MICHAEL TEDEN ESQ., OBE
From his start with Lloyd’s of London to his work today as Chairman and Managing Director of the Whitehall Advisory Group based in Charlotte, N.C., Michael Teden’s bottom line has never changed. His passion is building relationships, his goal bringing people together so that all benefit.
Mr. Teden started his career at Lloyd’s of London, learning both the underwriting and brokerage side of the insurance industry. During his two-year apprenticeship, he was exposed to all forms of risk management with a focus on maritime insurance for the hull, machinery and cargo. After 10 years at Lloyd’s, he was recruited by a Lloyd’s brokerage house in 1979 to start a subsidiary in Charlotte – a business opportunity that led him to put down professional and personal roots in the booming New South city, and to eventually realize his goal of establishing his present company, Whitehall Advisory Group, in 2006. Presently, the boutique business advisory practice has offices in Charlotte and London.
To appreciate where he is today, it helps to understand Mr. Teden’s journey.
He was born on Feb. 16, 1950, and raised in Harpenden, Herfordshire, just north of London. His father, Frank, worked in the family business in London, manufacturing jewelry cases for the retail jewelry trade. These were wooden boxes – embossed and bound in leather, works of art that made this a highly specialized trade. His father would accompany the Crown Jeweler to Buckingham Palace, where he was assigned to make a case for a particular piece of jewelry to be given to a visiting dignitary. Michael Teden fondly remembers accompanying his father to downtown London on Saturdays, visiting nearby milliners and the tailor to the Beatles, whose shop was nearby.
These were formative memories, of building relationships and serving the customers with distinction, qualities at the heart of what Whitehall Advisory Group offers today.
Through his understanding of business management and the needs of middle-market corporations, Whitehall provides counsel in three main areas: Health insurance, managing expenses, and leasing vehicles. Mr. Teden considers himself more a trusted adviser than a consultant, as he listens to CEOs and other senior executives; talks through their challenges; connects them with experts in the area of need; and helps them find a solution that can result in significant savings.
His resume speaks to the trust he has earned on many fronts: Since 2001, he has been the British Honorary Consul for North Carolina, the highest-ranking Brit in the state. He is an Officer of the Order of the British Empire, an honor bestowed by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. He started the Charlotte chapter of the British American Business Council. He founded the Charlotte Cricket Club, his friend, the legendary composer Sir Tim Rice, serving as Honorary Chairman. In 2003, he was awarded North Carolina’s highest civilian honor, Order of the Long Leaf Pine, for service to the state.
He and his wife, Sally, have four grown sons – Andrew, Clement, Dewey and Sam. The Tedens are active at Myers Park United Methodist Church in Charlotte, where Michael has found another outlet for his passion to bring people together: He helps organize the hospital visitation ministry.
In life and in business, the bottom line is the same: Building relationships for the good.