UK roundup: £41bn LGPS pool appoints third-party operator

first_imgA £41bn (€46.3bn) group of Local Government Pension Schemes (LGPS) has appointed Link Fund Solutions to run its pooled assets.The ACCESS pool – made up of 11 LGPS funds – announced this morning it had named Link to set up an authorised contractual scheme, to be overseen by the Financial Conduct Authority.Link will set up a series of sub-funds to pool the 11 pension funds’ assets, in accordance with the government’s policy to encourage collaboration and efficiencies across the LGPS.Councillor Andrew Reid, chairman of the ACCESS Joint Committee, said the appointment was “fundamental” to the pool’s approach. GKN last week announced an agreement with US firm Dana to spin off the GKN Driveline subsidiary into a joint venture with Dana. As part of the deal Dana would take on almost £1.4bn of global pension liabilities, including  £533m from UK schemes. Dana also agreed a cash contribution of £124m.Meanwhile, GKN said it would undertake a number of derisking measures for its remaining UK schemes, including an ‘enhanced transfer value’ exercise – which offers members an added incentive to transfer out of their defined benefit scheme – and a ‘pension increase exchange’, which grants a one-off uplift to annual payments in exchange for waiving future inflation-linked increases.In a statement, the trustee board of GKN’s pension schemes said: “The Trustees believe that their agreement with GKN, which is subject to the offer by Melrose Industries lapsing or being withdrawn, provides appropriate mitigation to the schemes in relation to the proposed transaction with Dana and the proposed business disposals.”However, in its revised offer this morning the Melrose board attacked GKN’s plans, claiming that GKN would have gross pension liabilities of more than 10 times its remaining profits after selling off parts of the company.“We have already committed to make annual payments to the GKN pension schemes at a level greater than that which GKN pays into the schemes today, over and above the substantial voluntary cash contribution of £150m that we announced previously,” Melrose added.GKN shareholders have until 29 March to decide whether to accept the offer.Northern Ireland public scheme sets out divestment policyThe £7.7bn pension fund for public sector workers in Northern Ireland has said it would not divest from oil and gas companies for ethical reasons despite pressure from local campaign groups.The Northern Ireland Local Government Officers’ Superannuation Committee (NILGOSC), which oversees the fund, said in a note to members that “wholesale disinvestment from companies extracting fossil fuels is not part of its strategy as this would mean that NILGOSC would lose its power to engage with the relevant companies”.It added that exiting such investments would have “no effect” on carbon dioxide levels.“Therefore [NILGOSC] proactively considers opportunities to invest in clean energy and is currently invested in, locally and globally, manufacturers of electric vehicles, wind power, solar power, hydropower, biomass, and energy conservation,” the note said.It pointed out that the fund had signed up to a number of international measures such as the Carbon Disclosure Project and the 2014 Global Investor Statement on Climate Change, as well as engaging actively in shareholder resolutions related to environmental and sustainability issues. Link’s contract is for five years with an option to extend for another two.ACCESS is one of eight pools to be set up and the second to appoint Link, after the Wales Pension Partnership in January. Its 11 founding schemes are Cambridgeshire, East Sussex, Essex, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Isle of Wight, Kent, Norfolk, Northamptonshire, Suffolk, and West Sussex.The pools must be up and running by the start of April.GKN grants more pension promises as Melrose issues ultimatumUK-listed engineering company GKN has made a series of funding promises to its pension scheme trustees as part of an attempt to fend off a hostile takeover bid.Last week the company set out plans to demerge its aerospace and drivetrain subsidiaries and divert some of the proceeds towards its UK pension funds.This morning Melrose – which has been attempting to buy GKN since the start of the year – submitted a final offer of £8.1bn for the company, which the GKN board said it was “evaluating”.last_img read more

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Cricket News Ben Stokes – Innings that didn’t let sun to set in Great Britain

first_imgNew Delhi: Nine days – That’s all we have to cherish. On 4th September, Wednesday, you’ll be unable to write on Ben Stokes as the focus will once again shift to ongoing Ashes series. These nine days are all you have to toast the man behind reincarnation of Test cricket. But what willyou write about? Whatever you write, make sure it’s nothing less than what the gentleman deserves.An innings that unfolded the classic folktales of Ian Botham’s Headingley innings. Innings that took ecstasy from one camp to another. Innings that didn’t let sun to set in Great Britain. England team was bundled out for 67 in the first innings of third Test match and Australians, who were 1-0 up in the five-match Ashes series, asked the World champions to chase 359 on a sluggish track and the way three lions had featured in the Test match – it looked a lost dream until Ben Stokes scripted a stunning turnaround.On the intensely dramatic final day of the Test match, England lost wickets at a regular interval against ‘overly’ confident Australia team who would have retained the Ashes with a win in Leeds.When England’s last batsman, Jack Leach, joined Stokes at the crease they still required an unlikely 73 for victory. However, Stokes farmed the strike expertly with his 10th-wicket partner and struck the ball as sweetly as one could dreamt of, once finding the crowd with an outrageous reverse sweep, and on another occasion stepping outside off stump to scoop Pat Cummins to fine leg for six.Stokes’s effort evoked memories of Ian Botham’s famous Ashes escape act with England at this very venue in 1981 and there will be discussion as to whether the modern-day all-rounder’s efforts are even more impressive.Ben Stokes’ innings against Australia not only derived Australia’s inability to defend 359 in the fourth innings, but has put Test cricket in the best place possible. In the era of T20 cricket, Stokes played a blend of orthodox and unorthodox – while keeping his head still to smash Aussie bowlers out of the park. He kept his emotions under control and dominated the game on his terms.Stokes managed to score his first boundary on the 75th ball he faced but yielded 48 runs from last 24 balls, striking at 200 with ease. The few scares which Josh Hazlewood did in his opening spell of the day had started to look dream with same bowler getting hit for consecutive sixes into the Western Terrace in penultimate pressure situation.What made the innings look even more special was how he kept his partner Leach off strike. En route to eighth Test ton, Stokes made sure to have the strike on nine out of ten occasions which eventually led Leach to finish with just one run in unbeaten 76-run stand. Yes, the innings wasn’t without luck as he was out leg-before to Nathan Lyon when England still needed two runs, but Australia didn’t have a review to challenge Joel Wilson’s on-field call. Stokes was also dropped by Marcus Harris off Pat Cummins’s bowling on 116, and not to forget disastrous run-out miss by Nathan Lyon, coming even before umpiring blooper. However, destiny favors the brave hearts and Ben Stokes genius against Australia certainly deserves it.The winning shot from his willow through the cover region will certainly become the highlight of World Test championship one day. The urn is still alive, very much because of Ben Stokes genius. Will it be termed as greatest Test innings ever? – Well, time will tell us. But we can stamp the authority and say, ‘Not too far off’. For all the Latest Sports News News, Cricket News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps.last_img read more

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