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Ford nabs Snap's CFO and Kickstarter's CEO exits — here are the power moves of the week

Sat, 03/23/2019 - 1:02pm

  • Keeping an eye on major hires and promotions is one of the best ways to understand a company's strategy. 
  • The Org tracks executive changes at companies big and small. 
  • Here's a snapshot of the most important executive moves of the week across media, tech and transportation.

Every week we bring you an overview of the most important executive changes from the past week. This week, the former CFO of Snap, Tim Stone, was announced as the new Chief Financial Officer of Ford Motors. Read more about this and other notable executive changes.

Ford names Tim Stone from Snap as Chief Financial Officer

Ford has announced Tim Stone as its new Chief Financial Officer. Stone was most recently CFO at Snap where he left after just eight months on the job. He succeeds Bob Shanks at the car-maker. Stone joins Ford after decades of experience in the tech industry. He served for 20 years at Amazon, where he led financial support of several of the company’s most significant business initiatives and oversaw operations for others.

Perry Chen steps down as CEO of Kickstarter

Perry Chen announced in a blog post that he is stepping down as CEO of Kickstarter. He will remain involved with the company as Chairman of the Board where he will focus on high-level and long-term company needs. Aziz Hasan, the head of Kickstarter’s Design & Product teams, will be stepping into the role of running day-to-day operations as interim CEO.

Boeing names leadership for joint venture with Embraer

Boeing has announced three leadership moves aimed at further strengthening the company's global presence and preparing for its joint venture with Embraer. The new venture will be led by John Slattery, who currently heads the commercial aviation division at Embraer and will become chief executive officer of the joint venture with Boeing. B. Marc Allen, the current president of Boeing International, was named senior vice president of Boeing and president of Embraer Partnership and Group Operations. 

Kevin Tsujihara to step down as CEO of Warner Bros.

Kevin Tsujihara announced that he will be stepping down as CEO & Chairman of Warner Bros. Entertainment. The decision follows an an exposé in the Hollywood Reporter, which described text messages between the executive and Charlotte Kirk revealing that Tsujihara would push for auditions for the actress amid an apparent sexual relationship that he was having with her. A successor has not yet announced.

Fox Corporation announces full leadership team including Hope Hicks and Paul Ryan

Fox Corporation has emerged as a standalone entity following Disney's acquisition of 21st Century Fox. The company has also formally announced that Hope Hicks who previously served as President Donald Trump's Communications Director, will be joining as head of communications and Paul Ryan who previously served as the 54th Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, will be joining the board of directors. Explore Fox Corporation’s org chart here!

Christian Wylonis is the co-founder and CEO of The Org, a professional community where you can explore any organizational chart in the world.

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NOW WATCH: A sleep expert explains what happens to your body and brain if you don't get enough sleep

NYC's first-ever Neiman Marcus just opened in Hudson Yards. The CEO has described the store as a 'magical' and 'immersive' experience — here's what I found inside

Sat, 03/23/2019 - 1:00pm

  • Neiman Marcus opened its first New York City store in Hudson Yards, the city's new $25 billion neighborhood.
  • The 188,000-square-foot luxury department store spans three floors of the Shops and Restaurants shopping complex.
  • Geoffroy van Raemdonck, CEO of Neiman Marcus Group, said the new store will create "a personal customer experience that is seamless and magical."

Neiman Marcus, the luxury department store with the same owner as Bergdorf Goodman, just opened its first New York City store at Hudson Yards, the city's new $25 billion neighborhood. 

The 188,000-square-foot store, which opened March 15, spans three floors of the Shops and Restaurants at Hudson Yards, the site's seven-story luxury shopping complex.

Geoffroy van Raemdonck, CEO of Neiman Marcus Group, says the new store adapts to how the next generation of luxury customers shops. Unlike other Neiman Marcus stores, the location at Hudson Yards includes a beauty salon and spa, a pop-up florist, and a kitchen that offers cooking demonstrations, tastings, and mixology classes.

"Neiman Marcus Hudson Yards will be all about providing physical and digital experiences in a way not seen at other stores, creating a personal customer experience that is seamless and magical," van Raemdonck said in a press release.

I walked through the store a few days after its grand opening — here's what it looks like.

SEE ALSO: I got an inside look at the brand new, 7-story 'vertical shopping experience' in Hudson Yards, which the developers insist is not a mall — here's what I saw on opening day

DON'T MISS: I climbed Vessel, the $200 million, 2,500-step sculpture in Hudson Yards — and the view from the inside blew me away

New York City's first Neiman Marcus just opened at Hudson Yards, the new $25 billion neighborhood on Manhattan's west side that includes office buildings, luxury residential towers, a public plaza, and a 150-foot climbable sculpture called the Vessel.

The department store is part of a one-million-square-foot, seven-story shopping complex called the Shops and Restaurants at Hudson Yards. The developers don't call it a mall, instead referring to it as a "vertical shopping experience" or an "urban retail center."

Source: Hudson Yards, Bloomberg



Neiman Marcus occupies space on floors five, six, and seven of the building.

Source: Hudson Yards



I got a peek of the brand-new Neiman Marcus on opening day, but I went back a few days later to take a full tour.

Geoffroy van Raemdonck, CEO of Neiman Marcus Group, says the new store adapts to how the next generation of luxury customers shop.

Source: Neiman Marcus



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

The CEO of Silicon Valley's favorite meal-replacement startup shares why he thinks the tide is shifting on genetic engineering

Sat, 03/23/2019 - 10:47am

  • The CEO of Soylent, the startup behind Silicon Valley's favorite meal replacement shake, says he believes people are beginning to embrace foods made with genetic engineering.
  • Soylent began publicizing its use of GMOs nearly four years ago, when anti-GMO rhetoric was at an all-time high.
  • Now, "the pendulum is swinging in favor of the science," the CEO told Business Insider.

America may run on Dunkin' Donuts coffee, but Silicon Valley runs on something else: Soylent, a meal-in-a-bottle that's meant to contain all the nutrients you'd normally find in breakfast or lunch. 

Pick up a bottle of the stuff and you'll notice something else that sets it apart from many other American products. Each container is printed with a small stamp on the side resembling a strand of DNA.

"Produced with genetic engineering," the label reads.

Soylent uses six ingredients made with the technique, meaning they fall under the label of "GMO" or genetically-modified organism. Those ingredients include its soy protein blend, one of its sweeteners, two kinds of oils or fats, along with its corn fiber and some of its flavorings.

The company decided to go public about its use of the technology nearly four years ago, when public distrust of GMOs was at an all-time high. At the time, sales of products made with the opposite kind of label — one that read "GMO-free" — was skyrocketing. But Soylent bucked the trend. In addition to adding the genetic engineering label to its products, the company came out with a series of billboards that read "Pro-GMO" and published a lengthy blog post explaining its decision to use the ingredients.

Soylent faced a fair amount of pushback for its decision at the time. Advocacy blogs and several journalists accused the company of hiding dangerous ingredients in its products; others called the approach a marketing stunt.

But Soylent CEO Bryan Crowley thinks his company made the right choice, he told Business Insider. Here's why.

'We think the pendulum is swinging in favor of the science'

Crowley thinks the tide on GMOs is finally starting to shift. People are increasingly embracing the approach, he said during an interview on the periphery of the Future of Food-Tech Conference in San Francisco.

"We think the pendulum is swinging in favor of the science," Crowley said.

To his company, the decision to go public about their ingredients was less about marketing and more about following the consensus reached by researchers.

Read more: This Silicon Valley food-replacement favorite has a new mission — win over the mainstream

"It's not about being pro-GMO. It's about being pro-science," he said.

The scientific consensus on GMOs is that they are not harmful.

Organizations like the National Academy of Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the European Commission have called GMO foods safe to eat. A large 2013 study on GMOs found no "significant hazards directly connected with the use of genetically engineered crops."

Most of the food we eat today has been genetically modified in some way; everything from corn to watermelons have been selectively bred for thousands of years to give us the traits we find desirable, like large amounts of sweet, edible flesh or small seeds. Insulin, the medication that people with diabetes depend on to regulate their blood sugar, is also made with genetically modified ingredients. 

Still, Crowley admits he was once hesitant about GMOs too. Roughly a decade ago, he assumed that GMO-free products were healthier than their GMO-containing counterparts, he said.

"I did very little research" at the time, Crowley said. "I just accepted it."

But after digging into the peer-reviewed research, Crowley said he changed his mind. And he thinks others are beginning to do the same.

"People aren't just accepting something because it's on a package," he said. 

SEE ALSO: Silicon Valley startups backed by celebrities like Bill Gates are using gene-editing tool Crispr to make meat without farms — and to disrupt a $200 billion industry

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NOW WATCH: Physicists have discovered that rotating black holes might serve as portals for hyperspace travel

International money transfers hit $613 billion this year — here's what young, tech savvy users value most about them

Sat, 03/23/2019 - 10:34am

This is a preview of a research report from Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service. To learn more about Business Insider Intelligence, click here. Current subscribers can read the report here.

Remittances, or cross-border peer-to-peer (P2P) money transfers, hit a record high of $613 billion globally in 2017, following a two-year decline.  And the remittance industry will continue to grow, driven largely by digital services.

