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Digitalisation maturity across the energy value chain

From 30 October until 1 November 2019, the Asia Clean Energy Summit took place in Singapore. Matthias Lang discussed the digitalisation maturity across the energy value chain focusing on the current legal framework, use cases of digitalisation in the energy sector and possibilities and challenges of digitalisation.

On 31 October 2019 four different panels discussed the digital transformation of energy. The panels focused on ‘Digitalisation maturity across the energy value chain’, ‘Developing a digital energy ecosystem’, ‘Enabling e-mobility: Business models, infrastructure, technologies, stakeholders’ and ‘IT security and resiliency in the critical power sector’.

Matthias Lang participated in the panel ‘Digitalisation maturity across the energy value chain’ along with:

  • Franck Bernard, CEO of Nippon Koei Energy Europe
  • Pierre Cheyron, CEO of ENGIE South East Asia
  • Praveen Kumar Lala, Director Customer Success of Power APAC & India GE Digital
  • Nirupa Chander, Country Managing Director of ABB Power Grids Singapore
  • Mathias Steck, EVP & Regional Manager of Digital Hub Asia DNV GL – Digital Solutions

Matthias pointed out that digitalisation is a key instrument in the future energy transition. Along the energy value chain digitalisation has been used for a long time for backend solutions but energy digitalisation is more about future frontend business models. Future digital business models need a secure legal framework to be able to develop but digitalisation in the energy sector is still in its developing phase. The legal framework has to be secure and transformative to pave the way for a more and more mature digitalisation across the energy value chain.

Digitalisation in the energy sector can be utilised in different ways. Introducing new technologies like Blockchain to create peer-to-peer trading platforms demonstrates the possibilities and challenges of digitalisation.

The European Clean Energy Package takes an important step towards utilising digital solutions for the clean energy transition and building a more flexible electricity system, but is only an early step towards a more comprehensive, mature and digital legal framework.

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

HFW boosts fast-growing transactional offering

Global, sector-focused law firm HFW has continued to expand its fast-growing transactional offering with the hire of senior corporate finance partner Wing Cheung.

Wing specialises in capital markets, including initial public offerings, as well as M&A, private equity and other transactional work. He joins HFW’s Hong Kong office from US law firm Locke Lord, where he was Hong Kong Managing Partner.

Wing’s arrival continues HFW’s significant expansion of its global corporate and finance practices. HFW launched a transactional practice in China earlier this year and has now added 19 transactional partners across its international network since 2018, including lateral hires in Abu Dhabi, Hong Kong, Houston, London, Monaco, Paris and Singapore.

Patrick Yeung, Hong Kong Office Head, HFW:

“This is a major boost to our transactional offering in Greater China and the wider region. Wing brings a wealth of experience of high-end corporate finance, and has an outstanding reputation for his technical expertise and exceptional client service. I am thrilled to welcome him to the firm.”

Wing advises clients on a wide range of corporate and commercial matters, including initial public offerings and M&A. He also has significant experience in regulatory enforcement and compliance, having acted on major investigations and other proceedings by the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission.

Wing Cheung, Partner, HFW:

“I am very excited to be joining HFW. It’s been really noticeable over the past few years that HFW is building a strong global corporate and finance practice to complement its leading reputation for disputes and sector-related work. I’m looking forward to helping the firm continue that growth, and working with the HFW transactional teams in Greater China and across the firm’s extensive international network.”

HFW has operated in Greater China for more than 40 years, having been one of the first international law firms to open an office in the country, in 1978.

The firm now has almost 80 lawyers in Greater China, including 21 partners, and is a market leader in aviation, commodities, construction, energy, insurance, shipping, commercial litigation and corporate.

HFW also recently brought in a market-leading team to launch in Monaco – one of 11 international office openings, mergers and associations since 2016, including a fully-integrated US merger and other moves in Brazil, China, Indonesia and the Middle East.

About HFW

HFW is a leading global law firm in the aerospace, commodities, construction, energy, insurance, and shipping sectors. The firm has more than 600 lawyers, including 185 partners, based in offices across the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific. HFW prides itself on its deep industry expertise and its entrepreneurial, creative and collaborative culture.

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

Singapore: the International Convention on Mediation

The signing ceremony for the United Nations Convention on International Settlement Agreements Resulting from Mediation (“Singapore Convention on Mediation”) was held on 7 August 2019 in Singapore.

There is a great expectancy by the players involved in internacional commercial disputes concerning what really wait from this point in the mediation international scenario.

