Features

Survey Results: Are we all wrong about the screen addicted Gen Z?

There is no lack of research, opinions and media coverage of the habits and attitudes of Millennials – otherwise known as Generation Y (typically defined as being born between 1980 and 1994).

Businesses have barely figured out how to market to and manage them. Now, they are confronted with a new generation of young people, Generation Z (typically defined as being born between 1995 and 2009), that are entering the consumer world and, imminently, the workplace.

Digital is in their DNA: These young people have already been labelled as screen addicts with the attention span of a grasshopper that are keen to save the world and fix the environmental mistakes of earlier generations.

But is this who they are and what they want?

We decided to ask them…

Corporate Clout 2013: Time for Responsible Capitalism

Of the world’s 100 largest economic entities in 2012, 40 (40%) are corporations, the same percentage as in 2011 but down 2% since 2010 (42%).  If you look at the top 150 economic entities in 2012, the proportion of corporations is 58%, slightly down from 2011 (58.7%) but at the same level as in 2010 (58%).

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Executive Summary

Of the world's 100 largest economic entities in 2012, 40 (40%) are corporations, the same percentage as in 2011 but down 2% since 2010 (42%).  If you look at the top 150 economic entities in 2012, the proportion of corporations is 58%, slightly down from 2011 (58.7%) but at the same level as in 2010 (58%).

Since we started our analysis in 2009, Wal-Mart has consistently been the largest corporate economic entity in the world. However, in 2012, Wal-Mart was overtaken by both Royal Dutch Shell (largest) and Exxon (second largest) leaving it in third place. Royal Dutch Shell recorded 2012 revenues that exceeded the GDPs of 171 countries making it the 26th largest economic entity in the world. It ranks ahead of Argentina and Taiwan, despite employing only 90,000 people. The biggest industry group in terms of size remains the energy majors, buoyed by energy price increases over 2012, with revenues of the five largest players increasing between 25% and 46% over the year.  Combined, the revenues of these five companies (Royal Dutch Shell, ExxonMobil, BP, Sinopec and China National Petroleum) were the equivalent of 2.9% of global GDP in 2012.

Social media and Brand Reputation in the Financial Services Sector

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by Jorge Yui 

Executive Summary

Ignoring the power of online word-of-mouth, or word-of-mouse as I like to call it, is no longer an option in today’s interconnected world.  Nor is it reflective of what professionals in the financial services industry are being asked to deliver by their C-Suites post 2008.  The ability of consumers to influence corporate behavior and impact business planning in unanticipated and, at times, unwelcome ways has grown exponentially.  One ‘entertaining’ complaint from an irate customer going viral can escalate into a full-blown crisis in less than 24 hours.  In this environment, understanding what customers feel, think and say about your company – in real time – is ever more critical.

The Influence Landscape: The Evolving Power of Shapers & Influencers

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Type the word “influence” into Google and it returns 142 million results.  What is going on?  The last two decades have seen major changes in the world which have reshaped the influence landscape – with power shifting away from position and traditional measures of status towards a much more fluid, fickle and democratic power structure.  Today it is about the power of “me” and “we” more than the power of “they.”  In this article we explore the emerging influence landscape and some of its potential implications.

The Flourishing Microfinance Market: Past, Present and Future A conversation with Fabio Sofia, Head of Business Development, and John Staehli, Head of Marketing and Communication, Symbiotics

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Symbiotics company profile map. Source: Symbiotics.

March 2015

The World Bank estimates that half of the world's adult population – more than 2.5 billion people – does not have an account at a formal financial institution. Thanks to the rapid development of technology, today any point of sale can act as a bank and many people have since gained access to credit and banking services. However, with over one billion people still living on less than US$ 1.25 a day the role of microfinance and impact investment has been growing in importance in the past ten years. With sustainability being an increasing imperative for businesses and investors, the potential to make a positive impact on social and economic development is set to fuel continued rapid growth in the microfinance sector. To understand the dynamics of this important financial sector, we met with Symbiotics, one of the largest microfinance investment institutions with operations worldwide, to see what has changed since they launched their microfinance activities ten years ago – and what they expect ahead.