Morrisville State graduates look forward to future opportunities

MSC President David E. Rogers was joined by Provost Michael Cappeto, school deans and members of the college council in presiding over the ceremony, which began with a Scottish bagpipe band leading graduates into the formal commencement exercises.

Student Government Organization (SGO) president Danielle Gauthier addressed fellow classmates during the ceremony, citing experiential learning and volunteering as an important parts of her Morrisville experience.

#x201c;At Morrisville, we learned by doing the job we dream of having,#x201d; said Gauthier. #x201c;Our education goes beyond preparing for a career. We learn to take care of our community too.#x201d;

That spirit was also evident in the college#x2019;s awarding of its first President#x2019;s Medal of Distinction Award.

During the commencement, President of the CenterState Corporation for Economic Opportunity (CEO) Robert M. Simpson, was presented the President#x2019;s Medal of Distinction Award. The medal is a new recognition award presented to citizens of the region, state, or nation for their significant service, leadership, and professional achievements. It is the highest non-degree honor awarded by the college.

A supporter of Morrisville State College, Simpson is a member of the Morrisville President#x2019;s Advisory Council and has been a guest lecturer for the Pyramid Brokerage Lecture Series on the campus.

#x201c;Robert Simpson is a visionary for our community,#x201d; said MSC President David Rogers. #x201c;He has led the region to unparalleled heights of economic development and secured funding from the state of New York in his role as co-Chair of the CNY Regional Economic Development Council.#x201d;

#x201c;His exemplary service and dedication to the students, faculty and staff at Morrisville State College has created a more positive and engaging community, both for our campus and our entire region. Rob#x2019;s continued leadership in Central New York ensures a promising path forward for us all,#x201d; Rogers added.

#x201c;For this award that is based on community service, it#x2019;s my parents who are responsible for instilling me with values and raising me in a home that believed in public service and service to others,#x201d; Simpson said about his giving roots.

#x201c;On behalf of my staff and all of our partners and members throughout this great region who work with us, I accept this award with humility and gratitude,#x201d; Simpson said. #x201c;Yet in doing so, I would remind you that the greatest gift Morrisville State College gives you is opportunity and purpose. For you it is the opportunity to go forward in life with better skills and talents to make an impact for you. And for me it has been a privilege to work alongside an institution like this and provide service to our region.#x201d;

#x201c;As you close out your collegiate career and look forward to a long life for which you are now exceptionally prepared, I challenge you Class of 2016 to find your North Star,#x201d; Simpson said. #x201c;Find your compass that is bigger and more important than yourselves#x2014;as a volunteer, as a parent, as a missionary to a cause that you believe in, or as a teacher, a professor or a mentor. No matter what direction your life may take, never lose sight of that True North. Do that and your life will always be more full, and more rich than any job or bank account.#x201d;

Other awards noted during the ceremony were:

Sheila A. Marshman, PhD, of Oxford, a native of Groton, Vt., associate professor of agricultural business, received the SUNY Chancellor#x2019;s Award for Excellence in Faculty Service.

Wyatt J. Galusky, PhD, of Clinton, associate professor, humanities, received the SUNY Chancellor#x2019;s Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Rita D. Goyette, of Erieville, a native of St. Johnsbury, Vt., director of student activities, received the SUNY Chancellor#x2019;s Award for Excellence in Professional Service.

Rachel H. Netzband, of Syracuse, adjunct instructor of mathematics, received the SUNY Chancellor#x2019;s Award for Excellence in Adjunct Teaching.

Nicole Wright, a Dryden native and NYS University Police Officer, received the Chancellor#x2019;s Award for Excellence in Classified Service.

Walid H. Shayya, of Manlius, received the Morrisville State College Distinguished Faculty Award.

Graduating students Cheyenne Beach, of Waterville, and Erin Marchefka, of Herkimer were recognized for winning the SUNY Chancellor#x2019;s Award for Student Excellence.


Is Square’s Biggest Profit Driver in Trouble Already?

Image Source: Square

Theres a lot more to Square (NYSE:SQ) than those clean white devices attached to smartphones and tablets for processing payments. One of its biggest ancillary products is a financial-services arm called Square Capital, which offers cash advances and loans to small businesses.

