IPE Views: Lessons learned on the UK Invensys Pension Scheme

first_imgRobin Claessens, former chief executive and CIO of the UK’s Invensys Pension Scheme, talks about the lessons he learned overhauling its management structuresI joined Invensys Pension Scheme (IPS) at the end of 2008 and accepted the mandate as their chief executive and CIO (CIO for two years only).As part of a 10-year transformational plan initiated in 2000, the board of IPS changed the business management model of the scheme in 2008.The initial mandate was to set up an executive office, mirroring a corporate management model, to run what effectively is a large enterprise through a small executive team, as the scheme had £4bn (€5bn) of assets and 90,000 members. The scheme was not just supposed to become a performing business, it was supposed to embody a joint strategy between all stakeholders, integrating funding, investment strategy and corporate sponsor covenant risks.During that journey, we experienced a number of events – some professional and technical, some more subjective and others personal. I have endeavoured to translate these events into a number of concise lessons, which I think apt to share with you.1) A UK DB pension scheme is a proper and independent business – it should be managed as suchI used to hear, and sadly still hear, that UK corporate DB pension schemes are considered as a weight, a cost centre, a liability – that the only way to ‘fix’ them is by paying contributions and minimising costs rather than managing them as a proper business. Pension schemes are long-term investors and therefore have the time to be successful businesses.A first step to implement a successful business management model is to focus on the pillars of the scheme – its governance. But how do you ensure you are focussing on the right aspects of the scheme’s governance? One suggestion is to answer the following question: “what is there to stay?”The decision-makers: Hire experienced and expert scheme-, industry- and role-specific trustee directors. That is crucial because they are the ultimate decision-maker, unlike in the corporate world (more on that later)Risk management: Build your governance and executive structure adopting a holistic and integrated pension fund risk approach – be open and seek input from all stakeholders, your team members, your advisers and your portfolio managers when doing soHigh-impact/high value-add activities: Hire in-house expertise/experience in the high-impact/high value-add activities of the schemeComplementary advice: Complement your in-house skills by investing in strategic, tactical and execution advice of quality, especially when you have a small executive team2) Doing it in-house and cheaper doesn’t always create valueBecause you can do it more cheaply in-house doesn’t mean you are better at it and certainly doesn’t mean you are able to create more value. A scheme’s absolute cost is still too often viewed as a key metric when considering pension strategy. Weigh the impact of growing your in-house capabilities on the executive team’s job.I have seen, and still see, too many chief executives and CIOs who spend more time on HR and organisational matters than strategic asset allocation, for example. Too great a size and complexity of the organisation can kill competitive advantages and flexibility.Short-termism creeps in despite being a (very) long-term investor by natureHerd mentality – for example, the asset manager performance-review process is simplified to the extreme by blindly following simple benchmarks because the decision-making process within the organisation is too complex3) Portfolio managers should become your trusted advisersRemember, they manage significant sums of money on your behalf. Should you, therefore, only call them from time to time? Creating an ongoing and trusted relationship with asset managers proved to be extremely valuable to IPS’s ALM activities, investment and risk management, and trustee and executive education.The continuous and trusted aspects of the relationship were achieved through very regular communication – at least every other week, and, at times, every other day with the key managers (the LDI manager in IPS’s case). That frequency, depth and intensity of communication had the effect of keeping them on their toes. This continuous dialogue (not nagging!) creates constructive pressure.4) Raise your hand when the going gets toughFinally, leadership is premised on the exercise of good judgement. Good judgement is best achieved when balanced between professional, personal and emotional circumstances is achieved. When the balance breaks, and you feel your good judgement capability might be impaired, raise your hand, inform the chairman, the board and your mentor of what you are going through. Forewarning allows for planning. The chairman and board will ensure you and the team are backed up. Robin Claessens is managing director of investment consulting at Redington. This piece is an excerpt from ‘Pensions, management and leadership: 14 Lessons from Invensys pension scheme’s former CEO/CIO’last_img read more

Bournemouth sign Aston Villa full-back Joe Bennett on loan

first_img Press Association Bournemouth have signed defender Joe Bennett on loan from Aston Villa until January. “They’ve already made a positive start to the new season and, like everyone else, I’ve been really impressed with the fantastic job [manager] Eddie Howe has performed. They have a really good side. “The move happened really quickly. I trained this morning and then things started to develop. “It’s a good opportunity for me to add to the Premier League experience I’ve already amassed from my time at Aston Villa.” Defender Tomas Andrade, 19, has also arrived on loan from Argentinian club River Plate until the season’s end, but he will join the club’s under-21 squad. Press Association Sport also understands that £7million summer recruit Max Gradel is to be sidelined for a significant period after tearing a cruciate ligament in his knee, and that Bournemouth await further confirmation regarding how long they expect to be without his services. center_img The left-back’s arrival is the latest development on a busy day for the Cherries, who have also signed striker Glenn Murray from Crystal Palace and terminated the contract of goalkeeper Lee Camp. “I’m really excited about the prospect of playing for AFC Bournemouth and hopefully helping them perform well this season in the Premier League,” Bennett, 25, who has also signed a one-year extension to his contract at Villa, told Bournemouth’s official club website. last_img read more

