The World’s Newest Call Center Billionaire

Meet the world’s newest call center billionaire. Laurent Junique is quite the globe-trotter: He’s a French citizen, his company is based in Singapore and he just listed that company, TDCX Inc., on the New York Stock Exchange last week.

Junique, TDCX’s 55-year-old founder and CEO, also just joined the billionaire ranks: Junique’s 87% stake in the firm is now worth $3 billion, thanks to a 34% rise in TDCX shares since the IPO on October 1—an offering that raised nearly $350 million for the company.

Started in 1995 in Singapore as Teledirect, an outsourced call center that handled calls, emails and faxes for a variety of clients, the company rebranded as TDCX in 2019 to reflect its expansion into a range of services including content moderation, marketing and e-commerce support. (CX is short for “customer experience” in the customer service industry.)

TDCX reported a $64 million net profit on $323 million sales in 2020, an improvement from the $54 million profit and $242 million in revenues it recorded in 2019. That growth came in part due to greater use of the services that TDCX offers, including tools that help companies improve the performance of employees working from home. Still, TDCX is highly dependent on two clients—Facebook and Airbnb—which collectively accounted for 62% of sales in 2020.

“Our successful listing reflects the world-class company that we have built and our position as the go-to partner for transformative digital customer experience services,” Junique said in a statement on the day of the IPO. “We are grateful for the support of our clients, many of whom are global technology companies that are fuelling the growth of the digital economy.”

Junique is the second call center billionaire that Forbes has tracked. The first, Kenneth Tuchman, founded Englewood, Colorado-based TTEC Holdings (formerly called TeleTech), in 1982; at nearly $2 billion, the firm had about six times the revenues of TDCX last year. Tuchman first became a billionaire in 2007. Several Indian billionaires, including HCL Technologies cofounder Shiv Nadar and Wipro’s former chairman Azim Premji, offer call centers as some of the services their firms provide.

Junique will maintain an iron grip on TDCX as a public company, controlling all of the firm’s Class B shares, which make up more than 86% of the firm’s equity and represent 98.5% of voting power. He owns those shares through Transformative Investments Pte Ltd, a company based in the Cayman Islands that is entirely owned—according to public filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission—by a trust established for the benefit of Junique and his family. While its headquarters are in Singapore, TDCX has also been incorporated in the Cayman Islands since April 2020; prior to the IPO, the firm was controlled by Junique through a Caymans-based holding company. A spokesperson for TDCX declined to comment.

Before launching TDCX as a 29-year-old in 1995, the French native cut his teeth studying advertising at the École Supérieure de Publicité in Paris and business administration at the nearby École Supérieure Internationale d’Administration des Entreprises, graduating in 1989. After a two-year stint at consumer goods giant Unilever, Junique—who had reportedly been cooking up business ideas since he was a child, including a glass recycling proposal he came up with at age 13—decided he wanted a more international career, but struggled to find a gig as a young graduate with little experience.

Armed with a suitcase and just enough cash to get by, he decamped to Singapore in 1995 to try his luck on the other side of the planet. Singapore offered a strategic location as a modern, English-speaking city at the heart of fast-growing Southeast Asia, and Junique started a call center called Teledirect aimed at businesses looking to cut costs and outsource customer service. Soon enough, Junique scored the firm’s first big client, an American credit card firm based in Singapore.

Two years later, in 1997, Junique sold a 40% stake in Teledirect to London-based advertising giant WPP for an undisclosed amount. Since then, TDCX expanded beyond call centers and now has offices in 11 countries across three continents, including locations in China, Japan and India. In 2018, Junique bought back WPP’s 40% stake in the call center business for about $28 million. Three years of growth later, the company now has a market capitalization of $3.5 billion.

With 2020 marking a record year for TDCX, Junique is hoping that the Covid-induced transition away from offices has made the firm’s products more necessary for its clients. “As consumers live more and more of their lives online, the expectation for things to be done simply, conveniently and on-demand will only increase,” Junique said in a statement.

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Send me a secure tip.

