What Is Investment Banking? (And the Top Investment Banks Out There)

Investment banking plays a key role in global economics. For instance, as of July 2019, JP Morgan constituted 9.0% of the global investment banking revenue. However, for the majority of us, investment banking is a mystery.

By learning about investment banking today, you’ll be ready to make informed choices if you want to improve your financial situation through IPO investing.

Read on as we answer the question: “What is investment banking?” 

What is Investment Banking? 

The duties of investment banks are completely different than traditional banking. While the traditional banks we’re used to visiting take in deposits from consumers and businesses and lend out money, investment banks sell securities. They also help finance large projects that traditional banking won’t touch due to the high risks involved.

Robert Johnson, Professor of finance at Heider College of Business, Brighton University, puts it simply. “Investment banking is a method of controlling the flow of money.” With the huge amounts of money at stake, investment banks have a key role in American economics. 

The projects they finance include: 

Large Financial Projects

Projects such as constructing infrastructure need large amounts of upfront cash. Investment banks are able to accumulate this cash by selling securities to investors. 

Company Sales

Instead of acquiring loans to gain capital, entrepreneurs who want to expand their companies sell portions of their companies to the public, or an initial public offering (IPO). Investment bankers are integral to this process, and it’s one of their most important functions. They find investors looking to buy and companies looking to sell.

Initial public offerings are risky investments – there’s no guarantee that they’ll increase in value, though some IPOs are wildly successful. However, if you’re ready to invest in an IPO, you can do so by opening a brokerage account. 

Typically, the IPO price is fixed for a limited group of investors who fit the eligibility requirements. For most investors, the price of the IPO will be higher once it begins officially trading. 

According to the investment bank UBS, out of 7,000 companies between 1975 and 2011, 60% had negative total returns after five years of public trading. Do your research, buy conservatively, and keep a balanced portfolio to mitigate your risks!

Mergers and Acquisitions

Another way that companies can expand is through mergers and acquisitions. Investment bankers will help companies buy another, which can be more cost-effective than trying to compete. 

Despite the risks, buying companies still has a lot of benefits. A company may want access to international markets through a company that’s already established in another region. A larger company may be interested in a smaller company’s technology. They may also want to integrate vertically, such as buying a supplier of materials they need. 

Asset Management and Brokerage Services

Investment bankers help clients manage their money and generate returns. They do this by choosing individual stocks or putting their money into mutual funds. 

The Top Investment Banks

These top investment banks were able to maintain and grow their market positions throughout volatile years. In terms of investment revenue, the top investment banks include: 

1. Goldman Sachs

Headquartered at 200 West Street, New York City, Goldman Sachs operates branches throughout the world in all major financial centres. In 2018, its investment banking revenue was $7.86 billion. In 2019, they had a market capitalization of $78 billion. 

2. JP Morgan

JP Morgan is the second largest investment bank in the world. In 2018, it reported $7 billion in revenue. It’s also one of the oldest financial institutions in the world with a history that goes back to 1799.

3. Bank of America

In 2019, Bank of America rebranded its investment arm to Bank of America Securities. In 2018, it’s investment banking revenue was $5.3 billion. 

4. Morgan Stanley

Morgan Stanley is based in New York with branches in 40 different countries. In 2018, it’s totally investment banking revenues were $6.1 billion. 

5. Citigroup

Also located in New York, Citigroup Inc. had reported total revenue of $72.9 billion in 2018. It’s one of the big four banks in the United States and the third-largest bank in the world. 

6. Barclays 

Barclays Investment Bank, the investment arm of Barclays, is headquartered in London and has branches in 30 different countries. Its global investment banking fee share is approximately 4.2%. 

7. Credit Suisse

In 2018, Credit Suisse reported a net income of $1.8 billion, attributable to shareholders in the United States. Based in Zurich and established in 1856, it has branches in 50 countries. 

