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EY Report: Surety Bonding Provides Strong Economic Value and Strengthens Performance for Public and Private Construction Projects


A comprehensive study, The Economic Value of Surety Bonds, finds public and private construction projects protected by surety have lower rates of contractor default, lower cost of completion in the case of default, and are finished faster than non-bonded projects. For a bonded portfolio of construction projects, the overall value of surety bonds more than covers their cost. The study, by Ernst & Young’s (EY) Quantitative Economics and Statistics Group (QUEST), was recently conducted in collaboration with the Surety & Fidelity Association of America (SFAA) and is the first to fully assess the economic value surety bonding delivers. EY’s analysis quantified the benefits surety bonding generates throughout the lifecycle of a portfolio of public and private construction projects – including benefits extending beyond the financial protection surety companies provide when contractors default. As a result, EY’s research found that bonded project portfolios modeled perform better than unbonded portfolios, even when considering conservative default rates. “The report exposes the risks of unbonded construction projects, including project delays and higher costs, especially in the case of default, and shows that state and federal laws requiring surety bonds are sound. It’s just good public policy,” said SFAA president and CEO Lee Covington. “EY is a trusted, data-driven firm, and their analysis makes clear surety bonds deliver exceptional economic value for vital American infrastructure projects. EY’s report highlights the economic value and protections surety bonds deliver for both public and private construction projects,” continued Covington. Based on a survey of public and private developers, interviews with experts on construction project defaults, and an assessment of project portfolios, the analysis identified three areas where surety bonds have a significant impact on public and private construction projects. Lower cost of completion upon default and necessary completion expertise – Unbonded construction projects on which the contractor defaults were found to have a cost of completion 85% higher than projects protected by surety bonds. Experts on construction project defaults also unanimously indicated the surety is generally more able to provide the expertise and resources needed to promote a successful transition or re-procurement process than an owner. Over 90% of these experts reported public and private owners/developers generally do not have the expertise and resources to complete the project. Lower rate or likelihood of default – Unbonded projects are more likely to default than bonded projects, perhaps by as much as ten times. This analysis assessed portfolio performance using a default rate of 2.5 times, 5 times, and 10 times a bonded portfolio’s default rate, and generally found unbonded projects are more likely to default than bonded projects. This is in large part because unbonded projects lack the various types of support bonding provides to projects (e.g., prequalification of a contractor’s expertise and financial strength, greater project oversight). Improved or lower contractor pricing – 75% of owners/developers surveyed reported that surety bonding reduces contractor pricing. Respondents cited increased confidence in the general contractor to complete the project and pay subcontractors and payment protections for subcontractors as some of the factors that impact contractor pricing. The analysis demonstrates that any level of improved contractor pricing will only increase the cost benefits of a portfolio of bonded projects. “This report represents the industry’s most comprehensive examination of the economic benefits and protections of surety,” said Principal & Co-leader, Ernst & Young (EY) Quantitative Economic and Statistics (QUEST) Group, Robert Carroll. “Based on our analysis, the multiple benefits surety delivers help manage risk and provide strong economic and performance value to construction projects,” continued Carroll. The EY report found additional benefits surety bonds bring to both public and private construction projects, including: More appropriate prequalification and review – Prior to construction, prequalification was more likely to occur for bonded projects (96% of respondents reported that pre-qualification was performed for bonded projects as compared to 61% for non-bonded), and during construction, contractors provided more information for bonded projects – general contractors were nearly twice as likely to share more than one financial update for bonded projects as for non-bonded projects. Higher priority placed on bonded projects and greater project oversight – Respondents reported that contractors prioritize bonded projects when experiencing financial challenges. Nearly 5 times as many respondents indicated that contractors place a higher priority on bonded projects as compared to unbonded projects when facing financial difficulty. Greater project oversight with more involvement by construction managers is likely to help prevent losses. Greater timeliness of completion – 5 times as many public and private owners reported, bonded projects are more likely to be completed on time or ahead of schedule than non-bonded projects. And when a project does default, an unbonded project will take nearly 2 times longer to complete than a bonded project. Necessary experience and resources when defaults occur – 100% of construction default experts surveyed/interviewed for this analysis said sureties have the expertise, tools and resources necessary to complete a project in the most cost and time-effective manner as compared to an owner who does not have the same expertise and experience as a surety. To read the EY report and get additional information visit The Surety & Fidelity Association of America (SFAA) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan trade association representing all segments of the surety and fidelity industry. Based in Washington, D.C., SFAA works to promote the value of surety and fidelity bonding by proactively advocating on behalf of its members and stakeholders. The association’s more than 425 member companies write 98 percent of surety and fidelity bonds in the U.S. For more information visit EY exists to build a better working world, helping to create long-term value for clients, people and society and build trust in the capital markets. Enabled by data and technology, diverse EY teams in over 150 countries provide trust through assurance and help clients grow, transform and operate. Working across assurance, consulting, law, strategy, tax and transactions, EY teams ask better questions to find new answers for the complex issues facing our world today. EY refers to the global organization, and may refer to one or more, of the member firms of Ernst & Young Global Limited, each of which is a separate legal entity. Ernst & Young Global Limited, a UK company limited by guarantee, does not provide services to clients. Information about how EY collects and uses personal data and a description of the rights individuals have under data protection legislation are available via EY member firms do not practice law where prohibited by local laws. For more information about our organization, please visit Contact Details Peter Roth +1 703-401-0676 Company Website

