Regulatory body censors opposition publication again

first_img Reporters Without Borders strongly condemns a decision by the Ethiopian Broadcasting Authority (EBA), which regulates all the media, to withdraw the publication licence of the Addis Times, an opposition bimonthly magazine created after the authorities closed the outspoken weekly Fitih last August.“The way the authorities are persecuting the Addis Times and its employees is indicative of the strength of the Ethiopian government’s determination to restrict media freedom and silence its critics,” Reporters Without Borders said.“The grounds given by the EBA are not of the kind that justify such a severe measure as closure under Ethiopian law. This sanction must be lifted at once. We call on the authorities to put a stop to this harassment of the Addis Times and its journalists.”In a 10 January letter, the EBA accused the Addis Times of failing to report a change of owner and change of address, failing to send the two obligatory copies of each issue to the National Archives, and a lack of transparency in its funding. No evidence was provided to support these claims or the punishment imposed.The magazine’s director-general disputes the allegations and regards the punishment as illegal and unconstitutional.Ethiopian law provides for a fine of up to 15,000 birr (600 euros) for contraventions of this kind but not for closure or withdrawal of a licence. The constitution meanwhile guarantees freedom of expression and media freedom.The Addis Times was published for only four months before this sanction, while its predecessor, Fitih, was subjected to an avalanche of legal proceedings before being closed for good by the authorities last August.Addis Times managing director Temesgen Desalegne is meanwhile facing many charges in connection with his journalistic work and is due to appear in court today. The charges, on which he was held for six days in August, include “dangerous disinformation,” inciting unrest against the constitutional order and waging a smear government against the government.Ethiopia has fallen 10 places to 137th out of 179 countries in the latest Reporters Without Borders press freedom index. Although the two Swedish journalists arrested in 2011 were released, Reporters Without Borders is still concerned about the continuing detention of several Ethiopian journalists and the draconian way the 2009 anti-terrorism law is implemented.More information about freedom of information in Ethiopia. News News EthiopiaAfrica RSF_en May 18, 2021 Find out more Organisation News February 8, 2013 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Regulatory body censors opposition publication again Follow the news on Ethiopia Newscenter_img Ethiopia arbitrarily suspends New York Times reporter’s accreditation Receive email alerts May 21, 2021 Find out more Help by sharing this information to go further RSF condemns NYT reporter’s unprecedented expulsion from Ethiopia EthiopiaAfrica Journalist attacked, threatened in her Addis Ababa home February 10, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more

