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Startup Founders Should Focus on Managing Expectations Before Managing KPIs

by Manni Sidhu, Co-founder and CEO of Coleegs, and William Gilchrist, Founder and CEO of Konsyg

A new challenge has bloomed for founders and managers in the Covid-19 era –how do they set key performance indicators (KPIs) for the years ahead?

The start of a new quarter prompts common questions from start-up founder’s and executives across Asia: What are our revenues and sales targets? How do we achieve our intended goals?

These same decision makers are now being forced to answer an alternative set of questions: Which staff do we retain, furlough, or layoff? Will our funding dry out? How much further will our revenues drop?

We identified three fundamental areas where founders need to direct their attention over the coming 12 months, in order to set the stage for KPIs to create positive outcomes.

Retention of Staff.

A recent report from research and policy advisory organisation ‘Start-up … Read the rest

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Pension transfers plummet as charge ban bites

The XPS Pension Transfer Watch Index for September has revealed that pension transfer activity plummeted at the same time as scam alerts surged – with 62% of pension transfers highlighted as potential scams.

The company said that activity in the Defined Benefit (DB) transfer market fell to a “record low” in September, according to the XPS Transfer Watch.

The firm warned that the drop may be a sign of pension savers struggling to find a financial adviser as the ban on contingent charging on transfers loomed. The ban started on 1 October and early signs are that many advisers have pulled out of the transfer market.

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Mark Barlow, partner at XPS Pensions Group, said: “It appears that the record low in transfer activity may be due to the difficulties members face in finding a suitable adviser following the withdrawal of many firms from the market.  Many advisers withdrew

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How J.P. Morgan is proceeding with extreme caution—and still making plenty of money

If a modern-day Rip Van Winkle had been slumbering since February and just awoke to read J.P. Morgan’s headline numbers for Q3––before witnessing the masked throngs and boarded-up storefronts––he wouldn’t know that an economic crisis is ravaging American.

Before the market close on October 13, the banking colossus smashed expectations by announcing $9.4 billion in net income, the second-highest quarterly number in its history. That’s a 4.4% gain over Q3 on $29.15 billion in revenues that slipped just a hair from last year. Wall Street analysts were forecasting a 2% fall in sales and 12% drop in profits, the latter driven by another big slug of provisions to cover future loan losses. The analysts reckoned that J.P. Morgan would book $2.8 billion in credit costs to bolster its reserves for looming write-downs that it hadn’t seen coming in the previous two quarters.

As it turned out, J.P. Morgan took around … Read the rest

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ConocoPhillips in Talks to Buy Concho Resources in Big Shale Bet

(Bloomberg) — ConocoPhillips is in talks to acquire rival Concho Resources Inc., according to people familiar with the matter, as one of America’s largest independent oil explorers looks to make a bold bet on shale during an historic industry downturn.The companies may announce a deal in the next few weeks, said the people, who asked to not be identified because the matter isn’t public. Shares of Concho climbed as much as 10% to $48.72 in early New York trading Wednesday, giving the Midland, Texas-based company a market value of about $9.6 billion.Conoco was little changed after closing down 2% at $34.88 on Tuesday, translating into a market value of about $37 billion. No final decision has been made and talks could fall through, the people said. Representatives for Conoco and Concho didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.The potential combination would be the latest sign that long-expected consolidation in the … Read the rest

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Business Travel Decline Due To COVID And Environmental Concerns

by Simone Semprini, CEO & Co-Founder, TourScanner

A few months after the world discovered the first Coronavirus case in China, a general lockdown has completely changed the lives of billions of people. It was a surreal situation with over one billion people confined at home.

Effect of the lockdown in the travel industry.

The measures to prevent the spreading of the virus induced a global reduction of the travel demand. International traveling was forbidden in most countries in the world, and even domestic trips were not allowed in several countries.

The number of flights in the United States was reduced by over 70% in April, seven times more than the impact of the financial crisis of 2008. The decline of business travel has been a significant factor.

According to the World Travel & Tourism Council, corporate travel is worth $1.4 trillion and it accounts for 21% of the global … Read the rest

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Hundreds of Planners backed Financial Planning Week

Preliminary figures from the CISI reveal that 130 Financial Planning offices offered free surgeries to the public during Financial Planning Week #FPWUK which took place last week.