8. Deutsche Bank

This is the leading financial institution in Germany and one of the largest investment banks in Europe. It has about $2.5 billion in investment banking revenue and a market capitalization of $15 billion in 2019. It has branches in 60 other countries.

9. Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo offers banking and investment services in 40 countries. As of 2018, it’s generated investment banking fees are $1.8 billion.

10. Jefferies Financial Group

This full-service investment bank founded in 1962 is based in New York with regional offices in London and Hong Kong. It also has offices in 30 cities throughout America, Europe, and Asia. In 2018 its investment banking revenues were $1.9 billion.

Demystifying Investment Banking

If you’ve ever asked yourself what is investment banking, you should now understand the basic premise. Investment banking is all about the flow of large amounts of money from one institution to another, and through research, analysis, and recommendations, investment bankers try to find the best deals for their clients. 

Want to read more about the state of investment banking today in the global economy? Keep reading our banking section for more informative articles. 

Visa And Georgia’s Tbc-Backed Neobank – Space Announce Strategic Partnership

Visa signs partnership agreement with FTSE250 TBC Bank’s Space, the first Georgian neobank,to develop innovative banking solutions in Georgia andbeyond in the growing digital payments landscape

Visa And Georgia’s Tbc-Backed Neobank - Space Announce Strategic Partnership

TBILISI, 14 NOVEMBER 2019 – Visa, the world’s leader in digital payments, and Space, the first fully digital bank in Georgia, today announced they have signed a partnership agreement to jointly develop innovative banking services and expand digital banking footprints in new geographies.

Space is a startup backed by TBC Bank and was launched in 2018 with just three employees. They now have more than 70 employees, and have amassed a portfolio of more than 160,000 consumers. The bank operates as an innovative banking laboratory, and has successfully introduced financial services in new formats in Georgia. These include online bank account opening, remote KYC, courier card delivery by electro scooters, and the ability to manage all banking services through a mobile app.

Through the partnership, Visa will work with Space to jointly develop innovative, user-centric and secure banking solutions and help Space in their ambitions to expand to other countries focusing on CISSEE (Commonwealth of Independent States and Southeastern Europe).

Nikoloz Kurdiani, the Deputy CEO of TBC Bank said,“Space has the ability to transform everyday banking experiences by making them easier and better. When we launched Space, we wanted to move beyond the traditional banking approach and outdated technology to create a new type of bank in Georgia that would be better at responding to modern customers’ needs. Now, we are ready to go global. Therefore, it is critically important for us to have gained Visa as our strategic partner. Space has proved that its innovative and ambitious vision is realistic and that it is ready to accomplish bigger goals.”

Yevgen Lisnyak, Senior Director and Head of Strategic Partnerships, Fintech & Ventures (Visa, CISSEE), added:At Visa we believe in the power of partnership to bring our profound experience and innovative solutions to emerging payment players like Space. Being in the center of Fintech ecosystem, we aim to share our knowledge, best practices and network of technological partners with Space to achieve mutual goals in expanding the reach of digital financial services. Today, we are witnessing a rapid transformation of the financial banking sector, where new players are playing a significant role. Neobanks are agile, consumer-centric, flexible and innovative, offering modern consumers completely new financial solutions and digital banking experience. We are excited to be able to support fintechs to navigate the payments landscape in the Caucasus region to achieve their business growth and international expansion ambitions”

About Visa Inc.

Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) is the world’s leader in digital payments. Our mission is to connect the world through the most innovative, reliable and secure payment network – enabling individuals, businesses and economies to thrive. Our advanced global processing network, VisaNet, provides secure and reliable payments around the world, and is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second. The company’s relentless focus on innovation is a catalyst for the rapid growth of connected commerce on any device, and a driving force behind the dream of a cashless future for everyone, everywhere.  As the world moves from analog to digital, Visa is applying our brand, products, people, network and scale to reshape the future of commerce. For more information, visit www.corporate.visa.com, www.visasoutheasteurope.com, https://www.facebook.com/VisaGeorgiaGE;

