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Alpha Development Appoints Robert Conlon as Global Head of Leadership

PRESS RELEASE

Alpha Development has appointed Robert Conlon as Global Head of Leadership to support Alpha’s growing professional skills business.

Alpha Development is delighted to announce the appointment of Robert Conlon as Global Head of Leadership Product.

With his experience of supporting successful leadership interventions in over forty countries, he brings the right mix of academic and business experience to propel Alpha’s leadership proposition to the next level.

When asked for the reasons for joining Alpha, Robert responded, “Alpha’s client base is impressive, encompassing some of the biggest banking brands globally. The opportunity to work with such amazing clients in their leadership journey was something I wanted to be part of. I was also attracted to the Alpha culture of innovation and growth.”

Robert joins the expanding Alpha product team lead by Hector Payne.

“Robert’s arrival signifies our continuing and growing investment in our product offering. We want to ensure that our clients receive a service that extends to building a long-term partnership in developing their talent. Leadership development continues to grow as firms seek to diversify their talent pools and is an important component of our golden thread solution to building the next generation of leaders. It is great to have Robert on board to drive and develop our leadership product roadmap,” says Hector Payne, Chief Learning Officer.

Speak to Robert about how Alpha Development can support your leadership strategy.

 

About Alpha Development

Alpha Development is a global financial training specialist delivering early career learning solutions to support employee and business performance. Our team of specialists have been working with investment and regional banks, insurance firms and asset managers since 2003 to design tailored employee learning programmes.

With offices in London, Singapore, New York and Abu Dhabi, Alpha Development supports employee and business growth through a range of developmental training programmes in areas including Financial Product and Accounting, Professional Skills, Sales & Client Relationship, Talent & Leadership, and Graduate & Intern Onboarding.

 

Media Relations
For press or marketing information, contact [email protected].

PRESS RELEASE

05 July 2021

Alpha Development Group today announced changes to its Structure & Board, including two new members of its Executive Team, following recent growth and international expansion.

Under the new Group structure, Paul Monk – Board member and former Managing Director – is appointed Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Paul will be responsible for Alpha’s long-term strategy, as well as retaining day-to-day management of the Executive Team.

Alpha’s Chief Learning Officer (CLO), Hector Payne, joins the Group Board as a second Executive Director alongside Paul, with a focus on Alpha’s digital product solutions strategy as the company supports its clients in the post-COVID “new normal”.

Robert White is appointed Global Commercial Director and joins Alpha’s Executive Team. Robert brings over 10 years of L&D experience and will be leading the regional Commercial Directors for the US, Europe, Middle East, and Asia to support Alpha’s global client base.

Essia Harding joins Alpha in the newly-created role of HR Director, also as part of the Executive Team. Essia will be developing Alpha’s people strategy, with a specific focus on supporting a workforce that is increasingly international beyond the UK Head Office.

In June this year, the company announced more detail of its expansion to the Middle East and the US, including two new appointments – Anesh Jagtiani, Commercial Director, ME, and Daniel Townsend, Account Director, North America.

 

Paul Monk, Group CEO at Alpha Development, says:

“It’s a genuine privilege to announce these changes. Our investments in technology, begun long before the pandemic but accelerated by it, are driving much of our product development – but behind the product are our people, and at heart, we remain a people business.

“These new appointments, integrated with our fantastic existing team at Alpha, will drive our next phase as we continue to internationalise and develop in support of our clients – who trust us to innovate and deliver for them in an ever-changing business environment.”

 

 Hector Payne, CLO and Executive Director

“I am honoured to be joining the Alpha Development board at an exciting time in the company’s growth. Paul, the Executive Team and the Board of Directors are committed, enthusiastic and particularly driven by our mission to be the most trusted provider in early careers development for the financial services industry. I look forward to to joining and supporting them in the development of this unique, ambitious and exciting part of the firm’s journey.”

 

Robert White, Global Commercial Director, says:

“Alpha are at such an exciting stage in their story, and the opportunity ahead for us is a significant one. Among many of the things I saw as attractive at Alpha was the exceptional level of client satisfaction and how humble we are about it.

“A number of the largest financial services organisations in the world select Alpha year-after-year and recognise the impact an Alpha learning programme contributes towards their strategic goals.

