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Infranode – Ingemar Skogö, former director-general of the Swedish Road Administration and the Swedish Civil Aviation Administration, has joined Infranode as senior adviser. Skogö will help develop the company’s role as a Nordic-focused infrastructure investment platform.UBS Global Asset Management – Oliver Abram has joined the UK real estate business in London. Abram will focus on investment acquisitions and asset management in the UK and report to Howard Meaney, head of global real estate for the Triton Property Fund. Abram joins from Knight Frank Investment Management.Catella – Xavier Jongen, previously director of the Bouwfounds European residential funds business, has joined Catella to launch a European residential property platform. Jongen joins the board of Munich-based Catella Real Estate. Keva, European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority, Pemberton, Intermediate Capital Group, Infranode, UBS Global Asset Management, CatellaKeva – The new chief executive of Finnish local government and church pension fund Keva, Jukka Männistö, has resigned suddenly due to a crisis of confidence between him and the management board, the fund announced. Keva, which has €41.5bn in investment assets, manages pensions for employees of local government, the state, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland and benefits agency Kela. Keva said Männistö had handed in his letter of resignation to the board of directors on 30 September.European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) – Gabriel Bernardino’s term as chairman has been extended until 2021. EIOPA said the decision to offer Bernardino a second five-year term was due to his successes since the supervisor was launched in 2011. Carlos Montalvo Rebuelta, who has been EIOPA’s executive director since 2011, will not be seeking a second term as executive director.Pemberton – Mike Anderson has been appointed head of investor relations. He joins from Intermediate Capital Group, where he was most recently responsible for investor relations across the UK and the Middle East, and global consultant relations. Before working in investor relations, Anderson was in the mezzanine investment team at ICG.
The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has fined the London Borough of Barnet £1,000 for failing to submit pension scheme information on time – the first such regulatory action against a public sector fund.The £906.3m fund failed to submit its 2016 scheme return, which ensures the regulator has up to date information about a scheme’s membership and funding position, as well as contact information for the individuals responsible for the scheme.Nicola Parish, TPR’s executive director of frontline regulation, said: “It is the legal responsibility of trustees and managers to submit a scheme return by the deadline. This is one of the most basic regulatory requirements for trustees and managers and it is vitally important that we have up-to-date information about schemes so we can carry out our role effectively.“We are also concerned if it is not submitted, as this may signal further problems within the administration of the scheme. Good scheme governance is a key factor to achieving positive outcomes for members. The action we took in this case demonstrates our commitment to this. “We have shown that where managers and trustees are failing with their basic duties, including in large public service schemes such as this one, we will use our powers to intervene.”TPR issued a formal notice to Barnet Council in July last year, requesting the scheme return be filed by 12 August 2016. Barnet failed to comply and also failed to respond to subsequent communications.TPR said it was “continuing to engage with local authority staff” regarding the scheme’s governance and administration.A spokesman for Barnet Council said: “The council recognises that this is totally unacceptable. Due to a specific resourcing issue, the 2016 annual scheme return was not filed in time by our supplier. The fine has been paid by them and steps taken to ensure this will not reoccur.”The Barnet scheme has one of the poorest funding positions of the 89 local government pension schemes in England and Wales: it was 57.7% funded at the end of March 2016 according to its most recent annual report. The unfunded deficit was £665.6m.Pension freedoms withdrawals hit record highUK individuals withdrew nearly £1.9bn from their defined contribution pension funds in the second quarter of 2017, according to statistics from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).The UK tax authority’s data showed 200,000 people used their right to take their pension savings as cash between April and June.Since April 2015 UK pension savers have been granted more flexibility regarding what they can do with their money at retirement after the government removed the requirement to buy an annuity.HMRC said £3.5bn was withdrawn in the first half of the year, and £5.7bn during the whole of 2016.In a review of the post-retirement market published earlier this month, the Financial Conduct Authority reported that consumers accessing defined contribution pension pots early had become “the new norm”, with most opting for lump sumps rather than regular income.Over half of pots accessed were fully withdrawn, but of these, over half (52%) were moved into other savings and investment products, partly due to a lack of trust in pensions, the regulator said.It warned that this could result in bad outcomes for consumers, as they could pay too much tax, miss out on investment growth or lose out on other benefits.Stephen Lowe, group communications director at post-retirement product provider Just, said: “We still lack evidence to know whether this level of withdrawal is healthy or should be worrying.“The FCA’s research found many people who thought they were doing the right thing by taking pension money had a ‘penny drop’ moment and questioned their decision when confronted with facts about life expectancy and the size of fund needed to deliver even a basic retirement income.”Engineering firm shuts DB schemeEngineering company GKN has closed its UK defined benefit pension scheme to existing members.The £2.3bn scheme was closed to future accrual effective July 1, according to the company’s half-year results statement.The group has also agreed a one-off contribution of £250m to be paid into the scheme in the second half of the year in an effort to plug a funding shortfall. This will be funded from the proceeds of a bond issued earlier this year.The company said it expected to “reduce slightly” its annual deficit payments, currently £42m, following a formal valuation.
