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Survey results: Business response to Covid-19
Survey results: Business response to Covid-19

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Financial Services

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General

31/08/20

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‘The only constant is change’ has never rang more true and there is no facet of business that has not been changed dramatically by this year’s global events. It is not about adjusting to any ‘new normal’, it’s about making sure you can adapt adequately to this new, more rapid pace of change'. During May 2020, we produced a survey for our contacts to understand how their business was reacting to the pandemic and to gauge overall market sentiment. We received over 130 responses to key questions relating to their thoughts, reactions and predictions regarding the unprecedented level of change we are experiencing. Although market conditions are changing daily, the ease of lock down has brought a wave of positivity as we look to rebuild on the disruption of the past few months. With this in mind, the below report outlines some of the findings from our research, and our predictions for the future. Covid-19 survey

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The only constant is change’ has never rang more true and there is no facet of business that has not been changed dramatically by this year’s global events. It is not about adjusting to any ‘new normal’

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David Harvey

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David Harvey

David Harvey

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David Harvey

FX volatility | The bottom line, a guide by Western Union Business Solutions
FX volatility | The bottom line, a guide by Western Union Business Solutions

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Financial Services

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General

16/09/19

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From Brexit to international trade tensions, recent economic turbulence has highlighted one thing more clearly than ever: risk management strategies have to be in place to protect profits for businesses trading internationally. If you are an FD or fund manager; many hours of expertise are poured into choosing the right opportunities and tracking yields, but if there is an international element to the investment, even a small change in the currency exchange rate can have a significant effect on profit or the value of returns. With currency rates fluctuating up to five percent in a month last year, volatility is a real threat to any international business transaction. Five percent profit or gains in an investment are hard earned, and can be quickly lost with an unfortunate turn in the exchange rates. The uncertainty exacerbated by Brexit has caused hesitancy to purchase currency with a “wait and see” approach; dealing all FX on spot with their incumbent banking provider. But large swings in rates means that currency volatility and pricing have become higher on the agenda for many; highlighting the need to get the best from a reputable provider. Working to develop strategies based on the unique needs of a business or the requirements of each fund means budgeted levels can be set and protected. If you are trading internationally, you may want to speak to a qualified risk management consultant to consider the following steps: Understand your exposures Businesses could struggle to manage currency risk without understanding where exposures exist and reviewing what they currently do to protect themselves from volatility. Start by assessing your goals, risk appetite, and tolerance to volatility. Is there a budgeted level which is used for accounting purposes? Consider, for example, credit needs and payment requirements such as cost of transfers, bulk payments or international routing. Create a strategy With an understanding of your objectives, you have the power to start making informed decisions. Identify some goals specific to managing currency risk. These could include defining a target exchange rate for some, or all your exposure. Consider establishing a formal risk management policy to define processes. Select the right risk management tools for your business remembering that one size does not fit all. Tactics and execution Once the most appropriate tools have been selected, applying the right trading tactics can mean the difference between success and failure. For a lot of businesses, the strongest strategies often recognise a framework for executing trades at favourable levels while protecting against material risks. It may also be important to review the market and identify recent trading patterns to understand the risks and opportunities available. Evaluate and adapt your strategy Just because a policy has been in place for a long time does not necessarily mean it is still relevant in the current market conditions. Monitor your strategy and consider adapting it to identify shortfalls and build on success. Use a platform which can provide thorough and detailed reporting to assist your decision making. As a provider of cross-currency, cross border payments around the world, Western Union Business Solutions (WUBS) recognises that for a lot of our clients, foreign exchange volatility should be limited as a risk factor. WUBS can offer products which match your strategic currency objectives depending on the needs of your business. In addition, we offer competitive spot rates, optimal routing and cost effective transfers. Our globally leading online platform not only facilitates online payments and bulk upload but can also give real time access to positions and mark to market valuations. Our 10th edition of our highly regarded Market Insight Report represents the views of over 1,100 professionals, and contains insights from our specialist consultants and key business partners on market and employment trends. If you’re looking to find out more on salary benchmarking and the motivations driving the modern workforce today, download our full report which contains key contributions from Seddons Solicitors, Women in Fund Finance, Intoo UK & Ireland and Breaking the Silence.

