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Blog Archives: Nigel Phillips

Financial Focus

US new job openings rose to their highest level in two-and-a-half years in March, the Labour Department said in its monthly Job Openings and Labour Turnover Survey. Job openings - a measure of labour demand - rose 99,000 to 3.12m, the highest since September 2008. It was the first time since November 2008 that job openings have been at or above 3m for two consecutive months. The government is on track to virtually eliminate the UK’s budget deficit - currently almost 10% of GDP - by the next election, chancellor George Osborne has said. While the path to full economic recovery may be tough, the coalition remains strong and committed to restoring the UK’s public finances, Osborne told the Institute of Directors. Osborne added that he saw no need to raise taxes or cut spending beyond the cuts to spending already announced. THE UK’s goods trade deficit widened more than expected in March, giving back some of the strong improvement seen in the first two…

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Breaking News

David Gilbertson, chief executive of business-to-business publisher Emap, has left the company with immediate effect. It is understood the decision for Gilbertson's departure was reached "mutually", with Emap's joint investors, private equity group Apax Partners and Guardian publisher Guardian Media Group. The company said it expects to give an update on its succession plans "in due course". Neil Hourston, Grey's chief strategy officer for EMEA, is leaving the agency. Hourston is quitting to work on a new project, not thought to be directly related to advertising. Dennis Publishing has appointed Timothy Webb to the newly created role of international director. Webb will be responsible for exploring opportunities in south-east and southern Asia, China and South America, with the view to expanding Dennis' brands internationally. O2 has appointed Tom Hosking, Microsoft's Windows Live sales lead, as the head of its personalised marketing arm O2 More. Hosking will be responsible for growing O2 More's user base, which recently exceeded two million people, by improving the offers available…

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Financial Focus

China pledged to open more of its markets to U.S. companies after a two-day gathering of top officials that underscored the gap between the two nations over how fast the Chinese currency should rise. The world’s two biggest economies settled on incremental steps to improve business ties. China pledged to strengthen intellectual property rights and phase out domestic purchasing preferences by the government, while offering foreign financial firms a larger role. AUSTRALIA’S government will end 23 years of spending growth to ease inflation from a mining boom and support the return to a budget surplus, even as it plans to help companies hurt by a record high currency. The underlying cash deficit will narrow to A$22.6 billion in the 12 months to June 30, 2012, less than half the A$49.4 billion gap this fiscal year. The government plans A$22.2 billion in savings over the next four years to deliver a A$3.5 billion surplus in 2012-13. MARKETS: EUROPEAN shares are expected to extend the previous session’s…

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Breaking News

The capital's newly formed marketing agency, London & Partners, has appointed Martine Ainsworth-Wells as director of marketing and communications as part of its new executive line-up. London & Partners has placed Ainsworth-Wells at the head of its marketing arm, as the agency gears up to promote London in the run up to the Olympics. MediaCom has appointed Selina Firth as board strategy director, with specific responsibility for the GlaxoSmithKline account. Firth will be responsible for leading the GSK account across the UK consumer healthcare business. As well as heading up GSK, Firth will also help drive MediaCom’s overall planning vision. AVIVA INVESTORS The British insurer Aviva's asset management arm said it appointed Nancy Utterback and Alessandro Rovelli as senior credit analysts within the Credit Team, based in London. SAV CREDIT LTD The specialist credit card provider said it appointed Stephen Rowland to the newly created role of general counsel and chief administration officer. Rowland joins from Santander where he was the legal and compliance director…

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Financial Focus

Greece was struck by multiple ratings agencies yesterday, following the EU's admission on Friday that Athens will not be ready to return to markets for cash next year, as is required by the terms of the 110bn bailout. S&P downgraded Greek debt to B, one notch above Pakistan's bonds, warning that any voluntary debt restructuring by Athens would amount to a default. China reported a trade surplus that was more than three times larger than forecast in April as exports surged to a record, bolstering the US case for faster yuan gains. Exports climbed 30% to $156 billion while import growth slowed to 22%. The rebound in China’s surplus to its highest this year may add pressure on the world’s biggest exporter and holder of foreign exchange reserves to address imbalances and reduce inflation through steeper yaun appreciation. BERNANKE’S $600 billion strike against deflation is paying off, as stock and debt markets rise, bank lending grows and economists forecast faster growth. The S&P 500 index…

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100 not out.

