‘Crisis in Japan: The Way Forward’

first_imgLike grief, like aging, like rocket launches, a disaster unfolds in stages. The earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear crisis that struck Japan March 11 may be entering another stage as the multiple effects ripple through the island nation’s economy, politics, and society.These ripples and the exact nature of the next stage in what is now being called 3/11 were discussed Wednesday (March 23) by a panel of Harvard Japanese analysts and Japanese officials, including Takeshi Hikihara, the consul general of Japan in Boston.Hikihara updated statistics that continue to worsen. As of March 22, there were 9,500 deaths, 16,000 people missing, 3,000 injured, and 260,000 evacuated. Low levels of radioactivity were seeping into produce and raw milk.But Hikihara emphasized areas of improvement. “Emergency supplies are beginning to reach suffering people,” he said. “I am happy to say [that] as of yesterday all the power was connected to each of the six [nuclear] power plants.”Only 12 days had passed since the initial earthquake, noted Susan Pharr, the Edwin O. Reischauer Professor of Japanese Politics. “We can start to think about some of the broader questions that all of this raises,” she said, “such as: What will it mean for the future of Japan? What will it mean for Japan’s leadership, including the Democratic Party of Japan, and [the] prime minister, and the future of Japanese democracy?”Institutional changes are inevitable and have already begun, the panelists said.“For the first time in Japanese history, Japanese military established a joint task force,” said Yoji Koda, a retired vice admiral of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force and now a senior fellow in the Harvard University Asia Center. A single commander has taken charge of all three of Japan’s services that are providing rescue operations, he said.Japan’s economy may be overhauled, said Kotaro Tamura, a former elected official in the Japanese Diet and currently a research associate in the Program on U.S.-Japan Relations in the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs.While the areas hit hardest by the disaster account for only 7 percent of Japan’s GDP, the rest of the country is suffering too, he said. Tokyo, for example, has lost 30 percent of its electricity, and people are not only conserving energy but are holding off on purchases. Toyota has slashed production; entertainment companies that have lost venues are declaring bankruptcy.Harmful rumors about radiation levels are playing a part. “People don’t shop, people don’t produce, people don’t go out,” Tamura said.  “We are losing purchasing power.”Citing the slogan “Disaster is a mother of reform,” Tamura outlined economic strategies that he believes should be considered. They include eliminating income taxes (as in Nevada, in which case gambling would have to be allowed); eliminating consumption taxes (as in New Hampshire); cutting corporate taxes; and creating favorable tax situations for the wealthy elderly to encourage them to stay.  He also urged the central government to give more discretionary power to local governments on taxation, regulation, and legislation.“Although the damage caused by this extreme event is much, much bigger than I can explain, Japan will come back with huge and extensive reforms that will be very good for the future,” Tamura said.Koda detailed the massive relief effort by the Japanese military and police and fire departments, showing slides of relief efforts amid scenes of devastation. “Since everything is gone, the only means to get to persons in the distressed area is by manpower,” he said.His voice cracked while describing small miracles: the baby found amid the rubble; the man found at sea on the roof of his house.  More than 19,000 people have been rescued. “There’s hope,” he said. He showed a slide of people patiently waiting for water with “no struggle, no fight,” a sign of the Japanese power of patience.Every possible measure is being taken to cool down the nuclear reactors damaged in the earthquake and tsunami, he said, describing progress as “two steps forward and 1.5 steps back.”“It’s clear we’re entering a new stage in how this disaster is evolving in Japan,” said Michael Reich, the Taro Takemi Professor of International Health Policy.In a disaster, Reich said, there is “the heroic stage of saving people, the stage where people are in shock, then moving into a stage of disillusionment as people get angry at what has happened to them, and a stage of reconstruction.”  Japan is now emerging from the first, emergency stage, he said.“A disaster is an opportunity to regain a sense of national purpose. But this is going to require some visionary leadership,” he said. “The question is who is it today in Japan who can do this?”To ensure that the historical record of the unfolding disaster is preserved, Andrew Gordon, the Lee and Juliet Folger Fund Professor of History, said Harvard has launched a digital archive project to preserve the Internet records of the event — such as Twitter feeds, web pages, and social media observations —  that might otherwise disappear.“We’re part of something that’s going to have an important impact for many years,” Gordon said. “We need to be attentive to preserving the record of what’s happening.”He requested that material be sent to [email protected] panel was sponsored by the Edwin O. Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies, the Program on U.S.- Japan Relations, the Asia Center, and the Takemi Program in International Health.last_img read more

