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Aviation at EBACE2017


Maltese Minister for Tourism Edward Zammit Lewis, whose country currently holds the presidency of the European Council, will share his perspectives on aviation in the European Union (EU) during the Opening General Session of the 2017 European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE2017), set for 22 May in Geneva, Switzerland.

“There are a number of issues the Maltese presidency will need to tackle, not the least of which is BREXIT, which will obviously impact air transport in Europe,” said European Business Aviation Association CEO Fabio Gamba, whose organization hosts EBACE along with the National Business Aviation Association. “BREXIT negotiations are expected to officially kick off in March, so this will fall under the Maltese presidency.”
One of BREXIT’s immediate impacts could be the unblocking of the current slot regulation in the EU. A review was proposed by the European Commission years ago, but has been blocked by the council since then, due to disagreements between Spain and the U.K. over Gibraltar.

The Maltese presidency could also receive a proposal by the European Commission on the ground handling regulation. A recent attempt to promote competition in ground handling was unfavorably received and subsequently cancelled. The initiative is likely to be revived as an effort sometime in 2017.

“On top of this, the Maltese presidency will probably also need to work on the implementation of the Aviation Strategy,” said Gamba. “The Aviation Strategy, released late 2015, looks at various aspects of air transport in Europe, and puts question marks on some of them in order to address European air transport competitiveness. What do we need to do to be competitive?”

Gamba points to ownership control, air transport agreements and airspace and airport access as some of the issues the council will need to address to boost competitiveness of European air transport.

“People will be looking to Malta to show the way now that the document is over a year old,” said Gamba. “We expect Malta will make some steps towards implementing the Strategy.”

EBACE2017


Bertrand Piccard, chairman of the Solar Impulse project, adventurer, pioneer and the first to fly a solar-powered aircraft around the world, will motivate attendees at the 22 May Opening General Session of the 2017 European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE2017).

“If you’re ready to inspired for the next adventure of your career, you need to hear Bertrand Piccard’s presentation,” said NBAA Director of Special Events Paige Kroner, whose organization hosts EBACE along with the European Business Aviation Association. “His talk will be a highlight of EBACE2017.”

Piccard, along with Solar Impulse’s co-founder Andre Borschberg, and a team of engineers, technicians, mathematicians, pilots and others developed the first zero-fuel airplane capable of flying day or night. Solar Impulse 1 completed its first test flight in 2009, and conducted several long-distance flights before the Solar Impulse 2 completed a round-the-world solar flight in 2016.

Solar Impulse 2 departed from Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, traversed Asia, then completed its longest leg from Japan to Hawaii. On that leg, the aircraft’s batteries sustained substantial damage that required repair, but the flight eventually continued from Hawaii to California, across the U.S., over the Atlantic Ocean to Spain and back to its starting point in Abu Dhabi. Solar Impulse 2 completed its round-the-world mission without using a drop of fuel.

The Solar Impulse project was created to demonstrate the abilities of renewable energies and promote energy savings.

“The Solar Impulse project is Piccard’s way of proving the impossible to be possible,” said Kroner. “His experiences with the Solar Impulse project make him an exciting and thought-provoking speaker on management, teamwork, creativity and even crisis management.”

Learn more about Solar Impulse

LONDON CABARET CLUB


Unleash your inner Bond girl or superspy this Valentine’s, at London Cabaret Club’s romantic, 007-themed special, Love Never Dies, featuring fine dining and a stunning cabaret show, including groundbreaking 4D special effects at the iconic Bloomsbury Ballroom.

On February 11th, five unique acts will transport couples to the glamorous Bond world of romance and espionage, from vintage classics to explosive blockbusters in a mind-blowing, 4D-sensory experience.

Feel the ocean spray, sounds and beach sun as a Bond girl performer emerges dramatically from the sea; taste and smell the Indian spice market during the Bollywood Octopussy finale; and feel the helicopter’s wings blast across the ballroom, thanks to internationally renowned lighting designer Tom Sutherland.

London Cabaret Club founder and CEO, Evelina Girling said: “This is our most ambitious and sexiest show to date and is perfect for Valentine’s.

“With amazing food and cocktails, aphrodisiac treats like oysters and caviar, incredible performances and special effects in a dazzlingly romantic ballroom setting.”

Surprises await guests at every stage of the evening, with extraordinary pre-show variety acts and downright sorcery performed by some of the country’s finest talents.

The two or five course menu is inspired by Bond, with somersaulting waiters serving Smoking Martinis, plus caviar and champagne for VIP menus, an oyster bar and the inventive cocktails that London Cabaret Club has become famous for.

The revolutionary cabaret concept is the creation of Evelina Girling and Doni Fierro. The attention to detail, from the dazzling costumes designed by fashion icons Suzanne Clements and Inacio Ribeiro, to the live band and seamless fusion between the dining and entertainment has seen shows at One Mayfair and The Collection completely sell out.

Love Never Dies is set to be London’s sleekest Valentine’s Day celebration in town, against the backdrop of The London Cabaret Club’s magnificent permanent residence, The Bloomsbury Ballroom. It will then continue as London Never Dies every Friday and Saturday until March 10.

Address: Bloomsbury Ballroom, Victoria House, London, WC1B 4DA
Website: www.thelondoncabaretclub.com
Twitter: @LonCabaretClub
Facebook: The London Cabaret Club
Buy Tickets: Love Never Dies Tickets
Show Schedule: Doors open at 6.30pm. Show starts at 9.15pm
Dining Options: View Chef’s Selection Menu
Show Ticket – £35 – High stools and poseur tables
Show and dinner – £75 – Theatre-style seating and tables
VIP -£125 – Half a bottle of Luxury Champagne or Gourmet British Tapas
dinner and the best seats in the house, as well as a complimentary copy of the
London Cabaret Club’s Souvenir Program book.
For more information or to request high-res images, interview time or review
tickets please contact:
Georgia Carmichael – georgia@thecultpr.co.uk or Charli Morgan – charli@thecultpr.co.uk

2016: “A year of progress and promise” for ship recycling says GMS


15 December 2016, Dubai – The dramatic improvements witnessed at the recycling yards of Alang are an unnoticed “diamond in the rough” for 2016, a year when price fluctuations, accidents, and demonetization of currencies have dominated ship recycling headlines, against a gloomy backdrop for shipping. These changes have driven huge improvements towards safety for workers and the environment, while attracting skilled maritime professionals to the area. However, upcoming EU regulation could threaten this momentum, says Dr. Sharma.

Since January 2016, 20 of the 132 recycling yards in Alang have been reviewed by leading class societies and awarded Statements of Compliance (SoC) in accordance with the Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships (HKC) and another 20 yards are in advanced stages of development. More recently, in an attempt to further drive change in the right direction, the Indian Government announced their intention to ratify the HKC in 2017.

