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Robert Half Global Survey Reports on Financial Services Hiring Environment

Recruiting Difficulties, Retention Concerns Emerge as Common Themes

  • Nearly nine in 10 (89%) financial services executives surveyed globally find it either somewhat or very challenging to find skilled financial services professionals
  • Globally, 83% of institutions are either somewhat or very concerned about losing top performers to other opportunities
  • Demand is strongest for financial services professionals with accounting and finance expertise, operations support experience

TORONTO, April 30, 2013, Already faced with a changing regulatory landscape globally, the financial services sector may have yet another challenge: finding and keeping good employees. In a recent Robert Half study, nearly nine in 10 (89 percent) executives surveyed in seven countries reported recruiting difficulties, and 83 percent said they are concerned about losing top performers to other opportunities.

The survey was developed by Robert Half, the world’s first and largest specialized staffing firm, and conducted by an independent research firm. It is based on responses from 1,100 financial services executives, including finance directors, chief financial officers and chief operations officers, across seven countries: Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the United States.

“While some areas within financial services institutions have seen cutbacks, other more profitable product lines are receiving further investment which has resulted in additional hiring,” said Neil Owen , global practice director of financial services recruitment for Robert Half . “This is creating challenges in finding the requisite staff to capitalize on emerging opportunities. Competition for the industry’s top talent continues to intensify for middle-office and support roles, particularly accounting and finance, as well as operations positions.”

Recruiting Challenges

Eighty-nine per cent of executives surveyed said it is very or somewhat difficult to find skilled financial services professionals today. Talent shortages are especially acute in Hong Kong, where 95% of respondents cited difficulties. Even in France, which had the lowest level of difficulty, 82% of executives reported recruiting challenges.

When asked how challenging it is to find skilled financial   services professionals

Very
challenging
Somewhat
challenging
Net
challenging
All countries 33% 56% 89%
Hong Kong 38% 57% 95%
Singapore 49% 45% 93%
Germany 36% 55% 91%
UK 29% 62% 91%
Canada 28% 62% 90%
US 30% 54% 84%
France 15% 67% 82%

Added Owen, “Institutions around the world need staff who can manage fundamental business needs, drive profitability and ensure compliance mandates are met. Building a team with these skills has become increasingly difficult as firms face situations in which the demand for skilled professionals often outweighs the supply”.

Employers’ Retention Worries

With the hiring environment improving for financial services professionals who can fill roles in areas such as accounting and finance, operations support, revenue generation, and risk and compliance, employers around the globe are worried about losing their best and brightest to other opportunities. Eighty-three percent of financial services executives are at least somewhat concerned about their ability to hang on to top performers this year, the survey found.

The greatest worries appear to be in Hong Kong and Singapore, where 93% and 92% of respondents, respectively, cited concerns about losing good employees. In the seven countries surveyed, at least 76% of respondents expressed some level of concern.

When asked how   concerned they are about losing top performers
Very
concerned
Somewhat
concerned
Net
concerned
All countries 31% 52% 83%
Hong Kong 40% 53% 93%
Singapore 50% 42% 92%
Germany 21% 66% 87%
Canada 22% 62% 84%
UK 24% 59% 83%
US 29% 48% 77%
France 21% 55% 76%

“A combination of factors, including heightened demand for skilled specialists in financial services, the growing need for regulatory expertise and operational changes taking place in the sector, may exacerbate current retention challenges,” Owen said. “Employers will need to focus on competitive compensation, progressive perks and rewarding career paths to keep their best people.”

About Robert Half
Founded in 1948, Robert Half is the world’s first and largest specialized staffing firm. The Menlo Park, Calif.-based company has more than 350 staffing locations worldwide and offers online job search services on its divisional websites, all of which can be accessed at www.roberthalf.ca. Follow Robert Half on Twitter at twitter.com/RobertHalf_CAN, and gain insights on the latest financial hiring and salary trends at www.roberthalf.ca/salarycentre.

