Category Archives: Venture Capital

Mike Baur: Die Veränderungen im Schweizer Bankwesen veranlassen viele Fachleute der Branche dazu, den traditionellen Karriereweg zu verlassen

ZURICH, Feb-19-2017 — /EPR FINANCIAL NEWS/ — Mike Baur machte sich im Schweizer Bankensektor einen Namen, als er 2008 ein wichtiger Akteur bei der Privatbank Clariden Leu wurde. Er fand sich in seiner Position gut zurecht und beriet schon mit Anfang zwanzig die wohlhabendsten Einwohner der Schweiz in finanziellen Angelegenheiten.

Das Bürogebäude, in dem Baur arbeitete, war auch sehr beeindruckend. Solch ein ehrwürdiges Gebäude konnte sich natürlich nur in der sehr eleganten Bahnhofstrasse befinden. Baur bezeichnete das Gebäude als „ein Juwel“, aber die guten Zeiten, die er dort verbrachte, fanden ein Ende, als die Finanzkrise ausbrach, und die Geschäftslage wurde sehr unruhig.

In diesen schwierigen Jahren entschloss sich die Muttergesellschaft von Clariden Leu dazu, die Türen der 250 Jahre alten Einrichtung zu schließen. Daraufhin wurde Clariden Leu ein Teil ihrer Muttergesellschaft, der Credit Suisse Group AG. Das wunderschöne Bürogebäude, in dem Baur einst arbeitete, ist mittlerweile verkauft worden.

Baur hörte im Jahr 2014 bei Clariden Leu auf, um anderen Projekten nachzugehen. Bei diesen Projekten handelte es sich um Technologie-Startups. Während Clariden Leu also kurz vor dem Ende stand, hatte Baur sich bereits Größerem verschrieben.

Baurs Karriere im Bankensektor nahm zunächst einen sehr positiven Anfang. Im Alter von 16 Jahren begann er seine Karriere als Lehrling bei der UBS Group AG. In einem Treffen mit dem Personalmanager der Firma erhielt er ein Diagramm, auf dem aufgezeichnet war, wie seine gesamte Karriere bis zu seinem Ruhestand aussehen würde. Baur folgte diesem Plan und erhielt eine Beförderung nach der anderen, bis er Teil einer Gruppe wurde, die auf der Suche nach innovativen Methoden für die Anwerbung sehr wohlhabender Investoren war. Seine Strategien funktionierten und UBS begann, in einem rekordverdächtigen Tempo zu expandieren. Das hielt an, bis die Wirtschaft schließlich von der Finanzkrise getroffen wurde.

Nachdem die Regierung UBS im Jahr 2008 gerettet hatte, fing die Bank an, sich zu verkleinern. Auch die Credit Suisse musste ihre Expansionsbemühungen zurückfahren und sich darauf konzentrieren, die Bank im Geschäft zu halten. Zu diesem Zeitpunkt verließ Baur UBS, um bei Clariden Leu zu arbeiten.

Baur blieb nur sechs Jahre bei Clariden Leu. Er war soweit, seinen eigenen unternehmerischen Ideen nachzugehen und sein großes Talent in Startup-Unternehmen zu investieren. Diese Entscheidung bedeutete, dass er ein üppiges Gehalt hinter sich ließ, aber er erfuhr später, dass die Leute, die sich auf sein Accelerator Programm bewarben, auch ehemalige Bankkaufleute waren. Für Baur ist der Grund dafür sehr klar. Aufgrund der verstärkten Regulierungen, mit denen Banker im gegenwärtigen finanziellen Klima zu kämpfen haben, ist das Bankwesen mittlerweile eine weniger attraktive Karrierewahl als in der Vergangenheit.

Derzeit versinkt das Bankwesen in gesetzlichen Vorschriften und viele Rechtsskandale sind ans Licht gekommen. Dazu kommt, dass die Zinsen stark gesunken sind und Banken nicht mehr die enormen Gewinne einfahren, die sie in der Vergangenheit erwirtschaften konnten. Die Finanzbranche war in hohem Maße für die bequeme Position verantwortlich, die die Schweiz in der Welt innehat, aber die aktuelle Stimmungslage hat dazu geführt, dass sie sich in einem anderen Licht betrachten. Präsident Johann Schneider-Ammann hat vor Kurzem eingeräumt, dass es für die Schweiz an der Zeit sei, weniger risikoavers zu sein und mehr unternehmerischen Esprit zu entwickeln.

Derzeit hat es nicht den Anschein, dass das Bankwesen sich in diese Richtung bewegt, da die Branche 2015 weniger als fünf Prozent zum Bruttoinlandsprodukt der Schweiz beigetragen hat. Das Beschäftigungswachstum in der Branche sank auch unter das Niveau des Beschäftigungswachstums in der Bau- und Immobilienbranche.

Mike Baur erkannte die Gelegenheit und machte sich die Talente, die der Bankenbrache abhanden gehen, zunutze. Er entwickelte eine Methode, um diesen Leuten zu helfen, ihre Karrieremöglichkeiten abseits des Bankensektors zu realisieren.

Es scheint, dass Baur und seine Kunden viel gemeinsam haben. Er war Teil einer traditionellen Branche, aber er hatte nicht immer das Gefühl, dass seine Ideen sehr traditionell waren. Es fiel ihm nicht schwer, seinen Job bei UBS hinter sich zu lassen, weil er dort seine kreative unternehmerische Seite nicht fördern konnte.

