For immediate release: April 9, 2007Treasurer Announces New Economically Targeted Investment ProgramMontpelier – Vermont State Treasurer Jeb Spaulding announced today that his office will soon be soliciting investment proposals for a new pension fund program intended to support economic and community development in Vermont. This initiative stems from a policy on economically targeted investments adopted by the Vermont Pension Investment Committee, which oversees more than $3 billion in retirement funds for Vermont teachers, state employees, and municipal employees.“Our pension fund trustees work hard to protect the workers and retirees who depend on our retirement funds and this initiative will not reduce our obligation in that regard. However, to the extent that we can support economic and community development in Vermont without sacrificing performance, it makes sense to do so,” Spaulding explained.Economically targeted investments are intended to generate market rate returns while providing collateral benefits that enhance quality of life and promote economic activity in a targeted area, in this case Vermont. Economic or social benefits do not justify lower returns or inappropriate levels of risk.Spaulding stated that the kinds of investment opportunities that may be appropriate for the pension funds include affordable housing, energy efficiency, venture capital, or timber. “Actually, we don’t want to limit the field of investment possibilities. We are hoping that creative minds will look over our policy and come up with some innovative proposals that meet our criteria for investment,” Spaulding explained.The program was developed to clearly articulate the criteria by which proposals will be judged and to solicit investment proposals from qualified managers once a year. The first request for proposals window will be May 1 – June 15, 2007. In order to be considered, proposals must, at a minimum:Target risk-adjusted, market-rate returns equivalent to or higher than other available investments in a similar asset class, andProvide a substantial, direct, and measurable benefit to economic or community development within the State of Vermont. Any investments will be placed with an experienced and capable manager in an applicable asset class; no direct investments will be considered.Parties interested in receiving more information on the program should go to the State Treasurer’s Web site at www.vermonttreasurer.gov(link is external) or call 802-828-1452.# # # # #Barbara F. AgnewAssistant to the Treasurer109 State Street, 4th FloorMontpelier, VT 05609-6200Tel: 802-828-1452Fax: 802-828-2772
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Improvements in UK defined benefit (DB) scheme funding have masked challenges facing smaller pension funds, according to Goldman Sachs Asset Management (GSAM).The fund manager reviewed DB schemes attached to the UK’s largest 350 listed companies and found that smaller schemes – those with less than £500m (€557m) in assets – tended to experience more volatility regarding their funding position.Schemes with less than £100m had a funding level on average 15% lower than those with £5bn or more, GSAM reported.The group said the data reflected small schemes “have not managed their risk exposures as effectively as larger schemes, likely due to a lower degree of governance”. Larger schemes have adopted liability-driven investment strategies, diversified their portfolios and implemented currency hedges, GSAM added. However, these strategies were increasingly available to small schemes, the asset manager said.David Curtis, head of UK and Irish institutional business at GSAM, said: “While the funding rate of smaller pension schemes improved this year, we see much greater volatility in their funding position than larger schemes who have consistently improved their funding level every year of the four years we have run our FTSE 350 study in the UK.“This highlights that larger schemes better implement risk management strategies that protect and advance pension scheme solvency consistently.”Although limited to FTSE 350 companies, the study had implications across the UK’s pension system GSAM said, as roughly 87% of private sector schemes had less than £500m in assets.Overall, UK schemes have experienced a positive year in terms of aggregate funding positions. Multiple estimates have reported that assets have grown faster than liabilities during 2018, with FTSE 100-listed companies hitting 100% funding for their DB schemes earlier this year.However, Shoqat Bunglawala, head of GSAM’s global portfolio solutions group, warned that risks were rising. “In the next year alone, schemes are likely going to have to navigate higher interest rates in some markets, continued conflicts around trade, Italian budget negotiations and other macroeconomic risks that come with being in the late stages of the economic cycle,” he said.“UK schemes in particular will be faced with their own challenges including the outcome of Brexit, potentially increasing interest rates and a volatile currency. In this environment, we think an enhanced focus on risk mitigation and a dynamic approach to asset allocation will prove invaluable.” Source: JLT, Mercer, PPF
The Batesville Lady Bulldogs placed 1st in a Girls 3-Way Swimming Meet at South Dearborn on Tuesday (11-18).Team scores were Batesville 151, South Dearborn 106, Switzerland County 21.Batesville Individual Event Winners: Emily Gutzwiller 200 IM, 100 Breast, Taylor Villani 200/500 Free, Elizabeth Weiler 100 Free, Ashley Daulton 100 Back, and Mary Poltrack 100 Fly.Batesville JV event winners: Mary Poltrack: 50 Free, Lauren Caplinger 100 Free, Sarah Poltrack 100 Back, and Audra Brewer 100 Breast.Lady Bulldogs are 2-0 on the season. (1-0 EIAC)Courtesy of Bulldogs Coach T. J. Greene.