UK roundup: Hackney Pension Fund, Pensions Regulator, Willis Towers Watson

first_imgHe said: “There is also a threat to our pension fund in that investments in fossil fuel assets become stranded, which means that they’ll lose their value as a result of necessary world-wide action against climate change.”Hackney was the first London borough to set itself a clear risk reduction target within a realistic amount of time in order to make the necessary changes with the minimum of risk, he said.But Chapman cautioned that the council had to make sure any changes to how the pension fund was managed were made extremely carefully. “Our first responsibility is towards those whose pensions we manage as well as other stakeholders, which include local council taxpayers,” he said.In other news, the Pensions Regulator (TPR) reported that membership of defined contribution (DC) schemes had overtaken that of defined benefit (DB) schemes for the first time.In its latest annual DC Trust report, TPR said there were now around 14.8m memberships of DC schemes, compared to 11.7m DB arrangements.Andrew Warwick-Thompson, executive director for regulatory policy at TPR, said: “We have now passed a significant point in UK private sector pensions provision with 55% of all private sector pension scheme members and 85% of active members being participants in DC schemes.”This big change was directly due to the success of the automatic enrolment system (AE) introduced in the last few years, he said, which had seen more than 7m workers join a pension scheme for the first time.“Master trusts have played a major role in the success of AE and so the introduction of a mandatory authorisation and supervision regime via the Pension Schemes Bill is vital,” Warwick-Thompson said.The regulator now needed to make sure there there was “a level playing field” for the protection of consumers investing in contract-based and trust-based multi-employer pension plans, he said, adding that it was clear market forces alone would not have made this happen.Meanwhile, DB pension funds looking to offload liabilities to bulk annuity providers may find lower prices this year due to greater insurance capacity, according to a new report.But they face continued competition from insurance companies seeking to offload risk, Willis Towers Watson said in its 2017 de-risking sector report.Last year was relatively quiet compared to 2015 in terms of pension schemes passing longevity risk to insurers. However, several insurers passed on back books of annuity business to other insurers and reinsurers, such as Aegon’s sale of its £9bn annuity portfolio to Legal & General and Rothesay Life.Ian Aley, head of transactions at Willis Towers Watson, said: “It is not just pension schemes that are competing in the longevity risk market, and the market as a whole has been as busy as ever, if not busier in some cases.“Looking forward there may be continued competition from back-books, with rumours that Prudential has recently started the sales process for its £45 billion pension liabilities operation, including its annuity business.”However, one of the report’s authors, Sadie Scaife, said that the longevity risk market would give “well-prepared buyers” access to attractive pricing terms.Pension schemes offloading liabilities this year were now likely to find cheaper deals, she suggested, as much of the insurance sector’s risk reduction was complete.“The longevity hedging aspect of this activity was largely completed by the end of 2016 and we therefore expect pension schemes carrying out transactions in 2017 to benefit from an excess of supply and consequent lower costs,” she wrote in the report.But this trend was not sustainable in the long term, Scaife warned, because of the size of UK defined benefit (DB) pension liabilities and the rate at which they are maturing, she said.“A recent survey of our clients showed that 50% expect to reach their end-game target in the next ten years,” she said. “Regardless of whether this is in the form of self-sufficiency or buyout, longevity risk protection may well be needed.” The London borough of Hackney has committed its £1.1bn (€1.3bn) pension fund to becoming free of fossil-fuel investments in the long term.The move starts with a six-year plan to cut the fund’s exposure to the carbon-producing assets by 50%, the council announced today.The council said: “This radical move follows a review which looked at the financial risks posed to the pension fund’s fossil fuel investments in light of the Paris Agreement, a global action plan to help limit global warming.”The pensions committee chair, Councillor Robert Chapman, described climate change as “probably the greatest threat facing humankind”.last_img read more

