Economist evaluated Swiss unemployment insurance data — ScienceDaily

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Everyone has to call in sick at work at some point. With caseworkers at the employment office, however, a sudden absence has direct economic consequences for a third party: The people they support are unemployed on average five percent longer if a meeting is canceled, which corresponds to a period of twelve days. This may sound rather trivial, but it can entail considerable costs for both the welfare state and the individual concerned.

Amelie Schiprowski, economist of the Cluster of Excellence ECONtribute at the Universities of Cologne and Bonn (Germany), evaluated Swiss unemployment insurance data from 2010 to 2012 and investigated how much the personal interaction with caseworkers matters for unemployed individuals. She found out: The duration of unemployment depends to a large extent on how reliable and committed the support provided by the employment office is.

Regular support important for reintegration

Caseworkers at the employment office help to reintegrate unemployment benefit recipients into the labor market. A spontaneous absence of a caseworker reduces the average number of meetings that an unemployed individual can attend. As there are only about two to three meetings per half-year, one missed meeting corresponds in the analyzed data to about 40 percent of support time. The cancellation of a meeting results on average in a five percent longer unemployment spell. This means in turn that regular support is very important for successful reintegration.

Quantity and quality are important

The economist divided the observed caseworkers into two groups according to their productivity; productivity means how quickly, on average, the people they supported found a job again. The result: Absences of less productive caseworkers have no negative effect, while the absence of a more productive caseworker extends unemployment by an average of 13 percent. The negative impact of a canceled appointment therefore depends on the quality

NEC snaps up Swiss digital banking solutions provider Avaloq in $2.2 billion deal

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NEC has agreed to acquire Avaloq in order to secure a global pathway into the digital payments market. 

Announced on October 5, the deal will bring Avaloq under the Japanese IT group’s umbrella, although Avaloq will continue to operate using its own brand. 

Under the terms of the agreement, NEC will pay CHF 2.05 billion, or approximately $2.23 billion, for 100% of Avaloq shares. At present, 45% is owned by global private equity firm Warburg Pincus, whereas the rest are held by the firms’ founders and employees. 

Founded in 1985, Avaloq is an IT solutions company now specializing in banking, wealth management, and the digital payments space. The firm has developed business process as a service (BPaaS) and software as a service (SaaS) cloud solutions for banks and financial organizations. 

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Headquartered in Switzerland, Avaloq is listed on the Tokyo stock exchange (TYO) and has a presence in over 50 countries. 

Avaloq has traditionally served high-end wealth managers and private banks but intends to “democratize” this area in the future by expanding to include “affluent investors” rather than just high net-worth individuals. 

“Clients will continue to enjoy the high level of service they’ve grown used to,” Avaloq says. “This transaction will not lead to a reduction in workforce and the management remains fully committed to Avaloq’s growth story.”

While NEC is the provider of a range of IT solutions in industries spanning from aerospace to data analytics, by picking up a company already established worldwide in banking technology, the organization will add digital finance to its bow — as well as the ability to enter this market on a global scale. 

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The news comes on the heels of

NEC to buy Swiss software firm Avaloq for $2.2 billion

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TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s NEC Corp said on Monday it will buy Swiss financial software company Avaloq Group AG for 2.05 billion Swiss francs ($2.2 billion), a move that will spearhead its entry globally into finance software.

FILE PHOTO: A logo of NEC Corp is pictured at CEATEC (Combined Exhibition of Advanced Technologies) JAPAN 2016 at the Makuhari Messe in Chiba, Japan, October 3, 2016. REUTERS/Toru Hanai/File Photo

NEC will acquire unlisted Avaloq, Europe’s top provider of financial asset management software, from Avaloq’s founder and employees and private equity firm Warburg Pincus, which has a 45% stake and engineered the sale.

Avaloq, whose customers include Deutsche Bank and HSBC, reported sales of 610 million Swiss francs ($664 million) last year, 70% of which came from Europe.

The deal will allow NEC to offer cloud services acquired through the merger combined with its own biometrics and data analysis products to financial institutions and governments as digitalisation gathers pace.

It has spent the last decade restructuring unprofitable units that lost business to price-competitive Asian rivals, selling its semiconductor, personal computer and smartphone units.

NEC said it will target Japan, where financial institutions have been slow to move online and new Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has pledged to modernise outdated government systems.

“Japan is lagging in financial digitalisation and this will be a big trend,” Chief Executive Takashi Niino told a news briefing.

The deal follows NEC’s 2018 acquisition of British IT services company Northgate Public Services, whose customers include London’s Metropolitan Police, and 2019 purchase of Danish e-government services firm KMD for more than $1 billion.

NEC “share my ambition for Avaloq to continue to shape the future of the financial industry by continuing to invest heavily in R&D,” Avaloq founder Francisco Fernandez said in a statement.