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MONITISE ANNOUNCES BOARD APPOINTMENTS

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Elizabeth Buse

Elizabeth Buse joins Group to work alongside Alastair Lukies in new co-CEO role

Amanda Burton and Paulette Garafalo appointed independent Non-Executive Directors

Monitise plc (LSE: MONI, “Monitise” or the “Company”), a global leader in Mobile Money solutions, announces a series of updates to its executive leadership team and Board of Directors.

Former Visa Inc. payments executive Elizabeth Buse has been appointed co-Chief Executive of Monitise Group, effective immediately. Elizabeth also joins the Company’s Board of Directors.

Elizabeth will work alongside Monitise founder Alastair Lukies in his capacity as CEO of the plc business. Lee Cameron continues his role as the Group’s Chief Commercial Officer and Deputy CEO.

Commenting on the appointment, Lukies said: “Elizabeth, who has been familiar with Monitise over a number of years, is a universally respected and talented executive with incredible expertise in international payments.”

Elizabeth Buse

Elizabeth Buse

Elizabeth, an American national who was a member of the Monitise Board from July 2010 to October 2012, will head Monitise’s day-to-day operations, overseeing technology, product, sales and marketing while Alastair focuses on key relationships with partners and industry stakeholders, corporate development and major shareholders. Strategy will continue to be set by the executive leadership team in conjunction with the Board.

Monitise’s growing ecosystem of partners and clients includes more than 350 banks, payment services companies such as Visa Inc., Visa Europe and MasterCard as well as Vocalink, FIS and IBM. In the mobile space, Monitise’s customers include Telefónica, Samsung, PCCW Mobile, Turkcell and BlackBerry. In the retail ecosystem they include brands such as Blackhawk Network Holdings with its network of more than 500 content providers operating in the US and 18 other countries, eBay, Turkey’s Bilyoner and Biletix, Venda, B&Q, Carphone Warehouse and Premier Inn.

Alastair and Elizabeth, along with the rest of the Monitise executive team, will lead Monitise as it continues to execute its Mobile Money growth strategy. As announced in March 2014, the Company aims to increase its registered users from 28 million to 200 million by the end of FY 2018, growing its user-generated revenue through mobile banking, payments and commerce.

Lukies added: “I am delighted that Elizabeth is joining us at such an important point in the Monitise journey to help me lead the next chapter in our history. On behalf of our staff around the world I welcome Elizabeth and very much look forward to working shoulder to shoulder with her, leveraging our complementary skills as we capitalise on the global Mobile Money opportunity.”

Commenting on her appointment, Buse said: “Monitise occupies a unique position in the global Mobile Money ecosystem as one of the few technology enablers with proven bank-grade solutions across banking, payments and commerce. I am enormously impressed by the Group’s quality of products and services, the technology and, most of all, the people. I cannot see a better-placed business to take advantage of the Mobile Money opportunity and am delighted to be joining Monitise.”

Elizabeth’s appointment comes after she stepped down from her role running international operations at Visa Inc. in March 2014 as Executive Vice President of Solutions. She joined Visa Inc. in 1998 and during her time there held roles including Group President of Asia Pacific, Central Europe, Middle East and Africa, Global Head of Product, Executive Vice President of Product Development and Management and Executive Vice President of Emerging Markets & Technologies.

Prior to joining Visa in 1998, Elizabeth served as Vice President of Strategic Initiatives for the Electronic Funds Division of First Data Corp. Elizabeth has served as a Director at International Museum of Women and was also a Director of Artio Global Investors Inc. from September 2009 to January 29, 2013.

Elizabeth, aged 53, holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the Haas School at the University of California Berkeley, is a Graduate Fellow in Spanish Linguistics at the Universidad Complutense in Madrid, Spain, and holds a Bachelor’s Degree (BA) in Spanish Linguistics from the University of California, Los Angeles. Elizabeth does not hold any shares in Monitise.

New Non-Executive Directors appointed

Monitise is also pleased to announce today that two new Non-Executive Directors have been appointed to the Group’s Board: Amanda Burton and Paulette Garafalo.

Amanda Jane Burton, aged 55, has been Global Chief Operating Officer at Clifford Chance LLP, since 2010. Amanda was appointed to the Board of Galliford Try Plc in July 2005 as Independent Non-Executive Director and has been Senior Independent Director and Chairman of the Remuneration Committee since 2008. She was previously a Non-Executive Director of Fresca Group Limited and a Director of Meyer International plc and Chairman of its Timber Group. Amanda is also a Trustee of Battersea Dogs and Cats Home. Amanda holds 158,449 shares in Monitise, representing 0.01% of the voting rights of the Company.

