Coca-Cola to close sites in Milton Keynes and Northampton affecting almost 300 jobs

Company said cuts will allow it to improve productivity and create greater efficiency in the UK
Coca-Cola has announced that it is closing sites in Milton Keynes and Northampton, affecting almost 300 jobs.
The global drinks company’s European arm on Wednesday said that it had concluded a 55-day period of consultation with employees and their representatives and that it had decided to move ahead with the proposals to close the manufacturing site in Milton Keynes and the distribution centre in Northampton.
Closures will take place next year and will affect 288 roles.
“We want to stress that this is not a reflection on the performance or professionalism of our colleagues at these sites,” a spokesperson for Coca-Cola European Partners said.
The spokesperson added that the group is committed to supporting all those affected throughout the process of closure and beyond, by offering training and development opportunities.
“In addition, there will be redeployment opportunities within ou..

Stella McCartney Will Take Full Control of Her Fashion Brand

Supported by Business Day Stella McCartney Will Take Full Control of Her Fashion Brand Photo The British designer Stella McCartney at a fashion show this month in Paris. She founded her brand in 2001 as a partnership with what is now Kering. Credit Patrick Kovarik/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images LONDON — Stella McCartney will buy back the 50 percent stake in her namesake fashion brand owned by the French luxury group Kering, ending a 17-year partnership and establishing the British designer as a rare independent label in a rapidly consolidating market.
The deal, announced Wednesday, followed months of speculation that Ms. McCartney and Kering were negotiating a sale.
Ms. McCartney, 46, founded the brand in 2001 as a joint venture with what is now Kering. Together they positioned Stella McCartney as one of the first luxury brands with socially conscious values, including sustainable fashion, and built it into one of the most prominent names in British fashion.
Ms. McCartney bui..

Equifax Picks Private Equity Executive as New C.E.O.

Supported by Business Day Equifax Picks Private Equity Executive as New C.E.O. Photo Equifax, one of the so-called big three credit reporting bureaus, is based in Atlanta. Last year it disclosed a data breach that exposed information of 148 million people. Credit Tami Chappell/Reuters Equifax on Wednesday named Mark Begor, a private equity executive who once led General Electric’s credit card business, as its new chief executive.
Mr. Begor, 59, takes over for Paulino do Rego Barros Jr., who has filled the role on an interim basis since September, when Richard F. Smith stepped down after a data breach exposed sensitive personal information, including Social Security numbers, of 148 million people.
Mr. Begor, a managing director at the private equity firm Warburg Pincus, will start at Equifax on April 16. He is also a member of the board at the credit-scoring company FICO, a position he plans to give up before joining Equifax.
Equifax said it would give Mr. Begor stock and options v..

It’s the No. 1 Power Source, but Natural Gas Faces Headwinds

Supported by Energy & Environment It’s the No. 1 Power Source, but Natural Gas Faces Headwinds As environmental concerns drive power companies away from using coal, natural gas has emerged as the nation’s No. 1 power source. Plentiful and relatively inexpensive as a result of the nation’s fracking boom, it has been portrayed as a bridge to an era in which alternative energy would take primacy.
But technology and economics have carved a different, shorter pathway that has bypassed the broad need for some fossil-fuel plants. And that has put proponents of natural gas on the defensive.
Some utility companies have scrapped plans for new natural-gas plants in favor of wind and solar sources that have become cheaper and easier to install. Existing gas plants are being shut because their economics are no longer attractive. And regulators are increasingly challenging the plans of companies determined to move forward with new natural-gas plants.
“It’s a very different world that we’re arri..

Morgan Stanley Knew of a Star’s Alleged Abuse. He Still Works There.

Morgan Stanley Knew of a Star’s Alleged Abuse. He Still Works There. A top Morgan Stanley broker was repeatedly accused of violence against ex-wives and girlfriends. Bank managers were told. But he kept his job.
Over 15 years, four women in Lake Oswego, Ore., a wealthy Portland suburb, sought police protection against the same man, court filings show.
“He threatened to burn down my house with me in it,” one woman wrote in her application for a restraining order. “I don’t know what he’s going to do next,” a second wrote. “He choked me so hard it left a mark on my throat,” wrote another. “He is scaring my children and me,” a fourth woman said.
Yet the man, Douglas E. Greenberg, remains one of Morgan Stanley’s top financial advisers — and a celebrated member of the wealth management industry.
For years, Morgan Stanley executives knew about his alleged conduct, according to seven former Morgan Stanley employees.
Continue reading the main story Morgan Stanley received a federal subpoena r..

