Daily Archives: June 3, 2019

Taconic Biosciences is First and Only Animal Vendor to Announce All Commercial Mouse Colonies Free of New Pathogen

RENSSELAER, N.Y., June 03, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Taconic Biosciences, a global leader in providing genetically engineered rodent model solutions, announces that all commercial mouse colonies and contract mouse breeding barriers are free of a newly discovered pathogen.  Taconic is the first and only commercial animal vendor to exclude mouse kidney parvovirus from its animals at all health standards.

In an October 2019 Cell paper, an Australian and American research consortium announced the discovery of a novel mouse parvovirus, named mouse kidney parvovirus or MKPV (https://www.cell.com/cell/fulltext/S0092-8674(18)31029-8).  The report states this highly infectious pathogen causes inclusion body nephropathy and eventual renal failure and death in immunodeficient mice.

Utilizing a diagnostic assay developed by a testing partner, Taconic screened all commercial mouse locations for the agent and is pleased to announce that all commercial mouse colonies and contract breeding barriers are negative for MKPV. Taconic credits these results to a strong biosecurity program, which includes practices and procedures to prevent entry or spread of viral contaminants.

“We attribute our negative results for mouse kidney parvovirus to Taconic’s strict bioexclusion practices,” shares Dr. Jeffrey Lohmiller, DVM, MS, DACLAM, vice president animal welfare and compliance at Taconic Biosciences.  “Taconic has a history of embracing the highest quality standards in the industry.  As the first vendor to address this new pathogen, we continue this strong legacy.”

Taconic routinely evaluates its health testing program, refining it based on scientific findings and customer feedback.  Because this agent has significant clinical impact in immunodeficient mice and may cause mild nephropathy, even in immunocompetent mice, Taconic has added MKPV to the exclusion list for all Taconic health standards.  Regular testing will commence starting in July 2019, and MKPV test results will start appearing on health reports on June 4, 2019.

To learn more about Taconic Biosciences’ industry-leading health standards, please visit the Animal Health webpage, or contact the company at 1-888-TACONIC (888-822-6642) in the US, +45 70 23 04 05 in Europe or email info@taconic.com.

About Taconic Biosciences, Inc.

Taconic Biosciences is a fully-licensed, global leader in genetically engineered rodent models and services. Founded in 1952, Taconic provides the best animal solutions so that customers can acquire, custom-generate, breed, precondition, test, and distribute valuable research models worldwide. Specialists in genetically engineered mouse and rat models, microbiome, immune-oncology mouse models, and integrated model design and breeding services, Taconic operates three service laboratories and six breeding facilities in the U.S. and Europe, maintains distributor relationships in Asia and has global shipping capabilities to provide animal models almost anywhere in the world.

Media Contact:

Kelly Owen Grover
Director of Marketing Communications
(518) 697-3824
kelly.grover@taconic.com

Taconic Biosciences is First and Only Animal Vendor to Announce All Commercial Mouse Colonies Free of New Pathogen

RENSSELAER, N.Y., June 03, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Taconic Biosciences, a global leader in providing genetically engineered rodent model solutions, announces that all commercial mouse colonies and contract mouse breeding barriers are free of a newly discovered pathogen.  Taconic is the first and only commercial animal vendor to exclude mouse kidney parvovirus from its animals at all health standards.

In an October 2019 Cell paper, an Australian and American research consortium announced the discovery of a novel mouse parvovirus, named mouse kidney parvovirus or MKPV (https://www.cell.com/cell/fulltext/S0092-8674(18)31029-8).  The report states this highly infectious pathogen causes inclusion body nephropathy and eventual renal failure and death in immunodeficient mice.

Utilizing a diagnostic assay developed by a testing partner, Taconic screened all commercial mouse locations for the agent and is pleased to announce that all commercial mouse colonies and contract breeding barriers are negative for MKPV. Taconic credits these results to a strong biosecurity program, which includes practices and procedures to prevent entry or spread of viral contaminants.

“We attribute our negative results for mouse kidney parvovirus to Taconic’s strict bioexclusion practices,” shares Dr. Jeffrey Lohmiller, DVM, MS, DACLAM, vice president animal welfare and compliance at Taconic Biosciences.  “Taconic has a history of embracing the highest quality standards in the industry.  As the first vendor to address this new pathogen, we continue this strong legacy.”

