Hermes EOS is wholly owned by Hermes Investment Management, the asset manager created by the £40.2bn BT Pension Scheme.Elsewhere, the Government Pension Fund Norway has begun tendering for three financial management consultancy firms to join its new four-year framework agreement.The NOK185.7bn (€21.5bn) sovereign fund said it required consultancy services in relation to the administration of the fund, with successful firms providing data and analysis for investment strategies, responsible investment practices and framework follow-ups.The fund produced an annual return of nearly 11% over 2014, with strong equity growth offsetting a decline in the oil price.The Oslo Stock Exchange was down 5.5% over the end of the fourth quarter – with energy-sector stocks falling in value by 25% – but nevertheless finished the year up by 5% due to the consumer and materials sectors. Consultancy Towers Watson has appointed stewardship overlay firm Hermes EOS to assist the company on its fiduciary management activities.Hermes EOS will engage on ESG matters on behalf of Towers Watson’s global fiduciary management business, which currently has around $75bn (€69bn) in assets under management.The stewardship firm normally engages companies on ESG matters with regards to public policy and also on social matters such as wages, health and safety and corruption.Towers Watson is its first fiduciary management client and now acts on behalf of £134bn (€183bn) of assets.
The Investment Association’s recent report on fees is so terrible it’s actually offensive, writes BrightonRock’s Con KeatingThe strapline to the press release of the latest Investment Association (IA) report, “Hidden Fees: The Loch Ness Monster of Investments”, was eye-catching and amusing. Having read the report several times – a painful process I would not recommend, even to a devout masochist – I have to conclude that, if the IA had been swallowed and lay, decomposing, in the belly of the beast, we would receive another press release from them announcing its capture, containment and domestication.I first studied undergraduate-level statistics and probability theory in 1963, and formal training in econometrics followed in 1971. I have edited several text-books on these subjects written by academic friends, and I have served – in august, honoured company – on the steering committee of the Financial Econometrics Research Centre for many years. In the intervening years, I have read many hundreds of empirical financial studies and reports, perhaps even thousands. This report is by far the worst – so bad that it is offensive, insulting both our common-sense and intelligence.The report has a veneer of transparency and rigour but left me with more than 30 questions. In a thirteen-page document, including four pages of cover, contents and blank space, that is a lot of questions. As many others have published similar concerns, I will raise only a few here. The sample dataset is odd, covering two full years and then just 11 months. What was the hurry – could it just have been to feed the report into and corrupt the FCA’s ongoing work on asset management, on which we expect a preliminary paper in September?With any piece of empirical work, there are always choices and assumptions to be made, which introduce bias. Of the assumptions disclosed, all but one serves to present fund management performance in a positive light. The IA has long, and rightly, criticised the use of the SEC algorithm for calculating portfolio turnover, and the much-maligned Brussels bureaucracy concurred, writing its own, now-abandoned, standard. Yet here it is, central to the IA report. As the lower of sales or purchases in a period divided by the average fund value, it is clearly the metric that will return the minimum turnover rate and, in this report, the lowest transaction costs estimate. In fact, transaction costs are incurred on both purchases and sales.It is irksome we are repeatedly told that 1,350 “equity fund accounts” are contained in the dataset, when there are in fact 387 funds in the first period, 504 in the second and 457 in the third. This is, in other words, an unbalanced panel with a common maximum possible of 387 funds, and likely many fewer. We have no idea how many funds are actually included in the “UK All Companies” active and passive universes in any period.In any rigorous academic study, the distributions, or at least their descriptive statistics, would be disclosed. Such disclosure allows us to make our own judgement of appropriate measures of central tendency, but we are repeatedly treated to “bundled” measures, and even an average bundled ongoing charges figure. It would also allow us to consider the riskiness of these investments, but ‘risk’ is a word entirely absent from this report.The aggregation taking place is between funds with a wide range of investment mandates, including FTSE 250 and AIM stocks, an inference drawn from their index presence in the final graphic of the report. But what purpose is there to showing those indexes for a different period from the data under investigation? There is a real problem with the benchmarks used as comparators in that these are presented without any description of their compilation. In 