Tag Archives: senior level management

20 Minutes By: Panerai CEO Jean-Marc Pontroué | Instant News


Sustainability is a hot topic for luxury brands, with conglomerates such as Richemont, which owns Panerai and several other leading watch brands, building multi-pronged initiatives to help solve the burning problems of our time.

For Richemont, one such initiative is building environmentally friendly manufacturing facilities, such as Panerai’s in Neuchâtel, Switzerland, designed to reduce the carbon footprint of 100,000 square feet of buildings with solar power, geothermal pumps, water conservation practices, and more.

The brand is also starting to look for creative ways to incorporate recycled materials into its watches. “This started to occupy us in Panerai about two years ago,” said Jean-Marc Pontroué, CEO of Panerai. He recalled discussions with extreme adventurer and brand ambassador, Mike Horn, who told Pontroué, “’We see pollution not only in places like New York and Geneva, but also in the most remote parts of the planet. As a Panerai, you have to be one of the brands that takes action so that it stops. ” ‘

In 2019, Panerai launched the Mike Horn Submersible made of Eco-Titanium (recycled titanium), a first in the industry. One of the two versions is the XPerience watch, a super limited edition that includes a once-in-a-lifetime experience of joining Horn on a glacier journey in Svalbard, Norway, in the Arctic Circle. The band is made from recycled PET plastic bottles and the packaging is 100 percent recyclable. Last year, Panerai followed up with the Mike Horn Submersible Tourbillon with a case made of metal recycled from the amphibious shaft Horn, Pangea.

As Panerai announced its partnership with the Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli Team, Italy’s challenger for the 36th American Cup race in New Zealand, which is currently underway, Panerai released a collection of four 2019 Luna Rossa watches with dials made from ship’s recycled sails. racing cruise. . Last year’s limited edition Luminor Luna Rossa GMT features a dial made of Scafotech, a composite made of carbon fiber residue collected from the hull and hydrofoil of the team’s AC75 yacht. The recycled material is forged into polymers for use in dial.

New for this year, the Guillaume Néry Special Edition Luminor Marina features a PET recycled strap and is named after the brand’s dive ambassador.

“Panerai was connected to the ocean from the start,” Pontroué said, “and we believe we must take action in that area.”

Five recently spoke with Pontroué, 56, about sustainable watchmaking and why the brand is so committed to it.

FIVE: How has sustainability in watchmaking evolved in recent years?

Jean-Marc Pontroué: We believe Panerai will always be a pioneering brand – a pioneer of great watches, a pioneer of new materials and experiences, just as we did two years ago. We believe it is also part of our mission to lead in what is one of the most important subjects in the world. We believe that at our small level we must also take action.

In the past, we started thinking about it when everything was done, and today’s ecology program made us think about it before we started product development. So, the packaging will be recycled and bonded, and in the future, the movement, the case, all the products will be recycled.

This year’s watch with Guillaume Néry is part of our warm-up workout, much like when you warm up before a race. It’s the same concept. That’s how you mobilize 740 people in our organization to prepare for this new mentality, which consists of developing greener products, using more Zoom than taking a plane, updating boutiques with low-intensity electricity – the way you keep the environment in mind at every turn. action that you do.

What were the easiest and most difficult parts of making this a priority?

Easy is not the right word, because you start from scratch. We started two years ago, and we didn’t really know how to start. We’ve worked with [several] companies in the US, France, Switzerland, Italy and Germany, and we don’t want this to be a secret story. We want the business model to be as open as possible, because to be sure, Panerai alone will not save the world. We told the people in the US who supplied our new generation of rope, who in France could propose recycled steel, and so on.

Luminor Luna Rossa GMT

Panerai

How challenging is it to get the right material and produce such work?

It’s like when you bought an old house, and you sure need a few bucks to restore it. Then you find out at the end of the process, it will cost more than if you started from scratch. It’s the same with recycling. More investment, more expensive, more painful. If you asked an auto manufacturer if it was more complicated and more investment in building an electric car than building a regular car, they would probably tell you the same thing. This is a revolution that we must take. Across all the different industries, it will be more investment driven because you are starting from scratch. Maybe 20 years from now, electric cars will be the same price as cars that exist today. Maybe it will be the same for us. Currently, launching this kind of activity is less profitable, but it is a must in our business mindset.

What is the demand for such items – did the client ask for them?

