Xander den Uyl, trustee at Europe’s largest pension fund ABP, has been named chairman of the newly formed asset owner advisory board of the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI).Alongside den Uyl, European representatives on the board include Anders Thorendal, CIO of the Church of Sweden’s pension fund; Faith Ward, chief responsible investment and risk officer at the UK’s Environment Agency Pension Fund; and Mark Walker, CIO of Univest, the asset manager for Unilever’s pension funds.Canvassing support for his election to the board, den Uyl said one of the PRI’s key challenges would be to “remain relevant for an increasingly wide range of investors, investment styles and cultures”.He is a former vice-president of ABP, the €345bn Dutch fund for civil servants, and oversaw the development of a responsible investment policy adopted in 2007. The 16-strong board currently has 14 members, with two vacancies remaining for asset owners from emerging markets.Full list of current board membersChris Ailman, CIO, California State Teachers’ Retirement System (US)Sharon Alpert, chief executive, Nathan Cummings Foundation (US)Jagdeep Singh Bachher and Amy Myers Jaffe, office of the CIO, University of California (US)Yvonne Bakkum, director investment management, FMO (The Netherlands)James Davis, CIO, OPTrust (Canada)Marie Giguère, executive committee member, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (Canada)Hiromichi Mizuno, CIO, Government Pension Investment Fund (Japan)Jay Ralph, chairman, Allianz Asset Management (Germany)Ian Silk, chief executive, AustralianSuper (Australia)Daniel Simard, chief executive, Bâtirente (Canada)Anders Thorendal, CIO, Church of Sweden (Sweden)Xander den Uyl (chair), trustee, ABP (The Netherlands)Mark Walker, CIO, Univest (The Netherlands)Faith Ward, chief responsible investment and risk officer, Environment Agency Pension Fund (UK)It will spend its time advising the PRI on its asset owner insight work, which covers the appointment of managers, investment policy and strategy, as well as the role of responsible investment within passive strategies.The creation of the advisory board sees the UN-backed initiative fulfil its pledge to increase asset owner representation, a sensitive matter for an organisation where the approximately 300 asset owner signatories risk being overshadowed by 1,156 asset manager and other professional service partners.In its business plan for 2015-18, the PRI pledged to increase asset owner representation and participation, including setting itself recruitment targets for asset owners by region.The board’s launch comes after the organisation hinted it would hold to account signatories failing to comply with its principles.
Some private debt funds have become riskier as managers chase yield to meet investor demand, according to consultant bfinance.Yields on senior direct lending funds – the most popular form of private debt among institutional investors – have been compressed in recent years following a surge of demand, bfinance said in a new report on the asset class, published today.The consultancy firm said: “We are frequently asked: ‘Is now a good time to invest?’ While the answer may still be ‘yes’, a deep understanding of what’s under the bonnet will be key to successful implementation.”Although private debt funds raised less money in 2016 than the previous year according to Preqin data, unused capital hit a record high of more than $220bn (€206bn). bfinance said it worked on private debt mandates worth more than $1.25bn last year, more than double the volume of 2015. Roughly three quarters of this was corporate lending.“We expect significant performance dispersion between upper and lower quartile managers in this more competitive environment,” the consultant said.Analysis by bfinance showed most European private debt fund managers still expected returns of around 8% from senior funds. However, the consultancy claimed, “portfolios with large proportions of traditional senior secured loans cannot drive such expectations”.“Core senior debt in Europe now produces returns of 5-6% with average cash yields at around or slightly below 4%,” bfinance said. “This signifies noticeable spread compression since 2012.”As a result, the consultancy said investors should “focus on the nature of the senior debt” in funds they are considering, as well as the proportion invested in subordinated (higher risk) debt. Some managers had raised their limits for investment in riskier debt above 20% in senior funds.In addition to falling yields, bfinance warned of managers using more leverage than in previous years, and of covenants being eroded – known as “cov-lite”.Cov-lite structures “may, in theory, hold the potential for increased credit risk”, bfinance said. The lender – and therefore the asset owner – has less visibility on the borrower, for example.However, bfinance said some funds had introduced other forms of oversight to mitigate the loss of traditional covenant protections, such as a seat on the board of the borrowing company.On costs, the consultancy reported there was “considerable flexibility” for fee negotiation around the industry norm of a 1% management charge with a 15% carry for senior funds.“Hurdle rates, catch-ups, and administrative charges prove critical to overall leakage and should be handled with care,” bfinance added.The trade off between risk and reward in private debt was still “highly attractive in relative terms”, bfinance said, but it was also “somewhat less favourable than it was four years ago”.
