Fighting for Success

AmeriVet Securities

Elton Johnson, Jr., a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Army Retired Reserve, and a decorated combat veteran, is the driving force behind one of the first SDVOB broker-dealers and arguably one of the most successful. We spoke to him about how his loyal team at AmeriVet Securities is imperative to the firm’s continued success.

Established in 1994 as one of the first Service Disabled Veteran Owned Business (SDVOB) brokerdealers, AmeriVet Securities, Inc., is the second oldest of its kind in existence and is also one of the few broker-dealers/FINRA members that is certified as both a SDVOB and as a Minority Business Enterprise (MBE).

Initially, the company employed a workforce of 100% disabled veterans, all of whom were former US Army paratroopers, however now the firm employs a workforce of more than 25 personnel, a quarter of whom are veterans.

AmeriVet Securities, Inc., specializes in a full spectrum of equities and fixed income products which it provides to a broad spectrum of institutional, corporate, and public clients. AmeriVet’s expertise is in the areas of debt capital markets, equity capital markets, public finance, loan sales, cash management, and investment banking, with dedicated experts in each of these fields.

The firm was founded by Elton Johnson, Jr., who still operates as the Chief Executive Officer. Growing Amerivet to the point where it generated over $1 million in revenues in its fifth full year of business with only a handful of employees (after being started on a borrowed $1150 in 1993), Elton was called up for active military service in December 2001 as a result of 9/11 and spent several years overseas on seven deployments. He became a combat veteran having served in both Iraq and Afghanistan, often with Special Operations units.

“After my deployments, I returned to the States and saw that the entire SDVOB broker/dealer landscape had changed,” he explains. “I saw that I would need more resources and a strategic partner to compete and continue AmeriVet’s mission to hire and train returning US military veterans. South Street Securities became that partner by investing significant resources in our firm and sending us down the path towards success. I am very humbled by the support South Street Securities has given the AmeriVet team and look forward to providing continued differentiated value and service to our clients.”

AmeriVet Securities has since gone from strength to strength since its inactive period and Elton attributes this continued success primarily to the fact that he and the AmeriVet team have never lost sight of the company’s core mission regarding American veterans: to engage with the veteran community. This includes individual veterans and Veteran Service Organisations (VSOs), and connect as many of them as possible to all the resources available to them.

“In addition,” Elton adds, “one of the top priority missions for AmeriVet is to employ, train, and retain (ETR) veterans with strong emphasis on combat veterans and disabled veterans.”

Due to the military backgrounds of some of the directors and senior executive officers, the AmeriVet team utilizes two forms of planning: tactical planning and strategic planning. Tactical planning involves continuous smart decision-making regarding the daily operations of the company. This includes, but is not limited to, the following: adhering to the approved budget as closely as possible, hiring and training the right personnel and ensuring that they are in the right jobs in order to maximize their effectiveness, monitoring and handling all regulatory compliance matters that affect the firm, and dealing with all issues in the securities market that directly, or even indirectly, affect the daily revenues of the firm. Strategic planning involves creating the successful “way ahead” for the firm. This includes, but is not limited to, setting longterm goals and objectives with an approved timeline in regard to revenues, growth in team personnel, profitability, etc.

All AmeriVet planning is a team effort and is formalized in written plans so as to aid in proper dissemination, efficient revisions if necessary, and proper review in order to stay on course. “The fact that one of my tours in Afghanistan was as a military planner has been a tremendous help to the AmeriVet team regarding business planning. It’s amazing how military planning and business planning are very similar”, Elton added.

The method that the AmeriVet team uses to approach its clients is direct engagement and the firm opts to meet with its clients face-to-face whenever possible in order to develop the strongest business relationships it can.

“This is simply because the key to good business is strong business relationships. The AmeriVet team employs a concept created by me that is called the Law of Network Leveraging. Basically, this concept involves connecting with the right people, developing a good business relationship with them, and eventually doing good business with them. This concept, applied over and over again, contributes greatly to the success of any business in any industry”, Elton further adds.

Additionally, proof that AmeriVet has met with success in achieving its mission is the fact that AmeriVet Securities, Inc., is the only FINRA member firm that has been awarded the prestigious US Department of Labor (DOL) HIRE Vets Medallion Award twice. AmeriVet received the US DOL HIRE Vets Gold Medallion Award in 2018 and the US DOL HIRE Vets Platinum Medallion Award in 2019. AmeriVet Securities has also received the Office of the Secretary of Defence, Patriotic Employer Award. In all, AmeriVet Securities has received 22 awards/honors over the course of its 25 years in operation making it the most honored and recognized Service Disabled Veteran Owned FINRA member firm in the industry.

Of the many accomplishments AmeriVet has achieved in the financial services industry, two are most memorable. AmeriVet was the first FINRA member since World War II to operate under wartime conditions due to the active military duty status of Elton during the Global War on Terror. AmeriVet was in a special inactive status for twelve years while Elton was deployed seven times to five different countries.

AmeriVet was also involved in the MRAP Program, the development of Mine-Resistant, Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles via its Registered Investment Advisory Department. AmeriVet functioned as the official Financial Advisor/ Consultant on the capital raise for Force Protection, Inc., which brought this company out of insolvency thus allowing it to proceed with the development and production of its MineResistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles. Since being fielded, MRAP vehicles have saved the lives of thousands of US military personnel, including Elton himself when he served in Afghanistan in 2011 and again in 2013-2014.

Just as important as these notable achievements, the AmeriVet staff and the role of the team as a whole is also vital to the success of the firm, as Elton is quick to point out.

“The US securities industry is a very unique and dynamic industry. As past history has shown (e.g., the Stock Market Crash of 1929), what happens in our industry can directly affect everyone in the US and even worldwide.”