Several factors will fuel digital growth globally, such as increased smartphone penetration, greater demand for digital transactions, and an overall need for faster cross-border transfers. And with the shift to digital comes an audience of younger, digital-savvy customers using remittances — a segment that companies are looking to target.

As a result, the global remittance industry is becoming increasingly competitive for firms to navigate, with incumbents like Western Union and MoneyGram competing for the same pool of customers as digital upstarts like WorldRemit and Remitly. And in order to win, companies across the board will need to prioritize the four areas consumers value most in remittances: cost, convenience, speed, and safety.  

In The Digital Remittances Report, Business Insider Intelligence will identify what young, digitally savvy users value in remittances. We will also detail the concrete steps that legacy and digital providers can take to effectively capture this opportunity and monetize digital offerings — the primary growth driver — to emerge at or maintain their presence at the forefront of the space. 

The companies mentioned in the report are: MoneyGram, Remitly, Ria, Western Union, WorldRemit, TransferWise, and Xoom, among others.

Here are some key takeaways from the report:

  • The global remittance industry recovered from a two-year decline in 2017 to reach a record $613 billion in transfer volume. That growth will continue and will be fueled by digital remittances, which Business Insider Intelligence expects to grow at a 23% CAGR from $225 billion in 2018 to $387 billion in 2023.
  • There’s a new segment of customers that both legacy and digital firms are competing to grab share of. Young, digital-savvy consumers are the customer segment that all firms are vying to reach, which is creating a highly competitive dynamic. The needs of those consumers will precipitate transformational change in the industry.
  • We’ve identified several tangible steps firms can take to improve in four key areas — cost, convenience, speed, and security — to not only attract but also maintain this customer segment to align with their preferences and ultimately win in the space.

 In full, the report:

  • Outlines the global remittance landscape and sizes the opportunity that the industry presents. 
  • Identifies the new audience for remittances and future drivers of the remittance space going forward. 
  • Discusses four key areas that providers can focus on — cost, convenience, speed, and security — to improve offerings and ultimately capture that shifting audience. 
To get this report, subscribe to a Premium pass to Business Insider Intelligence and gain immediate access to: This report and more than 275 other expertly researched reports Access to all future reports and daily newsletters Forecasts of new and emerging technologies in your industry And more! Learn More

Or, purchase & download The Digital Remittances Report directly from our research store

SEE ALSO: These were the biggest developments in the global fintech ecosystem over the last 12 months

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I took 2,000 photos during a 5-day safari in Tanzania, and 1 of those photos is an important reality check for anyone thinking about going on a safari

Sat, 03/23/2019 - 10:30am

  • Africa's best-known safari destination is the Serengeti, 12,000 miles of grasslands, forests, swamps, and woodlands teeming with wildlife.
  • Eighty percent of tourists to Tanzania visit the Northern Circuit, where the Serengeti is located. During peak season the parks are flooded with safari jeeps.
  • That meant that any time there was something spectacular happening — like a pride of lions feeding — the area was swarmed with other tourists. The crowd sometimes scared off the wildlife.

Going on safari is about taking a journey into nature; "safari" is the Swahili word for journey. But, if you thought that would mean you'll be rumbling through the savannah with only the wind as your companion, think again. 

For many, the dream safari is the Serengeti, a park spanning 12,000 square miles in northern Tanzania that looks like the setting of The Lion King. Most visit the Serengeti to see the Great Migration, where 1.5 million wildebeest migrate annually along a nearly 2,000-mile cycle in search of new grass and fresh water.

It's by far one of the most popular safari destinations. Out of the 1.4 million annual visitors to Tanzania, 80% visit either the Serengeti, the adjacent Ngorongoro Crater, or Mount Kilimanjaro — the three destinations that make up Tanzania's Northern Circuit.

Most visitors travel to the Serengeti during one of two peak seasons: January through February, or June through October. The first is known as "calving season," when wildebeest and zebra migrate south to find grasses suitable to give birth to new calves. During the second, the dry season, wildebeest and zebra migrate north in search of water. 

In February, I took a safari through the Serengeti. While dry season is a more popular time to visit than calving season, the Serengeti was still bustling with tourists.

Anytime something spectacular was happening — like someone spotted a pride of lions or a leopard in a tree —  half a dozen jeeps or more soon pulled up to watch, too.

Take, for example, the pride of lions I photographed at the top of this article. We spotted them near one of the main roads in the park. As soon as jeeps saw our car stopping, they, too, immediately pulled up. Within five or ten minutes, there was a traffic jam.

It looked like this:

It's more than annoying. Sometimes it scares the wildlife. One morning, my guide had heard word that there was a caracal cat hiding out beneath a tree in the bush near our camp. By the time we got there, there were too many jeeps around.

The cat had gotten spooked and hid under some bushes until the jeeps left.

The number of tourists in Tanzania's northern parks and game reserves is a big reason many safari junkies swear by the country's Southern Circuit, made up of Selous Game Reserve and Ruaha, Mahale, and Gombe national parks. 

While there is a lot of tourist infrastructure around the Serengeti, the southern parks are about as off the grid as you can get, requiring a day's drive or an extra flight. There is little in the way of development, with most people staying at camping sites or a few high-end lodges.

Because so few tourists visit, it's unlikely you'll ever see another jeep during your jaunt through the wilderness. It's practically untouched by tourism, a near impossibility in 2019.

SEE ALSO: On a 5-day safari through Tanzania, a local guide told me the number one thing that ruins the experience for tourists

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Take a look inside a $28.5 million NYC apartment on Billionaires' Row

As investors worry about a recession on the horizon, a record 7 million Americans have stopped paying their car loans. Here's why.

Sat, 03/23/2019 - 9:40am

  • Last month, investors got spooked over a spike in auto delinquencies reported by the Federal Reserve.
  • The Fed and Wall Street analysts found the results surprising given the robust state of the economy and the job market. 
  • The puzzling phenomenon is in part attributable to an overall surge in auto lending and a deterioration of lending standards between 2011 and 2017, producing more subprime borrowers than ever before. 
  • But other factors are also driving the trend, including America's growing appetite for expensive trucks and SUVs, and the highly uneven nature of the economic recovery. 
  • But a broader, systemic threat from auto lending seems unlikely, according to experts.

Ten years into a bull market, Americans are getting jittery about when the music will stop and the next recession will tear through the economy. 

While bad economic omens are being spotted in a variety of places, last month it was a spike in auto delinquencies that spooked market participants.

The Federal Reserve reported the number of borrowers with auto loans more than 90-days delinquent shot up by 1.5 million in the fourth quarter, reaching a total of 7 million — the highest mark ever in absolute numbers, though not as a percentage of the auto-loan market, which has ballooned over the past seven years. 

Consumer pain tends to be a leading indicator for broader economic struggles: An increase in delinquencies could signify waning consumer health, foreshadowing a drop in confidence and an overall spending slowdown, which affects nearly every industry. 

Bad consumer loans could also inflict losses on major institutions invested in the loans, which are packaged up and sold as asset-backed securities (ABS). That has the potential, if it gets out of hand, to create systemic risk, as we saw with mortgage-backed loans in the last crisis.

So ugly consumer data is a siren alerting investors, trauma-scarred from the mortgage meltdown, to the next proverbial canary in the coal mine.

The surge in auto defaults has been a source of both confusion and consternation. The Fed called the development surprising, and Goldman Sachs analysts referred to it as "something of a puzzle," given the broader economic and labor-market strength, and the lack of distress in other consumer credit products, such as mortgages and credit cards.

Why are auto-loan defaults surging, and does it pose a broader economic threat that warrants concern?

The picture is complicated, but peeling back the data provides some answers — and suggests that the overall economic sunshine grabbing headlines may be falling on only part of the country, obscuring the fact that another segment in the shadows is fairing much worse.

Part of the mystery surrounding the auto-loan-default spike is the timing. 

The unemployment rate is still hovering near all-time lows, foreclosures and personal bankruptcies are at post-crisis lows, and wages have been growing.

It's also puzzling given the fact that consumers historically pay off their car loans at the expense of other debts, such as credit cards and mortgages. This is likely because a car is more critical to most Americans' everyday life — getting to work, picking up the kids, getting groceries, etc. — and because a delinquent car is much quicker and easier to repossess than a foreclosed home. 

But while auto-loan defaults are climbing, both credit-card and mortgage loan delinquencies are at historically low levels. 

There are a couple of explanations for the auto-default phenomenon.

First, auto loans have exploded in the years after the financial crisis, growing steadily from less than $800 billion in 2011 to nearly $1.3 trillion in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Lending standards loosened significantly between 2011 and 2017 before tightening back up. That meant not only more borrowers in aggregate than ever before but also more risky borrowers than ever before. Auto lenders issued credit more freely, not only accepting lower credit scores but also taking borrowers at their word regarding income rather than verifying it.

"With growth in auto loan participation, there are now more subprime auto loan borrowers than ever, and thus a larger group of borrowers at high risk of delinquency," the Fed said in a blog post about its auto-delinquency findings.

Lenders also stretched the length of loan terms over longer periods to make them more affordable, Goldman Sachs analysts Marty Young and Lotfi Karoui wrote in a research note in early March. But reducing the pace at which a customer pays off the loan increases the likelihood that "borrowers will be 'under-water' on their loans, with loan value above the value of the vehicle."