Two things: First, the new generation is paying more attention to it. Second, they don’t say, “I want recycled products,” but they’ll ask why you didn’t take the initiative to be a part of this movement, as we’ve seen in the car business, the airplane business, the hotel business. Many industries have large programs, and I guarantee you, in the watch industry you should start doing it. It will be like being in fashion – something very important for brands to communicate, to prove that what we are doing is right and not a marketing concept and trying to be an open book story – we are open to any input to help us and to improve our processes . The more we can work with other brands, the better.

How important is your America’s Cup Luna Rossa partnership?

It was a great partnership with our friends at Prada and Pirelli in Milan to be able to support the Italian team to win. We have a great exchange [the aforementioned] material exchange concept – they work at the lightest possible performance, so we are in the same business, only in different industries. So, we learned a lot from them. The last Luna Rossa program is based on material. We’re the first to put them in making because we reuse the screen on our dial. It’s a very close partnership in our hearts and, of course, we think of Italy when we do that. This allows us to restate that we are an industry-unique pure watch operator originating in Italy.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

This interview has been updated with new information.

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Probes Brazil Braskem Bribery Claims in Mexico | Instant News


Braskem TO

has opened an internal investigation into allegations of bribery made last year by the former chief executive of Mexico’s state-owned oil company, according to securities disclosures.

The Brazilian petrochemical company said in filings Friday that it hired an unnamed US law firm to review claims by Emilio Lozoya, former CEO of Petróleos Mexicanos, also known as Pemex.

The testimony Lozoya provided to Mexico’s attorney general, including allegations involving parent company Braskem, was leaked to the press last year, adding fuel to what had happened. the widest-reaching corruption investigation in the modern history of Mexico.

Braskem and its parent, construction giant Odebrecht SA, paid a combined $ 3.5 billion to settle widespread bribery allegations with US, Brazilian and Swiss authorities in 2016. A Braskem spokesman declined to comment further on the disclosures. Odebrecht did not respond to a request for comment.

In his filing, Braskem said the allegations of illicit payments centered on the ethylene project with Pemex. Mr. Lozoya said he was taking bribes from Odebrecht, according to a complaint filed with Mexican prosecutors previously reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

Braskem and a joint venture subsidiary in Mexico opened an investigation into allegations of compliance with its global compliance and governance guidelines, the petrochemical company said.

Pemex earlier this month said it had reached an agreement with a subsidiary, Braskem Idesa, to change the terms under which Pemex supplies ethane to petrochemical plants in southern Mexico. The 2010 contract renegotiation came after the decline in Pemex’s production meant that the company was unable to supply the gas in the amount used to make plastics that was originally stipulated in the agreement.

Former Braskem chief executive, José Carlos Grubisich, faces criminal charges in the US over the 2016 company’s settlement. A Grubisich lawyer last month said executives were in discussion with prosecutors to settle the charges.

Write to Dylan Tokar at [email protected]

Copyright © 2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

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CEO of ‘Builderman’ Roblox Goes to Wall Street with Troop of Young Gamers | Instant News


Chief Executive Roblox Corp. David Baszucki won the loyalty of tens of millions of videogamers with a do-it-yourself gaming approach that defies industry-specific formulas for success.

Roblox is slated to make its public market debut March 10 through direct listing, an unconventional process that allows companies to trade on the stock exchange without raising new capital. The company based in San Mateo, California, was founded in 2004, rotated from traditional public offerings last year after

By Dash Inc.

and

Airbnb Inc.

jumped beyond expectations in their IPO.

Roblox founder and CEO David Baszucki, pictured in 2018, is a frequent presence on the platform, under the name ‘Builderman.’


Photo:

Steve Jennings / Getty Images for TechCrunch

Roblox’s debut is coming as the coronavirus pandemic has prompted people to do so spend more money and time on video games than before. Tech valuations have surged over the past year – Roblox was personally worth $ 29.5 billion in January, up more than seven times from early 2020 – although the stocks have recently faltered amid shifting investor sentiment that an improved economy will benefit the sector other.

Instead of relying on Hollywood-like budgets and rock star talent to produce a few blockbuster games each year, Roblox is shifting game development to its own players. These players, especially teenagers and preteens, in turn produce their own hits and earn 70% of the revenue their work generates.

“We are like YouTube, except our content is a game, and our content allows everyone to play together,” Baszucki said in 2018 while speaking at his alma mater, Stanford University. The 58-year-old man himself often appears at Roblox, using the name “Builderman”.

This approach has earned Roblox an estimated 33 million daily users who can choose between tens of millions of multiplayer games, ranging from obstacle challenges and catch the flag iterations to contests based on popular characters like Peppa Pig and Sonic the Hedgehog. The company provides free tools and instructions that players – even those with no coding experience – can use to create games for its platform.

Samuel Jordan of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, took a hiatus from college about a year ago to focus on creating games and other digital content for Roblox with his business partners. The 21-year-old, who participated in the company-run accelerator program in the summer of 2019, says he made about $ 600,000 last year from his Roblox creations, up from $ 30,000 in 2019.

“This is crazy,” Jordan said, adding that the pandemic was likely to contribute to a tremendous increase. More than 300 Roblox developers made $ 100,000 or more last year, the company said.

The health crisis provided significant fuel for Roblox’s business. Revenue grew 82% last year to $ 923.9 million, while orders – sales of virtual items on the platform – more than doubled to about $ 1.9 billion.

Samuel Jordan of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, says he made an estimated $ 600,000 last year from his Roblox creations.


Photo:

Maria Alejandra Cardona for The Wall Street Journal

London’s Alan and Sinéidin Cooper said their two daughters, ages 5 and 10, and 7-year-old son each spent about five hours a week at Roblox before the pandemic. Now that time is doubled because they are using the platform to connect with friends. The couple treated their kids to Robux worth around $ 40 to $ 45 per month.

“It’s a great way for them to socialize,” Mr said. Cooper.

Roblox hasn’t been able to turn user loyalty into profit, as its net loss in 2020 swelled to $ 253.3 million from $ 71 million a year earlier. The company has said it plans to continue investing in the platform, which can be used for distance learning, conferences and other group experiences, such as concerts.

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In your opinion, what is the price of Roblox on the public market? Join the conversation below.

Like other online hangouts featuring user-generated content, Roblox has to contend with predators and troublemakers who target children with inappropriate material – a particular concern given that more than half of the platform’s users are under 13. The company says it has made significant steps to keep users safe, such as by adding a communication filter to eliminate offensive speech.

Supporters include the large venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, Altos Ventures and Greylock Partners. David Sze, a Greylock partner, said the company invested in Roblox partly because of Mr. Baszucki. While other CEOs may have switched from business models after modest initial growth, Mr. Baszucki remains confident in Roblox’s user-created mission, says Sze.

“It’s like 10 years walking through the desert without anyone trusting you,” he said. “Dave against all odds.”

Mr. Baszucki, who declined to be interviewed for this article, started and then sold a software company that specialized in physics simulation before founding Roblox with fellow programmer Erik Cassel, who died of cancer in 2013. They started making games for the platform, but soon invite other players to create their own. Roblox was released to the public in 2006.

“We immediately realized what they were building was much more interesting and exciting than anything we had ever made,” Baszucki wrote in a Roblox securities filing. Mr Baszucki is the largest shareholder of the company and holds 70% of the voting rights. He will forego cash and equity compensation for seven years after Roblox goes public, and in return qualify for a performance-based stock award, which he intends to donate for philanthropic causes.

Mr. Baszucki was an investor in Friendster, an early competitor for

Facebook Inc.,

and he sees Roblox as a combination of Second Life’s social networking platform and online virtual world, said Matt Dusek, a Roblox start-up employee who left the company in 2019. “He sees things as further away than anyone else around him often does,” Said Mr. Dusek.

Samuel Jordan and his business partner Kyle Hulse outside their shared office space in Fort Lauderdale on Thursday.


Photo:

Maria Alejandra Cardona for The Wall Street Journal

In the following years, Roblox gradually expanded its user base. Mr. Baszucki, as “Builderman,” will greet new players digitally, appearing as one of the platform’s signature box avatars and offering tips on how to get started. Popular games inspire players to become developers, who then make more games, attracting more users – the so-called network effect.

Roblox’s user-generated gaming strategy has won praise from industry leaders. Tim Sweeney, CEO of “Fortnite” creator of Epic Games Inc., credits the company for helping gamers become game makers. “Roblox has done a tremendous job building the ecosystem,” he said in an email.

Although the company has warned that people may spend less time with its games as the pandemic fades, it wants to continue to add to its base of more than 8 million developers. Similar to other videogame publishers, Roblox is also looking to join more brands like

Nike Inc.

and

Mattel Inc.

about marketing promotions.

Write to Sarah E. Needleman at [email protected]

Copyright © 2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

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Fashion Retailer Express Taps Adviser, Seeking Financing to Live Longer from Covid | Instant News


Fashion retailer Express Inc. has hired investment bank Lazard Frères & Co. to help raise enough financing to get the company through the Covid-19 pandemic, said CEO Timothy Baxter.

A workwear retailer based in Columbus, Ohio, wants to strengthen its finances, says Baxter. He said Express was not considering bankruptcy “and continues to take decisive and appropriate action to manage liquidity during this prolonged pandemic.”

With so many Americans working from home, the pandemic has dealt a devastating blow to Express and other retailers focused on clothing designed for the office. The company wants to increase its cash reserves to keep it afloat until enough of the US population is vaccinated against the coronavirus to allow for the resumption of direct spending and office work, according to people with knowledge of the matter. Without additional financing, which can come in the form of first-in-last-out facilities, companies could face cash shortages, people said.

Mr. Baxter said Express “has several possible options for increasing liquidity as it enters 2021.” Earlier this month, the company reported a comparable 30% drop in sales last quarter and said it would cut 10% of its company staff to help save cash.

Consumers who are stuck at home are spending more of their money on casual wear and sports, said Burt Flickinger, managing director of Strategic Resources Group, a consulting firm that focuses on retail and consumer companies.

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Place of trade: New head of Citi in Germany, chairman of Barclays in England, advises Raymond James | Instant News


Citigroup is hired Peter Kimpel | as head of banking, capital markets and advisor to Germany and Austria. Kimpel is from Barclays where he leads its operations in Germany, having joined a lender two years ago from fintech firm Rocket Internet. Former Goldman Sachs deal-maker Kimpel will replace Stefan Wintels, who has several positions at the US bank including vice chairman of the global financial institutions group and vice chairman of Germany, whom he will retain. Investment banking fees have surged 20% in the country this year, according to Dealogic, and competition for senior deal-makers is heating up.

The ring-fenced British retail bank Barclays has a new seat as Sir Ian Cheshire announced his intention to step down after more than two years of work. It is a challenging time for retail banks, which must overhaul their businesses to offset the impact of the Covid-19 crisis and a prolonged new era of low interest rates. Cheshire said he could not dedicate the time needed to do this, and has given up control Crawford Gillies.

Global co-head for HSBC investment banking advisory and protection, Peter Enns, leaving the bank early next year to take a role outside the banking sector. Enns, which is based in Hong Kong, has not been replaced, with former Deutsche executive Adam Bagshaw – who joined HSBC earlier this year – heading the unit himself on a temporary basis. Hugo Heath, vice chairman of HSBC, global banking will work closely with Bagshaw, the bank said in a memo sent to staff seen by Financial News.

Middle market investment bank Raymond James plays a major role in the consumer and retail sectors by acquiring specialist boutique advisor Financo. The move will see 25 new dealmakers and Financo’s CEO, John Berg, will lead a new consumer team, which has doubled to 50 bankers.

French bank Societe Generale is working to increase its diversity credentials by promoting more women into senior roles. The bank has pledged to ensure 30% of all senior management roles are held by women in the next three years. This means that one-third of its top 200 positions – from executive roles to management positions across business lines and functions – will be held by women.

Andrew Lake has been promoted to partner in the Swiss Mirabaud Group asset manager. He was hired by the company in 2013 and currently leads its regular income team.

Aviva has given a name Doug Brown chief executive of the UK and Irish life insurance business. Brown joined from Canada Life and will land at Aviva in April next year.

Jim Esposito, who was appointed as one of the heads of Goldman Sachs’ investment banking division following Gregg Lemkau’s unexpected departure in November, is focused on talent in his new role. Goldman continues to attract the “best and brightest” he says Financial News, but competition is growing and the need to ensure banks retain their best people has become inseparable.

Christmas jumper on top, tracksuits below? Yes, it’s a virtual Christmas party. Prepare a mini wine bottle and put a smile on your face. Here’s how enjoy the best of excitement through Zoom.

Some were able to relax during the holidays after being appointed managing directors. Citigroup, Swiss credit and Barclays all have named their new MD class over the past week.

To contact the author of this story with feedback or news, email Paul Clarke

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