Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Bishop Noel Jones - "Life By Design"

Bishop Noel Jones - Life By Design

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Affiliate Marketing - The Money Is In Commissions


Those that know me, know my background is in Financial Services. Some of the biggest gains that happened during the Major Mergers and Acquisition during the Financial Crisis, as outlined in "Too Big To Fail" by Andrew Sorkin, (Read The Book or Watch The Movie) were those who orchestrated the deals and got big payments (commissions). Commissions rule across multiple industries and Affiliate Marketing is a key player.

According to an Entrepreneur's article, around two billion in Affiliate Marketing fees were paid in 2008, I have no doubt this amount has drastically increased.

The article deals with having your own (preferably multi-page) site and sending traffic to someone elses earning a percentage of commission.

Using these types of links was the subject of my blog over three years ago dealing iwth "Where I See The Money."

So what forums or communities exist to help you learn???

  • Digital Point 
  • aBestWeb 
  • Warrior Forum 

  • So who are the key Affiliate Networks??? Have a look see at some:

  • Clickbank
  • Commission Junction 
  • Google AdSense

  • Our Web Reseller Program allowing Your To Work with the Major Affilate Networks

    'For Books, Vidoe and more on Affiliate Marketing check our our Amazon Affiliate Store.

    For a Catalog of ClickBank Affiliate Programs updated daily check out our Affiliate Store.

    Whether Real Estate, Banking, Auto, Recruiting, etc., THE MONEY IS IN COMMISSIONS!!!

    And Now A Word From the ClickBank Business Educaion Partners on Growing Your Business:

    Our Affiliate Database Promo

    Tuesday, September 8, 2015

    Part 3: Wall Street Custody Middle Office – A Day In The Life Of A Custody A/C Officer

    As noted in our previous segment, we are continuing our segment, “Wall Street Custody Middle Office – A Day In the Life of a Custody A/C Officer. In this segment we will cover Foreign Exchange. As noted in my online resume, I got my start in Foreign Exchange in the year 1991. For the next five years I learned a lot about the Foreign Exchange Back Office and interacted with many colleagues in the Middle Office, I would eventually began to work in in 1996 after transferring from FX Support to Investment Manager Services. As I write this piece I am literally walking distance from that location where I got my first glimpse of the FX Support Business at 101 Barclay Street, downtown, Manhattan, NY.

    I started out in the remittance area as an Assistance Supervisor where a lot of retail FX deals take place. I later moved to Confirmations area and the Multi-Agreement Processing (MAP) Unit where I was Supervisor. These groups touched more on the Custody Middle Office Business where I would later work as an Assistant Treasurer and Custody A/C Officer. In these groups, as FX Deals (Spots, Forwards, Swaps, etc.) were done between brokers, confirmations of these deals were also done via phone with the Counter Parties where the Custodian did the FX and well as Swift Messages (MT300) being sent. Confirmations were critical because due to an exchange rate discrepancy, the recorded conversation between the confirming parties was the only real proof used by the FX Investigations Unit. .  As any given point I could be on the phone with say a Middle Office Administrator in the say the Mutual Funds Group, confirming an FX Done with the Middle Office and the FX Trading Front Office for the Mutual fund client.  It was often during the Confirmation Process it was agreed on how the client’s funds would be charged for the US portion of the FX. We had been inputting a code on the FX Details system page to indicate we would process manual tickets to charge the client’s account. I realized that by putting in an alternate code you could charge the client’s account directly via the same System Detail page. The saved the department at least twenty thousand dollars monthly in manual processing and also made the Custodian Bank’s Newsletter as our team earned an award.  Process Improvement is so critical in our business!

    The same Custody Clients I would later serve as a “Single Point Of Contact” were doing massive FX Deals As a Custody client purchased a security in which they had to pay in Egyptian Pounds (EGP), they needed an Foreign Exchange deal to cover that trade. Often they would use their custodian bank to do the Foreign Exchange (Buy EGP and Sell USD) and cover the security purchase.  We are covering the FX part of the deal here but we did cover some parts of the Security deal and what to watch for in our very first segment in this series.

