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Deadline Reminder: The Law Offices of Howard G. Smith Reminds Investors of Looming Deadline in the Class Action Lawsuit Against XP Inc. (XP)


Law Offices of Howard G. Smith reminds investors of the upcoming May 20, 2020 deadline to file a lead plaintiff motion in the class action filed on behalf of investors who acquired XP Inc. (XP or the Company) (NASDAQ: XP) securities pursuant and/or traceable to the registration statement and prospectus (collectively, the Registration Statement) issued in connection with the Companys December 2019 initial public offering (the “IPO” or “Offering”).

Investors suffering losses on their XP investments are encouraged to contact the Law Offices of Howard G. Smith to discuss their legal rights in this class action at 888-638-4847 or by email to [email protected].

In December 2019, XP completed its initial public offering (IPO), issuing approximately 83 million Class A shares at $27.00 per share.

On March 6, 2020, The Winkler Group published a report raising serious questions about the accuracy of XPs financials. Among other claims, the report alleged that XP failed to disclose relevant information, including: (i) undisclosed related party transactions; (ii) R$100 million in system failure expenses; (iii) great uncertainty regarding its independent financial agents (IFAs); (iv) the full circumstances regarding its firing and replacing its accounting firm; and (v) other undisclosed material weaknesses.

On this news, the Companys share price fell $9.12, or over 25% , over two consecutive trading sessions to close at $26.64 per share on March 9, 2020, thereby injuring investors.

The complaint alleges that the Registration Statement contained false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to disclose: (1) that XP engaged in undisclosed related party transactions; (2) that XP failed to disclose its common and large system failures and connected losses; (3) that XPs aggressive IFA strategy was and is tenuous; (4) that XP had material weaknesses; (5) that XP fired its previous accounting firm due to that firm finding and disclosing material weaknesses; and (6) that as a result, Defendants public statements were materially false and misleading at all relevant times.

If you purchased XP securities during the Class Period, you may move the Court no later than May 20, 2020 to ask the Court to appoint you as lead plaintiff if you meet certain legal requirements. To be a member of the class action you need not take any action at this time; you may retain counsel of your choice or take no action and remain an absent member of the class action. If you wish to learn more about this class action, or if you have any questions concerning this announcement or your rights or interests with respect to these matters, please contact Howard G. Smith, Esquire, of Law Offices of Howard G. Smith, 3070 Bristol Pike, Suite 112, Bensalem, Pennsylvania 19020 by telephone at (215) 638-4847, toll-free at (888) 638-4847, or by email to [email protected], or visit our website at

This press release may be considered Attorney Advertising in some jurisdictions under the applicable law and ethical rules.

Law Offices of Howard G. Smith

Howard G. Smith, Esquire



[email protected]


European Venture Capital Dealmaking and Fundraising Activity Achieved New Annual Records in 2020


SEATTLE, Jan. 26, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — PitchBook, the premier data provider for the private and public equity markets, today released its 2020 Annual European Venture Report, which found venture capital (VC) deal value remained aloft and set a new annual record despite COVID-19 and the subsequent macroeconomic damage. Pandemic-induced opportunities and existing VC companies within technology and healthcare were well positioned to grow at the same time the deluge of capital deposited into larger rounds continued a decade-long trend. Capital from the US flowed freely into Europe and deal value with corporate VC (CVC) participation set a new annual record. After a lethargic start, exit value gathered momentum as the year progressed with one of the strongest quarterly showings ever in Q4. The pandemic created favourable market conditions for VC-backed companies seeking an exit in sectors such as biotech and pharma. European VC fundraising also achieved a record high in 2020 as LPs and GPs across the continent shrugged off long-term concerns posed by COVID-19. Fundraising processes have successfully adapted to remote tools, while larger VC vehicles have attracted burgeoning heaps of capital from existing and nontraditional investors to target pandemic-proof and pandemic-induced opportunities. Restrictions on travel, recessions and battered sectors have not stifled commitments from LPs, as GPs have been supplied with record levels of capital to put to work heading into 2021.

To download the full report and underlying data, click here.

