The PRWIRE Press Releases https:// 2020-07-09T04:04:17Z Australian Startup Secures Multi-Million Dollar Investment & Serial Entrepreneur Ian Buddery as Non-Exec Director. 2020-07-09T04:04:17Z australian-startup-secures-multi-million-dollar-investment-amp-serial-entrepreneur-ian-buddery-as-non-exec-director We are thrilled to let you know that 6clicks, Australia’s leading RegTech startup, has raised $2.2M AUD from a consortium of Australian business leaders and appointed Ian Buddery as a Non-Executive Director. 6clicks offers a next generation Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) platform that revolutionises the way organisations mature their cyber security, data privacy, risk management, and compliance capabilities. Together, with a suite of products including a curated and customisable content marketplace, white-label capability for advisors and mobile app “6clicks Risk Review for Teams”, companies can now arm themselves with breakthrough abilities to navigate the complex and ever-evolving regulatory environments at low cost. This funding now brings the total investment in 6clicks to $3 Million since launching in 2019, which will be used to scale operations and expand its customer base in line with its high growth potential. We are also pleased to announce that Ian Buddery, a successful early-stage-to-exit software entrepreneur, has joined our Board of Directors. Mr Buddery, who is also a significant investor in 6clicks said, ‘I am proud to join this exciting and innovative company, operating in one of the fastest growth sectors worldwide. The successful investment round gives us access to a huge market opportunity, with a highly qualified and experienced team. 6clicks' innovative technology and unique business model represents the first scalable digital solution in a sector that is ripe for disruption’. 6clicks CEO and co-founder Anthony Stevens says, ‘These important steps will help us to meet the phenomenal demand for our products in the market. Having investors and advisors of this stature on board gives us access to a wealth of expertise in strategy, operations and innovation, that will prove invaluable as 6clicks enters the next stage of growth’. We are pumped here in the office. Stay tuned for more good news! The (rapidly growing) 6clicks global community.   Media Enquiries: Stephen Walter. Head of Marketing & PR - stephen@6clicks.io Automic Group and Australian FinTech partner to provide innovative technology and professional services to the Fintech industry 2020-07-09T04:03:28Z automic-group-and-australian-fintech-partner-to-provide-innovative-technology-and-professional-services-to-the-fintech-industry Automic Group, Australia’s leading professional services provider for listed and unlisted entities, and Australian FinTech, Australia’s leading resource for financial technology news and information, have partnered for the betterment of the Fintech industry. “We have been searching for the perfect company to partner with that is the most beneficial for the Australian Fintech community,” said Australian FinTech CEO Cameron Dart. “When we saw that Automic Group offers integrated technology solutions – combined with Legal, Registry, Company Secretarial, Governance, Finance and Insurance services – we knew they were the perfect match. “From pre-launch, start-ups and scale-ups, to ASX-listed entities and multi-nationals, the products and services that Automic Group provide are not only wanted, they’re needed by industry players,” Dart added. Founded in 2012, Automic Group has grown rapidly and is now the third largest share registry provider in Australia. Managing Director Paul Williams believes that Automic’s advantage is a strong technology-focus, deep industry experience and committed staff with an absolute focus on delivering quality solutions that exceed client expectations. Their services are designed to meet the needs of all Fintechs, no matter the size. Williams said, “Automic Group delivers innovative technology and integrated professional services to help businesses grow and succeed. So this is a great opportunity for us to offer our products and services to Fintechs and to help these companies grow, scale and assist with their ongoing needs.” “With Australian FinTech being at the forefront of Fintech in Australia, this is a great partnership to service the ever-growing industry,” Williams added. To find out more about the Automic advantage visit – automicgroup.com.au ASI Solutions marks 35 years in business 2020-07-07T22:14:46Z asi-solutions-marks-35-years-in-business Sydney, Wednesday 8 July 2020  ASI Solutions provides innovative technology solutions to mid-market Australian private and public sector organisations. They solve real-world business issues with a technology portfolio from industry-leading vendors, coupled with their expertise and services. ASI’s portfolio spans big data, cloud services, mobility, digital transformation, security and disaster recovery. With a national footprint, ASI helps organisations from metro to regional Australia. But perhaps the most impressive thing about ASI, especially as an operator in the demanding technology sector, is that they are 35 years old and still going from strength to strength.  The 2020 financial year saw ASI pass $90m in revenue, finalise two acquisitions that puts the group over the $120m mark, move into New Zealand, streamline its operations and successfully navigate a global pandemic.   ACQUISITIONS ASI has expanded its expertise and technology offering through two exciting acquisitions. Both of these businesses have brought sensational people and skill sets into the ASI family.     • BEArena is a specialist provider of virtual infrastructure, public and hybrid cloud solutions, managed services, and back-up and disaster recovery platforms. The acquisition has enabled ASI to grow its cloud services portfolio and adds a strong base of customers in New Zealand.    • Forward IT is a Canberra based provider of hardware, software and managed services. Their knowledge of the Canberra market, particularly Government, strengthens ASI’s expertise in this important segment.     DELIVERING VALUE TO THE MID-MARKET Mid-market businesses face a range of challenges. They are often in a highly competitive environment, always needing to stay one step ahead of their rivals. In 2020, these challenges were heightened by the COVID-19 pandemic. This drove an unprecedented increase in demand for some, whilst for others it triggered the need to pivot.  