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Holidays are for wimps

"I'll keep it short and sweet - family, religion, friendship. These are the three demons you must slay if you wish to succeed in business." Mr Burns In the demanding and aggressive world of business, the finer things in life are frequently frowned upon; after all, if 'lunch is for wimps' what kind of under-performing slacker wastes their time with family and friends, when they could be grinding away for the corporate good? This is a short-sighted and surely outdated view of what precludes success in business. It is estimated that work-induced depression and anxiety cost UK companies €16 billion per year in lost productivity. It is the highest in Europe and it is surely no coincidence that UK workers work the most hours and have the smallest amount of annual leave. A recent study, to be published later this month in the journal Psychological Medicine, says one in 20 workers every year can expect to experience serious depression or anxiety as a direct result…

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Profile: Adam Piekarski

Adam Piekarski, 42, runs the Polish offices of ExecutiveSurf and has lived in Poland, since the Berlin Wall came down in 1989. He is originally from Littleborough in England. Poland has an interesting past. As it moves forward, what should Poland and Polish people not forget about? Their vision of the future. They're too heavily anchored in their past. Do they have a vision for the future? Good question. They are better off than in the past, but perhaps they do not have a common vision. Poles as individuals are useless at compromising and drag each other down to the lowest common denominator, they envy others for being above them instead of rising to the challenge. When they're facing hardship together you'd be hard pushed to find a prouder and more single minded nation. Put the two together and you have a real challenge. Maybe they're so used to hardship and a good old struggle they fail to pick up on the good things in…

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Profile: David Thomas

David Thomas is CEO of Financier Sp zoo. He has been in Poland since 1989 and has worked at Country Head, Coopers and Lybrand, Schroder, where he was deputy ceo, ING Barings, where he headed up investment banking and HSBC where he was managing director. He is also chairman of the British Polish Chamber of Commerce (www.bpcc.org.pl). What does Financier do? We are a corporate finance boutique. Where can the most money be made at the moment and who is best placed to earn it and how? As a location I would say India. It is economically insulated and its internal demand stimulates growth. It is a very rapidly developing economy. Individually I would look to the stock market, probably at the beginning of next year; I would still consider the private equity market. There is a current drive to recruit hard-nosed, cost-cutting managers because of the recession. Will this help? If the current managers of a company do not know enough, I don’t think…

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Profile: Wojciech Roman

Wojciech Roman is vice president of Deloitte Poland. He was previously partner in charge of the financial advisory services department. What do you do at Deloitte? Corporate finance advisory. This covers general M&A advisory, valuations, business analysis, financial modelling for transactions. We advise people who want to set up a company in Poland; we show them how to raise the finance, we conduct financial due diligence and provide analysis of companies in the process of transaction. What are your key areas of business? The main is M&A advisory, both on sell and the buy side. We advise Polish entrepreneurs in making exits. They may have set up a company in the 90s, manufacturing window frames, or a bank and the business has developed over time. They may want to leave or bring in more capital to grow; either way we can work with them and give them advice. And we help both strategic and financial investors to get into Polish businesses. Very significant is financial…

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Management Speak

Compare these comments: “We are going to stick to our knitting and go for the low hanging fruit. Frankly, its not a level playing field out there, so when we do kick some goals, at the end of the day, our audience ought to compare apples and apples.” “Our new focus will be to work to our strengths, allowing us to quickly identify and achieve on a primary goal. We all accept that it is a very competitive and fast-moving market, so if we are successful, we hope that our market will compare our superior performance against similar companies, rather than against companies that differ markedly from us.” The first quote is a mix of recreational activity and fruit, while the second is a potentially potent soporific. They say the same thing, but which is the more effective? It depends on the audience! The media and employees may well respond to the first quote, while market analysts and stockbrokers may respond to the second. So…

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The 700 billion dollar question. The recession and how to beat it.