About Space

For the first time in region, thoroughly digital banking service – Space has launched. Space, powered by TBC Bank, is aka Neobank, that doesn’t have any branch offices or physical spaces, and exists just on mobile phones. Space is user friendly and aims at giving simple, transparent and rapid daily financial service. Space, the first ever digital bank in Georgia and in the region, was launched in May, 2018 and it has already achieved more than 400,000 downloads and 160,000 registered customers (As of 31 September, 2019). Aim of Space bank is to deliver a full daily banking mobile service with superior customer experience by putting special focus on differentiating by design, customer care, price transparency and instant service delivery. Space is available on App Store and Google Play.

100% of banking and finance bosses say they act on employee feedback

But trouble is brewing as only two-thirds of staff believe it ever happens

Nottingham, UK, 13th November 2019: 100% of the UK’s banking and finance employers claim to act on staff feedback, but only 67% of employees agree, research by People First, the HR solutions provider, has found.

Exploring the attitudes of 250 bosses and 250 employees across the UK, the research found just two-thirds (66%) of staff believe their bosses measure their satisfaction, even though 95% of employers claim to.

The research also revealed a growing sense of disconnection among new entrants to the workforce with only 50% of 18-24s believing feedback leads to action.

In addition, only 56% of employers in the banking and finance sector report the results of employee feedback monitoring to the wider company. More than seven-in-ten (71%) of those acting on what employees tell them say they do so at board level only.

“Trouble is brewing because although employers say they put feedback into action, it doesn’t ring true with workforces,” said Mark Williams, Senior Vice President Product, People First. “This is just not good enough. Feedback needs to translate into action.

“If there is no feedback loop, it can do more harm than good, annoying employees and discouraging them from taking part in future.”

Indicating the importance of principles and beliefs among workers, the research found nearly half the workforce (49%) will accept or reject a job on values. The figure rises to more than three-quarters (67%) of Gen Z respondents.

Eight-in-ten bosses (80%) measure employee satisfaction through employee surveys, while 61% use structured review meetings. More than half (53%) use informal conversations and exactly half use focus groups.

“Banks and financial institutions don’t just need to listen to and understand employees so they can pick up warning signs of disenchantment, they must act on feedback,” added Williams. “An ad-hoc approach is no good. That’s the same for gauging how employees feel about their own work and the company’s values and for putting that feedback into practice.

“This is an area that companies must tackle head-on in a much more thought-out and systematic manner, taking time to deploy the most effective and appropriate solutions to nurture employees throughout their time with a company.”

Strogner Together: Women’s Payments Networks Join Forces Across the Pond

Alliance between EWPN and Wnet sees increased benefits on both sides of the Atlantic for women in fintech and payments

Women's Payments Networks Join Forces Across the Pond

Amsterdam and Atlanta – 07 November 2019 – The European Women Payments Network (EWPN) and the U.S.-based Women’s Network in Electronic Transactions (Wnet) share a mission to create better opportunities for women and the men that advocate for them in the fintech and payments industries. As a result of their like-minded goals to improve inclusion and diversity, the two organisations today announced they are coming together to allow their respective members to share the benefits of both networks. Members of both organisations can learn more by visiting EWPN and Wnet.

Through the new alliance, EWPN and Wnet will publish dedicated landing pages where members can access each organisations’ extensive intelligence, networking opportunities events, and programming. EWPN, launched in 2015 to champion diversity and inclusion in fintech and payments, serves over 1,000 individual members and 11 corporate members. Wnet, launched in 2005, serves over 3,000 women each year in the U.S., through events, information and knowledge sharing, and networking opportunities.

“This exciting alliance will see EWPN and Wnet working together, leveraging both networks for the benefit of all our combined members”, explained Martha Mghendi-Fisher, Founder of EWPN. “Both networks are dedicated to improving prospects for all women in the payments industry, increasing inclusivity and diversity. Sharing our insights, knowledge and membership will make us both stronger and allow us to bring about change as quickly as possible”.