Das Unternehmen, das er gegründet hat, nennt sich „Swiss Startup Factory“. Er hat sein Unternehmen eine „Fabrik“ genannt, weil er die Absicht hat, Menschen dabei zu helfen, aus ihren Ideen erfolgreiche Unternehmen aufzubauen. Er betrachtet seine Aufgabe als eine Art Hersteller, der neue Unternehmen für den Markt „herstellt“.

Der andere Grund, der „Herstellung“ zu einem guten Wort für Baurs Unternehmen macht, ist seine Überzeugung, dass die jungen Leute, die mit ihm arbeiten, hart arbeiten müssen. Er hat in seinen Jahren als Banker viele wohlhabende Menschen kennengelernt und er glaubt, dass sie dazu neigen, nicht hart genug zu arbeiten, um Erfolg zu haben.

In dieser Branche gibt es andere Gründerzentren, aber Baur besteht darauf, dass sein Unternehmen anders ist. Der Hauptunterschied liegt darin, dass er und die anderen Gründer der Swiss Startup Factory ihr eigenes Geld in das Unternehmen investiert haben, sie wollen also wirklich erfolgreich sein. Sein Unternehmen ist zudem unabhängig und das macht einen riesigen Unterschied, weil sie so nicht durch die Agenda einer bestimmten Person eingegrenzt werden. Jeder einzelne ist wichtig.

Baur hat verlauten lassen, was seiner Meinung nach die Stärken sowie die Schwächen seines Unternehmens sind. Die Stärke der Swiss Startup Factory ist die Tatsache, dass es ein hochinnovatives Unternehmen ist. Seine Schwäche ist, dass sie Schwierigkeiten bei der Umsetzung ihrer Strategien haben. Er glaubt auch, dass sie daran arbeiten müssen, den Investoren die Chancen und Möglichkeiten auf professionellere Art und Weise zu präsentieren, damit diese Investoren mit mehr Begeisterung mit seinem Unternehmen zusammenarbeiten.

Unter dem Strich kann man sagen, dass Mike Baur sein Unternehmen mit Leidenschaft führt und hart daran arbeitet, seine Ziele zu verwirklichen. Er glaubt, dass dies die zwei Faktoren sind, die in jeder Branche zum Erfolg führen. Es schadet natürlich nicht, dass er das liebt, was er tut.

Mike Baur glaubt, dass man Menschen beibringen kann, was ein Unternehmer ist, aber dass man ihnen nicht die Mentalität beibringen kann, die man als Unternehmer braucht. Laut Baur wird man entweder mit der unternehmerischen Mentalität geboren oder eben nicht.

In Zukunft möchte Baur, dass sein Unternehmen der Schweiz etwas zurückgibt. Er und seine Partner leisten schon ihren Beitrag, aber er sieht in diesem Bereich noch Verbesserungspotenzial und wird weiter daran arbeiten, einen positiven Einfluss auf das Ökosystem der Schweizer Geschäftswelt zu haben.

‘SOURCE: EuropaWire

ABO Capital CEO Zandre Campos named one of the Top 25 Business Influencers by African Leadership Magazine

zandre-campos-recipient-of-distinguished-business-excellence-award_europawire

PORTUGAL, 28-Sep-2016 — /EPR FINANCIAL NEWS/ — ABO Capital, a leading international investment firm headquartered in Angola, announced today that its CEO Zandre Campos was named one of the Top 25 Business Influencers and recipient of the Distinguished Business Excellence Award by African Leadership Magazine.

The honor which is in recognition of Mr. Campo’s outstanding posturing as one of Africa’s top business influencers was celebrated at last night’s 7th annual Business Leadership Awards Gala held during the International Forum of African Leadership at St. Regis Hotel, New York, USA.

“It is a great honor to be recognized by an organization who shares a similar mission of promoting innovation, entrepreneurship and development throughout Africa,” said Zandre Campos. “We are committed to bringing excellence to Africa through diversification and economic development.”

The African Leadership magazine focuses on bringing the best of Africa to a global audience, telling the African story from an African perspective; while evolving solutions to peculiar challenges being faced by the continent today. In addition to being honored at the awards gala, Mr. Campos and the work he is doing in Africa will be featured in a special October 2016 edition of the African Leadership Magazine.

About ABO Capital
ABO Capital, formerly Angola Capital Investments, is an international investment firm that invests in companies in the healthcare, technology, energy, transportation, hospitality and real estate sectors throughout Africa. The mission of ABO Capital is to create global value for developing countries in Africa, while contributing to their economic development.

About Zandre Campos
Zandre de Campos Finda is one of the great, innovative business leaders and global entrepreneurs emerging out of Africa. Currently, he is chairman and CEO of ABO Capital, an international investment firm headquartered in Angola with holdings throughout Africa and Europe. Prior to founding ABO Capital, Mr. Campos was CEO of Nazaki Oil & Gaz S.A. He has held the positions of CEO of the mobile phone company Movicel Telecommunications and an executive in the office of the president of SONAIR, S.A., a subsidiary of Sonangol, Angola’s state-owned oil company that oversees oil and gas production. He began his career as a legal advisor with Sonangol Holdings.

SOURCE: EuropaWire

Byrd Imperial Group LLC. Announces 600,000 common equity shares available at no monetary costs

San Antonio, Texas, January 13, 2015 — /EPR FINANCIAL NEWS/ — Byrd Imperial Group is seeking 1 to 4 Executive Advisors to join our team by helping to raise funds to build and operate a new franchise headquarters in Texas. In exchange for successfully seeking out and securing a 10% Preferred Equity Investor who subscribes to a minimum investment of $3.5M, Byrd Imperial Group will issue 150,000 shares of common stock at no cost. An Executive Advisor could earn up to 4 times that amount or 600,000 shares by securing a single qualified Investor.

