December 2023


Cascade Investment Fund exited agriculture and gas extraction assets

Cascade Investment Fund sold all stocks of the agriculture and gas extraction companies with assets in Eastern Europe. It was the fund’s strategy during the last three years. From 2020 to 2023 Cascade has exited such companies as Kernel, JKX Oil&Gas, Ukrnaftoburinnya and Cascade-Agro.

“We sold the first part of Kernel shares on the Warsaw Stock Exchange in 2020. The second – during share buy-backs announced by Kernel. The third – in 2023, during delisting, despite the price decreased significantly,” – said CEO of Cascade Investment Fund Vitaliy Khomutynnik. The Fund had 7% stock in Kernel which were bought 8 years ago.

Another agricultural asset “Cascade-Agro” with more than 50 000 hectares of land with infrastructure was sold in 2021. It was a wholly owned Fund’s subsidiary that was created in 2011.

Until recently, one of the largest Cascade Investment Fund’s assets was Ukrnaftoburinnya, Ukrainian second private gas production company in terms of production volume. “We agreed on a deal on exiting the company at the end of 2021. Due to the beginning of the war in Ukraine, the deal was greatly transformed,” – said CEO of Cascade Investment Fund Vitaliy Khomutynnik.

In 2020 Cascade also sold a 20% stake in the oil and gas company JKX Oil&Gas, which was listed on the London Stock Exchange.

After exiting agriculture and gas extraction companies, Cascade is focused on investing in private equity and real estate projects in Europe and also building a fund of funds structure. Currently it has stakes in such European companies as digital insurance project Wefox, online real estate broker McMakler, centralized crypto exchange Bitpanda and projects in real estate such as the biggest shopping mall in Eastern Europe “Respublika Park” and logistical centers.

Source: Forbes

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Balancing Act: Strategies for Introducing Workplace Flexibility to Enhance Work-Life Harmony


In the fast-paced world of modern work, achieving a healthy work-life balance has become a priority for employees and employers alike. Acknowledging the need for flexibility in the workplace is a crucial step toward fostering a positive and sustainable work environment. This article explores actionable strategies for implementing workplace flexibility to enhance work-life harmony for both employees and organizations.

  1. Flexible Scheduling:

One of the most direct ways to introduce workplace flexibility is through adjustable work hours. Offering flexible scheduling options, such as compressed workweeks, staggered hours, or the option to start and finish work at different times, empowers employees to better align their work commitments with personal responsibilities and preferences.

  1. Remote Work Opportunities:

The rise of digital connectivity has made remote work more feasible than ever. Allowing employees to work remotely, either on a permanent or occasional basis, provides them with the freedom to create a workspace that suits their needs. Remote work not only enhances work-life balance but can also lead to increased productivity and job satisfaction.

  1. Job Sharing and Part-Time Options:

Job sharing involves two or more employees sharing the responsibilities of a full-time position. Offering part-time options or job-sharing opportunities allows employees to tailor their work commitments to fit their personal circumstances, promoting a healthier balance between professional and personal life.

  1. Flexible Leave Policies:

Implementing flexible leave policies, such as unlimited vacation days, or allowing employees to take unpaid leave when necessary, supports a culture that values the well-being of its workforce. This approach recognizes that individuals may have unique circumstances requiring time away from work without the fear of negative consequences.

  1. Results-Oriented Work Environment:

Shift the focus from rigid hours to measurable outcomes. Adopting a results-oriented work environment allows employees to concentrate on achieving goals rather than adhering to a fixed schedule. This approach not only provides flexibility but also fosters a sense of autonomy and accountability among team members.

  1. Offering Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs):

Employee Assistance Programs provide a range of services designed to support employees in managing personal and professional challenges. These programs may include counseling services, financial planning assistance, and resources for maintaining mental health. EAPs contribute to a workplace culture that prioritizes the holistic well-being of its employees.

  1. Encourage Open Communication:

Establish a culture that encourages open communication about work-life balance. Employees should feel comfortable discussing their needs and concerns with supervisors or human resources. Regular check-ins and surveys can help organizations gauge the effectiveness of flexibility initiatives and make adjustments as needed.

  1. Training and Education:

Provide training for both employees and managers on how to navigate a flexible work environment successfully. This includes effective communication strategies, time management skills, and utilizing digital tools for remote collaboration. Education ensures that everyone is equipped to make the most of flexible work arrangements.

  1. Lead by Example:

Leaders play a pivotal role in setting the tone for workplace culture. Demonstrate the importance of work-life balance by embracing flexibility in your own schedule. When employees see leaders valuing and practicing work-life harmony, it creates a positive ripple effect throughout the organization.


