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03

Oct

Luxe Purchase… 
Louis Cartier 24-hour leather bag
£2,660.00

Luxe Purchase…

Louis Cartier 24-hour leather bag

£2,660.00

22

Sep

The five things U.A.E private sector businesses need to do to achieve Emiratisation

There has been an increasingly competitive talent attraction landscape amongst U.A.E businesses for some time now, with many companies, particularly in the private sector, struggling to recruit enough Emirati nationals to fulfil goals laid out by the government. Gavin Smith, Managing Director of ReThink MEA, a specialist recruiter in the region, has highlighted how organisations can achieve this:

1. Build talent pipelines for the future…and start now - If a business is serious about meeting
Emiratisation targets, there’s no better time to start developing talent pipelines than now. Doing so can aid an organisation in securing a healthy long-term stream of talented professionals into the workforce. Etihad is a perfect example of this. The airline recognised that there simply weren’t enough locals with the required skills so it looked to develop the talent from the ground up. At the start of the project the local element of the workforce stood at around 2% and by 2013 had risen to 22%. So if businesses are serious about meeting targets, get started right away.

2. Compete on pay and benefits – Currently, many government organisations offer very attractive packages to nationals. And unfortunately there’s no ‘clever’ solution to this for the private sector. If companies want to compete for Emirati talent they simply have to develop employment offerings that at least match that of public sector organisations. Paying higher salaries is one factor that can entice nationals to join but businesses should also be creative when it comes to offering different benefits and flexible working hours.

3. Use your expats more imaginatively – With such a large expat community in the region and with so many professionals holding powerful positions in commerce and industry, it seems a waste not to utilise them to their full extent. Why not follow the example of China where foreign talent is not only taken on to fulfil business-critical roles but also to train, shape and develop national talent and, ultimately, pass on their skills? By allowing Emiratis to shadow and learn from expats, organisations have a greater chance of keeping skill sets in the country once these professionals return home.

4. Fully integrate the locals – If firms want to secure Emirati professionals and make them feel valuable it’s absolutely crucial to integrate them fully into business operations. This means not just employing them in the U.A.E but also allowing them to experience international opportunities and take part in learning and development initiatives. By doing this it’s more likely the individual will feel more like a valued part of the organisation, rather than just being there to meet quotas.

5. Don’t compromise on talent – Which leads on to the final point, don’t hire a national for the sake of it. Talent is the most important part of any organisation and it’s therefore vital to get recruitment strategies right. Regardless of the situation businesses shouldn’t just hire on the basis of tokenism. Doing so can jeopardise the future success of the organisation. By developing a longer term process, in a similar way to Etihad, companies will have a greater chance of securing talent who can both aid their growth and help to meet Emiratisation targets.

Expert Comment from Warwick Business School’s Crawford Spence, Professor of Accounting, on Tesco admitting to overstating its first-half profits by an estimated £250m 

Professor Crawford Spence said: “This revelation should be interpreted as a sign of distress. Tesco has essentially tried to recognise revenue too early and delay the recording of costs until a later date. Accounting is not a hard science and some of this behaviour is acceptable, within limits. What Tesco appear to have done is push the boat out a bit too far, ending up with revenue that hadn’t really been earned yet and costs that probably should have been booked earlier.

“It is a classic ‘earnings management’ issue. Firms quite legitimately play around with their revenue and expenses all the time. However, when they do so aggressively, as Tesco appear to have done, this is usually because the firm is under pressure elsewhere. In Tesco’s case, it has been losing market share to its competitors steadily in recent years and losing value quite dramatically in its share price in recent months. Rather than fix the underlying problems, they have been playing around with their numbers to try to make things look better.

“To Tesco’s credit, however, it has flagged this up internally and is doing something about it, which suggests that there are probably no other big accounting shocks hidden away.

“Given it this has been flagged up and dealt with internally it is unlikely any court proceedings will occur. Tesco could be fined by the authorities, but they will most likely wait to hear what the auditors, Deloitte, uncover first

Expert Comment from Warwick Business School’s Crawford Spence, Professor of Accounting, on Tesco admitting to overstating its first-half profits by an estimated £250m

Professor Crawford Spence said: “This revelation should be interpreted as a sign of distress. Tesco has essentially tried to recognise revenue too early and delay the recording of costs until a later date. Accounting is not a hard science and some of this behaviour is acceptable, within limits. What Tesco appear to have done is push the boat out a bit too far, ending up with revenue that hadn’t really been earned yet and costs that probably should have been booked earlier.

