Is Leadership an Increasingly Difficult Balancing Act? Winning leaders that have little confidence in long-range planning, predictions of others, or their own biases. They will spend less time planning and more time fostering the organizational ability

Is Leadership an Increasingly Difficult Balancing Act?

by James Heskett | Nov 22, 2013

The notion that organizations increasingly will have to pursue transient strategic advantage rather than sustained advantage intensifies the challenge for leaders, says Professor Jim Heskett. What do YOU think? Leadership has always required the management of tensions caused by the simultaneous need for such things as short-term and long-term performance, the exploitation of existing ideas and the search for new ones, and the staffing and motivation of leadership teams with people of diverse backgrounds and capabilities. Read more of this post

Emergence Of The Misfit

A Brief Manifesto For Misfit Entrepreneurs

I came to a journalism startup from a background in engineering and business. Is outsider status really an advantage in the startup world?

By Sunmin Kim

“Are you a real journalist?” asked the editor on the other end of the line. “Is this what you do?” It should have been a routine call in my role with the journalism nonprofit Student Reporter, but this woman had smelled my lack of experience in the industry and balked at our paid syndication proposal. “What’s your background?” she pressed. At that time, I was an Engineering and Business Strategy graduate research assistant at the University of Michigan, doing work in corporate sustainability strategy; my previous life before that being spent mostly in nanotechnology laboratories (“cleanrooms”), researching and developing technologies for biofuel applications. For her, journalism sounded like an “extracurricular” interest of mine. Is that such a bad thing? Today, I work on Student Reporter professionally, and we’re on track to incorporate as a business news outlet for young people, leveraging our global network of experimental newsrooms. I’m here because I am passionate about entrepreneurship and industry transformations–especially those that are disrupted by technology and driven by altruism–and because I want to take an entrepreneurial role in the transformation, something no job I had interviewed for seemed to offer. Read more of this post

Wall Streeters Are Starting To Pass Around This Chart Showing The Market On The Cusp Of A Big Crash

Wall Streeters Are Starting To Pass Around This Chart Showing The Market On The Cusp Of A Big Crash

JOE WEISENTHAL NOV. 22, 2013, 5:49 AM 24,700 37

Dan Greenhaus of BTIG (@danBTIG) includes this chart in his latest nightly email. It shows the current market aligned with the market in the days before the Depression. What does the chart mean? Dan has the best take: Indeed, we recently devoted an entire conference speech to pushing back on the idea of an equity bubble. How do we know the story remains? The chart below, overlaying the S&P 500 today against equities in the 20s/30s is now starting to make the rounds. Without getting too personal, “chart overlaying” is lazy and this is no less so. But it does remind us that as much as everyone thinks everyone else is “all bulled up,” these views still persist and have shown no indication they are going away any time soon. This is the crucial thing, which Dan nails. It’s not that the chart has any predictive value. It’s just interesting that everyone’s passing it around. 

screen shot 2013-11-22 at 5.43.20 am

SEEK’s Andrew Bassat named EY’s Australian Entrepreneur Of The Year

Nassim Khadem Reporter

Andrew Bassat named EY’s Australian Entrepreneur Of The Year

Published 22 November 2013 07:50, Updated 22 November 2013 09:10

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SEEK co-founder and Australian EY Entrepreneur of the Year, Andrew Bassat. Photo: Jesse Marlow

The man who co-pioneered the online job marketplace SEEK, chief executive Andrew Bassat, is the 2013 Australian EY Entrepreneur Of The Year. Bassat co-founded SEEK with his brother Paul in 1997. The Bassats ranked at 155 on the 2013 BRW Rich 200 list, with a combined fortune of $315 million. Paul Bassat stepped away from the business in 2011– he left to build up his private investment company Avalon Place and to establish himself as a start-up investor at Square Peg Capital. Under Andrew Bassat’s leadership, SEEK has since become a $4.13 billion listed employment giant and changed the media landscape forever. SEEK began as an internet startup, with the aim of stealing employment classifieds from metropolitan newspapers. The Melbourne-based company is now the world’s largest online employment agency. “The idea for SEEK came back in 1997, when my brother was looking for a house,” Bassat says. “Going through the process, we realised how inefficient the existing classifieds system was and had a notion we could improve it. Read more of this post

Hidden Billionaires Emerge With Retail Fortune in Germany

Hidden Billionaires Emerge With Retail Fortune in Germany

Four members of Germany’s Otto family, which controls Otto GmbH & Co KG, owner of the Crate & Barrel and bonprix retail chains, have surfaced as billionaires, based on a review of German regulatory filings. Benjamin Otto, 38, holds 12.5 percent of the business, which is also known as the Otto Group, making him one of the country’s youngest billionaires. He’s the son of Michael Otto, the 70-year-old chairman of the conglomerate, who controls 78.5 percent of company. The two have a combined fortune of $10.6 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Read more of this post

