www.acquisition-intl.com • September 2016
COPPERSTONE CAPITAL PAGE 47
Providing You with a Peace of Mind In an insightful interview with the firm’s Tech Billionaire and inspirer of hope, Dr. Andy Khawaja shares his thoughts on the strong brand of Allied Wallet and their remarkable technology, as well as the firm’s company culture. PAGE 82
Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector
LEGAL AND FINANCIAL TRANSLATION - PAGE 9
GOOD THINGS COME IN SMALL PACKAGES SOTERIS PITTAS & CO LLC - PAGE 15
A STRONG PRESENCE IN THE CARIBBEAN LEX CARIBBEAN - PAGE 16
BAKER TILLY ISLE OF MAN - PAGE 63
CEO OF THE MONTH: USA CHANNEL PRODUCTS - PAGE 65
SOLVING THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES NAPROTEK, INC. - PAGE 70
SUPPLY CHAIN EXCELLENCE AND INNOVATION ISG RETAIL - PAGE 72
VISIBILITY AND INSIGHT INTO BUSINESS PERFORMANCE PROPHIX SOFTWARE, INC. - PAGE 86
SITES TO BEHOLD
ADHERE CREATIVE LTD. - PAGE 88
IT’S ALL ABOUT EDUCATING THE MIND NEUROCOACHING - PAGE 104
THE ONLY LIMITATION IS THE USER’S IMAGINATION NAJMTEK - PAGE 92
WE HAVE ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD ELF PRODUCTIVITY LTD - PAGE 89
BUSINESS LEADER AWARDS
PETER HOOPER - PAGE 106
Agne Jasinskaite, Nordgain’s CEO and founding partner discusses the company’s exciting plans for the future. PAGE 52
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Welcome to the September edition of AI magazine, which features the latest news in the world of corporate finance, including M&A, legal issues, intellectual property, transfer pricing, investment and accounting.
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In recent news, Xura, Inc., a leading provider of digital communications services, announced the completion of its acquisition by affiliates of Siris Capital Group, LLC in a transaction reflecting an equity value of approximately $643 million.
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The Israeli High Court’s temporary injunction against the enforcement of America’s highly controversial global tax law “should serve as a wake-up call for other countries to rethink enforcing this toxic, flawed, imperialistic legislation,” affirms the CEO of one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory organisations. There are so many wonderful companies all over the world who are second to none in their work. One of these is Nordgain, a part of the Lewben Group, who last year became the fastest growing provider of financial and accounting services in Lithuania. Another is Channel Products, a leading designer and manufacturer of ignition systems, safety controls, and complimentary products for manufacturers worldwide. On a topical note, with the dust settling on the UK’s decision to leave the EU, Blacks Solicitors’ Phil Gorski takes a closer look at the impact this will have on cybersecurity and intellectual property for businesses. I hope you continue to enjoy the fresh new look and the remarkable variety of features in this edition of AI magazine. Jonathan Miles, Editor Jonathan.Miles@ai-globalmedia.com
READ THIS MONTH’S CPD ACCREDITED ISSUE TO GAIN 6 CPD POINTS
Inside... LEGAL Israeli High Court’s FATCA Injunction Must Make Other Countries Rethink America’s Imperialistic Law 8 Geared to Success 10 Clutch Group Now There’s a Thought 12 Demotech, Inc. The Path to Success 15 Soteris Pittas & Co LLC A Strong Presence in the Caribbean 16 Lex Caribbean Groundbreaking Transactions 18 Leroy și Asociații INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY Intellectual Property Minister Encourages Further IP Collaboration Between UK and China 20 The Best in IP 22 Sena & Berton Moreno A Trademark of Success 23 Frommer Lawrence & Haug LLP Good Things Come in Small Packages 24 FlashPoint IP Ltd.
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An Innovative Approach to IP 25 Romulo Law Firm Pioneers and Thought Leaders 26 Global Prior Art (GPA) Intellectual Property Services of the Highest Quality 28 Edmonds & Nolte, PC The Best Practice 29 Tumey L.L.P The Legal Marketing Landscape 30 Dickinson Wright PLLC M&A Unlocking Brand Potential Following an M&A 32 Siegel+Gale What Will the UK’s Post-Brexit Landscape Mean for M&A? 34 Pillsbury Winthrop Sector Talk 36 Strong Integration Is Key to Any Acquisition 38 Checkers Safety Group INVESTMENT ECB Needs a Financial System ‘Plumber’ - PPMG Analysis 41
The Ideal Environment to Facilitate Private Sector Investment 43 The Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) High End Wealth Management 44 SCM Direct London’s Booming 45 Ecovista Plc (ISDX: EVTP) The Asian Economic Growth Story 46 S.E.A. Asset Management A Genuinely Independent Service 48 Ross Trustees ACCOUNTING Monsanto Whistleblower Gets Nearly $22.5 M Bounty Award in SEC Probe of Company’s Accounting Deception Related to Sales of Roundup Herbicide 50 Gaining Momentum 52 Nordgain Balancing the Books 54 NBSM and Associates, Chartered Accountants TRANSFER PRICING The Art of Transfer Pricing 56 Vaish Associates, Advocates
52 Gaining Momentum
Providing You With a Peace of Mind
CEO of The Month: USA
The Key to Transfer Pricing
The Key to Transfer Pricing 58 PT Asesores Financeros
Hot off the Boil 75 Soudure Industrielle et Pétrolière
SUPPORT SERVICES & TECH
How Cryptocurrencies Could Change the Face of the Offshore Industry 60 Offshore Universe
Ten Tips to Avoid Massive Data Breaches - Don’t Be the next Sony! 76
ECONOMIC AFFAIRS Brexit Research Shows Economic Risk to Scotland 62 Treasured Island 63 Baker Tilly Isle of Man MANUFACTURING & RETAIL CEO of the Month: USA 65 Channel Products, Inc. A Well Furnished and Quality Establishment 69 UHS Group Solving the Biggest Challenges 70 Naprotek, Inc. Supply Chain Excellence and Innovation 72 ISG Retail Hosing Solutions 74 Watex
Five Cloud-Based Apps for Business 78 Cimma How Brexit Will Affect Data Protection in the UK? 80 Blacks Solicitors Providing You with a Peace of Mind 82 Allied Wallet The Domain of Tech Professionals 86 Richard Tyler Visibility and Insight into Business Performance 88 Prophix Software, Inc. Sites to Behold 90 Adhere Creative Ltd.
The Only Limitation Is the User’s Imagination 94 Najmtek The Best in Functional Respiratory Imaging 95 Fluidda Software as a Service 97 Attunix Vistem Solutions Inc. 98 Vistem Solutions The Intersection of Art, Commerce and Broadcasting 101 Red Thread PERSONNEL AP Group CEO: Jersey’s Employment Market Is Back on Track Post Recession 102 It’s All About Educating the Mind 106 Neurocoaching HEALTH
We Have All the Time in the World 91 ELF Productivity Ltd
New E-Nose Sniffs out Rare Progressive Lung Disease 110
Telecommunication is Key 92 Grat Network
The Best in Oncology Research 111 MedSource
A Smart Move 93 Smart Assessor
Winners’ Directory 84
Acquisition International - September 2016 3
News: from around the world
Arkadin Acquires Applicable to Enable Large Enterprises to Leverage the Power of Unified Communications as a Service Arkadin, an NTT Communications company, and one of the largest and fastest growing providers of Unified Communications and Collaboration services, announced the acquisition of Applicable Ltd., a leading provider of Cloud Unified Communications and enterprise voice services with offices in Bristol (UK), Brisbane (AUS) and Houston (USA). Applicable’s 12-year track record of success in building, implementing and managing cloudbased Microsoft Lync and Skype for Business for large enterprises will enable Arkadin to expand its global reach and bring the value of Unified Communications services to large and global companies. Applicable’s expert team already hosts more than 330,000 UC users through its ‘ISO/IEC 27001:2013’ certified global private cloud platform. “The acquisition of Applicable is an important milestone for Arkadin to enable all businesses, from SMBs to the largest enterprises, to harness the full power of Unified Communications for greater workplace productivity,” said Olivier de Puymorin, chairman and CEO of Arkadin International. “Our highly complementary portfolios and service strategies, coupled with shared cultural values and an aggressive vision for growth, present a huge opportunity for our global customers and partners to have the benefits of a private and fully managed cloud-based UC solution.” While Applicable will continue to run its operations independently, the two companies will collaborate
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on product development and long-term strategic planning. With this acquisition, Arkadin strengthens its portfolio of UC solutions available to the Large Enterprise market by combining global UC & Telephony services supported by local presence. This offer supplements the existing portfolio centred on Arkadin Total Connect, a multi-tenant Microsoft Skype for Business hosted service. This service provides a fully integrated UC ecosystem with voice-enabled Office 365, audio/web/video conferencing and contact centre. According to Thomas Valantin, Arkadin’s chief commercial officer, “Arkadin and Applicable have been cooperating for some time and we have already demonstrated the value of our combined strengths in fostering voice-enabled Skype for Business solutions for large enterprises and for providing high quality experience and driving user adoption.” “We are thrilled to be joining Arkadin and are certain it will benefit all stakeholders, including our talented workforces and current and future customers,” said applicable managing director, Alan Baldwin. “Our combined resources and shared passion
for enabling organisations to collaborate, will successfully deliver integrated Microsoft UC services that meet the essential quality of experience requirements of enterprise customers. Arkadin’s global telephony and local approach to service, together with Applicable’s expertise, offer customers a complete UC service.” Arkadin and Applicable have achieved Microsoft credentials that recognise best-in-class experience in designing, deploying and delivering Skype for Business, including: • Applicable: Microsoft Gold Competency in Communications, Messaging and Hosting; • Arkadin: Microsoft Gold Competency in Cloud Productivity and Communications; • Arkadin: Skype for Business Launch Partner for New Meetings and Voice Services in Office 365; In addition, the combined NTT Communications/ Arkadin entity was recently named a Challenger for ability to execute and completeness of vision in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications as a Service, Worldwide, published 23 August 2016.
NEWS / From Around The World
Zenith Hygiene Group Announce Completion of Acquisition of Cater -Lyne Limited Zenith Hygiene Group, the UK’s largest integrated, independent manufacturer, supplier and distributor of cleaning and hygiene chemicals and products, is delighted to announce the acquisition of CaterLyne Limited, an ISO 14001 and ISO 9001 accredited manufacturer and supplier of catering hygiene and cleaning products, following its completion on 31 August 2016 for an undisclosed sum.
With a 30-year history, Cater-Lyne is a family run business founded by Ted Collings (CEO), based in Harrogate, North Yorkshire that supplies a wide range of customers across the UK within the food service sector – one of Zenith’s dominant and most successful industry sectors. Run by James Hannaway (managing director), CaterLyne is driven by a focus on sustainability and like Zenith, are one of only seven cleaning product suppliers accredited by the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA). As part of the acquisition, Cater-Lyne has been rebranded Zenith Hygiene, and its exclusive chemical formulations incorporated into Zenith’s product range. While the specialist formulated products for combination oven manufacturers will continue to be produced under their existing branding. Both Ted Collings and James Hannaway will be closely involved within the expanded Group focusing primarily on continuing to deliver an exceptional level of customer service and support.
Ringo Francis, Zenith Hygiene Group CEO, said: “We’re delighted to announce the completion of Cater-Lyne’s acquisition and to welcome them to the Zenith Group. We’ve carved out our leadership position within the food service industry and CaterLyne’s expertise in this area, along with their very impressive portfolio of customers and importantly, the highly professional team will further add to our offering in this sector.” Ted Collings, Cater-Lyne CEO added: “We’re proud to be joining the Zenith Group family and we look forward to driving forward the business together. Given Zenith’s ethos is very much in line with our own, with a priority focus on delivering value, results, service and performance to their customers, we knew this would be an exciting and positive next step for us and look forward to being part of Zenith’s ongoing growth.”
Nasstar Buys Managed Services Specialist Modrus in £13million Deal Nasstar PLC has acquired managed IT services and telecoms provider Modrus Ltd for £13.0m. Legal advice on the sale was provided by Moore Blatch solicitors. Modrus was founded in 2004 and generates £6.1m of revenues by offering cloud services including hosted desktop, managed exchange and managed telephony services, overlaid with full connectivity services. The acquisition of Modrus follows e-know.net’s reverse takeover of Nasstar in January 2014 and the subsequent acquisitions of Kamanchi and VESK. Moore Blatch acted for Edward Armitage and the other shareholders on the sale of Modrus Limited. The deal was led by Moore Blatch partner Peter Jeffery and associate solicitor Thomas Clark, supported by solicitor Alexandra Clapp, with employment issues handled by partner Katherine Maxwell and property issues by associate solicitor Sabrina Umrani. Edward Armitage, managing director of Modrus, comments: “We are extremely excited to be joining the Nasstar group of companies. By combining two leading professional services IT businesses in this way, it will strengthen our ability to respond to customers’ needs. In addition, it will provide access to expanded technical resource within Nasstar as well as enhanced marketing and sales capability.” “I thank the team at Moore Blatch who managed the sale professionally, and in a manner which made a stressful time an enjoyable experience. Moore Blatch gave excellent legal advice and support, whilst keeping my commercial goals at the forefront.” Peter Jeffery, partner, Moore Blatch said: “The acquisition of Modrus by the Nasstar group creates huge opportunities as the combined company seeks to expand in a market that is rapidly adopting cloud based services. I would personally like to wish Edward and the newly enlarged Nasstar group all the best for the future.”
Acquisition International - September 2016 5
News: from around the world
BullGuard Acquires ‘Security of Things’ Pioneer Dojo Labs BullGuard, Europe’s #1 rated consumer security company, announced in mid-August that it has acquired Dojo Labs, the pioneering innovator in consumer internet of things security. Together, the companies will redefine how security is delivered for consumers and small businesses. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Named a cool vendor in the connected home by Gartner earlier this year (‘Cool Vendors in the Connected Home, 2016’), Israel-based Dojo Labs has developed a highly innovative offering that includes powerful home network security technologies, managed through an easy-to-use mobile app, coupled with a cloud-based platform that utilises proprietary machine learning algorithms to detect and block threats and anomalies. “More than 4 billion consumer devices are connected to the internet today, and this number is growing exponentially. Until now, the security and privacy of these devices has been essentially non-existent, leaving our most precious data and possessions exposed,” said Paul Lipman, CEO at BullGuard. “BullGuard and Dojo share a common vision for solving this critical market need, and for delivering the products our customers need to keep them safe”.
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The Internet of Things has moved rapidly from an early adopter market into the mainstream, but in doing so has introduced a range of new security concerns for consumers. Recent BullGuard research highlighted the scale of the problem and the concerns that many people have about the security of their connected devices. 66% of UK survey respondents said they are highly concerned about the security of connected devices, while 72% do not know how to secure them properly. In the US, 58% expressed security concerns while 61% said they don’t know how to secure their IoT devices. “The transformative promise of smart homes can only be truly realised once the security problem has been solved,” said Yossi Atias, Dojo Labs cofounder. “I am delighted to be combining forces with BullGuard at this pivotal juncture in the evolution of our industry.”
“BullGuard’s promise to our customers is that we keep it simple and we keep you safe, for which we’ve been recognised in our recent sweep of prestigious national awards” continued Lipman. “With the acquisition of Dojo Labs we look forward to delivering the highest level of protection to our customers across their entire connected lives.”
NEWS / From Around The World
Xura Announces Completion of Acquisition by Affiliates of Siris Capital Group, LLC Xura, Inc., a leading provider of digital communications services, announced the completion of its acquisition by affiliates of Siris Capital Group, LLC in a transaction reflecting an equity value of approximately $643 million.
The transaction, which was initially announced in May 2016, was approved by a majority of Xura’s shareholders in August this year. In connection with the closing of the transaction, the company, which will continue to operate as Xura Inc., will be wholly owned by affiliates of Siris Capital. Siris’ investment underpins Xura’s mission to revolutionise the way the world communicates, accelerating its development of leading digital communications solutions for CSPs that will transform future engagement experiences across all networks, channels and devices. At the heart of this acquisition is a commitment to continue building a company positioned for longevity and growth, which is focused on customers, product development and fostering technology innovation across messaging, data, network security and virtualisation services.
Commenting on the transaction closure, Hubert de Pesquidoux, Siris Capital executive partner and Xura’s new executive chairman, said: “With its broad product portfolio and industry-renowned technology, which has underpinned mobile messaging for many years, Xura is well-positioned to continue to bring value to the 300+ customers it supports and the broader digital ecosystem. We look forward to working with the management team and employees to further advance the company’s value proposition, investing and innovating to help its customers succeed. I am honoured to be part of Xura’s next chapter.” “This is a momentous day for Xura,” said Philippe Tartavull, CEO at Xura. “By partnering with Siris Capital and its experienced leadership team, we will now be able to accelerate our strategy to bring best-in-class messaging, voicemail, security, and monetisation solutions to our customers. This investment not only offers Xura increased financial stability, but is a fantastic opportunity to expand our reach and bolster our position as an industryleading company with digital innovation and customers at its core.”
Orrick Advises Shareholders in Sale of Slovakian Telecoms Provider Benestra Orrick has advised a consortium of international private equity firms, including Bessemer Venture Partners, Columbia Capital, HarbourVest Partners, Innova Capital, MC Partners and Oak Investment Partners, in the sale of Slovakian telecommunications provider Benestra to leading private equity house Sandberg Capital. The deal, announced on May 26th this year, has now closed. Lead partner Shawn Atkinson has been advising members of the consortium of investors since they first acquired the assets of telecommunications service provider GTS Central Europe in 2007. Following over six years of investing in GTS’s growth and building the company into one of the leading telecoms providers in Central Europe, Shawn advised the consortium of investors on the sale of GTS to Deutsche Telekom for €546 million in 2014. That sale excluded GTS Slovakia, which was retained by the investors and renamed Benestra. The sale of Benestra is the culmination of nine years of deal activity relating to GTS and its assets. Benestra’s service portfolio includes voice and data communication solutions, internet connectivity solutions, data centers, and hosting services on both physical and virtual cloud platforms. The London-based Orrick team advising the investors was led by Shawn Atkinson and included Emma Raleigh, Katrina Murphy, Amy Roper and Alice Taylor.
Acquisition International - September 2016 7
LEGAL / Israeli High Court’s FATCA Injunction Must Make Other Countries Rethink America’s Imperialistic Law
Israeli High Court’s FATCA Injunction Must Make Other Countries Rethink America’s Imperialistic Law The Israeli High Court’s temporary injunction against the enforcement of America’s highly controversial global tax law “should serve as a wake-up call for other countries to rethink enforcing this toxic, flawed, imperialistic legislation,” affirms the CEO of one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory organizations.
he comments from Nigel Green, chief executive and founder of deVere Group, come as Israel’s High Court of Justice threw a spanner into the Israeli government’s plans Wednesday to start actively implementing the U.S.’s Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) in the country.
Under FATCA, all non-U.S. financial institutions worldwide are required to report the financial information of American clients and U.S. green card holders who have accounts holding more than $50,000 directly and routinely to the United States. Days before this process was due to go into operation in Israel, Justice Hanan Meltzer has ordered officials to stop the preparatory work. An emergency hearing is to be held on the matter before September 15. The deVere CEO affirms: “Justice Meltzer’s action should be championed. His wise caution should serve as a wake-up call for other countries to rethink enforcing this toxic, flawed, damaging legislation that is being imposed on sovereign states around the world by the U.S.” Nigel Green, a long-time, vocal critic of FATCA, goes on to say: “There are important questions to be asked about the imperialistic nature of FATCA. “Countries and FFIs have been coerced into complying with FATCA’s sovereignty-violating, expensive, burdensome, privacy-infringing regulations by the U.S. – or face heavy penalties. In effect, these countries and FFIs are now working as de facto agents of America’s tax authority.” He continues: “It is claimed by its proponents that this law is designed to catch tax evaders who illegally shelter money offshore. This is a noble aim, “but FATCA cannot possibly tackle this extremely important global issue effectively due to its dragnet, untargeted approach. “Instead what it does – because of its plethora of serious unintended adverse consequences – is to brand the 7 million Americans who choose to live and/or work overseas, including many of the 300,000 in Israel for example, as financial pariahs.
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“U.S. expats are now routinely rejected from foreign financial institutions (FFIs), such as banks in their country of residence, because FATCA’s costly and onerous regulations mean Americans are now typically deemed more trouble than they are worth. “Similarly, American businesses working in international markets are now often branded with a leprosy-like status. Clearly, this can only be detrimental to their global competiveness and could, in turn, hit American jobs and the long-term growth of the U.S. economy – which would then, of course, have far-reaching consequences beyond the U.S.”
Nigel Green concluded: “I hope that Justice Hanan Meltzer’s bold action will encourage other people of influence worldwide to reconsider FATCA. This could be a landmark moment in the fight to have this controversial and damaging law resigned to the history books.” Web Address: www.devere-group.com
Geared to Success Company: Clutch Group Name: Varun Mehta Email: Varun.mehta@ clutchgroup.com Web: www.clutchgroup.com Address: 370 Lexington Avenue, Suite 1410, New York, NY 10017 Telephone: +1 212 804 7215
AI’s Top 50 Legal Elite - US
Clutch Group has evolved over the ten years since its founding to become a global, enterprise-class legal, risk, and compliance solutions company. During this evolution and growth, Clutch Group has maintained a culture of excellence focused on client delivery and cutting-edge technology. In an interview with the firm’s Varun Mehta, he lifts the lid on the firm’s diverse portfolio of legal solutions includes managed review, eDiscovery, regulatory consulting, data remediation, monitoring and analytics, contract management, regulatory surveillance and audio analytics.
ow do you ensure that your firm stands out from the competition? Clutch Group’s main differentiator from competitors is the way we infuse leading technology, process consulting, and fact development into our work. At our core, we are not a body shop or a data processing firm; we are designed from the ground up to help our clients better understand their own internal data and to identify and mitigate large-scale legal and compliance risks.
We firmly believe that the consultative approach we bring to our work is ahead of the curve and marks a distinctive shift in the legal services paradigm. Clutch Group do not just retroactively solve legal problems - we identify them in advance - and we work with our clients to make sure they are ready to tackle the most vexing legal issues. Our strategy moving forward is to continue to invest heavily in our people, process, and technology.
“Clutch Group’s main differentiator from competitors is the way we infuse leading technology, process consulting, and fact development into our work.” I am convinced that technology has an essential role to play in helping companies not only engage in more sophisticated eDiscovery and document review exercises, but also to assess their risk and compliance efforts in real-time, rather than retroactively. In addition to bolstering our eDiscovery services, we have invested in technology that allows our clients to make better sense of their business environments and to actively engage in compliance and risk-related surveillance activities. Can you tell me how your firm has made your mark within the industry and what experience and expertise can you lend to your clients?
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Clutch Group has excelled at breaking down some of the greatest legal and compliance challenges and developing succinct tools and processes to showcase our expertise and solve those challenges affecting the industries we operate in. We have coupled our unparalleled understanding of the regulatory environment with expertise in handling major data volumes within these industries. Our goal has not been in giving companies a piece of hardware, software or increased labour, but rather using technology to streamline processes and promote the consistent evolution of legal technologies in eDiscovery, review and surveillance. The industry is coming to us and asking for a new way of thinking. Why is it important to have a dedicated team of specialists in place who strive to achieve the best possible outcome for all parties? We at Clutch Group have made a conscious decision to focus on a limited group of industries, with financial services as our major focus. The firm has made this decision to develop true industry expertise and to fully understand the depth of challenges that our clients routinely face. Our experts are unparalleled in their understanding of the different types of data and systems that financial organisations and how to use their data to better understand routine business challenges to large-scale regulatory challenges. Clutch Group has developed a strong financial services expertise by hiring former regulators, traders and financial analyst, and are now the leading eDiscovery and managed review provider for companies in the financial services industry. We are, at our core, a client-centric organisation – our client engagement philosophy is to grow with our clients and to develop deep enterprise-level relationships. The firm has handled some of the largest and most sensitive regulatory investigations from the past several years. On the regulatory front, we have combined our expertise in financial markets and products and our data analytics capabilities
LEGAL / AIâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Top 50 Legal Elite - US: Geared to Success
to develop a wide range of risk and compliance solutions around regulatory change management and data surveillance. What challenges and opportunities lie ahead for the legal industry in the future? The aspects of legal services that customers find valuable are undergoing a major shift. Companies are not only looking for ways to cut costs, but also innovative analytics and reporting that will help them understand the value of the services they receive. The classic time and material models simply do not make sense in the current climate and are being redefined consistently. For example, projects utilising fresh associates out of law firms to deliver basic tasks can now be fully automated at a speed and efficiency level previously unseen in the industry. The other big shift is that multinational companies are dealing with more intense cross border regulatory challenges and this is adding a layer of complication when attempting to impress goodfaith compliance practices across an industry. Settlements are increasingly imposing enhanced compliance obligations on financial institutions. The practical effect is that what was once industry leading is today an industry standard. The key necessities are effective and active compliance controls and procedures. Where in recent history, regulators have been content to allow outside counsel to conduct investigations and provide reports as to the findings, evidence suggest that pendulum may swing in the opposite direction soon. Not only will findings have to be defended, but the actual process of conducting discovery will need to be documented and defended just a robustly, if not to an even greater degree.
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LEGAL / 60-Second Interview: Now There’s a Thought
Name: Joseph L. Petrelli Company: Demotech, Inc. Email: email@example.com Web: www.demotech.com Address: 2715 Tuller Parkway Dublin, OH 43017 USA Telephone: + 1 614 761 8602
Now There’s a Thought Demotech, Inc. is a Columbus, OH, USA based financial analysis firm focused on insurance company Financial Stability Ratings®. In 1989 we became the first insurer rating service to review and rate independent, regional and specialty insurance companies. Today, Demotech reviews and rates more than 400 insurers, writing every property and casualty line of insurance in every state and US possession says the firm’s Joseph L. Petrelli in a special interview.
hat does your client base look like? As the first service to review and rate independent regional and specialty insurers, Demotech has a fair number of them as clients. As the thought leader in title insurance, we also have publicly traded as well as regional title underwriters as rated entities. In addition, Demotech also rates self-funded liability insurance pools and trusts. In the fourth quarter of 2016, we will focus on introducing ourselves to the health insurance industry.
What are your firm’s unique selling points? There is difference between a rating service that has been around a long time and a service that is a thought leader. Demotech is a thought leader, in addition to being the first financial analysis firm to review and rate health maintenance organizations, title underwriters and independent regional and specialty insurers, Demotech introduced the Company Classification System to stratify carriers based upon their business model rather than their size. What are the main challenges facing your company today? Demotech competes against a functional monopoly. What are the main objectives for your business in the future? One of Demotech’s goals is to get the word out regarding the efficacy of our Financial Stability Ratings®. Our track record on carrier impairments is superior to that of much larger rating organizations. What business or business person do you most admire and why? I never met him but at 90 years plus and still creating value for his stakeholders – Hank Greenberg.
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Sole Practitioner - Panama City
Office No. 26-02, Floor 26, Torre Banco General, Panama City, Panama, Panama
Tel: +507 66166839 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
FZD Associates FZD Associates is a law firm based in the heart of the historic city of Valletta, Malta. We are a group of experienced lawyers, who have joined together and pooled in resources to create a strong and multidisciplinary firm, which relies on our acquired knowledge and competences to lead and direct our clients in the best way possible. We strive to provide our clients with dedicated and resourceful representation, we also ensure that our clients receive personal attention and are fully informed about the development of their project or case. Our services include the provision of legal advice and logistical support in a number of areas including corporate law, financial services, iGaming law, maritime law and intellectual property. We also provide legal advice and representation in civil and commercial law matters.
LEGAL / Good Things Come in Small Packages 1608JC41
The Path to Success Company: Soteris Pittas & Co LLC Name: Elizaveta Bokova Email: email@example.com Web: www.pittaslegal.com Address: 10 Chrysanthou Mylona, Magnum House, Cy – 3030, Limassol Cyprus. Telephone: 0035 7250 28460
Soteris Pittas & Co LLC is a boutique law firm, focusing on the areas of law related to business activity and dedicated to providing its clients with outstanding, highly personalised, legal representation.
oteris Pittas & Co LLC are a ‘petite’ law firm, however, have expertise which can serve almost any client. The lawyers and associates of the firm with their combined skills-set and knowledge can provide comprehensive legal solutions according to the clients’ particular business needs, requirements and objectives.
Additionally, Soteris Pittas & Co LLC are committed to representing our clients at all stages of disputes, including negotiation, mediation, arbitration, and litigation, in order to secure just compensation and legal vindication. Furthermore, our corporate and M&A departments provide full-fledged support ranging from formation of companies world-wide to legal support in complex corporate, commercial and finance transactions.
“Soteris Pittas & Co LLC believe that our continued work is a sure sign that we are on the path to even further success.”