March 13, 2023 01:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time

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Governor Newsom Signs Tribal-State Gaming Compact with Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria

Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria

Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria and the State of California have entered into a Tribal-State gaming compact as announced by Governor Newsom’s office on March 9, 2023. This will replace the agreement signed in 2012. The new compact increases the number of authorized slot machines at Graton Resort & Casino from 3000 to 6000 (one of the highest amounts in the state). It also provides additional support for limited and non-gaming tribes through the Revenue Sharing Trust Fund (RSTF), beyond the $1.1 million per year cap that each limited and non-gaming tribe has previously been restricted to. The compact is available on the State of California website here. “We’re happy to improve our compact with the State of California and continue to provide needed community funds for the City of Rohnert Park, Sonoma County and our state,” said Greg Sarris, Tribal Chairman, Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria. “This compact allows the tribe to grow as a self-sustaining sovereign nation and continue to support our mission of social justice and environmental stewardship.” About the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria Graton Rancheria is a federally recognized Indian tribe comprising Coast Miwok and Southern Pomo Indians. Legislation restoring federal recognition to the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria was signed into law in December 2000. Tribal lands are located in Rohnert Park, Sonoma County, Calif. For more information, visit About Graton Resort & Casino Located in Sonoma County, Graton Resort & Casino has a commanding presence among the rolling hills of Northern California's wine country. Owned and operated by the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria, Graton Resort & Casino features table games, the latest slot machines, upscale and casual dining, plus entertainment options for visitors and locals alike. For more information, please visit MEDIA, PLEASE NOTE: For more information, please contact Brianne Miller at or by phone at (650) 575-7727. # # # Contact Details Landis Communications Inc. Brianne Miller +1 650-575-7727 Company Website

March 10, 2023 10:21 AM Pacific Standard Time

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Investment Columnist Embarks on New Book Project to Detail the Rise and Fall of Hewlett-Packard

EAH Strategies

James K. Glassman, former investment columnist for the Washington Post and author of three books on finance, announced today that he is writing a book on the rise and decline of HP Inc., the former Hewlett-Packard Company. “Bill Hewlett and David Packard were the first great technology innovators of Silicon Valley,” said Glassman. “They founded their company in 1939 in a one-car garage at 367 Addison Avenue in Palo Alto that’s called the ‘birthplace of Silicon Valley.’ But as the Valley flourished and became the tech capital of the world, HP lost its way.” He continued: “HP was a household name long before many of today’s tech giants even existed, but today it has a market capitalization that is a mere 1% of Apple’s or Microsoft’s. How did this happen? What mistakes were made? What market trends were missed? Why did the company make terrible acquisitions? What role did the CEOs play in HP’s demise? These are just some of the questions I will investigate in this forthcoming book.” By exploring what happened to HP, Glassman’s book intends to offer lessons to entrepreneurs, business executives and investors. The book will look inside HP’s controversial business moves, such as its $25 billion purchase of Compaq in 2002 (which ZDNet called the worst tech merger in history), its 2008 acquisition of EDS for $13.9 billion (which led to a $8 billion write down), and its 2010 acquisition of Palm for $1.2 billion (which led to a $3.3 billion write off). Central to the book will be the tenures of its CEOs. These include Carly Fiorina, who was forced to resign over the disastrous Compaq merger Mark Hurd, who was booted by the board over inaccurate expense reports and sexual harassment claims; Leo Apotheker, who was replaced after a 40% drop in the company’s stock price; and Meg Whitman, who laid off tens of thousands and was recognized by Bloomberg in 2013 as the most underachieving CEO, based on stock performance. Glassman noted his surprise that other than David Packard’s own The HP Way, there have been few books about the company, its culture, and leadership. Glassman is asking former and current HP employees as well as those with knowledge of the company to contact him at Glassman, who wrote the Sunday investing column for the Washington Post for 11 years, currently writes a monthly column for Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. He was formerly Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, president of the Atlantic Monthly Co., editor and co-owner of Roll Call, and host of three weekly public affairs programs on CNN and PBS. He is a former member of the Securities & Exchange Commission’s Investor Advisory Committee and was founding executive director of the George W. Bush Institute in Dallas. He is co-author of the bestseller Dow 36,000 and author of The Secret Code of the Superior Investor and Safety Net. Contact Details EAH Strategies, LLC Elizabeth Heaton Posthumus +1 202-445-9858

