Category Archives: Business Leaders

Venture Capital Firms Targeting European Market

For many years, venture capital companies have been seeking markets across the U.S. and the vast Asia, but now they are getting attracted to European market. Companies like Microsoft, Google and Intel have all been targeting Western European region for high technology outfits like mobile money transfer firms, cloud software developers and data-mappers. Due to this trend, even venture capital firms have started to show interest in emerging companies in Europe. In fact, operating startups in major cities in Europe like London, Berlin, Stockholm and Paris is significantly easier than doing the same in the U.S.

John Somorjai, who heads Salesforce Ventures, noted that there are a lot of innovations emerging out of Europe, after his company invested $100 million to the region. He continued to say that his trips to Europe are associated with tight schedule with interesting companies planning to meet him. Over the years, startup companies in Europe were meant to serve local markets, hence expanding very slowly and using several years before hitting sales of 100 million euro. In recent years, venture capital firms have begun making cash in London, Berlin and Stockholm. European market is progressively developing billion-dollar according to a venture capitalist in Berlin, Ciaran O’Leary.

About Highland Capital Management

HCM is an alternative investment expert that manages more than $20 billion worth of assets. The company was co-founded by James Dondero and Mark Okada. HCM was the pioneer of Collateralized Loan Obligations (CLOs), which is one of its credit option offered to investors. The company also focuses on credit hedge funds, separate accounts, and private equity funds. The company has a wide network of clients in North and South America as well as Asia. HCM began operation in 1993, after Jim and Mark had worked together for a long time in credit and equity markets.

Jim Dondero is the President of Highland Capital Management. He has worked in the equity and credit markets for more than 30 years. Before he co-founded HCM, Dondero worked for Protective Life as CIO, and during the time he was working at the company, he managed to turn things around and expanded the business approximately $2billion in capital.

Jim graduated from University of Virginia focusing on Accounting and finance. Under his leadership, HCM has emerged as among the largest investment managers across the world. Jim has always ensured the company is focusing on equity and debt markets.

More info can be found on: http://www.seattletimes.com/business/technology/venture-capital-turns-its-attention-to-europe/.

Higher Taxes A Problem For Investors

Chicago has recently passed a law that allows the city to reassess the taxes of each of the different areas in the city once every three years. This law is aimed at making the tax brackets more fair for some of the businesses as well as the different residents who are close to the area. It is used to either increase or decrease the taxes in the area, but has so far only increased taxes in a large number of areas that are present in Chicago. There are many places that have simple necessity stores, like grocery chains, that are suffering from the tax increase.

Majeed Ekbal is an investor who has seen the crunch from the higher taxes in the districts of Chicago. These taxes have cut into the ability of the businesses to do their business and have been detrimental to the business. The concern is rising for whether these businesses will be able to continue operating and the investors are concerned for the money that they may possibly use as a result of the businesses not working out. Majeed Ekbal’s website mentions that he has investment properties in the North Township 013 where taxes are rising.

In North Township 013, the taxes have risen by about 48 percent in the past year. Due to the tax bracket shift, they are expected to rise even more during the coming years before they are reassessed again. Ekbal is one of the investors for properties in this area and he notes that the concern is growing for whether or not the businesses will be able to make it. There are several things that can contribute to the failing of the business including not being able to afford the taxes and shoppers not being able to afford to shop there.

Any investment is a risk, but Majeed Ekbal has recognized and assessed the risks. As one of Chicago’s top convenience investors, he has been able to take risks that usually pay off. With the rising taxes, some of the grocery risks he has taken may end up not being worth it and could cost money.