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Networking Event PHOTO

3 Simple Steps to Becoming a Better Networker

I’ve always been a natural extrovert in school and in business. I find it easy to socialise with others and connect with them personally and professionally. When I first embarked on my entrepreneurial journey and left the practice of law, I used to attend as many local networking events as possible. I deemed it important to get out there and connect with other business professionals to build both my brand and network for prospective clients, speaking engagements, and other business opportunities.

I realise that networking is not easy or simple for everyone. There are some who fear being in large crowds of people they do not know at networking events and being forced to strike up a conversation with someone they have little synergy with. Whether you are an introvert or an extrovert, you can build solid networking skills through these 3 simple steps:

Attend as Many Networking Events as Possible

I am sure you have heard many say, “You need to put yourself out there if you want to meet the right person.” Networking is a lot like dating. In order to find a date, you need to put yourself out there in the limelight, and practice makes perfect.

First, find out where the local networking events are in your community. A great place to start is your local chamber of commerce and other leadership organisations that are industry-specific. Many groups will offer the first event free to all guests. Some events may be as high £180 for a lunch. Either way, if you meet your next business contact or potential boss, suddenly that fee becomes pennies and the reward outweighs the risk. But don’t forget to dress professional to the networking event. Treat it like a series of mini interviews.

Bring Business Cards & Don’t Forget to Take Business Cards from Others

Every person you meet is an opportunity. A key step to networking is having your own professional image and brand. Don’t make the mistake of showing up to a networking event without a stack of professional business cards.

Make sure the business card has your name, professional title (i.e. Managing Director) or industry (i.e. Finance), phone number, email (keep it professional), and Linkedin URL. Before you put your Linkedin URL on your new personal business card, ensure that you have a customised URL.

When you go to networking events, take a business card from each person you meet and give them your business card. Easy and done, right? Not so fast.

Following-up is the most important part of networking. Always follow-up with each person you meet. Get on their contact list. Tell them you hope to see them at the next event (which may open the door to them inviting you to an event you didn’t know about!). Invite them to have lunch or coffee the next week. Being consistent and committed is key.

Connect on Linkedin & Beyond

If you are going to attend networking events and build connections on Linkedin with attendees from the events (which of course I highly recommend), make sure your Linkedin profile is fully optimised with a powerful headline, compelling summary, and details of your experience. It’s important that the image you put out at the networking events matches your digital footprint — i.e. your personal brand aligns. You never know where this connection may lead.

Develop a rapport with other professionals and connect on a greater level through Linkedin. Share and comment on each other’s content. Engage with one another beyond just being a connection. Join groups they are members of and possibly connect with their connections.

ENTG-and-EY-Croatia

EY Croatia acquires the tech company ENTG

Consulting company EY Croatia acquired the creative tech company ENTG, the Croatian website Netokracija reported. With this acquisition, EY Croatia makes a great entrance to the digital and the disruptive industry.

For ENTG, on the other hand, this exit is a step forward in their evolution that will improve their position on the market. Reportedly, it is yet to be decided whether they will keep their brand as ENTG, or will operate under the EY brand.

“In order to evolve, we decided to continuously disrupt ourselves. That’s why we are happy to announce joining our forces to EY family. Big thanks to everyone who had our back and who trusted us to keep theirs also! We are bringing all the legacy we’ve made so far into a new and upgraded era for all existing and new clients, partners and colleagues but now powered by an amazing EY Croatia!”, wrote the ENTG team on their Facebook page.

According to ENTG CEO, Ida Pandur, her team within EY will be dedicated to providing advisory services in the field of Customer Experience (CX). Moreover, they will give EY a new mindset and new energy in digitization and marketing.

“My team will be in charge of consulting services in the CX area, especially in the digital area. All that we have built up as ENTG to date; we will continue to do within the EY but at a higher level. EY will take over the entire business, including the team and the cooperation with our clients and partners”, says Pandur for Netokracija.

For EY Croatia this conquest means a further expansion that will give an added value to their current and their future customers – services that go beyond traditional finance ones such as audit, accounting and tax advisory and consulting.

“I believe that the combination of the specific digital skills that the ENTG team has; together with the innovative and traditional financial knowledge, the strength of the EY’s global network of professionals and the great domestic market experience, will add value to our clients. I hope that this new practice will be recognized in our country”, says Horvat Berislav, Country Managing Partner at EY Croatia, Netokracija reported.