At the same time, Americans became obsessed with large vehicles — trucks, SUVs, and crossovers that are substantially more expensive than small- and mid-size cars. The fact that America's top-selling vehicle — a Ford truck that starts at nearly $30,000 — and many like it cost nearly half the median household income hasn't stopped people from buying them and hasn't stopped lenders from facilitating loans.

The average purchase price of a new vehicle hit a record high of $36,495 at the end of 2017, a 24% increase from 2011, according to Edmunds. 

Together, that has meant more expensive cars, more subprime borrowers, and longer-term loans. And that's contributed to higher monthly loan repayments.

The average car payment hit a decade high of $545 during a month in the fourth quarter, according to Experian data. The average interest rate also hit a decade high, to little surprise given the record number of subprime borrowers, who pay higher rates to compensate for their risk. 

Of course, most borrowers don't stop paying a loan the moment they buy the car — even if it was ill-advised. 

Changes in delinquencies "necessarily lag changes in loan underwriting," Goldman said, so we're feeling the brunt today of poor underwriting in previous years. The tightened lending standards since 2017 may not show up in delinquencies until next year. 

What economic recovery?

But even amid the surge in lending, especially to less credit-worthy borrowers, shouldn't the 10-year bull market and sterling economic conditions provide a buffer? Shouldn't there be less financial pressure on households that would cause them to stop paying their loans?

Focusing on the rosy economic data in aggregate hides the highly uneven nature of the economic recovery and the fact that many Americans remain cash-strapped.

There's been a two-tiered recovery, UBS analyst Matt Mish said, where on one hand, those who hold assets have done very well. 

"Those who do not own assets, whether a house or equities, have not benefited as much," Mish told Business Insider.

"You've seen a pretty decent increase in debt in the latter cohort," he added. 

Mish and his colleague Stephen Caprio focused on how the divergent consumer recovery influences credit risk in a report last year, finding an elevated number of consumers burdened by debts that dwarf their incomes, along with small amounts of liquid assets saved to deal with those financial obligations.

This phenomenon has been masked by a reliance by investors on the Fed's aggregate data — which skews toward the wealthy. The median data UBS presents show more significant consumer financial struggles.

"This highlights how consumer inequality is a blind spot to the aggregate metrics that investors rely upon. As income inequality grows, aggregate data becomes less representative of the population at large," UBS analysts wrote in the report.

A major driver of the diverging consumer fates: spiking apartment rents.

Many American households deleveraged after the financial crisis, primarily by trading homes in favor rentals.

But rents have surged, UBS said, amid growing demand and lack of affordable home-buying options.

"Renter financial obligation burdens are near record highs, homeowner burdens are near record lows," the analysts said in the report.

Strong employment and an uptick in wage growth may ease this burden, but if the recession everyone is on edge about materializes, it could mean significant losses for investors in lower-tiered consumer debt.

Is there a broader risk? 

As some have already pointed out, it's unlikely auto-loan defaults will usher in the next financial collapse or recession.

In part, this is because they're less systemically risky.

The total auto-loan market is about $1.3 trillion, compared with $11.2 trillion in the residential mortgage market when the financial crisis struck, adjusting for inflation.

Moreover, specialty auto-finance companies — which aren't large or diverse enough to affect the economy as deeply as banks do — have been doling out subprime loans with the most gusto, with half their $150 billion position originated on credit scores below 620, according to the Federal Reserve.

"We think the risk is remote," Goldman Sachs wrote, addressing the concerns among market commentators of risk to financial stability.

In Goldman's view, auto delinquencies pose little risk of contagion but are rather a "sector story," with risks confined to the subprime auto industry.

The delinquency uptick, the analysts said, is isolated almost exclusively among people with non-prime credit scores. In auto-loan ABS, for instance, the 90-day delinquency rate remains below 0.5% for prime loans, while the rate for non-prime loans  has surged upward to nearly 5%. 

Even within subprime auto ABS, the outlook isn't particularly morose because of "the large extent to which high losses have already priced into high borrower interest rates."

This may be good news for investors, but it's no consolation for the cash-strapped borrowers covering those interest payments and defaulting on their loans. 

Their struggles may not pose a broader economic threat at the moment, but they show the 10-year economic recovery hasn't been as broad-based as many believe.

The Fed's analysis of the auto-loan market illuminates the divergence: By one standard, the "overall auto loan stock is the highest quality" since they began tracking data, with 30% of loans from borrowers with credit scores exceeding 760 — very good to exceptional. At the same time, we have the most subprime borrowers — and the most serious delinquencies — on record. 

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NOW WATCH: Elon Musk sent a $100K Tesla Roadster to space a year ago. It has now traveled farther than any other car in history.

JPMorgan ditching campuses; Inside Lyft's IPO roadshow

Sat, 03/23/2019 - 9:32am

 

Dear Readers,

It was a week of stakeouts. But while most of the media was focused on the comings and goings of special counsel Mueller in Washington, our attention was on the St. Regis in New York where Lyft held its IPO roadshow stop. You can see our paparazzi photos here

If you're new to the Wall Street Insider newsletter, you can sign up here.

And if you're an existing Prime subscriber, please take our reader survey here.

In other news, JPMorgan said this week that its investment bank would be scrapping its annual college-campus visits for recruiting. Instead, the bank will ask its next generation of workers to apply by submitting video interviews and taking online behavioral-science tests. It's a change intended to widen the funnel for intern candidates at a time when Wall Street is grappling with how to recruit and retain more diverse workers.

College career events have long been how investment banks recruit for interns and analysts, using the events to meet candidates and develop a pipeline of young talent. But over the years JPMorgan has found that by recruiting only at elite universities such as Harvard and UPenn, it wasn't getting as diverse a candidate pool as it wanted. It makes a lot of sense. The way the traditional recruiting model works is that a group of alumni from, say, Cornell, go back to Ithaca and interview students. It's where "unconscious bias" slips into the interview process. By nature, humans are drawn to others who are like them. It could mean screening candidates who don't live in the "right" neighborhood or have foreign-sounding names, and instead hiring those who were in your fraternity or played club soccer.

By avoiding campus visits, JPMorgan is hoping to eliminate some of this bias and instead focus on finding candidates with the right set of attributes that will make them successful at the bank — characteristics like grit and curiosity — that won't necessarily show up on a résumé.

JPMorgan isn't alone. A few years ago UBS rolled out an algorithm to help with its candidate screening alongside human reviewers. Goldman uses personality tests and software to mine résumés for attributes such as teamwork, integrity, and judgment as a way to find candidates who may not attend Ivy League schools.

For the banks it's definitely a step in the right direction. While I don't believe these types of tests will stop the legions of Wharton students who have been training to be bankers since they were in diapers from joining Wall Street, it should open up new opportunities to supersmart finance majors from, say, Ohio State, who maybe never dreamed before about working at JPMorgan or Goldman.

Data is making it easier, and cheaper, to make smart hiring decisions. Particularly in a world where Wall Street is struggling to compete with Silicon Valley, hedge funds, and private equity for top talent, banks would be wise to use whatever means they can to cast a wider net for job candidates.

To read many of the stories below, you can subscribe to Prime or email me at ooran@businessinsider.com for a free trial. As always, please reach out with any comments, tips, or feedback.

Thanks for reading!
Olivia

American auto delinquencies are piling up, revealing the pains of the millions left behind by the US economic recovery

Ten years into a bull market, Americans are getting jittery about when the music will stop and the next recession will tear through the economy. While bad economic omens are being spotted in a variety of places, last month it was a spike in auto delinquencies that spooked market participants.

The Federal Reserve reported the number of borrowers with auto loans more than 90 days delinquent shot up by 1.5 million in the fourth quarter, reaching a total of 7 million — the highest mark ever in absolute numbers, though not as a percentage of the auto-loan market, which has ballooned over the past seven years.

The surge in auto defaults has been a source of both confusion and consternation. The Fed called the development surprising and Goldman Sachs analysts referred to it as "something of a puzzle," given the broader economic and labor-market strength, and the lack of distress in other consumer credit products, such as mortgages and credit cards.

READ MORE HERE >>

A leaked memo shows a shakeup is underway in Bank of America's sales and trading division, as a star sales exec is switching roles and another is leaving the firm

There's been a shakeup in Bank of America Merrill Lynch's fixed income, currencies, and commodities division, as a star sales exec is shifting into trading and another business head is moving on.

Karen Fang, the head of sales and structuring for FICC in the Americas, is leaving her post for a senior role in trading, according to an internal memo seen by Business Insider.

Fang, who joined in 2010 from Goldman Sachs, where she was a managing director, was previously the head of cross-asset strategies and solutions and is considered a star in the firm's FICC division. It's unclear what's driving the change from sales to trading. Gerry Walker, the global head of credit and special-situation sales, will take over Fang's role as head of FICC sales in the Americas.

READ MORE HERE >>

Inside the Lyft roadshow in NYC where investors packed the penthouse of a $1,000-a-night hotel

Nearly 400 money managers and Wall Street bankers crowded into the penthouse ballroom of New York's St. Regis hotel on Thursday to hear the cofounders of the ride-hailing giant Lyft make a sales pitch for what's expected to be the largest initial public offering in several years.

