HVB head joins board at Quintain

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​UK pension funds to step up action over executive pay

first_imgThe PLSA is now considering advising its members to take a harder line if the current trend of controversial pay awards continues into the AGM season.“Most pension funds,” Hildyard said, “are very concerned with the levels of CEO pay we are seeing, and there is certainly a chance investors may use the binding votes next year to get their message across.”Common-sense checkThe tough stand taken by investors against some of UK’s largest companies comes after a period of turbulence in the financial markets, hit by falling oil and commodity prices resulting in thousands of jobs being axed in that sector.Nearly 60% of BP shareholders voted against a £13.8m (€18.1m) pay deal for boss Bob Dudley. The advisory vote came as BP shed thousands of jobs across the company. Mining company Anglo American also faced a 41.3% of shareholder dissent over its remuneration report, which included a £3.4m pay for its chief executive.Investors are also up in arms over advertising firm WPP chief executive Martin Sorrell’s expected £70m payout. Advisory firms ShareSoc and PIRC have urged shareholders to vote against Sorrell’s proposed pay at the company’s annual general meeting on 8 June. PIRC said in its research report that Sorrel’s variable pay amounted to 58 times his salary of £1.1m.Deborah Gilshan, head of sustainable ownership at Railpen Investments, said companies needed to apply a “common-sense check” to pay policy.“Some of the pay packages we see in the market do worry us,” she said. “Companies need to apply the pay policy investors have voted for, but they also need to apply discretion around the edges to really look at those outcomes.”She added: “There is also the fact these outcomes don’t seem to be aligned with the interest of long-term shareholders and stakeholders like customers and employees.”Railpen Investments is the investment manager for the Railways Pension Scheme, which has around £22bn in assets under management.Another significant investor revolt has been at engineering group Weir, which lost a binding vote on its pay policy, meaning it will now have to go back to the drawing board and come up with an alternative plan.Pharmaceutical company Shire, too, received a bloody nose with its advisory pay policy just squeezing through, with only 50.5% of shareholder approval.Railpen’s Gilshan said: “What you have seen with some of these votes against is perhaps where shareholder patience has run out and where remuneration committees need to listen a bit more to what they are hearing from investors in private dialogues and to what shareholders are signalling through their votes.”Pension funds are still smarting from criticism, following the financial crisis, that they did not demand more accountability, through their fund managers, from the companies in which they invest. New rules, which gave investors a binding vote on pay, were introduced in 2013 by then business secretary Vince Cable.The current shareholder backlash comes a few years after the so-called Shareholder Spring of 2012, which led to some high-profile resignations.‘Acid test’ for investorsDaniel Summerfield, co-head of responsible investment at USS, the UK’s second-largest pension scheme, said the binding vote that many companies faced next year would be the “acid test” for investors.“The last time we had the Shareholder Spring, we didn’t have the binding vote,” he said. “So this is the acid test where, if shareholders are really concerned about the pay structures and pay proposals, the way the vote will be cast will have more bite than previous initiatives. Shareholders can vote against policies they don’t agree with.”Railpen’s Gilshan said the key was for companies to listen to what shareholders were actually telling them and act accordingly.“Shareholders are stepping up, and boards have to step up, too, and listen and apply some of that feedback they are receiving as they go into 2017’s binding votes,” she added.Summerfield agreed: “If companies take note – which they should – of the increasing expectations of shareholders for pay to be aligned with performance, then our hope is that policies will ensure pay is aligned with the accretion of long-term shareholder value.” UK pension funds are planning to take a tougher line with recalcitrant companies that award excessive salaries to their executives, as a raft of blue-chip firms have come under fire in recent weeks over executive pay.As companies such as BP, Anglo American, WPP, Reckitt Benckiser, Weir, Shire and Standard Chartered face a sharp backlash over their pay awards, pension funds are warning of an even fierier AGM season next year as many companies come up for their triennial binding votes on their remuneration policies.While remuneration packages at most companies were advisory this year, many companies face a binding shareholder vote next year that normally takes place once every three years.Luke Hildyard, policy lead for stewardship and corporate governance at the Pensions and Lifetime Savings ­Association (PLSA) said: “There is a worry companies are bit tone-deaf to shareholder concerns and, indeed, wider societal concerns.” last_img read more

