Conversation with Andrew Palmer: How High-Stakes Financial Innovation is Reshaping Our World

PalmerWorking Capital Conversations: Leading thinkers, practitioners and experts discuss the ideas that drive global business.

We face no shortage of negative news around the financial industry. And within this zone, one the most damning phrases is “financial engineering.” Following the economic crisis – and even before – financial engineering came to symbolize the worst of what a free and active system of capitalism can provide.

But what if financial innovation could help find a cure for cancer? Or help address homelessness? Or send lower-class youth to college?

51STtdAcW9L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_These efforts represent the other side of financial engineering. And while the negative – the real pain that real people felt and continue to feel – must be addressed and should never be ignored, the incredible innovation that has driven global and local economies for centuries is also fascinating and important.

Andrew Palmer thinks and writes about both sides of this financial innovation coin. He is Business Affairs Editor at the Economist. He is also author of the new book: “Smart Money: How High-Stakes Financial Innovation is Reshaping Our World for the Better.”

Working Capital Conversations: Global Corporate Divestment Study with Paul Hammes, Ernst & Young

Screen Shot 2015-03-23 at 1.10.08 PMWorking Capital Conversations: Leading thinkers, practitioners and experts discuss the ideas that drive global business.

At a time when many of the large or publicly-held companies globally are focused relentlessly on how to grow, today we talk about one growth strategy that, at first glance, might not seem closely related: How to sell.

More specifically, Divestments.

Screen Shot 2015-03-23 at 1.06.22 PMIt’s no secret that many companies see divestments as a fundamental part of their capital strategy, especially to fund growth. What you may not know is:  We now should expect that trend to grow.

How do we know? Ernst & Young recently released a new and important review: It’s 2015 EY Global Corporate Divestment Study. They spoke with more than 800 corporate executives across sectors and around the world. And the headline is clear: More than half of the companies surveyed expect the number of strategic sellers to increase in the next 12 months.

Why is divestment such an important strategy? Which sectors will use it most and why? Most importantly, what defines success?

Paul Hammes is the Ernst and Young Global Divestiture Advisory Services Leader and co-author of the study. He works on carve-outs, tax-free spinoffs, roll-ups, IPOs and more across a range of industries.

Working Capital Conversations: The CEO Reputation Premium with Leslie Gaines-Ross, Weber Shandwick

88d64c4d-6a1d-4da9-932e-ef5d6ee81926Working Capital Conversations: Leading thinkers, practitioners and experts discuss the ideas that drive global business.

How should a CEO behave? Bold? Maybe. Decisive? Probably. But how about humble? Attentive? Accessible?

CEO behavior – or, more accurately, reputation – arguably has never been more important than it is today. With growing social networks and changing social expectations, a CEO’s reputation is trickier to maintain and more central to a company’s bottom line than ever. And we’re only just at the beginning of this trend.

Screen Shot 2015-03-20 at 4.31.38 PMThese are just some of the findings of a new and insightful report titled: “The CEO Reputation Premium: Gaining Advantage in the Engagement Era.” But if the reality that CEO reputation matters is clear, the question remains: How do you do it? At a time when every word, every misstep, every wrong tweet becomes front page news, how does a leader walk the balance of being out there – but not too much and only in the right ways?

To find out, we asked the author.

Leslie Gaines-Ross is Chief Reputation Strategist at Weber Shandwick, the leading global public relations agency, and co-author of the CEO Reputation Premium report. Gaines-Ross is one of the world’s most widely recognized experts on reputation—how they’re built, enhanced and protected. She is the author of a couple of books on CEO reputation, she speaks frequently and globally on the topic; and she finds herself on several Most Influential People and Top Thought leaders lists.