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PenFed Cut Ribbon for New Hatillo financial centre and Financial Education Programme

Betty Tűndik

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PenFed Credit Union leadership and local officials cut the ribbon for the new PenFed Hatillo Financial Center during a ceremony on Saturday, January 12.
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PenFed Credit Union hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its new financial centre opening soon in Hatillo, and announced the launch of a financial education partnership for high school students in Puerto Rico.

“The best way to help Puerto Rico is by investing and creating jobs,” said James Schenck, President/CEO of PenFed Credit Union and CEO of PenFed Foundation. “After Hurricane Maria hit in September of 2017, we knew we had to do something not only to help those in need of immediate short-term assistance – but also to help contribute to a long-term brighter future for Puerto Rico. As Americans, we must stand together – and PenFed continues to stand with the resilient people of Puerto Rico.”

PenFed remains committed to supporting the restoration of Puerto Rico following the hurricane. The new financial centre will create dozens of jobs and provide the best deposit and loan rates in all of the United States.

PenFed currently serves nearly 200,000 members in Puerto Rico through two branches in San Juan and one in Fort Buchanan. The new financial centre at 801-825 Calle Jardin in Hatillo has the potential to be the largest of all. PenFed has had a presence on the island for 13 years. Puerto Ricans currently have over $400 million in deposits and nearly $200 million in loans with PenFed.

“Following Hurricane Maria, PenFed was the first credit union to step forward and make a commitment to revitalizing the island of Puerto Rico,” said Ray Martinez, President, Financial Education, EVERFI. “I am proud to now call PenFed a partner in our endeavor to bring financial education to students in communities across the island. By providing students with the critical skills and knowledge they need to achieve their most ambitious dreams for their future, PenFed Credit Union’s Tu Dinero, Tu Sueño programme is poised to make a significant impact in the lives of students in disaster-stricken communities and help empower communities across the island.”

The ribbon-cutting event was attended by community leaders including:

Carlos Johnny Mendez, President and Speaker of the Puerto Rico House of Representatives;

  • Jose Rodriguez Cruz, Mayor of Hatillo;
  • Joel Franqui Atiles, Representative, Puerto Rico House of Representatives District 15;
  • Jose Gonzalez Mercado, Representative, Puerto Rico House of Representatives District 14;
  • Major General (Retired) Felix Santoni, Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army Emeritus.

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Automotive

Nationwide partners with BlueVine to help business owners get online growth financing

Vlad Poptamas

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Photo source: bizjournals.com
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

Nationwide is taking the next step in a venture capital investment it made last year in online small business lending company BlueVine by expanding its relationship with the company to offer BlueVine’s fast and flexible financing to small businesses through Nationwide’s Business Solutions Center.

Small businesses can access the company’s innovative online lending platform by applying here. The BlueVine platform offers approvals in as fast as 10 minutes.

“Nationwide serves over 1 million small businesses and is No. 1 in customer satisfaction with small commercial insurance1. So, we’re committed to small business owners and proud of the connections we make with companies like BlueVine to help them move their businesses forward,” said Tony Fenton, vice president of Nationwide’s Underwriting, Product & New Product Development. “Helping those business owners protect what’s most important to them and plan for a secure financial future is at the core of what we do.”

According to recent data2, most U.S. small- and medium-sized businesses have less than one month’s cash buffer. Cash buffer days are the number of days of cash outflows a business could pay out of its cash balance were its inflows to stop.

And while access to working capital is critical to business growth and stability, small businesses traditionally struggle to get the financing they need.  From a 2017 Federal Reserve Bank study3:

  • 40 percent of employer firms applied for financing in the previous 12 months
  • 75 percent sought less than $250,000
  • 54 percent of applicants failed to get the full amount they needed
  • 24 percent received no funding at all

Business Financing Made Easier
BlueVine’s online platform provides business owners with fast and easy access to working capital financing without the hassle of visiting a branch or submitting mountains of paperwork. Completing an application takes minutes, and approvals can be delivered in as little as 10 minutes. The company provides lines of credit up to $250,000 and invoice factoring up to $5,000,000 in funding availability.

“We’re thrilled to be working with Nationwide to expand access to financing for small business owners” said Eyal Lifshitz, founder and CEO of BlueVine. “Our platform was designed specifically for business owners who are looking to take their business growth to the next level but need flexible working capital support to get there. By making working capital financing fast, easy and flexible for business owners, we’re delivering on our mission – to expand access to capital for small business owners. This mission-driven focus is a strong compliment to Nationwide’s stewardship in the small business community.”

Online lending powered by BlueVine is just one of several products and resources Nationwide provides a variety of businesses through its Business Solutions Center. For more information on business financing offered through BlueVine, click here.

