Praise, optimism in reaction to Bacow choice

first_imgSitting in the Science Center lobby with Gober was Raj Vatsa, who was “surprised” to hear of the presidential choice. “I am hopeful he will be a president who actively advocates for diverse backgrounds and identities,” said the 21-year-old senior, who shares a home state (Michigan) with Bacow.An applied-math concentrator who plans to attend medical school, Vatsa said he has close friends on campus who are directly affected by the Trump administration’s tough immigration policies and the threat facing Dreamers, the undocumented students who have been protected from deportation under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.“It’s very important the next president actively lobby for immigration and human rights in general,” he said.,Several students said they hoped Bacow would continue prioritizing environment issues. Ben Austin, a government concentrator, said he thinks Bacow should build upon President Faust’s recently announced climate goal that would make the University fossil-free by 2050.“I like his commitment to environmental policy,” said the 20-year-old sophomore. “Harvard is a leader, and to set that precedent now is very important in a time when government is reversing regulations.” Many in the Harvard community issued congratulations to Bacow on social media, among them psychologist Steven Pinker, who was once on the MIT faculty with Bacow. “Delighted to welcome my former colleague, the wise and witty Larry Bacow, as the 29th president of Harvard,” tweeted Pinker, Harvard’s Johnstone Family Professor of Psychology.“Congratulations to Lawrence S. Bacow … I look forward to working with him to address some of our most pressing global health challenges — including climate change,” tweeted Dean Michelle Williams of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Bacow, named Harvard president, meets the press Harvard launches presidential search Explains who he is, how he’s learned, what he values Kaylee Kim, a history and literature concentrator, said she thinks Bacow is “positively qualified,” and came across in his press conference as a nice person. That quality was important to the 20-year-old, who said she heard about the announcement not through campus sources, but in a New York Times notification to her phone.“Sometimes I ‘forget’ I go to Harvard,” she said. “A lot of what he will do in the next years will set precedents not just for Harvard, but other universities.” I met Larry Bacow when I started my MOOC research. He was the @hgse president-in-residence, down the hall in Gutman 420. We drew on the whiteboard. He laid out thoughts that became this paper: He, too, is beyond the hype cycle. I think he’ll be great.— Andrew Ho (@AndrewDeanHo) February 12, 2018 As news spread Monday about Harvard’s choice of Lawrence S. Bacow as the University’s next president, members of the academic community and others praised the selection of the former Tufts University president, lawyer, economist, and environmental policy expert, who in July will become Harvard’s 29th leader in 381 years.Deans, faculty, and students across Harvard lauded the choice of a seasoned leader who they said is highly respected, driven, and dedicated to expanding student access and opportunity and to helping institutions of higher learning address some of the world’s pressing challenges.David Ellwood, the Isabelle and Scott Black Professor of Political Economy and a member of the faculty group that advised the presidential search committee, called the choice of Bacow “inspired.”,“His intense commitment to his core values of excellence, service, humanity, integrity, and open discourse are drawn from his earliest lessons growing up, and from many years of exceptional educational leadership,” said Ellwood, whose tenure as dean of the Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) from 2004 to 2015 overlapped with Bacow’s HKS appointment as Hauser Leader-in-Residence in the School’s Center for Public Leadership in 2014.“Like nearly every one of my colleagues when I was a dean, I turned to Larry for the wisest counsel when I would need it most. Harvard has selected an inspiring and humane leader.”Dean Huntington D. Lambert of the Harvard Division of Continuing Education (DCE) also praised the choice, saying Bacow’s “dedication to improving student success and fostering new paths for learners are two pivotal areas that we are deeply passionate about at the DCE. I look forward to working with Larry as DCE continues to extend Harvard to nontraditional and summer learners and help Harvard reach his goals” of ensuring broader access to higher education.John Silvanus Wilson Jr., M.T.S. ’81, Ed.M. ’82, Ed.D. ’85, former president of Morehouse College, a Harvard Overseer, and past executive director of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU), has known Bacow for more than 25 years. They worked closely while at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Wilson as an administrator and Bacow as chair of the faculty. Wilson recalled Bacow’s keen ability to synthesize complex ideas and arguments and his ease at managing occasionally tense discussions during faculty policy meetings.“He was able to navigate through what often were conflicts and disagreements, and he was able, always skillfully, to elevate everyone’s understanding of whatever we were discussing to a higher place. That always impressed me.”But Bacow’s heart, said Wilson, matched his intellect. Wilson, who served as a head of house on the MIT campus, remembers when Bacow, then MIT chancellor, and his wife comforted students and faculty after a tragedy.