Emerging markets fuel 6.7% return at Switzerland’s Publica

first_imgThe average funding ratio for Swiss corporate pension schemes is at its highest since 2008.Source: Willis Towers Watson Overall, Publica’s developed market investments gained 2.9% in 2017.Equities were the best performing of the main asset classes Publica held in 2017, gaining 5.5%. Its European equity holdings returned 14% on a currency-hedged basis, while its emerging markets exposure made almost 30%.Publica’s bond holdings ended up making a positive contribution to the overall result for 2017, gaining 0.8%. Positive returns from emerging market government bonds, corporate bonds and private debt instruments offset losses on other government bonds.Publica is the multi-employer pension fund for the Swiss confederation and network of governmental universities and research institutions. It comprises open and closed pension plans, and runs different investment strategies for each.The investments for its open schemes, which account for the bulk of the institution’s total assets (CHF36bn), gained 7.1% in 2017. The investment strategy for its closed plans led to a return of 3.3% for 2017.The average funding level of all 20 pension plans within Publica was estimated at 107% at the end of 2017.Publica’s board of directors was due to make further decisions about its technical parameters this month after the Swiss federal parliament late last year rejected a request for funds from the government to cushion the impact on federal personnel from cuts to the parameters.Publica, which is also the pension fund for federal employees in Switzerland, announced the cuts last year, effectively reducing the pension promises to future retirees.Commenting on the federal parliament’s decision to reject the support measures for Publica, the trade union for federal employees (VGB) said the government and Publica’s decision-making bodies needed to come up with a solution.“Reducing the technical interest rate and consequently the conversion rate without accompanying measures is unthinkable,” said the VGB. “The benefit loss for federal employees would be enormous.” Publica came out as Switzerland’s largest pension fund in IPE’s 2017 Top 1000 Pension Funds ranking.  Swiss corporate plans on the upSwiss corporate pension schemes’ funding increased by around 1.5 percentage points in the fourth quarter of 2017, according to the latest Willis Towers Watson figures.The coverage ratio climbed from 102.5% to 104% over the period, it said.Positive investment returns had the most significant impact on the consultancy’s Swiss pension index, offsetting the impact of increasing pension obligations from a lower discount rate.The return on investments held by Swiss pension funds was 2.3% higher in the fourth quarter than the preceding quarter, based on the Pictet BVG-40 plus index.This took the return for the calendar year to “a very solid” 7.6% overall, the consultancy said.Adam Casey, senior consultant at Willis Towers Watson, said: “Companies should consider measures to reduce risk in their pension positions as IAS 19 balance sheet levels are close to 10-year highs. This can be done more easily if the pension funds are in a better funding position.” Publica, Switzerland’s largest pension fund, achieved a net return of 6.7% on its investments in 2017, buoyed in particular by the performance of its emerging markets holdings.Excluding currency hedging the 2017 result would have been 8.2%.In 2016 the CHF39bn (€36bn) public pension fund’s investments gained 5.1%.Publica’s emerging markets investments made the biggest contribution to the fund’s overall performance, gaining just less than 3%. Equities gained just under 30%, and US dollar and local currency denominated government bonds returned around 9%.last_img read more

Florida Cancels Contracts with Unemployment Call Centers

first_img“DEO has determined it is best to focus its efforts on the companies who have provided higher skilled and fully trained representatives,” spokeswoman Tiffany Vause said in the statement.She went on to say, “Vendors who are not providing as high-quality services will not continue to provide services at this time. The Department remains committed to helping eligible Floridians receive their Reemployment Assistance benefits as quickly as possible.”State officials said there are still more than 3,000 fully-trained customer service representatives to assist people with the CONNECT unemployment system.According to the state’s dashboard, over $10 million has been paid to more than 1.6 million claimants. Reaching someone at the state’s unemployment office may soon become more difficult.Florida’s Department of Economic Opportunity announced Wednesday that it is cancelling contracts with two vendors that have handled part of its phone customer service since the pandemic began.That leaves 1,000 people out of work.The two firms are AECOM in West Palm Beach and UDT in Miramar. AECOM has 800 employees, and UDT had 155 workers.last_img read more

Cousins in England under 16 team to face Wales

first_img Cousins Arrun and Jack Singh Brar (Brokenhurst Manor, Hampshire, IoW & CI) have been named in the eight-strong England team to face Wales in the annual under 16 international at Llanwern on Sunday 2nd September. They will be joined by Lewis George (Delamere Forest, Cheshire), Harry Hall (West Cornwall, Cornwall), Callum Hannay (Mendip Spring, Somerset), Matty Lamb (Hexham, Northumberland), Marco Penge (Worthing, Sussex), and Bill Spooner (Boston, Lincolnshire) There are four newcomers to international team golf, they are George, Hall, Hannay, and Lamb. Arrun Singh Brar made his England debut in the recent international with Spain at Pannal as did Penge and Spooner. Last year Jack Singh-Brar (image © Tom Ward) won the Hazards Salver for the best performance by a GB&I player aged under 16 in the Carris Trophy. He has also been prominent in the Douglas Johns Trophy in the past two years, finishing second in 2010 and tie third this year and earned his first under 16 cap in last year’s under 16 match against Spain. Moore was England under 14 champion in 2011 and this year has finished fourth in the McEvoy Trophy and fifth in the European Young Masters. He was an England Schools cap last year. Penge, who won the Hazards Salver at the Carris Trophy last month has also enjoyed several top ten finishes over the past two years, while Spooner was a member of the winning Lincolnshire side in last year’s Boys County Championship and finished tied sixth in this year’s English under 14 Championship for the Reid Trophy. The match with Wales will consist of four foursomes and eight singles. 30 Aug 2012 Cousins in England under 16 team to face Wales last_img read more