In addition to this offer, Byrd Imperial Group is offering 4,000,000 Preferred Equity Shares at a price of $3.50 per share with a minimum purchase of 1,000,000 shares.

Byrd Imperial Group LLC. (www.byrdimperialgroup.com) is a franchise development and management company with a total of 9 new business models. Our business plan combines 6 new franchise opportunities along with our internal finance company all-operating at 1 flagship location. From the company headquarters in Texas, we will be able to efficiently manage, grow, and operate each new business opportunity. After smoothing out the operating procedures, the home office location will serve as a springboard to advance each new business as single point locations through nationwide franchising.

Contact-Details: Byrd Imperial Group LLC.
Preston Byrd
210-906-3949
prestonbyrd@byrdimperialgroup.com
www.byrdimperialgroup.com

 

Via EPR Network
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Masterseek Estimated IPO Soars to 18-20 USD Per Share, Could Reach 35

With the success of business search engines and business profile sites, startups have become like rabbits out of a magician’s hat. How many of these companies have the database and programming acuity to really make an impact though? The answer is few and the reasons are varied from poor functionality to vague address names, bad marketing and a basic lack of interest from those who would post a profile. The truth is, as we’ve seen with the dominance of sites liked LinkedIn, it only takes a couple of good ones to corner the market and all others more or less fall by the wayside.

There is one site to keep your eyes on when it comes to giving LinkedIn some real competition, and some stock analysts are already starting to pay attention.

Masterseek.com is an extensively successful B2B search engine already, the largest online with over 100 million business profiles and growing much faster than any of the competition. Recently financial experts have valued it at 18-20 USD per share and this could easily reach 35 very soon according to most forecasts. This new evaluation is coming on the coattails of rumors that Masterseek.com will be joining the likes of LinkedIn, Xing, Google+ and Facebook with a professional profiles section added to their already massive database.

How much truth is there to the rumor? It’s been confirmed that they’ve already compiled a database of 150 million professional profiles. That puts them right on par with LinkedIn and ahead of LinkedIn in sheer numbers when you include international profiles. Recently in another interview Masterseek President Rasmus Refer would not comment on the timing of this release; “We are working on many new activities with the objective to become the largest global provider of business information, but cannot tell you more about our plans right now.” They may be playing their cards close to the vest for now, but it appears the new release of a professional profile site is immanent.

You’re probably asking, what would make this different than the dozens of other professional profile sites that tried to go up against LinkedIn and failed miserably? There is a lot that sets Masterseek apart, even when compared to big time LinkedIn competitors like Google+. Here are just a few of the reasons Masterseek’s professional profile section will give LinkedIn a run for its money:

Masterseek already has a larger database than LinkedIn. LinkedIn is estimated to have around 125M profiles where Masterseek has 150M. A deeper look at these numbers shows that LinkedIn still has more U.S. profiles, but as we’ll show you that is likely to change fairly quickly after release. Add to that the growing number of business professionals actively seeking expertise from around the globe and being majority U.S. based is not necessarily a good thing anymore.

Masterseek uses an entirely different platform. Anyone familiar with their business listings already knows it is probably the most functional platform on the internet. It is easier to use, offers more customization and gives individuals and businesses full control over their own profile.

Masterseek has search capabilities far superior to any B2B search engine, and when compared apples to apples to the search functionality of the most popular consumer-based search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing, even these juggernauts could learn a thing or two about relevant, fast and customized search results.

It’s free. While the big ones always are, it’s one of the sure signs of a professional profile site’s impending failure that they believe people will actually pay to be listed or that companies will pay for the information contained therein. Masterseek keeps their service free, which online is almost always the smart financial choice in the long run.

Perhaps most important of all, Masterseek is not going to be strictly a professional profiles website. Google+ attempted in its release to bridge the chasm between email, social network and professional business profile. It appears the gap is too great. After all, how many want to mix their business profile with pictures they send family and friends or their personal email? The same is true for Facebook’s professional profiles. Many a job has been lost because an employer found out what employees were up to on their social network. People don’t like to mix business and personal. LinkedIn on the other hand has had more success concentrating on one thing and one thing only, professional profiles. Masterseek by contrast is attempting a far more symbiotic relationship; a massive business search engine combined with professional profiles. Presumably this will be in large part employees and decision makers within those businesses already listed, contractors seeking work, freelancers and more. It will be a virtual hub of business activity. This just makes more sense. The more pressing question is why on earth has it not been attempted prior to this?

Via EPR Network
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Who Buys Masterseek.com?

The B2B search giant has been in the news recently as rumors are ripe that it will be acquired by another technology company. There are rumors that Masterseek lies in negotiation with Yandex, the Russian search engine giant, recently listed in Ney York Stock Engine for more than 5 billion USD. There has been no official announcement as yet either from Masterseek or from Yandex about this supposed acquisition of Masterseek by Yandex. But trade analysts believe that a partnership between these two companies will be mutually beneficial for their business interests and also to the share holders.

Masterseek has a market value of over $ 275 million in terms of equities and trade analyst believe that acquiring it will give the share holders of a company, $ 300 million dollars in profit. This has made it interesting as many IT companies, venture capitalist, both in US and outside the US, are competing to acquire it for increasing their share values and also for getting a firm grip in the US search engine market.

