Stocks - Wall Street Manages Slight Gains After Lower Open

U.S. stock markets opened lower but quickly rebounded on Thursday after another record-breaking rise in initial jobless claims underlined the scale of the damage being wrought on the U.S. economy by the Covid-19 pandemic. Another 6.65 million people filed for unemployment benefits last week, over twice as many as the 3.3 million who claimed a week earlier (the number was revised up by 20,000). In all, 6% of the U.S. workforce have hit the jobless rolls in just two weeks. By 10:05 AM ET (1405 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 62 points, or 0.3%, at 21.006 points. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite were up 0.7% and 0.5%, respectively. All three had been indicated to open sharply higher before the report was released. Oil and gas stocks were the big outperformers, tracking a sharp rebound in crude prices after President Donald Trump predicted a peace deal to end the crude price war within a few days. Trump, who has spoken to both Russian President Vladimir Putin and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the last few days, is due to meet with U.S. oil company bosses on Friday.

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Tax groups have a meaningful opportunity to enhance the value of their organization’s digital transformation effort. This priority, which involves migrating tax automation to the cloud in tandem with larger enterprise resource planning (ERP) cloud migrations is becoming even more time sensitive. This white paper examines leading


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Core Banking

Backbase Enters Into an Agreement With Danske Bank to Enhance Its Digital Customer Experience

Backbase | January 12, 2024

Backbase, the global leader in Engagement Banking, has made an agreement with Danske Bank, a leading Nordic bank based in Copenhagen, Denmark. This agreement provides Danske Bank with access to Backbase's Engagement Banking Platform, which will progressively be implemented across our digital channels in the coming years. This will enable Danske Bank to offer its customers a continuously improved digital customer experience, as the enhanced flexibility allows it to tailor its business operations around customer journeys. Frans Woelders, Chief Operating Officer at Danske Bank, highlights: “This engagement is a testament to our customer focus and our commitment to ensuring the best digital banking experience for the future. A new platform that works across the web, mobile apps, and our adviser tools is one of the ambitions in Danske Bank’s Forward ’28 strategy, and the agreement with Backbase is the next step towards achieving that ambition.” Our Engagement Banking Platform plays a pivotal role in achieving Modernization and simplification of the existing IT landscape by reducing the number of silo-ed channel applications. Mobile-first engagement model, establishing a customer-centric approach, seamlessly guiding customers between automated and expert advice. Unified platform, consolidating data, business logic, and workflows into a single, customer-centric platform for efficient journey orchestration, benefiting both customers and bank employees. Agility and freedom, enhancing flexibility to swiftly implement business capabilities and adapt to evolving market dynamics. Christian Bornfeld, Head of Personal Customers and Financial Crime Risk and Prevention at Danske Bank, says: “This platform will allow us to take our interaction with customers through our digital solutions to the next level and to introduce enhancements at greater speed than ever before. It will thus enable us to provide market-leading convenience and personalization for our customers with great insights, increased proactivity, and easy access to assistance and advice.” Jouk Pleiter, Founder and CEO of Backbase, shares, “We are thrilled to announce the engagement with Danske Bank, a visionary collaboration set to redefine the future of banking. Together, we will execute a bank-wide, digital transformation program and elevate Danske Bank's customer experience to new heights.” About Backbase Backbase is on a mission to re-architect banking around the customer. Backbase created the Backbase Engagement Banking Platform – a unified platform with the customer at the center, empowering banks to accelerate their digital transformation. From customer onboarding to servicing, loyalty, and loan origination, our single platform — open and frictionless, with ready-to-go apps — improves every aspect of the customer experience. Built from the ground up with the customer at the heart, our Engagement Banking Platform easily plugs into existing core banking systems and comes pre-integrated with the latest fintechs so financial institutions can innovate at scale. Industry analysts Forrester, Gartner, Celent, Omdia, and IDC continuously recognize Backbase’s category leadership. Over 120 financials around the world have embraced the Backbase Engagement Banking Platform - including AIB, Banorte, Barclays, BIAT, Bank of the Philippine Islands, BDO, Banque Saudi Fransi, BRD, Citibank, Citizens Bank, Discovery Bank, First National Bank, HDFC, Ila Bank, KeyBank, Lloyds Banking Group, NatWest, Navy Federal Credit Union, OTP Group, PostFinance, Raiffeisen, RBC, Standard Bank, Saudi National Bank, Société Générale, Truist, and TPBank.