“It is a classic ‘earnings management’ issue. Firms quite legitimately play around with their revenue and expenses all the time. However, when they do so aggressively, as Tesco appear to have done, this is usually because the firm is under pressure elsewhere. In Tesco’s case, it has been losing market share to its competitors steadily in recent years and losing value quite dramatically in its share price in recent months. Rather than fix the underlying problems, they have been playing around with their numbers to try to make things look better.

“To Tesco’s credit, however, it has flagged this up internally and is doing something about it, which suggests that there are probably no other big accounting shocks hidden away.

“Given it this has been flagged up and dealt with internally it is unlikely any court proceedings will occur. Tesco could be fined by the authorities, but they will most likely wait to hear what the auditors, Deloitte, uncover first

11

Jul

The Kempinski Ciragan Palace, Istanbul

09

Apr

Our new travel issue will be ready soon! Lots of articles including luxe travel features to Berlin, Uruguay, Buenos Aires, Madrid, Istanbul, New York and many more.

Our new travel issue will be ready soon! Lots of articles including luxe travel features to Berlin, Uruguay, Buenos Aires, Madrid, Istanbul, New York and many more.

03

Mar

Virgin StartUp is helping entrepreneurs in the West Midlands turn their business ideas into reality next week with the launch of a series of free ‘HotHouse’ events.

Since its creation in October 2013, Virgin StartUp, a not-for-profit company backed by Sir Richard Branson, has offered financial support, mentoring and business advice to young entrepreneurs aged 18 to 30 across England and is excitingly now also able to offer its services to those over 30.

The Virgin StartUp HotHouse tour will travel across the country over the coming months and arrives in Birmingham at Fazeley Studios, The Custard Factory on Thursday 13 February, 5pm–8pm.

Experts will be on hand to guide would-be applicants through the Virgin StartUp loans process. There will also be opportunities to network with potential mentors and attend panel sessions with successful entrepreneurs.

In Birmingham, Matt Isaacs, Founding Partner and Global CEO of No 1 Fast Track Tech Company Essence and Matt Roberts, Founder of Bean2Bed will be on hand to offer their expertise before a focused workshop from National Enterprise Network on business planning and the loan application process.

Subsequent free events for entrepreneurs will take place across England throughout 2014.

Commenting on the launch of Virgin StartUp, Sir Richard Branson said:

"I started my first business with a handful of coins out of a phone-box at school, but it was the £300 from my mum that really kick-started our Student magazine and sparked the Virgin adventure 40 years ago. Today, young people need that same help and I believe Virgin StartUp will provide it - with access to early capital, strong mentorship, advice and promotion. We look forward to helping launch thousands of new businesses as a delivery partner of The Start-Up Loan Company across the UK in years to come."

Matt Isaacs, Founding Partner and CEO of Essence said:

"I know from personal experience that launching a new venture takes creativity, commitment and enormous courage. So any extra support for budding entrepreneurs has to be welcome. I am not sure we always believe it of ourselves, but we are an incredibly entrepreneurial country. And what better brand than Virgin and Virgin Startup to support the UK’s startup scene, raising the profile of entrepreneurialism and providing much needed support and advice."

Virgin StartUp follows the successful pilot programme in the North East involving Virgin Money. In 12 months the initiative backed more than 100 businesses and lent more than £700,000 in funding.

To find out more and sign up to any of the Virgin StartUp HotHouse events, please visit:

http://www.virginstartup.org/news/virgin-startup-hothouse-tour-2014/

https://www.facebook.com/virginstartup

https:/www.twitter.com/virginstartup

Virgin StartUp is helping entrepreneurs in the West Midlands turn their business ideas into reality next week with the launch of a series of free ‘HotHouse’ events.

Since its creation in October 2013, Virgin StartUp, a not-for-profit company backed by Sir Richard Branson, has offered financial support, mentoring and business advice to young entrepreneurs aged 18 to 30 across England and is excitingly now also able to offer its services to those over 30.

The Virgin StartUp HotHouse tour will travel across the country over the coming months and arrives in Birmingham at Fazeley Studios, The Custard Factory on Thursday 13 February, 5pm–8pm.

Experts will be on hand to guide would-be applicants through the Virgin StartUp loans process. There will also be opportunities to network with potential mentors and attend panel sessions with successful entrepreneurs.

In Birmingham, Matt Isaacs, Founding Partner and Global CEO of No 1 Fast Track Tech Company Essence and Matt Roberts, Founder of Bean2Bed will be on hand to offer their expertise before a focused workshop from National Enterprise Network on business planning and the loan application process.

Subsequent free events for entrepreneurs will take place across England throughout 2014.

