About 80 high-level Chinese business executives and entrepreneurs joined scholars from the US and China in Boston on May 15 for a discussion on how both sides can work together to break new ground in today’s digital economy. They gathered for a half-day event co-hosted by China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) and Z-Park Innovation Center.
“The enthusiasm and openness with which participants shared their views during today’s event is an indicator of how important it is for us to keep engaging with each other. There is still a very strong interest in doing business with, and in, each other’s markets. This is why we were able to bring with us a team of high-level Chinese business executives who are eager to engage with the local business community in Boston,” CEIBS Assistant President Dr. Snow Zhou said on the sidelines of the forum. “We hosted today’s event to provide a platform for knowledge exchange on both sides, which we hope will be useful as we move forward.”
In addition to the forum, which included opportunities to network and explore potential opportunities for future collaboration, the Chinese business executives and entrepreneurs — all CEIBS alumni and/or students — will also benefit from visits to local companies. Over the next few days they will be hosted by their peers from a range of industries, including some related to the forum’s theme. “The digital economy is becoming increasingly important and it is imperative that we — as business executives — find a way to work together for mutual benefit,” said Allen Tang, an executive at JD Finance, the finance unit of China’s second biggest e-commerce player JD.com Inc. “The US market is an important one for us and I am pleased to be a part of the activities CEIBS has planned in Boston.”
This foray into Boston is also a signal of the importance with which CEIBS itself views the US market, which is a vital part of the school’s internationalization strategy. This is the third time CEIBS is hosting a forum in the US, but this event has the added significance of being a part of the school’s 25th Anniversary Celebration.
The forum included welcome addresses by CEIBS President (European) Professor Dipak Jain and CEO of ZGC Boston Innovation Management LLC, Mr. Ming Qiao. There were also keynote speeches by MIT Professor of Physics Max Tegmark and Northwestern University’s Director of CS Plus X Initiative, Prof. Kristian J. Hammond. An impressive list of names from the US and China participated in two panel discussions throughout the day that respectively looked at the topics of ‘Creating a New Space in the e-Commerce Market’ and ‘Reshaping the Future of Finance Through Innovation’.
In welcoming the audience of about 200, Prof. Jain spoke about the evolution of global business, and how management education has changed as a result. “The new ‘diet’ of the global economy consists of digital, innovation, entrepreneurship and technology,” he said. He also shared how CEIBS is evolving as well. Building on its growing reputation as Asia’s leading business school, CEIBS has now turned its attention to enhancing its international visibility, building a strong brand presence in the US, and strengthening its European and African initiatives. All of this is being done while retaining CEIBS’ competitive advantage, its focus on China knowledge. The Boston forum accomplishes two out of three of those goals.
In his welcome speech, Mr. Qiao told the audience that it was an honour for Z-Park Innovation Center — the Zhongguangcun Development Group’s second largest innovation centre outside of China — to co-host the forum with CEIBS. “We are committed to building a bridge for innovation and exchange between China and the US. We hope that, through this event, we can enhance communication and provide better resources for entrepreneurs from both countries,” he added.
In the day’s first keynote speech, Prof. Tegmark shared his views on the timely topic of “Getting empowered, not overpowered by artificial intelligence”. There is an opportunity, he said, for us all to take a collective journey into the future with artificial intelligence (AI), an area that has already seen significant growth and progress that has changed our lives and will be the source of many more life-altering changes ahead. The question, he told the audience, was how far we would go on this journey. Will we ever have machines that can match human intelligence at all tasks? “This is the definition of Artificial General Intelligence, AGI, which has been the holy grail of AI research since it’s inception,” he explained. If AGI were achieved he noted, AI (not humans) would drive further AI development. “This would mean that future AI improvement could be much faster than the typical human R&D cycle of years, and raises the controversial possibility of an intelligence explosion, where recursively self-improving AI rapidly leaves human intelligence far behind, creating what’s known as superintelligence,” he said. He told the audience that while there are conflicting views on how close we are to this scenario, most researchers think it will be “within decades”. Humans need to be ambitious enough to envision and steer towards “a truly inspiring high-tech future” instead of complacently building machines without any thought to the consequences of making humans obsolete. This, he said, will require a change in the old strategy of learning from mistakes to one where we get it right the first time.
