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Blockchain: The Possible Answer to Trade Finance Modernization

trade finnace

Recently, a study was conducted by the capital financial technology giant, C2FO, regarding European treasures. Herein, it was found that 75% of these treasurers are supposedly focussing on investing in trade finance technology, in the following year of 2017.

Colin Sharp, who holds the position of senior vice-president, EMEA at C2FO, is of the opinion that the shifts within the microeconomic environment, are resulting in the pressuring of corporates, in order to refocus their efforts to trade finance. He further goes ahead to say, “Treasurers are facing a lot of uncertainty, both from the United States of America and as result of the on goings around Brexit. This is putting immense pressure over the supply chain, and with the demand increasing and decreasing. Treasurers want the ability to use their assets to make returns and give some certainty.”

There have been more and more efforts, which are offering insight into, finding out how blockchain can supposedly be used, in order to benefit small as well as medium size ventures. Any said digital trade chain, supposedly wants to achieve a perfect balance, between identification of opportunities and connecting them with each other and their banking partners. This would be made even simpler, when banks would bring in their own client bases herein, thus eliminating rigorous on-boarding.

Anne Claire Gorge, who holds the position of the head of the product management department, trade services, and finance of Societe Generale, is of the opinion that, treasurers believe that more control over trade finances, can help them greatly in the other areas of business. She says, “Better use of trade finance helps theses treasurers, to have a greater overview of their working capital positions. Offering financial solutions to suppliers, for instance, in order to improve the terms of payments, helps greatly in guaranteeing cash flow.” She is of the firm thought that the deployment of latest technology will definitely end up simplifying the process. In her words, “Trade happens to be very heavy on letters of credit or invoicing solutions, making it complicated to finance receivables and payables. Doing all this, as a part of a digital solution, has great potential of making it easier”.

trade finance marketThe experts believe that a little rocking, cannot cause any harm to the ship, in financial jargon, they are basically hinting at the climate of uncertainty. Especially when it comes to Banks, a little uncertainty does not seem to be a negative thing. This actually makes for a rather encouraging temperature for the requirement of trade finance tools, in order to offer stronger guarantees. The solution for the entire thing can finally come from block chain, is the combined belief of all the trade finance gurus. But for this concept to see the light of the day, there needs to be a rigorous industry wide effort, in the direction of implementation.

As many changes take place, in order to develop and strengthen the field of Trade Finance, the number of aspirants herein also multiplies. This is why professional training institutes like Imarticus Learning seem to be getting popular by the day.

  • February, 16th, 2017
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Industry Report: Investments and Developments Part – II

[Read Part 1]

This report analysis would be mainly dealing with all the key investments and developments in Indian banking sector.

Starting from the basic, central level, the RBL Bank Limited, a private sector bank in India, has reportedly raised about Rs. 330 crore as a result of their association with CDC Group Plc. This is a UK based financial development institution and will be helping the RBL bank, to strengthen their capital base, in order to meet their future needs.

The World Bank has reportedly signed an agreement with The State Bank of India, which is worth Rs. 4200 crore. This agreement basically deals with connecting all the solar rooftop projects in India, which are also known as GRPV, and will be receiving financing as a part of this agreement.

JP Morgan Chase, which is considered to be the largest bank in America, has been in talks of expanding their operations in India. They have gotten a head start on the same, with three new branches in, Delhi, Bangalore and Chennai which will be an addition to the current branch in Mumbai.

An investment management company, known as the Canada Pension Plan, has reportedly bought a large stake, which it bought away from a Japan based, banking corporation called Sumitro Mitsui. These said stakes were in Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd.

India’s very first small finance bank, began its operations by launching about ten branches in the state of Punjab. The Capital Small Finance Bank as it is officially known aims at increasing the number of its branches to about twenty nine, in the current financial year of 2016-17.

Taking a step towards making India, as cashless economy, an e-wallet company, Freecharge, has partnered with Yes Bank and Mastercard. This partnership is in order to launch a new concept of Freecharge Go. This would be a virtual card, with the help of which consumers can pay for goods and services, at online shops as well as offline retailers.

This year, the economy of India would be majorly targeting at being self-sufficient and in the lieu of the same, te government of Andhra Pradesh has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Exim Bank of India, in order to promote exports within this state.

