategy to then work across multi brands was proving difficult.

Like any organisational going through significant change, everyone has to understand why the change, where they fit in but more importantly what is in it for them.

Biography

Philomena (or Phil as she prefers to be called) started her career in Halifax working in a variety of specialist areas in the Head Office of the Halifax Building Society. In 1994, Phil was part of the HR team responsible for the integration of all employees following the acquisition of the Leeds Permanent Building Society.

In 1998, she moved to London to help re-establish a treasury/dealing operation in the City and this included leading the people agenda to ensure the successful move of over 150 people living in Yorkshire to London and the Home Counties, establishing a dual site operation for its back office staff to remain in Halifax.

She moved back to Yorkshire and joined the award winning diversity team for the now formed HBOS and then moved back to London in 2002 to integrate a number of the Bank of Scotland outreach organisations into the wider group.

She joined what was originally Clear Channel Entertainment in the summer of 2002 and helped deliver on the Global strategy to move the organisation from a general entertainments business to one totally focussed on music and the fans, which were critical to its success – the newly formed Live Nation was established in November 2005.

Having successfully disposed of a number of the organisations in the UK that did not fit in the new organisation she spent the next few years acquiring organisations that did.

She left that business in January 2009 and joined Publicis Worldwide as the Human Resources Director UK and Nordics and is now the Chief Talent Officer for Publicis Communications UK.

She has one son called Stephen and her partner Graham she met through attending Summit Events’ Annual HR Summit.

Richard Gregory

People Analytics, more of the same or a real game changer?

Richard Gregory - Global Director of HR Operations & Organisational Effectiveness, Rentokil Initial


People analytics is transforming the HR profession, providing the opportunity to deliver human capital insights which will really add value to the business. HR needs to support intangible knowledge with data, and draw the insights that will help us make more informed and effective decisions.

Having recently rejoined the FTSE 100, Rentokil Initial embarked on a challenging journey to really understand what made the organisation tick.

From identifying and capturing data from a fragmented organisation to analysing, processing and then presenting that information, Richard takes us on a journey - discussing the challenges, mistakes and successes along the way to enable you to think about what the future could hold with Prescriptive and Predictive Analytics.

Biography

Philomena (or Phil as she prefers to be called) started her career in Halifax working in a variety of specialist areas in the Head Office of the Halifax Building Society. In 1994, Phil was part of the HR team responsible for the integration of all employees following the acquisition of the Leeds Permanent Building Society.

Richard joined Rentokil Initial at the start of 2013 to create their global L&D strategy & transformation programme. Focussing on delivering compelling, engaging and business centric development opportunities to over 30,000 employees, in 60 countries and in 31 different languages!

Prior to joining Rentokil Initial, Richard spent 7 years with Accenture, providing consulting expertise in learning strategy, governance and transformations to some of the world’s top companies. Leading teams of up to 16 reports and budgets of over £8m across multiple industries, Richard has continually been seen by his peers as a thought leader in L&D. Being a “Gen Y” himself, Richard is able to utilise his passion for digital technology to solve some of the key learning challenges in an innovative and thought provoking way, pioneering both user generated and mobile content.

His real passion though is for creating and implementing HR transformations as part of major culture programmes, that really push the norms of what’s typically seen in most organisations – challenging the status quo and creating a culture of “HR as a Service”. His commercial & entrepreneurial approach has resulted in strong business results and external recognition, with his team being awarded Best Learning Team & Best Learning Technology Implementation awards, from their peers, at the prestigious eLearning Awards 2015.

Vilma Nikolaidou

Tate Gallery: Building a new Museum with Inclusive Leadership

Vilma Nikolaidou - Head of Organisational Development, Tate Galleries

The Tate Galleries are world renowned art institutions with a mission to champion art and its value to society. In 2016, a new 260 million extension to the Tate Modern in London’s Bankside opened to the public aiming to be a museum for the 21st century. Underneath the vision for the new building lied a true commitment to bring broader and more diverse audiences at Tate. Vilma Nikolaidou, Tate’s Head of Organisational Development, will talk about the transformation journey of the organisation in order to deliver the new Tate Modern; from creating a new vision and strategies, to engaging 1500 staff at every level with the process, to developing a truly inclusive culture and a new leadership narrative. In order to achieve this, she and her team argued successfully that diversity and inclusion will not deliver transformational results unless they stop being niche activities often performed in silos by HR, Marketing or Community and Access teams and they become part of a whole-systems organisational development. They also argued that leadership was key in driving this change forward and devised the first ever inclusive leadership programme in UK Museums. Its aim was to transform Tate’s culture, structure and decision making but most importantly to create different programmes, exhibitions, offers and services to our audiences. In the session Vilma will cover the development and implementation of the programme, challenges and lessons learnt, not least what happens when a big capital project falls between times of economic growth and times of austerity.

