Hallym University Dongtan Sacred Heart Hospital Enables to Check Availability of Visit Through Mobile
Hallym University Dongtan Sacred Heart Hospital (Director Sung Ho Lee) changed the access control system that has been in place since February 19 to prevent the infection of COVID-19. Now, it is possible to check the availability of a visit through mobile in advance. In the past, a visitor was asked to fill out a questionnaire asking for the name, visiting day, the number of visitors, whether visited overseas within the last 14 days or not and the visited country. However, visitors were inconvenient as the waiting time was long at the entrance due to the time for writing the questionnaire and the constraints of space. In addition, many patients who visited the hospital without knowing the changed standards of the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had to go back. ▲ Visitors need a mobile pass to visit the hospital. (Photo by: Hallym University Dongtan Sacred Heart Hospital) Therefore, Hallym University Dongtan Sacred Heart Hospital is sending the patient a questionnaire through mobile to make a reservation. At 8 a.m., a message with a questionnaire is sent through KakaoTalk, and visitors can write and send whether they have been overseas for the last two weeks, including their family, the country they visited, the number of visitors, etc. If there is no history of visiting overseas within the last 14 days, a pass will be successfully issued. When you show a mobile pass at the entrance of the hospital, you can use the hospital quickly after checking fever and respiratory symptoms. If you visited overseas within 14 days, you would be verified by the call center before visiting the hospital. Meanwhile, Hallym University Dongtan Sacred Heart Hospital has been implementing thorough access control to prevent COVID-19 infection since last month and operating a screening clinic for infection control in the community. The entrance is restricted to two places, and thermal imaging cameras are installed to check for fever and respiratory symptoms. Moreover, for the recovery of inpatients, visits are entirely restricted.
PANAGENE Acquired Molecular Diagnostic Medical Device Approval in Kazakhstan
Panagene Inc. (CEO Sung-Ki Kim), a Korean company that specializes in gene diagnosis based on PNA (Peptide Nucleic Acid; an artificial nucleotide), announced on February 19 that it has completed medical devices registration of seven molecular diagnostic products through Arsha of Kazakhstan, a member of the CIS and the Eurasian Economic Union. The Commonwealth of Independent States, an alliance of former Soviet Union countries, formed by Russia, is now a total of ten countries, including the associate member Turkmenistan. The Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), modeled after the European Union (EU), has five members. The registered products include four products of PNAClamp™ line, Panagene's cancer-related mutation detection platform, and three products of PANA RealTyper™ line, a multiplex infection detection platform. A total of seven products have completed the registration first, and Panagene plans to add more products in the future. Panagene explained, "The medical device's approval in Kazakhstan is significant in that it has secured a base for Panagene's molecular diagnostic products to enter the CIS member countries as well as the Eurasia Economic Union. We are expecting increases in sales through bidding for national projects in CIS member countries such as Kazakhstan." The registered products have already been released in Korea and Europe for many years, used in clinical cases, and proven in the performance and technology. Therefore, Panagene expects to be recognized in the global market.
UBcare Changed the Brand Name of "EverHealth Direct" to "Checkup EASY"
UBcare(CEO Sang-Gyung Lee), a Korean digital healthcare solution company, changed the brand name of "Everhealth Direct", a free solution for a corporate's health screening management in Korea, to "Checkup EASY". The company changed the brand name and reorganized the website at the same time for expanding its small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) market. It has been about one year since the launch of the "Everhealth Direct" service in March last year. UBcare has reorganized its business goals for SME-oriented business expansion with the brand name change and completed the website reorganization in consideration of customer's ease of use. The reorganization of UBcare's website was focused on strengthening services and systems to raise SME health screening business to the level of large companies. Moreover, UBcare established a system that could connect companies with 150 nationwide examination centers to improve the quality of health screening and strengthen work convenience of SME employees and their families. Through this, companies can compare and select each examination center on the "Checkup EASY" website, and the relevant department managers can check the progress of employee health checkups in real-time through the manager page provided by each company. Besides, corporate employees can use a variety of convenience functions from appointment to result inquiry of the health screening through the "Checkup EASY" application.
Chang-Hyeon Kim, Managing Director at JENAX, "Leads the Next Generation of Battery Production Without the Risk of Fire"
- With the continuous R&D, Jenax dominates both manufacturing technology and essential materials of a nonflammable battery. - With the mass production of a remarkable flexible battery, Jenax leaps forward as a significant player in the industry. - By securing battery manufacturing capabilities without worrying about fire, Jenax aims for smart devices, electric vehicles, and even the ESS market. Lithium-ion batteries are being used as necessities in various electronic devices and infrastructures because they are suitable for the high energy capacity, lightweight, and miniaturization required in the IT industry. The lithium-ion battery is in the spotlight for next-generation energy. To be specific, the lithium-ion battery market, which was $33 billion in 2017, is expected to grow up to $160 billion in 2025 with an annual growth of 25%. In the lithium-ion battery market, there are three product groups, namely LCO(LiCoO2), LFP (Li-FePO4), and NCM/NCA, all of which are named based on cathode materials. These materials have both pros and cons. For instance, cobalt is expensive as it is a rare metal, while steel is inexpensive but low in performance. Lithium-ion batteries have become the mainstream by various attempts of the industry. However, subsequent fire accidents of ESS (Energy Storage System) have increased consumers’ anxiety and products’ safety controversy. Therefore, the key in the battery industry is to keep performance high and fire risk low. Jenax Inc., a battery manufacturing company, is drawing attention by offering solutions that can improve battery safety based on its unique stainless steel wire processing capability. "We are confident that our proprietary battery manufacturing technology using metal fibers will significantly improve the performance and safety of batteries by using nonflammable electrolytes as well as secondary batteries, which use gel electrolytes,” said Chang-Hyeon Kim, managing director at Jenax. “Our new products that overcome fire risk will be the center of innovation for all industries where batteries are used in the global market." ▲ Chang-Hyeon Kim, Managing Director of New Business Development at Jenax Q. What is the technical level and the status of the current battery market? As of now, small cylindrical cell has the most advanced technology in the field of battery market. This is because the price is low, and the performance deviation of the products is minimal. Small cylindrical cell has a capacity of 1-2Ah, so when a fire breaks out, the explosion will relatively be small, and can be easily extinguished. On the other hand, the pouch type usually used in electric vehicles or ESS has more than 20Ah, so it is easy to detonate like a bomb when a fire occurs. Q. Jenax has been listed on KOSDAQ as a stainless steel wire business, but why did the company decide its new business as a battery? In 1991, we started the stainless steel wire business, which is similar to making conventional wires. The company was established with the aim of marketing ropes, automotive wire parts, and stainless steel welding rods by making and twisting wires. And we were listed on KOSDAQ in 2002. In the early days after the establishment, various attempts were made to overcome competition issues with Chinese companies in the market. Just in