After a brief presentation, Lyft founders John Zimmer and Logan Green, as well as Brian Roberts, the company's chief financial officer, took turns answering questions about the company's business, its mounting losses, and the fierce competition it's facing from Uber.

Lyft emphasized it would not engage in a price war with Uber by lowering the rates it charges consumers to use its ride-hailing service, several people who attended the meeting told Business Insider. But it said that it could easily lose the market share it has gained in the US over the past two years if Uber decides to "compete hard" on price.

Lyft plans to raise $2 billion in a highly anticipated stock-market debut in the coming weeks that will value the seven-year-old company at $20 billion.

The company's IPO is expected to be closely followed by one from Uber, which could be valued at as much as $120 billion. The rich valuations reflect investors' heady expectations for the new breed of transportation companies, which have recently branched out from cars to scooters and bikes.

READ MORE HERE >>

The $43 billion combination of FIS and Worldpay could trigger a wave of M&A. Here are the deals that could be next.

Like middle schoolers at their first dance, fintech companies and payment processors are quickly pairing off in hopes of not being left alone in a space that's rapidly evolving.

Fidelity National Information Services and Worldpay on Monday became the second duo to take the plunge, announcing a deal valued at $43 billion. FIS and Worldpay were preceded by rivals Fiserv and First Data, which announced a $22 billion deal in January.

Wall Street analysts have largely viewed the latest acquisition as a natural progression.

"If you look at it, FIS is one of the biggest competitors to Fiserv. Worldpay is one of the biggest competitors to First Data," Larry Berlin, a senior vice president who specializes in research at the venture-capital firm First Analysis, said. "If the first one made sense, then the second one makes sense. And there is always a chance that another one makes sense."

READ MORE HERE >>

A do-good investing firm founded by Warren Buffett's grandson and a former Gates Foundation exec just raised its first funding round from the world's richest families

Some of the world's wealthiest investors are buying into the idea that capitalism will change the world for good, and they don't have to lose money in the process.

i(x), a firm focused on impact investing launched in 2016 by Buffett's grandson Howard Buffett and Trevor Neilson, has lined up almost $15 million of Series A financing from 35 family offices, Business Insider has learned. The funding round, which values i(x) at $71.5 million, will allow the company to seed new investment platforms and businesses, including food and agriculture, Neilson said.

Despite i(x)'s explicit focus on doing good, Neilson said the firm does not sacrifice returns. The company is set up similar to Berkshire Hathaway, with capital that can create and invest in companies for the long term, rather than a private-equity fund that's forced to sell companies at the end of the fund's life. The family offices can also invest alongside the firm in individual investments.

READ MORE HERE >>

Quote of the week:

"I am concerned anytime that new entrants into aviation particularly carrying packages or goods enter a market where their background has been essentially trying to cut costs to make money. Cutting costs in aviation causes deaths and accidents," Jim Hall, who led the National Transportation Safety Board from 1994 to 2001, told Business Insider, referring to Amazon. An Amazon Air plane called CustomAir Obsession crashed on February 23, killing all three people on board. The cause of the crash remains unknown. In conversations with Business Insider before the crash, several pilots who fly planes for Amazon Air said they thought an accident was inevitable.

Wall Street move of the week:

$930 billion Nuveen’s head of private markets is stepping down amid 'challenges' to the asset-management business

In markets:

In tech news:

Other good stories from around the newsroom:

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JPMorgan warns Boeing's 737 Max crisis could drag down the entire US economy (BA)

Sat, 03/23/2019 - 9:14am

  • Boeing is facing its worst crisis in years after two of its 737 Max planes have crashed in the last five months. 
  • As the plane remains grounded in most of the world, some airlines are beginning to rethink orders they have on the books. 
  • JPMorgan's top economist warned Friday that any slowdown in the planemaker's business could have repercussions for the entire US economy. 

The US' largest exporter is facing its most pressing crisis in decades, and now Wall Street is warning it could have an effect on the entire country's economy.

As airlines begin to rethink their orders of Boeing's 737 Max plane, which is now grounded in most of the world after two deadly crashes, lost revenue for the company could draw down economists' measures of GDP growth — and even change how that economic growth is comprised — according to JPMorgan.

"The issues affecting Boeing’s 737 MAX could begin impacting the economic data flow," Michael Feroli, the bank's chief US economist said in a note to clients Friday.

"For now, we believe it should have no short-run impact on GDP, as production of this airplane is continuing, but will affect the composition of GDP, implying more growth in inventories and less growth of business investment and gross exports."

The 737 Max is likely to go down in history as one of the best selling planes of all time. But that same success could be a nightmare for Boeing if the crisis drones on much longer or gets any more severe. The nearly 400 planes already in service around the world have been grounded, and new purchases of Max jets make up 80% of Boeing's order book.

"If the issues are not resolved in a timely manner and production of the 737 MAX needs to be halted for a spell," JPMorgan said. "It would take about 0.15% off the level of GDP, or about 0.6%-point off the quarterly annualized growth rate of GDP in the quarter in which production is stopped."

For references, that's a bigger impact than January's government shutdown, the longest in history, had on the economy. That 35-day standoff subtracted about 0.4 percentage points from the first quarter's GDP reading. 

It could have an effect on multiple measures

Total GDP output won't be the only thing affected by a slowdown in Boeing's orders.  According to JPMorgan, it could affect the Census Bureau's factory goods report on aircraft shipments and orders as well as related inventories. The agency's monthly trade report also includes civilian aircraft exports

Boeing's stock price, meanwhile, has fallen more than 13% since the Ethiopian Airlines crash in early March. 

Luckily, there is some good news. Any drawdowns from Boeing, should be made up in other areas.

"GDP should be largely unaffected for now," JPMorgan said. "As weaker exports and business investment would be offset by more stock building."

More on Boeing's 737 Max crisis: 

SEE ALSO: Boeing reshuffles its top engineers amid 737 Max crisis

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Tesla is having another chaotic year — these are the biggest challenges Tesla has faced so far in 2019 (TSLA)

Sat, 03/23/2019 - 9:07am

  • This year presented an opportunity for Tesla to build on last year's positive developments and move away from the chaos that characterized 2018.
  • But so far, little has changed in 2019.
  • Even celebratory announcements, like the introduction of the $35,000 version of the Model 3 sedan and the unveiling of the Model Y SUV, have been accompanied by concerns about their implications.

If the first three months of 2019 are any indication, Tesla is set for another eventful, turbulent year.

In 2018, the electric-car maker achieved major successes — impressive Model 3 sales, its first consecutive profitable quarters — that were tempered by a number of challenges and controversies, including a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) lawsuit against CEO Elon Musk, overwhelmed service centers, and concerns about workplace safety. 

Read more: A former Tesla investor explains why he thinks Elon Musk is the wrong person to lead the company, why he dumped the stock, and what he's now buying instead

This year presented an opportunity for Tesla to build on last year's positive developments and move away from the chaos that characterized 2018. But so far, little has changed in 2019. Even celebratory announcements, like the introduction of the $35,000 version of the Model 3 sedan and the unveiling of the Model Y SUV, have been accompanied by concerns about their implications.

Add to that multiple rounds of layoffs, more trouble with the SEC, and a lost Consumer Reports recommendation, and Tesla has its plate full as it heads into the second quarter.

These are the biggest challenges Tesla has faced so far in 2019.

SEE ALSO: JPMORGAN: Tesla investors are ignoring the possibility that CEO Elon Musk will be forced out. Here's how they can protect against that worst-case scenario.

Layoffs

Tesla laid off 7% of its employees in January, seven months after cutting 9% of its workforce.

Tesla had expanded its workforce by 30% in 2018 as it ramped up production of the Model 3, Musk said in an email to employees. He suggested the January layoffs were necessary for Tesla to become consistently profitable while introducing lower-priced vehicles.

But Musk had framed the 2018 layoffs as a decision Tesla would not have to repeat.

"We are making this hard decision now so that we never have to do this again," he told employees at the time.



Executive departures

Tesla is known for its high rate of turnover among executive and senior-level employees, and this year has been no different.

The company's CFO, vice president of global recruiting, and general counsel have departed this year.



A lost Consumer Reports recommendation

Consumer Reports retracted its recommendation of the Model 3 in February.

The vehicle lost its recommendation due to feedback from Consumer Reports' annual reliability survey. Consumer Reports subscribers cited problems with the Model 3's door handles, loose interior trim and molding, paint defects, and cracked windows. 

A Tesla representative told Business Insider that it has fixed "the vast majority" of the Model 3 issues cited by Consumer Reports subscribers.

The Model 3 also topped Consumer Reports' list of the most satisfying cars, which is based on survey data from vehicle owners. Out of a possible 100 points, the Model 3 received 99 points for its driving experience, 84 points for comfort, and 67 points for value. Ninety-two percent of respondents said they would buy the Model 3 again.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

These are the four transformations payments providers must undergo to survive digitization

Sat, 03/23/2019 - 9:03am

This is a preview of a detailed slide deck from Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service. Click here to learn more. Current subscribers can view the deck  here.

Rising smartphone penetration, regulations pushing users away from cash, and globalization demanding faster and new ways to transact are leading to a swell in noncash payments, which Business Insider Intelligence expects to grow to 841 billion transactions by 2023.

