The PRWIRE Press Releases https:// 2020-09-16T07:39:45Z New Industry Association for Finance & Mortgage Brokers 2020-09-16T07:39:45Z new-industry-association-for-finance-amp-mortgage-brokers 14/09/2020 PRESS RELEASE - FOR IMMEDIATE USE New Industry Association for Finance & Mortgage Brokers Finance Broker Education & Training Australia an Industry Association for Finance and Mortgage Brokers (FBETA) announced today the launch of its entry into the mortgage broking market to help up-skill brokers. Australia's first digital Industry Association is a not-for-profit and independent from the banks and aggregators that hopes to yield a wider range of training and education offerings for mortgage brokers. The rationale for such a move was explained by FBETA CEO Shane Reynolds “From the perspective of the marketplace, proper education and training is central to transforming this industry, the association will create a unified mission, it's a win – win; Our education platform will turn broker potential into performance, we know from the royal commission that education is a key part of delivering the highest standards of service“. Visit www.financebroker.org.au for more information. Future of advice is in peril – it can only be assured by understanding past failings 2020-09-16T04:36:21Z future-of-advice-is-in-peril-it-can-only-be-assured-by-understanding-past-failings If the future and well-being of consumers is truly the highest priority of the federal government and financial services industry, then the quality of judgment has to improve and decisions made based on the lessons embedded in the experiences of the past.   The future viability of the advice sector is quite literally at the precipice!    Practitioner numbers are at an all-time low; exits and premature retirements continue to mount; and the industry’s reputation and obsession with over-regulation is dissuading new advice entrants.     It’s for this reason, that politicians and stakeholders must ensure that the decisions of the past that has brought about this scenario are not repeated or compounded going forward.   When looking back at history, the litany of disasters has quite literally been horrendous with most catastrophic being retrospectivity.  Basically, a misguided belief that arbitrarily changing the past will improve the present and secure the future.  The reality has been –   Education Standards:     I’ve haven’t met one person in the industry that does not support lifting standards and the standing of the advice sector with appropriate entry level academic qualifications and ongoing professional development.  However, they should never have been introduced retrospectively.   Remuneration:     Whether referred to as commission or brokerage, they constitute the cost of distribution that is incorporated into the product by the manufacturer.  They are not conflict of interest, hence, retrospective banning of commission is wrong.   ASIC (Lookbacks):     ASIC’s preoccupation with lookbacks has resulted in advisers looking over their shoulders like never before and quite literally living in fear.  Bringing down the cost of advice will never be achieved; and will only result in more compliance and administrative imposts. In all seriousness, no industry should be required to operate under a lookback regime of ten years or more.  Imagine if politicians or the legal profession was required to adhere to the same requirements!   BoLR:     Retrospective legislation by government has given the green light for institutions like AMP to change their buyer of last resort agreements resulting in drastically devalued businesses for many advisers.  This has been another decision that further undermined the standing of government, financial institutions and the industry as a whole.   Through no fault of their own; not breaking any rules or doing anything wrong – retrospective law making and arbitrary changing of contractual arrangements has quite literally brought the advice sector to the point of failure.   The purpose of the advice industry is to provide quality advice that is affordable, scalable and is in the best interest of clients.  Consumers have every right to question an industry that for two decades has wreaked havoc on itself, advisers and retrospectively changes rules and overturns supposedly iron clad assurances and undertakings.   We need leadership from both sides of parliament to work together to deliver a sustainable workable framework.  Hence my firm belief that the present structure needs to be reviewed with a view to implementation of the following –   Individual Licencing:     Move the industry away from corporate structure to advisers operating on a licencing framework that is no different to other professions such as accountants, lawyers, doctors, etc.   Past experience has proven that putting any entity that operates / and is motivated by profit between the consumer and their adviser inevitably leads to a conflict of interest.   The adviser’s sole role must be to act in the best interest of the client, not to a licencing group. The larger institutional licensees have compounded the environment for their advisers by adding extra layers of red tape, complexity and compliance.    Regulation:    Regulation and constant legislative tinkering by the federal government has only served to damage the industry and disadvantage consumers by making advice unaffordable.  There needs to be a concerted effort to remove this burden.                  Who is the Regulator?     The industry is drowning in regulatory authorities and voices demanding to be heard.  As if FASEA, ASIC, ATO, TPB, APRA, AUSTRAC, ACCC and AFCA weren’t enough, new bodies are being established in conjunction with associations, lobby groups, academia, institutions, industry super, the media and list goes on.   At what point do we say enough is enough!   Too Many Voices:     There are too many industry associations representing the advice industry vying to be heard (and taken seriously) by government.  Until these groups unite and merge into a single and powerful representative voice, it will only reaffirm to regulators the fragmented and self-interest nature of the industry.       Statements Statements Statements:     No other advice profession is required to provide so many statements i.e.  annual opt in statement, fee disclosure statement, statement of advice (SOA), etc.  All of which are ultimately paid for by the consumer.  SOAs continue to grow, not because clients read them but out of fear of litigation. Defining Advice:     The provision of advice in reality is demarcated into two clear models – Independent (open APL) and Proprietary (can only provide advice on proprietary products e.g. industry funds, bank products).  The formalisation of this distinction would be of most benefit to the consumer and provide greater transparency.   Technology:     A failing and legacy of industry domination by large institutions has been a lack of innovation and the restricted application of new technologies.  The advancement and application of FinTech is vital and needed to drive efficiencies and benefit consumers.   Career Pathways:     How can financial services attract the next generation of advisers when the current pathways actually inhibit new entrants joining the advice industry?  Two decades of non-stop regulatory reform, industry rationalisation and uncertainty has resulted in the next generation of advisers preferring alternate career paths with more attractive work life balance opportunities.   