Members will also have access to each organisation’s workshops and networking events in various U.S. and European countries throughout the year, as well as mentorship programmes. In addition, individual members of EWPN and Wnet may become members of the other organisation at a discounted rate, even if their employer is not a corporate member or sponsor.

Wnet Executive Director Lisl Dutterer announced the collaboration news on stage at the 2019 Wnet Leadership Summit “Leading in a Changing World“, the premier payments industry event designed by and for women leaders and the men who advocate for them.

“By working together, Wnet and EWPN are creating global change and the opportunity for more women to lead in the payments industry”, said Dutterer. “Wnet has been extending our member benefits to women around the globe, and we are excited for the opportunity to work with EWPN’s leadership to accomplish that goal. Sharing our insights, knowledge, and experience will make our organisations stronger and is another effort to bring about positive change across the global payments ecosystem”.

For further information, please contact:

Wendy Harrison – Harrison Sadler, for EWPN

T: +0208 977 9132

E: [email protected]

Jessie Hennion, Wnet Public Relations

T: +1 781-876-6280

E: [email protected]

Notes to Editors

About EWPN

The European Women Payments Network (EWPN) is focused on championing the skills and expertise of women in the burgeoning FinTech and payments sectors. In particular, through mentorship, leadership programmes, networking events and workshops, EWPN is providing the opportunity for women to learn, network, share and celebrate their achievements.

Each year EWPN holds the only Pan-European Conference specifically focused on women working in FinTech & Payments. The conference brings together women from all over Europe for a full-day event, featuring interactive panels, deep-dive workshops, and plenary sessions with industry female leaders.

About the Women’s Network in Electronic Transactions (Wnet)

The Women’s Network in Electronic Transactions (Wnet) is the premier professional organization for women in payments and the men that advocate for them, providing personal enrichment no matter what stage members are in their careers. The organization provides world-class national and regional programming, fosters networking and promotes mentoring to help members achieve greater personal success, influence and professional parity. Founded in 2005, Wnet is a 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit organization serving thousands of women in payments annually. For more information about national and regional events and programming, or to become a member, please visit www.wnetonline.org.

Note from editor: see also this article about Promoting Women

Banking disruptor seeks innovative developers in Denmark

Visit booth at GOTO Copenhagen 2019
18-20 November 2019

Banking Circle

London, November 2019 – Since launching in 2015 as the first ever non-bank to provide Virtual IBAN accounts, Banking Circle has been delivering ground-breaking FinTech solutions to help increase financial inclusion. As a next-generation provider of mission-critical financial services infrastructure, Banking Circle is continually growing its team and recruiting innovative developers to build market-leading solutions.

Now the multi-award-winning financial utility, which started life in a small Copenhagen office, is seeking new talent to join the team based in Denmark. Michel André, Chief Technology Officer of Banking Circle, commented: “When Banking Circle launched it had just three employees, but has grown at a tremendous pace with the global team now comprising over 200 people, including more than 50 already based in Copenhagen.

“However, to continue developing so rapidly and delivering solutions which offer true value to businesses around the world, we need to grow our team and bring in new talent with diverse experiences and new ideas.

“We are excited to be attending GOTO Copenhagen 2019 later this month and look forward to showing budding and experienced developers how they can be part of improving SME financial inclusion around the world, which in turn boosts economies. Not only is Banking Circle a great place to work, but it is a FinTech pushing for and inspiring change in the global financial industry today.”

As Chief Technology Officer, Michel André heads up the Banking Circle technology team based in Copenhagen. He has more than 20 years’ experience as a financial services developer, designing and redesigning a wide range of existing and new trading and risk management systems to increase scalability and throughput.

To find out more about Banking Circle, visit its booth at GOTO Copenhagen, or www.bankingcircle.com.

