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Credit Suisse to merge investment banking units; second-quarter profit beats estimates – The Guardian

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By Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi

ZURICH (Reuters) – Credit Suisse said on Thursday that it was wrapping its global markets and investment banking divisions into a single unit, as Chief Executive Thomas Gottstein puts his first major strategic stamp on the bank.

Switzerland’s second-biggest bank also posted a 24% rise in second-quarter net profit to 1.162 billion Swiss francs ($1.27 billion), blowing past the mean estimate for 700 million Swiss francs in the bank’s own poll of 17 analysts.

“We are today announcing a series of strategic initiatives to improve effectiveness and to generate efficiencies,” Gottstein, who became CEO in February, said in a statement, as he unveiled the plan to merge the investment banking units.

The integration also includes its Asia-Pacific markets business, which previously sat under a regional division.

“These initiatives should also help to provide resilience in uncertain markets and deliver further upside when more positive economic conditions prevail.”

The bank said it was aiming to generate run-rate savings of approximately 400 million francs annually from 2022 onwards through various strategic measures announced.

Credit Suisse said it will also combine its compliance and risk functions under one head.

The bank said it was planning to pay the second half of its 2019 dividend later this year, adding its board would review its share buyback plans in due course.

Rival UBS earlier this month signalled the possibility of resuming share buybacks later this year after a stronger-than-expected performance from its investment bank helped it overshoot expectations for the quarter.

GOTTSTEIN’S MARK

The move to form a globally integrated investment bank marks a departure from the strategy under previous CEO Tidjane Thiam, who repositioned the lender to focus on wealth management and split the investment bank into two divisions.

Credit Suisse has faced criticism over the drag of its capital-intensive investment banking operations, which typically generate far less income than wealth management versus their costs, but has insisted the activities are necessary to service its ultra-wealthy clients.

Both its trading and dealmaking units have hurt results over recent years, with trading marking an improvement in late 2018, just as its dealmaking began to slide.

However the units performed well in the second quarter ahead of the integration, as a frenzy of trading activity and companies shoring up their balance sheet pushed up earnings.

The bank posted a 71% rise in profit at its global markets division, fuelled by a 42% jump in fixed income revenue.

The investment bank’s profit also jumped, with a strong rise in earnings across debt and equity underwriting as well as from advising on M&A deals – outperforming much of Wall Street which saw advisory revenue fall.

Wealth management, meanwhile, saw earnings flag slightly after bumper trading in the first quarter, with its international wealth management unit posting a 22% drop in profit as lower rates ate into margins and it set aside money for potential loan losses.

The bank’s Asia division posed a record quarterly profit of 298 million Swiss francs, driven by investment banking.

(Reporting by Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi; Editing by Michael Shields and Himani Sarkar)

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Foreign investment in Dubai plummets in first half 2020 – The Journal Pioneer

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DUBAI (Reuters) – Foreign direct investment in Dubai fell by 74% in the first half of the year compared to the same period of 2019, as the coronavirus pandemic stalled parts of the global economy.

The Middle East financial and trade hub drew in 12 billion dirhams ($3.3 billion) in the six months to June 30, according to a government of Dubai statement released on Monday.

The statement did not provide a comparative figure, but the government last year reported 46.6 billion dirhams in first half foreign direct investment.

Sami al-Qamzi, head of Dubai’s economic department, said the pandemic has presented challenges but that stimulus packages had driven “positive developments” in the investment environment.

Dubai’s government media office did not immediately respond to an emailed request for further comment.

Dubai was locked down for several weeks as part of government efforts to curb the coronavirus, causing many businesses to temporarily shutter.

The United Arab Emirates has recorded 61,352 cases of the virus and 351 deaths. The Gulf state does not disclose where in the country the infections and deaths have occurred.

(Reporting by Alexander Cornwell; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)

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Business Development Return On Investment During New Normal – Forbes

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In the marketing world, many businesses focus on ROI (return on investment). However, when the business does not obtain the immediate monetary results it desires, the decision makers begin to pull away from social media marketing. This is especially true with ROI during a time of crisis, such as the pandemic.

But, there is another side of the coin called return on influences, says social media marketing expert Christopher Tompkins.

“Many businesses have begun investing more time and money into individuals or organizations who can represent their brand and bring credibility and value,” says Tompkins, founder, head strategist, and CEO of The Go! Agency. His latest book is The Go Method: 22 Simple Steps to Creating a Social Media Strategy That Works!