Last quarter, Square Capital extended $153 million in loans and cash advances to small businesses. Thats triple the amount of the first quarter last year but represents just 4% sequential growth. Square pointed to more challenging credit market conditions as the reason growth was slow.

With many investors looking to growth in Square Capital as a big profit driver for Square, shares of the stock fell more than 20% after the company reported its first-quarter earnings. Do long-term investors need to worry about Square Capital?

Demand for the product remains strong
Its important to note that merchants that use Squares products have a growing demand for loans. Indeed, the transition to loans from cash advances that began in March was an answer to a problem for merchants who wanted to repay their debt early, and Square has seen strong demand.

Theres still tremendous demand, and I think were only beginning to scratch the surface of whats available to us in terms of the number of sellers in our base and how good a product this is for them, Square CFO Sarah Friar told investors on the companys first-quarter earnings call.


Lending Club Corp (LC) Subpoenaed Following Ex-CEO Exit; Contingency Plan Outlined

LendingClub Corp. (NYSE:LC) disclosed its first-quarter of the current year (1QFY16) regulatory filing Monday. It got delayed due to the resignation of its former chief executive officer, Renaud Laplanche. The filing highlighted that the company received a grand jury subpoena from the US Department of Justice on May 9. Additionally, the company has contacted the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and intends to cooperate with DOJ and SEC over the matter. LendingClub stock rallied 12% on Monday.

LendingClub gained popularity on the basis of its unique business model in times when the traditional brick-and-mortar money lenders were struggling with the declining client activity. The company brought in the concept of online peer-to-peer lending (P2P) to financial services sector. Traditional lenders were wary of the disruption a new business model could bring to the stability of the financial sector.

On May 9, LendingClub CEO resigned from the companys top position after an internal probe found that the company sold $22 million of loans that investors did not want. Following the resignation, the company stock stumbled 35% on that day. The sharp decline in investors confidence exposed the online marketplace lending business model.

New Business Strategy

In the regulatory filing, LendingClub highlighted that the Company has been actively exploring ways to restore investor confidence in its platform and obtain additional investment capital for the platform. The troubled firm lost two banks which handled the bond sales at the firm. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Jefferies LLC have halted loan purchase.

As a result of the circumstances surrounding the loan saleshellip;number of investors thathellip;have contributed a significant amount of funding on the platform, have paused their investments in loanshellip;, as noted in the filing. Furthermore, the company highlighted the potential outcome of the continued behavior. ..They may have a material impact on our available cash to the extent we use capital to invest in loans, and on our business and results of operations.

Moreover, the company could also resort to reduction in loan origination volume. This, along with the use of capital are expected to be sufficient to meet its liquidity needs for the next one year.

Online Lending Peers and Banks

Financial stability has been the utmost concern for regulatory authorities since the financial crisis of 2008-09. The latest disclosure of heightened regulatory oversight on the LendingClub has exposed other online lending firms too. Online lender already began to feel the pain of market volatility, as demand for their loan is wavering. Subsequently, the online lenders are restructuring. For instance, Prosper Marketplace Inc., another online P2P lending player, has shed nearly 28% of its headcount due to declining loan volume.

Online lenders cater to small and retail investors with unsecured lending, that is why the cost of lending is much low compared to the brick-and-mortar banks. Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan Chase amp; Co. chief executive identified a loophole in the unsecured online lending during his interview on CNBC last week. If they have to borrow in the marketplace with individuals, hedge funds or securitized markets, they wont be there in tough times.

Regulatory oversight has tightened as the US Treasury Department has focused on online lenders. Following the day when ex-CEO of LendingClub resigned, the US Treasury released a white paper warning about the weakness in the online lenders business model. The report highlighted that the online lenders have no prior experience of complete credit cycle. Moreover, the Treasury issued six policy suggestions, which include small-business borrowers protection and online lenders monitoring through working groups, among others. The working group will be the amalgam of four authorities, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., SEC, Federal Trade Commission and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Stumbling online marketplace lending business model and increased oversight led Wells Fargo move to capitalize on the temporary gap created by the plunging investor confidence in the online lending. Wells Fargo launched new credit facility focusing on the small businesses with relatively efficient loan processing than the typical credit offering.


Here’s what it looks like when you design business around your customers

Designing a customer-centric business is all about talking to the customer, identifying pain points and incorporating feedback.

