Global Business Insight Volume 5 Issue 12

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CONTENTS 16 22 50 66 84 98 102 110

kick and boost

Award for Excellence in B2B Lending Solutions 2018 - France

maximus long short equity management

Maximus Long Short Equity Management is New York based hedge fund focused on industrials and materials.



Solving Handling Systems Across the Americas

devere group deVere Group provide the largest range of financial solutions across the entire market and utilise some of the biggest financial institutions in the world.

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making america better for tomorrow Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein

scm direct

The Conscientious Investment Management Firm to be Emulated

vattanac bank

Recognized Leader in Premier Banking Solutions 2019 - Cambodia


Healthcare Financial Advisor of the Year 2018 Germany



Mentha was founded in 1955, carrying the name of its founder Jacques Mentha.

qa mentor

easy fo hotel management

Best in Software Testing and QA Services 2018 USA

EASYFO was established in 1998 and quickly gained a name for itself as a producer of high functioning software designed to optimise hotels.

Bergh Orthodontics

Orthodontic Practice of the Year 2018 USA

62 nexia ts

“We LISTEN to our clients, THINK on their behalf and help guide them of difficult decisions. We help steer companies towards GROWTH.”


32 redwood bank

dara ENGINEERING CONSULTANTS Best Architectural & Engineering Consultancy 2018 - Qatar

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Most Outstanding Commercial Mortgages Bank of the Year 2018 - UK


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Bioactive Collagen Peptides® stimulate body functions Body Toning

Beauty from Within

• Increasing muscle mass and decreasing fat mass

• Increasing skin elasticity, reducing wrinkles and decreasing cellulite

Reduces Cellulite Considerably

Bone Health

• Increases dermis density

• Improving bone stability and flexibility Normal bone matrix


Joint Health

Connective Tissue Improvement

• Measurable recovery of joint cartilage

• Strengthening ligaments and tendons

GELITA AG · Uferstr. 7 · 69412 Eberbach · Germany · ISSUE 12 | 6

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GELITA is the leading company for manufacturing and marketing collagen proteins. Coordinated from the headquarters in Eberbach, Germany, GELITA provides customers around the world with products of the highest standard, comprehensive technical expertise and sophisticated solutions. Some 2,500 employees, more than 20 sites and a global expert network ensure that state-of-the-art know-how is always available for customers.

GELITA are less interested in short-term increases in turnover; their principal goal is long-term, sustainable success. True to a vision of “Improving quality of life”, their products contribute significantly to a healthy diet and lifestyle. Frank, fair and respectful dealings with customers and partners is a key policy also. It’s little wonder their customers and partners have displayed great loyalty to GELITA over the decades, seeing the company as reliable, promise keeping and one who understands and fulfills their needs and requirements. The proof is in the pudding; GELITA has celebrated success after success and found themselves in steady continuous growth.


We keep a constant eye on global markets, assess trends and invest readily in research and development. Our innovations are the result of cooperation with customers, industrial partners and academic research institutes.

GELITA’s performance is based on more than 140 years of experience in the field of collagen proteins. A strong requirement for innovation is the driving force of the family-owned company that is always looking for new solutions for food, pharmaceutical, health & nutrition as well as for technical applications. Within the range of collagen proteins, GELITA supplies collagen peptides with proven body-stimulating capabilities, tailor-made gelatines and non- or partly- water soluble collagens. This holistic range of products in combination with their vast experience in developing solutions for different applications makes GELITA first choice in the market.


To maintain this success, GELITA’s operations have had to be open to unconventional ideas and have the will to see them through to the end with meticulous organization and constant communication. Their aspiration is to break fresh ground without losing sight of the ultimate goal. To ensure this is achievable, GELITA have firmly anchored values of trust, courage, passion, empathy, care and commitment in their mission statement. Being capable of learning from their own mistakes and caring about the community and the environment are big points also. GELITA continuously implement actions designed to reduce environmental impact and support society and human welfare, and expect the same from their business partners. ISSUE 12 | 8

In an extremely competitive market, GELITA are masters of creating new product concepts that are proven to be healthy and aid quality of life. GELITA’s collagen peptides for example have resulted in products that help to maintain the function of bones and joints or to rejuvenate aging skin, while other collagen proteins have produced products that aid calorie management or nutrition supply to the body, all scientifically proven. A beneficial bonus scheme, an internal culture of open and honest conversation and a wide range of personal development opportunities make GELITA an attractive employer. This brings some high-tier talent to the company which aids enormously in the innovative characteristics of the company. Any member of staff, no matter their ranking, can submit ideas for new products and have their ideas developed into reality with the company rewarding internal innovation heavily. With demand for high-quality proteins constantly increasing, GELITA are convinced that the potential for collagen proteins is substantial. The future will see a continuation of their intensive drive to identify and understand new aspects and properties of the natural product collagen, and to use the knowledge gained to produce new, marketable products. ISSUE 12 | 9

Ginibee® is a SaaS Job share platform, which uses a Talent Partnership approach to make successful Job sharing accessible to recruiters, employees and candidates. A true win win for flexible working, it enables employers to offer part-time careers without compromising on full-time continuity. Using a five-step talent partnership creation process, the technology drives a candidate led approach to creating full-time Talent Partnerships, removing the hassle of matching from HR and hiring managers. A diverse selection of clients have worked with Ginibee®, ranging in size from small local companies to larger employers including Cambridge University. Ginibee® has successfully matched a range of Talent Partnerships up to director level; enabling both access to experienced external talent pools like Returners and retention of key internal talent looking for a different work-life balance.

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Their beta platform was launched in 2016 and quickly became successful in creating the now labelled Talent Partnerships, for companies looking to tap into a new talent pool or retain existing talent that needed to reduce their hours. Once it had proven it was successful in the longevity of the matching, Ginibee® built new features into the platform and enabled customisation for corporates so the solution could be accessed at scale. Ginibee® attributes its success and efficiency to three key factors – resilience, adaptability and creative focus. Being able to think out of the box has aided them to innovate in the industry and formulate a working solution to a tricky problem, which of course demands great flexibility in potential change and a determination beyond measure to see it through. This is what makes Ginibee® stand out. To outrank their competition, Ginibee® conduct a huge amount of research on job shares and key conditions to enhance the matchmaking process, building purely on candidate and employer feedback to ensure their platform ticks the boxes clients look for. With the workforce specialising in different areas such as technical development, knowledge creation and analytics, the company has managed to remain nimble and adaptable to the platforms evolution as the market needs fluctuate, keeping them in pole position. Pioneering this kind of service, which is disrupting a very established recruitment norm, Ginibee® had to test it firsthand. They recruited their own core staff using the platform to experience their client’s side of the business to see if there were any snags in the system or areas of improvement.

In 2018, changes were made to UK legislation around the right to request flexible working, shared parental leave and the Gender Pay Gap. This has increased awareness of talent attrition at more senior levels and placed onus on the employers to be more innovative about how to rectify this. With a talent shortage in most skill sectors, the market has become very much candidate led, with 87% of talent across gender and generations now preferring to work flexibly to create time for life. The market is constantly in flux and the way companies think about employment structures is in a state of great change currently. Job sharing will take a more prominent place on the Flexible Working Agenda this year, driven by new legislation and a candidate led recruitment market. Ginibee® seems to have preempted this and has formulated the perfect solution to bridge the gap without any fallout during the workplace revolution. 2019 will see plenty of new platform features and updates on Ginibee® both for candidates and employer Ambassadors - a new log-in for employers looking for new ways to appeal to experienced talent. With easy access to a unique dashboard of matching functions, offering job sharing as an employee benefit is more accessible than ever. “It feels amazing for the team to have their efforts and achievements recognised in a wider context. We have been working on this for several years, fuelled by our belief in the mission - the potential to create a work-life balance career option that has a really positive impact, both socially and professionally, for many people. We have been resilient and accepted that change like this doesn’t happen overnight but we recognise and celebrate milestones along the way towards achieving our mission.” - Sara Horsfall

Most notably, this helped develop the dialogue pattern the company encourages in their partnerships, raising awareness and respect for difference and inevitable change during the matchmaking process. It also resulted in the staff being some of the best in the industry and sharing the core values of the company seamlessly.

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UAS Simulation

The company’s core focus is to provide a unique and comprehensive training environment which utilises the highest fidelity tools for UAS training. To achieve this, they’ve developed various products to support the relevant needs in the market and also management systems are put in place to ensure the consistently high-quality training standards they are known for.

Simlat specializes in Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) simulations and provides various training solutions to fit diverse needs surrounding Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) piloting and control systems. Simlat’s products include platform agnostic UAS simulators, UAS training classrooms, integrated trainers (in which a specific platform and control station can be used in the simulation), trainee assessment tools and more. With clients ranging from UAS training centres, UAS manufacturers and academic institutions, to government organizations and the military, it is fair to say the services Simlat provide are highly regarded in the industry.

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Simlat communicate with their clients constantly, forging a great working relationship in order to make sure they are satisfied with the systems’ performances and identify potential areas of improvement. This allows them to maintain their market position and loyal client base by continuously updating their systems and methods to stay a step ahead in term of market demands and level themselves above the competition. For over a decade Simlat has endeavoured to be on the cutting edge of simulation technology, adapting it to cater to a wide variety of applications and structures. The result is a training system applicable to almost any situation imaginable utilising UAS as an integral part of daily business, making Simlat’s services unparalleled in the market.

A great deal of thought, finance and research goes into integrating these systems seamlessly to meet client daily operation logistics and constraints without running into future hurdles. This efficiency and foresight has aided the company’s reputation and birthed a culture of exceeding client expectations, proving to be a key factor for Simlat’s success in international markets, reaching over 30 countries and catering to the needs of some prestigious brands and organisations. Further distancing Simlat from the crowd is the level of reliable long-term support and growth potential their services offer, a factor greatly valued by the high-tier, highfunctioning organisations the company often supplies. Simlat have supported over 100 UAS programs, each of which take a number of months to fully integrate, so they are trustworthy in effective delivery of service, and with each project comes new innovations enabling the company to meet future challenges and demands with relative ease and efficiency. Simlat strives to remain at the forefront of technology by always thinking ahead about what the future requirements will be, and then investing R&D resources in new products and capabilities to widen the scope of solutions they can provide for their clients. With this as a precedent, the path at Simlat’s feet seems paved with growth and expansion.

Simlat Ltd Yuval Peshin + 972 3 658 4844 49 Ha-Sivim St, Yanai Park, Petah-Tikva, Israel

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The British Martial Arts & Boxing Association is an award winning, community led martial arts governing body. The organisation takes care of the core provisions for martial arts instructors and clubs, such as their licensing, safeguarding, insurance and more. The main focus of BMABA is to promote grass roots participation in martial arts. They encourage this in a number of ways, most notably by hosting a number of charitable schemes designed to enable martial arts to help those most in need within their communities. In order to provide the best service possible, the organisation has employed a selection tactics to set them apart from the competition, all of which are in constant development. BMABA use only the most up to date technology available in their governance, their website is advanced, the services they provide go above and beyond expectations and their affiliations are widespread, beneficial to the community and are all fully certified and regulated. With a consistent annual investment into research and development, BMABA ensure they stay a punch above the rest. All technology is reviewed twice a year to ensure they are modernised and up to date as the association find that committing to the capital costs as they occur ensures a superb return on investment measured in growth and member numbers. Another key factor is in how the BMABA safeguard specifically against the normal factors that can corrupt a good governing body. Negative traits such as the infestation of ego and politics are very closely monitored and prevented at every opportunity, a factor frequently noted and applauded by their members. In an industry built on respect and integrity the most important thing is to be transparent and truly accountable for any actions, and BMABA is certainly a beacon for good ethics and upholding standards.

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Upon entering the market, the association did not copy any framework from their competition, they paved their own lane. A decade of hard work along the line has led to BMABA representing over 10,000 martial artists, and better yet their framework seems to be catching on - other long-established organisations are beginning to replicate the way BMABA governs martial arts. Aside from the core association services, BMABA members also have access to marketing, guidance, advice, resources, tools, licensing, insurance and a heap more of benefits all under one membership price, saving them the hassle of using multiple suppliers and wasting time and finances. This is something that the industry hasn’t really seen before and is an obvious attraction for members over the competition.

in disadvantaged areas more effectively. They also have a few new qualifications jumping on board soon and a few surprises for their members lined up. BMABA run a number of programs in the hopes of changing the lives of children in poverty, women and girls at risk of violence, youth knife crime and others, collectively reaching in excess of 100,000 people a year. BMABA are in the market for a like-minded sponsor interested in gaining this fantastic exposure and aiding them in supporting the life-changing programs they work so hard at.

The staff are well catered to also, with a friendly and relaxed office space coupled with generous pay grades, holidays and other benefits such as free martial arts lessons. BMABA believe if their team love what they do, they will thrive, so every effort is made to create a culture of mutual respect and show the staff they are appreciated. “We’re thrilled to have been named both Best Sports Association for 2019, and for the personal award of Best Sport & Recreation Entrepreneur. In truth, the award reflects nearly a decade of consistent hard work. Like any labour of love, the key is to keep working away, improving what you do, reviewing, and improving again.” - Giovanni Soffietto (BMABA Director)


Looking to the future, BMABA will be focusing more on improving their work with local communities and charitable initiatives, aiming to ensure martial arts can reach people


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SDA Build London are a team of award-winning builders that specialise in the highest quality refurbishments, renovations and restorations. Providing a complete end-to-end property renovation and project management service, SDA Build London pride themselves on delivering a quality service consistently. The team is comprised of a network of experienced, fully qualified and industry recognised professionals in the building industry, including architects, structural engineers and interior designers. SDA began operation primarily in South West London but have since extended coverage to North London as well due to the company’s growth in popularity.

samir ene owner

SDA specialise in basement conversions, in fact they love them – and for good reason. With basement conversions, SDA can build roomy open areas that provide clients with a personalised space tailored to their needs and tastes, whether it be hobbies, sports or an extra spare room for guests. It could be anything from a wine cellar to a home cinema – it’s your dream! Better yet, moving certain rooms into the basement (like the utility room or downstairs bathroom) allows the ground floor of a home to expand out. In conjunction with even the smallest of rear or side extensions, it can completely transform a modest home into a spacious abode. With more than 65 completed projects in just six years, all producing breath-taking results, it is evident to see that SDA are top-tier professionals. Owner Samir Ene’s eye for detail and strict project management skills have allowed SDA Build to leap from strength to strength and innovate with each new project they take on. Just a glance at their portfolio reveals the company’s unique strength – delivering simple and effective solutions to complex problems.

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“We are honoured to have won this award; a validation of our hard work and commitment to quality. All our projects have been both challenging and enjoyable to work with.” – Samir Ene, Owner SDA Build London. SDA’s ethos – to strive for quality, value and sustainability – is driven by the simple principle of delivering on promise. Understanding the client’s needs is key to achieving this. With full understanding that their clients place a lot of faith and trust in the company, SDA are in constant communication with their clients to ensure every step of progress is overseen and agreed on. This ensures the smooth delivery of over 25 years of experienced workmanship and ensures the clients satisfaction in the results. In the construction industry, it is a huge advantage if your company is agile and nimble enough to side step the problems that invariably arise during projects. SDA are masters at avoiding delay having developed an ability to find workable solutions to unforeseen challenges, ensuring that projects are delivered ontime, within budget and to their trademark high standard. This is what SDA’s reputation is built on.

With such innovative projects being taken on, SDA’s staff are kept interested and engaged, while the management ensure the staff feel valued and satisfied. The staff are continuously being trained to keep their skills sharp as tools and techniques of the trade develop. The internal culture is entirely based on respect, so the staff are always listened to and their opinions valued, leading to a better functioning team and a minimal staff turnover. As with most companies at present, the uncertainty of Brexit remains a big worry for business. In the construction industry, Brexit has triggered inflation of 15-20% in the price of materials and labour. With prices rising, companies that give quotes months in advance of work commencement will see a big difference in estimate vs reality overheads at the end of the build. Some may charge it to the client while others may bear the brunt of the loss. Rest assured, SDA do not believe in adding to a client’s cost at the last minute and are likely to retain their critical acclaim as a result. Regardless of what the future holds with Brexit looming, SDA will continue to empower their portfolios with more stunning builds, restorations and conversions, and will reap the rewards of growth accordingly.

Working only with a top-tier professional team, contractors and suppliers gives SDA an edge on the competition. By having each party involved at the forefront of their respective industries means they are the first to hear about the latest technology, styles, trends and innovations in the construction industry. This enables SDA to offer the highest quality service with the most efficient and upto-date design techniques, and truly deliver homes beyond the measure of dreams.

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SSR Classic is a family owned company created in 2013 by two generations of car lovers with a long experience in the motor industry. We sat down with Sergio Rodrigues to find out more about the revolutionary car restorer. SSR Classic offers full or part restorations of classic cars. Just some of the many services that the firm provide include wood frame restorations or replacements, engine rebuilds, mechanical repairs, servicing, welding, M.O.T. repairs, paintwork, electrical and interior trimming. Typically, Sergio and the team work with classic car collectors and successful business people who enjoy driving classic cars. For many of SSR Classic’s clients, this is more than a hobby, as driving classic cars is a real passion of theirs.

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The company also provides official certification from the best luxurious brands like Rolls-Royce, Mercedes, Jaguar, and others, so that the customer is guaranteed that they are acquiring an original classic. Sergio tells us how the business always aims to provide the best possible service to its clients, explaining that when working with SSR Classic, clients always receive a memorable experience, enticing them to go back for more. “Here at SSR, we try to ensure that every client has the best experience possible with their classic car, and often help them reconnect with the car from their youth. For that, we have a small team that works solely on one car at a time, giving the car our unrivalled attention and making sure we follow the original instructions from when the car was first manufactured.” “Additionally, we also internationally source the original components of the car, meaning that each car restoration is a long and detailed process. Innovation is achieved through the process organisation in place and the equipment installed.”

A major advantage of the company is that all members of staff are passionate and dedicated towards providing the best service. Sergio is keen to highlight that having a small team is beneficial as it means everyone is closer, making it easier to communicate with each other and work together to fulfil the overall mission of SSR Classic. “Benefitting the company is the fact that our team is small, enabling us to have the advantage of being able to communicate and exchange ideas with each other on a daily basis. We try to involve everyone in the process, so that we all feel responsible for each restoration that takes place. Staff have the chance to meet the clients directly and become aware of their needs. “ “Furthermore, the team are proud of their work and the final product that is achieved. This is our ultimate goal: an excellent service for the client and making sure that everyone is accountable for that.” Providing us with an overview of the industry at present, Sergio explains what major developments and challenges have been affecting the firm, before commenting on how the business has adapted to these issues. Sergio highlights the issue of sourcing original parts of cars as a major challenge for the firm. “Essentially, restoring classic cars is a niche market. It requires a certain amount of expertise and investment in order to operate in this business. We have a reasonable number of collectors in Portugal but also some abroad that look for our services. Currently, we are at our full capacity, meaning that we do not have many competitors or the ones that exist are not able to offer what we do. The restoration process takes time and perhaps the most challenging thing we face is the sourcing of the original parts from the major car brands. Our suppliers are from all over the world and sometimes transportation and taxes surpass the cost of the equipment being acquired.” Overall, there is clearly a lot to look forward to for SSR Classic, as Sergio and the team look to capitalise on its ongoing success and build reputable partnerships which will be of great benefit to the firm in the future. Company: SSR Classic Contact: Sergio Rodrigues Address: Zona Industrial de Lordelo, Lote 30, 3730-130 Vale de Cambra, Portugal Phone: 00 351 919042222 Website:

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With 30 years of experience in the industry, Ramli has also perfected the art of adhering to strict budgets whilst producing designs that appear to have had no budget at all, proving you need not pay top dollar for a fantastic and authentic residential makeover. Ramli is frequently contracted with firms for commercial projects too, creating calming workspaces that improve both functionality and appearance drastically. Working with a varied pool of clients with very different needs can be a challenge. When Ramli receives a brief, he works tirelessly to provide a concept board with drawings and design

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When I was notified about the nomination I was honoured, but it caught me off guard when I was told I won the award!


Nik A Ramli is an interior design company working on residential projects from full service to consultancy with an incorporated e-Design service. The mission; to bring dreams to reality. By aiming to consistently deliver a high-quality service providing contemporary and abstract design concepts, each individually tailored to the client’s needs, personality and lifestyle, CEO Nik Ramli has proven himself a high flyer in the industry.

research and then holds multiple meetings in quick succession with design suppliers and then the client. Constant feedback is needed to ensure the brief is met and all parties are cooperating and happy with the progress. Ramli ensures a strong focus on his client’s lifestyles is maintained and develops this into his designs. The layout of their home must be planned and designed for their taste, for their traffic flow, their budget and their lifestyle. A creative flare is undoubtedly needed in this industry, and Ramli is short of none, using his knowledge of the industry and thinking outside the box to great effect. To truly realise the client’s vision, Ramli even offers an after-sales service to continue support to the client and make them feel appreciated and well-looked after. The real highlight of the service is a simple one, however – honesty, integrity and respect. Ramli is surely second to none in client relations. Companies in the interior design industry will all have their own spin, their own style, their own methods. It is important to have unique attributes and not simply copy and paste from another designer or simply reuse similar styles for ease. Designers should be all ears at all times, constantly adapting to the client’s brief and aim to be a problem solver. Work hard and ensure you deliver the brief functionally but with a twist of the wow-factor. Ramli ticks these boxes with his eyes closed!

Ramli works largely on his own, but when working with others he makes every effort to form a family bond with them to incentivise the adventurousness of their creative connection. If any learning can be done from either party, Ramli is glad to participate and often provides detailed constructive feedback (and expects the same in return) to maximise their collective potential. Trust is key, but so is job enjoyment – Ramli works hard and plays hard. The industry was affected badly by the financial crisis in 2008, and the economic uncertainty continues to play a role in challenging businesses such as Ramli’s, especially with the addition of Brexit in the future. As a discretional commodity, it is easy to see why this is the case. However, Ramli is ready to spread his wings. As if he didn’t have enough on, Ramli is also a columnist on interior design and entertainment for an independent lifestyle magazine in the US. He is also adding the final touches to an interior design book he has written due for release this year.

Ramli, for all his positive attributes, is constantly aware of his limitations. Keeping an eye on one’s own pitfalls often becomes a strength. By keeping himself grounded and utilising his resources without overstretching, Ramli never oversteps the mark and consistently hits the target. As you can imagine, Ramli’s peak of confidence is in his artistic flare, and is therefore rarely limited at all. Observing the industry is key to staying on top form. Ramli researches constantly both the new and the old, the classic and the contemporary, all to keep an open mind and boost his product and style knowledge to better benefit his clients. This also helps to build his own confidence, stretch the comfort zone and minimise those limitations.

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Premier Capital Group, established in 1988 with capital from Hong Kong and U.S.A., is one of the most reputable international real estate consulting and investment companies in Asia. It was the first branded international real estate consulting firm to enter mainland china. Resulting from their dedication and commitment to the market, today their growth covers Hong Kong, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Canada, America and Mainland China. Premier Capital even provide immigration services for clients who want to invest in or migrate to other countries. Premier Capital provide a range of highly efficient and professional solutions for clients looking to invest overseas. They help clients purchase properties overseas, invest in property development projects overseas (usually to a highly profitable returns for the client) and provide support for clients migrating to other countries looking for a better living for themselves or their families. As you can imagine, it takes a lot of hard work to manage. To ensure this all works seamlessly is undoubtedly a challenge. The steps that have been taken to achieve this include finding trustworthy developers to work with, finding reliable lenders to satisfy our clients’ financial needs, and finding professional immigration consultants to work with. Utilising an extensive network of connections, built up over 30+ years of industry experience, is key to the continued success of Premier Capital. Having now set down roots and offices in various locations over several continents, Premier Capital’s local resources have risen enormously, aiding an even speedier turnaround for their clients than before. Premier Capital attribute their success and growth to their consistency in maintaining their core values over the years. Thinking from the client’s perspective may have got easier since the spread of the company to other destinations, but it is no less important now than it was on the very first day of business. This focus on delivering the best results by thinking of the process from a first-person perspective, coupled with the company’s reputation for reliability and professionalism, has put them ahead of the competition immeasurably.

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“It is an absolute honor to win this award. Our motto for our success is professionalism, integrity and quality services.“ - Philip Leung Kin-lap, managing director of Premier Capital. Most of Premier Capital’s competition rarely operate outside of their own country, at best utilizing the neighbouring country when they can. This has contributed to the singular nature of Premier Capital as they provide a unique service that has proven unrivalled as of yet. The company has their own research department and substantial global resources, but this means little without the right team to function it all. With professional sales teams all over Asia, well trained not only in the investment potential of a project but also the safety of investment to ensure high capital growth, Premier Capital’s services are uncompromising and play a huge role in the structural integrity of the company. “Our company provides comprehensive training to our staff and make sure they are kept updated at all times not only on local and foreign political policies, but also on the economy of each country. We also invest a lot in marketing and online promotion, to make sure our name is kept present in all our market places.” - Philip Leung Kin-lap, managing director of Premier Capital. As a company based in Hong Kong, Premier Capital are largely influenced by Chinese culture, which places emphasis on the importance of the role of the staff and how they implement family values in the workplace. As a result, Premier Capital embrace their staff and their families in a welcoming and refreshing bid to harmonise the workplace and encourage a positive atmosphere in which the staff will thrive and perform at their best. Transparency is kept between staff and management, as it is with clients, cultivating an ethos of trust and open communication. Staff are rewarded in an unbiased manner, training is often held overseas on an expenses paid trip and internal meetings are held weekly to ensure all departments and staff are working toward the same goals. Due to increasing worldwide political and financial risks, Premier Capital predict there will be more clients who have the needs to invest or migrate to other countries, especially from mainland China. With the ever-increasing competition in the market place, the company are expanding their equity fund division to ensure they can create more self-own projects to meet with the increasing market demand. The strict lending regulations and compliance on foreign mortgage and immigration definitely have impacted Premier Capital’s business. There are more restrictions that increase cost for all parties involved. Premier Capital will be working more and more with lawyers and other professional consultants to ensure compliance is achieved and standards upheld. However, while these risks and regulations remain a threat, Premier Capital have persisted and thrived through worse predicaments in the past. The future of the company is still paved with growth, happy clients and happy staff, and we wish them luck on their way.

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Philip Leung managing director


Grade A’ classified consultancy offering a full architectural solution Global Business Insight Magazine speaks to the Best Architectural & Engineering Consultancy 2018 – Qatar, Dara Engineering Consultancy, who have been recognised for their true professionalism within their industry. Founded In 2000 by 2 renowned architects, Islam Shaheen and Rulla Hatamleh, Dara Engineering Consultants has seen a steady growth within its specialist field. The visions of both Islam and Rulla has helped Dara to develop strong company values throughout their teams, allowing them to be much more pro-active during the servicing of clients. Dara Engineering Consultants encourage their teams to be committed, pro-active, reliable, efficient and organised. These five attributes create the footprints for Dara to create long-term relationships with their clientele. Dara Engineering Consultants is indeed ‘Grade A’ classified consultant, with almost 20 years experience in the Architecture and Design field. Dara Engineering Consultants offers their clients a full Architectural solution from complexity to simplicity, using international standards. Dara divisions are covering all needs of their clients for their project development. The very Footprint of Dara Engineering Consultant’s standards is their vert focus on long-term relationship with their clients, which has been returned in success and confidence, and of course their recent accolade Best Architectural & Engineering Consultancy 2018 – Qatar.

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Client Satisfaction A focus point for Dara Engineering Consultants. Clients are provided with high quality products and services formed by their initial ideas and requirements. Dara then build on the vision of their clientele through their extensive architectural knowledge, allowing them to achieve overwhelming outcomes. Exceling in Architecture, Interior Design, Landscape, Graphics, Urban Planning, Quantity Surveying, Cost Control, Structural Design, MEP, Project Management and Construction Management allows Dara Engineering Consultants to be at the forefront of their industry and ensures that all of the projects they work on are handled by highly qualified and experienced experts from consultation through to completion. In an industry where the common struggle is often cost vs. quality, Dara Engineering Consultants has endeavoured to find the perfect balance for their clients whilst maintaining their reputation for being on top of internationally recognised architectural design trends. Elizabeth Ford, a Spokesperson for Global Business Insight has said “Dara ’s ability to make swift decisive actions, whilst outperforming their competitors is admirable. So far, it seems they have been nothing short of inspirational in their drive and focus to achieve architectural excellence.”

Vision Dara Engineering Consultants have a vision of becoming a leading Architectural Firm within its region through their desire to achieve 100% satisfaction for all of its clients. Dara also pursue the satisfaction of and commitment to their clients, which, when combined with the passion of their work, has driven them to exercise their potential. “As DARA team we believe this accolade is the receipt for adding value to our customers, projects and by extension to the community. This recognition surely motivates Dara Engineering Consulting to continuously improve, excel in the market and target new challenges.

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The Global Business Insight Award further drives-home that Dara Engineering Consultant could not have attained this reputation without our clients and people who have trusted us and our work for all these years. In addition, we want to underline how our team of professionals surpass expectations in every project. We consider this Award as a corroboration of our good practices and self-exigency, which motivates us to continue this fortuitous path.�

A Global Business Insight Recommendation Dara Engineering Consultants team members of each division have a strong background of engineering and architecture, which is directly reflected in the detailing and quality assurance of our projects. Additionally, they are equipped with local knowledge in terms of project requirements, permissions, certifications etc., allowing them to execute each stage of the process in an efficient and timely manner. Dara relies heavily on the internationally diverse composition of their teams and this has been reflected in their designs, material and suppliers’ selection range, bringing an array of options to their customers. Dara Engineering Consulting has been at the forefront in the technology that they use, looking for latest tools, software and materials to enhance their state of the art output. New technologies have effectively supported the development of highly intricate and realistic designs, enhancing the client interface and project stakeholders.

The future for Dara Engineering Consultants Dara is expecting an increase of investment in the construction sector that will be directly translated into a higher number of projects including hotels, residential, both low and high-rise edifications and of course retail.

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KHALED BAAZIZ STÉPHANE GROUSSON KickandBoost is the first B2B funding solution for services and intangible assets such as software, training modules, mobile applications, market studies and more. The sellers pre-fund their projects so as to cover development costs, limit the risks of unsold articles and avoid lowering their cash flow. The buyers back the projects they are interested in while maintaining their anonymity and benefit from a deliverable at a reduced rate. The traditional banks do not finance easily the development or the acquisition of immaterial products by companies. This is the situation that KickandBoost founders, Khaled and Stéphane, faced many times. As digital entrepreneurs, they had to develop most of their projects on their own funds due to the lack of banking support. As a result, they had the idea to create KickandBoost: a platform which aids start-up businesses by pre-financing them at reduced rates by other entrepreneurs. KickandBoost is a marketplace that also manages, as a trusted third party, the complex B2B transaction flow (order forms, invoicing, KYC, the different VAT rates…).

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The French fintech company have created their own niche market within likeminded entrepreneurs looking for financial backing. Made by the people, for the people. Grass-roots companies tend not to lose sight of their original goals, KickandBoost is no exception and they thrive in giving back to their community. KickandBoost know that feedback and care are the keys to success, ensuring they listen to their clients to improve their services at any available time. For a company like KickandBoost, based on a SaaS solution, the users are the key. They know exactly what they want, and they can willingly help improve a product or service if they believe in it. As they currently have no competition in their corner of the industry, KickandBoost have the chance to make some serious headway. To ensure they don’t stray from the mark, they maintain a very close working relationship with their clients, meaning they can provide solutions to any issues quickly which in turn forms a loyal clientele base. Developing features that suit their clients’ needs is the heart of KickandBoost, so their innovations are solely user driven. As company missions go, client satisfaction is a solid one. Company ethics have vast effects on both sides of any transaction. KickandBoost’s honest values and moral vision attract staff to their cause, while their ambition certainly acts as a driving force behind the team. The company’s internal culture is based on enthusiasm, encouraging both staff and clients to work towards the same goal. With a focus on togetherness, KickandBoost put their staff first, taking on board their feedback in the same way as they welcome the feedback of their clients. Subject to French authority of financial markets, a certain number of rules and policies are binding to KickandBoost’s clients. This is turned to an advantage by the fact it reassures the company’s clients about the robustness of their solution. KickandBoost’s reputation will continue to grow as they push their unique fintech solution to new heights. Looking to the future, the company is continuing their partnership strategy to better promote themselves in the ecosystem and aiming for fundraising in the coming months allowing them to accelerate their customer acquisition.

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Founded in 2002 by Chief Executive Nigel Green, deVere Group is one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory organisations. The firm currently has over 70 offices worldwide and more than $12 billion under advice from 80,000 clients in more than 100 countries globally. The company provides specialist cross-border financial advice to clients all over the globe, who are predominantly expatriates and international investors, enabling them to reach, and often exceed their financial goals. deVere Group provides the largest range of financial solutions across the entire market and utilise some of the biggest financial institutions in the world. Whatever your financial needs, deVere can cater to them, whether it be international retirement planning, education fee planning, mortgages, international investment funds; you name it, they’ve got it covered. With their size comes strength and with their global reach comes diversity. Working with these two factors on side, deVere Group plans to provide even more financial services and products through its growing portfolio of partners that simply aren’t available through any other financial consultancy in the world. deVere Group focuses all its efforts on one goal – delivering bespoke financial planning on an individual basis to support their clients’ development and maintenance of financial growth. Tailoring their services to suit the needs of each client involves matching client goals with the service provider and strategy that will prove most efficient and effective in achieving the client’s aims. As all the firm’s clients have different financial requirements and objectives, deVere believes that it is of paramount importance to offer the widest scope of expert advice possible. By doing so, they ensure their clients are all best-placed to not only reach, but to exceed, their long-term financial goals for themselves and their families. These personalised strategies also help to build a client relationship based on communication and trust which has led deVere Group to their exemplary reputation of reliability and consistency, resulting in the company becoming a leading

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financial consultancy firm in the industry. Having such a truly global presence is advantageous to deVere Group in setting them apart from the crowd and making them even more accessible to their client base who typically lead globally-mobile, transient lifestyles. If a client relocates, there will likely be a deVere Group office in their new destination, enabling a smooth transition and continuation of service. Staying ahead in the technology race is also advantageous in helping deVere Group maintain its position. Being at the forefront of innovation and the fintech revolution aids them in meeting ever-evolving client demands. One example of such evolution is their recent release of investment app, deVere Vault. Launched in 2017, the global e-money app is aimed at internationally mobile individuals and organisations. Users can store, transfer and exchange monies in 27 different currencies, making deVere Vault the world’s most international e-money app. Doubling up within the space of a year, deVere Group also launched deVere Crypto – a cryptocurrency app permitting users to store, transfer and exchange all major cryptocurrencies – and have since introduced deVere Core which is designed to provide clients with the latest investment updates and allow them to monitor their own investments. deVere Group shows full commitment to their clients, and this dedication extends to their staff also. deVere have one of the most extensive, envied internal management, graduate and apprenticeship training schemes in the financial sector, designed to enable each staff member to reach and even exceed their potential. The firm believes in continuous professional development for every single member of the team, regardless of their function and role, which is why so much is invested into training, graduate and apprenticeship programmes. Promoting from within is a big part of the firm’s ethos, creating a selfmotivating team and feeding their reputation of excellence at all levels.

OPEN BANKING TO BOOST UK ECONOMY BY 1BN With a rich and deep back office support system standing them above their competitors, deVere have structured their staff development immaculately. In addition to this, they ensure they are fully compliant at all times in all the countries it operates in, providing staff with the necessary qualifications and investing in their legal department to keep up to date with policy or legislation changes. Adhering to the strictest jurisdiction, all the products recommended by deVere Group are fully regulated. Looking to the future of deVere Group, it seems further growth is imminent. In order to meet ongoing and increasing client demand cutting-edge financial advice, deVere Group will be recruiting more independent financial advisers in 2019 and beyond, as well as further expanding their operations globally.

