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Herta, Honda Are Texas Tough, Win at Circuit of the Americas

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Second-generation racer Colton Herta became the youngest winner in Indy car history today at the Circuit of the Americas, taking advantage of a late-race yellow flag to score his first NTT IndyCar Series victory in just his third race start.

Herta, son of former Honda Indy car and Acura sports car racer Bryan Herta, started fourth and kept his Harding Steinbrenner Racing Honda in the lead pack throughout the caution-free first 43 laps of today’s 60-lap contest.  For those 44 laps, tire management was the key for drivers and teams in the first visit of the IndyCar Series to the challenging COTA circuit.

But the complexion of the race changed dramatically on Lap 44, when contact between rookie Felix Rosenqvist and James Hinchcliffe sent the former into the barriers, resulting in the first and only caution period of the race.  Herta, who had just made his final scheduled pit stop, cycled to the front of the field as leaders Will PowerAlexander Rossi and Scott Dixon were forced to make their final stops during the caution.

In addition to Power, Rossi and Dixon – who were running first, second and third at the time – Rosenqvist and Hinchcliffe also had to stop for repairs, while a mechanical issue for Power during his pit stop ended his race.

When the green flag waved for the final time on Lap 50, Herta pulled away to an initial 2.5-second lead over Newgarden, while Ryan Hunter-Reay and Graham Rahal briefly battled over third place.  Driving like a veteran, Herta extended his advantage to nearly four seconds, while Hunter-Reay pulled away from Rahal and closed on Newgarden for second.  Meanwhile Rossi, who had taken the restart in 14th, put on a spectacular recovery drive that saw him gain five positions in the final 10 laps.

While Newgarden held on for second at the checkers, Honda drivers dominated the top-10 finishing order with Hunter-Reay finishing third, followed by Rahal, Sebastien BourdaisMarco Andretti and Takuma Sato in seventh.  Rossi crossed the finish line in ninth, just ahead of Jack Harvey, as the second-year Indy car driver rounded out the top 10 for Honda.

At age 18, Herta breaks the record previously held by Rahal, who scored his first Indy car victory at the 2008 Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, when he was 19 years old.

Next
The NTT IndyCar Series now takes a week off before heading to Barber Motorsports Park, just outside of Birmingham, Alabama, for the April 7 Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama.  The third round of the 17-race championship will be televised live on the NBC Sports Network, starting at 4 p.m. EDT.

Social media content and video links from this weekend’s Honda IndyCar Series action from the Circuit of the Americas are available on HPD’s Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/HondaRacingHPD) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/HondaRacing_HPD) channels.  Produced by the Carolinas Production Group, YouTube video packages can be found at: https://www.youtube.com/user/HondaRacingHPDTV

 

Quotes
Colton Herta(Harding Steinbrenner Racing) Started fourth, finished first, at age 18, surpasses Graham Rahal as youngest Indy car winner in series history: “My team had a terrific strategy, but we weren’t expecting [a win].  I thought we were going to get a podium, we were going to get third.  I think we had the pace for that.  But that yellow came out at the perfect time for us.  Holy cow, I am worn out! That restart at the end [with 10 laps to go] just finished me off.  After the last restart, I knew we had good pace.  All day long, we were fast in the early laps, then faded towards the end [of a stint].  So on the restart, we were really quick. Just a spectacular day.”

Ryan Hunter-Reay(Andretti Autosport Honda) Started third, finished third: “It was a tough race.  I had to struggle a little bit.  We dialed some front wing into it to try and fix the understeer, so then the car was a little bit loose.  At the end there, I thought we were a little bit faster than Josef Newgarden, but he did a really good job of keeping me behind him.  But hats off to Colton Herta, the youngest-ever Indy car winner.  From the first day of the open test, everybody was like ‘what is he on, a different tire or something?’  He did a great job, put his head down all weekend and made no mistakes.  Perhaps we could’ve been a bit better, but we’ll take the [championship] points and move on.  Great first weekend here at COTA, we had a good [fan] turnout, and we’ll come back better next year.”

