Chargebacks911 Appoints Bill Oglesby as VP of Partnerships

Tampa, USA – Chargebacks911 and Fi911, the global leader in chargeback management technology, officially announced the appointment of Bill Oglesby as their new Vice President of Partnerships. In his new role, Oglesby will be responsible for expanding Chargebacks911’s network of strategic partners, fostering relationships with leading industry players, and spearheading collaborative initiatives to tackle the ever-evolving challenges of chargeback fraud and payment disputes.

Oglesby joins Chargebacks911 with a proven track record of building and managing partner teams, and having held senior leadership positions in the payments industry throughout his career. According to executive leadership at Chargebacks911, Oglesby’s extensive knowledge of partnership development and collaboration will be instrumental in furthering the company’s mission to provide cutting-edge solutions to mitigate chargeback fraud and protect businesses against lost revenue.

Prior to joining Chargebacks911, Oglesby served as the Vice President of Channel and Partnerships at NeuroID, as well as Vice President of Partner Success for Midigator. In the latter role, Oglesby successfully cultivated a network of global partners and led an indirect distribution team, whose efforts ultimately resulted in a major acquisition.

With more than a decade of experience, Oglesby possesses a deep understanding of the challenges faced by eCommerce businesses when dealing with chargebacks, and will look to leverage his expertise to strengthen Chargebacks911’s position as a trusted partner for merchants seeking comprehensive chargeback management solutions.

“I’m very excited to be joining the industry-leading brand and team at Chargebacks911, particularly at a time when market dynamics are driving merchants and banks to strategically and proactively position their businesses to support managing growth trends within transaction disputes,” said Oglesby. “I look forward to leaning in on my experience to deliver best-in-class solutions across the globe through our partner ecosystem.”

Chargebacks911 remains at the forefront of developing cutting-edge technologies and strategies to combat the growing threat of chargeback fraud. With the addition of Oglesby to their leadership team, the company is poised to strengthen its position as a global leader in chargeback mitigation and risk management solutions.

“We are delighted to welcome Bill to the Chargebacks911 team as our Vice President of Partnerships,” said Monica Eaton, Founder of Chargebacks911. “His extensive experience and remarkable track record in cultivating strategic alliances will undoubtedly drive our partnerships to new heights and deliver unparalleled value to our clients. We look forward to the innovative ideas and initiatives he will bring to the table.”

The company was founded by Eaton when her previous eCommerce business started receiving high levels of chargebacks, which led her to create a proprietary solution that gained in popularity with other businesses. Today, Chargebacks911 serves more than 2.5 million merchants and over 50 financial institution customers, including some of the biggest brands in the industry and has protected over 10 billion transactions, preventing more than $186 million being lost to first-party misuse.

The Right DA Club launch new Protection Helpdesk

The Right DA Club has today announced the launch of a new Protection Helpdesk to member firms.

Available at no additional cost, the Helpdesk is being launched to help firms achieve more from their protection advice proposition, and comes with a number of specific aims, including increasing advisers’ protection knowledge; cutting down on the time required to research the market; helping place more complex cases, and improving awareness across all product availability.

Hosted by new National Account Manager, Gary Harrison – who joined earlier this month and brings with him over 10 years of experience within the protection sector – the Helpdesk is open to all DA Club members who are already immersed in the provision of protection, or are seeking support to launch and grow their offering in this area.

Gary will also be available at forthcoming Right DA Club Sales-focused roadshows, open to both existing and prospective DA member firms, which offer a range of sales and development ideas to attendees to help grow their businesses and stay profitable in the months ahead.

The next roadshow takes place in Wales on Thursday 22nd June at the Coldra Court Hotel in Langstone near Newport.

Gary Harrison, National Account Manager at The Right DA Club, said: “There are numerous reasons why advisory firms should be active in the protection space, not least the requirements that clients have in this current economic environment for cover, but also what it can deliver in terms of regular income, and how it can significantly add to the bottom line.

