Crystal Telecom Limited ( 2015 Abridged Report

first_imgCrystal Telecom Limited ( listed on the Rwanda Stock Exchange under the Technology sector has released it’s 2015 abridged results.For more information about Crystal Telecom Limited ( reports, abridged reports, interim earnings results and earnings presentations, visit the Crystal Telecom Limited ( company page on AfricanFinancials.Document: Crystal Telecom Limited (  2015 abridged results.Company ProfileCrystal Telecom Limited is an investment holding company with a 20% share in MTN Rwandacell Limited, a mobile and fixed telecommunication services. Crystal Telecom is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Crystal Ventures and its share of MTN Rwanda is its only investment. The company was established in 2013 with the sole purpose being to hold and manage its stake in MTN Rwanda for the benefit of its shareholders. The remaining 80% of MTN Rwanda is held by MTN Group Limited which is the largest African mobile telecommunications company with operations in 22 countries including Africa and the Middle East. Crystal Telecom Limited’s head office is in Kigali, Rwanda. Crystal Telecom Limited is listed on the Rwanda Stock Exchangelast_img read more

Jardins House / Drucker Arquitetos e Associados

first_img Photographs ShareFacebookTwitterPinterestWhatsappMailOr Clipboard Architects: Drucker Arquitetos e Associados Area Area of this architecture project ArchDaily Houses Jardins House / Drucker Arquitetos e Associados Area:  550 m² Year Completion year of this architecture project Manufacturers: Trespa, Altalúx, Arcos, Asti Mármores, Jmar Esquadrias, Palimanan, Tressuno Products translation missing: Structural Engineer:Telecki Arquitetura de ProjetoExposed Concrete:GR ConsultoriaConstruction Monitoring:Monica DruckerHydraulic And Electrical Installations:Zamaro InstalaçõesGreen Wall:Plataforma Habita Cidade – Escola da CidadeArchitect In Charge:Monica DruckerTeam:Monica Drucker, Ruben Otero, Fausto Chino, Marise Jacobsen, Virgínia GonçalvesHydraulic:Zamaro InstalaçõesElectrical Installations:Zamaro InstalaçõesCity:Cidade JardimCountry:BrazilMore SpecsLess SpecsSave this picture!© Ruben OteroText description provided by the architects. Located in an area of neighborhoods called Jardins, with single-family houses and green areas listed as heritage, this house has 550m² of a built area divided into two levels, the ground, and upper floors. The original land had a four-meter slope height in relation to the level of the street. Thus, on the ground floor, we have lodged garage, storehouses, technical facilities, part of services, servants’ quarters with pantry, and accesses through internal and external staircases.Save this picture!© Ruben OteroThe upper floor has been installed on the highest part of the existing slope and cantilevers over the ground floor, which is just above street level. On the upper floor, the program was organized around a central courtyard, whose U-shape plan is articulated by a circulation, with powder room, internal staircase, kitchen and pantry, an intimate room, and by two wings parallel to the external road. The wing closer to the street houses a great lounge with living and dining areas, home theater and balconies. In the back wing, we have a sequence of four suites, the last being a master suite.Save this picture!© Ruben OteroSave this picture!Ground Floor PlanSave this picture!