The Environment Agency Pension Fund (EAPF) has committed £85m (€106m) to a new long-term equity fund launched by Ownership Capital.The $750m (€578m) fund, still conducting its first round of capital raising, has attracted mandates from four pension investors, with the £6.5bn scheme for employees of Unilever and the UK’s Pensions Trust also named.Mark Mansley, CIO at the EAPF, said his fund was impressed by Ownership’s commitment to stewardship and responsible investment and noted that it was implementing the recommendation’s of the UK’s Kay Review by focusing its portfolio on 20-30 stocks.He told IPE the EAPF had committed £85m to the strategy, which would form part of the scheme’s 25% allocation to sustainable investments. Ownership was launched in 2012 after four of PGGM’s responsible equity team, including its head Alex van der Velden, left the pension manager.Van der Velden, now the company’s CIO, said much of the asset management industry was “overly short-termist”, an issue Ownership hoped to address“We are excited to have the backing of such highly rated investors as Unilever, the Pensions Trust and the EAPF, and look forward to investing on their behalf,” he said. The fund will target returns over a decade-long period, the company said.Dutch manager SPF Beheer has recently enjoyed some success with more concentrated equity portfolios, while both the EAPF and the UN-backed Principles for Responsible Investment have highlighted the opportunities stemming from a more long-term investment approach.
Mrs. Richards (R) embraces Old Lady Comfort Juah for keeping herself in businessEighty year-old African-American missionary Shirley Richards has rededicated her life to charity in Liberia and mainly in communities where vulnerable women and children are finding it difficult to meet their daily needs.Mrs. Richards is a U.S. citizen residing in Texas, but who often visits Liberia as well as other African countries where she contributes to the well-being of people whose life circumstances have placed them far below the poverty index, as recorded recently by a UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) survey.The octogenarian (a person in their eighties) informed beneficiaries of the Rock Hole neighborhood of ELWA, Paynesville, that she and her husband Robert Richards first visited Liberia as missionaries of the Church of Christ Holiness in 1975, at which time the country had reached its present level of development.Mrs. Richards’ exercise on Monday benefited over 100 community inhabitants, many of whom were the less fortunate.“My late husband and I have visited Liberia several times before and after the country’s 14-year war. This trip, I believe, is my 27th to Liberia with other friends, who also did some good jobs on our behalf,” she said.She noted that her desire to be a kind giver is an “act of defining Christian life from being a church member to a caregiver, lover of humanity and one who empathizes with those in need.”Some of the items Mrs. Richards presented and which targeted about 100 persons, included solar lights, used clothes, and a 25kg bag of rice to a family of five, so that God takes charge and elevates their living standards.“I do not see myself as benefactor whenever I share whatever items with people, but as God’s privileged individual among many others who could do better than I. I am happy and pray that the socioeconomic condition of these people, including children, are improved,” she said.Mrs. Richards (with dark glasses) poses with some of the children who benefited from her gestureShe recalled that when former President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf received her Nobel Peace Prize in 2011, the president appealed to Liberians in the Diaspora to come to Liberia and invest or share their gains with the many struggling families.Mrs. Richards recalled how during the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak she had 106 students on a scholarship program, a farm in Caldwell, and a parcel of land in Paynesville earmarked for a school.“The scholarship program and the farm could not continue, owing to my age now. No one has been there to come and take over from me,” she said, adding that maintaining a scholarship program goes beyond payment of fees.According to her, she invested a little over US$7000.As done before for two other ladies, Mrs. Richards made a commitment to improve the petty trading businesses of fish seller Comfort Juah and Mary Browne, a fufu seller, by providing money to buy their goods.She called on beneficiaries to improve their little businesses but not to sell the gift items.Deborah Garto, 65; Janet Bondo, 42; and Patrick Sumo, 38 — all recipients — expressed gratitude to Mrs. Richards for being kindhearted to residents of poverty-stricken communities.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
‘Game of Thrones’ Director Explains Why Arya Ambushed the Night King’Game of Thrones’ Star Sophie Turner Predicts Sansa Stark’s Future Waiting to hear when Game of Thrones comes back is a little like watching ice melt. You never know when it’s coming and it always seems to happen slowly. Only this time, for season seven, it was literally that.After a weird publicity stunt that had HBO getting viewers to watch a block of ice melt, we have a release date. Game of Thrones season seven will premiere on July 16, which is a Sunday, at 9 p.m.HBO made the announcement on Thursday following a Facebook Live video, which showed a literal interpretation of the book series the show is based on: A Song of Ice and Fire. The network set up a block of ice with an object in it that supposedly concealed the premiere date. Viewers were told to type “fire” into the comments to ignite a flame that would melt it.Things were going smoothly for the first 15 minutes before the stream was taken down due to technical difficulties. So not only were thousands of fans watching a block of ice melt very slowly online, but they couldn’t do it properly.Either way, the stunt finally paid off with the premiere date, along with a tagline and a new teaser. Stay on target The great war is here. #GoTS7 premieres 7.16. pic.twitter.com/1Jna10kNuQ— Game Of Thrones (@GameOfThrones) March 9, 2017The seven-episode season was pushed back this year. Normally the show premieres in spring, but it was pushed back to mid-summer because, aptly, winter was coming in reality. According to HBO, executive producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss wanted to use the snow on the ground to their advantage, since winter is finally here on the show.And considering the tagline for this season is “Fear the Winter,” we’re going to need all the winter we can get.It was a joke for a while among fans, that “winter is coming” for the Stark family, but very slowly. Unfortunately, “winter” has multiple meanings in Westeros. In the Game of Thrones world, “winter” is a season that can last for years and can ravage the landscape, especially for those who live in the North. It also refers to the White Walkers that have been making their way towards the Wall since season two.As the numerous families have been fighting each other over a pointy and uncomfortable Iron Throne for six seasons, the real threat has been making its way towards Westeros. That’s the real war that’s mentioned in the teaser, and the one that will hopefully come to a head in season seven.So yes, winter is a big deal and we’ll be getting a taste of it… in the dead of summer.Need more Thrones in the meantime, check out our GoT gift guide.