“The launch of the new Helpdesk is designed to deal with all protection queries DA Club members might have, whether it’s information on suitable products for more complex cases, or it’s a time-sensitive case which requires quick action, through to ideas on how to improve protection cut-through and conversions in the business.

“We can support firms across all these areas, and much more, and we therefore look forward to speaking to members regarding all their protection queries in months ahead.”

Finance leaders can be the drivers for positive change during times of instability

Leading Accounts Payable (AP) automation solution provider, Yooz, announces that it has launched its third annual investigation into the State of Automation in Finance.

More than 1,500 financial and accounting decision makers across the UK, USA, France, Spain, South Africa, Switzerland, Belgium, UAE, and Luxembourg took part in the study, which tracks the evolving challenges facing finance teams from 2021 to date. This includes the progress of digital transformation and the evolution of hybrid working.

The award-winning cloud-based Purchase-to-Pay (P2P) automation provider conducts this annual research to gain insights into the opinions, challenges, and opportunities that Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) and finance leaders are facing. In 2023, these range from talent shortages, rising inflation, potential recessions, post-COVID recovery and future-proofing to the status of electronic invoicing, and the deployment of the latest technologies in Accounting.

Key highlight results specific to the UK from the report include:

  • Say goodbye to your expenses! – 43% of businesses have reduced expenses to minimise the impact of inflation and tighter monetary conditions on the business.

  • More money doesn’t keep the top finance talent! – Flexible working (49%) and remote working (38%) are the top two measures organisations use to retain and attract finance talent.

  • Work smarter, not harder! – Just under a third of Accounts Payable departments (30%) spend, on average, over 20 hours a month on invoice processing. This is the equivalent of spending almost 3 business days a month on managing invoices.

Commenting on the results, Laurent Charpentier, CEO at Yooz said, “Our annual research over the past three years continues to provide a fascinating insight into the way Finance Departments have had to constantly adapt to address the most challenging issues of a generation. Finance leaders are increasingly at the centre of any business’ resilience strategy, providing the essential expertise and confidence required to not only manage economic crises but also drive innovation and growth.”

Charpentier continues, “Automation is now viewed as a key tool for modern finance leaders to manage the diverse demands of their role. Effective automation allows teams to concentrate on added value activity and to explore new technology such as AI and data visualisation. The introduction of the latest technology will empower organisations as they take on new challenges in 2023.”

You can gain full access to Yooz’s third annual State of Automation in Finance report – ‘An investigation into how Finance leaders can become drivers for positive change during times of instability’ – by following the link.

Communication Service Providers Expect Strong Demand

2023 will be a year of growth within the communication service provider (CSP) market according to new data from A10 Networks’ latest research. Its biannual Global Communication Service Provider Insights report was undertaken to understand the priorities, expectations, and perspectives of senior IT professionals in CSPs across the globe by interviewing 2,750 senior IT professionals in a variety of roles across 21 countries.

We found that despite supply chain struggles and economic uncertainties, providers are expecting consistent growth in traffic which they will match by investing in improved security and coverage.

This growth is the driving cause of planned reforms, but it is not the only factor encouraging CSPs to make changes. The need to close the digital divide by expanding coverage to previously underserved communities, to counter increasingly sophisticated cyberattacks by enhancing cybersecurity measures, and to keep up with the ever-changing global compliance and regulations landscape are catalysts for current and future investments.

Robust Market Growth

Although there are several key themes from the report, the central one, and the one driving other investments and reforms, is the expectation of demand. Ninety-nine percent of the CSPs surveyed expect to see growth in traffic volumes in the coming two to three years, with almost half (48%) expecting traffic to rise by between 50 and 75 percent, while one in five expects to see growth of more than 75 percent.

The pandemic surge in traffic that stretched networks to their limits may have been a one-off, but coming growth will be more consistent and sustained. Confidence is now the main driver of reform according to those surveyed, which in turn will lead to vital improvements in network security.

This optimism contrasts with our 2021 CSP report, which illustrated how the pandemic led to economic insecurity and therefore a pause in investments and expansions – even in the face of surging demand.

