Friday 1 March 2013

Abchat Weekly Wrap Up: Is Remote Working?

After the farcical way UBS staff were notified of redundancies last year, the issue of internal communications has once again come to light this week, this time with Yahoo! Chief Marissa Meyer is the centre of debate following a leaked memo to staff. While companies spend plenty of time defining their external communications strategy, one starts to wonder what thought is given to communicating with their own staff, especially given that major blunders have a habit of making their way into the press from disgruntled employees.

Ostensibly to boost the innovation and creativity that floundering Yahoo! so desperately needs, its awkwardly phrased memo which told staff that in order to “become the absolute best place to work,” working from home will no longer be an option, has been widely criticised. Far from inspiring its team to join toward a common goal and drive the company forward, the memo was full of corporate jargon, making a shockingly poor effort to sell the benefits of being in the office with insincere and sickly sweet language. It basically said come in, or get out. Surely the Comms bods at Yahoo! should have considered that the memo had a good chance of being leaked, and therefore paid a bit more attention to the tone and content. Whatever the drivers behind a change in corporate policy, it is vital to consider the wider perception and its impact on the corporate image.

Yahoo! needs innovation to breathe new life into it. Innovation comes from people but the message behind the memo is a lack of confidence and trust in Yahoo!’s people. In a response to the media furore, Yahoo! said ‘We don’t discuss internal matters’. It’s a bit late for that.

Extreme changes from new management to appease shareholders are to be expected, and having joined Yahoo! less than nine months ago, Meyer needs to make her mark. But what does this say about the company, that a major technology and internet giant can’t find a way to collaborate more effectively online?

Lloyds Bank losses decreased to £570m in 2012. This is quite a substantial decrease from the staggering £3.5bn from the previous year.

RBS is looking to return to the private sector according to head honcho, Stephen Hester, as their losses hit £5bn. Despite this significant loss the bank was able to pay out £607m in bonuses, and £215m of which went to investment bankers – the division behind the Libor scandal.

Sports Direct have bought fledging fashion chain, Republic. Republic went into administration in February. Administrators Ernst & Young have welcomed Mike Ashley’s approach saying this will save over 2,000 jobs.

The British Airways merger with Iberia has not lived up to what many hoped it would be. Willie Walsh, CEO of the International Airlines Group said the Spanish economy was to blame, and that BA had underestimated how much the Spanish economy would plummet. Ibiera’s operating loss of €351m meant BA’s operating profit of €347m was completely wiped out.

Abchaps hosted our first Emerging Markets Party, themed by a brilliant samba band, a delicious range of canapés and drinks from many emerging markets. The guest list was brilliant and festivities continued into the small hours.

Our Life Sciences team joined the One Nucleus event in Cambridge which featured a presentation from new £50m life science Rockspring Ventures fund.

Abchaps also attended the brilliant finncap quarterly drinks.

Canaccord Genuity announced it has incorporated its UK and European advisory business – Canaccord Genuity Hawkpoint – into its global investment practice under the Canaccord Genuity brand.

Will Corkill has joined Edison Investment Research as managing director and head of its Asia-Pacific region bringing extensive experience in research, sales and fund management

Investment bank Liberum Capital has announced the appointment of Peter Atherton as head of its utilities equity research team. Peter was previously head of the European utility research team at Citibank.

Eversheds has brought in Greg Hammond as partner responsible for building its energy and corporate capabilities

'MINTs' - Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey

Nice Spread are putting on 'Claustrophobia' Art & Music Event this Saturday in Peckham – there will be art and talks during the day, with some great bands and DJs taking over the evening shift.

The Breakfast Club in Hoxton are hosting “March Movies” every Tuesday and Wednesday through the month. Tickets are £7 and include wine, beer and popcorn.

Wine lovers rejoice! Le Café Anglais in Bayswater are hosting a unique event “Whose Wine is it Anyway” once a month from Monday – June. Five wines will be paired with complimentary starters over a knockout wine quiz. Dinner is optional and is BYOB with no corkage charge.

Feast Festival is back on Thursday for a long weekend, this time at the Tobacco Docks in Wapping. Hix Fish Dog, Beagle and Dishoom are on the menu, as is the new Rita’s Supper Club and plenty of live music to tantalise both the ears and taste buds.

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