CEO of Northland Investment to be replaced by son

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Larry Gottesdiener is handing over the job of chief executive at Northland Investment Corp. to his oldest son, Matthew Gottesdiener. His son was previously chief investment officer at Northland, a Newton-based property manager and developer with nearly 650 employees, and had joined the firm in 2016 after a career at Goldman Sachs. Meanwhile, Suzanne Abair will take on the role as president in addition to the firm’s current title of chief operating officer. Larry Gottesdiener will remain the firm’s owner and chairman. As chairman, he will stay actively involved in the firm’s Needham Street project in Newton as well as guiding the firm’s strategy, philanthropy, and long-term planning. — JON CHESTO



Shell acknowledges that its peak years are behind it

Royal Dutch Shell on Thursday made the boldest statement among its peers about the waning of the oil age, saying that its oil production had reached a high in 2019 and was now likely to gradually decline. Shell’s “total oil production peaked in 2019,” the company said in a statement, and added that it expected a gradual decline of oil production of around 1 percent to 2 percent annually in coming years. The company also said that its carbon emissions probably peaked in 2018. Shell said it was beefing up its previously announced effort to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Analysts, though, said there was little that was new in Shell’s announcement about future investments, and the company’s commitments to invest $2 billion to $3 billion a year in renewable energy like wind and solar lagged some of its peers in terms of the proportion of capital spending allocated. — NEW YORK TIMES


Post-Brexit, Amsterdam topped London in share trading last month

Amsterdam overtook London as Europe’s largest share trading center in January after Brexit saw about half of the city’s volumes move to the continent. An average 9.2 billion euros ($11 billion) of shares a day were traded on various Dutch venues in January, a more than fourfold increase from December, according to data from Cboe Europe. That compares to average daily volumes in London of 8.6 billion euros. The data doesn’t account for the return of Swiss share trading to London, which only resumed last week. That may see the UK capital edge back ahead in February, although its average daily volumes will still be well below historic levels. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



Rates largely unchanged

Long-term mortgage rates were flat this week for a second straight week. Home-loan rates stayed near record lows as the economy, especially in the services sector, remains burdened by the coronavirus pandemic. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the average rate on the benchmark 30-year fixed-rate home loan remained at last week’s 2.73 percent. By contrast, the rate stood at 3.47 percent a year ago. The average rate on 15-year fixed-rate loans, popular among homeowners seeking to refinance their mortgages, eased to 2.19 percent from 2.21 percent. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


Biden administration distances itself from Trump’s attempts to ban WeChat

A day after it put a hold on a proposed ban of TikTok, the Biden administration is distancing itself from attempts by former President Donald Trump to ban the China-owned messaging app WeChat. The Commerce Department is reviewing recent actions, such as the rules undermining TikTok and WeChat, to ensure that efforts by the Trump administration to ban them based on claimed national-security threats were justified, according to a Thursday government filing in a suit by WeChat users challenging the ban. Courts have blocked Trump’s attempted ban of WeChat from going into effect, saying it would affect affect the First Amendment rights of users. WeChat is a messaging app with other features like social media and payments that is dominant in China, where many American social media and messaging apps are banned. It is also popular with many Chinese speakers in the United States, with millions of users, since it allows them to connect with friends, family, and business contacts in China. It’s owned by Chinese tech giant Tencent. — ASSOCIATED PRESS



Small businesses in the UK struggle with changes brought by Brexit

Many UK small companies are facing an “existential” threat as they grapple with obstacles Brexit has imposed on trade with the European Union, one of the country’s largest business groups said. About half of UK exporters are experiencing difficulties, mainly in the form of extra documentation, higher costs, and delays to shipments, according to a survey of 465 firms by the British Chambers of Commerce. About 95 percent of the respondents were small businesses. Since Britain left the EU’s single market and customs union on Jan. 1, companies have had to adapt to a raft of new paperwork when sending goods to the EU, the United Kingdom’s biggest and closest trading partner. Agricultural exports — in particular food and meat — have been particularly badly hit by the need to provide export health certificates signed by a qualified vet, leaving trucks that once moved freely across the Channel facing days-long delays at times. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



Bombardier to scrap the iconic Learjet

Bombardier Inc will stop making its iconic Learjet aircraft and cut 1,600 jobs as part of a wide-ranging plan to boost profitability and reduce costs. Production of the private aircraft, which came onto the market almost six decades ago, will cease in the fourth quarter, the Montreal-based manufacturer said in a statement Thursday. That will allow the company to focus on its larger, faster, and more lucrative Challenger and Global business jets. Modeled by inventor Bill Lear on a Swiss fighter aircraft and made in Wichita, Kan., the Learjet has racked up more than 3,000 deliveries since 1963 debut and was once the epitome of luxury travel for celebrities like Frank Sinatra. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Hormel to buy Planters

Hormel has agreed to buy the Planters snack brand from Kraft Heinz for $3.35 billion in cash, expanding the Skippy peanut butter maker’s portfolio of pantry staples as the pandemic drives demand for packaged food. The acquisition bolsters Hormel’s catalog of brands, which already includes household names like Skippy, Spam, and its eponymous deli meats. Planters is America’s top-selling brand in the nuts, seeds, and trail mixes category, according data from Euromonitor. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Home prices hit a record high in the fourth quarter

US home prices, fueled by the lowest mortgage rates in history, rose at the fastest pace on record, surpassing the peak from the last property boom in 2005. The median price of a single-family home climbed 14.9 percent to $315,000 in the fourth quarter. That was the biggest surge in data going back to 1990, according to the National Association of Realtors. The Northeast led the way as buyers rushed to the suburbs. Fairfield County, Conn., home to Greenwich and other tony towns, rose 39 percent for the biggest increase in the United States. — BLOOMBERG NEWS