Solid Performance in Asia Contributes to Ageas’ Growth

HONG KONG, Aug. 7, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Ageas Announces 6 month results 2014 (Note 1)  Asia Financial Highlights

Ageas posts solid first half insurance results

  • Net profit of insurance operations was EUR 340 million
  •  Group inflows (at 100%) up 10% to EUR 13.8 billion, largely driven by Life inflows in Asia (+15%) and Continental Europe (+24%)
  • Group net profit of EUR 31 million
  • Insurance solvency ratio at 208%; Group solvency ratio at 203%.   General Account net cash position at EUR 1.6 billion (vs. EUR 1.9 billion at the end of 2013)

Strong Life new business growth while delivering good profit in Asia

  • Ageas Asia’s net profit at EUR 78 million vs. EUR 66 million (+19%) of which EUR 16 million originated from its Hong Kong operations
  • Asia’s inflows at EUR 6.7 billion vs. EUR 5.9 billion (+14%)
    • Mainland China’s inflows increased 20% to EUR 4.8 billion, with new business premiums up 19% to EUR 2.7 billion. The bank channel and the agency channel both contributed to this growth.
    • Thailand’s Life inflows were up 15% to EUR 884 million. Life new business premiums were up 24% to EUR 434 million. Non-Life inflows were up 5% to EUR 110 million across all lines of business.
    • Malaysia’s life inflows amounted to EUR 274 million. Non-Life premiums were EUR 301 million.
    • Hong Kong’s inflows increased 5% to EUR 227 million.
    • India’s inflows were EUR 50 million.
  • Strong solvency in Asia (including non-consolidated operations) at 244%

Announcing the 6 month results 2014, Gary Crist, Chief Executive Officer of Ageas Asia commented:

“We have solid contributions from all countries within the region especially from Mainland China. Inflows were up 15% to EUR 6.3 billion, with non-consolidated partnerships taken at 100%. While the second quarter showed good growth, Ageas benefited from an especially strong first quarter. Higher new business sales mostly originated from Mainland China and Thailand resulting from successful sales campaigns and continued channel development, including a strong increase in the number of agents. Renewal premiums were again up significantly (+17%) to EUR 2.8 billion benefiting from strong sales last year and continued good persistency across all entities.”

Please visit http://www.ageas.com for full details of the press release.  

Note:

1. All 6 month 2014 data are compared to the 6 month 2013 figures unless otherwise stated.

Shiv Nadar Receives the AIMA Corporate Citizen Award 2014

NEW DELHI, Aug. 7, 2014 /PRNewswire/ —

– Recognized for his philanthropic endeavours in leadership development in India

The All India Management Association, an apex body of professional management in India set up in 1957, awarded the AIMA Corporate Citizen Award 2014 to Shiv Nadar, Founder & Chairman, HCL and Shiv Nadar Foundation, for his unparalleled efforts in philanthropy.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140806/700689)

Accepting the award, Shiv Nadar said, “This is a great honor and I thank AIMA for this recognition. Education is a key determinant of development while inclusive education goes a step further to enable the progress and regeneration of communities. The Shiv Nadar Foundation would continue to harness the power of inclusive education to bridge the urban-rural divide and drive exponential social transformation in India by creating leaders from every socio-economic segment.”

Speaking on the occasion, Sanjiv Goenka, Chairman of the Jury, AIMA Managing India Awards 2014 & Chairman, RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group said, “I congratulate Shiv Nadar for the award and for his truly exemplary work in institution building and education. His vision is an inspiration and worthy of emulation and admiration. Under his guidance, HCL and the Shiv Nadar Foundation have established high benchmarks with regards to best business practices and inclusive leadership development.”

Shiv Nadar, acknowledged as visionary in modern computing and technology in India, founded HCL in 1976 as one of India’s original IT garage start-ups. Currently, HCL comprises three companies in IndiaHCL Technologies, HCL Infosystems and HCL Healthcare with annual revenues of US$ 6.5 billion and over 95,000 professionals from diverse nationalities operating across 31 countries including over 500 points of presence in India.

