Wednesday, March 30, 2022

LA Kings' Picks in the 1989 NHL Draft

Coming off of a season in which it finished fourth in the National Hockey League's (NHL) Smythe Division and lost in the Division Finals to the Edmonton Oilers, the Los Angeles Kings had a relatively inauspicious performance at the 1989 NHL Entry Draft. The team had 12 selections in the 12-round draft but was without its first-round pick after including it in a trade package for Wayne Gretzky on August 8, 1988. As a result, only three of the selected players went on to play in the NHL.

Los Angeles selected defenseman Brent Thompson with its first pick, 39th overall in the second round. A native of Calgary, Canada, Thompson recorded 13 points and 160 penalty minutes in his draft year with the Medicine Hat Tigers of the Western Hockey League (WHL). He made his NHL debut with the Kings in 1991-92 and recorded five points and 89 penalty minutes through 27 contests. He split three seasons between the Kings and their International Hockey League affiliate in Phoenix and later played for the Winnipeg Jets.

Thompson last played in the NHL in 1996-97 with the Phoenix Coyotes but has remained involved in the sport ever since. He played 635 games in the American Hockey League (AHL) and was captain of the AHL's Providence Bruins in 2004-05. He began coaching in the AHL in the 2005-06 season and has been head coach of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers since the 2014-15 season. He also spent two seasons as an assistant coach with the New York Islanders in the NHL.

Sean Whyte and Jim Hiller are the only other two players the Kings drafted in 1989 to play in the NHL. Whyte, an eighth-round pick, played 21 games for the Kings in the 1991-92 and 1992-93 seasons. He last played professional hockey with the Phoenix Mustangs of the WCHL in 2000-01.

Hiller, meanwhile, was selected in the 10th round and spent the following three seasons as a standout winger at Northern Michigan University, where he compiled 205 points in 123 games. He recorded 12 points in 40 games during his rookie season with the Kings in 1992-93 but was dealt midseason to the Detroit Red Wings as part of a multi-player trade that brought Jimmy Carson back to Los Angeles. Hiller played 21 games with Detroit and two games with the New York Rangers in 1993-94. He coached 10 years in the WHL and has been an assistant coach in the NHL since the 2014-15 season.

Los Angeles selected defenseman Jim Maher with its second pick, 81st overall in the fourth round. Maher spent four seasons at the University of Illinois-Chicago and played three seasons in the minor leagues but never reached the NHL. The Kings' other picks included defenseman Eric Ricard, goaltender Tom Newman, forward Jim Giacin, and defenseman Kevin Sneddon. The team selected six defensemen, five forwards, and one goaltender.

Mats Sundin was the first overall pick in the 1989 NHL Entry Draft. Selected by the Quebec Nordiques, Sundin accumulated 1,349 points in 1,346 regular-season games before retiring after the 2008-09 season. Only two other players in the 1989 draft class (Nicklas Lidstrom and Sergei Fedorov) exceeded 1,000 career regular-season points.

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

The Most Recent Inductees to the St. Louis Amateur Hockey Hall of Fame

Missouri is a burgeoning hockey community with more than 6,200 USA Hockey members and is home to the St. Louis Blues National Hockey League (NHL) franchise. Many players from the state have gone on to play college and professional hockey. Wanting to honor players, coaches, executives, and officials who have contributed to the game’s growth in the state, Scott Rupp launched the St. Louis Amateur Hockey Hall of Fame in 2008. The inaugural class featured David Bates, Bud Stege, Eddie Olsen, Herman Kriegshauser, Tom K. Hurster, and Charlie Busenhart.

There are now 90 people in the St. Louis Amateur Hockey Hall of Fame in the following categories: player, coach, administrator, builder, and referee. There was no induction ceremony in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Ralph Taylor (builder), Yan Stastny (player), Tom Shinabargar (player), Tony Sansone (builder), Wayne Neis (player), Joe Lunny (player), and Jamie Husgen (player) were inducted as part of the Class of 2020.

Taylor, inducted posthumously, was born in Canada in 1905 and played for the New York Rangers and Chicago Blackhawks in the NHL. He also played for teams in the International Hockey League (IHL) and American Hockey League (AHL). Taylor last played for the AHL’s St. Louis Flyers and later served the team as a color commentator. He spent his retirement in St. Louis and was highly involved in youth athletics until he died in 1976. Most notably, he co-founded the Missouri Amateur Hockey Association.

