Chart of the Week: Equity returns drive LGPS investment gains in 2018-19

first_imgThe £8.4bn (€9.2bn) pension fund for the county of Lancashire was the stand-out performer across the UK’s Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) in the 12 months to 31 March 2019, according to data from PIRC.An analysis of 64 LGPS funds from across England, Wales and Scotland showed Lancashire gained 11.7% in the 2018-19 financial year, ahead of the £1.2bn scheme for the London borough of Kensington & Chelsea, which gained 10.9%.Both schemes were aided by strong equity performance, with Lancashire posting the top equity return across PIRC’s sample, with 16%. Kensington & Chelsea’s equity allocation gained 12.9%.At the other end of the performance spectrum, the £733m Havering Pension Scheme – also linked to a London borough – reported a 3.4% return. Its performance was negatively affected by a 1.4% loss incurred on its allocation to diversified growth strategies. Four other London funds posted returns of between 4.3% and 4.9%. Best and worst performers in the LGPSChart MakerThe biggest fund in the LGPS, the £23.8bn Greater Manchester Pension Fund, performed below the median return for PIRC’s sample with a 5.6% gain, compared to the 6.2% average.Within asset classes, PIRC’s data showed that alternatives allocations performed particularly strongly across the LGPS. Islington’s £1.4bn scheme reported a 35.6% return from its alternatives portfolio, which was predominantly allocated to infrastructure, according to council documents.The £2bn pension fund for Gwynedd in north Wales reported a 24.8% return from its alternatives holdings, which included private equity and infrastructure allocations.The West Yorkshire Pension Fund posted the best returns from property, adding 13.3% for the year. The pension funds for Southwark, Surrey and Newham all also reported double-digit property returns.Long-term performancePIRC’s data also revealed LGPS funds’ longer-term performance, with figures covering five, 10, 20 and 30 years to 31 March 2019. Over 10 years, the London borough of Bromley’s £1bn scheme added 13.7% a year on average, the best of any of the LGPS funds analysed by PIRC.Bromley was closely followed by Scotland’s Orkney Islands Council Pension Fund, which has returned 13.4% a year over the same period. At £391m it is the smallest fund within the LGPS system.The two funds also led the way over 20- and 30-year periods.Best LGPS performers over 10 yearsChart MakerAsset allocationPIRC’s numbers showed little year-on-year change in asset allocation across the 64-fund sample, with the exception of a slight increase in fixed income holdings and decrease in diversified growth strategies.LGPS funds held an average of 55% in equities and 19% in bonds as of 31 March, the data showed. They allocated 11% to alternatives and 9% to property, on average.At the end of March 2019, there were 100 funds across the UK’s LGPS system with £347.1bn in assets under management, an increase of 6.3% compared to 31 March 2018, according to data compiled by IPE.Average LGPS asset allocation (%)Chart Makerlast_img read more

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‘Coal Shed’ on the market with offers over €200,000

first_imgA landmark building known as the ‘Coal Shed” on the pier at Dunfanaghy has gone on the market with a guide price of offers in excess of €200,000.The property, which is understood to be owned locally, has been listed for sale by Franklin’s Estate Agents. They say this is a unique opportunity with superb waterfront location on the pier.It is expected that the sale will attract significant interest as in recent years Dunfanaghy has been in the spotlight as a popular year-round destination for tourists making their way along the Wild Atlantic Way.The village also attracts a large number of people from Northern Ireland who frequently visit the area on weekend and holiday periods.The vendor details that the owner is seeking offers of “over €200,000”and the closing date for offers is 12noon on Friday, 31st May unless the building is previously sold.They added: “An extremely rare opportunity to acquire this attractivestone building of c.1150 sq ft with a potential to develop for residential or commercial use (or both). “The sale is not subject to any planning permission so prospective buyers should satisfy themselves regarding the conversion with Donegal County Council Planning Department.“Waterfront properties come to the market very rarely, therefore, your early viewing/expression of interest is strongly recommended.”The freehold property is approximately 182 square metres in size and a green area next to the property is deemed a heritage site and cannot be built upon.‘Coal Shed’ on the market with offers over €200,000 was last modified: March 15th, 2019 by Staff WriterShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Coal ShedDunfanaghyfor salelast_img read more

