Bringing culture outdoors

first_imgThe idea of “The City as Canvas” is to bring art — what one might experience behind the doors of museums and cultural institutions — into public spaces.On Friday, Loeb Fellow Helen Marriage led a conversation on that topic as part of the series “The Power of Cultural Disruption” at the Graduate School of Design. Jim Lasko, a Loeb Fellow and co-artistic director of Chicago’s Redmoon Theater Company, and Elizabeth Streb, a prominent choreographer, joined Marriage in the discussion.Lasko said that his commitment to public space and the “narrow band of the public” who actually experience art in traditional venues have driven his work into everything from Chicago’s most crime-infested neighborhoods to the plaza and façade of the Museum of Contemporary Art.Lasko said his work focuses on “incorporating the many into the experience of what art is” as “a mechanism for illuminating humanity in a public space.”“Public space symbolizes how we understand our culture,” he said. Creating art in public space, he said, “induces people to have more liberty.”Rather than comment on her art, Streb suggested playing a video of her work commissioned by the mayor of London for the Olympics last year. “Action speaks louder than words,” she said.While planning the event, titled “One Extraordinary Day,” she became obsessed with “piercing the sky with the human form.” She succeeded in creating art in, on, and hanging from some of London’s most famous places, in a way “that people couldn’t look away from.”The talk turned into a lively exchange between the presenters and the audience of about three dozen people, who asked about financing large-scale projects and navigating the bureaucracies of institutions and governments.“As soon as you become involved in client services, the client sets the parameters,” said Lasko, joking that he is very good at waiting tables. “Part of the magic is that there is no sell,” he continued. “It’s a gift.”“Debt” was one solution, said Streb, remembering the days when she was a struggling artist with a day job working in a restaurant.When working with governments, trust and respect are vital, Marriage said. “You can change the world if you have that.”When the topic turned to critics, Streb commented that she “got slammed for [her show at] Park Avenue Armory, but still sold 800 tickets.”Streb also encouraged “class analysis” and said that it “would be a better world if everyone could walk through the doors [of a museum] and feel like frolicking,” no matter what they looked like.“The Power of Cultural Disruption” explores how cultural events can transform public space. The next event, “The City as Forum,” will be held at the Graduate School of Design at 1:15 p.m. on March 15 in Room 124, with guest Justine Simons, head of culture at the mayor of London’s office.last_img read more

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Drug Trafficker Wanted by the DEA Is Detained in Costa Rica

first_imgBy Dialogo June 13, 2011 The Costa Rican authorities on Thursday arrested alleged Colombian drug trafficker Alexander Leudo Nieves, wanted by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), Public Safety Minster Mario Zamora announced. Leudo Nieves, who was living in Costa Rica, “was under investigation for two years for his alleged relationship with the organization led by Silvio Montaño Vergara,” another Colombian drug trafficker, Zamora said at a press conference. The minister explained that the Colombian’s arrest was part of an operation by the Anti-Drug Police and the Public Prosecutor’s Office against organized crime, in which searches were conducted in fifteen different locations in three of the country’s provinces, San José, Puntarenas (in western Costa Rica), and Heredia (in northern Costa Rica). As a result of the operation, ten individuals were detained, seven Costa Ricans and three Colombians (one of them Leudo), who were members of a cocaine-trafficking ring. Zamora said that the drugs were brought to Costa Rica from Colombia, by way of Panama, and were transported to Mexico from here. “This organization is linked to two cocaine seizures made on 29 April, of 40 kilos of cocaine, and last year on 1 June, of 56 kilos” of the same drug, both in the city of San José, a statement by the Public Prosecutor’s Office specified.last_img read more

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A Chilean Marine’s Experience at RIMPAC