Oldest 3,700-Year-Old Wine Cellar Found in Ancient Site in Israel

Oldest Wine Cellar Found in Ancient Site in Israel

A 3,700-year-old wine cellar still holding vestiges of the drink has been unearthed in the Near East, potentially offering modern man a true taste of the past. The excavation in the ancient city of Tel Kabri, in Israel uncovered 40 jars in sizes that could have filled about 3,000 modern wine bottles. The residue suggested they once contained both white and red wine, made with additives that included juniper berries, cinnamon bark, mint and myrtle. Read more of this post

Damodaran: The more comfortable you are in valuing a company, the less point there is to doing that valuation.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Value in the eye of the storm: Why you should welcome uncertainty!

One of the responses to my last post on valuing young companies was that even if you can value companies early in the life cycle, you cannot do so with any degree of confidence. I concede that point, but that is exactly why I would try to value them! I know that statement makes little sense, but to solidify my argument, take a look at the following list of five assets/entities and rank them on the basis of the confidence you will feel in valuing each one (I have provided my rankings and the reasons in the table). Read more of this post

South Korea’s major conglomerates saw their profitability deteriorate sharply this year

Top 10 conglomerates suffer sharp margin erosion

2013.11.21 17:59:19

South Korea’s major conglomerates saw their profitability deteriorate sharply this year. Even the top-notch conglomerates, including the biggest Samsung Group and second-biggest Hyundai Motor Group, posted weaker operating margins. 83 listed subsidiaries except financial firms under the top 10 conglomerates by assets excluding public firms made 36.3 trillion won ($34.2 billion) in operating profit on an individual basis in the first three quarters this year, down 4.7 percent from 38.1 trillion won a year ago, according to corporate information provider Chaebul.com and electric notice system of Financial Supervisory Service Thursday.  Read more of this post

Lee Woon-hyung, chairman of SeAH Group, an established mid-sized steel maker, died of a stroke Sunday during an overseas business trip. He was 66.

2013-03-11 19:40

SeAH Group chairman dies

By Yi Whan-woo

03-12-17-02

Lee Woon-hyung, chairman of SeAH Group, a mid-sized steel maker, died of a stroke Sunday during an overseas business trip. He was 66.
The firm announced that Lee died in Tahiti on his way to Chile, where he was scheduled to attend a business forum.
“His body will be returned home today at the earliest and we’ll set a funeral date soon,” a company spokesman said.
His late father, Lee Chong-duk, founded the Busan Steel Pipe Industry in 1960. The junior Lee joined the company in 1974 and succeeded his father as president and CEO of the firm in 1995, a year before he changed its name to SeAH Steel. Read more of this post

Korean tire makers are challenging top-tier rivals such as Bridgestone and Michelin as they continue to supply more tires to German premium carmakers

2013-11-22 17:59

Tire makers challenge global majors

By Choi Kyong-ae

Korean tire makers are challenging top-tier rivals such as Bridgestone and Michelin as they continue to supply more tires to German premium carmakers. The most recent achievement in line with this was a deal signed by Hankook Tire with Mercedes to provide ultra high-performance tires for the German marque’s S-Class luxury sedan which went on sale in Europe from September. Read more of this post

Sugar mills in India, the world’s largest producer after Brazil, are betting on government subsidies to end the biggest industry shutdown in the nation’s history and stem losses at companies

Sugar Mills Seek State Aid to End Worst Impasse: Corporate India

Sugar mills in India, the world’s largest producer after Brazil, are betting on government subsidies to end the biggest industry shutdown in the nation’s history and stem losses at companies. Mills in Uttar Pradesh, the state that is India’s biggest cane producer, will call off the shutdown only if the government agrees to pay part of the cane price to growers, M. Srinivaasan, president of the Indian Sugar Mills Association, said in a phone interview yesterday. Bajaj Hindusthan Ltd. (BJH) and Balrampur Chini Mills Ltd. (BRCM) are among those that want the state to bear about 20 percent of the cane costs, he said. Read more of this post

