Fourth law firm in recent years goes public in the UK.

Fourth law firm in recent years goes public in the UK.

In the video clip below, a steely-eyed Nicola Foulston describes Rosenblatt, a UK-based, 19-partner, single-office law firm that went public this week, placing 36.8 million new shares and 43.3 million existing shares at 95.00 pence on the AIM. In the clip, Foulston characterizes her company as a “protagonist-led” law firm to help people take on “the big beasts of the corporate world,” with a “track record for disrupting the establishment.”

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Mr. Smith goes to 18th and Spruce

Mr. Smith goes to 18th and Spruce

“I own it.” That’s the message conveyed by Starbucks CEO Kevin Smith in the wake of the company’s handling of a recent controversy surrounding the arrest of two black patrons recently at a Philadelphia location. As Bloomberg’s Sarah Halzack points out, Starbucks decision to close 8,000 of its stores for a day so as to conduct bias training next month won’t dent the company’s balance sheet, but the gesture’s symbolism is powerful.

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Monopoly: Cheaters Edition.

Monopoly: Cheaters Edition.

Yes, it’s true. Hasbro, the owners of the iconic game, Monopoly, are launching a new edition that incorporates cheating into the rules and strategy. The iconic board game, which traces its origins to 1904’s The Landlord’s Game and was created by Charles Darrow in the wake of the 1929 stock market crash, succeeded wildly but not as it was originally intended.

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Sandhubs and Finboxes.

Sandhubs and Finboxes.

What’s the difference between a hub, sandbox, accelerator and innovation center? In our minds, the difference is getting fuzzier around the globe. But if a company, government or business association wants to promote entrepreneurial density around financial innovation and has the capital, commitment and staying power to do so, bravo — as long as the sponsors have a clear definition of success in mind and a plan to get there. As such, we wish the newest ‘sandhubs,’ including the Bahrain FinTech Bay and Ontario’s “regulatory super sandbox," great luck.

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Attuning AIG to the ways of Two Sigma.

Attuning AIG to the ways of Two Sigma.

One of the more interesting strategic partnerships in the insurance world is between AIG and quant hedge fund Two Sigma. The official agreement between these two organizations involves their Attune small business insurance joint venture, which also includes Hamilton Insurance. But in a recent Nikkei Asian Review interview with AIG’s newly installed CEO Brian Duperreault as well as in other comments he’s made recently

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A stellar Bitcoin idea in need of C-Notes.

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Internet access is either censored, unreliable, too expensive or simply doesn’t exist for more than half of the world’s population to use Bitcoin. Blockstream is pitching its new service, which will broadcast the Bitcoin blockchain globally through a network of geosynchronous satellites it rents from Eutelsat, Telstar and others, as a way to tap into that large market. But there’s one irksome catch in the company’s plan to build a big business out of this previously attempted idea: the $100 cost for the antenna and USB receiver equipment needed to receive signals from the 22,000+ mile high satellites. Will those too poor or suppressed to tap into the internet now be able to access this satellite-driven alternative?

Small is beautiful for Desmond and Molly Jones.

Small is beautiful for Desmond and Molly Jones.

Singapore, Japan, Israel. Many international hotbeds of financial innovation are small island or island-like settings where most of the folks who can move the needle can practically gather in the same room at the same time. The same holds true for the UK, where despite Brexit doom and gloom, innovation continues to keep calm and carry on. Indeed, when we look at all of the creative approaches to helping improve the lives of the Desmond and Molly Joneses of today’s Blighty.

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MiFID II’s winners and losers.

MiFID II’s winners and losers.

As Europe prepares for the ultra-important European regulation known as MFID II (going into effect in January), more US fund managers are trying to wrap their brains around its implications for how managers pay for research. Simply put, US managers know that in a globalized asset management business, the issue won’t be contained by EU borders (See here). And as more asset managers adopt a single global standard, it means that data and compliance solutions that support such a standard.

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Fintech solutions to address "crypto-cowboys" and cybertheft.

Fintech solutions to address "crypto-cowboys" and cybertheft.

It’s no secret that the cryptocurrency world has had its fair share of problems. This week alone, the former CEO of GAW Miners, a now defunct cryptocurrency mining company, plead guilty to wire fraud, while ethereum co-founder, Charles Hoskinson, called the ICO craze a “ticking time bomb.” And with CoinDash’s ICO party being crashed by a hack attack that cost the platform $7 million and various wallet services getting their pockets picked,

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Wanted: developers ready to kill fake news

Wanted: developers ready to kill fake news

In the ongoing quest to find “killer apps” for blockchain tech, add one more to the agenda: combating fake news. From industry giant IBM to Polish start-up and ethereum-powered Userfeeds, everyone is getting into the act as time-stamped blocks of data, an open publishing process, decentralized validation and establishing document provenance could all one-day help snuff out the growing scourge of blatant falsehoods flying around the world that range from false stock rumors that could hurt/help a trader to lies that are more consequential.

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