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Advance Auto Parts Names Jeffrey Shepherd As Chief Accounting Officer

first_imgAdvance Auto Parts Inc. has announced that Jeffrey Shepherd has been appointed senior vice president, corporate controller and chief accounting officer, effective today.AdvertisementClick Here to Read MoreAdvertisementShepherd brings more than 23 years of experience in accounting and finance to Advance Auto Parts. He joins Advance from General Motors (GM), where he served as controller for General Motors Europe since 2015. Prior to that role, he served as director – consolidation and SEC reporting, and director – analysis and reporting with GM. Before joining GM, Shepherd served in a variety of leadership roles with Ernst & Young (now EY).“I am excited to have Jeff join Advance. His extensive accounting experience and financial acumen, particularly within the automotive industry, will be valuable assets to the company as we move forward with executing our strategic business plan,” said Tom Okray, chief financial officer.Shepherd said, “I look forward to joining the Advance team and contributing to the company’s strategic objectives. I am excited to be part of a great team of finance professionals and to lead the accounting function as we execute a well-defined roadmap.”last_img read more

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PHOTO: Viktor Lenac Completes Cable Enterprise Conversion

first_imgViktor Lenac Shipyard has successfully completed conversion of the cable lay barge ‘Cable Enterprise’ for Prysmian Powerlink Services Ltd, UK, a subsidiary of Prysmian Group. As company reports, the barge was redelivered on 13 March 2015, with a total project value exceeding 22 million euros.Viktor Lenac won the contract for conversion of the Cable Enterprise in February 2014 among seven notable shipyards from Singapore to Germany that were competing for this major conversion project.The objective of the conversion was to upgrade a “dumb” cable lay barge with dynamically positioning capabilities (DP-2 Class). The non-propelled cable lay barge Cable Enterprise, built in 2000, used mooring system for station keeping and movement undertow whilst in the wind farm site.During the conversion period of seven months, 1400 tons of steel was installed. Viktor Lenac also installed Aft Engine Room Section to accomodate two Diesel Engine driven Voith Schneider Propellers, Forward Engine Room Section with two Diesel Electric Generating Sets powering two Wartsila Azimuth Thrusters and two Tunnel Thrusters built in new Bulbous Bow.Within two new decks on the accommodation block, fully equipped Bridge Control Room and additional accomodation facilities have been arranged. A total of 155 tons of pipeline and 145 km of electrical cables were installed.The barge has been extended for 10 meters. Also, cable lay equipment was installed on Cable Enterprise, where Viktor Lenac participated in the production and installation of the pick up arm, a special device for stacking cables. The latest generation of equipment and automation systems have been installed, integrated, commisioned and completed with successful DP proving trials.A sophisticated NOx reducing system, compliant with IMO Tier 3 standard, has been installed with Urea solution production plant, developed for this vessel, Viktor Lenac explained.The barge is now on the way to Norway to load on the power cable, and then it is going to sail to the United States to conduct cable laying operations for ExxonMobil, as her first job after the conversion.[mappress mapid=”11672″]last_img read more

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PTTEP, Pancontinental withdraw from BG’s block offshore Kenya

first_imgPancontinental Oil & Gas and its L10A joint venture partner PTTEP have issued Operator BG notices of withdrawal from Block L10A in the Lamu Basin offshore Kenya.Subject to Ministerial consent, Pancontinental’s 18.75% interest and PTTEP’s 31.25% interest will be transferred to the operator BG who will then be the only remaining participant and hold 100% of the L10A licence.“The Company is committed to the prudent deployment of its resources and as such it has decided to withdraw from the L10A project, given the project’s cost and potential benefit profile with respect to the Company. Pancontinental will advance and look to grow its African portfolio in the near term, consistent with its continued belief in the high prospectivity of parts of the continent and their future high potential to produce commercial oil and gas,” Pancontinental said in a statement.last_img read more