No. 9 USC earns berth to Rose Bowl, will face Penn State

first_imgA season that began for USC with a stinker against Alabama will end with the Trojans smelling sweet roses. In a turnaround few could have predicted, No. 9 USC will play in the Rose Bowl against No. 5 Penn State on Jan. 2 after starting the season 1-3.“We are tremendously excited and proud to be invited to the 2017 Rose Bowl,” head coach Clay Helton said. “It is a great honor for our team to have the opportunity to represent our university and the Trojan Family in the Rose Bowl, a bowl in which we have such a long tradition.” The Trojans ended the regular season on an eight-game win streak, enough for the College Football Playoff Committee to place them higher than Colorado — which is 10th — in the final rankings. USC is also ranked ahead of Colorado in the final AP Poll at No. 9, while the Buffaloes are No. 11.“We are extremely thankful for the invitation,” Helton said. “It is a great reward for our football team after a very strong finish to the 2016 season.”USC entered the weekend ranked 11th in the country, needing to leapfrog the eighth-ranked Buffaloes to become the highest-ranked Pac-12 team and earn a berth to Rose Bowl. But Colorado’s 41-10 loss to Washington in the Pac-12 Championship game gave the committee enough reason to drop the Buffaloes beneath the Trojans. In an interview with ESPN, playoff committee chair Kirby Hocutt called USC “one of the most impressive teams in the country” and said the committee spent a “considerable” amount of time deciding between USC and Colorado for the Rose Bowl bid.In doing so, it put the USC back in the Rose Bowl for the first time since 2009, when it also faced Penn State in a 35-24 win. The teams also played in the 1923 Rose Bowl, which was the first postseason appearance for both programs. This snaps an eight-year Rose Bowl drought, which is tied for the longest in school history. The Trojans have historically dominated this bowl; this will be their record 34th appearance in the game. They have also made the Rose Bowl in the last 14 U.S. Presidential terms, with President Barack Obama now joining the list. USC is 24-9 in its Rose Bowl history. It is the most wins by a school in a single bowl.This appearance came after a stunning mid-season run that saw the Trojans jump from the bottom of the Pac-12 to a top-10 ranking nationally. The success coincided with Helton making a quarterback switch from redshirt junior Max Browne to redshirt freshman Sam Darnold. Darnold led the Trojans to an 8-1 record after taking over, putting together one spectacular performance after another and changing the tone of the season.The Trojans finish as the second highest-ranked team in the Pac-12 behind No. 4 Washington, which will play No. 1 Alabama in the College Football Playoff.Kickoff on Jan. 2 will be at 2 p.m. from the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.“We congratulate Coach Franklin and the Penn State football team on their outstanding season and look forward to what should be a fun and compelling bowl matchup,” Helton said. “We can’t wait to see the Trojan Family in Pasadena on January 2.”last_img read more

Six small running backs who come up huge

first_imgNoel Devine, 5-8, 180, West Virginia. Elusive with a burst of speed that makes him just about the most exciting runner in the country. He ran for 1,465 yards and 6.1 per carry last season.Jacquizz Rodgers, 5-7, 188, Oregon State. Adept at hiding behind blockers, it’s almost impossible for tacklers to get a clean shot on Quizz. He ran for 1,440 yards and 21 TDs last season.Kendall Hunter, 5-8, 197, Oklahoma State. Injuries held Hunter back last season, but the year before he was as good as any back in the Big 12, running for 1,555 yards and 15 scores.LaMichael James, 5-9, 180, Oregon. His fabulous freshman season included 1,546 yards rushing, 14 touchdowns and 6.7 yards per carry. He definitely benefits from the spread, but he’s a killer in the open field.Jordan Todman, 5-9, 190, Connecticut. Notre Dame fans will remember the Fighting Irish futilely chasing Todman around South Bend. He ran for 1,118 yards and 14 touchdowns last season. PITT ALL-AMERICAN—Running back Dion Lewis scoots away from a defender during practice. Lewis will need to do the bulk of the work for the Pitt offense in the opener against Utah. by Ralph D. RussoAP College Football Writer (AP)—There’s always been a place in college football for the undersized back, but it seems as if there are more great little guys than ever before. Here are six (in no particular order) who will star in 2010. And since small is subjective, we’ll make the cutoff 5-10 and 200 pounds.Dion Lewis, 5-8, 197, Pittsburgh. As coach Dave Wannstedt puts it, Lewis does not run like a small back. Unlike some others on this list, he doesn’t play in a spread which allows him to operate in space. He runs between the tackles and went for 1,799 yards and 17 TDs as a freshman last season.last_img read more