Masterseek founded in the year, 1999 in Denmark, by Rasmur Refer. Their current headquarters is at Ney York City in Wall Street. It is believed to handle ninety thousand B2B searches on a daily basis. Also, on 30 th of October, 2008, Masterseek announced that they have acquired the B2B search engine Accoona, which has been quite successful in the countries of US and China. It was initially launched in 2004 and at that time, the former US president, Bill Clinton was its spokesperson. This acquisition has helped Masterseek in improving profitability of the shareholders and since then it has attracted many potential buyers who are looking to enter the US market.

“It is correct that we are open for bids but are in no hurry as we can make an alternative IPO as early as Q1 or Q2 2012,” says Rasmus Refer, the CEO of Masterseek. Experts in the financial environment had estimated that Masterseek can get a market capitalization of up to 450 million USD at an IPO on Nasdaq. So, they are in no hurry to get into a deal with any company, they are looking at their options and thinking if they should consider bids for acquisition or strengthen their business module through IPO. Due to the recent success of Linkelin IPO, we think that they might go for an IPO if they do not get any favorable offers. In all conditions and circumstances, we do feel that their share holders are bound to make a decent amount of profit in the long run.

If any company or venture capitalists want to buy Masterseek, they will need to offer a business deal that the management at Masterseek cannot resist and we feel that Yandex does have the ability at this moment to offer such a deal. Due to the success of their IPO recently they have a lot of surplus cash and they have hinted that they are looking at acquisitions option to capitalize on it.

Via EPR Network
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New Site Positioned to Take Over Daily Deals Market Seeking Investors

SocialDealSpot made a splash in the Washington D.C. market this month when it launched its first deal – saving hundreds of local families 50% on a summer camp for children. Complete with all the technical functionalities of its bigger competitors, the folks at SocialDealSpot are ready and able to take on the big boys in the daily deal offerings market.

Consumer-driven SocialDealSpot gives the people what they want (daily notifications of up to 90% in savings) while it boosts the local economy by bringing customers to small, local businesses. SocialDealSpot focuses its efforts on connecting consumers with local businesses. Their unique business model is set up to harvest subscribers interested in receiving deals prior to soliciting for area business partners. An iPhone application will be launching soon as will a forum for business partners to share their “deal offering” experiences. In addition, SocialDealSpot will be launching deals all over the country in the very near future.

They have proven their capabilities and now it’s time to grow. “We have a small team of people with a lot of heart,” says Michelle Peters, SocialDealSpot spokesperson, “our site is set up with the same functionalities you get with sites like Groupon and Living Social and we’ve gotten far with only a handful of committed staff members who believe what we’re doing is making a difference. But, it’s time to take it to the next level – we’re full of ideas of differentiating ourselves from the competition.”

Along with the plans for a larger web presence, SocialDealSpot’s audacious goals include mass media advertising through billboards, radio and television. “Marketing costs money,” says Peters, “but we’re worth it!” An infusion of investment capital will surely take this optimistic team to the next level to compete successfully with the likes of daily deal moguls such as Living Social and Groupon.

Via EPR Network
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Brainwashing Book Readers Prepared For Stock Market Correction — Again!

“The Brainwashing of The American Investor”, now in its second edition, provides you with a proven methodology for successful personal investment portfolio management. Step by step instructions for asset allocation, security selection universe creation, diversification, and profit taking are presented in an anecdotal manner, based on the Author’s hands-on professional experiences.

Author and former private investment manager Steve Selengut developed the Market Cycle Investment Management (MCIM) methodology in 1970, way ahead of the Wall Street product development curve that has now succeeded in bringing the most speculative and risky ventures on the planet into your investment portfolio.

MCIM is a disciplined, common sense, approach to investing without needless speculation. It is an approach that semi-automatically takes your profits out of bubbling markets, and for all the right reasons, re-enters weaker markets systematically in preparation for the inevitable “next” rally.

“The Brainwashing of the American Investor” teaches you about old-school investing without gimmicks, derivatives, incomprehensible “modern portfolio management” techniques, funds of funds, or astrological charts.

The Market Cycle Investment Management methodology helped navigate thousands of “Brainwashing” book readers around and through the three major financial crises (stock market meltdowns) of the author’s lifetime: the “Crash of 1987”, the “Dot-Com Bubble”, and the recent “financial crisis”.

The first time through “Brainwashing” you’ll learn about Wall Street, and why they would prefer that you didn’t read the book in the first place. Your eyes will be opened by the simplicity of the security selection process, the no frills approach to sensible asset allocation, and the ease with which you can increase your annual investment income in a reduced risk environment.

Via EPR Network
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Principle First Highlights Budget Plans To Make Venture Capital Trusts More Attractive

Principle First has registered extremely strong demand for Venture Capital Trust (VCT) investments driven on the one hand by the VCT’s numerous tax advantages, but also by proposed positive changes in VCT legislation which were announced in this year’s budget, which if passed should allow VCTs to invest in a wider range of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with up to 250 employees, and market capitalisation up to £15m.

Principle First Highlights Budget Plans To Make Venture Capital Trusts More Attractive

Gareth Flanagan, managing director of Principle First, said: “VCTs offer an unbeatable 30% tax relief and there are now very innovative VCT models available which have very effectively minimised risk. As the top tax bracket has now risen to 50%, VCTs are a more attractive investment than ever, particularly for high earners.”

