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Santander scheme among investors boosting Hermes infrastructure fund

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first_imgHermes Fund Managers has attracted more than £200m (€252m) in new capital to its infrastructure fund, including a commitment from Santander’s UK pension scheme.The manager said that, counting the new £210m in capital, Hermes Infrastructure Fund (HIF) had now raised more than £700m, including commitments from a number of unnamed UK local authority pension schemes.Antony Barker, director of pensions at Santander UK, said his fund had invested with Hermes because the strategy had allowed it to tailor its exposure to direct and indirectly owned assets while allowing for a rapid deployment of cash into attractively priced secondary investments.“Investing in infrastructure assets is an important component of our asset allocation strategy, reflecting the natural hedge for liabilities and the chance to utilise our illiquidity for best reward,” Barker said. Peter Hofbauer, head of Hermes Infrastructure, told IPE HIF’s strategy was based around three approaches – a value-added strategy, one acting as a fixed income substitute and a third, opportunistic strategy “almost akin to private equity”.Hofbauer said the fund’s exposure to the UK would vary depending on the strategy, but added that, being a sterling-denominated fund, the further away it moved from sterling holdings, the higher the risk.“We have the ability under our different strategies to invest outside the UK – and, in fact, all the way to emerging markets – but that clearly is in the higher risk/higher return strategies compared with predominantly in the UK for the core liability-matching strategies,” he said.He added the fund was “predominantly, virtually solely equity”, and that while HIF had the capacity to invest in infrastructure debt, it had struggled to find opportunities.Hermes currently oversees £2.7bn in infrastructure assets, of which £2bn is in a managed account for the BT Pension Scheme.Santander’s Barker told IPE in April that the fund had committed to the Hermes venture while discussing the £7.8bn Santander UK Group Pension Scheme’s strategy to reach full funding over the next decade.At the time, he said he viewed infrastructure equity as “overbought” and that he saw the asset classes debt as offering a more attractive risk/return profile.“Hence, we are tempted to keep our powder dry,” he said.“We will buy into some situations. We are perhaps more interested in secondaries that are becoming available to us.”Barker noted that this was in line with the fund’s interest in distressed sellers, which was also a focus of its real estate strategy.last_img read more

Dutch MP: Aon’s cross-border pension transfer is ‘supervisory arbitrage’

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first_imgThe transfer of the pension fund of Aon Hewitt Netherlands to Belgium is “supervisory arbitrage” as the discount rate for pensioners is considerably higher than in the Netherlands, a Dutch MP has argued.In questions to Wouter Koolmees, the Netherlands’ minister for social affairs, Pieter Omtzigt, MP for the Christian Democrats party, suggested that the Netherlands could no longer stop pension funds from moving abroad under the European IORP II directive.Focusing on the 3.5% discount rate applied for pensioners in Belgium, Omtzigt questioned whether the minister deemed this percentage prudent, and asked why the Netherlands required pension funds to use the ultimate forward rate (UFR), currently 2.4%.If the 3.5% discount rate was not prudent, Omtzigt challenged why Dutch supervisor De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB) had approved the transfer. What IORP II saysArticle 12.8 of IORP II limits a regulator’s power over a pension scheme’s transfer from one EU member state to another:The competent authority of the home member state of the transferring IORP shall only assess whether: (a) in the case of a partial transfer of the pension scheme’s liabilities, technical provisions, and other obligations and rights, as well as corresponding assets or cash equivalent thereof, the long term interests of the members and beneficiaries of the remaining part of the scheme are adequately protected; (b) the individual entitlements of the members and beneficiaries are at least the same after the transfer; (c) the assets corresponding to the pension scheme to be transferred are sufficient and appropriate to cover the liabilities, technical provisions and other obligations and rights to be transferred, in accordance with the applicable rules in the home member state of the transferring IORP. Pieter Omtzigt, CDASource: CDA Omtzigt argued that the fact that in Belgium full indexation would be allowed at a coverage ratio of 110% also counted as supervisory arbitrage. Under Dutch rules, full inflation-linked pension uplifts are only allowed when a scheme’s funding is at least 125%.In a tweet, he claimed the transfer was “supervisory arbitrage in its purest form”.DNB has told IPE’s Dutch sister publication Pensioen Pro that it assessed a “multitude of factors” for value transfer. However, it declined to comment on the specific case of the Aon Hewitt scheme.Omtzigt said he feared that the Netherlands could no longer prevent pension funds adopting cross-border arrangements “as IORP II doesn’t allow local supervisors to pass judgement about a situation abroad”.However, the MP also said he did not believe the Dutch supervisory regime was too strict. “We have opted for certainty which means a discount rate of 2.4%,” he said. “Certainly not 3.5%.”DNB, when asked, declined to comment on the consequences of IORP II for cross-border transfers and on how the directive’s criteria differ from the current practice under IORP I.center_img The MP also observed the “strange discontinuity” in the Belgian supervisory regime, which meant that the discount rate used for active and deferred members was 1.6%.last_img read more

