Netherlands roundup: NIBC scheme opts for consolidation vehicle

first_imgIt will now focus on the selection process, which include an assessment of the financial consequences for the various groups of participants, investment policy and transition process, it added.The fund also said its aim was to keep new pensions accrual and existing pension rights with a single player.It had previously indicated that its current model for pensions provision was not up to the challenges the scheme is facing, citing continuously low interest rates, additional legal requirements as well as the development of a new pensions system.The scheme said that filling board vacancies with the company’s staff was also posing a problem.The scheme has 570 active participants. It reported administration costs of €783 per participant for 2018. At the end of 2019, its funding level stood at 99.7%.Pensioenfonds NIBC said its search for a new model for pensions provision is being guided by consultancy Montae & Partners. A decision is expected before the summer.Homecare director ordered to pay €900,000 premium billThe court of justice in Arnhem has ordered the director of a collapsed homecare organisation to pay Dutch healthcare scheme PFZW €900,000 of unpaid bills for pension contributions.Trees Zwienenberg, the director and owner of Solace ATC, had failed to meet financial obligations between 2012 and 2015, according to the pension fund.The company, which employed 200 staff, went bust in 2016. In March 2016 – a couple of months before Solace folded – PFZW had sent Zwienenberg an enforcement order to pay €896,000.PFZW said the director was personally liable, as she had failed in her legal duty to report that she was unable to fulfill the payment.The court dismissed Zwienenberg’s defence since the mandatory announcement had lapsed, as PFZW was already knowledgeable of Solace’s liquidity shortfall.It also considered Zwienenberg’s lawyer’s written claim to PFZW in 2012 that showed her organisation’s outlook was sufficient to meet its financial obligations in time.While uphelding a magistrate’s verdict, the court decided to reduce Zwienenberg’s debt to €733,000, as she had been able to prove that she had paid two of the seven bills in total.Both Zwienenberg and her lawyer suggested the healthcare pension fund was willing to negotiate a settlement. However, PFZW’s legal adviser said he declined to comment on individual cases. Pensioenfonds NIBC, the €390m pension fund for the Dutch merchant bank NIBC, has opted to join a general pension fund (APF) rather than a non-mandatory sector scheme for its future pension provision.In a newsletter to its members, it said it had concluded that the consolidation vehicle offered the best alternative for the medium term, when taking into account its say in continuing its pension arrangements, governance as well as exit conditions.It added that it had also looked at criteria such as expected pension payments, contribution levels and the risk profile on investments.The scheme’s board said it had found two players offering “future proof arrangements which also seemed to be financially affordable”.last_img read more

​Norges Bank acknowledges gaps remain in Tangen hiring

first_imgTangen is due to become chief executive officer of NBIM in September, replacing Yngve Slyngstad.In a letter dated yesterday, Julie Brodtkorb, leader of the council – which consists of 15 members appointed by parliament – provided Norwegian lawmakers with details of the panel’s to-and-fro with Norges Bank’s executive board over the last few months, in which it had challenged the bank on various problems related to the controversial hiring.She highlighted issues that remained unresolved, such as the possible continued flow of information between Tangen and the charitable AKO Foundation he started – and from which he is to be separated for the duration of his employment at NBIM – via members and a trustee of the foundations who have close ties to Tangen.The council also noted that the employment contract Olsen had signed went beyond the framework that applied to all employees of the bank, despite the bank having said that employment terms at Norges Bank were the same for all, whether they were leaders or other staff.“There has been great public interest in this matter,” Brodtkorb wrote.“As a oversight body, the supervisory council has been aiming to see whether the framework for the bank’s activities has been followed,” she said.Norges Bank’s executive board and its governor, rather than the council, were responsible for following up the future CEO’s compliance with the contractual framework for the whole period of his employment, the council’s leader said.“Controlling remaining risks and establishing a framework for how to handle risks will be an important task for Norges Bank, the executive board and the governor, going forward,” she said.“Since not all agreements have yet been finalised, the supervisory council notes that adequate internal control measures still need to be established,” the letter ended.Looking for IPE’s latest magazine? Read the digital edition here. Despite last month’s signing of the employment contract installing hedge fund billionaire Nicolai Tangen as the next leader of Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, the central bank has admitted safeguards against conflicts of interest are not fully in place.Norges Bank, which runs the NOK10.2trn (€942bn) Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG) via its Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM) department, conceded in response to a letter from its Supervisory Council to parliament on the knotty saga that some work still needed to be done.The central bank’s Governor Øystein Olsen said in a statement: “We note that the Supervisory Council points out that not all agreements have yet been finalised and that adequate internal control measures have yet to be put in place.“We are about to complete this work, and it will be in place as planned when Nicolai Tangen takes up his position,” he said.last_img read more