The entire world, said Prof. Tegmark has the responsibility for this mammoth task, with all of humanity sharing equally in the benefits and risks of having our lives changed by AI. “No country can address such unconventional and large-scale challenges alone,” he said. China, he added, is uniquely positioned to take a leading role in steering AI because the country is a “world-leading science and technology power and can therefore help lead research not only on how to make AI powerful, but also on how to make it robust and trustworthy.” He also pointed to China’s growing international influence, “together with its ability to inspire, and power to shape the global AI agenda.” He added, “China has both one of the oldest surviving civilizations and a successful tradition of long-term planning. It can therefore play a leading role in developing global AI governance.” He also spoke of global efforts and initiatives under way to ban or avoid an arms race in lethal autonomous weapons by using science to find new ways to help rather than harm; to use AI to figure out a way to make everyone better off from AI-generated wealth; and invest in AI safety research. These three parts make up the roadmap on how to win what he calls the “wisdom race” in order to create a high-tech future. And a large part of this involves building AI that empowers — not overpowers — us.
The day’s first panel discussion then focused on issues such as what would likely be the next big thing for US tech giants and Chinese e-commerce companies’ next foray. Panellists included Mr. Aravind Cherukuri, Vice President of Ocean Spray International Inc; Mr. James Lin, CEO of UNIS; Mr. Jie Tang, General Manager of Suning.com USA; Mr. Rob Weisberg, CEO of Invaluable; and Mr. Anders Zhang, Co-founder & CEO of Starluxe.
The stage was set by Xiande Zhao, CEIBS Professor of Operations and Supply Chain Management, who is also JD.COM Chair in Operations and Supply Chain Management, and Director of CEIBS-GLP Centre of Innovations in Supply Chains and Services. His presentation looked at trends, opportunities and challenges within China’s e-commerce and new retail landscapes. Drawing on his extensive expertise and the latest data, Prof. Zhao pointed out that the percentage of e-commerce in total retail sales in China is increasing faster than in the U.S. with the gap between the two countries widening between 2013, when it was 8.1%, and 2017 when it was 23.6%. Meanwhile, China’s cross-border e-commerce (CBEC) is growing even faster. “The demand for buying foreign goods has increased at a 34% CAGR in the past five years, and will increase 4 times by 2022,” he said, adding “the percentage of CBEC in e-commerce will double by 2022.” He also provided insights into how Chinese consumers’ preferences have changed and the new challenges that have emerged for the supply chain as a result. Chinese consumers, said Prof. Zhao, are now focused on quality and the experience a product can provide, they have a growing demand for customised/personalised products, are prepared to spend more for convenience and efficiency and willing to buy products that contribute to health and wellness. Supply chains will therefore need to be able to sense customer demand, and let it drive the entire chain. They will need to be digital, providing end-to-end data integration with digital technology, and optimize supply chain decisions based on big data. They will also need to be agile, with enough flexibility at various stages of the process to respond quickly and accurately to customer demands.
During the discussion that followed, Prof. Zhao and panellists explored the major challenges and opportunities of doing e-commerce in their respective industries, how they use digital technology and big data to support their businesses, the role of supply chain integration and innovation, as well as how they use big data to analyse consumer behaviour and design, produce and deliver products and services to improve consumer experiences and create more value for them.
In the day’s second keynote speech, Northwestern University’s Prof. Kristian J. Hammond shared his views on Leading the New Future of Digital Economy. Sharing his long-standing fascination with “the promise of machine intelligence”, he spoke of the importance of studying intelligence and the even greater pleasure he gets from building intelligence. Humans are smart because of their ability to learn from the past, Prof. Hammond noted, then using that information to shape the present and predict the future. “This link to learning holds for machine intelligence as well. Nearly all of the work in AI we see today is based on successes in machine learning,” he said. The advances we have made have opened up a mountain of opportunities, he noted, and the key to leveraging these is starting with a task. “Once you have the task, you have to understand it and link it to the data that drives it,” he said. He told the audience that new AI technologies are driven by data and analytics, with machine learning at the forefront of most of them. He stressed, though, that problems are not solved with machine learning but with the knowledge and rules that it brings. “With intelligence, the machine becomes our partner,” he said.
