IE Global MBA – a personal experience

Gary Delaney is current student of IEâ??s Global MBA program and talks about his impressions of the program. Gary is involved in technical security and risk management being an SME in architecture, incident management, forensics and security strategy. He worked in financial institutions and security consultancies in Ireland, UK and Australia and is currently employed…

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IE School of Arts & Humanities joins the CHCI

The Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes extended an official membership invitation to IE’s School of Arts and Humanities. The Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes (CHCI) serves as a site for the discussion of issues germane to the fostering of cross-disciplinary activity and as a network for the circulation of information and the sharing…

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Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWF): Heroes or Villains?

1554.jpgJuly 2008 | By Juan Pedro Gomez, Professor at IE Business School

They are about liquidity and a desire to invest millions in leading international banks in order to leverage the subprime crisis. They are sovereign wealth funds, the new focus of debate in the western world.

In February, the Qatary Investment Authority (QIA), the Qatar governmentâ??s investment fund, purchased between 1 and 2% of the Swiss bank Credit Suisse. More recently, rumours of investments by the same fund in the Royal Bank of Scotland increased the British bank´s share price by 5% on the London Stock Exchange on 25 February.

In January this year, Merrill Lynch and Citigroup received a total of $21 thousand million from sovereign wealth funds (SWF) from the Middle East and Asia. Overall, according to Morgan Stanley, since the liquidity crisis began in August last year, more than $69 thousand million have been invested by SWF in financial groups in developed countries. There is not the slightest doubt that the money has been welcome, not only by the banks (who continue to lower the market value of mortgage portfolios and their derivatives), but also by the market as a whole, anxious for liquidity and stability. So far, SWFs are heroes.
At the same time, leaders such as Nicolas Sarkozy and Angela Merkel have promised to protect their investors and managers from the “aggressive practices” of these funds.

The president of the European Commission, Durao Barroso, commented that “we cannot allow non-European funds to be used to carry out geopolitical strategies”. The European Commission has recently approved a proposal for the SWF to voluntarily subscribe to corporate government and transparency policies that are common in Western economies. And now, it would seem that for political managers and legislators they are villains.

Who is behind these funds? Are they a recent phenomenon? Should we be concerned about their movements? Are they heroes or villains?

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IE Multimedia: innovation and interactivity

In recent years there has been a marked increase in the use of multimedia materials in the educational sector. IE Business School foresaw this trend when it created its e-learning unit back in 2001 for the explicit purpose of the production of multimedia materials. The resulting games simulators, interactive graphs and tutorials serve to support…

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What drives enterprise: talent or motivation?

1551.jpgJuly 2008 | By Javier Roza, Professor at IE Business School

The alignment of markets and companies is an inevitable result of globalization, but a highly motivated team can gain competitive advantages by breaking the mould.

Let us accept for a moment that multinational business sets the latest trends in management. In this type of environment, country managers do not normally generate product innovation or communication on an individual basis; they are usually not even responsible for production, and in some cases they do not produce their own organisational design. In this situation, local responsibility consists of implementing the strategies developed centrally.

Let us also accept that countries in the same geopolitical environment have a similar level of development and that the consumer pattern is one of convergence. Enterprises also converge in terms of the brands and products they market. Systems and processes are also global. Even the type and quality of employees are becoming more and more consistent owing to the similarity of recruitment and promotion processes. And to cap it all, competitors are the same in each country, complete with globalised strategies.

Furthermore, technical capacities are increasingly reaching the same level. It is becoming more and more difficult to gain a sustainable competitive advantage through technology. When a new product triumphs, competitors rapidly appear with similar products and more competitive offers.

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