Yan Stastny was also born in Canada but relocated to St. Louis, Missouri, when he was 10 years old after his father, Peter, signed with the St. Louis Blues. Yan played for the Junior B St. Louis Jr. Blues and Junior A St. Louis Sting in his youth and won the Clark Cup and Gold Cup National Championship with the Junior A Omaha Lancers of the United States Hockey League (USHL). He later played two seasons at the University of Notre Dame and was selected by the Edmonton Oilers in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft. Yan played 91 games in the NHL, including 50 with the Blues, and represented the United States in the IIHF World Championships in 2005, 2006, and 2011.

Shinabarger, meanwhile, took an interest in hockey after watching the Blues and went on to play in the USHL and for Division-III Bemidji State University. The defenseman concluded his three-year stint at the school with 80 points in 103 games. He was named one of the team’s 50 greatest players in 2006.

Sansone played hockey at the high school level but was inducted as a builder for creating the Blues Special Hockey program, formerly known as Gateway Locomotives, in 1994. The program was the first in the United States to offer organized hockey instruction for individuals with developmental disabilities.

In his childhood, Neis played sports with the Boys Club of St. Louis and was a talented floor hockey player during the 1980s and early 1990s. Lunny, who relocated to St. Louis with his parents in the early 1960s, played youth hockey in the city and later played alongside fellow St. Louis Hall of Fame inductee Mike Robben at the College of the Holy Cross where he remains the school’s all-time leading scorer. He later played in the IHL and East Coast Hockey League. Husgen, a 12th-round pick of the Winnipeg Jets in 1983, signed a contract with the team in 1987 and spent two seasons with the Moncton Hawks in the AHL.

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Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Everything to Know About the Series 7 Exam and License

While most prominent investment firms only hire professionals with post-secondary degrees, graduating from college isn’t a requirement to becoming a stockbroker. Prospective stockbrokers do, however, need to pass the Series 7 exam, also known as the General Securities Representative Qualification Examination, in order to qualify to legally purchase or sell securities products such as municipal fund securities, corporate securities, options, and variable contracts. Series 7 exam candidates need to be sponsored by a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) member firm.

As of October 1, 2018, exam candidates also need to complete the Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) exam. This is an introductory-level exam that covers a variety of securities topics and was designed to measure each candidate’s knowledge of fundamental concepts, securities products and their risks, and prohibited practices, among other topics. The SIE is a 75-question exam with questions in the following four sections: Knowledge of Capital Market; Understanding Products and Their Risks; Understanding Trading, Customer Accounts, and Prohibited Activities; and Overview of Regulatory Framework.

While Series 7 exam candidates need to be sponsored by a FINRA member firm to take the test, there are no requirements for individuals to take the SIE. Once a person completes the SIE, they have four years to complete the Series 7 exam or other top-off exams like the Series 6 (Investment Company Representative), Series 57 (Securities Trader), or Series 82 (Private Securities Offerings Representative).

Before FINRA introduced the SIE, the Series 7 exam was composed of 250 questions spanning five major job functions. Candidates had to pay $305 to take the exam and had six hours to complete it. Now, the exam contains 125 multiple choice questions and has a time limit of 3 hours and 45 minutes. Exam registration is $245 and the passing score is 72 percent.

The 150 multiple choice questions are broken down into the following sections: 91 questions in Provides Customers with Information about Investments, Makes Suitable Recommendations, Transfers Assets, and Maintains Appropriate Records; 14 questions in Obtains and Verifies Customers’ Purchase and Sales Instructions and Agreements; Processes, Completes, and Confirms Transactions; 11 questions in Opens Accounts after Obtaining and Evaluating Customers’ Financial Profile and Investment Objectives; and nine questions in Seeks Business for the Broker-Dealer from Customers and Potential Customers.

Once a candidate passes the Series 7 exam, they are permitted to sell covered products and activities such as mutual funds, stocks and bonds, exchange-traded funds, direct participation programs, municipal securities, and real estate investment trusts. They are not, however, authorized to sell real estate or life insurance products.

Some states also require stockbrokers and investment professionals to complete the Series 63 exam, in addition to the Series 7, to sell securities. Also known as the Uniform Securities Agent State Law Exam, the 65 multiple choice question test covers specific state laws and regulations and is developed by the North American Securities Administrators Association. FINRA administers the exam.

Those looking to earn their Series 7 license can complete the exam online by filling out and submitting the FINRA Online Exam Administration Request Form. In-person tests are also offered at select locations. There is no physical documentation for proof of exam completion. Instead, employers can access a current or prospective worker’s credentials via FINRA’s Central Registration Depository.

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Wednesday, March 9, 2022

How to Choose a Professional Hockey Agent

The National Hockey League (NHL) is a multi-billion dollar business. In the 2019/2020 season, the league generated $4.4 billion in revenue. Projections suggest the NHL will make up to $5 billion for the 2021/2022 season. Potential professional hockey players must understand these revenue figures for contract negotiations. Knowing how much the league, and its various franchises, earn helps you determine your value.

