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Asia Cleantech Capital Announces Lavin as Senior Advisor

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2010-09-29 15:30
Former Under Secretary for International Trade and U.S. Ambassador to Singapore to help innovative cleantech companies in the region

SINGAPORE, Sept. 29 /PRNewswire-Asia/ — Asia Cleantech Capital, an investment firm that focuses on clean technology (“cleantech”) startups, today announced that Franklin L. Lavin has joined the firm as Senior Advisor. Former Under Secretary for International Trade at the United States Department of Commerce and United States Ambassador to the Republic of Singapore, Lavin will promote energy and environmental issues and global relationships to help Asia Cleantech’s growing portfolio of renewable energy and clean transportation companies in the region. Founded in 2006, Asia Cleantech is a pioneer in Asia’s developing cleantech markets and is focused on rolling out proven technologies in the renewable energy (solar, wind, bioenergy, and small-hydro) and clean transportation (electric vehicles, sustainable biofuels) sectors.

Lavin currently serves as Chairman, Public Affairs, for Edelman Asia Pacific, the world’s largest independent public relations firm. From 2005 until 2007, Lavin served as Under Secretary for International Trade at the Department of Commerce. In that capacity, Lavin served as lead trade negotiator for both mainland China and India and was the senior policy official in the Department responsible for commercial policy, export promotion, and trade negotiations across the globe. Lavin also served as the United States Ambassador to the Republic of Singapore from 2001 until 2005, where his duties included helping negotiate the landmark U.S.-Singapore Free Trade Agreement.

In the private sector, Lavin served in senior finance and management positions in Hong Kong and Singapore with Cushman & Wakefield Investors Asia, Bank of America, and Citibank.

Earlier in his career, Lavin served in the George H.W. Bush and Reagan Administrations, working in the Department of Commerce, Department of State, National Security Council, and White House. Lavin served as Director of the Office of Political Affairs in the White House 1987-89.

“With the staggering growth in demand for energy and urgent environmental issues in the Asia Pacific, cleantech is one of the most critical areas of development in the region. I look forward to helping in furthering solutions with Asia Cleantech,” said Lavin.

About Asia Cleantech Capital

Based in Singapore, Asia Cleantech Capital is an investment management firm formed in 2006 to focus on clean technology projects in the Asia Pacific region. Specifically, Asia Cleantech develops and participates in regional projects that will become industry leaders in the creation, management, and distribution of renewable energy and sustainable resource use. The principals of Asia Cleantech have overseen the investment of over US$8.0 billion in venture capital and private equity in special situations, corporate, technology, and property related transactions.

For more information, please visit:

SOURCE Asia Cleantech Capital

Written by asiafreshnews

September 30, 2010 at 5:04 pm

Posted in Environment

Omnicom Group Agencies Top Spikes Asia Advertising Festival 2010

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2010-09-27 17:00
DDB and BBDO Win Agency of the Year Awards

SINGAPORE, Sept. 27 /PRNewswire-Asia/ — Omnicom Group (NYSE: OMC) agencies garnered top honors at the Spikes Asia Advertising Festival in Singapore, winning all Agency of the Year titles, four out of seven Grand Prix and the most Gold awards.

DDB was crowned Network of the Year, with BBDO finishing in the third spot. Agency of the Year top honors went to DDB New Zealand Auckland, followed by Clemenger BBDO Melbourne and Colenso BBDO Auckland. Colenso BBDO Auckland was named Media Agency of the Year, with BBDO India Gurgaon finishing third.

BBDO agencies scooped four Grand Prix and more Gold awards than any other network at the festival. Clemenger BBDO Melbourne won the Grand Prix in the TV/Cinema category for the Fosters Slow Mo for Carlton Draught and the Grand Prix in Radio for Mars Petcare’s Chum dog food. Colenso BBDO Auckland clinched the Grand Prix in the Outdoor category for the launch of The Pacific TV Show and the Grand Prix in Media for Yellow Pages.

TBWA won accolades with TBWA\Hakuhodo, picking up four Silver and four Bronze awards in seven out of 11 categories. Creative Juice Bangkok snagged a Gold for its outdoor campaign for 3M’s Cushion Wraps. TBWA\Tequila Singapore received a Bronze in Direct and Sales Promotion and a Silver in TV/Cinema for Africa for Standard Chartered Bank.

Tim Love, CEO, Omnicom, APIMA (Asia Pacific, India, Middle East and Africa), said, “The results signify the collective strengths of our agencies’ inspired creativity and innovation on behalf of our clients in the region.”

DDB Asia Pacific walked away with the most awards in the show, with winning entries from DDB Group agencies across the region, including Australia, Hong Kong, India, the Philippines, Singapore, Shanghai, Sydney, Rapp and Tribal DDB.

John Zeigler, Chairman & CEO, DDB Group Asia Pacific, Japan and India, said, “Spikes Asia is a creativity festival, the leading award show on this side of the world. It celebrates the work. It’s been quite a journey and a reflection of the quality of our DDB talent to get to the top.”

The Spikes Asia Advertising Festival is Asia-Pacific’s industry-defining festival for advertising and creativity. The festival, a collaboration of Cannes Lions and Haymarket, is one of the most authoritative and influential advertising awards presentations in creative excellence across different advertising and marketing platforms in the region.

The categories of the illustrious Spikes Awards include Outdoor, Radio, Print, Digital, Direct and Sales Promotion, Design, Media, TV/Cinema Craft, Print Craft, Integrated and TV/Cinema. Six juries comprised of leading international and regional creative professionals form the judging panels.

For a full winner’s list, please refer to the official festival website

About Omnicom Group Inc.

Omnicom Group Inc. (NYSE: OMC) is a leading global marketing and communications company ( Omnicom’s branded networks and numerous specialty firms provide advertising, strategic media planning and buying, digital and interactive marketing, direct and promotional marketing, public relations and other specialty communications services to over 5,000 clients in more than 100 countries and regions.

