Intelligence

HSBC CEO Steps Down

HSBC CEO Steps Down: HSBC’s top dog is out. The international bank said goodbye to its CEO John Flint after just 18 months, according to the Wall Street Journal. Despite his short tenure as chief executive, Flint has worked for the organization for over three decades.

The switch stems from HSBC responding to global pressures that are changing its perspective on the markets. There are currently trade disputes between two superpowers, the United States and China, as well as the economic uncertainty surrounding Britain’s pending exit from the European Union. The bank also stated that it would be slashing thousands of jobs and cutting back on spending, as well.

Cash Is No Longer King: Human beings have used cash for thousands of years, but that hasn’t stopped the digital payment sector from growing significantly, especially over the past decade. The phenomenon has been particularly visible in China, writes The Economist, where digital payments rose from 4 percent of all payments in 2012 to 34 percent of all payments in 2017.

There are many various countries that are following their own timeline, but it seems clear that cash will eventually die off. More people than ever are using smartphones, credit cards, and the rise of cryptocurrency certainly hasn’t helped cash stay relevant. Of course, digital payments pose their own challenges.

Is Always Growing A Bad Thing?: A growing economy is never considered “bad.” However, there’s a new movement that argues growth doesn’t always equate to success, according to Inequality.org. This movement includes a number of activists and academics that believe that we should be working to downscale the economy rather than continue perpetuating a “cycle of consumption and production.” They call themselves “degrowthers”

Countries often use Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as a metric, and it counts even negative incidents, such as theft, into the subsequent number. Degrowtherists believe that instead of working towards producing a certain number, we should look closer at the quality of life and social impact in these countries. Degrowtherists also believe that we should put more effort into preserving the environment and the well-being of society as a whole.

MBA Students Gain Real-Life Experience: The need for real-world experience in the classroom continues to grow, and MBA programs are catching on. According to the FT, a handful of business schools are offering investment management experience by actually opening by student-managed funds. Some of the schools that offer this option are among some of the most well-known schools in the world, including London Business School, Stanford, and IESE, which is based in Spain.

A large percentage of the student-managed funds are more focused on social impact than other investment funds. Many universities are divesting in their fossil-fuel positions in order to invest in more sustainable companies.

A Day in the Vested Life — UK Edition: One of our newest UK team members, Millie Graham, gives readers a look into her busy but exciting life as a senior account executive in our London office in her blog. Hint: it involves lots of caffeine.