TR PHOTO

Tilray® Announces International Advisory Board

Tilray, Inc. (NASDAQ:TLRY), a global pioneer in cannabis production and distribution, today announced the formation of its International Advisory Board, an esteemed group of business and government leaders who will provide guidance to Tilrays executive team and Board of Directors as the company pursues its aggressive global growth strategy.

We are honored to welcome this impressive group of distinguished leaders to the Tilray team, says Brendan Kennedy, Tilray CEO. As we pioneer the future of our industry around the world, the experts on our International Advisory Board will advise us on our rapidly expanding global business.

Inaugural members of Tilrays International Advisory Board include:

  • Governor Howard Dean is a former Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairman, presidential candidate, six-term Governor of Vermont, and physician. Gov. Dean is also the founder of Democracy for America, a lecturer at Yale University and a strategic consultant for the global law firm Dentons.
  • Michael Steele made history when he was elected Lieutenant Governor of Maryland in 2003, as the first African American elected to statewide office; and again, with his subsequent chairmanship of the Republican National Committee (RNC). Under Mr. Steeles leadership the RNC broke fundraising records and led Republicans to win 63 House seats in 2010, the biggest pick-up since 1938. Mr. Steele is an accomplished author and media commentator.
  • The Honourable Lloyd Axworthy P.C., C.C., O.M., is the chair of the World Refugee Council and one of Canadas leading voices on global migration and refugee protection. Throughout his 27-year political career, he served as Canadas Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Employment and Immigration, among other postings.
  • Joschka Fischer served as Foreign Minister and Vice Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the International Crisis Group and a member of the Executive Board of the European Council on Foreign Relations. Mr. Fischer also currently serves as Managing Partner of Joschka Fischer & Company, a global strategy firm, where he advises clients on issues relating to Germany and the European Union.
  • Jaime Gama is the longest-serving Portuguese Minister of Foreign Affairs. Over a distinguished career in public policy, Mr. Gama served as Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Home Affairs, Minister of Defense, and Minister of State. He was a member of the Government in 2001 when Portugal approved its decriminalization and harm reduction drug policy. He was elected Member of Parliament and served as the Speaker of the Parliament. Mr. Gama serves as the chairman of a bank and of a private foundation.
  • The Honourable Alexander John Gosse Downer, AC, was the longest-serving Minister for Foreign Affairs in Australia in history, holding his position for ten years. He also served has High Commissioner to the United Kingdom. Mr. Downer was a diplomat in the Department of Foreign Affairs, serving in the Australian Mission to the European Union, the Australian Representation to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and at Australian embassies in Belgium and Luxembourg.
  • Rt Hon Sir Donald McKinnon, ONZ, GCVO, was New Zealands longest serving Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade and held the portfolios of Disarmament and Arms Control, Veterans Affairs, War Pensions, and Pacific Island Affairs. Mr. McKinnon served as Deputy Prime Minister, Leader of the House and was appointed a member of Her Majestys Privy Council. He was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for his work in initiating and overseeing the ceasefire between Bougainvilleans and the Papua New Guinea Government in 1997.
  • Mar­a Lorena Gutirrez Botero served as Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, as well as Ambassador of Colombia to Germany, as a member of President Juan Manuel Santos government. Ms. Gutirrez has served as a member of numerous boards of directors of international organizations and universities, such as the European Foundation for Management Development, the Sumaq Alliance, the Latin American Council of Administration Schools, the Business Association for Latin American Studies and the Quality Corporation of Colombia.
  • James OBrien served two U.S. administrations as Special Presidential Envoy. Mr. OBrien has been Senior Advisor to the U.S. Secretary of State and served as the Principal Deputy Director of Policy Planning at the State Department. Mr. OBrien currently serves as Vice Chair of Albright Stonebridge Group (ASG) and heads up the firms practice in Europe.
  • Dr. Lorna Marsden is a former Canadian Senator from Ontario who was appointed to the position by former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. She served in the Senate for eight and a half years, where she was a member of the Standing Committee on National Finance and chairwoman of the Standing Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology. Dr. Marsden also served as President and Vice-Chancellor of York University and President and Vice-Chancellor of Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario.

About Tilray, Inc.

