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Survey: America's CEOs Start 2021 Concerned About Taxes, Optimistic About Trade, & Eager to Return to the Office

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NEW YORK, Jan. 14, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — As 2021 begins, a new survey from The Conference Board reveals the biggest issues that will keep business leaders up at night in the new year. CEOs in the United States are more worried about higher corporate taxes and increased regulation, but less worried about global political instability and disruptions to global trade. And compared to their global peers, U.S. CEOs are more eager to have staff return to the physical workplace. U.S. executives also see the widespread availability of a vaccine as a game changer for their businesses.

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The survey gauged CEOs and C-suite executives from around the world about their biggest business challenges in 2021. Among the top stressors worldwide, respondents primarily cited COVID-19, recruiting and retaining top talent, recession risk, vaccine availability, and accelerating digital transformation.

The survey, C-Suite Challenge™ 2021, was conducted between November 7thDecember 10th. More than 900 CEOs and more than 600 C-suite executives weighed in from primarily three regions: Europe, Asia, and North America. Highlights and insights include the following:

External Challenges in 2021: Highlights 

U.S. CEOs think vaccine distribution will have an outsized impact on their businesses.

  • U.S. CEOs: They see vaccine availability as a game changer, ranking it 2nd (the highest among CEOs globally).
  • CEOs Globally: Among CEOs worldwide, it ranks 3rd.
  • Chinese CEOs: They rank it much lower, at 9th.

U.S. CEOs are more worried about regulation & taxes, less worried about trade & global turmoil.

  • More concern about corporate tax rates: In 2020, it was U.S. CEOs' 14th top worry; in 2021, it rose to 5th.
  • More concern about regulation: In 2020, it was their 9th top worry; in 2021, it rose to 4th.
  • Less concern about trade disruptions: In 2020, it was their 4th top worry; in 2021, it dropped to 7th.
  • Less concern about global political instability: In 2020, it was their 4th top worry; in 2021, it dropped to 10th.

Recession fears: Chinese CEOs are more worried than U.S. CEOs about another downturn.

  • U.S. CEOs: They rank recession risk as their 3rd top worry for 2021.
  • Chinese CEOs: They rank recession risk 1st – their top worry.
  • CEOs Globally: Among CEOs worldwide, it ranks 2nd.

Internal Challenges in 2021: Highlights

Turbocharging innovation: COVID-19 has accelerated the need for creativity.

  • Accelerate pace of digital transformation: Both U.S. CEOs and CEOs globally rank it 1st.
  • Improve innovation: Both U.S. CEOs and CEOs globally rank it 2nd.

As recession fears linger, companies stay defensive by prioritizing cash flow & controlling costs.

  • Lower costs: Globally, CEOs rank the need to control costs as 4th; U.S. CEOs rank it 3rd.
  • Improve cash flow: Globally, CEOs rank it 6th; U.S. CEOs rank it 7th.

Human Capital Management Challenges in 2021: Highlights

Returning to the office: U.S. CEOs are most committed to bringing workers back.

  • Bringing workers back to the physical workspace: Among CEOs globally, it ranks 9th; U.S. CEOs rank it 3rd.

Remote work stabilizes: Few CEOs plan to further increase or decrease their remote workforce.

  • Increase number of remote workers: Globally, CEOs rank it 17th; U.S. CEOs also rank it 17th.
  • Decrease number of remote workers: Globally, CEOs rank it last, at 21st; U.S. CEOs rank it 18th.

Talent reigns supreme: Recruiting and retaining the best and brightest remains the top priority.

  • Recruit and retain top talent: Regardless of a company's location or size, attracting and retaining top talent ranks as the top priority for CEOs and other C-suite executives globally in 2021. This was also true in 2020.

COVID-19's Legacy: CEOs Rank the Pandemic's Long-Term Impacts

Reduced business travel is likely here to stay.

  • U.S. CEOs: They rank reduced business travel as the 2nd most likely long-term impact of COVID-19.
  • CEOs Globally: They rank this scenario as the most likely long-term impact.

Will my work office shrink? U.S. CEOs expect reduced office space.

  • U.S. CEOs: They rank reduced office space as the most likely long-term impact of COVID-19.
  • CEOs Globally: They rank this scenario as the 5th most likely long-term impact.

CEOs expect automation to accelerate.

  • U.S. CEOs: They rank more automation of tasks as the 3rd most likely long-term impact of COVID-19.
  • CEOs Globally: They rank this scenario as the 2nd most likely long-term impact.