This was followed by the second panel discussion, which looked at fintech from the perspective of how US firms have — or have not — breathed new life into traditional financial products, how their Chinese counterparts have tried to use technology to reshape the financial industry and what the future holds for the sector in both countries. Panellists included Mr. David Fragale, Chief Operating Officer of Arwen; Mr. Eo Hao, Founder of Future Money; Mr. Jack Klinck, Managing Partner for Hyperplane Venture Capital; and Mr. Leo Zhao, Co-founder & Chairman of Mintech. Their discussion was moderated by Prof. Yan Gong, Programme Director of CEIBS Entrepreneurial Leadership Camp who is also Programme Co-Director of CEIBS Venture Capital Camp, and Professor of Entrepreneurial Management Practice. Unlike the earlier sessions and speakers, this final part of the event focused largely on blockchain and other digital currency. The discussion revolved around issues including how to evaluate crypto-currencies’ impact on the society from a broader historical perspective; predictions on which players may grow to become the future Amazon, Microsoft, or China’s BAT in the field of blockchain; and how the strengths of traditional financial talent can be leveraged to benefit the fintech industry.
The forum ended with a closing address by CEIBS Vice President and Co-Dean Prof. Zhang Weijiong who gave a brief recap of event highlights and then thanked all those who made the event possible, especially Z-Park Innovation Center, led by Ming Qiao. He also thanked the CEIBS alumni and students, including many who flew in from China to attend the forum as well as those based in the US. He also made the point that the US Forum is the first of five major events being organised around the world by CEIBS as part of the school’s 25th anniversary celebration. It comes two days before a forum in Zurich where thought leaders from Europe and China will share their views on the evolution of innovation in both regions. The next two forums will be in Munich on July 1 and Brussels on July 12. These are just some of the activities planned to mark the CEIBS 25th Anniversary Celebration in Asia, Europe, Africa, and North America, before culminating in a closing ceremony at CEIBS’ flagship Shanghai campus in November. The activities will span 11 cities across four continents. The theme of the eight-month-long celebration is China Essence, Global Significance. For more details about CEIBS 25th Anniversary Celebration visit http://www.ceibs.edu/special/25/en/index.html
SOURCE China Europe International Business School (CEIBS)
Aragon OSx and App Launch on Arbitrum: lowering the cost and time of launching a DAO
Both Arbitrum and Aragon are building gateways to the largest layer 1 ecosystem, Ethereum
ZUG, Switzerland, Nov. 30, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Aragon has deployed its modular Aragon OSx DAO framework and no-code Aragon App on Arbitrum, opening the door for DAOs to interact with a thriving ecosystem of protocols, applications, and assets. Arbitrum’s rollup technology serves as a gateway to the largest Layer 1 ecosystem—Ethereum—and Aragon’s user-friendly tech stack unlocks the mass adoption of DAO technology.
With over $7 billion total value locked and 55% of the L2 market share, Arbitrum is the industry’s most popular L2 solution. By launching on Arbitrum, DAOs can benefit from lower gas costs, allowing them to conserve DAO resources and drive increased voter turnout. Building custom DAOs on Arbitrum is also easy, because developers can take advantage of full EVM equivalence that streamlines the deployment of custom integrations. Additionally, builders who deploy on Arbitrum inherit the time-proven security of Ethereum, providing a safer and better experience for users, and can enjoy faster transaction speeds that reduce the time needed for DAO administration and governance.
“Arbitrum is by far the most adopted rollup in the EVM ecosystem, both in terms of TVL and protocols launched on the network,” said Ivan Fartunov, Head of Ecosystem at Aragon. “In addition to being home to impactful multichain projects like Stargate, Arbitrum has spurred many exciting native projects like GMX, Tenderize, and Plutus. We are excited to join such a vibrant ecosystem.”
