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Recognizing cutting-edge leadership in environmentally friendly business practices and green technology, from renewable energy and water conservation to zero-waste systems and carbon-emission reduction.

Orange County provides in-depth nature and cultural experiences for guests at its two resorts in Coorg and Kabini, located in high biodiversity areas of Karnataka, India. In collaboration with local communities and government municipalities, Orange County engages in sustainable development practices and education, including elimination of plastics, recycling of glass and metals, and alternative energy. Water conservation is promoted through the use of reverse osmosis plants, which provide safe drinking water and the elimination of 150,000 plastic bottles annually. In addition, wind power generation on site supplies the majority of electricity, with green teams closely monitoring all energy, water, and waste impacts through a three-tier environmental impact audit system. "Eco Walks" led by naturalists at each resort are designed to educate guests on sustainable tourism practices in action, while a series of education videos on local cultural and natural heritage reach more than 70,000 people through a social media campaign.


Recognizing excellence in enhancing sense of place and authenticity, including support for the protection of historical monuments, archaeological sites, cultural events, indigenous heritage and artistic traditions.

Following the transformation of Fort Baker from military outpost to national park in 2002, the owners of Cavallo Point Lodge worked in partnership with the local municipality of Sausalito, the National Park Service, and Golden Gate National Park Conservancy to transform the old military barracks into a thriving LEED Gold-certified sustainable tourism lodge, enhancing and restoring 17 historic buildings to their original design, including century-old vernacular architecture recognized for its importance by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. By reusing the former building materials, maintaining 100 percent of the exterior design, and 75 percent of the interior walls and floors, Cavallo Point preserved and protected the original barrack rooms. In addition, more than 50,000 native plants were grown from seed to support the ecological restoration of the Fort Baker watershed. The revival of Fort Baker through this successful public-private partnership has helped preserve the park as a historic landmark of San Francisco's heritage next to the iconic Golden Gate Bridge.


Recognizing outstanding support for the preservation of nature, restoring natural habitat and protecting rare and endangered species, whether on land or in the oceans.

Situated in the Andean Patagonian Rain Forest in Chile, the Huilo Huilo Biological Reserve, a private sector conservation and community development initiative serves to conserve the rich biodiversity endemic to the region. In the past ten years, Huilo Huilo has protected 247,000 acres of land once threatened by the timber industry, and transformed it through the implementation of scientific research, education, and conservation into a model of sustainable tourism. In particular, Huilo Huilo is working on an ongoing project to reintroduce the Huemel, a critically endangered species of Andean deer. Other ongoing wildlife conservation and research efforts include the reintroduction of Guanacos and the Darwin Frog Conservation Program. In addition to protecting some of the last remaining old growth rain forest in Patagonia from further development encroachment and timber cutting, Huilo Huilo has created a series of community festivals that celebrate nature and conservation as part of their local education outreach and awareness initiatives to save Patagonian nature. They were also instrumental in convincing Chile's national association of tourism (FEDETUR) to adopt a strategic campaign to "promote the enhancement of natural and cultural heritage through tourism."


Recognizing direct and tangible economic and social benefits that Excellerate local livelihoods, including training and capacity building, fair wages and benefits, community development, health care and education.

Tropic Journeys specializes in helping local communities establish ecotourism as a means to preserve their local culture and make a sustainable economic living. A pioneer in community-based tourism in Ecuador, Tropic Journeys started working 20 years ago in the remote Ecuadorean Amazon with the indigenous Huaorani people. Today, Huaorani Ecolodge is owned 100 percent by Huaorani community members who set their own wages and manage the day-to-day business jointly with Tropic Journeys, sharing the skills they have learned with other indigenous communities. Tropic Journeys is now continuing its successful community-based tourism model on Floreana Island in the Galápagos, demonstrating that ecotourism remains an important opportunity for helping to safeguard indigenous peoples' heritage, alleviating poverty, protecting rare and endangered species through local community-based conservation, and educating travelers on how tourism, when carefully planned and managed, can be an opportunity to protect cultural and natural heritage for future generations.


Recognizing destination leadership, including cities, provinces, states, countries and regions that are demonstrating environmental best practices, protection of cultural and natural heritage, benefits to local communities and educating travelers on the principles of sustainability.

Setting an example to combat global climate change with the goal to become the world's first country to operate fossil-fuel-free by 2020, Aruba has invested heavily in renewable energy, including the largest solar car park in the Caribbean with more than 14,000 solar panels and soon to double in size, and a waste-to-energy plant that turns trash into renewable power. An additional twenty percent of the island nation's electricity comes from wind power and Aruba's smart growth plan includes walkable communities, electric car stations, and the world's first trolley system using hydrogen fuel cell technology, also powered by the sun and wind. "We are a living laboratory of a sustainable society," says Prime Minister Mike Eman, who is also a member of the Carbon War Room to address climate change. Six other Caribbean nations have now adapted the "Aruba Model" to propel their own transitions towards becoming more sustainable destinations.


Located just off of the island of Tahiti on Tetiaroa atoll in French Polynesia, Pacific Beachcomber Resorts worked to bring to life the late actor and conservationist Marlon Brando's dream to create a luxury eco-resort that would also serve as a global scientific marine research center and a model for innovative green technologies. In collaboration with local conservation organizations, including te mana o te moana, The Brando is also working to protect Polynesian cultural and natural heritage for future generations. In order to minimize environmental impacts, The Brando has implemented sustainability strategies including deep ocean sea water air conditioning, solar power, a local coconut oil (biofuel) generator, and an advanced reed bed waste water treatment system, among other initiatives.

Located off the coast of Singapore in nearby Indonesia, Nikoi Island resort operates on less than one quarter of the energy consumption considered "excellent" by the sustainable standards of the International Tourism Partnership for hotels operating in the tropics, while utilizing solar power and maximizing sustainable design including natural ventilation. Their 15 rooms are constructed of reclaimed driftwood, bamboo, and local grass. Water conservation initiatives include collection of rainwater to reduce impact on groundwater resources. Waste reduction efforts involve producing many of its own food products and providing bottled water in reusable glass containers, while incorporating education for both guests and the community on environmentally friendly practices.


