Luminar hit by another fall in revellers at clubs

first_imgThursday 23 September 2010 8:11 pm Show Comments ▼ Share Luminar hit by another fall in revellers at clubs whatsapp More From Our Partners Brave 7-Year-old Boy Swims an Hour to Rescue His Dad and Little Sistergoodnewsnetwork.orgRussell Wilson, AOC among many voicing support for Naomi Osakacbsnews.comAstounding Fossil Discovery in California After Man Looks Closelygoodnewsnetwork.orgI blew off Adam Sandler 22 years ago — and it’s my biggest regretnypost.comPolice Capture Elusive Tiger Poacher After 20 Years of Pursuing the Huntergoodnewsnetwork.orgKiller drone ‘hunted down a human target’ without being told tonypost.comA ProPublica investigation has caused outrage in the U.S. this weekvaluewalk.comMark Eaton, former NBA All-Star, dead at 64nypost.comNative American Tribe Gets Back Sacred Island Taken 160 Years whatsapp NIGHTCLUB owner Luminar yesterday reported a further slump in sales as fewer revellers went clubbing at its venues.Luminar, which issued three profit warnings in its last financial year, said sales at its 76 clubs were down 20.2 per cent in the 26 weeks to 26 August with admission revenue down by 26.5 per cent and customer numbers down 19.1 per cent.The company said, however, that it had a net operating cash inflow during the period and had made £3.7m from the sale of four properties, enabling it to continue to trade within the terms of its banking facilities.Luminar has suffered from rising unemployment within its key 18-24 customer age group.Meanwhile, the World Cup also took its toll as the nation tuned in to watch football rather than hitting nightspots. Chief executive and founder Stephen Thomas stepped down last year. KCS-content Tags: NULLlast_img read more

Pennsylvania sets revenue record as casinos re-open in April

first_imgRead the full story on iGB North America. Finance Email Address Topics: Casino & games Finance Sports betting Q1 results 2021 AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter The state of Pennsylvania generated gaming revenue figures of $404.1m (£284.9m/€331.0m) for April, a massive 776.2% increase on the same month last year when casinos were closed due to coronavirus restrictions and slightly ahead of the record set in March. Subscribe to the iGaming newslettercenter_img Tags: Pennsylvania Retail slot games were the best performing in terms of revenue bringing $201.3m and retail table games were the next best at $77.8m. The online counterparts of both formats experienced significant growth: Online slot revenue increased 129.2% to $62.6m, and online table revenue was up 812.0% to $26.3m. 18th May 2021 | By Nosa Omoigui Regions: US Pennsylvania Pennsylvania sets revenue record as casinos re-open in Aprillast_img read more

Equity Bank Limited ( 2020 Annual Report

first_imgEquity Bank Limited ( listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange under the Banking sector has released it’s 2020 annual report.For more information about Equity Bank Limited reports, abridged reports, interim earnings results and earnings presentations visit the Equity Bank Limited company page on AfricanFinancials.Indicative Share Trading Liquidity The total indicative share trading liquidity for Equity Bank Limited ( in the past 12 months, as of 3rd June 2021, is US$180.97M (KES19.67B). An average of US$15.08M (KES1.64B) per month.Equity Bank Limited Annual Report DocumentCompany ProfileEquity Bank Limited is a financial services institution in Kenya providing banking products and services for the personal, commercial and corporate sectors. The company offers a full-service offering ranging from transactional accounts and digital banking to school fees collection, custody investment and group accounts, trade finance, asset finance and microfinance loans. Equity Bank (Kenya) Limited is a subsidiary of Equity Group Holdings Limited and its head office is in Nairobi, Kenya. Equity Bank Limited is listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchangelast_img read more

FULL MATCH: Umaga, Rokocoko, McAlister and Nonu feature in classic 2006 contest between the Blues and Hurricanes