This shift has created a greenfield opportunity in the space. Legacy providers are working to leverage their scale as they update their infrastructure and adapt their business models. But at the same time, upstarts are using their strengths in user experience to try to disintermediate or beat out those at the forefront of the space — a dichotomy that’s creating crowding and competition.

Digitization and crowding in the payments space will force companies that want to emerge atop the ecosystem to undergo four critical digital transformations: diversification, consolidation and collaboration, data protection, and automation. Those that do this effectively, and use these shifts as a means of achieving scale without eroding the user experience, will be in the best position to use ongoing digitization in their payments space to their advantage.

In The Future Of Payments 2018, Business Insider Intelligence takes a look at some of the biggest problems digitization and crowding are causing for payments firms, outlines the key transformations players can make going forward to resolve them, and explores areas where firms have already begun to use these transformations to their advantage.

Get The Future of Payments

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The game industry veteran Google hired to lead Stadia's business development talks pricing, performance, and the importance of gaming titles (GOOG, GOOGL)

Sat, 03/23/2019 - 9:00am

  • On Tuesday, Google announced its an ambitious,new gaming service, Stadia, which promises that anyone with an internet connection and a Chrome browser can start playing "within 5 seconds." 
  • Business Insider sat down with Stadia's Head of Business Development, Jack Buser, to talk about the big question marks coming out of the announcement — including streaming performance, possible gaming titles, and pricing. 
  • Below are the highlights from our conversation with Stadia's Jack Buser. 

Ever since Jack Buser started working for Google three years ago, he's been working on Stadia. But for three years, he's had to keep Google's ambitious, new gaming service a secret — even from his family.

That all changed on Tuesday when Google announced Stadia on stage at the Gamers Development Conference (GDC). 

"One of the most amazing parts of [the Stadia announcement] for me personally has been to be able to go home and tell my 14-year-old daughter and my wife what I do all day," Buser told Business Insider in a recent interview. 

The slick-haired Biz Dev Director for Stadia is no newcomer to the gaming industry. Out of college, Buser was a mobile games developer himself for Motorola, and most recently, he spent almost eight years working for Sony's PlayStation. Notably, before joining Google, Buser spent nearly two years leading business initiatives for PlayStation Now — Sony's "Netflix-for-gaming" streaming product, which has drawn criticism from the industry for its lackluster library of gaming titles and latency issues. 

Both game selection and performance are two concerns gamers have flagged before wholeheartedly throwing their support behind Google's new streaming services, and Buser knows the importance of getting both right from the start. 

"You have to be able to deliver great games, and you have to do it in a way that appropriately conveys the vision of the artist and the developer," he said. "So we have to nail both." 

Performance and premium games

In terms of performance, which has been the number one question mark for gamers when it comes to streaming services, Buser is confident that Google has the horsepower to deliver a gaming experience over the internet that's on par with the traditional console. 

“Stadia is a platform that really brings together the best of Google, so we’re standing on the shoulders of giants,” he said. “Specifically, our infrastructure — Google has invested heavily in our infrastructure over the years and continues to do so. Being able to bring this incredibly massive network to run video games on it, is pretty incredible.”

Infrastructure (or more specifically, data centers) has been at the center of the Stadia sales pitch since Tuesday's announcement, starting with Google CEO Sundar Pichai on stage at GDC touting the company's capabilities. 

"When we say 'best of Google,' it always starts with our cloud and networking infrastructure," Pichai said. "Our custom server hardware and data centers can bring more computing power to more people on planet earth than anyone else." 

Even the banner photo on Buser's LinkedIn profile page — which one might expect to feature a scene or character from a favorite game — is a picture of inside a data center, featuring colorful wiring and racks and racks of servers. 

During beta testing in the fall, Stadia demonstrated it could pull off its ambitious goal: to allow users, even outside of major metropolitan areas, to stream high-fidelity, AAA games on any device using nothing more than a Chrome browser.

"People were saying [during testing], 'I can't believe it, I'm in a Starbucks on a three-year-old laptop and I'm playing Assassin's Creed, and it feels like I'm at home on my PC gaming rig,'" he said. "That's incredible." 

Business Insider's Matt Weinberger said while playing on Stadia for the first time, the graphics looked "very nice" but that "the little bit of input-lag" was hard not to notice. 

Read more: I tried Stadia, Google's big play to conquer video games. It's really promising, but there's still too much we don't know.

When it comes to games, Ubisoft, the makers of Assasin's Creed Odyssey, partnered with Google for Project Stream. Yet, so far, the only official game title we know will be available for sure when Stadia launches sometime in 2019 is Bethesda Softworks's Doom Eternal. 

For the service to be a success, Buser knows that a robust offering of games from the industry's leading publishers will be needed. 

"We’re not talking too much about content just yet," Buser said. "But games are in my blood and I cannot wait to talk to you about it." 

Buser did tell us that a big part of his work over the last few years has been flying around the world, meeting with game developers and pitching them to build on Stadia. 

On Tuesday, the team also announced an in-house development division know as Stadia Games and Entertainment, which will be led by former Ubisoft Director responsible for the creation of the Assassin’s Creed franchise, Jade Raymond. 

"We will definitely be able to talk more in 2019," Buser said, regarding the team's in-house game development. "One thing I can say is that gamers should be quite impressed." 

How much will it cost?

Another major question mark that remains for Stadia is price. Will users pay for each game? Will it be subscription based? The Stadia team, including Buser, have been tight-lipped when it comes to the business model. 

In our conversation, Buser did acknowledge the importance of an enticing financial model for publishers. 

"When you're building a game platform, you not only need to build a platform that has the proper technology to deliver the creative vision to the gamer, but you also need to create an ecosystem where publishers and developers can thrive from a business standpoint," Buser said. "We've worked hard with Stadia to create a platform that we think developers large and small can truly thrive." 

Buser also said that although the business model for Stadia has not been announced publicly, he has been sharing details with publishers to get them on board. 

"Some games can take years to make so in order to get a game developer to create for your platform you have to show them that it's going to be financially viable for them," he said. 

'A world that never turns off' 

One differentiator Google has stressed with Stadia is the openness of the experience — any user with an internet connection and a Chrome browser can play, whether that be from a phone, laptop, tablet, or TV.

The team even showed off a feature that lets users join a game directly from YouTube "within 5 seconds" and says it envisions battle royale sessions to include thousands of players. Today, Fortnite — the gold standard for battle royal in the gaming industry — has a maximum of 100 players at any given time. 

Buser himself — who once worked on Sony's virtual world product, PlayStation Home — envisions the openness on Stadia extending even further. 

“I’ve always dreamed about this — the dream of a single world where everyone can play at the same time. Where you can have an extremely large number of people all together and all playing in a world that never turns off,” Buser said, in part. “The ability to connect people all over the world to play together, that’s what gets me up in the morning. The technology that Stadia is made of is the type of technology that we could start to realize those types of visions.”

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: What's going on with Jeff Bezos and Amazon

We asked financial planners their favorite way to build wealth, and they all said the same thing

Sat, 03/23/2019 - 9:00am

Personal Finance Insider writes about products, strategies, and tips to help you make smart decisions with your money. We may receive a small commission from our partners, but our reporting and recommendations are always independent and objective.

You don't have to strike gold in Silicon Valley or make it big on Wall Street to get wealthy. In fact, there's an even easier way: Save early, consistently, and automatically.

Business Insider recently asked a handful of certified financial planners (CFPs) to share their favorite way to build wealth. They overwhelmingly endorsed automating savings through retirement account contributions or auto-transfers between bank accounts.

"Through automation, you'll spend less time thinking about saving and can use that free time and mental capacity to better yourself; whether that's making yourself more marketable to increase earning potential or figuring out your passion and purpose and making a career out of it," said Andrew Westlin, a CFP at robo-advisor Betterment.

"I don't try to time the market, I don't follow the latest hot stock or fad, just save and invest systematically every month or out of every paycheck consistently," said Luis Rosa, a CFP and founder of financial-planning firm Build a Better Financial Future.

How close are you to being able to retire? Find out with this calculator from our partners:

Nick Vail, a CFP at Integrity Wealth Advisors, said his favorite way to build long-term wealth is to "set a big goal and attack it. The best way to do it is to take the emotion of it and automate your contributions."

Start with your employer-sponsored retirement account

Anyone can automate their savings, all it takes is five minutes at the computer. Start with the lowest-hanging fruit: Your employer-sponsored retirement account.

Anjali Jariwala, a CFP and CPA at Fit Advisors, a financial-planning firm that caters to physicians and business owners, said her best tip is to "maximize retirement vehicles like 401(k)s, 403(b)s, HSAs, Roth IRAs, etc." The contributions to a 401(k) or IRA are pretax, so the money will be taken out of your paycheck before it even hits your bank account.

"If you're an employee, make sure to take advantage of the employer match in your 401(k)," Rosa said. Many employers will match your contribution up to a certain percentage or dollar amount. It's basically free money, but you won't get any of it unless you're already contributing something on your own.

"After those are maxed out then ensure you are maximizing savings," Jariwala said.

Deposit part of your paycheck into a savings account automatically

Login to your payroll provider and direct a portion of your paycheck into an account that isn't used for everyday expenses. You may even consider choosing a separate bank for your savings so the money doesn't tempt you to spend it every time you check your bank account.

