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

Leicester back on top of the Premier League after Stoke win

first_imgAll looks rosy again for Leicester after a return to winning ways coincided with Jamie Vardy ending his goal drought in a 3-0 victory over Stoke which sent the Foxes top of the Barclays Premier League. And the Foxes faithful might be right. Leicester, temporarily at least ahead of Manchester City’s game at West Ham on Saturday evening and Arsenal’s clash with Chelsea on Sunday, went three points clear at the top of the table and 12 in front of the sixth-placed Hammers. It would take a shocking collapse for Ranieri’s men not to be competing in Europe – after a 16-year absence – next season. Substitute Leonardo Ulloa stabbed home a third goal late on to seal a vital victory, with Leicester’s next three league games being Liverpool, Manchester City and Arsenal. The two teams had cancelled each other out until the 18th minute when there was a chance at either end. First Jonathan Walters got in on goal, although it was only a half chance for the Republic of Ireland striker, with a run behind Wes Morgan but he could not get the ball under control and Kasper Schmeichel raced towards the penalty spot to gather. Leicester immediately counter-attacked and Marc Albrighton’s low, whipped ball in from the left was swept goalwards by Vardy and Butland spilled his shot before a defender cleared the danger. From the resulting corner Riyad Mahrez sent a volley narrowly wide. There was a brilliant piece of defending by Danny Simpson in the 27th minute. Mame Diouf looked certain to head home Xherdan Shaqiri’s lovely floated cross at the far post but Simpson strained every sinew to get the first touch on the ball and divert it behind to keep the game goalless. It looked like it would remain that way at the break but Drinkwater drove home a volley from the edge of the penalty area. The doubting voices were beginning to increase in volume and number as Claudio Ranieri’s side stuttered, winning only one of their previous five league games – and seven in all competitions. But after Danny Drinkwater’s volley broke the stalemate shortly before half-time and Vardy rounded Stoke goalkeeper Jack Butland to slot home his first goal in seven Premier League matches, the King Power Stadium was bouncing to the tune of “We’re all going on a European tour”. Leicester had caused Stoke problems with corners throughout the first half and when Philipp Wollscheid, falling to the ground, could not get enough purchase on his header to clear the ball sufficiently, Drinkwater smashed it back with interest into the bottom corner of the net. Schmeichel was alert when called on to make his first real save of the game just after the hour, batting away Joselu’s header to preserve Leicester’s lead. It proved decisive as shortly afterwards Vardy latched on to Drinkwater’s knock over the top, calmly went round the advancing Butland and guided the ball into the back of the net from a tight angle for his first goal since December 14. It had been a tight game but now Leicester looked like they could create chances at will. Vardy, Mahrez and Albrighton all threatened before Mahrez crossed for sub Ulloa to poke in from close range with three minutes remaining. TWEET OF THE MATCH #LCFCVSCFC – “That will do #lcfc striker Jamie Vardy the world of good to get back on the scoresheet.. Taken superbly. #LeiSto” – Leicester Mercury football writer Rob Tanner (@RobTannerMerc) believes Jamie Vardy will be delighted to end his goal drought. PLAYER RATINGS Leicester: Kasper Schmeichel: 8 Danny Simpson: 8 Wes Morgan: 8 Robert Huth: 8 Christian Fuchs: 8 Riyad Mahrez: 7 N’Golo Kante: 8 Danny Drinkwater: 9 Marc Albrighton: 7 Shinji Okazaki: 7 Jamie Vardy: 7 Substitutes: Leonardo Ulloa (for Okazaki, 62): 7 Demarai Gray (for Albrighton, 88): 4 Stoke Jack Butland: 6 Glen Johnson: 7 Ryan Shawcross: 6 Philipp Wollscheid: 7 Erik Pieters: 5 Glenn Whelan: 6 Ibrahim Afellay: 5 Xherdan Shaqiri: 6 Jonathan Walters: 7 Mame Diouf: 6 Mato Joselu: 6 Substitutes: Marc Wilson (for Shawcross, 30): 5 Peter Odemwingie (for Diouf, 71): 4 Peter Crouch (for Shaqiri, 79): 5 STAR MAN Danny Drinkwater – A superb all-round performance, capped by his first Premier League goal. The former Manchester United trainee also provided the perfectly-weighted pass over the top of the Stoke defence for Vardy’s goal. A much under-appreciated midfielder this season, he has been superb. MOMENT OF THE MATCH Vardy’s goal. The relief was tangible as the ball rolled over the goal line and into the back of the net. The King Power Stadium held its breath as he rounded Butland and the noise when it was released – as Leicester went 2-0 ahead – was explosive. Vardy’s drought was over, Leicester had a two-goal lead and were heading back to the top of the table. VIEW FROM THE BENCH Ranieri will be so happy. His team answered a lot of critics and doubters on Saturday with a vital win to put the pressure right back on Manchester City and Arsenal, who the Foxes face in their next three matches. Mark Hughes will be disappointed his team never really got going. They created very little and will have to be much better at Anfield on Tuesday night if they want to overturn a first-leg deficit and make it to Wembley in the Capital One Cup. Stoke’s hopes of European football took a bit of a blow at the King Power. MOAN OF THE MATCH Mahrez went down a little easily in the second half looking for a free-kick in a dangerous position, when in reality he had over-ran the ball. He does not need to do that, he is such a gifted player. WHO’S UP NEXT? Leicester v Liverpool (Premier League, Tuesday February 2) Liverpool v Stoke (Capital One Cup, Tuesday January 26) Press Associationlast_img read more

