Category: ybdbcmhs

Krispy Kreme enters leisure sector

first_imgDoughnut retailer Krispy Kreme has secured a contract with Center Parcs in its first foray into the leisure sector. It now provides self-service cabinets in five of Center Parcs’ sites in a move planned to grow its UK presence. The cabinets will display more than 12 varieties of doughnuts to customers including original glazed, strawberry gloss and peanut butter Kreme.All doughnuts will be made fresh daily and delivered from the retailer’s local Hotlight stores.Simon Browning, strategic partnerships manager at Krispy Kreme UK, said: “We have a highly successful history of working together with brand partners to share the joy of Krispy Kreme and this has enabled us to reach more people, in new areas, across the UK.“We are, therefore, very excited to launch into the leisure sector with this new partnership. We feel strongly that Center Parcs is a great fit with the Krispy Kreme brand, not only in terms of its quality offering and ethos of creating special family moments, but also because it shares many of our key customer bases. We’re excited to see the reaction to fresh Krispy Kreme doughnuts from guests.”last_img read more

Melvin Seals, Oteil Burbridge, John Kadlecik Host ‘A Merry Jerry Christmas’ Holiday Concert [Audio]

first_imgJerry Garcia departed from this world a little more than twenty-three years ago, but his music still brings people from all walks of life out to dance and enjoy. The historic Fox Theater was the latest channel of Garcia’s music on Sunday night in Pomona, California, hosting “A Merry Jerry Christmas”, a benefit show for Story Book Adventures, a program dedicated to bringing music and literacy to children in the Inland Empire region east of Los Angeles.The night started with a rocking set of originals from the LA-based jam band The Higgs. Their set put everyone in a great mood as the venue filled with tie-dye and the unmistakable aura of a Grateful Dead crowd.Up next came a group that fans of the post-Jerry iterations of the Dead would consider a super group. Current Golden Gate Wingmen and former Dark Star Orchestra and Furthur guitarist John Kadlecik captained the band on guitar and lead vocals. Dead & Company and former Allman Brothers and Aquarium Rescue Unit bassist Oteil Burbridge continued to demonstrate his mastery of the Dead catalogue. Original Jerry Garcia Band keyboardist Melvin Seals laid down his soulful organ sound to truly authenticate the music.They kicked things off with the classic JGB cover of Marvin Gaye’s “How Sweet it is (To Be Loved By You)”. Seals’ deep electric organ chords immediately took everyone into a different universe as Kadlecik perfectly imitated Garcia’s sound for the opening licks. After a jaunty “Run For The Roses”, Burbridge took lead vocals on the JGB cover of Peter Tosh’s “Stop That Train”. A man wearing a “Let Oteil Sing” shirt went particularly crazy as Burbridge nailed the lilting reggae classic.Kadlecik then bit into the funky intro of a crunchy “After Midnight”. The band really showed off their chops on this JJ Cale tune. Seals ripped an organ solo that caused pandemonium among the crowd before the lights went down and Burbridge dropped an incredibly jazzy bass solo complimented by him scat singing along with the notes he was playing.Seals took the reigns on lead vocals for the only time of the evening during an upstroked reggae-style version of the Bob Dylan classic “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door”. After working through an awesome “Cats Under The Stars”, Oteil stole the show providing lead vocals on a haunting “Stella Blue”.The outfit brought the tempo back up with a rowdy “Shakedown Street”, a Dead staple, but not typically part of Jerry Garcia Band repertoire. Burbridge rocked some crazy Victor Wooten-esque bass fills and the background singers wailed a powerful harmony.Next, they worked through an emotional “Mission In The Rain” before delivering a positively raucous take on “That’s What Love Will Make You Do”, originally released by Little Milton. This song might have been the biggest party of the night, and they carried that energy into The Beatles‘ “Dear Prudence”.Oteil took the lead for the last time on a bouncy “Gomorrah” before they rocked the Garcia staple “Don’t Let Go”, a cover of a Roy Hamilton tune. The set was culminated by a rocking jam-filled Peter Rowan classic “Midnight Moonlight”.For Jerry Garcia Band fans, this show was as good as it gets. From the all-absorbing organ sounds to the emotionally progressing Garcia ballads to the classic R&B sound, this group nailed down the energy that Garcia sought to express in his side project.Many people thought that the show was over after hours of JGB music from legendary musicians, but Cubensis still had an awesome set of classic Grateful Dead music in store. The R&B sounds gave way to more typical rock n’ roll as the LA-based band kicked things off with the fan-favorite “Bertha”. They weaved through a few Garcia tunes in “Tennessee Jed” and “Friend of the Devil” until they came to the lone Bob Weir song of the night “Feel Like a Stranger”, which featured perhaps the deepest jam of the set.After playing the classic pairing of “China Cat Sunflower” and “I Know You Rider”, the outfit welcomed on their usual guitarist and singer Craig Marshall who is currently dealing with a health issue. Marshall helped lead the group through “The Wheel”, “Terrapin Station”, and “Not Fade Away” to put a cap on an incredible evening of music.The crowd slowly filed out in smiles after getting more than their money’s worth with three long sets of great music. The spirit of Mr. Garcia certainly lives on in southern California where Cubensis is based. Their next show is on 12/21 at Harvelle’s Night Club in Long Beach, CA. Burbridge, Kadlecik, and Seals will be performing in a similar group labeled Oteil & Friends at The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, New York on December 29 and then at Brooklyn Bowl in New York City for performances on December 30 and 31.[Video: benderman11]last_img read more

