Hasbro Ranks No. 1 Most Responsible Company in the Consumer Items Industry

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Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAS) announced today that for the second straight year, it has been named the #1 Most Responsible Company in the Consumer Items Industry Sector for 2016, according to Corporate Responsibility Magazine.

“It is a true honor and we are incredibly proud to be recognized among the world’s leading companies as the most responsible company in 

our sector,”

said Brian Goldner, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Hasbro, Inc. “We are deeply committed to being a good corporate citizen and doing business the right way, and this acknowledgement underscores that commitment.”

The CR Magazine Most Responsible Companies by Industry Sector list was created from data used to compile the “100 Best Corporate Citizens List,” which was announced in April 2016. The “100 Best List”—ranked from the Russell 1000 Index—documents 260 data points of disclosure and performance measures, collected from publicly available information in seven categories: environment, climate change, employee relations, human rights, governance, finance, and philanthropy and community support.

“This recognition is a testament to our employee’s efforts around the world to uphold integrity in our business operations while continuously striving to do better and address challenges as they arise,” said Kathrin Belliveau, Senior Vice President for Global Government Affairs and Corporate Social Responsibility. Hasbro has been recognized as one of the world’s leading companies for CSR and sustainability efforts, including five consecutive years as one of Ethisphere’s “World’s Most Ethical Companies®” and five consecutive years at the top of CR Magazine’s ranking of “100 Best Corporate Citizens.” Hasbro is currently ranked No. 1 on Newsweek Magazine’sGreen Rankings.

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Carvana Named One of the Best Entrepreneurial Companies in America

Carvana, a leading online auto retailer and creator of the world’s first-ever fully-automated, coin-operated Car Vending Machine, was recently recognized as one of the “Best Entrepreneurial Companies in America” by Entrepreneur magazine’s Entrepreneur 360™ List, the most comprehensive analysis of private companies in America.

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Entrepreneurrecognized Carvana as a well-rounded company that has mastered a balance of impact, innovation, growth and leadership.

“We’re extremely honored to be recognized as one of Entrepreneur’s best privately-owned companies,” says Ernie Garcia, Carvana CEO and co-founder. “We were founded on the principle that consumers deserved a better way to buy a car, and we have continuously worked on all areas of our business to ensure their needs are being met and their expectations are exceeded.”  
“Our annual evaluation offers a 360-degree analysis of the current private-business landscape,” explains Lisa Murray, Chief Insights Officer of Entrepreneur Media, Inc. “Top performers are determined by how well-rounded they are in these four key operative areas. Entrepreneurship is a complex endeavor—this listing recognizes those who have mastered the challenges and are thriving this year.”

Carvana continues to disrupt the 75-year-old, antiquated car dealership model by putting the consumer back at the center of the process and using technology to revolutionize the car-buying experience. It is the only company to allow its customers to search for, buy, finance and sell their car entirely online in 20 minutes or less without ever stepping foot inside a dealership. Central to Carvana’s customer-first approach, the company provides a 7-day return policy for every vehicle from its growing inventory of more than 5,000 company-owned cars. Carvana invests heavily in advanced, proprietary technology to give customers every tool they need to complete the entire car-buying or selling transaction from the comfort of their own home, all while saving an average of $1,461 per purchase.

Honorees were identified based on the results from a comprehensive study of independently-owned companies, using a proprietary algorithm and other advanced analytics. The algorithm was built on a balanced scorecard designed to measure four metrics reflecting major pillars of entrepreneurship—innovation, growth, leadership and impact.

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Innovation Agency FABERNOVEL Opens New York

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Global Innovation agency FABERNOVEL announced the launch of a New York office. The decision follows outstanding growth in FABERNOVEL’s San Francisco office, which opened in 2007.

With 25% of FABERNOVEL Group’s revenue generated internationally, the agency is setting its sights on the New York market to better serve its international clients including LVMH, Kering, and Shiseido, and  to support the startup ecosystem.  