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Investment Management

AffiniPay Launches AffiniPay IQ, Generative AI for Legal Tech Industry

AffiniPay | January 24, 2024

AffiniPay, the leader in online payments and software solutions for professionals, announced the launch of generative AI embedded in its leading legal technology products, MyCase, CASEpeer, LawPay, and Docketwise. “At AffiniPay, we believe generative AI can drive the type of efficiencies and insights that will result in better outcomes for our customers and their clients,” said Dru Armstrong, Chief Executive Officer of AffiniPay, parent company of MyCase, CASEpeer, LawPay, and Docketwise. “As a trusted technology partner, we have big plans to empower our customers with AI, and are excited to announce the launch of AffiniPay IQ.” According to the newly released 2024 LawPay and MyCase Legal Industry Report, productivity is a key driver for generative AI investment, with 75% of law firms citing it as the top reason for their interest in AI. To meet this demand, AffiniPay is investing in generative AI and plans to roll out new solutions in a phased manner across the legal product suite. Starting with a MyCase beta, AffiniPay plans to extend various AI solutions to CASEpeer, LawPay, and Docketwise in the coming months. The company’s vision is that customers will be able to utilize AI-powered conversational interface that will enable users to access their data and generate insights using natural language, directly within the interface. These future features will include Case and firm search: Attorneys and staff can quickly get answers to their questions around a specific case or client, saving time in their day Intelligent insights: Law firms can receive customized recommendations to optimize intake, productivity, cash flow, and more Automation: Firms can create workflows, send payments, and open files - all by interacting with the platforms in a conversational way, just like they would with a trusted assistant The first beta release of AffiniPay IQ features include document summarization and text editing, both of which will be woven seamlessly into the suite of AffiniPay’s legal products. Starting with MyCase and CASEpeer, the following AI features will be built into daily workflows Document summarization: Empowers law firms to review case documents quickly using AI-generated summaries of their contents Text editing: AI-powered text editing embedded into the product to allow style updating, tone changes, and summarization “We are committed to our responsible approach to innovation, and are excited to launch generative AI functionality into our software that serves our customers and their needs, and no one else,” said Bryan Thompson, Chief Technology Officer of AffiniPay. “This is the first of many thoughtful generative AI features that our team will be weaving into our product suite over the coming months.” The second release of AffiniPay IQ features will include Communication drafts: Attorneys and staff can quickly generate first drafts of client communications or invoice reminders Translations: Users can translate text into different languages instantly Task & event generation: Law firms can select and analyze text in notes, documents, or emails, and receive suggestions for tasks or events, saving time at every step Data population: Docketwise-specific AI feature that instantly extracts key information from copies of passports, drivers’ licenses, and birth certificates, to automatically populate immigration SmartForms AffiniPay invites legal professionals to experience AffiniPay IQ from Jan. 29 - Feb. 2, during Legalweek in New York, where both LawPay and MyCase are sponsors. About AffiniPay AffiniPay is a market leader in practice management software and online payments for professionals serving legal, accounting, architectural, engineering, and construction firms. AffiniPay has been recognized as one of Inc. 5000’s fastest-growing companies for 12 years in a row. Each of its brands leads the market it serves with solutions purpose-built by industry including LawPay, MyCase, CASEpeer, Docketwise, CPACharge, and AffiniPay for Associations. AffiniPay’s solutions are trusted by more than 245,000 legal & accounting professionals with more than 150 strategic partnerships and endorsements, including the American Bar Association and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

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Investment Management

Jefferies Establishes Full Service Investment Banking and Capital Markets Capabilities in Canada