© Ruben OteroThe construction, of exposed reinforced concrete cast by wood slats, has components in outstanding materials such as steel, wood, and glass. The floor, of levigate travertine Roman marble in the internal ambiances was also used in the external area, and the absence of unevenness has enhanced the continuity between exterior and interior (there is a system of rainwater capture built into the stones). One of the design highlights is the brises of the master suite, which function either as sunshades (modulating the entrance of light until total closure) or as opening doors.Save this picture!Section AThis residence was conceived to promote personal renewal and wellbeing, through spaces where landscape and architecture meet to replenish and invigorate the spirit. Thus, the central courtyard has a contemplative vertical garden, trees with a small grassy area, and an overflowing swimming pool to promote a sense of water mirror that reflects this garden. This courtyard, together with the large sliding glass doorways of the two wings, and the twelve pivotal glass doors of the front facade, allow residents to have direct contact with the exterior and its green area.Save this picture!© Ruben OteroInternally we have sought a dichotomy created by the walls of exposed slatted concrete and the lightness of the frames with large glass panels that open completely towards the vertical garden courtyard and towards the huge existing trees of the street and the environs. In order to accentuate the light coming from the large front room (east face), a structured set of glass metallic pergola on the roof, and equally transparent glass pivoting doors were designed. This arrangement has provided an unusual interaction with the treetops, which seem to invade the interior of this large concrete lounge, with no pillars in between. The house could also count on rainwater reuse, solar energy capture, cross ventilation, windows with heat treatment, polystyrene thermal insulation on the roof, digital lighting control, recycled wood, among other measures of green architecture.Save this picture!© Ruben OteroProject gallerySee allShow lessInterior Design and 3D Printing: Giving Unique Forms to Functional SpacesArticlesCelebrate World Water Day With These 20 Designs That Feature Water ElementsArticles Share “COPY” Save this picture!© Ruben Otero+ 59Curated by Pedro Vada Share Brazil Jardins House / Drucker Arquitetos e AssociadosSave this projectSaveJardins House / Drucker Arquitetos e Associados 2017 “COPY” Photographs:  Ruben Otero Manufacturers Brands with products used in this architecture project CopyAbout this officeDrucker Arquitetos e AssociadosOfficeFollowProductsWoodGlassConcrete#TagsProjectsBuilt ProjectsSelected ProjectsResidential ArchitectureHousesInterior DesignResidential InteriorsHouse InteriorsCidade JardimBrazilPublished on March 22, 2018Cite: “Jardins House / Drucker Arquitetos e Associados” 22 Mar 2018. ArchDaily. Accessed 11 Jun 2021. ISSN 0719-8884Browse the CatalogPartitionsSkyfoldVertically Folding Operable Walls – Zenith® SeriesVinyl Walls3MExterior Vinyl Finish – DI-NOC™ StoneShowerhansgroheShowers – Croma SelectDoorsRaynorGarage Door – Advantage SeriesConcreteSika3D Concrete PrintingSignage / Display SystemsGoppionDisplay Case – Bre-ClassSkylightsVELUX CommercialModular Skylights in Atelier Zimmerlistrasse OfficeWindowsswissFineLineSliding Windows in Villa LakesideSuspension SystemsMetawellAluminum Panels for Smart CeilingsGlassDip-TechDigital Ceramic Printing in Roofs & CanopiesSound BoothsFrameryMeeting Pod – Framery Q – Flip n’ FoldWall / Ceiling LightsAsaf WeinbroomLighting – Linestra 110 BrassMore products »Save世界上最受欢迎的建筑网站现已推出你的母语版本!想浏览ArchDaily中国吗?是否翻译成中文现有为你所在地区特制的网站?想浏览ArchDaily中国吗?Take me there »✖You’ve started following your first account!Did you know?You’ll now receive updates based on what you follow! Personalize your stream and start following your favorite authors, offices and users.Go to my stream CopyHouses, Houses Interiors•Cidade Jardim, Brazil ShareFacebookTwitterPinterestWhatsappMailOr Clipboard Projects Year: last_img read more