Commentary on the survey results

Rebecca Ray, Ph.D., Executive Vice President, Human Capital, The Conference Board
“In 2021, a hybrid model with a mix of onsite and remote workers will likely be the new norm. In this environment, as new employees join teams and have little personal contact with existing team members, leaders will need to ensure that all have a sense of belonging. Organizations should take a hard pause to ask themselves: Is the culture we had – and, perhaps, want to preserve – the right culture for this new environment?”

Dana Peterson, Chief Economist, The Conference Board
“While CEOs continue to fret about a possible downturn, 2021 is poised to be the light at the end of the pandemic tunnel. In most regions – especially the United States – CEOs believe the distribution of a successful vaccine will have a significant impact on their businesses this year. The spread of COVID-19 vaccines will, among other benefits, provide greater clarity and predictability around short-term planning and operations.”

Chuck Mitchell, Executive Director of Content Quality, The Conference Board
“The current crisis means the luxury of having a years-long lead time to digitally transform is gone. Investment in digital technology is only a piece of that puzzle. Organizational culture, enlightened leadership, and talent will ultimately create a sustainable competitive advantage. Recovery will require finding the right balance between conserving cash and investing in innovation needed to succeed in a new commercial landscape.”

Ataman Ozyildirim, Global Research Chair, The Conference Board
“Looking beyond reduced business travel, altered landscape of commercial office space, and increased automation of tasks, CEOs believe the need to address the resilience of global supply chains will be one of the most likely long-term legacies of COVID-19. During the pandemic, many policymakers and companies learned that a heavily optimized supply chain often lacked the agility to substitute alternate sources of supply. While concerns about global trade disruptions diminished recently, the global pandemic has exposed new vulnerabilities in supply chains.”

About The Conference Board
The Conference Board is the member-driven think tank that delivers trusted insights for what's ahead. Founded in 1916, we are a non-partisan, not-for-profit entity holding 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt status in the United States. www.conference-board.org

Logo – https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/624268/The_Conference_Board_Logo.jpg

 

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Lifshitz Law Firm, P.C. Announces Investigation of CHNG, COHR, LITE, CPAH, MGLN, NAV, OBLN, OXFD and WTRE

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NEW YORK, Jan. 24, 2021 /PRNewswire/ —

Change Healthcare Inc. (NASDAQ: CHNG)

Lifshitz Law Firm, P.C. announces investigation into possible breach of fiduciary duties in connection with the sale of CHNG to Optum for $25.75 per share.

If you are a investor, and would like additional information about our investigation, please complete the Information Request Form or contact Joshua Lifshitz, Esq. by telephone at (516)493-9780 or e-mail at [email protected].

Coherent, Inc. (NASDAQ: COHR) – Lumentum Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: LITE)

Lifshitz Law Firm, P.C. announces investigation into possible breach of fiduciary duties in connection with the sale of COHR to LITE for $100.00 per share and 1.1851 LITE shares per share.

If you are a investor, and would like additional information about our investigation, please complete the Information Request Form or contact Joshua Lifshitz, Esq. by telephone at (516)493-9780 or e-mail at [email protected].

CounterPath Corporation (NASDAQ CM: CPAH)

Lifshitz Law Firm, P.C. announces investigation into possible breach of fiduciary duties in connection with the sale of CPAH to Alianza, Inc. for $3.49 per share.

If you are a CPAH investor, and would like additional information about our investigation, please complete the Information Request Form or contact Joshua Lifshitz, Esq. by telephone at (516)493-9780.

Magellan Health, Inc. (NASDAQ: MGLN)

Lifshitz Law Firm, P.C. announces investigation into possible breach of fiduciary duties in connection with the sale of MGLN to Centene Corporation for $95.00 per share.

If you are a investor, and would like additional information about our investigation, please complete the Information Request Form or contact Joshua Lifshitz, Esq. by telephone at (516)493-9780 or e-mail at [email protected].

Navistar International Corporation (NYSE: NAV)

Lifshitz Law Firm, P.C. announces investigation into possible breach of fiduciary duties in connection with the sale of NAV to Traton for $44.50 per share.

If you are an investor, and would like additional information about our investigation, please complete the Information Request Form or contact Joshua Lifshitz, Esq. by telephone at (516)493-9780 or e-mail at [email protected].

Obalon Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: OBLN)

Lifshitz Law Firm, P.C. announces investigation into possible breach of fiduciary duties in connection with the merger of OBLN with ReShape Lifesciences Inc.

If you are a investor, and would like additional information about our investigation, please complete the Information Request Form or contact Joshua Lifshitz, Esq. by telephone at (516)493-9780 or e-mail at [email protected].

Oxford Immunotec Global PLC (NASDAQ: OXFD)

Lifshitz Law Firm, P.C. announces investigation into possible breach of fiduciary duties in connection with the sale of OXFD to PerkinElmer, Inc. for $22.00 per share.