“deVere Group is a far-sighted organisation, driven by an unswerving desire to be the most trusted independent financial advisory firm, recognised for its integrity, ambition and unique ability to provide the most innovative, long-term financial security for its clients. Through best practice across all of its operations, deVere Group aims to deliver a flawless service, free from mistakes and misguided bias, putting its clients in the very best of financial positions. The Group’s sole mission is to be by the side of its clients for everything their individual financial circumstances demand and through every phase of their life journey.” - Nigel Green, Founder and Chief Executive Officer.




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AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN HOTEL MANAGEMENT SERVICES EASYFO was established in 1998 and quickly gained a name for itself as a producer of high functioning software designed to optimise hotel, resort and restaurant front and back office management. The company is based in Thailand but quickly spread its wings to include clients from neighbouring countries such as Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar. Now with a client base of over 800 hotels, resorts and restaurants, EASYFO’s innovation in its software has spread like wildfire and has clearly been in high demand within South East Asia’s hospitality industry. EASYFO attribute their success to the devotion and vision of their staff of experienced software experts who pride themselves on their ability to foresee what a hospitality business wants and needs for future expansion. Since their first iteration of software released 19 years ago, EASYFO have managed to stay ahead of the industry and implement features that businesses can benefit from regardless of size and scale. Now well known in the industry, particularly from the company’s successes of the last 3 years, EASYFO are looking to expand possibilities further within their software. The company’s clients have given glowing feedback and have proven to be overwhelmingly satisfied, but the technology race never ceases and EASYFO wish to hold their position of innovation and implement exciting new features to serve future client requirements. EASYFO’s development team are what sets them aside from the competition. With almost all of them having worked in the hospitality industry for many years in the past, they have in-depth knowledge of the daily workflow of their clients and have first-hand experience of the shortcuts that are so desperately needed in the industry. Through this premise, alongside continuously collecting feedback from clients, EASYFO can consistently hit the mark with every software update. The company is also always on the hunt for new technology to implement within their systems to improve their services and match client needs, thinking outside the box more often than in. For instance, their latest project involves robotic innovation to help companies reduce labour costs and human error and increase accuracy whilst providing unforgettable guest experiences also. 24/7 customer service is provided, meaning EASYFO’s thumb is always on the pulse of any potential issues so they can rectify any software faults quickly to ensure client satisfaction. In-house training is provided to employees regularly to ensure the highest performing team possible, and measures are taken to instil confidence and job satisfaction, so it’s smiles all round. All in all, it sounds like a recipe for continued future strengths. EASYFO are clearly on the right path and we’re sure this won’t be the last we hear of them. “EASYFO are proud to win this prestigious award. Our teams work hard in the development of new technology, keen to provide better services with a strong focus on customer satisfaction. We will not stop improving and developing new ideas, innovating and serving future client requirements.” - Pairat Nirantasukwong, EASYFO Representative ISSUE 12 | 34

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They aim to achieve this by deploying capital in core positions whilst also varying investments, covering an assortment of position counts, sub-sectors, betas, market caps and other considerations. Maximus will typically target 3550 positions and will aim to protect capital and generate alpha regardless of market conditions.


FOUNDER & CHIEF INVESTMENT OFFICER Maximus Long Short Equity Fund is a New York based hedge fund focused on industrials and materials. Using a low net exposure strategy, Maximus targets aerospace, automobiles, building products, chemicals, defense, industrial distributors, machinery, metals & mining, multi-industrial companies, paper & packaging and transportation stocks. The company is building their own lane in the market and their mission is all about growth. Maximus are seeking to diversify their portfolio and build an institutional industrial investing franchise. ISSUE 12 | 38

Maximus pick their investments very carefully and under strict criteria. They invest in companies undergoing major corporate restructurings or shareholder activism, as well as firms that have meaningful balance sheet capacity for M&A and/or share buybacks, industries undergoing structural change, and companies offering new products. With a keen eye on innovation, Maximus aim to be backing new developments and technologies that could revolutionise the industrials and materials industry. Maximus was founded to manage assets for sophisticated institutions and high-net-worth individuals. The Founder and Chief Investment Officer of Maximus Long/Short Equity Fund, Greg Royce, has over 10 years of experience as a Portfolio Manager and Research Analyst at some of the most well-known hedge funds in the world.

Greg’s significant investing experience has positioned Maximus well to grow as a premier industrials and materials investment franchise, however the founder’s team-building and leadership skills have certainly contributed to the fund’s success. “I am fortunate to have worked at many great organizations and, thus, I know what is required to be successful and to constantly innovate. One always needs to be engaged and focused on the competition to ensure one is keeping up with the times” Greg Royce – Founder & Chief Investment Officer, Maximus Long/Short Equity Fund. Greg incentivises his colleagues with a generous ownership in the business to ensure they are driven towards the success of the fund. His staff are all highly trained and well experienced professionals, making sure their client and business-tobusiness relations run smoothly and effectively. To influence the attraction of the best staff in the industry, Greg uses his extensive catalogue of contacts. By networking constantly and partnering with great organisations, Greg is introduced to a huge network of contacts who in turn introduce candidates with great potential. With everyone at Maximus well motivated and educated, with a keen focus on staying ahead of the curve, the coming years should produce an exciting growth and contribution to their invested industries. “One has to be aggressive to be successful, but also respectful of others. Respect of others will be a key pillar of Maximus. I attribute any success of ours to hard work and perseverance. There is much more work to do on Maximus to make it a successful business and we are excited to have many great investors as potential partners. I am honoured to have won this award.” Greg Royce – Founder & Chief Investment Officer, Maximus Long/Short Equity Fund. Maximus was founded on core values, most notable of which being transparency. Being open and honest with investors is a key attribute that can have a huge effect on client relations and business growth as a whole. Maximus make a promise to never pull the wool over the eyes of their investors and by doing so build a strong foundation of trust on which further expansion and investment can be conducted. Offering something different to the market is essential for business growth, and Maximus have thrown a curve ball in the mix. To set themselves aside from the competition, Maximus bring a significant amount of highly relevant experience and background knowledge to the industries they invest in. This means they can not only provide financial backing but also lend a helping hand where requested, producing smarter working relationships, building higher trust between parties and make better calculated investments. Maximus focus on detailed, bottom-up research, backing investment opportunities from scratch, but also focus on being a collaborative organization where everyone has a say. “In the US, the regulatory environment is getting more and more involved with the investment management industry. This is a good thing to ensure clients feel comfortable and protected, and Maximus have already implemented the highest of ethical and legal standards to ensure we maintain compliance.” - Greg Royce – Founder & Chief Investment Officer, Maximus Long/Short Equity Fund. The future will surely bring big things for Maximus as they continue their search for innovation in the industrials and materials industries. For now, Maximus is focused on capital raising and team-building. Once that is complete or substantially underway, the next mission is very simple: to put up great risk-adjusted returns for their investors.

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Premier Capital Group, established in 1988 with capital from Hong Kong and U.S.A., is one of the most reputable international real estate consulting and investment companies in Asia. It was the first branded international real estate consulting firm to enter mainland china. Resulting from their dedication and commitment to the market, today their growth covers Hong Kong, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Canada, America and Mainland China. Premier Capital even provide immigration services for clients who want to invest in or migrate to other countries. Premier Capital provide a range of highly efficient and professional solutions for clients looking to invest overseas. They help clients purchase properties overseas, invest in property development projects overseas (usually to a highly profitable returns for the client) and provide support for clients migrating to other countries looking for a better living for themselves or their families. As you can imagine, it takes a lot of hard work to manage. To ensure this all works seamlessly is undoubtedly a challenge. The steps that have been taken to achieve this include finding trustworthy developers to work with, finding reliable lenders to satisfy our clients’ financial needs, and finding professional immigration consultants to work with. Utilising an extensive network of connections, built up over 30+ years of industry experience, is key to the continued success of Premier Capital. Having now set down roots and offices in various locations over several continents, Premier Capital’s local resources have risen enormously, aiding an even speedier turnaround for their clients than before. Premier Capital attribute their success and growth to their consistency in maintaining their core values over the years. Thinking from the client’s perspective may have got easier since the spread of the company to other destinations, but it is no less important now than it was on the very first day of business. This focus on delivering the best results by thinking of the process from a first-person perspective, coupled with the company’s reputation for reliability and professionalism, has put them ahead of the competition immeasurably.

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“It is an absolute honor to win this award. Our motto for our success is professionalism, integrity and quality services.“ - Philip Leung Kin-lap, managing director of Premier Capital. Most of Premier Capital’s competition rarely operate outside of their own country, at best utilizing the neighbouring country when they can. This has contributed to the singular nature of Premier Capital as they provide a unique service that has proven unrivalled as of yet. The company has their own research department and substantial global resources, but this means little without the right team to function it all. With professional sales teams all over Asia, well trained not only in the investment potential of a project but also the safety of investment to ensure high capital growth, Premier Capital’s services are uncompromising and play a huge role in the structural integrity of the company. “Our company provides comprehensive training to our staff and make sure they are kept updated at all times not only on local and foreign political policies, but also on the economy of each country. We also invest a lot in marketing and online promotion, to make sure our name is kept present in all our market places.” - Philip Leung Kin-lap, managing director of Premier Capital. As a company based in Hong Kong, Premier Capital are largely influenced by Chinese culture, which places emphasis on the importance of the role of the staff and how they implement family values in the workplace. As a result, Premier Capital embrace their staff and their families in a welcoming and refreshing bid to harmonise the workplace and encourage a positive atmosphere in which the staff will thrive and perform at their best. Transparency is kept between staff and management, as it is with clients, cultivating an ethos of trust and open communication. Staff are rewarded in an unbiased manner, training is often held overseas on an expenses paid trip and internal meetings are held weekly to ensure all departments and staff are working toward the same goals. Due to increasing worldwide political and financial risks, Premier Capital predict there will be more clients who have the needs to invest or migrate to other countries, especially from mainland China. With the ever-increasing competition in the market place, the company are expanding their equity fund division to ensure they can create more self-own projects to meet with the increasing market demand. The strict lending regulations and compliance on foreign mortgage and immigration definitely have impacted Premier Capital’s business. There are more restrictions that increase cost for all parties involved. Premier Capital will be working more and more with lawyers and other professional consultants to ensure compliance is achieved and standards upheld. However, while these risks and regulations remain a threat, Premier Capital have persisted and thrived through worse predicaments in the past. The future of the company is still paved with growth, happy clients and happy staff, and we wish them luck on their way.

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Philip Leung managing director

Luxury Homes By Brentnall is one of the few female operated design and custom made material package companies in Australia, offering a unique female perspective on the whole process, from design through to when you are handed the keys.

Interior design • Project Management • Town planning • Architecture • Engineering Custom made material packaging • Quantity Surveying • Landscape Architecture Sales and marketing • Legal services 0400 420 392 | 604/2 Elizabeth bayISSUE road, 12 | 42Elizabeth Bay NSW 2011


Ocean Freight Air Freight Courier Warehousing Project Cargo Domestic Haulage Transit and Transhipment Ecowas Transportation Traking Custom Brokerage

+ 233 (0) 302 770563 Yellow House G.C.A.A Kotoka International Airport G.P.O. Box 1526 Accra-Ghana SeaCargo/Tema OfďŹ ce, Community 4, Opposite IRS Building, Tema

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queenie foong kwin tan winner of parent education and support services 2018 - hong kong

Parenting can be a very isolated and lonely job at times. Foong Kwin Tan, A.K.A. Queenie - Asia’s elite parent coach, aims to provide support to parents, especially with educating their children, with her refreshingly unique 12 week parenting program. Queenie is an elite parenting coach, a published author, podcaster and international speaker dedicated to aiding parents with her training expertise. Combining Western training and cutting edge research with Asian cultural parenting dynamics and values, Queenie and her team of twelve have carved a lane of her own.

Starting out as an early childhood education specialist majoring in child development psycology, Queenie Tan spent 16 years working with preschoolers in varying educational situations and countries, until moving onto teacher training, which she perfected over 12 years of training and lecturing at universities. During one of her courses, Queenie noticed that some of her students were not in fact there to become a teacher, they were there to become a better parent. Ms Tan found this inspiring and after researching she noticed there was easily accessible training for every subject on earth except parenting. She set her sights on her new found goal and embarked on a journey to provide training for arguably the most important and demanding role known to mankind. Driven by her own experiences, struggling as a schoolchild with dyslexia and overcoming it in her professional career and being a mother of two, Queenie dived in head first to providing a solution for parent training in Asia. By condensing and adapting her teacher training program into a 12 week parenting program, Queenie was able to digitise the program into virtual classes with written observations sent and feedback and guidance received.

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Queenie realised that with this new format she could teach more parents than just those attending her classes and could ultimately make a much larger impact for the better by digitising the program. Queenie focuses on three key areas: • Identifying their children’s strengths and to use them to help them overcome their challenges to ensure they will never be stifled by their shortcomings. • Personalise and customise learning for their children so that its best suited to their learning needs and styles so that they can thrive and work on their strengths and gifts. • Develop important life skills in their children such as character development, soft skills, EQ, resilience. Through these areas, not only do children build self belief and the skills to build their future, but the parents also feel supported and confident in their parenting, resulting in happier children and happier parents. The guesswork gets cut and a natural progression is encouraged, minimising parental and childhood frustration. This is a highly customized and flexible strategy that can be applied in many ways in all manner of cultures, as opposed to painting with broad strokes for mass uniform application as parenting advice has been structured in the past. Each child is different, so Queenie works with the basic structure she designed for the program and then tailors the program to suit the individual’s parent or childs needs. Queenie specialises in parents with children under the age of 7 and tackles the challenges parents face from a fresh and different angle, making her program unique. She is on a continuous mission to improve her services, investing in herself as a trainer to ensure the highest quality mentoring is maintained, in her staff with regular training meetings and events to encourage consistent drive and ethos, and in technology to make the overall experience more intuitive or interactive. Queenie and her team are also looking to expand into an academy in order to teach other subjects such as nanny or guardian training and preschool teacher training in the future which seem to be sparse or outdated in Aisa. This forward thinking, niche market and innovation in new teaching methods has differentiated her from her competitors and won Queenie widespread acclaim, but the passion and ethos behind her program was the defining characteristic that won her the **which catagory??* Global Insight Business Award 2018. “I’m seriously chuffed, thank you for this award! For me though, the ultimate satisfaction is when I receive messages from my clients telling me my methods and guidance have worked wonderfully. It’s amazing to hear, and the award is the cherry on the cake. I love my team and without them I’d be nothing, so thanks to them”. - Foong Kwin Tan

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market opened for a business bank willing to focus entirely on its customers. Redwood have helped to fill this gap, with the goal of being at the cuttingedge of technology solutions, whilst prioritising their customers. Keeping the process simple, Redwood pride themselves on being as transparent and flexible as can be. Most loans are approved within 48 hours and the Bank provides market-leading business savings accounts, which are consistently towards the top of the best buy tables.

GARY WILKINSON Redwood Bank is a new, flexible British business bank, with advanced systems, traditional values and a genuine appetite to lend to small and medium sized businesses, providing them with a real alternative. After years of mainstream banks failing their business clients, a gap in the market

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Uniquely, it is the UK’s first challenger business bank to be completely ‘born in the cloud’ and it is believed that Redwood was one of the fastest ‘licence-to-launches’ in UK banking history. Redwood provides fast, simple, transparent loans to ambitious businesses, alongside its business savings accounts, helping them to grow and guiding them through the ever-changing financial landscape

From inception, the Bank’s core values have been at the heart of everything it does. ‘Tirelessness, Simplicity, Certainty, and Integrity’ form the basis of the Bank’s approach to customer experience and its operations:

Tirelessness Being genuinely passionate for their customers’ success and working tirelessly to ensure they get the best possible service and support.

Simplicity Believing in being completely transparent with their customers, so everyone knows where they stand - no hidden agendas, completely open and honest, so customers know who they are and how they work, right from the start.

Certainty Providing businesses with total certainty that Redwood is the right bank for them.

Integrity Treating people just as they would like to be treated themselves. These core values, whilst elementary when glanced at, are pivotal when focused upon and have proven hugely successful, and Redwood consistently scores highly in customer satisfaction monitoring. Values such as these also attract staff, with some employees claiming Redwood’s approach is a breath of fresh air when compared to other financial services organisations. However, it is Redwood’s strapline: ‘It’s about time’, which has set them apart from their competitors. Before Redwood launched, the founders felt it was ‘about time’ a business bank provided consistent, fast loan decisions and deposit account openings, which is exactly what Redwood has achieved. The Bank’s mission to provide high quality services with ease and speed of access has proven a winning formula. To stay at the top of the pile, Redwood constantly listens, takes the appropriate action and responds to customer feedback, which it collects on a regular basis. It also outsources all IT infrastructure and software to industry leading experts, which provide them with the latest and best technology to maximise ease of customer digital interaction.

Redwood value their staff highly and ensure there are appropriate development opportunities to enable progression and longevity within the Bank. The staff are trained to respect, uplift and empower one another through proactive communication and collaboration, establishing an internal culture that is healthy and thriving. Having seen huge growth, the Bank marked its first year in business with a wave of new arrivals, bringing the total number of employees to now over 60. Its customers now have access to some of the very best in the business. As a bank, regulated by the PRA and FCA, regulation is constantly changing. Redwood give a huge focus to this, to ensure they’re fully compliant at all times. There are multiple challenges that Redwood must embrace and overcome, while continuing to pursue new strategies for sustainable growth. They’re part of a new banking revolution, where customers are the entire focus, so new ground is constantly being mapped, where the corporate landscape is changing. “I am very proud of what we have already achieved since we launched. We now need to build on this, and I look forward to the future with optimism, excitement and with confidence. Since we launched in August 2017, we have welcomed more than 1500 business customers, and we aim to continue to significantly expand and develop further. We are determined, proactive and flexible, with a strong desire to succeed. Redwood has constantly proven it is a company that is willing to adapt, develop and evolve to the shifting demands of the modern world and is shaking up an industry that is long overdue for disruption.” - CEO and Co-Founder of Redwood Bank, Gary Wilkinson.

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Founded in 2005, MetaCompliance is a global leader in the human aspect of cybersecurity and privacy compliance. Their state-of-the-art product range directly addresses the specific challenges that arise from cyber threats and corporate governance. MetaCompliance has a visually engaging and user-friendly product range that combines eLearning, simulated phishing solutions, policy management, incident management and GDPR to create compliance and security awareness within organisations around the globe. They have clients across many different markets including accountancy, advertising, government, automotive, non-profit, technology, construction, education, financial services, healthcare, insurance and legal. MetaCompliance earned their bragging right, having assisted over 600 organisations with their Data Protection and Information security awareness campaigns and some of these customers include; Vodafone, Jaguar Land Rover, Volkswagen, ITN, BUPA, ESB, Schroeders, v, Which?, City of London Police, Jamie Oliver Ltd and one of the largest Banks in the world, with a network of over 360,000 staff in 172 countries. Their mission is to help organisations keep their staff safe online, secure their digital assets and help protect their reputation and brand. To do this, they have developed a cloud platform that combines the significant pieces of software functionality needed for companies to protect themselves and ensure they are cyber secure and regulatory compliant. One of the critical attributes required for a company to survive in this industry is domain expertise or industry knowledge, not only is experience needed in cloud programming environments but a deep understanding of the challenges our customers are facing trying to keep their staff safe online. MetaCompliance began its journey in 2005, and they have consistently had the end user as their focus. ISSUE 12 | 50

How does MetaCompliance stay ahead of the curve? Commitment to Innovation and the development of a product range that meets and exceeds the needs of organisations around the world. Their extensive range of regularly updated e-learning videos is simply the best available on the market. They design the entire Cyber Security eLearning catalogue using their in-house design team and release new titles every 3 months to ensure their customers are receiving the highest quality and most up to date content available. Innovation is fundamental to staying ahead of emerging developments within our industry. The MetaCompliance design team is always looking at new, innovative ideas and solutions to deliver the message creatively and engagingly. They have effectively used 2D & 3D animation, sound design, motion graphics and dynamic type to ensure users are engaged while taking a creative and innovative approach to the development of each script. Their products directly address the specific challenges that arise from cyber threats and corporate governance by making it easier for users to engage in information security and compliance. The community and culture of their working environment are at the forefront of the thinking and growth at MetaCompliance. They believe in an open and diverse company culture with creativity and hard work to be driving them forward, while regularly evaluating all these elements to make sure they have the right attitude in place to attract, retain and engage the modern workforce. MetaCompliance instils confidence in its workforce by welcoming opinions, ideas and creativity. The plan is to leverage this to become one of the most prominent and most respected cybersecurity companies in the world; a company for which their staff love to work. By sewing these values into the very fabric of MetaCompliance, the firm can help businesses transform their own work culture to cultivate a positive nature of their own.

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“We are on an exciting journey of growth, building on our already impressive technology portfolio: our products, our growth plan, our global reach and the commitment of our staff all play a vital part in what we do here at MetaCompliance.” - Robert O’Brien It is evident that the MetaCompliance employees are at the heart of the business. The firm believes that their staff should be allowed the opportunity to grow fast within the organisation and share their ideas for the development of the company and how they can provide the best service to the clients. Cyber Security threats and Data Protection regulation have impacted significantly not only at Board level but with Governments. There is a growing recognition that, despite the billions of dollars spent on information security in the form of firewalls etc., organisations still find themselves vulnerable to outside attack. The fact that this is still an issue proves that the employees of a business are the key components that need to be strengthened and helped. Therefore, a greater focus is placed on the correct tools to assist staff in providing a greater defence to cyber threats.

Q. What does the future hold for MetaCompliance? “As a business, we are scaling fast, and in addition to our offices in London, Birmingham and Derry, we recently opened our first US office as we step up our operations in North America and across the globe. Our mission going forward is to continue to strengthen our position as a leader within the UK and Ireland while expanding further into the global market space, becoming a renowned and trusted brand in the cybersecurity market worldwide.” - Robert O’Brien

Q. What does this award mean to you? “We are proud to have won the award for ‘Sustained Excellence in Cybersecurity Solutions’. The award recognises our commitment to providing customers with the best quality cybersecurity and compliance content available on the market. By having a clear focus on our customers, we will continue to develop innovative and costeffective products that reinforce our local and global offering.” - Robert O’Brien

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WORLD CLASS TRAINING PROVIDER Founded in 2007, PVD Technical Training & Certification J.S.C. (PVDT) is the leading services provider in Asia, specialising in 3 core sectors: Training & Certification, Manpower supply, and Technical services for oil & gas, construction, energy, and manufacturing industries. Focusing on sustainable development and providing innovative solutions, PVDT has received many international accreditations and awards, such as OPITO, IWCF, ABS, DNVGL, LR, Quality Innovation Index QII-2017, High-Quality Services (Global GTA Organization), Best Offshore Safety Training Facility (AI Magazine—UK).


Training & Certification PVDT provide schooling in various approaches to fit their clients’ specific requirements, such as training at the PVDT centre, or at the client’s site/office and/or through online means also. The training programme consists of 2 types: Technical and Safety. The technical training is based on geology, geographics, production engineering, electrical and instrumentation, welding, cutting, scaffolding, etc. The safety training covers the basics and emergency response, onshore & offshore safety and finally survival. Paragon’s other investments include Maini Precision Products Ltd, Cravatex Brands and InCred. In September 2017, one of the fund’s early portfolio companies, Capacit’e Infraprojects Ltd, went public in an initial public offering that witnessed an oversubscription of 186 times. PVDT has at its disposal no less than 2 hectares of facilities and equipment: • 03 model portable simulators which also can be used for conducting training at the client’s site for IWCF Drilling Well Control/Well intervention Training programme for all levels (Level 2, 3, 4); • Portable simulators & portable equipment which also can be used for conducting training at client’s site for Major Emergency Management Initial Response (MEMIR) Training; • International standard training rooms, an open yard with fully serviced equipment for conducting a practical session of all training courses.

Labour Supply Services With 11 years of experience in oil & gas, power, construction & manufacturing industries, PVDT are now the leader in innovative manpower solutions (headhunting, recruitment & manpower supply), providing a wide range of human resources to the clients including: project management team, technical engineers, production, operation & maintenance engineers/workers, health & safety environment experts/engineers, doctors/medical staff, office staff, etc. As one of the leading national headhunting companies, PVDT offers a comprehensive range of executive search/headhunting and executive professional services. By using their multi headhunting skills and a proactive process, their professional team find and attract the best high-quality candidates that meet the client’s requirements.When it comes to recruitment and supplying manpower, PVDT always aims to understand the specifics of what their client’s expectations are of the candidates they provide. By using an extensive database, the firm offers their recruitment services, known for expedient & efficient execution. Based on their international standards in technical & safety training, they are now also managing a large number of employees who are professional, welltrained, highly-skilled & competent to perform their duties at top quality.

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PVDT has accreditations by international organisations: BV, ABS, DNV, LR, etc. for their unsurpassed technical services. The quality & management system standards utilised by PVDT are OHSAS 18001: 2007 and ISO 9001:2015 certifications accredited by DNV. Below are some of the typical technical services which we are provided: • Supplying and renting out the machine, equipment, personal protective equipment (PPE); Fire Fighting equipment; fire extinguisher portable breathing apparatus (SCBA, EEBD, Airline, Air Cart, BA Compressors, Escape Hood, Cascade System, etc.) • Maintenance & Repair, Inspection services. • In-water Services - Approved service supplier by ABS: Inspection, U/W Welding/Cutting, Repair & Maintenance Services, Corrosion Repair, Pipeline Plugs, Pipe Repair & Installation, Concrete Repair • Fire Prevention & Fighting Services: Design, Installation, Inspection, Period Inspection for FM200, NOVEC 1230, CO2, FOAM, Inert Gas, Fire Fighting System (Licensed by Vietnam Police Department of Fire Prevention & Fire Fighting, certified by ABS, LR, DNV-GL, VR) • Rope Access Services: Building/Plant construction, Structural steel installation, Electrical and mechanical installations, Painting, Inspection, concrete inspection, Non-destructive testing, Maintenance, and Repairs, etc. • Scaffolding Services: Supply of Scaffolding materials, Installation, inspection, scaffolding technician, scaffolding supervisor, etc. • Lightning protection services: survey, design, installation, repair & maintenance for lightning protection system, Supply of lightning protection equipment. • Miscellaneous Services: Temporary Power Solutions (Generator, Transformer, Load Bank Units for Rental Operations), E&I Engineering Services (Repair & Maintenance, VFD Inspection, ABB Leap, DC & UPS System), NDT, Load test, etc. A true partnership with optimal solutions has offered a win-win business idea for PVDT; this is where ideas and information flow openly and regularly, based on a foundation of mutual trust and respect for everyone’s expertise — and PVDT have found that their clients embrace this philosophy. PVDT’s client list speaks for itself, comprised of local and international clients such as Petro Vietnam, Kris Energy, Premier-Oil, ENI, KS Drilling, Ensco, BP, Seadrill, Petronas, Rosneft, JDC, Halliburton, ExxonMobil, Idemitsu, JVPC, Heineke; to name a few.

PVDT’s mission is to create a working environment in which their workforce can achieve job satisfaction and career development while providing clients with professional training services, competent manpower and optimal technical solutions with the most qualified instructors, engineering professionals as well as state of the art technological services. To effectively track these objectives, PVDT follow the following steps, to ensure that everyone on their team has a uniform focal point:

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As always, we asked the firm what it meant to them and their team to have won this award and Mr Bui Thanh Van – CEO of PVDT, responded with: “This award has entrusted us with a responsibility to continue raising our service standards. It is such an honour to be recognised as experts in our field for excellent service to our industries.” Aside from providing international standard services, which have been approved by OPITO, IWCF, STCW, ABS, DNVGL, LR, etc., PVDT is also conducting business with many partners across the globe to provide diverse training programs and technical services certified by international organisations. To achieve sustainable success, a company must repeatedly examine and re-examine their purpose and make sure the organisation, in its entirety, serves said purpose satisfactorily. An authentic and inspiring direction allows for: • A consistent sense of focus and • Pragmatic innovation backed up by sufficient research. There is a multitude of ways to further your company’s reach. Partnership and collaboration, for one, play an essential role in the success of a company in this era of “Global Freelance Economy”. Differentiation allows PVDT to provide superior value to its customers at an affordable price, creating a win-win scenario that boosts the overall profitability of the clients’ business. At PVDT, the working environment has grown to a level where the management committee always encourages the employees to cultivate innovative thinking, to change & grow through new and different methods with impact. PVDT feel it is vital to nurture the ability to explore contemporary ideas with a change in mindset. PVDT often applies new training methods, new accreditations of training as well as using the latest technology for technical services. In March 2018, they obtained the Digital BOSIET/TBOSIET training course from OPITO to provide a new training approach for cost savings and flexibility.

“When our staff members are happy, they will do anything to make the company successful. In the end, everyone wins.” Mr Bui Thanh Van The internal culture is based on openness, solidarity, trust in the company’s core values and creativity, which are reflected in everything they do. This enables execution of the business strategy and sustainable development, defining why people should choose and commit the best they can to the company. Four key things determine positive employees:

Be open: Informed people make better decisions and have a more significant impact, which is why PVDT works hard to make sure everyone has access to as much information about the company as possible.

Competitive atmosphere:

Take time to encourage employees and let them fight to get promotions and extra benefits. PVDT ensure the competitiveness is positive by developing their staff daily.

Creativity: Combine your experience and imagination to find the best solutions.

Teamwork: Help each other to make the company stronger. As most businesses know, a prosperous future is the result of productive collaboration with clients and partners. Focusing on sustainable development by providing international-standard services and optimal solutions for clients, allows the firm to expand their business markets in Russia, UEA, Thailand, Malaysia, Myanmar, China, Cambodia, Korea, Japan, Korea etc. In the coming few years, PVDT has its sights set on acquiring more international accreditation for training & technical services as well as develop their manpower resources to meet the everchanging needs of their clients. In 2019, PVDT is going to do business with CCM Corporation, the leading medical services provider in Russia, to provide medical services including medical check-up, medical treatment, training & medical crew supply in Tomsk, Russia.

Employees of PVDT genuinely enjoy working for the company. Everyone plays a part in PVDT’s success. “Small” contributions can add up and make the workplace a great place to be. The firm awards the best employee every month as “star of the month”, taking a minute to acknowledge someone and not hesitating to give credit to those who deserve it. The happiest employees get along with their co-workers and even continue to see them outside the workplace. To ensure this happens at PVDT, the managers encourage a positive working environment. This fosters excellent professional and informal relationships among the employees.

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gregor rosinger The Rosinger Group is an internationally successful financial group with a long history in the business areas of both own investments and highly specialised consultancy services. The current CEO, Gregor Rosinger (who originates from an “investors-dynasty”), has been active as a professional investor since 1985 and can look back on an impressive success story with a leading position worldwide in 61 stock market listings and IPOs. Gregor Rosinger has also been involved in over 300 institutional capital market projects so far.

This process model has been further developed and optimised consistently since its creation in 1993, registered and protected across Europe as the “RMS Regionale Mittelstands Sicherung” brand, exclusively for a company of the Rosinger Group.

Mr Rosinger and his wife Yvette are the developers of the “Regional Mittelstand Safeguarding” concept which can be summed up as the backbone of our economy.

In the course of his own company investments, not only does Mr Rosinger make capital available but extensively utilises the many years of experience being him and his team. The strategic and company-value-oriented approach instilled throughout the firm, and their excellent international network of contacts has attributed to their prominent position in the Finance industry.

“Regional Mittelstand Safeguarding” means providing an established and regionally significant small or medium-sized business with capital, industry knowledge and a network of contacts through an investor, to safeguard the continued existence of that business through restructuring and/or internationalisation.” - Gregor Rosinger.

“We feel very honoured, to be selected by Global Business Insight, it is a great privilege for us to be considered the Best Financial Holding Company 2018 – Austria” – Gregor Rosinger.

“Our stated goal is to sustainably increase the value of the target company as a temporary partner.” – Gregor Rosinger.

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The Rosinger Group procedure cannot be compared to competitors, as they follow their unique and most successful business model by acting according to the ‘Regional Mid-sized Safeguarding’ (RMS) procedure model, which they developed in 1993 and registered as a European Community Trademark in 2014. RMS provides established and regionally critical mid-sized companies with investor capital, sector knowledge and contact networks, to guarantee the survival of the enterprise by restructuring and/or internationalisation and globalisation 2.0. The contributions cultivated by just one partner results in significant benefits for their customers. As for the Rosinger Group, there are 2 main drivers for innovation in daily exercise to achieve the best possible solutions for their clients: Technological innovation and Human Capital When it comes to attracting top talent, communication is the key: the Rosinger Group offers and prospecting employee with clarity about the position, the company’s mission and the career opportunities. Upholding authenticity about what the firm stands for and how they can be of service to the employee in return (outside of monetary remunerations of course) – so the candidate knows what exactly he or she is walking into. It is of utmost importance that both parties have open eyes and clarity and see if they will be valued and encouraged once they join the team. Attractive compensation and amazing benefits that feed success are important, but a firm ought to go beyond just this. The working environment at the Rosinger Group builds on valuing work-life balance and individuality. Long ago, they shifted into an era where the traditional office environment and compensation models are no longer applied. They listen to their employees’ needs and form a highly individual workplace tailored to each and every single employee. These models can include home office solutions, very high flexibility concerning time and ensuring that the employees have a healthy work-life balance. “The Rosinger Group is its employees. We foster a workplace that thrives on trust and respect for all individuals and protects that culture every day.” – Gregor Rosinger. To ensure the best possible solutions and services, the following two factors go hand in hand:

1) Corporate Culture/Mindset: having a strong set of values will define the firm’s accomplishments. One of the most important would be innovation: this is a job of every single employee, not only the managers’ duty. Provide the workforce with the autonomy to be creative and freedom to explore various avenues.