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Investors in People

first_imgInvestors in PeopleOn 20 Jun 2000 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. He would do to it what venture capitalists do: they snap up struggling firms for a snip, plump them up, streamline, rationalise, asset strip and, oh yes, sack, before selling on for a very tidy profit a few months later. There was no shortage of voices accusing venture capitalists of being unaccountable, invisible Svengalis, a jaundiced symptom of get-rich-quick spivvery – the very nemesis of good HR practice.Venture capitalists – like their fellow deal-makers in mergers and acquisitions – are simply not seen as being very interested in people. “The financial, legal, and accountancy mafia concentrate on doing the deal – that is par for the course,” says Simon Barrow, chairman of management and recruitment consultancy People in Business. “They do have to check how good the people are they are backing, therefore they ought to be interested in first-class HR planning and the ability to work in a team and so on. “But the truth is that time pressure gets in the way of HR best practice, so I am not really sure how much they do. I don’t think they are terribly interested. You get paid for doing deals, the same as insurance.”Oddly enough, the Rover crisis came at a time when the venture capital industry is going to great lengths to emphasise its positive influence on employment. After all, venture capital is responsible for Madame Tussaud’s, IPC magazines, Tetley Tea, Sock Shop, Dunlop Slazenger, National Express, William Hill, Odeon Cinemas, United Biscuits, Goldsmiths, Umbro and Hozelock. Even the future has been mortgaged to VC: Dolly the Sheep creators PPL Therapeutics is owned by Apax Partners.Some rather tendentious statistics produced by trade body the British Venture Capital Association make the point 50 per cent of venture capital finance is for expansion – £1bn was invested in high technology companies last year. Between 1994 and 1998, venture-backed companies increased their staff levels three times faster than that of FTSE 100 companies. The average number of people employed in VC-backed companies rose by 24 per cent against a national growth rate of 1.3 per cent; sales rose by 40 per cent, profits by 24 per cent, exports by 44 per cent and investment by 34 per cent. Altogether, Britain’s venture capital fraternity (the UK accounts for 49 per cent of the total European investment) invested some £7.8bn in 1,300 companies.“Asset-stripping is really a phrase from the 1970s”, says David Thorp, chairman of the BVCA and managing director of Friends, Ivory and Syme Private Equity. “The ambitious fast-growth firms we have interests in do not really have assets to strip, apart from people, and that would be up to the company’s management, not to us.”While venture capital situations vary widely (the VC firm may have a minority stake on a management buy-out or majority control) venture capitalists are rarely involved in turnaround expeditions, he says. “Rescues happen in the middle of a recession. About one in a hundred are about turnaround at the moment.”So how detailed an interest do they take in people matters? According to Patrick Dunne, director at the largest venture capital house 3i, the composition of the board is the top priority. “The key thing for us is to get the right board in place. We spend a lot of time getting the right CEO. We do need to be convinced of the ability of the top team to be strong on the people issues. If they are not good at leading and motivating a team, that is crucial to the success of the venture.”Dunne says it is rare for HR directors to be on the main board of the companies the venture capitalists are looking at – just below board level is common. But he maintains, “The relationship between the CEO and the HR director tends to be vital. When you look at how a business is doing, if a company is not managing its team well it is not long before you see problems in the marketplace.”In assessing the pedigree of a board, Dunne says on-site visits are useful. “What you hear and see is more important than what you read.” Equally, he says VCs spend a lot of time getting different perspectives of a management team – in the case of 3i drawing on the expertise of some 600 independent directors, made up of former chief executives, chairmen and finance directors.Alasdair Warren, managing director of nCoTec, a specialist communications enabling technology venture capital firm, formed by a team of former investment bankers from Saloman Smith Barney, goes even further. He says in new economy start-ups “you are basically investing in people”.He adds, “There is a big difference in the old economy where you are realising the value of assets by efficiencies and so on. In start-ups, there is so much rapidly changing technology that you are investing in the people not the technology. It is the firms with the best people that win.”Warren agrees that it is the senior positions that venture capitalists worry about, the CEO and CFO. “Typically, ideas are generated by people with a technological background whereas it is the commercialisation of the technology that is the crucial judgement.” Because of the speed of movement, nCoTec has a strategic alliance with executive search firm, Skillcapital, which has a database of potential candidates already identified for new roles. But on the staffing side of investing in start-ups, Warren says there are definite negative consequences attached to having a firm with more than 20 people. “If it [the venture] becomes dependent on people, you have to question their ability to recruit. People can push the business plan back six months and it becomes a concern.”Aside from recruitment, at these senior levels, remuneration and incentives are the main HR area that venture capital companies have to deal with.The bulk of the financial side is straight equity or options (thanks to changes in the last two budgets), but people who move into VC-backed jobs also typically insist on a base salary premium of 25 per cent in order to take on the risk of moving. “If we put a lot of effort into finding people, we do not want them to go,” says Dunne. “The offer of options is an excellent way of aligning people to encourage growth in the value of the business. It is often logistically very difficult to put all-employee share ownership schemes in place, and that is where HR input can be crucial.”But yet, just as the venture capitalists claim to be oiling the wheels of the future economy, one of the interesting facts of the Rover crisis was that venture capital is investing in the old economy with new relish. Because of the fashionable obsession with high technology stocks, the current place to look for good deals is by trawling the chemical, engineering and retail sectors.As Guy Hands, finance principal at Nomura, is on record as saying, “Without private equity and people like Jon Moulton focusing on old economy businesses, we are going to become a country full of unemployed people sitting at home playing computer games on the Internet.”last_img read more

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Finnegan elected to Corporation

