Goldman Sachs will no longer help companies with all-male boards to float IPOs

Goldman Sachs | January 24, 2020

From June 30, Goldman Sachs Group Inc will only help take a company public if it has at least one diverse board member, as such companies perform better after listing, Chief Executive David Solomon said on CNBC on Thursday. The policy will apply to U.S. and European companies and will increase over time, with the bank requiring two diverse board members starting in June 2021, Solomon said. Solomon did not define what the company meant by "diverse" candidates, but said the focus was on women. "We're not going to take a company public unless there's one diverse board candidate with a focus on women," he said. The decision comes as more than 60 U.S. and European companies went public in the last two years without any female board members, the bank said.

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New insights on nonfinancial performance from global institutional investors EY, in collaboration with Institutional Investor Research, reprised its inaugural 2014 research report examining investor attitudes toward ESG and nonfinancial measures.


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FINTECH

Mastercard SpendingPulse: U.S. Retail Sales Grew 8.5%* This Holiday Season

Mastercard | December 27, 2021

It’s been a resurgent season for retailers as consumers stocked their carts with gifts and gadgets. According to Mastercard SpendingPulseTM, holiday retail sales excluding automotive increased 8.5% year-over-year this holiday season, running from November 1 through December 24. Notably, online sales grew 11.0% compared to the same period last year, the preliminary insights show. Mastercard SpendingPulse measures in-store and online retail sales across all forms of payment. Shoppers were eager to secure their gifts ahead of the retail rush, with conversations surrounding supply chain and labor supply issues sending consumers online and to stores in droves,” said Steve Sadove, senior advisor for Mastercard and former CEO and Chairman of Saks Incorporated. “Consumers splurged throughout the season, with apparel and department stores experiencing strong growth as shoppers sought to put their best dressed foot forward.” Findings from Mastercard SpendingPulse underscore the strength of the holiday shopper across channels, with consumers returning to stores (+8.1% YOY), and e-commerce continuing to expand, up 11.0% compared to 2020. Additional key findings include: Consumers shopped early: Continuing a key trend from 2020, U.S. consumers shopped earlier than in years past, as retailers offered special promotions early and then again later in the season as shoppers raced to secure “guaranteed by Christmas” shipping offers. Looking at Mastercard’s expanded holiday season, total retail sales were up +8.6%* YOY for the 75 days between October 11 and December 24. Thanksgiving weekend remained key: Black Friday marked the top spending day of the 2021 holiday season yet again. For the Thanksgiving weekend running Friday, November 26 through Sunday, November 28, shoppers drove U.S. retail sales up +14.1% YOY. In-store sales also rebounded, increasing +16.5% YOY while e-commerce sales experienced sustained growth, up +4.9% YOY. Smaller boxes had a big impact: Whether consumers were shopping for themselves or for loved ones, the Jewelry sector experienced some of the strongest YOY and YO2Y growth. E-commerce sales snowballed: This holiday season, e-commerce made up 20.9% of total retail sales, up from 20.6% in 2020 and 14.6% in 2019. The channel continues to experience elevated growth as consumers enjoy the ease of holiday browsing and buying in the comfort of their own homes. About Mastercard SpendingPulse: Mastercard SpendingPulse reports on national retail sales across all payment types in select markets around the world. The findings are based on aggregate sales activity in the Mastercard payments network, coupled with survey-based estimates for certain other payment forms, such as cash and check. Mastercard SpendingPulse defines “U.S. retail sales” as sales at retailers and food services merchants of all sizes. Sales activity within the services sector (for example, travel services such as airlines and lodging) are not included. Holiday spending insights are preliminary. About Mastercard (NYSE: MA) Mastercard is a global technology company in the payments industry. Our mission is to connect and power an inclusive, digital economy that benefits everyone, everywhere by making transactions safe, simple, smart and accessible. Using secure data and networks, partnerships and passion, our innovations and solutions help individuals, financial institutions, governments and businesses realize their greatest potential. Our decency quotient, or DQ, drives our culture and everything we do inside and outside of our company. With connections across more than 210 countries and territories, we are building a sustainable world that unlocks priceless possibilities for all.

