How the EU’s green finance ambitions could revolutionise fund management

The European Commission will soon launch ambitious plans that would position the EU as a global leader in the reduction of carbon emissions and the transition to a more sustainable economy that can contribute to curbing climate change. On behalf of our client, KNEIP, VitalBriefing looks at how Europe’s green finance goals could be a gamechanger for the fund management industry.

Click here to read How the EU’s green finance ambitions could revolutionise fund management.

 

Stock exchange takes stake in fintech firm to boost bond listing business, & other business-critical industry news

Check out this week’s (Dec. 9, 2019) Luxembourg Funds Intelligence Briefing from VitalBriefing. Don’t miss out on the latest critical news and developments impacting the funds industry.

Subscribe to the exclusive briefing for free here.

Luxembourg Funds Intelligence Briefing
9th December 2019

The Luxembourg Stock Exchange has taken a small minority stake in UK financial technology company Origin, which offers digital execution of bond transactions and automation of the flow of related securities documentation. The exchange hopes the tie-up will help boost its bond listing business by replacing manual processes and simplifying the bond issuance process.

— Simon Gray, Editor in Chief


Asset Management
Luxembourg fund assets up slightly in October

The assets under management of Luxembourg-domiciled investment funds rose by 0.17% in October to €4,577bn, according to the CSSF. Net inflows equivalent to 0.34% of assets were offset by a 0.17% decline in the market value of assets already held by funds. Over the previous 12 months, assets under management were up by 8.81%.

Best source:

Luxembourg Chronicle


Fund Services
Crestbridge receives Luxembourg fund administration licence

Luxembourg financial regulator CSSF has granted Crestbridge a fund administration licence, adding to its existing management company and European Venture Capital licences in the grand duchy. The firm established a Luxembourg ManCo in 2011 and in 2014 was one of the first providers to establish an AIFM. Crestbridge, which provides fiduciary, administrative, accounting and compliance services to corporations, wealth funds, asset managers, investor groups and ultra-high net worth families, also has offices in Jersey, London, Bahrain, New York and the Cayman Islands.

Best source:

Verdict
See also:

Asset Servicing Times
See also:

International Investment


Regulation
Klik&Pay customers complain at lack of information months after payment platform suspension

Customers of payment services platform Klik&Pay, whose activities were suspended by the CSSF in July, say their inability to access their funds is causing hardship and in some cases driving small businesses toward bankruptcy, but they have received no information about when they might see their money. The regulator announced that it took action against Klik&Pay’s operator, CYBERservices Europe, on the grounds that the company breached the provisions of Luxembourg’s payment services legislation regarding customer protection requirements, by failing to keeping customer funds in a segregated account with a different financial institution. CSSF CEO Claude Marx insists the regulator’s duty is to monitor providers and take action in the public interests if the law is not respected.

Best source:

Tageblatt

(in German)

Irish central bank to review property funds in scrutiny of shadow banking system

Gabriel Makhlouf, governor of the Central Bank of Ireland, has ordered an in-depth review of funds investing in Irish real estate as part of a review of the country’s shadow banking providers. The central bank estimates that funds hold 35% of Ireland’s commercial property assets. Shadow banking providers improve liquidity and risk-sharing, Makhlouf says, but they also open up new channels for transferring risk.

Best source:

Irish Times


Technology
Luxembourg Stock Exchange acquires 10% stake in UK fintech firm Origin

The Luxembourg Stock Exchange has acquired a 10% stake in UK financial technology company Origin, launched two years ago, for an undisclosed amount. The London-based company offers digital execution of bond transactions and automation of the flow of related securities documentation. A total of 22 investment banks and 85 issuers currently use Origin’s platform, and debt instruments worth $20bn have been originated on the platform so far this year.

Best source:

Luxembourg Times

(subscription required)
See also:

Wort

(in German)

Technology organisations to establish blockchain research hub

Five technology groups and research organisations, Infrachain, LëtzBlock, the Luxembourg House of Financial Technology, the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology and the University of Luxembourg’s Interdisciplinary Centre for Security, Reliability and Trust, have joined forces to establish a hub for blockchain and distributed ledger technology research, development and innovation. The partners will focus on three priorities: R&D relating to finance, health, industry, mobility and logistics; establishing a blockchain competence community including training; and R&D on blockchain governance standards.

