The economics of climate change and the international financial architecture | May 07, 2014

As evidence of rising greenhouse gas emissions accumulates (see the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, here), a new controversy has erupted. Robert Stavins, an influential advisor to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and professor at Harvard, complains that the report had been substantially redacted to make it more palatable to member governments.Sovereign governments intervened to soften passages inconsistent with their respective positions and national interests? I'm shocked! Shocked, I say.


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Card Curator and Invstr Announce New, Exciting Partnership

Card Curator and Invstr Ltd. | September 09, 2022

Card Curator, an app that informs rewards credit cardholders on how to earn the most out of their purchases without spending more, and top-rated U.S. investment and financial education app Invstr, have partnered together to help Invstr users make sharper decisions on their daily card spending with Card Curator’s award-winning credit card recommendation tool. Invstr users will no longer have to play the painful guessing game of which credit cards to use on purchases, as the tool will recommend the “best” card in their wallet that yields the greatest rewards on gas, groceries, dining, and more. It can be found in the Hub of the Invstr app. All in all, Card Curator’s credit card recommendation tool will provide Invstr users with the clarity and guidance they need when choosing their credit cards for any given purchase. It does this through independent and objective advice, as Card Curator does not receive compensation from banks or credit card issuers for its card recommendations. “Invstr is one of the leading pioneers in financial literacy and has educated globally over 1 million members of its community on how to become savvier investors through the support of their highly acclaimed features, Now with this partnership, Invstr users will become sharper with their daily card spending and won’t be missing out on maximum reward earning opportunities. The number one reason why cardholders miss out on rewards is that they simply use the wrong credit cards on their purchases, and our tool corrects that.” -John Taylor Garner, Founder and CEO of Card Curator Invstr is delighted to be working with Card Curator to help consumers determine the best credit card to use. Our mission is to empower everyone to take charge of their financial future. We aim to help our customers at every stage of their financial journey from learning how to invest, to managing their banking, brokerage, crypto, insurance, and now credit cards in a single easy experience, said Invstr Founder and CEO Kerim Derhalli. About Card Curator Card Curator (CC) is the first and only true rewards optimization platform that demystifies and simplifies the credit card rewards game, helping users earn an average of $4,000 per year. CC was designed by algorithm and rewards experts to maximize earnings and offer individually tailored recommendations based on each user’s objectives--not influenced by card issuers or third parties. CC is the fastest, most efficient way for cardholders to optimize their spending and maximize the value of their award redemptions, typically generating five times the returns of standard card rewards programs. With guaranteed security and customization, Card Curator levels the rewards playing field between the complexities created by financial institutions and the cardholders who want to maximize the value of their spending but don’t have the time or inclination to decipher the fine print. Based in Lakeville, CT, Card Curator is privately held. About Invstr Ltd Invstr is a technology company with a presence in New York, London and Istanbul. Through its award-winning smartphone app, Invstr is determined to democratize finance. Founded by Kerim Derhalli in 2013, the app combines fun, learning, and competition to break down barriers and help users become better, more confident investors. Derhalli was named the 2019 Tech Entrepreneur of the Year at the Go:Tech Business Awards in 2019 and Invstr the Fintech App of the Year at the 2019 UK App Awards. Invstr also won the Fintech Innovator of the Year at the UK Business Tech Awards 2018 and Fintech Founder of the Year at the BMW i UK Tech Founder Awards 2018.

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Woodsville Guaranty Savings Bank Collaborates with Jack Henry to Position for Future Growth

Jack Henry & Associates | September 23, 2022

Jack Henry™ announced today that Woodsville Guaranty Savings Bank selected Jack Henry to improve efficiencies and user experience for both customers and employees while continuing to provide personal service as the bank grows. Founded in 1889, Woodsville Guaranty Savings Bank has long served small businesses and retail customers in northern New Hampshire. The $630-million-asset bank selected Jack Henry to improve customer experience while increasing its competitive edge with a full suite of digital features and functionalities. With Jack Henry, the bank will gain scalable and open technology, including core and digital cloud-based solutions such as the Banno Digital Platform™ and gain efficiency from streamlining and automating more processes. "Jack Henry will bring us the efficiency we need to grow without additional hours and manpower, which is important as the current economic conditions make it challenging to find new talent. We will automate the mundane for speed and scale while providing better service in customers' more meaningful moments. In addition to improving our service, our employees are excited about growing their responsibilities with deeper interactions and more substantial offerings. This new technology plan positions Woodsville Guaranty Savings Bank to grow while protecting the customers, people, and culture that we have been building in our community for the last 133 years." -James E. Graham, president and chief executive officer of Woodsville Guaranty Savings Bank With Jack Henry, the bank will have access to over 850 API-integrated, third-party fintechs. Touching on Jack Henry's openness and flexibility, Graham adds, Today, we use several solutions that come from different providers and do not always integrate smoothly with our systems or each other. Jack Henry provides a comprehensive technology suite to meet our internal and customer needs more easily, while giving us the option to hand pick our fintech vendors of choice and integrate them effortlessly into our systems. We are very excited to see all our channels improve and become more effective. Stacey Zengel, president of Bank Solutions at Jack Henry, said, Longstanding community banks like Woodsville Guaranty Savings Bank are driven by the relationships they have with their employees and communities. By providing a well-rounded technology suite and enabling access to an extensive ecosystem of fintech partners, we are giving them the flexibility to continue to do what's best for their staff and customers, improve efficiencies and user-experience, and continue to grow and compete in their market. We are proud to collaborate with a community bank with such a strong and impactful legacy. About Jack Henry & Associates, Inc.® Jack Henry™ is a well-rounded financial technology company that strengthens connections between financial institutions and the people and businesses they serve. We are a S&P 500 company that prioritizes openness, collaboration, and user centricity – offering banks and credit unions a vibrant ecosystem of internally developed modern capabilities as well as the ability to integrate with leading fintechs. For more than 45 years, Jack Henry has provided technology solutions to enable clients to innovate faster, strategically differentiate, and successfully compete while serving the evolving needs of their accountholders. We empower approximately 8,000 clients with people-inspired innovation, personal service, and insight-driven solutions that help reduce the barriers to financial health.

