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Phoenix Ancient Art recently participated in PAD London 2015. The Pavilion of Art and Design took place in London’s Berkeley Square and was attended by art collectors from all around the world. This year, Phoenix Ancient Art was just one of 62 galleries that had a booth at the four day event.
PAD offers an ambiance of artistic culture, with galleries presenting design, modern art, photography and more from throughout Asia, Europe and North America. This event therefore “offer[s] an exceptional panorama of the most coveted and iconic works available on the market today.” It is a place for investors in the market to find something unique to add to their collection to “acquire pieces of museum quality with a distinct history.”
Business wise, the PAD Fair in London has become quite the impressive event. Indeed, according to Sallie Brady of Arts & Antiquities, “PAD London’s Berkeley Square location is pure gold, with a steady traffic of hedge-funders, international bankers and Mayfair millionaires.” And as Caroline Roux of The Financial Times, pointed out, “PAD’s London edition is becoming one of the best places to sell their unique and limited edition pieces.”
Tickets for the event were sold at £20 for adults, £10, for students and were free for those under 15 years of age.
Pandora, the streaming music company, has just said that they are buying ticket seller Ticketfly for $450 million. Pandora says that 80 million people use their service each month for music and comedy. The combination, they believe, will allow them to use their data to tell fans when bands will be in town and to sell tickets.
As Stifel Nicolaus analyst John Egbert said,
“We believe this acquisition closes the loop for Pandora by creating a one-stop-shop for artist discovery, marketing, and concert ticket sales. Pandora can now share in the upside of live music industry growth that is undoubtedly being driven in large part by rapid growth in streaming music consumption.”
Egbert believes that the sale will make Pandora “the premier platform for independent artist marketing.”
Reuters recently reported that drugmaker Baxalta Inc. is in talks with Ariad Pharmaceuticals Inc. to buy Ariad. Ariad is a developer of leukemia and lung-cancer treatments and their shares have jumped approximately 43% to a two-year high of $10.
Bloomberg reported that Baxalta was working with bankers to buy an unidentified US-based oncology specialist valued at about $2 billion.
Time will tell if the deal goes through, but it is worthwhile to watch these companies in the interim.
China’s economic slowdown may impact Japanese policymakers and their exports, according to central bank Deputy Governor Hiroshi Nakaso. As Nakaso told business leaders in Kumamoto, southern Japan,
“Even if China’s economy maintained its growth rate, the main contribution would be from public investment, so the effect on Asian economies and Japan’s exports warrants due attention.”
Nakaso did show confidence that Japan’s economy can weather the storm and stressed that exports will, hopefully, remain strong.
He said, “The slowdown in exports and output are likely temporary.”
When a company that makes 60 billion pieces a year out of plastic says that it’s going green – it’s time to take notice. LEGO says that it plans to invest $1 billion over the next 15 years to replace their classic plastic blocks with other materials. They also want their packaging to be more sustainable. What, however, do they plan to make their LEGO out of instead?
They are still in the development stages of answering this question. LEGO CEO Jørgen Vig Knudstorp has said,
“Several factors influence the environmental sustainability of a material — the composition of the material, how it is sourced and what happens when the product reaches the end of its life.”
More than 100 new employees will be working on the project at LEGO’s sustainable material center in Denmark and they expect to finish by 2016.
And everyone will be eagerly anticipating their latest, more environmentally friendly, answer to the classic LEGO.
Keep your eyes open for YouTube Gaming, as Google Inc. is launching a live streaming gaming service. The service will be available in the form of an app and a website and will focus exclusively to gamers and gaming. There will be over 25,000 games that will each have their own page on the site. Users will have the opportunity to subscribe to channels, add games to their collection and receive recommendations for new games based on the ones they already follow.
YouTube Gaming will become available on the web, on mobile platforms and on tablets for both Android and iOS operating systems. It will launch this summer in the UK and the US.