2012-13, the (simple average) active benchmark reported was 13.61%, and the tracker 17.27%, a huge difference not present in any other period, which demands explanation. The weighted average was slightly less extreme at 14.71% and 16.84%. Both are implausible. Bundling and averaging these different mandates simply serves to confuse and possibly mislead; it would have been so much easier to interpret had the various FTSE and AIM mandates been left separate and compared with their usual (market-cap weighted) benchmarks.The radical departure in this report from all other studies I have seen is that it reports that active fund management adds materially to performance. It seems that active fund managers are very consistently able to add value across mandates – a further finding not reproduced anywhere else, in my experience. We are asked to believe that, in 2013-14, the average active UK fund manager added 649 basis points relative to the simple average benchmark (555bps weighted).Quite apart from the significance of this one figure to the overall average quoted repeatedly, this level of gain is more commonly associated with highly leveraged hedge funds, even if rarely achieved by them. I was sufficiently taken with this that I spoke with friends in seven of the major fund management houses and asked how many of their funds had equalled or exceeded this, and these fund managers probably account for a plurality of the funds in this market. The question was greeted with incredulity. As one said: “If those figures had been achieved, I would have blown the advertising budget sky-high.”Of course, the returns cited cannot be chain-linked to produce a full period outcome, though we are treated to the three-period average of the Fitz Partners dataset and the wider sector sample (whatever that is) – in one, active returns are 14.83% and in the other 17.17%, while tracker returns are 11.83% and 13.45%. This raises another question: what statistical significance should we assign to any of the figures in this report?Moving specifically to hidden costs, at best, it is disingenuous to search public documents looking for them, as this report perhaps did. Surprisingly, stock lending revenue (simple average) is reported as zero in all periods. It is also perfectly possible to strip value from a fund by nefarious trading practices and other means. Contrary to their assertion that the published return of a fund will include all the explicit and implicit costs, and implicitly that we should not trouble our little heads, there are both revenues that rightly belong to the fund that never make it there, and payments that may be made through poor execution that simply reduce the headline return.Let us not forget that all costs and fees are a direct charge on alpha, a very serious business.As for the claims of significant benchmark-relative added value, time will doubtless tell. In the meantime, I see monkeys have again beaten hedge fund managers, as they have in every year since 2012. Regrettably, their retirement must be postponed yet again.Con Keating is head of research at BrightonRock Group
Dairy Crest said: “Following detailed negotiations with the [trustees], in future annual increases will be linked to CPI rather than RPI. CPI is already used by the fund for increases in deferred pensions and is becoming more widely used across the UK including for the calculation of increases in public sector pensions.“This change was agreed as part of a broader package to put the fund on a stronger foundation for the future. This package includes continuing to move to lower-risk investments over time.”The move from RPI to CPI is a significant one as it has been suggested by many in the UK as a partial solution to the country’s pension funding problem.In February the government suggested giving schemes the ability to make the switch if they were struggling to reduce deficits. It also suggested allowing stressed schemes to suspend indexation completely.The subject was raised last year in discussions about the future of the British Steel Pension Scheme (BSPS). The scheme’s trustee board argued that a change in indexation would make it more sustainable.BSPS’ subsequent agreement with the regulator to spin off from its sponsor, Tata Steel UK, was confirmed today. A new scheme, sponsored by Tata, is to be set up with lower annual increases.However, other schemes are likely to find it more difficult to make such a change to indexation, as their rules are stricter in describing how increases should be applied. UK dairy products manufacturer Dairy Crest has cut its pension deficit by £45m (€49.6m) by altering the indexation of its retirement benefits.The £1.1bn Dairy Crest Group Pension Fund has switched its inflation measure from the retail prices index (RPI) to the consumer prices index (CPI). In the UK, the latter is typically lower, meaning inflation-linked benefit increases would also be lower in future.In a statement to the stock market, the company said the move has reduced its annual contributions to the pension fund by £12m a year for the next two years.In addition, the scheme’s actuarial deficit was calculated to be £100m as of March 2016, down from £145m three years earlier.
