News headlines – December 2020

<<<    Later headlines
8 Dec 2020    Identity takes 25th place in Sunday Times Fast Track Top 100 companies
7 Dec 2020    Old Eastbournians launch women's health and wellness 'Femtech' brand
2 Dec 2020    Rupert Bairamian (School 1975-80)
1 Dec 2020    Advent Carol Service available to view online
>>>    Earlier headlines

> Click here for Latest news
> Click here for 2020 news headlines

8 December 2020 - Identity takes 25th place in Sunday Times Fast Track Top 100 companies

Identity, the Eastbourne-based events agency whose MD is Michael Gietzen (Reeves 2001-03), has taken 25th place in the annual Sunday Times Virgin Atlantic Fast Track 100 league table, which ranks Britain’s private companies with the fastest-growing sales.

The company has moved up 65 places from its position last year, with sales reaching £20.4 million.

Michael Gietzen says: 'We were thrilled to have been ranked in the top 100 last year. Now to have climbed a further 65 places to make the top 25 is an incredible achievement, made all the more amazing in light of the pandemic. The live events sector was effectively shut down last March and this required us to pivot at speed to continue to deliver events virtually for clients. We did and it worked!'

The team of nearly 100 reported 125% growth last year, forecasting a further 63% growth this year, with a three-year annual sales growth of 83 per cent. Identity has delivered exceptional virtual events in 2020, from global outreach campaigns for the RAF and Royal Navy, to on-line festivals and conferences as well as securing new clients such as Panasonic and Unilever.

Michael says: 'This achievement is down to two things - the amazing team at Identity that has worked tirelessly and ingeniously during these strange times. And secondly, our clients who all share our progressive approach to virtual events and ultimately trusted us wholeheartedly to deliver.'

> Click here for this month's headlines

7 December 2020 - Old Eastbournians launch women's health and wellness 'Femtech' brand

For a couple of 22-year-old male rugby players, one of the last businesses one would expect them to found would be something in the prenatal industry.

Old Eastbournians Max Haller (Pennell 2012-16) and Henry Porpora (Craig 2011-16) forged their relationship on College Field, in the Cloisters and, at times, waiting outside the Headmaster’s Office.

The friendship developed through a business management degree in Newcastle and a formidable partnership in the entrepreneurial arena.

A sizeable gap was spotted in the prenatal market, with a dearth of innovation and consumer-facing brands to match fast changing consumer habits. An opportunity too good to miss, this led to the founding of Her.9, a direct-to-consumer 'Femtech' brand that provides holistic women's wellness throughout pregnancy and beyond.

Understanding that they did not have all the necessary experience to bring this idea to life, Max and Henry set out to build a strong team, surrounding themselves with industry experts. Partnerships include those with leading UK maternity nutritionists, Rosie Letts and Dr Sarah Schenker; global industry-leading supplement manufacturer, Lonza; experienced operations professional, Hiba El-Mohbi; leading brand agency, Pearlfisher; experienced angel investor, Raj Sharma; and Daniel Gray, founder of WARPAINT For Men and one of the biggest disruptors of the cosmetic industry.

Max and Henry are now on a mission to raise funds for the launch in the most effective manner, using the innovative platform Crowdcube to do so. It is a 'cash for equity' opportunity to become a shareholder in Her.9. Crowdcube works on the basis where the pitches with the highest volume of investors gain the most momentum, so even the minimum contribution will have a quantifiable effect.

You can find out more details here: or contact them at

> Click here for this month's headlines

2 December 2020 - Rupert Bairamian (School 1975-80)

We are sad to announce the recent death of Old Eastbournian Rupert Bairamian (School 1975-80).

Rupert died aged 58 in Sydney on Saturday 28 November, after a short illness. A great College supporter and cricket enthusiast, he is remembered with much affection by his friends and College contemporaries.

When the news reached the College the Old Eastbournian flag was flown at half-mast on the Memorial Tower, overlooking College Field, where Rupert had enjoyed many games of cricket, playing as a boy for the College, for the OECC, the Stragglers of Asia and the Scorpions.

A tribute to Rupert is on the website of Bluemantle's Cricket Club, which you can read by following this link:

> Click here for this month's headlines

1 December 2020 - Advent Carol Service available to view online

The College's Advent Carol Service would normally have taken place in St Saviour's Church on Advent Sunday, but with coronavirus restrictions in place we had to change our plans this year.

A video of the (socially-distanced) service was recorded in the College Chapel and you can view it at The order of service is also available to download from

College Chaplain the Revd Daniel Merceron writes: 'Advent is a time of preparation for receiving Jesus into our hearts, and this is reflected in the carol service with thoughtful readings, and traditional carols and choral pieces which date back many hundreds of years. By maintaining the tradition of this carol service, we at Eastbourne College reaffirm our connection with the history of our school and its foundations, and we proclaim that, even in times of difficulty, the promises of faith, hope and love are always close at hand.'

> Click here for this month's headlines

> Click here for Latest news
> Click here for 2020 news headlines

© 2014–2021 Eastbourne College