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Monthly Archives: July 2014

Are you invisible enough?

If invisibles work in jobs that are unseen when done perfectly, how do they survive in a culture that seeks endless pats on the back? What does Radiohead's chief guitar technician, Peter "Plank" Clements, have in common with an anaesthetist? Both appear in David Zweig's recent book Invisibles, as examples of jobs that are unseen when they're done perfectly: you know something's gone badly wrong with a Radiohead concert or with an operation if either of these crucial people draws attention to themselves. Zweig's subtitle is The Power Of Anonymous Work In An Age Of Relentless Self-Promotion, and he travels widely to meet people who reject the modern ethos of personal branding and social media microcelebrity – what he calls "this cacophony of self-importance, of personalised electronic vuvuzelas". They include a concert piano tuner; a magazine fact-checker (as Zweig once was); the structural engineer responsible for some of the world's tallest buildings; a UN interpreter; and a "wayfinding" expert whose job is to combine signs,…

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Gaza: another UN school hit in night of fierce bombing. EU and US slap sanctions on Russia. US: Russia breached nuclear treaty. Top Ebola doctor dies from virus. EU migrants face tough new rules. New Ebola measures to stop spread. For sale: Tunnock's tea cakes from Glasgow Games opening ceremony. Most solar panels are facing the wrong direction, say scientists. Alcohol abuse linked to memory loss.   CITIGROUP The chief financial officer of the bank's Institutional Clients Group division, Jerry Bailey, is retiring and will be replaced by Mark Mason, chief executive of the company's private bank. The bank also hired a physical iron ore trader from Deutsche Bank to head its global bulk commodity sales team as it looks to capitalize on increased market volatility.   The bank has made three senior appointments in its technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) team covering Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), as it seeks to increase its share of spending in the sector. WASHINGTON WEALTH MANAGEMENT…

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Fracking push gets the go-ahead across UK. Passport Office staff on strike. Home buyers put off by high prices. Man dies and 14 people left injured after freak lightning hits beachgoers. 50m patients will be 'turned away' from GP surgeries. Former ‘fat bloke’ breaks British marathon record.   ROYAL BANK OF SCOTLAND GROUP PLC Jon Weiss, a former executive of the bank, will join hedge fund Candlewood Investment Group LP, Bloomberg reported, citing a person familiar with the matter. CREDIT SUISSE The prime brokerage unit of Credit Suisse will move one of its senior executives, Paul Caseiras, from New York to London, two sources with knowledge of the matter said. The Swiss bank will relocate Caseiras in September to be part of the unit which provides services such as clearing trades and lending money to hedge funds. CO-OPERATIVE BANK The UK-based bank said it appointed Derek Weir as an independent non-executive director. Over his 25 years of experience in the financial services industry, Weir has…

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116 feared dead in Air Algérie crash. Palestinian death toll passes 700. Sir Chris Hoy stopped and asked for ID (outside the Sir Chris Hoy velodrome). UK has fastest-growing economy. Killer dies two hours into execution. MH17 bodies arrive in Netherlands. Number of drug users rises to 2.7m. Pudsie the movie flops. Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned. Dogs get jealous too.   CANTOR FITZGERALD The financial services firm appointed Eric Bourguignon director of consumer & retail in its corporate finance team. He will focus on mergers and acquisitions and equity capital markets in retail and luxury goods. Bourguignon joins Cantor Fitzgerald from HSBC Investment Bank where he served as senior vice president on the retail coverage team, advising both private equity and corporate clients on a broad range of transactions. MIZUHO BANK The Japan-based Mizuho Financial Group Inc's unit, named Kenneth Gambone as executive director in its public finance investment banking group. Gambone, who has 25 years of…

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What on earth is holocracy?

Every so often a company emerges from the herd to be lauded as the embodiment of leading-edge management thinking. Think of Toyota and its lean manufacturing system, or GE and Six Sigma excellence. The latest candidate for apotheosis is Zappos, an online vendor of shoes and clothes (owned by Amazon), which believes that happy workers breed happy customers. Tony Hsieh, its boss, said last year that he will turn the firm into a “holacracy”, replacing its hierarchy with a more democratic system of overlapping, self-organising teams. Until Zappos embraced it, no big company had taken holacracy seriously. Indeed, not all of Zappos’ 1,500-strong workforce are convinced that it can work. The idea was invented in 2007 by Brian Robertson, a software engineer then in his late twenties. Holacracy’s “constitution” is now on version 4.0, having been adjusted after feedback from the 200 or so mostly small firms that have adopted it. Mr Robertson was inspired in part by a description of holarchy in a 1967…