Investors warn EC over definitions in sustainable finance proposals

first_img“We would argue that this would contravene the EU’s objective of spurring on sustainable investments, without any analysis or reasoning behind such a move.”The legislation should take into account the wide range of approaches used by asset managers to achieve institutional and individual asset owners’ objectives, it added. Sustainable finance proposals tabled by the European Commission could sideline many popular ESG strategies or approaches, investors have warned.The comments were made in feedback on the sustainable finance legislative proposals announced by the Commission in May. The window for feedback closes this week, and submissions have been coming in thick and fast in recent days. The Commission proposed a regulation on reporting requirements related to “sustainable investments and sustainability risks”, but the European Fund and Asset Management Association (EFAMA) said that, as currently drafted, the proposal seemed to equate sustainable investments with impact and thematic investing.“Unless this drafting is changed, this would mean that a large majority of investment approaches and products that today are adopted as ‘sustainable’ on objective and legitimate grounds may no longer be considered so,” the industry association stated. The European Commission announced three legislative proposals on ‘susainable finance’ at the end of MayAccording to UK insurance group Aviva, the way the Commission’s proposed regulation on disclosures was worded “might discourage sustainable investment through proactive stewardship of investments to promote sustainability, for example through company engagement and voting”.It added: “The current wording may also not allow other strategies to integrate ESG factors, for example the integration of ESG risks and opportunities throughout a firm’s investment analysis, or screening out certain types of investments.”It suggested a rewording of the relevant text in the proposed regulation to accommodate not only investments in an economic activity contributing to an environmental, social or corporate governance objective, but “actions in relation to” such activity.This would also align the wording more closely with the approach to integrating sustainability in IORP II, the revised EU pension fund directive, Aviva argued.Taxonomy proposal aim ‘unclear’Investors also expressed concerns about the Commission’s definitions in feedback relating to its proposed system for determining the extent to which a given economic activity is environmentally sustainable. This is also known as the taxonomy proposal and is central to the Commission’s overall plan.The Association of the Luxembourg Fund Industry said it was not clear whether the aim was to establish a framework for “a niche” of investment activity – those marketed as sustainable investments or impact investments – or for the purpose of encouraging sustainable investments overall, whether marketed as such or not.Europe’s largest asset manager, Amundi, said the taxonomy should serve investors’ “wide and diverse” needs, rather than restrict them.last_img read more

Australia forecasts higher 2019-20 LNG earnings

first_imgAustralian government’s Department of Industry, Innovation and Science has revised the forecast for Australian liquefied natural gas earnings. The Resources and Energy Quarterly data shows that the LNG export earnings have been revised up from the March 2019 quarterly report, and are now expected to be $1.1 billion higher in 2019-20, reflecting an upwards revision to the oil price forecast, and the downward revision to the AUD/USD exchange rate assumption.An upward revision to prices has offset the impact of a downward revision to export volumes. ConocoPhillips confirmed in June that it expected the Darwin LNG plant to shut down for 1-2 years, starting between 2021 and 2023, when gas from the Bayu-Undan field is exhausted.While falling output at Darwin LNG was factored into the outlook for the March Resources and Energy Quarterly, production is now expected to decline at a faster rate.The report shows that Australia exported an estimated $50 billion of LNG in 2018–19, up from $31 billion in 2017–18. Higher export earnings have been driven by the recovery in oil prices (relative to 2017–18), and the ramp-up of LNG exports, particularly from the Wheatstone and Ichthys LNG projects.Australia and Qatar continued to jostle for the title of the world’s largest LNG exporter over the first five months of 2019. Australia took the lead in April as Qatar’s exports dipped due to maintenance before Qatar edged back past Australia in May.The value of Australia’s LNG exports is forecast to increase to $54 billion in 2019–20, driven by the ramp-up in export volumes from Prelude and Ichthys. Shell shipped the first LNG cargo from its Prelude project on June 11, and production is expected to ramp up during 2019–20. Train 2 at Ichthys is expected to come online during 2019.In 2020–21, the value of Australia’s LNG exports is expected to fall back to $50 billion, as oil-linked contract prices (at which most Australian LNG is sold) edge down and the exchange rate appreciates. LNG export volumes are expected to remain broadly stable in 2020–21.Australia is forecast to edge past Qatar as the world’s largest LNG exporter (on an annual basis) when exports reach 78 million tonnes in 2019, and extend its lead in 2020 as exports climb to 81 million tonnes.However, the narrow difference between the projected exports of the two nations means that Australia overtaking Qatar is not a certainty. Indeed, that margin is likely to be particularly narrow in 2019.During the mid-2020s, Australia is expected to be surpassed as the world’s largest LNG exporter by both Qatar and the US, as new projects in both countries come online.last_img read more

