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Goldman Sachs clinches crown as Ideal Employer in global financial space

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Goldman Sachs clinches crown as Ideal Employer in global financial space
  • J. P. Morgan, Google, Morgan Stanley and BlackRock make up the remaining top five
  • Big increase in financial professionals eyeing a move to the tech sector

Goldman Sachs has been revealed as the top company in the world to work for by financial professionals, new research by eFinancialCareers, the leading careers site for financial professionals, shows. J.P. Morgan, who topped the eFinancialCareers Ideal Employer Report last year, came in at second place in this year’s annual rankings.

Global tech companies including Google and Amazon rose sharply in the rankings, as financial professionals increasingly find the tech sector to have attractive opportunities to grow their careers.

Companies in the UK also scored well on a variety of attributes ranked by financial professionals such as opportunities for promotion, positive organisational culture, and open and transparent communication. Overall financial performance and industry connections also shone through as key characteristics when considering an employer.

The report is the result of a survey of over 6,000 financial professionals globally, who were asked to name their top three companies to work for. More than 2,800 companies were named at least once. Respondents ranked 20 attributes for companies on a scale, with those scoring a six or seven deemed “important”. Financial professionals then rated their three ideal employers based on how strong they believed companies were in the important attributes.

Goldman Sachs scoops gold

The reason behind Goldman Sachs returning to the top of the eFinancialCareers Ideal Employer Report, the title they last held in 2016, is a mix of strong rewards and market leadership. It scored highest in the survey on competitive salaries (83%), the attribute financial professionals valued the most. This was followed by competitive bonuses (80%) and industry leadership (79%).

Edith Cooper, the company’s former global head of HR has said in an interview with eFinancialCareers that Goldman Sachs “recognise and pay for performance”, a key driver in the financial space. Gregg Lemkau, co-head of global Investment Banking at Goldman Sachs told eFinancialCareers, “The culture at Goldman is quite famously team-oriented and collaborative. As such, the work environment is very collegial.”

As the eFinancialCareers Ideal Employer Report shows, this mixture of reward and leadership across the board is hugely attractive for talent. Historically, Goldman Sachs received 223,849 applications for analyst positions in 2016, yet only 2% succeeded in landing a position, demonstrating the highly competitive market and lure of working at the top-rated company.

Tech takeover

Google held its overall global #3 ranking for a third year running, though for the first time was ranked a region-specific Ideal Employer in Asia-Pacific, beating Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan (ranked #1 and #2 by US and UK markets).

Unlike the rest of the global and UK top five, Google kept its own by scoring high on attributes such as innovation and office environment. Beating the likes of UBS, HSBC and Morgan Stanley, it proves that even in the financial sector, a company’s culture is starting to become as important as monetary gain to professionals in the financial space.

Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Microsoft also appeared in the top 30, a hugely-positive showing in what is typically a finance company-led ranking. Amazon rose 12 places, the biggest increase in the report, reflecting a positive perception of the employer brand. As one financial professional said, “At Amazon, opportunities to move, grow and take on new challenges are abundant. A dynamic environment — where there is no shortage of interesting problems to solve or opportunities to build. Amazon encourages employees to create their own career paths, and they have great flexibility to move between departments and roles.” The sentiment echoes overall thesis of the Ideal Employer report, which finds there are plenty more attractive attributes than pay among financial professionals.

These point towards a shift in desirable attributes for job roles across the finance sector, and that in order to continue competing with the tech sector for the best talent, employers in financial services will need to move away from solely promoting competitive salaries and bonuses as their recruitment drivers.

Finance is not always just money

Although three out of the top five companies were rated highest by competitive salary, other elements of work life are considered when choosing an ideal employer.

John Benson, Founder of eFinancialCareers, said; “Our 2018 Ideal Employer Report has proven that financial professionals across the globe are equally enticed by salary and challenging projects. In most regions, employees put challenging and interesting work as important factors when contemplating which employer to work for, a sign of exciting times ahead and better opportunities for financial professionals should companies listen to candidates and take action implementing these desires in the workplace.”