The Atlantic 19 January 2017Family First Comment: This is a fascinating read – yet the solutions seem so obvious“Their analysis revealed clear differences between the lives of kids who took up drinking, smoking and other drugs, and those who didn’t. A few factors emerged as strongly protective: participation in organized activities—especially sport—three or four times a week, total time spent with parents during the week, feeling cared about at school, and not being outdoors in the late evenings…“Laws were changed. It became illegal to buy tobacco under the age of 18 and alcohol under the age of 20, and tobacco and alcohol advertising was banned. Links between parents and school were strengthened through parental organizations which by law had to be established in every school, along with school councils with parent representatives. Parents were encouraged to attend talks on the importance of spending a quantity of time with their children rather than occasional “quality time”, on talking to their kids about their lives, on knowing who their kids were friends with, and on keeping their children home in the evenings. A law was also passed prohibiting children aged between 13 and 16 from being outside after 10 p.m. in winter and midnight in summer. It’s still in effect today.”Today, Iceland tops the European table for the cleanest-living teens. The percentage of 15- and 16-year-olds who had been drunk in the previous month plummeted from 42 percent in 1998 to 5 percent in 2016. The percentage who have ever used cannabis is down from 17 percent to 7 percent. Those smoking cigarettes every day fell from 23 percent to just 3 percent.In 1992, 14-, 15- and 16-year-olds in every school in Iceland filled in a questionnaire with these kinds of questions. This process was then repeated in 1995 and 1997. The results of these surveys were alarming. Nationally, almost 25 percent were smoking every day, over 40 percent had got drunk in the past month. But when the team drilled right down into the data, they could identify precisely which schools had the worst problems—and which had the least. Their analysis revealed clear differences between the lives of kids who took up drinking, smoking and other drugs, and those who didn’t. A few factors emerged as strongly protective: participation in organized activities—especially sport—three or four times a week, total time spent with parents during the week, feeling cared about at school, and not being outdoors in the late evenings.Using the survey data and insights from research including Milkman’s, a new national plan was gradually introduced. It was called Youth in Iceland. Laws were changed. It became illegal to buy tobacco under the age of 18 and alcohol under the age of 20, and tobacco and alcohol advertising was banned. Links between parents and school were strengthened through parental organizations which by law had to be established in every school, along with school councils with parent representatives. Parents were encouraged to attend talks on the importance of spending a quantity of time with their children rather than occasional “quality time”, on talking to their kids about their lives, on knowing who their kids were friends with, and on keeping their children home in the evenings. A law was also passed prohibiting children aged between 13 and 16 from being outside after 10 p.m. in winter and midnight in summer. It’s still in effect today.Home and School, the national umbrella body for parental organizations, introduced agreements for parents to sign. The content varies depending on the age group, and individual organizations can decide what they want to include. For kids aged 13 and up, parents can pledge to follow all the recommendations, and also, for example, not to allow their kids to have unsupervised parties, not to buy alcohol for minors, and to keep an eye on the wellbeing of other children. These agreements educate parents but also help to strengthen their authority in the home, argues Hrefna Sigurjónsdóttir, director of Home and School. “Then it becomes harder to use the oldest excuse in the book: ‘But everybody else can!’”State funding was increased for organized sport, music, art, dance and other clubs, to give kids alternative ways to feel part of a group, and to feel good, rather than through using alcohol and drugs, and kids from low-income families received help to take part. In Reykjavik, for instance, where more than a third of the country’s population lives, a Leisure Card gives families 35,000 krona (£250) per year per child to pay for recreational activities.Crucially, the surveys have continued. Each year, almost every child in Iceland completes one. This means up-to-date, reliable data is always available. Between 1997 and 2012, the percentage of kids aged 15 and 16 who reported often or almost always spending time with their parents on weekdays doubled—from 23 percent to 46 percent—and the percentage who participated in organized sports at least four times a week increased from 24 percent to 42 percent. Meanwhile, cigarette smoking, drinking and cannabis use in this age group plummeted.READ MORE: https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2017/01/teens-drugs-iceland/513668/Keep up with family issues in NZ. Receive our weekly emails direct to your Inbox.