Moody’s, a Global Rating Agency, seems to have upgraded its outlook towards the Indian Banking System. This move is to stabilize its negative based on the assessments of about five drivers, which include improvement in operating environment, stable asset risk and capital scenario.

Rockefeller Foundation, a non-profit organization based out of America, has backed a private Equity Investor known as Lok Capital. This investor has a plan of investing up to USD 15 million in a couple of proposed small finance banks in India, over the period of next year.

The RBI, has reportedly given in principal approval, to about 11 applications, which were in favour of establishing payment banks. These banks may accept deposits, but they are to refrain from extending any loans.
With the chances of the economy and the cash inflow looking bright, the banking and investment industry shows great promise for aspirants.

  • February, 14th, 2017
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The Most Bizarre Questions That Investment Banks Asked This Year

Interview Prep for Investment Banking and Corporate Finance

We are all aware about the road to a great career in Investment Banking isn’t complete without the biggest roadblock, which is the interviews. For any freshly minted candidate, there always is a string of common run of the mill questions revolving mainly around their weaknesses, the 5 year plans that they intend to work on and so on. But, what usually catches the candidate off guard, is the list of weird questions. While these questions may be weird and a tad bit scary, they are the absolute crucial determinants, of whether you get that coveted position, or not.

Here’s a list of freakishly weird questions, which some of the top-notch banks asked in the year of 2016:

1. “How would you value a cow using a discounted cash flow (DCF) analysis?”

The above question, as out of the blue as they come, was asked to a potential candidate in an interview round, in London Based Firm last year. While any DCF question, is extremely inevitable in corporate finance interviews, there are those Bovine DCF questions, which are not.

2. “How many pairs of shoes do you expect to wear over your lifetime?”

An interview is absolutely incomplete, without any brain teaser questions, which ensure that your analytical skills undergo a rigorous jog. This was most expectantly one of them. While the internet service engine, Google, might deem such questions as a tad bit irrelevant, all the to banks out there just cannot get enough of these. The above question was reportedly asked in an interview for risk management at Nomura.

3. “What would you do if we gave you 10,000 Euros now?”

If you are a finance aspirant looking to get into the field of investment banking, you would surely be expected to know all there is about Investments. Any bank, regardless of its position, expects the candidates to have some very solid investment ideas in response to questions like these. The above question was asked during an interview wit ICAP.

4. “Who is your best friend?”

This question was asked during the final round of an interview, conducted by Credit Suisse. In their attempt to go beyond the technicalities and mundane aspects, many HR managers try to ask unconventional questions. The above question was asked in a similar vein, in order to know about the candidate, through the eyes of someone, who is close to them.

5. “How would you manage the portfolio of an astronaut that will be isolated from earth for the next 10 years?”

This is another question, in the line of most out-of-the-context yet, relevant questions. This one in particular was asked during an interview about securities at Goldman Sachs and the student who was asked all of these questions said it was the best interview of all times.

As the popularity of Investment Banking, as a field grows, the number of professionals wanting to be a part of this field also multiplies. In order to look for the perfect candidates, these top banks usually end up asking very out of the box questions. To become thoroughly industry endorsed, professionals usually pursue certification training programs, Join Imarticus Learning, here we offer proper training to crack such interviews.

  • February, 11th, 2017
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Industry Report: Banking Sector in India Part – I

banking

This article will be principally dealing with the basic understanding about the banking sector, specifically in India and all the aspects and components of the size of the market. According to the Reserve Bank of India, the banking sector in India is believed to be sufficiently capitalized and well regulated. Recent reports state that the financial and economic conditions in our country, are way better in comparison to the other countries, in the present times. This basically puts the Indian economy, which is considerably stable, against the other alarmingly unstable and equally dysfunctional economies, all over the globe. Studies conducted in various fields like Credit, market and liquidity risk conclude that the banks in India have shown a general tendency, of being resilient and have been able to withstand the global economic turmoil really well.

This may have been a result of the various innovative banking models, for instance, the payments and small finance banks, which have had a positive impact on the Indian banking industry in the recent times. In the financial year of 2015-2016, about 10 small finance banks and around 11 payment banks, have received the principle approval from the central bank. This is a part of the new measures put in place by the Reserve Bank of India, which show great signs of going a long way, in terms of helping in the restructuring of the domestic banking industry. Let’s talk facts and numbers now, in keeping with the same we need to focus on the numeric aspects of the banking units across the country.

