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Pension funds for East Riding, Surrey and Cumbria in £9bn pooling talks

first_imgThe local authority pension funds for East Riding, Surrey and Cumbria are in talks to launch an investment partnership, pooling £9bn (€12.3bn) in assets.The three English local authority funds said the multi-asset pool could grow to as much as £20bn, as talks continue with other local government pension schemes (LGPS) ahead of a government consultation on pooling expected for later this month.The proposal follows on from eight funds in the South West of England exploring the creation of a £19bn asset pool, the launch of a collective investment vehicle backed by most of London’s local authorities, and the eight Welsh local authority funds agreeing to jointly procure a passive equity manager.Mel Worth, chairman of the £2bn Cumbria County Pension Fund, said the scheme was keen to “marshal [its] future by seeking like-minded partners to pool with” in the wake of chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne’s announcement in July that he wanted to see pooled vehicles to cut costs “significantly”. “The speed,” Worth said, “in which we have managed to move towards developing a solution to pool assets speaks volumes about the similarities of the funds but more crucially about the desire of those involved to collaborate and make this a success.”Denise Le Gal, chair of the £3.2bn Surrey County Pension Fund, highlighted the opportunities to reduce costs through the pooling exercise and noted that it would help boost exposure to domestic infrastructure.Osborne pledged in October to focus on infrastructure when he said pooling would allow billions to be invested in regional projects.At the time, the UK Treasury said that if the LGPS asset pools were to “follow international norms”, their infrastructure exposure would need to increase – potentially by building in-house capacity.East Riding Pension Fund, the largest of the schemes publicly linked to the venture, with £3.6bn in assets, already employs in-house management staff.John Holtby, the fund’s chairman, said its in-house capacity meant it was committed to “sharing expertise, reducing costs and delivering expected returns”.For the 2013-14 financial year, East Riding managed 75% of assets internally.The £2.4bn was largely invested in equities, accounting for nearly 60% of internal assets.The team also oversaw fixed income worth £420m, UK property holdings worth £206m and a £376m alternatives portfolio, comprising distressed debt fund holdings, infrastructure and private equity.Its total management costs stood at £1.6m, or 0.06%, compared with £1.9m, or 0.23%, paid to sole external manager Schroder Investment Management.Schroders was responsible for running half of East Riding’s corporate bond portfolio, 40% of the European equity portfolio and North American, Japanese and emerging market equities.East Riding’s in-house experience leaves open the possibility of its managing assets on behalf of other members of its asset pool.Scotland’s Lothian Pension Fund already advises fellow local authority fund Falkirk on a £30m infrastructure portfolio.It has now confirmed it would like its in-house team to compete for private sector mandates once it has been authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority.last_img read more

Ramos Set to Dump Madrid if Mourinho Steps in

first_imgJose Mourinho’s return to Real Madrid will shatter an already splintered squad with several senior players saying privately they will leave in the summer if he arrives.Captain Sergio Ramos fought with Mourinho when he coached the club between 2010-2013 and has already taken on President Florentino Perez over plans to bring him back.Ramos will push for a move this summer when he will be one year from the end of his contract. Despite the fact that Mourinho courted Gareth Bale in 2017 when he was at Manchester United the Welshman is another believed not to welcome the managerial change.And two other veterans from Mourinho’s last spell in charge, Marcelo and Karim Benzema have also opposed the idea.However, Perez has told the players they will have no voice in the appointment.He is expected to meet with his club directors on Monday to take a final decision on putting Mourinho in charge of the team with immediate effect.The 56-year-old coach, and his staff, was paid £19.6m when he was sacked by Manchester United in December.His new Madrid contract would be a three-year deal worth £17m making him the second-highest paid coach in Spain behind Diego Simeone who earns £20m.As well as the animosity towards his appointment Mourinho would also be walking into an ugly battle between Spain captain Isco and Real Madrid.The club have opened a disciplinary procedure against the midfielder for refusing to attend a team meeting before the embarrassing Champions League defeat by Ajax last week and refusing to take the team bus to the stadium.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Jose Mourinholast_img read more

The Revenge of an Angry Dwarf (Part One)