In 1994, he established the Shiv Nadar Foundation, a private philanthropic organization. A significant driver of social change and transformational education, the Foundation has set up landmark institutions in India spanning the entire education spectrum, from universities and colleges to K-12 schools. These include the SSN Institutions, India’s top ranked engineering college; the Shiv Nadar University, a multidisciplinary university with strong research orientation and Vidya Gyan, a radical experiment in leadership development through free residential education to meritorious rural poor children. The Foundation has invested Rs 2,946 crore till March 2014 as per audited accounts, and is on course to spend Rs 3000 crore committed in 2013 over the next 5 years.

For more information please click here

Bhaswati Chakravorty
[email protected]
+91-0120-2535071

Blackstone and Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division Complete Acquisition of Ipreo

NEW YORK, Aug. 7, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Ipreo Holdings LLC (“Ipreo”), a leading global provider of market intelligence and workflow solutions to capital markets and corporate professionals, announced the completion of its acquisition by private equity funds managed by Blackstone (NYSE: BX) and by the Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division (“Goldman Sachs”) (together, the “Sponsors”). The Sponsors have acquired the business from affiliates of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P. (“KKR”). Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“Ipreo is an extraordinary company with tremendous potential for growth,” said Martin Brand, Senior Managing Director of Blackstone. “We are pleased to partner alongside management and Goldman Sachs to position Ipreo for continued innovation and success.”

“Ipreo has a long track-record of impressive performance across all the markets it serves. We are excited to help the company achieve new levels of market leadership, alongside our new partners,” said Sumit Rajpal, Global Head of Financial Services Investing for the Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division.

Ipreo is a leading global provider of market intelligence, new issuance software, and investor communication tools to investment banks and public companies. It is the only provider of capital markets solutions across the equity, fixed income, municipal, and syndicated loan markets. Ipreo’s extensive suite of corporate investor relations services provides corporate clients with unparalleled cross-asset class shareholder intelligence and analytics. Ipreo is especially known for its Bigdough database, widely recognized as the leading source for institutional contact data and investor profiles, relied upon by capital markets and corporate professionals alike. Ipreo clients include the world’s leading investment banks and hundreds of corporations listed on all the major exchanges around the globe.

“We are very excited to partner with Blackstone and Goldman Sachs in our next phase of development,” said Scott Ganeles, Chief Executive Officer of Ipreo. “The weeks of working together towards closing have only strengthened our view that both firms bring the experience, relationships, and market expertise to support not only our growth as a company but also our ability to bring new and enhanced services to our clients.”

About Ipreo
Ipreo is a global leader in providing market intelligence, data, and technology solutions to all participants in the global capital markets, including sell-side banks, publicly traded companies, and buy-side institutions. From new issuance through ongoing investor management, our unique solutions drive connectivity and efficiency throughout all stages of the capital-raising process. Ipreo has more than 800 employees supporting clients in every major financial center around the world. For more information, please go to www.ipreo.com.

About Blackstone
Blackstone is one of the world’s leading investment and advisory firms. We seek to create positive economic impact and long-term value for our investors, the companies we invest in, the companies we advise and the broader global economy. We do this through the commitment of our extraordinary people and flexible capital. Our asset management businesses include investment vehicles focused on private equity, real estate, hedge fund solutions, non-investment grade credit, secondary funds, and multi asset class exposures falling outside of other funds’ mandates. Blackstone also provides various financial advisory services, including financial and strategic advisory, restructuring and reorganization advisory and fund placement services. Further information is available at www.blackstone.com. Follow Blackstone on Twitter @Blackstone.

About the Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division
The Merchant Banking Division of Goldman Sachs is one of the leading private equity investors in the world, having invested and committed approximately $45 billion of equity capital in over 650 companies globally across its corporate equity investing business. The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. is a leading global investment banking, securities and investment management firm that provides a wide range of financial services to a substantial and diversified client base that includes corporations, financial institutions, governments and high-net-worth individuals. Founded in 1869, the firm is headquartered in New York and maintains offices in all major financial centers around the world. For more information on Goldman Sachs, please visit http://www.gs.com.