first_imgThursday Jun 11, 2020 FULL MATCH: Umaga, Rokocoko, McAlister and Nonu feature in classic 2006 contest between the Blues and Hurricanes As the weekend nears and we get ready for a return to rugby and the opening round of the all-new Super Rugby Aotearoa, here’s a look at the full match replay of a corresponding fixture in the opening round of the 2006 Super Rugby tournament.ADVERTISEMENTThe most anticipated match in the opening round of the new 2020 tournament, amended due to the coronavirus pandemic, sees the Blues host the Hurricanes in Auckland.On Saturday, it’s the Highlanders versus the Chiefs to kick things off but the Sunday match is full of intrigue and hype mainly due to the fact that Beauden Barrett will play his first match for the Blues, after representing the Hurricanes for so many years.Back in 2006, the Blues hosted the Hurricanes in a match that was jampacked with stars.The home team had the likes of Kevan Mealamu, Ali Williams, Joe Rokocoko, Luke McAlister, Doug Howlett, Isa Nacewa and Ben Atiga in action, while the Hurricanes fielded a potent backline with familiar faces such as Peri Weepu, Ma’a Nonu, Tana Umaga, Conrad Smith and Lome Fa’atau.Up front, the ‘Canes had Jason Eaton making his debut, while they had the formidable loose trio of Jerry Collins, Chris Masoe and Rodney So’oialo.While the weather played it’s part, it’s an enjoyable throwback and should get you in the mood for this weekend’s action.ADVERTISEMENTSUPER RUGBY AOTEAROA OPENING ROUND: 13 June Highlanders v Chiefs 7:05 PM (NZ time)14 June Blues v Hurricanes 3:35 PM (NZ time) Posted By: rugbydump Share Send Thanks Sorry there has been an error Full Matches Related Articles 54 WEEKS AGO FULL MATCH: Lions upset world champion Springboks… 58 WEEKS AGO FULL MATCH: Scotland and Samoa go down to… 60 WEEKS AGO FULL MATCH: South Africa kick off historic… From the WebThis Video Will Soon Be Banned. Watch Before It’s DeletedSecrets RevealedYou Won’t Believe What the World’s Most Beautiful Girl Looks Like TodayNueeyUrologists Stunned: Forget the Blue Pill, This “Fixes” Your EDSmart Life ReportsGranny Stuns Doctors by Removing Her Wrinkles with This Inexpensive TipSmart Life ReportsIf You Have Ringing Ears Do This Immediately (Ends Tinnitus)Healthier Living10 Types of Women You Should Never MarryNueeyThe content you see here is paid for by the advertiser or content provider whose link you click on, and is recommended to you by Revcontent. As the leading platform for native advertising and content recommendation, Revcontent uses interest based targeting to select content that we think will be of particular interest to you. We encourage you to view your opt out options in Revcontent’s Privacy PolicyWant your content to appear on sites like this?Increase Your Engagement Now!Want to report this publisher’s content as misinformation?Submit a ReportGot it, thanks!Remove Content Link?Please choose a reason below:Fake NewsMisleadingNot InterestedOffensiveRepetitiveSubmitCancellast_img read more

Ensayo Rojo House / BAUEN

first_imgManufacturers: AutoDesk, Adobe, DEL ANNO, Deca, Eurocable, GRAMA, MASITEC, RotaGrill, Trimble 2019 “COPY” Ensayo Rojo House / BAUENSave this projectSaveEnsayo Rojo House / BAUEN Photographs:  Daniel Ojeda Manufacturers Brands with products used in this architecture project Photographs ArchDaily ShareFacebookTwitterPinterestWhatsappMailOr Clipboard CopyAbout this officeBAUENOfficeFollowProductSteel#TagsProjectsBuilt ProjectsSelected ProjectsResidential ArchitectureHousesAsunciónOn FacebookParaguayPublished on August 13, 2020Cite: “Ensayo Rojo House / BAUEN” [Vivienda Ensayo Rojo / BAUEN] 13 Aug 2020. ArchDaily. Accessed 10 Jun 2021. ISSN 0719-8884Browse the CatalogAluminium CompositesTechnowoodHow to Design a Façade with AluProfile Vertical ProfilesGlassMitrexSolar GreenhouseMetal PanelsAurubisOxidized Copper: Nordic BrownDoorsEGGERWood Laminate Doors in Molecular Plant Science InstituteStonesCosentinoSurfaces – Silestone® Nebula SeriesWall / Ceiling LightsLouis PoulsenLamp – LP RiplsWood Boards / HPL PanelsBruagRoom Dividers – Partition Wall MDFStonesNeolithSintered Stone – Mar del PlataWindowspanoramah!®ah! SecurityPanels / Prefabricated AssembliesULMA Architectural SolutionsMIS Facade PanelCarpetsFabromont AGTextile Floor Covering – Orbital® 07 COLORpunkt®LightsNorka lightingLuminaire – BelfastMore products »Save世界上最受欢迎的建筑网站现已推出你的母语版本!想浏览ArchDaily中国吗?是否翻译成中文现有为你所在地区特制的网站?想浏览ArchDaily中国吗?Take me there »✖You’ve started following your first account!Did you know?You’ll now receive updates based on what you follow! Personalize your stream and start following your favorite authors, offices and users.Go to my stream “COPY” Save this picture!© Daniel Ojeda+ 32Curated by Clara Ott Share ShareFacebookTwitterPinterestWhatsappMailOr Clipboard Year:  Architects: BAUEN Area Area of this architecture project Aldo Cristaldo Kegler, Joel Soria Ensayo Rojo House / BAUEN Paraguay Other Participants:Fiorella Pereira, Juan José OrtizCity:AsunciónCountry:ParaguayMore SpecsLess SpecsSave this picture!© Daniel OjedaRecommended ProductsWoodTechnowoodPergola SystemsDoorsECLISSESliding Pocket Door – ECLISSE LuceWoodGustafsWood Veneered Wall & Ceiling PanelsWoodEGGERLaminatesSave this picture!PlanSave this picture!© Daniel OjedaText description provided by the architects. Located in the city of Asunción, the Red House was raised out of the need for a residence that can be connected with nature within the city. Based on this premise, the implantation of the house arises from the dispositions of the existing trees, without invading their spaces, rather articulating the noble materiality of the construction with the natural environment, further enhancing the landscape.Save this picture!© Daniel OjedaThe structural approach responds to the idea of leaving the ground floor completely free, allowing total interior-exterior integration, thus creating vast social spaces. We worked with specific structural elements, such as the screen facing the street, it is part of the will of the development of the house towards the interior towards the patio. The beams, one of 24mts, are also protagonists in this work. that allows the view on the ground floor to be freed, giving the social areas the best views of the garden, and other beams on the upper floor arranged in a way that girds the tops of the trees.Save this picture!© Daniel OjedaSave this picture!SchemesSave this picture!© Daniel OjedaThe materiality is resolved with three elements, the structure in exposed concrete, the glass enclosures with aluminum profiles, and the metallic sub-structure in red (anti-rust color), the latter giving the name to the house.Save this picture!© Daniel OjedaProject gallerySee allShow lessKapo Patio 24 Beauty Salon / Bruta ArquiteturaSelected ProjectsOpen Call: ‘What Is to Be Asked?’ Architecture and Urbanism Beyond COVID19Call for Submissions Share Projects Houses Area:  1180 m² Year Completion year of this architecture project Lead Architects: CopyHouses•Asunción, Paraguaylast_img read more

