www.wealthandfinance-news.com Q1 2022 &wealth finance i n t e r n a t i o n a l Idoru Marketplace: Track Your Investments In Real Time In this issue:
www.wealthandfinance-news.com 2 Wealth & Finance International - Q1 2022 Editor’s Comment Welcome to the Q1 edition of Wealth & Finance International Magazine. As always, with every issue we endeavour to provide fund managers, alongside institutional and private investors with the very latest industry news in the traditional and alternative investment spheres. This year we have seen already seen all kinds of weather, news, developments, and companies come and go. Pushing further into this year, we look for inspiration everywhere as we head towards spring. Here we have a varied selection of driven businesses tirelessly searching for new ways to succeed. With AI at the cutting edge of the industry, some of these businesses have achieved full digitisation throughout the time of the pandemic. For many, this has been something on the cards for a long time but for others, this has merely been accelerated by the state of the world. With more people working from home, or isolating, there has been a huge demand for digitalisation and virtual meetings, data recording, and more. As the year unfolds, we are looking forward to what is to come from an abundance of businesses in the financial world. The businesses in this issue have all come such a long way and, for many, they have achieved more than they ever could have wished for. Here at Wealth & Finance we sincerely hope that you enjoy reading this issue and we look forward to seeing you again soon. Sofi Bajor, Editor AI Global Media, Ltd. (AI) takes reasonable measures to ensure the quality of the information on this web site. However, AI will not assume any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, correctness or completeness of any information that is available through this web site. If errors are brought to our attention, we will try to correct them. The information available through the website and our partner publications is for your general information and use and is not intended to address any particular finance or investment requirements. In particular, the information does not constitute any form of advice or recommendation by us or any of our partner publications and is not intended to be relied upon by users in making or refraining from making any investment or financial decisions. Appropriate independent advice should be obtained before making any such decision. Any arrangement made between you and any third party named in the site is at your sole risk and responsibility.
Wealth & Finance International - Q1 2022 3 4. News - Financial Crime Intelligence startup Schwarzthal Tech secures £150k in pre-seed funding from SFC Capital - 57% Of Brits Experience Financial Difficulties, The Ukrainian Crisis Is Making An Already Desperate Situation Worse 6. Paragon International Insurance Brokers Ltd: Taking The Risk Out Of Risky Business! 7. A Credit Refusal Does Lasting Damage To Online Retailers’ Customer Relations 8. Ukraine And Inflation Are Europe’s Two Urgent Challenges, Financial Expert Warns 10. American Express Announces Return Of Its Most Generous Ever Welcome Bonuses For New American Express® Uk Business Platinum And Gold Cardmembers 11. Businesses are Failing to Leverage Mobile Tech to Adjust to Post-Pandemic Economy, SOTI Report Uncovers 12. Cicm Creates New Professional Standards To Champion And Benchmark Excellence In Credit Management 13. Idoru Marketplace: Track Your Investments In Real Time 14. Leatherback Fully Regulated For Global Transactions 15. Payu Launches A New Credit Payment Solution In Romania On Emag To Transform Online Shopping Experience Contents
www.wealthandfinance-news.com 4 Wealth & Finance International - Q1 2022 Financial Crime Intelligence Startup Schwarzthal Tech Secures £150k In Pre-Seed Funding From Sfc Capital SFC invests into startup aiming to democratise the fight against financial crime using AI. Financial Crime Intelligence startup Schwarzthal Tech has raised £150,000 in a pre-seed funding round from SFC Capital, the UK’s most active seed-stage investor. Schwarzthal Tech uses AI to fight financial crime by gathering publicly available information and building an individual’s network to support investigations into potential criminals. Schwarzthal Tech will use the funds to further develop the platform, build a marketing team as well as filing for an intellectual property patent on their unique “Know your Network” methodology. Economic and financial crime are growing across the globe. In the UK, economic crime costs the government and UK taxpayers billions of pounds per year. Know your customer (KYC) policies were implemented across financial institutions to tackle this problem. KYC processes take place when a bank or financial institution onboards a new client and are aimed at assessing the level of potential risk the customer could pose. The goal prevent banks from storing money resulting from criminal activity, including mob activity, terrorism or drug trafficking. However, the globalisation of financial crime means that it rarely involves only one individual or company, which is why knowing not only your client but also their network has become increasingly important for financial institutions across the world. Schwarzthal Tech’s know your network (KYN) methodology introduces a multi-dimensional and comprehensive view of a clients’ connections to give financial institutions a holistic risk assessment. It’s AI-driven platform aims to provide better and faster tools for investigators and compliance professionals and to democratise the fight against financial crime. The platform’s advanced technology uses algorithms to enable users to assess potential customers’ connections with criminal or suspicious networks and perform in depth assessment. Schwarzthal Tech’s platform gathers publicly available information in different languages across databases globally - political exposure and sanctions list, company registries, social media, etc. - to build an individual’s network and create a visual presentation of the network to present to the customer. Users are then able to assess potential customers’ connections with criminal or suspicious networks and perform in depth