Principle First believes the recent increased demand is due to the market conditions which have made VCT investments extremely favourable at present. In the current economic environment, where bank lending to SMEs is relatively difficult to obtain, the UK’s most dynamic companies are looking around for alternative sources of finance – and see VCTs as an attractive option. Consequently, VCT managers have never had such a range of good deals coming across their desks, and the quality and standard of companies where they invest has never been so good. VCT investments offer a 30% upfront income tax relief on investments of £3,000 – £200,000.

According to Principle First, the Octopus VCT, which minimises investment risk, and Alternative Investment Market (AIM) VCTs have also benefited. AIMs work best when investing in companies with capitalisation towards £15m, and as such are poised to benefit strongly from the budget proposals to relax investment rules.

VCTs are a valuable and highly tax-efficient strategic investment which can be used in conjunction with Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs) and a personal pension, as part of a rounded, balanced and tax-streamlined financial plan.

Via EPR Network
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Influential Christian Business Leaders Convene In Denver, CO For The 3rd Annual Kingdom Economic Yearly Summit KEYS

Christian business and financial representatives from at least 15 nations and 40 U.S. states will convene Feb. 3-6, 2010 in Denver at the 3rd Annual Kingdom Economic Yearly Summit (KEYS), according to Dr. Bruce Cook, Summit convener and host. “We have the top Christian marketplace thought leaders coming together to offer economic strategies and solutions for today’s troubled times,” said Cook.

Theme for the event is “Fathering Marketplace Leaders: Prospering in Economic Crisis.”

Dr. Lance Wallnau, President of the Lance Learning Group, Keller, TX and Os Hillman, President of Marketplace Leaders Ministries, Cumming, GA will keynote the 2010 Summit along with Dr. Pat Francis, President of Elomax Inc., Pat Francis Ministries and Kingdom Covenant Centre, Toronto, Ontario; Tamara Lowe, best selling author and Executive Vice President and co-founder of Get Motivated Seminars, Inc., Tampa, FL; and Rich Marshall, author of God@Work, Vols. I & II and President of R.O.I. Leadership International, Highlands Ranch, CO; Rick Joyner, best selling author of The Final Quest and numerous other books and founder and senior leader of MorningStar Ministries, Fort Mill, SC.

Other leaders speaking at KEYS 2010 include top-producing real estate broker, author and speaker Kenn Renner, Austin, TX; international business attorney & CEO Carolita Oliveros, president of Oliveros & Associates PC, Tucson, AZ; Al Caperna, CEO of CMC Group, Inc. and Marketplace Leader for Call2All, Bowling Green, OH; Dr. Francis Myles, pastor of Breakthrough City Kingdom Embassy, McKinney, TX and author of The Order of Melchizidek; David van Koevering, physicist, inventor and president of Elsewhen, Cleveland, TN; and John Muratori, author of Rich Church, Poor Church and President of John Muratori Ministries, Senior Pastor of Calvary Life Family Worship Center and Executive Director of Turning Point Christian Center, Cheshire, CT.

“God is moving powerfully in the marketplace,” said Cook, KEYS founder. “What’s happening is both a market correction and a marketplace reformation,” he added, “and the global financial turmoil and shaking of economies, nations, markets, institutions and currencies has helped create or trigger widespread fear and a crisis of belief in many people. In response, a growing number of business men and women are turning to God, discovering prayer and Biblical principles, choosing faith over fear, and re-examining their assumptions and beliefs about finances, investing, debt, retirement and stewardship in light of current conditions,” he stated.

Patterned loosely after the World Economic Forum, but with a Christian focus, the 4-day Summit will also feature Ken Beaudry, President of Beaudry Oil Co., Elk River, MN; Morris Ruddick, President of Ruddick Intl. and Global Strategic Initiatives Foundation, Denver, CO; Kyle Newton, President & CEO of InVision and Newton Inc, Fort Worth, TX; Shawn Bolz, president of Expression58 Ministries, Los Angeles, CA and author of several books; Robert Ricciardelli, former sales executive and President of Visionary Advancement Strategies and Converging Zone Network, Black Mountain, NC; and Teri Werner, business coach and consultant, author of Train Wreck to Triumph and former CEO, Mesquite, TX; Michael Pink, best-selling author, business coach and former sales trainer and corporate executive, Sarasota, FL; and Paul Cuny, retired business executive, author, and president of Marketplace Leadership International, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL.

In addition, speakers will include Dr. Peter Wagner, President of Wagner Leadership Institute and Global Harvest and author of 80 books, Colorado Springs, CO; Peter Roselle, pastor and registered securities dealer and wealth manager for a major Wall Street firm; John L. Sorenson Jr., president of Covenant Bancorp., Chicago, IL; Dr. Marlene McMillan, president, Liberty Ministries, Irving, TX; Jim Barthel, President& CEO of Metals Treatment Technologies LLC and Kingdom Business Alliance (KBA), Arvada, CO; and Dr. Bruce Cook, President, VentureAdvisers Inc., Kingdom House Publishing and Glory Realm Ministries, Leander, TX.

“KBA is very pleased to co-sponsor this year’s KEYS event,” said Barthel. “Having attended each of the previous KEYS, I know that those who attend will experience a‘Mountain Top’ experience unlike any other and will advance in their marketplace purpose, position, passion and power for the Lord,” he added. “This event is for anyone who works or leads in a business environment, as well as ministry leaders desiring to better understand the marketplace and how to relate to business leaders.”

Venue for KEYS 2010 will be Faith Bible Chapel International, located at W. 62nd Ave. & Ward Road in Arvada, CO. Schedule is 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. daily February 3-5 and 8:30 am to 1:00 pm Feb. 6th. The event is also being webcast and evening sessions will be offered free after 6:30 pm nightly on a space available basis.