being a true partner, aligning itself with their aspirations. Through ASI’s own commitment to sound social and environmental practices, they help their mid-market clients deliver theirs.  PEOPLE AND VALUES ASI’s staff are at the heart of delivering customer value and they have continued to invest significantly in their people. During the COVID-19 lockdown, they supported staff to transition (in just one week) to a fully remote workplace. They implemented a staff engagement program to ensure every team member was supported with constant communication, collaboration and feedback. They have negotiated the pandemic with zero reduction in headcount and no impact on customer support.    ASI places its values, as ever, at the heart of its business. Clients, partners, vendors and staff alike all value working with an ethical and responsible organisation - everything ASI does is underpinned by its values:    • Dare to be different   • Our word is our bond   • One in, all in   • Do it right the first time   • Family matters THE BOTTOM LINE     The value and success that ASI delivers to its customers is reflected in ASI’s own achievements. Its expansion and growth has seen ASI achieve another year of record financials with consolidated earnings up 40% significantly at $120m. This demonstrates ASI’s desire to exceed clients’ expectations and is a testament to their commitment to customer value. THE YEAR AHEAD The future looks bright for ASI. The 2021 financial year will see it continue to focus on:   • Integrating its two new businesses into the ASI family    • Growing the company’s presence in New Zealand   • Considering options for further acquisitions across Australia including Adelaide, Brisbane, Perth, Melbourne, and exploring the idea of a regional presence ASI’s success has always been founded on its ability to adapt, from PC manufacturer to an end-to-end Solutions Provider. It’s a strategy that sees it going from strength to strength at the grand old age of 35 and, no doubt, well beyond.   ABOUT ASI SOLUTIONS  ASI Solutions has been a provider of innovative and pioneering business technology solutions to Australian private and public sector organisations for over 35 years. We choose innovative technology solutions which are matched to each client¹s unique business needs, taking a solutions oriented approach and working to deliver a clear return on investment. Our global technology offerings and professional implementation model provides greater efficiency and returns for all customers. We make this happen with real insight into the external forces impacting IT environments, and we balance the needs of business to help our customers’ transition to the operating challenges of tomorrow. Paul Timms named Automic Group Chief Customer Officer; Leaves BoardRoom 2020-07-07T05:10:09Z paul-timms-named-automic-group-chief-customer-officer-leaves-boardroom July 7, 2020 - Automic Group has appointed Paul Timms to be its new Chief Customer Officer. He leaves BoardRoom Australia, where he served as Chief Customer Officer since 2018. This is a newly created role for the rapidly growing Automic Group, now the third largest share registry provider in Australia. Automic Group Managing Director Paul Williams said Mr Timms will be an invaluable addition to the senior leadership team. “We are delighted that Paul will be joining the Automic team during an important time in our company’s history, as we seek to become the number one registry provider in Australia,” Williams said. “With over 20 years’ experience in the software and services market and 14 years spent at Boardroom Limited; His expertise will enhance the Automic offering. Paul is also a Certified Blockchain Expert which fits with our long-term technology investment and strategy. “Paul’s role will see him develop strategies, drive innovation, invest in the capability of our people and build on our customer-centric culture to ensure we continue delivering the superior service our clients have come to expect. “Our people are our greatest asset and we believe Paul will be instrumental in helping us continue our exciting growth,” he said. La Trobe Financial receives Australia’s Non-Bank Lender of the Year Award 2020-07-07T02:30:51Z la-trobe-financial-receives-australia-s-non-bank-lender-of-the-year-award-1 Monday, 6 July 2020 – La Trobe Financial announced today that it has been judged Australia’s Non-Bank Lender of the Year in Money magazine’s prestigious 2020 Consumer Finance Awards.  Money magazine considered a number of factors when judging the award, and concluded that La Trobe Financial had scored the highest across the seven core dimensions of product range, business strength, ability to raise lending capital, innovation, corporate transparency, loan quality and customer depth. La Trobe Financial’s Chief Lending Officer Cory Bannister said, “We are delighted to be recognised as Non-Bank Lender of the Year, especially during the past six months of market volatility. We are committed to providing financial solutions for under-served customers and have been doing this since 1952.” “We believe that today, more than ever, the non-bank sector plays an important role in supporting the financial needs of Australians. With this in mind, we remain focused on innovating a number of key finance products to meet gaps in the market,” said Bannister. La Trobe Financial’s David Bleakley Deputy Chief Lending Officer and a veteran of the industry, said he was pleased to receive this important recognition - “With $11 billion in assets under management, we are truly focused on making a difference in people’s lives by helping them achieve financial security. We have a strong and dedicated management team and this recognition is a testament to their hard work.” About La Trobe Financial With A$11 billion of assets under management, La Trobe Financial is one of Australia’s leading diversified wealth managers, specialising in funding and investment solutions. Since 1952, La Trobe Financial has been a proven and trusted investment partner for institutional and retail investors, operating Australia's largest retail Credit Fund with $5 billion in assets under management and 45,000 retail investors. It is 80% owned by Blackstone, the world’s largest alternative asset manager, with more than US$538 billion of assets under management worldwide. La Trobe Financial is regulated by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) and holds the requisite regulatory AFSL and ACL licences to operate and place RMBS issuances.   