SOURCE Omnicom Group Inc.

Written by asiafreshnews

September 30, 2010 at 3:44 pm

Posted in Business & Finance

A Happy Coffin Before You Die

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Nursing home residents and designers celebrate the art of dying

SINGAPORE, Sept. 28 /PRNewswire-Asia/ — There are some Happy Coffins ( from Singapore challenging death’s taboos. Today, designer coffins deck a nursing home where three residents fulfill their pre-departure wishes of how their final resting places should be.

Ladies without fear. (Left to right) Magdalene, Elsie and Kitty pictured here with their personalized “Happy Coffins” that will house their final repose. (Source: Lien Foundation, Singapore)

Evoking a sense of the body and soul merging with the universe, Singapore-based French artist Gilles Massot’s coffin interprets life before death for the Lien Foundation’s “Happy Coffins” initiative that seeks to break the silence and taboo of Death, and create greater consciousness of end-of-life matters. (Source: Lien Foundation, Singapore)

Without any fear, Elsie Chua said, “I am not afraid to talk about my eventual departure. It is very meaningful to be able to shape the design of my coffin and see it before I die.” She smiled and said, “I want to have a matching kebaya (Note 1) to go along.”

The art of dying
Elsie’s wish was granted through an initiative between the Lien Foundation, a Singapore philanthropic house and St Joseph’s Home and Hospice. The Happy Coffins project overturns the stigma of death and transforms the coffin from a symbol of fear, dread and grief into a positive and life-affirming expression of art. Besides Elsie, two other residents, Kitty Fogh and Magdalene Khoo, also received their own customized coffins created by FARM, a Singapore arts creative society. In addition, a multi-disciplinary artist was commissioned to render his interpretation.
The Happy Coffins initiative is part of the Foundation’s Life Before Death campaign that seeks to get people thinking and talking about death and dying, and to highlight the urgent need for better care for the dying.
Life-giving circle of hope
“The name ‘Happy Coffins’ may be like an oxymoron. But its very antithesis captures what we seek to do,” said Mr Lee Poh Wah, CEO, Lien Foundation. “We are turning the coffin from a supreme negative symbol of death into a creative canvas for reflection and inspiration, and the positive celebration of life.”
Instead of gloom and doom, Sister Geraldine Tan, Administrator, St Joseph’s Home and Hospice said, “This project, though seemingly about death and dying, is really life-giving. It has created a non-threatening platform for our residents to share their lives and talk about their pre-departure wishes and hopes.”
Mr Lee added, “By subverting the conventional notion of death, we hope to liberate mindsets and spark ‘die-logues’ that do not need to be full of woe, but are filled with joy, laughter and good memories.”
Happy Coffins around the world (
Death is no respecter of age, race or creed. To spur greater awareness about life before death, the Lien Foundation invited artists from the global creative community of Eyeka, to create the best Happy Coffins – whether for themselves, a loved one, or an inspiring person. A record 733 entries came from 37 countries for this international coffin design competition. More than 75% of the participants produced designs for their own coffins.
Mr Lee enthuses, “We have designer clothes and chocolates, so why not designer coffins that uniquely reflect our lives, personalities and dreams. The individual life story behind each personalized coffin will be a poignant talking point at funerals.”
About the Lien Foundation (
The Lien Foundation is a Singapore philanthropic house noted for its model of radical philanthropy. It seeks to enhance educational opportunities for the disadvantaged, excellence in eldercare and environmental sustainability in water and sanitation.
About Life Before Death (
The Life Before Death initiative is part of the Lien Foundation’s mission to advocate better care of the dying. It reaches out to the public through social media, art, films and photography. The Foundation also commissioned the first-ever global Quality of Death index released in July.
Note 1: A kebaya is a traditional Straits Chinese garment for women.

Written by asiafreshnews

September 30, 2010 at 1:12 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Toronto is the Lowest Risk City in the World for Employers, Says Aon Consulting

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People Risk Index helps organizations assess risks when hiring, employing and moving staff

CHICAGO, Sept. 27 /PRNewswire-Asia/ — A first-of-its kind global study found Toronto to be the city with the lowest risk in the world to recruit, employ and relocate employees, according to Aon Consulting, the global benefits and human capital consulting business of Aon Corporation (NYSE: AON).

Aon Consulting’s People Risk Index measured the risks that organizations face with recruitment, employment and relocation in 90 cities worldwide[1] by analyzing demographics, education, employment practices and government regulations.  According to the Index, the five lowest risk cities for employers are Toronto, New York, Singapore, London and Montreal. On the opposite end of the ratings, locations such as Dhaka, Bangladesh; Phnom Penh, Cambodia; Lagos, Nigeria; Karachi, Pakistan; and Tehran, Iran, represent the least desirable of the 90 cities for employers.  (See Table 2, for 10 lowest and highest risk cities).

“The new risk ratings come at an opportune time as assessing employment risk takes on heightened importance as of late, from controversy over Arizona’s strict new anti-illegal immigration law to recent strikes in China,” said Rick Payne, chief research officer of Aon Consulting’s Global Research Center, based in Singapore.  “As companies face these and other employment risks as well as take a close look at new investment opportunities in emerging markets, the ratings can help companies systematically and consistently assess the relative risks they face when hiring, employing and moving staff.”

Sibling Rivalry in the Five Lowest Risk Cities

Montreal and Toronto are among the five lowest risk cities primarily due to Canada’s low level of corruption; strict enforcement of equal opportunity laws; health and retirement benefits; and high quality and broad availability of training facilities. The main difference between the two is due to Toronto’s larger population as well as quality and broader availability of training resources, according to Aon.