“This has made 2016 a year of progress and promise for ship recycling in South Asia,” said Dr. Sharma.

Over USD 180 million has been made available for facility upgrades through a partnership between the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Gujarat Maritime Board. A USD 4.4 million grant towards training is also set to boost worker health and safety as part of the Indian government’s Sagarmala Project.

In 2017, the EU plans on announcing their list of approved ship recycling facilities under its EU Ship Recycling Regulation (EUSRR). It is still unknown whether the yards in Alang, India that have received their SoC with the HKC will be included. It is possible that these yards may be excluded solely because of their use of the beaching method in the dismantling of ships.

“If the EU decides not to include Alang’s HKC-compliant yards it would remove the international pressure that progressive EU-flagged shipowners currently exert in support of the HKC, which has been gaining real traction in India. However, if they do include Indian yards this will be a welcome boost in support of the improvements and achievements that have already been made and are ongoing in Alang,” says Dr. Sharma.

“At GMS, we want to see sustainable ship recycling become the norm rather than the exception. But to achieve improvement at a global scale, the entry into force of the HKC is essential. This is why it is crucial that vital entities such as the EU include Alang’s HKC-compliant yards on its list of approved facilities in 2017.”

“Whatever 2017 holds for ship recycling globally, India is on track to drive significant change and ground-breaking progress in this vital sector. This development is one that the global maritime community should take notice of, promote positively and be proud to be a part of, as support for sustainable recycling and the HKC takes hold in Alang. The continued focus of key players in the region and from around the world is improving environmental sustainability, delivering prosperity and making workplaces safer and healthier. Long may this trend continue.”

Further information
www.gmsinc.net

Dr Anil Sharma, GMS among Lloyd’s List’s Top 100 most influential people in shipping


20th December 2016: Dr Anil Sharma, President & CEO of GMS, ranked at number 59 in the annual Lloyd’s List top 100 of the most influential people in shipping for 2016.

Dr Sharma has a Doctorate degree from a US Business school and has dedicated the last 25 years of his career building the GMS brand across the world. Today the company operates from 8 countries: USA, UAE, Greece, Germany, Japan, Singapore, China & South Korea and several representative offices in Turkey and South Asia. The company is growing rapidly with the addition of new offices almost every year.

GMS is the world’s largest buyer of ships and offshore assets for recycling and it was founded by Dr Sharma in 1992, in Cumberland, USA.

Dr Anil Sharma, President and CEO, GMS commented: “I am pleased to discover that hard work and dedication to responsible ship recycling is being acknowledged by well-reputed media outlets such as the Lloyd’s List and I am delighted to have gained, once again, one spot in their Top 100 List. Leadership, Integrity, Professionalism and Transparency are the core values we live up to at GMS and our promise to our Clients is to maintain our unparalleled personalised service unaffected by the market fluctuations, remaining loyal to our best customer service practices, as we have had over the last 25 years in the ship recycling business”.

Further information

www.gmsinc.net

A timeless tale of invention

Pocket-Watch Krusenster


The story of Danish watchmaker Urban Jürgensen is a tale of global travel, historic encounters and some of the greatest watchmaking discoveries the industry has ever known.

The tale – which spans two cities, Copenhagen and Le Locle – begins in 1745 with the birth of Jürgen Jürgensen, founder of the watchmaking dynasty that carries the family name to this day. Born in Copenhagen, Jürgen made a huge impact on watchmaking history by revolutionising the outdated structures of the clock and watchmaking craft of his homeland.

The Jürgensen influence was not, however, confined to Denmark. Over three centuries, with their analytical approach to the processes and methods of watch production, the Jürgensens strongly influenced the watchmaking industry of Le Locle, and indeed the entire Canton of Neuchatel. Responsible for introducing the most modern methods of the era to the Swiss industry, they received many accolades and were rewarded with honourary status in Le Locle.

Inspirational encounters

As an apprentice watchmaker at the age of 14, Jürgen learned the art of horology over a period of seven years. At the time, one of the duties of the apprentice was to go travelling in search of new techniques and ideas. This was considered essential not only for his training but also for gaining experience. During his travels, Jürgen made contact with the so-called ‘higher circles’ of his profession, also probably spending some time in Geneva, where he later sourced some of his suppliers. Compared to conditions in his native city, the size of the watchmaking industry in Geneva must have made an overwhelming impression on him.

Reference 2240


The most important connection made by Jürgen Jürgensen on his journey was with Jacques Frédéric Houriet from Le Locle. Ambitious and full of ideas, Houriet was an influential figure in promoting innovation and technology during the burgeoning industrialisation of watch production. Jürgen’s son, Urban Jürgensen (1776 – 1830), quickly followed in his father’s footsteps to become a craftsman, inventor, and all-round watchmaking genius extraordinaire. After becoming an apprentice to legendary watchmakers such as Breguet and Berthoud in Paris and Arnold in England, Urban went on to steer the Jürgensen brand to new heights. His work earned him a royal appointment granted by King Frederick VI to supply the Danish Court with watches and the Danish Admiralty with chronometers, and in 1815, Urban became the first craftsman to receive the honour of being admitted to the Royal Danish Academy of Science.

Two centuries, three generations

Urban’s two sons, Jules-Frederik and Louis Urban, continued the family tradition. Jules studied in Switzerland and moved to Le Locle, while his brother Louis remained in charge of the factory in Copenhagen, giving the company a base in both countries, which it has maintained ever since. Such was the innovation and excellence of the Jürgensen family’s output that the company exerted a significant influence on the watchmaking industry in Le Locle and more widely in the Canton of Neuchatel – this included introducing the latest techniques from around the world. As a result, Jules Jürgensen was honoured in 1864 with a Gold Medal by the cantonal authorities for his efforts in precision horology and his contribution to Swiss Industry.

Urban Jürgensen’s legacy includes the creation of the marine chronometers and clocks that earned him his appointment to the royal court of Denmark. These 18th and 19th century watchmaking achievements resulted in the ground-breaking ‘detent escapement’, which was patented in 2008.

Just six years later, in November 2014, Urban Jürgensen returned to Danish hands after 30 years of Swiss ownership. As so often in the Urban Jürgensen story, the present is defined by the past. In honour and spirit of this heritage, Urban Jürgensen presents three models which take inspiration from the past, set a benchmark for the future and create a standard of excellence for the present day. The current Urban Jürgensen Collection reflects the company’s devotion to honouring timeless traditions in the manufacture of elegant handcrafted timepieces. The pieces exude an aura of restrained excellence and confidence that is appreciated by collectors and connoisseurs throughout the world.

