Sussex bakery fined £14,392 for rodent infestation

first_imgFalcone Baking Company in Newhaven has been fined after being found guilty of five offences relating to poor food hygiene, including a “serious rodent infestation”. The wholesale food manufacturer was found guilty of offences which resulted in both the rodent infestation and mould on windows and walls.Councillor Paul Franklin, lead member at Lewes District Council, said: “It is critical we ensure the food residents buy is safe to eat and businesses must comply with food hygiene rules. In a minority of cases, where hygiene rules are repeatedly ignored, the council will take enforcement action.”Falcone Baking Company’s premises were closed following an emergency hygiene prohibition notice being served. The company pleaded guilty and was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay the council’s full legal costs of £8,892, and a victim surcharge of £500 – a total of £14,392.Ed Hele, service manager at Lewes District Council, said: “When food is exposed for sale in conditions that could place the public at risk, we have to act.”last_img read more

A difficult journey, a brighter future

first_imgLiberia’s “Iron Lady,” President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, urged Harvard graduates to be fearless when facing the future, to dream big, and to resist cynicism despite the difficulties and failures they will face in life.Sirleaf, a Harvard Kennedy School alumna who in 2006 became the first woman president of an African nation, gave the Commencement address at Thursday’s (May 26) afternoon ceremonies in Harvard’s Tercentenary Theatre. She told graduating seniors of the challenges she faced during her groundbreaking, zigzagging journey to the president’s office. Those challenges included prison sentences, death threats, and years of exile.“We all persisted. I always maintained the conviction that my country and people are so much better than our recent history indicates,” Sirleaf said. “I believe I am a better leader, a better person, with a richer appreciation for the present because of my past.”Sirleaf received an honorary doctor of laws degree earlier in the day. Along with her award, more than 7,200 degrees and certificates were awarded to Harvard College seniors and graduate students. Honorary degrees were awarded to luminaries in various fields, including legendary tenor Plácido Domingo and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.Harvard marked its upcoming 375th anniversary and its roots as an institution dedicated to educating both English and Native American youth by awarding a posthumous degree to Joel Iacoomes, one of the original Wampanoag students at the College. Iacoomes completed his studies but died in a shipwreck before graduating in 1665. His fellow Wampanoag and classmate, Caleb Cheeshahteaumuck, did graduate that year. Their modern counterpart, College senior Tiffany Smalley, the first Wampanoag to graduate since Cheeshahteaumuck, also received her degree Thursday.Degrees were awarded during the morning in an outdoor ceremony packed with centuries of tradition at America’s oldest institution of higher education. Sirleaf delivered her remarks during the Afternoon Exercises, which doubles as the annual meeting of the Harvard Alumni Association. During that session, Harvard’s alumni welcome the morning’s graduates into their global community of 360,000 alumni in 185 countries.President Drew Faust also addressed the crowd, saying that universities are among “humanity’s greatest innovations,” and that, because of the times, the power of knowledge is greater than ever. Justin Ide/Harvard Staff PhotographerHarvard President Drew Faust also addressed the crowd of newly minted graduates, their families, and friends, saying that universities are among “humanity’s greatest innovations,” and that, because of the times, the power of knowledge is greater than ever.“Perhaps every generation believes that it lives in special times, and perhaps every cohort of graduates is told just that at ceremonies like these,” Faust said. “But both the depth of the challenges we face and the power of knowledge — and thus of universities — to address them is unprecedented. Harvard must embrace this responsibility …”Faust called on America’s budget-cutting leaders to recognize the importance of education to improve people’s lives and to bolster the economy. During the recent recession, the unemployment rate for college graduates was less than half that of workers with only a high school diploma. In addition, she said, universities are drivers of innovation. At Harvard, that means fresh inventions from faculty and students alike, along with programs and centers, all leading to “new ideas and new ways of enabling those ideas to reach a wider world.”