Banks are suffering from a problem: cash. Not long ago, many struggled to maintain liquidity, then COVID-19 arrived. Consumers and businesses have flooded them with deposits, as governments have doled out aid, uncertainty has made safe havens attractive, and continual lockdowns have restricted activity. But this is likely to change soon.
Kieran Donoghue, the Irish Development Authority’s Global Head of Strategy, Public Policy and International Financial Services examines the continuing uncertainty around Brexit and role that Ireland can play as a strategic partner to the United Kingdom’s (UK) financial services industry.
2021 brings a new administration to the White House and, with it, a more favorable outlook toward sustainability, especially climate change. How much this shift in policy will influence financial regulations and ultimately banks, especially in the US, is not yet certain. But banks should prepare for stronger pressure on the financial industry to contribute to the effort to foster sustainable development through stricter disclosure requirements and redirected investment goals.
“Two are better than one” is increasingly the case in investing, as humans team up with computers to reach the best investment decisions. Quantamental investing combines quantitative and fundamental strategies to make the most of both approaches, and it is finding increasing adoption, especially among traditional fund managers finding themselves at a disadvantage in the Digital Age. If done right, fusing the traditional with the technological does bring stellar returns.
Alternative is a broad term, taking in whatever is different from the conventional. In investments, that means anything that isn’t stocks, bonds or cash. It’s a large playing field that is attracting an increasing number of investors, including some of the wealthiest in the world. Returns can be high, but so can risks; what are some of these diverse investment opportunities and of what should the shrewd investor be cautious?
Corporate governance is moving from back to front stage. Change starts at the top, and a good board of directors is credited with strengthening value creation and stability. What makes a good board? Members should represent their company’s diverse stakeholders and be skilled in a variety of areas that were historically considered the domain of management. For too long, too many boards have fallen short and a reboot is required!
It makes good economic sense that when people work toward their own economic benefit, the economy, and society, as a whole benefits—but do these profitable conditions benefit all members of society, or are some left out? Today, fintech challengers are accomplishing what traditional banks have failed to fully achieve—providing fair and open access to basic financial services for all of the world’s citizens.
The threat of catastrophic consequences from rampant global warming has given rise to a relatively new financial instrument, the green bond, issued by governments and institutions that are successfully combining healthy financial returns with equally healthy measures to tackle environmentally unhealthy carbon emissions. These investments are now regarded as an integral part of the global effort to combat climate change.
For 31 years, private-equity firm Blackstone Group has produced healthy returns for its fund investors, despite weathering some stormy economic conditions. Much of its success is due to its strategy of reaching money-making, risk-mitigating deals at the most advantageous times.