India beat Bangladesh in warm-up fixture

first_imgBANGLADESH suffered a 240-run thrashing by India in their final warm-up game before they kick off their Champions Trophy campaign against hosts England tomorrow.Shakib Al Hasan’s team were bowled out for just 84 in reply to India’s 324-7 – pace bowlers Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Umesh Yadav doing the damage with three wickets apiece.Wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik top-scored for India with a 77-ball 94 before he retired to allow other batsmen time in the middle.Of those, Hardik Pandya clubbed four sixes in his unbeaten 80, but neither skipper Virat Kohli nor India’s star man MS Dhoni batted.Both teams were able to field 15 players, with only 11 allowed to bat or field at any one time.Bangladesh meet England at the same venue, The Oval, tomorrow, with defending champions India’s opening game of the Champions Trophy against Pakistan on Sunday.(BBC Sport)last_img read more

Mutual aid spreadsheet encourages community support

first_imgAlly Wei | Daily Trojan Marks, a junior majoring in screenwriting, first posted on social media March 12 asking students who were leaving campus to donate leftover food to low-income students. Marks has since collected hundreds of donations at their home off campus to help those struggling to pay for meals.  Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism professor Jennifer de la Fuente said she heard about the spreadsheet through an Annenberg Media Center Slack channel and decided to forward the resources to her students through Blackboard announcements. While de la Fuente is no longer offering her office as a storage space due to restricted access to campus, she continues to promote the work of the student activists.  “Any time that situations are rapidly changing and the needs of people are rapidly changing, I think sometimes we need to move independently of bureaucracy and officiality,” Marks said.  Marks adapted the spreadsheet based off of the work of student activists at the University of Michigan and Middlebury College. They said the lack of decisive action from the administration to address food and financial insecurity inspired them to start enlisting the help of fellow students.  Allen learned about the spreadsheet from Marks’ Instagram and has received queries from Claremont students about moving into her space, which is now at full capacity. “There was a lot of stress about how are we going to get food or basic needs, so the [food drive] definitely helped,” Moreno said.  The administration at the Claremont Colleges told students to leave university housing immediately March 18, leaving many low-income and LGBTQ students living in abusive households without a place to stay. Marks said they reached out to activists from the Occupy Pomona movement, which advocates for continued living on campus for vulnerable students, to help organize rooms for students experiencing homelessness.  The outpouring of student support for the food drive led Marks to create a mutual aid spreadsheet, which documents resources available for students, including housing, food and transportation services. Students can edit the spreadsheet to offer help with tasks such as buying groceries for immunocompromised students or to ask for assistance with storage and housing.  “USC students will be voluntarily leaving the area because of USC going online, and a lot of people should be going home, and that means there’s rooms, there’s apartments, there’s beds empty,” Marks said. Samantha Kosai, a senior majoring in sociology, is a part of a basic needs task force Marks organized to spread the word about resources for students. Kosai said that as a low-income student, she wanted to help other students facing financial insecurity. USG President Trenton Stone said he hoped publishing the spreadsheet on the organization’s website would help market and formalize the activists’ efforts.  “A lot of times students like myself, who are living out here as independents, who might be facing food or housing insecurity, we’re already falling through the cracks in so many places that the University doesn’t address when there’s no pandemic,” Kosai said. “But, then to be in such a frightening time globally and especially in L.A., to not really have any resources for us is both frustrating and sad.”  “In a time like this, in which a lot of people are in crisis, it’s important to look at what you do have access to and what resources you can extend to other people,” Allen said.  “The university is promoting an initiative run by Student Affairs through the Student Affairs’ Student Basic Needs Office,” the statement read. “The team there centralizes resources for students who are food, housing, and financially insecure.”center_img Jessica Moreno, a freshman majoring in business administration, has visited the food drive twice to help support her family. Moreno’s mother works in the restaurant industry and has been laid off due to coronavirus concerns, making it difficult for her family to afford meals.  In addition to sharing the spreadsheet on social media, Marks wrote a letter detailing resources for food-insecure and immunocompromised students and sent it to several USC academic deans and department heads. Marks also encouraged their social media followers to share the information with students in their classes on Blackboard.  “The whole point of this is that there was no infrastructure in place to take care of these needs,” Marks said. “Therefore, the response to it isn’t as bureaucratic or clearly delegated or organized, but it is extremely passionate.”  The University plans to advocate its own projects for low-income students, USC told the Daily Trojan in a statement.  Amid the panic and confusion following USC’s decision to move classes online in response to the coronavirus pandemic, Veronica Marks took to organizing resources for struggling students.  Lucy Allen, a junior majoring in cinema and media studies, is offering her single bedroom in a shared house on the spreadsheet. Allen said she felt compelled to help others during this tumultuous period.  While the spreadsheet primarily coordinates help for USC students in need, it also provides housing availability for students from the Claremont Colleges, a consortium of seven private colleges near Los Angeles that includes Harvey Mudd and Pomona colleges.  The spreadsheet allows USC students to list their available housing and contact information for students to reach out. Currently, 25 students are offering spaces, with four listings at full capacity.  “When [Veronica] mentioned that they needed help organizing and had a vision for a lot more of what they wanted to do to help these insecure students, I knew that was something I wanted to be a part of,” Kosai said. “At the end of the day, that meant I was helping people like myself.”  While Kosai felt the University adequately communicated its coronavirus response, she said the administration failed to consider the needs of low-income students.  Marks contacted the administration in hopes of promoting the spreadsheet’s resources through their communication channels. While Marks hasn’t received an official response from administrators, Undergraduate Student Government posted a link to the spreadsheet on its coronavirus resources website page.  “I think that it speaks a lot to the community, just to the community of students, people really are looking out for each other,” de la Fuente said. “I think, rightly or wrongly, USC has a reputation of being full of spoiled children … but I think in times like this, it really does show that we’re not that reputation.” “It just touched me and just makes me proud to be a part of this Trojan Family in a time of crisis,” Stone said. last_img read more