first_imgDwarfs are said to be very undersized persons, unusually small and stunted. They live not among people in city, towns and villages but in deep and dark forests. In a certain county, in the days of old, there once lived many dwarfs in various hills, forests and mountains. Because of their presence in these hills, forests and mountains, the inhabitants of towns and villages surrounding where they lived, dared not venture to hunt or undertake other domestic transactions that could sustain them.  Accordingly, the dwarfs took to their heads in different directions in the south, north, east and west, respectively to fetch their daily food and other essentials for their survival. One of the dwarfs who had bowed legs, two strings of curly hair attached to his baldhead resting on his hunchback, black in complexion, with wide nose, big red eyes, took great pleasure in choosing to travel throughout the western part of the country.  The route in which the dwarf journeyed passed through a village named Yeapolu that was erected by a number of tribes. The dwarf’s journey continued for some time through the village which brought fear to the inhabitants. Yeapolu was built beneath a hill near one of the largest rivers in the land, with the population of over two hundred persons, including adults and children.  From decade to decade, the dwarf journeyed through Yeapolu without adding more fuel to his flaming anger against dwellers in the village. But the children of Yeapolu grew arrogant and did design, employ and exhibit methods to laugh and mock the dwarf whenever he was en route on his weekly routine every Friday.   Whenever the dwarf passed through the village on Friday, he would return the next Friday and at this time the children would sit waiting for his arrival in the village only to laugh at him. While enroute one bright Friday morning, the dwarf keenly looked at the surface of Yeapolu village and observed a wave of green grass that nearly engulfed its fabric as though no man lived in the village with cutlass to brush the high grass from around for a decent face-lift.  He also spotted children, ages from three upward, playing different kinds of traditional games. Sometimes when the hustle was unsuccessful beyond his expectation, the dwarf would spend the week  tirelessly hunting for his livestock before returning home on that Friday, with the little foodstuff in his kinjah he placed on his bony humpback.  While approaching the village about a few yards away, upon his return one day, with little foodstuff, the dwarf took a deep breath and landed the kinjah on the ground hurriedly with a flush of anger. He later backed his kinjah and took off for home. As soon as he passed through the village, the children who had earlier set an ambush for the dwarf’s return quickly saw him coming with the kinjah on his big humpback and bald head shinning like a star.  Mockery and laughter flew from the haughty children to hit the dwarf like a strayed arrow. Despite the children’s action the dwarf quickly entered the village without causing any stir, but he staggered backward in astonishment. He breathed hard, looked on the earth and in the sky and then controlled his anger and departed for home.The dwarf had several occasions plucked enough patience and told the parents of their children’s behavior.  “Please advise your children to desist from laughing and making mockery of me. They are seeking for future trouble when trouble doesn’t look for them,” he told the parents, but his advice fell on deaf ears. He looked in the faces of the parents and their children with anger and nodded impatiently and left the village. On another occasion, returning home from his journey at mid-day on Friday, the breeze blew wide across the surface of the village. The dwarf met with the haughty children’s parents and other inhabitants. He again acquainted them with the arrogant behavior of the children of the village against him. As soon as he landed with his talks, the parents and the inhabitants present didn’t respond, but rather the children looked at the dwarf and burst out laughing. “What! The children must be getting out of their senses by constantly laughing at me!” he exclaimed, “This is an evil behavior!” Unfortunately, the parents had no fear of what danger the dwarf could cause the the village, especially its children. None of them had any idea that one day a great   evil would befall them. However, the wind bore the dwarf like a leaf until his anger vanished into the looming clouds and he began his journey again.Thereafter, on another Friday, the dwarf walked for hours hunting for foodstuff but to no avail. As warm sweat rolled down his giant-side chest, he wiped it off with the palm of his hand.   Fortunately, he heard a rustling sound of a deer hunting for food in a nearby creek that ran into a large river.  Not wasting a second, he silently crept towards the deer and as strong as he was, grabbed the right leg and knocked it severely on the ground until it was killed.  Returning home with happiness, the dwarf’s weariness drove away from him like a clock, but he did not forget about the haughty children of Yeapolu village who constantly made mockery   of him whenever he passed through the village.  He arrived at a village and looked curiously at himself. He then laughed and immediately shook his head saying, “One day to come those who laughed at me would be roasted in a burning fire, as every long road has an end.”“It’ll be too late for the laughing children to repent when the right trump blows over the wrong they continue to do to me,” he said.   “I’m tired and can no longer sit idly and see the children laughing and making mockery of me,” he said in disgust.Finally, the anger of the dwarf broke loose and he called for all kinds of roaring, of beasts of the earth and fowls of the air in the forest and by the scores they, without much delay, answered to dwarf’s    serious call.  “It pains my heart and soul more than hot iron for the little untrained children of Yeapolu village to constantly laugh and make mockery of me when I avoid their company,” he informed the fowls and beasts he had called to hear his story.  “Go to Yeapolu village about three miles from here to the western region of this land and crush to death all children from three to sixteen years,” the dwarf ordered the beasts and fowls. Quickly, the beasts and fowls rushed to the village, as the earth shook like an earthquake which filled the ears of the parents, the children and other inhabitants. They could not  suspect the hungry fowls and beasts that rushed suddenly on them.  They attacked the children according to the dwarf’s order and clawed and killed them while their parents and other dwellers ran here and there. After the children received the wrath, the beasts and fowls returned with victory to the forest and reported their accomplishment to the dwarf.  “Thank you all very much for the job well done! The haughty children have gone to the dust of the earth from where God made them. There are no more mouths to laugh at me!” The dwarf lauded the beasts and fowls, and they departed for their respective locations.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more