For further details please visit our website www.latrobefinancial.com.   Media enquires: Cory Bannister, Senior Vice President, Chief Lending Officer +61 403 361 026 Bridget Crowe, Head of Corporate Affairs & Marketing +61 431 319 705 Caterina Nesci, Head of Foundation & Product Marketing +61 422 270 474 New Australian Consumer Comparison Website 2020-07-06T03:11:54Z new-australian-consumer-comparison-website New Australian Consumer Website to Help You Make Important Choices Making important life decisions such as purchasing your first home or getting health insurance can be quite unnerving. With the myriad of information available on the internet, it’s hard to know where to start. Fortunately, a new Australian consumer comparison website is now up and running to assist you. “MakesCents.com.au” maintains a comprehensive panel of different brands to help the consumer review his or her options right then and there, online. Better still, MakesCents is completely independent and not owned by the suppliers it recommends to Aussies. MakesCents.com.au and the Services They Offer Makes Cents can help you decide on the following areas: ·      Compare Life Insurance You need to be prepared for life’s uncertainties. A life insurance guarantees that your beneficiaries will be compensated if anything happens to you. Makes Cents enables you to compare 14 insurers at the same time through their platform. They only collaborate with the best and reliable insurance providers. You’ll be able to sleep at night knowing you’re in good hands. ·      Compare Electricity and Gas Do you feel that you’re shelling out too much money on utilities? Are you tired of getting poor customer service? Perhaps it’s already time to look for other options. Gas and electricity suppliers will always want to do business with you, but they don’t always offer the best deal. Since Makes Cents is 100% independent, you’ll be able to review all deals and make an educated decision.  ·      Compare the best prices for Solar Going solar is a great investment for yourself and for the environment. You will be able to save tons of money in the long run, whilst helping the environment heal by reducing your carbon footprint. Makes Cents has partnered with 20+ licensed suppliers to make sure that you get the best set-up that is suitable for your needs. ·      Compare the best Home Loans Are you planning to buy a new home or perhaps refinance your existing loan? Makes Cents will be able to find a great deal for you, depending on the state of your finances for free. You will also be able to know how much you will save if you switch to a new lender. ·      Compare the best prices for Health Insurance Your savings can be depleted immediately if you fail to prepare for health emergencies. With private health insurance, you can seek treatment from a doctor of your choice. You will be assisted in paying the expenses incurred in and out of the hospital as well. With Makes Cents, you can choose an insurance provider that can cater to your specific needs. Understand What Makes Sense in Life with MakesCents.com.au Are you looking forward to trying the services they have to offer? Over 25,000 Aussies consumers have already tried and tested this new consumer website with superb money-saving results.  Visit MakesCents.com.au today, and start making sound decisions based on data compiled especially for you.   Five Advisors With Focus Partner Firm Escala Partners Named to Australia's Top 100 Financial Advisers 2020 List 2020-07-03T03:25:20Z five-advisors-with-focus-partner-firm-escala-partners-named-to-australia-s-top-100-financial-advisers-2020-list      July 3, 2020 - Focus Financial Partners Inc. (NASDAQ: FOCS) ("Focus"), a leading partnership of fiduciary wealth management firms, announced today that five advisors with Melbourne-based Escala Partners Limited ("Escala"), a Focus partner firm, were named to Australia's Top 100 Financial Advisers List 2020. The list is based on an extensive, national survey conducted by Barron's and The Australian's business magazine The Deal, and is a guide to the country's leading wealth management advisors.Escala was established with the collective ambition to become the new standard of personalized wealth management in Australia. The firm quickly emerged as a leading fiduciary wealth advisor to individuals, families, foundations and institutional investors across Australia, providing them with customized investment solutions through a collaborative, team-based approach. Escala's client relationships are sustained over time through their dedication to highly personalized service and an ongoing commitment to innovation in defining the standards for excellence in the Australian wealth management industry.Mason Allamby, Scott Carmichael, Steve Collins, Amanda Fong and Ben James are Partners and members of the original group of Escala founders who started the firm in 2013. They each have deep expertise in multiple areas of wealth management, including financial planning, asset allocation, tax strategy and, in Ms. Fong's case, the not-for-profit space."We are honored to have such an impressive group of our advisors named to the Top 100 Financial Advisors list," said Pep Perry, CEO of Escala. "They embody the collaborative approach and dedication to client service that are the foundation of Escala and make our firm uniquely successful.""We are thrilled for Escala on receiving this important recognition," said Rajini Kodialam, Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of Focus. "Their team of talented advisors are leaders in their field and have been at the forefront of the evolution of the Australian wealth management industry. Their passion for excellence is at the core of everything that they do for their clients and positions them for strong growth in the years ahead."About Focus Financial Partners Inc.Focus Financial Partners Inc. is a leading partnership of fiduciary wealth management firms. Focus provides access to best practices, resources, and continuity planning for its