St Julians BOSS Store Malta 2, Ross Street Malta International Airport BOSS Store MIA Gate 1, Departures Lounge
here’s one thing that unites us all: shopping. No matter what your budget is – from a few euros to a couple of grand – we all buy essentials, gifts, and feel-good treats.
08 / INCREASING THE CHANCES OF SUCCESS
Yet retail is not just about the products. Behind the product itself is a whole backstage that combines physical space and design, customer service, pricing strategy, franchising aspirations, and direction to ensure return custom. And in this issue of Money, we focus on this backstage.
10 / AIMING FOR EXCELLENCE
Aspiring technology entrepreneurs need resources to collaborate, plan, launch and grow their businesses, says Benjamin McClure, manager of Takeoff, the new University of Malta Business Incubator. Having a creative approach in tackling social and political issues is key, says Jonathan Shaw, candidate for the 2014 MEP elections.
13 / SMOOTH OPERATORS
How do you add brand value through superior customer experience, asks George Larry Zammit.
Financing of retail activities may look simple but in reality it may require more thought than you would expect. Reuben Buttigieg gives us a step-by-step guide on financing, setting up and leading a retail outlet to success.
16 / FROM BRICK TO CLICK AND BACK AGAIN
“It takes much more than a good idea to create a successful business,” says Benjamin McClure, manager of Takeoff, the new University of Malta Business Incubator. Indeed, it does. Which is why the new business incubator provides aspiring entrepreneurs with the right set-up to collaborate, plan, launch and grow their businesses.
19 / FROM THE MOUTH OF BRANDS
Melanie Vella meets Dania Heller, the LA fashion designer whose label, The Hellers, has achieved success through an alternative retail space: buzzing pop-up shops.
23 / FINANCING RETAIL ACTIVITIES
Despite the turbulence of global markets, Malta’s fund industry has managed to secure consistent growth. Dr Richard Bernard charts Malta’s evolution and continued growth as a hedge fund domicile.
25 / ROBUST AND FLEXIBLE
In this issue of Money, we also travel to France, where innovation as well as a strong luxury market are driving the country and putting it in the lead. Just consider that out of top 270 prestige brands in the world, 130 are French. Together, these account for a quarter of worldwide turnover and contribute €217bn to the global economy.
30 / THAT’S RICH
With the rise of online shopping, the future of brick and mortar shops appeared gloomy. Yet by enhancing their shopping experience, high street shops are fighting back. Money investigates. Word of mouth publicity is a game of influence, says Chris Mifsud. When opening a shop, it’s all in the details, says Reuben Buttigieg. Dr Richard Bernard charts Malta’s evolution and continued growth as a hedge fund domicile. All that glitters is probably gold for France’s luxury goods market. Money goes on a spending spree.
36 / WORK TO PLAY
Read on and enjoy.
Nutrition, the proper gear and being prepared help you avoid sports injuries, says physiotherapist Milos Stanisavljevic.
38 / A SHOP SIGN OF THE TIMES
The Maltatype Project aims to document and re-evaluate local vintage shop signs, says Matt Demarco.
40 / FROM WHEEL TO CLUB
Stefan Borg Manduca discusses his passion for golf and cars.
Editor / Anthony P. Bernard email@example.com Consulting Editor / Stanley Borg Design / Matthew Demarco Printing / Gutenberg Distribution / Mailbox Direct Marketing Group
Hand delivered to businesses in Malta, all 5 Star Hotels including their business centres, executive lounges and rooms (where allowed), Maltese Embassies abroad (UK, Rome, Brussels, Moscow and Libya), some Government institutions and all ministries. For information regarding promotion and advertising call Tel: 00 356 2134 2155, 2131 4719 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
52 / HIDE AND SEEK THERAPY
Melanie Vella travels with Dania Heller as the LA fashion designer gathers local artisanal products used to bring her latest creations to life. Even though her brand, The Hellers, is endorsed by many red carpet regulars, Dania is fascinated with the pop-up shop phenomenon.
54 / THE YEAR OF THE HOARSE
Is the Maldives turning into a paradise lost, asks Mona Farrugia as she makes a rough landing.
57 / GREEN ACTION
The golfing season at the Royal Malta Golf Club continues with plenty of excitement.
58 / THE BLUESMAN’S BLOG What the frac is this about, asks The Bluesman.
Money is published by BE Communications Ltd, 37, Amery Street, Sliema, SLM 1702
All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part is strictly prohibited without written permission. Opinions expressed in Money are not necessarily those of the editor or publisher. All reasonable care is taken to ensure truth and accuracy, but the editor and publishers cannot be held responsible for errors or omissions in articles, advertising, photographs or illustrations. Unsolicited manuscripts are welcome but cannot be returned without a stamped, self-addressed envelope. The editor is not responsible formaterial submitted for consideration.
Cover Credit: Everybody's Booksellers, Photograph by Matthew Demarco
04 - Money / Issue 24
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I NC R E A S I N G T H E CHA N C E S O F SUCCESS Aspiring technology entrepreneurs need resources to collaborate, plan, launch and grow their businesses, says Benjamin McClure, manager of Takeoff, the new University of Malta Business Incubator.
Benjamin McClure is a seasoned technology incubator manager and start-up business development adviser. His passion is helping innovators and entrepreneurs transform their research and ideas into market- and investor-ready business opportunities. Benjamin is leading the development and 2014 launch of the University of Malta’s Takeoff business incubator, Malta’s first early-stage technology incubation centre. Previously, Benjamin consulted for early-stage technology ventures located around the world, helping them raise several million euros in private investment. Before that Benjamin was head of spinout company development at a major technology university-based incubator in Canada. Benjamin started his career in London at a City investment bank and holds an MBA from the University of Alberta, Canada.
“LIKE SCIENTISTS, ENTREPRENEURS SOLVE PROBLEMS THROUGH A TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF WORK VALIDATING AND INVALIDATING EARLY IDEAS AND NOT FROM A SINGLE SPARK OF INSPIRATION.” Do the Maltese have an entrepreneurial spirit?
Yes, the Maltese are very entrepreneurial. Having lived on the island for nearly two years now, I have discovered that Malta is a home for motivated, creative people with great ideas, who are keen to create new businesses. The island is full of talented, energetic people looking to entrepreneurship as a career path. That said, aspiring technology entrepreneurs in Malta need plenty of nurturing and guidance to get their innovations off the ground and into the marketplace. A supportive and well-connected entrepreneurial community is what’s needed to transform
08 - Money / Issue 24
entrepreneurs into ventures that will prosper and grow. Takeoff business incubator provides them with resources to collaborate, plan, launch and grow their businesses.
that supports start-up initiatives. I’m pleased that the government of Malta is now seriously exploring ways of encouraging start-ups by way of public seed funding and tax incentive schemes.
Good business ideas are important, but not enough – how should these be followed up to fruition? It takes much more than a good idea to
A lot of local businesses are second-generation – does this mean that start-up numbers are on the low side? Building a new business from scratch
create a successful business. Great entrepreneurship is in the execution. Rarely does the initial idea determine the business. Success is about the hundreds of ideas and decisions that are made along the way. At Takeoff, we encourage entrepreneurs to concentrate their efforts on problems that customers will pay to have solved rather than their initial ideas. Like scientists, entrepreneurs solve problems through a tremendous amount of work validating and invalidating early ideas and not from a single spark of inspiration.
For any economy, how important is it to support new businesses? Start-ups are the big
companies of tomorrow – they fuel economies. Entrepreneurship drives economic growth, but it requires long-term patient investments in research and talent, a culture that accepts failure, and a community
can be risky, especially measured against the option of maintaining a family business. The risks involved keep some people away from a start-up career. However, a new generation of bright, technically-skilled Maltese graduates are striking out on their own with the aim of creating start-up businesses afresh. Being a founder of a start-up is both nerve-wracking and thrilling at the same time. At Takeoff we aim to provide entrepreneurs with the expertise, connections, resources, and encouragement that can help remove some of the start-up risk and costs and improve their chances of success.
Should new businesses establish themselves locally before venturing into foreign markets? I firmly believe that entrepreneurs should have their sights set on global markets from the outset.
Who does Takeoff offer services to? Takeoff
accepts applications from innovators and aspiring entrepreneurs with technology or knowledge-based ideas that hold market promise. Most importantly, we are eager to support energetic entrepreneurs, teams and young companies that are motivated to build successful technology and knowledge-based businesses.
What has been the take-up of Takeoff services to date? Take-up has been strong. Takeoff is now
home to 10 start-up ventures. We expect many more to join the Takeoff community in the coming months.
In recent years, Malta has shifted its economy from manufacturing to services and knowledge-based. Is Takeoff following the same direction? Yes, Takeoff focuses on supporting
technology and knowledge-based businesses. We specialise in the incubation and delivery of business development programmes for high value, innovative, growing businesses in information and communication technology, software solutions, digital games, interactive media, e-learning and design.
Photos by Chris Sant Fournier 01 - From Left; Benjamin McClure, Nel Pace, artist at Mighty Box Games, and Marvin Zammit, CEO, Mighty Box Games 02 - From Left; Tyron Lloyd Baron, co-founder at PHEME digital and Benjamin McClure.
New technology allows Maltese-based start-ups to take advantage of exciting global opportunities. Moreover, the forces of globalisation make it so that Malta’s start-ups can no longer afford to wait until they’re big in their home market before they go international. The sooner they consider global opportunities, the better off they’ll be.
What is the role of the Takeoff incubator in supporting new businesses? Takeoff offers a base
for technology-focused entrepreneurs keen to make headway with their ideas and businesses. We offer two floors of shared and private working space in the heart of the University of Malta campus, plus in-house business support and training, access to experts and advisors, financing and other key resources. Opening our doors to aspiring technology entrepreneurs, Takeoff provides them with space to plan, launch and grow businesses. At Takeoff, they are joined by a network of seasoned entrepreneurs, business mentors, and angel investors who will help guide them in business development creation, raising investment capital, and getting technology products and services into the marketplace. Joining innovation with the world of business, the incubator will be a lively hub for learning, collaboration, creativity and successful business creation.
Money / Issue 24 - 09
A I MI NG F OR EXC E L LE NCE Having a creative approach in tackling social and political issues is key, says Jonathan Shaw, candidate for the 2014 MEP elections.
Jonathan Shaw is an entrepreneur who is currently a partner in a leading fashion franchisee company. His previous ventures include business development consultancy and co-founding an online travel company. Jonathan has also held a number of directorships, including chairman of a supermarket franchise, nonexecutive director for the Malta Film Commission and committee member on the Aviation Supervisory Committee within Transport Malta. Jonathan, who holds a Masters degree in Business Administration, also co-founded Teatru Unplugged, a concert held annually at the Manoel Theatre since 1998.
What or who inspired you to contest the forthcoming MEP elections? I was never actively involved in politics before this campaign. Instead, I kept myself busy with a number of my own business ventures and was quite content leading teams and seeing projects get off the ground.
Eventually, however, I realised I could use my experience to contribute to the public sector with everything I’ve learnt in the private sector. I also thought this was especially relevant with regards to the EU context which is all about sharing ideas, lobbying, creating opportunities, and negotiating the best deal for our country. strengths lie in my background in business, my positive track record and my attitude to life in general. I am results oriented, forward looking and able to adapt to various situations.
It was a bit daunting at first because politics tends to be dominated by lawyers and other professionals who bring with them gravitas, political shrewdness and good oratory skills. But the more I meet people, the
“THE MORE I MEET PEOPLE, THE MORE I REALISE THE STRONG DEMAND THAT EXISTS FOR POLITICIANS WHO ARE HONEST, HARDWORKING AND INNOVATIVE IN THEIR APPROACH.” 10 - Money / Issue 24
What inspires your election campaign slogan: “Think Europe - Act Local”? My campaign
more I realise the strong demand that exists for politicians who are honest, hardworking and innovative in their approach.
How does your business experience influence your vision and how would it be valuable as a prospective MEP? Every candidate brings their
own particular perspective and experience. I believe my
slogan, Think Europe - Act Local, embodies my commitment to the electorate. While it’s important to work within a European mindset and level, it’s as important to be able to deliver results and manage perceptions in an effective manner on a local level.
Could our ideas achieve more value within a European context? Definitely. I believe that ideas
make the world go round and having a creative
approach in tackling social and political issues is key. Yet ideas alone are not enough and making them happen is the eventual challenge.
You recently spoke out against spring hunting – apart from animal rights considerations, do you believe that spring hunting gives Malta a bad name? My decision is primarily based on
the fact that I’m against the notion of killing a bird which is migrating to nest and breed. Further to this, the derogation for spring hunting allows a limit of 16,000 birds to be shot over the spring three-week period. With 10,000 hunters one can do their own calculations as to how realistic such limits are being observed and controlled especially when it’s the hunters themselves who need to send an SMS each time they shoot down a bird. The issue whether spring hunting gives Malta a bad name or not is in my opinion secondary to the principles and local aspect.
Malta is the EU’s smallest member state. Despite its size, what influence can it have on EU policy? As a Maltese MEP you have every
opportunity to work and leave an impact as any other foreign MEP. The fact that you have a large number of German or French MEPs does not necessarily mean that they all agree among themselves either. As a state, we are small, yet this could be an opportunity as we could more easily get things going and position ourselves within the EU as best practice examples.