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BITCOIN AND CRYPTO

Facepay Announces Facepay Crypto to Bring Cryptocurrency Payments to Auto Shops

Facepay | March 07, 2022

Facepay Inc. announced today the release of Facepay Crypto, an addition to its pioneering relational payments platform known for freeing business owners from credit card transaction fees and leveraging the security of blockchain technologies. Facepay’s Relational Payments disrupted the industry with its bold fixed-price subscription model in late 2020 and is poised to shake up the payments industry again with the introduction of Facepay Crypto. Built on a private Ethereum network, Facepay Crypto will allow shops to accept Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrency payments from customers directly, displacing complicated fee structures associated with legacy payment processing. And because payments made on the blockchain are irrevocable, they are not subject to the chargeback, fraud, and dispute processes that credit cards are. We figured out how to provide the advantages of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies into the platform while still maintaining that auto repair shops are paid directly, Consumer cryptocurrency will only increase over time, and repair shops should be investing in the right technology to take advantage of it. If not, Bitcoin will be just another payment method that costs shops money. Every direct payment made with Facepay results in a 15-20% more profitable transaction.” Dr. Mark Hale, the founder of Facepay. Cryptocurrency is entering the mainstream, just as repair shops are already heavily burdened with excessive credit card fees and planned fee increases. Facepay will allow shops to integrate alternative payments into their workflow and immediately realize additional profit gains because customers pay businesses directly, circumventing the traditional payment processor entirely. We all need to keep in front of our client’s experience. Contactless and digital payment methods are everywhere today. Adoption rates for these transactions are climbing higher and higher. Facepay’s platform saves me money, while remaining convenient and secure. Facepay is the right payment technology now and for the future.” Greg Buckley, Owner of Buckley’s Auto Care. Currently, there is no other platform on the market designed for auto shops to offer crypto-ready, direct banking with the security of blockchain technology. As a Diamond Partner, Facepay is the Preferred Payments to members of the Automotive Training Institute. Members can learn more about Facepay Crypto at the showcase held at the ATI SuperConference 2022 in Carlsbad, CA, March 16-19 and on their member portal. Auto shops attending the 2022 VISION HiTech Training & Expo in Kansas City, MO, on March 3-5 can visit us at the Facepay booth #435. About Facepay The Facepay Relational Payments payment platform helps business owners increase profits by eliminating credit card processing fees. Facepay’s technology allows auto shop owners to adopt a modern payment platform with a low-cost, fixed monthly subscription as an alternative to paying 2% - 3% of revenues to credit card processors. Facepay works with all management systems with an easy-to-use dashboard easily incorporated into existing workflows. On average, US auto repair shops using the Facepay model add $25,000 to their bottom line annually. Facepay enables repair shops to offer their customers multiple payment options, including contactless payments, monthly installments, and service subscription plans.

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BLOCKCHAIN

ixFintech Group Limited Announces Launch of ixWallet 2.0 and Plans to Launch New Asset-backed TeaCoin