Tilray is a global pioneer in the research, cultivation, production and distribution of cannabis and cannabinoids is currently serving tens of thousands of patients in twelve countries spanning five continents.

Cautionary Note regarding Forward-looking Statements:

This press release contains forward-looking statements, which may be identified by the use of words such as, may, would, could, will, likely, expect, anticipate, believe, intend, plan, forecast, project, estimate, outlook and other similar expressions, including statements related to Tilrays global strategy and the International Advisory Board. Forward-looking statements are not a guarantee of future performance and are based upon a number of estimates and assumptions of management in light of managements experience and perception of trends, current conditions and expected developments, as well as other factors that management believes to be relevant and reasonable in the circumstances, including assumptions in respect of current and future market conditions. Actual results, performance or achievement could differ materially from that expressed in, or implied by, any forward-looking statements in this press release, and, accordingly, you should not place undue reliance on any such forward-looking statements and they are not guarantees of future results. Forward-looking statements involve significant risks, assumptions, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual future results or anticipated events to differ materially from those expressed or implied in any forward-looking statements. Please see the heading Risk Factors in Tilrays Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2018 and the risks discussed in Tilrays other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a discussion of the material risk factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking information. Tilray does not undertake to update any forward-looking statements that are included herein, except in accordance with applicable securities laws.

WIN PHOTO

4 Effective Ways to Win and Retain Clients

Are you walking the walk or just talking the talk? A flashy marketing campaign is doomed to fail if your transparency and genuineness don’t come through to your clients in their interactions with you. Make no mistake: Customers have well-honed radar and will disconnect if they sense even a whiff of disingenuousness.

So, how can you continue to gain new clients and create long-term relationships with them?

James Atkins and Jason Langford-Brown, both longstanding Mindshop members and successful business advisors, delivered four key insights on this topic during the global Mindshop Advisor Workshop this November.

1. Market for Engagement

“Experience is the new product, and time is the new price” was an idea that resonated throughout the workshops.

For professional service firms, providing a fantastic experience for customers across all touch points, from the sales process, onboarding and delivery through to billing, is essential to generating referrals, which remains still the strongest way to generate leads. This is based on the key idea that marketing is no longer the sole responsibility of a few people and clients’ willingness to pay for ease of engagement.

This whole-of-business approach to marketing requires thinking, acting and communicating from the inside out, starting with the organisation’s “why.” Ask yourself some fundamental questions about your purpose, motivation and beliefs. This will frame how you go about engaging with clients: your process, specific actions and your firm’s “what.”

2. Be More Authentic

Balancing what you say versus what others say about you is the key to authentic engagement. An advisory brand is an articulation of who the organisation is, what they believe and what they do. So, if it does not reflect the expectations and experience of your customers, you’re at risk of lacking authenticity. Do you know what clients are saying about you and what your reputation is? If not, you need to find out. Start by asking both customers you have won recently and those you lost.

The sweet spot of authenticity is the intersection of your brand, reputation and fit with customer needs.

To be authentic you need to be trusted, and to be trusted you need to be transparent.

Think of your marketing as a pyramid: The base is your website, holding up campaigns and sales engagement techniques. All these building blocks need to be authentic, aligning with your “why” at each stage of the sales cycle and beyond. Here’s a practical tip: Why not try harnessing the power of video (the shorter the better) and using unscripted language to tell stories of how your customers have experienced success using your services?

3. Engage Through Influence

B2B selling is complex, and the likelihood of a purchase drops sharply when the number of decision makers involved increases. Today’s empowered customers are often well into making their purchase decision by the time they engage a supplier. Therefore, engaging through influencing decision makers can be a powerful tool.

Advisors can implement the seven principles of persuasion to assist in the B2B sales process:

  • Reciprocation: Prospects will have a feeling of obligation if you provide something of value first
  • Social Proof: We tend to be more trusting of things that are popular and have been endorsed as quality by others we trust
  • Commitment and Consistency: Asking your prospect to start with small agreements makes it harder for them to say no in the long run
  • Liking: We’re more likely to submit to requests made by people we like and who like us in return
  • Authority: We’re more likely to agree with those who have perceived authority
  • Scarcity: We’re drawn to things that are hard to get and in short supply
  • Unity: People need to feel they belong to something greater than themselves

These principles are not about “trickery” and need to be applied in an authentic way. How can you weave them into your advisory offering, marketing and sales?​

4. Meet the Marketing Fundamentals

The quality of your service model and ability to deliver a high-value outcome for clients are obviously keys in client retention of clients. If you’re not offering services that provide ongoing benefits, rather than one-off, project-based activities, you will constantly be searching for new clients.