first_imgBy By Lance Cpl. Adam Montera, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific August 06, 2018 Chilean Marine Corporal German Letelier, exited the rear of a U.S. Marine Corps CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter onto a field of tall grass and found a secure position as quickly as possible. Exiting with him were marines from the Philippines and the United States; Letelier was the sole representative from the Chilean Marine Corps. He was on the first of two helicopter waves that inserted the troops into the Pohakuloa Training Area (PTA), on the ‘Big Island’ of Hawaii as part of the biennial Rim of the Pacific Exercise (RIMPAC), on July 12, 2018. Ahead, they could see the objective: two small towns known to contain a large number of civilians along with enemy combatants. The group of multinational service members moved forward by squads and fire teams toward the closest objective, knowing that they were likely to be engaged by the enemy at any second. Surely enough, about 200 meters from the town, Cpl. Letelier heard rounds go off. Cpl. Letelier and the other marines involved in the operation pushed into the town, eventually joined by the Republic of Korea and U.S. marines from the second helicopter wave. After clearing both towns, they proceeded with the primary purpose of the training exercise: evacuating noncombatant personnel from danger. “I like what we are doing here,” Cpl. Letelier said. “The exchange of experience during [urban operations] was quite good. Our tactics, techniques and procedures were quite similar to the U.S. marines, so it was kind of easy to mix up the units and achieve some good training.” With that mission complete, Cpl. Letelier checked off his first training event on PTA during RIMPAC. His biggest takeaway so far is how it is important to break down a scenario and understand the mission of everyone else involved in the operation, starting with yourself and working your way up to the larger units. While Cpl. Letelier might have been the only Chilean marine involved in the noncombatant evacuation operation (NEO), he is not the only one involved in RIMPAC. By July 15, he was joined by a platoon of his brothers in arms, all of whom have been actively participating in the exercise on the island of Oahu since their arrival at the end of June. Cpl. Letelier, a squad leader for the Chilean Marine Corps’ 1st Platoon, 211th Company, 21st Battalion, has served in the Chilean Marine Corps for 13 years. He joined at a young age for simple and honorable reasons. Attracted by the idea of service to his country and interest in the military is what initially grabbed his attention. After spending time in the service, he further realized that while Chile might not be involved in direct conflict often, it was still important for the country to be prepared for any possibility. He believes that exercises like RIMPAC are a perfect way of not only increasing Chile’s capabilities, but also his own. Throughout his years of service, this is his first iteration of RIMPAC and the first opportunity to train closely with other countries. He is enjoying the training being done, as well as the opportunity to work with and exchange knowledge with other countries. Cpl. Letelier discussed the importance of bringing nations together to train as one. “Something might happen, and they might call us to support and be part of a big coalition force and this kind of training is so important for that.” He talked about how important it was to train together during exercises like RIMPAC, so that mistakes could be made now as opposed to in the future. If mistakes are made in training, then they could be learned from and resolved, saving lives and increasing the chances of mission success during real-world operations. He thinks continued training like this will strengthen the capabilities of Chile and their partners, in addition to increasing their ability to operate together. Cpl. Letelier’s sentiments echo the main goals and ideas behind RIMPAC of bringing partners and allies together. Not only can they learn from each other, they can learn to work and train together. The Marine Air-Ground Task Force-Hawaii portion of RIMPAC is made up of roughly 2,000 service members from 11 different nations training and working together in and around the Hawaiian Islands. For Cpl. Letelier, the RIMPAC experience continued as 25 nations, 46 ships, five submarines, about 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel participated in RIMPAC from June 27 to Aug. 2 in and around the Hawaiian Islands.last_img read more

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Marko Kovač: What is it like to live adventure tourism