Despite warnings that the UK is suffering an obesity epidemic, children play computer games, rather than sport, 10% of them cannot ride a bike and 15% cannot swim, demographic experts have warned society needs to radically re-think pensions, if it is to cope with the ever-increasing numbers of centenarians. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), says more than a quarter of today’s under-16s can expect to live beyond 100. Of the UK’s 60 million population, 11 million will become centenarians and pensions minister, Steve Webb, says the state pension system must be made "fair and sustainable for future generations", if people are going to spend more than a third of their lives in retirement. Head of policy, at the International Longevity Centre, David Sinclair, says that while the increase in longevity is a "huge success" for society, it will come at a price. He said: "The impact on service provision will be huge and society is heading towards huge fiscal service pressures." There will…

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Breaking News

Reader's Digest loses CEO Titmuss after 6 months. The chief executive of the company behind Reader's Digest, David Titmuss, has left after six months "to pursue other interests".In a statement Vivat Direct, which declined to comment on why Titmuss left, said it would appoint a successor "in due course". Digital Cinema Media, the cinema sales house, has appointed the former Mindshare chief executive Simon Rees as its new managing director. He replaces Martin Bowley, who left DCM in January. Rees will oversee all commercial and operational aspects of the DCM business, which, following the addition of the Vue cinemas contract at the end of last year, now accounts for around 80 per cent of the cinema ad sales market.   Paul Meadows, head of brand at LG, and Paul Trueman, marketing director of LG Electronics, have both left their jobs in a major shake-up of the brand's marketing department.   UBS The Swiss banking giant named Campbell Stewart as head of metals and mining for…

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Financial Focus

The Bank of England’s quarterly inflation report on Wednesday could offer insights on when the monetary policy committee will raise the cost of borrowing from historic lows of 0.5%. Analysts expect the report to complicate the bank’s dilemma, raising forecasts for inflation while lowering growth estimates, after the disappointing 0.5% GDP expansion in the first quarter. CHINESE producer price inflation for April is expected to moderate to a year-on-year rise of 6.9%, down from 7.3% in March, when data is released on Wednesday. Headline consumer price inflation data, however, looks set to remain around a 32-month high of 5.4%. China’s retail sales growth is expected to rise to 17.8%, up from 17.4% in the previous month. THE US TRADE deficit is forecast to grow from $45.8bn in February to $48bn in March, in data published on Wednesday, with both imports and exports rebounding since the last set of data. GERMAN first-quarter GDP data is expected to show that the country doubled its growth to 0.8%…

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Breaking News

Reckitt Benckiser has appointed Heather Allen as executive vice-president for category development, taking the post vacated by Rakesh Kapoor, who was recently appointed chief executive designate. Kapoor is taking the reins from Bart Becht, who announced in April he would retire in September. Innocent marketing executive Jo Goyder has left the company after just over a year to join consultancy Brand Development. Goyder left his role as consumer insights manager for innovation and juice at Innocent within the past two weeks. The National Magazine Company has promoted Jessica Myers to the role of group ad director for its weeklies division. Myers, currently ad director for NatMag's celebrity weekly Reveal, will take over display advertising responsibility across the weeklies portfolio from next Monday. Dave Chase, the head of brand partnerships at specialist music consultancy BrandAmp, is to join Interpublic's integrated and experiential agency Momentum to manage its relationship with American Express and Live Nation. UBS The Swiss banking giant named Campbell Stewart as head of metals…

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Breaking News

DDB UK's head of planning, Sarah Watson, is leaving the agency to move to New York with her husband, Tom Morton, the chief strategy officer of Publicis Group UK. Watson is joining Bartle Bogle Hegarty in New York in the newly created role of chief strategy officer. Morton does not have a job to go to in the US but has quit Publicis to make the move with Watson. Beattie McGuinness Bungay creative directors Ben Walker and Matt Gooden have resigned from the agency to join Crispin Porter & Bogusky's London office as joint executive creative directors. The creative team resigned on Wednesday and leave BMB after just over a year at the shop. They will work across CP&B’s accounts, including the agency’s pan-European Milka business. Digital Cinema Media, the cinema sales house, has appointed the former Mindshare chief executive Simon Rees as its new managing director. He replaces Martin Bowley, who left DCM in January. Rees will oversee all commercial and operational aspects of…

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