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Bulk annuity market set for expansion as Aviva returns, LV= looks to enter

first_imgSources close to the market confirmed to IPE Aviva’s intention to begin pricing single buy-in and buyout deals of up to £200m of liabilities.Any single deal of this size would outstrip the insurer’s total business for 2013.According to consultancy LCP, Aviva wrote £143m in bulk annuity business in 2013 and £187m in the year before.In the 2010-11 financial year, before its retreat from the market, the insurer wrote nearly £2bn in business.A statement from Aviva said the company was still working through the changes announced in the Budget.“Our business is generally targeting the smaller end of the market [up to £50m], but we will write larger business where there is a clear business case to do so,” it added.Two sources also detailed conversations with LV= regarding its entry into the bulk market, and the medically underwritten space.One source said: “LV= is looking at the market and spoken to people about offering bulk annuity deals.”A statement from LV= said: “We review our business regularly. We’re still looking at the fall-out from the Budget, and making sure we can still offer individual propositions that we think the market requires.”The move by the insurers is only the beginning of a trend according to several market commentators, in stark contrast to recent years, which saw Aviva scale back its writing, consolidation of Lucida into Legal & General, and a retreat from US insurer, MetLife.As economic conditions led to better pricing, business levels in the bulk annuity space reached record levels in 2013, with the current year expected reach £20bn, according to LCP.Improved scheme funding levels on the back of equities and rising yields have also led UK pension funds and sponsors to look at bulk annuity options for de-risking. General insurer, Aviva is expected to quadruple its limit on bulk annuity deals to £200m (€244m) as LV= is set to enter the market for the first time.Both moves come after the UK government scrapped the forced annuitisation of defined contribution (DC) pots, leading to fears of a drop-off in the individual market.Aviva in 2012 announced it would reduce its writing capacity in the bulk annuity market to £50m, having enjoyed 20% of the market (c.£2bn) in the previous two years.However, as last month’s Budget heralded a potential decline in individual annuity sales – by as much as three-quarters according to insurer Legal & General – Aviva and LV= have begun shifts into the potential £20bn a year bulk space.last_img read more


O’Neill: Villa role good for Keane

first_img O’Neill has revealed he spoke to Villa manager Paul Lambert about the demands the position would make on Keane’s time before sanctioning the move, which will see the former Manchester United captain combine the two jobs. O’Neill told the Irish Independent: “My view is if it doesn’t impinge on the job here with Ireland, then in actual fact it will end up being good for him. “I know that if we couldn’t have made it work, he wouldn’t have taken the job in the first place. “If his commitments to us – both on the commercial side and certainly from my viewpoint in terms of the time working with players – is not impinged at all, then I’m happy for it to go ahead, genuinely happy. “Villa have agreed to give him all that time with us and therefore I don’t really have a problem with it. I spoke with Paul to see how he felt it was going to work. “He said that he gives the players, the senior players who are not involved at international level, a lot of time off anyway during that time [international breaks] and even if they did come back for a day or two, they could cope with that.” Republic of Ireland boss Martin O’Neill is confident number two Roy Keane will benefit from his joint role as Aston Villa’s assistant manager. center_img Press Associationlast_img read more


BracketRacket: ‘You want to skip steps but you can’t.’

