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jerryking : nimbleness   17

GMP Capital’s sale to Stifel Financial marks the end of an era on Bay Street
December 6, 2019 | The Globe and Mail | ANDREW WILLIS.

On Friday, the GMP era effectively came to an end. U.S. investment bank Stifel Financial Corp. closed its purchase of the Toronto-based brokerage for about $65-million, and plans to rename it..........GMP started out as a partnership and later became a public company that was always far smaller than global dealers, and firms that Canadian banks started acquiring in the late 1980s.
For Canada’s financial community, saying goodbye to GMP means closing the door on a way of doing business, a lucrative and often colourful approach to deal-making. GMP brought together capital-starved entrepreneurs and deep-pocketed fund managers. The partners put up their own cash – mortgaging homes or draining savings – to fund the operation. GMP was the first to raise money for businesses that became some of Canada’s best known, such as Blackberry Ltd., Birchcliff Energy Ltd., Canopy Growth Corp. and Goldcorp Inc. It is also a major trader in their shares......In extremely simple terms, independent firms such as GMP run on relationships and ideas. Larger rivals are creatures of process and scale. The biggest players have now come to dominate capital markets........the four Day 1 GMP partners: the late Brad Griffiths, mining financier Gene McBurney, trader Mike Wekerle, now a venture capitalist and reality TV star, and salesman-turned-CEO Kevin Sullivan......The new model for independent dealers in Canada is to be small and nimble, or focus on wealth management. The model that worked so well at GMP – using commissions from stock trading to cover day-to-day costs, and taking the lucrative fees from advisory work as profits – doesn’t work when brokerage houses offer to trade stocks for free. GMP’s run is unlikely to be matched.
Andrew_Willis  Bay_Street  boutiques  brokerage_houses  compensation  deal-making  exits  farewells  GMP  investment_banking  nimbleness 
10 weeks ago by jerryking
On-Demand Warehouse Space Gains Traction in Tight Real-Estate Market - WSJ
By Jennifer Smith
Dec. 23, 2018

QUOTABLE
You don’t always want to build the church for Easter. —Justin Schuhardt, senior director of operations for Walmart e-commerce, on on-demand warehousing.
Flexe  logistics  on-demand  retailers  Second_Closet  Wal-Mart  warehouses  nimbleness  cold_storage 
december 2018 by jerryking
The belle époque of the small nation is over
September 28, 2018 | Financial Times | by JANAN GANESH.

Globalisation has been the era of small countries but that time may now be passing. Ganesh raises an interesting point, what happens to small countries that, since the end of WW2, have enjoyed the protection of the rules-based system (UN, WTO, NATO, Pax Americana).

Singapore leaders were determined in their quest to that small nation be less small.....The paradox is that smallness has been an edge, not a curse, in the liberal age. For all the grandiloquence about a Washington Consensus and a Pax Americana, the US was never the principal profiteer from globalisation.....The real beneficiaries were the rapid enrichment of Ireland, the ethnic diversification of Sweden, the technological fecundity of Israel and the rise of Dubai from the sands as a shimmering entrepôt......1990-2010 was the golden age--the belle époque--of the small nation....Rules-based globalism was a precious equaliser for these places.... it also made advantages of their liabilities....Their shortage of domestic consumers was the ultimate incentive to cast around for other markets. Their lack of capital made them welcome foreign investors. Even the nicheness of their native languages (in some cases) obliged them to master English.

