Friday 19 October 2012

Abchat Weekly Wrap-Up: Google: Human Error


For Google executives, the plummeting share price after its results blunder must have been a crushing blow, but it also had a huge impact for those of us watching the fiasco unfold. For the first time ever, the world witnessed Google slip off its pedestal; the company that one newspaper claimed “powered the internet”, frankly, c**ked it up. The 20% drop in profits, the early release of the results statement, the quote that had yet to be drafted on behalf of Mr Page didn’t really matter. What mattered, was the fact it happened at all.

In the early days of the internet, many search companies vied for a slice of the action, but Google swept in and took the whole pie. The verb ‘to Google’ embedded itself firmly in the English language and its success sparked the creation of brilliantly developed tools we never knew we needed but can’t live without. It allowed its staff to spend 20% of their time working on their own development projects, driving innovation in a wonderfully original way. Google is clever, it is cool, it is quirky, it is light-years ahead in its thinking. For many, it appeared infallible, a company that we assumed would continue, uninterrupted, on its astronomical growth trajectory. This image was absolutely shattered yesterday and it will be interesting to see what impact this has, because for the first time ever we have a tiny inkling that along with everything else, Google is also human.


After a positive week for RBS last week with their Direct Line float, they have endured a mixed week of events. The disposal of 316 branches collapsed as Santander pulled the plug on the deal. However, some positivity ensued as the government approved RBS’s exit from the Asset Protection Scheme, paving the way for reprivatisation.

Utility bills and energy suppliers have dominated news flow this week. After the majority of big energy suppliers announce price hikes, Ofgem has unveiled proposals which force suppliers to show the cheapest tariff and allow customers to default to the cheapest option at the end of fix-termed contracts. This supports Cameron’s plan to bring in legislations to make firms give customers cheapest tariffs.

China released economic figures for September indicating economic momentum has picked up. This has given some optimism to the global market which saw many stock indexes close on a high.

Two major newspapers announce the ceasing of their print editions. American magazine Newsweek is to halt print publication on 31 December whilst British papers The Guardian and Observer are in serious discussion of moving to a solely online platform as management fails to stem annual losses.

Stockwatch – Google saw shares tumble 8% on Thursday as disappointing third-quarter results were accidentally published prematurely by their financial printing firm, RR Donnelley. 
Bozzy has been busy networking out in Beijing this week, meeting a number of law and accountancy firms, fellow members of the CBBC council, our IPREX partner Newell PR, the London Stock Exchange… As well as our Beijing based clients.
Meanwhile, almost 800 miles across the country, Jamie is in Shanghai at the Asia Pacific Fall Meeting 2012 with our 78 IPREX partners from 32 countries, with 10 partners from Asia Pacific. He has also met with Pinsent Masons and the Shanghai based Times correspondent. 
Our Northern team co-hosted the London Stock Exchange’s PCIM Investorday in Leeds with Eversheds. 
We hosted a very successful event on responsible investment, with WHEB Asset Management and Social Finance as part of National Ethical Investment Week, chaired by Anthony Hilton, Finance Editor of the Evening Standard. See the running order on Abchurch's Pinterest. 
Abchaps also hosted in two Market Lunches.  
Robin Campbell has joined the research team at Seymour Pierce covering the Healthcare, Medtech and Pharma sectors.
Grant Thornton has appointed Jane Stevenson head of the Company’s new sustainability team.
Deloitte, the business advisory firm, has made two appointments to its corporate finance team; Anurag Verma  joins as a financial services partner and Duncan Chandler joins as a director. 
David Bresnick has joined law firm Morrison and Foerster as a partner in the M&A division.

"Gazelles" - the fastest growing new companies, a small subset of all start ups

Catch the launch party of the Robbie Boyd Band’s latest EP at the Barfly in Camden this coming Tuesday 23rd October

Until Sunday you can see 60 chronological images that make up The Queen: Art and Image at the National Portrait Gallery held to celebrate her diamond jubilee.

Take a train to the Canterbury Festival, which is showcasing a range of comedy, festival fringe, talks and activities over the next week.

Follow us on Twitter @AbchurchComms

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