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The Energy Union: from vision to reality

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The fourth report on the State of the Energy Union, adopted today, shows that the Commission has fully delivered on its vision of an Energy Union strategy guaranteeing accessible, affordable, secure, competitive and sustainable energy for all Europeans.

Europe is already a global leader in fighting climate change. European policies implemented over the last five years in all policy areas have put the EU on the right track to fully embrace the clean energy transition, seizing the economic opportunities that it offers, creating growth and jobs and a healthier environment for consumers.

Beyond modernising European energy and climate policy, the Energy Union boosts the clean energy transition of the European economy in key sectors, in line with our commitments under the Paris Agreement, while ensuring a socially fair transition. Building a resilient Energy Union with a forward-looking climate and energy policy has been one of the political priorities of the Juncker Commission. Today we take stock of the successful implementation of what was but a vision in 2014 of a unified, interconnected, secure and sustainable Energy Union. The report is accompanied by two documents showing progress made in renewable energy and energy efficiency. In parallel the Commission is also putting forward a report on the implementation of the strategic action plan on batteries and a communication for more efficient and democratic decision making in EU energy and climate policy.

Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič, in charge of the Energy Union, said: “The Energy Union is Europe at its best: tackling together the big energy security and energy transition we can’t solve within national borders. From the daunting challenge of the energy transition we made an economic opportunity for all Europeans. To do this, we had to truly transform our energy and climate policies: not just tweaks at the margins but systemic change. No Member State could have delivered on its own. Our report shows how all the Energy Union measures combine to make our policy fit for the future. Today, our framework redirects investments into future oriented technologies and solutions. We have also kick-started measures for industry such as battery manufacturing in Europe, while making sure we’re not leaving any European behind in the transition. It is now for each Member State to follow suit and rapidly integrate national measures on energy, climate, mobility and all other related areas, so Europe leads the way towards climate neutrality by mid-century.”

Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete said: Europe has now in place the world’s most ambitious and advanced climate and energy framework. We agreed all the legislation to meet our 2030 targets, with higher targets for renewables and energy efficiency. But the Energy Union is more than rules and policies: we mobilised record levels of clean energy investments in Europe, we brokered the Paris Agreement and triggered its quick entry into force, we further integrated the European energy market, and we set a long-term vision for climate neutral Europe by 2050. But we still have a long way to go. We need to keep up the deployment of renewable energy across Europe and step up efforts to save more energy. We must embark in a process of transformation with a much greater sense of urgency than I see today. With our climate-neutral strategy by 2050, wehave sketched out how this can be done, and presented a solid analysis of why and how Europe can achieve climate neutrality; why this model can be replicated by other countries in the world; how climate neutrality, economic prosperity and social fairness can and must go together.”

The Energy Union has strengthened the internal energy market and increased the EU’s energy security by investing into new smart infrastructure (including, cross-border), providing a new state-of-the-art market design and introducing a cooperation mechanism between the Member States based on solidarity to respond to potential crises in a more effective and efficient manner.

As the Commission has recently set out in its Communication “A Clean Planet for All”, the energy transition requires a comprehensive economic and societal transformation, engaging all sectors of the economy and society to achieve the transition to climate neutrality by 2050. The Energy Union framework puts Europe on the right path to become a prosperous, modern, competitive and climate neutral economy.

The Juncker Commission has put in place a brand new legislative framework for the Energy Union. The updated legislative framework has enabled the EU to maintain its leadership in climate action by increasing its level of ambition for 2030 in a number of energy related sectors, from increased targets for renewable energy and energy efficiency, to targets on emissions from cars, vans and lorries. In addition to the new legislative framework, the Commission has put in place an enabling framework of supporting measures toensure a smooth transition for European industries, regions and cities. A number of targeted initiatives have been created to guarantee all regions and citizens benefit equally from the energy transition. One of these initiatives is the European battery alliance.

The European battery industry has been identified as a strategic value chain for the EU in the context of a strengthened industrial policy strategy. The Energy Union report is accompanied by a separate report on the implementation of the strategic action plan on batteries.

A second Communication published today calls for a strengthening of the democratic accountability of the decision-making process under the Euratom treaty. The European Commission will establish a High Level Group of Experts to assess the state of play of the Euratom Treaty with a view to considering how, on the basis of the current Treaty, its democratic accountability could be improved.

In the same communication, the Commission asks the European Parliament and the Council to reflect on how energy taxation could better contribute to the EU’s energy and climate policy objectives, and how a move to qualified majority voting (QMV) decision-making amongst Member States could help to unlock progress in this area. This strand of work builds on the Commission’s blueprint for a gradual transition to QMV decision-making in all areas of taxation, first published in January.