"Challenge yourself to increase your savings rate every time you get a raise, or even on a regular cadence, such as once per year," Westlin said.

Looking for a new savings account? Consider these offers from our partners:

Most financial experts say you should aim to save at least 10% of your income — such as half in a tax-advantaged retirement account and half in liquid savings — but start where you're comfortable. Even 2% or 5% works, as long as you're consistent.

Author Chris Hogan studied more than 10,000 millionaires and found the qualities that make them successful hinge on a distinct behavior: Consistency.

"They know from experience that wealth-building is a long-term frame, and they've seen that sticking to the plan over decades leads to millions at retirement," Hogan wrote in his book "Everyday Millionaires."

Digit analyzes your spending and helps you find out how much you can afford to save automatically every month. Learn more. »

SEE ALSO: I'm a financial planner, and my most successful clients taught me 8 strategies crucial for building wealth

DON'T MISS: 8 things you can do today to be richer next year

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There's about to be a new wave of Silicon Valley millionaires. Here's 6 tips from top wealth advisers about how they should prepare.

Sat, 03/23/2019 - 9:00am

  • Silicon Valley is about to see an influx of new cash, with a number of high-profile initial public offerings set for this year. Not everyone's equipped to manage all that new money, though. 
  • From forgetting to plan out their own finances before an IPO to handling their own complicated taxes, private bankers explain the six biggest mistakes new-money techies make.
  • These errors can often be avoided by creating a game plan and putting together a team to execute it well before striking it rich. 

Big money is about to hit Silicon Valley, and private bankers have spent the last months, and even years, preparing their soon-to-be wealthy clients. 

The influx of wealth comes with plenty of opportunities, but also potential for big mistakes, from buying a money-sucking boat to failing to account for a huge tax bill. And as companies have stayed private for longer,  executives have often delayed these big decisions. Now, with a spate of companies like Lyft, Uber and Pinterest poised to re-ignite the IPO market this year, private bankers say they're busier than ever. 

Wealth advisers, many of whom have worked out of New York and San Francisco, say their conversations differ significantly in the Bay Area compared to the East Coast. The average founder is often younger than an East Coast client, which leads to different sets of concerns, including those around charity – some are keen to give, others couldn't care less – and family, because many don't have kids. Because they don't come from family money, clients may need a basic level of financial education. And half of one banker's clients are immigrants, some of whom do not plan to live in the US permanently, which leads to another set of considerations. 

Business Insider spoke with six private wealth advisors, from both traditional and independent firms, to understand what executives are doing – or should be doing – to prepare for these huge changes. 

To be sure, these advisers have a vested interest in how the new-money executives prepare, since they're coordinating the plan of attack. And getting in with a future unicorn early can mean big business, not just with that client, but with the executive's network of peers and investors. 

1) Plan in advance

Occasionally, techies calls up Goldman Sachs just days ahead of their IPOs, suddenly remembering they need help managing their soon-to-be millions, said Katie Hyde, the firm's San Francisco-based regional head of private wealth management. 

Don't do that. 

Bankers' biggest piece of advice, and biggest headache when clients don't follow it, is to start early. Their recommended timelines varied, from six to 24 months or even longer, but all agreed that the best time to prepare is well in advance of a company sale or IPO. 

That allows time to decide the best ways to manage this new wealth, which could include tax strategies, charitable contributions, and time to rework compensation agreements to benefit the client. 

"If we’re talking to an entrepreneur and the S-1 is being filed or they’re coming off lockup, the best opportunities have passed by," said Hyde. "This is a transformational event in the life of these founders. There are these cascades of decisions that happen and it’s nice to have time to think about it. You don’t want to be making those big decisions when you feel like you’re under the gun." 

A longer lead time also allows for involving multiple parties more easily. Hyde's clients tend to be younger than those on the East Coast, and typically have a working spouse or a spouse interested in the discussions. 

Some teams start working with clients years before liquidity events, making bets on which companies, and therefore clients, will go big. Techies like this approach since it's similar to the "sweat equity" that early-stage executives put in at start-ups. 

Longtime adviser to tech founders Mark Curtis, a managing director in Wealth Management with Graystone Consulting, a business of Morgan Stanley, said a young engineer recently reached out to him. When they talked about his finances, the engineer was far from needing a personal wealth adviser. 

The engineer said, "I’m going to make nine figures and I want to do everything right now to put everything in place for that event," Curtis recounted. "I love the guy. Some entrepreneurs think that way – 'I want my team in place.'" 



2) Don't go it alone, because 'people do not like paying taxes'

No matter when they get involved, wealth advisers often act as the quarterback for a team, helping with various components of portfolio management. 

"We think of ourselves as an outsourced family office," Marc Rollins, an adviser at JPMorgan who works predominantly with founders, said. "We play the combined role of the chief financial officer and chief investment officer and chief operating officer. We help curate a group of great advisors around the clients."

The core team typically includes a trust and estate attorney, along with a Certified Public Accountant. Even if a client has previously worked with lawyers and accountants, Rollins said his team can recommend advisors who are well versed in specific planning strategies. 

The wealth adviser then coordinates the team, said Justin Winters, managing director at Treasury Partners, which oversees $8 billion. 

"If everyone’s not communicating, you’re not getting the best advice as a client," he said. "If the financial adviser does something the accountant doesn’t know about and they get a huge tax bill at year end, that’s not helpful to the client."

Delegating to professionals pays off, financially and personally. 

"The other day, a spouse came in and said her husband was spending so much time thinking about the taxes involved in the transaction that he was engulfed, because he didn’t have a team around him to think about those issues," Winters said. "People do not like paying taxes – that’s one of the biggest things I hear about when I meet with someone. Making sure you have the right people around you is really important. It’s real money." 

The non-core team can include a variety of professionals for specific tasks, such as getting insurance or buying a home. Multiple bankers said they'll recommend and work with specific, discreet realtors to mitigate privacy concerns. Sometimes, they'll bring in cybersecurity professionals to evaluate a whole family's privacy – a spouse, for example, might have a non-secure email account that could be an easy in for a hacker. 

Wealth advisers also act as gatekeepers. Often, newly-wealthy clients sees an explosion of interest from their networks in angel investing, and they need someone to turn down friends and family gently. 



3) Get the basics down

Most of the bankers told Business Insider that one major difference between their east and west coast clients is level of familiarity with basic portfolio management.  

JPMorgan's Rollins said they sometimes need an introduction to the world of investing, such as understanding the differences between mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, and private investments. 

"Everyone on the east coast knows what 2 and 20 is. Fewer people out here truly understand what it is," he said, referring to the standard fees for private equity and hedge funds. "Often we find clients and prospects who have accounts with other firms are invested in private investments, but they don’t understand the fees or liquidity."

After working on basic investor education, advisers can plan out a portfolio. Compared with their peers in other industries, techies' holdings are often lighter on illiquid investments, since they like to use some of their new liquidity for venture investing. 

"You’re getting calls left and right from friends and people in the community starting firms and funds," Rollins said. "We’re all for that; we just want to make sure that bucket is sized appropriately."

They also consider the profile of the company that made the client wealthy. If they're still significantly invested in, for example, a mid-cap technology stock, clients should hold fewer similar investments. And while clients are often keen to make angel and venture capital investments, advisers caution against investing in similar companies to avoid too much exposure to one industry. 



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Tesla just launched the Model Y — here's why it's the company's most important car (TSLA)

Sat, 03/23/2019 - 8:57am

  • The Tesla Model Y is the sixth original "clean sheet" design the upstart all-electric automaker has unveiled.
  • The Tesla Model Y is a crossover SUV, and that's the hottest segment in the car business these days.
  • The Model Y could be Tesla's most important vehicle for the future.


Tesla unveiled its Model Y crossover SUV at the company's design studio near Los Angeles about a week ago. The vehicle has been much anticipated — not so much for any "Wow!" factor (crossovers are kind of a boring segment), but because the segment is red-hot at the moment for sales, and Tesla can use all the money it can get.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk says the Model Y could eventually outsell every other Tesla combined, and he's probably justified in thinking that. Crossovers have dethroned sedans in the US, the world's most dynamic and competitive auto market. And the Model Y's pricing will span the upper end of the mass market and stretch into the lower reaches of the luxury space: $40-$60,000.

But the Model Y also needs to deliver in foreign markets, especially China, where Tesla is constructing a new factory. The new vehicle's versatility will be a critical factor for new customers globally.

So you get the idea: the Model Y is IMPORTANT. Here are some more details on why.

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk revealed the Model Y at the carmaker's design studio near Los Angeles.

I was on hand to check out Tesla's newest set of wheels. And here's why that set of wheels is Tesla's most important.

1. Tesla is now a real car company. Musk rolled out the entire Tesla family, including the Semi and New Roadster. Ten years ago, the company was selling one vehicle. It now has a lineup of three vehicles, and if you add the forthcoming models, six.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

These are the top 15 US banks ranked by the mobile banking features consumers value most

Sat, 03/23/2019 - 8:07am

This is a preview of a research report from Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service. This report is exclusively available to enterprise subscribers. To learn more about getting access to this report, email Senior Account Executive Chris Roth at croth@businessinsider.com, or check to see if your company already has access

New data shows that mobile features have become a key factor that customers weigh when choosing a bank. 