China, ranking near the bottom of RSF’s Index, claims it “welcomes” foreign journalists despite all evidence to the contrary

first_img April 23, 2020 China, ranking near the bottom of RSF’s Index, claims it “welcomes” foreign journalists despite all evidence to the contrary RSF_en News PHOTO: GREG BAKER / AFP June 2, 2021 Find out more April 27, 2021 Find out more Displeased with its 177th rank out of 180, China claims that foreign journalists are “welcome” in China. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) point out that the regime harasses correspondents and has recently expelled 13 of them. Organisation ChinaAsia – Pacific Condemning abuses ImprisonedInternetPredators China: Political commentator sentenced to eight months in prison News Receive email alertscenter_img Democracies need “reciprocity mechanism” to combat propaganda by authoritarian regimes News to go further Follow the news on China Help by sharing this information In response to the Reporter Without Borders’ (RSF) 2020 World Press Freedom Index, published on April 21st and that again ranks China 177th out of 180, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang reportedly insisted in a press briefing that the regime “welcomes foreign media and journalists” and accused RSF of spreading “fake news” as a result of “prejudice” against his country.China, far from welcoming foreign correspondents, instead consistently practices intimidation, harassment, and surveillance against them and their sources, as highlighted by numerous reports published by RSF as well as other NGOs. Last month, the Beijing regime expelled 13 journalists working for The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal while at the same time orchestrating a global disinformation campaign designed to drown out critics who blame its censorship for the spread of the coronavirus.“The only prejudice that Beijing can attribute to RSF, an international organization defending journalism, is to consider that trampling on press freedom is in no case legitimate,” said Cédric Alviani, RSF East Asia bureau head, who urged the Beijing regime to “respect Article 35 of its own constitution, which, although it has unfortunately never been enforced, guarantees freedom of the press.”In recent years, President Xi Jinping and the Chinese Communist Party have tightened control of China’s state and privately-owned media, increased surveillance of social media, and have actively exported their oppressive model as shown in a RSF report published last year.RSF is an international non-governmental, non-profit organization defending journalism and freedom of information. Every year since 2002, the organization has published the RSF World Press Freedom Index, a data-driven ranking that is frequently quoted by governments, media, and NGOs worldwide.In 2020, China is still the world’s biggest jailer of journalists with more than 109 of them behind bars. ChinaAsia – Pacific Condemning abuses ImprisonedInternetPredators News China’s Cyber ​​Censorship Figures March 12, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more