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Rathmullan woman appointed Garda Superintendent

first_imgA well-known Donegal-based Garda has been promoted to the rank of Superintendent.Garda Goretti Sheridan has risen to the rank of Superintendent from her previous position of Inspector based in Letterkenny.Superintendent Sheridan will begin her new posting in Castlerea in the coming weeks. Ms Sheridan, who is from Rathmullan, has been stationed in Letterkenny since 2013.Tributes were paid to Superintendent Sheridan at this week’s sitting of Letterkenny District Court.Among those who paid tribute was Judge Paul Kelly and solicitor Frank Dorrian.Rathmullan woman appointed Garda Superintendent was last modified: April 30th, 2019 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:GardaGoretti SheridanSuperintendentlast_img read more

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Brand South Africa views World Bank 2018 Report as a clarion call to action

first_imgJohannesburg, Monday 14 January 2019 – Brand South Africa noted the areas of concern expressed in the World Banks’ Global Economic Prospects report which indicates that South Africa’s real GDP growth will expand by 1.3% in 2019.While the South African GDP outlook has seen a downward revision, this happens in a global context where the World Bank indicates that international trade and investment are moderating. Additionally the global economy and trading system is being challenged by trade tensions that remain elevated.Furthermore, the World Bank expects growth in emerging market and developing economies to lose momentum, and is projected to reach 4.2 percent this year. Important for South Africa is the fact that increased trade tensions between major economies stand to have a negative impact on commodity exporters due to potential price volatility.The World Bank had initially projected South Africa’s growth to be 1.8% in June 2018. However, the downward revision of the GDP outlook for 2019 is attributed to high levels of unemployment, challenges in mining production, low business confidence,  policy uncertainty, as well as slow growth in household credit extension which could constrain domestic demand.Speaking about the report, Brand South Africa’s GM for Research, Dr Petrus de Kock said: “While we acknowledge the bank’s report which states that South Africa’s growth is considerably lower than the 4.2% projected average of its emerging market peers, let us be reminded of the economic revival, and investment initiatives which have been put in place over the last year by President Cyril Ramaphosa.”Dr de Kock continued: “The success of the inaugural Investment Conference – as well as the Job Summit are coming to fruition. We see that the Department of Labour has begun implementing ideas with a R2 billion fund  which aims to create over 10,000 jobs, and fund small businesses.  The Investment Conference led to international and domestic companies pledging R290 billion in investments in South Africa – and this is on top of the R400 billion which was received during the investment drive by the special investment envoys and through various countries during state visits.”The World Bank report cites policy uncertainty as an additional challenge which confronts South Africa’s growth. In response Dr de Kock said that this is a typical and unfortunate opinion in an election year. The South African government, together with business acknowledge that investment will not occur without policy certainty.“In preparation for the 2018 Investment Conference government undertook significant analysis to identify structural constraints, as well as policy- or administrative hurdles, that inhibit investment or business. To this end the President announced initial steps towards structural reform at the investment conference. And subsequently, on the economic policy front, Cabinet, as recently as November 2018, approved the Strategy Framework for the pursuit of South Africa’s strategic economic interests which aims to ensure that international engagements serve the country’s domestic policy imperatives such as poverty alleviation, unemployment and inequality,” adds Dr de Kock.Dr de Kock says since the tabling of the 2018 Budget in Parliament, government has sought to reduce policy uncertainty and restore investor confidence by finalising the Mining Charter – which the SA mining industry has responded to positively; re-established a sustainable approach to energy planning by updating the Integrated Resource Plan for consideration by Parliament; revised the Public Procurement Bill, currently awaiting Cabinet approval for public consultation, which will replace existing regulations; and also appointed a panel to advise government on measures to effect fair and equitable land reform that will increase agricultural output and build self-sufficiency in food production.While the GDP outlook may have been revised by the World Bank, the work to stimulate growth, create jobs, and develop South African society continues. In coming week the President will lead Team SA’s delegation at WEF Davos (22-25 January). Following on the successful investment conference, the President will lead the delegation with a single- minded message focused on sharing outcomes from the conference, and communicating the fact that South Africa offers investors a stable environment, with significant hard- and soft infrastructure, regional connectivity, and a sophisticated and highly diversified market to operate in.At WEF Davos, Brand South Africa in partnership with ABSA, will host an investment seminar where the President and Minister of Trade and Industry – Dr Rob Davies will engage directly with international business representatives, and policy makers to profile South Africa’s policies, initiatives for business and investment. Following on that South Africa hosts the Mining Indaba during February, an event that annually attracts more than 7000 participants from all over the world. At this event developments in the Mining Charter, and opportunities for investment and business in the sector will be shared with fund managers, mining executives and decision makers.“This means that all is not lost, the work of realising GDP expansion requires innovation not only on the investment front. It requires South Africans themselves, who’s innovations, businesses (micro, small or large), creative solutions, products and services will ultimately help drive national economic growth. However, as a nation there are several lessons to take from the World Bank’s annual Global Economic Prospects report. As an open and transparent democratic system, government and business leaders have to work much harder to maintain the momentum and confidence in the country’s economy which was lifted by the investment conference among other initiatives,” concluded Dr de Kock.For more information or to set up interviews, please contact: Tsabeng NthiteTel: +27 11 712 5061Mobile: +27 (0) 76 371 6810Email:[email protected] www.brandsouthafrica.comlast_img read more