German fund industry body calls on government for help with EU ESG regs

first_imgBVI, Germany’s fund industry body, has called on the country’s government to use the remaining months of its presidency of the EU Council to push the fixing of certain aspects of current EU sustainability-related financial regulation.It also called for future corporate non-financial reporting obligations to be in accordance with a mandatory EU standard that should apply to all companies seeking funding on EU capital markets, including those based outside the bloc if their shares are listed on a regulated EU market.Germany holds the rotating presidency of the EU Council until the end of the year and is also looking to boost Germany’s reputation as a location for sustainable finance.According to BVI CEO Thomas Richter, ”the federal government knows that this will only work in accordance with EU regulation”. The lobby group said it was calling on the German federal government “to take necessary, even if unpleasant, decisions needed to set a path to foster sustainability without losing sight of the end goal”.“This means that the government must now do everything in its power in Brussels to promote holistic and practicable sustainability regulation,” the industry group added.It said it was offering the German government “an institutionalised dialogue based on the intensive formal cooperation that has been developed over some time”.Outcomes the BVI wants to see pursued during the remaining period of the German EU Council presidency are: uniform criteria for what counts as a sustainable product, postponement of the start of the sustainable finance disclosure regulation (SFDR) to 1 January 2022, and closure of ESG data gaps.On the topic of uniform criteria, BVI said what was considered a sustainable product was currently regulated consistently across various regulations, giving the example of different requirements placed on sustainable products under amendments to MiFID II compared with those in the SFDR.This is an issue that Efama, which BVI is a member of, is lobbying on. Efama is also calling for the postponement of the SFDR, with the likes of PensionsEurope also expressing concerns about the timeline.In a position paper, BVI also called for the taxonomy to be made more practicable, for example saying criteria for environmentally sustainable activities should have the current market situation as their point of departure and be progressively tightened in order to foster the transformation of the entire economy.Looking for IPE’s latest magazine? Read the digital edition here.last_img read more

Abandoned Brisbane riverfront home is squatters delight

first_img MORE REAL ESTATE STORIES SEE WHAT ELSE IS FOR SALE IN MOGGILL Planning a Halloween party? This venue is pre-decorated.But with 10 years’ experience in real estate, Mr Webster has no illusions about the property’s real charm. The property is almost in Bellbowrie and a four minute drive to the Bellbowrie shopping plaza.“It’s the land that people are really interested in,” he said.With 1.14 hectares of riverfront just 20 minutes from the retail hub of Indooroopilly, the sale is being touted as a ‘Riverfront Goldmine’. Home with $14K bathtub for sale There’s more than 400sq m of under roof area in this 1960s house.“This is a house that’s right up my alley,” Brisbane Real Estate Indooroopilly agent Brian Webster said.“I’ve never had a house like this.” Suburbs where back yards are shrinking The block of land was purchased in 1959 and the architecturally-designed house on a suspended slab was built in 1962. An elevated, flood-free ridgetop with views of the Brisbane River was chosen as the home site. More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus11 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market11 hours agoOne of two internal stairwells at 128 Weekes Rd, Moggill.While the layout is hard to define there are two bedrooms downstairs with two bathrooms.Upstairs has at least four bedrooms, a lounge area and two further bathrooms.There is a kitchen on each level and two stairwells.The owners lived in the house for the first four years.It was rented out when the family moved to New Zealand and after a couple of years was left untenanted.In the 50 years since then, the house has fallen victim to decay and neglect and is currently uninhabitable. The property is built on a ridgetop overlooking the Brisbane River.A fire started in one of the bathrooms and spread to a wing of the house but caused no structural damage.The property will go to auction on November 2 at 11.30am. FOLLOW DEBRA BELA ON TWITTER This abandoned house at 128 Weekes Rd, Moggill is going to auction for the first time in 60 years.ABANDONED for half a century, this once palatial home has been set on fire, ransacked by squatters and is riddled with graffiti.The skeleton of a Holden Kingswood has trees growing through the engine and the building looks like a haunted school conjured for Stephen King’s amusement. A funky garden ornament at 128 Weekes Rd, Moggill.As interest grows ahead of its November 2 auction and building inspections confirm it is still structurally sound, buyers are testing their nerve. Do they live with the ghouls of 128 Weekes Rd, Moggill and restore its mid-century modernism? Or do they plan to demolish the demons with the house and start afresh?last_img read more

