Comment piece, Don McClumpha
Just like that, another ICAP Charity Day has been and gone. On December 10, 2019, ICAP held its 27th annual global Charity Day welcoming charities and their celebrity ambassadors through our doors, and onto the broking floor where they assisted brokers in closing deals to help raise as much money as possible for their respective charities. This year, I’m delighted to say, ICAP Charity Day raised an impressive$6 million globally, bringing the total amount raised to approximately$190 million since the first ICAP Charity Day in 1993.
For those of you who aren’t aware, each year the ICAP business donates 100% of the revenues and its brokers’ commissions generated on one day to a variety of causes around the globe.The day is great for morale, the atmosphere is fantastic with employees dressing up and uniting to raise money for charity.In the APAC region, we welcomed fabulous guests and supported 28 charities across seven nations.In Singapore, we were joined by the famous faces of actor and singer William So, FLY Entertainment Artistes Constance Lau and Adele Wong, celebrity aesthetician Dr Georgia Lee, and actor and model Paul Foster. Five excellent charitable organisations were selected to benefit in Singapore, including Down Syndrome Association, KKH Health Endowment Fund, Lions Home For The Elders, Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) and The Singapore Repertory Theatre.
Months of planning and preparation goes into making ICAP Charity Day the spectacular event it is, anticipation and excitement builds among clients, charities and employees alike, but once that final trade is agreed and the last celebrity leaves the building the day doesn’t just end, oh no, that’s when the real work begins.
ICAP’s donations enable charities to fund and develop projects and programmes that make a real difference in the areas, and to the people, who need it the most.In Bangkok, we are supporting World Vision Foundation of Thailand (WVFT). WVFT is a humanitarian children’s charity whose aim is to protect children suffering from poverty, conflict and disaster or difficult circumstances which leave children living in fear of hunger and exploitation, for example. A donation from ICAP Charity Day will support some of Thailand’s most vulnerable children with opportunities to access education, learning resources, libraries and a safe place to live – it’s truly inspirational.
Australian based foundation, Top Bloke’s ‘Junior Top Blokes’ programme is dedicated to tackling mental health issues within young men. Through peer-led mentoring and community leadership programs, young men develop positive decision-making skills, decreasing their risk-taking and anti-social behaviour while developing personal qualities of integrity and self-respect.
Many of the 100 charitable organisations we have supported in 2019 focus on the issue of social mobility. In keeping with the company’s overall CSR strategy, ‘A Voice for All’, we firmly believe that everyone should be given a chance to succeed in life whatever their background or circumstances. As ICAP is part of TP ICAP group, the world’s largest interdealer broker, we feel it is our duty to support the communities in which we operate and help support the next generation – who knows; they may end up becoming brokers!
This is why we encourage our employees to volunteer throughout the year. In Singapore, where I am based, we spend time getting to know the charities we will be supporting in upcoming Charity Day’s as it shows our people why we are supporting the charity and how the money we raise will help them achieve their goals. In October, twelve employees visited KK Women’s and Children hospital dressed as princes and princesses with the Kidz Horizon Appeal. We surprised the children staying at the wards and distributed goodie bags, as well as speaking with nurses and parents and understanding how important this faculty is in offering the children and parents relief and support.
Our Bangkok office participates in an annual volunteering day where the entire office takes part in an event. In 2018, they visited Takopid Thong School, a Border Patrol Police School in SuanPueng, Ratchaburi Province. The school cares for 220 students ranging from three to eleven years old, with a large percentage of pupils coming from extreme poverty or dysfunctional backgrounds such as orphanages. During the visit, ICAP Thailand donated food, sporting equipment, school stationery, cooking utensils and agricultural tools as well as personal items.
Over the years,we have experienced great success stories with the charities and projects we’ve supported all over the APAC region. In 2015, we supported the Bone Marrow Donor Programme from the funds raised in Singapore. On World Marrow Donor Day, fifty human statues took centre stage on Orchard Road to raise greater awareness of this issue and to represent the average number of patients at any one time. The day played a crucial role in educating the public to sign-up as bone marrow donors with the event gaining extensive media coverage, which led to 700 new donor sign-ups.
We supported Hong-Kong based charity ‘Operation Breakthrough’ in 2014, which uses sport as a means to help, rehabilitate and positively reinforce young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. The money raised helpsto fund football, cricket and dragon boat programmes, as well as an apprenticeship programme and sports forum, ‘Sport Can Change Lives’. These programmes opened up space for young people to develop their skills for the future, subsequently helping to fight crime and juvenile delinquency. These programmes are now voluntarily run by serving and retired police officers and assisted by social workers.