assessment. Furthermore, the platform’s AI is trained to connect information found on databases, media and other public sources to establish connections on an ongoing basis and keep the networks updated. Schwarzthal Tech is the brainchild of Marius-Cristian Frunza, renowned expert and author of various books on the topic, including: Introduction to the Theories and Varieties of Modern Crime in Financial Markets, Solving Modern Crime in Financial Markets, Value Added Tax Fraud). Marius-Cristian played a key advisory role during the production of Netflix documentary Lords of Scam (2021) - about the rise and fall of scammers who defrauded the EU carbon quota system and made millions in the process -, where he is also interviewed as a financial crime expert. Marius-Cristian came up with the idea for Schwarzthal Tech after witnessing first-hand how organised crime networks infiltrated and abused the carbon emissions market in the 2000s, as a result of which tens of billions of dollars fell into the hands of transnational organised crime. Marius-Cristian Frunza, CEO and co-founder of Schwarzthal Tech: We are very excited about working with SFC Capital to further our mission to democratise financial crime globally. It is no longer enough to look at individuals as isolated entities: they are connected to complex networks of people and companies across the world that make it difficult to find criminal activities. Schwarzthal Tech’s platform will help expose connections to criminal rings, corruption and illegal activities and prevent money laundering and fraud from potential individuals. Ed Stevenson, Investment Manager at SFC Capital: Financial crime is becoming increasingly sophisticated and difficult to fight. The work Schwarzthal Tech is doing is already helping tackle financial crime and we are proud to be a partner on their journey. Marius-Cristian’s vast knowledge on the subject and incredible experience in financial crime research puts the company a step ahead of others in the sector: he already knows what needs to be done.
Wealth & Finance International - Q1 2022 5 57% Of Brits Experience Financial Difficulties, The Ukrainian Crisis Is Making An Already Desperate Situation Worse Research by KIS Finance has revealed that as a direct result of the rising cost of living, (57%) of Brits are either already struggling financially, or expect to do so in the very near future. With inflation jumping to 5.5%, its highest level in almost 30 years, increasing numbers are already finding it difficult to make ends meet. But things look set to become even more challenging as the full impact of the Ukrainian crisis in the UK unfolds. As petrol prices today hit an all-time high, alongside the rising costs of heating our homes and the threat of cyber-attacks from Russia, the situation in the Ukraine is likely to intensify the cost of living crisis here in the UK. KIS Finance’s research found: • 27% are already struggling financially as direct result of the rising cost of living. • 3 0% anticipate financial problems in the very near future as the impact of rising prices bites. • 35.5% of 18 – 24 year olds report they are already financially struggling. • 36% of over 55’s are worried that the financial pinch will hit them shortly as prices continue to rise. • The South East is the area most affected to date, with 30% already struggling financially. • 22% of 18 – 34 year olds have had to take on an additional job since the Pandemic A third fear that the worst is still to come Nearly a third of people reported genuine concern that rising prices and the increasing cost of living will have a negative impact on their lives in the very near future. Whilst some have been able to make use of savings built up over lock down to help meet increasing costs, this temporary buffer won’t last for long and the impact of a permanently higher cost of living is a real worry for many. As energy prices soar, pushing up both the direct cost for heating and powering our homes, and the indirect cost of other goods and services, the impact on household budgets is one that few can ignore. Whilst the UK only relies on Russia for around 3% of its gas supply, it’s the global market that determines the wholesale gas price. So any shortage in supply from Russia to the rest of Europe will still have a knock on effect on prices here in the UK. Average electric and gas bills are already expected to hit £2,000 a year when the Government’s price cap is raised in April but the events in the Ukraine could see this rise even further. Similarly petrol prices have been rising for some time, but have now hit an all-time high of £149.30, with industry experts predicting that prices could soon reach £1.50 per litre. With Russia’s position as the second largest exporter of oil after Saudi Arabia, fears are increasing that their control over the world’s oil supply will have a significant impact on petrol prices here at home. Over a quarter of people are already struggling financially As the impact of rising inflation starts to really bite, over a quarter of those surveyed report struggling to make ends meet. With real wages in the UK predicted to be lower by 2026 than they were even during the credit crunch in 2008, this worrying trend looks set to remain for some time. Whilst some inflation is needed to keep the economy running smoothly, the current rate is over double the ideal level of 2% that the Bank of England aims to maintain. With increases to around 7% being predicted, a rising number of people are struggling to get by. The decision by the Bank of England in February to increase interest rates to 0.5% has put further pressure on stretched household budgets, as mortgage and loan repayments increase. However, in recent days the Bank of England has warned that further interest rate hikes are likely, linked to the current global uncertainty and the need to try to control inflation here in the UK. Homelessness on the increase Recent data from the charity Crisis has found that the current pressures on the cost of living could see homelessness increase by as much as a third compared to pre-pandemic levels. Local Councils have predicted that evictions from privately rented houses are likely to increase by a further 79% in the coming months, as people struggle to make ends meet. 