“We’re expanding to New York for 3 reasons,” says Stéphane Distinguin, CEO FABERNOVEL Group. “First, to continue to offer the best access to innovation ecosystems to our French customers. Second, to bring our expertise in strategy and digital performance to American brands. Finally, because New York is a wonderful opportunity for the FABERNOVEL Group to continue its growth from 15 million net revenue in 2015 to 50 million in 2018.”

FABERNOVEL’s New York office will be headed by LaShãda Di Cosmo, who has experience in leading marketing, sales, e-commerce, and digital strategies with several Fortune 500 companies to include L’Oreal USA, PepsiCo, and Unilever. LaShãda will be responsible for developing the activities of the FABERNOVEL’s brands in New York and across the US. 

“With substantial contracts secured, such as our partnership with the cosmetics leader Shiseido, opening offices and hiring a New Yorkteam was the obvious next step in our international expansion,” says Dominique Piotet, CEO of FABERNOVEL US. The recently launched Shiseido + Digital Academy program is a large-scale initiative to develop digital leadership across Shiseido Group’s international brands, with an emphasis on a consumer-centric, forward-looking approach to digital skills.

Alongside customized Digital Academies, FABERNOVEL’s US offerings include Learning Expeditions in Silicon Valley and other innovation ecosystems, and Innovation Outposts that connect the leaders of industry to cutting-edge innovation in Silicon Valley and around the globe.  “With San Francisco and now New York, we strengthen our ability to understand the US market,” says Piotet. “We’re really building upon the bridges we have created between these two major centers of global innovation.”

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Manhattan Rents Rise Faster than Sale Prices for First Time in Four Years

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  • Manhattan’s median resale price increased 1.1 percent year-over-year to $990,805, marking the 11th consecutive quarter of slowing annual price growth and the slowest pace since Q4 2010.
  • Manhattan’s median rent increased slightly faster than resale prices, rising 2.9 percent year-over-year to $3,309.

  • Brooklyn’s median resale price increased 4 percent year-over-year to $567,132, the slowest annual growth since Q3 2012.
  • Brooklyn’s median rent increased 1.8 percent to $2,929.
  • Manhattan’s tipping point, which is the number of years home buyers need to own a home before they break even on their investment, is 9.2 years. Brooklyn’s tipping point is 3.6 years.

The real estate market in Manhattan and Brooklyn continues to cool, according to the Q3 2016 StreetEasy® Market Reportsi. Manhattan rents, however, are now rising faster than Manhattan sale prices. Median rent rose 3 percent over the past year, while median resale price increased by 1.1 percent, which marks the slowest pace of growth since Q4 2010ii.

Resale prices rose the most in the Upper Manhattan (3.6 percent) and Midtown (2.2 percent) submarkets. The most expensive submarket, Downtown, was the only submarket with declining prices year-over-year (-0.5 percent). Median rent in the borough increased 2.9 percent year-over-year to $3,309, surpassing annual resale price growth for the first time in four yearsiii.

In Brooklyn, median resale prices increased 4 percent year-over-year, marking the slowest annual increase since Q3 2012. Prices in the South Brooklyn and Prospect Park submarkets increased the most over the past year, rising 6 percent and 5.8 percent, respectively. Median rent in Brooklyn increased 1.8 percent year-over-year to $2,929 in the third quarter.

As rents continue to increase, this may be a good time for renters to consider buying. The StreetEasy Tipping Pointiv looks at how long a New Yorker would need to stay in a home before buying beats renting financially. In Manhattan, the tipping point is 9.2 years, but in Upper Manhattan the tipping point is 3.4 years, making it a sound investment for those who plan to live in the area at least three and a half years. By contrast, the Downtown submarket’s more expensive housing stock stretches the tipping point to a daunting 19 years.

In Brooklyn, the tipping point fell slightly year-over-year from 3.8 to 3.6 years, nearly three times shorter than that of Manhattan. South Brooklyn had the shortest tipping point (2.8 years), followed by East Brooklyn (3.5 years) and Prospect Park (5 years).