The results also found New York and London’s favorable ratings to be attributable to world-class educational institutions and training facilities, and a large pool of qualified and experienced talent.

Singapore is the only city outside Europe and North America among the 10 lowest risk cities. Contributing to this rating is Singapore’s strict laws on discrimination and occupational health and safety, flexibility on personnel costs, lack of corruption and willingness to work with the private sector on human resources related issues.

“A significant factor influencing the People Risk Index is government support,” Payne said.  “Cities with low risk typically have a government that is transparent, non-confrontational, and deal with employment issues fairly. Employers in these cities are less likely to be surprised by changes in government policies on employment, health care, and retirement. Therefore, they have fewer issues finding and retaining educated and experienced talent. These employers also have more flexibility to restructure their operations without fear of incurring significant unanticipated costs.”

Still, analysis of these low risk cities shows room for improvement.  For example, Toronto is not No. 1 in any category, even though it ranked No. 1 overall.  In fact, it is 14 in demographics and 12 in employment practices. New York, on the other hand, ranked No. 1 in education and 2 in talent development. And Singapore is No. 1 in government support but is ranked 41 in education. (See Table 3, for rankings by areas of risk)

“As the report indicates, even the lowest risk cities are not perfect,” Payne said. “For instance, the talent pool in Toronto and Montreal is small compared to New York or Los Angeles, which increases the risk of recruiting for certain types of jobs such as highly specialized financial jobs and design/visual arts jobs.  Additionally, in Singapore the inflow of foreign talent helps to increase its talent pool despite its small population, low birth rate and aging workforce.”

Trends from the Highest Risk Cities

A common contributing factor of the five cities with the highest risk is an urbanization rate faster than its city can manage.  Dhaka, for example, has an estimated 12 million people living in a city originally designed for a population of 1 million.  Ratings for education factors such as low literacy, limited spending on education, and low enrollment in secondary and tertiary education also are significant reasons for the high scores among the 10 highest risk cities, according to the People Risk Index.

“The education system of an overcrowding city faces great challenges to cope with the fast growing urban population,” Payne said. “In general, the lack of basic human capital infrastructure such as education systems and training resources, coupled with poor government support and a culture of bias and favoritism, contribute to the high people risk that we observe in these cities.”

To obtain a copy of the 2010 People Risk Index Ratings, please visit

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About Aon Consulting’s People Risk Index

The results are based on in-depth research conducted over a six-month period by the Aon Consulting Global Research Center. Data from more than 100 statistical sources provide the quantitative basis for the ratings, which were augmented by the assessment of Aon Consulting’s local and regional human resources experts from around the world.

The 90 cities were selected based on population size, rate of population growth, level of business investment and geographic spread among the cities covered.

Aon Consulting People Risk Index assigned ratings relative to risk for 25 qualitative and quantitative factors across five broad areas: Demographics; Education; Government Support; Talent Development; and Employment Practices. Each of the 25 factors has a scale from 1 (minimal risk) to 10 (extreme risk). Thus, the overall ratings are from 25 to 250, where 25 is minimal or no risk and 250 is extreme risk.

About Aon Consulting
Aon Consulting is among the top global human capital consulting firms, with more than 6,300 professionals in 229 offices worldwide. The firm works with organizations to improve business performance and shape the workplace of the future through employee benefits, talent management and rewards strategies and solutions. Aon Consulting was named the best employee benefit consulting firm by the readers of Business Insurancemagazine in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009. For more information on Aon Consulting, please visit

About Aon

Aon Corporation (NYSE: AON) is the leading global provider of risk management services, insurance andreinsurance brokerage, and human capital consulting. Through its more than 36,000 colleagues worldwide,Aon delivers distinctive client value via innovative and effective risk management and workforce productivity solutions. Aon’s industry-leading global resources and technical expertise are delivered locally through more than 500 offices in more than 120 countries. Named the world’s best broker by Euromoney magazine’s 2008, 2009 and 2010 Insurance Survey, Aon also ranked highest on Business Insurance‘s listing of the world’s largest insurance brokers based on commercial retail, wholesale, reinsurance and personal lines brokerage revenues in 2008 and 2009. A.M. Best deemed Aon the number one insurance broker based on brokerage revenues in 2007, 2008 and 2009, and Aon was voted best insurance intermediary, best reinsurance intermediary and best employee benefits consulting firm in 2007, 2008 and 2009 by the readers of Business Insurance. Visit for more information on Aon and to learn about Aon’s global partnership and shirt sponsorship with Manchester United.

Singapore People Risk Index Highlights

Singapore ranked as the third lowest risk city worldwide – tied with London – in the global ranking of 90 cities. The Lion City was the only city in Asia Pacific to make it into the 10 lowest risk cities. Tokyo rated the second lowest risk in Asia Pacific and was 12th in the global ranking. Melbourne, Sydney and Hong Kong completed the list of the five lowest risk cities in Asia Pacific.

Singapore ranked lowest risk worldwide in the area of government policies, which includes factors related to equal employment opportunity, rigidity of personnel costs, occupational health and safety regulations, government relations, and corruption. According to the People Risk Index Rating, companies operating in Singapore also face little risk in not being able to develop their people. The quality and depth of training resources means that companies can secure the training they need to develop and maintain high quality talent.

Low risk does not mean no risk

The primary risks cited by the Index that companies face in Singapore are related to its small population size, aging population and relatively high staff turnover rates. The ease of mobility and immigration helps offset the small size of the local talent pool; yet, staff resourcing still remains the number one people risk for companies in Singapore.

High income levels has enabled low risk cities like Singapore, Hong Kong and Tokyo to reduce their overall people risk with more investment in human capital development and infrastructures. However, economic resources alone may not be sufficient to differentiate the levels of people risk, in particular among the high income cities.