“We experienced a student death, and that’s when I saw his true humanity. He had the skills and compassion and understanding and depth of human spirit to reach people. It is a very rare and special virtue for a leader. I saw Larry lead with head and heart at MIT, and I think he is a better man and a better leader because he is that way.”,“Larry’s experience as a leader, his personal belief in the power of higher education to change lives, and his strong commitment to building on President Drew Faust’s legacy of positive impact through engagement with local and global communities make him the ideal president for our time.” — Michelle Williams, abovecenter_img I am delighted with the appointment of Larry Bacow as @harvard s 29th President. In the words of William Lee, chair of the search committee “someone who leads by giving credit rather than taking it.”— Fernando M. Reimers (@FernandoReimers) February 11, 2018 Related Harvard’s next president praised by his peers as a problem-solver and thoughtful adviser Trusted voice among leaders in higher education Committees will canvass University and beyond for suggestions on a new leader Congratulations to Tufts President Emeritus Larry Bacow who was named the 29th president of @Harvard!— Tufts University (@TuftsUniversity) February 11, 2018Williams expanded on that note Monday afternoon, saying, “Larry is deeply knowledgeable about Harvard, deeply familiar with the Harvard Chan School, and exceptionally well-positioned to lead the University at a time when higher education is facing new political headwinds and public health issues — particularly the issue of climate change and health — are in danger of being neglected or becoming needlessly politicized. Larry’s experience as a leader, his personal belief in the power of higher education to change lives, and his strong commitment to building on President Drew Faust’s legacy of positive impact through engagement with local and global communities make him the ideal president for our time.”University of Miami President Julio Frenk, former dean of the Harvard Chan School, said of Bacow, “His stature as a widely admired leader in higher education makes him an inspired choice to lead Harvard. After the remarkable achievements of President Drew Faust, the selection of Larry Bacow assures a bright future for Harvard. Like so many others, I have benefited from Larry’s insightful advice. From his new position, he will continue to be a strong voice in defense of all that universities stand for.”Author and journalist Walter Isaacson, ’74, a former member of Harvard’s Board of Overseers, called Bacow “an awesomely qualified candidate — with great values, instincts, leadership skills, and humanity” in a tweet Monday afternoon.In a letter to the Harvard Divinity School (HDS) community, Dean David N. Hempton said Bacow’s “astonishing breadth of expertise includes environmental policy, bargaining and negotiation, economics, law, and public policy… Bacow is also one of the most respected voices in American higher education. His passion for inclusion and access will drive Harvard and HDS’s commitment to diversity, to service, and to student opportunity.”Claudine Gay, another member of the faculty advisory committee on the presidential search, lauded the selection and said she is “optimistic about what the future holds” under Bacow’s leadership. “I am excited about Larry’s appointment and about the diversity of perspectives he will bring to the role: as an academic who understands the importance of connecting scholarship to the urgent problems of the day; as someone with a deep understanding of Harvard; as an academic leader with a wealth of experience from other institutions,” said Gay, the Wilbur A. Cowett Professor of Government and of African and African American Studies and dean of social science in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.,Students interviewed across the campus Monday afternoon agreed that Bacow had the resume to do the job. Some also offered the incoming president a list of priorities as varied as their backgrounds.Benjamin Sperling, a freshman from New York City, said faculty at his high school seemed at odds with administrators. He hopes Bacow makes strong connections with faculty and with students. “I’m looking for improved discourse among all three groups,” said the 18-year-old.In the Science Center, Andre Chatfield, a Kirkland House senior and member of the basketball team, said he shared a concentration with the incoming president and hopes he can ponder the needs of student athletes who have rigorous team demands that can rival academic ones.“My freshman year, we made the NCAA tournament, and fall of my junior year we traveled to China to play Stanford,” he said. “We had to miss classes, and it’s hard to find a balance. He could have an understanding of that balance.”,Jake Gober hopes Bacow spends time with students. The 21-year-old applied-math concentrator, who plans to work at a New York startup after graduation, said town hall-style meetings could be a device for reducing any disconnect that some students may feel with administrators.“Having some connection between students and the administration is really important,” he said. “That should be a big part of his schedule.”,“A lot of what [Bacow] will do in the next years will set precedent not just for Harvard, but other universities.” — Kaylee Kimlast_img read more