SOURCE:

Robert Half Canada

 

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McDonald’s Global Comparable Sales Decrease 1.9% In January

OAK BROOK, Ill., Feb. 8, 2013, McDonald’s Corporation today announced that global comparable sales decreased 1.9% in January. Performance by segment was as follows:

  • U.S. up 0.9%
  • Europe down 2.1%
  • Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa (APMEA) down 9.5%

“McDonald’s is focused on satisfying the needs of each and every customer visiting our restaurants in search of great-tasting food and beverages, outstanding service and everyday value,” said McDonald’s President and Chief Executive Officer Don Thompson. “While January’s results reflect today’s challenging environment and difficult prior year comparisons, I am confident that our unwavering commitment to delivering an exceptional restaurant experience will enhance our brand’s relevance and drive long-term results.”

January comparable sales increased 0.9% in the U.S. driven by a balanced offering of premium, core and compelling value options, including the addition of the new Grilled Onion Cheddar burger to the Dollar Menu. Results for the month also benefited from convenience and restaurant modernization strategies designed to provide customers with a better overall experience.

In Europe, comparable sales decreased 2.1% as positive results in the U.K. and Russia were offset by performance in Germany, France and other markets. Throughout Europe, McDonald’s remains focused on appealing to a broad range of customer preferences with seasonal food events and enhanced value and breakfast offerings along with extended operating hours.

In APMEA, January’s comparable sales decreased 9.5% due to ongoing weakness in Japan and negative results in China due primarily to the shift in timing of Chinese New Year and, to a lesser extent, the residual effects of consumer sensitivity around the recent supply chain issue in the chicken industry, which more than offset positive results in Australia.

Systemwide sales for the month increased 0.3%, or 0.7% in constant currencies. For the month of February, comparable sales will be negatively impacted by approximately 3 percentage points as prior year results included one extra day due to leap year.

Percent   Increase/(Decrease)

Comparable

Systemwide   Sales

Sales

As

Constant

Month ended January   31,

2013

2012

Reported

Currency

McDonald’s Corporation

(1.9)

6.7

0.3

0.7

Major Segments:

U.S.

0.9

7.8

1.9

1.9

Europe

(2.1)

4.0

3.8

0.6

APMEA

(9.5)

7.3

(8.6)

(5.1)

Definitions

  • Comparable sales represent sales at all restaurants, whether operated by the Company or by franchisees, in operation at least thirteen months including those temporarily closed. Some of the reasons restaurants may be temporarily closed include reimaging or remodeling, rebuilding, road construction and natural disasters. Comparable sales exclude the impact of currency translation. Comparable sales are driven by changes in guest counts and average check, which is affected by changes in pricing and product mix. Management reviews the increase or decrease in comparable sales compared with the same period in the prior year to assess business trends.
  • The number of weekdays and weekend days can impact our reported comparable sales. In January 2013, this calendar shift/trading day adjustment consisted of one less Sunday and Monday, and one more Wednesday and Thursday compared with January 2012. The resulting adjustment varied by area of the world, ranging from approximately -0.9% to 0.8%. In addition, the timing of holidays can impact comparable sales.
  • Information in constant currency is calculated by translating current year results at prior year average exchange rates. Management reviews and analyzes business results excluding the effect of foreign currency translation and bases incentive compensation plans on these results because they believe this better represents the Company’s underlying business trends.
  • Systemwide sales include sales at all restaurants, whether operated by the Company or by franchisees. While franchised sales are not recorded as revenues by the Company, management believes the information is important in understanding the Company’s financial performance because these sales are the basis on which the Company calculates and records franchised revenues and are indicative of the financial health of the franchisee base.

Upcoming Communications

The Company plans to release February 2013 sales on March 8, 2013.

McDonald’s is the world’s leading global foodservice retailer with more than 34,000 locations serving more than 69 million customers in 119 countries each day. More than 80% of McDonald’s restaurants worldwide are owned and operated by independent local men and women.

Forward-Looking Statements

This release contains certain forward-looking statements, which reflect management’s expectations regarding future events and operating performance and speak only as of the date hereof. These forward-looking statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties. The factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from our expectations are detailed in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, such as its annual and quarterly reports and current reports on Form 8-K.

