Finance Monthly. Editor’s Note Welcome to the latest issue of Finance Monthly magazine! As we continue to navigate the ever-evolving landscape of the global economy, our team at Finance Monthly is committed to providing you with the latest insights and analysis to keep you informed and empowered in all things finance. In this issue, we dive into key topics and trends shaping the world of finance. In addition, we explore investment trends and the biggest IPOs of all time and provide insight into who to follow on social media in cryptocurrency. Our industry experts provide in-depth analysis on topics ranging from mergers and acquisitions risk management, and regulatory changes to help you stay ahead in an ever-changing financial landscape. As always, we feature exclusive interviews with influential leaders in the finance industry, providing valuable insights and perspectives on current market trends, challenges, and opportunities. We also take pride in showcasing success stories and innovative strategies adopted by financial institutions and individuals and celebrate the achievements of finance professionals who positively impact their respective fields. On behalf of the entire Finance Monthly team, I would like to express our gratitude to our readers, contributors, and partners for your continued support. We are dedicated to delivering the highest quality content to keep you informed and inspired as we navigate the complexities of the financial world together. Thank you for being part of the Finance Monthly community. We hope you find this issue insightful and informative. Mark Palmer Editor email@example.com Copyright 2023 Published by Universal Media Ltd The views expressed in the articles within Finance Monthly are the contributors’ own, nothing within the announcements or articles should be construed as a profit forecast. All rights reserved. Material contained within this publication is not to be reproduced in whole or part without the prior permission of Finance Monthly. Circulation details can be found at www.finance-monthly.com Universal Media Ltd PO Box 17858, Tamworth, B77 9QG United Kingdom 0044 (0) 1543 255 537 Follow us on Instagram Financemonthly Find us on Facebook Finance Monthly Stay Connected www.linkedin.com/finance-monthly Tweet us @Finance_Monthly Monthly Finance 3
Finance Monthly. Contents 4 CONTENTS THE MONTHLY ROUND-UP News You Can’t Afford to Miss 6. 12. FRONT COVER FEATURE THE MOST SUCCESSFUL IPO’S REVEALED An Interview with Jimmy Kodo Finance Monthly Legal Awards 2022 Arbitration Lawyer of the Year Winner SPECIAL FEATURE 18. 7 Tips to Improve Your Investment Strategy and Avoid Common Investment Pitfalls The Three Companies Retail Investors Should Watch in Q2 INVESTMENT 26. 28.
Finance Monthly. 5 Contents LMPG Acquires Eight Brands of Street and Urban Lighting Solutions Omnes Capital Takes a Stake in CCE Holding Doctolib’s Acquisition of Siilo 64. TRANSACTION REPORTS 65. It is Too Early to Bet on King Dollar’s Demise 34. 54. 28. The Three Companies Retail Investors Should Watch in Q2 How Can The BoE Make Sure Britcoin Strikes the Right Notes? 66. FINANCIAL INNOVATION & FINTECH How Can The BoE Make Sure Britcoin Strikes the Right Notes? An Interview With Eugene DeVilliers Finance Monthly Global Awards 2022 FinTech Firm of the Year Winner 54. 58. BUSINESS & ECONOMY It is Too Early to Bet on King Dollar’s Demise Underlying Obstacles to be Aware of When Buying a House All-Cash What Companies Can Do to Support Working Parents 34. 36. 40. BANKING & FINANCIAL SERVICES Is The Banking Sector Heading for Another Meltdown? Expert Insight into Taxation From Joseph Lentini The Digital Revolution of Central Banks 46. 48. 50.
Finance Monthly. 6 THE MONTHLY ROUND-UP News You Can’t Afford to Miss The Monthly Round-Up APPROVAL OF MICA REGULATION European lawmakers have given final approval of the EU’s Markets in Cryptoassets, or MiCA, regulation this morning, which will make it the first major jurisdiction in the world to introduce a comprehensive crypto law. Andrew Whitworth, Policy Director, EMEA at Ripple commented: “The European Parliament’s passing of MiCA is an important milestone for the crypto industry around the world.. Now that the EU has provided comprehensive clarity about the regulatory treatment of the crypto industry, it is up to the European Supervisory Authorities and National Competent Authorities to develop the specific rules and requirements for firms. Consistency in implementation around the EU will be key in providing crypto companies with the operational clarity to fuel innovation across Europe and guard against unwitting fragmentation of the Single Market. As part of this, there is a need to ensure that the legislation is applied proportionally with regards to how different companies’ crypto offerings are treated, based on the risk profiles of their activities. “Fundamentally, this is an exciting development for the industry and we look forward to supporting the EU and national authorities as they apply the regulation to ensure the European crypto industry thrives and grows.”
