In the employer struggle to find workers, there may be a $12 billion fintech opportunity

By Emily Bary

Younger workers are demanding quicker access to their wages in what could drive the biggest change to the payroll industry in decades

A growing interest among younger workers to access their pay more quickly could create a $12 billion market for payroll providers and earned-wage upstarts that seek to disrupt the traditional idea of pay periods. 

Fintech companies see a big opportunity to speed up access to earned wages, especially for hourly employees with tighter cash-flow needs and a greater proclivity to use costly and predatory options like payday loans to make ends meet. The technology, which can allow workers to receive their wages at the end of a shift, may drive the biggest change to the payroll industry in decades following a long stretch of monthly and then biweekly pay cycles. 

Companies providing access to on-demand wages say they’re seeing a surge of corporate interest given the current labor market as businesses in sectors like retail and restaurants struggle to recruit workers. One Missouri Arby’s location lists “DAILY PAY” as the first bullet point in its job posting for a team-member position. DailyPay, a startup recently valued at upwards of $1 billion, says it works with some Arby’s franchises to provide this service.

MARKETWATCH PHOTO ILLUSTRATION/ZIPRECRUITER, GETTY IMAGES

Mizuho analyst Siti Panigrahi attributes the trend partly to a gig-worker mentality, and companies like Uber Technologies Inc. UBER, -1.37% and Lyft Inc. LYFT, -0.93% now let their drivers request early access to earnings. More millennials are asking: “Why should my employer hold my money that I earned for 15 days?” Panigrahi said. 

The total addressable market for these services could be $4.2 billion to $12.2 billion in the U.S., according to Baird analyst Mark Marcon. 

See also: Why online-travel giant Booking is getting into the fintech game

On-demand pay is currently most prevalent among workers in industries like grocery, restaurants, and hospitality, where there is a strong need for quicker access to wages, but DailyPay Chief Executive Jason Lee expects that companies will gradually give the option to salaried workers as well, given a general move in the financial-services industry to get people their money more quickly. We’re used to picking up the tab for a friend’s coffee and immediately receiving reimbursement through services like Venmo, he said, and he believes more people will start having a similar expectation of their employers as well.

“We have squeezed the toothpaste out of the tube and it’s hard to put it back in,” he told MarketWatch. 

Read the full article here: https://www.marketwatch.com/story/inside-the-12-billion-opportunity-to-speed-up-access-to-paychecks-11626459962

Intellimize raises $30M Series B to deliver high converting websites for results-focused marketers

Continuous Conversion™ platform marries marketer creativity and machine learning scale to transform website optimization

Intellimize, the leader in web conversion optimization, has raised $30M to help more marketers at medium and enterprise-scale companies create high converting websites that deliver more revenue, customers, and sales leads using its Continuous Conversion™ platform.

Cobalt Capital led the round with participation from previous investors Addition, Amplify Partners, Homebrew, and Precursor Ventures. Intellimize’s machine learning introduces a new era of website optimization being championed by conversion-obsessed B2B and ecommerce marketers.

“With Intellimize, CMOs can unleash the full scale of their creativity and deliver better and faster results through intelligent website optimization, which is truly transformational for marketers and the visitor experience,” said Dan Abrams of Cobalt Capital. “We are incredibly excited to partner with the entire team at Intellimize to help bring their product to more results focused marketers at any company.”

“Intellimize massively accelerated our website conversion optimization, enabling my team to optimize across 15M+ versions of our website in parallel,” said Udi Ledergor, CMO of B2B technology leader Gong. “Through a joint continuous testing approach, we drove 24% more marketing qualified leads across our site and 87% more pricing page leads in two months. It would’ve taken my team decades to run these tests using traditional methods. Intellimize enabled us to optimize our website experience for each unique prospect at the moment.”

“Intellimize married the best of marketing’s creative thinking with machine learning to deliver 1,500 more leads in the last 90 days, and the pace of improvement is accelerating,” said Ryan Carlson, former CMO at Okta now working on a new special project at Okta. “Their Continuous Conversion platform also delivered machine learned insights about user behavior, leading to more creative ideas to test. By turning a static website into a Learning Website, Intellimize has been a great partner and enabler to the marketing team.”

“I wish Intellimize had existed when I was CMO at Tableau. It took us 11 years to grow from $5 million in annual revenue to over $1 billion. With Intellimize, I have little doubt we would have done that faster,” said Elissa Fink, marketing advisor and Intellimize board member. “The Continuous Conversion platform would have helped us reach our goals sooner by massively accelerating our optimization and saving my team countless hours.”

