The PRWIRE Press Releases https:// 2020-08-06T03:54:25Z Auckland-based mortgage adviser recognised as industry top performer 2020-08-06T03:54:25Z auckland-based-mortgage-adviser-recognised-as-industry-top-performer Auckland (August 2020) – An Auckland-based mortgage adviser has been recognised in a prestigious list showcasing the top advisers in the industry. iConsult’s Satyan Mehra has been included in NZ Adviser’s annual Top Advisers report. Now in its fourth year, the report ranks New Zealand’s top 30 mortgage advisers of 2020. The ‘well-connected’ Mehra started his career as an advisor, auditor and analyst at the Bank of New Zealand before moving to ANZ, where he spent three years as a business manager. He started up iConsult Mortgage Brokers in 2017, which quickly developed a reputation for its deep knowledge of commercial and residential lending structures, and for securing simple, transparent lending arrangements. Mehra is described by industry colleagues as a ‘real people person who walks the talk - if he gives you a commitment, he’ll follow it through.’ Mehra’s accolades include Young Entrepreneur of the Year - Indian Business Awards, November 2019 and Best Financial Advisor of the Year - Indian Business Awards, November 2018. “Our 30 top advisers this year settled a combined value of $2,838,661,153 across 7,799 total loans – an outstanding result for everybody who made the list,” says NZ Adviser news editor Ksenia Stepanova. “The report asked advisers to provide some key performance metrics from the past 12 months to uncover the top adviser in the industry. Competition was tougher than ever this year and the winning advisers hail from all over New Zealand, representing the main centres of Auckland, Christchurch as well as Hamilton, Arrowtown, Raglan, Cambridge, and other regions. The report is based on the total value of loans settled in the past 12 months, with all figures subject to confirmation by each adviser’s aggregator(s). To view the full report and to find out more about Mehra, click HERE. -ENDS- NZ Adviser is New Zealand’s newest source of news, opinion and analysis for mortgage and finance advice professionals. Delivered exclusively online, NZ Adviser provides a real-time web service that keeps time-poor advisers up to date with the latest breaking news, cutting-edge opinion, and expert analysis affecting both their business and their industry as a whole. NZ Adviser provides a regular newsletter service, delivered to inboxes daily, covering exclusive and need-to-know developments of the day from the government and regulators, banks and lenders, as well as industry service providers. An online industry hub, NZ Adviser also offers fresh and informative multimedia news and commentary, practical articles and features to assist with developing businesses, a popular industry forum for online discussion and debate, and industry-specific research and reports. NZ Adviser is published by independent media company Key Media. Find out more about Key Media’s magazines, events and websites at GSN and Daisee partner to provide AI-powered automated quality management to improve customer experience 2020-08-06T03:33:53Z gsn-and-daisee-partner-to-provide-ai-powered-automated-quality-management-to-improve-customer-experience GSN and Daisee are excited to announce the award winning Daisee solution is now available as part of GSN’s ecosystem of pioneering cloud contact centre solutions.  This partnership brings together the contact centre expertise of GSN with the advanced AI powered customer interaction quality management capabilities of Daisee to help organisations create value in every interaction.   The direct partnership between GSN’s leading cloud contact centre solution and Daisee’s AI powered speech and sentiment Analytics allows companies to quickly understand the quality of every customer interaction across three core pillars – communication, conduct and compliance as well as leverage the customer data for continuous business improvement.  “I am extremely excited to announce that Daisee’s award winning solution is now part of the GSN portfolio of leading customer engagement solutions.  We believe Daisee sets a new standard in understanding the quality of every customer interaction within a contact centre environment.  It is a perfect fit for our customers” said Richard Fink, CEO of GSN.   Daisee analyses every single voice interaction using its patent-pending proprietary sentiment engine. The world’s first Programmable Scorecard™ augments the quality management process, replacing the traditional paper scorecard with an automated, digital one, flagging critical focus areas within the media player and providing descriptive rationale as to why certain questions failed or passed. Workflow automatically triages low-scoring, high risk calls for operational personnel to review and remediate.  “Daisee’s solution is purpose built to enable organisations to quickly identify compliance and quality issues on customer interactions gaining knowledge and insights that enable better business outcomes. We are excited to partner with the expertise of GSN to bring our solution to more customers across Australian and New Zealand” said Richard Kimber, Founder & CEO, Daisee.  For more information, please contact Harrison Deck (Sales Director ANZ) at Daisee on +61-(0)404 697 151 or Tim Noll (Enterprise Architect) at GSN on +61-(0)437 287 531.  About GSN GSN is an Australian owned customer engagement solutions provider and a pioneer in Cloud and SaaS technologies since 2003. GSN delivers innovative customer engagement solutions with data and insights, service design, and development expertise to create value in every customer interaction.  About Daisee Daisee builds technology that empowers people.  Daisee provides customer interaction quality management, powered by proprietary AI-driven speech and sentiment analytics. Enabling you to see far beyond words alone, surfacing the underlying emotion hidden deep within your calls – what your customers are really saying, thinking and feeling. Daisee helps people solve problems by making interactions simple and smart so they can have a more significant impact, be more productive, and be better at what they do. We believe incremental improvements carry huge potency and provide exponentially greater change for the better.   SCCU increase the level of financial support to provide $50,000 in Community Grants! 