As well as these attributes, Soteris Pittas & Co LLC has close links and strong associations with reputable audit firms, private equity managers, and fiduciaries in Cyprus, Russia and the former CIS countries. We thank our clients for selecting our firm to represent them, and we will continue to work hard to provide them with top quality legal representation with the personal touch characteristic of a boutique law firm. Soteris Pittas & Co LLC’s continued success has allowed us to work on some really exciting projects. In corporate commercial litigation, we acted in cooperation with the English firm Fieldfisher on behalf of RCB Bank in the enforcement of an LCIA award in Cyprus against a foreign resident debtor and obtaining Chabra type freezing injunctions, receivership and discovery orders (Claim: $10 million). The firm also acted on behalf of a Russian Bank for defending a claim filed against it and other defendants by a Cypriot Fund for damages, for losses allegedly caused due to breach of statutory or contractual duties or conspiracy etc. (Claim: $50 million). Furthermore, Soteris Pittas & Co LLC also acted on behalf of a shareholder of a ‘quasi partnership’ company in opposing a winding up petition filed by the other partner/shareholder alleging deadlock and loss of confidence (Subject: €5 million). Soteris Pittas & Co LLC have been similarly busy in our M&A practice. Most notably, we advised together with PWC Cyprus a Cypriot Company, holding the majority stake in the largest private gas company in Russia, on the defence of a tax claim raised by the German State and successfully assisting in establishing that its central management and control (‘CMC’) was exercised from Cyprus and not Germany (tax claim of €1.2 billion). Another example of Soteris Pittas & Co LLC’s work was advising a Russian businessman, who owns through Cypriot holding companies’ various Russian assets. We assisted him in establishing a family office in Cyprus in order to minimise and exclude tax liabilities imposed under Russian law. Finally, Soteris Pittas & Co LLC believe that our continued work is a sure sign that we are on the path to even further success. As such, we are optimistic about moving into the final third of 2016 and beyond. However, as the demand for our services continues to grow, we are also mindful that we continue to deliver a highly personalised and dedicated service for each and every one of our clients.
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Company: Lex Caribbean Name: Althea Anderson Email: althea.anderson@ jm.lexcaribbean.com Web: www.lexcaribbean.com Address: Jampro Building, 2nd Floor, 18 Trafalgar Road, Kingston 10, Jamaica Phone: +1 (876) 9696000
Doing Business Overseas
A Strong Presence in the Caribbean Lex Caribbean was launched in 1997 in Barbados, from where in 2000 the firm merged with Trinidad and Tobago’s De Nobriga Inniss & Company, and then expanded in 2004 to opening an office in Jamaica. Lex Caribbean is a full service and regionally based law firm, with international business at its core. The firm operates offices in three major Englishspeaking Caribbean countries: Barbados, Trinidad & Tobago and Jamaica
Based on the Lex Caribbean’s many office locations, our attorneys keep their authentic local cultural affinity and combine this with their knowledge of the legal environment, which in turn allows them to efficiently respond to all clientele no matter what their location is.
The firm maintains their strong presence in the Caribbean and our attorneys are qualified to practice in multiple jurisdictions. We are recognised for consistently executing the client’s legal matters with the highest ethical standards in mind. Lex Caribbean’s approach to business is relationship driven. This simply means placing emphasis on knowing the client’s needs and constantly evaluating the quality of services we offer. Knowing the range of services, we provide and focusing on quality control are key components of all offices as we command interactions across the globe.
Equally, the firm’s team of employees are constantly working together to provide the acceptable standard of service required for each specific matter ensuring the clients business continues to flourish. Lex Caribbean offers services in the areas of: 1. Corporate, commercial and financial; 2. Commercial litigation, restructuring and insolvency; 3. Conveyancing and property development; 4. International business and; 5. Entrepreneurial business. Dealing with international clients Lex Caribbean has an international business practice to handle the healthy influx of international clientele. Lex Caribbean’s Entrepreneurial Business Unit is a major part of this aspect of the firm’s services. This facet of the firm performs exceptionally well, with the ability to focus and apply necessary resources to new and developing businesses. The firm have formed strategic alliances with respected counsel in several other jurisdictions, consolidating Lex Caribbean’s extensive reach within the region and beyond. For most of our clientele, we are ideally placed to advise on startups with a Caribbean vision and offer services to those international entities who wish to conduct business and require trustworthy, legally knowledgeable agents. The matters the firm handle include but are not limited to the following: company registration, patents, commercial contracts and security documentation for those who need to seek financing. Lex Caribbean prides itself on the plethora of international matters including overseas clients who tend to be unfamiliar with Caribbean business practices. In contrast, the firm’s clientele with established businesses are able to find ease with our expertise and innovative approach. Among the businesses we have catered to range from; well-known international airlines, international distributing petroleum organisations, international banks, multinational personal care corporations, multilateral corporations, foreign global pharmaceutical corporations, regional petroleum suppliers, regional telephone service suppliers, national banks and a variety of financial institutions.
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LEGAL / Doing Business Overseas’: A Strong Presence in the Caribbean
The professional services Lex Caribbean provide encompass complicated areas of law among various regions. The firm has been charged with major legal responsibilities, some of our biggest matters range from; pension legislation research to the drafting and successful execution of complex syndicated credit facilities between major banking institutions and with over eight large companies involved. Additionally, the firm’s corporate secretarial services are available to be utilised at our client’s convenience, indeed Lex Caribbean aim to manage and mitigate any possible risk of non-compliance this includes acting as company secretary for several international businesses. The importance of academic knowledge in this field of work Lex Caribbean insists that ongoing academic involvement is an indispensable part of the firm’s operation. Continuous training is emphasised throughout all of the Lex Caribbean offices. The firm aim is to improve our practice areas. In order to cultivate this practice, Lex Caribbean subscribes to the services of Euro Money Learning Solutions who offer tailored in-house training which consists of: courses, seminars, workshops and detailed manuals outlining the aim of each learning package. The firm caters for all expenses incurred by the attorneys who attend these seminars. Distinguishing features of Lex Caribbean We are the only regional law firm in the Caribbean, which gives Lex Caribbean the advantage in that our firm operates from offices based in Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, Jamaica and London, advising
on the laws of Barbados, Jamaica, St. Lucia and Trinidad and Tobago. The team is equipped with some of the most experienced attorneys, upholding the standard of expertise as a part of the firm’s solid foundation. Approach when making new additions to the existing team of experts Importantly, when selecting new additions for the Lex Caribbean team, our evaluation criteria consists of experience in the particular practice areas, expertise within the field and the integrity of the individual beyond their qualification. Individuals are evaluated on their ability to be team players. Reasonably, the people skills required for that teamwork demeanour is a high priority. A good evaluation point is the attorney’s track record with their client, maintaining communication and the care with which they handle these priority relationships will indicate their qualities in this area. Admittedly however, not everyone will have this mannerism, but the firm does not ignore a willingness to learn. Having an attitude which shows the intention of providing the best services to the client cannot be found in a text book. These are the characteristics which the firm considers indispensable not only for attorneys, but all employed individuals. The way in which Lex Caribbean treat others in the workplace is of great importance in our offices, as it reflects in how we interact with our clientele.
The most interesting aspects of the company’s work The unique characteristic about Lex Caribbean is the continuous requirement for cross border interaction, causing the cultures and the different laws which we have to deal with on a daily basis, to constantly interact. The experience of the interregional interaction is always interesting, but having to adjust your frame of mind to the different areas of law according to your location or the location of our clients, is a challenging and fascinating experience. The future Lex Caribbean sees no geographical boundaries in the near future, but given our mode of operation we are required to coordinate legal advice from several jurisdictions. The firm plan to efficiently expand our offices, aiming to include the wider Caribbean as well as, forming closer bonds with Europe and North America. The firm has established a satellite office in UK and there are plans to open offices in New York in a bid to give the firm’s increasingly international clients a more personal touch abroad. The firm intends to further bolster its already strong presence in the Caribbean, by expanding our offices to St. Lucia, based on the fact that we provide advice on the laws of St. Lucia to a number of existing clients. We feel that a physical presence will allow us to fortify Lex Caribbean’s bond with our clients making ourselves easier to access at their convenience.
Importantly presentation, a good work ethic and the willingness to learn are consistently emphasised as a part of our firm’s culture. This evaluation is continuous once an individual forms a part of the Lex Caribbean team.
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LEGAL / Romania on the Rise 1608JR06
Company: Leroy și Asociații Name: Bruno Leroy Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.leroylaw.ro Address: Strada Maior Gh. Șontu nr. 10-12, Sector 1, București, 011448 – Romania Telephone: +40 (21) 223 03 10
Groundbreaking Transactions Based in Bucharest, Romania Leroy Si Asociatii is an independent law firm, specialising in M&A, banking & finance and real estate. With 16 years of experience in the Romanian market, we are renowned as one of the nation’s leading independent law firms. pecialising in ground-breaking transactions across multiple practice areas such as M&A, banking & finance and Real Estate we have made a vital contribution to the Romanian legal advisory market. After being involved in the first Romanian law governed syndication, our banking & finance team have been constantly advising lenders, borrowers and investors on complex national and international financings.
In regards to corporate M&A, Leroy și Asociații’s team are highly experienced in advising on domestic and cross-border transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and equity investments and divestments. In addition to transactional work, we advise publicly held and private corporations, including small and medium sized enterprises, on a broad range of corporate issues. Leroy și Asociații’s real estate lawyers are constantly involved in important real estate acquisitions, including high profile real estate financings in the Romanian market. As a leading practice within the firm, they have advised investors, developers, contractors or financial institutions, and combine valuable expertise with a sound knowledge of the relevant legal framework and closely cooperate with corporate, banking & finance and litigation lawyers of the firm in order to provide clients with integrated and comprehensive legal services.
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In regards to the people Leroy și Asociații work with, we have an extensive and diversified portfolio of international and national clients including corporations, credit institutions, international financial institutions, investment funds and SME enterprises. Possessing in-depth knowledge and excellent practical skills, our team of lawyers here at Romania Leroy Si Asociatii can deliver highstandard, business-orientated advice across a wide range of disciplines. In addition, with our lawyer’s multiple specialisations we can enhance the quality of our services and provide customised responses to each of our client’s needs. In regards to the company’s philosophy, we are dedicated to meeting all aspects of our client’s objectives through precise and result orientated legal solutions. The staff here at Leroy Si Asociatii play a vital role in the success of the firm, without them we wouldn’t be able to provide our services. With a trustworthy and responsive team, we are able to build longterm relationships with our clients and go above and beyond our expectations. With Romania being one of the fastest growing European economies in 2016, the future looks bright for the legal industry. In terms of the challenges facing us in the future, competition will intensify as the number of legal firms in our geographical area increases. It is for this reason that we must continue to look at how we can improve the firm’s services. Going forward, if we can remain at the cutting edge of developments to ensure we take advantage of the opportunities which come our way, then we will be more than content.
We provide straightforward advice to individuals on a range of matters Combined knowledge and experience of civil and commercial law Efficient, focused and professional service with the personal touch
A range of services as comprehensive as our approach
For more details contact email@example.com
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY / Intellectual Property Minister Encourages Further IP Collaboration Between UK and China
Intellectual Property Minister Encourages Further IP Collaboration Between UK and China On 8th September, Baroness Neville-Rolfe, the UK’s Minister of State for Energy and Intellectual Property returned from China after leading a successful IP delegation. The ministerial visit aimed to reinforce the strength of UK-China collaboration on IP, and to highlight the important role it plays in supporting innovation and creativity in both countries.
he trip, which between 20th and 27th August 2016, took the delegation to Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Xi’an and Beijing, and saw Baroness Neville-Rolfe witness a number of landmark agreements and new initiatives. The highlights included: • The witnessing of an agreement on IP protection between internet giant Tencent, the China Britain Business Council and British Businesses; • The launch of a new UK-China Film and TV toolkit, designed to provide guidance for the rapidly growing cross border collaborations the publication of business guidance on bad-faith trade marks in China, a resource which will support businesses to better understand the Chinese IP landscape; • The launch of a factsheet to support Chinese companies with overseas IP protection and technology commercialisation, created in conjunction with CIPA and ITMA; • The co-hosting of both the 3rd UK-China IP Symposium and the UK-China Trade Mark Summit focussing on the relationship between brands, Intellectual Property and economic growth.
The Minister held meetings with a wide range of Chinese companies including Tencent, Huawei, Alibaba, and Lenovo to discuss the increasing importance of IP and brand protection, as well as British businesses operating in China who have received support through the UK IPO Attaché network including BP, the Scotch Whisky Association and Whittards of Chelsea. The Minister’s delegation included representatives from the UK Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA) and the Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys (ITMA), British businesses and also the Presiding Judge of the UK Intellectual Property Enterprise Court, Richard Hacon (for the fifth annual UK-China IP judicial exchange), strengthening a wider focus on rule of law and enforcement. Judge Hacon met senior judges at the Supreme People’s Court and specialist IP courts in Guangzhou and Beijing, and discussed priority topics such as bad-faith trademarks, copyright licensing and evidence disclosure. Baroness Neville-Rolfe, UK Minister of State for Energy and Intellectual Property, said: “It is very encouraging to see the momentous strides China is taking in the field of intellectual property. I am
pleased that the UK is playing a vital advisory role and the UK’s IP regime is one that other nations wish to emulate. “The IPO-SIPO (vii) relationship has gone from strength-to-strength. The engagement throughout the visit has been excellent, demonstrating the strength of our relationship with China. IP cooperation is a central part of the UK-China bilateral relationship, underpinning our mutual passion for innovation and creativity.” Catherine Wolfe – former president of the Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys added: “ITMA, CIPA and ACID were delighted to accompany Baroness Neville-Rolfe on her visit to China. We visited Chinese patent and Trade Mark attorneys in four cities in five days to discuss Trade Marks, patents and designs in the UK and the EU and to grow our mutual understanding of IP registration and enforcement processes in China and in the UK countries. We are already looking forward to the next Symposium! “It was excellent to meet the China Trade Mark Association in Beijing and ITMA is now looking forward to receiving a delegation of Chinese Trade Mark Attorneys in London, to continue the mutual collaboration on the different understandings of Trade Mark registration, opposition, and enforcement processes.” Dids Macdonald, OBE, CEO of anti-copying in design (ACID) & Vice Chair of the Alliance for Intellectual Property commented: “Joining the delegation in Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Beijing on the 20th anniversary of UK Intellectual Property Office cooperation with China’s State Intellectual Property Office demonstrated just how important it is to share best practice. Ensuring that there is consistency and continuity through bilateral collaboration and international networks reinforces the importance of IP globally. I was particularly encouraged to see Designs recognised and acknowledged for their contribution to brands and their economic growth.” Web Address: www.gov.uk
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BRUNET & CO. INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY Brunet & Co. Intellectual Property is a Canadian intellectual property firm that serves clients ranging from multinational companies to first-time inventors. Our firm practices exclusively in the area of intellectual property, including patents, trademarks, copyright, industrial designs, trade secrets, technology transfer and licensing. We practice before the Canadian Intellectual Property Office for domestic and foreign clients, and before the US Patent and Trademark Office for Canadian clients. We are committed to quality and offer superior service with state of the art systems, years of experience in Canadian and international patent prosecution and comprehensive technical backgrounds.
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY / 2016 Intellectual Property Practitioner of the Year â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Argentina: The Best in IP 1608JR81
The Best in IP Company: Sena & Berton Moreno Name: Alfredo Marcelo Sena Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.sbm.com Address: Rivadavia 611, 5th Floor, C100AAE, City of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Telephone: 00 5411 4331 7316
2016 Intellectual Property Practitioner of the Year â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Argentina
Founded in 1937 as a Patent and Trademarks Agency, Sena & Berton Moreno has grown to reach a workforce of forty people offering a range of services to its clients today. As a company, we typically focus on intellectual property, focusing on patents, utility models, trademarks, industrial models and designs and domain names applications. However, over the years as we have developed as a company we are now able to help our clients in the areas of company law, banking, labour, commercial and corporate law.
hroughout the years, Sena & Berton Moreno has adopted a progressive attitude and customised its services to the clients rendered by highly qualified members of staff. This way, the firm has been able to grow and develop in different areas where our services are rendered.
Over the years, Sena & Berton Moreno has increased our client base as well as the variety of services provided, including domestic and foreign firms in all fields of commerce. Currently, we are one of the most prestigious law firms the industrial property field in Argentina, enjoying an excellent reputation abroad.
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To keep abreast of the constant changes, we are always updated with the latest technological developments in the industry. Going forward, any developments we can bring on board will only benefit our firm, and its employees. Competition in our industry remains as fierce as ever, with more firms now increasing the number of services they provide. In an effort to remain the number one choice for IP services in Argentina, we always look to recruit the best personnel the industry has to offer. Looking ahead to the future, if Sena & Berton Moreno can remain at the cutting edge of key developments and build upon the number of services we currently offer, we will be more than content.
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY / 2016 Intellectual Property Practitioner of the Year - USA: A Trademark of Success 1608JR70
Company: Frommer Lawrence & Haug LLP Name: Bill Lawrence Web Address: www.flhlaw.com
2016 Intellectual Property Practitioner of the Year - USA
A Trademark of Success Based in New York, Frommer Lawrence & Haug LLP is a full-service Intellectual Property law firm. With offices in New York and Washington, D.C and through relationships with firms around the world we have the technical expertise to address the legal needs of inventors, start-ups and global brands.
rommer Lawrence & Haug LLP’s client base spans industries including computing and information technology, consumer electronics, e-commerce, financial services, telecommunications, automotive, aerospace, chemicals, life sciences, pharmaceuticals, entertainment, and sports.
Frommer Lawrence & Haug LLP can help you address any concerns with patent transactions, patent licensing and patent prosecution. With technical know-how and commitment our staff can also deal with complex IP litigation matters.
“if we can continue to maintain our reputation in the industry and attract new business then we are confident Frommer Lawrence & Haug LLP will continue to be the go to firm for IP matters in the United States.”
Frommer Lawrence & Haug LLP’s highlyexperienced attorneys and scientific advisors are dedicated to obtaining the strongest possible patents in the United States and around the world for our clients. FLH’s professionals direct their efforts towards achieving our clients’ business objectives and assisting our clients in monetizing their intellectual property. With competition in our sector ever increasing we are constantly having to identify the ways in which we can stand out from the crowd. With this in mind remaining on the cutting edge of developments in the IP industry is key. Going forward, the challenge facing us will be the ever increasing competition in the industry and the regulation changes. Looking ahead to the future, if we can continue to maintain our reputation in the industry and attract new business then we are confident Frommer Lawrence & Haug LLP will continue to be the go to firm for IP matters in the United States.
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INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY / 60-Second Interview: Good Things Come in Small Packages IP16036
Good Things Come in Small Packages We recently spoke to Dr. Reuven Mouallem, founder of FlashPoint IP in Israel, to find out more about his company’s focus on patent drafting and prosecution, in a special 60 second interview in which he reveals the firm’s unique selling points.
hat products and services does FlashPoint IP provide? FlashPoint IP focuses primarily on patent drafting and prosecution, and firmly believes that the ultimate goal of securing strong IP is to help build and grow the client’s venture, translating the ideas into business opportunities through effective IP strategy and management.
Name: Dr. Reuven K. Mouallem, LL.M. Company: FlashPoint IP Ltd. Email: info@FlashPointIP.com Web: www.FlashPointIP.com Address: Rehov Rabban Gamliel 2, El’ad 4083201 Israel Telephone: +972-3-936-3199 IL/+1-516-301-1649 US
Strategic portfolio management and counselling international clients is an integral part of the practice in a diverse array of technical fields. Our offerings include drafting, prosecution, due diligence, legal opinions, valuations, IP analytics, IP risk assessment, and competitive intelligence. What does your client base look like? FlashPoint IP’s clients span the gamut from individual inventors, start-ups, and SMEs to research institutes, universities, and large multinational corporations looking to take a more proactive role in the development and management of their IP. What are your firm’s unique selling points? In addition to FlashPoint IP’s extensive IP services, the firm provides comprehensive asset management services through its advisory portfolio, focusing on IP strategy & management – putting our ‘unique not boutique’ philosophy into a resultsdriven action plan. We help create IP solutions to meet business needs by securing and managing our clients’ innovation portfolio through effective intellectual property, thus expanding business-cycle horizon and helping to discover untapped opportunities.
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What are the main challenges facing your company today? As the saying goes, good things come in small packages. While boutique offerings in IP law typically focus on just a few strengths, a large patent prosecution firm, with a strong appetite for generating billable hours to cover overhead, can adversely tip the scales in the value equation for IP legal services. Both situations can create an image that more people are looking out for the client’s interests than there actually are, resulting in wasted resources and unmet expectations. Many clients are lulled into a false sense of security by relying on the adage ‘bigger is better’. When it comes to effective IP, the “bespoke approach” ensures that problems get assessed and handled when they arise, not after all the dust has settled. FlashPoint IP offers a compelling strategic advantage, with a full-service portfolio in an efficient office structure, that can have a dramatic impact on improving a company’s economic outlook – enhancing the innovation value chain, no matter where the client is in the process. What business or business person do you most admire and why? Akio Morita, the founder of Sony, was an early leader in bringing together innovation, technology, and marketing into a persuasive selling proposition. By not being constrained on what the customer wanted, but staying focused on what he believed the customer needed, he was able to surprise the market with products like the Walkman. He also had a strong sense of brand value and recognition, in the sense that he was not willing to cheapen the name on the product, or the product behind the name.
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY / 2016 Intellectual Property Practitioner of the Year - Philippines: A Pioneer in the Philippines 1609JR52
Company: Romulo Law Firm Name: Rogelio Nicandro Email: Rogelio.Nicandro@ Romulo.com Web: www.romulo.com Address: 21st Floor, Philamlife Tower, 8767 Paseo De Roxas, Makati City 1226, Philippines Telephone: +63 2 555 9555
2016 Intellectual Property Practitioner of the Year - Philippines
An Innovative Approach to IP Romulo Law Firm are a general practice law firm, founded in 1902, and is a pioneer in intellectual property (IP) practice in the Philippines region. Some of the landmark cases the firm handles are recorded in the repositories of the Supreme Court of the Philippines, explains Rogelio Nicandro, in a feature interview about the undoubted competency of Romulo Law Firm in the field of IP.
omulo Law Firm handle applications for the registration of patents, trademarks and copyright, something the firm had handled for some time. The firm has developed expertise in this vein, and are able to consult internally on difficult IP matters, and have conferences with an examiner for any specific difficulties. Aside from the regular filings for registration, the firm is concerned with IP litigation, which can be in the form of cancellations, oppositions or fair trading practice.
The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines concentrates on enforcement, so much so that the country has been removed from the list of countries that are deficient in the enforcement of IP laws. The former director-general of the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines is now a member of Romulo Law Firm as “a consulting lawyer”
Nicandro underlines, adding that this “reinforces our IP practice to a large extent, due to his expertise and the prestige that is attached to his name, as a successful former director-general.” Romulo Law Firm is open for consultations, perhaps for a customer before they file an application for registration, or take up IP litigation. The firm can discuss the possible obstacles that they encounter along the way, in the applications for trademarks and patents. Concerning patents, the firm “has received a lot of queries regarding patents, something that we discuss with our clients from all around the world.” Nicandro then goes on to reveal that Romulo Law Firm is now trying to attract companies from Japan, who regularly files their applications in the US, “and we are discussing with them the possibility of them making their filings in the Philippines” which he believes would be quite useful since both countries are fairly close to each other, and the cultures are quite similar. Nicandro is hopeful that clients in Japan will to Romulo Law Firm, instead of the US, thus expanding the firm’s clientele. On taking an innovative approach to all matters of IP, Nicandro reveals that dealing with IP in itself is a very creative endeavour, and he says the firm has to be innovative in how they approach it. Elaborating on this, Nicandro goes on to say that, “we do try to continuously update the firm’s services which is a never-ending process. We also try to learn from our clients what their concerns are, and in addition to this, for every matter referred to us we try to anticipate what the future difficulties. We ask the clients for their views, so that when we submit our responses to the examiner, then we exceed our agreement with them. As far as possible, we prepare our response ahead of time, and give the client a copy of our proposed response”. Looking to the future, while client servicing is “a never-ending process”, Nicandro is of the opinion that if you try to reach perfection, you will never attain it but “there is always room for improvement”. Part of the firm’s culture is that is there is a problem, then a member of staff should bring it up, and that an innovative solution can be provided.
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Pioneers and Thought Leaders
Company: Global Prior Art, Inc. (GPA) Name: Bruce Rubinger Email: rubinger@ globalpriorart.com Web: www.globalpriorart.com Address: 21 Milk Street, 6th Floor, Boston, MA 02109 Telephone: +1 (617) 574-9574
2016 Intellectual Property Practitioner of the Year - USA
Founded in 1982, Global Prior Art (GPA) is an IP research and analysis firm which is widely known by its trademark ‘The Most Trusted Name in IP Research’. GPA is an established leader in the field of world-wide prior art searches, with a proven record of success in thousands of high stakes cases. Their combination of in-depth technical expertise, search approach, institutional knowledge and familiarity with the best sources worldwide for highly relevant art in each technical category is unrivalled. The firm’s Bruce Rubinger reveals more about the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for the IP industry, and his thoughts on GPA’s overall mission to be pioneers and thought leaders.
an you go into detail about what your company does? GPA’s efforts include IP Due Diligence in support of acquisitions. It is imperative to confirm that a potential acquisition target has strong patents and key products will not be blocked by infringement claims raised by competitors or NPEs.
We also conduct Freedom to Practice, invalidity searches, licensing due diligence, patent portfolio (white space) analysis, and corporate innovation strategy. GPA’s engineering division comprises its software & e-commerce, semiconductors & electronics, telecommunications & networking, and mechanical engineering & manufacturing groups. In addition, GPA has strong expertise in the life sciences, including experts in biotechnology, chemistry & pharma, and medical devices.
“Quality is very tangible and the end product of many cumulative steps. A firm’s work and reputation open doors and lead to many opportunities.” How do you ensure that your firm stands out from the competition? For high stakes matters clients want high quality, strong performance. GPA stands out due to our strong reputation and the high level of trust we have earned. Achieving consistently strong performance is based on an approach that relies on a dedicated team of full-time experts, a process orientation, and retention of key people. In addition, GPA have created significant institutional knowledge over the last thirty years which is captured in our processes, proprietary expert system and other internal resources. This foundation yields consistently
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strong findings that support better outcomes. For companies involved in acquisitions, our due diligence efforts address any concerns regarding potential freedom-to-practice issues. Other unique aspects of GPA include reliance on full-time staff (so you know who is doing the work), knowledge of critical sources, access to US. and foreign language databases and literature, and internal tools. We have also amassed an in-house collection of 30,000+ data books and datasheets, reference books, and other key sources that are not available online. In what ways do you take an innovative approach to all matters of IP? GPA’s overall mission is to be pioneers and thought leaders. GPA created the concept of accurate and actionable IP landscapes more than 20 years ago. The third generation IP landscape software was introduced in 2006. Over the last five years, we have worked at the intersection of technology, intellectual property, and strategy, identifying critical synergies that have allowed clients to more effectively exploit the opportunity space and guide their innovation activities. GPA are also assisting companies to ward off assaults by patent trolls and competitors, allowing them to emerge as financially successful innovators. Can you tell us how you achieve outstanding levels of client satisfaction? Successful outcomes reflect a process orientation. GPA is very process-oriented and operates as a learning organisation. We have evolved over the last 30 years to incorporate the latest best practice. It is essential that clients receive the best quality of service since client retention is the key to any successful service business. Currently more than 95% of our clients are repeat customers. While the field of IP research and IP strategy is crowded, clients select GPA for the reassurance of knowing that their decisions are based on the most accurate IP information.
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY / 2016 Intellectual Property Practitioner of the Year - USA: Pioneers and Thought Leaders
The main factors leading to a successful outcome are: taking the time upfront to benefit from the client’s familiarity with a matter and their goals; high quality research and analysis covering the most critical sources; presentation of the findings in a way that is easy to assimilate; clear actionable steps; and a knowledge transfer call or meeting to ensure the client is aware of the IP findings and desired actions. Has your firm expanded into new areas within IP? We have expanded several groups at GPA in response to the growing need for IP support. For instance, we are currently seeing a lot of acquisition activity surrounding pharma and biotech firms, creating a need for due diligence support. Firms are also becoming more IP savvy, which has created more demand for accurate, actionable IP landscape analysis to understand the opportunity space and also to make more effective decisions. What challenges and opportunities lie ahead for the IP industry in 2016 and beyond? The IP Industry is segmented with firms providing high quality support handling the high exposure issues and the low end of the market chasing very price sensitive clients. There is a growing awareness that low cost work is often achieved by approaches that yield poor quality results, an outcome that undermines a client’s position, and will turn out in the long run to be very expensive. Finally, quality is very tangible and the end product of many cumulative steps. A firm’s work and reputation open doors and lead to many opportunities.
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INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY / 2016 Intellectual Property Practitioner of the Year - USA: Intellectual Property Services of the Highest Quality 1609JR37
Intellectual Property Services of the Highest Quality Edmonds & Nolte, P.C. is an intellectual property law firm located in Houston, Texas. The firm handles a wide range of intellectual property (IP) related issues and disputes including patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, licensing, agreements, anti-trust and unfair competition. Their attorneys are all former engineers and scientists, and possess the technical expertise to provide intellectual property services of the highest quality, to any client. Company: Edmonds & Nolte, PC Name: Robb D. Edmonds Email: REdmonds@ edmondsnolte.com Web: www.edmondsnolte.com Address: 2625 Bay Area Blvd., Suite 530, Houston, Texas 77059 Telephone: +1 281 480 2700
2016 Intellectual Property Practitioner of the Year - USA
ur attorneys have extraordinary technical and legal expertise acquired over many years working in both the industry and in private practice. We can efficiently and effectively learn and understand our client’s businesses, and provide legal strategies tailored to their specific goals and budgets.