Fosun Pharma Rebounds After Denying Chairman Arrest Rumors

Fosun Pharma Rebounds After Denying Chairman Arrest Rumors

Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical Group Co. (2196), a maker of modern drugs and traditional Chinese medicine, rebounded in Shanghai trading after the company’s parent denied speculation that its Chairman Guo Guangchang had been detained. The rumors are “unfounded,” parent Fosun International Ltd. (656) said in an e-mailed statement. The company will take all necessary steps to get to the bottom of the situation, according to the statement, which cited Guo. Fosun Pharma shares traded 3.1 percent lower at 18.04 yuan as of 2:41 p.m. local time, after earlier tumbling as much as 10 percent, the worst intra-day slide since October 2009. “The rumor of the chairman being arrested is probably the main reason affecting the company’s shares,” said Sam Chi Yung, a strategist at Delta Asia Securities Ltd. in Hong Kong. “This kind of rumor affects stock prices quite a lot.” The 21st Century Business Herald reported the rumors that Guo had been barred from leaving Hong Kong on its website. Guo was in Beijing visiting China Datang Corp. Chairman Chen Jinxing today, the company posted on its official Weibo page after the rumors surfaced.

Natasha Khan in Hong Kong at +852-2977-4630 or nkhan51@bloomberg.net

Chinese tycoon eyes property assets to save struggling shipbuilder

Chinese tycoon eyes property assets to save struggling shipbuilder

12:03am EST

By Yimou Lee and Umesh Desai

HONG KONG (Reuters) – An offer by the billionaire owner of Glorious Property Holdings Ltd (0845.HK: Quote,ProfileResearchStock Buzz) to take the company private for HK$4.57 billion($589 million) is seen as an effort to save a struggling shipbuilder he founded that is laden with debt. Zhang Zhirong’s offer came late on Thursday, just hours after the shipbuilder he founded, China Rongsheng Heavy Industries Group (1101.HK: QuoteProfileResearchStock Buzz), said a unit had received a claim from a local government seeking at least 1 billion yuan ($172 million) for an alleged breach of contract, among other things. Read more of this post

China’s Path to U.S.-Style IPOs Confronts Get-Rich-Quick Culture

China’s Path to U.S.-Style IPOs Confronts Get-Rich-Quick Culture

China’s plan to allow the market a greater role in initial public offerings hinges on stamping out a raft of practices that deceive investors, from lax underwriting standards to executives who falsify earnings to obtain higher valuations. The proposed switch to a U.S.-style IPO model comes after a 14-month moratorium on Chinese offerings and is part of a wider push by the Communist Party to lessen government control of the economy. The so-called registration system would leave questions of IPO supply and timing of deals to companies, not Chinese regulators who now must approve most facets of an offering. Hurdles abound, including creating a legal system robust enough to guard against stock-sale fraud. Read more of this post

China’s ‘rejuvenation index’ greeted with derision

November 22, 2013 11:28 am

China’s ‘rejuvenation index’ greeted with derision

By Jamil Anderlini in Beijing

Chinese president Xi Jinping has pledged to reduce the role of central planning in the economy and usher in the “great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation”, but the unveiling this week of the country’s latest ‘rejuvenation index’ has been greeted with derision by many ordinary people and online commentators. By the end of 2012, the Chinese nation was 65.3 per cent rejuvenated, according to the index published by the Social Development Research Centre of the National Development and Reform Commission, China’s powerful state planning agency. Read more of this post

China regulator orders more disclosure on shadow bank products: sources

China regulator orders more disclosure on shadow bank products: sources

5:43am EST

By Weihao Cao and Gabriel Wildau

BEIJING/SHANGHAI (Reuters) – The China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) will require banks to report detailed information on their holdings of wealth management products beginning in 2014, four sources with direct knowledge of the new regulations told Reuters on Friday. Wealth management products (WMPs) are short-term investment products that Chinese banks market to clients as a higher-yielding alternative to traditional bank deposits. They have become a crucial element of China’s shadow banking system, which analysts warn has contributed to excessive debt growth that has led to a build-up of financial risk. Read more of this post

GoPro helmet cameras now all the rage among skiers; “The cameras take bragging rights to the next level”

Helmet cameras now all the rage among skiers

AP NOV 22, 2013

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Seeking frame: This product image released by GoPro shows a digital camera mounted on a ski helmet. | AP

WILMINGTON VERMONT – There are moments on the slopes when skiers wish all eyes were on them. But the next best thing is here: helmet cameras, which enable skiers to photograph and videotape their own descents, jumps and tracks to show off later. Helmet cams have become so ubiquitous that they are “almost the norm” at Steamboat Ski & Resort in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. “The cameras take bragging rights to the next level,” said resort spokeswoman Loryn Kasten. Read more of this post

