A number of pension insurance contracts may have to be restructured in the wake of a landmark UK equality ruling, according to Aon.The consultancy group said insurers that had entered into buy-in arrangements with pension schemes could face a “huge problem” related to the requirement to equalise “guaranteed minimum pension” (GMP) payments for men and women.The UK High Court ruled last month that GMP payments accrued between 1990 and 1997 must apply equally to men and women, meaning schemes faced having to revisit 30 years’ worth of records and potentially pay billions to members who missed out.In a report published yesterday, Aon claimed that “£50bn [€56.5bn] of buy-ins may need to be restructured to accommodate the changes”. Market resilienceEdwards added: “However, the market has shown itself to be resilient to legislative shocks time and time again and it’s clear from our discussions so far with insurers that the market is very keen to develop solutions that meet the needs of all parties, including the members that ultimately receive a pension.”For those schemes considering or negotiating insurance deals, John Baines, also a partner in Aon’s Risk Settlement Group, said any GMP equalisation method that introduced “overly burdensome administration” would be unpopular with insurers.“As such, schemes should be alert to the fact that it’s likely that there will be an obvious preference for standardisation and simplification from insurers on this issue,” he said.Meanwhile, law firm Herbert Smith Freehills has warned that 61% of UK schemes did not have sufficient data records to be able to calculate GMP payments.It surveyed trustees, sponsors and advisers and reported that 17% had temporarily stopped processing transfers out of their schemes while they assessed the impact of the ruling.Estimates of the cost of GMP equalisation to UK schemes ranged from £15bn to £20bn, but Charles Cowling, chief actuary at JLT Employee Benefits, earlier this month warned that company profits could be hit with costs as high as £32bn in total, depending on how the costs are reported on company balance sheets. However, the consultancy also acknowledged that many insurers had ‘future proofed’ their contracts with provisions to take into account the GMP ruling, as the case has been outstanding for many years.Mike Edwards, partner in Aon’s Risk Settlement Group, said the range of options for equalising GMP payments – as listed by the High Court – meant insurers faced “a huge problem”.“With an expected surge in requests from schemes to update existing insurance terms, detailed consideration will need to be given to each individual case from an administration, regulatory compliance and pricing perspective,” he said.He also questioned insurers’ capabilities to deal with the issue, given the high demand for risk transfer deals such as buy-ins and buyouts.
Sweden’s AP1 has launched a tender process in search of a global custodian, to provide custody for all its pension fund assets – which totalled SEK352bn (€32.9bn) at the end of June.The fund, which is one of the country’s four main buffer funds backing the state pension, said in a notice on the EU’s procurement website TED, that the mandate is for five years, and not subject to renewal.The deadline for receipt of tenders or requests to participate is the end of 28 November.The contact listed for the tender is Stephen Merry, director of the advisory and analytics team at investor services firm Thomas Murray. AP1’s current global custodian is JP Morgan.Italy’s Fon.Te hires Payden & Rygel as bonds managerFon.Te, the pension scheme for Italian trade, tourism and service workers, has appointed Payden & Rygel Investment Management to manage a €230m global government bonds portfolio.“Fon.Te is one of the leading Italian pension funds and we are very pleased to have won this mandate following our participation in the public tender published earlier this year,” said Nicolo Piotti, managing director at Payden & Rygel.The mandate will be run by Payden & Rygel’s specialist global government strategies team, Piotti said.Arco, the Italian pension fund for workers employed in the wood, furniture, forestry, brick and concrete sectors, recently selected Payden & Rygel to manage a €140m balanced equity and fixed income mandate.