Large Fortune 50 companies as well as start-ups and individuals come to us to develop and secure their intellectual property strategies and goals. As an IP boutique, every attorney in our office practices patent and trademark law. While we deal heavily with the patent and trademark side of the business, we advise frequently on mergers and acquisitions as it relates to technology based companies. We have experience with a wide range of technologies and industries, and all of our patent attorneys possess at least one engineering or science degree, some have more than one degree and some have graduate degrees. A client may have a product they want to develop, manufacture, sell or just license. Most often the client may not know how to go about it, and I would say that this is typical of our smaller clients. On the other hand, our larger clients have their own IP lawyers to help their business folks develop business strategies. Our role there is to help them to cost effectively procure, maintain and enforce their IP against their competition. Once we have developed the business goals of the client, we help the client decide where to go next. Do they want to protect it for themselves? Do they want to license the technology? Or do they want to acquire patents from someone else? There are no patent police that you can call when somebody copies your intellectual property. You are on your own to enforce your rights. That can be costly, stressful and time consuming. A carefully planned IP strategy upfront will save you lots of money and agony. To that, you need a robust patent strategy, and you need to properly protect your core technologies. Your first patent is usually your least valuable. After further development and perfection, there should always be a strategy in place to protect those improvements. We also typically suggest a different strategy for core and non-core technologies, depending on the client’s business plan and goals. For smaller clientele new to IP, we always recommend they develop a business plan and use patents to support that business plan -patents cannot be the business plan. Just because you make a widget, it does not mean that you will have a marketplace or
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demand for it. What is the point of spending money on a patent for a widget you cannot sell? Recent notable victories As far as some recent notable victories, Edmonds & Nolte, P.C. handled the IPR for a downhole tool patent that was invalidated by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Our client appealed that adverse decision to the Federal Circuit. And in a precedential opinion, the Federal Circuit reversed the PTAB on July 25th 2016. The Federal Circuit ruled that the USPTO improperly shifted the burden to the patent owner to disprove obviousness. The Federal Circuit also ruled that the PTAB is not free to adopt arguments on behalf of petitioners that could have been, but were not, raised by the petitioner during an IPR.Instead, the board must base its decision on arguments that were advanced by a party, and to which the opposing party was given a chance to respond. Where is patent law heading? Post grant proceedings, such as IPRs, will be a powerful tool to challenge patent validity and ward off the high costs and uncertainty of litigation. The Supreme Court’s recent ruling (Halo v. Pulse) made it easier for a patent owner to get enhanced damages, where appropriate, as a sanction for egregious infringement behaviour. Prior to this ruling, the hurdle was set very high. Now there is a real possibility of getting hit with treble damages, indeed an accused infringer may be more willing to stop infringing activities or be more willing to take a license. One challenge for the future of patent law is the uncertainty around software and internet patents. In the wake of the recent Supreme Court’s decision in Alice that basically said abstract ideas are not patentable subject matter, it is difficult to advise clients in these areas. Patents are not cheap. So it is challenging to advise a client to spend good money pursuing an asset that may later on have no value or determined to be non-patent eligible subject matter. Another interesting recent event affecting intellectual property is the United Kingdom’s decision to exit from the European Union. How patent and trademark rights governed by many EU Regulations and Directives will be administered and enforced after the exit will be interesting to see. Edmonds & Nolte, P.C. strives to provide the most value-added, cost-effective services tailored to the needs of each client. We invite you to view our attorney profiles on our website, and contact us if we can be of any service to your intellectual property needs.
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY / 2016 IP Practitioner of the Year in the USA: The Best Practice 1609CG09
Tumey L.L.P Company: Tumey L.L.P Email: email@example.com Web: www.tumeyllp.com Address: 7500 San Felipe St # 440, Houston, TX 77063, United States Phone: +1 713 622 7005
The Best Practice Based in Houston, Texas, Tumey L.L.P. now has offices in two different locations, with a second office located in the growing area of The Woodlands/North Houston, but what are the secrets behind the firmâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s success?
umey L.L.P was established more than ten years ago by Tod Tumey. Tod Tumey was joined at Tumey L.L.P. in 2009 by Corey Tumey. With our second location, we are one of the only intellectual property boutique firms with an office in The Woodlands/North Houston area, which is home to many new and expanding energy, healthcare, and professional services corporations. Furthermore, with our growing domestic and international practice and client base, Tumey L.L.P. has future prospects to expand into other domestic locations as well as international locations.
2016 IP Practitioner of the Year in the USA
Tod Tumey and Corey Tumey are the senior partners of Tumey L.L.P, and their expertise and experience has allowed the firm to have such a long period of success. Tod Tumey is the managing partner of the firm and has a very expansive international practice with clients and cases spanning throughout the world. He has a wide breadth of practice that includes intellectual property acquisition and evaluation, portfolio management, counselling, litigation, freedom-to-operate analysis and opinions, patent and trademark prosecution, and business transactions related to intellectual property. As for Corey Tumey, he practices in all areas of intellectual property law, including U.S and foreign patent preparation and prosecution, U.S. and foreign trademark prosecution, freedom-to-operate and opinions, and intellectual property litigation. Patent attorneys of Tumey L.L.P. also include a former Deputy Commissioner of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, John Love, who has provided expert reports and served as an expert witness on patent matters in numerous patent infringement lawsuits. At Tumey L.L.P, we work as a collaborative partner with organisations of all sizes from universities and start-up companies to regional and major international corporations. We work to understand the businesses of our clients as well as their visions for future success, which allows us to provide not only legal but also strategic representation. With a large international practice and many clients based around the world, we provide our clients with valued expertise on their United States based matters as well international matters in any market.
Additionally, Tumey L.L.P. works with our clients to maximise their legal resources. We understand each clientâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s needs and budgetary resources. Therefore, we offer alternative fee arrangements ranging from partial and full contingent fee arrangements on matters such as litigation, licensing, and asset sales to equity shares in lieu of fees. Looking closer at the services we provide, Tumey L.L.P. specialises in intellectual property law including patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets. Professionals of Tumey L.L.P are licensed to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office. This aspect of the practice involves the preparation and prosecution of applications for patents, trademarks, and copyrights in the United States and foreign countries. Moreover, Tumey L.L.P. provides services in drafting and negotiating intellectual property transactions. Such transaction practice includes assisting clients with intellectual property licensing, technology transfer agreements, consulting agreements, contracts, development and manufacturing agreements. Alongside this expertise, we provide counselling concerning intellectual property rights. Such counselling includes freedom-to-operate analysis, rendering opinions on patent validity and noninfringement, trademark and service mark clearance and registration, advice on international strategies, portfolio review, and advice on portfolio growth and profitability. Tumey L.L.P. also provides advice on the selection, design, and use of trademarks and service marks; recommendations on the protection of inventions; and counselling with respect to trade secret protection. As with many intellectual property firms, we also work heavily in disputes concerning trademark, trade secret, contract, cyber piracy, unfair competition, and patent litigation. Tumey L.L.P. has also been involved in numerous patent postgrant review matters as well as cancellation and opposition matters in numerous countries. As a result of our success, Tumey L.L.P. has been accorded media recognition for the firmâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s expertise and has been distinguished by American Lawyer Media as a Go-To Law Firm by Fortune 500 Companies. We believe these accolades as well as this recognition by Acquisition International will spur us on to even further success.
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The Legal Marketing Landscape Dickinson Wright is a traditional, full-service law firm serving the needs of businesses throughout the United States and Canada. We have seventeen offices, chiefly in emerging markets, in Texas, Florida, Michigan, Ohio, Nevada, Tennessee, Arizona, Kentucky, Toronto and Washington DC.
Company: Dickinson Wright PLLC Name: James J. Stapleton Email: jstapleton@ dickinson-wright.com Web: www.dickinsonwright.com Twitter: @JamesJStapleton Address: 500 Woodward Ave, Detroit, Michigan, 48236 Telephone: +1 313 223 3081
CMO of the Year - Detroit
n terms of what we do, Dickinson Wright is a full service, corporate law firm that specialises in all forms of business transactions and litigation. Furthermore, we have over 450 attorneys in more than 40 practice groups with nearly 150 sub-specialties, and we work with all kinds of clients, from entrepreneurial businesses to Fortune 100 companies.
As the legal landscape is continuously evolving, we are always keen to adapt and innovate the services we provide and continuously add to our existing client base. Although the influence of digital Due to the complexity of business law, digital marketing will have an impact limited to some very highly targeted areas. The client decision making curve is dominated by personal referrals, thorough vetting, careful evaluation of a firm’s bona fides and selection by multiple decision makers. Typically, the decision is made by in-house counsel or buyers who must assure themselves that their law firms are perfectly suited to their needs, so they depend upon personal recommendations at the front end of the decision and references at the back end. Nonetheless, digital marketing is making very strong inroads with individual law, including family law, estates, single-plaintiff litigations, wills, trusts and the like.
“As the legal landscape is continuously evolving, we are always keen to adapt and innovate the services we provide and continuously add to our existing client base.” As CMO, our highly competitive marketing climate requires that we pay close attention to continuous growth, social responsibility and client engagement. Continuous growth is a given, without growth, we are telling clients, referral sources, employees and future attorneys that we are throwing in the towel. With growth, we are conveying an investment made in the future.
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Alongside this, client engagement has been accelerating over the past twenty years, developing from an arm’s length engagement to a relationship that is tantamount to business partners. We have a 53-point client code of conduct to ensure that we take our clients’ business needs very seriously. Of course, we would not have been in business since 1878 if we did not participate aggressively to our six key social responsibility elements, which are diversity, pro bono, charity, civic responsibilities, use of sustainable methods and a women’s initiative. In terms of my background, I spent nearly two decades in senior sales, business development, knowledge management and marketing positions with two of the largest accounting firms in the world, Arthur Andersen and PricewaterhouseCoopers, now PwC. It was a significant advantage to work with very mature organisations; their markets were highly competitive, and they demanded a very sophisticated approach to working with clients and competing in the markets. With so much adaption and innovation required to compete in the industry, I firmly believe that strong leadership is essential for survival. In my opinion, the few law firms that will survive and thrive over the next decade will demand executable ideas consistent with a competitive strategy determined by professional business leaders. A chief executive officer adds immensely to the success of a law firm. Bill Burgess, our CEO, is an extraordinary leader, both a visionary and able to lead a firm of 450+ lawyers with different skills and experiences. What was a real watershed moment for me was Sarbanes-Oxley, which was an act passed by U.S. Congress in 2002 to protect investors from the possibility of fraudulent accounting activities by corporations. During this time, Arthur Andersen LLP (an American holding company) fired its partner in charge of auditing the Enron Corporation, which were found to have reported $100bn in revenue through institutional and systematic accounting fraud. When Andersen fell subsequent to Enron’s collapse, I had been with PwC for about two years, and was running field marketing for about 1/3 of their business. All of a sudden, my team went from one Fortune 1000 proposal per month to one a day.
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY / CMO of the Year - Detroit: The Legal Marketing Landscape
You grow up in a hurry and I am pleased and proud to say that PwC won more than our share of former Andersen clients in my industry group (Technology, InfoComm and Entertainment & Media). Fast-forward to today, right now, outside of the AmLaw 100 law firms, there are about 400 to 500 law firms that compete for a significant amount of American legal business, call it â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;run-the-companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; legal work. Within about five years, perhaps 25 to 40 of those firms will have broken away from the remaining firms as clients consolidate their relationships with those firms who offer superior quality, value for fees, excellent client service skills, expertise in client industries and a degree of business acumen which adds value to client businesses. Additionally, the entire legal profession has begun to migrate towards industry specialties in the same way that the accounting profession did in the 1980s and 1990s. Our company recognised the importance of industry specialties for nearly a century, and we have built specialties in sixteen key industry sectors, including automotive, construction, and energy and sustainability, to name a few. It is for these reasons and more that we are very confident of the future of our company.
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Company: Siegel+Gale Name: Russell Thompson Email: rthompson@ siegelgale.com Web: www.siegelgale.com Address: Bankside 2, 100 Southwark Street, London, SE1 0SW Phone: +44 (0)20 861 81 950
Unlocking Brand Potential Following an M&A Despite being increasingly prevalent, the vast majority of mergers and acquisitions fail. It is hardly surprising given all the moving parts at play - finances, HR, operations, logistics, you name it. These are all crucial pieces of the puzzle, but less tangible components are often put on the back-burner, or completely neglected as a result. Ultimately, such scenarios can turn out to be a costly mistake.
his common oversight I am referring to is, of course, your brand. With the rise of peer-to-peer networks and technologydriven disruption in the banking and insurance sectors forcing existing players to look to acquisitions – in order to plug in missing services, skills and scale – achieving the right brand following a restructure is more important than ever. Indeed, deferring focus on brand too long can lead to an ad-hoc fix that can be very complicated and, as a result, costly to navigate out of. By contrast, placing a greater focus and increased resources to ensure the brand makes a smooth transition actually offers the perfect opportunity to start afresh.
As the adage goes, if something is worth doing, it is worth doing well. So what are some of the key strategic considerations for building a strong brand?
“A totally new name can signal to both customers and employees that change is underway, reassuring them that the business is committed to positive change, whilst retaining its existing strengths.” Equity – how much does the market think your brand is worth? Great brands are built on facts, so it is imperative that you ask the right questions. Business leaders should ask themselves, what is the market perception? What is the customer perception? What are the positive and negative equities and associations that come with the new set of brand assets? Most important, keep in mind where you want the brand to be years down the line. You cannot move forward without having an idea of where you are going. Bank of America’s failed acquisition of Countrywide is a typical example of not doing the required homework.
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Employee engagement – do your employees embrace your vision and purpose? Naturally, bringing previously separate workforces and cultures together can be met with skepticism, mistrust and fear of change. But your employees are the driving force of your business and of your brand. They are your most important story-tellers and brand ambassadors, best placed to cultivate and share your new message, and so cannot be over-looked. Moreover, one of the biggest reasons M&A so often fail is that the newly combined workforce isn’t aligned. That starts at the top but has to run throughout the company. We all know the classic case of Daimler Chrysler but we have witnessed countless examples in the financial sector too. Positioning – are you seizing the opportunity to tell a fresh story? Bringing two organisations together puts you in the perfect position to be bold and shake things up. You have the opportunity to wipe the slate clean, and tell a completely new story, or to amplify the story already being told and to ensure it is fit for your future business objectives. Brand architecture – how do you re-organise your portfolio in the new company? There are significant risks and opportunities associated with bringing two portfolios together. What should you keep from each company and what needs a totally new approach? Do certain elements of your new business stand better alone in a house of brands or hybrid system? Or does it make sense to bring everything all under one master-branded roof? Regulation is always going to play a key role in the financial sector, whether that is an insurance firm separating its consumer arm from the broker business or an enforced banking divestment.
M&A / Unlocking Brand Potential Following an M&A
Naming â&#x20AC;&#x201C; do your name and portfolio express the mission of your new entity? Deciding whether or not to change your name has tremendous implications for your market presence in the immediate aftermath of a restructure, as well as in the long-term future. You might decide to retain the name of one of the companies, which is a delicate issue and not always the bigger company (for example, choosing Chubb over ACE in this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s big deal). What if you choose to combine the names or, at least, their respective components? A totally new name can signal to both customers and employees that change is underway, reassuring them that the business is committed to positive change, whilst retaining its existing strengths. No time to waste We are just starting to scratch the surface of what a brand needs (implications for visual identity, ensuring a consistent customer experience, recruitment, are all things that need attention) but it is clear that getting the most out of your brand can be complicated. The sooner you start addressing it during a company restructure or M&A scenario, the simpler it will be for you in the long run.
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Company: Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP Name: Sam Pearse, Partner Email: samuel.pearse@ pillsburylaw.com Web: www.pillsburylaw.com Address: Tower 42, Level 21 25 Old Broad Street London, EC2N 1HQ Phone: +44 (0)20 7847 9597
What Will the UK’s Post-Brexit Landscape Mean for M&A? Uncertainty percolated through to the M&A market in advance of the EU referendum vote, with activity value in the UK dropping 51% onquarter in the April-June period, from $38.9bn to $19.3bn. In the short amount of time post the vote, activity value has been recovering steadily with Thomson Reuters data showing that since 23 June, almost 60 transactions totalling $34.5 billion have been struck by foreign companies for British firms, compared with 79 deals amounting to $4.3 billion in the month leading up to the vote
hese figures are, no doubt, as a result of overseas buyers looking to take advantage of the weak pound, so many UK companies may still be taking stock and considering their options. Despite the short-term impact though, one of the interesting questions will be how Britain’s yet-to-be-decided post-Brexit relationship will impact M&A activity in the long-term.
From a legal perspective, nothing has yet changed. The UK remains a full member of the EU with continued access to the single market – meaning that, for the moment, the legal status quo continues. While we wait to hear the result of negotiations as to the post-Brexit landscape, it should be remembered that each of the commonly discussed models will have their own particular impact on UK M&A:
“Until a decision is made about the UK’s post-Brexit relationship, we will not know the full extent to which existing laws can and will be amended or repealed.”
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2. The ‘Swiss model’ would see the UK leave the EU and join EFTA, but not the EEA. As a result, the UK government would need to negotiate a series of bilateral agreements with the EU to secure access to the single market. This model presents greater uncertainty, given that the UK would have the flexibility to change its laws and move away from EU regulations. In this scenario, companies contemplating, or engaged in, M&A activity will need to be nimble to react to the changing regulatory framework around M&A and also those areas of law that impact on the running of UK businesses, such as tax, employment, intellectual property and data protection. 3. Total exit from the EU and the single market would mean the either relying on the rules of the World Trade Organisation to continue trading with the EU, or seeking to negotiate a new free trade agreement. In a total exit scenario, the issues facing the UK M&A market would be very similar to those under the Swiss model. Acquisitive companies would therefore need to position themselves to react to the changes that would follow.
1. The ‘Norwegian model’ would see the UK leave the EU and join the European Economic Area (EEA) and European Free Trade Association (EFTA), accepting the principles of free movement of goods, services, capital and people in exchange for access to the single market.
When determining the way forward, the government will, of course, consider the likely effect of each model on the UK economy. So if the UK does leave the EU, but does not join the EEA, the temptation to cut red tape must be weighed against the potential impact on UK businesses trading or operating in the EU.
In terms of change, this is possibly the lightest touch, meaning a minimal impact. For example, the EU Takeover Directive and the EU Merger Regulations, which provide a single competition clearance process across the EU, will both continue to apply.
Until a decision is made about the UK’s post-Brexit relationship, we will not know the full extent to which existing laws can and will be amended or repealed. In the meantime, those undertaking M&A activity should also bear the following additional points in mind:
M&A / What Will the UK’s Post-Brexit Landscape Mean for M&A?
The structure and execution of UK private M&A transactions should not to be materially impacted as EU-derived legislation plays little part in the laws governing such transactions. For public company acquisitions there are unlikely to be substantial changes to the UK Takeover Code. The Code is a universally accepted and respected regime which pre-dates the EU Takeover Directive and influenced the approach taken in the Directive. The nature of intellectual property rights will be affected along with the ability to enforce them. National rights will remain unaffected, but Community Trade Marks and Community Design Rights may cease to apply to the UK. The UK data protection laws are derived from the EU regime. If the UK government elects to stay out of the EEA it has the option to amend the current legislation. However, the UK will want to ensure that it has a regime that is regarded as ‘acceptable’ by the remaining EU countries. The impact of certain EU-derived employment regulations on labour relations, for example the Working Time Regulations, may be affected over time if the UK adopts a more laissez faire approach to the employment relationship.
Those decisions affecting the UK’s future are very much out of the hands of those at the coal-face of the M&A market. The bottom line is that in order to maintain the UK’s strong position, there will be an onus on the government and its dedicated Brexit team to ensure that the UK remains an attractive place for businesses to operate and to trade with the EU. For now, though, the long term implications are very much a case of ‘wait and see’.
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Energy, Environmental and Cleantech M&A Company: Bureau van Dijk E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.bvdinfo.com
The energy, environmental and cleantech sector posted a decline by both volume and value in the opening six months of 2016. In total there were 1,898 deals worth a combined $195,954 million announced over the period, according to Zephyr, the M&A database published by Bureau van Dijk.
t appears we are still experiencing some of the hangover after the high levels of deal making recorded in 2015. In H1 2016, both volume and value reached their lowest ebbs since the 1,760 transactions worth $188,180 million announced in the opening six months of 2012.
However, if early indications are anything to go by, we may at least see H2 2016 surpass H1 in terms of value. So far, 537 deals worth a combined $72,852 million have been announced in the sector since the beginning of July. If deal making continues on this trajectory value would trump the first half of the year, but volume would still fall short. However, even if an improvement is on the cards, values would still have a long way to go if they were to reach the dizzy heights scaled in H2 2015, when $299,233 million was invested in the industry, and even this was some way off the $392,548 million injected in H2 2014. So far 2016 has without a doubt struggled to keep pace with last year, but given that 2015 was such a notable 12 months for investment this is perhaps not a surprise. A number of large investments into the energy, environmental and cleantech sector have been signed off in 2016 to date, with four deals breaking the $10,000 million-barrier while five more surpassed $5,000 million.
The largest transaction targeting the industry to have been announced in 2016 was worth $18,400 million and involved Nextera Energy agreeing to pick up Energy Future Holdings via EFH Merger Company. That deal was announced in July and is currently slated to close during the first quarter of 2017, subject to the go ahead from regulatory bodies, among other conditions. Second place was taken by Columbia Pipeline Group, which TransCanada acquired for $13,000 million in July. Other energy, environmental and cleantech companies to have been targeted in high value deals since the beginning of 2016 include Westar Energy ($12,200 million) and ITC Holdings ($11,300 million). All but one of the year’s top ten energy, environmental and cleantech deals to date feature US targets. The exception is India-headquartered Lanco Infratech, in which a consortium of lenders converted debt of $6,100 million into a 60% shareholding in the company. In all North American companies were targeted in 712 transactions worth a combined $163,489 million. In terms of value this places it well ahead of its nearest rival, the Far East and Central Asia with $42,636 million. Western Europe and Eastern Europe placed third and fourth with $37,006 million and $12,173 million, respectively. Western Europe was second by volume with 657 deals, while the Far East and Central Asia came next with 484 and Eastern Europe was fourth with 352. North America’s impressive showing has undoubtedly been significantly affected by the fact that nine of the year’s top ten deals to date feature targets based in the region, four of which are worth in excess of $10,000 million. In fact, these four transactions alone account for 34% of total investment in the North American energy, environmental and cleantech sector in 2016 to date. To sum up, the second half of 2016 looks likely to improve on the opening six months of the year in terms of aggregate value and it is worth noting that the last time H2 did not surpass H1 was in 2009, so it will be interesting to see whether this trend is sustained despite the overall decline in activity recorded in the energy, environmental and cleantech sector, among others.
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M&A / Sector Talk
Number and Aggregate Value (mil $) of Energy Environmental and Cleantech Deals Globally: 2006-2016 YTD (as at 31 August 2016) Deal Number half yearly value of deals (Announced date)
Number and Aggregate Value (Mil $) of Energy Environmental and Cleantech Deals Globally by Target Sector: 2006 2016 to date (as at 31 August 2016)
Aggregate deal value (mil $)
Zephus classification (target)
Number Aggregate of deals deal value (mil $)
Mining & Extraction
Chemicals, Petroleum, Rubber & Plastic
Transport, Freight, Storage & Travel Services
Personal, Leisure & Business Services
H2 2016 to date
Banking, Insurance & Financial Services
Industrial, Electric & Electronic Machinery
Computer, IT and Internet services
Hotels & Restaurants 63
Metals & Metal Products
Leather, Stone, Clay & Glass products
Textiles & Clothing Manufacturing
Number and Aggregate Value (Mil $) of Energy Environmental and Cleantech Deals Globally by Deal Type: 2006-2016 to date (as at 31 August 2016) Deal type
Number of deals
Aggregate deal value (mil $)
Minority stake Capital increase Institutional buy-out Management buy-out
17,136 9,401 720 75
1,139,453 846,949 279,223 1,159
World region (target) North America
2016 to date 712
Western Europe Far East and Central Asia Eastern Europe Oceania
897 366 587 363
1,123 672 953 372
885 811 844 314
1,091 917 531 276
657 484 352 125
145 20 14
216 63 37
190 31 30
142 50 22
H1 2016 proved to be fairly disappointing in terms of the volume and value of announced deals targeting the telecommunications, media and technology (TMT) sector as declines were recorded on both fronts. According to Zephyr, the M&A database published by Bureau van Dijk, some 11,429 transactions worth a combined $469,313 million were signed off over the course of the six months. There is nothing unusual in the fact that the TMT sector is not producing the same number of deals as in 2015 as this is a trend being witnessed across many industries. Since the beginning of July 2016 there have been 3,290 transactions worth a combined $177,069 million signed off. Based on these figures and if deals continue to be announced at the same rate until the end of December, we can expect to see an increase in aggregate value for H2 2016 when compared to H1. However, unless some deals with extremely high values are unveiled in the ensuing period, it is unlikely that aggregate considerations will reach the same dizzy heights as the second half of 2015 ($692,397 million). North America has accounted for a considerable chunk of all TMT investment thus far in 2016, having attracted deal making of $296,251 million. This represents almost 46% of total value for the sector in the first eight months of the year. Other industries which notched up considerable deal making levels include the Far East and Central Asia with $180,348 million, while Western Europe placed third with $130,320 million. Thus the TMT sector appears to have been affected by the same overall decline in deal making levels, as with many other industries this year. However, if results do indeed continue on the same trajectory, and an improvement is recorded in H2, it could be the beginning of another upturn in deal values.
Number of Energy Environmental and Cleantech Deals by Region: 2006 - 2016 YTD (as at 31 August 2016)
South and Central America Africa Middle East
TMT Investments in 2016
67 18 17
Number and Aggregate Value (Mil $) of TMT Deals Globally by Type: 20062016 to date (as at 31 August 2016) Deal Number half yearly value of deals (Announced date)
Aggregate deal value (mil $)
H2 2016 to date
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Company: Checkers Safety Group Name: Ray Torres, CEO Email: rtorres@ checkers-safety.com Web Address: www.checkers-safety.com Address: 620 Compton Street, Broomfield, CO 80020 Telephone: +1 720 890 1187
Strong Integration is Key to Any Acquisition The Checkers Safety Group designs and manufactures ground-based industrial safety products including industrial matting, ground protection, cable management and traffic safety products, in its 8 factories across the United States, Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands and sells through distribution to industrial markets over 70 countries worldwide. The key to the firm’s growth and development is that we believe “our success is attributed to our awareness and respect for the legacy of the companies and the brands we acquire,” reveals Ray Torres, CEO of the Checkers Safety Group. n the course of 2015 and 2016, the Checkers Safety Group acquired 9 companies, making it one of the global market leaders in the design and manufacture of more than 200 specialised industrial safety products for the industrial, power transmission, construction, mining, oil & gas, and general manufacturing industries as well as the commercial, entertainment, hospitality and facility management markets.
Importance of Vision During this period of unparalleled growth, the Checkers Safety Group brought together a diverse range of companies, product lines, people and cultures. Achieving a joint vision and purpose became one of the company’s top priorities. The firm’s overriding principle to ‘protect people, assets and the environment drives our new product development and acquisition strategy’ which is now reflected in the vision and mission.
The Checkers Safety Group now boasts 4 power brands, namely Notrax® industrial and commercial mats for professional use, TuffTrak® ground protection and temporary roadways, Linebacker® cable management systems and Monster Motion® Safety traffic and vehicle safety products. The Terraplas® product line is a specialised stadium and arena turf protection system, used commonly in professional sports stadiums worldwide, including soccer American football and Major League Baseball stadiums, to avoid damage to the grass during concerts or events.
Checkers Safety Group’s aim is to be a dynamic, global team dedicated to protecting people, assets, and the environment by providing revolutionary product designs and visionary safety solutions. “To achieve this goal, we inspire excellence in each process, communication, and product. We recognise that our company’s success is only possible when we each improve and optimise our individual contribution.” Torres continues.
The new production line for the TuffTrak® ground protection mats that will produce among others the AlturnaMats and VersaMats in various sizes.
Building a global team The three strategies of the company are: Sales growth, Profit growth and most importantly People growth. “If we get the right people and help them grow, then the first two elements of the strategy almost happen by default,” Torres explains, “ Our team is therefore instrumental to everything that we do as a company, and they have been able to participate not only in the acquisition, but also in the seamless integration of businesses and aligning with the culture which has been very important to us.” Checkers Safety Group looks for companies that have a good cultural fit as well as fit well within our product line. Through the acquisitions, Checkers Safety Group has assimilated a vast amount of market knowledge and expertise of engineering and production processes for rubber and plastics including polyurethane, PVC, HDPE that has strengthened our core competency of manufacturing. This joint expertise combined with our research and development resources and manufacturing capabilities represents what we believe to be one of our key competitive strengths.
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M&A / Strong Integration Is Key to Any Acquisition
In realising a medium for knowledge sharing, the Checkers team initially faced several challenges in working with a global team. “We have invested heavily in teleconferencing and media to be able to facilitate communications between our approximately 600 employees in more than 9 locations around the world and we continue to look for ways to promote information sharing and personal interaction at a distance.” Integration and Synergy Being part of the larger group of companies, also allows for leveraging of resources and strategic investments. The focus is to drive improved profitability through automation of processes and services, optimise our products and improve manufacturing efficiencies. A good example is a $3.5M investment in the Titusville manufacturing facility that is specialised in the production of the medium duty ground protection matting. “We have been able to not only invest in, but also design and build a revolutionary automated production line for our unbreakable ground protection mats.” Once the line is fully operational, Checkers Safety Group will have transformed what was a manual and labor intensive process into a highly efficient and specialised production flow that will increase both productivity and manufacturing capacity. This allows us to insource certain products that in the past were being produced by contract manufacturers, better control our inventory levels, product quality and ontime delivery to our customers.” “The increase in production provided security for the production team and allowed for further training and development of our worker force. By doing so, we are in a much better position to optimise the production further, control quality and create the right atmosphere for innovation.” Torres discloses. “As we continue to grow, we improve our economies of scale and can source raw materials more efficiently.”