In Business Insider Intelligence's second annual Mobile Banking Competitive Edge study, 64% of mobile banking users said that they would research a bank's mobile banking capabilities before opening an account with them. And 61% said that they would switch banks if their bank offered a poor mobile banking experience.

For channel strategists, the challenge in attracting mobile-minded customers is knowing when to bet budgets and political capital on developing emerging features. It's complicated by most flashy features — such as voice assistants, smartwatch banking, and bank-offered mobile wallets — being deemed a "must" by analysts, media, and rival banking executives. 

The Mobile Banking Competitive Edge Report uses data to inform channel investment decisions by highlighting which mobile banking features are most valuable to customers. Our study has data on consumer demand for 33 in-demand mobile capabilities across six key categories. 

Using that consumer data, the study benchmarks the largest 20 banks and credit unions in the US by whether they offer the cutting-edge mobile features that customers say they care about most. What sets our benchmark apart is that it weights every feature according to customer demand data — not subjective analyst opinion.  

Channel strategists within financial institutions use our report to see which innovative features they should prioritize in development pipelines and to find out how they compare with rival banks and credit unions in offering those features.

Business Insider Intelligence fielded the Mobile Banking Competitive Edge Study to members of its proprietary panel in August 2018, reaching over 1,200 US consumers — primarily handpicked digital professionals and early-adopters, making our sample a sensitive indicator of emerging features. 

Here are a few key takeaways from the report:

  • Citi snagged first overall. The bank led the account access section, tied for first in account management, and ranked highly in all the other categories of the study. Wells Fargo took second place, leading in security and control and transfers. USAA came in third, NFCU was fourth, and Bank of America rounded out the top five.
  • Demand for security features is sizzling. Following a year of huge breaches being announced at companies like Facebook and Google, consumers' security concerns jumped to become the most important category. The category included the No. 1 feature overall: the ability to turn a payment card on or off. 
  • Digital money management features are also highly demanded. Chase and Wells Fargo may be onto something with their millennial-focused banking apps, Finn and Greenhouse, as the generation had sky-high demand for the six features in the category. The most popular feature in the category was the ability to separate recurring payments, such as Netflix and gym memberships.

 In full, the report:

  • Shows how 33 mobile features stack up according to how valuable customers say they are.
  • Ranks the top 20 US banks and credit unions on whether they offer each of those features.
  • Analyzes how demographics effect demand for different mobile features.
  • Provides strategies for banks to best attract and retain customers with mobile features.
  • Contains 63 pages and 30 figures.

The full report is available to Business Insider Intelligence enterprise clients. To learn more about this report, email Senior Account Executive Chris Roth (croth@businessinsider.com).  

Business Insider Intelligence's Mobile Banking Competitive Edge study includes: Ally, Bank of America, BB&T, BBVA Compass, BMO Harris, Capital One, Chase, Citibank, Fifth Third, HSBC, KeyBank, Navy Federal Credit Union, PNC, Regions, SunTrust, TD, Union Bank, US Bank, USAA, and Wells Fargo.

SEE ALSO: These are the trends creating new winners and losers in the card-processing ecosystem

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Why are Apple Pay, Starbucks’ app, and Samsung Pay so much more successful than other wallet providers?

Sat, 03/23/2019 - 12:07am

This is a preview of a research report from Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service. To learn more about Business Insider Intelligence, click here.

In the US, the in-store mobile wallet space is becoming increasingly crowded. Most customers have an option provided by their smartphone vendor, like Apple, Android, or Samsung Pay. But those are often supplemented by a myriad of options from other players, ranging from tech firms like PayPal, to banks and card issuers, to major retailers and restaurants.

With that proliferation of options, one would expect to see a surge in adoption. But that’s not the case — though Business Insider Intelligence projects that US in-store mobile payments volume will quintuple in the next five years, usage is consistently lagging below expectations, with estimates for 2019 falling far below what we expected just two years ago. 

As such, despite promising factors driving gains, including the normalization of NFC technology and improved incentive programs to encourage adoption and engagement, it’s important for wallet providers and groups trying to break into the space to address the problems still holding mobile wallets back. These issues include customer satisfaction with current payment methods, limited repeat purchasing, and consumer confusion stemming from fragmentation. But several wallets, like Apple Pay, Starbucks’ app, and Samsung Pay, are outperforming their peers, and by delving into why, firms can begin to develop best practices and see better results.

A new report from Business Insider Intelligence addresses how in-store mobile payments volume will grow through 2021, why that’s below past expectations, and what successful cases can teach other players in the space. It also issues actionable recommendations that various providers can take to improve their performance and better compete.

Here are some of the key takeaways:

  • US in-store mobile payments will advance steadily at a 40% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) to hit $128 billion in 2021. That’s suppressed by major headwinds, though — this is the second year running that Business Insider Intelligence has halved its projected growth rate.
  • To power ahead, US wallets should look at pockets of success. Banks, merchants, and tech providers could each benefit from implementing strategies that have worked for early leaders, including eliminating fragmentation, improving the purchase journey, and building repeat purchasing.
  • Building multiple layers of value is key to getting ahead. Adding value to the user experience and making wallets as simple and frictionless as possible are critical to encouraging adoption and keeping consumers engaged. 

In full, the report:

  • Sizes the US in-store mobile payments market and examines growth drivers.
  • Analyzes headwinds that have suppressed adoption.
  • Identifies three strategic changes providers can make to improve their results.
  • Evaluates pockets of success in the market.
  • Provides actionable insights that providers can implement to improve results.
Subscribe to an All-Access membership to Business Insider Intelligence and gain immediate access to: This report and more than 250 other expertly researched reports Access to all future reports and daily newsletters Forecasts of new and emerging technologies in your industry And more! Learn More

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THE IDENTITY VERIFICATION IN BANKING REPORT: How banks should use new authentication methods to boost conversions and keep their customers loyal

Sat, 03/23/2019 - 12:04am

This is a preview of a research report from Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service. To learn more about Business Insider Intelligence, click here.

The way incumbent banks onboard and verify the identities of their customers online is inconvenient and insecure, resulting in lowered customer satisfaction and loyalty, and security breaches leading to compensation payouts and legal costs.

It’s a lose-lose situation, as consumers become disgruntled and banks lose business. The problem stems from the very strict verification standards and high noncompliance fines that banks are subject to, which have led them to prioritize stringency over user experience in verification. At the same time, this approach doesn't gain banks much, since the verification methods they use to remain compliant can actually end up compromising customers' personal data.

But banks can't afford to prioritize stringent verification at the cost of user experience anymore. Onboarding and verification standards are increasingly being set by more tech-savvy players within and outside their industry, like fintechs and e-retailers. If banks want to keep customers loyal, they have to start innovating in this area. The trick is to streamline verification for clients without compromising accuracy. If banks manage to do this, the result will be happier and more loyal customers; higher client retention and revenue; and less spending on redundant checks, compensation for breaches, and regulatory fines.

The long-term opportunity such innovation presents is even bigger. Banks are already experts in vouching for people’s identities, and because they’re held to such tight verification standards, their testimonies are universally trusted. So, if banks figure out how to successfully digitize customer identification, this could help them not only boost revenue and cut costs, but secure a place for themselves in an emerging platform economy, where online identities will be key to carrying out transactions. 

Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:

  • The strict verification standards that banks are held to have led them to create onboarding and login processes that are painful for clients. Plus, the verification methods they use to remain compliant can actually end up putting customers' personal data at risk. This leaves banks with dented customer satisfaction, as well as security breaches and legal costs.
  • Several factors are now pushing banks to attempt to remedy the situation, including a tougher regulatory environment and increasing competition from agile startups and tech giants like Google, Amazon, and Facebook, where speedy onboarding and intuitive service is a given.
  • The trick is to streamline verification for clients without compromising accuracy, something several emerging technologies promise to deliver, including biometrics, optical character recognition (OCR) technology, cryptography, secure video links, and blockchain and distributed ledger technology (DLT). 
  • The long-term opportunity such innovation presents is even bigger. Banks are already experts in vouching for people’s identities, so if they were to figure out how to successfully digitize customer identification, this could help them secure a valued place, and relevance, in a modernizing economy.

In full, the report:

  • Looks at why identity verification is so integral to banking, and why it's becoming a problem for banks.
  • Outlines the biggest drivers pushing banks to revamp their verification methods.
  • Gives an overview of the technologies, both new and established but repurposed, that are enabling banks to bring their verification methods into the digital age.
  • Discusses what next steps have to happen to bring about meaningful change in the identity verification space, and how banks can capitalize on their existing strengths to make such shifts happen.
Subscribe to an All-Access pass to Business Insider Intelligence and gain immediate access to: This report and more than 250 other expertly researched reports Access to all future reports and daily newsletters Forecasts of new and emerging technologies in your industry And more! Learn More

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Latest fintech industry trends, technologies and research from our ecosystem report

Fri, 03/22/2019 - 10:07pm

This is a preview of a research report from Business Insider Intelligence,  Business Insider's premium research service. To learn more about Business Insider Intelligence, click here.

