Ros Altmann replaces Steve Webb as UK minister of pensions

first_imgIndustry veteran Ros Altmann has been appointed pensions minister at the UK Department for Work & Pensions (DWP).She was appointed by re-elected prime minister David Cameron, who reshuffled his Cabinet on Monday after winning the UK general elections last week.Altmann replaces outgoing minister Steve Webb, a Liberal Democrat who lost his seat in the Thornbury and Yate constituency to the Conservatives.Webb served as pensions minister for the last five years, overseeing a major reform of the sector. The UK National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF) welcomed Altmann’s appointment.Chief executive Joanne Segars cited the challenging times for an industry midway through “the biggest reforms in decades” but said her organisation looked forward to working with the new minister.“We want to share our expertise to negotiate the tough challenges that lie ahead – some of which may require difficult decisions,” she said.“We encourage the minister to consider the benefits an independent commission would offer. By providing impartial and independent expertise and analysis, a commission would allow the minister to make policy that stands the test of time.”Altmann boasts more than two decades’ experience as an independent adviser to the pensions industry, financial services companies and the government on pensions policy.She has also worked as an investment banker, fund manager and economist.She was recently appointed the UK government’s Business Champion for Older Workers and awarded a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2014 for services to pensioners and pension provision.last_img read more

UK roundup: Fiduciary manager 2019 performance ranges widely

first_imgUK fiduciary managers produced a wide range of performance outcomes last year despite buoyant market conditions, according to research from XPS Pensions Group.Focussing on the “best ideas” growth portfolios, net of fees, of 16 fiduciary managers, the pensions consultancy found there was a 12 percentage point difference between the best and worst performing managers, with the worst returning 8.3% and the best 20.5%.Over a three-year period, the return difference between the fiduciary manager with the best and worst return equated to a 20% cumulative difference.Compared with a selection of more than 20 high-profile DGFs, the majority of fiduciary managers in 2019 delivered returns broadly in line with or above the median DGF return. André Kerr, head of fiduciary oversight at XPS Pensions Group, said: “While the risk profile of the investment strategies used by the strongest performers won’t suit every scheme, we would have expected all fiduciary managers to have outperformed the average DGF given the favourable market conditions of 2019.”According to XPS’ analysis, the fiduciary managers who achieved the greatest returns over one and three years did so with a higher allocation to equity markets, thereby also registering the greatest volatility of returns.Looking ahead to the COVID-19-triggered market downturn in the first quarter of 2020, Kerr told IPE that the managers that did well last year with high equity allocations “were probably the best positioned coming into Q1”.XPS has analysed fiduciary managers’ 2020 first quarter performance for a report due out soon, and Kerr said the dispersion was once again large, at around 14 percentage points.“COVID-19 represents the first major test for fiduciary managers, as most did not provide a UK offering during the global financial crisis of 2008/09,” he said.“In order for schemes to benefit over the long term from strong performance of their fiduciary manager during 2019, their portfolios also need to be resilient to downside shocks to financial markets.”The full report can be found here.Isio DB platform attracts 40th schemeThe Cumberland Building Society Pension and Assurance Scheme, with around £60m (€67m) in assets, has joined an operational consolidation platform run by Isio, a newly launched pensions advisory firm.Governed by Entrust Pension Limited, an independent professional trustee company, Enplan Pension Platform offers defined benefit schemes a “one-stop shop” for specialist governance solutions, professional advice and technology, and bespoke strategic direction. It can help employers modernise the running of legacy DB schemes.Richard Ellison, chief financial officer at The Cumberland Building Society, said: “Following a competitive tender process, we appointed Enplan for the clear benefits we saw in their ability to simplify the operation of our DB pension scheme and bring it in line with the strategic objectives of the Society more widely.“The additional upside we found is their continuous and professional governance. Enplan is an effective solution for building societies at a time when the industry is focused on improving governance and creating efficiencies.”The Cumberland Building Society’s DB pension scheme covers 450 members across the company’s key operations centres in the north of England and Scotland.Looking for IPE’s latest magazine? Read the digital edition here.last_img read more

