WHAT’S AT THE CORE OF APPLE?

Have you ever looked at the queues snaking for hundreds of metres outside the Apple Stores the night before a new iPhone is put on sale? Have you ever thought, wow, I wish I had customers like that, rushing to buy my latest product even before the old one had become even slightly used? What…

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BRAND: WHAT, WHY AND HOW?

In our previous article, we discussed the common factor amongst the most successful companies worldwide. From Coca Cola to Apple, these businesses successfully market themselves to their customers as well as the actual products they sell. The Brand. A strong brand will communicate so much more than the mere capabilities of their latest creations. Identity.…

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THE ART OF COMMUNICATION

Communication means many things to many people.  When in the plural, communications is often used to describe the technology individuals use to talk to each other, exchange information or data.  Popular examples include e-mail, telephone and the ubiquitous text message. There is a veritable communications explosion! However, do people really know how to connect?  Are…

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DO ALL ROADS REALLY LEAD TO ROME?

No of course not – but certainly, you can see why some may have said this.  My first ever visit to this most eternal of cities took place this November.  The opportunity came up and, as Rome was high on my wish list, I jumped at the chance to visit the former capital of arguably…

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NINE GLOBAL INSURANCE COMPANIES NAMED AS SYSTEMICALLY IMPORTANT

In an announcement that on one hand seems like a compliment, but on the other hand a curse, financial regulators have announced the names of nine insurance companies perceived as globally, systemically important. The Financial Stability Board, chaired by Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, and which coordinates at an international level the work carried…

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WHAT’S THE ALTERNATIVE?

In an economic world where interest rates languish at historic lows, bond yields fail to impress, and stock market and commodity volatility can be unsettling to say the least, what’s the alternative? Alternative Investments generally offer an interesting option when “traditional” investments (essentially stocks and bonds) alone cannot provide either the returns that are required,…

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I’M NOT GETTING ON THAT!!

There I was, frozen to the spot staring out the window at a Dash-8, at quite possibly, one of the world’s smallest international airports. “I am not getting on that”, I said to myself. Although I have never been afraid of flying, I had recently been struggling with anxiety and for the first time in…

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IEA WARNS OF CONTINUED EXCESS OIL PRODUCTION

The International Energy Agency has warned that the amount of oil hitting world markets will continue to grow excessively if OPEC fails to negotiate and agree to production cuts. The cartel, an intergovernmental organization composed of 14 nations, last year accounted for a massive 43% of the world’s global oil production and 73 percent of…

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A LAUNCH OF A VERY DIFFERENT KIND

  In the funds industry, the word launch usually means the time when a new investment vehicle is made available to investors.  That’s when all the planning and effort taken to structure the fund, get the marketing and prospecting right, comes to fruition.  Launch day. In another world, away from concerns about finance, economics and…

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NO LONGER JUST FOR INVALIDS

  Years ago, sickly folk were brought back to health by wonderful new drugs and cures. Previously deadly diseases like pneumonia and tuberculosis were finally being beaten by scientific breakthroughs. Recuperation was aided by supplements and new products that helped patients recover. Sparkling, pale-orange Lucozade was a way invalids could replace lost energy that had…

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