In recent years, we've seen a ballooning of activity in fintech — an expansive term applied to technology-driven disruptions in financial services. And 2018 has been no different, with fintechs' staggering influence on the market evidenced by record funding levels for the industry — by Q3 2018, overall funding was already up 82% from 2017’s total figure, according to CB Insights.

Additionally, this year marked a watershed moment for the industry, with the once clear distinction between fintechs and financial services proper now blurred significantly. Virtually every incumbent financial institution (FI) is now looking inward and engaging in an innovation drive, spurred on by competition from fintechs. As such, incumbents are now actively investing in, acquiring, and collaborating with their fintech rivals.

In this report, Business Insider Intelligence details recent developments in fintech funding and regulation that are defining the environment these startups operate in. We also examine the business model changes being employed among different categories of fintechs as they strive to embed themselves further in mainstream finance and prove sustainability. Finally, we consider which elements of the fintech industry are rapidly rubbing off on incumbent financial services providers, and what the future of fintech will look like.

The companies mentioned in this report are: Funding Circle, GreenSky, Transferwise, Ant Financial, Nubank, Cellulant, Oscar Health, Stripe, One97, UiPath, LianLian Pay, Wacai.com, Gusto, Toast, PingPong, Flywire, Deposit Solutions, Root, Robinhood, Atom, N26, Revolut, OneConnect, PolicyBazaar, WeCash, Zurich, OneDegree, Dinghy, Vouch Insurance, Laka, Cleo, Ernit, Monzo, Moneybox, Bud, Tandem, Starling, Varo Money, Square, ING, Chase, AmEx, Amazon, Monese, Betterment, Tiller Investments, West Hill Capital, Square, Ameritrade, JPMorgan, eToro, Lendy, OnDeck, Ripple, Quorom, Chain, Coinbase, Fidelity, Samsung Pay, Google Pay, Apple Pay, Bank of America, TransferGo, Klarna, Western Union, Veriff, Royal Bank of Scotland, Royal Bank of Canada, Facebook, ThreatMetrix, Relx, Entersekt, BNP Paribas, Deutsche Bank, Gemalto, Lloyd's of London, Kingdom Trust, Aviva, Symbility LINK, eTrade, Allianz, AXA, Broadridge, TD Bank, First Republic Bank, BBVA Compass, Capital One, Silicon Valley Bank, Credit Suisse, Ally, Goldman Sachs.

Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:

  • Fintech funding has already reached new highs globally in 2018, with overall funding hitting $32.6 billion at the end of Q3.
  • Some new regions, including South America and Africa, are emerging on the fintech scene.
  • We've seen considerable scaling in older corners of the fintech ecosystem, including among neobanks and alt lenders.
  • Some fintechs, including a number of insurtechs, have dipped into new markets to escape heightened competition.
  • Emergent areas like blockchain and distributed ledger technology (DLT), as well as digital identity, are gaining traction.
  • Many incumbents are undertaking business transformations that aim to reimagine everything from products and services to front-end systems and back-end processes.

 In full, the report:

  • Details the funding and regulatory landscape in the US, Europe, and Asia.
  • Gives an overview into a number of fintech segments and how they've changed over the past year.
  • Discusses how incumbents are reacting to fintechs in order to stay relevant in the changing financial services sector.
  • Evaluates what the future of fintech will look like and what trends to look out for in the coming year.
Subscribe to a Premium pass to Business Insider Intelligence and gain immediate access to: This report and more than 250 other expertly researched reports Access to all future reports and daily newsletters Forecasts of new and emerging technologies in your industry And more! Learn More

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SEE ALSO: How the largest US financial institutions rank on offering the mobile banking features customers value most

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How and why the payments industry will experience massive growth over the next five years

Fri, 03/22/2019 - 8:08pm
  • The payments ecosystem is undergoing a period of digital transformation, which will spur tremendous growth in money moved around the globe in the next five years.
  • Consumers and businesses will make 841 billion noncash transactions worldwide in 2023, up from 577 billion in 2018.
  • The next five years will mark a pivotal transformation in how companies and consumers handle payments.

The impact of payments’ digital transformation is rippling around the world, in both advanced economies and developing countries.

Across major global regions, the total volume of e-commerce transactions is expected to rise 91% over the next five years to hit $5.7 trillion by 2023.

With such impending immense growth, it’s crucial for any business that even touches the payments industry to understand what’s ahead.

Take, for example, noncash transactions, which include debit card, credit card, direct debit, and credit transfer transactions that are conducted either online or offline. Consumers and businesses will make 841 billion noncash transactions globally in 2023, a 46% surge from 577 billion in 2018. The rise in global card and terminal penetration, coupled with increasing digital payments volume, will will be the key drivers in this growth.

To successfully navigate this changing landscape, individuals and organizations must understand the full extent to which digital transformation will affect the payments industry, the key drivers of this growth, and how it all relates to the work they do every day.

Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider’s premium research service, has forecasted the future of the payments ecosystem in The Payments Forecast Book 2018 — and the next five years will be critical for the following four areas:

  • Global Payments: Asia, North America, and Europe will be the three main growth regions in the next five years, and will make up 70% of all noncash transaction growth by 2023.
  • US Payments: In the US, P2P and retail payments combined will still be less than a quarter of the size of the B2B payments market by 2023 ($6.3 trillion vs. $27.3 trillion).
  • US E-Commerce: Total e-commerce spending in the U.S. will surpass $1 trillion by 2023, and the average consumer will spend $2,959 online.
  • US Emerging Payments: By 2023, 67% of US adults will have used BOPIS (Buy Online Pickup In Store) at least once in the last 12 months.

Want to Learn More?

People, companies, and organizations all over the world are racing to adopt the latest payments solutions and prevent growing pains amidst a technological transformation. The Payments Forecast Book 2018 from Business Insider Intelligence is a detailed four-part slide deck outlining the most important trends impacting the payments ecosystem around the world — and the key drivers propelling each segment forward.

Representing thousands of hours of exhaustive research, our multipart forecast books are considered must-reads by thousands of highly successful business professionals. These informative slide decks are packed with charts and statistics outlining the most influential trends on the leading edge of your industry. Keep them for reference or drop the most valuable data into your own presentations to share with your teams.

Whether you’re newly interested in a topic or you already consider yourself a subject matter expert, The Payments Forecast Book 2018 can provide you with the actionable insights you need to make better decisions.

Get The Payments Forecast Book

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Pinterest has officially filed for IPO. Here are all the tech startups that have taken steps toward going public in 2019 — and those rumored to be thinking about it

Fri, 03/22/2019 - 6:34pm

  • This year was supposed to be the "year of unicorns," but market volatility and the 35-day government shutdown have caused some companies looking to go public to slow down or delay their filing processes.
  • Some companies, including dueling ride-hailing competitors Uber and Lyft, have been taking their first official steps toward IPOs despite an uncertain economic environment.
  • Here are all the tech startups that have taken steps toward going public in 2019, as well as companies that are rumored to be gearing up for an IPO later this year.

Although the market for tech IPO offerings is being called a "s---show" in 2019, it hasn't stopped some startups from taking steps toward going public anyway.

But thanks to market volatility at the end of 2018, as well as the government shutdown in January that put public filings on hold, 2019 as a "banner year" has started out slow. The down market has left many highly anticipated tech IPOs to be delayed, and bankers are now anticipating an inundation of IPOs in the second quarter of 2019, beginning in March.

Through the first two months of 2019, there have been only a handful of tech startups that have taken official steps toward going public. Some of the most highly anticipated startups have made their first moves already: Uber and Lyft are dueling it out to be the first of the two multibillion-dollar ride-hailing platforms to go public.

Here are the tech startups that have taken steps toward going public, and those that are rumored to make their first moves in 2019:

(Valuations and funding raised courtesy of PitchBook.)

SEE ALSO: The AI tech behind scary-real celebrity 'deepfakes' is being used to create completely fictitious faces, cats, and Airbnb listings

Beyond Meat

Company role: Animal-free meat products

Year founded: 2009

Headquarters location: El Segundo, California

Valuation: $1.35 billion

Total funding raised: $192.8 million

Reported revenue: $56.4 million in first nine months of 2018 (MarketWatch)

IPO status: Beyond Meat filed to go public under the ticker BYND in November 2018. However, the company has yet to list because of delays tied to market volatility and the 35-day federal government shutdown that continued through January.



Lyft

Company role: Ride-hailing app

Year founded: 2007

Headquarters location: San Francisco

Valuation: $15.1 billion

Total funding raised: $4.91 billion

Reported revenue: $2.16 billion in 2018, up 111% year-over-year

IPO status: Lyft publicly filed its S-1 registration form for an IPO on March 1 and began its roadshow with prospective investors the week of March 18. The ride-hailing company will list on the Nasdaq under the symbol LYFT, and expects to officially go public in early April. Lyft plans to raise $2 billion at a $20 billion valuation, according to its most recent filing.



PagerDuty

Company role: IT incident-management platform

Year founded: 2009

Headquarters location: San Francisco

Valuation: $1.3 billion

Total funding raised: $173.7 million

Reported revenue: $100 million in "annual recurring revenue" as of September 2018 (Forbes)

IPO status: PagerDuty confidentially filed to go public with the SEC in January but has faced delays because of the government shutdown, Bloomberg reported.



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