Emmy-winning journalist and Harvard graduate Soledad O’Brien addresses graduating seniors at Harvard’s Senior Class Day ceremony on May 29, 2013.
UK defined benefit (DB) schemes have reduced investment risk in the last nine years as they have matured, but for some sponsors this process has still not gone far enough, according to a new report.Research by consultancy Barnett Waddingham showed that, as FTSE 350 DB pension schemes have matured, asset allocation has ratcheted down to 31% growth assets in 2019 – from 51% in 2010.However, schemes approaching buyout in the next five years had an average of 27% allocated to growth assets, which exposed companies to unnecessary risk, the firm said.Nick Griggs, head of corporate consulting at the firm, said: “As schemes have matured, a general de-risking has been inevitable, but corporates need to seriously consider whether they have gone far enough. “Especially for those close to the endgame, being proactive with your strategy is crucial in ensuring the level of investment risk matches the agreed objective, whether that’s an insurance company buyout or a run-off.”The consultancy said it would expect to see companies aiming for a buyout within two years typically holding 10-15% or less in growth assets. Those that were two to five years away should hold no more than 15-25% – although the recommendation depended on the individual scheme.UK DB schemes’ funding positions were still under threat from falls in long-term interest rates, according to the consultancy.“With economic and political uncertainty driving global bond yields lower, as investors look to move into safe haven assets, schemes can do more to neutralise the impact of this and reduce the volatility of funding levels,” it said.Some firms looking to buyout in the next five years were also holding illiquid assets, with 4% of their assets on average being property investments, the firm said.“These take time to dispose of, and are unlikely to be accepted by insurers as part of a premium payment for buyout,” it warned.Barnett Waddingham also said overexposure to growth assets – particularly illiquid investments – could cause cashflow issues. It said 90% of schemes were already cashflow negative, and one in eight FTSE 350 schemes had a cashflow burden above 5% of total assets.UK private sector pension deficit hits two-year highThe combined funding shortfall of UK private sector DB schemes hit £163bn (€182.6bn) at the end August, according to the Pension Protection Fund (PPF), as stock market volatility increased and bond yields fell sharply.According to the PPF’s 7800 Index, which tracks the net funding position of UK DB schemes, the figure marked the biggest deficit recorded since May 2017, when the deficit was £168bn.Total assets increased during August by 1.5%, from £1,730bn to £1,756bn, but aggregate liabilities rose by 5.4%, from £1,821bn to £1,919bn.Data from Mercer released last week showed the aggregate funding position of DB funds linked to FTSE 350 companies declined, from a £51bn deficit to £67bn.Funding position of UK private sector pension schemesChart MakerSion Cole, Head of UK fiduciary business at BlackRock, said: “Whether a scheme is in surplus or deficit will largely have decided how schemes have fared in August.“Generally speaking, better-funded schemes have more hedging and are taking less investment risk so will have coped better with the market turbulence in August. Conversely, their underfunded counterparts who need to chase returns will have been hit hardest.” Nick Reeve
(Deerfield Beach, FL) — A high school football star’s death in Broward County is being ruled a suicide by train and is prompting his friends to confront mental illness. A candlelight vigil was held last night at Deerfield Beach High School for 17-year-old Bryce Gowdy, a wide-receiver prospect headed to Georgia Tech who committed suicide this week by standing in the path of a freight train in Broward County. His death came just days before Gowdy was to leave for college at Georgia Tech, which had given him a football scholarship. A DBHS teammate tells NBC 6 mental illness is very serious, and it’s hard for others to understand what someone might be going through. The death of a Florida teen football star fatally struck by a freight train has been ruled a suicide, officials said.Gowdy’s mom, Shibbon Winelle, said in a video posted to her Facebook page the teen had been “talking in circles” and asking “a lot of questions about spirituality and life” in the days before his death.She said both she and her son battled their own personal “demons,” alluding to mental health struggles.“I said, ‘Bryce, you have to dig within and fight these demons that you’re fighting,’” Winelle said.“I told him I wasn’t strong enough to help him right now, and I have my own demons that I was trying to fight.”She said the family had recently become homeless and she last saw him when she asked him to get her favorite blanket from the car.He never returned, and hours later his body was found near train tracks in Deerfield Beach.Georgia Teach mourned Gowdy’s death in a tweet posted by the team’s coach, Geoff Collins.“Our entire Georgia Tech football family is devastated by the news of Bryce’s passing,” Collins wrote.“Bryce was an outstanding young man with a very bright future. He was a great friend to many, including many of our current and incoming team members. … Bryce and his family will always be a part of the Georgia Tech football family.”
Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Arizona Cardinals running back Kerwynn Williams (33) scores a touchdown as Denver Broncos linebacker Zaire Anderson (47) defends during the second half of an NFL preseason football game, Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey) The Arizona Cardinals promoted running back Kerwynn Williams from the practice squad to the active roster Saturday and released tight end Joseph Fauria.5-foot-eight, 198-pound Williams played in five December games for the Cards last season and recorded 246 rushing yards on 53 carries for a 4.6 yard average. He’s been playing on the Cardinals practice squad since September 5 when he was cut from the active roster. Fauria played the past two seasons and the 2015 preseason with the Detroit Lions and did not play last week for the Cardinals in their game against the New Orleans Saints. He has 24 receptions and 287 yards for his career. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Comments Share – / 21 Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Top Stories