We keep our ear to the ground for the interesting stats, insights and discussion points you need to feel in the know.

1. Funding the future

Woman in yellow t-shirt and black overalls using red ATM machine

If money is the engine driving our world, then everyone deserves a chance to ride. While advancements in financial services are sparking inclusive growth and prosperity, the journey towards universal access is far from over. At the Milken Institute Global Conference 2024, leaders explored collective efforts to shape a shared future. Despite progress, significant disparities remain, particularly for women and unbanked populations. Right now, nearly 1 billion women around the world don’t get enough support from the financial system, and another billion are completely left out of it, according to Women’s World Banking. EY CEO-Elect Janet Truncalewrote an article for this year’s Global Conference and stresses that clear disparities in financial access and opportunity persist and deserve our collective attention to ensure everyone has a fair shot at economic success. There is no doubt that increasing access to financial services catalyzes more inclusive growth and prosperity, and it’s exciting to see the innovations in this space. Yet, the reality is we have a long way to go…

Inclusive Finance, Inclusive Future

2. Futuristic flexibility

Modern building looking up at airplane overhead against blue skies

Would you be more likely to stay at a company if you had the chance to work abroad? The new normal of work is here and it’s time to adapt. Filling new needs and challenging old assumptions is the standard. This new normal of work has accelerated the need for organizations to proactively refine how and where they work across jurisdictions, while enhancing employee experience linked to the “why.” Past mobility models rooted solely in business travel or long-term relocation are not necessarily fit for a more digital, integrated and strategic purpose. Instead, functions need to evolve their approach to workforce mobility to be high-impact, efficient, and cost-effective while helping to achieve growth for the business and for people. With added focus on workforce mobility comes a need for added visibility: nearly all employers (98%) say they are tracking domestic and international employee movements, compared to just 49% of employers in last year’s survey. EY research identified five drivers of evolved mobility functions that can lead to better outcomes: strategic alignment, talent linkage, digital focus, flexibility and use of external expertise. So, what exactly are the benefits of evolved mobility?

EY 2024 Mobility Reimagined Survey

3. AI-luminating our future

Five young professionals having a discussion in modern office

AI this, AI that. AI is everywhere nowadays, especially in the boardroom. Private company CEOs see it as an opportunity to drive efficiency and innovation. Despite challenges like complexity and cost, many are diving in with 49% making it their top priority. But the journey to AI adoption is not without its challenges. AI transformation is complex, the technologies are changing rapidly, securing how data is used both inside and outside the organization is challenging and the required investment can be substantial. Smaller private companies often have less access to capital than public companies, so they will need to prioritize how they allocate their spending. These new game-changing technologies will require us to rethink many things — process by process, function by function, job by job. But that doesn’t mean entire industries will disappear overnight. Here are three tips to get started…

How private companies are navigating the promise of AI

4. Future-proofing leadership

Man sitting on bench overlooking city skyline at sunset

In a world where ‘business as usual’ is anything but, seismic shifts continue to reshape the corporate landscapes. The leaders of today and tomorrow must learn to navigate a world defined by uncertainty and complexity, as they pursue their rapid business transformations. In uncertain times, this requires leaders who are truly adaptable to attune to the needs of their organization, their people and their market. A staggering 58% of CEOs are ramping up transformation efforts. It’s clear: out with the «wait and see» approach, in with adapting to change as it, inevitably, happens. These are the five critical mindset shifts leaders must embody to redefine leadership for the future…

Transforming the Leadership Mindset for Growth

5. Time to M&Ake way into the future

Silhouette of a fly board rider on blue ocean

The mergers and acquisitions (M&A) market has witnessed a remarkable 36% increase in deal value in Q1 of 2024, reaching $796 billion, with the US and sectors like energy, life sciences, and technology leading the charge. Despite this growth, private equity and certain industries such as mining and retail are lagging. Can the current surge in M&As spark a comeback in private equity and wake up slower sectors to join the dealmaking boom? Market conditions are favorable, with debt and equity markets both experiencing uplifts, suggesting a supportive backdrop for M&A. The potential for an acceleration in dealmaking depends on a resurgence in private equity, which currently holds a significant number of unsold assets and unallocated funds. CEOs are showing a greater inclination towards acquisitions to secure technological advantages and innovation. Investors remain optimistic but seek clearer justifications for acquisitions over organic growth. Assuming stable growth and no major policy or geopolitical shocks, the M&A market is poised for increased activity in the year ahead…

Will the missing links boost M&A in the year ahead?

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Seize the opportunity to collectively shape our shared future.

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