Table 1:  2010 Asia Pacific People Risk Rating – Highest and Lowest Risk Cities

City Rating
(25 – 250)
3 Singapore 74
12 Tokyo 82
15 Melbourne 84
16 Sydney 85
16 Hong Kong 85
79 Xi’an 161
83 Colombo 171
84 Hanoi 175
87 Karachi 180
89 Phnom Penh 189

At similar level of per capita GDP, the overall people risk for Singapore is considerably lower than Tokyo or Seoul. A large part of this outcome can be attributed to Singapore’s willingness and ability to attract foreign talents that complement its own native workforce. Hong Kong also appears to enjoy similar advantage over Seoul or Tokyo. According to Payne, “An important factor for companies operating in a high income city in Asia is the ease of deploying or attracting talent to work in the city. Companies operating in cities unable or unwilling to attract foreign talent must expect a tougher challenge to fill key positions with the most qualified candidates.”

Table 2:  10 Lowest Risk & 10 Highest Risk Cities

Lowest Risk Cities Highest Risk Cities
Rank City Rating (25-250) Rank City Rating (25-250)
1 Toronto 70 90 Dhaka 190
2 New York 73 89 Phnom Penh 189
3 Singapore 74 88 Lagos 182
3 London 74 87 Karachi 180
5 Montreal 77 86 Tehran 178
6 Zurich 78 85 Nairobi 177
6 Stockholm 78 84 Hanoi 175
8 Copenhagen 79 83 Colombo 171
8 Amsterdam 79 82 Cairo 169
10 Los Angeles 80 80 Lima 164
80 St. Petersburg 164

Table 3: People Risk Rankings by Area of Risk

Toronto New York Singapore London Montreal
Overall Ranking 1 2 3 4 5
Ranking by Area of Risk
Demographic 14 2 2 19 23
Government Support 2 12 1 10 2
Education 4 1 41 16 7
Talent Development 2 2 11 2 16
Employment Practices 12 23 23 6 12

Aon Consulting 2010 People Risk Index™

Country City Rank Overall Rating
(25 – 250)
Country City Rank Overall Rating
(25 – 250)
Bangladesh Dhaka 90 190 Czech Republic Prague 45 117
Cambodia Phnom Penh 89 189 Spain Barcelona 44 106
Nigeria Lagos 88 182 South Korea Seoul 43 105
Pakistan Karachi 87 180 Spain Madrid 42 103
Iran Tehran 86 178 United Arab Emirates Dubai 41 99
Kenya Nairobi 85 177 United States Detroit 40 98
Viet Nam Hanoi 84 175 Germany Frankfurt 38 97
Sri Lanka Colombo 83 171 Germany Berlin 38 97
Egypt Cairo 82 169 Belgium Brussels 36 96
Peru Lima 80 164 New Zealand Auckland 36 96
Russia St. Petersburg 80 164 Austria Vienna 35 95
China Xi’an 79 161 United Kingdom Manchester 34 94
Russia Moscow 78 157 France Paris 30 93
China Chengdu 77 154 United States Denver 30 93
India Kolkata 75 153 United States Phoenix 30 93
China Dalian 75 153 United States Seattle 30 93
Colombia Bogota 74 152 United States Washington DC 28 92
India Bangalore 72 151 United States Minneapolis 28 92
China Wuhan 72 151 United States Miami 27 91
India Chennai 71 150 United States Houston 25 90
Turkey Istanbul 70 149 Japan Osaka 25 90
China Tianjin 69 148 United States San Diego 22 89
Mexico Mexico City 68 147 United States Dallas 22 89
Indonesia Jakarta 67 144 United States Atlanta 22 89
Philippines Manila 64 142 Ireland Dublin 20 88
China Guangzhou 64 142 Taiwan Taipei 20 88
Greece Athens 64 142 United States Philadelphia 19 87
Argentina Buenos Aires 60 141 United States San Francisco 16 85
India Delhi 60 141 Hong Kong Hong Kong 16 85
Brazil Rio de Janeiro 60 141 Australia Sydney 16 85
China Shenzhen 60 141 Australia Melbourne 15 84
India Mumbai 59 138 United States Boston 13 83
South Africa Johannesburg 58 137 Canada Vancouver 13 83
Italy Rome 56 136 Japan Tokyo 12 82
Saudi Arabia Riyadh 56 136 United States Chicago 11 81
Brazil Sao Paulo 54 135 United States Los Angeles 10 80
Thailand Bangkok 54 135 Netherlands Amsterdam 8 79
China Shanghai 53 130 Denmark Copenhagen 8 79
China Beijing 52 129 Sweden Stockholm 6 78
Malaysia Kuala Lumpur 51 128 Switzerland Zurich 6 78
Italy Milan 49 126 Canada Montreal 5 77
Poland Warsaw 49 126 United Kingdom London 3 74
Portugal Lisbon 48 125 Singapore Singapore 3 74
Chile Santiago 47 119 United States New York 2 73
Israel Tel Aviv 46 118 Canada Toronto 1 70

Media Contact

Alan Pang
Tel:     +65-6239-8821

[1] The 90 cities were selected based on population size, rate of population growth, level of business investment and geographic spread among the cities covered.

SOURCE Aon Corporation

Written by asiafreshnews

September 29, 2010 at 10:24 am

Posted in Business & Finance

AIA Enters Into Agreements With Shanghai-based ORACLE BAY Co., Ltd. and the Shanghai University of Finance and Economics

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2010-09-23 15:26

SHANGHAI, Sept. 23 /PRNewswire-Asia/ — On September 10th, the Association of International Accountants (AIA) and the Shanghai-based ORACLE BAY CO., LTD. reached an agreement of cooperation and held a signing ceremony for the agreement at ORACLE BAY’s headquarters. That afternoon, AIA also signed an agreement with the Shanghai University of Finance and Economics to establish a joint training program on International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and Auditing.

