Lebrusan Studio and Ellie Air are Saving the Rainforest

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Lebrusan Studio and Ellie Air are Saving the Rainforest

Lebrusan Studio and Ellie Air are teaming up this weekend to raise funds in protection of the planet’s rainforests.

From Friday 27th to Monday 30th September they are running their Save the Rainforest campaign, offering 10% off on a broad selection of collection items and donating 100% of the proceeds to the Rainforest Alliance. Customers simply need to enter the code ‘AMAZON10’ at the stores’ online checkouts to claim their discounts.

This coactive effort is a reaction to the record number of fires that began devastating the Amazon in August and continue to burn the rainforest at an alarming rate.

Capitalist exploitation is to blame for the catastrophe, with most of the fires started intentionally to clear land for farming and generate immense profit for multinational companies. Urgent action around the world is now vital to put an end to the destruction of one of our planet’s most important ecological regions, home to around three million different species of plants and animals.

The Rainforest Alliance are a non-governmental organisation working to pressure the Brazilian government to reinstate the environmental enforcement essential to defending the Amazon against illegal logging, destructive slash-and-burn agriculture, and other threats.

During the last week of August, Ellie Air stepped forward to donate 30% of proceeds to the charity. The campaign caught the eye of fellow Fairmined Gold licensee Lebrusan Studio, leading to the brands’ collaborative Save the Rainforest campaign.

Lebrusan Studio’s discount and donation offer applies to all collection items, excluding bridal jewellery and bespoke pieces.

The award-winning ethical jewellery brand also donate quarterly to the Water Project, demonstrating that their commitment to social and environmental responsibility extends beyond the responsible sourcing of materials.

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Extraordinary niche coworking spaces are on the rise as Office Freedom tracks 70% increase in flexible workspace operators

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Extraordinary niche coworking spaces are on the rise as Office Freedom tracks 70% increase in flexible workspace operators

New flexible workspaces and new workspace operators focused on niche industries are both experiencing rapid growth based on the latest data from brokers Office Freedom. So much so, that there has been a 70% growth in the number of new operators registering space with Office Freedom (143 in 2019 vs 84 in 2018).

Its success…? The trend of creating flexible spaces for particular groups of people is especially interesting considering the diverse range of groups that are now catered for. Niche spaces are now offering experiences such as co-living or childcare and they are opening in spaces considered to be underutilised real estate such as hotels, restaurants, and retail outlets.

For niche spaces to succeed in today’s market they need to provide more than simple convenience such as secure wifi, free coffee or meeting rooms by supplementing coworking spaces with unusual features and amenities. Their objectives go beyond attracting new members and look to achieve longevity through building and nurturing successful communities.

Looking at the latest Office Freedom data, it’s a trend that shows no sign of slowing.

Global investment in niche spaces

In June 2019, it was reported that New York based start-up Alma raised another $8M for its community and shared space for mental health professionals. The Wing, which describes itself as a members-only network full of work and community spaces for women has already received nearly $117M in investor funding.

In LA, Glitch City exists as a 24-hour coworking space for independent games developers. Writers are fully catered for at The Hatchery Press in Los Angeles. Even those working in the legal US cannabis industry can find a home at Paragon Spaces. In Denver you can find Tradecraft Industries a coworking space “bringing coworking to the construction industry” and for the tech community Extra Slice claims to be the “ultimate technology campus and platform”.

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Flexible workspaces to grow by 56% in the next four years

The growth in the number of flexible workspaces has been global, with some of the strongest trends recorded in the Asia Pacific and USA regions. The US region has seen the most flexible spaces added to the Office Freedom portfolio. In 2019, 490 new spaces were registered. The UK, USA and EMEA regions have recorded the greatest number of new operators respectively.

According to Coworking Resources the global flexible workspace market is set to grow by 56% between 2018 and 2022 with volumes growing from 16,599 spaces in 2018 to a predicted 25,968 spaces in 2022. As the market expands there is increased competition which naturally means that attracting and retaining new customers is paramount. It’s this desire to stay competitive and thrive that’s fuelling the expansion of niche spaces for certain business types e.g. health, tech, music, legal, film.