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Green From the Start: Small Victory Department

first_img RELATED ARTICLES Green From the Start – Home EditionGreen From the Start: Home Edition Volume 2What We Have Here Is a Failure to Communicate Green From the Start Redux, or Trying to Build Green in a Historic DistrictMusings on Lawsuits, Spiritual Energy, and Metal RoofsFinally! Starting Construction At My House I suppose I should be thankful that they aren’t requiring me to install fiberglass shingles — about the least sustainable product available — but somehow I can’t get that excited about being required to use flat seam, a practically obsolete, complicated, and expensive system. For the shingles, I will need to explore options such as metal, slate, concrete, and various plastics, all of which will likely be more expensive than that most vile of finishes — standing seam.Onward and upwardEnough of my whining about the negatives. I have been approved to build a house that pretty much fits my needs, so it’s time to start selecting finishes and equipment, going through the permit process, and getting my financing in order. If all goes well, I expect to get started in December or January with regular posts on my progress.I may avoid using spray and rigid foam insulation, and instead use a product like Owens Corning EnergyComplete, a flexible gasket combined with blown-in fiberglass, along with rigid mineral wool such as Roxul on the exterior as a thermal break. I am also considering a high-performance mini-split HVAC combined with a central dehumidifier, rather than a traditional ducted central system.I’m looking forward to pushing the envelope a little and indulging my short attention span by trying new products and systems in this project. Stay tuned; I’m sure the ride will be interesting. Well, it finally happened. My new house plans were approved by the local Hysterical Preservation Commission this week. Of course, there were a few hitches. I specified standing-seam metal roofing on the entire house and garage to allow for rainwater harvesting, but the commission and the neighbors pitched a fit about this particular finish selection. It seems that a nearby house recently was approved for, and installed, a corrugated galvanized roof on the front porch, which created quite a stir in the neighborhood, provoking a backlash against anything metal.Minor victoriesIt seems that the powers-that-be would most prefer that I install fiberglass shingles on the house. However, they have seen fit to allow me to install flat-seam metal on the porches, as well as an alternative type of roof on the main sections—provided it looks like shingles rather than sheet metal.last_img read more

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Military Caregiving Webinar – Back to Basics: Webinar

first_imgMark your calendars for our upcoming MFLN Military Caregiving (MFLNMC) professional development webinar Back to Basics: Medicare. Time: 11:00 a.m. EasternDate: Wednesday, January 27, 2016Event Location: lkjThe Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is the largest health payer in the United States, covering almost 90 million Americans. Medicare, the federal health insurance program for over age 65 and other qualified individuals, accounts for more than 48 million of those Americans through expenditures of more than $545 billion.During this webinar, Andy Crocker, Extension Program Specialist in Gerontology and Health with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, will provide a broad overview of the Medicare programs Parts A and B. In addition, the presentation will introduce the CMS National Training Program as a resource for further training and information. Webinar participants will have an opportunity to learn about:What is Medicare?How does Medicare work?What should military helping professionals and caregivers know about the program?Join us for the answers to these questions and more!CEU Credit Available!The MFLNMC has applied for 1.0 National Association of Social Workers (NASW) continuing education credit for credentialed participants. Certificates of Completion will also be available for training hours as well. For more information on CEU credits, see NASW Continuing Education Instructions. Interested in Joining the Webinar?Registration is required to join the webinar, but can be completed on the day of the event. To join the webinar, simply click on Back to Basics: Medicare. The webinar is hosted by the Department of Defense Connect System (DCS), but is open to the public. For those who cannot connect to the DCS site, an alternative viewing of this presentation will be running on Ustream. This MFLN-Military Caregiving concentration blog post was published on January 15, 2016.last_img read more