Designed to celebrate the rural heritage of this remote island off the northeast coast of Newfoundland, the creation of Fogo Island Inn included a collaborative partnership between local residents and a host of international artists, designers, and architects working together to capture the island's unique cultural heritage. The Inn works in close collaboration with the non-profit Shorefast Foundation to invest in the local community, ensuring an ongoing relationship between the Inn and local residents. During their stay, guests team up with "community hosts" who take them around the island to experience the local way of life, from participating in traditional sing-a-longs to learning about handcrafted boat building.

Gwaii Haanas, meaning "Islands of Beauty" in the indigenous Haida Language, is a partnership between the Haida people of British Colombia and Parks Canada to manage a national park reserve located on the southern end of the Haida Gwaii Archipelago. Initiatives include collaborating together with archeologists to inventory 500 indigenous settlement sites dating back 12,000 years, working with elders to record Haida place names and oral histories, and protecting other cultural traditions such as the carving of totem poles. A unique Watchmen program allows Haida residents to live at cultural sites and carry out traditional activities, while providing an enriching and authentic travel experience for visitors.


andBeyond is an experiential travel company focused on conservation and research efforts in the wildlife areas of Africa and India where its 33 lodges are located. In partnership with conservation organizations and other safari companies, andBeyond has successfully translocated White Rhinos from its Phinda Private Game Reserve in South Africa to the Okavango Delta in Botswana as part of the Rhinos Without Borders initiative, a program to help protect this critically endangered species. They have also played a pivotal role in protecting Zanzibar's coral reefs with their establishment of the Mnemba Island Marine Conservation area. The company mission is based upon the protection and restoration of threatened wilderness areas wherever they operate.

The Conservation Ecology Centre, based in Cape Otway, Australia, is a non-profit organization working in partnership with the Great Ocean Ecolodge to further local conservation efforts through ongoing research and habitat restoration. Their projects include the creation of a wildlife corridor through the purchase and restoration of degraded land, and the planting of more than 80,000 trees as part of their Koala conservation program. An innovative research program utilizes trained dogs and community volunteers to collect field data critical to conservation efforts for the endangered Tiger Quoll, Australia's largest carnivorous marsupial species. The Conservation Ecology Centre also provides conservation-through-tourism educational programs to visitors and local community members.


Located in the Dana Biosphere Reserve, Feynan has served as a model for sustainable development in the Middle East region by incorporating the local community as direct economic beneficiaries through responsible tourism, ensuring that their cultural heritage is preserved. All staff at Feynan are from rural Bedouin communities who have been trained in hospitality management, with ongoing training and capacity building providing opportunities to learn English and computer skills. Transportation is also provided entirely by local Bedouins, and 80% of the lodge supplies come from nearby communities to advance local economic benefits. The Feynan guest experience provides a unique opportunity to learn about authentic Bedouin culture and participate in local Bedouin traditions.

Situated on Nicaragua's Emerald Coast, Mukul worked closely with local villagers even before opening its doors to travelers in 2013 to provide ongoing education, training and capacity building to Excellerate local livelihoods. In addition to providing training and employment for nearly 500 local residents at the resort, Mukul has also supported locally-owned business development, with the number of boutiques and restaurants in the nearby village of Gigante increasing from five to 30 in the past three years. Mukul is also partnering with NicaAgua, a not-for-profit organization that provides ceramic water filters to local households to reduce waterborne illness and provide clean drinking water for area residents.


The nearly century-old Delaware North Companies operate one of the largest concession projects in the U.S. National Park System in Yosemite. DNC provides visitors with lodging, food and beverage services, and a host of recreational activities such as backcountry skiing, horseback riding, rock climbing, and rafting, all while adhering to ecotourism practices. DNC's GreenPath program, an environmental management system, is designed to ensure sustainability through five key indicators, which include environmental management, interpretation/ education, facilities and asset management, and healthy food/healthy living. In addition, DNC at Yosemite has established an on-site "Green Team" dedicated to training staff on environmentally friendly operations and visitor education.

Formed as a public-private partnership between the government and local Aranese businesses, Foment Torisme Val d'Aran is responsible for promoting sustainable tourism in this central Pyrenees Mountain region in Catalonia, Spain. A popular winter and summer vacation destination, Val d'Aran focuses on protecting its rich cultural and natural heritage by working with villagers to safeguard their local language, Aranese, which has been in decline, along with other important traditions. In addition to encouraging visitors to learn about the biodiversity conservation in the region, Val d'Aran works with wildlife researchers to protect indigenous species, including an ongoing European Brown Bear Recuperation Project and the reintroduction of the endangered Hazel Grouse.

Fri, 14 Aug 2020 20:08:00 -0500 en text/html https://www.nationalgeographic.com/worldlegacyawards/winners2015.html
Killexams : Aruba’s 30 MW Roman data centre campus nears completion

Aruba S.p.A., one of the largest Italian cloud providers and a leading company for data centre, web hosting, email, certified email (PEC) and domain registration services, has announced that its Hyper Cloud Data Center (IT4) currently being constructed in Rome will be completed in the first quarter of 2023. The campus is set to be the largest data centre in Italy’s capital.

Aruba’s Hyper Cloud Data Center (IT4) is sat within a fully owned 74,000 m² site. At full capacity the campus will comprise five independent data centres of 6 MW each, totalling 30 MW of IT power and a redundancy level of 2N or higher and 100 Gbit/s backbone links between Aruba Data Center and major Neutral Access Points (NAP).