WRAP week aims to create awareness about issues related to pornography

first_imgThe third annual White Ribbon Against Pornography (WRAP) week started Monday in an effort to promote conversation and awareness of the dangers of pornography, as well as the severity of the issue on Notre Dame’s campus and in the United States at large. The organization that initiated the event, Students for Child Oriented Policy (SCOP), promotes WRAP Week as an invitation to students to learn about the nature of pornography and explore helpful resources. SCOP is a non-sectarian and non-partisan group on campus that advocates for public policy that aligns with the best interests of children in nurturing their development and success. Since the club’s founding in 2013, it has been focused on five pillars: marriage, adoption, education, drug abuse and pornography. “We want to show some of the stats that are hidden by the industry about how prevalent porn use is,” senior Jim Martinson, SCOP’s president, said. “People who are struggling and hear witness testimonies can know they’re not alone. Something you get out of this week is you become more knowledgeable about the harms of porn and how it’s one of the more mainstream issues facing society.”WRAP week is a national campaign started by the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE), which has the goal of “exposing the links between all forms of sexual exploitation such as child sexual abuse, prostitution, sex trafficking and the public health crisis of pornography,” according to its website. Each day of Notre Dame’s WRAP week features a different event or talk to create a strong Notre Dame support system. Yesterday, SCOP members passed out bagels and white ribbons to students as a physical demonstration of solidarity. Additionally, SCOP held a prayer service at the Grotto with the Knights of Columbus. As a co-sponsor of WRAP week, Knights of Columbus, along with other University organizations such as Right to Life, Irish Rover and Militia of the Immaculata, have helped provide financial assistance for the week and promote the events on campus. On Tuesday, WRAP week will feature a lecture by Notre Dame professor Kirk Doran titled “Children, Marriage, and Happiness” at 7:30 p.m. in B034 Geddes Hall. “We want to show the positive side of an alternative lifestyle of using porn,” sophomore Ellie Gardey, SCOP vice president, said. “You can be happy and live a life of virtue that’s not corrupted by porn.”The main keynote speakers for the week, Dr. William Struthers — a sociology professor at Wheaton College — and Dawn Hawkins from NCOSE, will lead a discussion called “Sex and the Brain: The Impact of Sexually Explicit Media” tomorrow at 7 p.m. in 102 DeBartolo Hall.“We’re going to focus more on the science behind the pornography issue,” Martinson said. On Thursday, there will be a dinner and discussion with Fr. Terry Ehrman, C.S.C about Ehrman’s book “Man of God.” The book is the fictional story of a man who overcomes his porn addiction“The book is a series of fictional emails between Father Terry and a man who is struggling with pornography,” Gardey said. “It goes through the story of how Fr. Terry helps him to overcome his addiction. It shows that when he was able to overcome his addiction, he could start a family and be there for his child and wife.”WRAP week will conclude Friday with “Fighting Irish Fighting Pornography.” From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., members of SCOP will be outside North and South Dining Hall to gather signatures for the banner and petition for a Wi-Fi filter at Notre Dame. Since the petition began a few years ago, it has collected over 1,000 signatures. “It’s been a two year battle to get this filter on campus,” Martinson said. “There’s also going to be letters calling for a filter on Notre Dame’s Wi-Fi network and 150 students total have already signed the letters. People have responded to the letters positively. I definitely think it’s going to happen. We’ve been in communication with [chief of staff] Ann Firth and Fr. Jenkins and they’ve been receptive. We’ll also be doing a Senate proposal to filter the Wi-Fi network under the direction of Fr. Jenkins to get students involved.”Each year, SCOP continues to grow its membership and member involvement in the hopes of instituting a more widespread impact on campus, Martinson said.“Ultimately, we would love to take WRAP week to the point on nonexistence where there would be no issue anymore,” Martinson said. “In the near future we would love to have bigger speakers on campus. We want to have more in-depth discussions about pornography usage so that people realize that this is a serious issue and it’s just a matter of time for that.” Tags: pornography, Students for Child Oriented Policy, WRAP Weeklast_img read more

Too low?

first_imgBy Brad HaireUniversity of GeorgiaEnvironmental policymakers say many Georgia streams don’t have enough oxygen. This is an environmental problem that must be fixed. But in some cases, it could be a safe, natural occurrence. Scientists in Tifton, Ga., are working to help policymakers better regulate the health of Georgia streams.Like humans, fish and other aquatic life need oxygen to survive. They get it from dissolved oxygen (DO) in the water around them, said George Vellidis, an engineer with the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. DO is also essential for the breakdown of pollutants and organic matter in streams.“If the DO level is too low in a stream or in some other water body,” he said, “the fish and aquatic life can become stressed or die.”The standardThat’s why the Georgia Department of Natural Resources – Environmental Protection Division established a DO standard for Georgia’s streams. If a stream’s DO level drops below 4 milligrams per liter, the stream is considered in violation. The Clean Water Act of 1972 was enacted to control water quality problems like low DO levels in U.S. waters. Until recently, not much was done to address the problem in many parts of the country.Environmental groups are now putting legal pressure on Georgia and other states to create and implement plans to fix DO-challenged streams, Vellidis said.The data on DO levels in Georgia streams in many cases is not current. The most recent data for some streams in south Georgia is several years old. Environmental regulations based on this data could be wrong, Vellidis said.Natural answers He and a team of UGA and U.S. Department of Agriculture scientists on the UGA Tifton, Ga., campus discovered that DO levels in streams in south Georgia can rise or fall naturally below the current standard many times throughout a year. And fish are probably well adapted for the changes.DO levels for many streams drop during hot summer months or during times of low water flow like in times of drought, he said. These levels can also be affected by the amount of sunlight hitting the water or by excessive amounts of nutrients like farm fertilizers, he said.(Nutrients encourage algal growth. Algae release oxygen into the water. But algae live a short time. When they die in large quantities, the microorganisms that decompose them use a lot of oxygen and quickly lower the DO level.)Agricultural practices are often blamed for increased nutrient levels and low DO levels in streams and rivers. To bring problem streams into compliance, Vellidis said, some preliminary plans recommend reducing nutrient levels in streams and rivers by as much as 40 percent. This reduction would likely be expected to come primarily from agricultural sources.This would be an economic blow for agricultural regions of Georgia and, possibly, an unnecessary step if it is natural at certain times of the year for a stream to be below the current DO standard, he said.Agricultural fertilizers and chemicals probably do contribute to low DO levels, he said. But there are many other factors that must be considered. Vellidis and the research team are undertaking an extensive DO level study in the Coastal Plain area of Georgia. They are setting up monitoring sites in the Ochlockonee, Suwannee, Satilla and St. Mary’s river basins to take samples and measure factors that contribute to DO levels. Georgia DNR-EPD is funding the three-year project.State environmental policymakers can use this new data to make sound DO standards and avoid creating unnecessary, harmful policies.last_img read more