There is, without leaning too much on “national character”, a small-country hardiness ....an acceptance of the outside world as a non-negotiable fact: a blend of fatalism and resourcefulness that makes for formidable migrants....If small countries have mastered the global age, it is a feat that goes beyond the economic. They also have a cultural reach that was hard to picture not long ago, when nations needed the brawn of a BBC or a Canal Plus to foist their creative wares on distant audiences....all attest to what we are now obliged to call the “soft power” of small countries....The mistake is to see this moment as eternal. For those who live in or care about these places, the dread is that the coming decades will be as harsh as the last few have been kind. Almost all the conditions that allowed small nations to bloom look precarious....growing protectionism...big states throwing their weight around....Peter Thiel, in his bid for NZ citizenship, said he found “no other country that aligns more with my view of the future than New Zealand”. It was telling that such a prolific maker of sound bets backed a small, open, adaptable nation.
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I am more optimistic and believe many small states will adjust just fine. Why? Think of Taleb's flexibility idea - small states are less fragile than bigger ones, more nimble, more homogenous, faster to change I like also to add that there are more smaller successful counties than the ones mentioned (e.g., Switzerland, Costa Rica).
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The flip side is that small countries may have greater ability to act thoughtfully and coherently than larger peers. But I agree - it is likely to be tough ahead.

Here in Singapore, a senior politician summed it up very well: we are just a block of granite in the south china sea, and have no God-given right to exist as a country. The only way we can survive is by being paranoid and continuously reinventing ourselves.
city-states  globalization  Iceland  Janan_Ganesh  nimbleness  Peter_Thiel  post_globalization  rules-based  Singapore  small_states  soft_power  antifragility  Dubai  Ireland  punch-above-its-weight  paranoia  reinvention 
october 2018 by jerryking
Vertical media mergers are just so 19th century | Financial Times
June 21, 2018 | Financial Times | Anne-Marie Slaughter.

Media companies are falling over themselves to merge with one another right now. AT&T took the US to court over the right to buy TimeWarner, and Comcast and Disney are engaged in a bidding war for some of 21st Century Fox. Big looks set to get bigger. Yet according to our best thinkers on the future of capitalism, the corporate titans driving these decisions are heading firmly backward.

AT&T and Comcast are communications companies that are attempting to go vertical and control every layer of a media empire from underground cables to the creation of content....Andrew Carnegie was determined to own coal mines and railroads as well as steel mills. The goal was control from top to bottom, closed access and economies of scale.

But that is old-fashioned thinking, according to the current crop of books on the dramatic economic changes being wreaked in the next phase of the information age. They argue that vertical integration amounts to building silos in an era that will be dominated by platforms — owning in an era of renting — and looking for mass markets when customers want individualized products.

Hemant Taneja makes a strong case for “customised microproduction and finely targeted marketing” in his book Unscaled. An investor for the Boston-based firm General Catalyst, he does not question the value of having many customers rather than few. But he argues that fast-growing companies in sectors ranging from energy to healthcare and education are succeeding because they customise their goods and services to a “market of one”.

The rise of artificial intelligence and cloud computing allows these companies to “rent scale”, he writes. Small, nimble companies can now out-compete big ones in specific markets, adding scale as they need to.....Netflix’s market value exceeded that of Comcast back in May and it is now bigger than Disney. Its global headcount is 5,500, nearly one-fifth of Time Warner’s and one-50th of AT&T’s. Netflix does not have the size to build as large in-house AI capabilities. But a quick search for “media data analytics” reveals a score of companies. Why pay for that capability when you can rent it
Andrew_Carnegie  Anne-Marie_Slaughter  artificial_intelligence  books  cloud_computing  end_of_ownership  entertainment_industry  Netflix  platforms  scaling  size  vertical_integration  AT&T  Comcast  customization  Disney  gazelles  nimbleness  mass_media  personalization  mergers_&_acquisitions  21st_Century_Fox  Time_Warner  19th_century  microproducers  target_marketing  unscalability  silo_mentality 
june 2018 by jerryking
Investors should bet on smaller nimbler companies and countries
March 25, 2018 | FT | Rana Foroohar.