What’s the Answer?     Firstly, a combined effort and joint approach by government can halt the demise of financial services and the advice sector.  However, action is needed now with a united effort and joint approach that can create a viable future for the industry and provide affordable advice for consumers.   A good start would be a bipartisan working group NOT comprised of the usual retired judges, lawyers, vocal interest groups and individuals who have no practical experience running an advice business or face-to-face interaction with clients!  It’s for this reason that Australia has a track record of royal commissions and industry reviews failure.   There are many quality advisers who genuinely care about the industry and ensuring consumers receive quality advice and service that would gladly participate in a genuine and inclusive bipartisan review.   Secondly, as the world moves into the new era of the digital age, a national priority has to be raising the financial literacy for all Australians.  People need to be able to manage their financial affairs in order to improve their standard of living.  In addition, it will benefit the economy by improving the strength, performance and efficiency of the financial services system.   I am confident that this approach is the best way forward and would provide the all-important building blocks for a sustainable future for the advice sector – and most importantly – where the consumer will finally be the winner and beneficiary.   ENDS   Issued by Connect Financial Service Brokers          www.connectfsb.com.au             Media enquiries        Mr. Joe Perri, Joe Perri & Associates Pty Ltd Mob:     +61 412 112 545  Email:     jperri@joeperri.com.au Research investment will be vital to Victoria’s economic recovery 2020-09-15T20:48:14Z research-investment-will-be-vital-to-victorias-economic-recovery Victoria’s recovery from a year of crisis will rely on continued commitment to research and innovation – both key drivers of economic growth. A report released today by the Australian Council of Learned Academies (ACOLA) shows that past investments in research have created jobs and attracted significant further investments for the state economy.The report, entitled Stimulating the Science and Research Ecosystem Creates Jobs and Investment provides evidence in support of continued investment in research infrastructure, skills and talent attraction, to deliver jobs and economic stability for Victoria’s future.The report was commissioned by Victoria’s Lead Scientist, Dr Amanda Caples and the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions (DJPR) Victoria, to better understand the value of the research ecosystem and how it can stimulate economic activity in the short and long term. It reveals that past Victorian Government funding initiatives in the research ecosystem have delivered substantial economic impact and jobs over time. For example, research infrastructure investments in light-weight manufacturing at Carbon Nexus has catalysed an employment precinct in Geelong that supports around 1400 jobs, and the Melbourne Centre for Nanofabrication has assisted in the attraction of over $300 million in research investment while supporting industry to develop a range of commercial products.Speaking on the report, ACOLA Chair Professor Joy Damousi noted that investing in science, research and innovation is the key reason why we have been able to respond quickly and decisively to emerging issues. “Our response to the unprecedented bushfires of last summer and the current COVID-19 pandemic has been underpinned by research. As we move through a recession with significant pressure placed on our country, it is the continued investment in research that will see us create jobs, stimulate activity and generate positive returns to strengthen our economy and resilience for the future,” Professor Damousi said. Dr Caples said that Victorian public research institutions have played an important role in helping Australia and the world understand the responses to COVID-19, including developing vaccines and treatments as well as leading research into the social impact of the pandemic.“COVID-19 has crystallised the need for Victoria and Australia to be more self-sufficient, better prepared for unexpected events and changes, and able to seize opportunities to improve government service delivery and business resilience. This means that our capacity to innovate and find solutions must grow to match the big challenges of today and the future,” Dr Caples said.“There has never been a more crucial time to invest in science, research and innovation.”With the continuing spread of COVID-19, governments and industries must look to strategies that can both support our wellbeing and prosperity. ACOLA CEO Ryan Winn encouraged all governments, not just the Victorian Government, to consider the evidence outlined in the report to understand the value universities and the research sector can provide to safeguarding our future, to tackle both the known and unknown issues Australia will face.Download a copy of the 28-page report via the www.acola.org/stimulating-science-research-ecosystem. The report includes case-studies from the Australian Synchrotron, the Melbourne Centre for Nanofabrication, the Victorian Organic Solar Cell Consortium, the Victorian Biomedical Imaging Capability, Carbon Nexus and Victorian Endowment for Science, Knowledge and Innovation. It also includes Notable examples and activities in Victorian Universities in relation to the public research response to COVID-19.Media contactFor more information or to arrange interviews, contact: Ryan WinnChief Executive, ACOLA0484 814 040About ACOLAACOLA is the forum whereby Australia’s Learned Academies and our Associate members come together to contribute expert advice to inform national policy; and to develop innovative solutions to complex global problems and emerging national needs. Through the learned academies, ACOLA has access to more than 3,000 of Australia’s greatest minds to bring together critical thinking and evidence to inform robust policy decisions. Katharina Ferster, Co-Founder School Beyond Limitations 2020-09-10T14:23:51Z katharina-ferster-co-founder-school-beyond-limitations It was always a fixed idea of mine to found a school. I don’t know where this came from and when I sensed this innate desire. I was always too fast and stubborn for school, for my teachers and my peers. That is why I always felt bored throughout my school years and throughout my studies in Mathematics at university – and still was one of the best students. “I know that I know” – I said over and over again. Only when my own two children were born and started to attend school I started to look for alternatives: for a school concept that would focus on the individual development of each child’s creativity and that would aim to guide the students to their own innate knowing: I know that I know. I was not successful. My children attended a Rudolf Steiner school. I trained myself in personal development, coaching and business creation. The more I developed in that direction and the more I built a successful business the less I could support the outdated traditional education concept. I was looking for freedom for my family. I wanted to take my children with me while traveling without being tied to school holidays. I wanted my children to spend their time with their father whenever they wanted as their father did not live with them anymore. I wanted my children to learn freely by being able to pursue their projects based on their interests and skills according to their pace without being pushed into a standardised system.During our world journey I tried out worldschooling and homeschooling. However, it was not enough. And then I met Martina Geromin, the co-founder of School Beyond Limitations. As our move to Cyprus was coming closer the idea was born to set up an online school. We wanted students to learn in a social steady environment that would never change, even if they were to move or travel again; with teacher-mentors who would take them by their hands until completion of their goals; an environment that is not based on judgement or grades, instead it was meant to be an environment with a strong emphasis on personal development in which each individual learns at her/his pace; an environment that acknowledges that children are in their knowing and as such they are allowed to think and act freely, beyond any limitations. That was the starting point for School Beyond Limitations. I wholeheartedly thank Martina and all parents who bravely undertook the first steps with us. Now, School Beyond Limitations is an internationally recognised school which increasingly captures interest and appreciation. It is a place that allows students to blossom as they understand that they are unique, that everything is possible and that they alone can choose responsibly about their life choices. Yes, I’d say that we are about to change the education system and, furthermore, we offer our students an unforgettable experience that will shape their adult lives considerably. Clear Credit Solutions On Track For Consecutive Credit Repair Award 2020-09-10T06:31:34Z clear-credit-solutions-on-track-for-consecutive-credit-repair-award During COVID-19 while most business were hamstrung or had to stop operations entirely, Clear Credit Solutions has continued to assist clients Australia-wide with credit repair. With an influx of clients suddenly discovering more free time on their hands, a lot of Australians have looked to their credit report health while the world deals with the ongoing pandemic.  When checking their credit report health, some Australians have discovered a credit default which could be impacting future finance applications and their pending approval. To some this may come as a surprise, to others it may be a remembered previous unresolved dispute with a creditor some time ago. Regardless of the situation, a credit default not only impacts future finance applications but also a consumer's credit score. However the solution to fix bad credit Australia lies with a credit repair company. One thing to look for in the industry of fix credit reports is transparency and previous reviews. Clear Credit Solutions having won the Product Review Award for 2020 is on track to winning this again for 2021. Powering through the pandemic, still helping Australian's with their credit health and receiving outstanding reviews for the service they offer it is easy to see why Clear Credit Solutions may be in the running to consecutively win the Product Review Award for Best Credit Repair Company.  What should mortgage holders do, when their mortgage holiday ends? 2020-09-09T04:18:20Z what-should-mortgage-holders-do-when-their-mortgage-holiday-ends In March this year, just as the COVID-19 pandemic began to wreak havoc in Australia,  Australia’s banks announced they would give eligible mortgage holders a six month repayment holiday. In unison with the Federal Government and Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), the banks were determined to help mortgagees navigate through the financial hardship they were plunged into and see them through the other side. It is now six months later and time to reassess repayment arrangements. “It will be difficult for some mortgage holders to resume full principal and interest repayments at this time,” said Vadim Taube CEO of one of Australia’s leading financial comparison sites InfoChoice.com.au. “According to the ABS unemployment is at 7.5 per cent and likely to continue to rise. Meanwhile, JobKeeper payments are set to be slashed, which will put further stress on people who have lost their income during this time.” Taube says many of the banks will still be willing to help, it is just a matter of speaking with them and coming up with a plan. ANZ Bank has already flagged its intention to better deal with customers in financial stress. Just this week, the bank announced it will increase staff numbers and training to deal with financial stress “at scale”.  "Sadly, we know that there will be difficult situations where we need to help customers wind up their debt. And when this happens, we will be ethical and sensitive in our actions," ANZ Bank chief executive Shayne Elliott said. The bank will also be assessing its lending criteria and is considering imposing LVR limits on certain postcodes. According to ANZ's head of retail and commercial banking in Australia, Mark Hand, it is likely ANZ will only lend 80% of the property value in some postcodes where prices are likely to drop and only 70 per cent of the value for luxury properties. He recently told the Financial Review that certain Melbourne suburbs will come under greater scrutiny. However, one thing working in mortgagees’ favour at the moment are the record low interest rates. The cash rate set by the RBA is currently 0.25 per cent. “Low interest rates will help bank customers get back on their feet,” Taube says. “Just this week, Greater Bank became one of a number of Australian lenders to offer a mortgage rate below 2 per cent. These types of low interest rate will make it easier for home loan customers to either renegotiate with their existing lender or refinance elsewhere.” The Newcastle-based Greater Bank has reduced its one-year fixed interest rate by 0.10 per cent to 1.99 per cent (3.74% comparison rate) for principal and interest (P&I) home loans. It follows last week’s move by online lender Reduce Home Loans, which is now offering a one-year introductory variable rate of 1.9 per cent (2.39% comparison rate) for owner occupiers. Westpac is currently offering $2000 cash back for any property refinanced with them. It is a fast tracked refinance option on their Premier Advantage Package and Flexi First Option loans. A $250K,000 minimum loan per property is required and a $395 annual package fee does apply. NAB is also offering $2000 cash back to refinance with them and Bank of Melbourne has a $3000 cashback refinance offer on the table. Taube says now is the perfect time for people to shop around and compare their home loans. “If you are yet to compare your home loan and find a better deal, you could be leaving crucial savings, if not thousands of dollars, on the table. This is not the time to sit idle and forget about your mortgage, especially if you are suffering from financial stress. Now is the time to find the best deal available to you through comparison sites such as InfoChoice. “The banks want your business. The number of cashback offers is a major enticement by them to lure you from your current provider. However, the lure of instant money back, shouldn’t be the only thing that sways your decision to refinance. Borrowers should weigh up the interest rates, with cash back offers and the overall cost of the product. The worst thing any borrower could do at the moment is put themselves in a worse financial position because they haven’t read the fine print. Start comparing everything from interest rates to fees and special offers and choose a loan that can put money back in your pocket. The lowest advertised home loan rates* currently listed by InfoChoice.com.au are:  Variable rate: 1.99 per cent p.a. (comparison rate 2.47 per cent p.a.) from loans.com.au for its Smart Booster Discount Variable – 1 year variable loan.  Fixed rate: 1.79 per cent p.a. (comparison rate 3.10 per cent p.a.) for three years from Bank Australia for its Clean Energy Home Loan LVR<70% Fixed Rate Home Loan. Given current circumstances especially in Victoria where people are still in lockdown, it would pay to speak with your bank. “Low interest rates will help many borrowers,” Taube says. “However, it is important to speak with your bank as soon as you know you will face hardship. The banks will still do everything they can to help you, including potentially lowering your interest rates, allowing you to pay interest only for a year, or by putting you on a payment plan for a certain period of time. “Seek help as soon as you can to mitigate any negative impact of the repayment holiday ending,” he says.  *The comparison rate is based on a secured loan of $150,000 and a term of 25 years. WARNING: These comparison rates apply only to the example or examples given. Different amounts and terms will result in different comparison rates. Costs such as redraw fees or early repayment fees, and costs savings such as fee waivers, are not included in the comparison rate but may influence the cost of the loan. For more comments, please contact: Vadim Taube, Chief Executive Email: vadim.taube@infochoice.com.au Phone: 0403 580 794 Arctic Intelligence addresses data sovereignty with its global cloud-based risk assessment solution 2020-09-08T23:24:21Z arctic-intelligence-addresses-data-sovereignty-with-its-global-cloud-based-risk-assessment-solution Global RegTech firm, Arctic Intelligence, recognises the importance of data sovereignty for its clients. The latest release of Arctic Intelligence’s cloud-based risk assessment solution, Risk Assessment Platform (RAP), now includes global architecture that ensures client data resides in a data store within their selected region. This enhancement comes into effect 9 September 2020 and addresses concerns across the globe in meeting privacy regulations within the country of origin. Darren Cade, Chief Operating Officer, states, “To put it simply, this enhancement means that Arctic Intelligence will not need to set up separate environments in different parts of the world”. Arctic Intelligence is ISO270001 certified for Information Security and together with the data sovereignty enhancement, it means more clients can leverage the convenience of a cloud-based RegTech solution without the concern of off-shore data.  It removes the need to install software in their own environment. The new architecture includes: -        a single entry point for global clients to the Arctic Intelligence cloud platform -        a single user account across multiple regions -        support for regional databases -        a central hub for replicating non-sensitive data such as templates Cade adds, “If a client registers in a particular region, all of the client specific data and information, such as their financial crime risk assessments, is stored in the relevant regional database. We believe this to be market-leading architecture that will provide great benefit to all of our clients globally”. Arctic Intelligence believes that in order to combat the perils of money laundering, terrorist financing and other financial crimes, it is important to combine a standardised risk-based approach and the use of technology. Playboy Playmate to Business Woman 2020-09-08T23:19:12Z playboy-playmate-to-business-woman Jasmin Shojai, best known for being awarded ‘Australia’s Top Glamour Model of 2017-18’ and for being an icon in the Playboy Brand (appearing 10 times) Is now on the journey, so to say, on becoming a more ‘Traditional Business Woman’. Although the young entrepreneur has always been quite the savvy Business Woman throughout her modelling & acting years Speaking of modelling, Miss Shojai has been featured in various Magazines & TV/Radio shows. From Maxim USA, to Maxim Mexico and even Dash Radio’s ‘Kaliente Girls’ in Los Angeles, USA. Where the supermodel also made other accomplishments. It’s sometimes hard to believe that the 26 year old star, started her career in 2016, a short 4 years ago. Now, Miss Shojai says, after a somewhat challenging year (with the current Coronavirus pandemic). She is keen to put some of her skills and knowledge in ‘numbers'. “Its going to be an interesting next few months”, she says.  “Accounting and Investment Banking have been some of my ‘hidden goals' for a while. I am very enthusiastic to start studying and making my mark in the finance world”. Fans across the globe, from the USA to Australia, and many international countries, enjoy seeing Jasmin’s incredible work and entertainment projects on her Instagram. With the Star posting almost daily, with new pictures, videos and news to share. Over the years, Miss Shojai has also been focusing on her Acting career. The Aspiring Actress appeared in the US film ‘The Alliance’ in 2018. This full feature film won many awards in film festivals and is definitely one of her most credential roles. Miss Shojai can also be very well recognised from her 2 appearances in Naked News. A TV station in Canada, featuring Women presenting the World’s most popular topics and stories, in perhaps the most revealing way “I love what I do, I have always been so passionate about my career. For me, Investment and Trades is the next passion I really look forward to working on. I have always found Mathematics in general such a Key foundation in Business, and everyday life, this year has taught me to really chase my dreams, even if they are more challenging to do” As many others have said, Jasmin Shojai is really going places! We recommend to check out her work! www.instagram.com/jasminshojaimodel www.twitter.com/jasmin_shojai MBS Insurance welcomes two adviser partners & expands operations with new office in Perth 2020-09-08T03:45:56Z mbs-insurance-welcomes-two-adviser-partners-amp-expands-operations-with-new-office-in-perth MBS Insurance (MBS) partner Kris Mason has announced adviser partners Jade Burford and Shane Reay have joined the group and will head the leading risk advisory group’s newly established operation in Perth.    The new venture is a JV between MBS and Jade Burford and Shane Reay – and will be branded and marketed as MBS Insurance WA.    “This is a very exciting and significant development for our group and aspirations to have a national presence”, said Kris Mason.        “Jade and Shane are exceptional and passionate practitioners and determined to position MBS Insurance WA as a leading presence in the state.  MBS’s collective scale, streamlined underwriting and established workflow system will allow us to focus on our clients and referral partners obtaining better outcomes from day one”.   Both WA locals Jade and Shane have extensive business and financial service backgrounds and careers specialising in the insurance advisory area.   