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Founder Interview: Dr Sagi Lazarov & Nimrod Luria from Prifender

We’re just a month away from seeing the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) introduced across Europe which will replace the old Data Protection Directives that were drawn up in the 1990s. A lot has changed in two decades. Vast swathes of personal data are now generated daily and the upgrade in data protection laws for […]

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We’re just a month away from seeing the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) introduced across Europe which will replace the old Data Protection Directives that were drawn up in the 1990s. A lot has changed in two decades. Vast swathes of personal data are now generated daily and the upgrade in data protection laws for citizens living in a democracy is well overdue.

With the new regulations coming into play on 25th May, we decided to interview the founders of Prifender, (an iAngels portfolio company) Dr Sagi Leizerov and Nimrod Luria, who have developed an AI driven automation system for managing data privacy. Read on to discover what they believe these changes mean.   

 Firstly, can you tell us what the GDPR is and why we need it?

The GDPR is being introduced as a means of strengthening data privacy for Europeans by replacing the old Data Protection Directives. The GDPR website  describes the new directive as being designed to “harmonize data privacy laws across Europe and to protect and empower all EU citizens’ data privacy”.

There’s been 4 years of preparation and debate since the GDPR was approved by the EU Parliament back in April 2016. Companies have been given 2 years in which to comply, with those who don’t comply at risk of facing significant fines.

The GDPR is expected to have significant impact on data governance and management and will impact enterprise software companies across the board.

With the GDPR enforcement date fast approaching, what is the level of enterprise readiness to comply?

Both Forrester and the International Association of Privacy Professionals have studied the question of GDPR compliance and found that many companies (the majority in the case of the IAPP study) will not be able to fully comply by its due date. According to the IAPP, only 4 in 10 companies will be ready by the compliance date. Forrester, which arrived at similar numbers, has even said that many companies are most likely overstating their readiness for GDPR.

Even those companies taking active steps to improve their preparedness for the regulation are facing significant challenges when it comes to the effectiveness of their compliance.  Traditional means for privacy compliance tend to emphasize policies, contracts and training (sometimes referred to as “paper compliance”) rather than controls and control-monitoring.  Without automated controls over the impacted data, it’s almost impossible to really know whether day to day activities are meeting what the policies and contracts are stating. 

What do you think would be the implication for non-compliance and which enterprises would be impacted the most?

To best understand the impact of non-compliance we need to keep in mind that the GDPR includes, for the first-time in the EU, broad breach notification requirements. This means that when companies will experience a security incident (i.e., an inappropriate access or disclosure of personal information), they will have to reach out to both their privacy regulators and the impacted individual to reveal the breach.  These notifications will lead to an audit of the company’s level of preparedness, and any identified gaps in their GDPR compliance will be viewed in the context of the breach.  In other words, compliance violations will be assessed based on the severity of the data breach. Consequences could mean reputational damage for organizations, fines or indirect costs such as increased audit requirements and challenges in signing up new customers as well as others. 

As this regulation concerns the personal information of European residents, will its impact be limited to European organizations?

It’s foreseen that the GDPR will have a global impact, mainly for two reasons: Firstly, it will apply to any organization that uses the personal information of EU residents, even if that organization is not based or is not operating in the EU.

Secondly, it will also apply to EU organizations that operate outside of the EU i.e., it will apply to non-EU residents that transact with an EU entity.

Beyond these two reasons, many international organizations will find it easy to adopt one set of requirements across their entire enterprise, rather than creating a patchwork of requirements for each operating entity in different countries. For this reason, we’re likely to see more organizations adopting global privacy standards that follow the GDPR’s high bar.

How do you expect this market to develop and how big do you feel the opportunity is?

The question should instead be, what we describe as being the market? While the market for GDPR related solutions is large and is likely to continue to grow over the coming years, there is an even larger and more promising market developing which is the opportunity generated by monetizing and profiting from personal information at scale. Personal data is a valuable asset that can generate significant revenue through the analysis, sharing, sale and its connectivity to different sources.

At a time when privacy regulations are tightening up and more people are increasingly becoming aware of the importance of data privacy, monetizing personal data is a challenge leading many organization to either avoid monetizing it completely, doing something small scale or worse, hiding the fact they’re monetizing data. With sophisticated technologies for tracking personal data coming into the market, a highly lucrative (and compliant) market is steadily opening up to organizations from a wide span of different industry sectors. For this market, the size of the opportunity is tremendous.

Can you tell us a little about the response and traction Prifender is getting so far?

Prifender represents a real paradigm shift in how organizations can manage personal information.  The technology is not an incremental step forward, it is a leap forward. The two reactions we’re currently receiving, when we show the technology to privacy professionals for the first time is that “its magic!”  and second comes, “I need it.”  Suffice to say that we’re getting very positive reactions and interest in Prifender as we continue to grow.

Read more about Prifender here.

Source: https://www.iangels.com/2018/04/founder-interview-dr-sagi-lazarov-nimrod-luria-from-prifender/

Private Equity

Lorax Capital Partners pulls in $142m for its sophomore fund

Lorax Capital Partners has pulled in $142m for its sophomore fund and has named Apex Group to supply administration and corporate services.

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Lorax Capital Partners has pulled in $142m for its sophomore fund and has named Apex Group to supply administration and corporate services.