Situated in central Italy within the area of Tecnopolo Tiburtino (East Rome), the colossal project will extend Italy’s most technologically advanced data centre network and enhance the company’s ability to offer hyperscale solutions to customers. Aruba will continue to provide both the private and public sectors with colocation, cloud and hybrid solutions, while maintaining the company’s prerogatives of sustainability, security and infrastructure resilience.

Like all the data centres in Aruba’s network, the Hyper Cloud Data Center will meet highest levels of infrastructure quality, taking advantage of the best solutions available to minimise overall impact on the environment. The campus itself will be entirely environmentally friendly, thanks to the use of energy produced from 100% renewable sources, certified at the European level through guarantee of Origin (GO Certification) and self-produced on site thanks to the presence of photovoltaic systems and the use of efficiency-optimised cooling (free-cooling).

Once completed, the data centre will join the ranks of Aruba’s already extensive network, which includes the Global Cloud Data Center – Aruba’s flagship campus in Ponte San Pietro, Bergamo – two data centres in Arezzo, one in Ktiš (Czech Republic) and additional partner facilities across the UK, Germany, France, the Czech Republic and Poland.

“Tapping into the latest technologies to Excellerate sustainability is a priority for the entire data centre industry,” said Alessandro Bruschini, Head of Infrastructure at Aruba. “The work on our new hub in Rome is helping guide this priority, further consolidating us as one of the top European providers of enterprise-grade IT services as well as an operator of the most modern and environmentally friendly data centre network in Italy. The Hyper Cloud Data Center will work in close synergy with the entire Aruba data centre network and help expand our presence and enhance our connectivity in key European regions.”

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Tue, 02 Aug 2022 22:44:00 -0500 en-GB text/html https://www.intelligentcio.com/eu/2022/08/03/arubas-30-mw-roman-data-centre-campus-nears-completion/
Killexams : Aruba AIOps Solution Combines Network and Security Insights

SAN JOSE, Calif., July 26, 2022 — Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company (NYSE: HPE), today announced new Aruba ESP (Edge Services Platform) AIOps capabilities that allow IT professionals to greatly reduce the time spent on manual tasks such as network troubleshooting, performance tuning, and Zero Trust/SASE security enforcement. Part of Aruba’s growing family of AIOps solutions, the new capabilities supplement overtaxed IT teams as they grapple with increasing network complexity and the rapid growth of IoT. For the first time, AIOps can be utilized for not just network troubleshooting but also performance optimization and critical security controls.

As organizations pursue digital transformation initiatives, network modernization is critical for achieving new business outcomes. However, with the growth of hybrid work, new user engagement models, and challenges resulting from the ‘Great Resignation’ and widening skills gaps, IT teams must find ways to achieve greater efficiencies. Yesterday’s time-intensive manual processes are simply inadequate for today’s quickly-changing business environment. Powerful analytics, AI-based insights, and automation supplement – not replace – networking teams by reducing manual tasks so they can focus on more strategic and higher-value projects.

In development since 2013, Aruba AIOps capabilities leverage Aruba’s industry-leading data lake, which continuously and anonymously collects and analyzes device, user, and location data from over 120,000 Aruba Central customers, from more than 2 million network devices and 200 million clients per day. The unmatched reliability of Aruba’s AI is directly related to the high volume and wide variety of network and client data, the constant training of models, and the unique ability to provide insights that tackle both network and security concerns. This allows network teams from every industry and size to trust that Aruba AIOps will automate mundane tasks, shrink the time needed to find and fix problems, increase security controls, and help ensure that all network users have the best possible experience.

“For AI results that customers can trust, the key ingredient is not a mathematical model, but access to a large volume and variety of data to train the models to produce reliable results across all network topologies. Without that foundation, so-called “AI” is nothing more than demoware,” said Larry Lunetta, vice president of portfolio solutions marketing at Aruba. “Fueled by our data lake, our AIOps solutions help enterprises reduce trouble tickets by up to 75 percent while optimizing their network performance by 25 percent or more.”

The new AI-powered IT efficiency features include:

  • Aruba Client Insights: Automatically identifies each endpoint connecting to the network with up to 99% accuracy, which is especially important as increasing numbers of IoT devices are added to networks, sometimes without approval from IT. This allows organizations to better understand what’s on their networks, automate access privileges, and monitor the behavior of each client’s traffic flows to more rapidly spot attacks and take action.
  • AI-powered Firmware Recommender: Provides IT teams with the best version of firmware to run for the wireless access points in their environments – regardless of model numbers. This greatly reduces support calls and guesswork that network admins face, and helps ensure new features and fixes are implemented more quickly.
  • AI Search in Spanish: The same built-in natural language search function in Aruba Central shows its versatility by now supporting queries and responses in Spanish to satisfy the needs of our second largest geographical user community.
  • Automated Infrastructure Predictions: Leverages Aruba’s AI Assist feature and Aruba Support outreach to recognize possible hardware and software infrastructure issues for preemptive engagement that can consist of firmware upgrades or recommended hardware replacement.

“With hybrid work and new customer engagement models, network complexity is unavoidable as organizations modernize their network infrastructure to successfully support corporate initiatives,” said Bob Laliberte, principal analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group. “When a network vendor demonstrates reliable, real-world AI solutions, NetOps teams are increasingly adopting and trusting the actions of machine learning and other automation technologies. In fact, ESG research highlights that almost a quarter (21%) of organizations are comfortable with software that automatically detects, analyses, recommends, and makes network changes, and 59% report being comfortable with technology that alerts and provides recommendations, which are then manually executed. We expect these percentages to climb as more organizations gain experience with and recognize the benefits AI delivers.”

“We rely on the AIOps capabilities in Aruba Central. With these new features, not only can we quickly see if our network users are experiencing problems, but we can also identify actual issues and take steps to address them before any users are impacted, saving us many hours of after-the-fact issue investigation and remediation,” said Justin Kuzara, network engineer at CIC Group. “Additionally, having client-oriented security analytics helps our team better protect the organization without having to use a separate product.”