Having met whilst studying together at Cambridge Jade and  Kris have leveraged the connection to ultimately bring their businesses together. “We are both deeply passionate about risk insurance and the immense benefit it provides business owners, HNW families and career focused professionals.  An imperative of any wealth creation, lifestyle protection, retirement, estate planning and commercial aspiration is a risk insurance foundation”, said Jade and Shane.   “Above all we are steadfastly dedicated to providing the highest standards of specialist risk insurance advice and service to our clients”.    “This focus on our clients will continue to underpin our hard work and endeavours in building the MBS Insurance WA brand and presence in the West Australian marketplace”.   MBS is a founding member of the Bombora Advice national dealer group.  The appointment of Jade and Shane, together with the opening of MBS Insurance WA coincides with the seven-year anniversary of the licensee’s establishment in August 2013 by Wayne Handley.    In welcoming Jade and Shane to the Bombora practitioner network, Wayne Handley said they exemplified the new generation of risk insurance advisers and will encourage graduates to consider an advice career.   Kris Mason said the need for a presence in Perth had been an objective for MBS as the group’s national footprint had grown significantly as the result of new business, growth and JV/alliance opportunities.      “Although in growth mode, our aim is to manage growth carefully in order to maintain the boutique personalised approach to client service and engagement”, affirmed Kris Mason.    Jade and Shane concluded, “We are very excited about the future, and the opportunities MBS Insurance WA will provide for our clients and the group”.     ENDS   Issued jointly by    MBS Insurance and MBS Insurance WA                     www.mbsinsurance.com.au         Media Enquiries:    Mr. Joe Perri, Joe Perri & Associates Pty Ltd                               Mob:  +61 412 112 545     Email:  jperri@joeperri.com.au     ezyVet and Openpay enter strategic partnership to extend payment plans to fur babies 2020-09-04T05:26:12Z ezyvet-and-openpay-enter-strategic-partnership-to-extend-payment-plans-to-fur-babies Thanks to a new partnership between 'Buy Now Pay Later' (BNPL) payment provider Openpay (ASX: OPY), and veterinary software provider ezyVet, pet owners can now spread the cost of their vet bill interest-free over time, with the vet practice getting paid in full immediately. Vet practices can generate more business and no longer need to juggle the patient's needs, the pet owner's pocketbook, or their conscience. ezyVet is a well-established and innovative cloud-based practice management software used by vet practices globally, with considerable market penetration throughout Asia-Pacific. Openpay was established in Australia in 2013 as a payment technology company. Openpay Head of Health, Nick Grant notes, "We've seen the Vet industry adapt quickly to recent COVID challenges, and we know removing the financial barrier to treatment supports both Vets, and most importantly their patients. ezyVet is a leader in the veterinary software industry and we are proud to announce this partnership." The integration between ezyVet and Openpay enables pet owners to sign up and be approved for credit within 90 seconds. A new plan is processed in the practice via the customers Openpay app or web portal. Openpay guarantees payment to the practice the next business day, and the pet owner pays off the remaining installments to Openpay over the selected payment term. According to ezyVet CFO Pete Brown, "when it comes to healthcare and economics, timing is everything. If your dog gets sick you need money fast. This partnership supports our company philosophy. Let the Vets do their job and leave the admin to ezyVet". Abby Cotton, Practice Manager at Greenhills Veterinary Hospitals has successfully piloted the integration. "We have been able to treat more patients in the clinic as we have provided a fast and more streamlined financial support service for our clients. The integration allows us to provide a payment plan for our clients that supports both them and our clinic, without having to carry the burden of debt collecting." Learn about Openpay at openpay.com.au  Learn about ezyVet at ezyVet.comVideo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dg3tjZtnUpk Compagnie Financiere Tradition SA Acquires 100% of NZ's OM Wholesale 2020-09-03T15:33:03Z compagnie-financiere-tradition-sa-acquires-100-of-nz-s-om-wholesale SINGAPORE, Sept 4, 2020 - (ACN Newswire) - Compagnie Financiere Tradition SA ("Tradition") has today announced its acquisition of OM Wholesale Ltd ("OMW"). OMW is New Zealand's only independent interbank broking business having been formed in a restructure preceding the sale of OM Financial Ltd to First NZ Capital Securities Ltd in 2018. The Wellington-based business of experienced foreign exchange and interest rate derivative brokers has been re-named Tradition Kiwi Brokers Limited.Cie Financiere Tradition is one of the world's largest interdealer brokers in over-the-counter financial and commodity-related products. Represented in 30 countries, Cie Financiere Tradition employs more than 2,300 people globally and provides broking services for a complete range of financial products (money market products, bonds, interest rate, currency and credit derivatives, equities, equity derivatives, interest rate futures and index futures) and non-financial products (energy and environmental products, and precious metals). Compagnie Financiere Tradition SA (CFT) is listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange. Sydney-based insurance professional recognised as an industry elite performer 2020-09-02T03:58:30Z sydney-based-insurance-professional-recognised-as-an-industry-elite-performer-1 St Leonards, NSW (2 September 2020) A Sydney-based insurance professional has been recognised in a prestigious list of the Australian insurance industry’s foremost female leaders. GT Insurance’s Angela Stevens has been included in Insurance Business magazine’s Elite Women in Insurance report, celebrating the 29 leading women who have used their skills and insights to shape Australia’s insurance industry. For the past nine years, Stevens has served as national claims manager at GT Insurance, overseeing the company’s claims management in 10 branches across Australia and leading GT Insurance to win three awards for its claims service in the past two years. Drawing on 26 years of industry experience, Stevens manages customer and intermediary needs through continual review and improvement of claims processing, while also developing, reviewing and training branch claims personnel across the country. Thanks to her vast experience, Stevens was able to act quickly to support GT Insurance’s customers when the pandemic struck. “We are delivering on our core values, and our fair principle has also given our customers the safety and reassurance that we are meeting their needs,” she says. “We are also taking the time to talk to our customers and reassuring them that we are there for them in these di¬fficult times. “While insurance is unarguably still a male-dominated field, especially at the executive level, it’s fair to say the sector is making significant progress in improving gender representation. A push for greater gender diversity and equality is happening in workplaces across the nation, and Diversity Australia has recognised the finance, banking and insurance services sector as a leader in implementing diversity policies,” says the Insurance Business team. “Although policies and programs are crucial to building a fairer and more inclusive industry, it’s the accomplished female role models who are invaluable in providing inspiration to younger women entering the field. This is where IB’s Elite Women in Insurance list comes in. Today, these 29 impressive female leaders are determining the industry’s strategic direction in the wake of COVID-19, paving its future path and inspiring those who choose to follow in their footsteps.” For the full report see issue 9.04 of Insurance Business magazine out now. To view the list and to find out more about Stevens, click HERE. -ENDS- Insurance Business is the leading independent business magazine and website for insurance brokers and advice professionals. A key business resource, Insurance Business provides daily breaking news, cutting-edge opinion and in-depth analysis affecting the industry. Insurance Business also offers a series of industry reports that recognize the achievements of key individuals and businesses as well as providing the latest in business best practice in a continually evolving industry. Part of the global Insurance Business suite of publications, IB reaches a wide readership in Australia, New Zealand, Asia, USA, Canada and UK. Epazz DeskFlex Signs Up an Average of 5 New Customers Per Week for Its Desk Booking Software, as Companies Return to the Office After COVID-19 Lockdowns 2020-09-02T03:06:08Z epazz-deskflex-signs-up-an-average-of-5-new-customers-per-week-for-its-desk-booking-software-as-companies-return-to-the-office-after-covid-19-lockdowns-1      CHICAGO, IL, Sept 1, 2020 - (ACN Newswire) - via NEWMEDIAWIRE -- Epazz, Inc., DeskFlex (OTC: EPAZ), a mission-critical cloud computing software provider company, confirmed today that DeskFlex desk booking software is signing up about five new customers per week. The company receives strong interest from enterprises, governments, nonprofits, and hospitals. This increase in sales will be seen in the third quarter financials.DeskFlex meeting room booking software continuously adds new features and functions that help public and private organizations, schools, and enterprises transition to the "new normal" during the COVID-19 pandemic. DeskFlex meeting room scheduling software recently added COVID-compliant features, including the Thermal Scanner, Mask Detection, Social Distancing Survey, Contact Tracing, Automatic Desk Sanitation, Dynamic Scheduling, Capacity Limits, and Visitor Management.DeskFlex helps offices and schools prevent infection within the vicinity. DeskFlex's room scheduling system can also quickly facilitate the Contact Tracing process in case of an outbreak. The complementary devices - such as Contactless Room Display, the FlexCube, Bluetooth Beacons, and the Lobby Kiosks - assist in the software's functionality.Since June, DeskFlex has received subsequent requests for product demonstrations and software training as well as increased subscriptions. The DeskFlex room booking system ensures that their software features and hardware components comply with COVID-19 measures required by health departments around the world. DeskFlex desk booking software anticipates a rising trend for an interactive business software solution that secures employee health and safety.Founded in 1997, DeskFlex is a pioneer in desk booking software, conference room booking, and remote working concepts. For over 20 years, DeskFlex continually improves to meet the demands and challenges of various organizations in a different era.According to Shaun Passley, PhD, CEO of Epazz, Inc., "We are gratified to announce that our team is now working overtime to cater to different organizations that request customized DeskFlex anti-COVID features and help them return to work or back to school safely."About DeskFlex.comDeskFlex is a desk booking solution and room reservation software for conference rooms, workspaces, desks, car parking spaces, equipment, hoteling, and HotDesking that helps office managers accommodate the occasional needs of mobile workers while reducing rent and facility costs. DeskFlex lets employees reserve space in advance or claim desks right away. It adjusts the telephone switch (PBX) so calls ring at the "desk du jour." DeskFlex includes check-in, point-and-click floor maps, a web browser, a local kiosk, Outlook integration, and conference room scheduling.About Epazz, Inc. (www.epazz.com)Epazz, Inc., is a leading cloud-based software company that specializes in providing customized cloud applications to the corporate world, higher education institutions, and the public sector. Epazz BoxesOS(TM) v3.0 is a complete web-based software package for small- to mid-size businesses, Fortune 500 enterprises, government agencies, and higher education institutions. BoxesOS(TM) provides many of the web-based applications organizations would otherwise need to purchase separately. Epazz's other products are K9Sky kennel software and the Provitrac applicant tracking system.SAFE HARBORThis is the Safe Harbor Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: certain statements contained in this press release are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements can generally be identified by the use of forward-looking words such as "may," "expect," "intend," "estimate," "anticipate," "believe," and "continue" (or the negation thereof) or similar terminology. Such forward-looking statements are subject to risks, uncertainties, and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from future results or those implied by such forward-looking statements. Investors are cautioned that no forward-looking statement is a guarantee of future performance and that actual results may differ materially from those contemplated by such forward-looking statements. Epazz, Inc., assumes no obligation and has no intention of updating these forward-looking statements. It has no obligation to update or correct information prepared by third parties that are not paid for by Epazz, Inc. Investors are encouraged to review Epazz, Inc.'s, public filings on SEC.gov and otcmarkets.com, including its unaudited and audited financial statements and its OTC market filings, which contain general business information about the company's operations, results of operations, and risks associated with the company and its operations.CONTACTFor more information, please contactInvestor Relationsinvestors@epazz.net(312) 955-8161www.epazz.com CWA of NSW puts Awareness Week spotlight on domestic violence 'national emergency' 2020-08-31T23:25:25Z cwa-of-nsw-puts-awareness-week-spotlight-on-domestic-violence-national-emergency-2 Hi , The Country Women’s Association (CWA) of NSW is preparing to launch its annual Awareness Week campaign on September 6, this year focussing on the issue of domestic violence. The 2020 campaign is highlighting the confronting statistics that underline the need for urgent action in the areas of support services, perpetrator rehabilitation and prevention programs, particularly in rural and regional NSW, where this kind of assistance can be limited and often hours away. The CWA of NSW is partnering with White Ribbon Australia and Domestic Violence NSW on this year’s Awareness Week, supportive of each organisation’s lobbying efforts and services offered to victims and their families. CWA of