Finance Monthly. 7 The Monthly Round-Up UK BUSINESSES RAISE PRICES AT SLOWEST RATE IN TWO YEARS UK businesses increased their prices for goods and services at the slowest pace in almost two years in March, according to the Lloyds Bank UK Sector Tracker, indicating UK inflation was likely to ease further in the coming months. The Tracker’s measure of price inflation across UK manufacturing and services sectors fell from 62.2 in February to 58.9 in March. This was its lowest level since April 2021, and the largest month-on-month decline since April 2020. A reading on the Tracker above 50.0 indicates price inflation, while a reading below 50.0 indicates price deflation. Of the 14 sectors monitored by the Tracker, 11 registered softer rises in output prices compared to ten in February. Manufacturers of technology equipment (61.3 in March vs. 68.8 in February) and automobiles (60.7 vs. 67.8) posted the fastest deceleration in price rises. Firms in these sectors indicated their ability to slow the pace of price increases was supported by improved supply conditions and weaker rises in their own input costs. Notably, the Tracker’s Suppliers’ Delivery Times Index – a measure of supply chain performance – rose to its highest level since records began in 1992 in March, as respondents reported better raw material availability. Mentions of ‘material shortages’ by manufacturers surveyed by the Tracker fell to the lowest level since July 2020. The Tracker’s measure of input cost inflation across UK manufacturing and services sectors also dropped to its lowest level in nearly two years (67.4 in March vs. 69.5 in February). Of the 14 sectors monitored, ten saw drops in their Input Prices Index in March, with two sectors, household product (49.6) and chemical (42.7) manufacturers, seeing overall price deflation. Food and drink manufacturing (75.0 vs. 60.3) bucked this trend in March, seeing input costs rise amid an increase in food prices. The slowing in price pressures came as nine of 14 sectors saw output expand compared to 11 in February. The sectors with the strongest growth were software and services (60.4) and tourism and recreation (57.9). The former benefitted from a renewed rise in demand in March, with new orders for the sector hitting an eleven-month high. Strong activity in the latter follows a recent surge in holiday bookings, albeit new orders fell in March suggesting that demand had lost some momentum. Jeavon Lolay, Head of Economics and Market Insight at Lloyds Bank Corporate & Institutional Banking, said: “Our report shows a significant downward shift in price trends after a run of elevated, and accelerating, inflation. If businesses’ input cost and supply pressures continue to weaken, this should see consumer price inflation slow – as firms increasingly adjust prices based on the demand for their goods and services. “However, the food and drink sector continued to face cost headwinds, indicating that food price inflation is likely to remain high in the coming months. Not only will this likely tighten the purse strings for many households, it will also generally leave less for spending on more discretionary purchases.” Scott Barton, Managing Director, Lloyds Bank Corporate & Institutional Banking, added: “March’s data suggests that many sectors feel they have more leeway – or are under more pressure from customers – to slow the prices they charge for their goods or services. Management teams will need to be mindful on setting prices that will maintain or grow demand, and that will support cashflow and margins. “In what are still uncertain conditions, having heightened oversight of operational metrics and keeping focus on working capital will be key – ensuring that businesses can confidently make the changes and investment they need to stay competitive and resilient.”
8 Finance Monthly. The Monthly Round-Up FintechOS PARTNERS WITH EY TO SUPPORT INNOVATION FOR FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS The EY organization today announces an alliance between FintechOS, a financial technology company, and Ernst & Young SRL (EY Romania) to simplify and support the launch and service of banking and insurance products and support detailed transformation journeys through innovation, business knowledge and the implementation of FintechOS’ fintech enablement platform. As businesses increasingly digitalize, customer and employee behaviors change, providing opportunities to build better customer experiences and more efficient business models. With digital transformation being a top priority in the industry, this Alliance will blend the EY Romania sector business and regulatory deep knowledge with innovation and implementation skills and offer competitive edge, scalability and security through the FintechOS innovative cloud-native platform. Nigel Moden, EY EMEIA Banking & Capital Markets Leader, says: “This collaboration has the potential to transform how banks operate, from data management processes to product development and customer service. Across Europe, banks have made steady progress to digitalize their systems and processes, but the pace must increase as competition from other industries grows. It is fundamental to invest in innovation and technology to support clients as they tackle numerous headwinds, while always maintaining focus on bringing new products to market and providing a service customers expect.” Andrei Ratiu, EY–FintechOS Alliance Leader, Ernst & Young SRL, says: “To continue supporting the financial service industry digital transformation, EY Romania is thrilled to combine the business and technology capabilities with FintechOS. This Alliance reinforces one more time our strategy to collaborate with financial service institutions for long-term value generation initiatives and support in their strategy, business and technological endeavors to better address client and ecosystem necessities. Hence, banks and insurance companies will be able to be much faster and more efficient in the market with solid services for new or redesigned products and omnichannel optimized customers and internal journeys.” Teo Blidarus, CEO, FintechOS, says: “Working alongside EY Romania, FintechOS is excited to offer businesses a technology-driven approach to modernizing IT landscapes, resulting in faster time-to-market for new financial products and improved experiences for customers. With this Alliance, businesses can streamline their operating models and speed up innovation with minimal disruption, while delivering seamless, personalized, efficient, and scalable digital experiences. Ultimately, the goal is to drive growth, improve value for clients, and boost customer satisfaction through digital transformation.”