Reference 1741


In its Jürgensen 1745 Collection, Urban Jorgensen introduces a new model – the Reference 1741 in platinum with perpetual calendar, leap year indicator and moon phases. The Reference 1741 dial is handmade using Grenage dial-making and fitted with the Urban Jürgensen white gold Arabic numerals appliques. The creation of the moon disk involves more than 20 different operations and the result is a unique, wonder of classic workmanship that is rarely found in timepieces nowadays.

Urban Jürgensen is also pleased to present the new Jules Collection with two models, The Reference 2240 and 2340. Both models share new contemporary tapered lugs in a classic design on a convex and concave curved case with a diameter of 40 mm. The dials of these two models share the dial finishing technology of the 1741, with the handcrafted, delicate and meticulous Grenage dial-making.

The Reference 2240 comes in rose gold with black engraved Arabic numerals, central seconds and date. The Reference 2340 comes in white gold, with small seconds, power reserve, date and moon phase indicator.

Further information
www.urbanjurgensen.com

Elegance defined

Restaurant le Meurice Alain Ducasse


Synonymous with Parisian opulence and timeless elegance, Le Meurice is one of the most elegant hotels in the world. A gorgeous mix of past and present, Le Meurice blends 18th century architecture with modern eye-catching interiors.

Enjoying a central location on the rue de Rivoli, the hotel is within walking distance of the Louvre, the Musée d’Orsay and the famous Saint Honoré street – perfect for shopping. With its stunning neoclassical architecture, Le Meurice has attracted a discerning crowd for over a century. With royalty, dignitaries and celebrities, including King Alfonso XIII of Spain, Elizabeth Taylor, Coco Chanel, Pablo Picasso, and Salvador Dalí – who was immortalised through Le Meurice’s Restaurant, Le Dalí – to have graced its corridors, it’s little wonder Le Meurice has become known as the ‘French Palace.’

However, despite its impressive repertoire of famous guests, it’s the charming architecture and exceptional service that make Le Meurice truly special. From childcare and dog walking to spa treatments and in-room dining, Le Meurice offers exceptional quality, creativity and commitment to culinary excellence.

Decorated in Louis XVI-inspired style, with stunning interior styling from Philippe Starck, Le Meurice is designed with luxury in mind. It features 160 rooms spread over seven floors, each offering a distinct style. The luxurious accommodation is complete with Italian marble bathrooms and state-of-the-art technology, while some suites offer panoramic views of the stunning Tuileries Garden and the major Parisian landmarks. Meanwhile, the Belle Etoile Suite benefits from a 250 sqm terrace with unparalleled views of the city.

Le Meurice is home to two exceptional culinary gems. Restaurant le Meurice Alain Ducasse, a two Michelin-starred restaurant offering the finest French cuisine, has one of the most beautiful dining rooms in the world, while Restaurant Le Dalí offers contemporary dining under a magnificent ceiling mural painted by Ara Starck.

The pièce de résistance is the Spa Valmont pour Le Meurice, a luxurious spa hidden in the depths of the hotel. Light and airy, the spa offers pampering treatments using the products from Swiss skincare experts, Valmont, making it a tranquil environment for complete relaxation.

Whether it’s business or pleasure, Le Meurice embodies total luxury. With personalised touches, elegant accommodation and the finest cuisine, it takes the art of fine living in Paris to new heights.

Further information
www.dorchestercollection.com/en/paris/le-meurice

Business travel reinvented


Radisson RED Brussels is the world’s first Radisson Red hotel. The hotel first opened its doors in April 2016, following four months of complete renovation and re-branding that turned the former Radisson Blu into a resolutely state-of-the-art hotel.

The Radisson RED is conveniently located in the midst of the European Quarter, right next to the European Parliament and Brussels-Luxembourg railway station. Inside, the ground floor reveals a loft-like contemporary interior featuring Scandinavian furniture and wall-art designed by local illustrators. Unlike more conventional hotel spaces, the Radisson RED has been opened up, removing barriers between staff and guests to foster a welcoming and inclusive feeling.

Here, design and atmosphere have been influenced by fashion, music and art. You get a real sense of this through the friendly staff and the temporary exhibitions promoting Belgium’s emerging artists. There are also regular events taking place at the hotel and a myriad of subtle details, such as the playlist or a tribute to René Magritte in the rooms.

OUIBar + KTCH

The hotel’s restaurant and bar are social hubs where guests and locals mingle from early morning until late evening. The convivial benches and round tables are ideally suited for lunch meetings or for ‘digital nomads’ looking for a place to plug in and take advantage of the free fast wi-fi. The food is unpretentious, well-prepared with prices that are surprisingly affordable. And for after-work drinks? As well as the delicious homemade cocktails, it’s one of the few places in Brussels with a pool table.

With a new hotel concept comes a new approach. In this case ‘Have meetings your way’ is the motto. There are three versatile meeting spaces to accommodate your conferences, seminars and events, with space for up to 75 people. The nice thing about them is that you won’t be in just another impersonal convention centre. The space benefits from natural daylight and features creative wipe-off magnetic walls and games, such as shuffleboard and table tennis on top of the usual A/V equipment.

Last but not the least: keep an eye on the hotel’s website to get special deals for stays and meeting rooms or get inspired by their ‘Brussels off the beaten path’ City Guide.

Further information
www.radissonred.com/brussels

Pioneering pension fund management in Mozambique


Moçambique Previdente, S.G.F.P., S.A., is a burgeoning private investment company that specialises in pension fund management in Mozambique. The company entered the country’s financial sector during the first quarter of 2013 and managed three pension funds. Almost four years later, it experienced remarkable growth and saw its number of funds increase.

The company’s role is to provide better pensions to corporates and the wider public. Mozambique has its own social security system that provides basic welfare coverage for those employed in the formal sector. However, there is no coverage for those who are self-employed and there is a need for a value added pension fund that is complementary to the state’s social security scheme. There is also a demand for a range of wealth creation vehicles for those who are able to save and want to invest in their own private pension fund schemes.

The strategic vision of Moçambique Previdente is to consolidate itself as a financial institution of excellence and become the market leader in pension fund management and wealth creation in Mozambique. There is an important contribution to make in the development of the national economy through the creation of investment vehicles and the application of the fund’s returns. There is a belief that the growth of Moçaambique Previdente’s business benefit the Mozambican economy and society in general.

A more comprehensive range of products tailored to individual savers is about to be launched, in order to provide clients – both public and private sector – with a full range of pension fund schemes.

Investing in a pension funds is more than just a new way of saving. It is a proactive form of saving for your retirement and there is immediate access to benefits such as, life insurance, funeral cover and home loans.