2020-08-05T23:01:18Z sccu-increase-the-level-of-financial-support-to-provide-50-000-in-community-grants Southern Cross Credit Union announces more funding than ever before for their Community Grants program, with a total of $50,000 to be shared across applications from families, individuals, business and community groups. Community Grants is SCCU’s largest annual community program, generating enormous interest across the Northern Rivers. Living true to their ethos as a Credit Union and giving back to the community when they need it the most, SCCU have increased the amount to a record total, to be shared across successful applicants. The program this year will focus on the future, with categories focused on preserving the future of the region, taking back momentum and supporting ideas that have the power to spark change. SCCU CEO Stuart Edwards shared “It’s been a challenging year for many of us and while things continue to shift, we want to help even more and support our community when they need it the most. Tripling our contribution this year continues our resolve to invest in the place we call home and reflects who we are as a business, where we’re going and why we’re different for all the right reasons.” Past recipients have used their SCCU Grants to make a huge impact on the Northern Rivers, with projects including building tunnels to produce over 60,000 trees per year to be replanted; providing breakfast to between 50-100 primary children every school day for 2 years; starting a program to put homeless women through food safety and barista courses to help them return to the workforce; producing a book to educate children about differences, diversity and disabilities in others; and purchasing new rescue equipment to reach the rising number of people in need. Applications are now open and close on the 30th September For more information on the SCCU Community Grants program, how to enter or the Community work SCCU is committed to, visit: Blessed Financial Services offers private property loans 2020-08-05T01:19:51Z blessed-financial-services-offers-private-property-loans To most borrowers seeking non-bank finance, the world of lending beyond the major banks is largely opaque. There is no clear signage or Ikea-like how-to-put-it-together instructions to guide borrowers in the right direction to find the best fits for their needs.  While lenders have taken a cautious approach to assessing commercial property loans during Covid-19 advisory firm 'Blessed Financial Services' has seen a significant shift in demand for non-bank lending. 'In the past two weeks there has been a shift in demand for non-bank lending, however private funding can be a frightening prospect, many businesses and consumers in Australia have a distinct lack of financial literacy. Traditionally, borrowers have been supported by a familiar Australian banking system, always take advice from your Solicitor or a mortgage broker of good repute when dealing with private lenders' Blessed Financial Services managing Director Shane Reynolds said.  Blessed Financial Services have access to an exclusive range of private property loans, tailored to meet the needs of Australian businesses and investors. With a track record of success and experienced executives Blessed Financial Services is a leading authority in commercial property finance. It's business was built on repeat and a strong referral program (working with brokers, lawyers, accountants and real estate agents). With interest starting from a low 8 per cent and loans beginning at $100,000 and capped at $20 million+ per loan our products allow borrowers to further opportunities to expand their private property portfolios in the retail, commercial, industrial and residential sectors, 'Our doors are open to developers looking for non-bank construction finance alternatives'. Blessed Financial Services is recognised as have a leading B2B national brokerage service, providing brokers, referrers and businesses Australia-wide with access to over 450 lenders, along with having their own private lending division.  If you are a broker or referrer and require assistance writing a commercial loan Blessed Financial Services offers accredited brokers generous commissions and incentives for genuine referrals, and brokered deals, join hundreds of other brokers and partner with one of Australia’s leading non-bank solutions. Blessed Financial Services is hiring for key national roles in analysis, support and delivery given the uptick in demand.  If you would like to find out more about the range of private property loans available from Blessed Financial Services, you can contact the company today on 1800 592 338 and speak to one of their brokers. For further information you can visit their website at:  BTL AESTHETICS AUSTRALIA SIGN DEAL WITH SILK LASER CLINICS 2020-08-04T02:58:32Z btl-aesthetics-australia-sign-deal-with-silk-laser-clinics In a positive business news story, BTL Aesthetics and SILK Laser Clinics are excited to announce that they have formed an unprecedented partnership. This ground-breaking affiliation will see SILK Laser Clinics move into the body treatment arena with the launch of fifteen BTL Aesthetic EMSCULPT® devices into selected SILK Laser Clinics locations across Australia. EMSCULPT®’s revolutionary new technology strengthens and defines muscles and disrupt fat cells. Used by a plethora of A list stars and elite athletes, EMSCULPT® is equivalent to doing 20,000 sit-ups or squats in 30 mins. The technology utilises patented HIFEM® magnetic field energy and induces approximately 20,000 supramaximal muscle contractions, which cannot be achieved voluntarily, to help target hard-to-tone areas. Respected national brand SILK Laser Clinics take pride in making aesthetics accessible to all in a safe, trusted and relaxing environment. Services include laser hair removal, cosmetic injections, skin treatments, skincare and (in South Australia) laser tattoo removal. Skin and cosmetic treatments designed to help clients look and feel their best, and now, SILK clients can transform their bodies as well. This new collaboration will establish SILK as a leader in non-invasive body treatments, which is the fastest-growing area of aesthetics. An exciting expansion that is in line with the SILK brand's ethos of only working with the most reputable, clinically tested and approved devices. “The deal was in its initial stages pre COVID restrictions, and SILK Laser Clinics and BTL are excited to be moving forward with the rollout. The official launch will commence from August 2020 with Emsculpt devices available in key clinics in SA, WA, NSW, QLD, NT and TAS. We are delighted to be providing a world-leading body treatment for our clients that want help to build muscle, burn fat and get into shape for summer. We will no doubt attract many new men and women into SILK that are interested in fitness, wellness and core strength. It is an exciting and positive time for the business.” said Martin Perelman, Managing Director of SILK Laser Clinics. Tested in several independent clinical studies, BTL EMSCULPT® delivers consistent results, with a 16% increase in muscle mass, a 19% reduction in subcutaneous abdominal fat and a 14.3% reduction in visceral fat (with 17 out of 22 patients showed reduction higher than 10%). The average waist measurement sees a decrease of 4.4 cm reduction in the thickness of the subcutaneous abdominal fat layer. EMSCULPT® is the first and only HIFEM® technology to­ build muscle and ­burn fat. The device has multiple applicator sizes available for treatments that focus on the abdomen, buttocks, arms or calves. EMSCULPT® has a 95% patient satisfaction rate with 500,000+ treatments annually in the world. SILK Laser Clinics are Australia’s fastest-growing Aesthetic franchise businesses and an exciting and dynamic business model. There are 53 SILK Laser Clinics locations across Australia including, WA, SA, NT, QLD, TAS and NSW. A successful national brand that focusses on providing its clients with the latest technology and highest service standards in aesthetics, beautifully appointed clinics and highly trained staff. The SILK Laser Clinics chain has grown rapidly since the first clinic opened in Hyde Park, South Australia, in 2009, thanks to the brand's excellent