Tim Manuel, head of responsible investment for Aon in the UK, said: “In the UK, where regulations in favour of responsible investing continue to strengthen, we see investors taking more concrete steps to implement responsible investments within their funds.”The fact that Aon had a high response to the survey in the UK, with 43% of overall respondents being based there, was indicative of this frame of mind, Manuel said.Meredith Jones, author of the report and global head of responsible investing at Aon, said the consultancy was also observing significant investor-led RI efforts where regulation was not driving activity, however. Year-on-year change in responsible investing attitudes by geographic region Responsible investment (RI) surged in importance for all types and sizes of institutional investor around the world in the last year, a new survey has found, with the biggest gains in positive sentiment towards the approach recorded among respondents in the UK.Of the UK respondents to Aon’s 2019 Global Perspectives on Responsible Investing survey, 42% indicated RI was very important or critical to their organisation, up from 19% in 2018, and 87% answered that they believed the approach was at least somewhat important, up from the 66% who gave that response in 2018.In continental Europe, those percentages were 85% in 2019, up from 80% in 2018.In the US, meanwhile, the percentages were 78% compared to 57%, and in Canada the proportions were 78% — up from 66%. Source: Aon, Global Perspectives on Responsible Investing 2019The survey polled nearly 230 investment professionals internationally.Corporate pension funds were revealed to have undergone a sea change in their attitudes to responsible investing, with the share of investors expressing a positive sentiment toward the approach growing from 56% in 2018 to 86% in 2019. Public pensions saw similar growth, according to the poll, but from a different departure point, with positive sentiment spreading from 70% of respondents last year to 92% in 2019.Year-on-year change in responsible investing attitudes by investor type Source: Aon, Global Perspectives on Responsible Investing 2019The most popular primary motivation for pursuing RI — across all investors — was the belief that incorporating environmental, social and governance (ESG) data leads to better investment returns, Aon said.However, the firm said many UK and European respondents indicated in the survey that they were motivated to engage in RI in order to have an effect on global issues such as climate change, diversity or social justice.“By contrast, only 10% of US investors and 8% of Canadian investors indicated global impact as a motivator,” Aon said.According to the survey, lack of agreement on key issues, such as terminology and materiality, was a hindrance for fewer investors this year than last: 14% of those polled in the 2019 survey, down from 26% in 2018. However, Aon said the industry continued to struggle with what constitutes ESG, socially responsible investing (SRI), and impact investing. In its view, imprecise terms have been applied on a wide variety of investment products, with a number launched over the last 12 months under an ESG label when they included features that fell more under the headng of SRI and/or had impact goals as well. Aon said it continued to advocate “for the apt imposition of names when it comes to all things RI”. It also said it planned to launch an impact fund and a low carbon factor fund for its discretionary asset management clients.