Commenting on the launch of Virgin StartUp, Sir Richard Branson said:

"I started my first business with a handful of coins out of a phone-box at school, but it was the £300 from my mum that really kick-started our Student magazine and sparked the Virgin adventure 40 years ago. Today, young people need that same help and I believe Virgin StartUp will provide it - with access to early capital, strong mentorship, advice and promotion. We look forward to helping launch thousands of new businesses as a delivery partner of The Start-Up Loan Company across the UK in years to come."

Matt Isaacs, Founding Partner and CEO of Essence said:

"I know from personal experience that launching a new venture takes creativity, commitment and enormous courage. So any extra support for budding entrepreneurs has to be welcome. I am not sure we always believe it of ourselves, but we are an incredibly entrepreneurial country. And what better brand than Virgin and Virgin Startup to support the UK’s startup scene, raising the profile of entrepreneurialism and providing much needed support and advice."

Virgin StartUp follows the successful pilot programme in the North East involving Virgin Money. In 12 months the initiative backed more than 100 businesses and lent more than £700,000 in funding.

To find out more and sign up to any of the Virgin StartUp HotHouse events, please visit:

http://www.virginstartup.org/news/virgin-startup-hothouse-tour-2014/

https://www.facebook.com/virginstartup

https:/www.twitter.com/virginstartup

Government and regulators meet to combat cyber threats to essential services

“Cyber attacks are a serious and growing threat to British businesses, but it is particularly important that those industries providing essential services such as power, telecommunications and banking are adequately protected to avoid disruption to our everyday lives.” These were the words of Vince Cable – the UK Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills – at a summit to discuss working in partnership to address the cyber threats to essential services.

The summit on the 5th February brought together regulators for the financial, water, energy, communications and transport sectors with ministers and senior officials from the security and intelligence agencies.

The cyber threat is a very real issue all across the world as highlighted in the 2014 BCI Horizon Scan Report. In a survey that received responses from business continuity professionals from 82 countries, the top three threats that organizations faced were ‘unplanned IT and telecoms outages’, ‘data breach’ and ‘cyber attack’ with 77%, 73% and 73% expressing either concern or extreme concern respectively to the possibility of these threats materializing and the impact they could have. These figures have increased considerably since the 2013 survey.

A communique published jointly by the Cabinet Office, Department for Business Innovation and Skills and National Security and Intelligence, notes that cyber systems and networks form a substantial part of the UK’s infrastructure, underpinning many of the services used in daily life. Disruption to these cyber systems and networks can quickly lead to disruption in the real world: power failures, travel delays, late payments.

To reduce the potential for disruption, organizations that own and operate this cyber infrastructure must strengthen their own cyber security. Mr Cable stated: “We can only achieve this objective through a partnership between government, the regulators and industry. Today’s event marks the next step in highlighting the important role of the regulators in overseeing the adoption of robust cyber security measures by the companies that supply these crucial services.” Given that the cyber systems that support these essential services are part of a global infrastructure, there is also a need to work with international partners to fully understand the risk and increase the level of network and information security.

To take this programme forward, the communique announced five objectives

Work to embed cyber security in the firms and markets that they oversee (including encouraging firms to: undertake a self-assessment against the ‘10 steps to cyber security’; take up membership of the Cyber Security Information Security Partnership, or CISP; manage cyber risk in their supply chains by driving adoption of the HMG Preferred Organisational Standard for Cyber Security)
Assess the state of cyber security across each sector, on an ongoing basis, and work with industry to address vulnerabilities where appropriate
Identify aggregated cyber security risks within and across sectors, enabling the management of cyber risks affecting a number of entities
Working with industry, increase information flows on threat, vulnerabilities and mitigation strategies across each sector
Support sectors to develop effective incident detection and management capabilities, including working with partners (including CERT-UK) to develop, deliver and participate in appropriate exercise programmes for each sector
The BCI supports these initiatives and would welcome the opportunity to work with government and industry in order to achieve these objectives.

Virgin StartUp is helping entrepreneurs in the West Midlands turn their business ideas into reality next week with the launch of a series of free ‘HotHouse’ events.

Since its creation in October 2013, Virgin StartUp, a not-for-profit company backed by Sir Richard Branson, has offered financial support, mentoring and business advice to young entrepreneurs aged 18 to 30 across England and is excitingly now also able to offer its services to those over 30.

The Virgin StartUp HotHouse tour will travel across the country over the coming months and arrives in Birmingham at Fazeley Studios, The Custard Factory on Thursday 13 February, 5pm–8pm.