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Coaches make difference in South Bend

first_imgBrian Kelly and Charlie Weis have more in common than simply having held the position of Notre Dame head football coach: Both were inspired by personal family experiences to found organizations in South Bend. In 2003, Weis and his wife Maura founded Hannah and Friends, a nonprofit organization to improve the lives of children and adults with special needs. They began the organization in recognition of their daughter, Hannah, who has developmental disorders. The Weis family currently lives in Kansas City, Mo., but continues its involvement with Hannah and Friends, which is still located in South Bend. Brian Kelly and his wife Paqui founded the Kelly Cares Foundation to support initiatives in education, women’s health and community. Paqui, a two-time breast cancer survivor, said the foundation’s focus includes breast cancer awareness and research. The Kellys started their foundation in 2008, while Brian was Cincinnati’s head football coach, but Paqui said it has grown and developed since moving to South Bend. “We did do a lot this past year,” Paqui said. “I feel like this is our first kickoff year.” Hannah and Friends has also expanded in the past year, since the September 2009 opening of its 30-acre farm in South Bend. The farm offers programming and residential opportunities for people with special needs. Sharon Bui-Green, Hannah and Friends’ executive director, said the Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s communities remain highly involved with the organization. “Football is what probably had most alums and most people in the community find out about Hannah and Friends,” Bui-Green said. “But once they found out about us … it became greater than football.” Earlier this month, Bui-Green said Dillon Hall residents spent a day at the Hannah and Friends farm for community service and students from Pasquerilla East Hall participated in a “ladies’ night” with adult residents. “People just have an innate desire to help others, and us being so close to campus I think students continue to do that,” Bui-Green said. Bui-Green said Maura Weis still checks in with Hannah and Friends’ staff on a weekly basis and visits frequently. “We’re still a very mom-and-pop organization that they’re actively participating in,” she said. In 2011, Maura and Hannah Weis plan to move back to South Bend. The Weis family decided the move would provide Hannah with consistency and allow her to participate in Hannah and Friends’ programming, Bui-Green said. The Kelly Cares Foundation, like Hannah and Friends, involves a large commitment from its founders. Paqui Kelly said since moving to South Bend, she has spent an increased amount of time working with Kelly Cares. “I think previously it seemed more that I would be at the events, but now it’s more of a grassroots, where I’m pretty much the base that goes with the Kelly Cares Foundation,” she said. “At this point it is full time … but it’s a great and rewarding new venue for me.” Kelly Cares hosted fundraisers this year through golf outings, Football 101 events with Coach Kelly and other speaking events. Paqui said part of the inspiration to begin the foundation came from feeling blessed during her own battles with breast cancer. She benefited from early detection and proactive healthcare and had the support of family and friends throughout her treatments. “I learned some things [during my own treatments] and I think at the end of the day you see those lights come and you say, ‘what should I be doing?’” she said. Breast cancer awareness is a major aspect of the Kelly Cares mission. As part of this initiative, the foundation sold pink wristbands during the month of October. “We just hope that in spreading that word, that in itself will help save people’s lives,” she said. Kelly Cares also works in other areas, such as education. The foundation has already donated to Notre Dame’s Hesburgh Library and the Robinson Community Learning Center in South Bend. The foundation will issue a press release early in 2011 announcing more initiatives, which Kelly said are not yet finalized. Beyond football and coaching records, Bui-Green said it is important that football coaches make an impact in the larger community. “[Weis’] legacy had made a tremendous impact on so many people,” she said. “It makes me really proud to be a part of his organization.”last_img read more