Fitch rates VHFA bond resolution A+

first_imgFitch Ratings has assigned an “A+” rating to Vermont Housing Finance Agency’s 1990 single-family housing bond resolution. Fitch has labeled its rating outlook “stable.” Fitch’s long-term credit ratings operate on a 10-grade scale from “AAA,” the highest-quality investment grade bond, to “D,” the lowest category junk bond.The resolution, which includes approximately $447 million in outstanding bonds in Series 9 through 27, was created in 1990 and issued bonds from 1990 to 2007. This is Fitch’s initial rating assignment for the resolution.”We’re pleased with Fitch’s rating, and think it’s a demonstration of the rating agency’s faith in the long-term viability of VHFA,” said Executive Director Sarah Carpenter. “The loan portfolio consists of 30-year fixed-rate seasoned loans. The majority, 53 percent, is privately insured. The second largest portion, 27 percent, is uninsured with safe loan-to-value ratios of 80 percent or lower. All this minimizes potential loss exposure,” she added.Fitch credits VHFA’s “successful history of administering its single-family programs.”Fitch Ratings Ltd., with headquarters in New York and London, is a global rating agency that provides the world’s credit markets with independent and prospective credit opinions, research, and data. The company is part of the Fitch Group, a majority-owned subsidiary of Fimalac S.A., which is headquartered in Paris, France.The Vermont Legislature created VHFA in 1974 to finance and promote affordable housing opportunities for low- and moderate-income Vermonters. Since its inception, the Agency has helped approximately 26,500 Vermont households with affordable mortgages and financed the development of approximately 7,700 affordable rental units.Forward-looking statementsThis release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the “safe harbor” provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based upon VHFA’s current expectations and speak only as of the date hereof. These statements may use forward-looking terms, such as “projected,” “expects,” “may,” or their negatives or other variations on these terms. VHFA cautions that, by their nature, forward-looking statements involve risk or uncertainty and that actual results could differ materially from those expressed or implied in these forward-looking statements or could affect the extent to which a particular objective, projection, estimate, or prediction is realized. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties including, but not limited to: (1) difficult economic conditions, which may not improve in the near future, and adverse changes in the economic, credit, or interest rate environment; (2) the actions of the U. S. Government, Federal Reserve and other government and regulatory bodies to stabilize the financial markets; (3) changes in prepayment speeds on mortgage assets; (4) changes in VHFA’s credit or financial strength ratings; (5) inadequacy of reserves established for losses and loss expenses; (6) the risk that VHFA’s underwriting and risk management policies and practices do not anticipate certain risks and/or the magnitude of potential for loss as a result of unforeseen risks; (7) operational risks, including with respect to internal processes, risk models, systems and employees; and (8) other risks and uncertainties that have not been identified at this time. VHFA undertakes no obligation to revise or update publicly any forward-looking statements for any reason.Source: VHFA. 2.3.2010.last_img read more

Questions for your credit union board

first_imgThought-provoking questions for boards emerged from last month’s National Credit Union Roundtable for Board Leadership, an annual event CUNA hosts.Consider these five:Do you have just a custodial mindset, or should you be—and can you be—a disruptive force for future change and better member service?Are you plugged into compliance?Does your credit union compliance executive have enough authority to make necessary changes to get the job done?Do you view compliance as a burden—or as the path you take to provide important products and services that meet members’ needs?Are you deliberate in your recruiting practices?As your ranks of young adult members grow, it’s important to ensure your board continues to represent your membership. This means actively recruiting more Generation X and Y directors to your board, according to attendees. continue reading » 22SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