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Well-targeted training will give solicitors the skills to succeed

first_img ‘I saw the course as an opportunity to develop a new practice area,’ she says. ‘I have branched out into lasting powers of attorney and I have done my first “living will”. I don’t want to transfer completely from litigation, where work is picking up again, but I now feel confident in selling the private client services we offer.’ Branching out Julie Granger, a partner with Kent solicitors Kingsfords, decided to take a course in private client law and practice when work in her specialist field of personal injury litigation tailed off. The course, devised by the JLD and the College of Law, was first run last year. It proved so successful, with 100 signing up and 80 on the waiting list, it was repeated twice. A further two-day course is being held in London on November 12/13. Marketing skills, languages, project management, business development, customer relationship management – the job spec for lawyers is changing radically, whether private practice, in-house or public sector. Leaders of the biggest UK law firms warn there are too many lawyers and too many law firms. Businesses are looking to slash legal costs and local authorities are seeking to share, and even sell, legal services. In this environment well-targeted training is going to be crucial to ensure practitioners have the right skills for their role. In private practice, Linklaters’ head of strategy and business transformation Rupert Egerton-Smith told the recent Global Managing Partners Summit that tomorrow’s law firms need to be ‘porous, virtual, multi-sourced, adaptable and agile’. So how do you train lawyers to fit that model? Their skill-sets will need to include people skills, coaching, mentoring, leadership, delegation, project management, sound financial acumen, time management – to name but a few, says Jason Maley, director of professional development programmes at BPP Law School: ‘They will also need the ability to think strategically and laterally to take advantage of new regulatory flexibilities and opportunities offered by technology.’ This will mean a radical rethink in the way the profession develops talent, says Tony Williams, principal at Jomati Consultants. ‘I think we will see a range of different career tracks develop, with people looking at their careers in three-, five- or 10-year chunks,’ he says. ‘That raises questions for firms: do you recruit all trainees on the basis that they have the potential to be partner? Or should you have a fast track for those clearly marked out for partnership, while others are viewed as good corporate citizens for the three to five years you have them?’ If that means more career associates, says Williams, how do you manage them when they face poorer job prospects while having to work harder? Will equity partnerships be limited to those who will seriously grow the business and, if so, how will salaried partners earn their keep? The key will be well-focused training, he says, so lawyers can perform at the appropriate level and be rewarded for broader achievements than rainmaking and seniority. Firms such as Stephenson Harwood are already moving associates off salaries linked to PQE, to a system based more closely on merit. For those who feel their prospects are poor, training in business development and marketing skills is essential, says Professor Penny Cooper, associate dean of the City Law School: ‘The more clients you win and keep, the better your prospects, while knowing how to market yourself will ensure your prospects remain good.’ Other critical areas are strategy, people management and managing risk, says Colin Davey, director of business development at the College of Law: ‘They are potentially a passport to work elsewhere. Those who have had good incomes during better economic times may need to dig into their own pockets for worthwhile training.’ The focus on soft skills aligns with the need for law firms to gear up to compete with new entrants when alternative business structures (ABSs) are permitted from October next year. Legal service providers and their management teams seem to be ‘holding their breath’ about the full implications of the changes, says Maley: ‘Solicitors are often said to suffer from two problems when it comes to effective business management – they are not good managers, but they think they are. ‘Increasingly, management skills training has become an essential part of a lawyer’s upbringing. However, the formal requirements of the SRA – 12 hours’ management training in a lifetime, and a compulsory six-hour Management Course Stage 1 – could be seen as inadequate in the face of the commercial onslaught to come.’ However, time and resources for training are tight, particularly for smaller firms seeking greater commercial acumen. Winmark, which runs three legal sector networks for general counsel, managing partners and marketing directors, offers one-day MBA courses to equip practitioners with the tools and language of business. Other trends include firms doing more in-house, so they can still develop staff despite a cut in training budgets, says Heidi Sandy, chair of the Junior Lawyers Division. JLD members are also looking to local groups to provide networking and training opportunities, rather than just social events. ‘Solicitors need to be able to sell themselves and the skills they have to clients,’ says Sandy. ‘Simply “knowing” the law is not enough in this market, especially if solicitors want to progress with their firms.’ The recession has left some practice areas especially vulnerable, so the JLD has initiated retraining courses with the College of Law. The success of the private client law and practice course has led to plans for equivalent courses on commercial law, employment law, commercial property and litigation/dispute resolution (see box, below). Alongside networking, MBAs, diplomas and less formal CPD courses, practitioners have been looking for creative ideas to help develop leadership and team spirit. Encouraged by its general counsel network, Winmark devised a creativity workshop, which it runs at venues such as the Almeida Theatre in Islington, London. Winmark’s head of development Janet Baker says participants tend to be in-house teams. While initially nervous, they learn how a creative approach can help them manage relationships with demanding colleagues, reinvigorate teams who have been together a long time, and deal with the expectations of managing stakeholders. ‘We have found that, although lawyers can initially be reluctant to step onto the theatre stage, once there they can often be quite difficult to get off,’ she says. Winmark also runs three 90-minute creative workshops for law firms, which explore innovative techniques for solving problems and implementing change. For those working in commerce and industry, the pressure on training budgets has eased since 2009, but it is not back to pre-recession levels, according to Bill Graydon, operations director of the C&I Group. He says the call for soft skills was ‘heavy in 2009 but, as budgets tightened, people turned back to black letter law’. The group offered some training packages in 2009 but takeup was insufficient for them to be repeated this year. Graydon adds: ‘We have also introduced webinars, but the takeup has been disappointing, which seems to indicate that out-of-office training is still the preferred option.’ In local government the training market also remains tough. Dudley Lewis is director of training for LGG, a legal training provider for local authorities. It trains about 4,000-5,000 people a year but numbers have dropped and LGG is researching how and where best to offer training, including online and in-house, bespoke courses. ‘Local authorities are going to have to obtain training as cheaply and locally as possible – I just hope they don’t abandon it,’ he says. ‘Even discounting the economic problems, there have been many reorganisations with local authorities banding together and sharing services. This requires a huge re-skilling because you are reducing staff while leaving the same functions to be done by those remaining.’ He says there is demand for training in different ways of delivering services and how to deal with ABSs: ‘I have been openly critical about the lack of interest in management training in the past, but now they have to learn how to manage themselves, their time and their people if they are going to achieve the service level they ought to be providing.’ Jean Evans, head of law at Staffordshire County Council, says it now looks for ‘holistic’ lawyers who think about their team, about delivering on deadline, and about how they tie into the council for the benefit of the citizen. ‘Sometimes you have to manage risk with clients, for instance, and that is very different to giving pure technical advice,’ she says. Her 90-strong legal department is big enough to have dedicated specialists: ‘But we are trying to be more multiskilled. We have created a new layer of team leaders who learn about optimising team performance, and how to deal with discipline and grievances – all the things that help you be a manager.’ As well as providing training in house, Staffordshire buys in ‘reasonably priced’ training from the EM Law Share consortium. It also ‘fishes around’ for courses to fill gaps identified in personal performance reviews and use more of the free training offered by private practices. Staffordshire has recently taken on three lawyers from private practice ‘and that brought home sharply how different the two cultures are’, says Evans. ‘Externals have tons to offer in terms of speed, negotiating skills and time recording.’ The council is having to learn how to share and even sell its legal services. ‘We have always had to be money-conscious, but we have not been profit-driven so we have had to sharpen our business skills,’ she says. ‘I am now doing marketing plans and following up customer relationships.’ Staffordshire is picking up customers from police, fire, universities and health authorities who have traditionally used private practice. ‘But this is all public money,’ says Evans. ‘If I can steam in and offer services for £60/£80 an hour, I don’t see how we can be beaten on price.’ Concerns over recruitment and retention have prompted the council to create a partnership with Staffordshire University to raise the profile of local government with law students, offering them one of their three training contracts as well as up to 10 work experience places. It is also working on an elective on child care law. ‘There has to be change,’ she says, ‘and training is the key. I have just written a note on selling services to others in the council saying “don’t underestimate the needs of your existing workforce or how you bring them up to speed”.’ So the message is that skimping on training at any level is a false economy. ‘You may have people on a lower career track and therefore on less money,’ says Williams, ‘but you will still have to spend significant amounts to make sure they are trained and able to perform at the right level. ‘The key to meeting demands for reduced costs will be to push work down to the cheapest, competent person. But to do that you need to make sure the person is skilled up as quickly as possible, so they are coming up as you are pushing the work down.’ ‘I have never done any probate or wills during my career,’ explains Granger, ‘and everything has changed since I did my finals. The course was very good and went at a fast pace. But if I was thinking of changing completely to private client work, I would want a five-day intensive course.’center_img Grania Langdon-Down is a freelance journalist The course provides an introduction to probate, wills and estate planning and was initially aimed at giving junior lawyers facing possible redundancy from one specialism, such as property, the chance to gain a ‘feel’ for a new practice area. However, the course has also proved attractive to experienced lawyers wanting to build a private client capability. Teresa Patrício, who has her own two-partner firm in Lisbon, Portugal, took the course to broaden her skills to help her private clients. ‘Corporate law is pretty much alike in most countries,’ she says, ‘but the differences relating to wills and probate are enormous’.last_img read more

