Social media outrage after disabled man jailed in Russia

The story of a severely disabled man imprisoned in Moscow for violent assault has outraged many social media users.

Home Capital CEO pick lauded as ‘solid’ veteran with strong tech background by industry peers

Home Capital Group Inc.’s new chief executive officer is a 30-year mortgage industry veteran whose previous job experience should help the embattled lender, according to loan industry executives who know him.

But the consensus seems to be that Yousry Bissada, currently president and chief executive of Kanetix Ltd., will have his work cut out for him when he starts on Aug. 3.

“Yousry is a solid veteran in our space. Well regarded. Lots of heavy lifting in his future,” said one high-ranking industry source, who asked that his name not be used.

Bissada, has a deep resume that includes time in the mortgage divisions at two of Canada’s major banks and seven years as the CEO of Filogix Inc., a software and service provider to the mortgage industry. That is in addition to his time at Kanetix, which provides an online service for consumers looking to shop for the best insurance.

Debt rating agency DBRS Ltd. said it viewed the appointment of Bissada as a positive step toward restoring market confidence in Home Capital.

“Mr. Bissada’s 30 years of experience in the Canadian mortgage industry include senior roles that focused on operations, which DBRS sees as a positive, given the recent operational issues at HCG,” the agency said, in a note.

“With this important appointment, DBRS will look for the new CEO to articulate a strategy that will repair the group’s relationships with both the mortgage and deposit broker community, rebuild profitability and address HCG’s ability to source funding at competitive market rates.”

DBRS did say Home Capital’s ratings, including its senior debt rating of CCC, remain under review with negative implications. “The review will continue to focus on the group’s ability to restore its franchise strength and improve its liquidity and funding,” DBRS said.

Rob McLister, the founder of, said Bissada is a “mortgage hall of famer” and he expects Home Trust, Home Capital’s subsidiary, to see a real crackdown on any irregular dealings. “He is a culture guy and will build a culture of non-tolerance for fraud,” he said.

Another high-level executive in the industry, who didn’t want his name used, said Home Capital’s challenge will being getting funding so it can get up and running again. “He has big bank relationships and experience which helps (with) putting things in place and on a relationship with OSFI,” said the source, referring to the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions.

Bissada worked with Toronto-Dominion Bank from 1998 to 2000, serving as vice-president of customer managements service and senior vice-president of real estate secured lending products. Before that, he was vice-president of servicing operations at CIBC Mortgages Inc.

His work at Filogix, which was acquired by DH Corp. in 2006., is expected to serve him well at Home Capital, which up until a few years ago had a paper-based system for tracking its mortgages. “He’s got the tech background through Filogix and Kanetix Ltd.,” said the source.

Alexey Saltykov, the co-founder and chief executive of InsurEye Inc., which provides consumers with intelligence on insurance products, said he has found Bissada to be open and innovative during past dealings.

“He has a strong strategic mind. He guided Kanetix through (several) acquisitions,” said Saltykov, noting his knowledge of fintech and insurancetech. “He understands the operating models that are out there.”

Justin Thouin, the chief executive and founder of, said he’s worked with Bissada and now describes him as a tremendous competitor.

“He’s extremely level-headed, calm, rational and someone with integrity,” said Thouin. “Reputation and credibility and building that back up (will be his challenge). It’s definitely doable and people have short memories. It will take laying out what the plan is and doing exactly what they say they are going to do.”

New York City declares war on rats with $32 million plan

NEW YORK (Reuters) – New York City on Wednesday announced a $32 million plan to reduce the rat population by 70 percent in the city’s three most infested neighborhoods by the end of 2018.

Conservative groups urge lawmakers to gut climate programs in U.S. military

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Here is how to end austerity and still keep deficit low, says IFS

Watchdog says chancellor would need to spend extra £33bn a year but could still balance budget by middle of next decade

Philip Hammond would need to spend an extra £33bn a year to “end austerity” according to a leading tax and spending watchdog.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) said the chancellor could use his autumn budget to reverse major cuts scheduled to hit public spending and still keep the government’s spending deficit at 2.4% of GDP by 2021.

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A Private Equity Firm Is Investing $275 Million To Create Africa’s Largest University Network

Actis, an emerging markets-focused Private Equity firm, is investing $275 million to create Africa’s largest University network

A new transportation-focused fund just landed $120 million from a wide range of transport companies

 Transportation is a huge category. Just some of the players include automakers and motorcycle manufacturers and trucking firms and logistics companies and dealership groups and repair shop chains and truck rental companies and car leasing companies and telematics companies and energy companies with big networks of gasoline stations around the world. Given the dramatic changes underway in the… Read More