The Moche of Ancient Peru: Media and Messages

first_imgJeffrey Quilter, a senior lecturer on anthropology and deputy director for curatorial affairs and curator at Harvard’s Peabody Museum, introduces the Moche civilization and explores current thinking about Moche politics, history, society, and religion.last_img

Food for thought at Schlesinger and University Archives

first_imgThe Harvard University Archives and Schlesinger Library opened their doors to a display of food-related items. While recipes abounded, a few items took the cake, including Julia Child’s Emmy award, a sketch of an epic 1818 Harvard dining hall food fight and china used at Harvard in the 19th century.The Archives’ display was but a sampling of its holdings. “We hope that this will be a little bit of a taste for you and you’ll come back for more,” said Robin McElheny, associate university archivist for collections and public services. Read Full Storylast_img read more

Long Island Municipalities That Get It Right: What Do They Know That Others Don’t?

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York [dropcap]A[/dropcap]cross the Island some municipalities are clearly ahead of the pack. These communities possess the good fortune to have visionary leaders, courageous council members and the right combination of assets, infrastructure and drive to make a difference in people’s lives. When you look for local role models, a few stellar examples quickly come to mind: Jack Schnirman, Long Beach city manager; Paul Pontieri, mayor of Patchogue; Francis X. Murray, mayor of Rockville Centre; and state Sen. Jack Martins, the former mayor of Mineola. They didn’t all face the same problems, but these guys knew how to get it right. For Long Beach, Jack Schnirman faced a daunting challenge. As city manager, he wasn’t an elected leader but he was responsible for getting all the parties on board so he could right the city’s precarious finances. He inherited a $14.7 million deficit and he turned it around so now the city has a $7 million fund balance. Long Beach just got its eighth consecutive positive credit action from Moody’s. Not only did they upgrade the city’s bond rating, they gave the city a positive outlook going forward.By comparison, Nassau County is under the control of the Nassau Interim Finance Authority (NIFA) because of its chronic failure to balance the books. The Town of Hempstead’s credit rating has been downgraded many times, and Moody’s just withdrew its rating for the Town of Oyster Bay due to irregular filings—town officials say a computer broke down—and Standard & Poor’s is contemplating doing the same. In the town’s defense, a withdrawal is not the same as a downgrade, but it’s not an encouraging sign. Both ratings agencies have given the Town of Oyster Bay until the end of March to get its financial filings in order before they issue their ratings.“We are proud to be one of the municipalities moving in the right direction,” said Schnirman.On his watch, Long Beach declared a fiscal crisis, working with the city’s employees to achieve some contract concessions and downsize the workforce. Then came Superstorm Sandy. Still, by all accounts, Long Beach has managed to rebound—and been rewarded by consecutive good bond ratings. Schnirman praises the city council for “fiercely advocating for the resources to rebuild our city the right way with stronger infrastructure to protect ourselves from future storms.”To Schnirman’s credit, he navigated the city through the aftermath while staying within Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s tax cap of either a 2-percent limit or the rate of inflation, whichever is lower. In Long Beach, the allowable tax increase is .47 percent because inflation is so low.“The challenge is that it caps revenue but it doesn’t cap expenses,” he explained. “Many of the fixed costs go up every year far greater than the size of the cap, so it necessitates constantly making cuts and difficult choices and being creative in order to live within it.”But Schnirman has been able to make it work.Handout: Long Beach City Manager Jack Schnirman“Jack has brought exceptional professionalism to the management of the city’s finances, and the repair and development of its infrastructure,” said Lawrence C. Levy, executive dean at Hofstra University’s National Center for Suburban Studies. “He was one of the heroes of Sandy.”Looking around the Island, Levy singles out Rockville Centre Mayor Francis X. Murray for what he’s done for his community. “Fran Murray is one of those mayors who has come to realize that the future of the village lies in making even better use of a strong downtown,” explained Levy. “He has understood that a lot of people want to move to Rockville Centre, but not everybody wants to live in a traditional, single-family house. They want rental apartments. They want to be able to walk to restaurants, to the movie theater.”Murray’s solution was to go vertical to solve the parking problem as well as add more apartments. Critics said Murray’s plan calling for more density was untenable, making the dire prediction that “Queensification” was about to transform their village, but it did not come to pass, as Levy observed.