Your offering must meet the following three marketing fundamentals:

  • Be digestible
  • Solve a problem
  • Link to a clear competitive advantage

Your advisory model needs to tell a great story about how you will work with clients to achieve their goals.

Here are three advisory services that will resonate with clients in 2019 and improve your likelihood of retention:

  • a. Online Coaching and Training: Deliver the triple play of benefits: leverage (more clients, more often), improved customer experience (just-in-time support) and cost reduction (less reliance on heavy travel schedules to maintain face-to-face contact).
  • b. Initial Business Reviews: Help clients focus attention on where they are now and where they want to be in the future. Use tools such as a Growth and Profit Diagnostic, Now Where How and financial dashboards.
  • c. Half-Day Strategic Plan Resets: Time-poor clients want a simple, strategic plan review to get them back on track. Use tools like One Page Plan, Now Where How, Sustainable Competitive Advantage, Mindmap and Pareto to achieve a clear plan in a short period of time.

Good luck with implementing some of these ideas! The achievement of authenticity through your marketing, sales and advisory offering will set you apart from those who are just “talking the talk” and help you win new clients and keep them.

IR new PHOTO

Qatar Stock Exchange launches IR Excellence Program

Qatar Stock Exchange (QSE), in collaboration with Iridium Investor Relations, has informed that it has launched the fourth annual Investor Relations (IR) Excellence Program, which aims to help listed companies in Qatar further improve investor relations best practices. Since its inception in 2015 as the first recognition program of its kind in the GCC, the IR Excellence Program rewards companies and their leaders for their investor relations achievements. Mr. Rashid Bin Ali Al-Mansoori, Chief Executive Officer of Qatar Stock Exchange said:

“It has never been more important for listed companies to engage in a meaningful dialogue with existing and prospective shareowners that fosters truth and trust. During a time when risks can arise from all angles, it is critical to keep the investment community informed through professional investor relations activities – both locally and internationally. The QSE IR Excellence Program has been created to recognise the best organisations and leaders in Qatar who excel at creating a clear picture about their listed company’s strategic, financial and operational developments, and adhere to the highest standards of transparency and disclosure.”

A public voting system and a thorough IR website ranking of all listed companies will be conducted from mid-November to end-December 2018. Both retail and professional members of the investment community will be eligible to vote for the best investor relations efforts by the companies. Iridium Investor Relations, an independent IR advisory specialist, will manage the distribution of emails and questionnaires to a database of over 2,000 regional and international investor on behalf of QSE. The firm will also be responsible for ranking the company’s websites.

Since the program launch in 2015, the IR Excellence Program methodology has been made publicly available to the market every year in advance of the review process. To ensure the credibility of the award, the IR Excellence Program cannot be sponsored.

Qatar National Bank received recognition as the best Qatari firm for IR Excellence in February 2018. The best small (Al Meera), mid (Vodafone) and large cap (Qatar National Bank) companies, as well as the best Chief Financial Officer (Mr. Ramzi Marri of QNB), the best Investor Relations Officer (Mr. Andreas Goldau of Ooredoo) and the best corporate IR website (Ooredoo) in the country, were also recognised.

Mr. Abdul Aziz Al Emadi, Director of Listing Department at QSE, added:

“During the first three years of the IR Excellence Program, the QSE focused on creating awareness for the importance of the investor relations function. As a result, a growing number of companies has made improvements to their investor relations efforts. We are now committed to helping more companies adopt international best practice investor relations standards. Building on the momentum that we have created to date, our goal is to take investor relations in Qatar to the next level.”

For more information about the annual Investor Relations (IR) Excellence Progam, please visit: https://www.qe.com.qa/

BC PHOTO

The top consulting firms and financial advisers for the education sector

A survey among buyers of consultancy services has identified the top management consulting and M&A advisory firms for the education sector. The list recognises large consultancies such as EY-Parthenon (the strategy consulting subsidiary of EY) KPMG, PwC, and boutiques with a focus on the education sector such as Cairneagle Associates and William Clarence Education.