Experts will be on hand to guide would-be applicants through the Virgin StartUp loans process. There will also be opportunities to network with potential mentors and attend panel sessions with successful entrepreneurs.

In Birmingham, Matt Isaacs, Founding Partner and Global CEO of No 1 Fast Track Tech Company Essence and Matt Roberts, Founder of Bean2Bed will be on hand to offer their expertise before a focused workshop from National Enterprise Network on business planning and the loan application process.

Subsequent free events for entrepreneurs will take place across England throughout 2014.

Commenting on the launch of Virgin StartUp, Sir Richard Branson said:

"I started my first business with a handful of coins out of a phone-box at school, but it was the £300 from my mum that really kick-started our Student magazine and sparked the Virgin adventure 40 years ago. Today, young people need that same help and I believe Virgin StartUp will provide it - with access to early capital, strong mentorship, advice and promotion. We look forward to helping launch thousands of new businesses as a delivery partner of The Start-Up Loan Company across the UK in years to come."

Matt Isaacs, Founding Partner and CEO of Essence said:

"I know from personal experience that launching a new venture takes creativity, commitment and enormous courage. So any extra support for budding entrepreneurs has to be welcome. I am not sure we always believe it of ourselves, but we are an incredibly entrepreneurial country. And what better brand than Virgin and Virgin Startup to support the UK’s startup scene, raising the profile of entrepreneurialism and providing much needed support and advice."

Virgin StartUp follows the successful pilot programme in the North East involving Virgin Money. In 12 months the initiative backed more than 100 businesses and lent more than £700,000 in funding.

To find out more and sign up to any of the Virgin StartUp HotHouse events, please visit:

http://www.virginstartup.org/news/virgin-startup-hothouse-tour-2014/

https://www.facebook.com/virginstartup

https:/www.twitter.com/virginstartup

Virgin StartUp is helping entrepreneurs in the West Midlands turn their business ideas into reality next week with the launch of a series of free ‘HotHouse’ events.

Since its creation in October 2013, Virgin StartUp, a not-for-profit company backed by Sir Richard Branson, has offered financial support, mentoring and business advice to young entrepreneurs aged 18 to 30 across England and is excitingly now also able to offer its services to those over 30.

The Virgin StartUp HotHouse tour will travel across the country over the coming months and arrives in Birmingham at Fazeley Studios, The Custard Factory on Thursday 13 February, 5pm–8pm.

Experts will be on hand to guide would-be applicants through the Virgin StartUp loans process. There will also be opportunities to network with potential mentors and attend panel sessions with successful entrepreneurs.

In Birmingham, Matt Isaacs, Founding Partner and Global CEO of No 1 Fast Track Tech Company Essence and Matt Roberts, Founder of Bean2Bed will be on hand to offer their expertise before a focused workshop from National Enterprise Network on business planning and the loan application process.

Subsequent free events for entrepreneurs will take place across England throughout 2014.

Commenting on the launch of Virgin StartUp, Sir Richard Branson said:

"I started my first business with a handful of coins out of a phone-box at school, but it was the £300 from my mum that really kick-started our Student magazine and sparked the Virgin adventure 40 years ago. Today, young people need that same help and I believe Virgin StartUp will provide it - with access to early capital, strong mentorship, advice and promotion. We look forward to helping launch thousands of new businesses as a delivery partner of The Start-Up Loan Company across the UK in years to come."

Matt Isaacs, Founding Partner and CEO of Essence said:

"I know from personal experience that launching a new venture takes creativity, commitment and enormous courage. So any extra support for budding entrepreneurs has to be welcome. I am not sure we always believe it of ourselves, but we are an incredibly entrepreneurial country. And what better brand than Virgin and Virgin Startup to support the UK’s startup scene, raising the profile of entrepreneurialism and providing much needed support and advice."

Virgin StartUp follows the successful pilot programme in the North East involving Virgin Money. In 12 months the initiative backed more than 100 businesses and lent more than £700,000 in funding.

To find out more and sign up to any of the Virgin StartUp HotHouse events, please visit:

http://www.virginstartup.org/news/virgin-startup-hothouse-tour-2014/

https://www.facebook.com/virginstartup

https:/www.twitter.com/virginstartup

07

Feb

Twitter’s huge losses do not mean its business model is broken

Despite seeing $4 billion (£2.45 billion) wiped off Twitter’s value Associate Professor of Strategic Management Sotirios Paroutis believes the US tech company could still have a bright long-term future.

The micro-blogging site announced losses of $645 million (£396 million) for 2013, its first set of results since going public in November, and investors were unnerved to see a slowdown in the growth of people using Twitter.