    Of interesting note I found later in my Middle Office activities (back in 2006) is that I found that Egypt had trades that settled over the weekend. The challenge here was that many Custody systems only reflected settlement dates on Business Week Days from Monday through Friday. So while the FX Deal to cover the Egyptian Security Purchase settled on a Monday (crediting the clients account the EGP), the Security may have settled on Sunday (debiting the clients account the EGP). The client’s foreign currency statement which keeps a running daily balance, might reflect an overdraft for Sundays’ Debit, not cleared until Monday. This may result in Debit Interest or Negative Interest. The Sub Custodian (where the settlement of Securities and Cash actually occur in the local market) might not reflect this on their books. Adjustment may just need to be made on your Custodian’s System to correct the debit interest such as a correcting FX deal (Cancel/Replace) to reflect the FX settling Friday, instead of Monday.

    As moved to the Middle Office, whet I learned in the both the Securities and FX Back Office was critical. I knew what went into setting up a Securities Trade as well as an FX Trade because I had done it. When in a crunch for time, I could go right to the right people in the Back Office or even the Front Office Traders because I already had established a relationship.  Whether Internal or External Clients, it’s all about The Relationship!

    Wednesday, September 2, 2015

    Wall Street Custody Middle Office – A Day In The Life Of A Custody A/C Officer (Part 2)

    In my quest to cover “A Day In The Life…”, I present Part 2 in this series.  The Overall them is Client Service and is applicable not just to Custodian Banks Bank and Middle Office, but many other Industries. As noted in my first LinkedIn Pulse Posting, “Wall Street, seen through the eyes of a Student”, I’ve have the opportunity to see “The Street” very early in my career, and I’m happy to share what I’ve learned.
    In our previous segment, we spoke about the monitoring of Trade activity and with primary goal being to “get in front” of potential issues. As I thought about this latest segments one of the things I want to cover is Relationships. I mentioned at the end of the previous segment dealing with locating missing funds for your client where the Paying Agent insists they paid.  So my client, an Investment Manager, had one key question, “Where were the funds?” In my situation, what was missing was an Income Payment in that should have been made in cash. The amount was something like forty thousand dollars.  I had to conduct a series of Conference Calls with the Paying Agent Contacts (My firm actually happened to be the Paying Agent in this case). Key to Client Relationship was continually keeping the client in the loop. Letting the Client know that while I did not yet have a final resolution, I was working on getting one.
    I learned that the Paying Agent paid this payment and all income payments directly to a Central Depository, who in turn was to then credit the various client accounts who were holders of this security. As fortune would have it, I had contacts at the Central Depository having worked there as well and also I kept the contact information of key individuals. I went through the normal channels at the Central Depository who relayed the information that they could not find any payment that was not paid. I then used the Manager contacts I had at the Central Depository in hopes of getting more clarity on what might have happened with the funds.  Through these contacts I found out my client’s funds were sitting in suspense account at the Central Depository unapplied. I had the funds credited to delight of my client. I failed to mention that client in the past on their own opened up their own investigation with our Paying Agent contacts as well as the Central Depository using the regular channels with no results. You want to cultivate your relationships (keeping names and numbers) in your career as you never know when you might come full circle and need assistance. Those relationships were critical in getting the results that my client was not able to get. I also failed to mention that the client had this issue as a long outstanding issue and I took on the whole relationship after this issue had been outstanding for a while. 
    I’ll repeat that it’s important to keep a Client Relationship Management (CRM) database always on hand, which can be an address book in its simplest form. If you regularly email your clients (Internal and External) and sometimes there are both Individuals and Groups, you will want to keep within your address book individual names as well as group names. In a global environment you may have Individuals and Groups located in the U.S., Europe, Asia, Latin America, South Africa, The Middle East, etc.  Trying to remember group names for either Internal or External Clients can be a challenge, having this info immediately available in some email programs as soon as you start typing a name is critical. You may have Counterparty Contacts that you often communicate with, you may want to have a Group Name representing your contacts at that Counterparty. Back in the early days we use to have something called, “The Red Book”. This book contained all the key contacts “On The Street” or rather who did business on Wall Street. The Red Book would have contacts for various Departments. Even if the individual contacts changed, the central number listed in The Red Book would often point you in the right direction. I like electronic copies recorded in an address book, versus sticky notes and sheets of paper whenever possible, ensuring that your data is backed up or archived. 
    Let me also mention that getting the research done and facilitating the conference calls often happened outside of the working hours of nine to five.  As mentioned in our previous segment, it may seem crazy but a lot of what “gets done” in our business is done outside of the hours of nine to five. When you have a group of clients that you service, servicing them all and just dealing with the items settling that day, can take up your nine to five. To “get things done”, you have to, without question, put in time way before nine and way after five and maybe even some weekends.
    I mentioned in my last segment in addition to dealing with the client, you also will find yourself dealing with other groups. Some days you will have to explain to the Accountant why a particular security was booked the way it was booked. They may need characteristics to verify pricing info as an example. Compliance Officers may want to question the details of a payment to a beneficiary to a country on the “Blocked” list.  You may be getting a request from an External Auditor that needs an audited statement. These are the reports that have already been validated by your Accounting Group. In addition to these groups, you have may have various other emergency requests that come up. Investigations alone can often take up a good portion of your day.
    Stay tuned for upcoming segments where we will also cover Foreign Exchange as it relates to our topic with Securities, Cash, Negative and Positive Interest.
    Mike Holman