Art St. Cyr(President, Honda Performance Development) on his final race as president of HPD: “It was a very entertaining and historic first Indy car race here at COTA, with Colton becoming the youngest-ever winner.  He has shown that the future of the IndyCar Series is bright, as the young rookies engaged established veterans in entertaining battles all day long.  Congratulations to Colton and the Harding Steinbrenner team on their victory, congratulations also to Ryan on his recovery from an unfortunate result in St. Petersburg.  Congratulations to all our HPD associates for placing eight of the top ten finishers, including tremendous drives from Graham and Sebastien to round out the top five, and to Alexander, who deserved a much better result than ninth.” [Ted Klaus moves from Honda R&D to take over as HPD president on April 1].

SOURCE Honda Racing/HPD

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Ocrolus Raises $24M to Modernize Workflows with a Human Touch

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Ocrolus, the only automation platform that analyzes financial documents with over 99% accuracy, today announced $24M in Series B funding led by Oak HC/FT, a premier venture growth equity fund with deep fintech expertise. Ocrolus is powered by an elegant blend of artificial intelligence and crowdsourced human quality control, enabling firms across the financial sector to automate high-stakes business processes with precision. The company will use its new funding to automate underwriting workflows for lenders and banks, and expand into new verticals.

Historically, image recognition software has not been accurate enough to automate financial review work completely. Machines struggle to parse semi-structured documents like bank statements and pay stubs, and lower quality images like cell phone pictures. Ocrolus solves these inherent problems and eliminates data entry and cleansing tasks, using its human-in-the-loop validation engine to analyze every file with over 99% accuracy. Turnkey by design, Ocrolus ingests images of any format or quality, and returns actionable data directly into its customer’s back-office systems in minutes. The platform powers business processes for hundreds of customers in the financial services sector.

“Sometimes humans are better than robots,” said Sam Bobley, Co-founder and CEO of Ocrolus. “We combine machine processes with live human intelligence to provide customers with a complete solution. The capital will be used to develop workflows for new document types, and sharpen our fraud detection and analytical capabilities.”

The round was led by Oak HC/FT, with participation from FinTech Collective and existing investors including Bullpen Capital and QED Investors, among others.

“Ocrolus is a unique company providing a rare combination of smart automation, analytics and accuracy in its solution,” said Dan Petrozzo, Venture Partner at Oak HC/FT.  “By combining its tremendous technology with an added human touch where required, the platform delivers amazing results for its customers.”

The company has grown more than 5x since announcing its Series A round in April 2018, with zero customer churn. Building on its impressive growth in small business lending, Ocrolus is now deploying its technology in consumer, auto and mortgage lending, where there is an acute need to increase speed and accuracy in underwriting operations.

“Our infrastructure is highly scalable, and continually teaches itself to become smarter,” said Vik Dua, the Chief Operating Officer at Ocrolus. “We’re excited to accelerate our product roadmap and alleviate additional pain points for our customers. Ocrolus is poised to improve the quality of work in use cases across financial services and beyond.”

 

SOURCE Ocrolus

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The Family Office Landscape – A Forever Moving Target at Anthony Ritossa’s 9th Global Family Office Investment Summit Under the High Patronage of HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco

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The 9th Global Family Office Summit hosted by Anthony Ritossaconcluded in Monaco this week as a global forum for 400+ leading family offices and ultra-high net worth individuals representing $4 trillion+ in investor wealth. Held June 18-20 and themed “The Rise and Rise of Family Offices,” the Summit surpassed previous events in terms of the quality of family participants and 600 total delegates.

In keeping with the Ritossa tradition, the elite family offices, prominent business owners, Sheikhs, Royal Families, Private Investment Companies, International Business Executives, Sovereign Wealth Funds, and Industry Professionals from throughout Europe, the Middle East and around the globe convened at the Fairmont Monte-Carlo under the High Patronage of His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco.

A crowd-pleasing talk by Formula 1 World Champion and Monaco resident Nico Rosberg proved to be a highlight and he received a standing ovation for his comments on transitioning from World Formula 1 Champion in 2016 with Mercedes AMG Petronas, Monaco, to head of the Nico Rosberg Family Office dedicated to improving the world through activities such as his Greentech Festival in Berlin. His presentation was part of the session entitled “Iconic Monaco Family Offices At Work” moderated by SVG Hon. Consul Giuseppe Ambrosio, President of the Monaco Single & Multi Family Office Association.