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Ministry Committed to Gender Mainstreaming in Disaster Risk Reduction – McKenzie

first_img The Ministry of Local Government and Community Development is committed to the facilitation of gender mainstreaming and values the importance of gender equality in disaster risk reduction. The Minister pointed out that Jamaica ranks high in female involvement in the areas of domestic, social and political life; however, greater involvement can be facilitated, particularly in disaster risk management. This was stated by Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, in a message at the January 24 Disaster Risk Management Gender Symposium, read by Senior Director of Corporate Services in the Ministry, Ann-Marie Mittoo. The Ministry of Local Government and Community Development is committed to the facilitation of gender mainstreaming and values the importance of gender equality in disaster risk reduction.This was stated by Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, in a message at the January 24 Disaster Risk Management Gender Symposium, read by Senior Director of Corporate Services in the Ministry, Ann-Marie Mittoo.The Minister pointed out that Jamaica ranks high in female involvement in the areas of domestic, social and political life; however, greater involvement can be facilitated, particularly in disaster risk management.“Let me underscore the commitment of the Ministry in gender mainstreaming by indicating that we have every intention of establishing gender focal points within the 14 municipal corporations islandwide,” Mr. McKenzie said.“This is to send a strong message that gender mainstreaming is not only a focus at the central government level, but it is a focus for us in local governance and at the community level. It is a way of life for us at the Ministry,” the Minister added.Gender mainstreaming is a gender equality strategy that assesses the implications for different genders of any programme, policy and legislation. These focal points will serve as avenues for gender mainstreaming in local governance.The symposium was hosted by ODPEM at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona campus. It focused on the importance of input from the male and female perspective in the development of a comprehensive disaster risk management plan. Story Highlightslast_img read more

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Donotcall

first_imgThe mobile subscribers are at the mercy of the unruly tele-callers who end up making calls at the most unwanted hour. It has been a daily routine for the subscribers to bear such calls and SMS’. According to data accessed from the telecom ministry 9,41,691 complaints  were received by service providers between 27 September, 2011 to 3 July, 2014 while the number of notices sent to unregistered telemarketers from 27 September, 2011 to 24 May, 2013 were 2,86,910. Also Read – A vintage affair with Shyam SundarA total of 4,94,688 of telephone disconnections of unregistered telemarketers were undertaken from September 7, 2011 to July 3, 2014. The data further shows that 8,25,404 connections were additionally disconnected on account of Unsolicited Commercial Communications (UCC) sent (proactive/call back numbers/entities). The number of notices sent to telemarketers with deduction in their security deposit and total amount deducted so far from 27 September, 2011 to 3 July, 2014 were 4,03,173. While 20 telemarketers were blacklisted during the same dates, 2,24,341 unregistered tele marketers were blacklisted for two years till 3 July, 2014. Given the high frequency of pesky calls, each mobile subscriber today looks for a solution to stop these unwanted messages and calls. Also Read – Melodious Mavericks – Jatin LalitFew years back the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), had introduced the DND (Do Not Disturb) service. A mobile subscriber could register his/her mobile number on DND and as per policy all unwanted messages and calls should have been stopped. But even after registering for the service, these calls and messages haven’t stopped even until now.  TRAI notified the ‘Telecom Unsolicited Commercial Communications (UCC) Regulations, 2007’ dated 5 June, 2007, putting in place a framework for controlling unsolicited commercial communications. It envisaged establishment of a National Do Not Call (NDNC) Registry to facilitate registration of requests from customers who do not wish to receive UCC. To improve the effectiveness of the framework, TRAI had subsequently amended these regulations from time to time by issuing amendments,’ said union telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad in the Rajya Sabha on 11 July, 2014.‘In order to make the regulatory framework for curbing UCC more effective, TRAI issued ‘Telecom Commercial Communications Customer Preference Regulations, 2010’ on 1December, 2010.  As per the provisions of the Telecom Commercial Communications Customer Preference Regulations, 2010, registration of telemarketers has started on the web portal www.nccptrai.gov.in from 15 January, 2011. Registration of customer preference on National Customer Preference Registry (NCPR) has started from 10 February, 2011. All the provisions of these regulations have come into force from 27 September, 2011,’ he added. Meanwhile the subscribers despite having the assurance from the operators, feel the heat of unwanted calls. ‘I receive so many spam SMS in a day that I have now lost interest in reading them. Sometimes even genuine text messages are kept unread or read after much delay due to this issue,’ says Om Prakash, an insurance company manager. Very few people have stopped receiving calls from every unknown number, he adds. A large number of telemarketers did not register with the Department of Telecommunications (DOT) as required, TRAI said earlier. Telemarketers have also shifted from voice calls to short message service (SMS), it added.The NDNC did not work very well also because many telephone users did not subscribe to the service. In a recent consultation paper, TRAI has proposed that subscribers should be instead offered an ‘opt-in’ option which requires them to register only if they want telemarketing calls, rather than the other way around. A number of countries are moving in this direction, according to TRAI. Another option proposed by TRAI is to make it easier for subscribers to register with the NDNC through the use of toll free special numbers, and interactive voice response systems.To force telemarketers to register with the DOT, TRAI is suggesting a ceiling on the maximum number of calls as well as SMS per day from a telephone number, wireless as well as wireline, so that it can force telemarketers to register with the telecommunications department. Analysts are however not sure how this will work. Mobile subscribers are a large and affluent market for telemarketers. Even mobile service providers cannot sometimes resist the temptation to SMS their subscribers with a variety of unsolicited offers, they add.last_img read more