Biography

Vilma Nikolaidou is Tate's Head of Organisational Development, having worked in HR at Tate Gallery for the last 8 years in HR and Culture Change roles. Vilma started her career in retail, working first in sales and then in HR for Monsoon Accessorize. She has also worked for Arts Council England and local government in strategic resourcing and policy roles, as well as a HR Business Partner. Her interests lie in using dialogue for organisational change, the power of networks in the workplace and how systems thinking can help organisations find solutions. Vilma also co-chairs Tate's LGBT employee network as well as the Tate for All-People and Culture Group, Tate's diversity and inclusion forum on workforce and organisational culture. . She recently led on the People and Culture plans for the new Tate Modern, a 260 million extension to the existing Tate building in London’s Bankside. She has a MSc in Organisational Psychology from City University, London and is MCIPD. This year she hopes to complete her Coaching studies.

Stephen Robson

Myers Briggs is dead, long live Myers Briggs: How to read minds and influence the bottom line

Stephen Robson - HR Director, Global Offer & Supply Chain, Kingfisher Plc

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve completed a Myers Briggs survey, how many copies of that report went to the bottom of my desk drawer and how little impact it actually had on me or my organisation. Then at Virgin I stumbled upon a new lens to see its worth through, and suddenly there was life in the hundreds of years old theory of personality type. With the help of Harvard Business School I was able to demonstrate just how much impact it could have on the bottom line. But it’s a topic that divides opinion, there are as many debunking articles online as there are theories on who shot JFK. So join me to debate this, share experiences and maybe conclude once and for all if there is life in the old MBTI dog yet.

It’s time to put relationships at the top of the business agenda

Poor relationships at work are now in the top three of reasons 'not to work here' in colleague engagement surveys. What's more poor relationships are in the top three causes of stress in the workplace. It should be no surprise then that it also features in the top three reasons why people choose to leave organisations. If you do the maths on how much absence and attrition costs you, you’ll start to see why I got interested.

Simply put, when we consider personality type we are given keys to self-awareness, relationship building, communication and triggers of stress. In understanding ourselves, and being able to read others we can start to build trust, influence and maximise the potential of ourselves and others. Unsurprisingly, similar techniques are now being used in sports teams, in schools, in medicine and on dating websites. Even law firms in the US are using these techniques to pick Jury members. The potential uses of type work to not just impact performance, but to actually drive better results are solid & significant. Surely it’s time for more businesses to follow suit?

Biography

From a very early age I’ve been a retailer, and despite a couple of diversions to stretch my thinking I’ve stuck to it. But half my career has not been in HR. I started as a store manager for Woolworths, worked my way up to manage a supply chain team, became a project manager and then went commercial as a buyer of movies – it’s quite a lot of fun attending movie premiers for a living. My first diversion was to the Royal Mail where I ran the junk mail operation (yep, sorry about that), before being persuaded to leave operations for HR where I took on a Business Partner role overseeing 6000 employees in East Anglia. When retail called again I joined TK Maxx and spent 6 great years helping to set up their European buying offices and supply chain, first as Head of HR and then into my first HRD role. Then the call from Virgin came, to help them grow their healthcare business as its Group People Director, and while the NHS proved a tough environment it was certainly an opportunity to make a lasting contribution to a pillar of UK history. Now I find myself a year into Kingfisher (DIY not beer) as the HRD for their international buying company, with teams across 10 countries and 14 locations it’s a fascinating role on so many levels, and my air miles aren’t bad either.

Martyn Wright

Setting up an in-house search strategy

Martyn Wright - Head of Recruitment EMEIA FS, EY

EY is a professional services firm working with clients through our four services lines (Advisory/Management Consultancy, Assurance/Audit, Tax, Transactions). With close to 250,000 employees and growing and a clear vision to be a $50 billion turnover organisation by 2020 recruitment is key to our business growth and future success.

This session will explore the rationale for setting up an in-house search function as well as the intangible benefits for having search in-house. As an accountancy firm the business case and measurement of the size of the potential market is key and I will provide methodology of how this can be calculated alongside the current models available in the market and the process we adopted in our function.

We will look at what we delivered, measured by a variety of factors including costs savings diversity and offers made/rejected and how to future proof the function. I will share some of the Headhunting techniques we employ and how I will develop the function going forward.

This session will benefit any senior HR or recruitment professional who manages a recruitment/talent acquisition team and is looking to develop an in-house strategy and make cost savings!