Pricing and Availability

Aruba Client Insights is available now. AI Search, AI-powered Firmware Recommender, and Infrastructure Predictions are available for early access and will be generally available in October 2022. Each of these features are included in Aruba Central Foundation licensing.

About Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company

Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, is the global leader in secure, intelligent edge-to-cloud networking solutions that use AI to automate the network, while harnessing data to drive powerful business outcomes. With Aruba ESP (Edge Services Platform) and as-a-service options, Aruba takes a cloud-native approach to helping customers meet their connectivity, security, and financial requirements across campus, branch, data center, and remote worker environments, covering all aspects of wired, wireless LAN, and wide area networking (WAN).

To learn more, visit Aruba at www.arubanetworks.com. For the latest technical discussions on mobility and Aruba products, visit the Airheads Community at community.arubanetworks.com.


Source: Aruba

Tue, 26 Jul 2022 03:22:00 -0500 text/html https://www.datanami.com/this-just-in/aruba-aiops-solution-combines-network-and-security-insights/
Killexams : Garuba: Banks Have Failed in Their Intermediation Role

Mohammed Garuba is one of the founding Partners/Directors of CardinalStone Partners Limited, an Investment Banking Firm. In this interview, he emphasises that foreign exchange and not politics, will be a key determinant in the direction of the Nigerian economy ahead of the 2019 elections. He also expresses dissatisfaction over the delayed appointment of a board for the Securities and Exchange Commission. In addition, Garuba argues that banks have since left their traditional role of financial intermediation. Obinna Chima, GoddyEgene and Nume Ekeghe provide the excerpts:

 

There is this argument that the events we have seen in the political space in the past few days does not have any effect on the market, while some have said it does. What is your take on that?

There are two ways to approach this. Initially, we all felt it didn’t have any effect and that was because, we were seeing more international investors who dunderstand investing in Africa. And so,on the back of that, what they’ve done was because they understand investing in Africa, they have been able to know that we have this political cycle and they are no longer interested in running away because if they sell at a loss within a short while,they would see everything come back very quickly. So, instead of us saying it is a political issue per say, their primary focus is that they want to understand the flow of foreign exchange (FX).  FX to a large extent is a key determinant for them while political noise is a less important issue. Whether it is in Ghana, Kenya, and South Africa the cycles happen every four years in these jurisdictions, including North Africa. So, that is not the major focus.  Their major focus is your FX. Just like we saw in 2015 elections, to a large extent, it was was one of the most volatile. But it didn’t affect our market as much as when we had FX problem that caused a recession, and everything went down. So,we have more economic crisis on the back of FX than on the back of politics. And that starts to show you the strong impact of FX. As our reserves started going downthen, even the local economy, industries and banks were recording losses and it had more catastrophic impact. Right now, especially local banks are doing well. So,the political noise even for locals or even foreigners is not as much as FX. FX for us is key.  If politics would have an impact on FX then everyone would start to run.

Whether it is the All Progressives Congress (APC) or the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) government, everybody is promising that they would improve infrastructure and when they say all these things, especially when you announce a huge budget, the concern is how to implement that budget because you would need a lot of FX, especially for your capital expenditure. So, the view right now is, will government be able to implement the budget. We have seen budget implementation of about 40 per cent, so we are estimating a 40 per cent implementation on the capital expenditure side. We have now looked at the FX component of that to see where the external reserves would be at the end of this year. So, the real watch for foreign investors is still not the political space, but how does this whole politics impact on FX.

So, what will you attribute the downturn in the stock market to?

The rhetorics by Donald Trump were largely of him trying to make America great again. People did not see that. But it is a key element in economics because while globalisation is the new world order, a man came and said I want to close my economy,’ which is a complete change from what we understood. And so, what we have tried to see is that as he starts to do this, it is affecting every other economies. So, what do we then do as he is increasing interest rate, which is affecting Europe not just Africa. Monies flew from the US from the last financial crisis in 2008, to emerging markets. From a risk management point of view, US investors felt there was no need leaving all their monies in US. So, on their own, they started changing their strategy to invest part of these monies outside the US. And then trying to get of the recession, interest rate completely went down to zero per cent. So, if I would get zero per cent or negative returns, why leave my money in the US. So, a lot of monies naturally found their ways out of the US.

And so, a lot of monies it started flowing to emerging markets and then got to frontier markets such as Nigeria and that impacted the Nigerian economy massively.

So, presently, a lot of monies are flowing back to the US and there is empirical data to show all these. Now what is happening is that the whole of Europe, emerging and frontier markets are struggling to breathe.

So, it is not even about the elections. The Nigerian markets lost over seven per centin May. Seven per cent is small, when you compare that to what is really happening across frontier markets. While it was seven per cent in Nigeria, in Venezuela, it was about nine per cent. The MSCI index which is a key indicator of frontier markets of various countries lost about 10 percent in May alone. Nigeria lost seven per cent and was the second best performing frontier market in the world, while Turkey lost about 17 per cent in one month. So, you find out that we are still doing well. Why only seven per cent? It was because we were still coming out from a recession. So, you see that the real impact is not just that Nigeria is losing, but everybody is losing.

Nigeria’s valuation has gone down, but so is it with every other frontier market. So, there is a positive correlation across other markets and there is a global world order. Stock markets are repricing everywhere.  So, while we see a fairly strong half-yearresults, the stock market is not moving forward because as a country, have failed to develop stock market.

Between 1999 when we went back to democracy, if you compared the Nigerian stock market to that of South Africa 20 years ago, South Africa was about $500 billion in 1999, but today the market is about $1 trillion. The Nigerian stock market which was over $100 billion, today has reduced to over $40 billion. The Nigerian market has gone smaller in 20 years. That is because the regulators failed in their primary responsibility to develop the market.  Every time foreign investors come into our market, we go up and when they exit, it goes down. That is not a market. A market is built around three core investors: retail which covers roughly 30 per cent of an average stock market; localinstitutional investors control 40 per cent. So, about 70 per cent is localised and the remaining 30 per cent goes to foreigners. When the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE)publishes data, sometimes you would see foreign investors controlling 50-70 per cent. With that, you do not have a market. We are now seeing regulators wake up. The new Pension Reform Act that has created a tiered system has started trying to solve that problem whereby local institutions must be made to invest in the market one way or the other because you create stability.  

