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LIVINGSTONE MAKES A SPLASH IN LOS ANGELES

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LIVINGSTONE MAKES A SPLASH IN LOS ANGELES

Adds four new LA-based professionals to its global team

Livingstone has opened a new office in Los Angeles. The office is located in Manhattan Beach and is now home to a growing team of experienced M&A advisors.

The team in Livingstone’s newest office consists of long time LA residents and includes:

  • Brennan Libbey, Partner
    Brennan was most recently Head of Business Services at Houlihan Lokey and brings over 20 years of mid-market experience.  He specialises in the growing Business Services and Media & Technology sectors. He will lead the LA office and US Business Services team.
  • Ian Wagner, Associate Director
    Prior to Livingstone, Ian was a Corporate Development officer at digital marketing services leader ReachLocal. Previously, he was an investment banker at UBS and Houlihan Lokey, where he focused on the Business Services and Technology sectors.
  • Michael Parrott, Associate Director
    Mike joins Livingstone following banking roles at Greif & Co. and Stifel Financial Corp., where he focused on transactions across sectors including Media & Technology and financial services. He is a former active duty Marine and technology officer in the US Marine Corps.
  • Kenechukwu Orjioke, Analyst
    Kene will join the Los Angeles team following his internship with Livingstone. He is graduating from UCLA with a degree in Political Science.

“With offices across three continents, Livingstone becomes the West Coast’s premier integrated international mid-market M&A and Debt Advisory firm,” said Partner Brennan Libbey. “We look forward to leveraging the firm’s global relationships and deep sector experience as we continue to grow Livingstone Los Angeles and the firm’s presence across the world.”

With a unique ecosystem for talent, technology and innovation, growing businesses and entrepreneurs continue to flock to the state of California. Manhattan Beach, one of three cities that make up Los Angeles’ South Bay, is widely known for ideal weather and world-class beaches; but in recent years, it has also become home to a variety of interesting companies, dealmakers and investment funds. For Livingstone, Manhattan Beach best represents a reflection of the firm’s unique culture, where drinks with a client at a beach bar can follow serious negotiations and precede a red-eye flight to Europe out of nearby LAX airport.

“Our Los Angeles office is an exceptional achievement for the firm and a testament to Livingstone’s U.S. team and its growing reputation as a fully-integrated, international mid-market M&A and Debt Advisory firm,” said Partner David Sulaski. “Los Angeles is an ideal location from which to expand our growing US focus on the Business Services and the Media & Technology sectors, while providing another important connection for the firm into global markets. We plan to grow significantly in this region.”

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Bitcoin, ether hit fresh highs

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Bitcoin, ether hit fresh highs 1

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Bitcoin hit a fresh high in Asian trading on Saturday, extending a two-month rally that saw its market capitalisation cross $1 trillion a day earlier.

The world’s most popular cryptocurrency rose to an record $56,620, taking its weekly gain to 18%. It has surged more than 92% this year.

Bitcoin’s gains have been fuelled by evidence it is gaining acceptance among mainstream investors and companies, such as Tesla Inc, Mastercard Inc and BNY Mellon.

Ether, the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization and daily volume, hit a record $2,040.62, for a weekly gain of about 12%.

Ether is the digital currency or token that facilitates transactions on the ethereum blockchain. In the crypto world, the terms ether and ethereum have become interchangeable.

Ether futures contracts launched on derivatives exchange CME earlier this month.

(Reporting by Vidya Ranganathan; Editing by William Mallard)

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World Bank pushing for standard vaccine contracts, more disclosure from makers

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World Bank pushing for standard vaccine contracts, more disclosure from makers 2

By Andrea Shalal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The World Bank is working to standardize COVID-19 vaccine contracts that countries are signing with drug makers, and is pushing manufacturers to be more open about where doses are headed, as it races to get more vaccines to poor countries, the bank’s president said on Friday.

World Bank President David Malpass told Reuters he expected the bank’s board to have approved $1.6 billion in vaccine funding for 12 countries, including the Philippines, Bangladesh, Tunisia and Ethiopia, by the end of March, with 30 more to follow shortly thereafter.

The bank is working with local governments to identify and fill gaps in distribution capacity, after they purchase vaccines under a $12 billion World Bank program, and also to standardize the contracts they are signing with manufacturers, he said.

The bank’s International Finance Corp, its private financing arm, has $4 billion to invest in expanding existing production plants or building new ones, including in developed countries, but needs more data on where current production is headed, he said.

“We are eager to be investing in new capacity, but it’s hard to do because you don’t know how much of the existing capacity is already committed to the various off-takers,” Malpass said in an interview with Reuters. New or expanded plants could be used to produce other types of vaccinations in the future, he said.

The bank’s funds could be used to expand plants in advanced economies, if the production was earmarked for developing nations, he said.

Malpass welcomed Friday’s pledge by the Group of Seven rich countries to intensify cooperation on the pandemic, saying it could help jump-start deliveries of vaccines to poorer countries, which are lagging far behind rich countries in getting shots in arms.

Data compiled by Our World In Data, a scientific online publication, showed Israel was leading the world in COVID-19 vaccinations, with nearly 82 of 100 people vaccinated, while India and Bangladesh reported less than one person per 100, Many African countries have not started at all.

Malpass said he was heartened by news about new vaccines coming down the road, and about Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE seeking permission to store their vaccine at higher temperatures, which would ease another obstacle to deliveries in lower-income countries.

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Heather Timmons and Leslie Adler)

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Google to evaluate executive performance on diversity, inclusion

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Google to evaluate executive performance on diversity, inclusion 3

By Paresh Dave

(Reuters) – Alphabet Inc’s Google will evaluate the performance of its vice presidents and above on team diversity and inclusion starting this year, the company said on Friday in one of several responses to concerns about its treatment of a Black scientist.

Timnit Gebru, co-leader of Google’s ethical artificial intelligence research team, said in December that Google abruptly fired her after she criticized its diversity efforts and threatened to resign.

Alphabet and Google Chief Executive Sundar Pichai ordered a review of the situation. While Google declined to share specific findings, the company announced on Friday it will engage human resources specialists during sensitive employee departures.

Pichai in June said that by 2025, Google aims to have 30% more of its leaders come from underrepresented groups, with a focus on Black, Latinx and Native American leaders in the United States and female technical leaders globally. About 96% of Google’s U.S. leaders at the time were white or Asian, and 73% globally were men.

As a result of the investigation, the company also expanded a commitment announced in June to devote more resources to retaining and promoting existing employees, including by expanding a team addressing disputes among workers and their managers.

The diversity component of executive performance reviews was not previously announced, and the company did not immediately share details about what would be measured and how pay would be affected.

Alphabet for years had rejected proposals from shareholders and employees to set diversity goals and tie executive pay to them.

Irene Knapp, a former Google employee who advocated for one such proposal at a 2018 shareholder meeting, said on Friday, “I am pleased that they met our demand from 2018, which was a bare minimum that should have been easy to do immediately.”

Evaluating managers on diversity goals is becoming more commonplace. McDonald’s Corp on Thursday tied executive bonuses to diversity.

(Reporting by Paresh Dave; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

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