“As a marketer, my peers and I spend a fortune getting prospects to our site only to abandon most of them to a one-size-fits-all experience,” said Guy Yalif, CEO of Intellimize. “Low conversion is the inevitable, dispiriting result. The age of the static homepage is dead. With these funds, we will invest in engineering and customer-facing teams to accelerate the era of websites that dynamically adjust to each unique visitor’s changing behavior over time.”

Read the full story here: https://www.intellimize.com/blog/intellimize-raises-30m-series-b-to-deliver-high-converting-websites-for-results-focused-marketers/

Anneliese Schools Announces Pop-up Shop Success with Plans to Expand

Anneliese Schools, an award-winning private institution dedicated to providing unique educational opportunities for nursery school through 6th grade, today announced the success of their curated pop-up shop with plans for more locations.

Anneliese schools pop-up shop located at 1816 Pacific Coast Highway, Laguna beach, Calif. is open to the public offering organic produce, textiles, apothecary, homemade meals, upscale pantry items, along with many other self care and wellness products. Glassware, pottery, books, art supplies, kitchenware and candles are a few of the items you will find inside. An added bonus is Anneliese owns urban farms in Claremont, Calif. that offers much of the organic, fresh, locally sourced produce within the store.

The school’s goal is to put the local economy back into daily habits and provide a one-stop shop atmosphere where one can rely on most items needed. Ready made meals are offered at the pop-up location along with their original store front at the Anneliese School campus. The ready made meal program comes with inspiration from the in-house meals made for students on a daily basis. Bottled curries, small batch cheeses, canned goods, baked goods, salad dressings, lentils, soups, salads, along with German fare and stews are all part of their offerings. Pre-cooked meals feeding 4 to 6 family members are anything from green chile enchiladas to homemade lasagna with freshly baked bread.

With the program and pop-up store seeing steady growth each year, Anneliese schools is planning on extending their pop-up duration in Laguna Beach as well as casting an even wider net in more of South Orange County. The growth plans will stay in alignment with the values of the school providing “quality over quantity.” The school receives great support from families who regularly volunteer in the shops and also provide homemade items to sell.

“Our passion and ultimate goal is to align our ideals from a humanitarian perspective and low carbon footprint along with sustainable practices,” said Samantha Breit, Store Manager of Anneliese school’s stores. “ We are bringing the hometown feel back into our economy. It is achievable to eat fresh while supporting local businesses without extra hassle. We will continue to carve this path and share our vision with community after community.”

Visit www.liesas.com to preview merchandise or order online.

About Anneliese Schools (https://annelieseschools.com)

Anneliese Schools is an award-winning private institution dedicated to providing rich educational opportunities to grow the intellect, humanity, curiosity, and creativity of children. Founded in 1968 with 3 locations in Laguna Beach, Anneliese Schools offer nursery school up to 6th grade, with various enriching programs offered across the unique campuses. The school teaches to the many facets of the intellect, while fostering independence and freedom to learn. Fundamental to the school’s mission is helping children develop a strong understanding of self and a passion for lifelong learning.  For more information, please visit https://annelieseschools.com/

Keenan Named 2021 “TPA Team of the Year” Finalist by Business Insurance  

Keenan, an industry-leading California insurance brokerage and consulting firm for health care organizations and public agencies, has been named a 2021 “TPA Team of the Year” finalist by Business Insurance, the leading source of news, information and data on risk management, workers compensation and commercial insurance. Keenan is one of five finalists in the TPA Team of the Year category from a pool of 180 nominations. 

Keenan’s recognition is based on its strong team culture, commitment to its staff, and excellence in consistent and well founded claims decisions, leading to significant achievements during the COVID-19 pandemic, including lower claims costs for clients.  

“I am proud of this team, whose exceptional efforts led to our selection as a finalist,” said Sean Smith, President of Keenan. “Throughout the past year and a half, our claims professionals worked swiftly to efficiently address COVID-19 claims and provide injured workers the care and resources they needed. The results of collaboration throughout our company were exceptional.”