Harlequin Productions Taking Applications for Non-Profit Community Partners

first_imgFacebook8Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Harlequin ProductionsHarlequin Productions is taking applications now through October 31, 2014 for their Community Partnership Program 2015. Non-profit partners receive 150 tickets to Harlequin Productions’ final dress rehearsals, which they may sell as a fundraiser or give as thank you gifts to donors or volunteers. The intention is to provide a win-win for our non-profit partner and Harlequin Productions.Our non-profit partner gets an opportunity to raise money or to thank their generous donors or dedicated volunteers. In return, Harlequin’s cast and crew will benefit greatly by having a full audience for its final dress rehearsal.The non-profit pays a minimal fee in the amount of $200 and commits to filling their allotted seats. Five final dress slots are available in our 2015 season, commencing with The 39 Steps which opens January 22, 2015.For more information or to sign up, visit www.harlequinproductions.org/outreach.last_img read more

KIJHL kicks off 2011012 season September 16th, Leafs travel to Castlegar to meet Rebels while Hawks are in Grand Forks

first_imgThe Kootenay International Junior Hockey League, releasing its schedule Thursday, opens the 2011-12 regular season schedule on September 16th with a 10-game slate.Opening night includes all four West Kootenay/Boundary teams as Murdock Division Nelson Leafs visit KIJHL finalist Castlegar Rebels while Beaver Valley Nitehawks travel to Grand Forks to meet the Bruins.The teams play a 52-game schedule, up from 50 the year before.Murdoch teams face each other eight times.For the Leafs, Friday is the best night to see the Green and White in action as the Heritage City franchise has 11 games on the final work day of the week.Saturday has nine home dates with Sunday having four afternoon tilts.The final two days on this 26-game home schedule is on a Wednesday and Monday.December 31, the Spokane Braves visit the NDCC for the traditional New Year’s Eve contest.First home date for Nelson is Saturday, September 17 when the Murdoch Division champion Castlegar Rebels visit the NDCC Arena.Beaver Valley Nitehawks also open the home season the same date as Grand Forks Border Bruins pay a return visit in the home-and-home series.The KIJHL expanded to 20-teams as Summerland Steam and Chase Heat return to the league after a brief hiatus.KIJHL training camps open near the end of August.sports@thenelsondaily.comlast_img read more

TALCO AND WINNING PRIZE BOTH MAJOR CONTENDERS IN SATURDAY’S GRADE III, $100,000 AMERICAN STAKES AT A MILE ON TURF

first_imgARCADIA, Calif. (May 6, 2015)–Saturday’s Grade III, $100,000 American Stakes at a mile on turf for 3-year-olds and up has attracted a field of eight competitive older horses, headed by stakes winner Talco and multiple graded stakes winner, Winning Prize.Winner of the Thunder Road Stakes in his last out on April 4, John Sadler’s Talco will be seeking his third win in a row at the American distance. Though winless in his first four tries at graded stakes once coming to the United States in August of last year, the French-bred Talco has started to figure it out and seems to love the mile distance.Owned by Hronis Racing, LLC, Talco will retain the services of recent Kentucky Derby winning jockey, Victor Espinoza. He is 13-4-3-3- overall with earnings of $231,123.Though winless in his last four outings, Winning Prize was the winner of the 2014 Grade I Frank E. Kilroe Mile on turf as well as the Grade II Arcadia in which he received his lifetime best, 105 Beyer speed figures in both. Second in the Thunder Road to Talco by only a head, the Neil Drysdale trainee will seek his first stakes victory since March 2014 on Saturday.The Argentine-bred by Pure Prize raced and was a multiple Group I winner in Argentina at the American distance with trainer Nicolas Ferro before coming to the U.S. in the summer of 2013. He is owned by David Heerensperger and Jose Nelson and is 17-8-2-1 overall with earnings $637,013.The Glen Hill Farm owned Enterprising will attempt to return to his winning form after a 10th place finish in the April 4 Thunder Road. Though winless in his last three outings, Enterprising was a winner of the Grade III La Jolla Handicap in August and besides his Thunder Road blemish is unbeaten at a mile on the grass.Trained by Tom Proctor, Enterprising will break from the rail with Gary Stevens aboard. He is 12-5-1-2 overall with earnings of $335,400.The complete field for the Grade III, American Stakes to be run as the 8th race on a nine-race card Saturday, with jockeys and weights in post position order: Enterprising, Gary Stevens, 121; War Academy, Corey Nakatani, 119; Winning Prize, Rafael Bejarano, 119; Gabriel Charles, Tyler Baze, 119; Talco, Victor Espinoza, 119; Little Jerry, Martin Pedroza, 119; Home Run Kitten, Joseph Talamo, 119; Bal a Bali, Flavien Prat, 121.                 The first post on Saturday is at 12:30 p.m. Admission gates will open at 10:30 a.m.last_img read more