“Few predicted the insatiable appetite to commit to and invest in VC in 2020. While other asset classes crumbled amid widespread volatility, Europe's maturing VC ecosystem – and venture as an investment strategy – showed remarkable resilience with dealmaking, fundraising and CVC participation reaching record highs,” said Nalin Patel, PitchBook EMEA Private Capital Analyst. “We believe capital will continue to pour into pandemic-driven areas as recoveries commence and the allure of a return to normality will drive capital into resurgent pre-pandemic trends, both of which will combine to hold overall VC activity aloft in 2021.”

Investment Activity

  • VC deal value reached a new annual record of €42.8 billion across 9,341 deals, representing a 14.8% year-over-year increase in value from the previous record set in 2019.
  • Deals sized over €25 million represented a record 61.8%, or €26.5 billion, of capital invested in 2020. CureVac's €560.0 million late-stage round in Q3 was the largest deal of the year. Klarna, Deliveroo, N26, Revolut, and Northvolt all closed deals over €500 million as well, whereas just two companies raised such a sum in 2019.
  • Investors deployed €14.5 billion into the software sector across 2,123 deals, marking a marginal 7.9% year-over-year increase and more substantial 22.3% year-over-year decrease, respectively. The sector remains the most popular investment strategy, representing a third of total European VC deal value in 2020, but investment into biotech & pharma startups jumped 41.1% year-over-year to €5.4 billion as COVID-19 held attention globally.
  • All regions apart from Central & Eastern Europe beat their respective deal value figures from 2019. The UK & Ireland remained the highest deal value provider with a record €14.3 billion in 2020, providing a third of the total in Europe despite Brexit.
  • CVC participation accrued €19.4 billion in value through 2020, easily surpassing the previous record of €15.6 billion set in 2019. CVCs participated in many of 2020's largest rounds, including Deliveroo's €527.6 million round and Hopin's €106.2 million round.

Exit Activity

  • Despite market volatility, total European VC exit value rose 13.9% year-over-year to €18.6 billion across 697 deals. The European exit market gained momentum after a lethargic Q1, closing on €7.6 billion in value in Q4.       
  • Biotech & pharma companies capitalized on increased interest in the sector, securing €6.7 billion in venture exit value in 2020, or 35.9% of Europe's total. Notable exits in the sector include the IPOs of CureVac and ADC Therapeutics, both totalling over €200 million, and the acquisition of Themis Bioscience, which sold for €1.1 billion.
  • As was the case in 2019, the DACH region (Austria, Germany, and Switzerland) generated the most liquidity of any European ecosystem, closing on €4.6 billion in 2020, or 24.7% of the continent's total. The region's expertise in developing highly valued biotech & pharma companies bolstered exit figures.
  • VC-backed IPOs grew slightly to 50 in 2020 from 46 in 2019, suggesting that some startups were bullish and willing to list even amid such a turbulent year. The resurgence of public equities and lack of listings in the second and third quarters created pent-up demand for IPOs, and healthcare startups such as Compass Pathways, Freeline and Nanox decided it was the perfect time to exit.

Fundraising Activity

  • European VC funds raised a record €19.6 billion in 2020, representing a 35.2% year-over-year increase as LPs and GPs across shrugged off long-term apprehension posed by COVID-19. The quantity of closed VC funds ticked up to 172, reversing a two-year decline.
  • VC funds over €100 million represented 82.0% of the total capital raised in Europe in 2020, just below the peak of 83.8% set in 2019, and we expect they will continue gaining share in 2021. Fund sizes have climbed during the last decade, buoying overall capital raised year to year.
  • The UK & Ireland raised the most capital for venture funds with €5.1 billion, narrowly topping the DACH region, which raised €5.0 billion in 2020. Israel-based VC funds have now raised over €1.0 billion in each of the last five years, with a record €2.7 billion raised in 2020, and we believe GPs based in this region have the capital resources to develop their ecosystem even further and compete globally for commitments.

Additional coverage in this report includes:

  • Introduction
  • Overview
  • Corporate VC
  • Spotlight: 2021 Outlook
  • Exits
  • Fundraising

For more information about PitchBook, click here.