Jesper Kärrbrink – Mr Green – An entertainment focus for Sportsbook 2.0 development

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first_img Submit LeoVegas hits back at Swedish regulations despite Q2 successes August 13, 2020 Share Altenar: Supporting expansion plans in Denmark and Portugal August 20, 2020 Share Jesper KärrbrinkIn June of last year, Mr Green launched its Kambi-powered sportsbook product in time for UEFA Euro 2016.Less than a year on, we caught up with the company’s CEO Jesper Kärrbrink, a speaker at the recent Betting on Football conference, to discuss operational challenges of the launch, balancing the revenue potential of the sportsbook with increased associated costs, and a newly appointed COO.SBC: During your first year of operating a sportsbook, what are the key things you have learned and the biggest changes you have made to the product?JK: The most important learning is how well the sportsbook suited the Mr Green customer base. So far, our growth has been almost 100% organic in the sense that it comes from our casino players making the sportsbook extremely profitable.Regarding the changes, we are now in the development phase of what we call Sportsbook 2.0 where we will launch what we think will be a game changer. A first sneak peak of this will be launched for the French open (yes, we focus on tennis now when the major football season comes to an end).SBC: How are you managing to balance the extra revenue potential for running the sportsbook with the increased taxes and associated operational costs?JK: We use the operational (and soon) the marketing backbone of Mr Green Casino also for the sportsbook. So, we basically run the entire operations on three extra FTE’s. I don’t have to add that they are hardworking guys!SBC: Does the hiring of customer retention specialist Antoine Bonello as COO indicate that delivering a more entertainment focused experience is the next step for the product?JK: Our entire focus – in all verticals – is increased entertainment and I think this will show in Sportsbook 2.0 as well and of course Antoine’s background fits in to this.SBC: You recently said that expanding in locally regulated markets such as Denmark is a natural step for the company; can you disclose which other markets you are looking at moving into?JK: Denmark is set with the acquisition of Dansk Underholdning. Beside that we are looking at Latin America where we have set up an office in Uruguay, but also a list of other countries. StumbleUpon Betsson outrides pandemic challenges as regulatory dramas loom July 21, 2020 Related Articleslast_img read more

WATCH PHOTOS: EPL action as Papiss Cisse stuns Chelsea, Stoke sink Arsenal

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first_imgNewcastle United’s Papiss Cisse, right, celebrates after scoring the first of his two goals in Newcastle’s 2-1 Premier League win over Chelsea at St James’ Park on Saturday.   Stoke City’s captain Ryan Shawcross celebrates at the final whistle after his side’s 3-2 victory over Arsenal at the Britannia Stadium in the Premier League on Saturday Yaya Toure shoots and scores a penalty past Everton keeper Tim Howard in Manchester City’s 1-0 Premier League victory at the Etihad Stadium on SaturdayCharlie Austin of Queens Park Rangers celebrates scoring his team’s second goal in their 2-0 Premier League win over Burnely at Loftus Road on Saturday Sunderland defender Wes Brown, left, brings down Raheem Sterling, bottom, of Liverpool in their teams’ 0-0 draw at Anfield on Saturday in the Premier LeagueTottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino reacts during his side’s 0-0 Premier League draw on Saturday with Crystal Palace at White Hart LaneNikica Jelevic of Hull City reacts following his team’s 0-0 draw with West Bromwich Albion in the Premier League on Saturday at the KC Stadium. Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho observes his side during their 2-1 loss to Newcastle United on Saturdaylast_img read more

Tanzania court charges football chief with embezzlement

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first_imgIn a separate case, the president and vice-president of the Simba football club, one of the oldest and most successful in the country, were charged with money laundering.Details of the charge will only be given upon their next court appearance on July 13. Nairobi, Kenya | AFP |  Tanzanian football chief Jamal Malinzi was on Thursday charged with embezzlement for falsifying invoices to pocket cash given by sponsors, court documents showed.Malinzi, who was arrested Wednesday, was charged alongside the Tanzanian Football Federation (TFF) secretary general Celestine Mwesigwa.Malinzi became head of the TFF in 2013 and is up for re-election in August. Both men pleaded not guilty to the charge and will re-appear in court on July 3. Share on: WhatsApplast_img read more