“Rockville Centre could be a model for downtown development rocketing a whole village!” said Levy. And he should know, because he now calls the village home. State Sen. Jack Martins (R-Mineola) first made waves in municipal circles when he helped transform Mineola as mayor by focusing on its downtown.“He used to have political leaders and other supporters whispering in his ear that if he goes ahead with his proposed high rises [downtown], his promising career would come to an end,” Levy said. “He just didn’t listen. He decided this was best for the village. People would see it and the payoff would be huge.” They did and it was. Martins won his mayoral re-election by “an enormous margin,” Levy observed, then he won his state Senate race by defeating an incumbent Democrat and now he’s running for Congress to fill the empty seat vacated by Rep. Steve Israel (D-Dix Hills). In some sense, things started looking up for Martins when he embraced high rises.Patchogue Mayor Paul Pontieri faced a different problem.“I think Paul Pontieri had the hardest row to hoe,” said Levy. “He started with a village that was deeply down on its heels and almost hopeless.” Among his initiatives in Patchogue, Pontieri brought in a cultural arts center, encouraged developers to offer relatively affordable residential options, and created a vibrant, younger feel to the downtown. Handout: Patchogue Village Mayor Paul Pontieri“But he had to go to war with the political and business and civic establishment,” Levy said. “He was willing to put his career and his mayoralty on the line, and he has been validated and vindicated over and over again. People often refer to him as the poster child for the new suburbia of Long Island.”Pontieri himself puts it more humbly.“I lived in Patchogue my whole life so I knew we had the bones and the strength to get something done,” he said. “What I saw were blighted properties that could be turned into opportunities.”He got upgrades for the village’s sewage treatment plant to accommodate higher density. Or, as Levy put it, “He not only saw above ground—he saw below ground!”Pontieri knew he had to revitalize the village’s downtown. “Nothing comes into a town that is empty. You need to put feet on the street,” he said. And there was another stark reality, which may sound ironic today. “We had a parking problem—there were empty spaces.” In fact, about 2,000 of them, he said.But a decade ago in came Copper Beech Village, developed by Pulti Homes of New York, on a 5-acre site with 80 units of affordable housing—16 per acre. Suffolk County chipped in $3.3 million to help Patchogue acquire the land from the previous homeowners. Then other high-density developments started sprouting up. “Once Pulti invested the first $5 million, it said that we’re worth investing in,” said Pontieri. “We cleaned up five acres of blighted property and put in 80 families with an average age of 38 years old.” Young families are vital to the future, Pontieri says. “The communities that fight this, they’re going to be the ones without the Little Leagues, because young families won’t have a place to start or invest in,” the mayor said, pointing out that his vision comes with some self-interest as well. “Someday I’m going to want to sell my house, and I’m hoping that one of these kids who’s invested in this village will look at my home and want to buy it!”Villagers started to get with the program he laid out once they could see the caliber of the development, the attention to design and details. “Let the developers make the money they need to make and they’ll stay with the project and give you quality,” Pontieri said. “Squeeze them too much and you end up with what you deserve.”Can other villages do what Pontieri did with Patchogue? “They can duplicate it,” the mayor insisted. “Don’t just listen to the gray-haired guys in the audience saying, ‘No!’ Understand that there’s a majority of the population out there that’s looking for change.”What these leaders have in common, Levy said, is “They’ve dared to be different.”last_img read more