first_imgIn the summer of 2010, I hiked from Zagreb to Split. My idea was to hike over beautiful mountains located between the two largest cities in Croatia. Although I was supposed to be in the company of my friend Šime, unfortunately due to his knee injury I was in the decision to give up or go alone. I went alone. It was probably the main trigger of all my later adventures in life. In the summer of 2012, I kayaked to all the inhabited islands in Croatia, although not alone but with my friend Šimo. Since 2013, I started working as a guide in adventure tourism, so unfortunately I had to work the warmer part of the year and use the days off and the winter part of the year to explore the areas I wanted to visit. That’s where the second reason for my solo adventures happened. The inability to go to nature with the person or team you want because you can’t reconcile the days off, and sometimes not even the desire for the location of the trip. The problem with a tour guide is campaign work, that is, weekends are not always free, as is the case with people who have normal working hours. As a geography student in Zagreb, I started researching the natural heritage of Croatia. It was very challenging to explore the unknown rural areas of our beautiful and diverse country. Most of the trips with fellow students were just led by me. So I decided in 2008 to enroll in a course for a tour guide. As my studies came to an end, I increasingly took elementary school students from Zagreb schools all over Croatia. In the winter of 2019 and 2020, I realized my long-standing wish, which is to kayak to all the lighthouses from the 19th century in today’s Croatia. It was an extremely demanding tour that I conceptually planned to realize within three months of kayaking on the Adriatic, but due to business obligations I had to divide it into three separate expeditions. I spent the first winter 57 days kayaking, paddling around Dalmatia. I spent the second winter in the area of ​​Istria and Kvarner in a kayak, to end the adventure with the most demanding rowing section, which is to paddle to Palagruža and back to Split. Considering that I postponed Palagruža in the winter of 24 out of objective and subjective fears, in the spring of 2019 I paddled it with style and achieved all the challenges I had planned without any problems. As a student, I spent the summer researching the natural and cultural heritage of Croatia. I first explored the mountains and discovered the fantastic mountain peaks of Lijepa Naša, only to start exploring the islands more and more every following year. Depending on the orientation abilities and physical (fitness) condition, it is possible to explore unknown mountain areas. The islands are not very accessible compared to the mountains. Many islands in the Adriatic do not have frequent ferry connections, and some do not have any. That is why I started to use the sea kayak more and more often, so that I could paddle to the desired island. Aside from the pride and pleasure of being able to get to a particular island, the local people would admire my madness that nowadays I go paddling around the islands rather than by boat like most people. Luckily I got the opportunity for such pioneering tours but my knowledge and skills are credited for still doing it after 7 years of experience in adventure tourism. My secret is precisely my love of exploring and discovering places I haven’t been. Although many would say that there was no place in Croatia where I was not, I know so many micro-locations that I have not visited yet that I will have the motivation to explore Croatia all my life because it is an extremely beautiful, rich and interesting tourist destination. Often when I go to explore a new destination I know it won’t be anything special, but that feeling when I discover a hidden corner that only some people know is something indescribable that is worth all those not so successful explorations for the perfect unknown corner of nature. In 2007, I fell in love with hiking, more precisely while walking along the Premužić trail through Rožanske kukove, inside the Northern Velebit National Park. Then I discovered the beauty of the karst terrain and the imposingness of the limestone rocks. This is one of the reasons why I later chose to specialize in Physical Geography with Geoecology at the Faculty of Science in Zagreb. In other words, I am an expert in geomorphology (relief), microclimate, hydrography and cartography. Back in elementary school in Dugave, Professor Predrag Kralj recognized my cartographic skills, which I later perfected in the practical part during my studies, ie by reading the relief based on the map, and by positioning myself on the map. Friends and I often joked that he had a GPS in his head. Yet these are just brief but powerful moments that have made my adventure an adventure. Except for those moments the whole adventure was a fantasy. In winter, only a couple of fishing boats can be found at sea. Almost all the beaches are empty. When the sun is shining and the wind is not blowing, then I would feel happiest in life and be proud to have decided to realize my dream and idea. Rowing on the crystal clear sea, discovering the hidden corners of our indented coast and socializing with the lighthouse keepers and other people I met during the adventure are the most beautiful memories I have experienced on my life adventure. Lighthouses are so much praiseworthy buildings that need to be maintained and preserved as cultural heritage but in a way that every lantern must have its guardian because a lantern without a man is like a man without a soul. Just in the winter of 2019, I had several situations where I struggled with the sea, to keep my balance in a kayak. The worst was the storm near Cavtat when I had about 10 minutes of fighting with an extremely strong storm. If I had capsized in a kayak then I am not sure if the rescue would have been successful because I cannot imagine how demanding it would have been for the rescue boat in such weather conditions. The other two situations were related to the south, which was a two-hour fight with waves from a meter to a meter and a half, but it was not as awful as a bora, although it lasted much longer, so it was mentally exhausting. Adventure tourism is a type of active form of tourist offer that contains certain elements of risk that are trying to be minimized. The goal of every adventure and especially the tourist offer is to make people happy and to make the memories beautiful. A guide in adventure tourism should first and foremost be a great worker because the skills required are extremely diverse, from animators and psychologists to extremely physically fit people with the knowledge of technicians and rescuers, depending on the type of adventure activity. I enjoy my job because my guests let me know with their reactions and pleasure how well I do my job. In addition to the above, they give me an incentive to go exploring new undiscovered areas on my own in order to feel as happy as they feel on their vacation. My vacation can be a one-day or several-week adventure, all that matters is that I am in a new, undiscovered corner of nature. It’s great for me when I’m with friends and people who cultivate a similar love of nature as I do. Sometimes though I go alone, given my experience and knowledge and then I also enjoy and plan when I will bring someone to me a newly discovered end. As a guide in adventure tourism, it is very dynamic to work in a natural environment because nature is always surprised by its weather-dependent features. However, with experience and time, trips can be repeated and become commonplace. Guests are exactly the factor that makes a trip specific even though it has become a routine. As much as people think that guides in adventure tourism enjoy every day because they are in nature, this is not entirely true because there are guides who do one trip all season. I was lucky in this regard, as I most often had a variety of excursions, and often pioneering tours that no one before me had led. I started to take advantage of my love for hiking, cycling, and water sports, and I specialized in adventure tourism as a tourist guide. Since 2013, I have been working more and more often as a guide in adventure tourism, and I have further improved my skills as a guide on wild waters. With the development of selective tourism in Croatia, and the improvement of my skills and knowledge, I extended my working season from four to eight months. I plan to write a book about the whole project considering how much experience and thinking I can tell about my biggest adventure in life. I’ll just mention that it’s a lot easier and nicer to share memories with someone, so I definitely don’t recommend embarking on solo adventures on the sea or in the mountains on your own. One has to decide for oneself whether to go alone or in company. The responsibility towards our loved ones and the organizations that potentially need to save us is too great, so the decision is not simple nor can it be briefly described. If you are not able to save yourself, and above all avoid situations where you need help, then you should not embark on risky solo adventures. Rowing alone at sea is not easy, and it is even more difficult and complicated when the conditions are not ideal, or when the sea is rough. Knowing your abilities is most important if you are moving in imperfect conditions at sea, because the consequences of an accident and the need for rescue can be extremely demanding and ultimately fatal in terms of life. Traveler, blogger, researcher, expert guide in adventure tourism and tourist companion, geographer, physical geographer, man who lives adventure tourism, all this is Marko Kovač or Putnik Lik. He recently completed a major venture, paddling in a kayak across our Adriatic to tour all the lighthouses, after which he found time to share his story with us. So let’s not go any further, Mark’s story follows.last_img read more