Primarily, the Indian banking system is made up of around 26 public sector banks, 25 private sector banks, 43 foreign banks, 56 regional rural banks, 1589 urban cooperative banks and around 93550 rural cooperative banks, in addition to the existing cooperative credit institutions. 80% of the entire market, is supposedly controlled by the public sector banks, thereby evidently a very small share of the market is left in control of the private counterparts. While on the other hand, every bank out there has begun to encourage their customers, in order to manage all of their finances using mobiles phones.

While there have been a number of predictions and assumptions in terms of credit growth, especially with the current banking situation, as well as the Union Budget almost being right around the corner. There are various estimates made, among which the Standard and Poor, have gone on to make the estimates, that the credit growth in the Indian banking sector, is likely to improve to 11-13 per cent in this financial year, that is 2017. This is a great news in terms of growth and progress, from the past three years, when the second half of the year, 2014, showed less than 10 per cent credit growth. As the future prospects of the Indian banking sector seem extremely bright and by extension, so do the job prospects in terms of Corporate Finance, Investment Banking and so on. This is why many finance enthusiasts have begun to turn to professional training institutes like, Imarticus Learning, that help them achieve the perfect career roles.

  • February, 6th, 2017
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The Benefits of a CISI Certification with Imarticus Learning

Education Gets a Virtual Upgrade

The Chartered Institute for Securities and Investments is considered to be the leading professional body, globally, for securities, investment, wealth and financial planning professionals. Founded in the year 1992 by the London Stock Exchange, today, it has taken up the role of a global community, spanning around 116 countries and boasting of about 40,000 members. It was conferred the title of ‘Chartered Institute of Securities and Investment’ in the year 2009 when it was granted a Royal Charter. Headquartered in London, this global professional body has its offices spread over various countries, including Sri Lanka, India, Singapore, Dubai, and Dublin.

This professional body is known to offer close to 40,000 CISI qualifications every year in around 70 countries, to qualify for which candidates have to take the Computer Based Test in the various centres worldwide. Apart from this, it is also the chief examining body in the industry and thereby, offers a number of industry memberships and training to the qualifying candidates. Apart from offering qualifications, the CISI is also known to offer, the CPD scheme, also known as, Continuing Professional Development scheme, which is basically rewarded to the members of, every level of seniority, geographical location, as well as industry specialization. The institute is known to have certain charitable objectives, which are as follows;

“To promote, for the public benefit, the advancement and dissemination of knowledge in the field of securities and investments to develop high ethical standards for practitioners in securities and investments and to promote such standards in the UK and overseas to act as an authoritative body for the purpose of consultation and research in matters of education or public interest concerning investment in securities.”

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Being a member of this prestigious organization, sends out a message to all your clients and colleagues, including the wider public, that you as a professional, are committed to professionalism, integrity, and excellence. Becoming a CISI endorsed member is the most beneficial in terms of networking for a professional. One can easily access the international network of 40,000 financial practitioners.

Apart from this, the CISI body organizes a number of formal mixers, like forums, events, and other social media activities, which involve and encourage their members to build an array of networks and connections, with similar professionals from across the country. Any professional who is affiliated by the designations of CISI can meet up and keep abreast with the current happenings in the financial markets, while at the same time can also discuss them, with the top level delegates from across the world at any given point. The CISI body also offers a number of training courses apart from its social events and conferences. In order to get an entry into this elite bunch of people, one has to acquire the much coveted CISI certification.

International Certification & Placement You will receive the industry endorsed Certified Investment Banking Operations Professional (CIBOP) certification and the optional CISI certified IOC (Investment Operations Certificate). The Imarticus Learning Career Services and Placements team provides you guidance and assistance throughout the program, giving you the best career opportunities in leading international firms.

  • January, 12th, 2017
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Why A Career In Investment Banking Would Be The Best Decision For You?

