Business round up

first_imgBusiness round upOn 6 Feb 2001 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Aircraftmanufacturer Boeing is to build a £15m research park in South Yorkshire thatwill create 7,000 jobs. The Aerospace Manufacturing Research Centre, inWaverly, Rotherham, will include a 100-acre manufacturing park. It will developadvanced materials-cutting technology and is the result of more than 12 months’work by Sheffield University, regional development agency Yorkshire Forward andthe DTI. The deal includes government and European funding.’s Abbey bid to cost jobsLloydsTSB’s takeover bid for the Abbey National will lead to 9,000 job cuts if itgoes ahead. The bank has promised to keep Abbey National’s 722 branches openfor two years after the proposed takeover. It then intends to move 600branches, when the jobs will be axed. A spokesman said compulsory redundancieswould be kept to a minimum and job losses would be spread over four years. spawn ‘super dairy’DairyCrest is to axe more than 900 jobs after its merger with rival dairy Unigate inJuly. Jobs will go from its plants in Cardiff, Derbyshire, Somerset andShropshire. Dairy Crest’s plant in Carmarthen, Dyfed, will close in April. Thefirm hopes to establish a £23m “super dairy” in Severnside,Gloucestershire, creating 320 jobs. Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Triumph over diversity

first_img Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Triumph over diversityOn 1 Apr 2001 in Personnel Today Thekey to success in this diverse region is considering each country in the lightof its own history and culture. Bo Jones reportsRussiais in dire economic straits,” according to the McKinsey Global Institute.”Unlike the successfully reformed ex-communist economies – such as Hungaryand Poland, where economic performance fell during the early years of reformbut surged as it took hold – the former superpower has experienced onlydecline.” Indeed, focusing in on Poland, the Institute has a brighterview, “Poland’s resurgence in the 1990s,” they say, “has been awell-kept secret. Unemployment has fallen to 10%, from 16% in 1993, and newjobs have been created at a healthy rate of 1% a year since 1994.”That’swhy Western companies are being extremely cautious about where and in what theyinvest in the region. Like any emerging economic region, there is a need for atelecommunications infrastructure and information technology (IT) development,and in the more advanced countries, specialists in these fields, such asBritish Telecom, are moving in, particularly into the countries that are seento be more advanced both socially and economically. Likewise, the bigconsulting firms such as PricewaterhouseCoopers are opening offices in mostmajor CEE locations. However, some are reportedly having a hard time gettingskilled and experienced people to relocate to these countries and findingenough local talent to fuel their real business ambitions, and this limitstheir growth and expansion.Whetheror not reports of significant development for some nations and the slow demiseof others are entirely true, one thing is abundantly clear – not only is theCEE region very different from its Western European neighbour, but each countrywithin the region has its own distinct political and social background andeconomic climate. And that means that acquainting any organisation with the HRissues in the entire CEE area is a seemingly impossible task. What firmslooking to expand into the region need to do, is carry out in-depth research ofeach country individually.AdvisesYolanta Strikitsa, head of HR consultancy at Morgan Chase’s Eastern Europeanpractice, “Before you go, you need to look at the history of each nation.The region is very different to Western Europe, even in terms of industry andbusiness development, not only socially and culturally.” She goes on,”Hungary, for example, was first to enter the developed world. Now, theyare already in the second stage of direct investment into the country, withlocal companies merging with Western multinationals. “Russiatoo,” Strikitsa explains, “is past the first stage and is facingproper investment. Before,” she recalls, “investors would go into themarket for a very short period of time. Today, there is more long-terminvestment. HR’s role then is to find expatriates who are willing to stay atleast three to five years.”Incontrast, Yugoslavia and Serbia are today where Russia was back in the early1990s, with