In the first six months of 2019 Office Freedom added 898 spaces to its portfolio, more than double that of the same period last year.

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North American acceptance of LNG marine fuel emphasised with latest Wärtsilä LNG Cargo System order

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North American acceptance of LNG marine fuel emphasised with latest Wärtsilä LNG Cargo System order

The technology group Wärtsilä will supply its LNG Cargo Handling System for a new 5400 m3 LNG bunker barge being built in the USA. This latest order further endorses Wärtsilä’s leading position in LNG systems for the marine sector, and its key role in supporting the growing acceptance of LNG fuel by North American owners and operators. The barge is being built at the Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding yard in Wisconsin on behalf of NorthStar Midstream. It will be operated by the company’s marine transportation company Polaris New Energy (PNE). The order with Wärtsilä was placed in August 2019.

“This project represents one more strategically important step in the development of a viable LNG supply infrastructure for marine applications. Wärtsilä, with its vast experience and deep know-how in LNG fuel solutions, continues to play a key role in this process. We are proud and pleased to be partnering with Fincantieri in creating a state-of-the-art solution,” says Mark Keneford, Wärtsilä’s GM Marine Sales for USA and Canada.

“LNG is undoubtedly becoming fast established as a sustainable fuel option to reduce shipping’s environmental footprint,” says Todd Thayse, Vice President and General Manager of Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding.

“That’s why LNG solutions are of strategic interest to our organization. Our selection of Wärtsilä to supply the cargo handling system helps mitigate risk and assures the success of this latest project.” 

The bunker barge will be part of an Articulated Tug Barge (ATB) that will deliver fuel to both ocean and inland water operated LNG-fuelled vessels. It will initially be assigned to Florida’s eastern coast. There is an option for two additional bunker barges.

The Wärtsilä scope includes the system design and integration, four LNG storage tanks, LNG pumps, a ship-to-ship transfer system, all necessary safety and control equipment, the valves and instrumentation, and the gas combustion unit. Deliveries to the yard are scheduled to commence in October 2020, and the barge is expected to be delivered to the customer in mid-2021.

Image credit: VARD Marine

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Latin American art expert Sofia Fan is joining the Visual Ibero-American Arts Prize judging panel

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Latin American art expert Sofia Fan is joining the Visual Ibero-American Arts Prize judging panel

Latin American art expert Sofia Fan has been invited to join the VIA Arts Prize judging panel this year for its fifth edition. The Prize event, hosted by the Embassy of Brazil promotes Ibero-American arts and cultures.

Established in 2015, the VIA Arts Prize is the UK’s only visual Ibero-American themed arts competition, hosted annually at the Brazillian Embassy in London. The VIA Art’s Prize’s mission is to deepen cultural awareness of Latin American, Spanish and Portuguese arts and cultures in the UK. Through this specific brief, those behind the prize seek to promote the significant global and historical reach of Ibero-American art and culture, both past and present, and encourage intercultural exchange.

Each year the Prize culminates in a group exhibition of 30 shortlisted works in the Embassy’s impressive Sala Brasil gallery. A jury of high-profile personalities from the Arts world make the final selection of winning entries at the opening of the exhibition. This year Latin American art expert Sofia Fan has been invited to judge the event. 

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The VIA Arts Prize is the UK’s only visual Ibero-American themed arts competition

Fan is the current Manager of Visual Arts at Itaú Cultural in Brazil. Itaú Cultural has one of the largest and most impressive collections of Latin American art in the world. She is also part of the selection committee for Rumos, one of the largest and longest standing programmes in Brazil conducting cultural research and cataloguing manifestations in visual arts, film, dance, literature, theatre, and music.

Fan also oversees the Visual Arts department in the organisation of exhibitions by artists such as Lygia Clark, Helio Oiticica and Oscar Niemeyer. Other key exhibitions under her management include Calder and Brazilian art and Occupation Paulo Mendes da Rocha. She will be joined on the judging panel by fellow individuals involved in the Latin American art world, who also manage galleries, curate collections and create their own artworks.