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Artificial Intelligence Can Help Leaders Make Better Decisions Faster

first_img Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. August 15, 2018 Decision-making remains one of the ultimate tests for leadership in new entrepreneurs. Even experienced leaders who have a track record of sound decision-making have, at some point, made a drastically poor decision that shook their reputation.As the talk about AI promises a radical transformation of the organization, leaders are especially curious to know if it will make it easier for them. While a lot of them are excited, some of them don’t want decision-making made easier. Their ability to make sound decisions without complex technology is the very foundation of their reputation as good leaders.Related: Why ‘Cognitive Computing’ Is the Next Big Thing for Business GrowthThe good news is that AI is quite unlikely to make it easier for decision makers as they’ll be required to input judgment in the machine predictions. As the real impact remains to be seen, there are ways in which AI is set to inevitably affect business decision-making.1. Prediction.                                   Through data mining, many businesses are already using predictive analytics to make better decisions. Predictive analytics allows businesses to anticipate events by looking at a data set and trying to guess accurately what will happen at a certain time in the future.AI brings with it machine learning, another technique used in predictive analytics. The variation is that while data mining involves merely identifying patterns in large data sets, in machine learning, machines are not just designed to learn from the data, they are also built to react to it by themselves.With the information provided, decisions can be made on such issues as:Which ads are served based on cost-effectiveness and potential ROIHow to optimize the buyer journey by analyzing consumer behaviorHow to reduce customer churnHow achievable are the set goals 2. Less decision fatigue.Various psychological studies have shown that when we’re faced with many decisions to make within a short period of time, quality declines because we gradually deplete our mental energy.A case application of this is when supermarkets place candy and snacks at the cash register. Marketers know you’ll be making decisions throughout your short shopping trip and will be less likely to resist the sugar rush by the time you’re done. But you know who can resist the sugar? A machine.Algorithms, not prone to decision fatigue, can make an infinite number of decisions per day, each as accurate as possible. Executives who use AI will be at an advantage by using it to bypass human weakness.Related: The Sooner You Get Your First AI Job, the Better for Your Career3. Multi-tasking.When making complex decisions, executives typically need to look at a set of different factors. Where there’s too much data to be considered, the decision-maker may get overwhelmed, leading to disastrous decisions.On the contrary, a machine can easily handle multiple inputs without exhaustion or confusion. All that’s needed is a set of instructions or programs that guide the machine to use probability and suggest or implement the most logical decision.4. Better human judgment.Until we can instill emotional intelligence in AI, the human will be the one to make judgment calls. Sure, a machine can be left to make decisions on simpler tasks that don’t require emotional intelligence and experience — two factors that form the basis of judgment in business. But for the more critical ones where the probability and cost of a mistake is high, a human is needed. As argued by Ajay A., Joshua G. and Avi G., the ability to make trade-offs when necessary is another important aspect in good judgment that cannot be left to AI. This is because it requires an insider understanding of the organization in terms of values, goals and risks to give sound judgment.But AI can and should still be part of making judgment. Its role is to provide the human with all the facts and possible outcomes or predictions.5. Deciding who gets the job, if anyone.To find the best person for the job, the hiring manager needs to go through the pool of applicants and vet each one individually. But who has time for that when there are so many applicants? AI does.In the future, HR will be able to actually select the best candidate from all applicants by automating most of the responsibilities that make the process slow and inefficient. Machines will sift through hundreds of CVs to find the best, analyze online activity and find out enough information about them to suggest the best.With the mundane tasks out of the way and facts already compared for them, all the hiring manager will need to do is use their judgment to make the best decision.Related: 6 Common Hiring Practice With Unintentional BiasConclusion.Lots of exciting changes are on the horizon. While AI might not necessarily make the process easier, it’s going to significantly contribute towards streamlining decisions for better processes and an agile future organization. Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. 5 min read Register Now »last_img read more

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