Mark Walter is a billionaire and CEO at Guggenheim Partners LLC. Is he driving Guggenheim towards the beginning of the end? Are the owners of the L.A. Dodgers being dodged???
Guggenheim has established its name and a tradition of innovation in the past decade. It has emerged as a new player in the financial markets focusing on mergers and acquisitions, insurance and wealth management and has over $300 billion in money management.
Guggenheim has become known as the “New Goldman Sachs”. It has become a renowned recruiter of the best talent in the industry (including Bear Stearns CEO Alan Swartz). Guggenheim continually makes the cover page in most financial papers, including The Financial Times and The Wall Street Journal. Lately, Guggenheim has been appearing in the press for all of the wrong reasons or for the LA Dodgers making it to the World Series.
But the tide is beginning to turn on Walter and Guggenheim. The news now regularly includes information on CEO Walter and his relationship with Alexandra Court (a South African citizen, former corporate lawyer at Clifford Chance and who also did stints with UBS and Credit Suisse)
Ms. Court’s hiring and promotion has seemingly created power struggles within Guggenheim and in-fighting with its brilliant Chief Investment Officer Scott Minerd.
The current situation seems to be nothing new for Walter. He has previously clashed with founding partners including Morley, Curcio and Boehly – all of these individuals left Guggenheim with extremely generous (nine-digit) severance packages. More telling is that only six managing partners remain. New information is coming to light every day. It is no wonder that Ms. Court is trying to negotiate her departure and is reportedly asking for $100 million severance and a mansion.
Walter has his allies – ABS Capital Company (an offshore company and owner of Walter’s Malibu estate); a number of Latin American sophisticated agents; and another blond female “Caroline” working now at Guggenheim. Do these allies recognize that their reputations and jobs are on the line with the investigation and questioning of the origins of the dollars through the sophisticated insurance structures.
The latest theory is that Walter will walk out. Looks like it could be a larger blow than we actually think. Do not blink or you will miss something.
Imagine A Mall Without Any Stores: Will Online Shopping Make Retail Units Obsolete?
The number of people who shop online is increasing year on year. In 2016, shoppers made 51 percent of purchases online, and this is a trend that has been developing and gathering speed over the course of the last five years. With Internet shopping on the rise, is it unquestionable to think of a mall without any stores? In years to come, will the idea of going shopping with friends or indulging in retail therapy involve gathering around a screen or discussing purchases and swapping photos on an instant messaging group?
The rise of Internet shopping
Research suggests that the popularity of online shopping is growing all the time. There are more sites out there, there’s more choice, and people are increasingly reliant on convenient ways of shopping. While there’s still a strong case for physical stores, especially during peak periods, like the holidays, there’s no getting away from the fact that more people are choosing to use the Internet rather than visiting a store. Trends show that it’s also not just a case of shopping on your favourite store’s website. Online-only shops are also beginning to dominate the market. According to data from the Office for National Statistics in the UK, businesses like Amazon and Asos are building their client base on a daily basis. In 2015, these online-only stores took almost 50 pence out of every pound spent online. This is a significant increase from 41 pence in 2014.
Online shopping is more accessible than ever before, and it’s available 24-hours a day, almost anywhere imaginable. In 2017, 96 percent of Americans shopped online. Although most purchases are still made offline, the gap between the web and physical stores is closing all the time.
What’s so good about online shopping?
Online shopping offers a range of benefits for consumers, especially those who don’t have the time or energy to hit the shops. With an Internet connection, you can browse, choose an item and pay in a matter of seconds. Time is of the essence for many shoppers. Although some enjoy moseying around the stores and trying things on, shopping is not everyone’s idea of fun, and online shopping can make the experience much less stressful and time-consuming. You can order what you want or need at the tap of a button from anywhere you like. You can shop in bed, on the train or while you’re sipping a cool drink on vacation. There are virtually no limits when it comes to online shopping due to advances in connectivity and the widespread availability of wifi networks and 4G. The Internet also makes shopping accessible to everyone. If you struggle to get out and about, you have health issues, or you don’t drive, getting the items you want doesn’t have to be a military operation. You no longer have to worry about getting public transport or asking for lifts. You can shop from the comfort of your own sofa.
