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Blog Archives: Nigel Phillips

Financial Focus

GLOBAL equities have fallen by more than $1.6tn over the past two days, but analysts believe that this may have been excessive as there is little evidence of any liquidity or solvency problems. Many economists argue that shares were long overdue a correction, and that investors took the opportunity to come out of their more risky positions as Japan’s crisis unfolded. A growing number if investors now appear to be taking advantage of the low prices, and this trend is likely to gain momentum if the nuclear-reactor risks in Japan subside. EUROPEAN ministers made a dramatic turnaround yesterday as they debated a nuclear-free Europe and agreed that the continent’s 143 nuclear power plants must be put through stress tests. EU member states have been at the forefront of a nuclear energy revival, but the fear of a nuclear disaster as seen in Japan, has called into question reliance on this form of energy provision. PORTUGAL’S sovereign debt rating was cut from A1 to A3 and…

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How to survive a job interview

It is always good to be invited to a job interview; it means your CV is doing its work and getting you noticed. Doesn't it? Rod Bailey, ExecutiveSurf's CEO, says it might not; "Often interviews are set up straight on the basis of a social media profile."  Bailey says: "I have an idea that the world is going keyword crazy. As such, interviewers will probably have found you in the first place via a keyword search and they will probably be interviewing you through keyword criteria; they might, for example, want to know if you have US GAAP experience, or knowledge of an SaaS implementation – they’ll want to tick the boxes. So you need to be quite specific and study what employers want and tailor your presentation around what you know they’re looking for. But be careful; they will Google you – you can’t make stuff up."  So, however the employer found you, you now face the daunting prospect of at least one interview.…

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Breaking News

Lewis Hamilton has signed with Simon Fuller's XIX Entertainment, which will now look after the Formula 1 star's sponsorship and promotional deals. Stevie Spring, Future's chief executive, has been selected to become chairman of the Professional Publishers Association (PPA), from April 2012. Spring will be made deputy chair of the PPA next month. Traditionally, the deputy chair serves for one year before taking over the reins of chairman. Spring will succeed current chairman Charles Reed, group managing director of William Reed Business Media, when he finishes his two years as chairman in April next year. MTV owner Viacom has promoted MTV Network's Australia and New Zealand digital chief Tom Armstrong to the position of vice-president of digital sales for Viacom Brand Solutions International (VBSI). Starcom MediaVest has appointed Barbara Kittridge as global client managing director. Armstrong will be responsible for overseeing ad sales for the digital platforms of Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN), a division of Viacom Inc, with responsibility for all territories outside of…

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Financial Focus

JAPAN’S government, which was facing a debt-to-GDP ratio of 200% this year, will set aside its debt concerns as it focuses on providing relief to the millions left homeless by the disaster. Credit ratings agencies Moody’s and S&P have held off reviewing the status of Japan’s debt until the fiscal consequences become clear, but both agreed that the cost of the catastrophe would add to weakening market confidence in the country’s sovereign debt. THE EARTHQUAKE and resulting tsunami is expected to be the world's most expensive natural disaster, with predictions that the repair bill will top $170 billion. Hurricane Katrina currently holds the record, having caused $123 billion worth of damage to the Gulf Coast of America and the city of New Orleans in 2005. A RECORD ¥15tn was injected into the Japanese economy by its government yesterday, and a further ¥8tn followed today to help ease liquidity. It has already committed a further ¥10tn over the next eight days. INDUSTRIAL output excluding energy in…

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Financial Focus

JAPANESE markets fell sharply as traders sought to offload exposure to the devastating Japanese earthquake. THE BANK of Japan (BoJ) injected ¥15 trillion ($183bn) into the economy this morning to shore up the banking system. It is thought that it has invested in assets ranging from government bonds to private debt. In addition to the ¥15 trillion, the BoJ offered to buy ¥3 billion of government bonds from lenders in repurchase agreements. An emergency budget will be announced today, although monetary options are limited as interest rates are almost zero already. ANALYSTS expressed doubt in Japan’s ability to cope with the costs of Friday’s earthquake and tsunami, saying that the timing of the disaster could not have been worse. MARKETS: OVERNIGHT, the Nikkei plummeted, despite the Bank of Japan increasing its asset-buying programme. The index went as low as 7% at one stage, before settling back to just over 6%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng made a small gain of 0.2% and the Shanghai Composite was…