Best source:

Luxembourg Chronicle

Customise This Briefing

This free weekly Intelligence Briefing critical for your Luxembourg fund interests, prepared by our top financial journalists, can be personalised just for you: Essential and accurate fund market news to deploy internally and for your customers. Contact us to explore how we can customise to boost your brand and your business.

 

Is Content Marketing the Key to Your Business Growth?

In just a few short decades, the internet has exploded into an expanding universe of content – and content marketing. Run a web search and prepare to spiral into a black hole of possibly interesting but often false and distracting material that risks sending you spinning across a galaxy of irrelevance.

Information consumers — all of us — in this dense and fast-moving medium are challenged to know which sources to believe, especially when the term “fake news” is tossed around like confetti by our most powerful leaders. “What’s gone from the internet isn’t ‘truth’, but trust: the sense that the people and things we encounter are what they represent themselves to be,” writes Max Read in New York Magazine.

It may sound counterintuitive – using more content to battle the content overload we are now experiencing – but high-value content marketing is critical for any business looking to separate itself from its competitors and effectively engage their target consumers.

In fact, a robust content strategy has fast become a key element of many business sales processes.

Standing out from the crowd

Amid this tide of dishonesty, it’s imperative for your business to open up an authentic channel of communication rich with real and valuable content. But if it’s never been more important for businesses to generate quality content to stay competitive, how do you deliver high-quality, targeted information to current and future clients without getting lost yourself in the endless forests of information?

And more importantly, why do so many of us find it so hard to produce effective content marketing?

According to Doug Kessler, creative director at Velocity Partners, the answer to succeed with inbound marketing is to build a great content brand:

  • Aim high and strike your target.
  • Become known for producing top-notch content.
  • Deliver on your promises.

Hit these three goals and you’ll attract quality producers who can power your upward spiral.

By providing reliable, engaging branded content and thought leadership that your customers opt in to read and share, you build trust – far more effectively than by throwing advertising at them – and can set your business apart from the competition, improve your brand recognition and reputation while highlighting your expertise in your industry.

According to DemandGen, 95% of B2B buyers consider content to be a trustworthy means of evaluating a company and its offerings, while Hubspot finds that prospective customers consume at least five pieces of content before buying – both points offering clear indications of content’s importance.

Anna Rosenman, an executive at customer relationship management software leader Salesforce – which just launched a content management system within its platform to enable businesses to harness customer data – says that without content, your commerce site is a mere webpage facilitating transactions.

Your own content also can serve as a forum to develop your brand’s voice, a place where you can present a more personal face of your business. Marketing expert Michael Brenner notes that forcing the brand name on the customer’s attention can be counter-productive, so try to mention it as little as possible. This restraint could also help you to decide whether to host your content on your main branded website, or on a separate domain.

With trust and a relationship established, your content can educate your audience with the information they need to take the next steps in the conversion process, whether making an actual purchase, getting in touch for more information or engaging with you online.

The key is to provide highly readable content that enriches the reader with new insights and ideas. The Content Marketing Institute says that after reading recommendations on a blog, 61% of American online consumers made a purchase.

Case studies

Brenner offers examples. A personal favorite: A few years ago, consulting company Capgemini suffered from poor brand awareness and was falling behind the competition. Vetoing a proposal to buy display advertising in golfing magazines — and even to sponsor a professional golfer — its brand manager opted in 2013 for a content marketing strategy based around Content Loop, a storytelling website integrated with LinkedIn featuring topics such as big data and the cloud, stories aimed at putting the company “at the heart of business and IT conversations”.

After one year, the brand site had drawn nearly one million new visitors, the firm had gained more than 100,000 new followers to its LinkedIn page and enjoyed 1.8 million shares of its content. The strategy generated nearly $1 million in sales the first year and has been growing since.