“In order to survive and be successful in this industry, a firm must have people who have initiative (these people are often called “go-getters” or “self-starters”) and are capable of thinking “outside-the-box.” A firm needs people who are not quitters; people who realize that often the most important key to success is the willingness to stick it out until the end. Often, just possessing the strength,
determination, and perseverance to stay the course determines success in our industry. One of the biggest challenges AmeriVet faces is to find these people in our industry and make them part of the AmeriVet team. So far, we have done quite well.”

The “AmeriVet team” very much embraces the team concept which the AmeriVet senior management defines as follows: “A team is composed of members who are dependent upon each other and who work together as a whole to achieve certain objectives and goals.”

Elton also added: “Because so many members of the AmeriVet team are former members of the military, they are very familiar with the team concept and can easily apply what they learned about teamwork in the military to teamwork in the business world. This ability to work as a team
enables the AmeriVet team to function smoothly and develop a single mindedness regarding the firm’s mission. This contributes greatly to the success of our firm.”

Lastly, Elton expressed great gratitude to all the individuals and institutions on Wall Street who have supported AmeriVet by directing business its way. As he puts it: “Many people say, “Thank you for your service” but it’s the ones that say “Thank you for your service” by taking action that helps vets like me who are actually the real difference makers in our industry. They too are also heroes in my eyes.”

Contact: Elton Johnson Jr
Company: AmeriVet Securities, Inc.
Address: 1155 Avenue of the Americas, 14th Floor, 10036, New York, United States
Telephone: 949 231 8546
Web Address:

Issue 1 2020


Happy New Year and welcome to the January edition of Corporate Vision magazine. As always, we aim to bring you all of the latest news, features and insightful pieces from across the global corporate landscape.

Disruption – it wasn’t too long ago that the word was associated with unwanted things. Of delays, and undesirable consequences. Yet, in the modern age of business, disruption has been redefined to be something positive. A challenge to established norms. An advancement towards betterment. In a world where large brick and mortar businesses have long stood sentinel, small and agile disruptors are making themselves known to consumers as a viable alternative.

Many of this month’s inclusions have been associated, at one time or another, with disruption. They have sought to change expectations and revolutionise their respective industries to be better prepared to adapt to the needs of the future in a world that will never stop moving forwards. Whether it be identity management, next generation cybersecurity solutions, leadership consulting or 3D printing, HR technology and data monitoring services, this issue of CV has covered a few essential businesses that are looking – simply – to make their mark.

With that, Corporate Vision Magazine wishes you a wonderful month ahead.

The Business Imperative Of Decluttering Your Office


The Business Imperative Of Decluttering Your Office

By Ian Osborne, VP UK & Ireland, Shred-it, the information security provider

The new year is the perfect time to get your business in order.

Decluttering has become a huge movement of late, led in part to the recent TV show featuring Japanese organising consultant Marie Kondo.  

Yet decluttering isn’t something that’s reserved solely for the home. Businesses up and down the country would be wise to take on board the principles of decluttering, reviewing processes and introducing best practices to enable a happy, healthy and efficient workforce. 

So, why should businesses declutter? 


Data security compliance 

Decluttering the office has enormous advantages from a compliance perspective, enabling employees to better handle sensitive information while reducing the risks of potentially disastrous data breaches. 

Take paper documentation, for example. The average office worker uses a staggering 10,000 sheets of paper per year – many of which are left lying around in the office and not stored away or destroyed properly after use. From contracts and invoices, to financial statements and CVs, the likelihood of paper records left lying around that contain sensitive information is high. 

Research commissioned by Shred-it last year revealed the attitudes of office workers in the UK to handling sensitive information. The survey found that over 14 per cent of office workers admitted to having left sensitive information lying on their desk. Furthermore, over a third of respondents admitted they were unlikely to dispose of sensitive information by shredding paperwork, and 9 per cent admitted to having put people’s CVs into the bin or recycling rather than shredding them. 

The research also unveiled the potential consequences of mishandling sensitive information in the workplace. According to the data, 38 per cent of office workers admitted to having had to pay towards some or all of the cost of the lost information, 55 per cent had lost their company money or customers, while more than 23 per cent admitted to having lost their job as a result of mishandling sensitive company information. 

These findings show the importance of ensuring your workforce both understands and fully complies with data protection regulations, not only to prevent their company losing money or customers, but to protect their own position within the company. 


Think digital 

It’s important to remember however that data protection regulations apply to digital records as well as paper documentation.  

The rise of the digital economy, coupled with an increasingly flexible workforce globally, has resulted in more and more documents being saved on laptops and handheld devices, easily accessible for remote workers. 

With this movement however has come a new wave of security concerns, from using unsecured wireless networks in cafes, to leaving laptops and mobile phones on trains or in stations unattended. 

Never has it been more important for workers to install anti-virus firewall software, while regularly updating usernames and passwords to reduce the risks of data theft. It is also worth considering a specialist hard drive destruction service for any unwanted USBs or other hardware. 

With digital forms of communication, such as email, business leaders should consider whether it is necessary to use the CC field for colleagues who aren’t expected to reply. In addition, would a phone or face-to-face conversation be preferable or quicker, rather than sending an email unnecessarily, which in turn increases the digital paper trail? 


Productivity Boost 

Reorganising the office can also have huge benefits on your workforce, helping to greatly increase productivity levels. With recent data from the ONS revealing that UK productivity had grown only marginally in the third quarter of 2019, and with the Brexit debate no longer dominating the headlines, there is now huge onus on business leaders to introduce new measures to help increase productivity and drive economic growth across the UK. 

Furthermore, there are also mental health benefits to having an organised office. Taking the clean desk equals clean mind approach, scientists have found that being in a cluttered environment can make it more difficult for us to focus, resulting in greater stress levels and a sense of confusion, and thus reducing efficiency and productivity. 

Worth remembering the environmental advantages to ensuring an organised officespace. With consumers growing ever more conscious about brands and businesses being environmentally responsible, they also expect their employer to be too. By shredding and recycling any unwanted paperwork, not only are you helping to reduce clutter, but also safeguarding your company’s green credentials. 