Look at it now! Home dubbed ‘Australia’s worst house’ back on the market

first_imgThe house was dubbed the country’s worst.THE Brisbane property once dubbed ‘Australia’s worst house’ is back.Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:37Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:37 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD540p540p360p360p270p270pAutoA, selectedAudio Trackdefault, 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 Rate1xFullscreenThese homes come with some serious baggage!00:37The original, dilapidated shack in one of the city’s hottest inner-city suburbs has been demolished and replaced with a brand new, five-bedroom home that hits the market for the first time today.RELATED: Would you buy this ‘sight unseen’?Where the happiest homeowners liveThe original house at 50 Deighton Rd, Dutton Park, has been demolished and a new home built on the site.The front of the new house at 50 Deighton St, Dutton Park.It’s been nearly four years since the pre-1946 property at 50 Deighton Rd, Dutton Park, made headlines when it sold at auction for a shock $668,000 in 2015 — $168,000 above the reserve price.Owners, Steven and Rina Zlatkin, say everyone thought they were “crazy” to buy the home considering its crumbling condition, but they are now out to prove the doubters wrong.The property once dubbed “Australia’s worst house” hits the market today.Mrs Zlatkin said she saw past the boarded up windows, loose bricks and rusted tin roof.“I’m very artistic and the location was absolutely perfect,” Mrs Zlatkin said.“I had a vision of what I wanted to create — and it wasn’t a Queenslander.“I think it’s about time for something exciting to come to the area to give it a bit of a lift.”MORE: Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban taking over the property worldThe Hemsworth effect: Australia’s new celebrity hot spotRina Zlatkin and her sons Ryan and James Zlatkin are putting the finishing touches to the new house they have built on the site of the home once dubbed the “worst in Australia”. Image: AAP/John Gass.Three years of rigorous inspections, council approvals and an expensive demolition job later and the Zlatkins’ hard work could be about to pay off.Mrs Zlatkin said she bought the property with the aim of creating their dream, forever home, but a change in circumstances meant a move to Melbourne.“It’s been a lot of hard work, but worth it,” she said.“We designed it in mind for a family — it’s very comfortable and very spacious.”More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus14 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market14 hours agoThe kitchen in the new house at 50 Deighton St, Dutton Park.The median house price in Dutton Park is now just over $1 million.Marketing agent Gunther Behrendt of Ray White Stones Corner, who sold the home in its original state in 2015, said the hovel had undergone a complete transformation.“New houses are rarely available so close to the city, so this large family home within the Brisbane State High School catchment is very exciting indeed,” Mr Behrendt said.Inside the new house at 50 Deighton St, Dutton Park.One of the bathrooms in the new house at 50 Deighton St, Dutton Park.The new house is Hamptons-inspired, with multiple open-plan, indoor and outdoor living areas.It comes with three bathrooms, a media room and a landscaped backyard featuring a grassed area and in-ground pool.The property is scheduled to go to auction at 1pm on March 30.The pool and backyard of the new home.Rina Zlatkin and her sons Ryan and James Zlatkin are putting the finishing touches to the new house they have built on the site of the home once dubbed the worst in Australia. Image: AAP/John Gass.The crowd at the auction of the original property at 50 Deighton St, Dutton Park, in 2015.last_img read more

Spain’s LNG imports spike in August

first_imgBarcelona regasification plant (Image Enagás)Spain’s imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) jumped in August on a yearly basis boosted by higher gas-to-power generation.LNG imports reached 19.15 terawatt hours (TWh) in August, a rise of 156 percent as compared to 7.47 TWh in the same month the year before, according to the data provided by the LNG terminal operator, Enagás.Almost half of the country’s LNG imports in August came from the world’s largest producer, Qatar. These imports rose ten times from last year to 9.05 TWh, the data shows.The rest of the August volumes were imported from Nigeria, Trinidad and Tobago, Norway, Peru, the U.S. and Algeria.Enagás’ Barcelona regasification plant received 6 out of the total 19 LNG cargoes imported into Spain during the month under review.The report shows that the Huelva LNG import terminal and the Bilbao facility received four cargoes, each, while three landed in Sagunto. The Cartagena and Mugardos LNG terminals received one cargo, each.Enagás said earlier this month that Spanish gas demand rose 18 percent in August year-on year, reaching the highest monthly growth figure in the summer period since 2008.Demand for natural gas for power generation ended the month of August with an increase of more than 60%, to reach 7.8 TWh, the highest figure for this month since 2011.The increase was explained by low hydroelectricity generation and a lower contribution from wind power. LNG World News Stafflast_img read more