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Tuesdays in Amsterdam

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Indonesia becomes country with most confirmed COVID-19 cases in Southeast Asia

first_imgIndonesia also has the highest death toll in the region with a total of 2,267 fatalities due to the disease, far surpassing Singapore’s 26 COVID-19 deaths.Health Ministry Disease Control and Prevention Director General Achmad Yurianto said on Wednesday that the new cases were still concentrated in five provinces, namely East Java with 225 new reported cases, followed by Jakarta with 127, Central Java with 115, South Kalimantan with 86 and South Sulawesi with 84 cases.Read also: Doubts loom over Indonesia’s ‘travel bubble’ planYurianto, however, said he remained optimistic about the country’s fight against the disease, as 16,243 people had recovered.He reiterated the importance of each individual to protect themselves from contracting the virus. “It’s important to adapt to the new normal, being productive while adhering to health protocols to stop the virus transmission chain,” he said.He added that the government kept tracing the virus “aggressively” by increasing the number of tests. To date, the country has carried out 547,811 swab tests on 339,687 people.Editor’s note: Corrected day of the week the report was made.Topics : Indonesia has recorded a total of 41,431 confirmed COVID-19 cases as of Wednesday, making it the country with the highest number of COVID-19 cases in Southeast Asia.With 1,031 new confirmed cases on Wednesday, the country has surpassed Singapore, which recorded 41,216 confirmed cases, according to Singapore’s Ministry of Health.last_img read more

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PNO lowers risk profile in favour of high-yield bonds, property

first_imgThe €5bn pension fund PNO Media has lowered its risk profile by reducing its strategic allocation to equity by 3 percentage points.The scheme has also reduced exposure to infrastructure, microfinance, local-currency-denominated emerging market debt, as well as European credit.In its 2015 annual report, it said it reinvested the assets by introducing a 5% allocation to US high-yield bonds and raising its property allocation from 9% to 11%.The media scheme said it maintained its interest hedge at 25% of its liabilities. The pension fund reported a net result of 3.5% after losses on its interest hedge (-0.3%) and currency cover (-2.6%).It said its 37% equity allocation returned 10.3%, outperforming its benchmark by 2.1 percentage points, due chiefly to its core portfolio of large international companies in Europe and the US.It noted that European small caps, with a return of 22.8%, performed much better than large caps over the period.The pension fund attributed the 0.8% return on its 48% fixed income allocation to the performance of mortgages (3.7%) and dollar-denominated emerging market debt (14.8%).It lost 5.5% and 3.7% on emerging market debt (local currency) and microfinance, respectively, and also posted negative results on government bonds (-1.2%) and European credit (-1%).PNO Media’s investments in non-listed property funds generated 11.1%.It said its investments in US real estate not only performed better than its European holdings but also benefited from the dollar’s appreciation against the euro.Private equity, returning 22.8%, was PNO Media’s the best returning asset class.The pension fund said it co-operated with railways scheme SPF on private equity, following a strategy of active value creation.Infrastructure holdings, which focused on Europe through non-listed multi-sector funds, delivered 16.2%.PNO Media saw its funding drop to 90.4% at March-end and said rights cuts would be necessary if its financial position failed to improve before year-end.It added that the indexation in arrears had increased to 14.6% and that making up for previous rights cuts was likely to be impossible.last_img read more

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How Europe’s pension sectors are preparing for Brexit

