Pinsent Masons grows its Financial Services offering in Dubai

Multinational law firm, Pinsent Masons, has appointed Banking & Finance partner Matthew Escritt to lead the firm’s Banking & Finance practice in the Middle East, based in Dubai.

Matthew joins from Norton Rose Fulbright, where he has been for the past 19 years, with the past eight spent as partner in the banking and finance team. During this time he has worked in London, Moscow, Bahrain, Singapore and Dubai.

Matthew is a banking and finance specialist, advising on all areas of structured cross border finance, including syndicated lending acquisition, development finance, asset finance, vendor finance, and structured trade and commodity finance. He is familiar with both conventional and Islamic finance funding structures. He also advises on financial restructuring and insolvency mandates. Based in Dubai, he will be leading the Banking & Finance practice in the Middle East (within the Finance & Projects group) and will focus primarily on clients in the Financial Services sector.

Commenting on Matthew’s appointment, Michael Watson, head of the Finance & Projects group at Pinsent Masons said: “Matthew’s reputation precedes him and we look forward to welcoming him as head of our banking and finance practice in Dubai. His experience and expertise will greatly strengthen the practice, enabling them to deepen relationships with existing clients as well as developing new ones. His appointment is another fantastic addition to our growing international capabilities.”

Alexis Roberts, head of the Financial Services sector at Pinsent Masons added: “Matthew’s appointment is a pivotal one in increasing our financing bench strength and will enable us to better support our clients within the Financial Services sector. His breadth of experience and the clients that he’s worked with will allow us to grow our offering across the sector. We greatly look forward to him joining the team.”

Matthew Escritt, head of Banking and Finance in the Middle East added: “I am excited to have been given the opportunity to lead Pinsent Masons’ Banking & Finance practice in the region and to be part of an international team tasked with growing a strategically important practice area to complement the firm’s existing strengths. It will also ensure that we are able to provide vital, full-service support to our clients as they navigate today’s challenging business environment. Given the diverse talents of the individuals involved and the well-known strengths of the existing practice I am confident that we are well placed to achieve our goals.”

Adding to the growing multinational Finance & Projects group, Matthew’s appointment follows that of Anthony Morton in Frankfurt, James Harris in Asia, Jim Hunwick in Sydney and Eran Chivka in Paris.

Navy Federal Credit Union Ranks #1 for Customer Experience

Navy Federal Credit Union remains the industry leader for a second consecutive year, ranking No. 1 among U.S. companies in KPMG’s 2019 U.S. Customer Experience Excellence Report. The credit union is being recognised for delivering the best customer experience, taking the top spot over 295 brands across 10 business sectors.

“Our mission is to serve as our members’ trusted financial partner for all of life’s important decisions,” said Mary McDuffie, president/CEO of Navy Federal. “Our entire team is committed to meeting our members’ needs and we are always looking for new ways to make the member experience even better.”

KPMG ranked brands across Six Pillars of Customer Experience Excellence to identify the leaders in each country: Personalisation; Integrity; Expectations; Resolution; Time & Effort and Empathy. Navy Federal is one of only five brands to receive a score 8.5 or more.

“KPMG’s research shows us that leading organisations have built unique emotional connections with their customers, and continue to deliver impactful experience across the customer lifecycle,” said Julio Hernandez, U.S. Customer Advisory Practice Lead, KPMG LLP. “Navy Federal Credit Union once again tops our leaders table because our research indicates that they have a personal, individualised understanding of their members, allowing them to put their members firmly at the center of their decision making.”

The research for this year’s U.S. report was conducted via an online survey and was completed in May 2019. A total of 7,552 U.S. consumers who had interacted with a brand in the last six months were interviewed. Each brand needed a minimum of 100 consumer responses to be considered.

Year after year, Navy Federal is recognised for its dedication to creating a satisfying work environment and an exceptional member experience. Earlier this year, Navy Federal celebrated its 9th year on the FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For® List, ranking 29th, the highest in its history. Other notable accolades include being the Industry Leader for Banks/Credit Unions (multichannel) in Customer Experience in Forrester’s 2019 CX Index™ and No. 7 in Best Workplaces™ in Financial Services & Insurance 2019.