What you must disclose when selling

first_img REIQ CEO Antonia Mercorella “In Queensland, as in all states, it’s crucial for vendors to provide all of the necessary disclosures to ensure their sale goes ahead without a hitch,” Real Estate Institute of Queensland CEO Antonia Mercorella said. “Failing to disclose particular items can result in the buyer pulling out of the sale or claiming compensation.“While Queensland sellers have fewer required disclosures than those in other states, there are several that do need to be made, so it’s vital that vendors familiarise themselves with these, prior to listing their property on the market.” Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:50Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:50 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD540p540p360p360p270p270pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenTop tips for sellers in Spring00:50Everything from swimming pool safety certificates to neighbourhood disputes must be disclosed to potential buyers when selling a property, and a failure to do so could land a vendor in hot water.Real Estate Institute of Queensland CEO Antonia Mercorella explains what sellers must inform potential buyers before anyone signs on the dotted line. MORE NEWS: Ray White boss lists own home If there has been an application to or an order made by QCAT in relation to a fence or tree dispute with a neighbour, you must disclose this and provide a copy prior to a contract of sale being signed. Contaminated land The riverfront mansion that set a new Brisbane auction record “If owner builder work has been registered in the seven years prior to your sale, you must provide the relevant notice to the buyer before they sign a contract,” Ms Mercorella said. “The notice should include the details of the work done, along with the name of the permit holder, a statement confirming the work was done under an owner builder permit and a prescribed warning.” Units and apartments “All encumbrances, such as easements and covenants must be disclosed, regardless of whether or not they are registered on the property,” Ms Mercorella said.“Easements refer to the right of another person or authority to access part of the property, such as a shared driveway, while a covenant refers to terms and conditions regarding the property. “Building covenants, for example, are common within new estates, which might require homes be rendered or gardens to be landscaped. Swimming pool safety certificates Ms Mercorella said that any property sold with a pool must meet disclosure requirements.“If your property includes a pool, you’ll need to disclose whether or not you have a pool safety certificate prior to any signed contracts,” she said. “You’ll need to supply that certificate to the buyer prior to settlement. “If you don’t have one, you can supply the buyer with a notice of no pool safety certificate, prior to contract, which may be conditional upon a certificate being issued.” Don’t pop the bubbly until you have disclosed everything to the buyer, including whether the pool has a valid safety certificate Smoke alarms and safety switches Vendors must disclose whether or not there are compliant smoke alarms installed and safety switches installed in the property. Tenancies “If you have a tenant in your property, you must disclose this prior to the contract of sale being signed. If you don’t, the buyer is entitled to a vacant property at settlement,” Ms Mercorella said.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus11 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market11 hours ago Neighbourhood disputes Encumbrances On the off chance that your land has been listed on the contaminated land register because of agricultural or industrial use, you must disclose this to any potential buyer prior to sale. Vendors must also disclose whether or not a property has compliant smoke alarms installed Owner builder notice Ms Mercorella said that if a unit or apartment is being sold, there are a number of disclosures that need to be made pertaining to the body corporate, so it’s important for vendors to be aware of those specific requirements.The REIQ recommends that buyers engage a solicitor to manage the conveyancing process which will involve a series of recommended searches relevant to the property. Broncos boss sells Brisbane home for eye-watering pricelast_img read more

Van Oord Adds ALL NRG to Deutsche Bucht Team

first_imgThe Denmark-based ALL NRG has secured work with Van Oord on the 269MW Deutsche Bucht offshore wind project.ALL NRG said that its team of technicians from the Horns Rev 3 offshore wind farm has been called upon for Deutsche Bucht in the German North Sea.According to the company, the team will be assisting Van Oord in preparing the 31 monopile foundations for installation of the 8.4MW MHI Vestas turbines.Later this season, ALL NRG will also support MHI Vestas in the offshore installation and completion of the units.Deutsche Bucht will comprise a total of 33 turbines installed on 31 monopile foundations and two mono bucket foundations and expected to be commissioned by the end of the year.Heavy lift vessel Seaway Strashnov recently installed the substation jacket foundation and topside at the project site some 95km offshore the island of Borkum.last_img read more

Bombora Seeks FBG Sensors Supplier for mWave Project

first_imgBombora is seeking suppliers Fibre-Bragg Grating (FBG) sensors and associated equipment to the steel structure of a wave energy device for the measurement of strain on the mWave wave energy converter demonstrator project.The system will include: FBG sensors (approx. 24) assembled into an array for fitting; Fibre optic sensor interrogator; Approximately 100 meters fibre-optic cable terminated with drymate connector; Interface interrogator with data acquisition system.Contract will be for design, supply, installation and calibration of all equipment supplied.Participants are required to express an interest to receive a copy of the Invitation to Tender by September 13, 2019.Deadline for submission of tenders is October 30, 2019, with estimated contract award date on November 27, same year.Bombora plans to place a full-scale demonstration model of mWave on the seabed for six months of testing early next year.Once the device has completed its testing, Bombora will be looking for opportunities to sell mWave to commercial wave farm developers.last_img read more