The assets that seem undervalued and safer are all smaller things. Southeast Asian “countries, as well as Southern Europe and parts of Latin America have lots of slack relative in particular to the US, but also core Europe and even China”, says Jay Pelosky, head of the investment advisory firm Pelosky Global Strategies. “They have more room for growth, profit expansion, investment, and a lot more political breathing space.”....Meanwhile, if the US and China really do end up engaging in a full-blown trade war, it may be the smaller Southeast Asian nations that will benefit, since they will continue to be open for business with both. The Association of South East Asian Nations could become an alternative supply chain and preferred trading partner for either region......It may be that Big Tech companies, like big banks, have simply become too sprawling for their own good. Smaller, more localised players will probably also avoid the worst effects of tariffs......Aside from being a less visible target for protectionism, small firms with lower debt levels are better positioned to cope with rising interest rates. Research group Strategas notes that small-cap stocks are the only asset class that has outperformed inflation in every decade from the 1930s onwards. 
investors  Rana_Foroohar  nimbleness  small_cap  ASEAN  asset_classes  supply_chains  Big_Tech 
march 2018 by jerryking
Lunch with the FT: Sir John Sawers - FT.com
September 19, 2014| FT |By Lionel Barber.

The spy chief chuckles. “I would not have taken this job if I weren’t prepared to deal in risk, personal and professional. MI6 is in the risk business.”....In future, he says, he wants MI6 to be more agile in response to threats but not at the expense of abandoning the military in theatre. The lesson of the past decade – when billions have been spent in Afghanistan and Iraq – is that a government can be toppled in months but it takes years to rebuild the country. Then again, “if you decide not to [rebuild], as we did in Libya, partly because of the scars from Iraq, then you topple the government and you end up having nothing in its place. And if you don’t intervene at all, you end up with a situation like you have in Syria. These are real dilemmas.”
Spies, he continues, are “normal human beings, public servants doing the best possible job we can for our country.”
agility  security_&_intelligence  Edward_Snowden  United_Kingdom  spymasters  MI6  nimbleness  personal_risk  risk-taking 
september 2014 by jerryking
How Not to Stay on Top - NYTimes.com
By JOE NOCERA
Published: August 19, 2013

Was BlackBerry’s fall from grace inevitable? When you look at the history of dominant companies — starting with General Motors — it is easy enough to conclude yes. There are companies that occasionally manage to reinvent themselves. They are nimble and ruthless, willing to disrupt their own business model because they can sense a threat on the horizon. But they’re the exception.

Wang Laboratories is the rule. And so is BlackBerry.

Wang went from an 80% market share in word-processing among the top 2,000 corporations to bankruptcy in about a decade, and BlackBerry of course went from inventing the cellphone and wireless email category, and utterly dominating it, to a a shadow of its former self today, with a “for sale” sign on outside corporate headquarters and a 2.7% global smartphone market share. What happened?

To rudely condense history, IBM’s PC happened to Wang and the iPhone happened to BlackBerry. At a somewhat more nuanced level, however, what happened to both Wang and BlackBerry is that when the storm clouds appeared they did not take their competitors seriously, they failed to understood what their customers wanted on the new landscape, and finally and most unforgivably they thought they knew what was best for their customers better than the customers themselves. More specifically, both firms thought their core customers were mistaken—wrong—to express a preference for the new, inferior arrival.
competitive_landscape  Wang_Labs  BlackBerry  blindsided  RIM  disruption  reinvention  failure  GM  IBM  iPhone  market_share  disproportionality  nimbleness 
september 2013 by jerryking
The year the Valley embraced sustainable food innovation
Feb. 21, 2013 | GiGaOM | By Katie Fehrenbacher.

When I ask Tetrick why his company is “venture backable,” he says because they are creating a powerhouse of innovative thinkers that can come together across disciplines, and traditional food companies just aren’t as nimble. Tesla used that same argument for why as a startup it can revolutionize the car industry, and out innovate against the large automakers.

But Tesla is a sort of outlier on a lot of levels. It’ll be harder to disrupt more traditional industries without Moore’s Law in your corner. But in the meantime, as these startups sink or swim, at least they’ll be putting the spotlight on a crucial problem: the food industry is broken and it needs technology and innovation to be fixed.
Silicon_Valley  food  food_tech  innovation  Vinod_Khosla  venture_capital  start_ups  Peter_Thiel  nimbleness  supply_chains  dysfunction  Moore's_Law 
february 2013 by jerryking
The next generation of entrepreneurs
November 2013| Economist-The World in 2013 | Robert Guest.