Business decluttering: top tips 

With a clear business imperative for decluttering, how can business leaders ensure their workforce are more organised and productive in 2020?   


1.    Everything in its place 

Spend a bit of time identifying or creating a logical home for all the items you want or need in your work environment, ensuring its accessible if it’s frequently used. When establishing these locations, listen closely to those who are in the environment the most so you can understand what will work best for their day-to-day activities  


2.    Label clearly 

Whether its offsite archiving, routinely accessed filing or the contents of the communal stationery cupboard, using clear labels so anyone can find and follow the systems will save time and energy.  


3.    Create clear work zones 

Allow space for colleagues to interact away from their desks, whether over a water cooler or while making a cup of tea. Introduce small spaces to break away to have more intimate and focused conversations if the workplace is open plan.  


4.    Blitz as a team 

At least once a year, allocate a day for all the office staff to blitz their paperwork, data files and emails to cull any surplus. Set out-of-offices on email and voicemail to prevent distractions. This is a great initiative to do early in the year or when you’ve just passed another financial year-end as you can potentially bin another historical year’s worth of documentation. And if everyone is in the same zone that day, you can easily confer with colleagues if you think something should be kept or not.  Key thing is to ensure the secure destruction of any unwanted paperwork in order to protect sensitive information, so consider partnering with an external shredding company. 


5.    Confront your inbox  

Allow time for colleagues to tackle their backlog then try implementing Merlin Mann’s ‘Inbox Zero’ guidelines. When you receive an email decide which of the following apply:  

Delete: just get rid of it (or archive it)    

Delegate: assign someone else to deal with it  

Respond: if it takes just a few minutes, do it right now  

Defer: put it on a to-do list or file it in a To-Action subfolder to deal with it later  

Do it: handle whatever the email actually needs you to do (e.g. away from your inbox)  


Unsubscribe from any sources that aren’t adding value or you are realistically never going to make the time to read.

Remove audio alarms and visual notifications from inbound emails. Designate specific times to check your email so you can concentrate on specific tasks between those checks. The constant interruption of new emails wreaks havoc with your focus and extends the amount of time required to complete any task.  


6.    Ergonomics 

Check your employees’ workstation set-up to ensure their posture and energy levels can be best supported. If staff use laptops, include some poser tables for them to move to if they need to stand and work.  


7.    Do not disturb signs 

If you have an open-plan office space, issue each desk with flags or some visual indicator that when it’s up, tells their colleagues they are in focus time and should not be disturbed unless urgent.   


8.    Clean desk policy 

By definition, a clean desk policy specifies how employees should leave their working space when they aren’t there. Desks should be cleared of all papers, particularly those containing sensitive information such as personal details, account numbers and commercially-sensitive data. The policy should also extend to sensitive information on computers. 


Ian Osborne, VP UK & Ireland, Shred-it, the information security provider

3D Print Perfection


3D Print Perfection

3D printing is still a relatively new field, opening the doors of possibility when it comes to the production of prototype parts or small runs for a niche market. Based out of London, 3DPRINTUK is at the forefront of SLS 3D printing, providing a service unparalleled in the United Kingdom. After eight years of business, we profiled this company to find out more.

Established in 2011 by founder Nick Allen, 3DPRINTUK has gone from strength to strength over the last few years. Able to handle every part of the process from CAD to finishing, the talented team has explored the potential of SLS 3D printing technology. Since opening their doors, 3DPRINTUK has produced items as varied as a CAT Scan for artist Dave Farman, a glider for James May and the trophies for the Men’s and Women’s Hockey World League Finals 2015. Some would argue that the potential for 3D printing is virtually endless, but to even begin to start looking into its possibilities, you need someone who knows what they’re doing.

The appeal of 3D printing comes from its ability to produce precisely calibrated parts without the need for expensive tooling or big runs. Instead of the use of moulds or subtracting material to produce a final product, 3D printing works by taking a digital version of an object, slicing it into thin horizontal sections and laying material down layer by layer. It is only recently that the machines used to generate these creations have reached a price that allows for commercial, or even home use.

3DPRINTUK uses top end machines that provide a fine finish on their products. Using a print bed of white Nylon powder, a laser melts certain parts of the print bed, ‘colouring in’ the areas to be printed. The bed drops by 0.1mm and is recoated with the powder for another print layer. This is what sets 3DPRINTUK above the rest, providing a smoother finish as the laser blends layers together, reducing the lines that are found on cheaper machines. The result is a strong, durable product, ready for a waiting client.

As so many types of 3D printing abound, from SLA to DLP to FDM, it’s easy to try and offer them all, allowing a variety of services to be undertaken. What has made 3DPRINTUK such a success is the specialisation in one sector of the industry. In focusing on the mastery of SLS technology, the team now know its strengths and weaknesses intimately, allowing them to push boundaries that other companies wouldn’t consider.

3DPRINTUK work with any client who has a requirement for small parts, ranging from students to artists to engineering companies. A minimum order of £40 means that the market leading technology that 3DPRINTUK provide is available and accessible to everyone.

Although the majority of clients are engineering companies who can’t afford their own in-house SLS machine, you can find oneoff clients for specific purposes such as Dave Farman, who’s request for a set of accurate rib cage and lungs was turned down by other companies but accepted and printed quickly at 3DPRINTUK. For some, producing items through 3DPRINTUK has meant a 70% saving, especially when the cost of injection moulding can be incredibly expensive.

The flexibility and potential of by 3D printing has made it incredibly popular amongst students looking to experiment with 3D design. These clients are often pushing for a quick turnaround, done as cheaply as possible. 3DPRINTUK offers a generous 20% off discount to students, as well as free advice on designs to help print as efficiently as possible.

