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Pension funds’ ETF allocations driven by diversification, study shows

first_imgPension fund allocations to exchange-traded fund (ETFs) are driven by diversification and tactics over short-term transition management, research shows.Schemes’ allocations have grown in recent years but are perceived to be used mainly in investment strategy transition and overlay management.However, research from Greenwich Associates found that pension funds hold onto ETF investments for an average of 29 months, the highest of all institutions in Europe.Its survey of 120 European institutional investors, of which 68 were pension funds, found that one-quarter actively allocate to ETFs. Between the insurance company, asset manager and pension fund respondents, investors allocate an average of 7% of assets to ETFs, the study showed.Greenwich said differences in pension fund regulation within Europe meant it was difficult to make country comparisons, but that public and industry-wide schemes were more likely to use ETFs than company schemes.The study, sponsored by BlackRock, also found 69% of pension fund investors used ETFs for international diversification.More than half (53%) used the funds for tactical adjustment in portfolios, as well as part of a core allocation.Only 9% used ETFs for transitional management, with roughly one in 10 using the strategy for interim beta or overlay management.The report said: “Despite the widespread use of ETFs for tactical applications, few institutions are employing ETFs as true short-term investments.“Less than 2% of study participants report average holding periods of a month or shorter. In practice, European pension funds seem to be employing ETFs in the most strategic manner.”The study also anticipated a growing interest from pension funds, with more than one-fifth of institutions expected to increase ETF exposure over the next three years.However, Greenwich said the actual rate could be higher, as investors – particularly those on the Continent – continuing to diversify away from European government bonds.“As they do so, [investors] are moving beyond the area of expertise and the capabilities of the internal investment departments that have managed sizeable portions of those assets,” the report said.“These changes will likely create demand for new means of achieving desired investment exposures and for new tools for risk management, transition management and other functions associated with more diverse and complex portfolios.”Greenwich also said it expected ETF usage to expand further away from equities, where it is primarily used.“Robust adoption rates in fixed income and experimentation with ETFs in new asset classes such as commodities will also drive ETF growth,” it said.Research from PwC said 78% of asset managers and investment companies surveyed in its report expected total assets in ETFs to increase from $2.6trn (€2.3trn) to $5trn in 2020.last_img read more

