January 2012

He’s the boss of EY but what does his mum think?

Published on: 30 Jan 2012

He’s just been appointed as the new head of Ernst & Young with ultimate responsibility for the 152,000 EY people in 144 countries but what does his mum think?

It must have been a proud moment for Mr Weinberger as getting to be the head of such a prestigious organisation as EY is a pretty good achievement in anyone’s books.

His bio on the EY site makes impressive reading but after a quick search on the net you come across the local newspaper where he was brought up in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

The Citizens Voice has a few words from his mum.

Now Mums, Moms, Mothers, Mummies or whatever you call them are great. Always there when you need them and we wouldn’t be the impressive grownups we are without all their help over the years.

One thing though that a lot of mums do tend to forget is that their children do grow up.

Sometimes they can still treat you as though you are, how can we say it, but still the baby of the family.

Mr Weinberger may therefore have been a bit worried when he heard that his mum had been interviewed. After all, were we about to hear all his embarrassing stories from when he was a child?

Well, according to the paper, Members of his considerable extended family were delighted to learn the news, but perhaps none so much as his mother, Goldye Weinberger, of Scranton.

“I’m his mother, I always knew he was destined for greatness,” she said.

She just didn’t know in what. She remembers her son – one of four children, the rest girls – always outside, playing baseball or basketball with kids in the neighborhood. He was a good student at Wyoming Seminary in Kingston, but not a “numbers” kids and not bookish. She called him “a student of the world.”

She admitted she’s somewhat surprised her son, who is a lawyer, is head of a renowned accounting firm.

So all’s well for Mr Weinberger – he’s head of the company and his mum didn’t say anything embarrassing about him.

He must be so happy that he will no doubt be singing along loudly with this EY video…

More iPhones were sold than babies were born worldwide.

Published on: 27 Jan 2012

“More iPhones were sold than babies were born worldwide”. That’s a pretty staggering claim but Apple have just released their quarterly earnings for the 14 weeks ended 31 December 2011 and the results were pretty amazing with:

Quarterly revenue of $46.33 billion (vs. $26.74 billion in the prior year comparative quarter)

Quarterly net profit of $13.06 billion (vs. $6 billion)

Gross margin of 44.7% (vs. 38.5%)

Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO said that “We’re thrilled with our outstanding results and record-breaking sales of iPhones, iPads and Macs.”

Historically Apple has had an incredible amount of cash on their Balance Sheet (Statement of Financial Position).

Their cash balance continues to grow and their latest results show cash together with short and long terms investments totalling $97.6 billion. If you’re into rounding figures, that’s a cool $100 billion (yes billion and not million)

So, $100,000,000,000 to give the number the full amount of zeros that it deserves.

We’ve blogged elsewhere about Apple having more cash than the US government so I won’t dwell on the cash balance but back to the incredible success of their iPhone sales.

In the 98 days to 31 December they sold 37.04 million iPhones. This averages out at 377,959 iPhones sold per day.

A few years ago the World Health Organization estimated that the number of babies born each day was 365,000.

So, more iPhones sold than babies born.

This does of course does mean that there are plenty of iPhones around to take photos of the newly born babies.

Just forge the signature and it will be fine…

Published on: 25 Jan 2012

Direct Line and Churchill are two of the UK’s largest and best known insurance brands.

Unfortunately though, despite being in the “premier League” of insurance companies they have been a bit naughty and were recently fined £2.2 million.

The Financial Services Authority (FSA), which amongst other things oversees the insurance industry, told the companies that they would be undertaking a review of their closed complaint cases.

These were files where customers of Direct Line and Churchill had complained and the aim of the FSA was to ensure that the procedures for dealing with these complaints were adhered to.

In preparation for the FSA review the two firms asked a major accountancy firm to do a sample review which found that 28 per cent of the 110 files reviewed failed the assessment.

It seems though that Direct Line and Churchill decided to do their own spot of cleaning up after receiving the accountants report as when the FSA subsequently visited the Firms’ offices at short notice they found that “27 of the 50 files had been altered before they were sent to the FSA, and seven internal documents were found to contain staff signatures forged by one member of staff”.

Not very good is it? The review by the accountancy firm identified the errors and then more than 50% of the files that were sent to the FSA were amended before they were sent and seven documents had forged signatures!

For those of you in the UK that have seen the Churchill TV adverts with Churchill the dog, then I guess the adverts need changing to include the question “Churchill, do you forge signatures?”

The answer of course is “Oh yesssssss”.

Is the internet more important to you than being with your partner?

Published on: 18 Jan 2012

With the start of a new year it’s often a time when people start thinking about new beginnings and even changing their job.

So what would you look for in a new job and what things are important for you?

An interesting study by Cisco shows that it’s not just salary that is important and for the younger generation that have been brought up with tech gadgets like Smartphones and social media sites such as Facebook there are certain things that are more important than extra cash in your pay packet.

Cisco’s Connected World Technology Report surveyed nearly 3,000 young professionals and college students aged from 18 to 30 in 14 countries and there were some interesting findings for any companies that are looking at the remuneration package that they should be offering new recruits.

The study identified that 33% of “college students and young employees under the age of 30 said that they would prioritize social media freedom, device flexibility, and work mobility over salary in accepting a job offer, indicating that the expectations and priorities of the next generation of the world’s workforce are not solely tied to money”.

So money isn’t everything in a remuneration package and in fact 45% of young employees said “they would accept a lower-paying job that had more flexibility with regard to device choice, social media access, and mobility than a higher-paying job with less flexibility”.

Whilst the report identified changes which could impact on staff recruitment there were also some more “personal findings”.

It found for example that 33% believed the “Internet is a fundamental resource for the human race – as important as air, water, food and shelter”.

Now, call me old fashioned but whilst the internet certainly is important, I personally feel the long term impact is slightly different when comparing your internet going down for two hours with for example your air supply being turned off for 2 hours.

In terms of the future of the human race there was also a slightly concerning finding where it was identified that “40% of college students aged 18 to 23 thought the internet was more important to them than dating or going out with friends”.

The ExP Group