first_imgIn a couple of weeks, Keeneland will open its fall horse racing season.  What a lot of people consider the most beautiful racing facility in the United States only races 2 months out of the year–October and April.  This fall Keeneland goes back to a natural dirt racing surface after using the synthetic track for several seasons.Keeneland is going back to this surface so they can host horse racings’ version of The World Series.  (Breeder’s Cup)  These series of races have always been, and will continue to be, contested only on natural surfaces.If you are looking for a nice fall excursion, you should think about going to Lexington.  If you are not a gambler, the beauty is worth the trip.  The Lexington area has a lot of horse farms that are worth the visit as well.  Keeneland is one of the few tracks left where people actually have dress requirements for the Clubhouse area.  Since Keeneland also has the famous yearly sales of young thoroughbreds, many of the world’s richest find their way to Keeneland every fall.  It is one of the few tracks where you will see as many limousines as you will see pickup trucks.Again, just walking the grounds of Keeneland and its surrounding hillsides will make the drive worthwhile.last_img read more

Is Manning the Answer?

first_imgThere is a lot of speculation on whether Peyton Manning will cave in and accept the position in the front office of the Indianapolis Colts.  The Colts recently fired Ryan Grigson, their general manager.  It is reported that the head coach may be the next one to go.John Elway, who played for Denver and then returned to the Broncos as their GM, is the model that the fans would like to see the Indianapolis Colts follow.  Elway brought a Super Bowl to Denver, and the Colts hope they can convince Manning to come back to Indianapolis and do the same for the them.You can continue to follow this saga in the Indianapolis Star, because that seems to be their main topic on the sports pages these days. Personally, I think it would be a good decision for the Colts, but the hold up right now is whether Manning is interested in giving up retirement this quickly.last_img read more

Pardew pleased to come ‘home’

first_imgAlan Pardew wants to restore the spirit of his playing days after coming “home” to take over as Crystal Palace manager. Pardew was released from his Newcastle contract on Saturday morning and signed a three-and-a-half-year contract to return to the club he served for four years as a player. The former midfielder was part of a successful spell in the club’s history between 1987 and 1991, scoring the winner against Liverpool to take them to the 1990 FA Cup final. And the new manager said: “Without putting pressure on the chairman – because it’s difficult when the manager keeps talking publicly about players – I think we’re going to need a player or two and that’s what we’re going to try and do.” Pardew is the permanent successor to Neil Warnock, after Keith Millen took caretaker charge for the goalless draw against Aston Villa, and becomes Palace’s fourth manager in less than 18 months. Warnock succeeded Tony Pulis in the summer, with the former Stoke boss also serving less than a year before walking away in a dispute over transfer targets. Pardew will now be looking to steady the ship and c hairman Steve Parish told the club’s website: “We wanted a manager with a great track record and proven experience in the Barclays Premier League. “In Alan we have both these things as well as a man who has great affection for this club and shares my determination to take us to the next level.” Pardew’s departure signals the end of an eventful era at St James’ Park during which he took the club to fifth place in the Premier League and the quarter-finals of the Europa League, but also came in for concerted criticism from some fans. Owner Mike Ashley remained strongly behind him, though, even after he had been banned from the touchline and fined for head-butting Hull midfielder David Meyler in March. Pardew said: “It’s been a privilege to manage Newcastle United and I want to thank my captain, Fabricio Coloccini, and all the players, John Carver, Steve Stone, Andy Woodman and all the staff, all of whom have been outstanding servants to Newcastle United. “A special thanks also goes to the fans for all their support over the last four years. “I must also thank Mike Ashley and the board for their unwavering support during my tenure at the club.” Newcastle announced that Carver and Stone will again lead the team in the FA Cup tie at Leicester as the club continue to search for a new head coach. That title – as opposed to “manager” – indicates the club will seek to a recruit a man comfortable with working under a continental model with managing director Lee Charnley and chief scout Graham Carr taking care of recruitment. With the likes of Steve Bruce, Pulis and Tim Sherwood having already been ruled out, according to sources on Tyneside, St Etienne’s Christophe Galtier and former Mainz boss Thomas Tuchel have been linked with the club in recent days. However, Press Association Sport understands no approaches have yet been made. And in an interview broadcast on the club website, he said: ” I think the fans remember that era I was in, they admired the spirit and they’d probably like to see a bit more of that. Hopefully I can bring that back. “It’s been a while since I played here but it’s somewhere I know well and it’s close to my heart. “It was difficult because I’m leaving a big club in Newcastle (but) r eally and truly, my home is in this area and for me it’s what you would class, as close as you can as a manager, as your own club.” Pardew takes over a side in the bottom three that has not won for eight matches, since the 3-1 victory over Liverpool at Anfield on November 23. And he acknowledged: “It’s a little bit sticky at the moment and we need to find a way out of that. “The players have got great attitudes here, I’ve been very impressed. Can I help change that energy into more tangible results? “That might take a transfer, it might take a change of style a little bit, and that’s what hopefully a manager of my experience can do.” One target Pardew has been linked with in the January transfer window is Swansea striker Bafetimbi Gomis. Press Associationlast_img read more