9 Finance Monthly. The Monthly Round-Up CRÉDIT AGRICOLE CIB STRENGTHENS ITS NORDICS PRESENCE WITH DENMARK BRANCH OPENING Crédit Agricole CIB [The Bank] announces the opening of a branch in Copenhagen, Denmark. This initiative is part of the Bank’s strategic plan consisting of reinforcing Crédit Agricole CIB’s ambition in Europe and as part of it seize the great potential the Nordic market brings. Crédit Agricole CIB has already been serving the Danish market for decades from its network in the Nordic region. The Bank now benefits from a local presence that will enable it to better support its clients’ needs and accompany them with their business development. As a global leader in sustainable finance, Crédit Agricole CIB will in particular develop its CSR offer for companies and financial institutions in Denmark, a country which has placed energy transition and renewables at the core of its economy. Thus, the Bank aims at offering a strong value proposition to accompany its Danish clients in their sustainability journey. Frédéric Beaujean will become the Denmark Branch Manager. Based in Copenhagen, Frédéric will report to Blake Wright, Senior Country Officer for the Nordic Countries. He also remains in his current role as Senior Banker, Private Capital Group for the Nordics. YAPILY APPOINTS NEW UK SVP OF SALES Yapily, Europe’s leading open banking platform, has appointed Stefano Paoletti as SVP of Sales, UK. Stefano will be responsible for the company’s UK sales strategy and execution, and will be the driving force behind breakthrough growth in the region. Stefano was among the first employees at Token.io where he led the commercial function and drove global expansion. Most recently, he was the VP of Growth at Ozone API, and has also held senior leadership positions at The Logic Group and Barclays. This news followings the recent appointments of Lisa Gutu, the former COO at Salt Edge, as Yapily’s VP of Sales, and Marc Kuzak, former UK Lead Counsel at Plaid as Yapily’s VP of Legal.
10 Finance Monthly. The Monthly Round-Up PRIVATE EQUITY & VENTURE CAPITAL INVESTMENT IN SPAIN REACHES AN ALL-TIME HIGH Oriol Pinya, President of SpainCap, announced this morning the results of Venture Capital & Private Equity activity in Spain in 2022 and the estimate for the first quarter of 2023 during the celebration of the Association’s Annual Congress: “Capital for a Sustainable Future”. The opening was led by economist Andreu Mas-Colell, with the participation of exceptional speakers such as Javier Goyeneche, founder of ECOALF, and Elena Rico, vice-president of SpainCap and Managing Partner at Impact Partners Ibérica. The congress was supported by Deloitte, Norgestión, Inversis, Inveready, Miura Partners and KWM. The volume of Venture Capital & Private Equity investment in Spain in 2022 surpassed any record high: €9,24BN in 958 investments. International funds recorded record investment in Spanish companies: €7,406M and 15 megadeals (deals of more than €100M) were closed. Domestic private funds invested €1,685M€ in 592 investments and domestic public funds €147M€ in 144 investments. Mid-market transactions (investments between €10M-€100M) accounted for 33% of the total volume invested, with 114 investments made in 2022. Divestment (at cost) amounted to €1,95bn in 437 divestments. New resources raised by domestic private entities reached a volume of €2,62bn in 2022. Q1 2023 ESTIMATE During the first quarter of 2023, the Venture Capital & Private Equity sector invested a volume of €2,17bn in 219 investments, of which 179 corresponded to Venture Capital and 40 to Private Equity. The midmarket sector (transactions between €10M-100M) closed 23 deals. FUNANGA LAUNCHES IN NORTH AMERICA WITH NOW PREPAY Funanga, the Berlin-based instant cash payment service for online merchants, today announced its expansion into Canada – with plans for a US launch in early 2024. Funanga’s new partnership with Canadian point of sale network, Now Prepay by Payment Source, will enable users to make in-store cash payments via Funanga’s CashtoCode service to purchase digital goods and top up digital accounts or ewallets. The service is now available at more than 15,000 Now Prepay retail locations nationwide including Canadian Post Offices. Now Prepay is known for quality and speed of service, providing a first-tomarket approach, driving innovative payment solutions in Canada. Funanga users in Canada can also make online purchases with Funanga’s evoucher service, by using the Funanga smartphone app or web browser. A launch in North America was a key target for Funanga at the start of 2023, and a Canadian integration was requested from several Funanga merchants and many customers who wanted to use the service in the region. With this expansion, Funanga’s CashtoCode service is now available on every continent. “North America is an important market for us and our global online merchants and brands,” said Jens Bader, Funanga CEO. “Many of our existing merchants have a strong user base in Canada and we hope to develop more relationships across the country. We also hope that our technical integration and ongoing trade there will provide a launchpad for US expansion next year.” “CashtoCode offers a reliable, secure, and inclusive alternate payment option for our customers,” said Jason Groulx, Vice President Merchant Services at Payment Source. “We are committed to providing the most trusted and convenient payment options for customers, as well as pursuing exciting new opportunities with innovative payment services and technical partners. We are delighted to add Funanga’s hugely popular CashtoCode service to our portfolio and look forward to a long and successful partnership.”