partner firms who serve individuals, families, employers and institutions with comprehensive wealth management services. Focus partner firms maintain their operational autonomy, while they benefit from the synergies, scale, economics and best practices offered by Focus to achieve their business objectives. For more information about Focus, please visit www.focusfinancialpartners.com.About Escala Partners LimitedFounded in 2013, Escala provides objective advice and investment management solutions to high net worth individuals, families, foundations and institutional investors. Escala serves its clients through a collaborative, team-based approach focused on the client experience, a relationship built on trust and sustained over time by performance in line with evolving investment objectives. For more information about Escala, please visit https://escalapartners.com.au.About The Australia's Top 100 Financial Advisers List 2020 RankingsBarron's and The Australian's business magazine The Deal rank investment advisers based on client assets managed by the adviser, fees and revenue generated by their business, and the quality of the adviser's business (as measured by factors including the adviser's experience, credentials, client-service resources, and charitable and philanthropic work).Cautionary Note Concerning Forward-Looking StatementsThis release contains certain forward-looking statements that reflect Focus' current views with respect to certain current and future events. These forward-looking statements are and will be, subject to many risks, uncertainties and factors relating to Focus' operations and business environment, including, without limitation, uncertainty surrounding the current COVID-19 pandemic, which may cause future events to be materially different from these forward-looking statements or anything implied therein. Any forward-looking statements in this release are based upon information available to Focus on the date of this release. Focus does not undertake to publicly update or revise its forward-looking statements even if experience or future changes make it clear that any statements expressed or implied therein will not be realized. Additional information on risk factors that could affect Focus may be found in Focus' filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.Any services described in this release are not intended for United States persons.Investor and Media ContactTina MadonSenior Vice PresidentHead of Investor Relations & Corporate CommunicationsFocus Financial PartnersP: +1-646-813-2909tmadon@focuspartners.com C Smart People and Australian FinTech Jobs partner to combine their experience and resources 2020-06-25T03:39:42Z c-smart-people-and-australian-fintech-jobs-partner-to-combine-their-experience-and-resources SYDNEY – 25 June 2020 - C Smart International, a Sydney based business and technology consulting firm, and Australian FinTech, a business dedicated to promoting the development of the fintech industry in Australia, are pleased to announce a new partnership of their recruitment arms, C Smart People and Australian FinTech Jobs.   Founded in 1997, C Smart International – which is headquartered in the Sydney, with offices in Melbourne and Manila, provides its base of financial industry clients with a range of traditional and niche services and products. C Smart’s client base across all the regions it operates in includes: ·         Consumer and commercial banks; ·         Private equity and venture capital firms; ·         Fintech vendors within both wholesale and retail markets; ·         Transport & Government; and ·         Specialist payments companies.   For those clients, C Smart’s specific remit is the provision of traditional consultancy and bespoke strategic advisory services within the realms of fintech, e-commerce, payments, cards, and core banking. With an intimate connection to this industry the C Smart People division provides specialist recruitment services enabling its clients to leverage their experience and network of industry specialists.   Australian FinTech was launched 5 years ago as the first platform dedicated to promoting Australian fintech companies to the world.   Since then, the website has had over 2 million views, published over 4,600 articles on Aussie fintechs, showcases 650+ companies and has gathered more than 17,000 global social media followers.   To complement the site, and to further assist with the growth of the Australian fintech industry, the team in 2017 launched AustralianFinTechJobs.com.au - Australia’s first and only dedicated fintech jobs platform. The initiative was desperately needed by the flourishing Australian fintech industry.   And now, with C Smart People’s partnership with Australian FinTech Jobs, it will allow participants to the online space’s ecosystem to interface directly with consultants working within C Smart’s Consultancy, FinTech Advisory Practice and recruitment services which, is focused on the hundreds of emerging fintech players and financial institutions that have a need to access new technology offerings and identify industry specialists in an effort to become more efficient.   Matt Holani, Managing Director of C Smart International and C Smart People said: “We at C Smart are incredibly excited to partner with a progressive and future smart organisation such as Australian FinTech. Both organisations have synergies that are not only alike in values and company culture, but complement the other through our industry insights, knowledge and unparalleled industry expertise. Making the most of our combined breadth of contacts and industry know-how our initial foray together will bring true value to the FinTech recruitment space. We look forward to a rewarding and fruitful partnership with Australian FinTech.”   Cameron Dart, CEO & Co-Founder of Australian FinTech and Australian FinTech Jobs, added: “The partnership of C Smart People and Australian FinTech Jobs just makes sense – the synergies between the two organisations run deep, accompanied with the driven people on both sides, it will make for a win/win situation for Australian fintech companies, big and small. Individuals will also benefit by using AustralianFinTechJobs.com.au as Australia’s only dedicated and easy-to-use jobs platform for the fintech industry. We are looking forward to growing these businesses together.”   - - Ends - -     Notes to Editors   Press Contacts:   Matthew Holani, Managing Director C Smart International & C Smart People Phone: 02 8244 0004  Email: mholani@csmartinternational.com   Cameron Dart, CEO Australian FinTech & Australian FinTech Jobs Phone: 0410 500 615 Email: cameron@australianfintech.com.au     About C Smart People Successful businesses are built on great people. C Smart People, pride themselves on connecting awesome people with great employers to help businesses grow, perform and succeed. Whether it be for the Finance or Commerce industries, C Smart People can personalise the right solution for you. Website: www.csmartinternational.com/c-smart-people/ Email: info@csmartpeople.com     About Australian Fintech Jobs Australian FinTech Jobs is Australia’s first and only dedicated job platform website specifically for the Australian FinTech industry. AustralianFinTechJobs.com.au is a more focused, less expensive platform for FinTech companies to promote new employment opportunities directly to the Australian FinTech community and those on peripheral like lawyers, accountants, bankers, IT experts and sales & marketing professionals. Website: www.AustralianFinTechJobs.com.au Email: admin@AustralianFinTechJobs.com.au Standard Chartered and HKTDC Launch 'Standard Chartered GBA Business Confidence Index' 2020-06-23T21:28:59Z standard-chartered-and-hktdc-launch-standard-chartered-gba-business-confidence-index HONG KONG, June 22, 2020 - (ACN Newswire) - Standard Chartered and Hong Kong Trade Development Council ("HKTDC") are pleased to announce the launch of the 'Standard Chartered GBA Business Confidence Index', the first forward-looking quarterly survey in the market that looks at the business sentiment and synergistic effects across cities and industries in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (Greater Bay Area or GBA), to provide the latest business intelligence for those who are keen to grow their presence in the Greater Bay Area. Standard Chartered: Kelvin Lau, Senior Economist, Greater China; Rose Kay, Head, Greater Bay Area; Mary Huen, CEO, Hong Kong - HKTDC: Margaret Fong, Executive Director; Johnny Wan, Director, Publications & E-Commerce; and Nicholas Kwan, Director of Research, 'Standard Chartered GBA Business Confidence Index' launch ceremony (6/22). The index will be released every quarter and is computed from the analysis of more than 1,000 responses of GBA companies on their overall operations, business environment and expansion plan. The index includes five sub-indices which give indications on the business confidence for each industry, including manufacturing & trading, retail & wholesale, financial services, professional services and innovation & technology. It enables investors and businesses to better understand the current business climate, gauge future performance and formulate their market strategies in the Greater Bay Area.Mary Huen, CEO, Hong Kong, Standard Chartered, said: "We are very pleased to join forces with the HKTDC to introduce the first GBA business confidence index in the market. We believe that the survey will help the public and companies in the region make appropriate strategic decision with economic insight in today's ever-changing market environment. The Greater Bay Area is one of the biggest growth drivers of the Chinese economy and plays a significant role in the opening of China and gives companies in the region full play to the composite advantages of Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao. It will also help promote coordinated regional economic development and inject new impetus into the diversified development of Hong Kong economy. Standard Chartered will endeavour to expand our business in the region and would like to leverage its talents and technology in finance to develop our innovative financial products and services."Margaret Fong, Executive Director, HKTDC, said: "We are delighted to collaborate with the Standard Chartered again. By launching the first GBA Business Confidence Index in the market, we can assist businesses to formulate timely development plans and capture new opportunities. The HKTDC has signed agreements with the other 10 Greater Bay Area cities to facilitate companies in the region to expand their businesses through Hong Kong's two-way platform, strengthening the city's position as the region's global investment and business hub. Going forward, we will help businesses tap into Greater Bay Area markets by providing them with intelligence, promotion and business matching opportunities through our exhibitions, conferences, missions and more."As a leading global bank with extensive branch network in the Greater Bay Area, Standard Chartered has been promoting the local economic development and put it as one of its key strategic priorities. Our unique global footprint and business expertise such as Belt and Road, RMB internationalisation, trade finance, bond market, digital innovation, wealth management and sustainable finance can meet the financial needs in the development of the Greater Bay Area.About Standard CharteredWe are a leading international banking group, with a presence in 59 of the world's most dynamic markets, and serving clients in a further 85. Our purpose is to drive commerce and prosperity through our unique diversity, and our heritage and values are expressed in our brand promise, Here for good.Standard Chartered PLC is listed on the London and Hong Kong Stock Exchanges as well as the Bombay and National Stock Exchanges in India.The history of Standard Chartered in Hong Kong dates back to 1859. It is currently one of the Hong Kong SAR's three note-issuing banks. Standard Chartered incorporated its Hong Kong business on 1 July 2004, and now operates as a licensed bank in Hong Kong under the name of Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong) Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Standard Chartered PLC.For more stories and expert opinions please visit Insights at sc.com. Follow Standard Chartered on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.About HKTDCThe Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is a statutory body established in 1966 to promote, assist and develop Hong Kong's trade. With 50 offices globally, including 13 in Mainland China, the HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a