Throughout 2020 and the first half of 2021, Keenan achieved low denial rates and estimated costs that consistently beat estimates from the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau of California (WCIRB) while managing compensability decisions in accordance with several new sets of laws in California. Keenan experienced a very low denial rate of 8%, versus WCIRB’s estimate of 28% and attributes this to the firm’s ability to consistently interpret challenging laws designed to provide benefits due to injured workers, as well as a thorough investigative approach that results in fully supported and consistent compensability decisions. Keenan also saw a lower average estimated cost per COVID-19 claim of $10,700 versus the WCIRB’s estimate of $29,100 and attributes this to its medical management team’s expertise and collaboration with core team members. In addition, Keenan maintained a low litigation rate of 0.012% for clients due to its team’s ability to build rapport with injured workers and collaborate with employers. 

“We have achieved these results despite an extremely challenging health crisis, and we will continue to deliver timely benefits with empathy and compassion,” said Smith. “Our bedrock principle is to do the right thing while maintaining a personal and professional relationship with our clients, every injured worker, and business partners.”

As defined by Business Insurance, the TPA Team of the Year award recognizes teams of professionals working on specific projects in the commercial insurance and risk management sector. Finalists are selected by senior Business Insurance staff from nominations submitted to the publication and are further assessed by a panel of risk managers to arrive at a winner. A complete list of 2021 U.S. Insurance Award finalists in 11 different categories can be found on Business Insurance’s website. The 2021 U.S. Insurance Awards ceremony will take place via a virtual event on Thursday, September 30, 2021, from 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. EST. 

 

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About Keenan

Keenan has a 49-year track record of serving schools, community colleges, health care organizations, and public agencies. As part of the AssuredPartners group of independent brokers, currently ranked as the 11th largest in the U.S., Keenan provides innovative employee benefits, health benefits management, workers’ compensation, risk management, and property and liability programs throughout the country. For more information, call 800-654-8102 or 310-212-3344, email info@keenan.com or visit www.keenan.com.

Excelling in E-Commerce: 3 Ways to Optimize Fulfillment Operations to Overcome Disruptions

By Tompkins Solutions

While e-commerce was projected to grow long before COVID-19 hit, many companies didn’t realize that the pandemic would accelerate online shopping by several years. As consumer spending shifted toward goods needed for the new home-based lifestyle, including groceries, furnishings and electronics, many of these purchases originated online, creating a slew of challenges for traditional retailers.

Already facing an ongoing labor shortage and warehouse operations designed for store distribution and replenishment, many retailers found themselves struggling to cater to the changing shopping habits. Here are three areas companies can optimize to improve efficiency and ensure an optimal customer experience:

Distributed Logistics

Instead of designing distribution networks to reduce costs, today’s supply chains need to focus on maximizing profits in the areas that matter to consumers, such as rapid deliveries. Utilizing a network of facilities located closer to consumers, including micro-fulfillment centers, third-party logistics (3PL) providers or brick-and-mortar stores, will enable companies to increase delivery speeds while also reducing transportation costs.

Inventory Management

While it’s impossible to stock every SKU at the right facility, companies can improve inventory deployment by storing a selection of popular products at forward stocking locations. Environment-conscious consumers will even opt to consolidate shipments when offered the opportunity, even if that results in a slightly delayed delivery.

Fulfillment Processes

When consumers shifted shopping from stores to online, many companies experienced challenges when implementing new pickup and delivery methods, including order accuracy, increased volumes and more. Savvy retailers have now learned that tools such as distributed order management, artificial intelligence and machine learning can utilize consumer data to improve fulfillment strategies and ensure satisfaction.

While the pandemic will eventually subside, e-commerce is here to stay. Retailers that employ smart network, inventory and order fulfillment strategies will position themselves to overcome future disruptions and achieve long-term profitable growth.

Check out our other resources to learn more about how to optimize your fulfillment operations and ensure an optimal customer experience in the new normal and beyond.

Xnergy Financial LLC Announces Jane Wachiradejkul Has Joined the Firm as VP of Global Business Development & Investments US-APAC

Global market leader Jane Wachiradejkul has joined Xnergy Financial LLC, member FINRA / SIPC (“Xnergy”) as the VP of Global Business Development & Investments US-APAC, announced by CEO Nia Stefani. Wachiradejkul joins the growing investment banking firm to create a global investment ecosystem with unique opportunities, which will drive business opportunities for global investors’ portfolios. Based in San Francisco, she will partner with the firm’s top-notch investment banking teams locally and nationally, principally focused on commercial real estate assets, and tech-focused companies for growth capital, and business exit strategies for the U.S. and Asia Pacific. She serves as a member of the firm’s Finance Committee.