Checkers Safety Group will also continue its push toward LEAN principles and Total Quality Management, not just in manufacturing, but across all business processes, to optimise capabilities and become more productive overall. “Each of our acquisitions has brought a new area of expertise, not only in manufacturing but also in organisation, business processes, capabilities and services.” One Company As part of becoming ‘one company’, the Checkers Safety Group also underwent a rebranding initiative, to modernise the Checkers logo and adjust the name to more accurately reflect the group of companies that form the Checkers family. In May 2016, the new Checkers brand mark was introduced to the world. The icon surrounding the Checkers name embodies the intersection of three equally important elements: the dedication to protecting people, assets, and the environment. Like many Checkers’ products, the mark is modular, comprised of several components, thereby creating a stronger identity. The colour green signifies the commitment to sustainability and focus on social responsibility. Green also symbolises growth, balancing the optimism of yellow with the emotional calm and insightful thoughtfulness of blue. “The center C reminds us that at the heart of our organisation is a set of core competencies and values, the foundation of who we are.” Strategic Growth “As Checkers Safety Group, we strive to be the recognized leader and trusted advisors within this niche in the safety industry, we will continue to focus on our core competencies to optimise our business processes, and sustain the firm’s success in the future. We will continue to look to acquire like-minded companies that bring added value, knowledge and expertise into our group of companies as part of our growth strategy,” Torres concludes.
The two newly constructed silos to store raw materials at the Titusville, PA plant.
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An Industry Leader for 30 Years Surplus Asset Management (SAM) is a premier auction, liquidation, and reverse logistics company headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, with locations across the U.S., Mexico, and Canada. We work with major supermarkets, retail chains, restaurants, big box stores, and corporations throughout North America, holding auctions and sales across the continent. In business for nearly 30 years, we have an industry reputation that is built on trust.
INVESTMENT / ECB Needs a Financial System ‘Plumber’ - PPMG Analysis
ECB Needs a Financial System ‘Plumber’ - PPMG Analysis David Shairp from Prudential Portfolio Management Group (PPMG), shares selected economic analysis in this latest PPMG economic update. David analyses the markets’ reactions to the ECB’s meeting and provides thoughts around current activity in global equity markets.
No change = market disappointment “The ECB made no change to its monetary policy stance at its September meeting last week, resulting in disappointment from global markets.
“The refinancing rate was held at zero while the deposit rate remained at -0.4%. There was also no change in the stock of asset purchases that the ECB targets, and no change in the duration of the programme. The ECB has also released revised economic forecasts, which edged up estimates for growth in 2016 by 0.1 percentage point (pp), to 1.7%, while trimming the outlook for the next two years to 1.6%. “Inflation is still projected at 0.2% in 2016, before rising to 1.2% and 1.6% in 2017 and 2018 respectively — the 2017 data have been revised down by 0.1%. 2. What options are open to the ECB? “Arguably, the ECB is in greater need of a financial system “plumber” than an economist. “The challenge lies in the transmission channels of policy, which may explain their decision to establish the implementation committee. It has been estimated that the ECB could run out of German bunds to purchase if it extended the current programme much beyond March 2017, when the current Public Sector Purchase Programme is due to expire.
“Estimates suggest that the current programme could be prolonged by abandoning the capital key (which would be controversial), to allow the ECB to buy bonds in markets where they are more plentiful, or where they are trading below the deposit rate. “A further option would be to increase the ownership limits by country, from 33% currently to around 50%. It has been estimated that these options could extend the purchase programme by up to three years if they were all adopted.” 3. Issues to watch in light of the ECB decision “While we believe that the euro zone economy is approaching a mid-cycle phase, compared to the late-cycle economies of US, UK and Japan, its economy remains fragile. “Some of the leading indicators appear to have peaked as long ago as 2014; these include the German IFO business climate indicator and the OECD leading indicator. In addition, according to Bloomberg, it looks as if the euro zone’s credit impulse has deteriorated. Measured as the change in the growth rate of the stock of credit, the impulse of credit to the private sector has reversed sharply, while the aggregate measure which takes in credit to the public sector has also turned. “Economic surprise data have also rolled over and is now slightly negative, while the ECB’s own
preferred measure of inflation expectations is close to its all-time low. The five year/five year forward inflation break-even measure (a favourite measure of the ECB used to gauge inflation expectations) reached 1.30% on Friday (9 September), slightly up on the previous day but within touching distance of the record low of 1.25% reached in July. “Indeed, inflation expectations are still well below the levels that worried the ECB just before they started their asset purchase programme.” 4. Global equity markets “Global equity markets pulled back last week, with some disquiet over the stance of policy in Europe towards the end of the week. US equities are now down for the month, though the European, Emerging and Japanese markets are still up so far during September. This follows a period where indices had been grinding upwards amid very low levels of volatility. Profits have been falling globally for the best part of two years, with positive growth only recorded in markets that have had weakening currencies. 5. The PPMG investment thought of the week “The confusing messages coming out of central banks are symptomatic of the uncertainty over the economic outlook and the low conviction over policy. This has been reflected in the pricing of the Fed Funds futures markets of the chances of a rate hike by the end of the year. The paradox is that while growth appears fragile, it comes amid evidence that labour markets have been tightening in the US and UK, with signs that earnings and unit labour costs may be rising, with consequent pressure on margins. “Interestingly, the Citigroup inflation surprise indices turned positive in the UK, euro zone, China and Japan–all countries that have had weakening exchange rates over the past 1-2 years. “This low conviction is backed up by asset class valuations that generally don’t encourage investors to take on additional equity and credit risk at present. Overall we remain cautious and lightly risked, sticking with our small equity underweight to US equities.” Web Address: www.prudential.co.uk
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INVESTMENT / 2016 Investment Elite: The Ideal Environment to Facilitate Private Sector Investment MA16051
Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector
Company: Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) Email: email@example.com Web Address: www.icd-ps.org Address: P.O. Box 54069 Jeddah 21514, KSA Telephone: +966 12 646 8192
The Ideal Environment to Facilitate Private Sector Investment The Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) is the private sector arm of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), the world’s largest Sharia’a compliant multilateral institution. In total, ICD focusses on supporting our 57-member countries development by stimulating the private sector in various ways. Our mandate is similar to other multilateral institutions with the proviso that all of our operations must be Sharia’a compliant. Apart from providing critical capital, we also impart knowledge, help manage risks and catalyse the required participation of others in order to achieve sustainable development goals.
2016 Investment Elite
Through ICD’s numerous projects, we support the type of entrepreneurial initiatives that help developing countries attain sustainable economic growth. Currently, we are rated ‘AA/FQ+’ by Fitch, ‘Aa3/P-1’ by Moody’s, and ‘AA’ by Standard & Poor’s. ICD was established in 1999, and we are headquartered in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. We also have regional offices in strategic locations, which include Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), Rabat (Morocco), Dakar (Senegal), and Almaty (Kazakhstan). In terms of our strategy, ICD operates via a fourpronged approach. Firstly, we provide long and short-term financing to private sector entities and green field or expansion projects directly through equity participation, the purchase of assignable bonds and term financing. We also play a role in mobilising resources for financing projects through co-financing or syndication. Secondly, ICD develops Islamic financial institutions and extends lines of finance to nurture and empower identified channel partners. Thirdly, ICD provide advisory services to governments, public entities and private entities of member countries with an aim to create the ideal environment to facilitate private sector investment and to assist companies in unlocking their potential. Advisory services include project finance advisory, raising funds through the issue of sukuk, and encouraging the development of the business environment for SMEs. Lastly, ICD supplement our own balance sheet by sponsoring and/or creating private equity funds as well as other special purpose vehicles (SPVs), in order to provide the IDB Group and other investors with access to projects that provide commercial returns, as well as meeting the developmental needs of member countries. As a result of this approach, ICD’s success has been outstanding. In the last 16 years, ICD has strongly expanded its operations in its member countries, and focused on developing the right mix of Shariah compliant products. Since its establishment in 1421H, ICD significantly increased its product offering from three (Term Finance, Corporate Equity, and Institutional Equity) to six products and services.
Furthermore, ICD is currently setting up a strong team to serve its clients from gateway and regional offices in several member countries, which comes under its efforts to minimise the period from receiving applications to the first disbursement. With its significant expansion in operations since inception, ICD has approved around $4.4 billion projects in more than 45 member countries and disbursed over $ 2.1 billion in more than 30 countries. With its vision to become a premier Islamic multilateral financial institution for the development of the private sector, and being the only current Shariah compliant multilateral institution that focuses on the Private Sector, ICD has always been striving to meet its clients’ specific needs, and has attempted to tap the market with innovative Shariah compliant solutions. ICD has its two credit products, Lines of Finance and Term Finance tailored to meet the financial needs of both the SME (through channels) and real sectors. ICD has established its strong three fund platforms (SMEs programs), which are the Private Equity Program and the Income Funds Program. Moreover, ICD also invests in banks, financial institutions and corporations’ equities in a selective manner. In addition, ICD has blended its presence in the member countries with its advisory services, which complements its products through advising clients in issuing Sukuk and establishing Islamic financial windows and Institutions. Looking back on our success, ICD has been on a transformational journey since its establishment 16 years ago. Starting with a limited number of products, services and countries of operation, ICD has gradually become the Islamic private sector development institution of reference. ICD operational evolution has taken on a very holistic trend, whereby each and every part of its business has gone through significant transformation. The journey took on even greater visibility when ICD embarked on its strategic roadmap in 1431H. The ICD 10-year strategy approved and commenced in 1436H, further confirms the direction taken. The ICD strategic framework centres on three transformational facets: i) product and services, ii) a sector focus and iii) regional diversification. In addition, and in line with its corporate strategy, ICD has made it a priority to increase the availability and affordability of Islamic finance products for a wide range of financial institutions in member countries. Extending Line of Finance (LOF) to financial institutions, and investing in various types of financial institutional equity for the ultimate benefit of local real sector businesses, have proven to be critical tools for ICD in boosting the private sector and combating poverty in member countries. Acquisition International - September 2016 43
INVESTMENT / 60-Second Interview: High End Wealth Management
High End Wealth Management As a modern investment manager SCM Direct offer low cost access to high end wealth management via Exchange Traded Funds. We got in touch with the Founder of the company Gina Miller to find out more about the company itself and the challenges which lie ahead for the company.
Name: Gina Miller Company: SCM Direct Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.scmdirect.com Address: 2 Eaton Gate, Westminster, London, SW1W 9BJ Telephone: 0207 838 8650
hat does your business do? As innovative online investment managers, we offer clients direct low cost access to high end wealth management that is smart, common-sense and modern. Everything we do is underpinned by 100% transparency and treating our clients fairly.
Who are your clients? Generally speaking they are Investors looking to bypass expensive advisers, layers of inefficiencies, and high fee underperforming traditional active funds. For UK clients our entry level is £15,000, either direct or via an ISA or SIPP wrapper. For overseas clients £150,000 or the equivalent in Euros or US Dollars. We are also delighted to work with corporates and charities. What makes you unique? As a boutique firm, the founders not only invest significant sums of their own money alongside clients on exactly the same terms and fees but also role their sleeves up and are fully involved in every aspect of the organisation. Clients can, therefore, be confident their money is being looked after as if it were our own. In terms of investing, our Chief Investment Officer (CIO) is one of a handful of highly respected fund managers. His 28 years’ unique track record has resulted from managing money for a wide range of clients – retail, institutional and private – across a wide range of asset classes – equities, property, fixed interest and alternative assets.
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At this moment in time, we are also the only investment house that publishes our true Total Cost of Investing on our factsheets monthly, in one number – no hidden fees whatsoever! What’s your biggest challenge facing you at present? As a disruptive brand we face several challenges. To compete with the deep pockets of big brand incumbents, to continue to provide exceptional service to clients whilst growing but not compromising efficiency and ethics, as well as resisting the tempting offers of external finance which would impact our principles, ethos and customer care. What’s the aim for your business? It is two-fold. To continue to help people to save for their future so they live the end of their days with finances that affords them dignity and security. To be successful and profitable so that profits feed into our Foundation – www.trueandfairfoundation. com – which will ensure we can continue being philanthropists and help heal communities. Links: http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/why-too-manyfunds-are-hedging-their-bets-jzvxgn632 https://next.ft.com/content/a9ee95cc-0711-11e69b51-0fb5e65703ce http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2016/05/19/ no-wonder-britain-isnt-saving--scandalous-feesand-obfuscation-h/
INVESTMENT / Public Private Pioneers: London’s Booming 1608AN72
London’s Booming Company: Ecovista PLC (ISDX: EVTP) Name: Luca Tenuta – Chairman Email: email@example.com Web: www.ecovistaplc.com Address: 100 Rye Street Bishop Stortford, Hertfordshire CM23 2HH
Public Private Pioneers
Ecovista Plc (ISDX: EVTP) is an investment company specialising in properties and real estate deals. At our firm, we focus on enhancing property value through expert strategic planning and development in both commercial and residential properties. The board and management takes into consideration many factors, such as regional property trends, rental demand, resale values and social demographics
lthough Ecovista Plc is a small company, our culture is based on empowering the people who work with us. We all have roles, which interconnect inevitably in order to promote the success of the firm. The ultimate goal is to enhance our shareholders value and to do so we extend our company’s culture and vision not only to our staff but also to agents and developers we work with.
Ecovista’s clients can be quite varied, and invariably depends on the deal. For example, 100 Rye Street is an old property, which will be – subject to planning approval – demolished in order to build three storey 3,550 sq.ft. replacement dwelling. The plan of action is to seek planning permission to demolish the building and build a brand new, luxury property for high end clients. The diverse range of clients Ecovista have is primarily due to the fact that property in London and areas around London remains one of the strongest markets in the world, with demand still outweighing supply. As such, the real estate market is poised to be one of the hottest sectors for mergers and acquisitions growth in the coming year. Statistics suggest that property and real estate is the most stable and forward investment in the current economic climate. With the exception of Ecovista’s interest in the Tuscan Estate known as Cignella Srl - http:// www.cignella.com/en/ - where there is an expert management with deep knowledge of the local regulatory requirements, the company focuses on property in London and the north home counties, particularly in Hertfordshire and Essex. Location certainly plays a large role in the success of the company’s selected projects. Ecovista have found the future trends to be quite encouraging. Prices for our target type of properties, both commercial and residential, have come bouncing back, fuelling excitement in the sector. In addition, the occupancy rates are strong and we expect them to continue to rise, and key metrics for real estate owners, are healthy. That is helping to drive activity in real estate M&A, which is reflected in the prices paid for acquisitions. When it comes to ensuring the success of a deal, Ecovista firmly believes that finding the right combination of equity and debt is the challenge for any M&A activity. Ecovista until now has used only equity to purchase assets, although the recent cut of the Bank of England base rate to 0.25% in response to economic uncertainty caused by the EU referendum result, might change our strategy.
Ecovista’s short term goals often involve renovating the property for a quick sale, obtaining planning approvals to increase values and sell on or finding under-valued properties for immediate sale. Long term goals look to both capital growth and return yields for income. From the firm’s experience, working with local developers the company has the opportunity to develop sites which already have planning with an expected average return in the region of 20%. Through the management’s extensive connections in this industry, we have a constant flow of potential investment opportunities, many of which are offered to the company before being disclosed to the wider market. Despite the doom and gloom reported since Brexit, market reports have indicated that London property currently remains stable particularly as the market is currently driven by demand from overseas property buyers, and these buyers will be an indirect beneficiary of today’s cut. Interest rate cuts have in the distant past triggered a fall in the value of the Pound - already battered since the Brexit vote - making UK property prices appear better value. In addition to this, investors with an appetite for UK properties can get exposure to the UK property market by investing in public companies like Ecovista with the view of profiting from both a share price and Forex point of view. With this outlook in mind, Ecovista is confident that our company will continue to prosper in the future. We intend to expand our shareholders base in order to raise additional capital. We have a solid shareholder’s base mainly UK based although we are receiving interest from overseas investors. The challenge is as always time. Time to raise additional capital and time to take advantage of the property deals been offered to us. Ultimately, Ecovista has achieved manageable growth levels which we hope will continue to be the case in the coming years. Together with Ken Jones (director) we have grown this company steadily over the past years, and we have adapted to the market changes and the turmoil in the financial markets. Ecovista is growing its team with new talent coming on board. Recently we hired Louise Stokely (company secretary) who immediately embraced our vision and constantly bringing to the Board’s attention a number of exciting property deals. As such, investors should definitively stay tuned and keep us on their watch list.
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INVESTMENT / 60-Second Interview: The Asian Economic Growth Story
Company: S.E.A. Asset Management Pte Ltd Name: Alexander Zeeh Email: alexander.zeeh@ seagroup.com.sg Web: www.seagroup.com.sg Address: 230 Orchard Road, #10-232 Faber House, Singapore 238854 Telephone: (65) 6732 4864
The Asian Economic Growth Story S.E.A. Asset Management invests for its clients in Asian equities and bonds. They focus on under-researched lesser known small and midcaps, as well as under-owned high yielding bonds. Within this context, the firm manages segregated accounts as well as public investment funds and institutional special investment funds. In an interview with the firm’s Alexander Zeeh, he turns the spotlight on the firm’s niche products as well as the challenges of high regulatory and operating costs.
60-Second Interview hat does your firm’s client base look like? S.E.A. Asset Management caters to private and institutional investors from Europe and Asia who want to gain exposure to and participate in the Asian economic growth story.
What are your firm’s unique selling points? As a small operating unit, S.E.A. Asset Management has the ability to offer niche products, for example Asian short duration and high yield bonds to meet the demand gap. Our Singapore base allows us to access Asian corporates that are under researched and identify undervalued investments that offer deep value and high dividend yields coupled with low market correlation. Dual investment strategies of value, investing in good businesses and income generating assets all provide equity clients with higher portfolio stability during unfavourable market conditions What are the main challenges facing your company today? High regulatory and operating costs are some of the challenges we face, as well as competition from low cost products that do not add any value. We run a lean organisation with a low operating cost base and intend to keep it that way. With regards to the firm’s products, we operate in a niche that is difficult to replicate by low cost products, at least for now. What are the main objectives for your business in the future? With the funds of S.E.A. Asset Management registered for distribution in Germany, Luxembourg, Switzerland and Singapore we are well positioned to penetrate these markets and expand our investor base in Asia as well.
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2014 Copperstone Capital. All rights reserved.
Copperstone Capital is an investment management firm founded in 2009 with offices in Moscow, Russia and London, United Kingdom. We manage wealth for high net worth individuals and institutions through various hedge fund strategies. 16 Sadovnicheskaya Street, Moscow, 115035, Russia T +7 495 988 0010 F +7 495 951 1410 www.copperstonecapital.com
HEDGEfund awards2015 Best Russian Fund (Since Inception)
STRATEGIC LASTING INDEPENDENT
Company: Ross Trustees Name: Steven Ross - CEO Email: hkendall@ rosstrustees.com Web: www.rosstrustees.com Address: 25 Southampton Buildings, London WC2A 1AL Telephone: 020 3709 9035
A Genuinely Independent Service Ross Trustees is an award winning independent trustee company and is one of the fastest growing trustee firms in the country. They act for numerous DB and DC pension schemes, including a master trust and work closely with both UK and non-UK entities. About a third of their clients have an overseas parent and their schemes range from £1m to £5bn. Many of their appointments include household names, are high profile and have involved complex matters and commercial arrangements. Ross Trustees provide innovative, cost effective solutions to all their clients. They have no financial ties with any service provider, which means that they have no conflicts and can give a genuinely independent service to their clients. In the below interview the firm’s CEO Steven Ross, shares his thoughts and insight into the current state of the M&A market.
ith regards to M&A, what services do you provide? Is there a specific deal you would like to showcase? Ross Trustees act as the independent trustee on schemes where the sponsoring employer may be undergoing a restructure or involved in M&A activity. We are able to work collegiately with both parties in any transaction whilst trying to ensure the best outcome for the pension scheme, its members and beneficiaries.
“We are able to move quickly and adopt a flexible approach to meet the needs of our clients, with no rigid or set house view.” In 2013, we led the first deal which was effectively a debt for equity swap. We co-chaired the unsecured creditors committee in the Eastman Kodak Chapter 11 process and ultimately enabled Eastman Kodak to exit Chapter 11 with the pension plan acquiring significant assets which now form Kodak Alaris. I also sit as a non-executive director of the holding company and chairman of the Plan’s Trustees. At formation, the company had a turnover of circa $1.5billion and 4000 plus employees working in 35 countries. Much work is ongoing to transform the company. Please tell me about the M&A market in your region currently. Are there any major challenges or outside influences it is facing? Ross Trustees operate in the UK but have strong connections in the US where we are developing our business in respect of the plans of US corporations with UK subsidiaries with a pension plan.
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Much of the M&A market was shy of engaging with companies that have defined benefit pension plans. The reason for that was mainly because the fall in bond yields over the last six years has resulted in those plans having significant deficits. Owing to our work on Kodak and some other matters less in the public eye, we are working with some key players to facilitate solutions to the deficit problem that I mention above. In your view, what attributes should a company in your industry or sector possess in order to become truly successful and be able to provide the best possible service to its clients? A collaborative approach, seeking the best outcome for all stakeholders. Knowledgeable and respected team members who working together can deliver excellent customer service and good working relationships with all the plans stakeholders. Working within such a fast paced industry, how do you ensure that your firm remains on the cutting edge of new developments and how do you ensure that you are always best placed to meet your clients’ needs? Ross Trustees are represented on many industry bodies and keep abreast of developments in not only our industry but related industries too. We deliver thought leadership through practical on the job thinking, internal meetings and we invite external speakers from advisory firms (such as consultancies, accounting firm and law firms) to not only deliver technical training and market outlooks but to also build our network of contacts. What attributes differentiates your firm from your competitors and mark you out as the best option for clients?
INVESTMENT / A Genuinely Independent Service
Ross Trustees is a truly integrated business where we work in teams led by a senior person. That approach is very different from most other Independent Trustee models which are effectively individuals working alone in a franchise. We are wholly independent and our staff have a broad range of skills and come from varying backgrounds. With Ross Trustees, you have access to the whole team and not just an individual. As such, we are able to move quickly and adopt a flexible approach to meet the needs of our clients, with no rigid or set house view. What does the future hold for your firm? Are there any exciting projects, plans or deals you would like to share with us? We believe we will undergo a period of growth in the coming years and our client base will grow substantially. We are focused on changing the operating model of pension trusts by pointing out the benefits of having a Sole Trustee, such as us, acting efficiently and effectively with the stakeholders of a plan in order to be at the leading solutions end of the market and reduce advisory costs and company management time. Ross Trustees have just launched our US website for clients in the USA and are seeking to appoint an American Representative for our business.
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ACCOUNTING / Monsanto Whistleblower Gets Nearly $22.5 M Bounty Award in SEC Probe of Company’s Accounting Deception Related to Sales of Roundup Herbicide
Monsanto Whistleblower Gets Nearly $22.5 M Bounty Award in SEC Probe of Company’s Accounting Deception Related to Sales of Roundup Herbicide In a milestone representation on behalf of a financial whistleblower, law firm Meissner Associates has secured a nearly $22.5 million bounty paid to a former employee of Monsanto Co. (NYSE: MON), part of an $80 million penalty imposed on the agribusiness giant by the Securities & Exchange Commission stemming from accounting violations and improper financial reporting.
he payment of $22,437,800 is the second highest award since the SEC launched its novel whistleblower program as part of the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010. At more than 28% of Monsanto’s total $80 million penalty, it is nearly the maximum 30% allowed under the bounty program for payments higher than $1 million. To date, the agency has awarded more than $107 million to 33 whistleblowers.
In announcing the award, Jane Norberg, acting chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower, said, “Company employees are in unique positions behind-the-scenes to unravel complex or deeply buried wrongdoing. Without this whistleblower’s courage, information, and assistance, it would have been extremely difficult for law enforcement to discover this securities fraud on its own.” Monsanto accepted the $80 million penalty in February to resolve charges that it violated generally accepted accounting rules and misstated corporate earnings relating to its flagship weed killer Roundup. In an investigation prompted by the company whistleblower, the SEC found that Monsanto’s lax internal controls failed to account for tens of millions of dollars in rebates given to retailers and distributors as incentives to drive sales of Roundup in the face of intense discounting by rivals. The SEC said that Monsanto’s “material” overstatement of earnings for three years misled investors as to the herbicide’s true sales performance. In addition to the financial penalties, Monsanto agreed to improve its accounting controls and retain an independent compliance monitor to review its accounting procedures. Three accounting and sales executives at Monsanto were also charged by the SEC for contributing to the financial improprieties – all three previously struck their own settlements with the agency, including payment of civil penalties. “We are extremely pleased with the award granted to our client and especially with the SEC’s
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persistence in undertaking a highly complex investigation of accounting weaknesses at Monsanto, which aggressively fought the case all along,” said Stuart Meissner, who represented the company whistleblower. He noted that his client, a former Monsanto financial executive, only shared his concerns with the SEC after first trying to correct the issues internally. “Although it took several years to consummate, the large award made to our client hopefully will encourage other public company insiders who are aware of financial manipulations – or any other securities laws violations – to come forward to help protect investors,” Mr. Meissner added. “Internal gatekeepers like our client represent the first line of defense against financial wrongdoing at companies – in this case unlawful gamesmanship between Monsanto and its outside auditor to disguise significant sales weakness of a signature product like Roundup.” Mr. Meissner raised concerns about the role of outside auditors in this and other SEC accounting matters: “We hope the agency will probe Monsanto’s outside auditor Deloitte for the role we believe it played in enabling the company to overstate earnings and issue misleading financial statements – not only once, but twice,” he said. “In my opinion, there was an initial misstatement by Monsanto and a subsequent restatement –the restatement is actually the bigger issue of the two in my view,” Mr. Meissner continued. “When auditors are allowed to audit their own mistakes, it is difficult for them to be independent and objective. And when independence is impaired the professional scepticism needed to recognise and flush out improprieties by management is not present. Professional scepticism of the auditor is the last line of defense for a management team that may have a clear bias in reporting positive results. “To this day, in my view Monsanto investors still do not have accurate financial statements for the periods involved in the case,” Mr. Meissner
added. “I do not believe that investors have been able to reasonably access the performance of the company, including whether or not Monsanto hit the mid-teen percentage growth targets management committed to in 2010. If a true independent auditor not associated with the original financials had been appointed to audit the restated financials, I believe there would be a higher likelihood that investors would know the true performance of the company and be in a better position to make fully informed decisions.” Mr. Meissner’s client issued his own statement on the outcome: “I applaud the SEC for how quickly they took action in responding to my submission and the tremendous effort put forward in this case. The agency performed an invaluable public service in creating its whistleblower program – my hope is that others will stand up for investors by doing the right thing and bring forward information related to corporate wrongdoing. I believe the case will raise awareness of the gaps that still exist today with respect to auditor independence and result in regulators looking closer at this issue and ultimately bring new rules forward to mitigate the impact this has on investors.” Mr. Meissner is a former prosecutor and member of the New York Attorney General’s office who assisted in the original drafting of the SEC’s whistleblower rules. He called the bounty program “a critical shield by which individuals can be deputised in correcting bad corporate behaviour, which sometimes continues for long periods of time before it comes to light. Financial executives in particular are often in position to spot manipulations and slight-of-hand accounting practices well ahead of regulators or even those in senior management. The Monsanto case illustrates that perfectly – shareholders and the investing public benefit through a program which rewards those who see something and say something.” For more information, visit www.smeissner.com
Gaining Momentum Company: Nordgain Name: Agne Jasinskaite, CEO Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: http://nordgain.com/ Address: A. Tumeno str. 4, 8th floor, LT-01109, Vilnius, Lithuania Telephone: +370 (5) 2620534
Nordgain, a part of the Lewben Group, last year became the fastest growing provider of financial and accounting services in Lithuania. That comes as no surprise, since dynamism, flexibility and the ability to adopt innovations faster than others are in this company’s genes. The company has set up its head office in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius, with a subsidiary in London. Exporting services has always been a key part of Nordgain’s strategy, as it expands its range of services and grows its team. Today the company offers clients thorough coverage of the financial accounting cycle, a complete package of payroll and HR administration services, and a long list of management support solutions. Agne Jasinskaite, Nordgain’s CEO and founding partner discusses the company’s exciting plans for the future. ordgain began in 2008. We provided services to strong and well-known companies in more than 15 countries around the world. Several of our clients at the time were in the Fortune 500. Three years ago the business was acquired by Lewben Group and we began our story as part of this financial services group. We fundamentally changed the organisation and internal business processes and strengthened the company’s team.
As part of Lewben Group, in providing services to longstanding clients and new ones, Nordgain started tapping the group’s global experience, resources and infrastructure. That gave us competitive advantage in the market for financial services. Shortly we discovered that Lithuania is a great location for international clients – the mixture of highest professional standards, reasonable cost and hi-end communications infrastructure is hard to beat.
