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A CEO’s Guide to Navigating Brexit

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The Leave campaign’s victory, with a margin of 3.8 percentage points, has likely ushered in a protracted phase of uncertainty  for the UK, EU, and global economies. A systemic shock cutting across industries and borders, Brexit poses significant strategic challenges for business leaders as they navigate the fallout. Judging by our interactions with CEOs around the world to date, some of their burning questions are:
What are the elements of uncertainty created by Brexit?
How can leaders develop a specific view of the industry- and firm-level implications?
What are the first-response imperatives for corporate leaders?
What structural changes to the business environment are triggered by Brexit, and how do we adapt to them?
This is how we recommend CEOs approach these difficult questions:
Identify the Sources of Uncertainty
The uncertainties that come with Brexit can be ordered into four categories. While the overall directional impact is generally clear, it’s the magnitude, duration, and differential that are more critical to determine.
Political Process. There are significant drivers of uncertainty domestically and abroad. At home, the UK faces dissolution pressures if Scotland seeks to salvage its EU membership, while the EU has every incentive to make Brexit a painful experience to deter other defectors, making the outcome of negotiations difficult to predict. These unknowns have the potential to influence the evolution of the financial, institutional, and real economies.
Financial Economy. The directional impact on key prices was widely predicted—and strong corrections to the pound (–11% versus
the dollar) and to equities (–13.6% FTSE250) were indeed recorded in the first two sessions after the vote. The Bank of  England will likely lower policy rates, or even adopt negative interest rates. What drives uncertainty are the magnitude and duration of these corrections; as prices guide resource allocation, their volatility and uncertainty interfere with planning and investment decisions.
Trade Regime. The reconstruction challenge for the UK’s trade regime is clear. The EU represents 47% of UK exports, facilitates an additional 13% through non-EU trade deals, and currently negotiates with countries worth an additional 21% of  UK exports. While the UK would need only eight bilateral trade agreements to cover 80% of its current exports, there is a long tail of 18 additional countries worth more than $1 billion in UK exports and an additional 132 countries to cover all existing exports. Both internal and external factors drive uncertainty about the duration and outcome of the reconstruction challenge—for example, the UK’s ability to negotiate agreements, having outsourced this task to Brussels for 40 years, or trade partners’ willingness to engage with Britain in a constructive and timely manner.
Real Economy. The transmission mechanism to the real economy is primarily via delayed or canceled investment decisions or the anticipatory redeployment of employment or production assets. Here, too, the directional impact has been analyzed credibly, with estimates ranging from 3% to 9% of GDP loss. Here it is the speed, depth, and duration of these effects—on demand, consumption, and employment across industries—that drive uncertainty.
Determine the Specific Industry- and Firm-Level Implications Industries and individual companies vary widely in terms of the impact on the uncertainties outlined above, due to their differential dependence on UK and EU production, demand and trade, global trade, regulation, and integration into EU structures (such as R&D subsidies and EU norms and standards). Therefore each company needs to carry out (or take to the next
level) its own specific impact analysis.
It is impossible to forecast precise impact with confidence, given that exit terms, timing, and knock-on implications are all uncertain. A scenario-based approach to planning, modeling, and preparing for multiple outcomes is therefore recommended.

This can be done in four steps:

More:  www.hbr.org.

Authors:

Martin Reeves is a senior partner and managing director in the New York office of The Boston Consulting Group, the director  of the BCG Henderson Institute, and a coauthor of Your Strategy Needs a Strategy, Harvard Business Review Press, 2015.
Philipp Carlsson-Szlezak is the firm’s chief economist and head of BCG’s Center for Macroeconomics.

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Ebury – Jaka przyszłość czeka złotego?

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Rynki walutowe dalej koncentrują się na działaniach światowych banków centralnych. Amerykańska Rezerwa Federalna  najprawdopodobniej będzie zmierzać do dwukrotnego podniesienia stóp procentowych w 2016 roku po ostatniej podwyżce w grudniu zeszłego roku. Podobne działania może podjąć Bank Anglii, który może podnieść koszt pieniądza w ostatnim kwartale 2016 roku. Read the rest of this entry »

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Changing the nature of board engagement

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Five tips for directors and CEOs striving to make the most of their limited time.

“Ask me for anything,” Napoleon Bonaparte once remarked, “but time.” Board members today also don’t have that luxury. Directors remain under pressure from activist investors and other constituents, regulation is becoming more demanding, and  businesses are growing more complex. McKinsey research suggests that the most effective directors are meeting these  challenges by spending twice as many days a year on board activities as other directors do.

As directors and management teams adapt, they’re bumping into limits—both on the amount of time directors can be asked to spend before the role is no longer attractive and on the scope of the activities they can undertake before creating  organizational noise or concerns among top executives about micromanagement. We recently discussed some of these tensions with board members and executives at Prium, a New York–based forum for CEOs.3 The ideas that emerged, while far from definitive, provide constructive lessons for boardrooms. If there’s one overriding theme, it’s that boosting effectiveness isn’t just about spending more time; it’s also about changing the nature of the engagement between directors and the  executive teams they work with.
Boosting the effectiveness of boards isn’t just about spending more time.

Engaging between meetings.

Engaging with strategy as it’s forming.

Engaging on talent.

Engaging the field.

Engaging on the tough questions.

More:  mckinsey.com; hbr.org.

Authors: Bill Huyett is a director in McKinsey’s Boston office, and Rodney Zemmel is a director in the New York office.

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Economists: Don’t leave home without one

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Forget about equations and forecasts. Powerful economic concepts have given rise to companies and transformed industries. Ignore economists at your peril. Read the rest of this entry »

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Running your company at two speeds

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Digital competition may dictate a new organizational architecture in which emerging digital processes coexist with traditional ones. When a retailer recently tried to launch a new e-commerce business, it found itself stymied by the fact that IT-spending amounts were capped as a percentage of revenue and by a lengthy and cumbersome approval process for new projects. The company’s goal of launching the business in two months proved hopelessly optimistic. Read the rest of this entry »