Taconic routinely evaluates its health testing program, refining it based on scientific findings and customer feedback.  Because this agent has significant clinical impact in immunodeficient mice and may cause mild nephropathy, even in immunocompetent mice, Taconic has added MKPV to the exclusion list for all Taconic health standards.  Regular testing will commence starting in July 2019, and MKPV test results will start appearing on health reports on June 4, 2019.

To learn more about Taconic Biosciences’ industry-leading health standards, please visit the Animal Health webpage, or contact the company at 1-888-TACONIC (888-822-6642) in the US, +45 70 23 04 05 in Europe or email info@taconic.com.

About Taconic Biosciences, Inc.

Taconic Biosciences is a fully-licensed, global leader in genetically engineered rodent models and services. Founded in 1952, Taconic provides the best animal solutions so that customers can acquire, custom-generate, breed, precondition, test, and distribute valuable research models worldwide. Specialists in genetically engineered mouse and rat models, microbiome, immune-oncology mouse models, and integrated model design and breeding services, Taconic operates three service laboratories and six breeding facilities in the U.S. and Europe, maintains distributor relationships in Asia and has global shipping capabilities to provide animal models almost anywhere in the world.

Media Contact:

Kelly Owen Grover
Director of Marketing Communications
(518) 697-3824
kelly.grover@taconic.com

Hitachi and Virtusa Partner to Advance AI in Financial Services

New Joint Development Team to be Based in Silicon Valley

SOUTHBOROUGH, Mass., June 03, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Hitachi, Ltd. (TSE: 6501, Hitachi) and Virtusa Corporation (NASDAQ GS: VRTU) a global provider of digital strategy, digital engineering, and IT outsourcing services that accelerates business outcomes for its clients, today announced a new partnership to capitalize on the rapidly growing adoption of AI in financial services. The agreement to collaborate on these digital solutions was signed in April 2019.

Increasingly, financial services companies need to implement emerging technologies like AI to stay competitive, identify new clients, and serve new markets. Combining deep domain expertise with digital solutions that use advanced technologies including AI can help financial services organizations accelerate customer acquisition rates, increase revenue by anticipating customer needs, and deliver personalized offerings at the right time and at the right location.

As part of the agreement, the two companies have established a dedicated joint team based in Silicon Valley. The team will develop new AI-based solutions that combine Hitachi’s advanced digital technology and leading R&D capabilities with Virtusa’s deep financial services industry knowledge and digital engineering expertise.

Hitachi and Virtusa plan to launch the first jointly developed AI solutions to financial services organizations in the United States by early 2020.

The two companies will jointly market these new AI solutions to both existing and new customers. Hitachi and Virtusa will also collaborate on sales, delivery, and maintenance activities.

“The establishment of a new joint team in Silicon Valley will accelerate the global expansion of digital solutions, taking advantage of both companies’ strengths,” said Tsugio Yamamoto, vice president, and executive officer Hitachi. “Hitachi will accelerate the expansion of our solution menu working together with Virtusa, as well as the enhancement of global delivery capabilities.”

“AI is an imperative for our clients to gain a competitive advantage,” Kris Canekeratne, chairman and CEO, Virtusa. “Financial services organizations have a significant opportunity to leverage and deploy AI to gain significant competitive advantages. With this partnership and through our deep digital capabilities we can help more clients benefit from AI faster.”

In 2016, Hitachi and Virtusa agreed on a strategic partnership in the global IT solution field.* This newly signed partnership starts with the joint development of AI solutions for financial services. Plans call for Hitachi and Virtusa to expand AI solution development into additional industries and develop other digital solutions in the next phase.