“That is the essence of what we are about,” Faust said.Harvard has worked to broaden the economic diversity of its student body, adopting financial aid programs that now reach 60 percent of undergraduates. About 20 percent of the students come from families earning less than $60,000, Faust said. She touched on universities’ roles in solving the complex, border-spanning problems facing the world, and on the emphasis that Harvard has placed in recent years on students gaining international experience while at the University.At the honorands’ dinner the evening before Commencement, Sirleaf presented Faust with a quilt made by women from the rural Liberian community of Arthington, which is known for its textiles. Faust was so taken by the gift, which featured the Harvard shield and was decorated with small seashells, that she had it displayed behind the president’s chair during Commencement exercises.“They wanted something to remain that would really capture today, really capture Harvard,” Sirleaf said of the 10 women whose needlework produced the quilt, “and to say to President Faust how much they appreciated her invitation to me to speak on Commencement Day.”During her speech Thursday, Sirleaf expressed optimism about the future of her country and of Africa. After decades of dictatorship and civil war, Liberia has transitioned to democracy and faces the prospect of a peaceful transition of power later this year, after the upcoming presidential elections. Sirleaf spoke of the progress Liberia made since her election. She has moved to reform the country’s government, reducing international debt, attracting foreign investment, and rebuilding electric and water systems in the capital, Monrovia. The country also has begun rebuilding hospitals, schools, roads, and other infrastructure destroyed in the fighting.President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf presented Harvard President Drew Faust (pictured) with a quilt made by women from the rural Liberian community of Arthington, which is known for its textiles. Faust had the quilt displayed behind the president’s chair during Commencement exercises. Brooks Canaday/Harvard Staff PhotographerThough much remains to be done, Sirleaf said the results are already apparent, as Liberia’s economy is growing at 6 percent annually. Sirleaf said she’d like to “graduate Liberia from development assistance” in 10 years, and have it rise to the ranks of middle-income countries by 2030.“Our 7-year-olds do not hear guns and do not have to run. They can smile again,” Sirleaf said.The changes in Liberia reflect those reshaping much of the continent, Sirleaf said, where the era of “big man” dictatorships is coming to a close. Sub-Saharan Africa had just three democracies in 1989, a number that grew to 23 by 2008, she said. The region’s economy is growing at 5 percent, with a rising middle class now numbering 313 million out of a population of 1 billion.In some ways, Africa has come full circle, to the time of hope and resilience the continent experienced in the first years after countries gained their independence, before the rise of militarism and sectarian violence, Sirleaf said.“I was there in the early 1970s, a decade after the independence movement had swept across Africa. Back then, the future appeared full of endless possibilities. But I also witnessed the gradual descent into militarism, sectarian violence, and divisive ethnic politics. I witnessed our country engulfed in the fires of a civil conflict that raged for almost two decades,” Sirleaf said. “But … I have also been blessed with the opportunity to watch and participate as the nation rises out of the ashes of war to become a force for peace in West Africa.”Sirleaf said the self-confidence and perhaps even arrogance she felt after graduating from the Kennedy School, which she attended through the Edward S. Mason Program, got her into hot water with her government. Delivering a commencement address at her high school after returning to Liberia, she questioned the government’s failure to address inequities in society.“This forced me into exile and a staff position at the World Bank. Other similar events would follow in a life in and out of the country, in and out of jail, in and out of professional service. There were times I thought death was near, and times when the burden of standing tall by one’s convictions seemed only to result in failure. But through it all, my experience sends a strong message that failure is just as important as success,” Sirleaf said.Sirleaf said that in just the last decade, technology has hastened history, increasing the speed of change and leading to transformations such as those happening in North Africa and the Middle East. However change occurs, Sirleaf said, Harvard and those with ties to the University are often involved. She cited U.S. presidents John Kennedy and Barack Obama, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, and Secretary of State George Marshall, the 1947 Commencement speaker, who announced plans to rebuild post-World War II Europe.Sirleaf concluded by urging students to dream on a grand scale and said her own optimism for the future was largely due to them.“If your dreams do not scare you, they’re not big enough,” Sirleaf said. “The size of your dreams must always exceed your current capacity to achieve them. … If you start off with a small dream, you may not have much left when it is fulfilled because, along the way, life will … make demands on you. I am, however, bullish about the future of our world because of everyone in this Yard and because of those who graduated today.”last_img read more