With the accessibility of its no-code solutions, over 7000 DAOs have been launched with Aragon across Ethereum L1 and L2s. Arbitrum communities can now launch a DAO in under 10 minutes and manage their assets in a transparent and user-friendly app.
In addition, the secure and modular design of Aragon OSx enables protocols deployed on Arbitrum to customize their governance with plugins, including multichain governance and optimistic dual governance.
Arbitrum and Aragon are both building technology that opens doors to Ethereum. Both projects have a shared vision to bring the world onto Ethereum through more accessible gateways. More information about Aragon OSx and the Aragon App can be found at https://aragon.org/
Aragon builds the secure and modular Aragon OSx DAO framework and no-code Aragon App. Aragon deployed the first DAO framework in 2017, which has powered the creation of over 7500 DAOs and secured over $16b in value for leading projects like Lido, Decentraland, API3, Aavegotchi, and NFTX.
Global Securities Brokerage & Stock Exchange Services Market Size Expected to Reach $1.84 Trillion In 2023
*No Investment Advice Provided*
PALM BEACH, Fla., Nov. 30, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Stock brokerage is a financial organization on the stock or commodity markets who buys and sells assets in the client’s best interest for which brokerage fee is charged. A stock exchange is a standardized and authorized marketplace where stockbrokers and traders can buy and sell stocks, bonds, and other securities. The services are offered through various modes, such as online and online modes. The various establishments involved are exclusive brokers, banks, investment firms, and other establishments. The securities brokerage and stock exchange services market consist of revenues earned by entities by acting as brokers in selling securities such as equities, bonds, commodities and derivatives. Securities brokerages represent customers in dealing with securities transactions on the trading floor/online platform of stock exchanges. The securities brokerages might sometimes act as a representative for both buyer and seller. This market excludes the advisory and investment activities of the brokerage firms. This market includes transaction charges levied by stock exchanges for trading on its trading floor/online platform to securities brokerages and other fees. It does not include the value of the funds invested in securities. The market value includes the value of related goods sold by the service provider or included within the service offering. Only goods and services traded between entities or sold to end consumers are included. The rise in the use of AI for faster trade executions is the main driver of the market. A report from The Business Research Company projected that the global securities brokerage and stock exchange services market size grew from $1696.91 Billion in 2022 to $1844.31 Billion in 2023 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.7%. The market size of global securities brokerage and stock exchange services market is expected to grow to $2506.41 billion in 2027 at a CAGR of 8.0%. Mentioned in today’s coverage includes: EF Hutton, JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM), Jefferies Financial Group Inc. (NYSE: JEF), Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS), Bank of America Corporation (NYSE: BAC), Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C).
The report added: “Securities brokerage companies are extensively using artificial intelligence for faster trade executions. Artificial intelligence refers to programming machines to enable them to work and react like humans. Most companies are using AI for algorithmic trading in stock brokerage. Algorithmic trading refers to turning a trading idea into an algorithmic trading strategy using an algorithm. The AI-enabled alternative trading system (ATS) helps in improving the speed of trade execution. North America was the largest region in the securities brokerage and stock exchange services market size in 2022. South America was the second largest region in the securities brokerage and stock exchange services.”
EF Hutton Completes Acquisition of Broker-Dealer Benchmark Investments, LLC – EF Hutton, an investment bank headquartered in New York, today announced the closing of the acquisition of its broker-dealer, Benchmark Investments, LLC, a provider of a range of financial services to institutional and retail clients.
The transaction closed on November 9, 2023, significantly expanding EF Hutton’s capabilities and leadership across public and private markets for its growing roster of clients, with all broker-dealer resources and operations to be held under the EF Hutton brand. Benchmark Investments, LLC name has been changed to “EF Hutton LLC.” Additional details of the transaction were not disclosed.