Career in Investment Banking

A lot of graduates today, decide to pursue higher studies, so as to ensure that they are able to get into the career of their choice. This is the age where just having a generalized degree, does not seemingly cut it. This has given birth to a whole new aspect of specialization in the society, only those who have specific additional degrees, get the opportunity to kick start their career well. As specialization study, becomes the popular choice there are an array of courses to choose from. The same applies to the field of finance. Investment Banking has increasingly become a popular career choice and there are a number of esteemed institutions, Imarticus Learning, offer courses in various branches of finance and ensure that your career choice, is the best decision that you would make. We at Imarticus learning as an institute are instrumental in ensuring that candidates get a slight edge over the other qualified professionals in the field of Investment Banking.

investment banking growth
Investment Banking is known to be a very prestigious, competitive field, where the number of qualified candidates, greatly exceeds the job openings. This is the reason why taking up a specialization course makes more sense, because that way you get trained according to the industry standards, thus ensuring that you get the perfect kind of start in this landscape. Once you have narrowed down on a career and begun your journey towards its, there are a lot of indicators that prove it as the best decision. First of these indicators, would be the fact that you actually possess the perfect combination of academic as well as industry skills. Imarticus Learning ensure, that you develop certain skills, to supplement your academic knowledge, which would serve you at various junctures in your career. Apart from having the right skill set, various other indicators like having the right kind of connections and contacts, being goal oriented, driven and extremely dedicated towards your work, willing to work a more than 100 hour week and closing high value deals, all of these ensure your entry into the very fabled world of investment banking.

career Cibop
This is one of those careers where if you posses the right kind of skills, nothing can stop you from being on top of your game, all the time. It is a field which not only pushes your limits, but also rewards you very generously. Especially when it comes to salary packages, Investment Banking professionals get the best signing bonuses, hikes and other monetary luxuries, as compared to their peers. Professionals here argue that it was their best decision, because their time literally is worth every single paisa that they earn. From working long hours, to having mind numbing deadlines, anything and everything seems fine here, mainly because of the sterling rewards that an Investment Banker receives. It is common knowledge that Investment Bankers, usually make much more than their peers and also receive greater recognition for their hard-work. While some of the professionals here are pure geniuses, others are able to achieve the same through perseverance and the help of esteemed, Imarticus Learning, help ensure they are thoroughly ready to achieve their dreams.

  • December, 9th, 2016
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Banking Domain Primer

Banking Domain

By Zenobia Sethna

The Banking, Financial Services and Insurance (BFSI) sector is the backbone of the Indian economy employing approximately 4.5 million professionals. If you are looking for a career in Finance, you will see vacancies listing “Banking Domain Knowledge” as a requisite. But what does it mean? Banking itself can be of multiple types based on products and services on offer and the type of customers serviced.

For simplicity, one may define banking domain knowledge as the body of knowledge dealing with how different banking segments operate – across customers, sales & distribution, products & services, people, process and technology. This definition basically covers the end to end functioning of any bank.

operating model of a bank

Let’s take a closer look at the operating model of a bank.
Banking Segments – Broadly we have four types of banks: retail banks, corporate banks, investment banks and private banks. These are known as Banking segments.
Clients – These are the customers who buy the bank’s products or services. These may be individuals looking to open a bank account or Institutions or other Banks looking for more corporate solutions or ways to invest their funds.
Sales and Distribution Channels – This includes how the bank reaches out to its customers to make sales. This could be through emails, phone calls, on the Internet, TV ads etc.
Products and Services – Products and services are the things the bank sells to customers for a fee. These would vary according to the banking segment. In retail banks, we would have products like deposit accounts and loans.
People, process and technology – Finally we have the three components that underpin all of the above. These are people, processes and technology. People includes job roles and responsibilities, organization structures; processes define how customer transactions are fulfilled and what procedures to follow, while technology defines the IT infrastructure and systems that support the business.

Imarticus Learning offers many courses on Investment Banking and Retail Banking covering the multi-faceted functioning of these banks and their products and services. Contact us to know more.


 

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  • November, 16th, 2016
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Investment Banking Operations: The Engine of Growth

Investment Banking

By Zenobia Sethna,

Think Investment Banker, think Gordon Gekko? Well there is no denying the glamour quotient is higher for high rollers who trade and make deals worth millions of dollars. But Gordon Gekko and his ilk would never be as successful or efficient if he didn’t have a trusty Operations team in the Back Office, managing transactions, ensuring processes are followed and well, just getting things done.

The Operations division of an investment bank or investment management firm is commonly referred to as the Back Office in I-Banking jargon. This is also the ‘engine room’ of an investment bank, working tirelessly to keep the vast quantities of information, money and products flowing correctly, to ensure millions of transactions are processed every day.

Investment Banking Operations
Playing a Hidden But Critical Function

Banking operations make sure banks’ processes and transactions are executed correctly, which minimizes risk and maximizes quality of service. The operations function also acts as a watchdog for the bank and oversees the regulatory requirements of the banks. Although this is a non-revenue generating function, this function is highly critical to the profitable functioning of a bank. Stream-lined banking operations can save billions of dollars to a bank. The more efficient a bank is at conducting its day-to-day business, the greater the percentage of revenues that will feed into the bottom line.

Starting Out? What to Expect

Firstly know that there is a HUGE variety of roles within the Operations team, and you will never have to do it all. Owing to the specialized knowledge one requires for these tasks, Operations roles usually focus on a particular function, for instance clearing or settling transactions, managing documentation, customer servicing, compliance, accounting and risk management. For example, you could be responsible for working on initiatives to enhance settlement processes, or ensuring that the information in an organisation’s P&L accounts is accurate or that risks are being reported accurately.

Most new entrants into an Ops role will have the opportunity to work in several different areas of Operations. This will allow you to gain an overview of the various types of work available, eg process-driven or project management roles.

 

Interested in pursuing a career in Investment Banking Operations? Imarticus Learning offers a comprehensive Investment Banking Operations certification (CIBOP) which offers a power-packed 180 hours of hands-on learning into the inner workings of an Investment Bank. Sign up today!

 

  • September, 26th, 2016
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Introduction to Investment Management

Investment Managemnet

By Alex Harrison.

What is Investment Management? What does the investment management industry constitute?

The world of finance can be a complicated. In order to simplify for the sake of understanding, let us consider the financial world as broadly constituting of banks – (retail, commercial and investment), insurance companies and investment managers.

Banking: Retail and commercial banks are the ones most people are familiar with and are most straight forward. They take in money through deposits from customers, other banks and shareholders. They then distribute this money through credit cards and loans to individuals, companies and other banks. Retail and commercial banks make money on the interest charged on these loans. Investment banks on the other hand are more complicated. They allow their clients, which include investment managers, to trade on the financial markets. They also deal with IPO, mergers and acquisitions.

Insurance: Insurance companies take in money by charging for private and corporate insurance policies, in return for providing protection against the unexpected. They in turn are protected from being unable to payout on policy claims by moving money to a reinsurance company and therefor reducing exposure to risk.

Investment Management: Investment managers also known as fund or asset managers do as the name suggests – they manage investments of private investors, corporates, banks or insurance companies. Investment managers make their clients’ money grow by using investment banks to buy and sell investments. Let us consider the funds managed by an investment manager as raw material whether in shares, bonds, commodities or derivatives and an investment manager as a machine that converts this raw material into a product by using a series of processes. The product is a fund. The goal of the fund is make money for the investors. Thus, and investment manager uses an investor’s money to make money. These processes vary greatly and depend on the investment strategy used. E.g.: passive vs. active investment. However, the principle remains the same. The fund aims to make a return by balancing risk and rewards and thus, in a process driven manner ensures effective mobilization / channeling of its resource i.e. money from investors.

Thus, the players in the investment management industry can be classified into just two broad categories – the investment managers and the investors. Investment occurs directly i.e. investment contracts or more commonly via collective investment schemes. Mutual fund is a type of collective investment scheme. They provide an efficient way of pooling funds for investment purposes.

Flow of funds in the asset management industry:

Investment Banking Management

 

*PMS – Portfolio Management Services, AMC – Asset Management Services, WM – Wealth Managers.

What is the Investment Process? What role does the investment manager play? What is the role of portfolio performance measurement in the investment process?

Like any process, the investment process can be broadly classified based on four phases – Plan, Do, Check and Act. Similarly, it is pertinent to note that the investment management process, forming a part of the investment process cannot be improved without performance measurement. The following is an overview of the Investment Process.

investment management
From the above, it is clear that for the investment process to be complete it needs to be measured. This measuring of the portfolio performance should preferably be a part of the investment management process itself. In this case, it will contribute to improving the portfolio management process internally and thus contribute to process improvement. On the other hand, performance measurement can be undertaken by the investor as a part of the larger investment process. In this case, the same measures behave as a stricter audit function rather than a must suited process improvement role.

  • September, 19th, 2016
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