Canadian ferry owner and operator BC Ferries has signed a shipbuilding contract for four more battery electric-hybrid Island Class vessels with the Netherlands-based Damen Shipyards Group.The units, which are part of the company’s Clean Futures Plan, are scheduled to go into service in 2022.The latest order comes on the back of a deal signed in the spring of 2017, when BC Ferries hired Damen to build two ‘first in class’ of these units, which have completed sea trials and will arrive in Victoria, B.C. by January 2020.“Our Clean Futures Plan spells out our strategy to reduce GHG emissions by replacing our legacy carbon intensive fossil fuelled vessels with ships using clean energy,” Jamie Marshall, BC Ferries’ Vice President, Business Development & Innovation, said.“These next four Island Class ships are a major step in our plan to progressively lower emissions across the fleet and be a leader in the energy transition to a lower carbon future.”The company plans to operate these new ships as all-electric ferries, using clean energy, when electric charging technology matures to make electricity available in the quantities required. In the interim, these ships will use an on board low sulphur diesel hybrid system.The total project budget, which includes financing and project management costs, is around CAD 200 million (USD 151.6 million).The first two Island Class vessels will be deployed on the Powell River – Texada Island route and the Port McNeill – Alert Bay – Sointula Island route by mid-2020.The third and fourth new vessels will service the Campbell River – Quadra Island route and the fifth and sixth new ships will sail the Nanaimo Harbour – Gabriola Island route by 2022.The Island Class vessels will have the capacity to carry at least 47 vehicles and up to 300 – 450 passengers and crew depending on configuration.
The game of baseball has more slang terms than probably any other sport. A few weeks ago I gave you some examples of what I mean. Today I will share some more of these terms. These slang terms are starting to lose out to all the acronyms common to baseball today, like ERA (earned run average).One term is “warning track power”. This refers to a hitter who is not big enough or strong enough to hit the ball out of the ball park. The ball is caught on the warning track. Another term is “painting the black”. These are pitches that are thrown on either edge of the plate which is edged in black. These pitches are normally called strikes by the umpire. They are also hard to hit! A “12 to 6” curve ball. This is a pitch that starts out near the shoulders and drops straight down as it reaches home plate. It was used quite often in the past, but has recently been replaced by a slider. “Exit Speed” is the last one. Most of you are familiar with the radar gun and the speed at which a pitch is coming into the batter. “Exit speed” measures how fast the ball leaves the bat once it is hit.These are just a few of the myriad of terms that were once very popular for all baseball announcers.
Last term Liverpool undoubtedly benefited from a poor season by Manchester United and a Chelsea side in transition after the arrival of Jose Mourinho for a second spell. But with Louis van Gaal now at the helm at Old Trafford and Mourinho having spent nearly £80million on Diego Costa, Cesc Fabregas and Felipe Luis the competition will be much tougher with City and Arsenal also investing heavily. Rodgers has invested the £75million from the sale of Luis Suarez to Barcelona on seven players and is still in the hunt for a striker to replace the 31-goal Uruguayan as he realises they cannot afford to give up their top-four spot it took so long to get back. “It will be the same as last year – it was very competitive,” he added ahead of the visit of Southampton. “There are maybe seven teams challenging for those positions, but that’s the beauty of this league. “It’s a fantastic league to operate in as a manager and a player. “We’ll be ready for the challenge, that’s why we’ve tried to improve the squad again.” In the absence of Suarez the rest of the side will have to elevate their games with Rodgers looking for 19-year-old England forward Raheem Sterling to continue his meteoric rise having put a number of off-field issues behind him in the last 12 months. “He is a wonderful talent. He is very stable and secure outside of his football life and you see the joy he plays the game with,” said the Reds boss. “The great thing about Raheem is he has a real mature head on his shoulders. “He got 10 goals last year and we are looking at improving that ratio. “He is one of a number of youngsters here who has so much potential to produce.” Striker Daniel Sturridge scored 24 goals last season but will now become Liverpool’s main man up front after the departure of Suarez. However, Rodgers stressed the goalscoring responsibility had to be shared. “For us the spotlight will be on the team, we won’t be reliant on Daniel,” he added. “He is a fantastic player and I think you will see an improvement in him again this year but over the course of the season