Graduate Commons faculty directors work to make Harvard Housing feel like home

first_imgJim and Doreen Hogle, faculty deans for Dudley House, have served as faculty directors at Peabody Terrace for nearly seven years. Photo by Bob Keene/Keene Vision “Being faculty directors has given us the opportunity to meet a remarkably diverse and international group of residents. We’ve had a wonderful time getting to know residents academically, professionally, and socially, and to share ideas and customs with them. The experience has also provided us with a chance to work alongside an extremely dedicated group of staff … to create a sense of community in a building complex that could otherwise be very isolating. The experience has enriched our lives.” — Jim Hogle, Edward S. Harkness Professor at Harvard Medical School, chair of the Biophysics Program, faculty director at Dudley House, Peabody Terrace,“As faculty directors, we have really loved interacting with, mentoring, and learning from the diverse and incredibly talented community of Harvard students and scholars. As a professor at Harvard Law School and Harvard Business School, and as faculty chair for the J.D./M.B.A. program, I believe that cross fertilization among fields and interdisciplinary education will be critical to the next wave of advances in our society. As faculty directors, we get to witness that interaction every day.” — Guhan Subramanian, Joseph Flom Professor of Law and Business at HLS, Douglas Weaver, professor of business law at HBS and faculty director at Western Area,“We have the privilege of creating a truly diverse Harvard community that will be loyal and interested in Harvard for decades. The hardest part of the job is saying goodbye when the residents finish their degree and move on to the next phase of their lives.” — Nancy Winship, recently retired senior vice president for Institutional Advancement at Brandeis University and faculty director at Gardenside Area For hundreds of Harvard affiliates and their families living in Harvard University Housing, it’s the sense of belonging and community connection that makes all the difference. Eight faculty directors with Harvard Graduate Commons Program (GCP) work every day to help make that possible.These intellectual leaders, together with GCP staff and community advisors, host social and academic events to engage their neighborhoods. Whether welcoming residents and guests into their homes each month for lectures and dinner discussions, or integrating intellectual and social opportunities through events like game nights, networking happy hours, and off-campus excursions, the faculty directors bridge the divide between the learning, living, and cultural experiences at Harvard.Since its inception in 2008, GCP’s unique interdisciplinary effort to create a “home away from home” for a diverse residential population including graduate students, faculty, staff, and their families is now a thriving living-learning community for all residents.Some of the faculty directors shared why they choose to serve in this capacity. “We get to engage with residents from all over the world, learning their different cultures and passions and sharing ours … and residents are able to see us as both faculty and as family. We see this as an opportunity to bring people together, building relationships that last a lifetime.” — Nancy Hill, Charles Bigelow Professor of Education and faculty director at Gardenside Arealast_img read more

EIA: Coal generation fell to 19.2% of U.S. electricity market in January

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Platts:Total U.S. power generation during January was at 339.32 TWh, up 0.6% from the prior month but 5.1% lower than the year-ago month. It was also down 5.1% from the five-year average and was the lowest total generation for the corresponding month since 328.66 TWh in January 2006.Coal made up just 19.2% of the power generation in January, while natural gas generation was at 39.2%, compared with 21.5% of U.S. generation from coal and 38.4% from gas in December. In the year-ago month, coal’s power generation share was at 28.2%, while gas was at 33.3%.Natural gas generation in January was at 132.98 TWh, up 2.8% from a month earlier and 11.8% higher than the year-ago month. It was the highest power generation from gas in the month of January in over 47 years.Nuclear generation was at 74.2 TWh in January, up 1.5% from December and 0.7% higher than the year-ago month. Nuclear made up 21.9% of the generation share in January, up from 21.7% in December and 21.2% in January 2019.Generation from renewables, including hydro and solar, was at 63.46 TWh in January, up 7.2% from December and 5.6% from the year-ago month. Renewable’s power generation share was at 18.7%, up from 17.5% in December and 16.8% a year ago.Wind generation was at 28.4 TWh in January, up 4.5% month on month and 12.9% higher than a year ago. Utility solar generation was at 4.56 TWh, up 30.4% from a month earlier and up 24.7% from the year-ago month.[Tyler Godwin]More: January U.S. coal-fired generation falls 10.2% on month, 35.5% on year: EIA EIA: Coal generation fell to 19.2% of U.S. electricity market in Januarylast_img read more