About Navy Federal Credit Union: Established in 1933 with only seven members, Navy Federal now has the distinct honor of serving over 8 million members globally and is the world’s largest credit union. As a member-owned and not-for-profit organisation, Navy Federal always puts the financial needs of its members first. Membership is open to all Department of Defense and Coast Guard Active Duty, veterans, civilian and contractor personnel, and their families. Dedicated to its mission of service, Navy Federal employs a workforce of over 18,000 and has a global network of 336 branches.

Federally insured by NCUA. Equal Opportunity Employer.

UK Climate Finance Results

UK International Climate Finance (ICF) is a portfolio of investments with a goal to support international poverty eradication now and in the future by helping developing countries manage risk and build resilience to the impacts of climate change, take up low-carbon development at scale and manage natural resources sustainably. Through annual publications we set out results from these investments against a set of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

The ICF Key Performance Indicator (KPIs) methodology notes are used to guide programme teams, delivery partners and analysts managing ICF programming in their data collection for ICF results. The breadth of programming necessitates not having a prescriptive approach. Programmes are asked to report achieved and forecast results annually against relevant KPIs.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-climate-finance-results

Women in Finance Charter continues to drive change at highest level

Over 350 financial services organisations have now signed up to the Women in Finance Charter, with today’s signatories bringing the total coverage of the Charter to over 800,000 people.

The Treasury’s Women in Finance Charter asks financial firms to commit to taking action to support the progression of women into senior roles, including setting their own gender targets.

The 21 newest signatories include investment firms Allianz Global Investors and Natixis, and business-banking tech company Tide.

Alongside this, new research from New Financial finds that the Women in Finance Charter is leading to greater engagement on gender diversity at the highest levels in those organisations which have signed up to it. Women in Finance Champion, Dame Jayne-Anne Gadhia, said:

I’m delighted to see the Charter continue to grow. It’s the businesses that address their culture and understand the power of diversity that really succeed. The top quarter of businesses on gender diversity are 21% more likely to have above-average profits than the bottom quarter. So this is not just the right thing to do socially, it’s the right thing to do for business.

The Economic Secretary to the Treasury, John Glen, said:

It’s great to see so many financial organisations signed up to the Charter, but we can’t be complacent.

We need to make sure this is translated into meaningful change across the sector. So it’s reassuring that people are already seeing the Charter as a driver for change in their companies, including on wider diversity issues too.

Signing the Charter is just the first step, and I encourage all signatories to continue this work so we can create a fairer, more equal industry.

Yasmine Chinwala, partner at New Financial and co-author of the report, said:

It is very encouraging that signatories believe the Charter is driving change both within their organisations and at industry level. The data shows the Charter has influenced signatories to take a new approach to improving diversity. It is vital that signatories continue to use the Charter to stimulate discussions at the highest levels, and maintain focus on increasing female representation.

Two-thirds of the signatories surveyed believe being a Charter signatory will drive permanent sustainable change in their company and across the financial services industry, with the majority of the rest expecting to see a shift in their own organisation over the next five years.

The research also found that this is not just a ‘women’s issue’ but a business issue, with nearly all respondents seeking ways to involve men in their Charter commitments. Four-fifths of respondents are also seeking to improve their wider diversity as well as their gender balance, most commonly focusing on ethnicity, LGBT+, disability and socio-economic background.

European stocks steady as US celebrates 4th of July

European stock markets flatlined Thursday, after an uneventful session earlier in Asia, with trading volumes thin on the US Independence Day holiday, dealers said.

“European stocks have edged a tad higher while US stock futures are unchanged following Asia’s mixed session, one day after new record highs for indexes stateside,” said Oanda analyst Dean Popplewell.

“Trading remains thin due to July 4th US celebrations,” he added but sounded caution before Friday’s data release of US non-farm payrolls — a key update on the health of the world’s biggest economy.

Vulnerable Dollar

“Currently, the dollar trades broadly flat due to the US public holiday but could be vulnerable and ruin traders’ weekends if tomorrow’s US NFP data comes in on the weaker side.”

Asian equity markets experienced mixed fortunes, despite a record-breaking performance on Wall Street, as investors turned their focus to Friday’s upcoming data while hoping for a big Federal Reserve interest rate cut.

US traders went on a pre-July 4 spending spree Wednesday to push all three main indexes to their all-time highs as a string of weak economic indicators reinforced the case for the Fed to reduce borrowing costs.

With the relief rally from Donald Trump and Xi Jinping’s trade war ceasefire running its course, dealers were turning their attention to the global outlook and pinning their hopes on central bank support.