Other examples range from luggage company Away, which created Away Here, a high-end, magazine-style blog focusing on travel and lifestyle topics to enterprise chat provider Slack’s blog, “Several People Are Typing”, with tips on productivity and collaboration and Home Depot’s Garden Club portal, which is packed with how-to guides.

How to quantify your content marketing efforts

Quantifying the efforts you put into content marketing is difficult. Don’t fall into the mistake of identifying financial gain as the immediate goal. Rather, you’re in a marathon, not a sprint.

Nevertheless, return on investment can be maximized by creating a strategy that focuses on select topics for your target market rather than simply churning out content for its own sake. Media and competitor monitoring for current trends are key. Same for harnessing data on the customer experience on your site that’s useful for future content planning, such as journey maps, user feedback and customer profiles.

Improved search engine optimization for your business provides consistent and relevant content, including a variety of topics and keywords. Indeed, Tech Client provides this heartening statistic: Websites that post consistent blog content boast on average 434% more pages indexed by search engines than those that don’t publish at all.

Believe this: Content costs about 62% less than traditional marketing techniques — and generates three times as many leads, according to DemandMetric. Obviously, that’s a highly efficient and effective way to maximise your budget.

While it’s cheaper than straight-up advertising, dedicating budgets to this effort is important. Data from the Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs shows that B2B marketers allocate 29% of their total marketing budget, on average, to content marketing (26% for B2C). The most effective allocate 42%, and the most sophisticated and mature allocate 46%.

Practical pointers

These tips should help you focus as you develop your content strategy and build trust in your brand:

• Know your audience. Put yourself in your buyers’ shoes, be aware of their challenges, needs, interests, desires and concerns – and tailor your content accordingly.
• Choose the right tools and software to produce and show off your content.
• If you don’t yet have an in-house team, call on content creation professionals.
• Decide on and develop your brand’s voice: serious, funny or somewhere between.
• Post consistently and regularly across content types and platforms.

The legal and tax complexities of real estate, your biggest asset

How much do you know about the legal and tax complexities of real estate in Luxembourg?

For many people, property is the biggest asset to their name, so it is important to be aware of how real estate is held and passed on to future generations in the grand duchy.

Read the informative and succinct guide VitalBriefing created for Banque Internationale à Luxembourg’s myLife information platform.

Read the full article here.

Defend Truth Against “Truthiness”

Way back in 2005, long before Donald Trump was a glimmer in the eye of the voting public, the American late-night TV host Stephen Colbert came up with a wonderful concept. He called it “truthiness,” defined as “the belief in what you feel to be true rather than what the facts will support.”

Watch the clip and while you’ll see that the notion of anti-fact long pre-dates the current American president, during his campaign he raised the conveyance of lies, misinformation, disinformation and disproved conspiracy theories to a crude, highly effective art form — so much so that around the time of the 2016 US presidential election, the Oxford English Dictionary declared “post-truth” as its Word of the Year, echoing Colbert with its definition as “the quality of preferring concepts or facts one wishes to be true, rather than concepts or facts known to be true.” 

The idea, it added, relates “to or denot(es) circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.”

From his insistence that Barack Obama had been born outside the United States and thus an illegally-seated president to his constant and repeated tarring of opponents based on false information, Trump literally built his campaign, and now his presidency on lies — as many as 13, 435 – an average of 13 lies per day – as of October 9, Day 993 according to the Washington Post, with the pace of his lies ever-faster in recent weeks.


Source: MSNBC/WashingtonPost


When lying is institutionalized

Why dwell on Trump and his lying? As journalists whose business is delivering “anti-fake news” for private- and public-sector clients who rely on us to ferret out the accurate from the inaccurate, the reliable from the unreliable and the truthful from the untruthful, Trump’s brazen contempt for actual fact is a constant affront, in addition to posing a real and present danger to the global economy, world peace and democracy. 