Registration fees are $50 for webcast, $99 for students, $199 for adults, and $349 for couples or colleagues.

Group rates are also available, with a 10% discount offered to groups of 10 or more. For more information on KEYS, visit their web site at http://www.KingdomEconomicSummit.com.

About Bruce Cook
Cook, 55, of Leander, TX, is an ordained Christian minister, private investor and financial consultant, and has served as President and Founder of VentureAdvisers Inc. since 2000. Previously, Cook was Research Director for The University of Texas Investment Management Company (UTIMCO) (focused on private equity), and was a marketing communications executive for 12 years for several universities and a software company and technology incubator, and a bank manager for five years. Cook holds a PhD in Higher Education Administration from The University of Texas at Austin (1994) and wrote his dissertation on fundraising theory.

About the Kingdom Economic Yearly Summit (KEYS):
Patterned loosely after the World Economic Forum, but with a Christian focus and perspective, KEYS will feature a number of internationally-known speakers. Christian business and financial representatives from at least 15 nations and 40 U.S. states are expected to attend the 3rd Annual Kingdom Economic Yearly Summit (KEYS) February 3-6, 2010, in Denver, Colorado, in the midst of one of the worst financial crises in modern history.

Via EPR Network
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St Peter Port Capital Limited, An AIM Listed Investment Company Announces Its Preliminary Results For Its Second Year Of Investment

St Peter Port Capital Limited (the “Company” or “St Peter Port”), the AIM listed investment company whose aim is to generate value by investing predominantly in growth companies shortly before an initial public offering (“IPO”) or other exit event, announces its preliminary results for its second year of investment..

St Peter Port Capital Limited

Highlights

• 36 investee companies at year end

• realised to date, £22.5m in cash f r o m investee companies, generating a gain on investment of 39%

• following the year end, a further £5.67m invested in five companies, two of which are new to the portfolio

• NAV of 105.6p per share, up 3.1% over the year

• profit of £877,000 (2008: £3.69m), eps of 1.2p (2008: 4.9p)

Bob Morton, Chairman of St Peter Port, said:
“I am pleased to report that the Company has weathered the storm and maintained the net a s s e t value of the portfolio. We believe that many of the companies within the portfolio have considerable upside potential in a portfolio of high risk/high reward companies.”

Tim Childs, Chief Executive of St Peter Port Investment Management Limited, said:
“As at the 14 July 2009, we had £16.6m to invest in new opportunities and follow-on investments. Competition is limited and we are therefore being offered these on attractive terms.”

St Peter Port Capital Limited floated on AIM on 16 April 2007, raising £75m in new equity. The Company is a Guernsey registered closed-ended investment company. The Company’s objective is to achieve returns f r o m the uplift on or shortly after IPO, but the exit f r o m the investment could also be a trade sale. The universe for investment is principally companies across a broad range of sectors and geography expecting to conduct an IPO or achieve a trade sale or other liquidity event in the months after the Company’s investment. However, in current conditions, it may also include companies which are already public whose value is not properly recognised by stock markets. The initial focus is on companies targeting UK, US and Commonwealth stock markets although pre-IPO companies looking to float on other exchanges will also be considered. The Company appointed St Peter Port Investment Management Limited, a joint venture between Broughton Investments Group Limited (“Broughton”), a company in which Tim Childs is interested, and Shore Capital Limited (“Shore Capital”), the absolute return fund management specialist which currently manages approximately £1.4 billion, to act as its investment manager (“the Investment Manager”).

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Chairman’s Statement

Introduction

Although our second year of investment was a year of unprecedented difficulty for financial markets around the world, I am pleased to report that the Company has weathered this storm well. It has maintained the net a s s e t value of its portfolio which includes a number of companies with considerable upside potential.

Investment Environment and Portfolio Composition

St Peter Port was relatively fully invested at the start of 2008/9, having invested most of the funds raised at flotation in the previous year. A number of companies in which we had invested were coming to market shortly or otherwise close to a liquidity event such as a trade sale. The portfolio accumulated in the first year was weighted its towards three sectors: oil and gas exploration and production; mining and resources and renewable energy/clean technology, reflecting suitable opportunities which had been identified for St Peter Port’s strategy. At the start of 2008/9 St Peter Port held stakes in 41 companies.

During the earlier part of 2008/9, commodity prices remained high, giving rise to a number of flotations and other exit opportunities. Wherever possible, as described in the report below, the Investment Manager took full advantage of these to release cash. Over the same period the Company redeemed nearly all its hedge fund holdings other than one much reduced holding in a third party fund of funds which has staged redemption arrangements. However, after the banking crisis became extreme in September 2008 the opportunities for achieving exits vanished and only began tentatively to return since the year end.

Given the extent of the turmoil in financial markets, and its impact on the global economy, the Company refrained f r o m making any further investments in the second half of 2008/9. This reflected the conditions for a number of months in which markets – were unable to find any sort of equilibrium.

Investments and Realisations during the Year

During the first half of 2008/9, the Company invested a further £14.9m in nine companies, two of the investments being follow-ons. The focus of these investments shifted f r o m a possible exit through flotation to investments where there was a credible expectation of a liquidity event in any form within a relatively short period, such as a trade sale or repayment of a loan.

To date the Company has realised over £22.5 million through disposals (over £22 million in 2008/9), generating a gain on investment of 39 per cent. This was largely derived f r o m six investments which were wholly or substantially realised during the year and one other which was partially realised.