About Banking Circle

Banking Circle is a next-generation provider of mission-critical financial services infrastructure leading the rise of a super-correspondent banking network. Banking Circle empowers banks and financial tech businesses to support customers’ trading ambitions – domestic and global – whilst reducing risk and the operational cost of transactions. Banking Circle solutions are increasing financial inclusion by helping thousands of businesses transact across borders in a way that was previously not possible.

In 2013 Saxo Bank formed a new entity, Saxo Payments A/S, with the purpose of using Saxo Bank’s core capabilities within the non-cash payments market. In October 2015 the company launched the Banking Circle – its ground-breaking product for payments and FX to the Financial Tech industry. In October 2017, the company launched its new identity for Banking Circle, to reflect its position as a financial utility servicing Financial Tech businesses and banks. In September 2018, Banking Circle was acquired by EQT VIII and EQT Ventures, in partnership with Banking Circle’s founders.

Domiciled  in the European Union, Banking Circle specialises in providing global banking services including accounts, payments, lending and foreign exchange services to financial institutions, including FinTechs, banks, acquirers, payment service providers, FX brokers, money transfer businesses, e-wallets, and alternative payment providers.

For further information and interviews please contact the Banking Circle Press Office: 

Wendy Harrison – Harrison Sadler

T: 0208 977 9132

E: [email protected]

Bilateral ties to play key role in meeting India’s $5t economy target: Al Saleh at UAE-India Economic Forum 2019

UAE-India Economic Forum 2019 wraps up the 5th edition gracefully.

Dubai, 5th November, 2019: The 5th Edition of UAE India Economic Forum observed a grand opening at Waldorf Astoria, Dubai International Financial Centre on Monday, 4th November with the participation of High Dignitaries and Officials, leading experts and leaders from the two nations.

India’s partnership with the UAE is set to play a key role in its march towards the ambitious goal of becoming a $5-trillion economy by 2022, Abdullah Ahmed Al Saleh, Undersecretary for Foreign Trade and Industry, Ministry of Economy, said on Monday.

Addressing the opening session of the UAE-India Economic Forum organized by BusinessLive Middle East, Al Saleh said the strong bilateral ties are the result of :the political will articulated by both governments,” and their sustained efforts to work together for the mutual benefit.

Al Saleh said the recent meeting of the UAE-India High Level Joint Task Force on Investments, which is a platform to communicate mutual requirements and vision for the future, has played a key role in boosting bilateral investments and cooperation.

“With Expo 2020 around the corner, we will witness India’s commitment with one of the largest pavilions, which is a testament to the value the country puts to promoting bilateral economic relations,” he said.

Al Saleh said the UAE is the largest Arab investor country in India, accounting for 81.2 per cent of total Arab investments. The UAE investments into India’s $2.8 trillion economy are estimated to be around $10 billion including foreign direct investment of almost $5 billion.

“The UAE hosts the largest Indian community overseas and their annual remittances are estimated to be more than $17 billion, which is 38 per cent of the total outflow,” he said.

“As both countries remain keen as ever to strengthen the trade dialogue, recently, an ambitious project – the India -UAE food corridor – was launched with the plan to benefit two million farmers and create an additional 200,000 jobs across India, due to cumulative investments of more than $7 billion by the UAE in the next three years,” said Al Saleh.

Among the dignitaries present at the day-longs sessions were Vipul, Consul General of India in Dubai; Fahad Al Gergawi; Chief Executive Officer; Dubai FDI; and Jamal Al Jarwan; Secretary-General; UAE International Investors Council; and Ali Ibrahim; Deputy Director-General; Dubai Economic Development, according to Poonam Chawla, Associate Publisher, BusinessLive Middle East.

Poonam Chawla said the UAE-India Economic Forum 2019 was a great success as it highlighted the areas of cooperation between the UAE and India. “It helped to throw light on how this historic bilateral relationship has been elevated to a strategic partnership while creating new opportunities in various fields like IT, trade, food, smart cities, banking and fin-techs, renewable energy and startups,” Poonam said.