March 09, 2023 11:44 AM Eastern Standard Time

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Comcast Colorado

Comcast announced today it will expand its next-generation network, the Xfinity 10G Network, to serve more of Pueblo County, including Pueblo West. The company says the more than $75 million project will provide enhanced business products and services, and extend new fiber-rich highways to connect more of the existing and new homes and businesses throughout the growing Pueblo County area. This planned expansion adds to Comcast’s ongoing $1.2 billion investment in Colorado over the last three years. Construction has already begun in parts of the Pueblo West community, and people will start being able to connect with services before the Fall of 2023. With this expansion, Comcast will provide multi-gig broadband internet speeds, video, mobile, voice, home management, and business products and services. “Comcast is committed to connecting more people to what and who matters most to them,” said J.D. Keller, Senior Vice President, Comcast’s Mountain West Region. “We’re excited to bring our fast, reliable, secure network and services to more people throughout Pueblo County. Whether it’s for work, school, or entertainment, our fiber-rich, multi-gigabit network is built to meet the needs of tomorrow - today.” Once complete, Comcast, the nation’s largest provider of 1.2 Gigabit per second speeds, will give consumers throughout Pueblo West access to reliable and fast Xfinity Internet and Xfinity Mobile service that outperforms its competitors. Comcast’s next-generation technology provides multiple layers of security that automatically detect and block hundreds of thousands of cyber events every second, providing peace of mind to consumers and businesses. “ Access to reliable internet and telecommunications services is critical to the vitality and economic growth of Pueblo,” said Jeff Shaw President/CEO from Pueblo Economic Development Corp. “Comcast is already a great service and community partner throughout our Pueblo communities, and we appreciate their investment. We value their commitment to increasing accessibility and bridging the gap to connect more people to much-needed services that will help our community and businesses thrive.” Comcast is committed to addressing digital equity in communities we serve, through Project UP, the company’s $1 billion dollar commitment to help tens of millions of people connect to the internet and build futures of unlimited possibilities. Last year, Comcast Colorado invested more than $42.6 million to help more than 260 community organizations statewide provide personalized digital skills training, offer workforce development/readiness workshops and other tech education to students, adults, and people with disabilities. Comcast supported local organizations including United Way of Pueblo County, Boys &Girls Clubs of Pueblo County, and Southern Colorado Youth Development among others. And Comcast has four Lift Zone connectivity centers at central community organizations throughout Pueblo including Boys & Girls Clubs of Pueblo County, Southern Colorado Youth Development, El Centro Del Quinto Sol Pueblo Parks and Recreation, and RMSER Community Center, to ensure more people have access to secure, reliable Wi Fi. Comcast’s community funding supports ongoing efforts to build awareness about connectivity programs like Internet Essentials and the federal government’s Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), which offers eligible households up to $30/month credit, or up to $75 for households on tribal lands, for home Internet. Comcast proudly participates in the Affordable Connectivity Program, and offers Internet Essentials Plus, a $29.95/month home Internet service that is effectively free for eligible households, once the ACP credit is applied. Interested customers can visit or call 1-800-Xfinity to learn more about this program and find out if they qualify. For more construction details and updates, visit Powered by the Xfinity 10G Network Comcast’s next-generation network and Internet experience are powering homes today and into the future: Ultimate Capacity: Xfinity customers connect nearly 1 billion devices across the company’s network annually. The Xfinity 10G Network with the next-generation Xfinity gateways deliver the most advanced WiFi technology carrying three times more bandwidth to power streaming, gaming, videoconferencing, and more, simultaneously. Fastest Internet: 10 million+ Xfinity Internet customers subscribe to gigabit speed products, and Ookla rated Xfinity the fastest Internet provider at the end of 2022*. Symmetrical gig speeds to the first homes are planned for later this year. Unprecedented Coverage: The latest Xfinity Gateway provides a more reliable connection throughout the home. Customers can get wall-to-wall WiFi coverage with a powerful xFi Pod that extends coverage to hard-to-reach areas, with plans for an offering of increased support for in-home WiFi through a “boost guarantee” later this year. Most Reliable Connection: Comcast is scaling the nation’s largest and most reliable network – the Xfinity 10G Network – that passes 60 million homes and business and counting. The company plans to launch a new device that is “storm-ready” with cellular and battery backup to help keep customers connected even when the power goes out. Ultra-Low Latency: The Xfinity 10G Network and the latest xFi Gateway are a powerful combination that deliver ultra-low latency for those moments when response times matter most like video games, a fast-growing category with Xfinity households averaging more than one gaming console per home. For local businesses, Comcast Business offers a suite of connectivity, communications, networking, cybersecurity, wireless, and managed solutions to help organizations of different sizes prepare for what’s next. Powered by the nation’s largest Gig-speed broadband network, and backed by 24/7 customer support, Comcast Business is the nation’s largest cable provider to small and mid-size businesses and one of the leading service providers to the Enterprise market. Comcast Business has been consistently recognized by industry analysts and associations as a leader and innovator, and one of the fastest-growing providers of Ethernet services. About Comcast: Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA) is a global media and technology company that connects people to moments that matter. We are principally focused on connectivity, aggregation, and streaming with 57 million customer relationships across the United States and Europe. We deliver broadband, wireless, and video through our Xfinity, Comcast Business, and Sky brands; create, distribute, and stream leading entertainment, sports, and news through Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, Universal Studio Group, Sky Studios, the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, multiple cable networks, Peacock, NBCUniversal News Group, NBC Sports, Sky News, and Sky Sports; and provide memorable experiences at Universal Parks and Resorts in the United States and Asia. Visit for more information. Ookla’s Speedtest TM Market Index report shows that Xfinity delivered the fastest median download speeds to its Internet customers in Colorado for the final quarter of 2022. Once permits are obtained and construction has begun in the public rights of way, Comcast will create an online resource for residents seeking information about the network build in their neighborhood, including answers to frequently asked questions and product and service details. For more information about Pueblo County’s broadband expansion initiative please visit About Comcast Corporation Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA) is a global media and technology company that connects people to moments that matter. We are principally focused on broadband, aggregation, and streaming with 57 million customer relationships across the United States and Europe. We deliver broadband, wireless, and video through our Xfinity, Comcast Business, and Sky brands; create, distribute, and stream leading entertainment, sports, and news through Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, Universal Studio Group, Sky Studios, the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, multiple cable networks, Peacock, NBCUniversal News Group, NBC Sports, Sky News, and Sky Sports; and provide memorable experiences at Universal Parks and Resorts in the United States and Asia. Visit for more information. Contact Details Leslie Oliver +1 303-810-6326 Company Website