Once you have identified the problem, you need a space where everyone can focus on the issue and work together on a solution.

It’s for this reason the Commonwealth Bank’s Innovation Labs bring together businesses and customers to understand their experiences to help develop solutions to the challenge or problem faced.

“We regularly invite customers into our lab to talk about commerce, shopping and banking experiences. This helps us better understand what they are struggling with, so we can then get to work addressing these pain points,” says Michael Baumann, General Manager, Unsecured Lending and Payments, Retail Banking Services, Commonwealth Bank.

It’s not enough to identify and solve a problem for just a couple of people; it has to be more systemic. The validation process for an idea involves meetings, surveys and qualitative research. The Innovation Lab wants to put its resources where they will make the most impact for a business.

“If someone just says once there is an issue or problem as a customer, we won’t necessarily address it if it doesn’t affect the majority of customers. But if it’s a theme that comes up more often, then you start thinking about it,” says Baumann.

Once an inefficiency has been identified, and a solution proposed, then begins the process of testing with relevant stakeholders, constantly iterating the idea. When the Innovation Lab was creating an app to bring together shoppers and retailers, for example, testing started with Commonwealth Bank staff at first and gradually grew to a full-scale pilot program.

“We tested initially with 400 staff and a few retailers near our head office. We then validated hypotheses from that, and we turned to our retail industry partner Scentre Group, owners and operators of Westfield shopping centres, to further innovate and test in a live retail environment,” says Baumann.

The app allowed Commonwealth Bank customers shopping at Westfield Hornsby to opt-in on their iPhones and take advantage of tailored offers from merchants based on their shopping behaviour and location.

There were over 40 retailers who participated at Westfield Hornsby including Myer, McDonalds, Chemmart, InBloom Florists, Shores Restaurant and various food retailers within the centre.

“Our ongoing technology partnership with CommBank is a key input into our innovation strategies to personalise the shopper experience, excite our shoppers and drive sales for our retailers,” Bill Burton, General Manager, Scentre Group said.

Baumann stresses the importance of this validation process – which lasted more than a year for the shopping app, and constantly incorporated the feedback into the end product.

The Innovation Lab begins drawing on feedback even before anything has been created – using hand drawn examples of how the solution (in the above example an app) would function in the initial stages.

“You don’t need 10 million customers to validate. You don’t even need a huge amount of technology to validate,” says Baumann.

“We literally drew screens ourselves as part of the early testing of whether this was something people understood, saw value in, and would use.”

This process is something any team or company can replicate, according to Baumann. It’s all about creating a culture that aims to understand and react to the customer. It’s a journey that the Innovation Lab and the Commonwealth Bank have undertaken to embrace collaboration and agile working.

“You need to explore the inefficiencies and pain points for customers, and then you basically work with those customers to address those pain points,” says Baumann.

“You then go through an iterative process with different customer groups to see whether the solution you have come up with will reduce the friction and reduce the pain point. You continue to do this up until the point where the customer says ‘this is something that is delightful.’ Every organisation can do that.”

This post is part of the Innovation Insights series, sponsored by CommBank. At CommBank we believe innovation starts by asking questions. Discover new ways to keep your business moving. Start today at

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Banks identify possible replacements for US Libor

NEW YORK A group of global banks and clearing houses, working with US regulators, said on Friday it has identified two possible replacements for Libor, the benchmark interest rate for $160 trillion worth of credit for everything from home mortgages to corporate loans.

The Alternative Reference Rates Committee (ARRC) said that together with the Federal Reserve it has identified the Feds Overnight Bank Funding Rate (OBFR) and the overnight rate on US Treasury securities pledged as collateral in repurchase, or repo, transactions as alternatives.

The London Interbank Offered Rate has been in regulators cross hairs since its credibility was tarnished by a rate-rigging scandal emerging from the 2008 financial crisis. About a dozen global banks collectively have paid tens of billions of dollars in fines to settle the matter.

The case for moving ahead to a new benchmark is very strong. The new benchmark is going be robust with a lot of transactions and will be resistant to manipulation, Fed Governor Jerome Powell told Reuters.

ARRC said the two rates it identified as replacements represent robust markets, each with $300 billion worth of daily trades. Bankers and regulators have raised alarms about diminishing daily liquidity in the markets for unsecured loans like Libor, calling into question their reliability as a gauge for US borrowing costs.