Airport open house this week

first_img “With Troy University having a global presence, more and more business leaders from around the world are visiting our city,” Lunsford said. “This facility will also provide these international businesses a very favorable first impression of Troy when they fly into our airport.”Sikorsky Aircraft is currently in the process of doubling its labor force and has plans to continue expanding the Troy facility and will be using the training facility.The Troy Airport Training and Operation Center will provide high tech video conference training capabilities to companies including KW Plastics, HB&G and others that have multiple locations throughout the United States.The facility will accommodate on-site training for local high school students who are interested in aviation-related careers through a program with the Aviation School in Ozark.“This is a much needed facility that is critical to the future economic development growth of Troy and Pike County,” said President of the Pike County Economic Development Center Marsha Gaylard. Remember America’s heroes on Memorial Day Sponsored Content Lunsford said the city of Brundidge already has been positively impacted by the new facility.“A company flew in on short notice and met with officials from Brundidge at the airport and got back on the plane and left,” Lunsford said. “It was a real positive experience.”The Troy Airport Training and Operation Center also will provide training capabilities for local industries and businesses. Book Nook to reopen Airport open house this week Pike County Sheriff’s Office offering community child ID kits By Jaine Treadwell Troy falls to No. 13 Clemson You Might Like Education funding looking up? Even after an educational briefing on the federal stimulus money last week, local school systems still don’t have any numbers… read more Print Article Latest Stories “I’m confident that we’ll see many local industries and businesses take advantage of the training capabilities there. The facility is equipped with video conferencing and advanced technology training aids to support skills training to our existing industries as well as Fort Rucker Army personnel that use our airport.”Those who attend the open house will have an opportunity to view a demonstration of an actual teleconference between a national business and someone from the state government.“This will be a demonstration of the technology that is available that has not been available here before,” Lunsford said. “A tremendous amount of interest has been expressed by KW Plastics, Sikorsky and the Wal-Mart DC. We anticipate that the facility will be booked a lot of the time for training once businesses and industries realize the capabilities that we have for all types of training.”Troy is expanding the airport runway and infrastructure to accommodate the needs of business and industry. Plans underway for historic Pike County celebration Email the author The Penny Hoarder Issues “Urgent” Alert: 6 Companies… Troy Mayor Jimmy Lunsford absolutely makes no attempt to hide his excitement about the new Troy Airport Training and Operation Center, which will be open to the public during open house at 10 a.m. Wednesday.“The new training and operation center at the Troy Municipal Airport is one of the most important developments that we’ve had in the city for some time,”Lunsford said. “It has given a new face to the city – a new entrance to fly into the community, and that is of the utmost importance.” Skip Published 12:10 am Sunday, March 29, 2009 Around the WebMd: Do This Immediately if You Have Acid Reflux (Watch Now)Healthy LifestyleIf You Have Ringing Ears Do This Immediately (Ends Tinnitus)Healthier LivingHave an Enlarged Prostate? Urologist Reveals: Do This Immediately (Watch)Healthier LivingWomen Only: Stretch This Muscle to Stop Bladder Leakage (Watch)Healthier LivingRemoving Moles & Skin Tags Has Never Been This EasyEssential HealthMost 10 Rarest Skins for FortniteTCGThe content you see here is paid for by the advertiser or content provider whose link you click on, and is recommended to you by Revcontent. As the leading platform for native advertising and content recommendation, Revcontent uses interest based targeting to select content that we think will be of particular interest to you. We encourage you to view your opt out options in Revcontent’s Privacy PolicyWant your content to appear on sites like this?Increase Your Engagement Now!Want to report this publisher’s content as misinformation?Submit a ReportGot it, thanks!Remove Content Link?Please choose a reason below:Fake NewsMisleadingNot InterestedOffensiveRepetitiveSubmitCancel By The Penny Hoarderlast_img read more

Man smokes marijuana in front of judge after advocating for legalization

first_imggradyreese/iStock(LEBANON, Tenn.) — A 20-year-old man caused a stir in a Tennessee courthouse when he advocated for the legalization of marijuana and then proceeded to spark a joint in front of the judge.Spencer Alan Boston was appearing before Judge Haywood Barry on Monday at the Wilson County Courthouse in Lebanon, on a simple possession-of-marijuana citation, when he began to tell Barry that marijuana should be legalized, according to Lt. Scott Moore, a spokesman for the Wilson County Sheriff’ Office.Courtroom video captured what came next: Boston is seen seen reaching into his jacket pocket, pulling out what appears to be a joint and lighting it up, taking multiple puffs.Security quickly intervened and took Boston into custody.Moore told ABC News in a telephone interview that Boston said something to the effect of “the people deserve better” before he was taken away.“I’ve been here 20 years,” Moore added, “and this is the first time I’ve ever seen that.”Boston faces two new charges: disorderly conduct and simple possession of marijuana. He’s being held on $3,000 bond, online jail records show. He’ll also have to serve 10 days in Wilson County Jail because Barry held him in contempt of the court, according to Moore.A spokesperson at Barry’s office said the judge had no comment on the incident.The joint smoked in court was collected as evidence.Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