Internet shopping is not just advantageous because it saves time and effort. You can also access a much wider range of goods online, and the web can also open you up to new shopping experiences. If you’ve ever used auction sites, for example, you may understand the thrill of winning the contest and securing a product at a bargain price. Online shopping gives you the chance to switch up the way you shop and find out more about different techniques and experiences offered by retailers. The rise in popularity of online shopping has also prompted retailers to work on their USP. There’s a huge amount of competition out there, and this benefits the customer. Companies are building on existing ideas and models to make them better. If you’re looking for an example, check out this article entitled Here’s How DealDash Is Revolutionizing The Online Auction Industry, and take note of the differences between these auctions and traditional pay to enter auctions. As a consumer, competition brings new opportunities and enhanced experiences, which you can’t enjoy when you trawl stores at a mall. There’s also the small matter of money. When you go shopping, it’s not always possible to see how much the items you want cost at different stores. With online shopping, you can compare prices in seconds. This means that it’s easier than ever to get more for your money.
Another advantage of online shopping is the ability to learn about products before you buy. In a store, you’re probably not going to have a load of reviews posted on the shelf below a TV, a laptop or a garden furniture set. If you’re online, you can read independent reviews and customer comments before you make a decision.
Are there any downsides?
Nothing is perfect, and if you surveyed a group of people about their online shopping experiences, there are bounds to be gripes and complaints in there somewhere. Perhaps the most significant difference between Internet shopping and traditional shopping is the inability to enjoy the experience of going into a shop, interacting with assistants, trying the products for size and taking advantage of that personal touch. The online experience is very different. It’s faster, it’s more clinical, and there’s always an element of risk involved. Some stores offer free returns to eliminate anxiety about what happens if a product isn’t suitable, but this isn’t a universal perk. There’s also a chance that you’ll end up receiving something that looks completely different to the product you thought you’d ordered. We’ve all seen hilarious examples of online shopping gone wrong in the papers, but this is the risk you run when you haven’t got a product in front of your very eyes.
Although we laud online shopping for its convenience and speed, it can still be a more time-consuming process than going into a shop. If you want something straight away, buying in-store is almost always the best option. Even if same-day delivery is available, this is likely to come at a cost, and you’ll still have to wait hours rather than seconds or minutes.
So what does the future hold for the high street?
If you listen to broadcasts or read the news, it’s not uncommon for high street giants to report losses. The trouble is that it’s hard to ascertain the causes of slow sales. In the UK, some retail magnates are struggling, but is this purely the result of rising online retailers? It’s unlikely that the popularity of online shopping is the sole cause, especially as many of the companies that are hitting the headlines have a strong online presence. There are many factors at work, including political change and uncertainty, and some businesses are going through a period of adjustment to try and cater to new consumer trends.
The key to surviving in any business is being able to adapt to a changing environment. Time brings change, and in this case, retailers who are used to packed shop floors need to adjust to new ways of shopping. Many are stepping up their online game to attract new customers, but it also makes sense to try and make traditional forms of shopping more appealing. The aim is to enhance the experience so that customers enjoy the time they spend in-store. If they have fun, they’re impressed with the service and the shop looks the part, this is going to make them want to return and also encourage them to recommend that store to others. From installing DJs in a trendy clothing store on a Saturday afternoon to providing interactive displays featuring products on sale in a tech store, there’s a lot to be said for actually going into a shop still.
What factors affect your decisions?
When you think about shopping, what factors influence the decisions you make and ultimately, make the difference between shopping online or visiting a store? Do you prefer the personalised experience on offer in a shop or do you enjoy the speed and convenience of shopping from your living room? Sometimes, the type of products you buy makes a difference. You may feel much more comfortable ordering books, games or films online than you would a wedding dress, a state of the art TV or a new pair of shoes, for example. There’s also the question of time. If you’ve got spare time, perhaps you’d like to spend it perusing the shelves. If, on the other hand, you’re in a mad rush, you probably don’t want to contend with traffic, finding a parking space and waiting in line for the fitting room. There’s also the issue of accessibility. If you can walk to a store in five minutes, this is going to save you more time than it would to place an order and then wait for delivery. However, if you don’t drive, you work shifts, or you don’t live near a shopping centre, online shopping is a much more attractive proposition. Everyone is different, and there’s no right or wrong answer. Choose how to shop based on what you need, how much time you have and what kind of experience you’re looking for.
There’s no doubt that the Internet has changed the way we shop. With online shopping on the rise, it may seem likely that retail stores are doomed, but there’s every chance that many will adapt and adjust effectively. We may be fans of online shopping, but don’t write off your favourite high street stores just yet.