The stakes are large: Libors benchmark 3-month rate stands as a reference rate for pricing $160 trillion of loans in the United States and, together with companion rates in Europe and Asia, has some $350 trillion of global credit tied to it.

Having a viable rate alternative is important to financial stability especially if Libor activity were to cease at some point, Sandie OConnor, the committees chair and chief regulatory affairs officer at JPMorgan Chase (JPM.N) said on a call with reporters.

The group proposed a framework to phase in the new reference rates to minimize disruptions to financial markets. The plan would allow Libor-linked transactions to exist while the new benchmarks gain acceptance by dealers and investors.

The ARRC envisions a paced transition focusing on new transactions rather than a big bang that would seek to change existing trades, it said in a reported released on Friday.

ARRC comprises 15 large global banks, which are also interest rate derivatives dealers along with the Fed, the US Treasury Department, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the New York Fed. Clearing houses such as Bank of New York Mellon, CME and LCH.Clearnet are also part of the group.

ARRCs effort began in November 2014 and parallels those by authorities in Britain, Japan, Switzerland and the euro zone.

The committee said it picked OBFR and secured general collateral lending rates over four others: monetary policy rates like the fed funds rate; Treasury bill or bond rates; term overnight index swap (OIS) rates and term-unsecured lending rates. These others suffer from smaller market sizes, as well as likely fluctuations in monetary policy framework and issuance.

OBFR, developed by the New York Fed, launched in March and reflects $300 billion of daily trades. The interest rate on secured general collateral repurchases, in which banks and dealers use Treasuries as collateral to borrow from investors, is of a comparable size.

The Fed and Office of Financial Research are currently considering producing an index on the Treasury repo rate.

“The plan is for the committee to pick a rate later this year with the expectation that trading in the new rate could begin as early as next year,” Feds Powell said.

The New York Feds overnight bank funding rate stood at 0.37 percent on Thursday, unchanged since May 2.

In the repo market, the general collateral rate was last quoted at 0.37-0.38 percent, unchanged from Thursday, according to ICAP.

It is unclear how quickly investors would accept a replacement to the 30-year old rate benchmark with its entrenched status around the world.

Its got an uphill battle. I cant see a massive move to the new rate from Libor right now, said David Keeble, global head of interest rate strategy at Credit Agricole Corporate Investment Bank in New York.

(Reporting by Richard Leong; Editing by Dan Burns, Meredith Mazzilli and Chizu Nomiyama)


Prophetess turned profit and stole $160K from hungry kids

Posted by admin on 05/24/2016 in Cash Advances | Short Link
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A woman calling herself a prophetess instead decided to profit by stealing from hungry children. Police say that self-proclaimed Prophetess Jeanette Jives-Nealy operated the Kingdom Dominion Worldwide Ministries, Inc., and had a food ministry to feed hungry children in her community. As part of the Summer Food Service Program, she received more than $160K in state funds for the project. But authorities stated that after a surprise audit by the Tennessee Department of Human Services, it was found that Jives-Nealy was not using the cash to feed the children. Instead of feeding children, Jives-Nealy spent tens of thousands of dollars on retail items and travel, and transferred more than $25K into a savings account, the states comptroller found.

Surprisingly, this is not the first time Jives-Nealy has been accused of stealing funds meant to feed the needy. In 2007, she was convicted of multiple counts of racketeering, conspiracy, money laundering, forgeries and theft in Florida. She stole $200K in school voucher funds that were supposed to be used to help disabled and special needs students. Her son Demario Jives was also arrested in that case but was not convicted. Jives-Nealy spent five years in prison and was released in 2011. After her release, she and her son then moved to Memphis, Tennessee and opened Kingdom Dominion Worldwide. The pair then started a food ministry and were able to receive cash advances from the Tennessee Department of Human Resources as part of its effort to help hungry children. She claimed that her ministry fed 40,500 children with the money from the state and because of this she was given even more cash for her fraudulent scheme. This was in spite of the fact that she was on ten year probation from her arrest in Florida.

Because of lax oversight rules, Jives-Nealy was able to keep her scam going until July 2014 when a surprise inspection caught her in a lie. When auditors arrived at her office at Kingdom Dominion to review records, she stated the paperwork had been damaged by a flood that occurred in the building that morning. However, it was noted that there was no evidence of flooding or water damage in the building. After a long investigation, Jives-Nealy was arrested this week and indicted on fraud and theft charges.