16 Views no discussions Share Tweet Share Sharing is caring! Share EntertainmentNewsRegional Could Buju walk free? Government error may trigger dismissal of artiste’s case by: – December 21, 2011 Buju Banton.Embattled Dancehall/Reggae superstar, Mark Myrie, more popularly known as Buju Banton may have a lifeline after all following the revelation on Tuesday that an alleged United States government mishap could trigger the dismissal of his case.According to media reports, Buju Banton could walk free from his conviction and subsequent ten year sentence on drug-related charges after the discovery that the U.S. government may have violated the Speedy Trial Act. The act states that any defendant involved in a case must be brought to trial by the government within a 70 day window; a right guaranteed under the Sixth Amendment in the American constitution. Additionally, said right is generally afforded to defendants so that they not subjected to unreasonably lengthy incarceration prior to a fair trial.Buju Banton’s first trial took place in September 2010, nine months after his initial arrest by law enforcement officials in Florida and four months after Judge James Moody pushed back Buju’s initial court date without giving any specifics regarding why the case was postponed. His second trial, where he was later convicted, took place in February of this year, four months after he was granted bail in the case.The U.S Supreme Court has developed a four part test considering length of the delay, the reasons for the delay, the defendant’s assertion of his right to a speedy trial, and the prejudice to the defendant in judging speedy trial claims. Any violations of the Speedy Trial Act could spark the dismissal of a criminal case given the state’s inability to bring the case to trial within a reasonable amount of time.Buju Banton’s legal team filed an appeal last week in a Georgia appeals court, citing violation of said act whilst intimating that the prominent Reggae singjay was not a willing participant in any drug conspiracy.Buju Banton was sentenced to ten years in prison this past February on three drug-related charges stemming from a December 2009 incident where he allegedly conspired to organize a drug deal within a police controlled warehouse.By Jodee Brown, Jamaican Pop Culture ExaminerExaminer.com
Defensor said there must be checkpoints in every town. * residents of Iloilo City and the province of Guimaras travelling therefrom, and into the province/PN Sangguniang Panlalawigan member June Mondejar, chairperson of the Provincial Board’s Committee on Public Order and Security, agreed with Defensor and pointed out several provisions in EO No. 118 that policemen must enforce such as quarantine passes that anyone leaving their houses must have. * persons granted passage to the airport for travel abroad, or from the airport to the border, provided that, the travel within the province shall be non-stop from the border to the airport or vice versa The liquor ban was contained in Section 14 of Defensor’s Executive Order (EO) No. 118 placing the province under GCQ. This left the province with only two active COVID-19 cases left as of May 24. * government official / personnel travelling in the performance of their function Defensor deemed the liquor ban an important component of the community quarantine, pointing out to the unpredictable behavior of inebriated people; physical distancing may not be followed strictly. Of these 20 cases, 14 already recovered while four died. Checkpoints appeared to have ceased on May 16 when the province transitioned from enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) to general community quarantine (GCQ), said Defensor. Iloilo has 42 municipalities and one component city, Passi. As of yesterday, Iloilo had 20 confirmed COVID-19 cases since March this year, data from the Department of Health (DOH) Region 6 showed. Physical distancing is a precautionary measure against COVID-19. People can catch it from others who have the virus. The disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales, thus keeping considerable distance from one another is highly recommended. In fact, according to Mondejar, only the following are exempted from travel restrictions as identified by Defensor’s EO: “May ginabantayan pa kita,” said Defensor, and he was not just referring to people who are possible carriers of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) but also to those violating the liquor ban he imposed throughout Iloilo. “Damo nagabakal and transport sang liquor,” he pointed out. Governor Arthur Defensor Jr. IAN PAUL CORDERO/PN ILOILO – The Iloilo Police Provincial Office (IPPO) should continue operating checkpoints across the province, according to Gov. Arthur Defensor Jr. “The selling, furnishing, offering, buying, serving, dispensing, and transporting of alcoholic beverages such as whisky, brandy, gin, vodka, rum, cocktail, wine, champagne, beer and such other intoxicating drinks shall be prohibited,” read Section 14. * medical personnel and health / humanitarian workers who shall be performing functions in relation to COVID-19 in the province * other persons transported through the efforts of the national government upon conduct of the necessary protocols and in concurrence with the receiving local government unit * overseas Filipino workers and locally-stranded individuals (LSIs) returning to the province
