Nominations in 24 categories are still open for the 7th annual CEE Business Services Awards Gala - set for 31st January, 2019, at Warsaw's Hotel Intercontinental.
Nominations deadline is 23 November. In December, the Jury will receive the full list of all Nominations, to be ranked, resulting in our Short-List to be announced in mid-December. These “Short-Listed” firms move on to the final vote (30th January), to be cast at the Jury Dinner one night before the CEE Business Services Awards Gala – set for 31st January 2019.
Some of our newest Jury members are from top global firms BNY Mellon, Ideal Standard, Telia, Amersports, HSBC, and the Bulgaria Outsourcing Association.
Speakers are rapidly filling up for the 3 related Conferences that precede the Awards Gala, including:
The Awards categories total 24, and companies should complete the on-line form within the next two weeks before the 23 November deadline.
This year we are expecting a sold-out audience of more than 330 guests from more than 25 countries - with more than 50 being international firms from western Europe, Scandinavia, United States, United Kingdom, east Asia and India - interested in setting up, expanding, or fine-tuning their business services centres in central Europe.
For Nominations questions: firstname.lastname@example.org – Ameya Poyarekar, +48-881-856-926
For Sponsorship information: email@example.com – Thom Barnhardt, +48-508-143-963
For Ticket Reservations: http://ceeoutsourcingawards.com/attendence/
Nordic Capital, a private equity firm that owns 30 portfolio companies with 50,000 employees, is in early stages of partnering with a Strategic Nearshoring partner that can support their Portfolio companies with extended development teams with software/Tech development and maintenance.
“Many of our companies are looking for software developers and we can see that 5-6 of our companies are interested in setting up nearshoring teams with up 100 developers during 2019. We have 2-4 companies in Financial Services & Payment industry that are interested to start a pilot in Q1 with one team (5 people) each”, said Mikael Carlsson, IT Strategy Advisory at Nordic Capital.
Daniel Pihl of Bearing Point (firstname.lastname@example.org) is advising Nordic Capital on selection of its strategic nearshoring partner.
Vodafone, one of the biggest telecom groups in the world, will lay off 1,700 employees from its service centers in Romania, India and Egypt, in this financial year, the group’s new CEO Nick Read said in an interview for Financial Times.
The layoffs will affect about 8% of the workforce in that side of the business as more back-office functions will be taken over by “robots”, according to Read.
The group is set to overhaul its customer service, technology and operations aiming to cut some EUR 8 billion worth of costs. It is also considering selling tens of thousands of mobile masts throughout Europe to reduce its debts.The telecom company has 110,000 towers across Europe — about 55,000 of which are directly controlled, which could be worth about EUR 12 billion, according to Barclays. The company will detail more of its plans in November when it reports results.
Nick Read will take over as Vodafone CEO from Vittorio Colao next month.
Vodafone has close to 4,300 employees in Romania working for three entities: Vodafone Romania, Vodafone Romania Technologies and Vodafone Shared Services. Vodafone Romania Technologies and Vodafone Shared Services had combined revenues of some EUR 64 million and 1,780 employees in 2017, according to official data from the Finance Ministry.
Schlumberger, the biggest technology supplier for oil and gas industry, has signed a pre-lease deal with Forte Partners for 4,500 sqm in the second phase of The Bridge project in Bucharest. The deal was assisted by CBRE. Schlumberger will open a shared services center on the premises.
The PwC’s competence centre – Financial Crime Unit that supports PwC’s customers from all over the world in preventing money laundering and terrorism financing – currently employs almost 500 experts. Due to an increasing number of projects and customers from new markets, it plans to recruit 300 additional employees in the next two years. Its experts will be using more and more new technologies, such as artificial intelligence.
The PwC’s Financial Crime Unit (FCU) competence centre has been in operation since 2012 in Poland, and for almost four years in Gdańsk. It specialises in preventing illicit funds from being introduced into the legal financial system and terrorism financing (Anti-Money Laundering, AML). The Polish Financial Crime Unit is the largest PwC team of its kind in the world, offering both operational and advisory support, while cooperating with other teams in the global PwC network.
– The financial market is extremely vulnerable to different types of risks. These include the growing pressure from regulators on the one hand and the risks associated with economic crime and terrorism on the other – says Damian Kalinowski, PwC Partner managing the Financial Crime Unit in Poland. – The priority for institutions operating in such a business environment is therefore to effectively prevent money laundering attempts and counteract the development of organised crime. Our goal is to support our customers in the effective management of this risk with the use of effective operational models supported by innovative technologies. We have been operating in Gdańsk for four years now, and there is a time of dynamic development ahead of us.
The FCU in Gdańsk has employed nearly 500 people for almost four years now. It plans to recruit 300 additional employees in the next two years.
