Incisive’s editorial director Adrian Barrick shares his wisdom and passion for change with the PPA

What made you want to work in the publishing industry?

I fell in love with journalism and politics around the time that Margaret Thatcher got elected. The world was starting to change, and I wanted to be involved and write about it.

Chart you career from the start to where you are now.

I started off as a reporter and then I went into editing, publishing and then became a divisional CEO at UBM, which is now part of Informa. For the last eight years I have specialised in content strategy at UBM, Haymarket and now Incisive. I love the intellectual challenge of working with journalists and editors. What we try to do is use storytelling to build loyal audiences among professional people.

You have had a number of different job roles within the industry. How have you seen the industry evolve in terms of job opportunities since you began your career?

I have been in the business now for 33 years and what has been most striking is the acceleration in the pace of change. There has been more disruption in the last 10 years than in the previous 23. I remember appointing my first web editor in the nineties and those people were the ones that turned out to be the heartbeat of the editorial operation. I learned then that you should always go with the new thing, even if it seems small and obscure to start with. When I became UBM’s chief content officer I grabbed hold of that opportunity. I set up a content marketing team in 2009 and we hired a bunch of content writers, designers and project managers. Then we started hiring audience engagement managers and video producers and very soon I’ve no doubt we’ll be hiring podcast producers and presenters. In this business it really does help to be a shape shifter.

What forms of journalism are most effective for storytelling across B2B titles?

With all journalism it comes down to finding great characters and stories. As in the print days, you still can’t beat a brilliant scoop. Over time the readers and rival journalists are going to know who is breaking the stories and that elevates the brand. The profusion of new platforms has allowed us to develop long form data journalism, a variety of video techniques and podcasts and campaigns which are much richer across digital and social than we could ever achieve in print. But in the end, these are only just tools and it really is just about finding the right platform for the story. What our readers are looking for is actionable intelligence and to feel part of the community. That is really about the story not the format.

You work across a number of titles on sustainability, technology and finance. How good does your understanding have to be of all those specialisms?

I think you have to understand enough to understand what is of value to the individual groups of readers, but you are never going to be as expert as the editors and journalists that work on those titles. In this sort of role, you must remember that they are the heroes in the drama. They have the depth and I’ve got the breadth. My value comes from taking a view from the bridge, making the connections across the titles and seeing what is going on in the wider media industry that might change the game for us. AI for example is clearly coming over the horizon, and that is where you can hopefully add value as an editorial director.

What has been the highlight of your career so far?

I am not someone who looks back very often. Winning awards like the PPA Editor of the Year award have always been great moments but you have to move onto the next thing. If I was to pick one thing out it would be when a team I worked with launched a magazine, a website and an awards show in three weeks in 2005. We beat the rival, who had been planning the rival title for a year, by a week. It was crazy, expensive and an absolute hoot. It was one of the first moments I got interested in strategy because the way we were able to rethink and outwork them was really rewarding.

What would people be surprised to know about your job?

One of the things I learned early on at UBM, which is still true at Incisive now, is that you are powerless without the support of the CEO and the commercial leadership team on one hand and great editors to work with on the other. To use a sporting analogy, the editors are the players on the pitch and all you can do is scream from the touchline. To understand the limits of your responsibility is really important before you start figuring out what it is that you can do.

What would be in your Room 101?
Surveillance capitalism. It is not hard to see how Facebook and WeChat morph into Big Brother and that is pretty terrifying for human freedom. I would also like to zap all the phone zombies who menace my daily commute.

What magazine would be your long train journey?

Other than reading my own titles, my fantasy read would be a vintage copy of NME from the late 70s or early 80s – the Neil Spencer era. I loved the egos and the narcissism.

Incisive Media triumphs at the 2019 Kames Capital Journalism Awards

Professional Pensions’ six-strong editorial team won institutional team of the year for the fourth year in succession.

PP’s deputy editor James Phillips was also named institutional journalist of the year, with editor Jonathan Stapleton runner up.

This is Phillips’ second major award of the year. In July, he was named pensions journalist of the year by the Society of Pension Professionals.

Meanwhile, Investment Week’s deputy news editor Mike Sheen walked away with the prize for wholesale journalist of the year, with special projects correspondent David Brenchley as runner up.

The Kames Capital Awards celebrate excellence in investment journalism. The categories are judged by a panel of industry experts from the institutional and wholesale markets. This year’s awards took place on November 28 in London.

Incisive Media’s group editorial director Adrian Barrick said: ’’Hearty congratulations to all the winners of these prestigious awards, which pit our journalists directly against their peers. The categories are also judged by true experts in the sector, so there are no hiding places.’’