According to the UN Conference on Trade and Development, the FDI to the UAE rose by eight per cent to $10.4 billion in part due to rising cross-border mergers and acquisitions sales, making the country the largest source of FDI in 2017 for the Arab region (at 36 per cent of total FDI inflow). India is UAE’s second-largest trade partner today and the UAE has become India’s third-largest trading partner, with the total non-oil trade between the two countries recorded at $35.9 billion in 2018.

A special mention to the UAE-India Economic Forum 2019 sponsors “Ajman Free Zone” and “Galadari Advocates and Legal Consultants”. In the 5th Edition of the UIEF delegates brainstormed on new opportunities for partnerships with sessions on infrastructure, banking and finance, fin-tech, healthcare, food corridors, smart cities and start-ups. The UAE-India Economic Forum also felicitated government and industry leaders, who have worked towards nurturing ties between the two nations, with the Qadat Al Tagheer Awards.

Overview of the Controversial Modern Monetary Theory

Few theories have caused so many discussions as the Modern monetary theory (or MMT), which has been popularized by the leftmost sector of the Democratic Party, US, when it recurred to it to defend the huge expenses of the federal government on an attempt to detoxify the country from the fossil fuels and to finance a Medicare coverage for all.  

The re-birth of the Modern Monetary Theory  

MMT was created in the 1970s by the American economist Warren Mosler and shows similarities with older schools like Chartalism and Functional Finance. It was congresswoman and activist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who brought the debate to the table. In January 2019, she claimed that the government should implement Modern Monetary Theory to finance the Green New-Deal, applying political measures similar to those of the 1930s to augment the expenses but for ecologic reasons. In a public interview, she expressed that MMT should “be a larger part of the conversation.”

The approach

Despite the complexity and debate around MMT, there are some basic concepts shared by most of its adepts. The fundamental idea is that since the abandonment of the gold standard, a sovereign estate can print as much money as needed to finance public expenses and inject money into the economy, which they later withdraw in taxes.  They sustain that governments cannot go broke, as they can always create more money to pay off debts.

According to MMT theorists, we have been misled to think that substantial government debt is followed by financial collapse. Moreover, they state that if the spending creates deficit, it isn’t a real problem, as the national deficit is, in fact, the private sector’s surplus.

Modern Monetary Theory and inflation

Mainstream economists argue that it is ridiculous to think that central banks can finance massive spending without causing high inflation or even hyperinflation. Modern Monetary Theory, on the other side, reckons that there is a direct relationship between the circulation quantity of money and the level of prices. Yet, although they recognize the risk of inflation, they see it as a constraint that will keep decision-makers honest. Inflation is perceived as a result of real resource limits, and the Congress should set the spending, tax, and industry policies to keep inflation under control.

Restrictions on Modern monetary theory

Modern Monetary Theory advocates state that governments don´t have a budget constraint, and the only limit they have is the availability of real resources, like supplies and workers. If government spending is excessive in relation to the available resources, inflation could occur; therefore, the importance of proper policies.

It´s undeniable that Modern Monetary Theory keeps gaining attention and adepts, especially in the progressive political sectors. However, they haven´t provided a convincing response to the inherent problem of inflation yet.

Few theories have caused so many discussions as the Modern monetary theory (or MMT), which has been popularized by the leftmost sector of the Democratic Party

Is Modern Monetary Theory the panacea that will solve the world´s woes? Or is MMT just a new buzzword that keeps rising popularity? Implementing it would be a bold, risky experiment with no point of return or the miracle-solution we all crave for?

Could cryptocurrency and blockchain technology be the saviour?

Deutsche Bank Near Bankruptcy, Could Retail Boss Save It?

The giant Deutsche Bank is near bankruptcy, and, according to the Financial Times, the only way to save it would be if its retail boss, Manfred Knof, could extract €1.4bn in annual cost savings and increase revenues.

The giant Deutsche Bank is near bankruptcy, and, according to the Financial Times, the only way to save it would be if its retail boss, Manfred Knof, could extract €1.4bn in annual cost savings and increase revenues.

