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JPMorgan names two new CIOs for tech units

JPMorgan Chase has appointed James Reid as chief information officer for a new unit focused on developing and modernising technology used by the bank's 250,000 employees, an internal memo sent on Friday and seen by Reuters showed.

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Squarespace float brings tech deals full circle

Squarespace is almost middle-aged, at least as far as technology companies go. The website-building firm was founded in 2003, just five years after Google, by Chief Executive Anthony Casalena. It's finally planning to float shares via a direct listing later this month. There are wrinkles, but overall it’s pretty on-brand, just like the online presence it helps others create. The New York City-based firm is in a niche that avoided competition from technology mammoths like Microsoft and Google, now known as Alphabet, and it is still receiving the benefits of being an early mover. Revenue increased almost 30% in 2020 to $621 million, and the company even booked a net profit in 2018, 2019 and 2020. Competitors overlap but aren't quite the same, leaving a pretty wide range for valuation. In some ways Squarespace is like domain-registration firm GoDaddy. On that company's enterprise value-to-revenue multiple of 5 times, Squarespace would be worth some $3 billion. It also partly resembles e-commerce giant Shopify which trades at 38 times sales, implying a value of $24 billion for Casalena's company. On the same 16 times multiple as Israeli cloud-based website software firm Wix.com, it clocks in at $10 billion. That’s around where investments from Tiger Global, D1 Capital Partners and others pegged the valuation in March, according to Reuters. A direct listing, though, requires investors to make up their own mind, without the underwriting roadshow of a traditional initial public offering. Orders that come into the New York Stock Exchange will define Squarespace's opening price, and the first day of trading usually involves more shares changing hands than an IPO. As with the direct listing of games platform Roblox in March, for example, the goal is a more open price-discovery process. There are some wrinkles. Casalena not only runs the company but also sets product strategy and remains actively involved in departments he previously managed. He will retain control through supervoting shares, too: Outside investors are stuck with him, through good and bad times. The company also has a few earnings gray areas partly because the recently acquired Tock, a hospitality-booking firm, turned out to have accounting weaknesses. Still, it is rare of late to have a technology firm going public with a history of profitability. Twitter didn’t. Neither did Pinterest, Palantir Technologies, or Airbnb. In a way, Squarespace is bringing technology deals full circle.

FILE PHOTO: Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman Gensler testifies...

Updated rules needed as tech drives U.S. trading -SEC chief

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -New investment rules are needed to help protect investors as social media, apps and other technology impact trading and financial markets, the head of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said on Friday.

Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney leaves after hosting a...

Review: A better way of valuing the world

An Oscar Wilde play famously described a cynic as “someone who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing”. A quip that’s droll on stage loses its humour when it spreads too far into real life. Even Mark Carney thinks our obsession with market prices has gone too far. Fortunately, he is working on some solutions.

COO of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg attends a meeting with the French...

CEO candor would help destigmatise mental health

Sometimes words can speak as loudly as actions. So it goes with mental health. Many companies are mercifully taking employee stress and other psychological ailments more seriously. At the same time, few chief executives have been willing to open up about their personal struggles.

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