Vermont Pension Fund Committee Seeks Economically Targeted Investments

first_imgMONTPELIER, Vt.-Vermont State Treasurer Jeb Spaulding announced today that the Vermont Pension Investment Committee has issued a request for proposals soliciting investment opportunities intended to support economic and community development in Vermont. This is the second year that VPIC has requested such proposals, after adopting a policy on economically targeted investments in 2006. VPIC oversees more than $3 billion in retirement funds for Vermont teachers, state employees, and municipal employees.According to Spaulding, this initiative is unrelated to the recent debate in the Legislature regarding a proposal by Governor Jim Douglas to require that Vermont’s pension fund managers buy Vermont Housing Finance Agency bonds. The 2006 economically targeted investment policy passed by VPIC requires an annual request for proposals.”VPIC agreed a year and a half ago that, to the extent it can support economic and community development in Vermont without sacrificing investment performance, it makes sense to do so,” said Spaulding. “The proposal to require VPIC to buy the bonds, regardless of whether or not they thought it passed muster from an investment perspective, was rejected. However, I’m hopeful that the VHFA will submit a proposal. If the anticipated returns are appropriate, I am confident VPIC will seriously consider an investment in VHFA bonds.”Economically targeted investments are intended to generate market rate returns, while providing collateral benefits that enhance quality of life and promote economic activity in a targeted area in this case Vermont. Types of investment opportunities that may be appropriate for pension fund investments could include affordable housing, energy efficiency, venture capital, or timber.”VPIC trustees take seriously their responsibility to protect the retirement security of workers and retirees. In that regard, this initiative does not reduce their obligation. The economic or social benefits of a proposal will not justify lower returns or inappropriate levels of risk,” Spaulding explained. “We don’t want to limit the field of investment possibilities, and are hopeful that creative minds will look at our policy and submit innovative proposals that meet our criteria.”Last year, the Vermont Pension Investment Committee agreed to invest up to $2 million in Green Asset Partners, contingent upon certain conditions being met. Green Asset Partners proposes to provide an innovative real estate product which leverages conservation dollars and enhances land protection while striving to meet or exceed the annualized average return for private real assets.Proposals must be submitted to the State Treasurer’s Office by June 25, 2008, at 2 p.m. In order to be considered, proposals must, at a minimum:·Target risk-adjusted, market-rate returns equivalent to or higher than other available investments in a similar asset class;·Provide a substantial, direct, and measurable benefit to economic or community development within the State of Vermont; and·Be managed by an experienced and capable manager in an applicable asset class; no direct investments will be considered.Parties interested in receiving more information on the program should go to the State Treasurer’s web site at www.VermontTreasurer.gov(link is external) or call (802) 828-5197.last_img read more

Supreme Court is looking for a few good tour guides

first_imgSupreme Court is looking for a few good tour guides December 1, 2003 Regular News Supreme Court is looking for a few good tour guides Chief Justice Harry Lee Anstead is inviting attorneys and Florida Supreme Court Historical Society members in the Tallahassee area, as well as faculty and students at Florida State University College of Law and other interested persons, to become docents at the Florida Supreme Court.Plans are underway to expand and enhance the court’s tours program in anticipation of an increasing number of visitors, which will require additional volunteer docents to handle court tours and educate visitors about Florida’s judicial system. A majority of the 8,000 court visitors each year are school children from throughout the state.“During January, we plan to hold a three-hour training session to prepare new docents to conduct tours and to familiarize them with the court, the building, and the various support materials available to docents and visitors,” Chief Justice Anstead said. “After a new docent is trained, he or she is placed in the pool of active docents — who periodically have an opportunity to volunteer for tour assignments based on their own time availabilities.Anstead said the docent program is operated under the umbrella of the Florida Supreme Court Historical Society and is actively supported by the court.“It serves a most worthy purpose — to educate Floridians about our system of justice and make them aware of the courts’ critical role in ensuring our freedoms as Americans,” Anstead said.Anyone interested in becoming a docent may call the Supreme Court Historical Society office at (850) 222-3703 or e-mail fschs@earthlink.net.last_img read more

Overwatch League eyes expansion into Europe, Oceania, and Middle East

first_imgIt was previously reported that the Overwatch League was eyeing an expansion once its inaugural season had finished, and now in an interview, Nate Nanzer, Commissioner, Overwatch League has listed some of the destinations that may be included in the future.The first season of the Overwatch League isn’t too far off of completion, but as Nanzer, reveals, Blizzard has some ambitious plans about where it plans to bring the competition to next. The main region it is targeting is Europe, the home of many endemic sports clubs – it’s been revealed that Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard gave “a speech on esports at the European Club Association General Assembly,” where “all the European football clubs come together.”Specific countries that are being targeted include France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Benelux, and the Nordic region according to the interview. “We want teams in the big great cities across Europe like Paris, Berlin,” explained Nanzer. The potential list of destinations doesn’t end there, though.Perhaps surprisingly, Brazil is “a market that’s particularly interesting” to the Overwatch League. Nanzer also listed countries within the Asia Pacific region such as New Zealand and Australia. “There’s been lots of activity in Australia with AFL teams getting involved with esports, so there could be something interesting there,” added the Commissioner.Nate Nanzer, Overwatch LeagueThe Middle East is also an area that could well home Overwatch League franchises, as Nanzer explained that “gaming is huge in countries like UAE and Saudi Arabia.” There’s no word on whether any of the aforementioned locations will be embedded into the League from Season 2, or whether it’ll see the inclusion of more North American and Asian teams. One thing’s for sure though: there will be more teams included next season.It’s also unknown as to exactly when teams will host games from their respective namesakes (London Spitfire, Houston Outlaws, and Seoul Dynasty, for example). Nanzer said that they “haven’t made the decision yet, but we want it as soon as possible. If it doesn’t happen in Season 2, it’ll happen very quickly after that.”Esports Insider says: While we’re glad to see that there will be other regions represented in the League beyond North America and Asia, we’ve been caught by surprise by the potential of Middle Eastern franchises being formed so soon. Looking to European sports clubs makes complete sense though, considering the amount of North American sports clubs that have been involved thus far.last_img read more