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Daily Dispatches – All Big Four professional services firms in top ten best places to work rankings

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The world’s four largest professional services firms have ranked in the world’s top ten best employers, according to the annual Universum Global survey.

Almost 200,000 business and engineering students from top universities were polled to identify which companies and employer characteristics they find most attractive. The 2013 rankings are compiled from student surveys in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Russia, UK and the US.

In first place was Google, followed by Ernst & Young in second and Goldman Sachs in third. The other seven places in the top ten were held in descending order by PricewaterhouseCoopers; Microsoft; Apple; Deloitte; KPMG; Coca-Cola and finally P&G in tenth position.

Universum says that these employers are seen as being attractive due to their strong association to attributes
that students consider important, such as market success, professional training and development and providing
secure employment.

“This might come as a surprise as there is a view of Gen Y valuing more corporate social responsibility, a friendly work environment and flexible working conditions,”says Petter Nylander, CEO of Universum.

In Singapore, EY went from 24th to 4th spot as local students voted for their most desired employers.

Asia on tenterhooks about QE decision

The US Federal Reserve will wrap up its meeting later Wednesday, reports Market Watch, with many investors around the world expecting it to start reducing the scale of its bond-buying (quantitative easing) programme — a process that has become known as “tapering.”

In recent months, fears of a stimulus withdrawal has resulted in an Asian sell-off, especially in Indonesia and the Philippines.

Some markets won’t get a chance to react to the Fed’s decision until next week, due to a number of public holidays in the region.

Hong Kong under threat from Shanghai says Asia’s richest man

Li Ka-shing, Asia’s richest man, says Hong Kong needs to raise its competitiveness if it wants to avoid losing out to Shanghai, where China is setting up a free trade zone, according to a Bloomberg report.

Li believes Shanghai’s free trade zone “will affect Hong Kong heavily”.

Bloomberg suggests that the zone may allow freer yuan convertibility, liberalise interest rates and relax restrictions on foreign investment, which may threaten Hong Kong’s status as China’s biggest financial centre.

Old Mutual plans Asia expansion

UK firm Old Mutual Global Investors is planning to expand its Asian presence beyond Hong Kong, with new hires on the cards for Singapore and Taiwan, says AsianInvestor.

The company plans to hire sales and asset management people as it pursues opportunities it has identified in Asia for growth, including the proposed China-Hong Kong mutual recognition scheme for funds.

SEC to push for boss-versus-worker salary disclosures

Bloomberg reports that the US Securities and Exchange Commission will propose that public companies disclose how much more their chief executives earn than rank-and-file workers.

The disclosure rule must be issued under the 2010 Dodd-Frank law.

The plan won’t allow companies to exclude employees based in foreign countries from the calculation.

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