first_imgConnecticut head coach Kevin Ollie cuts the netting on the rim after his team defeating Michigan State 60-54 during a regional final at the NCAA college basketball tournament, Sunday, March 30, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)Welcome back to BracketRacket, the one-stop shopping place for all your offbeat NCAA tournament needs. In today’s edition, coach Cal keeps going back to the future, Florida beats Dayton (again!) in some kind of parallel universe, UConn wins but loses face, and tourists enjoy a rare moment of consensus in New York. Without further ado:WE DON’T REBUILD AT KENTUCKY, WE … ACTUALLY, WE DO REBUILD. EVERY YEAR.If “The John Calipari Finishing School for NBA Prospects — Sponsored by the University of Kentucky(TM)” sent out a newsletter to high-school recruits, the latest might read something like this.“This year’s class is having a slam-bang time at the NCAA tournament. We’re going to the Final Four — again! — and preparations are already underway for a reunion at this summer’s NBA draft. But enough about this year’s team, since many of them won’t be around by the time you arrive in the fall. Can’t wait to see you in Lexington!”Say what you want about coach Cal, but the man has nerves of steel. Around this time last year, the Wildcats’ season ended with a loss to Robert Morris in the opening round of the NIT and worse, the cupboard was practically bare. Nerlens Noel, Kentucky’s best player went down during the season with a devastating knee injury, and was already rehabbing to go pro.So Calipari simply did what he’s always done: start over.He recruited circles around every other coach in the game, bringing in six McDonald’s All-Americans and trying to coach ’em up fast enough to deliver a happy meal by tournament time. There were chills and spills along the way, but after Kentucky held on to beat Michigan in the Midwest regional final Sunday, Calipari took a brief, but well-deserved bow.“The whole thing about building a team, especially young guys, is it’s a process and you cannot skip steps. You want to skip steps,” he said emphatically, “but you can’t.”You can building a program, though.Take nothing away from Calipari’s in-season work, but it pales in comparison to his abilities as a talent scout. In his four previous seasons at Kentucky, he’s already put 17 players in the NBA, with another handful set to join them this June. He’s the only coach to send three No. 1 overall picks to the pros, the only coach to have five players taken in the first round in the same year (2010), and the only one to squeeze six in since the league cut the draft to two rounds.And he’s showing no signs of slowing down.Plenty of Kentucky fans took a break Saturday between the Wildcats’ wins in the tournament to take in the Indiana High School Class 4A boys basketball state championship game. The kid to watch turned out to be Indianapolis Arsenal Tech’s 6-foot-10 Trey Lyles, who had 16 points and 12 rebounds to lock up a state title.Lyles is already committed to Kentucky, which if nothing else means coach Cal saved himself some postage.___ART IMITATING LIFE, OR MAYBE JUST THE NCAA TOURNAMENTIt’s a miracle no one thought of it before.OK, you probably did. More than once, too. Maybe you and a few pals even went down to the basement, found a Nerf ball and taped a mini-backboard to the wall. Maybe you even filmed it.But get it on air?These guys did: (via YouTube.com): http://bit.ly/1ogFgmn .They’re part of the WCJB-TV crew at an ABC affiliate in Gainesville, Florida. Barred from showing highlights of Florida’s win over Dayton — non-CBS stations can’t until the day after the game — anchor Zach Aldridge, meteorologist Mike Gismondi and two other guys from the station re-enacted the Gators’ triumph, from the pre-game locker room huddle to the postgame celebration.“I can’t air any of it without breaking the law and every other rule and regulation known to TV,” Aldridge says in the run-up to the clip. “But I want to show you the next-best thing.”You might be selling yourself short, Zach. It was actually more entertaining than the real thing.___THANKS, I NEEDED THATIn what’s threatening to become a postgame tradition, UConn’s coach and players have begun exchanging celebratory slaps. Not the usual high- or low-five variety, but slaps upside the head.Coach Kevin Ollie started it after UConn’s upset win over Iowa State, finishing up an interview on the court and then, as he walked by Terrence Samuel, delivering the chuck here (via YouTube.com): http://bit.ly/1dIQrzp . It was — pardon the expression — a hit with the team.Deciding one good turn deserved another, Ollie gathered his Huskies around him for the postgame interview after upsetting Michigan State on Sunday and wanted confirmation he wasn’t dreaming. Naturally, the task fell to Samuel, who delivered here (via The Big Lead): http://bit.ly/1dIS9kkBracketRacket just made UConn its pick to win it all.Not because the Huskies are the best team still standing, but because we’d like to see how many of them would still be standing by the end.___CELEBRITY ALUMS OF THE DAYInstead of going mano-a-mano, our next two combatants traded blows via the video board at Madison Square Garden.During a second-half timeout in that same UConn-Michigan State game, former Spartan and 2000 national champion Mateen Cleaves turned up on the screen and got a rousing cheer from the green-and-white-clad fans in the crowd of 19,499. A few seconds later, the camera found former Husky and 1999 national champion Richard Hamilton.With much more of the crowd in his corner, Hamilton escalated the battle by raising his arms and imploring the UConn fans to cheer even louder. Then back to Cleaves, who recovered nicely by matching the arm-raising gesture and for good measure, started “popping” the Michigan State shirt he was wearing. Back came Hamilton, popping his shirt and the place went up for grabs.Mindful that the timeout was coming to an end, the board operator finally went to a split screen showing both Cleaves and Hamilton. Judging by the ovation, we’re scoring it a draw.___STAT OF THE DAYSTATS notes that if three of the Final Four teams wind up blanketed by confetti a week from Monday, they won’t need a refresher course to act like they’ve been there before. In fact, five of the past 10 national championships have been won by either Connecticut (2004, 2011), Florida (2006, 2007) or Kentucky (2012). The exception is Wisconsin. The Badgers’ last — and only — title dates back to 1941.___QUOTE OF THE DAY“We got 16 of the most out-of-body turnovers known to mankind, to be honest.” Michigan State coach Tom Izzo explaining the Spartans’ self-inflicted wounds against UConn.___SUNDAY’S RESULTSRegional FinalsMIDWESTAt IndianapolisKentucky 75, Michigan 72EASTAt New York CityUConn 60, Michigan State 54FINAL FOURSaturday, April 5SemifinalsAt Arlington, TexasUConn (30-8) vs. Florida (36-2), 6:09 p.m. EDTKentucky (28-10) vs. Wisconsin (30-7), 8:49 p.m.NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPMonday, April 7Semifinal winners, 9:10 p.m.last_img read more