Twitter averaged 241 million monthly users in the last quarter of the year, up just 3.8 per cent on the previous quarter, compared to 10 per cent seen at the beginning of 2013. Also timeline views were down nearly seven per cent in Q4, suggesting users were refreshing their feeds less often.

Investors were also concerned at the ballooning costs Twitter is suffering, but Dr Paroutis feels the heavy spend on R&D is a good sign and will eventually bear fruit.

“Most of Twitter’s R&D spending goes towards personnel-related expenses and in the long term they have a number of products still to be fully utilised,” said Dr Paroutis. “There is Twitter Amplify, which allows advertisers to send out a promoted tweet to coincide with ads on TV, and in December it introduced its Tailored Audiences where a company can send a tweet to people who have been searching for terms on the Internet related to its product.

“It will take time for advertisers to learn how to utilise fully these new tools, but once they do, Twitter will be in a much better position. Already their advertising revenue per 1,000 timeline views has increased to $1.49 in Q4, up 76 per cent from last year, showing that this is an area they are starting to improve on.

"Further, 75 per cent of their advertising revenue comes from mobile usage, compared to Facebook’s  53 per cent. So they have a good position in the mobile space. As CEO Dick Costolo revealed during the earnings call, recent changes in their mobile apps caused the Q4 decline in timeline views but helped increase the value of each view.”    

Dr Paroutis believes the 24 per cent drop in Twitter’s share price, that came on the back of its results, was partly because it had become over-valued.

“The long term prospects could be positive as long as Twitter can rationalise its costs and continue to grow revenue in the next few quarters,” said Dr Paroutis.

Twitter’s revenue rose 110 per cent last year to reach $665 million (£407.4 million) and Dr Paroutis feels the market’s reaction to the Californian company’s results was also affected by Facebook’s extraordinary quarterly performance, revealed just days earlier.

“The losses do not mean Twitter’s business model does not work,” said Dr Paroutis. “Facebook reported very good results, so the market is comparing Twitter to that. Facebook was profitable for three years before it entered the market, while Twitter was in a different situation.

“In some respects Twitter had to prove its business model worked and going to IPO helped put its business case forward. Now it is facing the scrutiny of the investors and the market.

“The losses are significant, but Twitter is growing its revenues quite quickly, 110 per cent year-on year. Once it has sorted out its R&D and acquisitions costs the firm will be in a better position. The other challenge is that Twitter needs these new innovative products to be utilised by users and advertisers. In other words, while it is doing well, it needs to do better - and faster - to keep its advertisers, users and investors interested.

“Twitter has good brand awareness and had nine million new users in Q4; it was just that this was the first slowdown in timeline impressions. Some of the reasons behind this slowdown can be found in the multiple redesigns that Twitter has recently carried out. Yet these redesigns support the roll-out of new products.

"The question then is whether these new products that Twitter is providing advertisers with will affect the user experience. If they do, the slowdown in usage will only get worse. This is a delicate balance they have to strike; while they are adding new services these should not over-complicate the user experience.”

It’s ‘business as usual’ for jobs in the City

• 35% rise in City’s core ‘business as usual’ roles in quarter four 2013 reflects boost in trade volumes

• 9% increase in senior hiring to ease banks through regulatory changes

At a time where several major banks - including RBS, Lloyds and Barclays - have announced waves of job cuts, a new report claims that a 35% rise in core ‘business as usual’ positions across the City proves that, away from the high street names at least, there is renewed confidence in hiring within the financial services sector.

Statistics from Venn Group’s latest employment trends report show that, as the economy recovers, many City institutions are looking to grow their businesses once again, either organically or through acquisitions. This positive outlook has resulted in a hike in demand for contractors to fulfil day to day roles.

Rob McLeod, Venn Group’s director responsible for the financial services sector, comments, “In quarter four 2013 we saw a significant rise in core ‘business as usual’ roles. These typically cover back and mid office trade support functions across operations, finance and compliance. It’s a trend we haven’t seen in some time, as for the past few years, interim hiring has been focused on the more specialist skills to see the banks through complex and ever-changing regulatory requirements. The fact that day to day roles are on the increase reflects a boost in trade volumes, and definitely spells good news for the sector as a whole.

“Despite this, organisations will continue to be hit hard financially if they fail to comply with regulatory requirements – as we have seen with many of the major institutions recently. It will take some years for the banks to fully address their own practices and restructure and realign their businesses to comply with European directives. As a result, we’ve also seen a 9% rise in demand for high calibre, senior professionals experienced in managing change to ease our clients through this arduous process.”

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