reputation, professional operation and the latest in Aesthetics treatments. “SILK Laser Clinics is a major player in the Australian Aesthetics industry and BTL Aesthetics are excited to be part of this innovative brand's strategic growth. Martin Perelman and the team at SILK share our passion for product and treatment technology, as well as integrity. SILK Laser Clinics and BTL Aesthetics have an exciting few months ahead with the planned Emsculpt rollout,” said Gareth Pepper, National Sales Director for BTL Aesthetics Australia and New Zealand. EMSCULPT® has won several awards, including Best Non-Invasive Body Shaping Technology 2019, Anti-Aging & Beauty Trophy Winner, NewBeauty Best Innovations Award, Harper’s Bazaar Anti-Aging Awards - Best Body Firming treatment and realself ‘Most Worth It’ Award Patient Choice Award and four MyFaceMyBody Awards. About BTL Founded in 1993, BTL has grown to become one of the world's major manufacturers of medical and aesthetic equipment. With over 1,800 employees located in more than 55 countries, BTL has revolutionized the way to offer the most advanced non-invasive solutions for body shaping, skin tightening & other medical aesthetic treatments, including women's intimate health and wellness. BTL's brands include EMSCULPT®, EMSELLA®, BTL Vanquish® ME, BTL Exilis® ULTRA, and BTL X Wave®. For additional information, visit     Transforming Risk Management & Compliance in India. 2020-08-03T02:03:35Z transforming-risk-management-amp-compliance-in-india Today marks an exciting major step as we team up with India’s leading startup, TNCIL Group! TNCIL (aka The Network Chef) focuses on digital infrastructure solutions & consulting, helping businesses to migrate into new and improved digital transformation requirements. TNCIL offers Cybersecurity consulting to customers as one of its specialised services. With a mix of young and experienced team members with the passion to transcend new opportunities and help customers to travel the journey smoothly, TNCIL believe that new technology is the key to helping businesses achieve great things in the digital age. And importantly, security is one of the key components in this success. The next-gen 6clicks GRC platform revolutionises the way organisations mature their cyber security, data privacy, risk management and compliance capabilities. 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 ever-evolving regulatory environments at low cost. TNCIL Group Founder and Partner Madhu Kumar J, says, “The strategic partnership with 6clicks will further strengthen TNCIL’s security solution capability, by helping customers to better manage governance, risk & compliance”. 6clicks CEO and Co-Founder Anthony Stevens sent the word out last night, saying:“The TNCIL team have been impressive in their view and approach to compliance and risk management in the cybersecurity market. We look forward to working closely with them and their customers around the world with 6clicks”.  The 6clicks expansion into India led by Anthony Stevens and Srini Peyyalamitta is incredibly exciting. Stay tuned for more good news! The (rapidly growing) 6clicks Global Community. Media Enquiries: Stephen Walter. Head of Marketing & PR - Forward IT greets new financial year with record revenue success 2020-08-01T02:48:00Z forward-it-greets-new-financial-year-with-record-revenue-success Wednesday July 29th, 2020 – Forward IT (FiT), a leading provider of IT services and support to government and corporate clients, has reported stellar end of financial year results, with revenues clocking in at $54.3, up 102% on the previous financial year end. During the past 12 months, Forward IT was acquired by ASI Solutions (ASI) with the acquisition offering opportunities and benefits for both organisations. Forward IT is able to leverage ASI’s infrastructure in the form of our newly implemented ERP system, our inventory, warehousing, infrastructure and processes as well as bring in working capital to grow and fund new opportunities. The acquisition will give ASI access to additional Government business to grow their Public Sector portfolio along with additional managed service growth. With a 35 year legacy in introducing innovative technologies to market, ASI Solutions was an early investor in Cloud technologies and started the Canberra Data Centres (CDC)- one of the key Microsoft Australia hosting locations – back in 2007. Since then the company’s agility has seen it continue to innovate and stay at the forefront of technologies that best serve our customers. FiT and ASI’s combined focus on hardware and software deployment, managed IT services and ‘as a service’ models, as well as a suite of consultancy services has enabled the group to meet the specific requirements of individual customers and to trump previous revenue records. “We have seen the adoption of Microsoft Cloud technologies grow rapidly over the past few years to become the solution of choice for many of our customers” said Dom Polegubic, Director, Forward IT. “Traditionally, Federal and local government were slow to embrace cloud, but this is definitely changing.” “The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated some of the slow adopters into the Cloud and is also bringing cybersecurity to the forefront of many customers concerns. Our experience and investment in training has resulted in a number of government cloud engagements.” Forward IT has increased its service contracts in the past 12 months with key new contracts won in Government including CSIRO and Services Australia, among others. Increasingly, the company is providing ongoing consulting skills to ensure that customers continue to reap the benefits of their initial technology investment. Supporting these new clients is Forward IT’s professional services team which has increased by 37% in the past 12 months in line with the company’s managed services growth. Moving forward, the services team will continue to expand their cloud computing expertise strengthening the Microsoft relationship. “Microsoft cloud provides a wealth of cybersecurity features and services which customers can adopt,“ said Stephen Seckar, Director, Forward IT. “It can be difficult for customers to understand how they can protect their cloud security boundaries with such a rapid change in cloud technology, and that’s where we come in.” “Our team is extremely passionate about providing cybersecurity solutions to our Microsoft cloud customers, built upon the core Microsoft Cloud offerings, and adding value through complimentary Microsoft services around Endpoint Management, Windows Autopilot, Desktop Analytics, Microsoft Defender Advanced Threat Protection, Windows Virtual Desktop to mention a few. Our vision is to use the breath of Microsoft’s Cloud Security offerings to further enhance our customers cloud cyber security posture into the future. Nathan Lowe, Managing Director, ASI Solutions, said, “We are extremely proud of the recent achievements of the Forward IT Team. The opportunity for Forward IT, as part of ASI Solutions, in the year ahead is significant. We are uniquely positioned to deliver services and solutions to public and private sector organisations who want to maximise their investment in IT by working with an award-winning, Australian owned, headquartered and managed service provider. We are very excited for the future.” About ASI Solutions  ASI Solutions is a business technology and IT solutions provider, offering hardware, software and managed services. A family owned and run company since 1985, ASI has over 130 staff (before the acquisition) in NSW, ACT, Queensland, Victoria and South Australia, providing technology solutions to the Education, Government, Corporate, Retail and Health sectors. About Forward IT  Forward IT is a Canberra based IT services company, providing hardware, software and managed services. Operational since 2002, they have a team of 33 people, providing solutions for Government and corporate clients. Barhead Solutions to receive another Microsoft achievement to be part of the global elite group 2020/2021 Inner Circle for Microsoft Business Applications 2020-07-31T05:25:50Z barhead-solutions-to-receive-another-microsoft-achievement-to-be-part-of-the-global-elite-group-2020-2021-inner-circle-for-microsoft-business-applications Barhead is honored by Microsoft for achieving an outstanding sales achievement and innovation Sydney, NSW – 29 July 2020 – Barhead Solutions a specialised consulting firm focused on delivering business solutions leveraging Microsoft’s Digital Technology Stack has achieved the prestigious 2020/2021 Inner Circle for Microsoft Business Applications. Membership in this elite group is based on sales achievements that rank Barhead in the top echelon of the Microsoft’s Business Applications global network of partners. Inner Circle members have performed to a high standard of excellence by delivering valuable solutions that help organizations achieve increased success. 2020/2021 Inner Circle members are invited to the Inner Circle Virtual Summits, taking quarterly between July 2020 and June 2021, where they will have a unique opportunity to share strategy and network with Microsoft senior leaders and fellow partners. This recognition of Inner Circle for Microsoft Business Applications coincided with Microsoft Inspire, the annual premier partner event, which took place July 20-21, 2020. Microsoft Inspire provides the Microsoft partner community with the opportunity to learn about the company’s road map for the upcoming year, establish connections, share best practices, experience the latest product innovations and learn new skills. “Each year we recognize Microsoft Business Applications partners from around the world for delivering innovation and driving unsurpassed customer success,” said Cecilia Flombaum, Microsoft Business Applications Ecosystem Lead. “Our Inner Circle members are chosen based on their business performance as well as capabilities as an organization, whether that’s creating IP, developing solutions, or having an industry leading focus on digital transformation. Microsoft is honored to recognize Barhead for their achievements this past year, their dedication to our customers, and their innovation around the Microsoft Cloud.” With regards to the award, CEO and Co-founder Ken Struthers said, "The Barhead team is 100% focused on Microsoft and Business Applications. That the team's commitment and dedication is again recognised with such a prestigious award is fitting testament to their efforts and to those of our customers." “The Inner Circle Award further validates our continued investment and Microsoft's recognition of our performance and capability within Business Applications. As a leading Microsoft Partner in Australia we are thankful for Microsoft's continued support and trust in our business and drive to modernise our customers’ processes and solutions,” added John Orrock, Co-founder of Barhead About Barhead Barhead is an award winning specialised consultant firm focused on delivering business solutions, leveraging Microsoft’s Technology Stack. We believe that it is a combination of people, technology, and business drivers that underpin the most successful implementations. As a leading Microsoft Business Applications partner with global cross industry expertise, we cover the diverse product offerings from Microsoft and the broader ecosystem, supporting our clients to modernize their systems and processes. Our collaborative client engagement model centred on business outcomes enables us to deliver the most innovative use of technology. Our consulting expertise and offerings span the entire Microsoft stack with focus on Dynamics 365 and Power Platform. Young financial planner celebrates 4th milestone – passion & energy continue to be his drivers 2020-07-31T03:38:37Z young-financial-planner-celebrates-4th-milestone-passion-amp-energy-continue-to-be-his-drivers Earlier this month Sam Koranias, celebrated his fourth anniversary as a financial adviser and eighth year in the industry with Melbourne based planning practice Australian Wealth Solutions (AWS).    In celebrating the milestone, Sam affirmed that passion for making a positive and meaningful difference to the well-being of clients as a professional advice practitioner continue to be his drivers.   Congratulating Sam on his milestone, AWS principal and founder Sam Zervides said since joining the practice initially as an intern then transitioned to financial advice, he (Sam Koranias) has demonstrated an outstanding and exemplary commitment to the industry, the profession and his own personal and professional growth.   “It was no surprise to me and the AWS team that Sam Koranias was honoured and acknowledged as MLC’s Young Adviser of the Year in 2017”, said Sam Zervides.   “Irrespective of all the legislative and regulatory demands that impact the industry, the provision of financial advice requires a person to person connection to be effective.  Sam’s warm and engaging personality has endeared him to clients of all ages – but it’s his expertise and knowledge that are highly regarded and respected”.   In financial planning I’ve found a calling and career that I’m really passionate about and provides me with immense personal satisfaction said Sam Koranias.  “Each day I strive to be better than the day before and I do this through constant learning and improvement”.    “I’m also mentored by an industry stalwart in Sam Zervides and surrounded and motivated by an extraordinary team of gifted and equally passionate team members that comprise the AWS family”.   Commenting further Sam Koranias said, “I’ve learnt many valuable lessons over the course of my years in the industry – but none more so than the importance and benefit of personal financial advice and ongoing service.    “Lessons that are being powerfully and profoundly reinforced by the economic impact and very real hardships being experienced by Australians as a result of the coronavirus”, said Sam Koranias.   With respect to his personal approach, Sam Koranias added that making money is easy – it’s keeping it that’s hard.    Over the course of a working lifetime, a fortune is literally earned.    Regrettably for the vast majority of Australians, very little will be saved, protected or put to work through investment, diversification and insurance to ensure a comfortable future in retirement – or as a legacy to bequeath the next generation.    Nor as a life raft in hard times when unexpected catastrophes occur such as sickness, illness, death or an economic downturn.   Looking to the future, Sam continues to be committed to his personal and professional growth journey, determined to be the best he can in order to provide the highest standards of advice to clients.    