The energy entrepreneurs who will do best in 2013 will be those who are adept at reading the geology and forging deals in difficult countries. A likely candidare is Aidan Heavey of Tullow Oil, a nimble oil-exploration that has found hydrocarbons in Ghana, Uganda and Kenya. Mr Heavey's firm is far smaller than the likes of ExxonMobil and Shell, but moves faster.
Square  entrepreneur  Silicon_Valley  Jack_Dorsey  mPedigree  Box  mobile_payments  Ghana  nimbleness 
january 2013 by jerryking
In London, Nimble Start-Ups Offer Alternatives to Stodgy Banks
October 22, 2012 | NYT |By MARK SCOTT.

London’s fast-growing start-up scene is trying to disrupt the financial status quo. As consumers’ trust in banks deteriorates because of a series of recent scandals, young companies are pressing their newcomer advantage. Firms are offering services like low-cost foreign currency exchange and new ways for small business to borrow cash.

Backed by venture capital firms like Index Ventures, the financial start-ups are taking on entrenched incumbents by using technology to pare back costs and improve the customer experience. Local authorities do not directly regulate many of the firms, but the young companies often use traditional banks and other financial firms for their back-office functions, like processing payments, which are monitored by British regulators.
London  United_Kingdom  start_ups  banks  financial_services  finance  regulators  mobile_applications  fin-tech  foreign_exchange  nimbleness  back-office 
october 2012 by jerryking
Managing Risk In the 21st Century
February 7, 2000 | Fortune | By Thomas A. Stewart.

Take risk management, a responsibility of the treasury function. Most risk managers haven't begun to cope with the real threats 21st-century companies face. Like the drunk in the old joke who looks for his lost keys under the streetlamp because the light is better there, risk management is dealing with visible classes of risk while greater, unmanaged dangers accumulate in the dark.

Risk--let's get this straight upfront--is good. The point of risk management isn't to eliminate it; that would eliminate reward. The point is to manage it--that is, to choose where to place bets, where to hedge bets, and where to avoid betting altogether. Though most risk-management tools--insurance, hedging, diversification, etc.--have to do with reducing loss, the goal is to maximize the gains from the risks you take (alpha? McDerment?)

So where should we look for these new risks?

--Your reputation or brand. When a bad batch of carbon dioxide in Coca-Cola sickened some Belgian children last summer, Coke's European operating income fell about $205 million, and Coca-Cola Enterprises, the bottler, incurred $103 million in costs. What about the cost to brand equity? One highly imperfect proxy: Coke's market capitalization fell $34 billion between June 30 and Sept. 30, 1999.

--Your business model. Asset-free, knowledge-intensive competition is to entrenched business models what the Panzer was to the Maginot Line. MP3s changed the music business more fundamentally than anything since radio. E*Trade, 18 years old, forced Merrill Lynch, 180, to change its way of doing business. Yet the new guys' very nimbleness creates its own risks, which traditional risk management can't help. You can protect the hard assets of a brick-and-mortar mall. Click-and-order stores are much more exposed: Cash flow is just about all they've got.

--Your human capital. The obvious human-capital risk is flight--especially in a tight labor market--but it's only part of a larger, subtler problem. When the CEO intones, "People are our most important asset," he's wrong, even if he's sincere. People are your most important investors. Your stock of human capital matters less than your flow of it. Any turbulence--and is there anything but turbulence these days?--can disrupt the flow, damaging your ability to attract human capital or people's desire to collaborate. Says Thomas Davenport, a partner at Towers Perrin: "Uncertainty is a real enemy of human capital. People rebalance their ROI by cutting back the investment."