North Patchogue, Port Jefferson Armed Home Invasions Probed

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Suffolk County police are investigating a pair of armed home invasions in which the victims were assaulted in North Patchogue and Port Jefferson this week, authorities said.In the first case, two men, one of whom was armed with a handgun, kicked in the door of a Pint Court home in North Patchogue while a woman and her adult son were home on Sunday night, police said. A scuffled ensued between the assailants and the victims, one of whom suffered minor injuries, before the duo fled the scene with stolen property, police said.In the second case, three men entered a home on Sheep Pasture Road in Port Jefferson, where they assaulted the homeowner and stole money and a pickup truck at 11:50 p.m. Monday, police said. The victim was taken to Stony Brook University Hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.Police said the Port Jefferson victim was targeted and they believe the North Patchogue case was not random.Detectives are continuing both investigations.last_img read more

Conor Lamb, House Moderate, on Biden’s Win, ‘the Squad’ and the Future of the Democratic Party

first_imgThe carefully calibrated unity of the Democratic Party lasted about six months. After a summer when moderates and progressives joined together to elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. president, his victory has now given permission for the party to expend time and energy on the difficult task of sorting out its ideological core.House Democrats, reeling from unexpected losses in competitive races, wasted no time. Moderates have blamed progressives for pushing policies such as “Medicare for all” and defunding the police, which are unpopular in swing districts.- Advertisement – Updated Nov. 8, 2020, 7:15 p.m. ET This interview has been condensed and lightly edited for clarity.- Advertisement – I respect her and how hard she works. And what she did in an extremely low-turnout Democratic primary. But the fact is that in general elections in these districts — particularly in the ones where President Trump himself campaigns over and over and over again, and attacks members within their own Republican-leaning districts, like me and Representative Slotkin and Representative Spanberger — it’s the message that matters. It’s not a question of door knocking, or Facebook. It matters what policies you stand for, and which ones you don’t. And that is all that we are trying to say.The American people just showed us in massive numbers, generally, which side of these issues that they are on. They sent us a Republican Senate and a Democratic president; we’re going have to do things that we can compromise over.You mentioned sniping. Are progressives leading that or are moderates also doing so? I’m thinking of all the anonymous quotes attacking members of the left, something that she mentioned.That’s just honestly a hard question to answer, because I don’t know who the anonymous people are. I believe we should put your name behind those types of comments and that’s generally what I do.But I got to say, as you’ve talked a lot about Representative Ocasio-Cortez, she can put her name behind stuff and that’s I guess courageous, but when it’s a damaging idea or bad policy, like her tweeting out that fracking is bad in the middle of a presidential debate when we’re trying to win western Pennsylvania — that’s not being anything like a team player. And it’s honestly giving a false and ineffective promise to people that makes it very difficult to win the areas where President Trump is most popular in campaigns. You and Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez are on different sides of the ideological spectrum, but the same side of a generational divide among Democrats. House party leadership has said they plan to run again. Does there need to be more youth among Democratic leadership?The most important thing is that the leadership we have has to listen to the newer, younger members and actually give us some input and help us get accomplishments at the policy level. Q. What’s your expectation of Joe Biden’s Democratic Party? How do you expect him to fall on the moderate vs. progressive divisions we see in the House?A. I think that he means what he says when he says, “I ran a Democrat, but I’m going to serve as an American president.” And what that means, I believe, is that every single day, and on every issue, he’s going to be working to get as many people around the table and singing from the same sheet music as you can. And sometimes that will be everyone in the Democratic caucus. Sometimes it will be some people in the Democratic caucus and some Republicans. I think that’s going to change by the issue, but he’s a person that really believes our actual job in Washington, D.C., is to work with each other, compromise to get the best deal we can and then get the thing done. And I believe that too.What went wrong for House Democrats when they were supposed to pick up seats?- Advertisement – But progressives, rallying to influence Mr. Biden on cabinet appointments and initial policy, have pushed back. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York has pinned those House losses on poor digital campaigning, saying members made themselves “sitting ducks” for Republicans.Conor Lamb, the 36-year-old Pennsylvania Democrat who beat back a Republican challenge in a district that President Trump won in 2016, is one of those moderates who believes the left is costing Democrats in key areas. In an interview with The New York Times, Mr. Lamb said he expected the incoming administration to govern as it had campaigned: with progressives at arm’s length. Let’s take that issue. Joe Biden did not support defunding the police. Almost all the members of the Democratic Congress, even folks like Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, came out against it. What is the party supposed to do that it didn’t?I think we can do it much more clearly and repetitively and show it with our actions. We need to have a unified Democratic message about good law enforcement and how to keep people safe, while addressing the systemic racism that I do believe exists and the racial inequities that absolutely do exist. And when we passed the George Floyd Justice and Policing Act, that’s exactly what we did.But the people that I was on the phone with, when we were passing that at the time, were not the freshmen members who are criticizing us today. It was Karen Bass and Cedric Richmond and Colin Allred — and I was listening to them. And, you know, pretty much most of our moderate conservative Democrats all voted for that bill. We listened, we compromised and we got something done. And that’s what this job is really about.Is it the view of moderate Democrats that the progressives or the so-called Squad has taken up too much space in the national conversation?I wouldn’t put it that way. Because that really focuses on them as individuals and their personalities. And that is not what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to have a discussion about policy, not personality. And I want to be really clear on that, because I respect every one of those members and how hard they worked to get elected and how hard they have worked to stay elected and represent their constituencies. But the fact is that they and others are advocating policies that are unworkable and extremely unpopular.So I would just say that our view is more that we want to have a clearer, sharper, more unified message on policy itself, regardless of who gets the credit or who is in the limelight for that. In the Democratic primary, even as progressive candidates lost, polling showed that their issues remained popular among Democrats. Even things like single-payer health insurance or things like the Green New Deal. What’s your response to that? At the end of the day, it’s individual candidates that have to win races, and then work with their fellow officeholders to pass bills into law and change people’s lives. So you can tell me all the polling you want, but you have to win elections.And I’ve now been through three very difficult elections in a Republican-leaning district, with the president personally campaigning against me. And I can tell you that people are not clamoring for the two policies that you just asked about. So, that’s just what probably separates a winner from a loser in a district like mine.On Saturday, I interviewed Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez and she mentioned you and how some House moderates ran their campaigns. I wanted to get a fact check quickly: Did you all spend just $2,000 on Facebook the week before the election?She doesn’t have any idea how we ran our campaign, or what we spent, to be honest with you. So yeah, her statement was wrong. But there’s a deeper truth there, which is this — that our districts and our campaigns are extremely different. You know, I just leave it at that.She said the way moderates ran their campaigns left them as “sitting ducks.” What was your reaction?I have to be honest and say that I was surprised about the whole interview on the day when Vice President and now President-Elect Biden was having the election called for him. I just don’t think it was a day for people to be sniping at other members, especially in districts that are so different from their own. But what seems to happen sometimes is when push comes to shove, the younger members who have come from these really tough districts and tough races don’t always feel that the leadership takes our input as seriously as we would like. And I think that’s something they need to improve, and I would bet that Representative Ocasio-Cortez would feel similarly — even if it was on different issues. That’s what we’re trying to say: that the rhetoric and the policies and all that stuff — it has gone way too far. It needs to be dialed back. It needs to be rooted in common sense, in reality, and yes, politics. Because we need districts like mine to stay in the majority and get something done for the people that we care about the most. I’m giving you an honest account of what I’m hearing from my own constituents, which is that they are extremely frustrated by the message of defunding the police and banning fracking. And I, as a Democrat, am just as frustrated. Because those things aren’t just unpopular, they’re completely unrealistic, and they aren’t going to happen. And they amount to false promises by the people that call for them.If someone in your family makes their living in some way connected to natural gas, whether on the pipeline itself, or you know, even in a restaurant that serves natural gas workers, this isn’t something to joke around about or be casual about in your language. – Advertisement –last_img read more

