Chief executive announces DTC’s and De Beers’ plans for year ahead
Many of the world’s leading diamantaires came together in London last week for the annual Diamond Trading Company (DTC) Sightholder reception.
The event toasted a positive 2010 for diamond traders, a year which exceeded the expectations of many. The reception, hosted by Nicky Oppenheimer, chairman of De Beers Group, also saw an inspiring speech by DTC chief executive Varda Shine.
Shine’s speech focused on the year ahead and included changes at De Beers and a focus on the economy. Shine said: "The whole of 2011 is all still to unfold and there is excitement at what opportunities may yet arise – although before I go any further I think it’s worth reminding us all of Mark Twain’s advice: January is one of the peculiarly dangerous months in which to speculate – the others are February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November and December."
She added: "The reason that I highlight the sense of anticipation at what is still to come and the attendant need for an element of prudence is that, more than ever before, we are living in an uncertain world. This is of course true of the global economy as a whole but also of the diamond industry. At De Beers we have seen several changes in recent times and there are more to come. We have announced updates to our distribution approach and before long we will have a new CEO at the head of the business. Both of these have meant and could continue to mean considerable change within our organisation and we have needed to embrace this to ensure that we prospered in this environment."
Shine’s speech also noted the DTC’s need to embrace the "iPod and iPad generation". Shine said: "I am also excited to see how well all of the players within the industry are set up to compete with the other products which luxury consumers will be tempted by. Winning the hearts and minds of the iPod and iPad generation could see us grow the value of the diamond industry to levels never seen before."
Embracing change with a focus on what the company could control was at the heart of Shine’s speech, with her noting: "As Barbara Jordan, one of the leaders of the US civil rights movement noted, “For all of its uncertainty, we cannot flee the future”. Instead of disregarding the changes and unpredictability surrounding us, we can benefit by embracing it."
The evening was concluded with Varda Shine highlighting the importance and promise of the new decade for the diamond industry. She praised the important role that businesses at all stages of the diamond supply chain had played in growing the industry throughout 2010.
Shine rounded up her speech by congratulating the reception’s guests. She said: "Happily, in spite of the unpredictable times, we start this year in a good place thanks to the continuation of recovery in the diamond market that we saw in 2010."
The DTC is the rough diamond distribution arm of the De Beers Family of Companies and is the world’s largest supplier of rough diamonds. Formed in 1934, the DTC was incorporated in 1986 and established as a stand-alone company within the De Beers family in July 2004.