Wirecard shares crash again after payments firm says missing $2 billion likely doesn’t exist

Wirecard shares are once again in free fall on Monday after the German payments firm said it was likely that 1.9 billion euros ($2.1 billion) of cash missing from its balance sheet doesn’t exist.
The Munich-based company said it was assessing the “prevailing likelihood” that unaccounted cash balances flagged by auditors at EY last week “do not exist.” The lost funds represent roughly a quarter of Wirecard’s balance sheet.

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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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Core Banking

MidFirst Bank Extends Western Expansion with Entrance into Nevada Market

MidFirst Bank | January 08, 2024

MidFirst Bank, the largest privately held bank in the nation, recently announced its expansion into the Southern Nevada market. This effort is led by Michael Pizzi, who will serve as Senior Vice President and Nevada Market Executive, and a team of bankers from Bank of Nevada who have extensive area expertise, deep regional relationships and a proven track record of delivering exceptional support to their customers and the communities they serve. This expansion extends MidFirst’s growth in the western United States, building upon the Bank’s recently announced entrance into the new Southern California markets of Santa Barbara, San Diego and South Bay. “We are pleased to continue executing MidFirst’s growth strategy with our entrance into the Southern Nevada market,” said Jeff Records, Chairman and CEO of MidFirst Bank. “Michael and his team have a strong foundation in Nevada and a reputation for excellence, and we’re confident they are the best team to develop our new market presence. Las Vegas has experienced tremendous growth over the last decade, and MidFirst is ideally positioned to support this thriving community, providing robust banking service offerings and leading customer service.” “We look forward to bringing MidFirst Bank to Southern Nevada and growing our presence in the region,” said Michael Pizzi, Senior Vice President and Nevada Market Executive of MidFirst Bank. “We have a solid team of experienced bankers in place to lead our market development, and together we will deliver a unique brand of banking to this community with an emphasis on personal relationships, first class customer service, expert financial guidance, and community support. Over the next year, we will focus on expanding our team, so we can best serve the community with a comprehensive suite of banking products and services to include private banking, mortgage, SBA, and treasury management services.” Michael joins MidFirst Bank as Senior Vice President and Nevada Market Executive. His career spans 25 years with a focus on business banking and middle-market companies. He most recently served as Executive Vice President and Managing Director of Commercial Banking at Bank of Nevada and prior to that served in various management positions at U.S. Bank for over 14 years. His clients are participants in a variety of industries, including medical, law, manufacturing, wholesale, distribution, and commercial real estate. Michael is an active member of the community and serves as a member of the Latin Chamber of Commerce. He is a past board member of both Junior Achievement of Southern Nevada and the Discovery Children’s Museum. Michael brings with him a team of experienced banking professionals from Bank of Nevada to serve the Southern Nevada Market, which includes Senior Vice President Joyce Smith and Senior Vice President Jeff Miracle. About MidFirst Bank With $36.6 billion in assets, Oklahoma City-based MidFirst Bank is the largest privately owned bank in the nation and provides commercial lending, wealth management, private banking and mortgage servicing nationally. MidFirst Bank has locations in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, Oklahoma, Texas and Utah. MidFirst Bank serves California through 1st Century Bank, a division of MidFirst Bank.

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Fintech

VoPay Unveils Instant Micro-Transaction Service for Bank Account Verification, Marking a First in Canada and the US

VoPay | January 11, 2024

VoPay, a leading provider of embedded financial technology solutions, has launched VoPay Verify, an Instant Bank Account Verification solution via microtransactions - pioneering the first-of-its-kind service in Canada and the United States. Recognizing the escalating adoption of bank account payments as a credit card and paper cheque alternative, the demand for a steadfast bank account verification method has become imperative for businesses. VoPay’s innovative solution empowers enterprises to rapidly authenticate and confirm any US or Canadian bank account, eliminating the protracted waiting times of up to 24 hours or more for micro-transactions to finalize. Micro-transactions, a stalwart tool for confirming bank account ownership over the years, entail crediting or debiting a nominal amount into the account. They offer several advantages for businesses, encompassing heightened security, improved user experience, regulatory compliance, and reduced chargebacks. However, the current process is notoriously slow and disruptive to users' experience, with transactions typically spanning at least a day to complete. By leveraging VoPay's real-time transaction capabilities, companies will reduce the risk of reversals, NSFs, and transaction failures, ultimately improving their bottom line. VoPay Verify offers a fully managed account verification experience by providing a pre-built user experience and intellectual logic that determines the transaction amount considering many different risk criteria. “This initiative gives our clients an out-of-the-box method for account verification. It means that they don't have to stitch together a solution and can utilize an optimized set of endpoints for micro-transaction verification,” says Hamed Arbabi, VoPay Founder & CEO. “Fast and easy account validation has become a crucial component in customer onboarding, and enterprises are struggling to find a fast, reliable, and cost-effective way to validate new accounts. VoPay's new Instant Micro-Transaction Verification tool does just that.” VoPay's latest offering further strengthens the company's position as the leading provider of Fintech-as-a-Service tools and a go-to provider for businesses looking to integrate embedded financial services into their offerings. VoPay Verify will be available to new and existing customers from February 1st. Sign up here for early access. About VoPay At the core of VoPay's offering is a multi-tenancy architecture, seamlessly integrated with a comprehensive payment engine and financial services solutions, epitomizing the concept of Fintech-as-a-Service. For software enterprises seeking to accelerate growth, expedite time to market, reduce operational costs, and enhance efficiency within their core platform, VoPay provides an embedded payment solution.

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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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