A further goal is to develop a financial literacy program to assist AWS clients and their family members understand money management as it is a necessity in the modern era.  Financial literacy empowers individuals to understand how to make sound choices, allocate income, manage debt and navigate investment opportunities and choices.     ENDS   Issued by Australian Wealth Solutions             Media enquiries:     Mr. Joe Perri, Joe Perri & Associates Pty Ltd Mob: +61 412 112 545     Email:              Why this is the best time to invest in leadership skills 2020-07-31T02:04:20Z why-this-is-the-best-time-to-invest-in-leadership-skills   Media release Why this is the best time to invest in leadership skills Friday, July 31, 2020. When I started writing this article, I referred to the Post-COVID era. But now it seems that COVID is here to stay for at least one more year and become the ‘new normal’. Our generation (including our leaders) has never encountered such levels of combined health-economical-geopolitical-societal-personal uncertainty. For businesses, this means uncertainty in the future and a new set of risks to mitigate and lead. Does your organisation have the skills to manage them successfully? Our generation has not experienced global uncertainty, changes and instability at such extreme levels like those that we are currently undergoing in light of the pandemic. For many businesses, strong leadership is key to surviving and growing post-COVID. Working with executive teams and boards of directors for over 20 years, I believe that many leaders will need to lift their game. If they want to lead their organisations successfully, they need to strengthen their self-awareness and proactively develop new skills. The pandemic is a transformative global phenomenon, requiring leaders to think and lead differently. With everything that is happening simultaneously on the many fronts of this crisis (health, economic, societal and geopolitical) it is hard to understand, predict and plan the business future. The World Economic Forum reports that Reuters’ poll of more than 50 economists asking for their predictions for economic recovery after the coronavirus, found a variety of forecasts from shrinking by 6%, to growing by 0.7%.   This level of uncertainty means that boards and executive teams are operating at an extremely high personal risk while making tough decisions that could affect people’s lives: •    Boards- Board members have personal liability for the organisation, which is quite frightening when thinking of situations when boards don’t have full visibility and understanding of what is going on in the company- the organisational culture and ethics. With employees working from home, culture and ethics become even more challenging to lead, manage and govern. Without an in-depth knowledge of what is happening, the quality of the board’s decision making is potentially affected, which enhances the personal risk. Also, the new manslaughter laws that came into effect this month, could mean that boards would also be considered liable for coronavirus workplace infections. However, if directors are not on the floor- can they have certainty as to how the new policies are implemented and acted? •   CEOs- Pre the pandemic, some CEOs managed to lead their organisations without having a strong leadership team to support them. Leading alone or with limited support in these days is not only a competitive disadvantage but also a personal and mental health risk. •   Leadership Teams- Companies that suffer from low levels of collaboration between teams and agility, might find it impossible to pivot, change and survive.   We all know that leadership and culture are more important in times of crisis than during smooth sailing periods. In a crisis, leaders must be competent not only in their respective areas of expertise but also in essential skills such as ethical leadership, unbiased decision making, leading organisational culture and building high performing teams. These are only a few examples of crucial leadership skills that I refer to as managerial infrastructure. How would businesses survive without a proper infrastructure in place? Hence, although it sounds counter logical, this is the time to invest in the leadership team! In times of crisis, we jump into the easy solution of cutting the ‘fat’- but are leadership capabilities really ‘fat’? If you make the wrong strategic decisions, how far would you get? If you restructure the organisation and lose your top talent, where would that lead you? If your leadership is failing to empower and engage the team- how would you be able to innovate? If your decisions are perceived as unethical by crucial stakeholders- how would you keep your customers? The cost of not investing in leadership skills is much higher than the relatively low price of investing in these critical skills. While organisations that cut their leadership support and training due to COVID-19 might seem to be acting logically, in actual fact, they are reducing the chances of future organisational growth and long term survival. Some may argue that it is unethical to invest in leadership skills while we have to cut the headcount. This is a fair argument; however, the cost of leadership training is often a lot less than the yearly salary of an employee. There is no trade-in here; it is not that if you cut this cost, you will be able to keep another employee at work. It is about analysing the current strengths and areas for development and ensuring complementary leadership skills are in place. It is about ensuring the long-term survival of the organisation, which benefits the company’s core stakeholders, including its employees and their families, and the community at large. By now, we all realise that the concept of ‘change is the new normal’ that was commonly used pre-COVID referred to lower levels of uncertainty and change than what we are currently experiencing. The pandemic presents a new ‘normal’- one that is harder to grasp since our generation hasn’t had to deal with a similar level of uncertainty. Now, more than ever, we need strong leadership teams to guide organisational success. A one-person show won’t prevail- we need to build strong complementary leadership skills and ensure our leaders are highly competent in people, culture, ethics and decision-making skills. Now is the time to invest in current and future leaders to ensure organisations survive and advance opportunities in the market! Some tips Dr Inbar offers for CEOs and Boards to reflect on during these times: •    Risks- assess the new set of threats that the organisation is facing. •    Capabilities- does your organisation have all the necessary skills and competencies to manage the new business reality- risks and opportunities? Identify the core leadership team’s capabilities and gaps. •    Leadership team- three crucial areas to consider: 1) the strength of the leadership team (is it a high performing and collaborative leadership team?), 2) the complementary soft skills of the team, and 3) the effectiveness of current decision- making processes- are they shielded from biases and negative dynamics (such as group thinking or unbalanced influence of specific individuals)? •   Organisational culture- now, more than ever, the