About PitchBook
PitchBook is a financial data and software company that provides transparency into the capital markets to help professionals discover and execute opportunities with confidence and efficiency. PitchBook collects and analyzes detailed data on the entire venture capital, private equity and M&A landscape—including public and private companies, investors, funds, investments, exits and people. The company's data and analysis are available through the PitchBook Platform, industry news and in-depth reports. Founded in 2007, PitchBook has offices in Seattle, San Francisco, New York and London and serves more than 45,000 professionals around the world. In 2016, Morningstar acquired PitchBook, which now operates as an independent subsidiary.

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US-Mexico relations expert, Hiroshi Takahashi warns that changing Mexico's Outsourcing law will endanger American companies


MEXICO CITY, Jan. 26, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — American businesses in Mexico face a challenging future ahead if the amendment proposal to reform the current outsourcing scheme in the country is passed, according to Hiroshi Takahashi, Editorial Director of El Sol de México and an expert in Mexico-US economic relations.

In an essay published this week in El Sol de México, Mexico City's leading newspaper, Takahashi states that the outsourcing scheme reform will jeopardise Mexico's special relationship with the United States and put in danger more than seven million jobs.

El Sol de México the Organización Editorial Mexicana, a chain that publishes over 30 newspapers and several million copies a day. Takahashi serves as its editor since August 2017.

The analyst, who has written for media outlets such as Forbes, El Heraldo de México, Diario 24 Horas and La Silla Rota, mentions that the reform will violate the labour clauses of the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement, add legal uncertainty and reduce Mexico's position in the region.

“The approval of the outsourcing law will make it so difficult for large U.S. companies to operate in our country that it will surely cost us jobs and have repercussions for our relationship with the new Biden administration”, Takahashi wrote in his essay.

According to Takahashi, among the companies affected by the law reform are Amazon, American Express, Coca-Cola, Costco, DHL, Pepsico, Exxon, FedEx, Ford, General Electric, General Motors, Philips, Chrysler, Honeywell, and Intel.

In his analysis, the reform's approval will pose significant obstacles to the American plan for economic recovery, in a global context where China continues to gain ground. A considerable part of the U.S. recovery will depend on its investment in Mexico.

Passage of the law reform will increase their costs and make it unfeasible for them to have their factories operating here, experts write.

In Mexico, the formally employed population affiliated to the Social Security system (IMSS) is more or less 23 million people, according to official sources.

More than 30 million people work informally, in conditions that in many cases are below the poverty level and that does not allow for the advancement of workers, companies or the country.

According to official data, Mexico sells 50 billion pesos worth of vehicles to the United States each year, 30 billion pesos worth of auto parts, 29.7 billion pesos worth of technological machinery, and 29.7 billion pesos worth of machinery.

The outsourcing scheme allows workers to meet certain labor conditions in today's post COVID-19 market.

“If the Mexican congress passes the outsourcing law reform, we will be sending a wrong foreign policy signal to Washington“, he describes.

The United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement states that Members will make changes to labour legislation in Mexico that might affect companies' operation from its member states.



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Retail Banks Face the Urgent Need to Retool Offerings and Strategies


BOSTON, Jan. 26, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Although retail banks globally have reacted to the COVID-19 crisis with speed, dexterity, and purpose—while remaining true to their environmental, social, and corporate governance goals—further challenges await in their quest to enhance revenues, upgrade digital capabilities, and build a strong, stable future, according to a new report by Boston Consulting Group (BCG). The report, titled Global Retail Banking 2021: The Front-to-Back Digital Retail Bank, is being released today.

This latest in a series of comprehensive BCG studies of the retail banking sector explores the following: potential revenue scenarios based on how the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve; the ways in which a rapidly growing number of customers are seeking and expecting digital solutions; a new paradigm for managing costs; how banks can identify and capture new, digital value streams; and how banks can develop a stacked operating model that will position them optimally for the future.

“Building digital capabilities takes time,” said Sam Stewart, a Sydney-based BCG managing director and senior partner, coauthor of the report, and leader of the firm's global work in retail banking. “Most banks have already embarked on the journey and significantly invested in digital in recent years, but most struggle to reap the benefits. By breaking the challenge down to the 10 to 15 most important value streams, and by digitizing each of these in a comprehensive way, from front to back, banks can move faster and with fewer missteps.”

