Mike Baur is a man that you might say has a need for speed. No, he’s not a race car driver or a rocket scientist. He’s a man who loves hearing people’s business ideas and giving them the backing they need to get that business going immediately. He’s the founder of the Swiss Startup Factory (SSUF) and several other investment companies including Think Reloaded and the Innovation Lab Fribourg. Baur sees a world of brilliant young minds who might find a new way to conduct financial services or develop a mobile app that could greatly shift the way Switzerland’s culture operates, and he believes he can play a role as a mentor to these young people.
The SSUF is a 3-month program hosted at an institute in Zurich where Baur and a team of executives will be working with the entrepreneurs who are accepted into the program. Baur and the leaders have those who are enrolled in the program vetted thoroughly to see if they can match the tough demands it will put on them. The training program is nothing simple as the entrepreneurs are tested to see if they can survive the highly competitive business environment. But once they get through the tough training and bring their ideas to life, the SSUF leaders provide them with facility space and equipment needed to make their business a reality. So far the SSUF has helped companies such as Cadelis, Carhelper, Hello Vegan and many others take off and is eager to jumpstart many more.
Mike Baur came from a background of finance and banking that at one time was said would be where he would make his living. Baur was part of a Swiss tradition granted to young men with high financial acumen in which he became an apprentice at UBS Bank. He learned the job quite well and upon the recommendations of pleased clients and his immediate supervisor, Baur soon was promoted to a lower level manager and ultimately to senior funds manager. The 2008 financial crisis was not limited to the US and spread even to Switzerland’s strong banking industry, and due to management issues in UBS Baur had left even before then to work for Credit Suisse. He stayed there for several years and then moved to Clariden Leu. But in time he began to feel he could do so much more with his money, so in 2014 he became a venture capital investor and not much later co-founded the SSUF.
HSBC Holdings PLC has recently undergone a complete reorganization of all its operations that deal with investment banking in a bid to reduce costs and increase efficiency. The London based firm did an overhaul of its operations and even let go of some senior bankers in the process. This was revealed by one of the firm’s spokesperson who added that the sole purpose of the restructuring was to cut operational costs and bring together sector and product teams.
These changes have come after HSBC formed a global banking division earlier on in February. Furthermore, the firm hired Mathew Westerman, a former executive at Goldman Sachs to co-head the new division with Robin Phillips. HSBC is one of several banks that restructured their operations in a bid to cut costs. The changes were announced in two internal memos. Furthermore, HSBC also announced the appointment of the regional co-heads for its global banking section as well as the creation of a new advisory group that will bring together corporate finance and M&A. Groups that have overlapping clients were also combined.
The newly formed global banking division is one part of HSBC’s global markets and banking business that is headed by Samir Assaf. This division accounted for about $7.9 billion of the total $18.87 billion profit before tax received in 2015. Stuart Gulliver, the Chief Executive of HSBC had hinted in 2015 that the bank faced a huge challenge in 2016 as it tried to lower its operating costs and effectively keep them down. He also said that HSBC would strive to increase its total revenues. The bank has poised itself to counter weak economic conditions experienced in the Asian markets.
Martin Lustgarten is a successful financial professional and investment banker. He hails from Florida and currently lives in Ponte Vedra Beach. Today, he heads his own firm called Lustgarten, Martin as its CEO. He oversees all operations at the firm. He has successfully grown the firm from a small startup into a successful investment bank in Florida.
Martin is also involved in several philanthropic initiatives and is active on Facebook. His hobbies include juggling and collecting vintage items that please him. He also trades in beautiful vintage watches.
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