The Fondo Italiano d’Investimento and the European Investment Fund have invested in Equita’s Private Debt Fund II (EDP II), which has announced its first closing at €100m.Equita, an Italian independent investment bank, said the first phase of funding its Italian closed-ended investment fund, which is compliant with the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), included a significant portion of existing Equita Private Debt Fund investors re-upping in the second fund – the largest being the Italian fund of funds Fondo Italiano d’Investimento, as well as new top-tier Italian and international investors, including the European Investment Fund.An Equita spokesman, however, declined to disclose how much each asset owner invested individually.The second phase of the EDP II fundraising process – which was launched in October 2019 with a target size of €200m (and a €250m hard cap) – will aim to attract Italian and international institutional investors interested in benefiting from the risk-return profile of this relatively new and growing asset class, Equita said. Equita said the fund’s investment strategy will be in line with its predecessor Equita Private Debt Fund, investing in senior unitranche and subordinated bonds in sponsor-led transactions, with a maturity of five to seven years and a bullet repayment structure.The target returns, it added, are expected to be in line with those of the first private debt fund, which is now fully deployed with an expected gross return of around 9.5%.EPD II will also benefit from strong governance, leveraging on an independent decision-making process and full alignment of interests between investors and the managing team, it said.Paolo Pendenza, head of private debt at Equita, said: “Given the current market environment, we are really satisfied with the results we achieved. The positive track record of the first fund and the ability of the private debt team to identify new investment opportunities have allowed Equita Capital SGR to complete the first closing of Equita Private Debt Fund II with €100m, setting the stage to reach the final target of €200m in the coming months.”Quaestio awards Impax €79m sustainable mandateQuaestio Capital Management, an Italian investment firm managing multi-asset, multi-manager portfolios for institutional clients, has awarded Impax Asset Management a €79m sustainable segregated mandate.Quaestio initially awarded Impax €68.7m and subsequently allocated an additional €10m, it was announced.According to Impax, the manager will run this segregated account using the same process as the Impax Global Opportunities Strategy. Quaestio selected this particular strategy based on how Impax integrates environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) into the investment process.The strategy seeks to achieve long-term capital growth through investment in companies with sustainable competitive advantages and track records of consistent returns on investment, where the portfolio managers believe that these characteristics are not reflected in the share price, Impax said.The global opportunities strategy uses the proprietary Impax Sustainability Lens to identify durable companies best positioned to seize these opportunities and mitigate these risks, the firm added.The investment process includes a strong focus on the risks arising from the transition to a more sustainable global economy, whilst seeking to harness the opportunities that it presents.Christian Prinoth, chief investment officer for Quaestio, said: “Impax is well recognised worldwide for its expertise in understanding investment opportunities arising from the transition to a more sustainable economy. ESG analysis is clearly an integral part of the Impax investment process, and we wanted to offer our clients access to that.”To read the digital edition of IPE’s latest magazine click here.
This property might make you believe in love at first sight.A RIDICULOUSLY stunning Queensland home that’s soon to sell to the highest online bidder has a licence to host 160 parties a year. The jawdropping home in Australia’s millionaire playground is set to take its chances online with the owners willing to let it go to the highest clicker on August 6.The dream estate that’s more a work of art than anything else, is in the Whitsundays region and tailor-made for the millionaire live, work, play lifestyle. I’d probably never leave home.Asked how the owners could bear to part with such a dream property, Ms Carter said “they have similar venues overseas that they are concentrating on”.“They are definitely selling, they’re not just testing the market. That’s why they are going to (online) auction, because they want it sold.” FOLLOW SOPHIE FOSTER ON FACEBOOK Licensed to party.The oceanfront residence includes handcrafted finishes, imported timbers, woven rattan, soaring cathedral ceilings and Balinese fluted timber columns.“In the 10 years since its inception as a destination wedding and events venue, ‘Botanica Whitsundays’ has set a benchmark with awards and accolades bestowed by industry associations and Queensland Tourism,” according to the realestate.com.au listing. “Licenses and permits are in place to host 160 events annually; with hospitality equipment and infrastructure in place.” Like a holiday at home really.Called Botanica Whitsundays, the lavish property was described as a labour of love “decades in the planning and never to be replicated” from its majestic ancient iron gates to its 5.46 acres of landscaped grounds, 160 metres of Coral Sea frontage, and 1,000 sqm home. Even the pool has a waterfront view.“It is an unusual property. It satisfies your appetite for the play, work and play lifestyle that we love. You’ve got the ability to live your dream with breathtaking views across the Coral Sea but add to that you’ve got the opportunity to build on an existing lucrative wedding business.”“It’s licensed for 160 events a year which is a lot. You could have corporate events during week, and weddings on Fridays, Saturdays or Sundays.” This is a party just waiting to happen. Location, location, location.It’s so stunning, it plays host to dream weddings throughout the year — which is why it can pay its own way. 67 hectares sell for ‘knockdown’ $2.90 sqm A chip off the Clive Palmer block Get The Courier-Mail’s real estate news direct and free to inbox More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus17 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market17 hours agoA lush subtropical paradise set to sell under the online hammer.Unsurprisingly, it’s already generating interest from potential buyers, according to Sotheby’s International Real Estate agent Carol Carter, who’s co-listed the property with PRD Nationwide’s Jacqui Wakerley.“We’ve had good enquiry (levels) on this one, I am on my way up there (today) for an inspection,” she told The Courier-Mail. The details on the ceiling are outstanding.Or you could just win lotto and decide to keep it as the ultimate party home.The property has five bedrooms, five ensuite bathrooms and four guest powder rooms as well as two kitchens — one for the family and the other a full commercial kitchen.And there’s more than enough room to build additional accommodation on site to take advantage of the stunning location.