Startup of new brands for the cruise division and MV Werften Shipyard has pushed cruise operator Genting Hong Kong into a loss of USD 203.2 million during the first half of 2017.The company’s loss has been further widened when compared to last year’s equivalent of USD 53.6 million.Total comprehensive income attributable to equity owners of the company was USD 166.1 million for the first half of 2017, against a loss of USD 518.1 million for the same period last year.The results have been announced as the company readies for the steel-cutting ceremony of the 20,000-gross ton Endeavor Class and the 204,000-gross ton Global Class cruise ships in March 2018.In an interview with World Maritime News earlier this year Colin Au, Group President of Genting Hong Kong, said that the reason behind the launching of the new brand was a belief that Asia was ready for a luxury brand.As disclosed, the demand for cruise ships for China this decade has resulted in demand outstripping supply, leading to a historically high order book with deliveries announced as far as 2026, nine years from now.“With the unavailability of slots for large cruise ships for nearly the next decade, we have taken the strategic step of buying MV Werften shipyards in order to build ships for our three cruise brands,” says Au.“After delivering our first of four Rhine Class river ships this month, we are now focused on building the first 20,000 gross ton Endeavor Class cruise ship by late 2019 and the first 204,000 gross ton Global Class cruise ship by late 2020 with steel cutting of the two types of vessels planned for March next year,” he added.Revenue from cruise and cruise-related activities increased 22.7% to USD 471.2 million in 1H2017 year-on-year amid an increase in capacity days mainly due to the inclusion of full six months’ operation of Genting Dream and Crystal Mozart during the first half of 2017.The company’s revenue from non-cruise activities increased 18.1% to USD 61.3 million year-on-year primarily contributed by revenue from its shipyard activities.“We are pleased with the market reception of the Genting Dream, the first newbuild ship for the Dream brand of Genting Cruises after nearly 20 years. After a 6-month startup period, we are pleased that Genting Dream achieved profitability standards comparable to global industry standards in the first seven weeks of the third quarter of this year,” says Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay, Chairman and Chief Executive of Genting Hong Kong.The World Dream arriving in November of this year will replace the Genting Dream in the Pearl Delta and Genting Dream will be homeported in Singapore.With the arrival of the Genting Dream in Singapore, SuperStar Gemini will move from Singapore to its new homeport in Bangkok, Thailand and with the repositioning of the SuperStar Libra to Port Klang, the Star Cruise and Dream Cruise brands will have homeports and destinations that will cover the entire East Asia, including China, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia, Myanmar, Cambodia and Vietnam, the company said.