Many companies take advantage of 3DPRINTUK’s ability to produce small production runs of bespoke products. With no setup fees or mould costs, 3D printing is able to act as a viable alternative to injection
moulding with the ability to order as many or as few items as required. Altering designs, such as personalisation for individual clients, costs as much as producing identical products giving 3D printing a significant advantage. The lack of tooling means that lead time is incredibly fast, with the current record being 6,500 parts produced in 24 hours, each identical to the prototype model.

Clips, mounts and fastenings are the parts best suited to batch production runs. The nylon used in SLS printing is strong, making it perfect for small fastenings and fixtures. Being small parts, it is possible to place these in and around other parts in builds that are made allowing for swift production. Tooling these parts would be difficult to justify on a low production run, making 3D printing the ideal, and most appropriate, solution.

While 3DPRINTUK is now well established within the industry, the company relied heavily on its website and tradeshows in the early days when it was getting started. Convincing clients that their particular brand of manufacture wasn’t just a gimmick, but a powerful tool in the design arsenal was a major challenge. Attending these shows allowed potential clients to see products in the flesh and assess the quality of the parts for themselves. A slowly transforming market that has become more informed about the nature of 3D printing has encouraged many companies to explore how to use this technology for themselves.

Of course, in selling the possibilities of 3D printing, it is possible that the media has overhyped its abilities. While theoretically able to create anything using this technology, with projects using complete mechanisms that have been 3D printed garnering media attention, the team at 3DPRINTUK advocate the use of appropriate materials for the job. Such mechanisms can use gears and steel rods for a fraction of the cost of 3D printing. This practical and economically minded approach is intrinsic to the attitude of the company, with Director Nick Allen founding the company in order to provide a friendly and trustworthy face to the industry. This has meant using his, and his team’s, experience in product design to ensure an expert eye remains on projects, suggesting alternatives if requested and appropriate.

2020 looks to follow much the same pattern as 2019, with incredible growth expected for 3DPRINTUK. The current plan is to increase capacity for printing with more machines and the introduction of more automation into the workflow. The company is also looking to introduce new materials beyond the nylon that has been the heart of the business since its inception. These new materials will complement, not replace, what is already available. As the company continues to grow, with 3D printing becoming more popular by the day, the challenge is to stand out amongst a sea of other companies and the rapidly lowering price of home 3D printing.

As a provider of SLS 3D printed parts for eight years, and printing nearly two million parts in that time, it would be fair to call 3DPRINTUK one of the most experienced companies using this technology in the country. With outstanding quality as a minimum, the level of service that 3DPRINTUK give their clients is exceptional. In the rare event of a problem with a part, this company will go out of its way to find the solution that works for their clients. This is what has allowed them to build up such an impressive reputation as a first-class provider of 3D printing in the UK, trusted by their clients to excel every time.

Five Jobs For Extrovert Personalities


We all need a job to pay the bills, but that shouldn’t be the only goal. A job should make us feel like jumping out of bed in the morning. It should be fulfilling enough that you’d want to work for free. In order to find true fulfilment, you need a job that suits your personality. Of course, not every job suits every personality. Here, we look at five jobs that are great for someone who is outgoing and confident.

1. Live chat assistant


Although a live chat assistant never meets people face-to-face in their daily routine, a friendly and bubbly personality is definitely a prerequisite here. In the rapidly emerging iGaming industry, which is increasingly accessible 24/7 to casino players around the world, brands require live chat assistants to provide around-the-clock support during their entertainment. With the trend for consumers favouring live chat assistants online over telephone helplines on the rise, iGaming operators require live chat assistants that can act on-brand and provide swift answers to common questions, improving brand trust and loyalty in the process.

Thanks to the rapidly advancing live dealer casino niche in the iGaming sector, where classic table games are offered in real time with premium quality high-definition (HD) streams, players want to play at casinos that are no-nonsense and easy to understand. That’s where the investment in live chat assistants can really make its mark, with friendly, on-brand guidance on customers’ betting, deposits, withdrawals, promotions and much more. At SkyCity Casino, which operates its own live casino platform catering to beginners and high-rollers alike, they employ live chat assistants to foster a safe, welcoming environment for customers when playing games such as blackjack, roulette and baccarat. Given that the casino is open 24/7, 365 days of the year, a career as a live chat assistant not only requires you to be sociable but committed to shift work too.

2. Holiday rep


Working as a holiday rep is a great way to combine a love of travel with paying the bills. Holiday reps have to deal with all kinds of people. One day you might be taking a coachload of tourists to see the pyramids, and the next you might be dealing with complaints about a blocked loo in a hotel room. Whatever situation you’re dealing with, you have to be cheery and approachable at all times.

Holiday reps also have to be prepared to sing, dance and joke their way through the hotel entertainment schedules. Simply put, a holiday rep needs a thick skin and a great sense of humour. Granted, holiday rep pay isn’t amazing and the average salary for an experienced rep is £700-£800 a month, according to Prospects. But don’t forget that most of your expenses such as food and accommodation will be included and you’ll be living and working in a holiday destination.

3. Public relations executive


If you want to get ahead in public relations, you need to have an outgoing personality and a way with words. You need to stay in touch and be on friendly terms with people in different sections of the media in order to get your clients the positive coverage they crave and maintain their reputations.

To be successful in PR, you need the confidence to deal with people at all different professional levels in a variety of situations and be able to manage expectations. You also need to be a quick thinker and a natural peacemaker, since difficult situations can arise. You are representing both your company and your clients, which means you need to be able to maintain appearances no matter what.

4. University lecturer


An extrovert personality is a prerequisite in order to stand up in a lecture theatre full of undergraduates or postgraduates. You have to be engaging and full of personality when delivering lectures in order to maintain people’s interest. Public speaking should not phase you in the slightest. In fact, you should enjoy sharing your knowledge and thoughts with others. As a lecturer in Higher Education, you’ll also need to be a ‘morning person’. Lectures can start as early as 8-9 am and you’ll also have a heap of admin work to attend to before and after your discussions.