NSW State President Stephanie Stanhope said the organisation wanted to highlight the urgency around more action on the issue in an effort to turn around the confronting statistics. “The rates of violence we are seeing are not acceptable in our communities and we are calling for more initiatives, strategies and resources to go towards addressing the issue, particularly in rural and regional areas. We also want to encourage women who are living with violence to reach out for assistance, and the message from communities must be that victims are not alone and will not be judged, but rather listened to and supported,” she said. The campaign runs from September 6 to 13 and for interview requests with CWA of NSW president Stephanie Stanhope or Awareness Week partners White Ribbon Australia and Domestic Violence NSW, please let me know. Branches across the state are participating in the campaign with their own awareness-raising events, subject to COVID-19 restrictions at this time, so get in touch with your local branch for find out what they have planned. A branch locator can be found at: https://www.cwaofnsw.org.au/branchesgroups.html Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC QC, Governor of New South Wales, is the Patron of the CWA of NSW and has prepared a message in support of this year’s Awareness Week campaign, which can be viewed here. Kind regards, Kylie Galbraith Seftons Tamworth NSW 2340 Ph. 0411 480 208 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- MEDIA RELEASE CWA of NSW puts Awareness Week spotlight on domestic violence ‘national emergency’ A call for domestic violence to be recognised as a “national emergency” is at the heart of this year’s Country Women’s Association of NSW Awareness Week, beginning on Sunday, September 6. This year’s Awareness Week is shining the spotlight on the confronting statistics that underline the need for urgent action in the areas of support services, perpetrator rehabilitation and prevention programs, particularly in rural and regional NSW, where this kind of assistance can be hours away. This comes as COVID-19 and associated restrictions have exacerbated the issue of domestic violence in 2020, with restrictions putting victims in closer proximity to their abusers, for often longer periods of time, making it harder for victims to reach out for help. Statistics show: One woman is killed every nine days and one man is killed every 29 days in a domestic violence-related situation. One in six women and one in 16 men in Australia have experienced physical or sexual violence from a current or previous cohabiting partner. Indigenous women are 32 times more likely to be hospitalised due to family violence than non-indigenous women. Domestic and family violence is the leading cause of homelessness for women and their children. Women in regional, rural and remote areas are more likely than women in urban areas to experience domestic and family violence, and those who do seek help can find difficulty in accessing services due to geographical isolation (services/emergency accommodation may be hundreds of kilometres away) and lack of transportation options. CWA of NSW State President Stephanie Stanhope said the organisation wanted to highlight the urgency around more action on the issue in an effort to turn around the confronting statistics. “Figures like these are not acceptable in our communities and we are calling for more initiatives, strategies and resources to go towards addressing the issue, particularly in rural and regional areas. We also want to encourage women who are living with violence to reach out for assistance, because there are services there to help and communities who will stand behind them. The message from communities must be that victims are not alone and will not be judged, but rather listened to and supported,” she said. The CWA of NSW is partnering with White Ribbon Australia and Domestic Violence NSW on this year’s campaign, supportive of each organisation’s lobbying efforts and services offered to victims and their families. The organisation is supporting Domestic Violence NSW’s calls for law and policy change aimed at helping prevent and address the issues around domestic and family violence, and the call for a forum to help better understand the needs of victims in non-metropolitan areas. “People in rural, regional and outer metropolitan experiencing domestic violence face unique challenges and have specific needs. We are calling on the NSW Government to hold a regional forum to meet with local domestic violence services so that everyone, wherever they live, can access the support they need to be safe,” said Delia Donovan, Interim CEO of Domestic Violence NSW. White Ribbon Australia’s call for more behavioural change and support programs for perpetrators, and for those who feel like they are a risk to their partner/families and need immediate support, is also being supported by the CWA of NSW. White Ribbon Australia Executive Director Brad Chilcott said Men’s Behaviour Change (MBC) programs work with perpetrators to identify, understand and take responsibility for their violence, anger and abuse. “But demand far exceeds supply. Right now, there are hundreds of men across Australia, including regional NSW, who recognise their behaviour is unsafe and are reaching out for support, only to discover how little is available,” Mr Chilcott said. “Recent data from No To Violence shows that men are waiting up to 40 weeks to access specialist MBC programs, leaving women and children vulnerable to ongoing abuse.” In a recent postal vote on policy motions – which will form the basis of CWA of NSW’s lobbying efforts for the next 12 months – members overwhelmingly endorsed two motions around domestic violence: one urging governments to recognise the issue as a “national emergency”, and another calling for all governments to implement relevant recommendations and best practice relating to protecting survivors of domestic violence. This includes recommendations from the Australian Law Reform Commission’s family law review and the National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety. “Members are passionate about advocating for victims of domestic violence and for more support services in their local communities. White Ribbon Australia recognises individual communities are best placed to identify just what they need to help address the issue in their own neighbourhoods, so is urging communities to consider forming their own community action groups,” Stephanie said. “This Awareness Week we’re sending the message that we can all help make a difference if we stand together and make the safety of everyone in our community our top priority.” For those in need of assistance, 1800RESPECT is the national sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service, which can be contacted on 1800 737 732. For more information on White Ribbon Australia go to https://www.whiteribbon.org.au/, and for Domestic Violence NSW visit https://www.dvnsw.org.au/ CWA of NSW puts Awareness Week spotlight on domestic violence 'national emergency' 2020-08-31T23:18:15Z cwa-of-nsw-puts-awareness-week-spotlight-on-domestic-violence-national-emergency-1 Hi , The Country Women’s Association (CWA) of NSW is preparing to launch its annual Awareness Week campaign on September 6, this year focussing on the issue of domestic violence. The 2020 campaign is highlighting the confronting statistics that underline