example and leadership of culture and ethics are crucial. What is the strong DNA of the organisation and what cultural characteristics can hold the organisation from changing, pivoting and moving forward? •    Return on Investment- in crisis, when the budget is tight, what is it that needs to be strengthened to ensure the organisation not only survives but also advances opportunities in the market? Focus the leadership training in these areas. Note  to  the  editor: DifferenThinking™ is a boutique consulting firm specialising in strategic teams, culture, leadership, ethics, innovation and decision making services. At DifferenThinking we are focused on reducing risks and increasing growth by unlocking the potential of your people, culture and innovation capabilities. In times of such uncertainty, failing to transform and develop these aspects of your organisation could have a significant impact on your bottom line. Issued by DifferenThinking: Dr. Zivit Inbar: +61 (0)400 355 210, 5B secures Series A investment & partnership with AES, a leading global energy business 2020-07-30T06:50:19Z 5b-secures-series-a-investment-amp-partnership-with-aes-a-leading-global-energy-business 5B,​ an Australian clean technology innovator, and developer of the Maverick solution, has recently closed its Series A investment round of AUD 12 million, including investments from ​The AES Corporation (NYSE: AES). The investment will fund continued development and global rollout of its Maverick solution, platform and ecosystem - accelerating 5B to deliver on the promise from its Maverick solution of the simplest, fastest, smartest and lowest cost solar solutions possible for its partners and customers. A key pillar of this funding round was the strategic investment by AES, a Fortune 500 company that generates and distributes electrical power, with over 35 gigawatts (GW) of power generation under operation globally, alongside the establishment of a strategic partnership between 5B & AES to deliver Maverick solutions for AES’s projects across the globe. The Maverick solution is 5B’s flagship offering - a modular, plug & play solar solution which is pre-fabricated in a factory and rapidly deployed onsite - accelerating, reducing cost and streamlining delivery of solar projects. “Our Maverick solution is defining the next generation for solar power and the true potential of how fast, simple, flexible and low cost it should and will be.” said Chris McGrath, 5B’s Co-founder and CEO. “5B has successfully demonstrated the power of our Maverick solution in the Australian market and now AES is bringing its strength to bear as we scale our solution globally and continue to unlock its full potential.” AES intends to deploy the MAVERICK solution across many of the projects in its expected 2 to 3 GW of annual renewables growth. This will begin with two pioneering solar projects in Panama - with AES Panama fast-tracking the delivery of a 2 Megawatt (MW) project this year, and in Chile, as a part of the expansion of its ​10 ​MW Los Andes solar facility in the Atacama Desert in the north of the country. “Solar is the most abundant clean energy source in the world, and 5B’s innovative design produces twice the energy for any given area,” said Andrés Gluski, President and CEO of AES. “In addition, a project using 5B’s technology can be built in a third of the time when compared with conventional solar. These significant advantages will help us meet our customers growing needs in today’s everchanging environment.“ Providing both strong validation and international demand, this powerful collaboration will undoubtedly accelerate 5B towards achievement of its mission to deliver gigawatts of its MAVERICK solution globally, including the world’s largest solar project, SunCable’s 10 GW Australia-ASEAN Power Link, planned for delivery with the Maverick solution in 2023. AES also have a demonstrated track record of acceleration of innovative technology platforms in the energy sector - including through its co-creation of Fluence, the world’s largest grid scale energy storage business, and Uplight, the US’s leading digital energy management platform - providing exciting opportunities for collaboration and across these technology platforms. Speaking of the newly founded partnership with AES, McGrath says “The potential of the partnership we have formed is hugely exciting and palpable to all involved: AES share our vision for a clean energy future and the significance of 5B’s contribution to this, they are incredibly well placed to accelerate us on this mission – across its access to capital, global pipeline of projects and customers, depth of sophistication and experience in the market and portfolio of world leading technology businesses, and critically, we enjoy a genuine and strong resonance between our values.” 5B acknowledges and thanks everyone who has recognised, supported and contributed to its vision and mission to date - including its, investors, partners, customers, suppliers, advisors, collaborators and supporters. Specifically, 5B notes the support and participation in the investment round by Artesian, through its Clean Energy Seed Fund (co-invested in by the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, through its Clean Energy Innovation Fund); 5B’s advisers Bandera Capital, Schimann Legal & Advisory, LegalVision, Trover Tax, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Phillips Ormonde Fitzpatrick; the ever giving Startmate program and community; and lastly, but most importantly, its team of superstars, who have tirelessly and passionately transformed 5B and Maverick from its backyard origins to being poised and ready for global impact. The next phase of 5B’s growth will see it rolling out exciting initiatives including a digital platform for access to its Maverick solution, access to options for flexible solar financing of Maverick solutions and expansion of its global footprint and ecosystem of market, supply chain and delivery partners. 5B encourages you all to reach out to the team or join the journey and follow 5B on ​LinkedIn,​ ​Facebook,​ T​ witter​ and ​Instagram.​ Contact For more information or requests for interviews please see our website or get in touch: Lindsey Guest - Marketing Manager+61 (0) 480 242​ | w​ About 5B 5B is a clean technology innovator, founded in 2013 by solar engineers, Chris McGrath and Eden Tehan. 5B's mission is to accelerate the transformation of the world to a clean energy future by developing and delivering technology and solutions that make clean energy more competitive, accessible and powerful than ever before. We have transformed delivery of solar projects from the ground up with our flagship technology, MAVERICK; a plug & play, prefabricated solar block that is folded up, packed onto a truck, shipped to site and deployed in minutes. This enables our customers to deliver solar projects simpler, faster, smarter, more flexibly and at lowest cost. 5B's technology development & pilot production takes place in our Sydney headquarters, with our Australian assembly partner IXL Solar based in Adelaide. We also have presence in the US, South Africa, Germany and China. Our name, 5B, is a constant reminder of the almost infinite amount of energy potential in the 5 billion years of sunshine the earth has left, and is intended to provoke the question ‘How will we use it?’