“From Lygia Clarke to Gabriel Orozco, Latin American, Spanish and Portuguese art interacts with the UK’s in a process of cross-cultural exchange. Ibero-American art is more relevant today than ever before and is becoming increasingly accessible in important art and cultural institutions.” Says Paula Rassi, Cultural Attaché of the Brazilian Embassy.

“The fifth edition of the VIA Arts Prize encourages entrants to explore and immerse themselves in Latin American and Iberian culture to create original visual artworks that form connections with these regional outputs.”

UK-based artists of any nationality are invited to submit an original artwork specifically inspired by Ibero-American arts and culture to the prize, which closes entries for the 2019 competition on Monday 30th September. 

Cash prizes, provided by Itaú, are awarded to the Jury’s first (£5,000) and second (£2,000) choices. The VIA Arts Prize winner is also awarded a solo show at the Embassy of Brazil, running concurrently to the shortlisted artists’ show in the subsequent year.

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Jobsite neuvoo secures CAD $53m (£33m) investment

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Jobsite neuvoo secures CAD $53m (£33m) investment

One of the fastest growing global employment sites, neuvoo, has secured a CAD$53m (£33m) equity investment from The Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ).

The company, whose annual revenues exceed CAD$75m (£46m), operates in 77 countries from its Montreal headquarters, and offices in Europe and Latin America. In addition to access to job postings, neuvoo offers job seekers various dynamic tools regarding salaries, and even the probability of the job they are seeking being automated in the future.

This investment will enable the company to continue its expansion into new markets and further optimise its platform, which is based on artificial intelligence. Founded in 2011, neuvoo quickly distinguished itself through its ability to effectively integrate algorithms into its platform, enabling the company to rise to the forefront of online recruitment sites.

Thanks to this technology, neuvoo stands out as one of the only search engine platforms with the ability to create a complete and accurate inventory of jobs posted across the internet. To date, neuvoo has posted an average of 30 million jobs on its site, and has 70 million hits per month across the globe. The company expects to reach over 100 million visitors by January 2020.

Maxime Droux, co-founder of neuvoo, commented: “This is a fantastic opportunity to partner with a world-class fund such as the CDPQ. The UK market has always been a priority for neuvoo and this partnership will allow us to move up a gear by continuing the development of our activity in the UK.”

Noura Dadzie, UK Director, adds: “We’re already noting exceptional growth in the UK, but this investment will allow us to take the business to greater heights at a much faster pace.

“As AI and digital play increasingly vital roles in streamlining the recruitment process for recruiters, and candidates alike, we’re excited to be at the forefront of the tech evolution. Our performance-based business model is increasingly appealing and has allowed us to announce three-figure growth for several years now.”

“Through this transaction, the Caisse supports a new economy company that has distinguished itself and become an international leader thanks to the successful integration of technologies and artificial intelligence”, says Charles Édmond, First Vice-President and Chief Investment Officer in Quebec and Overall Strategic Planning of the Caisse.

“With its ability to consolidate all the job offerings found on the web, neuvoo has become a key player in the job search field and the Caisse wishes to support the continuation of its expansion plan”.

This investment is part of the CDPQ-IA Fund launched in the Spring of 2019, which aims to propel the growth of companies whose product offering is based on the development of AI and to accelerate the commercialisation of AI solutions.

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Columbia Sportswear Launches the SH/FT Collection, an Urban Footwear Line Designed for the Trail

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Columbia Sportswear Launches the SH/FT Collection, an Urban Footwear Line Designed for the Trail

Columbia Sportswear is unveiling the SH/FT Collection – its newest footwear line inspired by today’s rapid urbanisation and the growing movement to seek balance outdoors. Combining the best of style and function, the SH/FT Collection is designed for a new generation seeking experiences outside by allowing them to move more seamlessly from pavement to path.

