Source: Pension Protection FundThe UK’s private sector funding shortfall has shrunk significantly in the past few yearsEngineering institute strikes £50m de-risking dealThe UK’s Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) has sealed a £50m pension fund buy-in with Pension Insurance Corporation.The transaction covered 300 previously uninsured members of the IET Superannuation and Assurance Scheme.According to Hymans Robertson, which advised the scheme’s trustees, the deal was struck at “favourable” pricing in the second quarter of this year. This led to “a material improvement” in the scheme’s funding position.The IET fund previously completed a £30m medically underwritten buy-in in 2015. “We were really keen to find a partner that would be able to help us develop our voice, to deliver the things that both our partner funds and central government had asked us to do,” she added.Although the voting and engagement mandate was predominantly focused on equities, Elwell said the pool expected it would work with Robeco “to think about how we embed responsible investment in some of the other asset classes”.Border to Coast has 12 partner local authority pension funds and is in the process of creating a regulated investment company to manage their assets.It recently joined the Local Authority Pension Fund Forum and became a signatory to Climate Action 100+. It is also a supporter of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures and the 30% Club Investor Group, which seeks to increase gender diversity.UK DB deficit falls below £90bnThe combined funding shortfall of the UK’s private sector defined benefit (DB) pension schemes fell to £86bn at the end of June, according to the Pension Protection Fund (PPF).The DB lifeboat scheme’s 7800 index showed a reduction of £8bn, or 8.5%, during the month. However, this was still significantly higher than January’s £51bn figure, which was the lowest total deficit recorded by the 7800 index since April 2014.The aggregate funding ratio across the 5,588 schemes tracked by the PPF was 95% at the end of June.Andy Tunningley, head of UK strategic clients at BlackRock, warned that equity market gains that had helped raise funding levels might not last: “Schemes should make the most of the sunny outlook while it lasts – while equity markets remained buoyant in June, escalating geopolitical tensions and uncertainty over the viability of the latest Brexit proposal could cause unexpected downpours in the shape of equity market volatility which may remove funding level gains over the last year.He added that the potential for an increase in the UK’s base interest rate meant there was a risk of increased funding costs for UK schemes exposed to floating rate derivatives. “Financing costs are set to increase and trustees should ensure they have prepared adequately for the change in season by giving thought to using their spare collateral to earn additional return, such as through absolute return bond funds or securitised assets,” Tunningley said.Boris Mikhailov, investment strategist at Aviva Investors, agreed that pension schemes should “brace themselves for an even choppier ride”.“Without a clear game-plan, most schemes will be none the wiser if markets start moving against them,” he warned.#*#*Show Fullscreen*#*# The Border to Coast Pensions Partnership has hired Robeco to perform voting and engagement services.Through its “active ownership” service Robeco will provide voting advice and support for the £43bn (€48.7bn) public sector asset pool’s actively managed equity holdings – both for internally managed and externally managed assets – and engage on the pool’s behalf.Border to Coast CEO Rachel Elwell told IPE Robeco’s approach appealed because “for us responsible investment isn’t pink and fluffy, it’s about improving partner fund outcomes”.Another draw was that the research and analysis Robeco carried out for its voting recommendations could be embedded into Border to Coast’s own investment processes, she said.
Rushville, In. — Cormo USA Inc., which utilizes technology to turn corn field waste into sustainable products, announced plans today to establish operations in Rushville, creating up to 250 new, high-wage jobs by the end of 2023.“Indiana’s economy is increasingly global, and we are excited to welcome yet another international company to the Hoosier state,” Governor Eric J. Holcomb said. “With strong roots in agriculture and a flourishing tech sector, Indiana is the perfect destination for innovative companies like Cormo USA to locate as they work to develop and refine critical solutions.”The company, which was incorporated as a joint venture between Switzerland-based Cormo AG and Florida-based Sustainable Projects Group Inc. in 2018, will invest approximately $29.5 million to establish its first U.S. production plant in Indiana, constructing and equipping a state-of-the-art facility on 10 acres in the Commerce Park at Rushville. The new facility, which the company plans to break ground on this summer, will process maize straw from up to 150,000 acres of corn fields each year into a 100 percent sustainable peat moss substitute (TEFA) for agricultural uses and into foam products (BABS) for material science uses. This patented process has been utilized at the company’s pilot plant in France since 2016.