the reliance will be on the team. “That is something which gives us great comfort and we have great hope going into this season.” As a result he has tried to lessen the expectations of another title challenge – at least until their primary aim is achieved. Asked whether his side were contenders the Northern Irishman said: “Not according to the bookies we’re not. “I’ve seen some odds and I don’t think we are even in the top four. “I think people will look at Manchester City and Chelsea, with their squads. “We probably arrived a year early to where we were but we will look to be up there challenging again this season. “What happened last year counts for nothing, that’s all gone now. The one thing that will carry on from that is the belief. “Our aim is to be competitive. Like the top teams, we want to win a trophy. That would be an aim. In the league, it’s about sustaining Champions League football. “For that you want to arrive in fourth. Once you have consolidated that, you can look beyond that. That’s certainly our aim this season.” The Reds were pipped by Manchester City in the final week of the campaign despite an extraordinary run, which saw them record their highest league finish since 2009. Disappointment at missing out on a first championship for 24 years was only slightly tempered by a return to the Champions League but Rodgers knows if they are to maintain their progress they have to at least secure a long-term place among Europe’s elite. Liverpool may have been surprise title contenders last season but as the new campaign kicks off manager Brendan Rodgers is targeting a trophy and a top-four finish. Press Association
Press Association Stewart Downing and Carlton Cole also fired home as the Hammers eased past the managerless Eagles, who were unable to add to Marouane Chamakh’s smart finish. Palace’s second straight defeat plunged the south London club into further distress, with the board still hunting a replacement for Tony Pulis. Bannan blasted straight at Adrian from the edge of the area, but just when the hosts scented level terms West Ham struck again. Striker Cole, so profligate against Spurs, pounced on a loose ball in the Palace box to lash past Speroni and kill the contest after 62 minutes. Highly-respected commentator Barry Davies was back on BBC duty 10 years after his retirement to call this clash for Match of the Day’s 50th anniversary. The 76-year-old was on hand to witness Palace hit new lows after a testing week, with caretaker manager Keith Millen hardly furthering his claims to the permanent job. Co-chairman Steve Parish was joined by former Palace striker Mark Bright in the directors’ box, and no doubt the pair had plenty to discuss. Parish was all set to hand Malky Mackay the reins to replace Pulis, who walked out on the eve of the season after rows over transfer policy. Mackay fell out of the running after the FA launched an investigation into racist, sexist and homophobic text messages sent during his time as Cardiff manager. Revelations from Cardiff’s extensive dossier also led to their former head of recruitment Iain Moody resigning his post as sporting director at Palace. Tim Sherwood pulled out of the running for the Palace job after initially being deemed second choice to Mackay, leaving Millen to take charge for the second week running. While West Ham can look towards Cole and Zarate forging a dangerous strike partnership, Palace know time is running out for transfer recruits with the window closing on September 1. Millen has admitted he will spearhead Palace’s recruitment drive in the absence of both Pulis and now Moody. Co-chairman Parish must now act swiftly to secure a new managerial appointment however, with Palace already battling to set their season on track. Summer signing Mauro Zarate volleyed a debut goal in West Ham’s 3-1 Premier League victory at Crystal Palace to ease the pressure on manager Sam Allardyce. Hammers boss Allardyce only clung onto his job in the summer after promising the West Ham board more expansive, attacking football. Former Tottenham and England striker Teddy Sheringham joined the back-room staff, while Allardyce recruited Argentinian forward Zarate from Velez Sarsfield. Allardyce’s attacking revolution failed to bear fruit on the season’s opening day in a frustrating 1-0 Upton Park defeat to Tottenham, the Hammers spurning a host of half-chances. Former Lazio poacher Zarate was able to cut West Ham’s toothless finishing short at Selhurst Park however, capping a lively full debut with a smart first-half finish after 34 minutes. Former Middlesbrough wing Downing claimed just his second West Ham goal moments later, as Palace paid the price for backing off in midfield. Downing raced down the right, cut off his flank and nudged a side-footed effort past the blameless Speroni. James Tomkins headed against the crossbar to open the second half as West Ham sought to kill off the contest. Palace immediately seized on the reprieve, former Arsenal forward Chamakh firing in a low shot from 20 yards to half the deficit three minutes after the restart.