 

What can be done to deepen the stock market on the retail side especially in a country with a population of about 180 million people?

 

This was why I was drafted to join the Council of the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers. When I left school, it was a pride to become a chartered stockbroker because it was still a developing career. That I think is the bane of the problem. The institute did not develop and we all started pursuing the stock market, we ignored risks and a few other things. So, I joined the Council and I am heading the Research and Technical Committee and these are some of the things we are handling.  So, the career did not evolve and that is why you see courses like the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) coming to compete with us. Today, you have almost 78 per cent of the total chartered stockbrokers are above 50 years old. And less than 30 per cent are below 50 years. And out of that, only about 18 per cent are below 40 years. We are not grooming young people and the problem started almost 20 years ago. The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) for example, would have died, but they saw the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) movedfrom theory to objective and they started to change their syllabus to compete. But we left the CIS static and we were not dynamic and so not many people were subscribing because they didn’t see stockbroking as a viable career. So, you are straight jacketed and because of that, you have trained many stockbrokers to just know equities and you didn’t train them to learn research. Not until international firms started coming into Nigeria that we started seeing research improve. So, that is the bane of the problem and we only have about 2,000 qualified stockbrokers in the whole country.

So, the more stockbrokers you have, the more you can push awareness. The former Director General of the NSE, Dr. NdiOkerekeOnyiuke tried in her own way to encourage NSE branches around Nigeria which have been shut down now. That wasn’t the best strategy, but at least something was happening. But that was done almost too late and at the peak of the market. And once the market started going down, everything crumbled. So, we have not been able to create enough awareness and we need to sit with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to come up with a proper strategy. So, when some of this noise were made, SEC came up with a 10year masterplan and even the implementation is way behind with so many extraneous forces. They have written a lot of things and for two years, there is even no board to approve some of those initiatives.

So, there are too any issues in the capital market. A lot of the initiatives are already in the works, but we are behind again. By now, we were supposed to have started introducing investing in primary education in collaboration with the Ministry of Education because it is what people know that they would do. We are also pushing entrepreneurship. When I graduated about 20 years ago, we were only trained to carry our CV to look for an uncle for a job and you don’t even think you can start a business. The more businesses we start the potential for companies to come and list on the stock exchange. In ten years, we have had only two initial public offers (IPOs), the market is literary dead. We have had a few other public offers Seplat, while Sahara energy, Interswitch and quite a number of them are waiting on the sidelines to list, but nobody wants to list today. MTN wanted to list but not in this current market environment because they would be mispriced. So, I don’t blame MTN to go quiet because no sensible CEO would allow it. It is not just the right time for MTN. So, since they have not announced it, I know nothing would happen again this year. It just doesn’t make sense.

 

What are your thoughts about interest rate in the country, compared to other frontier and emerging countries?

Where interest rates are right now are not attractive enough for the risk premium. Right now, we have Fidelity Bank’s Eurobond and if I need to earn 10 per cent in dollars I can get an investment in Nigeria here that would deliver me 10 per cent in dollars. So, why should I leave my money in naira that is uncertain?

Before, when dollar was doing 11 per cent, naira was doing 20 percent. So, a lot of foreign investors are saying we are investing in frontier markets and it is not as if we like Nigeria. Ghana is doing 18 per cent, their FX is stable and worst case it is hovered around three percent because there’s is manage float system. So, I would invest in Ghana and I’ll still walk away with about 15 per cent return. Congo’s treasury bills rate is up 30 per cent. In fact,banks such as GTBank, Access Bank, UBA, FirstBank are all in Congo because of this guaranteed interest rate. All their respective audited accounts for 2017, their most successful subsidiary was Congo because they are all making crazy money from the country. So, why would I leave my money here when there are better opportunities in other frontier investors? So, because of that, most of the portfolio money are just going out and Godwin Emefiele is doing a yeoman job. Oil prices have helped a bit, but that is not a longterm strategy. You always need portfolio money and how you use it is very important.

As you release one intervention fund, let’s say the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)wants to do N500 billion in agriculture, what we are looking at is the effect on the external reserves. If the Babatunde Fasholais honest to fix all these meters, which I heard another N72 billion is to be released to the Discos, all that money would be converted to dollars and it has to come out of the reserves. So, while we have huge infrastructure deficit, where would that entire dollar come out from to fix some of these things? So, every time they shout development,’ we are looking at the impact on dollars. So, for Emefiele to continue to meet the overall dollar demand, you need to attract foreign investors and so interest rates must remain high.

 So, are you insinuating that there might be another dollar crisis in the medium term?

If you observe, even with high oil prices the external reserves have been dropping. Yet, we haven’t started spending for capital expenditure. Almost every week, at the end of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, they would announce approvals running into billion and all these are from the reserves. While people are happy that they want to grow the economy where is the money going to come from?  So, the country needs to raise more Eurobond because if the reserves go below $46 billion, FX speculation may start again. So how we have kept the reserves at $48 billion, people don’t know.

So, while on one hand he is trying to encourage local businesses, it is still not working which is why at the last MPC meeting he was angry that even the CBN would start investing in Commercial Papers (CPs).

With all you have said, you seem to be supporting that the federal government should borrow more. Don’t you think excessive foreign borrowing poses a risk to the system?