Malta is constantly struggling with irregular immigration and its proposals for burden sharing have, to date, remained unsuccessful – what are your views? A large number of European
countries are facing this phenomenon but the biggest struggle is for migrants and their families who are risking their life for a better one. It’s a complex issue with no clear-cut solutions yet as EU member states we must work together and come up with tangible measures that focus on finding a solution for the migrant.
I have my reservations if we will ever have 28 member states agreeing on a formula for burden sharing yet while solutions are being sought we should also think outside the box to present feasible and humane solutions that foster integration. We must also effectively communicate the real facts and information locally so as to avoid hostile and racist misconceptions.
People quote structural funding and freedom of movement as the primary benefits but the list of benefits goes beyond this. A small example is the environment: we complain that on a national level we don’t do enough to protect and work towards a sustainable environment. The clean sea we had in the past years is due to EU regulations and directives that we follow. Just imagine the state of our environment if we were not part of the EU.
Could we have achieved more?
You can always achieve more especially when one aims for excellence. Nonetheless, the question is whether as a nation and our past MEPs could have contributed more to the European project. You can follow Jonathan’s MEP campaign at www.jonshaw.com
Malta will soon celebrate its 10th anniversary since it joined the EU. What have been the main advantages to Malta’s EU accession? Pre-
accession we knew that EU membership would bring a number of advantages, challenges and adaptations. Yet, one cannot imagine Malta being outside of the EU. Yet some blame the EU for things that are not so perfect without giving tangible solutions and in doing so ride on a populist wave.
Money / Issue 24 - 11
Co m e a n d e x p e r i e n c e Re - v i v e at t h e N a t u z z i S t o re N at u z z i , Va l l e y R o a d, M s i da t e l : 2 1 4 4 6 0 0 0
S MOOTH OPERATORS How do you add brand value through superior customer experience, asks George Larry Zammit.
George Larry Zammit is Marketing Manager at Arkadia Marketing Limited and an associate member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing.
etailing has dramatically evolved from a product-centric activity to a customercentric one. While it is obvious that the main product remains key to assure user satisfaction, the customer experience has become paramount to facilitate a positive and everlasting relationship between the customer and the brand. Let’s face it. With the advent of open markets and e-commerce, products are easily accessible from a multitude of channels. Consumers are flooded with choice. Therefore apart from price, what influences the customer decision journey? Where and how you sell the product has become just as important. Customer experience is defined as “the user’s interpretation of his or her total interaction with the brand”. A good experience ensures satisfaction. Satisfied customers remain loyal to the brand and pitch in a positive word of mouth. Therefore a positive customer experience does increase precious value to the brand. In the early 1900s retail pioneer Gordon Selfridge was very clear about delivering a consistently distinctive customer experience. Selfridge is actually credited for coining the phrase “the customer is always right” and described his original vision for his new department store, Selfridges, as “delighting them with an unrivalled shopping experience’. At the time Selfridge’s introduction of an in-store coffee shop was considered as an innovation and staff were trained the Selfridges Way to ensure a distinctively consistent level of customer service.
TH E EXT E N D E D M AR K E T I N G M I X When Philip Kotler introduced the four Ps to the marketing world, it was clear that he had product brands in mind, not services. Today the marketing mix as we know it has extended itself from four Ps to seven Ps to include people, physical environment, and process. As an example, on a recent visit to London I was shopping at a Disney store to purchase a gift for my daughter and two nieces. While I was paying for my selected items the cashier tried to up-sell by proposing their special offer on Spiderman beach towels. She obviously remarked that I was not shopping around for a boy but she still gave it a try. I sarcastically replied back that I would have been interested a long time ago but unfortunately not today due to my older age. Politely the cashier replied back by reminding me that you are never too old for Disney. The actual people who serve customers can be the most important component of the brand and the customer experience. The cashier effectively fulfilled her role as an ambassador of the brand. While carrying out her responsibility to up-sell and promote current promotional offers, she still remained committed to maintain, if not galvanise, the relationship between the brand and customer. Your people on the front line are the ones who can create that magic and bond for a long-term brand relationship. Physical environment has also become increasingly important as retail outlets are now becoming considered as destinations and not simply a place of purchase. Trendy decor, in-store music, lighting and even simulated scents play a vital role to influence the four senses of the customer to deliver a distinctive customer experience. Disney stores for instance are decorated to reflect the brand’s imaginary universe. Complemented with background music consisting of the most popular Disney tunes, a visit to the shop is an experience in itself. Other examples from London are the M&M’s outlet at Leicester Square and Harrods at Knightsbridge. Not only are they retail outlets – they have literally become tourist attractions. The operational process of the customer interaction must be smooth and consistent. Technology has played an important role to streamline the process while recording data which eventually can be utilised for analysis and evaluation. The process should be considered as a necessity and not a burden. The process should enable staff to deliver a smooth, efficient and consistent transaction with the customer. Certainly not the opposite.
“IDENTIFY OPPORTUNITIES TO GE T CUSTOMERS INVOLVED.” THE KEY ISSUES TO FOCUS ON Ensure that you and your team recognise the problem and consider it as an opportunity for improvement. We are an imperfect species which one day even believed that the Earth was flat and till today continues to evolve. The Japanese created Kaizen which is a regular process which seeks continuous improvement. Day after day retailers need to seek out new ways to offer the perfect shopping experience. Change should be your only constant. It is important to identify opportunities to get customers involved so they too can contribute to improvements within the customer experience. Edward de Bono, the father of lateral thinking, has taught us time and again on how one might see things differently when observed from an alternative perspective. Customers can provide you with their perspective which might not be so easily visible to you. Ensure that you map the customer experience from start to finish. By mapping the process you can easily identify the critical touch points which make or break the customer experience. You would be surprised how easier it will become to identify opportunities and areas of improvement. Integration between departments is also critical. Even the guy delivering the goods to the shop outlet every early morning has a role to play. It is also important to create the appropriate metrics for measurement of the customer experience. It is useless making improvements to the customer experience if you don’t set targets. People need goals to reach for. Measuring the behaviour of your customers is essential to confirm that you are reaping the fruit of your endeavours.
Money / Issue 24 - 13
Retailers who serve their customers across multiple channels must ensure that the experience remains consistent. Customers purchasing via in-store or online must be treated in the same way. The same applies for brands which operate from more than one location. The customer experience must be synonymous. Communication with customers is another element which also needs to be consistent. Digital communication has facilitated two-way communication between brand and consumer. Therefore the tone and style of communication needs to be consistent when a customer engages with the brand. It is also important to realise and understand the economics of customer segments and the evolving nature of customer shopping missions. Not all customers engage with a brand for the same reason. And not all customers have the same relevance to the brand. Efforts to maintain and improve the shopping experience should
14 - Money / Issue 24
not deviate the core segments of customers who deliver the most customer lifetime value. Last and not least employees need to be highly motivated to do their part in delivering superior customer service. The people who engage with customers should not only be reminded of negative incidents. Positive feedback received from customers should also be communicated internally. Taking a cue from Blanchard and Johnson’s The One Minute Manager (Harper, 2011), one minute praises can encourage employees to continue doing a good job and go that extra mile. Customer expectations are high. Like it or not, you have to manage them. No customer is a charity. Tesco founder Jack Cohen once coined the following internal motto to motivate his sales force: YCDBSOYA (You Can’t Do Business Sitting On Your Arse). Things have changed dramatically since Tesco would pile it high and sell it cheap, but Cohen’s internal motto remains ever so relevant today.
Tech-savvy customers are using social media to have conversations about brands. With this in mind GasanMamo Insurance adopted one of the hottest trends in consumer marketing – gamification. Since insurers mainly sell 12-month insurance policies, consumers rarely interact with their insurer unless they need to renew their policy or make a claim. Through Ray’s Adventure, a game that sees Ray through different stages of his life, parallel to how many people consume insurance to reflect their requirements at
different points in their lives, GasanMamo allows customers to connect to the brand on a more personal level. Ray’s Adventure, a game fully developed by Anchovy Studios in collaboration with GasanMamo has seen nearly 2,500 players registered in the first six weeks following the game’s inception. Ray’s Adventure can be played through Facebook by liking GasanMamo’s Facebook Page or on www.raysadventure.com.
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FR OM BR I CK T O CLICK AND BACK AG A IN With the rise of online shopping, the future of brick and mortar shops appeared gloomy. Yet by enhancing their shopping experience, high street shops are fighting back. Money investigates.
n the last five years, the one-click, always open convenience of online shopping has attracted an increasing number of customers. And as the number of online customers rose, the number of those who still engage in traditional, high street shopping fell. The battle had only just begun. In fact, in these past years, high street shops worldwide have been facing their toughest battle. In the UK alone, the British Independent Retailers Association report that in 2013, every week, 30 stores in town centres closed down. In comparison, visits to Amazon by British customers increased by 80 per cent. Last year, The Economist reported how, when one of the Jessops stores in the UK had to close down, the staff hung a notice on the front door that said, “The staff at Jessops would like to thank you for shopping with Amazon.” Other stores followed. Even chains had
to close down. In 2013, Borders, a chain of American bookshops, disappeared from the high street. So did Comet, a British chain of white goods and electronics shops. And yet, it’s too easy to blame the woes physical shops on online outlets. The truth is that declining figures cannot be blamed solely on the rise of online shopping. It is a combination of factors, including exorbitant high street rents and competition from supermarkets and out of town malls. Moreover, customers, especially in Europe, are still feeling the brunt of the economic downturn and unemployment, and despite encouraging figures, are still shopping less. Another underlying factor is that our shopping habits have changed. We now shop on the go, from the comfort of our own homes, and in the middle of the night. It’s a chicken and egg situation. What came first: online shopping, or our desire for shopping habits which are a closer match to our busy, always connected lifestyle? So, who will win the battle between the high street and online shopping? The thing is, it’s not an either, or situation. Both can coexist because both have the proverbial advantages and disadvantages. And both are adapting to each other’s existence. Most brick and mortar shops nowadays have an online presence which, in a large number of cases, also offers online shopping. And outlets which until a few months ago only had an online presence nowadays are opening their own high street arm, thus acknowledging the importance of seeing, feeling and trying on products and merchandise. One of these is Rapha, which started as an online business in 2004 selling cyclewear, and seven years later opened its first store in San Francisco. Nowadays, it has another four branches, in London, Osaka, New York and Sydney. This trend, which has been labelled “clicks to bricks”
or “e-tail to retail”, is boosting the presence of and sales of physical shops. In a recent survey in the US, 68 per cent of the 18- to 25-year-olds respondents claimed that they prefer to shop in stores for shoes and clothes. That comes as a surprise, especially when considering that people in the same age bracket are heavy technology users.
“ THE PHY SIC AL EXPERIENCE AND HUMAN INTERACTION IS INVALUABLE .” There cannot be a stronger acknowledgement that to create a buyer-seller interaction using only digital means is very difficult. If retailers want to connect with their customers, encourage engagement with a brand, create trust and build an ongoing relationship with them, then the physical experience and human interaction is invaluable.
CUST O M E R E X P E R I E N C E Vivendo Group was launched in 2008 as the parent company of five furniture retail outlets: Ideacasa, Quadra, Poltronesofa, Krea and Dex. Vivendo is Malta’s largest furniture retailer and brings together over half a century of experience in the retailing and wholesale business. Vivendo Group collaborates with reliable suppliers which have been established for over 25 years. From all its outlets, Vivendo Group offers dedicated customer service, aftersales service and technical support as well as dedicated and flexible delivery and installation.
16 - Money / Issue 24
To further enhance the customer experience and give their customers added value, Vivendo Group has introduced a price promise guarantee. This guarantee covers any item available at any Vivendo outlet, namely Ideacasa, Quadra, Poltronesofa, Krea and Dex. The guarantee is that if you find the exact same product for a lower price from another outlet, Vivendo Group will match it. (Official quote documentation must be presented and product must be of exact same brand, material, finish, guarantees and other applicable conditions. This promise does not cover appliances.)
Various retailers are strong in this belief that there is no better buyer-seller interaction than the physical one. For instance, Inditex, owner of the Zara fashion brand, opened more than 450 stores in 2012. Primark sells nothing on its website. At the higher end of the retail spectrum, luxury brands rarely sell anything online. After all, few customers are willing to spend thousands on, say, a diamond necklace, and have it delivered by post.
For the customer, the coexistence of online shopping with physical retail can only be good news. On the one hand, online shops offer the convenience of making a purchase any day, any time and in any weather. And on the other, brick and mortar shops are investing in outlet design and customer service, with the aim of making their shops a retail destination and driving footfall. The main focus is to enhance the shopping experience through the use of design, music and instore events.
Enhancing the shopping experience is key. After all, in as much the same way that dining is not just about food, shopping is not only about buying stuff. Shopping is about aspirations, nursing and fulfilling desires, and enjoying an experience. Shopping is not just a necessity â€“ it is indulgence. And while the convenience of online shopping probably cannot be matched by brick and mortar shops, the latter have the physical experience and interaction in their favour.