March 09, 2023 09:00 AM Mountain Standard Time

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Weak regulation in Andorra is a threat to the EU financial system, according to a new report

Andorra Anti-corruption

A new report by Martin Kreutner, Dean Emeritus of the International Anti-Corruption Academy (IACA), published today, highlights significant legal and regulatory weak points in the Principality of Andorra. The report, titled “ A brief review on the Anti-Corruption & Anti-money Laundering State of Play in the Principality of Andorra”, looks at anti-corruption and anti-money laundering measures in the European microstate. Its publication comes as Andorra, along with Monaco and San Marino, enter an advanced stage of negotiations with the EU for further integration through Association Agreements. Kreutner’s report identifies several shortcomings that need to be addressed to protect the EU from allowing a “Trojan Horse” into its financial system, including: Andorra has yet to ratify influential and universal anti-corruption instruments, including the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), OECD Bribery Convention and the Council of Europe’s Civil Law Convention against Corruption. Andorra lacks an independent and specialized anti-corruption body/authority, in line with international standards and requirements. Andorra has yet to fully implement crucial policies from the Council of Europe’s Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) and the MONEYVA L committee. Andorra’s banking sector faces risks from the absence of a central bank and various key regulatory legislations. Andorra’s banking and financial sector accounts for over 20% of the country’s GDP. Its banks attract large deposits from investors around the world, thanks to its low tax environment and opaque corporate laws. The sector has been steeped in scandal in recent years. Andbank, one of Andorra’s largest banks, was at the centre of a massive international tax evasion scheme revealed in the Panama Papers. The unresolved case of Banca Privada d’Andorra (BPA), which was expropriated by the government in 2015, demonstrates how the authorities mishandled money laundering allegations and may have wrongfully taken over the bank, costing the taxpayer hundreds of millions of Euros. Exposure of these regulatory shortcomings will cast an unwelcome shadow over Andorra’s leadership as the country heads to the polls for General Election next month. Martin Kreutner, the author of the report, said: “Alleged and adjudicated scandals have rocked Andorra in recent years. Understanding the state of play of the Principality’s anti-corruption and anti-money laundering architecture is critical if Andorra is to be allowed further EU integration. Improving anti-corruption and anti-money laundering regulations should be at the centre of Andorra’s agenda, especially in the upcoming elections.” To read the full report, visit: About the author: Martin Kreutner is Dean Emeritus of the International Anti-Corruption Academy (IACA) and an international expert in anti-corruption, compliance, anti-money-laundering, and the rule of law. He wrote the report in a personal capacity. From 2001 to 2010, Kreutner headed the Austrian federal anticorruption authority. From 2004 to 2012, he was the President of the Network European Partners Against Corruption and the EU’s European Anti-Corruption Contact Point Network (EPAC/EACN). He served as Dean of the International Anti-Corruption Academy (IACA) from 2012 to 2019. Contact Details Martin Kreutner Company Website

March 09, 2023 06:50 AM Eastern Standard Time

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Legal & General’s new report on Women in the U.S. Gig Economy finds income disparity, multiple roles, worry about financial future

Legal & General

- Lowest pay bracket: 58% are women; Highest pay bracket: 68% are men - Earning over $100K a year in gig work: 18% are female, 28% are male - 71% of female gig workers say their biggest worry is their financial futue - Just 8% of women surveyed have a pension plan A special International Women’s Day report in a broad new study sponsored by Legal & General Group ( LGEN, LGNNY ), U.S. Gig Economy Special Report: Tasked With Both Childcare and Earning, Women Fall Behind Their Male Counterparts, was released today. The report continues narrating original research on the changing U.S. workforce and the reluctance of so many to enter into traditional employment. The study looks into the diversity and differences as well as the shared traits of this group of workers, along with the tradeoffs they make in favor of flexibility. This special report in the data-rich U.S. Gig Economy study, Tasked With Both Childcare and Earning, Women Fall Behind Their Male Counterparts, explores several areas of gender disparity between the male and female freelance workers who were surveyed. The sample comprised 47 percent women, who largely make their living in lower-paid sectors such as Beauty & Heath, Media/Writing and Online/App Services—this, in contrast to the highest paid, mostly male sector, IT. Across