 Not at all. There is no problem in borrowing. The technique in borrowing is that it must be well structured. For example, if I borrow and it is project tied, like borrowing to fix the rail system it doesn’t matter how I borrow so far it works and people start to pay every day for it, and the cash is coming in. Then, I have solved a major problem. If rails are fixed all those trucks on the road wouldn’t be there anymore. People are buying trucks every day because the Lagos ports don’t serve Nigeria alone. From here, goods are transported to Chad, Niger and other countries. So, if you have a rail system, people would be able to move goods out. Without a rail system, we continue to hear we have minerals in Nigeria, but we cannot mine them because of how to get them to our ports. If you fix rail today, the GDP would double or triple, it would have a ripple effect on so many things.

We are seeing renewed interest in the CP market, what is aiding this trend?

CPs have increased largely because the banks have refused to drop interest rate. Depositors are seeing very low interest rates. So, because of that, banks have failed in their primary intermediation process. Banks in every part of the world are set up to do intermediation, which is collect deposits and then deliver it out as loans. Since they aren’t giving out monies as loans and doing treasury bills themselves, they have created a new market for commercial papers. CP in any market is a rate higher than deposits rates,but lower than bank interest rates. So, theCP market is getting very viable now because depositors instead of going to banks to deposit their monies are going to the companies to invest in CPs. So, the more CPs we get, the possibility of banks coming to do their roles of intermediation.When banking consolidation happened was when banks stopped doing their intermediation role because a lot of people were promoted above their competence. There was too much money far more than the competence level of many of the people managing the monies. And this is not trying to belittle any CEO. I was in the bank then and I saw where people were promoted far above their competence. Within the last 15 years, we have not trained real bankers. They have been pursuing money and that is all they know. So, we failed in banking to do intermediation. Which is why the CP market is the way to go and every one is doing CPs. Even the banks are doing CPs. If I have some bad loans, one way to manage it is to take CPs and use it to reduce it. Every normal company is going to continue to do CPs until banks go back to their intermediation role. People are taking their deposits from banks and investing in CPs at slightly higher rates as opposed to doing fixed deposits with the banks. So, gradually, intermediation is gradually coming into the fore because many of these things are going to the private sector. Dangote did the biggest CP. He has never done that. Before, he would be begging bank CEOs for loans. Before, they would tell you to pay down, year-end is coming and many other things. So, Flour Mills, Nigerian Breweries, Lafarge, Guinness, Wema Bank, Sterling Bank, Stanbic IBTC, everybody is doing it. CP is the new order of the day.

Talking about the capital market, you raised an issue about SEC’s 10year master plan and the absence of a board. What are the effects on the economy?

 

Sadly, we need to fix this because you know that once you put people there you would need to deliver them time to implement strategy. Once you call someone an interim DG there are limits to what that person can do. So, while this DG is competent, she is limited because she doesn’t know what will happen. So, there are many things she cannot start and that delays everybody. We need to take the capital market seriously because it is a structural issue where she has her strategies and she can communicate it properly and she can appraise herself and look at things whether on a periodic basis within her tenure. We already have a master plan strategy so whichever DG comes in, you must take from that master plan and implement your own section. So right now, she is limited in her ability to execute.

This must be fixed very quickly. Sadly, politics has taken over again and we might see this delay till next year so each of this has huge longterm impacts on the market.

 

You just mentioned politics, how has it affected foreign direct investments (FDIs) right now?

It is affecting because once there is no substantive policy maker in place, FDIscannot come and negotiate. As a firm, there are quite a lot of people we are trying to bring in, but you are not sure who the substantive Minister of Finance would be by this time next year. So, FDIs are all on standstill and everyone is waiting on the sidelines. The same way FDIs are waiting, is the same way Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs) are waiting because companies also cannot list. Today, companies cannot list, which is another smart way of attracting money in. FDIsusually do PEST (Political, Economic, Social, and Technological) analysis and Nigeria is already failing a lot of things from the first one which is political. By the time the current minister of finance tells you her plans, maybe the next time you want to meet her,she might be doing politics and by the time you finally get a meeting in another two to three months, she might not be there to continue the implementation. So, you start all over again because all the commitment made by this person has changed. So much policy summersault is affecting FDIs and they are frustrated. A classic example is Procter and Gamble (P&G). It was as if everyone involved in that project was crazy. They invested $400 million in that project and within one year, it was shutdown. These people were sincere, and they did their analysis, they understood the market and committed that amount and now they are literally shutting it down. Now the whole US market has heard, and nobody wants to come and risk that kind of money again. That is a classic case of why FDIs are scared of the policy environment. FPIs are even better, because they can run away easily but FDIs are stuck.

 

So, your advice is to have policies that would outlive every administration?

Yes exactly. Where I personally think we failed is that in the 70s, we used to have developmental plans where everyone was clear on what was happening. Since the end of the Second Republic, all these things died. Sadly, Buhari took over then and scattered a lot of things and since then, every successive administration even all the vision 2010 and vision 2020 they all failed. Today, we don’t have a master plan. Whether APC or PDP where is that 10year strategic plan that everybody must take from? So, APC would start their own, PDP may come in and scatter it. Even within a party, former President Obasanjo had great policies, but late PresidentYar’Adua came in and reversed nearly half of them even though they were from same political party.

 

Can you tell us about CardinalStone, your projection for the company and some investments you done in the past?

 

CardinalStone was formed in 2008 by four partners who came together. The unique thing is that the four of us have specialties in four different areas of investment. So, it was a very unique association. And then we partnered with a man called Mr. Fola Adeola who founded GTBank. So, he is an investor and also the chairman of CardinalStone. We started at a wrong time when not many people would be starting a business because this was in 2008 in the middle of the financial crisis.

But I had always wanted to be an entrepreneur. I started my career with investment banking and trust company which is now called IBTC, with Mr. Atedo Peterside. Then I joined Zenith as the MD of Zenith Investment arm. I then moved to Renaissance Capital as the pioneer head of equities before we started this company. And we have been able to do very interesting things. Within five years, we became one of the top stockbroking firms in Nigeria till now. On the investment banking side, we are doing quite well. So,we do all the various areas of investment banking; principal investment, asset management, securities trading and private equity.

