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Accounting Today: "Sustainability Disclosures Making Headway in Reports"

09/28/2016

Accounting Today: "Sustainability Disclosures Making Headway in Reports"

Companies are beginning to revamp their financial reports to incorporate sustainability disclosures in response to demand from investors.

Elisse Walter, a former chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission and a current director on the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board, spoke at a Financial Executives International and Ernst & Young conference on financial reporting at Pace University in New York about SASB’s standards.

“What SASB is doing is trying to establish where possible metrics for each one of these standards as you go from industry to industry, sector to sector, and trying to use metrics that are already out there, to have it be cost effective and not having to reinvent the wheel,” she said. “We are at a critical juncture where we will be moving from the provisional to the final standards and we really want to hear from the community what their reaction is to the standards so that we can effectively move into the next phase.”

SASB has found, as the SEC has, that some of the most valuable input comes during working group meetings rather than the public comment period.

“What has always been my experience at the SEC, and I was a rule writer for a long time, is that the public comment process can be extraordinarily helpful but often isn’t,” she said. “The people who are commenting have at their disposal the information that you need to make really informed decisions and certainly to inform a cost/benefit analysis. But it’s not necessarily in their self-interest to give you that information, and frequently they don’t when it’s not in their self-interest. It makes things much more difficult for the rule writer. SASB found, much to its great chagrin, that the public comment process was somewhat helpful but not nearly as helpful as what happened in the working groups where there actually was a dialogue back and forth of people giving their views.”

Walter acknowledged that investors are clamoring for more sustainability information. “They are very dissatisfied with the quality of the information, and they are doing things like issuing an increasing number of shareholder proposals, which I don’t think is the most cost-effective way to do this,” she said.

Walter noted that SASB is now in the process of forming an Investor Advisory Committee.

Former Financial Accounting Standards Board chair Leslie Seidman, who is now executive director of the Center for Excellence in Financial Reporting at Pace University’s Lubin School of Business, moderated a panel that included Walter, along with FASB vice chair James Kroeker and SEC director of corporation finance Keith Higgins. She asked Kroeker about some of FASB’s recent attempts to change the standards for a new definition of materiality.

“It turned out to be a lot more controversial than I ever thought it was going to be,” Seidman said.

Read more: http://www.accountingtoday.com/news/audit-accounting/sustainability-disclosures-making-headway-in-reports-79382-1.html

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Associated Press: "'Pokemon Go' Fervor Has Cooled, but the Game Isn't Dead Yet"

09/27/2016

Associated Press: "'Pokemon Go' Fervor Has Cooled, but the Game Isn't Dead Yet"

. . . The big challenge for "Pokemon Go" is to avoid the fate of "Candy Crush," says Pace University marketing professor Larry Chiagouris. Created by King Digital, "Candy Crush" because a smash hit; Activision Blizzard subsequently bought King for $5.9 billion. But while people still play the game, the fervor around it has died down.

When the game was at its peak, "you were getting invited to play Candy Crush every day" on Facebook, he said. "You don't get too many invitations to play Candy Crush anymore."

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2016/09/26/technology/ap-us-tec-pokemon-go-fad-or-not.html

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WSJ CFO Journal: "Investors Demand More Sustainability Disclosures From Companies"

09/27/2016

WSJ CFO Journal: "Investors Demand More Sustainability Disclosures From Companies"

Photo: U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Director of Corporation Finance Keith Higgins at SEC headquarters in Washington November 20, 2014. Photo: REUTERS

Investors are asking companies to bolster the information that appears in company financial filings regarding sustainability efforts.

While many companies issue  corporate social responsibility reports, there is little standardization of reported metrics or third party oversight of the disclosure, raising a number of concerns for investors, said Mary Morris, investment officer at the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, or CalSTRS.

“We really should be moving some of that information into the financial statements because it’s audited and it’s assured,” she said, speaking on a panel at the Pace University Pacesetters In Financial Reporting Conference on Monday.