“Uncertainty surrounding the presidential election and rising interest rates is likely having a cooling effect on the New York market,” said StreetEasy economist Krishna Rao. “While people  generally don’t like to make big financial decisions in volatile times, it may help buyers to know where their investment will pay off more quickly. In parts of Brooklyn for example, a home buyer could break even in under three years.”

Over the next year, Manhattan rents will continue to outpace resale prices, with rents rising 3.9 percent compared to sales rising 1.2 percent, according to StreetEasy’s forecastv. Upper Manhattan’s median rent is expected to increase the most at 5.5 percent.

Brooklyn’s median resale price will increase 3.7 percent over the next year. The biggest gains will be seen in Prospect Park (8.1 percent), while North Brooklyn and East Brooklyn are expected to see resale prices drop by 0.6 percent and 3.8 percent, respectively. Median rent price in Brooklyn will increase 3.0 percent with North Brooklyn’s median rent rising the least at 1.1 percent.

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Cognizant Helps KeyBank Reimagine Banking Through New Digital Banking Platform

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Cognizant (NASDAQ: CTSH) today announced that it has enabled Ohio-based KeyBank, one of the largest regional financial institutions in the U.S., to reimagine online and mobile banking by providing a more intuitive, personalized and simpler customer experience on a new digital platform.

KeyBank, the principal subsidiary of KeyCorp (NYSE: KEY), is the 13th largest bank in the U.S, with operations in 32 markets, approximately 3 million customers and more than 400,000 daily digital banking transactions.

Using the Oracle Banking Platform, Cognizant redesigned and transformed KeyBank’s core systems, applications, business processes and customer interfaces to simplify transactions and enable easy access to personalized financial wellness tools and resources. The modern, secure and scalable next-gen IT solution also enables KeyBank to better use data for customer insight, to improve services and easily introduce innovative new features and functions that provide an overall improved digital experience.

“We build enduring relationships with our customers by improving their financial wellness through ease, value and expertise in every interaction,” said Amy G. Brady, Chief Information Officer at KeyCorp. “Cognizant worked with our team to navigate the shift by redesigning and reengineering our platforms and processes to make the experience of banking with us from anywhere simple, modern and more secure.”

“We are on a mission to deliver a secure, stable and differentiating digital experience for our clients on multiple devices, anywhere and anytime. This is more than a makeover. We revamped, re-designed and re-engineered underlying digital channel architecture, infrastructure and processes. The new digital experience makes it easy for our clients to carry out banking tasks on the go while making confident financial decisions.” said Vipin Gupta, Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer of Key Community Bank at KeyCorp. “Cognizant’s deep expertise in both retail banking and with platforms enabled us to take a comprehensive approach to our business transformation to deliver a superior, differentiated customer experience.”

“In order to remain competitive in a changing business landscape, regional banks are adapting and scaling their infrastructures to provide the digital banking experience and capabilities customers are demanding,” said Prasad Chintamaneni, President, Global Industries and Consulting at Cognizant.  “Cognizant placed human relationship management at the center of KeyBank’s online and mobile banking processes.  By completely reimagining their technology and processes around this we were able to help ensure that their customers have an improved personalized online experience while spending less time on daily banking chores.”

This engagement builds on Cognizant’s more than decade-long relationship with KeyBank with innovative joint initiatives in a number of areas including managed application services, testing, payments and mobile solutions, with additional projects underway in several areas, including branch modernization.

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Daniels Health to Boost Global Operations after $186 Million Sale of Australian Business

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Daniels Health (previously Daniels Sharpsmart) is pleased to announce it will be continuing to grow its global business footprint after signing a binding agreement to sell its Australian medical waste business to Tox Free Solutions Ltd (ASX:TOX) for $186m. In the past financial year, Daniels Australia had revenues of $83m generating an EBITDA of $21m.

“This sale is a natural evolution of the Daniels mission to bring to the rest of the world the same sort of innovative approach to medical and sharps waste disposal that we developed in Australia,” said company founder, Mr Dan Daniels.
“Ever since we introduced cleaner and more sustainable medical waste solutions in Australia back in 1986, we have been aware of a strong international demand for products such as our Sharpsmart and Clinismart reusable sharps and clinical waste containers,” said Mr Daniels.