In conclusion, implementing workplace flexibility is a strategic investment in the well-being and satisfaction of employees. By embracing flexible scheduling, remote work options, and innovative policies, organizations can foster a culture that prioritizes work-life balance, ultimately contributing to a more engaged, motivated, and productive workforce.

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A Complete Guide to VGA Cables

Cables make the world go ‘round. No matter what type of equipment or setup, cables keep us connected to the world at large. Getting the right kind of cable is one of the most basic yet essential things to do.

VGA cables may not be quite as popular as they once were but they still play an essential role in technology. Let’s get into the muck and learn all that there is to know about VGA cables and what they can do.

What is a VGA Cable?

Before you can get into the woods with things like a VGA to VGA cable from RS, you need to know what VGA cables do in the first place. VGA cables came around in the late 1980s, typically with 15-pin connectors that could be used on a wide array of devices that used video signals.

Whether for personal or business use, VGA cables connect to video ports on things like computer monitors, projectors, and other devices that are capable of supporting a video signal. This was once the standard before things like HDMI became more commonplace.

What Does a VGA Cable do?

The first VGA cable came to the market in 1987, with minor variations coming from a variety of manufacturers throughout the years. VGA sockets and cables are still quite commonplace, typically on TVs, monitors, laptops, and PCs. They all generally have the same three-row, 15-pin connector known as DE-15 or D-Sub.

VGA cables were designed to transmit an analog video signal between components and the accompanying electrical devices. Each of the pins in the VGA connector transfers and displays an RGBHV video signal (red, green, blue, horizontal sync, and vertical sync). When output by a device like a PC, it forms a video signal that is viewable through an accompanying screen, like a monitor.

VGA Cable Types

While there are a wide array of VGA cables and variants, there are two main types to focus on. Despite it being an older standard, the fact that VGA is still around shows how versatile the connector can be. The vast majority of manufacturers have a number of splitters and adapters, but knowing the two main types will get you further.

VGA cables. Short for Video Graphics Array, the pins carry analog video signals. They are generally designed to support video resolutions up to 640×480, an old and outdated resolution standard.

SVGA cables. Short for Super Video Graphics Array or “ultra” VGA, this also carries analog video signals. That said, the resolution can go up to 800 x 600.

Connectors and Adapters

Though many modern devices now feature HDMI as the standard, there are some that still have VGA ports. If yours doesn’t but you need to connect a new device to an older one, there are connectors and adapters that can be used instead. Most of them are generally HDMI to VGA but there are other adapters and connectors as well. There are VGA male to male, male to female VGA, female to male VGA, and female to female.

There are also new and legacy VGA connector types. These can be used in tandem with newer standards like HDMI and DVI. Though the terminology can be a bit vague, they are all generally quite similar. There are more connector types available than adapters, each with a variety among the VGA cable brands. Whether it be VGA to HDMI, VGA to DVI-D, VGA to VGA, USB to VGA, or VGA to mini-jack, each serves a distinct purpose and can come in handy when using older or outdated devices.

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Symbiotic Success: Unveiling Cross-Promotion Tactics for Mutually Beneficial Brand Collaborations

In the dynamic world of business, collaboration often emerges as a strategic cornerstone for success. Cross-promotion, a symbiotic partnership between brands, stands out as a potent tactic that can yield mutual benefits. In this article, we will explore effective cross-promotion tactics that allow brands to leverage each other’s strengths for shared success.

1. Complementary Target Audiences: The foundation of successful cross-promotion lies in identifying brands with complementary target audiences. Seek out partners whose customer demographics align with your own but aren’t direct competitors. This synergy ensures that your collaborative efforts resonate with a shared audience, maximizing the impact of the partnership.

2. Co-Creation of Content: Collaborate on the creation of content that benefits both brands. This can take various forms, such as joint blog posts, co-authored articles, or shared social media campaigns. Co-creating content not only diversifies your output but also introduces your brand to your partner’s audience and vice versa.

3. Social Media Takeovers: Engage in social media takeovers with your cross-promotion partner. Allow each other access to your social media accounts for a specified period. This tactic introduces your brand to a new audience while providing engaging content for your existing followers. Ensure a seamless integration of both brand voices during the takeover.

4. Bundle and Discount Collaborations: Offer joint promotions, bundles, or exclusive discounts when customers engage with both brands. This encourages cross-purchases and incentivizes consumers to explore products or services from both partners. Collaborative offers create a win-win situation where customers receive added value, and both brands benefit from increased sales.

