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Renaissance Capital Announces Executive Management Appointments



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Renaissance Capital, the leading emerging and frontier markets investment bank, is pleased to announce a series of executive management changes.

Christophe Charlier has re-joined Renaissance Capital as Chairman of the Board of Directors.

In this capacity, Mr. Charlier will coordinate the work of the Firm’s Board of Directors and will be responsible for strategic development, the Firm’s brand globally and its relationships with key clients and stakeholders in all of the Firm’s markets.

Ruslan Babaev and Anna Vyshlova have been appointed as co-Chief Executive Officers. In their new roles, Mr. Babaev and Mrs. Vyshlova will continue to drive the Firm’s strategy as a leading emerging and frontier market investment bank. Anthony Simone will take the position of President and will continue to focus on the Firm’s international footprint.

In line with the continued reinforcement of its corporate governance, Renaissance Capital is expanding the Board of Directors to include Christophe Charlier, Ruslan Babaev, Anna Vyshlova, and James Friel, Global Head of Investment Banking.

Dmitry Razumov, CEO, ONEXIM Group, commented: “We are excited about the executive management changes at Renaissance Capital. We are confident that this team, bolstered by the Firm’s uniquely talented professionals, will lead Renaissance Capital to new heights. The combination of Christophe’s experience, Ruslan, Anna and Anthony’s knowledge and their joint track record provide a winning formula to drive the Firm’s business forward in a rapidly changing market and regulatory environment. ONEXIM remains fully committed to Renaissance Capital’s strategy to be a full-service investment bank across the emerging and frontier universe.”

Christophe Charlier is an experienced finance professional, including most recently as Deputy CEO of ONEXIM Group. Mr. Charlier has served in executive positions and on the Boards of Directors of some of Russia’s largest companies, including RusAl, Polyus Gold and Norilsk Nickel, and on the Boards of other companies internationally in the financial services, mining, and sports and entertainment industries.

He served on the Board of Directors of Renaissance Capital from 2009 to 2014 and prior to that worked in the Firm’s Investment Banking department from 1997 to 1998.

Ruslan Babaev re-joined Renaissance Capital in 2012 from Otkritie Capital and most recently held the position of Chief Business Officer.

In his new role, Mr. Babaev will be driving the business performance of the Firm, focusing on revenue generating initiatives by increasing sales efforts and widening the Firm’s product range, assessing new opportunities and facilitating Renaissance Capital’s entry into new markets.

Anna Vyshlova has been with Renaissance Capital since 1997 and since 2006 has been driving the Firm’s support functions as Chief Operating Officer. As co-CEO Mrs. Vyshlova will focus on developing and strengthening the Firm’s infrastructure and management team, ensuring a seamless alliance between different businesses, regions and support groups to expand cross-firm collaboration and facilitate new client opportunities.

Anthony Simone has been with Renaissance Capital since 2008, and a board member since 2012, and in that time has held various leading positions, including Chief Financial Officer and Acting CEO.  He will maintain his role as the CEO for the Firm’s London and New York entities and remain Chairman of the Firm’s Dubai entity. As President, he will focus specifically on Renaissance Capital’s international footprint and have responsibility for client engagement, regulatory, governance and other corporate matters.




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Customers to Sue Banks over Stamp Duty Collections




Stakeholders have called on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to withdraw its circular mandating banks to collect stamp duties from customers’ bank accounts, stressing that such directive and practice is unconstitutional, according to the Tribune.

According to them, if the practice of deducting stamp duties from customers’ bank accounts is not suspended, it is expected that other stakeholders would challenge the banks in court, on a case by case basis.

Thus, the impending legal suits that would emanate as a result are likely to disrupt the activities of banks and result to additional legal costs, they warned.

Stakeholders at various occasions have also charged deposit money banks to suspend the practice of collecting stamp duties on receipts for deposits and transfers by customers.

The Stamp Duties Act (SDA), Chapter S8, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (LFN) 2004 (SDA) provides the legal basis for the imposition and collection of stamp duties in Nigeria.