ixFintech | December 22, 2021

IX Fintech Group Limited (ixFintech) is honoured to announce the successful integration of privacy identity authentication and post quantum computing security into ixWallet to safeguard users' identity against cybersecurity risk. In Q1 2022, the company also aims to launch ixPoint, the company's first-ever reward point scheme, as well as the first asset-backed TeaCoin. The new version of ixWallet comes with two new indexes: ixBitcoin and ixEthereum. These indexes in combination with ixCrypto Index facilitate easy comparison of the performance of the whole Crypto market versus the performance of Bitcoin and Ethereum. ixWallet 2.0 offers more efficient and flexible KYC (Know Your Customer) processes depending on the users’ needs and usage. “The ixWallet 2.0 marks a momentous milestone in our development journey to provide enhanced protection for our customers’ valuable digital assets. In addition to serving users who want anonymity while satisfying regulators’ requirements on KYC and security, ixWallet 2.0 allows users to choose whether they want to conduct full KYC for regulated activities through its settings,” said Irene Wong, the founder and CEO of ixFintech. This launching event also records a successful collaboration with Polydigi Tech Ltd for its pending patent on the world’s first Anti-Authorised Push Payment (Anti-App) scams and phishing Digital ID authentication s-Factr™ solution and IronCAP, a code-based cryptographic technology by 01 Communique Laboratory Inc as announced in Q2 2021. These technologies are likely to make ixWallet 2.0 the safest digital wallet in the world. The company is also excited to announce the successful completion of the Proof-Of-Concept Project (PoC Project) on the world’s first audited Tea Cake Tokenisation. The Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau (FSTB) launched the Fintech Proof-of-Concept Subsidy Scheme (the “PoC Scheme”) aiming to encourage traditional financial institutions (the “FIs”) to partner up with Fintech companies to conduct the PoC Project on innovative financial service products. An asset-backed token is a digital token based on blockchain technology that derives its value based on the underlying asset. Coin holders may benefit from the liquidity and price performance of the token in the secondary market. The TeaCoin was designed with the traditional tea cake in mind and is available on ixWallet 2.0 for users to understand asset tokenisation. In the future, investors can store TeaCoins on ixWallet and this will allow them to safeguard their assets until they need to transfer such assets to another party or use them to redeem a real physical tea cake from the tea company. About IX Fintech IX Fintech Group is a Hong Kong based digital assets award winning company, including HK FinTech Awards, HK FinTech Impetus Awards, IFTA Awards and TADS Awards. The company’s mission is to bridge the traditional finance and new digital finance in a secured and compliant way. In the past 3 years, the Group won awards in different areas including cross boarder payment solution, blockchain technology, wealth management and trading platform etc. IX Fintech Group created a DEFI machine, DAEM (Digital Asset Exchange Machine) and ixWallet both installed with post quantum computing security, and the Bitcoin Lei see, all world’s first in the market. The whole system is truly decentralized, to provide users an “instant trading- instant settled” into clients’ unique wallet new and better experience, eliminating all middle parties default risk. ixWallet 2.0 newly released is a truly distributed ledger wallet that enables users to manage not only cryptos but other kinds of digital assets. Transactions are transparent and can be checked from public proven websites. ixWallet2.0 is protected from phishing. It is equipped with the next generation OTP solution. IX Asia Indexes Company Limited (“IX Asia Indexes”) is a wholly owned subsidiary of the IX Fintech Group. Aiming to become one of the leading index compilers in Asia, its services in the areas of both real and digital assets cover index consultancy, index design, index calculation and dissemination, and index education. It is missioned to bring transparency and standardization to the digital asset and tokenisation world through building an investment-grade and rules-based benchmarks. IX Asia Indexes launched the award winning ixCrypto Index (IXCI) in 2018, followed by two new Indexes ixBitcoin (IXBI) and ixEthereum (IXEI) Index to complete the ixCrypto Index Series in early 2021. They are currently available in 85 countries via Nasdaq and IX Asia Indexes Company data feed to Bloomberg, Reuters, banks institutions and information vendors. Real time index is disseminated every 15 second interval from Hong Kong Time 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.. An index advisory committee with representation from different industries to ensure the professionality and impartiality of the index methodologies and operations. About Polydigi Tech Following an invitation from the United Kingdom Department of International Trade, Polydigi Tech established its Headquarter in Edinburgh, Scotland in 2019. Polydigi Tech is an innovative cybersecurity company that specialises in cutting-edge identity verification technologies. To counter the ever-growing risk of cyber-threats, Polydigi Tech has developed various patented and patent-pending innovative solutions including mobile phone based multi-factor authentication, biometric authentication, and hardware protection for IoT devices and networks. About 01 Communique Established in 1992, 01 Communique (TSX-V: ONE; OTCQB: OONEF) has always been at the forefront of technology. The Company’s cyber security business unit focuses on post-quantum cybersecurity with the development of its IronCAP™ technology. IronCAP™’s patent-pending cryptographic system is an advanced Goppa code-based post-quantum cryptographic technology that can be implemented on classical computer systems as we know them today while at the same time can also safeguard against attacks in the future post-quantum world of computing. The Company’s remote access business unit provides its customers with a suite of secure remote access services and products under its I’m InTouch and I’m OnCall product offerings.

