Category Archives: Featured

Freedom Day in New York City

South African diplomats expressed gratitude to New Yorkers and the City of New York as they marked Freedom Day.  In this SABC Digital News video, we learn of the appreciation South Africans expressed at the support of the community around the world in the role it played in eliminating apartheid.

Around 200 people assembled to mark the day in NY which was attended by Sherwin Bryce-Pease, Chef de Cabinet to Antonio Gutteres UN Secretary General Maria Luiza Viotti, South African model and Miss Universe Demi-Leigh Nel Peters, Aziz Pahad, Johannesburg West Highlands MP.

New York International Auto Show

With the start of the New York International Auto Show on 1stof this month, attendees were subject to some wonderful new SUVs, trucks and some supercars.

With self-driving cars stealing a lot of car-lovers’ attention, one show stopper was the Genesis Essentia. This has actually been in the works since shortly after last year’s Auto Show with a design team led by Luc Donckerwolke. With its “fully retro-futuristic bubble roof,” it definitely commanded a lot of stares.

But that’s not all.  Featuring over four floors of displays spanning international automakers, close to a thousand vehicles were displayed at “North America’s first and largest-attended auto show dating back to 1900.” Held at the Jacob Javits Convention Center, from Friday March 30 to Sunday April 8, a $3 million Bugatti was among the most expensive vehicles featured.

 

 

 

Recent Investments

$28m has been invested into data-engineering technology firm Duco by Insight Venture Partners, NEX Opportunities and Eight Roads Ventures.  Cristóbal Conde entrepreneur also contributed to this fund, of which the lifetime entrepreneur said:

“I am delighted to be deepening my relationship with Duco at this important inflection point for the company. Re-conciliation in financial services, and particularly in banks and large asset managers, is an area that requires a shake-up and re-engineering in the coming years. Duco is focused on bringing technological advancements to market in an industry that is ripe for disruption. The company is taking significant market share and will emerge as a household name in the coming years.”

Shares of their New York Mortgage Trust (NASDAQ:NYMT) were just lowered by Zacks Investments Research. The shift was made from a buy rating to a hold rating.  The explanation for the move was given by Zacks as follows:

“New York Mortgage Trust is a real estate investment trust focused on owning and managing a leveraged portfolio of residential mortgage securities and a mortgage origination business. The mortgage portfolio is comprised largely of prime adjustable-rate and hybrid mortgage loans and securities, much of which, over time will be originated by NYMT’s wholly owned mortgage origination business, The New York Mortgage Company, a taxable real estate investment trust subsidiary.”

 

 

Business Success: Taking it to the Next Level

According to Founder and CEO of BlackRock Laurence D. Fink, companies “need to do more than make profits.”  To get the support of BlackRock, they will have to “contribute to society as well.”   He added:  “Society is demanding that companies, both public and private, serve a social purpose. To prosper over time, every company must not only deliver financial performance, but also show how it makes a positive contribution to society.”

Fink added that governments have to start preparing for the future, with a special emphasis on retirement, infrastructure, automation and worker retraining.

Apparently this works both ways.  In a recent video in Entrepreneur, contributor Greg Rollett argued that: “The entrepreneurs who find massive success are the ones who are part of communities that encourage them, help them and give them an edge.”

When looking at Dime Community Bank, it seems that this advice has already been implemented.  Given that the NY-headquartered-company, has 400+ employees, providing service throughout NYC’s five boroughs, as well as the surrounding metropolitan area in 28 communities and neighborhoods. Dime’s Board of Directors asserted that it seeks to “get the tax savings back into the economy while acting in the best interests of all of Dime’s stakeholders.”  As such, it intends to engage in the following activities to stimulate economic growth.

These include: establishment of jobs, review of corporate policies and practices, paying $1,000 bonus to all non-executive employees, the institution of a Corporate Matching Gift program, continuation of the #dimesgiveback social media campaign.

Christmastime…

And what type of tree should you buy exactly?  Choose from one of these if you are in New York; they seem to be the most popular: Frasier Fir (popular in the streets of NYC), Balsam Fir (spacious branches and very aromatic); Noble Fir (most regal and festive) and Nordmann Fir (pricey but extremely elegant).

And how much will this set you back?  Apparently anywhere between $35 and $200, depending on its size (for New York apartments, 5-6 feet tall seems standard).  Check out local garden stores and local playgrounds with vendors and you’ll really feel like you are getting into the holiday spirit.

In general most of the trees that end up in NYC for sale hail from Michigan, North Carolina, Oregon and Pennsylvania.  But those from Michigan might just be pricier this year: Christmas tree farms across northern Michigan are working to ship trees across the country.