SOURCE:

McDonald’s Corporation

http://www.mcdonalds.com

 

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Startups Advise Obama: Focus on Taxes and Talent as Second Term Begins

CEOs and Executives from Startup Companies Nationwide Offered Advice to Support the Innovation Economy in Silicon Valley Bank’s Annual Startup Outlook Survey

SANTA CLARA, CA, Jan. 18, 2013, With the second inauguration of President Obama pending, Silicon Valley Bank, financial partner to innovation companies worldwide, asked startup companies across America: “What piece of advice would you give to President Obama with regards to supporting the innovation economy?” Simplifying taxes and focusing on building a strong talent pool made up nearly half of all responses, which came from 600 comments by CEOs and executives of startup companies across the US. The question was part of Silicon Valley Bank’s fourth annual survey of startup companies nationwide.

See infographic.

“Startup companies are looking for simplicity and relevant talent above all,” said Greg Becker , CEO of Silicon Valley Bank. “They said things like, ‘cut the red tape,’ ‘simplify the tax code’ and ‘improve US science and math education to best-in-world outcomes.'”

“Our clients – high growth innovation companies – create jobs and outperform the broader economy. We should be doing everything we can as a country to make it easy for them to grow.”

High growth small companies, while small in number, have an outsized impact on the U.S. economy. They consume roughly 0.1-0.2% of U.S. GDP in invested capital, but turn into companies that create roughly 11 percent of U.S. private sector employment and 21 percent of U.S. GDP – or roughly twelve million jobs and over $3 trillion in annual revenues.

The most common advice, offered by nearly one-third of startup managers who participated in the survey, was in regard to taxes. Nearly 20 percent of the respondents believed the government should focus on developing a deep talent pool through a combination of approaches including immigration reform and better science and math education. A running theme in the comments was also the desire for government to work together on a bi-partisan basis.

Advice for the president fell into a few major categories:

  • Overhaul Tax System – 28% “Keep it simple” “Focus on ways to stimulate growth”
  • Build Talent Pool – 18% “Make it easy to hire the best & brightest from around the world”
  • Ease Regulation – 12% “US is the hardest country in the world to do business”
  • Promote Investment – 11% “Make investment in growth companies easier”
  • Champion Innovation – 10% “Make it very, very simple and cheap for the little guy to win!”
  • Give Us Space – 9% “Minimize Federal government involvement” “Leave us alone”
  • Other – 13% “Be more bi-partisan – both the President and Congress”

Silicon Valley Bank conducted its annual Startup Outlook survey in December 2012. More than 750 executives of startup companies, defined as those in the innovation sector with less than $100 million in annual revenue, responded. The company will be releasing additional data and reports based on the survey in the coming months. View all news related to the results of the Startup Outlook survey at http://www.svb.com/startup-outlook-report/ and follow the conversation on Twitter at @SVB_Financial #StartupOutlook.

About Silicon Valley Bank
Silicon Valley Bank is the premier bank for technology, life science, cleantech, venture capital, private equity and premium wine businesses. SVB provides industry knowledge and connections, financing, treasury management, corporate investment and international banking services to its clients worldwide through 27 U.S. offices and six international operations. (Nasdaq: SIVB) www.svb.com.

Silicon Valley Bank is the California bank subsidiary and the commercial banking operation of SVB Financial Group. Banking services are provided by Silicon Valley Bank, a member of the FDIC and the Federal Reserve System. SVB Financial Group is also a member of the Federal Reserve System.

SOURCE: Silicon Valley Bank

RELATED LINKS: http://www.svb.com

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Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issues rules to strengthen protections for high-cost mortgages

Bureau Also Expands Time Frame for Required Escrow Accounts

WASHINGTON, D.C., Jan. 10, 2013, Today the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued final rules to strengthen consumer protections for high-cost mortgages and to provide consumers with information about homeownership counseling. The Bureau also finalized a rule that requires escrow accounts be established for a minimum of five years for certain higher-priced mortgage loans.

“Addressing problems in the mortgage market is critical to helping our economy recover,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. “Today’s changes will better help consumers to understand the real costs of owning a home while protecting them from harmful practices that can trap them into high-cost mortgages.”

The Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act (HOEPA) was enacted in 1994 to address abuses in home-equity lending and refinances. Since then, HOEPA has deterred high-rate and high-fee lending in those markets. In recent years, high-cost mortgages have made up only about 0.2 percent of those types of loans.