While Hughes is facing an FA charge of improper conduct, Coates is planning to make his own grievances known. “The performance of the referee and his officials was a disgrace, and we will certainly be complaining to the relevant authorities,” he said in the Daily Telegraph. “We cannot accept what happened to us at Newcastle without making some form of representation. It’s then up to the officials what they do, but we found it hugely disappointing because there were so many poor decisions. “There was no common sense applied and I don’t think either of the yellow cards for Glenn Whelan were deserved. For one of the goals I could clearly see the ball was out of play, sitting high up in the stands. “The sendings-off completely changed the game. We were playing ever so well up to the dismissals, leading 1-0, but when you’re down to nine men you’ve got no chance. It’s not a case of sour grapes, we simply cannot accept what happened.” Press Association Atkinson sent off both Glenn Whelan and Marc Wilson, as well as Stoke boss Mark Hughes, in the space of five first-half minutes as Stoke surrendered an early 1-0 lead to suffer a heavy defeat. Stoke’s complaints extend beyond the dismissals as there was an apparent handball in the build-up to Loic Remy’s equaliser, while Hatem Ben Arfa appeared to carry the ball out of play before pulling it back for Yoan Gouffran to score. Stoke chairman Peter Coates plans to make an official complaint regarding the performance of referee Martin Atkinson in their 5-1 loss to Newcastle on Boxing Day.
New Zealand’s “angriest volcano” suddenly erupted with tourists nearby earlier today.The surprise eruption occurred just after 2 p.m. on White Island and spewed ash 12,000 feet into the air. At least five people are dead and several injured and missing after the volcano blew its top.A tour group from a cruise ship was on White Island earlier today when the blast occurred, sending a massive cloud of ash and steam into the air.It’s the first time the volcano, about 30 miles off the northeast New Zealand coast, has erupted since 2001.
Hospice volunteers help families navigate grief and find hope – September 12, 2020 STEUBEN — Jeremy Beal climbed into a massive truck and revved up his engine. He was only going to be traveling a short distance, but by the time he reached his destination, his vehicle was going to look completely different.The Jonesport native drove slowly toward a pit of mud and came to a stop. It was time for one the first mud runs at the final day of Melabec Mud Park’s opening weekend Sunday, and Beal was ready to start things off in style.As Beal stepped on the gas and barreled forward, his truck became a complete blur as it kicked up massive amounts of mud everywhere. Moments later, an official lifted his flag to signal that Beal had crossed the finish line.“Unbelievable!” announcer Rondo Dunphy shouted over the microphone from a wooden tower above the track. “That’s a new course record — 4.53 seconds!”This is placeholder textThis is placeholder textAs Beal’s truck came out of the mud, very little of it was visible. That’s usually what happens at Melabec, a four-year-old track in Steuben that gives drivers from Downeast Maine and the rest of New England the chance to get as muddy as possible.The sport of mud-running — or mud-bogging, depending on where you are — involves drag-racing large trucks through a giant mud pit at top speed. At Melabec, there are two pits, both of which are 200 feet long and filled with clay.Melabec opened on Mel Lane in Steuben four years ago and has since become an attraction for mud-running enthusiasts all over the region. The course, which is owned by Steuben residents Cliff and Mandi Garnett, has been expanding in size and popularity each year and is set to host multiple weekend-long mud starting this past weekend and ending in early October. “This is a big year for us,” Dunphy said. “It’s the second year since we’ve expanded the park and made some changes, and we’re hoping to bring a lot more people here.”A backhoe attempts to nudge a truck out of the mud June 24 at Melabec Mud Park in Steuben. Although trucks stuck in the mud usually get pulled out via cable, this truck, which had fallen in by accident, was removed by the backhoe itself instead. ELLSWORTH AMERICAN PHOTO BY MIKE MANDELLContestants compete in several classes depending on the size of their wheels and certain other vehicle-related modifications. If a contestant does not cross the finish line, his or her final placement is determined by the distance traveled before the vehicle became stuck in the mud.Pulling trucks that consist of thousands of pounds of metal might seem like a difficult task, but the folks at Melabec Mud Park have backhoes big enough to do the job. All contestants drive with metal cables that span the length of the course behind their trucks, and if the vehicle becomes stuck, staff members attach one of the backhoes to the cable and pull the truck off the course.