2) Expertise: Through consistent specialisation and relevant industry knowledge, the Rosinger Group is able to provide all services at the highest possible level. All their experts rely on their vast and long-term experience in the full range of sectors they now operate in and can thereby ensure the best solutions. Q: Are there any new regulations or legislation that are affecting your business and how have you adapted around these? A: “We have experienced a high segmentation in the Finance Sector, especially in the Private Equity Industry. In the Viennese Finance Scene, investors have a strong industry focus, followed by their expertise in their sectors. We too are highly specialised and are right now focussing on IPOs and listings in the small and mid-cap section on the Viennese Stock Exchange. We as a firm have a strong focus on industry, renewable energy, finance, infrastructure and real estate.” – Gregor Rosinger The future is looking positive for the Rosinger Group. They are currently working on prospective stock market listings for 2019. Right now, the firm “builds” corporations, which includes takeovers and vertical or horizontal integration of companies to broaden and expand the value-added chains, mergers etc. At the end of the day, the respective business model has to be displayed in one sole stock company. ISSUE 12 | 63

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SOLVING HANDLING SYSTEMS ACROSS THE AMERICAS Conveyroll is focused on the material handling systems market and specialising in sortation systems, including cross-belt sorters, shoe sorters, multi belt sorters and pushers installed across North, Central and South America. At the end of 2016, Conveyroll S.A. DE C.V. took a step forward within the integrated material handling systems sector (Sortation, Crossbelt, Pick & Pass and Replenishment Projects), enabling them to become partner integrators with Interroll and Daifuku-Wynright-Automotion in 2017. This has better positioned the firm as the world’s seventh largest integrators in 2016, the only Latin American integrators to have achieved this ranking. ISSUE 12 | 66

The integration of their authentically Mexican engineering in the initial phases of the project, together with their wealth of experience using CAD design and simulations, their employees’ combined years of market experience and the support of internationally renowned companies, such as Interroll and Wynright Automotion Daifuku, are all extremely promising indicators for the future of the material handling systems market in Latin America. As an effort to grow globally, Conveyroll will be opening an office in the United States in early 2019. The industry is growing rapidly in the U.S. and having an office there allows Conveyroll the opportunity to offer their services more efficiently and provide better support to the customers they have already accumulated in the U.S. and Canada. The Conveyroll mission is to combine their best-in-class industry knowledge with their custom high-tech capabilities to provide full-service material handling sortation solutions to meet their customers’ requirements. In order to achieve this goal, Conveyroll has made a very conscious effort to only hire the best in their field. This has allowed them to create quality-engineering that is second-to-none, installation, service and operations departments in order to handle a customer’s needs from beginning to end, including consulting, engineering and design, automation, installation and support. The goal is to create a solution to the customer’s pain points, not create more pain! Q: How does it feel to have won this award? A: “First, we would like to thank Global Business Insight for your consideration. We consider it an honor to even be considered for an award of this caliber. To win it is extremely exciting – it validates the years of hard work that we have put in to get to this point. I think that we owe a lot of our success to the people within the company. Without them and the tremendous experience they bring, we would not be able to offer the solutions that we do. I also believe that the product we offer – a full end-to-end solution – is what allows us to be truly successful. We offer not only the hardware and installation for the solution, but we offer consulting and engineering design to ensure that we are truly addressing our customers’ problems.” - Conveyroll Judging by the way Conveyroll operate such a tight ship, it is evident that they have invested the time to obtain a sound understanding of Consumer Operations and Processes. They are careful to follow the legal practices and policies to assure the return on their investments. The customer relationship they maintain over the years can only be continued by offering after sale service and support. Conveyroll ensure that their clients are happy with the product and should they require further assistance, Conveyroll are right there to help. This includes providing training to their customers and their employees and finally; running maintenance and troubleshooting of the product. To survive in this competitive industry, it is crucial to have a unique selling point. Conveyroll have done just that. They offer continuous training on the manufacturer facilities for customer maintenance teams. They provide projects simulations which is used for what-if analysis and for supporting decision-making in real projects. Maintaining a position at the forefront of the competition is vital to any business and Conveyroll believes that to be a leader in innovation, one must start with people and processes. Firstly, they make sure to hire the right staff – those who bring a wealth of knowledge from the industry and business in general – in order to cultivate a good corporate culture. Secondly, they confirm that they have the right processes in place in order to optimise their time and that everything is done in the most productive way possible. This, in turn, has allowed Conveyroll to focus on the products and technology, safeguarding their reputation as leaders and innovators of their industry. “We consider our people our most important asset. As a rapidly growing company, we are growing the Conveyroll family every day, and the key is to have a good mix of experience and energy. We bring in people with industry and business experience to be leaders, and we hire the best out of university so that they can learn from these leaders and grow with the company.” - Conveyroll ISSUE 12 | 67

“We are confident in the loyalty of our employees because we offer competitive salary packages and benefits with flexible work schedule. Moreover, we offer a lively and challenging work environment with opportunity for advancement within the company. We feel the processes that we have put in place give our employees the freedom to focus on the things that are important to them, empowering them to contribute in the most positive way, helping them be successful, and we feel they recognise and appreciate that we care.” One of the most important things at Conveyroll is the internal culture. The company strongly believes that if they empower their employees to be successful, they will remain loyal to the company. This means thinking beyond a paycheck, but by providing opportunities to grow both personally and professionally. The work-life balance is vital and Conveyroll does not want their staff to feel like their job is their life. Conveyroll ensures that everyone is working towards the same goals by including the team in the planning process and increasing buy-in in the final goals. Communication is key, and the firm has several tools that increase their capabilities to communicate, such as Slack and Asana. These streamline several of their processes allowing people to always know and understand what needs to be done.

There’re no regulations that affect the performance of the Company in Mexico. Conveyroll have, essentially, set themselves up for significant growth in the coming years. They are on track for over 20% year-over-year (YOY) growth in 2018 and have made some plans to increase their industry presence and global reach, which they believe will allow them to surpass that growth in 2019. Some of the things they will be trying are: • Adding an e-commerce component to their web site, allowing self-service for their customers. The release is set for January 2019. • Increasing their global reach by opening an office in the United States, set for January 2019. This will allow the firm to easily and efficiently service their customers in the U.S. and Canada and also spread their client base through to Europe. • Increasing their marketing strategies, including a complete rewrite of the web page, a re-write of all marketing content, and increasing their Social Media presence, all of which will increase their brand awareness and interaction. • In order to solidify their status as experts in the industry, they will be attending more tradeshows throughout North America and Europe, as well as participating as presenters at several events over 2019.

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Managing Partners Group (MPG) is a multi-faceted investment house that specialises in handling alternative asset classes for financial institutions and sophisticated investors. As a market leader in structuring and managing regulated mutual funds and asset-backed securities, MPG leads a wide range of financial products that principally invest in fixed income, forex, property, life settlements, absolute return and hedge fund asset classes. The firm’s investment solutions are primarily aimed to deliver low volatility with the potential for regular income or long-term capital growth. MPG is rapidly becoming a global company with locations in the Cayman Islands, Malta, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. MPG also has a specialist division that is dedicated to creating, managing and administering mutual funds, securitisations, bonds and other types of listed securities for other asset management firms that may not necessarily have the internal resources to create their own financial products or encounter regulatory constraints that may compromise an in-house solution. MPG can deliver financial products that may be promoted throughout the European Union, European Economic Community, the United States of America as well as certain jurisdictions in Asia and are able to assist asset management groups in promoting their financial products in domains where they may have limited access through language, regulation or cultural divide.

The company’s mission is to preserve long-term relationships with their clients by ensuring that their brand is synonymous with outstanding service. This means maximising risk-adjusted returns for investors in their alternative investment funds and providing the products they construct are best in class. MPG has built a substantial capital base that is the cornerstone for any investment product that they launch. Typically, they start a fund with proprietary capital and generate a track record before opening it up to third-party investment. The combination of equity and proprietary assets together with a rigorous approach to investment management is the critical reason for the firm’s success. Q: How does it feel to have won this award? A: “It is great to gain recognition from Global Business Insight in a market as competitive as the asset management industry. The foundation of our business has been the outstanding performance delivered by our life settlement funds, which very much proved their worth in the global financial crisis. But we have expanded our offering to include securitisation vehicles, for which we have considerable in-house expertise. We feel that we adopt a rigorous approach to everything we do, so it is reassuring to receive an award that shows that view is shared in the wider investment community.” . Jeremy Leach, CEO of MPG.

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When asked about the essential factors that a company must possess to be successful in the Finance Sector, Mr Leach expressed: “A company must be innovative and have an effective marketing operation to stand out. Success always depends on listening to clients and delivering what they need. Robust products are also essential, and to deliver them requires deep expertise built on solid experience. A major weakness in a business can be over-reliance on third-party service providers. Over the years we have developed in-house teams to address virtually every aspect of asset management, so we have minimal external dependency and have more control over quality standards.” The products and services that MPG offer are relevant in any market environment. Many investors looked for alternatives to the traditional asset classes of equities and bonds after they both went south as a result of the global financial crisis. Investment products that are low-risk but still offer inflation-beating returns are highly attractive to these investors, especially at a time when rising interest rates and the growing threat of inflation are creating challenges for equities and bonds. This is very appealing to investors who want long-term management of their assets. But the attraction to MPG is more than just fund performance. They look to launch funds that invest in asset classes that will be attractive for the long term. Furthermore, their ability to create, administer and manage funds for third parties on a bespoke basis appeals strongly to high-net-worth investors, family offices, asset management firms and charitable organisations. Essentially, MPG is a one-stop shop for setting up and managing financial products because of the comprehensive range of services delivered by their fund administration, corporate services, fund management, legal and capital markets teams. MPG identifies asset classes that not only appeal in the current investment climate but which will continue to deliver value through volatile times. They take a longer-term view of financial markets and consider a range of factors, such as forex rates, economic cycles, inflation, fiscal trends and market themes. This firm has an extensive network of contacts that help them build market intelligence and collate substantial market research, which is often published in their white papers. MPG has offices in several jurisdictions, which ensures they are ideally positioned to source talent in different parts of Europe and beyond. The cultural environment at MPG is hard working but professional, with excellent prospects for progression. Q: What does the future hold for MPG? A: “Two more financial products will be added to our range in Q4 of 2018; 1. A fund that will aim to achieve absolute, long-term capital growth for institutional and high net-worth investors by investing in a diversified portfolio of fixed income debt securities. This will blend investment grade securities with higher-yielding instruments to balance risk against returns with a natural hedge against the inflationary pressure that we expect to see in major markets over the next few years. The management team will stock-pick opportunities, taking advantage of risk-returns that compare favourably with those available in mainstream bond markets. Crucially, the Fund will offer the traditional benefits of a core bond approach, such as low volatility and steady returns, while having a low correlation with global financial markets. The assets in which it invests will typically have attractive double-digit annualised yields and the security of the first call on the underlying assets. This is lucrative at a time when investors are fearful that bull runs (rise in prices in the finance market) in both equity and bond markets could soon end as monetary policy tightens in developed markets. 2. A second fund that will leverage a foreign exchange-based algorithm deployed by a management team with an impressive track record. Investors will be able to use it as a cash fund offering the potential for significantly greater levels of return, with short notice periods for redeeming. – Mr Leach.

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Difrent deliver digital business solutions, orchestrating and actioning processes to help their clients deliver a digital transformation. They work across both the public and private sectors. Gaining a positive reputation in the industry has bred success and has resulted in some highend clients.

“Our mission is to be the go-to delivery partner for digital services across the public and private sector. We ensure the outcomes that we deliver fit with our company values; putting people at the heart of what we do, delivery first, partnering our clients and playing to our strengths”

Difrent successfully migrated and transformed the NHS Choices service (with 50m users per month) to NHS. UK and developed live transactional services for NHS Digital. The company also redesigned the NHS Jobs service, which over 1.5m people use per year, making the service more accessible and bringing in features like Video CV’s, CV Parsing etc., all predicated on User Needs. More recently they have undertaken a turnaround for a programme of work implementing SAP for a private equity client on a global basis; 3500 staff across 30+ countries.

Over the past 12 months, Difrent have achieved 100% growth, establishing a number of clients across sectors and have hired over 20 permanent staff. The company are aiming for aggressive growth during 2019-20 with a firm focus on becoming one of the top 100 SME’s to work for in the country. With Difrent only one year into being a fully-fledged digital delivery business, and with new Chief Executive Rachel Murphy at the helm, the company is off to a great start and the only way is up.

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The company attributes it’s success to building a culture within it’s own team which extends to the clients and companies they work with, resulting in a great working relationship both internally and externally. With a happy working environment, productivity is increased and the company leaps from success to success. To stay on point in the industry, Difrent invests in employee training to ensure the team is constantly learning and developing. A number of employees have even been mentored directly by the CEO to get the best training possible. This focus on training helps maintain focus and technical ability in order to continue providing the highest level of client satisfaction. Holding true to their origins, Difrent also maintain emphasis on partnering their clients also to strengthen bonds and build relationships. Setting themselves apart from the competition, Difrent promise to deliver in the most efficient way possible. Delivery director Karen Cleale runs a tight ship in way of creating client value from day one. “We don’t just theorise; we want to hit the ground running from day one”. - Difrent are well practiced in this too, they never run before they walk. They keep on top of the market trends, look at the sources of external influence on the industry, constantly research, assess their position and attempt to preempt what leap to make before anyone else. Innovation is key, and Difrent are willing to go the extra mile. The company’s future looks demanding but positive, as they begin work with the Ministry of Justice and also play a part in Brexit proceedings. Without wanting to put all their eggs in one basket, Difrent will be increasing work in the private sector also and will be looking at acquisiton and/or opening their third office. “It’s a real pleasure to win this award at such an early part in our journey. Thanks to our team, after all, it’s very rarely the top team who do the heavy lifting - it’s always about our people.” -

I truly believe that digital is about people and not just technology and if a programme is to fail it is usually down to human error, poorly managed staff or bad leadership, rather than technologies inability.

steve dhillon



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Inbound marketing & Conversation sales consulting Creating customer focused marketing conversations that attract, engage and secure leads

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Bias Digital Consulting is an award winning Inbound Marketing & Conversational Marketing agency. We specialise in business to business sales and marketing strategy to maximise opportunity from current and future customers and audiences.

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RESTRUCTURING Established in 1993 and a member firm of Nexia International, Nexia TS offers a full suite of professional services ranging from Assurance, Tax Advisory, Corporate Governance, Internal Audit, Valuation Advisory, M&A Advisory to Corporate Recovery, Forensic Investigation, Data Analytics and Technology & Cybersecurity. The firm’s reputation is built on technical competence, personalised approach, proactive client servicing and a commitment to unwavering integrity and professionalism. 25 years on and quality remains the hallmark of Nexia TS. Their clientele comprises publiclisted Groups, local SMEs, multi-national corporations and non-profit organisations, which operate in Singapore and the Asia Pacific regions. To-date, the firm has assisted more than 35 IPO listings in the capacity of Reporting Auditors and Consultancy roles and achieved a consistent IPO track record in the past 5 years. They have served over 90 listed companies in the areas of external audit, internal audit and advisory. Led by a young and dynamic team of directors and more than 250 professional staff members in Singapore, Shanghai, Iskandar and Yangon offices, Nexia TS offers seamless solutions when it comes to managing crossborder business issues. As an independent member of the Nexia International network, their clients are able to tap into the expert resources of fellow member firms in more than 115 countries which are supported by over 30,000 staff for international assignments.

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We LISTEN to our clients, THINK on their behalf and help guide them on difficult decisions. We help steer companies towards GROWTH. Our domain is ASIA. “Winning this award is a great moment and a significant milestone for the firm. It also demonstrates our commitment in our efforts to build an innovative and yet holistic culture where we strive relentlessly to continue to serve and support both our clients and staff better.” - Henry Tan, Group CEO & Chief Innovation Officer. With a clear strategy to innovate through the years, they have experienced quantifiable, tangible benefits in terms of technology, product and market-led innovation changes. Clients and staff who are connected to the firm experience efficiency and productivity through process improvements and offering new services. The ability to move ahead of time and innovate - Nexia TS keeps improving its own services. Their clients have been needing IPO advisory, compliance, governance, cyber-security, data analytics, etc. and that is what Nexia TS have been doing to help their clients who wanted to embark on that form of digitalisation. Nexia TS acquired smaller specialised firms, such as a data analytics company that not only will help Nexia’s TS clients but also Nexia’s TS own internal process. Due to this acquisition, their digital dashboard now has a lot of analytics information that their employees use for various analytics tools and then advise their clients. “Nexia TS competitive advantage lies in our clients getting to enjoy the same culture and same service at the same time without losing the bigger, local knowledge that the firm can tap into the international network. They don’t have to start from scratch every time.” Henry Tan, Group CEO & Chief Innovation Officer. The firm is constantly looking for ways to improve their work productivity and efficiency by automating internal processes. Innovation is vital to the whole business ecosystem in this hyperconnected digital world. One of the great achievements, backed by the Singapore Accountancy Awards 2016, has been their bespoke enterprise resource planning system built towards a paperless working environment by adopting a system of electronic working paper and documentation. The ERP system won the Innovation Award (Large Practice Category) for its interactive and innovative capabilities to drive productivity. The centralised platform not only improves external customer relationships and internal collaborations by automating tasks and activities, but it also streamlines work processes and significantly decreases the number of manual interventions significantly decreases the number of manual interventions. With an employee size of more than 250 capable persons supporting the various business and operational functions in Singapore, Malaysia, China and Myanmar, the firm takes human capital development seriously.

henry tan

Group CEO & Chief Innovation Officer

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Nexia TS believes in fostering an environment of trust and mutual respect, valuing ideas and contributions from everyone, and encouraging open and honest communication to develop their competency and professionalism in the long term. Counselling teams, each headed by a director, are in a place where employees can bond over recreational activities and nurture camaraderie. “Having the right people in the right jobs is vital to any company’s success as each employee is uniquely capable. Therefore, Nexia TS is focused on nurturing, identifying and developing these skills and knowledge of our people to stay competitive at different career stages.” - Henry Tan, Group CEO & Chief Innovation Officer. A comprehensive range of technical and soft skill training are lined up for employees on an annual basis to ensure that staff are well equipped and kept abreast of industry standards and business practices. Furthermore, the firm also has a professional development sponsorship policy in place to disburse financial subsidies to support employees in their pursuit of professional certification programme. In recognition of their efforts to promote sustainable human capital development, Nexia TS was named as Human Capital Partner under the Human Capital Partnership (HCP) Programme by the Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices (TAFEP). The firm also pledges its commitment and uphold as a member of the UN Global Compact on human rights and labour. The integration of both best practices makes Nexia TS a fair and holistic workplace for their workers. As businesses expand into regions beyond Singapore, we need to be mindful and comply with laws such as the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA), EU’s General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and various regional Cybersecurity Laws. Beyond ticking a check-box, marrying compliance and security concerns with business objectives are on the forefront of all key decisionmakers. Where is the middle ground? How can management decide which solution is best when all the offerings claim to solve all problems, only to leave them with potential vulnerabilities? Therefore, their technology advisory team has put together a holistic data governance approach to the risks businesses face – the legal, technological and risk management issues that Singapore companies face and how players in the market have overcome the hurdles in these three areas and improved their business processes. As they move towards innovation and business digitalisation, Nexia TS sets sights on expanding its core capabilities with strategic digital transformation tools to better support the increased needs for automation. In their recent collaboration with a leading home-grown technology company that builds business solutions powered by blockchain technology, the firm is excited to introduce its current service portfolio with customisable blockchain technology development and implementation services for businesses to transact safely and more efficiently. Equipped with the right expertise, resources and network, the firm’s move towards business digitalisation helps to identify opportunities to enhance business functions and marketplaces for its clients in the region. It also strengthens their position as leaders in driving business transformation. “Regardless of the size of any businesses, we need to change our mindset as the world goes digital. For instance, the adaptation of changes for some smaller companies is very low because they are not ready to digitalise yet but that is the basic thing to do. Most businesses are already on, if not ready to jump on the digital wagon, it may be slow, but you can see it already happening with almost every available resource tool that talks about digitalisation, the future of work, IoT, cryptos. This helps us to look at the future instead of just focusing on the “now” and the short-term – and make us think about innovation and transformation.” - Henry Tan, Group CEO & Chief Innovation Officer.

Telephone: +65 6536 5466 Email: Web Address: Address: 100 Beach Road, #30-00 Shaw Tower, Singapore 189702

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making america better for tomorrow

Lieff Cabraser Heimann &Bernstein LLP (LCHB) is an 80-plus attorney law firm with offices in San Francisco, New York, Nashville, and Seattle. Litigators of complex civil cases in state and federal courts throughout the U.S., they are one of the largest law firms in the United States that represent only plaintiffs. Since their founding in 1972, Lieff Cabraser has litigated and resolved hundreds of class action lawsuits and thousands of individual cases. Many of these cases have been among the most significant civil cases in the United States over the past four decades. The firm is driven by a principled sense of social responsibility and is committed to achieving justice for investors, consumers, employees, patients, and business owners; promoting safer products and fair competition; protecting the environment; assisting individuals blow the whistle on fraud; safeguarding the rights of patent and copyright holders; ensuring the right to privacy is preserved; and upholding the civil rights of citizens worldwide. Lieff Cabraser focuses on cases that are going to make a difference in the world — to an individual, a family, or an entire industry. The core question is, “Does this case provide some essence of social utility? Are we teaching people something with this case? Can we all learn from the case?� The firm recommends litigation only when it can clearly identify liability and when damages are recoverable. When they decide to pursue a case, it is assumed that the case will go to trial and they commit the substantial financial resources required by civil litigation against opponents with their own talented counsel and vast corporate resources.

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LCHB attorneys receive top rankings year after year, they teach at respected law schools, and hold leadership positions on critical cases and in prominent legal associations. The firm’s substantial resources enable them to hire commanding and highly-esteemed experts, investigators, analysts, and support staff. They administer to their clients with personal attention throughout and work wisely and with great efficiency to ensure their clients’ interests prevail against powerful adversaries. LCHB possesses the sophisticated legal skills, financial resources, investigative talent, and administrative support to take on the world’s most powerful corporations; taking great pride in their innovative approach to the practice of law and their firm’s leadership role in cases resulting in landmark decisions and precedent-setting rulings.

“We believe our core commitment to justice and diversity makes our firm very attractive to lawyers and other members of the LCHB team. We are also known for tackling not just challenging cases, but cases that expand the boundaries of the law itself.” Steven E. Fineman The pursuit of justice motivates everyone at LCHB. It is the engine that drives them to take a personal interest in their cases and become heart-and-soul advocates for each clients’ rights. Those who work there share the same point of view, and their concerted efforts lead to tangible and significant results impacting Americans across the nation and cycles back to further motivate everyone on the LCHB team.

LCHB employs a combinative practice group strategy that has allowed them to handle and lead complex matters involving multiple substantive areas of the law. These adaptive personnel synergies enable the firm to deploy extensive resources in efficient and effective ways to optimally serve their clients. The firm has been, and remains, committed to excellence: to innovations in lawyer training, reputation building, and diversity hiring; practice area expansion and cross-deployment; the implementation of novel fee structures; expert in-house marketing and branding; and smart and careful resource allocation. LCHB also takes an innovative approach to client development, communication, and maintenance. They have increased the amount of work they do for public entities like pension funds and municipalities, and have expanded on the firm’s representation of such plaintiffs, where the initial relationship derives from a role in one area, like securities fraud litigation, to ongoing work with the same entities in other areas -- on antitrust cases, pharmaceutical pricing cases, or even tort cases.

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Rayes & Fagundes is a full-service law firm based in São Paulo, Brazil. The firm has branches in 3 other major cities; Campinas, Belo Horizonte and Rio de Janeiro. Currently, the firm has round 100 lawyers, including partners and associates. They deal with both domestic and foreign clients, individuals and corporations, all from varying industries. The firm has also had the opportunity to work for cultural and philanthropic organisations. Moreover, they maintain partnerships and alliances with national and international organisations such as IBA, Lexwork International Law Firms, amongst many others. Rayes and Fagundes are highly sought after for their litigation and corporate law practices. Their goal is to manage each and every case on its own merit and deliver positive solutions for their clients. Devising creative solutions to their problems, advancing their clients’ agenda and winning. That is what Rayes and Fagundes are known for. Only experienced attorneys can accomplish this feat and this firm has the crème de la crème in their midst. “We are very proud to receive this award by Global Business Insight. While we are ranked among the largest and most admired Brazilian law firms, we struggle to keep the firm’s size as small as possible, we are recognisably large enough to assist and represent our clients in any type of transaction or case, from a simple civil contract to a complex litigation case lasting. At the same time, we are able to ensure every client is provided with very personalised assistance regardless of our pay-out.” Being 100% business-oriented has helped Rayes & Fagundes stay competitive in their field. They have gone about strengthening their foundation by not only providing the top-class service at the right price but have gained a strong foothold between São Paulo and São Bernado do Campo. This allowed them to expand to Rio and of Belo Horizonte. Spreading their offices out in this way allows them to rake in a vast variety of clients, cases and employees. Having a group of top lawyers at every office has allowed Rayes & Fagundes to continue to provide high quality service for their clients and still grow as a business. “What makes us unique is that our clients are given personal attention by our most experienced attorneys. Although it seems simple, this approach makes all the difference: our clients feel safe and we achieve incredible results for them. We always try to hire the best lawyers in the market and we train, mentor and push them to think differently, to find solutions for our clients’ problems and, when possible, work towards retaining the client and their contacts.” ISSUE 12 | 86

Brazil has been facing a severe political and economic crisis. A few years ago, the country downgraded in their degree of investment and has witnessed corruption scandals involving one of its major state companies and large construction companies. This situation is a challenge for law firms (e.g. greater flexibility for charging the fees to meet the needs of companies), but also brings many opportunities (e.g. assistance in the purchase and sale of assets, investment and disinvestment, reorganisations and others). The crisis also brought many opportunities for law firms. As an example; restructuring of businesses and companies; judicial reorganisation proceedings; issues related to compliance and so forth. On one hand this means the law firm has to spend time, energy and money just to stay on top of the changes that affect Brazil and therefore the legal imbalances within the country. With this comes the increase in clients that require legal advice to make sure, if the client is a business, that the client is compliant with the new laws. The future looks promising for Rayes and Fagundes and they plan to continue growing ISSUE 12 | 87

Classic Cars Restoration Services Worldwide Car Export We offer classic cars full or part restorations. Wood frame restorations or replacements, engine rebuilds, mechanical repairs, servicing, welding, M.O.T. repairs, paintwork, electrical, interior trimming.

Body work - Paint job - Electric Mechanical - Polish - Detail cleaning

CONTACT US NOW! 351 256100136 | | Zona Industrial de Lordelo, Lote 30, 3730-130 Vale de Cambra - Portugal ISSUE 12 | 88

DEDICATED TO MAINTAINING THE QUALITY OF OUR PRODUCTS AND THE SATISFACTION OF OUR CUSTOMERS We are one of the very few manufacturers of vitamin and health products that manufacture 100% in-house.

NEW YORK OFFICE 50 Sylvester Street Westbury, NY 11590 Phone: (516) 333-3050 Toll Free: (800) 848-8442 Fax: (516) 997-1052



Our breakthrough work in the improvement of dissolution properties of CoQ10 has led us to develop an intellectual property (IP) portfolio around systems that enhance the bioavailabilty of dietary supplements.

MARYLAND PLANT 2410 North Zion Road, 818 Brown Street Salisbury, MD 21801 Phone: (410) 860-0046 Toll Free: (800) 535-4623 Fax: (410) 860-0324

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Donations to organizations that help the world community achieve greater health is the least that we can do. Tishcon is a proud contributor to and Vitamin Angels, two organizations that endeavor to improve nutrition and health in impoverished communities worldwide.


30/36/37/41 New York Ave. 17 Brooklyn Avenue Westbury, NY 11590 Phone: (516) 333-3050 Fax: (516) 338-0829


Unlike traditional serviced office providers that are based on delivering a functional set of requirements, Victory Offices’s philosophy is to focus on enhancing their customer interaction & experience. No one else in this industry combines the quality of physical space and amenities with a dedication to services at every level, and the complete customisation of both the physical and non-tangible services collectively, the way Victory Offices do it. Victory Offices are more than just a supplier of a physical space to their customers; they help enable business success by removing the barriers that stand between the clients and what said client needs to achieve in their journey for ultimate business success.

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Victory Offices is a provider of flexible office solutions. This firm tailors packages to meet the needs of their clients by providing an individualised solution within today’s corporate market. Their locations are carefully designed to suit the varying requirements of business styles today. By design, they are able to accommodate companies consisting of individuals to multi-persons, national to international, with state-of-the-art architectural styling. The services rendered are singularly designed for the modern executive in the professional services, finance, legal and consultancy industries.

We genuinely care about the success of our clients and are proud to play a key role in the growth and development of the businesses that we partner with. MISHA BAXTER - GENERAL MANAGER

At the core, Victory Offices are a customer service business that sells an experience that is vital to the propelling success of their clients. Continually striving to better articulate their point of difference via their customer service experience, the company builds their message around their values.

“We live and breathe the firms’ values through our communication, systems and processes.” – Baxter. Due to this, Victory Offices has exceptional training for all front-line staff, an online training academy, an internal social network and a reward program in place to provide the same level of 6-star customer service at each of their locations. Q: How does it feel to have won the [enter name of award]? A: “We are humbled to be recognised for our team’s dedication and hard work in providing our signature 6-star customer service to all our clients. We are especially grateful to the Global Business Insight Awards and are overwhelmed by how much success our young business has achieved at such an early stage in the midst of such a mature market.” – Baxter. When it comes to providing office space, there appears to be much room for originality and Victory Offices have delved deep and managed just that. They not only help their customers achieve the goals they set out when joining the offices, but they endeavour to exceed their customers’ expectations. This is done by supporting enterprise-grade IT systems and infrastructure throughout their locations; hiring responsive and competent staff members that can anticipate the customers needs; managing premium locations in the best cities, the best parts of these cities and going so far as the best floors of the buildings; seeking out the best fit-outs and design using only the best materials and imported office furniture; providing a flexible regime in that customer can have control over their own space; and finally they offer tailored solutions and support packages complete with a personal assistant. We can all agree that the office supply industry was ‘just okay’ until Victory Offices arrived on the scene, setting the benchmark high in the industry, and they aim to continue to exceed that benchmark. With so many providers for their clients to choose from, it really is the company’s customer service which allows them to stand out. The opinion of each team is valued at Victory; from high-level managers to front-line staff. The firm hosts regular monthly meetings to initiate idea generation and encourages growth within all levels of the company. As such, they have been able to introduce a diverse range of service offerings to further differentiate themselves in the market, such as sleep pods, open/collaborative workspaces, game centres, co-working areas, and wellness programs. “We are just about to launch a boutique floor of 15 private offices, something that has never been offered before by Victory Offices. This space allows the full customisation of the office, creating a unique work environment bespoke to their specificity.” – Baxter. At Victory Offices, the managers choose to focus on the current team members, creating a journey that is both fulling and exciting with many chances to upskill and evolve. They have created a workplace in which their team is always inspired to be at their most productive, which has been a catalyst for attracting the highest calibre of talent to the organisation. All training information is held on an online platform that can be easily accessed by all staff members at any point which fosters consistent customer service throughout all locations. Regular informal meetings between site managers and staff occur to encourage customer service growth, ensuring consistency. As one of the perks of working for Victory Offices, there is an Employee of the Quarter award and frequent upskilling to increase every employee’s desire to achieve their best within their given role.

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In its Brussels head-quarters, Atelier D’architecture Bruno Erpicum & Partners (AABE) was founded and led by architect Bruno Erpicum. He gathered a team of passionate architects who launched multidisciplinary projects across the globe. With more than 30 years of experience, the start of different types of projects included private dwellings set in an urban context, secluded villa’s located on a remote hilltop and also buildings with a more public function such as museums, office buildings, hotels, commercial real estate, etc. The numerous publications and awards granted to AABE underpin the worldwide appreciation for the Ateliers’ architectural philosophy. The Atelier consists of 15 architects and as such is big enough to master multidisciplinary projects, yet small enough to function as a team collaborating to achieve a unique project - time and time again. The company’s reach knows no bounds, as proven by their constructions in the Caribbean, South Africa, Germany, Greece, Belgium, United-States, Spain, France, Great-Britain, The Netherlands, Italy, Peru, Switzerland. “I must say I do not know how Global Business Insight made their choice; nevertheless, it’s a great honour, and I thank you. I have to thank all our clients and the AABE’s team, as they all collectively made “AABE” possible.” – Bruno Erpicum AABE has been sought after by potential clients from varying backgrounds and as such can translate files into French, English, Dutch, Spanish and Italian. These prospects are looking for designs that run the gamut. Repeatedly, AABE comes through and delivers by, firstly, taking on an active reading of the land chosen by their clients. The architect has to drive the qualities and the defaults of the property into a favourable interpretation to eventually improve the building but to primarily improve the surroundings. This can only be achieved by establishing a close communication system within the company between the team members working on any project. Once this is secure, AABE feels it is crucial to delivering the presentation of their ideas effectively to the client. ISSUE 12 | 94

“We are all busy trying to prepare the ‘best building in the world’, but to even remain in a position to see the start of the construction, the onus is on the architect to sell their vision to the client.” Some people believe that it is hard to have an original thought or idea anymore. AABE laugh in the face of such a statement as each of their designs are nurtured to trigger and endorse emotion in the beholder. One single design can mean something entirely different for the person sat next to them, and that is the beauty of AABE designs. Whatever the size of the project may be, what counts at AABE is the interaction, passion and the quality of the people working together as a team. Integration of a project entails the ability to incorporate the features of the surrounding and such aesthetics are defined by maintaining proportion. An architectural project is calculated by answering a multitude of constraints, where the objective is to create an environment favourable for human activity. We all know that we do not only live thanks to some proteins which enable us to function: the quality of our life, the power of our memories, the importance of our interpersonal exchanges, the reading of the environment, all these stimuli trigger emotions. Staying ahead of their competition has not been a walk in the park by any means but winning awards such as: 1. “ICONIC AWARDS 2018: INNOVATIVE ARCHITECTURE 2. ARCHITECTURE. INTERIOR. PRODUCT. COMMUNICATION. CONCEPT. 3. A COMPETITION FOR THE WHOLE WORLD OF ARCHITECTURE.” AABE strives to continually climb each mountain and respecting it in its own merit without stopping to ask “Why”. Excellence is attainable, and AABE is the embodiment of excellence in Architecture. The employees of AABE are recognised for their contributions to the firm, and by treating them with respect, AABE remains a positive place for them to work. “We read the target of the “modern architects” who create this movement in between 1910 and 1930 in Europe: take out any kind of decoration and work out the justness of the proportions…this is the summary of our work, ever and ever.” proportions…this is the summary of our work, ever and ever.” AABE has a busy few years ahead with the following projects already lined up: 1.BIFSA – Building Industries of South Africa – RSA 2. Dali Museum – Riverside – County Hall – London - England 3. ICE – Institute of Italian Exterior Commerce – Italy 4. Les Montres Rolex SA -Suisse 5. Région Poitou Charentes – France Rewarded at the Architectural BIFSA Awards - RSA

bruno erpicum

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AABE has also won the following awards: 1. Rewarded at the Eric Architectural LION Awards - England. 2. Mention in Architectural Belgian Awards – Belgium 3. Participation in the international Colloquim “ Contemporary Architecture” organised by the Brussels Government in March 2003 4. PRIX DE L’URBANISME 2004 - Belgium. 5. Rewarded at the Big Mat International Architecture Awards 2013 6. Rewarded at the International Space Design Awards IDEA-TOPS 2013 – Villa category - Shenzen, China 7.Participation in “Infrastructure and Property Development MEA Summit 2014” - Dubai - United Arab Emirates 8. Rewarded at the “RE-THINKING THE FUTURE SUSTAINABILITY AWARDS 2014 - Residential Building Built” 9. Rewarded at the GPAW – Grand Prix d’Architecture de Wallone 2015 with the “House HIFI”. 10. Biennale di Venizia 2016, Time Space Existance – AABE exhibition at the Palazzo Mora

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“…I have always paid a lot of attention to detail to make the most of techniques available and really bring out proportions. But there is something else that has begun to influence my approach more recently, a change in approach triggered by the realisation that after five or ten years, many modern constructions that were initially pristine had lost their brilliance. And so, I decided to turn to materials that would not suffer the ravages of time, but instead would take on a patina (a green or brown film on the surface of bronze or similar metals, produced by oxidation over a long period). My colleagues and I have turned our Brussels workshop into a laboratory as a collaborative space where we work on exploring different solutions, before taking the final ones to the building sites in a dozen or so countries throughout the world. Each time, we compare in particular the benefits of different woods, stones as well as smooth and granular concrete. In Corsica, for example, we added tuff, dust from some Bonifacio stone to a mixture of cement, sand and stone, so that the resulting colour of the concrete would blend into the surrounding nature. We also poured this concrete into forms fitted with planks of wood of different thicknesses. This resulted in a grooved effect and also created flat horizontal parts where vegetation debris and marine sediments could be deposited. This process gave the impression that the material was living, stamped with a certain “dirtiness” reflecting the rocks encompassing this enormous structure. No more talk of “ageing” or “deteriorating”, instead “patina” and “authenticity”. Put simply, an ode to time passing... As you no doubt will have gathered, my architecture practice stems from an unconditional love for the modernist movement. Ultimately, it’s about freeing oneself from all forms of decoration, including the facing of facades and walls – notably cement works – so that we can continue working unconstrained.” Architects create living spaces and work environments, but there is more to their work than meets the eye. Through their work, architects also share a vision of the world. It is herein that lies the dual nature of this noble profession: pragmatism versus creativity. While designing a building according to the requirements of their client, the architect does so with the objective to incorporate beauty into the project. In a way, an architect can be perceived as a painter or a poet... Except that the architect does not start from a blank canvas or a white sheet of paper. The starting point for the architects’ work is the unique environment provided by the plot of land on which the project is to be constructed, each time with its specific, one-of-a-kind features. It is precisely the uniqueness of each different location that triggers the creative mind of the architect and challenges him to reconcile the practical requirements of the client with the beauty, uniqueness of the surrounding environment. There are rules aplenty on how to erect a building on a piece of land, but applying them to the letter does not suffice to achieve the objective of reconciling pragmatism with creativity. Four solid walls topped by a reassuring roof no doubt brings a promise of home comfort. The indescribable beauty of nature, however, hides elsewhere. So, when architects embark on their journey, they must free themselves from the shackles of everyday conventions. And if they allow their imaginations to guide them, the architects’ creations will include a touch of uninhibited, tempestuous chaos. Inspiration will come from a breath of air, like wind blowing away traditions to reveal unknown sensations. At last, the architect is complete. They become artists, genuine ones, capturing in a flash of light the intuition of a world we no longer tend to see.

