7SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr I read a wonderful “Q and A” interview in the NYT recently. It hit on two important themes.The Times interviewed Kenneth Ziegler of Logicworks. He discussed the power of “our” compared to “Their” or “your.”There’s a big mistake that I’ve seen some people make. They come in from the outside, talking about their 100-day plan to interview every employee and then come up with their grand strategy.The one thing that I found consistently painful was they would keep talking about their old company: “At this company, we did this, we did that.” It was never about what we have. It was about what we didn’t have, and why we were unlike another company. People just get sick of that.It’s natural to gravitate to things that worked in the past. But just remove the “At my old company… .” Phrase it as a question: “Have we thought about this?” Then people get jazzed about it because now it’s our idea, not your old company’s idea. (Emphasis added.)It reminds me of a saying. I’ll have to paraphrase it. continue reading »
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Denmark’s PKA and PGGM in the Netherlands have put out a joint report calling on governments to help investors in their efforts to mitigate climate change.Both pension providers said addressing climate change was a key area of focus for them.“Because of our long investment horizon, we need to consider and prepare for scenarios that potentially have material impact on our investment portfolios in the long run,” they said.Climate change was an important factor in those scenarios, they said. The two providers are suggesting several ways investors and policymakers could respond to the problem of climate change, such as forging closer cooperation between public and private parties to create a stable investment environment.The providers also said they strongly advocated mechanisms that put a price on carbon, arguing that this was the best way to shift capital and knowledge towards the most efficient solutions.Peter Damgaard Jensen, chief executive at PKA, said: “If we are to increase our green investments substantially, we need policymakers to commit to ambitious climate goals and provide investors with attractive incentive structures.”He said he hoped the joint report would add to the debate at the upcoming COP21 climate conference in Paris.Else Bos, chief executive at PGGM, said that, in order to meet the ambition of its largest client PFZW, PGGM would will quadruple investments in “solutions for climate change” in the coming four years.It has already taken important steps towards that goal, she said.“These steps have convinced us accommodating policies and regulation are essential to meet these ambitious targets,’’ she said.The funds also said there was a need for “innovative de-risking models”, which mixed public and private finance, to solve the problems of climate-related investment in developing countries, such as high political and financial risks.
Anthony Foley will replace Japan-bound Rob Penney as head coach at Munster next season. The 40-year-old has been forwards coach since 2011 and has coached the Ireland Wolfhounds and the Ireland senior side. Munster chief executive Garrett Fitzgerald admitted Foley was always the clear favourite for the role. “Anthony was the stand-out candidate to succeed Rob Penney at the end of the season and I believe he will do an excellent job in leading this squad forward,” said Fitzgerald. “His experience and knowledge is of huge benefit to this young Munster side and I’m sure it will be an easy transition for both the players and backroom team to carry on the positive progress already made. “I am glad that all parties could come to an agreement in such a prompt manner as we continue to focus our efforts on the remainder of the season. “In the next few months Anthony will continue to play his part in the coaching team, supporting Rob.” Foley said his promotion represents a “huge honour and privilege”. “I am very fortunate to have played and achieved success with this club, my home club, at the top level,” he said. “Now I look forward to leading the next generation of Munster players to future success in the red jersey.” Current forwards coach Foley has signed a two-year deal to succeed New Zealander Penney at Thomond Park, who will take up a coaching role in Japan in the summer. Former Munster and Ireland loose-forward Foley retired in 2008 with 201 club appearances, immediately joining the Limerick province’s backroom staff. Press Association
Greece is making headlines again, but this time it’s not about its questionable economy. With the travel industry seeing a recent spike in demand for Greek holidays among UK travellers, National Geographic Traveller (UK) has featured Greece on its April cover with the title: ‘A Modern Classic. Greece: a creative renaissance’. Within the edition artists, musicians, chefs, and entrepreneurs are featured, giving readers an insight into how the crisis has created the opportunity for some to turn traditions on their head in a bid to pursue their dreams.