Military Leaders from the Americas Discuss Common Issues

first_imgBy Dialogo February 06, 2013 Military leaders from Central America visited U.S. Army North on January 30 as part of the Central American Regional Leaders’ Conference, hosted by U.S. Army South, in a cooperative effort to establish closer ties between militaries and to improve coordination on common issues. International students from the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC), U.S. Army Maneuver Center of Excellence, based in Fort Benning, Georgia, visited Army North to learn about the mission and structure of the U.S. Northern Command’s Joint Force Land Component Command. “The WHINSEC visit allowed us to highlight Army North’s role in defending the homeland in depth through security cooperation with our neighboring countries – Canada and Mexico,” said Major Albert Marckwardt, Mexico branch officer at Army North. “For the students, equivalent to the U.S. Army ranks of major and lieutenant colonel, it was also an opportunity to understand how we support civilian authorities at the tactical and operational level.” WHINSEC students from Panama, Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Honduras, Costa Rica, Paraguay, Canada, Belize and Mexico learned about Army North’s unique missions and discussed regional efforts with hemispheric partner nations to combat transnational criminal organizations. Military leaders from Nicaragua, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, and Panama’s director of its National Border Service toured Army North’s historic Quadrangle, attended command briefings and heard from Oscar Salinas Jr., assistant chief of U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, who touted the success Army North has had working with the Mexican land and air forces, known as SEDENA. “The Border Patrol’s new strategic plan focuses on integration with federal, state, local and foreign partnerships,” said Salinas. “The collaboration between Army North and SEDENA is one example of this integration.” While WHINSEC students have visited Army North in years past, the visit of Army commanders from Central America on this opportunity was unique. “This is probably the first time we’ve worked this closely with Army South and with Central American army commanders, and this greater dialogue is a healthy thing,” said Lt. Gen. William Caldwell IV, commanding general, Army North (Fifth Army), and senior commander, Fort Sam Houston and Camp Bullis. “We’ve been building our interactions over the years – and we want it to continue,” he added. Major General Perry Wiggins, deputy commanding general of operations at Army North, discussed the importance of building relationships and fostering communication in combating transnational criminal organizations. “They’re going to move to the path of least resistance,” said Wiggins. “A solution without Central America, South America, Canada and Mexico gives them a gap. Our adversary we’re dealing with is very smart. [If we] protect the land and water, [then] they use ultralights and tunnels.” Progress has been made, but there is more to be done, and Army North needs to foster relationships with other nations like it has done with Mexico, said Wiggins. “We are getting back into a cooperative state,” he said. “I can tell you the synergy we have created with SEDENA has blossomed into something where relationships have carried the day.”last_img read more

This is why we do what we do

first_imgI’ve got to take a moment and get this off my chest: What Wells Fargo did – open more than 1.5 million likely unauthorized consumer deposit accounts and more than 500,000 credit cards – is despicable and flat-out fraud. And someone needs to go to prison.Time and time again, I am reminded that this is why we – the credit union industry – do what we do. For credit unions, their members are their owners. Every decision made, every new product and service introduced, is based on what is best for them. continue reading » 6SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Jakarta to evaluate COVID-19 policy amid ‘alarming’ situation