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Born out of the 2008 financial crisis with a desire to challenge the status quo, SCM Direct launched in 2009 offering investors fair fees and access to high end, modern, totally transparent investment solutions invested wholly via Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs). They currently offer their investment ETF portfolios to private investors who can apply efficiently and easily online – in three portfolio strategies, via three investments – Direct Investments (GIAs), ISAs and SIPPs. They also provide investment services to corporate clients, institutional clients, charities and Foundations, and Trusts as well as through Independent Financial Advisers (IFAs). Sitting down with Gina, I really wanted to know how it felt for her and her team to have won this award, Gina shared: “It is always humbling and gratifying to be acknowledged for our services and the care we take in looking after our clients’ money. We believe our 100% transparency across everything we do – including our fees, the straightforward way we engage with clients, as well as the access that our clients have to all members of our team – including myself and Alan. ISSUE 12 | 100

The investment returns we achieve for clients all contribute to our success.” To reach their current position in the investment sector, SCM Direct maintain the human face of investing. They are never tempted or pressured into acting against the best interests of their clients. SCM has no external shareholders or commercial interests that can give rise to conflicts of interest. Treating their clients as they would like to be treated in return is an attribute that has been ingrained in the very DNA of the company – and with the Founders investing significant sums of their own family wealth alongside clients, on the same fees and terms is a great example of this. Gina added, “In terms of strategy, an investment company should focus on fundamentals rather than fashion, be highly diversified to reduce risk, have a contrarian mindset; in that buying shares of stock when most others are selling and vice versa, focus on achieving consistent returns, and

Simplicity and transparency is evident at the heart of SCM and the driving force of its investment decisions focusing on fundamental metrics and diversification to reduce the risk of concentrating ‘all eggs into one basket’. The Chief Investment Officer, Alan Miller also gives SCM Direct a competitive advantage as Alan is an accomplished investment manager whose 29 years expertise in fund management puts him amongst a handful of the highly respected UK fund managers. He has managed money for a wide range of clients in industries such as: retail, institutional and private clients, and has experience across a wide range of asset classes — equities, property, fixed interest and alternative assets. This has meant that SCM Direct is one of few well-rounded Investment Solutions firms in the UK. In addition, investors take comfort from the fact that the founders invest significant amounts of their joint and individual wealth across the SCM’s Portfolios, on the same terms and fees as clients. SCM aims to stay alert and nimble to changing investor sentiment and trends, as well as having their team constantly reviewing and researching market & investment trends and opportunities. Having collaborated with state-of-the-art technology providers means they offer investors a fully automated platform that guarantees 24/7 access to their investment from anywhere in the world through a computer, a tablet or a smartphone. “The culture and structure of our organisation is small, efficient, flat and attitude led – to us attitude and values matter more than paper qualifications or background.” – Gina Miller. Culture starts with what people do and how they do it. Culture also encompasses why people do what they do. Thus, culture is the common set of behaviours and underlying mind-sets and beliefs that shape how people work and interact day to day. By being part of the everyday management of SCM, in all its facets, the Founders ensure that the internal culture fosters a ‘clients first’ mentality through any member of the team and make sure these are aligned with company’s goals. SCM Direct is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. A new regulation came into effect on January 3rd 2018, the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive - MiFID II and under Article 24 stipulates full transparency of fees and charges. Indeed, the Founders of SCM Direct, Gina and Alan Miller’s True and Fair Campaign which was launched in 2012, has led to changes in closet indexation, research commissions, the drafting of the Art 24 text in MiFID II and calling out other dubious behaviour in the investment and pension industry. “We have recently received our MIFID II certification and are considering unitising one of our investment portfolio strategies.” – Gina Miller. The Millers and SCM believe that the widespread failure of firms to comply with MiFID II is scandalous and they are pressuring the regulator to enforce the new legislation which is designed to vastly improve consumer protection and outcomes. As such, SCM Direct is one of the few firms that reports full disclosure of fees through its monthly factsheet as part of their clear and transparent procedure. It is the view of SCM Direct that a firm which communicates via websites or other communications could be deemed to be making a ‘false representation’. For example; Key facts concerning the costs and fees of investing, which portray a significantly lower level of costs and charges than those prescribed by the MiFID II determination of costs and charges. Naturally, SCM Direct is always looking forward to new opportunities and eager to enhance its business. Their new platform offers an internally flexible structure that allows them to be extremely competitive in terms of costs & returns, they are prepared to extend their reach outside the United Kingdom in the institutional investors;

Gina Miller

Co-founder of SCM direct “The simple fact is that many of the huge institutions with expensive research experts, analysts and fund managers were helpless in the last financial crisis. SCM Direct started with a blank sheet of paper, reviewed everything afresh through a lens of evidence, experience and ethics, and concluded that the most logical way to invest will involve a smart, contrarian, modern mind-set that balances Cost, Risk and Returns.”


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Bute Island Foods was established as a producer of 100% vegan cheeses in 1988 – celebrating their 30th anniversary this year. The firm had humble beginnings operating from a farmhouse kitchen table, but over the years the company developed, moving into premises on the Isle of Bute in 1994 when production began on a larger scale. It was not until the company was purchased in 2003, by current directors Debbie, Guy, Mark and Francois, that true development of the products and future of the company truly began. Within a few years, they had outgrown their existing premises and were lucky to be able to purchase the empty Creamery on the island, with its tradition of dairy cheese production. After a complete refurbishment and new plant installation, production was increased by 400% within the first few years, and they have never looked back since. Bute Island Foods now produce an ever-expanding range of over 40 products, including a selection for the food service industry with their delicious Cream Cheese substitutes and grated vegan cheese (that melts!) for use on pizzas and in other types of ready-meals.

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Their clients are wide-ranging; divided between corporate and consumer. On the corporate level, they work with large supermarket chains to produce special products for their own-branded “Free From” ranges of vegan cheeses as well as recognised retail outlets like Holland and Barrett, Spar Scotland and Lidl. The company’s online presence is also strong, with many popular vegan retail sites stocking their produce. They have also seen continued expansion into overseas markets – specifically throughout Europe, China, North America and Australia. The Australian supermarket chain Woolworths is one of their newest buyers, paving the way for further expansion in that region. It has always been at the heart of the business ethos to be at the forefront of innovation and quality, to provide the very best vegan cheeses and animal-free products to their customers, to promote the benefits of an animal-free diet to as wide an audience as possible, and of course to showcase the beautiful island from which they are based. The entire organisation keeps true to its principles and makes sure that its products are inclusive, so any consumer should be able to enjoy the range, not simply those who are dedicated to a plant-based and dairy-free lifestyle. Therefore, the firm has gone to great lengths to ensure that their produce is as close to traditional cheese varieties as possible, in both texture and flavour. Bute Island Foods achieves their goals whilst also ensuring that their ethically-sourced ingredients adhere to their core values, and are all non-GMO. The firm’s many clients and supporters have recognised their conviction for creating an ever-expanding portfolio of quality products based on the firm’s ethical values and, as such, this customer base continues to expand. They maintain their efforts in making their products accessible to all and spreading the word about the benefits of a healthy vegan lifestyle.

Q: How does it feel to have won this esteemed award? “Any award for us is recognition of the investment and hard work we have put into the company and our produce. Whilst we have rightly won many awards for the products we are undoubtedly proud of, to receive an award of this nature is especially gratifying. A Global Business Insight Award is a testament to the outlook of the company as a producer of the finest ethical vegan produce, who cares passionately for our philosophy, in what we do and in our team members and community.” To be able to make a mark in business, it is said that having a passion for what you do is crucial. This means cultivating an unstinting adherence to your principles, dedicating to growing improvements and renewing investment in the company and team members. It is this passion, belief and confidence in your product/service and the future that will keep you striving for continued success, and, in the food industry, providing products of the highest safety standards. Taking a deeper look at Bute Island Foods, they have produced 100% vegan food right from the start in 1988 and all the directors plus many of the Bute Island team members do not eat any meat, dairy or eggs. Therein lies that passion for the firm and what the firm represents. It is not just a job for them. They love animals and are not connected to any big dairy companies, which means that none of the funds has been earned by the exploitation of animals. This firm believes in producing items that are tasty and ‘free-from alternatives’, without harming any animals. The directors of Bute Island Foods see themselves as innovators in vegan food production, being the first UK company to successfully produce dairy-free hard cheese. This approach is what keeps them ahead of their competition, and has brought them to the attention of their major corporate clients. Bute Island Foods continues to keep apace of new developments and technology in the vegan and dairy-free food industry, maintaining their position as the go-to company of choice on the cutting edge of modernism in vegan products. But it is the investment in the plant and number of team members at their base on the Isle of Bute that has given their major clients the confidence that Bute Island Foods will continue to meet targets, expand their ranges and deliver outstanding service and quality on all levels, whilst achieving top rating for food safety as previously mentioned, and very evident by their accreditations and awards from their numerous supermarket clients and the British Retail Consortium (BRC). ISSUE 12 | 105

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“First and foremost, we listen to our customers. Whether they are large supermarket chains, smaller independent shops or the consumers themselves, they are the ones that are on the front line of this business. By taking note of all our customers’ comments and concerns, we can ensure that we maintain the quality of our products, as well as creating new ranges which will appeal to our ever-widening markets. Over the years we have also become increasingly proactive in extending our range, as well as making sure that our distribution channels are growing. We have therefore completed new deals for the supply of our products to large supermarket groups as far afield as Finland, Canada and Australia.” As it says in the company name, the firm is an island-based company, and therefore all its employees live on the Isle of Bute. It would be impractical not to. But the island’s population is diverse in nature and as the company has grown, they have never had a problem in recruiting new and ambitious team members, who know that a career with one of the island’s largest employers is secure and fulfilling. The firm even has a number of team members who have moved to the island specifically to work with the company. Hiring is always based on the candidate’s attitude, to begin with, as training can, of course, be provided later by the firm, which is crucial in achieving high standards and contributing to the overall success of their business. The future of this firm relies on retaining its team members to ensure continuity and this is achieved by on-going training. This is to build on their knowledge, skills and confidence to complete their jobs to the very highest standards. Bute Foods provides a full programme of training to meet these requirements, starting from day one with pre-induction courses and throughout their careers, initially paired with a “work buddy” who is always approachable and will offer advice whenever required. This has helped give individual members of the Bute Foods team the confidence in their abilities to effectively carry out their duties. Working in a food manufacturing environment, of course, brings about its own set of rules and regulations, and given the high-profile nature of their corporate clients, the firm ensures that the production team is always up to date with training and the latest Food Safety standards and requirements of their clients. There is a range of incentives in place at all levels of employment and management, building morale and employees’ confidence within themselves. Most of all, everyone is made to feel part of a family and driving home the message that what they do both matters to the greater outlook of the firm. Although Bute Island Foods has grown considerably in more recent years and now has 130 team members (from having only 23 employees in 2014), they are still very much a family. All rural areas of Scotland have faced their economic issues in recent years, and the Isle of Bute is no different. In fact, being an island has probably exacerbated the problems, as the more traditional industries of tourism and farming have seen a decline over the years. Hence the drop in the island’s population over the last few years. However, the island is very much on an upward spiral as investment in the island’s infrastructure, both public and private, in communication links and business opportunities have breathed new life into the island, and a new sense of optimism prevails. The enthusiasm of the burgeoning businesses to invest in their own future, as well as that of the island, can only profit the island community and the business itself. As a fast-expanding local business, Bute Island Foods is at the forefront of this island revival. “The recent investment we have made into our plant is a testimony to our faith in the direction we are travelling. We will continue to seek new markets overseas, as well as bring out new and improved ranges for our existing consumer and corporate markets. Our own investment back into the business and expanding our premises along with an absolute focus on innovation can only be good for the island community that we are privileged to call home.” ISSUE 12 | 107

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AdEPT Technology Group plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange, supplying services to about 15,000 customers across the UK including well-known worldwide and national brand names. In the UK Public Sector, AdEPT Technology Group supplies services to Central Government departments, over 100 Councils, over 100 Universities and Colleges, 3,000 schools and over 20 NHS Trusts. 70% of the private hospitals in London also use their services. Over the last 3 years, the firm has transformed from a calls and lines Telecom business into a managed service company offering IT, unified communications, data network connectivity and voice. Managed services now represent 75% of their revenue. AdEPT now has over 1 million Office 365 users. This is the largest single deployment in Europe. Their company’s education apps, which are designed and hosted by their team in Orpington, have over 2 million users in over 3,000 UK schools. Cybersecurity is increasingly important, and AdEPT’s data centre filters over 1 BILLION web images each day. Telecoms and IT are converging,

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AdEPT Technology Group plc is one of the UK’s leading independent providers of managed services for IT, unified communications, connectivity and voice solutions. The Company provides a complete communications portfolio of IT services, unified communications, IP telephone equipment installation, managed services, Wi-Fi, IT and communications hardware and data connectivity products. AdEPT’s tailored services are used by thousands of customers across the UK and are brought together through the strategic relationships with tier1 suppliers such as Openreach, BT Wholesale, Virgin Media, Avaya, Microsoft, Dell and Apple.

This award is a huge honour and a great acknowledgement of the hard work of our 230 dedicated staff who, between them, have thousands of years’ experience in our industry.

As an example: what is Skype? Is it a software app or Telecoms on your desktop? The truth is that it does not matter. It just shows how intertwined these technologies are becoming. The aim for AdEPT is, therefore, to offer products and services that support everything your business needs concerning IT and Telecoms, underpinned by the fastest connectivity available in the UK, wherever you are. Fast bandwidth is the critical building block for businesses. Some businesses want to move to the cloud; others wish to house their equipment on their premises and AdEPT, therefore, must be able to offer both. Some of their clients are happy to use shared cloud facilities, where they share computing power and servers with other organisations, whereas others want private cloud facilities. AdEPT has moved faster than its peers into IT. As such, they have found that they have few competitors who can offer the breadth of services that they do. AdEPT has a Group Chief Technical Officer (CTO) who regularly review their capabilities and what is on offer in the market. You cannot persuade staff to stay with money alone. You must make it a fun place to work. This company delegates and trusts its workers to get on with it. AdEPT also raises money for charities, driving home to each member of the AdEPT family, the importance of giving back and caring for the society they live in. They issue a monthly newsletter so that everyone knows what is going on around the Group. This ensures that senior management members do not get all the best of perks on offer such as sports tickets and rock concerts etc. Everything is raffled so that everyone has the same chance to win tickets regardless of their position in the company. AdEPT have fostered the system of including each employee’s photograph on their email footers so that everyone knows what each person looks like. This is important when you have 7 sites. It also allows their customers and suppliers to put faces to names. AdEPT calls this philosophy ‘faces not numbers’. Thirty per cent of AdEPT sales revenue comes from the UK Public Sector and Healthcare. They deliberately targeted this area when the UK Government announced that they wanted 33% of Government spending to be with Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SME’s) by the end of 2022. “I sit on the UK Cabinet Office SME Panel representing the IT and Telecoms industry. The SME Panel is a group of industry experts advising the Government about the difficulties SME’s have winning Public Sector contracts.” - Ian Fishwick AdEPT has recently been awarded the Kent Health and Social Care Network: a contract to build a new data network to contact all of the region’s hospitals and doctors’ surgeries. This is a significant breakthrough, for a company of their size, as it would historically have gone to a giant national or global company. They have acquired 25 companies over the last 15 years and expect to augment their organic growth with more acquisitions of managed service companies.

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Call Today (03) 9439 0005 With Outdoor Creations your space will be one that others would love to have. A garden adds value to your property. By having a boutique team of Landscape architects, we ensure that your project gets special attention, unlike the production line of larger firms. Your garden is a reflection of both your personal tastes and practical requirements that is a

clever marriage to the architecture. For some, an Outdoor Creation is an architect designed landscape that is beautiful for you and others, feels emotionally restorative. You want your landscape design to be timeless so that it can be enjoyed forever. We make sure your garden will still be a show piece in years to come.

Landscape Architects | Swimming Pool Landscapes | Water Landscapes Backyard & Frontyard Garden Design | Corporate Landscapes School Landscapes | Playgrounds | Roof Top Gardens

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WE OFFER A WIDE RANGE OR REWARDS AND BENEFITS FOR YOUR STAFF & EMPLOYEES. Contact us today to find out how your company and employees can benefit from our fabulous rewards scheme.

Perks Direct offer an amazing range of rewards and benefits for your staff and employees, from cheap breaks to discounted goods and services. And on a company level we support Corporate Social Responsibility, schemes to support local funding projects, raising your brand awareness both locally and with your clientele. Whether you are looking for a valuable

rewards scheme for your employees and staff, or want to do your bit for your local community, Perks Direct is the number one choice in all these areas. We work with you to provide the very best advice and ensure that your company not only benefits from being part of our rewards scheme but offer many more advantages and services that will raise awareness of your business.

01895 540938 PERKSDIRECT.CO.UK

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They interact with foreign lawyers to provide global service to their clients, both in Switzerland and abroad. MENTHA has accumulated a team of lawyers with impressive portfolios enabling them to answer the needs of their Swiss and International clients.

JEAN-LOUIS COLLART MENTHA was founded in 1955, carrying the name of its founder, Jacques Mentha, the former Head of the Geneva Bar Association. The lawyers of MENTHA advise and represent Swiss and International clients, including individuals as well as small, medium-sized and large companies.

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MENTHA makes sure to provide its employees with additional training, specialisations and allow them to gather solid experience either within financial institutions or international law firms. MENTHA lawyers all speak at least two languages and have mostly acquired these linguistic skills during a lengthy stay abroad. Languages spoken within the firm include French, English, German, Italian, Spanish, Arabic and Portuguese. MENTHA is particularly well introduced within the Geneva social fabric, and holds positions in the Judicial Court, teaching in University, and hold public office. “It is a great honour to be recognised as the expert we are in Succession matters. We do dedicate due care and attention to our clients and provide the best expert services through our conditioned and talented lawyers.”

Every legal problem requires analytical and evaluative skills. Clients present their lawyers with a fact pattern and expect their lawyer to deconstruct it and explore the different legal solutions available, and provide the respective merits of each. Strong oral and written communication skills are essential, as is excellent listening ability. Reading large amounts of information, absorbing facts and figures, analysing material and then distilling it into something manageable is a feature of any law career, as being able to identify what is relevant out of the mass of information and explain it clearly and concisely. Lawyers need to be able to engender confidence. A sharp eye for accuracy is crucial for a firm to succeed. There is no single formula for success. However, to provide the best possible services to its clients, the firm puts the client in the front and centre of all objectives. MENTHA is active in many different areas of law and thus has different skills. They work in both internal and external collaboration. It is often critical for a client to know and be confident that the firm has a team of specialists who can cover different areas and work efficiently and harmoniously with each other. Teamwork helps to engender trust and loyalty. As lawyers, it is essential to stay updated daily on new developments, as laws and rules often change as new cases are being decided every day. That is why, in addition to daily reading, MENTHA lawyers participate in seminars, conferences, additional training, etc. MENTHA often works in collaboration, which shows a strong team spirit feeling. To reinforce this attribute, they organise team building activities with all their staff members. These sports or cultural activities promote team spirit and strengthen an environment of trust and loyalty of the firm. These qualities, in addition to being the basis of good collaboration, improve the quality of services for the clients, reinforcing a positive atmosphere. A few words about Jean-Louis Collart: Jean-Louis Collart graduated with a degree in Law from the University of Geneva in 1988 and was admitted to the Bar in the same year. After initially serving with the Legal Department of the Cantonal University Hospital of Geneva in 1988-1989, he worked in Radcliffes and Co., Solicitors, Westminster, London, in 1989, Mayor Balser & Heyer, Geneva, in19891991, Homburger, Zurich, in 1991-1992, the Legal Department of the Union Bank of Switzerland, Geneva, in 1992-1995, back to Mayor Balser & Heyer, Geneva, in 1995-1997, Cabinet Mayor, Geneva, in 1997-2002 of which he became a partner in 1999, Alves de Souza Houman Collart, Geneva, in 2003-2006 as partner, and has been partner with Mentha Avocats since 2007. His primary practice areas are commercial and succession litigation, inheritance and estate law, commercial contracts and telecommunication law. Apart from being the President of the Lawyers Supervisory Board of Geneva, he is also a member of the Geneva and Swiss Bar Associations, American Bar Association-Section of International Law (ABA-SIL) as ViceChair of the International Private Client Committee and Honorary member of Association Internationale des Jeunes Avocats (AIJA). He has coauthored works such as International Commercial Agency and Distribution Agreements, C. Albaric and M. Dickstein (eds.), Wolters Kluwer, London, 2017; Guide pratique du recouvrement des créances en Belgique et à l’étranger, under the head of Marianne Dickstein, Anthemis,2009; Planning and Administration of Offshore and Onshore Trusts, Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners, Tolley’s, London 2001; and Anti-Money Laundering Guide, CCH Editions Limited, Bicester 1999.

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QA Mentor is multi-awards winning, ISO certified leading software testing company headquartered in New York. With 256 global QA resources in 8 different countries offering more than 30 QA Testing Services and covering all time zones, QA Mentor is a global leader in Software Quality Assurance and Testing space. Serving 260 clients from Fortune 500, QA Mentor supports applications in 9 different industries. They provide unique propositions from a crowdsourcing platform to a test management platform, QA education from e-learning and corporate training. QA Mentor continues its growth, expansion and footprint around the globe. The company’s mission, parmount to their own success, is contributing to other company’s successes. QA Mentor know that by helping others to succeed, so too will they succeed. By providing a high standard of service and a huge range of support to high praise of it’s clients, they have risen to pioneer the industry. QA Mentor’s primary aim is to help establish cost effective quality frameworks with the goal of facilitating the overall success of their clients. “It feels very good when your hard work is materialized into customer satisfaction and awards and recognitions. This motivates us even more and boost up with energy.” - Ruslan Desyatnikov QA Mentor believe in transparency with it’s clients, bringing news without sugar coating in order to work honestly together to resolve the problems they encounter. The staff are heavily invested in so they can understand entirely the client’s needs and work towards common goals. QA Mentor has an exceptional, multinational and multicultural team from different geographical backgrounds. The company offers crowd source testing across the globe, requiring multiple people to test the services in multiple languages. This makes the entire group of QA Mentor a multi-international worldwide team. According to Ruslan, since the inception of the company, the spirit and dedication of his team has been the driving and motivating factor behind QA Mentor’s growth and success.

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To differentiate themselves from the pack, QA Mentor have designed methodologies that result in a super-fast turn round on test design and execution services. They also keep high standards of training, normally 5 years experience minimum, for staff in Quality Assurance and Testing fields, with 91% of them being ISTQB certified. Maintaining it’s core fundamentals and staying true to it’s day one initiatives, the company has opted to retain a small sales team which pushes the company to create innovative products and approaches to seal its position at the top. To keep things fresh and innovative, QA Mentor have a dedicated R&D department with orders to stay ahead of the game and keep up to date with the latest technologies. QA Mentor are planning to release their new product, QAMometor, which is a quality metrics analytical platform at the end of 2018 as well as new product which will help to automate test case 60% faster than any other automation tools on the market.

Ruslan Desyatnikov CEO, PRESIDENT & FOUNDER

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in the practice of Dispute Resolution, the first arbitration under Chapter XI of the North American Free Trade Agreement. In Dispute Resolutions, Solcargo has extensive experience in commercial arbitration procedures, whether domestic or foreign, either as counsel or arbitrator, and a wide experience in judicial procedures regarding the enforcement and annulment of arbitration awards. Being at the forefront of Mexico’s legal practice, they have also set new bench marks for quality and standards with their acclaimed Private Equity and Venture Capital Practice.

FERNANDO PÉREZ-CORREA SOCIO Founded in 1995, Mexican law firm Solcargo has worked its way to the top and is now recognised as one of the leading law firms in Mexico. Solcargo’s practices focus on corporate, regulatory, financial transactions, litigation and arbitration, intellectual property, administrative and environmental law. Pioneering the industry from their base in Mexico City, Solcargo has successfully litigated several historical cases such as,

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Solcargo serve a diverse clientele that includes domestic and foreign clients, such as public and private companies, Fortune 500 companies, investment funds, government agencies and nonprofit organizations. Solcargo are an ethically conscious firm, they are committed to the local communities and participate permanently in different pro bono matters to help make a difference where they can. Their mission is simple; to provide effective and efficient solutions to their client’s legal needs. However, they aim to provide these services whilst driving excellence in legal practice,

innovating and re-invigorating the methods of practice and providing exceptional client care throughout. Solcargo ensure their internal standards are upheld by ensuring their staff are the sharpest of all. Solcargo employ a highly qualified team of lawyers, with undergraduate and postgraduate degrees from the most prestigious universities in Mexico, United States and Europe. Their lawyers have work experience in top-tier international law firms and are capable of implementing intricate legal solutions moulded on the business vision of their clients. The firm encourages and supports associates in pursuing postgraduate studies in Mexico and abroad. They also have the opportunity to be part of foreign associate schemes with international firms that Solcargo has close relations with. Solcargo is also recognized by the market for successfully balancing professional growth incentives with a healthy and cooperative work environment. Attributing their success to their ability to adapt legal solutions to individual client needs and business vision in a timely and cost effective manner, Solcargo’s future looks vibrant. They differ from their competitors in that they are a multi-disciplinary law firm, meaning they can approach a case from multiple angles simultaniously and each angle at the highest standard. This lack of restriction in their line of work has contributed a lot to their growing reputation. A big plus is having a truly bilingual and bicultural team that is able to service English-speaking clients as effectively as Spanish-speaking clients. Staying ahead of the legal landscape is crucial to any firm. Trends change and clients needs change with them. Solcargo ensures their lawyers familiarise themselves with each client’s business in order to speak the same language and instill confidence with the client surrounding certainty in fees and added value to their legal advice. This way the connection is strengthened and the collaboration works more efficiently towards the client’s goals. From 1st December 2018, Mexico will have a new government, led by left-wing leader, Andres Manuel López Obrador. He openly antagonizes the current government’s main projects and legislative actions. López Obrador’s party will also have a majority in both houses of the Congress. The new government is expected to reverse many legislative actions and cancel several projects. Considerable impact may ensue on the country’s legal stability and private investment. These circumstances will almost certainly have an impact on the legal services market. Solcargo have strengthened themselves in the face of such changes and will continue on their path of innovation, pioneering the industry with their exceptional legal practice, unwaivered from their goals.

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Bergh Orthodontics specialise in Invisalign, Invisalign Teen, and traditional braces, working with children and adults to help them achieve smiles they are proud and comfortable to show. Their overall aim is wider than a smile though, as they also support the local community and schools where possible and participate in the national program, Smiles Change Lives, which provides orthodontic treatment to underprivileged children across the nation. Bergh Orthodontics is the leading provider of this care in their area. Overall, they aim to “create an environment that inspires extraordinary change”. “Winning this award is quite humbling. To be considered the Best Orthodontic Practice – US is truly an honor. My team is responsible for the care and treatment of our patients, and they do an excellent job in going above and beyond for them. Our patients and their parents constantly praise the team for the outstanding work they do. This honor is truly for the team of people who provide our service”. - Brian H Bergh, DDS, MS To be successful in the orthodontics industry, a company needs to focus on the needs and desires of their patients. Berghs Orthodontics find job satisfaction in educating people on the benefits of oral health, helping them understand the overall importance of a properly aligned bite and teeth.

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“There are significant consequences to poor oral hygiene and gum disease, including heart attacks, strokes and diabetes. Through dispensing knowledge and offering support and counseling, our industry can help people have healthier lives and potentially live longer.” - Brian H Bergh, DDS, MS Berghs Orthodontics have gone the extra mile with their patients, listening to their feedback and implementing changes where desired, such as more convenient hours, affordable payment plans and updated technology. The digital age has brought a world of improvement to medical equipment, which Berghs Orthodontics have lept on. They have brought in digital impressions (no messy goop), 3D printing (allows for a clean and sterile environment) and improved communication (2-way live texting, email automation, online chat and scheduling), all resulting in a smoother and more comfortable patient experience. To stay in front of the competition, Berghs Orthodontics work with many coaches both in and out of the dental industry. Researching and applying successful concepts and practices used in other industries allows the team to provide the most advanced treatment possible and provide the best care for their patients. The owner, Doctors and staff are all committed to undergoing continuous training in order to perfect their craft, a factor that is well noted by their patients in their feedback. Quarterly team training sessions are held, bringing in an outside consulting firm to train the team in customer service, phone skills, treatment presentation, efficiency, etc. To ensure the staff are at the peak of the talent pool, Berghs Orthodontics use an intricate hiring method that determines the employee’s ability to complete tasks as well as comprehend varied instructions. Potential employees even required to complete the Kolbe assessment, allowing them to match candidates with job descriptions that match their natural way of completing projects. By doing so, job satisfaction in staff is measurably increased as they play to their individual strengths. Employees are then evaluated on a quarterly interval, with a strong emphasis on how their performance matches Berghs Orthodontics seven core values, such as being a team player and giving back to the community. As in any medical profession, Berghs Orthodontics are heavily regulated and uphold the highest standards of clenliness, professionalism, expertise and patient care. The dental industry has witnessed a sudden surge in DIY orthodontic treatment, and a primary concern to any practice is the untold risks self-treating patients are taking and the lack of awareness of such risks. Berghs Orthodontics have raised the question of whether it is time to reduce the cost of orthodontic treatment in order to tackle this issue. “Through providing proper education regarding this choice, helping people to understand the cost vs benefits of this type of treatment, dental professionals will show that the best interest of the patient is our concern”. - Brian H Bergh, DDS, MS The changes seen to the orthodontics industry in recent years in technology have been the most rapid of any time. With the continuing advancements in the field, Berghs Orthodontics will continue to improve it’s services, and by extension it’s reputation, and keep caring for the local community with ammicable determination. ISSUE 12 | 127


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SevenEvents deliver global meeting & event management services. Operating out of Mayfair, in London, we offer a full range of event management services for a wide range of corporate clients. We provide honest and creative advice whilst appreciating timescales and budgets and delivering all this to the highest standards from start to finish. We create events that exceed expectations, adding value to our client’s businesses.

Seven Events approach to event management is to first understand the reasons behind your events, allowing us to create and manage your events whilst working towards your objectives, themes and exceeding expectations.

Seven Events offer a comprehensive conference planning, based on attention to detail, flexibility and innovation. Our experienced team will ensure your conference programme is smooth running, successful and meets your key aims and objectives.

Seven Events provide a FREE fast and effective venue finding service worldwide. Whether you are planning a meeting, conference, exhibition, reception or dinner we can help you find the perfect space.

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Seven Events offer full overseas event management services. We pride ourselves on our destination knowledge and worldwide contact base.

VATTANAC BANK RECOGNIZED LEADER IN PREMIER BANKING SOLUTIONS 2018 - CAMBODIA Vattanac Bank, situated in the landmark Vattanac Capital building in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, has offered top class retail and commercial banking services since 2002. Now expanded to 10 branches across Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang, the Bank is on the rise. We are proud to announce Vattanac Bank as Recognised Leader in Premier Banking Solutions 2018 Cambodia. Upholding traditional values of honest business, Vattanac Bank has built its reputation on integrity, efficiency and accountability to it’s stakeholders. Vattanac Bank support sustainable, steady and healthy growth with a mission to be regarded as a strong and secure financial institution. Ever on the look out to improve their services, they have invested in IT and human resources in order to introduce innovative products and strengthen corporate governance. ISSUE 12 | 130

The dedication and commitment they show to improving Cambodia’s banking services, despite their current size and being a local bank, is the reason for their success and subsequent receipt of a Global Business Insight Award. “We are very proud to have received this award. It is an acknowledgment of the attention and work we put into providing our special brand of customer service to a special group– the premier customers. With our premier banking, we are able to provide the venue, the service and the perks to our customers that make us live up to our tag line: The Personal Bank. Thank you for this recognition. “ - Mr. Chan Kok Choy, GM/ Executive Director What sets Vattanac Bank apart from its competitors, you ask? The simple answer is focused management. The high standards of the Bank’s governance, confirmed by a good rating by regulator, the National Bank of Cambodia, have been encouraged throughout each level of the Bank. The bank promotes a service culture that ensures staff provide good customer service, and then acts quickly on its customers’ feedback, resulting in Vattanac Bank’s premier banking being the showcase for customer care that it is today. Vattanac Bank is not only devoted to its customers but also to its staff - offering them a wealth of knowledge and training with practitioners, and providing opportunities to enhance staff skills at every stage. Staff are also invited to international business events, provided a promising career path with attractive remuneration and, most importantly, listened to and aided in attaining job satisfaction. To ensure the Bank’s staff and management are working under the same ethos and towards the same goals, the training and guidance they -receive ensure the focus is always on the highest quality of customer experience. Repeat courses on customer care are provided every year for staff old and new, staff performance and attitude towards service are constantly evaluated using electronic management tracking systems, and there is even a customer service sub-committee in every branch. Cambodia is a free market economy. The National Bank of Cambodia has allowed more banks to open, creating competition for staff and business. In 2018 alone, 4 banks have been granted licenses to open. The National Bank of Cambodia, in order to strengthen the banking system, recently issued several Prakas related to lending, customer service, liquidity, new services, etc. Changes in legislation in the corporate landscape must inevitably be met with adaptation. Vattanac Bank has been ahead of the curve and has been able to comply with stricter regulations, new requirements and various initiatives of the NBC. With Vattanac Bank’s success and innovative techniques in customer care, the future looks bright for the bank. Vattanac Bank aims to expand further, opening numerous provincial branches and introducing new products whilst maintaining brand focus on their competitive advantage - customer service.

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NATTERBOX Natterbox enables organisations to deliver market-leading service levels to their customers through the efficient integration of voice into their digital customer communications. The company aims to transform the telephony experience of organizations and their customers. It’s redefining a long-standing business model with an offering built around a cloud telephony CRM platform embedded entirely within Salesforce. This proposition is revolutionizing the customer’s interactions over the phone and providing them with a more streamlined, informed and personalized experience. Beyond the improvement of customer service experiences, Natterbox’s aim is to help businesses make the most of the data generated by voice communications, providing invaluable insights vital to sales, product development and staff training. For a long time, the telephony industry has been dominated by organisations based on-premise and aimed at the enterprise space. Companies bring them on board to create bespoke, expensive solutions that come with associated redundancy and backup. Natterbox, a UK telephony company founded in 2010, was set up to change this traditional way of thinking about the telephone and the customer experience by embedding voice at the heart of business communications and development strategies. When first founded, Natterbox built its own platform in-house and is currently the only company out there able to provide a platform that sits directly within Salesforce as a unified Salesforce PBX system. This means that customers can improve and transform their phone system without it becoming a massive infrastructure project, which is how most companies view telephone systems.

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“We are delighted that our continuous investment in creating innovative solutions for our customers has been recognised with this fantastic award. We are committed to extending the Salesforce platform, and we continue to attract customers who recognise the value of tying together CRM data and a brilliant customer telephone experience to deliver a more personalised and effective customer engagement.” Natterbox was set up with a clear vision of what they wanted to achieve – to disrupt the traditional way of thinking about the telephone. The company states that, “the majority of organisations are missing out on new business opportunities and the ability to provide personalised customer service because they don’t offer the same experience over the phone that they do via email or apps.” While many brands are able to track customer activities and preferences online, there wasn’t a way to collect this same information from a phone call, still the preferred method of communication for many people, presenting a gap in the market that Natterbox’s founders have capitalized upon. Currently no other companies are providing the type of platform and the benefits that Natterbox has. The company is focused on constant improvement, searching for ways to enhance the platform even further and take advantage of new technologies such as Artificial Intelligence. Acknowledging that the traditional approach to hiring that has worked for so long is no longer relevant to today’s job market Natterbox has become more creative in their recruitment process. The firm is looking for people who have drive, passion, ambition and a genuine desire to want to work in our industry and training them, to get the talented workforce they desire Bringing in fresh blood and energy is vital to any successful business, however giving current employees the opportunities to grow and develop is equally as important. For this reason, when Natterbox has a job opening or is looking to create a new focus area within the business, they ask around the current staff to see who might be interested in the opening. Supporting that internal move could mean retaining a valuable member of staff that otherwise might have gone elsewhere for a new challenge. The staff at Natterbox have regular company meetings to ensure everyone is aware of the strategy and company goals and recent legislation changes such as GDPR. With an emphasis on company culture, Natterbox cultivates their culture with company days and having a strong corporate social responsibility, regularly giving back to charities such as Wooden Spoon, Action for Children and recently a local homeless support group in Croydon “Evolve Housing and Support”.