He continued: ’’The fact that James, Mike and the Professional Pensions team came out on top is testament to the enduring quality of the writing on our titles and the importance to our readers of the stories that our journalists tell.’’

Kevin Sinclair, managing director of Incisive Media’s financial division said:’ “It’s great to see members of our editorial teams recognised for their excellent coverage of the investment and pensions markets. We believe our journalists are the best in the business, and these awards confirm we are right!’’

In 2018, both Professional Pensions and Investment Week won team of the year awards, and PP’s Stephanie Baxter won the institutional journalist prize.

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Investment Week appoints new editor-in-chief

Lloyd steps up into the newly-created role on December 1 after eight years as editor of the 24-year-old brand. She will also be EiC of IW’s sister titles Professional Adviser and Cover, working closely with their respective editors, Tom Ellis and Adam Saville, to develop editorial content across the portfolio, including its burgeoning suite of events.

Incisive Media will now recruit a new editor of IW to succeed Lloyd.

Cambridge-educated Lloyd has 17 years’ experience as a financial journalist and editor. This includes four and a half years as editor of IFAonline (now Professional Adviser) before she became editor of Investment Week in 2011.

During her tenure, the team has won a number of industry awards including Headlinemoney B2B Trade Title of the Year and the Investment Association Team Award for Excellence in Investment Writing, as well as three Wholesale Team of the Year Awards at the Kames Capital Journalism Awards.

Incisive Media’s group editorial director Adrian Barrick said: “We created this new position to strengthen the leadership of Investment Week and to exploit opportunities to develop our coverage of the sector across all our brands. After an extensive selection process, Katrina proved to be the outstanding candidate, and I’m delighted that she has accepted the role. I’m looking forward to working with her to build on our market-leading position.’’

Apart from its website – – and a weekly magazine, IW also produces more than 40 events a year, including the iconic Fund Manager of the Year Awards, as well as the Women in Investment Awards and Funds to Watch conferences.

Managing director Kevin Sinclair said: “I’m delighted that Katrina is our new EiC. She has been an excellent editor of IW over the last eight years and I’m sure she will flourish in this wider role. As publishers we continue to invest in our top brands such as IW, especially in creating high-value journalism that helps investment professionals do their jobs better. I’m sure the quality of the service we provide our readers will only grow under Katrina’s leadership.’’

Lloyd commented: “I am very pleased to take on the editor-in-chief role as it will allow me to build on all the work I have been doing during my years at Incisive Media to take our brands to the next level and meet the rapidly-changing information needs of our audiences. We have some great journalists and editors on our titles and I look forward to working closely with them in this new position to develop our editorial content across platforms.”

Incisive Media appoints new editor of Professional Adviser

Ellis joined Professional Adviser three years ago as a reporter and was promoted to news editor in March. His recent innovations include a popular weekly podcast exploring the key challenges facing financial advisers and fresh opportunities for them to grow their business. He will succeed Julian Marr, PA’s editor since 2016, on August 18, 2019.

Ellis said: “I’m honoured to be taking over as editor of PA. Julian has done an outstanding job not only developing the brand but also nurturing me and the team over the last three years. I’m excited to build on his excellent work.

“It’s been fantastic working with financial advisers and I’m fully committed to supporting them. We will endeavour to cover the issues most important to our readers and provide them with the valuable information they need to succeed and grow.”

Incisive Media’s group editorial director Adrian Barrick commented: “Tom is clearly one of our rising stars and he takes over at a time when Professional Adviser is flourishing both editorially and commercially. With his fresh ideas and infectious energy, Tom will provide the editorial impetus we need to sustain this momentum.”

Kevin Sinclair, managing director of Incisive Media’s finance division, said: “Professional Adviser is one of our best performing brands and I’m delighted that we’ve appointed a new editor who has already demonstrated the ability to capture the imagination of financial advisers, which is so vital to our commercial success.”

Launched in 2001, Professional Adviser serves financial advisers and paraplanners across the UK. Professional Adviser’s website – – provides exclusive, up-to-the-minute news, analysis and expert opinion on investment solutions, business development opportunities, the impact of new technology, and broader industry trends.

PA also publishes a bi-monthly magazine – Multi-Asset Review (MAR) – and runs a portfolio of high-value events for the IFA community including the annual PA360 – now in its third year – the Professional Adviser Awards, the Multi Asset Roadshows, breakfast briefings and the Women in Financial Advice Awards.