Wachiradejkul brings 25 years of invaluable experience across real estate investment sales, global business development, internationalization strategies advisory, with additional expertise in innovative marketing and investor relations to Xnergy. She has been involved in distinguished branded development assets. These include one of the world’s most sought-after Four Seasons Private Residences, Wachiradejkul set a record bringing the first Four Seasons Waterfront Residences in Asia to the US market—a project valued at $1B. 

Additionally, Wachiradejkul’s entrepreneurial expertise within the field of real estate have led her to be appointed on elite international panels and advisory committees, cementing her position as an influential, global leader. Wachiradejkul has focused her efforts on the core trade and investments markets of San Francisco, Silicon Valley, and Asia Pacific by leveraging her cultural and economic ties within these regions. Utilizing these well-sourced partnerships with top-notch local and international investors to develop and curate lasting relationships will be Wachiradejkul’s primary focus in her new role.

 “We are delighted that Jane has joined our team at Xnergy and is applying her global market knowledge and uncompromising integrity to help clients at Xnergy expand their global portfolio,” said Nia Stefani, Xnergy CEO and Founder. “Jane takes a unique approach, acting as a bridge between San Francisco, Silicon Valley, and Asia Pacific. Her cross-cultural focus in the emerging market economies, combined with Xnergy’s dynamic banker team, creates an unparalleled advantage that will enhance our clients’ investment goals.

“Vision comes from within. Vision inspires passion, motivation and commitment to deliver results that exceed my clients’ expectations, to think distinctively, and to execute strategically. I’m excited to bring my visionary and entrepreneurial capabilities to Xnergy,” said Jane Wachiradekul, Xnergy VP of Global Business Development & Investments US-APAC.

 “Jane is passionate about creating a culture of excellence and sees the need for a truly globalized approach for global investors. Jane leverages her cultural and economic ties between the US and Asia Pacific,” said Johnney Zhang, Xnergy Chairman.

Xnergy Financial provides capital funding, access to capital and financial sources and strategic partners, public and private offerings, and merger and acquisition services to emerging growth and middle market companies. The firm has expertise in a wide range of market segments encompassing technology, energy, aerospace, healthcare, financial services, food and beverage, entertainment, real estate, retail, manufacturing and transportation.

For complete information on Xnergy and its capabilities, visit http://www.xnergy.com.

 

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About Xnergy 

Xnergy Financial LLC is a national investment banking firm providing financing and merger and acquisition services to emerging growth and middle market companies. Xnergy Financial LLC, a FINRA registered broker dealer firm, services both public and private companies seeking both debt and equity capital to fund growth initiatives, acquisitions, buyouts, and shareholder liquidity. Company services include public and private offerings, corporate finance, valuations, and mergers and acquisition services. Log on to http://www.xnergy.com to learn more.

Caterina’s Club 16th Annual Gala

Caterina’s Club’s mission is to provide warm meals, affordable housing assistance, and job training to homeless and low-income families throughout Southern California. It is supported by a vision where we are creating a modicum of consistency in these children’s lives through something as simple yet meaningful as a nightly dinner. 

Secure your seat for their 16th Annual Gala at the Anaheim White House on October 10th, 2021. For reservations, sponsorships, and event details, please call 657-201-3278 or email info@caterinasclub.org. It is an event you will not want to miss, so head over to caterina2021.givesmart.com to RSVP! We look forward to seeing you there!

Spinnaker Investment Group Celebrates Five-Year Anniversary 

Spinnaker Investment Group LLC, a leading privately owned investment management firm based in Newport Beach, marked its fifth anniversary with a focus on reinvention of the wealth management industry toward an improved high-touch, high-tech client experience. Over the past five years, the firm has launched a number of client service innovations while expanding its staff from 3 to 9 professionals, relocated to larger offices, and increased assets under management from $100 million to more than $420 million.  

“We attribute Spinnakers steady growth to a singular focus on providing a first-rate client experience,” said Morgan Christen, CEO and Chief Investment Officer for Spinnaker.  “Our partners previously worked together, and our vision of a leaner firm dedicated to exceptional personal service and value has resonated with clients and generated numerous referrals and opportunities,” he said. 

Christen founded Spinnaker Investment Group in May 2016 together with company President Joseph Stapleton, and quickly added Andrew Krongold to their team as Vice President. Since then, Krongold has become a Partner and the firm has grown in staff with the addition of financial advisors, insurance specialists and a full-service client concierge team. 

