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ARDENT FINANCIAL LAUNCHES AS A NEW GLOBAL SECURITIES DEALER

  • New global securities dealer launches today to actively trade corporate and financial credit and reorganised equities in markets across Europe, the U.S. and select Emerging Markets
  • Capitalised with institutional-quality permanent equity capital allowing it to provide firm markets and liquidity with its own balance sheet
  • Highly experienced board of directors and senior management team with significant and relevant capital markets expertise

Ardent Financial Limited, (“Ardent”), has today launched as a new global Securities Dealer to provide discrete and efficient execution and liquidity to the institutional market.

The London-based firm trades bonds and reorganised equities in credit markets across Europe, the U.S. and select Emerging Markets, including Latin America. It provides clients with two-way markets in event-driven corporate and financial credits and has already onboarded a number of European and U.S. institutional clients.

In contrast to many traditional brokers, Ardent is capitalised with institutional-quality permanent equity, allowing it to provide firm markets and liquidity with its proprietary balance sheet to a broad base of global credit investors.

Ardent has a highly experienced board of directors and senior management team, with an average of over twenty years’ experience each in global credit markets. The firm’s philosophy and process has been developed and refined over several credit cycles, with an emphasis on identifying investment situations that may be exceptionally mispriced.

Alongside the systematic identification of event-driven credits across a range of performing, stressed and distressed situations is active fundamental monitoring and dynamic secondary trading. Ardent’s disciplined approach is supported by a strong focus on a core list of credits where the firm performs comprehensive analysis.

Explaining why he felt now was the right time to launch a new securities dealer, Ardent’s CEO, Peter Chung said: “The continuing decline of well-resourced and seasoned dealers over the past decade has opened up a unique opportunity for us to enter and serve our clients in the global markets. Credit markets have historically been exposed to volatility in other asset classes. This volatility continues today, especially following the explosive growth in investment grade and high yield bond issuance and related indenture deterioration. This has led to many heavily leveraged corporate balance sheets, with unsustainable capital structures.”

Commenting on the launch, a U.S. Buy-Side Head said “Peter has built an incredible reputation over the years with buy-side clients that recognize his ability to add value and differentiate himself from others. He has created a unique franchise whose success is primarily driven by focus on credit selection, liquidity, knowledge of credits, discretion and loyalty, among others. I have no doubt in Peter’s ability to hit the ground running and succeed with his new firm, and anxiously look forward to having a veteran like him back in the market again.”

A European Buy-Side Head Trader added “For the past 5 years, Peter has been an invaluable business partner. Not only does he display a unique ability to identify interesting investment opportunities, but he is an extremely trusted and reliable source of liquidity, enabling the entry and exit of positions on a large scale in the most discreet and efficient manner. I am very excited for Peter’s return to the marketplace.”

 

Senior Management Team 

Peter Chung, CEO

20+ years’ experience in trading debt and equity instruments. Senior Trader at SC Lowy’s European, US and EM event driven/special situations business. Head of European Distressed, HY & Loan trading at Nomura. Portfolio Manager at Verition Fund Management and Highland Capital Management. A.B. in Economics from Princeton University.

Aidan Brady, COO

25+ years of experience in operations. Previously, CEO of the UK Municipal Bonds Agency Plc. COO of Deutsche Bank UK and CEO of DB UK Bank Plc. Chartered Accountant, with a B. Comm from University College Dublin. 

Timothy Alexander, Head of Strategy

20+ years of event driven experience. Partner/European Head of Sound Point Capital Management. Built UBS’s European loans and distressed trading business. Graduate from Tulane University’s AB Freeman School of Business.

 

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INTERNATIONAL BANKING NETWORK EXPANDS AS IT WELCOMES STANDARD CHARTERED BANK

IBOS Association (IBOS), an international banking network, is delighted to announce its newest member to the group, Standard Chartered Bank.

A unique international alliance of some of the largest banks in the world, IBOS members collaborate to serve each other’s’ international clients in markets where they themselves do not operate. Standard Chartered’s rich history and extensive network across Asia, Africa and the Middle East will complement IBOS’s strong geographic coverage in Europe and the Americas, thereby creating compelling global opportunities for clients of all member banks.

IBOS Managing Director, Manoj Mistry, commented: “I am delighted that Standard Chartered is joining IBOS, further strengthening our network across this key region and opening more doors in Asia for our clients. We are relishing this next chapter and we are thrilled to be working with Standard Chartered.”

Standard Chartered will initially add Hong Kong, Singapore, India, China, Taiwan and Malaysia to the IBOS network. In time, both parties will explore expanding the relationship to additional markets where Standard Chartered operates.