11 Finance Monthly. The Monthly Round-Up PERFETTI VAN MELLE APPOINTS NEW FINANCIAL DIRECTOR - ANNELI REITER Leading confectionery manufacturer Perfetti Van Melle has appointed a new UK Financial Director. Anneli Reiter joins the company from Perrigo pharmaceuticals and comes to helm the Perfetti finance team at a very exciting time. They reached a sales milestone of £100m in Q4 of last year and their flagship sugar-free mint brand, Smint, is now worth £10m , making it the number one sugar free mint brand in the UK , superseding competitors and growing at three times the rate of the category. Anneli started her career in her native Estonia, joining KPMG in 2001 before relocating to Birmingham and then Nottingham with the company, working primarily in external auditing and management assurance. After ten years with KPMG she moved to Britvic, working in cash and working capital management and then as Brand Finance Manager for Robinsons and Fruit Shoot before moving to Perrigo, where she progressed to Head of Commercial Finance. She joined the Perfetti Van Melle team in January 2023. Speaking of her appointment, Anneli Reiter said: “Perfetti Van Melle is in a significant period of growth, and I am excited to step into my first directorship role at a time when I can effect meaningful change. My goal is to use a holistic view of how the finance function fits into the overall business model to set a clear strategy that will steward this fast-paced growth to long-term benefits. Finance can sometimes be viewed as a support function, but I believe that it should be viewed as a business partner – and I know that this aligns with Perfetti Van Melle’s operational mentality. “Even during my interview process I could tell Perfetti Van Melle is a wonderful company to work for. There is demonstrable passion and pride from employees at every level. Packaging innovations such as their industry-first Mentos Gum paperboard bottle and the recent change of Chupa Chups sticks from plastic to paper also proved to me that the company is also serious about their commitments to sustainability, which is an issue very close to my heart. “Working with such famous household name brands was also a draw. When I was growing up in Estonia it was still part of the Soviet Union, so there was no advertising allowed. When that regime fell, the first advertising I saw was the Mentos ‘Freshmaker’ campaign – it was everywhere! So when this role came up, it really felt like a sign. I also now get to eat sweets at work every day – and what could be better than that?” Jonny Briscoe, UK MD at Perfetti Van Melle, said: “We are delighted that Anneli has chosen to come on board at such a key time for us. The company continues to move from strength to strength, and Anneli is absolutely the right person to help lead the business through the next phase of our commercial success and beyond. “Her appointment also brings our executive leadership team a step closer to gender parity, a vitally important piece of progress as we work continuously to make positive changes to the culture of the business. “We’ve recently been awarded Top Employer status in the UK and Europe for the third year in a row. Perfetti Van Melle UK achieved 98.81% in an assessment criteria pillar centred around a demonstrably positive leadership and work environment, and almost 100% against the ‘organisation and change’ scoring criteria. These scores combine to improve on the company’s 2022 TE score by almost 10%, achieving results comparable to businesses twice our size.”
12 Finance Monthly. Investment THE MOST SUCCESSFUL IPOs A new study has revealed which companies’ stock prices have risen the most since their IPO. The team at City Index have looked at which companies’ stock prices have risen the most since their IPO to establish which are the most recent successful IPOs. The full study can be accessed here: www.cityindex.com/en-uk/news-and-analysis/global-ipo-success/
13 Finance Monthly. Investment IPO Date 12/03/2021 Stock Price at IPO $19.00 Stock Price Now $112.14 Stock Price Change 490.21% How much $1,000 (USD) invested would be worth now $5,902 IPO Date 29/04/2022 Stock Price at IPO $6.00 Stock Price Now $30.16 Stock Price Change 402.67% How much $1,000 (USD) invested would be worth now $5,027 IPO Date 02/10/2020 Stock Price at IPO $13.00 Stock Price Now $57.51 Stock Price Change 342.38% How much $1,000 (USD) invested would be worth now $4,424 IPO Date 24/11/2020 Stock Price at IPO $10.00 Stock Price Now $36.50 Stock Price Change 265.00% How much $1,000 (USD) invested would be worth now $3,650 IPO Date 23/07/2020 Stock Price at IPO $15.00 Stock Price Now $50.91 Stock Price Change 239.40% How much $1,000 (USD) invested would be worth now $3,394 IPO Date 25/09/2020 Stock Price at IPO $5.75 Stock Price Now $19.36 Stock Price Change 236.70% How much $1,000 (USD) invested would be worth now $3,367 IPO Date 17/07/2020 Stock Price at IPO $18.00 Stock Price Now $60.05 Stock Price Change 233.61% How much $1,000 (USD) invested would be worth now $3,336 IPO Date 08/04/2020 Stock Price at IPO $16.00 Stock Price Now $53.21 Stock Price Change 232.56% How much $1,000 (USD) invested would be worth now $3,326 IPO Date 29/01/2020 Stock Price at IPO $6.00 Stock Price Now $19.41 Stock Price Change 223.50% How much $1,000 (USD) invested would be worth now $3,235 IPO Date 16/07/2021 Stock Price at IPO $9.50 Stock Price Now $30.00 Stock Price Change 215.79% How much $1,000 (USD) invested would be worth now $3,158 Prometheus Biosciences has had the most successful IPO in recent years, the pharmaceutical company had an IPO in March 2021. When it was initially floated the share price was $19 but has since risen to over $112 - meaning that investing $1,000 in the IPO would be worth $5,902 today. Another stock that’s risen over 400% since its IPO is Belite Bio, which is also a pharmaceutical company. This San Diego-based company was founded in 2016 and went public six years later in April 2022. If you had invested $1,000 in the Belite Bio IPO you’d now have $5,027 worth of stock. Academy is an American sporting goods company which had the third-highest increase in the stock price of any company that has gone public in recent years. The share price rose by almost 350% since the company was floated in October 2020. This means that a return of $4,424 could have been made from a $1,000 investment in this IPO. THE TOP 10 RECENT IPOS WITH THE BIGGEST STOCK PRICE INCREASE:
14 Finance Monthly. Investment THE TOP 10 BIGGEST IPOS OF ALL TIME: Country Saudi Arabia Industry Energy IPO Year 2019 Funds Raised (USD) $25,600,000,000 Country China Industry Technology IPO Year 2014 Funds Raised (USD) $21,800,000,000 Country Japan Industry Banking IPO Year 2018 Funds Raised (USD) $21,300,000,000 Country Japan Industry Communication IPO Year 1998 Funds Raised (USD) $18,100,000,000 Country Hong Kong Industry Financial Services IPO Year 2014 Funds Raised (USD) $21,800,000,000 Country USA Industry Financial Services IPO Year 2009 Funds Raised (USD) $17,400,000,000 Country Italy Industry Utilities IPO Year 1999 Funds Raised (USD) $16,400,000,000 Country USA Industry Technology IPO Year 2012 Funds Raised (USD) $16,000,000,000 Country USA Industry Transport IPO Year 2010 Funds Raised (USD) $15,800,000,000 Country China Industry Financial Services IPO Year 2006 Funds Raised (USD) $14,000,000,000 OTHER FINDINGS: Amazon was the second quickest company to go public. Coca Cola was the slowest company to go public. Funded in 1892, it only went public in 1919, after 27 years. Coca-Cola was one of just four companies in the 25 largest to take more than 20 years to become public, another was its big rival Pepsi. The largest IPO of all time occurred in 2019 when Saudi Aramco oil company was floated. The offering generated over $25 billion in investment, beating the previous record holder by almost $4 billion. Aramco’s public market cap is almost $2 trillion - as of March 2023 - making it the third most valuable company in the world after technology giants Apple and Microsoft. Alibaba is a Chinese technology company founded by Jack Ma in 1999 which has gone on to become one of the most valuable companies in the world, it made over $100 billion in revenue in 2022. Its IPO generated almost $22 billion when it was floated on the New York Stock Exchange in 2014, a record for an IPO at the time. The SoftBank Group is a Japanese holding company which has interests in many different industries, including owning almost 24% of Alibaba. The SoftBank Corporation is an affiliate business that is the third-largest wireless carrier in Japan, and it was this wing of SoftBank which had the third-largest IPO in history in 2018. The offering made $21.3 billion, just $500 million less than Alibaba four years earlier.
15 Finance Monthly. Investment
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Special Feature 18 Finance Monthly. Dr Mahutodji Jimmy Vital Kodo is an Attorney at Law in France with significant experience as an International Arbitrator specialising in Commercial and Investment Disputes. He is a member of many renowned arbitration centres such as the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in the Netherlands; the Africa Commission of the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in France; the Singapore International Arbitration Court Users Council (SIAC) in Singapore. From 2014 to 2016, he was the Technical Advisor to the President of the Common Court of Justice and Arbitration (CCJA) of the Organisation for the Harmonisation of Business Law in Africa (OHADA - Côte d’Ivoire), the only attorney to have held such position within the Organisation since its creation. A Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (FCIArb - United Kingdom), Dr Kodo is a certified arbitrator of the CCJA and is listed on the Arbitrator Roster list of many institutions around the world (inter alia, LCA - Nigeria; MIAC – Mauritius; KIAC – Rwanda; IAI - France and the Shanghai Arbitration Commission - SHAC - China). He also played a critical role as an independent practitioner, acting as co-arbitrator in investor-state disputes and as sole arbitrator and counsel in commercial and construction disputes in both English and French. In 2021, as a consultant for the Investment Climate Reform (ICR) Facility (co-funded by the European Union, the Organization of African, Caribbean and Pacific States and implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH - GIZ, the British Council - BC, Expertise France - EF, and Stichting Nederlandse Ontwikkelingsorganisatie - Netherlands Development Organisation, SNV), he revised the Arbitration Rules of the National Centre for Arbitration, Conciliation and Mediation (CENACOM) of Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, and also trained more than 80 arbitrators of the centre.
Finance Monthly. Special Feature 19 Can you please tell us about some of the work that you are undertaking at the moment? While my office is based out in the Paris region in France where I specialise in litigation and arbitration, I currently have a strong presence on the African continent. Recently, as a consultant for the Investment Climate Reform (ICR) Facility, I drafted the revised version of the Arbitration Rules of a country in the Central Africa region and trained more than 80 arbitrators of the centre. I am currently working on an English version of the Arbitration Rules of a Centre in the Region. One of my passion lies in helping others succeed. I contribute to the success of my peers by working on several arbitration-related books and preparing training material for arbitrators. What led you to pursue a career in finance and ADR (alternative dispute resolution)? I need to confess that initially, I was not particularly attracted to finance. As a child, I wanted to become a judge. However, I realised with time that I would not want to be led by the circumstances of a case to sentence an innocent person to jail. Thus, I decided to become a lawyer instead. When I was at the Bar school in Paris, an attorney specialised in alternative dispute resolution came to speak to us. What I learned from his several decades of experience in arbitration impacted me and I was “contaminated” by his passion for ADR – especially arbitration. He taught me I could still act “as a judge” without the framework of the court system if I served on a panel as an arbitrator. FINANCE MONTHLY LEGAL AWARDS 2022 WINNER ARBITRATION LAWYER OF THE YEAR JIMMY KODO Avocat à la Cour
Special Feature 20 Finance Monthly. What significant challenges did you overcome to get to where you are today? As a young lawyer from a visible minority, who had to start from scratch in a very competitive and highly selective environment, without having graduated from a top-tier law school and lacking experience from a “big law firm”... I have had to overcome these and many more challenges. What development have you observed in your jurisdiction during your time working in the arbitration and ADR sector? France, with the ICC Arbitration Court in Paris and its arbitration legislation and court system, is highly regarded as a great place for ADR. I have been struck by the way some recent arbitrationrelated court rulings of the Paris Court of Appeal and sometimes the French “Cour de cassation” (France’s highest court handling arbitration-related disputes) on the limitation of the CompetenceCompetence principle by the public policy, in cases such as Indrago and Belokon, seem to confuse some seasoned arbitration specialists. This is notable, as such limits were set from the very beginning by one of the first landmark cases on the limitation of the CompetenceCompetence principle by public policy in arbitration, dating back to 1963 (see Cass. 1° civ.7-5-1963: Bull. civ. I n°246). What pitfalls should parties preparing to arbitrate watch out for? There are many such pitfalls. At an early stage, even before disputes arise – such as while contracts are being drafted – it is important to avoid “pathological clauses”, i.e. dispute resolution clauses so poorly drafted that they can lead to a dispute on their own or make the resolution of a dispute they are designed to help solve more complicated, if not impossible. Parties (counsel in most cases) should also avoid choosing a centre they do not know well, and take basic precautions such as ensuring that every party to a contract is clearly designated in the contract by specifying the address and the corporate registration number for a corporation or legal entities. While there is already a dispute, some pitfalls to watch out for include poor counsel and arbitrator selection, not waiving the appropriate provisions of the Rules of the chosen centre (where applicable) and untimely objection-raising, whether on jurisdiction of the arbitral tribunal or on admissibility of evidence or a witness statement. What would you suggest to a party undergoing this process to be careful with in order to ensure the best result? I would insist again on careful selection of counsel; it is also important to adopt a proper strategy regarding costs because at the end, most tribunals would consider the general “behaviour” of parties during the proceedings while allocating costs. So, any party that attempted to use dilatory tactics during the proceedings may end up having to bear the costs of the opposing party or a substantial part of them. Do you have any other advice to offer for counsel regarding arbitration? In addition to the advice above, I would suggest a careful selection of the seat of the arbitration – keeping in mind, to the greatest extent possible, the jurisdiction under which a potential award would be enforced. Many practitioners tend to care only about the venue (seat of the arbitration) and the applicable rules, but the most important thing is the ease with which the prevailing party will or will not be able to enforce the arbitral award. In many cases, the jurisdiction in which an award is being enforced (usually
Finance Monthly. Special Feature 21 where the losing party has assets) is much more important than the seat of the tribunal. Therefore, it is important to watch for the potential place(s) for enforcement. If you have the perfect arbitral award that stands all challenges, but which you cannot enforce in the only jurisdiction where there are assets, because the judge in that jurisdiction considers your award to be in breach of their public policy, you would have laboured in vain. It can be a true challenge to determine in advance the jurisdiction in which one might need to seek enforcement of an arbitral award; but the more predictable it will be, the easier it will be to organise. It is not always possible, but parties must watch out for that. Is there a particular piece of advice that you would give to a less experienced legal practitioner who wants to specialise in arbitration? First, I would suggest getting proper training in arbitration, whether in a university or by specialised institutions. Personally, I was trained by the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, of which I am a Fellow. However, there are many other very good institutions out there providing substantial training in arbitration. Second, attend arbitration-related events (conferences, workshops, etc.) and use them to network. Read and write on the topic whenever you can; embrace any opportunity to speak at such events and any opportunity to serve as secretary to an arbitral tribunal. For any of the above, strive to be meticulous. If you had to choose, which of your career achievements are you most proud of having accomplished? This question is somewhat challenging, because there are many achievements I am proud of and it is not easy to choose between them. One of them is that I was able to introduce specific provisions in the revised Arbitration Rules I drafted for a centre in a Central African country as mentioned above, to ensure more diversity, at different levels, in the selection and appointment of arbitrators by the centre. I also included provisions that would enable the collection of anonymous data and any other relevant information, as well as the establishment of annual statistics to assess diversity and determine where improvement may be needed. To the best of my knowledge, it is probably the first time that such provisions are included in the Rules of an arbitration centre, and I believe their impact can be measured very quickly if they are well implemented. Do you have a particular creed or philosophy you live by? Of course: “You shall not pervert justice; you shall not show partiality, nor take a bribe …” (Deuteronomy 16:19). What it is that motivates you to achieve success for your clients? The determination to achieve excellence and unquestioned loyalty to my clients without compromise. At an early stage, even before disputes arise – such as while contracts are being drafted – it is important to avoid “pathological clauses.” “ “
Special Feature 22 Finance Monthly. Can you share anything about your plans for the remainder of the year? I hope to be enlisted on the panel of arbitrators of more arbitration centres. I will also make myself available for accepting more appointments as an abritrator before the end of the year, and for teaching law again at universities as well as to practitioners, another activity that I am passionate about. Besides that, l am currently preparing some training materials for arbitrators and working on many book projects. One of those books, already published, is the Annotated OHADA Code (“Code pratique OHADA: Traité, Actes uniformes et Règlements annotés” (Editions Francis Lefebvre, 5th edition, forthcoming, 2022). It is a treatise which contains, among other things, a structured presentation of the substantial arbitration Rules applicable in the 17 African States that have signed and ratified the treaty creating the Organisation for the Harmonisation of Business Law in Africa, known as the “OHADA Treaty”, as well as cases applying those Rules. That Treaty created a unified business legislation currently covering 10 areas of economic activities including arbitration and mediation. The key institution of the Organisation, the Common Court of Justice and Arbitration (CCJA) ensures unification of case law as its rulings in all the OHADA-related matters, including mediation and arbitration (except criminal offences), are final and binding in all the 17 Member States. I am preparing a revision of that book, along with other publication projects. Have you been influenced or inspired by any person in your career? I draw my inspiration from many persons, some of whom I have had the privilege of knowing or working with personally. In no particular order: First, the late Professor Emmanuel Gaillard, who was a legend and an arbitration genius. I have learned a lot from him during the four years I have known him. He was a great mentor in the field of arbitration and while we had several interesting projects before his untimely passing in 2021, I am honoured that he has prefaced my book on Arbitration in Africa under OHADA Rules. Second, the late Henry Saint Dahl, esq., from whom I learned a lot on American law and the US legal system. I had the chance to teach a seminar on US legal system with him. He contributed to the Annotated OHADA Code (mentioned earlier and of which I am the current director) by sending us selected US cases and precedents for comparative illustration. He had a great sense of justice and was always thinking of innovative ways to help those in need. Third, having had to build my law and arbitration practice from scratch, I can relate to the courage and determination that it took for Charlotte E Ray, the first African American female attorney and first female admitted to the District of Columbia Bar, to open her law practice in Washington DC at that time. Fourth, emeritus Professor Barthélemy Mercadal, who has been and is still a great source of inspiration. Finally, The Honourable Marcel Serekoïsse-Samba, former Chief Justice of the Common Court of I would suggest getting proper training in arbitration, whether in a university or by specialised institutions. “ “
Finance Monthly. Special Feature 23 In 2020, Dr Kodo authored the book ‘Arbitration in Africa under OHADA Rules’ (published by Kluwer Law International; foreword by Dr Won Kidane, esq., and prefaced by Professor Emmanuel Gaillard). Justice and Arbitration, the highest Court of the Organisation for the Harmonisation of Business Law in Africa (OHADA), to whom I was privileged to be the Technical Advisor. I have learned from him to think carefully before judging, and that is a rule of thumb I live by each time I seat as arbitrator. What does this award mean to you? It is a very special honour to me to win the Finance Monthly Award of Arbitration Lawyer of the Year 2022 - France. I am incredibly thankful to all the participants in the process leading to this prestigious award because you do not achieve success independently. It speaks volume to me that success starts with the trust – of your clients when acting as lawyer, and of the peers, arbitration centres and parties that choose to entrust you with their cases by appointing you as arbitrator. It also comes from the recognition of your peers and the arbitration community. I would never have received this award on my own and without the support of my peers, clients and mentors. This prestigious award, that means a great deal to me, is also a way to express my gratitude to all those who helped me get where I am at today. I feel indebted to all of them and committed to continue achieving excellence without compromise. I also feel energised to give back what has been so generously given me in terms of mentoring and to surround myself with people who are smarter than me.
Investment 26. 7 Tips to Improve Your Investment Strategy and Avoid Common Investment Pitfalls The Three Companies Retail Investors Should Watch in Q2 28.
7 TIPS To Improve Your Investment Strategy and Avoid Common INVESTMENT PITFALLS Investment 26 Finance Monthly.
Investing can be an effective way to build up wealth. As we navigate the post-pandemic world, people are feeling more confident investing money, with Google recently seeing a massive 3,450% increase in searches for “best investments 2023.” More people are wanting to get into investing or expand their portfolio as seen by the 9 million people discussing investing and over 1.8 million people discussing “how to invest”. Knowing how to take care of your investments so they flourish is critical. The team at private and commercial banking firm Arbuthnot Latham have provided a helpful guide on the most common mistakes investors make and how you can avoid them. Emotional attachment to a losing position Before you invest, decide how much you are willing to lose, either as a percentage or in cash terms. This helps you decide based on logic rather than fear or emotion when to hold out the storm and when to cut your losses. Getting emotional about stocks is something we see often with clients when a position is inherited or gifted from older generations. Rather than hanging on, it may be a good time to diversify to obtain exposure to a varied range of industries and sectors. Concentrating on a few investments You have no doubt heard some version of the phrase: “Don’t put all your eggs into one basket.” The logic is sound. If you invest in 100 stocks and one goes to zero you lose 1%, but if you invest in 10 stocks and one goes to zero you lose 10%. Investing in different asset classes, geographies, and strategies, including a diversified portfolio of good companies can both protect and enhance capital over the long term through many economic and market cycles. Confusing luck with skill Just because you made money doesn’t mean it was a good investment. Maintain a sense of weariness around investments that can be volatile. Beware of overconfidence, both in terms of the quality of your information and in your ability to act on the information in a timely manner. A rising market lifts all ships. Assuming a stock with a low price is undervalued Share prices are not a reflection of the true value or opportunity in company. The company behind the share price is. Sometimes stocks just never bounce back. Not knowing your batting average Being wrong is normal. Getting it right 60% of the time is a good batting average and what is most important is looking at the overall historical performance to ensure on average your investing is right more often than not. Getting distracted by the social media circus It is easy to get caught up in the click-bait headlines, trending social media posts and viral stories, but it is not advisable to track performance too frequently. It can distract from the bigger picture and can be easy to get swayed by both good and bad news. Extending the recent past into the future and not acknowledging the potential for change Forces driving the market today can change rapidly. It is human nature to take the recent past and apply it to the future. Accepting things change rapidly and without warning will avoid you making costly errors. Finance Monthly. Investment 27
With countries across the globe experiencing an unpredictable financial future, the last few months have been important for organisations – especially the fourth quarter of 2022 and the first quarter of 2023. However, among this uncertainty, there have been organisations that have seen to exceed expectations, helping alleviate doubt among investors. With this in mind, Maxim Manturov, Head of Investment Research at Freedom Finance Europe, outlines the three companies that have outperformed expectations and should be watched carefully by retail investors as we begin Q2. THE THREE COMPANIES RETAIL INVESTORS SHOULD WATCH IN Q2 Maxim Manturov Head of Investment Research reedom Finance Europe Investment 28 Finance Monthly.
