Tilney targets Smith & Williamson for merger

The board of Tilney has confirmed that it is in exclusive discussions with Smith & Williamson about a potential combination of the two businesses.

In a statement Tilney said: ‘A merger of Tilney and Smith & Williamson would create a market-leading, integrated UK wealth management and professional services group with over £45bn of assets under management.

‘These discussions are ongoing and there can be no certainty that a transaction will proceed. A further announcement will be made as and when appropriate.’

Smith & Williamson confirmed that talks are underway and that the accounting arm of the firm is part of the ongoing talks.

In a statement, Smith & Williamson said: ‘Further to the announcement by AGF Management Ltd to the Toronto Stock Exchange yesterday (18 August) regarding its shareholding in Smith & Williamson, the board of Smith & Williamson confirms that it has received an approach and is in exclusive discussions about a combination of its business with Tilney Group.

‘The respective boards believe that a merger of Smith & Williamson and Tilney has the potential to deliver significant benefits to the clients, employees, partners and shareholders of both businesses and create a market-leading, integrated, UK wealth management and professional services firm. Discussions remain ongoing and at this stage there is no certainty that a transaction will proceed. A further announcement will be made in due course.’

Smith & Williamson, founded in Glasgow in 1881, is ranked at number eight in the Accountancy Daily Top 75 Firms annual survey. The firm’s business model is based on a mix of financial and professional services, with a significant managed funds business. Its financial results, released in July, showed operating income increased 4.3% year-on-year to £278.1m while adjusted operating profit increased by 4.8% to £48.4m.

Professional services income, including revenue from tax and business services was up 6.5% to £104.7m, although the firm changed its reporting lines this year.

The funds under management and advice service line increased by 6.5% year-on-year to £21.4bn.

Tilney, which was bought by private equity firm Permira in 2014 from Deutsche Bank, manages some £24bn of client assets. It acquired competitor Towry in 2016 and also runs the online service Bestinvest.

The bid from Tilney, reported in the Sunday Times, comes two years after listed wealth manager Rathbones tried to buy Smith & Williamson. In August 2017 Rathbones, which manages over £32bn of client funds through Rathbone Investment Management proposed a merger, but talks were called off the following month.

At the time, Smith & Williamson said it intend to pursue a public listing and confirmed this view on publication of its latest results.

Andrew Sykes, non-executive chairman of Smith & Williamson, said in the firm’s annual report: ‘We continue to plan for a listing to take place at some juncture in 2020, subject to market conditions.’

If the deal goes ahead, the combined business would have about 250 financial planners, 240 investment managers and more than 100 partners in professional services.

There has been a flurry of mergers and acquisitions among wealth management firms in recent years, driven partly by increased regulatory supervision and the need for economies of scale.

ParrisWhittaker named finalist at 2019 Lloyd’s List Americas Awards

The 2019 Lloyd’s List Americas Awards are part of the Lloyd’s List Excellence in Shipping Awards – the industry’s flagship awards program that recognises and rewards excellence across the entire maritime sector.

Given the incredible list of companies nominated, It is with great pride and humility that ParrisWhittaker announces that their firm has been named a finalist for excellence.

“2019 has been a real whirlwind of a year for us. We’ve been incredibly busy working for our clients. But, moments like this give us the opportunity to pause and take this as a sign that we are doing good work,” said Kenra Parris-Whittaker, partner of ParrisWhittaker.

Lloyd’s List Awards promote and celebrate excellence in shipping. Their award judges volunteer their time and experience to consider hundreds of annual entries. They come from all core sectors of the maritime industry to engage in lengthy face to face deliberation to debate and, ultimately, decide on winners.

Other awards Lloyd’s List Americas Awards include:

  • Excellence in Future Fuels Solutions
  • Deal of the Year
  • Excellence in Data and Technology Innovation
  • Excellence in Decarbonisation towards 2050
  • Excellence in Environmental Management
  • Excellence in Port Management and Infrastructure
  • Excellence in Safety & Training

“We consider it an award any time a client recommends us to a colleague or friend. However, winning this award would truly be something special and we would like to congratulate all of the other nominees. We’re all in the business of fighting for people in the maritime sector and we should all take a moment to be proud,” added Parris-Whittaker.

The 10 best universities to study business

Think you could be the next Mark Zuckerberg? If you have a mind for innovation and business, you might benefit from a degree at one of the finest business schools in the UK.

Most business courses give students a thorough understanding of business theory, economics, entrepreneurship, accounting, management and business law.

As such a diverse degree course, Business Management can open doors to a multitude of careers. Upon graduation, you could find a job as a business adviser, a data analyst, investment banker, human resources officer, stockbroker or even join the team of a new start-up.