– The rapid and noticeable growth of the PwC’s FCU center in the Tri-City is a clear proof that a high-class specialists from a very advanced field of finance are available here – adds Marcin Grzegory, Deputy Director in the Invest in Pomerania. – For the residents of the region, it is a signal that it is worth to specialise in this field, because attractive workplaces wait for them. It is also a strong signal sent to investors around the world that Gdańsk, and the whole Tri-City metropolitan area, are a perfect place to locate even the most demanding or strategically important operations.
The projects implemented at the FCU are extremely varied and are carried out both for large global banks and for smaller regional institutions.
FCU experts provide specialist advisory services that enable banks to comply with the current and new legislation. These activities include the development and implementation of policies, procedures and complex operational models. The FCU also provides operational support services for banking sector customers. The experts analyse the risk of banks being used for money laundering and terrorism financing (procedures like Know Your Client, KYC). They also examine suspicious transactions (referred to as Transaction Monitoring, TM). They monitor compliance with sanctions imposed on banks by international institutions and identify people at risk of corruption, including politically exposed persons. The FCU’s technology team combines expertise in financial crime prevention with technological solutions.
Maciej Przybyłowski, Director of the Financial Crime Unit, comments:
– The Financial Crime Unit is not a typical Polish shared services centre. The nature of the FCU places us in the next stage of development of the SSC market in our country. Our experienced team of experts in the highly sensitive field of counteracting fraud and terrorism has built a brand which is unique on a global scale. In Poland, we implement projects for the largest banks and financial institutions because the services and solutions at the level we offer are hard to find anywhere else in the world.
The FCU increasingly uses the latest technologies in its work. For example, the tools available to the unit automatically collect customer information from various sources, including web press reports and extracts from official databases. AI modules scan and evaluate thousands of articles, providing the analysts only with information that is relevant to financial crimes or terrorism financing.
Bartłomiej Styrnik, Partner at the Financial Crime Unit, adds:
– The FCU is one of world’s leading PwC teams to focus on IT solutions used in the fight against financial crime. Our tools and applications use artificial intelligence, machine learning, data science and robotics. These solutions enable us to halve the time previously spent by analysts on processes related to customer research and transaction monitoring. This significantly reduces project costs and gives our employees more valuable time to deepen the necessary analyses.
Comprehensive career system
The FCU employs people both from Poland and from many EU states, as well as from India, South Africa, China and the USA, to name just a few. In view of the international environment and numerous projects carried out for international customers, the prevailing language in the team is English. A good command of this language is one of the basic requirements for candidates applying for work in the competence centre. PwC recruits both experienced specialists as well as graduates and students from different faculties, such as law, linguistics or economics. What is important is that the FCU in Gdańsk has its own extensive training and certification system, so it does not require candidates to have any specialist knowledge in the field of AML. In the course of their work, employees are provided with an extensive training programme, covering among other things the following fields: team and time management, communication and presentation skills, trends in cybercrime, risks connected with virtual currencies or the use of specific programmes and tools. The Financial Crime Unit also supports its employees in obtaining international AML certifications.
As PwC experts emphasise, the focus on improving employees’ qualifications, combined with a dynamic increase in the scope of the team’s work, provides huge opportunities for development and promotion. Working in the Financial Crime Unit also involves being part of truly interdisciplinary and international teams of consultants, as well as carrying out ‘detective’ projects. FCU experts in Gdańsk are responsible for, among other things, searching and retrieving information, in-depth analysis of complex datasets, searching for patterns of suspicious activity in the complex maze of customer data, and gathering ‘evidence’.
HiQ – a Nordic IT company listed on the Nasdaq Stockholm MidCap list – expands its new office in Gdynia.
Founded in 1995, the company has over 1 600 specialists in six countries. Its new Gdynia branch currently has two teams of software developers, but the company is already planning to at least double the staff during the next year.
– The idea of HiQ investing in Pomerania started early in 2017 when we discussed with one of our customers their successful investment in a shared service centre in Gdansk – says Jukka Rautio, Managing Director at HiQ Finland. – That was the initial motivator for us to consider making a similar move. When we looked closer, we saw that Tri-City is a unique and one of the top locations in Poland, with many companies from the Nordics already present here.
Although HiQ Poland currently delivers software solutions chiefly to its Nordic customers, it’s also open to expanding the customer base in Poland and Central Europe. In that scenario, the local team in Gdynia will not only support projects and customers in the Nordics but also in Poland and the nearby countries.
– We are glad that a company whose business is developing and modernizing the business services sector has chosen our region – comments Bartosz Wojtasiak, project manager responsible for the IT sector at Invest in Pomerania – Presence of HiQ can be directly aligned with the maturation process of those operations in the Pomerania region.
“When we looked closer, we saw that Tri-City is a unique and one of the top locations in Poland, with many companies from the Nordics already present here”
Looking for IT talents
HiQ’s Gdynia branch focuses on the integration of complex IT systems. Its consultants – all software engineers – help the customers to automate business processes and reduce manual repeatable work.
– IT systems integration and Robotic Process Automation (RPA) enables our customers to scale their business and reduce costs, empowering their employees to do more demanding tasks related to business development – says Dawid Wacławski, HiQ Poland Site Manager. – Our branch also supports customers in simplifying their software architecture. Using Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS) provides a seamless and secure connection of everything in the cloud and on-premises.