Borrowers must brace for refinance woes

first_imgPredicted rate rises and pressure from APRA could spell disaster for borrowers looking to refinance out of interest-only loans.Economists have said a clamp down by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) on interest-only loans will cause problems for borrowers needing to refinance.A survey of 33 experts and economists by comparison website revealed all believe the cash rate will remain on hold when the Reserve Bank release their interest rate call tomorrow.But 80 per cent of the respondents predicted future rate rises, which said will have a dramatic effect on interest-only borrowers.“As APRA is aiming to keep all new interest-only loans below 30 per cent of total new residential mortgages, most panellists (57 per cent) surveyed on this topic believe borrowers switching from interest-only to principal and interest, or those whose fixed interest-only terms are nearing expiring, may have a hard time refinancing.”Graham Cooke, insights analyst, at, said interest-only borrowers will be hardest hit, because a switch to principal and interest brings an additional rise in repayments.“With the next rate move likely to be in a positive direction, and with many lenders already lifting product rates, interest-only mortgage holders will be the most directly affected,” he said.More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this home4 hours agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor4 hours agoMr Cooke said, for example, for a $800,000 interest-only loan with four per cent interest, repayments will be $2667 versus $3819 for those borrowers also paying down the principal. However, increasing the interest rate from four per cent to six per cent would up the interest-only loan repayments by $1333 per month, yet the principal and interest repayments would rise by only $997.Meighan Hetherington, principal of Brisbane based buyers’ agent Property Pursuit, said APRA’s measures are aimed at slowing Sydney and Melbourne markets.“The way that APRA is putting pressure on the banks to change the way they do some of their lending … is an Australia-wide solution to what is really a two-city problem,” she said.“Our view is that Brisbane is a very steady, very consistent market that doesn’t need this level of regulation applied to lending to slow down or stop any great run on the market.Ms Hetherington said there will also be unwanted fallout for markets outside capital cities too.“They’re using a cricket bat to swat a fly.“A lot of the regional markets that aren’t performing are being heavily impacted, and those are the markets that I think will see some unexpected outcomes that aren’t going to be positive,” Ms Hetherington said.last_img read more