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Fr. Jim Martin to offer talk on LGBT community and church

first_imgCampus Ministry, the Gender Relations Center (GRC) and the Center for Social Concerns will co-sponsor a lecture delivered by live video Monday night. Fr. Jim Martin will discuss his book “Building A Bridge: How the Catholic Church and the LGBT Community Can Enter into a Relationship of Respect, Compassion and Sensitivity.” The lecture starts at 6 p.m. in DeBartolo Hall room 101, and Martin will answer questions until 10 p.m.One of the organizers for the event, Fr. Joe Corpora from Campus Ministry, said he wanted to bring Fr. Martin’s lecture to campus to spark a discussion about how students can identify as LGBT and be members of the Church.“The way I began this whole thing at Notre Dame is that I kept running into students who were totally of the Church, had left the Church,” Corpora said. “But then I would run into other students who were on the way out or maybe quietly out but really still wanted to be Catholic. And I thought, ‘Well if they come out and leave the Church, then who’s going to be left for the Church?’”After reading Martin’s book, Corpora said he had a mutual friend introduce him to Martin, so he could ask about giving the talk.“It’s the most tame book you’re going to read,” he said. “All it’s trying to say is how the Church and a community — namely the LGBT community — might each learn to respect and value each other,” Corpora said. “I thought it’s important that we offer something for students — whoever they happen to be — to think about this.”Corpora said he received some pushback from individuals about the talk, but not from the Notre Dame community.“I will talk with anybody,” Corpora said. “But this borders on being hateful, the way the email is written: ‘We are calling for the immediate rescinding of this invitation, and this priest does nothing but promote animalistic urges inside of humans,’ which is simply not true.”Corpora said Martin’s message aligns with Church teaching.“First of all, he’s not promoting homosexuality,” he said. “Second of all, he’s not saying not to be chaste.”Corpora said a planning committee, which included individuals from the GRC and Campus Ministry, as well as four students, helped to coordinate the event.Sophomore Francesca Denegri, a member of the planning committee, said she thinks it’s important for Notre Dame to invite a speaker who will address this topic.“A lot of times, students have criticized how Notre Dame kind of isolates the LGBTQ community, but this is such a leap in actually opening up the conversation … and not just hiding behind it,” Denegri said.After the lecture, attendees will be given a piece of paper with a prayer on one side and resources such as the GRC and PrismND on the other. Two follow-up sessions will also be offered the following week for students who may want to discuss the topic further, Corpora said.Corpora said he hopes the lecture will open the conversation on campus about the relationship between the LGBT community and the Church.“If you don’t have the conversation, the Church loses, and so does the LGBT community,” he said. “It’s like everyone loses, so let’s have a conversation, at least to talk with each other. I hope it will provoke more discussion at Notre Dame on a topic that’s not going to go away, either in the world or in the Church.”Tags: Building a Bridge, Campus Ministry, Center for Social Concerns, Fr. Joe Corpora, Gender Relations Centerlast_img read more

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Thanksgiving: Who are we fooling?

first_imgThanksgiving is upon us and with it comes an abundance of things for which to be thankful. Family and friends, health, gainful employment, a roof over our heads, and – who could forget – a scrumptious holiday feast. Just thinking about turkey and stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, pumpkin pie and whipped cream sends my salivary glands into overdrive, even though the big day is still a week away. I do try my best to eat well for the other 364 days of the year, but this day is special. No holds barred. Gluttony at its finest.Fortunately the Thanksgiving holiday offers more than just the opportunity to be grateful and to pig out. In addition to the traditional spectator activities that the day brings (the Macy’s parade and Lions football), the annual Turkey Trot has become a ritual for many runners across the country. Our region alone offers at least ten of them, with enticing names such as the Drumstick Dash and the Giblet Jog. What a way to begin the holiday festivities – get your workout done early in the morning, leaving plenty of time for guilt-free gorging.Only one problem – the average 160 lb. Turkey Trotter burns just under four hundred calories in a 5k race. And the average Thanksgiving dinner? Anywhere from 3000 to 4500 calories, depending on how many extra helpings of stuffing you pile on your plate. Another slice of pumpkin pie? Better lace up your shoes – you’ve got 2 ½ more miles to run.Just for fun, I went online to calculate the approximate number of calories I’ll consume this Thanksgiving. By conservative estimates (the calculator didn’t allow for the inevitable seconds of sweet potatoes, stuffing and gravy), I’ll take in 2395 calories. Yikes! I’ll need to run twenty-five miles to burn off that meal.Which brings a dilemma. Forego the seconds? Not a chance. This year, I’m proposing that we ditch the turkey trot 5k’s. Who are we fooling? Those runs don’t even put a dent in our holiday calorie consumption. What we really need are some Thanksgiving ultras. Who’s in for the Fat Turkey 50 Mile? Or maybe the Hungry Pilgrim 100k? Whatever your distance, just get out there – and be thankful for the ability to do so.last_img read more