The goal of AIA’s collaboration with ORACLE BAY is to provide participants with more opportunities to engage in academic exchange, as well as provide specialized guidance with regards to career planning. On the sharing of academic resources, the agreement reached by the two organizations will allow the organic integration of human resources exchange and opportunities for hands-on engagement thus creating a well-equipped center for participants who have aspirations in the accountancy and financial sector. With regards to accreditations, this agreement will be of great benefit to both parties. On the matter of communication between job-seekers and companies’ HR departments, this collaboration will create an opportunity for freer decision making for both professionals in the financial sector and companies in search of employees.

ORACLE BAY, an organization that serves as a gathering place and launch pad for professionals in the accountancy and financial sector, will hold regular academic programs in finance as well as activities promoting exchange for outstanding professionals in the financial sector. The company will also provide currently employed professionals in the field with the opportunity to pursue further studies and gain additional accreditations. ORACLE BAY coordinates companies’ needs, the resources of institutes of higher education, and the various capabilities of professionals, in order to create a platform for educational experience and achievement. The company aims to bring in academic programs in finance from well-known schools both in China and abroad, as well as accreditation courses from Chinese and foreign financial industry associations, in order to provide finance professionals under its guidance with excellent further education and degree-granting educational programs as well as high-level licensing programs and accreditation services.

AIA entered China in 1997, and in the same year authorized Metro Consulting (Shanghai) to oversee its training programs in the country. More than 80% of the training programs’ graduates are high-level management executives in multinational companies. In recent years, AIA has actively promoted its expansion in the Asia-Pacific region as well as its programs of cooperation with mainland Chinese and Hong Kong accounting organizations, and it is a member of the British Chamber of Commerce in China. The academia of Metro Consulting (Shanghai)have extensive experience in the accountancy and financial field, which enables them to promote the complete integration of theory and practice in AIA’s courses. Metro Consulting (Shanghai) has also established a Career Development Center (CDC) for participants, which enables its students and graduates to receive free-of-charge services in the area of career placement.

The agreement of cooperation established between AIA and the team of lecturers at the Shanghai University of Finance and Economics will focus on comprehensive research of the newest changes in IFRS and auditing and will set up a professional curriculum for the study of IFRS and auditing. This program aims to help participants to gain a complete understanding of the entire framework of IFRS, become familiar with the preparation of IFRS statements, effectively solve accounting and management related problems that may come up on the job, and understand the latest changes in IFRS as well as the impact of these changes.

Upon completion of the course, participants may choose to take the public examinations for IFRS or auditing held by AIA. Those who pass the examination will be awarded a Diploma in International Financial Reporting Standards or a Diploma in Auditing by the AIA, as well as a Certificate of Completion for the Course in International Financial Reporting Standards or a Certificate of Completion for the Course in Auditing by the Center for Academic Exchange of the Shanghai University of Finance and Economics.

The Shanghai University of Finance and Economics was founded in 1917, and is the longest-standing institution of higher learning dedicated to the study of finance and economics in China. Under the authority of the Ministry of Education, it is included in the National 211 Program, the 985 “Excellent Academic Innovation Platform,” and the National High Level University Construction Program.


Iris Kim
Communication Executive

SOURCE Association of International Accountants

Written by asiafreshnews

September 27, 2010 at 9:50 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Deal Makers Return to the Table in Asia with Heightened Focus on Risk Mitigation

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2010-09-14 10:08
SINGAPORE and HONG KONG, Sept. 14 /PRNewswire-Asia/ — Investors in Asia are returning to the merger and acquisition table with a renewed interest in risk mitigation tools such as Warranty & Indemnity Insurance (W&I Insurance), according to a report by Marsh, the world’s leading risk advisor and insurance broker.

The latest edition of the Transactional Risk Update: Half-Year 2010, a regular publication from Marsh’s Private Equity and Mergers & Acquisitions (PEMA) Services, features a special focus on M&A trends in the Asia Pacific region, including a discussion on insurance protection.

“As mid-market M&A in Asia continues to be active, and large, leveraged deals begin to show signs of a revival, both buyers and sellers are looking to protect their interests more vigorously,” said Josh Roach, Asia Leader for Marsh’s PEMA Services.

“The lessons from the global financial crisis remain fresh in investors’ minds as buyers and sellers are looking for insurance products to better allocate deal risk, especially for cross-border transactions where they may be investing in less familiar territories or selling to a foreign buyer. W&I Insurance — a relatively new insurance product in Asia but more common in the US and Europe — is gaining popularity as the preferred tool to protect their interests.”

“W&I Insurance is now available domestically in China; a clear sign that the M&A market there continues rapidly to become more sophisticated, with demand for risk transfer solutions and services on the rise.”

According to the latest Thomson Reuters data from the first-half of 2010, Asian M&A deal values increased significantly compared to the same period last year. Hong Kong alone saw an increase of 275% in completed M&A deal values. The data also indicated a significant jump among private equity firms willing to commit capital after staying on the sidelines during the recent economic turmoil. (Source: Thomson Reuters)

During share and asset sales it is common for the seller to provide warranties to the buyer on a broad range of matters about the target, such as title to shares, property, employment, tax, intellectual property and other commercial matters. W&I Insurance (also know as Reps and Warranties Insurance) is an insurance solution which provides recourse against breaches of the warranties and indemnities being given by the seller.

“In Asia, we have seen more queries regarding W&I Insurance in the first half of 2010 than in all of 2008 and 2009 combined. This is a clear indication that while dealmakers are hungry, they are adopting a more considered and risk-aware approach than during the boom years of 2006 and 2007,” said Mr Roach.

“As economic power and M&A activity continues to shift to Asia, the demand for innovative and sophisticated services will only grow. Marsh’s PEMA Services is well-placed to help clients close deals with higher degrees of comfort in the region.”