The firms services include financial planning, wealth planning, retirement planning, asset management, securities and insurance. The firms approach to client service is similar to the way a Chief Financial Officer would advise a business, by providing consistency and helping clients to prepare and adjust investment strategies that complement the stages in their lives, whether saving for a home or other major investment, as well as preparing for retirement. 

Christen added that, on the strength of its growth in assets under management and its in-house team, the firm has been recognized for the past three consecutive years in the Orange County business media as one of the regions fastest-growing private companies of any category.  “Considering the explosion of financial resources available for do-it-yourself online trading, combined with the exposure afforded to volatile investment trends and fads, it is more important than ever to have a well-researched and disciplined investment strategy, developed with the support of a fiduciary advisor,” he said.  

Spinnaker serves a broad customer base throughout Southern California, as well as many clients based across the United States. An independent firm that does not represent a specific company, bank or Wall Street institution, Spinnaker confidently and autonomously advises clients with individually tailored financial strategies designed to achieve financial independence. The firms services include Financial Planning, Wealth Planning, Retirement Planning, Asset Management, Securities and Insurance. For more information, visit www.SpinnInvest.com.

CLA-OC Launches Career Pathways Programs In Partnership with OC School Districts, Community Colleges

The CEO Leadership Alliance-Orange County (CLA-OC) announced the launch of two new talent development programs for high school and community  college students designed to provide work-based learning opportunities in career pathways for innovation sector jobs. Led by CLA-OCs Education workstream chair Kimberly Chavalas Cripe, President and CEO of Children’s Hospital of Orange County, co-chair Robin Shanahan, Managing Director and Co-Chief Operating Officer at PIMCO, and Amy Kaufman, Vice President, Career Education and Talent Development for CLA-OC, nearly 100 students from across OC high school and community college districts are participating in summer virtual internships and mentorships hosted by CLA-OC member companies.           

“CLA-OC wants to foster a vibrant community of OC businesses that attracts and develops talent, and meets the dynamic and evolving needs of individuals and business,” said Mark Percy, CLA-OC President. “We plan to expand upon these pilot programs, facilitate ever-increasing collaboration with education stakeholders, and create better and brighter career futures for all in Orange County – especially for underserved students.”

Launched at the beginning of June with an inspirational kick off message from LensGen CEO, Ram Rao, the six-week CLA-OC Career Exploration Experiences pilot program was co-created at the high school level in partnership with Anaheim Union High School District, Santa Ana-based Samueli Academy, Tustin Unified School District, Breakthrough San Juan Capistrano, and San Clemente-based Simon Scholars. Students from these programs were selected to learn about advanced career pathways within departments of CLA-OC member companies including EY, Ware Malcomb, Tangram Interiors, Pacific Dental, Medtronic, UCI Health and Childrens Hospital of Orange County.

“At EY, were committed to helping underserved students by joining forces with organizations to facilitate access to devices, connectivity and mentoring,” said Kim Letch, EY Orange County Office Managing Partner. “It is an honor for us to participate in the CEO Leadership Alliance OC Career Pathways program and to provide the opportunity for emerging high school leaders to engage in career exploration at EY and to share their creative ideas on how to bridge the digital divide in Orange County.”

The project will culminate with a Virtual Summit with keynote speaker, Jeff Hittenberger, Chief Academic Officer at the Orange County Department of Education, and a student gallery walk of culminating project presentations. 

In May, community college students from the North Orange County and the Coast Community College Districts enrolled in the CLA-OC Talent Bridge program offered in partnership with OC computer software firm Alteryx. Students in this program are earning a certification in data analytics while gaining insight to the company’s career pathways. Upon conclusion they will be provided an invitation-only opportunity to network with top-level Alteryx leadership and affiliated Alteryx companies at an upcoming event in July. Said Olivia Duane Adams, Chief Advocacy Officer and Co-founder,”‘at Alteryx we believe in serving as an incubator for the workforce of the future while providing global programs supporting data analytics skills development and empowering women in business.”

About CLA-OC

The CEO Leadership Alliance – Orange County (CLA-OC) is purpose-driven business leaders with a vision of helping to build a thriving OC for all. Its mission is to grow OC into a premier, inclusive, innovation talent hub in America.

Join USA’s Largest EV Festival: Electrify Expo

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