“This report shows that the sector needs to change their approach when promoting their employer brand and culture whilst advertising open positions. In order to attract and retain the best talent, the game plan can’t just be around money. There needs to be an added focus on organizational culture and the work itself. The tech industry has been ahead on this for a while now and seeing the likes of Google and Amazon challenging the financial giants to attract smart financial professionals shows that financial institutions need to adapt to attract or retain the best talent.”

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Facebook ‘refriends’ Australia after changes to media laws

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Facebook 'refriends' Australia after changes to media laws 1

By Byron Kaye and Colin Packham

CANBERRA (Reuters) – Facebook will restore Australian news pages, ending an unprecedented week-long blackout after wringing concessions from the government over a proposed law that will require tech giants to pay traditional media companies for their content.

Both sides claimed victory in the clash, which has drawn global attention as countries including Canada and Britain consider similar steps to rein in the dominant tech platforms and preserve media diversity.

While some analysts said Facebook had defended its lucrative model of collecting ad money for clicks on news it shows, others said the compromise – which includes a deal on how to resolve disputes – could pay off for the media industry, or at least for publishers with reach and political clout.

“Facebook has scored a big win,” said independent British technology analyst Richard Windsor, adding the concessions it made “virtually guarantee that it will be business as usual from here on.”

Australia and the social media group had been locked in a standoff after the government introduced legislation that challenged Facebook and Alphabet Inc’s Google’s dominance in the news content market.

Facebook blocked Australian users on Feb. 17 from sharing and viewing news content on its popular social media platform, drawing criticism from publishers and the government.

But after talks between Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, a concession deal was struck, with Australian news expected to return to the social media site in coming days.

“Facebook has refriended Australia, and Australian news will be restored to the Facebook platform,” Frydenberg told reporters in Canberra.

Frydenberg said Australia had been a “proxy battle for the world” as other jurisdictions engage with tech companies over a range of issues around news and content.

Australia will offer four amendments, which include a change to the proposed mandatory arbitration mechanism used when the tech giants cannot reach a deal with publishers over fair payment for displaying news content.

‘UNTESTED’

Facebook said it was satisfied with the revisions, which will need to be implemented in legislation currently before the parliament.

“Going forward, the government has clarified we will retain the ability to decide if news appears on Facebook so that we won’t automatically be subject to a forced negotiation,” Facebook Vice President of Global News Partnerships Campbell Brown said in a statement online.

The company would continue to invest in news globally but also “resist efforts by media conglomerates to advance regulatory frameworks that do not take account of the true value exchange between publishers and platforms like Facebook.”

Analysts said while the concessions marked some progress for tech platforms, the government and the media, there remained many uncertainties about how the law would work.

“Retaining unilateral control over which publishers they do cash deals with as well as control over if and how news appears on Facebook surely looks more attractive to Menlo Park than the alternative,” said Rasmus Nielsen, head of the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, referring to Facebook headquarters.

Any deals that Facebook strikes are likely to benefit the bottom line of News Corp and a few other big Australian publishers, added Nielsen, but whether smaller outlets win such deals remains to be seen.

Tama Leaver, professor of internet studies at Australia’s Curtin University, said Facebook’s negotiating tactics had dented its reputation, although it was too early to say how the proposed law would work.

“It’s like a gun that sits in the Treasurer’s desk that hasn’t been used or tested,” said Leaver.

COOLING-OFF PERIOD

The amendments include an additional two-month mediation period before the government-appointed arbitrator intervenes, giving the parties more time to reach a private deal.

It also inserts a rule that an internet company’s existing media deals be taken into account before the rules take effect, a measure that Frydenberg said would encourage internet companies to strike deals with smaller outlets.

The so-called Media Bargaining Code has been designed by the government and competition regulator to address a power imbalance between the social media giants and publishers when negotiating payment for news content used on the tech firms’ sites.

Media companies have argued that they should be compensated for the links that drive audiences, and advertising dollars, to the internet companies’ platforms.

A spokesman for Australian publisher and broadcaster Nine Entertainment Co Ltd welcomed the government’s compromise, which it said moved “Facebook back into the negotiations with Australian media organisations.”