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Addepar Broadens Reach with Expanded Offerings for RIAs

Vlad Poptamas

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Addepar, Inc., a leading technology platform for wealth management, announced a number of releases aimed at helping RIAs that serve a variety of client types excel in an increasingly competitive market. The new capabilities and features make it easier than ever for firms to adopt Addepar’s modern technology stack, streamline their operations and offer a truly differentiated client experience powered by best in class data, analytics and reporting.

“As the wealth management industry continues to undergo a dramatic transformation, we’re making good on our goal to meet wealth advisors where they are. We’re delivering new functionality in our platform that empowers RIAs to navigate these changes with purpose-built, intuitive solutions so that they can deliver lasting value to clients and grow their business for years to come,” said Addepar CEO Eric Poirier.

Making it easier for RIAs to modernize their tech stack
For established RIAs who want to modernize their reporting technology but find it daunting to make the switch, Addepar is introducing a broader and more flexible set of data migration options to efficiently and precisely fulfill each client’s data onboarding needs. This includes a newly introduced “Advent Converter,” which streamlines migrating data from Advent’s APX and Axys systems into Addepar. Addepar will continue investing in additional data management and conversion solutions to make it easy for any firm to upgrade to Addepar’s technology.

Addressing emerging demand and delivering more client value
Addepar’s strong traction with large RIA firms, banks and broker-dealers has exposed a previously unmet need in the market: the power to use Addepar’s platform for all advisor teams, from those with ultra-high net worth clients to those who serve the mass affluent. Today, the company is introducing AddeparGoSM, an offering that tailors Addepar’s software to the specific needs of these larger firms. AddeparGo is designed with a set of features, capabilities and custodial data feeds that optimize for speedy implementation and make it easy for larger firms who have a range of advisor teams to adopt. The company is making AddeparGo available to key partners and clients now, and will continue shaping this offering based on feedback.

Helping the back-office streamline operations and scale productivity
Many well-established firms have turned to Addepar for its ability to support sizable and complex implementations and provide data aggregation, analytics and reporting at scale. To offer even greater support, the company is pleased to announce the release of Addepar Teams. Teams is a set of advanced controls and permissions to serve firms that need to grant varying access by team, branch, role and functional responsibility. This set of digital capabilities dramatically simplifies the previously time-intensive and error-prone operational process of managing reporting controls, while achieving legal, risk and compliance goals.

 

SOURCE Addepar

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FinTech Startup TheGuarantors Announces New Chief Operating Officer

Vlad Poptamas

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New York-based FinTech company, TheGuarantors, has announced the hiring of Sean O’Donoghue as Chief Operating Officer. Since its founding in 2015, TheGuarantors has been a leader in finding innovative ways to solve for risk in leasing, using its expertise in real estate, risk, and technology. This recent addition to the leadership team reflects the company’s expanding product suite, geographic footprint, and client-base.

Mr. O’Donoghue is a solutions-driven leader with 30 years of proven excellence in developing and executing market leading technology and digital strategies, product development, operations, and financial management at a variety of established companies including DreamWorks Animation SKG, Madison Square Garden, Macerich, Oracle and KPMG. Mr. O’Donoghue excels in helping companies optimize existing business models, and identifying and developing new technology-based solutions. Most recently, Mr. O’Donoghue was Chief Operating Officer at Trōv Inc., a renowned InsurTech startup that powers digital insurance solutions for innovative businesses in the finance, insurance, mobility, and retail sectors, enabling the new ways people live, work and move.

Mr. O’Donoghue’s broad background aligns well with TheGuarantors’ own profile. Having worked in both corporate and startup environments, he has domain expertise in insurance, technology, real estate, media and entertainment, and he has delivered enterprise and B2B solutions, platform technology, as well as direct-to-consumer products. “At TheGuarantors, we pride ourselves on our agility and cross-functionality,” says CEO Julien Bonneville. “Different stakeholders from real estate, risk, insurance, technology, asset-management, etc. come to us for solutions because of how well we work across different verticals and domains – Sean is a perfect fit.” Mr. O’Donoghue adds, “TheGuarantors has established itself as an innovative and execution-oriented player at the cross-section of Real Estate, FinTech and InsurTech. It’s an exceptionally strong team, with a wealth of knowledge and new ideas, and I look forward to helping the company thrive and expand.”