70% have seen wages stagnate or fall Whilst inflation is normally linked to wage increases and a growing economy, research by KIS has found that only 30% of people reported a rise in pay since before the pandemic, whilst 70% have seen their wages either stagnate or fall. Therefore it’s not been an increase in non-essential spending that has driven the current rise in the cost of living and the announcement that interest rates are rising will do little to help reduce these inflationary pressures. Instead higher interest rates will add an additional cost burden onto those with variable rate mortgages at a time when they can least afford it. Young people hit the hardest by rising costs Over 35% of those aged 18 to 24 are reporting that they are already struggling to get by financially. Research by the think tank Demos, has found that young people are currently the hardest hit and face the ‘greatest uphill battle’ to make ends meet. With potentially higher levels of debt and lower incomes, it’s this generation that may find it the hardest to take on additional expenses as cost rise. As their expenditure increases on day to day living, their ability to save is likely to be hard hit. For many this will mean that the dream of saving a deposit to get onto the property ladder will now be even less of a reality than before, especially if interest rates continue to rise as predicted. Costs rise as salaries fall 24% of those aged between 18 and 34 have reported a fall in their wages compared to before the pandemic. With many younger people employed in the sectors greatest hit over the last 2 years, including hospitality and retail, it’s not surprising that they have seen their incomes fall, either as a direct result of a wage cut or due to a reduction in their hours. Sat alongside increasing costs for food, fuel and other essentials the impact for young people can’t be under-estimated.
www.wealthandfinance-news.com 6 Wealth & Finance International - Q1 2022 Taking The Risk Out Of Risky Business! The work of risk is one where it pays to depend on experts. Broking firm Paragon International Insurance Brokers Ltd has built its name on the expertise it can offer to its clients. In the Global Insurance and Risk Management Awards 2021, the firm earned the title of Best International Specialty Insurance Broker – UK. We dug a little deeper to discover more about the secrets of their remarkable success. Founded in 1996, Paragon is a leading independent insurance broker operating in the Lloyd’s of London, Bermuda, European, and International Specialty markets. Since the business was founded, Paragon has had great success by concentrating on Professional Liability, Director’s & Officers, Cyber, Casualty, Healthcare and Mergers & Acquisitions insurance. The business has grown and continues to grow entirely via organic means and now supports clients around the world, including many of the world’s largest technology, manufacturing, aviation, legal, engineering and architectural firms in the United States and the United Kingdom. In addition to these, Paragon also has built expertise in niche sectors such as UK Financial Institutions, UK Surgeons and medical malpractice, and global cryptocurrency and digital asset insurance solutions. The team has an incredible reputation for their ability to provide insurances for these industries as well as for their efforts in the field of risk management. They have built a team of exceptional specialists who deal with risk management services, cyber and crisis management. This is possible thanks, in no small part, to the way in which the team has adapted over time to meet the specific needs of their clients. Needless to say, the growth of Paragon has been significant since those early days in the mid-90s. We celebrate their astonishing achievement and look forward to seeing the direction they take next to benefit their clients. Company: Paragon International Insurance Brokers Ltd Name: William Wright Email: [email protected] Jan22050
Wealth & Finance International - Q1 2022 7 A Credit Refusal Does Lasting Damage To Online Retailers’ Customer Relations YouGov survey shows the majority of customers online rejected for credit would feel upset or very upset. A failed online credit application means more to many consumers than missing out on a new sofa. A decline can have a major impact on them, and may even affect their mental health as well as their future relationship with that retailer. In fact, over half of customers (54%) say that if they were rejected for credit they would be upset or very upset by the experience. For 8% of people such a rejection would affect their mental health, a figure that rises to 16% for those previously rejected for credit. These are among the top findings from a new online YouGov survey of UK consumer attitudes towards online credit offered by retailers: • 54% of respondents would feel upset or very upset if rejected for credit by an online retailer • 8% said it would affect their mental health. That figure rose to 18% among people who had previously been rejected for credit. • 62% of respondents were likely or very likely to consider a competitive retailer for a similarly priced item if they were rejected for credit by the original retailer’s finance provider. • Among respondents who had been previously rejected, 70% said they were likely or very likely to consider a competitor for a similar purchase. • 37% of respondents would change their attitude towards a retailer if rejected for credit in that way. And a further 23% of respondents would not go back to that retailer at all if their finance application was rejected in that way Dr Heather Kappes, Associate Professorial Lecturer in the Department of Management Aug21399 at the London School of Economics and Political Science, studies consumer behaviour and marketing. She said: “Because people view brands as relationship partners, companies can’t afford to drive customers into competitors’ arms. However, in an age of easy credit, there can be tension between making customers happy and being responsible. There is clear value for retailers in partnering with a financing company that helps them walk this fine line. These partnerships can contribute to customerretailer relationships that become long-term commitments rather than