We recently launched our newest podcast, Mind Your Business, a regular review on the intersection between Corporate Responsibility and Inclusion and modern business. It’s hosted by Patsy Doerr, global head of Corporate Responsibility and Inclusion at Thomson Reuters.
In the latest issue of Thomson Reuters Exchange, we’re celebrating data, the core of our business and the lifeblood of the industry. While our focus is typically on the science of data – collecting, curating, cleaning, managing and disseminating data – we know there is also an art to making data useful, powerful and insightful.Enjoy our featured articles below or download Exchange for free on your iPhone®, iPad® or Android™ tablet device.
By Conor Coughlan, Global Head, Proposition Marketing, Thomson Reuters
In this fast paced world, where we face what seems to be an ever growing regulatory landslide, not sinking into the earth or being swept away but actually staying on top of all the necessary changes, is a major challenge. Recently you may have noted my focus on Solvency II, which is due to be implemented across the European Union and (EEA) from January 2016 onwards. Don’t be fooled into thinking this is just a matter for European firms because it has many implications for American or Asian insurers who have European subsidiaries!
Described by many as the “Basel for Insurers” Solvency II is a beast of a regulation. It has a complex structure, with a three pillar alignment and its requirement for entirely new or consolidated data sets and reporting models means it’s a ‘game changer’ for the insurance sector and their service providers.
When we first started tracking Solvency II we were surprised at how revolutionary but warranted the regulation would be.
I was personally surprised at how infrequent insurance firms had to report on their holdings (in the past) and that many did not know what funds they had ultimately invested in.
Equally it was clear that this regulation would not only impact Insurers but also their asset managers and their related asset servicers’ (fund administrators & custodians).
In many ways the entire investment supply chain in the insurance industry now has to change to meet these far reaching regulatory obligations.
The UK Hydrographic Office has been creating charts (no they are not maps!) of the sea for the last 200 years and in the process has gained the best global coverage and the highest levels of trust amongst its customers – the Royal Navy and merchant shipping. Marine charts have been paper-based for the majority of the last 200 years, each one in the world series having a particular fold, not only suited to the cartography particular to the area of ocean in question, but also to the chart table and chart storage drawers on the ship.
As a newly appointed non-executive director of the UKHO, I could see the parallels between chart creation and financial data management. Both industries are impacted by regulation: the shipping industry has regulations regarding the carriage of up to date charts as part of their obligation towards Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS); and digital charts are now mandated, the regulation being phased by tonnage. Clearly collecting reliable data is important, as is processing it and ensuring the resulting chart is accurate – mariners lives depend on knowing where the rocks are. There are charting acronyms too – “UBO” is an Unidentified Bottom Object – an unidentifiable something at the bottom of the sea. (more…)
The year 2015 marks the tenth anniversary of peer-to-peer (P2P) lending. Zopa was launched in the U.K. in 2005, a time when unsecured borrowers were paying more than 15% per annum and bank depositors were earning 5%. Zopa matched borrowers and investors with materially better terms via an easy-to-use Web interface. In June 2005, investors lent £45,000 via the Zopa site; June 2015 saw nearly £45 million of new loans via the same site.
It was quite a personal affair in 2005 — borrowers chose their own usernames, could write a short message explaining their borrowing needs and could even write a thank you note to lenders when the deal was done. For investors, it was more complicated than today. Investors chose from a number of risk categories and maturities, could choose their maximum loan size and post their target interest rate. The site advised investors as to whether their rate was in the “zone of possible agreement,” explaining that rates outside the “zopa” would result in funds being invested at a much slower rate.
Today’s Zopa lenders only have to choose one of two maturity bands and state whether they want repaid funds to be automatically re-invested. Zopa limits an investor’s maximum exposure to any one borrower to ensure diversification and has a first loss facility, which, although not guaranteed, has covered all losses on eligible loans since its launch two years ago.