The release Friday of US non-farm payroll figures is key, analysts say, with a weak reading likely to reinforce expectations of a rate cut.

Talk of a reduction and concerns about the economy have seen the yield on safe haven 10-year Treasuries fall below two percent.

French Negative Yield

Stephen Innes, at Vanguard Markets, said the fall in yields across several asset classes “has increased investor appetite for high dividend-yielding equity risk”.

In Europe meanwhile, the French Treasury issued 10-year bonds at negative interest rates for the first time ever, meaning investors are now willing to pay, rather than receive, interest on their bond purchases.

Dealers attributed part of the rally in eurozone bond markets to the nomination of IMF chief Christine Lagarde as head of the ECB where she would be expected to pursue loose money policies.

“With increasingly dovish central bank rhetoric throughout Europe and the US, further gains look likely,” predicted Joshua Mahony, senior market analyst at IG.

The increasing likelihood of a Fed cut has, however, weighed on the dollar, with riskier currencies such as the South Korean won, Australian dollar and Indonesian rupiah all strengthening.

However, Trump hit out at China on Wednesday in a Twitter rant, accusing it and Europe of artificially keeping the yuan and euro weak to gain an advantage over the US.

He said they were playing a “big currency manipulation game” and “pumping money into their system”, adding that the US should step up to the fight by matching them.

Oil prices meanwhile sagged, with traders disappointed by the size of the drop in US stockpiles of the commodity, while worries over the global economic outlook weigh on demand expectations.

IPC Wins Two 2019 SBR Technology Excellence Awards

IPC, a leading global provider of secure, compliant communications and networking solutions for the financial markets community, today announces the win of two awards in the 2019 Singapore Business Review Technology Excellence Awards.

Best Connectivity for Financial Services – Connexus Cloud earned IPC the award for “Connectivity for Financial Services”. IPC’s Connexus Cloud is a high-performance financial markets cloud solution for data, voice and enterprise communications and compliance. Connexus Cloud helps firms trade faster, scale with greater ease, and achieve greater agility, productivity and efficiency, resulting in a significant competitive advantage.

Best Infrastructure Technology for Financial Services – IPC’s Unigy platform was named the winner of the “Infrastructure Technology for Financial Services” category. Unigy, IPC’s flagship solution, has been recognised globally for years as the industry’s dominant trading and communications platform. It is a widely adopted, secure, compliant, end-to-end solution purpose-built to address the specific needs of the global regulated financial markets community.

“We are excited by the success and recognition of Connexus Cloud and Unigy in the Asia Pacific market” said Bruce Malsen, Vice President of APAC sales at IPC. “We will continue to deliver our promise of excellent service, thereby enabling companies in the financial sector to mitigate risks, diversify and protect their assets, and seize opportunities to build wealth for their customers.”

To express its appreciation for innovative technological solutions with a wide-ranging influence, Singapore Business Review (SBR) pays tribute to firms that have launched extraordinary products, services, and strategies in the past two years. To be recognised at the 2019 SBR Technology Excellence Awards, nominees have to meet the criteria of uniqueness and innovation, effectiveness and impact, and dynamism, which are essential elements of success in the digital era.

The inaugural awards ceremony was held on May 30, 2019 at the Conrad Centennial Singapore.

This year’s nominations were judged by a panel consisting of Cheang Wai Keat, Head of Advisory of Ernst & Young LLP; Darwin Thio, Director, Cybersecurity & Technology Services of Nexia TS; KPMG Head of Cybersecurity Daryl Pereira; Evelyn Lim, Executive Director, Tax Advisory of BDO LLP, and; Jonathan Kok, Co-Head of Technology, Media & Communications Industry Group of RHTLaw Taylor Wessing LLP.

About IPC

IPC is a technology and service leader powering the global financial markets. We help clients anticipate change and solve problems, setting the standard with industry expertise, exceptional service and comprehensive technology. With a customer-first mentality, IPC brings together one of the largest and most diverse global financial ecosystems spanning all asset classes and market participants. As the enabler of this ecosystem, IPC empowers the community to interact, transact and react to market changes and challenges, and we collaborate with our customers to help make them secure, productive, compliant and connected. Visit IPC.com and follow us on Linkedin and Twitter.

If you would like to find out more information, please visit https://www.ipc.com/