The annual CISI campaign to promote the benefits of Financial Planning to the nation was supported this year for the first time by the Personal Finance Society.

The CISI hailed support for the event, taking place during challenging times, as impressive with several hundred planners backing the campaign in some way.

Jacqueline Lockie CFP, CISI head of Financial Planning, told Financial Planning Today: “Our early indicators show that Financial Planning Week and Wold Financial Planning Day were both very successful.”

Most of the free sessions offered by Financial Planners were virtual due to Coronavirus pandemic restrictions with many planners using video calling or telephone calls to reach consumers rather than running face-to-face surgeries or drop in sessions as in the past. Many of

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Amazon’s German workers launch Prime Day strike over pandemic pay

It’s Amazon Prime Day(s), and in Germany many of the company’s workers are marking the occasion by going on strike.

Labor union Verdi announced the strike on Tuesday, the first day of the two-day retail event. Workers are striking in shifts, so as to avoid the contagion risk of large crowds in front of their warehouses. Seven of Amazon’s 15 German fulfilment centers are affected, and the company claims there will be no impact on deliveries for Prime customers.

The industrial action is far from the first to hit Amazon’s German operations—Amazon’s German workers tend to strike around the most lucrative times of year for the company, such as Prime Day and Christmas. Usually the strikes are to do with Amazon’s refusal to enter into collective wage negotiations with Verdi, and that is a factor this time round, but not the main one.

This time the big issue is … Read the rest

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Altimmune’s COVID-19 Vaccine Shows Positive Results; Street Sees 289% Upside

Shares of Altimmune published positive pre-clinical data for its new single-dose, intranasal COVID-19 vaccine candidate AdCOVID. Shares closed 1.9% higher on Monday.The company stated that the study conducted on two strains of mice demonstrated that its AdCOVID elicited multi-faceted immune activity including serum neutralizing immunity, T cell immunity, and mucosal immunity.According to Altimmune (ALT), “AdCOVID is based on the Company’s adenovirus-based intranasal vaccine platform and expresses the receptor binding domain (RBD) of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein.” The company said, “AdCOVID is designed to offer significant advantages over other COVID-19 vaccine approaches, including intranasal administration, single-dose effectiveness, broad activation of the immune response, and the ability to ship and store the vaccine conveniently and inexpensively.”Altimmune is planning to file an Investigational New Drug (IND) with the US Food and Drug Administration. It expects to initiate a Phase 1 safety and immunogenicity trial of its intranasal COVID-19 vaccine candidate during the fourth … Read the rest

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How Technology Is Shaping The Future Of Lending In Australia

by Luke Fitzpatrick

In an age where loans are harder to come by than ever, it seems behind the times that technology hasn’t already further accelerated an individual’s capacity to explore different methods of funding. 

With trust in major banks faltering, it makes sense that now is the time for investors and borrowers to explore alternative means for gaining loans. The digital age is helping to facilitate this change through new means like crowdfunding and peer-to-peer (P2P) lending. 

The endless possibilities of technology.

The shift to more modern funding options has occurred on the back of industry regulators cracking down on credit providers and banks making property, business, and personal loans harder to come by. 

Instead of relying on traditional lenders, young people are using technology to assume greater control over their own financial destiny. This means no longer accepting the word of large financial institutions as law. 

Instead, there Read the rest

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Accountants with Financial Planning arms combine

Two expanding regional accountancy firms with Financial Planning arms are to combine following a £20m takeover deal.

Surrey-based Chartered Accountants SKS Business Services has acquired North East-based chartered accountants Bailey Group.

SKS’s acquisition of Bailey Group expands the firm’s geographical reach with the addition of an established base in the North East, the firm says. 

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Following the takeover SKS Business Services now has 25 offices across the UK and nearly 11,000 SME clients.

Bailey Group has 10 offices, mainly in the North East and North and will now be known as SKS Bailey Group.

The deal gives SKS a presence in five out of the UK’s eight regions and a consolidated group EBITDA of £4.8 million. SKS is based in Richmond upon Thames, Surrey.

The funding for the acquisition was provided by an ‘acquisition facility’ of Ј20 million from Shard Credit Partners. In recent years, SKS has acquired

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