Wisdom says, "If you cannot defeat your enemy, become his friend." According to some recent studies, traditional financial service providers should take this advice to heart when it comes to dealing with fintechs. Fintechs, that is start-ups and more-established companies that create better, faster, and cheaper financial services using modern technologies have been a threat to classical banks and insurance companies with their complex, inflexible, and cost intensive structures for quite some time already...

Powerful and influential activist investors like Carl Icahn, Bill Ackman, Nelson Peltz, Edward Bramson, or Daniel Loeb are becoming the worst nightmare of senior executives around the world. They buy a stake of 5% or more of a company and then put the management under massive pressure to rethink business strategy and make changes that will increase shareholder value. In order to achieve their primary goal of shareholder value maximization, all means are justified. They often insist on splitting up the company, introducing cost reduction programs, repurchasing shares, paying cash dividends to shareholders, cutting management bonuses, or replacing the management all together.

Exciting best practice presentations, lively discussions, and plenty of networking among strategy professionals - this is what the Annual Conference of Strategic Management by Horváth & Partners stands for more than any other such event in the German-speaking region. Last Thursday, the Annual Conference was held in Stuttgart for the 15th time already. As in previous years, SOLYP was happy to serve yet again as one of the event partners. The motto of the event was: "From trend to strategy – Seeing further, acting sooner." Among the distinguished speakers were representatives of Tesla Motors, DekaBank, and RECARO Holding as well as the energy provider EnBW, one of our SOLYP3 customers.

You hear and read it everywhere: The Internet of Things will revolutionize the world as we know it. Smart devices from toasters to family homes which are equipped with microprocessors, data storage, operating systems, software, sensors, and IP addresses, and connected via the Internet will dramatically change the way we produce, market, sale, and use products and services. Great new opportunities for innovation and growth, but also competitive risks will arise in virtually all industries and markets. Anyone who hasn’t quite understood the strategic importance and scope of this game changing technology trend just yet is well advised to prick up his ears, as even strategy guru Michael E. Porter has recently turned his attention to the subject matter putting it way up on the collective strategy agenda.