Every year industry platform EducationInvestor organises the EducationInvestor Awards, a competition that is awarded to organisations and individuals that have made an outstanding contribution to the education sector in the past twelve months. Awards are also provided to firms and people that have done an outstanding job in promoting excellence and innovation within the industry.

Three categories look specifically at the performance of consulting firms in the sector. In the advisory and finance segment of proceedings, nominations have been handed out for the services of consultants to education institutions, and to private sector entities looking to invest in education. Meanwhile, nods were also handed out to five firms for the financial advisory category.

Top Consultancies

London headquartered Cairneagle Associates is an international strategy consultancy specialising in education, media and technology. The firm has previously been recognised with the 2015 and 2016 EducationInvestor Awards for Consultants to the Private Sector. Joining the consultancy is Carfax Projects. Founded in 2011, it provides technical and strategic support to investors, universities, governments, and inter-governmental organisations around the world.

The strategy subsidiary of Big Four firm EY also made the grade. EY-Parthenon is nominated alongside Big Four rival KPMG, and SAP consultancy Pivot. Pivot focuses primarily on digital transformation projects in the sector, while the final nominee for the category, William Clarence Education, recently announced a new partnership with educational guardianship organisation, AEGIS. The education consultancy will collaborate in order to offer new guidance for parents of international children studying in Britain.

Alongside second nominations for Cairneagle Associates, Carfax Projects and EY-Parthenon, CIL Management Consultants has also been nominated for the Consultants to the Private Sector Category. Last year, CIL was similarly noted for its achievements in the health sector, as the Health Investor Awards. The final consultancy to be nominated in the category is PwC. The firm recently announced its investment in the health technology business that has developed Perfect Ward, an online inspection tool aimed at improving quality in healthcare organisations and systems.

Financial Advisers

In the Financial Adviser category, Clearwater International, a financial advisory firm that provides services across multiple sectors, was marked out for its work. Founded in 2014, Clearwater hosts 200 employees in 15 international offices, and the business has completed over 1400 transactions, worth more than €66 billion. Alongside Clearwater, fellow nominee DC Advisory, a London-based corporate finance advisor with specific expertise in cross-border transactions, was also acknowledged.

Grant Thornton, the UK’s fifth largest auditor, received a nomination in the category as well, along with Houlihan Lokey/Quayle Munro. In January 2018, Houlihan Lokey, a global investment bank, successfully completed the acquisition of Quayle Munro, an independent advisory firm that provides corporate finance advisory services to companies underpinned by data & analytics, content, software, and services. Interestingly, QMPF, formerly known as Quayle Munro Project Finance is the final nominee in the category, having parted ways with Quayle Munro in 2014, thanks to a managerial buy-out.

Singa PHOTO

BDO Singapore: Business Excellence Advisory

(A) Business Excellence Advisory

In today’s rapidly evolving and globalised economy, enterprises are actively pursuing business sustainability and scalability to maintain long-term market competitiveness. Some companies just work – like a well-oiled machine, they function seamlessly internally by having robust processes and keeping employees engaged with their jobs. Externally, they can maintain a competitive advantage and adapt according to different economic conditions. Regardless of industry size, structure or stage of development, these are the hallmarks of sustainable enterprises that have achieved organisational excellence. If you are a business owner reading this, the more pertinent question is – where do you start?

Achieving Organisational Excellence with the Business Excellence Initiative

Organisational excellence is all about adopting a holistic approach to strengthening management systems and processes of an organisation for growth and productivity improvements. The Business Excellence initiative is driven by SPRING Singapore to help and encourage organisations in their journey towards organisational excellence by assessing and improving their performance against the requirements of internationally benchmarked organisational excellence frameworks such as:

– The Baldridge Performance Excellence Programme in the United States
– The European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) Excellence Award
– The Japan Quality Award
– The Australian Business Excellence Award

As a prolific advisory service provider to enterprises seeking to achieve organisational excellence and to prepare for the Singapore Quality Class (SQC) recognition by SPRING Singapore, BDO’s Business Excellence Advisory service helps business owners to identify organisational gaps and impart insights on industry best practices to improve the organisation. Our proprietary methodology is rooted in SPRING’s Business Excellence Framework and is focused on understanding your organisational needs thoroughly before designing a recommendation roadmap to address the identified gaps in the organisation.