Jefferies | December 04, 2023

Jefferies Financial Group (NYSE: JEF) today announced it has established full service investment banking and capital markets capabilities in Canada to serve the evolving needs of corporate, institutional and government clients across Canada. With this expansion, Jefferies will now provide clients in depth expertise in advisory, M&A advisory, equity and debt capital markets, risk solutions, equity research, and sales and trading across all sectors in Canada. The Investment Banking team in Canada will be led by Bruce Rothney as CEO, along with the Honourable John Manley as Chairman, Ron Lloyd as Deputy Chairman, and Trond Lossius as Deputy Chairman and Head of M&A, Erik Charbonneau as Head of Investment Banking, Jacquelyn Titus as Head of the Financial Institutions Group and James McKenna as Head of TMT and Diversified Industrials. Canada is one of the largest and fastest growing economies in the world, and as we enter 2024, we will have critical mass serving Canada, with more than 40 people joining across investment banking, equity research, and sales and trading. In partnership with Jefferies' existing global platform, our team in Canada will deliver our full suite of advisory and capital markets capabilities. We are fortunate to have a leadership team that brings such a deep and distinguished track record in the Canadian market, and we anticipate continuing to expand our capabilities and talent in the region to ensure we can best serve our clients. Rich Handler, CEO, and Brian Friedman, President, of Jefferies Today, Jefferies has 44 offices in more than 20 countries around the world, including having recently expanded further in France, Spain, Australia, Brazil and the Middle East. Earlier this year, Jefferies also announced a significant enlargement of its partnership with SMBC, which broadened the two firm’s scope of collaboration in M&A advisory services and across each firms’ equities and debt capital markets businesses. “Jefferies’ culture has always been and continues to be that of a pure Wall Street partnership solely focused on providing the best advice to clients,” said Bruce Rothney, CEO of Jefferies Canada. “Its proven long-term leadership, investment in talent and exceptional work for clients has positioned Jefferies as one of the few leading global investment banking firms. Canada is emerging as one of the largest and fastest growing economies and its standout sectors – technology, healthcare, financial services, energy and power, telecom and media, and consumer – align perfectly with Jefferies. Our new Canadian team is excited to bring clients Jefferies’ deep industry perspectives, M&A and capital markets solutions and geographical insights.” About Jefferies Jefferies (NYSE: JEF) is a leading global, full-service investment banking and capital markets firm that provides advisory, sales and trading, research, wealth, and asset management services. With more than 40 offices around the world, we offer insights and expertise to investors, companies and governments. For more information: www.jefferies.com.

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Financial Management

Priority Announces Strategic Technology Partnership with Treasure Financial

Priority | December 11, 2023

Priority Technology Holdings, Inc. a leading provider of unified commerce solutions to businesses that accelerate cash flow and optimize working capital, has announced a strategic partnership with Treasure Financial Inc., a leading financial technology innovator in treasury management technology. Priority’s integration with Treasure Financial’s cutting-edge embedded yield API will enable Priority’s customers to allocate their excess working capital to an investment account across a diversified portfolio comprising premiere, secure vehicles such as Treasuries, Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS), Government-backed money market funds, and professionally managed fixed-income instruments. This innovative partnership with Treasure provides Priority’s customers with a truly unified commerce platform that allows them to manage the point of sale or receivables payments in their Passport financial account in more ways. The integration offers Treasure’s higher-yielding investment capabilities and leverages the modern payables tools of Passport to optimize working capital on a single platform. “We are on a mission to change the way businesses, large and small, think about their payment solution providers by providing technology and services as revenue accelerators to grow their businesses and drive efficiency in their operations, and not as another cost center,” noted Thomas Priore, Chairman and CEO of Priority. At a time when operational efficiency and capital management optimization for businesses of all sizes remains paramount, the combination of Priority’s payments and banking capabilities and Treasure’s investment platform are disruptors to traditional business banking and cash management strategies. Each portfolio is actively managed by Treasure’s expert in-house investment team. Advanced algorithms help guide a thoughtful investment approach to cash management and yield generation. “The inclusion of Treasure’s capabilities into our unified commerce engine and treasury service offering brings us to the next level with cutting-edge cash management solutions,” states Al Acevedo, Senior Vice President of Treasury Services at Priority. “We are excited to launch this investment offering into our SMB, B2B and Enterprise channels so that our 800+ thousand customers may access a variety of investment and treasury management options from our trusted partner directly from their Passport account,” added Acevedo. “We are proud to partner with Priority to leverage the Treasure API and embed our corporate-grade cash management offering directly on the Priority Passport platform. This partnership is a testament to Treasure’s capabilities and will enable Priority’s customers to constantly maximize the yield on their idle cash without leaving the platform. This first-of-its-kind embedded finance partnership between Treasure and Priority is a huge step forward for the payments industry,” said Ben Verschuere, Co-Founder and Chief Investment Officer of Treasure Financial. ISOs, ISVs, finance professionals, and businesses interested in learning more about the Treasure and Priority partnership should contact their Priority representative or visit PriorityCommerce.com. About Priority Technology Holdings, Inc Priority is a solutions provider in Payments and Banking as a Service (BaaS) operating at scale with 820K active customers across its SMB, B2B and Enterprise channels. Priority processes $118B in annual transaction volume and provides administration for $850M in average daily deposits. Priority’s purpose-built technology enables clients to collect, store, borrow and send while providing customers acceptance of AP payment applications and Passport financial tools that best optimize their cash flow and maximize working capital.

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Spotlight

Tax groups have a meaningful opportunity to enhance the value of their organization’s digital transformation effort. This priority, which involves migrating tax automation to the cloud in tandem with larger enterprise resource planning (ERP) cloud migrations is becoming even more time sensitive. This white paper examines leading

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