“We have a great staff here that keeps everything running smoothly,” said Roland Frenette, who works as a tech specialist for the park. “We know how to put on a good show, and we know how to do it right.” Some of the trucks have names painted on their sides. In addition to Beal’s Adrenaline Junkie, other monikers include Downeast Beast, Antagonizer, Loose Cannon and Last Call. The trucks’ massive sizes give owners room to be creative with names, paint jobs and other designs.The Downeast Beast kicks up clay during a mud run June 25 at Melabec Mud Park in Steuben. Over 20 trucks and 200 spectators were in attendance for the event. ELLSWORTH AMERICAN PHOTO BY MIKE MANDELLAlmost all vehicles are modified, and some owners have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to make their cars the best of the best. Even at this short distance, getting a truck through a pit filled with the thickest of mud isn’t an easy task.Yet not all participants at Melabec and other courses spend mounds of cash to compete. Some are just in it for the fun and compete in white Ford, Chevrolet, GMC and Dodge pickups. These trucks don’t typically make it to the finish line — or even halfway, for that matter — but the 10 seconds or so of sending mud flying in different directions is always well worth it.“A lot of people say it’s a rich man’s sport because of the money some people spend, but it doesn’t matter if you’re rich or poor,” Frenette said. “All you have to do is be willing to get a little bit dirty.”A few contestants even leave their windows open during their runs. After all, if you’re going to go top speed through the mud, you might as well get as grimy as possible along the way.“For the drivers, it’s about being wild and crazy with some of your best friends,” Frenette said. “For the fans, there’s food, drinks and other stuff. Everybody has a good time, and it’s the type of thing where you get hooked after you experience it once.”As for Beal, his record run was broken by two-tenths of a second later in the day — but only briefly. On of the final runs, Beal gave the crowd its biggest thrill of the day with his second record-breaking drive, this one coming in 3.97 seconds.“When you see that we got a record broken three times today, it shows you that anything can happen when it comes to this sport,” Dunphy said. “Whether cars go fast, get stuck, kick up lots of mud or going flying through the air, [each run] is different from the last.”The next runs at Melabec will be held July 29-30. That two-day period will have even more on the line; drivers from five different states will be on hand in one of the state’s largest tournaments of the summer. That means more preparation for staff members at the park, but for this crew, it’s all worth it.“I could sit out here all day,” Dunphy said as he as looked down at the crowd and racers below him.Frenette, whose face was burnt red after a long day in the sun, agreed.“We’ve got our friends, our mud and our trucks,” he said. “That’s all we need.” Ellsworth runners compete in virtual Boston Marathon – September 16, 2020 Mike MandellMike Mandell is the sports editor at The Ellsworth American and Mount Desert Islander. He began working for The American in August 2016. You can reach him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Latest Posts Bio Latest posts by Mike Mandell (see all) MPA approves golf, XC, field hockey, soccer; football, volleyball moved to spring – September 10, 2020
New Delhi: In the last decade of the Spanish La Liga, the ‘El Clasico’ contest between Real Madrid and Barcelona was a red-letter day for all football fans. It was the contest between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, two of the biggest names in football. The Messi vs Ronaldo contest enthralled fans from all over the world, uplifting the contest from the spectrum of Catalan vs Castillan.However, the ‘El Clasico’ contest, for the first time since December 2007, will lack that star power. Ronaldo has moved to Juventus from Real Madrid while Messi will not feature for Barcelona due to a broken arm. However, there is still plenty at stake for both teams, more so for Real Madrid coach Julen Lopetegui.Read More | CBI War: SC asks CVC to complete probe in two weeks; interim chief not to take policy decisionsLopategui, who took over the team four-and-half