SPH, the €9.5bn pension fund for general practitioners in the Netherlands, is reducing its number of asset managers, switching to passive investments and renegotiating mandates in an effort to focus fully on cutting costs.According to its 2015 annual report, it will also divest its “expensive” 5.2% hedge fund allocation.The scheme said it reduced total costs by almost 15% last year, in particular by lowering its transaction costs.It said it aimed to cut asset management costs over the long term by trimming its number of managers. Last year, SPH placed its emerging market equity and small-cap holdings in global passive mandates, while replacing several “expensive” active managers with a single passive manager.Excepting hedge funds and private equity, it said it had ceased paying all performance fees, adding that it intended to renegotiate mandate costs for emerging market debt and listed property.Meanwhile, SPH has placed the whole of its equity, government bond and commodities holdings under passive management.Alex de Waal, the pension fund’s director, said: “We want to have all asset classes managed passively in principle, unless the added value of active management is evident.”To reduce risks, the pension fund introduced a gradual scale for its equity and commodities investments, ranging from 50%, when funding is more than 130%, to 30%, when funding is less than 105%.Over the next three years, it aims to lower the risk profile of its non-listed real estate holdings by transferring its entire 10.1% property allocation into PGGM’s Private Real Estate Fund.Its board has also decided to start investing in local care centres, having already invested €14m in a nursing complex.The pension fund reported a net return of 1.3%, following losses of 2.7 and 0.3 percentage points, respectively, on its currency and interest hedges.It lost 3.7% on the 0.1% private equity allocation that remained following its decision in 2011 to divest the portfolio.SPH said infrastructure holdings generated 16.7% and that it wanted to increase its 2.6% allocation to 5% by 2020.Hedge funds returned 11.1%.The pension fund has 16,645 participants and pensioners, who received an indexation of 2.1%.Its funding stood at 131.6% as at the end of March.
Three members of the Wisconsin wrestling team have chosen to take an Olympic redshirt for the upcoming 2011-2012 season in pursuit of representing the United States in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.Seniors Andrew Howe and Travis Rutt join redshirt junior Tyler Graff as they compete in Olympic qualifiers and then, hopefully, the summer games themselves.“I think it’s going to be great for them; all three need the experience,” UW head coach Barry Davis said in a statement. “They’ll be taking next year off with Andrew and Tyler focusing on freestyle and Travis on Greco-Roman. I think they’ll make a lot of great strides.”Howe is a three-time All-American and 2010 NCAA Division I champion at 165 lbs. Rutt earned his first All-American designation last year at 184 lbs., while Graff has twice earned the same honors at 133 lbs.Though the Badgers will miss the talents of the three wrestlers next season, Davis expressed much enthusiasm for the opportunities awaiting his players. “They’re going to be able to go overseas, participate in some of their own tournaments while focusing solely on freestyle and Greco-Roman,” Davis said. “I think right now that’s what those guys need. That experience is going to go a long way for them. It will make a big difference going into the trials.”Davis is also working closely with the three to arrange training and traveling schedules.“It’s important that we know ahead of time what these guys are going to do to make sure that they get the right times and workout partners. I’m sure those three guys will be in different places to travel and train. We need to make sure all four of us are on the same page.”The opening ceremonies for the 2012 Summer Olympics begin July 27, while wrestling competitions last from Aug. 5-12.
WORLD CUP 2018*Says Group D with Nigeria tough, confident of qualification to knock out stageBy Duro Ikhazuagbe Former Iceland, Chelsea and Barcelona striker, Eidur Gudjohnsen, has revealed that when the Super Eagles line up to take on the European nation at the World Cup 2018, over 8,000 of their travelling fans from home will be in the stand drumming support for them.Nigeria is scheduled to play her second Group D game against Iceland at the 45,000-capacity Volgograd Arena in VolgogradÂ onÂ Friday, June 22, 2018.While the bickering amongst the factions of the Nigerian football supporters is yet to abate, Gudjohnsen confirmed yesterday that theÂ 8,000 Iceland fans have already secured their tickets from FIFA.Speaking at the opening of FIFA Football Park in Rostov-on-Don, one of the host cities of Russia 2018, the former Chelsea star admitted that the Group pairing involving his country Iceland, Nigeria, Croatia and Argentina was going to be a tough one for the two qualifiers for the knock out stage to emerge.â€œWe have a tough group, but weâ€™re quietly confident,â€ observed Gudjohnsen whose country was one of the surprise semi finalists of the 2016 European Championship hosted by France.Â â€œThe most important thing for the Iceland team is that they return home after the World Cup with their heads held high, no matter what the result is. We have a tough group, but weâ€™re quietly confident,â€ added Gudjohnsen as he kicked the official match ball of Russia 2018 around at the just opened Fan Park in Rostov-on-Don.He expressed his happiness at been selected to be the guest star for the opening ceremony of the centre expected to cater for fans without tickets to the main arena but can still follow up matches live on giant screens at the Fan Parkâ€œIâ€™m happy to be at this Football Park, which will also be the FIFA Fan Fest venue during the World Cup. As we can see, a lot of people are having fun here todayÂ Â (Sunday) and even more will enjoy it during the tournament. Iâ€™m sure that Icelandic fans, who will come here to support the team, will feel the same,â€ he noted with excitement.With 74 days left until the start of the biggest football event on the planet, the 2018 FIFA World Cup Football Park continue its journey through Russia, giving an early taste of the tournament to fans in each of the host cities.After the opening ceremony in Sochi last weekend with Portuguese FIFA Legend Nono Gomes part of the show, the opening of the Rostov-on-Don centre yesterday has added to the excitement being created for the biggest football event on the planet.Nigeria is scheduled to open her Russia 2018 show with the game against CroatiaÂ onÂ June 16Â inÂ Kaliningrad. The third and last Group D game is against ArgentinaÂ onÂ Tuesday, June 26,Â 2018Â at the 68,000-capacity Saint Petersburg Stadium.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram
11 February 2016A rhino calf, abandoned by its mother on New Year’s Eve in the Aquila Private Game Reserve in the southern Karoo, has been named Osita, a name of Nigerian (Igbo) origin and meaning “from today onwards it will be better”.The public was invited to suggest names, which were shortlisted to the following six:Nusura: meaning “escaped death” or “survivor” in Swahili;Osita: (Osita di nma) meaning “from today onwards it will be better” in Igbo;Kito: meaning “a rare find, valuable and beautiful” in Swahili;Orion: the rhino was found with the constellation Orion’s Belt directly above it;Bijoux: meaning “rare jewel” in French; and,Bahati: meaning “good fortune” in SwahiliA SMS line was set up for people to vote for their favourite name.The game reserve said life would certainly be better for Osita. “Now weighing over 100 kilograms and gulping down over 20 litres of equine milk formula every day at three hourly feeds, he is strong, boisterous, mischievous and inquisitive.”Watch Osita run and play here:Osita’s handler, Divan Grobler, said the calf “walks to the beat of his own drum”.People who submitted the shortlisted names each won a day-trip safari, and the winner won a one-night stay at the lodge.Osita will have an informal naming ceremony on Valentine’s Day in the morning.SouthAfrica.info reporter