Money / Issue 24 - 17
FR OM T HE MOUTH O F BR ANDS Word of mouth publicity is a game of influence, says Chris Mifsud.
t’s a popular mistake, particularly in smaller, denser economies to talk of word-of-mouth as the best form of publicity. The error in this statement lies in the fact that word-of-mouth is not in itself a marketing effort but a desired result. No brand can generate or buy the concept of word-of-mouth, as much as none of us can buy a wholesome reputation or control what people think and say about us through our purchasing power (and no, there isn’t an app for it either). Word-of-mouth then is in fact an objective. It’s a goal to be reached through well-devised marketing efforts.
But it’s not just any objective. It’s the objective. It is in itself the sum of many a touch-point. The buzz created within an audience by a recent product launch or viral campaign. A blend of external relations activity (more commonly known as PR) and balance sheet brand equity. It is on the other hand a regular habit to actively influence the generation of word-of-mouth more directly than the arm’s length approach described earlier. Brands have facilities in place to seed information at a user level that is aimed at tipping over that first domino in generating enough buzz to deliver brand equity in the bucket loads. As in politics, and as in marriage, it is a game of influence. Without venturing too far into social behaviour analysis, we are all aware of influencers, crowd-movers and opinion leaders whether in formal capacity or otherwise. Let’s face it: we can’t all be influencers or leaders. How many times have you noticed the subtle power dynamics in social groups when one person proposes to move the party to one venue and his or her suggestion is hardly considered? But when another member of the group even hints at this same venue it’s taken (by most but not all) as a quasi-command. This is the power of influence used by millions of us every day who are lucky enough to have it and clever enough to dispense it wisely. A resulting positive brand equity is capitalised from all the word-of-mouth generated organically, so through the natural buzz created by an honestly positive
product, brand, campaign or idea that is rightfully passed around from person to person. Alternatively brands can consciously plant material with identifiable influencers that are nothing more than endorsed, cherry picked brand ambassadors who then, nearly effortlessly generate word-of-mouth through their social associations, be it in person, online or otherwise.
“ P EER-TO- P EER M ARKE TI N G, WH I CH I S TH E ES SEN C E OF WO RD - OF - MOU TH I TSELF, MAKES TH E KEY D I STI NC TI ON F RO M P ROD U C T END O RSEMENTS .” Money / Issue 24 - 19
You could say that it is a system then that is built on pure recommendation – but more importantly it has to be a bankable recommendation in as much as the individual making that recommendation (or promoting that hype, usage, experience) needs to not only be honestly believable, but influencing enough to drive the audience to action. Notice however that the key word in that poorly constructed paragraph is peer. Peer-to-peer marketing, which is the essence of word-of-mouth itself, makes the key distinction from product endorsements more commonly associated with celebrities or personalities. The difference is obvious to some, but needs explaining to most. A personality or celebrity endorsement works on a viewer’s aspirations. So put very simply, we associate a brand of razor blade with a superstar footballer to engage the aspirations of viewers (even those on the outer fringes of football fandom) in terms of superiority, success and all the other key words. But always on the basis of aspiration – therefore a super-self, most likely never to be realised but with which we’re happy to associate. Peer-to-peer style of marketing, therefore word-of-mouth et al, is really based on two primary motivators, namely acceptance and relevance.
Acceptance is a simple refined version of ‘all my friends have one’ so a question of fitting in with the alpha groups of this world.
hovers over their sacred brand equity and which is ultimately created by our most powerful alter ego: us the viewers.
Relevance however is a bit more pragmatic and rational in as much as if a word-of-mouth buzz is created around a brand or activity and it is endorsed by my peers then in turn I’m more likely to realise (in many cases though certainly not all) that it is probably something that is largely relevant to my lifestyle, tastes and objectives of self-positioning in a status driven society.
Chris Mifsud is a director of a marketing communications agency and holds an MBA from SDA Bocconi, Milan.
Though by no means a recent phenomenon, word-of-mouth activity creation is simply more conspicuous today in, let’s call it, word-of-mouse form. The digital version of historical principles is simply sexier but altogether unchanging from the old. Viral marketing, click-through recommendation, user-generated reviews are all cousins in a central cloud that is the basis of any type of peer reviewed, recommended or endorsed activity that harnesses the power of people to build a brand, engage it or yes even besmirch it. Brands the world over would be surprised at how little of their ad dollars can actually control the resulting cloud of word-of-mouth buzz that
20 - Money / Issue 24
FI N A NCI NG RE TA IL A CT I VI T I E S When opening a shop, it’s all in the details, says Reuben Buttigieg.
inancing of retail activities may look simple but in reality it may require more thought than you would expect. Throughout my experience in advising clients on start-ups and on financing of projects, I’ve come across many enthusiastic entrepreneurs who come and show me their optimistic workings to open their shop. On some occasions these would have been well thought out but not polished. On other occasions, entrepreneurs would need step-by-step guidance. In a good retail shop the most difficult part is actually the starting of the business as it would require more investment than many would have thought of. In the first place you would need to overcome various stereotypes or misconceptions. You cannot build a successful retail shop without the appropriate financing. In retail you need to think about all details – for instance, the placing of items with appropriate equipment becomes a fundamental part of the whole concept. In this context, you need to ensure you are in a position to for instance have adequate shelving that complements the type of product you are selling. Lighting and palette need to complement this too. In substance all design elements are important. Regrettably many kick off without giving this the necessary thought and consequently they would not be financially prepared to do this. Another important matter is the kind of sales representatives you have in the shop. Too many times we notice that the salespersons are not adequately prepared and trained. The salesperson is your ambassador and a good salesperson will make the difference in the performance of the outlet. Even in this context you need to invest in the appropriate human capital and in their training. At launch stage, you need to make some additional marketing effort in order to get yourself known. This may take various forms from advertising to promotional activities. Having a good location is important but also ensuring to utilising that location.
Potential clients should know you are there as early as possible in order to accelerate the return on investment. In order to achieve this you need to have a marketing budget. IT and control systems are as important as the rest of investment. Control systems mitigate any possible pilferage while IT may render you more efficient and also reduce the possibility of human error. More sophisticated systems will also allow you to monitor your stock level and turnover, which becomes more important in cases of perishable goods. The monitoring of slow moving items becomes important too. Many fail to understand that slow moving stock has a cost. It is tied capital and uses space and consumes energy to handle it. After considering all this and other expenses, you need to estimate the demand you need to achieve to render the whole thing sustainable. You also need to estimate the initial capital needed and how to achieve and structure this. In the first instance you need to split the requirement into two main headings, which are capital expenditure (such as furniture and fittings) and working capital. One huge mistake is not to make a distinction between the two as a wrong financing structure will lead to unnecessary pressures which could lead to insolvency. Secondly you need to evaluate the access to finance options available to you. Many immediately think of banks but really and truly there may be other financing options. Instruments which are not so frequently used are crowd-funding as well as private bond placements. Other routes include the use of business angels which in Malta exist although informal. Recently we saw the launch of the first crowd-funding programme in Malta. We will need to see the success of this particularly in view of the fact that there are various legislative interpretations on its tax and VAT treatment. However, hopefully for businesses these obstacles will be overcome. This system has in reality been in existence in Malta for a number of years in
“ YOU NEED TO INVEST IN THE APPROPRIATE HUMAN C APITAL AND IN THEIR TRAINING.” village projects but not for business. With respect to private bond placements very few happen as businesses and consultants still seem to shy away from not so common instruments. Others may have referred to stockbrokers which in reality defeats the whole sense of a private placement. In spite of this, it’s a very interesting instrument that many should be encouraged to look at. Whichever method of financing you opt for, you need to ensure that it is the most adequate to your business and in line with the philosophy with which you run your business. This analysis should be done in the business plan which many fail to formalise in a written document. This in itself limits the method of financing you may tap into. Reuben Buttigieg is managing director of Erremme Business Advisors and President of the Malta Institute of Management.
Money / Issue 24 - 23
Workbays Developed by Vitra in Switzerland, Design: Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec, 2012 Available through the following Vitra dealer: DEX · Mdina Road · Qormi · QRM 9011 T. 356 2277 3000 · email@example.com · www.dex.com.mt
M MARKET REPORT AIF is unleveraged, will be required to operate within the heightened regulatory strictures of the various regulations transposing Directive 2011/61/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of June 8, 2011 on Alternative Investment Fund Managers and amending Directives 2003/41/EC and 2009/65/EC
RO B U ST AN D FL EXI B LE Dr Richard Bernard charts Malta’s evolution and continued growth as a hedge fund domicile.
alta’s investment services legislation was enacted back in 1994 as part of the jurisdiction’s initiative to bolster its legal and regulatory framework in anticipation of its application for EU membership. Indeed the island’s accession to the European Union in May, 2004 proved to be the primary catalyst for the exponential growth of its financial services industry, thrusting the jurisdiction onto the world map by coupling an onshore robust and comprehensive regulatory and legislative framework which inspires confidence with a Europe-wide passporting system and effectively crystallising Malta’s role as a European hub for financial services. That Malta’s fund industry would not have enjoyed the growth experienced to date but for its regulator is unanimous among practitioners and industry players alike. The Malta Financial Services Authority is the single regulator for financial services in Malta tasked, inter alia, with regulating banks, insurance and investment services. It has gained a Europe-wide reputation for flexibility and pragmatism tempered with diligence and meticulous attention to detail, preferring quality over quantity and promoting investor protection to safeguard Malta’s position as a jurisdiction of repute. The most attractive, and by far the most popular, aspect of the Maltese hedge fund framework broadly comprises the Professional Investor Fund and the Alternative Investment Fund. The PIF regime offers three different fund typologies, based on the participating investors’ wealth and experience, with the regulatory regime being relaxed proportionally to the minimum entry threshold required from each individual investor. The AIF regime allows fund managers to launch AIFs under the AIFM Directive. The Maltese regulatory framework also provides for Retail Non-UCITS Schemes, Retail UCITS Schemes and Private Collective Investment Schemes. Retail Non-UCITS Schemes comprise retail funds which may be marketed solely to Malta-based investors. With Retail UCITS Schemes, UCITScompliant funds may avail themselves of a larger market for the sale of their units by way of retail distribution which is enhanced by the passporting of the fund’s units into any EEA or EU member state without the requirement of licensing in each such
member state. Funds which are established as UCITS schemes, are subject to the various regulations transposing Directive 2009/65/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of July 13, 2009 on the coordination of laws, regulations and administrative provisions relating to undertakings for collective investment in transferable securities (the “UCITS Directive”). For Private Collective Investment Schemes to operate as such, these are required to be recognised by the MFSA, as opposed to being licensed like the other forms of schemes. In order to be recognised as ‘private’, a collective investment scheme must satisfy certain conditions including, inter alia, that the total number of participants is limited to fifteen persons who are close friends or relatives of the promoter/s. The most common legal form for a collective investment scheme in Malta is the SICAV (multi class or single class open ended investment company), established in terms of the Companies Act (Investment Companies with Variable Share Capital) Regulations, due particularly to the structural and operational flexibility afforded by such vehicles. While a SICAV can be formed as a private or a public company, it is typical for promoters to establish a public limited liability company from the outset in order that its units may be offered to an unlimited number of investors, which would otherwise be limited to 50 in the case of a private company. The local legislative framework also accommodates umbrella type structures, whereby the assets and liabilities of each sub-fund are treated as a patrimony separate from the assets and liabilities of each other sub-fund of such company, thereby effectively containing and segregating the risks associated with each investment made by a class of shares within that respective class. Self-managed AIFs which have assets under management in excess of €100m, or €500m if the
“DESPITE THE TURBULENCE THAT HA S PL AGUED GLOBAL MARKE TS OVER THE C OURSE OF THE PA ST YEARS , MALTA’S FUND INDUSTRY HA S MANAGED TO SECURE C ONSISTENT GROWTH” and Regulations (EC) No 1060/2009 and (EU) No 1095/2010 as amended from time to time (the “AIFM Directive”) into Maltese law. Operators not exceeding the said prescribed thresholds qualify as ‘de minimis’ AIFMs. While full AIFMD compliance could certainly benefit larger operators, start-ups and smaller funds may indeed be overwhelmed by the regulatory load inherent in AIFMD compliance. Consistent with its forwardlooking and pragmatic approach to regulation, the MFSA has maintained the popular PIF framework alongside the new AIF regime and, in so doing, has potentially created niche market which it is wellpositioned to service. Accordingly, while many EU jurisdictions have seemingly been left reeling by the regulatory overhaul that is the AIFM Directive, Malta has coupled its transposition into the local legislative framework (specifically that of the AIFMD de minimis provisions) with the retention of the light-touch, more flexible PIF regime and, effectively, has guaranteed the survival of the start-up fund, which has come to be synonymous with pre-AIFMD Malta. A PIF is fundamentally an AIF which escapes the necessity of full AIFMD compliance when structured as a self-managed fund satisfying the said de minimis thresholds (or externally managed by a de minimis AIFM). As such, Malta offers operators enhanced flexibility when deciding on how to tailor and structure their business. While PIFs will not enjoy the EU passporting entitlements granted by the AIFM Directive, they may still be marketed in accordance with EU Member States’ national private placement regimes. Money / Issue 24 - 25
Moreover, the appropriate mechanisms are in place to facilitate the change from de minimis status to full AIFMD compliance once the operators feel that the expense and resource inherent in AIFMD compliance can be justified by the fund’s growth. Despite the turbulence that has plagued global markets over the course of the past years, Malta’s fund industry has managed to secure consistent growth, not least due to the continued pragmatic but prudent style of regulation with which the jurisdiction has become synonymous. Malta was named as the ‘most favoured domicile in Europe’ by the prestigious Hedge Funds Review in its recent Service Provider Rankings released in November 2013 and, moreover, continues to register year-on-year growth with combined net assets of Maltese funds as at the end of June 2013 totalling €8.95b.
waves of regulatory reform which the industry has had to endure in recent years, and indeed continues to endure, is that proper preparation and careful selection of professional advisors will be paramount for operators to correctly implement a structure which suits their requirements and to deliver a robust and reliable compliance programme, duly tailored to the appropriate regulatory regime.