I’m a Staff Writer on the Wealth team at Forbes, covering billionaires and their wealth. My reporting has led me to an S&P 500 tech firm in the plains of Oklahoma; a

Source: The World’s Newest Call Center Billionaire

.
Related Contents:

“BBC Three – The Call Centre, Series 1”. Bbc.co.uk. 2013-12-10. Retrieved 2017-12-10.

Banks Are Giving the Ultra-Rich Cheap Loans to Fund Their Lifestyle

Billionaire hedge fund manager Alan Howard paid $59 million for a Manhattan townhouse in March. Just two months later he obtained a $30 million mortgage from Citigroup Inc.

Denis Sverdlov, worth $6.1 billion thanks to his shares in electric-vehicle maker Arrival, recently pledged part of that stake for a line of credit from the same bank. For Edgar and Clarissa Bronfman the loan collateral is paintings by Damien Hirst and Diego Rivera, among others. Philippe Laffont, meanwhile, pledged stakes in a dozen funds at his Coatue Management for a credit line at JPMorgan Chase & Co.

In the realm of personal finance, debt is largely viewed as a necessary evil, one that should be kept to a minimum. But with interest rates at record lows and many assets appreciating in value, it’s one of the most important pieces of the billionaire toolkit — and one of the hottest parts of private banking.

Thanks to the Bronfmans, Howards and Sverdlovs of the world, the biggest U.S. investment banks reported a sizable jump in the value of loans they’ve extended to their richest clients, driven mainly by demand for asset-backed debt.

Morgan Stanley’s tailored and securities-based lending portfolio approached $76 billion last quarter, a 43% increase from a year earlier. Bank of America Corp. reported a $67 billion balance of such loans, up more than 20% year-over-year, while loans at Citigroup’s private bank — including but not limited to securities-backed loans — rose 17%. Appetite for such credit was the primary driver of the 21% bump in average loans at JPMorgan’s asset- and wealth-management division. And at UBS Group AG, U.S. securities-based lending rose by $4 billion.

Borrowing Binge

“It’s a real business winner for the banks,” said Robert Weeber, chief executive officer of wealth-management firm Tiedemann Constantia, adding his clients have recently been offered the opportunity to borrow against real estate, security portfolios and even single-stock holdings.

Spokespeople for Howard, Arrival and Laffont declined to comment, while the Bronfmans didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Rock-bottom interest rates have fueled the biggest borrowing binge on record and even billionaires with enough cash to fill a swimming pool are loathe to sit it out.

And for good reason. With assets both public and private at historically lofty valuations, shareholders are hesitant to cash out and miss higher heights. Appian Corp. co-founder Matthew Calkins has pledged a chunk of his roughly $3.5 billion stake in the software company — whose shares have risen about 145% in the past year — for a loan.

“Families with wealth of $100 million or more can borrow at less than 1%,” said Dan Gimbel, principal at NEPC Private Wealth. “For their lifestyle, there may be things they want to purchase — a car or a boat or even a small business — and they may turn to that line of credit for those types of things rather than take money from the portfolio as they want that to be fully invested.”

Yachts and private jets have been especially popular buys in the past year, according to wealth managers, one of whom described it as borrowing to buy social distance.

‘Significant Benefit’

Loans also allow the ultra-wealthy to avoid the hit of capital gains taxes at a time when valuations are high and rates are poised to increase, perhaps even almost double. Postponing tax is a “significant benefit” for portfolios concentrated and diversified alike, according to Michael Farrell, managing director for SEI Private Wealth Management.

Critics say such loans are just one more wedge in America’s ever-widening wealth gap. “Asset-backed loans are one of the principal tools that the ultra-wealthy are using to game their tax obligations down to zero,” said Chuck Collins, director of the Program on Inequality and the Common Good at the Institute for Policy Studies.

While using public equities as collateral is the most common tactic for banks loaning to the merely affluent, clients further up the wealth scale usually have a bevy of possessions they can feasibly pledge against, such as mansions, planes and even more esoteric collectibles, like watches and classic cars.

One big advantage for the wealthy borrowing now is the possibility that rates will ultimately rise and they can lock in low borrowing costs for decades. Some private banks offer mortgages on homes for as long as 20 years with fixed interest rates as low as 1% for the period.