The soft stuff is the hard stuff

first_img Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article The soft stuff is the hard stuffOn 23 Oct 2001 in Personnel Today The downturn in the economy may have produced some unlikelyM&A bedfellows but one thing remains constant, the need for HR to becomeinvolved in the process as early as possible, finds Jane Lewis Ask any investment banker whether 2001 has been a good year for mergers andacquisitions activity and brace yourself for a shower of expletives. If theCity has been feeling the pinch in recent months, much of its pain can beascribed to falling levels of activity in this area. “Nothing’s going on –the deals have all dried up,” says one Credit Suisse First Bostonemployee. “People in M&A are going to be laid off left right andcentre.” Given that the acquisition cycle typically follows that of the Stock Market,it is no surprise that the flow of deals has slowed to a trickle – particularlygiven the unprecedented bonanza at the height of the high-tech boom. If youwanted to hike your share price, as the sad example of Marconi demonstrates, itwas a simple enough affair. Start acquiring and keep on going until you havereplaced a £3bn cash mountain with a £4bn debt. It was this strategy that,briefly, made Marconi worth £34.5bn. And it was this strategy of carefree,almost indiscriminate buying that ultimately crippled it. “Many mergers are driven by the egos of CEOs,” says consultant andchief executive of Create, Amin Rajan. Certainly at the top level ofinternational business it is impossible to ignore the whiff of personalambition and intense sense of competition between individual executives. If onemoves, the other has to challenge. It was Mannesmann CEO Klaus Esser’sspectacular coup of acquiring Orange that ultimately provoked rival Chris Gentof Vodafone to launch a counter hostile bid on the German phone giant inDecember 1999. Similarly, GE’s recently retired chairman Jack Welch may never haveattempted to acquire Honeywell as his final swansong had not a smaller rivalalready expressed interest. At this level of corporate chess a lot of decisionsare made by gut feeling. The fact that the Honeywell deal – finally scupperedby the European competition authorities – would have been the largest everstruck must surely have impressed Welch, a man with an eye on posterity, as asuitably impressive bang to exit on. During the bouyant days, there seemed to be no limit to the imaginativeexpansionist activities that companies were prepared to contemplate. Only ayear ago the technical giant Hewlett-Packard was eyeing upPricewaterhouseCoopers’ consulting business – a major leap into the unknown byany reckoning. Now that the downturn has hit, however, the mood has switched toretrenchment and consolidation. HP’s defensive $87bn (£55bn) merger with fellowtechnical giant Compaq last month was a prime example of a likely new wave ofmergers – those born of necessity. “It’s a union of two desperados intremendous difficulties,” says Rajan. Now that the chips really are down for many companies, this is likely to bethe pattern of things to come. We are going to be hearing a lot more aboutfinding “structural solutions” to problems (for this, read,cost-cutting) via mergers. Old hands like Chris Matchan, currently HR directorat Korn-Ferry International (but with a track record that includes Pentland,Diageo and Citigroup) are unashamedly cynical. “Ninety per cent of mergersare purely because two management teams run out of strategic options,” hesays. The rationale for merging may change with the economic climate, but bothresearch studies and anecdotal evidence suggest that one depressing factremains as constant as ever: HR is still on the back foot when it comes toM&As. Leading management figures have long argued for the importance of includingHR in the early stages of any deal. Recent research from US HR consulting firmTowers Perrin (the latest in a steady stream of surveys on this subject)demonstrates the value of the argument. It found a direct correlation betweenthe extent of HR input and the likely outcome of a merger. “The earlier HRis involved in the process, the greater the likelihood of success,” itstates. And Jeffrey Schmidt, Towers Perrin managing director for innovation andresearch, reinforces the importance of HR’s role by saying, “The softstuff is the hard stuff”. In the short term, the future looks grim. “History suggests that veryfew executives have the skills (and luck) to pull off successful cost-cuttingmergers in the teeth of a downturn,” claims one commentator. Too oftentimetables slip, tough decisions are ducked and important issues fall throughthe planning cracks. No wonder the resident M&A expert of Roffey Park,Valerie Garrow, chose to entitle her book on merging successfully In Search ofthe Golden Fleece. “We called it that because you set out with high hopes,but can get lost on the way,” she says. Here’s our own four-stage our-stage guide to successful M&A navigationfor HR directors. Pre-deal: Selecting the target “In an ideal world HR should be consulted when a company board isdeciding to merge,” says Amin Rajan. But how realistic is this in a worldwhere price, market and legal issues are still deemed the decisiveconsiderations? “There’s an argument that HR will never be involved in thegenesis, because it starts in smoky rooms populated by chairmen andbankers,” claims HR director Chris Matchan “That’s how it happened atDiageo: George Bull [Grand Met chairman] and Tony Greener [Guinness chairman]just decided over dinner. The original thought