Lecturers not only speak with large groups of people, they’ll often have a cross-section of undergraduates or postgraduates to mentor throughout the year. That’s where interpersonal communication is vital, being able to liaise one-on-one with your peers and discuss their work and even any personal problems they may be experiencing. Lecturers should always have an ‘open door’ approach, which is where extroverted personalities can really benefit. In the UK, lecturers need a minimum of a Level 3 qualification in the subject area they wish to teach, according to the UCAS website.

5. Fitness instructor


There is a growing demand for fitness professionals, particularly as more people have sedate, desk-based service industry jobs that limit exercise. Personal trainers are therefore hugely beneficial to individuals that need the motivation and support to get fit outside of work. The beauty of this industry is there are no specific requirements for becoming a fitness instructor. There are however two main personality requirements for a fitness instructor – they have to be really fit in and they also need to motivate people.

To motivate others, you definitely need to have an outgoing personality. You’ve also got to be the kind of person who others find easy to get along with. You need people to come back to you for more personal training sessions or attend your gym classes. You certainly need a positive and sunny disposition to be a successful fitness instructor. This is important regardless of whether you run one-to-one sessions or group training classes. Engagement and enjoyment is everything with gym classes.

Of course, these are just some of the jobs that extroverts would suit. There are many other roles where being the centre of attention and keeping connected to a large network of people is important. But where people skills and the willingness to be a team player is involved, extroverts will always do well.

Cryptocurrency Champions


Could there ever be an alternative to credit cards? Through PumaPay, there might be. With the aim of disrupting the entire payments landscape, PumaPay have developed a whole suite of products for the benefit of merchants and customers utilising cryptocurrency. With the potential to revolutionise an entire industry, we took a closer look at this company to find out more.

As the first comprehensive crypto payment solution for businesses, PumaPay combines the flexibility and ease of credit cards with the myriad advantages of blockchain technology. Dedicated to working out innovative solutions to the use of blockchain technology, this company has gone from strength to strength over the last year, working as a disruptive payment solution. It is now pushing the boundaries of what their new flexible billing model can handle on the blockchain, perusing a better payment solution that is robust, scalable and secure.

The biggest innovation provided by PumaPay is in their PullPayment Protocol. Reversing the monetary transaction, it offers merchants the ability to “pull” funds from customers’ PumaPay wallet. These billing mechanisms are common in daily life, but were not possible through the blockchain like direct debits and recurring payments. Enabling this ability opens up new possibilities for the company, with the PullPayment Protocol’s versatility meaning that businesses can define their billing model as they wish and adapt to any business logic.

The success of PumaPay lies in the flexibility of their model. Blockchain transactions are
final, immutable and maximise value to the business and the customer. With zero volatility and 100% liquidity, businesses are able to receive their proceeds directly to their bank account, without the liquidation hassles usually associated with crypto exchanges. All these advantages have led to over 100 successful brands turning to PumaPay to handle their payments. These companies are known to PumaPay as members of their ecosystem and include, MojoHost and Rent24.

Despite garnering the attention of such high-profile users for their systems, the biggest challenge facing PumaPay currently is the adoption of crypto payments by everyday consumers. Those using their credit cards, and other variations such as online payment methods, need to see cryptocurrency as a viable alternative that is simple and straightforward to use. Similarly, the lack of regulation in this new technology has proven to be increasingly more problematic. As more investors and companies look into cryptocurrencies, the more need there is for a consistent framework for businesses to work under. This will guide the way in which the technology evolves. Fortunately, the use of cryptocurrency has attracted the attention of several banks and FinTech companies around the globe. It proves that blockchain technology has a viable future that can, and should, be explored.

To make the most of this future development, PumaPay is committed to developing a blockchain-based cryptocurrency system that serves the evolving needs of individuals and businesses. Currently, this is being done through the various components of the protocol it runs on. This means updates for its suite of products, so they are fit for an evolving purpose. Currently, there are plans to update the Business Console and the Wallet App further, to include more supported coins, additional advanced billing models that will be supported by the wallet on release. We are constantly working on new ideas and additions to the protocol and endeavour to release some of
these additions and enhancements over the coming months.

It’s clear that blockchain technology has yet to completely capture the public zeitgeist, but it has gained a great deal of support from businesses. As those who have invested in cryptocurrency work to establish the rules of the market, PumaPay works to provide a solution that will benefit merchants and businesses alike, acting as a true replacement to the credit card in the minds of the public. It’s this way of thinking which ensures that when attention turns to cryptocurrency, PumaPay will be at the forefront of any future developments within the industry.

An Eye for Business Success


With the introduction of the European Union’s new data-centric legislation in the last few years, data privacy and protection has come centre stage for businesses operating in and around Europe, the Middle East, and Asian markets. Since its introduction, GDPR has radically changed the way in which data is handled in every sector. However, for technology vendors, one firm is helping them navigate this new data protection landscape with an innovative service. Discover i-4business, as we profile the firm and their ongoing success.

It isn’t easy running a successful marketing or sales campaign but having accurate data that is GDPRcompliant can go a long way in helping. That accurate data can be helpful in a myriad of ways, from creating a truly powerful message, to finding the right decision-makers and companies that will receive the message. i-4business is the leading contact data provider that is focused on the EMEA market, connecting their clients to large businesses across the region and enabling communication between the right people in the right positions at the right companies.

To put it simply, i-4business’ role is to keep a client’s success coming, specifically within sales and marketing across EMEA. But how does it do that? By operating as an online, ondemand resource that delivers comprehensive profiles for each and every enterprise organisation across the continents. Within those profiles, the firm focuses on providing high-quality, 100%-GDPR-compliant contact information to continue empowering sales and marketing success for clients.