When did it all start?

That the Deutsche Bank is near bankruptcy is now news at all. The rumors started back in 2013 when the investment bank recognized the need for capital. To obtain those funds, they sold shares worth 4,500 euros. But that wasn´t enough and, shortly after that, they offered more shared with a 30% discount. This measure, of course, enraged those who had bought shares before.

Two years after those events, it was pretty clear that the Deutsche Bank lacked money, and it faced a net loss of almost 7,000 million euros, something that hadn´t happened since the 2008 crisis.

What put the Deutsche Bank in this situation?

According to the Professor of Economics and Law William Black, what put the Deutsche Bank near bankruptcy were the mistakes and financial crimes. He literally claimed in March 2018, that the Deutsche Bank (DB) was the “largest criminal enterprise in Germany.”

Professor’s Black words caused a huge impact, and many wouldn´t take his words seriously. However, in mid-October 2019, Chicago Federal Judge John Tharp ruled that ex-DB traders can be prosecuted for alleged “spoofing,” under the wire fraud statute. This decision will enable criminal cases against two former Deutsche Bank metal traders, accusing them of spoofing trades. Allegedly, the two men had been manipulating precious metals markets from 2009 to 2011.

Seeking solutions

In the beginning, the solution to save the Deutsche Bank, the possibility of merging it with the Commerzbank, was considered. Yet, as this other German bank had enough problems on its own, German regulators discarded the possibility since merging two entities, both with huge losses, would worsen the scenario.

Drastic measures to deal with Deutsche Bank near bankruptcy

High hopes were put into the “ruthless” retail boss Manfred Knof management, who is determined to deliver results. The recently announced decisions reducing the Executive Council, performing a rigorous restructure of the investment bank, and cutting down 18,000 job positions up to 2022, are part of the strategy of reducing costs and focusing on the activities of corporate banking, financing, currency exchange, private banking, and asset management.

Regarding most cuts, Deutsche Bank has said that most of them will affect back-office staff and support roles, located in places as distant as Florida, India, the Philippines, and Germany. This massive job cuts raised uncertainty and anxiety in all its employees, although in October 8, 2019, it was announced that the Deutsche Bank had no plans to perform further job cuts.

There´s no doubt those new and drastic measures are being taken trying to maintain the giant Deutsche Bank alive – which rather than near bankruptcy seemed to be standing at the edge of the deepest of the cliffs. Will the efforts be enough? Will “Ruthless Knof” save the monster from extinction?

Could cryptocurrency be the saviour? See also about Vatican facing bankruptcy.

Understanding Blockchain Technology

Blockchain technology finds its origin in the digital coin named Bitcoin. It was invented primarily to sustain it. Although blockchain is tightly associated with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, these are just the top of the iceberg.

Blockchain technology finds its origin in the digital coin named Bitcoin. It was invented primarily to sustain it

Currently, blockchain technology is being used in other commercial applications, and annual growth of 51% is expected for 2022 in several markets, including financial institutions and Internet of Things (IoT).

What is blockchain technology, and what makes it secure?

A blockchain is a list of digital records or blocks of data that are stored in a linear chain that is constantly growing. It´s a kind of digital general ledger than can be shared with many users and that keeps record of every transaction. Each block contains encrypted data, for instance of a Bitcoin transaction, and is linked to the specific user that made it. There´s no way to alter the data in them since they are time-stamped and connected to the previous block.

The security of blockchain relies on the fact that it can be updated only with the agreement of all the participants and the system itself. 

The information of the whole chain is kept in each node, so each participant has an exact copy of the entire chain. If someone wanted to attack the service, he should overturn or nullify every node in the net given that just one operative node is enough for all the information to be available. 

As new records are created, these are verified and validated by the nodes and added to a new block that is linked to the chain. Once added, this block becomes unalterable. For a transaction to be accepted and added, some specific digital signatures or requirements must be met. For example, people that use the crypto-currency Ethereum, must meet several conditions to demonstrate that they have that crypto-currency and can operate with it. 