Biography

I studied Chemistry at Bristol University graduates 1995 and originally started in recruitment as a graduate trainee with Michael Page. After 2.5 years learning my craft I left to go in-house with J P Morgan Inc. where I joined to establish the European recruitment for the Asset Management business. I moved into a reward role for 18 months and finally I worked in a cost neutral consultancy team but missed recruitment. I then worked at a variety of HR recruitment firms specialising in senior level search and reward especially with varieties of team size (from 5 to 30) - headed Frazer Jones (5 years), Co founded Oakleaf (5 years), headed HR recruitment for Robert Walters (1.5 years) and headed HR recruitment for Career Legal (1.5 years) Since April 2014 I have worked at EY and currently lead recruitment for EMEIA Financial  Services with a particular specialism in Direct/Exec Recruitment and Recruitment Operations (headcount 12,464; FY16 hires 4,290) 

Mike Williams

Diversity – less talk & hot air, more action!

Much has been written recently about there being a problem with diversity in the media and specifically the publishing industry, and that talk is neither hot air nor speculation.

Spread The Word’s 2015 report found that 84% of publishers and 97% of agents think that publishing is only ‘a little diverse’ or ‘not diverse at all’, and if we’re really honest with ourselves, our places of work aren’t thriving hubs of social, cultural and ethnic diversity – at least not yet.

As Business In The Community’s 2015 ‘Race at Work’ report said, ‘it’s clear employees need to have more confidence to address the issue of race at work and aim to understand how it has an impact on the individual and their opportunity to reach their full potential’.

John Athanasiou, DOP at Harper Collins UK, recognised that BAME (Black, Asian and minority ethnic) individuals were unrepresented within the business, and below the 40% ethnic population of London (where much of the publishing industry is based), so he is taking action by launching applications for a traineeship targeted specifically at BAME graduates. This isn’t about filling quotas or tokenism, it’s about attracting the very best talent, widening our reach and extending our existing network to encompass the widest pool of talent.

It’s ultimately about cultural shift in the business with the CEO, exec team and every single employee in the company playing their part in that change. ‘This is the beginning of a journey, and there is definitely still a way to go, but I am confident that HCUK is on its way to reflecting our local communities, readership and society at large.’

Join John’s session to find out some simple steps you can take to make your business diverse and attract the best talent to your organisation.

John Athanasiou - Director of People, Harper Collins

Adrian Blair

Creating a place where people thrive to maximise organisational performance

World Vision is the largest international children’s charity with over 44,000 staff and 27,000 volunteers worldwide, with a mission to transform the lives of children in the world’s hardest places. Through the recent recession, UK charities have found it tough to maintain their income levels to fund their work, and many have fought for their space in the UK market with low pledge campaigns.

World Vision UK have maintained their market share through a high value strategy, offering a richer, deeper experience for their supporters. It hasn’t been an easy journey, as tough decisions for the good of the organisation’s performance have impacted staff and their working environment.

Hear how World Vision UK’s OD strategy for Organisational Health has been instrumental not just in successfully navigating this time, but also in achieving the highest ever income levels (increasing by 52% in the last 5 years), highest staff engagement and lowest attrition levels (from 34% to 8% per annum) in the history of the organisation. The simplicity of this OD strategy can be applied to any organisation in any sector to help manage the tension between organisational performance and creating a place where people thrive.

Adrian Blair - Director of Organisational Effectiveness, World Vision UK

Darren Cross

What is it like having a commercially thinking HR team?

Bridge International Academies, head quartered in London, is the world’s largest education innovation company serving the 700 million families who live on less than $2 USD per day. We strive to provide the highest quality education product to the 100,000+ students attending our more than 400+ nursery and primary schools across emerging markets in Africa and Asia. Currently Bridge employs 6,000 people internationally and growing by the day.

A commercially thinking HR team: is this a new philosophy? My view is probably not, but do we all really fully benefit from maximising the benefits of this thinking. Since the recession being a commercially driven HR professional has only become more valuable to organisations. As a group of HR professionals it would be great to share how this has worked for us over the last few years and share the successes. This session will start off with some context setting followed by some open discussions.

Over the last few years I have been lucky to work in different businesses which were going through substantial change where HR was critical in being part of the journey. Recognising the benefits of a commercially thinking HR team that has genuine credibility within the business has been the secret of mine and my team’s successes. I would like to share how this has been done, how the HR teams have got behind this and how the business has genuinely benefited.

The session will describe how developing a HR team in to being a commercially thinking HR team with a close alignment to the business, to deliver results and build credibility really benefits the organisation. I will share how building a credible team ethos, where the HR team work as one gives maximum impact. But to do this it takes some commitment to change ways of working from a stereotypical office based HR function to a function that is fully visible.