first_imgPaul J. Finnegan, A.B. ’75, M.B.A. ’82, a widely admired member of the University’s Board of Overseers, past president of the Harvard Alumni Association, and co-CEO of a leading Chicago-based investment firm, has been elected to become the newest member of the Harvard Corporation, the University announced today.Finnegan’s appointment, effective July 1, 2012, comes as the Corporation continues its gradual expansion from seven to 13 members, following changes approved by the governing boards in December 2010. With Finnegan’s addition, the Corporation will have grown to 11 members in all, with the expectation of adding two additional fellows in the time ahead.“Paul Finnegan is one of Harvard’s most devoted, energetic, and accomplished alumni leaders, someone of excellent judgment, wide interests, and a real passion for education,” said Robert D. Reischauer, senior fellow of the Corporation and chair of the search committee. “He will bring us not only important financial and organizational expertise and a deep knowledge of the University and its governance, but also a broad set of relationships across the community and a wonderful way of motivating people to stay engaged with Harvard.”“I often marvel at how Paul Finnegan seems to be everywhere,” said President Drew Faust. “It’s remarkable how much he does for Harvard, and how he does it with such enthusiasm, such a thoughtful and probing manner, and such concern for how we can always do better.  He radiates a constant dedication to the University, always with an eye on how we can build on existing strengths while at the same time building Harvard’s capacity for change.  It’s been great to work with Paul during his time as an Overseer, and I greatly look forward to his service on the Corporation.”“Harvard means a great deal to me, and I’m grateful for this opportunity to help guide its future,” said Finnegan. “I’m especially pleased to be able to take on this new role at a time when the Corporation itself is in the midst of important changes and when the University is pursuing new approaches, both educationally and organizationally, on so many different fronts.  This seems to me a particularly interesting moment of transition and possibility for Harvard, and it will be a privilege to continue working with President Faust and others to make the most of it.”*A Harvard Overseer since 2008, Finnegan has served for the past two years as chair of the board’s committee on finance, administration, and management and as a member of the executive committee.  Since last fall, he has been one of four non-Corporation members on the new Corporation committee on finance, created in light of the governance reforms approved in December 2010. From 2009 to 2011, he was one of three alumni members of the University’s financial management committee.As an Overseer, he has also served on the board’s committees on social sciences and on humanities and arts, as well as the governing boards’ joint committees on inspection (audit) and on alumni affairs and development.  In addition, he has chaired the visiting committee for the Athletics Department.Long a visible and admired leader in alumni circles, Finnegan was president of the Harvard Alumni Association in 2006-07, having been elected as an HAA director in 2001.  He has also been closely involved with an array of Harvard Schools, through the Dean’s Council of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, the Board of Dean’s Advisors at Harvard Business School, the Leadership Council of the Harvard School of Public Health, and a range of less formal activities.Also a leader in University-wide development efforts, he has been one of the two co-chairs of the planning committee for the University campaign and is expected to play a major leadership role in the campaign itself.  He has additionally served as a longtime member of the Committee on University Resources, chair of the Harvard Business School Fund, and a reunion co-chair of the College Class of 1975.  He has been recognized with the Richard T. Flood Award presented by the Harvard College Fund.In his professional life, Finnegan is the co-CEO of Madison Dearborn Partners, a private-equity investment firm based in Chicago that he helped to found in 1992.  He has special expertise in the communications industry and has extensive fiduciary experience through his current and past service on the boards of several companies, including CDW Corporation, a leading technology enterprise.Earlier in his career, he was with First Chicago Venture Capital for 10 years and, before that, held a variety of marketing positions in the publishing industry in the United States and Southeast Asia.Active in Chicago-area civic life and strongly interested in K-12 education, Finnegan chairs the Chicago regional advisory board of Teach For America and serves on TFA’s national board of trustees.  He also serves on the board of Advance Illinois, which aims to enhance public education statewide.  He is a director of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and a member of the Bowdoin College investment committee.A native of Scituate, Mass., he lives with his wife, Mary, in Evanston, Ill.  They have three children.*The Harvard Corporation, formally known as the President and Fellows of Harvard College, is Harvard’s principal fiduciary governing board and the smaller of Harvard’s two boards, the other being the Board of Overseers.  In addition to Faust, the current Corporation members include Lawrence S. Bacow, J.D. ’76, M.P.P. ’76, Ph.D. ’78, president emeritus of Tufts University; Susan L. Graham, A.B. ’64, Pehong Chen Distinguished Professor Emerita of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, University of California, Berkeley; Nannerl O.  Keohane, LL.D. (hon.) ’93, Laurance S. Rockefeller Distinguished Visiting Professor of Public Affairs at Princeton and past president of Duke University and Wellesley College; Patricia A. King, J.D. ’69, Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Law, Medicine, Ethics, and Public Policy at the Georgetown University Law Center; William F. Lee, A.B. ’72, co-managing partner of the law firm Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr; Joseph J. O’Donnell, A.B. ’67, M.B.A. ’71, chairman, Centerplate, Inc.; Robert D. Reischauer (senior fellow), A.B. ’63, president emeritus of the Urban Institute and past director of the Congressional Budget Office; James F. Rothenberg (treasurer), A.B. ’68, M.B.A. ’70, principal executive officer of Capital Research and Management Company; and Robert E. Rubin, A.B. ’60, LL.D. (hon.) ’01, co-chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations and former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury.In accordance with Harvard’s charter, the Corporation today (May 23) elected Finnegan as a Fellow of Harvard College, with the consent of the Board of Overseers.Nominations and advice regarding future Corporation appointments may be sent to [email protected]last_img read more

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