“Working in partnership with clients to craft the right solution(s), with the desired impact is at the centre of how Alpha will continue to build our success and reputation. Becoming a trusted learning partner for our financial services market and associated sectors, with localised sensitivity and responsiveness.”

 

Essia Harding, HR Director, says:

“I am delighted to be joining the team at Alpha Development at a time of ambitious growth, and look forward to working with the Executive Team and wider colleagues to build on their successes to date.”

 

About Alpha Development

Alpha Development is a global Early Careers training provider for professional and financial services. Delivering bespoke learning solutions that enhance employee and business performance, Alpha Development supports the world’s top global and regional banks, insurance firms, and asset managers.

With offices in London, Singapore, New York and Abu Dhabi, Alpha Development supports employee and business growth through a range of developmental training programmes in areas including Early Careers training, Financial Product and Accounting, Professional Skills, Sales & Client Relationship, and Leadership & Management.

 

Media Relations
For press or marketing information, contact [email protected]

PRESS RELEASE

Alpha Development has appointed Daniel Townsend, Assoc CIPD, as Account Director to support Alpha’s growing business in North America.

With over 17 years of supporting employee learning and development within professional and financial services, Daniel joins Alpha to collaborate with some of its world-leading clients amongst the US financial institutions.

“Clients trust Alpha because of its honest approach in providing tailored learning solutions. I have a passion for supporting businesses that empower people to reach their potential and achieve the best they can, and through Alpha’s approach to learning, I am committed to delivering the best training and learning experiences for our US clients,” says Daniel.

Daniel joins Alpha’s US team, Adam House and Jilan Shah, to support Alpha’s offering in the region.

“The quality of our training solutions is visible through our continued growth for both our new and existing partners in the US. We’re delighted to have Daniel on board to support this expansion so that we can continue to deliver our promise to our clients and remain a trusted training provider,” says Adam House, Commercial Director, North America.

“I look forward to speaking to talent and L&D professionals across the region about how Alpha can help develop their employees,” Daniel adds.

Speak to Daniel about how Alpha Development can support your employee L&D strategy in North America.

 

About Alpha Development

Alpha Development is a global financial training specialist delivering early career learning solutions to support employee and business performance. Our team of specialists have been working with investment and regional banks, insurance firms and asset managers since 2003 to design tailored employee learning programmes.

With offices in London, Singapore, New York and Abu Dhabi, Alpha Development supports employee and business growth through a range of developmental training programmes in areas including Financial Product and Accounting, Professional Skills, Sales & Client Relationship, Talent & Leadership, and Graduate & Intern Onboarding.

 

Media Relations
For press or marketing information, contact [email protected].

PRESS RELEASE

Alpha Development has appointed Anesh Jagtiani as Commercial Director to support its client offering in the Middle East.

Bringing 25 years of experience in training and consulting within the GCC market, Anesh will lead Alpha Development’s offering in the region for both existing and new clients.

“Alpha’s values and vision to support employees to thrive within an organisation resonates well with my own, and I’m thrilled to be a part of a team that is committed to support businesses and their people, especially within a rapidly transforming financial industry in the Middle East,” says Anesh.

Anesh began his focus in corporate learning while working in the Private Banking (PB) industry, including his most recent PB role at Deutsche Bank. He joins Raghda El Deeb, Programme Manager, in Alpha Development’s new Abu Dhabi office which opened in January.

“We’re delighted to welcome Anesh and Raghda to Alpha. Investing in local talent is key for us to deliver our promise to Middle East clients – bringing them the global platform and expertise of Alpha Development Group, customised to deliver to local / regional expectations,” says Paul Monk, Managing Director at Alpha Development.

“I look forward to collaborating with learning professionals in the Middle East to achieve a growth mindset, embrace change and drive transformation through our robust Alpha platform,” adds Anesh.

Speak to Anesh about how Alpha Development can support your employee L&D strategy in the UAE or wider GCC region.

 

About Alpha Development

Alpha Development is a global financial training specialist delivering early career learning solutions to support employee and business performance. Our team of specialists have been working with investment and regional banks, insurance firms and asset managers since 2003 to design tailored employee learning programmes.

With offices in London, Singapore, New York and Abu Dhabi, Alpha Development supports employee and business growth through a range of developmental training programmes in areas including Financial Product and Accounting, Professional Skills, Sales & Client Relationship, Talent & Leadership, and Graduate & Intern Onboarding.