In late May, Majid Jafar, CEO of Crescent Petroleum and a member of the Global Agenda Council on the Middle East and North Africa at the World Economic Forum spoke at the MENA Summit at the Dead Sea in Jordan. On a panel alongside former British Prime Minster Gordon Brown and the Vice Chairman of GE, Mr. John Rice, the panel was entitled “Infrastructure for Development” and Jafar spoke about Crescent Petroleum in the post Saddam Hussein era. The event was held from May 21-23 at the Dead Sea with the theme “Creating a Regional Framework for Prosperity and Peace through Public-Private Cooperation.” The summit brought together more than 1000 leaders from business fields, the government, civil society and more to look at solutions to regional issues.
As Jafar said,
“The key regional social and economic challenges – especially demand for jobs for young people – require new era of public-private partnership in infrastructure to support the over $100 billion needed for investment and maintenance each year in the MENA region.”
Youth unemployment is at a shocking rate of 29.8% in the area in 2015, and Majid Jafar explained that, for every $1bn invested in the area on infrastructure, over 110,000 jobs could then be created in oil-importing countries. This could also be 26,000 jobs in the GCC.
For Crescent Petroleum, Saddam Hussein long gone, and a promising future ahead, Jafar said, “On average across the MENA Region, about 5% of GDP is allocated to infrastructure, whereas the proportion in China is three times higher at 15%. Tackling energy subsidy reform in our region can free up hundreds of billions of dollars for productive investment that will lead to more jobs, higher standards of living, and stronger economic competitiveness for our region’s future.”
A new age of consumers is looking at their purchases in an entirely new way. Rather than purchasing items, from clothes and appliances to electronics and more, they are looking at the idea of “no ownership.” This is disrupting traditional retailing processes. Millennials, those born between 1980 and 2000, are more interested in bartering, sharing and trading. Their interest in such ideas has been the key to success of companies like Zipcar, Uber and Airbnb.
as Jamie Gutfreund, chief marketing officer for Deep Focus, said “Instead of paying for something and getting rid of it with no value when you are done – swap and resale gives Millennials the ability to extend the value. It’s efficient and it’s green.”
Crossroads Trading, where people can shop for gently used second hand items, and then resell them to the store when they don’t want them anymore, is having great success. Their sister store, Fillmore & 5th, has opened six boutiques since 2012. As their director of marketing, Erin Wallace, said, “A lot of people can’t afford the timeless brands new but they still appreciate the quality.”
Learn more about this trend and the influence it is having.
Dany Bahar, owner of Ares, has taken the concept of customizable to a whole new level. Until Bahar came along, wealthy people wishing to express their uniqueness through their possessions had to be satisfied with bespoke suits, handmade shoes, made-to-order watches, or custom-made shirts. To the joy of his clients, Dany Bahar allows them to build custom-made cars made to their unique, individualized specifications.
Bahar, born in Turkey and raised in Switzerland, and former head of Lotus, has discovered a market for made-to-order cars which plays on the growing cultural desire for people to express their individuality. As this desire grows in the general population, the world’s wealthiest people can afford to take it to ever greater heights.
Ares takes high-end luxury cars, such as Bugatti, and gives them a “real makeover,” but only on the outside, as Bahar explains:
“We don’t touch what Bugatti is famous for: the engine, gearbox, fantastic aerodynamics. We give it a new look that is whatever the client wants so it’s a Bugatti but covered with a different skin.”
Lest you think it’s “the same wine in a new bottle,” Dany Bahar says that is not the whole story, either.
“The client is fully involved and that is something really exciting,” says Bahar. “These clients are wealthy people, important people but you touch them on an emotional level, where they become like children. They say, ‘I want the rear lamp, like this, not like this’.
“Even if a client is buying a £2 million car they are really not that interested in how it works… as long as it’s fun to drive and it works. His concern is sitting in the car and enjoying the environment he has created on his own. To sit in these four small walls and to enjoy it and call it his own, designed by himself.”
Bahar likes to use sports cars as examples to explain the work he does, but in truth it is SUVs like Mercedes’ G-Wagon, Rolls-Royces and Bentleys that he sees as his major market, and not traditional two-seater racers.
As long as the market for custom-made products continues to dominate, and there are people with money ready to spend it to have what is essentially a “handmade car,” Ares and Dany Bahar have found a fascinatingly unique niche.