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Aktia Launches Rare Dark Green Corporate Bond Fund

Aktia | September 06, 2022

Aktia Launches Rare Dark Green Corporate Bond Fund. In addition to long-term financial returns, the UI-Aktia Sustainable Corporate Bond aims to achieve significant social and environmental benefits by investing in European sustainable development bonds. Initially, the fund will be available to both domestic and foreign professional institutional investors, but it will made available to retail investors as well at a later stage. Aktia has launched the new UI-Aktia Sustainable Corporate Bond fund on 1 September 2022. It is classified as a so-called dark green fund in accordance with Article 9 of the EU Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation. The fund invests only in green, social, and responsible bonds as well as sustainability-linked bonds (SLB), and each investment object is also required to have a positive net impact, considering, for example, the impact on society and the environment. In assessing the sustainability of investment objects the corporate bond fund uses, for example, the ISS ESG climate risk analysis as well as company-specific ESG assessments and analyses. Aktia also utilises ESG data produced by Morningstar (Sustainalytics). The investment objects’ net impact on the social and ecological environment are continuously analysed and reported through the AI-based impact tool developed by the Finnish Upright Project. “Aktia has been carrying out portfolio management that takes sustainable development into account for a long time, and we have been reporting on the impact profiles of our equity and corporate bond funds via Upright’s tool since 2019. However, there is a growing demand on the market for investment products with clearly measurable sustainability impacts. It is great to be involved in the creation of this dark green corporate bond fund, which is still rare even in Europe, and where investment objects do not only comply with the sustainable development objects but also generate significant social or environmental benefits,” - Jonne Sandström, Portfolio Manager of the new fund UI-Aktia Sustainable Corporate Bond will initially be available to professional institutional investors, but the objective is to make the fund available to retail investors at a later stage. The fund is also sold to professional institutional investors internationally through Universal-Investment-Luxembourg S.A., Aktia's fund distribution partner in Europe. In Finland, the pension insurance company Veritas has entered the fund as a seed investor with EUR 20 million. As a pension investor, it is important for us to invest responsibly but without compromising returns. This fund combines the skills of experienced portfolio managers and the innovative mindset of a startup – and it does all this with domestic expertise. We want to support concrete actions to promote sustainability, says Ville Iso-Mustajärvi, Portfolio Manager at Veritas. While UI-Aktia Sustainable Corporate Bond primarily invests in investment grade bonds, it can diversify up to 20% of its investments to high yield bonds with a rating of at least BB -. An exception to this is unrated bonds, in which up to 3% of the fund can be invested. The largest individual sectors for the fund's investments are financial services and utilities, with a wide company-level diversification. Regarding sustainable corporate bond categories, the majority of investments are directed towards green bonds. Aktia has taken ESG issues into account for a long time in its investment activities. The company also systematically develops its climate strategy published in 2021. As part of its climate strategy, Aktia joined the international Net Zero Asset Managers initiative at the end of 2021. The initiative in support of emission restrictions, which has become a financial standard, offers more concrete tools for sustainability work. Aktia has also participated in CDP’s Non-Disclosure Campaign and the CDP-led Science Based Targets project. Moreover, Aktia reports annually on climate change in the CDP portal. In 2021, Aktia became a public supporter of TFCD (Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures) and reports in accordance with these recommendations. As an indication of Aktia's expertise in financial management, Morningstar awarded Aktia as Finland's best fund house in February 2022. Aktia won the award as the best fixed income fund house for the eighth time.

