Rural Vermonters urged to demonstrate their need for high-speed broadband Internet access

first_imgRidgeviewTel, a full-service broadband communications company, is helping rural Vermont residents map their broadband needs at the Vermont Dairy Festival in Enosburg Falls this weekend, June 5 through 7. In addition to participating in the popular parade, RidgeviewTel will have a tent in the festival’s concessions area equipped with access to http://weneedbroadband.com(link is external), a dial-up friendly site where festival-goers from communities under- or unserved by broadband can map their location in a system that compiles their demand for broadband to attract service and even federal stimulus dollars.”We are activists,” said  Vince Jordan, CEO of RidgeviewTel. “We understand the value of high-speed Internet and believe everyone deserves affordable broadband and the opportunities it provides. That’s why we’re reaching out inVermont and around the country, encouraging rural residents to map their location and rally their neighbors to do the same.”When the federal government starts distributing the $7.2 billion earmarked for rural broadband, it’s essential that the funds go to areas with the most need. Additionally, communities that have already been mapped for service will be decidedly more attractive to telecommunications companies receiving these funds. With the help of communities likeEnosburg Falls and others throughout Vermont, RidgeviewTel is tracking the true demand directly from the source – rural residents with little to no option for broadband Internet – and helping accelerate network deployments. Additionally, RidgeviewTel plans to share the data collected with economic development groups that can also vie for stimulus dollars and help bring broadband to communities that need it most.RidgeviewTel is a full-service broadband communications company based in Longmont, Colorado, that provides affordable, high-speed, wireless Internet services to communities under-served by traditional telecom and cable providers. Founded by President and CEO Vincent Jordan, a telecom industry veteran and entrepreneur, RidgeviewTel provides wireless broadband to 14 communities in New York, 25 in Colorado, and 15 in Illinois. For more about RidgeviewTel, visit www.ridgeviewtel.com(link is external).ENOSBURG FALLS, Vt., June 4 /PRNewswire/ —last_img read more

HSBC pension scheme strikes £7bn longevity risk transfer

first_imgHSBC’s UK pension fund has completed the second-largest longevity swap for a UK scheme, a £7bn (€7.6bn) deal with The Prudential Insurance Company of America (PICA).The transaction was structured as an insurance contract with a Bermuda-based, HSBC-owned captive insurer, which reinsured the longevity risk with the Prudential Financial subsidiary.The deal covers half of the HSBC scheme’s pensioner liabilities. The scheme is one of the biggest in the UK with more than €30bn in assets.Russell Picot, chair of the HSBC Bank (UK) Pension Scheme, said the transaction was “an important step to ensure that our members’ benefits are strongly secured against improvements in life expectancy”.  “This is a continuation of our de-risking journey and we are pleased to have completed the deal at attractive pricing and working in partnership with our sponsor,” Picot added.According to a statement from PICA, the deal was the first captive longevity reinsurance transaction for a pension scheme associated with a major bank.“The captive approach has become the strategy of choice for large pension schemes seeking to hedge longevity risk,” said Amy Kessler, PICA’s head of longevity risk transfer.The largest longevity hedge for a UK pension scheme was a £16bn deal for the BT Pension Scheme in 2014, also reinsured with PICA.Since then, British Airways’ Airways Pension Scheme, the Merchant Navy Officers’ Pension Scheme and Marsh & McLennan have all used the captive insurer model to offload £6.5bn in combined longevity risk.According to PICA, creating a company-owned insurance entity allows a pension scheme to “efficiently access the deep and liquid longevity reinsurance market”.David Lang, PICA’s transaction lead on the deal, said: “Market demand for the certainty that comes with pension and longevity risk transfer has increased as Brexit nears.”Other types of de-risking have also become more affordable for pension schemes. Last week British American Tobacco announced it had offloaded £3.4bn-worth of pension risk, with Rolls-Royce, Pearson and Marks & Spencer also having struck deals this year. Mark Thompson, the former chief investment officer of HSBC’s UK pension scheme, left the bank in June and is to become the permanent CIO for the London CIV in September.HSBC Holding’s group chief executive, John Flint, stepped down “by mutual agreement with the board” yesterday.last_img read more

British Airways accelerates pension funding recovery measures

first_imgThe trustees and employer also agreed that British Airways can make dividend payments to International Airlines Group (IAG), its parent, of up to 50% of pre-exceptional profit after tax, compared with 35% before.British Airways will be allowed to pay IAG a dividend higher than the 50%, but in this situation it would either have to provide NAPS with a guarantee for 100% of the amount above 50% or 50% of that amount as an additional cash contribution.As previously agreed, British Airways is also to make a one-off contingency payment of £250m this year.The agreement struck by the airline and the NAPS trustees is based on a de-risking path involving a steady switch of 3% of the scheme’s investments each year from return-seeking assets to liability-matching assets.The company said that if the funding situation improves faster than expected, half of the excess performance will be used to reduce the deficit, with the other half used to reduce volatility by accelerating de-risking.The NAPS was closed to future accrual from 31 March 2018 and was replaced by a new defined contribution scheme.Last year the airline and its other DB scheme agreed a £4.4bn buy-in with Legal & General. The deal, which at the time was the UK’s largest bulk annuity transaction, covered more than half of the Airways Pension Scheme’s liabilities. As at 31 March 2018 the technical provisions deficit was £2.4bn, down from £2.8bn three years before.Under the new overpayment protection mechanism, contributions would restart if funding subsequently fell below 100% funding and, if required, catch-up payments would be payable commensurate with the contributions forgone during the period contributions were suspended. British Airways is to make higher fixed contributions to the £16.9bn (€19.6bn) New Airways Pension Scheme (NAPS), bringing forward the target date for the defined benefit (DB) scheme to be fully funded on a technical provisions basis.As part of the latest three-yearly valuation of the scheme, the airline has agreed to make fixed deficit contributions of £450m per year from April 2020 until March 2023, compared with £300m per year and up to £150m per year in variable contributions based on British Airways’ cash position.Under the previous recovery plan, the fixed deficit contributions were to be made until March 2027.On Friday the airline announced it had also agreed with the NAPS trustees an overpayment payment protection mechanism under which deficit contributions would be paid into an escrow account if funding reaches 97%, and suspended if the scheme reaches 100% funding.last_img read more

Egyptian Trezeguet Joins Aston Villa

first_imgHe played for Egypt at last year’s World Cup in Russia and at this year’s Africa Cup of Nations, where he scored one goal in four appearances.“We’re really excited to work with ‘Trez’,” head coach Dean Smith said in a statement after completing Villa’s ninth signing of a busy close season. “I’ve watched him a number of times.“He’s the type of wide player that we have been looking for who is direct, causes problems for the opposition in the final third and scores goals.”Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Aston Villa have signed Egypt international Mahmoud Hassan, better known by his nickname ‘Trezeguet’, from Turkish side Kasimpasa, the newly promoted Premier League side said on Wednesday.Villa did not disclose financial details of the deal, but the BBC reported they had paid 8.75 million pounds ($10.90 million) for the winger.The 24-year-old started his career with Egyptian side Al Ahly and had a stint at Anderlecht in Belgium before moving to Turkey. Mahmoud Hassanlast_img read more