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Sunrise, Sunset

Getting a jump on planning for 2014

Posted by Jim Eckenrode, executive director, Deloitte Center for Financial Services, Deloitte Services LP, on December 17, 2013

Well, we had our first snowfall here in Boston the other night. Which can only mean that winter is upon us, with its darkness and cold. The winter solstice arrives in little less than a week and with it, the long slow march to March begins. In these parts, the shortest day of the year also happens on the solstice and like many of you, perhaps, I thought “shortest day” meant that December 21st had the latest sunrise and the earliest sunset.

Not so! Apparently, we Bostonians have already had the earliest sunset and the latest sunrise happens in early January. The net result is that the winter solstice itself has neither, but contains the worst combination of the two, yielding the shortest day. This period of confusion lasts for about a month and has to do with the Earth’s elliptical orbit and tilted axis, according to a recent article in The Atlantic.1

Well, regardless of these astronomical minutiae that I frankly haven’t studied since college, these dark winter months have traditionally been a time of reflection, of planning and of preparation. And we here at the Center for Financial Services stand ready to do our part to help you prepare for next year with the upcoming release of our 2014 Financial Services Outlooks. 

The launch of our eight Outlook reports has already begun and will be completed after the first of the year. While not wanting to give away too much of the story, it’s the story of growth that is very much at the forefront of our vision for financial services in the coming year. Naturally, the growth theme plays out in different ways across each of the industry sectors: some are looking to reposition themselves to take advantage of new growth opportunities as they emerge, while others are looking to capitalize on existing growth momentum and drive new opportunities. Agility, innovation and regulatory engagement are also important themes we explore in these reports. For more, please take a look at the below video introduction embedded in this post. 

In conjunction with these publications, we will also be conducting Dbriefs webcasts for each of our four financial services sectors: insurance, investment management, banking & securities and real estate - these start on January 7. Please mark your calendars to make sure you take advantage of the great content our teams have prepared for you as you plan for the coming year. You can register for these Dbriefs by clicking on the links to the right.

While the winter season just begins at the kickoff of these Dbriefs, the happy combination of earlier sunrises and later sunsets finally emerges a few days before, on January 4th. As the days grow, so too do the opportunities to grow as an industry. On behalf of Deloitte and the entire team here at the Center, I wish you a happy holiday season and all the best in 2014.

1Patrick Di Gusto, “The Astronomical Hijinks of the Shortest Day of the Year,” The Atlantic, Dec 8, 2013.

As used in this document, “Deloitte” means Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. Please see for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. Certain services may not be available to attest clients under the rules and regulations of public accounting.

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