“We aim for service quality and results that will satisfy every one of our clients.” A year ago, feeling that Nordgain has become sufficiently strong and autonomous, we changed the company’s name from ‘Lewben Financial Services Center’ to ‘Nordgain’. To strengthen our presence in the international market, we joined the Leading Edge Alliance – the world’s second-largest association of independent professional service firms, active in 106 countries. Members of the association have combined revenues of more than $2.9 billion and employ more than 25,000 people. Lewben Group’s business hinges on its broad spectrum of financial, legal, banking and other
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services for high-net-worth private clients. Nordgain, meanwhile, is focused on the corporate market, though clients of Lewben Group often have businesses, so we can also offer them our services. Income from this type of joint clients’ accounts for about a fifth of Nordgain’s revenue. In 2014, after its acquisition by Lewben Group, the company’s revenues jumped 50%. I would call Nordgain a service centre that is able to provide services both in Lithuania and abroad. Members of our team have international qualifications and many years of experience working with mid-sized and multinational companies. We are dynamic and innovative, we work fast and energetically, and we are client-focused. Everything we do is based on the principle of creating value for our clients. We believe that we will be successful when our clients are successful. Nordgain has already managed to spark interest in our services and attract clients, not only from Europe, but also from other continents. We will expand our portfolio adding accountancy services to private and hedge funds. I reckon that this will add some more value to our portfolio. In the niche for finance and accounting business process outsourcing, significant changes are currently underway. More and more companies are venturing to outsource these services. We also link our company’s future to the relevance of these service for large clients. The most important services Nordgain offers are bookkeeping, administration of payroll and human resources, and management support. Demand for the company’s services abroad is constantly growing. The main service we currently offer on the international market is statutory accounts, which is accounting and reporting according to local or international Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). We export this service to the Netherlands, the UK, Estonia, the United States,
ACCOUNTING / Gaining Momentum
Cyprus, Hong Kong, Singapore, Curacao and the Virgin Islands. Last year exports of services accounted for 27% of Nordgain’ s total revenue, and the figure for the first half of this year is 29%. Active international expansion is in the company’s plans, so Nordgain will continue to invest in the organisation and employee qualifications needed to ensure flexibility and professionalism. In offering services to international clients, we will exploit the advantages of Lithuania’s business climate and provide services in European and other markets from our country. We are well-acquainted with complex industries like pharmaceuticals, information technology, telecommunications, outsourcing, retail trade, financial services, shipping and aviation. The accounting services that Nordgain offers fall into the broader area of audit and tax advice and accounting and bookkeeping services, with an annual global market size of about $460 billion. Finance and accounting business process outsourcing, meanwhile, which generates some $25-30 billion of revenue worldwide, is part of the global business process outsourcing market valued at about $950 billion. These two areas differ greatly in terms of the nature of service provision and the client base. What is important in providing accounting services is professionalism and client focus, while finance and accounting business process outsourcing services create added value, bolstering the client’s efficiency and the flexibility of their business. They utilise a thorough grasp of business processes along with innovations and complex IT solutions.
The scale of accounting services is usually relatively small – one employee of a service provider can often care for a dozen or more business clients. Finance and accounting business process outsourcing services, on the other hand, are intended for a large company, for whom even several dozen professional staff at the service provider may not suffice.
In providing services, Nordgain pays great attention to IT infrastructure and the security of client data. We rely on IT systems and professional service providers who ensure the security, availability and functionality of services. We buy cloud, payroll and accounting systems as well as user support services from a provider that has ISO27001 and ISO9001 certifications and runs a tier-3 data centre.
Nordgain, which I have headed for eight years now, for me is first of all its employees. We put great stress on the company’s internal culture, planning our own work and organising how we operate. Every member of our team is capable of working both individually and as a team. Our clients resolve work-related issues through a single contact person - the account manager, and, if necessary, we put together a team of experienced professionals. We take good care of our partners, deliver reports on time, offer standardised pricing, make a single service agreement and issue a single invoice – that is much more convenient and useful for our clients.
Nordgain has also implemented an internal information security policy which sets user rules to protect confidential data. Our own business recovery plan and that of our IT service provider foresee all key critical scenarios and measures to mitigate the risk of system disruption.
We are a socially responsible company. Nordgain provide our services not just to local or international companies, but also to non-profit organisations, NGOs. In seeking to promote social welfare, these organisations set different objectives, but all their activities have to be transparent and independent, and public funds have to be used efficiently. NGOs are financed with donations from supporters or taxpayer money, so they have to be accountable to various institutions for how they manage and use this money. Effective financial accounting is very important for them.
We aim for service quality and results that will satisfy every one of our clients. We are flexible both in expanding and in narrowing the scale of the services we provide, and we make every effort to resolve any difficulties a client faces. The benefits our clients and partners experience in using our outsourced financial and accounting services speak for themselves. Looking to the future, Nordgain expect stable and steady growth of the financial services outsourcing market. We are ready to accept all the challenges and seize all the opportunities that the future brings us. Nordgain will try to always stay one step ahead as needs in the financial services outsourcing market evolve, creating a broader and more varied range of services. In addition, we will ensure the flexibility of our organisation, remaining innovative, dynamic and forward-looking.
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ACCOUNTING / Ones to Watch: Balancing the Books 1608JC42
Balancing the Books Company: NBSM and Associates, Chartered Accountants Name: CA. Nil Saru, FCA, Managing Partner Email: email@example.com Web: www.nbsm.com.np
NBSM and Associates, Chartered Accountants, is one of the largest accounting, taxation and advisory firm in Nepal, and offer a variety of services in the field of audit, risk, taxation, M&A and consultancy.
t our firm, our mission is to enhance the value of our services by focusing on solutions that are innovative and practicable. Since our inception in 2009, we have been providing our services across the globe, with team of professionals with a wealth of experience and experience.
Ones to Watch
We are headquartered at Four Square Complex, Naxal, which is in the heart of Kathmandu. In total, we have a team of 100 members, 25 of which are full time chartered accountants. Furthermore, NBSM is the member of Geneva Group International (GGI), which is the largest multidisciplinary association of chartered accountants, auditors, consultants and lawyers. In terms of our core focus, NBSM specialise in four main areas. First and foremost, NBSM is a leading firm in Nepal for providing merger and acquisition advisory services. We have conducted due diligence and audits for leading figures in banking and manufacturing in Nepal. Alongside this, NBSM is involved in the field of business planning and advisory services. Over the years, we have conducted feasibility analysis of companies in hydropower, aviation, manufacturing, agriculture and many more. Furthermore, NBSM has a client base which has IFRS audit requirements and it possesses the required quality and experienced human resources for an IFRS audit.
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Lastly, NBSM’s team have been involved statutory auditing, internal auditing, tax auditing and forensic auditing, all of which have been provided for companies in various different industries. Although our team possesses a variety of different skillsets, together we form a team that is motivated, young and energetic, and this is the bedrock of our success. Every member of NBSM’s staff – from the most senior to the newest recruit – is believed to be capable of excellence and expected to shoulder his/ her responsibilities with creativity and enthusiasm. Our staff are distinguished by their integrity, motivation, team spirit and pride in their work. Each staff of NBSM is dedicated to their assigned work and determined to complete the task within the deadline with quality work and adequate coordination with the client. In terms of our clients, we serve varied of businesses across the globe, ranging from banking and financial institutions, manufacturing units, NGOs and INGOs. Regardless of the client, we believe in delivering the very best service to each and every one of them, and provide them with tailored strategies to suit their specific needs. We believe that the dedication and commitment we show to our clients has got us to where we are today, and we will continue to build on this in the future. We are one of the best and biggest corporate service providers in our region, and we need to deliver our clients on time without fail and attracting and retaining the talented and young professionals with us. Hence, retaining the best talent and mentoring them is the challenge for us and all the professional firms in Nepal.
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Company: Vaish Associates, Advocates Name: Neeraj Kumar Jain, Partner Email: email@example.com Web: www.vaishlaw.com Address: 1st Floor, Mohan Dev Building, 13 Tolstoy Marg, New Delhi - 110001 Telephone: +91 011 4249 2525
2016 Transfer Pricing Practitioner of the Year - India
The Art of Transfer Pricing Set up in 1971, Vaish Associates Advocates (‘VA’) is a full-service law firm based in New Delhi, Mumbai, and Bengaluru, India, having an experienced team of 12 partners and over 100 associates, specialising in direct tax, corporate laws, and intellectual property law, to name a few.
is widely regarded as one of the best direct-tax law practices in the country and specialises in direct tax litigation and advisory services, corporate reorganisation and tax planning. VA has successfully handled several high profile tax litigation in the areas of domestic and international taxation and transfer pricing and has obtained path-breaking rulings, aiding development of jurisprudence.
VA boasts a formidable transfer pricing team, which deals with all facets of transfer pricing, for example undertaking benchmarking of international transactions of diverse businesses, cost sharing studies and valuation of transactions involving IPRs, and has successfully represented marque and complex litigations before the tribunals, high courts and the supreme court. The attorneys in the firm are both lawyers and qualified accountants or economists, and are equipped with required knowledge resources and databases. VA has the unique ability of handling/ representing the clients from the stage of audit till the Supreme Court.
“VA is widely regarded as one of the best direct-tax law practices in the country and specialises in direct tax litigation and advisory services, corporate reorganisation and tax planning.” VA represented the clients, resulting in landmark decision on test of comparability, under the Indian transfer pricing regulations in the case of Ramp Green Solutions Pvt. Ltd. decisions on transfer pricing aspects of marketing intangibles in the cases of Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications India Pvt. Ltd., Maruti Suzuki India Ltd, Whirlpool of India Ltd. , before the Delhi High Court. India has emerged as the leading jurisdiction in terms of transfer pricing litigation and jurisprudence. The Indian transfer pricing landscape thus far is characterised by detailed scrutiny and aggressive
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positions, adopted by the tax administration. Indian tax authorities have been rated, in a survey, as the second most aggressive after Japan. 54.85% of all transfer pricing cases have been subjected to adjustment by the Indian tax authorities during the 2014/15 financial year. India also accounts for more than half of the total number of transfer pricing cases around the world. India as one of the signatories, has started implementing the OECD BEPS recommendations. The BEPS recommendations in due course may bring in rules regarding benchmarking of selfgenerated – ‘hard to value intangibles’, ‘location saving’, ‘low value intra group services’, and so on. Implementation of BEPS recommendations may bring in paradigm change in TP environment in India. It is expected that the Indian Revenue authorities would undertake in-depth value chain analysis to ensure that allocation of income is consistent with value generation. Also Country by Country (CbC) reporting has recently been introduced in the Indian transfer pricing legislation. The information provided as part of the CbC report would enable the India tax administration to identify any disconnect between the allocation of income and the underlying economic activity. Also, the implementation of BEPS recommendations regarding country by country reporting from financial year 2016-17 is seen as a game changer, and would not only increase the documentation burden, but also initiate significant focused enquiries in transfer pricing audits. In the post BEPS era, multi-national enterprises (‘MNEs’) would be called upon to review and realign their structures to ensure consistency between allocation of income and value creating activity. Adjustment to the transfer price of an international transaction, made in an audit by the tax administration, results in levy of tax @ 34% of the amount of adjustment and interest @12% per annum and penalty which may vary from 100% to 300% of the tax amount involved in the adjustment. Transfer pricing adjustment also results in the tax holiday availed by an Indian entity being denied to the extent of the amount of adjustment. A transfer pricing dispute, therefore, has to be litigated before the appellate forum and Courts, which may take 5
TRANSFER PRICING / 2016 Transfer Pricing Practitioner of the Year - India: The Art of Transfer Pricing
to 10 years to resolve. Therefore, it is advisable and imperative to undertake a robust transfer pricing study so as to avoid tax, penal consequences and long drawn litigation in courts. MNEs are circumspect about exposure to transfer pricing risks when operating in India. Several MNEs have approached APA authorities in India for achieving certainty to transfer pricing as intercompany transactions. Out of more than 700 APA applications filed so far, the Finance Ministry has concluded 98 APAs (including 4 bilateral APAs). Transfer pricing is an art and not an exact science. Indian TP regulations and also international practices in the transfer pricing arena are fast evolving. Also because of the implementation of the OECD - BEPS report, many significant changes would be witnessed in the years to come. The global transfer pricing landscape today is characterised by increased complexity of the inter-company transactions and enhanced focus the revenue on the substance of transactions undertaken by MNEs. In a globalised environment with enhanced level of scrutiny by the revenue authorities and increased focus on value creation activities, it is imperative for the MNEs to have clearly defined transfer pricing strategy in place and undertake a robust benchmarking analysis. The strategy should be such that it clearly explains the value drivers of the MNE group, the location of intangibles and the rationale for allocation of income. A well-defined strategy would enable the MNE group to explain and defend its structure as well as pricing of inter-company transactions before Revenue authorities across jurisdictions. Furthermore, considering that the Indian tax administration is inherently aggressive, transfer pricing audits of taxpayers every year results in disputes - so obtaining expert advice from a specialist is imperative for preparing a robust transfer pricing documentation and, thereafter, to defend the same before the authorities and courts. VA is a knowledge based organisation, which believes in rendering quality advice to clients and tax litigation is their forte. Considering the tax administration system in India, managing tax litigation effectively is important for MNEs operating in India. Considering the increasing complexities of business and the aggressive tax administration, the tax disputes are only going to rise in the years to come. This would keep the litigation specialists like VA, a dominant player in the tax arena.
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TRANSFER PRICING / The Key to Transfer Pricing 1608AN80
Company: PT Asesores Financeros Name: Jesus Fabiel Paredes Web Address: www.ptasesoresfinancieros.com
The Key to Transfer Pricing PT Asesores Financeros is a business consulting firm that provides specialised advice in the area of transfer pricing. As a firm, we are all too aware of the importance of providing comprehensive services and with that in mind we have strategic alliances in the accounting, tax, legal, auditing and intellectual property fields.
2016 Transfer Pricing Practitioner of the Year
T Asesores Financerosâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s services are offered by highly qualified personnel who can provide the economic business your company needs. In regards to some of our offerings, we provide transfer pricing studies, compliance with producing supporting documentation of transactions and general transfer pricing advisory.
Since inception, PT Asesores Financeros has focussed our efforts on finding feasible solutions to the challenges our clients face. Our team of specialists advise your company in both an efficient and effective manner. Our approach takes into account the different risk factors surrounding a company operating in several regions. We generate an economic analysis that provides strong arguments that would meet the legal requirements of each country. PT Asesores Financerosâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s services not only focus on meeting the formal tax requirements but we also strive to provide any necessary comments and recommendations. We have found a personalised
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service, more often than not helps maintain a constant communication with our clients and going forward this is key as we look to build on our success. The firmâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s staff bring with them extensive experience of intercompany transactions which has allowed us to meet the required standards. Without the hard work and loyalty of our staff, we would not be in the position we are today. Pulling together for the good of the company is what keeps our members of staff motivated. During this climate of evolving taxation legislation, it is more important than ever to seek the advice and expertise of a transfer pricing specialist. Here at PT Asesores Financeros, we believe the skills and experience of our staff will help you overcome the challenges you face. Going forward, if PT Asesores Financeros can remain at the cutting edge of key developments and identify the opportunities from which we can prosper from, as a business consulting firm we will be extremely satisfied.
Company: Naseema Khalique, senior offshore consultant Name: Offshore Universe Email: info@ offshoreuniverse.com Web Address: www.offshoreuniverse.com Address: Second Floor 2-4 Paul Street, London EC2A 4JH Phone: +44 (0) 20 3826 9930
How Cryptocurrencies Could Change the Face of the Offshore Industry Cryptocurrencies are widely deemed a new phenomenon of the present and the near fu-ture. Yet bearing Machiavelli’s apt words that ‘whomever wishes to foresee the future must consult the past’ appropriately stalls one to consider how exactly cryptocurrencies have come to contend with tradi-tional concepts of monetary finance. Moreover, how can the offshore industry, relatively mature in its establishment potentially embrace cryptocurrencies.
commonality between cryptocurrencies and the offshore industry are that they both originate from Switzerland. The very first modern ‘offshore structure’ using the concept of tax neutrality was based up-on the provisions of the Vienna Congress held in 1815. Switzerland’s reputation for providing financial safety, by helping secure ‘safe haven’ financial flows by the nobility and away from the bourgeoisie, all under a turbulent European backdrop, was at the time regarded a matter of self-preservation. Into the 21st century, banking secrecy and relocation to favourable low tax jurisdictions are still, if not more active-ly pursued.
In a similar way, the earliest resemblance to modern cryptocurrencies, is Wir, a Swiss currency that had been created in 1934 in order to overcome currency shortages at that time. This has been an imprinted model on many jurisdictions today which have created their own national cryptocurrencies there are now 511 and counting newly developed types of cryptocurrencies in the market. The demand for cryptocurrencies similar to offshore structures has been built by an increasing inclination for individuals and businesses to keep their financial affairs protected from the prying eyes of govern-ments. The myriad of uses for cryptocurrencies are undoubtedly far wider in scope and ranges from trad-ing and investment, e-commerce, online gambling and e-shopping. Much commentary relating to cryptocurrencies and the offshore industry focuses on the former, vying with or even replacing the latter as a result of the Panama revelations and subsequent legislation such as FACTA 2010 and the OECD’s CRS regulation (to take effect in 2017). These measures have been intro-duced to curb illegal financial activity, particularly pertaining to offshore structures. Although Panama has created mistrust and skepticism in relation to anything ‘offshore’ associated; Pan-ama is to the offshore industry what Silk Road has been to cryptocurrencies. Such industries perhaps will always be under the magnifying glass as a result of the stigma and controversy they can attract in their potential use. However, rather than compete, cryptocurrencies may revolutionise the offshore industry mitigating the shortfalls in privacy protection as a result of stricter scrutiny. Cryptocurrencies can be attributed to possess the two most fundamental characteristics of a traditional ‘tax neutral’ instrument. Firstly, as there is no jurisdiction in which cryptocurrencies physically operate (they are ‘held’ in an almost cyberspace
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COMPANY FORMATIONS / How Cryptocurrencies Could Change the Face of the Offshore Industry
medium) therefore they are not subject to taxation at source. Secondly, the pseudo-anonymity which cryptocurrencies provide are difficult to trace for taxation pur-poses. Benefits of offshore companies using cryptocurrencies A fundamental reason as to why offshore structures and cryptocurrencies can work in unison is that they serve mutual financial objectives, namely the potential for greater privacy, tax efficiency and internation-al diversification. Cryptocurrencies paired with offshore banking can be used to strengthen the endeavour to protect sav-ings from unsound government economic management. Monetary policies made by governments will bear limited effect on the purchasing power of cryptocurrencies as unlike monetary funds based on in-terest rate fluctuations, cryptocurrencies are entirely independent, and in the case of Bitcoin, an interna-tional virtual currency unconfined by national borders. Offshore companies therefore seeking economic stability may benefit from using cryptocurrency saving deposits. In recent years the IRS as well as other regulatory bodies have distinguished cryptocurrencies as a com-modity or ‘property’ rather than currency. The tax implications of this decision is twofold, firstly, unlike most assets, the gain or loss from a sale of a cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin, or its use in an
exchange, would generally be taxed as ordinary income, and be ineligible for capital gain treatment. Treatment as currency would have also qualified personal Bitcoin use for an exclusion from the recognition of gain or loss in ‘small’ transactions. Offshore companies incorporated in low tax jurisdictions are able to invest in overseas traded securities and commodities such as using a Bitcoin equity swap contacts or ‘smart contracts’. Under such schemes, a Bitcoin is used to invest in the stock of for example company X, they would be able to pay the Bitcoin amount that he or she wished to invest into the company. As transactions are conducted via Bitcoin, and under the privacy the name of the offshore company, there are no incurred tax liabilities. Smart deriva-tive contracts can be coded so that the payment, clearing and settlement processes occur automatically and in a decentralised manner. The terms of the contract are also coded enabling offshore companies to operate with greater privacy assurances and without third party intermediaries. Responses to cryptocurrencies by various jurisdictions in recent years, has been diverse; whilst some countries have heralded the futuristic possibilities of cryptocurrencies as unparalleled and revolutionary, others are reticent to adopt cryptocurrencies, and some countries such as India, Bangladesh and Vietnam have even outright banned their use for fear of their decentralised system thus holding no accountability with strong
privacy which leaves transactions untraceable and susceptible to black market activity. Others jurisdictions such as the Isle of Man have in particular have embraced cryptocurrency technology, thus earning its label as ‘Cryptocurrency Island’, at the forefront of maximising the use of technology with its leading e-commerce sector. The government of the Isle of Man have even suggested that residents may be able to pay their taxes in Bitcoin in the near future. The success of cryptocurrencies within the Isle of Man’s financial sector is attributed to the fact that the government wishes to encourage innovation led growth, and therefore is reluctant to drown Isle of Man businesses considering to adopt cryptocurrencies with onerous regulations. Regulations and limitations Since modern cryptocurrencies are a fairly new phenomenon, regulators across different jurisdictions are cautious to place regulations until it is fully developed from its infancy stage. This said, governments have acknowledged the regulatory challenges of cryptocurrencies, and the HM Treasury have launched a call for information on digital currencies, making it a requirement to disclose the personal details virtual cur-rency ‘wallet’ holders to prevent financial misconduct. However, with the privacy that offshore compa-nies provide, cryptocurrencies undoubtedly will become a prominent part of future offshore industry.
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ECONOMIC AFFAIRS / Brexit Research Shows Economic Risk to Scotland
Brexit Research Shows Economic Risk to Scotland Leaving the European Union is projected to cost the Scottish economy up to £11.2 billion per year and Scottish public finances up to £3.7 billion per year.
nalysis published by the Scottish Government, drawing on research by a range of external organisations, suggests that by 2030, Scottish GDP is projected to be between £1.7 billion and £11.2 billion per year lower than it would have been if Brexit does not occur. Tax revenue is projected to be between £1.7 billion and £3.7 billion lower.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said that the analysis was further evidence of the need to protect Scotland’s relationship with the EU. The research shows that pursing an option short of full EU membership risks damaging Scottish exports, makes the country a less attractive location for overseas investors and reduces future economic growth and prosperity. This paper is the first in a series the Scottish Government plans to publish to look at the potential
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impact on Scotland of the UK leaving the European Union. The First Minister said: “This paper shows, in the starkest possible terms, the potentially huge cost to Scotland of being taken out of the European Union and the single market. “This analysis – based on a wide range of sources – demonstrates that leaving the EU, under any potential alternative arrangement, will have a profound and long-lasting impact on the public finances and the wider economic and societal wellbeing of both Scotland and the UK as a whole. “That stark picture outlined means that, whatever the model of relationship with the EU which is chosen by the UK Government in their negotiations before and after Article 50 is triggered, it will not be as economically beneficial as full EU membership. The only way to protect Scotland’s economy – and the clear benefits which come from being part of the
world’s biggest single market – is to work to ensure we protect our relationship with the EU. “My government is absolutely committed to pursuing every possible avenue and option to do that. I have already had useful talks with the new Prime Minister, the EU institutions and individual member states in order to pursue that objective, and these are discussions which will continue in the weeks and months ahead. “It is simply unacceptable that Scotland faces the prospect risk being dragged out of the EU against its will, and the paper shows the possibly massive costs that would entail, with all the wider repercussions that would be likely to ensue in terms of jobs, investment and long-term prosperity.” Web Address: www.gov.scot
ECONOMIC AFFAIRS / The Isle of Man: Successes and Challenges: Treasured Island 1608BW66
Treasured Island Baker Tilly Isle of Man are a part of Baker Tilly International which is the 7th largest advisory company, and are a leading firm of chartered accountants and business consultants. The firm’s ultimate aim is to provide their established and expanding client base with a bespoke service and professional expertise in accounting, audit, fiduciary services, luxury asset management, retirement solutions and a wide range of international business support and consultancy services.
Company: Baker Tilly Isle of Man Name: David Stevenson Email: david.stevenson@ bakertillyiom.com Web: www.bakertillyiom.com Address: 2a Lord Street, Douglas, Isle of Man, IM99 1HP Telephone: 0044 1624 693900
The Isle of Man: Successes and Challenges
aker Tilly Isle of Man understand the needs of our clientele and work with our network of contacts and partners to ensure we deliver the best possible solutions to the highest standards. This is something we have been providing for decades, as the company has a history running back nearly 50 years.
In terms of our region, the Isle of Man is a selfgoverning British Crown Dependency centrally located in the Irish Sea between England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Over the years, it has become world renowned international business centre for innovation and professionalism. Furthermore, the Island is OECD whitelisted and has received praise from the IMF and the G20 for its strong regulatory policies. As such, it is the perfect model of political stability and adopts best practice in international regulation and is responsive to international needs and requirements. As a result, the Isle of Man has had one of the fastest growing economies in Europe during recent years and is in its 33rd year of continuous growth. Despite the challenges of the current global economy, the Island has still achieved current growth of 2.5% in real terms, and the Islands Gross Domestic Product (GDP) exceeds £2bn
“Baker Tilly Isle of Man are a part of Baker Tilly International Which is the seventh largest advisory company.” Business is attracted in various ways including a competitive tax regime, professional expertise, supportive government, world class telecoms infrastructure and sound financial regulation. A number of external bodies, including the International Monetary Fund, have confirmed that the Island’s defences against money laundering comply with the highest global standards, and that it co-operates fully in combating international financial crime.
In terms of Baker Tilly Isle of Man’s attributes, we are the seventh largest advisory company. It is represented by 165 firms in 141 countries with a combined fee income of US$3.8bn and more than 28,000 people worldwide. We have an excellent reputation in the market and cover a wide range of services which enables us to provide the client with the complete package and provide all services inhouse. As a result of experience and expertise, Baker Tilly Isle of Man’s client base is wide and diverse. We serve both local and international clients in many different sectors. Our business comes from a number of sources including referrals, client visits, marketing and advertising. Baker Tilly Isle of Man are a very people-orientated company and firmly believe that all of our staff members have a role to play and our company success depends on our employee’s performance. We create a well-rounded approach, where regular meetings between the management and staff ensure both the development of the company and that of the employee. Moreover, all staff at Baker Tilly Isle of Man are aware of our goals and objectives - and we believe that employees who are well informed actually serve the client more efficiently - and become more engaged thus enhancing the ‘client experience’. Whilst certain sectors in our market place are tight, Baker Tilly Isle of Man are continuing to flourish. We are growing both organically and also by acquisition. We have recently acquired a local trust company with a particular emphasis on Sub Saharan Africa. However, there are many challenges facing our industry both locally and internationally. These include but are not limited to FATCA, CRS (Common Reporting Standards), BEPS (Base Erosion Profit Sharing) and on-going due diligence requirements. Nonetheless, being a market leader means that Baker Tilly Isle of Man believe that we are well placed. We have quality staff and systems in place so as to ensure that our clients have a continuous, uninterrupted, compliant and efficient service.
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CEO of the Month: USA Teresa C. Hack, Channel Products CEO, reveals the firmâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s experience, proven technology, and unparalleled customer service as well as the challenges she faces at the helm of it.
Company: Channel Products, Inc. Name: Teresa C. Hack Email: thack@ channelproducts.com Web: www.channelproducts.com and www.wildlyobsessed.com Address: 7100 Wilson Mills Rd., Chesterland, Oh 44026 Phone: 440 423 0113
CEO of the Month: USA Channel Products is a leading designer and manufacturer of ignition systems, safety controls, and complimentary products for manufacturers worldwide. The Company got its start in 1972 and is headquartered in Cleveland, OH, with sales and distribution offices in both China and Europe. We spoke Teresa C. Hack who reveals the firms experience, proven technology, and unparalleled customer service as well as the challenges she faces at the helm of it. As well as imparting her thoughts on winning CEO of the Month: USA, she lifts the lid on the company’s exciting plans for the future, and the challenge in being creative and driving intellectual property opportunities in large industries that change at a slow rate.
an tell us which the areas your company specialises in? We invent and manufacture component systems and technologies designed to improve safety, ensure reliability, and enhance efficiency. Best-known in the gas appliance industry for igniters, safety controls, assemblies, and accessories, we provide manufacturers worldwide with high-quality components and systems for a variety of industries. With 48 patents since our beginning, we lead with experience, proven technology, and unparalleled customer service.
“CEO of the Month: USA is a tremendous honour given by AI and I hope to always walk worthy of the much appreciated recognition!” How does it feel to have been awarded CEO of the Month: USA? I am humbled. Every wise leader surrounds themselves with smart, tenacious, and loyal people. While I am honoured at the recognition, I am most proud of our strong Channel team and the excellent performance they bring through the doors each and every day. Leaders are made great when they have exceptional followers. How the business is going and what challenges do you face at the helm of it? Since we purchased the company nearly five years ago, business has been strong and we are growing. In addition to our European sales and distribution arm, we recently built and launched our own manufacturing facility in China, adding to our existing sales and engineering office. This global effort compliments our Cleveland-based design and manufacturing facility. While this type of growth and demand comes with inherent challenges, we make it a priority to mitigate the associated risks and control our own destiny. 66 Acquisition International - September 2016
Can you tell us about your career background prior to attaining your current position? I had the privilege of working with the excellent team of partners at our parent organisation, Weinberg Capital Group – a private equity firm headquartered in Cleveland, OH, performing due diligence and working with acquisitions to implement operational excellence. Prior to this, I had built an operational and quality leadership background with publicly traded companies. What kind of clients do you serve and how do you approach them? Selling to manufacturers of outdoor grills, fire pits, heaters, and lighting, to indoor commercial appliances, to tier-one military suppliers and much in between, we cover a lot of diverse segments with our products. We are fortunate that while we have an exceptional commercial effort, many customers reach out for us. Channel is one of the few companies I have seen where qualified opportunity is in a constant state of abundance. This is a great way to exist, so long as customers are still being thrilled without neglect. Do you have any plans for 2016 and beyond? Fundamentally, we will continue to grow our people and Channel at a pace that is smart and exciting. There will always be organic growth in our plans, but as we move in to the future, we will be looking at complimentary and strategic acquisitions to enhance and expand our offerings. What challenges lie ahead in 2016 for you as a CEO and also for your company in 2016? The greatest challenge is always the balance in leading people while managing process, especially during aggressive growth spurts. When this is done well, the business evolves naturally and challenges become stepping stones to greatness. We have a very robust approach to our internal culture that I am asked frequently about.
MANUFACTURING & RETAIL / CEO of the Month: USA
We believe that human capital is the foundation of everything. I have never seen a plan unfold or a dollar change hands without someoneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s personal touch. Mentoring and moulding this touch while ensuring work is getting enthusiastically accomplished is the challenge for 2016 and beyond. Can you reveal any specific industry based challenges you are facing now and in the future? While keeping up with aggressively changing technologies is what most companies face, for Channel, being creative and driving intellectual property opportunities in large industries that change slowly is the challenge. This only fuels us in a greater way to be the proverbial sleeping giant. We exist to make our customerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s products the best in the world while enhancing the life of the end user. This is demonstrated in our recent patent filings and will continue as our current and future projects give way to market segment disruption and bold competitive advantage for our customers. Do you have any further insightful remarks to make? Quality, on-time delivery, and the ability to both manufacture and source globally are merely the price of admission today. Status-quo is not our thing. We have a different philosophy on company culture and its impact on those we serve that sets us apart. Whether it be our robust design capabilities or how we cultivate and insist upon an internal culture that is Wildly Obsessed with Thrilling Our Customersâ&#x201E;˘, we want to be more and achieve more. Is there anything else that you would like to add? CEO of the Month: USA is a tremendous honour given by AI and I hope to always walk worthy of the much appreciated recognition!