Under the corporate motto “Inspired by digital”, ENTG was found in 2013 by the 26th old Ida Pandur. ENTG is a creative tech company and consulting hub for advanced digital strategies and projects. The company goal is to provide clients with unique 360 approaches in creating their strategies and make digital fully integrated part of complete marketing and business development activities plan.

EY on the other side is multinational professional services firm with a special focus in the finance industry. Globally, EY is known as one of the “Big Four” accounting companies. The company operates as a network of member firms which are separate legal entities in individual countries. In Croatia, EY is present since 1991, providing audit, advisory, accounting, tax and transaction support services.

New Partner PHOTO

Synpulse widens circle of Partners

International management consultancy Synpulse has two new partners. The appointments are a result of strong growth in the company’s business with banks and insurers in Singapore and Hong Kong.

Synpulse has appointed Prasanna Venkatesan and Salomon Wettstein as new partners, according to a news release on Thursday. The firm also announced that Yves Roesti has joined its team of managing partners.

Roesti is based in Singapore and responsible for Synpulse’s consulting business in Asia. He studied computer science and economics at the University of Zurich and started his career at Synpulse in Zurich in 2006. Since his relocation to Singapore in 2008, he has led the expansion of Synpulse’s consulting business in Asia.

Promoting Digital Roadmaps

In 2015, he was appointed partner. Under his leadership, Synpulse grew the team in Asia to 150 consultants across three key markets – Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia. In particular, Roesti has been promoting banking operating model transformations and digital roadmaps.

Wettstein joined Synpulse in 2011. He holds a Master in Computational Science and Engineering at the Swiss Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich. Wettstein heads the Hong Kong office and oversees the banking practice in the Greater China region. He manages strategic business and technology transformations for clients in that region and is part of the global Operational Excellence leadership team.

Consulting Private Banks

Venkatesan also started his career at Synpulse in 2011 and is based in Singapore. He holds an MBA from the Nanyang University of Technology (NTU) in Singapore. He specializes in consulting for the private banking sector in the areas of advisory excellence, large scale transformation and leads the regulatory, risk and compliance practice in Asia.

Since its founding in 1996, Synpulse has supported banks and insurers along the entire value chain – that is from the development of strategies and their operational realization to technical implementation and handover. Synpulse stands out due to the industry expertise, passion and commitment of its more than 350 employees. The firm has offices in Zurich, Geneva, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Bratislava, Vienna, Singapore, Hong Kong, New York and London.

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Bufete Casco-Fortín Cruz merges with ECIJA

After several months of joint collaboration, Bufete Casco-Fortin Cruz and ECIJA reached an agreement for the integration of their professional activities. The operation will also involve the integration of Expertis into ECIJA, a firm that has 8 offices in 6 countries in Central America: Costa Rica, Panama, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua.

“It has been a very successful process, first the association with Expertis in Central America and the Caribbean, integrated by a group of professionals with an excellent professional and ethical capacity, and now the merger with ECIJA, allows us the most important incorporation in Ibero-American in legal matters and of the highest professional level. It means the introduction of legal modernity and innovation in the provision of legal services. We feel very encouraged and safe to be part of ECIJA, which is a recognized international law firm,” said Rosalinda Cruz, Managing Partner of Bufete Casco-Fortin, Cruz.

As a result of the merger, Bufete Casco-Fortin Cruz will operate under the ECIJA brand, offering its clients a full-service high added value practice, with an important differentiation consisting of ECIJA’s deep knowledge in the field of technology, new digital markets and innovation. Characteristics that earned ECIJA recognition for the third consecutive year as the Best Intellectual Property, New Technologies and Data Protection Firm, and as the Most Innovative Firm in Spain by the Expansión Awards.

In the words of Hugo Ecija, founder and CEO of ECIJA, “the goal of this transaction is to become the largest firm in Latin America. We do it together with of one of the most innovative players in the region, which also enjoys recognition within the market, which implies the best key to entering into future transactions in different Latin American countries in the short to medium term.” This merger involves the integration to ECIJA of 81 new professionals and 17 partners recognized by the most prestigious international directories in their different areas of practice, adding a total of 18 offices in 10 countries, more than 300 professionals in 2 continents, through its presence in Europe, United States and Latin America.

About Bufete Casco-Fortin, Cruz, firm member of Expertis

It is a full-service firm, with experience in all areas of business law and special recognition in the areas of Corporate, M&A, and Dispute Resolution for the most prestigious international rankings: Chambers & Partners, The Legal 500, IFLR, among others. Other areas of practice in which the firm stands out are legal representation of national and foreign companies in resolving disputes through Dispute Boards, Conciliations and Complex Arbitration. He has also excelled in legal advice on Public-Private Partnerships.