This article contains general information only and neither GM & Associates - Advocates nor any of its affiliate/s, partner/s and/or associate/s is/are, by means of this publication, rendering professional legal advice or services. Before making any decision or taking any action that may affect your finances or your business, you should consult with your professional advisors. For more information visit www.gmassociates.com.mt.
Dr Richard Bernard is a Partner at GM & Associates - Advocates and is primarily responsible for the firm’s financial services and corporate and commercial law practice.
What is certain, in the light of the unremitting
DEX Furnishes Bespoke Charles Grech Outlet Located at the Blue Harbour Marina, along the Ta’ Xbiex seafront, World of Wines is the latest addition to the prestigious Charles Grech portfolio, offering an eclectic range of premium wines and champagnes. Following the excellent rapport created in the past, this entirely customised project was once again entrusted to DEX, Vivendo Group’s specialised commercial furnishings division. DEX’s team of dedicated professionals successfully strategized, designed, managed and developed the entire outlet’s furnishing requirements within a six-week timeframe. DEX’s choices included specialist Italian carpentry firm Tumidei S.P.A. that were entrusted to match the client’s requirements, down to the finest of details. A natural wood feel was selected to bring out the cosy atmosphere of a wine cellar throughout the establishment. Seating was provided by design pioneers Calligaris that designed and created a series of customised high bar stools elegantly upholstered in soft tan leather, inviting patrons to unwind over a bottle of good wine after a long day. This unique project marks yet another milestone in the DEX portfolio. 26 - Money / Issue 24
This season BOSS Menswear discovers the eastern coast of Africa: standout colour schemes meet surprising contrasts in impressive business looks. Bright summer hues, extravagant accessories and elegant tailoring make the new looks come alive. Sculpted silhouettes add enhanced elegance. Suit jackets – both the double-breasted and two-button – have a slim-fit look. The finest Italian cotton fabrics, classic seersucker and lightweight linen define the collection. The colours of Africa add stark accents: sunset orange for two-button jackets, ocean blue for double-breasted models. They set new standards, as do suits with pointed lapels emanating traditional Brit chic. The business segment embraces a kaleidoscope of colour. The BOSS Summer 2014 Collection is available at the BOSS Stores Malta in St Julian’s and Departures Lounge, Malta International Airport. For further information or private appointment call on 2202 1000 or e-mail boss_store_malta@vfgmalta. com. The St Julian’s store is open Monday to Saturday from 10am till 8pm.
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M O BI L I T Y BOOSTS P RODU CT I V ITY, B U T W HAT A B O U T T HE C HAL LE NGE S? Curt Gauci discusses the importance and security challenges of mobility.
rom the boardroom to the back office, employees at all levels are increasingly mobile and connected, using sophisticated smartphones in an effort to stay in touch, get more done in less time and do their jobs better. Just look at the number of employees using some type of mobile device other than their laptop to conduct business. In todayâ€™s world, organisations are moving quickly. In order to be more responsive to requests for information, employees need rapid and easy access to information. As a result, more people are using smartphones and devices to work outside the office as effectively as they could at a desk. While this is great for productivity, it does pose management and IT with a number of security challenges that need to be addressed and that are often overlooked. The migration to a more mobile work environment poses significant new challenges for IT organisations. In earlier days, most companies took a hands-off approach and didnâ€™t monitor mobile devices closely. But now, with more employees pressing for access to corporate networks and valuable data, IT management can no longer ignore smartphones. How can you support anytime, anywhere access for mobile devices while keeping your data and network secure? Despite the significant productivity benefits that come with mobility, this fast-moving environment is increasingly complex. Multiple devices and remote
accessibility lead to increased security risks and manageability challenges, yet IT must balance the need for protection with the flexibility employees require in order to be more productive. In many cases management try to manage mobility more effectively by providing employees with devices that are easy to maintain and to control, and which support enterprise applications within a security framework. But they struggle to control user behaviour as employees like to select their own devices and then use them to access consumer applications too. There has been a blurring of the boundaries between business and personal usage and many IT managers struggle to enforce company policies while employees demand more consumer-like devices and applications.
standards. They can also provide support levels that enable users to employ their devices effectively and enjoy a positive user experience right out of the box. Moreover, they can increase the productivity of mobile employees and their ability to communicate effectively with customers, colleagues, partners and others. Costs will also be managed, and specifically decrease the total cost of ownership of mobility initiatives.
In many other instances, employees use their own devices for work purposes which can leave IT with even more data and network security issues if not controlled properly. The main mobile security concerns are device loss or theft, application security, device data leakage and malware attacks. The use of mobile devices in the enterprise will continue to grow. As it does, companies can partner with solution experts to supplement their internal resources with the necessary outside expertise. In this way, they can secure devices in a way that controls network and application access and protects valuable corporate data, in compliance with company security
Curt Gauci is director and co-founder of Kinetix IT Solutions, a local leading IT systems integrator. Kinetix are HP, Cisco, Microsoft, Kerio, Trend Micro and Symantec certified partners. Having deployed mobility solutions in several local companies, Kinetix have a good track record of providing reliable and affordable solutions to help businesses manage all their devices and mobility and accessibility solutions, seamlessly and securely.
Money / Issue 24 - 29
M COUNTRY PROFILE
“FRA N C E’ S LUX U RY GOODS M A RKE T C ON TRIB U TES €21 7 BN TO TH E GLOBA L EC O N O MY. ”
TH AT ’S R I CH All that glitters is probably gold for France’s luxury goods market. Money goes on a spending spree.
hisper “France” or “Paris” and the air is immediately heavy with the smell of new leather, a pair of Louboutins straight out of their cloth bag, exotic perfumes, and the rich aroma of lightly fried foie gras washed down with a rare vintage red. For centuries, France has been synonymous with life’s most precious luxuries. The country’s past, respectful of rich raw materials and studied craftsmanship, is fuelling a present that leads in the luxury goods market. The European luxury goods market is the largest in the world, accounting for around 70 per cent of the market, which translates into over €440bn, or three per cent of European GDP. Within this context, France is the leader – according to Bain & Co, France’s luxury goods market contributes €217bn to the global economy. The leading name is one we know too well: the Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy Group, which owns 29 per cent of the market, up from 25 per cent in 1995.
While the domestic market does indulge in luxury retail, the lion’s share – approximately 60 per cent – of luxury goods produced in France is exported. Key items include leather goods, textiles, fine wines and spirits, and designer jewellery. The French luxury goods market is a big employer, with around one million workers employed directly, and at least a further 500,000 workers employed indirectly.
30 - Money / Issue 24
Despite a global economic downturn and a drop in local wealth, the French luxury goods market is still growing strong. It has grown at an average rate of 4.35 per cent from 2009 to 2011, dropping off to 2.7 per cent in 2012 and 1.8 per cent in 2013. In 2013, the French bought €16.8bn worth of luxury goods, or four per cent of all global sales. This figure is expected to climb to €19.8bn by 2018. Domestic consumption doesn’t mean that the French are spending billions of their own money on luxury French products. Rather, the local consumption market is heavily dominated by tourism – in particular, tourism in Paris – which drives 60 per cent of
revenue in France and consolidates France as the top destination for tax free shopping in the world. The top spenders are the usual suspects: the Chinese with 34 per cent of total spend, followed by tourists from Russia, the US, Japan and Singapore. In order to further strengthen Chinese tourism, France’s government announced that, as part of the celebrations marking the 50th anniversary of Paris establishing full diplomatic ties with China, Chinese visitors to France would get fast-track visas. This new visa regime, which came into force last January, sees travel requests from Chinese visitors processed within 48 hours.
F R AN C E I N N U M B ER S FR ANC E IS T HE 9 T H L AR G E ST EC ON OMY IN T HE WOR LD AND T HE T HIRD BIGGEST IN E U R OPE . ON AVE R AG E , 7 9 MILLION FOREIGN T OU R ISTS VIS IT FR ANC E PER YEA R. 6 0 PE R C E NT OF LUX U RY G OOD S MA D E IN FR ANC E AR E E X POR T E D. T HI S A MOUN TS T O AR OU ND € 26 0BN, OR 10 PER CEN T OF ALL E X POR TS FR OM E UROP E .
That glittering showcase for French luxury products – Paris – continues to be the most important distribution channel, attracting tourists who travel to the capital to buy the world’s finest products. And it’s not just the ladies either – one category which has been enjoying significant growth in recent years is menswear, especially designer tops and shirts, small leather goods and jewellery. While in this case, most of what glitters is indeed gold, the French luxury goods market does face a number of challenges. Given that the domestic consumption depends on tourism, a decline in tourist numbers – even though unlikely – is the greatest threat. Yet France is aware of how valuable its tourist market is. For instance, last year, in response
to several reports of thieves in Paris targeting Asian tourists, the Paris police introduced 26 measures to promote the safety of tourists and greater police presence in areas popular with Asian visitors. Yet overall, the future for the Made in France label looks good. Forecasts show that established market consumers will show further trust in French goods, while emerging market consumers will increasingly favour French luxury goods. Growth will be stable: it is expected that luxury goods sales will grow each year between 2.3 per cent and 4.1 per cent until 2018. Moreover, France will always have its best showcase: as Humphrey Bogart says in that classic film Casablanca, “We’ll always have Paris.”
NAME OF TH E ROSÉ Carolina Herrera is launching the new fragrance 212 VIP Rosé: born to be the heart and soul of the party. 212 VIP Rosé is an authentic, spontaneous, creative and sophisticated fragrance. The fragrance is available in eau de parfums 80, 50 and 30 ml formats.
AC C OR DING T O T HE C OM IT É C OL BERT, A FR E NC H A S S OC IAT ION SE T UP TO PR OMOT E T HE C ONC E PT OF LUXURY, TH E E U R OPE AN LUX U RY S E C T OR C ON TRIBUTES M OR E T HAN € 110BN IN TA X. FR E NC H C OMPANIE S AC C OUN T FOR AR OU ND A QUAR T E R OF WORL D WID E LUX U RY G OODS T U R NOV ER. A C OMPAR AT IVE S U RVE Y BY TH E PA RISILE -DE -FR ANC E C HAM BE R OF C OMMERCE AND INDU ST RY S HOW S T HAT OUT OF 2 70 PR E ST IG E BR ANDS , 130 AR E FREN CH . IN 2013 , T HE LOU IS VU IT TON MOËT HE NNE S SY G R OU P R E C OR DE D A REV EN UE OF € 29.1BN. Money / Issue 24 - 31
TO T HE F I N ISH LINE Property and sport seem like two different worlds. But they’re not because to succeed in both, you need drive, a competitive spirit and teamwork. Money gets in the game with property agents from Frank Salt Real Estate.
ANGELE CREMONA How long have you been working in property and with Frank Salt Real Estate?
My experience working in the property business has always been with Frank Salt. I started five years ago as a letting agent and progressed into sales after three and a half years.
What first attracted you to property and what aspects of your job do you find most fulfilling? Two main reasons I was attracted
to work in property are definitely the flexibility of the working hours and a higher income than most jobs. The point when a client decides to buy a particular property and places an offer is what keeps me doing this job. It’s a stressful but very exciting moment similar to the start or finish of a race.
What sport do you practise and how long have you been practising it? I have practised
sports from a very young age when I used to do gymnastics. As I got older I also did modern jazz dancing and when my first daughter was born I learnt how to ride the bicycle and started triathlon 24 years ago.
How much time do you dedicate to training? It’s not easy to keep a heavy training schedule together with all the other important things in life like family and work.
Through the years there were times when I trained every day and also periods when I stopped, depending on my life situations. Presently I train an average of four hours swimming, three hours running and four hours cycling per week.
The local real estate market is quite cutthroat – does the competitive aspect of your sport help you be successful in your
32 - Money / Issue 24
job? The drive to keep pushing yourself to the highest limits is the main similarity between sports and work. Sport gives you an extra energy boost and stamina to keep going. Even when things at work are not going so well, I usually tell myself that I cannot give up on a race a kilometre away from the finish line because I’m tired. This keeps me challenged and I tell myself that the race ends at the finish line and that I have to push myself till the end. Being a person who has been brought up in sports I do tend to be competitive in many aspects of my life. I put a challenge in everything I do: there is always a target to be reached and new goals to be made.
What team spirit lessons do you learn from your sport that also help you in your job? My sport is an individual sport but working as a team at work is very important as I believe that if every member of a team works together, we can reach our goals better in a happier environment.