Read more: http://blogs.wsj.com/cfo/2016/09/26/investors-demand-more-sustainability-disclosures-from-companies/

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Agence France-Presse: "Massive hack is yet another blow for ailing Yahoo"

09/23/2016

Agence France-Presse: "Massive hack is yet another blow for ailing Yahoo"

Yahoo faces pressure to explain how it sustained a massive cyber-attack allowing hackers to steal data from half a billion users two years ago ©Karen Bleier (AFP/File)

. . . Pace University marketing professor Larry Chiagouris said the news could drive people away from Yahoo, hurting its advertising base, noting that "10 to 20 percent of its existing email subscribers have been contemplating moving over to Gmail or some other platform."

"The hacking will only accelerate the loss of the subscribers and ultimately translate into a loss of advertising revenue," he said.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/afp/article-3804463/Huge-hack-blow-aili...

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Law360: "Wells Fargo Fraud Exposes Soft Spot In Bank Supervision"

09/20/2016

Law360: "Wells Fargo Fraud Exposes Soft Spot In Bank Supervision"

. . . "This is not a regulatory failure. It's an internal governance failure," said John A. James, a professor at Pace University's Lubin School of Business.

Read more: http://www.law360.com/banking/articles/839996

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New York Daily News: "How Hillary Clinton’s pneumonia has left her campaign ailing less than two months before Election Day"

09/19/2016

New York Daily News: "How Hillary Clinton’s pneumonia has left her campaign ailing less than two months before Election Day"

Hillary Clinton's forced disclosure of her diagnosis after a fainting episode on Sept. 11 reinforced fears of her campaign's secrecy and dishonesty. (Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Hillary's pneumonia could end up sickening her entire presidential bid, politicos are warning.

Clinton's forced disclosure of her diagnosis after a fainting episode on Sept. 11 not only reinforced fears of her campaign's secrecy and dishonesty, but it also came at the exact same time Donald Trump suddenly decided to run a more traditional campaign.

And if voter attitudes continue to change as quickly as they already have, according to polls, the Clinton camp could be facing a negative prognosis.

"There can be little doubt that the presidential race has not only tightened, but there are indications that Donald Trump may establish a clear lead in the next week to 10 days,” David Caputo, president emeritus and professor of Political Science at Pace University, told the Daily News, referring to national and swing state polls showing Clinton's lead dwindling or disappearing altogether.

"Why this change? Some would argue it is the fact that Trump is now running a more typical campaign. Another reason may be the public's reaction to the 'deplorable' comment and Secretary Clinton's reported pneumonia."

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/hillary-clinton-pneumonia-left-...

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BBC: "How a dog made Chinese netizens share the pain of rejection"

09/16/2016

BBC: "How a dog made Chinese netizens share the pain of rejection"

Photo credit: WangZhao / AFP / Getty Images

. . . Of course, sharing emotion and anthropomorphism are not specific to the Chinese internet - this happens all over the world. But Marcella Szablewicz, assistant professor of Communication Studies at Pace University who has researched the Chinese internet, points out that the internet and memes are a simple way of reflecting people's dissatisfaction.

"Everyday life hasn't panned out in the way they hoped it would," she says, adding that with content open to interpretation, people can and do project their own emotions onto it and this transforms into what she describes as a "collectively felt emotion".

Read more: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-37363615

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Pace University and the Association of International Bank Auditors announce new cycle of Certified Compliance and Regulatory Professional® program

09/14/2016

Pace University and the Association of International Bank Auditors announce new cycle of Certified Compliance and Regulatory Professional® program

Widely respected and acclaimed regulatory certification program starts September 22, available in both in-person and online modes

New York, NY – September 14, 2016 — Today’s regulatory environment is ultra-complex and rapidly evolving. The Center for Global Governance, Reporting, and Regulation at Pace University and the Association of International Bank Auditors announce a new tenth cycle of the Certified Compliance and Regulatory Professional (CCRP®) certificate program, designed to develop the critically important proficiencies essential for today’s financial services and other industry professionals.