Funds from ICAP Charity Day 2012 enabled Shanghai Adream Charity Foundation to help build five new Adream learning centres in underserved semi-rural and rural Chinese provinces; benefiting over 6,000 students. The learning centres contained multimedia classrooms and were equipped with books, coloured movable tables and chairs, networked computers, projectors and LSC screens. The designs were contemporary and created a vibrant learning environment. Our donations and support also helped to develop the Adream Teacher Incentive Plan, Adream Salon and Adream Staff Incentive Plan and Administration cost all helping improve the quality of education in China.
ICAP Charity Day is so much more than one day; it’s supporting long-term projects that change the lives of so many people around the world for the better. It’s a global workforce that wants to engage and be involved in giving back too and helping their local communities, and when you look at it like that, the work never stops, and I for one am proud to be a part of ICAP Charity Day.
Why CMOs Should Care About Customer IAM
By Darshana Gunawardana, Associate Director/Architect at WSO2
The surge to move online in 2020, in turn, has driven demand for high-performance, cost-effective customer identity access management solutions. And as we kick off 2021, customer identity and access management (CIAM) have become essential for any business to really understand their customers which is why CMOs should actively engage with and care about their CIAM system. I say this because within the various stages of a customer’s buying journey, such as awareness, consideration, purchase and service, more often than not a CIAM is running in the background ensuring the right solution enhances their digital experience by providing significantly better onboarding, personalisation, omnichannel experiences, and privacy controls and building that all-important trust with the customer.
So, let’s take a look at how CIAM works and the benefits it provides in the various stages of the customer journey:
The awareness stage is the very first step where a customer interacts with a company’s brand. This is where customers get to know about the product or the service offered by the business, which may lead them to access the company website or content on other platforms such as social media.
At this stage, customer interactions typically occur at an anonymous level. Therefore, the involvement of a CIAM solution will be minimal as no identifying information is available. However, it’s important to make use of products such as web analytics to preserve customer interest, which can be beneficial at a later stage.
At the consideration stage, customers will have more focused needs and they will show more engagement by downloading datasheets, following product demos/trials, etc. Typically, one or two customer attributes are captured in the CIAM at this level. Depending on the prominence of the attributes, this would be the starting point of representing the customer as a light user account in the CIAM system. These accounts do not have any credentials associated with them since customers have not gone through an onboarding process.
At this level, the CIAM’s inbound and outbound provisioning capabilities play a key role. For example, a prospective customer downloads a catalogue from a product website by providing their email; then, the website would create a light account in the CIAM system using a standard provisioning protocol like SCIM. Next, the CIAM solution will (outbound) provision that user account to different marketing tools – for example, Hubspot, and CRM tools like Salesforce, or web analytics such as Mixpanel.
Likewise, the organisation might correlate the light account with web analytics. This helps to obtain more insights about users, such as geolocation and what type of content they looked at during the awareness stage. These details can be used to provide more relevant, personalised information in the future.
The purchase stage is the level that receives the most amount of attention from most organisations. Depending on laws and regulations, it will be crucial to have verified user details. However, it’s important to ensure that the customer registration and onboarding process is simple and user-friendly.
Minimising the mandatory information fields requested from a customer helps significantly. This can be done by auto-filling information that is already associated with the light account. Another way to do this is by using progressive profiling so that the customer has to provide additional details only when they access a specific service that requires these details.
Having to maintain many accounts and credentials is a major pain point from a customer’s perspective. The ability to bring your own ID (BYOID) to help simplify the registration process is important. This will also help to reduce self-service or call centre interactions in later stages as it will lessen the need of having to recover an account owing to misplaced or forgotten credential details.
Moreover, having direct integrations with identity verification services like Evident ID in the CIAM solution reduces the overhead of providing various documents or having to go through a manual process to verify customer information, such as proof of citizenship, insurance validity, and so on.
The service stage is also a key stage for many consumer businesses. The user experience at this level determines whether existing customers become champions or detractors for the brand.
From a CIAM standpoint, users should have seamless access to any product or service they consume. If there are multiple services involved, basic things like the ability to consume both services with the same account and having single sign-on among multiple applications have become must-have capabilities. Strong authentication with additional factors is also a need when accessing sensitive applications. In addition, adaptive authentication also plays a key role to balance convenience over security. Having mechanisms like account locking, and risk-based authentication gives more assurance to protect customers’ accounts from malicious parties.