*  News Release (March 29, 2016)
Hitachi and Virtusa Enter into Strategic Global Partnership to Offer Best of Breed, Disruptive Business Solutions
https://www.virtusa.com/news-room/press-releases/article/2848/

About Hitachi, Ltd.
Hitachi, Ltd. (TSE: 6501), headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, is focusing on Social Innovation Business combining its operational technology, information technology, and products. The company’s consolidated revenues for fiscal 2018 (ended March 31, 2019) totaled 9,480.6 billion yen ($85.4 billion), and the company has approximately 296,000 employees worldwide. Hitachi delivers digital solutions utilizing Lumada in five sectors, including Mobility, Smart Life, Industry, Energy, and IT, to increase our customer’s social, environmental, and economic value. For more information on Hitachi, please visit the company’s website at http://www.hitachi.com.

About Virtusa Corporation
Virtusa Corporation (NASDAQ GS: VRTU) is a global provider of digital business transformation, digital engineering, and information technology (IT) outsourcing services. Using a combination of digital strategy, business implementation, and IT platform modernization services, Virtusa helps clients drive profitable growth and lead market disruption through digital first client experiences. Founded in 1996 and headquartered in Southborough, Mass., Virtusa serves Global 2000 companies in the banking, financial services, insurance, healthcare, telecommunications, media, entertainment, travel, manufacturing and technology industries. For more information, visit: www.virtusa.com.

© 2019 Virtusa Corporation.  All rights reserved.

Virtusa, Accelerating Business Outcomes, BPM Test Drive, and Productization are registered trademarks of Virtusa Corporation.  All other company and brand names may be trademarks or service marks of their respective holders.

Contact:
Kirsten Paragona
Virtusa
kparagona@virtusa.com
978-434-7319

Ron Favali
Conversion Marketing
ron@conversionam.com
727-512-4490

New Investex Partner Program Launch

New Investex Partner program designed to reward introducers

ST. VINCENT and the GRENADINES, June 03, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Investex unveils its brand-new Partner program, which streamlines and simplifies the ways affiliates engage with Investex and customers. A low barrier to entry combined with a competitive volume-based rebate structure make Investex Partner program a solution for introducers of all sizes.

Investex Partner program offers daily payouts of commissions, fast automated withdrawals, personal bank accounts for introducers, 0% commission on deposits and withdrawals, and multilingual support of a personal account manager. There are two reward plans available at the moment: Commission rebates plan for introducers aiming at a long-term partnership with a regular income, and Exclusive CPA program available for certain partners on special conditions.New Investex Partner Program Launch

With Commission rebates plan partners receive up to $7 per lot from their customers, and 5% from their sub-affiliates earnings. Introducers on Exclusive CPA program get up to $700 per referred client.

Business development manager of Investex shared a comment: “Our new Partner program is a clear reflection of our intent to expand further. We enhanced the terms and now offer more opportunities to create new revenue streams for introducers, and attract more customers to our company.”

Investex Bank, previously known as B2B Bank, is a privately held international bank, registered and operating in St. Vincent and the Grenadines since 2012. The Bank is regulated by SVGFSA, and operates strictly according to the STP trading model. It’s focusing on the Asian markets and provides private bank accounts for traders and investors from around the world with direct access to global financial markets. Now Investex is available in 5 languages – English, Arabic, Malay, Chinese, and Japanese, with the support team working 24/5.

CONTACT Walt Clarke                               
COMPANY Investex Bank Limited                       
PHONE +44 208 068 5820
EMAIL info@investex.com
WEB https://www.investex.com/

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/548723d4-c3ab-4f69-81a7-c34d951b0483

Bombardier Concludes Sale of the Q Series Aircraft Program to Longview

MONTRÉAL, June 03, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Bombardier (TSX: BBD.B) confirmed today the closing of the previously announced sale of the Q Series aircraft program assets to De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Limited (formerly Longview Aircraft Company of Canada Limited), an affiliate of Longview Aviation Capital Corp., for gross proceeds of approximately $300 million. Net proceeds are expected to be approximately $250 million after the assumption of certain liabilities, fees, and closing adjustments.

Longview will carry on the production of Q400 aircraft at the Downsview Facility in Toronto, and will continue performing aftermarket services for Q Series aircraft. Bombardier will provide transitional services and will license certain intellectual property to Longview to facilitate a seamless transition of the Q Series aircraft program.

