Its board said that it had asked for quotes from three insurers, including Aegon, which has already insured 86% of the scheme’s liabilities.The pension fund said it preferred a buyout with a focus on consumer price index (CPI) inflation, as it used this measure to grant uplifts to its deferred participants and 3,000 pensioners.Benefits for VNU’s 227 active participants, however, are linked to wage inflation.If the Pensioenfonds VNU could not afford the insurance buyout, it would continue as an independent scheme for the time being, it said.Nielsen, the sponsoring employer, is assessing the possibility of shifting future pensions accrual elsewhere, probably under a defined contribution plan, in line with the parent company’s worldwide pensions arrangements.In its annual report for 2017, the scheme indicated that continuing as a closed pension fund would be another option.The VNU scheme has 5,300 participants in total.Private credit specialist targets Benelux expansionUK asset manager Pemberton has opened an office in Amsterdam, citing “increased investment opportunities in the Benelux”.The company, which specialises in private credit, said it wanted to enforce its relationship with local clients as well as private equity and other financial firms.At the same time, Pemberton has appointed Boris Harmsen as managing director and head of Benelux.Harmsen joins from IKB Deutsche Industriebank, where he was head of leverage finance and sponsor coverage for Benelux.Prior to this, Harmsen had positions at Dutch asset manager Egeria, Deutsche Bank and ABN Amro Bank.London-based Pemberton has also offices in Frankfurt, Madrid, Milan, Luxembourg and Paris, and is 40% owned by Legal & General. The €450m pension fund of Dutch publisher VNU is considering an insurance buyout in order to safeguard its inflation-linked benefits.In a newsletter, it said the transfer to an insurer would only go ahead if the scheme itself could fund a significant part of future inflation compensation.Although most of its liabilities have already been insured with Aegon, the pension fund still pays indexation from its own assets. This includes the risk that the scheme is unable to achieve its indexation target.During the past few months Pensioenfonds VNU has reduced its risk exposure by lowering its equity allocation from 50% to 20%.
Premier League director of communications Dan Johnson said the clubs’ decision two years ago to introduce spending controls had also contributed to a positive financial outlook Johnson said: “There are two reasons for this. The first is increasing revenues and the second is the financial criteria the clubs have voted in two seasons ago which put financial sustainability at the heart of how they want to go forward.” The measures introduced by the clubs capped the amount they could use TV money to pay for player costs. It also put a long-term limit on a club’s overall losses. The figures also show Sunderland are the ninth-highest payers but are 16th in the table. Manchester United are expected to be overtaken as the biggest payers in the Premier League this year. United’s wage bill for last season was £215.8million – the biggest in English football – but in the first six months of this season dropped by six per cent, mainly as a result of not paying Champions League bonuses. United’s figures show wages for the six months ending December 31 were £98.1million compared to £104.6million for the same period last season. Manchester City, who had a £205million wage bill in 2013/14, are likely to overtake United. Chelsea are the third-highest payers with a wage bill of £192.7million. Bottom-club Burnley’s wage bill is just £21.5million including £6million in promotion bonuses, one-tenth the size of United’s. The wages costs and profits or losses of all top-flight clubs for 2013/14 have now been confirmed via annual accounts posted at Companies House and overall there is a close correlation between total salary bill and league position with the current top four in the Premier League also the four biggest payers. Southampton are the club punching heaviest above their weight in the Premier League in terms of performance compared to wages paid to players. Saints are only ranked 16th in the top flight in terms of their wage bill – £55.2million – and yet are currently seventh in the table. The biggest under-achievers are QPR, with a £75million wage bill even from a season when they were in the Championship making them the eighth-highest payers – yet they are 19th in the table. QPR’s salary bill was almost twice the club earned last season in total last season. The combined accounts of the 20 clubs shows over overall turnover rose to £3.07billion from £2.3billion in 2012/13, with wages increasing too but at a slower rate and totalling £1.84billion compared to £1.59billion. The latest figure shows salaries account for 59.9 per cent of turnover compared to 71.7 per cent for the same 20 clubs a year before. The increase in income is mainly down to the Premier League’s lucrative television deal, which came into effect for the first time last season. The cash injection has led to six clubs who were in the red in 2012/13 now finding themselves in the black. Apart from those clubs who were promoted from the Championship last season, only Manchester City, Aston Villa and Sunderland ended the 2013/14 season having made a financial loss. Press Association
The 2019 African Games have officially began in Morocco after the opening ceremony was held on Monday night in Rabat.54 countries including Ghana are taking part in the Games which will run from August 16 to August 31. Sportsmen and women from the participating countries will be involved in 26 sporting disciplines.Team Ghana was represented at the opening ceremony and the contingent was led by captain, Derek Abrefa, who will take part in the men’s table tennis event.(Image credit: Akosua Addai Amoo/ AIPS)4 cities- Rabat, Casablanca, El Jedida and Khemisset- will host the various events during the duration of the Games.Ghana will take part in 14 disciplines and already, the Black Satellites have played their first football matches which they won 2-1 against Burundi on Saturday, August 17. They will face Senegal in their second group game on Wednesday.On Tuesday, August 20, Ghana’s Kelvin Carboo and Samuel Essielfie, will go up against their opponents from Rwanda in the men’s beach volleyball quarter finals.