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Today’s news in brief – 29/5/2024

Ocorian, a global provider of fund administration, capital markets, corporate, trust, and compliance services, has appointed Craig Buick as its new CFO. With over 30 years of experience in senior financial roles worldwide, Buick previously served as Group CEO and CFO at Cabot Credit Management and held positions at GE Capital across multiple regions. He will oversee controllership, finance business partnership, business intelligence, group legal, and M&A. CEO Chantal Free emphasised Buick’s extensive experience and his fit with Ocorian’s client-centric culture. Buick expressed enthusiasm about joining during a period of rising global demand for Ocorian’s services.

The ACCA has highlighted the critical role SMEs play in global value chains in its new guide, “Sustainability Reporting – SME Guide.” As 90% of global organisations, SMEs must provide sustainability-related information to meet growing demands from regulators, investors, and stakeholders. The ACCA emphasises that effectively communicating sustainability practices can offer SMEs competitive advantages, attracting investment and talent. Co-author Sharon Machado noted that sustainability information helps SMEs manage risks and seize opportunities. Co-author Aaron Saw encouraged SMEs to start small with sustainability reporting, stressing the financial and operational benefits of such transparency.

EY’s CEO Pulse Survey reveals that UK CEOs are prioritising investments in artificial intelligence (AI) over sustainability targets. While 61% of CEOs feel optimistic about profitability, 50% focus on technology investments, including AI, to drive growth and productivity. Despite 56% acknowledging increased importance of sustainability, 47% struggle to justify sustainability investments with clear financial benefits. Activist shareholders’ focus on quarterly earnings further challenges long-term sustainability efforts. However, 70% believe AI can address key sustainability challenges. EY’s Silvia Rindone warns that neglecting sustainability for short-term gains is shortsighted, urging leaders to balance tech investments with sustainability goals.

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