NEIL HAMMERTON CEO & CO-FOUNDER For Natterbox, AI is the next big industry disruptor. Today, many companies record calls, but very few dedicate the time to revisit the calls to extract data. Being able to analyze calls is vital, and that’s where AI comes in. With this intelligence, businesses will be able to establish what a good call is, where employee training is needed, and how both employees and customers react during the call. AI systems will be able to monitor how someone speaks, with self-learning capabilities deciding the difference between good and bad calls for training purposes. Natterbox is scratching the surface of the power of voice communication in business and it is excited for what the future holds.

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RECOGNISED LEADERS IN CAT PRODUCT REVIEW SOLUTIONS 2018 - UK Katzenworld was set up about 4 years ago by a small band of cat enthusiasts who wanted to share their love of cats with a wider audience. Naturally, they turned to the internet but were disappointed that many sites listed under “Pets” were in fact all about the other furry four-legged friends; dogs. It wasn’t that they disliked dogs, they just wanted to share their experiences with their cats somewhere. One night during a board game evening, the group joked about starting their own blog about cats. And so, the idea for the blog was born. In the beginning, they set up a simple web-based blog to post pictures and amusing stories about their own four cats; Oliver, Nubia Snowball and Mau. They soon realised that there was also a demand for a space for people reading the blog to share their own experiences. This is the core of Katzenworld, and something which sets them apart from many other pet blogs; the capacity for everyone could both consume and produce content. At that time, readers began asking them questions about cat health and wellbeing, which lead to the collaborations between Katzenworld and trusted organisations in the sector such as International Cat Care (ICatCare). Katzenworld began a successful collaboration with the German company, 4cats, to launch a range of toys in the UK. When working with companies on promoting cat welfare and cat-related products it is a core belief of Katzenworld to stay independent and thoroughly review content to ensure readers are provided with accurate and helpful information. When it comes to product reviews it is particularly important to maintain neutrality so that readers can trust what they read. Only when a product has been fully tested and approved by the Katzenworld team will it be published. While Katzenworld works with companies through partnerships and other collaborations these are carefully chosen long-term relationships after a service or product has been thoroughly tested. To achieve this, Katzenworld has worked with many cat professionals and related associations such as International Cat Care and the IFSM. Winning this award has made Katzenworld realise how far they have come from the informal start to where they are now. They are also humbled when they look at previous winners. It has also made the team look at what’s in store for the future. “I believe part of our success is the fact that we involved our audience in order to keep people interested and collaborate with each other.”

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Understand the industry is key! Many people think they can just start a pet business without any prior experience or knowledge of animals and thus those businesses are often short-lived. To be successful in the pet industry requires people to understand not just the needs of humans but those of their pets as well. Katzenworld believes that it’s their followers and readership that sets them apart to provide clients in the pet industry with means to reach an engaged audience that is often willing to provide constructive feedback or help spread the word about products. Additionally, Katzenworld will never turn a contributor away but instead guide them in making their contribution a valuable piece for the cat community. Katzenworld closely monitors trends and changes in the pet industry through being a member of various professional networking platforms, such as forums and by attending pet and veterinary events. Through these networking channels, the team has recognised that more and more pet owners are prioritising quality over price in choosing products and services. This represents a big change for the pet industry, which historically had to contend with consumer price sensitivity. Additionally, today’s consumers want to play a larger part in the care of their pets and openly discuss what is best for them. This change in the pet consumer landscape provided an opportunity for Katzenworld to engage with readers by providing the resources for this. This includes advice and guides for feline appropriate care and providing an open discussion section for cat owners to share their own experiences and best practices.

WWW.KATZENWORLD.CO.UK At Katzenworld’s centre are the editorial/director team, Marc-Andre Runcie-Unger and Iain Runcie-Unger who are responsible for the content selection and day-today management. They also oversee the direction of Katzenworld’s editorial policy. Both have daytime jobs, so maintaining Katzenworld takes up all their free time. Around this core, there is a small team of professional content writers, which include cat behaviourists, veterinary staff, artists and journalists. A third layer consists of various content creators, such as regular visitors sharing their experiences, welfare experts from animal charities and other pet industry professionals. All have been carefully selected to be in line with Katzenworld’s ethos by reviewing previously published content and conferring with existing connections. Their policy is to permit people to express their opinions and allow them to be debated with a wide input. This is an important aspect of the Katzenworld community which they believe has contributed to their success.

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Rather than hiring additional talent to the company, contr individuals who run their own blogs websites and benefit fr Upcoming changes to cat welfare could create an impact on closely with International Cat Care and other cat associations accordingly. Accessibility and exploration of Katzenworld’s b then, Katzenworld is looking at developing a mobile app and through their experience with product reviews has identified allow Katzenworld to build on its successful brand image. Wi full time to realise the full

“Katzenworld wouldn’t be what it is today with our large followe contributors. And of course, there are also our 4 mascots, Oliver t and Freya the straight coat Peterbald tha

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ributors apart from Marc-Andre and Iain are volunteers or rom people finding out about them creating good content. n the cat show side of the business. Katzenworld is working s to monitor these changes and implement their own changes branded products are things to consider for the future. Firstly d introducing regional/language specific content. Secondly, potential improvements and gaps in the market. This would ith this expansion, Marc-Andre and Iain will consider working potential of the company.

er base, it’s an engaged audience and the nearly 300 worldwide the Tuxedo, Nubia the black cat, Renegade the Oriental Shorthair at are technically our product testers! ;)�

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ACXIT Capital Partners is a leading international corporate finance and investment advisory firm for mid-market clients, such as corporations, family-owned businesses, entrepreneurs, financial sponsors and family offices. in Europe and beyond. As an independent, privately owned firm, they hold offices in Frankfurt, Berlin, Munich, Leipzig, Zurich and Hong Kong as well as having strong alliances in France, China, India and the USA. Their advisory expertise is founded on an in-depth understanding of the key industries served by our company, covering both the industrial and technology sectors. ACXIT has successfully advised clients in Internet & Media, Software & IT, Mobility, Mobile & Telecom, Healthcare & Pharma, Retail & Consumer Goods, Real Estate and General Industries. Founded in 1998, ACXIT offers comprehensive corporate finance advisory services including M&A and capital markets advisory, as well as restructuring, debt and strategic advisory. To date, the firm has completed more than 400 transactions, with a total deal/ financing volume of approximately â‚Ź20 billion, many of which were acknowledged and honoured by industry peers and clients.

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ACXIT Capital Partners is owned by its partners, so the interest of the firm is in long-term success. Highest ethical and professional standards create a strong partnership and client orientated firm culture. The firm’s overall approach is guided by the following underlying principles:

Commitment to clients

The firm centres around building long-term relationships, allowing for a clear understanding of their client’s strategies and a genuine interest in their businesses. Instead of ‘playing the field’, AXCIT focuses on few, but key relationships within each sector, following a client partnership approach with repeat business. A flexible operating structure ensures that no transaction is too large or too small.

No conflicts of interest

AXCIT provides objective advice and are free from the conflicts that can arise from a multi-product, integrated platform, due to their focus being on one or two clients in each sector with compatibility – hence avoiding conflicts. “We do not sell products but deliver tailor-made solutions for issues or creating value. Our business is based on long-term client relationships; hence we do not depend on transactions.”

Senior involvement

Senior bankers are involved in transactions from initiation to completion, ensuring that clients benefit from their experience and expertise at all stages of corporate and investor decision-making and execution. Client relationships are based on personal affinity and consistent service to clients.


Highly confidential information and the client’s trust is used with care and utmost discretion.


AXCIT strives to provide clients with innovative, well-considered ideas and solutions. The firm combines boutique creativity with top delivery reach and resources normally associated with larger firms.

Comprehensive advice

Client advice is provided through a 360-degree method, looking both at private wealth issues as well as corporate deals. The client’s needs and transactions are approached holistically, from M&A, equity and debt markets points of view; capital markets and investor expertise is fully embedded in AXCIT’s skill set. Experience is a key advantage that the firm holds over its competitors. Their senior partners each have over 20 years international investment banking experience having worked for investment banking firms in Frankfurt, London and New York as well as on transactions worldwide. These partners have also held corporate leadership positions in the industry, combining cross over skills in advisory, capital markets and investment activities. The firm and its partners have a broad network in the business and financial community, both locally and in international financial centres. ACXIT combines relationships with corporates with access to specialist equity and debt investors, be it private or public markets capital and draws on these networks to craft bespoke and innovative financing and investment solutions free of potential conflicts.

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dealers ingredients food ingredients supplier of the year 2018 - canada

Since 1976, Dealers Ingredients from Canada has been providing innovative, healthy ingredient solutions to leading Canadian food manufacturers. Dealers Ingredients is well-known in the industry for their expertise within the key categories of plant-based proteins, natural dairy flavour concentrates such as butter, cheese, and milk and value-added commodity dairy ingredients. In early 2018, Dealers Ingredients partnered with Stern-Wywiol Group from Germany to bring to Canada for the first time Hydrosol’s customized food stabilizing and texturizing systems. Dealers Ingredients mission is “Creating a healthier tomorrow today, naturally”. This is a core belief that is reflected in the company’s portfolio of ingredients and the support and solutions their customers receive. The company aims to spearhead the movement for healthier options both for consumer and business at every opportunity. As consumer demands have changed over the years, so has the company in order to match customer needs and current business trends. For instance, the rise in demand for non-dairy products and natural flavours have influenced the market greatly which has led to a focus in these areas within the Dealers Ingredients portfolio. Dealers Ingredients started as a distributor of dairy products. The company was originally called Dealers Dairy Canada Ltd. Then, in the mid- 1990’s, the organization expanded to become the exclusive Canadian distributor of Butter Buds, a line of functional dairy concentrates and natural flavour alternative ingredients that is also available in non-dairy varieties. It is with this expansion and recognition of the company’s new focus on branded ingredients that the organization changed its name to Dealers Ingredients Inc. Over the past nine years under the leadership of Chuck Harvey, President and CEO, there have been significant changes in the way Dealers Ingredients conducts business. The introduction of a dedicated R&D team utilizing the latest market trends for application development provided additional drive to the company mission.

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In 2015, the organization expanded further from supplying approximately 150 natural source ingredients under three different business segments (ie. base ingredients, customized ingredients and specialty ingredients) in Canada to also begin developing and distributing their own products across North America. The start of this change began with the introduction of the award-winning Profi® line of products and shortly after, the launch of Natralein® line of products. Profi Pro is a complete, high-protein plant-based composite (HPPC). Profi Bake is also a complete, high protein plant-based composite with added dietary fibre which is especially designed to manage water in baked goods. Natralein is a high quality, single source plant-based pea and brown rice protein isolate. Both product lines are unique in that each ingredient has been carefully screened and tested to ensure it meets the highest standards in terms of protein quality, taste and performance.In 2017, Dealers Ingredients received GHP’s ‘Canada’s Top 10 Best Contributions to Healthcare and Pharma’ award in recognition for its contributions and success providing healthy, plant-based protein options to the food service industry for health care, retirement homes and long-term care facilities. Dealers Ingredients is a small and agile organization. Well-known for providing a selection of high quality ingredients combined with delivering excellent customer service are just two of the many reasons why Dealers Ingredients has been able to maintain close and longstanding relationships with both its customers and its food ingredients suppliers.With a focus on providing expert knowledge on not only plant-based proteins but the creation of meat alternative products are examples of what differentiate Dealers Ingredients from its competition. The staff are encouraged and provided with opportunities for professional development, ensuring they are instilled with the confidence and ability needed to succeed efficiently in the market. The expectation is that regardless of whether an employee works in sales, product development, marketing or customer service, they will not only bring the highest level of expertise and experience within their respective area of discipline, but there is a self-driven focus on continuous improvement and learning. Dealers Ingredients inspire their staff’s curiosity, strengthen their commitment to the company and spur creativity in order to create new possibilities or products that do not yet exist in the market. With the high level of trust between role tiers and an open and collaborative communication style, the company is a recommended and sought after workplace. Dealers Ingredients is committed to bringing natural ingredient solutions to food manufacturers that will positively impact the healthy lifestyle choices of today’s consumers. With continuous innovation, an empowered company ethos and staff with a thirst for knowledge, Dealers Ingredients are sure to see further growth in the future. Dealers Ingredients is very honoured and proud to have won the Food Ingredients Supplier of the Year 2018-Canada award in recognition for its continued effort to bring powerful, natural food ingredient solutions for today’s consumers. For more information, please contact or ISSUE 12 | 147

Leaders in investment trading strategies and market sentiment. Founded on 10 Years Of Academic Research. Founded in 2015, launched January 2017, and backed by more than 10 years of academic research in the fields of behavioural science and data analytics, Advanced Logic Analytics is a data science-led business offering AI driven algorithms that bring alternative data insights to the world's top financial institutions. Our mission is to help investment firms and individual investors find Alpha from innovative new sources of alternative data, sentiment and behavioural analytics. Our algorithms combine modern portfolio theory and advanced mathematical models, augmented with sentiment analysis. Different algorithms are used to drive multiple products within the OneLogic suite of solutions, including Trading Strategies, Sentiment and Robo-Advisor.

CONTACT US Advanced Logic Analytics Ltd. 35 New Broad Street, London EC2M 1NH

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PHOTOVOLTAIC GLASS Onyx Solar is the world’s leading manufacturer of transparent photovoltaic (PV) glass for buildings. PV Glass is used as a building material plus as an energy-generating device, capturing the sunlight and transforming it into electricity. It is made of two or more panes of heat treated, safety glass, and it provides the same thermal and sound insulation, and natural light as a conventional architectural

glass. Thus, it is installed in lieu of conventional glass on building facades, curtain walls, atriums, canopies and terrace floor, among others. By providing the same thermal performance as a conventional glass, along with clean, free electricity from the sun, buildings can drastically improve their energy efficiency, decrease O&M costs, and reduce their carbon footprin

OUR GLASS IS PHOTOVOLTAIC PV Glass generates free and clean electricity, thanks to the sun. Turning buildings into vertical power generators. MULTIFUNCTIONAL PV Glass lets natural light in; it also provides thermal and sound insulation, and filters 99% harmful UV radiation, and up to 95% IR radiation. ECONOMIC Our PV Glass works as a revenue-accelerator, since it is the only building material that pays off! Enjoy long term energy savings, tax credits and incentives.

AESTHETIC It can be customized in shape, color, size, thickness, and semi-transparency degrees, easing its integration within any project and design. EASY TO INSTALL Our photovoltaic glass is installer-friendly. From a mechanical standpoint, its installation is performed the same way as installing conventional glass. Our proven experience in installation of photovoltaic projects enables us to be the more reliable partner for turnkey projects of PV glass. Check out our in stallers' network. Spain C/ Río Cea 1, 46 05004 Ávila Phone. +34 920 21 00 50

USA 79 Madison Avenue, Ste. #640 New York, 10016 Phone. +1 917 261 47 83 ISSUE 12 | 149

CHINA China Life Tower, ChaoWay, Chaoyang Qu, Beijing Shi 10020 Phone. +86 13601092930

THE RESEARCH MANAGEMENT AND CRM GENIUS OF TODAY ANALEC ANALEC is a leading financial technology company providing platforms and solutions in investment research, client-related servicing space and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) technology in the sales & trading domain. They work with a range of broker-dealers and investment banks all across the globe, combining their deep domain knowledge of their client’s business and their ability to leverage the most appropriate technologies and servicing solutions. ANALEC has been playing the role of a “change agent” in the stock [brokering] and capital markets’ theatre since its inception; relying on technology to drive business process efficiencies as well as enhancing their clients’ abilities to better engage with their customers. ANALEC’s research management and CRM software solutions make the clients more competitive and productive. Their mission has been to be the preferred technology partner for banks and brokers when it comes to meeting their intricate business process automation challenges in the areas around investment research and client servicing within business. They continue to invest in delivering solutions and capabilities that enable their clients to deliver a better service to their end customers. “We are delighted to receive this recognition by Global Business Insight and every bit of recognition in the marketplace is a vindication of our efforts to remain committed to our long-term goals. Our customers remain our strongest referees and supporters and we work hard to earn their trust and support daily. I take this opportunity to thank all our customers for their support and sponsorship and making such recognition possible.” Indy Sarker, CEO of ANALEC. ANALEC have consistently demonstrated that they pay careful attention to their clients’ needs and expectations. Working with their clients as a partner in their endeavours ensures ANALEC can play a role in helping them realise their ambitions. Many of ANALEC’s competitors have been found to shy away from undertaking specific client-driven requests; whereas ANALEC deliver on their specific needs swiftly. Looking at other firms in the Research Management and Client Servicing industry, it is clear to see that ANALEC differentiate themselves through their product mix, superior customer engagement philosophy and going the extra mile to meet customer expectations. Their Research and CRM technology platforms, both licensed individually or as an integrated offering, has clearly proved to be a significant advantage to their customers, not to mention lowering their total-cost-of-ownership on their technology spending decisions. With the number of success projects continuously growing, ANALEC’s customers are recognising the power of their integrated service packages and this is creating a lot of positive momentum for the business; making them the most obvious choice for this award. Unfaltering innovation and staying ahead of the competition are not easy tasks in the best of times: “We believe it is important to pick a few areas of excellence and focus on getting them right on a consistent basis. In that regard, we have been able to build a reputation with our customers for being very receptive to their demands and requirements and delivering platforms that are known for their reliability and superior user experience.” Indy Sarker, CEO of ANALEC.


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ANALEC as a company is deeply rooted in a strong family value system build on transparency, customer focus, integrity and teamwork. They recognise that if you find great intellectual talent but fail to get comfort around ethics or teamwork, one should not make that hire. By doing so, over the years, they have ensured that their reputation is never at risk in the market place across all stakeholders – customers, service providers and employees.

We believe it is important to pick a few areas of excellence and focus on getting them right on a consistent basis. we have been able to build a reputation with our customers for being very receptive to their demands and requirements and delivering platforms that are known for their reliability and superior user experience.

Regulatory change in Europe driven by MiFID II regulations as well as competitive pricing pressures have brought about a fundamental change in the revenue model driving stock brokers, this in turn has brought a more acute focus on the internal workings of brokers and banks. ANALEC have remained relevant throughout this shift and continue to deliver added-value and solutions that cater to the new realities of the market place. When asked what the future holds for ANALEC, Indy Sarker shared : “We remain very excited about our prospects in North America and the progress we continue to make on the customer acquisition front. As a new entrant in the US market place a few years back, it was never an easy ride to win backers. However, we have stayed committed to our plans and the fruits of our labour are now beginning to emerge. Our future over the next few years remains extremely busy with an aggressive customer acquisition plan; coupled with a product innovation and expansion plan that will further cement our competitive position in the market place as well as allow us to expand our addressable market opportunity.” ISSUE 12 | 151

One of the most important aspect of technology products/services business is attracting and retaining top talent. As a small company with, what would seem to be, larger than life ambitions, it has been very important to find people that can identify with said ambition and bring the same drive and energy to make things happen within ANALEC. They have been very successful in building a world class team spread across multiple countries and continue to offer exciting career prospects for their high achievers.

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Under the leadership of Dr Roya Ghafele, Managing Director, OxFirst helps turn Intellectual Property into a business opportunity. The award-winning advisory firm ensures that firms, governments, international and supra-national government institutions leverage intellectual property for growth. They do this by offering high-quality economic analysis of intellectual property. This enables IP commercialisation and IP driven business strategy. The insights gained through OxFirst Analysis help shed light on otherwise untapped business opportunities. A mere legal perspective on IP is not enough to unleash the untapped wealth offered by intangible assets. OxFirst is highly experienced in the valuation of IP, the preparation of Expert Testimonials for licensing, litigation, damages analysis and IP driven investments. They also focus on IP management and IP policy formulation for growth

The Valuation of Intellectual Property Dr Ghafele attested that an early stage high-tech firm was able to raise over 10 Million US Dollars based on its IP valuation. At another instance, the estimate of the IP undertaken by OxFirst formed a cornerstone of a patent acquisition, which gave the seller a significant boost to its cash reserves.

Accredited Expert Testimonials for Commercial Disputes, Litigation and Licensing Negotiations OxFirst has frequently been involved as an economic expert in commercial disputes, litigation and licensing negotiations. Their economic analysis formed the cornerstone of price formation in licensing negotiations, helping Courts identify the fair value of a damage award and also allowed to assess the financial risk of litigation in mergers and acquisitions.

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Economic Analysis of intellectual property and competition policy formulation OxFirst has had a substantial contribution to policy formulation. In the copyright space for example; OxFirst economic analysis contributed to the formulation of a New Directive on Collective Rights Management. Additionally, OxFirst has systematically established the commercial element in commercial law. The global market for patent filing is growing consistently at a rate of about 10%, but evidence shows that only a small fraction of that IP can be linked to commercial activity! This IP commercialisation gap can, to a large extent, be explained by the fact that there are not enough economists in this area who can bridge the gap between IP law and economics. This gap indicates that many firms do not even know the value of their IP assets, let alone how to manage their IP assets for wealth generation. By consequence, many IP projects sit gathering dust and IP departments are often perceived as a mere cost centre. Essential elements to change that include the usage of Key Performance Indicators, the valuation of IP and then extracting value from it. IP related economic research plays a crucial role in this process. Q: How does it feel to have won this award? A: “I feel very privileged that our hard work, dedication and commitment has been recognised by such a prestigious analyst as Global Business Insights. We attribute this success to the dedication and commitment we continuously offer our clients in their search to extract maximum value from their technology.” – Dr Roya Ghafele.

McKinsey & Company was founded in the 1930s with the idea to bring the concept of a law firm to the world of Management. But what the world has been missing for a long time was ‘Management Consulting for IP.’ In 2011 OxFirst brought this concept to the world of commercial law. Just like McKinsey, the Boston Consulting Group or Accenture, OxFirst offers highlevel economic analysis; however, solely directed towards the strategic management of intellectual property assets. With such highly-specialised expertise, there are hardly any firms that can genuinely compete with them. Since its inception in 2011, OxFirst has maintained very close relations with the Oxford University, given that its Founder herself, Dr Ghafele, taught at Oxford University. As such, her firm is able to tap into a wealth of expertise, unparalleled elsewhere. Oxford University has been educating leaders for over a thousand years, and the team at OxFirst do their best to assure such high-level expertise is adequately disseminated in the market. What makes OxFirst unique is the individuals on the team that have worked in the IP space for decades and gained substantial experience in the ‘real world of Academia’, but also in practice. Very few can offer such depth of knowledge on IP and competition law and economics. OxFirst will always offer an opportunity to those that are eager to grow. Dr Ghafele nurtures talent from day one and provides a wealth of opportunities to develop one’s skills in an open and creative environment. She is keen to reassure that a flat hierarchy gives way to a very steep learning curve in a very short time and hence rapidly grows one’s career. Intellectual property (IP) will play a key role in upcoming technology spaces such as Artificial Intelligence, Autonomous Driving or the Internet of Things and it is crucial to address how various approaches to IP strategy and policy can lead humanity to substantially different social and economic contexts. The question of IP strategy and policy is particularly pronounced as the nature of wealth generation is radically changing. While at the end of the 19th century, the richest man in the world, John D. Rockefeller, made his wealth in the petrol industry, one of the richest men of much of the 21st century, Bill Gates, possesses primarily one resource: intellectual property. This alone seems reason enough to identify economic approaches to IP and competition law systematically. IP bears the potential to be the currency of the knowledge-based economy, but for this to happen, it is crucial that we start treating it as an economic asset and use it to foster inclusive growth and assure strategy and policy measures to achieve this.

Dr. roya ghafele oxfirst

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Mobiq Group is the leading specialist consultancy on smart mobility and on-demand ground transport in Europe. Strategy & Planning Technology & Systems Business Development Project & Account Management Mergers, Acquisitions & Consolidation Business Transformation Recruitment & Talent Acquisition Regulatory & Legislative Affairs Quality & Environmental Management

More than just a consultancy, we offer hands-on practical delivery of your projects, business development and operational objectives. Mobiq’s unique wealth of experience and expertise allows us to help with strategic planning to project management, delivery and ongoing operational oversight. From research, planning and strategy to delivery and ongoing management expertise - our background in running and growing businesses in the mobility sector adds real value to your organisation.

+44 (0)330 122 1271 | Mobiq Group Limited, 6-8 Caledonian Road, London, N1 9DU ISSUE 12 | 156

V&V is a renowned boutique firm established in the city of Bogotá D.C., cataloged by prestigious and specialized international publications as recommended firm in Colombia and awarded firm of the year in 2014, 2015 and 2016 in the practice of litigation and dispute resolution in the different areas of its expertise. It provides its professional services in advisory, consulting and litigation to private and public sector companies, business organizations, individuals, domestic and foreign - in the various sectors of the economy, in all the national territory, becoming in the strategic ally of its clients in each of the cases and businesses that are brought in to its consideration. The firm has a prominent and structured team work within which is highlighted its large capacity, competence, knowledge, skills, ethics, diligence and commitment, as well as the synergy between the experience and the youth of its lawyers, what have taken us to be at the forefront and successfully enter new areas of law, thus achieving

positioning, reputation and recognition nationally and internationally. Confidentiality, responsibility, seriousness, professionalism, expertise and opportunity in handling the problems raised and each of the businesses entrusted by our clients has allowed us to draw successful creative solutions, innovative techniques and strategies in the prevention and resolution of conflicts, as well as in its successful structuring and development, harmoniously combining and coordinating the different disciplines of our team, guarantee in the excellence of the services provided by the firm. V&V has participated in various national and international transactions and negotiations in different sectors, advising local and foreign clients, successfully completing the assigned tasks. Also, the firm has strategic partners in different countries, at the level of correspondent firms and private entities, fundamental support in proper client service and in the improvement of their businesses. Professional services are provided in Spanish, English and French.

Criminal law & Corporate Criminal law

Labor & Social Security Law


Administrative Law

Disciplinary & FIscal law

Litigation & Dispute Resolution

Corporate & Business law

State Contracting Law

Oil & Gas

Transport & Infrastructure

Mines & Energy Law

Foreign Investment

Bogotá D.C. – Colombia Carrera 13a No. 89 – 38, Of. 521

Pbx. +57 1 530 6971 Cel. +57 321 205 2688 ISSUE 12 | 157

Čermák a spol. is a top Czech and Slovak intellectual property law firm and has been since 1990. Their caseloads range from intellectual property (IP) to prosecution and litigation, as well as consulting in patents, utility models, industrial designs, trademarks, unfair competition, regulatory aspects of pharmaceuticals, etc. They also provide services in commercial, business and civil law. Čermák a spol.’s clients include top global corporations from different industries and services ranging from small to medium sized companies and individuals. The company’s mission is to help other businesses and individuals obtain and protect their IP assets and represent them before the Czech Industrial Property Office, Slovak Industry Property Office, Czech and Slovak courts as well as the European Patent Office in Munich and EUIPO in Alicante. They pay equal attention to routine work, such as filling trademark applications, managing trademark portfolios, validating European patents and starting national phases of Patent Corporation Treaty applications. While these two types of work require partly the same expertise, they need different approaches to task management and communication with the client. Čermák a spol. law firm has two core departments: Patent and Trademark department which deals with routine IP cases; mainly IP prosecution, and the Legal department which handles the more complicated cases that require litigation, including trademark


“We are pleased to have been awarded

the 2018 IP Law Firm of the Year and we perceive this as a recognition, by Global Business Insight, of our hard work, dedication and professionality in the past and present.”

oppositions, invalidation and revocation actions, declaration proceedings, preliminary injunctions, IP infringements, domain name disputes, challenging IPO decision before administrative courts, constitutional complaints etc. Čermák a spol. believes in traditional legal and firm values. While they closely observe developments in the IP world in the Czech, Slovak and European legislation and adapt their practice accordingly, they do not seek innovation for its own sake and wherever it is possible, the firm sticks to their traditional and time-proven approaches and principles. They believe that tradition, reliability and stability are key values especially in IP industry because there are some clients for whom Čermák a spol. ISSUE 12 | 158

manages IP portfolios over decades and some cases evolve in a time span of more than 10 years, with all their ramifications and repercussions. Hence why it is important for their clients to know that Čermák a spol. is still relevant and providing the same high level and reliable services. Given their reputation and their chief seat in Prague, capital of the Czech Republic, the firm receives many CVs of talented young lawyers or IP experts wishing to work for the firm, not only from the Czech Republic but from Slovakia and many other countries. The company’s employees and associates also include some of the leading personalities in IP in the Czech and Slovak Republics, especially many former employees of the Patent Office including its former president Mr Karel Čada. “We try to integrate all the talented minds into one team at our firm and to create an informal, friendly, yet efficient and professional working atmosphere. We pay a lot of attention our fee earning departments, i.e. legal department and trademark and patent department, but also to auxiliary departments which are, in IP practice, equally important to achieving the high level of professionality and reliability we strive to achieve.” There is a particular department of central docketing, operating every working day from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., which ensures that every case is immediately tested as to potential conflicts of interest, duly filed and managed, streamlining the required processes in the fee earning department. The firm’s high-profile case handlers, especially lawyers and patent attorneys, regularly attend international and domestic IP events within the framework of AIPPI, LIDC, Marques, FICPI and other organisations. Every year, Čermák a spol. organises internal training and other social events, such as much beloved Christmas parties and firm excursions.

“Most importantly, we are committed to maintain and develop our bespoke and highly professional approach to each client and each case, paying full attention to each client’s specific situation and requirements, and to maintain the same high quality of service for many years to come.”

Čermák a spol. foresees a great potential in IP litigation and IP consulting services. In these two fields, the firm is continuously elevating their standards of services as they are gradually gaining more experience. The company encourages its employees to exchange their experience among their colleagues and develop an internal library of cases and expertise. Čermák a spol. also tries to build their Slovak business, especially by attracting many young Slovak professionals living and working in Prague.


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SMART APPRENTICES is an integrated suite of technology platforms, used to recruit, track and assess apprentices. The company was formed just 7 years ago and has emerged as the leading technology platform within in the sector, with 50 employees and more than 190,000 users, including Further Education colleges, training providers and employers. Their core product is the Smart Assessor, which captures evidence of skills and knowledge obtained throughout an apprenticeship, keeping the learners engaged. Their latest product, however, is Not.A.CV, a unique searchable digital CV. This innovative technology platform allows apprentices and apprenticeship candidates to create a dynamic and personable digital CV, showcasing their personality and capabilities more effectively and creatively than a traditional paper CV. The service will always be free to use for candidates, as revenue is generated from employers and training providers

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Candidates can create: • A 30-second ‘why me’ video pitch (with an app to give them advice on making this). • A portfolio of evidence of their skills and competencies, to show employers what hey can do: e.g. public speaking or charity fundraising. • A brief personal statement, with key words then plucked out into a visual ‘wordcloud’ for greater impact. They add: • Qualifications and experience, with Not.A.CV serving as a safe place to upload andstore their certificates. • Personal interests displayed through dynamic visuals. • References and testimonials. The service also benefits the employers, as they can find the most suitable candidates in a much faster manner, thanks to Not.A.CV’s unique searchability. The lengthy and laborious process of reading hundreds of applications is replaced with an instant deep-dive search into all of the candidate digital CVs to pinpoint relevant information, discarding applicants who do not fit the bill and homing in on those who do. For a monthly fee, employers can register on the Not.A.CV hub, which boasts a unique algorithm and database engine, unlike anything on the market, to sift and sort hundreds of applicants against a range of detailed search criteria, including sector and job role experience, core competencies, personal interests and qualifications. Employers can then view the digital CVs of their results in a more interactive and engaging way to find the perfect recruit. The company’s business model is to create technology platforms for training providers delivering the Government’s apprenticeship scheme, charging for annual licences based on the number of concurrent apprentices using the platform. Demand for the technology platform is increasing since the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy in 2017, as boards are questioning how businesses are using the funds in their apprenticeship service account. They want to know that the best candidates are being recruited in the most streamlined and cost-efficient manner, without unnecessarily depleting management resources. This is what Not.A.CV delivers. “It feels amazing to have our innovative technology platforms recognised because it inspires both us and our clients to strive and continuously innovate to disrupt delivery models.” The company cites passion about high performance, an entrepreneurial spirit in solving problems to get things done and an enjoyment in one’s profession as attributes that have helped them to become successful and able to provide the best possible service to its clients. This entrepreneurial flair allows the employees at Smart Apprentices to think differently, using technology to disrupt delivery models instead of migrating to current delivery models. Focusing less on the competition and more on leading the way with new innovations led to the creation of the first bespoke technology platform for the new apprenticeships end point assessments. Smart Apprentices is proud of attracting and maintaining the best talent to their company, by exciting them on an entrepreneurial journey where everyone knows where the company is going and how the employees play an important part of that journey. By introducing agile working practices across the business, they have developed fluid project teams that work in different groups for different projects, where everyone has daily stand up calls and work is segmented into sprints, enabling them to pivot and realign priorities easily. The recent introduction of the employer levy and end point assessments is the biggest macro- environmental change to the apprenticeship landscape for a generation. Though this paradigm shift may have caused problems for some, it has presented Smart Apprentices with the opportunity to create the first end-point assessment technology platform, increasing their revenue by £1m in just 8 months The future also appears to be bright and exciting for the company with a new digital mark-up technology ready to launch this December.

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PDR Property Lawyers are a conveyancing firm based in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire that supplies professional and cost-effective conveyancing for all types of properties, from freehold to leasehold. We profile the firm to explore the secrets behind their success. When buying or selling a home, choosing the right conveyancer can make life easy! Whether it is a first-time purchase or a relocation, PDR Property Lawyers pride themselves on providing the highest level of service at all times, which is both friendly and approachable in nature. They have established themselves in the UK as an award-winning conveyancing practice. Believing strongly in a one-to-one professional service, they make sure to work alongside you, in order to meet the needs, goals and concerns of the client. In an environment that is constantly changing for conveyancers, PDR Property Lawyers is a pro-active and not re-active firm, utilising the latest technology available on the market. Dealing with home movers across England and Wales, they communicate via a medium that is most comfortable for the client, whether that be by letter, email or telephone. They offer a fixed fee guarantee, ‘no completion, no fee service’, with no hidden extras in their estimate of legal costs, while also providing a national service, so that no attendance is needed to sign documentation, as it can all be finalised through email, post and/or phone calls. Additional services offered include: auction property, re-mortgaging, transfer of equity, help to buy, new builds, leasehold and freehold matters. Rural/Equestrian Property transactions can be complex, as it is necessary to pore over numerous legal documents and agreements, however PDR Property Lawyers house a specialist Rural/Equestrian Lawyer, who can convert this complicated process into one that is taken care of both quickly and efficiently. Ultimately, PDR Property Lawyers draws on the immense experience of its employees to guarantee that clients receive a service that not only meets their needs but exceeds their expectations.

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01733 203873 WEBSITE




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“We pride ourselves on providing a fast, efficient but personal service and on making critical funding decisions quickly.” Perry Burns, MD

WCP strive to give the best customer service possible to all their clients which resulted in their fantastic 5* rating on TrustPilot.


FOUNDER AND MANAGING DIRECTOR Working Capital Partners (WCP) has wholly re-engineered the working capital finance market by offering selective ‘invoice finance’ and ‘purchase order finance’ that provides affordable and flexible working capital to smaller businesses. Most factoring companies insist on financing the whole debtors’ ledger and are usually not interested in financing confirmed forward orders. However, at WCP, they focus on offering complete flexibility to their clients; allowing them to choose which invoices to discount as needed. Founded in 2010, WCP has since grown rapidly, lending more than £90m to businesses in practically every sector. WCP offer working capital and support to businesses all over the United Kingdom and currently have clients based from the Outer Hebrides through to Plymouth.