Student Leadership Awards Honor ‘Movers, Shakers, and Difference Makers’

Posted by admin on 05/24/2016 in Secured Funding | Short Link
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“Movers, shakers and difference makers” with “grit and resiliency” is how Anna Liza Garcia, assistant dean of students and chair of student life at California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH), described the students, faculty and staff honored during the 6th Annual President’s Student Leadership and Service Awards Reception on May 3.

William Franklin, vice president for student affairs at CSUDH, provided the welcome remarks at the reception in the packed Loker Student Union Ballroom. During his remarks, he drew comparisons between college student life during his generation and the “rapidly changing,” technology-driven world that graduating seniors must be prepared to navigate today.

“To our graduating seniors, not only do we wish you the best, but I’m hoping that your leadership in service and the experience you’ve gained has helped prepare you for the ‘real world,'” said Franklin. “Leadership comes with a huge amount of responsibility, so what you’ve learned here should carry you real far.”

A total of 149 nominations were submitted for student leadership, faculty, and student organization awards, with 10 individuals and organizations receiving the honors.

The highlight of the evening was the presentation of the Presidential Award for Outstanding Student award to five students:

Lindsey Armstrong, health sciences; Katie Henderson, occupational therapy (OT); Arnaud Lukombo, political science; Alejandra Regla, human services; and Christine Walker, English literature.

To receive the accolade, the awardees had to have earned or excelled in two of the following achievements: a GPA of 3.5 or higher; provided exemplary service in community leadership; have held one or more leadership positions at CSUDH; performed public service and/or civic engagement; demonstrated extraordinary leadership skills; or have displayed a commitment to diversity and the mission of CSUDH.

Lindsey Armstrong is a CSUDH Presidential Scholar, a player and captain for the university’s women’s soccer team, vice present for the CSUDH Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, and co-vice president for the Health Science Student Alliance. She has participated in a number of student service activities for the Athletics Department and the campus community, including being a Red Cross blood drive coordinator, and a volunteer at St. Francis Medical Center and Cedars-Sinai Hospital.

Katie Henderson has served as president of the Student Occupational Therapy Organization, is a board member of the Phi Theta Epsilon Honors Society, and has initiated numerous program that have benefitted current and incoming OT students. She has served the OT department as a student representative during faculty meetings to assist in the development of community outreach projects, and represent the program at various OT and professional conferences. Midway through the OT program, Henderson was diagnosed with cancer, but her steadfast determination and “grit” enabled her to complete the program on time and to “never miss any requirements,” even as she endured medical procedures.

Arnaud Lukombo has participated in 10 Model United Nations conference, and six as a head delegate. He received an “Honorable Mention award at the Harvard National Model United Nations conference in 2013. During the WestMUN Conference at Santa Barbara City College in April 2016, Lokumbo was appointed the prestigious position of secretary general for the 2017 WestMUN Conference.

Christine Walker has been involved with several student organizations. She served as treasurer for the vice president of the English Graduate Association, and secured funding for the English Language Conference and student-run literacy magazine, Enjambed. Walker is currently working on her master’s thesis on English author Mary Shelley’s book “Frankenstein.” Her thesis provides a unique analysis of Shelley’s use of place, and helps further the understanding of novel’s political and cultural relationship to the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars.

Alejandro Regla is a McNair Scholar who works as a student researcher for the Department of Health, Human Services and Nursing conducting research on Samoan cultural values and their association to obesity. She has also volunteered for the Family Resource Center in South Los Angeles, and assisted with community beautification and other projects while at CSUDH. Regla is a leader and member of multiple organizations at CSUDH, including the Human Services Students Association, and the Homeless Outreach Promoting Empathy (HOPE).


Marilyn Brady Award for Distinguished Service:

Presented to Juan Tavarez, adjunct faculty, Modern Languages.

The award celebrates the life and legacy of CSUDH alumna and long-time staff member Marilyn Brady. It recognizes a staff or faculty member for his or her exemplary dedication to students, and for going above and beyond a person’s distinct role on campus with unwavering commitment.