 

Media Relations
For press or marketing information, contact [email protected].

“I’m truly grateful to have participated in Alpha’s BYF project. The content covered over the 4 months have given me the knowledge and confidence-boost I needed. It feels fantastic! Thank you, Alpha.”

Participant

As part of its corporate giving initiative, Alpha Development successfully launched a pilot training Build Your Future Programme (BYF) in January 2021.

The 4-month programme covered 6 learning courses designed to help an inaugural intake of 8 Singapore-based, female, foreign domestic workers, aged 34 to 52, who, in traditional set-ups, would have limited opportunities in personal and financial growth.

The outcome? Our training enabled these women to develop their communication and interpersonal skills, understand finance management, and enhance their entrepreneurship skills. Following the course, they were invited to use their learnings to present their business plans to a group of business professionals.

“It’s amazing to see the impact this training session has had on participants. Personal development, understanding financial management, and using design thinking methods to support business communication and overall decision-making, can have life-changing effects,” says Jen Macapagal, Programme Manager at Alpha Development.

The Importance of Personal Development

The programme began with two sessions – Growth Mindset and Adaptability, by Wai Sing Yong, and Communications Principle, by Rebecca McPherson.

The sessions primarily focused on understanding each participants’ narrative and how these affected the different relationships in their lives. They encouraged participants to reflect on their personal goals and challenges, creating action learning plans, and building trust through effective communications using the tools shared by Wai Sing and Rebecca.

Annie Mirasol, one of the participants who aims to start a rental property business in the Philippines, said she now recognises the importance of communication following an activity delivered by Rebecca.

“We drew shapes by listening to instructions from our peers. I found this particularly helpful in listening and communicating more effectively,” said Annie.

 

Understanding Financial Management and Business Risks

We introduced participants to two independent faculty members who shared their expertise in financial management and business risks.

Independent financial consultant, Janus Migalbin, delivered a Growth-Oriented Mindset Towards Finance, enabling participants to understand how their current financial commitments impact their plans.

“The finance management sessions put things into perspective for me, and I’ve already made changes.”

Participant

Participants worked on weekly cash flow tracking to help them get started on their savings habit. A session by Ejae Magno, on Understanding Risks was beneficial for them to understand the potential risks that may occur when executing business plans.

“Participants have shared the positive impact the training has had on their finances. Many of them have said they’ve started to think twice before spending, using techniques taken from the sessions, like writing a shopping list, opening a new savings account, and not buying unnecessary items,” says Jen.

 

Immersing into the Design-thinking Process

Jon Hoel, Innovator SG Co-Managing Partner and one of Alpha’s volunteer faculty, led the final two sessions. The Interactive Design-Thinking Process Workshop enabled participants to visualise themselves in the next 5 and 10 years, and encouraged them to reflect on their business and personal goals.

Jon also introduced the business model canvas, which participants found particularly useful during the preparation and presentation of their business plans.

Colleagues at Alpha Development also shared their skills, reviewing business plans, and providing additional support to prepare participants for the final presentation day.

 

The first step into the real world of personal achievement

“The BYF has been a big success with everyone’s involvement,” says Esther Chan, APAC Programme Manager. “I appreciate the participants’ business ideas and am amazed by their motivation. I’m hopeful that, with their determination, their business plans will come into fruition.”

As a culmination of their training journey, on April 25, the participants presented their business ideas to a panel made up of experts; Serene Mahaffy, corporate trainer and executive coach, Joanna Blanding, a social entrepreneur based in Singapore, Marivic Castro-Clarin, Philippine Embassy – Welfare Officer, Maryel Roman-Price, Adobe (Sydney) APAC DX Commercial Demand Generation Manager, and Paul Monk, CEO at Alpha Development. The participants received professional, insightful feedback on their plans.

“These sessions have really knocked some of my barriers down. It feels good to say I can finally reach my potential using the knowledge I have gained.”

Participant

With the success of this pilot, Alpha Development heartfully congratulates the first batch of participants and wish them the best in the future. The BYF next intake will be during the first quarter of 2022.

In light of Mental Health Awareness Week in the UK, employees at Alpha Development immersed themselves into a week of activities, training sessions and discussions designed to support employee wellbeing.