very short-term investments only just being introduced. That means,says Strikitsa, “that you see people coming in for perhaps three or fourmonths to do bits and pieces”.Butdespite these very different stages of development that face multinationalorganisations when they move into CEE, there is one underlying factor thatStrikitsa believes unites all these very diverse countries. She notes thatpeople in the region are all “well-educated. Yes they have their labourissues and technological issues,” she says, “but you just have tofind the right understanding and cultural key for people to get working.”Indeed,her belief in the high skills levels of individuals in certain of the CEEnations is firmly supported by some of the other players in this area. Lookingparticularly at Hungary, PricewaterhouseCoopers in its Doing Business andInvesting in Hungary – 2000 report, says, “Hungary has a skilled andwell-educated workforce. Although,” it admits, “certain skills, suchas knowledge of Western languages and of Western accounting and bookkeeping,are still in short supply, this is changing as new graduates enter the market.”Andnew graduates are not only signing up for economics and financialqualifications. In Estonia, IT is the way to go. Encouraged, by the government,which plans to open a university specialising in telecommunications and IT, thepeople of Estonia are constantly being urged along the digital pathway.In1999, Hansapank, a regional bank, teamed up with IT services company MicroLinkto give away free computers to the first 2000 people to sign up for thecompany’s Internet services. Through this sort of initiative, Estonia isalready the leader among the former Soviet States in Internet connectivity, aswell as mobile phone usage and on-line banking. Reports KPMG, “More thanhalf of the population has used a personal computer and one-third of residentshave logged on to the Net.”Indeed,KPMG says, “Driving on Estonia’s highways, a first-time visitor may besurprised to see blue-and-white signposts (distinguished by the familiar @symbol) directing the traveller to the nearest spot to check e-mail.”Likewise,it seems Romania too has a bright, digital-savvy population, with the Romaniantechnology school regarded by KPMG as “one of the best in the world”.Indeed, the company says, “The Romanian labour force is oftenover-qualified. It is a well-known fact that Romanian students finish theirstudies by graduating from colleges in Western countries.”Withregard to labour rights, the West, it seems, has also played a significant rolein influencing employment legislation. “In order to ensure employees’(including collaborators’) minimum labour rights, the Romanian government hasissued legislation covering domains such as working hours, minimum wages,statutory holidays, paid vacations and paid maternity leave.”Andin Hungary too, modern Western principles have been adapted to the Hungarianenvironment through the Labour Code of 1992. Explains Mark Humphreys, HRspecialist with an IT services provider operating in the region, “TheLabour Code regulates the basic elements of employer/employee relationships.That means that under the Labour Code, workers’ councils are compulsory at alllocations with more than 50 employees.” In addition, he adds, “TheLabour Code also allows unions access to places of work and gives them officialstatus as a negotiating partner with the employees.”Itseems that Morgan Chase’s Strikitsa was right on the mark when she says thateach nation within the CEE region must be considered in the light of its ownhistory and culture. There are certainly some similarities between countries ata similar stage of economic development, with well-educated workforces andmodern labour laws. But for every similarity, there are also great differencesand a huge amount of diversity. Add that to an enormous amount of potential inmany countries and there will be some exciting and challenging times ahead forfirms expanding into this emerging market. Who’sgoing where?It’sthe consultancies, telecommunications and IT companies that are venturing intoCentral and Eastern Europe. The most popular countries for investment  from these sectors are:–Hungary–Russia–Estonia–RomaniaFurtherinformation Checkout the following Web sites for more info on expanding into the CEE:–PricewaterhouseCoopers:–McKinsey Global Institute:–KPMG: Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Delay over accounting standard for pensions