--Your intellectual property. Many risks to intellectual property--theft, for example--can be dealt with in obvious, if sometimes onerous, ways. Here's the cutting-edge question: How do you manage risk in the process by which new intellectual property is created? How do you cope with the fact that the safer a given R&D project is, the less likely it is to be a big-money breakthrough? How do you balance the virtues of specialization against those of diversification?

--Your network. No company is an island, entire of itself; odds are your business is embedded in a network you do not control. It's not just that AOL might crash and cost you a few days' sales; your whole business may depend on tangible and intangible assets that belong to outsourcing partners, franchisees, sugar daddies, or standard-setters.
There are a couple of patterns here. First, an ever-greater part of business risk comes from sources your company can't own--people, partners, environments. Second, volatility isn't just a currency or stock market risk anymore. Labor markets, technologies, even business models oscillate at higher frequencies--their behavior more and more resembling that of financial markets.

In those patterns are hints of how to manage intellectual risks--which we'll examine next time.
risk-management  21st._century  risks  Thomas_Stewart  reputation  branding  business_models  financial_markets  talent_management  intellectual_property  networks  human_capital  turbulence  uncertainty  volatility  instability  nimbleness  labour_markets  accelerated_lifecycles  intellectual_assets  e-commerce  external_interaction  talent_flows  cash_flows  network_risk  proxies  specialization  diversification  unknowns  brand_equity  asset-light  insurance  hedging  alpha  Michael_McDerment 
june 2012 by jerryking
Industry: Nimble, niche and networked - FT.com
June 12, 2012 | FT |By Peter Marsh

Nimble companies, operating on a global basis in niche areas of technology, that seem likely to prosper in the new industrial revolution now beginning. The fact that the UK is replete with such businesses suggests the country could emerge once again as a leading contender in manufacturing– a sector it pioneered in the 18th and 19th centuries but more recently has allowed to slip back in favour of services.......Although Britain may have the knowhow and cultural characteristics required to stage an industrial comeback, it still lags behind far behind the likes of Japan and Germany, where boutique companies making uniquely specialised products form the economic backbone of the nation. If Britain is to resurrect manufacturing as a high-value growth engine, it will almost certainly require some action by government to make the most of the country’s potential....hundreds of connections with companies around the world, which is one fundamental characteristic of the new industrial revolution. Three others involve the application of new technologies, a focus on “niche” areas of industry and an increasing focus on “personalised” products........Today the archetypal UK manufacturer is a small business with perhaps 50 employees that is based in an unremarkable edge-of-town business park and boasts global links as opposed to a highly visible smokestack in a large city. Such companies account for a greater share of industrial activity since the larger enterprises have fallen away.....The UK’s prevailing approach to manufacturing – emphasising small, agile businesses with an eye for the unusual that formulate their own rules – could fit in with the requirements for success......An individualist in the same mould is Sir James Dyson, a high-octane innovator who has made his eponymous vacuum cleaner business into a global leader. His dividing of the company’s Asia-based production from its UK-centred product development is in line with the blueprint of the new industrial revolution stressing the separation of elements in the manufacturing “value chain”......There are further reasons to think the natural leanings of UK manufacturing fit into the framework of the new industrial revolution. One is a tendency to focus on selling into areas with narrow parameters that can to a large degree be invented by the participating companies themselves, and to rely on selling services as well as products.......The best example is the Formula 1 car racing business. This involves intensive use of engineering resources to design and make high-grade machines that do little apart from playing the lead role in a global spectator sport built on advertising. There is no reason why Britain should have become the leading country for Formula 1 car production – apart from the fact that it fits with the UK leaning towards production based around esoteric technologies and markets......British industry also features a facility for working with a range of technical disciplines and finding the common ground between them. ......A third important strength of the UK is the ability to devise solutions to customers’ problems. These are often based on an approach geared to making products as highly customised “one-offs”, and to the needs of one business as opposed to many....The characteristics of the new industrial revolution, however, make the task of assisting UK manufacturing a lot simpler as the country already has many of the attributes required. In this new environment it would seem sensible for policy to plug the gaps in the manufacturing framework that already exists. Such initiatives could focus on helping companies to improve their technologies, develop more global strategies and organise more joint development projects with larger businesses in order to learn more about such groups’ technical capabilities.
3-D  boutiques  collaboration  competitiveness_of_nations  Dyson  Formula_One  gazelles  industrial_policies  Industrial_Revolution  James_Dyson  manufacturers  niches  nimbleness  one-of-a-kind  personalization  production_lines  product_development  specialists  United_Kingdom  value_chains 
june 2012 by jerryking
"The bruises of the bandwagon: ENTREPRENEURSHIP: Reality television is revealing how desperately some people want to break into business. But many fail to analyse their ideas,
Apr. 25, 2005 | Financial Times pg 16.| by Paul Tyrrell