Why is blockchain useful for?

As it is a peer-to-peer network, where transactions are time-stamped, and that enables managing all the information exchange among the users in an autonomous way, without the need for an administrator, it is an excellent tool for all types of businesses. Any information that needs to be kept intact and available can be safely stored in a blockchain. 

Many industries, such as transport, fintech, and sanitary services, to mention just a few, are taking advantage of this technology that streamlines processes, improving productivity. 

Challenges organizations or companies could face with blockchain

Thanks to blockchain, the operative models and business-making models of the companies and organizations could undergo a total transformation with the adoption of blockchain technology. Many organizations are using blockchain technology for their transactions. Still, if it were massively adopted, one of the challenges that governments of extremely controlled sectors will have to solve is the lack of regulation.

Blockchain is complex, and it takes a longer time to process any transaction. It can take hours to complete a transaction. And the more it grows, the slower it gets. This could be an obstacle for specific industries.

Despite the above, the biggest challenge that blockchain technology faces is the reluctance of private and public sectors, along with the skepticism of the potential users who, as with each new technology, need time to learn, get used, and trust.  

See also about Modern Monetary Theory and Internet of People – IoP

93% of British banking bosses think it’s important to be liked

But with 90% of employees still wanting the daily grind of work improved, are bosses totally disconnected from what matters?

Nottingham, October 2019: 93% of UK bosses in the banking and finance sector think it’s important to be liked, while 90% of their staff are crying out for their day-to-day experience of work to be improved, research by People First, the HR solutions provider, has found.

Exploring the attitudes of 250 bosses and 250 employees in UK firms, the research revealed how employers lack an accurate picture of how staff feel and the way it affects their work.

84% of bosses responding think their staff are happy and 76% believe most of their employees are fully engaged in what they do. But only 64% of staff find work makes them happy and just 42% are fully engaged or absorbed in what they do to earn a living.

“Likeability is good in a boss,” said Mark Williams, Senior Vice President Product, People First. “But with so many employees in the banking and finance sector wanting their experience at work improved, you have to ask if bosses really understand their workforces. There’s obviously a happiness gap where managers believe morale is better than it really is. They are clearly failing to measure staff engagement regularly.”

The research found men are more likely to say their work really engages them (48%) than women (37%), reflecting the longstanding difference in support and career development offered to women, as well as the well-publicised gender pay-gap.

And lack of understanding plays a role in another difference between bosses and workers. Whereas 39% of employers believe most staff quit a job for emotional reasons, only 17% of employees say that’s the main cause of them handing in their notice.

From the research we can also see that more than half of UK banking and finance employees (56%) regard being rewarded for excellent work as important, while 51% want more opportunities for flexible working.

“Poor productivity is a British disease which we can cure through better understanding of what motivates employees and gets them into the flow where time flies and work is more enjoyable and fulfilling,” added Mark. “That’s why it’s important to rely on more than gut feeling about how happy or engaged staff are. Regular check-ins must replace the dated annual appraisal as only with regular conversations can an employer see the true picture of their employees.”

“There are so many different aspects to any banking and finance job, such as training, career development and flexible working, that making assumptions about what employees want is misguided. As an employer you need to know what makes your staff happy to work hard and what makes them leave.”

See also about Business Risks

About People First: People First, created by MHR International, is a revolutionary HR software platform that provides businesses with the tools and thinking to nurture and engage talent while increasing retention and driving productivity, promoting the workplace of the future – today.

Driven by innovation and sharp focus on customers’ real-world requirements, People First has developed a set of tools and a new ethos that creates a better, more productive way of working for everyone.

Using the four elements of: Flow; Personal Digital Assistant; Pragmatic People Analytics and Performance Check-ins, People First is the most effective way that any fast-growing company can optimise its workforce and create a new culture that leads to greater productivity and increased revenues.