first_imgEmployers in the UK have been given longer to comply with a controversialaccounting standard for pensions, which has been blamed by some firms for theclosure of final salary pension schemes. The FRS 17 standard, which will mean that businesses will have to reportannual changes in the value of their pension funds in their main financialstatements, was due to have been adopted by firms with accounting periodsending in June this year. But the Accounting Standards Board (ASB) has extended the deadline for thenew system until 2005 following an announcement that the InternationalAccounting Standards Board is to introduce a similar international accountingstandard. ASB chairman Mary Keegan said the decision to defer the implementation ofFRS 17 was taken to prevent employers having to change their pension accountingtwice when the international standard is introduced. Businesses do not like the FRS rule because it forces them to report annualchanges in the value of their pension schemes. Companies including British Airways and BT have partly blamed the FRS 17 accountingrule for the closure of their final salary pension schemes. The CIPD’s assistant director general, Duncan Brown, welcomed the decisionto defer the introduction of FRS 17 but said it would not take the pressure offfinal salary pension (defined benefit) schemes in the long run. He said: “The fundamental dynamics causing problems for defined benefitschemes are not going to go away. “The cost of schemes, which are heavily focused on the stock market,are going up, funds are low, we are retiring earlier and people are livinglonger.” Susan Anderson, CBI director of HR policy, welcomed the decision to delaythe implementation of FRS 17 but also called for changes to be made to thestandard. By Ben Willmott Schemes are showing deficitA survey of 146 of the UK’s topcompanies reveals that more than 60 per cent have pension schemes which showdeficit under FRS 17.The study by Mercer Human Resource Consulting reveals that ofthese, the deficit exceeds 10 per cent of scheme liabilities in 38 per cent ofcases. Nearly 40 per cent of firms have pension funds of a size exceeding 50per cent of company net assets.The report states: “Managing pension liabilities for manycompanies has become critical because of their size relative to the overallbusiness and this is driving changes to benefit provision and investmentstrategy.” Delay over accounting standard for pensionsOn 9 Jul 2002 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Woolworths is offering temps a Christmas bonus

first_img Previous Article Next Article Woolworths hopes to boost the performance of temporary staff hired to meetthe Christmas rush with a retention bonus scheme. The payment incentive, called the Temporary Incentive Scheme, is equal tofour to five extra days pay – and is performance-related. Christmas staff will need to complete their contracts with excellent conductand attendance records to be eligible. The scheme also requires staff to beflexible to meet staffing needs. The company estimates it will need 6,000 extra staff this Christmas. Lastyear Woolworths cut recruitment costs by introducing online recruitment. Related posts:No related photos. Woolworths is offering temps a Christmas bonusOn 17 Sep 2002 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. last_img

People are key to the ‘boomerang principle’

first_img Previous Article Next Article In superhero plots, I love the way that no-one can ever guess the leadingman’s identity, whether it’s the latest celluloid offering of the Daredevil,Spiderman or even TV cartoon Hong Kong Phooey. The same uncertainty exists in the heroic business of keeping the customerscoming back for more – what Irish supermarket mogul Feargal Quinn calls ‘theboomerang principle’. The few that understand it – which include Richer Sounds, First Direct andASDA – love to boast about it. As Alan Hughes, chief executive of First Direct,explains: “We’re happy for anyone to come in and look at what we do,because we know that while they can copy our systems and our tools, it’s ourpeople who make the difference.” How smug is that? And as an ex-employee,I can confirm that they are so sure of themselves, they really do organisecoach trips for their competitors to visit their call centres. Why then are they so comfortable with their superiority? Is customer serviceso hard to understand? No. Are their people smarter? No. Is it because theyknow their competitors are afraid to copy them? Could be. To apply the boomerang principle requires people who can buildrelationships, listen, and innovate. Realising that is easy, but not necessarily cheap. It took dismal results atAlliance & Leicester for senior managers to see (after paying good money toconsultants, including yours truly, and KPMG) that a customer-first strategyrequires a people-first reality. Its newly appointed chief executive Richard Pym used this newly gainedsuperhuman vision to initiate the most extensive change programme theorganisation has ever attempted. It encompasses 80 different consecutiveprojects to fulfil its ambition to be the ‘most customer-focused financialservices organisation – bar none’. To its immense credit, it did not stop with mere technology or processredesign, but instead launched a plethora of cultural initiatives to free upthose that Pym calls ‘people who love people’ on his chatty intranet. It is nocoincidence that Which Magazine awarded Alliance & Leicester thetitle of best provider of service among high street banks. Previously, the board didn’t have the guts to do the most important things,including culture change, respect for human potential, open communication, awillingness to accept failure and admit mistakes. The good news is that financially-trained Pym no longer sees empowerment orservice as ‘soft and fluffy’, but instead as the hardest, most influential waysto improve shareholder returns. It has just announced an 18 per cent increasein profits. Is this the end? I hope not. Not before the power to satisfy customers isgiven to the people who serve them. That is the ultimate manifestation of thecustomer-first, people-first logic. Only when your organisation is no longerafraid to follow that logic to its conclusion will its performance andrelationship surpass the smug, but superlative, First Direct. Max will discuss these issues further at the Unshrink the Peopleseminar in Leeds, 19 March 2003. E-mail [email protected] Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. People are key to the ‘boomerang principle’On 4 Mar 2003 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