The wealthy can also hedge against higher borrowing costs for a fraction of their pledged assets’ value, according to Ali Jamal, the founder of multifamily office Azura.

“With ultra-high-net worth clients, you’re often thinking about the next generation,” said Jamal, a former Julius Baer Group Ltd. managing director. “If you have a son or a daughter and you know they want to live one day in Milan, St. Moritz or Paris, you can now secure a future home for them and the bank is fixing your interest rate for as long as two decades.”

Risks Involved

Securities-based lending does comes with risks for the bank and the borrower. If asset values plunge, borrowers may have to cough up cash to meet margin calls. Banks prize their relationships with their richest clients, but foundered loans are both costly and humiliating.

Ask JPMorgan. The bank helped arrange a $500 million credit facility for WeWork founder Adam Neumann, pledged against the value of his stock, according to the Wall Street Journal. As the value of the co-working startup imploded, Softbank Group Corp. had to swoop in to help Neumann repay the loans and avert a significant loss for the bank.

A spokesperson for JPMorgan declined to comment.

Still, for the banks it’s a risk worth taking. Asked about securities-backed loans on last week’s earnings call, Morgan Stanley Chief Financial Officer Sharon Yeshaya said they’d “historically seen minimal losses.” Among the bank’s past clients is Elon Musk, who turned to them for $61 million in mortgages on five California properties in 2019, and who also has Tesla Inc. shares worth billions pledged to secure loans.

“As James [Gorman] has always said, it’s a product in which you lend wealthy clients their money back,” Yeshaya said, referring to Morgan Stanley’s chief executive officer. “And this is something that is resonating.”

By:

Source: Banks Are Giving the Ultra-Rich Cheap Loans to Fund Their Lifestyle

.

Reference:

Stock market news live updates: Stocks rally, zero in on records as markets try to extend win streak

FOREX-U.S. dollar on track for second week of gains; Fed meeting in focus

GM issues new recall for nearly 69,000 Bolt EVs for fire risks

American Express beats Q2 estimates as consumer spending rebounds

Pakistan seeks U.N. probe of India’s use of Pegasus spyware

Here’s what a Bank of America strategist says investors should do next as market rotation enters round four

This ‘fruit pyramid’ can help you build the retirement that’s right for you

Facebook, Apple and The War Over Social Media Influencers

In this photo illustration the Apple and Facebook logos are...

Facebook, good. Apple, bad. Facebook, good. Everyone else, bad.

That’s a little reductive but essentially the message put out today by Mark Zuckerberg. Writing on his personal Facebook page, Zuckerberg announced that Facebook won’t take a cut of any earnings that influencers earn on its platform through a growing number of Facebook products until 2023—and when it does start, its fees will be “less than the 30% that Apple and others take.” In addition, Zuckerberg said Facebook would shortly release a helpful little dashboard for influencers to (ostensibly) better manage their earnings and see which companies take a portion of their income.

There’s a lot at stake here. To start, Zuckerberg has increasingly pinned a portion of Facebook’s hopes for future growth on creators and has announced a slew of new initiatives over the past year to encourage influencers to build audiences on Facebook products. Among other things, Facebook plans to roll out audio features with subscription plans, introduce a marketplace where brands and influencers can link up and launch a subscription newsletter service, Bulletin.

Complicating matters is the fact that many other rival companies—TikTok, Snapchat and YouTube, to name only a few—are working on similar things. As well as the fact that Facbeook and Instagram spent many years largely ignoring the influencers on its platforms, while those rivals did a better job at cultivating them and introducing opportunities to earn money off their newfound fame, making those sites a more diserable destination.

To help Facebook stand out, Zuckerberg is willing to do something the others probably aren’t: Let creators earn money on the site without taking a portion of those dollars. Those smaller companies are likely going to be more eager to show investors that these new creator-focused products generate money.

Facebook, by contrast, has the enviable position of . . . not really needing the money. It earned a $9.5 billion profit alone last year and has over $60 billion just in cash. Keeping creators happy and earning money on Facebook keeps them from running off to other sites, taking Facebook users with them. Users have been—and will continue to be—the real moneymakers for Facebook, the people who look at the ads that do make up the majority of the company’s revenue.