case customers ever needed, we even colored stainless steel in gold, purple, white, etc. Then in the early 2000s, the nanomaterial boom broke out. At that time, we tried to manufacture very thin metal fibers out of wires like a hair or a thread. Only two companies in the world, one each in Belgium and Japan, had such metal fiber manufacturing technology at the time. In this business, companies typically manufacture relatively thick stainless steel wire, such as 0.1mm, 0.05mm, and 0.03mm. However, only two companies had the technology to produce wires less than 10 ㎛ thick, which is almost one-tenth of the thickness of a hair. At that time the imported products with metal filters made from finely cut metal fibers were 100% sold. So, we thought that we could sell wires expensively if we produced them thinly. We continued our research and development ever since. It took us eight years to develop this metal fiber technology which we first announced in Korea in 2010. ▲ Jenax is a company that started with the stainless steel wire business, so its related know-how has found a new growth engine. Q. So, Jenax has started a new business with the capabilities it has at the material level. If there was any critical factor that led the company to a new business, please introduce us. Jenax is the first company to ever produce metal fiber in Korea and third in the world. In 2010, we tried to make and use metal filters. Since stainless steel can withstand temperatures of 1000 to 1500 degrees, it can be used as a filter to remove impurities at high temperatures in the polysilicon manufacturing process used as a solar power material. There was no suitable product in Korea, so all the products had to be imported. Moreover, stainless steel is resistant to not only heat but also corrosion. As a variety of chemicals are used in petrochemical plants, corrosion is likely to occur, so the metal filters made from metal fibers were used instead of ordinary filters. And the metal filters had been imported from Belgium, so we thought that we could apply our products here. Because stainless steel conducts electricity well, it is also used to make textile clothes that require good electrical conductivity. All of the antistatic wear worn by KEPCO employees in charge of telegraph poles are imported, so we intended to apply our products at the industrial textiles used for the uniforms. Metal fibers can also be used for weaving cloth, a material used for making fencing uniform. As stainless steel has a feature of blocking heat, the raw material of the thermal shielding curtain in front of the furnace of POSCO (Pohang Iron & Steel Co.) is made of stainless steel metal fiber. To release various products using metal fibers, we had to be affiliated with a textile company, so we cooperated with Kolon, Woongjin Chemical and other companies for making prototypes. That was the moment we realized that this product can be used as a secondary battery. At the end of 2010, Dr. Chul-Hwan Kim (Chief Director, KITE Entrepreneurship Foundation) filed a patent about applying metal fiber material to the electrode side of a rechargeable battery. He also succeeded in improving the charge/discharge rate and increasing the energy density. With the idea of making metal fiber materials into various forms of wires and flexible battery, he was looking for a company that seeks such material. Fortunately, he saw Jenax’s announcement, contacted us, and started to work together. ▲ Jenax is presenting an ideal model for Korean manufacturing by conducting perfect industry-educational cooperation. Q. The first step began with the collaboration with experts. Then, how things worked out at the time of cooperation? Dr. Chul-Hwan Kim contacted Jenax to obtain the metal fiber materials and test the materials. When he made the electrode by sprinkling the electrode active materials onto the metal fiber and evaluated, it was confirmed that the capacity becomes larger than the battery using the aluminum foil form. Therefore, he asked to supply the material stably. It was the first time that the materials produced by Jenax could be also used in secondary batteries. The secondary battery has become a hot topic since we noticed that Jenax's metal fibers could be used to improve battery performance by placing electrode materials in a three-dimensional framework. At that time, Dr. Chul-Hwan Kim was making a sell-off deal with LG Display about his business of electronic ink. He progressed the research by hoping that if he made a battery with the idea of a new secondary battery using metal fiber in the form of fiber, he would make a revolutionary performance improvement on the secondary battery. Dr. Chul-Hwan Kim's original patent was transferred to Jenax. Three patents were filed between July and October 2010. In January 2011, we signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) regarding the transfer of patent rights and decided to commercialize this patent technology at Jenax. Because the CEO of Jenax made a bold decision, things could go quickly. ▲ The flexible battery is expected to be commercialized in various forms with excellent performance and stability. Q. Since when have you been working at Jenax? Please introduce us about the research and work that you have undertaken. I joined on December 1, 2010, and worked as a director in patent verification and completion tasks. In order to make a battery using metal fiber, it is essential to find out which form of implementation would be appropriate, so I started the research on this first. To study batteries in Korea, I thought it would be good to start at Daedeok Research Complex, which has a well-established research base. There was a team that researched batteries within ETRI (Korea Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute), and my junior was on the team. So, I could conduct the tests with his help. I even transferred the technology developed by the team to complement technology. I joined on December 1, 2010, and worked as a director in patent verification and completion tasks. In order to make a battery using metal fiber, it is essential to find out which form of implementation would be appropriate, so I started the research on this first. To study batteries in Korea, I thought it would be good to start at Daedeok Research Complex, which has a well-established research base. There was a team that researched batteries within ETRI (Korea Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute), and my junior was on the team. So, I could conduct the tests with his help. I even transferred the technology developed by the team to complement technology. Since the first year was a period of getting direction, I had to find out what method to use for implementing as a real battery and how to use metal fiber material as a rechargeable battery. I mixed anode aluminum, cathode copper, separator, active material, and conductive material. The electrons move to the current collector, and the lithium-ions move to the separator. A vital factor of battery performance is how fast lithium-ions and electrons move. The shorter the distance, the faster they move, and the better the battery's performance improves. The electrons go through the conductive material, so thickening the electrode will degrade performance. For example, how many times would it take to travel 50㎛ passing through 30㎚ sized conductive material particles? In this process, the resistance within the battery will be quite high. However, for better battery performance, thinning the electrode to 50㎛ or less reduces its energy density. The energy density of the battery is closely related to the thickness of the electrode. Until this time, due to the battery performance, the electrode became thinner, and a lot of subsidiary materials that are not related to capacities such as separators and metal foils had to be used. Therefore, the energy density of the battery was low. Nevertheless, if it is possible to make electrodes thick, move electrons fast, and maintain battery performance at the same time, you can use fewer subsidiary materials and increase energy density as a result. If you put metal fibers that conduct electricity very well in every corner of the active material and the electron produced by the active material gets on the metal fiber road right next to it, it will move quickly, resulting in a very low resistance of the electrode. Q. How did you implement your ideas from the field in reality? Metal fiber is in the form of a cotton ball. You first make the electrode into the positive and negative electrode by inserting the cathode active material, adding the separator, making the battery, and implementing the performance. At this time, there