IAN LAFERLA How long have you been working in property and with Frank Salt Real Estate? Nine years.
What first attracted you to property and what aspects of your job do you find most fulfilling? I’ve always had a strong interest in
property. I was encouraged to join Frank Salt Real Estate by my brother in law who was already working with the company and he still does. Certainly the most fulfilling aspect of the job is when a client comes back to use your services or refers a friend or family member. It’s also a great feeling to live the excitement with first time buyers and help them choose their dream home. Quite a few of those whom I met earlier in my career are now married with children and some have also made big steps in their private life and moved up the property ladder. For every day at work there is a story to remember: giving advice to owners about the value of their property and how to make it more attractive, helping prospective buyers secure a property, closing a deal, and meeting high profile and successful clients. Even losing a deal is sometimes important because it keeps you on your toes.
What sport do you practise and how long have you been practising it? I have a strong
interest in any sports in general and have always taken part in various disciplines. Sea kayaking is what I do today. I have been kayaking since a child but I have actively taken up the sport about seven years ago.
How much time do you dedicate to training? I’m currently involved in a
fundraising long distance kayaking challenge trying to complete a return crossing of the Malta Sicily channel in under 40 hours, next July. To accomplish this challenge, my training involves going for long distance up beet paddles twice a week, each time spending an average of five hours on the water, sometimes covering distances of over 35km. The rest of the week I manage to squeeze in an hour at the gym every day.
The local real estate market is quite cutthroat – does the competitive aspect of your sport help you be successful in your job? Definitely. Besides the competitive aspect of
sports in general, I find that the best thing about sports is that it helps me maintain a positive, healthy and proactive frame of mind.
What team spirit lessons do you learn from your sport that also help you in your job?
When out on the water you are always looking out for your buddies making sure they are safe and advising them of any hazards. Our sport allows for a certain amount of dialogue, sharing experiences and advice. In this job it’s extremely important to work in a company which promotes team spirit rather than individualism. Sharing information is very important to succeed and being there for a colleague to get back on his feet after a dry period in sales is always a privilege.
CLAYTON CAMENZULI How long have you been working in property and with Frank Salt Real Estate?
I have been with Frank Salt Real Estate for almost a year now.
moment and you start thinking you’re not going to sell, well, you won’t. My motto is to think positive.
DYLAN MICALLEF How long have you been working in property and with Frank Salt Real Estate? I came back from the UK after five years and immediately started working with Frank Salt. It’s now been five years.
What first attracted you to property and what aspects of your job do you find most fulfilling? Property in general is always
interesting: to talk about and knowing and dealing it gives you an edge and a buzz which in any other job is very hard to come by. What really inspires me is the negotiating part: dealing with issues and closing the deal. Once you achieve that, the smile on your clients’ faces is the biggest satisfaction you can get out of working in property.
What sport do you practise and how long have you been practising it? I’ve been playing
football for 20 years and in the past two years have also started playing futsal.
How much time do you dedicate to training? I train at least three to four hours a week.
Dylan Micallef and seven years with a club. Ian Laferla
What first attracted you to property and what aspects of your job do you find most fulfilling? Before joining Frank Salt I
didn’t really care about property. One day, my girlfriend and I decided to start looking for our dream home. I was always excited when I had an appointment to view a property and always looked forward to discover new properties. After we found one and bought it, I started missing going to view properties and that was the spark that pushed me to real estate. The most fulfilling part of this job is passing by a property which I sold and remembering how the new owners were very happy with my services.
What sport do you practise and how long have you been practising it? I love all types
of sports and played various disciplines such as volleyball, waterpolo, table tennis and football. But my favourite is basketball. I have been practicing it for 10 years, three years as a hobby
How much time do you dedicate to training? Between basketball and other sports I train a minimum of two hours every day.
The local real estate market is quite cutthroat – does the competitive aspect of your sport help you be successful in your job? It really does. In sports every second counts
especially in basketball and who comes first wins – that’s the same situation in real estate. You need to be fast, professional, full of energy and always one step ahead.
What team spirit lessons do you learn from your sport that also help you in your job?
You can have the best players but if they don’t work together and sacrifice themselves for each other you win nothing. Even in this job, help from others is of utmost importance. They can give you courage, tips, information and alternatives. Another similarity between sports and real estate is your thinking mode. If in sports you are afraid that you’re going to lose the game, you go out and lose. In real estate if you’re passing through a bad
The local real estate market is quite cutthroat – does the competitive aspect of your sport help you be successful in your job? You need to have the hunger to win and rise
above your competition and that is a common trait for both the sport you practise and working in property. Losses will come but you need to learn and never repeat the same mistakes.
In sports you need to train hard and constantly – in real estate you need to know what’s on the market and what is selling. Otherwise you’re not prepared well to tackle the buyer’s and seller’s requirements. There is also an element of thinking on the spot and outside the box in both sports and real estate.
What team spirit lessons do you learn from your sport that also help you in your job?
Everyone has a role to play but in the end it’s a collective effort which leads to victory. When the dynamics of the team are towards one objective you can never fail. Photos by Clive Xuereb www.franksalt.com.mt
Money / Issue 24 - 33
Jump into the good life! At Holland and Barrett our staff are qualified in nutrition and supplements so you can ask them pretty much anything. Whether you want to know about healthy snacks or vitamins for your family, how to recover from a heavy night or expert advice on weight management, ask our wise old owls, weâ€™re sure theyâ€™ll help you make that jump into the good life. Triq San Gorg, St Julians. Tel: 2138 4816 Old Railway Track, Attard. Tel: 2143 2901 5B Merchant Street, Valletta. Tel: 2122 7400 Hompesch Road, Fgura. Tel: 2166 3762
CL I CK HERE A newly launched artisan eStore is your one-click solution to find perfect gifts
hether you’re searching high and low for that unique gift or you simply want to spoil yourself with that little something special, the newly launched MimiGiftBoutique.com provides an online collective of artisans and craftspeople, predominantly based in Malta, selling handmade, embellished and cherished items. MimiGiftBoutique.com was launched to market such wares to Maltese communities overseas, tourists and also locally to promote the talent within the community. Artisans and craftspeople are handpicked to deliver their unique, quality merchandise and utmost customer service, all with their fiery passion for quality handmade and embellished goods, reviving cherished items and upcycling. Visitors to the site are spoilt with an array of beautiful accessories, clothes, home furnishing and gifts that are entirely unique and individual. But don’t take our word for it – visit MimiGiftBoutique.com and see for yourself. The latest merchant using the Shireburn eStore solution
imiGiftBoutique.com is the latest merchant to be using the Shireburn eStore solution. The solution provides a fully integrated retail, inventory and online commerce system, complete with front and back end design of the online shop itself. “It’s great to know there is a robust solution like Shireburn that can scale for businesses like ours, giving us the same capabilities as retail giants,” said Maria Muscat of Babbettopolis, one of the brands represented on the site. “The other options are marketplace style sites where you are among hundreds of artisans.
MimiGiftBoutique offers us the chance to stand out.” John de Giorgio, CEO of Shireburn, said that, “Shireburn’s eStore is used by a number of retailers and B2B suppliers, including Golden Gate and Retail International’s Winedrop. com, which delivers Marks & Spencer goods locally, amongst others. These sites have seen an upturn in sales and reduced workload due to the high degrees of integration to the Shireburn inventory and accounting solutions after they converted from stand-alone web sites using Excel to Shireburn's solution.”
operations online both for B2C and B2B sales, directly integrated into their operational, inventory and accounting system with single point of data management for stock details, orders, payments, and more. Shireburn eStore allows businesses to extend their sales reach while maintaining low operating costs and high degrees of efficiency. For more information about Shireburn’s eStore, visit www.shireburn.com/eStore or call 2131 9977.
Shireburn eStore enables users to extend their
Money / Issue 24 - 35
WOR K T O P L AY
How can one avoid sports injuries? Being prepared is the best advice one can give. Be physically as well as mentally prepared by being fit for the activity you are about to undertake. Other issues such as proper nutrition, proper equipment and appropriate facilities all have a significant role in injury prevention too. What are the main factors the proper that Nutrition, lead to sports injuries? gear and being
It is usually a combination of prepared help you improper that can be avoidtraining sports injuries, compounded by any underlying says physiotherapist musculoskeletal issues. That Milos Stanisavljevic . is why it is imperative that anybody who wants to embark on a regular physical activity programme, whatever the level or intensity, should be seen by somebody who understands the physical strains that the body might be subjected to. If your house springs a leak due to defective plumbing you call a plumber and not an electrician. The same applies to injury prevention and management is sports: you go to the people who deal with this on a daily basis.
What are the more common sports injuries?
This mainly depends on the sport being practised, but the most common areas are always the ankles, knees, shoulders and back, with the incidence varying according to the area which is more under strain. Hence a volleyball player will have more shoulder issues than a football player.
Do elements such as bad playing surfaces or not wearing the right gear also lead to injuries? Definitely. Proper maintenance and choice of equipment and playing surfaces are a major factor in injury prevention. I often treat patients because they wear the wrong sports shoes for the activity they undertake or else they have not replaced worn out shoes.
What is the role of a physiotherapist in helping a patient recover and rehabilitate from a sports injury? A physiotherapist who works with
athletes on a regular basis knows not only what would be the best treatment for the particular injury, but is also aware of the specifics that the sport entails and hence can help in preparing the athlete for return to playing faster and safer. A physiotherapist who deals with sports injuries knows when to refer to other health professionals – this is vital if the athlete is to be provided with the best possible care.
Does your approach vary according to injury type? Yes, it does. You have the staple history taking,
examination, diagnosis and appropriate investigations and referral management sequence that then qualify the treatment you apply, be it therapeutic or exercise based, or a combination of both.
Is age also a determining factor in recovery?
Rather than just age I would say it’s a combination of previous injuries and regenerative propensity. Some people just have the tendency to heal faster while a 36 - Money / Issue 24
previous injury in the same area tends to slow down the process. Here we must stress again the importance of proper nutrition and the appropriate mindset of the injured athlete. Having said all that, we do heal slower with age and sometimes we develop other medical conditions, such as diabetes, which hinder healing even more. Patient compliance is also a major determinant, with some not doing enough, while others do too much too fast.
Does physiotherapy always follow surgery or are there cases where a sports injury can be healed by physiotherapy alone? The vast majority of injuries are treated with just physiotherapy and an appropriate rehabilitation regimen. Surgery is the last choice and physiotherapy is still actively involved in the prehab (what is done prior to the operation) and rehab of the athlete.
Frustration is also a recurring element in injuries – wanting to practise sports but not being able to. What is your advice to patients?
“BEING INJURED DOES NOT MEAN YOU DO NOT TRAIN, BUT RATHER THE OPPOSITE AS YOU HAVE TO TRAIN EVEN HARDER TO RECOVER.”
Be patient, give your body a chance to heal and at the same time let us analyse why the injury happened. Were you tired, unfit, dehydrated or are there any underlying musculoskeletal issues that need to be sorted? Being injured does not mean you do not train, but rather the opposite as you have to train even harder to recover. Once again the importance of an experienced sports physiotherapist cannot be stressed enough since tackling the frustrations and mental well-being of an injured athlete forms a significant proportion of our work. We have to channel this frustration into positive energy and factually show that there is an improvement week after week, that targets are being met and that the final goal is attainable. Graduating from Belgrade University in 1994 as a B.Sc (Hon.) physiotherapist. Milos was the head physiotherapist at Sliema Wanderers F.C. and founder of the first specialised sports physiotherapy centre at Saint James Hospital – the Sports, Exercise and Rehabilitation Center. S.E.R.C. is also the official physiotherapy provider of the Maltese Olympic Committee catering for Team Malta during GSSE, Mediterranean, Commonwealth and Olympic Games. MIlos is currently the Senior Physiotherapist/Manager at S.E.R.C.
A GRA ND AT T RA CTIO N SmartCity Malta’s new vibrant events hub, the Laguna Walk is riding high following a phenomenal opening at its premises, which saw a total of around 20,000 people visiting the breathtaking destination in the south of Malta. The Laguna Walk hosted its first Family Fun Weekends on April 5, 6, 12 and 13, where the venue opened its doors to the public for everyone to join in the exciting activities. The first of its kind on the islands, the Laguna Walk comprises of an idyllic lagoon, ringed by the landscaped promenade. The spectacularly choreographed fountains within the lagoon are a natural focal point for the surrounding areas, which sprawl upwards and outwards, in an amphitheatre style. The Grand Steps lead upwards, through SmartCity Malta’s leisure district, towards the office buildings perched high above the lagoon. This terraced setting of Malta’s latest events venue offers unobstructed views of the lagoon, set against the backdrop of the breathtaking azure Mediterranean Sea.
Money / Issue 24 - 37
A S HOP S I GN OF THE T I M E S The Maltatype Project aims to document and re-evaluate local vintage shop signs.
What first attracted you to local shop signs?