Januzaj told MUTV: “Of course, I played a lot of games last season and I’m trying to impress the manager once again and get games again this year as well. “I tried to do my best. Obviously, even if it’s reserves level, I always have to show myself and improve. I got a hat-trick but I think I worked hard defensively as well and these are the kind of things I have to do now and at first-team level. “I don’t do it for any other people but for myself. I look after my [performance]. Even if I have to play under-18s, I have to do it and try to improve every time I play.” The 19-year-old came off the bench against QPR on Sunday and little more than 24 hours later was playing against Sunderland Under-21s in a 4-0 win. The Belgian winger hopes his determination even for the youth teams will impress United manager van Gaal. Press Association Adnan Januzaj hopes his determination will impress Louis van Gaal after he scored a hat-trick for Manchester United Under-21s.
The defeat meant Southampton moved above United into third in the Barclays Premier League. And disappointed Van Gaal was given a painful reminder that he now has the same number of points as his predecessor David Moyes did at this stage last season. “You have been waiting for the moment to tell me I have the same points as David Moyes,” said the United manager, who was clearly unhappy at the comparison. The Dutchman insists United are improving under his stewardship, but acknowledged that they were way below par on Sunday. The most disappointing aspect of the defeat for the United boss was that a £150million front four of Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie, Angel di Maria and Juan Mata failed to test the opposition goalkeeper. “It is a bad result. We have to be better,” Van Gaal added. “We were the dominating team but you have to create more chances when you are the dominating team. “We didn’t choose the right solutions in the third and fourth phase.” Press Association Louis van Gaal criticised his star-studded Manchester United team after they failed to muster a single shot on target in their 1-0 defeat to Southampton. Ronald Koeman got one over his old adversary on Sunday as Southampton beat United at Old Trafford for the first time in 27 years thanks to Dusan Tadic’s 69th-minute winner. United were lacklustre throughout the match and Fraser Forster did not have a meaningful save to make all afternoon. Tadic scored the winner 21 minutes from time after Graziano Pelle’s shot rebounded off a post and fell straight into the Serbian’s path. Overall, Southampton were far from spectacular, but their organisation was far superior while Jose Fonte and Florin Gardos performed superbly at the back. Southampton rode their luck at times but Van Gaal felt the result was fair – particularly because United were extremely fortunate to win themselves in the reverse fixture last month. “We played a much better game than Southampton. They were lucky to score out of nothing,” Van Gaal said. “They came for a draw, I believe, and they go away with a victory, That is disappointing. “It is more or less the same match as we did in Southampton so when you ask if it is fair, may you take into account the match there.” Van Gaal selected Di Maria up front alongside Van Persie and then shifted Rooney up front after the former Arsenal striker suffered an ankle injury. The 63-year-old surprisingly omitted Radamel Falcao from his match day squad. “We have a lot of players who are coming back and (Falcao) has played the last five matches in a row,” said Van Gaal, who said Van Persie’s ankle would be assessed on Monday. Koeman’s relationship with Van Gaal has not been repaired since he fell out with his compatriot during their time together at Ajax. The Saints boss held both arms aloft in a joyous celebration after the final whistle and he was equally jubilant in his post-match press conference. “I am very happy,” Koeman said. “We shook hands and that was enough. It was a good feeling, it was a better feeling than five weeks ago.” Southampton are now just 10 points shy of league leaders Chelsea and Koeman insists his team’s Champions League credentials are genuine. “We know that we have a strong team and that was important in the end of December,” Koeman said. “We got a point against Chelsea and the three points against Arsenal. “That makes belief in the players. That is what you need if you are not a big club, belief in the players, not afraid of the name or the stadium. We learned that. “I am not surprised we won today. We have organisation. If we keep the spirit and the organisation, we can keep in front in the table.” The only thing that disappointed Koeman was that Tadic removed his shirt in his goal celebration and therefore earned a booking. “I don’t like that,” the former Holland defender said. “It is a yellow card and a stupid fault, you get another and it is a red. “When it is the last minute of the season and you have qualified for Europe, it is no problem. I don’t like that. Keep your shirt on.” Van Gaal denied rumours Falcao left the stadium after being told he was not in the squad. “Yes, he was here,” the United manager said of the Colombian.