To access the report, please click here:

About Marsh’s Private Equity and M&A Services

Marsh’s Private Equity and M&A Services is a dedicated team of specialists focused on the risk and insurance issues that influence negotiations and the long-term financial success of a transaction. Established for over 20 years, our global practice of over 130 professionals has advised on over 10,000 transactions around the world. These transactions include mergers & acquisitions, divestments, infrastructure investments, public to private partnerships (PPPs), private finance initiatives (PFIs), privatizations and structured finance transactions.

About Marsh

Marsh has over 24,000 employees and provides advice and transactional capabilities to clients in over 100 countries. Marsh is a unit of Marsh & McLennan Companies (MMC), a global professional services firm with over 50,000 employees worldwide and annual revenue of US$10 billion. MMC also is the parent company of Guy Carpenter, the risk and reinsurance specialist; Mercer, the provider of HR and related financial advice and services; and Oliver Wyman, the management consultancy. Its stock (ticker symbol: MMC) is listed on the New York, Chicago and London stock exchanges. MMC’s website address is . Marsh’s Web site is .


William Sargent
Tel: +65-8139-7400


Written by asiafreshnews

September 20, 2010 at 2:28 pm

Posted in Business & Finance

CrimsonLogic Engaged to Implement an eJudiciary Programme for the Judiciary of Mauritius

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2010-09-14 16:00
Utilising technology to enhance judicial administrative transparency and efficiency

SINGAPORE, Sept. 14 /PRNewswire-Asia/ — CrimsonLogic, leading provider of eGovernment solutions and services, announced that it has been appointed to implement an eJudiciary programme in Mauritius. This will improve court administration with aims to boost judicial transparency and efficiency, promote the legal community’s professionalism and facilitate citizens’ access to justice.

L-R: Mr Bernard Chan, GM of Mauritius Network Service in a firm handshake with Mr Tan Sian Lip, Vice President, Solutions and Consulting, CrimsonLogic, signifying their partnership to roll out an eJudiciary system in Mauritius.

The Judiciary of Mauritius expressed, “Technology is a key focus in Mauritius as we strive to become an info-communications hub in the region. Our collaboration with CrimsonLogic is a step towards harnessing infocomm technology in line with our vision to turn Mauritius into a ‘cyber island’.”

Commissioned by the Judiciary of Mauritius and in partnership with local partner Mauritius Network Service, CrimsonLogic will be establishing an eJudiciary platform that delivers e-Filing and Case Management capabilities to computerise internal processes for the Supreme Court in the first phase of the project. The rollout of activities from planning, designing, marketing, delivering and supporting various eJudiciary services will take place over a period of 18 months.

The programme will enable the Judiciary to move towards a paperless system from a manually-based one, easing the reliance on paper and eliminating the need for physical storage space and security. This integrated platform enables seamless case filing, notary services and legal research — minimising the potential of human error and time spent on these practices. The legal fraternity will also benefit from its single user interface where the easy management of cases from initiation, trial and then disposal can be facilitated. In addition, CrimsonLogic will work closely with the Judiciary to drive user adoption amongst government officials and the legal community.

Said Mr Leong Peng Kiong, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), CrimsonLogic Pte Ltd, “It is an honour to be chosen by the Judiciary of Mauritius to develop and set up an eJudiciary system. Having developed and operated electronic filing and legal systems over the past 10 years for governments around the world, we are well prepared to leverage our expertise and establish a comprehensive cluster of eJudiciary services in Mauritius. The successful implementation of this eJudiciary project can serve as a reference model by other African countries that are also keen to modernise and automate the Judicial procedures.”

Mr Bernard Chan, General Manager (GM) of Mauritius Network Service expressed, “CrimsonLogic was a clear choice as a partner due to its expertise in eJustice systems. Its excellent track record was another key factor in our selection — a stamp of assurance which will bring us closer to our vision of an advanced Mauritius in the information technology arena.”

About CrimsonLogic Pte Ltd

CrimsonLogic is a trusted partner to governments worldwide. For over 20 years, CrimsonLogic has worked with governments across Asia, Middle East, North America, Latin America and Africa to find innovative and sustainable solutions to collaborate more seamlessly with their citizens and ecosystem.

CrimsonLogic has continued to set industry-standards by delivering world-first eGovernment solutions to optimise workflow, increase operational efficiencies, and improve decision-making. CrimsonLogic has the unique ability to deliver end-to-end services, from designing and building eGovernment solutions, through to operating these services in order to drive substantial and lasting improvements.

For more information:

Choo Kwee Siam
CrimsonLogic Pte Ltd
Tel: +65-6887-7173
Mobile: +65-9450-3110

Yvette Yeo / Aru Sayed
Text 100 Public Relations
Tel: +65-6603-9015

SOURCE CrimsonLogic Pte Ltd

Written by asiafreshnews

September 16, 2010 at 11:52 am

Posted in Technology

CSC Holdings and SgEF Sign MoU to Strengthen Commitment to Green Singapore

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2010-09-14 07:00
SINGAPORE, Sept. 14 /PRNewswire-Asia/ — SINGAPORE, Sept. 14 /PRNewswire-Asia/ — CSC Holdings Limited (CSC), Singapore’s largest foundation and geotechnical engineering specialist, and Singapore Emulsion Fuel Pte Ltd (SgEF), producer and supplier of environment-friendly Super Green E-Diesel, are taking concrete steps to support Singapore’s vision of becoming a Sustainable City. In conjunction with the opening of Build Eco Xpo (BEX Asia) 2010 at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre, CSC and SgEF have signed a Memorandum of Understanding that will allow CSC to use SgEF’s E-Diesel at all its work sites in lieu of fossil diesel.