Further information
www.mocambiqueprevidente.co.mz

Emirates REIT: Exclusive access in the UAE

Sylvain Vieujot


Emirates REIT is the UAE’s first DFSA regulated real estate investment trust (REIT) and is listed on Nasdaq Dubai. With offices based in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), Emirates REIT is an ever-expanding entity, with a portfolio value of AED2.7bn ($742m) spanning over nine properties located in prestigious areas, such as Dubai Marina, DIFC, Sheikh Zayed Road and Dubai Media City. Unique to Emirates REIT is the exclusive access to the UAE real estate market that it provides to investors. This was made possible by a decree issued by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, enabling Emirates REIT to invest throughout the Emirate of Dubai. Recently, Emirates REIT was granted another Ruler’s Decree that enables it to invest anywhere in Ras Al Khaimah. With these prestigious federal decrees Emirates REIT can explore acquisition opportunities that are in line with its specific long-term goals.

The European caught up with CEO Sylvain Vieujot to discover more about the company’s performance and the service REIT offers its clients.

Please outline how Emirates REIT became the UAE’s first DFSA regulated real estate investment trust.
Sylvain Vieujot: Emirates REIT was established in November 2010 by the group now known as Equitativa. At the time, the real estate market in the UAE was going through a rough phase, and this presented a good opportunity for long-term investors. A local founding investor, the Dubai Islamic Bank, provided the seed assets and for three years, the REIT grew its portfolio with a very disciplined approach. Emirates REIT then listed on Nasdaq Dubai in April 2014 enabling both institutional and retail investors to buy shares in the REIT and benefit from its growth and attractive dividend policy.

Today, Emirates REIT is the largest publicly Shariah-compliant REIT in the world with a portfolio value of $742m.

What services do you provide to your clients?
SV: In broad terms, REITs invest in real estate assets, collect rent, and pay attractive dividends to shareholders. They essentially provide a simple and safe way to invest in real estate via purchasing shares on the stock market. Similarly, Emirates REIT selects and acquires assets to build an attractive and diversified portfolio. It manages the real estate portfolio, thus relieving shareholders from the administrative burden of managing, maintaining, and marketing the various properties. Ultimately, it pays a dividend to the shareholders that reflects the portfolio performance.

Tell us about the company’s performance over the last 10 years.
SV: Since the launch of Emirates REIT six years ago, the total return encompassing dividends and capital appreciation has exceeded 9% every year, with an average of about 16%. In 2016, we distributed $0.08 per share for the financial year 2015, which corresponds to a dividend yield of 7% at a share price of $1.13.

Why would REIT be the first choice for investment rather than actually buying properties?
SV: The main challenges with investing in real estate are availability of capital, management of the properties, and liquidity of the assets. Indeed, to buy a prime property, you first have to find it, have the financial resources to buy it, and then manage it. But then you have a very illiquid asset that is not easy to sell. A REIT solves all those issues. A professional team constantly monitors the market and finds the best investment opportunities. As a REIT is usually quite large, it has the financial resources to acquire those properties. The REIT then manages the portfolio on your behalf and pays you a regular dividend. Finally, you can easily buy and sell your REIT shares on the stock market, which is not so easy to do with physical real estate assets.

So ultimately, a REIT provides the same advantages as investing in physical real estate, but makes this investment much easier. It has also the added benefit of providing access to a large diversified portfolio, which is difficult to build for an investor. Most importantly, a REIT provides all these advantages to any type of investor, from individual investors to large institutions.

Do you have any plans for expansion or development in 2017?
SV: Emirates REIT currently still has significant cash availability and we aim to benefit from the softer real estate market in the UAE to acquire new properties and expand the portfolio. After completing the development of the Jebel Ali School in August of this year, we are currently building the British Columbia Canadian School, also in Dubai.

© Rastislav Sedlak SK / Shutterstock.com

Further information
www.reit.ae

Argentina’s new capital market: a channel for development


It seems that Argentina is in the midst of a new era. As citizens and businessmen, we have to support this process of transformation. This is not only a great challenge for the current government, but for all those who live in Argentina too.

PUENTE has a historical policy of involvement in issues concerning Argentina’s development: mainly suggesting that best practices and regulatory updates that should position the Argentine capital market in a more competitive situation.

In this sense, our sector has a lot of catching up to do: the capital market is the best way for the financing of public and private infrastructure projects in our country. The Argentine government has implemented strong measures during its first months in office to ensure these areas continue to develop.

If we look back, there has been much progress: solving the default situation, raising the exchange rate, reducing the country risk considerably, generating a draft change in the law of capital markets, and other regulatory changes. The challenge ahead is still very great, with a goal to direct the country on the path to long-term growth that we all believe is possible.

Although the world seems to be a bit less favourable to emerging markets, PUENTE has a very optimistic view of Argentina going forward. In fact, as a company we are positive this process of transformation is already happening in the financial services industry.

We have more than doubled the primary issues in the capital market – for corporate clients and for the government. We will be issuing an average of two transactions per week in 2017 and we are likely to end the year with bond issues worth almost $10bn. We are the main structuring and bonding agent in Argentina.

In terms of asset management – the administration of Common Investment Funds (FCI) – has been consolidating strongly. Megainver, our managing partner of FCI, manages almost 8,000m pesos and is the independent FCI Management company to grow the most last year.

The trading operation for institutional clients will close the year also with record volumes, close to $18,000m in assets traded in the local market and international market. We channel heavy flows of international and national investors who invest in Argentina, both in financial assets and real assets.

On the wealth management side (investment management) we are likely to be one of the biggest players in the region, with assets in custody of $3.6bn. We are the only Argentine entity in the capital market operating in Uruguay and Paraguay – we have a strong position in both countries where we structure and place more than 40% of all primary issues, and handle practically no more of 30% of the volume traded in those markets.

In October 2016, confident in the new era that’s upon us, we launched our investment funds for the real-economy – real estate funds and renewable energy. Soon, we will be launching funds aimed at agribusiness and private equity.

In this new Argentina, the capital market will be a channel for the savings of Argentineans and for international investors to finance, industrial, energy and other projects across the country.

Federico Tomasevich

Further information
www.puentenet.com

Trading with confidence for 10 years


When we say trading and investing, most people would immediately picture Wall Street, the New York Stock Exchange and the big bull at the centre of it all. Accurate as it is, in today’s digital age trading is actually being done online and with all the possibilities that exist nowadays – online trading is suitable for everyone.

“Whether you are more of a risk taker or like to play it safe – you can fit perfectly in the online trading world and AvaTrade can help you find your place in it,” says David Drazin, CEO of AvaTrade. As he speaks of new-age trading, let’s go back just a few years ago to mid-2000s and see what he means.