PERU ended Chile’s hopes of winning a third consecutive Copa America title as they reached a first final since 1975, with a comfortable semi-final victory on Wednesday night.Edison Flores and Yoshimar Yotun scored first-half goals and Paolo Guerrero added a late third for Peru, while Chile missed an injury-time penalty.Peru meet hosts Brazil in the final on Sunday, after they beat Argentina 2-0.“We’ve come through some tough moments in the Copa and we deserve to be in the final,” said Peru coach Ricardo Gareca.Peru’s performance came one match after they were thumped 5-0 by Brazil in their final group game and Gareca, 61, added: “We managed to overcome the huge adversity that this defeat was, and that was hastily judged and provoked a wave of harsh criticism.”Chile squandered a number of chances – including the late penalty with Eduardo Vargas’ attempted ‘Panenka-style’ spot-kick saved by in-form Peru goalkeeper Pedro Gallese.Peru, who beat 15-time winners Uruguay on penalties in the quarter-finals, opened the scoring in the 21st-minute when winger Flores nodded in from a corner.Left-back Yotun volleyed in a second before the break, to punish a mistake by Chile keeper Gabriel Arias.Guerrero completed the victory in injury time over a Chile side ranked 16th in the world, five places above Peru.Chile manager Reinaldo Rueda was unable to explain his side’s performance, following their penalty shootout win over Colombia in the quarter-finals and said Peru “surprised” them.“I don’t know what factors could have influenced these first 20 minutes that made the difference,” said the Colombian.“Mentally we wanted to play the final without dealing first with this step and Peru surprised us.”Chile had been aiming to win a third title on the bounce, a feat not achieved since Argentina managed it from 1945 to 47.The Copa America final takes places at Rio’s Maracana Stadium on Sunday, July 7 at 21:00hrs BST. (BBC Sport)
Last Saturday was another milestone for Super Eagles Captain, John Mikel Obi following his unveiling as an ambassador of Kwese, the Econet Mediaâ€™s pan-African broadcast network which is the fastest growing satellite television provider in Nigeria. In this report, FEMI SOLAJA takes a look at what the staggering offer will translate to when the activation gets underway at the World Cup finals in Russia in a fortnightThe excitement on the face of the former FC Chelsea midfielder knew no bound during his presentation last week as the brand ambassador of KwesÃ©. Although both parties were not willing to disclose the financial details of the agreement, a reliable source close to KwesÃ© told THISDAY that it was, perhaps, the most lucrative deal signed by any sport personality on the continent of Africa. It was speculated that the Tianjin Teda FC player is to earn something in the region of â‚¬5 million per year for the next three years!â€œAll I can tell you is that it’s a good deal for me and KwesÃ©. My focus now is how to make the best out of this project and not necessarily the financial rewards that comes with it. It’s a massive deal for my standard as a footballer from Africa,” remarked the Super Eagles captain. When the deal is activated this June, Mikel is expected to represent the dynamic broadcasterâ€™s services and initiatives across the continent, starting with the upcoming 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia.Mikel will feature in KwesÃ©â€™s upcoming advertising campaigns that will encompass print, television and radio.The satellite television provider, KwesÃ© is the continentâ€™s fastest growing media business with a diversified offering that includes Africaâ€™s largest free-to-air channel, KwesÃ© Free Sports, a pay TV satellite network, KwesÃ© TV, mobile services and digital all under one roof. With a strong presence across sub-Saharan Africa through its various platforms, KwesÃ© is arguably Africaâ€™s most exciting and innovative broadcaster.â€œIn choosing the right personality to partner our brands we wanted someone who embodies what we stand for as an African broadcaster. Mikel represents exceptional sporting talent and is loved by fans across the continent. His commitment to excellence and his work to improve the sporting talent of the next generation of athletes made him the perfect choice for us,â€ stressed the President and Group Chief Executive Officer of Econet Media, Joseph Hundah.In his response, Mikel said “I am proud to become the face of KwesÃ© TV globally. I am excited to work with a media network that is redefining broadcasting in Africa, bringing pay as you watch TV, free to air TV and digital programming.