 

Throughout the week, the team were encouraged to connect with nature and identify ways to support their wellbeing. Sessions inspired and promoted good mental health practices, like setting working hour boundaries, taking annual leave and regular breaks away from desks during the workday.

“These little actions have the biggest impact on our general wellbeing, but they are easily forgotten, especially when so many of us are working from home,” says Rebecca Gosling, HR Manager who organised the week-long activities.

The week began with a delivery of wellbeing boxes for all Alpha employees across the globe, encouraging the team to unwind, refocus and re-energise. Activities that followed included going out and experiencing nature, sharing our stories and ways of coping. We held Resilience Training, by Rachel Lyons, an Introduction to Mindfulness, by Ian Dawson, Jen Macapagal and Anesh Jagtiani, and an Introduction to Cognitive Hypnotherapy, by Dr Kate Blackford PhD.

Resilience Training couldn’t have come at a better time,” said Priscilla Chua, Account Director at Alpha. “It’s our busiest time of year so the training presented a good reminder on how to perform at our peak.”

Leanne Forder, Head of Programme Management at Alpha, agrees, saying, “Rachel shared techniques during the Resilience Training that we can easily implement daily or in times of need.”

“Calm”, “Refreshed”, “Energised”, and “Relaxed” were some of the words used to describe how employees felt after the Introduction to Cognitive Hypnotherapy session.

“I knew I enjoyed it and learnt from it because I couldn’t stop talking about it to my wife. Understanding anchors and how they work, and seeing a demonstration was useful. I’ll be practising this by creating some anchors, especially energising ones to get me up and moving away from my desk,” adds Leanne.

The week proved refreshing for all, as team members took time to re-energise and focus.

“It was nice to see colleagues set aside time to rest and check in with one another,” says Vivienne Ng, Business Development Manager at Alpha. “Although people do this outside of MHAWeek too, the additional activities during the week encouraged more conversations, and that sparked some good energy overall,” she adds.

Reflecting on the week-long activities, Nadine Vaughan, E-learning Administrator at Alpha, says, “I’ve been able to learn more about my colleagues. Their stories and coping strategies have inspired me, and the takeaway techniques from some of the sessions, in particular being mindful of others and how I can be more supportive, were really helpful.”

I always enjoy this week – I gain a deeper understanding of mental health, of myself, of my colleagues and always come away thinking how wonderful it is that we are all unique and individual.”

Leanne Forder, Head of Programme Management

“Supporting each other is a key part of who we are as a team. That’s why we have ongoing support and tools that are available for our employees,” says Rebecca.

“As well as a 24 hour International Employee Assistance Programme, Occupational Health Support, Wellness Action Plans and Stress Risk Assessments for those returning to work, our internal line-managers are equipped to pick up on triggers that show whether someone needs support, they’re also encouraged to discuss employee wellbeing in 1-2-1’s.

“This year we will be increasing the number of trained Mental Health First Aider’s at Alpha Development, too. Mental Health awareness and employee wellbeing sit towards the top of our agenda and are embedded into our values. We have shared working practises and an open, honest, and supportive culture that allows us to be mindful of ourselves, our clients and each other.”

Embed resilience and wellbeing into your employee development programmes

Contact us to discuss how we can help you incorporate resilience training into your employee learning and development programmes to support peak performance during times of change.

“The rise in women is not about the fall in men. It’s important to surround ourselves with supportive and like-minded groups that can help challenge and change the way we live and work for the better. International Women’s Day reminds us to keep moving forward together with these positive changes.” – Katie Verdicchio, Chief Operating Officer.

37% of the Fortune 500 companies are led by female CEOs – a record high from previous years

Women earned roughly 19% less than men in 2020 – a 2% improvement from 2019, and a 7% improvement from 2015 (payscale.com)

46% of interns/graduates who attended our training programmes last year were female

In the cause of gender equality, the Alpha team came together on International Women’s Day to discuss the importance of gender equality and what it means for them.

“Empowerment. Courage. Tenaciousness. We need to do more for all women. Particularly for those who are less privileged and not recognised within a professional setting.” Simon Matin, Programme Manager

“I choose to challenge my daughters to be less Red Riding Hood and more Wolf. I choose to challenge the women around me to embrace failure and use it to empower themselves.” Hector Payne, Chief Learning Officer

What is Alpha Development doing to support equality?