IPE Conference: PensionDanmark is Europe’s best pension fund

first_imgPhilippe Desfossés speaks at an IPE eventDesfossés has stepped down from the €30bn French civil servants’ pension after nearly 10 years in charge. Laurent Galzy was named as his successor last week.ERAFP was also recognised as France’s top pension fund, and took home the award for best Emerging Markets strategy.Fellow French investor FRR collected the awards for Sovereign Reserve Fund, Passive Management and Climate Related Risk Management.Further readingThe European asset owners aiming to make an impact France: Sprucing up supplementary savings Sweden: AP funds work together Direct Lending: Becoming bankersHere are the winners in full: BelgiumPensioenfonds UZ Gent – UGent OFP Active ManagementAP4 Austria (Vorsorgekasse)APK Vorsorgekasse Emerging MarketsERAFP Passive ManagementFRRBronze Awards AlternativesPFA Pension Gold Awards  Multi-Employer/Professional Pension FundIndustriens Pension Risk ManagementAmonis Pensions Governance & AdministrationPensionskasse SBB IrelandConstruction Workers’ Pension Scheme Real EstateMN Spain (multi-employer scheme)Geroa Pentsioak EPSV Germany (bAV)Bosch Pensionsfonds EquitiesAP4, Nordea Investments United KingdomNEST (National Employment Savings Trust)Themed Awards Climate Related Risk ManagementFRR InnovationPensionDanmark Small Pension FundPensioenfonds UZ Gent – UGent OFP Central & Eastern EuropeINVL Mezzo II 53+ pension fund Sweden’s AP4 was also a multiple winner, taking home awards for Long-Term Investment Strategy, Active Management, Portfolio Construction & Diversification, and Equities – the latter jointly with Nordea Investments. It was also named Sweden’s top pension fund.ERAFP’s outgoing CEO Philippe Desfossés was presented with the Pension Fund Achievement of the Year award in recognition of growth of the French scheme’s responsible investment and climate risk management strategies. Fixed IncomeÄrzteversorgung Westfalen-LippeCountry Awards Austria (Pensionskasse)VBV-Pensionskasse Public Pension FundChurch Commissioners for England Germany (Versorgungswerk)Bayerische Versorgungskammer European Pension Fund of the YearPensionDanmark PensionDanmark was named best European Pension Fund for the second year in a row at last night’s IPE Awards dinner in Dublin.The top prize was one of five awards scooped by the DKK239.7bn (€32.1bn) pension provider – including the Outstanding Industry Contribution Award for CEO Torben Möger Pedersen.PensionDanmark was also recognised for its work in Credit & Alternatives and for Innovation – it won the latter prize in Prague last year as well – and was named Denmark’s top pension provider.Accepting the awards, Pedersen highlighted the COP-24 climate conference taking place in Poland this week and urged attendees to address the “opportunities and challenges” posed by climate change. Outstanding Industry ContributionTorben Möger Pedersen PortugalFundo de Pensões Horizonte Ações Small CountriesFrjálsi Pension Fund NetherlandsStichting Pensioenfonds PGB DenmarkPensionDanmark SwedenAP4 FranceERAFP Spain (corporate scheme)DuPont Pension Plan DC & Hybrid StrategiesAmundi Pension Fund SwitzerlandCaisse de prévoyance de l’Etat de Genève (CPEG) ItalyFP Nazionale BCC/CRA, FP Personale Gruppo BNL/BNP Paribas Italia Sovereign Reserve FundFRR Factor InvestingHVB Pension Fund Pension Fund Achievement of the YearPhilippe Desfossés Long-Term Investment StrategyAP4Silver Awards Corporate Pension FundStichting Calpam-Pensioenfonds In-house Investment TeamTesco Pension Scheme Portfolio Construction & DiversificationAP4 Real Assets & InfrastructureÄrzteversorgung Westfalen-Lippe ESGAPG Credit AlternativesPensionDanmarklast_img read more

ExxonMobil to fill €250m funding gap in Dutch pension fund

first_imgShe added that a 92% funding would equate to a coverage ratio of approximately 112% under Dutch rules.ExxonMobil has a long-standing arrangement of supplementing the pensions for its Dutch participants to 100% at the end of each quarter, while creaming off any surplus at year-end.In the wake of the financial crisis, it paid an additional €550m, followed by €280m in 2011. Last year, the pension fund paid the company a €100m funding surplus.The pension fund said the employer’s deposit is expected to be incorporated into its rebalancing process, which had been postponed in March because of volatility and limited liquidity. Due to the current crisis, its strategic equity allocation of 30% had dropped to 25%.ExxonMobil is among a couple of dozens of companies in the Netherlands that have committed to funding shortfalls in their pension funds.Shultz added that ExxonMobil OFP’s €450m segment for Belgian pensions still had a funding ratio of just over 100%, including a financial buffer of 20%.She said the €75m section for French pensions – added to the OFP last year – was more than sufficiently funded.According to Shultz, any funding shortfall for Belgian and French pensions in ExxonMobil OFP would be filled based on the situation at year-end.Other companies in the Netherlands committing to funding shortfalls include Shell, Unilever, Ahold Delhaize, TNT Express, General Electric, Dow, Mercer and Aon.However, the scale of most supplementary payments is also based on their schemes’ funding at year-end.ExxonMobil relocated its Dutch pensions to Belgium in 2017, in part because it didn’t agree with the mandatory introduction of a supervisory board in the Netherlands. That said, the Belgium-based scheme is still subject to Dutch fiscal and social rules.Its chair said it was worried about the new pensions system in the Netherlands, as the expected introduction of defined contribution arrangements will likely be at odds with the concept of supplementary payments.The same goes for the possible mandatory merging of existing pension rights – accrued under current defined benefit plans – and future DC arrangements.The pension fund also said the employer and the works council (OR) had set up a working group tasked with assessing how current arrangements can be kept in a new pensions system.Other companies with generous pension plans, including Shell, have also warned of the impact of a new pensions system on their schemes. Energy giant ExxonMobil is to pay the Dutch section in its Belgium-based pension fund €250m to make up for a funding shortfall caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.In a newsletter, the scheme said that collapsing equity markets and falling interest rates had led to its funding ratio dropping to 92% in the first quarter of the year.The payment is meant to raise the funding level of the €3bn Dutch segment of the ExxonMobil OFP to 100%.However, under Belgian pension rules, a 100% funding means a full coverage of liabilities including a 20% financial buffer, explained Gerda Shultz, chair of the scheme’s executive board.last_img read more