Nationwide innovation efforts gain momentum
In addition to the relationship with and investment in BlueVine, Nationwide has also announced the following innovation related efforts over the past year:

  • Nationwide’s venture capital team has made 12 investments to date, including SocotraBetterviewNexarblooomInsurifyNext InsuranceMatic and Sure.
  • Nationwide plans to open a new innovation center in the Arena District near its Columbus-based headquarters in 2019.
  • Nationwide is committed to driving innovation that helps members:
    • Live comfortably in retirement
    • Meet their insurance and financial needs in novel and digital ways
    • Protect their data and digital assets
    • Protect them in the evolving area of mobility

“Nationwide is constantly seeking ways to partner with companies to collaborate and innovate together,” said Erik Ross, head of Nationwide’s venture capital team. “Careful, well-researched investments in companies like BlueVine enable us to brainstorm, develop and execute a new wave of solutions that drive innovation, establish mutual value and ultimately create success for our members.”

 

SOURCE Nationwide

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Business

IBERIABANK to invest in NOME initiative

Niji Narayan

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Reading Time: 1 minute

 

IBERIABANK has announced its investment in the New Orleans Music Economy (NOME) initiative, led by Greater New Orleans Inc. (GNO Inc.). The NOME initiative was created to jumpstart a thriving full music economy in Greater New Orleans that provides jobs and wealth to support musicians, intellectual property managers, publishers, agents, labels, professional services, creative services, and all other aspects of the “business of music.”

Daryl G. Byrd, President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, “IBERIABANK and our Sports & Entertainment banking division are looking forward to this partnership. Our team specialises in and understands the unique financial needs musicians, athletes, and actors have, and we are dedicated to work alongside the musicians to educate and achieve their goals.”

“For years people have talked about building a true music economy in New Orleans,” said Michael Hecht, President & Chief Executive Officer of GNO Inc. “The difference this time is that the business community is fully committed, with firms like IBERIABANK now taking the lead. The significance of IBERIABANK Sports & Entertainment partnering with GNO, Inc. for the New Orleans Music Economy Initiative is profound – it means that, for the first time, music is being embraced as both a cultural and an economic opportunity.”

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Commercial Real Estate

Gateway cities continue to top global real estate investment, led by London

Vlad Poptamas

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JLL
Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

Commercial real estate remains resilient in the face of populism, protectionism and political uncertainty

London maintained its position as the top city for global real estate investment in 2018, according to research published today by JLL (NYSE: JLL). Investors continue to favor cities they are familiar with and that have well-established investment markets and high levels of transparency.

Well-known, large gateway cities with the world’s deepest concentrations of capital, companies and talent continue to dominate the top ranks. Twelve cities–London, New York, Paris, Seoul, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Shanghai, Washington DC, Sydney, Singapore, Toronto and Munich–have appeared in the top 30 ranking every year for the past decade and account for 30 percent of all real estate investment.

The data shows that total volumes in 2018 were $733 billion, up 4 percent from 2017, the best annual performance in a decade. Cross-border purchases accounted for 31 percent of activity in 2018, close to the 10-year average, suggesting investors still have appetite to buy outside their own markets.

Richard Bloxam, Global Head of Capital Markets at JLL, said: “In a year when investors have had to deal with increasing populism, protectionism and political uncertainty, the appeal of real estate as an asset class has continued to increase. Interestingly, investors remain focused on gateway cities, despite tight pricing. Many are looking at alternative or emerging locations, as well as varying real estate property types within these cities, rather than exploring other less familiar cities. A notable trend is that half of these established gateway cities are in Asia Pacific. Increasing transparency in these markets is encouraging more investment, moving these cities even higher up the rankings in 2019 and beyond.”

Expectations for 2019
JLL projects that investment activity momentum will be maintained into 2019, as real estate continues to look attractive in comparison to other asset classes. Fundamentals in real estate remain compelling, despite historic low yields, as robust corporate occupier fundamentals across most markets are leading to positive returns. As such, investment activity may slow, but only marginally from its current high, as investors look to hold their real estate exposure and become more selective in the search for assets with strong income growth.

  • The institutional real estate universe will continue to expand, driven by factors such as low volatility, diversification benefits, long-term income and an attractive pricing premium to core sectors. Asset classes such as student housing, senior living and multi-family have continued to attract more institutional money in 2018 and this is likely to continue in 2019.
  • Industrial now accounts for 17 percent of all investment, up from 10 percent in 2009. In contrast, the retail sector has seen less activity as investors adjust their investment approach to reflect changing consumer behavior. In gateway cities, the office sector tends to account for a higher proportion of investment volumes—68 percent in 2018, compared to 51 percent in global volumes.
  • The top 30 will continue to be dominated by the gateway cities in 2019. However, at the edges, investors will consider a widening range of cities in their strategies. Reflecting real estate investors’ risk appetite, secondary cities in established transparent markets, such as Osaka and Atlanta, are likely to attract more attention, as opposed to moving into entirely new countries.

Yields are now at historic lows in most markets across the globe. A sharp correction is unlikely, as there is still a significant weight of capital looking to invest in real estate, and corporate occupier market fundamentals across many markets are positive. This creates the potential for continued income growth. However, in 2019, overall investment volumes are expected to fall approximately 5 to 10 percent below the 2018 total, driven by a slightly reduced appetite from investors to sell, as well as continued selectivity in acquisitions.

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