The second factor in all this is the burgeoning grudge match between Facebook and Apple—and between Apple and other parts of Big Tech. Apple recently introduced changes to its operating system that will make it harder for Facebook to earn money off ads, part of a larger disagreement between Facebook and Apple over data privacy on the internet.

For its part in the war, Facebook will be doing things like Monday’s announcement: finding ways to paint Apple’s policies as stifling to small businesses on the Web. (Facebook’s timing was blantantly conspicuous, Zuckerberg’s post coming a few hours before Apple begins its much-watched annual developers’ conference.)

Of course, other companies are taking the opportunity to do the same thing to Apple. Less than a month ago, a trial concluded between Apple and Fornite-maker Epic Games over Apple’s allegedly monopolistic grip on large swaths of the internet, a fight also first sparked over fees and a disagreement over who should earn what.

I’m a senior editor at Forbes, where I cover social media, creators and internet culture. In the past, I’ve edited across Forbes magazine and Forbes.com.

Source: Facebook, Apple—And The War Over Social Media Influencers

.

Critics:

It’s a bit simplistic, but it’s the message Mark Zuckerberg is conveying today. Writing on his non-public Facebook page, Zuckerberg announced that Facebook will not take any reduction in the profits influencers make on its platform through a number in Facebook product development until 2023, and when it starts, its fees will be “less than the 30% that Apple and others take. In addition, Zuckerberg said Facebook would soon launch a useful little panel so influencers can (apparently) better manage their profits and see which corporations take part in their profits.

The stakes are high here. For starters, Zuckerberg has placed some of Facebook’s hopes for long-term expansion on creators and announced a series of new projects over the next year to inspire influencers to create audiences on Facebook products. Among other things, Facebook. plans to implement audio features with subscription plans, introduce a marketplace where brands and influencers can connect, and launch a subscription newsletter service, Newsletter.

To complicate matters, many other rival corporations (TikTok, Snapchat and YouTube, to name a few) are running similar things, as well as the fact that Facbeook and Instagram have spent many years largely ignoring influencers on their platforms, while rivals have done more of a job cultivating them and introducing opportunities to make money through their newfound fame. , making those sites a more disadvantageous destination.

.

 

NCino Cloud Based Financial Services Firm Aims To Raise $100 Million In IPO

1

Two months after the Covid-19 pandemic froze the IPO market, financial services software company NCino has filed for a public offering.

The Wilmington, North Carolina-based startup is seeking to raise $100 million in an IPO, it announced Monday. A regulatory filing with the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission did not disclose how many shares the company planned to sell, or at what price. The company declined to comment beyond a press release, citing SEC regulations.

The announcement comes as other tech companies are weighing up their potential futures on the public market since Covid-19 battered the economy. Some have seen great success: Shares in ZoomInfo, a cloud-based sales and marketing software firm, surged 62% on its first day of trading, making it the largest tech company debut of 2020. But other tech firms battered by the pandemic, such as Airbnb, are yet to announce whether they will proceed with planned IPOs.

728x90

Launched in 2012 by executives of North Carolina-based Live Oak Bank as a spin-off venture, nCino provides Salesforce-based software to improve loan and deposit processing, among other financial services. The company, which employs more than 900 people, has raised a total $213 million from investors including  Insight Partners, Salesforce Ventures and T. Rowe Price. Insight holds a 46.6% stake in the company, company filings show.

Led by CEO Pierre Naudé, nCino now has more than 1,100 corporate customers, mostly banks, including Bank of America and Santander, the company said in its SEC filing. In recent months, the company’s software has been used by these customers to process more than $50 billion in Paycheck Protection Program funding using its software, and handled hundreds of thousands of requests from small businesses seeking loans.

According to nCino’s SEC filing, known as an S-1, the company generated $138 million in the fiscal 2020 year, with $27.8 million in losses, up from $91.5 million revenue on $22.3 million in losses in 2019.

The company will list on the NASDAQ market under the ticker “NCNO.” The deal will be underwritten by Barclays, SunTrust Robinson Humphrey Bank of America Securities and KeyBanc Capital Markets.