Share Buy-Back

Shortly before the year end the Company bought back 1.95m of its own shares at 30p per share. These shares are currently being held in treasury. As discussed below, the effect of this buy-back was to enhance net a s s e t value per share.

Basis of Valuation for Financial Results

Determining the Company’s financial results for the year is an exercise largely dependent on an assessment of the fair value of each investment held. Where investments are now quoted, there is an external basis for determining fair value and we have valued holdings at the bid price of the shares. Where this is not available IFRS rules require us to select a fair value.

Values of our oil and gas and resource stocks are influenced by a number of factors, including company progress, exchange rates and commodity prices. Where we have invested in a mining or petroleum project, when the company receives positive results f r o m drilling geological investigation this should lead to a rise in value. We report in sterling but many of our investments were made in foreign currency. Even where this was not the case, the value of the investment is frequently determined by reference to dollar values rather than sterling. We have also taken account of any pre-defined uplift on a liquidity event; in some cases we have written investments down heavily and in others written them up.

Financial Results

The Company made a profit in the year of £877,000 (2007/8: £3.69m), generating earnings per share of 1.2p (2007/8: 4.9p). Income arose largely f r o m the net gains in fair value of investments of £2.51m (2007/8: £4.57m).

Net a s s e t s at year end were largely unchanged f r o m the previous year at £77.13m (31 March 2008: £76.84m). However, net a s s e t value per share increased by 3.1 per cent to 105.58p (31 March 2008: 102.45p), largely as a result of the share buy-back.

Balance Sheet

As at 31 March 2009, the Company held £54.3m in investments in companies, being equity investments and loan instruments (31 March 2008: £55.9m). Nearly all of the remaining balance sheet was in cash, £22.6m (31 March 2008: £12.5m – including commercial paper), the principal difference being that £8.7m was held in hedge funds at 31 March 2008, which was reduced to £130,000 at the year end.

Activity since the Year End

Since the year end conditions have become more stable and the Company has resumed making new investments, described below in the Investment Manager’s report. Three of these investments are follow-ons into companies in which we were already shareholders and the other two are new investments. The pricing of each of these reflects the depressed market conditions which currently prevail and offer the prospects of significant uplifts on exit.

As a result of these investments since the year end, the Company, as at the 14 July 2009, held £16.6m in cash and available for investment. We therefore have the cash to cherry pick f r o m the best of our existing portfolio and new opportunities at a time when many potential participants are illiquid.

The investment climate has become less volatile and commodity prices have recovered substantially since their lows around the turn of 2008. Competition in our area f r o m other funders is limited. We believe that many of the companies within the portfolio have considerable upside potential in a portfolio of high risk/high reward companies. The Board views the future with confidence.

Bob Morton
Chairman

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New Software Helps Entrepreneurs Find Venture Funds

Commonwealth Capital Advisors (CCA) reached yet another milestone when it released a new software module of Financial Architect® Venture Producer™. Venture Producer™ is revolutionizing the way start-up and early-stage Venture/Hedge Funds are raising substantial amounts of capital using the techniques of Wall Street investment banks.

Venture Producer™ is an addition to the highly acclaimed Financial Architect® family of programs, which simplify equity financing for start-up and early-stage companies and Funds. The easy-to-use software based Venture Producer™ generates the required securities offering documents and investor leads, which enable start-up and early stage Venture and Hedge Fund managers raise and manage an unlimited amount of capital for their management companies as well as their venture or hedge funds.

CCA is an eleven-year-old investment banking advisory firm comprised of Wall Street Investment Bankers, Securities Attorneys and CPAs who invented Financial Architect®, a patent pending system designed to substantially reduce the cost (in time and money) of raising capital, through the selling of securities.

“The goals of Financial Architect®, and the module we’re announcing for Venture/Hedge Funds are simple,” said Timothy Hogan, CCA’s Chairman and CEO. “We want to help experienced professional entrepreneurs involved in and or desiring to break into the very lucrative fields of venture capital, mutual and hedge fund management industries to significantly lower the costs and increase the speed of raising equity capital. Just as important, we want to provide these professional management teams with an easy-to-use expert system that will enable them to choose the right deal structure for capital they need and manage those funds in compliance with federal and state securities laws, rules and regulations.”

“We believe there’s significant and growing demand among entrepreneurs for control over their financing strategies. The software components of Financial Architect® are designed to meet this ‘do-it-yourself’ approach,” he concluded.

More importantly, Commonwealth Capital Advisors has developed and now provides Financial Architect® as the Premier Expert System for start-up, early-stage and seasoned companies, that seek capital. The patent pending, software based, Financial Architect® is a system and method of reducing the cost of raising capital, as so states the abstract of its patent application.

Financial Architect® enables entrepreneurs to: valuate their company pre and post-money; create “marketable deal structures” for securities to be offered that are designed sell into today’s private equity markets; create the required securities offering documents compliant with federal and state securities laws, rules and regulations; and access to accredited “angel” investors, private equity funds, hedge funds, registered investment advisors, broker-dealers and many other sources of capital, around the world, that have a specific interest in funding start-up and early-stage companies. Access to investors, more Wall Street secrets and techniques, as well as, regulatory guidance is located in the password-protected “Commonwealth Capital Club” located on CCA’s website and is part of Financial Architect®.