Singapore Says Money-Mule Cases Increase as Residents Swindled

Singapore Says Money-Mule Cases Increase as Residents Swindled

Singapore police and banks urged the city-state’s residents to be wary of fraudsters seeking to use their bank accounts to funnel illegal funds after an increase of reported cases this year. The number of reported cases of illegitimate cash being given to so-called money mules to hand over to a third party increased to 133 in the first nine months of this year, up from 93 for all of 2012, the police, the city’s bank association and the National Crime Prevention Council said in a statement today. The amount of illegal monies in those cases fell to S$15.5 million ($12.4 million) from 2012’s S$24.6 million. Read more of this post

Many Singapore SMEs have no growth strategy: Poll

Many SMEs have no growth strategy: Poll

Companies are busy trying to cut costs and raise productivity 

Published on Nov 22, 2013
Singapore’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) seem to have lost their appetite for growth. — ISTOCKPHOTO AND ST ILLUSTRATION

By Yasmine Yahya

BACKGROUND STORY

TOUGH TIMES

Only 7 per cent expect to achieve double-digit growth – the lowest level in the study’s 11-year history.

44 per cent expect no discernible growth, while another 9 per cent expect revenues to shrink.

Markedly fewer firms are doing business overseas: 46 per cent, down from 54 per cent last year.

75 per cent this year say they have a business strategy, down from 85 per cent last year.

Singapore’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) seem to have lost their appetite for growth.
They are too focused on grappling with an ever tougher business environment, a new survey has found. Read more of this post

The future of the oceans: Acid test; The world’s seas are becoming more acidic. How much that matters is not yet clear. But it might matter a lot

The future of the oceans: Acid test; The world’s seas are becoming more acidic. How much that matters is not yet clear. But it might matter a lot

Nov 23rd 2013 |From the print edition

HUMANS, being a terrestrial species, are pleased to call their home “Earth”. A more honest name might be “Sea”, as more than seven-tenths of the planet’s surface is covered with salt water. Moreover, this water houses algae, bacteria (known as cyanobacteria) and plants that generate about half the oxygen in the atmosphere. And it also provides seafood—at least 15% of the protein eaten by 60% of the planet’s human population, an industry worth $218 billion a year. Its well-being is therefore of direct concern even to landlubbers. Read more of this post

Brookfield Asset Management regularly generates hundreds of millions in profit through complex related-party dealings

Brookfield’s Looking-Glass World

By: RODDY BOYD | November 18, 2013

Edel Rodriguez

A wry investor might be forgiven for concluding that peering at Toronto-based Brookfield Asset Management’s filings is akin to Lewis Carroll’s Alice peeking behind the mirror and finding a universe in reverse. Consider the third-quarter earnings just released by the real estate management, energy and infrastructure conglomerate, disclosing a handsome $813 million in net income for those three months, walloping the $334 million the public company reported for the same period last year. But instead of popping corks, investors who read the filing will probably want to reach for a bottle of aspirin. Read more of this post

A rise of passives, a rise of scrutiny

November 15, 2013 6:26 pm

A rise of passives, a rise of scrutiny

By Chris Flood

Index-based investing is expanding rapidly across global financial markets in a shift that offers big rewards to providers of popular benchmarks. It is also, however, attracting growing scrutiny from regulators. The most visible evidence for the rise of index-based investing comes from growth in the exchange traded funds industry which now commands assets of $2.3tn. Trillions of dollars more are held in index-based portfolios by pension and sovereign wealth funds and other institutional investors. Read more of this post

The Balkanisation of banking: Putting Humpty together again; Regulators risk fatally fracturing the financial system. It need not be so

The Balkanisation of banking: Putting Humpty together again; Regulators risk fatally fracturing the financial system. It need not be so

Nov 23rd 2013 |From the print edition

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OF THE many things that keep financial regulators awake at night, perhaps the most alarming prospect is the collapse of a sprawling international bank with local operations. “The one thing they don’t want to be blamed for is if a big foreign bank blows up in their market,” says a senior executive at just such a bank. Read more of this post

Investing in frontier markets: Fishy tale; The story of a dollar-bond issue in Mozambique is a parable of easy money

Investing in frontier markets: Fishy tale; The story of a dollar-bond issue in Mozambique is a parable of easy money

Nov 23rd 2013 | MAPUTO |From the print edition

A DESPERATE search for bonds that pay a decent rate of interest and a keen desire for exposure to economies that are still growing quickly have taken rich-world investors to some exotic places. The raciest bets are made in so-called frontier markets, poorer places with even less mature financial sectors than emerging markets. Africa is full of them. Rwanda and Tanzania, for example, have found willing buyers this year for their debut issues of dollar-denominated bonds. The farthest edge of the investing frontier has now reached Mozambique. Read more of this post

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