 

“We hire people based on their ability to do their role regardless of their gender or ethnicity. The policies and practices we have in place offer opportunity from the outset, through our flexible working which opens the door for all candidates.” – Rebecca Gosling, HR Manager.

“International Women’s Day is an inspirational day for Alpha,” adds Rebecca.

“I choose to challenge all of us, men and women, to work more “like a woman”. My reading for this week looks very sensibly at how we should continue to shape the world of work to be much more effective for everyone – and much happier.” Matt Wall, Global Commercial Director

“We use this day to open conversations, celebrate women’s success and turn to the future of what we would like tomorrow to look like. So much positive progress has been made towards equality, however so much more can be done to break down gender biases, stereotyping and shining the light on inequalities,” says Rebecca.

PRESS RELEASE
4 February 2021

 

Global financial training specialist, Alpha Development, is pleased to join the many businesses and apprentices across the UK in the annual week-long celebration of National Apprenticeship Week, from 8 – 14 February.

The early careers training provider will be delivering a week of interviews, apprenticeship feedback and more in support of apprentices and especially those who had been defaulted to online learning during 2020.

Paul Fegan, Head of Apprenticeships at Alpha Development says – “Although the move to online learning was a response to the national restrictions that were put in place, we found it was a catalyst to move some programmes online, which we have been supporting for a long time. To ensure our solution was the most interactive and engaging possible, we put all of the Alpha Development faculty through a “Train the Virtual Trainer” session. This fundamentally changed our approach to online delivery to compensate for the elements which were lost by moving from the classroom. As a result, we were able to deliver as efficiently as we would have without the restrictions.”

Last year Government statistics revealed there was a significant drop in apprenticeship starts (nearly by 60% in May 2020 compared to May 2019) as a result of the Coronavirus crisis.

“Despite national apprenticeship starts declining sharply, we are still seeing strong demand in the financial services sector. Although it has been affected, there is still the need to train and upskill existing employees to ensure that they have the professional development they need to deliver their corporate strategy. We have also found that apprenticeships have been at the heart of diversity and inclusion strategies, and that it has been a great way to engage with new entrants from disadvantaged backgrounds and has attracted young talent which might not have otherwise thought of a career in financial services,” says Paul.

More information on apprenticeship training solutions at Alpha Development can be found at www.alphadevelopment.com/solutions/apprenticeships.

 

About Alpha Development

Alpha Development is a global financial training specialist delivering early career learning solutions to support employee and business performance. Our team of specialists have been working with investment and regional banks, insurance firms and asset managers since 2003 to design tailored employee learning programmes.

With offices in London, Singapore, New York and Abu Dhabi, Alpha Development supports employee and business growth through a range of developmental training programmes in areas including Financial Product and Accounting, Professional Skills, Sales & Client Relationship, Talent & Leadership, and Graduate & Intern Onboarding.

 

Media Relations
For press or marketing information, contact [email protected].

PRESS RELEASE
18 January 2021

Alpha Development is pleased to announce the opening of its new office in Abu Dhabi, as it expands its offering in the Middle East.

Paul Monk, Managing Director of Alpha Development, announced the move – saying “Abu Dhabi in particular, and the Middle East as a broader market, is where we run some of our largest and most innovative programmes. In a region that is undergoing significant transformation, the skills needed by its people working in financial services and related industries are rapidly changing. The Abu Dhabi office will give us a significant base to support our existing clients in the region, as well as to launch several new products and services in the months ahead.”

The news comes after Alpha Development announced earlier this year that zero redundancies and pay cuts were made by the financial training provider during the pandemic, and the launch of significant investments to expand its global footprint in key markets, products, and client relationships.

Hector Payne, Chief Learning Officer at Alpha Development added “For us, it is important to offer local expertise to our clients who continue to invest significantly in the development of their national and international talent. Investing in our global reach to support our client partners is something we are constantly working on and we are excited with the launch of the Abu Dhabi office.”

Ian Dawson, Chairman & Founder of Alpha Development, said “We are delighted that through this investment we can now serve clients locally and more rapidly, especially for the year ahead – which is likely to be fast-paced and will significant change, as we move beyond the immediate effects of COVID-19.”

