The UK’s investment management association has unveiled an action plan aimed at boosting long-term investment to solve the country’s “productivity puzzle”.Its proposed actions include working with the UK pensions regulator and industry association to improve stewardship, as well as investigating whether pension funds are being forced to de-risk too much.The Investment Association (IA) said the UK government welcomed its action plan, referenced by chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne in the 2016 Budget last week.It will formally update the chancellor on progress on the first and third anniversaries of the plan’s publication. The action plan, which aims to “catalyse the provision of long-term finance and enhance investor stewardship”, is built on an analysis of the barriers to long-term investment and the role investors can play in lowering these.Andrew Ninian, director of corporate governance at the Investment Association, said improving productivity required long-term investment by UK businesses.“The action plan seeks to deliver ambitious and achievable remedies to the ills of some of the most serious causes of short-term thinking in the British economy,” he said.“The investment industry remains steadfast in its commitment to play its part in fixing the UK productivity puzzle and help fix the challenge of our generation.”The plan has five principal objectives, underpinned by 12 recommendations in turn based on proposals for “a series of tangible actions”.It calls on various actors to take action, from companies and investment consultants to asset owners.Listed companies, for example, should stop reporting quarterly and instead focus on “a broader range of strategic issues”.Asset managers, meanwhile, should be supported in their public reporting of stewardship activities.The IA also called for changes to the way in which the relationship between asset owners and investment managers is governed so that it does not “inadvertently embed a short-term focus”.It has, therefore, proposed to work with The Pensions Regulator (TPR), the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) and investment consultants “to develop best-practice guidance on how stewardship and long-term incentives can be better incorporated into the Statement of Investment Principles and Mandate design”.Investment consultants should publicly set out how their activities “support the provision of long-term investment approaches and stewardship in mandate design and performance evaluation”, added the IA.Having found that defined contribution (DC) pension schemes face barriers to making long-term investments, the IA also proposed establishing a working group “to consider the key regulatory and market barriers to creating a DC investment environment more suited to long-term investment”.One of the reasons why longer-term financing is not reaching the UK economy, according to the IA, is that solvency and prudential regulation are leading to excessive de-risking in asset allocation.However well-meaning prudential regulation is, it contains an “over-emphasis on short-term market risk”, said the IA.This “embed[s] a focus on volatility and benchmark tracking error in the governance of investment strategies deployed”.This diagnosis is behind further actions proposed by the IA, one of which is to convene a working group “to review the extent to which current accounting standards and solvency and prudential regulatory requirements may be resulting in excessive de-risking by insurers and pension funds and impeding the provision of longer terms of finance”. Longer-term forms of capital, according to the IA, include equity, infrastructure and private placements.TPR balancing act The IA’s action plan contains “a number of interesting recommendations which we will consider further”, a spokesperson at The Pensions Regulator told IPE. “We already support economic growth by encouraging a balanced approach to the funding of defined benefit pension schemes – benefiting businesses and strengthening security for pensions,” added the spokesperson. “Employers’ ability to invest in long-term sustainable growth is balanced with our objectives to protect members’ accrued benefits and the Pension Protection Fund (PPF).”On the topic of DC pension schemes, the spokesperson referred to the regulator’s new code of practice and supporting guides, “which will set out our expectations of trustees in governing their scheme’s investments, and provide helpful guidance to assist them in meeting the challenges in this area.The code is expected to be laid in Parliament in May, and comes into force in July, according to TPR. The PLSA, meanwhile, “looks forward” to contributing its members’ perspective to the IA’s programme, said Luke Hildyard, policy lead on stewardship and corporate governance at the PLSA. “All investors need to take a long-term perspective when undertaking their investments and the Association has consistently promoted responsible, long-term investment stewardship,” he told IPE. He referred to work already carried out by the PLSA in this area, such as a recent report highlighting the importance of better corporate reporting of human capital and its stewardship disclosure frameworks for asset managers to set out their approach to prospective pension fund clients.