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WCP have built their business proposition on innovation. They have 6 unique offerings:

Selective Invoice Finance

Traditional factoring companies insist that invoice discounting should be applied to all invoices issued. WCP was the 1st UK company to fund single-invoices as a matter of course, and remain the only company to allow clients to finance (and thus pay for) ONLY the invoices they want to without a minimum fee or monthly administration charge. They believe in equipping their clients with the tools to control how they run their businesses, therefore, providing them with the flexibility they need. Furthermore, WCP allows their clients to retain control of payment liaison (including chasing) as this is pivotal for relationship building, particularly for Small & Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs).

Export Overdraft

WCP is the ONLY Company in the UK to offer import/export factoring through an Export Overdraft product, thereby supporting small businesses to grow their international sales. This comprehensive offering includes full insurance, verification and collection services and is designed to give SMEs the opportunity to get into exporting without the usual complications of documentary credits.

24/7 systems

WCP has invested heavily and as a result are the only selective factor able to assist clients with trade finance in a completely integrated process. They are based entirely online, and their clients can access WCP systems 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Purchase order finance

WCP is the only independent selective financier to provide an end to end working capital product that integrates ‘purchase order finance’ and ‘invoice finance’ in a seamless product.

Bad-debt protection

WCP is the ONLY small-business provider to offer bad-debt protection to their clients at no additional charge. WCP is the ONLY selective factor to have national UK geographical spread, covering all four parts of the UK; England, Scotland, Wales and N. Ireland. Their mission is to provide Owner-Directors with a Fast, Friendly, Flexible cash flow solution so that they can run their company without worrying about how they will pay their day to day bills and m their customers’ requirements. First and foremost, being in this industry is about understanding the stresses and pressures on the client. Running a business is tough. There aren’t enough hours in the day, and new problems crop up all the time.

“Our job and passion is to make our clients lives as easy as possible.” Perry Burns

WCP know all of their clients personally. They feel confident in knowing that when their clients contact them, they have the satisfaction of speaking to a ‘real person’ who can offer a definitive solution. The WCP systems and processes are simple and straightforward. While WCP does abide by the UK Finance code of conduct and behaves as a responsible lender, the firm still remembers that they are dealing with real people – with real problems and, as such, do everything they can and deliver the best service to their clients; at the fairest price of course. How has WCP maintained this over the past 8 years? Innovation. Time is everything to every business in every industry. Moreover, WCP systems and processes are continually under heavy scrutiny and, therefore, are upgraded accordingly to ensure that clients are receiving the most appropriate and leading-edge service.

“This award by Global Business Insight is recognition of the investment we have put into our people and systems. We are proud to have been selected and are determined that this will be just one more step in our ambition to be the SME funder of choice for owner managed businesses.” Perry Burns

Every WCP staff member goes through the UK Finance training, and the firm has regular team lunches where they discuss all aspects of the business from credit underwriting, dispute resolution, systems and processes. Everyone has an equal voice and if something has to change the firm implements it quickly and efficiently. That’s the advantage of being small with a flat management structure. UK Finance has managed to steer through Section 1 of the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 and bring the regulations into force. Meaning that from 31st December 2018, large businesses will no longer have the ability to refuse smaller enterprises the right to assign their invoices; which currently leads to restricting the cash flow of the smaller business. This change will give WCP, as a Factor, more scope to help their clients. Small companies will always need cash and WCP are the leading source of finance for owner managed companies in the UK. They intend to stand four-square behind directors that are eager to grow their businesses and willing to take advantage of all opportunities that BREXIT will deliver in the coming years.

“We are a family firm and ensure that everyone who works in the team becomes part of this family. We work hard but have fun too. Also, our Chief Relaxation Officer, Spike (an Australian Silky Terrier) is always on hand if someone wants to take him out for a walk to relax or just let off steam.” Perry Burns.

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Total Computers (TC) provide IT support to small businesses in Auckland, New Zealand. The firm’s experts have 25 years of IT experience. They are Microsoft Certified professionals for small business, and their team members also hold a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Information Technology. TC is passionate about all aspects of Information Technology and is proud to provide effective and affordable IT support services to its clients. The company offers a free initial consultation so that it can discuss each client’s specific IT system requirements in detail. This is a fair and reasonable firm that is always aiming to implement what suits best in the particular IT environments of its clients.

A company like TC has to be very flexible when providing IT support to small businesses, as their client-base consists of a wide range of business types. Therefore, TC often requires a different approach for each specific client and their projects. TC has acquired an excellent mix of IT experts which the firm has combined with various IT tools that allow them to ensure their customers’ needs are met quickly and efficiently, and, of course, without a high price tag. This also provides that the TC team is on the same page and working in the same direction, towards achieving the same goals right along with their clients. The company has, not long ago, joined a larger Small-BusinessIT-Community which is based in the US and continuously exchange challenges and solutions between their respective IT members. “We are expecting new regulations around IT security and customer privacy concerns, of which we are already well aware thanks to our Small-Business-IT-Community based in the US, where those regulations are already in place, so we know how to deal with those issues and which adequate solutions to apply.” Given that TC is a small business itself, it can administer a level of flexibility with its employees in a way that would be difficult for a more massive conglomerate. This means that those working for TC are rather appreciative of their position with the organisation and happy to remain with them out of loyalty. IT security is increasingly coming into focus with nearly daily news about various cyber-attacks and related security breaches, so TC is more involved in providing cyber security solutions to both their ‘new and old’ customers.

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Q: How does it feel to have won this award? A: “We are very humbled by this recognition that has come as a surprise after so many years of our dedicated work in supporting small businesses and tending to their specific needs, which are quite different from large enterprise corporations. All while still providing a secure and stable IT infrastructure.”

Our mission is to provide small businesses with a secure IT environment which will allow them to run their business efficiently and smoothly.

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lacourte raquin tatar, the french law firm turning the french market on its head

With more than 50 qualified lawyers and legal practitioners, 15 of which are partners, Lacourte Raquin Tatar law firm is organised around three major areas of expertise; mergers & acquisitions, real property transactions and tax, assisted by recognised experts in the field of financing, regulatory/asset management and public business law. Year after year, Lacourte Raquin Tatar success has been reckoned throughout the loyalty and development of its client base, which primarily consists of significant groups and professionals with the highest expectations. Lacourte Raquin Tatar advises on domestic and international deals for French and foreign clients also. Lacourte Raquin Tatar is involved in asset management (in particular - structuring and marketing collective investment schemes) and in financial regulatory matters (banking regulation, investment services, crowdfunding, fintech) on behalf of credit institutions, investment companies, portfolio management companies. Damien LuquĂŠ, an experienced financial and regulatory lawyer, working at Lacourte Raquin Tatar, focused his practice on financial regulation (including banking activities) and Asset Management. He worked closely with credit institutions, management companies and institutional investors in the structuring of investment vehicles in the form of AIF, other AIFs, UCITS and other collective investment products. Damien joined Lacourte Raquin Tatar as a partner in January 2018. From 2008 to December 2014, he developed his practice in the Financial Market department at his previous place of employment. On this occasion, he was also seconded as an associate in the AXA REIM SGP legal team (2012).

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List of Lacourte Raquin Tatar clients which can be disclosed: 1. AXA REIM. 2. LaSalle Investment Management. 3. Milléis Banque (ex Barclays Bank France). 4. Oddo. 5. Aviva Investors. 6. Unibail Rodamco Westfield. As mentioned above, Lacourte Raquin Tatar has vast experience in real estate and corporate activities, and they work for different “regulated entities” (investment funds, banks, portfolio management companies). Last year, the tax partners Jean-Yves Charriau (Hall of Fame in Legal 500) and David Sorel (Best Lawyers), joined Lacourte Raquin Tatar. Lacourte Raquin Tatar then launched this new department “financial regulation and asset management” nine months ago and are quite surprised by the rapidly growing positive feedback they have received from their clients. “I did not use specific techniques ensure to comply for any matter implemented nine months ago: 1. High technicality 2. High standard 3. High value added

(or tricks) to win this award. I just and client with the guidelines we 4. Rigour 5. Responsiveness 6. Availability.

I am delighted to see that Global Business Insight Awards (“GBI”) methodology is not just focused on a “name of an international law firm which also has an office in Paris”, but is focused on quantitative and qualitative concrete studies on the French market. I am also proud to see that our guidelines, our visibility on the French market (for illustration, 6 of the 10 most important real estate transactions in Paris for 2017 are advised by Lacourte Raquin Tatar), and my effort to develop the regulatory and asset management activities in France make sense for GBI.” A law firm that wishes to become truly successful in financing and regulatory law must know its market perfectly and its clients’ expectations. You cannot just “offer” a standardised product, but must be in the capacity to continuously innovate to propose to your clients the best and “relevant” options. For Lacourte Raquin Tatar, “High value added”, means offering something that you cannot find everywhere. This is something that all their clients can agree on; at the end of the day, the advice rendered is innovative and tailor-made for them. If you look at the French market, Lacourte Raquin Tatar is one of the few French law firms having its own “in-house” regulatory and asset management department, in support of their tax, real estate and corporate teams.

Damien Luqué

Partner in charge of the Regulatory and Asset Management Activities.

The strategy of the new regulatory and asset management team is to compete with the French offices of major UK and US law firms having a regulatory and asset management activity in France and to position themselves as a credible alternative to other law firms in the fund’s formation activity which is a significant difference with other competitors.

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Lacourte Raquin Tatar is an independent French law firm, recognised for its expertise in France and is not part of a network. Therefore, Lacourte Raquin Tatar is free to choose its best friends for their knowledge only which, in their view, makes another significant difference with other international law firms. To maintain a position at the forefront of such heavy competition, Lacourte Raquin Tatar ensures to comply with its guidelines (high technicality, high standard, high value-added etc.) at all times and for all clients. For example, when a real estate magazine communicates on the fact that Lacourte Raquin Tatar advised on the 6 of the 10 most important real estate transactions, the firm’s reaction is just to say: “Next year we will have to do better!”; or when they finalise a very complex and innovative regulatory set-up, their reaction is not to say: “How can we sell this set-up to new clients?”, but “How can we improve this set-up?”. To be attractive to prospective employees, a law firm needs to make a mix between high-level expertise, capacity for the associate to be actors and not exclusively performers of the development of the law firm and of course…a suitable remuneration. “I am personally involved in the training of my associate, to ensure that they are “up-to-date” on the French regulation.” - Damien Luqué, “I also ensure that my junior associates attend meetings, meet clients and not just produce documentation. I think that an associate who is deeply involved throughout the case allows for better quality work.” Financial regulation in Europe changes very quickly (e.g. UCITS V, AIFMD, MIFID and MIFID II, DSP2 etc.) so you need to keep it in mind, and you must develop your activity with these parameters. If you want to be a leader in your industry, you need to be better than your competitors, and you must innovate in your practice. “In my view, the key point is to try to anticipate such changes. For example, I started to work on ICOs few years ago, when cryptocurrencies were just a “concept” or a “new great idea”. I tried to anticipate the legal constraints vis-à-vis token, and now if you look at the European or French legislative works, the issue of crypto-currencies is reality and will be included in the future legal environment.”- Damien Luqué. Lacourte Raquin Tatar’s mission is quite simple: they are a young and ambitious team, and they will do their absolute best to be ranked among the top regulatory/asset management teams for France, and of course, they hope to be named in the future by Global Business Insight as best in Regulatory-asset management…again.

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Apple’s public entry into the 3D augmented reality market has been creating a buzz for months. It started last year when Apple CEO Tim Cook said AR was “going to change everything.” And now the company has taken a big step toward making that a reality with the acquisition of Akonia Holographics. This justifiably prompts speculation about the emergence of some form of “Apple glasses” and the potential for Cook and his team to use this acquisition to generate billions in revenue by creating a user-friendly, consumer AR platform that attracts super-cool app developers. While Apple was securing Akonia, Magic Leap was launching Magic Leap One, a set of glasses that overlay digital 3D graphics on to the user’s view of the real world through a headset with transparent lenses. The focus of attention on these developments – especially the Akonia acquisition – has been on their consumer impact. It is not hard to see the appeal of holographic applications on light-weight, prescription lenses that will hook up to the user’s smartphone. With capabilities to map the world around the user and interact with virtual objects on the screen such asreal-time offers from nearby stores and restaurants, the possibilities are endless. The challenge in the consumer sector will be to come up with elegant glasses that offer transformative new functionality without resembling nightvision goggles. If Apple or others investing in the new technology can achieve that, we could be at a watershed in which holographic computing on our smartphones completely changes how we interact with businesses and each other. For enterprises, AR is already offering new levels of engagement, making life easier for staff to provide consumers with what they want. AR is, for example, animating forms that consumers have to complete, popping up bubbles to explain the content required, the process and next steps. This not only reduces any confusion in form-filling, but cuts down the number of times staff are called on to provide help.

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In customer experience, consumers are already using AR and holographic computing for self-selection, self-service and self-help. And it will not be long before the range of uses expands. IKEA’s AR app, for example, lets a customer point a phone at their dining room to see how a new table will look in the space. Taking this further, it should be possible to point the phone at the delivery box in order to be holographically guided through the assembly process when the table is delivered. Hotels are already deploying AR so that prospective guests can view available rooms. This can be integrated with customer experience technology so that queries can be immediately answered and bookings secured. With holographic computing, guests can take a 3D tour using only the smartphone in their hands. In call centres the advent of AR headsets based on Apple, Magic Leap or similar technologies will be a major advance, giving staff an even greater range of information sources about the customer and their service options. There, immediately before the agent’s eyes, will be everything they need. In training, holography is useful for virtual hands-on guidance to explain a process and simulate real-life scenarios such as sales interactions or emergencies. Holographic computing interfaces complement traditional instruction with added dimensionality. AR enhancements can be overlaid for greater depth and variety in information presentation, such as floating text bubbles to provide detail about a particular physical object. They can generate chronological procedure-mapping for performing a task, or virtual arrows pointing to the correct button to push on a console. There are countless opportunities for adding more digital information to almost anything within range of a phone’s camera. Why should staff travel to a classroom if an interactive, immersive 3D presentation can be launched on any desk, wall, or floor and “experienced” through the screen in the user’s hand? And unlike passively watching video, holographic interfaces add an extra experiential element, bringing context to what staff are learning. There are other appealing use cases, of course. And as adoption and implementation spread, there will be many instances where 3D AR becomes standard. The sheer amount of money being thrown at development makes the ultimate nature of the holographic user interface up for grabs. Yet Apple’s acquisition of Akonia and the launch of Magic Leap One make it likely that 3D AR holography will be integrated into on-eye projection technology, generating many highly-effective applications. It is now very apparent that significant investment in the development of this technology is about to deliver real-world results. The widespread deployment of AR experiences in all their different forms, combined with the mounting accessibility provided by smartphones, will drive mass-adoption of the holographic interface.


sIMON wright director of ar and vr at genesys

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RIMEX is one of Asia’s leading international management consulting companies and perhaps the only 100% Filipino consulting firm that has worked in 33 countries in the Asia-Pacific region. Since its establishment on 7 August 1989, PRIMEX has built an enviable reputation with international financing institutions and public and private sector clients in the Philippines and overseas, based on its consistent and outstanding performance in the design and management of development projects. PRIMEX works across a wide range of sectors, including agriculture and rural development, natural resources and environment, health, education, and infrastructure and urban development. It renders services at the different stages of the project cycle–from project identification to project preparation, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation (M&E). It also conducts policy reviews and institutional assessment, training needs assessment and design and delivery of various training courses, independent verification and audit, and development of computerbased management information systems. PRIMEX has successfully competed against large firms from developed country in the international competitive bidding for consulting services conducted by multilateral organizations, such as the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the World Bank, and various United Nations (UN) agencies, as well as the major bilateral organizations, such as Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). PRIMEX has persistently been among the Top 5 Philippines-incorporated consulting firms conducting business with ADB, both for technical assistance (TA) and loan-funded projects. Since 2012, PRIMEX has been the No. 1 Philippine consulting firm in ADB, outranking those firms set up by large global engineering consulting firms in the Philippines. “Our company’s mission is to provide world-class technical assistance and project management services to international financial institutions, government agencies, and private sector clients across a range of sectors in developing countries in the Asia-Pacific region. We have achieved this mission in 29 years of our existence, having completed over 300 assignments in 33 countries in Asia (East, Southeast, South, Central and West Asia) and the Pacific (e.g., Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, Tuvalu). We have worked with the major international financial institutions (ADB, World Bank, various UN agencies), bilateral agencies (USAID, JICA, AusAID, EU, and others), various government agencies, and private sector clients, and we have partnered with international and national consulting firms in the bidding for, and implementation of, projects.” Elvira C. Ablaza, CEO of PRIMEX. In the early years, PRIMEX focused their efforts on marketing work to introduce their firm to prospective clients. They registered with ADB, WB, JICA, USAID and with the Philippine Government’s Electronic Procurement System (PhilGEPS). They sought out international consulting firms already in business with ADB and offered to be their national associate or subconsultant in the Philippines or their international subconsultant in projects outside the Philippines. The CEO of PRIMEX, Ms Ablaza, travelled to other countries to market the company’s services and to identify national consulting firms that PRIMEX could associate with for specific projects. “We made sure we did well in the contracts that we won because we have always believed that a good job is the best marketing tool. We worked very hard, we gave our best to meet our clients’ needs and often went beyond our terms of reference. Our clients were wholly satisfied with our performance. Not only did we cultivate repeat business, word got around that PRIMEX is a good firm with highly professional, quality-oriented, committed and dedicated consultants and staff.”- Elvira C. Ablaza. Receiving the Global Business Insight award has meant a great deal to PRIMEX, “we are both pleased and proud of this award because it is proof that we have achieved our Vision to be the PRIME consulting firm in the Asia-Pacific region. It is a significant achievement for a ‘boutique’ consulting firm like us (with only 30 regular, full-time staff) operating in a highly competitive industry. This award is also special since we will be celebrating our 30th anniversary next year. We are happy that our work has been recognized and we hope it inspires others as well.” In a highly competitive industry such as consulting, it is important for a firm to set itself apart from the competition. PRIMEX has been able to establish their reputation as a highly professional and reliable consulting firm both in the Philippines, where they are based, as well as with their major clients like ADB. The name PRIMEX has been equated with quality outputs, excellent management commitment and support to consultant teams during project implementation, and willingness to go beyond the terms of reference of a project. ISSUE 12 | 180

Their successful partnership and collaboration with international and national consulting firms have allowed them to have a foothold in a large number of countries. Strong partnerships are critical to quickly and effectively respond to challenges on the ground. Working with teams that share their vision and their values, they not only provide more resources to support projects but also have more minds on deck to help them solve problems creatively. Partners open doors to new possibilities. PRIMEX adheres to the highest standards of quality and excellence and carries out all its assignments according to the highest standards of professionalism and integrity. In its 29 years of operation, PRIMEX has not had any record of unsatisfactory performance, and every effort is exerted by management and staff to keep it that way. They have an internal review process, where reports prepared by team leaders assigned to specific projects are reviewed and vetted by the assigned project manager or project coordinator, then forwarded to the designated project director, and finally to the PRIMEX CEO, who gives the final approval before a report is submitted to the client. Unlike the large, global consulting firms with hundreds or thousands of staff scattered in different parts of the globe, PRIMEX is not constrained by the presence of an internal bureaucracy and can respond immediately to the needs of its consultant teams, wherever they may be. PRIMEX’s top management, led by its CEO, Ms Ablaza, is fully committed to provide technical, administrative, and financial support to its projects, regardless of their size and contract amount, and the responsiveness and accessibility of its senior executives and staff have been highly appreciated by its clients. At the closing event of an ADB education project in Vietnam, the Vietnamese Project Director, in his closing remarks said that he has worked with many consulting firms, but PRIMEX is different from all others in that the PRIMEX CEO responds to his emails within a short time and is always available for a call whenever it was necessary to address certain issues. At the ADB, the Director General of one department told one of his staff, who was handling a project where PRIMEX was the Lead Firm that she need not worry about the project outcome because “PRIMEX has always delivered a quality product and its top management is very much hands on.” PRIMEX has boldly ventured into new sectors and new countries to diversify its portfolio and to pursue growth opportunities outside its core sectors. “We are not afraid to start with small contracts to help us gain a foothold in a sector or a country. We are not easily fazed by challenges. We leverage the company’s experience in the region, and we partner with firms with prior experience in the sector or country to help us provide the best service to our clients.”

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PRIMEX has boldly ventured into new sectors and new countries to diversify its portfolio and to pursue growth opportunities outside its core sectors. “We are not afraid to start with small contracts to help us gain a foothold in a sector or a country. We are not easily fazed by challenges. We leverage the company’s experience in the region, and we partner with firms with prior experience in the sector or country to help us provide the best service to our clients.” In order for PRIMEX to be a leader in innovation, PRIMEX officers regularly attend events organized by multilateral agencies such as ADB’s Business Opportunities Fair and their Annual Meetings. It provides them with the space to renew ties, network with prospective partners from different regions, and understand emerging trends and changing needs of different agencies. They are also active members in certain organizations, such as the Institute of Management Consultants of the Philippines (IMPHIL) and the Council of Engineering Consultants of the Philippines (CECOPHIL). Furthermore, they send their staff to regular training courses and seminars to learn new methods of working and implement new techniques in their assignments. When asked how they have managed to gather their remarkable network of staff, Elvira revealed, “We do not just rely on the Internet to find good people. We often ask trusted consultants for referrals and we are open, honest, and sincere in communicating and doing business with them. We also treat our consultants as members of the PRIMEX family. We take pride that many former staff of multilateral agencies have chosen to work with us as consultants after their retirement because they know the quality of our work and the high level of support that we give to our teams. This is one of the reasons we have established an excellent reputation with our clients.” The PRIMEX culture is characterized by a passion for excellence, a commitment to quality, and a ferocious drive to succeed. Ms Ablaza has been leading by example and has inspired her staff to give their best in everything they do. She constantly reminds them that mediocrity is totally unacceptable, and that everyone has to strive for perfection at all times. She also makes sure that PRIMEX staff are sent to attend trainings and seminars to learn new skills or to improve upon their stock knowledge. The staff also work closely with local and international consultants, which is a valuable learning experience for them. They do not just stay in the office when providing technical support to project teams. They have the chance to travel overseas during missions and workshops, so they can have a deeper understanding of the project and also improve their cross-cultural communication. They learn from the field, from the client, the consultant team, and local partners. Some of them have also been nominated as consultants, which has helped their career growth, and PRIMEX by extension. “We also consider our management and staff as family, the PRIMEX Family. In the Philippines, as in most of Asia, family is central to an individual’s existence. In PRIMEX, we support and nurture each other, derive strength from each other, and help each other in dealing with the day to day challenges that are common in this business.” The recent coming into force of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) presents an opportunity for PRIMEX, being a Philippine company (and the Philippines being a member of the ASEAN), to expand its involvement in the other ASEAN countries. They are also looking to extend/expand their geographic reach and actively search for project opportunities in Central and West Asia (the former Russian states), South Asia, and the Pacific, whilst also strengthening their niche in the Greater Mekong Subregion (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam). In terms of PRIMEX’s sector involvement, they expect to do more projects in infrastructure and urban development, education, climate change adaptation, and disaster risk management. They also hope to participate in investment projects funded by other development partners like the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) of Australia, and the World Bank in addition to those funded by ADB, which has been PRIMEX’s major market in the last 29 years.

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ELVIRA C. ABLAZA We worked very hard, we gave our best to meet our clients’ needs and often went beyond our term of reference

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THE STATE OF DIGITAL PLAY GETTING AHEAD IN A WORLD OF DIGITAL CHANGE The digital and social media landscape is in a constant state of change. In order to stay relevant and effective, businesses need to be on the ball, taking advantage of new technology as soon as possible. James Sheppard, Internet Marketer at leading digital marketing agency, Adtrak, highlights the biggest changes that have recently impacted the world of digital marketing and offers key advice to businesses.

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Social Media Facebook recently announced a significant change to the way it values user experience, with the aim of making social interaction much more meaningful. This is one of the biggest developments of the past few months and it will have a detrimental impact on any businesses relying on outdated social marketing methods. Following the same path laid down by Google over the past few years, Facebook will now value quality over quantity content, meaning that businesses will see a drop in engagement and reach on company Facebook pages, unless they adapt to the new algorithm now. We understand that this is easier said than done but there are factors which businesses can easily incorporate. Businesses can stay ahead of the game by adding video to social posts (a proven and accepted way to enhance engagement), utilising Facebook community groups relevant to the industry, or ensuring its business page is targeting people who may be genuinely interested. Posts and messages should always be drafted carefully and businesses should avoid engagement bait such as ‘tag a friend’ posts, focussing instead on encouraging natural conversation and interaction among clients and customers.

mobile friendly The internet is accessible on a variety of different devices and more than 60 per cent of internet users access it via smartphones or tablets. Users will get a very different experience when they land on a website via a mobile device compared to a computer or laptop, unless the site features responsive (mobile-friendly) design. If a site doesn’t have this design, the business risks alienating a huge portion of potential visitors.

Website Speed Businesses also need to respond to Google’s new speed update, to ensure their website is not left at the bottom of the rankings.In January this year, Google targeted the increase in mobile phone use and prioritising website speed. The update, which came into effect in July, involves a new ranking algorithm designed specifically for mobile search. This means that Google ranks web pages based on certain elements, such as search terms, content and security. If two sites are considered equally relevant to a search, Google will give preference to the site that loads faster - placing it higher in the search results pages.

HTTPS A change in Google policy now means that any site which starts with an HTTP rather than an HTTPS in the address bar will be deemed ‘not secure’. The ‘not secure’ warning will only appear for Google Chrome users, but with an estimated 59% of all desktop internet users choosing Google Chrome, the potential impact could be quite considerable - especially for e-commerce and lead generation websites. As a result, it is now vitally important for companies to check if their website is securely coded, particularly if they handle online transactions and other confidential information. By not implementing these changes soon, businesses could receive a lower ranking on Google, a reduced number of visitors and ultimately missed business opportunities. Although migrating a website from HTTP to HTTPS coding could be quite a costly and timeconsuming project, it is definitely worth prioritising, in order to avoid missing out on valuable website visitors.

Voice Search Voice search has seen a surge in popularity recently, thanks to mobiles and home assistants like Google Home and the Amazon Echo. As a result, it’s essential that businesses are catering to users using voice capabilities to search, interact with and even buy from websites. So far, much of the focus has been on ensuring voice searchers can access information directly from Google - such as to find local restaurants. However, as voice technology becomes more advanced, and people become confident using it, we would advise businesses to integrate voice capabilities to allow easy navigation, contact and purchasing on their site. According to Google, 20% of all Google searches are completed by voice. So if you want your business to stay ahead of the digital marketing game, business websites should be designed with voice integration now, to accommodate the users of the very near future. ISSUE 12 | 189


best in business crime defence law 2018 - hong kong

Founded in 1983, Parkside Chambers is one of the leading sets of barristers’ chambers in Hong Kong. As independent barristers, we do not all practice in the same field. Being one of the largest sets in this international financial centre (with over 50 members at present), the areas of our collective expertise cover every aspect of dispute resolution, litigation (both civil and criminal), arbitration and mediation, as well as non-contentious matters. We serve individuals and businesses seeking solutions to all kinds of dispute resolution challenges. We also provide advisory service to clients, so as to equip them with the necessary information to design their business strategies. Our broad range of expertise allow us to handle cases which raise multiple issues across different fields, swiftly respond to clients’ needs and provide professional solutions in an efficient manner. We are capable of providing written work and conducting hearings in both English and Chinese, the two official languages of the jurisdiction. Additionally, a number of us are fluent Putonghua speakers and thus we cut across language barriers and serve the needs of clients from the Greater China area. Currently, a considerable percentage of the work that we undertake is connected with finance, whether in the realm of financial crime of different types, market misconduct, corporate and personal injury areas that deal with financial issues, or regulatory compliance. Members of Chambers who specialize in finance-related matters, a large and ever-developing area in Asia, are well known in the community, both for their experience and strategic thinking. Not only have they rigorously defended their clients’ OFjurisprudence HONCHO in this area. interests, they have also contributed greatly CEO to the


Our members have also served leading positions in society, regularly acting as Deputy Judges in the Courts, chairpersons or members of statutory tribunals. We have also played an active role in the administration of the Bar. A number of us have been members of the Bar Council and various sub-committees of the Hong Kong Bar Association. Besides, our junior members often teach at local universities to educate the next generation of lawyers. Not unlike its counterparts in London, tenancy at Parkside Chambers is extremely competitive. We look for two specific attributes. The first of course, is scholastic background. Parkside Chambers now houses graduates from all leading law schools, including Harvard, Oxford, Cambridge and Cape Town. For those who have already practiced in Hong Kong or the United Kingdom, their degree of success in attracting business would also be taken into account. The second aspect that we look for is personality. Parkside Chambers is known for its collegiate and friendly atmosphere and in particular the way in which younger members of Chambers enjoy opportunities to work with the more senior members. At the same time, senior members nurture junior members by sharing with them their experience, skills and connections. Ultimately, we strive together to build an ever improving set of Chambers - to provide quality professional services to clients, and to actively contribute to society. Parkside Chambers is very honoured and proud to have received the Award. We are also extremely grateful given the intense competition. The publicity that goes with the Award will no doubt redound to the benefit of everyone in Parkside. We believe this is the beginning of even greater things for Parkside Chambers. ISSUE 12 | 190

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The Department for Transport (DfT) recently published its ‘Joint Rail Data Action Plan’ setting out a number of objectives and associated timescales, which an industry-led taskforce will work towards in order to improve the quality and openness of rail data. The plan focuses on train operating companies (TOCs) and other rail entities addressing the following five barriers to wider data sharing.

1. Data Transparency The Data Action Plan refers to a “general caution” exercised by TOCs in identifying data that is commercially sensitive, which in turn has led to the incorrect classification of datasets that, it is suggested, would “improve efficiencies across the railway” i.e. “missed opportunities” to use data for the benefit of customers. The DfT proposes to navigate this dilemma by establishing clear guidelines on the types of data that are commercially sensitive. By introducing a Rail Information Governance Framework, the DfT proposes to create a transparent process of classifying the sensitivity of data and aims to develop an “industry agreed definition” by October 2018.

2. Data Use and Access Another barrier highlighted by the DfT is the limited clarity over ownership of data. This can be exacerbated by commercial relationships because, for example, third party suppliers may sometimes reserve the right to access and share the data harvested with third parties. Therefore, it may sometimes be the case that data is not the TOC’s to share. The Data Action Plan suggests that the DfT will set out a coordinated approach towards greater data sharing generally within the industry, with the goal being that this will “reduce the need for third party contracts to access data that could already be available”. The DfT is exploring the role that franchise agreements could play in enabling greater data sharing, while the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) will be charged with creating a central list of rail datasets and their owners. Additionally, the DfT is developing a data sharing policy for the industry, which would potentially remove licensing restrictions, preventing entities from charging third parties for their data. There is a parallel here with the UK bus industry, where bus companies are now required under the Bus Services Act 2017 to publish more data (and of greater quality) about their services (e.g. punctuality and performance statistics). The DfT has predicted that a greater availability of open data will result in an increase in bus passenger numbers. ISSUE 12 | 192

3. Data Quality and Standards The DfT draws attention to the fact that we do not have a full picture of what datasets exist, let alone have a full understanding of their true value. The Data Action Plan also briefly highlights the lack of conformity in the industry when it comes to data publishing standards. It references variations in software and inconsistencies in coding for railway stations as barriers to new entrants. The taskforce aims to combat this by developing a common standard for data and metadata.

4.Data Value and Principles The Data Action Plan infers that the value of data is often underestimated, where in actuality it promotes innovation and expansion. For example, future funding is not being provided because of the costs associated with data sharing. To combat this issue, the Data Action Plan proposes that each rail organisation appoints an “open data champion” who raises awareness of the benefits of open data from within a company.

5.Rail Culture and Information / Data Skills The Data Action Plan notes that the appetite for openness and information exploitation is limited in the rail sector. It asks for greater collaboration with “innovators”, such as tech start-ups and tech partnerships like the National Skills Academy for Rail, and introduces the idea of a Rail Data Challenge which invites innovators to solve these current data barriers in the rail industry.

What does this mean for the passenger and the wider industry? The Data Action Plan’s tagline is “addressing barriers to make better use of rail data”, with the intended beneficiaries being the passengers, and the intended consequences being greater accessibility, efficiency and reliability. For example, the DfT hopes to make data regarding fares and the “lowest-cost-route” available to technology providers to allow travel planning apps and ticketing sites to offer lower priced tickets – thereby driving competition. Similarly, there is a “rich and comprehensive” – but undisclosed – data source that underpins the ORR’s aggregated figures on the Origin-Destination Matrix. The release of this underlying data would give passengers an indication of station/route utilisation and would allow outside businesses the opportunity to judge the commercial viability of setting up a concession in or near a station.

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THE POWERHOUSE OF TODAY’S MOBILISATION WITH TOMORROW’S TECHNOLOGY ISEC7 GROUP The ISEC7 Group is a global provider of mobile business services and softwarte solutions. They were one of the first movers in mobilising company and business processes. ISEC7 experts advise industries, public organisations as well as federal authorities and service providers on all issues regarding the enhanced protection of mobile infrastructures that are now available. Co-founded by Marco Gocht, in Germany in 2003, the ISEC7 Group have since expanded their offices to USA, Australia, Great Britain and continue to grow still. ISEC7 has been developing mobile solutions for enterprise customers, for more than 16 years now, some of which are: The ISEC7 Enterprise Mobility Management Suite (EMM) is a comprehensive, globally applicable Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution, presented as the “Most Innovative Enterprise Application”. by the UEM manufacturer BlackBerry The ISEC7 Mobility Cloud is an innovative and ground-breaking Managed Service to provide customised Enterprise Mobility infrastructures based on EMM solutions like the ISEC7 EMM Suite, BlackBerry, MobileIron, Samsung EMM, Microsoft EMS or Airwatch. As one of the top players in the mobility sector, ISEC7 is familiar with all aspects of mobilisation, offering top-quality services for integrating, optimising and extending mobile business processes based on their experiences and extensive expertise. They continuously invest in the assessment and advancement of new technologies. This has paid off given that the ISEC7 solutions, such as ISEC7 EMM Suite, ISEC7 Mobile Exchange Delegate, ISEC7 Mobility and many others, have proven to be ground-breaking in the mobility sector. “We thank Global Business Insight for this award. ISEC7 has been in business for more than 16 years now. Each award we receive honours our hard work in the mobile business ecosystem. Awards like the Global Business Insight Award 2018 show us that we are on the right path to achieving our goals.” Marco Gocht ISEC7 started with a vision of their client’s employees being able to work while being on the road, away from the desktops. However, they had not predicted the ‘inevitable’ replacement of the desktops, only wanting to allow people to stay connected to their data from everywhere. They were probably years ahead of the technology back then but progressed just in time to play a vital role in the mobile landscape. ISEC7 had a vision and carried out their plans to become a global player. Due to their years of specialisation in their field, they are now in a position to win customers from the established IT conglomerates. When asked about the pillars that were essential in helping ISEC7 become the success story it is now, Marco Gocht shared: “Engagement with clients and being involved with the industry ecosystem is critical. Listening to the client’s perspective as a daily practice and learning what challenges are emerging guided our solution developments. Each client and company is different from the next, hence bringing a different set of needs to our attention.” ISEC7 offers a 360-degree mobility collection including infrastructure, professional services, managed services, app development and mobilisation of business processes. Beside their portfolio, their international footprint is unique for a company of their size. Operating their own legal entities in North America, Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia and Pacific Region countries, allows them to serve mid-market companies and large enterprises that run businesses on a global level. ISEC7 is familiar with the current challenges and expectations regarding security, and every customer is expecting a first-class solution and the best practices for their businesses with niche target audiences. As their customers are with them on a longterm basis, ISEC7 works with them in the model of a partnership rather than being just a service provider. Being part of an ever-changing industry, ISEC7 invests a lot of research in mobile IT and IoT to ensure they maintain their competitive position. They solicit the expertise of leading analysts and their partners on a regular basis to identify upcoming trends to stay relevant. What is even more important: They talk to their clients to determine their business needs and then tailor an entire mobile strategy to guide them towards the digital age.