The team in Gdynia works hand in hand with colleagues in Finland and other Nordic countries, cooperating on multinational projects for international customers. Polish branch employees are a mix of experts, developers with few years of experience in IT, and talented juniors.
– We see Tri-City as a place that attracts an impressive number of highly skilled IT professionals, with thousands of motivated IT students willing to start their career in this sector – says Jukka Rautio.
Who are they hiring?
Sony Pictures has made the decision to close it F&A shared services centers in Poland and Philippines. Sony's new CFO, who came on board about 15 months ago, is rationalizing the business as other major studios, like Disney and Warner Brothers, have done. The service center in Gdynia will be completed closed by June 2019, and all F&A services will be taken over by CapGemini. Approximately 250 employees in Poland and 400 in Philippines will lose their jobs. CapGemini will be providing these services from bases in India.
“The captive model in Poland and Philippines has been very successful”, said Michal Gryglewski, Director of the Gdynia site. “We've been operating 9 years, and we've developed a strong team of well-trained people. This industry has been consolidating, and this is part of a larger restructuring.”
The choice to outsource these services to CapGemini is most-likely a move to prepare the overall company for a sale or merger with another industry partner.
While Gryglewski is clearly not pleased with the decision, he's also not worried: “Our team should be of strong interest to any other SSC investors expanding in Gdansk/Gdynia”.
Telekom Romania has opened a new BPO centre in Braila. In the new Braila location, Telekom Romania offers business customers a wide range of contact centre services, including sales and telemarketing, back office, customer service and customer retention.
”The contact centre services are essential for companies that need to support their customers in any way. Telekom provides companies that outsource these services a complete solution tailored to the specific needs of each company. The outsourcing of these services offers a number of benefits such as cost optimization, no investment in equipment, partnering with a vendor with industry expertise, immediate availability and operational flexibility. The expertise in call centre services is Telekom’s strength, based on the long tradition and experience we’ve gained by offering this types of services to our own customers. This expertise put us in a good position to expand this type of services and offer it to other companies as well,” said Ovidiu Ghiman, Chief Commercial Officer, Business Segment, Telekom Romania.
The center in Braila is the sixth location where Telekom Romania provides outsourced contact centre services, with five other centres operational in four other cities: three centres in Bucharest, one in Bacau and one Craiova, employing more than 500 people.
London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) today announces that Andreea Stanescu has been appointed General Manager, Romania. Andreea will be reporting to Dee Liyanwela, Head of Business Services Ltd (BSL) Sri Lanka and Romania. In her new role, Andreea will oversee the Group’ s new Business Services centre in Bucharest.
LSEG announced earlier this year that it had selected Bucharest as the location for one of its operational hubs. The new centre will initially employ up to 200 employees across a range of roles within the Group’s Shared Services company, BSL. BSL currently delivers technology, data services and corporate functions across the Group’s operating entities.
Andreea has held a number of senior operational and IT infrastructure roles, most recently at Stefanini, where she was Vice President EMEA Delivery. In her role, she was responsible for managing seven office locations serving global international clients. Andreea has also held roles at Optima Solutions and Services and Vodafone Romania, where she was a member of the Executive Council.
Dee Liyanwela, Head of BSL Sri Lanka and Romania, said: “I’m delighted to welcome Andreea Stanescu to London Stock Exchange Group in her new role as General Manager, Romania. Andreea brings considerable operational management experience to the role, which will be of great benefit as we establish our new Business Services centre in Bucharest. Andreea will also work closely with the Group’s other operational hubs to deliver technology and data services across LSEG’s global business entities.”
Nominations in 23 Categories for the 7th annual CEE Shared Services Awards open on 23 October – and will be open for a full month, til 23 November. The expanded-format Summit and Awards Gala takes place in Warsaw at the Hotel Intercontinental on 30-31st January 2019.
Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) is well-established as a world-class destination for Shared Services centres and BPO investment. With Poland the strongest location in the region, other countries such as Hungary, Czech Republic, Romania, Lithuania and Latvia are important investment destinations. Global shared services firms, business services projects and sector professionals will be presented with awards of acknowledgment – by an independent jury from the industry – for their contribution to the development of the business services sector in CEE for 2018.
In 2019, the organizers expect another sell-out audience of 300+ guests with more than 75 being international firms interested in setting up or expanding their business services centres in central Europe. The Awards Gala will be preceded by 2 Pre-Day Conferences on 30th January: The 3rd annual “HR in SSC Forum” and the 1st annual “CEE RPA/Process Automation Workshop”. The SSC Summit on 31st January includes more than 28 speakers, 12 break-out sessions with deep insights into specific issues driving the sector, and 3 “Site Visits”. All followed by the evening Awards Gala.
Nominations can be submitted here, starting 23 October: http://ceeoutsourcingawards.com/nominations/