The fund, LCP II, has a target size of $250m and will focus on midcap companies in Egypt that are focusing on local consumption and production as well as financial inclusion.

Lorax will also back companies that are looking to expand regionally.

The investor aims to implement high-quality governance and environmental and social practices within portfolio companies and help them increase their value creation.

There have been five LPs to commit to Lorax’s new fund, so far.

Lorax Capital Partners director of operations Adnan Razzak said, ”We appointed Apex due to their strong reputation and ability to provide the all-inclusive fund administration, accounting and investor reporting services required across multiple jurisdictions.

“We have been particularly impressed with their ability to guide us through regulatory challenges and our decision to domicile the fund in the Netherlands. Our management team has an unmatched track record in sourcing, executing and managing transactions in Egypt and Apex’s support will enable us to focus on these core competencies.”

Founded in 2015, Lorax is an Egypt-focused private equity firm and over the past five years it has deployed around $175m into five companies.

Last year, Lorax aided Helios Investment Partners and Enterprise Fund with their purchase of a 96.6 per cent stake in agricultural seeds provider Misr Hytech Seed International.

Copyright © 2020 FinTech Global

Source: https://www.altassets.net/private-equity-news/by-news-type/fund-news/lorax-capital-partners-pulls-in-142m-for-its-sophomore-fund.html

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Lobby group for Black women urges firms to ‘go beyond solidarity statements’

The 300-strong group calls asset managers to build an anti-racist portfolio, divesting from companies that benefit from business models that perpetuate racial inequities

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Industry group Black Women in Asset Management has published an open letter calling on institutions to promote racial equity through their portfolios — and take action if companies they invest in do not.

The letter comes as the City took a hard look at racial diversity within its ranks over the summer this year.

“As Black women professionals in the asset management industry, we call on investment firms and institutional investors in our industry to go beyond solidarity statements and instead commit to action, activism, and accountability to dismantle the racial inequities plaguing society,” the letter, released on 26 October, reads.

The death of George Floyd at the hands of three police officers in the US on 25 May and the disproportionate impact the Covid-19 pandemic is having on people from Black, Asian and Minority ethnic backgrounds triggered Black Lives Matter protests around the world, including in London and elsewhere across the UK.

In response, financial services firms and their executives made statements saying the sector could do better and promised to fight for a better society, although activists have said that actions speak louder than words.

BWAM, the industry organisation that counts 300 members, was founded in May 2019 by Jacqueline Taiwo, principal at TowerBrook Capital Partners, and Mariam Akanbi, senior legal counsel at ARCH Emerging Markets Partners.

“Dismantling systemic racism creates a more sustainable and equitable society. However, investment firms have been slow to see racism as a serious investment risk,” said Taiwo in a statement, explaining why the group decided to pen the letter.

The open letter makes five recommendations for investment firms and institutional investors. These include calling on firms to build an anti-racist portfolio, which would entail setting metrics to examine a company’s demonstrable commitment to racial diversity.

Following the research, the group subsequently urged asset managers to divest from companies that benefit from business models that perpetuate racial inequities or target vulnerable communities, citing examples like prison labour and immigration detention.

BWAM also highlights the necessity for communication of expectations to portfolio boards on considering racial implications on strategic decisions, pointing out that this is already the case on issues such as climate change.

Other recommendations include committing resources to encourage young Black women to work in finance as well as advocating for policy change both externally and internally.

“I believe BWAM’s recommendations provide a meaningful framework to bring about long overdue change in our industry,” said Adebanke Adeyemo, general counsel of Vantage Infrastructure and a member of BWAM’s impact committee, said in a statement.

“I am publicly endorsing this letter because I know that many of my peers may not feel empowered to do so. I have been there in my career and I understand it.”

To contact the author of this story with feedback or news, email Bérengère Sim

Source: https://www.penews.com/articles/lobby-group-for-black-women-urges-firms-to-go-beyond-solidarity-statements-20201026

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Private Equity

Dunkin’ reportedly in talks with PE-backed group to go private

The deal worth $8.8bn with Inspire Brands, owned by private equity firm Roark Capital, would delist the coffee and doughnuts chain

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Owner of Arby’s, Buffalo Wild Wings could buy company in deal worth $8.8bn

Dunkin’ Brands Group is reportedly in talks to go private in a sale to private equity-backed Inspire Brands.

The New York Times reported Sunday, 25 October, that Dunkin’, the parent company of the former Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins ice cream, could sell itself for $106.50 a share, a 20% premium over Friday’s closing price, for an implied market value of about $8.8bn. The Times said a deal could be announced as soon as today, 26 October.

Inspire Brands, which is backed by Roark Capital, owns a number of restaurant chains, including Arby’s, Buffalo Wild Wings, Sonic and Jimmy John’s.

In a statement to the Times, Dunkin’ confirmed that there have been preliminary talks over an acquisition, but a deal is not certain and neither side will comment further unless the transaction is finalized.

Dunkin’ Brands has more than 13,000 franchised Dunkin’ locations and about 8,000 Baskin-Robbins locations.

Write to Mike Murphy at AskNewswires@dowjones.com

From Dow Jones Newswires

Source: https://www.penews.com/articles/dunkin-reportedly-in-talks-with-pe-backed-group-to-go-private-20201026

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