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Of course, none of this is possible without a solid team of world-class employees. ISEC7 appreciate’s the power of a well-assembled crew that works in tandem. It’s all about the team as a whole and also each individual employee. It is the job of the forerunner of each team to explain their visions, to motivate and to guide their group, providing them with the best tools in the market, and of course – share the success and the positive feedback from their customers. Quite simple! Working for the ISEC7 Group is a notably coveted position worldwide. ISEC7 follows an open-minded culture to ensure customers are happy and get the best possible service. Every employee has to attend regular mandatory skill enablement regarding data protection and security to ensure customer data is confidential and secure. ISEC7 employees also have to prove their knowledge of the enterprise mobility market – according to their roles with a sales or technical focus – by passing all available certifications of the EMM vendors. ITIL¹, Prince2² or other project management skills are available for employees working in project-based departments. ISEC7 ensures that every employee gets the proper training which is required to secure customer expectations. When their employees advance, they lift ISEC7 to bigger and better places. In times of rising cyber-attacks and higher IT compliance demands, enterprises need to raise their awareness of mobile security issues. Mobile security is one of ISEC7’s core issues: the increasing number of mobile devices, hybrid infrastructures and the growing processing of portable data documents on smartphones and tablets comes along with the companies’ need for protection. From extended data encryption to enterprise identity to app reputation or auditing – ISEC7 is a qualified partner for the rising demand. During the past months, ISEC7 has expanded its portfolio with a focus on mobile security and mobile productivity in order to consult their customers during their digital transformation process.


Looking to the future, ISEC7 will continue to deliver the best mobility services and solutions, become the number one vendor for enterprise mobility solutions and continue to grow their business organically and through further acquisitions. They plan to exercise the new and effective methods available to better consult their customers during their digital transformation process into the refined age of modern technology. This is especially crucial for their clients from highly regulated industries that heavily rely on ISEC7 expertise. “On behalf of the global ISEC7 team, we are proud and dedicated to serving our loyal clients. We look forward to continue to bring the industry’s best in

ISEC7 has been in business for more than 16 years now. Each award we receive honours our hard work in the mobile business ecosystem. Awards like the Global Business Insight Award 2018 show us that we are on the right path to achieving our goals.

“ISEC7 Mobile Exchange Delegate provides access to Microsoft Exchange, Office 365, calendar, emails, contacts, tasks and notes from third parties via smartphones. With ISEC7 Mobile Exchange Delegate, authorized representatives can confirm, establish or change appointments for employees, colleagues or team members. Also, they can access their contacts and reply to their emails.”

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Learn to Trade (LTT) is an award-winning forex education and training specialist firm. Offering a range of courses that help people learn about and understand the forex market and the opportunities and risks within it, LTT runs a variety of courses across the UK that are taught by trained and experienced traders. This company was set up in 2003, they have since trained more than 250,000 people in forex and trading so far. With their headquarters is in the London, UK, LTT also has offices in Australia, Philippines and South Africa.

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Their mission is to provide people with the high-quality education in forex and trading, providing them with the knowledge that will help them trade in the market. LTT has designed a full range of courses that can help people gain insight into the market and to understand all of this is crucial before anyone starts trading their own money. Greg Secker, the founder of LTT, philanthropist and public speaker, set up this firm to provide individuals with the ability to traverse the complex world that is the forex market confidently.


Our dedicated team pride themselves on providing the very best training and ensuring people are equipped to have the best chance of success in the market.

Q: Is there any 1 project or specific technique you have used that you would attribute to your success and winning this award? A: “We’re absolutely delighted to have won this award. Our dedicated team pride themselves on providing the very best training and ensuring people are equipped to have the best chance of success in the market, and this award by Global Business Insight is a reflection of their hard work and the quality of courses we are offering to help change the lives of many.” – Greg Secker. The fundamental part of all the trading courses taught by LTT is the understanding and management of the risks of trading in a volatile market such as the forex. This volatility offers a lot of opportunities to trade the market yet LTT specialise in teaching tried and tested trading strategies. They support their clients in helping them understand and demonstrate how to use them, giving people the best chance of success. It is not always about ‘going big or going home’ with LTT. Every day the markets change, but LTT has the very best traders on hand to discern what is happening and provide guidance on how to read the market. This alone sets them apart from their competition. One of the other areas that they focus on is the psychology of trading. They often observe students letting their emotions take over when trading, rather than relying on the quantifiable data they see, know and deduce to be happening in the market. Many other organisations, and online courses, in particular, fail to cover this specific factor in their training adequately, yet it is absolutely crucial to successful trading and one of the most popular modules of the courses run by LTT. Carovus operate in a specialised segment of private banking and wealth management business, ready to break new ground and try out innovative tools to pursue their objectives: As one of the largest trading educators in the business, LTT has been lucky to have potential employees often actively seek them out, looking to join their team. As a global company, LTT also offers unique opportunities to work in other regions, learn from their entities across the world. This makes working for them not only exciting but fulfilling. One of the most significant parts of the LTT culture is their focus on corporate social responsibility. 10% of pre-tax profits from LTT go to the charitable foundation, set up by Greg Secker, which aims to empower young people. Many of the employees have supported The Greg Secker Foundation’s various projects and initiatives, including the building of 100 houses in the Philippines for people affected by the Typhoon Haiyan in 2013, as part of the 52 paid volunteer hours they are entitled to each year. “We find that this not only means we are supporting a charitable foundation that is changing lives but also motivates our team to continue teaching our craft and giving back to those less fortunate.”– Greg Secker. LTT has seen a 30% boost in the number of people looking to learn to trade with them over the past six years, and while they expect this growth curve to continue, they don’t expect it to maintain the same speed it has been. This is primarily due to a reduction in available leverage as specified by ESMA¹ and the MiFID II² ruling, which further strengthens the appropriateness test for amateur trading and this reinforces the need to attract a more serious type of trader, one that can afford to trade, considers risk appropriately and undertakes training before starting to trade. It’s an exciting time for the trading industry right now, and LTT expects to see further growth yet. With advancements in new technology being introduced in the coming months and years, LTT will have even better tools and software to help their students trade. Later this year, along with Smartcharts³, LTT will be launching version 2 of their trading software, which features some of the latest technology available, for the people who learn to trade with them. With many global expansion plans, more people across the 1 - European Securities and Markets Authority is a European Union financial regulatory institution and European Supervisory Authority, located in Paris. 2 - Markets in Financial Instruments Directive 2004 is a European Union law that provides harmonised regulation for investment services across the 31-member states of the European Economic Area. 3 - Smart Charts depicts a stock’s current technical condition, identifies trading signals and includes a complete set of customizable technical indicators and studies.

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SEARCHING FOR THE BEST NJF - EXECUTIVE SEARCH FIRM OF THE YEAR 2018 - UK Award-winning search firm NJF, has a first class reputation among many of the world’s leading institutions resulting in a prolific demand for their recruitment services and the continued expansion of their enviable international network. Overall the firm’s focus is within the Trading and Technology markets, with their interrelated teams employing rigorous research methodologies to ensure that they are at the forefront of the latest trends in both spheres. They pride themselves a team of devoted consultants who unearth world-class talent and guide the right people into the right jobs. With their goal firmly in sight, NJF always make the individual their priority. In doing this they are able to strengthen their comprehensive knowledge of the market and drive their continuous research efforts.

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Not only do NJF concentrate on gaining a deep understanding of each candidate’s technical skills and market experience, they also ensure that they get to know them as people. The knock-on effect of this strategy means long-term, lasting relationship for both client and candidate. Their Trading Practice coordinates the careers of high-performing traders, quants and data scientists across the upper echelons of quantitative managers: hedge funds, proprietary trading organizations and tech firms. Alongside this, their Technology Practice has a track record of finding the very best developers and infrastructure experts to build world-class systems and frameworks for high frequency proprietary trading firms, hedge funds and technology start-ups. Fundamentally NJF recognize that organizations want their staff to reflect the world’s diverse population. As such they are committed to identifying, attracting and cultivating promising talent from the broadest possible spectrum of professionals. This continued success has enabled them to build long-standing relationships and to expand their list of contacts in a wide range of communities; further enhancing their ability to deliver and cement their focus on developing this further going forward.

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CUSTOMERS THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW: HOW TO ATTRACT CUSTOMERS IN A WORLD OF AI, BOTS AND AUTOMATION We have now entered the third phase of digital evolution, and it is changing the behaviour and expectations of customers, fast. The first phase was all about the internet, and making information accessible. The second phase was all about mobile and social media, and how they connect people. This third phase is about data and Artificial Intelligence, and how it is creating a world of fast-than-real-time customer service, intuitive user interfaces and the ultimate in customer convenience. Many of the world’s leading companies have already moved from a ‘mobile-first’ to an ‘AI first strategy,’ but how can all other businesses transform the power of automation and artificial intelligence into customer benefits? Now an innovative new book, Customers The Day After Tomorrow, has been published to guide you through this new phase of digitalisation, help you combine technology with your invaluable human element and keep your company ahead of the game in The Day After Tomorrow. The author, Professor Steven van Belleghem is a best-selling and award winning author, and is widely regarded as one of Europe’s thought-leaders in the field of customer engagement in the digital world. In his new book he not only shares his own insights, but also exclusive interviews with some of the world’s leading experts in data, AI, automation and technology to reveal how they are shaping the future of marketing, the workplace, customer behaviour and wider society. Presented in a visually engaging and very accessible style, Customers The Day After Tomorrow uses fascinating real life examples to demonstrate how innovative organisations are leading the way and disrupting markets. It explores technologies like driverless cars, Blockchain, virtual assistants, Augmented Reality and bots in a way that will help even techno- phobes to think about the future of relationships between companies and customers, and start preparing for The Day After Tomorrow, today.

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OPEN BANKING TO BOOST UK ECONOMY BY 1BN Bringing the book to life with AR:

Not only does Customers The Day After Tomorrow explain the practical benefits of emerging technologies, it also demonstrates them, as one of the first books to use Augmented Reality. By integrating the Aurasma app, readers can view the book through their smartphone or tablet and see the pages come to life.

Steven van Belleghem is an expert in customer focus in a digital world. He is a popular speaker, giving keynote presentations to companies and conferences around the world, taking his audience on a journey to the world of modern customer relationships in a clever, enthusiastic and inspiring way. He also organises inspirational trips, taking business leaders and executives to visit pioneering companies, from Silicon Valley to China, to experience first-hand the technologies that will shape customer relationships in The Day After Tomorrow. Steven is a marketing professor at Vlerick Business School and the author of four bestselling books, selling more than 100,000 copies in 7 languages. His previous book, When Digital Becomes Human won the Commuter Read prize at the prestigious CMI Management Book of the Year awards.

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marke2ing Marketing Specialists in Software, Technology and Service-based Companies

Marke2ing offers strategic and hands-on support through a team of experienced part-time marketing directors working as sales’ closest ally within the senior executive team, penetrating businesses to transform their business-to-business (B2B) marketing performance. Their range of clients spans across industries such as; software and technology, finance, service-based business and other B2B sectors, including ambitious start-up businesses to established corporates. Clients bring Marke2ing in to build their marketing function, to problem-solve, to boost performance and mentor their sales teams. Common problems that Marke2ing tackle lack of clarity around marketing performance, demonstrating returns on investment, breaking down levels of leads generated for new projects and inadequate messaging or storytelling. “Our mission is to support innovative and ambitious businesses. We want to prove that growth that can be achieved through professional marketing.’’ Founder and Director, Linsay Duncan. Marke2ing adopt the following 3 pillars to ensure this happens: 1. Apply Marke2ing’s tried and tested processes and marketing models 2. Bring the collective brainpower of their experienced team together to problem-solve 3. Work in partnership with their client’s sales leaders to understand their clients and their business challenges. Linsay shared how much this Global Business Insight award has meant to her and her team, “We couldn’t be more pleased to receive this acknowledgement. We already enjoy the work we do with our clients, so to receive an award for doing something we love so much is an incredible bonus.”

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Companies which genuinely tune into - and actually listen to - their clients and nuances of their particular industry, are far more likely to succeed. Surprisingly there are many marketing firms which remain internally focused, talking about the merit of their products rather than taking a ‘Customer First’ approach. It is crucial to foster agility where possible to adapt to new trends, industry changes and most importantly the ever-changing minds of their clients and their new business direction to stay ahead of such competition. What sets Marke2ing apart? It is simple – “We’re not an agency, we’re a team of B2B marketing professionals, each with a minimum of 15 years in-house experience. We understand the ins and outs of a business, the processes, the structures, the systems and much more. We have also heard that our clients like our flexibility - they can increase or decrease our support levels to suit their needs at any given time. There are no set project fees, no longterm contracts, no human resource ties.” – Linsay Duncan. Collectively, these aspects give the Marke2ing model the edge needed to succeed. Marketing technologies and trends are always changing so, of course, Marke2ing dedicate time to staying current and in-the-know. Through their brilliant partner network, they are kept very well informed on new technologies, trends and B2B marketing benchmarks by tuning-in to publications, forums and networking events, as inquisitive marketing directors are wont to do. All the while, they regularly run team sessions for knowledge-sharing, keeping each other on top of best practices and any new b2b marketing developments. With GDPR having changed the marketing landscape, this will continue to challenge marketers. Not only will robust contact data rules and processes need to be carefully managed, but more innovative ways of reaching people should become a priority. Revisiting more traditional channels should be a consideration as is having experienced legal advice at hand to assess new routes to market and remain GDPR compliant. Looking ahead, Marke2ing plans to continue growing and supporting a select group of brilliant businesses. They expect to see a few of their clients making headlines with some market-shaking propositions thanks to the new sales professionals they have lined up to join their team in 2019. This means that they can offer the same flexible support to their sales and commercial

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A key area of work for the firm is the provision of mentoring and coaching for teams and individuals. As a trusted partner they are invited into small and medium sized businesses, across a plethora of industries and sectors – both private and public, which include financial services, healthcare, professional services, education, utility and manufacturing. By being so diverse in their work and gathering skills and knowledge whilst sharing and developing expertise, Lotus Flower Consultancy credit this collective experience to the success they have had in maintaining their unique and bespoke approach and to ensuring that they can meet the individual needs of each client or project.

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we remain steadfast that our service is a long-term investment and that true value will be realised when businesses have a multi-skilled workforce that is not only compliant and competent but also futureproofed.

Lotus Flower Consultancy specialise in organisational design, leadership and management development. As a boutique business, they are happy to be small and exclusive, offering a customized and expert service across varying disciplines from design and delivery of training interventions to consultancy and bespoke solutions. With a proven track record of success that spans 15 years, they now lead the charge in the UK for development coaching companies, we spoke to them about their success.

The company, which has always worked predominately in the UK, is now stepping out into European and worldwide markets. Director, Wendyanne explains the firm’s overall mission and the steps they are taking to achieve it - “Our primary aims are to drive cultural change and to increase performance and efficiency, through the engagement and enablement of employees. Ultimately, we work with people within a business regardless of their role or title and our alignment remains on corporate objectives, performance outputs and outcomes.” She goes on to describe their use of a tripartite model; where they look at the individual, the team and the organization with whom they are working and establish the ways to maximize the relationships between the three. As a business, they believe in being truly customer centric and that the customer should always be at the heart of every decision; by working with individuals and encouraging them to be the best that they can be, they conclude that success and results are simply a ‘by-product’. Things however are not always plain sailing and Lotus Flower Consultancy have not been exempt from the affects that legislation can have on a business but Wendyanne explains that this does not been deter them from helping clients. – “Access to funding, support from local authorities and a general lack of skill, experience and resources are just some of the changes and challenges affecting our business. It is the ‘people strategy’ that is being most affected across the corporate landscape. We are being asked more often to help with maximizing efficiencies and running costs for businesses, and as most people know – training and development is usually the first thing to disappear when finances get tight. We remain steadfast that our service is a long- term investment and that the true value will be realised when businesses have a multi- skilled workforce that is not only compliant and competent but also futureproofed.” Acknowledging that Brexit and the impact on the economy is a concern for many businesses, they maintain that they aren’t running scared. They recognise that the general lack of clarity and uncertainty about what exiting means does have an adverse effect on the businesses that they work with, particularly as any change in legislation is likely to affect existing business relationships and will need to be considered for new markets. But in an effort to face these challenges head-on, they are already actively working with clients to build their business readiness for pending changes, focusing on commerciality, sustaining competitive advantage, professionalising services and collaborating across differing environments. Considering broader aspects of the ever-changing world such as, discrimination, diversity and equality as well as highlighting new generation approaches and thinking, Lotus Flower Consultancy recognise that in fact their most common challenge, is ensuring they understand exactly what businesses need and warranting that they fulfill their role to act consciously and critically – “We will consult and challenge to clarify expectations and requirements, then design and deliver around that”. The business pride themselves on being authentic and demonstrate this by maintaining their key values of integrity, respect and fairness, not only that but they encourage their clients to hold them to account in everything they do and the results are telling. Approximately 90% of their business is coming to them direct from client recommendations, proving that the company’s reputation speaks for itself. Ensuring they stand out from their competitors, Lotus Flower Consultancy focus on helping people to look at their business through a different lens. The firm are ultimately invited in to their clients’ world to provide another perspective, as they strive to develop positive business relationships for the long term and become an accepted part of the team. Their goal is to get to know and understand their clients, rather than listing a portfolio of products that they can provide. In doing all of this they believe they can create consistent and measurable solutions that maximise on performance and maintain a competitive advantage. When reflecting on what the future holds for the firm, they explain that they are looking to grow their portfolio as well as looking at how they can diversify as an organisation. With work in the UK and Europe, the firm also has work lined up in the United States and Singapore but Wendyanne maintains that they want to remain “big enough to cope, yet small enough to care”. Proud winners of the Global Business Insight Development Coaching Company of the Year 2018, UK award, Lotus Flower Consultancy describe how fulfilling it feels to be recognised in the industry. Explaining that they were delighted to have been nominated and recognised for this award, having worked incredibly hard to get their name recognised and then be acknowledged in such a highly competitive industry. They go further to say - “We have always considered that we have a privileged role and honestly love what we do, this award has provided the endorsement that we are doing it right”. ISSUE 12 | 209

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The Bank of England is currently dominating financial headlines, with the news that Mark Carney has extended his stay as Governor of the Bank of England until 2020 adding to comments made by the Governor to the UK Cabinet that interest rates could inflate beyond August’s rise of 0.25% in the event of a no-deal Brexit. Whilst the recent 0.25% increase in interest in and of itself is unlikely to cause companies severe financial difficulties, it has again proved particularly concerning for heavily indebted companies, who will find the cost of servicing their debt just that little bit more expensive – particularly if it proves to be the first step in a gradual tightening of monetary policy from the central bank.

Tightening belts But which markets are most vulnerable to more expensive debt repayments? Having analysed 1,600 different UK markets, business intelligence company Plimsoll Publishing was able to identify the industries where the level of debt (as a percentage of sales) was worryingly high. Within these sectors, problems are likely if monetary policy tightens aggressively. The following is a breakdown of the 10 markets in the UK economy with the biggest average increase in debt taken on by companies in the latest year:


decline in average debt

Payroll Services 97% Accident Repair Centres 94% Construction Management 76% Cold Storage 74% Risk Management 74% Retail Butchers 62% Funeral Directors 57% Ceiling Contractors 54% Opticians 53% Lighting Retailers 52% ISSUE 12 | 212

Christopher Evans, Senior Analyst at Plimsoll explains the findings of the research, “The recent increase should be a shot across the bows of many companies and industries where there is a growing tendency to run based on debt. “One of the phenomena of the post 2008 economy has been zombie companies surviving by fueling themselves entirely with cheap debt. If monetary policy were to continue to tighten going forward and further increases are announced, it could signal that period is coming to an end as debt becomes more expensive to service. The industries we have listed here certainly have an increased appetite for debt recently, and so further rate rises could stop momentum in those markets pretty quickly.”

Losing interest However, there are many industries where debt is being reduced on a significant scale. The following 10 industries have seen the biggest decline in average debt in the latest year:


decline in average debt

Cosmetic Surgeons 64% Electrical Distributors 58% Print Finishers 56% Garden Buildings 54% Pest Control 53% Roller Shutter Manufacturers 53% Carpet Planning & Fitting 52% Contract Hire & Vehicle Leasing 52% Powder Coatings 51% Communication Towers & Masts 50% Evans explains, “Clearly, there has been a concerted effort in some industries to get debt as a percentage of sales down to a more manageable level while monetary policy is still loose, as the availability of cheap money does actually allow companies flexibility to move away from reliance on it. Companies have had significant time to get rid of their debt before it has becomes expensive to service, which removes any threat posed by interest rate rises in the future and should see them better placed to grow should monetary policy tighten.”

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London-based JogPost is the leading leaflet distribution company in the UK, primarily delivering leaflets, flyers and magazines across the country and in the belief that they do this more efficiently and faster than their rivals. We spoke to them to find out more. JogPost was the brain-child of Henry Buckley and JJ Harding, who together founded the company in 2008. Having owned a pizza delivery company, JJ was all too aware of the urgent need for a professional leaflet distribution company whose service would be both efficient and dependable, so when Henry came up with the idea they realized that they could develop the concept into something that would potentially change the shape of the door drop industry indefinitely. With efficiency being a key factor in the infancy of the JogPost dream, a straight forward booking process was quickly developed to ensure a quick turnaround time of as little as one day. Couple that with the quick-footed JogPost joggers’ ability to complete in 5 hours a drop which would take a walking team 8-10 hours to complete, Jogpost clients are guaranteed a much bigger return for their investment. Committed to excellent customer service JogPost clients have a devoted account manager for bookings and queries and a dedicated, supervised jogger team. By offering a solus, never-shared distribution on a chosen day, JogPost can guarantee to deliver media quickly, efficiently and completely. Recognising the importance of every client they work with without exception, JogPost aim to provide unrivalled service throughout and explain that “time and time again we have proven to meet our customers’ need for a reliable and efficient distribution partner, with these clients regularly seeing as much as three times the results of other distribution methods, with many of our distributions leading directly to record breaking sales”. To deliver quality to every campaign, JogPost assign each distribution team with its own non-distributing supervisor, this affords clients with the confidence that all jobs are completed thoroughly and there is no negligent wastage. An incomparable service, these supervisors act as a support pillar from branded vehicles, using iPads and GPS software. JogPost has a vast and diverse workforce, not to mention fit! All distributors are fully briefed prior to delivery to ensure that during business deliveries they can competently promote a clients’ product or service or if they are asked adhoc. Rigorous training is also provided and professionalism is at the forefront with all distributors donning the distinctive JogPost branded clothing. The media delivery industry is however not without significant challenge and Jogpost explain that the main problem being faced by customers in this industry is trusting that the company delivering is reliable, and the very real fear of uncertainty that their product is actually being delivered. Poor pay and unsupervised distribution are factors that are scarcely addressed by their competitors, with many of them working to notably tight margins that prevent them from providing anything close to passable systems. JogPost addressed and solved the main problems affecting the industry through innovation and by initiating a new approach, with their objective being to increase the results of their clients. By using faster, jogger teams, JogPost can obtain larger margins and use this advantage to give an unmatched service to their customers. Always striving to work faster and smarter than their competitors these industry innovators attribute their success to a number of factors, not least to the development of the unique systems that they have in place which afford their customers unparalleled confidence in the service that they are providing. Their award-winning RideAlong® service, which allows their clients to ride with a supervisor to see their dedicated distribution team in action, works coherently with the Supervisor System which sees every team tracked by a supervisor who checks the quality and speed of the team’s work. Heading up Distribution and Logistics, Karan Gavali explains “We believe in Kaizen which means continuous improvement. This allows us to innovate our operations through the use of trackers, iPads and response tracking solutions”. Not least innovation, but their 80% customer retention is also owed to JogPost’s ethical and transparent service, “Our clients use us time and time again as they not only get record breaking responses but also because they trust JogPost and its marketing services”.

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JogPost believe in employing only the best, most committed staff who, in return are paid well and their employee satisfaction is given significant weight. They recognise that this extra staff commitment directly impacts the success of the company as it has proven to hugely decrease waste and non delivery, which in turn has increased their customers’ return on investment dramatically, ultimately believing that happy staff equal a more motivated workforce who deliver results. Undoubtedly JogPost are leaps and bounds ahead of their competition, delivering more efficiently and faster than anyone else - the clue is in the name. All things considered, their solution is simple but their approach is ultimately slick, meaning that for the time being it is impossible to deliver leaflets faster, more accurately and at better value than JogPost. They have proven time and time again to meet their customers’ need for a dependable and effective distribution partner and their plethora of awards over their past ten years of business are testament to that. Proud winners of the Global Business Insight Leaflet Distribution Company of the Year 2018, UK award, JogPost can only delight in yet another accolade of their proven success and unrivalled achievements within this industry. They explain that receiving this awards further cements their desire to open JogPost branches all over the United Kingdom so that they can provide the same quality service nationally to all, at the uniform prices.

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Infinity Partnership is an award-winning accountancy and business advisory practice in Aberdeen. The have worked on international projects in the United States, the Middle East and Japan. Their mission is a simple one: to exceed client expectations in a way that encourages them to recommended Infinity to other companies. This is how Infinity has increased turnover year-on-year since 2011, despite the drop in the oil price which affected thousands of companies in the north-east of Scotland. The business required new revenue streams. Infinity developed a successful process for research and development (R&D) tax credit claims, largely for firms in the oil and gas sector (£80m worth made so far). This shift in strategy was led by the managing director, Simon Cowie, which helped the business achieve further growth. The company recently moved to stand-alone offices twice the size of its previous location. Infinity can only achieve goals by offering an exemplary service. Since 2011 Simon Cowie has sought to establish a firm that offered far more than the traditional accountancy practice. He sees his firm’s role as business partners to clients, advising on a range of projects including financial processes, grant funding, R&D tax claims, investment opportunities, business strategy and sourcing investors. This commitment to customer service has led to a 99% client retention rate - Infinity is currently adding a client at the rate of 1 per day. Infinity Partnership supports regular staff training, covering accountancy qualifications such as ACCA (certified accountants), CMA (Chartered Management Accountants) and AAT (Association of Taxation Technicians). Currently 7 staff are in training. In 2017, Infinity partnership was delighted to achieve ACCA Employer Status and become a platinum approved learning partner. Therefore, they have experienced staff (or are continually developing team members) to deliver their services to a high level.

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“After such a positive 2017, we are delighted to win this prestigious award. Our processes for research and development tax credit claims has helped us stand out from the crowd. The business has a 100% success rate using our model for claims. In addition, clients have said that the ‘windfall’ we generated has allowed them to continue trading through one of the worst economic challenges to hit the region due to the low oil price.” – Simon Cowie. An example of a specific project was for McMenon Engineering Services’s acquisition of a division of a global business – a process that took 15 months. Infinity suggested to one of the McMenon director to contact his former employer AAB to see if they had any divisions they were wishing to sell off. The deal was completed, and Infinity continue to support the business. Infinity set up the accountancy function (including the implementation of manufacture-specific software called ProgressPlus) from scratch following the acquisition and the turnover in its first year is expected to be approximately £8m. Having successfully implemented an accounting system for the handover period, Infinity has been working with other providers to ensure the client has robust accounting and manufacturing systems which link and streamline their process. The CEO and founder of McMenon Engineering Services, Anand Puthran, shared: “Infinity Partnership was instrumental in us acquiring a division on great terms from ABB, thanks to Simon and his team. They were involved from commencement through completion to taking on the entire finance department for the new company. They arranged everything so that the company could commence trading from group VAT Registrations to arranging the financial package and are now implementing a new accountancy package to allow the business the best chance of success. The company is on target to achieve an £8m turnover in its first year and with the systems in place, I am confident that the finances are prepared for this. Outstanding! Thanks to Infinity Partnership.” There are some basic attributes that a firm such as Infinity Partnership should possess. Trust, honesty and transparency are values that form Infinity’s foundations. The feedback they have received from clients is that they appreciate Infinity being up front about costs from the beginning.

Infinity continues to punch above its weight by investing in training and development, IT and accountancy software. It is already proactively supporting 170 clients as part of the ‘Making Tax Digital’ transformation. In addition, the company operates a flexible policy to support staff working from home allowing their employees a healthy balance between their home and work life. Investment in IT solutions means staff can work from home and maintain access to client accounting software via cloud computing solutions. Flexi-time is offered to all staff and is managed to accommodate school timetables and holiday periods. Infinity Partnership actively supports the professional development of its team and ensures everyone in the business not only understands the importance of adhering to professional codes but applies those principles at all times without room for error. This culture of support and development, coupled which a proactive and supportive management team that outlines goals through appraisals, has led to continued growth of a successful business that has a staff retention rate of more than 95%. A positive working environment is critical to the continued success of Infinity Partnership. This comes from the top down where everyone is treated with respect. Any issues can be immediately raised with managers and team members are encouraged to put forward comments and ideas at regular meetings. Infinity is already planning ahead with the Making Tax Digital transformation. It has identified the clients that will need the most support and is working with them to plan ahead. In addition, GDPR legislation was a considerable investment in time and infrastructure but Infinity recognised the importance of having quality systems and procedures in place to deal with the change in regulations. Infinity is seeing a return to investment, merger and acquisition activity. A total of 20 such deals were completed in 2017. One example was Infinity setting up a Dragon’s Den-style investment opportunity where the owners of a product in the food and drink sector gave a presentation offering 6% of the business for £300,000. Of the 10 business executives that attended, 9 invested various amounts from £20,000 to £50,000. Infinity secured Enterprise Investment Scheme and Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme reliefs for all nine.

Infinity puts the client first, for example, a due diligence project was taken on a contingency-fee basis. Infinity advised the client not to proceed with an acquisition due to the lack of detailed information in the firm’s accounts. It meant there was no fee on this occasion but strengthened the relationship between Infinity and said client. This commitment to customer service is reflected in Infinity’s growth. It is not always about the bottom line at the end of the quarter but ensuring the client’s livelihood and success. This commitment to customer service and Infinity’s ability to adapt to market conditions sets it apart from others in the market. An example of this was the quick response to client needs following the drop in the oil price. Infinity immediately offered advice on improving cashflow and reducing costs. In addition, it supported companies with research and development tax credit claims. This has allowed Infinity to remain malleable and fill the gap in the service supply created by the everchanging markets. Deals are once again starting to form a core part of Infinity’s activity. Managing Director and Partner of the Year at the 2016 British Accountancy Awards, Simon Cowie is one of the leading dealmakers for Infinity. Simon was named Scottish dealmaker of the year in 2009 and 2014. He has completed more than 80 deals worth more than £300m is important to not only work hard but to also work smart, as demonstrated by Simon himself.

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THE CONCERNS PREVENTING BRITS FROM OWNING SMART HOME TECHNOLOGY Smart home devices/appliances which can remotely be controlled over Wi-Fi by smartphones and tables, have conveniently enabled property owners to automate everyday tasks like the recording of gas/electricity consumption, adjustment of room temperatures and control of lights (on or off at set times). In turn, these ‘smart home technologies’ - have provided individuals with more comfort, better energy efficiency and added security within their homes. The increasing popularity of smart home technology can be exhibited by findings from ‘Tech UK’, who discovered that 44% of UK consumers now astonishingly have more than three smart home products. With regards to the impact of smart home technology, 40% of Brits feel it has improved their standard of living, according to research by ‘Thomas Sanderson’. Interested in prospective smart home technology adopters, bathroom and showers experts analysed recent findings from YouGov, who surveyed Brits that do not own smart home devices/appliances to find out the smart home product features they are most aware of. found that ‘digital assistant’ is the feature non-users are most aware of when it comes to smart home devices and appliances at 71%. Perhaps unsurprising this ranked top, given digital assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa (e.g. on Amazon Echo) and Apple’s Siri (on e.g. on Apple Homepod) having a prominent presence in each company’s respective advertisement/promotion campaigns. Thereafter, ‘voice recognition/control function’ (64%) is the next best recognised aspect of smart home devices and appliances according to Brits who do not own any in their house. Moreover, with many consumers hesitant to purchase a smart home product due to the supposed negative impact they think it will have on their energy bill - just 38% understand they have the ‘ability to regulate power use’ on certain smart devices and appliances to overcome this apparent problem.

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Contrastingly, the capability of some smart home devices/appliances to ‘make smart decisions based on contents’ (17%), is the least known feature by non-owners. Slightly above, only 19% of Brits not in possession of any smart home technology, acknowledge that they can gain ‘feedback on processes’ about the information, methods, instructions or tasks they have inquired about on topics/issues related or not-related to the smart home device/appliance itself. Further on, the British pubic also revealed their biggest concerns about smart home technology. Showerstoyou found that 39% of Brits are reluctant to buy smart home devices and appliances because they believe they are vulnerable to potentially devasting ‘cyber-attacks/hacking’. Despite an active effort by manufacturers and retailers alike to make smart home technology more affordable, 36% still consider them to be ‘over-priced’. Equally, 36% are worried about ‘data privacy’ when it comes to managing smart home technology – with the risk of a serious cyber-breach potentially exposing their personal details (name, address, bank details etc.) to opportunist criminals. On the other end of the scale, the need for the ‘internet and electricity to function at the same time’ for smart home technology products to fully work, is influencing 23% of British consumers to not have even one smart device/appliance in their living environment. 27% are being swayed away from smart home technology because they are bothered about ‘getting locked out of devices’ as well as ‘having more passwords/security to remember’. Martin,the Managing Director of commented: “Smart home technology has come leaps and bounds over the last decade. Now the market has a range of smart devices and appliances to make everyday tasks at home easier and efficient. As they have advanced in their development, more features have been included to provide added value for existing and potential customers. The research certainly shows that there are features Brits are more aware of than others, despite not owning any smart home technology themselves. Perhaps more interestingly, it highlights how the risk of a cyberattack or breach, is factoring prominently in the decision-process of consumers to adopt the technology in their home. Looking into the future, as the understanding and security of smart home devices and appliances significantly improves, non-users will undoubtedly become less skeptical and more willing to try the technology”.