Norwich defender Ryan Bennett has been charged with misconduct by the Football Association over comments made on Twitter. Bennett, who joined Norwich from Peterborough last year, scored City’s opening goal in their 2-1 win over Reading on Saturday. His Twitter page has been closed down. Bennett is understood to have been involved in some heated exchanges with football supporters on the micro-blogging site, responding to one following Norwich’s defeat at Arsenal with “I’ll finish you in a couple of seconds.” In his final posts before closing his account, the defender wrote: “Officially going to delete twitter! Seems you can’t say what you want on here, public can say why they want bit seems I can’t reply! “Being charged by FA, for replying to someone coming for me, that’s the reason so bye bye all.” Press Association The Barclays Premier League club issued a statement on Tuesday night saying the England Under-21 international had been the “subject of internal disciplinary procedures” in wake of the posts, which have now resulted in formal action from the governing body. In a statement, the FA said: “Ryan Bennett has breached FA Rule E3 – use of abusive and/or insulting and/or threatening words in comments posted on a Twitter account. He has until 4pm on Friday 26 April to respond to the charge.”
“It will be different in many ways but the home players will use that atmosphere.” Speaking at the Scots’ Mar Hall base on the outskirts of Glasgow, the Scotland boss was aware that a lot of attention in the game turned overnight towards the Republic’s assistant manager Keane, a player he signed for Celtic. A Garda spokesman confirmed officers received reports of an incident at a hotel in north Dublin on Wednesday, following which O’Neill has expressed his ”full support” for the former Manchester United midfielder. Asked in a roundabout way about the Keane incident, Strachan responded in a light-hearted fashion by referencing his own assistant, Mark McGhee. “I have to deal with McGhee every day and when you get beat by him at Scrabble it is a nightmare,” said the former Scotland midfielder, whose side have four points from three games, three behind the Republic. “So I have my own problems as well. Two hours of scrabble last night and I got beat. I wasn’t a happy man.” Strachan was less evasive when asked if he had paid much attention to the withdrawal from the Irish squad of midfield duo Glenn Whelan and James McCarthy through injury. “No,” he said. “They have a terrific squad. They have a good group of players so I haven’t looked at it. “If you look at their squad, you go, ‘he’s a good player, he’s a good player’ so we know there are going to be good players playing. The pitch will be full of good players “And the last time we practised for three days to play against three centre-backs for Georgia and within a minute we realised we were playing against a back four. “So you really can’t plan too much in advance. You see what is on the pitch and deal with that.” Gordon Strachan reminded Republic of Ireland they will be entering Scotland “territory” in Friday night’s 2016 European Championship qualifier at Celtic Park. There has also been much speculation as to how many travelling fans over and above the 3,200 or so official supporters will be among the crowd, which is edging towards its 60,000 capacity. However, Strachan, a former Celtic manager himself, said: “I thought the Scottish fans turned Ibrox into the home of Scotland for the day and we will do that tomorrow. “We will turn Celtic Park into the home of Scottish football and you will know fine well you are in Scotland tomorrow night. “We are quite familiar with Celtic Park as well (as some of the Irish), most of our players have played there. “But as I say, it is not going to be Celtic Park, tomorrow it is Scotland’s park. “There will be 50,000 plus Scotland fans in there. That is Scotland’s territory and they are coming into Scotland’s territory. “Whatever I have heard there (at Celtic’s Champions League nights) is phenomenal and I am looking for the same experience. “I hope the players and everybody gets it tomorrow but in a different way because it is a different set of people. Press Association With Hampden Park still out of commission due to its use in this summer’s Commonwealth Games, the Scots played their first Group D game against Georgia at Ibrox, with Parkhead hosting the Irish match and next Tuesday night’s friendly with England. Much has been made of Irish boss Martin O’Neill being a former Hoops manager with his assistant Roy Keane, skipper Robbie Keane, Aiden McGeady, Shay Given, Daryl Murphy having played for the club and Anthony Stokes currently a striker with the Scottish champions.