“As in my football career, it was important to me to represent an organisation that puts fans and/customers first, power, pride, strength and most importantly, a consistent winnerâ€.With an annual payment of â‚¬5 million, the Mikel Obi African Children Sports Foundation will be a major beneficiary of the deal. Mikel who is one of only two African players to have won Europeâ€™s top two continental club competitions, UEFA Champions League and Europa Cup both with Chelsea explained that the deal will afford him the opportunity to expand the scope with the Foundation.“The deal will further allow us widen our scope as we seeks to alleviate poverty by empowering young Africans through sports and specifically nurturing talents in football, rugby, tennis, cycling, basketball, cricket, hockey and athletics. The Foundation will help pull these kids out of poverty and take them to stardom in their chosen sports,” Mikel explained.The beneficiaries will have access to a range of specialist coaches and teachers providing them with a unique opportunity to hone their skills. Extending beyond athletic support and it will also assists children with an interest in sports sciences, nutrition, physiotherapy and the like to realise their dreams and forge a better future for themselves and their families.Mikel sees the deal as an equivalent of mega sponsorship top star footballers like Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and the rest have signed in the past with top multinational corporation. “By African standard, the deal with Kwese is a big thing although it may be far below what top footballers from Europe and Latin America have secured in the course of their career, however we have to start from somewhere.“When I was growing up, I looked up to Kanu Nwankwo and Austin Okocha as role models and some players are looking up to me too especially as the captain of the national team to the World Cup finals and I hope that tomorrow they can get a better and more lucrative sponsorship that will change their lives too.“It will no doubt inspires players in Africa but more importantly my country Nigeria. My wish is that this deal will open their world. I have paid my due in the national team and I expect all of them especially the younger ones to follow this step and improve on where I am today,” he commented.The two-time recipient of the African Young Player of the Year award (2005, 2006) as well as the Chelsea Young Player of the Year award (2007, 2008) sees himself as a privileged player that will lead this generation of footballers to the World Cup finals.“Nigeria will shake the world at the tournament and I am saying this with all sincerity of purpose that the present squad is very unique and with lots of determination in them they do not just want to play and reach the knockout stage, We all have aspiration to go all the way to the final match with God on our side.“Most Nigerians seem not to believe in what we can do at the World Cup because Super Eagles’ previous record have placed us among participants but I want to assure Nigerians that we have crossed that path and our mind is set towards being grouped among contenders,” he asserted.While most Nigerians are looking at Croatia and more importantly, Argentina as potential stumbling block to crossing the group stage, Mikel opted for Iceland whom many pundits see as no hopers. “We can get the results against Croatia in the opening match and Argentina in the last match but my fears is for the second match against Iceland because aside the fact that they are an assemblage of average players, the cohesion in the team is very high and that is what has kept them this far since the Euro Cup in 2016 and the qualifying tournament to the World Cup,” he pointed out.KwesÃ© viewers can look forward to seeing one of their favourite African footballer on KwesÃ©â€™s screens in due course, starting with the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia campaign.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram