Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) insurance first came to prominence in the private equity industry in the 1990s as dealmakers looked for ways to manage deal risk and improve execution. In the last five years, there has been a significant uptick as corporates, private equity and other financial investors increasingly adopt M&A insurance to secure investments and enhance returns.
Understanding how insurance can mitigate M&A risk effectively is paramount for both sides in a transaction. Savvy dealmakers are looking to professional services companies such as Aon to help clients manage risk.
The National Health Service faces the severe counter forces of a quickly growing and ageing population, and tightly restricted funds for treatment. Trusts across the country are subsequently going through extensive change to meet efficiency targets and evolve the NHS into an organisation that prevents ill-health rather than reactively treats diseases.
During this time, there is a strong push to improve care from GP surgeries to hospitals and community facilities. “A key element of health organisations’ success is supplying clinical and administrative staff with the right information at the right time, enabled by technology,” explains Shane Tickell, chief executive at technology firm IMS MAXIMS.
A banking revolution is coming in January. “Open banking” will allow customers to share their financial data between banks, allowing the creation of new types of smart banking services. Big banks initially thought they would lose customers to start-ups better able to adapt to the new age - but increasingly they see it as a unique digital opportunity.
HSBC is positioning itself at the forefront of the change. In October, it announced a move into open banking with HSBC Beta, a trial that will allow 10,000 UK customers to see accounts from different banks on a single screen, before a broader rollout.
During the first nine months of this year, when Brexit negotiations began, there was a comfortable 7 per cent growth in foreign companies buying in the UK. Purchases hit a total value of $84.5 billion, according to figures from Thomson Reuters, one of the highest year-to-date totals in a decade.
Such growth was unexpected and the dire business commentary is being replaced by cautious optimism. To some extent, uncertainty is becoming the norm.
Transradial catheterisation to access and treat blocked arteries, via the radial artery in the wrist, offers significant benefits over traditional methods.
By accessing a patient’s coronary system this way, there is reduced pain level, much lower risk, and typically much less bleeding and related mortality. The forearm artery does not transport a particularly large volume of blood and it is located conveniently near to the surface.
The advantages of this method over transfemoral approaches via the groin have become clearer to clinicians and patients.
The dire handling of materials, chemicals, water, emissions and waste poses a serious problem for the fashion industry. Each year the sector uses enough water to fill nearly 32 million Olympic swimming pools and emits carbon dioxide levels equivalent to 230 million cars, according to the Pulse of Fashion report. Meanwhile, consumers annually dump 92 million tonnes of clothing that could have been recycled.
“Projections show that in the worst case, the fashion industry will face distinct restrictions on one or more of its key input factors, leaving it unable to grow at the projected rate, and in the long run unable to continue its current operating model,” warns Eva Kruse, chief executive of non-profit Global Fashion Agenda.
This year is a critical time for sales managers and their teams, and several key factors are combining to make it so. New use of data, personalisation and scientific skillsets are playing an increasingly important role; in a few years’ time selling may even be more about science than art.
In the near future, there will be significant change, starting with sales reps being automatically monitored and having their activities analysed.
Sales targets are an essential component of any business strategy. When leaders set unrealistic goals, however, they open their business to massive risk.
The dangers of overly aggressive sales leadership and the resulting hungriness of staff to satisfy management are highly evident. A fifth of employees and a third of senior executives now claim they can justify offering cash payments in return for business, according to the latest Europe, Middle East, India and Africa fraud report from professional services firm EY. A fifth of managers would be willing to book revenues early to meet targets.
Driverless cars, transport as a service, high-speed rail, supersonic flight and passenger drones. The list of travel innovations goes on. Governments are loosening the law to turn their countries into research hubs, and transport and technology companies are pouring billions into development.
In such circumstances, change is bound to be rapid. But there are serious questions over whether consumers want all this technology.
A selection of my writing.