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CORE BANKING

BancTrust & Co. Investment Bank Announces Launch of U.S. Broker-Dealer Affiliate

BancTrust | May 13, 2022

BancTrust & Co. Investment Bank (BancTrust), a leading global emerging markets investment bank, today announced the launch of BancTrust Securities USA (BancTrust USA), its U.S. broker-dealer affiliate. BancTrust USA is a member of Financial Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and is registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). BancTrust USA is based in New York City and will represent BancTrust with U.S. institutional investors and major U.S. institutional investors under a chaperoning agreement in compliance with SEC Rule 15a-6. The initial New York-based team is comprised of Jack Thomas, MD Fixed Income Trading; Erik Berg, MD Debt Capital Markets; Rafael Elias, MD LatAm Corporate Credit Strategy; Dan Bowers, ED Fixed Income Sales; and Maurice Batista, ED Fixed Income Sales. Prior to joining BancTrust USA, Jack was the Head of Emerging Market Trading - New York at Intesa Sanpaolo IMI Securities. He previously held positions at UBS Investment Bank, Santander, Societe Generale and ING Financial Markets. Jack has nearly 20 years of experience trading EM fixed income and has specialized in both Latin American and Asian credit markets. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Accounting from the College of the Holy Cross. Erik has over 25 years of experience in international capital markets. He has had senior capital markets roles in New York at Deutsche Bank, ING, ABN Amro, Standard Bank of South Africa, Commerzbank, and Natixis, and been responsible for debt origination across Latin America including new bond issues, debt restructurings, debt buybacks and public and private sector debt exchanges. Mr. Berg is a graduate of Wesleyan University, Connecticut and holds an MBA from the IAE /Universidad Austral, Buenos Aires. Rafael (Rafa) was previously a Director of Research for Latin America at StoneX and formerly at Tellimer Markets. His experience spans over 25 years of being responsible for macro and corporate strategy at Cantor Fitzgerald, Credit Agricole, Knight Libertas, UBS, Deutsche Bank, ING, and Credit Suisse. Rafa holds a Master's degree in Public and Private Management (MPPM) from Yale University's School of Management and a Civil Engineering Bachelor's degree from Universidad Anahuac in Mexico. Dan is an investment professional with 20 plus years of experience in emerging markets. Before joining BancTrust USA, he held senior EM sales roles with Unicredit and Societe Generale. Previously Dan had trading roles at Moore Capital, Depfa Investment Bank and Galileo Asset Management. He has an MBA in Business Administration and Bachelors in Banking and Finance from Hofstra University. Maurice has over 20 years of experience in financial services, with a focus on global EM. Prior to joining BancTrust USA, he worked in EM institutional sales at Torino Capital and Stifel Financial. Previously, at Renaissance Capital Securities, he headed FICC sales in New York, focusing on Russia, CIS and Africa. He began his career in emerging markets at Chase Securities and has also worked in sales at BBVA and Cantor Fitzgerald. He holds an MBA from NYU Stern School and a BA in Political Science from UCLA. I am thrilled to announce the expansion of the BancTrust group in the U.S. We have assembled a senior team with extensive experience in dealing in frontier and emerging markets. Our New York presence will enable us to better serve and grow our current U.S. client base as we aim to be their trusted partner in emerging markets." CEO Carlos Fuenmayor. About BancTrust & Co. BancTrust & Co. Investment Bank is a leading London-based global emerging markets investment bank that offers corporate and investment banking, securities dealing and financing, investment research products and services to a diversified client base mainly comprised of emerging and frontier markets-based corporations, financial institutions, governments, and dedicated global EM asset managers.

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Spotlight

New insights on nonfinancial performance from global institutional investors EY, in collaboration with Institutional Investor Research, reprised its inaugural 2014 research report examining investor attitudes toward ESG and nonfinancial measures.

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