In 2019 TheGuarantors announced $15 million in Series B funding, bringing their total amount raised to $27 million. Last year the company also launched a new product (Securiti, the smart commercial deposit), built out their current product offerings (Guaranti, an expanded program of multifamily products), re-branded, and successfully expanded nationally. With O’Donoghue as a trusted insurance and technology pioneer and leader, TheGuarantors will continue to provide tools, products, and solutions that can change with the market. Their vision is to be the “go-to” most trusted brand for insurance products and financial solutions throughout the real estate industry (servicing every real estate professional, resident and corporate tenant alike).

 

SOURCE TheGuarantors

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American Discovery Capital Announces Strategic Growth Investment in SmartBug Media®

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American Discovery Capital (ADC)—a private equity firm focused on investing in leading family-owned and middle market companies in high-growth sectors—today announced its strategic growth investment in and partnership with SmartBug Media®.  SmartBug® is the highest-rated HubSpot partner in the world and a leading Intelligent Inbound® marketing agency that assists businesses in generating leads, increasing awareness, and building brand loyalty through inbound marketing, digital strategy, design, marketing automation, and public relations. As part of its investment strategy, ADC will work closely with SmartBug to develop new growth channels and expand the company’s capabilities and team, while supporting its continued delivery of the highest levels of customer service and value.

ADC focuses on partnering with business owners and entrepreneurs who have built successful, established businesses with strong fundamentals that can benefit from ADC’s operational experience and capital to support future growth. Its partnership with SmartBug demonstrates ADC’s ability to identify unique investment opportunities and exemplifies its partnership approach with innovative owners and entrepreneurs.

“SmartBug demonstrates the quality and attractive attributes we look for in an investment,” said Mike Denbeau, partner at ADC. “Its unique business model—which includes strong and steady growth, recurring revenue and long-term customer relationships, a strong culture of innovation, and a unique ‘remote’ business model that provides access to a nationwide talent recruitment pool—has already proven very successful in the digital agency space and is one we look to build upon in partnership with the company’s highly talented management team.”

John Joliet, partner at ADC, added, “Over a decade ago, Ryan Malone anticipated the coming shift from traditional outbound marketing to data-driven, inbound marketing services for middle market growth companies, and he saw an opportunity to build a world-class professional team by employing an innovative ‘remote’ business model.  We believe this unique philosophy has paved the way for SmartBug to develop its strong reputation throughout the industry as a market leader and respected advisor, which has resulted in numerous awards and accolades over the past few years. ADC believes that SmartBug’s ability to ‘productize’ this value in a recurring, long-term relationship model using its proprietary recruitment, employee training, and customer delivery processes makes its future prospects even more compelling.”

SmartBug has a number of unique and impressive attributes that made it an attractive investment for ADC:

  • SmartBug is a leader in the high-growth inbound marketing sector, which is benefiting from a rapid shift of spend from traditional outbound marketing channels to data-driven, digital inbound marketing.
  • Unlike the traditional agency model, which has historically focused on project-based, short-term campaign work that can be high cost with unclear ROI implications for the client, SmartBug offers customers a compelling, data-driven retainer model. This model allows customers to outsource their digital marketing needs on a turnkey basis, driving long-term value for the client with a heavy emphasis on ROI.
  • The need for SmartBug’s services is especially mission-critical in the large middle market segment of the U.S. economy, where companies typically do not have in-house digital marketing capabilities and access to the level of marketing talent that larger firms possess, creating a large untapped opportunity for SmartBug.
  • As the highest-rated HubSpot Partner in the world and HubSpot’s Global Partner of the Year, SmartBug has won a number of prominent industry awards recognizing the quality of the company’s work product, team, and workplace culture, including winning more than 150 MarCom Awards in the past two years alone, making the Inc. 5000 list three years in a row, being named to the inaugural Adweek 100: Fastest Growing Agencies list, and earning a number of Comparably and Great Place to Work® awards.
  • SmartBug’s strong value proposition and unique retainer model have driven strong growth for the company and provide a reliable base of recurring revenue to re-invest in growing the company’s customer relationships and talent.

“We are very excited to partner with ADC, and we feel like their team and goals align fully with our values, our remote business model, where we believe the market is headed, and most importantly, our people,” said Ryan Malone, founder and CEO of SmartBug Media. “The ADC team is a uniquely talented and forward-looking group that understands and values the overarching purpose of our remote model: that you can win in business while retaining the flexibility to do the things that matter to you and your family. We believe there is a large, underserved opportunity to provide high quality digital marketing services to clients with the cost certainty and emphasis on ROI that clients highly value and our unique model affords, at scale—and we are excited to partner with ADC to address this compelling market need.”

 

SOURCE American Discovery Capital

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