On investment banking, we are doing quite a lot of transactions. Notable this year, we are the ones helping AMCON to sell Peugeot Automobile. We are also helping them sell Consolidated Discount House. We helped Healthplus, a pharmacy chain by raising $18 million to help them become the number one pharmacy chain. They are now opening over 200 branches around the country and would be the undisputable number one.  Now, we are helping FIDSON raise $5.4 billion and the rights issue would start later this month. So, that is the investment banking side.

In asset management, from zero, we have over N100 billion under management. We would be launching our mutual funds later this year.

 And then on the principal investment side, because Mr. Fola Adeola would always tell us that ‘you must create longterm value, to build sustainable longterm business, invest your profit in real businesses. So, because of that, we went into high growth liquid businesses. We have the biggest cassava farm in Africa called Crest Agro, which is largely to process industrial starch. So, we are growing cassava to ensure we produce starch because the demand is phenomenal. And the most exact business we have done is a data administration business. We also bought a Registrar business, which was formerly CSL Registrars. We also have an archiving business which is unique. It is the biggest single storage factory automated in Nigeria. This year, we just closed a $50 million fund raising. So right now, we are looking for businesses to invest a minimum of $5 million and maximum of $12 million.  

 

Are there any final words for your stakeholders?

I think we should believe in Nigeria, the future is very bright. If we can get our policies right. Our country has tremendous opportunities. We only see opportunities in CardinalStone and that is because we spend a lot of time doing research. 

Thu, 14 Jul 2022 12:01:00 -0500 en-US text/html https://www.thisdaylive.com/index.php/2018/08/06/garuba-banks-have-failed-in-their-intermediation-role/
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Killexams : Virgin Voyages Standardizes on Aruba ESP to Deliver Exceptional Sailor Experiences

From Spa Appointments to Shake for Champagne™, Award-Winning Cruise Line Offers Luxurious Onboard Amenities via Aruba Wi-Fi Network

SAN JOSE, Calif., August 02, 2022--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company (NYSE: HPE), today announced that Virgin Voyages is deploying an end-to-end Aruba ESP (Edge Services Platform) network to deliver world-class, premium experiences aboard all four of their inaugural fleet of "lady ships." Working with DeCurtis Corporation, Virgin Voyages set out to create an extraordinary, technology-enabled cruise experience. Headquartered in Plantation, Florida, Virgin Voyages is a joint venture between the Virgin Group and Bain Capital.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20220802005471/en/

Virgin Voyages is deploying an end-to-end Aruba ESP network to deliver world-class, premium experiences aboard all four of their inaugural fleet of "lady ships." (Source: Virgin Voyages)

Virgin Voyages currently has two award-winning ships deployed, and two more in development, all with a capacity of nearly 4,000 passengers and crew members on each ship. Scarlet Lady was named Cruise Critic’s "Best New Cruise Ship for 2021," and both Scarlet and Valiant Lady received top spots on Condé Nast Traveler’s Cruising Hot List for 2022. As an exclusively adult cruise experience, Virgin Voyages offers a sanctuary at sea for the 18+ traveler with 20+ unique dining options, immersive entertainment and wellness-forward programming.

"From the time a Sailor books their trip or uses mobile ticketing, all on-board experiences up through departure at the end of their journey, is enhanced by technology," said Frank Farro, vice president of Technology at Virgin Voyages. "A favorite luxury indulgence for Sailors is our unique "Shake for Champagne™" feature. By simply shaking their phone with the Virgin Voyages app open, and pressing a button, crew is alerted to deliver chilled champagne to the Sailor wherever they are on the ship. The same capability is extended to other services such as Ship Eats, to guarantee high-touch service to each Sailor’s dining, snacking and eating experience."

A primary goal for Virgin Voyages is to deliver a premier Sailor experience by providing real-time services and always-on connectivity for crew members to facilitate fast, reliable service. For example, if a crew member sees a maintenance issue, they can open a repair ticket on their issued device, and it immediately goes to the right person to address the issue. The technology behind these capabilities is ubiquitous for crew members and transparent to Sailors, creating a seamless five-star experience wherever they are on the ship.

Another important goal for Virgin Voyages is to provide location-based quality of service via location-based data. One powerful example of this is by dramatically reducing the time Sailors stand in line. Virgin Voyages created a virtual queuing system so that Sailors don’t have to congregate in long lines. Instead, the Virgin Voyages app alerts them when it’s their turn to board the ship, sit for dinner, enter the spa, or disembark in their Port of Call. Virgin Voyages’ focus on a frictionless experience allows Sailors to relax and enjoy the amenities, rather than waiting in lines or dealing with service-related issues.

To achieve frictionless, location-based services that enable world-class Sailor services, Virgin Voyages looked to trusted technology partner DeCurtis Corporation. With a vast range of experience working with some of the world’s best, most-recognized hospitality brands, DeCurtis and Virgin Voyages were looking to transform existing Sailor experiences to make them better, faster and more impactful through creative application of the latest technology.

In cooperation with DeCurtis and Aruba, Virgin Voyages selected and deployed a flexible, resilient Aruba ESP network including Aruba Wi-Fi 6 access points with built-in location services, as well as access switches. Additionally, Virgin Voyages uses ClearPass for network access control (NAC) and policy management, and AirWave for network management.

"It was the Aruba team that stepped up to work with our Virgin Voyages team as well as our partners DeCurtis and Axians to solidify and enhance a comprehensive network for our ships," explained Farro. "The Aruba team in the yard, on the ship, and the team behind helping those two teams, have all been responsive and engaged."