first_imgBoth figures far exceed the World Health Organization’s standard of 5 percent for the relaxation of restrictions. Cumulatively, the positivity rate over the course of the pandemic was 6.9 percent in Jakarta and 13.9 percent nationally, Anies added.The governor said the condition was “worrying” because of Jakarta’s healthcare limitations.“If the number of people requiring treatment is more than the capacity of the hospitals and the number of medical personnel, we will face a big problem,” he said. The Jakarta administration is set to hold a special meeting on Wednesday to assess its COVID-19 countermeasures as cases in the capital continue to rise.“The task force will hold a special meeting to evaluate the latest developments of COVID-19 in Jakarta because the situation is alarming,” Governor Anies Baswesdan said on Wednesday.In the past week, Anies said, Jakarta’s positivity rate – the percentage of COVID-19 tests that return a positive result – had increased to 13.2 percent, while the national rate had reached 18.4 percent. Read also: Industrial COVID-19 clusters in Bekasi, Karawang reach 500 casesAnies said the Jakarta administration would prepare new policies and expected better enforcement of health protocols in communities.Jakarta is currently under transitional large-scale social restrictions (PSBB), a relaxation of the previously imposed restrictions, as the capital gradually reopens businesses and services to keep the economy running.The capital entered transitional PSBB on June 4 and has since extended the policy five times. The move, however, seems to have backfired as new coronavirus clusters have emerged in the capital.As of Tuesday afternoon, Jakarta had confirmed 48,811 COVID-19 cases, with 1,330 fatalities and 36,451 recoveries.Amid the rising rate of transmission, gravediggers have raised concerns about seemingly endless work with minimum protective gear. The available land in designated COVID-19 cemeteries is decreasing.“Currently, we have designated cemeteries in Tegal Alur and Pondok Ranggon. In Tegal Alur, there are still about two hectares of land available, with one hectare accommodating roughly 3,000 burials,” Anies said.The management of Pondok Ranggon cemetery previously reported that by the end of August, there would only be space for another 1,100 burials. Space is expected to run out in October.Topics :last_img read more

Dimitar Berbatov’s Premier League predictions including Leicester City vs Man Utd