was a trial and error phase by studying how to insert the active material appropriately. If the cotton ball is too thick, the travel distance of lithium-ion will be farther, and the performance of the battery will degrade. Therefore, we made various attempts to develop a way to make it thinner at the material level. We experimented with various temperature, pressure, size, and we even made it with just powder as the dry process. Then, we found that when electrode material was dispersed in a solvent using the wet process and applied to the metal fiber, it was evenly distributed on the metal fiber, which consequently showed a great performance. Since then, things got faster. By applying the metal fiber, even if the electrode thickness is 2-3 times thicker than the existing system, it is confirmed that the battery can perform well. Even if the electrode thickness of 50㎛ thickens to 100~150㎛, it still performs well. By the way, I wondered if it would be thinner. In order to make the cotton ball thin, I thought that laying a thin sheet of short metal fibers would be the solution. I even tried to grind a cotton ball by using a kitchen mixer to make a fiber material in powder form and used it. This is how I obtained the fiber material in powder form. With this, I made the same electrode thickness and compared it, and as a result, the charge and discharge rate increased greatly. The existing products typically require two hours to be fully charged. The metal fiber, in powder form with narrowed electrode, charged a battery at 70% in 12 minutes. In other words, a battery can be charged up to 20~30% in a single minute. The moment that can be called motivation for developing the material “metal powder” finally came. ▲ Jenax has realized things that existing batteries could not attempt to commercialize due to deterioration or threat of fire. Q. We can say that you made the leap. What happened next? I immediately found a way to mass-produce metal powder. I tried the idea of making it short and sprinkling it in an air-laid way. I also tried to disperse it in the solvent when making active materials. With the metal fiber in the form of long-fiber, I tested to make it evenly re-absorb in a non-woven structure through the textile industry partners. In 2011 and 2012, I contacted a relevant institute, asked for permission to use their equipment, and started testing. The uniformity of metal fibers into metal powder was achieved through the research conducted from September 2011 to the second half of 2012. In this uniformization process, quality management was a significant factor. In order to integrate with a rechargeable battery, the process must have been established stably. I confirmed what kind of structure would be appropriate when the metal fiber is used as a rechargeable battery. I also researched how the battery performance improved at battery performance evaluation. Q. Objectively, what level do you think Jenax is at now? Even if the next generation of smartphones become smaller, Jenax would be able to fit a battery of the appropriate capacity in reduced size. Jenax also enables solution companies such as batteries and charging to gain the capability to run and utilize at lower power. All related patents are being filed and secured in-house. Jenax solutions provide customized products according to customer needs. Whether it's energy density, fast charging, or discharging, Jenax can newly implement what you couldn't get in the past. Q. There is an announcement that Jenax will directly mass-produce and sell flexible batteries. Please introduce us about the story related to this business. Because metal fiber was used to make cloth, it has a steady performance even when physical bending force is applied. As a result of experiments in 2013, we softened the packing material and went through the steps of commercialization. Basically, the electrode is in the form of a cloth. It's the same principle that, when we were playing in childhood, the mud got on our clothes and it didn't wash off. If you make a metal fiber into a form of cloth and add an active material, the particles will not fall no matter how much you bend. This is the basic theory of the flexible battery. In the past, the active material was applied to the foil, so if it was bent by force, it fell. But when the active material was applied to the metal fiber, the active material, and the conductive particles did not fall off. Ensuring that the active material adheres well was the first challenge, and Jenax provided an answer with its own technology. The next step was the packaging. At first, we experimented with the snack pack, which is the softest among the materials that use aluminum, but it didn’t last long as it is not made for a rechargeable battery. Jenax has contacted a manufacturer with a technology to make a thin aluminum pouch and tested with them and completed commercialization by 2014. ▲ In the existing form of electron transference, there was a considerable limitation for product expansion. ▲ Jenax caught two birds, which are performance and safety, with the introduction of metal fiber. Q. How do you plan to develop a flexible battery business? At the beginning of the business, we thought of supplying metal fiber to rechargeable battery manufacturers, but, as the flexible battery was developed, the CEO of Jenax decided to run the business him/herself. Since the battery business is like a comprehensive art, one good material cannot solve all the problems of a rechargeable battery. Nevertheless, the CEO has shown a strong commitment that we must do the flexible battery business. So, we started to manufacture the finished flexible battery products. Jenax can apply its technology in the areas of EV, ESS, and flexible batteries by utilizing metal fiber materials with their exclusive technical capabilities. The plan is to start its own flexible battery business and ultimately achieve the finished battery products for the material business. ▲ Jenax flexible battery can be ideally applied for various electronic devices manufactured in a curved form. Q. It's great to bend flexibly, but it's amazing that it won't catch fire even if you hit it with a hammer or a stone. Your expectation of the flexible battery must be high. When consumers use flexible batteries, their biggest concern is fire from external shocks. It is important that the battery must be developed in the way it does not ignite and flares up even in dangerous situations. Jenax has implemented a technology that will never start a fire on a battery, even if it's pinned with a nail or taken into water or fire. Throughout the battery business, this technology has become a significant, and the performance based on this technology will appeal to customers. Active materials, separators, and electrolytes used in finished product research must all be optimized at the design stage to become products that can be used by customers. You need to look at the general picture, including cell production and defect checking. Since early 2014, Jenax has faced many difficulties but made technological innovations with continuous R&D at the company-wide level. From 2015, we focused on flexible batteries and started research for mass production of finished products. This finished product was presented to the world at the “CES 2015” exhibition and also presented at the “Wearable Expo Japan” in January of the same year. We took thousands of brochures to both exhibitions, but they were exhausted early. On top of that, the excited response from local companies has confirmed the potential and marketability of flexible batteries in the wearable device market. Not only the leading companies that have seen the actual products, but large Korean and Chinese companies are also showing great interest. We have joined the battery industry and market through conducting support projects for customers who have contacted us. ▲ Jenax flexible batteries have excellent physical properties that work even if wrinkled or folded. In addition, since the company has reduced the fire risk, it is expected to play an active role in the electric vehicle battery and ESS market. Meanwhile, on January 29th, 2020, Jenax has announced that MyungSung TNS will be granted a patent co-license for rechargeable battery technology, and MyungSung TNS will pay a technology transfer fee for it. The two companies will accelerate their entry into the global EV battery market, starting with the supply of innovated LFP rechargeable batteries to the Chinese EV market. What’s more, they signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for the development of next-generation rechargeable battery technology and are speeding up the joint research.