A.H. Fisher Diamonds Joins with Catholic Charities to Help Residents Hit…

first_imgRED BANK – The Monmouth County Board of Catholic Charities has joined with A.H. Fisher Diamonds for the 2013 Ray of Hope Gala Committee to raise funds to benefit area residents affected by Super Storm Sandy.Each year the gala supports Catholic Charities’ programs that provide temporary and permanent housing, trauma counseling, child and family counseling and addiction treatment. All of these programs will be involved in the disaster relief response efforts for those impacted by Sandy.The programs benefit people in need in Monmouth County, regardless of religious affiliation.The collaborative effort between A.H. Fisher Diamonds and the gala committee will raise funds that will benefit these programs and help individuals and families that suffered loss and/or damages as a result of the storm. The fundraiser is called, Shop for the Shore.Through Dec. 31, A.H. Fisher Diamonds will make the donations to Catholic Charities of:$50 for every purchase made over $500$100 for every purchase made over $1,000$1,000 for every purchase made over $10,000As an additional bonus, customers who spend a minimum of $500 will receive a $100 A.H. Fisher Diamonds Gift Card that can be redeemed toward a purchase at the store in 2013.For almost 10 years, the Red Bank-based A.H. Fisher Diamonds has proudly supported Catholic Charities’ Ray of Hope Gala.“It has been our pleasure to work with the Gala committee to raise funds that provide a variety of services to the residents in our communities who require assistance,“ said Alan Fisher, president of A.H. Fisher Diamonds.Fisher, a lifelong resident of the Jersey Shore, has many friends and customers who have been adversely affected by the devastation of Super Storm Sandy. As a way to help them and the thousands who need assistance, A.H. Fisher Diamonds will make these donations in collaboration with Catholic Charities and the Ray of Hope Gala.“For many years, Catholic Charities has helped people meet challenges, so it made sense for us to join forces with this established organization that already has an established network of programs that help people in our communities,” Fisher said .“Catholic Charities helps hundreds of residents every year in Monmouth County with challenges related to housing, mental health, specialized children’s services and addiction treatment,” said Robert Hodnett, associate director of Children’s and Family Services for Catholic Charities. “A natural disaster such as Hurricane Sandy adds to our area’s challenges, but we are fortunate to be able to incorporate our resources and work with our business partners like A.H. Fisher Diamonds to help those affected.“The Monmouth County Board of Catholic Charities will host the 16th annual Ray of Hope Gala on Friday, April 26, at Eagle Oaks Golf and Country Club in Farmingdale. Sponsorship opportunities are available.To learn more about the gala and Catholic Charities, visit www.catholiccharitiesternton.org/monmouth.last_img read more


Nelson Home Building Centre Leafs Player Profile of the Week — Brandon Sookro

first_imgFrom the first time Brandon Sookro stepped onto the ice in a Nelson Leafs jersey as an affiliate player with the Kootenay Ice Major Midget squad, hockey people in the know could see this player has what it takes to be successful in junior hockey.Sookro took another step up the progression ladder last week when he popped in four points during a 9-1 shellacking of the Castlegar Rebels. The offensive output was the best showing of the season for the player known as “Sook” to his teammates.The South Slocan native and graduate of Nelson Minor Hockey is the latest in a long line of the Leafs Player Profiles of the Week sponsored by Nelson Home Building Centre as the Green and White begin their assault on the Cyclone Taylor Cup.Sookro & Company is back on the ice Friday when Nelson plays host to Murdoch rival, Beaver Valley Nitehawks.Nelson took the opening tilt in divisional play against the two rivals, but not much as the Hawks battle the Leafs down to the wire.Nelson Home Building Centre Leafs Player Profile of the Week.Brandon SookroNickname: SookAge: 17Height: 6-feetWeight: 170 poundsPosition: ForwardLast Team: Kootenay Ice Major Midget Championships: West Kootenay Bantam ChampionshipPre-game meal: Noodles with butter . . . no tomato sauceMusic in IPod: Country, some Hip-HopOther interests: Golf in summer and working outJunior Stats: 17 games — eight goals, five assists for 13 pointsBCMMHL Stats: 77 games — 24 goals, 17 assists for 41 pointsThe Nelson Daily.com: What type of player are you?Brandon Sookro: I feel I’m a player who can put the puck in the net. I feel I’m good in the defensive zone, and by focusing on the defensive zone; the offensive game will take care of itself.TND.com: What are your personal goals.B.Sookro: Winning the Cyclone Taylor and then going to the Keystone Cup.TND.com: No, personal goals.B.Sookro: My goal is to hopefully play Junior A next year, and if not, then Western Hockey League. I wasn’t drafted in the (WHL) Bantam draft, but I went to Swift Current’s camp during the summer as a free agent. The camp went well. I was the last cut in the top 40 and (Swift Current scouts are) looking at me throughout this year.TND.com: Your brother Ryon played for Beaver Valley. Did he give you any tips about what’s needed to be successful?B.Sookro: He’s played in the KI and knows what it’s all about. He’s played Junior A and told me how hard it is to make Junior A.TND.com: Did Ryon try to convince you to play in Beaver Valley?B.Sookro: He did a little . . .. Obviously he’s entitled to his own opinion.I actually went to Beaver Valley’s camp when I was 16. Nelson had their two 16-year-olds. But I ‘ve always wanted to play for Nelson. I’m a hometown guy and always liked the Green and White.last_img read more