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Innovation. Leadership. Experience. Design. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re a leading designer and manufacturer of ignition systems and safety controls for gas appliance manufacturers worldwide. Our customer-centric approach is a hallmark of our culture.
MANUFACTURING & RETAIL / 60-Second Interview: A well Furnished and Quality Establishment
A Well Furnished and Quality Establishment UHS is a supplier of furniture to the hospitality industry, a supplier of first choice for restaurant and hotel furniture, providing a large range of products from dining chairs, soft seating, tables and outdoor furniture. We are constantly innovating to develop and customise products to keep ahead in the market that is constantly moving and changing.
Name: Dan Gillmore Company: UHS Group Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.uhs-group.com Address: 177 Brook Drive, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxfordshire OX14 4SD Telephone: 0330 1222 400
hat does your client base look like? UHS supply many well-known brands with furniture schemes and these include Pret A Manger, Nando’s, Zizzi, KFC. Along with this we are working with many design teams on high end projects for Soho House, Jason Atherton, Heston Blumenthal amongst others.
What are your firm’s unique selling points? UHS has a strong passion for furniture that is safe and fit for purpose in the contract and hospitality environments. We ensure our products are manufactured to high standards and along with this make them easy to buy and customisable. This is a huge benefit to the design, procurement and operations teams when setting up a restaurant. What are the main challenges facing your company today? The industry has a very buoyant marketplace and comes with many challenges. The projects are usually FastTrack and design driven which makes the operational side of the business very intense
but we have built systems and structures to manage this. The latest Brexit and terror attacks will have an effect on the casual dining sectors, leisure and public areas but we can see we need to adapt and provide solutions and stay nimble to keep ahead. What are the main objectives for your business in the future? UHS have many ambitious plans and one is to the be the ‘furniture supplier of first choice with the hospitality sector’, indeed we recently won an award for this, but we have a measurement to succeed this and we are well on the way! What business or business person do you most admire and why? There are many great culture, forward thinking companies and establishments that are influential to the SME like us but one of my favourite characters is Paul Smith, it is so great that a normal English name has become a high end fashion icon! Tailored products teamed with quirky colours and curiosities such as the Psychedelic Cactus Coat Stand!!
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Company: Naprotek, Inc. Name: Najat Badriyeh Email: email@example.com Web: www.naprotek.com Address: 90 Rose Orchard Way San Jose, Ca 95134 Telephone: +1 408 830 5000
Solving the Biggest Challenges At Naprotek, we are focused on solving the biggest challenges in the electronics manufacturing services (EMS) industry. We thrive on next generation challenges and our experts deliver cutting edge technology support from new product introduction (NPI) to Supply Chain Management and more. Our goal is to provide constant deployment of new technologies and advancement trends to flawlessly manufacture challenging, leading edge products developed in the heart of Silicon Valley.
CEO of the Year 2016 - California As Founder, President and CEO of Naprotek, Inc., it is a great honor to receive the award for “CEO of the Year 2016 – California”. For over 21 years, I have taken great pride in developing Naprotek into an industry leader. Born in Lebanon, I immigrated to the United States at a young age. I was fortunate to join the electronics industry during the early 1980’s and witnessed and participated in the electronic revolution in Silicon Valley. I quickly advanced to management positions in cutting edge start-up companies such as Best Labs, Diasonics, SCI and Fine Pitch Technology.
Naprotek has also served many different sectors including the Military, Aerospace, Medical, Industrial, R & D, Consumer and Semiconductors sectors. Many of our customers have experienced the pain of producing their prototype and/or low volume assembly off shore and, in many instances, there was no price benefit to them. Many companies require local support here in the United States where proximity can provide quick turn prototypes and low to medium volume production. Naprotek has provided ideal solutions for these companies as we focus on engineering prototypes and delivering small volume.
My experience in developing and improving SMT processes, coupled with my strength in management and leadership, proved to be a significant asset in building and launching my own company. My dream was to start my own business and as I continued to acquire the knowledge in the electronic industry and the contract manufacturing of the printed circuit board assembly service, I felt it was the right time to start my own company. I recognized there was a unique opportunity for a business that focuses on small volume, engineering and prototypes, and in 1995, decided to establish Naprotek, Inc.
The ethos of Naprotek At Naprotek, we are deeply committed to the highest level of quality in our professional performance and the precise execution of our project goals. We also invest in innovation to ensure our ability to support the constant deployment of new technologies and advancement trends common for our customer base. Furthermore, we invest in hiring and retaining the best employees to join our team.
“At Naprotek, we are deeply committed to the highest level of quality in our professional performance and the precise execution of our project goals.” Since the founding of Naprotek, my company has received many accolades and awards for delivering innovative solutions to the EMS industry. For long years and since the early 1980’s I witnessed the transition period into the surface mount technology, I teamed with talented engineers on implementing the process and training the workforce. Along with tools and equipment manufacturers I had the chance to participate in developing a solution to support the surface mount technology (SMT) latest technology and processes.
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Located in the heart of Silicon Valley, Naprotek stands out as an industry leader in its ability to flawlessly manufacture the challenging, leading edge products that the region continually introduces. From quick-turn prototypes to low-tomedium volume PCBAs and box builds, we provide engineering and manufacturing support for the latest technologies and the most demanding applications. Throughout the lifecycle process, Naprotek is committed to deliver the highest levels of customer service. Indeed, we tailor our services to fit each customer’s needs and support each project with an experienced team of program managers. In addition to a workforce certified in IPC 610 and J-STD-001, 62% of our employees have been in the company for over 15 years and have developed the skillset that is lacking in other Tier I and Tier II companies. Naprotek’s revenue goal for 2016 is just under $20 million. Previously our model was to work with R&D and produce the front end assembly to support prototypes. However, over the years, we transitioned into servicing the low-to-medium
MANUFACTURING & RETAIL / CEO of the Year 2016 - California: Solving the Biggest Challenges
volume production for companies. Over the course of the past few years, we progressed to a full integration model. In addition, we have a partnership with Tier I EMS providers to seamlessly ramp higher volume production offshore once production levels have increased beyond lowvolume production locally in the US. Our plan is to double our revenue in the next 5 years. We have an end-to-end solution including X-Ray, Optical Solder Paste Inspection, Flying Probe, ICT and box build capabilities. We have installed three new SMT lines since 2013 and the advanced equipment has doubled our capacity, thereby enabling us to achieve our future growth plans accordingly. Technology To support the technology as well as the constant changes that occur in this fast growing industry, operating with the most advanced equipment is essential. This is why Naprotek has made it a priority to continually invest in state-of-the-art equipment. Proactive planning for the anticipated growth prepared us for the timely replacement of obsolete equipment. We are equipped with the latest technologies including the placement of the challenging 01005 parts, QFN’s packages, the Mini BGA’s, and also some 0402 LED’s and Sensors. We have made the equipment upgrades for 2016 and are anticipating more upgrading technologies in 2017. Challenges in the industry As we move into the future, a significant challenge the Advanced Manufacturing Industry will face is the availability of a highly-skilled workforce. A major concern I have is whether or not Silicon Valley will have access to direct and talented labor. As technology progresses, the Advanced Manufacturing industry will need an influx of employees, but will there be enough training for the next generation to sustain the growth? Another concern is the consolidation of smaller EMS providers that are undercapitalized and without a diversified customer base. One of Naprotek’s strongpoints is that 80% of revenue is generated from our top 20 customers, as compared to the industry norm of only 3-5 customers. There is also discussion about automation and big data driving the business and Naprotek will have to continue to stay abreast of new trends.
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Supply Chain Excellence and Innovation Linkedin: Darren Hill Websites: Stand out: www.isgplc.com Stand up: www.realysgroup.com Start-up: www.retailandme.com
ISG Retail is the largest UK constructor of retail space. They participate in the shop fitting market and specialise in shops, banks, supermarkets and associated leisure markets such as restaurants, hotels, and airline lounges. ISG’s annual turnover in retail has exceeded £250m per annum consistently over the last five years. In an in-depth interview, the firm’s managing director Darren Hill describes his journey from being a shopfitter, to a successful business leader today. ow does your firm stand out from the crowd in these competitive times? The business is based on long standing customer relationships with global leading brands. It differentiates by continuously looking for ways to improve the profitability of our customers through the way in which they deploy their corporate real estate requirements.
Most Innovative Business Leader / Business Leader Awards 2016
The business is agile to service customer needs in these competitive times with scale when required, breadth of service and global access to innovation and new ways of working. This has recently led to the formation of an additional division of ISG Retail, Realys; which offers integrated consultancy led construction. How is your company performing at present? The ISG Retail business continues to perform well and has a strong forward order book, this is testament to the strong customer relations and their fantastic loyalty. The business has adapted to the new shape of the retail construction sector; less large supermarket projects, more refresh programmes of activity. Future trends indicate good volumes of smaller projects which ensures focus for ISG Retail on lower volumes and high margin generation services. It is undoubtedly a challenging economic environment for ISG Retail and their customers, however keeping closely linked and driving simplicity through innovation positions the business well to react to turbulence. Do you have any case studies to share, perhaps of a success area, or any client testimonials you would like to share? ISG Retail is a multiple award winning business, recognised by the National Association of Shopfitters, Retail Week and Retail & Leisure International for projects which have been delivered and overall performance of the business.
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Many customers have also presented awards to the business for supply chain excellence and innovation. The core vision for the business is ‘Delivery Dynamic’ aiming to be the best, most dynamic business in specialised markets. Can you tell me what your day-to-day role as a business leader entails? Within both the ISG Retail and Realys businesses I am blessed with great talent, therefore my core activity is being focussed on the 12-month horizon, innovation and growth. My leadership group are tasked with day-to-day operational excellence and governance. I maintain close relationships with key customers, monitor and audit key complex projects and transition the business to adapt to the pipeline of opportunity. Of course, I am passionate about people and constantly focus on the wellbeing and development of talent, as well as satisfying the needs of shareholders and investors. Can you tell us about your career background prior to attaining your current position? I am very proud to come from a trade background, training and qualifying as a shopfitter, hence my long stranding passion and relationship with the National Association of Shopfitters (NAS), and the development of apprentices and graduates. Following my trade apprenticeship, I advanced to design development and project management. How did you reach your current position as a business leader? I launched my first business in 1992 and merged this with Cathedral Contracts in 1997. I led the combined business through the acquisition by ISG Plc in 2006 realising exceptional value for the shareholders. The Integration of Cathedral Contracts into ISG stimulated growth through scale, we gradually rebranded the business ISG Cathedral, then into its current formation as ISG Retail creating the Realys business in 2013.
MANUFACTURING & RETAIL / Most Innovative Business Leader / Business Leader Awards 2016: Supply Chain Excellence and Innovation
I have led the business for over two decades through two deep recessions delivering multi ÂŁm profits every year. Since 2000, when I was given the title of managing director, I have not had a loss making year, continually increasing business value for shareholders and investors.
What role do your staff play in the successes of your firm? Everything! Without great talent, you cannot lead.
What type of clients do you serve and how do you approach them? I engage closely with global brands in the retail and broader corporate real estate sector. Generally, these relationships are longstanding and the service provided is established and mutually important.
What challenges and opportunities lie ahead for you as a business leader? Adapting to the needs and challenges of our customers is imperative, how we can create value for them is the focus of opportunity. I am personally excited by the potential of Realys, I believe this is a special business, disrupting current methods; it has a global footprint and uniquely is the consulting business that builds.
New customers are targeted and profiled generally they have multiple property assets and a sustainable need. I try to understand their business challenges and what will add value to their business, before I engage and build mutually beneficial objectives.
Success is something you can control if you are blessed with operational excellence as a base for growth and remain focussed on the horizon. Managing risk proactively is fundamental to dodge the bullets that industry and global economy creates.
What challenges does your industry face in the future? Brexit and the trigger of Article 50 is a challenge which will affect every UK based business. As each artery of connection with Europe is stress tested it could rupture elements of industry. So in the short term, Brexit will be the key challenge but I am optimistic for a post Article 50 United Kingdom. In the mid to long term, the biggest challenge for retailers and service providers is technology. Tools which simplify business and transformation coupled with those which enhance digital personalisation will stimulate new ways to engage and serve. Exceptionally exciting and our businesses remain positioned well in the TMT, financial, and retail sectors to be at the forefront of technology. Is there anything else that you would like to add? I am very honoured and proud to be recognised and thank the great talent that has supported my journey.
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MANUFACTURING & RETAIL / Most Innovative Company - South Africa: Hosing Solutions 1608EA58
Hosing Solutions Company: Watex - Reinforced Hosing Ltd Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.watex.co.za Address: Cnr Davies & Aschenberg Str Chamdor, Krugersdorp Republic of South Africa Telephone: +27 (11) 769-2600
Reinforced Hosing (generally referred to as WATEX, their famous hose brand), has been manufacturing high quality reinforced hose products in South Africa since 1999. Dedicated to providing the very best service for their clients, they are the market leaders in garden hose.
heir range of flexible reinforced hose products are designed to meet the requirements of the diverse range of clients they serve. This includes products such as garden hose (12-year warranty with SABS approval and 6 year warranty), agricultural dragline (10-year warranty SABS approved and 5 year warranty), clear tubing, clear reinforced tubing and mining hose (all with SABS approval), to mention but a few.
Most Innovative Company - South Africa
Furthermore, WATEX offer an in-house packaging solution that provides a product that is retail ready when delivered. The firm’s in-house production
“With this award, Reinforced Hosing (WATEX) is confident that they can continue to expand their reputation as well as the highly innovative and personalised products that they provide.”
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capability allows them to offer clients custom designed and printed packaging. With decades of experience, they are able to offer expert advice on branding and design, suitable for any retail environment. WATEX delivers throughout South Africa and continue to expand into African and international markets. Having SABS certification and manufacturing most of their products to SANS 1086:2007 standards translates into consistent quality and reliable products being produced. WATEX is incredibly proud of the fact that their products are all locally manufactured from virgin raw materials. They quality control the whole process, allowing them to offer a long life on all of their hose products under proper use. With these aspects in mind, they are confident that they will continue to grow and prosper in the future. With this award, Reinforced Hosing (WATEX) is confident that they can continue to expand their reputation as well as the highly innovative and personalised products that they provide.
MANUFACTURING & RETAIL / African Business Awards: Hot off the Boil 1608CG29
Hot off the Boil Company: Soudure Industrielle et Pétrolière Name: Adingra Koffi Email: email@example.com Web: www.sipci.net Address: Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, Marcory, Petite Zone Industrielle, 21 BP 2946 Abidjan 21 Telephone: 00225 21 25 04 30
Based in Ivory Coast, our company Soudure Industrielle et Pétrolière specialises in boiler works, piping and steel construction for oil fields. As a company our services range from maintenance to new works through the modification of existing facilities. We offer our customers a complete set of services including the installation of pipe lines and the maintenance of industrial installations.
n addition, Soudure Industrielle et Pétrolière also deal with civil engineering, focusing on the design, construction, operation and rehabilitation of construction works and urban infrastructure. In regards to the people we work with, oil and gas is typically our niche sector however we have also performed activities in the telecommunication sector.
African Business Awards
For years, Soudure Industrielle et Pétrolière have placed a focus on meeting specific customer needs and it is this philosophy that has helped us maintain our reputation in the industry. Ultimately, our goal is to assist you in your project design and implementation process and be a reference company for specific large jobs. At present, Soudure Industrielle et Pétrolière is performing well, however we are always looking for ways in which we can improve and it is for this reason we look to remain at the cutting edge of new developments.
In terms of the clients of Soudure Industrielle et Pétrolière, some of our more renowned names include CNR International, Geocean and Bollore Africa Logistics. Our approach to these clients always remains the same, take time to understand their needs before putting a plan of action in place. Soudure Industrielle et Pétrolière’s staff play a vital role in the success of the firm, indeed without their skills and commitment we would not be in the position we are in today. Everything we do evolves around teamwork, indeed pulling together for the greater good of the company is what keeps us motivated. Due to our experience and technical resources, we are generally able to meet the demands and the technical requirements of our customers. If we take a closer look at the challenges Soudure Industrielle et Pétrolière are set to face in the future, as competition continues to grow establishing ourselves as an industry leader will certainly be our common goal going forward. Looking beyond 2016 if we can maintain our reputation in the industry and identify the opportunities from which we can prosper from we will be more than content.
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SUPPORT SERVICES & TECH / Ten Tips to Avoid Massive Data Breaches - Don’t Be the next Sony!
Ten Tips to Avoid Massive Data Breaches - Don’t Be the next Sony! Staff are a significant risk to their employer’s cyber security according to research by specialist global executive search and interim management company Norrie Johnston Recruitment (NJR).
he research, which forms part of NJR’s cyber security report: how real is the threat and how can you reduce your risk, shows that 23% of employees use the same password for different work applications and 17% write down their passwords, 16% work while connected to public Wi-Fi networks and 15% access social media sites on their work PCs. Such bad habits and a lack of awareness about security mean that employees are inadvertently leaving companies’ cyber doors wide open to attack.
This research is supported by a report which incorporates the advice from fifteen experts in the field. Here, Benny Czarny, OPSWAT, discusses the top tips to avoid massive data breaches: With Sony recently setting aside $15M to investigate the reasons for, and remediate the damage caused by, last year’s data breach, many of our customers—from large enterprises to small business—are wondering what they need to do to make sure they aren’t the next big data breach headline. The good news is that most data breaches can be prevented by taking a common sense approach, coupled with some key IT security adjustments. 1. Employee security training is an absolute necessity. I cannot emphasise this point enough as your network is only as safe
as your most gullible employee. Even the most sophisticated security systems can be compromised by human error - the Sony breach started with phishing attacks and people still use USB devices from unknown sources, which is allegedly how the Stuxnet worm was delivered. 2. Access to executable files should be limited to those who need them to complete their duties. Many threats are borne via self-extracting files, therefore limiting the number of employees who are allowed to receive this file type limits your exposure. Your IT department absolutely needs the ability to work with executable files. Bob in accounting? Not so much! 3. MSOffice documents and PDFs are common attack vectors. Vulnerabilities are identified in MSOffice and Adobe Reader on a regular basis. While patches are typically released very quickly, if the patches are not applied in a timely fashion the vulnerability can still be exploited. As an everyday precaution, document sanitization is recommended to remove embedded threats in documents. 4. Data workflow audits are essential. Data can enter your organisation through many different points—email, FTP, external memory device, and so on. Identifying your organisation’s entry points and taking steps to secure them is a critical step in avoiding data breaches. At
a minimum, scanning incoming and outgoing email attachments for viruses and threats and implementing a secure file transfer solution should be considered. 5. Store sensitive data in separate locations. Simple data segregation could have mitigated the impact of the Sony breach. The hack exposed both internal communications and unreleased video files. Had the videos and emails been stored on two separate systems some of the damages may have been prevented. 6. Internal and external penetration tests are critical. Internal testing is a valuable tool, but hiring an outside party to attempt to breach your network will identify security holes your team may have missed. 7. Keep your security architecture confidential. You may be excited about your innovative networking solution or new cloud-based storage system, but think twice about making any of that information public! 8. Remember that traffic generated internally to your security system may still be suspect. For example, the Sony malware connected to an internal security system to impersonate legitimate traffic to disguise its malicious nature. 9. Multilayer defence is needed. I like to describe defence in depth by comparing it to the defence systems you might see at a castle; it could be defended by a large stone wall, followed by a deep moat, followed by a drawbridge, followed by an iron gate, and so on. A single layer of defence is not sufficient for your data—it must be protected by multiple systems working in parallel. That way if one layer is breached your data is not exposed. 10. Finding your weakest security link is your top priority. Every office has one, and it will vary wildly from organisation to organisation. It might be the employee with their passwords taped to their monitor. It might be the deprecated Linux server everyone seems to have forgotten about. You might not be looking for those weak links—but rest assured that cyber attackers are. The question is: Who will find them first?” To read more useful and practical insights into topics including: How to assess the scale of your risk level; Managing the immediate aftermath of a security breach; How different sectors are affected, download the full report - http://www. norriejohnstonrecruitment.com/downloads/cybersecurity/
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Five Cloud-Based Apps for Business That Will Set You Free We have spent the last two years talking to our customers, looking at other accounting solutions on the market, but also considering our favourite apps in general and why we use them. As a team of technology enthusiasts, we are your typical early adopters, you can trust us to have tried and tested most of the lauded tools that are out there to see if they live up to the hype.
oftware applications that are based in the cloud let you use different devices and increase collaboration. But what does this actually mean and how can it impact your current working practices? Here is our round up of five of the best cloud-based apps currently out there and how we think they can save you time, help you work smarter and make you more efficient.
1. Todoist This one is for all the list-makers out there. To-do list apps are in abundance, but in our opinion, Todoist is one of the best. It lets you record and track the actions you would normally write down in a list, day-to-day, week-to-week, project-to-project. The benefit of it being cloud-based is that it synchronises
“Trello lets you update workflow progress wherever you are and to see the latest updates from your team, meaning progress is recorded in real time.” data across different devices (and platforms). So if you have a lightbulb moment at 4am, you can note it in your mobile and find a reminder for the task waiting on your desktop when you get in to the office. You can share lists and allocate actions to colleagues, so it also supports collaboration. As a business that strongly believes in the paperless office, Todoist is reducing the post-it notes and notepads in our office. Many of our teams have shared lists, and each task on the list gets a status update, meaning there is no time wasted in chasing up whether someone has completed an action. You can all check the latest progress from any location and any device, wherever you have a connection. 2. Onenote Part of Microsoft’s Office 365 subscription, OneNote is an app with huge potential, as you can
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choose how to make it work best for you. You might be someone who traditionally takes a notebook into a meeting to meticulously record notes. With OneNote you could use your laptop, tablet or mobile to take notes and look at them later from any chosen device. Notes can be created and updated on the go too, as it works whether you are online or not. If you have ever duplicated time by typing out handwritten notes after a meeting, it is pretty obvious that recording those notes digitally in the first place prevents unnecessary repetition and helps you to remain more organised. It also prevents that incredibly frustrating experience of returning to some notes, only to realise you cannot read your own writing! Where OneNote is really beneficial, is how it lets you search. No more flicking through notebooks, type in the keyword, a client name or meeting date for example, and you can instantly retrieve your notes. 3. Trello A digital tool for workflow visualisation. In plain speak, it lets you create project cards for each task and move them from one category to another, so you can see what is yet to be started, what’s a ‘work in progress’, what is completed etc. Unlike a traditional whiteboard, Trello lets you add additional information to each task including pictures and documents, tag colleagues, create to-do lists and set task deadlines. Like OneNote, it is hugely adaptable and can be applied to a range of business processes, plus it is free in the main app stores. By digitising a system that many of us are already familiar with, Trello is really easy to start using. You no longer have to be in the office to update colleagues on the status of key activities, nor do you have to ask someone else to do it for you when you are between meetings. Trello lets you update workflow progress wherever you are and to see the latest updates from your team, meaning progress is recorded in real time. 4. Slack If you have ever used the chat function on Skype or used Microsoft Lync, then you will be familiar with
SUPPORT SERVICES & TECH / Five Cloud-Based Apps for Business That Will Set You Free
the advantages of an instant messaging tool. Slack offers the same functionality, but it has a more collaborative, social media-esque interface. It is a great way to create instant, informal conversations, but unlike Skype or Lync, you can create â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;channelsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; that other users subscribe to or join. So as you move towards tax deadline, you could create a channel for everyone in your taxation department to focus relevant conversations (and avoid irrelevant, all company emails clogging up in boxes). Slack feels more intuitive and sociable to use, than the other messaging apps around. Because it is designed for use in the workplace, it has additional features that help to make your working life easier. For example, it is incredibly easy (and secure) to add documents and files to conversations, making it a potentially great tool for sharing information with colleagues and clients alike. 5. Toggl Toggl lets you log and record time making it easy to track which projects your time is spent on. Available as a desktop or mobileapp, this is a great alternative to practice management applications, which do not always make it easy to record time. Toggl has powerful integrations too and using it alongside an accountancy app means it is much easier to track chargeable and non-chargeable time. Toggl can save time for any business charging clients by the hour, days or weeks.
All of the apps listed above played a role in the evolution of our latest offering, Reckon One. https:// www.reckon.com/uk/one/modules/
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SUPPORT SERVICES & TECH / How Brexit Will Affect Data Protection in the UK?
Company: Blacks Solicitors Name: Phil Gorski Web: www.LawBlacks.com
How Brexit Will Affect Data Protection in the UK With the dust settling on the UK’s decision to leave the EU, Blacks Solicitors’ Phil Gorski takes a closer look at the impact this will have on cybersecurity and intellectual property for businesses. UK businesses have for some time now been thinking carefully about what they will have to do to comply with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (‘GDPR’). Brexit has not made their deliberations any easier.
ata protection law in the UK, as with many of our laws, is based on legislation which originates in the EU. The GDPR is a modernisation of the current, slightly rusty, regime, put in place by the Data Protection Act 1998. It introduces new and stricter obligations and a system of increased fines to go with them and
“Businesses should work on the basis that the GDPR will come into force in May 2018 and that it will stay in force for some time afterwards.”
is due to come into force, this time without the need for any enacting UK legislation, on 25 May 2018. The obvious question facing businesses, following the result of the referendum last month, is whether the GDPR will come into force in this country at all. The most likely answer is that it will. As everyone will by now know, the exit clock formally starts ticking once the UK gives notice of its intention to leave the EU under Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. As Article 50 provides a minimum two-year period for formal exit negotiations to take place, even if notice had been provided immediately, the GDPR would still come into force. Whether the GDPR remains in the long term, however, depends on what alternative relationship with the EU is eventually put in place. It is the uncertainty here that makes planning for the future difficult. It is difficult to predict what obligations either would impose on businesses. A system which provides an adequate level of protection could take a number of forms and it is almost impossible to know which parts of the GDPR might be retained. What does all this mean in practice? Phil Gorski, a lawyer specialising in IP at Blacks Solicitors says: “Businesses should work on the basis that the GDPR will come into force in May 2018 and that it will stay in force for some time afterwards. There are a number of ways that businesses can protect their online data, the most basic of these being: making sure company’s anti-virus software is up to date and that all staff are correctly trained in online security and data protection.”
For more information about what Brexit will mean for data protection in the UK, read Phil’s latest blog post here: https://lawblacks.wordpress. com/2016/07/22/what-does-brexit-mean-for-dataprotection-in-the-uk/
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Company: Allied Wallet Web: www.alliedwallet.com
Providing You with a Peace of Mind Allied Wallet is a global leader in online credit card processing/payment processing, multi-currency merchant services, digital eWallet solutions, software development, and a provider of a PCI Level 1 payment gateway. In an insightful interview with the firm’s Tech Billionaire and inspirer of hope, Dr. Andy Khawaja shares his thoughts on the strong brand of Allied Wallet and their remarkable technology, as well as the firm’s company culture.
ow would you define the company culture of Allied Wallet? The company culture here at Allied Wallet is very important to our peace of mind, and is based on performance. As long as our employees complete an eight-nine-hour shift, I do not mind what time our staff arrive for work. We feel this has worked very well for us over time because it makes you feel like you are part of the organisation. This way of operating has eliminated the stress of being on time, so our employees no longer have to panic if they happen to be running late for whatever reason. We place a huge amount of trust in our team members and vice versa, and we give them the opportunity to get the job done at a convenient time that suits them.
“The most important factor to stay in business, is that you have to know what you are doing and understand and assess the risks involved.” How would you summarise what Allied Wallet offers to the everyday consumer, as well as the merchants you serve? In regards to the everyday consumer, we offer every single payment method that is possible in the UK, the EU, the US, in Asia and other jurisdictions. Allied Wallet are able to process more currencies than any other financial institution can do on the face of the earth, including PayPal. We want companies to stay in business, so by not charging for a currency exchange we feel our clients will benefit both in the short and long term. In addition to our payment processing services, Allied Wallet offers approximately 35 shopping carts, which many local banking institutions do not provide. Our shopping carts have hundreds and millions of active consumers, so if you have a website and approach Allied Wallet not only are you going to be able to process every type of currency, but you will be able to collect payments from every region around the world, you will also be able to use our popular shopping carts.
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Can you tell me about the strong brand of Allied Wallet, and your reputation as a trusted player in the e-commerce community? Allied Wallet has been in business for just over 10 years, and we have seen many companies come and go, perhaps staying in the market for two or three years. The most important factor to stay in business, is that you have to know what you are doing and understand and assess the risks involved. We take on board many entrepreneurs, that is the creative new companies whom we give the opportunity to go live on stock markets and to also make money. However, a lot of banks will not take entrepreneurs on board because they do not have any history or money to cover any potential losses, so they are not prepared to take a chance on them. By keeping the door open and building a drop system, we are giving start-up businesses a chance and therefore making the economy better and ensuring that people are in work, so that the merchant can generate income, hire staff and pay taxes. It is staggering that Allied Wallet’s eWallet makes it possible to carry out purchases in 164 countries. How does it feel to head up a company that is truly global in its offering? While PayPal is more consumer to consumer based, Allied Wallet are more business-to-business (B2B) in our approach. The reason I chose to go B2B, is because businesses around the world need an opportunity to grow and expose themselves to consumers. When Allied Wallet open up, we provide a platform of an API that provides local payment methods for any type of business around the world that is legitimate, requiring our payment method. Being more B2B than any other company in the industry allows Allied Wallet to dominate the market, indeed global B2B is our bread and butter. Can you also tell me the ease with which your customers can use Allied Wallet’s state-of-the-art technology, and call upon the services of your 24-hour support service should they need it?