Since we wrote the article, 'We're all doomed, the credit crunch panic', in May, everyone has become increasingly obsessed with the credit crunch, which may sound rather unthreatening, like a breakfast cereal, but, if it becomes a recession, could develop into something altogether more serious. There is general consensus within the media that we are now facing a world financial meltdown, with the situation changing daily. US economists and politicians are currently debating whether Washington should acquire the banks' toxic assets for $700bn. In the first instance, Congress turned down the bill to inject $700bn into the banking system, amid popular feeling that this support of the banks was akin to being sued by a burglar who has broken into your home. The need for bank bail-outs has not gone away. Billions of taxpayers' dollars was used to give Wachovia to America's biggest bank, Citigroup. Belgium's largest bank, Fortis, was partly nationalised by the governments of Belgium, Luxembourg and Holland. Previously the US government bailed…

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Profile: Jon Dixon

Jon Dixon is the European managing director of OCRA Worldwide, who are sponsors of this newsletter and we caught up with the busy Jon between meetings. What does your company, OCRA Worldwide, do? We establish and manage onshore and offshore companies, trusts and other types of international business structures to meet the specific objectives of our clients, fiscal and otherwise. Broadly, these objectives include corporate re-structuring, wealth protection and tax reduction, international expansion and market entry. Our focus is to understand, assess, design and implement a solution that best fits our clients' specific needs and goals while maximising all available benefits. We can also help you decide under which flag to register a new yacht or aircraft. You obviously market to a very specific client base; how do you reach them? We spend a fortune on pay-per-click. We try to be the top choice in Google for any relevant word search. If you type in 'offshore tax' we want you to be able to find…

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Agosto e settembre 2008

26/09/2008 – Aspect software nomina Marco Caporossi country manager della filiale italiana, con anche la responsabilità di Grecia, Romania, Bulgaria, Ungheria, Malta e Cipro. Caporossi ha alle spalle esperienze in SGI, PRAIM, Motorola, Direct.it, Citrix Systems, Packard Bell - NEC Europe, Adobe Systems Italia, NeXT Computer Europe, Hewlett-Packard Europe, Apollo Computer e Nixdorf Computer. 26/09/2008 – Davide Merigliano entra in Esa software dove rappresenterà l’azienda nel Nord Italia in qualità di direttore. 25/09/2008 – Federico Minoli è stato nominato amministratore delegato della fiera di Bologna. Era presidente e AD di Ducati. 25/09/2008 – Francesco Padricelli è il nuovo district sales manager nell’area centro Sud di Zeropiu, internet solution integrator. Classe 1954, Padricelli è stato key account manager in Bull Italia e branch manager in Silicon Graphics (SGI). 24/09/2008 – Kaspersky Lab Italia, azienda attiva nella sicurezza IT e produttore di anti-virus in Europa per il mercato retail, ha nominato Ottaviano De Cicco corporate sales director. De Cicco ha lavorato nel gruppo Telecom Italia, come responsabile…

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A Career Made in China?

There are a number of controversial opinions about Asia as an effective place to develop your career. Everything from the belief that Asia represents a license to print money for salaried expatriates, to the fear of never being able to return to a meaningful role back home. While there is a modicum of truth in both opinions, the full story is a little more complex. So what does Asia offer Australian executives? Actually, it may be more logical to first ask “What does a capable young Australian executive offer Asia?” The most effective way for us to position ourselves career-wise is to do the same as we do with our company’s products and services. That is, discover our customers needs, and adapt our offering to suit those needs. So, what do we Australians offer Asia businesses? What do we have that local managers and executives may lack, creating the actual need for our experiences and skills? Certainly in the multinational corporate community across Asia, highly…

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New survey finds war for talent surviving the credit crunch

A new survey of over 900 employees and nearly 300 employers has found that businesses across the UK are still finding it difficult to recruit and retain staff, despite the economic downturn. The survey, part of an annual programme carried out by recruitment specialist, Ochre House, found that less than 60% of respondents had been in their job less than two years and as many as 68% planned to change employer within the next six months. The most common reason cited for a move was pay (39%), followed by their employer's culture and ethics (28%). 26% were considering leaving their job because of a lack of training. These figures from individuals tie in closely with the results from employers. Whilst staff turnover rates were running around 30% per annum in the 2007 poll, organisations now reported that they had jumped to as much as 42%. "Our surveys over the past five years have shown that career cycles among younger workers, the ‘Generation Y' aged between…

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