About Bombardier
With over 68,000 employees, Bombardier is a global leader in the transportation industry, creating innovative and game-changing planes and trains. Our products and services provide world-class transportation experiences that set new standards in passenger comfort, energy efficiency, reliability and safety.

Headquartered in Montreal, Canada, Bombardier has production and engineering sites in 28 countries as well as a broad portfolio of products and services for the business aviation, commercial aviation and rail transportation markets. Bombardier shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (BBD). In the fiscal year ended December 31, 2018, Bombardier posted revenues of $16.2 billion US. The company is recognized on the 2019 Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World Index. News and information are available at bombardier.com or follow us on Twitter @Bombardier.

Bombardier is a trademark of Bombardier Inc.

For Information

Simon Letendre
Manager, Media Relations and Public Affairs
Bombardier Inc.
+514 924 4893
Patrick Ghoche
Vice President, Investor Relations
Bombardier Inc.
+514 861 5727

Blue Zebra Insurance Deploys the MGA Agility Suite from Xceedance

BOSTON, June 03, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Xceedance, a global provider of insurance consulting, managed services, technology, data sciences, and blockchain solutions, today announced that Blue Zebra Insurance (Blue Zebra) has successfully deployed the company’s MGA Agility Suite to modernize policy lifecycle management processes.

Blue Zebra required a flexible insurtech platform with modern functionality to compete effectively in today’s market. The Australia-based managing general agent (MGA) also required a partner with deep insurance knowledge to help minimize system implementation costs and operational risk.

“The MGA Agility Suite elevates our personalized, advice-driven service model, especially with its end-to-end broker and underwriter portal, and a configurable rating/pricing engine,” said Blair Nicholls, CEO of Blue Zebra. “This unique platform empowers our personal lines and small-to-medium enterprise (SME) business with highly-automated workflows and a streamlined policy lifecycle, which creates transactional efficiencies for our brokers while enhancing customer-centricity in our mutual operations. On a related note, at the recent Insurance Business Australia Awards, Blue Zebra was honored as the underwriting agency with the best digital strategy, in part due to the strengths of our platform.”

Engineered as an insurtech accelerator for established and startup program administrators, MGAs, and managing general underwriters (MGUs), the Xceedance MGA Agility Suite is a highly-configurable platform designed for rapid deployment and as-needed scalability. The MGA Agility Suite incorporates on-demand insurance operations services from Xceedance, to boost dexterity and responsiveness in managing dynamic policyholder requirements.

“Both startup and established MGAs need hands-on partners who can facilitate time-to-market and rapid growth, while alleviating risks associated with launching, scaling, and managing operations,” said Arun Balakrishnan, CEO of Xceedance. “For growth-oriented MGAs, Xceedance provides an engagement model that minimizes fixed costs. Also, we correlate our success with the advancement of MGAs — by structuring relationships where Xceedance is compensated when our MGA partners succeed and profit in their markets.”

The MGA Agility Suite creates value for program administrators through intelligent technologies, process optimization, advanced analytics, and strategic operations support. The integrated technology, managed services, and strategic consulting approach of Xceedance simplifies the entire insurance process from broker onboarding, submission, quote and issuance, to policy service and billing.

“Xceedance has significant experience in supporting a variety of insurance organizations worldwide, and we excel at helping MGAs fulfill technology implementations and realize operational excellence,” said Amit Tiwari, chief technology officer at Xceedance. “We congratulate Blue Zebra for winning a prestigious digital strategy award, and it’s gratifying to see the company and its broker network achieve process optimization and growth in a demanding market. Additionally, we’re excited about the availability and flexibility of the MGA Agility Suite for diverse MGAs, looking to scale and transform the way they do business.”

About Xceedance
Xceedance is a global provider of strategic consulting and managed services, technology, and data sciences to insurance organizations. For more information, please visit www.xceedance.com.

Media Contact:
Jennifer Overhulse
St. Nick Media Services
+1 859-803-6597
jen@stnickmedia.com

“Strengthening Trust in Finance” – Opening Address by Mr Ravi Menon, Managing Director, Monetary Authority of Singapore, at Symposium on Asian Banking and Finance on 3 June 2019

Dr Mary Daly, President and CEO, the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco,

guests, colleagues, ladies and gentlemen, good morning.