Here, we have compiled a list of the best business degree courses in the UK, including information on entry requirements, course details and the most advantageous features. The following are the 10 best universities to study Business & Management, according to the latest 2020 league table from Complete University Guide, which ranks universities according to their entry standards, student satisfaction, research quality and graduate prospects.

10. University of Lancaster

The course: The Business Management BSc incorporates modules from every department within the Management School. In first year, all students cover accounting, marketing, management and business analysis. In second year, you expand on this knowledge and study operations management, economics and entrepreneurship, including modules in management decision making and spreadsheet modelling. There are optional modules in further economics, marketing and entrepreneurship, which you take into your third and final year. You juggle these subjects with a core module on strategic management.

Biggest advantage: All students have access to a Business Management Careers Coach, who will run sessions on CVs and the skills that you will need in the workplace.

9. Durham University

The course: In the first year of the Business and Management BA, you develop a business plan for a start-up and take optional modules in business, economics or a language. In second year, you further develop your investigative and business skills and take modules on information systems and the management of operations, as well as optional modules in accounting, entrepreneurship, marketing and business law. In your final year, you focus on a double-weighted dissertation and a core module in strategic management, as well as optional modules.

Biggest advantage: Students can take the Year Abroad or a Year In Industry programme, either of which could boost your employment prospects.

8. University of Warwick

The course: On the first year of the Management BSc course, you study the basics of business management – including economics, marketing, financial management, strategy, organisations and business analytics. In second year, there are electives to choose from, alongside core modules in international business, operations management and entrepreneurship. In third year, you have the option to take a Year In Industry. Alternatively, you can go straight into your final year, where you will study critical issues in management and a range of optional modules.

Biggest advantage: This course is flexible, and you can specialise in specific areas (such as finance or marketing) in your final two years. Modules are varied and include marketing, auditing, supply chain management, business law, risk management and team leadership.

7. University of Strathclyde

The course: In the first three years of the the Management BA, you take classes in business alongside the Management Development Programme (MDP). In the first year of the MDP, you focus on theory, including disruptive technologies, business ethics and creativity and responsibility. You also take a module called Managing in a Global Context. In the second year of the MDP, you study global business, the Third Sector, oratory and more. You also take modules in strategy, analysis and change within organisations. In third year, you undertake a work placement, complete the final year of the MDP and take core modules in management practice. In the fourth year, students cover management, the global economy, strategy and ethical leadership.

Biggest advantage: On the third year of the MDP, there are four options for how you can put your knowledge into practice. You can take an internship, work on two live consultancy projects, go on an international exchange, or conduct problem-solving projects with other students.

6. University of Leeds

The course: On the first year of the Business Management MA, you cover economics, accounting and organisational behaviour. You also take the Exploring Your Potential module, where you assess your own managerial skills. In second year, you study the basics of marketing and managing people and operations, develop your research and analytical skills and learn to consider social responsibility. In your third year, you further develop your management skills in modules on strategic management and leadership, and you can take optional modules in employment law, technology, international business and advertising. There is also a dissertation on a topic of your choice.

Biggest advantage: There’s a real emphasis on developing leadership qualities on this course, with modules on strategic leadership and management. In addition, if you choose (and pass) the Contemporary Management Consulting module in your third year, you can register with the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) and gain the CMI Level 5 Certificate in Professional Consulting.

5. King’s College London

The course: The Business Management BSc at King’s College London is a comprehensive course. In your first year, there are 12 core modules, covering economics, financial reporting, business ethics, accounting and marketing. In second year, you are taught research methods, international business, strategic management and take optional modules. There is also the option to study abroad either in the first term of second year or for the entire academic year. In third year, there are no core modules so you can choose specialisms, including employment law, leadership, banking and managerial economics.

Biggest advantage: Located in the heart of London, King’s Business School is close to the Square Mile (the hub of international commerce and finance) and a few tube stops away from Canary Wharf.

4. University of Loughborough

The course: In the first and second years of the BSc Management degree you are introduced to the core business and management topics, including business economics, financial reporting, marketing, human resource management, accounting, data analysis, business ethics and operations management. There are also optional modules. In your third year, you can either study abroad or take a work placement. In your fourth and final year, you study three core modules on decision-making, leadership and global strategy, and select optional modules.

Biggest advantage: If you go on a Year Abroad or work placement in your third year, you receive an extra qualification: a Diploma in Professional Studies (DPS) if you do a work placement or a Diploma in International Studies (DIntS) if you study abroad. Alternatively, you can split your third year and spend six months studying abroad and six months on a work placement.