Back then, the digital foreign exchange, better known as forex, was on the rise. New brokers were popping up all over, recruiting thousands of new customers and the entire market was on a massive wave of success. Since then, countries and major financial bodies have adopted laws and regulation, resulting in countless brokers disappearing from the forex industry.

AvaTrade, on the other hand, only grew bigger, better and stronger. As of today, it is an industry-leading brokerage, with an outstanding selection of instruments, platforms and an array of services in 14 languages. Naturally, it was not always like that; when the company was founded, in May 2006, the competition was tough. Therefore, to the founders of AvaTrade, the 10th anniversary celebrations that took place in May this year, were more than just a milestone. They served as a testament to the company’s success, the prizes and awards they have received and the journey the team have shared together.

AvaTrade’s core values

What brought the founders together were not only mutual financial goals, but also common values: fairness towards the client, integrity and innovation, to name but a few. Even a quick glance at the company’s history will demonstrate how these ideals stand at the very core of its activity. In addition, the strict regulation in which AvaTrade is subjected to assure they ‘play by the rules’. On the innovative side, 2016 has been a good year for AvaTrade and it is indeed felt in its corridors. The company launched a brand new educational site called ‘Sharp Trader’, available in seven languages. The site consists of articles, videos, daily analysis and a lot of content divided as per the trader’s level – beginner to advanced. Although it is still too early to tell whether ‘Sharp Trader’ is as successful as planned, it is clear that it has changed the way AvaTrade’s customers follow the markets and eventually place their trades.

Another new feature from AvaTrade is its renewed account area, which looks fantastic and the thought behind it can be clearly seen in every page. In the new account section, called ‘MyAva’, the customer can manage their account and perform all actions easily and swiftly, all in a user-friendly interface.

Focusing on the customer

For AvaTrade, the client always comes first, as it always attempts to see things from his perspective, says Drazin. “Traders want three main things: to know their funds are safe and secured, to get good trading conditions and low charges and to have diversity and flexibility in their trades.”

As far as security goes, the trader doesn’t need to worry as AvaTrade is regulated and its site is secured by the best of encryptions.

David Drazin

When it comes to choice, AvaTrade offers its clients an impressive selection of over 250 instruments – covering Forex, Vanilla Options and Contracts For Difference (CFDs) on stocks, commodities, indices, bonds and many more, all offered to the trader with excellent trading conditions. Well worth a mention is AvaTrade’s vast affiliation programme, which is one of the most successful in the industry to date. With a variety of different types of partners and over $100m paid in commission since their inception, it’s no wonder AvaTrade received countless ‘best affiliation’ awards, including a recent one in the MENA expo in Dubai.

However, perhaps AvaTrade’s even greater strength lies in the variety of trading platforms – from its flagship AvaTrader platform, to the popular MetaTrader4 and together with an assortment of semi-automated to fully-automated platforms. “The idea behind this massive choice we offer clients is to allow each and every one of them to enjoy their trading experience with AvaTrade and to guide them step by step as they commences their way in the trading world,” concludes Drazin.

Non-stop innovation

What does the future hold for AvaTrade? In today’s digital age it seems that if you are not already thinking about tomorrow, you belong to yesterday. With this agenda, Drazin sees tomorrow in bright colours for AvaTrade. During 2017 AvaTrade will put an emphasis on technology and innovation, so that, according to Drazin: “Sharp Trader and MyAva are only the beginning to a great innovative era for AvaTrade, both on PC and mobile, so our clients can trade from anywhere at any time”. He is not willing to reveal his plans, but assures us they are already in progress and is certain they will create a new standard for the entire industry.

Combine this with an outstanding team and Drazin is convinced that AvaTrade is on the fast track to extend its market share. “Innovation is a learning process, which we did, and now it’s time to put all the knowledge we accumulated into practice,” he says. So watch out, trading industry, AvaTrade is in it to win it.

Further information
www.avatrade.com

Driving growth opportunities across Africa


A number of factors point to Africa’s extraordinary growth prospects, which are unrivalled around the world, these include a population that will double by 2050, profound changes in consumption patterns and demographic expansion, together with an optimistic and creative younger generation reaching maturity.

African countries have also been working to bring about economic stability. Tighter control of monetary policy, increased regional integration, the development of financial markets and a rigorous approach to regulation adopted by central banks have created a liquidity environment which is attracting foreign capital.

Against this backdrop, BMCE Bank of Africa – a leading private sector banking group with Moroccan roots and pan-African aspirations – has embarked on a strategy of accelerating its investment in across the continent. BMCE Bank of Africa is a universal bank with a highly diversified range of operations including retail banking, commercial banking, investment banking and specialised financial services, such as leasing, factoring, consumer credit and debt recovery.

The bank’s comprehensive investment strategy in Africa is much encouraged by its Chairman, Othman Benjelloun.

A number of successful ventures have validated the bank’s decision to adopt such a strategy. BMCE Bank of Africa took an interest in sub-Saharan Africa as early as the late 1980s as part of a first ever ‘South-South’ co-operative venture with Mali. Similarly, in Congo Brazzaville, in 2003, BMCE Bank of Africa acquired a major stake in La Congolaise de Banque, which it restructured. It is, today, the undisputed leader in its industry.

By building a presence in Africa through Bank of Africa (BOA), BMCE Bank of Africa aims to become a leading domestic, regional and African financial institution with extensive geographic coverage of most of the African continent by 2020. With nearly a 75% stake in BOA, in Banque de Développement du Mali to 32.4% and in La Congolaise de Banque to 37% this partnership is a model for the region, not only provides exposure to markets with strong growth potential but also brings together expertise and resources for greater wealth creation.

Bolstering operations

In terms of organic growth, BOA intends to bolster its existing operations to achieve a level of profitability commensurate with its ambitions, particularly in countries with strong growth potential such as Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Senegal and Ivory Coast, which is undergoing a reconstruction process.

Africa is not limited, however, to the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) and Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC) regions. Prospects are attractive across the entire continent. Making inroads into English-speaking and Portuguese-speaking countries remains a medium-term objective. The goal for the next 10-15 years is to have operations in each of the 54 countries on the continent.

Bank of Africa Group’s growth prospects remain promising and are further enhanced by balance sheet consolidation via a series share issues by BOA Group and its subsidiaries as well as expansion projects underway in several African countries.

This international strategy, which also relies on developing a strong presence in international financial markets, has been further enhanced by establishing BMCE Bank International, a subsidiary of BMCE Bank of Africa in the UK specialising in corporate and investment banking activities with a focus on Africa.