“Our partnership with SgEF reinforces our commitment to the green building movement. We aim to gradually switch to the use of environment friendly fuel in order to reduce our carbon footprint and contribute to the greening of the building lifecycle,” says Mr See Yen Tarn, Group CEO of CSC Holdings.

Following the MoU signing, SgEF will start supplying up to 5,000 litres of Super Green E-Diesel daily to CSC Holdings project sites to power its fleet of foundation engineering equipment including hydraulic boring rigs, diaphragm wall grabs and cutters, cranes, excavators and other supporting machineries. The monthly supply will then be increased gradually based on the market price, the project site and project size.

If all goes well, SgEF’s Super Green E-Diesel may meet as much as 30 percent of CSC’s fuel requirements over the next few years.

Commenting on the partnership, Mr Jeremy Ng, CEO of SgEF says: “Our collaboration with CSC Holdings underpins our commitment to address climate change through the production and use of groundbreaking green energy solutions. We are pleased to work with them and look forward to a long and successful collaboration.”

“The pricing, as well as the customized mode of transport and delivery, support our intention to become a long-term partner of CSC Holdings,” Mr Ng added.

With over three decades of experience in the market and a very seasoned management team, CSC possesses the technical expertise to offer a full range of capabilities in geotechnical engineering. It is one of the region’s leading ground engineering solutions provider for the private and public sector, residential, commercial and infrastructure projects.

Recognised as a clean energy and green building prime mover by the National Environment Agency (NEA) and the Building and Construction Authority, SgEF is focused on the development and production of breakthrough emulsion diesel and alternative biofuels. Its vision is to be the world’s leading global supplier for emulsion fuel and alternative biofuels.

In February 2010, SgEF opened Asia’s first clear nano-emulsion diesel plant and launched Super Green E-Diesel for the building and construction industry.

“Since the launch of SgEF and our flagship product Super Green E-Diesel, we have seen a significant increase in the market’s interest for emulsion diesel as a sustainable alternative to fossil diesel. We expect more customers here in Singapore and overseas to shift to green energy,” says Mr Ng.

With better R&D and the opening of the production facility, SgEF is targeting to ramp up its current daily production of 30,000 litres to 100,000 litres over the next year and then to a maximum daily capacity of 300,000 litres.

Apart from catering to the Singapore market, SgEF plans to expand regionally. It has set up a venture in Malaysia with Pamuri Holding Sdn Bhd called Pamuri Green, and will soon name its business partners in Indonesia and Vietnam.

About CSC Holdings Limited

CSC Holdings Limited (SGX: C06) is Singapore’s largest foundation and geotechnical engineering specialist, and one of the region’s leading ground engineering solutions provider for private and public sector works which include residential, commercial, industrial and infrastructure projects.

The Group operates principally as foundation and geotechnical specialists and offers a full range of capabilities in this field, including the construction and installation of large diameter bored piles, diaphragm walls, driven piles, jack-in piles, micro piles, soil improvement works, soil investigation and instrumentation services, as well as automatic tunnel and structural monitoring survey. For more information, visit:

About Singapore Emulsion Fuel

Singapore Emulsion Fuel Pte Ltd is a Singapore-based technology company that was incorporated in December 2006 to address global dependence on fossil fuels. It focuses on the development and production of breakthrough emulsion diesel and alternative biofuels. An investee company of SPRING SEEDS Capital, SgEF is also supported by the National Environment Agency (NEA) and the Building and Construction Agency (BCA) in Singapore. For more information, visit:

Press Contact:

Donna Garcia
Rice Communications for SgEF
Tel: +65-9734-8808

SOURCE CSC Holdings Limited; Singapore Emulsion Fuel Pte Ltd

Written by asiafreshnews

September 16, 2010 at 10:04 am

Wincor Nixdorf to Support Australian Financial Institutions Fight Crime

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2010-09-14 08:00
Europe’s leading ATM solution provider complies with global security standards

SYDNEY, Sept. 14 /PRNewswire-Asia/ — Wincor Nixdorf (Frankfurt: WIN), one of the world’s leading providers of IT solutions to retail banks and retailers, supplies ATMs and self-service devices that comply with stringent card security measures to prevent criminal attacks.

The Germany-based company has delivered EMV compliant systems for more than a decade to fight fraud at the ATM and other terminals, and is committed to providing Australian financial institutions with appropriate technology to minimize security risks. Wincor Nixdorf’s systems belong to some of the largest ATM networks in the world.

EMV is a global standard for credit and debit payment cards based on chip card technology initiated by the then Europay, MasterCard, and Visa in 1995.

Wincor Nixdorf has invested aggressively in R&D to launch new technologies to provide data and software security, cash security, monitoring, and identity and access control, going beyond EMV compliancy.

As part of Wincor Nixdorf’s commitment to security standards, the company’s software family, known as the ProClassic/Enterprise Retail Banking Solution Suite (PC/E Suite), meets the Payment Card Industry Payment Application — Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS). The standard is endorsed by American Express, MasterCard Worldwide, Visa Inc, JCB International, and Discover Financial Services.

Part of the PC/E Suite is PC/E Terminal Security, which protects self-service terminals within a multivendor environment against network attacks, such as viruses, trojans or spyware, as well as unauthorized internal access such as software manipulation. When the PC/E Terminal Security software identifies something as “forbidden”, it works proactively to defend against the existing or new types of attack.

Likewise, to counter foreign physical skimming devices that are attached to self-service systems, Wincor Nixdorf has introduced a new anti-skimming module. “To fight high-tech thieves, banks need reliable anti-skimming technology to detect suspicious devices when attached to the ATM card entry slot,” said Sydney-based Jon Marks, Solutions Director at Wincor Nixdorf Australia.

“Wincor Nixdorf’s new Anti-Skimming II Module identifies suspicious devices by triggering a silent alarm which can be used to initiate instant video monitoring and recording to deter thieves,” added Marks. Also, the module protects in two ways with automatic and continuous detection and interference functions, as it proactively interferes with the radio frequency of the skimming device, setting up a protected field around the card slot.