IBS Researchers Developed A Brain Sensor Monitoring Epileptic Seizure Real-Time
A sensor has been developed to monitor seizures due to epilepsy in real-time. The research team led by Hyun Teak-hwan (Chair-professor at Seoul National University), at IBS (Institute of Basic Science) Center for Nanoparticle Research, has developed a highly sensitive nanosensor that simultaneously measures changes in the concentration of potassium ion (K+) in different areas of the brain. The team also has succeeded in real-time monitoring the seizure of freely moving mice. Epilepsy, one of the three major brain diseases, is caused by irregular excitability of brain neurons. Excited brain neurons relax by releasing potassium ions outward. However, if potassium ions in neurons cannot escape and they remain excited, seizures, and convulsions, which are the main symptoms of epilepsy, will occur. ▲ The structure of potassium ion nanosensor (Image by: IBS) For an accurate diagnosis of brain diseases, including epilepsy, due to neuronal activity, it is necessary to track and observe changes in potassium ion concentrations in various brain regions. Seizures and convulsions due to epilepsy are so frequent that 1% of the population has them, but until now, it has been challenging to catch changes in neurons in real-time. This is because it is difficult to selectively measure the concentration change of potassium ions among various ions (potassium, sodium (Na), calcium (Ca)) that move through the ion channel of the cell membrane when the nerve cell is excited. On top of that, the concentration change of potassium ions is relatively small compared to other ions, making it more challenging to measure. Accordingly, many studies have been conducted to develop a potassium sensor having excellent selectivity and sensitivity. However, the existing technology has a limitation in that concentration can be measured only in limited environments such as cultured neurons, brain slices, and anesthetized animals. Because movement is immediately reflected in the activity of brain neurons, a more accurate observation requires a technique that can measure activity even when freely moving. ▲ Measurement of nerve cell activity through potassium ion (Image by: IBS) Therefore, by using nanoparticles, IBS researchers have developed a high-sensitivity nanosensor that can selectively measure changes in potassium ion concentration in mice that roam freely. The researchers first put dyes that fluoresce green when combined with potassium ions into silica nanoparticles with pores of several nanometers(nm). The surface of the nanoparticles was coated with a thin membrane that had a structure similar to that of the potassium channels in the cell membrane, selectively passing only potassium. Then, the concentration of potassium ions could be measured based on the intensity of the fluorescence of the potassium ions passing through the membrane and combining with the dye. The researchers then injected the nanosensors into the hippocampus, amygdala, and cerebral cortex of a moving mouse, followed by electrical stimulation to the hippocampus, causing seizures, and measuring changes in potassium ion concentration. As a result, in the case of focal seizure, the concentration has increased in the order of the hippocampus, where the stimulation started, amygdala, and cerebral cortex. On the other hand, in the case of the generalized seizure, the concentration of potassium ions in three sites increased at the same time, and the duration was also increased. ▲ Analysis result of the degree of seizure using nanoparticles (Image by: IBS) The study will contribute to understanding accurate pathogenesis of seizures, as it became possible to measure brain neuronal activity in real-time while freely moving and simultaneously monitor concentration changes in different areas of the brain. What's more, since potassium ion concentration is an indicator for monitoring the occurrence of brain diseases such as Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease as well as epilepsy, the researchers hope the findings will help identify and diagnose the pathogenesis of many brain diseases caused by excessive excitability of various brain neurons. The findings were published in Nature Nanotechnology (IF 43.341), the world's top authority in nanotechnology, on Feb 11, 1 a.m. (KST).
POSTECH Developed Metal-Organic Frameworks Based Integrated Nanocatalyst Platform
The spread of new coronavirus infections is terrifying the world. While the rapid distribution of drugs, including antiviral drugs, is required, it is also difficult to mass-produce them in a short time due to the complicated production process. Here, POSTECH(Pohang University of Science and Technology)'s research team succeeded in developing an integrated nanocatalyst platform that can significantly simplify the manufacturing process of precision chemical products such as medicines.POSTECH's research team led by Prof. In Su Lee at the Department of Chemistry and Dr. Soumen Dutta succeeded in effectively integrating three different catalyst functions into a single MOF nanoreactor. Besides, the synergy effect among the catalytic materials placed close to the nano-level distance to realize a single-process multistage continuous chemical reaction to produce a product with excellent yield and high optical activity. A Diagram of Metal-Organic Frameworks Based Multimodal Catalytic Nanoreactors (Image by: POSTECH) The manufacture of chemicals and pharmaceuticals is carried out in a multistage process with a continuous synthesis-separation step, which requires a lot of time and money. In particular, the catalyst materials used in each synthesis step often interfere with each other's activity and selectivity, so it is a very difficult but essential task to develop a multi-catalyst material that maintains the reactivity and stability of the catalysts and to unify the process. The research team first synthesized a mesoporous MOF with nano-sized (20-40nm) pores through self-assembly of metal ions and organics and then introduced metal nanoparticle catalysts and enzyme catalysts into the nanopores to manufacture multimodal catalytic nanoreactors (MCNRs). The team confirmed that metal ions, nanoparticles, and enzymes separated and captured in the nanopores located near the MCNR can effectively perform a multi-step continuous chemical reaction without compromising the catalytic function of each other.The findings were published in Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., a leading journal in chemistry and applied chemistry, as breaking news. This project was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF)'s Leader Researcher Support Project (Creative Research).