 

About Alpha Development

Alpha Development is a global financial training specialist delivering early career learning solutions to support employee and business performance. Our team of specialists have been working with investment and regional banks, insurance firms and asset managers since 2003 to design tailored employee learning programmes.

With offices in London, Singapore, New York and Abu Dhabi, Alpha Development supports employee and business growth through a range of developmental training programmes in areas including Financial Product and Accounting, Professional Skills, Sales & Client Relationship, Talent & Leadership, and Graduate & Intern Onboarding.

 

Media Relations
For press or marketing information, contact [email protected].

Following the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 to the global economy, we spoke to Paul Monk, Managing Director at Alpha Development about the challenges it brought to the business.

 

What changes did you need to make over the course of 2020?

Over the course of the year, almost everything. The beginning of this crisis back in March 2020 was a very complex time from a people, operations, and client perspective. The instinct in these situations can be to move very fast in response to a fast-changing situation, but we started by taking a pause – to establish some principles, which we shared with the whole Alpha team before moving forward.

 

How did you build out those Principles?

Our response was based on our values, as well as our ‘One Alpha’ approach to internal communication and collaboration. With the Senior Management Team (SMT) and our Management Committee (MCO) we formed three key principles in response to COVID-19:

  1. The company must survive – Alpha carries no debt or external funding. We are owned by our employees and invest our profits back into the business, so we knew that we had a stable financial base, but of course at that time the future was deeply uncertain.
  2. Target no redundancies, if at all possible – We expected to still be very busy with client work, and so furlough/redundancies would have put significant strain on the rest of the team  – as well as, of course, causing hardship for those who left. Beyond the survival of the company, this was our top priority.
  3. We are all in this together – We introduced flexible working and sick pay policies to help the team cope with challenges from COVID-19, and setup new ways of working from home and communication methods within the company.

 

How did clients react to the changes?

Of course, our clients were struggling with the same challenges and uncertainty as we were. April was really a time of discovery, after which we were able to rebuild our non-digital products for 100% virtual delivery across the rest of the year. We also upskilled our fantastic global teaching faculty, who adjusted to delivering fully digital learning programmes from home.

Overall, our clients have been fantastic. Most have been working with Alpha for over a decade, and we have built long-term relationships with them. It’s easy to talk about ‘partnership’ when times are easy, but it’s in challenging times when true partnership and trust are vital.

We were able to redesign almost all our client programmes to the “new normal” of 2020 – and delivered without any redundancies, furloughs or pay cuts for the team.

 

How did you keep employees motivated?

I’m really proud to say that the whole team has owned the responsibility of keeping each other motivated – the vast majority of initiatives have been “home grown.” For example, weekly check-ins to chat through what’s going on outside of work, Friday quizzes, a weekly themed “quarantunes” playlist, group exercise classes over lunch, and so on.

From a management perspective, we introduced monthly Company Updates with an agenda driven by feedback and questions from the team – I have learned this year that clear, open communication is the most important contribution a management team can provide during times like these. We also worked with our Operations team to ensure everyone had a safe and productive home environment (sending out second monitors, ergonomic office chairs, and so on).

 

What can Alpha Development expect for 2021?

Well, we are hiring again, investing further in talent to support clients which is a great feeling. An exciting aspect of our recruitment plans for 2021 is the creation of new, specialist roles alongside growing our existing teams.

The other immediate change, coming in January 2021, is the opening of our Abu Dhabi office to support our work across the Middle East. This was planned for Q2 2020 but was postponed due to COVID-19 – we’re grateful to our clients in the region for their patience.

We continue to review our products and offerings – from popular industry topics such as ESG and Data Science through to new learning platforms and technologies. This is an ongoing process but of course our development in 2020 was influenced and, in many areas accelerated, by the COVID-19 situation. We all hope that the “new normal” will arrive soon, but equally must be prepared with whatever environment we encounter in 2021.

 

We’ve been supporting businesses within the financial services in providing suitable training solutions to support employees with the right skills needed as part of their digital transition. We have delivered over 900,000 hours of training to over 150,000 students over the last 15 years and have successfully transitioned to online training during the pandemic, ensuring businesses are able to meet their objectives and focus on building their strategies.

To discuss how we can support your team, email [email protected].

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