IADC Webinar on FIDIC Blue Book Second Edition

first_imgInternational Association of Dredging Companies (IADC) has just reported that a new version of the Standard Form of Contract for Dredging and Reclamation in 2016 has been published by FIDIC.IADC also added that two members of the responsible FIDIC task group will share their knowledge of the changes in the IADC’s upcoming webinar.The webinar – taking place on Tuesday, 24 October, at 13.00 hrs (CEST) will focus on the benefits of using the FIDIC Blue Book, the only standard international form of contract designed specifically for the dredging industry.The improvements achieved through the second edition make it more specialized and align risk with the FIDIC rainbow suite.More Infolast_img read more

MOL, Partners Get AIP for LNG-Powered Coal Carrier

first_imgJapan-based Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) and its partners, Tohoku Electric Power and Namura Shipbuilding, have received an Approval in Principle (AIP) from Lloyd’s Register for the design of an LNG-powered coal carrier.The vessel design ensures sufficient cargo capacity without making the hull larger by installing the LNG fuel tank at the stern. In addition, the study is pursued based on installation of the tank cover with an eye toward preventing an onboard fire from spreading to the LNG fuel tank while streamlining inspection work.The three companies have moved ahead with this project and recently conducted a Hazard Identification Study (HAZID) and finished the basic design.MOL informed that this is Japan’s first joint acquisition by three companies – a shipping company, cargo owner, and shipbuilder – of an AIP for a vessel powered by LNG.“As stricter standards on exhaust emissions from merchant vessels have taken effect around the world, LNG is expected to see wider use as vessel fuel,” Japan’s carrier said.In addition to researching the feasibility of using LNG as fuel, MOL added that it strives to reduce its environmental impact, while providing safe, reliable transport services.The company will forge ahead with the coal carrier, which adopts expertise and technology gained through promotion of the R&D project ISHIN NEXT – MOL Smart Ship Project.Under the concept, MOL will adopt advanced support technologies for safer vessel operation and technologies for reducing environmental impact to newbuilding vessels.last_img read more

Senators Urge Administration to Fund Great Lakes Coastal Study

first_imgU.S. Senators Rob Portman, co-Chair of the Senate Great Lakes Task Force, and Task Force member Sherrod Brown, sent a letter to the Director of the Office of Management and Budget as well as the Acting Assistant Secretary of the Army Corps requesting funding for a Great Lakes coastal resiliency study in the President’s FY 2019 budget request.Great Lakes Task Force co-Chair Debbie Stabenow, Vice Chair Amy Klobuchar and members Tammy Baldwin, Dick Durbin, Bob Casey, Tammy Duckworth, Kirsten Gillibrand, Chuck Schumer, Tina Smith, and Gary Peters also signed the letter.“The Great Lakes coastline faces numerous threats, such as lake level fluctuations, erosion, flooding, nutrient runoff, and aging infrastructure. It is important to ensure that the Great Lakes’ 5,200-mile coastline is protected, as 4.2 million people live within two miles of a Great Lakes coastline. The coastline is also imperative to a robust economy and tourism industry in the Great Lakes, as it includes 60 commercial harbors moving over 123 million tons of cargo annually,” wrote the Senators.“We appreciate the Corps’ consultation with the Great Lakes states in proposing this study, as we fully intend for this study to be used to implement projects that will result in a more resilient coastline throughout the Great Lakes and a more strategic expenditure of state and federal funds.”“The Great Lakes Commission knows that only by working together can the states, the federal government and local communities best protect our 5,200-mile coastline. That’s why a comprehensive Great Lakes Coastal Resiliency Study, developed alongside the states, is necessary,” said John Linc Stine, chair of the Great Lakes Commission and Commissioner of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.A PDF of the letter can be found here.last_img read more