His contempt as well for accurate reporting and honest media outlets in the service of his own vanity, incompetence and immorality — reflected as well by his direct associates and his entire administration including his acting Chief of Staff, Secretary of State, various spokespeople and personal attorney —  has made it still more acceptable for autocrats around the world to traffic in phony information (see, for example: Brazil’s Bolsonaro, Hungary’s Orban, and Turkey’s Erdogan).

And let’s not forget one of the most egregious examples of the destructive power of fake news and false information: the 2016 Brexit referendum, whose supporters relied significantly on indisputably erroneous facts to help make their case.

While it’s not news that politicians lie, Trump has made it mainstream in his sheer, brazen disregard for the truth – over and over and over, despite being disproved over and over and over. 

Certainly, lying and politics have always been bedfellows. But two recent factors have combined to make this era different than any before it. Call it the Double Whammy of Misinformation: the decline of mainstream news organisations and the rise of social media. 

Nobody appreciates that damaging marriage more than the US president: “I doubt I would be here if it weren’t for social media, to be honest with you,” Trump told Fox Business News in 2017. 


Tweet, tweet, tweet

When Trump says social media, he’s really talking about Twitter, which he uses like a club that he wields over the heads of the frightened, many of them politicians from his own party — when he’s not pounding them with it, as he confirmed to a broadcast medium: “Tweeting is like a typewriter – when I put it out, you put it immediately on your show. When somebody says something about me, I am able to go bing, bing, bing and I take care of it. The other way, I would never be able to get the word out.”

Twitter and other social media represent one aspect of the problem, enabling anyone with a social media account, a digital device and an internet connection to become a publisher. He or she can make any information look “real” by skinning it to appear to be real news in or from a real publication.

For you as an information consumer, though, it’s like buying cooked food from a kitchen you’ve never seen, with no ingredients on the package — or no guarantee that the ingredients on the label are really there at all.

That other factor — the decline of mainstream media — is actually the collapse of the traditional advertising-based business model for newspapers and magazines. The rise of digital media + the fragmentation of audiences + the demise of older print media consumers has translated into the rapid weakening and, in many cases, disappearance of the kind of responsible journalism — with fact-checking at its core — that once acted as a filter to weed out the erroneous.

In other words, the quality control once inherent in mainstream media has rapidly diminished and is disappearing.


Protect yourself

All that said, there are steps you can take at least to better ensure the information you take in both personally and professionally is as accurate and trustworthy as possible. (At VitalBriefing, we talk incessantly and write frequently about this issue. No surprise as trustworthy, accurate and timely information is our bread and butter and what we serve our clients).

Start with this video, then consider these tips:


Source: International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions

Here’s a handy tool, courtesy of California State University at Chico, to help you evaluate whatever you’re following. You have to love it for the name alone: The CRAAP Test (Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy, Purpose)

Another American college, Mount Allison University, has assembled a helpful reference page.

Finally, keep an eye on the authoritative debunkers of fake news, among them FactCheck.org and PolitiFact.

It’s virtually become a civic responsibility to ensure that the factual material you’re reading, watching and sharing is accurate and truthful – no matter your side of any issue. Just know that it’s critical to our democratic way of life, as well as the health of your business or organisation, to make your judgements based on good information.

Don’t be fooled: Curing the fake news epidemic, one story at a time



Over the last several years, the world has succumbed to an epidemic of fake news. While disinformation has circulated for as long as people have created news, the internet, social media and changes in the way in which we consume information have turned fake news into an uncontrollable global virus with massive repercussions across politics, business and society.

Stories that on the surface may seem accurate but instead are misleading or downright false can have serious consequences once – to adopt the social media phraseology – they go ‘viral.’

Fake news stories have been absorbed and spread by millions of people, enticed by the click-bait headlines plaguing social media feeds – feeds originally designed to ease the sharing of content rather than to encourage the dissemination of untruth. On occasion, such as in the run-up to the 2016 US election or the Brexit referendum, this has resulted in a viral storm of sound bites that can trap people in a ‘filter bubble’ of disinformation, impacting how they vote, who they connect with socially and which companies they buy from.