is always about the two balancesheets and the two P&Ls [profit and losses] – it’s always aboutnumbers.” “There are so many issues during an M&A that it’s easy to forgetabout HR,” adds legal M&A specialist David Beswick, a partner atEversheds. “Often other issues – how much the company plans to pay, howacquired brands will be structured, whether shareholders will accept the dealand so on – take precedence.” HR involvement is often seen in the City as an irritant, an unnecessarilycomplicatting factor that could wreck an otherwise “perfect” deal.Given the influence of the markets on the mindset the average public companychief executive, it is hardly surprising “senior executives have areluctance to get HR teams involved”, he says. But Beswick is convinced that somehow or other “HR has got to forceitself onto the agenda” even in the most preliminary stage of a deal.There is evidence this is beginning to happen in some companies –particticularly those at the sharp end of the knowledge economy, whose mainvalue lies in the skills and capabilities of their people. In these sectors, atleast, claims Rajan, many HR directors are now making their views felt at theoutset. He admits such involvement is still rare. HR directors are still regularlyhaving surprises sprung on them even in blue-chip companies. One reason is thevast disparity of talent in the profession. “There are some outstanding HRpeople, and there are some outstandingly mediocre HR people,” says Rajan.But in those companies where HR played a role in target selection, two commonfactors were evident. First, the HR director enjoyed high personal credibilityin the company and was “someone the CEO had enormous respect for”.Secondly, they had previously been involved in a routine basis in discussionsabout future strategy. The difficulty lies in winning this trust in the first place. Rajan’s adviceis to play a long game. “HR directors should push forward, but the onlyway to do this is to secure a series of small successes. You need a track-record– simply being assertive isn’t enough,” he says. But how should you act if it’s clear to you, if not to the rest of theboard, that the proposed merger is wrong, that it will never work in HR terms.”You need a very strong HR person to say ‘don’t do it’,” saysMatchan. “Someone right at the top of the table prepared to say theunsayable. I wonder how often that happens?” In most circumstances, hebelieves, HR directors usually duck the issue for fear of being labelled a”sales prevention person – the HR director just charges round doing whathe’s told”. Due diligence Rajan reports a much higher incidence of HR involvement in this, the secondstage of any M&A deal. This is unsurprising, after all due diligence is anHR responsibility says Beswick. There’s a whole list of chores to consider.”You’ve got consultation, Tupe issues, working councils, revising termsand conditions,” says Beswick. Indeed, it is precisely this kind ofgovernance issue that is often HR’s passport into the process, says GlaxoSmithKline’sglobal head of HR, Michael Moore. “Things like pension funds get into veryearly discussions.” But it’s the kind of due diligence that’s done that’s really important tothe eventual outcome of a deal says Rajan. And he has identified a criticalgap. “Much of this gets left to lawyers or strategy departments that don’treally understand cultures.” The reason why HR contribution is sonecessary at this stage is many CEOs don’t recognise the possible culturalclash between organisations and how to identify a mismatch. “They seetheir companies in terms of engineering mechanisms. Two companies may be idealpartners for a merger in product terms but they could have two entirelydifferent sets of behaviour. There is a behavioural side to organisations whichis very unpredictable and difficult to foresee.” A failure to tackle this could prove ruinous in the long run – and hasfrequently done so. It is often cited as the greatest cause of merger failure.Rajan quotes the example of one big banking sector merger where very littlethought was given to how behavioural aspects would be integrated. Two years on,the new entity still has big problems with synergy and hasn’t properlyintegrated. His solution is to insist upon a cultural audit. But how do you translatethis rather nebulous concept into action? Create’s Audit Toolkit provides auseful guide. Briefly summarised it advises: First, find out what your target’skey business values are. Second, look at its physical systems and processes: towhat extent do they incorporate the values? Finally, study individualbehaviours of senior managers: identify a number of behaviour characteristicsand see how they perform against them. Garrow at Roffey Park also stresses the importance of studying target employees’psychological contracts. Are they “relational” – implying a strongsense of reciprocal loyalty – or merely “transactional”? Yourfindings will offer strong clues about how to handle staff should the deal gothrough. People with relational contracts, for example, “are not going totake kindly to being asked to reapply for a job they’ve held down for 20years”, she says. An important role for HR at this stage of merger proceedings may be toeducate the “deal team” about people issues in M&A. But you shouldalso try to bring something to the party yourself. Could you, for example,contribute to the valuation of another company by putting a price on its peoplecapital? And don’t rule out more informal modes of due diligence, says Rajan”whether you do these overtly or by slightly subterranean