Users can access the online platform at all hours of the day or night, for when they need to download contact information. It could be for their latest campaign, or delivery of a key message; the platform is always available for businesses. The search function on i-4business can be customised based on industry, company size, geographical location, job title, and job role and more, to ensure that users are getting the data that is relevant to them and their unique message.

For complete guarantee of data quality and compliance, the firm leverages several key advantages that work in its favour. For example, all of the research is done in-house through native-speaking staff to help ensure quality of information that clients are accessing. As well as the internal research, i-4business maintains an extremely transparent approach to the way it works.

Each data subject within the firm’s database is communicated clearly and concisely, highlighting exactly what i-4business does and how each data subject’s information is being used. That way, clients don’t receive any complaints, with full openness and honesty from day one. i-4business goes one step further in actually listing to the data subjects exactly who their clients are, and who may be in touch with them. Across the industry, this is radically unique and central to the firm’s overall success in partnerships with both clients and data subjects.

At present, i-4business provide their services exclusively for technology vendors, working alongside some of the biggest companies in the world today. Google, Oracle, and Verizon are just some of the clients that the platform have helped fuel their sales and marketing campaigns, since the introduction of the EU’s GDPR.

On the horizon however is another major legislative change for marketing departments in the form of ePrivacy laws. Similar to GDPR in some ways, ePrivacy will affect any company looking to market across Europe. Whilst i-4business are currently compliant with the draft legislation, the firm is keen to assure clients that once the laws go live, they will still be able to
use their services and remain fully compliant.

Now more than twenty-three years old as a company, i-4business are as committed as ever to helping drive forward the success of their clients through sales and marketing. And for enterprise organisations working across EMEA, they can continue to rest assured that their data will continue to only be used in the most compliant, protected and transparent ways possible. With data rapidly becoming one of the world’s most valuable commodities, who better to entrust it to than one of the world’s leading GDPR-compliant data platforms.

Contact: Tim Stevens

Strategically Securing Success

Human Thinking

Strategic thinking and clear business-focused goals can go a long way in helping companies ensure long-term competitive value. In a world that is moving faster with each passing day, remaining competitive is key to continued success. For firms in search of a partner to help capitalise on strategic opportunities, Human Thinking is on hand to help. One of the UK’s leaders in management consulting for 2020, we profile the firm to learn more.

For management consultancies looking to help businesses grow and thrive in competitive industries, it is simply not enough to think about the company’s financial performance. Understanding how the people that make up a business operate in key functions can often lead to unprecedented levels of success in implementing new processes and procedures to help a business grow. That is exactly what the team at Human Thinking do, working collaboratively with client teams to effectively deliver value in the form of strategic opportunities and carefullyconsidered methodologies.

At its core, Human Thinking is a management consultancy, working with client teams to identify strategic opportunities that deliver long-term competitive value. After identification, the team at Human Thinking then define and implement processes and practices that are aligned with a client’s culture, organisational structure and resource capability. Those newlyimplemented processes help create a framework that delivers rapid commercialisation for the launch of a client’s products and services, in the context of previously agreed strategic goals. Delivering all of this is a team of highly-trained and motivated individuals who want to see client businesses succeed.

A management consultancy is brought into a company to help with a number of issues, from fixing a long-standing problem, to changing team behaviours, to improving immediate growth and profitability. As a result, the people that management consultancies, such as Human Thinking, work with are often frustrated, worried or feeling insecure about a lack of results. In order to be an effective and strategic partner within this arena of work, the team at Human Thinking ensure a high level of emotional intelligence to the work carried out.

This starts at the beginning of any client relationship. To establish a partnership with clients, Human Thinking firstly takes the time to understand everything about a client’s business. From the culture to how people within different teams across the organisation interact with one another, this understanding forms the foundation of the work itself. On this basis, both client and firm can go about approaching the business needs with complete mutual trust and understanding of how strategic change can be applied across the organisation.

By refining what needs to be understood in order to properly effect change, the team at Human Thinking has become highly-skilled in creating collaborative relationships and frameworks. Perhaps most crucially in establishing a trusted relationship as a strategic partner, the team at Human Thinking ensure that when agreed strategies or process are not delivering results, responses and resolutions can be agreed and implemented quicker.

Human Thinking operates unlike other management consultancies. Building upon the foundations of strong strategic partnerships, the firm offers its clients support across leadership, management, and operational functions. Through these areas of focus, Human Thinking’s services are structured to meet the businesses needs in three key areas: strategic opportunity, operational excellence, and programme management for fast commercialisation.

Believing that strategic thinking should result in instant action that is clearly understood, the team at Human Thinking uses experience design methodologies when crafting processes and procedures. Each process is designed to increase collaborative work between the firm and its clients. Through this, both Human Thinking and the clients can understand insights and outcomes, whilst supporting strategic and operational implementation through proper documentation.

Consulting is not just restricted to one size or type of business. Where there are business challenges, Human Thinking can provide support in recognising a solution. With clients ranging from tech start-ups in Kenya to multinational companies on the Fortune 250, flexibility is a huge part of the firm’s offering. Working with client teams in different countries and time zones might once have been a more difficult task than it is now, but Human Thinking are expertly positioned to capitalise on this global market. Utilising the latest range of communication and collaboration tools means that the team works with clients, no matter where they are.

As the world heads into the next decade, it is important to reflect on what has been a tumultuous 2019. For Human Thinking in particular, last year represented a mix of success, surprise and reflection. As the list of client relationships continues to grow, so too does the development of people within Human Thinking in building long-term growth.

For the team at Human Thinking, this new decade represents challenges and opportunities for managing growth and maintaining consistency in delivering value to clients. Opportunities will be recognised in three key areas. Firstly, defining strategies that can create long-term value within an uncertain and rapidly changing business environment. Secondly, structuring and managing data infrastructure that creates a central and valuable knowledge and reporting platform to enable teams to effectively manage assets in easy-to-navigate ways.