Overcoming Connection Inequality

Providing a secure and reliable connection to hard-to-reach or previously economically unviable areas is crucial to reducing inequality and ensuring future growth – and so is a key area of focus for CSPs in 2023.

The survey showed that 69 percent of respondents aim to expand their networks to unserved and underserved communities. Among these, half are expecting to achieve an uplift of more than 10 percent on their current subscriber base and 19 percent are expanding for an uplift of more than 50 percent.

Improving Security

In the last survey, we found that much of 2021’s investment focused on basic cyber hygiene such as upgrading firewalls. This year, however, respondents were aiming for a more mature, multi-layered, and defence-in-depth approach – where DDoS detection and monitoring is a much higher priority and is complemented with security policy automation as well as ransomware and malware protection.

DDoS detection and monitoring are now a priority for 27 percent, while 26 percent are prioritising investment in ransomware and malware protection services. The same percentage are looking to focus on security policy automation and the simplification and integration of disparate point solutions.

CSPs must continue to improve their network security if they want to keep up with the growing number and sophistication of cyberattacks. With threats evolving rapidly to target the ever-widening attack surface and lengthening digital supply chains, CSPs and security vendors must be proactive, flexible, and nimble.

Cloud Migration Success

As customers continue to transform to digital businesses and migrate to the cloud, CSPs can now assess the impact this is having on their business. For almost two-thirds of respondents to the survey (63%), it has been positive.

One-quarter have seen direct revenue growth, one in five has evolved to offer public cloud and managed data centre services, and 19 percent have differentiated their services so that they stay relevant and match changing customer demand. Inversely, only 16 percent of respondents said they had lost revenue because of this shift to cloud-based data storage.

Cloud is affecting CSP buying decisions, too. A cloud-native form factor was the top purchasing criterion for new network equipment, while integration with existing networks and systems was also high on the list.

Rising demand will put increasing pressure on CSPs to overcome IP address scarcity by making the switch to IPv6, which will exponentially increase the number of addresses for sites on the web. However, the study showed that only 30 percent expect to successfully achieve this in the next two to three years. Instead, more than one-third are adopting a strategy of carefully managing their IPv4 pools and gradually transitioning to IPv6, while 34 percent aim to run the two in parallel.

Industry Pressures Remain

Despite general optimism around growth, the global CSP community is still dealing with a significant number of challenges – namely the fallout from the pandemic as well as the invasion of Ukraine. The first priority for those surveyed were the number of vulnerable application programming interfaces (APIs) left exposed by the use of AI, open source, and application modernisation more generally.

The second most common concern was around supply chains with more than a third of respondents saying that issues have meant that they couldn’t find the staff to meet their growth expectations. Challenge number-three was the constant struggle to provide a quality service and avoid outages.

What Next?

The research shows that CSPs are at a crucial point as they aim to capitalise on demand and seize opportunities to grow and diversify. To realise their full potential, service providers need to scale their networks while ensuring they are increasingly secure.

CSPs should work with security partners to scale and transform their networks safely. This process should include the overhaul of legacy systems with the use of AI, machine learning, and threat intelligence capabilities that match the rapidly evolving and ever numerous cyberthreats present in the market.

Terry Young, Director of Service Provider Product Marketing, A10 Networks

Sarah Edwards joins Broadstone’s growing Transformation and Delivery Team

Sarah Edwards joins Broadstone’s growing Transformation and Delivery Team

Broadstone is delighted to announce the appointment of Sarah Edwards as a Transformation and Delivery Consultant.

Sarah joins Broadstone with over three decades of wide-ranging experience across operational, project, and change management roles at Aviva.

Existing acquisitions

She joins a growing team dedicated to integrating existing acquisitions within the business, including H&C Consulting Actuaries and OAC earlier this year, to ensure it operates at the highest level of consistency across its eight offices in the UK to support good outcomes for clients and members.

Kylie Arbon, Head of Transformation at Broadstone, stated: “The Transformation and Development team is critical to embedding our acquisition strategy and continuing to optimise Broadstone’s offering.”