first_img Comment The curtain is finally set to come down on the 2019/20 Premier League season (Pictures: REX/METRO.CO.UK)It has been a memorable Premier League campaign for any number of reasons and we are in store for a fitting finale on Sunday.Liverpool may have wrapped up the title a long time ago, but the scramble for European qualification is set to go to the wire. Manchester United and Leicester City face off in what is effectively a straight shootout at the King Power, while Chelsea must avoid defeat at home against Wolves.At the other end of the table, two of Watford, Aston Villa and Bournemouth will be relegated to The Championship. A day of twists and turns awaits and Betfair Ambassdor Dimitar Berbatov previews the action for Metro.co.uk…AdvertisementAdvertisementLeicester City v Man Utd Troy Deeney will need to put in a big performance if Watford are to have any hope of surviving (Picture: Getty)I don’t see how Watford will pull off a miracle and survive. I hope they can prove me wrong. I don’t get them sacking their manager when they had two huge games to go, it just makes things so confusing for the players and everybody connected to the team. Arsenal will want to bounce back from that defeat on Tuesday, I think they have something going for them, Arteta knows what he is doing and I think he has a good understanding with the players, in my opinion they will reap the benefits of his appointment in the future. Dimitar’s Prediction: 2-0Betfair Exchange Odds: Arsenal- 21/20, Watford- 3/1, Draw- 3/1Burnley vs Brighton Advertisement Liverpool finally got their hands on the Premier League trophy in midweek (Picture: Getty)Now that Liverpool have lifted the trophy and have been crowned champions people may think that they will their high standards slip, but when you’re in that situation all you want to do is win every game. Newcastle will want to finish the season on a high, they have done really well this season and I can see them being a tough opponent for Klopp’s side. Dimitar’s Prediction: 2-4.Betfair Exchange Odds: Newcastle- 8/1, Liverpool- 2/5, Draw- 4/1Southampton vs Sheffield United Aston Villa handed themselves a lifeline with their midweek win over Arsenal (Picture: Getty)Aston Villa got a massive win against Arsenal on Tuesday, but the job is far from over. They need another massive performance to make sure they are safe. It’s in Villa’s hands so they need to help themselves, they have some great players and I hope they stay up, they need to be really motivated and can’t make any mistakes. Dimitar’s Prediction: 1-2.Betfair Exchange Odds: West Ham- 9/4, Villa- 11/8, Draw- 11/4AdvertisementMORE: Dimitar Berbatov blasts Gareth Bale over Real Madrid bench anticsMORE: Berbatov sends Manchester United warning over Jadon Sancho transferFollow Metro Sport across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.For more stories like this, check our sport page. Nick Pope is still in contention to win the Premier League Golden Gloves award (Picture: Getty)I have been impressed this season with Burnley, they have played some good football at times and I am sure that they will have surprised a lot of people. It’s not been easy for them since the return but I think they have done a good job given the issues they had with some player contracts. Brighton will be delighted with how they have avoided the relegation battle and I see this one turning out to be a draw. Dimitar’s Prediction: 2-2.Betfair Exchange Odds: Burnley- 11/8, Brighton- 9/4, Draw- 5/2Chelsea vs Wolves Advertisement Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham will look to end the season with a fifth win in six games (Picture: Getty)I watched Spurs against Leicester and I think they played some good football and they were strong on the counter attack, which is how they scored their goals. It shows you that when it matters, Mourinho knows how to approach a game and when you have the players like he does at Spurs, then it is easier to implement what you want, especially with the speed of Son and Lucas Moura, as well as the goal scoring instinct of Harry Kane. I can see Spurs winning the final game. Dimitar Prediction: 0-1.Betfair Exchange Odds: Palace- 11/2, Spurs- 4/6, Draw- 10/3Everton vs Bournemouthcenter_img Bournemouth can still survive despite having won just one of their last 12 matches (Picture: Getty)It looks very difficult for Bournemouth, but while there’s still a possibility of survival the players will be fighting for it. When you’re chasing safety it is the worst thing ever, I remember at Bayer Leverkusen we were in a relegation battle the season after reaching the Champions League final, it was so difficult and tense, in the end when we were safe we celebrated like we’d just won the Champions League. So, Bournemouth know that they can only do their job and hope for a miracle. I want to see them fight and produce a good game. Dimitar’s Prediction: 1-2.Betfair Exchange Odds: Everton- 5/4, Bournemouth- 3/1, Draw- 9/4Man City vs Norwich Dimitar BerbatovSaturday 25 Jul 2020 11:06 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link2.8kShares Jamie Vardy represents a major threat to Man Utd’s Champions League hopes (Picture: Getty)Well, this is the big one, it’s a massive game for both teams. The players just need to go out onto the, do their job and win the game. That is easier said than done, you can scream, shout and motivate yourself as much as you like in the dressing room but sometimes the moment you step onto the pitch you s**t your pants. It will be a tense moment because we all know what is on the line, in this case both sets of players will know. The confidence must be there, the United players just need to stay focused and get the job done. It’s difficult for me to predict this one, but I really hope United can get the job done and qualify for the Champions League. Dimitar’s Prediction: 1-2.ADVERTISEMENTBetfair Exchange Odds: Leicester- 9/4, Man Utd- 11/8, Draw- 5/2Arsenal vs Watford Man City legend David Silva plays his final Premier League game on Sunday (Picture: Getty)Norwich aren’t playing for anything and they have been awful the last couple of games. City will want to finish strong and people who want to score goals will look to take that opportunity on Sunday. Their next game after this is against Real Madrid, so they will want to go into that pumped, full of confidence. Dimitar’s Prediction: 5-0.AdvertisementBetfair Exchange Odds: Man City- 1/10, Norwich- 37/1, Draw- 13/1Newcastle vs Liverpool Christian Pulisic has been in sensational form for Chelsea since the restart (Picture: Getty)This is a big game for Chelsea, they won’t want to slip up, it is going to be a tough game for both teams. Despite Wednesday’s result I think Chelsea will still be confident. Wolves will want to finish the season on a high and they can still achieve a top five finish which would be an amazing achievement. I can see this one being quite entertaining. Dimitar Prediction: 3-3.AdvertisementAdvertisementBetfair Exchange Odds: Chelsea- 10/11, Wolves- 7/2, Draw- 3/1Crystal Palace vs Tottenham Danny Ings is still in contention to win the Premier League Golden Boot (Picture: Getty)Both teams will be happy with how they have done this season and I’m hoping that in this one we will see a pure game of football with lots of attacking. Danny Ings is still fighting for the golden boot so he will want to score a few to give himself the best chance to be the league’s top goal scorer. It’s not going to be easy for him to do it but I’m sure he’ll be giving it a try. Dimitar’s Prediction: 3-1.Betfair Exchange Odds: Southampton- 5/4, Sheffield- 5/2, Draw- 5/2West Ham vs Aston Villa Dimitar Berbatov’s Premier League predictions including Leicester City vs Man Utdlast_img read more