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) – All-rounder Rivaldo Clarke produced an outstanding performance to power hosts Barbados to their second straight win but Trinidad and Tobago stumbled to their second straight defeat, in the second round of the Regional Under-15 Championship here yesterday.Playing at 3W’s Oval, the Barbadians got the better of Leeward Islands by 35 runs while the Trinidadians slumped to a seven-run loss to Guyana at Lucas Street, in the southern parish of St Philip.At Crab Hill in the north of the island, Windward Islands grabbed their first victory when they downed Jamaica by eight wickets.However, it was Clarke who took centre stage with his all-round heroics. Sent in, Barbados rattled up 192 for seven off their 50 overs with Clarke stroking 76 off 114 deliveries with eight fours.The right-hander put on 70 for the second wicket with the left-handed Jacob Bethell who made 29Kenny Sutton (2-23) and Jaylen Francis (2-26) finished with two wickets apiece.In reply, the Leewards were dismissed for 157 off 44 overs with off-spinner Clarke grabbing six for 28.They were given a dashing start by Carlton Tuckett and Anderson Amurdan who staged a 69-run stand off just 86 deliveries.Tuckett did the bulk of the scoring striking four boundaries in an attractive 54 off 90 balls while Amurdan made 15 from 34 deliveries.Left-arm spinner Renacko Belgrave accounted for both, but it was Clarke who sliced through the middle and lower orders with a devastating spell, as the Leewards lost their last seven wickets for 44 runs.T&T’s poor form meanwhile continued as they failed to overhaul a target of 134 and were dismissed for 126.Opener Kyle Roopchand top-scored with 37 off 86 balls with three fours but was the only one to pass 20 as the Trinidadians lost wickets steadily.They were undone by new-ball bowler Sheldon Charles who claimed three for 24 while Andre Seepersaud picked up two for 12.Sent in earlier, Guyana were lifted by Charles’ top score of 42 as they were bowled out for 133 with two balls left in the innings.Arriving at number six, he faced 84 balls and counted four boundaries before being last out.Darren Samlal led Trinidad with four for 18 while Aneil Pitiram ended with three 30.In the other game, Ackeem Auguste stroked 62 as Windward Islands chased down Jamaica’s 133 all out to win in the 42nd over.Sanjay Walker had earlier scored 35 and Jordan Johnson, 27, to lead Jamaica’s batting.
Blake Griffin of the Clippers has shown no reluctance to get in the paint after missing 15 consecutive games with a staph infection in his right elbow. He might even be going in there more since his return a week ago Sunday. His rebound numbers attest to that as he was averaging 9.5 in the four games he had played before Sunday’s 107-100 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans; he was averaging 7.7 on the season.Indeed, it appears there was no way Griffin was going to take anything easy once he got back in the fold. On Friday, he went hard to the ground on his back after being fouled by Washington’s Nene with 5:39 left in the third quarter while going hard to the basket. Nene was called for a flagrant 1 foul. Less than a minute earlier, Paul Pierce had committed a flagrant 1 foul on Griffin. Griffin had no reaction either time, and he explained why.“I don’t think any of them were malicious,” Griffin said. “That’s just kind of a read. When you don’t think anything is meant to be done in a harmful way, there’s no need to react. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Chris Paul has his teammates’ back, and has been offering him emotional support.“It’s tough,” Paul said. “Jamal is a huge part of this team. We need him. But guys have been stepping up. I tell Jamal all the time that we’re going to need him more in the postseason than we do right now.“He is doing everything he can to get back on the court.”Coach Doc Rivers admitted after Friday’s victory over the Washington Wizards that there is a chance Crawford might not return. Prior to tipoff Sunday, Rivers said, “Jamal told me he’s feeling better, it just doesn’t seem like he is.”Rivers conceded that Crawford’s injury is worse than the team initially thought.“Probably,” he said. “I think (head trainer) J.P. (Jasen Powell) was concerned pretty much right away, but I think even he’s been caught off guard; not off guard, he probably thinks it’s worse than we thought.”Crawford, who turned 35 Friday, is shooting 40.1 percent from the field and 34.5 percent (115 of 345) from 3-point range. For his career, he’s shooting 41.1 percent overall and 35 percent from beyond the arc.But any time one is assessing Crawford’s percentages, the difficulty of many of his shots is higher than most.Crawford showed up in the locker room pregame Sunday and was not limping as much as he was a few days earlier.UpcomingThe Clippers (46-25) now embark on a three-game road trip that will feature stops Wednesday at New York, Friday at Philadelphia and Sunday at Boston. When they come back, they will host Golden State on March 31. “They are a physical group, but we are, too. So you just have to take hits and then keep going and show that you can take hits.” Griffin only had five rebounds Sunday to go with his 23 points, but he’s still averaging 8.6 rebounds since his return. His career average is 9.8.Paul supports CrawfordOne has to wonder how the Clippers’ chances in the postseason will be affected if they are without a healthy Jamal Crawford, who Sunday missed his 10th consecutive game with a right calf injury.Crawford averages 16.4 points off the bench and though his shooting-percentage numbers are down just a bit, there can be no mistaking that he remains a very clutch player, the kind who can miss his first four shots and make his next six.