means”. Areport examining the talents and outlook of a target’s board members would be awelcome addition to your company’s armoury at this time. But due diligence isn’t just about sussing out the other party. This is alsothe time to get your own house in order, says Garrow. You can save valuabletime in the critical post-merger period by making a full inventory of your ownpeople and processes now. Check your data is reliable. “Lists are oftenout of date, people have left or moved.” Finally assess your own HR function. “There is such a big differencebetween the capabilities of different HR functions that this is critical,”says Garrow. “Some are huge. some are still ‘Personnel’. Expecting thelatter kind of outfit to come up with something like a slick communicationsservice or counselling during the merger is asking too much.” So assessyour own capabilities and consider calling in third parties if necessary.”But never abdicate responsibility,” she says. Integration planning Successful integration planning has always been the lynch-pin of successfulmergers – particularly given the importance of acting quickly during the finalimplementation phase. The more work you can do now the better. “Those whodo better have planned,” says Beswick. “Companies that have plannedslip easily into implementation. Companies that haven’t, wake up.” The main areas to consider are: developing an employee communicationstrategy, designing programmes to retain key talent, planning and leadingintegration effort, and developing a strategy for the new entity. Some of thesofter HR skills are also important to consider at this stage. What actionneeds to be taken, for example, to help employees cope with change? It wouldalso be a good move to set up a mechanism of sorts to monitor employees’attitudes to the merger. Undoubtedly merger planning gets easier with experience. Michael Moore atGlaxoSmithKline claims one reason why the recent link up between the two giantpharmaceutical companies had been “pretty normal, if I can use that expression”is that both had been round the track several times. The fact that they’d beeneyeballing each other for years also helped. “There was a feeling in bothorganisations that one day it would happen,” says Moore. He estimates thatsince he joined what was then SmithKline & French in 1987 the company hasdone a deal that would impact people once every 17 months. “We’ve hadmergers, acquisitions, we’ve sold companies and we’ve made strategic alliances.As a result we’ve built up a capability,” he says. Those companies for whom merging is a way of life may very well have builtup an arsenal of useful templates. But, as Garrow points out, many first-timerswalk in with their eyes shut. “Companies who haven’t been through mergersdon’t realise the impact of wading through all the data – having to deal withthe implications of things like pensions and contracts. In a first merger theHR team can be overwhelmed. It’s a mammoth task.” Good planning, as well as morale, in the midst of a merger, relies on frankcommunication between both sides. But this is frequently hampered by theinvolvement of third parties who may restrict how much information either sidemay disclose. In the past, it was usually Stock Exchange rules onconfidentiality that got in the way. But a growing number of proposed mergersfind themselves under scrutiny from the competition authorities, whether US orEuropean, and this limbo period and waiting for regulatory approval, as Moorereports, can prove very frustrating to the process of implementation planning. But the more detailed a map you can sketch of the proposed new company – howits organisation will be defined, which key managers will be retained, whatwill be its main strategic goals, and so on – the better. Finally there’s your own position to consider. “There can be quite alot of individual competition when HR departments vie for control and competefor jobs,” says Garrow. Her advice is to be as scientific as possible.”Get a feel of the best practice in both organisations. One company may beparticularly strong on devising comp & bens, the other’s strength may lieelsewhere.” If your own job is on the line, it may be difficult to act objectively. Butyou must at least recognise that if you plan to stay you also have a vestedinterest, says Matchan. “You’re crazy if you think that’s not going to getin the way.” It’s equally important, he believes, to ensure that a measureof realism is brought to the way the deal is presented to the workforce –particularly with regard to the attitudes of senior management on both sides tothe deal. Honesty, within reason, is always the best policy. “You can’t just puttwo hardwired individuals together and presume they’re going to love eachother. But that’s what boards pretend is going to happen,” says Matchan.Prior to the AOL and Time Warner merger, for example, there was a strong senseof conflict between the two sides that belied the public handshakes and showsof outward bonhomie. “It doesn’t pass the bullshit test does it? You’reimmediately telling a great corporate lie which doesn’t bode well for thefuture.” Implementation Research shows that one of the most decisive factors influencing the successor other-wise of mergers is how quickly the new company can be integrated oncethe deal is done and dusted. On this point, says Matchan, your approach needsto be highly pragmatic. “If I’ve learnt one thing, it’s you have tosacrifice quality for speed in mergers. I wouldn’t normally say that – butyou’ve got to put people out of their misery,” says Matchan. This is