Friday evening, police in Colorado restored an American flag after anti-ICE protestors demonstrating outside a migrant detainment facility removed it and replaced it with a Mexican flag.The protesters also removed a “Blue Lives Matter” flag, honoring law enforcement, spray-painted it with the words “Abolish ICE,” then raised the flag upside-down, on a pole next to the Mexican flag, reports say.But Aurora police Chief Nick Metz said the majority of protesters remained peaceful and some even thanked officers for their evening efforts.Tonight we witnessed the best of Aurora (Police & Community) during the peaceful #LightsForLiberty demonstration. Thank you to everyone who remained peaceful & took the time to thank my cops…& thank you to all the officers who were there to ensure everyones safety. @AuroraPD pic.twitter.com/UzkF8nQDfJ— Chief Nick Metz (@APDChiefMetz) July 13, 2019 The demonstration took place in the wake of the mass deportations that are set to take place in Denver and known “sanctuary cities” cities on Sunday.In late June, President Trump put the scheduled raids on hold, as part of an effort to push lawmakers to come up with an immigration bill.Agents are reportedly targeting around two-thousand immigrants and said its focus is on arresting people with criminal histories and those who already have orders of removal against them.There are an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States at this time.Related content:Delayed ICE Raids Set for Sunday, Dems Outraged
THE Guyana male basketball team is scheduled to travel to Jamaica for a Tri-Nation showdown from November 25 to 28. The Invitational will also feature the USA. Six games will be played during four days. The other teams are the Libertyville Vipers, Jamaica Senior Team and the Jamaica U-21 Team. The Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation has already selected the team with a focus on youth development. The 13-man team reads: Shane Webster, Jermaine Slater, Akeem Kanhai, Dominique Vincente, Nikkolio Smith, Curt English, Jason Squires and Michael Turner, inclusive of the youth component – Travis Belgrave, Stanton Rose, Roger John, Terron Welch and Nathan Saul.Mark Agard has been named head coach with Abdulla Hamid and Junior Hercules as assistant coaches. The team manager is Troy Greene.The first practice is scheduled for today from 19:00hrs on Burnham Court.
A new app made by Trojan alumni looks to ease people’s addiction to their apps. Ramsay Brown, T. Dalton Combs, Vince Enachescu and Akash Desai created Space to encourage a healthier relationship between mobile devices and users. Brown graduated with a master’s degree in neuroinformatics in 2015, while Enacheschu and Combs earned doctoral degrees in neuroscience and neuroeconomics, respectively, in 2016. Desai completed a bachelor’s degreee in computer engineering in 2015.The team makes up Dopamine Labs, a group of scientists in Venice, Calif. The app works by loading a pause before opening an actual application.While Space is currently free on iOS Safari and will hit the Android market in the near future, it is unavailable on the iOS App Store. According to Brown, Apple denied Space a position in the app store “on the grounds that an app that encourages people to use their iPhone or other apps less is inappropriate for the App Store.” “If you are bored, angry, hungry, stressed, there’s an app that has been explicitly designed to be your little band-aid,” Brown said. “They are designing it in a way though, that doesn’t give you freedom of choice. They are all competing to be your habit and your addiction, and they talk about it very explicitly.”Team members at Dopamine Labs explained that the brain will continue a certain behavior until it reaches an end point. For example, the feed never ends in Instagram’s infinite scroll and Netflix’s 10-second countdown to the next episode. There is no reason to stop engaging in the application’s activities. According to Dopamine Labs, human brains establish associative behaviors. When a consumer receives positive feedback from an app such as Snapchat or Instagram, brain synapses involved with addiction enlarge. Space aims to break down the connection in enlarged synapses. When an app delays and a user fails to immediately receive a surge of information, the brain’s natural mechanisms shrink those connections due to its delayed response. Dopamine Labs has an application program interface unrelated to Space, which attempts to increase app addiction. To create Space, the team took the same math and principles of the Dopamine API and ran them in reverse. The result is that consumers became un-addicted to the app. Now, anybody could reclaim control from an application they feel dependent on through Space. By giving the user a new app icon instead of the original one, Space immediately adds a moment of zen to the subconscious when on the home screen. Dopamine Labs uses artificial intelligence to modify the breathing delay by monitoring the user’s recovery time from the app. This “calm barrier” to the original app allows the brain to unhook from the detriments of app addiction and aids in giving control back to the user, rather than the app. According to Brown, addiction to mobile applications can be like a nicotine addiction. Brown said that app developers use more money, more math and more research to hook people, which is analogous to cigarettes.“Cigarettes aren’t just bad because they hurt you — they’re bad because they rob you of choice,” Brown said. “They’re designed to be smoked compulsively. In the same way, these technologies are designed to make you chemically crave technology.”