Bunker House / Nha Dan Architects

first_img Vietnam Products used in this ProjectWallsSikaWall and Façade SystemsDesign Team:Tran Minh Phuoc, Luong Hien PhuongStructural Engineers:Do Thanh TuanLighting Consultant:CaraMep Engineers:Trinh Van TamConstruction Management:Nguyen Khac DongLandscape:Tropical Garden Company LimitedCity:Ciudad Ho Chi Minh (Saigón)Country:VietnamMore SpecsLess SpecsSave this picture!© Hiroyuki OkiText description provided by the architects. In previous projects, a system of concrete beams and columns was used to free the floor plans of columns, better connecting the different spaces while letting the outdoors in. In Bunker House, we employed this concrete system not only as structure, but also as spatial partitions and the project’s guiding aesthetics.Save this picture!© Hiroyuki OkiSave this picture!Ground Floor PlanSave this picture!© Hiroyuki OkiSave this picture!© Hiroyuki OkiA series of concrete columns grouped into 3 legs serve as structural anchor points for the cantilevered waffle slabs. These 3 legs define the spatial experiences throughout the house: on the first floor, the first leg protects the living spaces from the outside world; the second, essentially an elevator core, and the third leg together delineate a soft border between served and service spaces.Save this picture!© Hiroyuki OkiThe first and second leg accentuate the living and dining room with the added height. On the upper levels, these legs merge with non structural walls to define the limits between the interior and the outdoors, and partition off the upper level into smaller rooms. Save this picture!© Hiroyuki OkiSave this picture!SectionSave this picture!© Hiroyuki OkiThe raw aesthetic and texture from the waffle slabs’ ribs are continued onto the concrete and metal pergolas on the outside, and also the ceilings and walls. The resulted interior space feels contained and sturdy like a bunker, and yet fluid, airy and full of natural light.Save this picture!© Hiroyuki OkiProject gallerySee allShow less1217 Main Street Renovation / 5G Studio CollaborativeSelected ProjectsHideout Gallery / Hearth ArchitectsSelected Projects Share CopyHouses, Houses Interiors•Ciudad Ho Chi Minh (Saigón), Vietnam ArchDaily Bunker House / Nha Dan Architects Bunker House / Nha Dan ArchitectsSave this projectSaveBunker House / Nha Dan Architects Photographs Save this picture!© Hiroyuki Oki+ 28Curated by Hana Abdel Share Photographs:  Hiroyuki Oki Manufacturers Brands with products used in this architecture project Houses “COPY” CopyAbout this officeNha Dan ArchitectsOfficeFollowProductConcrete#TagsProjectsBuilt ProjectsSelected ProjectsResidential ArchitectureHousesInterior DesignResidential InteriorsHouse InteriorsCiudad Ho Chi Minh (Saigón)On FacebookVietnamPublished on May 07, 2020Cite: “Bunker House / Nha Dan Architects” 06 May 2020. ArchDaily. Accessed 10 Jun 2021. ISSN 0719-8884Browse the CatalogBathroom AccessorieshansgroheBath & Shower ThermostatsGlass3MGlass Finish – FASARA™ NaturalPartitionsSkyfoldVertically Folding Operable Walls – Mirage®WindowsVitrocsaSliding Window – Mosquito NetSinksBradley Corporation USASinks – Verge LVG-SeriesMetal PanelsTrimoQbiss One in Equinix Data CentreSignage / Display SystemsGoppionDisplay Case – Q-ClassMetal PanelsLongboard®Aluminum Battens – Link & Lock – 4″Sports ApplicationsPunto DesignPunto Fit in Ekaterinburg Public SpaceWoodBlumer LehmannFree Form Structures for Wood ProjectsKnobsKarcher DesignDoor Knob K390 (50)TablesVitsœ621 Side TableMore products »Save世界上最受欢迎的建筑网站现已推出你的母语版本!想浏览ArchDaily中国吗?是否翻译成中文现有为你所在地区特制的网站?想浏览ArchDaily中国吗?Take me there »✖You’ve started following your first account!Did you know?You’ll now receive updates based on what you follow! Personalize your stream and start following your favorite authors, offices and users.Go to my stream “COPY”center_img Year:  Projects Area:  877 m² Year Completion year of this architecture project ShareFacebookTwitterPinterestWhatsappMailOr Clipboard Lead Architects: Manufacturers: AutoDesk, Sika, Daikin, Kohler, Cara, Ixina, Molution, Nha Le Company, Sika Hardener, Trimble, Vietceramics Products translation missing: Architects: Nha Dan Architects Area Area of this architecture project ShareFacebookTwitterPinterestWhatsappMailOr Clipboard Nguyen Dinh Gioi 2019last_img read more

Quentin Blake & Liz Pichon among donors in secret postcard auction

first_img Advertisement  183 total views,  1 views today Tagged with: arts Celebrity Charity Auction AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis4 Melanie May | 5 June 2018 | News  184 total views,  2 views today AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis4 Sir Quentin Blake, Radio One DJ Ferne Cotton, and Tom Gates author Liz Pichon are among the artists and celebrities contributing to a secret postcard auction in aid of The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity this month.St Richard’s Catholic College, Bexhill is holding the auction on eBay, in memory of pupil Sophie Maria Taylor. There are 550 original artworks up for bids, with the auction starting on 7 June and running until 16 June. All proceeds will go to The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity.In addition to work by pupils, parents, and staff, there are postcards by artists including Sir Quentin Blake, Thomas Taylor, who drew the first Harry Potter cover, and Phoenix Comic artist, Jamie Smart. There are also some original slogan works by Bob & Roberta Smith, a wildlife postcard by BP Portrait winner Laura Quinn Harris, one of Australian artist Loui Jover’s portraits, while Tom Gates’ author Liz Pichon has also donated a few pieces of original art work as has Radio One DJ Ferne Cotton.The postcards are available to view on a dedicated Sophie’s Postcard website, and have a starting bid of £1. The Loui Jover A4 work has a starting bid of £100. Each postcard has a number to enable people to search for the ones they wish to bid for on eBay under Sophie’s Secret Postcard Auction. As a secret auction, the artist of each piece of work will remain unnamed until they are bought.St Richard’s Catholic College art teacher Miranda Pennington, who has been working on the project for the past six months, said:“I have been overwhelmed by the response from artists from all over the world who have contributed original drawings, paintings, digital works, photographs and collages for the auction. There is so much amazing work from such well-known artists and also many very popular local artists who are collectable that is it very difficult to estimate how much we will raise.” Quentin Blake & Liz Pichon among donors in secret postcard auction About Melanie May Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via read more

Are You Smart Enough to Farm Today?

first_img Previous articleNFU: Trump Administration Building Positive Record on Renewable FuelsNext articleHouse Ag Committee Chairman to Speak at Commodity Classic Gary Truitt Facebook Twitter Facebook Twitter By Gary Truitt – Feb 26, 2017 SHARE Home Commentary Are You Smart Enough to Farm Today? This is the time of year when agricultural literacy gets a lot of attention. This past week was Ag Literacy Week, an initiative sponsored by Farm Bureau’s Ag in the Classroom project, which focuses on educating grade school students on the importance of agriculture. The just concluded FFA Week saw a lot of high school students talking about the importance of agricultural education. In just a few weeks, we will celebrate National Ag Day, when again there will be an effort to inform consumers about the contribution of agriculture to our economy and our society. But after attending several winter farm meetings the past few months, I have determined there is another kind of agricultural literacy that needs attention: farmer literacy. The basic process of producing food for a modern hungry world has become technologically sophisticated, economically complex, and regulated to the point of incomprehensibility.I spoke recently with a former Ohio State economist who postulates that a grain farming operation is really 6 different business units: agronomy, land ownership, futures speculations, grain elevation, custom machine operation, and capital allocation.  Dr. Matt Roberts said each segment must be as efficient and forward thinking as possible to survive in the times ahead. I would add accounting, regulatory compliance, and computer programing to the list.While attending a seed meeting, I heard a Purdue Extension educator say a farmer needs to read the label on each chemical product they use at least 7 times.  In addition, some labels will require the farmers to then visit a web site for last minute updates. These labels have the force of law and off label use has serious legal consequences.  Interpreting what you read on the label is another challenge. Many have “do not spray” requirements that are vague and confusing. For example, do not spray if the habitat of a “threatened or endangered species” is downwind. I guess we need to add wildlife expert to that list above. Oh, and don’t forget that after you are done using those crop protection products, you need to wash the containers and equipment used three times.Today almost any activity you perform on a farm must be documented and those records kept. Fortunately, technology is now collecting all that data and more and putting it at our fingertips. We can now document where each seed in planted in a field, who manufactured the seed and its lineage, the soil type in which it was planted, everything that is applied to that plant either above the ground or below, the weather conditions that plant experienced during the entire growing cycle, and what that plant yielded at harvest.  We also now have programs and services that will analyze this overwhelming amount of data and, in theory, help us make better decisions for the next growing season. Of course, a farmer must learn how to use all this technology by reading thousands of pages of instructions written by a computer programmer.So, are you smart enough to be a farmer? For me, and most of the American population, the answer is no.  The kind of temperament, intellect, and education needed to be a farmer today and into the future is rare.  These individuals need to be identified and facilitated so they can take over the vital task of producing the food our world will need. Farmers’ markets and urban agriculture are great, but those are not going to feed the world. Future farmers will need to possess many of the characteristics of their grandparents, but will also need a skill set never dreamed of by that generation.  Farmer literacy is just as important as agricultural literacy.By Gary Truitt Are You Smart Enough to Farm Today? SHARElast_img read more

Move Against President Dave: SCBA Executive Committee Suspends Secretary Ashok Arora by Majority

first_imgTop StoriesMove Against President Dave: SCBA Executive Committee Suspends Secretary Ashok Arora by Majority Nilashish Chaudhary8 May 2020 4:30 AMShare This – xThe Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) has suspended its Secretary, Ashok Arora, with immediate effect after the Executive Committee (EC) took this decision in a meeting convened earlier today. It has also been decided that Rohit Pandey, the Assistant Secretary, will take over the roles and responsibilities of the Secretary. This development comes soon after Arora had circulated a…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginThe Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) has suspended its Secretary, Ashok Arora, with immediate effect after the Executive Committee (EC) took this decision in a meeting convened earlier today. It has also been decided that Rohit Pandey, the Assistant Secretary, will take over the roles and responsibilities of the Secretary. This development comes soon after Arora had circulated a message amongst SCBA members, in an attempt to convene an Emergent General Meeting (EGM) on May 11. On the agenda was the removal of SCBA President, Dushyant Dave, from his post for passing a Resolution on February 25 condemning public remarks made by Justice Arun Mishra in praise of PM Narendra Modi. Arora had alleged that Dave is using the office of SCBA for political purposes and called for his removal from the primary membership of the Bar Association as well. While this EGM also stands cancelled, it is informed that the decision was passed by the EC with a majority, where the President abstained from voting. Additionally, a 3-member Committee has been constituted by SCBA to look into the allegations against Arora. Soon after being suspended, Arora sent out a message to members of the Bar accusing the EC of intimidating him on different occasions and further alleging that Dave’s conduct has brought disrepute to the Bar. “There is documentary evidence to show that the President and his men/women in the EC intimidated me from time to time for which I reserve my right to initiate legal action. They suspended me on vague and baseless allegation. In fact their undemocratic action damaged the reputation of this prestigious Bar”, said Arora in his message. Next Storylast_img read more

Manhattan office market’s 25% drop is ominous sign for landlords

first_img Full Name* Share via Shortlink Commercial Real EstateManhattan Office MarketOffice Leasingoffice market Tags Email Address* Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink Message* But while companies whittle down their footprints, property owners — some of whom have stayed afloat thanks to rent coming in from long leases — may struggle to fill space once those deals expire.About 17.3 percent of Manhattan office space is available for lease, the most in decades, the publication reported. Asking rents are at roughly $74 per square foot, down from $82 in early 2020, according to a report by commercial real estate advisory firm Newmark. Reports released in September, October, November, December, January and February showed a steady deterioration of the market.Landlords’ profits could fall 15 percent as hybrid models allow employees to work from home for part of the week, credit rating agency Fitch Ratings predicts.Still, some landlords point out that employees who do return to the office are going to need extra space to social-distance, the publication reported. Before Covid, the trend was for companies to shrink the square footage provided per employee.[NYT] — Cordilia JamesContact Cordilia James About 17.3 percent of Manhattan office space is available for lease, the most in decades. (iStock)With offices shrinking in a post-Covid world, the world will never be the same for some landlords.The market value of office towers in Manhattan has plummeted by 25 percent over the past year, the New York Times reported. This contributed to an estimated $1 billion drop in property tax revenue.Major companies including JPMorgan Chase, Ford and Target are letting go of expensive office space, and they have plenty of company.At the landmark Willis Tower in Chicago, United Airlines is giving up over 150,000 square feet, or 17 percent of its office space there. At 350 Mission Street in San Francisco, Salesforce will sublet 225,000 square feet, or half of its space.In a letter to his company, JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon cited remote work’s impact on its decision to reduce space, saying it allows the company to “significantly reduce [its] need for real estate.” For every 100 employees, the bank would need about 60 seats, the Times reported.Read moreOffice landlords, beware: More of corporate America is looking to reduce space Salesforce to shrink office footprint Got space? Manhattan office availability hits 7-year high last_img read more

Diving capabilities of diving petrels

first_imgIn striking contrast to the general increase in diving ability with body mass in seabirds, amongst the Procellariiformes, the deepest dives appear to be by the smallest species. Here, we use recently developed, miniaturized time depth recorders to provide the first accurate measurement of dive depth and duration in two small Procellariiformes: Common (Pelecanoides urinatrix) and South Georgian diving petrel (P. georgicus), and compare their diving performance in relation to body mass with that of 58 seabirds from four orders. The 20 common and six South Georgia diving petrels in our study dived to considerable depths and for long periods (respective mean ± SD of 10.5 ± 4.6 and 18.1 ± 3.6 m, and 36.4 ± 9.1 and 44.2 ± 5.9 s). In relation to body mass, these dives are closely comparable to those of small alcids, which are considered to be diving specialists, and much greater than in closely related petrels. Previous work has shown that diving petrels and small alcids share a number of convergent morphological traits; our data reveal these are manifested in terms of diving ability.last_img read more

TrustPilot changes its reviews policy following BBC investigation

first_imgOnline reviews site Trustpilot has changed the way it handles ‘suspicious’ reviews to prevent companies ‘gaming’ its system, saying the current way it worked “was not a great experience” for consumers who posted negative comments about companies such as Purplebricks.TripAdvisor’s announcement was made on Adrian Goldberg’s BBC Radio 5 live programme yesterday morning during which he investigated the “rampant” use of both fake positive reviews and ‘gaming’ of the system by some businesses looking to bury negative reviews.The importance of reviews in today’s crowded property market was underlined by the programme, which said 93% of buying decisions made by consumers were influenced by review websites such as Trustpilot.Goldberg interviewed Trustpilot’s Senior Vice President Glenn Manoff (pictured, left), during which he was brought face-to-face with former Purplebricks sales customer Laura Emmerson who recounted her experience of posting a negative review about the company on Trustpilot.Laura, whose case The Negotiator has reported on before, gave Purplebricks a two-star review after her flat failed to either sell or attract many viewings, a review that was then removed by Trustpilot after Purplebricks flagged it as ‘suspicious’.Laura (pictured, right) then proved she was a real customer, but the review took three days to be reinstated, by which time it had been ‘buried’ by lots of positive reviews.In response to this Manoff revealed during the show that reviews by agent’s customers believed to be suspicious would now not be taken down while they were investigated.Goldberg also looked at the wider reviews industry where it found evidence of easily-sourced paid-for reviews within closed Facebook groups, and Indian review farms.Trustpilot says the problem of fake reviews is very small and that out of the million reviews it receives every month, only 20,000 are removed.It also says that if companies flag up too many fake reviews as suspicious or appear to be gaming the system in other ways, Trustpilot reaches out to companies to warn them about their activities and, if they continue, can delete their accounts.Listen to the Radio5Live show in full.Purplebricks Radio 5 lilve online reviews Adrian Goldberg Trustpilot April 30, 2018Nigel LewisWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Hong Kong remains most expensive city to rent with London in 4th place30th April 2021 Home » News » TrustPilot changes its reviews policy following BBC investigation previous nextProducts & ServicesTrustPilot changes its reviews policy following BBC investigationSenior manager at website reveals negative reviews of agents will now be kept up while they’re investigated and only taken down if proved to be fake.Nigel Lewis30th April 201805,988 Viewslast_img read more

Speech: Environmental Social Governance (ESG) and responsible investment

first_imgIntroductionIt has been 2 years since I last stood on the stage, making my first speech as Pensions Minister. Before that speech, I asked Huw Evans and Yvonne Braun what the one thing they most wanted government to do was, and they asked unequivocally with pensions dashboards.I will speak about the huge success of automatic enrolment and moving to 8%, the success of the mid-life MOT and the importance of ESG, but I am particularly proud of the incredible effort that the department has made to progress the pensions dashboards.Infrastructure/environmental social governance and responsible investmentI want to talk now about nudge theory, and 2 examples of where I have championed that theory. Firstly, environmental, social and governance issues.Last year we introduced regulations to clarify and strengthen pension scheme trustees’ investment duties, which will come into force in October. The financial risks from climate change, from under-investment or poor treatment of the workforce, from poor executive behaviour were too important to ignore.I’ve been delighted by the way the regulations have been received by you and the wider community. People are talking about ESG – the response to the initial consultation and engagement has been transformational.Many in the pension industry are also taking action. Schemes and providers have tilted their portfolios towards renewables or away from fossil fuels. Many are engaging much more forcefully with investee firms who fail to take the issues seriously; these schemes are doing the right thing. Others who think providing an ethical fund will do the job, or are still hoping this might go away need to understand that they are simply wrong.The large companies are leading the way on carbon capture and storage, something I discussed during a very important debate 2 weeks ago with Ed Davey about the nature of long-term investment of pension funds. Individual companies must answer for themselves. Last year, Shell, one of the largest companies that we are debating, agreed to link its executive pay to its carbon emission targets, in direct response to particular shareholders. This is evidence of significant and real change.However, there is still more to do. I note the Association of Member Nominated Trustee’s report, published last week, found that most asset managers don’t have published policies to combat climate change, or promote gender and ethnic diversity.It is clear that pensions schemes ought to be thinking about the assets which help drive new investment in important sectors of the economy – smaller and medium firms, housing, green energy projects and other infrastructure – which deliver the sustainable employment, communities and environments which all of us wish to enjoy.The second nudge that I want to talk about relates to infrastructure investment. The government published an ‘Investment Innovation and Future Consolidation’ consultation in February 2019, building on the Patient Capital review. The purpose to the consultation was to enable investment in illiquid assets and highlight the opportunities for defined contribution pension schemes to explore the full range of possibilities offered by investing for the long-term. The department is currently in the process of responding to that consultation.I continue to believe that we probably need to legislate to ensure that trustees can consider a wide range of investments. To help them do that we need to be clear what costs are within or outside the charge cap. There has been confusion on this point stemming from the current wording of the legislation – I accept that – and we intend to fix that in future primary legislation. That will assist this process.Automatic enrolmentI would now like to turn to automatic enrolment which has been a real success story in getting millions of people saving. Thank you – automatic enrolment does not happen without the assistance that you have given.We are reviewing the results from the increase in contribution rates to 8%. It will take 9 months for the data to be received and fully assessed so there will not be a full analysis until November or December this year. However, early indications are fantastically positive. This is thanks to DWP, regulators and yourselves.Pension dashboardsWhich brings me to pension dashboards. Pension dashboards will allow everyone to see their pensions savings online in one place.On 4 April, we published the government’s response setting out our commitment to bring dashboards into being. That is why we will compel pension schemes to make consumers’ data available to them, via dashboards, when parliamentary time allows. We are committed to providing state pension information on the same platform and continue to work towards making this happen as soon as we can.My officials have been supporting the Money and Pensions Service in setting this up. And many of you will have heard the announcement by the Money and Pensions Service this morning that Chris Curry will be the Principal of the Industry Delivery Group. All of you know him – Chris has a wealth of experience driving forward innovation in the pensions industry, and his appointment to lead the latest of our truly transformative reforms is an important step. Chris will ensure that the design and delivery of dashboards is done for the benefit of consumers.We expect the group to be up and running by the end of the summer and one of their priorities will be working to agree data standards. In parallel, we expect industry to start creating and testing consumer facing dashboards to determine what works best for the individual.Simple annual benefit statementI respect ABI’s strong views on simplified annual benefit statements, but we disagree on whether or not a 2-page uniform annual benefit statement is the best way forward.You know that I am a huge enthusiast for the simpler annual benefit statement – jargon free and readable in minutes. I know that some providers have their own simpler approaches and I have sat and listened to different views, but the problem is that each company thinks that their statement is better. It is a very complex process to create one statement that works for everyone, but we have to get better.I welcome the work that ABI and PLSA have been doing to drive voluntary adoption of the statement across industry, including understanding what is happening in the industry, but to quote Kit Malthouse “More, Better, Faster”. But I want to see much faster work in this area.We also need to consider how best to communicate out a simplified statement. I am interest in the idea of a statement season, and I am a huge fan of the Orange Letter in Scandinavia. I accept that the Orange Letter is a 5-page simpler statement and not 2 pages, but we should be communicating the simplified statements at the same time. I think that this would increase engagement and facilitate conversations about simpler statements.Mid-life MOTOne of my first jobs as minister was to read the Crickland review on raising the State Pension age. This was where I first read about the mid-life MOT, and I have been utterly committed to it ever since.If you are in the financial services business, then you need to be looking at your staff and their engagement with their long-term finances. I recommend you read the Aviva review and Centre for Policy Studies paper ‘All Hands on Deck’, both of which outline the fantastic benefits of the mid-life MOT to employers, including skill retention.SuperfundsFor many years the pensions industry was dominated by the traditional final salary DB scheme but this is changing.The government has been very clear that superfund consolidation represents a real opportunity to provide a more efficient way of managing closed DB schemes. Developing the right regulatory regime for superfunds is not an easy task, but if we can get it right, we can provide another route for managing legacy DB liabilities that will improve member security, and be good for sponsoring employers.The advantages of scale from consolidation are clear – aside from greater security it can reduce costs per member, provide better governance and offer access to better and wider investments. Superfunds provide an incentive for the sponsor or the wider corporate group to pay to improve the funding level of the scheme in exchange for discharging their liabilities, reducing the real risks posed to members’ benefits by a future employer insolvency.However, we recognise that the current regulatory framework for pensions was not designed with these vehicles in mind. I have listened to the concerns expressed by the ABI and others on this subject and it’s right to have a debate about the level of security superfunds must provide. I have also listened to those in the pension industry and employers who have been calling for government to act by providing a new affordable option for underfunded schemes.Superfunds could provide support for employers and schemes that would never be able to afford buy-out, and would in time, have a high probability of requiring a bail-out from the Pension Protection Fund (PPF).We are working hard to design a capital regime that strikes the right balance of security, affordability and commercial viability. We want to ensure that members joining a superfund can be confident that they are moving into a regime, backed by robust authorisation, with a regulatory framework which provides stronger oversight and protection for members and the PPF than currently exists in current DB schemes.Thanks to my team and HMT for working so hard together to make this happen.Financial inclusionI will finish by discussing financial inclusion. The Prime Minister made me Minister for Pensions and Financial Inclusion, reflecting the importance that places on the subject.We have an ambitious agenda, and one that requires us to work in close partnership with the financial services industry, civil society and the charity sector.For example, the financial inclusion policy forum, which I co-chair with the Economic Secretary to the Treasury, brings together leaders on financial inclusion to ensure collaboration across all sectors, providing strategic leadership and promoting best practice in improving financial inclusion.Significant progress is being made. The work of the forum’s sub-group on affordable credit informed the Chancellor’s important announcement in Budget 2018 to encourage a larger and more vibrant social lending sector. Fair4All Finance is working on deploying £55 million from dormant accounts towards financial inclusion initiatives over the next 3 years.I would like to end today by not only asking you all to continue to work together on initiatives in the industry, but to also consider what you are doing, and what you could be doing to improve transparency and security for everyone. To misquote Kennedy, ask not what financial inclusion can do for you, but what you can do for financial inclusion.last_img read more