KPMG LLP announced today the opening of the KPMG Ignition Center – Chicago, the firm’s seventh and largest Center designed to allow the firm’s clients to become better, more competitive and transform. The 30,000 square foot Ignition Center, located on the 68th floor of the Aon Center, brings together the firm’s collective capabilities across signal sensing, design thinking, data & analytics and Artificial Intelligence (AI), strategy, business process and technology.
“With the rate and pace of disruption in the market, KPMG is constantly focused on making strategic, short and long-term investments that address market disruption and support a transformation journey,” said Mike Nolan, KPMG Vice Chair, Innovation & Enterprise Solutions (I&ES). “We are excited to open our seventh and largest Ignition Center. These spaces help us to bring together our capabilities across emerging technologies, strategy and business services in a new way that represents how KPMG is transforming our business and how we help our clients transform.”
The proliferation of emerging technologies like artificial intelligence/cognitive, blockchain, cloud, augmented/virtual reality and platform business models promise greater efficiency and lower costs, but many organizations find it challenging to capitalize on these new technologies. KPMG is able to help businesses navigate the signals of disruption that are impacting their business, establish strategic approaches to evolving their business models, financial models and operating models, and design technology solutions that can support their organizational needs.
KPMG’s 2018 CEO Outlook found that 86 percent of U.S. CEOs consider their companies to be active disruptors. A vast majority see technology as the only significant disruption their business faces. KPMG Ignition Centers enable the firm to anticipate technology advances and monitor the signals of disruption in order to support the modernization of business, including human-centered design thinking and ways of working.
The firm selected Chicago for its newest KPMG Ignition Center in part due to the breadth of industry sectors and businesses located in the Chicagoland area, convenient access to transportation, and access to talent. The firm’s second-largest office, Chicago’s more than 2,500 partners and professionals serve more than 1,000 publically and privately held companies in the Chicago area across audit, tax and advisory.
“Chicago’s ability to attract and retain technology talent is critical to the work we are doing to support enterprise-wide business transformation,” said Linda Imonti, Chicago office managing principal. “Our clients represent a cross-sections of the industries and businesses that are being transformed by emerging technologies, regulatory changes and the changing customer. Having a KPMG Ignition Center in Chicago enables us to not only help solve their complex business problems, but also to attract and retain the new types of talent critical to KPMG’s continued growth.”
“Chicago’s tech scene has grown tremendously over the past several years because of our deep talent pool, global connectivity, world-class infrastructure, affordability and amazing quality of life,” said Mayor Emanuel. “KPMG’s ongoing commitment to invest in Chicago and foster the next generation of technologists in Chicago will advance our technology ecosystem for many years to come.”
The 30,000 square foot KPMG Ignition Center in Chicago incorporates:
- Innovation Lab: KPMG Innovation Labs detect and interpret signals of change, from an outside-in perspective. Using proprietary research and tools, customer insights, and robust analysis capabilities, KPMG applies design thinking for business model innovation, enabling our clients to synthesize new outlooks and translate complex signals into actions.
- Insights Center: A state-of-the-art facility to showcase the art of the possible using data & analytics and artificial intelligence (AI). Companies can engage in real-time data exploration and scenario testing, and prototype development for big data systems, data visualization, machine learning, predictive analytics, and optimization. In addition to Chicago, KPMG Insights Centers are located in New York, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, London, Paris and Sydney.
- Technology Solutions collaborates with leading technology firms to drive transformational outcomes through innovation. The integrated teams of data scientists, developers, engineers, technologists and business specialists support a vast array of enabling solutions including cyber security, Tax transformation and technology, robotics and process automation, data and analytics, HR and business transformation, and cloud-based human capital management and financials.
- Green Room: A prototyping “Garage” space. It currently houses a “retail branch of the future,” an immersive demonstration of how Cloud, AI, and Machine Learning are helping retail banks and mortgage lenders to enhance customer service and simplify complex interactions.
- A Briefing Center with a 13-person “Harkness-style” table for strategy and planning.
- The Living Room: A mindful space with natural finishes, a living wall and executive dining area for person-to-person interaction and executive dining.
KPMG Ignition Centers are located in Atlanta, Denver, Grand Rapids, New York City – midtown and downtown, and San Francisco. KPMG will open its next Ignition Center at the KPMG Lakehouse in Lake Nona, FL in 2020.
SOURCE KPMG LLP
Wirex Launches Enhanced Cryptoback™
Today, payments platform Wirex launched a supercharged update of their revolutionary Cryptoback rewards programme. Customers can now earn up to 1.5% back in Bitcoin on Wirex Visa card purchases.
Released in 2018, Cryptoback was the world’s first rewards programme that paid out 0.5% in cryptocurrency for all in-store spending with the Wirex Visa card. Thanks to the recent launch of the Wirex Token (WXT), customers can now triple the amount of BTC they earn – making investing in cryptocurrency easier than ever before.