a critical time, adds Garrow at Roffey Park “because everythinghappens so quickly. The post-merger period is a time when employees arethinking about themselves – about their CVs, their houses, their future –nobody’s doing much work”. Prolonged uncertainty is not only a recipe for greater internal upheaval, itcan also play havoc with the new operation’s performance. By focusing inwardfor too long, companies run the risk of taking their eye off the main game. Youshould see the emerging new company in its earliest phases as a malleableentity that can be shaped. “If you leave it six months, you’ve had it,” says Beswick atEversheds. “At the start people are scared – which makes it easier to getchange implemented.” Companies that dither at this stage, he adds, risklosing a large chunk of their prize asset. “You could have thrown away allyour money because the talent walks out of the door.” Effective communication, both in terms of individual positions and thecompany’s wider strategic aims, is clearly of paramount importance,particularly if the pace of change is fast and the ethos of an organisationcontinually changing. “Some building societies have gone from merging, tobecoming a plc, to becoming a bank in a very short timeframe,” says Garrow.”People have to feel they can cope with that.” Setting up forums in which staff can express their anxieties may be a usefulstep forward, but HR also needs to take a proactive role when it comes togiving reassurance, she adds. “You need to work hard to show people theydo have a future and are valued.” A good way of achieving this is to beginassessing training and development needs now. The process of creating a new culture – or conveying your own to a newlyacquired organisation – is clearly critical. But here again, it’s important notto mislead. “HR people can be guilty of a lot of hype about‘culture’,” says Matchan. “The brand new culture looks fantastic onpaper, but it’s completely impossible to implement. You don’t just form CultureNo. 3 from two different companies. It takes years.” That said, you can and must send out clear signals from the outset. One keyfinding of Valerie Garrow’s research was that “you can’t paint on aculture afterwards”. The way you handle restructuring, make appointmentsand decide reward strategies counts. “These are all issues that send outmessages on the new values,” she says. Handling third-party involvementAs the failure of several high-profile putative mergers demonstrates (BT andMCI, GE and Honeywell, to name but two), the role played by the competitionauthorities in determining the outcome of international M&A activity hasintensified in recent years. And this has only added to the uncertainty facingmany organisations mid-deal. Although companies have always had to abide by Stock Exchange rules when itcomes to issues like pre-deal disclosure, these have largely been predefinedand have rarely interfered with the timeframe of mergers. The problem raised bythe anti-trust authorities is that it can be very difficult to predict outcomes– particularly since the view taken by US authorities may contrast stronglywith what the Europeans have to say. You may get the go ahead from one set ofofficials, only to find yourself stymied by another.The worst thing about the process from the point of view of HR is thelengthy time it can take before regulatory approval is given. TheGlaxoSmithKline deal, for example, was in limbo for a full year while officialswrangled over details. This severely interfered with pre-deal planningarrangements.From the point of view of individual employees worried about the future,this state of “phoney war” is particularly wearing – and theprolonged uncertainty it causes can put HR in an invidious position. Head of HRMike Moore describes how it was necessary to tell certain individuals,”This is the job we want you to do in the new company. But we can’t gointo detailed aspects of the job, and we can’t talk about what we’re going topay you.” The longer the process draws on, the greater the fear that keystaff will simply act on their own initiative and leave.”It’s a weird scenario,” adds Matchan. “You have to act onthe assumption that the merger will go ahead, that there will be a thirdcompany emerging.” And all the conventional wisdom suggests you need tolet staff know as quickly as possible whether they will be retained. You could,for example, find yourself in the position of informing an individual that hisor her services are not required in the new company, only to find yourselfback-pedalling frantically if the merger is called off. “Pulling offstunts like that needs an exceptional HR person with brilliant skills.” Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Employees give full support to stress legislation

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Employees give full support to stress legislationOn 2 Jan 2003 in Personnel Today More than three-quarters of staff would support legislation to help reducestress. In a poll of 1,000 employees by the Chartered Institute of Personnel andDevelopment (CIPD), 25 per cent said their jobs are very stressful, and stresslevels are significantly higher in the public sector, with the highest stresslevels in the NHS (38 per cent) and local government (30 per cent) The privatesector average is 21 per cent. Mike Emmott, CIPD adviser on employee relations, said: “Many peoplefeel they are under constant scrutiny and these people are much more likely tofeel dissatisfied and under stress.” Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. last_img read more