“We see a movement taking place as more young people are looking to nature and the outdoors to find balance and recharge from their busy lives in the city,” said Peter Ruppe, Vice President of Footwear at Columbia. “To answer that call, we’ve created an entirely new collection of footwear that speaks to their sense of urban style while delivering trail-worthy performance for the outdoors.”

For more than 80 years, Columbia Sportswear has been committed to unlocking the outdoors for everyone. The SH/FT footwear collection takes this one step further, providing peak performance and function for the trail, without sacrificing style. The key attributes of the collection include:

• Modern aesthetic with high-energy colour options and athletic comfort
• SH/FT midsole featuring a dual compound cushioning composite that offers high resiliency for long lasting use and exceptional energy return
• All-Terrain traction for use on a variety of surfaces
• Deconstructed knit upper for all day comfort and wear ability
• OutDry, Columbia’s best-in-class waterproof breathable technology

The SH/FT collection will be available in the UK in men’s only across three colours from 18th September on columbiasportswear.co.uk and in-store at Columbia Carnaby Street.

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High-speed rail project could be the PR saviour American rail needs to thrive

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The high-speed rail development – run by Virgin Trains USA – will result in passengers spending just 75 minutes travelling from Las Vegas to Victorville via train.

The recently funded high-speed rail project from Las Vegas to Southern California will help the U.S. build a competitive transport network, but it needs to be utilised as a career PR tool to build a sustainable talent pool. That’s according to Chicago-based rail and energy hiring expert, Samuel Knight International.

The high-speed rail development – run by Virgin Trains USA – will result in passengers spending just 75 minutes travelling from Las Vegas to Victorville via train, a stark contrast to the three-hour drive on I-15, and will revolutionise rail and infrastructure developments across America.

According to representatives from SKI Corp – the U.S. operation of Samuel Knight – this project needs to be used as a marketing tool to attract more people into a career in rail in order to address the global shortage of skills.

Steve Rawlingson, Group CEO of SKI Corp, commented:
“This is a particularly exciting project for rail and it’s great to see such support for the development. However, the future of this innovation is limited if we can’t encourage more education-leavers and return-to-workers into a career in the sector.

“While it’s encouraging to see industry representatives visit colleges and schools to educate kids on the huge potential rail holds for staff, we need to be utilising these big projects as PR tools as well.”

“Using the likes of the Vegas to California high-speed link to showcase the exciting and varied ranges of roles in rail, we can encourage a greater diversity of applicants in to the industry, for the benefit of both the sector and the wider U.S. economy.”

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Latin American Market Shows New Drivers Towards Sustainability

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Latin American Market Shows New Drivers Towards Sustainability

With the environment a key concern for many consumers, companies throughout the Latin American region are now exploring new means to reduce their impact on the world’s resources, as Staff Writer Hannah Stevenson discusses.

As a key emerging market for new smart cities, technological innovations and a range of new inventions, it is no surprise that Latin America is quickly rising to become a top player in the global sustainability space.

Many companies are now driving new innovations in the sustainability space through partnerships, schemes and initiatives taking place throughout the continent.

For example, recently, LATAM Airlines Group unveiled its ‘Recycle your Journey’ programme to recycle waste from Mercado LATAM, the company’s buy-on-board food service.

During the summer the firm launched a scheme in which Mercado LATAM packaging was recycled on all domestic flights in Chile, separating aluminium, glass and plastic. As part of the airline group’s wider sustainability strategy and its commitment to acting as a leader in on-board recycling, this initiative will be gradually introduced throughout LATAM’s operation in Latin America.

Ignacio Cueto, President of LATAM Airlines Group, commented on this exciting development.

“As one of the three most sustainable airline groups in the world, we are committed to bringing about change and leading by example. Today’s launch of our ‘Recycle your Journey’ programme on domestic flights in Chile represents just the first step towards the introduction of on-board recycling across our network.”

Cueto added that one of the most important attributes of ‘Recycle your Journey’ is collaboration: “Without the support and willingness of our passengers and the commitment of our cabin crew, on-board recycling is not possible.”