Lastly, focusing on people. Supporting behavioural change within the teams of people who deal with customers can help propel both Human Thinking and its clients to new levels of success. That way, clients can have teams of people who deliver customer-centric, data-driven, and fast-moving commercialisation practices that launch superior products and services to market that much quicker without compromising on quality.

Ultimately, the management consultancy services on offer from Human Thinking delivers capabilities that all businesses should be striving for, regardless of the size of the organisation. The ability to be informed with the right information whilst moving fast, thinking fast, and delivering above expectations has become a cornerstone of being competitive. Ensuring that the strategies and implementation plans recognise the organisational culture and the teams and people within, clients can trust that a strategic partnership with Human Thinking will deliver success.

Company: Human Thinking
Contact: Kristof Harling

Backing the Biotech Sector Across Asia Pacific

The biotechnology sector is focussed on drug development to find solutions to some of the world’s most devastating diseases affecting aging populations, and developed and developing nations, including metabolic, oncology, contagious, and rare diseases.

Helping biotechnology companies with all phases of clinical trials is Novotech, the most outstanding full-service contract research organisation (CRO) currently in operation across the Asia Pacific region. Discover more about their work and what has made the firm into an industry leader.

Operating throughout Asia-Pacific, Novotech is a full-service CRO, which provides biotechnology companies with all the services required to manage the full process of clinical trials, from regulatory advice and drug development planning, to clinical monitoring and biostatistics. Working alongside biotech companies and healthcare professionals from across the Asia Pacific region, the firm’s clinical trial management services are suited for any trial phase or therapeutic area. Novotech’s award-winning expertise has guided the fast-growing drug development industry across the region, resulted in the success of hundreds of clinical phases and trials, from first-in-man studies to large global clinical trials.

Just a few of Novotech’s CRO services include clinical trials, biostatistics, data management, regulatory affairs, audits, medical services, commercialisation, and site management. Within each of those areas, the clinical teams are experts at helping maximise the efficiency and data collection from some of the most important drug development trials across the region.

All of the staff employed by Novotech boast extensive experience working across a myriad of medical areas, including infectious diseases and vaccines, haematology, oncology and immuno-oncology, neurology and psychiatry, orphan and rare diseases. With a wealth of medical experience and broadranging knowledge encompassing so many areas of healthcare, all manner of drug developments and clinical trials can benefit from Novotech’s services.

By focusing on specifically serving biotechnology companies throughout the Asia-Pacific region, Novotech guarantees that its clients will work with a team of staff that are experts in the industry. The firm’s service model is guided by experienced teams of leaders, bringing a deep understanding of each country medical and regulatory environment.

Clients increasingly value regional expertise, as clinical trials are becoming ever-larger and more complex. Recently, the firm has invested heavily in its clinical consulting services, aimed at assisting the growth and implementation of various research and development plans for its biotech clients. In 2018, Novotech acquired BioDesk, a clinical consultancy that has since brought tremendous support to biotechnology companies looking for regulatory services, no matter where they are in the world.

The last few years have seen the biotechnology sector increasing exponentially across the Asia Pacific region, with the Chinese market playing a significant role in the continued expansion of Novotech. Between 2017 and 2018, biotech clinical trial activity in China has almost doubled, spurred on by streamlined regulatory measures and an increase in government support. In order to capitalise on this growth, Novotech has recently rapidly expanded its China team by more than 50%, appointing expert local clinical executives to offices in both Shanghai and Hong Kong. Furthermore, Novotech and PPC Group, a China-based CRO, just announced a partnership creating the largest biotech CRO specialist in the Asia-Pacific region. The partnership brings together approximately 1,200 staff to meet the growing biotech demand in the region.

Ultimately, Novotech is in the business of helping saving lives, and improving quality of life. By helping drug development and ensuring that clinical trials are expertly managed across the world, the firm is helping biotechs bring much-needed medication to market far quicker for those who desperately need it. With its eyes set firmly on Asia-Pacific expansion and continuing to support life-saving therapies through the clinical research processes across the Asia Pacific region, Novotech’s future is bright indeed.

Company: Novotech
Contact: Valentin Moingeon

Over A Quarter Of Brits Believe Blue Monday Is Pseudo-Science


Today research shows that over a quarter of Brits (27%) Brits believe ‘Blue Monday’ is pseudo-science and 4 in 10 (44%) do not experience lower mood on any specific day.

The research, commissioned by Mindful WorkLife, a UK science-backed mindfulness and meditation skills provider, and conducted by Gorkana Surveys also reveals that over 1 in 10 (14%) don’t know what ‘Blue Monday’ is.

The survey also found that when people experience a low mood, over a half (54%) of Brits said that mindfulness and meditation techniques help improve mental health symptoms, or experience a greater sense of wellbeing, or improve sleep.

Commenting on the findings, Martin Zetter, Founder and CEO, Mindful WorkLife said:

“The research shows that the majority of people who have tried mindfulness find it helps them to feel better. Whether you believe in Blue Monday, or not, Mondays do tend to be a depressing day for many people. Mindfulness can help us get comfortable with how we feel. And that’s just one of the many benefits.”

The Rise of Fintech


There was a time when important financial transactions, like taking out a loan or insurance, required you to dress smartly and make an appointment to meet a fellow human being in an airless room with uncomfortable chairs. The collision of technology and big data changed all of that with fintech.

Fintech companies, typically start-ups offering disruptive new ways to manage finance, are now a multi-million- pound industry.  The millennial generation, wedded to their mobile phones as they are, were enthusiastic early adopters of fintech, happy to rebalance their student loan online rather than traipse to an inconvenient meeting, but it’s not just convenience that has fuelled the rise of fintech, it’s the transformative power of entirely new and better ways of managing money.

A significant fintech development has been the way in which small businesses can access funding which would be denied to them were they to pursue traditional routes. ‘Funding Circle’ is one of many peer to peer marketplaces which connects businesses looking for finance with people and organisations which have money to lend.  This fintech success story has seen 54,000 UK businesses borrow £5.8 billion since 2010, leading to the creation of over 78,000 jobs.