It is true that the Covention is a milestone. An international convention is very likely to bring us various benefits, and contribute with the development of mediation as an adequade method of dispute resolution in the international arena. Many users are expecting the same positive effects that New York Convention has brought to arbitration.

The text of the Convention gives a wide interpretation of the term Mediation and sets grounds under which the recognition and enforcement of the agreement could be denied by State courts.

It seems there will be no more escuses not to consider Mediation as an option for the ones who are involved in actual ou potential conflicts.

Singapura is giving us the example, by leading an International Mediation Competition during the week of the Singapore Convention signature, and, thus, putting together many of the young generation representatives, that will be soon dealing with international dispute resolution.

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/

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Bankers bounce back to beat lawyers in Annual Charity Cricket Match

The bankers won the Duane Morris & Selvam Capital Markets Cup with a resounding win over the lawyers in this year’s charity cricket match held on 19 January 2019 at the Sachivalaya Ground in Oval Maidan, Mumbai. The lawyers were aiming for four wins in a row, but the bankers bounced back to crush the lawyers in this year’s match, scoring 191 for 7 off their 20 overs and bowling the lawyers out for a paltry 85. The bankers have now won three times, but they still trail the lawyers, who have won five times. This year’s match raised over Rs. 200,000 for Bal Asha Trust, which provides quality childcare to abandoned and destitute children from all over Maharashtra.

Jamie Benson (Duane Morris & Selvam) won the toss and sent the bankers into bat. The left- and right-handed batting combination of Bedabrata Das (JM Financial) and Ronak Shah (Yes Securities) proved a challenge for the lawyers’ opening bowlers Sayantan Dutta (Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas) and Siddhartha Desai (Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas), and the bankers got off to a quick start. Rabindra Jhunjhunwala (Khaitan & Co) and Vijay Parthasarathi (Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas) were brought into the attack and Parthasarathi had Shah caught by the wicket keeper, Laban Das (Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas), for 9 runs. Satyam Singhal (Morgan Stanley) was next in, but unfortunately for him, he was run out by Jhunjhunwala after facing only one ball. This brought Javeed Siddiqui (ICICI Securities), the captain of the bankers, to the crease. Siddiqui and Das batted very well and the scoreboard ticked over at a fast rate until Siddiqui top-edged an attempted sweep from the bowling of Sanjay Israni (Desai Diwanji) and he was very well caught by Laban Das for 30 runs off only 18 balls. Amit Nayyar (Arpwood Capital) hit two sixes before falling LBW to Murtaza Zoomkawala (Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas) for 21 runs off 10 balls. Bedabrata Das continued to bat well until retiring on 51 runs. The last few overs saw the bankers lose a few more wickets, but they ended up with an imposing 191 runs for 7 wickets off 20 overs.

Vijay Parthasarathi and Rabindra Jhunjhunwala (Khaitan & Co) got the lawyers off to a very good start, despite some good bowling from Harshit Talesara (IIFLCAP) and Arjun Mehotra (ICICI Securities). The lawyers were on track with the required run rate after 5 overs but a change in the bowling brought a big change to the complexion of the match. Nayyar was brought on to bowl and Jhunjhunwala tried to hit him out of the ground, only to be caught at long off by Siddiqui for 11 runs. Parthasarathi continued to bat well but when he was out for 41 runs caught by Nayyar off the bowling of Shubham Mehta (Edelweiss) the match was as good as over. A combination of very good bowling from Nayyar (3 wickets), Gaurav Sood (ICICI Securities) (3 wickets) and Mehta (2 wickets), poor shot selection and good catching saw the lawyers crumble from 50 runs for no wicket to all out for 85 runs in 14 overs. Apart from Parthasarathi and Jhunjhunwala, no lawyer got into double figures.

The match raised more than Rs. 200,000 for Bal Asha Trust, with Duane Morris & Selvam donating Rs. 100,000, Khaitan & Co Rs. 75,000 and numerous individuals making generous donations.

The match was the initiative of Jamie Benson of Duane Morris & Selvam. Benson is based in Singapore and is head of Duane Morris & Selvam’s India practice and U.S. securities law practice. Commenting on the match, Benson, who captained the lawyers’ team, said, “Congratulations to the bankers. They played very well. It would have been nice to win, but the main thing was for everyone to have an enjoyable time and to raise money for a very good cause. I am already looking forward to next year’s match.”

