In Conversation With

A leading financial historian discusses the origins of banking in Switzerland, its evolution through the years and how it has adapted to the internationalisation and then globalisation of financial markets. Perspectives: When did banking first come to Switzerland? Professor Youssef Cassis: Like most European countries, Switzerland has a banking tradition going back to the Middle Ages, […]

Yossi Vardi has founded and helped build more than 60 high-tech companies since 1969, in fields such as software, the internet and mobile applications. He attributes Israel’s record of innovation to its entrepreneurial ecosystem—and an open culture of risk versus failure The difference between an entrepreneur and the rest of the population is easy to explain, he says, explaining it as some […]

Today’s philanthropists increasingly employ business techniques to find solutions to global issues that maximise impact and can be scaled up faster. Philanthropy is changing fast, with several trends clearly visible. The common factor is the extent to which philanthropists employ techniques from business, particularly the financial sector, to make a much greater impact on intractable problems around […]

In the fast-changing world of digital media, there are the entrepreneurs who create start-ups, business angels who finance their first steps, venture capitalists who provide more substantial funding, and investment bankers who take the most successful through to maturity. But as innovation gathers pace and disruptive new technologies sweep away traditional industries, the barriers between these different activities are breaking down, and […]

The founder of a software company that was eventually sold for USD6.8 billion is now an investment partner in a leading venture capital firm, using his skills to identify the next generation of successful entrepreneurs and help them build their businesses. While completing his education at Stanford University in the heart of California’s Silicon Valley, […]

The founder of the European Institute for Creative Strategies and Innovation says the world is at the beginning of a creative phase in which a wave of innovative products and services will emerge to meet the needs of people and society. How do you define innovation? It is the integration of state of the art knowledge […]

‘Entrepreneurs are changemakers who change the nature of society,’ he says. ‘But what defines social entrepreneurs is that their core personality is committed to the pursuit of the good of all. And the faster the systems of the world change, the more critical becomes the role of social entrepreneurs in leading the world in the […]

The granddaughter of Marguerite and Aimé Maeght says that the foundation they created and which she administered for many years was designed to preserve the vision that led them to build an extraordinary gallery of the visual arts near the village of Saint-Paul-de-Vence in the South of France. When André Malraux, France’s celebrated cultural affairs […]

Conflicts in the boardroom have been a recurrent issue in business over the years — most recently, for example, at HP. Boards hire, appraise, reward and sometimes remove chief executives. But they must also try to ensure that CEO performance is as good as it can be. Achieving that aim involves balancing two objectives: exercising […]

Famous paintings by artists such as Raphael, Leonardo da Vinci and Caravaggio are iconic images, recognised and loved by people all over the world. Yet everything is not always as it seems when it comes to Old Masters, according to Maurizio Seracini. His research institute has exposed forgeries and uncovered hidden treasures in an art […]

There is a continuing intellectual debate over the role of altruism, which is often seen as selfishness in disguise. Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations appears to encourage people to pursue their own self-interest, but he also wrote The Theory of Moral Sentiments, which spoke of the importance of cooperation. Darwin’s theory of evolution legitimised […]

Since its online launch in 2001, vente-privee.com has grown into an international retail operation with over 1,350 employees and a string of awards for entrepreneurial prowess. Entrepreneurialism in the blood The temptation to capitalise on his success by selling the company is one Jacques-Antoine Granjon finds easy to resist. Entrepreneurialism is in his blood. He […]

When Neil Rimer co-founded Index Ventures in 1996, his ambition was to create one of the best venture capital firms in the world. Sixteen years on, it has a portfolio of more than 100 companies—many with well-known names. They include Skype, now part of Microsoft, Lovefilm, bought by Amazon in 2011, Net-a-Porter, the luxury fashion […]

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