The new cycle begins September 22, 2016 and continues to April 13, 2017. Classes will be held at Pace’s Midtown Center in the historic Fred French Building at 551 Fifth Avenue between 45th and 46th Streets, and are also available online via both a live stream transmission and a subsequent tape.

The CCRP® program encompasses 26 sessions with intense and in-depth exposure to key aspects of governance, risk management, regulatory strategy, and relevant regulations taught by industry professionals and Pace professors. The program includes coverage of regulations in key foreign countries in comparison with U.S. practices.  To date, more than 150 industry professionals have earned the CCRP® certification. These participants represent nine U.S. states as well as Canada and Europe.

“Our CCRP® Program is designed to be unique and comprehensive, with participants from the various sectors of the financial services industry; accounting, law, and consulting firms; and the regulatory community,” said Robert J. Chersi, the former CFO of Fidelity Investments who is the executive director of the Center at Pace’s Lubin School of Business. "We are especially sensitive to the busy professional schedules of our participants, and the program, via both its in-person and online participation modes, provides the flexibility they need to succeed.”

Sessions include detailed discussions of current compliance and regulatory issues, and examinations of real-life case studies. Team presentations provide experience in applying coursework to actual business problems.

The CCRP® at Pace provides growth opportunities and positions global financial services professionals as leaders in the compliance community, giving them an edge in a very competitive job market. The program has been designed with the rigorous content demanded by an academic agenda while stressing the important practical dimensions of real-world experience in the compliance field. Professors from Pace University, all with distinguished prior careers in the private sector, created the syllabus alongside veteran compliance professionals from some of the world’s leading financial institutions and their regulators.

Guest speakers drawn from the world's leading financial institutions; accounting, consulting, and law firms; and the regulatory community will complement the joint Pace-AIBA team.

The Center also has expanded its other professional development offerings, including ‘boot camps’ that can be customized to an institution’s desired location, topics, and duration.

The CCRP® at Pace has been approved for Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credit by New York State.

More information about the CCRP® program is available at www.pace.edu/ccrp, and for all of the programs by contacting the Center’s executive director Bob Chersi at rchersi@pace.edu.

About the Lubin School of Business at Pace University: Globally recognized and prestigiously accredited, the Lubin School of Business integrates New York City’s business world into the experienced-based education of its students at Pace’s suburban and downtown campuses, implemented by the region’s largest co-op program, team-based learning, and customized career guidance. Its programs are designed to launch success-oriented graduates toward upwardly mobile careers.  www.pace.edu/lubin

About the Association of International Bank Auditors: The AIBA membership consists of internal audit, compliance and internal control professionals of nearly 100 U.S. branches and agencies of foreign banks.  The mission of the AIBA is to foster the professional standing of its members by increasing their knowledge and capacities to carry out their responsibilities with respect to international banking.

Media contact:  Bill Caldwell, Pace, 212-346-1597, wcaldwell@pace.edu

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Fast Company: "The Decline Of Premium American Fashion Brands. What Happened, Ralph And Tommy?"

09/12/2016

Fast Company: "The Decline Of Premium American Fashion Brands. What Happened, Ralph And Tommy?"

. . . Charles Lawry, a professor at Pace University's business school who specializes in studying the luxury market, points to how high-end American brands have been creating cheaper products for decades now. "Ralph Lauren was one of the first American luxury brands to reach across many different categories, and that is really what made it successful," Lawry explains, pointing out that the company has at least 25 different lines, including the lower-end Polo and Chaps. "It is possible to purchase products from $25 to $3,000."

Read more: https://www.fastcompany.com/3062474/fashion-forward/the-decline-of-premium-american-fashion-brands-what-happened-ralph-tommy

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Pacesetters in Financial Reporting Conference, September 26

09/09/2016

Pacesetters in Financial Reporting Conference

Through panel discussions and dialogue, this half-day event will inspire innovations in financial reporting and feature a keynote address by Jeff Bornstein, CFO of GE.  

Read more: http://www.pace.edu/sites/default/files/Pacesetters.pdf

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