all categories of respondents, whether paid per project, per hour, per week or per month, the pay gap between men and women was 32 percent on average, and as much as 45 percent in median average pay per month. The study found that female gig workers are far more likely than males to prioritize their children and other family caregiving responsibilities ahead of the stability and future financial security offered by the full-time, office-based work model. They also worry far more than men do about the long-term financial outlook their choice entails. Verbatim responses received ahead of the survey from female gig workers show a more realistic and stoic outlook on their financial prospects than their male counterparts, including their projected income at retirement and their ability to weather unforeseen financial crises such as a loss of income or a major home or car repair. “The value of women in the workforce becomes increasingly obvious, even as more and more American women find themselves turning to working independently as the only way to juggle multiple roles and responsibilities in their lives. This study shines the light on some key areas that are ripe for reparation in the U.S. labor space, notably more equitable pay and better social and financial safety nets for women. Employers looking to get this hard-working contingent back to the office should additionally address women’s evident need for flexibility, as they pick up many other family and householder duties. The private sector can and should lead the way in improving their lot.” Sir Nigel Wilson, Chief Executive, Legal & General Group Female gig workers’ biggest concern is their long-term financial future Legal & General’s study looks at the complex and multifaceted societal and financial factors behind independent work, including what is missing for many to feel secure in life and society. Seven out of 10 women in this study worried about a lack of job security and predictability of income, as well as not having access to group retirement plans and other benefits. “Globally, women are at far greater risk of poverty in their old age than are men, and U.S. policymakers are taking notice of this fact. We’re seeing proposed legislation, for example, that would tie federal funding for business growth to the provision of affordable childcare and other benefits meant to empower the workforce. Still, there is a substantial bridge for employers to cross when considering the critical reasons that female workers, in particular, are choosing flexibility over financial security. We hope our research goes some way toward creating a basis for positive change.” John Godfrey, Director of Levelling-Up, Legal & General Group Future segments of this research will look in depth at gig workers’ outlook and financial situation around retirement planning; what it would take to get gig workers to go back to the traditional workplace; and a closer look at the pandemic fallout for gig workers. To receive a pdf of any of these reports, please email Meir Kahtan/MKPR at About the Study Legal & General undertook proprietary research into the attitudes and changes U.S. gig workers are experiencing in relation to their work situations and financial outlook. The U.S. Gig Economy research was compiled using original survey data from 1044 U.S.-based workers aged 18 to 60 who are neither students nor retired, and who earn at least 60% of their income from gig work. The data was collected via online survey fielded to individuals sample sourced from YouGov’s US panel. The Legal & General-designed survey was scripted and hosted on Gryphon, YouGov’s proprietary survey scripting platform, and the field work took place between August 19 and 31, 2022. Key demographics such as age, gender and region were allowed to fall out naturally. 20 questions were designed to understand facts about earnings, drivers of and barriers to gig working, financial product ownership & financial capacity when coming across adverse situations, and future expectations of being involved in the gig economy. Verbatim comments were captured by Legal & General in research carried out in June 2022. About Legal & General Group Established in 1836, Legal & General is one of the UK's leading financial services groups and a major global investor, with over £1.4 trillion ($1.7 trillion) in total assets under management* of which a third is international. We also provide powerful asset origination capabilities. Together, these underpin our leading retirement and protection solutions: we are a leading international player in pension risk transfer, in UK and US life insurance, and in UK workplace pensions and retirement income. Through inclusive capitalism, we aim to build a better society by investing in long-term assets that benefit everyone. *as of December 31, 2021 The information contained in this press release is intended solely for journalists and should not be relied upon by private investors or any other persons to make financial decisions. Contact Details Meir Kahtan Public Relations, LLC Meir Kahtan +1 917-864-0800 Company Website

