Every Friday, we challenge our readers with five financial trivia questions drawn from the financial pages, accreditation organisations, and from readers who share our enthusiasm for the perfectly-conceived quiz question.
To see the answers, go to page 2. To suggest a question, email [email protected]
1. In the overlapping worlds of private equity, venture capital investing and other forms of start-up funding, people often refer to ‘unicorns’. What are these unicorns, and where does the name come from?
2. A probability of (a.) means it will never happen. A probability of (b.) means that it definitely will.
3. A pension transfer specialist who deals with safeguarded benefit transfer advice must have which of the following qualifications?
(a.) An FCA CF30 (customer function) accreditation
(b.) A G60 or AF3 (CII), or Pensions paper of Professional Investment Certificate (IFS)
(c.) Be a fellow/associate of Pensions Management Institute or a fellow/associate of Faculty of Actuaries
(d.) Have an FCA CF30 (customer function) accreditation, plus (b.) or (c.), above
4. Name the American former Calvin Klein model and film actor (Dude, Where’s My Car?) who has recently made a name for himself as an early-stage investor in such companies as Airbnb, Skype and Uber (and, rather less notably, Secret, an anonymous sharing app start-up that failed to take off and was discontinued last year).
5. Before the 2008 global financial crisis, there was talk of a group of six countries getting together to form their own currency union, along the lines of the EU’s euro. It even got to the stage where someone came up with an idea for a symbol that might represent the new currency in print, along the lines of the euro and dollar symbols. But when markets started to crumble in 2008, talk of the proposed new currency quieted down, and finally stopped altogether, though the idea still has its advocates.
Which six countries were they, and what was perhaps the best-known of the proposed names for the currency?
(To see the answers to these five questions, go to page 2.)
Answers to International Investment’s Friday Trivia Quiz:
1. A unicorn is any start-up company – though some would say it refers specifically just to tech start-ups – that reaches a $1bn market value. The term is said to have been coined by Aileen Lee, an American tech venture capitalist and founder of Cowboy Ventures. According to published reports, Lee, whose parents were Chinese immigrants, came up with the term after discovering in 2013 that just 0.07% of venture-backed companies achieved valuations of $1bn or more (although that figure has increased recently to 0.14%, according to the International Business Times).
The term is said to have had an earlier use in the human resources sector, where it was used to refer to the sort of mythical job candidate some employers insist on looking for, (ie, a ‘unicorn’), rather than accepting that they won’t find such a person, and will have to hire a rather more ordinary creature, such as a human being who will expect to be paid more than they are hoping to have to pay.
2. (a.) = zero; (b.) = 1 (you can’t have a probability larger than 1, and all probabilities will always add up to 1) .
4. Ashton Kutcher
David Byttow, Secret’s chief executive, said he had decided to close the company rather than change direction — known in Silicon Valley as pivoting — because he believed in “failing fast”.
5. The six countries were the six members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) – Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. One of the most popular of various proposed names for the new currency was the Khaleeji, Arabic for “of the Gulf”.