SUPPORT SERVICES & TECH / Company Culture: Providing You with a Peace of Mind
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The ‘Next Gen Payment Gateway’, the ‘new generation’ of all gateways is a platform of an API that can link everything to Allied Wallet’s Tokenization API memory. Once you submit your information once on the Allied Wallet website globally, you do not have to re-type your information again. It memorises your IP address and gives you an opportunity to create a password and the link with that username. The website then gives you the appropriate option, based on the jurisdiction you are in, and the manner in which you paid when you last logged in. This seems to have improved matters, as many people only have a very short amount of time to execute a transaction. Our payment method can process transactions in approximately 35 seconds which saves a great deal of time for the consumers of Allied Wallet, so they do not quit and move away from the website. If you have a card issued in the UK and you have completed a transaction abroad, many banks in the UK for example will report the activity to you via a text message to make you aware of your transaction, for fraud prevention purposes. Calling your bank to verify the transaction can be quite time consuming, but with Allied Wallet we identify the pin issuing and process the transaction, so the bank does not have to step in. By adopting this approach, we have increased profits and sales for our merchants by literally about 29-30%.
50 different categories, that is how many times a credit card has been used online, spending habits, a negative database, the region of a transaction, and the location of a website. In previous interviews, we have discussed your role as an entrepreneur, but can you tell me a bit more about your role as a philanthropist and a peace maker? I am involved with multiple charities, pretty much all around the world, and I like to see the world living in peace and harmony. I want to ensure that everybody has a chance in life, and I love to educate and give motivational speeches. I recently gave the commencement speech at the Lebanese American University and I was honoured with a PhD degree, and I am giving a speech at the University of Hawai‘I in Morocco and hopefully by the end of November at Harvard University in Boston, United States. If you give someone a dollar or a pound, that can help them out for a day. However, if you give them an idea or understanding, you stand by their side you can give them a vision, and let them believe in themselves. By doing this, it contributes to the building of the economy and of course a much better future for the individual concerned. I came from nothing and can tell people where I am today, so I can give people hope, and anybody can do it. Many people thank me and send me notes for being
“If you give someone a dollar or a pound, that can help them out for a day. However, if you give them an idea or understanding, you stand by their side you can give them a vision, and let them believe in themselves.” When the idea of Allied Wallet first entered your thoughts, did you imagine that the company would be where it is today? I did not, but having said that I am fascinated by the growth of the internet, indeed today the majority of transactions are completed online. I predict that in five years from now, the business will grow by another 250% to 300%. Ultimately, the more access people have to mobile payments and e-commerce, the more the business is growing. Three years ago, I said that we are growing at the speed of the internet. As a company we started before the peak of the internet, and by establishing a very good standard and application in the market, we have grown to become a global leader in payment processing industry. A consumer always has three to choose from Allied Wallet, Square and PayPal so we are constantly facing competition within that market. Can you reveal more about the elite staff of processing veterans you and forward thinkers you employ to maintain security and fight off potential fraud? Everything we build is done in-house, indeed much of the manual work that has to be done has to be electronic. We can scrub around 80,000 transactions per millisecond and this is based on 84 Acquisition International - September 2016
a mentor and listening to their problems, which for me is highly satisfying. What does the future hold for you and your company? Looking ahead to the future, we are looking at exercising an IPO to go on the New York Stock Exchange having signed up with Merrill Lynch to do so. While that is still pending, the future is to ensure that as many businesses as possible are up and running, and I want to see everybody have a better future than I have had. My goal is to see more people doing better, the economy improving, and more entrepreneurs like myself. I want to help them and give them hope, and give them the chance to do what they can do best, which is to build a better economy and to provide jobs.
SUPPORT SERVICES & TECH / Company Culture: Providing You with a Peace of Mind
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Company: Richard Tyler International, Inc.® Technology Solutions Name: Richard Tyler Address: 5773 Woodway Dr., Suite 860, Houston, TX 77057-1501, USA Phone: Tel: (+1) 713 974 7214 Websites: www.RichardTyler.com www.RichardTylerTechnologies.com www.SalesImmersion.com
The Domain of Technology Professionals Richard Tyler International, Inc.® Technology Solutions are a group of successful sales, marketing and technology professionals who like to build businesses! They have done it for themselves and continue to do it for their customers. They choose to work more closely with a smaller group of customers so that they can have the biggest impact on business growth. The firm’s CEO, Richard Tyler tells us about the many wonderful services the company provides, and how what they do can ultimately help their clients to ensure that the technologies applied, will ultimately drive revenue. irst of all, can you tell me what Richard Tyler International, Inc.® Technology Solutions does? Richard Tyler International, Inc.® Technology Solutions is a leading provider in solutions for companies in the small to medium size range, that do not have their own internal technology departments. Global 1000, Fortune 500 companies and most large companies generally have their own IT departments. All types of company however have the same kind of needs, from web design to maintenance, to the updates that go along with it.
“Remember, your success tomorrow is in direct proportion to your ‘Commitment to Excellence®’ today.™” In addition, large firms have a public relations (PR) department, and the small to medium sized companies cannot afford to staff that either. So Richard Tyler International, Inc.® Technology Solutions provides a set of services - such as copyrighting, search and content marketing, PR, social media and email marketing – all of which help smaller to medium sized firms compete against the giants. Can you detail some background to the firm and why it was set up? When I developed the leadership, management and customer service programmes for Richard Tyler International, Inc.®, our world renown flagship training and consulting firm, they were done to make sales happen, so we needed to improve areas in companies to ensure that revenue generation could be increased. That is the same reason we started offering these services. In the early days, you needed web designers who would register a domain on your behalf, and they would almost always register everything in the name, then they would build the site and essentially have control of it. That was the norm in the early days of the internet, because nobody knew any better. That can create problems. In our case the graphic designer moved from their own web business to a larger firm, and we could never reach her again. The domain was not registered in our name, and we had no way to get the domain or update the website, so items that needed correction along with normal updates, we could not act on. We literally had to wait until the domain name expired, and was 86 Acquisition International - September 2016
not renewed, and then we captured the domain name back. At this point, I was determined that this would not happen again. Due to that, we made connections directly with registrars and infrastructure companies then we were able to control our own website and domain. Today, Richard Tyler International, Inc.® Technology Solutions registers domain names on behalf of clients, and we do everything to put them in control. We started offering this service to our clients because when we would consult for the small to medium sized firms, to help them improve their businesses and raise profitability, we would almost always find a lousy website. We would therefore recommend to them that they have a new website. They would then tell us the horror stories they had with their site, the hosting, the registration and the support. So offered to help them out and provide this service, and would ensure that the client has access to their own domain, and be able to make changes to it themselves. Clients loved the idea. As time went on, Richard Tyler International, Inc.® Technology Solutions accrued a number of clients, and offered a number of services including assistance with social media and marketing. The companies would ask how they could put something up at the same time on multiple social media channels, such as Facebook and Tumblr. They would also ask how they can reach the people they wanted to target. Of course, you can spend a lot of time on social media for interactive purposes, however, to generate business is a completely different cup of tea. In the last few years, Richard Tyler International, Inc.® Technology Solutions has opened up these services to much wider base of customers, rather than just our consulting and training clients. This has proved to be successful, indeed we are a leader in this industry, and we provide reasonable rates for services and design beautiful websites. Aesthetics and functionality are critically important because your website and social media presence is literally your face to the world. We can either maintain everything for a monthly fee, or design everything and let them do it themselves. In what way does marketing technology provide a distinct competitive advantage when used properly, in terms of social media? Concerning social media today, there are many different ways to reach people. What then is social media? It is a way to reach a group or a constituency
SUPPORT SERVICES & TECH / The Domain of Technology Professionals
that has an interest in your product or service. If you are an individual, it could be for movie stars, athletes or whatever you are interested in reading about. If you are a business, targeting people with special interests in what you offer and are looking for a solution is what you are looking to achieve. If you think back, many years ago, there were only 3 or 4 television stations, so that was all you could advertise on, and you could reach your audience. Today however, there are hundreds of television stations, so many that advertising and marketing is cost prohibitive for most businesses. Think of social media as picking the people you want to reach, but via the internet through social media channels such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and others. These social media outlets are like former channels on a television set. They allow you to reach a huge audience inexpensively by comparison and sometime for free! But you still have to know who you want to reach, why you want to reach them and what you want them to do when you do reach them.
As time goes on, most of the content people receive will be through mobile devices, and while a website might look great in a desktop if may not work on a tablet or a mobile phone. A website therefore has to be developed different to work on mobile devices. As devices continue to change, the way that such content is delivered evolves and so must the companies providing these types of services. Richard Tyler International, Inc.® Technology Solutions is very excited that we serve the market of small to medium sized businesses of entrepreneurs who are really left in the cold by most other companies. We do it in a way in which the client can have both phenomenal looking websites and responsiveness. We allow them to control their own destiny on the web while we stay on top of the changing technology.
Remember, the value in this medium, is first of all to understand it, and secondly to understand the target audience, then finally that the right content is critically important. I believe it is all about providing information to individuals in bitesize chunks and drawing them in a number of times, while always leaving them wanting more. From the search engine perspective, if you are only posting on social media occasionally, the search engines do not find it to be relevant. A constant flow of materials has to be posted on social media, which is a large job for small to medium sized businesses, let alone the larger companies. The value is therefore targeting your audience, but if you do not understand sales and marketing and posting on social media, you may end up with a lot of content out there but it will not drive any revenue. That is why Richard Tyler International, Inc.® Technology Solutions is so unique, compared to so many companies who do social media marketing and other similar services, we start as a world renowned sales training, marketing and management firm. We understand sales and management; indeed, I literally wrote the book on those subjects, fifteen books and hundreds of articles and interviews to be precise. The end result is that when we translate that skill and knowledge over to the web, we are looking at content and information that drives business because we are writing it in such a way that it appeals to the human psyche. Finally, what opportunities lie ahead for Richard Tyler International, Inc.® Technology Solutions? As technology continues to evolve, so will we. We already provide a tremendous number of key services, such as search engine optimisation (SEO), search marketing, email marketing, copywriting and so much more. We recently added two services, Website Vulnerability Audits to help companies determine how secure their website is from unwanted intrusion, and a service called Quicksites™, which for the very small businesses allows them to maintain a website very inexpensively but which attracts customers. We will continue to add services, but only those, which add value to our clients, and help them to make money, save money or save time. Additionally, Richard Tyler International, Inc.® Technology Solutions partners with other technology companies, that bring in services that are complimentary and will help with our clients, but they are not necessarily ones that Richard Tyler International, Inc.® Technology Solutions produce in house. Acquisition International - September 2016 87
Visibility and Insight into Business Performance Prophix develops innovative software that automates critical financial processes such as budgeting, planning, consolidation, and reporting— improving a company’s profitability and minimising its risks. Thousands of forward-looking organisations in more than 90 countries use software from Prophix to gain increased visibility and insight into their business performance.
Company: Prophix Software, Inc. Name: Daniel Mason Email: email@example.com Web: www.prophix.com Address: Prophix UK Davidson House The Forbury, Reading RG1 3EU, United Kingdom Tel: +44 (0) 118 900 1900
Top 50 in Technology
In an interview with the firm’s UK managing director, Daniel Mason, he reveals that Prophix builds its software to be run and administered by the Office of Finance, with minimal reliance on IT. Furthermore, Prophix serves customers in every industry, with over 3,000 customer companies globally. an you tell us how your vital products and services allow your customers to continue succeeding and to what extent is your own continued success? Beyond insight into their data, which helps inform and improve decision making, companies find that automating their finance processes equals significant time savings. This time, combined with more accurate budgeting, forecasting, and reporting, enables Finance Teams to focus on valuable analysis.
Prophix customers automate the creation of their annual budgets, tap directly into their ERPs, incorporate inputs from across the company, raise accountability, protect confidential information with ease, and free up valuable time for analysis. They also output valuable reporting on-demand and automatically generate forecasts to create a forward-looking view for the business.
“Our customers are the ones innovating, they just happen to use the software tools that we have built for them.”
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when harnessed by experts, offers insights – and executives translate these insights into better business decisions. To what extent do innovative advancements in technology and automation make businesses across the world seek to streamline their operations to reduce financial outlay and increase revenue? The core aim of modern finance departments is to save time while simplifying and streamlining their core business functions, including budgeting, forecasting, reporting, financial consolidation, and operational planning. In the process of helping companies to automate their business processes, Corporate Performance Management (CPM) software enables companies to better and more easily analyse their data – and data now aggregates for *all* companies in staggering amounts. From this position, organisations can, ultimately, use insights into their data to recommend datadriven decisions, based on their analysis, to their companies’ executive leaders, thus increasing the organisation’s success while increasing the value of the finance teams
Finance departments that use software from Prophix collaborate with areas across their businesses, making Finance a strategic partner for helping to develop the company’s operational plans. Visionary finance teams also leverage the capacity to develop multi-year strategic plans that change in real-time, adapting to changing conditions on the ground.
Can you outline any examples of how your firm has achieved outstanding levels of client satisfaction or demonstrated an innovative approach in your work? One example that I like to cite comes from an English company with familiar products. Marc Lev’y at Swan Mill explains how he innovates using our software – and that’s sort of the key. Our customers are the ones innovating, they just happen to use the software tools that we have built for them.
To what extent do you think that our society is dominated by technology? Technology makes work processes easier and dramatically increases the pace of business. Automation is just the beginning. Clarity into data,
“Napkins, each of which cost less than a penny, represent a significant proportion of our product portfolio. This results in a high volume of transactions. That means that we need to slice and dice into different areas, analysing our information
SUPPORT SERVICES & TECH / Top 50 in Technology: Visibility and Insight into Business Performance
at the detailed level and making business decisions based on what we see. Prophix gives us a familiar and easy to use platform to do that.” “We’re finalising the first budget through our use of the software from Prophix. It takes a much shorter time and is much less painful than what we experienced using spreadsheets. Finance had to consolidate manually. Now we can see where people have made their inputs. It used to take up to three rounds/revisions. The Board has a very good feeling that we can sign off on this budget after just one round.”
Marc Lev’y, head of business planning, reporting & analysis, Swan Mill Paper Company Prophix has also received validation from industry analysts, highlighting our products and our
approach to the marketplace. Happy customers are the greatest proof point of all. The 2016 Dresner Advisory Services Wisdom of Crowds Enterprise Planning Market Study concluded, “A leader in both Customer Experience and Vendor Credibility models, Prophix is best in class for sales professionalism, product knowledge, business practices, product robustness/ sophistication of technology, integration of components within product, integration with thirdparty technologies, online training, forums and documentation. It was also best in class for integrity and has a perfect recommend score.” What challenges and opportunities lie ahead for your firm in 2016 and beyond? The future of software is in the cloud, offering anywhere / anytime access to customers. The goal
for business software providers is to match the quality and accessibility of consumer applications. In 2016, the company launched Prophix Version 12 (on-premise software), which is the culmination of numerous investments in cloud-enablement: webifying the user experience, offering new interactive dashboard visualisations, and re-engineering the end-to-end technology stack. The Prophix Cloud will be available in Q1 2017, leveraging the same easy-to-use feature set of the current on-premise solution, but now with the offering of a managed SaaS platform. Prophix will continue to expand the cloud platform through 2017, scaling cloud operations and growing the number of standard integration points to include additional on premise and cloud data sources.
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SUPPORT SERVICES & TECH / Top 50 In Technology: Sites to Behold 1608EA60
Sites to Behold Company: Adhere Creative Ltd. Web: www.adherewebdesign.com Email: info@ adherewebdesign.com Address: 2 The Pavilions, Cranmore Drive, Shirley, Solihull B90 4SB Telephone: 0121 704 5604
Adhere Creative Ltd was founded in 2006 and provides bespoke design and software development services. Their services were chosen by big names such as Carphone Warehouse, Samsung, Moneysupermarket and many more.
irst and foremost, Adhere Creative Ltd pride ourselves on delivering websites and software that are intuitive to use and make access to information and services simple. Our skilled team of designers and developers help businesses capture their images and create exciting concepts that demonstrate what they are about. As a result of Adhere Creative Ltd’s experience and expertise, our company caters for a diverse range of clients, spanning all across the UK. Among our clientele includes big names such as the University of Birmingham, pWc, Samsung, Michelin and many more. Regardless of the size and scale of the client, we provide a highly personalised service that caters for their specific needs and requirements.
Alongside Adhere Creative Ltd’s design services, we also provide services in software where we similarly take the time to understand the needs of their business. In this area, we got the chance to work with Yorkshire Bank, a commercial bank based in the Midlands and North of England. For this project, we developed a data collection and big screen presentation piece of software. Bank employees were asked to email in photos of their local area with their postcode, and the software then organised the emails received automatically into a presentation which involved all postcodes displaying on the screen with the words ‘We Care About Here’ appearing in the postcodes. In turn, images then appeared and then for instances where a postcode existed but not an accompanying photo, the software automatically populated by getting images from Google Street View.
One of Adhere Creative Ltd’s recent projects in this area was for Mobile Cash Mate, which is an online service where people can recycle old mobile phone handsets and sell old mobile phones. This project required us to design a clean and robust website with a substantial CRM and order processing back end, to allow for users to be able to post mobiles devices and be paid faster.
Adhere Creative Ltd take tremendous pride in our work and have created a company culture where we work hard to achieve the best results possible. Working for Adhere Creative Ltd is always challenging, usually fun, rarely boring and often exciting. We work hard, but we are not stuffy. We set high standards, but we enjoy ourselves. And above all: we are innovators.
“As a company that is constantly innovating, we will continue to grow and develop our services, but at the same time stay true to our style of providing a highly personalised service to our clients.”
Looking towards the final third of 2016 and beyond, Adhere Creative Ltd are very excited and have a number of different projects in the pipeline. As a company that is constantly innovating, we will continue to grow and develop our services, but at the same time stay true to our style of providing a highly personalised service to our clients.
Top 50 In Technology
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SUPPORT SERVICES & TECH / Top 50 in Technology: We have all the time in the World 1609AN26
Company: ELF Productivity Ltd Name: Paul O’Brien Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web Address: www.timeandattendance.co.uk Address: Ceequel House, 2 Smithy Court, Wigan, Lancashire WN3 6PS Telephone: 01257 256000
Top 50 in Technology
We Have All the Time in the World ELF Productivity Ltd, is a privately owned, UK based software and technology house. It authors possibly one of the most dynamic time and attendance software suites in the world – namely, Ceequel®. Ceequel® is a modular solution comprising of time & attendance, HR, e-manager, employee self-service, access control, shop floor data capture and mobile apps.
LF Productivity authors and supplies direct to end users, a suite of software Ceequel®. It simplifies processes, eradicates inefficiencies and saves time and money within businesses. Ceequel is designed, authored and supported in-house.
ELF Productivity’s Ceequel Software Suite, provides data which enables companies to embark on a journey of continuous improvement – from the clocking-to-pay process through to understanding (at granular level) what is happening on the shop floor. We capture and process data in line with the DMAIC principal of define, measure, analyse, improve and control. This enables companies to implement change strategies and drive their business forward. We practise what we preach and utilise the same methodologies internally at ELF Productivity in all areas, especially within the development/coding of Ceequel® Society and technology Technology is all about data, how it is captured and how it is employed in every area and walk of life. The ability to convert raw data in to meaningful information has never been more apparent and it has to be available 24x7x365. Society as a whole has become so demanding of technology that even a dead battery or lack of internet connectivity on a smart phone can put people in to ‘panic-mode’. Companies are now adopting the same psychological pressures. In the past, you could pigeon-hole companies in to two distinct categories, those who saw technology as a driver or those who saw technology as a supporter of their business. This is changing. We are seeing more and more companies investing in technology to ensure their success and businesses are falling in to the same category of needing their data 24x7 at the touch of a button. Customer base ELF is pleased to say that we are not pinned to any one vertical market. Ceequel® is so dynamic it can be configured (almost infinitely) to suit any business. Because of this we’re fortunate to have customers ranging from small single site engineering companies through to multi-faceted blue-chip companies requiring a holistic solution with localised autonomy. Many of our customers find us, and more often than not, we will be invited in to discuss replacing an
existing system which is no longer fit for purpose. We are also very proud to say that the majority of our new business is from referrals and word-ofmouth. Achieving outstanding levels of client satisfaction At one of our most recent installations at a company called Clays, a market leader in book production and self-publishing specialist, they had core requirements for time and attendance, access control and HR. In addition, they recognised some specific requirements which would require custom development, as the authors of the software we were able to provide this additional functionality, much to the delight of the customer. Speaking of the collaboration, Gavin Chillingworth, HR manager at Clays Ltd, said: “This is the first time in many years that payroll errors are down to less than 0.5% - and those miscalculations were down to human error. By taking HR responsibilities such as holiday approval online, the new systems have freed up valuable man hours that can be spent elsewhere. We’re dedicated to streamlining our operations and even complex requirements such as ‘step-ups’ in pay have been automated by ELF’s Ceequel software. To say that we are delighted is an understatement. The cost-savings and improvements in our efficiency are significant.” Technology in a niche industry ELF Productivity is a technology company in a niche industry. We are not a sales organisation which pressurises people in to buying from us nor do we over-sell our products. We spend our time listening to and understanding our customers. We then work with them to ensure their continual success. Most importantly our customers continue dealing with ELF for many years because of the dedication to service we provide. There is a lot of smoke in the time & attendance industry, the introduction of SaaS based offerings has meant that there are many basic T&A products out there which will do an OK job – however when it comes to dealing with complex business rules and/or companies requiring granular data from their Shop Floor – ELF Productivity will continue to be a torch carrier. The future is looking really interesting for us and we are currently in the middle of the next major step (in fact it’s more of a leap) in ELF Productivity’s future. At this moment in time, all we will say is watch this space!
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SUPPORT SERVICES & TECH / Excellence in Telecom Awards 2016: Telecommunication is Key 1608DG20
Telecommunication is Key Grat Network Digital Solutions Limited (Grat Network) is a telecoms servicing firm led by seasoned professionals with expertise in IT and telecoms systems, as well as project management practitioners and a passion for delivering excellent services.
Company: Grat Network Digital Solutions Name: Adeoti Badaru Email: email@example.com Web: www.gratnetwork.com Address: 7b Shittu Animashaun, Gbagada, Lagos 234 Phone: +234 8069 2575 48
Excellence in Telecom Awards 2016
ur extensive background in IT and TMT systems and management of projects is what makes us exactly the kind of valueadded professionals needed for your IT/Telecoms and project management consulting, training and assessments.
Moreover, we develop strategies that align with your business needs while ensuring that our services and solution suites meet customer needs and satisfy corporate goals. We also perform network planning and installation services and we use the highest quality telecoms materials and consumables in all our engagements. Our key areas of focus include telecommunications, technology banking, oil and gas security solutions and video profile production. As such, our clients tend to be TMT service providers, financial institutions and oil and gas firms. In terms of our region, Grat Network is based in Lagos- South Western Nigeria. Grat Network is incorporated in Nigeria and registered under the
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Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) of Nigeria to undertake a number of different services, and the company is authorised to transact business within the realm of its focus, in accordance with the laws governing private enterprise in the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Grat also deals in the development and deployment of bank software solutions, video profile production and oil and gas security solutions. Looking back upon our success, our staff have been instrumental to every success we have ever recorded. It is our culture to build staff that suit our philosophy and are in sync with our values and ambitions. 2016 has been a great year for us so far, and we hope to continue this success towards its final third and beyond. Our plan is to become the leading telecom and technology company in our region, and then look to expand our business even further.
SUPPORT SERVICES & TECH / 60-Second Interview: A Smart Move
A Smart Move Company: Smart Assessor Name: Fiona Hudson-Kelly Email: Fiona.Hudson-Kelly@ smartassessor.co.uk Web: www.smartassessor.com Address: The Barn, Fosse Cottage Farm, Street Ashton, Warwickshire, CV23 0PL Telephone: 0845 460 4440
Smart Assessor is essentially an entrepreneurial education technology (Edtech) company, designing software solutions that transforms the conventional delivery model for apprenticeships. Their flagship product is an e-portfolio designed for training providers and colleges who have been awarded a contract by the government to recruit and train apprentices, reveals the firmâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Fiona Hudson-Kelly in an informative interview.
an you tell me what products and services your firm provides? Smart Assessor software helps our customers with their audit compliance which can improve their Ofsted rating, reduces the cost of delivering apprenticeships, enriches the learning experience for apprentices and improves the success of their apprenticeship delivery.
The e-portfolio eliminates in a single stroke all paperwork for apprentices, employers and training providers, capturing learning and competencies digitally with an innovative app, using electronic forms and signatures to get rid of paper forms and which displays dynamic key performance data to help clients track their apprenticeship delivery success.
What does your client base look like? Smart Assessor have 40% market share of the largest apprenticeship contract holders with a diverse mix of further education colleges, large independent training providers and direct employers such as Mercedes, Virgin Media, NHS, Carillion and Busy Bees nurseries. One of the most pleasing aspects of our client base is the high rate of renewals, with over 99% of our customers renewing their subscriptions in 2015. What are your firmâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s unique selling points? Smart Assessor just think differently from the other educational technology providers in the sector, I think this is because we came into the sector from another vertical to solve a problem, and it made us look at issues in a different way. Unlike our competitors we did not try and transfer a paper based system into technology, indeed we disrupted the existing business model and completely transformed the workflow. An example is our Smart Rooms, where we integrated web conference rooms into our e-portfolio technology to transform teaching and learning for apprentices from individual visits, which are immensely time consuming and expensive into innovative online teaching and learning sessions. What are the main challenges facing your company today? As a small entrepreneurial company, Smart Assessor have a plethora of ideas of products we can develop, so our greatest challenge is choosing which new product development will return the best value to the bottom line. The mandatory introduction of the employer apprenticeship levy will create even more demand for streamlining the apprenticeship delivery model. What are the main objectives for your business in the future? Not to lose our entrepreneurial culture as Smart Assessor grows exponentially. What business or business person do you most admire and why? Jo Malone, a woman with no social advantages, she created a world renowned brand, sold it and reinvented herself.
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Company: Najmtek Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.najmtek.com Address: 410 Pierce Street #310 – Houston, TX 77002 - USA Telephone: +1 713 357 9523
The Only Limitation Is the User’s Imagination First of all, I would like to say that being named the ‘Top 50 in Technology’ is a great honour, and rests on Najmtek’s persistence and consistence. Being internationally recognised as one of 2016’S Top 50 in Technology, is really important for the firm’s brand we are establishing. It is also gives Najmtek real feedback that they provide a truly global, unique and innovative solution. It is a great motivation to pursue our efforts to make this awesome solution available to everybody!
Top 50 in Technology ajmtek has created the UBook, a universal notebook, YOUR notebook. With UBook, a collaborative and intuitive interaction is created between and among users and devices, thought way before we heard about the internet of things and already aligned with it! This unique suite includes highly functional and adaptive hardware, an operating system, an SDK (software development kit) for programs / apps, and a dedicated online store.
With versatility of the hardware, the operating system and the SDK, the UBook can be transformed from one virtual machine to another with a simple touch of a button. It can be turned into an ultrasound machine, an EKG machine, a diagramming or designing tool, a notepad or most any other business or personal tool imaginable. The only limitation is the user’s imagination.
“Our mission, at Najmtek, is to change the way users interact with their technology, and contribute to the world while being custodians of the planet.” Strategy Analytics predicts that by 2020, the average person will own 4.3 internet-connected devices. Users are spending increasing amounts of money on multiple technology devices because there is no product that offers everything they need. In addition, society is becoming more and more fast-paced, with people constantly multitasking. Our mission, at Najmtek, is to change the way users interact with their technology, and contribute to the world while being custodians of the planet. As such, when creating the UBook we wanted to build a technology that works well with today’s changing lifestyles by providing a device that meets all user’s needs, without the necessity of purchasing additional devices or having to go back and forth between their phone, laptop, computer, tablet and so on.
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As such UBook is the first all-in-one multi-touch laptop, fully customisable according to the end user’s needs. UBook is also a Multilanguage device, you can switch from one to another language and chose one of the 140 available at no extra cost. UBook is also multi accessories, and multifunctions which means that you will save time, money and raw materials. You can just turn your notebook into any machine you want just by pressing a single button. These features bring clients more flexibility, infinite possibilities, and optimal mobility in only one single device. The staff at Najmtek love to brainstorm, mastermind in our company. Every idea is welcome, and each employee can submit new proposal. Then we open a discussion to see what can be done or not. No one know everything, so a truly team work is what move us ahead, and contribute to our success. The extent to which society is dominated by technology From cell phones and video games to smart appliances and social networks, it is obvious to say that technology plays an important part of our everyday life. However, can we really say that society is really dominated by technology? Of course, we really depend from it, but we are still controlling it and its use. Technology is a tool, and will remain so, nothing more, nothing less. It will not improve by itself, and will still need people to become better and more useful in what they do. When we found no utility in one technology, like a tablet, or a mobile phone (not smartphone), we will forget about it and put it on the side to find something more useful! We believe that technology is here to improve our life, not to dominate it. Client base Najmtek can serve anybody as UBook is a universal notebook, all-in-one, multi-language, multi accessories, and multi functions. However, our first huge market is the creative one in its globality, from medicine and science, to entertainment through education and technology. All these customers are using many external devices which are neither convenient nor easy to carry when travelling, or even at their office as it takes so much space.