3. University of Exeter

The course: In the first year of the Business and Management BSc, you mainly cover the theory of business management, with classes on accounting, statistics, economics, marketing, management and the relationship between business and society. In the second year, you take core modules in accounting, human resource management, consumer behaviour, operations management and organisations. There are more optional modules in second year than first, but even more to choose from in your third and final year of study. In final year, there are just two core modules, covering finance and strategic management.

Biggest advantage: There is an optional Year Abroad or Year in Industry work placement.

2. University of Bath

The course: In the first year of the Management BSc, you get to grips with the basics of business management – including accounting, business economics, international business, management, finance and marketing. In second year, you study more specific topics, such as business law, consumer psychology, entrepreneurship and managing a multinational enterprise. There are optional modules in both second and third year, covering E-business, corporate responsibility, UK tax and conducting business in China, to name a few. In third year you also study international strategy and complete an entrepreneurship project.

Biggest advantage: The entrepreneurship project in your final year allows you to apply your knowledge to a practical assignment. This module requires teamwork, identifying a suitable gap in the market and planning how you would build your own business.

1. University of St Andrews

The course: During the first two years of this four-year course, you will take Management modules alongside at least one other subject. Typical Management topics include the role of managers within organisations and the role of organisations within society. In your final two years you can take more optional modules, including (bit not limited to): advertising, corporate social responsibility, entrepreneurship, human resource management, sustainable development and international banking.

Biggest advantage: This flexible course will make you more of an all-rounder as you are required to study two additional subjects in your first year and at least one in your second year. This could give you the chance to develop your languages skills, for instance.

ANTAQ approves regulatory standard on storage services

The National Agency for Water Transport (Antaq) approved the norm that establishes regulatory parameters to be observed in the provision of container and volume handling and storage services at public and private port facilities, repealling the Resolution No. 2,389-Antaq, 2012.

Among other aspects, the now approved regulatory standard establishes criteria to be considered when billing the Terminal Handling Charge (THC) and the Segregation and Delivery Service (SSE), also known as THC-2.

The THC is the reimbursement of expenses for cargo handling services between the port terminal gate and the vessel’s side, including the transitory storage of cargo for the term agreed between the maritime carrier and the port facility or operator, in the case of exportation, or between the vessel’s side and its placement in the port terminal stack, in the case of importation.

SSE, on the other hand, refers to the collection, on importation, by the cargo handling service between the stack in the yard and the port terminal gate, not being part of the services paid by Box Rate, nor of the services whose expenses are reimbursed through the THC.

According to ANTAQ, prior to the billing of SSE, there will be electronic scheduling by the facility or port operator of operating windows to be made available continuously and regularly spaced, in order to serve all customers / users.The new rule applies to the private container handling terminals, in line with Law No. 12,815 / 2013 and Decree No. 9,046 / 2017.

Box Rate & Other Services

In accordance with the regulatory standard, the services contemplated in the Box Rate will be performed by the facility or port operator, upon remuneration freely negotiated, established by contract or disclosed in the price list.

In turn, the services not covered by the Box Rate and the storage, when demanded or requested by customers/ users of the terminal, will obey conditions and prices freely negotiated, with the maximum values being previously disclosed in price lists, in observation to the commercial conditions stipulated in the lease agreement and in the ANTAQ rules, forbidding abusive or harmful competition practices.

As a result, port facilities are required to disclose, with thirty days in advance, on their websites and terminal access, the maximum prices and detailed description of the services to be payed by the user, including application rules, deductibles and exemptions, if any.

HealthTrust Honors Members for Excellence and Community Service

HealthTrust today recognised five member organisations with its most esteemed honor, the Member Recognition Award, during the annual HealthTrust University Conference under way at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center. HealthTrust established the Member Awards in 2009 to acknowledge outstanding contributions of organisations and individuals who demonstrate excellence in supporting providers, patients and their communities. HealthTrust president and CEO, Ed Jones, presented awards to the following HealthTrust members.

Outstanding Member – Atlantic Health System, Morristown, N.J., for exceptional fiscal improvements by leveraging HealthTrust initiatives, maintaining contract compliance and adopting new contract categories.

  • Kevin Lenahan, SVP, chief financial and administrative officer
  • Stephen Albanese, director, strategic sourcing
  • Adisa Mesalic, manager, strategic sourcing
  • Dawn Petronio, MAS, BSN, RN, clinical consultant, strategic sourcing
  • Drew Douglas, strategic sourcing analyst

Operational Excellence – OU Medical Center, Oklahoma City, Okla., for integrating physicians, nurse leaders, executives and supply chain in value analysis disciplines and other best practices to streamline operations and maximise savings.