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Breaking News

U.S. President Barack Obama has chosen executives from Motorola Solutions, Adobe Systems, Symantec Corp, Cummins and Aetna to a board studying how to streamline government, the White House said on Thursday. The board, chaired by Jeffrey Zients, the deputy director for management at the Office of Management and Budget, will advise Obama on how to improve the government's efficiency and effectiveness. The corporate and investment banking arm of Royal Bank of Canada said J.J. Ament and Hing Loi have joined its U.S. municipal finance group as directors. Prior to joining RBC Capital Markets, Ament, served as a director of public finance at Citigroup and Loi a senior investment banker at Citigroup. DELOITTE LLP The business advisory firm appointed Jim Zalles to its information and data practice. Zalles joins Deloitte from IBM Global Business Services, a segment of International Business Machines Corp . TRADINGSCREEN INC The multi-broker and multi-asset class execution management systems provider appointed Chuck Garcia as head of global marketing for traditional asset managers.…

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Breaking News

Don't call me a banker... Shamed former bank boss Sir Fred Goodwin has taken out a super-injunction banning newspapers from publishing certain details about him, it was revealed yesterday. He refuses to allow publications to call him a banker, as he is, actually an ex-banker. Medical staffing specialist Urban Recruitment Group has appointed David Laflin as head of business development.Laflin will focus on brand promotion and increasing business through service level agreement contracts. Financial staffing specialist Allemby Hunt has appointed Martin Guntrip as non-executive chairman. Guntrip is the current club secretary of the All England Lawn Tennis Club. US executive search firm Diversified Search Odgers Berndtson has appointed Lonnie Taylor as managing director in the Washington DC office. With over 20 years of experience in managing executives and recruiting talent, Taylor has successfully conducted senior leadership search assignments in a range of sectors, including general business, government affairs, public relations, academia and non-profits, and in a variety of functional areas. Rec-to-rec firm Red Ventures has appointed…

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Financial Focus

US ECONOMIC data pushed markets lower yesterday as both jobless claims and the trade deficit increased much more than expected. The US trade deficit widened to $46.3bn in February as surging imports of oil, capital goods and cars overpowered record exports. A second report showed a higher-than-expected 26,000 rise in new claims for jobless benefits, which took the total to 397,000, significantly over forecasts of 378,000. MARKETS: YESTERDAY saw markets tumble, as a triple-blow of Eurozone debt fears, poor economic data and fears over escalating levels of violence in the Middle East sent investors scurrying. Traders talked of a ‘catalyst of negative sentiment’, which sent the FTSE to a five-week low and resulted in the worst day in seven months for the Dow. OVERNIGHT, Asian stocks fell, putting the regional benchmark index on course for its biggest weekly drop since August. Seven times more shares declined as advanced on the MSCI Asia Pacific Index, and the gauge looks set for a 3.3% drop this week.…

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Meetings: Who needs them?

You’ve planned your work schedule for the day, arrived at the office to fulfil your functions as efficiently as possible and an email informs you of an unscheduled or forgotten meeting that has been called to tear an irreplaceable chunk out of your day. What’s the point? There are obviously good meetings and bad meetings. There are internal and external ones, formal and informal; from the boardroom to the gathering of like-minded souls smoking fags on the fire escape. The bad ones drone on for hours, as you listen to people marking their territory by pontificating at length, missing the point and leaving you wishing you had never attended and invariably with an increased workload. An effective meeting is one that energises and gives a sense of objectivity and achievement. These meetings are rare, but achieve their desired objectives, take a minimum amount of time and leave the participants feeling a sensible process has been followed. An industry has evolved around the proper management of…

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Madmen and Fish: How to have fun at work

The hugely successful television series, Mad Men, is a stylised drama about the advertising industry on New York’s Madison Avenue, set in the 1960s. It reminds us of how much office life has changed since then. Smoking is not now accepted in the workplace, but the concept of treating women as equals, most definitely is. The show also shows us that we have forgotten how to have fun at work. The ad-men at Sterling Cooper spend their days drinking and smoking furiously and their evenings in their secretaries’ arms. In a constant fug of hedonism and smoke, these men do not need to be taught how to have fun at work, they never want to leave the place. It is simply amazing they get any ads made, but it helps that their biggest account is Lucky Strike. Somewhere along the way, we forgot how to enjoy ourselves at work, but the concept is returning and today some companies seem obsessed with fun and ensuring their…

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