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Seize the day

first_imgSubscribe to Building today and you will benefit from:Unlimited access to all stories including expert analysis and comment from industry leadersOur league tables, cost models and economics dataOur online archive of over 10,000 articlesBuilding magazine digital editionsBuilding magazine print editionsPrinted/digital supplementsSubscribe now for unlimited access.View our subscription options and join our community To continue enjoying Building.co.uk, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGIN Get your free guest access  SIGN UP TODAY Subscribe now for unlimited access Stay at the forefront of thought leadership with news and analysis from award-winning journalists. Enjoy company features, CEO interviews, architectural reviews, technical project know-how and the latest innovations.Limited access to building.co.ukBreaking industry news as it happensBreaking, daily and weekly e-newsletterslast_img read more

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Dreamlifts ends partnership with Antonov

first_imgDreamlifts has represented Antonov since 2016, following the dissolution of Ruslan International – the joint venture between Antonov and Volga-Dnepr.The decision to not renew its agreement with Antonov will affect the UK office in Stansted as well as its office in Houston, USA.Graham Witton, managing director of Dreamlifts, said: “This has been an extremely difficult decision. A number of our staff have been representing Antonov in the worldwide market since the establishment of the airline in 1989.”Since setting up Dreamlifts in 2016, and subsequently the US office, Antonov Airlines Inc, we have helped strengthen the Antonov Airlines brand globally and have been very proud in doing so.”The decision will not affect any projects that are currently ongoing. The customers have been contacted and we will ensure that they continue to receive the service they deserve from our team.”www.antonov-airlines.comlast_img read more

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BLP and Bryan Cave confirm merger talks

first_imgLisa MayhewManaging partner, Berwin Leighton PaisnerLisa Mayhew, managing partner at Berwin Leighton Paisner, said both firms share a ‘strong commitment to innovation’ and have an ‘unusually strong cultural fit’.The deal is subject to resolving conflict issues and partners’ approval. The firms will not comment further on discussions until after the partners’ vote, which is expected to be this year.Berwin Leighton Paisner announced strong financial results for 2014-15, with a 6% increase in turnover to £259m, and a 22% increase in profit per equity partner, to £659,000. The firm ended the financial year with no bank debt and positive cash balances of £12m. In 2015-16 revenue fell by just under 2%, to £254m; average profit per equity partner grew by 4%, to £683,000. In 2016-17, revenue jumped 7%, to £272m; profit per equity partner fell by 8%, to £630,000. Top-20 outfit Berwin Leighton Paisner and international firm Bryan Cave ‘will operate without regard to geographic boundaries’ should they join forces, the firms said today. They were confirming discussions about combining to form a ‘fully integrated’ firm with 1,500 lawyers across 32 offices in 12 countries. Berwin Leighton Paisner, which is headquartered in London, has offices in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and Russia. Combining with Bryan Cave, which was founded in St Louis, Missouri, in 1873, will strengthen its US presence. Therese Pritchard, chair of Bryan Cave, said: ‘If we combine we will operate without regard to geographic boundaries. Our firm would be one of only a handful of global firms operating in a one-firm structure with more than 500 lawyers in both the US and also internationally.’last_img read more

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T&T’s oil refinery PETROTRIN to close November 30

first_imgThe state-owned oil company, PETROTRIN, Friday announced the closure of its operations on November 30, effectively scuttling a plan by the Oilfield Workers Trade Union (OWTU) to keep the loss making oil refinery of the company, operational.“The Board advised the union that the proposal failed to address critical issues regarding financing and profitability and there was insufficient information to give us an understanding of how the plan would work. We therefore decided that it was not a viable option,” PETROTRIN chairman, Wilfred Espint said following a two hour meeting with the union on Thursday.Earlier this month, Espinet said that there’s a 3,400 permanent workforce in PETROTRIN (but) “if you ask me today how many employees we have in PETROTRIN I could not tell you because….that’s a number that keeps moving in the temporary workforce all the time on a daily basis”.A statement issued following the talks said all permanent employees will receive their termination by the terms of the relevant collective agreements by November 30.The meeting was held to discuss the trade union’s proposal on the future of the oil company which was presented to management last week and Espinet said had also presented a lease proposal that was different to the one that had been earlier presented.According to the statement, the company had advised the union that it would review the proposal but confirmed that it would be proceeding with its transition plans for a safe and efficient shutdown of the refinery and the preservation of the company’s assets.“The Board is open to any option that would make the business self-sustainable and profitable but time is not on our side and we are proceeding with the one viable option that is available.” Espinet said.PETROTRIN said that another meeting has been scheduled with the OWTU to provide further information on termination packages and the exit procedure.The disclosure by PETROTRIN followed comments by Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley at a political meeting of his ruling People’s National Movement (PNM) on Thursday night that the proposal by the union was not viable.“I understand they put a proposal forward (and) when you look at it everything about the proposal is about maintaining the status quo. That couldn’t be serious. But I have just been informed that the board is looking at the proposal and the board if of the view that the proposal is short in many many areas….”Rowley insisted that his administration was not shutting down PETROTRIN, telling supporters “what we have said, we are restructuring PETROTRIN to come back stronger and better after the restructuring.last_img read more

