Mary Powell Named to Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont Board of Directors.Berlin – Mary G. Powell has been elected to the Board of Directors of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont. Ms. Powell was elected at the company’s recent annual meeting.Ms. Powell is senior vice president and chief operating officer for Green Mountain Power Corp. She was formerly senior vice president of community banking for KeyBank in Vermont. Prior to moving to Vermont from New York, she worked for the Reserve Fund as its associate director of operations. She also serves as a trustee of the Vermont Land Trust and Champlain College, and was appointed by the governor as co-chair of Building Bright Futures. She also serves as the co-chair of the Education Cost and Quality Task Force for the Vermont Business Roundtable.Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont is the state’s only Vermont-based health insurer and is the largest private health plan in Vermont. It employs more than 350 people and provides health care benefits for more than 160,000 Vermonters. The company offers benefits and services to virtually all Vermont populations through its array of indemnity and managed care products and through its partner companies, The Vermont Health Plan and Comprehensive Benefits Administrators. BCBSVT and TVHP were recently named by U.S. News and World Reports as two of the top 50 health plans in the United States.The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont Board of Directors is comprised of 14 men and women, and its membership reflects representation from all corners of Vermont and all walks of life. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont is an independent corporation operating under a license with the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans.
Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson giving a statement in Downing Street in central London on April 27, 2020 after returning to work following more than three weeks off after being hospitalized with the Covid-19 illness.DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS While Arm sold for £24 billion ($31.6 billion), DeepMind only sold for a reported £400 million. Given DeepMind is widely perceived as one of the world leaders in AI today, the Google deal is viewed by experts as a bit of a bargain.Ian Hogarth, an entrepreneur turned tech investor, believes that DeepMind should have been nationalized by the U.K government so that it didn’t have to sell itself to an overseas tech giant.“I find it hard to believe that the U.K. would not be better off were DeepMind still an independent company,” he wrote in an essay in June 2018. “How much would Google sell DeepMind for today? $5 billion? $10 billion? $50 billion? It’s hard to imagine Google selling DeepMind to Amazon, or Tencent or Facebook at almost any price.”- Advertisement – – Advertisement – LONDON – The U.K. government introduced new rules this week that are designed to protect Britain’s best and brightest companies from being gobbled up by other, potentially hostile, nations.But some are asking if the rules, which have been in the works for several years and apply from this Wednesday this week, are too little and too late given two of Britain’s most innovative companies have already been sold overseas. Cambridge-based chipmaker Arm was sold to Japanese tech giant SoftBank in 2016 and London-based artificial intelligence lab DeepMind was sold to Google in 2014.Matt Clifford, the chief executive of start-up factory Entrepreneur First, told CNBC that the government should have “probably” intervened in these deals. “Tech is a big and growing national security issue,” he said, adding that “technological sovereignty is very important.”- Advertisement – Hogarth added: “With hindsight, would it have been better for the U.K. government to block this acquisition and help keep it independent? Even now, is there a case to be made for the U.K. to reverse this acquisition and buy DeepMind out of Google and reinstate it as independent entity?”While DeepMind is a leader in AI, Arm is a leader in semiconductors, or chips. Its energy-efficient chip architectures are used in 95% of the world’s smartphones and it is widely regarded as the jewel in the crown of the British tech industry.“In Arm’s case, I can’t see why some investors here didn’t outbid the foreign folks,” said Jon Crowcroft, a computer science professor at the University of Cambridge. “Arm are a massive success and long term super viable too.”SoftBank is now in the process of trying to sell Arm to U.S. chipmaker Nvidia for $40 billion but there are a number of hurdles to overcome before the deal goes through, including regulators in China.Even though DeepMind and Arm are no longer British in some people’s eyes, there are a number of other fast-growing tech companies that very much are — and could be worth protecting. Security firm Darktrace and AI chipmaker Graphcore, for example.Beyond AI and chips, Crowcroft said that Britain has aerospace and biotech companies that are worth protecting, such as BAE Systems.Some have pointed out that the new rules could potentially make it harder for founders and their investors to sell companies. But Chris Smith, a venture capitalist at Playfair Capital in London, told CNBC he doesn’t think it will have a material impact.“The scope is likely to be fairly limited, both in terms of the number of countries on the ‘no deal’ list and the number that would meet the strategic test,” he said. “In reality, it reflects what we already know, that we have two tech universes — one in the West and one in the East.” – Advertisement –