Andreas Bardun: Getting mobile ready for Russia and beyond #bofcon2018

first_imgShare Submit Share Related Articles Ilya Machavariani, Dentons – CIS regional dynamics will come to play prior to gambling take-off July 31, 2020 Duma approves overhaul of Russian sports betting laws  July 23, 2020 StumbleUpon TVBET passes GLI test for five live games in Malta and Italy August 25, 2020 Andreas BardunSetting up a Malta-based industry ‘mobile-centric’ development, strategy and technology hub, Andreas Bardun, former Head of Sportsbook for LeoVegas, speaks to SBC on creating effective and enhanced mobile betting propositions for Russia 2018 and beyond…A sixteen-year industry veteran, Bardun has worked and consulted for a number of major betting operators. Bardun breaks down new user mobile trends and why mobile should be the key interaction vertical for all stakeholder during Russia 2018…______________________SBC: Andreas – great to catch-up. Can you detail to SBC readers why you have launched a technology hub focused on industry mobile gaming development? Andreas Bardun:  I have been working and living in Malta for over 16 years with Sportsbooks and been blessed to work with some of the biggest success stories. Right now though I feel there is a big need for Mobile Gaming Innovations. During the years I built up a strong network of really industry leaders and we often talked about this subject.The solution I found to best address the need of better mobile user experience and innovations for sportsbooks is to set up a Mobile Gaming Innovation Hub. The key is really to attract the key players when it comes to vision, product, design and development under the same roof and the way we managed to do that was through a nice equity sharing but also enable a lot of freedom innovative thinking.I am extremely proud of the team me and my co-founder Richard Smith managed to put together so far.SBC: During your tenure at LeoVegas you brought a new ‘mobile-focused’ betting proposition to market. What have you learnt from that experience, and how do you feel it has impacted your agency’s development? AB: The LeoVegas experience has been amazing to me, I had the fortune to work very closely with one of the co-founders Robin Ramm in Malta and also got to know the other co-founder, Gustaf Hagman. I think what I learnt most from this experience is more on the entrepreneurship level, I saw how important it is to grab an opportunity when it is there at the right time and then have this incredible relentless self-belief in the vision that creates a momentum I haven’t seen in any other business I been involved in. It has been very inspiring to me and I want to take those leanings with me to our team.SBC: In 2017, what wider mobile-focused trend has caught your eye and how do you feel this is impacting betting/gaming dynamics? AB: The two things I am looking for is search and predictive elements. When it comes to search I am closely following both interactions with bots/assistants and how voice search can be utilized for mobile betting. I think we will see some big innovations coming our way the next year or so in this area. When it comes to predictive elements, AI and machine learning will be so important for the mobile user, this is an area where I think betting is far behind and will be for a bit but the one that can be first mover here will have a huge advantage. SBC: We are seeing a stronger focus on customer betting engagement via visualization of markets, how is this sought after dynamic transitioning through to mobile verticals?  AB: I think this is a great example of a desktop product that’s been kind of jammed into mobile devices without keeping the mobile user in mind. There is definitely a big opportunity out there to make it a better experience for mobile users.SBC: With regards to mobile development, is this industry too inward-looking in its output. From your perspective should sector stakeholders look outside for inspiration… what enterprises should be followed? AB: I found that operators are putting an amazing amount of focus on retention and engagement of players, without really paying much attention to the specific needs of the mobile player, the challenges in the design of the product and more importantly the opportunities to lead the way in mobile to make players lives easier. If you look at companies where people interact on a daily basis with mobiles such as Uber, WhatsApp or Instagram then they have designed the experience all around mobile. Our belief is that Sports is a mobile product and should be treated as such. Examples of this is that the customer wants you to communicate to you via their phones, they want a product that fulfills their needs in simple and faster ways of placing bets but too often companies miss out on this simple things because priorities are on scalable tech solutions, integrations or legacy technology that are looking towards what the company wants rather than what the mobile customer want.Are the companies inward looking? I think the best example of this I know sportsbook still benchmark themselves on how many side markets and how many matches being offered, this drives me crazy because how do 200+ extra markets that have zero or very little turnover solve any mobile players goals? Simplicity and Speed rules mobile companies need to focus on these crucial dynamics. SBC: The Russia 2018 World Cup will dominate next year’s industry context and agenda. From your perspective what should industry stakeholders be preparing for with regards to mobile dynamics, capabilities and factors? AB: There are 3 key factors for my perspective to make 2018 World Cup a mobile success story. Acquisition – If you want the mobile players then its best to acquire them via mobile in the first place. Look to direct budgets to focus on the mobile players, and ensure your mobile acquisition funnel and user experience are optimized to meet the expectations of the mobile player. Mobile Content –  Ensure your mobile content strategy is working and relevant to the mobile player. When they open their phone to bet, give them live action and promotions that are happening and that are relevant to them Operations – From the CEO to the customer service operator they should have complete competence in the mobile offering, promotions and product on Android/iPhone, Apps and mobile web. The companies who engage their staff in mobile will drive mobile to the forefront of their thinking and strategy by default and reap the benefits._____________________________________Betting market and product dynamics and impacts will be discussed and debated at the upcoming ‘Betting on Football 2018’ Conference (#bofcon2018). Click on the below banner for more information…last_img read more