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Send me a secure tip.

I’m a staff reporter at Forbes covering tech companies. I previously reported for The Real Deal, where I covered WeWork, real estate tech startups and commercial real estate. As a freelancer, I’ve also written for The New York Times, Associated Press and other outlets. I’m a graduate of Columbia Journalism School, where I was a Toni Stabile Investigative Fellow. Before arriving in the U.S., I was a police reporter in Australia. Follow me on Twitter at @davidjeans2 and email me at djeans@forbes.com

Source: https://www.forbes.com

Learn more about how nCino’s Bank Operating System enables financial institutions of all sizes to succeed in today’s competitive environment.

Investors Block 800,000 Student Loan Borrowers From Billions In Potential Relief

1

Investors of a sprawling private student loan operation have effectively blocked a settlement proposal that could have provided billions of dollars in relief to 800,000 student loan borrowers.The case involves a set of financial vehicles collectively known as National Collegiate Student Loan Trusts. The National Collegiate Student Loan Trusts are not technically a student loan company (at least in the traditional sense), nor are they even a single organizational entity.

Rather, the name refers to around 15 or so individual trust entities that collectively acquired hundreds of thousands of private student loans that were originally disbursed by private commercial banking entities. These original lenders securitized and sold bundles of private student loans, which were then purchased and transferred by intermediaries, and then ultimately assigned to the National Collegiate Student Loan Trusts.

In 2017, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) filed a lawsuit against the National Collegiate Student Loan Trusts and its servicer, TransWorld Systems for illegal collections practices. The lawsuit alleged that the trusts filed numerous collections lawsuits against consumers without complete documentation sufficient to prove that the trusts actually owned the loans they were purporting to collection.

728x90

The lawsuit also alleged that the trusts relied on sworn affidavits by employees of TransWorld Systems to prove ownership of the student loans, but that at times, these affiants had no actual personal knowledge of the underlying debts at all. As a result, student loan borrowers wound up being forced, via state court judgments, to pay for student loans that they did not owe, or did not have to repay.

The CFPB and the National Collegiate Student Loan Trusts reached a settlement agreement that would have required the Trusts and TransWorld Systems to audit around 800,000 student loan accounts. Some expected that the audits would result in many of those accounts being deemed effectively uncollectible or even forgiven if the audits determined that sufficient documentation of ownership was unavailable.

A federal judge recently rejected the proposed settlement, however. The court sided with several investors and stakeholders involved with the National Collegiate Student Loan Trusts (including some banking entities and debt collectors), concluding that the attorneys acting on behalf of the trusts to negotiate with the CFPB did not have authority to enter into the settlement agreement in the first place.

The end result is that, barring a re-negotiated agreement or another favorable conclusion to the litigation, around 800,000 student loan borrowers with around $12 billion in student loans allegedly held by National Collegiate Student Loan Trusts will continue to be potentially liable for the debt. These borrowers could be subjected to a renewed wave of debt collection lawsuits, and it will be up to individual borrowers (and their attorneys) to fight these lawsuits in court, one by one.

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website.

I’m an attorney with a unique practice devoted entirely to helping student loan borrowers. I provide counsel, legal assistance, and direct advocacy for borrowers on a variety of student loan-related matters including repayment management, default resolution, and servicing troubleshooting. I have been interviewed by major national media outlets including The New York Times, NPR, and The Washington Post, and I’ve been named a Massachusetts Super Lawyer “Rising Star” every year since 2015. I regularly present to companies, schools, and professional associations about the latest developments in higher education financing, and I’ve published three handbooks to help student loan borrowers manage their debt. I’m also a contributing author to the National Consumer Law Center’s manual, Student Loan Law, as well as various law review articles. I received my undergraduate degree, with honors, in Philosophy and Political Science from Boston University, and my law degree from Northeastern University School of Law.

Source: https://www.forbes.com

Get life-changing financial advice anytime, anywhere. Subscribe today: https://www.youtube.com/c/TheDaveRams… Don’t wait to start making a change. Learn how you can take control of your money and attack your debt with a vengeance: https://goo.gl/ZVoYgb
%d bloggers like this: