“The schemes involved are not simply going to be smaller master trusts set up to handle auto enrolment that will not meet upcoming capital adequacy requirements,” he said, “but will include many smaller employer-run DC schemes that will be looking to use the economies of scale and higher quality governance and administration available via a master trust in the face of rising compliance costs.”Smart Pension is not the only provider hoping to absorb smaller-scale DC providers, and IPE understands at least one other master trust in the market is including mergers with existing DC schemes within its business plan as a means of growing its asset under management, in addition to attracting new inflows.TPR is fully aware of the problems associated size of the UK master trust market, and its executive director for regulatory policy, Andrew Warwick-Thompson, has previously questioned how it should best prevent further growth in the number of providers in the market.Nigel Waterson, the chair of trustees at master trust Now Pensions, has previously suggested TPR act as a “marriage broker” in bringing about consolidation in the market, which, as of April, had seen the launch of 100 master trusts, of which over 70 were active.The regulator has championed the idea of consolidation since then, proposing it should be able to merge schemes it deems “sub-standard”. The consolidation of the UK master trust market will see £1.5bn (€1.7bn) in assets shift between pension schemes, according to estimates by one provider.Master trust Smart Pension predicted that the consolidation would occur among over 6,200 schemes with fewer than 100 members, which manage assets of £1.3bn according to figures from the Pensions Regulator (TPR).It added that a further £400m could also shift as around 20 established master trusts struggle to cope with new capital requirements the UK government has pledged to impose on multi-employer defined contribution (DC) schemes in an effort to avoid the cost of disorderly wind-ups being met by savers.Peter Walker, COO of Smart Pension, said the pensions market was set to see “unprecedented” movement within the market over the next two years as funds consolidate.
According to Petrofac, contract extensions in EPS, on the other hand, have remained strong with $500 million of new orders secured year to date. COVID-19 has caused significant disruption to Petrofac’s Engineering and Construction (E&C) projects. These actions included reducing overhead and project support costs by at least $100 million in 2020 and by up to $200 million in 2021. In order to mitigate the effects of coronavirus crisis and low oil prices, oilfield services provider Petrofac is taking further action to reduce costs and preserve balance sheet. Tender delays In an update on Friday, the company said it is targeting additional savings to those announced on 6 April, and now expects to reduce overhead and project support costs by at least $125 million in 2020 and by up to $200 million in 2021. “Whilst our bidding pipeline remains healthy and we are well-positioned on several opportunities this year, we are now prudently anticipating that the majority of 2020 tenders will be delayed until 2021”, Petrofac said. Looking ahead, Petrofac noted it remains unclear how long COVID-19 and low oil prices will continue to disrupt business activity and impact business performance. However, Petrofac believes that its healthy order book, liquidity of $1.2 billion, and actions to reduce costs will protect it against near-term headwinds. Petrofac has already announced its decision to reduce its capex by 40 per cent, reduce salaries across the company, and reduce its personnel by about 20 per cent. This is evident in delays to current tenders in E&C, as well as the recent termination of the $1.5 billion Dalma contract. Whilst projects are still progressing, this has inevitably resulted in material delays in construction activity, which will not be recovered in 2020. In addition, the collapse in oil prices has been the catalyst for clients to review their future investment plans. In addition, suspension of the final 2019 dividend payment and a 40 per cent reduction in capital investment has conserved an incremental $145 million of cash flow.
On the night he died this week — one day before his 91st birthday — Clifford Rich got a phone call from the man at the top of his bucket list.Tommy Lasorda.Riddled with cancer, Rich, who grew up idolizing the Brooklyn Dodgers and later the L.A. Dodgers led by Lasorda, lay in his bed at home in Granada Hills with his family at his side.He had been in hospice care for nearly a month and was unable to speak or open his eyes. The only voices he recognized anymore with a slight movement of his lips were his wife and daughters. Until Tommy called.“Hi, Clifford, this is Tommy Lasorda and I’d just like to speak to you for a moment of your time,” L.A.’s ambassador of baseball said.Tommy Lasorda. On the phone for him. Incredible.“You could see dad’s breathing change and his lips move trying to respond,” daughter Laurie Amigo says. “He knew it was Tommy.”• VIDEO: Tommy Lasorda on the phone with World war II vet Clifford Brown How many times had Cliff told his wife, Mary, he’d give a week’s pay to sit and have a cup of coffee with Lasorda — just talk baseball with him.Tell him about all those glorious years when he sat by the radio as a kid in Brooklyn, before TV, and hung on every pitch.How he didn’t miss a game until he turned 18, old enough to enlist in the army and go fight for his country. How scared he was storming Omaha Beach on D-Day and fighting at the Battle of the Bulge.How he kept replaying those old ballgames in his mind to keep his sanity as insanity rained all around him.“They tell me you are a real Dodger fan — the top one, and I’m honored to be talking to you tonight,” Lasorda continued.“I hope this call could make you feel a little better — then I would be very, very proud.”Laurie watched her dad’s face as Lasorda’s words came through the speaker phone. She saw the struggle.He was finally getting his chance to talk with his idol, but he couldn’t speak. The skipper would just have to take it on faith that his greatest fan was hanging on every word.“I hear lots of good things about you and you’ve done something great. You served your country very well and now you are talking to Hall of Fame Manager Tommy Lasorda.”Pure Lasorda. That’s why we love the guy. He’s a walking pep talk. You half expected him to tell Cliff, “Listen, when you meet the big Dodger in the sky, mention my name. He’ll get you good seats.”Lasorda — all bluster and bravado. But not Tuesday night. There were no cameras rolling in Lasorda’s home as he sat in his den and picked up the phone to call Rich to honor a request from his longtime friend Steve Brener. This one was from the heart.“Enjoy whatever time you have left on this Earth and thanks for being a fan,” Lasorda said. “God chose you to live as long as you have and maybe even longer.“You gotta believe, hope and pray. Take care of yourself, Clifford.”A few hours later, Cliff passed on.It takes a lot to leave Tommy Lasorda speechless, but Cliff’s passing only hours after he called shook him. You could tell.He paused and tried to make a joke about Cliff being the only guy he ever called who died after talking to him.It was weak and Lasorda knew it. For once, he was like the rest of us. At a loss for words.“I am so sorry to hear that,” he said, after another long pause. “Please give my sympathy to his family.”It’s a shame they never met. Lasorda would have loved Cliff. Not only because of his war record and bleeding Dodger blue, but because he didn’t know the definition of the word “quit.”When Cliff finally retired as a traffic officer with the Los Angeles Department of Transportation after 30 years, he was the oldest traffic officer in the country at age 83.Yeah, imagine that. Still hopping around intersections downtown directing traffic in his 80s. He had already put in another 30 years as a detective for the Amherst Police Department in New York.“Every morning leaving for work he always had one pocket bulging with change to feed the meter,” says daughter Annette Bentley-Pintor.“He hated giving out tickets but loved traffic duty. Angry or rude motorists never bothered him. He had a job to do, and he was going to do it with a smile.”Her husband couldn’t have had a better sendoff, Mary says. He could finally scratch off the last name on his bucket list.“What a gift to someone on hospice,” she says. “If there was any voice on Earth Cliff would have recognized and wanted to hear, it was Tommy’s.”When his time comes to meet the big Dodger in the sky — somewhere around his 100th birthday, but don’t hold him to that because it could be later — he’ll look Cliff up, Lasorda says.They’ll have that cup of coffee.Dennis McCarthy’s column runs on Friday. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error