While studying graphic design, we often had to do research about typography and about branding and the resources that we needed to turn to for this research were always foreign ones. We had a vast selection of books in our library about international brands and type styles, yet whenever it came to anything local, there was never anything out there for people to look at and learn from. This issue resurfaced when we began working for local branding agencies and wanted to create a brand which was genuine in every aspect. For this we wanted to explore typestyles and colours that spoke a local language and so we immediately took our research outdoors to Valletta and the older villages, where the vast majority of these shop signs are located.
What do you find fascinating about local shop signs? Primarily that they form part of the visual
information that defined the experience of growing up and living in Malta. The fact that they were created with such love and skill makes them even more valuable. These signs were designed to be attractive to passers by. Their creators used lettering and type to create something that is memorable and achieves prominence among other shops. They created a businessâ€™ brand without the resources that we have today. Research was limited and much of the work had to be created by the sign writer himself.
How did the Maltatype project start? Maltatype
started as an idea which we had spoken about for a long time about wishing to make people more aware of design elements found locally. All three of us had built up quite the collection of photographs and sketches taken around the island, which were stored on our hard drives, only beneficial to ourselves. We wanted to put these photos to good use and decided to collect them all in a blog which is accessible to anyone who is interested.
Who is involved in the project? Everyone who
follows us through social media and the Maltatype website is actually involved. The project is run by myself, Matthew Demarco and two other graphic designer friends, Ed Dingli and Katerina Karamallaki,
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and we act as curators of the site and social media pages. Even though all the photos are vetted and uploaded by ourselves, a large amount of these are sent in by members of the public.
undocumented up until now and they have been out in the public realm since they first came to be. We want to collect and document these into one online resource.
What are the main aims of the project? The project has various aims, one of which is definitely to build up an online resource for other graphic designers and people interested in typography and design to use.
Another aim is to take this artwork out of its current context and translate it into a different media form, where it can be appreciated anew. To get people to not look at it as a sign on an old abandoned building, but rather to see it isolated on a backlit monitor away from the derelict environment with which itâ€™s usually associated.
Thereâ€™s a large variety of different type styles which were created by local artists and have gone
“THE FACT THAT THEY WERE CREATED WITH SUCH LOVE AND SKILL MAKES THEM EVEN MORE VALUABLE.” 01 - Glass Store, Balzan 02 - Testa, Floriana 03 - Tourists are welcome, Valletta 04 - Splendid Bar, Qormi 05 - Everybody's Booksellers, Valletta 06 - The maltatype website
What forms of art and craft was involved in the production of these shop signs? Having
spoken to a couple of the makers of these signs, we’ve discovered there’s a lot of work, which goes into their creation. Firstly a knowledge of type and lettering. The sign-writer would usually go about sketching the artwork on paper, designing the lettering by hand and customising it according to the requirements of the shop facade. The process of creating the final work would then depend on the technique used for that particular sign. For the traditional foil-backed ones, the sign-maker would manually scale up the drawing to the size of the sign on tracing paper and trace his to-size sketch onto the glass surface. He would then go about painting the outside of the letters onto back of the glass with
dark, opaque paint, leaving the letters transparent to reveal whatever’s behind them. The glass would then be encased in a wooden frame with a layer of foil sandwiched between it and the back of the frame.
Who or what influenced the style of such shop signs? Primarily sign-making techniques in
Britain and continental Europe. Many richer shops were using gold leaf pressed behind opaque-painted glass – however this was expensive and hard to come by locally. Here, older signs were made using broken mirrors or coloured glass instead of foil – the foilbacked option became increasingly more popular as the material was cheap and easier to come by.
For more information visit www.maltatype.com To send in photos or information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org Money / Issue 24 - 39
Talking about balance, in October 2010 my mother sadly passed away at the young age of 69 – she was healthy and loved life, but was diagnosed with cancer and died in four months. It was a huge shock to my family and I. I was extremely close to my mother and have since looked at life differently: life is not only about work, but getting the right balance and trying to enjoy life to the fullest, enjoying your family and playing sport.
What sport do you play? Golf is my sport. I started playing the game around 14 years ago and I just love it. I enjoy the game and the challenge. It may look easy to the outsider but it’s very challenging. It does drive me crazy sometimes but it’s the most beautiful game you can play.
FR OM W HEEL TO CLU B Stefan Borg Manduca
discusses his passion for golf and cars.
01. The Man Name: Stefan Borg Manduca Age: 49 Profession: Company Director of Holland & Barrett
02. The Life Given your busy lifestyle, how do you relax?
My lifestyle is very busy, but I strongly believe in the right balance of work and play. Around four years ago I set up the first Holland & Barrett franchise outside the UK and Ireland and today I operate four shops in St Julian’s, Valletta, Attard and Fgura. Another two shops will open shortly.
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Golf travel is amazing – the most beautiful destinations around the world are golf courses. It’s also a very sociable game – I have many friends who play golf and we love the weekly challenge and competing in club competitions. If you play well during the season, playing for Malta is the icing on the cake. The top 10 players are chosen at the end of the season depending on how many order of merit points you get during the year.
03. The Cars What is your history with cars?
My first car was a Suzuki jeep with a little two-stroke engine which I had bought second-hand for around €2,000 from the late Peter Borg Olivier. The engine
"MY JEEP WRANGLER REFLECTS WHO I AM." was so slow that I changed it to a Morris 1100 engine – the engine had to be fitted sideways as it did not fit properly. Since then I have bought many Jeeps and SUVs, but I have always fancied the original Jeep.
Do you consider yourself to be a car aficionado? I am very keen on cars. I believe I got
this from my uncle, James Camilleri, my mother’s brother. James is a car enthusiast: he probably owns the best cars on the island ranging from sports cars to Jeeps and classic cars.
Your latest car? My latest car, a Jeep Wrangler
by Kahn Design, is somewhat special. Kahn Design is Britain’s original automotive fashion house and customises cars that range from Range Rovers to Jeeps and the most exclusive supercars. They refine the aesthetic elements of each vehicle with enhancements that complement and integrate with the essence of its identity and style. My Jeep Wrangler reflects who I am.
D E TAI L BY D ES I GN Mo Bhana from Kahn Design explains how the automotive fashion house enhances a car’s identity and style.
When was Kahn design set up and with what aims? Kahn Design is Britain’s original automotive
fashion house and was launched in 1992 by Afzal Kahn when he was 17-years-old. Selling aftermarket alloy wheels by other manufacturers, Afzal began to get an idea of what designs and styles were popular and in 1996 he designed his own alloy wheel, the iconic RS-R. “I became good at what I did and I knew what design of alloy wheels would work. I went back to basics and designed a very simple five-spoke alloy wheel and softlined it,” Afzal Kahn says. “At the time there was no such thing as soft-lining, so I created one and designed it in a way that made it look bigger than it actually is. I saved up and bought the tooling in a factory in Italy and had them make 1,000 wheels. “I took out two small adverts in Auto Trader and Top Car and had the wheels sold before I even landed back in the UK.” Two years later Kahn introduced a 22-inch wheel to his portfolio, which at the time was the largest available in the UK and proved very popular with the luxury SUV market. The business grew organically over the following years to include aerodynamic body styling and in 2000, Kahn began building bespoke cars for his customers from his showroom. Fast-forward to today and Kahn employs staff worldwide, including a team of highly skilled designers.
What conversions do you carry out? Adding bold and unique accents to manufacturers’ existing designs, and drawing inspiration from styling cues from the entire history, and beyond the boundaries, of the automotive industry, Kahn refines the aesthetic elements of each vehicle with enhancements that
complement and integrate with the essence of its identity and style. All the work of our designers, graphic artists, 3D modellers and technical engineers is channelled into providing our clients with that final piece of the jigsaw, where completeness and harmony exist. Offering a number of off-the-shelf packages as well as the facility to design and create bespoke vehicles to the client’s needs, Kahn pride themselves on the OEM quality of their products. “If somebody is spending nearly a hundred thousand pounds on a vehicle, it is our duty to ensure that our work is to a standard which not only compliments the original design but improves it, both aesthetically and functionally,” says the Kahn head of production.
Are your conversions only focused on style or do you also do engine and performance modifications? In an industry which often leans
towards the garish and outlandish, as a design house, we adopt a less is more approach. Many people who visit our headquarters in the North and our boutique on Kings Road in Chelsea, find themselves having to double take at some of the wheel designs which looked like they had come directly from the design studios of Lamborghini and Ferrari. You may disagree and want your £10,000 worth of extras to be instantly noticeable, but we have to say subtlety has greater appeal because it’s perhaps not something that your average Joe would notice. You can have a car which makes a statement, but won’t obnoxiously shout about it. The likes of the Kahn Range Rovers, Defenders and Jeeps can are in keeping with the original lines and styling they were born with. Our goal is to work with the manufacturers’ designs, improving certain areas but leaving others when nothing more needs to be done.
comprehensive package which includes a four slot Chelsea Truck Company grille, front grille industrial mesh, fuel filler cap in satin black, side wing blades in carbon finish, Chelsea Truck Company spare wheel cover, quad cross hair system, tubular side steps, military cross hair head lights, mud flaps toughened rubber, two door privacy tinted glass, entry sill plates in stainless steel, brake callipers in special heat resistant paint, 7.5 x 17” Jeep 1941 satin black wheels. While Wrangler will always stay true to its original form, it’s important that we continue to evolve the successful formula, and we’ve done that in this instance in relation to the interior which consists of front and rear seats, upholstered in quilted and perforated leather with black stitching, red speedo and rev clocks, centre glove box re-upholstered in quilted and perforated leather, armrests re-upholstered in quilted and perforated leather, floor mats in toughened rubber, vented foot pedals in aluminium and Kahn branding. The Chelsea Jeep can also be ordered in every imaginable colour. If you want a car with a full colour change (to a colour of your choice) and an interior akin to, let’s say your favourite leather reclining chair in your living room, we will be more than happy to oblige.
Who designs the conversions? Afzal Kahn’s creative input drives the business. He prearranges tasks for his design team who assist the principal British designer all the way through to the final touches of beautiful individual projects. From additional body kits to full colour changes, all of Kahn’s bodywork is taken care of in house by skilled technicians. In keeping with the “OEM or better” credo, the body kits are made from carbon composite and not cheap fibre glass, meaning they’ll last as long as the original bodywork. For more information visit www.kahndesign.com and https://www.facebook.com/kahndesign
What conversions did you carry out on Stefan Borg Manduca’s Jeep? A large portion of our
business comes from Wrangler sales. In fact, we sell more Wranglers than the entire Jeep dealer network combined. This could be partially due to the fact that the automotive valuation authority, CAP, following an extensive analysis of the Chelsea Jeep market, has released findings that confirm Jeep Wranglers by the Chelsea Truck Company (CJ300) maintain an enduring value, around 12.5 per cent above black book indicators for the brand. Stefan’s Kahn CJ300 Wrangler displays a rather
Money / Issue 24 - 41
The summer is
FASHION MAGIC Itâ€™s the season for sporty fabrics, lightweight materials and a bright palette with Armani Jeans.
The Armani Jeans SS/14 collection for him has a definite summer feel thanks to the use of lightweight materials, bright palette, denim and linen. The collection is an easy-to-wear wardrobe with a mixture of natural and neon colours.
This season, Armani Jeans proposes the comfortable, summery feeling of lightweight materials and sporty fabrics. The palette is dominated by neons and pastels. For prints, Armani Jeans uses the batik, rainbow and graphic prints to great effect.
HIS MORNING LOOK
HIS EVENING LOOK
HER MORNING LOOK
HER EVENING LOOK
A brightly coloured shirt paired with slim fit denim or coloured chinos.
Fine Italian fabrics.
A lightweight dress with a pair of neon coloured wedges. Accessories bursting with colour.
Silks and elegant and chic fabrics.
Armani Jeans The Point, Tigne', Sliema / Mon-Sat, 9.30am to 7.30pm Baystreet, St. Julianâ€™s / Mon-Sun, 10am to 10pm Money / Issue 24 - 43
SHI R T A P PE AL We celebrate a fashion favourite - the shirt. This season, give it a modern day makeover with fresh bold colours, quirky prints and layering. Photographer: Nicky Scicluna www.nickyscicluna.com / Stylist: Kira Drury Hair: Lara at D Salon / Model: Andrei at Models M
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Above: Mexx shirt, €55.00 / Armani Jeans jeans, €200.00 Armani Jeans shoes, €184.00 Left: Tom Tailor shirt at Square Deal, €35.99 / Celio shorts at Square Deal, €35.99 Esprit waistcoat, €55.99 / New Look espadrilles, €11.99
Money / Issue 24 - 45
New Look shirt, €17.99 / Tommy Hilfiger shorts, €99.90 Tom Tailor belt at Square Deal, €35.95 / Ecco shoes at Kings Shoe Shop, €124.90 46 - Money / Issue 24
Hugo Boss polo at District, €80.00 / Mexx shirt, €55.00 Tommy Hifiger shorts, €89.90 / Celio shoes at Square Deal, €35.99 Money / Issue 24 - 47
Armani Jeans shirt, €120.00 Tommy Hilfiger trousers. €149.00 48 - Money / Issue 24
Celio shirt at Square Deal, €35.99 / Esprit v-neck top, €19.99 New Look shorts, €24.99 Money / Issue 24 - 49
WHAT MONEY CAN BUY Get ready for summer in style.