Speaking on behalf of Standard Chartered, Jiten Arora, Global Head, Commercial Banking, commented “Helping businesses to connect and grow internationally is central to our brand promise. We are pleased to be a part of IBOS, which will further strengthen our role as a strategic partner in our clients’ growth journeys. We also look forward to supporting internationalising mid-corporate clients of member banks, who are keen to venture into the markets across our footprint and using our deep local knowledge to help them enter, navigate and prosper by accessing some of the most vibrant economies, trade corridors and supply chain ecosystems globally.”

Despite the current pandemic, IBOS remains open for business and the network is utilising technology to succeed at achieving its goals and ensuring clients continue to have access to services as normal. IBOS also has its sights set on growth into the markets that the ever changing economic and geographical developments demand, as it continues to develop its expansion into Australasia.

Moreover, Manoj notes that: “Additional markets across CEE are also being contemplated to serve the network as other banking association groups are starting to wind down.”

Matt Tuck, Head of Commercial Product, Service & Operations at NatWest Group, said “As a long-standing member of IBOS since its inception in 1994, NatWest Group is delighted that with Standard Chartered’s membership IBOS is extending its reach into Asia for the first time. As a market leading UK Commercial Bank, NatWest Group is looking forward to working even more closely with IBOS to support our clients’ international banking needs across this region.”

“The addition of Standard Chartered presents an incredible growth opportunity for the IBOS network and for its members,” said Chris Ward, executive vice president and head of product management & operations, PNC Treasury Management and IBOS chair and board of directors’ member. “The continued global expansion of the network will help to provide our members’ customers with the service and resources they need to be successful.”

 

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ARE MIDDLE EAST ENTERPRISES PREPARED FOR THE FUTURE?

Deloitte releases 2020 tech trends report

 

Deloitte’s 11th annual report on technology trends captures the intersection of digital technologies, human experiences, and increasingly sophisticated analytics and artificial intelligence technologies in the modern enterprise. The report explores digital twins, the new role technology architects play in business outcomes, and affective computing-driven “human experience platforms” that are redefining the way humans and machines interact.

During the current COVID-19 crisis, organizations have been turning more and more to technology to enhance business resilience and continue to operate. As organizations are forced to utilize remote working where possible or take pause, many are also realizing the benefits of this way of working as an option post COVID-19, to improve efficiencies and become more agile.  While currently dominated by communication technologies, building resilience will also require us to closely examine, and build on, trends such as ethical technology and trust, human experience platforms and architecture, and the macro forces of digital experience, cloud and risk.

“The most successful businesses today are combining cutting-edge technologies like machine learning and IoT with disruptive IT architecture and supercharged talent to create entirely new ways of working – and they already see the benefits,” said Bhavesh Morar, Lead Partner for Enterprise Technology and Performance, Deloitte Middle East. “And with enterprises needing to adapt and respond quickly to ongoing technology disruption, Deloitte expects to see more IT and finance leaders working together to develop new flexible approaches for funding innovation.”

 

The Deloitte report’s five trends of focus for 2020 include:

  • Digital Twins – Bridging the physical and digital:Digital twin technology allows businesses to create increasingly sophisticated virtual models to optimize processes, products, and services, enterprises will integrate IoT, machine learning, advanced computing infrastructure, and more to unlock entirely new business models.
  • Architecture Awakens:Systems architecture will become a strategic priority as enterprises redefine the architect role to be more nimble, responsive, and collaborative. Architects will work across the business and work creatively with non-technical project teams – forming a competitive differentiator in the digital economy.
  • Ethical Technology and Trust:Enterprises in every geography are realizing that their embrace of technology is an opportunity to gain – or lose – trust, and with it, customers’ business and brand loyalty. CIOs will emphasize ethical tech in the coming years – and create processes to help solve ethical dilemmas related to disruptive technologies.
  • Human Experience Platforms:To address the lack of connection humans often experience with daily digital interactions, a growing number of enterprises are injecting emotional intelligence into their systems. These include AI capabilities such as machine learning and voice and facial recognition, which can better detect and appropriately respond to human emotions. The net result is emotionally intelligent human experiences that leverage connections between people, systems, data, and products.
  • Finance and the Future of IT: As enterprises become more agile, financial operations will need to support new modes of working. That means CIOs and CFOs will need to explore how a new, flexible approach to enterprise finance¾across budgeting, contracting, capital planning, and more¾can redefine the future of tech innovation.

“Enterprises in the Middle East are no longer satisfied with being regional leaders – now the ambition is to go global and lead globally. There is a growing interest in looking beyond what’s new to what’s next. At present, many enterprises are looking to strengthen their structures, capabilities, and processes required to harness technology macro forces and innovate effectively in the face of exponential change,” concluded Morar.

 

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