“The sale of the Australian business will allow us to redouble our efforts in expanding into the global healthcare industry, particularly in our current key markets of the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and South Africa.

“Following our first offshore expansion in 1997, we have had an excellent response from healthcare workers and organisations to our Sharpsmart reusable sharps containment system, which has been globally recognised and appreciated for its safety and environmental concern,” said Mr Daniels.

Daniels Health chairman, Mr Markus Koch, said the international push was a natural progression for a company that had started out of a concern about the potential environmental damage resulting from the widespread practice of burning medical waste, including disposable sharps containers, in inefficient hospital incinerators.

“It was this concern that led us to develop reusable sharps container systems and alternative waste treatment methods, which have resulted in millions of kilograms of plastic being prevented from disposal,” said Mr Koch.

Daniels Health is the second largest player in North America for the provision of waste services to the healthcare sector. With national coverage including 22 operational sites, Daniels currently services over 4,500 customers across the USA.

Mr Daniels said Daniels Health provides a comprehensive offering of products and services that vary according to the demands of individual markets and include services such as safer sharps management, effective medical waste treatment, secure pharmaceutical and chemotherapy waste destruction and efficient waste segregation and logistics systems.

“We will continue tailoring our offerings to suit the various markets that we operate in and will invest to support the international growth we have already been experiencing,” he said.

As part of the binding agreement to acquire Daniels Health Pty Ltd and Daniels Manufacturing Pty Ltd by Tox Free Solutions, Mr Daniels and its chairman Mr Koch have been retained as advisers to the health business unit and will assist Toxfree on its strategic and operational management.

Mr Daniels has also agreed to subscribe for approximately 12.6 million Toxfree shares as part of the transaction and will become a shareholder in Toxfree on completion. About 300 employees across 17 sites including two incineration facilities in Sydney and Melbourne, and three joint venture managed sites in New Zealand, will transition to Toxfree.

Under the current indicative timetable, the sale of the Australian business is due to complete by December 1 this year.

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Netflix Announces Proposed $800 Million Offering of Senior Notes

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Netflix, Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) today announced that it intends to offer, subject to market and other considerations, $800 million aggregate principal amount of senior notes (the “Notes”) through an offering to qualified institutional buyers pursuant to Rule 144A under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), and outside the United States to non-U.S. persons pursuant to Regulation S under the Securities Act. 

The interest rate, redemption provisions, maturity date and other terms of the Notes will be determined by negotiations between Netflix and the initial purchasers.
Netflix intends to use the net proceeds from this offering for general corporate purposes, which may include content acquisitions, capital expenditures, investments, working capital and potential acquisitions and strategic transactions.

This announcement does not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy the Notes, nor shall there be any offer, solicitation or sale in any state or jurisdiction in which such an offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful.  The Notes have not been registered under the Securities Act or any state securities laws and may not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration or an applicable exemption from such registration requirements.

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Northwestern Mutual Announces $900,000 in New Childhood Cancer Research Grants

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 Northwestern Mutual, through its Foundation, announced today the funding of six new grants supporting childhood cancer research.

The causes of most childhood cancers are unknown, and for the most part these cancers cannot be prevented1. The grants, distributed through Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation’s (ALSF) Young Investigator Program, are designed to support scientists early in their research careers.

“It’s critical that researchers receive assistance at the start of their careers to pursue cures for childhood cancers. Without it, many scientists cannot move their work forward,” said Eric Christophersen, president of the Northwestern Mutual Foundation. “Individuals like the six we’re recognizing today continue to inspire us to find ways to make an impact.”