Another new technology is Wincor Nixdorf’s Optical Security Guard (OSG) — a monitoring solution for the company’s latest CINEO self-service systems and the ATMs of the ProCash 8000 series — which protects ATMs against manipulation, such as cash-trapping devices or bogus electronic PIN pads.

Intelligent recognition processes mean that criminal alterations to the device, such as keypad overlays, skimming devices, hidden or disguised cameras, or other changes, such as those that enable cash trapping are identified immediately with the OSG solution.

These capabilities, in combination with Wincor Nixdorf’s ProView monitoring solution, allow earlier identification of attempted device manipulation and enable a device to be remotely taken out of service and closely monitored, significantly improving the security of the ATM fleet.

“In order to maintain and, in some cases, restore customer confidence financial institutions need to adopt a combination of innovative solutions that adhere to stringent security standards from committed partners,” said Ricardos Khoury, Asia Pacific Vice President and Head of Banking.

In Australia and New Zealand, Wincor Nixdorf works with the Armaguard Group to provide customers with a large network of certified technicians as well as comprehensive security intelligence associated with ATMs.

About Wincor Nixdorf:

Wincor Nixdorf is one of the world’s leading providers of innovative IT solutions to retail banks and retailers. The company is headquartered in Paderborn, Germany, and is publicly traded on the Frankfurt Securities & Stock Exchange. It has a global presence in more than 100 countries. For more information visit


Wincor Nixdorf
Corporate Communications
Asia Pacific
Matthew Kovac
Tel: +65-6747-3828

SOURCE Wincor Nixdorf

Written by asiafreshnews

September 15, 2010 at 12:07 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Asia Business Forum Stays Ahead of Competitors with Effective Online and Offline Media Tactics

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SINGAPORE, Sept. 7 /PRNewswire-Asia/ — With Asia Business Forum’s most highly anticipated congress, PR & Media China kicking off in Hong Kong on the 26-27 Oct, now is the time to register to be part of this dynamic PR & Media platform.

The 2-day congress offers you best practices from the industry’s leading professionals addressing issues on how various media relations efforts can yield a high return on investment of time and resources.

Find out how to work with the media to strengthen corporate image & branding for the near and long-term future.

PR & Media China 2010 will cover the most up-to-date issues and provide key solutions to challenges, led by leading figures in the industry including:

Clement Teo
Head of Corporate Communications

Nokia Siemens
PR & Leadership issues: Having what it takes to lead through these turbulent times

Clement leads APAC Communications for Nokia Siemens Networks, one of the world’s leading telecommunications equipment players. He was a technology editor with extensive reporting / writing experience in both IT and telecoms (enterprise IT and carriers/service providers) before crossing over to public and analyst relations. Clement has over 15 years of experience in the PR and media industries.

Robbie Hills
General Manager,Asia Pacific

The Rise of Social Gaming

Robbie Hills is recognised as one of the region’s most authoritative digital marketing experts.
On April 1st, 2010 he was appointed General Manager of RockYou APAC. RockYou is a leading innovator, creator, and distributor of content on the social web. The company provides customised, one-of-a-kind branding and promotional opportunities through its network of games and applications on social networking platforms like Facebook, MySpace, Bebo and hi5.

Richard Tsang
Chairman & Managing Director
Strategic Public Relations Group
Cross border and international communications for multi-national organisations

Richard Tsang is an investor relations/PR veteran with over 20 years of industry experience in Asia. In 1995, at the age of 29, he founded Strategic Public Relations Group (“SPRG”) in Hong Kong, and in less than 15 years, has built it into the largest Asian independent PR network and largest PR consultancy in Hong Kong.

Jason Leow
Director of Communications
Media Relations in China: when what you sell is not “sexy,” what do you do?

Jason Leow has more than 14 years’ experience in the media and communications industry. He started out as a political reporter at the Straits Times, Singapore’s main English-language daily, where he eventually became the China bureau chief. Moving into financial journalism, he joined The Wall Street Journal where he covered the movers and shakers of China’s banking industry and was also part of an on-site team reporting live from the Sichuan earthquake zone and the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.

Mark Liveridge
Chief Marketing Officer
CSL Limited
The evolving and expanding role of today’s CMO

Mark plays a key role in CSL’s business transformation, including delivery of the globally award-winning NextG network. He leads the restructuring and delivery of the multi-brand, segment based, mass market engagement and lifecycle management model and also restructured retention, moving performance to world-class levels. He has also developed strategic partnerships with multiple global consumer brands including Asia Miles, Disney and Octopus.

Genevieve Hilton
Head of External Communications
BASF Asia Pacific

Implementing a Crisis Communications Readiness System

In Genevieve’s current role, she oversees all public relations and crisis communications efforts, including media relations, online communications, and crisis/issue communications. Prior to taking up this position, she was most recently Senior Vice President and Director of Client Services for Hong Kong at Ketchum, one of the world’s top ten public relations firms.

And many more!

Event Highlights:

  • 30 renowned industry professionals
  • 4 interactive round-table discussions
  • 2 Plenary sessions and 3 concurrent streaming sessions,” Corporate Image & Branding”,  “Corporate Communications & New Social Media” and “Strategic Marketing & PR”
  • 2 Pre-Congress Masterclasses
  • 16 hours of networking opportunities

Register now to ensure you don’t miss out on the discounted super early bird registration rate and save up to US$400 if you register by 25 August 2010.

Media contact:

Ruby Pham
Direct Marketing Executive
Tel: +65-6536-8676 Ext:114

SOURCE Asia Business Forum

Written by asiafreshnews

September 8, 2010 at 12:00 pm

Posted in Business & Finance