Depending on the amount of WXT held, in-store Wirex card purchases now generate up to 1.5% in Bitcoin. There are three levels of crypto rewards available:
- 500,000 WXT = 1.5% Cryptoback
- 100,000 WXT = 1.0% Cryptoback
- 50,000 WXT = 0.75% Cryptoback
Wirex have calculated that the average UK consumer stands to earn more than £300 in Cryptoback every year, just by using their Wirex Visa card for day-to-day spending. Unlike many other cashback programmes, Wirex doesn’t impose restrictions on what customers can do with their rewards. Cryptoback can be redeemed instantly into their Bitcoin accounts, or quickly and easily exchanged into fiat for spending.
Enhanced Cryptoback is just one of the ways that holding Wirex Tokens allows customers to get even more out of their account. They can also enjoy heavily discounted fees based on the same structure, with access to premium products, merchant offers and airport lounges coming soon. As Wirex co-founder Pavel Matveev explains:
“We created the Wirex Token to be something that provides tangible value and benefits for holders beyond its market trajectory. Enhanced Cryptoback is the perfect example of this, as it allows customers to earn and invest in digital currency with a minimum of fuss. We’re looking forward to introducing even more benefits for WXT holders soon.”
Aegis Capital Corp. is pleased to announce its commitment to Equity Research
Aegis Capital Corp. continues to expand its equity research platform with the addition of Benjamin Zucker and James Jang. Benjamin joined in May 2019 as Head of Specialty Finance and James joined in June 2019 to head up the Maritime & Special Situations. These new coverage areas will bolster Aegis’ existing research footprint in the Internet/TMT and Healthcare sectors.
Mr. Zucker joined Aegis from BTIG LLC, where he was a Director and lead analyst covering Mortgage REITs and real estate finance companies. Prior to BTIG, Mr. Zucker was a Vice President at JMP Securities LLC where he covered similar sectors. Benjamin began his career in equity research at Pritchard Capital Partners. At Aegis, Mr. Zucker’s coverage will span across several Specialty Finance sub-sectors including Mortgage REITs, Equity REITs, Business Development Companies (BDCs) and Financial Technology firms (FinTech). Benjamin’s current coverage list includes: Medalist Diversified REIT (MDRR), Sachem Capital Corp. (SACH), and Saratoga Investment Corp. (SAR).
Mr. Jang joined Aegis from Maxim Group LLC, where he was a Senior Vice President and lead analyst covering the Industrials, Infrastructure and Clean-Technology sectors. Previously, Mr. Jang was a senior analyst at Sidoti & Co. covering furniture and textiles and was an equity research associate at Canaccord Genuity covering Maritime and Upstream E&P companies. Since joining, Mr. Jang has expanded Aegis’ research platform into the Agriculture, Oilfield Services, and Industrial Technology sectors with coverage of Profire Energy (PFIE), Marrone Bio Innovations (MBII), Yield10 Bioscience (YTEN) and Sigma Labs (SGLB).
Michael Pata Aegis’ Head of Business Development commented: “Hiring Benjamin and James continues to show Aegis’ commitment to equity research, which brings institutional quality analysis to the small and mid-cap universe.”
SOURCE Aegis Capital
LexinFintech Announces US$300 Million Private Placement of Convertible Notes with PAG
LexinFintech Holdings Ltd. (NASDAQ: LX) (“Lexin” or the “Company”), a leading fintech platform for educated young adults in China, today announced that it has entered into a convertible note purchase agreement with PAG, a leading Asia-focused private equity firm with over US$30 billion in capital under management, pursuant to which the Company will issue and sell convertible notes in an aggregate principal amount of US$300 million to PAG through a private placement. The private placement is subject to satisfaction of customary closing conditions and is expected to close on or around September 16, 2019. The gross proceeds raised from this placement will be approximately US$296.4 million.
The convertible notes will mature in seven years, bearing interest at a rate of 2.0% per annum. The notes will be convertible into fully paid Class A ordinary shares of the Company or ADSs at a conversion price of US$14 per ADS at the holder’s option from the date that is six months after the issuance date. The holder of the notes will have the right to require the Company to repurchase for cash all or any portion of the notes on the fourth anniversary of the issuance date.
At closing, the Company will appoint to its Board of Directors one person designated by PAG.
Mr. Jay Wenjie Xiao, Founder, chairman and chief executive officer of the Company, said, “We are excited to have PAG as our new investor. This investment will enable Lexin to further develop and enhance our consumption-based ecosystem, improve product offerings to our educated adult customers, continue to invest in technology, build up additional consumption scenarios, and provide more consumer benefits to our customers.”
“PAG has a strong commitment to and deep understanding of China’s financial services industry, and we have a demonstrated track record of seeking out and engaging with the industry’s leading companies,” said PAG Chairman & CEO Weijian Shan. “Lexin has an unparalleled platform for meeting young consumers’ credit needs while strictly controlling and minimizing credit risks, which makes it unique, and we are looking forward to supporting the company as it embarks on its next stage of growth.”
Goldman Sachs (Asia) L.L.C., BofA Merrill Lynch and China Renaissance acted as the private placement agents to Lexin on the transaction.
SOURCE LexinFintech Holdings Ltd.
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