Frost & Sullivan: Contact Center Systems See Steady Growth in Latin America despite Emergence of Cloud

SAO PAULO, Aug. 7, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — The Latin American contact systems market is expected to experience tempered growth as several companies transfer their investments to hosted and cloud solutions. However, the relevant quantity of existing legacy infrastructure in large enterprises will offer significant market opportunities for contact center system vendors in the region.

Maiara Munhoz, ICT Industry Analyst, Frost & Sullivan.

Maiara Munhoz, ICT Industry Analyst, Frost & Sullivan.

Photo – http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140806/134075

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, Latin American Contact Center Systems Market 2014, finds that the market earned revenues of $260.4 million in 2013 and estimates this to reach $380.6 million in 2018. The study covers inbound contact routing, interactive voice response (IVR) and voice portal, outbound dialer, quality monitoring, workforce management, and contact center analytic systems.

The Latin American market for contact center systems will become intensely competitive as small and medium companies shift their focus to the cloud. Cloud-based models not only provide a lower total cost of ownership than premises-based solutions, but also simplify cost management and payment.

“Nevertheless, most of larger companies in the region continue to own and control legacy infrastructure and the applications provided by on-premise models, as they remain skeptical about the information security and reliability of cloud-based solutions,” said Frost & Sullivan Information and Communication Technologies Industry Analyst Maiara Paula Munhoz. “This will present immense growth potential for vendors, especially in the IVR and contact center analytics segments.”

The integration of new channels and the addition of omni-channel strategies such as social media and mobility will further drive enterprise investment in contact center systems. With verticals such as telecommunications, healthcare, utilities and energy, retail and consumer goods, and insurance likely to increase in size, vendors must widen their portfolio to cater to various demands.

“The Argentinean and Chilean markets in particular, will witness a spurt in demand, while Brazil will present slower growth,” observed Munhoz. “Overall, the Latin American market will remain highly concentrated throughout the forecast period; the 66.2 percent of the total market accounted for by the top five participants in 2013 will see minimal change.”

If you are interested in more information on this study, please send an e-mail to Francesca Valente, Corporate Communications, at [email protected].

Latin American Contact Center Systems Market 2014 is part of the Contact Centers & CRM (http://www.contactcenter.frost.com) Growth Partnership Service program. Frost & Sullivan’s related studies include: EMEA Contact Center Systems Market, North American Hosted Contact Center Market, Brazilian BPO and Contact Center Outsourcing Services Market 2014, and Argentine and Chilean Contact Center Outsourcing Services Markets. All studies included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.

About Frost & Sullivan

Frost & Sullivan, the Growth Partnership Company, works in collaboration with clients to leverage visionary innovation that addresses the global challenges and related growth opportunities that will make or break today’s market participants.

Our “Growth Partnership” supports clients by addressing these opportunities and incorporating two key elements driving visionary innovation: The Integrated Value Proposition and The Partnership Infrastructure.

  • The Integrated Value Proposition provides support to our clients throughout all phases of their journey to visionary innovation including: research, analysis, strategy, vision, innovation and implementation.
  • The Partnership Infrastructure is entirely unique as it constructs the foundation upon which visionary innovation becomes possible. This includes our 360 degree research, comprehensive industry coverage, career best practices as well as our global footprint of more than 40 offices.

For more than 50 years, we have been developing growth strategies for the global 1000, emerging businesses, the public sector and the investment community. Is your organization prepared for the next profound wave of industry convergence, disruptive technologies, increasing competitive intensity, Mega Trends, breakthrough best practices, changing customer dynamics and emerging economies?