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If your credit union died today…

first_img 11SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Bo McDonald Bo McDonald is president of Your Marketing Co. A marketing firm that started serving credit unions nearly a decade ago, offering a wide range of services including web design, branding, … Web: yourmarketing.co Details Here’s something to think about: What if your credit union died today? What if you locked your doors, shut off the lights, and just faded away? Would your members be irritated at the inconvenience of moving their accounts to another financial institution, or would they be genuinely distraught because no one else can offer you what you provide?Consider that scenario for a moment and how it frames your value proposition. Is it as solid as it should be? Are you a commodity or an experience?As we head into 2019 and you begin executing your strategic plan, your marketing plan, and various other initiatives for the coming year, what will it take for you to elevate your brand to something more than just a logo and name? Believe it or not, it may come down to whether your members consider you an acquaintance or a friend. An acquaintance is someone you run into from time to time. A friend is someone whose company you seek out on a regular basis. An acquaintance is someone you can laugh with on a surface level. A friend is someone you can cry with over matters much deeper.We tend to connect with people who interest us. We have fun with folks who know how to have fun. We bond most easily with those who share our beliefs. But when it comes to our deepest friendships, they are usually forged with people who have shared our pain. The seeds of commitment are watered by tears.Think of the people you can always count on—the ones who have your back. You know exactly who they are. If you were in jail, they would be the person on the other end of your one phone call. Why? Because if they’re not in the cell next to you, you can count on the fact that they’d be there to bail out you. The storms of adversity can tear acquaintances apart, but they can also strengthen the bonds of true friendship.So, do your members consider you an acquaintance or a friend? Will they trust you when times get tough? Would you be their first call when a financial emergency strikes? Or better yet, will they come to you during the good times when they need a trusted partner to help them buy their first home?As you enter into the coming year, look for ways to take your member relationships beyond a sales pitch or a polite, yet impersonal “hello” each time you interact with them. If your ultimate goal is member retention, spend some time brainstorming with your team and finding creative ways to develop new friendships and deepen existing relationships with each member. last_img read more

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Progressives Should Be Pleased By What Bernie Sanders Has Done So Far

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York By David SprintzenGiven the completely unpredictable nature of the current political campaign, it is probably somewhat of a fool’s errand to offer the following comments, but I’ll offer them nonetheless. U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders’ losing four of five Eastern primaries on Tuesday makes it almost certain that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic presidential candidate.Having said that, from the perspective of one who shares practically all of the views expressed by Sen. Sanders (I-VT)—and thus, obviously, would love to see him elected president—I believe his total results are the best that progressives like myself could hope for. Let me briefly suggest why, knowing that there is much more that needs to be said on these matters.I sincerely doubt that Sanders could have been elected. I know that polls say differently, but I think they completely fail to take into consideration the kind of withering attack that he would face not only from Republicans, but from the mega-rich and the media, both from the mainstream and from the radical right of Talk Radio.Sanders’ campaign has laid the groundwork for the mobilization of the kind of revolution that he has called for. That is not something that can be done overnight, but will take time and expanded organizing. He has given public “mainstream” political legitimacy to the ideas of Occupy Wall Street—which they were incapable, and even uninterested, in doing. And he has mobilized vast numbers of previously “silent” citizens—particularly Millenials—who can now, hopefully, be brought into the continuing national progressive network of organizations such as MoveOn, US Action, National People’s Action, the Alliance for a Just Society, Citizen Action, the Working Families Party, Planned Parenthood, the Sierra Club, etc. These groups offer the opportunity to move the Democratic Party—and the country—in a far more progressive direction.Sanders’ campaign has already moved the Democratic Party, and its presumptive nominee, to the left. Clearly, one cannot expect Clinton to stay there without sustained pressure from this newly mobilized left—given her history and the Obama administration’s neo-liberal policies—but the groundwork and mobilization to do that is now possible.Donald Trump’s garnering the Republican nomination offers both probably the weakest possible opponent to a Democratic victory, and one whom I believe is surprisingly less dangerous than would be a U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), or Gov. John Kasich (R-Ohio) as a nominee. No doubt that last remark calls for an explanation that I cannot provide here. Simply let me assert that, terrible as Trump obviously is, he is less beholden to and captured by the full neo-liberal program of the Republican Establishment than they are.Thus, the election of New York’s former Democratic U.S. Senator is the more likely scenario. And, with all Clinton’s liabilities (see below), she will be presenting a reasonable corporate liberal agenda, including probably a few new U.S. Supreme Court justices. And hopefully, contributing to the election of a Democratic Senate with an enhanced progressive majority, plus a reasonable increase in Democratic representation in the House.But the major work will still be to build the national progressive movement state-by-state, while maintaining pressure on a Clinton administration. And if the Republican convention degenerates into a political brawl, so much the better for discrediting the radical right, and weakening its hold on what was once actually a conservative party.Having said all this, progressives, whatever their proclivities, will have to actively support Clinton’s campaign, whatever their misgivings, while building on Sanders’ momentum. This is certainly not the best of all worlds, but it’s the one we live in, and we must make our choices as effective as possible. There will be only two significant alternatives before us, and no outcome is foreordained, especially in a country in which either party begins any national election probably with more than 40 percent of the electorate committed in advance to vote for their candidate. And the possible election of a Republican is not something to take lightly.As for the politics of Clinton and President Barack Obama, let me share my personal abridgment of insightful comments by former White House counselor to President Bill Clinton and a two-time Democratic nominee for governor of Connecticut, Bill Curry, in his widely shared March 9 Salon piece “It should be over for Hillary: Party elites and MSNBC can’t prop her up after Bernie’s Michigan miracle,” which he offered immediately after Sanders’ remarkable victory in Michigan. I excerpt them with extensive personal modifications for which he is in no way responsible:“The fault lines of the new politics are not cultural issues like guns, abortion and same-sex marriage that divide the Democratic and Republican bases. They are issues of political reform and economic justice that divide both parties’ elites from both parties’ bases, and the American people from their government. On these issues we find the elites of both parties shockingly alike. Among them: global trade; financial deregulation and non-prosecution of financial crimes; (attacks on) the social safety net including Social Security, Medicare, a living wage and health care for all; above all, (being quite comfortable with) the ‘soft corruption’ of pay-to-play politics.“There’s a name for the bipartisan consensus of party elites: neo-liberalism. It is an inconvenient name for many reasons, but mostly because it seems odd that the worldview of the Republican elite would be an ideology with the root word ‘liberal’ in its name but it is true, nonetheless. And may even shed a little light on the open, bitter breach between GOP elites and the party base. Democrats stayed loyal longer to their elites for two reasons. One is their love of two very talented politicians, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, whose charm and verbal dexterity masked deep differences with the base. The other is their fear of Republicans.“I often talk to Democrats who don’t know Obama chose not to raise the minimum wage as president even though he had the votes for it; that he was willing to cut Medicare and Social Security and chose not to prosecute Wall Street crimes or pursue ethics reforms in government. They don’t know he dropped the public option or the aid he promised homeowners victimized by mortgage lenders. They don’t know and don’t want to know. Their affection for Bill and Barack—and their fear of Republicans—run too deep.“Hillary Clinton has neither their deft personal touch nor protean verbal skills. …Voters sense she’s just moving pawns on a chess board in part because she can never explain her change of heart and often doesn’t even try. She switched horses on global trade in a blog post, on the Keystone pipeline at a grammar school event. In a recent debate she left fracking to the GOP governors who covered themselves in glory on Obamacare, as if it were a states’ rights issue. With her Super PAC (and hers and Bill’s breathtaking haul of $153 million in mostly corporate speaking fees), she is the living avatar of pay-to-play politics.“She remains woefully out of touch with the public mood in other ways.… Clinton has been helped in her quest by her party, by big business, and by top-down endorsements from progressive lobbies many of which broke members’ hearts to deliver them. But no one’s helped her more than the media. I know full well this hasn’t always been true for the Clintons and I also know not all the help is intentional. But the media helps her, primarily by promoting the ‘conventional neo-liberal economic wisdom’ that both she and they share.”[Read Curry’s complete Salon commentary HERE]Let me conclude with a few brief comments on neo-liberalism.Neo-liberalism is clearly a set of policies essentially promoted by the corporate sector, particularly those involved with financial services. It constitutes a systematic attack on the positive role of government in regulating, coordinating and directing economic activity, while seeking to redress the tendency of unregulated capitalism to create vast economic and political inequalities. It promotes unbridled free market capitalism, prioritizing the consumer over the citizen, thus undermining democratic self-government and the collective well being of the people. Its inevitable result, as should finally be quite evident, is extraordinary wealth for the few, and increasing impoverishment for the rest. It must be exposed for what it is, and ultimately defeated.David Sprintzen is professor emeritus of philosophy at Long Island University and founder and former co-chair of the Long Island Progressive Coalition, where he continues to serve as a member of the board of directors.last_img read more