Our Business Excellence Advisory service covers the seven (7) essential areas of an organisation, including:

– Leadership, which focuses on your commitment and involvement in setting clear directions and goals, as well as sustaining clear and unique corporate values in your organisation
– People, which focuses on how your organisation taps the full potential of the workforce, emphasising on human resource strategies, training and development, employee satisfaction and performance recognition
– Customers, which focuses on how your organisation determines and fulfils changing customer requirements and improves customer satisfaction
– Processes, which focuses on how your organisation manages and seek continuous improvements of essential processes in the organisation
– Knowledge, which focuses on the collection, management and analysis of information to improve and support decision-making at all levels of the organisation
– Strategy, which focuses on how you drive your organisation’s strategy development and ensure proper implementation of action plans to achieve your organisational goals
– Results, which focus on how you track your organisation’s performance in key areas such as financial and market results, people results, customer results and operational results

With such a list of broad areas to look at, we at BDO strive to provide bespoke solutions that best fit your organisation, by working closely with the management in prioritising changes that are urgent, impactful and specific to your enterprise.

An organisation anchored on the foundations of Business Excellence will provide you with the confidence of maintaining business resiliency and catalysing sustainable growth in the long run.

(B) Strategy Innovation and Transformation

“The best way to predict the future is to create it.” ~ Peter Drucker

Growth is hard. Trusted business models run out of steam. Disruptive start-ups appear from nowhere. Organisations which have previously excelled at doing what made them successful have now become victims of their own success.

We help organisations grow by defining and focusing on their core. We see things that others miss, offering you insights and solutions accumulated from deep experience and intimate industry knowledge to create more value for your business. We work collaboratively, building lasting capabilities to help your organisation mobilise for change. We define our success by your results. Together, we help you design and create your future. At BDO, we are committed to partner with you in the following areas for business transformation:

Innovation and Growth

Innovation is critical to growth, but most organisations fall short. Organisations understand the importance of innovation, but they fail when it comes to its execution. We define innovation as seeing things in a new light, helping our clients gain valuable insights into transforming their organisation and boosting performance. We support our clients to develop a clear innovative strategy to meet their business and strategic objectives through identification of gaps between where they are and where they want to be. We work with our clients to identify areas of their businesses that are ripe for innovation through a proven 10-point framework, and we can support them in rapid business-case prototyping and development to transform ideas into reality.

Organisational Transformation

Business model lifecycles are shrinking across industries, creating an imperative to innovate to remain relevant in the increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world. Future success often hinges on the rethinking of the current business model by defining and redefining compelling customer value propositions and supporting it with a viable, profitable and efficient operating model. Whether seeking to drive breakout growth, reinvigorate a lagging core, or defend against industry disruption or decline, management needs to ask themselves: Can our existing business model continue to win?

Resource Planning

Highly successful organisations are consistent and dynamic resource planners and allocators. They are resilient towards change, adaptability and value creation, particularly in uncertain economic times. Most organisations are slow to allocate resources to the right areas in the business. Every year, they stick to the same processes for strategy development, capital budgeting and talent management with marginal improvements from the year before, if at all. Quoting Albert Einstein, “Madness is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.”

We help clients to design an effective strategic resource planning and budgeting processes to overcome the inertia that hinders organisational growth. We utilise tools and techniques to help organisations challenge the status quo and overcoming obstacles in the way of dynamic organisational renewal. To us, winning is not the end goal. Sustaining the business is the ultimate key to success.

Strategy Design and Management

Organisations often struggle with their strategy, and it can be challenging to reconcile the need for short-term returns with long-term strategic goals. It is even more challenging to build the capabilities required to achieve both short- and long-term goals. We help organisations enhance and strengthen their strategy development processes and assist clients with solutions to specific strategic issues or design a whole new approach to their organisational strategy.

We can provide guidance on strategic issues, including processes for successful strategic planning and advice on implementation with the executive team. Each organisation is different with varying contexts and divergent challenges, and, to support the team, we develop bespoke solutions tailored to each organisation’s culture, organisational structure, processes and results desired. Hence, being different is our unique motto and commitment to our clients.