Welcome to Singapore for the Symposium on Asian Banking and Finance, jointly organised by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

This year marks the twelfth edition of the Symposium.

This Symposium has carved a name for itself as a high-quality platform for industry captains, distinguished academics, and senior policy-makers to exchange views on global finance.

And it stands out for bringing a strong dose of Asian voices while retaining the global relevance of the issues.

The theme for this year’s Symposium is Banking for the Common Good. Why did we choose this topic?

More than ten years have passed since the global financial crisis. We have seen a spate of regulatory reforms over the last decade � unprecedented in scope and scale but necessary.

Implementation is not quite complete but the global financial system is generally safer and stronger today, with more capital and liquidity, less leverage and risk.

But it is not enough that finance is merely safer today. Just doing no harm is not enough.

Finance needs to be a positive force for good.

I believe there are three things that finance must aspire to, if it is to be a force for good:

it must be trusted;

it must be inclusive; and

it must be sustainable.

This Symposium will cover these issues in greater depth. I want to focus my opening remarks on the issue of trust.

Global surveys show that the financial sector suffers from a trust deficit.

The Edelman Trust Barometer asked over 33,000 respondents globally to rate how much they trust businesses in each of 15 industries to do what is right. Financial services was the least trusted industry.

There is also a broader sense that finance has not served the economy or society well.

Why this mistrust? The reckless risk-taking and blatant disregard for ethical conduct that we saw in the lead-up to the global financial crisis are a big part of the explanation.

And it has not helped that the financial industry continues to be dogged by disappointing revelations of financial misconduct and malfeasance.

Europe saw its largest ever money laundering scandal last year, with hundreds of billions of Euros in tainted money flowing through European banks and their branches across the world.

In the US, regulators and prosecutors imposed on financial institutions a total of US$1.5 billion in penalties last year for failing to comply with anti-money laundering requirements.

In the UK, more than 13 million complaints have been made against retail banks for the aggressive mis-selling of so-called Payment Protection Insurance.

In Australia, the Hayne Royal Commission has detailed a litany of wrong-doing in the country’s banking industry, including forging loan documents and pushing customers into bad investments to meet bonus targets.

I take some comfort that financial institutions in Singapore have generally been better behaved and are better regarded.

But we have had our problems too:

the mis-selling of Minibonds and other structured products;

the manipulation by traders of financial benchmarks; and more recently

the laundering of 1MDB-related funds through our banking system.

We too can do better.

Let me briefly suggest three things the industry and regulators can do together to strengthen trust in finance, with a focus on what we are doing here in Singapore.

First, we must ensure that the financial system is not abused for illicit purposes � be it money laundering, tax evasion, or terrorist financing.

In Singapore, we had a rude awakening in 2015 when it came to light how 1MDB-related funds were laundered through our banking system. MAS and the industry have worked hard since then to strengthen systems and processes to detect and deter illicit fund flows.

Financial institutions have made significant strides in managing money laundering risks.

Boards and management are more focused on addressing issues related to illicit finance.

They have made the detection of money laundering risk a responsibility of front-line, customer-facing staff, and not just the compliance function.

Many financial institutions have strengthened their remuneration frameworks to include financial crime risk management as a key performance indicator.

A growing number are harnessing the power of data analytics to detect illicit fund flows and flag suspicious transactions.

MAS too has been enhancing its surveillance and supervision of money laundering risks.

We are conducting more anti-money laundering focused onsite inspections.

We are applying network analysis to detect across financial institutions high risk clusters of entities and activities.

MAS, financial institutions, and law enforcement agencies have come together to pool their expertise to identify emerging money laundering typologies and possible ways to combat them. The partnership has produced advisories and best practices on how to:

detect complex corporate structures involved in illicit finance;

use data analytics to detect unusual transaction patterns; and

combat highly complex trade-based money laundering

We have come a long way. Today, it is less likely that 1MDB-type methods of money laundering would go undetected in our banks.

But there is no guarantee and there is no room for complacency.

The methods used by money launderers are becoming more sophisticated.

Financial institutions must remain alert to emerging risks and typologies.

Eternal vigilance is the price we must pay to keep our financial system clean.