About ECIJA

With more than 20 years of experience, ECIJA has positioned itself as one of the best multidisciplinary and independent law firms in the Spanish market. Offering comprehensive legal services, regulatory compliance and cybersecurity consulting services.

In Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Lisbon, Santiago de Chile and Miami (where it has a representative office), ECIJA has a multidisciplinary team of more than 300 professionals, with exceptional experience in their areas of specialization, qualified to work in different jurisdictions, with extensive knowledge of different industries and international markets.

Advisory Excellence PHOTO

Dispute Resolution in Construction Law Matters in Hungary

In Hungary basically we can differentiate three different forms of settling legal disputes in connection with construction and design contracts. These possible claim enforcements are as follows: out of court dispute settlements (reconciliation between the parties in front of Dispute Adjudication Boards /DAB/, or via payment order procedure), in front of an ordinary state court via civil lawsuit, or in front of Hungarian or international arbitration courts.

From the above mentioned opportunities the possibility of claim enforcement in front of ordinary courts is open in all cases, whereas the contract is signed upon Hungarian law. Currently in Hungary there is one Arbitration Court attached to the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce. In so far as the contracting parties would like to use this or the international arbitration court in the settling of their dispute based upon a contract signed, according to Hungarian law, in a way that they put down this intention of theirs either in the contract or at latest in a written agreement at the development of their legal dispute. One of the greatest advantages of the Arbitration Court functioning beside the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce is that each of the parties can delegate an arbitrator from the list of arbitrators to the board of arbitrators and the two delegated arbitrators will choose the third member of the board of arbitrators who is also the President. An additional advantage is that the procedure of the arbitration court is quicker than the procedure of the ordinary state court, as cases usually finish within a few months in front of these arbitration courts, whereas in front of state courts – where the procedure is in two instances – in certain cases the procedure can last for years and sometimes the revision of the Supreme Court may be requested. In case of the constraint of the arbitration court according to Hungarian law, there is a possibility of the procedure in front of ordinary state courts, only the statement of invalidation of the verdict of the arbitration court can be required, as long as the verdict of the arbitration court.

In Hungary most of the construction lawsuits can last up to several years in front of ordinary courts, as long as the parties receive the final and definitive sentence. With regard to this fact in certain nominated cases (where the occurrence of the completion or its certification is disputable, or the completion is not disputable but payment has not been carried out, or there is a dispute in connection with the financial guarantees – mortgage, bank guarantee etc. – ensuring employer payment) there is an opportunity to turn to the Completion Validation Expert Organization attached to the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce since 2013, which can issue an expert opinion within 60 days upon request. As long as any of the parties do not agree with the expert report, there is a possibility to turn to court within 60 days following receipt of the expert report, and the court should have an accelerated procedure taken into consideration the report of the Completion Validation Expert Organization in a way as it would have been made by a forensic expert delegated by the court. These legal procedures last definitely shorter than other legal procedures in construction cases.

There is an opportunity to settle disputes out of court. It can be an agreement between the contracting parties, a written agreement, but in case of the consent of the contracting parties, even third parties, organizations dealing with out of court legal disputes or persons can be involved. In the latter case for instance a mediator can facilitate the settlement between the parties, or the conciliatory body beside the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce, but the decision of the latter can only be mandatory for the parties if they assumed it in writing at the beginning of the procedure to subject themselves to the decision of the conciliatory body. In connection with out of court dispute procedure it should be mentioned that as far as the parties accepted the application of one of the FIDIC-contract samples as they are to proceed according to the dispute settling rules included in it. In this regard we are only referring to the role of Dispute Adjudication Board.

An order for payment in front of a notary public has a special temporary character between out of court and litigation dispute. Except for certain cases, this procedure shall start in cases where the claim does not exceed HUF 3,000,000 (EUR 9,800). This procedure cannot be started if the amount of the claim is over HUF 30,000,000 (approx. EUR 98,000). You can initiate this procedure electronically in which the formal but not the substantive checking of the claim, the notary public releases a payment notice for the person indicated as the debtor in order to accomplish his payment obligation within 15 days, or if he does not agree with the claim to initiate a protest within 15 days at the notary public. In the case of the protest of the debtor, the creditor can initiate a civil law suit within 15 days in front of the competent court, thus the out of court procedure will be transferred to court procedure.