Chavez says he is healthy and optimistic after chemo session in Caracas

first_imgVenezuelan President Hugo Chavez.CARACAS, Venezuela (South Journal) — Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said he is healthy and very optimistic following a chemotherapy session on Tuesday, as part of his treatment at the Caracas-based Carlos Arvelo Military Hospital.In a phone conversation, Chavez thanked his people for their solidarity and support of his during his treatment. Many gathered outside the hospital despite the pouring rain on Tuesday afternoon.“The chemo session concluded just an hour ago. It is an uncomfortable treatment, but my body continues to assimilate it,” he said.Chavez is now taking chemotherapy sessions after removal of a cancerous tumour.Caribbean News Now Tweet Share NewsRegional Chavez says he is healthy and optimistic after chemo session in Caracas by: – September 1, 2011 22 Views   no discussionscenter_img Share Share Sharing is caring!last_img read more

3 Iloilo LGUs declared ‘drug-free’

first_imgFrom 65-percent drug-affected invillages, Tablate said it was now recorded at 20 percent. ILOILO – Three local government unitsin the province were declared drug-cleared, the Philippine Drug EnforcementAgency in Western Visayas (PDEA-6) said.   He added Miagao, which has 119villages, Passi City with 51 and Igbaras with 46 are now given the challenge onsustaining the drug-cleared status. The official declaration was doneduring a program in Miag-ao town on Wednesday; Passi City on Thursday; andIgbaras town on Friday. PDEA-6 regional director Alex Tablate Miagao mayor Macario Napulan,meanwhile, said the problem of drugs in the town has been addressed through thegovernment’s efforts. Tablate, meanwhile, said the publicexpects more local government units in the region to follow suit as Guimbal,Iloilo will also be declared drug-cleared next week.(With a report from PNA/PN) Tablate said drug-cleared status doesnot guarantee that illegal drug activities would stop since there is apossibility that newly-identified drug personalities will emerge in thelocalities. Passi City mayor Stephen Palmares saidthe drug-cleared status of the city was achieved through the cooperation of theresidents and other stakeholders. “True to our words, we have worked toachieve this status and we will continue our efforts to maintain this,”Palmares said.     To maintain the drug-cleared status,Napulan formed a “clustering” of villages that has identified its own head.center_img “It does not stop with thedeclaration. In fact, they shall double their effort because they need tomaintain, especially the villages,” Tablate said, adding the Balay Silangan canhelp the local government unit maintain its status. PDEA-6 regional director Alex Tablateon Thursday said all of the villages in the towns of Miag-ao and Igbaras, andIloilo’s component city of Passi were declared “unaffected,” citing the resultof the deliberation of the Regional Oversight Committee (ROC).   Tablate said the local governmentunits have established its respective Balay Silangan that will cater to therehabilitation of drug surrenderers. Members of the ROC include the PDEA,the Department of the Interior and Local Government, the Department of Health,and the Philippine National Police.  When he assumed office in July,Palmares has vowed to clear Passi of illegal drugs by the end of 2019. Since President Rodrigo Duterteassumed office in 2016, he said there is a huge difference in the drugsituation in Western Visayas. “I meet with the cluster heads weeklyto get updates or reports on drugs to maintain our drug-cleared status,”Napulan said. “The Balay Silangan is vital tosustain the drug-cleared status of a municipality or city. If there are stillpusher-surrenderers in a drug-cleared local government unit, they will find ithard to troubleshoot and they will revert back to drug-affected status,”Tablate said. In Western Visayas, the Miag-ao townwas the first to be declared as drug-cleared, as it was the first to complywith the required Balay Silangan, he added. last_img read more

Cauayan man stabbed dead

first_imgThe motive in the incident was not immediately established.        BACOLOD City – A man was stabbed dead in Barangay Poblacion, Cauayan,Negros Occidental. Police identified the suspect as Bernard’s 18-year-old nephew MichaelJohn Zamora. Bernard was rushed to the Cauayan District Hospital where he died. Officers of the Cauayan municipal police station conducted a manhuntoperation against Michael, who fled after the incident./PN The 50-year-old resident Bernard Zamora died of a stab wound on thebody, a police report showed. According to police investigators, Michael stabbed Bernard around 1:30p.m. on Sunday.last_img

Urban Joseph Johannigman, Sr.

first_imgUrban Joseph Johannigman, Sr., 91, passed away on Saturday, February 2, 2019 at Heritage House Nursing Home in Greensburg.Born, September 24, 1927 in Millhousen, he was the son of Mathias and Cecilia (Thole) Johannigman.Urban married Marjorie C. Veerkamp on October 19, 1949 and she preceded him in death on June 19, 2010.Urban was a farmer his whole life.  He also raised horses and blue-tick hounds, he played in several different bands over the last 50 years, he was a former member of the National Farmer’s Association, and a member of the Knights of St. John and the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church both in Millhousen.He is survived by eleven children; Betty (Richard) Silcox, Greenfield, Margaret Ledford, Charlottesville, IN, Donna (Raymond) Schwering, Westport, Marilyn (Paul) Bedel, Hamburg, Cathy (Ambrose) Bedel, Greensburg, Janet (Mark) Bedel, Hamburg, Darlene (Robert) Engleking, Charlottesville, IN, Urban (Kimberly) Johannigman, Jr., Greensburg, Charles (Cheryl) Johannigman, Millhousen, Dottie (Ken) Hellmich, Osgood, Laurie Lynn Johannigman, Greensburg, one brother; Roman Johannigman, Millhousen, one sister; Carolyn Gallagher, Beech Grove, 26 grandchildren, 41 great grandchildren, 3 step-grandchildren, and 3 step-great grandchildren.He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, Marjorie Johannigman, brother; Justin Johannigman, son-in-law; David Ledford, and two grandchildren; Dennis Bedel and Charles Johannigman, Jr.A Rosary Service will start at 3:30 on Tuesday, February 5, 2019 at Porter-Oliger-Pearson Funeral Home followed by visitation until 8 pm.A Funeral Mass will be held at 10 am on Wednesday, February 6, 2019 at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Millhousen with Rev. John Geis officiating.Burial will follow at Immaculate Conception Catholic Cemetery in Millhousen.Memorials may be made to Our Hospice, Immcaulate Conception Catholic Church or the Fraternity of St. Peter.Online condolences can be made to the family at www.popfuneralhome.comlast_img read more