months ago, is struggling big time. The team has gone five games without a win, more than eight hours without a goal has been a sorry reflection for a team that recently won the UEFA Champions League. Real’s chaotic performance has weakened his position, not strengthened it and a win against Barcelona might reportedly not matter if club president Florentino Perez’s mind is already made up with regards to his position. According to some reports, Perez wanted to sack Lopetegui after their win over Viktoria Plzen but the club’s Director General Jose Angel Sanchez and other executives calmed him down. Confident of revivalDespite the slump, Real players are optimistic of a turnaround. Toni Kroos pointed out that it was not a confidence issue with the team.Read More | MeToo: Google fires 48 employees, Pichai says ‘dead serious’ about providing ‘safe and inclusive workplace’“We have many champions in the World Cup and the Champions League, and we have shown we can turn around tough situations. Remember that in the last few years, we have not only played good games, there have been bad ones too. We are creating, we are doing everything we can to get good results and that proves we are behind the coach. He is a very good coach in my opinion and I’m confident we can turn this around with him,” Kroos told AFP.Read More | Madhya Pradesh Elections: Kukshi ‘kursi’ – a musical chair for Congress, JAYSDespite Real Madrid’s poor form, Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde is not taking his opponents lightly. “Madrid will be even more dangerous. They will come here to demonstrate all the strength they have,” Valverde said. Barcelona currently top the La Liga standings with 18 points while Real Madrid are seventh with 14. A loss could not only signal Lopetegui’s end, but also open up a massive seven-point gap between the two arch-rivals. For all the Latest Sports News News, Football News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps.
highlights Ben Stokes took a superb catch against South Africa.Chris Woakes catch sent back Imam-ul-Haq for 44.Pakistan lost their opening game against West Indies in Trent Bridge. New Delhi: The ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 is fast been dominated by England and their brilliant catching. Ben Stokes stole the show with what has been dubbed as the ‘catch of the tournament’ during the opening game of the tournament in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 clash against South Africa at The Oval. However, in England’s second game against Pakistan in Trent Bridge in Nottingham, Chris Woakes put up a similar effort as the hosts built pressure on Pakistan. The unlucky victim this time was Imam-ul-Haq, who was nearing a fifty and had put Pakistan on course for a big total. The incident took place on the first ball of the 20th over bowled by Moeen Ali.Moeen bowled a flighted delivery from round the wicket on off stump, Imam-ul-Haq danced down the track and made some room to loft the delivery inside out to wide long off. Chris Woakes ran to his right and kept his eyes on the ball, dived full length to his right and plucked a stunning catch with both hands. In the game against South Africa, Adil Rashid bowled a flighted delivery outside off and Andile Phehlukwayo dragged the slog sweep to deep midwicket. The left-hander had made good contact and it looked like the ball would sail over for a six. However, Stokes had other ideas. Perched near the boundary, jumped backwards and took a one-handed catch near the boundary to send Phehlukwayo back for 24. The cricketing world went berserk with Stokes’ catch and England made a big statement with a resounding 104-run win against South Africa.Pakistan started their campaign on a horrendous note with a big loss against the West Indies in Trent Bridge. The batsmen could not cope with the pace and bounce of the West Indies side and they were bundled out for 105. West Indies romped home to a seven-wicket win. England have been the red-hot favourites heading into the contest against Pakistan, having recently won a five-match ODI series against them 0-4, with one game being abandoned at The Oval due to a no-result. Pakistan have not secured a victory in their last 12 ODIs while England, while chasing in ODIs, have won 17 out of 20 games with two games getting abandoned due to a no-result and one match being tied. The tied match took place at Trent Bridge and it involved Sri Lanka with Woakes smashing 95 and Liam Plunkett hammering a last ball six off Nuwan Pradeep to reach 286. For all the Latest Sports News News, ICC World Cup News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps.