Strathclyde slashes equities in shift to ‘enhanced yield’ strategies

first_imgLong-term enhanced yield allocations would increase by 2.5 percentage points, also to 15%, with credit up to 5% from 3%.Over the next three years, the fund is recommended to shave another 10 percentage points off equity, splitting this evenly between the short and long-term enhanced yield strategies – taking allocations to 20% each.The two remaining alternative strategies see further reductions in equity holdings following the same pattern.#*#*Show Fullscreen*#*# The Strathclyde Pension Fund may radically reduce its equity holdings for a more diversified portfolio with allocations to short and long-term “enhanced yield” strategies.The UK’s largest local government pension scheme (LGPS) at £14.9bn (€19bn) currently holds over 70% of its assets in equities, with Glasgow City Council’s pensions committee now considering a range of alternative strategies to improve downside risk, produce a more efficient strategy and improve confidence in reaching the funding target.Trustees to the scheme are considering four alternative strategies, all of which see a dramatic reduction in equities in favour of credit and a range of options including absolute return, high-yield and hedge funds.The first alternative strategy, which the fund could implement immediately, would see equities fall by ten percentage points to 62.5% with short-term enhanced yield allocations doubling to 15%. Source: Strathclyde Pension Fund / Glasgow City CouncilStrathclyde Pension Fund asset allocationAt the scheme’s meeting in March, the board concluded equity exposure needed to reduce to diversify strategy.“Implementation should begin at an early date and should be progressed as quickly as opportunities, market conditions and other practicalities allow,” Lynn Brown, the fund’s deputy chief executive and executive director of financial services, told the committee in documents prepared for a recent meeting.“Processes to facilitate implementation should be considered with a strategy for ongoing risk management thereafter should be developed,” she added.Both alternative strategies would see the fund dramatically increase exposures to hedge funds, absolute return strategies, real estate debt, direct lending, non-sterling and emerging market bonds, property, social housing, infrastructure debt and equity and farmland.If accepted, these asset classes could count for 40% of the fund by 2018.The board also threw support behind Strathclyde’s £100m New Opportunities Portfolio (NOP) suggesting cap restrictions should be raised.The NOP is Strathcylde’s portfolio focusing small amounts in infrastructure, finance and alternatives.In December the fund added commitments to social infrastructure, credit for property developers and renewable energy.The board said it was too early to judge investment performance but the NOP was a success for governance and diversification – suggesting the implementation model used could be mirrored in Strathclyde’s new asset allocation shift.“The NOP itself could either continue to expand as a separate strand of investment strategy or simply be allocated across the new asset categories,” the fund said.It was also recommended the 3% allocation cap be lifted to 5% to allow headroom, given it has investment commitments of £300m, with £150m spare capacity.The fund achieved an 8.8% investment return over 2014, above its 8% benchmark.last_img read more

Local Teacher Reassigned Over Quiz Question About President Trump

first_imgA local middle school teacher has been reassigned, after allegedly including an inappropriate question on an online quiz about President Donald Trump.The incident occurred at Watson B. Duncan Middle School in Palm Beach Gardens.A parent tweeted a photo of a multiple-choice test question given to students in a Computer Applications class.The question reads, “45th president, 2017, Republican, Real Estate businessman, idiot.” The possible answers listed below the question are: “Donald Trump, Ronald Reagan, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter.” Photo courtesy: WPEC/CBS12 The unidentified parent who brought the matter to the school district’s attention says, “My reaction was very disappointing. It is an obvious example of indoctrination in our school systems, where teachers are forcing their opinions on our children.”A letter from the School District of Palm Beach County to parents of students at the school reads: A question on a quiz given by your child’s Computer Applications teacher yesterday, was brought to my attention this morning. The question was inappropriate, and demonstrated an unacceptable lack of good judgment on the part of the teacher. An investigation is now underway, and the teacher has been reassigned during this process. Because this is an open inquiry, I am not at liberty to share any additional details with you at this point. I apologize for this incident, and for the offensive verbiage used in the question. Thank you for your patience, and your continued support of Watson B. Duncan Middle School. An investigation is underway.last_img read more

USC contracts security force to patrol area

first_imgStudents walking through the North University Park area will notice a new fixture on the sidewalks this week -— 22 patrolling security guards in bright yellow jackets.The university has hired Contemporary Services Corporation to monitor the area, stationing guards at fixed locations in the North University Park area. The USC Department of Public Safety hopes the CSC security ambassadors will help make the area feel safer.Watching · A Contemporary Services Corporation security ambassador patrols the vicinity of campus as DPS beefs up its safety efforts. – Amaresh Sundaram Kuppuswamy | Daily Trojan“What we’re trying to do is increase the perception of safety in the community, not necessarily decrease crime,” said DPS Chief Carey Drayton. “It’s hard to get the message across that it’s a safe community. Crime has been going down for the past three years but that means nothing if you only see the negative things and you only believe that’s what can happen to you so we need something that can improve the perception of safety.”DPS Capt. David Carlisle agreed the security ambassadors are an important component in helping students feel safe around campus.“They will act as an additional community resource to create a sense of well being and security,” said USC Department of Public Safety Capt. David Carlisle.The security ambassadors will not actually handle crimes, Drayton said, but they can report crimes either to their supervisor via radio or directly to LAPD.“It’s simple,” Drayton said. “Their main responsibility is to observe and report.”Charlie Lane, associate senior vice president of USC Career and Protective Services, said he thought the security ambassadors could actually help decrease crime rates, in addition to creating an atmosphere of greater safety.Lane said the university decided to employ CSC because, although crime is down, there’s still room for improvement to campus safety.“Due to a number of different factors, we still experience crime in and around our campuses and know that we remain vulnerable to it,” Lane said. “Consequently ,during the summer months, we took additional measures to ensure that the University Park campus is made as safe as possible, and that crime continues to decline.”Drayton said hiring private security officers was an easier solution than employing additional DPS officers, particularly in light of the university-wide hiring freeze.Hiring and training 22 DPS officers would be a large undertaking, Drayton said, and was one the university didn’t think was worth pursuing, given the option of hiring a private security force.“Getting 22 people all hired and trained and outfitted is not easy to do in a three-month period,” Drayton said. “That’s number one. Number two, the university does have a hiring freeze right now. And given the option of bringing on 22 full-time people or hiring someone from the outside, the decision was very easy hiring someone from the outside to see how this plays out.”Though more efficient than hiring more DPS officers, Drayton admitted hiring CSC personnel was a large investment — DPS would not disclose the exact cost. Still, Carlisle said, the investment is worthwhile if it helps students feel safe.Many students said the security ambassador program does make them feel safer.“I like it because, if they’re stationary, then I’ll know if I have to run somewhere, that’s where I’m running,” said Summer Lindman, a senior majoring in vocal arts.last_img read more