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Awiros raises $7m led by Inflexor and Exfinity to accelerate growth and global expansion

Awiros, Inflexor Ventures and Exfinity Venture Partners | September 15, 2022

National, Sep 14 2022: Tech-focused VC funds, Inflexor Ventures and Exfinity Venture Partners, led the Series A round in Awiros, a deep-tech start-up that develops an AI-based computer-vision platform primarily for video processing. The current round of funding also saw participation from VedaVC, leading family offices and UHNIs. Awiros is bridging a key gap in the market through its offering, a marketplace of Video AI “Apps” that allows its customers to discover and adopt suitable technology solutions quickly. Enterprises have been actively deploying Video AI solutions across automation, safety and process monitoring where the market is projected to reach USD 27Bn by 2030, based on various research studies. Awiros is accelerating the adoption of this technology, where its average customer subscribes to more than 10 apps today, up from 4 in 2019. With several Fortune 500 customers and large-scale Video AI deployments across manufacturing, warehousing, data centres, critical infrastructure and public safety, Awiros is already one of the leading companies in this space in India. In terms of technology, Awiros is a device-agnostic Operating System (OS) for easy development and delivery of Video AI applications. The OS eliminates the need for enterprise clients to upgrade, redesign, or reinstall new systems as the enterprise’s Video AI use cases increase. The platform also abstracts out all the tedious workflow around computer vision-based AI models and lets developers concentrate on building efficient models, resulting in faster development and deployment cycles for enterprise-grade applications. In the near future, Awiros aims to be the default platform for computer vision use-cases that would allow any developer to create and deploy computer vision applications in large-scale projects in a friction-less manner and create an ecosystem that allows the best apps to thrive, much like the app-stores for smartphones. The company aims to utilize the funding towards product enhancement, building its developer community, and business growth in India and overseas markets. This funding round will allow Awiros in augmenting the India and US teams, both in technology and sales-related functions. Awiros was founded in 2015 by Vikram Gupta and Yatin Kavishwar. Vikram is a computer engineering research expert with a PhD from Carnegie Mellon University. His key focus area during his PhD was to architect a middleware for multi-application embedded systems, which became the base and motivation for founding Awiros. Yatin is a seasoned enterprise business leader with experience in leading government, enterprise, defence and public sector sales across multiple stints at AppDynamics, Citrix, Cisco and IBM. Vikram Gupta CEO & Co-Founder of Awiros said “Awiros is one of the fastest growing companies in the Video AI space in India and this funding round will help us build further momentum for global growth by increasing our market share, streamlining technical operations and investing in the R&D of existing and new product categories. By onboarding the seasoned deep-tech investors from Inflexor and Exfinity, Awiros will benefit heavily from their extensive experience in technology, international business and scalable GTM.” Jatin Desai, Managing Partner at Inflexor Ventures added, “We are very excited to partner with Vikram, Yatin and the team at Awiros as they take their patented deeptech/AI-based Computer Vision operating system and app store to global markets and continue to grow in the domestic market. As cameras become even more ubiquitous globally there will be a huge addressable market for their products. Awiros investment fits very well with Inflexor’s deeptech/tech IP theme and backing solid founders in this space”. Chinnu Senthilkumar, Managing Partner at Exfinity Venture Partners added, “In the backdrop of data explosion happening in the video domain, we are thrilled to join Awiros’ journey in building a unified video intelligence platform that derives actionable insights for its customers. Awiros’ approach is analogous to Android O/S which enables and empowers the customer to design and deploy AI-based solutions for their business needs quickly. Awiros has excellent business synergy with our portfolio company Kinara (erstwhile Deepvision) wherein they will be able to co-develop solutions in domains such as retail automation, smart buildings, Industry 4.0 etc. for Fortune 500 clients.” About Inflexor Ventures Inflexor Ventures is a sector-agnostic VC firm that invests in deep and emerging technology startups from Pre-Series A to Series B stages. The team at Inflexor Ventures brings decades of experience in fund management and investments, serial entrepreneurship and global technology and operational roles. Inflexor past investments include Atomberg, Playshifu, Kale Logistics, GramCover, SecureThings, Bellatrix,, and recently exited Steradian. From their earlier fund Parampara, they had also invested in Entropik, CloudSEK, SCube, and SecurAx. About Exfinity Venture Partners Exfinity Venture Partners is an early-stage technology-focused fund investing in the domains of deep technology, SaaS and platforms. Exfinity’s core founding principles are to focus on B2B-sector investments with a practitioner-driven approach, and they are the pioneer fund in India in these aspects. Exfinity is uniquely positioned to enable the scaling of cross-border startups building world-class enterprise solutions for customers across the globe, and also facilitate growth stage investments for their portfolio companies. Their other investments include Pixis, Log 9 Materials, MoEngage, Kinara, Locus, Skit, Ati Motors, AiPalette, Credilio, Mad Street Den and CloudSEK.

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Are you a Canadian resident who has relocated to the United States for work? This is complicated for many reasons, but the tax implications can be especially daunting. Let's take a closer look at several residency scenarios and clarify your tax obligations - in Canada AND the U.S.