Finance

Davos 2015: Intoxicating influences

REUTERS/Ruben Sprich

If the picture in your head of the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos is one of Great Gatsby-esque parties of caviar, champagne and dancing after midnight then you’d be right – but only at the fringes. There are hundreds of talks, dozens of parties and numerous other events, only a small handful of which are over the top. Most are a pleasant backdrop to one of Davos’s primary pursuits: learning. Learning about trends in other industries, learning about the latest thinking in academia, business and policy and learning from others about how they overcome their biggest challenges.

In a way, Davos is a deeply individual experience, as everyone selects a unique combination of events, leading to a wide array of interactions. What you take away from Davos is equally individual. To me, the learnings from this year’s WEF were primarily about what the world’s most ambitious companies are doing: (more…)

Raising over £1.1m for Save the Children at the IFR Awards Dinner

Earlier this month at the 20th annual Thomson Reuters International Financing Review (IFR) awards gala dinner, £1,164,240 was pledged to Save the Children, the global charitable organization that works to save and improve the lives of some of the world’s most vulnerable children. During the evening’s proceedings, senior representatives of the world’s leading investment banks pledged money to Save the Children via an interactive charity bidding board. Morgan Stanley topped the list of contributors with a phenomenal bid of £630,000, the largest ever Bookrunner bid to Save the Children in 20 years of IFR Awards history.

The dinner, organized by IFR, was attended by over 1,000 senior investment bankers.. The event is recognied as the key awards ceremony for global financiers and is Save the Children’s largest single annual fundraiser.

IFR award winners for 2014 include: (more…)

Top 10 videos from Davos

A worker prepares the sign at the entrance hall of the congress centre, the venue of the World Economic Forum (WEF), in the Swiss mountain resort of Davos

Here are some of the best video clips from the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos:

ECB quantitative easing won’t save the euro zone economy – Roubini

Even if the European Central Bank embarks on quantitative easing it’s unlikely to either boost the economy or tackle deflation, says NYU Economics Professor Nouriel Roubini. What’s needed is a massive fiscal stimulus, which Germany won’t agree to. (more…)

How technology is disrupting the markets

A trader watches his monitor at Egyptian stock exchange in Cairo

It’s only one year since the World Economic Forum launched its Disruptive Innovation in Financial Services work group, but the atmosphere is decidedly different. Last year the collective mood of this cross-industry group was one of denial, largely due to the regulated nature of the financial services industry. This year, a well-known Silicon Valley entrepreneur challenged us to think differently, suggesting we take a clean sheet approach. And the mood couldn’t be more different, as this group embraces the fact that disruptive innovation has arrived.

Many of us in the financial industry developed professionally in a world that was about technology. However, today the curve is absolutely steeper – just think about how Uber and PayPal have changed the nature of their fields. There is also a realization now that technology is but one part: it is really about data and technology. The emerging trend among corporations and banks alike has been to hire chief data officers. We have the term and industry issue “big data” partly to thank for this. However, many of these same firms have still kept their chief information officers; I’m often left wondering about the difference between data and information and how these roles work together.

The emergence of big data as a business issue has changed the industry’s conversations with clients, particularly around opportunities like powerful analytics used to discover trading and investment opportunities or manage risk. But these terms can also be alienating. (more…)

How technology is disrupting the markets

A trader watches his monitor at Egyptian stock exchange in Cairo

It’s only one year since the World Economic Forum launched its Disruptive Innovation in Financial Services work group, but the atmosphere is decidedly different. Last year the collective mood of this cross-industry group was one of denial, largely due to the regulated nature of the financial services industry. This year, a well-known Silicon Valley entrepreneur challenged us to think differently, suggesting we take a clean sheet approach. And the mood couldn’t be more different, as this group embraces the fact that disruptive innovation has arrived.

Many of us in the financial industry developed professionally in a world that was about technology. However, today the curve is absolutely steeper – just think about how Uber and PayPal have changed the nature of their fields. There is also a realization now that technology is but one part: it is really about data and technology. The emerging trend among corporations and banks alike has been to hire chief data officers. We have the term and industry issue “big data” partly to thank for this. However, many of these same firms have still kept their chief information officers; I’m often left wondering about the difference between data and information and how these roles work together.

The emergence of big data as a business issue has changed the industry’s conversations with clients, particularly around opportunities like powerful analytics used to discover trading and investment opportunities or manage risk. But these terms can also be alienating. (more…)

Davos debrief from the Global Markets Forum

Global Markets Forum

It’s been another successful year for our online communities at the World Economic Forum in Davos – our third in a row – with the Global Markets Forum (GMF), Trading Africa, Trading China and the Japanese-language DealWatch all represented through our series of “LiveChat” real time interviews with key delegates.

From our base in the town’s library, we mulled this year’s big conference themes – crisis and cooperation; growth and stability; innovation and industry and society and security – with the likes of the International Monetary Fund, the United Nations and the World Bank. We talked politics with Serbia’s Prime Minister and the special advisor to the Japanese government, and dissected the European Central Bank’s bumper quantitative easing package with the vice-president of the European Parliament.

In figures: 3 days, 4 forums, 12 guests and 19 chat sessions

Some highlights: (more…)

Consumer confidence rising – Graphic of the day

Despite all the mixed results, consumers are telling us that they feel good about the economy. The latest reading on the Thomson Reuters Ipsos Consumer Outlook Index remains stable over the last month’s strong showing. What’s more, the current and job indices show an increase over the previous month – another sign of a positive trend. This also tells us that consumers see fewer job losses and feel more confident about the current economy. People are also reporting recovery in their local economy’s job creation picture and improved spending power within their circles. All this might lead to further optimism about the future of the economy. Read more about what’s going on in the average consumer’s world.

consumer confidence

Britain’s future in Europe

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On the first official day of the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos, we co-hosted a breakfast discussion with WPP, titled “Britain’s Future in Europe,” bringing together an esteemed group of guests including CEOs, financial analysts, journalists, leaders and others. President and Editor-in-chief of Reuters Steve Adler moderated a lively panel discussion, featuring Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO of WPP; Lord Peter Mandelson, chairman of Global Counsel and former European trade commissioner and British first Secretary of State; and Domenico Siniscalco, vice chairman of Morgan Stanley and country head of Italy and head of government coverage EMEA.

The context of the conversation was based on TNS BMRB polling data, measuring British sentiment on the possibility of leaving the European Union. Some of the results from the research are shown below, which was presented by CEO of WPP government and public sector practice and global head of political and social practice at TNS Michelle Harrison: (more…)

Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S – Graphic of the day

Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S Estimates is the industry standard and highest quality source for analyst detail, company level consensus and macro level aggregates data. It provides the broadest global view of sell-side analyst estimates for a company’s future interim and annual financial performance. We have expanded key performance indicators for deep insight & analysis and they’re available in our desktop products and feed platforms.

Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S

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