While the mainstream media is certainly not innocent of embellishing the news to attract readers, of making mistakes or of inaccurate reporting, more alarmingly, the phrase ‘fake news’ is now deliberately being used by politicians and business leaders around the world as a weapon against legitimate news reporting, to mislead their constituencies and as an excuse to censor free speech.

In the business world, being tarnished with fake news that sticks can be disastrous, impacting public sentiment and your brand reputation with after-effects that can be hard – even impossible – to shake off.

No global vaccine exists for inoculating against the fake news epidemic, but VitalBriefing, as specialists in media and brand monitoring, has developed tools and techniques to filter fact from fiction, enhanced by our team of highly skilled and experienced journalists.

Here are six tips and tricks you can apply today when you read the news online or browse your social media feed:

  • Is the publisher credible?

Simply because a website is popular, does not mean it is accurate – especially if it appears on social media or automated news aggregation services where clicks and computer algorithms decide what leads. Be wary, for example, of unusual domain names or websites imitating legitimate news publications. Check the ‘About Us’ section to get an idea of what and who is behind the publication.

  • Is the writer credible? 

Check authors’ by-lines: Have they published anything else? Are they real writers, commentators or experts in their field or – as is often the case with fake news stories – simply a fictitious pseudonym?

  • Is the story credible?

Has the information been published on other websites, especially on authoritative ones such as noted mainstream media publications or specialist news outlets? If there’s no coverage elsewhere, it’s not a certainty that the news is fake, but it’s a strong warning sign that other verification methods need to be applied, especially if it’s not published by a legitimate news organisation.

  • Who’s in the story? 

If a person or organisation is quoted, perform a reverse search to check the original source of the quote. Is the attribution accurate? Is it being taken out of context? If there are no quotes or contributing sources, consider it another red flag.

  • How timely is the information?

Checking other sources can reveal a common indicator of fake news: the recycling of older information, dragged out of context, and made to appear as fresh news.

  • How’s the quality of the writing? 

Poor grammar and spelling is not necessarily indicative of a disreputable publication – automated or poor-quality translations are common on non-native language news sites, for example – but it should be a cause for scepticism, necessitating cross-checking the accuracy of the information. 

VitalBriefing applies all of the above and more when searching, filtering and curating information for your organisation, culling fake news to supply accurate business intelligence with journalistic integrity.

Lessons from the global disruptors

Technological advancements have disrupted, transformed and even destroyed, whole industries. Financial technology – fintech – for instance, is revolutionizing the finance sector. On behalf of our client, KNEIP, VitalBriefing looks at the lessons that the fund industry, for instance, can take from the global technology disruptors.

Click here to read Lessons from the global disruptors.

Amazon’s 100,000 Electric Vehicle Order Changes the Game for Shippers

As Amazon strives to reach its just-announced “net-zero carbon emissions” goal, it’s logged a massive order for 100,000 electric vans (from a start-up, no less), confirming what many in the industry already suspected: the last mile for deliveries is going battery-powered.

Discover the implications for the supply chain sector as Amazon paves the way for electric: Toolbox.com.

The Rise of Cloud Services: Infographic

We’ve known for years that cloud computing would eventually rock the business world — and that time has come. The value of cloud services is growing fast as organisations across industries increasingly adopt the public cloud as an affordable platform for enterprise applications as well as for developing and deploying customer-facing solutions. It’s just the beginning: By 2022, it’s projected, 90% of organisations will be there. Based on available data, the sector is consolidating: Major players are boosting their market share, eliminating the various kinks and migrating to the cloud.

Monetary and Fiscal Policy Divide North and South Europe

VitalBriefing Editor-in-Chief Simon Gray discusses the worrying current state of monetary and fiscal policy in Europe.

Countries in the north and south of the continent are divided in opinion as to what they believe the role of monetary policy should be in stimulating the economy. Moreover, consensus cannot be reached regarding the fiscal rules governing participation in the euro, Europe’s single currency.

With both sides of the debate entrenched in their positions, US banks have been able to dominate global finance and even steal investment banking business from their European counterparts.

With the global economy facing a possible recession, how will Europe solve this inter-continental discord?

Read the full article on Toolbox.com.