The Absurdity of Transgenderism

first_imgPublic Discourse 6 February 2015By now we are all undoubtedly familiar with the tragic suicide of Joshua Alcorn, the transgender teenage boy who, in late December, walked onto a freeway with the intention of ending his life. In an apparent suicide note, Joshua cites a host of reasons for why he was led to end his life, most prominent of which were his parents’ attempts to discourage his identifying as a girl and his being sent to therapists in an attempt to relieve these feelings. All of the problems that ultimately culminated in his suicide, writes Joshua, stem from the fact that, from the time he was a small child, he felt like a “girl trapped in a boy’s body.”No sooner had Joshua’s heart stopped beating than the story of his suicide was seized by LGBT activists and pruned to advance a familiar narrative of a sexual minority fighting cultural oppression. Joshua’s parents immediately began to be chided as “repressive” and “bigoted” and even began to receive various threats from LGBT internet crusader-activists.Transgenderism and Gender IdentityI have not referred to Joshua by using female pronouns or by using his self-invented female name of “Leelah.” The reason I am not doing this is simple: Joshua was not a girl—he was a boy—and to address males with female pronouns or females with male pronouns is to contribute to our culture’s confusion about sexuality and the nature of the human person, which is literally leaving casualties in its wake. No amount of surgical mutilation of body parts, effeminate behaviors, or artificial female appearances can make a man a woman.LGBT activists will respond in various ways to this. They might first respond by saying: “Okay, true enough: Joshua was biologically a male. But you have misunderstood our claim: we contend that his sex was male, yes, but his gender was female because he ‘identified’ as female.” The idea here is that people have a sex, which is either female or male and which one cannot choose. In addition to this, however, there is “gender,” or what sex one is more comfortable “identifying” as. The response to this is simple: Why think that what one “identifies as” is significant at all, especially to the extent that others should actively recognize or cater to such an identity, and especially when the identity one adopts is contrary to reality?Consider the following analogies. Suppose that a Caucasian man from Finland—call him Gunther—suddenly decided that he identifies as being of Sub-Saharan African descent. Suppose further that, in light of this, Gunther undergoes unusual procedures to have his skin darkened and his skull’s bone structure re-shaped so as to resemble that of individuals of Sub-Saharan descent. Would we think that such a person has suddenly become of Sub-Saharan descent through such procedures? Of course not, and his identifying as such does nothing to change this. His appearance as someone of Sub-Saharan descent might be very convincing. But, again, this doesn’t change the fact that he is not of Sub-Saharan descent.Similarly, suppose that a seventy-year-old man—call him Bob—comes to identify as a sixteen-year-old. Wouldn’t we think it absurd if people considered it “rude” or “bigoted” to tell the man: “You are not sixteen years old. Your identifying as such doesn’t change this fact, and we will not indulge you in your strange delusions by not calling attention to your old age and by pretending that you really are sixteen years old”?The cases of Gunther and Bob and the situations of individuals who believe themselves to be transgender are perfectly analogous. In the case of the transgender individual, he identifies as something he is not—someone of the opposite sex—and seeks to undergo harmful surgeries and hormonal treatments in order to have his physical state match his identity of himself as someone of the opposite sex.Our mental faculties, like our physical ones, are ordered toward various ends. Among these ends is the attainment of truth. To this extent, it is perfective of our mental faculties to recognize how we truly are (and thus apprehend a truth). It is for this reason that we can make sense of mental disorders such as anorexia nervosa as disorders: they involve persons’ having persistent, false beliefs about their identity or how they really are. In the case of the anorexic, someone who is dangerously underweight believes falsely (but tenaciously) that he is really overweight. It would be a proper procedure of medicine, then, for a therapist to help an anorexic individual to do away with his anorexia, restoring the individual’s mental faculties to their properly functioning state.How a man’s identifying as a woman will personally affect me, you, or John Doe is irrelevant. What is relevant is whether we will make public policy and encourage social norms that reflect the truth about the human person and sexuality, or whether we will obfuscate the truth about such matters and sow the seeds of sexual confusion in future generations for years to come. read more

Motorcycle ‘thief’ arrested in Jaro

first_imgThe minor was now under the custody ofBalay Dalayunan, Bo. Obrero in La Paz district./PN ILOILO City – Police caught a 15-year-oldboy for allegedly stealing a motorcycle in Barangay Simon Ledesma, Jarodistrict. He was accused of carting away a parkedmotorcycle owned by 21-year-old Lean Henzon of Barangay Mina West, Mina,Iloilo. The victim reported the incident to thepolice, which led to the apprehension of the suspect.  The suspect, whose name was withheld byauthorities, was arrested around 10:30 p.m. on Nov. 23, police said. last_img