Brexit: Business as usual for firms during transition period, says Bank of England

Regulators are aiming to avoid risks to financial stability during the transition period
The Bank of England said on Wednesday that firms in the UK operating under EU passporting rights should continue to run their businesses in the same way during the transition period after 29 March next year.
The Bank issued an update after the EU and the UK agreed there should be an implementation or transition period, and said companies “may plan on the assumption that UK authorisation or recognition will only be needed by the end of the implementation period”.
Read more Business community welcomes progress on Brexit transition deal Meanwhile, the City watchdog said the transition period will give the UK and the EU the opportunity to find a way to reduce risks to financial stability.
“Now is the time for a much deeper regulatory engagement, and in doing so we can give practical substance to the transition or implementation period,” said Andrew Bailey, chief executive of the Financial Cond..

Twitter and LinkedIn ban cryptocurrency adverts – leaving regulators behind

Regulators are yet to frame advertising rules on cryptocurrencies, leaving companies to decide their own policies
A growing number of internet companies are banning cryptocurrency advertising, fearing reputational damage if their users are duped or left penniless, even as regulators struggle to get to grips with the fast-emerging industry.
Twitter on Tuesday began blocking crypto ads, becoming the latest internet giant to take action after moves by Google and Facebook earlier this year.
Once restricted to small online chatrooms for early bitcoin backers, cryptocurrencies have since exploded in popularity and the industry has grown rapidly.
Read more Government task force launched to guard against bitcoin dangers Huge billboards promoting the latest coin hang over Tokyo’s streets, ads touting crypto-trading dot the London Underground, and social media platforms are full of startups looking to raise capital through “initial coin offerings” (ICOs), as the selling of new virtual tok..

US economic growth slows to 2.9% in fourth quarter

Consumer spending in the US saw the biggest gain in three years
US economic growth slowed less than previously estimated in the fourth quarter as the biggest gain in consumer spending in three years partially offset the drag from a jump in imports.
Gross domestic product expanded at a 2.9 per cent annual rate in the final three months of 2017, instead of the previously reported 2.5 per cent, the Commerce Department said in its third GDP estimate for the period on Wednesday. That was a slight moderation from the third quarter’s brisk 3.2 per cent pace.
The upward revision to the fourth-quarter growth estimate also reflected less inventory reduction than previously reported. Economists polled by Reuters had expected that fourth-quarter GDP growth would be revised up to a 2.7 per cent rate.
Read more Northern Ireland’s economy to fall behind the rest of the UK next year There are signs that economic activity slowed further in the first quarter, with retail sales falling in February..

A Find at Gap: Steady Hours Can Help Workers, and Profits

A Find at Gap: Steady Hours Can Help Workers, and Profits Photo Credit Ryan Peltier In recent years, studies have shown that erratic work schedules can take a major toll on the well-being of service workers.
But many employers in the retail, restaurant and hospitality industries continue to behave as though stable scheduling is an unaffordable luxury.
“I don’t count on the hours in my schedule,” said Sam Stephenson, an employee at a Gap store in Huntersville, N.C. “I don’t count on the money I’m supposed to be getting.”
Now a study involving Ms. Stephenson’s colleagues at more than two dozen Gap retail stores in the Chicago and San Francisco areas, undertaken by a team of researchers with the company’s cooperation, aims to rebut the presumption that stable schedules are too costly. The study shows that more predictable and consistent hours aren’t just compatible with profitability, they can significantly improve a store’s bottom line.
Continue reading the main story The..

UK businesses are not educating themselves on what Brexit actually means

Some companies have been been altogether ignoring vital preparations and contingency plans for Brexit
“Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed,” so the UK and EU negotiating teams say. While it wasn’t signed, last week saw the transition agreement endorsed by the European Council – meaning that firms across the UK and the EU can confidently make investment and hiring decisions over the next three years.
The trouble is that companies have not only been waiting to enact expansion and investment plans – many have also been ignoring preparations for Brexit altogether.
Large, well-resourced firms have both the time and the capacity to analyse and plan for the ups and downs of the negotiations, as well as put contingency plans in place.
Read more GKN: Business Secretary intervenes amid anger over Melrose’s bad bid But what about SMEs (small- and medium-sized enterprises)? When you are a business with 50 employees, focussed on making a profit at best or making ends meet at worst,..