In your head The Belvedere Harper is an exclusive white helmet from specialists Ruby. The time, effort and craftsmanship are clearly visible in these fabulous handcrafted pieces. The retro carbon fibre shell in white lacquered paint with metallic blue and black pinstripes is seriously stylish. From retro to futuristic, the addition of the visor and its two aluminium pivots opens up a new horizon for motorcycle enthusiasts who can travel in their Ruby helmet whatever the weather.
An icon in great shape Breitling begins a new chapter in the epic saga of its famous Navitimer aviation chronograph by launching a reinterpretation of the classic model in a larger diameter, as well as a travel version featuring revolutionary user friendliness. These two new variations on a legendary watch are both equipped with high-performance chronometer-certified Manufacture Breitling movements. Produced without interruption for over 60 years, this fabled watch is the doyenne of all mechanical chronographs worldwide.
Best feet forward Get ready to leave your footsteps on the promenade or in the sand with a pair of Christian Louboutin salvador suede espadrilles.
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A trustworthy companion of airborne adventurers, the Navitimer GMT has always viewed the world as its playground. The new Navitimer GMT confirms this vocation. Breitling decided to think big in creating this chronograph with a travellerâ€™s soul. User friendliness is guaranteed by the ingenious Manufacture Breitling Caliber B04, clearly visible through the transparent caseback and equipped with a dual timezone system boasting peerless functionality.
Bean there, done that Using just your hands, you can brew a great espresso with the Rok manual espresso maker. Also includes frother and splitter to make two single shots.
Weekend away Travel in style with Saint Laurent’s black leather travel holdall. Features rolled top handles and an optional shoulder strap, so it can be carried in various ways.
Turn it up The Bose SoundLink III Bluetooth speaker connects wirelessly to smartphones, tablets and other Bluetooth devices. Optional accessory covers are available separately in blue, orange, green and grey.
Grill to thrill You can take the Napoleon TravelQ 285 barbecue anywhere with you thanks to its travelling credentials. Comes with cast-iron grates, stainlesssteel dual burners, JetFire ignition and a temperature gauge.
Bounce it off The Panono panoramic ball camera combines 36 cameras in a sturdy, softball-size plastic sphere. When the ball is thrown up into the air, it triggers simultaneously to deliver the first-ever 360° by 360° panoramic images that capture every detail in every direction with super-high resolution.
Money / Issue 24 - 51
E ECO FASHION
H I DE AND SEEK THE R APY Melanie Vella travels with Dania Heller as the LA fashion designer gathers local artisanal products used to bring her latest creations to life. Even though her brand, The Hellers, is endorsed by many red carpet regulars, Dania is fascinated with the pop-up shop phenomenon.
aunched in 2008, The Hellers is a fashion line based in Tel Aviv and Los Angeles. The Hellers do not produce new collections each season – rather, they focus on producing timeless, expertly tailored pieces which can be worn all year long. The label produces limited edition runs of each style and sources the highest quality fabrics and prints from all over the world. I meet Dania in Pushkar, India where she is rummaging through piles of Rajasthani jewellery and vintage fabrics for her latest source of inspiration. The Hellers sister-brother duo, Dania and Yoram, were born and raised in Santa Monica, California. After reading for an art history degree, Dania moved to Israel to study fashion. Dania designs the line and shoots much of the lookbooks using her retro Holga camera, with all its daringly distorted images. The hip, funky brand uses this and many other quirky twists to reach out to their equally funky clientele. The Hellers designs were immediately supported in the Israeli fashion world. “Within one month of starting the line, I was selling in stores. One of the stores, Razili, has 10 stores so right away I was dealing with manufacturing in quantities,” says Dania. Even though The Hellers was in high demand, Dania and her team decided it would be more viable to move sales entirely online, making their brand available globally and expanding the business. In January 2011, The Hellers debuted a namesake e-shop. Internationally acclaimed stars like E News television presenter Giuliana Rancic, X Factor’s Cher Lloyd and High School Musical’s Ashley Tisdale have been spotted in magazines
52 - Money / Issue 24
“THESE MINI STORES APPEAR UNANNOUNCED AT UNIVERSITIES, CAR PARKS, TRADE SHOWS AND OTHER PRIME CONSUMER LOCATIONS, QUICKLY DRAW IN THE CROWDS, AND THEN DISAPPEAR.” wearing The Hellers signature pieces. Dania has based much of the brand’s success on the creation of temporary pop-up retail shops as a way to kick-start the brand in local scenes, give some offline visibility and breathe new life into their sales strategy. These mini stores appear unannounced at universities, car parks, trade shows and other prime consumer locations, quickly draw in the crowds, and then disappear, adding to retail the fresh feel and surprise that galleries, theatres and Cirque du Soleil-adepts have been using for years. New fashion designers are gaining recognition in a new way as they take advantage of the pop-up shop trend. These temporary boutiques are also more affordable to set up than traditional retail spaces.
“Once the first The Hellers pop-up shop was introduced, we found out we were the first fashion brand to introduce the trend to Tel Aviv, a young, buzzing city that bounces off the latest trends from the West,” explains Dania. If new products can come and go, why can’t the stores that display them do the same? “We wanted to grab people’s attention and sell a lot in a short amount of time, as I was planning to relocate from Tel Aviv to LA. I took all my pieces out of stores and created a lasting experience.” Dania elaborates that they had the regular pieces on display, but each day there was a new theme; one day they had vintage menswear, the next day vintage magazines.
Pop-up shops have become a healthy sales driver. “The whole concept surprises consumers, guarantees exclusivity because of the limited time span and a get-it-while-it-lasts feeling, as there is a sense of urgency to buy now. In one pop-up shop we had a red flashing sign indicating how many days were left till closing,” Dania says. “People also learn the story of the brand and meet the designers in a more intimate space. It’s a sweet blend of fun and an engineered promotional storm, when marketed properly.”
One of the primary benefits of pop-up shops is that they help a brand generate buzz. They are often fantastic marketing tools in themselves. Marc Jacobs’ fragrance division took the pop-up trend to new heights in the last February’s New York Fashion Week. They accepted social currency – a tweet, Instagram or Facebook post tagged #MJDaisyChain – in exchange for Marc Jacobs fragrances and accessories. While posting a picture to Instagram cost shoppers nothing, collectively, Marc Jacobs gained instant #marketing exposure
people a genuine Indian shopping experience, complete with chai, music and floor cushions,” Dania explains. “The intriguing aspect of these impromptu showcases is that we can reinvent ourselves each time.”
01 - The purple silk Hellers’ creation from the special Holga edition lookbook. 02 - US magazine featured a face-off between Giuliana Rancic and Maria Menounos in its 'Who wore it best' section. 03 - The Polariode invite to one of The Hellers' exclusive pop-up shop events. 04 - The official Marc Jacobs' Daisy Chain Pop-up shop worthy of 770,000 Facebook Likes and 14,300 Tweets. 05 - Dania Heller and her team outside the first ever popup shop in Tel Aviv.
LIGHT AND SECURE
Lightness has never been so secure, and security has never been so light. Samsonite, the world’s largest luggage brand, is thrilled to introduce Lite-Locked, the pioneering lightweight collection that merges two key features deeply embedded in Samsonite’s brand DNA: a three-point locking system and the revolutionary Curv material, exclusive to Samsonite in the luggage arena. Available at the Samsonite Store, Malta International Airport. For further information call on +356 2202 1401 or e-mail email@example.com
across social media platforms. This campaign yielded more than 13,400 Twitter mentions and more than 770,000 Facebook Likes, the brand reported. The Hellers invested in guerrilla marketing to spread the word about their pop-up shops. “I printed Polaroid pictures of our trendy pieces and created invites. I ran around placing them in every place I knew people frequented – bars, cafés, music shops. We organised press releases in magazines, newspapers and blogs. Facebook
05 promotion, sponsored links and targeted adverts were our most successful method. We were getting one ‘like’ a second on posts that pictured our progress,” Dania says. Plans are underway for the next pop-up shop to launch in the streets of LA and reveal all the unique pieces Dania picked up during her Indian adventure, which she modelled and melted into variations of her own designs. “The end of summer pop-up shop will offer Money / Issue 24 - 53
THE YEAR OF THE HOARSE Is the Maldives turning into a paradise lost, asks Mona Farrugia as she makes a rough landing.
n Maldivian resort history, the hermit crab story has acquired the status of urban lore. Only this is as urban as you will ever get.
also contains plastic water bottles which have been emptied and filled with the brown liquid. The guests have been cooking.
103,734 arrivals in the first seven months of 2013, up 66 per cent from the same period in 2011, according to its Ministry of Tourism Arts and Culture.
Here is how it happened. A guest called his villa butler to complain that there was a disgusting smell coming from next door, next door being a good 100 metres away. Now this is not some metropolis. The guest is paying at least $1,000 a night for his lush beachfront villa in a five-star resort and the minimum he expects, he says, is the smell of the Indian Ocean rather than the putrid stench of death.
I first heard the story from a marine biologist working at a luxury resort. She is very upset – preserving wildlife in the Maldives is no joke and every single dead crab is like the proverbial nail. So when we go snorkelling together and she literally cuts her leg open on a fishing line, she goes slightly ballistic.
Chinese visitor numbers dwarf those from the UK and Italy, which are in second and third place with 60,021 and 53,493 tourists respectively. And the kettle story is everywhere online – in fact, some resorts are reported to have removed kettles from the rooms because of noodle cooking, leading to online uproars and supposed boycotts by the Chinese themselves. “The Chinese are like the Russians 15 years ago,” a resort manager tells me. “They haven’t travelled enough. We have seen them bring in crates of bottled water because they think the water here is not potable. Many of them come only once but some actually return. To them, the Maldives are like a Disney World on sand. We are hopeful because the Russians are now some of our best customers: polite, courteous and they spend. Maybe the Chinese will also learn how to behave when on holiday.”