5. Shared Events and Sponsorships: Participate in or sponsor events together to enhance visibility. Whether it’s a trade show, webinar, or community event, shared participation strengthens the collaborative bond. Co-branded sponsorships amplify brand presence and create a unified front that leaves a lasting impression on the audience.

6. Collaborative Giveaways and Contests: Organize joint giveaways or contests that require participants to engage with both brands. This not only expands your reach but also encourages audience interaction. Collaborative giveaways foster excitement and increase the perceived value for participants, driving heightened interest in both brands.

7. Guest Appearances and Features: Explore opportunities for guest appearances on each other’s platforms. This can involve guest blog posts, podcast features, or interviews. Sharing expertise or insights introduces your brand to a new audience while positioning your cross-promotion partner as a valuable resource in your niche.

8. Co-Branded Products or Services: For brands with complementary offerings, co-create a product or service that blends the strengths of both. This collaboration not only diversifies your product line but also leverages the customer base of both brands. Co-branded offerings often attract attention for their unique appeal and shared expertise.

9. Measurement and Evaluation: Implement tracking mechanisms to measure the success of your cross-promotion efforts. Analyze key performance indicators (KPIs) such as website traffic, social media engagement, and sales generated through the collaboration. This data-driven approach allows you to assess the effectiveness of your tactics and refine future cross-promotion strategies.

In conclusion, cross-promotion stands as a strategic avenue for brands to amplify their impact by joining forces. By carefully selecting compatible partners and implementing these tactics, brands can unlock new opportunities, reach broader audiences, and cultivate a collaborative landscape that benefits all parties involved.

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The Manager’s Tightrope: Balancing Micromanagement and Delegation for Optimal Team Performance

Effective management is a delicate dance between being hands-on and empowering your team. Striking the right balance between micromanagement and delegation is a skill that distinguishes great managers. In this article, we explore the nuances of this managerial tightrope walk, offering insights into when to dive into the details and when to step back and delegate.

  1. Understanding Micromanagement and Delegation: Micromanagement involves closely overseeing and controlling every aspect of tasks, often to the detriment of autonomy and creativity. On the flip side, delegation is the art of entrusting responsibilities to team members, empowering them to take ownership of their roles.
  2. Recognize the Impact of Micromanagement: Micromanagement can stifle creativity, erode trust, and lead to employee disengagement. Recognize that excessive control can hinder your team’s potential, dampening morale and stifling initiative.
  3. Assess the Situation and Task Complexity: The complexity of tasks should influence your management approach. For intricate or high-stakes projects, a more hands-on approach might be necessary initially. Simple, routine tasks, however, are ideal for delegation, allowing team members to build competence and confidence.
  4. Build Trust Through Effective Communication: Trust is the cornerstone of successful delegation. Establish open lines of communication with your team. Clearly articulate expectations, provide context for tasks, and encourage questions. This transparency fosters trust and eases the delegation process.
  5. Establish Clear Guidelines and Goals: Setting clear guidelines and goals is vital for both micromanagement and delegation. Clearly communicate expectations, deadlines, and desired outcomes. When your team knows what success looks like, they can perform effectively with or without close supervision.
  6. Know Your Team Members’ Strengths: Understanding the strengths and capabilities of your team is key to effective delegation. Assign tasks that align with each team member’s skills, fostering a sense of competence and accomplishment. This tailored approach enhances both productivity and job satisfaction.
  7. Encourage Initiative and Problem-Solving: Delegation is not just about assigning tasks; it’s about fostering growth. Encourage team members to take initiative and find solutions independently. Providing autonomy promotes a sense of ownership and empowers individuals to think creatively.
  8. Use Micromanagement Sparingly for Training Purposes: While micromanagement should generally be avoided, there are situations where it can be a valuable training tool. In the early stages of a project or when a team member is new to a role, closer guidance can provide valuable learning experiences.
  9. Provide Constructive Feedback: Effective feedback is crucial in both micromanagement and delegation. Offer constructive feedback regularly, recognizing achievements and addressing areas for improvement. Feedback ensures that your team stays on track and continuously enhances their performance.
  10. Evaluate and Adjust Your Approach: Periodically evaluate the effectiveness of your management approach. Assess the impact of micromanagement and delegation on team dynamics and productivity. Be flexible and adjust your approach based on the specific needs and circumstances of your team.

Striking the right balance between micromanagement and delegation is an ongoing process that requires self-awareness and adaptability. By recognizing the unique needs of each task and the strengths of your team members, you can navigate this managerial tightrope with finesse, fostering a workplace culture of trust, collaboration, and optimal performance.

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