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act) expanded HOEPA to cover home purchase loans and home equity lines of credit (“HELOCs”); revised HOEPA’s rate- and fee-thresholds for coverage; added a new coverage test based on a transaction’s prepayment penalties; and provided new limitations on risky loan features, as well as other new protections for high-cost mortgages. The CFPB has finalized rules to implement the Dodd-Frank Act’s amendments to HOEPA.

For loans that are high-cost mortgages, today’s final rule:

  • Bans potentially risky features: For mortgages that qualify as high-cost, the rule      generally bans balloon payments (a large, lump sum payment usually due at      the end of the loan) with some exceptions, such as for certain types of      loans made by creditors serving rural or underserved areas, and bans      penalties for paying the loan early.
  • Bans and limits certain fees and practices: The CFPB’s rule bans fees for modifying loans, caps      late fees at four percent of the payment that is past due, generally      prohibits closing costs from being rolled into the loan amount, and      restricts the charging of fees when consumers ask for a payoff statement      (a document that tells borrowers how much they need to pay off the loan).      The rule also prohibits certain bad practices, such as encouraging a      consumer to default on an existing loan to be refinanced by a high-cost      mortgage.
  • Requires housing counseling: The rule requires consumers to receive housing      counseling before taking out a high-cost mortgage.

In addition to strengthening the protections for high-cost mortgages, the Bureau today is implementing a requirement of the Dodd-Frank Act that lenders provide a list of homeownership counseling organizations to consumers shortly after they apply for a mortgage so consumers know where to get help when deciding what loan is best for them.

The Bureau is also implementing other changes made by the Dodd-Frank Act concerning escrow accounts. An escrow account is an account that a lender may set up to pay certain recurring property-related expenses on a consumer’s behalf, such as property taxes and homeowner’s insurance. Escrow accounts help to ensure that consumers have enough money to pay those bills when they come because the lender breaks the expenses down into monthly installments and adds them to the monthly mortgage payment. Through an escrow account, consumers can better see the true cost of owning a home with insurance and tax costs laid out with each mortgage payment and are better assured that those costs are paid in a timely manner.

Under current regulations, creditors are required to establish escrow accounts for certain higher-priced mortgage loans for a minimum of one year. Today’s final rule implements changes from the Dodd-Frank Act that generally extend the required duration of an escrow account on such mortgage loans from a minimum of one year to a minimum of five years. To preserve access to credit, the rule exempts loans made by certain creditors that operate predominantly in rural or underserved areas, as long as certain other criteria are met.

The rules will be available later today at: http://www.consumerfinance.gov/regulations

 

A consumer guide to the final HOEPA rule can be found at: http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/201301_cfpb_high-cost-mortgage-rule_what-it-means-for-consumers.pdf

 

A consumer guide to the final Escrows rule can be found at: http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/201301_cfpb_escrow-requirements-rule_what-it-means-for-consumers.pdf

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U.S. Exports Reach $182.6 Billion in November

Exports Up 38.7 Percent Since 2009

WASHINGTON, Jan. 11, 2013, The United States exported $182.6 billion in goods and services in November 2012, according to data released today by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) of the U.S. Commerce Department.

“Exports create jobs, grow our economy, and increase American competitiveness,” said Ex-Im Bank Chairman and President Fred P. Hochberg . “Over the past year, U.S. companies have exported more than $2 trillion worth of goods and services, fueled by the power of American innovation. I am pleased that our numbers remain strong, but there is more work to be done. Here at the Bank, we will continue to provide small and medium-sized businesses with the tools they need to succeed globally as we work towards implementing the goals of President Obama’s National Export Initiative.”

Exports of goods and services over the past twelve months totaled $2.189 trillion, which is 38.7 percent above the level of exports in 2009. Over the last twelve months, exports have been growing at an annualized rate of 11.9 percent when compared to 2009.

Among major export markets, the top ten buying countries with the largest annualized increase in purchases of U.S. goods were, when compared to 2009, Panama (32.1 percent), Chile (26.3 percent), Russia (25.3 percent), Argentina (23.9 percent), Peru (23.9 percent), Venezuela (22.9 percent), Turkey (22.7 percent), United Arab Emirates (22.5 percent), Hong Kong (20.1 percent), and South Africa (20.0 percent).