The butler is worried so together with his mates from housekeeping, he organises a search around the guest’s villa to try and see if maybe some dead animal is putrefying in the sun. Gardens checked. Then patios. Then private beach area. And then, with the breeze that caresses everybody’s faces, the smell hits their olfactory senses. The guest is right: it is coming from next door. They wait until the family next door has gone off to dinner – precisely at 6pm as soon as the dinner buffet opens – and descend. In the little kettle provided for the guests to boil water and make chic herbal teas, they find a score of hermit crabs. The water has turned a putrid brown: the crabs have obviously been boiled over and over again and the resulting liquid is being used to ferment the meat. The fridge, normally filled with delicious foods and wines, 54 - Money / Issue 24
Somebody had fashioned a rudimentary fishing rod using a branch, some lead, tackle and two hooks. As bait, the poacher had used two pieces of raw fish. “In other resorts, this would mean at least a $500 fine,” she tells me. The guests at Villa 21 have decided that it would be better value to book bed and breakfast. And some evenings, instead of dining from the a la carte menus at some of the best restaurants in the world, they are catching their own dinner and boiling it in the kettle. Stories like these are becoming common in the Maldives. And in most cases, the guests involved are Chinese. The Wall Street Journal reports that the Maldives is now the most desired destination for the Chinese, according to a report from China's Tourism Bureau. Chinese tourists now dominate travel to the island nation, with
Meanwhile there is a price to pay. The butler and all staff confirm these stories and add theirs. “Most of the Chinese guests bring their own rice cookers with them. On the way here, they are always charged extra by the seaplane companies but, when you compare that to the cost of a dinner at the resort – an average $100 a pop, per guest – it is still worthwhile
to them. They bring bags of instant noodles, rice, dried egg and dried animals. And you should see the state of their rooms when they leave.” At the airport in Male, no nationality gets an explanatory booklet but the Chinese do. There is also a ‘to do list’ on each seaplane seat, sometimes replacing the safety instructions. “We need to do more before they drive all the other guests away,” a staff member tells me. How do you explain to anybody of any nationality that screaming and shrieking are not allowed, and neither is shouting from one side of the huge and beautiful infinity pool to another? The Chinese who go to the Maldives have money and a lot of it (they book many villas, and the most expensive ones, regardless of how the resorts intentionally increase their rates – Europeans currently pay less for the same packages) but it is so new you can smell it. So they want everybody to know they are there. Especially other Chinese. The madness begins at breakfast. It is not enough to pile a plate with fruit. No, you need to endanger the world’s fruit supply every time you breakfast. Not one croissant but 10, and five pain au chocolat on the side. Per person. Bowls need to be filled to the brim with porridge until one portion becomes six. Eating habits, suffice to say, are not congruent with the readership of this magazine but let us just say that closing one’s mouth when eating is not a part of the process. So obviously, the staff have many a tale to tell about how food is consumed. The best ones are the noodle tales: luggage is packed with dry pot noodles and – for those silly enough to have forgotten their rice cookers - handed over to the staff to be cooked. At some point, staff started to refuse. So the Chinese started to use the kettles. Sometimes, if they are on bed and breakfast basis, you never see them in the restaurant except for breakfast, which lasts until the staff have to throw them gently out. The stories are not all grim. Some, in fact, are positively hilarious. Such as the photography issue. The Maldives stun anybody who visits. They look even better in real life than they do in the photos. So the Chinese see a beautiful sunset and blind it with their flash. They also carry out extensive photo shoots with massive cameras and three-metre zoom lenses, usually fanning scarves in the air and wearing huge sun hats. The men wear socks and trainers. Copies of Crocs are de rigueur and the copy of the copy of Louis Vuitton luggage abounds. This would bring a smile to our face were not every single move be accompanied by seriously disturbing screams and hollering. The Chinese take their holidays collectively – much like the Italians, some Europeans and us Maltese in August – during the two weeks of Chinese New Year. Any prospective holidaymaker has to check when this is due as it does not coincide with our New Year at all. So in 2014 it was at the end of January, beginning of February. The year of the horse turned into the year we wish they were hoarse. “This is a very unhappy time of year,” one of the staff tells me. “We are used to wonderful guests who communicate, who do not think that dismantling
the pristine brass and wooden racks and setting them up outside near their infinity pool to hang their own washing is normal, who do not ‘hhhhhhhhh/spit’ with every step, who do not, quite literally, clear out the bathroom (of amenities, towels, robes), wardrobes, all electronic devices (there are iPads and iPods in most modern resorts all over the world) and everything they can pack to replace the cooked noodles. Normal guests actually have a bill at the end of their stay. With these, their bill, after pre-paying bed and breakfast (and therefore just one meal a day) usually amounts to a big fat zero.” So, yes, the Russians may have been loud, obnoxious and flaunted their designer labels, but at least they spent money. I remember, at a resort in the Seychelles, a Russian boy standing on the jetty and peeing straight into the crystal waters and the butler sighing and saying, “Ah, they feel so free here, so one with nature.” Apparently the new Chinoiserie, unlike the Novi Ruski, don’t. The resort I was at a couple of months ago provided bicycles, which I adored. One day, mine went missing. The butler spent two hours driving around in his buggy in the blazing sun looking for it. I never suspected the Chinese guests because, well, in China it’s not that chic to bicycle yourself around. They take taxis, which explains why they shout “Ha ho ho!” to hail down a buggy. “The guest asked me for one and when I told him that we had run out, he got quite upset and decided to appropriate yours,” the butler tells me when he had managed to find my missing bicycle. Is it just the Chinese though? Or has the possibility of ‘travel for everybody’ taken us all as far away as possible from the idea of courteous, stylish meandering around the world? In my lifetime I have witnessed Brits farting, very loudly, just outside (no, not inside) a restaurant toilet, Italians spending a week inside (in an apartment in Msida), cooking for themselves and calling Malta expensive because their Ryanair ticket cost them €35 (rather than the €6 they paid to fly to France), Swedes screaming outside a restaurant that the wine they had for dinner and which cost €23 costs €8 in restaurants in Sweden (in Stockholm you are lucky if you pay that for half a pint of lager) and, of course, us Maltese. We absolutely adore cruises because we can pile our plates with food, over and over and feel like we have not paid anything. We shout, in Maltese, English and Maltglish, wherever we are, including across Dubai airport when we realise how much the cigarettes cost (cheap). We wipe out Primark when in London and stay at the trashiest Russell Square hotels because they are good value for money (translation: nasty but cheap). We steal apples and biscuits from the breakfast buffet so that we don’t have to buy lunch. Actually, maybe we could teach the Chinese a thing or two. Food and travel writer Mona Farrugia runs Angelica in Valletta. www.angelicamalta.com
“ THEY S EE A BEA UTIFUL S UNSE T AND BLIND IT WI T H THEIR FL A S H. ”
CULINARY DELIGHTS Waterbiscuit, the award-winning restaurant on St George’s Bay, has recently launched a new menu which jumps to the forefront of the Maltese culinary experience with delicious and innovative dishes for all to enjoy. The menu has an emphasis on using healthy and organic ingredients from across the Mediterranean, all sourced from the best producers. Starters include duck rillettes with pickled mushrooms, shallot jam and toasted brioche, while local pork belly and house pork sausage with smoked apple purée and Madeira jus has been introduced as one of the main courses. A dark chocolate crèmeux with hazelnut paste, mango gel and chocolate ice cream is among other delightful desserts. Breakfast continues to be served daily. For more information or to make a reservation, call 2376 2225, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. mt or visit waterbiscuit.com.mt.
Money / Issue 24 - 55
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informaTive and exclusive conTenT / exclusively disTribuTed aT malTaâ€™s marinas, all boaTing and sailing businesses, embassies, 5 sTar hoTels, sailing clubs and some exclusive residences The laTesT in local and inTernaTional races sailing desTinaTions, lifesTyle and cuisine
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G REE N AC T I O N The golfing season at the Royal Malta Golf Club continues with plenty of excitement.
HS B C S CRAT C H C HA L L E NG E
Sponsored by HSBC for the last four years, the Scratch Trophy is a two-day competition played without handicap amongst the best golfers at the Royal Malta Golf Club. Over the last five years the overall standard has risen dramatically as new young golfers take their positions. This year had the most thrilling finish of any Scratch Competition in those years that can be recalled.
N E X I A BT C APTAIN 'S L E AGUE ROUND 6
The Captain’s League, a staple in the calendar since 1986, is a team event where the last seven captains of the RMGC choose their strongest players and challenge for the trophy over seven rounds. This year’s prestigious competition received valued support from Nexia BT, a leading accountancy and consultancy firm. “Throughout the years, Nexia BT has established a corporate strategy in sponsoring sports competitions based on the belief that sport is more than an enjoyable past time activity. It is a very good reason for people to get together outside of the office and to encourage some healthy competition,” said Nexia BT managing partner Brian Tonna. “Golf brings foreigners and locals together, which reflects our international and local approach to business via the vast quality services Nexia BT has to offer,” added Mr Tonna. John J. Micallef was the individual winner of Round 6 of the Nexia BT Captains League, scoring 40 points. Michael Balzan was the runner-up with 39 points. Paul Gray placed third with 38 points, after count-back from Tony Vella. With only one more round to go there is currently a tie for top place between Kenneth Micallef ’s team and David Debono’s. Once again an exciting conclusion.
The Spring Challenge, a four-ball better ball competition was held on Saturday, March 18. This beautiful trophy was made in Dublin and presented to the RMGC in 1934 by the Royal Army Medical Corps based in Malta. This year, the runners-up were Paul Stoner and John Lewis on a count back from Andy Borg and JJ Micallef. The winners were William Beck and his son Nicky.
The first day finished with Danny Holland and J.J. Micallef on 70, followed by Andy Borg, Quint Van Beek and Ruud Critien on 71. The second day followed with some outstanding play notably a birdie on the third by Danny Holland and yet another birdie by Andy Borg on the equally difficult 10th. On the final 18th tee Danny Holland teed off with two shots in hand over J.J. Micallef, with the latter going down in three and Danny Holland in five having three putted. This left both these participants on equal scores of 70 on the first day and 68 on the second day. The competition continued over a further three holes – the first, 17th and 18th – to determine a winner. The first was birdied by Danny Holland (three shots) and bogied by J.J. Micallef (five shots), and things were looking exceptionally good for Danny Holland. The 17th was a par three and they both went down for four. Standing on the 18th Danny Holland was two shots ahead – he tees off as an apparently sure winner but went out of bounds. J.J. Micallef had a clean shot towards the green. Holland had to tee off again for three shots and chipped and holed the putt for a five while Micallef chipped on to the green and holed out for four. This left Danny Holland the winner by the smallest of margins in the most dramatic play-off. The Scratch Challenge Cup has been competed for since 1891, except between the war years. James Woodeson, Head of Global Banking & Markets of HSBC, presented the cup to the winner Danny Holland. J.J. Micallef placed second and Andy Borg third.
01 - 1st & 2nd place Captain's League Rd 5 02 - Overall winner of the Victor Pace Memorial Trophy 03 - HSBC Scratch Cup winner 04 - The Spring Challenge Trophy winners 05 - The Royal Cape Trophy
S P R I NG C HA L L E NG E C U P
R OYA L C A P E T R OP HY
The Royal Malta Golf Club was founded in 1888 by Lieutenant-General Sir Henry D’Oyley Torrens KCB KCMG. General Torrens’ final posting was as Governor of Malta. He arrived in Malta on September 28, 1888 and within one month had founded Royal Malta Golf Club. At the time the then Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Alfred Ernest Albert, third son of Queen Victoria, was based in Malta as Commander of the Mediterranean Fleet and became one of the founder members of the club. Hence the club’s royal patronage. Royal Cape visited the Royal Malta Golf Club from South Africa during the 125 anniversary celebrations held in June 2013 and presented us with a silver salver and a photograph of General Torrens playing golf in 1986. The silver salver is now titled the Royal Cape Trophy, General Torrens Medal and for the first time was competed for in March. General Torrens was an Irishman from Londonderry, Peter Coleman, the trophy winner, is also an Irishman and John Fletcher, Captain of the RMGC who presented the prize also hails from Ireland. The presentation was held on March 17, St Patrick’s Day. A truly Irish celebration. Money / Issue 24 - 57
N NEW YORK
THE B LU E SMA N’S B LO G What the frac is this about, asks The Bluesman.
have a friend in Texas who’s a geologist. He’s also a singer songwriter with a great blues voice and a sharp wit. As a citizen of the Great State of Texas and in the oil business, he occasionally propounds his opinion (in favour) on the contentious technique of hydraulic fracturing, commonly referred to as fracking. The industry prefers frac as opposed to frack and fracturing rather than fracking. All moot in the face of the opposition of the many conservationists who disagree with my friend. Briefly, the technique involves injecting water, mixed with some additives such as sand, at high pressure into the well. This is usually done once in the well’s lifetime and greatly enhances productivity. Of course, because it’s seen as a good thing by Big Oil, the trend is towards multiple fracs as productivity declines pointing towards the economic benefits from the vast amounts of formerly inaccessible hydrocarbons the process can extract. On the other hand environmentalists will cite a list of potential dangers: contamination of ground water and air, leaking of gas and chemicals to the surface and noise pollution. This led to international mixed reactions from bans to protection, although the tide is turning with most of Europe putting regulation in place instead of prohibition. Personally, while I believe that uncontrolled drilling has proven to be damaging in the past, I can’t see the industry ceasing this practice. Certainly forced enlargement of cracks deep in the bowels of the earth doesn’t sound like a good idea. Indeed seismic rumblings have been reported at some of the deep core sites, but with more horizontal, as opposed to vertical, drilling being carried out, with the technology capable of profitably extracting iodine out of water where it’s only three parts per million, desisting ain’t gonna happen anytime soon. Hopefully, like coal mining, the process will get safer with regulation in place until we have no need to dig up that kind of energy anymore. But I don’t notice anybody clamouring to stop precious metal mining so, as long as we need what we dig out 58 - Money / Issue 24
of this floating rock, we’re going to have to live with it. This country owes, in large part, economic recovery and stability to the energy industry. Meanwhile, back at Uncle Vlad’s ranch, it looks like Mother Russia is re-embracing the children who scampered away from her but got confused in the traffic. The Crimea seems to always have remained Russian deep down while Ukraine, well, they kind of blew it. They had their shot at getting past adolescence but wound up squabbling among themselves. Best for Europe to firm up the gas and oil contracts with Putin and move on. The US is not going to do anything but make a little noise and certainly for the White House there are plenty of world issues to deal with and better to let Russia retain her influence on the Eastern half of the globe and keep an ally. My Russian co-worker thinks it’s all good. With the mid-term elections coming up and the GOP hoping to make gains in their numbers, retaining control of the House and possibly winning the majority in the Senate, they’ve suddenly found themselves going from confidence to scrambling. Their crusade to repeal, defund and otherwise run interference to the Affordable Care Act has run aground as the number of enrollees has risen beyond their expectations and has found support even among their (the Right wing) base. It’s here to stay and improve. Ironically it was originally a Republican idea that they themselves ignored and did not implement – except for Mitt Romney in Massachusetts – so they have no counter plan and probably pretty annoyed that it has achieved this popularity. But the Party also has to deal with foot-in-mouth disease and other faux pas among some of its own. (Remember the guy who stated that a pregnancy resulting from rape will self terminate?) Here are some more doozies. To Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell’s delight, his primary challenger, Matt Bevin, shows up to make a speech at a cockfighting rally and was caught by an
undercover camera. Too late to not lie and state that he was unaware of the nature of the rally. According to politico.com he was the second speaker and the first speaker made no bones about the rally being for the “sole purpose of legalizing gamecock fight(ing) at the state level.” Last January television audiences were regaled by the image of Representative Michael Grimm (R.NY) threatening to break in half and throw a television reporter off the balcony at Congress for daring to ask a question about allegations of improper fund raising activities. The ex marine/attorney/former FBI agent was so affronted by this brazen search for facts that the unguarded afore-mentioned promises were made. Despite the bluster it was all grounded in truth strong enough for the FBI to continue their investigation and widen it to include his businesses. On April 25 this year the US Attorney’s office advised Grimm’s attorney that, as yet unspecified, charges will be filed. Ah, the vicissitudes of politics. And on that bombshell – wait, wrong show.
The Bluesman is a Maltese sound engineer working in New
VICEER DEN AG MA
Published on May 26, 2014
Published on May 26, 2014
A contemporary outlook on business, lifestyle and design. Money brings together Malta’s top business and finance experts and the media exper...