two-way global investment and business hub. The HKTDC organises international exhibitions, conferences and business missions to create business opportunities for companies, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), in the mainland and international markets. The HKTDC also provides up-to-date market insights and product information via trade publications, research reports and digital news channels. For more information, please visit: www.hktdc.com/aboutus. Follow us on Twitter @hktdc and LinkedIn.For further information, please contact:Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong) LimitedGabriel Kwan / Daniel IpTel: +852 2820 3036 / +852 2820 3871Email: gabriel.kwan@sc.com / daniel.ip@sc.comHong Kong Trade Development CouncilBeatrice LamTel: +852 2584 4049Email: Beatrice.hy.lam@hktdc.org Covid-19 impact on the Australian accounting and legal industry 2020-06-22T21:00:53Z covid-19-impact-on-the-australian-accounting-and-legal-industry “How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected the accounting and legal professions in Australia? Are accounting and law firms seeing an increased or decreased demand for their services? How are they fairing when it comes to workloads, cash-flow, salaries, and even partner drawings? What is their general prognosis on the future? These were the type of questions we wanted to be answered," says Andreas Diwing, QuickFee Sr. Director of Marketing. “We surveyed our member firms in the accounting and legal space not just once, but twice in a 7-week period, asking the exact same questions. Our goal was to see what, if anything, changed.” 73.5% of leading accounting and law firms in the Australia have seen an increase in demand for their services during the Covid-19 pandemic, and while most are describing their outlook of the future as “cautiously optimistic” firms have also seen a significant decrease in firm cash flow due to firm clients being reluctant or incapable of paying their fees. Highlights In May 73.5% of firms have seen an increase in demand for their services (down 8.4% since March 2020) The most common response to increased demand is partners working longer hours In May 2020 roughly a third of firms are saying that 25% or more of their clients are showing signs of financial distress 23% of firms believe that some practices won’t survive   Award winning investment firm Eliseo Partners acquired by Hong Kong financial group for private equity fund 2020-06-22T14:36:43Z award-winning-investment-firm-eliseo-partners-acquired-by-hong-kong-financial-group-for-private-equity-fund For Immediate release  Hong Kong, June, 2020 –  Award winning investment firm Eliseo Partners acquired by Hong Kong financial group for private equity fund. Award winning investment firm Eliseo Partners (Asia) Limited named best institutional debt trading firm in Australia & New Zealand at the Global Banking and Finance Awards in 2017 is acquired by QMIS Financial Group.  Eliseo Partners will consolidate and wind up its group of international companies into a QMIS sponsored private equity fund and expand as one of Hong Kong’s leading and most progressive private equity platforms. In September 2018, Eliseo Partners launched an ambitious strategy to grow its fixed income and credit portfolio value to $100 Million USD.  QMIS Financial Group has valued Eliseo’s convertible bond portfolio at $150 Million.  Eliseo Partners managed over $1.7 billion of transactions from 2016 to 2020 and some of its landmark transactions included the advisory for a Formula 1 motorsport team, warrant linked financing of a US publicly traded Californian medical software company, an equity agreement with a Canadian publicly traded disruptive high profile sports apparel brand and was instrumental in the largest IPO on the National stock exchange of Australia.  Larry Woghiren, co-founder of the Eliseo Partners Group, said, “we served companies by making strategically timed private investments in public equity to provide crucial liquidity as well as securitising assets to raise project finance.” About QMIS Financial Group QMIS Financial Group is a global financial services conglomerate headquartered in Hong Kong with a strong presence in Asia and key regional centres in New York, Kuala Lumpur, Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen & Dalian. www.qmisgroup.com Post Covid-19 economy inspiring increased M&A activity – SME sector at the forefront 2020-06-21T23:18:09Z post-covid-19-economy-inspiring-increased-m-amp-a-activity-sme-sector-at-the-forefront Dennis Tomaras, a partner in eastern seaboard law firm, Cornwalls, believes that Covid-19 is inspiring a wave of merger and acquisition activity in Australia.   ‘It’s probably 50 / 50 between those businesses looking to merge for survival reasons and those seizing the initiative in difficult times to acquire a competitor, supplier or even a key client in some cases’ says Tomaras.   He believes that current M&A activity is most pronounced with privately owned SME’s – across all sectors, but especially in technology, agricultural, services and manufacturing.   ‘Now that Australian business has recovered over the initial shock of Covid-19, SME’s are learning to live with the virus and trying to make the most of it, by considering M&A opportunities’ says Tomaras.   As a Tax adviser, Tomaras believes that there are four main structuring considerations in any M&A deal.  These are as follows.   1. Buying shares or assets in the target company.  Tomaras says that there are numerous pros and cons of each and no two M&A deals are ever quite the same.  However, vendors typically prefer selling their shares and buyers typically prefer acquiring assets.  As a general rule, Australia’s Capital Gains Tax laws tend to favour a sale of shares for the sellers creating a degree of tension between the interests of the buyer and the seller.     However, the GST and state tax implications of the deal should also be considered by the parties.   2. Are the entities ready for an M&A deal?  Tomaras believes the biggest mistake business makes is that they are underprepared for an M&A deal.  ‘You wouldn’t sell your house without making sure it’s ready for inspection and it’s the same in a business deal’ says Tomaras.  Acquirers and target entities need to make sure their legal and financial affairs are up to date and that all federal and state tax returns are in order.    Buyers often conduct due diligence on the seller too as they want to know their business and staff are going to be in good hands.  A good idea he says is to get the company advisers to undertake a high-level health check of the business before any M&A activities commence.  Directors of companies also need to be aware that they may be personally liable for certain past tax liabilities of a target company.   3. Effect on tax losses of the deal.  Australia’s income tax laws contain detailed rules as to the usage of company tax losses.  Tax losses – whether of a revenue or a capital nature – can be valuable assets to a buyer of a company.  Typically, the so called ‘continuity of ownership’ test will be failed on an acquisition of the target company.    Even though the ‘continuity of business’ test is available regarding the future use of the losses, this is a more difficult test to satisfy and care is required in what business improvements and changes in personnel are made in the target company, says Tomaras.   4. The allocation of consideration over the assets acquired.  One of the most contentious issues, particularly on a future ATO audit, is the allocation of consideration against the assets acquired.  This is an area of interest both to business and taxation authorities alike as for example, tax depreciation is based on the acquisition cost of an asset.    Likewise, there may be different tax outcomes for both GST and state taxes based on the allocation of consideration to the assets acquired.  Tomaras recommends involving a qualified valuer to contemporaneously opine on how consideration has been allocated across assets, so as to avoid future disputes with taxation authorities.   The bottom line says Tomaras is that as M&A activities increase, both buyers and sellers need to be ready for a deal and need to do their homework across a range of revenue law and other relevant issues.       ENDS   Issued by Cornwalls   w: Cornwalls.com.au   Media enquiries:    Mr Joe Perri, Joe Perri & Associates Mobile: +61 412 112 545 Email: jperri@joeperri.com.au     About Dennis Tomaras Throughout the years Dennis has garnered extensive and diverse experience in the taxation and revenue law field, prior to joining Cornwalls as a Partner.    Dennis provides practical and commercially focused taxation planning and structuring advice for privately owned businesses and Australian public companies. He assists with mergers and acquisitions, and appropriate business structures including transformation from one structure to another. In addition, Dennis advises on international tax planning for inbound and outbound investments, restructures or disposals.   Dennis’ expertise also entails developing appropriate tax strategies for businesses, including managing and resolving taxation disputes with Australian federal and state taxation authorities.   He also advises boards and business owners on strategic issues and growth opportunities, including assessing possible acquisitions and new business ventures, and expenditure reviews.    Dennis enjoys his role as a regular commentator on business issues on radio station 3AW. Award winning investment firm Eliseo Partners (Asia) Limited acquired by Hong Kong financial Group 2020-06-12T11:32:56Z award-winning-investment-firm-eliseo-partners-asia-limited-acquired-by-hong-kong-financial-group Award winning investment firm Eliseo Partners (Asia) Limited named best institutional debt trading firm in Australia & New Zealand at the Global Banking and Finance Awards in 2017 is acquired by QMIS Financial Group.Eliseo Partners managed over $1.7 billion of transactions from 2016 to 2020 and some of its landmark transactions included the advisory for a Formula 1 motorsport team, warrant linked financing of a US publicly traded Californian medical software company, an equity agreement with a Canadian publicly traded disruptive high profile sports apparel brand and was instrumental in the largest IPO on the National stock exchange of Australia.Larry Woghiren, co-founder of the Eliseo Partners Group, said, “we aim to allow real estate owners to securitize institutional grade real estate portfolios to raise project finance whilst minimising debt levels and retain effective control.”In September 2018, Eliseo Partners launched an ambitious strategy to grow its fixed income and credit portfolio value to $100 Million USD.QMIS Financial Group has valued Eliseo’s convertible bond portfolio at $150 Million.As part of the agreement Eliseo Partners will consolidate and wind up its businesses into a QMIS sponsored private equity fund and expand as one of Hong Kong’s leading and most progressive private equity platforms.About QMIS Financial GroupQMIS Financial Group is a global financial services conglomerate headquartered in Hong Kong with a strong presence in Asia and key regional centers in New York, Kuala Lumpur, Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen & Dalian.www.qmisgroup.com PayDock Announces Partnership with ECAL to Bring Consumer Payments In-Calendar 2020-06-11T00:53:23Z paydock-announces-partnership-with-ecal-to-bring-consumer-payments-in-calendar London, UK / Melbourne, Australia: Payments orchestration platform PayDock has announced a multi-year exclusive agreement with ECAL, a leading calendar communications platform to offer seamless calendar-driven payment solutions. Currently relied on by 3m+ monthly active users, ECAL is a preferred pipeline for time-sensitive, actionable communications between brands and consumers. PayDock’s capabilities as a mature payments orchestration platform provide a strong foundation for ECAL’s payments roll-out during 2020. Patrick Barrett Founder and CEO at ECAL “Today, the calendar sits squarely at the forefront of the merchant-consumer relationship. Our success in driving consumer action and response from right-time communications will be elevated via seamless in-calendar payment capabilities. ECAL Pay powered by PayDock will offer consumers a simple, direct and timely way to pay bills, support charities or buy tickets to their favourite events instantly, and without leaving their preferred personal time-management platform. Merchants similarly benefit from improved cashflow, reduced costs and greater transparency within their customer relationships.” Rob Lincolne Founder and CEO at PayDock “Our mission at PayDock has always been to stand behind businesses that transform the merchant-consumer relationship. ECAL is at the forefront of value-added brand engagement. We are highly excited along with Pat and the team at ECAL to assist merchants in the dramatic enhancement of customer experiences through the provision of timely, actionable and efficient payment capabilities. Offering ECAL capabilities as part of the PayDock services ecosystem ‘out of the box’ will enhance the value our payment service providers, merchants and consumers receive from each other.” PayDock is a payments orchestration platform serving an international merchant base and over 30 payment service providers globally. PayDock makes it easy for businesses to rapidly harmonise and deploy payment ecosystems for increased value.   ECAL is a world-leading calendar communications and marketing platform, used by hundreds of major brands globally in sports, ticketing, media and now payments. ECAL’s ‘sync to calendar’ technology enables smart, dynamic, event-based communications straight to calendar, for better business outcomes. Clients include Premier League, NBA, LaLiga, Formula E, AFL, NRL, MYOB, and Ticketek to name a few. Barhead develops groundbreaking Return to Office app leveraging Microsoft Power Platform and Teams. 2020-06-10T03:24:01Z barhead-develops-groundbreaking-return-to-office-app-leveraging-microsoft-power-platform-and-teams Sydney – 09, June 2020. Australian business software specialist Barhead has unveiled a groundbreaking workforce management application that will help companies ensure the safe and efficient return of employees to the workplace as COVID-19 restrictions begin to lift. Built using Microsoft’s Power Platform and integrating with other modern workplace solutions including Microsoft Teams Barhead’s Return to Office app provides employees with a streamlined way to connect to the workplace, to book workspaces, meeting rooms, general office spaces or schedule work from home periods, and alert employers to their current location and future plans. This system, developed with security front and centre, ensures employers have complete transparency regarding where their staff are working, and who they have been in contact with. The application leverages the tenants’ Common Data Service (CDS) and internal Human Capital Management (HCM) data to ensure compliant and secure use of data. Fully integrated with existing business systems, the Return to Office app helps streamline the way in which meeting rooms and office space can be reserved. The app can also be used to help schedule any necessary workflows such as deep cleaning before a meeting room or desk is used by the next person or group. According to Barhead founder John Orrock; “The way an organisation needs to engage with its clients, engage with its employees, industry partners, and so forth, will change, for the foreseeable future.” He added that the Return to Office app would support the wellbeing of employees as they return to the office and deliver rich real time insights to the enterprise to help mitigate risk around issues such as insurance and workers health and safety. Barhead’s experience as a leading business applications services provider that leverages the entire Microsoft stack has allowed it to integrate the Return to Office app with key data flows in other workplace applications for example to ServiceNow, IBM Maximo or SAP  and deliver the insights organisations need to be efficient and effective as they return to the new normal. Rachel Bondi, Chief Partner Officer, Microsoft Australia congratulated Barhead for its foresight in developing the Return to Office app. “We are seeing most of Australia’s enterprises now focusing on activating the recovery phase of their COVID-19 business continuity plans. This richly featured and highly relevant Return to Office app is exactly what businesses need to allow their employees to safely return to work – whether that is in the office or at home - with no compromise of safety or productivity. “Barhead has an exceptional understanding of the Microsoft stack; this enables it rapidly to build highly innovative solutions like the Return to Office app that respond to customer needs swiftly and effectively.” Developed using the Microsoft Power Platform over a period of just seven days, the Return to Office app also leverages an Azure based bot which can check people in and out based on their Microsoft Teams activity or prompt them to check in manually to specify where they are working that day, including any periods of time when they plan to work from home. There is pre-built integration to Barhead’s Workforce Management App along with ready to use integrations to common IoT sensors and networks. The Return to Office app has also been developed to be able to incorporate solutions such as people counting, health stations for temperature checks and facial recognition, as well as access control, ID scanners and desk check-ins. Employees can use the app’s reservation engine to make a room booking or select an in-office location to work for either a couple of hours, a day or more extended periods. Because the app integrates with other Microsoft business systems such as Dynamics 365 and Teams the reservation engine can show users availability and accessibility of meeting rooms, offices – even different desk and technology formats such as standing desks or double screen availability. The app is also automatically updated with details of any holidays that an employee might have booked. All of the information collected via the app is transparent and made available securely in real time to the employer’s existing business systems – which also benefit from the app’s track and trace functionality. If an incident occurs, the employer has instant access to information about location, and can trigger a workflow for a cleaner to be deployed or alert any other people who might need to be notified. Orrock noted that being cloud based allowed the Return to Office app to scale rapidly, adding that the low-code nature of the Power Platform also ensured that any changes required by either Government or company rules could be easily accommodated making the app highly versatile and responsive whatever the new normal looks like in the post COVID-19 era.