Stock Exchanges Timeline

29.11.2018   |  Capital Market

The economic history helps you understand the present much better. For instance, you cannot realize why bank loans are a capitalization method more problematic than the risk capital, for startups, if you don’t know that the Dot Com Bubble and the 2007 Crisis have dramatically harshened the loaning conditions of the banks. Starting from this idea, I have made up a timeline of the setting up and development of stock exchanges. Assets started to be traded as far back as the Roman Empire, but after the Middle Age, economic innovations have precise dates.

  • 1460: The First Stock Exchange in the World, in Anvers. It traded mostly bonds, but it was also a meeting place for those who lent money and officials.
  • 1602: The First IPO (Initial Public Offering), for the Dutch company of East Indies. It was a megacorporation avant la lettre, specialized in maritime trading and transports with the East and Africa, an organization which also had military power.
  • 1801: London Stock Exchange – LSE. The first share offering occurred there in 1825. Also at that time, there is recorded the occurrence of some abstract deeds, which made successive transfers possible, after for a long time practice had only allowed specific agreements between traders who had known each other.
  • 1817: New York Stock Exchange, based on the model of the Philadelphia Stock Exchange, the first one founded in the USA. NYSE has been operated in the current building since 1865. The London and New York stock exchanges became in the first part of XIX century the main pillars of the international financial system. Currently, the New York Stock Exchange is the most powerful in the world, with a total capitalization of over $ 19 trillion and the NYSE composite index is considered the most relevant in the world, thanks to the quality of the companies considered and the huge volume of deals.
  • 1878: Tokyo Stock Exchange, the core of what would become in 2013 Japan Exchange Group, further to successive mergers, of which the last one being with the Osaka Stock Exchange. The unofficial name is still the Tokyo Stock Exchange. It is worth mentioning the late date of founding, started in 1850, which is related with the accelerated modernization of the Nippon Empire. The Tokyo Stock Exchange, is the fourth most powerful in the world after New York, NASDAQ and London.
  • 1891: Hong Kong Stock Exchange, operational under this name since 1914, after it had been founded in 1891 under  the name of Association of Stockbrokers in Hong Kong, against the background of the prosperity related to the statute of enclave of the British Empire. The reputation of global financial center has remained unchanged after the transfer of sovereignty from the UK to China in 1997. Besides the volume of deals, the Hong Kong Stock Exchange distinguishes itself by a high number of IPO.
  • 1929: The Crash on Wall Street. The most severe crisis in recent history started because of an excess of speculation of the assets. Due to the prosperity of the twenties, most stocks and other values were constantly appreciating, up to prices that proved unsustainable.
  • 1971: NASDAQ, the first electronic stock exchange (National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations). After launching, it has made its brokers unhappy as a result of the decrease in the margin between demand and supply, triggered by the electronic trading. The same decrease, however, has made the market more dynamic, because it has been in favor of the investors.
  • 1990: Shanghai Stock Exchange. With a tradition going back to mid XIX century, the fifth most powerful stock exchange in the world ceased operations after the instatement of communism in China.
  • 2000: Euronext, a pan-European stock exchange, created by the mergers of the stock exchanges in Amsterdam, Brussels and Paris, with operations in the three cities and in London, Lisbon and Dublin. After a complicated history of mergers and acquisitions, it has become the second most important stock exchange in Europe, after the one in London. It has a creative strategy, which encourages the financing of small and medium size companies, by operations called Alternext and Enternext.


Octavian Pătrașcu  |   29.11.2018   |  Capital Market

Three things to test and maintain in HR: hard skills, soft skills, and motivation

25.04.2019   |  News  |  Startup
The quality and efficiency of an employee mainly depend on their professional qualifications, but the modern human resources theory refers to this only through a partial term, namely "hard skills". In terms of evaluations and professional management, these “hard skills” are supplemented by a range of different qualities defined as "soft skills", such as the motivation that an individual demonstrates or chooses to develop.

Hard Skills: Easy to identify, necessary, but not enough

The term "hard skills" applies especially to fundamental professional knowledge, skills, and abilities, but not only. For example, if a programmer has to write code in Java, he will obviously have to know the programming language. In the field of hard skills, however, complementary skills such as foreign languages ​​or driving licenses also come into play. If the job description is not IT-related, the computer skills - quasi-generalized today - are also in the same complementary category. Upon hiring, hard skills can be easily tested or proven. Basically, all the skills in this category can be certified through a diploma or a certificate of qualification. These skills are the basis for the future work of the employee, but in the vast majority of cases, they are not enough to ensure good performance at the workplace.

Soft Skills: harder to test, especially required for higher positions

These are somewhat social qualities, relating especially to people-interacting abilities. Soft skills include teamwork skills, communication skills, leadership qualities, and the ability to solve problems as they come. From simple politeness to a nonconflictual attitude, a whole range of attributes can be added here, including good time management or the desire to conform to strict professional ethics. If hard skills are easy to identify, in the case of soft skills, the stereotype enumerations present in CVs are never enough proof of their existence. They can somehow be felt when hiring, during their interview or, possibly, through psychological tests set up by human resources specialists. As they mostly focus on human interaction, soft skills are increasingly needed as the position of the employee in the hierarchy is higher, but the situation differs from one job description to another. If the programmer we had as an example earlier does not necessarily need soft skills when writing code, a sales or marketing specialist will interact with the top management and thus cannot work without them.

Motivation: differs from case to case

Motivation is a problem that concerned psychologists way before Maslow's Human Pyramid of Needs. There are many hypotheses and models that relate to this theory. I will just state that a first classification refers to financial and extra-financial motivations. The former refers to material compensation and are accepted unanimously. However, since the beginning of the 20th century, it has become clear that there is no direct link between payment and the efficiency of a person. 100 years ago, however, besides the famous $5-a-day salary, Henry Ford offered land lots, kindergartens for their children and, in the case of immigrants, English courses to help them integrate into the mass production processes. Today, large companies provide health insurance, relaxation areas, various educational classes, physical activity facilities. All of these include career plans and contract terms that offer job security and much more. Perhaps, the first thing to remember is that motivation differs greatly from one employee to another. Effective management should be as flexible as possible, in accordance with the needs and incentives of employees, beyond the standard packages.

The Employer’s Perspective

From what we described above it seems that that the employer will consider the three components as we’ve structured them. Hard skills are easy to identify and absolutely necessary to ensure performance in a particular position, so these are the first ones that will be tested. Soft skills can be identified to a certain extent in the midst of the employment process, but initial perceptions can be confirmed or denied later on. What’s more important is sustaining them at the workplace, often as a necessity for promotion on a higher hierarchy level. As final words, motivation has qualitative rather than quantitative aspects. Employers should be less concerned about the answer to the question "how motivated is an employee?", but rather show concern towards the type of motivation that employees are most responsive to. Schematically speaking, if hard skills are mainly the employee's concern, soft skills relate to a process that takes place between the employee and the company, and in the case of motivation, it should meet the needs of the employee. Only by paying attention to all the three components, the employer and the employee can have a mutually satisfactory and productive relationship.
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