TESLA Even in tough times for the electric car industry, the company reported record quarterly revenues of $24.3 billion (£19.8 bn) in the fourth quarter of 2022. That’s a 37% increase over last year and above Wall Street expectations. The company remains profitable, which is rare for electric vehicle manufacturers. EPS - earnings per stock, Tesla rose 40% in Q4 to $1.19 (£0.96). On a year-on-year basis, net income is up 85% in 2022 to $14.1 billion (£11.3 bn). The company was able to cope relatively well with supply chain issues. Production was up 44% to 439,701 vehicles. Deliveries were up 31% to 405,278 in the fourth quarter and up 40% year-on-year to 1.31 million units. Tesla expects demand to be twice as fast as production. The CEO’s comment, along with his claims of lower unit production costs, allayed concerns about competition and margins. Musk said Tesla could produce around two million vehicles this year, above the company’s conservative forecast of 1.8 million. In the end, his claims trumped negative investor sentiment and, combined with Tesla’s undervalued stock price, caused stocks to rise by nearly 25% since the report. This was followed by upgrades from analysts and target price increases. in the fourth quarter of 2022 $24.3 billion Even in tough times for the electric car industry, the company reported record quarterly revenues of Finance Monthly. Investment 29
Investment 30 Finance Monthly. NETFLIX The company significantly outperformed investor expectations in the fourth quarter. At the moment, the stock was showing a rise of 15%. The main reason was the addition of 7.66 million paid subscribers. This surprised analysts, who had expected an increase to only 4.57 million, especially in a market environment where many media companies were laying off employees and cancelling TV shows. Netflix spent $17 billion (£13.6 bn) on content creation in 2022, surpassing every company in the sector except Disney. Despite the positive trend of subscription growth in the fourth quarter of 2022, revenues increased by only 1.9% year-on-year. This came at a time when earnings per stock fell from $1.33 (£1.07) in the fourth quarter of 2021 to $0.12 (£0.097) for the same period in 2022, with earnings down 91%. Consequently, the company has taken two radical initiatives to revive its results. First, it will introduce a paid password-sharing feature. The service plans to charge basic account holders an additional fee for anyone who views the service from outside the home. Secondly, the company has been advertising for about two months now. Netflix CFO Spencer Neumann said that the company intends to increase revenue by 10 per cent with this move. 2022 has been a tough year for Netflix, but investors are showing renewed interest in the company as it remains the global leader in streaming media. New revenue initiatives should help boost revenues as early as the second half of 2023. $17 billion on content creation in 2022, surpassing every company in the sector except Disney. Netflix spent
Finance Monthly. Investment 31 AMD For the fourth quarter, the US microchip maker achieved earnings per stock of $0.69 (£0.56) on revenues of $5.6 billion (£4.5 bn) - up 16% from a year ago. For the period, the company posted gross margins of 43% - this time down 7%. The depreciation of some assets of Xilinx, acquired a year ago, affected the quarterly results. The Wall Street consensus for earnings per stock was $0.67 (£0.54) per stock on revenue of $5.5 billion (£4.4 bn). AMD expects revenue to be between $5 billion (£4.02 bn) and $5.6 billion (£4.5 bn). That’s down 10% from last year, but above Wall Street’s consensus of $5.56 billion (£4.47 bn). Adjusted gross margins are projected to be around 50 per cent for the period. AMD launched a new generation of data centre chips called Genoa in November and plans to rerelease a more powerful version called Genoa-X later this year. Agreements have already been reached with: • Google, Alphabet • Azure, Microsoft • Oracle In the fourth quarter of 2022, data centre sales rose 42 percent to $1.7 billion (£1.36 bn) from the previous year. CEO Lisa Suh said that overall AMD is in a stable position to increase market stock and performance should improve by the second half of 2023. While we continue to battle through uncertain times, it is clear that major organisations like Tesla, Netflix and AMD will continue to grow. The end of 2022 and the beginning of 2023 has shown that these three organisations are looking to continuously expand their portfolio, allowing them to have what it takes to grow over the next quarter. In the fourth quarter of 2022, data centre sales rose 42% to $1.7 billion from the previous year.
Business Economy. 34. 36. 40. It is Too Early to Bet on King Dollar’s Demise Underlying Obstacles to be Aware of When Buying a House All-Cash What Companies Can Do to Support Working Parents
1/3 of the global U.S. dollar reserves are held by countries with strong military ties with the United States. Even if the dollar was used less in global trade, it wouldn’t necessarily mean that the dollar would lose its status as the main international store of value precisely because of the U.S. military hegemony.” “ Business & Economy Finance Monthly. 34