Professional sports agents exist to represent your interests during every stage of your professional career. Agents negotiate contracts on behalf of their players and offer career guidance. Of course, there are good and bad agents. As a professional hockey player, you need to know what to look for before signing on with a new agent.

National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) certification is the primary concern. Any sports agent acting on behalf of a professional hockey player must hold this certification. The NHLPA has Agent Regulations, which define the terms under which a certified agent performs their duties. These regulations also contain codes of conduct that agents must follow. If a player is unsure about their prospective agent’s certification status, they can find a list of all certified agents on the NHLPA website. Avoid any agent who is not NHLPA-certified as they may not act in your best interests.

There are several traits to consider beyond the agent’s certification. Honesty is vital in all interactions between a player and their agent. Players trust agents to oversee sensitive financial information, meaning your agent must be transparent with you at all times. A good agent discloses all relevant information to their client, including bad news related to failed negotiations and negative feedback. Be wary of any agent that showers you with praise without discussing the less positive elements of their work. A good understanding of your abilities helps determine if an agent makes false promises.

Availability is also a critical concern. There is little point in having an agent if you cannot reach them when you need to discuss an issue. Though agents often juggle several clients at once, they should always be quick to respond to your queries. Good agents provide regular updates to their players, particularly regarding negotiations.

Beyond examining their certification status, conducting background checks on the agent is also beneficial. Check the agent’s website to ensure they present themselves professionally. Do the same for their social media accounts. Your agent represents you, meaning you must understand how the agent presents themselves on all channels.

Finally, speak to other agents besides the one you’re considering working with. The best agents maintain extensive networks that include other agents. Your goal here is to determine whether other people in the industry have heard of or worked with your prospective agent. You can also use these conversations to get a broad view of the agent’s reputation within the industry.

Professional hockey players make big decisions when signing on with a sports agent. You must feel confident that your agent will represent your best interests regarding your finances. Plus, the agent must present themselves in a way that benefits your career and personal brand. By following the above guidelines, you ensure that you work with an agent who serves your career.

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Differences Between Mergers & Acquisitions

Mergers and acquisitions are corporate strategies designed to increase a company's capabilities. They're often referred to collectively as M&A. However, there are some critical differences between mergers and acquisitions that those working corporate roles must understand.

Mergers empower companies by enabling them to share technology, resources, and information. A merger involves at least two companies making the strategic decision to combine their resources. Typically, this leads to the formation of one company under a new name, which then issues shares as a new entity. The goal is to create a singular entity with fewer weaknesses and a stronger position in the market. Mergers are usually friendly, with all companies agreeing to the terms because they're mutually beneficial.

With an acquisition, one company purchases another. The purchase typically involves buying at least 50 percent of the shares of the business it is acquiring. An acquisition may not always occur on friendly terms, especially if the owners of the purchased company do not want the acquisition to happen. In these scenarios, an acquisition can become a hostile takeover. However, many acquisitions get conducted civilly, with both sides agreeing to the purchase.

Beyond the differences related to the transaction, several other variances exist. In a merger, all parties work together to create an effective company structure. This work often involves combining the most efficient processes each company has to create a new set of standards and procedures. Acquisitions may involve the same level of collaboration. However, they may often lead to the acquiring company imposing its structure onto the purchased company. The acquiring company may also make changes to the staffing and resource management of the purchased company.

There are also differences between the purposes behind each strategy. Companies often choose to merge because they see the act to decrease competition, thus increasing the merged entity's market share. Mergers can also improve operational efficiency due to the collaborative strategic approach taken. For acquisitions, fast growth is often the main reason behind the acquiring company's decision. The acquiring business gains access to more staff by purchasing a similar company, thereby increasing its market share and potentially eliminating a competitor.

In acquisitions, the acquiring company can dictate the terms of the arrangement. In some cases, the purchased company has very little say, especially if the acquisition occurs due to the purchase of shares. Again, mergers differ here due to a more collaborative approach. The terms defined in a merger typically serve all parties, splitting the benefits between each company to create a more even share of power.

Mergers and acquisitions are good ways for companies to increase their market share. However, collaboration lies at the heart of a merger, resulting in a new entity that is ideally stronger than the individual firms involved. Acquisitions are quicker and enable instant growth for the acquiring company. Still, they come with complications related to restructuring the purchased company that may make the process more challenging. Before deciding on a course of action, company leaders must carefully weigh up the pros and cons of each choice to determine if a merger or acquisition will leave them in a stronger position.

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