flings.” Robert Schuijff, CEO at etika, an ethical finance provider that sponsored the survey, said: “Retailers want to help potential customers get the products they want, with finance that they can manage. But too often the online application process is binary - accept or decline. The hard credit search leaves a mark on that applicant’s credit history but what’s worse, this YouGov research shows that a decline can have a huge impact on a customer’s willingness to engage with the retailer for that particular sale - or ever again. “By contrast, when retailers tell customers what their credit budget is following a soft credit check, it saves a large number of customers from a hard credit decline. The improved customer journey reduces drop-off, which increases sales conversion, and the reduction in hard credit checks means less damage to customers’ credit histories. In fact, helping customers to build a positive credit history boosts their financial health - 92% of etika customers sampled had an improved credit score after utilising etika’s finance that fits! Furthermore, we don’t have late fees or any hidden costs or conditions, all of which is central to our ethical approach.” etika operates in the high-ticket, long-term end of the UK retail market, where many potential customers unfortunately fail to get the finance they need. The company has a unique combination of people, technology and ethical approach that brings together product, customer and finance.By ensuring that its initial soft search does not affect a customer’s credit history, with one retailer etika was able to cut the number of hard-search rejections by 88%. The company is already working with a range of leading UK companies including DFS and Vitality.Other highlights from the research: • 53% of respondents did not know that applying for finance for a purchase of over £500 could affect their credit score. • The two biggest barriers to applying for 0% interest credit (purchases of £500+) were the assumption of hidden fees (15%) and concerns around the effect on credit scores (12%). • Of the respondents previously rejected for finance, fear of the impact on their credit score was the joint-top barrier: 21% noted fear of the impact on their credit score as a main barrier and 21% cited fear of being rejected. • Imagining a scenario where they were rejected for online finance, 6% of respondents who had been previously rejected would go to a highinterest lender to complete the purchase.
www.wealthandfinance-news.com 8 Wealth & Finance International - Q1 2022 Ukraine And Inflation Are Europe’s Two Urgent Challenges, Financial Expert Warns Because of Europe’s intricate financial and economic ties with Russia, the Ukrainian crisis will have a major impact for many years. Gigantic challenges lie ahead to sort out this issue, says British economist David Marsh. A 1.5 - 2% interest rate would be the “nirvana of normality” for the ECB and other central banks. But beware of ensuing social unrest that could hinder Europe’s economies. Disunity between EU members is the strongest risk for Europe in a volatile context. Yet there are many opportunities for European countries to work together. The UK and France could take the lead on many issues (in particular, by trying to convince Germany to reconsiderbits position on nuclear energy). The uncertainties of the Ukrainian crisis will have an overall impact on European economy and sanctions on Russia will affect many parts of German industry, said the British economist and financial expert David Marsh at an exclusive 30-minutes with... web conference organized by the Cross-Channel Institute in Paris. Central banks will have to make difficult decisions if inflation keeps going up. They may be hoping for interest rates back at 1.5 - 2% in the mid-term over the next two-three years, which would be “the nirvana of normality” for them, “but there is a less than 30% probability of this happening” said David Marsh, because of the sensitivity of such measures. Any rate increases should be managed with great caution, he added. There should also be concerns about Italy’s ability to sustain such high rates, because of its current debt level. In the UK, social unrest, the return of Trade Unions are to be expected. “This will be a hot year for wages battles” he said. “We are likely to see social unrest, pressure on salaries, demand for higher wages, strikes.” The strongest risk for Europe, especially in the current volatile context, is that of disunity. Neverthe-less, Mr. Marsh sees many opportunities for European countries to work together, with the UK and France taking the lead on many issues. Aug21137 The French and UK economies have been faring better than Germany’s, with an inflation rate in France around 3%, thanks to the political decision to maintain energy prices artificially low, which is pretty good compared to 7% in the UK, he said. Admittedly, there has been a fall in UK-France economic exchanges because of red tape. So much bureaucracy on either side of the Channel makes it much harder for businesses. But there have been lots of catch-up after a dip in 2020. Overall, the Ukrainian crisis will impact Europe in a major way for several years because of the latter’s intricate financial and economic ties with Russia. Gigantic challenges lie ahead to sort out this issue, Mr. Marsh said. For him, the return of inflation is normal. What would be worrying is a double-digit inflation. Central banks and governments must be smart in the way they will be handling this. The new European fund set up by the EC will hopefully enable countries to borrow at low interest rates and EU to continue playing a good game, he noted. The question of energy is also key. UK and France should work together on solving the issue of nuclear waste and try to convince Germany to return to nuclear power, Mr. Marsh advocates. For him, Germany abandoning nuclear power was probably a mistake and a hasty decision. In the wake of the Ukrainian crisis, Germany might want to reconsider. “It is somewhat ironical that the country that discovered nuclear fission and one of the strongest clean energies proponents is not only lagging behind in terms of nuclear energy use but is also in a poor position as regards its energy mix”, he said. (Worldwide, Europe should do more in the field of exploration of new minerals and development of substitutes needed to implement new technologies, he added.) David Marsh, CBE has an extensive knowledge of European economy. He is a consultant for large organizations, a journalist in international finance and economics, a visiting Professor at Sheffield University and King’s College Policy Institute. He is also the co-Founder and Chairman of OMFIF, an independent think tank for central banking, economic policy and public investment, providing a neutral platform for public and private sector engagement worldwide, which focuses on global policy and investment themes relating to central banks, sovereign funds, pension funds, regulators and treasuries.