Tracy’s Karate hosts 106th tournament in Bucksport

first_imgBUCKSPORT — Tracy’s Karate of Ellsworth held its 106th tournament recently in Bucksport High School’s Ralph Jewett Gymnasium.The tournament, which included both fighting and throwing competitions, drew karate students as young as four years of age and as old as 75. Contestants represented dojos from the Downeast area, the rest of Maine and Atlantic Canada.Following the tournament, Tracy’s Karate held black belt testing at its Ellsworth headquarters. The following black belts were promoted to higher ranks: Mesa Baranowski, Kieran Everett, Gwen Everett and Heather Kilcollins (first degree); Olivia Underwood (second degree); John Dawes, Johnathan MacArthur and Lisa Richardson (third degree); Lucy Newbegin (fifth degree); Steve Chabot (eighth degree); Walter Garnett (ninth degree).Paige Trader, Lincoln Jordan, Simon Trader, Owen DiDonato, Ryan Gross, Jordan Brouty, Caleb DiDonato, Bridget Kutny, Mesa Baranowski, Elura Dorr, Krystall Webber, Tom Anderson, John Baranowski and Aidan Benner won trophies for first-, second- and third place performances in various fighting and throwing events.This is placeholder textThis is placeholder textDuring the tournament, a moment of silence was held in honor of Orland’s Charles Bishop, who passed away April 21 at the age of 87. Master Bishop trained with the Tracy family for 47 years and remained physically active until the day of his passing.Master Kristy Tracy-Dawes, daughter of Tracy’s owners Karen and Dennis Tracy, organized the tournament with the help of her brother, Master Eric Tracy. More than six dozen black belts who have trained with the Tracy family throughout the past 50 years were on hand to assist with organizing efforts.Tracy’s next competition will be held Oct. 19 at Bucksport High School.last_img read more