If you are a investor, and would like additional information about our investigation, please complete the Information Request Form or contact Joshua Lifshitz, Esq. by telephone at (516)493-9780 or e-mail at [email protected].

Watford Holdings Ltd. (NASDAQ:WTRE)

Lifshitz Law Firm, P.C. announces investigation into possible breach of fiduciary duties in connection with the sale of WTRE to Arch Capital Group for $31.10 per share.

If you are an investor, and would like additional information about our investigation, please complete the Information Request Form or contact Joshua Lifshitz, Esq. by telephone at (516)493-9780 or e-mail at [email protected].

ATTORNEY ADVERTISING.© 2021 Lifshitz Law Firm, P.C.  The law firm responsible for this advertisement is Lifshitz Law Firm, P.C., 821 Franklin Avenue, Suite 209, Garden City, New York 11530, Tel: (516)493-9780.  Prior results do not guarantee or predict a similar outcome with respect to any future matter.

Contact:

Joshua M. Lifshitz, Esq.
Lifshitz Law Firm, P.C.
Phone:  516-493-9780
Facsimile: 516-280-7376
Email: [email protected]

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Give Gift Boutique Predicts A Sales Boom of Preserved Flowers on Valentine’s Day Due to The Growing Demand of Floral Gifts During COVID-19

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HONG KONG SAR – Media OutReach – 13 January 2021 – The coronavirus pandemic has taken a sharp toll on stores, and online buying has become a living habit of citizens. On the market change caused by the global pandemic, Give Gift Boutique, the leading online flower shop in Hong Kong, caught up with the sales boom, and increased sales by 20% last year. As we review the most popular Valentine’s Day flower in 2020, we found that rose bouquets were still the most widely chosen. In the meanwhile, the orders of preserved flowers are growing, making them one of the most popular gifts in 2020.

[View Image]

The Gift-giving Fever During The Epidemic

With the unpredictable year it has been, citizens adapt to physical distancing measures and avoid gatherings. But the popularity of gift-giving rose unexpectedly, especially on festive days. John Wong, the founder and CEO of Give Gift Boutique, said that as people cannot visit loved ones in person, they are sending gifts to show their caring.

 

John Wong added: “We have held some charity events from time to time for the people in need, and we achieved great repercussions by the people with gratitude. What’s more, we are supported by the public and some welfare organizations. From another perspective, Hong Kong people have the eagerness to get warm greetings during the social isolation period caused by the cruel virus.”

An Alternative Choice For The Day Of Lovers

Due to the superiority of quality, colors, and long shelf-life, the demand for imported flowers has been increasing in recent decades, and imported fresh flowers have been widely used for festivals, anniversaries, and other occasions. However, the global pandemic caused an impact on the market of imported flowers, leading to unstable supply chains and fluctuating prices. Thus, if you want to purchase imported flowers this Valentine’s Day, you have to reserve a higher budget than in previous years.

 

Compared with imported flowers, the supply chains and price of preserved flowers are more stable. Since they are made of real flowers, they have a texture close to that of fresh flowers. What’s more, they have a long shelf-life, which makes them endurable for long-term transportation. In recent years, preserved flowers have become more familiar to people, and are frequently exposed on social media by Internet celebrities, which shows that the cost-effectiveness of preserved flowers makes them widely recognized by consumers. There are various styles of immortal flower products on the market, not only bouquets, but also products in the form of gift baskets, decorations, lighting, etc., which becomes more common on various occasions.

 

John Wong said, that in recent years, during the Lunar New Year, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and other festivals, the popularity of preserved flowers is comparable to imported flowers. More and more customers choose mid-end and high-end products, as well as some ingenious designs and functional preserved flower products.

The Approaching Buying Spree Of Pre-holiday Preserved Flower Ordering

From our experience, 70% of consumers will send Valentine’s Day gifts to offices in advance, while only 30% of consumers will send gifts straight to home. However, Valentine’s Day this year happens to meet on the third day of the lunar new year, and almost all companies will rest on this day. If you want to give your loved one a surprise, you have to order gifts earlier. What’s more, some flower stores will be closed from the first to the third day of the lunar new year. Take Give Gift Boutique, for example, considering the annual vacations of most companies, and the workers’ eagerness to enjoy Spring Festival, their flower stores will be closed on February 12-14 this year.

 

Furthermore, the third day of the Lunar New Year is called “Chikou”, known to be a day that people will quarrel with one another if going out. On this day, Hong Kong people will stay at home and hope all is well, so we expect people to send gifts before this special day. For lovers in a long-distance relationship, they will place an order in advance to send flowers with a long shelf life, to prevent their gift-giving plans from failing, and to make their loved ones enjoy beautiful flowers on Valentine’s Day. Thus, in addition to imported flowers, preserved flowers ordered online will become another mainstream selection for Valentine’s Day gifts this year.

