Sovereign wealth funds are state-owned funds used by especially Middle Eastern and Asian governments to support projects they feel will promote domestic growth and welfare; lately, they have been shifting to emerging-technology opportunities. One difference between SWFs and other funds is a willingness to wait to realize long-term returns; technology firms with vast potential to serve private and public interests are proving to be the perfect targets for SWF investment.
Few have not embraced the Green Agenda, as we all see the potential for renewable energy to transform the fabric of our lives and to hinder potentially devastating climate change. But wanting to do and doing can be two different things, with the availability of financing often being the deciding factor. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development fills the financing gap, with a focus on worthy private-sector green projects.
Financial audits can inspire apprehension, but a rigorous, thorough, high-quality audit is crucial in helping a business to meet its goals and expectations. Multidisciplinary firms, offering audit alongside other services, are proving to be invaluable as technology renders businesses’ situations and requirements more complicated. But regulators aren’t as convinced that they are up to the task. What is the case for the multidisciplinary model in the increasingly complex Information Age?
The European Union has put up a brave front against financial crimes such as money laundering, but the criminals still manage to get away with a way too much ill-gotten gain. Progress is being made with the new AMLD5 framework, but much more needs to be done to achieve resounding success. What are some of the steps the EU should take to finally grab this brazen bull by its horns?
Financial institutions spearhead a variety of activities, from approving college loans to setting up retirement funds, but they also play an important role in bringing terrorists to justice. By partnering with law enforcement, FIs are able to complete the puzzle by exchanging information on terrorism-financing-related transactions. These public/private partnerships are countering terrorist activities effectively, especially in the UK and the US, and creating CTF models for other countries to follow.
The issuance of new regulation is not always met with elation, but financial and accounting industries in the European Union have reason to applaud the new PSD2, as it brings advantages for customers and businesses alike. Although the advantages for customers are clearer, such as increased control over their personal data, banks, too, will benefit from such features as better data, increased security and, in the end, more satisfied customers.
Invoice financing is becoming increasingly more mainstream as a financing option for businesses — and it may pose an opportunity for banks as well. Invoice financing refers to the process of a business borrowing money against its accounts receivables (versus credit worthiness).
Climate change has already altered industries, and banks have not escaped its reach. Banks are finding that climate-related risks, both physical and transitional, are manifesting on their balance sheets. As with any risk, financial institutions that fail to effectively manage climate-change risks are more vulnerable to the rising tide of environmental hazards. What does recent research indicate about banks’ responses to the financial risks (and opportunities for investment) associated with our changing climate?
Little will be affected as much by the ageing of the world’s population as pensions. In Europe, the ratio of workers to pensioners has decreased and in 40 years will be roughly two to one rather than the much healthier four to one of the recent past. Many wonder from where the pension funds will come, and they should. The solution may lie in the new Pan-European Personal Pension Product.
Despite the gender-diversity rhetoric in business, the gender makeup of corporate boards, including those of MENA, reveal that the female population is poorly represented at the top. And studies prove that this imbalance works against the bottom line. Companies with female directors tend to fly higher profit-wise than their all-male competitors. Changes need to start at the societal level, with more women succeeding on every rung of the business ladder.