Virgin Voyages has seen multiple benefits of their new Aruba network, including reliability, seamlessness, and scalability. "The network is built to accommodate around 15,000 devices," said Farro. "This includes crew devices, PCs, laptops and tablets, in addition to tablets and TVs in each cabin, as well as in the crew rooms. Add on top of that the myriad of devices each Sailor brings onboard. The seamless experience is best illustrated in our ability to duplicate ‘smart home’ features in each cabin, which are controlled by the app on the cabin tablets. When a Sailor walks in and their cabin is in nighttime mode, the lights automatically come on and the curtains close. It’s just an incredible experience."

Looking to the future, Virgin Voyages will continue delivering transparent but ubiquitous high-touch Sailor services and expand features such as wayfinding. Their focus will remain on making sure that Sailors’ devices seamlessly connect to the internal Wi-Fi network, so they don’t even have to think about connectivity from boarding to departure and everything in between.

About Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company

Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, is the global leader in secure, intelligent edge-to-cloud networking solutions that use AI to automate the network, while harnessing data to drive powerful business outcomes. With Aruba ESP (Edge Services Platform) and as-a-service options, Aruba takes a cloud-native approach to helping customers meet their connectivity, security, and financial requirements across campus, branch, data center, and remote worker environments, covering all aspects of wired, wireless LAN, and wide area networking (WAN).

To learn more, visit Aruba at www.arubanetworks.com. For real-time news updates, follow Aruba on Twitter and Facebook, and for the latest technical discussions on mobility and Aruba products, visit the Airheads Community at community.arubanetworks.com.

View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20220802005471/en/

Contacts

Media Contacts:
Kari Curto
Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company
+1 650-504-1076
kari.curto@hpe.com

Kathleen Keith
Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company
+1-707-529-4507
kathleen.keith@hpe.com

Tue, 02 Aug 2022 00:00:00 -0500 en-US text/html https://finance.yahoo.com/news/virgin-voyages-standardizes-aruba-esp-120000061.html
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Prestigious award is based entirely on employee feedback

WOODBRIDGE, N.J., August 09, 2022--(BUSINESS WIRE)--ExtensisHR, a nationally recognized Professional Employer Organization (PEO) and HR Outsourcing (HRO) services provider, proudly announces it has earned a Great Place to Work® Certification™ for the 2022-2023 year. Great Place to Work® is the global authority on workplace culture, employee experience, and the leadership behaviors proven to deliver market-leading revenue, retention, and increased innovation.

This is the second consecutive year ExtensisHR has received this distinction, scoring over 30% higher than the average U.S.-based company as a great place to work. When asked why employees feel ExtensisHR is a great workplace, the most frequently used words were "culture," "people," and "family."

ExtensisHR’s overall scores are summarized on its Great Place to Work™ profile, with notable highlights including:

  • 98% of employees said that when you join the company, you are made to feel welcome

  • 96% reported that management is honest and ethical in its business practices

  • 95% are proud to tell others they work at ExtensisHR

  • 94% stated management is competent at running the business

"We are honored to once again be recognized by our employees as a great place to work," said David Pearson, Senior Vice President of People and Culture at ExtensisHR. "For over 25 years we’ve strived to build an organization that emphasizes culture, engagement, and growth. This certification is a true indicator of our efforts, and we will continue to make a positive employee experience a top priority and cornerstone of our business."

Earlier this year, ExtensisHR was named a Top Workplace in New Jersey by NJ.com, and also recently achieved two Stevie® Awards for Great Employers. In addition to a supportive and inclusive workplace, ExtensisHR employees enjoy competitive health and wellness benefits, progressive paid time off, a hybrid work environment, professional development resources, education assistance and reimbursement, access to a 401(k) savings and investment plan with an employer match, and more.

"Great Place to Work Certification™ isn’t something that comes easily – it takes ongoing dedication to the employee experience," said Sarah Lewis-Kulin, Vice President of Global Recognition at Great Place to Work. "It’s the only official recognition determined by employees’ real-time reports of their company culture. Earning this designation means that ExtensisHR is one of the best companies to work for in the country."

According to Great Place to Work research, job seekers are 4.5 times more likely to find a great boss at a Certified great workplace. Additionally, employees at Certified workplaces are 93% more likely to look forward to coming to work, and are twice as likely to be paid fairly, earn a fair share of the company’s profits, and have a fair chance at promotion.

Join our team! Learn about our open positions here and grow your career at a company that puts people first.

About ExtensisHR
Founded in 1997, ExtensisHR is a leading national Certified Professional Employer Organization (PEO) and HR Outsourcing (HRO) solution provider, focused on delivering exceptional customer service. We specialize in tailored HR solutions for small- and medium-sized businesses, with a comprehensive portfolio including human resources, benefits, payroll, Work Anywhere™ technology, risk and compliance, employee management, recruiting, and more. To learn more or to become a broker or business partner, visit: www.extensishr.com, or follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

About Great Place to Work Certification™
Great Place to Work® Certification™ is the most definitive "employer-of-choice" recognition that companies aspire to achieve. It is the only recognition based entirely on what employees report about their workplace experience – specifically, how consistently they experience a high-trust workplace. Great Place to Work Certification is recognized worldwide by employees and employers alike and is the global benchmark for identifying and recognizing outstanding employee experience. Every year, more than 10,000 companies across 60 countries apply to get Great Place to Work-Certified.

About Great Place to Work®
Great Place to Work® is the global authority on workplace culture. Since 1992, they have surveyed more than 100 million employees worldwide and used those deep insights to define what makes a great workplace: trust. Their employee survey platform empowers leaders with the feedback, real-time reporting and insights they need to make data-driven people decisions. Everything they do is driven by the mission to build a better world by helping every organization become a great place to work For All™.

Learn more at greatplacetowork.com and on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20220809005014/en/

Contacts

Media Contact:
Stephanie Clark
ExtensisHR
sclark@extensishr.com
732-236-5224

Tue, 09 Aug 2022 01:30:00 -0500 en-US text/html https://finance.yahoo.com/news/extensishr-earns-great-place-certification-133000216.html
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