WACO, Texas (Sept. 6) – George Egbert, Jake Upchurch, and Dean Abbey took the top three spots in Friday’s qualifying feature at the Southern SportMod Nationals, at Heart O’ Texas Speedway. Twelve previous feature winners earned starting positions in the All Star Invitational race that will kick off Saturday’s program. The Sprint Series of Texas and Winged Mini Sprints, A Class and Restrictors, will also be on the card on night two of the ninth annual event. Gates open at 6 p.m. and racing starts at 8 p.m. Results Qualifying feature – 1. George Egbert, Belton; 2. Jake Upchurch, Grand Prairie; 3. Dean Abbey, Waco; 4. Jon White Jr., Red Oak; 5. Kevin Rutherford, Flower Mound; 6. Chris Coburn, Robinson; 7. Jarrett Roberts, Temple; 8. Justin Shaw, Sweetwater; 9. Brian Walker, Bruceville; 10. Cody Leonard, Sinton; 11. Keith McCullough, Denison; 12. Don Painter, Austin; 13. Tim McDonald, Keller; 14. Gary Fox, Joshua; 15. Kenny Ware, Belton; 16. Wes Cummings, Joshua; 17. Jacob Pirkle, Venus; 18. Alex Hickham, Conroe; 19. Albert McCall, Ennis; 20. Ted Thomas, Post; 21. Terry Buzbee, Waco; 22. Johnny Torres, San Antonio; 23. Adam Schwarz, Waco; 24. Sidney Kiphen, Gatesville. 1st heat – 1. Kiphen; 2. White; 3. Fox; 4. Cogburn; 5. James Blaylock, Altus, Okla.; 6. Mitchell Wachsmann, West; 7. Shane Priddy, Abilene; 8. Aaron Browning, West.2nd heat – 1. Ware; 2. McDonald; 3. Chad Hughes, Odessa; 4. Walker; 5. Rickey Morris, Denison; 6. Jay Coone, Burleson; 7. George Egbert III, Salado; 8. D.L. Faulkner, San Antonio.3rd heat – 1. Rutherford; 2. McCall; 3. Cummings; 4. Hickham; 5. Painter; 6. Torres; 7. Cody Shaw, Speegleville; 8. Scott Bradley, Belton. 4th heat – 1. Thomas; 2. Upchurch; 3. Justin Shaw; 4. Pirkle; 5. Dean Abbey; 6. Randy Doyle, Killeen; 7. Shane Helton, Artesia, N.M.; 8. Brandon Blaylock, Pflugerville.5th heat – 1. Roberts; 2. Jeff Shepperd, Elm Mott; 3. Leonard; 4. Michael McCullough, Denison; 5. John Freeman, Runaway Bay; 6. Schwarz; 7. Chris Cox, Thornton; 8. James Holder, China Spring. 6th heat – 1. Buzbee; 2. George Egbert; 3. Austin Theiss, Hockley; 4. Keith McCullough; 5. Greg Frazer, Joshua; 6. Jeffrey Abbey, Comanche; 7. James Guyton, Moody. 1st “B” feature – 1. Pirkle; 2. Justin Shaw; 3. Dean Abbey; 4. Fox; 5. Cogburn; 6. Doyle; 7. Wachsmann; 8. James Blaylock; 9. Browning; 10. Priddy; 11. Helton; 12. Brandon Blaylock. 2nd “B” feature – 1. Walker; 2. Holder; 3. Leonard; 4. Schwarz; 5. Coone; 6. Michael McCullough; 7. Hughes; 8. Cox; 9. Morris; 10. Freeman; 11. George Egbert III.3rd “B” feature – 1. Hickham; 2. Keith McCullough; 3. Torres; 4. Cummings; 5. Painter; 6. Frazer; 7. Jeffrey Abbey; 8. Faulkner; 9. Bradley; 10. Theiss; 11. Guyton; 12. Cody Shaw.All Star Invitational Heats 1st heat – 1. Egbert; 2. Michael McCullough; 3. Upchurch; 4. Cogburn; 5. Abbey; 6. Blaylock; 7. Pirkle; 8. Priddy.2nd heat – 1. Shaw; 2. Fox; 3. Torres; 4. Doyle; 5. Kiphen; 6. Thomas; 7. Kevin Rutherford; 8. Holder; 9. Coone.
Paul Ryan claimed a 2-7 haul and Conal Keaney put in a massive shift as the Dubs pulled off a massive result. Now they are gearing up for a crack at the All-Ireland title, and their form would suggest that they can give it a real rattle. Dazzling Dublin bridged a 52-year gap in spectacular fashion at Croke Park, winning a first Leinster Senior Hurling title since 1961 with a 2-25 to 2-13 win over holders Galway. Galway made a game of it with two second half goals, from Joe Canning and David Burke, but they never looked like getting the better of a fired-up Dublin side. Kerry were crowned Munster football champions following their 1-16 to 0-17 win over Cork at Killarney. Kerry dominated midfield through Anthony Maher and Johnny Buckley, and forged ahead with points from Colm Cooper, Declan O’Sullivan, James O’Donoghue and Buckley. Daniel Goulding kept Cork in touch with a handful of frees, but the Kingdom struck for a 29th minute goal, expertly finished by skipper Cooper. They led by 1-10 to 0-6 at the interval, but Cork kicked six points on the spin to close the gap to two, with Goulding bringing his tally to seven. But the Kingdom held on to resist the defending champions in front of a crowd of 36,370. Press Association
State Senator Manny Diaz Jr, the Education Committee Chairman talked to 850WFTL about the issues facing teachers and students in Florida such as teacher pay, school safety, common core and testing. He also said that he found the massive teacher rally at the beginning of the legislative session strange because both the Governor, Ron DeSantis and the lawmaker were proposing legislation to increase teacher salaries. He added that the teaches had a constitutional right to rally even though the timing was odd. https://www.850wftl.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Sen-Manny-Diaz.mp3The teachers who joined the march were complaining that the proposed salary increases were for new hires and did not address the veteran educators.Florida ranks #3 nationally in the overall category of education with a #1 ranking for higher education but ranks #27th for its K-12 schools.Senator Diaz offered some ideas to help the undergraduate students to excel.Listen to the full interview here:https://www.850wftl.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/SFS-Sen.-Diaz-Education.mp3