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www.wealthandfinance-news.com 10 Wealth & Finance International - Q1 2022 American Express Announces Return Of Its Most Generous Ever Welcome Bonuses For New American Express® Uk Business Platinum And Gold Cardmembers New Business Platinum Cardmembers eligible for welcome bonus of 100,000 Membership Rewards® points and Business Gold Cardmembers eligible to receive 50,000 points Available to all new Cardmembers who sign up between 21 February and 31 March American Express is launching a series of limited time offers that sees the return of the most generous ever welcome bonuses on its American Express® Business Platinum and Gold Cards. Between 21 February and 31 March, new Business Platinum Cardmembers that sign up and spend £10,000 in the first three months of their membership will receive a substantial welcome bonus of 100,000 Membership Rewards® points. New Business Gold Cardmembers are eligible for a welcome bonus of 50,000 Membership Rewards points when they sign up and spend £5,000 in the first three months. Membership Rewards points, earned on their everyday business spending, give small business leaders flexibility to make the most of their rewards in a way that best suits them – from making a dent in monthly expenses that can help to manage cashflow, to treating their team, or taking a wellearned luxury break abroad. When it comes to travel, Membership Rewards points can be used with 13 different airline partners (including British Airways, Emirates, Singapore Airlines and Virgin Atlantic), as well as Club Eurostar and three hotel chains (Hilton, Radisson and Marriott). With recent American Express data1 revealing that 74% of business leaders are looking forward to travelling more in 2022, Cardmembers can use their business spending to help fund a memorable personal trip. 100,000 Membership Rewards points converted to Avios, for example, could get small business owners a return off-peak business class flight with British Airways from the UK to the likes of New York, Boston or Washington. On top of the welcome bonus, existing Business Platinum and Gold Cardmembers can earn points with a refreshed referral offer, also running across the same period. Business Gold Cardmembers who successfully refer new Cardmembers will get an additional 20,000 Membership Rewards points, whilst Business Platinum Cardmembers will receive an additional 30,000 points. Cardmembers continue to earn 1 Membership Rewards point for every full £1 they spend on their Card – with no limit, so they can use their points to offset their business expenses or save up to redeem on a great personal treat. Terms apply. Stacey Sterbenz, General Manager, Global Commercial Services UK at American Express, said: “We’re focused on ensuring our products go further for small business owners, after what has been a turbulent two years for them. In addition to the rewards we offer on everyday business spending, these generous welcome bonuses on our Business Platinum and Gold Cards give hardworking entrepreneurs access to a greater range of rewards – accompanied by the dedicated backing and support of American Express that enables them to reach their goals in the year ahead.” Jul21437
Wealth & Finance International - Q1 2022 11 Businesses are Failing to Leverage Mobile Tech to Adjust to PostPandemic Economy, SOTI Report Uncovers SOTI Global Report finds almost half (45%) of enterprises are failing to leverage mobile technology to adjust to the challenges of a post-pandemic economy. Three in four (76%) believe there is more their organization can do to improve its ability to be agile and adapt to new scenarios. In a new marketplace that is more fluid, more digital, more dynamic and marked by a rise in consumer demands, almost half (45%) of global enterprises are failing to leverage mobile technology to adjust to the challenges of a postpandemic economy new global research from SOTI has found. Despite over three quarters (79%) of enterprise leaders agreeing their C-Suite realises the importance of mobile technology more now than before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, over three quarters (76%) believe there is more their organization can do to improve its ability to be agile and adapt to new scenarios. While SOTI’s A Defining Year: State of Mobility 2021 Report found that 81% estimate up to a half of their organization’s day-to-day operations are dependent on mobile technology, the report also revealed that in many cases, businesses may be missing the mark in getting the best possible returns from the money they’re putting into mobile technology. Almost a third (31%) of enterprises said they failed to see a positive ROI from last year’s investment in mobile technology. SOTI’s global research has sought to understand the impact of mobile technology over the last year as well as how organisations can position themselves at the forefront of the post-pandemic mobile revolution. 