Northwestern Mutual through its partnership with ALSF has funded a total of 18 researchers nationwide since 2013. Each Young Investigator grant recipient will be awarded $150,000 over three years.The six new Young Investigator grant recipients include:

David Debruyne, Ph.D., Dana-Farber Cancer Institute: Dr. Debruyne’s research will devise new treatments that prevent or eradicate relapse in patients with high-risk neuroblastoma, a tumor responsible for 15 percent of pediatric cancer deaths. These patients have a relapse rate of more than 50 percent, and understanding the cause is critical for enabling the development of more effective therapies. 

Giedre Krenciute, Ph.D., Baylor College of Medicine: Dr. Krenciute is developing specialized T-cells as an effective immunotherapy for high grade glioma, a type of brain tumor that is highly-resistant to conventional therapies. Using the patient’s own immune system to fight cancers is one promising approach to improve outcomes for pediatric cancer patients who do not benefit from current therapies. 

Sunhye Lee, Ph.D., Children’s Hospital Los Angeles: Dr. Lee’s work seeks to understand the way in which retinoblastoma – the leading ocular cancer and a frequent cause of pediatric vision loss – is initiated and developed in genetically-predisposed children.

Emily Theisen, Ph.D., Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital: Dr. Theisen’s research focuses on treatments for patients with metastatic and refractory cases of Ewings sarcoma, an aggressive pediatric bone tumor. Survival rates for patients with localized disease hover above 70 percent, but patients with metastatic or refractory cases have a survival rate lower than 30 percent.
Lena Winestone, M.D., Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia: Dr. Winestone’s research will explore the factors that contribute to differences in survival outcomes between African-American and Caucasian children with cancer. Leukemia is the most common type of childhood cancer, but African-American children with leukemia see lower survival rates than children of other races fighting the same disease.

Nathan Schloemer, M.D., Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin: Dr. Schloemer will research how scientists can develop safer, more effective therapies by understanding how the immune system recognizes and attacks cancer. This promising approach is known as immunotherapy.
Each grant followed a competitive review process based upon scientific merit, potential to advance cures and treatments, and the investigator’s dedication to childhood cancer research.
The 2016 Young Investigator grant recipients will convene in Chicago, Ill. from October 25- 27 for the ALSF Young Investigator Summit, presented by Northwestern Mutual. The fourth annual event will bring together 65 researchers from across the country to collaborate, build new relationships, and interact with leading researchers in the pediatric oncology field.

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Brightway Insurance takes home Tech Innovation Award for Best Business Generating Website

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Brightway Insurance agencies represent more than twice as many insurance companies than other agents. Helping consumers efficiently shop the market by contacting a Brightway agent to start a quote can ensure they get the coverages they need at the price they want.

That’s why the “Start a Quote” function on the each agency’s website is critical functionality. And, a recent rebuild of the sites has netted nearly triple the number of leads in 2016 than in 2015, landing the company the Jacksonville Business Journal’s Tech Innovation Award for Best Business Generating Website today.

Brightway, the country’s seventh largest privately held property/casualty insurance agency, sells through a network of franchised independent agencies throughout the country. The company received the award on the heels of announcing it reached a milestone of $425 million in annualized written premium.
Founder and Chairman David Miller said: “We are thrilled to be recognized as one of Jacksonville’s innovators because it’s what we do. Brightway is pretty unique as the largest independent agency franchise operation in the country, so we blaze new paths every day. It’s great to be recognized for building business-generating websites that work hard on behalf of our Agency Owners.”

Miller continued, “Our operating mandate is that everything we do must be a Win for our customers, a Win for our Agency Owners and a Win for our employees. The new websites are a great example of how we make Win-Win-Win come alive every day.”

Brightway launched the new websites for its agencies in late December 2015. Because of the great technical build and the customized copy, the sites’ organic Search Engine Optimization results are much stronger than they were in the previous sites.

The Brightway system provides total support to its Agency Owners, empowering them to focus on selling new policies while other needs including systems, telephones, marketing, accounting and all service after the sale of a policy are handled by a team of 200+ at Home Office in Jacksonville, Fla.

The Brightway model also features access to at least twice as many insurance companies as other independent agents have. Equipped with turnkey support and the broadest selection of carriers, Brightway agents consistently outsell their independent agent counterparts.

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