Advania’s Thor Data Center in Iceland signs with Opera SoftwareMay 14, 2013 // Anthony Isabel
Advania, a leading Information Technology company operating in the Nordics, recently signed an agreement with Opera Software for the expansion of its operations at Thor Data Center – a green data center in Iceland owned by Advania.
Opera Software uses the data center to facilitate web browsing for more than 230 million Opera Mini users around the world. The new agreement continues the ongoing buildup at the data center with a near doubling of Opera’s current capacity.
Gestur G. Gestsson, CEO of Advania, said, “It’s very important for us to have the continued trust of Opera Software and to be able to support the company with its continued success. Advania aims to be a trusted business partner who supports clients in their work, ensuring that their operations are second to none. This bu
Lower car insurance premiums ahead, says Direct LineMay 01, 2013 // Anthony Isabel
Announcing the insurer’s first-quarter figures since it was spun out of Royal Bank of Scotland in October, chief executive Paul Geddes said that the implementation of motor legal reforms should result in cuts in the cost of cover, particularly for younger drivers which at present are forced to pay a hefty premium.
UK insurers have had to cope with the impact of a ban on referral fees from the beginning of last month which will affect future premium prices.
“We expect the impact of the reforms to be at least net neutral in the medium term for us but reduced claims arising from these reforms should, over time, contribute to lower premiums for motorists, especially young drivers,” he said.
Operating profits at the company climbed 32.9 per cent in the period even though gross written premiums were 4.5 per cent lower at just over £1bn.
The fall in premiums was planned, claimed Mr Geddes. “The UK market remains competitive, particularly in motor. But we mad
Stobart Group names new CEOApr 21, 2013 // Anthony Isabel
He has been succeeded by Avril Palmer-Baunack, who has been deputy chief executive of the Warrington-based transport and logistics group since last September, following Stobart’s acquisition of vehicle logistics business Autologic.
Avril, who was chief executive at Autologic, takes over as executive chairman of Stobart.
Mr Baker-Bates will remain on the board as a non-executive director until March.
Stobart said in a stock market statement: “Avril has extensive experience in delivery of strategy and shareholder value within the public company environment.”
In a further boardroom change, David Beever is quitting as a non-executive director at Stobart to devote more time to his other business commitments which the group said were demanding more of his time.
Group chief executive Andrew Tinkler said: “Rodney has been an outstanding chairman through a period of significant change and development for the group.
“As a highly-experienced public company chairman, he has served with great steadiness and distinction.
“He retires from the board with our gratitude and very best wishes. The board
Finnish nuclear chief to become new UN inspectorApr 13, 2013 // Anthony Isabel
Finland’s top nuclear figurehead is to take on the role of chief nuclear inspector for the United Nations. According to a YLE news report, Tero Varjoranta, who currently heads Finland’s Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority , is to take the reigns from Herman Nackaerts as the International Atomic Energy Agency’s deputy director general for safeguards.
Nackaerts, a Belgian national, has led the agency for three years and has been at the centre of numerous high-profile conflicts, notably inspections in Syria and Iran. He is due to retire later this year, although no official date has yet to be announced as to when Varjoranta will formally replace him.
Mr Varjoranta has been with STUK for nearly 30 years and worked with the IAEA in Vienna from 2010 to 2011. His ap
This Week in Small Business: Not Again!Apr 11, 2013 // Anthony Isabel
What’s affecting me, my clients and other small-business owners this week.
An unregulated, decentralized virtual currency just became a billion-dollar market (but Felix Salmon explains why Bitcoin’s rise is nothing to celebrate). A videographer, Dustin Cohen, tells a Brooklyn shoemaker’s story, and an important part of the health care legislation affecting small businesses is delayed.
The Economy: Weve Been to This Rodeo
The March jobs report is a punch to the gut (but dont blame sequestration). Companies added fewer workers than projected last month, held back by limited hiring in construction. Ylan Q. Mui wonders whether this is an April Fool’s economy: We’ve been to this rodeo twice already. In 2012 and 2011, seemingly strong momentum in the first half of the year gave way to summer slumps. Will the
Barclays ‘must revamp overly generous pay policies,’ report findsApr 04, 2013 // Anthony Isabel
A report by top lawyer Anthony Salz, who was commissioned to look at the bank’s culture following its £290 million Libor settlement last year, found Barclays became “too complex to manage” and that excessive pay and bonuses saw some bankers believe they were “unaffected by the rules”.
In the 24-page report, which follows more than 600 interviews over eight months, Mr Salz calls for Barclays to bolster its board, strengthen its human resources function and ensure pay is linked to the “long-term success of the institution”.
He said Barclays has already taken steps to revamp its pay policies and culture, but added that more needed to be done.
“If Barclays is to achieve a material improvement in its reputation, it will need to continue to make changes to its top levels of pay so as to reflect talent and contribution more realistically, and in ways that mean something to the general public,” the report said.
“We also feel that there is more that it can do over time to emphasise forms of recognition for performance other than pay,” it added.
Sir David Walker, chairman of Barclays, admitted the report made for “uncomfortable reading”.
He said: “That is bound to be the case when one asks for an independent examination of this kind, and we must learn from the findings.”
The Salz Review revealed the bank’s investment banking arm paid out an average of £170 million a year between 2002 and 2009 under its long-term incentive scheme – on top of salary and annual bonuses.
It said there were “a number of design issues” with the long-term bonus plan, with targets that were too easy to achieve.
While Barclays has recently announced changes to its bonus plans, the review raised concerns that its long-term schemes were still too complex.
It also said there were worries over bonuses for those in so-called control functions – such as risk management – and recommended increasing fixed pay instead to avoid conflicts of interest.
In opening remarks to the report, Mr Salz said: “Despite its turbulent recent history, Barclays has emerged from the financial crisis, somewhat against the odds, as one of the world’s leading banks. But this has b
Insights for a Tablet Ready WebsiteApr 03, 2013 // Anthony Isabel
When you read statistics about the growth of the mobile Web, you may be thinking about an iPhone or other small smartphone. But what mobile web figures often include are statistics about tablets those hybrid mobile devices that are larger than smartphones, but smaller and more portable than laptop computers.
And when it comes to your website, you want to make sure you have a tablet ready website. An increasing number of your site visitors will be viewing your site through a tablet versus a regular computer.
Designing a tablet ready website is something that involves special considerations given the size and format of tablet screens, and how humans use tablets.
Has this happened you? You’re out and about, and need to access a website. Yo