1,400 business leaders were interviewed from enterprises in eight countries across three continents, including the UK. Addressing the Challenges These figures suggest that while investing in mobile technology has helped businesses to weather the storm, ensuring a healthy return on the investments comes with additional considerations. For example, almost a third (31%) of business leaders said that security is the biggest challenge they face with mobile technology, followed by integration with other systems (20%). In addition, more than half (56%) of respondents admitted that they find it hard to manage their organisation’s expanding portfolio of mobile devices. If these challenges are addressed, then businesses achieve the agility they need to respond to future crises and will find it easier to respond in realtime to the market’s changing demands. Mobile technology has the potential to provide flexibility and intelligence across the whole enterprise, however it needs to be integrated into core workflows and managed and secured via one platform. “Our research confirms that mobile technology has become crucial to forging a new path in a volatile economy and that at the same time enterprises are finding it difficult to make the most of their investments. Simply adopting new technology isn’t enough to gain the greatest competitive advantage,” comments Sarah Edge, Director of Sales, UK and Ireland at SOTI. “To maximise their returns, enterprises need the right mix of mobile technologies and the right integration strategy.” Managing Mobile Solutions in the Field Attention is beginning to turn towards this challenge with around four in ten (41%) organisations considering increased expenditure in either mobile technology security, technology that will allow for better mobile device and system integration (40%), or in cloud-based systems (40%). The mobile revolution will eventually slowdown in terms of the volume of new devices adopted, but enterprises will need to find effective ways to ensure their mobile infrastructure is working to its maximum potential. “There is still a great deal of potential locked up in organisations’ mobile technology and enterprise leaders have high expectations and aspirations for the near future. The most successful mobile solutions consider all the key factors influencing performance – from mobile device and application capabilities to network performance and ultimately the user experience.” says Edge. “Following the rapid scaling up of mobile technology, enterprises can now look to use their existing mobile devices and systems to achieve their goals, such as accessing better business intelligence to navigate future unforeseen issues or diagnosing issues before they become a problem,” continues Edge. “The first step towards this insightdriven future is to establish a solid foundation for intelligent device management.” Oct21051
www.wealthandfinance-news.com 12 Wealth & Finance International - Q1 2022 Cicm Creates New Professional Standards To Champion And Benchmark Excellence In Credit Management A new set of Professional Standards that defines the unique skills and contribution that credit and debt collection professionals deliver in protecting and growing business and the economy has been launched by the Chartered Institute of Credit Management (CICM), the largest recognised professional body in the world for the credit and debt management community. A first of its kind for the profession, the new Professional Standards establish a benchmark and help demonstrate the enormous variety of roles within credit at every level, local and global, to attract new employees into the industry and define what skills they need to succeed in an exciting, dynamic and rewarding career. The standards similarly act as a showcase for existing professionals – and members of the CICM in particular – to further promote what they do not only within their own organisations, but also within the wider business community. The Standards serve not as a qualification, but rather as an indication of continual professional development and lifelong learning, to benchmark an individual’s progress and identify active goals and targets as part of a realistic career pathway. Dr Debbie Tuckwood, the CICM’s Chief Advisor for Professional Development who is leading the initiative, says the new Professional Standards will help transform how a career in credit and debt management is perceived: “This is all about raising the profile of people who work in credit and debt management, not only building their confidence, but also helping businesses understand what credit and debt management professionals are about, and what they can do. “There are many out there who have only a very narrow view of a career in credit and debt management, if any understanding at all. Through the Professional Standards we can shift these perceptions, attract more talent into the industry, and demonstrate the skills of existing professionals and see how they benchmark against their peers.” In terms of the detail, the Professional Standards have three key focus areas: business skills. personal skills, and behaviours. All are essential to help credit and collections professionals progress and are mapped against the four levels of CICM membership: Affiliates; Associates; Members; and Fellows. The Standards also provide detail and guidance on a large range of technical areas and specialisms such as enforcement, export credit management, consumer credit risk and debt recovery and litigation services. The Professional Standards have been developed in partnership with several leading bodies and representatives from organisations including the UK Government’s Cabinet Office and Department of Work and Pensions, Imperial College London, Johnson and Johnson, Aggregate Industries, nPower, United Utilities, Adecco, Arvato Financial Solutions and HSBC UK. Along with the Professional Standards, the CICM is working with its partners to develop a self-assessment tool to help members plan their development and identify relevant support to further their careers. Sue Chapple, Chief Executive of the CICM says the new Professional Standards will allow the Institute to celebrate the breadth of skills its members possess: “The CICM Professional Standards are a game changer for the credit and debt management profession generally and for our members specifically,” she says. “They will help businesses better understand the value of employing a CICM member as well as helping those new to the profession, inspiring lifelong learning and helping them build careers in credit and debt management.” Jun21296