This year marked the 10th anniversary of the match. The first match was held to raise money for the families of the staff of the Trident Hotel killed in the 2008 terrorist attacks. Jamie Benson was holed up in the Trident Hotel for 38 hours during the attacks and was lucky enough to walk out alive. Gratifyingly, so much money was raised from various sources that no more was needed to be raised for these families. Subsequent matches have benefited the Red Cross, Oxfam and Bal Asha Trust.

Bankers: 191 runs for 7 off 20 overs (Bedabrata Das 51 retired, Siddiqui 30 and Nayyar 21) beat Lawyers: 85 runs for 10 off 14 overs (Parthasarathi 41, Jhunjhunwala 11; Nayyar 3 wickets for 10 runs off 3 overs, Sood 3 wickets for 8 runs off 2 overs and Mehta 2 wickets for 16 runs off 3 overs).

Amit Nayyar was named Man of the Match for his 3 wickets, 21 runs and 3 catches.

About Duane Morris & Selvam LLP

Duane Morris & Selvam LLP is the joint law venture consisting of international law firm Duane Morris LLP and Singapore-based Selvam LLC, with headquarters in Singapore. It serves clients throughout Asia, as well as companies based in the Americas and Europe that are conducting business in Asia and Asian entities and individuals doing business in the Americas and the United Kingdom. Duane Morris LLP, a global law firm with more than 800 attorneys in 29 offices across the United States and around the world, is asked by a broad array of clients to provide innovative solutions to today’s legal and business challenges. Throughout its more than 100-year history, Duane Morris has fostered a collegial culture, where lawyers work with each other to best serve their clients.

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Advisory excellence in Asia – empty words or finally a reality?

In an increasingly knowledgeable client market providing sophisticated, high-quality advice allows providers of wealth management services to differentiate themselves.

Typically, most private banks aim to achieve “excellence” using a structured advisory process: assessing a client over a number of elements, including risk profile, and developing a customised solution.

In Asia, however, client advisers rarely follow this process for two reasons: it is a young industry and the current incentive structures for the front-line staff.

Although the last financial crisis was an exceptional situation, it has brought into focus the need for a comprehensive client analysis as a cornerstone of high-quality advice.

In order to deliver suitable services a constant learning process is required, driven by both providers of financial services and the clients.

High-quality advice in rising demand

The demand for high-quality advice is made more acute as Asian clients are usually highly hands-on in making investment decisions compared to their European counterparts.

They are also generally more willing to take risks and are more receptive to innovative products.

Despite Asian clients continuing to taking their own decisions, the need for advice still increases, especially for the initial risk assessment.

The Asian market has several notable features that differentiate it from more mature ones.

Firstly, the largest proportion of assets generally remain with the first generation, and for private banks that means the demand for wealth planning services will increase.

Secondly, there is generally little distinction between business and personal assets, therefore an adviser who can offer solutions in both areas adds more value to their clients and can obtain a larger share of their assets.

These factors place high demands on client advisers and other wealth management specialists.

A few years ago, Singapore’s Institute of Banking and Finance installed occupational groups and corresponding standards of competence for wealth management.

Even so, while the foundations for implementing these requirements had long since been established in the form of the Wealth Management Institute, supported by government subsidies for training, the implementation of these standards is only slowly making headway in the industry.

In addition to the quality standards of advisers, the sheer availability of the required number of these trained specialists remains a key challenge for the industry.

Correct, timely decision making

The opportunities for growth in Asia remain enormous.

To take advantage of this, major adaptations to systems, processes, and change management approaches are necessary in order to successfully develop a business in a sustainable manner.

The correct use of expert knowledge will play a central role in the quick development and sustained implementation of solutions in Asia.

Many private banks still work with the “everything for everyone” approach, with no clear differentiation for client segments.

Advisers often have too many clients to be able to really focus. Inadequate processes and a lack of suitable systems compound this.

Furthermore, advisers require continuous support in the provision of advice to their clients, especially for cross-border activities, where the requirements change constantly.

In addition to the necessary and continuous advanced training, advisers must also be able to rely on an efficient infrastructure to assess their client’s needs and to develop robust solutions.

This can be an important factor, especially in Asia, for companies who wish to retain existing and attract new advisers.

Central to any change is a universal vision carried by every employee, regardless of their level.

Resulting initiatives need to be incorporated within a uniform strategic framework to ensure resources are effectively used, employees are committed thanks to logical and consistent communication, and the interaction between the headquarters and the Asian management team is optimised.

A shared vision also helps convince clients about the benefits of an ongoing relationship, as opposed to a pure transaction-oriented business.

Mario Bassi is managing director and Asia head at Solution Providers Singapore, Management Consulting