CNBC Europe and the Financial Times start the search for Europe's top business leaders

Nominations for European Business Leaders Awards 2008 Now Open

London, 23 August 2007:  The search for the top European business leaders is now underway, with the launch of the European Business Leaders Awards (EBLA) nominations for 2008.

The Awards programme, which is presented by CNBC Europe and for the first time conducted in partnership with the Financial Times, is now in its fifth year and was created to identify and honour those CEOs who are making a difference through leadership and innovation in their industry sectors.

CEOs from the FT Europe 500 have been invited to join an independent EBLA 2008 Nominations Panel and to vote for two of their peer chief executives across seven categories, who they believe are leaders making a significant impact in expanding global business in Europe (see notes to editors for categories).

CNBC Europe also announced the distinguished panel of judges for the 2008 Awards as Lionel Barber, Editor of the Financial Times, Alessandro Profumo, CEO, UniCredit group (winner of the 2007 European Business Leader of the Year Award), José Luis Duran, Chairman of the Management Board, Groupe Carrefour (2007 European Business Leader of the Future), Tadashi Arashima, President and CEO, Toyota Motor Europe (2007 European Business Leader of the Year - Global/Local), Guerrino De Luca, President and CEO, Logitech International (2007 Innovator of the Year), Professor Seán Meehan, Professor of Marketing and Change Management at IMD, Frederick Kempe, President and CEO, The Atlantic Council and Barbara Stelzner, Director of News and Programming at CNBC Europe also join the judges panel with Sir William Castell, Chairman of the Wellcome Trust and a non-Executive Director of BP and GE, who is its chair.

Mick Buckley, President and CEO of CNBC Europe said, "The nominations process for the EBLA differentiates it from other award schemes.  In asking CEOs from diverse divisions of industry to identify the peers that they believe are Europe's top business leaders, I'm confident that we will identify those CEOs who are leading today's global economy from Europe.  I'm also delighted that the Awards are being conducted in partnership with the Financial Times whose support and analysis will be invaluable to the judging process."

Lionel Barber, Editor of the Financial Times said, "We are delighted to be collaborating with CNBC on the 2008 European Business Leaders Awards.  The EBLA Nominations Panel, drawn from the FT Europe 500, will provide a unique and high calibre voting panel for the Awards.  The Financial Times produces unrivalled and award-winning global business coverage, so is ideally placed to help identify the CEOs who are Europe's top business leaders."

The deadline for nominations is midnight 14 September 2007.  The names of the finalists will be announced at an event held at the World Economic Forum's Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland in January 2008.  Winners of the EBLA 2008 will be announced and celebrated at a gala event on 13th March 2008.  CNBC Europe will broadcast exclusive coverage of the event including interviews with winners and finalists.

Ends.

Notes to Editors

For more information visit www.ebla2008.com

EBLA 2008 Award Categories

European Business Leader of the Year
European Business Leader of the Future
European Business Leader of the Year (Global/Local)
Innovator of the Year
Outstanding Leadership in Business Practices
Outstanding Leadership in Environmental Practices
Entrepreneur of the Year

EBLA 2007 winners

Sir John Bond (Lifetime Achievement Award); Michael Spencer, Chief Executive of ICAP (Entrepreneur of the Year Award); Sir Richard Branson, Chairman of the Virgin Group (Outstanding Leadership in Business Practices Award); Alessandro Profumo, CEO of the UniCredit Group, (European Business Leader of the Year); José Luis Duran, Chairman of the Management Board of Group Carrefour (Business Leader of the Future); Guerrino De Luca, President and CEO of Logitech International (Innovator of the Year) and Tadashi Arashima, President and CEO of Toyota Motor Europe (European Business Leader of the Year - Global/Local).

For further information, please contact:

CNBC Europe

Charlotte Blenkinsop / Hugo Foulds
+44 (0)20 7653 9448 / 9398

European Business Leaders Awards

Beverley Mason
+44 (0)7809 194 949

Financial Times

Emma Gilpin-Jacobs
+44 (0)20 7873 3883

About EBLA

The underlying motivation behind the European Business Leaders Awards is to discover which CEOs are creating and sustaining entrepreneurship, developing best practices and carving out powerful businesses in the global economy.  For more information on the Awards visit www.ebla2008.com

About CNBC Europe

CNBC Europe is the only pan-European real-time financial and business channel dedicated to European CEOs and senior corporate executives, the European financial services industry and the European investor.  Today the channel is available in over 110 million homes, 1,400 banks and financial institutions and thousands of four and five star hotel rooms throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa.  CNBC Europe is a wholly owned subsidiary of NBC Universal.  NBC Universal is the broadcasting unit of the General Electric Company (GE).

About the Financial Times

The Financial Times, one of the world's leading business newspapers, is recognised internationally for its authority, integrity and accuracy.  Providing extensive news, comment and analysis, the newspaper is printed in 23 cities across the globe, has a daily circulation of 426,451 (ABC figures, July 2007) and a readership of more than 1.3 million people worldwide. FT.com is one of the world's leading business information websites, and the internet partner of the FT newspaper.  Since its relaunch in May 2002, the website has continued to be the definitive home for business intelligence on the web, providing an essential source of news, comment, data and analysis for the global business community. FT.com attracts 5.29 million unique monthly users (ABC electronic figures, January 2007) generating 40.4 million page views and has 95,000 subscribers.