Positive economic growth creates space for BoE aggression

Positive economic growth creates space for BoE aggression

GDP grew 0.2% in April, following a 0.3% fall in March. GDP grew 0.1% over the three months to April. Economic expansion was driven by 0.3% growth in Services sector. Construction grew by 0.6%. Production fell by 0.3%. GDP had been expected to rise 0.2% (Trading Economics).

Services sector

Nicholas Hyett, Investment Analyst, Wealth Club says: “The services sector continues to set the tone for the UK economy, growing 0.3% in April – driven by vehicle sales and repairs together with an uptick in the tv, film and music industries. In production it was advanced manufacturing that suffered, with declines in pharmaceutical and computer/electronic products, while private housing work held back construction.

“However, more important than monthly shifts in the economy is what the numbers mean for the future direction of interest rates. With wages and prices continuing to rise the Bank of England is expected to raise rates further to stem inflation. GDP growth, albeit modest, creates the space for the Bank of England to be more aggressive in its rate hikes. The chances of a 0.5% rate hike just got higher.”

Freedom Finance announces Magic Breakfast as its Charity of the Year

Freedom Finance, one of the UK’s leading digital lending marketplaces and embedded finance providers, is delighted to announce pioneering UK charity Magic Breakfast as its chosen 2023 Charity of the Year.

Magic Breakfast aims to support children at risk of hunger by providing healthy school breakfasts to those in disadvantaged areas of the UK. It comes amid a growing crisis, with the Food Foundation releasing a report in September 2022 showing that 4 million children (almost a third of the UK’s child population) are now at risk of arriving at school hungry each morning, a number that has increased from 2.6 million in April of that year.

Freedom Finance’s support comes at a critical time given the soaring price of food which has squeezed household budgets across the country. Not only has this increased the risk of families struggling to provide nutritious breakfasts but it has also impacted the ability of Magic Breakfast to support schools. The financial support from Freedom Finance – through a variety of fundraising activities such as in-office events and sponsored challenges – aims to provide critical help for the charity to continue helping more disadvantaged children. There will also be a number of volunteering opportunities for Freedom Finance employees to further promote and assist the work Magic Breakfast are doing.

Diane Peart, Head of Programme Delivery at Freedom Finance, said “A nutritious breakfast is vital to ensuring children can benefit from a good education and a healthy life so we look forward to playing our part in the lives of children who may be at risk of food insecurity or live in a disadvantaged household. It’s been great to see all my Freedom Finance colleagues get involved and we have a fantastic schedule of events planned for the rest of the year to support this important cause.”

Alice Chamberlain, Director of Fundraising & Development (Interim) at Magic Breakfast, commented: “Hungry children cannot concentrate or access their education so if we cannot increase the provision of breakfasts, they will miss out on the opportunity to learn, thrive and reach their potential. We look forward to seeing Freedom Finance’s employee and challenge fundraising activities that will make a real difference in our ability to continue supporting disadvantaged children in the UK.”

Slowdown in private housing reveals headwinds remain for industry, warns RSM

In April 2023, the volume of monthly construction output decreased slightly by 0.6%, following two months of consecutive growth. The decrease came from a fall in new work (1%), offset slightly by an increase in repair and maintenance work (0.1%).

In addition to the monthly decrease, new work saw a 0.9% decrease in the three months to April, however, construction output saw an overall increase of 1.6% in the three months, due to repair and maintenance work rising by 5.7%, indicative that housebuilding is on a continued slowdown.

Commenting on the construction output data Kelly Boorman, partner and national head of construction at RSM UK, said: ‘The latest fall in construction output reflects the slowdown in the private housing market as concerns remain around the number of mortgage products in the marketplace and their suitability amidst the cost of living crisis. This highlights cautiousness in the market for homeowners – who are choosing to stay put and invest in their existing properties, as seen in the uptick in private housing repair work in the three months to April. With interest rates likely to increase further and mortgage rates set to jump even higher, demand for housebuilders will weaken in the coming months.