Importantly, The Knights Society of Elviña, formed to exalt the British and Spanish chivalric values that favored the triumph in the Battle of Elviña during the Spanish War of Independence, named Sir Anthony Ritossa as a Knight. He is now one of only 55 members of the limited society that recognizes a select group of political class, nobility, royalty as well as great writers and entrepreneurs under the Royal Patronage of His Highness Mahmoud Salah Al Din Assaf.

SVG Hon. Consul Giuseppe Ambrosio, President of the Monaco Single & Multi Family Office Association and a fellow philanthropist, presented seven prestigious award to honour select recipients for their contributions to our global society and the family office community.

Family Office Lifetime Achievement in Philanthropy 2019 Award – Presented to His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco to recognize his Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation which addresses our planet’s alarming environmental situation by supporting initiatives of public and private organizations, in the fields of research and studies, technological innovation and socially aware practices. This prestigious award was presented to Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou in 2018 and is intended to honour stellar philanthropic accomplishments on a global level.

Family Office Shipping and Yachting 2019 Award – Presented to Manfredi Lefrevre d’Ovidio, Chairman, Heritage Group and Silversea Cruises, Monaco.

Family Office Private Debt 2019 Award – Presented to Evgene Denisenko, Managing Director, Apolis, Monaco.

Family Office Social Responsibility 2019 Award – Presented to Kerry E. Adler. As Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of SkyPower, the leading global developer, owner and operator of large utility-scale solar projects with an active presence in over 36 countries and multibillion dollar electricity contracts, he is recognized as one of the early pioneers of solar energy and a leading authority on renewable energy around the world. (The 2018 award was presented to Guido Giannotta of Ferrero.) Presented to Ferrero and collected by Guido Giannotta.

Family Office Innovation in Private Equity with Impact 2019 Award – Presented to Mungo Parks, Chairman of Innovator Capital and Co-Founder of CleanEquity, Monaco.

Family Office Enlightened Governance 2019 Award – Presented to Mohamed Al Ali, CEO & Advisor, Sheikh Ahmed Al Maktoum International Investments Enterprise, UAE.

Family Office Asset Manager 2019 Award – presented to Michael S. Young, CEO of Mediatrix Capital, Inc., The Bahamas, as his second consecutive award.

“I am humbled by the tremendous success our Summits continue to enjoy. It is an honour to be able to further cooperation and collaboration between European families and their counterparts in the Middle Eastthe United StatesAsia and Latin America by presenting an opportunity for leading family offices to meet in a private, invitation-only, confidential and closed-door environment,” said Anthony Ritossa, Chairman of Ritossa Family Office, a family business dating back 600 years to the Venetian Empire in Europe.

“This is the third time that Monaco has hosted this important Summit and the 9th time this Summit has been held around the world. Every time, it is larger and larger and the quality of the attendees is better and better. This year we had at least five continents represented and all attendees are all to be commended for their tremendous accomplishments, including shared vision, values and passion for the environment and sustainability. The greatest asset of this event is the quality of family offices attending and Anthony, myself and our Summit Advisory Board are committed to protecting these assets for the future,” said SVG Hon. Consul Giuseppe Ambrosio, President of the Monaco Single & Multi Family Office Association.

“The Summit is a good mix of families, of products and services. This sharing of current activities, and future trends is very important in such gatherings as a vehicle to move forward through the balance of 2019,” said H.R.H. Prince Michel de Yougoslavie, Grandson of King Umberto of Italy & Prince Paul of YugoslaviaMonaco.

“The 9th Global Family Office Summit event in Monaco was a great achievement for Anthony Ritossa, local & international partners, and everyone who participated. Attendees traveled from all over the world for high level discussions regarding strategic partnerships that are changing the world. Phenomenal days with Multi billions in deals signed during the event. East Meets West is a theme that will continue for future Summits and we look forward to hosting the group in Dubai in November,” said Mohamed Al Ali, CEO & Advisor, Sheikh Ahmed Al Maktoum International Investments Enterprise, UAE.

“The Ritossa Family Office Summit greatly surpassed my expectations. Anthony and his team put together an agenda filled with timely and thought provoking topics combined with outstanding panelists. It was an incredible way to meet and network with  so many interesting and successful people from around the world and at the same time to make new friends,” H.S.H. Prince Hermann zu Leiningen, Grandson of King Boris III of Bulgaria and Grandduchess Maria of Russia and Managing Director, Family Office Investments of Royal Bank of Canada.