General manager move

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. I’m a graduate who specialised in history, and I’ve been working in the HRdepartment of a multinational firm for five years. My duties have beenconcentrated in industrial relations, and I’ve been responsible for leading ateam of line managers in key negotiations. My long-term career goal is tobecome a general manager responsible for a group of functions, including HR,office services and possibly also logistics. Which development steps arenecessary to achieve my goal? Professor Malcolm Bennison, director of learning, Cambridge OnlineLearning, says: There is nothing like setting yourself challenging goals. The criticalfactors in achieving them are that you are dissatisfied with your currentsituation, you have a clear view of your objective, and that you understand thefirst practical steps required to make the change happen. First, develop your management skills and add them to the job specificskills and knowledge you have already acquired. Specifically, these skillsenable you to get work done by others as well as by yourself – such asorganising, delegating, communicating, and leadership networking. To acquire these skills, you could attend a series of short workshops, butthey only provide an appreciation of the important factors. Source a programmethat is action learning-based, where you complete assignments based on your ownworking situation. For example, a typical team management assignment wouldinvolve building and leading a team in your own organisation, and evaluatingits performance. Improve your understanding of other aspects of the business. Seekopportunities for secondment into the office services and logistics functions,to understand the issues faced in their day-to-day operations and how theyintegrate into the business as a whole. Attend conferences and exhibitions tobuild up a network of contacts. Excellent managers take a business-orientated view. So after developing yourmanagement skills, consider taking a management diploma which uses actionlearning to develop an in-depth knowledge of the core business areas. General manager moveOn 20 May 2003 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Articlelast_img read more

Line managers torn in two directions

first_img Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Evidence is mounting that there are groups of managers out there virtuallyat breaking point. The latest research from consultancy DDI shows many firstline and middle managers are living on an organisational ‘fault line’, tornbetween the conflicting demands of their bosses and their teams, and unpreparedfor the leadership roles expected of them. This concurs with our own survey’s findings, conducted in May with ComputersIn Personnel, UK Line Managers – Are They Good Enough? We discovered that HR isconcerned about the capabilities of its line managers, with people managementskills being their biggest weakness. Years of cost-cutting have exacerbated the problem by stripping away tiersof management and putting leadership development on the back burner. HR has a duty to convince business that this issue needs urgent attention.Helping your managers to lead under pressure has to become a top priority ifyour organisation is to thrive. This means going back to basics and reviewing recruitment to thesepositions, training and development and promotion processes. Checking thataspiring managers have the right motivation and personal attributes to excelsounds obvious, but it doesn’t always happen. If nothing else, put a coaching programme in place. It will encourage trustand help new managers understand that the value they bring is not about havingall the right answers, but developing the self-belief and strengths of others. Clash of the titans The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) should becommended for agreeing to an open debate with one of its fiercest critics,consultant Paul Kearns. Personnel Today prompted the head-to-head between Kearns and the institute’sassistant director-general Duncan Brown at the beginning of the year. Thedebate was held in front of 60 people in the less than palatial surroundings ofthe Ramada Jarvis hotel in Ealing last week. This was an important debate about whether HR and the CIPD are strategicenough. Views were expressed in a good-natured manner, and although there weredistinct differences between them, this was not the hostile confrontationpredicted. It is right that arguments about the CIPD’s role and the impact HR is havingon business should go on and on. The mark of a confident, healthy profession isone that is able to question, criticise and analyse itself without animosity. By Jane King, editor Related posts:No related photos. Line managers torn in two directionsOn 23 Sep 2003 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