‘In addition, housebuilders haven’t delivered on the targeted volumes set by the government for new housing, and as they pull back on projects to protect their margins, this is concerning for future supply. Although house prices will start to fall due to lack of demand, the chronic shortage in new homes will mean prices will only drop slightly, which won’t be enough to remove the imbalance driven by soaring mortgage prices and inflation. While we expect economic conditions to improve towards the end of the year, businesses will still be approaching 2024 with cautious optimism.’

The Right DA Club appoints new National Account Manager

The Right DA Club has today announced the appointment of a new National Account Manager.

Gary Harrison joins with immediate effect and will focus on a variety of areas within the Club, helping to bring in new member firms, supporting existing members, with a specific focus on the protection and compliance propositions.

Gary will report to Chelsea Kiefert, Head of DA at The Right Mortgage, and joins the Club’s other National Account Manager, Kim Lissner.

Gary joins from Simplybiz where he spent 10 years, most recently as Senior Business Development Manager for Protection. Gary will continue to consult for Moneysworth Life Insurance alongside this new role.

Gary will be available at the forthcoming Right DA Club Sales-focused roadshows, open to both existing and prospective DA member firms, which will offer a range of sales and development ideas to attendees to help grow their businesses and stay profitable in the months ahead.

These roadshows will take place next week on Tuesday 20th June in the North East at Wynward Golf Club in Stockton-on-Tees, and in Wales on Thursday 22nd June at the Coldra Court Hotel in Langstone near Newport.

Chelsea Kiefert, Head of DA at The Right DA Club, commented: “We are very pleased to be announcing Gary’s appointment as our New National Account Manager. He is incredibly experienced in our marketplace and we believe will be a huge asset to the Club itself and our member firms.

“Given his experience in the protection space, we will be making full use of his knowledge, understanding and expertise in this specific area, but he will also be working across all our service and product offerings. I’m sure he will be a real benefit to both existing and prospective members, and we would urge firms to make contact with him to see how he can support their growth and development.”

Gary Harrison, National Account Manager at The Right DA Club, said: “I have known Martin, Amanda, Adam and Tania at The Right Mortgage for some years and have watched with great admiration how they have grown the DA proposition. When the opportunity to join them and be part of their success story was offered, it was an opportunity I could not turn down. I have been made to feel so welcome, even before I have officially joined, and I cannot wait to start engaging and working with both the members and The Right DA Club team.”

68% quarterly spike in bridging lending seen in Q1, with chain breaks driving lending activity

The latest market analysis by bridging finance specialists, Apex Bridging, has revealed that there was a huge spike in bridging lending during the first quarter of this year, primarily driven by chain breaks following the market turbulence caused by last September’s mini budget.

The analysis by Apex Bridging shows that £278.8m was lent via bridging loans during Q1 of this year, a huge 68% increase versus the previous quarter and by far the highest quarterly sum seen over the last two years.

Bridging lending had previously peaked in Q3 2022 at £214.7m, before the market uncertainty caused by September’s mini budget caused many to reassess their position within the market. This saw total bridging lending fall by -23% during the final quarter of this year but, now that the dust has settled, this downward trend has reversed significantly.

While investment purchases were the key factor behind bridging loans during the final quarter of 2022, it was chain breaks driving the sector in Q1 of this, accounting for a quarter of all lending. This highlights the tougher market conditions facing many buyers and sellers who are now having to adapt with higher borrowing costs and cooling house prices.

However, investment purchases remained the second biggest factor behind bridging lending during the first quarter of this year, with unregulated transactions also accounting for the largest proportion of market activity at 53.8%.

Managing Director of Apex Bridging, Chris Hodgkinson, commented: “The breakdown of the bridging sector demonstrates the changing landscape we’ve seen in recent months, with the mortgage market turbulence caused by September’s mini budget resulting in a higher degree of borrowing as a result of chain breaks.

“However, it’s fair to say that 2023 has started with a far greater degree of optimism than many expected and this is demonstrated by the fact that investment purchases continue to account for a significant level of market activity.

“As the year progresses, we expect stability to return to the residential market, which should reduce the level of bridging required to remedy chain breaks. At the same time also expect unregulated commercial investment activity to remain robust.”