AP7 outshines private pension providers with 2017 return

first_imgAP7’s dominance over Sweden’s premium pension system increased last year with new customers and a better-than-average investment return.The fund – one of Sweden’s national pension funds and the default provider in the country’s premium pension system (PPM) – increased its saver numbers last year to more than half of the total participants in the system.Its balanced fund offering, Såfa, generated an investment return above the average return produced by private providers in the PPM, returning 14.4% in 2017.This compared to the 11.3% average return from funds included in the system’s funds marketplace, according to full-year figures released by the Swedish Pensions Agency. In 2016 Såfa returned 13.9%, compared to the average private sector return of 9.5%.The agency said: “Like the year before, 2017 was a year which – viewed from a premium pension perspective – goes down in history as one of the most dramatic.”The year had included everything from scandals and police investigations to a proposed overhaul of the funds marketplace, it said.The PPM is the funded part of the Swedish state pension where pension savers can make their own investment choices. Contributions can either be put into products from the wide range of private sector investment managers, or invested with state pension fund AP7’s Såfa option, which uses a lifecycle approach.The majority of savers in the system had their savings with AP7 in 2017, with the SEK400bn (€38.9bn) fund’s share of customers rising to 52% from 48% in 2016.However, accounts held with AP7 remained much smaller on average than those held with private sector providers. Assets held with AP7 Såfa amounted to 33% of the total fund capital in the premium pension system last year.The average account balance at AP7 was SEK173,400, while pension savers with their own portfolios with fund marketplace providers had an average of SEK241,200, according to the data.Bengt Norrby, statistician at the Swedish Pensions Agency, said: “An explanation for the difference in savings is that a large part of the capital inflow to AP7 Såfa comes from young savers, who usually have lower incomes and, consequently, lower pension contributions.”At the end of 2017, total managed capital in the premium pension system amounted to SEK1.4trn, up from SEK986bn at the end of the previous year.last_img read more

Local Pensions Partnership unveils £750m hedge fund vehicle

first_imgA £16bn (€18bn) collaboration between three UK public sector pension schemes has launched a pooled vehicle for hedge funds.The Local Pensions Partnership (LPP) – formed in 2015 as a collaboration between the London Pensions Fund Authority (LPFA) and Lancashire County Council’s pension scheme – today announced it had established the LPPI Diversifying Strategies fund, pooling together £750m of assets.The multi-manager, multi-strategy fund was designed to “exploit a broad range of relative value and macro directional opportunities in global capital markets”, LPP said.Susan Martin, LPP chief executive, said: “With LPP’s scale, we are able to access different and niche investment strategies that are often closed to new investors, providing innovative, practical implementation solutions for our clients.”  LPP also plans to launch a pooled vehicle for property in the next few months, according to documents seen by IPE. According to their latest annual reports, LPP’s three underlying pension fund clients – LPFA, Lancashire and Berkshire – had roughly £1.5bn of property assets between them.Berkshire joinsSeparately, LPP staff have begun transferring the Berkshire Pension Fund’s £2bn investment portfolio onto its investment platform.Berkshire became LPP’s third client last year, in line with the UK government’s push for asset pooling within the local government pension scheme (LGPS).As part of the transition, council documents showed Berkshire would invest £120m in LPP’s global equities portfolio. Its bonds allocation moved to LPP’s existing fixed income fund in August.In addition, Berkshire would get its own section of LPP’s private equity vehicle. Credit and infrastructure allocations were expected to transfer in the first half of 2019.LPP stated that any holdings deemed unsuitable for pooling would remain with Berkshire until they matured or were sold.#*#*Show Fullscreen*#*# Source: Annual reportsThe asset split for LPP’s three client funds, before Berkshire’s assets were transferredlast_img read more