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‘Microwave Backhaul to Grow at Near Double the Rate of Leased Line Spending’, Says ABI Research

first_imgGrowing at a compound annual growth rate of 4.3%, capital expenditures on microwave backhaul equipment for mobile networks will reach almost $5 billion in 2012 as mobile network operators upgrade and transition to more cost effective packet microwave systems. The Asia Pacific and Western European regions will continue to dominate the market for microwave equipment with a combined share of 61% in 2017. World-wide Opex from leased T1/E1 and Fiber backhaul represents $6.2 billion in 2012 growing at a CAGR of 2.2%,“We believe mobile network operators are increasingly lowering their TCO by using Capex to replace leased T1/E1 and Fiber backhaul with modern, high capacity, cost effective, packet based microwave links,” says Nick Marshall, principal analyst at ABI Research. Meanwhile Backhaul Opex on leased copper-based T1/E1 lines will continue to shrink at a CAGR of -1.1% reaching only $4 billion in 2017. “T1/E1 based backhaul is no longer compatible with modern 3G/4G mobile networks and will phase out as operators increasingly transition away from legacy TDM systems,” continues Marshall. In a newly published backhaul forecast database ABI Research focused on the last-mile and the access layer of backhaul and includes global and regional forecasts on data consumption, backhaul Opex, Capex for microwave, revenue for leased backhaul access technologies, cumulative macro base station shipments, as well as wireless traffic and bandwidth demands broken out to provide a comprehensive look at the access technologies pertaining to backhaul, as well as data traffic expected. In the report ABI Research provides backhaul forecasts for T1/E1, Ethernet over Copper and Fiber, Cable, Microwave, and WiMAX.last_img read more

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Copper Mountain Technologies Introduces New 1-Port VNA at IMS 2017

first_imgCopper Mountain Technologies (CMT) is introducing ten new products at the International Microwave Symposium (IMS) being held from 6-8 June at the Hawai’i Convention Center in Honolulu.They are introducing the R180, a new handheld 1-Port VNA that gives the user lab grade performance. This 1-Port VNA (Cable and Antenna Analyzer) operates from 1 MHz to 18 GHz and is the first 18 GHz 1-port VNA that can connect directly to the DUT, improving measurement accuracy by eliminating the practical limitation of test cables. The R180 can be controlled and powered through a USB-C port or through an external 5 VDC power supply. The unit delivers highly accurate results in a wide variety of measurement formats, including time domain measurement.CMT is also expanding the Cobalt VNA product series that offers industry-leading dynamic range and sweep speed. New 2 and 4-port models in 9 GHz and 20 GHz range will offer Direct Receiver Access that meets the needs of power amplifier manufacturing testing. Other new 2 and 4-port models in 9 GHz and 20 GHz range will support Frequency Extension to 50-75 GHz, 60-90 GHz, and 75-110 GHz, for 5G IoT applications, automotive radar testing, and many other applications.Copper Mountain Technologies’ USB VNAs are next generation analyzers that include the RF measurement module and a processing module, which is a software application that runs on a Windows PC, laptop or tablet connected to the measurement hardware via USB interface. This allows for improved processing power, better display capabilities, and more reliable performance. Copper Mountain Technologies VNAs also offer a wide range of standard features that include time-domain with gating, fixture simulation (embedding and de-embedding) and frequency offset mode.These products are being showcased at their Booth at IMS 2017.See complete IMS 2017 Event Coverage on everything RF.last_img read more

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