Major television broadcaster and newspaper publisher Seven West Media Ltd said it had signed a letter of intent to strike a content supply deal with Facebook within 60 days.

A representative of News Corp, which has a major presence in Australia’s news industry and last week announced a global licensing deal with Google, was not immediately available for comment.

Frydenberg said Google had welcomed the changes. A Google spokesman declined to comment.

Google also previously threatened to withdraw its search engine from Australia but later struck a series of deals with publishers.

The government will introduce the amendments to Australia’s parliament on Tuesday, Frydenberg said. The country’s two houses of parliament will need to approve the amended proposal before it becomes law.

(Reporting by Colin Packham and Byron Kaye; additional reporting by Renju Jose, Kate Holton and Douglas Busvine; Writing by Jonathan Barrett; Editing by Sam Holmes and Mark Potter)

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Oil rises on positive forecasts, slow U.S. output restart

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Oil rises on positive forecasts, slow U.S. output restart 2

By Bozorgmehr Sharafedin

LONDON (Reuters) – Oil prices rose on Tuesday, underpinned by the likely easing of COVID-19 lockdowns around the world, positive economic forecasts and lower output as U.S. supplies were slow to return after a deep freeze in Texas shut down crude production.

Brent crude was up 36 cents, or 0.5%, at $65.60 a barrel by 1212 GMT, and U.S. crude rose 39 cents, or 0.6%, to $62.09 a barrel.

Both contracts rose more than $1 earlier in the session.

“Vaccine news is helping oil, as the likely removal of mobility restrictions over the coming months on the back of vaccine rollouts should further boost the oil demand and price recovery,” said UBS oil analyst Giovanni Staunovo.

Commerzbank analyst Eugen Weinberg said optimistic oil price forecasts issued by leading U.S. brokers had also contributed to the latest upswing in prices.

Goldman Sachs expects Brent prices to reach $70 per barrel in the second quarter from the $60 it predicted previously, and $75 in the third quarter from $65 forecast earlier.

Morgan Stanley expects Brent crude to climb to $70 in the third quarter.

“New COVID-19 cases are falling fast globally, mobility statistics are bottoming out and are starting to improve, and in non-OECD countries, refineries are already running as hard as before COVID-19,” Morgan Stanley said in a note.

Bank of America said Brent prices could temporarily spike to $70 per barrel in the second quarter.

Disruptions in Texas caused by last week’s winter storm also supported oil prices. Some U.S. shale producers forecast lower oil output in the first quarter.

Stockpiles of U.S. crude oil and refined products likely declined last week, a preliminary Reuters poll showed on Monday.

A weaker dollar also provided some support to oil as crude prices tend to move inversely to the U.S. currency.

(Reporting by Bozorgmehr Sharafedin in London, additional reporting by Jessica Jaganathan in Singapore; editing by David Evans and John Stonestreet)

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UK-Japan trade deal settled nerves for Japanese firms, Honda executive says

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UK-Japan trade deal settled nerves for Japanese firms, Honda executive says 3

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s trade deal with Japan settled the nerves of a lot of Japanese businesses in the United Kingdom and gives them confidence about their future prospects there, a senior Honda executive said on Tuesday.

Japan, the world’s third-largest economy, has since the 1980s made the United Kingdom its favoured European destination for investment, with the likes of Nissan, Toyota and Honda using the country as a launchpad into Europe.

But Britain’s shock 2016 decision to leave the European Union had prompted Japan to express unusually strong public concerns. Their companies and investors warned that a disorderly exit from the EU would force them to rethink their four-decade bet on Britain.

“We welcome very much the Japanese trade agreement which as a Japanese businesses was very welcomed,” Ian Howells, senior vice president at Honda Motor Europe, told a parliamentary committee.

“On the point around confidence, that certainly amongst my peers in Japanese companies was very much welcomed, and probably settled a lot of nerves in terms of their trading prospects in the UK going forward.”

Britain and Japan formally signed a trade agreement in October, marking Britain’s first big post-Brexit deal on trade. It has also made a formal request to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), of which Japan is also a member.

(Reporting by Kate Holton)

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