Simmons’ vision did not ‘align’ with WICB’s – Muirhead

first_imgWICB chief executive officer Michael Muirhead has said there was no one specific reason for the termination of coach Phil Simmons’ contract, nor was it a sudden development.In a nutshell, Muirhead said, Simmons’ vision did not “align” with the strategic approach of the WICB and the divide widened over the past few months, reaching a point where a final decision had to be made.The decision to relieve Simmons of the job was taken by the board of directors at the quarterly WICB meeting last weekend in Dominica.It is understood the directors were asked to vote on the matter, but Muirhead would not reveal whether it was a unanimous decision to terminate Simmons’ contract. “It was the board’s decision. Let us leave it at that,” Muirhead told ESPNcricinfo.Asked whether it was his appraisal that eventually led to the decision, Muirhead did not reveal much. “I hired him, so therefore I have to release him but that is on the recommendation of the board,” he said.He did point out, though, that the WICB and Simmons had been deliberating on quite a few contentious issues behind the scenes. “The coach has an opinion and the board collectively had another opinion, and that had happened on more than one occasion.“It is a whole number of things over a period of time. I can’t say it was really one thing. There is no one thing that defines what may have taken place. I think things came to a climax when a decision needed to be made.”Simmons’ track record as West Indies coach was mixed. Appointed after last year’s World Cup, the high points of his tenure were West Indies’ draw at home against England last summer, and the World T20 win in India in April.Importantly, the players seemed to be on the same wavelength as Simmons. But Muirhead and the board of directors remained unconvinced.“Ultimately it is the performance of the team, and we want the team to perform the best it can do,” Muirhead said. “Was it (doing so) is a question that is still unanswered.”Technically, Muirhead was not Simmons’ boss. It was Richard Pybus, the WICB director of cricket. Simmons had mentioned in an interview that he and Pybus were not on the same page. “Relationship is a difficult word,” he had said of Pybus, soon after the World T20 triumph. “He communicates via emails but he has not spoken to me since the suspension. It’s sad because this is not about him or me, this is about West Indies cricket.”At last weekend’s meetings, the board discussed several reports including the ‘Cricket Report’ submitted by Pybus and the CEO’s report prepared by Muirhead. Pybus’ report was an overall review of cricket across the Caribbean, not limited to the West Indies teams and coaching staff.Reiterating the lack of alignment in strategies, Muirhead said: “It has been an ongoing thing where I think Phil, in all that he has said and done, he has not aligned … the relationships were breaking down. I think he himself had ideas for a different strategic approach, notwithstanding one already having been approved and adopted by the board. I don’t think he was aligned with that.”In a media release sent out on Tuesday, the WICB had pointed out it had identified “differences in culture” as one reason behind the friction between both parties. Muirhead elaborated: “The other thing was the work culture was a little different.“It was how we do business, how we execute things. It was an organisational culture. It was not the difference in ethnic culture as has been pointed out elsewhere.”Muirhead said he had had conversations with Simmons, and he had to intervene on quite a few occasions to resolve issues. The last time they had met was about two months ago, he said. When he called Simmons on Tuesday to reveal the board’s decision, he said the chat was “cordial” and not “hostile” in any way.Muirhead pointed out it was a “matter of coincidence” that the Simmons’ termination was announced the day the West Indies limited-overs squad left for the UAE to play Pakistan.“The sanctions and other things could not be discussed without the board meeting. We have board meetings every three months, where we discuss everything including the performance of the teams and the coaching staff.”(ESPN Cricinfo)last_img read more

The Latest: Stanford restricting attendance of sports events

first_img“We would recommend that there not be large crowds,” Fauci said. “If that means not having any people in the audience when the NBA plays, so be it. But as a public health official, anything that has crowds is something that would give a risk to spread.” 1:20One of college basketball’s postseason invitational tournaments has been canceled.Organizers of the College Basketball Invitational, widely known as the CBI, say they’ve decided to cancel this year’s event because of the “uncertainty about the coronavirus and the impact it is having on college campuses across the country.”The tournament is played at campus sites for teams that aren’t invited to the NCAA Tournament or the NIT.The statement issued Wednesday says officials look forward to bringing back the CBI in 2021. The Latest: Stanford restricting attendance of sports events Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the coronavirus outbreak’s affect on sports around the globe (all times EDT):1:35 p.m.Stanford is still willing to host the NCAA women’s basketball tournament with a strict limit on spectators if selected to do so next week. The school in Northern California said Wednesday that all sporting events on campus will be closed to the public through May 15 or until further notice in response to the spread of the new coronavirus.Only participants, coaches, working staff, officials, credentialed media and a very limited number of family members, friends and guests of the competing teams will be allowed to attend. Santa Clara County announced a ban earlier this week of gatherings of more than 1,000 people.The seventh-ranked Cardinal were expected to be picked as a host for the tournament that starts March 20. The top 16 teams are picked as hosts of the opening two rounds.The NCAA didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.— reporting by Josh Dubowcenter_img ___1 p.m.The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases told a congressional committee Wednesday that he would recommend the NBA not allow fans at games in response to the coronavirus.That answer by Dr. Anthony Fauci came hours before NBA owners are scheduled to meet to discuss the next steps in responding to the growing concern about the virus.Fauci was responding to a question from Rep. Glenn Grothman, a Wisconsin Republican, during a meeting of the House Oversight Committee. Grothman asked, “Is the NBA underreacting or is the Ivy League overreacting?” He was referencing how the Ivy League recently canceled its basketball tournaments, instead of having them played without fans in attendance or keeping the status quo. March 11, 2020 Associated Press last_img read more