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines Held an Urgent Press Conference and Read the Public Apology About "Crew-Only Lavatory"
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is heating the Korean Internet network, arguing that it has discriminated against South Koreans regarding the new coronavirus infection (COVID-19). This incident occurred on February 10 at a KL855 flight departing from Amsterdam, the Netherlands, to Incheon, South Korea. During the flight, a Korean passenger, Mr. Kim, found a paper called "Crew-Only Lavatory" written in Korean on the toilet door and photographed it. He then complained to a crew that the phrase was written only in Korean without English, but the vice president tried to delete the photo. At the time, KLM responded to the passenger's complaint that the decision was made to protect the crew from potential carriers of COVID-19 and belatedly wrote the phrase in English. Beginning with Mr. Kim's Instagram, on social media, the photos taken during the flight, as well as recordings of conversations between the passenger and crew, were revealed by other passengers. Since February 12, when the fact was revealed, KLM has attracted the attention of not only the aviation industry but also netizens on the internet. Of the total 277 passengers, 135 were Koreans. The points of Korean netizens' indignation are that many foreign passengers were also on board, and due to the uniqueness of the flight, which is closed for more than 10 hours, the "crew-only lavatory" has no scientific basis or effectiveness in virus prevention. The debate is spreading to the level of national sentiment and private exchanges, including personal experiences of racial discrimination. Accordingly, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines held an urgent press conference at the Four Seasons Seoul Hotel this morning and made a public apology. The following is the full text of the apology; [KLM statement] Ladies and Gentlemen, good morning. KLM wishes to explain its position regarding crew-only lavatories in response to the incident onboard KL855 flight to Incheon from Amsterdam of 10 February. First of all, we would like to express our sincere apologies to all passengers who were offended by the operation and announcement of crew-only lavatories. It is not KLM policy to reserve lavatory for crew. The decision was taken by the crew, and the announcement was written in Korean only and the English version was only added after it was pointed out by a passenger. This is a human mistake and we apologise for it. We take the allegations that we have discriminated against a part of our passengers very seriously. We are deeply sorry that this was viewed as discrimination, which was absolutely not the intention of the crew. The issue was immediately reported to headquarters executives and is under investigation internally. To prevent this from happening again, Our Executive Vice President for inflight service, Myriam Kartman, will take all necessary measures. The members of that particular crew will talk with inflight senior management about the impact on the Korean passengers. In addition, we have reminded yesterday to all KLM crew that it was not allowed to reserve a lavatory for the sole usage of the crew. And we will remind this at the crew briefing prior to departure to/from ICN. We would like to take this opportunity to apologize to the passengers who have been inconvenienced onboard the KLM aircraft and to the people of the Republic of Korea who have been offended by the incident. Guillaume Glass General Manager for Korea, Japan and New Caledonia ▲ Guillaume Glass / General Manager for Korea, Japan and New Caledonia ▲ Francois Giudicelli / APC Business Development ▲ Chris Van Erp / Commercial Director for Korea, Japan and New Caledonia ▲ MJ LEE / Country sales manager ■ An issue became scandal… The case like a mirror of Korean society suffering from COVID-19 The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport gave a strict warning on the discriminatory move and officially requested for measures to prevent a recurrence. It also stated that it plans to closely monitor and decisively handle the situations of air transports to prevent similar cases such as Koreans being discriminated against in foreign aircraft. Meanwhile, South Korea is at the forefront of blocking the global spread of COVID-19 between China, the origin country of COVID-19, and Japan, the country with the highest number of confirmed cases except for China. The government and the people are united in their efforts to protect the disease and cure confirmed patients. A full investment is being made to ensure that, by the end of February, more than 10,000 people can be tested daily. According to the Korean Society for Preventive Medicine (KSPM) and the measure committee of the Korean Society of Epidemiology, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) ranks Korea as the 1st class for the infection safety rating. With internationally recognized world-class quarantine capacity, Korea's airports and ports are protecting the health of people passing through East Asia and Korea. According to Jung Eun-kyeong, head of the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as of 9 a.m. on the 14th, there are 28 confirmed cases, 6134 negative test results, and 692 on-going test cases. There is a total of 1785 contacts with confirmed patients (562 in quarantine), and no additional confirmed patients for four days. There was no suspected case on the KL855 flight. ▲ The official positions and follow-ups announced at this meeting are expected to protect the human rights of Korean citizens as well as Japanese and Chinese, the neighboring countries.
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SONIC Celebrates Random Acts of Kindness Week with Limeades for Learning Donation to Public School Projects
Donation funds more than 275 public school teacher projects in more than 150 cities OKLAHOMA CITY--(BUSINESS WIRE)--#RandomActsofKindness--SONIC® Drive-In announced a donation of $350,000 to public classroom projects through Limeades for Learning to celebrate Random Acts of Kindness Week. Through this donation, SONIC and its longtime nonprofit partner, DonorsChoose, are helping public school teachers obtain the supplies they need in the following teacher project categories: STEM, Music and Arts, Health and Wellness and Special Needs. “Empowering teachers and giving back to communities is a core commitment for SONIC, and Random Acts of Kindness Week is a great opportunity to surprise and delight amazing teachers and help fulfill their diverse classroom needs,” said Christi Woodworth, vice president of public relations for SONIC. “We’re grateful for the impact teachers make in their classrooms every day and are proud to support teachers who continue changing the lives of their students.” As a part of the total donation, SONIC is also surprising a select group of teachers at random across their markets, by gifting them a $50 DonorsChoose gift card. Additionally, SONIC is thanking a random selection of DonorsChoose supporters with a special promo code for them to apply toward their favorite teacher projects. SONIC provides important funds for public school teachers and their students year-round through a variety of funding opportunities. Since the launch of Limeades for Learning in 2009, SONIC has donated $15,287,317 to public school teachers, impacting more than 19,887 teachers and 4,452,401 students across the country. To learn more about Limeades for Learning, visit LimeadesforLearning.com. About