The Zopa story has been repeated hundreds of times around the world and has extended from consumer unsecured lending to small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) lending, factoring, mortgages and student loans. The role of the “peer” has diminished as institutional investors now dominate the lending, and an increasing proportion of borrowers are SMEs. The alternative name for this sector – Marketplace Lending (MPL) – is therefore more appropriate. The advances in automation and ease of use seen on Zopa’s site have also been mirrored elsewhere with later entrants trying to distinguish themselves using innovative features. However, since the foundations of MPL are built on financial technology, or FinTech, innovations on one platform can be quickly copied by others in ways that the banking sector, mainly operating from legacy systems, can’t match. (more…)
“Global Risks 2015 Report” (WEF) lists spread of infectious diseases as one of the main threats to the “smooth functioning of global supply chains.” Organizations that are aware of supply chain challenges and take proactive measures to address them and eliminate related potential risks are in a much better position to increase their profits, avoid reputational damage and overall operate more efficiently.
16 Jul 2015Thomson Reuters
Watch our two minutes video explaining how to be prepared for the risks of commodities supply chain disruptions:
With nearly 50 years’ experience collecting company financial information that covers 99% of the world’s market cap, see how we deliver critical information our customers need.
15 Jul 2015Thomson Reuters
With our Worldscope and Reuters Fundamentals databases, we have long delivered significant detail and deep insight from the data. And when we launch Thomson Reuters Fundamentals – built from the best of both these sets – we’ll make company financial reports an even more valuable tool.
Last month, the Thomson Reuters Foundation brought some of Europe’s biggest financial firms together with law enforcement authorities in London, uniting their resources to combat modern day slavery. The financial institutions met with Europol and the UK’s National Crime Agency to identify the behaviors of potential people traffickers, to understand the dynamics of this global challenge and to ensure a greater understanding of how financial data might uncover the criminals.
The Thomson Reuters Foundation ran a similar project in the USA in 2012 with the office of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr, which was credited with increasing significantly the reporting of suspicious transactions which might be linked to this cruel trade. The challenge is great, but the need to act is greater. More than 35 million people are effectively enslaved – trapped in forced and bonded labor, sexual exploitation, and other forms of servitude. Four in five of the victims identified in the EU are female.
The criminals involved use and generate significant amounts of cash – this fast-growing crime is estimated to be worth more than $150 billion worldwide – so clearly the money will emerge in the financial system at some point. The challenge for banks and law enforcement agencies alike is to identify such transactions and turn them into actionable intelligence which can lead to breaking the criminal networks.
It is astonishing that more than two centuries after the UK outlawed slavery that this practice can endure across the world. It is right, then, that we use the best in 21st century technology to track and ultimately unmask the beneficiaries of this vast criminal enterprise. At Thomson Reuters, we are working with clients and voluntary bodies to develop resources for companies which will help them to scrutinize their own supply chains and their sources of labour down to the subcontractor level.
The Thomson Reuters Foundation and the members of this new working group are to be commended for their contribution to stamping out this crime. Together they are marshaling considerable forces against those who seek to profit from slavery, and one that has no place in modern society.
The Islamic digital economy including spending connected to halal food, travel, fashion, recreation and culture, pharmaceuticals and Islamic finance is set to grow double digits—up to 25-30% per annum—according to a recent report by Deloitte. A large part of this spending can benefit small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) which make up a large majority of the total businesses in Organisation for Islamic Cooperation (OIC) countries and a share of GDP that reaches up to one-third to one-half in countries like Malaysia and Indonesia.
The digital economy includes technology that assists the SMEs in reaching a wider market, mobile payments to capitalize on the wider market, and ways to use cloud computing and big data. Innovation 4 Impact, organized by the Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority and Thomson Reuters is a business competition that specifically targets entrepreneurial activities for Islamic businesses. Entries for the competition open June 28 and run through August 10 and the shortlisted candidates will be showcased at one of the biggest features at the Global Islamic Economy Summit 2015 to be held from 5-6 October 2015 in Dubai, UAE. (more…)