. Please reach out to us at:​ ​​ or i​​ About AES The AES Corporation (NYSE: AES) is a Fortune 500 global power company. We provide affordable, sustainable energy to 14 countries through our diverse portfolio of distribution businesses as well as thermal and renewable generation facilities. Our workforce is committed to operational excellence and meeting the world's changing power needs. Our 2019 revenues were $10 billion and we own and manage $34 billion in total assets. To learn more, please visit​. FollowAESonTwitter​@TheAESCorp.​ Building wealth through property investment in a Covid-19 Market 2020-07-29T03:08:49Z building-wealth-through-property-investment-in-a-covid-19-market Everybody wants to build wealth. The problem is there are so many ways to do it ad so many voices telling us their way is the ‘best’ or ‘safest’. How do you know which one is best? Is it property investing? Buying shares? Bonds and term deposits? Investing in businesses? Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies? Forex? Or one of the other multitude of ways you can invest your money?No-one can really say which is best for you without assessing your circumstances and financial goals. However, it is evident and proven that property investing has been extremely lucrative and rewarding for many Australian’s who have made wise, and sometimes lucky decisions. The reality for most Aussie’s is, property is the one asset they feel the most comfortable in dealing with in terms of wealth creation. Chances are average mums and dads have had a crack at buying their own home, so when it comes to investing, are comfortable executing that investment style, given their experience with the family home. Property is superior to other assets and investments because you have many additional factors working in your favour. The right property can provide you with high rental yields of 5%+ while also achieving capital growth of up to 10-20% or MORE in a single year. That may sound small compared with the returns of stocks, business start-ups and cryptocurrencies. But those investments can be incredibly risky and volatile.It’s not uncommon for the stock market to crash or a company you’ve invested in to go bankrupt overnight. Many people that got caught up in the cryptocurrency hype have lost everything they invested can attest to this volatility.I don’t know about your risk appetite, but investing in something that risky, just isn’t for every day mum and dads, especially because when they have a family to think about.You’re naive in this covid-19 pandemic market, also to put my money in term deposits or bonds. These once ‘safe-havens’ are now lucky to even break even after you adjust for inflation and remove fees.That’s why most are looking to property as the sweet spot. It is much more reliable and less volatile than stocks, forex and crypto. Think about it…when was the last time you saw the property market lose 60-70% or more in value in less than a month? You don’t.The ‘real estate crash’ that happened recently was one of the worst price slumps in the last 40 years. Yet, it was little more than a correction of around 15% across our two big capital cities that had just come off a boom, and most of those losses have now recovered as the market pushes forward once again.In addition to the stability of real estate, you also have extra tools like financial leverage, generous tax advantages, depreciation schedules, and the ability to create your own capital growth within a property. The benefits just keep on piling up, which is why we’re seeing mum and dad investors look to property and why the property market has remained relatively stable during this Covid-19 disruption.Want to find out more about how to create wealth with property investing? We have sourced this FREE property report from to give you more information on the property market and how you can build wealth through property. Equip & Catholic Super beat coronavirus downturn 2020-07-26T14:05:46Z equip-amp-catholic-super-beat-coronavirus-downturn Equip and Catholic Super have defied the worst market downturn since the Global Financial Crisis, delivering positive returns to members invested in the joint trustee’s flagship balanced options. In a financial year end that saw COVID-19 market jitters push most super funds into negative territory, Equip’s Balanced Growth option captured a 1.7 per cent return and Catholic Super’s Balanced option +0.52 per cent. Both funds’ returns are above 8 per cent annually over 10 years – proving once again that long term gets the returns. Anna Shelley, Chief Investment Officer, said that the funds deployed a number of strategies to protect members’ retirement savings as COVID-19 disrupted financial markets. “Global markets fell significantly and very quickly as the coronavirus pandemic hit back in March. Despite the initial panic, markets have significantly rebounded since then,” she said. “As markets bottomed through March, the funds bought $1 billion of equities and, after markets had recovered substantially, $1 billion of equities was steadily ‘sold off’. Many small, conservative actions were implemented to protect and add to our members’ retirement savings. “Put another way, while markets are still a bit lower than their record February highs, they’re back to late 2019 numbers. “Equip and Catholic Super’s investment team is closely watching the markets and resetting strategies as conditions change during the pandemic, positioning members’ retirement savings for long-term growth as markets and economies reset and recover for life after the crisis. “Both funds are known for their track record of delivering for members, particularly in tough times, so we are very pleased to achieve these results, supporting our members’ retirement outcomes. Our long term results show that investments require time in the market. The key is consistently strong results over many years.” Scott Cameron, Equip and Catholic Super Chief Executive Officer, said managing both risk and opportunities to grow members’ wealth is essential, particularly at a time when consumers are seeking to chase returns. “Both funds have a long-term growth plan to deliver competitive fees and performance. The results for the 12 months to June and a longer 10 year period show that the funds are growing members’ retirement savings during both difficult and more optimistic times,” he said.  Equip and Catholic Super joined forces in 2019, successfully forming a $26 billion joint venture that is managing funds for 150,000 members with an aspiration to be a much larger entity by 2025.  An Extended Public Offer (EPO) model brings both funds economies of scale in administration and investments, without loss of brand identity or control of relationships with members, employers and other stakeholders. Private capital investors recover quickly and prepare for growth 2020-07-25T23:36:46Z private-capital-investors-recover-quickly-and-prepare-for-growth The survey of private capital investors found that private capital funds reacted quickly to support the companies in their portfolios and are now looking for new investments in resilient and high-performance companies.   NZ Private Capital identified at least $1b of committed capital available from local private capital funds that would be invested in New Zealand companies over the next five years.   