A tax audit and financial advisory services firm, Deloitte, in a document titled: “Stamp Duties on Bank Deposits and Transfers: Are There Unresolved Issues?” and obtained by Tribune stated that, stamp duties are chargeable on all instruments relating to matters executed between a company and individual, group or body of individuals and those executed between persons or individuals. The instruments the firm noted, upon which stamp duties are chargeable include bond, bill of exchange, promissory note, covenant, conveyance on sale, lease, mortgage, among others.

This general rule according to the tax experts did not include receipts for transfer to self, transfers from savings accounts and receipts in respect of salaries and wages, yet, further to a statement issued by CBN on 21 January 2016 banks have continued to deduct these duties.

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UBA Disrupts the Market, Delights Customers with Callback Technology




It would appear that the United Bank for Africa Plc has carved a niche for itself and gone way above its peers with its deployment of Al-powered Callback Technology.

The Al-Powered Callback Technology is one that enables the bank to call back customers instantly when they contact the bank for one reason or the other.

The UBA Group seems to have taken advantage of this high-powered system that even western banks are yet to fully implement as it has gone beyond the legacy banking systems, to omni channel marketing and social media lead generation.

This largely involves meeting its customers where they are – on websites, email, social networks, and cross-device platforms.

It is interesting to note that customers calling the bank for various reasons now have the option of requesting a call back to get on demand information. This has been implemented by using web to phone callback technology developed by Lucep.

Basically, the way it works is that customers can see the website widget deployed on the bank’s website for several financial services and products, wherein they can enter in their name and number, and select the reason for which they want a call back.

Thereafter, the Lucep AI takes the callback request, and distributes it to the right team, ensuring it goes to an authorized member of the team who has the app on their smartphone. This member can then connect back to the customer through the app itself.

Such instant response systems have huge benefits especially when it’s about following up on new customers who are inquiring about banking services.

If for example, a potential client is searching for the best mortgage rates and calls several banks including UBA.

UBA being the only bank that has implemented this Al -powered technology with an instant lead response system, is able to give the customer a call-back within one or two minutes.

This activity will naturally give the bank an edge over its competition as it will probably be the first to reach the customer back. The bank is therefore able to engage customers and offer their services faster than any other bank.

It is this kind of attention to detail, personalized service, and deft use of the latest technologies that has helped UBA stay ahead of its competitors in Africa, and ahead of the trends in the global banking industry.

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Five ‘Must’ Know Before Putting Your Money in Bitcoin




Bitcoin is a type of digital currency in which encryption techniques are used to regulate the generation of units of currency and verify the transfer of funds, operating independently of a central bank. Bitcoin is now worth $4,317.

Due to this, many are encouraging others to invest in the cryptocurrency. Nigerians are slowly embracing Bitcoin.

In line with this, Jumia Travel, the leading online travel agency share things Nigerians must know before joining the Bitcoin train.

More People Are Using Bitcoin
Despite the fact that some Nigerians are struggling to accept Bitcoin, more people are embracing it after years of gradual growth.
Hence, whether we like it or not, Bitcoin is the future and we have no choice than to use it.

Retailers And Vendors Are Accepting Bitcoin
You can now pay for whatever you purchase online with Bitcoin as some retailers have made it possible to settle transactions with it. Some notable companies that accept Bitcoin include Expedia, Microsoft, Subway, Newegg, TigerDirect, Tesla and PayPal. So, do not be surprised when some Nigerian companies start to accept Bitcoin.

Bitcoin Transfers Are Fast And flexible
While many financial institutions charge you or take days to process transactions, Bitcoin allows transfers from one account to another almost for free. Of course, you must already have your money in Bitcoin form. There is no need for any middlemen. As a result, the transfer is seamless.

Extremely Volatile
Bitcoin is still growing like earlier mentioned and there are a number of market factors that influence it. It very dependent on the rules of demand and supply.
The more people are willing to buy Bitcoins, the more the Bitcoin value will increase. Conversely, if more people sell, the prices will decline.

Treat It As Speculating, Not An Investment
Cryptocurrencies have a bright future as a new way to conduct commerce and business. That is not the same thing as saying that their value right now is sustainable. It’s early days yet, and, while the number of businesses accepting cryptocurrencies are growing, it’s not big enough for most of the demand to be built on legitimate trade.
This means that buying cryptocurrencies is speculation, not investment. Hence, you should be willing to lose the money you invest in buying Bitcoin!




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