Since his arrival at CSUDH in 2012, Tavarez has distinguished himself for helping students build vibrant and active student organizations, and for supporting the development and planning of 12 academic symposiums, five college events, two soccer tournaments, three social justice events, one Latin film festival, and two student workshops on campus. Tavarez also supported students presenting at the 10th Annual International Conference on Language, Literature and Culture at CSU Fullerton.

Presidential Award for Adviser of the Year

Presented to Jane Lee, adviser of English Graduate Association

The award honors a club/organization adviser who has demonstrated outstanding support and personal commitment to a student organization.

Lee has served as adviser of the English Graduate Association since its inception. She has led workshops for students regarding how to apply to conferences and PhD programs to demystify the program and encourage students to continue their studies, and coordinated a workshop to help students anxious about examinations required of graduate students. Lee helped create an undergraduate mixer to foster community within the department, and participated in the development of proposals to fund two guest speakers for the departments English Language Conference and Enjambed Launch Party.


Audit rips California’s state bar for shady finances and bloated salaries

Posted by admin on 05/23/2016 in Finances | Short Link
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The agency charged with regulating Californias attorneys has failed to give a transparent view of its finances while its top tier of executives have enjoyed more generous salaries than the governor and attorney general, according to a scathing state audit released Thursday.

The review of the State Bar of California also questioned the spending by a special non-profit set up under a previous state bar executive, and the audit faulted the agencys leadership for a years-long delay in the program that compensates those who are swindled by corrupt and dishonest lawyers.


Fin Sector Latest Updates: Banc of California Inc (BANC), Fifth Third Bancorp (FITB), SVB Financial Group (SIVB)

Posted by admin on 05/23/2016 in Unsecured Lending | Short Link
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Shares of Banc of California Inc (NYSE:BANC) ended Friday session in red amid volatile trading. The shares closed down -0.40 points or -2.08% at $18.87 with 536,521.00 shares getting traded. Post opening the session at $19.23, the shares hit an intraday low of $18.75 and an intraday high of $19.43 and the price vacillated in this range throughout the day. The company has a market cap of $822.31 million and the numbers of outstanding shares have been calculated to be 43.91 million shares.

Banc of California Inc (BANC) on April 29, 2016 announced it has hired Arby Sanoyans and Anto Shakelian as Senior Directors, based at Banc of California’s Private Banking office in Century City, California.

Mr. Sanoyans joins Banc of California from Wells Fargo where he served for 7 years, most recently as Vice President and Senior Private Banker and brings over 20 years of business development and client relationship management experience. Mr. Sanoyans holds a BS in Business Administration and is a graduate of Pacific Coast Banking School.

Mr. Shakelian joins Banc of California from Wells Fargo where he served for 10 years, most recently as Vice President and Private Banker. Mr. Shakelian holds a BA in Economics from University of California-Irvine and a MBA. from Pepperdine University.

We are excited to announce the addition of experienced Private Bank Relationship Managers, Arby and Anto, to the Banc of California team, said Jeff Seabold, Chief Banking Officer. Arby and Anto will be key resources to help us expand our client relationships across Southern California. We continue to see tremendous opportunity to win client relationships to support our continued growth and expansion.

Steven Sugarman, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer added, We see a clear opportunity to continue to grow our Private Banking Division over the course of 2016 and beyond. The outlook for the Private Banking Division has never been more promising, as bankers and clients alike are choosing Banc of California.

Banc of California opened its new Private Banking office in Calabasas in March and expects to open its Woodland Hills Private Banking office during the second quarter of 2016.

Shares of Fifth Third Bancorp (NASDAQ:FITB) ended Friday session in red amid volatile trading. The shares closed down -0.40 points or -2.28% at $17.15 with 6.22 million shares getting traded. Post opening the session at $17.51, the shares hit an intraday low of $17.07 and an intraday high of $17.73 and the price vacillated in this range throughout the day. The company has a market cap of $13.09 billion and the numbers of outstanding shares have been calculated to be 767.72 million shares.

Fifth Third Bancorp (FITB) on May 3, 2016 announced that William Tyson has been hired to become co-head of Fifth Third Capital Markets, reporting to Lars Anderson, executive vice president and chief operating officer.

In addition to teaming with Bob Marcus on the overall strategic direction of the unit, Tyson will focus on driving the Bank’s growth in strategic merger and acquisition advisory services. Mamp;A advisory services represent an expansion of capabilities and a significant growth area for Fifth Third Capital Markets to support middle market and mid-corporate clients. Fifth Third recently advised Flash Foods, Inc. on their $425 million sale to CST Brands.

Tyson will also lead new initiatives to further develop the Bank’s relationship with private equity companies.

Tyson joins Fifth Third from BBamp;T Capital Markets, where he most recently served as senior managing director and co-head of Investment Banking. Prior to his 18 years with BBamp;T and a predecessor, Scott amp; Stringfellow, he was a managing director at Wheat First Butcher Singer. Throughout his career in investment banking and capital markets, he has completed more than 125 capital financing and Mamp;A advisory assignments.

“We are excited to add a leader with Bill’s experience and track record to Fifth Third,” Anderson said. “He brings extensive expertise that will directly add value to our existing client relationships and help us further establish high-quality relationships. His addition deepens our base of talent and we are excited about our prospects for future growth for our Capital Markets unit.”

Shares of SVB Financial Group (NASDAQ:SIVB) ended Friday session in red amid volatile trading. The shares closed down -2.97 points or -3.12% at $92.10 with 960,885.00 shares getting traded. Post opening the session at $94.90, the shares hit an intraday low of $91.37 and an intraday high of $96.57 and the price vacillated in this range throughout the day. The company has a market cap of $4.67 billion and the numbers of outstanding shares have been calculated to be 51.81 million shares.

SVB Financial Group (SIVB) provides various banking and financial products and services. Its Global Commercial Bank segment offers deposit products, such as business and analysis checking accounts, money market accounts, and multi-currency and sweep accounts, as well as lockbox, electronic deposit capture, and merchant services; credit products and services, including term loans, equipment loans, asset-based loans, revolving lines of credit, accounts-receivable-based lines of credit, capital call lines of credit, and credit cards; and payment and cash management products and services comprising wire transfer and automated clearing house payment, bill pay, account analysis, and disbursement, as well as online and mobile banking services. This segment also provides foreign exchange services; various loan and credit facilities; letters of credit, including export, import, and standby letters of credit; investment services and solutions; investment advisory services; third party money market mutual funds and fixed-income securities; vineyard development loans and community development loans to clients in the wine industry; and equity valuation services to companies and venture capital/private equity firms, as well as invests in debt funds. The companys SVB Private Bank segment offers private banking services, including mortgages, home equity lines of credit, restricted stock purchase loans, capital call lines of credit, and other secured and unsecured lending services. Its SVB Capital segment provides venture capital investment services that manage funds on behalf of third party limited partners. The company also offers asset and private wealth management, brokerage, private equity investment, and business valuation services. It operates through 29 offices in the United States; and offices in China, Hong Kong, India, Israel, and the United Kingdom. The company was founded in 1982 and is headquartered in Santa Clara, California.


Asbestos Alert: Asbestos Bankruptcy Trusts and Legislation

Posted by admin on 05/23/2016 in Filing Bankruptcy | Short Link
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When asbestos litigation became extremely costly to defend, to settle and to pay judgments, companies began filing for protection under the Bankruptcy laws. In the three decades since Johns Manville and UNR Industries filed the first asbestos bankruptcy cases, nearly 100 companies have filed for bankruptcy protection due, in part, to asbestos litigation.[1] The vast majority of these companies utilized section 524(g) to reorganize and establish a bankruptcy trust to pay current and future asbestos claimants and channel claims away from the reorganized company. Today, many of these companies have emerged from the 524(g) bankruptcy process, leaving in their place dozens of trusts funded with tens of billions in assets to pay claims. Since 2006 more than 30 trusts have been created through bankruptcy reorganization, funding the trust system with an additional $20 billion in assets. From 2006 through 2012 the entire trust system has paid out over $15 billion to asbestos claimants, with remaining assets as of year-end totaling over $18 billion.[2] In addition, there is approximately $11 to $12 billion in proposed funding from bankruptcies still pending confirmation.[3]

The asbestos trusts operate in parallel with the traditional tort system and offer only rudimentary reports on the claims they receive and pay. As a result, plaintiffs attorneys are sometimes able to hide the fact that a single individual is making multiple claims, citing different and contradictory exposure facts, against multiple trusts and solvent companies. This double dipping exposes innocent businesses to abusive lawsuits and draws down the trusts funds intended for other claimants.

The Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency (FACT) Act of 2015 was introduced in the US House of Representatives by Rep. Blake Farenthold of Texas on January 26, 2015 and assigned to the House Judiciary Committee. A hearing on the FACT Act was held on February 4, 2015 by the United States House Judiciary Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law. On May 14, the bill was voted out of the Judiciary Committee, 19-9, and was sent to be voted on by the full House of Representatives. In December 2015, the FACT Act was added onto another US House bill, HR 1927 (the Fairness in Class Action Litigation Act), and became Section 3 of HR 1927. The bill was renamed the Fairness in Class Action Litigation and Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency Act of 2016. On January 8, 2016, the US House of Representatives passed HR 1927 by a vote of 211 to 188. The vote was largely along party lines, with no Democrats voting for it and sixteen Republicans voting against it. As of January 11, 2016, the Bill had been received in the Senate and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.

According to a Statement of Administration Policy, issued by the Office of Management and Budget on January 6, 2016, The [Obama] Administration strongly opposes House passage of HR 1927 because it would impair the enforcement of important federal laws, constrain access to the courts, and needlessly threaten the privacy of asbestos victims. It continues, if the President were presented with HR1927, his senior advisers would recommend that he veto the bill.

Similar versions of the FACT Act legislation have been passed the House of Representatives in previous Republican-controlled sessions, including in 2013. In 2013, although the bill passed the House, it was never voted on by the Senate.

In addition, several states have proposed legislation or changes to court rules that would mandate greater transparency for trust claims. In 2012, Ohio became the first state in the nation to enact a law that requires plaintiffs to file and disclose trust claims before proceeding to trial. Arizona, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wisconsin have enacted similar laws. The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has a Model Asbestos Claims Transparency Act which can be found here:

In California, trial courts in some jurisdictions require plaintiffs to disclose bankruptcy trust claims during discovery and some do not. Plaintiff attorneys are able to game the system by filing trust claim shells with little or no substantive exposure information. Another way plaintiffs avoid double-dipping is by filing bankruptcy trust claims after the lawsuit resolves. This deprives the court of jurisdiction over defense discovery meant to uncover offsets due to trust payments.

California Assemblyman Ken Cooley (D-Rancho Cordova) introduced Assembly Bill No. 597, the Asbestos Tort Claim Trust Transparency Act, which if passed would have required asbestos plaintiffs to disclose all asbestos bankruptcy trust claim documents in asbestos tort actions. These mandated disclosures would include any communications between the plaintiff and an asbestos trust and all proof of claims forms and supplementary or supporting materials submitted to or required by an asbestos trust. Plaintiffs would be required to submit a sworn statement identifying the status of each claim, including all monies requested and received. Under the proposed legislation requiring such unilateral disclosures, it would have been no longer necessary for defendants to seek discovery of relevant materials regarding any claim made by plaintiffs to an asbestos trust. Any materials disclosed by plaintiffs would be potentially admissible evidence to prove alternate causation or to apportion fault for plaintiffs injuries. However, after a major lobbying effort by the plaintiffs asbestos bar, the legislation was withdrawn without a vote.

For more information on this and other asbestos-related topics, contact Sonja Blomquist at

[1] Where are They Now, Part Six: An Update on Developments in Asbestos-Related Bankruptcy Cases, Mealeys Asbestos Bankruptcy Report, Vol. 11, No. 7 (February 2012).

[2] Figures based on information gathered from Section 524(g) trust annual reports by Marc C. Scarcella and Peter R. Kelso.

[3] Estimated present value of proposed funding based on bankruptcy disclosures from WR Grace, Pittsburgh Corning, North American Refractories, Flintkote, Quigley, Plant Insulation, and AP Green. There are other pending 524(g) bankruptcy reorganizations currently active but no estimates of proposed trust funding has been disclosed in publically available bankruptcy documents that Marc C. Scarcella and Peter R. Kelso were able to find. The paragraph above is from Asbestos Bankruptcy Trusts: A 2013 Overview Of Trust Assets, Compensation amp; Governance LexisNexisreg; Legal Newsroom Litigation (2013) by Marc C. Scarcella and Peter R. Kelso.


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