Coverage of World Bank for Global Capital

Phil wrote a number of stories about the World Bank for the London financial magazine Global Capital during a tumultuous week that saw the president of the world’s largest development lender quit in a shock move. Jim Yong Kim announced he would step down as bank head on 1 February, three years ahead of schedule, to take a role as partner of a private infrastructure firm.

Global Capital ran an instant reaction story on the day he quit which was followed by a longer analysis of the reasons why he might have left, controversry over taking a private sector job in the same area as the bank, and speculation over whether Donald Trump would be able to impose his choice of replecemernt. Phil also covered a report by the Center for Global Development highlighting strong lending to China despite US pressure to issue more targetted loans

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The business of asset transfers

Phil looked at the issue of asset re-registrations – what happens for example when someone switches pension provider. The ability of financial services firms to transfer or re-register customer assets to another organisation is a little known, but vital part of how modern consumer finance should work. Since the surge in demand for independent savings accounts (ISAs), the creation of self-investedpersonal pensionn plans and the launch of the government-backed workplace pensions, the need for efficient transfers has become key.

The article in The Review magazine of the Chartered Institute of Securities and Investment spoke to regulators and pension fund managers about how asset transfers are going to be speeded up and the challenges and opportunities that presents. The article is here.

Focusing on the REITS sector

Phil wrote and researched an article for The Review, the magazine of the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment, on real estate investment trust (REIT) industry. It was primarily an educational article explaining: the technical details of how REITs work; the pros and cons of investing in them; why, when and for who REITs are an appropriate asset to invest in and the concept of NAV and how it works in relation to REITs. He spoke to a number of people including senior accountants, market players and financial advisers. The full article is here

Looking at Vienna, 1.0, 2.0 … and 3.0?

Phil spoke to a number of senior figures who were, or are close to the issues involved in seting up the Vienna Initiative. This was the collaboration betwen international institutions and banks to ensure that the 2009 global financial crisis did not spill over into central and eastern Europe. It tackled fears that EU-based banking groups would rush to reduce their debts by selling assets in emerging European countries.

He spoke with senior officials and bankers at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the European Investment Bank, Raiffeisen Bank International, and the  Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies. One issue was whether the tensions created out of the Russia/Ukraine situation could unnerve and banks and require a Vienna 3.0. The consensus was not, bgutone should watch this space. The story is here

Leading reporting of IMF/World Bank meetings

Phil helped drive the coverage by the magazine GlobalMarkets of the annual meetings of the IMF and World bank that were held in October 2018 in Bali Indonesia. GlobalMarkets is the new name for the magazine Emerging Markets that has covered the meetings of all the multilateral banks for a quarter of a century.

He wrote a number of features analysing key issues that came up at the meetings of the finance ministers and central bankers of the 187 member countries. Three of the features looking at the outlook for the two institutions: the first examined the new strategy of World Bank President Jim Yong Kim regarding fragile states (here); the second looked at the role that the IMF should play in revitalising multilateralism here. and the challenge of closing the iinfrastructure gap here.

He also wrote a number of news stories including: a warning by Professor Barry Eichengreen on the impact on the from a trade war; concern among leading experts that the IMF is losing relevance; an interview with World Bank CEO Kristalina Georgieva; criticism of the Bank’s Human Capital Index; and concerns over a rollback on regulation.

He was also heavily engaged in news planning, copy sub-editing and headline writing.

Heralding 10 years of Liverpool development

We were asked by Grosvenor, the international property company, to help mark the 10th anniversary of their groundbreaking re-development of the centre of Liverpool that the city is marking this year. We worked with senior executives at Grosvenor and visited the city to help craft an account of its redevelopment that would show what a significant achievement it was

Grosvenor were determined that Liverpool ONE would show that idea of place can be a driver for large scale, city centre urban regeneration. They worked to develop the project in such a way that it seamlessly linked the development to the city’s existing grain and street pattern  rather than build a single, monolithic block that followed the design of one master planner.

The result is a 250,000 m² development that Grosvenor Europe now manages, includes more than 200 shops, some 700 apartments, two hotels, 25 restaurants, a 14-screen Odeon cinema, four office buildings, a unique five-acre public park, 2,000 car parking spaces and a public transport interchange.

The report appears as a blog on the front page of the Grosvenor website that carries a great deal of other material about ONE.

Experience covering academic and policy conferences

We have developed a specialism in covering mjor conferences of academic and policy experts, covering the main issues and producing plan English reports.

Phil was hired by the organisers of the The 6th Lindau Meeting on Economic Sciences in Germany that featured presentations and debates involving several recipients of the Nobel prize in economics. He wrote a number of pieces a day that captured the essence of some of the presentatioons and debates. One looked at how economists would design a good pension syste, based on what Peter Diamond called ‘a paternalistic need’ to use policy measures to encourage people to save more during their working lives. Another focused on what that path looks loike topwards a Nobel prize, based on the recollections of Oliver Hart, Bengt Holmstöm, and Jean Tirole. His final blog was looking ahead to the state of economics in 2020, the next meeting, featuring the thoughts of Peter Altmaier, Chris Pissarides and Deleza Hays.

Phil helped produce a highly commended article based on on innovative conference looking at consumer finance and behavioural ecojnomics. The first summit by the Think Forward Initiative held in Brussels looked at how Mainstream models in economics and finance restrict the factors relevant for financial decisions to emotionless logic, perfect information, and impeccable mathematics. The article covered debates over the ability of consumers to process information correctly, the potential gains for the aplication of behavioural economics, and the state of financial literacy. The article was published on the VoxEU portal.

Phil has played a key role in the coverage of the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank for Global Markets newspaper. At the last meetings he held interviews with the President, Vice President and Chief Economist of the World Bank and helped produce daily newspaper editions. He also wrote features on the outlook for the World Bank and IMF.