Contact Us:     Start the discussion

Join Us:           Join our community

Subscribe:       Newsletter on “the next big thing”

Register:         Gain access to visionary innovation

Latin American Contact Center Systems Market 2014
NDED-76

Contact:
Francesca Valente
Corporate Communications – Latin America
P: +54 11 4777 5300
F: +54 11 4777 5300
E: [email protected]

http://www.frost.com

Brand Differentiation to Revolutionise Global Luxury Car Market by 2020, Finds Frost & Sullivan

– As most next-generation innovations become standard, luxury OEMs focus on smart mobility technologies to set their products apart

LONDON, Aug. 6, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in the increasingly competitive global luxury car market are exploring new means of differentiating and positioning their brand in a bid to gain an edge over the competition. Luxury automotive OEMs are also adapting to various emerging social as well as technology trends to keep pace with consumer demand. For instance, smaller, fuel-efficient luxury cars are gaining popularity since size is no longer the key definition of a luxury vehicle.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, Future of the Global Luxury Vehicle Market, finds that compact sedans, SUVs and crossovers will be the next big thing as the line between luxury and premium vehicles blurs. More mass market OEMs are launching luxury models while traditional luxury OEMs are stretching downward by offering models in smaller segments. Often these models are available at a lower price point. The need to reduce product development costs has also led to increased platform sharing between mass and luxury cars.

“OEMs have to strike a fine balance while differentiating between volume and luxury models,” says Frost & Sullivan Automotive and Transportation Research Analyst Shwetha Surender. “While brand perception, price and buyer’s experience remain important; cutting edge technology under the hood, improved connectivity inside the car, and bold aerodynamic design are factors that give a luxury car something extra that elevates and sets it apart from the crowd.”

One differentiation strategy is to offer value-added features such as 3-D video display graphics and collision-avoidance systems as standard fitment in luxury models. Connectivity and autonomous driving too are evolving into key parameters by which a brand will be judged in the future.

“Entry level luxury cars that offer unparalleled smart mobility technologies and connected services will make inroads into the global market, especially since Gen X and Y are expected to account for a majority of the luxury sales over the next few years,” notes Surender. “Luxury makers like Daimler and BMW are introducing the CLA sedan and 3 series models at around $30,000 in anticipation of this trend.”

Further, luxury OEMs are investing in data mining and analytics to enable a seamless transition from online to offline tools and deliver a unique digital brand experience for customers in the luxury vehicle domain.

If you are interested in more information on this study, please send an e-mail to Julian Borchert, Corporate Communications, at [email protected].

Future of the Global Luxury Vehicle Market is part of the Automotive & Transportation (http://www.automotive.frost.com) Growth Partnership Service program. The study introduces market segments that have developed to meet changing customer needs and analyses branding and new market channel strategies adopted by luxury OEMs. It discusses automotive Mega Trends and their impact on the market while highlighting key technology trends and important launches expected. Other Frost & Sullivan studies available under this subscription include: Key Focus Areas for Driveline Systems in Europe and North America, North American Advanced Features Market and Optional/Standard Strategy of OEMs, In-vehicle Advertising in the North American Automotive Infotainment Market, and Potential of the Luxury Vehicle Market in India. All studies included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.

About Frost & Sullivan
Frost & Sullivan, the Growth Partnership Company, works in collaboration with clients to leverage visionary innovation that addresses the global challenges and related growth opportunities that will make or break today’s market participants.

Our “Growth Partnership” supports clients by addressing these opportunities and incorporating two key elements driving visionary innovation: The Integrated Value Proposition and The Partnership Infrastructure.

  • The Integrated Value Proposition provides support to our clients throughout all phases of their journey to visionary innovation including: research, analysis, strategy, vision, innovation and implementation.
  • The Partnership Infrastructure is entirely unique as it constructs the foundation upon which visionary innovation becomes possible. This includes our 360 degree research, comprehensive industry coverage, career best practices as well as our global footprint of more than 40 offices.

For more than 50 years, we have been developing growth strategies for the global 1000, emerging businesses, the public sector and the investment community. Is your organisation prepared for the next profound wave of industry convergence, disruptive technologies, increasing competitive intensity, Mega Trends, breakthrough best practices, changing customer dynamics and emerging economies?