March 08, 2023 01:00 PM Eastern Standard Time

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New A&M Beauty Survey Explores Critical Online Touchpoints and Key Consumer Priorities to Help Boost Online Conversion

Alvarez & Marsal Consumer and Retail Group

Respondents estimated 60% of their makeup and skincare purchases were completed online Marketplaces (e.g., Amazon) were the most frequently shopped channel across makeup, skincare, and fragrance Online beauty purchases are replenishment focused – 57% in makeup, 60% in skincare, and 56% in fragrance Share of discovery and research done online varies greatly across fragrance, makeup, and skincare. The Consumer and Retail Group of global professional services firm Alvarez & Marsal (A&M CRG) today released its third annual Beauty report, Beauty for the Digital Age, which explores when, and at what age, beauty shoppers are going digital along their purchase journey and uncovers research-based findings on the critical elements for brands and retailers looking to boost online conversion. Based on a survey of some 500 beauty consumers, the report explores the online channels that are most frequently shopped, at what point in the customer journey online channels are used most, and what online features are most important to consumers today. The findings continue to confirm that the online beauty channel is especially important for discovery, research, and replenishment purchases, breaking down the discovery and research phases by demographic. “Since consumer needs and wants differ between online and in-store, beauty brands and retailers need to focus on understanding their digital audience and tailor their strategy appropriately,” said study co-author Patricia Hong, Managing Director at Alvarez & Marsal’s Consumer Retail Group. “Retailers should focus on consumers’ priorities to capture and defend online share in an increasingly competitive environment.” The study also found that: Discovery: 57% of makeup and skincare and 42% of fragrance discovery happened online, with 26- to 40-year-old beauty shoppers most likely to view these products online Research: 64% of makeup and skincare and 45% of fragrance research happened online, again with 26- to 40-year-old beauty shoppers showing the greatest propensity for online The top 3 consumer priorities across categories are ratings and reviews, free shipping, and flexible return policies Top beauty websites are meeting most of consumers top priorities such as ratings & reviews, flexible return policy, and ingredient transparency but are falling short on a few key features like free shipping and free product samples “Simple low-cost levers, such as providing ingredient transparency, can result in improved customer conversion,” said Manola Soler, Senior Director at Alvarez & Marsal’s Consumer Retail Group and report co-author. “It’s important for retailers to be nimble in their offerings since consumer priorities can change quickly – the perfect example being BOPIS (Buy Online Pick up In Store), which fluctuated during and after the pandemic.” The report also provides insights into key focus areas for beauty retailers and brands looking to boost their online presence. As detailed in the report, the online experience is critical for discovery, research, and replenishment purchases, but omnichannel investment is still paramount for beauty retailers. Brands should prioritize investments based on the priorities of the customers and the categories they play in. To access the report, Beauty for the Digital Age, at this link: Study Methodology A&M’s survey was fielded in late 2022, polling some 500 U.S. female beauty consumers through an online panel survey. All participants have purchased makeup, skincare, or fragrance products in the last 12 months. The Alvarez and Marsal Consumer and Retail Group (CRG) is a management consulting firm that tackles the most complex challenges and advances its clients, people, and communities towards their maximum potential. CRG combines the best of A&M’s broader firm's bias toward action and practicality with deep consumer and retail industry experience. CRG partners with businesses across a wide range of categories including Food & Beverage, Beauty & Personal Care, Grocery, Mass Merchandise, and Apparel & Footwear to drive significant performance improvement. Contact Details Alvarez & Marsal Consumer Retail Group David Schneidman Company Website

