Shocks & Stares » Social Impact Bonds H&K\'s Financial & Professional Services Team Blog Tue, 19 Mar 2013 08:00:56 +0000 en hourly 1 FPS’ Friday Fiver Fri, 26 Aug 2011 16:21:25 +0000 Edward Jones Friday Fiver

Good afternoon and welcome to this week’s Friday Fiver. Thanks to Clare, Sallie, Dave and Jo for contributions. Conscious of your likely yearning to get out of the office and enjoy your Bank Holiday, we’ve tried to keep this one brief.


Up for the Jobs?


Waking up to the 6am news on the Today programme yesterday to hear that Steve Jobs had resigned as CEO from the company he founded, I was struck by the fact that one man’s resignation could make global news. It made me wonder how many other resignations – aside from those that take place in the political world – would garner so much interest. My conclusion was: not many! It then got me thinking about how many CEOs I could name from other technology companies. And the answer was none. So what is it about Steve Jobs that helped him capture the world’s imagination?

Like the rest of the world, I have fallen under the spell of a range of products that have not only made my life easier (I do not know what I would do without my iPhone) but products that enhance it because, to be frank, I think they are beautiful. It strikes me that this is the genius at the core of Steve Jobs and the company that he built in his own image.

Apple’s share price has remained largely stable after an initial blip following Job’s announcement. Tim Cook, Apple’s new CEO, now has the unenviable task of keeping the share price where it is (if not higher) whilst fusing beauty and simple functionality for high spec new technologies that the world awaits with baited breathe.

It makes me wonder whether Tim Cook has the best job in the world – or the worst?

More good news…

Picture: The Times

Two surveys featured in the Times this week have blown out of the water hopes of an export led recovery. The first is Barclays Corporate’s survey of 664 UK based business leaders which suggests a lack of ambition to export, particularly among small businesses. The same survey reveals that 79 per cent surveyed expect foreign ownership of British assets to soar in the next decade.

The ippr think tank have published a second survey suggesting the UK now accounts for 3 per cent of global exports and of those exports only 7 per cent are going to the BRIC countries.

Social Impact Bonds

The Government this week launched a new pilot scheme to encourage investors to fund Social Impact Bonds. The Government believes up to £40million could be raised for the four pilots in Hammersmith & Fulham, Westminster, Birmingham and Leicestershire. The money raised will go towards tackling family problems. If successful, meaning families are taken out of deprivation and crucially, off state dependence, investors will be rewarded by the state ‘with a decent return.’

It seems another bold move for the ever elusive big society agenda, but one which we will reserve judgement on for the time being.

Good Week/Bad Week…..

At the moment, if you’re involved in the commodities world, you’re generally not doing too bad, especially if your involved in gold – despite a slight drop off, it’s still trading at a premium price. If you’re involved in commodities and you work for Glencore, chances are you’re doing even better. This week the company announced its first results since being floated earlier this year. First-half revenues were up a third, meaning bumper share dividend payouts for workers holding shares following the float.

If on the other hand, you used to be involved in the banking world and have now moved into architecture, it was a less good week. Sir Fred Goodwin’s had a fair kicking over the past three years, and this week it got even worse. A new book (with the rather witty title ‘Masters of Nothing’) reveals how ‘Fred the Shred’ terrified staff with angry rants over the colour of his favourite commodity – biscuits (pink as opposed to a dour Scottish blue he hungered for I suspect). Our advice to Sir Fred – go for the trusty bourbon. It never fails.

Who said training had to be dull?

Having spent a weekend in the beautiful town in the province of North Holland known as Bergen (and I wouldn’t even bother trying to pronounce this unless you are a native Dutch speaker, like Jo ;) my faith has certainly been restored  into what I’m sure many of us find a necessity when working for a major cooperation.

In 72 hours,  I slept for about 10,  met over 30 likeminded and brilliant people from all across Europe, watched a comedy show on social media (Boom Chicago in case you are now interested), visited the most beautiful beach I have ever been to…in the North of Europe, used The Dutch main transport system, aka a bike, by cycling 10km in the dark, learnt what Pecha Kucha (I wouldn’t try and pronouncing this either) means and within 2 hours was using this exact technique to pitch to a panel of directors. I learnt more in these 72 hours than I did during my three years at university and  finally challenged and motivated myself more than I ever thought possible. All at H&K Europe’s Summer School 2011!

And finally, what if…

…You had the option to send a hologram to work instead of yourself? Would you do it? What if it could predict how you might react in certain situations? What you might say? What if its behaviour was purely based on your online life? Your YouTube likes, Facebook comments or Twitter posts? All of this is not so far away… so watch what you say online now as it might become the basis of a future you! And then, watch this 5 minute video to find out more.

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