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Frank Taylor & Associates specialise in practice valuations, sales, purchases and business consultancy services for dental professionals. The Hertfordshire-based firm has established itself nationwide as the most successful independent valuer and sales agent in the industry owing to its involvement in the sale and valuation of thousands of dental practices nationwide. We spoke to them about their business and their success. Founded in 1988, Frank Taylor & Associates (FTA) have recently celebrated their 30th anniversary and the company who offer an unrivalled range of services to both buying and selling clients and an unmatched level of dental sector experience, remain committed to being the most successful valuer and sales agent within their market for the foreseeable future. With a wealth of experience and countless UK dental practice sales under their belt the firm have been afforded a unique knowledge of the demand for practices in different geographical areas. They have also built an extensive database of almost 5,000 qualified potential purchasers, enabling them to match people with opportunities in the open market, whilst guiding them from start to finish to achieve the best results whilst protecting their interests at all times. Striving to deliver a customer-focussed service at all times, they pride themselves on their transparency by ensuring that all of their clients can be confident of their ways of workings, their fees and who they are working with. FTA expertise doesn’t end there however and with several independent businesses now operating under the FTA umbrella, as a group they are able offer more and more additional services outside of just buying or selling. These include; advice and training for new practice owners in running a successful practice, support to secure additional funding or personal mortgages, advice to meet ever-changing CQC (Care Quality Commission) regulations, recruitment assistance, personnel management, the legal aspects of employment and HR issues, specialist tax planning, as well as investment, financial and pension planning advice. Citing four key principles – honesty, integrity, reliability and value – as the key to their success, FTA recognise that these all play a major part in strengthening their relationships with their clients. Their focus is to ‘Assess, Protect and Enhance’ personal and practice circumstances at all times, whilst prioritising confidentiality and professionalism particularly when

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discussing a dental practice or plans for the future. Finally, they recognise that every situation and every individual is unique and then tailor their range of services specifically to their clients’ needs, irrespective of complexity whilst enjoying the development of an excellent working partnership. FTA recognise that the dental sales market is now highly competitive and in order to set themselves apart from their competition their priority is to enhance their customer service with a focus on providing completely tailored solutions. Offering more and more additional services to clients outside of just buying or selling a dental practice, FTA are also committed to the ‘Practice Sales Promise’, a voluntary code of conduct that was introduced to create a level playing field in the dental sales market that ensures that everyone can make fully informed decisions, having had access to all the relevant information - “Our clients can trust us to be honest, open and reliable; and always enthusiastic about achieving their goals and from the very start”. They work closely with their clients to prepare accurate and comprehensive information that clearly reflects the unique elements of their business to potential purchasers. They go on to explain “we also work with them every step of the way so that we fully understand what they wish to achieve by selling and we don’t stop there - we also provide specialist tax planning advice to mitigate and minimise any resulting tax liability once their practice has been sold”. Finally, those looking to sell their dental practice can rest assured that the firm will always deliver a highly professional and honest service, vigorously ensuring that there’s never any conflict of interest in who our clients are. Maintaining a position at the forefront of the competition is vital to any business and FTA are no exception making it clear that their commission structure differs greatly from that of their competitors. Unlike many of their rivals, they are very clear that they do not accept a commission fee from a purchaser, commission is only payable by the vendor once a sale is completed. They explain “we are very clear in our duty to our clients; they instruct us to sell their practice. By charging a buyer commission there is a clear conflict of interest and it is often not in the best interest of our clients, the vendors”. Reflecting on the challenges that they face in the current market, FTA explain that despite seeing a significant demand for dental practices, there has also been a change in the availability of personal investment funds. In the past banks had been known for generous loans of up to 110% of the purchase price and the need for a cash deposit didn’t exist. Today however, things are slightly different and a larger contribution is commonly expected and with the need for a deposit presenting challenges for the young buyer, they have seen an increasing use of the ‘bank of Mum and Dad’ in recent years. Changes in the regulatory environment and more vigilant CQC regulations

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Recognising that a businesses success is often significantly attributed to the team who work within it, FTA explain that their fantastically high retention rate highlights how much their staff enjoy working within the firm and with each other. Believing that skills can be taught, FTA make it clear that finding the most suitable personality match is a major factor when employing new team members who can be invested in by way of training and development. Being careful to ensure a total consistency within the business, management not only lead but also work closely within the team, actively encouraging personal development and providing one to one coaching on a regular basis. When asked what the future holds for FTA they describe that with the constant changes to the dental market with regards to values and buyers and with potential changes to the NHS contract on the horizon affecting the majority of dental practices in the UK, that they will need continue to adapt to these changes and also remain vigilant to identifying and implementing new ideas and services to benefit the profession and to continue to be the leading providers of business services within the dental profession. Proud winners of the Global Business Insight Dental Valuer & Sales Agent of the Year 2018, UK award, FTA elaborate that being nominated was a privilege in itself so to have won the award gave them a huge sense of achievement and a feeling of great honour. They put their success down to the hard work and dedication of their entire team in supporting their clients on their personal journey within the dental market, whether it be in purchasing, building and running or selling a practice and endeavour to continue to excel and grow in this market for years to come.

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FMConsult, established in 2004, is a specialist compliance, collective investment schemes and operational and investment risk management consultancy that services a whole host of global financial services firms. “We have made it our mission to provide solutions to our clients so that they can continually meet regulatory requirements.� With their headquarters in London, FMConsult also has offices in Ireland and USA, with an associate in Italy. Their highly qualified team has firsthand experience in asset management, wealth management, financial regulations and investment risk which essentially means that they have the allround expertise needed for consultancy. FMConsult is an independent regulatory, product development and operational risk consultancy that is committed to assisting clients in aligning financial service processes with regulatory requirements. They provide risk and compliance solutions that enable senior management of financial services firms to demonstrate that they are currently (and will continue to be) compliant and conducting business in a legal and moral manner. They focus mainly on wholesale firms and finds industry but also have the capacity and experience to assist retail and market infrastructure companies. Some examples of the type of work the FMConsult carry out for their clients to date include: Corporate Authorisation, Compliance Outsourcing and Interim Resources, Due diligence and Expert Witness assignments, Fund Establishment and Authorisation, Consumer Credit and finally Compliance Monitoring and in-depth investigations. To run a machine as smoothly as FMConsult operates requires an impressive team, on which we have done a mini profile below.

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Experienced international regulatory and business manager. Previous Global Head of Compliance and Operational Risk at a major asset management company for all business outside of the Americas with circa 30 years’ experience in the UK and global regulatory issues, covering both retail and institutional sectors. Over 8 years with Coopers & Lybrand (now PWC) in four different countries covering audit, accounting services, insolvency and regulation. He is a specialist in providing corporate governance and operational risk services to asset management and investment companies.

More than 10 years’ experience as a manager for a major international asset management company, covering compliance monitoring/ advisory, internal audit and operational risk roles. This role primarily covered the UK market place but also extended to USA, Irish, Luxembourg, German, French and Italian regulated businesses covering both retail and institutional clients. A further 8 years as a financial and regulatory auditor for a medium sized audit and accountancy firm based in London. He is a specialist in providing accountancy, audit, compliance monitoring, regulatory, advice and operational risk services to asset management and investment companies.

Colette is an experienced financial services executive. With circa 20 years of experience in the financial services industry. Colette has a detailed knowledge of the US asset management industry from working with high-level investment advisers, hedge funds, broker-dealers and family offices both domestic and offshore. Colette specialises in designing the compliance infrastructure for startups and established, registered and unregistered, US and non-US funds and also investment advisors and private equity firms. Colette has proven to bring personalised and assured quality services tailored to

JOHN CLARE FMCONSULT IRELAND John is an experienced financial services executive and has a detailed knowledge of the Irish Financial Services Industry with over 22 years of proven business experience. John has been registered with the Central bank since 1996 and is a member of the Association of Compliance Officers Ireland.

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Whether you’re an organisation looking to train your staff, a community group or an individual wishing to learn new skills First Aid Associates work withh a variety of clients ranging from GP Surgeries to Construction Groups, Primary Schools to Engineering businesses and offer a comprehensive range of first aid courses that are specifically tailored to suit the requirements of each.


Founded by Steve Wilson in 2006, First Aid Associates is one of the country’s finest providers of First Aid training in its field, providing a variety of different courses to a range of companies nationwide. The business draws on the experience and skills of fully qualified trainers and assessors and has grown from strength to strength in the past 12 years. We spoke to them to find out more.

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As an approved AoFAQ training centre, all courses are delivered to the highest standards and the ultimate goal of the professional teams is to furnish all participants with the knowledge, skills and confidence to be a successful first aider wherever they are. As well as being a top class training provider, FAA also provide first aid cover for small events, ranging from small music festivals to street fairs; short 10k runs to Ultra Marathons. Not only an invaluable service but it also adds value to their courses by actively practicing the techniques that are being taught.

In the First Aid industry, professionals are faced with obvious challenges every day but like many other training industries, these aren’t the only obstacles they need to overcome. The deregulation of First Aid Training a few years ago saw the flood gates open for anyone to start ‘teaching’ first aid to the public. Steve explains that he has seen a surprising number of people start up businesses in the industry assuming it is an easy option, consequently teach to an inadequate standard and then ultimately find it wasn’t so easy and go out of business. The consequence of this kind of bad practice is that it falls short of maintaining standards within the industry and devalues the qualifications for all, even those who are ardent professionals. Steve feels that the standards around those who teach need to be tightened in order protect the industry in the future. First Aid Associates also acknowledge that they have a responsibility to keep their training programmes flexible and up to date. Now and again the industry sees slight changes to first aid techniques and as such these changes need to be quickly incorporated into any given course to ensure the client is receiving the most current information. When discussing success, the levels of repeat business and client referrals alone are a testament to the success that Steve and First Aid Associates are used to. Steve explains that most qualifications need to be renewed every three years and therefore much of his business is repeat business which has seen his client base grow significantly over the years; cementing the business’ good work. By then receiving referrals from these existing clients, it further bolsters his reputation of providing high quality training programmes. The industry is however not without significant competition but their reputation and portrayal of their key attributes holds the key to their success in providing an unbeatable service to clients within the industry. Acknowledging that First Aid is a serious subject, Steve explains that ironically humour is fundamental. Reminiscing about when he himself was first taught first aid many years ago, he recalls a trainer who was so dry and tedious that most of his audience were falling asleep. Ensuring that people have fun whilst learning has proven to help with information retention and combat any sleepyheads! Flexibility is also vital with customers needing to know that they have the option to organise their training around their own commitments and not have to try and fit in with rigidly set dates and times. Keeping group sizes small also relieves the pressure on participating firms; if businesses have to release a large number of staff at the same time it can significantly impact on workload and the customer’s ability to maintain their own standards, so FAA pride themselves on more intimate groups. Recognising that in order for any business to achieve success, they have to have a strong team behind them; Steve is firm in his desire for his colleagues to have complete autonomy. Being careful to ensure that all staff are fully skilled and qualified in their own roles, FAA staff are ultimately left to their own devices with the assurance that if they need anything from Steve in terms of advice or guidance, then it will be provided. By ensuring that his colleagues feel valued in their roles and by providing them with continual professional development, maintenance of performance and standards is almost certain. Proud winners of the Global Business Insight First Aid Training Provider of the Year 2018, UK Steve elaborates that it allows new and existing customers to see that the service being provided by First Aid Associates is not only of a high quality but it is also first class. Not only that but it affords his business with the drive to continue to provide the best possible service to current and future clients and endeavour to exceed their expectations in the years to come.

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1. Diversity can help stem the spread of biased or fake information More diverse companies can better check algorithms aren’t biased, like the convict sentencing programme in Florida that inaccurately predicted that black offenders were more likely to commit another crime than white offenders.


CHIEF EQUALITY OFFICER AT SALESFORCE At a time of Brexit, potential skills shortages and increasing transparency and regulation, the UK tech sector needs friends. But it’s easy to miss a friend you’re not looking for. Diversity is a free resource available to help boost UK tech - and here’s why.

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More diversity can help ensure image searches don’t mistakenly identify black people as apes, like Google did in its original version of its online search product. This is not only morally beneficial, it can help appease regulators.

2. Diversity can help address the pipeline problem There are still a disproportionately higher percentage of women and minorities with degrees relevant to tech than actually work in the industry. In the US for example, women earned 36% of computer science degrees in the 1990s, but still hold less than 25% of computing jobs.

Even if we go more broadly than purely computer science, women have made up about 50% of science and engineering degrees since the 1990s (though there was a decreasing trend for many years) but only represent 30% of the science and engineering workforce. For ethnic minorities the statistics are even worse – they represented over 20% of all science and engineering degrees, but only 11% of science and engineering jobs. There are now many organisations dedicated solely to increasing the numbers of women and minorities in tech and giving them access to organisations. Partner with them.

3. Diversity can fuel start up growth The tech industry is still quite young and new startups are emerging all the time. Globally between 2009 and 2017, more than 43,000 tech companies were founded and received initial rounds of funding. As such, these startups can embed diversity and inclusion right from the start. This is a much easier way to create an inclusive culture than trying to change a culture that already exists. For example, at the US-based tech startup Plastiq, diversity and inclusion was a consideration right as the company was being founded. As a result, inclusive behaviours are embedded in the company’s culture and the way it makes decisions. One of the company’s founders, Eliot Buchanan, says that diversity and inclusion were important from the start also because they knew they wanted to have as much debate as possible in order to make sure they were making robust decisions. The best way to make sure those debates took place was to ensure people were coming from different backgrounds and felt comfortable bringing their different points of view to the table. That definitely meant inclusion of visibly diverse people, but also the inclusion of introverts, for example. To facilitate this, Plastiq has created many different ways of giving feedback that can cater to different people’s ways of communicating, including in person, in written form, anonymously, and other methods.

4. Diversity can be your ‘get out of jail free’ card Uber first came into the spotlight around diversity and inclusion because of a public essay that went viral in early 2017 written by a former engineer employee, Susan Fowler. In the essay, Fowler relates her experiences working at Uber for a year and describes an incredibly toxic and misogynistic culture. Her experiences describe not only regularly experiencing sexual harassment along with more subtle sexism, but also that when she reported even the more outrageous behaviours to HR they did nothing to rectify the situation. Her manager threatened to fire her (despite the fact that firing someone for reporting things to HR is illegal in the United States). In the end, she decided to leave the company and go public with her story. When the story went viral many other women at the company (and in tech broadly) started to relate similar experiences, and Uber was gaining a reputation as a terrible place for women to work. It eventually contributed to the resignation of Uber CEO Travis Kalanick only five months after the publication of Fowler’s essay, and eventually the departure of multiple other executives and board members in the company over the next year. Since then, Uber has been trying to rebuild its reputation and become a more inclusive company.

5. Diversity can inspire your employees and customers Salesforce has a Chief Equality Officer, Tony Prophet. At first glance, this may seem merely like meaningless nomenclature – a way of trying to set the company apart in terms of D&I without actually doing anything special. But when asked about this name, Prophet explains that it was about saying Salesforce trying to go beyond the typical organisation’s diversity and inclusion agenda: “Diversity is absolutely essential… but once you have diversity you’re not done. Then you have inclusion, where you’re really getting the very best out of every employee… Equality goes beyond that. Equality asks the questions, ‘Are you standing for my rights when I step outside my workforce? Are you fighting for equality for me?’” Prophet is suggesting we use work to push for equality in society. This view of the role an organisation has is certainly a radical one, but it is also a powerful concept. This mindset could completely alter the role of organisations in society as not just drivers of the economy but active drivers of social good. And good work has initiated a virtuous circle. Tech Nation, the UK agency tasked with building and supporting the British tech sector, has run workshops for tech start ups on embedding inclusion in their modus operandi. This has created feedback loops in the sector about what works best in practice. On a global platform, Web Summit, held annually in Lisbon, has dedicated more and more programming time to diversity and inclusion and is trying to embed it in their core curriculum. As it becomes more normal to think pre-emptively about diversity and inclusion in tech, this can hopefully benefit individual companies, the sector, and society at large.

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TRANSLATION AND FINANCIAL COMPANY OF THE YEAR 2018 - HONG KONG Elitesco is a Hong Kong based translation and financial company, founded and operated by professional linguists. They provide superior financial translation services to corporate clients and public bodies. Ms. Jacqueline Ng, the Chief Operating Officer, has over 20 years of versatile experience in financial and legal translations serving capital markets in Greater China. The core mission of Elitesco is to maximize efficiency and performance with satisfactory services delivered to their clients under tight command. To provide the best possible language services, they pay close attention to the use of words in the global financial market and ensure that their clients have a comprehensive understanding of the proceedings. Each member of their team is well versed in the specialist vocabularies of numerous professions and services; from financial documents to legal instruments, press releases to reports - Elitesco is a name to trust. “Elitesco is so delighted to have won this award, which recognizes the hard work of all our employees. I believe the reason behind our success is that we take the quality and speed of our work to be our top priority. Backed by a strong team of experienced language experts, we turnaround in a fast and accurate manner valuing the importance of quality and timeliness and catering to the pressing schedules of the business world in this day and age.” When asked what attributes she thought were most important in the translation and financial industry, Jacqueline expressed, “I believe the best possible service is to understand what the clients need. Paying close attention to the clients’ need and providing high-quality work at the earliest possible time are the most important factors”. This is further demonstrated by Elitesco’s operating hours; 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year without interruption. “We are here whenever you need us!” With this level of dedication, there is no doubt whatsoever that Elitesco are more than deserving of the Global Business Insight Award 2018. Jacqueline expanded on the company’s encouragement of their employees to express their ideas and share their knowledge openly. “I believe that the most powerful tool for promoting employee innovation is to tolerate mistakes and expect failure, as well as reward implementations of lessons learned. Both successes and failures should be shared with each employee in the organisation in order to get the maximum learning value from the exercise. Elitesco adopts a human-asset approach to their employment of driven and productive individuals, leading to many success stories with regards to strategic management. They give their employees the option to work from home and this flexibility has attracted quality translators based in Hong Kong. As mentioned earlier, Elitesco considers its employees as its assets. Jacqueline went on to say, “We preserve a peopleoriented attitude towards our staff. We provide a variety of welfare and allowances to support a competitive remuneration package. We listen to our staff and try our best to satisfy their needs.” Currently, the local market is highly fragmented, now with a lot of small firms operating, as there are no entry barriers in this industry. The influx in competitors tends to reduce the price in order to compete for orders. On the one hand Elitesco appreciate the importance of remaining price competitive and on the other, they aim to excel in their services to such a level that their clients will be willing to pay a premium for the best. One major way they differentiate themselves from others in their field is to concentrate on their reputation as much of their business is generated more by word of mouth than any other form of marketing. When queried about what the future holds for Elitesco, Jacqueline shared, “Our business is directly linked to the development of the capital market in Hong Kong. With the further expansion of the city as a financial centre for companies in China to raise their funding, we will seek translators around the world, that are well-versed in English and Chinese, to fill the obvious supply gap.

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camden associates best in biotech corporate finance 2018 - uk

Camden Associates is a boutique investment banking firm started in 2003. We specialise in International financing. The market has changed a great deal in the last few years and several transactions just do not get completed because market segmentation does not permit it. We offer various services from pure advisory to financing to private and public companies alike. Initially the company was focused on Eastern Europe and on large groups (Bouygues, Rosatom, Gazprom, Lukoil, Rushydro), they then expanded their range to smaller, more innovative deals and broadened their scope on a sector basis e.g. technology and biotech are worldwide sectors. Humbled by this acknowledgement from Global Business Insight, Camden Associates are encouraged to continue their work; protecting, building and managing their clients’ financial futures. Jean-Claude Gonneau from Camden Associates expressed how competitive the world of finance advice is and growing yet. “I would not assume to know what the right way for all investment banking companies is because every firm has different goals due to which they face a unique set of struggles to be tackled by a team with specialised abilities. As for Camden Associates, we are fundamentally project driven and believe that behind the specifics of each sector that we deal with, there is a unique management style. We simply strive to help them solve a singular problem they have at one point in time.’’

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When asked why clients would choose Camden Associates over another firm that offers their services, Jean-Claude revealed:“Basically, we take time to understand the story, discern what the clients want to achieve and see how best we can help them. We never feel pressure in entering a deal that we do not believe in. We then use statistical data to predict how the market will react and act accordingly, ensuring our decisions are always backed up by sound research”. “The overall mission is to get deals done, and then we take all the necessary and compliance-regulated steps to make the deal a success. It does not make us ‘leaders in innovation’ as such but it does keep us focused on what the latest technologies can bring to a deal and we are always looking to use newer and more efficient tools available to us to satisfy the clients’ objectives.” Jean-Claude went on to explain how the firms work ethics are always evident in their employees, “People are working because they want to. It is a matter of enthusiasm and responsibility to and for our clients. Camden Associates does not try to make sure its employees remain with us yet stay they do. It is all down to the team spirit that carries us all throughout the day and I am inspired by the loyalty they have showed so far”. Being in the Finance sector, regulations and legislations are constantly being updated and to remain on top of our compliance Camden Associates must adapt alongside each change. Mifid 2 certainly upset the profession and the competitive landscape. “In my opinion, these legislations are made by people that may not have a comprehensive grasp of how our business operates but we do not fight them either. I have come across some investment firms that gave up due to the laborious and sometimes inane changes to our requirements”. Always looking ahead, Camden Associates are venturing towards new oil saving technologies that are all the rage in Continental Europe. Jean-Claude further discloses that they are currently working with a company which developed the ‘passcare’, the first portable patient record. Blockchain crypted will empower patients to control their medical record and their data. This has even attracted the attention of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Another project they are involved in is completing and financing for a company using hydrogen-based techniques to effectively reduce car consumption by 30% and pollution by 75%.

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Veeru Mewa is an expert in Personal Injury law with international aspects and over the past years he has frequently handled cases in the United States and UK. He is also the author of several publications discussing international fundamental rights of Dutch personal injury victims. Since 2014, Mr Mewa is the first personal injury lawyer, for Dutch victims, to be ranked amongst prestigious international aviation lawyers. Beer advocaten have been the leading lawyers in representing victims of air crashes in countries as wide spread as Amsterdam, Lybia, Ukraine, etc. In the last 10 years, they have expanded to taking on board cases consisting of not just multiple victims of entire commercial airlines but also single aircraft accidents and helicopter crashes all over the world.

VEERU MEWA Beer advocaten is a well-renowned law firm in the Netherlands, leading in liability and personal injury law. Veeru Mewa, an equity partner at Beer advocaten, breaks down how the firm is committed to purely representing the interests of plaintiffs that have sustained injuries either abroad or foreign nationals involved in accidents in the Netherlands.

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When asked to detail the company’s mission, Veeru shared “In international cases, victims need to know that we have the quality and know how to handle their cases in the Netherlands or to find our way to a forum abroad. We may be small country, yet we are becoming an important player in this highly competitive market”.

Beer advocaten have spared no expense in learning all there is to know about International legal systems and aligning themselves with the impressive network of international lawyers. This has allowed them to serve their clients seamlessly through, what could otherwise be, rigorous legal proceedings of liability and personal injury law. “I´m very humbled and honoured to be receiving this award. It shows that our clients are satisfied with our work. The only technique I used was just being honest to the clients about what is possible. Do not make promises you cannot keep or reach and just deliver a top-notch quality service.” Many law firms face a common struggle; conflict of interests within their own client list. Beer advocaten simply choose to represent plaintiffs only. Choosing to fight for the David’s against the Golaith’s of the world. It is not common for companies to make such a transparent choice which sends a clear message: Our goal is to offer clients the most professional and specialist legal assistance in the Fight For Justice. Maintaining a position at the forefront of the competition over the course of 10 years is no small feat, yet Beer advocaten continue to deliver. Veeru explains that they achieve this by accepting that each client has specific needs and this requires being creative to not only meet their expectations but exceeding their expectations whenever possible. At every stage, they remind themselves of their focus; the client’s objectives are to be fulfilled above all else. In order to advocate for their clients, Beer advocaten relies on its lawyers to do a flawless job. This is further honed-in by attracting the very best talent to the company in the first place, promoting positive in-office vibes once they join the team and informing the public about their high standards through media. This ensures their lawyers choose to remain working for the leading law firm in liability and personal injury law in the Netherlands.

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an investment fund that supports sustainable growth france

Alter Equity3P, provided by Alter Equity, is a French Investment Fund company that was established in 2013. They currently manage €41.5m that they raised from institutional investors and entrepreneurs. The 3P in Alter Equity3P stands for “People, Planet and Profit”. Alter Equity is actively building a portfolio of impact investments (socially responsible), while seeking an attractive return for its limited partners. The fund targets French companies generating a yearly turnover of above €1m, with a strong potential for profitable growth. The following are some of the companies that Alter Equity are currently invested in: • Magic Makers - teach children how to code; • Innovafeed - produce insect-meal for aquaculture in substitution of wild fish flour; • Sports Etudes Academy - the leading French private sport-study education provider; • Nino Robotics - manufacture carefully designed two-wheeled electrical wheelchairs; • NED - provider of tailored renewable energy solutions; • Green Creative - manufactures waste sorting machines optimizing the value of waste; • Eficia – provide solutions for building energy performance, achieving energy savings of between 15-50% for its clients; • Remade Group – leader in the refurbishment of the French iPhones; • OpenAirlines - develops a set of software solutions improving the fuel efficiency for airline companies’, leading to 5% kerosene savings per flight; and • bo.ho green - a cosmetics brand that is natural, eco-conceived and affordable. There is an obvious pattern that can be seen in the list above, “People, Planet and Profit”. Alter Equity stay true to their mission. We invited [INSERT ROLE IN COMPANY], Fanny Picard, to talk us through the firm and the investment options that Alter Equity provide. Fanny explores how the fund works alongside the companies it invests in to ensure excellence for every stakeholder. “Here at Alter Equity, our values are at the core of our philosophy when conducting business and managing our relationships with our stakeholders. The strong partnership that we have fostered with our portfolio companies is noticeably based on goodwill, respect and support”. ISSUE 12 | 240

To ensure strong returns for its investors, Alter Equity’s active involvement is translated into monthly meetings with said investors, addressing key growth challenges to develop the value of the companies it invests in, including Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues and/or opportunities. Overall, the impact-investment sector has been rapidly developing in the past few years, attracting a wide variety of investors, both individual and institutional. Unsurprisingly, Alter Equity must work not only hard but smart, to stay at the forefront of emerging developments and remain a leader in their field. Fanny shared further; “To remain ahead of the cutting edge new developments, at Alter Equity we rely on our 4 pillars.”

Pillar 1 Alter Equity’s scope of investment embraces 15 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and target. They constantly improve their impact-assessment methodology to stay on par with the state of the art SDG guidelines.

pillar 2 The company’s deal flow is vigorously managed so as to generate the best investment opportunities on the market for its clients. This is achieved through diversified sources to which they are well connected.

pillar 3 Alter Equity strives to maintain an entrepreneurial mindset within its organisation. First and foremost, they are proud to rely on a strategic committee that is composed of successful business-people who guide them in their investment decisions. Once the investment has been made, they team up to strengthen the partnership with the management team and champion the company’s potential.

pillar 4 The fund company endeavours to maximise its investments’ financial return. Their net Internal Rate of Return (IRR) target is 10% but their current expectations are well above this target. By working towards all of these goals, Alter Equity are able to ensure that clients receive exceptional support that meet their needs. Alter Equity aims to demonstrate that sustainability is not only compatible with financial returns, it is also a source of growth. The success of their portfolio companies and the fund’s unwavering commitment to their investment thesis is a testament in and of itself. When asked what the future holds for Alter Equity, Fanny expressed “We will be seeking to build upon our current success in nurturing our ideals and keeping our clients in profit, and there is widespread optimism amongst the team about the times ahead.”

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Global Business Insight Magazine talks to the MOVIE ON’s founder Enrico PINOCCI, who has a 30 years’ experience in the entertainment industry about their award-winning approach to the silver screen. Over the years the company has developed its activities at international level by adopting a trade expansion policy and buying the rights of film Library with genres for the various licensing theatrical, TV, Home video and all media. MOVIE ON has 300 movies intended for the international market and is in touch for acquiring and licensing with many broadcasting companies. 2018 sees Movie On in production for the movie: “THE DOG OF CHRISTMAS”, in pre-production: “DADDY DON’T MARRY AGAIN”, “2 HEARTS AND 3 PUPPIES AT CHRISTMAS”, “TEEN STAR ACADEMY 2”, “THE FABULOUS CHRISTMAS HOLIDAYS”. At the beginning of the year Movie On concluded an agreement for the distribution of the films produced together with the Premiere Entertainment Group from Los Angeles, USA. Movie On also acquired for the purpose of distribution some films by TRICOAST USA, CARNABY UK ,13 FILMS USA, BLEIBERG (USA), VOLTAGE(USA) ,DOUBLE DUTCH ( ) , VISIT ( USA) and SHORELINE ( USA) . Enrico PINOCCI commented; “The purpose of Movie On is to enhance its activities of film production and distribution, providing products to any broadcasting platform, by implementing trade agreements with international providers. And the latest results continue on this path. Starting on September, three movies produced by Movie On will be released on all media in US, Canada and many other countries. Our company has a tradition in results: it is solid, and its main feature is the high potential in its results, in terms of performance.’’ “It is very important for us always to look for new, innovative solutions. We’re permanently committed to the product development, and we’re always pioneering in technology and market trends. But it isn’t always easy, the biggest challenge is the capital for required for the group, the coordination among the different branches, the integration, dedication, flexibility and the specific skills in the field by many different professionals, working all together to make creative products of high artistic quality, that have as main aim the result. “But the dynamism of the company allows us to catch major professionals: to make them stay in the team, financial and professional rewarding are crucial. Our team is crucial to making the company as success! Movie On is made up of divisions, and each of them has the responsibility within its field, and they all contribute to the finalization of the product. The final result is the answer to the high-quality service. That’s why I’m so glad I’ve won this award. The results we’ve achieved until now are a consequence of the strategic study in our field on the market demands, and of focusing our producing business on the family orientated movies, enhancing values and feelings.” To say that 2018 had been Movie On year is an understatement and we are only at the beginning of the third quarter! With activity like this no wonder Movie On was voted Film Production & Distribution Company Of The Year 2018 at this year’s 2018 Global Business Insight Awards. Enrico PINOCCI concludes what’s in store for the company: “The U.K. is a very dynamic country in the film industry, and there is a great interaction with the U.S., that represent 60% of the market to our products. Regarding the logistic corporate setting, England is outstanding. Rules are very clear, so it is enough to have the right professionals and to follow the rules. The company’s agenda focus on development and enhancement of the two main business sectors we work in. First of all, production, with the finishing of three films in 2018, and the making of six films in 2019, since we’ve already concluded agreements with stunning locations in Kenya ( Watamu) and USA (Los Angeles, San Luis, Obispo). The second one is distribution, with the licensing of 90 films in the countries we work in, and the main are: U.S., England, Germany, Spain, France, Italy, BENELUX, China.”

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enrico pinocci

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PREMIER CARE LLC The Non-Medical Home Care Provider in Greenwich, Connecticut

Premier Care LLC finds professionally trained and highly qualified caregivers to provide home health care support to clients living at home, in assisted living or in nursing home facilities. Premier Care has over a thousand registered caregivers and an international group of European, Russian, Georgian, American or African/American companions and home health aides. They design their clients’ care plans based on their personality, health history, lifestyle and any unique needs they may have, and then pair them with the individuals that will lead to the best possible outcome. The founder and CEO of Premier Care, Tamara Mosidze, has a master’s degree in medical studies [please confirm] and 17 years’ work experience in health care. She has been able to build a successful business that has grown to the powerful entity that it is now through her unwavering work ethic, honesty, good reputation, devotion to her company, passion for helping people and unparalleled knowledge of her field. Premier Care started off growing gradually by not concentrating on profits and the bottom line. Instead, they focussed on creating a circle of happy clients by providing high-quality bespoke service each and every time. ““It’s a great honour to be nominated by Global Business Insight for this award, thank you for choosing our company! It makes me believe that devotion and hard work do pay back and I’m very proud to be nominated again.” - Tamara Mosidze.

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Tamara painstakingly chose the right people to trust with her company’s reputation. This meant that not only was it essential to have the best careworkers but also the right kind of families to work with. The bonds that are forged between Premier Care employees and their clients can last generations - if the relationship is nurtured with respect and Premier Care is the company for that. They have found that potential clients are likely to choose them based on word of mouth; real, human experiences, over the ease of finding them on Google’s first page. This was made possible by making sure that their existing clients and their families are always satisfied with the services rendered. Once Premier Care hire their employees, they administer comprehensive training, updating their workers with new methods and technology and of course reviewing each individual’s daily reports and giving guidance and support accordingly. We have all heard horror stories from care workers about terrible working conditions, but there is none of that at Premier Care. By hiring intelligent, educated, highly skilled employees, Tamara feels comfortable knowing that the brand and image of Premier Care will remain intact. In turn, she takes good care of her employees, not just through financial support but boosting morale when a job has been done well. This fosters loyal workers, and loyal workers innately work harder for a company that they feel believe in them. Marketing technologies and trends are always changing so, of course, Marke2ing dedicate time to staying current and in-the-know. Through their brilliant partner network, they are kept very well informed on new technologies, trends and B2B marketing benchmarks by tuning-in to publications, forums and networking events, as inquisitive marketing directors are wont to do. All the while, they regularly run team sessions for knowledge-sharing, keeping each other on top of best practices and any new b2b marketing developments. Providing care for the disabled and elderly is a highly competitive industry and maintaining a strong foothold in this sector requires more than just qualified employees and positive reviews from clients. Premier Care was nominated for [specific names of awards] awards multiple times and have had 5-star reviews on Google over the past 3 years. Recently, they received the Top 10 smart Health Care Companies Award in the nation and several publications. This has helped Premier Care remain in good standing, giving their customers the confidence that they made the right choice. Premier Care is the right choice. Laws and regulations are constantly changing in and around the healthcare industry, so Premier Care is actively involved with these organisations, by taking part in educational seminars and annual conference’s which informs them of the newest changes. For this purpose, Premier Care became members of several organisations such as CT Geriatrics Society, CT chapter of American Association of Home Care – ACHA, National Care Planning Council, Greenwich Chamber of Commerce, etc. Looking back at the past 3 years and how much Premier Care has accomplished, Tamara feels like she is in a much better position to expand across the country, opening branches in the nearby states or even franchising her brand.

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Carovus GmbH is a specialist service provider for businesses and firms in the financial markets and banking sector. They assist their clients with recruiting new staff and supporting job candidates in their search for potential employers and attractive job opportunities that suit their career goals. In addition to this, Carovus also provide communication and marketing services as part of their critical business areas.

Q: How does it feel to have won this award? A: “We are very pleased about this kind of praise for our work and the services we provide to a special segment of the asset management business. I am sure that one of the reasons why we got this award was our dedicated work and our continuous provision of valuable services to asset managers. This keeps us motivated, thanks to Global Business Insight.”Managing Director, Thomas Vogl. ISSUE 12 | 248


we remain steadfast that our service is a long-term investment and that true value will be realised when businesses have a multi-skilled workforce that is not only compliant and competent but also futureproofed.

The responsibility that comes with their field of business requires Carovus to act with due diligence and still continue to strive to live up to the expectations of all parties involved. This has meant that any assignments that do not align with the values of Carovus are, therefore, not undertaken by Carovus. Given that they are renowned for their commitment, reliability, communication and consistency, Carovus ensures that their company mission is righteously upheld through their projects.

Recognising how difficult it is for job applicants to find the best employer, and from practical experience; Carovus are fully aware of the challenge that companies may face when it comes to the recruitment of new staff. “Classic” personnel recruitment agencies are found to be more or less unable to act in the financial advisers’ area as they are either unfamiliar with the job applicants’ needs and requirements, or their clients are refusing to accept them as outright industry experts. Whereas Carovus has succeeded in doing just that and continues to close this gap between employers meeting their future employees. On the other hand, when it comes to their future careers, well-trained bank clerks, excellent asset managers and experienced account managers may qualify for more job alternatives than you may be aware of. And Carovus supports them in finding those alternatives. In today’s world, this search for alternative career options is becoming increasingly important and valuable for job applicants as banks and finance-institutions are cutting jobs and laying off staff in quite a rigorous and sweeping manner. Carovus operate in a specialised segment of private banking and wealth management business, ready to break new ground and try out innovative tools to pursue their objectives: “Our greatest achievement is being able to find highly qualified personnel for our clients in the wealth management segment even though we do not operate as a classic personal recruitment agency.” - Thomas Vogl. When it comes to approaching promising job candidates, Carovus perceive them as individuals and treat them with personal attention and in a respectful manner. They shortlist potential candidates from a wide range of options and carefully analyse the ones that will fit best when it comes to presenting suitable candidates for their clients. In doing so, they make use of the whole spectrum of economically viable alternatives. Carovus will be the company that wealth management businesses will approach when recruiting new employees in the financial advisory sector and in the field of corporate communication and presentation. Their ability to enter and conclude personnel recruitment contracts with numerous companies and businesses helps them to build on their reputation as specialists in this field. The entire financial industry is undergoing drastic changes, and this state of upheaval started right before the European Central Bank’s policy of quantitative easing. Banking institutions are cutting jobs in high numbers, digitalisation is moving forward in great leaps, and convenience is increasingly gaining in importance - thus an entirely new breed of competition is entering the scene. Carovus are confident in their strength and capacity to ride these changes. “We at Carovus see this as an opportunity because we excel in accompanying our target group; independent asset managers – as they negotiate through new developments in legislation, meaning they need to recruit appropriately qualified staff, and we specialise in supporting them in this. Our clients can always count us to have their back through it all.” - Thomas Vogl. ISSUE 12 | 249

ISSUE 12 | 250

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