Ice cools off Greater Vancouver Canadians

first_imgBy Bruce Fuhr,The Nelson Daily SportsIf this keeps up the movers and shakers at B.C. Hockey headquarters will want to break up the Kootenay Ice.The Ice shocked one of the top teams in the entire B.C. Major Midget Hockey League, third-place Greater Vancouver Canadians, stealing three of four points during a weekend series at the NDCC Arena.Jesse Knowler of Castlegar scored twice to lead Kootenay to a surprising 5-2 victory over the Greater Vancouver Saturday.Sunday, the Ice came close to bringing out the brooms as the teams played to a 3-3 tie.Greater Vancouver needed a third period marker by Garrett Forster to grab the point.“This team plays like that every weekend but we always seem to find a way to lose,” Wheeldon told The Nelson Daily. “This weekend we found a way to win.”Knowler gave the Ice a 2-0 lead after one period. Greater Vancouver rallied for a pair of second period goals before Dryden Hunt of Nelson, who finished the weekend with five points, scored the eventual game winner with a minute to play in the middle stanza. With Kootenay clinging to the one-goal lead, Luke Bertolucci of Trail snapped a wrist shot past Brodie Burdney in the Greater Vancouver net with just over three minutes left in the game to secure the win.Darren Medeiros of Castlegar added an empty net goal to complete the scoring. Christian Pickles of Langley faced 29 shots to register the win in goal.Sunday, Jarrod Schamerhorn of Kelowna faced 46 shots to power the Ice to the point.Kootenay held period leads of 2-0 and led 3-2 in the third before the Canadians scored to tie the contest. Cranbrook’s Derek Georgopolus scored twice and Hunt added a single to lead the Ice.“Sunday our goalie (Jarrod Schamerhorn) played outstanding,” Wheeldon said, impressed by the improved play of the Ice. Despite having fewer players to choose from to select a team from the Kootenays, Wheeldon would not want to change spots with any of the teams in the league.“I’ll put this team up against any other team in the league,” he said. “Despite our record, they work hard every game.”Kootenay still remains near the bottom of the 11-team league in 10th spot with a record of 3-13-4.Kootenay, idle this weekend, is back on the ice Saturday, December 11 at 5 p.m. in Castlegar when the team faces the North Island Silvertips. The second game of the series goes Sunday also in Castlegar at 10 a.m.ICE CHIPS: Luke Bertolucci is having a season for the Ice, sitting 12th overall in BCMML scoring. The Trail Minor Hockey star is only three points out of fifth spot. . . .Kootenay has been playing most of the season with only five defencemen after Will Lightfoot of Cranbrook injured his leg. [email protected]last_img read more

SA freediver wins Nordic Deep 2008

first_img29 August 2008Cape Town-based freediver Hanli Prinsloo excelled in the Nordic Deep Freediving Competion held recently off the west coast of Sweden, winning the competition and setting four new South African records in the process.Freediving is the sport of diving deep for as long, or as far, as possible on one single breath of air.Prinsloo first improved her mark in Free Immersion, which is a depth discipline where the diver pulls herself down and back up a rope.The previous record had been 42 metres, but she lowered the mark to 50 metres in the black and cold waters of the Gullmarsfjord.She began the pool disciplines with a Dynamic No Fins record in which the diver swims breaststroke under water.Prinsloo destroyed the previous record of 78 metres by swimming 126 metres underwater. That new record places her among the top five women in the world for the discipline.Her third record came a day after the first two when Prinsloo broke her own Static Apnea mark by floating face down while holding her breath for an outstanding five minutes and 39 seconds.On the final day of the competition, competing in the Dynamic with Fins event, she bettered her own record of a dive of 129 metres while swimming underwater with a monofin.By adding another 21 metres to the old mark, she improved the record to 150 metres. Prinsloo now holds four of the six South African freediving records.She has been a freediving instructor for the past 10 years and teaches in a wide variety of locations, including in Cape Town, Umkomaas, Mozambique, Egypt, and Sweden.Prinsloo focuses on wildlife freediving, scouring the oceans for big fish and mammals, and freediving with whales, dolphins, sharks, and many other fish.The Nordic Deep 2008 Freediving Competition was her first big competition since the 2006 World Championships.SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publicationor on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Google Partners with Yad Vashem to Digitize the Shoah