first_imgHenrik Munck, senior consultant at Forsikring & Pension (F&P) – the industry association for cross-border pension funds and insurers – told IPE its focus had been on derivatives trading.“UK credit institutions will no longer have passporting rights to offer financial services to Danish and other EU clients in the event of a hard Brexit,” he said.“We have advised our members to take the necessary steps to ensure that legacy derivatives traded vis-à-vis UK banks can still be handled in a post-Brexit environment.“This requires that either: legacy derivatives are re-papered/novated to an EU-based counterpart, or UK-based counterparts have applied for and been granted permission to offer financial services to Danish clients.”F&P has liaised with the Danish financial regulator (FSA) to ensure UK suppliers know how to apply for such permissions, Munck said, with all relevant credit institutions now registered.For its part, the Danish regulator said in a statement: “The Danish FSA has been in dialogue with the insurance undertakings regarding the preparations for a possible no-deal Brexit, and the feedback indicates that, in general, the undertakings are aware of the need to prepare.”FinlandThe Financial Supervisory Authority told IPE: “According to the data that we have, the direct risks arising from Brexit can be considered to be small.“Naturally, a large-scale market meltdown following Brexit would severely impact the financial situation of the pension funds. As a financial supervisor we do not consult or advice the pension funds, but require that they have the proper risk management and internal processes that consider these types of risks.”Further readingBrexit: Nordic pension funds reveal their approaches to UK assetsFranceFrench institutional investor association Af2i has recommended that investors take several steps in the context of Brexit, including drawing up lists of mutual funds and checking domiciles and authorisations for funds and managers.It has also recommended that investors include in their management agreements specific clauses allowing for a change of management company in case a provider loses its European passporting rights.The association indicated that many French institutional investors had taken care to avoid facing major issues whatever the outcome of Brexit.IrelandAs the only EU country to share a land border with the UK, Ireland continues to play a key role in the ongoing negotiations.Its asset management industry has undoubtedly benefited, with Irish assets under management hitting an all-time high of €2.6trn in March , according to the Central Bank of Ireland.On the pension fund side, the situation is less clear. There are a number of cross-border schemes serving employees in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, which have been a focus of the Irish regulator’s attention since last year. Earlier this year the Netherlands launched a striking campaign to ensure businesses were prepared for BrexitDNB referred to temporary legal measures, aimed at preventing problems at derivatives markets, taken by the EC and the Dutch ministry of finance. It said legislation had also been adjusted to ensure that Dutch organisations could continue participating in payment and securities transactions.However, in March the watchdog warned that not all Brexit risks had been eliminated “as Brexit posed a unique and complicated situation that included the risk of unexpected problems”.The Dutch Pensions Federation, which represents pension schemes, declined to comment on its Brexit recommendations to funds, but in a position paper from June 2017, a year after the UK’s EU membership referendum, it had highlighted that an “unregulated” Brexit, without clarity about rules and processes, should be prevented. At the time it said that Dutch pension funds had billions of euros invested in the UK that was at risk of economic consequences from Brexit.“Given the developments of the past few months, we can’t see any reason to change our advice that our members should take a no-deal Brexit into account,” said Gert Kloosterboer, spokesman for the industry organisation.He added that the federation’s impression was that pension funds had been thoroughly preparing for the worst case scenario, while noting that many issues would be pension fund-specific. “We haven’t received worrying signs from regulators DNB and AFM,” he said.Further readingABN Amro scheme expects limited effects from BrexitUK and Dutch regulators to increase co-operation ahead of BrexitSwedenIn keeping with most other EU countries, Swedish regulator Finansinspektionen said it had been “following EIOPA’s recommendations and been in contact with firms that have cross-border operations into Sweden and have Swedish customers”.Other than this, however, it declined to comment on Swedish funds’ preparedness for Brexit.Earlier this year, Stefan Ros, CIO of the SEK27bn (€2.5bn) SPK, the banking sector pension fund, told IPE that his scheme had approximately 1% invested in sterling assets, predominantly equities and infrastructure.“Since the [EU membership] referendum in 2016 we have increased our foreign exchange hedging of sterling,” Ros added.UKThe FCA recently launched an advertising campaign aimed at reminding all regulated firms that hadn’t finished their Brexit preparations to do so as soon as possible. Uncertainty abounds with regards to the final form Brexit will take. This week, the UK’s Supreme Court ruled that prime minister Boris Johnson’s (pictured, right) suspension of parliament through prorogation was unlawful, meaning ministers were free to return to scrutinising the government’s efforts to finalise a deal with the EU.Outside of the political sphere, regulators across the EU have been preparing for some time, particularly in the build-up to the original Brexit deadline of 31 March 2019. With just over a month to go until the UK exits the European Union – at least, according to the government’s official plan at the time of writing – time is running out for organisations to prepare. Those in Luxembourg and Dublin in particular have been busy sorting through applications from companies seeking new offices from which to carry out EU operations. Paris, Frankfurt and Amsterdam have also seen financial services groups move in.The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has sealed agreements with a number of its counterparts in an effort to ensure the smooth operation of financial markets whatever the outcome.With trillions of pounds and euros at stake, IPE asked pension industry regulators and trade associations how they have gone about advising on Brexit, and how prepared different pension sectors are for the change.BelgiumIndustry organisation PensioPlus highlighted that pension funds should ensure that UK service providers were still qualified to operate in the EU after Brexit, and that foreign asset managers complied with the EU’s MiFID rulebook.It added that custodians, insurers and reinsurers must be domiciled in the European Economic Area, and underlined the importance of clarity about which national legislation was applicable. It also recommended to monitor counterparty risk and divest if necessary.PensioPlus said it lacked feedback from its members about their degree of preparation for Brexit.Denmarkcenter_img “I think the sector is as prepared as it can be, although it is difficult in a constantly changing situation”Jerry Moriarty, IAPFA spokesman for the Pensions Authority told IPE: “During 2018 the authority engaged with Irish cross-border schemes with members based in the UK to assess their preparedness for a hard Brexit. “Representatives from the authority also liaised with the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, the UK Pensions Regulator and the UK Department of Work and Pensions to discuss the implications of Brexit for UK and Irish cross-border schemes.“Any legislative changes required to allow Irish and UK schemes to continue existing cross-border arrangements are a matter for government. The Pensions Authority continues to monitor this situation.”Jerry Moriarty, chief executive of the Irish Association of Pension Funds, said that while his association had not given specific Brexit-related advice, it had flagged up areas to monitor such as the preparations made by UK-based service providers.“That would mainly cover investment managers and, as far as I am aware, schemes have been having those conversations with managers,” he said.“I think the sector is as prepared as it can be, although it is difficult in a constantly changing situation.”ItalyAssofondipensione, the Italian association of pension funds, said that it had not had a specific dialogue with its members or adopted specific policy guidelines with regard to Brexit.However, Covip, Italy’s pension fund regulator, helped design a new law passed at the end of March specifically designed to avert negative consequences of the UK’s departure from the EU. Credit: Julius Silver Rome, Italy“Covip has participated in the design of the law decree no. 22 of 25 March 2019, along with other activities concerning the monitoring of the financial and economic sector,” the regulator said in a statement.“The aim of the bill is to help regulate in an orderly and coherent fashion the operations of intermediaries and other entities that, due to Brexit, would lose the current status and assume the status of entities coming from third countries, with which no co-operation agreements are in place.”It added that investments in UCITS funds domiciled in the UK would be subject to EU rules for a “transitory period”.LuxembourgLuxembourg’s financial regulator, the CSSF, earlier this year called for UK asset managers to notify it as soon as possible if they wanted to be able to conclude new contracts in the country following a potential “hard Brexit”. The deadline for notifications passed on 15 September.If the UK exits the EU without ratifying a withdrawal agreement, it will become a “third country” in relation to providing services to EU entities. In a statement in July the CSSF emphasised that providing regulated services in Luxembourg without proper authorisation was illegal and therefore subject to sanctions.UK asset managers and other financial services firms that wanted to continue their business and conclude new contracts in Luxembourg following an abrupt UK departure from the EU should apply for authorisation with the regulator as soon as possible, it said.Several asset managers have re-domiciled client assets from the UK to Ireland or Luxembourg, including M&G, Columbia Threadneedle and First State Investments.NetherlandsIn a newsletter dated 28 August, Dutch regulator De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB) underlined that it was important for pension funds to keep implementing their plans for a no-deal Brexit through risk hedging and liquidity management. In February, it reported that financial organisations had largely implemented the recommended measures. At the time, it said that outsourced services and the exchange of personal data in particular could still pose a Brexit risk, and highlighted that the postponement of Brexit would not guarantee a deal later. Nausicaa Delfas, executive director of international, FCANausicaa Delfas, executive director of international at the FCA, said: “The FCA has undertaken significant work to prepare for the UK’s departure from the EU. We have published extensive information on our Brexit pages and held events, reaching firms and trade organisations around the country.“We expect firms to ensure they are ready if there is a no-deal [outcome]. If firms haven’t finalised their preparations, there is a risk they could be impacted. Firms should consult the information on our website.”The watchdog also highlighted potential changes to UK rules if no deal is agreed by 31 October. These include transaction reporting rules under MiFID II, as well as a number of other changes to the FCA’s handbook.For pension funds, the Pensions Regulator (TPR) has advised pension trustees to review investment arrangements, risk management policies and administration – particularly for those with members based in other EU countries.Defined contribution schemes “should be prepared to explain clearly to your members the work you have done to understand how Brexit may impact your scheme and the steps you have taken to address these issues”, TPR said.For defined benefit schemes, trustees have been urged to review the strength of their sponsor covenant to understand how exposed their sponsoring employers are to Brexit risks.“You should be having open and collaborative discussions with your sponsoring employer about deficit repair contributions and how they may change,” TPR told trustees. “If the employer proposes to reduce [contributions] we would expect you to test whether this is the right thing to do.”The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association published a 10-point Brexit guide for trustees in February, covering liabilities, de-risking, hedging and communications.Further readingUK pensions body downgrades PensionsEurope membershipA Brexit checklist for UK pension fundslast_img read more

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Lambert hopes for shopping spree

first_imgPaul Lambert has suggested Aston Villa should abandon their ‘bargain basement’ transfer policy next season if they manage to avoid relegation in the coming weeks. Lambert denies his apparent change of stance will irk the club’s hierarchy. “I’m not breaking ranks,” said the former Colchester boss. “I’m just saying that a club this size needs to be up there (competing). “I know the situation and Randy will say what he’s got to say. I think he’s been fair with everybody about exactly what’s happened and he’ll (speak) when the time’s right.” “I think a football club of this size needs that calibre of player,” he said ahead of Saturday’s crunch Barclays Premier League visit of Hull. “I’m not just talking about those three lads because it would be wrong for me to talk about them but we need that level of player for the size of this club, wherever they come from. “This club needs big players. “It’s not acceptable for this club to keep doing this, it’s been four years of battling against relegation. It’s too big a football club to do this. That’s the reality. I think everybody knows that.” Asked how likely it is Villa could attract – or afford – that level of player, Lambert said: “The chairman will come out and say what he’s got to say in May time, I think. “I don’t know what he’s going to say and that’s me being totally honest with you. “This football club, with the tradition and history it’s got, should not be fluctuating like this. You are where you are. “The chairman will come out and be honest with everybody. It’s his football club and I don’t think anyone can ever be critical of what he’s done for this club. There’s no way anyone could do that and I’m pretty sure he’ll say what he’s got to say.” Villa have floundered for a second season under the Scot’s guidance as he leads a squad of inexperienced youngsters and cheap or free signings. Lambert has consistently toed the line and spoken in defence of the club’s frugality since arriving from Norwich nearly two years ago. But with question marks around his own future and rumours that owner Randy Lerner wants to sell up, the manager has changed tack after being linked with the likes of Javier Hernandez, Lewis Holtby and Joleon Lescott this summer. Press Associationlast_img read more