About Ex-Im Bank

Ex- Im Bank is an independent federal agency that helps create and maintain U.S. jobs by filling gaps in private export financing at no cost to American taxpayers. In the past five years (from Fiscal Year 2008), Ex-Im Bank has earned for U.S. taxpayers nearly $1.6 billion above the cost of operations. The Bank provides a variety of financing mechanisms, including working capital guarantees, export-credit insurance and financing to help foreign buyers purchase U.S. goods and services.

Ex- Im Bank approved nearly $35.8 billion in total authorizations in FY 2012 – an all-time Ex-Im record. This total includes more than $6.1 billion directly supporting small-business export sales – also an Ex-Im record. Ex- Im Bank ‘s total authorizations are supporting an estimated $50 billion in U.S. export sales and approximately 255,000 American jobs in communities across the country. For more information, visit www.exim.gov.

SOURCE: Export-Import Bank of the United States

RELATED LINKS
http://www.exim.gov

 

 

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WASHINGTON, Consumers should immediately inspect this product and stop using it if mold is found. Units currently in retail stores are not included in this recall to inspect.

Recall Summary

Name of product: Newborn Rock ‘n Play Sleeper™

Hazard: Mold can develop between the removable seat cushion and the hard plastic frame of the sleeper when it remains wet/moist or is infrequently cleaned, posing a risk of exposure to mold to infants sleeping in the product. The CPSC advises that mold has been associated with respiratory illnesses and other infections. Although mold is not present at the time of purchase, mold growth can occur after use of the product.

Remedy: Consumers should immediately check for mold under the removable seat cushion. Dark brown, gray or black spots can indicate the presence of mold. If mold is found, consumers should immediately stop using the product. Consumers can contact Fisher-Price for cleaning instructions or further assistance. Cleaning and care instructions can also be found at www.service.mattel.com or by contacting the firm.

Consumer Contact: Fisher-Price; at (800) 432-5437, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, or online at www.service.mattel.com for more information.

Photos are available athttp://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml13/13087.html.

Recall Details
Units:
About 800,000 units
Description: This recall to inspect includes all Fisher-Price Rock N’ Play infant recliner seats called sleepers. The sleeper is designed for babies up to 25 pounds and is composed of a soft plastic seat held by a metal rocking frame. The product has a removable, fabric cover that is sold in 14 patterns and color palettes.
Incidents/Injuries:
Fisher-Price has received 600 reports of mold on the product. Sixteen consumers have reported that their infants have been treated for respiratory issues, coughs and hives after sleeping in the product.
Sold at: Mass merchandise stores nationwide and online since September 2009 for between $50 and $85. Units currently in retail stores are not affected by this recall to inspect. Only products that show signs of mold after use by consumers are included in this announcement.
Importer: Fisher-Price Inc., of East Aurora, N.Y.
Manufactured in:
China

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is still interested in receiving incident or injury reports that are either directly related to this product recall or involve a different hazard with the same product. Please tell us about your experience with the product on SaferProducts.gov.

Media Contact
Please use the phone numbers below for all media requests.
Phone: (301) 504-7908
Spanish: (301) 504-7800

CPSC Consumer Information Hotline
Contact us at this toll-free number if you have questions about a recall:
800-638-2772 (TTY 301-595-7054)
Times: 8 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. ET; Messages can be left anytime
Call to get product safety and other agency information and to report unsafe products.

CPSC is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of the thousands of consumer products under the agency’s jurisdiction. Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $900 billion annually. CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical, or mechanical hazard. CPSC’s work to ensure the safety of consumer products—such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters, and household chemicals—contributed to a decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 30 years.

Under federal law, it is illegal to attempt to sell or resell this or any other recalled product.

To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury, go online to: SaferProducts.gov, call CPSC’s Hotline at (800) 638-2772 or teletypewriter at (301) 595-7054 for the hearing and speech impaired. Consumers can obtain this news release and product safety information at www.cpsc.gov. To join a free e-mail subscription list, please go to www.cpsc.gov/cpsclist.aspx.

SOURCE U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

RELATED LINKS
http://www.cpsc.gov

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