    Tuesday, September 1, 2015

    Wall Street Custody Middle Office – A Day In The Life Of A Custody A/C Officer (Part 1)

    Having worked in the Back Office and then in the Front Office within the Custodian Space responsible for Domestic and Global Trades, Cash, Income, Corporate Actions and more, I began to reflect on my experiences and decided to start something of a “Day In the Life Of…” series surrounding just “some” of the aspects of the Middle Office.

    As you prepare to start your day working for a Custodian bank, it’s critical that you are mindful of the Financial Markets your clients (in my case primarily Investment Managers) are dealing in. If your clients only deal in Domestic Trading and you are in the U.S. then you know that most of your trades will be settling in the U.S. If your clients do Global Trading your trades can settle in various markets.
    Because of Global Settlement, while you are sleeping say in the U.S. you may be having a trade issue in Asia. To combat this, remote access to your email and even possibly your settlement system is critical. Often trades have an indicator if they have been “PreMarched” based on the system used by your firm and in some cases if trades are not Pre-Matched, you will be able to tell exactly why “Pre-Matching” has not occured (i.e. Counterparty Short, CounterParty know Different Amount, CounterParty has no instructions, etc.) When you notice these “Pre-Matching” fail indicators early you can closely monitor those trades. If you have certain Markets that have become problematic, you can monitor trades in those markets. (Note if certain trades consistently have issues in certain Markets, you may want to get your Network Management Team involved or if that is you, you may want to yourself look into the possibility of changing Sub Custodians. I think it’s very fortunate that you are not always locked into one Sub Custodian, but may often have a choice.

    In dealing with Global Settlements, it’s good to check your Trades due to settle soon are PreMatched if they should be before you leave for the day, maybe later that evening and in the AM before you reach work. It may seem a bit crazy but some markets, the earlier you detect issues the better. You are the key contact your clients have to finding out what’s going on with their Global Trades in their local markets (US, Europe, Asia, Latin America, etc.). At the start of your day, your client’s key questions relate to what can you tell them about the status of their trades. You need to be able to say if a trade is failing, why and what is being done about it. You will rely on your company counterparts in the local markets (settlement teams) for updates and answers.

    During this period it is critical that you have reporting in place for yourself and your client so you can know that status of your trade activity, cash activity (will your accounts be long or short at the end of the settlement day), corporate actions, income, etc. Your reporting will help in Dashboard building/Deep Dive Analysis to determine a number of things such as consistency in trades failing done with certain counterparties or done in certain markets, Cash Projections, Corporate Actions, etc.
    It can’t be overstressed that your client knows that they are your key priority.  They need to know you are going to bat for them to ensure excellence in client service. If you client is an Investment Manager, when they get new clients and need a Custodian, guess who can be at the top of the list?
    When you’re looking for missing client income payments, the paying agent insists they paid, but your client’s account never got paid, Working with The Accountants, Auditors, Compliance and more in the upcoming segments.

    Mike Holman