March 08, 2023 10:30 AM Eastern Standard Time

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New Study Confirms PayMedix Significantly Increases Net Cash Yield from Commercial Revenue for Hospitals and Healthcare Providers


MILWAUKEE, March 8, 2023 – At a time when 41% of U.S. adults have some form of healthcare debt, Health Payment Systems, Inc. (HPS) |PayMedix announced its PayMedix healthcare financing solution increases cash yield for healthcare organizations by as much as 9.5%, based on analysis reviewed by the Validation Institute. The savings encompass a healthcare organization’s total commercial allowed revenue, including both insurance and consumer out-of-pocket balances due. Providers do not re-negotiate pay or contracts or re-tool their existing revenue cycle processes. Instead, providers simply agree to participate with PayMedix and receive guaranteed payment. For a hospital with $200 million in commercial revenue, the PayMedix savings would yield $16 million in additional annual cash. Validation Institute is an independent, third-party organization dedicated to improving the quality and cost of healthcare. The review affirms that PayMedix’s ROI calculator produces a reasonable estimate of a healthcare provider’s savings using the PayMedix platform for commercially insured payments. By guaranteeing prompt full payment to healthcare providers and offering patients manageable repayment plans for all allowed in-network costs, regardless of their ability to pay, PayMedix reduces bad debt and increases net cash yield for providers. It eliminates financial risk for providers, as PayMedix assumes full responsibility for collecting patient balances. “Validation Institute’s review confirms the financial impact of PayMedix’s ability to reinvent and simplify the way healthcare payments are made,” said Tom Policelli, CEO of PayMedix. “Soaring out-of-pocket costs have become a $491 billion problem for the healthcare industry, with providers spending more to collect less. Providers no longer need to chase consumers after services are provided or demand payment before delivering care. By paying providers in full, we drastically reduce bad debt and collection costs. This allows providers to focus on what really matters—providing quality care to all patients.” In addition to increasing net cash yield, the PayMedix solution also increases patient access to needed healthcare services. Some patients today delay or avoid care due to cost concerns, and that can negatively impact overall healthcare outcomes and costs. PayMedix fixes that problem and thus increases health equity by guaranteeing payment to all providers for all participating consumers – regardless of their individual credit ratings. Measuring the additional revenue and cash that could be generated by this increase in patient access to services was outside the scope of the Validation Institute study. Any such gains would increase the value of PayMedix to health systems and provider organizations. The Validation Institute review simply certifies that the hard-dollar savings shown in the PayMedix ROI calculator reasonably estimate the savings to providers. PayMedix stands behind these estimates by making full, non-recourse payments to providers based on the model. Validation Institute’s review of PayMedix’s ROI calculator is also backed by the organization’s Credibility Guarantee. Validation Institute offers customers of the PayMedix solution up to $10,000 guarantee for its claims-based validation. This guarantee confirms that PayMedix will achieve what the validation language says it will achieve. “PayMedix is solving a critical financial challenge for healthcare providers by increasing their net cash yield and reducing their bad debt,” said Benny DiCecca, CEO of the Validation Institute. “We congratulate PayMedix for its pioneering work in changing the way people access, use, and pay for healthcare.” About Validation Institute Validation Institute is an independent, objective, third party organization on a mission to improve the quality and cost of healthcare. Based in Woburn, MA the organization is made up of a network of health benefits purchasers, health benefits advisors, and healthcare solution providers focused on delivering better health value and stronger outcomes than conventional healthcare. About PayMedix PayMedix, which began as the financing arm of Wisconsin-based HPS over a decade ago, is the only company solving the problem of high out-of-pocket costs for everyone: providers, patients, employers and TPAs. By guaranteeing payments to providers and credit for all patients, PayMedix is changing the way people access, use, and pay for healthcare. PayMedix has processed more than $5 billion in medical payments for hospital systems and physician practices and can be implemented in conjunction with any PPO or HMO network. About HPS Health Payment Systems (HPS) is a privately held healthcare technology and services organization with solutions that reduce the cost and complexity of the healthcare payments process to benefit providers, employers, patients and TPAs. Headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, HPS has an independent network of 96 hospital facilities and 27,000 individual providers. Contact Details Brodeur Partners Kaitlynn Cooney +1 609-351-5944 Company Website