Contact Us:     Start the discussion 

Join Us:           Join our community 

Subscribe:       Newsletter on “the next big thing” 

Register:         Gain access to visionary innovation

Future of the Global Luxury Vehicle Market
M975-18

Contact:
Julian Borchert
Corporate Communications – Europe
P: +49-(0)-69-770-33-43
E: [email protected]
http://www.frost.com

Twitter@FS_Automotive, @FrostSullivanDE
Facebook
FrostandSullivan
LinkedIn
: Frost & Sullivans Automobilforum  Future of Mobility

EndNote Collaborates with Science Hack Day to Bring Global Event to Madagascar

ANTANANARIVO, Madagascar, Aug. 6, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Thomson Reuters EndNote, the leading software for researchers, librarians and students to manage bibliographies, citations and references, today announced a collaboration with Science Hack Day  — a global grassroots movement aimed at empowering scientific innovation to bring the event to Africa. The continent’s first-ever Science Hack Day will be held in Antananarivo, Madagascar, August 9-10 at Habaka, a local innovation hub and business start-up incubator dedicated to advancing the country’s efforts in technology through collaboration.

Science Hack Day is a global grassroots movement aimed at empowering scientific innovation with events joining scientists, engineers, programmers and designers to work together in the same physical space to nurture new scientific concepts. Since its launch in 2010, more than 30 Science Hack Days have been held in over a dozen countries. The event is designed to connect individuals from a variety of disciplines and backgrounds, all sharing a passion for science, to work together to develop new scientific solutions or “hacks.” During each event, groups compete in a friendly competition to build the best prototype based on a concept of their choice within 48 consecutive hours.

Madagascar’s growing community of scientific and technological innovators have been invited to attend the event in Antananarivo to work together to create and build upon new ideas or hacks. Participants will then have the opportunity to test their hacks in a friendly competition.

“Science Hack Day’s mission to empower innovation aligns closely with the mission of Madagascar’s science and tech community,” said Andriankoto Harinjaka Ratozamanana, organizer of Science Hack Day Antananarivo and Science Hack Day Ambassador. “We look forward to a successful event full of creative collaboration that seeks to solve some of Africa’s scientific problems.”

“Science Hack Day is inherently about mashing up ideas, mediums, industries and people to create spark for future ideas, collaborations and inspirations. Particle physicists team up with designers, marketers join forces with open source rocket scientists, writers collaborate with molecular biologists and developers partner with school kids,” said Science Hack Day Global Director, Ariel Waldman. “Science should be disruptively accessible. Science Hack Day empowers people from a variety of backgrounds to explore, participate in and build new ways of interacting with and contributing to science.”

Science Hack Days have been primarily fueled by volunteers and regional sponsorships. As the first global sponsor, EndNote is helping the movement further its goal of making science more accessible by providing funding and marketing support to increase awareness, enhance current events and spread the movement to new cities.

Science Hack Days planned for the remainder of 2014:  

“We’re happy to be continuing our work with Science Hack Day to bring Africa’s first event to Madagascar, a country that is positioning itself as future leader in scientific and technological innovation,” said Amanda Addis, general manager, Thomson Reuters EndNote. “Science Hack Day is a fun and energetic event that’s designed to nurture imagination and inspire creativity. We work with intelligent information on a daily basis and see what kinds of astonishing things can happen when people from varied disciplines are able to collaborate, brainstorm and build.”

EndNote is utilized by more than 1,100 global academic institutions and R&D departments and two million scientists, researchers and students worldwide. It is committed to keeping its user community in step with the constantly evolving world of scientific research by providing advanced tools for managing and creating research effectively and efficiently. EndNote is integrated with other industry-leading sources from Thomson Reuters, including the Web of ScienceSM and ScholarOne Manuscripts™  peer-review systems and company research management and profiling tools.

Learn more about Science Hack Day and EndNote. Follow EndNote on Twitter for updates on Science Hack Day, including interviews with the winners: https://twitter.com/EndNoteNews or online http://endnote.com/sciencehackday. Science Hack Day Antananarivo can be followed on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SHDTana and at hashtag #SciHackMada.

To organize a Science Hack Day in your city visit http://sciencehackday.org or connect via Twitter: http://twitter.com/sciencehackday.