Don’t Forget These Important Points When Starting a Business
Now that so many people are starting businesses these days, you may feel like it is not such a big thing. After all, you can do it from the comfort of your own home. However, if you want to make a success of your company, there are a few points that you will need consider. Here are just a few of the main ones.
Don’t Overcomplicate Your Concept
The best businesses tend to focus on a particular niche and they don’t overcomplicate their initial concept. You may feel like you need to have a complex idea to get anywhere in business, but you are actually better off keeping it simple. If you try to do too much, this can be very difficult to market and customers won’t understand your business. And when you are choosing clients to target, go for a refined group to begin with.
Write Out a Checklist of What You Need to Do
Everything tends to become so much more simple when you note it down on paper in a bullet point list. This should start with writing your business plan, leading up to the point when you form your company with the likes of Your Company Formations Ltd. Following on from this, you should map out how you see the first weeks and months going. Having a clear plan helps to clarify the huge task that you have in front of you.
Overestimate Your Expenses
When it comes to your expenses, you should give yourself some room for manoeuvre. The odds are that you will spend more than you initially think, so it is always worth preparing for the worst with regards to your business costings. The last thing that you want to happen is to realise that you don’t have any money to go further, and you have to wind up your company before it has really gotten started.
Establish Your Support Network
Even if you plan on running the business by yourself, you still need to have a support team who will guide you along the way. These people don’t necessarily have to be business associates, though it does help to speak to people with experience and a clear idea of what they are talking about. A close group of family, peers, friends or mentors will prove to be invaluable to you as you are going down the difficult path of launching a business.
Generate Income Quickly
Cashflow is essential to all businesses, but especially newly-established companies. Your business needs to start generating money as soon as possible to ensure that it stays afloat. Rather than diving headfirst into running your own business, it may be wise to have an alternative source of income in case everything doesn’t go according to plan straight away.
Even though starting a business is easier than ever before in theory, there are still plenty of factors that you need to consider, and these are just a few of the main ones.
What We Can Learn From Tony Robbins About Being Financially Free
If there’s one guy that knows what it takes to be financially free, it’s life guru Tony Robbins. If you watch his seminars, you’ll probably start to wonder if there’s anything he doesn’t know about. He can help relationships, career changes, people with depression, and the reason you’re here – financial woes!
Being financially free is something that absolutely anybody can do if they are willing to take the steps to get there. Luckily for you, you can read this post rather than take an expensive trip to one of Tony’s seminars. Here’s what we can learn from Tony Robbins about being financially free:
You Have To Figure Out What’s Holding You Back
To become financially free, you have to first figure out what’s holding you back. You need to be brutally honest with yourself. Write it down. What do you think you’re doing or not doing that’s stopping you from reaching this goal? Perhaps you’re not doing anything at all and that’s the problem. Maybe you try but you procrastinate. Make sure you examine yourself thoroughly to figure out what the problem is.
You Probably Need Much Less Than You Think
How much do you really think you need to become financially free? In all honesty, it’s probably much less than you think it is. People think that they need hundreds of thousands in the bank to become financially free, but this isn’t the case at all. First, you start small. You start doing something even if it just makes you a little extra money per month, and it pays for your Netflix account. You then build it up, until say all of your bills are covered, then your entertainment is covered, and so on and so forth. If you actually took the time to work out how much you’d need per month to be financially free, you’d probably be surprised at the number. So do it.
When you have the number, you can start coming up with a plan to achieve it. Taking out an easy loan to get your ideas off the ground could work, but you need to make sure you can pay it back in the agreed time.
Your Actions Can Change Your Energy
Sometimes we just wake up on the wrong side of the bed. There’s nothing we can do about that initially. However, it’s a mistake to think that there’s nothing we can do about it at all. Actions can change your energy. This is why tony jumps up and down on a trampoline for a while and does other crazy things before going on stage. It’s why he encourages others in his seminars to do it too. Because the things we do and say can change the way we feel almost instantly, and that can change the things we do from day to day.
You Have To Become An Investor, Not A Consumer
To become financially free, you have to make the conscious decision to become an investor, and not a consumer. Most people are consumers these days. They buy without even thinking about what it is they are buying. Some people invest but not consistently, while others think about it but never actually do it. Starting to invest as early on as possible is one of the most sensible things you can do with your money.
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