As a group we will discuss how to genuinely business partner the operational stakeholders and overcome the challenges and hurdles which appear when putting this in place.

Finally, we will look at how this gives us a positive return on investment and how this benefits key HR KPIs including engagement, employee turnover and business KPIs such as sales, wages and operational efficiency.

This would benefit any senior HR professional who manages a HR team especially within the Ulrich model.

Darren Cross - Vice President – Human Resources, Bridge International Academies

Gill Hill

The next chapter

Gill Hill, Head of People Development at Nationwide Building Society, tells the story of leadership at Nationwide and how it has impacted the culture and performance of the organisation before, during and after the crisis years in the financial services sector.

In particular, she will share the key insights from recent external and internal research into the challenges for the organisation's top 30 leaders in the future and how this has led it to write the next chapter of the leadership story and re-define its development proposition for the top leadership community. Furthermore, it is informing the need to change the design of the organisation and the environment in which the leaders operate in order to change the nature of their contribution. These are interesting times for Nationwide with the succession of a new CEO creating a turning point in the story.

Demographic change, digital lifestyles and technology convergence are just some of the external drivers for a different leadership response. The landscape is getting more complex and ambiguous, the navigation of paradoxes takes over from binary decision-making and innovation requires the stimulus provided by collaboration, empowerment and divergent thinking. It’s tempting to say “I’m a leader, get me out of here!”

In sharing Nationwide’s story as a case study, Gill looks forward to debating how other organisations are experiencing the leadership challenges and preparing their leaders for the future.

Gill Hill - Head of People Development, Nationwide Building Society

Bonnie Hopkins

The Apprenticeship Levy – Use it or lose it

What is the apprenticeship levy?
• An overview
• What are the drivers for this new levy?
• Timeline
• Additional funding

Will your organisation be affected?

What qualifies for levy funding?
• Who must provide qualifying training?
• Identifying good providers – what to look for
• Building your own programmes

What will this mean for early careers and graduate recruitment?

This session will answer all these questions and more. It will be delivered by Bonnie, who has been there and made it happen in her organisation, and she will be happy to share her experiences with you.

Bonnie Hopkins - Senior HR Manager, IG Group


City & Guilds

Simon Shaw

Spotlight on Apprenticeships

The lost world – a ‘remarkable and intriguing mystery’

Stella McCartney, Sir Ian McKellen, Gordon Ramsey – three of the many high achievers who happen to be very well-known and were once apprentices

£20 billion – the combined net worth of the top 40 wealthiest former apprentices in the UK

4.3 – the number of people starting an apprenticeship in England every minute of every working day

For many of us, apprenticeships are a kind of lost world. Not as lost as the plateau in the Amazon basin where Arthur Conan Doyle’s hero got into a fight with a gang of dinosaurs …

But still, what kind of a picture do we have of this world?

This session will start to unlock what for many is still a mystery. It examines the maps and charts of the apprenticeship world. Two of the explorers who have been there and returned will tell their tales.  And we come face to face with a real-life specimen.

Our guide is Simon Shaw, who has spent 30 years navigating the territory – from the launch of a handful of ‘Modern Apprenticeships’ on an unsuspecting public in 1985 to the current 3 million target.

Where are we now? What of the future? And most important of all, how can we make the most of the time, effort and money invested in this world we’re about to discover?

Facilitated by:

Simon Shaw - Independent consultant and apprenticeships expert

Guest speakers:

Mike Thompson - Director Early Careers, Barclays Bank plc

Callum Rowe - East of England Higher Apprentice of the Year 2015, International Co-operation & Offset Manager MBDA

Kirstie Donnelly MBE - Managing Director, City & Guilds


City & Guilds


Apprenticeship session - Watch our video to discover more on the Apprenticeship spotlight session

Mike Thomson

The Apprenticeship Levy – Turning a tax into an investment

The Government’s announcement of an Apprenticeship Levy has been seen by many as simply another tax on big business, raising as it does nearly £1.6 billion for the Exchequer.  As details of how the levy will work become clearer, this session will help you look at how your organisation can ensure it maximises the opportunity the levy presents to invest in your current and future workforce.

We will look at a case study of how Barclays Bank has created an award winning Early Careers Programme and how it plans to leverage the levy to develop its offering further to invest in key skills across its business.  We will look at how it has forged long term partnerships to deliver the skills it needs for the future as well as building a highly diverse pipeline of talent for the future.  The session will look at how Barclays has fundamentally re-engineered its recruitment practices and embedded a culture of continuous development of talent through its programmes.

Mike Thompson - Director Early Careers, Barclays Bank plc


City & Guilds

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