first_imgRelated Posts Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Tags:#E-Learning#Google#international#web curt hopkins A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…center_img Today, Yad Vashem and Google have begun an ambitious project to digitize the Holocaust museum’s extensive collection of materials. Starting today, a user can directly access over 130,000 full-resolution photographs from Yad Vashem’s photo collection via the Google search page. Google has implemented experimental optical character recognition technology for the project. OCR, it is hoped, will make photographs and other documents lacking in metadata easier to find by search in different languages. In a statement, Google’s Israel research and development director, Yossi Matias, commented that the Yad Vashem project fits into Google’s overall mission ” to bring the world’s historical and cultural heritage online.” There is also a social component to the project, according to the same statement.“This initiative will not only bring this valuable information to a much wider audience worldwide, but it will allow people around the world to contribute, by identifying the stories behind photos and documents, adding their own stories and knowledge to the site.”The digitization project, which will eventually see all of the memorial’s materials digitized and available online, is the latest step in a partnership between it and Google. Two years ago, They launched a Yad Vashem YouTube channel to showcase a series of videos of Holocaust survivor testimonials.More recently, they have launched a Persian-language YouTube channel to educate Iranians about the Holocaust. It previously launched Hebrew, English, Russian, Spanish and Arabic versions. Yad Vashem, located in Israel, is the world’s largest memorial to the victims of the Holocaust. Founded in 1953, it is also the world’s largest repository of materials related to that historical tragedy. Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

Augmentation or Automation

first_img Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Now People. Ideas. Technology. In that order. This is what the Air Force Col. John Boyd used to admonish the Defense Department with over and over again, as it pertained to jet fighters.Last week a number of us who think, speak, write, and improve sales were invited to CEB (now Gartner) to talk about what we see going on in the world of sales, and to view their new research. The first day we were together, we spent much of the time talking about artificial intelligence and automation as it pertains to sales. No matter how the conversation shifted, it somehow found its way back to these issues.My contribution to the conversation was an observation that the more we talked about technology, the more it was clear that what was most important was the human aspect. What was interesting is that the human aspect wasn’t absent from the conversation, it was underlying everything that we discussed, even when it wasn’t stated.The reason this was so prevalent in our conversation is because so many technology companies believe they can improve sales without building better sales people. Mistakenly, they put things in exactly the opposite order of what Colonel Boyd insisted on.There are more and more companies—and more and more people—who believe that automation is going to replace salespeople and all human interaction as it pertains to buying and selling. Some of the people who believe this to be true write about sales and put themselves forth as sales improvement experts, all the while berating salespeople for continuing to believe that they create value for their clients, and for continuing to prospect when all is already lost. Some of them believe that the Millennial generation is going to be so very different than their parents that selling is going take place exclusively over digital channels and that all prior forms of communication are dead.They are incorrect.Clearly, if a salesperson can add no value, that role will be disintermediated, and automation and artificial intelligence will easily replace them. That means if you are a walking brochure, or better stated, “a walking website,” you don’t create enough value so that you cannot be easily replaced by technology. The bottom half of the hourglass economy is going to be transactional.At the top of the hourglass economy, however, the place where decisions are complex, strategic, potentially risky, and expensive, artificial intelligence and technology are going to augment salespeople. As a trusted advisor, you’re going to leverage things like big data, machine learning, and artificial intelligence, to create even greater value. Your ability to leverage the tools is going to be part of what makes you a trusted advisor, just as the illiterate Kings of old surrounded themselves with people who could read, write, and think.If you want to play the long game here, it is people, ideas, technology, in that exact order.last_img read more

National Training Squads Announced

first_imgThe 2008 National Training Squads (NTS)  have been announced, and will participate in an upcoming Training Camp from 4-6th July, at Narrabeen NSW. The camp will be the first since the Australian Teams defended the 2007 World Cup in South Africa, and will see the NTS combine with the Australian Youth Squads as they prepare to reclaim the Youth World Cup in New Zealand 2009. For full squad listing visit the TFA High Perfomance website.last_img

10 months agoMan Utd expected to fine Pogba after Mourinho post

first_imgMan Utd expected to fine Pogba after Mourinho postby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United are to fine Paul Pogba after his social media post celebrating Jose Mourinho’s sacking yesterday, it has been claimed.The Daily Mail says the photo of a smirking Pogba appeared on the player’s Instagram account on Tuesday with the message “caption this”.The post was deleted 10 minutes later but not before it was liked by more than 64,000 people and drew a response from Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville who wrote: “You can do one as well!” United bosses were angered by the post which they believe was in bad taste and disrespectful by the club’s £89million record signing. Pogba, who earns £300,000 a week at Old Trafford, is expected to be fined for his actions. About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

16 days agoBarcelona lose Dembele for Real Madrid clash

first_imgAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say Barcelona lose Dembele for Real Madrid clashby Carlos Volcano16 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveFrance attacker Ousmane Dembele won’t be available for Barcelona’s Clasico with Real Madrid on October 26.Dembele saw red in victory over Sevilla.The competition committee have confirmed this Wednesday morning that the Frenchman’s suspension will be for two games, which means he will miss the matches against Eibar and Los Blancos.Dembele was sent off at the weekend for telling referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz that he is “very bad”. last_img read more