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Black Cats stun Old Trafford

first_img Press Association Fabio Borini and Emanuele Giaccherini both struck the woodwork in the second half and Gus Poyet’s team looked comfortable in possession all afternoon. The win condemned Cardiff and Fulham to relegation, while Sunderland are now big favourites to stay in the Barclays Premier League. Providing Norwich lose at Chelsea on Sunday, the Black Cats need only to take one point from their final two matches to survive. And after recent wins over Chelsea, Cardiff and now United, few would back against the Wearsiders to do so. This was the afternoon that the feel-good bubble surrounding Giggs well and truly burst. The high-tempo, counter-attacking football he demanded from his players was absent all day. United were flat in midfield, Javier Hernandez went missing up front and even the return of Robin van Persie from the bench could not inspire the Red Devils to victory. Many United fans wanted Giggs to be the club’s next manager, but the board are wise to turn to the more experienced Louis van Gaal, who is set to be appointed as David Moyes’ successor next week. Sunderland took a huge step towards cementing their top-flight status by handing Ryan Giggs the first defeat of his reign as Manchester United manager. United’s defeat also highlighted the need for reinforcements this summer, particularly in midfield, where Nani, Darren Fletcher and Michael Carrick failed to impress. The number of empty seats visible at the final whistle was remarkable. The small pocket of away supporters had every reason to remain and hail their team, who are almost safe just a few weeks after looking doomed. It was all smiles for the home fans just before kick-off when Giggs received another huge welcome as he strolled down the touchline to his seat in the dugout. But just as they did in like last week’s win over Norwich, Giggs’ men started very slowly. Ashley Young, one of five changes to a starting XI that did not contain the injured Wayne Rooney, dazzled Marcos Alonso with his skill, but his final ball was poor. The only time United came close to scoring in the opening 15 minutes was when John O’Shea nearly turned the ball into his own net from Carrick’s cross. Another United old boy – Wes Brown – then put a crucial block in to deny Nani, who then picked himself up before curling over from 20 yards. Patrice Evra bundled his way through the crowd, but his weak header was easily collected by Vito Mannone. It was all a bit lacklustre from the hosts. Young and Nani used their trickery to try to get past their markers, but there was no one in the box to convert. Hernandez, making his fifth league start of the year, dropped too deep, leaving United without a focal point up front. Giggs had seen enough. With 26 minutes on the clock he came to the touchline for the first time to stand over his players. Four minutes later his mood worsened as Sunderland took the lead. Fletcher inexplicably allowed Wickham to send over a cross which Larsson expertly finished after giving Carrick the slip. If Giggs hoped that would kick his team into gear then he was wrong. United were just as flat and unimaginative until the break, with Juan Mata the only man to test Mannone courtesy of a low drive. Soon after the restart the United fans started voicing their frustration as the home team passed the ball across midfield without, seemingly devoid of any idea how to pierce the Sunderland back four. United upped the tempo briefly near the half way point of the second period. Evra crossed for Hernandez, but Brown intervened just as the Mexican was about to shoot. Nemanja Vidic appealed for a penalty when his header struck Lee Cattermole in the box, but Howard Webb waved play on. Giggs replaced Nani with Adnan Januzaj, who scored two goals in the reverse fixture. Then Van Persie entered, along with Danny Welbeck, for his first game in more than six weeks. Sunderland should have put the result beyond doubt with 17 minutes to go, but Giaccherini’s weak shot from a cross by fellow substitute Jozy Altidore hit a post and bounced out to safety. A huge amount of United fans headed for the exits 10 minutes before the end. Borini almost made it 2-0 when he struck the bar, but one goal proved enough for Poyet, who jumped for joy when the final whistle went. A large number of the United fans who remained booed their team off. The manager may have changed, but the club’s awful home form continues. Sebastian Larsson took advantage of some slack marking to fire home Connor Wickham’s cross in the first half as Sunderland recorded their first win at Old Trafford since 1968. What had been billed as a tough fixture turned out to be something of a stroll for the 1-0 winners. last_img read more

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