Sonic Sonic, founded in 1953, is the largest drive-in restaurant brand in the United States with more than 3,500 restaurants. Sonic is part of the Inspire Brands family of restaurants. For more information, visit SonicDriveIn.com and InspireBrands.com. About DonorsChoose DonorsChoose is the leading platform for giving to public schools. Teachers across America use the site to create projects requesting resources their students need, and donors give to the projects that inspire them. Since its founding by a Bronx teacher in 2000, 4.2 million people and partners have given $939 million to projects reaching 39 million students. Unique among education funding platforms, the DonorsChoose team vets each project request and ships resources directly to the school, ensuring full transparency. Every donor receives photos of their project in action, thank-yous from the classroom, and a cost report showing how every dollar was spent. DonorsChoose was the first charity to make the top 10 on Fast Company’s list of the Most Innovative Companies in the World. Visit www.donorschoose.org to learn more. Contacts Ale Iraheta 512-542-2802 Ale.Iraheta@bcw-global.com
Global Healthcare to Soar Above $2 Trillion in 2020 with Consumerism and Outcome-based Care Models
High adoption of annuity-based reimbursement programs by payers and therapy manufacturers will unlock the potential of gene therapies, finds Frost & Sullivan SANTA CLARA, California, Feb. 18, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Despite rising trade tension and a sluggish economic outlook for 2020, the global healthcare industry is set for an invigorating year due to a partial realization of major healthcare policies and initiatives and technology advancements. Moreover, value-based care is driving the adoption and need for consumer-centric targeted therapies. Retail giants such as Amazon, Walmart, CVS, Ali Health, and Best Buy will continue to make further headway into the individual care space, driving the "comparison shopping" consumer trend for healthcare services and products. With these trends, the overall global healthcare market is poised to register a 5.3% growth in 2020 and exceed $2 trillion in manufacturer revenue. Frost & Sullivan's recent analysis, Global Healthcare Market Outlook, 2020, analyzes actionable insights and predictions for key technologies, regional trends, and major healthcare growth opportunities in 2020. The key sectors covered include pharmaceuticals and biotechnology, in-vitro diagnostics (IVD), medical technologies, medical imaging equipment, and healthcare IT (HIT). For further information on this analysis, please visit: http://frost.ly/3zq. "Interoperability will finally take a major step forward in terms of government policies, vendor acceptance, and providers' and payers' focus on investing in healthcare IT (HIT) systems and medical technology-integrated platform solutions," said Kamaljit Behera, Senior Industry Analyst, Transformational Health. "Furthermore, despite artificial intelligence (AI) in the medical imaging market crossing $400 million in 2020, start-ups and innovators will be compelled to rethink data science practices to convince the community of fair, ethical, and no-harm use." Increased adoption of annuity-based specialized reimbursement programs by private insurance companies and therapy manufacturers will unlock the commercialization potential of gene therapies. Precision medicine informatics platforms capable of leveraging genomic, clinical, financial, and lifestyle data sets will gain market traction. Regionally, there are considerable growth opportunities in: The United States: Technology-savvy healthcare consumers that receive healthcare coverage from their employers will continue to request and actively pursue telehealth technology, replacing in-person visits with their providers. Europe: Shifting economics, population, and behavior dynamics will lead to a rise in healthcare expenditure in many European countries. Addressing long-pending digital health objectives will be a strategic priority in 2020. The Middle East: Increased local manufacturing and government spending on lifestyle diseases will be key driving factors, mainly across the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. Asia-Pacific: China's aggressive policymaking creates a positive outlook, especially for innovator biologics, medical devices, and digital solutions. Latin America: Virtual and home care segments are expected to witness high growth in major countries such as Colombia, Argentina, Chile, and Mexico. Global Healthcare Market Outlook, 2020 is part of Frost & Sullivan's global Transformational Health Growth Partnership Service program. About Frost & Sullivan For over five decades, Frost & Sullivan has become world-renowned for its role in helping investors, corporate leaders and governments navigate economic changes and identify disruptive technologies, Mega Trends, new business models and companies to action, resulting in a continuous flow of growth opportunities to drive future success. Contact us: Start the discussion. Global Healthcare Market Outlook, 2020K40D-52 Contact:Mariana FernandezCorporate CommunicationsT: +1 210 348 10 12T: +54 11 4778 3540E: Mariana.Fernandez@frost.com http://ww2.frost.com Photo - https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/1090877/Healthcare_Outlook_Predictions_2020.jpg Related Links :www.frost.comhttps://ww2.frost.com
Association of International Certified Professional Accountants Creates New Online Global Career Hub
New website offers a place where job seekers can browse and apply for global positions while giving employers and recruiters access to a broader pool of top talent. NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Association of International Certified Professional Accountants (the Association) has launched a new online career portal to help accounting and finance professionals find positions and develop their careers, while also providing employers a highly-skilled pool of potential hires. The Association’s Global Career Hub, combining the strengths of the AICPA and CIMA, offers a variety of resources and services for applicants and employers throughout the global finance industry. The site is open to all financial professionals, employers and recruiters. “The accounting profession is changing rapidly as new technologies demand different skills and talents. We know our members and financial professionals globally are continually seeking to enhance their capabilities and career prospects,” said Tim Mahne, Association vice president for marketing and member experience. “The Global Career Hub is part of the Association’s commitment to being a lifelong career partner to our members and financial professionals. The Hub will provide them the resources and tools they need to remain competitive in the job market, and the broad range of financial jobs available will meet the needs of young professionals looking to launch their careers as well as seasoned professionals looking for their next opportunity.” The Global Career Hub features tools for professionals at all career stages, from students and entry level accountants looking for their first position to mid- and senior-career CPAs seeking to hone their skills or advance their careers. The site currently lists more than 17,500 job openings globally, including positions in the UK, US, Asia and Australia, from all levels of accountants to CFOs. It also features resume and interview coaching products and services, as well as career advice, including how to determine your salary worth or ways to