Second, financial institutions must ensure that they deal fairly with their customers, always acting in their best interest.

MAS has issued guidelines on fair dealing that place the onus on the board and senior management of financial institutions.

They must set a clear strategy to achieve the fair dealing outcomes, monitor its implementation, and train their staff to treat their customers fairly.

It is the duty of the financial institution and its representative to help the customer understand what he is buying and what risk he is taking.

Disclosure alone is not enough.

Ask any consumer of financial products having to go through hundreds of pages of product disclosure written in unintelligible legalese.

Financial institutions must make the information they provide more transparent:

transparent about risk, especially the circumstances under which the customer could lose all or most of his money;

transparent about the assumptions underlying return projections or estimates; and

transparent about fees, charges, and commissions.

Financial institutions must ensure that their sales representatives have sufficient knowledge and skills.

In Singapore, prospective financial advisory representatives are required to pass relevant examinations before they are allowed to offer advisory services.

They are tested on not just product knowledge but also the skills to effectively engage their customers to understand their financial needs and risk profiles.

Going forward, they will be tested on their understanding of ethical principles.

More specifically, their ability to assess situations where there might not be explicit rules, but which nevertheless present potential conflicts of interest.

Those who sell financial products should recommend what to buy based on what is most suitable for their customers, not what will maximise their own commissions or rewards.

MAS worked with the industry a few years ago to put in place a balanced scorecard as the basis for remunerating financial advisory representatives.

The scorecard incorporates non-sales performance indicators, such as providing suitable product recommendations and making proper disclosures of material information to customers.

In all of this, the tone from the top is critical.

Senior management and supervisors at all levels must make clear to their staff that meeting revenue targets must never be at the expense of treating their customers with fairness and honesty.

This will go a long way in strengthening public trust in finance.

Third, and more fundamentally, we must foster a culture of good conduct underpinned by strong standards of ethics.

Regulations and controls can only go so far in shaping behaviour.

Be it being alert to money laundering risks or dealing fairly with customers, mere compliance with regulatory requirements or internal rules is not enough.

Ultimately, how professionals in the financial industry conduct themselves is shaped by the shared values, attitudes and norms in their organisations � in short, the culture.

Rules can only tell us what we cannot do, it is values that tell us what we should not do.

Those who work in financial institutions must look beyond the question:

Is this legal? to Is this right?

Have I checked the box? to Have I checked the risk?

This is why some regulators, including MAS, have intensified their supervisory emphasis on the culture and conduct within financial institutions.

Mary will say a lot more about this in her keynote address, so let me highlight briefly some of what MAS has been doing on this front.

MAS has conducted a stocktake of culture and conduct practices across selected financial institutions.

Our supervisors had extensive one-on-one conversations with not just the management of these financial institutions but staff across the ranks.

These conversations allowed our supervisors to gain insights on the staff’s perceptions of culture and their level of risk awareness.

They helped us develop a keener sense of:

whether the tone-from-the-top echoed from the bottom; and

whether the organisational values plastered on the walls of the board room were practised on the ground.

What have we found?

Culture and conduct practices are uneven in the industry.

Many financial institutions still struggle to articulate the conduct risks they face.

Many are only starting to develop tools and indicators to obtain a holistic, cross-functional view of the culture within their organisation.

What’s next?

MAS with the banks have set up a steering group to identify emerging trends in conduct and behaviour as well as share best practices in getting the culture right.

MAS has also set up a small behavioural sciences unit to build up our capabilities in this area and support our supervisors with methodologies to get a better understanding of culture and conduct issues in the institutions they supervise.

Let me conclude.

Financial institutions have restored their capital, but not public trust.

They have repaired their balance sheets, but not their compact with society.

They have reformed their systems, but not their culture.

Only with trust can the financial industry earn the social license it needs to thrive and grow.

To strengthen this trust, we must:

ensure that finance is not abused for illicit purposes;

that it places its customers first and deals with them fairly; and

that it fosters a culture of good conduct grounded in strong values and ethics.

It is my pleasure now to invite Mary to share her views on fostering stronger culture and conduct at financial institutions.

Source: Monetary Authority of Singapore