NZ Private Capital Executive Director Colin McKinnon said: “The portfolios of private capital investors were not immune from the economic impact of the Covid crisis. However, the model of diversified portfolios meant that the outlook for fund performance remains positive. Experience from previous recessions suggest that private capital investors find some of the best opportunities helping business accelerate from these periods.”     EY Partner Brad Wheeler commented: “M&A transactions paused by the Covid crisis have been restarting and many now on track to completion again. While timing of some transactions may be delayed, I remain confident that activity is building strongly again”.   Pencarrow Private Equity Investment Director Philippa Weston said: “Working with existing portfolio companies was a priority initially but we have continued to assess new investment opportunities. In an industry with over a $1b of capital available, I anticipate investors will be keen to work with businesses accelerating growth ambitions”.   Oriens Capital CFO David Bell added: “We anticipated some challenges for portfolio companies. But working together with senior management to move quickly and make adjustments where necessary, we found that companies were able to improve performance either through continued revenue growth or operational efficiency. There are still challenges ahead but we remain focussed on building resilient businesses with growth prospects”.    NZ Private Capital is a not-for-profit industry association committed to developing the venture capital and private equity industry in New Zealand. Its core objectives include the promotion of the industry and the asset class and to develop a world-leading venture capital and private equity environment for the benefit of investors and entrepreneurs in New Zealand.   New Zealand Private Capital aims to foster understanding that private equity and venture capital firms accelerate the ambition of New Zealand business owners through operational improvement and investment performance.   New Zealand is home to many examples of private capital partnering with companies to improve growth and performance, to share expertise and capital. This ultimately delivers improved productivity, creates jobs and contributes to the national economy.   Association members include venture capital and private equity investors, financial organisations, professional advisors, academic organisations and government or quasi-government agencies.   Its activities cover the spectrum of investment in New Zealand private capital including Angel investment, seed and early-stage venture capital through to expansion capital and private equity (including management buy-outs and buy-ins).   The association also helps businesses navigate and understand the Private Equity and Venture Capital world. Markets and growth require the free flow of capital and the association provides an important role in linking business owners with investors.   ENDS New Zealand Private Capital Association, New Zealand BPAY Group recognised as a 2020 Best Place to Work 2020-07-21T22:48:56Z bpay-group-recognised-as-a-2020-best-place-to-work BPAY Group has been ranked as one of Australia’s Best Places to Work in 2020 by Great Place to Work®, one of the world’s most comprehensive assessments of workplace culture. BPAY Group ranked 5 on the 2020 Best Places to Work study, in the 100-999 employee category. The ranking was based on an assessment and data collected during the COVID-19 crisis, and follows the company’s recent 92% employee engagement score from Culture Amp.  “I am incredibly proud that BPAY Group has been named as a top 50 Best Place to Work in 2020. It proves that we continue to make a difference by building on our AON Best Employer recognition in 2018 and 2019,” said John Banfield, BPAY Group CEO. “We have actively strengthened BPAY Group’s culture and capabilities through a people and culture strategy that prioritises leadership, innovation and empowerment.  We continued transforming our organisation in the past year after collaboratively building our organisational purpose and vision with all our employees. This has built on the values, behaviours and work practices we’ve been reinforcing over the past few years. I am privileged to be the leader of an organisation that prioritises bringing out the very best in our people,” said Banfield. Lucy Lithgow, BPAY Group General Manager, People and Culture said, “This recognition is testament to our great company culture and how it contributes to organisational success. We are proud to be an employer that puts people at the heart of everything we do and creating an environment where they are empowered to be curious and make a difference. Our extremely high levels of employee engagement reflect this. “The move to remote working during the COVID-19 crisis has given us the opportunity to exemplify our agility and resilience as an organisation. We continue to retain key BPAY Group cultural attributes such as flexibility, empowerment and inclusivity in the new environment, allowing innovative ideas to thrive. “We are continually asking our people how they feel through the COVID crisis, and the answer is ‘always supported by our leaders and lucky to work at BPAY Group’. I couldn’t be prouder of that response,” said Lithgow. -ENDS-   About BPAY Group BPAY Group was launched in 2017 as the parent company to BPAY and our growing family of businesses. Our brands include BPAY, Osko® and Sypht. For over 20 years, BPAY has created great payment experiences in tune with Australians. Throughout our evolution, we have focused on continuing innovation from our unique position in Australia’s financial services industry. We’re the brains behind some important Australian firsts – like our flagship BPAY bill payments system and Osko, the faster way to pay. Our purpose is to ‘make life simpler’. For more information about BPAY Group visit   About Great Place to Work Australia Great Place to Work Australia, part of Great Place to Work Inc, is a global research and consulting firm specialising in employee engagement, organisational alignment, and its effect on high performance workplace cultures. Through proprietary assessment tools, including Trust Index® Employee Engagement Survey and Culture Audit®, Great Place to Work provides the framework and expertise needed to create, sustain, and recognise outstanding workplace cultures.   About the Best Places to Work in Australia Benchmarking Study Companies nominated for the Best Places to Work benchmarking study must go through an application process and are selected and ranked on the basis of employees’ responses to our Trust Index© Employee Engagement Survey (2/3 of the score), which measures employee perceptions of their workplace. The Culture Audit©, completed by management and evaluated by the Great Place to Work® Australia research team, accounts for 1/3 of the total score. Companies receiving high scores on these assessments appear on our national Best Places to Work lists; the highest scores enjoy the highest rankings. The list recognises companies in three size categories: Under 100 employees; 100-999 employees; and Over 1,000 employees. The 2020 study was conducted between September 2019 and June 2020. The results represent 39,156 Australian-based employees from 124 companies.