 

In this situation, the sales of preserved flowers before Valentine’s Day may increase significantly. John Wong said that they are facing challenges, but to ensure ample supply during the special days, Give Gift Boutique has made preparations a few months beforehand, and they are sure to provide sufficient high-quality gifts to customers.

About Give Gift Boutique

Give Gift Boutique is the leading online flower shop in Hong Kong. It is managed by senior florist designers in the Netherlands and Toronto. It operates in the boutique workshop model and serves corporate and individual customers throughout the year. Since its opening in 2008, it has been committed to providing customers with high-quality flower bouquets, holiday hampers, birthday gifts, etc. https://www.givegift.com.hk

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Employment in Taiwan Gains Optimism in 2021 Driven By Growth in Sustainable Energy

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TAIPEI, TAIWAN – Media OutReach – 13 January 2021 – Professional recruitment services firm Michael Page Taiwan today launched the ‘Talent Trends 2021 Report’, with a keen eye on Taiwan’s optimistic talent market. With 89% of professionals indicating an interest to change jobs and strong demand for talent in the technology and sustainable energy industries, healthy hiring activity is anticipated.  

 

Mark Tibbatts, Managing Director of Michael Page Taiwan, says, “Sustainable energy is earmarked to be the strongest performer, being the largest emerging sector in Taiwan by 2020 and a key link in Taiwan’s economic strategy.”

 

According to the report, sustainable energy companies are willing to offer average salary increases of more than 18% for new hires in 2021, the highest of any industry. 78% of this industry’s professionals stated their interest in seeking new opportunities in 2021. Mark Tibbatts advises, “As economic activity picks up in Taiwan, companies are likely to compete for high potential experts, which means it is even more important for companies to stand out from the competition with strong employer branding.”

 

Despite an optimistic outlook, Taiwanese companies must continue to focus on innovation, product development and supply chain management. “These areas will help companies find new revenue streams and get through the recovery with a stronger and more powerful posture. Moreover, Taiwan’s economy still has a strong need for a quality workforce,” Mark Tibbatts continues. 

 

As Taiwan’s professionals continue to seek flexibility and work-life balance, mental health and wellbeing remain at the forefront of job seekers priorities when identifying an employer of choice. 65% of respondents ranked the company’s culture above ‘possible career growth opportunities’ (54%) and ‘company mission and values aligned with theirs’ (53%) when selecting a potential hiring manager.

 

In addition to recruitment insights and industry analysis on the Taiwanese job market, the report also shares new insights across the Asia Pacific market on related topics such as digital readiness, organisational structure, flexible working, leadership, performance management, and diversity and inclusion.

Across the Asia Pacific region, the COVID-19 pandemic dealt a major blow to the global economy across all sectors and markets in 2020. Job vacancies dropped by 8% to 35% depending on the location. Several businesses reported a conservative approach to their hiring strategy, choosing instead to freeze or even reduce their headcount in order to reduce costs. However the reduced rate of hiring was not an indication that businesses shut out all qualified talent altogether. We saw very positive trends upward from Q2 to Q3, and Q4 versus Q3 2020. Optimism exists in 2021, as 42% of businesses in Asia Pacific said that they are already looking to increase headcount in the year.

New ways of working emerged rapidly as employees adapted to the new normal. The driving force behind the changes was the digital transformation which became top priority for all businesses overnight. 68% of companies intend to increase investment in technology and digital tools in 2021.

As a viable option to bridge skill gaps arising from investment in digital tools and organisation redesign, 20% of companies in Asia Pacific cited prioritising short-term contractors/temporary employment in their 2021 hiring strategy. This is an increase from 15% in 2019.

While the boundaries of work-life balance were debated in 2020, 4 in 5 employees were found to feel equally or more productive working from home, only 5% of them prefer to work completely remotely. This indicates a need for frequent social interaction with co-workers. With this, 51% of organisations evolved their performance evaluations. To reflect the times of crisis, management teams started reassessing individuals with greater importance placed on positive behaviours, 64% of companies rated team collaboration as the most valued employees attribute during times of crisis. 

 

Editor’s note: The Michael Page Taiwan Talent Trends 2021 Report features insights and market sentiment in Asia Pacific on prominent recruitment and talent-related topics including digital readiness, organisational design, flexible work, leadership, performance management and diversity and inclusion. The results draw from a survey of 12 Asia Pacific markets, with over 5,500 businesses and 21,000 employees, of which 3,500-plus are directors or CXOs. 

 

Download the full Michael Page Taiwan ‘Talent Trends 2021 Report’ here.

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