Category Archives: Economy

Doug Band of Teneo Discusses the Empowerment of Women in the Business World

President of the global strategic advisory firm Teneo, Doug Brand examines the great potential and opportunity empowering women has for the world economy.

Citing a study by Care International, Band asserts that although women are doing 66% of the world’s work (formal and informal) and producing half the world’s food, they are only earning 10% of the world’s income, and own only 1% of the world’s property. Instead of feeling hopeless or helpless about these figures, Band says numbers like this should inspire us to provide more opportunities for the girls and women of the world, not just to improve their lives, but to stimulate entire economies that will benefit all the citizens of the world. The Booz & Co’s Third Billion Index shows that if the employment rates for women were similar to that of men, economic growth around the world could reach an astounding 34%.

In 2005 Band worked with the Clinton administration to create the Clinton Global Initiative. Part of the initiative included women’s issues which are included in the core strategies of a broad range of businesses. Two such ideas prompted by the initiative are WEConnect International and Vital Voices. These programs are designed to bring together an assortment of participants to incorporate more women-owned businesses into corporate supply chains. The goal of the initiative is to increase spending on women-owned businesses by a minimum of $1.5 billion per year by 2018. Such a result would make a great difference on families and economies all over the world.

Band says that efforts to help women attain economic empowerment have been  implemented for decades, and we are now beginning to see some of the positive outcomes. In at least 45 countries around the world there are more girls in secondary school than there are boys. In college women outnumber men in 60 countries worldwide. In the past three decades over 500 million women have entered the workforce, adding significantly to the number of women doing paid work.

Band points out that there is still a lot to do to meet the world economy’s ultimate potential. He believes society is more prepared to meet this challenge now than ever before. We should continue to implement the programs that work, and change the beliefs and attitudes that hold women’s empowerment back.

Inventories Up: Economy Moving Forward

June’s data show that US business inventories realized their largest increase in seven months as retailers continue to re-stock at an accelerated pace in reaction to an increase in demand for goods at home.

According to the Commerce Department business inventories climbed by 0.5 percent after an unrevised increase of 0.3 percent in May.

Inventories are considered an important component of the country’s gross domestic product. Retail inventories did even better, rising by 0.6 percent in June and the same percentage in May.

Stock of motor vehicles surged by 0.7 percent after an even higher rise of 1.2 percent in May.

Retail inventories, not including cars, which are included in the calculation for GDP, went up 0.5 percent, up from 0.2 percent in May.

Inventory investment did not have an impact on the 2.6 percent annualized growth rate of the second quarter of this year, after severing off 1.46 percentage points at the beginning of the year.

Unexpected Slowing of US Economy Worries Wall Street

June showed a marked slowdown in business activity in the US private sector, bringing worry to some analysts and investors.

Market research group ISH Markit published a report saying that its flash services purchasing managers’ index (PMI) dropped to 53.0 during June. May’s PMI was 53.6. June’s figure was a three-month low.

Analyst had been expecting a services PMI of 53.7, an indication of a stronger economy.
Since the service sector comprises about 80% of the US economy the services PMI data is a key for understanding economic growth.

The manufacturing PMI, according to Markit, also fell in June, from 52.7 in May to 52.1 this past month. Analysts were also expecting that PMI to be 53.0.

PMI values above 50 represent a growing economy, while figures below 50 indicate a shrinking economy. The overall PMI of services and manufacturing together fell to 53.0 in June from May’s value of 53.6. However, new orders climbed at their fastest rate in five months, leaving room for optimism about the US economy.

Chris Williamson of HIS Markit said that although it is likely that growth will be higher in the second quarter than it was in the first, “the relatively subdued PMI readings suggest there are some downside risks to the extent to which GDP will rebound.”

Nursing Homes: The Business of Ecopsychosocial Interaction

Nursing homes for elderly and those suffering with senior-related conditions such as Parkinson’s, Altzheimer’s and dementia, are becoming an increasingly popular choice for family member caretakers. The entire nursing home industry has progressed in leaps and bounds over the years – a trend that will not be slowing down any time soon – due to advances in technology and a greater understanding of senior needs due to the baby boomer generation.

What can nursing homes offer that at home care is less able to? In places like Queens, New York, facilities such as the Dry Harbor Nursing Home have staff regularly interacting with residents, bolstering their brain functioning. Even – and indeed especially – with those who have dementia, ecopsychosocial interaction occurs where by residents are asked about their interests, how to celebrate the life of one of their friends who has passed on, what music they like, past vacation memories etc.

But this runs deeper than just simple engagement. What happens with this approach is that those suffering from cognitive issues and memory loss will slowly be imbued with a greater sense of independence and control. The fundamental idea is that those with these cognitive issues are treated holistically and not just as a patient.

When looking at this from a business perspective, the senior home choice also makes sense. Getting the best care and the best opportunity to live a higher quality of life makes more sense than having these individuals “treated” in different places at different times. This all-encompassing treatment that occurs at places such as the Dry Harbor Nursing Home, provides for a one-place environment to better care for our elderly members.

Indeed, at the recent Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC 2017) held in London, American, British and Israeli researchers presented data from four trials showing how this type of treatment had substantially improved quality of life and had even been able to reduce the use of antipsychotic drugs. As well, residents were more able to care for themselves.

Nursing homes are definitely much more geared to a) approach seniors from a holistic perspective and b) enhance quality of life for longer.

Fund Managers to Follow

Certainly, it is human nature to feel more comfortable with people who put their money where their mouth is. A fund manager, for instance, who invests in the funds that he supports professionally is showing that he trusts the work he’s doing and that he stands by it. To this end, the M&M Investment Company have identified management teams that do just this; they have the largest personal holdings in the funds they manage. Here are three of them:

Christopher Mills is the chief executive and investment manager of North Atlantic Smaller Companies Investment Trust plc and chief investment officer of Harwood Capital LLP. He founded Harwood Capital Management in 2011 and he is a non-executive director of several companies.

Simon Borrows of the 3i Group is another executive on the list. He was appointed as the chief executive in May of 2012, after joining 3i in October of 2011 as the Chief Investment Officer. He spent 13 years with Greenhill & Co. before joining 3i and he founded the European business of Greenhill and was co-president of the group on its floatation on the NYSE in 2004.

Finally, Reade Griffith is a founding partner of Polygon and a Principal of Tetragon Financial Management LP. He is on the Tetragon board of directors. Prior to being the founder of Polygon, he founded and was the CEO of the European office of Citadel Investment Group.