Cardinals And Yellowjackets Split Hoops Games

The SLS 5th Grade Cardinals basketball team lost to Laurel Tuesday, November 18 by the score of 40-16.The Cardinals were led in scoring by Adam Vogelsang and Cayden Pohlman.The 5th Grade Cardinals are now 4-2 on the season.Courtesy of Cardinals Coach Dale Amrhein.The St. Louis 6th Grade basketball team defended their home court last night with a solid victory over the visiting Laurel Yellow Jackets 44-31.The Cardinals led after 1st quarter by the score of 15-10 and then were able to improve on their lead in the second quarter and went in at the half by the score of 29-16. St. Louis came out strong after half time and pushed the lead up to 19 points with the quarter ending 40-21. The Cards went on to win the game by the final score of 44-31.The Cardinals played great team defense with standout performances by Karson Macke, Ben Schebler and Michael Wanstrath. The offensive attack, was led by Riley Schebler, LLeyton Ratcliffe and Andrew Oesterling with Jack Abplanalp, Tyler Kuntz, Jacob Westerfeld and Macke also adding to the score.The Cardinals are now 6-0 and play St. Lawrence at home on Monday.Courtesy of Cardinals Coach Jim Oesterling. read more

West Ham sign Nene

first_img Nene told the club’s website, “I am very excited and happy to be here. I’m proud to come to a really big club like West Ham and I’m going to do my best to help the team. “I’ve been thinking about coming back to Europe for a few months because here the football, the ambience, everything is better. “It’s a really good challenge for me, to come to a competition like the Premier League. It’s the most competitive in the world so this is the motivation for me.” The much-travelled Nene, whose previous clubs also include Mallorca, Alaves, Celta Vigo and Monaco, was joint-top scorer in Ligue 1 after scoring 21 goals for PSG in the 2011-12 season. Nene offers verstaility as he can play out wide while he also has a reputation as a dead-ball specialist. He said: “I like taking free-kicks, so practise to be good at that. I like making assists – that is my real work, to make the final pass to put the striker in a good position to score the goals.” Carroll, 26, is expected to miss the rest of the season after undergoing knee surgery on Tuesday. The former Newcastle and Liverpool forward suffered ligament damage in last week’s goalless Barclays Premier League draw at Southampton. It is yet another major blow for the England international after missing most of last season with an Achilles problem. The 33-year-old Brazilian was available on a free transfer after leaving Qatari side Al-Gharafa last month. The signing will boost manager Sam Allardyce’s attacking options following the loss of frontline striker Andy Carroll to long-term injury. Press Associationcenter_img West Ham have announced the signing of former Paris St Germain striker Nene until the end of the season, subject to international clearance.last_img read more

Brian Lara Stadium to become region’s newest first-class venue

first_imgST JOHN’S, Antigua (CMC) – The Brian Lara Stadium will become the region’s newest first class venue when it hosts three of Trinidad and Tobago Red Force’s home matches in the Regional first class campaign which bowls off next week.Cricket West Indies (CWI) said yesterday it had approved the change for the second-, fourth- and seventh-round matches, which had previously been scheduled for the historic Queen’s Park Oval, to be now played at the spanking new south Trinidad facility.“This change means that we can now return the game to the south of Trinidad, which again has a venue to stage first-class matches,” said CWI cricket operations manager, Roland Holder.Red Force will now take on Jamaica Scorpions from November 2 to 5 in a fixture that will crown the Tarouba venue as a first class venue.The hosts will also meet three-time reigning champions Guyana Jaguars in the fourth round from November 16 to 19 before clashing in the seventh round with perennial arch-rivals Barbados Pride from December 14 to 17.Since the Brian Lara Stadium was opened in May this year, it has hosted several high-profile matches, including the playoff and final of the Caribbean Premier League and last week’s opening matches of the ICC Women’s Championship between West Indies and Sri Lanka.last_img read more

Ghana held by Egypt to finish third in group

first_img(REUTERS) – Ghana’s Edwin Gyasi scored his first international goal as they came from behind to hold Egypt, who had already qualified for the World Cup, to a 1-1 draw in the last game in Africa’s Group E on Sunday.Ghana, who had played at the last three World Cup finals, finished with a single victory in their six group games and finished a disappointing third in the standings behind Egypt and Uganda.Egypt’s Mahmoud Shikabala opened the scoring with a left-footed strike in the 62nd minute but Netherlands-born striker Gyasi equalised just two minutes later with a deflected effort from outside the area.It was only the second cap for the 26-year-old Gyasi, who plays his club football in Norway.Egypt secured qualification for next year’s tournament in Russia when they beat Congo in Alexandria last month. It will be their first World Cup since the 1990 finals in Italy.last_img read more