One of the most notable financial services sectors to emerge in the 21st century, the FinTech (finance + technology) wave attracted nearly $12 billion in global investment in 2015, up from $4 billion in 2013, and continues to barrel through traditional methods and means of financial services to steadily disrupt the industry, one technological innovation at a time:
20 September 2016
Perhaps the greatest economic bogeyman in the early part of the 20th century was the monopoly or “Trust.” Governments have worked since then to prevent any business from unfairly dominating or controlling a given industry, with antitrust regulation and enforcement a major theme of government intervention and regulation of business every year. While subprime mortgages and shady lending have been the major threats to economic stability in the first part of this century, this is due in part to the tight controls still levied to prevent businesses from expanding too far. Here are just a few of the developments in antitrust regulation in 2016, with more certainly to follow.
23 August 2016
Activist investors love to portray themselves as voices of forward-thinking progress within a company. One of the best ways to combat an activist is with a proxy vote, but shareholders who see a proxy statement patterned after something out of Mad Men will be quick to believe the activist is indeed the voice of the future while management is mired in the past.
In today’s market, it’s not enough to be tech-savvy – management must communicate their grasp of new ideas every time they contact their shareholders, or else make themselves ripe targets for activists. Proxy statements should therefore be attractive, well-designed, and express that the company’s duly appointed leaders – not self-appointed activists – are best equipped to lead shareholders into the future.
Financial reporting has come a long way with the advent of online forms and machine-readable filing languages. The eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) has been adopted by companies worldwide as the standard for sharing business information with one another and with their own and foreign governments. Since creating the language, XBRL International has worked to improve and streamline the way this information is submitted so that financial officers can spend more time doing business and less time reporting on business.
Nearly two years ago, crude oil cost over $100 a barrel. Since then, prices have dropped to below $27, and have stabilized at around $44 a barrel today. And while consumers enjoy lower prices at the pump, oil and gas companies have been suffering from one of the biggest bankruptcy waves in the history of the United States. Over 59 companies have filed for creditor protection as of late January 2016, closing in on the 68 bankruptcies by telecommunications firms during the telecom crisis of 2002.
21 June 2016
When it comes to big deals, 2015 was a big year. According to Dealogic, more than $5 trillion in mergers and acquisitions took place between January 1 and December 31, making it the biggest year for M&A since before the worldwide financial crisis hit. Healthcare and technology led M&A deals in 2015 with over $723 and $713 billion respectively, and these fields have continued to dominate the deals so far in 2016.
In the chaotic and unpredictable world of business, the only real constant is change. Markets fluctuate, economic prosperity waxes and wanes, and the march of technology means that the best devices and software of today will most likely be outmoded by next year. But even in the face of unpredictability companies need strategies for dealing not only with specific changes, such as new competitors or market consolidation, but with change as a whole, as well. Agility, adaptability and prescience are all necessary traits for businesses hoping to weather the chaos of today.
07 June 2016
No company can succeed without strong leadership. The business world is by nature competitive and complex, and every firm consists of many individuals with their own talents, styles and ideas. Harnessing these unique people into teams – and bonding the teams into a thriving company – requires vision, integrity and will. In other words, businesses require strong governance.
24 May 2016
Our friends at the SEC have announced a series of changes to EDGAR form N-MFP. The new form, called N-MFP 1, goes live on April 14, 2016. For our clients’ convenience, we have put together a list of the primary differences between N-MFP and the new N-MFP 1.
These changes are aimed primarily at making N-MFP 1 match the other XML EDGAR forms’ style so that N-MFP 1 will be instantly recognizable to anyone who’s seen the older document. The new form does collect more information than its predecessor; all of the additions are listed below.
05 April 2016
Initial public offerings (IPOs) have tapered off after three straight years on the rise. While early predictions show no concrete proof of any bubbles on the verge of bursting in 2016, offerings, proceeds, returns and fillings were all down in 2015 – and they seem unlikely to recover this year. Various factors are to blame for the drop-off, including poor performance from previous IPOs, suspense over the U.S. economy and a lack of new offerings from reliable tech and energy firms.
29 March 2016
For decades, investor relations (IR) was a pretty straightforward proposition. Public companies would tabulate their financials and then distribute them to investors and regulators. While the basic principles are still the same, IR has evolved to reflect the importance of digital communications, changing corporate structures, increased regulations and disclosure requirements, among other trends.
Here are some of the major developments that are affecting the investor relations field today:
22 March 2016
15 March 2016
Recently, we’ve spent some time focusing on changes in the financial printing space, and what printers should offer companies in response. It’s time to turn our attention to the company side of the equation. More specifically, let’s take a look at some of the factors that can enable a content management system (CMS) to best take advantage of the new era of financial printing?
23 February 2016
Occasionally, things in the world of finance are straightforward. The rest of the time, situations unfold like this: a new law called the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act) goes into effect and does much more than just make the roads smoother.
16 February 2016
09 February 2016
When you’re deciding whether or not to invest in a company’s stock, the first step you’re going to take is to have a look at their financial statements. Being able to interpret and analyze a company’s balance sheets, income statements and cash flow statements is an absolute essential skill for stock investors to have in order to make wise and informed decisions, and to maximize investment return.
02 February 2016
eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) is one of those systems that can be powerful and useful, yet intimidating and frustrating. In its short history, XBRL has inspired its own myths about how it does, or does not work. Since everyone benefits from the truth, we have set out to examine seven common misconceptions of XBRL and compare them to reality.
26 January 2016
12 January 2016