better advocate for themselves in the workplace. New features and postings will be added regularly. At the same time, the Global Career Hub offers employers and recruitment agencies access to qualified applicants from around the world, as well as the opportunity to show case their company and brand to attract high caliber talent. About the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants The Association of International Certified Professional Accountants (the Association) is the most influential body of professional accountants, combining the strengths of the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) and The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) to power opportunity, trust and prosperity for people, businesses and economies worldwide. It represents 657,000 members and students across 179 countries and territories in public and management accounting and advocates for the public interest and business sustainability on current and emerging issues. With broad reach, rigor and resources, the Association advances the reputation, employability and quality of CPAs, CGMAs and accounting and finance professionals globally. Contacts James GallagherJames.firstname.lastname@example.org
Sierra Metals Reports Strong Q4-2019 Financial Results at Its Sociedad Minera Corona Subsidiary in Peru
TORONTO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--$SMT #Minerals--Sierra Metals Inc. (TSX:SMT, BVL:SMT) (“Sierra Metals” or the “Company”) announces the filing of Sociedad Minera Corona S.A.’s (“Corona”) audited Financial Statements and the Management Discussion and Analysis (“MD&A”) for the fourth quarter of 2019 (“Q4 2019”). The Company holds an 81.8% interest in Corona. All amounts are presented in US dollars unless otherwise stated and have not been adjusted for the 18.2% non-controlling interest. Corona’s Highlights for the Three Months Ended December 31, 2019 Revenues of US$42.2 million vs. US$39.2 million in Q4 2018 Adjusted EBITDA of US$17.9 million vs. US$17.6 million in Q4 2018 Total tonnes processed of 321,701, a 20% increase and a new record vs. 268,363 in Q4 2018 Net production revenue per tonne of ore milled decreased by 5% to US$136.82 Cash cost per zinc equivalent payable pound lower by 17% at US$0.43 in Q4 2019 All in sustaining cost (“AISC”) per zinc equivalent payable increased 11% to US$0.81 in Q4 2019 Zinc equivalent production of 58.1 million pounds vs. 40.6 million pounds in Q4 2018 US$35.0 million of cash and cash equivalents as at December 31, 2019 US$61.8 million of working capital as at December 31, 2019 The Company achieved record quarterly equivalent metal production and ore throughput from the Yauricocha Mine during Q4 2019, which has helped continue to make up for the lost production realized during the illegal strike in March and April 2019. Revenues increased by 8%, and Adjusted EBITDA increased by 2% during Q4 2019 compared to Q4 2018. Cash flows generated during Q4 2019 allowed the Company to fund its capital expenditure programs despite a challenging base metal price environment and significant increases in zinc treatment and refining costs. Cash costs per zinc equivalent payable pound were 17% lower while AISC per zinc equivalent payable pound were 11% higher in Q4 2019 compared to Q4 2018. Additionally, there was a build-up of approximately 4,160 tonnes of saleable concentrate including copper concentrate (978 lbs.), zinc concentrate (2,369 lbs.) and lead concentrate (816 lbs.) that was not shipped in Q4 2019 which affected revenue and realized metal production, but which is expected to be realized in Q1 2020. Igor Gonzales, President and CEO of Sierra Metals commented, “I am pleased with Yauricocha’s performance in the fourth quarter which saw increases to revenue and consistent adjusted EBITDA compared to the same quarter in 2018. However, we realized both lower revenue and adjusted EBITDA on a year over year basis due to lower incomes resulting from increases to Zinc treatment and refining charges and a concentrate inventory build-up that was not shipped. We continue to reap the benefits of investments made at the Mine through increases in production tonnage as well as through lower cash costs, however we have seen a small increase in AISC due to higher treatment charges, sustaining capital costs and a small decrease in the net production revenue per tonne of ore milled mainly due to lower incomes.” He continued, “Looking ahead, 2020 continues to be an important time for projects, improvements, and exploration at Yauricocha. We recently completed and published the Yauricocha NI 43-101 Reserve and Resource Update. We are continuing surface drilling at Don Leona and Kilcaska which are high value, exploration targets and will hopefully have some news flow with results before the end of the first quarter. Additionally, work has been completed on the next level of the tailings deposition facility, needed for the expansion of Yauricocha to the 3,600 tonnes per day level. Furthermore, we continue to sink the Yauricocha shaft towards the 1270 level to provide the Company access to further reserves and resources in the Mine. Finally, work has commenced on the ramp connecting the 820 level with the 720 level of the Yauricocha Mine providing for an additional 10,000 tonnes per month of increased capacity to move ore and waste from the Mine. These improvements will assist us with the increase of production levels to the 3,600 tonne per day level at Yauricocha once the required permits are received from the authorities.” He concluded, Corona continues to have a solid balance sheet and strong liquidity. Management remains optimistic that continued operational efficiencies and future operational and resource growth are possible at Yauricocha.” The following table displays selected financial information for the three months and year ended December 31, 2019: (In thousands of US dollars, except cash cost and revenue Three Months Ended Twelve Months Ended per tonne metrics) Dec 31, 2019 Dec 31, 2018 Var % Dec 31, 2019 'Dec 31, 2018 Var % Revenue $ 42,231 39,183 8% 155,983 168,657 -8% Adjusted EBITDA (1) 17,934 17,582 2% 63,971 82,746 -23% Cash Flow from operations 17,451 17,711 -1% 62,990 83,178 -24% Gross profit 18,013 17,895 1% 66,010 86,605 -24% Income Tax Expense (4,284) (5,435) -21% (17,529) (27,138) -35% Net Income 10,303 7,848 31% 34,611 46,131 -25% Net production revenue per tonne of ore milled (2) 136.82 144.11 -5% 140.46 152.02 -8% Cash cost per tonne of ore milled (2) 77.91 69.37 12% 69.60 63.23 10% Cash cost per zinc equivalent payable pound (2) 0.43 0.52 -17% 0.45 0.52 -13% All-In Sustaining Cost per zinc equivalent payable pound (2) $ 0.81 0.73 11% 0.78 0.73 7% (In thousands of US dollars, unless otherwise stated) Dec 31, 2019 Dec 31, 2018 Cash and cash equivalents $ 35,004 17,898 Assets 200,474 169,034 Liabilities 46,034 49,205 Equity 154,440 119,829 1 Adjusted EBITDA includes adjustments for depletion and depreciation, interest expense and other financing costs, interest income, share-based compensation, Foreign Exchange (gain) loss and income taxes; see non-IFRS Performance Measures section of the Company’s MD&A. 2 All-In Sustaining Cost per zinc equivalent pound sold are non-IFRS performance measures and include cost of sales, treatment and refining charges, sustaining capital expenditures, general and administrative expense, and selling expense, and exclude workers' profit sharing, depreciation, and other non-cash provisions; Cash cost zinc equivalent pound sold, net production revenue per tonne of ore milled, and cash cost per tonne of ore milled are non-IFRS performance measures; see non-IFRS Performance Measures section of the Company’s MD&A. Corona’s Financial Highlights for the Three Months and Year Ended December 31, 2019 Revenues of $42.2 million for Q4 2019 compared to $39.2 million in Q4 2018 and revenues of $156.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2019, compared to $168.7 million for the same period in 2018. The increase in revenues for Q4 2019 compared to Q4 2018 was largely driven by higher production due to a 20% increase in tonnes processed, higher head grades for all metals, except silver and copper, and higher recoveries for all metals. Revenues were higher for the quarter despite significant increases to zinc treatment and refining charges and unsold inventory of approximately 4,160 tonnes of concentrate at year end. The 8% decrease in revenues for the year ended December 31, 2019, compared to the same period in 2018 was due to increased zinc treatment and refining charges off set by an 1% increase in tonnes processed, higher head grades for all metals and higher recoveries for all metals except zinc and an increase in silver prices (5%) and gold prices (11%). Cash cost per zinc equivalent pound sold at the Yauricocha Mine of $0.43 for Q4 2019 compared to $0.52 for Q4 2018 and $0.45 for the year ended December 31, 2019, compared to $0.52 for the same period in 2018. All-in sustaining cost (“AISC”) per zinc equivalent pound sold of $0.81 for Q4 2019 compared to $0.73 for Q4 2018 and $0.78 for the year ended December 31, 2019, compared to $0.73 for the same period in 2018. The increase in the AISC per zinc equivalent payable pound for Q4 2019 and full year 2019 as compared to the same periods in 2018 was a combined result of higher zinc treatment and refining charges and higher sustaining costs offset partially by the impact of higher zinc equivalent payable pounds sold. Adjusted EBITDA of $17.9 million for Q4 2019 compared to $17.6 million for Q4 2018 and $64.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2098, compared to $82.7 million for the same period in 2018. The consistent adjusted EBITDA for Q4 2019 and the decreased in adjusted EBITDA for year ended December 31, 2019, compared to the same periods in 2018, was due to the decrease in revenues discussed previously. Operating cash flows before movements in working capital of $18.3 million for Q4 2019, compared to US$17.3 million for Q4 2018, and $63.9 million for the year ended December 31, 2019, compared to $83.2 million for the same period in 2018. The consistent operating cash flows before movements in working capital for Q4 2019 and the decreased operating cash flows before movements in working capital year ended December 31, 2019, compared to the same periods in 2018 was primarily due to the decrease in revenues, discussed previously. Cash and cash equivalents of $35.0 million as at December 31, 2019, compared to $17.9 million as at December 31, 2018. Cash and cash equivalents increased by $17.1 million which was driven by operating cash flows of $17.5 million, repayment of loan by related parties of $9.8 million, offset by capital expenditures of $25.9 million and repayment of short-term working capital loan of $5.0 million. Net income of $10.3 million, or $0.29 per share for Q4 2019 compared to net income of $7.8 million, or $0.22 per share for Q4 2018. Net income of $34.6 million, or $0.96 per share, for the year ended December 31, 2019, compared to $46.1 million, or $1.28 per share, for the same period in 2018. Corona’s Operational Highlights for the Three Months and Year Ended December 31, 2019: The following table displays the production results for the three months and year ended December 31, 2019, for further production details please refer the Company’s Q4 production press release dated January 23, 2020: Yauricocha Production 3 Months Ended 12 Months Ended Q4 2019 Q4 2018 % Var. Q4 2019 Q4 2018 % Var. Tonnes processed 321,701 268,363 20 % 1,116,919 1,106,649 1% Daily throughput 3,677 3,067 20 % 3,191 3,162 1% Silver grade (g/t) 60.14 64.06 -6 % 63.24 60.32 5% Copper grade 1.05% 1.06% -1 % 1.06% 0.97% 9% Lead grade 1.55% 1.51% 3 % 1.57% 1.30% 21% Zinc grade 4.05% 3.41% 19 % 3.72% 3.55% 5% Gold Grade (g/t) 0.60 0.57 5 % 0.59 0.58 2% Silver recovery 79.75% 72.66% 10 % 79.20% 72.85% 9% Copper recovery 75.49% 74.89% 1 % 77.05% 70.84% 9% Lead recovery 88.39% 84.42% 5 % 89.33% 83.75% 7% Zinc recovery 89.11% 87.07% 2 % 88.52% 88.74% 0% Gold Recovery 21.22% 17.20% 23 % 19.74% 16.63% 19% Silver production (000 oz) 496 402 24 % 1,799 1,563 15 % Copper production (000 lb) 5,648 4,702 20 % 20,059 16,741 20 % Lead production (000 lb) 9,691 7,528 29 % 34,548 26,520 30 % Zinc production (000 lb) 25,590 17,545 46 % 81,083 76,761 6 % Gold Production (oz) 1,322 850 55 % 4,165 3,403 22 % Zinc equivalent pounds (000's)(1) 58,102 40,640 43 % 187,672 157,151 19 %
Accenture Named a Leader for Application and Digital Services Across Banking, Capital Markets and Insurance by Analyst Firm Everest Group
NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Accenture (NYSE: ACN) has been named a Leader for application and digital services across all key financial services sectors — including banking, capital markets and insurance — in four reports from industry analyst firm Everest Group. Everest Group analyzed the capabilities of leading application and digital service providers for the banking, capital markets, property & casualty insurance and life & annuities insurance industries. Service providers are positioned on Everest Group’s PEAK Matrix®, which measures their vision, capability and market impact. The reports and PEAK Matrix assessments provide businesses with a framework to measure the relative market impact and capabilities of service providers around the world. In all four reports, Accenture is positioned as a Leader for Market Impact, which assesses service providers against criteria such as market adoption, portfolio mix and value to clients; and for Vision & Capability, which includes measures such as strategy, service scope, innovation & investments, and delivery. “We’re thrilled to be recognized for our leading capabilities in helping financial services firms modernize their legacy technology systems to meet customers’ evolving digital needs and compete against fintechs and neobanks,” said Edwin Van der Ouderaa, senior managing director and global lead for digital and analytics in Accenture’s Financial Services practice. “Today’s consumers expect convenient and seamless digital services to help them manage their finances, and we’re proud to help financial services firms remain competitive with technology and thrive in today’s digital economy.” About Accenture Accenture is a leading global professional services company, providing a broad range of services and solutions in strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations. Combining unmatched experience and specialized skills across more than 40 industries and all business functions — underpinned by the world’s largest delivery network — Accenture works at the intersection of business and technology to help clients improve their performance and create sustainable value for their stakeholders. With 505,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries, Accenture drives innovation to improve the way the world works and lives. Visit us at www.accenture.com. Contacts Melissa Volin Accenture +1 267 216 1815 email@example.com Michael McGinn Accenture +1 917 452 9458 firstname.lastname@example.org Natalie de Freitas Accenture + 44 7380 799 196 email@example.com