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British Steel wins IPE’s Best European Pension Fund Award

first_imgThe British Steel Pension Fund was the big winner at this year’s IPE Awards, held at the Hotel Arts in Barcelona, taking home three trophies.In addition to winning the coveted Best European Pension Fund Award, the €19.3bn defined benefit scheme also won the Best Pension Fund in the United Kingdom and In-house Investment Team awards.Theo Kocken, founder and chief executive of Cardano, won the Outstanding Industry Contribution Award for his influence in the pensions industry with regard to risk management and preparing for future financial crises.PenSam’s Helen Kobæk walked away with the Pension Fund Achievement of the Year Award for her commitment to the development of social welfare benefits in Denmark. SILVER AWARDS    Active Management: PenSamPassive Management: West Midlands Pension FundBest Corporate Pension Fund: Santander UK Group Pension Scheme Common FundBest Industry-Wide Pension Fund: Pension Protection FundBest Public Pension Fund: The Church CommissionersBest Small European Pension Fund: Frjálsi Pension FundBest Sovereign Reserve Fund: FRR and NLB Penziski Fond BRONZE AWARDS Alternatives: Merchant Navy Officers’ Pension FundEquities: SEB PensionFixed Income: Bosch Pensionsfonds AG COUNTRY AWARDSBest Pension Fund in Austria: Allianz Pensionskasse (Pensionskasse) and VBV – Vorsorgekasse (Vorsorgekasse)Best Pension Fund in Belgium: IntegraleBest Pension Fund in Central & Eastern Europe: KB First Pension CompanyBest Pension Fund in Denmark: PFA PensionBest Pension Fund in Finland: Elo Mutual Pension Insurance CompanyBest Pension Fund in France: IrcantecBest Pension Fund in Germany: Deutsche Telekom Pensionswerke (bAV) and Ärzteversorgung Westfalen-Lippe (Versorgungswerk)     Best Pension Fund in Ireland: Construction Workers’ Pension SchemeBest Pension Fund in Italy: Fondo Pensione LaborfondsBest Pension Fund in The Netherlands: Nedlloyd PensioenfondsBest Pension Fund in Portugal: Fundo de Pensões Aberto BPI ValorizaçãoBest Pension Fund in Small Countries: Almenni Pension FundBest Pension Fund in Spain: Pensions Caixa 30Best Pension Fund in Sweden: SPKBest Pension Fund in Switzerland: Pension Fund SBBBest Pension Fund in the UK: British Steel Pension Fund The full list of winners GOLD AWARDS    Best European Pension Fund: British Steel Pension FundOutstanding Industry Contribution: Theo Kocken, CardanoPension Fund Achievement of the Year: Helen Kobæk, PenSamLong-Term Investment Strategy: Trafalgar House Pension Trust PenSam picked up two further awards for Active Management and Specialist Investment Managers.The fourth Gold Award – for Long-Term Investment Strategy – went to the UK’s Trafalgar House Pension Trust.Other notable winners included the UK’s Merchant Navy Officers’ Pension Fund (MNOPF), SEB Pension of Denmark and Germany’s Bosch Pensionsfonds, which each won two awards.The MNOPF won the Alternatives and Innovation awards, while SEB Pension took home the Equities and Smart Beta trophies.Bosch Pensionsfonds came out best in the Fixed Income and Diversification awards.Altogether, there were 43 awards from a record number of entries. THEMED AWARDSClimate-Related Risk Management: Environment Agency Pension FundDC/Hybrid Strategy: NESTDiversification: Bosch Pensionsfonds AGEmerging Markets: Royal County of Berkshire Pension FundESG: ERAFPInfrastructure: PensionDanmarkIn-house Investment Team: British Steel Pension FundInnovation: Merchant Navy Officers’ Pension FundPortfolio Construction: FRRReal Estate: Merseyside Pension FundRisk Management: Superannuation Arrangements of the University of London (SAUL)Smart Beta: SEB PensionSpecialist Investment Managers: PenSamlast_img read more

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Jeremy Woolfe: Through the glass, brightly

first_imgEIOPA offers a few tasty morsels on transparency, Jeremy Woolfe writesWhen it came to the appetizer for the PensionsEurope ‘Making Pension Work’ annual conference in Brussels, surprise, surprise, there were no surprises. But there were tasty morsels on transparency.Speaking at a reception the evening before the main conference, Fausto Parente, executive director at EIOPA, led with comments on IORPs (Institutions for Occupational Retirement Provision). The need, he said, is to be realistic: “It will do harm if we pretend everything is fine and ignore the existing challenges.”Parente then referred to his authority’s two important recent steps. First was its EU-wide stress test for occupational pensions, and second was its issuing of an opinion to the EU institutions on a common framework for risk assessment and transparency. Appropriately, perhaps, he was speaking in the luxurious foyer, where the glass ceiling looked up to the sky, and where the floor beneath his feet was also glass. He was standing with his back to a wall, about three generous storeys high, also entirely made of glass panels. Parente pointed out EIOPA had already recommended that policymakers base their work on not hiding behind “jargon”. Funds should present information in a simple and standardised manner, he said. And there should be a common structure in place to help pension beneficiaries to compare different schemes when, for example, a worker wishes to change jobs.No doubt, he would have been aware that, not far across town, IORP rules might just be in the final stages of clearing through the Brussels legislative machinery. It is regretful, Parente commented, that EIOPA’s work has shown that even pension supervisors – “too many of them”, he said – simply do not know what the operating costs of schemes come to.last_img read more

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Fugro nets Hollandse Kust (noord) site survey work