Weekend Fun

first_imgHow about this for a weekend?  Taking a bicycle to the Illinois state line and riding it to the Ohio state line?  There is a race in Indiana that takes place each July in which you can do just that.  Most of the trip follows U.S. 40 across the state.I don’t know how many people do this, but I know there are over a 1,000 riders.  The Stroebel family of Batesville have competed in this for several years now.  Two of the riders this year were Danny and Robert Stroebel.  Danny has the school record for women’s pole vault, and Robert is currently on the track team.I know this because they shared a table with us at breakfast a couple Sundays ago.  It was fun listening to them talking about this very physical sport activity.  By the way, Robert averaged over 21 miles per hour over the entire trip.  His family members were not far behind.last_img read more

We are already looking beyond participation at Tokyo 2020 – Minister

first_imgRelatedPosts Minister gives condition for resumption of contact sports Minister pledges support for development of AI, robotics in Nigeria NSF 2020: Sports minister raises fresh hope The Minister of Youths and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, on Thursday in Abuja said the ministry was already looking beyond Nigeria’s participation at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.Dare, while declaring open the 2019 Annual General Meeting of the Nigeria Olympic Committee, said the move was in the area of all-round preparedness for major international sporting events.Represented by Adesola Olusade, the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Dare stated that commendable progress had been made by the ministry for corporate organisations and charitable individuals to take up sports sponsorship.“Yes, the Olympics holds every four years but the preparations and level of preparedness which goes into it take more than four years.“So, we have commenced preparations for the Tokyo Games with the inauguration of the `Ministerial Committee on Tokyo 2020’.“However, preparations for the next Olympics after Tokyo, as well as other international sports events, should start now if we want to achieve success at the world stage,” Dare said.The minister, who has emphasised the importance of corporate sponsorship of sports activities to complement government’s intervention, said efforts in that regard have started yielding results.“We have secured the support of Dangote Group to renovate the main bowl of the Moshood Abiola National Stadium in Abuja. We have also secured similar support for the National Stadium in Lagos,” he said.Dare, however, said it might take longer for renovation work to commence on the Lagos stadium due to its state of disrepair.He also commended the NOC for its collaboration and cordial relationship with his ministry and urged the Committee not to relent in efforts to grow Nigerian sports further.Earlier in his welcome address, President of the NOC, Habu Gumel, had called for the cooperation of all stakeholders in moving sports forward in Nigeria.“What is most important to us at the end of the day is for Nigeria’s National Anthem to be played repeatedly on the podium at the Tokyo Games.“Let us all collaborate and work together for the success of our nation,” Gumel said.Gumel, who is also a member of the International Olympic Committee, commended Dare and the Federal Ministry of Youths and Sports Development for sourcing alternative funding for sports.He said it should be clear to all by now that government alone cannot adequately fund sports in such a way that guarantees success.“Unfortunately, in many African countries, government is the sole financier of sports.“While many claim that such tendency impedes the autonomy of sports federations, my opinion is that what we need is collaboration,” Gumel said.He therefore appealed to multinational and corporate organisations to support sports development by sponsoring federations, funding events and assisting talent development.Gumel also commended the Sports Ministry for delivering on the building of the Secretariat of Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa in record time.He added: “We can all recall that Thomas Bach, the IOC President, recently commissioned the secretariat in Abuja.’’ Tags: Adesola OlusadeSunday DareYouth and Sports Developmentlast_img