Everyone wants to run their own business. But many fail to prepare thoroughly before scrambling on to the bandwagon. Among the television hopefuls, the most widespread and humiliating trait is a failure to appreciate that an entrepreneur's personal qualities are just as important as their ideas.

It is a salutary warning. Venture capitalists and business angels have always been more inclined to back a great team with a mediocre idea than a mediocre team with a great idea. They attach a lot of importance to what they term "scar tissue" - evidence that the person has learned from experience.

"People who are enamoured of their own idea can be great, but only if they listen really hard,"... "Nothing goes to plan, so you're looking for people you can trust off-plan." ...Entrepreneurs are more likely to succeed if they can come up with an idea that exploits their experience. This is particularly clear in product development situations - for example, where an engineer takes the knowledge he gains at a large company and uses it to set up a rival.

Research suggests that "spin-outs have a survival edge in the market over other entrants as the result of a combination of entrepreneurial flexibility and inherited knowledge"....what distinguishes successful entrepreneurs is their ability to spot commercially exploitable patterns where others cannot. Herbert Simon, winner of the 1978 Nobel Prize in economic sciences, suggests this process is intuitive: a good business idea stems from the creative linking, or cross-association of two or more in-depth "chunks" of experience - know-how and contacts.
Infotrac_Newsstand  entrepreneurship  entrepreneur  pattern_recognition  personality_types/traits  television  spin-offs  entertainment  venture_capital  angels  cross-pollination  tacit_data  knowledge_intensive  scar_tissue  teams  team_risk  off-plan  Plan_B  tacit_knowledge  nimbleness  combinations 
november 2011 by jerryking
Fire Yourself -- Then Come Back and Act Like a New Boss Would
OCTOBER 9, 2006 | Wall Street Journal | by CAROL HYMOWITZ.
..."companies must repeatedly reinvent themselves to stay
strong...companies can't survive as they once did by churning out the
same products or services in the same way year after year. The most
successful companies don't wait until they're in trouble or are
overtaken by rivals to make changes. The trick is to analyze portfolios
constantly, to move quickly to shed weak businesses and to gamble on new
opportunities without making the company unstable...."Windows of
opportunity open and close so quickly today, you can't just mull
decisions right in front of you. You have to look around the corner and
figure out where you need to go,...learn how to change directions fast.
...
IBM  Intel  Andy_Grove  reinvention  opportunities  nimbleness  speed  agility  windows_of_opportunity  accelerated_lifecycles  portfolios  pre-emption  kill_rates  portfolio_management  unstable  instability  assessments_&_evaluations  Carol_Hymowitz 
december 2009 by jerryking
Recession 101: Courses for a Crisis - WSJ.com
FEBRUARY 18, 2009 WSJ article by ALINA DIZIK. Article focuses
on how business schools are dreaming up a series of new offerings. Some
schools are changing the focus of programs by combining classic business
topics with rapidly developing research about the downturn. To that
end, business schools are creating new exec-ed courses in the space of
weeks or months.
executive_management  executive_education  business_schools  Colleges_&_Universities  MBAs  economic_downturn  nimbleness  speed  agility  windows_of_opportunity  accelerated_lifecycles  operational_tempo  new_products  product_launches 
february 2009 by jerryking

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