Wisconsin, ASU set for 1st round

first_imgThe UW women\’s soccer team will participate in their first NCAA Tournament game under Paula Wilkins.[/media-credit]Wisconsin women’s soccer head coach Paula Wilkins had a tough question to answer this week. How do you prepare a team of 27 players for the NCAA Tournament when not one of them has ever been to the postseason?Though Wilkins earned an NCAA bid in each of her six years as head coach at Penn State, she enlisted the help of another Wisconsin head coach with plenty of postseason experience: men’s basketball head coach Bo Ryan.“I said, ‘Hey do you know what it’s like to be in the NCAA Tournament?’” Ryan said. “Then I go, ‘How many of you here played in the state tournament for soccer?’ Eighty or 90 percent of them raised their hand. It’s the same thing, win and advance.”For Wisconsin goaltender Michele Dalton, one thing stood out in Ryan’s talk.“He said, ‘How many games to a national championship?’ and Paula said six,” Dalton said of Ryan. “So he looked around at all of us and said, ‘six games and you’ll be national champions. It really kind of puts it in perspective.”After leading his team to the NCAA Tournament in each of his eight seasons as head coach and recording the five winningest seasons in UW history, Ryan’s record speaks for itself.So, when he took some time out of his schedule to talk to one of the school’s rising programs, the players were happy to see him.“The players saw me and I just thought there was somebody behind me when they just started waving and (saying) ‘hey come on over here,’” Ryan said. “(I thought) ‘are you talking to me?’”Friday night, the Badgers will host the Arizona State University Sun Devils at 7:30 p.m. at the McClimon Soccer Complex in a first-round matchup of the NCAA Tournament. It is the 15th appearance in Wisconsin history and the first time it has reached the tournament since 2005. UW is 11-14 all-time in NCAA Tournament games.Wisconsin enters the tournament riding a seven-game unbeaten streak, with their last loss having come more than a month ago at Minnesota.While it is not the only reason, much of the Badgers’ recent success has been thanks to the return of freshman forward Paige Adams from an early-season injury. Adams played one-half against Minnesota and has been a big factor in the UW offense since.“I think it has had a huge impact,” sophomore forward Laurie Nosbusch said. “She’s scored two or three big goals, and she’s such an amazing player. It helps me out a lot as the other forward. She can finish well and she can keep the ball for us up top.”Adams, a freshman from British Columbia, has scored three goals and added three assists in just 11 games, giving her the team’s second-highest point total with nine.One of her expectations when coming to Wisconsin was to reach the NCAA Tournament, but she did not expect to have such a big impact in her first season as a Badger.“It’s really exciting to be a part of it,” Adams said. “I didn’t think I (would) do as well as I have, but I was hoping to do well. It’s been a really great year, except for struggling with injuries.”The Sun Devils (9-7-3, 2-6-1 Pac 10) are in a similar position to UW, having won their final two games of the season to earn their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2003. Two inexperienced teams having their first taste of the NCAA Tournament should make for an intriguing first-round matchup.“It’ll be an exciting game,” Wilkins said. “I think it’s going to be the team that sort of figures it out faster — as early as possible — will have a good result. We’re hoping that it’s us.”Unlike ASU, who won a pair of home games over the weekend, Wisconsin will be playing in its first game since Nov. 2, when the Badgers won a road game against the Northwestern Wildcats in Evanston, Ill.The reason behind the long delay is the Big Ten’s decision to eliminate the conference tournament this season. According to Wilkins, the coaches reach a consensus that playing three games in a weekend put the conference at a disadvantage in the NCAA Tournament.“That is a concern of ours,” Wilkins said of the time off. “I think it can be an advantage for us or a disadvantage. We have been able to rest people and get them healthy, which I think is pretty important, so we’ll find out on Friday if there’s any advantage.”Wisconsin is hosting the first and second rounds at the McClimon Soccer Complex, which means they will be playing the second game Friday night. In the early game at 5 p.m., third-seeded Central Florida will take on UW-Milwaukee, with the winners of both games to square off Sunday at 1 p.m.last_img read more

Britain Win 4x100m Gold as Bolt Pulls Fails to Finish Final…

first_imgGreat Britain’s men claimed a stunning 4x100m relay gold at the World Championships as Usain Bolt pulled up injured in his final ever race. Never before has a British team won a world sprint gold, but the quartet of CJ Ujah, Adam Gemili, Danny Talbot and Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake ran a near-perfect race to hold off the fancied US team, with Japan taking bronze as Bolt collapsed halfway down the home straight.It was a horrible way for Bolt to end his career, his hamstring appearing to go as he attempted to chase down the two men in front of him. A wheelchair was brought to his side before he was helped to his feet and managed to limp away, but it means he leaves his final championship with only a bronze from the individual 100m to show.Britain’s men had looked smooth in qualification yesterday morning, and they then produced their best to shock the American favourites and light up the London Stadium. Ujah got out of the blocks brilliantly, his reaction time to the gun of 0.124 secs the best in the field, before Gemili – who only a few weeks ago at the national trials looked a shadow of the athlete who finished fourth over 200m in Rio – powered down the back straight. With each baton change exemplary, Talbot backed up the personal best he ran in the individual 200m with a fine bend, before Mitchell-Blake held his nerve and form to keep 100m silver medallist Christian Coleman at bay.Not since GB’s team won gold at the Athens Olympics 13 years ago have they delivered in such glorious style, the display a vindication for both the practice the team have put in and the closeness between the individual componentsShare this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more