Corporate social responsibility is deeply rooted in BMCE Bank of Africa’s corporate philosophy. In accordance with the express wish of the Chairman, BMCE Bank of Africa allocates around 4% of gross operating income to the BMCE Bank Foundation, which is unprecedented around the world. The BMCE Bank Foundation’s Medersat.com programme, which builds and manages rural community schools, can be justifiably proud of its achievement of having nearly 177 pre-schools and schools covering all 16 regions of Morocco and four schools in other African countries. The project has more than 450 teachers who have been educating nearly 18,500 pupils since 2000.

BMCE Bank of Africa Group’s continental ambitions also encompass the Medersat.com programme, which is to be rolled-out in other countries. After Senegal, Congo Brazzaville and Mali, the foundation, chaired by Dr Leila Mezian Benjelloun, plans to establish more schools across Africa.

An established presence

Resolutely focussed on international operations, with strong expertise in international business lines and a continuous development of its overseas network, BMCE Bank Of Africa spares no effort in assisting businesses worldwide.

With an established presence in 32 countries, BMCE Bank of Africa is committed to pursuing its expansion strategy all over the world. The bank currently has:

  • Operations in 32 countries
  • More than 13,000 employees
  • More than 2,300 points of sale
  • More than 5.5 million customers.

CSR: Internationally recognised commitments

  • Medersat.com pupils obtains the third prize at the National Olympiads of Tifinagh, held in Tafraout in 2015
  • Appointment of BMCE Bank of Africa for the Best CSR Arabia Award in the ‘Financial Institutions’ category
  • BMCE Bank of Africa ranks in the Top 70 of the new ESG index, ‘Euronext Vigeo EM-70’, dedicated to emerging countries
  • First initiator of a Socially Responsible Fund, through the Launch FCP ISR Capital Fund through BMCE Capital Gestion
  • Jobs for Youth 2015: Best Employer in its Industry, result of a survey conducted by Amal Job
  • HQE certification awarded by Cerway to BMCE Bank Academy of Africa in 2015
  • Morocco Sustainable Energy Financing Facility (MorSEFF) launched in 2015
  • First Moroccan company to issue Green Bonds to finance eco-responsible environmental projects in 2016
  • First Bank to obtain ISO 50 001 Energy Management Certification and determination of carbon footprint for Moroccan activities in 2016.

About the BMCE Bank Foundation

  • 177 units specialising in pre-school and primary education, covering all 16 regions of the Kingdom of Morocco
  • 4 schools in Africa, including 2 in Senegal, 1 in Congo Brazzaville and 1 in Mali
  • 450 teachers, 48% of who are women
  • 10,000 pupils currently registered and 18,500 pupils schooled since 2000
  • 1 fully equipped training centre for pre-school teachers built in Bouskoura
  • 108 multi-media rooms built and equipped with the latest technology
  • 6,000 pupils pursuing secondary studies
  • BMCE Bank Group allocates 4% of its gross operating income to the foundation.

Further information
www.bmcebank.ma

Breaking barriers in ship recycling


Back in the late nineties my colleagues and I were really well prepared to begin dismantling oil and gas platforms in the North Sea, but despite all odds oil prices went up again and nobody decommissioned anything. But I thought recycling of big things was really interesting and turned to the ship recycling instead. This has been a core professional activity for me since and for my colleagues in Litehauz now for a decade.

European recyclers, and anyone else who cares, can witness 80% of the global end-of-life vessels (flagged in the EU or not) end up on the beaches in India, Bangladesh and Pakistan, where the photogenic ship-breaking activities has been a constant source of disturbing images of the poor working conditions. Through skillful lobbying against these and for EU based ship recycling, the 2013 EU Regulation on Ship Recycling came about mandating proper recycling of EU flagged vessels. So, is it finally going to be glory days again for the EU ship recyclers? Short version: No.

Of course the regulation will improve the order books of EU based recyclers. There will be state-owned vessels, ferries and other iconic vessels, and tonnage from image conscious and/or responsible shipowners. But don’t expect a flotilla of Member state flagged vessels returning home to die. For one thing, a ship is easily reflagged in an afternoon, but we will also have the “European List” identifying EU accepted recycling yards in third countries, e.g. in China, Turkey and maybe even in India.

I do think the European recyclers can produce a much stronger business case, if we just stop trying to get a view of the future in the rear mirror. We should look to prepare for a niche business, taking note that ship designers in high value markets aim for vessels with a shorter life span, with more flexibility or even structurally prepared for conversions. We must take note that modular construction and the use of composites seem to catch on left, right and center in the shipbuilding industry. Now is the time to team up with the local active shipbuilding yards to increase modularity and the ease of dismantling. Learn from the superyacht sector on the use of composites, and carve out that niche of doing the challenging recycling stuff that will be difficult to copy. And to the keep wheels turning we may have to woo that elusive oil and gas sector again.

Further information
www.litehauz.com

Make your dreams come true with FBS


Forex trading is more than just a highly profitable way of earning an income – for millions worldwide it provides an opportunity for them to live life on their terms. The feeling of financial freedom, independence and the ability to make important decisions is what makes forex so appealing. The goal of working hard to achieve your dream is very inspiring, which is why at FBS, traders are so close to our heart.

Many of our clients have already made their fortune trading forex. So, we have focused our attention on new traders that have only started to work with us. We know that for most people, traders especially, money is a means to living the life they want. That is why we decided that 2016–2017 will be dedicated to our traders and every month we will make one special dream come true.

‘FBS makes your dreams come true’ is a monthly competition whereby traders from all over the world share their dreams on the FBS official Facebook page. The person with the most interesting idea is the winner.

This competition has gone viral among traders and the reaction we’ve received has exceeded our expectations.

Many people asked for a house or even a job. A lot of people asked only for the wellbeing of their loved ones. There was such a wide spectrum of thoughts and ideas; some people asked for something simple such as a phone and there were others who were looking for a miracle! Soon we realised that those content with their lives were predominately the more experienced and proficient traders. The people looking for something big were new traders, some of them just registered on our website only for the competition.

Now it’s fair to say that this little experiment changed our understanding of traders completely. Many comments inspired us to move beyond the competition and participate in charity. But more than anything we want to encourage people who don’t give up, who work hard and follow their dreams. Though our mission is far from being complete, it is a good start. Here are a few people who already became winners and fulfilled their dreams:
Mohammed Ashrey from Egypt wanted to become a professional trader and fully enjoy all the benefits of this profession. We granted him a scholarship at one of the most prestigious trading schools in the Middle East. Steven Than Lvorm from Indonesia had no device to trade on and we were glad to help him. He became the owner of a new ASUS Transformer Book, and as a bonus, he also received a T-shirt signed by the FBS CEO for inspiration and further successes in trading.
Junet Keren asked for a LG G5 to enjoy all the benefits of mobile trading, and he also wanted to get four branded T-shirts for doing sports with his family. Everyone can become a winner, as trading volumes, account balance or professionalism are not essential for this promotion.

Take the first step

So, what we really want to do is to thank our clients for making FBS not just a forex broker, but a community of like-minded individuals that change people’s lives – allowing them to grow personally and financially, to improve professionally, to become independent and of course, to make their dreams come true.

The aim of this article is to present a dream to many people all over the world. To help them believe in themselves and strive towards their loftiest ambition. Remember, you are the master of your fate but first you must take a step forward.

To demonstrate this, we’re offering you the chance to take part in our inspiring campaign. All you have to do is to register in the competition at our website – fbs.com – and enter our group on Facebook. Then share the competition post in your timeline and add your dream description as a comment. Go on, surprise us with your idea. Who knows, maybe in a month we will surprise you. Because at FBS, we are always by your side.

Further information
www.fbs.com

Another way to invest


DPM Finanzas is a Spanish company specialising in financial advice and operating as an independent CNMV (Comisión Nacional del Mercado de Valores) registered investment advisor. Its main services include providing financial advice, financial planning, economic reports and corporate finance.

In Spain, banks and insurance companies monopolise financial services. They have tended to standardise the service, pushing the mass sale of financial products and repeatedly generating conflicts of interest in decision-making. In this environment, DPM was created to meet a real need for investors seeking professional, global, objective and independent financial advice. DPM Finanzas is a well-positioned and fully independent firm for a pre- and post-Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II (MiFID II) world.

The revision of MiFID II, now due for implementation on 3 January 2018, will represent a fundamental change for investment advice in Europe and particularly in Spain. In the post MiFID II world investment advice to retail or professional clients resident in the European Union will be classified as either independent or not.

Under MiFID II those giving investment advice as ‘independent’ will be required to:

  • Detail how the advice will meet the client’s objective
  • Show whether they will provide an ongoing assessment of suitability
  • It will need to “assess a sufficiently wide range of instruments” from a range of providers, not just the firm’s own products
  • If an adviser offers products that have close links to the firm, these links will have to be disclosed at an early stage
  • There will be a ban on independent advisers receiving or retaining payments/inducements, effectively banning the payment of retrocessions or commissions to independent financial advisers, including non-monetary benefits
  • At least once a year, not just at the point of investment, clients must be told of the total aggregated costs and charges, including for ‘ancillary’ services and the cost of the advice
  • On corporate governance, a considerably strengthened regime encompasses rules on the diversity of management bodies of investment firms, as well as the time commitments for members of such bodies. A ‘fit and proper’ test is also being introduced for such members, requiring them to have knowledge, skill and experience to understand the risks of the business. Firms will also be required to have a remuneration policy that encourages responsible business conduct and fair treatment of clients and avoids conflicts of interest.

Professionalism and experience are the primary attributes of the DPM team, which encompasses an in-depth knowledge of clients’ requirements and aversion to risk. This approach allows DPM to prepare specific investment proposals that are best suited to each client and in which each client fully understands the features of their investments and the risks involved.

DPM’s team of partners is Carlos Farrás, ex-Head of Investments at Barclays Spain, who possesses more than 17 years of experience within financial markets. Alfonso Valdivielso is ex-Head of Private Banking at Barclays Spain & Portugal, who has more than 22 years of financial markets experience, Jose Miguel Murgui and Jorge Farrás. The latter have been CFOs and CEOs of different multinational companies and have more than 40 years of experience each.

Carlos Farrás


In order to cover all the needs of its customers, DPM has become:

  • multi-service: advice, financial planning, financial reports, corporate finance
  • multi-platform: the client decides bank/brokerage/insurance companies
  • multi-product: financial and insurance products
  • multi-asset: equity, fixed income, commodities etc
  • multi-jurisdiction.

Transparency and independence

DPM Finanzas has made the decision not to take any rebate or commission on the investments the company recommends. Consequently, every client is assured that there is no conflict of interest in the recommendations they receive, DPM’s only source of income is the commissions charged for the company’s services.

Technology is also key to DPM’s services, the use of the latest financial software, first-class reporting and digital signature protocols allows the firm to achieve one of its main goals: to simplify its clients investment process.

DPM, as an institutional firm, has signed different financial agreements with major Spanish and international banks and insurance companies. These agreements give DPM’s clients access to preferred cost conditions on financing operations or investment transactions. Ultimately DPM believes, “being properly advised is not a guarantee of success but it reduces the likelihood of failures”. It’s a premise that serves the company well.

Further information
www.dpmfinanzas.com

JTB: rising to the challenge


Established in 1963, Jammal Trust Bank SAL (JTB) is a prominent financial organisation, highly regarded by local and international monetary authorities. Several well-deserved awards have crowned its achievements over recent years ranging from assets and profitability growth, to financial solidity, strict adherence to local and international regulations, innovative financial products and services, as well as far-reaching communication campaigns.

For over 50 years Jammal Trust Bank has been investing first and foremost in its clients, and has never lost track of the two pillars of success throughout its journey: Lebanese expatriates breaking new ground overseas, and the nation’s smaller and medium-sized entrepreneurs. These two segments, representing different aspects of the economic spectrum, are a reflection of the bank’s strong belief in the Lebanese people and are the constituent parts of the bank’s diverse portfolio and risk management model.

Sound, modern banking practices and compliance with corporate governance have guided Jammal Trust Bank towards its strategic objectives and mission statement. The outlook for the future will be more promising as the bank continues to:

  • Improve upon its technological infrastructure
  • Invest in talent recruitment and development
  • Expand geographically and tap into new markets
  • Consolidate its position as the market leader in terms of SMEs lending growth and micro-credit
  • Boost its brand recognition.

However, Jammal Trust Bank, along with most Lebanese banks, is facing some stern challenges, including:

  • Political instability: the overall political and security situation in the region has adversely affected Lebanon and its banks’ balance sheets. Thankfully, this turmoil is gradually being resolved and there are signs of light at the end of the tunnel.
  • Regulatory: the regulatory authorities have introduced tighter requirements for managing credit risks. This had the effect of increasing the cost of lending and pressured profit margins across the banking sector.
  • Reporting: the bank faces various reporting challenges, including, the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS 9), the Common Reporting Standard (CRS) which will be put in effect by the OECD in 2017 and the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), reporting to the US Treasury. This combined with changes (scale and scope) in the bank’s reporting to local regulatory authorities are on the agenda to be overcome.
  • AML compliance: the US Treasury continues to lead the fight against money laundering and financing terrorism by identifying, following and exposing suspected individuals and entities, especially where the US dollar is the currency of choice and where the US has a jurisdiction. These heightened regulations have had their impacts on banks by implicitly increasing cost of compliance and driving profitability down.

Despite this shake up, Jammal Trust Bank continues to focus on differentiating itself from the competition in:

  • Service: JTB’s aim will be to redefine ‘service excellence’. The bank wants its name to be synonymous with customer satisfaction, and to become the bank of choice for many individuals, focusing on households, micro, as well as SMEs.
  • Financial inclusion: JTB has embarked on an aggressive strategy toward financial inclusion, a move that was encouraged by the Central Bank of Lebanon. JTB introduced new deposit products to target the micro and small depositors who have not yet been a part of the bank’s traditional customer base. JTB has been focusing most of its financial developments on the funding side, securing a stable source of deposits to tap into the surpluses of retail depositors.
  • Market penetration: JTB has opened new branches and is in the process of opening even more, while relocating some of the existing ones to move closer to our client base and tap into new markets.

Jammal Trust Bank has been steadily climbing the ranks among Middle Eastern banks. It is in a solid position and the management is confident that in the years to come, it will achieve its goals. Jammal Trust Bank will relentlessly continue to deliver a steady growth, thanks to the unwavering commitment and efforts of its management and staff.

Jammal Trust Bank’s head office

Further information
www.jtbbank.com

Unique treasury solutions


Founded in 1998, BELLIN creates efficient and forward-thinking treasury solutions. With over 135 employees BELLIN is defined by the treasurers and treasury experts that make up its team and takes pride in a pragmatic approach to solving treasury problems. The firm’s success is based on an ability to leverage its core strength: a knowledge of treasury to build solutions that work locally and can be applied globally.

BELLIN’s solutions are designed to be easy to use by treasurers and non-treasurers alike, and permit as many users as the treasury has need of, at no extra cost. This increases involvement of subsidiaries with the treasury, automates global data collection, enforces group-wide rules and compliance and enhances transparency.

The European caught up with company founder and CEO Martin Bellin to find out how it all began and what makes the service so special.

How has your professional background helped facilitate the development of BELLIN?
Martin Bellin: I’m the CEO of a business active in treasury and this is also where I started my professional career – as a treasurer. I first worked for a major German corporate group in what would nowadays be called a treasury department. In this position I could witness first hand that the market lacked an adequate treasury management system for group-wide data management. It quickly emerged that this simply didn’t exist and I realised that if I wanted such a system, I would have to develop it myself. After all, I had the treasury experience and an IT background from university days.

I eventually developed my own tool, gave up my day job and it all took off from there. One by one, slowly but surely, I convinced businesses to buy my system. The rest is history: today, we inspire more than 15,000 companies with over 25,000 users in more than 150 countries and counting.

BELLIN has grown exponentially. How has your team of treasurers and treasury experts contributed to this?
MB: When I first set up in business, I was a one-man band. However, if you want to make it up there with the best it goes without saying that you cannot do this on your own. Which is why our team of treasury experts has grown nearly as rapidly as the business – always keeping pace and always making sure that we have the manpower and the expertise to not just sustain our efforts but to go above and beyond what our clients expect of us.

On one hand, our experts use their know-how to support and advise our customers. On the other, they act as internal and external thought-leaders. The combined treasury knowledge of over 135 BELLIN experts drives innovation in the industry and ensures the continuous development of our products and services.

Please highlight the services and solutions you offer to your clients.
MB: At BELLIN, we stand for innovative treasury solutions that provide both the technological backbone of a successful treasury and the services to underpin it. We offer solutions rooted in the experience of hundreds of treasury experts in our teams, from our partners and certainly from our user base. This practical know-how translates to the technical implementation of the web-based software tm5, which covers all treasury functions and supports corporate treasuries in their daily business. But we don’t stop there: we provide extensive consulting as well as advice and guidance for the establishment of organisational structures enabling efficient treasury. Moreover, BELLIN has pioneered an integrated connection to the SWIFT Network and together with SWIFT made it significantly easier and cheaper for corporates to get their company connected.

Electronic trade confirmation is also targeted, as well as our integrated BELLIN Matching Service. These services enable users to enter and directly transmit transaction data to their bank and receive the corresponding bank-side confirmation. This is just the beginning of a more intensive and convenient way to arrange the financial business between corporates and banks. Our offering is now complemented by Treasury as a Service (TaaS), which allows corporates to outsource entire treasury processes to BELLIN and allows SMEs to also profit from the value provided by a professional treasury department.

Tell us about ‘Load Balanced Treasury’.
MB: One of the core principles of BELLIN’s philosophy is that the workload of treasury should be shared across the organisation. We call this concept ‘Load Balanced Treasury’. All group companies have access to one central, fully web-based treasury application that is available to everyone from everywhere from any device. Treasury relies on accurate data, and by giving everyone access not just to record data but to support treasury-related processes locally, tm5 automatically serves as a data collection engine. Therefore treasurers all around the world have the full picture and can manage their treasury accordingly. The tm5 software offers a high level of integration and cooperation that ensures that everyone benefits to the same degree – local units as much as central treasury. This is truly unique.

Over the past 15 years BELLIN has been consistently recognised for the success of its services. Outline the key factors behind this.
MB: BELLIN champions innovation and always tries to meet and exceed a client’s expectations – sometimes even before they know they have them. We always look for a better way to run treasury operations even before others might think this possible.

A long list of firsts is proof: first to offer a 100% web-based treasury management system (2004), first to offer a SaaS-based treasury solution (2005), first to offer fully integrated payments functionality (2006), first to offer embedded direct SWIFT connectivity and Matching Service (2014), first to offer embedded full-service EMIR reporting (2014), first to offer fully integrated trade finance solution (2014), and last but not least first to offer TaaS (2015). All this has also been recognised widely in the industry, including at the 2015 FinTech Innovation Awards.

How does the experience and technical expertise of your consultants ensure the treasury is efficient and connected?
MB: The experience and technical expertise of our consultants is one key factor underpinning the excellent service we offer. They all know our TMS tm5 like the back of their hand and provide guidance and support during, and even after, the implementation project. Our consultants have worked with businesses of various sizes and backgrounds and bring this experience and know-how to the table in every new project. The implementation requires more than just the provision of some kind of SaaS application. It requires thorough analysis and understanding of the corporates business, and that is what our consultants can provide. This not only makes for efficient treasury implementations, it also ensures a sound review of all processes and workflows, making sure companies have the best possible setup. That way they have a web-based, fully integrated and thus very efficient system and the treasury organisational structures to go with it.

Our system is fully integrated and our Load Balanced Treasury approach makes sure everyone is connected. How to best harness the power of the system and this approach in each specific organisation, this is where our consulting team comes in.

Further information
www.bellin.com