first_imgCrossWind also recently selected Van Oord as the Balance of Plant contractor for the Hollandse Kust (noord) offshore wind project. CrossWind plans to have the 759 MW Hollandse Kust (noord) operational by 2023, generating at least 3.3 TWh per year. “With a signed contract in place and the site investigation team mobilising, the work is progressing well to deliver clean energy by 2023.” The CPT survey will see Fugro utilise its seabed SEACALF MkV DeepDrive CPT system. Previously deployed on North Sea projects, the SEACALF acquires data over the full foundation depth of wind turbines. For the UXO clearance job, Fugro will mobilise its multipurpose vessel Atlantis Dweller. Vessels According to Fugro, the work will begin this month and should complete by the end of September. As the Balance of Plant contractor, Van Oord’s activities encompass the engineering, procurement, construction, and installation of the foundations, the inter-array cables, and transportation and installation of the wind turbines. The CrossWind consortium of Shell and Eneco has awarded Fugro a geotechnical site investigation contract for the Hollandse Kust (noord) offshore wind farm. The wind farm will be located 18.5 kilometres off the Dutch coast near the town of Egmond aan Zee. Van Oord to build Hollandse Kust (noord) Categories: Tjalling de Bruin, project director for CrossWind, said: The work will comprise an unexploded ordnance (UXO) site clearance survey followed by a seabed cone penetration test (CPT) investigation. Posted: about 1 month ago Posted: about 1 month agolast_img read more

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Laudrup unhappy with late penalty

first_img However, the Swans, who had let leads slip in the dying moments of both Europa League meetings with Kuban Krasnodar, were denied again when Madley, taking charge of only his third Premier League game, decided Wayne Routledge had handled after Steven Nzonzi flicked on a Robert Huth header. Substitute Charlie Adam made no mistake from the spot as the Potters snatched a point. Laudrup conceded the ball had “maybe” struck Routledge on the arm, but he was deeply unhappy with the decision despite attempting to be careful with his words in order to avoid any action from the Football Association. He said: “In every game there are talking points over decisions, but when I saw it again, or even out there, there are seven Stoke players in the box and none were asking for a penalty, apart from Peter Crouch, who was appealing for a corner. “So there was only one man in the stadium who thought it was a penalty, and unfortunately that was the referee. “But the referees are not allowed to say anything and I have to be careful what I say otherwise I will get a fine or a sanction. “Of course we can all make mistakes and say we are sorry, the players can do the same. But we have to leave the referees, it would be nice if the referee said ‘sorry, it was a mistake’.” When it was put to him that the ball had struck Routledge’s arm, Laudrup said: “Maybe, but it is not always handball if it touches you. A thrilling Liberty Stadium encounter ended in a 3-3 draw, a result which had looked unlikely when Stoke roared into a 2-0 first-half lead as Jonathan Walters and Stephen Ireland produced composed finishes. But Wilfried Bony got one back early in the second half, before Nathan Dyer levelled and the Ivorian struck his 10th goal of the season to put Swansea ahead with four minutes to go. Press Association Swansea manager Michael Laudrup felt referee Robert Madley owed him and his players an apology after seeing his side suffer stoppage-time agony for the third time in four games against Stoke. “Whenever there is a handball there are players trying to do something to make the referee give handball. “But there were seven Stoke players in the box, none of them asking for the penalty. “It was in the last minute, if Stoke thought it was handball I am sure they would try to ask for it. So why give it? “It would have been a fantastic win and it is all away because of a very, very bad decision.” He added: “I have not spoken to the referee, I do not know the rules on that so I have to be careful. I have heard you cannot even say a referee is good before the game or you can get fined, so I can’t say much more as I don’t have £10,000 to waste.” But Laudrup did praise his side’s fightback after a poor first-half display. “I just feel so sorry for my players given how they performed after a difficult start to the game, 2-0 down after 20 or so minutes,” he said. “We couldn’t believe it but we continued to play in a difficult situation. We came out in the second half and kept Stoke in their box for the entire second half. “We scored one, then the second and what should have been the winner, and then this happens in the last minute.” Stoke boss Mark Hughes saw his side’s winless run extend to eight league games, but was happy to take a point, although he did have sympathy for Laudrup. He said: “I have seen it and I can understand why Swansea are aggrieved about it, but those things can go for you or go against you and we are grateful we got a break. “It still had to be dispatched and Charlie did well as he had not been on long and showed good mental strength to get us a point, which at that stage it looked like we were not going to get. “In the first half we were excellent, we came with a gameplan and executed it. “We knew there would be a response, we knew they would put us under pressure, and we could have handled it better. “To concede three goals in the manner we did was not what we have been about this season.” last_img read more

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