“This transformative acquisition is the next step in our evolution to help our clients’ ambitions prosper through a full spectrum of services,” said Joseph T. Rallo, Chief Executive Officer of EF Hutton. “Looking ahead, we are integrating broker-dealer operations and believe this transaction will enhance our current business lines with the capacity for larger deals and a broader client base, while also providing a platform to expand our business lines in the future. We continue to look for additional opportunities to bolster our services and strengthen our footprint, including the expansion of our retail business through our wealth management division,” concluded Rallo.
David W. Boral, President of EF Hutton, added, “Incorporating broker-dealer functions and services into the firm will bring a higher degree of streamlined operations and efficiency for our clients. This acquisition also provides us with additional independence that gives more control and transparency to the deal process from start to finish. Our improved end-to-end solutions will position clients for long-term success across IPOs, SPAC IPOs, follow-on offerings, secondary offerings, shelf takedowns, M&A, advisory, acquisition financings, pre-IPO financings, and more. We look forward to introducing middle market and emerging growth companies around the world to an expanded EF Hutton.” For more information on EF Hutton, please visit: https://efhutton.com/ef-hutton-news/
Other recent developments in the financial markets of note include:
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) recently kicked off its second annual DEVUP, a firmwide software engineering conference designed for engineers by engineers. Launched in 2022, DEVUP is a one-of-a-kind technology innovation forum convening more than 500 software engineers, data scientists and other technologists from all 23 of the financial services firm’s Global Technology Centers for three days of programming that celebrate engineering excellence.
The agenda features wide-ranging discussions on cutting-edge research, interactive workshops, and hands-on experiences led by more than 150 speakers. Participants have the unique opportunity to showcase and learn skills, build connections with peers, and discuss new ways to implement emerging technologies at massive scale and speed at one of the world’s large financial institutions.
“In today’s dynamic technology landscape, the role of the software engineer – and the technologist more broadly – is undergoing a transformative shift. DEVUP is an opportunity to recognize JPMorgan Chase’s top software engineers, provide experiences for them to build their skills, and foster a sense of community – all with the aim of empowering them to continue driving innovation across our firm,” said Lori Beer, Global Chief Information Officer, JPMorgan Chase. “Already a beloved tradition among JPMorgan Chase’s technologists in its second year, DEVUP brings together our software engineers from across the world to explore opportunities for innovation and impact, and champion the broader firm’s technology-forward mindset.”
Bank of America Corporation (NYSE: BAC) Chair and Chief Executive Officer Brian Moynihan will participate in the Goldman Sachs 2023 US Financial Services Conference on Tuesday, December 5, at 9:20 a.m. ET. A live webcast of this event will be accessible through the Bank of America Investor Relations website at https://investor.bankofamerica.com.
Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C) – Citibank is launching its first football promotional campaign in Singapore, giving its customers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to attend the prestigious UEFA Champions League Final live in London.
The global bank is the first in Singapore to partner Mastercard for the 2023/24 UEFA Champions League, responding to the passion points of its clients and the intense popularity of football in the region.
Regina Lim, Citibank Singapore Head of Credit Cards and Personal Loans, said: “Customers want a win-win relationship with a bank that understands and empowers them to pursue their passion. Given the immense following football has in Singapore, this campaign exemplifies our commitment to be the bank that gets our customers ahead and delivers exceptional value for them.
Jefferies Financial Group Inc. (NYSE: JEF) Richard Handler, CEO, and Brian Friedman, President recently released a statement regarding the firm’s Q3 Financial highlights.
“Our third quarter net revenues of $1.18 billion reflect an improving market environment. We are increasingly optimistic that we have come off the bottom of the cycle and that momentum in investment banking will continue.
“Investment Banking generated $645 million of net revenues, an increase of 28% from last quarter due to modestly improved mergers and acquisitions activity and a more receptive leveraged finance and new issue market, as the green shoots we mentioned last quarter have multiplied.”
“Our strategy during down cycles has always been to play offense by investing in our future. This is the main theme for us in 2023, made possible by our strong capital base and solid global brand and platform. The dislocation and changes in strategy among some of our competitors created distinct opportunity this year. As we will discuss during our upcoming Investor Day on October 16, 2023, we are adding outstanding new Managing Directors to our Investment Banking effort across the globe. We started 2023 with 299 Managing Directors in Investment Banking and expect to begin 2024 with over 360 total Managing Directors, an increase of 20%. The 360 Managing Directors would be up 70% from the 212 Investment Banking Managing Directors that wore the Jefferies’ jersey at the beginning of 2020.”
Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) recently recognized CEO of 6sense, Jason Zintak, as one of the Most Exceptional Entrepreneurs of 2023 at its Builders and Innovators Summit in Healdsburg, California. Goldman Sachs selected Zintak from multiple industries honored at the two-day event. Since Zintak joined 6sense in 2017, the company has grown astronomically by every measure: employee, customer, net revenue retention, and revenue growth. With a reputation for making smart moves, prioritizing people, and creating a culture of innovation, Zintak leads the company towards its mission to revolutionize the way B2B organizations create, manage and convert pipeline to revenue.
“To be recognized for entrepreneurship by Goldman Sachs is an incredible honor,” said Jason Zintak, 6sense CEO. “This recognition reflects the strength and passion of our team and our commitment to a growth mindset which fosters ongoing learning, curiosity and innovation. Our collective entrepreneurial spirit at 6sense started with our founders and leaders and continues today across the organization as a defining element of our success in delivering real value to our customers.”
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CHARAC SECURES £1M INVESTMENT FROM WORLD-CLASS MEDICATION PLATFORM MEDADVISOR TO DRIVE ITS INTERNATIONAL GROWTH
Total capital raised by Charac now sits at £3.5 million following previous investment from the National Pharmacy Association
Deal allows Charac to expand its capabilities across Australia, New Zealand and the USA to help pharmacists capitalise on significant market opportunities
LONDON, Nov. 28, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Leading healthcare SaaS provider Charac today announces a ground-breaking partnership with world-class medication management platform MedAdvisor Solutions (ASX:MDR). The deal with Australia-based MedAdvisor allows Charac to expand it capabilities across Australia, New Zealand and the USA, making components of its app available to a far broader group of pharmacies internationally.
MedAdvisor, through a strategic investment and licencing agreement, will invest up to £1 million over 9-months in Charac for up to a 7.4% shareholding, and the company’s CEO Rick Ratliff will join Charac’s board as a Non-Executive Director. MedAdvisor will end operations in the UK, transferring its relationships to Charac.
Through licensing specific components of Charac’s platform and integrating them into MedAdvisor’s Plus One platform, the partnership will provide tremendous improvements in the delivery of digital pharmacy support, advanced home delivery solutions and eCommerce capabilities.
MedAdvisor has connected with over 3.5 million patients through more than 95% of Australian community pharmacies. It also serves 25% of New Zealand’s community pharmacies and works with 33,500 pharmacies in the USA. Globally, MedAdvisor has achieved a milestone of 235 million patients.
Charac’s app streamlines pharmacy operations onto a cloud-native platform to relieve time pressure, increase efficiency and drive the growth of independent pharmacies.
The UK’s retail pharmacy market is projected to grow from USD$27b in 2022 to $39.59b by 2030. In Australia, revenue in the pharmacies market is close to USD$20b, while in the USA, the market is valued at some USD$527b. All three markets have annual growth projections of between 4%-5%.
Charac is integrated with the NHS, and the company has signed up some 800 pharmacies, with 36,000 patients currently using the app. Charac has previously secured a £1 million investment from the Royal Mail and £1.2 million from the National Pharmacy Association and pharmacy owners.
Santosh Sahu, founder and CEO of Charac, said: “MedAdvisor is an ideal partner for us to help accelerate our international growth plans and pursue our ambitious mission to enable pharmacies to take advantage of the significant opportunities that present themselves.”
- Aragon OSx and App Launch on Arbitrum: lowering the cost and time of launching a DAO
- Global Securities Brokerage & Stock Exchange Services Market Size Expected to Reach $1.84 Trillion In 2023
- CHARAC SECURES £1M INVESTMENT FROM WORLD-CLASS MEDICATION PLATFORM MEDADVISOR TO DRIVE ITS INTERNATIONAL GROWTH
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