“Indiana, and particularly Rush County, offers the perfect combination of entrepreneurial spirit, hardworking talent and agriculture which is mission critical for our company,” stated Stefan Muehlbauer, president of the Board at Cormo USA. “After an extensive site search across corn-producing states, Cormo USA is looking forward to the next phase of the company’s evolution. We are especially grateful for the knowledgeable team at the IEDC and the support of Mayor Mike Pavey in Rushville as well as his team. They have shown exceptional professionalism and shared our commitment to not just an environmentally- but also an economically-sustainable future. “To support its growth, Cormo USA plans to begin hiring for plant operations and management positions in the next three to four months, with additional positions added in logistics, scientific testing and marketing in 2020. New positions are expected to offer average salaries 50 percent above the state’s average wage.“This is an extraordinary addition to the Rush County community,” said Rushville Mayor Mike Pavey. “We have world-class manufacturing in Rushville, yet Rush County is an agricultural county. Cormo USA will add an agricultural piece to those world-class operations. They not only benefit the employment base of the county, but will also offer income opportunities to Rush County farmers as well as farmers in surrounding counties.”A pilot production plant based in Alsace, France, has successfully, and on an industrial scale, been able to turn corn field waste into sustainable products. Cormo is expanding into the United States in order to expand its high-technology business, leveraging the country’s significantly larger corn production volume and contributing to positive economic and sustainable developments.Subject to approval of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) Board of Directors, the IEDC will offer Cormo USA up to $3.5 million in conditional tax credits based on the company’s job creation plans. These incentives are performance-based, meaning the company is not eligible to receive incentives until jobs are created. The city of Rushville is considering additional incentives.Cormo USA joins a network of more than 950 international business establishments operating in Indiana, including 38 Swiss businesses, including Autoneum, Nestlé, Kuehne + Nagel, Roche and UGN. Gov. Holcomb has led four economic development trips to Europe, which accounts for nearly 60 percent of Indiana’s more than 190,900 jobs supported by foreign direct investment, during his tenure as governor, visiting Switzerland in 2018.
Ivory Coast international Gervinho, such a frustrating figure for the Gunners, set the hosts on their way after 11 minutes. However, despite dominating possession, it was not until the start of the second half where the crucial breakthrough came again, this time Santi Cazorla sweeping home. Olivier Giroud added a third following a quick break by Gervinho. Hal Robson-Kanu headed in a consolation for Nigel Adkins’ men – the manager in charge for the first time – but there was to be no recovery as Mikel Arteta’s penalty made sure Arsenal closed up on Chelsea in the race for fourth-spot and also remained within striking distance of Tottenham, on whom they hold a match in hand. Gervinho fired them into an early lead when he swept in Corzala’s low cross. The 25-year-old was in full flow again on 22 minutes, charging to the edge of the area as the Reading defence back-tracked, only to then drag his shot wide before Cazorla clipped the side-netting. Arsenal sensed they needed the cushion of a second goal, and it came just after the restart. Gervinho was again involved on 48 minutes as the ball was worked to the edge of the Reading penalty area, where Cazorla curled an exquisite effort around the defender and inside Stuart Taylor’s left-hand post. To their credit Reading continued to look for a way back into the match as Laurent Koscielny needed to make a last-ditch tackle on Pavel Pogrebnyak. Arsenal made it 3-0 on 67 minutes, with Gervinho again the creator. The Ivory Coast forward latched onto a chip from Bacary Sagna to canter away down the right and to the edge of the box, before feeding Giroud, who dispatched a low strike back across goal. Arsenal switched off, which allowed Reading to pull a goal back as Jobi McAnuff’s floated cross from the left was headed in at the far post by Robson-Kanu – with full-back Nacho Monreal clattering into the woodwork. Sub Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain then latched onto a loose pass from Adrian Mariappa before charging into the penalty area, where he was clipped by the Reading defender. Arteta made no mistake from the penalty spot as Arsenal chalked up a sixth win in the last eight league games. Arsenal kept up the pressure in the race for Champions League qualification with a 4-1 win over Reading at Emirates Stadium, which sent the Royals bottom of the Barclays Premier League. Press Association
A tropical disturbance east of the Bahamas forecast to move west toward Florida early this week. While this system is not expected to develop, it will bring gusty squalls to South Florida beginning Monday night lasting into Wednesday. Loop of model moisture. #SetzerSays @CBSMiami pic.twitter.com/En8BCepmIT— Craig Setzer (@CraigSetzer) July 21, 2019 A new tropical wave has sprung up East of the Bahamas and North of Hispaniola.It has top winds of 30 mph and is moving West at 15 mph.Fortunately it only has a 20% chance of development over the next 5 days and will move toward South Florida bringing us more moisture.Jul 21 9AM Tropical Update: A disturbance east of the Bahamas currently has a 20% chance of development in next 5 days. Regardless of development increased rainfall chances across South Florida beginning mid-week. #FLwx pic.twitter.com/HX9ZG3mSy2— NWS Miami (@NWSMiami) July 21, 2019