Among the events and topics that were top of mind included:

Great Wealth is Created and Destroyed by Human Beings – Families must communicate about important topics, including monetary wealth, in order to move forward. Throughout history, families will struggle and have challenges yet they must stay connected, find a safe space and understand their shared vision.

Technology is the Answer – Families are comfortable with and understand technology, its moving parts and its broad spectrum, and are now delving into new areas referred to as Deep Tech. This is the future and is used to combine different technologies to solve some of mankind’s biggest challenges such as longevity and inequality, according to Nick Ayton, Founder and CEO of Chainstarter and a family office advisor.

Sustainability, Impact + ESG Themes in High Demand –  Investors increasingly seek returns that align with doing good for the world and are eager to embrace such opportunities, especially when they incorporate artificial intelligence, machine learning and ESG metrics. Next generation investors, in particular, view this as essential to the future of our society.

Invest in Oneself + The Family– In addition to investing our money, it is essential to invest in oneself and in the family in order to make continued wise decisions. Family stewardship and philanthropy is integral to family governance and the preservation of human capital. Practicing gratitude improves family-business balance.

Elite Investor Insights – Among the investment themes favoured by Summit speakers are: IoT/artificial intelligence/machine FinTech and lending, technology, healthcare, ecommerce, education, aquaculture, entertainment, disruption, start-ups, venture, alternative assets, real estate, solar power, art, clean energy, and digital assets.

 

SOURCE Ritossa Family Office

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PINTEC Partners with Bank of Ganzhou to Establish a Fintech Research and Development Center

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Pintec Technology Holdings Ltd. (“PINTEC”; NASDAQ: PT), a leading independent fintech solutions provider, today inked a strategic partnership agreement with Bank of Ganzhou in Jiangxi Province for comprehensive cooperation in financial innovation and services, including fintech research and development, intelligent asset allocation and e-commerce.

With the fast growth of the fintech industry, it has become a global trend for the convergence of technology, internet and financial services. According to the partnership agreement, PINTEC and Bank of Ganzhou will jointly establish a fintech research and development center, focusing on advanced fintech researches in big data, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, financial security and block chain. PINTEC will also support Bank of Ganzhou in developing a digital operation system with data services covering all business scenarios and procedures, and launching new products and services for inclusive finance.

“With the deepening of financial reform in China, the internal and external environments for the banking industry have changed fundamentally, and banks are looking for new growth models,” said Zhou Yi, deputy director, the Office of Financial Work under Ganzhou government, at the signing ceremony. “It is an effective way for traditional banks to adopt fintech solutions to speed up innovation and technology upgrade and realize business transformation. I hope the partnership between Bank of Ganzhou and PINTEC will become a good example on how a fintech company can help propel growth of a regional bank.”

Bank of Ganzhou is a state-owned regional commercial bank supervised by the Ganzhou government. After 17 years of development, it is the largest local financial institution in the Southern Jiangxi Province. With its advanced financial technology and experience, PINTEC will provide Bank of Ganzhou with efficient and customized lending solutions for individual financing, small and micro-sized enterprises financing and industry chain financing.

“Fintech is becoming a new driving force in the transformation of the financial industry, especially for traditional banks,” said Xie Kai, vice president of Bank of Ganzhou. “With this partnership, we will leverage our respective advantages and resources, and work together to drive financial innovation and revitalize traditional finance.”

“PINTEC is committed to applying advanced technology to improve the efficiency of financial services, and the partnership with Bank of Ganzhou is a major progress in our efforts to serve financial institutions,” said Chen Bingqing, chief strategy officer of PINTEC. “With the jointly established fintech research and development center, PINTEC will conduct cutting-edge fintech researches and share research results, develop new financial products and services, and contribute to the digital transformation and upgrades of the local financial ecosystem.”

By the end of 2018, PINTEC has provided fintech solutions to 93 financial partners, including Bank of Nanjing, Bank of Zhengzhou, Jiangxi Bank, Harbin Bank, Bank of Guizhou, Minsheng Securities, Industrial Consumer Finance, and China National Investment & Guaranty Corporation. Through PINTEC’s solutions, these financial institutions served 5.5 million individuals and more than 50,000 small and micro-sized enterprises, and facilitated loans exceeding RMB35 billion.

 

SOURCE PINTEC

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