New Developments at Rohr-Idreco

first_imgRohr-Idreco Dredge Systems Europe has signed a long-term contract with a sand and gravel company in Germany to deliver and operate a 52 meter digging depth electric dredger where it will be paid on a per tonnage basis. This arrangement will enable the client to optimize and fix its costs, converting a substantial fixed cost into a variable cost.According to the Rohr-Idreco’s official statement, this deal also leaves the client free to focus on process areas of strength and mitigate risks in other areas.Such contracts are part of R-I’s long term strategy, said Rohr-Idreco.New Sales Director for GermanyRohr-Idreco Dredge Systems Europe, with a manufacturing plant in Mannheim Germany and second factory in Doetinchem the Netherlands, has also welcomed Thomas Kuhn onboard as its Sales Director for Germany and surrounding countries, representing the complete Rohr-Idreco product portfolio.“I am so pleased with this new opportunity at R-I which will enable me to offer our clients the latest technology dredgers which are also field-proven and efficient,” said Kuhn. Managing Director, Fulco Vrooland, added that “It is a real coup for us to attract someone with Thomas’s skills and experience; he will be a great addition to our team.”Previously, Kuhn worked for another European dredge manufacturer.last_img read more

Damen’s Acquisition of Mangalia Shipyard Nears Completion

first_imgDutch Damen Shipyards Group is expecting that Romanian government’s pre-emption right regarding Mangalia shipyard will be waived by the end of the month, enabling Damen to acquire a share in the yard.Once the waiver of the pre-emption right is made public, Damen will be able to complete the transaction, the shipbuilder said in a statement.“We look forward to a positive result of the shareholders’ vote at the extraordinary shareholders meeting of March 30, where hopefully the pre-emption right will be waived. This is the key hurdle in the process towards a long-term strategic partnership with the Romanian government,” René H. Berkvens, CEO of Damen Shipyards Group, said.In November 2017, Damen signed a share purchase agreement for the acquisition of Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering’s (DSME) shareholding in Daewoo Mangalia Heavy Industries (DMHI). DSME owned 51% of the shares in the yard and the Romanian government the remaining 49%.However, the government was blocking the agreement between Damen and Daewoo for several months as it wanted to exercise its pre-emptive right through its shareholding in Santierul Naval 2 Mai SA Mangalia.On March 21, 2018, negotiations between Damen and the Romanian government on DMHI were completed. The state decided to waive its pre-emptive right to acquire the stake owned by DSME under one condition. Specifically, Damen will have to assign 2% of the 51% share bought from Daewoo.With this agreement, the Romanian government is becoming the majority shareholder in DMHI. As a result, the government will own a 51% stake in the yard and Damen the remaining 49% stake, Romanian Ministry of Economy said in a separate statement.“Together with the great support of the Romanian government, Damen will restore the financial health of the yard, rebuild employment numbers and increase activity levels of high-end projects. In the meantime, Damen will facilitate a smooth transition and keep talented and skilled resources meaningfully employed,” Berkvens added.Located on the Black Sea coast, the Daewoo shipyard in Mangalia was established in 1997 as a joint venture between Daewoo and 2 Mai Mangalia Shipyard with Daewoo as majority shareholder. The facility has been undergoing capital erosion since 2008 due to the lack of orders amid the global financial crisis, production delays and accumulated losses.last_img read more

Nautilus Minerals President and CEO Leaves

first_imgToronto-based underwater mineral exploration company Nautilus Minerals has announced the departure of president and CEO Mike Johnston with immediate effect. Johnston will be replaced by independent Director John McCoach, who is appointed as Interim CEO, also with immediate effect.Tariq Al Barwani, Nautilus’ chairman said: “We thank Mike for his long service with Nautilus Minerals. Mike was one of the original members of the Nautilus team with the vision that the future of mining would include the seafloor.”John McCoach, currently a director of the company, will focus to advance Nautilus’ ongoing capital formation program.McCoach said: “I am confident that the Nautilus’ senior management will continue to operate the company in a professional manner, and the entire Nautilus team will see us through to our vision of becoming the world’s leading seafloor mining company.”No further details regarding Johnston’s departure have been disclosed.last_img read more