  • April Imel, BSN, RN, director of value analysis
  • Dee Cross, MSN, RN, administrative director of value analysis
  • Casey Woods, MHA, COO
  • Michael S. Cookson, MD, MMHC, physician chairman, value analysis committee

Clinical Excellence – HCA Healthcare Continental Division, Denver, Colo., for executing a laboratory stewardship process leading to improvements in operational efficiencies, financial performance, care outcomes and physician engagement, and expanding the program to other hospital divisions.

  • Heather Signorelli, DO, chief laboratory officer, Clinical Services Group, HCA Healthcare
  • Gary Winfield, MD, division CMO

Social Stewardship – Scripps Health, San Diego, Calif., for deploying volunteer medical response teams and providing non-clinical support to thousands of residents displaced by the Camp Fire in Paradise, Calif.

  • Debra McQuillen, RN, BSN, MAS, VP and chief operations executive, Scripps Mercy Hospital
  • Steve Miller, RN, MS, FACHE, senior director, clinical services, Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas
  • Mike Godfrey, ABC, senior director, corporate communications
  • Jay Larrosa, MSN, RN-BC, ACM-RN, PHN, FACDONA, project manager, system care management

Pharmacy Excellence – Community Health Systems, Franklin, Tenn., for innovative quality and control measures in mitigating pharmacy drug spend resulting in operational efficiencies and sustained cost savings.

  • Jerry Reed, MS, RPh, FASCP, FASHP, VP of pharmacy
  • Heather Weese, PharmD, MSHI, BCPS, BCPPS, senior director, pharmacy services

In addition to being honored at the conference, award recipients will be featured in the fall issue of The Source magazine for HealthTrust members.

About HealthTrust

HealthTrust (Healthtrust Purchasing Group, L.P.) is committed to strengthening provider performance and clinical excellence through an aligned membership model and the delivery of total spend management advisory solutions that leverage operator experience, scale and innovation. Headquartered in Nashville, Tenn., HealthTrust (https://healthtrustpg.com/) serves over 1,600 hospitals and health systems, and more than 40,000 other member locations including ambulatory surgery centers, physician practices, long-term care and alternate care sites. On Twitter @healthtrustpg.

2 FTSE 100 stocks to buy that I’d consider right now

I reckon it’s a good idea to invest in a few good quality FTSE 100 shares. I think these two pay decent dividend yields and have reasonable prospects for growing their dividends a little each year from where we are today.

Meanwhile, each firm has an undemanding valuation, which bodes well for future expansion of their share prices.

Retailing

FTSE 100 clothing, footwear, accessories and home products retailer Next (LSE: NXT) looks set to become a survivor in what has become a difficult sector. I think that’s because of the success of its catalogue and online sales strategy working in harmony with the store estate.

The second-quarter trading update released at the end of July revealed to us that sales and profits edged up by modest single-digit percentages in the period. I think that’s a far better trading outcome than many struggling retailers have been experiencing lately.

The good trading was better than the directors had previously anticipated and they increased full-price sales guidance for the second half of the year to an anticipated increase of 3% rather than 1.7% as stated earlier. Things are moving in the right direction and I think the stock is attractive.

At the recent share price close to 6,007p, the forward-looking earnings multiple runs just below 13 for the trading year to January 2021 and the anticipated dividend yield is around 2.9%. City analysts following the firm are pencilling in modest increases in the dividend ahead. I think Next looks like a stalwart that I’d be happy to add to my portfolio.

Paper & Packaging

Despite delivering decent-looking half-year financial numbers with its interim report at the beginning of August, paper and packaging firm Mondi (LSE: MNDI) saw its share price fall back on the news.

I think the move happened because the stock market is always looking ahead and trying to anticipate trading down the line. The figures were good, yes, but chief executive Peter Oswald said in the report they were achieved “against a backdrop of increasingly challenging trading conditions.” That, I reckon, was enough to spook the market.

But Oswald went on to say the firm’s “relentless” focus on continuous improvement is set to lessen the impact of trading pressures in the firm’s markets. I reckon the firm’s multi-year record of steady growth in revenue, earnings, cash flow and the dividend bodes well for future progress, despite any macro-economic wobbles we might see from time to time.

I like the stock and see the current weakness in the share price as an opportunity to hop aboard the story on better terms. The recent share price close to 1,595p throws up a forward-looking earnings multiple of just over nine for 2020 and the anticipated dividend yield is a little under 5%. I think that looks like decent value.