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Welcome to Oaktree Research !
Welcome to the world of Oaktree Research. We have introduced quite a few characters in our articles and it is about time we give them a formal introduction. Please see...

 Tuesday, 21 October 2014
5 Unconventional Suggestions for the Economic Crisis  
Written by Vincent Chia  
Wednesday, 18 March 2009

I am sure you have read enough articles and suggestions about what you can and should do during this current Economic Crisis. While a lot of these would probably have been written to generate ideas (and hopefully projects) for their consultancy clients, they are genuinely helpful. However, from a realistic and practical vein, a lot of these are good suggestions but not the practical priorities for Management who might be caught up in a survival fight (both for their company and themselves). Thus a lot of positive and constructive ideas go a begging. Just ask yourself, how many CEOs would take the massive risk of acquiring companies (albeit good ones) when they do not even see the light at the end of the tunnel.

 

 
Middle Managers discuss Cost Measures, Pay Cuts, and Retrenchment  
Written by Roger Tan  
Friday, 02 January 2009

In the article “CEO Ponders Cost Measures, Pay Cuts, and Retrenchment”, Vincent Chia discussed issues faced by CEO during economic downturns.  But other than CEOs, there is another group of people who have to make tough decisions during such times – the middle managers.

What is in the minds of these managers during this economic crisis?  We peer into a conversation between our fictitious couple, Mitchell and Sandra, who are both middle managers in the financial industry, to get a sense of middle managers’ thoughts.

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Corporate Social Responsibility –For Society or Own Benefit?  
Written by Roger Tan  
Friday, 14 November 2008

Picture this! You are a CEO of a listed company and you love to swim.  To make you happy, your managers suggested holding an annual swimming meet.  To make it socially right, your managers suggest that this meet should be a charity event.  They also suggest that the firm will donate $1 for every $5 raised from the public.  To honor the ceremony, a high government official will be invited to thank you and your company for the generous donations.

The firm eventually spends $1million a year of resources on the meet and another $1m on donations.  When we think of this event, your company always comes to people’s mind.

Is this really an act of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) or is this fundamentally an agency issue?  This article aims to discuss the issues surrounding CSR.

 
Mr CEO ponders Cost Measures, Pay Cuts and Retrenchments  
Written by Vincent Chia  
Wednesday, 12 November 2008

All CEOs today of companies big and small are all pondering the various ways of cutting costs and thus either sustaining the profitability of their companies in the event of lower revenues going forward. CEO is used loosely here and it could very well be the COO, Managing Director, etc. Or it could be a cash of cushioning the decline in profitability. Everyone is saying that 2009 will be a bad year though different people have different degrees of bad. Everyone is saying that revenues will decline though different people have different degrees of decline. Just a disclaimer that this account is fictitious and very much a parody. But if you find it familiar, and I am sure most of you will, at least for some parts, it is merely a reflection of the times we are in.

 

 
The Call to “Clear Your Table After Your Meal”. Graciousness or Something Else?  
Written by Roger Tan  
Sunday, 05 October 2008

Here is a scenario; you dine with your beautiful spouse at a 5 star French restaurant to celebrate an important event.  The dinner was what you needed to make your other half feel loved. After you paid your bill, you stand up to leave.  “HOLD ON SIR!!!” someone yelled at you before you were about to past the exit door, “YOU HAVEN’T CLEARED YOUR TABLE!”

Imagine being asked to make your own room at Ritz Carlton, Hyatt, or at the Raffles Hotel.  Imagine being asked to bring your cup to the collection centre at a high class lounge.  How about pouring your own drinks at a private banking lounge?

For some reason, the above will make you feel… “ODD”.  Why would it sound so right when we asked people to clear their tables at food courts and hawker centres (for our overseas readers, it is like a food centre) but atrocious when you are asked to do the same at expensive restaurants.

This article explores the reasons behind the discrimination in this application of “graciousness” and the need for the “clearing your own table” movement in Singapore.

 
An Important Question To Ask Your Investment Advisor: “Are You Doing Your Job?”  
Written by Roger Tan  
Saturday, 13 September 2008

When asked the question “Why do you need to tell an investor about the current market condition when you have already structured an efficient portfolio for him?” A financial professional answered: “By showing an investor how well I know the market, I can impress the customer and build confidence and trust with the investor and I can sell…”, I will stop there.

Many investment advisors in the industry seem to lack a simple feature – proper academic knowledge.  This lack of knowledge leads these professionals to provide poor investment advice and structure inefficient portfolio allocation.  In this article, I will discuss the industry of investment advisory.

 
Why do you feel like you are working harder and harder and harder  
Written by Vincent Chia  
Saturday, 26 July 2008

We are mostly a bunch of disgruntled workers even if you are responsible and respond to Theory Y Management. We are probably pretty professional and responsible in the job, even though we are prone to grumble and complain. What are the usual refrains? Overworked and underpaid…. Of course this has a lot to do with capitalism and the entrepreneurs take the risk and hence all the reward while the workers only receive a fraction of the reward, but we have almost cast-iron certainty of that fraction. This phenomenon did not start today, so why then do most workers out there feel that they are working harder and harder then ever before?

 
Should Singapore Create an Organ Sale Market? A Discussion of the “Shoulds” and “Should Nots”  
Written by Roger Tan and Vincent Chia  
Friday, 04 July 2008

The recent case of the two Indonesian men trialed for illegally selling their kidneys had sparked much debate over the issue of whether Singapore should legalize the sale of organs.  Opponents argue that legalization will benefit more the rich than the poor since the former would be able to out bid the poor for the organs.  Furthermore, legalization will also encourage people – especially the poor - to sell their organs for money; a notion that is morally wrong and therefore should not be supported.  However, if we look beyond the idealized principles, there are merits to the idea – such as a potential transfer of wealth from the rich directly to the poor – if it is properly managed.

Our group of characters were also in a hot debate on this issue recently during a get together party.  “Right or wrong?”  “Should or Should not?” and “How can it be done?”  We present their discussion:

 
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Rich get Richer, what about the Rest ?
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