“Not only are UK tour operators reporting that bookings to Greece are significantly up for 2017, but it seems the country is also in the midst of a creative bloom,” said National Geographic Traveller (UK) deputy editor, Glen Mutel. “Our cover story shines a light on some of the people who have contributed to this, from graffiti artist Cacao Rocks – who appears alongside his work on our eye-catching cover – to sculptor Stathis Alexopoulos.”The feature was put together by contributor John Malathronas, who said that it became very clear through his research that “Greeks are proud of their ancestry”, even now in darker and more challenging times.“The resourceful way they’re coping with the financial crisis demonstrates an ingenuity and creativity equal to any they’ve exhibited in times of calamity throughout the 30-odd centuries of their history,” Mr Malathronas said.Among the UK operators seeing a surge in the number of travellers venturing to Greece are Kuoni, who reported a 30 per cent year-on-year increase in bookings, while Thomas Cook has seen a 40 per cent rise and it’s not just to the popular islands, but the mainland destinations also. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram
Today’s guest post is from Eric Carlson. Carlson is a Shanghai-based partner of Covington & Burling LLP. He specializes in anti-corruption compliance and internal investigations, with a particular focus on China and other regions of Asia. He speaks Mandarin and Cantonese and can be contacted here.*****In recent years, some 17 settled FCPA enforcement actions involved, in whole or in part, allegations of improper travel benefits to Chinese citizens, often involving leisure travel to the United States.This post outlines travel restrictions imposed by the Chinese government on its citizens and how companies may inadvertently facilitate leisure travel through visa invitation letters.Until relatively recently, the Chinese government imposed significant restrictions on Chinese citizens to travel outside of mainland China, including special permissions, health checks, and proof of large cash deposits in a Chinese bank to ensure that the person would return to China. In recent years, those restrictions have relaxed significantly for private citizens. (Many applicants must still return to their hometowns where their household registrations (户口) are located to apply for and renew passports and travel passes for Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan.)For “state functionaries” (国家工作人员 i.e., most government officials, certain senior officers at state-owned enterprises, and certain private personnel serving on government-organized or government-affiliated committees or foundations), the restrictions have been tightened in recent years. This tightening stems from concerns about (1) misuse of public funds for leisure travel, (2) corrupt officials fleeing China with their ill-gotten gains, and (3) national security (i.e., officials with classified information leaving China). While state functionaries typically have a personal passport and an official passport, such state functionaries must obtain preapproval from their agencies in almost all cases, regardless if the travel is for official business (因公出国) or personal (因私出国).Private Chinese citizens traveling to the United States on business often request the hosting US company to issue a visa invitation letter to support a non-immigrant visa for business or tourism (B-1/B-2). While this letter is generally not a formal requirement, it is often recommended to be included as a supporting document in the visa application package submitted to the US embassy or consulate.The visiting Chinese citizen will often request a hosting US company to issue such a visa invitation letter on company letterhead. We have advised our clients on a few different factual scenarios:The Chinese citizen is traveling to the United States for business and plans to visit the US company, and actually does visit the company during the period described in the letter. The Chinese citizen is traveling to the United States for business or leisure travel and does not actually plan to visit the US company, but asks for the corporate invitation letter as a “favor.”We have seen variations of the scenario above in requests to issue invitation letters for accompanying spouses and friends.While the text of the FCPA, FCPA enforcement actions, and DOJ/SEC guidance do not resolve the question whether a visa invitation is itself “anything of value” under the FCPA, one can imagine the potential compliance risks — real and optical — posed by some of the scenarios above. Accordingly, companies who receive requests for visa invitation letters should consider putting in place processes for the review and approval of such requests.—————————- Qualcomm (2016), PTC (2016), SciClone (2016), BMS (2015), BHP Billiton (2015), Avon (2014), Bruker (2014), Pfizer (2012), Biomet (2012), IBM (2012), Alliance One (2010), Daimler (2010), UTStarcom (2009), Avery Dennison (2009), Control Components (2009), Siemens (2008), and Lucent (2007). The Chinese citizen is traveling to the United States for business and plans to visit the US company, but also plans to visit other areas in the United States for business or leisure for periods outside the visit to the US company. (For example, the visitor plans to visit the US company in Houston only on March 21, but wants the invitation letter written to cover March 20-29, as the visitor wants also to visit New York and Los Angeles.) Matters can be further complicated if the visitor decides to cancel the trip to the US company’s offices after the visa letter is received.