Dr. Tamás BALÁZS
Attorney at law
Managing Partner

Advisory Excellence PHOTO

BSI becomes newest RelativityOne certified partner

BSI’s global centre of excellence for Cybersecurity and Information Resilience has announced a new partnership with Relativity to use its SaaS product, RelativityOne. BSI Cybersecurity and Information Resilience plans to leverage the SaaS product at their headquarters in Ireland and will be the first partner deployed in RelativityOne’s Netherlands data center.

With the new cloud-based e-Discovery platform, BSI Cybersecurity and Information Resilience will expand their best-in-class data advisory and compliance services into new areas and markets thanks to the flexibility and global reach of RelativityOne. The BSI e-Discovery and Forensics consultants have expert knowledge of the platform and will leverage the speed and efficiency of the secure SaaS product to respond quicker to the growing GDPR, litigation and regulatory requests of their clients.

Commenting on the partnership, Inés Rubio, Head of Information Management and Incident Response at BSI Cybersecurity and Information Resilience said, “We are delighted to become a certified RelativityOne partner and look forward to incorporating the platform into the uniquely tailored solutions that we offer our global clients. Relativity is a ground-breaking technology and it has really made the e-Discovery process more insightful, manageable and efficient.”

“We’re excited to welcome BSI Cybersecurity and Information Resilience as a new RelativityOne certified partner,” said Steve Couling, Vice President of International at Relativity. “We look forward to seeing how they leverage the extensibility and flexibility of our SaaS product to further optimise and transform the businesses of their clients.”

Built on the industry-leading security controls of the Microsoft Azure Cloud, RelativityOne provides an added layer of security to the leading security posture BSI is known for. To celebrate the new partnership and its commitment to joint security, Relativity Solutions Specialist, Clare Longworth, will speak at the inaugural BSI International Cyber Resilience Exchange on 26 March 2019 at The Convention Centre in Dublin where she will present an interactive workshop titled ‘Information Management and e-Discovery: Which of Your e-Discovery Workflows are Primed for Change?’ To find out more visit: https://bsicyberexchange.com/

BSI Cybersecurity and Information Resilience provides a range of solutions to help organisations address their information challenges covering cybersecurity, information management and privacy, security awareness, compliance and testing. For more information visit https://www.bsigroup.com/en-IE/our-services/cybersecurity-information-resilience/

About BSI Cybersecurity and Information Resilience centre of excellence

The BSI centre of excellence for Cybersecurity and Information Resilience is based in Sandyford, Dublin, where it manages and secures corporate information for BSI’s global clients. The company provides expertise to clients on the identification, protection, compliance and management of their information assets through a combination of consultancy, technology, research and training. Its mission is to help clients achieve Information Resilience – an environment where infrastructure is protected and secure, regulatory and compliance obligations are met, people are safe, and reputation and trust is maintained. The companies highly qualified consultants’ experience and expertise cover the entire Information Governance landscape.

The companies’ credentials are enhanced by adherence to internationally recognised accreditations and certifications (CREST / Cyber Essentials / Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard Qualified Security Assessor). BSI is the originator of the ISO 27000 series of Information Security Standards and the global leader in providing training and certification to ISO 27001, the established best practice in Information Security Management Systems (ISMS).

About BSI

BSI is the business improvement company that enables organisations to turn standards of best practice into habits of excellence. For over a century BSI has championed what good looks like and driven best practice in organisations around the world. Working with over 86,000 clients across 193 countries, it is a truly international business with skills and experience across a number of sectors including automotive, aerospace, built environment, food, and healthcare. Through its expertise in Standards Development and Knowledge Solutions, Assurance and Professional Services, BSI improves business performance to help clients grow sustainably, manage risk and ultimately be more resilient. To learn more, please visit https://www.bsigroup.com/

About Relativity

At Relativity, we make software to help users organise data, discover the truth, and act on it. Our e-discovery platform is used by thousands of organisations around the world to manage large volumes of data and quickly identify key issues during litigation, internal investigations, and compliance projects. Relativity has over 180,000 users in 40+ countries from organisations including the U.S. Department of Justice, more than 70 Fortune 100 companies, and 198 of the Am Law 200. RelativityOne offers all the functionality of Relativity in a secure and comprehensive SaaS product. Relativity has been named one of Chicago’s Top Workplaces by the Chicago Tribune for eight consecutive years. Please contact Relativity at [email protected] or visit http://www.relativity.com for more information.