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From Brexit to international trade tensions, recent economic turbulence has highlighted one thing more clearly than ever: risk management strategies have to be in place to protect profits for businesses trading internationally.

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David Harvey

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David Harvey

David Harvey

by

David Harvey

Market Insights 2019 | Financial Services, London
Market Insights 2019 | Financial Services, London

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Financial Services

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Market Insight Reports

28/08/19

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Insurance The insurance industry has had to contend with significant disruption in 2018. Increasing competition, lower margins, low interest rates and Brexit woes have culminated to curtail growth in the sector generally. This has led to sector consolidation, which presents opportunities for the contract market, but has a dampening effect on permanent hiring. However, there has been a drive to adopt new technologies and make use of big data and better digital strategy to enhance the customer journey, which has also led to a rise in the evolution of Insurtechs. This suggests that project and IT professionals will be in demand. IFRS 17 accounting rules will be effective from 1st January 2021 and organisations are already seeking advice from accounting firms and assembling project task forces to deal with the impending changes. Fintech Last year saw our busiest year to date within the fintech space, which continues to be a sought after industry for candidates from all backgrounds. With more and more fintech businesses taking substantial business away from traditional banks, payment providers, wealth managers and wider financial services companies, there has been a real increase in the number of organisations needing to bring finance in-house. This led to healthy recruitment across all levels throughout 2018 - a trend that is set to continue in 2019. Banking & Capital Markets Uncertainty around Brexit and the continued focus on cost reduction across banking has led to the quietest year we have seen in terms of hiring since 2008. This has been particularly marked on the temporary side, as banks look to replace contractors with permanent staff who would otherwise be made redundant. Private Equity & Investment Management Hiring in the investment management market remains buoyant and competitive, particularly in the alternative spaces like private equity, debt and credit. London remains the major hub, although Luxembourg is also a key market for private equity activity. Risk Management & Compliance The uncertainty around Brexit has caused growth plans within risk management to slow down with many positions relocating to the regions and abroad. This has been the general position across the top tier banks and asset managers. Regulatory 2018 was an unusual year for the regulatory market. The demand for senior managers or heads of regulatory reporting slowed down, but there was an increase in the need for part qualified or newly qualified regulatory accountants across banking and capital markets. Real Estate Real estate investment management continues to attract significant capital from investors. As has been the case over several years, the primary concern for the industry is the availability of suitable assets. This has in turn led to a widened definition of traditional real estate to include alternative or niche areas, such as student accommodation, private rented sector and social housing. The demand for these once niche areas remains very strong because of yield, compared with more mature sectors, keeping the market growing with exciting possibilities. Part Qualified & Transactional 2018 continued to be a year dominated by a shortage of quality candidates. Job flow on the whole was up on the previous year, however Brexit uncertainty seemed to have an impact on the number of candidates willing to move. There remained a demand for junior accountants with up to one year’s experience, with many clients favouring this over entry level graduates. GUEST AUTHOR: Western Union Business Solutions From Brexit to international trade tensions, recent economic turbulence has highlighted one thing more clearly than ever: risk management strategies have to be in place to protect profits for businesses trading internationally. If you are an FD or fund manager; many hours of expertise are poured into choosing the right opportunities and tracking yields, but if there is an international element to the investment, even a small change in the currency exchange rate can have a significant effect on profit or the value of returns. Read more on this guest author piece here. Download the 2019 Market Insight Report » 

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The insurance industry has had to contend with significant disruption in 2018. Increasing competition, lower margins, low interest rates and Brexit woes have culminated to curtail growth in the sector generally.

Read full article
David Harvey

by

David Harvey

David Harvey

by

David Harvey