Between August and December 2019, LATAM expects that it will recycle more than 20 tonnes of waste from domestic flights in Chile. This is the first stage of the company’s on-board recycling programme with the goal of recycling 100% of Mercado LATAM packaging in the future. By the end of 2020, the company expects to recycle more than 55 tons of on-board waste per year.

Additionally, the region will soon have the infrastructure to support greater sustainable energy production as Canadian Solar Inc. one of the world’s largest solar power companies, starts work on its 100.1 MWp Cafayate solar power project in Argentina, which recently started commercial operation. It is now the largest operational solar power plant in the country.

Located in the Province of Salta, the solar project is powered by over 289,000 Canadian Solar’s high efficiency modules and will generate over 216 GWh of electricity per year. As part of the RenovAR program launched by the Argentinian Government in 2016, the Cafayate project was awarded a 20-year U.S. dollar indexed power purchase agreement of US$56.28/MWh with CAMMESA (the national wholesale power market administrator and clearinghouse) during the second renewable public tender. This 20-year PPA is guaranteed by the World Bank.

“It is with great joy that we announce the commissioning of the 100.1 MWp Cafayate solar power plant in Argentina, our first and the country’s largest solar power plant in operation. It once again underscores Canadian Solar’s success and leading position in the Latin America region. In Latin America, we have been awarded over 1.6 GWp solar power projects across Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and Chile. We continue to foresee a high potential for photovoltaics in Argentina and the whole region and will deliver more solar projects to help the region diversify its energy matrix,” said Dr. Shawn Qu, Chairman at Canadian Solar Inc.

These developments and more will help the Latin American market to drive sustainability and help the market to flourish in this and more markets moving forward.

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How are big brands fighting against inclusivity?

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According to Entrepreneur, Millennial consumers in particular don’t just gravitate towards brands with socially-powerful mission statements. They want to see those brands actually making good on those promises. In fact, one of the key ideas this generation wants to see from brands they both shop with and work for is an active investment in finding solutions to social problems.

Actions speak louder than words, or so the saying goes. It’s certainly a feeling that is held by the majority of consumers — it’s not enough for a brand to simply say they support a cause or need for change, as they must provide some sort of action to show this sincerity.

In this article, we are presenting a handful of brands which have done just that.

Veganism — Gola Shoes

2019 has been declared by some as ‘the year of the vegan’, it’s not surprising that we are seeing more and more brands making an effort to include this important lifestyle choice into their range. According to statistics from the Vegan Society, the number of British vegans had quadrupled from 2014–2018. But while most news headlines concerning veganism tend to be around the growing choice of food options available meat and dairy free, brands are also increasingly aware of their own products containing animal products.

With their new online ‘vegan’ badge and dedicated vegan section, customers can easily locate a range of footwear options that are free from animal materials and components on Gola’s website.  The shoes have undergone intensive Ve-MAP chemical testing that identifies any trace of animal DNA from chemicals within Gola’s footwear and the manufacturing process, meaning customers can be assured of their purchase.

In addition to this, all Gola vegan styles are registered with the Vegan Society, the oldest vegan organisation in the world. Founded in 1944 the Vegan Society is a world leader in its field and Gola has partnered with them to give customers additional reassurances.  It’s a widely varied range too, with everything from celebrity-picked women’s classic tennis Mark Cox trainers, sported by actress Kristen Stewart’s stylist girlfriend, Sara Dinkin, to the timeless white and black contrast men’s classic trainers.

Autism — Morrisons

The supermarket chain, Morrisons,  introduced a new ‘Quieter Hour’ scheme across all of its stores in 2018, working alongside the National Autistic Society. The supermarket explained that it is aware that the experience of shopping can be a difficult one for those with autism, or parents with autistic children. At best, it can be an anxious endeavour; at worst, it can be overstimulating and terrifying.

Morrisons has designated Saturday mornings between 9am and 10am as its ‘Quieter Hour’. During this time, the lights are dimmed, the music is turned off and tannoy announcements are reduced to the bare minimum. Staff also reduce the movement of stock trollies and the checkout sounds are turned down. This makes for a quieter and hopefully more enjoyable experience for customers who find an excess of noise and movements a struggle to get through.

LGBTQ — Jeffree Star Cosmetics

With 13 million YouTube subscribers, 3 million Twitter followers and 11.8 million Instagram followers, celebrity entrepreneur, make-up artist, and singer Jeffree Star has worked his way up to become one of the ‘original’ internet celebrities.

Jeffree Star is a key figure within the LGBTQ community, and with his rise to fame, Star has made notable moves to help give back to the community that supported him throughout his life. One of the best examples of this came in the form of his cosmetics company, Jeffree Star Cosmetics, partnering with the Los Angeles LGBT Centre. Star launched a new product bundle specifically for this — the rainbow-coloured ‘Equality’ bundle, which contained a rainbow of liquid lip products. Proceeds up to $125,000 were donated to the centre in June 2018.

In the past, Star used all of the money he earned through discount code links with Jouer to donate towards the centre as well. Given his popularity among the digital generations, it’s clear that Star knows exactly what his customers want — for the brands and icons they follow to make meaningful gestures towards solving social problems.

No doubt we will see even more brands looking to make actionable changes towards social change. While companies and brands can’t, and shouldn’t, present themselves to be resolving these societal problems entirely, their efforts to stand for something certainly don’t go unnoticed.

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FIS Closes Acquisition of Worldpay, Enhancing its Global Technology Leadership Serving Merchants, Banks and Capital Markets

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– FIS acquires Worldpay, one of the world’s leading global eCommerce and payment technology companies.
-Post-acquisition, FIS will have over $12 billion in pro forma revenue and be a global leader in technology and solutions for merchants, banks and capital markets.
-With more than 55,000 employees and a best-in-class technology portfolio, FIS is positioned to accelerate its growth and advance the way the world pays, banks and invests.

FIS (NYSE: FIS) today announced the closing of its acquisition of global payments leader Worldpay, Inc., creating a global leader in technology and solutions for merchants, banks and capital markets.

The combined company will have over $12 billion in pro forma revenue and more than 55,000 employees.  With a best-in-class portfolio of solutions for payments, banking and capital markets, FIS is positioned to accelerate its growth and advance the way the world pays, banks and invests.

“This is an exciting day for FIS and Worldpay, and for the industry as a whole,” said FIS Chairman, President and CEO Gary Norcross. “This transformative combination significantly enhances the scale, portfolio and global footprint of FIS to help our clients capitalize on growth opportunities at a time of rapid marketplace change. 

“I would like to extend a warm welcome to Worldpay employees, clients and investors to the FIS family as we work together to bring the benefits to businesses and communities around the world,” Norcross said. “I couldn’t be more optimistic about the future of this company and the innovations and advancements we can bring to advance the way the world pays, banks and invests.”

“The global payments industry is moving at an accelerated speed and it is vital that large providers such as FIS stay ahead,” said Rivka Gewirtz Little, research director, Global Payment Strategies at IDC Financial Insights. “The combination of FIS and Worldpay enhances FIS’ overall acquiring and payment offerings, positioning the company to offer best-in-class enterprise banking, payments, capital markets, and global eCommerce capabilities to financial institutions and businesses worldwide.”

Several former Worldpay executives will assume key leadership roles at FIS. Mark Heimbouch, former president and chief operating officer at Worldpay, is joining FIS as president of the company’s Merchant Solutions division. Stephanie Ferris, former chief financial officer at Worldpay, is joining FIS as its enterprise-wide chief operating officer. Charles Drucker, former chairman and chief executive officer, is joining the FIS board of directors as vice chairman. Key leaders from Worldpay will also remain with the company.

The company will announce second quarter earnings for both FIS and Worldpay beginning at 8:30 a.m. ET on Tuesday, August 6. Details about this webcast can be found on the Investor Relations section of FIS’ homepage, www.fisglobal.com.

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