Wealth & Finance International - Q1 2022 13 Idoru Marketplace: Track Your Investments In Real Time An innovative fintech company unveils cutting edge technology to minimize inefficiencies of portfolio-tracking within the private market. Idoru’s team of financial specialists have revealed their latest financial technology product - the Idoru Marketplace. Idoru Capital Management combines traditional LP investment with a Fund of Funds model and plugs in valuation-tracking software paired with portfolio modeling, allowing investors to determine an estimated price of their holdings in real time, all the time. “When the team and I first got together, we looked at the private market as something exceptionally opaque. We have all been investing across PE and VC and have generally been pleased with the returns, but found that the fundamental problem was information transparency. We wanted to eliminate the information discrepancy factor.” explains Michael Beda, co-founder and CEO of Idoru. Thus, they developed the Idoru Marketplace, a technology that empowers investors by creating a shortcut to understanding the behavior of their investments, and eliminating the wait for yearly reports, quarterly update letters, or opaque private placements. “All companies we engage with are tracked and given estimated valuation ranges between earning reports or fundraising timelines. By compiling this information and adjusting accordingly, we can give investors an accurate snapshot of their portfolio at any given time.” comments Mr. Beda. Idoru invests into an extremely broad range of privately held up-and-coming companies in some of the most attractive sectors of today’s economy while partnering with some of the biggest “household name” firms to construct a portfolio that allows for true private market diversification. The ultimate goal of Idoru Capital Management is to develop a series of private market offerings that are as transparent as publicly-traded securities and then surpass these reporting requirements; in the long term democratizing investments by making information accessible to all.
www.wealthandfinance-news.com 14 Wealth & Finance International - Q1 2022 Leatherback Fully Regulated For Global Transactions Not restricted by the many regulatory requirements expected of traditional banks, fintechs have leveraged their position as disruptors in the market, promoting their ability to offer more agile services at lower prices. But, says Ibrahim Toyeeb, CEO of global payments and collections company, Leatherback, while there is no doubt that fintechs have disrupted the financial services market, the word ‘disruption’ has been over-used in the fintech field. “Technology, innovation, regulation and experience should go side-by-side. It should not be a matter of one or the other. The ability of fintechs to sidestep regulation has created distrust amongst consumers, who are increasingly voicing their need to be assured that their money is safe. “That is why – when we started Leatherback – we decided to view regulation as our friend, rather than our enemy. From the beginning, our model was always to get licenses in the countries we operate in,” he says. Leatherback’s licensing approach is rooted in the understanding that getting directly licensed helps build trust with clients, and provides them with the peace of mind that comes with knowing they are dealing with a fully regulated entity. Leatherback commenced the licensing process in the United Kingdom (UK) and Canada. “Notably, we are licensed with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK, which is the highest regulatory body in the world. This means we are held to extremely high standards. We benchmark all our processes against the FCA and our systems are structured to adhere to all FCA requirements.” Despite the onerous processes involved in obtaining licenses, Toyeeb says Leatherback is also Electronic Money Institution (EMI)-licensed in the UK, which allows it to offer electronic money services in the country. “At the same time, we obtained a license in Canada as a money service business, a move that was aimed at making our Canadian clients feel comfortable with our platform and providing them with the same level of comfort they get from their banks and other financial services providers,” he adds. Leatherback is currently licensed – or in the process of being licensed – in 13 other countries it operates in. “Every regulator expects us to meet specific technological requirements and partnership standards. We are going through all of these regulatory processes and applications to make sure when consumers hear the name Leatherback, they feel comfortable hearing it. They know they are working with a properly structured and fully regulated organisation that will keep their money safe and give them the best possible service,” says Toyeeb. The technology company is being licensed in developed and frontier markets. While regulators in some of these markets may not be up to date, Leatherback has liaised with regulators to ensure that it offers the best services to its clients. By becoming licensed, Leatherback does not have to leverage third party providers. “Because we are licensed, we can tap directly into the local infrastructure in every country, which means we are able to offer first-layer services to our clients. This means not having to look to a local party, with its own layer of pricing. Licensing helps us offer more affordable services to our clients, which is why our global accounts are free. Nobody does that in the market today,” notes Toyeeb. Leatherback has, however, joined hands with recognised and reliable solutions providers such as Currency Cloud, which provides account solutions in the United States and parts of Europe, ClearBank, one of the largest banks in the UK. It has also partnered with 4Stop, a Know Your Customer (KYC), compliance and anti-fraud solution provider, and Yes Bank in India. Today, Leatherback has more than 40 partners globally, and partnerships with about three banks in each country it operates in. Ensuring it operates within regulatory confines does not mean Leatherback has compromised on innovation. “We are committed to providing our clients with a unique financial technology experience that helps them explore different opportunities, while at the same time not erring on the wrong side of regulation. “We understand that regulation, in one way or another, has to catch up with innovation, but we are happy to help play a meaningful role in bridging the gap with various regulators in the sector,” concludes Toyeeb.