Pizzeria featured in “Eat Pray Love” signs lease in Greenwich Village

first_img Email Address* Tags Message* Greenwich VillageLee & AssociatesNYC RestaurantsRetail Full Name* “[L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele] will thrive in this neighborhood,” Schwarz said in a statement. “With the increasing availability of Covid-19 vaccinations and expanding indoor capacity limits, our restaurant scene is beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel.”The pizzeria originally opened in Naples in 1870, and will continue to import its core ingredients from Italy. L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele opened a location in Los Angeles in 2019; the Greenwich Village location will be its third shop.The asking rent for the space was $150 per square foot, according to the brokers, which falls below the $200 per square foot it was asking in 2019. At the time, Quality Branded signed a lease for the same 5,600 square foot space. However, the company backed out of the deal once the pandemic hit, according to a spokesperson for Lee & Associates.Contact Sasha Jones Share via Shortlink Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink 2 Bank Street (Google Maps, iStock)New York pizza shops have some new competition. L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele has signed a lease in Greenwich Village.The pizzeria, featured in the book and film “Eat Pray Love,” has signed a 12-year lease at 2 Bank Street. L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele will occupy 2,800 square feet on the ground floor and 2,800 square feet on the lower level.Lee & Associates NYC’s Brad Schwarz and James Ficelman represented the landlord, Sky Management Corp., while UBIQ New York’s Piero Massimino and Francesco Cirillo represented the tenant.Read moreSmith & Wollensky owner signs lease for new eatery in West VillageJollibee to open flagship at 1500 BroadwayUrbanspace inks lease for Financial District food halllast_img read more

Pharma developer takes 109K sf in Times Square

first_img Share via Shortlink Commercial Real EstateManhattan Office Marketoffice market Full Name* Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink Schrödinger President and CEO Ramy Farid and 1540 Broadway (Eden, Janine and Jim/Flickr, Schrödinger)A Midtown office building just snagged a tenant for a big lease.Pharmaceutical developer Schrödinger inked a deal for nearly 109,000 square feet at Edge Fund Advisors’ 1540 Broadway, the New York Post reported. The company will occupy the 21st to 24th floors of the Times Square tower, which recently underwent a $40 million makeover that includes a 27,000-square-foot amenity center.The company is moving from a 63,000-square-foot space at Kamber Management Company’s 120 West 45th Street.Schrödinger got a good deal on the lease: It includes 16 months of free rent, according to the Post. Its rent reportedly starts in the $70s per square foot, and will rise over the 17-year lease term.ADVERTISEMENTRead moreRudin taps Cushman to market 3 Times Square, plans makeoverBig Tech firms led office leasing in 2020Georgetown Co. will bring life sciences hub to Far West Side Tags Message* Email Address* Cushman & Wakefield’s Peter Van Duyne and Alex Lachmund represented the tenant, per the report, and CBRE’s team led by Howard Fiddle and Eric Deutsch represented the landlord.Schrödinger’s plan to expand in the middle of Times Square sends a much-needed positive sign in Manhattan’s office real estate market. The availability rate in Manhattan hit a record high of 16 percent in the first quarter, according to Colliers International. In addition, out of about 120 global tech companies that participated in a recent survey by Savills, 47 percent said they would need less space when they go back to office in the post-pandemic world.The biggest leases signed during the first quarter include Blackstone’s 720,000-square-foot renewal at Rudin’s 345 Park Avenue, and Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai’s 167,348-square-foot lease at Georgetown Company’s 787 Eleventh Avenue.[NYP] — Akiko MatsudaContact Akiko Matsudalast_img read more