Revenue Pressures. The report plots three potential revenue scenarios—a quick rebound, a slow recovery, and a deeper impact—using different global GDP forecasts. Under the first scenario, retail and private-client revenues globally would rise by 2.8% to $2.59 trillion in 2024 from $2.25 trillion in 2019. Under the second, revenues would rise by 1.0% to $2.37 trillion. Under the third, revenues would fall by 1.1% to $2.13 trillion. The most profound revenue declines are expected to be in Western Europe and North America. From a product standpoint, revenues from consumer finance loans and other lending will take the largest hit. The positive impact of e-commerce will be partially offset by a decline in consumer spending, especially on big-ticket items. Nonperforming loans will weigh on the ability to generate future growth. The expected long-term run of rock-bottom interest rates will affect both deposit holdings and returns.

An Increasingly Digital Customer Base. The pandemic is incentivizing customers' shift away from traditional branches to digital channels. According to BCG's most recent retail-banking survey, an average of 13% of respondents in 16 major markets used online banking for the first time during the pandemic. An average of 12% were new mobile-banking users. In some markets, the percentage is substantially higher. Cashless payments are also receiving a major boost during the crisis. More than 20% of respondents said that they have increased their use of digital payment solutions.

“The shift to digital channels is likely to be permanent,” said Thorsten Brackert, a Frankfurt-based BCG partner and director and coauthor of the report. “Based on our survey, we expect a further net increase in mobile banking adoption of 19% and a further net reduction in branch usage of 26% after the pandemic. Less digitally adept banks may therefore soon find that both new and more-experienced users choose online banking over visiting branches. Digitally aware customers may defect to more digitally advanced incumbent competitors or to nimble and innovative challengers.”

A New Cost Paradigm. The successful retail bank of the future cannot operate with the cost structure of the present and remain competitive. BCG's analysis shows that the operating costs of the best banks are already about 40% lower than those of the typical bank, and they have roughly 50% fewer employees. These banks make larger and more sales, and they do so with branches that are less transaction focused. Specifically, the top banks open 69% more accounts per branch full-time equivalent and conduct 80% fewer branch transactions per customer, compared with the typical bank. Banks that are not planning now for a major step change in their cost structure will find themselves at an unsustainable competitive disadvantage—perhaps sooner than they think.

Digital Value Streams. Retail banks can achieve their goals by focusing on their key value streams—a series of value-adding activities that they can undertake to produce a result that customers want—and by redesigning and digitizing them from front to back. Successfully implementing an integrated approach requires the following: bold business goals, reimagined end-to-end customer journeys, simplified and automated processes, improved risk controls, transformed technology, and integrated teams.

A Stacked Operating Model. By digitizing their main value streams, banks will fundamentally change the way all functions operate, including distribution, relationship management, risk and compliance, and IT. Banks can accelerate the impact and optimization of select capabilities, such as customer engagement, but they will fully address their revenue, cost, and control challenges only with an operating model that is based on front-to-back value streams and built around new capabilities and ways of working.

“After banks successfully digitize all major value streams, a new operating model will emerge,” said Muriel Dupas, a London-based BCG retail-banking expert and coauthor of the report. “The resulting front-to-back digital operating model will be stacked, much like technology architecture, and it will allow a bank's capabilities to work together much more effectively.”

A copy of the report can be downloaded here.

To arrange an interview with one of the authors, please contact Eric Gregoire at +1 617 850 3783 or [email protected].

About Boston Consulting Group
Boston Consulting Group partners with leaders in business and society to tackle their most important challenges and capture their greatest opportunities. BCG was the pioneer in business strategy when it was founded in 1963. Today, we help clients with total transformation—inspiring complex change, enabling organizations to grow, building competitive advantage, and driving bottom-line impact.

To succeed, organizations must blend digital and human capabilities. Our diverse, global teams bring deep industry and functional expertise and a range of perspectives to spark change. BCG delivers solutions through leading-edge management consulting along with technology and design, corporate and digital ventures—and business purpose. We work in a uniquely collaborative model across the firm and throughout all levels of the client organization, generating results that allow our clients to thrive.

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