Wealth & Finance International - Q1 2022 15 Payu Launches A New Credit Payment Solution In Romania On Emag To Transform Online Shopping Experience New payment options for fast and easy online purchases with your stored card: Buy Now Pay Later- buy now, pay in 30 days at zero costs; SLICE IT- buy now, pay in four instalments. PayU, the leading fintech and online payments provider across high-growth emerging markets, has today announced that a new innovative credit solution developed by PayU is now available to Romanian shoppers. Bucharest-based online retailer eMAG is the first partner to offer its customers the possibility to either postpone a payment or to pay in four instalments for all categories of products either in its own offer or for products sold by sellers active on the eMAG Marketplace. PayU’s credit solution is available to Romanian shoppers in two separate options: Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL), where the shopper postpones the payment for 30 days without any additional costs, and payment in four monthly instalments (SLICE IT), where the first instalment is paid at a transaction date and the rest across a threecalendar month period. The payment methods are currently available in Beta version for eMAG customers with a history of trading and payment. In order to use these payment methods, customers must save their payment card in their eMAG account and opt for one of the new payment methods upon completion of their purchase at checkout. By the end of this year, PayU aims to offer these payment methods to all interested eMAG customers, through a simple enrolment and approval process that requires a minimum of information on their behalf. PayU is planning to offer this newly launched credit solution to all of its partners in Romania in due course, once the initial pilot with eMAG is complete. Mario Shiliashki, PayU’s CEO of Global Payments said: “The launch of PayU credit payment solution in Romania is a natural step in developing our global offering of online payment methods that break down the barriers to financial inclusion, while helping our partners accelerate growth in their businesses. By starting this journey with eMAG, we aim to make payments even more convenient for Romanian shoppers, and to continue to transform the e-commerce offering in the country.” By providing Romanian online shoppers with greater access to funding and autonomy on how they pay, the new credit payment solution offered by PayU not only makes the process more convenient for them but also enhances their purchasing power. Martyna Szczepaniak, PayU’s Head of Consumer Credit, EMEA added: “We believe that the PayU credit offering will transform the lives of the Romanian shopper. The greater accessibility to funds will provide many with the convenience of knowing that they can purchase what they want, when they want it. eMAG was the partner of choice for the pilot phase due to its skills in technology, its openness to testing and its desire to offer new services to its customers. It is a trusted platform that has years of experience in the Romanian retail space, and we look forward to seeing PayU credit products helping supercharge growth even further.” Tudor Manea, CEO of eMAG said: “We have all experienced at some point times when we needed something badly, but we were short on money, and I am sure we remember how frustrating this may be. With PayU credit offering the wait is over as customers are now able to buy whatever they want and whenever they want and repay the instalment in a transparent and convenient manner.” PayU introduces a new way of online shopping financing, bringing additional options and convenience to Romanian shoppers.
www.wealthandfinance-news.com 16 Wealth & Finance International - Q1 2022 www.wealthandfinance-news.com Subscribe and keep up to date with the latest industry news across both traditional and alternative investment sectors. Distributed each month to more than 130,000 high net worth and ultra-high net worth individuals, fund managers, institutional investors and professional services firms, Wealth & Finance INTL has rapidly become the go-to resource for those looking to make the right decisions when it comes to securing and growing their wealth.www.wealthandfinance-news.com