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Breaking news

MH17 black boxes handed over. Student loans 'almost unworkable'. Chicago under fire: 40 shot in one weekend as gun violence surges. Stolen rabbit found locked inside Royal Mail post box. CHINA RENAISSANCE SECURITIES China Renaissance Securities has hired former JPMorgan executive Yang Diao as co-head of investment banking, according to an internal memo, adding another China technology-focused banker amid a boom in such deals this year. Diao will work alongside Jason Lam, who joined the firm last year, according to the internal memo seen by Reuters on Monday. SWISS BANKERS ASSOCIATION The association said Mark-Oliver Baumgarten would become the new head of financial market Switzerland and a member of the executive board from October this year. Baumgarten succeeds Renate Schwob, who is expected to retire at the end of October 2015. Baumgarten is an attorney-at-law and has been a partner at Staiger, Schwald & Partner Attorneys-at-Law since 2007. NATIXIS GLOBAL ASSET MANAGEMENT The Paris-based asset management company said it appointed four professionals to its portfolio…

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Gaza crisis: Obama and UN call for immediate ceasefire. MH17: anger at Russia grows. Tesco boss Philip Clarke quits Housing market cools down. James Garner dies. Three French rugby players in hospital after machete attack.   INTERCONTINENTAL EXCHANGE INC (ICE) Peter Barsoom, president of the exchange operator's swap trading service, will leave by August-end, Bloomberg reported, citing an internal memo. Barsoom, 43, has been part of the development of ICE's futures contracts on credit-default swaps and its swap execution facility, ICE Swap Trade LLC, according to the report. COMERICA BANK Robert Hudon Jr. joined Comerica Inc subsidiary Comerica Bank's world asset management investment division as vice president and director of institutional sales. The division has about $13.9 billion of assets under management. Hudon most recently served as chief marketing officer for Fiduciary Management Associates LLC. CITIGROUP INC The lender is moving its Asia Pacific head of prime brokerage sales and capital introduction, Martin Visairas, to London, according to a memo seen by Reuters. Visairas, who…

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MH17: Fury at Russia as world demands answers over downed civilian jet. Israel launches ground invasion of Gaza. Banks face watchdog review. Sri Lanka politician jailed for murder. Actress jailed for 18 years for sending poisoned letters to President Obama. BBC News to axe 415 jobs in £800m savings bid. Forty per cent of adults advised to take statins. Dennis Nilsen was Will Self’s dole officer. ZURICH INSURANCE GROUP LTD The Swiss insurance company said it had appointed Patrick Cohen as head of customer and distribution for its general insurance (GI) business FITCH SOLUTIONS The distribution channel for rating agency Fitch Ratings' content said it appointed Brian Filanowski as its global product head. 3I GROUP PLC The London-based private equity and venture capital company said it appointed Caroline Banszky as a non-executive director PEEL HUNT The UK-based brokerage appointed Kathy Boate as head of retail capital markets and Indy Bhattacharrya as head of UK IPO origination. TULLETT PREBON The British interdealer broker has appointed a…

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Israel and Hamas agree to five-hour Gaza ceasefire. Pesticide found in 60% of bread. 1 in 6 families struggling. Time Warner rebuffs Murdoch bid. Michael Gove’s wife hits out at Cameron’s 'shabby' decision to demote him. Piers Morgan branded 'Zionist scum' after Twitter 'debate' on Gaza. Politician jailed for calling minister a chimpanzee. Heatwave warning: health experts tell Britons to stay indoors. Cambridge homes sell faster than rest of Britain. First Briton to finish Tour de France knocked off his bike. BENJAMIN F. EDWARDS & CO The boutique brokerage with family ties to the old A.G. Edwards & Sons, said it has hired 10 advisers away from Wells Fargo Advisers since May. The St. Louis-based investment firm and registered investment adviser announced that the recruits have opened three offices in Arkansas, South Carolina, and Texas, and joined existing offices in Denver and New Jersey. FLOOD RE The Association of British Insurers (ABI) said Brendan McCafferty was appointed chief executive of Flood Re, the UK government-backed…

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Germany crowned champions of the world. Baroness Butler-Sloss steps down from child sex abuse inquiry. Costa Concordia salvage bid begins. Cheryl Cole marries someone in secret wedding. Synod votes on female bishops. Vatican denies Pope said '2% of priests are paedophiles'. Mind the gap: executive pay soars to 160 times the average wage. Eminem fans demand Wembley refund over 'awful' sound quality.   MORGAN STANLEY The Wall Street bank said that it hired five top financial advisers, who collectively produced nearly $7 million in revenue in the last twelve months, away from its competitors. The new recruits joined the firm during a 10-day period stretching from Tuesday, June 24 to Thursday, July 3. WILLIS NORTH AMERICA The unit of risk adviser and insurance broker Willis Group Holdings Plc, named Bob Hayworth as president, chief executive and managing partner of its Kansas operations. Hayworth will oversee sales, service and support operations in Kansas. Hayworth joins from Lockton Companies LLC, a privately owned insurance brokerage firm, where…

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