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If you’re spending money trying to promote a product or service, Tomkins says it is essential to be fully aware of your return on investment and return on influence. There are a few things to consider first:

Know how to budget correctly. “So many people think that spending thousands of dollars on advertising will result in a huge win for their company,” says Tomkins. “Yes, more money can result in a greater ROI, but, what if you don’t have thousands to spend in order to acquire new customers? You need to be smart and strategic with what you do have. You’ll want to know as much about your target audience as possible. Don’t waste your money showing your ad to everyone in the world, when you could be showing your ad to just your target audience.”

Know your KPIs and marketing goals. “Speaking of being strategic, you must know your KPIs (key performance indicators),” says Tomkins. “These are specific S.M.A.R.T. goals (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-bound) that you can keep track of as your campaign progresses. Without these, you’re making business decisions that are based on feelings instead of figures. If you aren’t careful, you could be spending money on marketing efforts that end up in little to no results.” 

Know how to track your ROI using analytics. “If you don’t already have traffic tracker set up on your website, what are you waiting for?” asks Tomkins. “This is one of the easiest ways to see your website traffic, where they came from, and what pages on your website had a greater increase in visitors than others. Most social media sites offer their own specialized pixel so you can maximize your advertising spend with them, enabling you to only pay for when someone clicks through to your site.”

Know your measurements…and what they mean. “When you are measuring your level of influence, there is not a fancy equation that will help you deliver the ideal metric,” says Tomkins. “Each business has its own needs and its own unique focus. Is it important for you to have a high number of people connected to your profiles? Then the size of your audience will be something that you will want to measure and keep track of. Are you looking to get your audience engaged with your content actively? Then you want to track likes, comments, reactions, and shares. Want to use social media links as calls to action to visit your website? Then you need to track the amount of traffic that you are generating via each site.”

My advice: social media augments marketing and branding efforts, it is not the whole effort. Each social media channel can serve as a branding and expertise hub where a business can illustrate to its target-rich audience the value that the brand brings to the table and why the decision makers need to be interested. Remember, nothing invested means nothing gained.

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NEI's Responsible Investment Program Earns Highest Marks Possible from the Principles for Responsible Investment – Canada NewsWire

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TORONTO, Aug. 4, 2020 /CNW/ – NEI Investments (“NEI”) is proud to announce it has been awarded the top score of “A+” across all assessed categories in the 2020 report by the UN-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (the “PRI”), the world’s leading proponent of responsible investment. While NEI has consistently received strong marks for its responsible investment program, these are the highest grades the company has achieved.

“These outstanding results reflect the deep commitment across our entire organization to ESG best practices and to the broader principles of responsible investing,” said Frederick M. Pinto, Senior Vice President and Head of Asset Management for NEI. “For more than 30 years, we have been leaders in delivering the most comprehensive and effective responsible investment program in Canada, enabling our clients to build toward their financial goals while making a positive impact on the world. The PRI assessment shows we are succeeding.”

The PRI works to understand the investment implications of environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) factors and to support an international network of over 3,000 signatories in integrating these factors into investment and ownership decisions. NEI Investments was among the first signatories when the PRI launched in 2006.”

“The guiding principles that were adopted by the PRI were fully embedded in our work long before we became a signatory,” said David Rutherford, Vice President of ESG Services for NEI. “For us, this goes beyond a single year’s assessment—these results speak to the power of a thoughtful and consistently applied approach that’s built on a strong foundation and refined over time.”

“From strategy and governance to corporate engagement and manager oversight, we’re thrilled the PRI has recognized the high level of asset management expertise we bring to our responsible investment solutions,” said John Bai, Vice President and Chief Investment Officer for NEI. “Our success is the result of deep integration internally and healthy, collaborative relationships with our external sub-advisors.”

View NEI’s full ratings assessment

About NEI Investments

“NEI Investments” and “NEI” refer to Northwest & Ethical Investments L.P., an Ontario limited partnership.

NEI Investments is a Canadian asset manager committed to providing focused investment solutions advised by best-of-breed, independent portfolio managers. NEI delivers disciplined, active asset management with a longstanding focus on environmental, social and governance factors, and a well-defined corporate engagement process designed to create sustainable long-term value. NEI is a wholly owned subsidiary of Aviso Wealth, a national, integrated financial services company, with over $70 billion in assets. For more information please visit www.neiinvestments.com and www.aviso.ca

SOURCE NEI Investments

For further information: For media inquiries, please contact: James Morris, VP, Content Marketing and Communications, Aviso Wealth, [email protected]

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http://www.neiinvestments.com/Pages/home.aspx

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