Thomson Reuters

Thomson Reuters is the world’s leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals. We combine industry expertise with innovative technology to deliver critical information to leading decision makers in the financial and risk, legal, tax and accounting, intellectual property and science and media markets, powered by the world’s most trusted news organization. For more information, go to www.thomsonreuters.com.

CONTACT:
Jennifer Breen
[email protected] 
+1-215-823-1791

Molly Malone
[email protected] 
+1-215-823-3702

reQall Aims to Make Driving Safer With InCar Intelligent Messaging Assistant; Keeps You In Touch and Your Hands on the Wheel

— reqallable InCar App for Android Manages Email and Text; Delivers Important Messages While Driving

MOFFETT FIELD, Calif., Aug. 6, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — reQall (www.reqall.com), the award-winning developer of proactive intelligent assistant technologies, today introduces reqallable InCar (beta), the first context-aware app to intuitively decrease phone-related text and email distractions while driving. The new app works by detecting a user’s Bluetooth connection and launching the phone into reqallable InCar mode, which prompts the handset to acknowledge notifications only from priority contacts, highlight and read aloud critical details within incoming emails and texts, and enable voice activated replies for safer, smarter in-car phone use.

Video – http://youtu.be/eI9VllkyHV8
Logo – http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140224/SF70265LOGO

“reqallable InCar is an intelligent assistant built from the ground up to transform messaging for drivers by helping your Android phone understand when it should—and should not—interrupt you,” said Rao Machiraju, co-founder and CEO of reQall. “The app calibrates the phone to work as if purpose-built for driving: screening contacts, highlighting key message details for clear, explicit communication, and leveraging Bluetooth audio for hands-free and car-smart message commands and replies.”  

Available for Android, reqallable InCar hooks into the phone’s contacts, calendar and user’s home and work locations to contextually assign “priority” status to incoming messages. When a Bluetooth connection is detected, reqallable InCar launches and quickly identifies whether a message is VIP status – like from a spouse or colleague at work – while less critical emails and texts are held back until you have reached your destination, or the Bluetooth connection ends.

For texts or emails messages deemed a priority, reqallable InCar distills the content to present only the most salient details, delivering requests and action items via audio. Users can reply to messages by voice, with responses “read” back to the driver to insure accuracy. Users can also listen, and respond to, awaiting messages and reach out to VIP contacts with the quick touch of a single button.

A new industry report by Parks Associates[1] revealed that connected car features are rapidly gaining consumer acceptance. Over 75% of U.S. vehicle owners with at least one connected car feature indicate these services will influence their next vehicle purchase, and over 50% rated connected services as “very important” in guiding their new vehicle purchase, according to Connected Cars: Revenue Opportunities.

“Digital distractions present a real road safety issue, which will only increase as technology provides new ways to communicate while we drive,” added Sandy Pentland, Professor, MIT Medialab and reQall’s Strategic Product Advisor. “Reqallable InCar ushers in a new era of context-sensitive, intelligent messaging for the car—one that uses your personal smartphone to keep distractions to a minimum, no matter what car you’re in. Only messages that are important and contain actionable content merit attention surface, and drivers can respond by voice—to keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.”

reqallable InCar comes on the heels of Google Glass and smartwatch app launches by reQall, which introduced reqallable’s virtual assistant technology for Google Glass in June, the Toq smartwatch in May, the Pebble smartwatch in March, the Samsung Gear in February and the Sony Smartwatch in January. New reQall apps for other devices and environments will be released in the coming months.

reqallable InCar beta can be downloaded for free from Google Play. More information can be found at www.reqallable.com.

About reQall
Recognized as one of the top 25 ideas from MIT Labs over the past 25 years, reQall is the award-winning developer of context-aware, proactive and intelligent assistant applications for wearable and mobile devices. reQall is a venture-backed company based in NASA’s Silicon Valley research park.

[1] Connected Car: Revenue Opportunities features research and analysis on market trends, big data analytics, UBI, emergency assistance, stolen vehicle recovery, location-based services, infotainment, Wi-Fi hotspots, and safe-driving technologies, The report is available for sale at www.parksassociates.com