SUPPORT SERVICES & TECH / Top 50 in Technology: The Only Limitation Is the User’s Imagination
Imagine that you can replace your computer and a big full box of accessories – such as ultraportable ultrasound, graphic tablet, specific mouse, mixing pad - by a single, unique, all-in-one device able to fulfil all your needs, everywhere, at any time! The choice is obvious! They love this new device, and its simplicity of use! An innovative approach Najmtek’s innovative approach to what we do is reflecting in every step of our strategy. From the firm’s dawn to the present day, we always removed all the conventional barriers to find our own style! We could speak about this for hours, but suffice to say that Najmtek is where it is today thanks to the tenacity, the consistence and persistence of their two co-founders. They had an idea, and just put it into action without giving up. Their open-mindedness, and great experience in a number of areas are also a great asset for the company! They worked much more like an engineer in their strategy, and in terms of their process they were like a business leader so both of the aspects are rewarding. Najmtek has received a number of awards in the past, in 2008, 2012, 2013 and three times in 2016, so is this not proof of real innovation? Standing out from the competition As a non-conventional firm, Najmtek are not only looking at what our competitors are doing, but we focus more on what the customers need. We perform strong analyses of their real need, and thus we can work on and find the best solution for them.
In Najmtek’s case, UBook is a universal notebook. A keyboard is not needed, because a multitouch input screen is used instead and that make everything possible. It is all about software. Even though we are a software company, we are not able to develop for everyone as many areas are too specific for us. So to ensure we can address all of our client’s need, we will provide them with a free software development kit (SDK). So in the event they cannot find the right application on our store, they can develop it themselves, and then share it or not, for free or not, on the store. With these possibilities to extend the features, we will always be able to provide what the customer needs, and thus stand out from the competition.
The years ahead The firm’s greatest opportunity is the IoT (internet of things). Najmtek’s vision is perfectly aligned with the concept of IoT, which is to extend network and computing capabilities to all objects. By bringing external device, portable devices, and even control panel tools for heavy and huge machines into software applications directly available on the input screen board, we will contribute to connecting the usual device that may not have be able to connect together previously. Najmtek is currently looking to bring this device on to the market. It also included the ability to implement the apps and fonts for those with dyslexia, and to work with a school district in the framework of one device per child. As it is a universal notebook, it can be used by anybody, and we will do not have the issue of language barrier now. Finally, Najmtek will set our online store and free SDK, and make it available before the launch of the device, so people can start to develop what they need.
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SUPPORT SERVICES & TECH / The Best in Functional Respiratory Imaging 1608JC04
Company: Fluidda Name: Jan De Backer Email: email@example.com Web Address: www.fluidda.com
The Best in Functional Respiratory Imaging Founded in 2005 and based in Belgium, Fluidda is the world leader in the field of Functional Respiratory Imaging (FRI) research and development.
2016 Intellectual Property Practitioner of the Year - USA
he company’s proprietary FRI technology offers pharmaceutical companies and healthcare providers a unique entry point into personalised medicine for patients suffering from respiratory diseases and sleep-related breathing disorders. The implementation of FRI in the clinical practice has in recent times added value to the current healthcare standard in the respiratory field.
In addition to our major breakthrough in respiratory imaging, we also offer turnkey contract research services to help our clients manage early clinical trials. Our expertise also includes imaging modalities, protocol writing, study management and medical writing. In regards to our clients, we work with a broad range including pharmaceutical companies and healthcare professionals worldwide. Amongst others some of our major clients include Chiesi, Takeda, Zambon, Teva, Cipla and Novartis. Our approach to clients remains constant, taking the time to understand our clients’ needs before putting a plan of action in place.
“if we can overcome the industry challenges and remain at the cutting edge of key developments, I am confident Fluidda will remain the go to people for functional respiratory Imaging (FRI) research and development.” FRI technology allows researchers to construct personalised 3D segmented computer models of human organs including bone, blood vessels and airways that have been scanned by imaging techniques such as computerised tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or ultrasound. Length and volume measurements can be performed on the models to quantify certain regions and document their properties. FRI technology combines CT images with two advanced computational fluid dynamics tools, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and finite element analysis (FEA). Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analyses the motion of fluids and their interaction with surfaces. This advanced technology in aerospace
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engineering can be applied to healthcare, accurately describing the patient’s ‘geometry’ (Lungs, arteries, heart and so on) and ‘boundary’ conditions (blood flow velocity, airflow pressures and so on). In turn, this results in a patient-specific model for detailed, functional imaging. Our second tool finite element analysis (FEA) analyses the stress endured by a joint or implant. The mathematical equations describe the behaviour of a structure under stress conditions such as blood pushing against the structure, muscular tension or gravity pull. The method itself can be applied to the functionality analysis of stents and grafts, value dynamics in the respiratory or cardiac system, optimising design of highly stressed implants, stresses, strains and displacements in mandibular during osteotomy surgery. Functional respiratory imaging (FRI), our breakthrough biomedical imaging technology, significantly enhances the work of pharmaceutical companies and academic research organisations performing early phase clinical trials for the evaluation of novel compounds in the respiratory therapeutic area for the treatment of asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and cystic fibrosis. FRI also allows efficient selection of the most personalised therapy for patients with sleep disorders. One of the major reasons behind clients coming to us is FRI can identify the most promising respiratory drugs in a cost and time-effective manner. Our breakthrough technology also means the number of patients in the clinical trial stage can be reduced by a factor 3-8 while preserving statistical significance. Identifying ineffective therapies in the industry is hugely important and with FRI you can ensure these therapies are avoided. Our staff here at Fluidda play a vital role in the success of the firm, without them we would not be considered the world leader in the field of functional respiratory imaging research and development. Pulling together for the success of the firm is what keeps us motivated on a daily basis. Going forward, if we can overcome the industry challenges and remain at the cutting edge of key developments, I am confident Fluidda will remain the go to people for functional respiratory Imaging (FRI) research and development.
SUPPORT SERVICES & TECH / CEO of the Year 2016 - Washington State: Software as a Service 1608CK68
Software as a Service Headquartered in Bellevue, Washington Attunix is a software and cloud services company and a leader in helping clients modernise their business using technology. Incorporated just prior to the economic downturn of 2008, we formed during a time of economic uncertainty, but at a time of great technology advancement. As the business environment stabilised, the nature of our firm’s work and type of services we offered changed as well. Attunix realised that we had to adapt and focus on impactful services to make that journey together with our clients. Company: Attunix Name: Matt O’Donnell Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.attunix.com Address: Bellevue Home Office Location, 10500 NE 8th Street Suite 625, Bellevue, WA 98004 Telephone: +1 (206) 774 3163
CEO of the Year 2016 - Washington State
s a company, Attunix is particularly focused on customers undergoing or in need of business transformation; especially as it relates to developing a new line of business, delivering innovative services upon existing products and offerings as well as seeking to be disruptive within their industry. Through a blend of business and cloud consulting, we lead our clients through the strategic choices that affect top-line revenue.
In my role as CEO, I wear many hats but none more important than working with our clients and ensuring we are aligned in meeting business objectives. Forming partnerships, team structuring, enablement, practice development and business development is all built to ensure we are focused on delivering the highest level of service in the most impactful areas for our clients. Everything Attunix does today is a cloud-based service or offering. We specialise in four key areas of impact: application modernisation, internet of things, advanced analytics, and modern data centers. By leveraging technology in these four areas, we find there are tremendous opportunities to advance our clients’ businesses regardless of their industry. At our core, Attunix is always seeking to put technology to work, either to increase our client’s productivity or to develop and expand a new service offering for their customers. That is the key, when we focus on our clients’ customers, great things then happen. In regards to Attunix’s clients, they range from small start-ups to established enterprises. The great thing about the services we offer is that there is a demand for them at every level. Our ideal client is one that is undergoing a lot of change, digital transformation, or needs to be more competitive in their marketspace. It is in these cases where we get to put on our business hats and really get down to business impacts and differentiation. Our approach always begins with the business. If we cannot map a clear business outcome, then we normally pass or pause the project until it is established. Prior to forming Attunix, I held a number of software and service delivery roles. I worked both at project and leadership levels, at consulting firms and dotcom start-ups. Graduating with a business degree across three majors, my goal was always to start a company. In 2006 that dream became a reality and I had the good fortune of forming Attunix with my brother, Brian.
Much of my work prior to starting Attunix had been in the area of large systems integration and strategic technology initiatives. Together, we found a constant theme and successful outcomes of working with the business to properly align or ‘attune’ the organisation’s IT and business concerns and goals. Currently, Attunix is doing very well, especially from how we were when we started in 2006. We have nearly doubled in this past year alone, and have expanded nationally with employees and clients coast to coast. In our business, the pace of technology change is always a challenge and our clients look to us to help guide their decisions. We cannot give what we do not have, so making sure we stay on the front edge of that technology change is imperative. Growth presents its own set of challenges too. As we expand into other markets and the team gets larger, it naturally puts pressure on the operational functions and aligning our services accordingly. In regards to the industry based challenges on the horizon, with the advancement of cloud, mobile, and data, our industry is experiencing a tremendous amount of change which has a disruptive effect within and upon other industries. In many aspects, it is levelling the playing field of large established companies with small up-and-comers that are not encumbered with existing investments. This is a really exciting time for technology and innovation, and we love being one of the companies in the centre of it. The companies that move quickly to get ahead of their competition, stand to separate. To be receiving this award is an honour. As CEO, I am most focused on earning happy clients through great delivery, and that is where I take a tremendous amount of pride. Owing to the fact that we are a services-based business, our employees have a direct impact on that measure of Attunix’s success. So while I greatly appreciate the praise and award, I am most proud of my team and the impact they are having upon our clients. My number one challenge and opportunity for 2016 will be managing the growth while continuing to deliver great value for Attunix’s clients while maintaining the strong values and character on which company was founded. Beyond that, the firm is continually working to stay ahead of the competition and to bring forward-thinking solutions to our clients to differentiate and streamline their business.
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SUPPORT SERVICES & TECH / 2016 CEO of the Year - California: Vistem Solutions Inc. 1608JC71
Vistem Solutions Inc. Company: Vistem Solutions Name: Rodney Shook Web: www.vistem.com Address: 2102 Business Center Drive, Suite 220, Irvine, CA 92649 Telephone: +1 (949) 283-5729
2016 CEO of the Year - California
Founded in 2000, Vistem Solutions, Inc. are a provider of comprehensive IT outsourcing services and solutions. As an employee-owned company, we utilise engineers and technicians to deliver cost effective and high quality IT solutions with efficient turnaround times. In regards to our IT outsourcing service we aim to align current technology with your business goals and devote more resources to your core area of business.
hrough the firm’s outsourcing support and services, we can provide expert management of some or all of your company’s information systems which can free you to focus on your core business while ensuring that your technology investments are meeting the intended strategic objectives.
Our flexible outsourcing options range from processing and maintenance of a single application or line of business, to total information systems support and data centre management. Processing can be performed at your site or at one of our stateof-the-art processing centres located around the world.
With competition in the IT industry constantly increasing it is important we identify new ways of performing business. With this in mind we are committed to the delivery of business results and a network of industry partnerships. Each time we undertake a new client, we discuss their problems in depth before compiling a solution for them and their business. Unless you fully understand their issue you won’t be able to develop a solution appropriate for them. In regards to our staff, with their efforts our clients receive the service they expect and demand. The team focused philosophy we have here plays a vital role behind the success of the firm. Pulling together to achieve a common goal is what keeps us motivated. Without their dedication I wouldn’t have been nominated for this award, so I am delighted to have won 2016 CEO of the Year – California. Going forward if we can continue to grow as a company and develop innovative IT solutions we are confident Vistem Solutions Inc will continue to be the number one choice for IT outsourcing services.
“The team focused philosophy we have here plays a vital role behind the success of the firm.”
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Providing the Solution Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) and Bespoke Software Solutions for Wealth Managers, Independent Asset Managers, Funds, Private Banks and Trust Companies.
The fast-track alternative to court Resolve disputes online quickly, easily and affordably
SUPPORT SERVICES & TECH / 2016 CEO of the Year: The Intersection of Art, Commerce and Broadcasting 1609AN18
The Intersection of Art, Commerce and Broadcasting If first impressions and encounters are at all foretelling, the initial meeting of Connie Grazia and Nadine Licostie would be a terrific example. After all, it was 4 o’clock in the morning, on a street corner in New York City’s Times Square, when Grazia and Licostie were introduced to each other on a film shoot for ABC’s Good Morning America. The two immediately felt a knowing sense of each other’s talents, fortitude and willingness to go wherever they were needed. Women in the entertainment field were (and are) a minority group and access to projects could be considered for some an uphill battle in a male dominated field. The two future business partners were part of a growing group of young women and men, pursing their dreams at the cutting-edge of technological breakthroughs in storytelling and media. Fast-forward 20 years later, and Grazia and Licostie are still at the helm of Red Thread, a growing agency for modern brands and entertainment companies worldwide. Producing events and videos for the firm’s biggest clients including, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Bank of America, History and CBS, they both continued to cover business-to-business (B2B) events and produce ground breaking content for their clients. Company: Red Thread Name: Andre Gutierrez, Director, Brand Partnerships Email: email@example.com Web: www.redthread.nyc Address: 333 Park Avenue South, Suite 3B, New York, NY 10010 Telephone: + 1 (212) 367 7100
2016 CEO of the Year
This article tells us the remarkable story of this innovative company and the undoubted dedication of its founders, Connie Grazia and Nadine Licostie. ed Thread serves clients across a number of industries including entertainment, technology, financial services, healthcare and hospitality. In addition, Red Thread has taken part in many nonprofit organisations.
cases, fully realized broadcast equipment packages are literally trucked into the venue and the live streaming begins. This real-time storytelling is akin to network television’s Olympic coverage where the physical event attended by many thousands of people is extended 100 fold.
Grazia and Licostie are both natural born leaders and possess an excellent work ethic, factors which have paid dividends as the firm has continuously grown since it began. In addition to having a vision for the company, they are hands-on and involved with the team, whether that be editors, creative directors, writers or brand strategists. One of their biggest responsibilities has been putting together appropriate teams for each project. Helping clients find creative solutions is what really motivates them.
The result does wonders for the marketing of the event, amplification of the brand attributes and broad financial savings for the companies involved.
As a company, Red Thread works with clients to tell their stories to key audiences through film, live events and special digital campaigns. Creating entertainment-worthy B2B events is their speciality, and they work with Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Bank of America, History and CBS and others on signature events. Recently, Red Thread has developed a core capability that combines their experience in broadcast & live events. Custom-built content studios are constructed in B2B event environs where executives, customers and partners are leveraged to help tell the brand story. In these
Red Thread has a multi-disciplinary team who makes them the company they are today. The culture and collegiality the firm has connects everyone and this philosophy is really something Connie and Nadine are passionate about. As well as producing the self-financed documentary ‘The Last One’ which premiered on Showtime, they also get behind projects they really care about such as social justice issues whether it be for education or lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT). Going forward as the industry evolves, Red Thread’s aim will be to remain at the cutting edge of new developments. At the present time, the firm is re-branding and has dropped the word productions from their name because it does not reflect all of the services they provide. Red Thread’s aim is to continue to grow as a company and break new ground telling stories that connect people and have lasting impact.
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PERSONNEL / AP Group CEO: Jersey’s Employment Market Is Back on Track Post Recession
AP Group CEO: Jersey’s Employment Market Is Back on Track Post Recession Jersey’s employment market is showing excellent signs of growth across all local sectors, says Gina Le Prevost, CEO of AP Group, a leading global recruitment firm with three specialist divisions in Jersey – AP Personnel, AP Executive and AP Technical.
his comes in response to the warnings that the island’s finance sector faces an uncertain future following Brexit. “We are delighted to report that currently the supply and demand for jobs created by clients since the beginning of 2016 far exceeds the previous years’ figures. It is the best competitive job market I have seen in a long while in Jersey – and is increasing rather than decreasing,” says Gina.
For example, in the past six months, local clients have approached AP Personnel (specialist junior to mid-management level finance and commercial recruitment division) to assist them with a number
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of junior level roles suitable for graduates and school leavers, whilst offering financial support to new recruits with regards to professional training. “Junior level roles have always been very difficult to find for school leavers since the 2008 downturn; it is very encouraging that this year local companies have shown the confidence to employ and train new staff once again. The signs are very clear to us - the island currently has more jobs to fill than the available talent in Jersey, particularly for roles which require candidates with 5 years or more experience such as mid-level administration and accounting functions.”
However, she adds, the local government needs to entice non-locals and professionally qualified workers to fill some of the vacancies in areas where there is a skill shortage, particularly qualified accountants, lawyers and funds/trust professionals. “It is important that the local companies are granted enough essential work licences, if required, so that Jersey continues to remain a competitive global jurisdiction,” says Gina. Web Address: www.apgroupglobal.com
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Richard Tyler International, Inc.® 5773 Woodway Dr., Suite 860, Houston, TX 77057-1501, USA Tel: (+1) 713.974.7214 | Web: www.RichardTyler.com
Company: Neurocoaching Name: Patricia López Email: patricia.lopez@ neurocoachpatricia.es Web Address: www.neurocoachpatricia.es Telephone: +34 629 414 893
Executive Coaching: The Secret to Sustained Success
It’s All About Educating the Mind Neurocoaching was founded and built by Patricia López, a mentor-coach, and telecommunications engineer for more than 20 years. The company is focused on developing engineers, whether it be getting the know-how themselves, skills, beliefs, or achieving their goals.
eurocoaching looks to show all engineers the inner power they have and bring them into a space for looking inside of what they are, what they are doing and what are their professional goals. In my view, the world is moving and we (workers, companies and corporate structures) are like big slow dinosaurs that always lag behind. We must forget the old structures, behaviours and beliefs if we want to face the future, giving up being a dinosaur.
This involves a number of different things. Firstly, we need to stop being so concerned for ourselves, and look to others instead. We need to be more engaged with the world and be more prepared to give than to receive. Furthermore, we have to teach our children and the youth about cooperation and collaboration. The era of competition has finished, the world is a big network where all we need is to do networking and cooperate with each other. If we work together, we are all winners.
“For all of this, coaching is a great tool, and the master key that opens the Pandora’s Box of our enormous power.” To get all of this, we have to learn to listen. I believe that listening can be broken down into three levels: language, body and emotions. Basically, you just need to know the other person, know how a person feels, thinks and needs. Emotional intelligence is so important and perhaps more than ever in this day and age. Emotions are the new leaders, key in the education system, in the healthy system and also in the corporate system. The world is constantly moving, and the old ways of working are fading into obscurity. Moore’s law is being fulfilled and things are changing in record time. In just a few years “fixed schedules, fixed places, old bosses and competitive workers fighting each other” will be only a redoubt. This is overdue. The type of employee is changing into teleworkers, we will have clients instead of bosses, this is what is called the new teleworking 3.0. Future is almost Present. 106 Acquisition International - September 2016
Large enterprises (excluding a few) will surely disappear because most are based on nineteenth century needs and structures, and also due to the change of the worker profile. Things, we want or not, are already changing, but do we want to change with them and follow the same rhythm? Our society must change in many ways, but if I were to focus on one area it would be education. It is so necessary to maintain and increase the training not only in a personal level (it is the key of our success) but also in a professional or corporate side (it is the main gate to a companies success). Technology is moving at the fastest speed ever seen, and it is therefore important to use state of art equipment and to be up to speed with developments in the industry. Our education system is outdated, and is still focused on the industrial era, which of course ended a long, long time ago. As I said before, everything has changed and continues to change dramatically. Facing this issue can be complicated, and companies have neither the time nor the tools, and things do not work. Coaching appears to be that tool that changes organisations and therefore people from within. Coaching opens the space that we need today to connect with us and our present. To know where we are, what we are doing and who we are today. All of us in today’s society have been educated in mediocrity, not to stand out, not to seek and strengthen things we are really passionate about. While we are not able to recognise our gifts, abilities and achievements, I believe there is even less value in them when we show them to the world). We are of those who look on what we have not got, what we need, rather than what we do have, and we do well, and the way in which we use this enhances our lives. Through the discipline of coaching, we can discover our mindsets, learn to change them if they do not help us and change our patterns of behaviour. It also enables one to see things from different perspectives, develop skills we need and uncover the wealth of energy and power we have inside to achieve what we want. For all of this, coaching is a great tool, and the master key that opens the Pandora’s Box of our enormous power. Neurocoaching is intended for engineers and this specialisation is what separates us from the pack. Because I know the industry, I know their mental
PERSONNEL / Executive Coaching: The Secret to Sustained Success: It’s All About Educating the Mind
pattern, how we work, how we operate and how we feel. I understand them and all of this is a big connection between us. I know also the different technological enterprises both nationally and internationally and that facilitates communication understanding as well as fluidity and connection when more technical or corporate issues appear. Of course, our industry is no exception to the constant challenges and opportunities faced by businesses today. The main challenges are the misuse of the word ‘coach’ and ‘coaching’, which implies a disregard of our work and our professionalism. There are a large number of coaches there and a lot of people are unaware of the degree of experience and expertise that good coaching requires. Another important issue is how to reach people who are your target with the right and precise information, but at the same time not by boring them with emails and other materials. In today’s age, it is so important to save yourself from the constant bombardment of information and our aim is to spread the good word about our business in a way that is professional, skilful and accurate. We hope that this strategy will help us build upon our success and begin to help even more businesses thrive in today’s world. Acquisition International - September 2016 107
www.takeflightlearning.com | 888.672.1120
Take Flight Learning offers a variety of DISC training programs, products, and services. DISC sessions can be conducted for organizations (including programs for individuals, teams, leaders, salespeople, and educators), trainers (through the Take Flight with DISC Certification), and in public seminars.
Taking Flight with DISC Taking Flight with DISC is a high energy training experience in which people learn to put the power of their personality into everything they do. For far too long, DISC training has focused on learning a model based on easily-forgotten letters. In this session, the styles are symbolized by the four birds and the focus is on application. Taking Flight with DISC will revolutionize how your people interact with each other and drive success.
Chameleon Selling Chameleon Selling helps salespeople infuse the four styles into every sales interaction. By learning how to read a customerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s style and instantly adapt to their needs, long-term relationships are developed and sales increase. Salespeople will learn critical skills such as: flexing their style in each phase of the selling process, presenting to a team with people of different personalities, and adapting to a prospectâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s corporate culture. Chameleon Selling will turn your salespeople into sales leaders.
Training programs for your people | Certification for your trainers
HEALTH / New E-Nose Sniffs out Rare Progressive Lung Disease
New E-Nose Sniffs out Rare Progressive Lung Disease n e-nose used to detect cancer has been adapted for early detection of Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH), a rare form of high blood pressure, by Université Paris-Saclay in partnership with the Technion Israel Institute of Technology. The artificial nose can sniff out PAH on a person’s breath as the disease alters its signature.
As cases are often diagnosed late, patients suffering from PAH have just a five year life expectancy after diagnosis. It causes cells to obstruct small pulmonary arteries that pump blood from the heart to the lungs, impairing blood flow and increasing blood pressure within the lungs. Symptoms include shortness of breath, chest pain, dizziness and eventually right-sided heart failure. But the disease can be managed with the right diagnosis. The earlier, the better. A team at the Technion, working in nanotechnology and headed by Professor Hossam Haick, initially invented the e-nose to diagnose cancer. Doctor Sylvia CohenKaminsky from Université Paris-Saclay contacted Haick to apply his technology to PAH – which has some similar characteristics to cancer. They are setting up a device dedicated to the diagnosis of the devastating disease. They created an international associated lab between Inserm, the Technion, and Université Paris-Sud, made and published the proof of concept of the detection of PAH using the e-nose. It’s built from gold nanoparticles coupled with chemical modules. A large clinical trial sponsored by the public hospital system in Paris, Assistance Publique Hopitaux de Paris, and headed by Professor Marc Humbert from Université Paris-Sud, renowned expert in pulmonary hypertension, is now ongoing in PAH for validation. “The gold standard for the diagnosis of PAH is right heart catheterism, which can make the right diagnosis, but it is invasive, risky and unsuitable for widespread screening,” says Cohen-Kaminsky. “The e-nose is a non-invasive and safe detection method that means general screening of PAH could eventually be made available.”
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HEALTH / Biotech Top 50: The Best in Oncology Research 1608CG28
Company: MedSource Name: Eric Lund Web: www.medsource.com Address: 16902 El Camino Real, Suite 1A Houston, TX 77058 USA Telephone: +1 (281) 286 2003
The Best in Oncology Research Founded in 1997, MedSource is a full-service niche clinical research organisation (CRO), specialising in oncology programs and other complex clinical trials. We have participated in more than 700 clinical trials globally, with over 200 of them occurring in the area of oncology. MedSource’s efforts support biopharmaceutical clients who conduct complex trials in the most challenging disease states. The firm’s experience encompasses a range of therapeutic areas, product types, clinical trial phases and study designs.
Biotech Top 50 ver the years, MedSource’s services have expanded to include clinical monitoring, clinical project management, regulatory affairs and submissions, quality assurance (QA) auditing, study startup services, feasibility and site selection, data management, biostatistics, safety reporting, as well as medical monitoring.
MedSource’s goal is for our clients to return to us when they need high-quality clinical trial support. It is our role to be a trusted advisor and to act with our clients’ best interests in mind. Our clients trust that we will get the job done, with minimal management required.
Each time MedSource undertakes a new client, our approach remains the same as it has been for the last 19 years, we approach every opportunity with a customised solution. In regards to MedSource’s staff, they are passionate, genuine and critically focused on integrity and results. The team you meet at the start are the ones who work on your project. We are candid and transparent about all of our processes, and we provide line-item bids, so you see everything up front. Going forward, MedSource are very excited about our prospects for the future and we are keen to increase the number of services we currently offer. With 6 locations throughout the US and Europe, we are prepared to handle our clients’ complex clinical trials.
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Winners’ Directory 2016 Business of Distinction – UK Company: Letsgetyoumoving.co.uk Name: Mr Stephen Johnson Managing Director Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web Address: www.letsgetyoumoving.co.uk Address: 14 Church Street, Holbeach, Lincolnshire, PE12 7HZ Telephone: 01406 424441
CEO of the Year 2016 – USA Company: GSI Health Name: LeRoy E. Jones Email: email@example.com Web Address: www.gsihealth.com Address: 1735 Market Street, 53rd Floor Philadelphia, PA 19103 USA Telephone: +1 888 206 4237
Top 50 in Technology Company: Guestline Name: Phil Davidson - CEO Email: Sales@guestline.com Web Address: www.guestline.com Address: Guestline House, Shrewsbury Business Park, Shrewsbury, SY2 6LG Telephone: 01743 282300
2016 CEO of the Year - New Jersey Company: Take Flight Learning Name: Merrick Rosenberg - CEO Email: MRosenberg@TakeFlightLearning.com Web Address: http://takeflightlearning.com/ Address: 112A Centre Blvd. Marlton, New Jersey 08053 Telephone: +1 856 807 0200
Top 50 In Technology Company: Trackyou Ltd Name: Abigail Wilson Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web Address: www.trackyou.co.uk Address: Unit 6, Blackwood Business Park, Ash Road South, Wrexham Industrial Estate, Wrexham, LL13 9UG Telephone: 08450 533415
CEO of The Year 2016 - Oregon Company: Health & Safety Institute Name: Bill Clendenen Email: email@example.com Web Address: www.hsi.com Address: 1450 Westec Dr. Eugene, OR 97402 USA Telephone: +1 800 447 - 3177
Top 50 in Technology Company: Hove College Name: Lina Guerreiro Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web Address: www.hovecollege.co.uk Address: Stuart House, 48 Cromwell Road, Brighton & Hove. BN3 3ER Telephone: +44(0)1273 772577
Principal of the Year Company: Orange Co. Public Schools, Ventura Elementary Name: Debra Vereen Email: email@example.com Web Address: www.ocps.net Address:, Orange County Public Schools – 445 W Amelia St, Orlando FL 32801 Telephone: + 1 407317-3200
Top 50 in Technology Company: OpusVL Name: Stuart J Mackintosh Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web Address: http://opusvl.com/ Address: Drury House, Drury Lane, Rugby, Warwickshire, CV21 3DE Telephone: 01788 298 450
Best of the Best in Finance USA Company: Edward Jones Name: David H Lavelle Email: David.Lavelle@edwardjones.com Web Address: www.edwardjones.com Address: 12417 Cedar Rd Ste #15, Cleveland Heights, OH 44106 Telephone: +1 216 231 7160
CEO of The Year 2016 Company: Monitronics Security Name: Jeffery Gardner Web Address: www.monitronics.com Address: 1990 Wittington Place, Farmers Branch, TX 75235 Telephone: +1 800 447 9239
2016 Intellectual Property Practitioner of the Year - Italy Company: De Simone & Partners SpA Name: Domenico de Simone Email: email@example.com Web Address: www.desimonepartners.com Address: Via Vincenzo Bellini, 20 – 00198 Rome, Italy Telephone: +39 06853361
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2016 Intellectual Property Practitioner of the Year, the USA Company: Wagenknecht IP Law Group, PC Name: Raymond Wagenknecht Email: office@ wageniplaw.com Web Address: www.WagenIPLaw.com Address: 5677 Oberlin Dr. Ste. 204, San Diego, CA 92121 Telephone: +1 (858) 587 2510 2016 Intellectual Property Practitioner of the Year – Bulgaria Company: Tabakov, Tabakova & Partners Law Firm Name: Milena Tabakova Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web Address: www.ttplaw.bg Address: 18 Ami Boue Street, Krasno Selo District, Sofia 1606, Bulgaria Telephone: +359 2 963 02 66(86) 2016 Intellectual Property Practitioner of the Year - UK Company: ip21 Ltd Name: Richard Jones Email: email@example.com Web Address: http://www.ip21.co.uk/ Address: Lakeside 300, Old Chapel Way, Broadland Business Park, Norwich NR7 0WG Telephone: 01603 457008 2016 IP Practitioner of the Year - Costa Rica Company: Jimenez Carmiol & Associates Name: Marco Antonio Jiménez Carmiol and/or Angela Jimenez Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com Web Address: www.jicarlaw.com Address: Calle 25 Avenida Central & 1 No. 55N San Jose, Costa Rica Telephone: (506) 2222 7780 (506) 2222 7971 Fax (506) 2222 7504
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