March 08, 2023 09:00 AM Eastern Standard Time

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Texas Department of Information Resources (DIR) Selects NowSecure as Mobile App Security Solutions Provider for State Entities


NowSecure, the recognized expert in standards-based mobile app security and privacy, is pleased to be awarded a Texas Department of Information Resources (DIR) contract to offer a full suite of mobile app security software, DevSecOps solutions, pen testing and training courseware for Texas public sector organizations to secure the mobile apps they build, buy and use. This award makes these solutions available to education institutions, state and local government agencies, public safety organizations, healthcare institutions, qualifying non-profits, and additional public entities across the state of Texas. Consumers, organizations and government agencies are transitioning to mobile first, as 69% of all digital traffic and time is spent in mobile versus web apps. Yet, mobile app security is slow to keep pace with the rate of innovation, as the NowSecure MobileRiskTracker™ shows more than 85% of mobile apps have security and privacy vulnerabilities that violate OWASP industry standards and 70% leak personal data. Employees of governmental agencies depend on commercial apps in their daily roles and build them for their citizen services, positioning them at the forefront of the constantly changing mobile app threat landscape. The state of Texas has taken steps to address this risk for its employees and citizens, as evident by The Texas Cybersecurity Act. As part of this legislation, each state agency is required to submit biennial data security plans and perform risk assessments and penetration testing of the mobile apps that process any personal and confidential information to ensure that the privacy of individuals is protected and the confidentiality of information processed by the agency’s mobile app is preserved. “As Texas state agencies continue to mobilize their operations, they need to ensure they are protecting the security and privacy of their employees as well as their fellow Texans,” said Jeff Miller, VP of Public Sector at NowSecure. “We are honored to bring over a decade of experience in mobile app security to help keep governmental entities in Texas safe and secure from the ever evolving mobile threat landscape.” Only NowSecure can provide Texas agencies with the industry’s only full suite of security and privacy solutions to secure the mobile apps the build and use, including: NowSecure GovAppDB™ and Threat Assessment Service for federal regulatory mobile security app compliance NowSecure Supply Chain Risk Management for mobile app supply chain vetting of security, compliance and privacy risks NowSecure Academy free training courseware for dev and security teams NowSecure Mobile Pen Testing as a Service (PTaaS) for continuous automated security testing and expert pen testing to deliver the frequency, depth and coverage NowSecure Platform for automated security testing for mobile apps as they are built Built on a foundation of standards and automation, NowSecure empowers organizations to deliver the most secure mobile apps faster and continuously monitor their mobile app supply chains for risk at a lower cost. Dozens of state and federal agencies from the U.S. Department of Defense to the U.S. Department of Justice to the intelligence community trust NowSecure to assess the security and privacy of mobile apps, train developers about secure coding, pinpoint risks in the mobile app supply chain and achieve NIAP compliance. Learn more about NowSecure Solutions for Government here. About NowSecure: As the recognized experts in mobile security and privacy, NowSecure protects the global mobile app economy and safeguards the data of millions of mobile app users. Built on a foundation of standards, NowSecure empowers the world’s most demanding private and public sector organizations with security automation to release and monetize 30% faster, reduce testing and delivery costs by 30% and reduce appsec risk by 40%. Only NowSecure offers a full solution suite of continuous security testing for DevSecOps, mobile app supply-chain monitoring, expert mobile pen testing as a Service (PTaaS) and training courseware. NowSecure actively contributes and supports the mobile security open-source community, standards and certification including OWASP MASVS, ADA MASA, NIAP and is recognized by IDC, Gartner, Deloitte Fast 500, and TAG Cyber. Contact Details Hannah LaCorte +1 202-240-7611 Company Website

March 07, 2023 10:00 AM Eastern Standard Time

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