the need for urgent action in the areas of support services, perpetrator rehabilitation and prevention programs, particularly in rural and regional NSW, where this kind of assistance can be limited and often hours away. The CWA of NSW is partnering with White Ribbon Australia and Domestic Violence NSW on this year’s Awareness Week, supportive of each organisation’s lobbying efforts and services offered to victims and their families. CWA of NSW State President Stephanie Stanhope said the organisation wanted to highlight the urgency around more action on the issue in an effort to turn around the confronting statistics. “The rates of violence we are seeing are not acceptable in our communities and we are calling for more initiatives, strategies and resources to go towards addressing the issue, particularly in rural and regional areas. We also want to encourage women who are living with violence to reach out for assistance, and the message from communities must be that victims are not alone and will not be judged, but rather listened to and supported,” she said. The campaign runs from September 6 to 13 and for interview requests with CWA of NSW president Stephanie Stanhope or Awareness Week partners White Ribbon Australia and Domestic Violence NSW, please let me know. Branches across the state are participating in the campaign with their own awareness-raising events, subject to COVID-19 restrictions at this time, so get in touch with your local branch for find out what they have planned. A branch locator can be found at: https://www.cwaofnsw.org.au/branchesgroups.html Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC QC, Governor of New South Wales, is the Patron of the CWA of NSW and has prepared a message in support of this year’s Awareness Week campaign, which can be viewed here. Kind regards, Kylie Galbraith Seftons Tamworth NSW 2340 Ph. 0411 480 208 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- MEDIA RELEASE CWA of NSW puts Awareness Week spotlight on domestic violence ‘national emergency’ A call for domestic violence to be recognised as a “national emergency” is at the heart of this year’s Country Women’s Association of NSW Awareness Week, beginning on Sunday, September 6. This year’s Awareness Week is shining the spotlight on the confronting statistics that underline the need for urgent action in the areas of support services, perpetrator rehabilitation and prevention programs, particularly in rural and regional NSW, where this kind of assistance can be hours away. This comes as COVID-19 and associated restrictions have exacerbated the issue of domestic violence in 2020, with restrictions putting victims in closer proximity to their abusers, for often longer periods of time, making it harder for victims to reach out for help. Statistics show: One woman is killed every nine days and one man is killed every 29 days in a domestic violence-related situation. One in six women and one in 16 men in Australia have experienced physical or sexual violence from a current or previous cohabiting partner. Indigenous women are 32 times more likely to be hospitalised due to family violence than non-indigenous women. Domestic and family violence is the leading cause of homelessness for women and their children. Women in regional, rural and remote areas are more likely than women in urban areas to experience domestic and family violence, and those who do seek help can find difficulty in accessing services due to geographical isolation (services/emergency accommodation may be hundreds of kilometres away) and lack of transportation options. CWA of NSW State President Stephanie Stanhope said the organisation wanted to highlight the urgency around more action on the issue in an effort to turn around the confronting statistics. “Figures like these are not acceptable in our communities and we are calling for more initiatives, strategies and resources to go towards addressing the issue, particularly in rural and regional areas. We also want to encourage women who are living with violence to reach out for assistance, because there are services there to help and communities who will stand behind them. The message from communities must be that victims are not alone and will not be judged, but rather listened to and supported,” she said. The CWA of NSW is partnering with White Ribbon Australia and Domestic Violence NSW on this year’s campaign, supportive of each organisation’s lobbying efforts and services offered to victims and their families. The organisation is supporting Domestic Violence NSW’s calls for law and policy change aimed at helping prevent and address the issues around domestic and family violence, and the call for a forum to help better understand the needs of victims in non-metropolitan areas. “People in rural, regional and outer metropolitan experiencing domestic violence face unique challenges and have specific needs. We are calling on the NSW Government to hold a regional forum to meet with local domestic violence services so that everyone, wherever they live, can access the support they need to be safe,” said Delia Donovan, Interim CEO of Domestic Violence NSW. White Ribbon Australia’s call for more behavioural change and support programs for perpetrators, and for those who feel like they are a risk to their partner/families and need immediate support, is also being supported by the CWA of NSW. White Ribbon Australia Executive Director Brad Chilcott said Men’s Behaviour Change (MBC) programs work with perpetrators to identify, understand and take responsibility for their violence, anger and abuse. “But demand far exceeds supply. Right now, there are hundreds of men across Australia, including regional NSW, who recognise their behaviour is unsafe and are reaching out for support, only to discover how little is available,” Mr Chilcott said. “Recent data from No To Violence shows that men are waiting up to 40 weeks to access specialist MBC programs, leaving women and children vulnerable to ongoing abuse.” In a recent postal vote on policy motions – which will form the basis of CWA of NSW’s lobbying efforts for the next 12 months – members overwhelmingly endorsed two motions around domestic violence: one urging governments to recognise the issue as a “national emergency”, and another calling for all governments to implement relevant recommendations and best practice relating to protecting survivors of domestic violence. This includes recommendations from the Australian Law Reform Commission’s family law review and the National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety. “Members are passionate about advocating for victims of domestic violence and for more support services in their local communities. White Ribbon Australia recognises individual communities are best placed to identify just what they need to help address the issue in their own neighbourhoods, so is urging communities to consider forming their own community action groups,” Stephanie said. “This Awareness Week we’re sending the message that we can all help make a difference if we stand together and make the safety of everyone in our community our top priority.” For those in need of assistance, 1800RESPECT is the national sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service, which can be contacted on 1800 737 732. For more information on White Ribbon Australia go to https://www.whiteribbon.org.au/, and for Domestic Violence NSW visit https://www.dvnsw.org.au/