AP1 criticises government plans to consolidate buffer-fund system

first_imgAP1 has warned that reforms to the Swedish buffer fund system could lead to the “undesirable standardisation” of investment strategy and lower returns over the longer term. Managing director Johan Magnusson, speaking as the SEK296bn (€296bn) fund announced first-half returns of 5.1%, highlighted the need to focus on a real return – targeted at 4% over a decade. “That target we have overshot, delivering real return of 5.3% measured over the past 10 years,” he said. Magnusson took aim at government plans to reform the buffer fund system, which, under current proposals, would see AP6 merge with AP2 and the closure of a second, as yet undecided fund. The cross-party agreement announced over the summer also suggested the launch of a National Pension Fund Board, with a principal in charge of buffer fund assets and allowed to set the level of risk taken within the system by setting risk budgets. The managing director warned the steps would lead to a greater focus on short-term investing and “undesirable standardisation” between the three remaining AP funds – echoing comments from AP3 managing director Kerstin Hessius that the reforms would make the system inflexible.Mats Langensjö, chairman of the 2012 Buffer Fund Inquiry, has previously warned that the government’s reforms would see the funds deploy a passive, index-tracking portfolio over time.Mats Andersson, Magnusson’s counterpart at AP4, has said the reforms could “destroy” the system, while AP2 managing director Eva Halvarsson has said the changes were “costly and risky”.Magnusson also highlighted that AP1 had undertaken its first infrastructure investment in 2015 – acquiring a stake in a local electricity distribution network – arguing that the asset class was strategically important to his fund’s portfolio. The reform proposals would also see responsibility for all unlisted assets transferred to AP2, with the funds asked to set up a joint investment committee to represent the other buffer funds’ interests.AP1’s infrastructure portfolio returned 3.4% over the course of the first half of 2015, matching returns from developed market equities but underperforming its overall equity return of 6.7%. AP1 is currently the smallest of the four main buffer funds and the only one not yet to have exceeded SEK300bn in assets.However, it has achieved a higher real return over the past decade than AP3, which managed 4.8%, compared with 5.8% by AP2 and 6.1% by AP4, currently the largest fund, with SEK310bn in assets.last_img read more

Norit pension fund to join agricultural sector scheme to avoid cuts

first_imgIn addition, BPL’s coverage ratio (102.3% at the end of February) was significantly higher than Norit’s, which stood at 97.1%.The board of the Norit scheme made clear that, were the pension fund to remain independent, benefit cuts would be likely in 2020.The pension fund, with 300 active participants, almost 300 deferred members and 400 pensioners, had already applied a cut of 10% to pension payments five years ago.Joining BPL would require bridging the funding gap, which could be achieved either by another rights cut or through an additional contribution from the employer, US-based Cabot, which bought Norit in 2012.Joining PGB would have required an extra payment of €9m from the sponsor to fill a funding difference of 8%. The company was not prepared to pay this, according to the pension fund.It said that the employer hadn’t provided clarity yet whether it was willing to pay the required additional contribution this time.The board argued the one-off payment would be compensated in part by lower administration costs and lower premiums.The administration of the pension fund of Norit – a specialist producer of “activated carbon” – is carried out by Mercer. NN Investment Partners is its asset manager. The €100m Dutch pension fund for specialist chemicals firm Norit wants to liquidate and join BPL, the €17.1bn sector scheme for agriculture.According to the board – chaired by Frans Prins, the former director of the €8.8bn pension fund PWRI – this would be the best option for all of its 1,000 participants.An earlier effort to join the €23.3bn multi-sector scheme PGB failed because of the high costs involved.The Norit pension fund said the BPL arrangements were better because of its lower franchise – the part of an employee’s salary exempt from pensions accrual – and higher annual accrual rate.last_img read more