Paulette Garafalo, aged 57, has been President of Brooks Brothers international, wholesale and manufacturing since 2010, where she has been responsible for developing a global retail business. Paulette was previously CEO of the Americas at the luxury retailer Bally and CEO and Group President of the luxury apparel brand Hickey Freeman. Paulette does not hold any shares in Monitise.

Monitise Chairman Peter Ayliffe said: “We are delighted to welcome Elizabeth, Amanda and Paulette to the Monitise Board. They bring exceptional global experience and knowledge spanning payments, retail, legal and financial services to the table. It says a lot about the business and our ambitions that we are able to attract such outstanding talent to our Board. They join at an incredibly exciting time for the business as we drive deeper in-roads into the mobile commerce space and work towards the delivery of our operating plan through to 2018 as outlined in March this year.”

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England soccer star Rashford nets younger buyers for Burberry

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England soccer star Rashford nets younger buyers for Burberry 1

By Sarah Young

LONDON (Reuters) – Burberry stuck to its full-year goals on Wednesday after a media campaign fronted by high-profile English soccer star and social justice advocate Marcus Rashford drew a younger clientele to the British luxury brand.

Higher full-price sales would boost annual margins and Asian demand remained strong, Burberry said, while warning that it could suffer more sales disruption from COVID-19 lockdowns.

Manchester United striker Rashford, 23, has won plaudits for his campaign to help ensure that poorer children do not go hungry with schools closed during the pandemic.

A first coronavirus wave last year cut Burberry’s sales by as much as 45% before a bounce back on strong demand in mainland China and South Korea, which continued in the last few months.

Shares in Burberry were up 5% to 1,825 pence at 0905 GMT, with Citi analysts saying that improved sales quality from fewer markdowns would drive full-year consensus upgrades.

Burberry’s 9% sales decline in its third quarter was worse than the 6% fall in the second, and the company said that 15% of stores were currently closed and 36% operating with restrictions as a result of measures to curb COVID-19’s spread.

“We expect trading will remain susceptible to regional disruptions as we close the financial year,” Burberry said, adding that it was confident of rebounding when the pandemic eases given the brand’s resonance with customers.

In the third quarter, comparable store sales in Europe, the Middle East, India and Africa declined 37%, hit by shops shut in lockdowns and a lack of tourists visiting Europe, but in the same period, it posted sales growth of 11% in Asia Pacific.

Burberry said that Britain’s new relationship with the European Union would cause headwinds, warning of a modest increase in costs to comply with new rules and also the impact of an end to a scheme for VAT refunds for non-EU tourists.

This would make Britain a less attractive destination for luxury shopping when tourism returns after the pandemic, Burberry said, adding that it would try to mitigate the effect.

(Reporting by Sarah Young; Editing by Kate Holton, James Davey and Alexander Smith)

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Alibaba’s Jack Ma makes first live appearance in three months in online meet

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Alibaba's Jack Ma makes first live appearance in three months in online meet 2

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Alibaba Group founder Jack Ma met 100 rural teachers in China via a live video meeting on Wednesday morning, in the businessman’s first appearance since October, triggering a sharp jump in the Hong Kong listed shares of the e-commerce giant.

Social media speculation over the whereabouts of China’s highest-profile entrepreneur swirled this month after news reports that he missed the final episode of a TV show featuring him as a judge, amid a regulatory clampdown by Beijing on his sprawling business empire.

Ma had not appeared in public since Oct. 24, where he blasted China’s regulatory system in a speech at a Shanghai forum that set him on a collision course with officials, leading to suspension of a $37-billion IPO of Alibaba’s financial affiliate Ant Group.

Tianmu News, a news portal under Zhejiang Online, which is backed by the provincial Zhejiang government, first reported that Ma had met with the teachers via a live video conference on Wednesday.

The Jack Ma Foundation said that Ma participated in the online ceremony of the annual Rural Teacher Initiative event on Wednesday. Alibaba Group also confirmed that Jack Ma attended the online event.

Alibaba’s Hong Kong-listed shares jumped more than 6% after the reports of his reappearance, compared with a 0.64% rise in the Hang Seng index.

Ma’s public appearance comes as Alibaba plans to raise at least $5 billion through the sale of a U.S. dollar-denominated bond this month. Reuters reported the bond proceeds could reach $8 billion, which the e-commerce leader was likely to use for general corporate expenditure.

Alibaba is also the target of an antitrust investigation launched last month by Chinese authorities, who have in recent months accelerated a crackdown on anticompetitive behaviour in China’s booming internet space.