This leads to another vital requirement: self-service. Customers should be able to update and review their privacy preferences, such as the use of different emails for different activities, change associated profile information, and update contact information. At the same time, a user should be able to adjust their security profile by configuring recovery mechanisms and register trusted devices for login. With the advancement of privacy regulations across the world, modern businesses must also give users data portability and the ability to deregister.
Additionally, during the service stage, a business might also go through changes, e.g., mergers and acquisitions of other brands, and these activities should not drastically impact the customer experience. The right CIAM solution can facilitate these moves in an incremental manner.
CIAM can even help initiatives such as loyalty programs, which aim to increase customer engagement. Loyal customers might opt for early access to new products and give more accurate feedback, which can be utilised in A/B testing for product or service changes.
As a CIAM solution is well connected with every system involving the customer, it enables organisations to generate enhanced and actionable behavioural data that can be used to predict and determine possible interests. Even during unprecedented times, this information helps to make better-informed decisions.
Enhancing the customer experience is at the heart of digital transformation. Today’s increasingly sophisticated customers view digital interactions as the primary mechanism to interact with products and services and, consequently, expect deeper online relationships delivered simply, securely, and seamlessly. CIAM plays a vital role in connecting applications and APIs to customers and provides all the capabilities needed to deliver a customer experience that is second to none.
Volkswagen faces EU fine for missing 2020 emissions targets
BERLIN (Reuters) – Volkswagen faces a fine of more than 100 million euros ($121 million) for missing EU targets on carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from its 2020 passenger car fleet, the world’s largest carmaker said on Thursday.
It cut average CO2 emissions in the fleet in the European Union by around 20% to 99.8 g/km, but that was around 0.5 g/km above its target, Volkswagen said.
That implied EU fines amounting to a “very low triple-digit million amount”, a spokesman said.
European policymakers have clamped down on exhaust emissions, forcing carmakers to spur development of low-emission technology or face a penalty of 95 euros per gram of excess CO2 they emit.
“We narrowly missed the fleet target for 2020, thwarted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” CEO Herbert Diess said in a statement, adding he hoped to meet the target this year as the company’s main brands bring out new electric models.
Volkswagen is reducing the combustion-engined cars it offers and retooling more factories to build electric vehicles in an effort to keep up with electric carmaker Tesla.
It has said the EU’s more stringent emissions targets will force it to boost the proportion of hybrid and electric vehicles in its European car sales to 60% by 2030, up from a previous target of 40%.
Volkswagen admitted in 2015 to cheating emissions tests on diesel engines, a scandal which has cost it more than 30 billion euros ($33 billion) in regulatory fines and vehicle refits, mostly in the United States.
($1 = 0.8237 euros)
(Reporting by Jan Schwartz, writing by Emma Thomasson; editing by Jason Neely)
Oil dips after unexpected rise in U.S. crude stocks
By Ahmad Ghaddar
LONDON (Reuters) – Oil slipped on Thursday after industry data showed a surprise increase in U.S. crude inventories that revived pandemic-related demand concerns, but United States stimulus hopes limited the price downturn.
Brent crude futures fell 47 cents, or 0.8%, to $55.61 a barrel by 1030 GMT.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell 43 cents, or 0.8%, to $52.88 a barrel, following two days of gains on expectations of massive COVID-19 relief spending under new U.S. President Joe Biden.
U.S. crude oil inventories rose 2.6 million barrels in the week to Jan. 15, according to data from industry group the American Petroleum Institute, compared with analysts’ forecasts in a Reuters poll for a 1.2 million barrel fall. [API/S]
Official Energy Information Administration (EIA) inventory data is due on Friday.
“If delayed EIA numbers tomorrow show a similar crude oil build, it would be the first build seen since early December,” analysts at bank ING said.
Rising COVID-19 cases in China, the world’s largest crude oil importer, also weighed on prices.
Beijing plans to impose strict COVID testing requirements during the Lunar New Year holiday season, when tens of millions of people are expected to travel, as it battles the worst wave of new infections since March 2020.
The commercial hub of Shanghai reported its first locally transmitted cases in two months on Thursday.
Elsewhere, new U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration has committed to curb carbon emissions and among his first actions as president, Biden announced America’s return to the Paris climate accord and revoked a permit for the Keystone XL oil pipeline project from Canada.
The administration is also committed to ending new oil and gas leasing on federal lands.
The administration will also seek to lengthen and strengthen the nuclear constraints on Iran through diplomacy and will be raising the issue in early talks with foreign counterparts and allies, according to the White House.
(Additional reporting by Sonali Paul in Melbourne and Koustav Samanta in Singapore. Editing by Jane Merriman)
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