Dorset’s Fiona Snook wins South West Golf Steward of the Year

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first_img12 Feb 2016 Dorset’s Fiona Snook wins South West Golf Steward of the Year Dorset’s Fiona Snook has been recognised as the Fuller’s London Pride Steward of the Year for England Golf’s South West region. Fiona, from Wareham Golf Club, received her trophy at the annual presentation lunch at The Counting House in London, when the national and regional winners were celebrated. The competition to find and recognise England’s top golf club stewards was in its ninth year and attracted hundreds of votes for the nominated stewards. Fiona commented: “I’m a newbie at the club and I’m so pleased to reach this final. Wareham is such a friendly club and everyone mucks in – you’re quite likely to see our president on a lawn mower! If you want anything you just have to ask.” Fiona is a qualified chef who has worked at Wareham for 18 months and has helped the club improve its image and appeal to visitors and members. Since she’s been there the club has attracted 56 new members. She’s overseen some clubhouse renovation, has changed the club’s brewery and suppliers, all the food is now home-made – and the increasing profits are reflecting her efforts. She runs a host of social events from darts and cribbage nights to a psychic supper and a chocolate night – all prominently advertised on display screens and a white board. That’s alongside weddings, birthday parties and a concert night with the Bournemouth brass band, which was promoted with a local leaflet drop.    Fiona has even taken up golf and joined the ladies’ section! Fiona and the other winners all received their trophies from England Golf Acting Chief Executive, Craig Wagstaff, and from Earl Baker, Fuller’s Sales Manager (Traditional Free Trade). The other winners were: national and South East winner, Steve Warren of Eaton Golf Club, Norfolk; Midlands winners Phill and Louise Maxwell of Radcliff-on-Trent; and North winner Kirsty Glaister of Stamford Golf Club, near Manchester. They were chosen after a rigorous judging process. The 2014 Stewards of the Year, Samantha Hudson, joined the judges to whittle down the entry to three finalists from each region. Each of these 12 were visited personally before the four regional winners were selected, having been judged on their commitment, innovation and standard of service and presentation, together with that extra special something which sets them apart. Caption: Fiona Snook with her trophy.last_img read more

Olympia Family Theater Presents : Go, Dog. Go!

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first_imgFacebook11Tweet0Pin0 The opening of Olympia Family Theater’s seventh season, With Imagination Anything is Possible, starts with the adaptation of the classic picture book, Go, Dog. Go! Playwrights Steven Deitz, Allison Gregory and composer Michael Koerner transformed P.D. Eastman’s popular children’s story in to a comic romp with music and hilarity for the whole family. Go, Dog. Go! opens Friday night, October 12, 2012 at 7pm, and runs through Sunday, October 28, 2012. Performances take place at the Washington Center for the Performing Arts Black Box Theater. Directed by Artistic Director Jen Ryle.Six colorful dogs bustle, frolic, and dance across the stage as they move through their days. Whether working, picnicking or preparing for bed, their playful antics will engage the youngest theater-goers while delighting older ones, as well.Featuring the acting/singing/dancing talents of OFT veterans Terri Charles, Kate Ayers, Heather Christopher, and Harrison Fry, joined by newcomers Evan Hirsch and Ashlen Hodge. Musically directed and accompanied by Stephanie Claire, with Rich Sikorski and Scuff Acuff providing underscoring throughout.A veteran actor and director, Kate Ayers was most recently seen in OFT productions as The Old Lady in Goodnight Moon, and in Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.  Terri Charles has performed in numerous OFT productions, including Alexander and the…, A Year with Frog and Toad and Rapunzel. Their comic timing and accomplished physicality make this duo an animal odd couple of epic proportions. Heather Christopher has been seen in numerous Olympia productions, including several for OFT:  Animal Farm, A Christmas Story, and Alexander and the…Harrison Fry grew up engaged in many Capital Playhouse productions, and has also been in many OFT shows, including Alexander and the…, A Year with Frog and Toad.Director Jen Ryle is co-founder of Olympia family Theater, and has directed numerous plays for OFT, including: The Phantom Tollbooth, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, and Rapunzel.OFT would like to express its appreciation for its Season Sponsors: Visionseed Publishing, MIXX 96, and Ch2o.Olympia Family Theater, in its 7th season has produced over twenty-five plays for family audiences, and is highly regarded as a provider of quality entertainment for children. In addition to producing performances for thousands of people each year, OFT provides camps and workshops for children of all ages.What: An imaginative musical adaptation of the picture book. Full of physical humor, simple language, and colorful characters and sets. Recommended for ages 3 and up.Where: The Washington Center for the Performing Arts, Black Box Theater. 512 Washington St SE, Olympia, WA 98501.When: Opens Friday, October 12, running through Sunday, October 28.Performances Thursday and Friday nights at 7pm, Saturdays and Sundays at 1pm, with additional 4:30 matinees on Saturday, October 20 and 27.Tickets: Children, 12 and under – $9, Students/Seniors/Military $12, Adults $16 (Plus $3 WA Center Service Fee). Available online at www.olytix.org, by phone at (360) 753-8586, or at the WA Center Box Office. Discounts available for season tickets, and groups of 10 or more. Discounts only available by phone, or in person at the box office.Thrifty Thursday (Pay What you Can) performance on Thursday, October 18.Info: Blue Dog, Yellow Dog, Red Dog, Spotted Dog, M.C. Dog, and Hattie dance, scoot, drive, work, sleep, play, and party together, bringing to life a book that has been delighting children for 50 years.last_img read more