Focus falls on Rooney and the ref

first_img John O’Shea was clearly the man who pulled back Radamel Falcao in the penalty box, but amid suggestions the referee had sent off Brown in a case of mistaken identity, an explanation from the body responsible for officiating standards in English football indicated that was not the case. It emerged through Professional Game Match Officials Limited that East thought Brown, in close attention, had committed the critical foul as Falcao set himself to shoot. The decision – later questioned by a baffled Sunderland manager Gus Poyet – came on the day football’s lawmakers delayed live trials of video technology at matches for at least 12 months. The home fans at Old Trafford grew increasingly agitated after watching the latest sub-par performance from their star-studded team in the first half, but Rooney placated them with his controversial 66th-minute spot-kick. And the United talisman rounded off the win with six minutes to go after he nodded in from close range. United boss Louis van Gaal will not care too much about the fact that referee East seemed to get the wrong man. He will probably be more concerned about watching replays of the first half. United were woefully poor at times. Their passing was poor and their attempts to turn defence into attack were way too slow. Angel di Maria took the blame for the poor opening 45 minutes. The British record signing was substituted at half-time following a wasteful showing. Still, Van Gaal will point to the fact that his team returned to winning ways – and they are back up to third in the Barclays Premier League. Van Gaal made a point of criticising his strikers at his pre-match press conference on Friday, but they were not the ones who were at fault in the first half against the Black Cats. Rooney and Falcao were starved of success thanks to a poor showing from a midfield containing £110million worth of talent. Rooney did have an early chance after giving his marker the slip, but he could only nod wide. Other than that, the United captain was starved of service. It was Sunderland – the team who had won just one league game in nine prior to this weekend – who looked the most threatening team early on. Connor Wickham was allowed to drift in from the left flank and glide unopposed for 20 yards before driving a low shot towards goal. Not for the first time this season, David de Gea rescued United. He tipped Wickham’s shot around the post and was on hand to save from Jermain Defoe moments later. Di Maria admitted this week that his performances had not been up to scratch and that was certainly the case on Saturday. The Argentinian looked anything but a £59.7million player. His only success was when he swung a cross to the back post which was cleared to Ashley Young, who wastefully volleyed over. Di Maria and Ander Herrera were being easily out-muscled by the Sunderland midfield and the United fans were not happy. Jonny Evans was booed when he played the ball back to De Gea when and the fans yelled “Attack! Attack! Attack!”. For a brief moment, the players heeded their calls. Young chested down a Di Maria cross and blasted a low shot at goal which was turned onto the bar by O’Shea. Costel Pantilimon then tipped Rooney’s free-kick over the bar and Sebastian Larsson cleared off the line from Marcos Rojo. In the final move of the half, Di Maria sprinted down the left on the counter, but his ball to Falcao was sloppy – way too sloppy for a man who arrived at Old Trafford with a £59.7million price tag. It came as no surprise when Di Maria was hooked at half-time, replaced by Adnan Januzaj. Januzaj’s pace offered United more incision, but otherwise it was a similar story for the hosts, whose performance was laboured and unproductive. The little Belgian did well to strike a fierce volley on the hour, but the shot whistled just wide. Then came the moment where the match turned in United’s favour. Falcao found space in the area, but just as he was about to shoot, O’Shea pulled his shirt back and Brown intercepted the ball. East pointed to the spot and sent Brown off, much to the shock of O’Shea. The Irishman told the referee he had pulled Falcao back and not Brown, but East stood by his decision and after a few minutes’ protest, the former United right-back walked. Once all the confusion had died down, Rooney blasted the ball past Pantilimon to put United ahead. The United fans seemed to object to Van Gaal’s second substitution by booing as Falcao was replaced by Marouane Fellaini. But they were happy again when Rooney wrapped up the win by nodding in from close range after Pantilimon had spilled Januzaj’s shot. But while it was a good day for the United captain, referee Roger East had a Saturday afternoon to forget. East faced post-match criticism for his decision to dismiss Sunderland’s Wes Brown after awarding the spot-kick from which Rooney broke the deadlock. Wayne Rooney scored his first league goals in over two months to give Manchester United a 2-0 victory over 10-man Sunderland. Press Associationlast_img read more