Traditional financial institutions have had no choice but to adopt fintech practices either by hooking up with a fintech company or evolving their own services.  Most of us will have encountered a robo financial advisor and will have been pleasantly surprised at how swift and straightforward an online loan application has become.  Despite their adoption of fintech the traditional brick and mortar institutions often find it hard to compete with innovation nimble fintech start-ups.  WorldRemit is one of a host of online money transfer services which is faster, cheaper and easier than a traditional bank.

Fintech is also transforming the way in which we spend our money.  The Soldo prepaid credit card is one of a number of prepaid cards which are increasingly being used by businesses.  Money is loaded onto a card and that is all that can be spent, making it an excellent tool for budgeting. Businesses are increasingly using the cards as a means of handling employee expenses.  Specific amounts can be allocated to staff with no danger of overspending and if the card is stolen or lost it can be frozen without having to freeze the whole account.  The card is not linked to a bank account so it is far safer to use online, it carries no information which a hacker can use to trace back to an account.  Most significantly, from a business perspective, a ‘payment control dashboard’ enables employers to monitor where and how much is spent as it happens.

Turning Your Concept Into A Viable Business

You have come up with this ‘incredible’ idea, and you’re extremely excited at the potential it holds. However, you’re unsure how to harness that potential and transform your concept into a viable business. You know the direction that you want to take things in, but as far as actually launching a business, you’re in the dark and are blind in regards to the steps that you need to take to turn your idea into a successful and highly profitable business concept.

Don’t panic – you’re not alone in feeling this way. In fact, almost every single one of today’s most prosperous businessowners started out exactly where you are now. They had a seed of an idea for something great but needed support and guidance to make the concept grow into something, with the ability to be a sustainable business with high income potential. It’s hard starting out, but if you are mindful of the steps that you take and are willing to gain a better understanding into the fundamental moves that every new entrepreneur must take for success, you have the chance to transform your idea into the most incredible business.

Take note of the steps below and utilize them to help curate a business that will not only offer a unique product or service, but that will also ensure your long-term success.

Clearly identify the problem you’re solving

What is the core function of a company? When you strip a business back to its very core, its function is clear – to solve a problem. If your concept is going to be successful, you need to be clear about the problem that you are solving – you need to know why your idea is such a powerful one. The fact is that all the world’s most successful companies offer products or services that, in some way, enhance the user’s life, and it’s this that makes their concepts so successful.

Take Uber, for instance. Uber solved the issue of taxis being unaffordable and hard to get hold of – users were sick and tired of having to book taxis in advance and pay high prices for them. What Uber did was offer a more affordable and more accessible service that utilized technology and streamlined the taxi booking process, improving user experience significantly.

The bottom line is that if you want your concept to be as successful as Uber, you need to be clear about the problem you’re solving and why solving it is necessary.

Get to know your market

A crucial step that you need to take when it comes to building a profitable business from the ground up is to find your market. The chances are that you already know who your ideal user would be – which is a great position to be in. However, simply knowing the kind of user you will have is not enough when it comes to really understanding your market. Every single consumer, despite fitting into the same consumer group, has different needs that they wish to fulfill. Knowing your market is about understanding where your product or service will fit within the consumer market and how it will fulfill these needs.

Let’s say, for instance, that you’ve designed a new smart calculator that you feel schools will benefit from for several reasons. You need to consider whether you will offer the product in stores to consumers or whether it will only be available for academic institutions to purchase through suppliers. You also need to think about what schools and what children your concept will benefit. Is it designed to engage younger children and make mathematics more enjoyable, or is it a product aimed at working out more intricate mathematical problems and would better fit older students? You need to be clear on your market.

Do you research and be clued up on who your target market is and what they want. As a result, your business should thrive.

Have adequate support in place

It’s all well and good choosing to ‘go it alone’, but if you are going to give yourself – and your concept – the best chance of success, you need to have the right support system in place. While having a business partner can be a great source of support, even that isn’t enough to give your venture the best chance of success. You need to understand that having access to expert support is vital if you are going to grow your idea into a highly profitable and prosperous business.

Are you wondering what support you need to consider? It’s important to take certain aspects of your business more seriously than others, as the repercussions of getting things wrong in these areas can be devastating.

If there’s one area you need to have adequate support on hand for, it’s the legal side of running your business. The good news is that there are plenty of experts in business law and employment law available to work with, it’s just a case of choosing the right company for your specific needs. You can find out more here.

It’s also important to think about sourcing support from a business coach or mentor, should you feel that you would benefit from a helping hand from someone who has been where you are. Luckily, there are plenty of business mentoring programs to choose from, so you’re sure to find one that’s a perfect fit for you and your business.

You might also want to consider getting some financial support, such as help with payroll and accounting, to ensure that your finances remain on track.

Don’t be afraid to get help with your business – if getting some extra support gives you a better chance of success, it’s a worthwhile step to take.

Understand the need for marketing

When it comes to your concept, it’s vital to understand that you could have the most amazing idea, offering a product that could change the planet forever, but without adequate marketing in place, your success will be limited. If no one knows about your product or service, how can you expect your business to thrive?

If you are serious about turning your concept into a viable business, you need to prioritize marketing. You also need to consider hiring an expert to manage your company’s marketing communications, or alternatively outsource the task. Marketing is an art, and when done properly, it can offer incredible results.

Set goals

Last but not least, if you are going to give your concept the best chance of growing into a prosperous and profitable company, it is essential that you take goal setting seriously.

When you first launch your business, set a number of monthly goals, followed by a number of annual goals, five-year goals, and ten-year goals. Be positive about your business and its chance for success. By setting goals, you will increase your drive and motivation to succeed.

There you have it, everything that you need to know about turning your concept into a viable business.