In the 50-second video, Ma, dressed in a navy pullover, spoke directly to the camera from a room with grey marble walls and a striped carpet. It was not clear from the video or the Tianmu News article where he was speaking from.

He addressed teachers receiving the Jack Ma Rural Teachers Award, who in previous years would have attended a ceremony organised by the Jack Ma Foundation in the Chinese seaside city of Sanya.

“We cannot meet in Sanya due to the epidemic,” he said in the speech, which did not discuss his whereabouts. “When the epidemic is over, we must find time to make up for everyone’s trip to Sanya, and then we will meet again!”

Xie Pu, founder of Chinese tech website Techie Crab, said the media and public had over-interpreted Ma’s move to lay low and that his step away from the public spotlight should not have been seen as a problem for Alibaba.

“We shouldn’t over-interpret his reappearance into public view this time, said Xie Pu, founder of Chinese tech website Techie Crab. “Alibaba still has a good governance structure — there are partners and a board of directors.”

(Reporting by Brenda Goh in Shanghai, Kane Wu and Sumeet Chatterjee in Hong Kong, Yingzhi Yang in Beijing; Editing by Tom Hogue and Gerry Doyle)

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ComplyAdvantage Releases State Of Financial Crime Report For 2021

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ComplyAdvantage Releases State Of Financial Crime Report For 2021 3

Designed as an must-have strategic roadmap for compliance teams, the comprehensive report covers financial crime insights related to fraud, cyber, and money laundering, the rise of crypto,

and the ever-changing sanctions landscape

ComplyAdvantage, a global data technology company transforming financial crime detection, today announced the availability of the firm’s much anticipated report The State Of Financial Crime 2021 Designed as a strategic guide for global compliance teams, the report lays out the many emerging threats that governments and financial institutions will face in 2021, along with prescriptive recommendations for implementing best compliance practices for combating financial crimes.

The research on which The State Of Financial Crime 2021 report is based was administered in November and December 2020. Interviews were conducted with 600 C-suite and senior compliance decision makers across North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific. The respondents represented enterprise banking, investments, crypto, insurance organizations, and fintechs.

One of the biggest challenges that compliance teams face is keeping current on the rapidly evolving regulations, and the advances of criminal behavior while balancing their organizations’ risk appetite.   Risk indicators are also becoming harder to spot as the amount of information available grows exponentially and the speed of change gathers pace.  This is why ComplyAdvantage has dedicated the company’s resources and  anti-money laundering (AML) expertise in order to help compliance executives mitigate regulatory risks related to the most extreme AML financial crimes.

The State Of Financial Crime 2021 delves into the most important financial crime trends that Compliance Officers are most concerned with in the coming year.  Specifically, these trends include increased fraud related to COVID-19 relief; risk vulnerabilities related to inconsistencies in global AML and counter financing of terrorism (CFT) system; the growth in sophistication of computer and mobile-enabled cybercrimes via payment systems; the continued use of sanctions as a tool of first resort and more.

A sample of key insights from the report include:

  • SARs filing was on the rise with 74% of respondents saying they filed more SARS in 2020 than the previous year
  • 93% of respondents stated that real-time AML risk data would improve their compliance operations
  • Cybersecurity and third party risk management were noted as organizations’ biggest compliance-related pain points in 2020. With 54% of respondents ranking cybersecurity as a top pain point.
  • 62% of respondents plan on upgrading their legacy systems in 2021.
  • 54% of respondents plan on replacing or upgrading their transaction monitoring system in 2021.

“Due to the massive economic, political and social disruption brought about by COVID-19, international crime syndicates, rogue nations, global terrorists and cyber-criminals have become increasingly more aggressive, “said Charles Delingpolefounder and CEO of ComplyAdvantage.  “Therefore, we felt it was imperative to prepare Compliance Officers and their teams for the potential onslaught of financial crimes driven by nefarious organizations.

Already the preferred choice of some of the world’s largest banks, enterprises and           high-growth fintechs, ComplyAdvantage uses machine learning and natural language processing to help regulated organizations manage their risk obligations and prevent financial crime. The company’s proprietary database is derived from millions of data points that provide dynamic, real-time insights across sanctions, watchlists, politically exposed persons, and negative news. This reduces dependence on manual review processes and legacy databases by up to 80% and improves how companies screen and monitor clients and transactions.

ComplyAdvantage releases The State Of Financial Crime 2021 a comprehensive report covering financial crime trends related to fraud, cyber, and money laundering.  #compliance #financialcrime #AML #antimoneylaundering #cybercrime

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