“When it comes to raising capital, there are no guarantees — only degrees of probability. To further ensure success, simply increase the probability to the highest degree possible. Financial Architect® is designed to increase your probability of raising capital to the highest degree possible. How can we make such a claim? Because this is the Wall Street process and without it, Wall Street wouldn’t exist. We’ve simply brought the “Wall Street” process to “Main Street” companies.” Timothy D. Hogan, Founder & CEO: Commonwealth Capital Advisors

“When it comes to raising capital, there is no simpler way to explain how to effectively raise substantial amounts of capital while maintaining voting control. If you read just the first 2-Chapters of the Ebook, “The Secrets of Wall St. – Raising Capital for Start-Up and Early Stage Companies,” it would be time well spent. By doing so, you will be able to make an informed decision if our process is right for your company’s capital raising needs. At a minimum, you will save a significant amount of time, money and headaches trying to figure out how the world of capital really works,” Hogan concluded.

If you have not been through the process before and have a limited appreciation and understanding of it, then we suggest you educate yourself first, by reading the abridged edition of: “The Secrets of Wall Street — Raising Capital for Start-Up and Early Stage Companies.” (It’s Complimentary)

Entrepreneurs around the world are revolutionizing the way capital is raised using Financial Architect®.

 

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Angel Investors Take Control of the Economic Stimulus Plan to Create Jobs

The Southeast Private Equity Conference (SPEC) is seeking dynamic high growth companies in search of angel investors and venture capital to present their business opportunity at the acclaimed SPEC 2009 scheduled for April 14 and April 15 in Atlanta, GA.

Conference coordinator, Karen Rands, states “the market for angel investors and early stage venture capital is on the rebound and SPEC is at the forefront in bringing these communities together to create an environment where innovative companies connect with capital, investors and resources. The response f r o m investors for early registrations to attend SPEC 2009 has been impressive and indicative of their optimism for an economic upswing.” Investors f r o m across the East coast and as far away as Detroit, Dallas and Silicon Valley have made plans to attend this particular conference for three very important reasons:

1) SPEC targets early stage and emerging growth companies that have viable business models so the valuations are still low enough to garner a significant multiple on their investment at exit.
2) The location for SPEC is a more intimate setting than most conferences held at big hotels so they can maximize the effectiveness of their time at the conference by making the strategic connections critical to their business objectives.
3) The timing of SPEC fits with busy schedules to make a two day trip with only one night stay over in Atlanta.

Companies interested in participating in this year’s event are encouraged to submit their proposals by March 15, 2009. Early Bird discount pricing savings for investors, strategic service providers, and entrepreneurs expires Feb 25, 2009. Special travel rates are available through Travelocity and Expedia to travel to Atlanta. Hotel information, application, accommodations, agenda and registration information can be found online at seprivateequity.org.

SPEC will showcase the most promising emerging growth and technology companies f r o m across the United States, providing these companies with unmatched exposure to a national audience of venture capitalists, accredited investors, investment bankers, fund managers, angel investors, corporate and private equity investors representing over $560 million in investment capital. The conference offers exclusive networking opportunities, an exhibition area, featured speakers, and investor and entrepreneur break-out sessions.

The conference is unique in bringing together early stage companies and capital sources while blending a tradeshow environment with deal flow presentations and entrepreneur and investor education. Held at the trendy 103 West in Buckhead, Georgia, SPEC 2009 creates an environment that is conducive for networking and deal making.

Investors are treated to the best in culinary creations and comfort as they mix and mingle with other investors and the CEOs of the hottest emerging growth companies in the Southeast. Investors will view unique investment opportunities to rebuild slumping portfolios and will have a direct impact on the economy by creating needed jobs with the growth of these early stage companies.

The recession had already begun when the inaugural Southeast Private Equity Conference kicked off in April 2008. Over 100 investors attended that event to preview 40 of the most exciting high growth companies of 2008. Many deals were initiated and millions of dollars were invested to help those companies act on their market opportunities. Angel Investor Michael Horton had this to say about SPEC 2008, “Congratulations on a superb job on SPEC — great organization, many interesting companies and an attendance that far exceeded my expectations.” To learn more about what investors and entrepreneurs experienced in 2008, view testimonials at seprivateequity.org/success.html.

Atlanta is rapidly becoming the hotbed of innovation and capital formation in the Southeast. Three venture capital oriented forums are scheduled for 2009. The Southeast Private Equity Conference (SPEC) differs f r o m the larger conferences, SEVC and Venture Atlanta, in 4 ways that are important to both investors and early stage companies:

1) An intimate setting at a 103 West maximizes the connections made between investors and entrepreneurs.
2) The use of breakout sessions to educate both investors and entrepreneurs brings additional value to attendees.
3) The blend of formal venture deal presentations in the Innovative Company Showcase and the reverse capital marketplace set in the Capital Expo helps investors easily find the companies they want to talk with about investing.
4) With the Fast Pitch segment scheduled during the VIP reception in the Capital Expo, investors will get a highlight of each company and opportunity to identify those they want to spend more time with the following day following full presentations by selected companies in the Innovative Company Showcase.

Sponsors interested in reaching investors of all types and entrepreneurs of high growth potential companies should consider choosing a SPEC sponsorship level that fits their budget. SPEC offers a great value for sponsors looking to reach this target audience during a tight economic time. Information on sponsorship levels and benefits can be found at seprivateequity.org./sponsorship.html.

With investors looking for ways to rebuild their losses f r o m recent market fluctuations and entrepreneurs seeking capital to bring tremendous innovation and job growth opportunity to the market, the Southeast Private Equity Conference (SPEC) is poised to be a pivotal event to have profound impact on the market. Earlybird tickets are now on sale for this very important event at seprivateequity.org.

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