Suisham’s winner lifts Steelers over Browns 30-27

first_imgPittsburgh Steelers kicker Shaun Suisham (6), left, is congratulated by teammates agter hitting a 41-yard field goal as time ran out in the fourth quarter of the NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014 in Pittsburgh. The Steelers won 30-27. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)PITTSBURGH (AP) — Johnny Manziel’s time is coming. For now, the most famous backup quarterback in football is merely a student.Brian Hoyer, the journeyman veteran who beat out the Heisman Trophy winner for the starting job in Cleveland, provided a lesson in resilience on Sunday. Then Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers provided another in how to finish.Again.Roethlisberger hit Markus Wheaton twice during a last-gasp drive to set up Shaun Suisham’s 41-yard field goal as the Steelers survived 30-27.“Well, that was exciting, wasn’t it?” joked Steelers coach Mike Tomlin.That’s one way of putting it. Another might be harrowing after Pittsburgh let a 24-point lead evaporate.Still, in the end it was Roethlisberger doing what he always seems to do when he faces the Browns. Roethlisberger improved to 18-1 against Cleveland after one last audible set up Wheaton for a 20-yard gain.“When (Suisham) lines up to kick it, I was on the sideline like, ‘This was why we have him,’” Roethlisberger said. “There was never a doubt he was going to make it.”There never is when the Browns (0-1) play in Pittsburgh (1-0). Cleveland hasn’t beaten the Steelers on the road in 11 years, though for the first time in a long time the gap in the decidedly one-sided rivalry appears to be narrowing.Roethlisberger passed for 365 yards and a touchdown, running back Le’Veon Bell had 197 total yards and a score and Antonio Brown caught five passes for 116 yards with a touchdown. Brown added a highly entertaining (if illegal) kick to the face of Cleveland punter Spencer Lanning — and still the Steelers needed every last second to hold off the Browns.“We can’t apologize for the way we win,” Roethlisberger said. “We just have to win games.”Cleveland’s second-half rally came without receiver Josh Gordon (suspension), running back Ben Tate, who left in the second quarter with a knee injury, and tight end Jordan Cameron (shoulder).It also came without Manziel. He spent his NFL debut in a baseball cap watching Hoyer nearly engineer one of the unlikeliest upsets since the franchise’s reincarnation in 1999.The northern Ohio native who was nearly out of football when the Steelers gave him a short stint as a backup in 2012 completed 19 of 31 passes for 230 yards and a 9-yard touchdown to Travis Benjamin. That tied the game at 27 with 11:15 to go.“I told those guys at the end of the game that I’ll take that team to the end of the Earth if we’re going to fight back like that,” Hoyer said.Scrapping is nothing new to Hoyer, who held off Manziel during an uninspired training camp battle. Coach Mike Pettine promised the well-traveled Hoyer he wouldn’t have to spend games looking over his shoulder. Pettine flatly answered “no” when asked if he considered going to Manziel after the Browns fell behind 27-3 at the half.“The way the game went we just never felt the need for him,” Pettine said.The Browns ditched their methodical attack for an uptempo no-huddle that kept Pittsburgh off-balance. When Tate went to the sideline, rookies Terrance West and Isaiah Crowell provided a jolt.West darted for 100 yards and Crowell scored a pair of second-half touchdowns as the Browns somehow pulled even.It just wasn’t enough. After sometimes frantic play for the first 50 minutes, both teams squandered chances to take control. Cleveland’s last gasp came with a first down its  20 with 1:53 to go. A sack, an incompletion and an ill-advised screen gave the Steelers the ball back at their 43.Roethlisberger found Wheaton for an 11-yard gain on second down and connected with Wheaton again at the Cleveland 24. Suisham, who signed a contract extension during training camp, smacked the winner down the middle.Earlier, surrounded by playmakers and emboldened by an expanded no-huddle offense, Roethlisberger passed for 278 yards — including a beautiful 35-yard rainbow touchdown to Brown — in the first 30 minutes as the Steelers raced to the 27-3 halftime lead.The highlight came on a rollicking punt return by Brown in the second quarter. He tried to leap over Lanning, only to have his cleat smash into Lanning’s face. The play drew an unnecessary roughness penalty on Brown — perhaps the first ever by a punt returner — and comic laughter from the sun-splashed crowd delighting in what appeared to be  another mauling in a series full of them.“I tried to get over him,” Brown said. “There was no intent to hurt him. It was just a bad outcome of a play.”The penalty hardly stopped the Steelers, who needed two plays to spring Bell for a 38-yard touchdown run that made it 24-3.NOTES: Cameron caught two passes for 47 yards before aggravating a shoulder injury that has bothered him all summer. … The Steelers are 11-1 in their last 12 home openers. … Pittsburgh RB Dri Archer left the game with left knee and ankle injuries and did not return.___AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFLlast_img read more

CPI Affiliation Increase 2011

first_imgThe Board of Management agreed that affiliation fees set annually should accommodate increases in the inflated costs of services. Accordingly, the Board of Management moved and approved that annual fees would be set for competitions held within each calendar year; and that the fee set would be adjusted each year to reflect movements in Consumer Price Index (CPI). The year being 1 January to 31 December (2011 first year) and would relate to competitions commencing in the dates described. Accordingly, members are advised that the national affiliation fee (per team) will be increased to $72 (GST exclusive) for all competitions commencing after 1 January 2011 (Season 1 2011).Please click on the attachment for more information. Related Filestfa_affiliation_110110-pdflast_img

Video: Here’s Footage Of The Two Llamas Evading Capture Set To Rod Bramblett’s “Kick Six” Audio Call

first_imgRunaway llamas that went viral in 2015.Two llamas, one white and one black, got loose today in Phoenix and set off a chase that lasted a half-hour. Their chase went viral, leading to some fantastic memes and funny content. Both llamas showed impressive elusiveness, and one person decided to pay tribute to their escapability. He did so by dubbing Auburn radio announcer Rod Bramblett’s famous “Kick Six” call from the 2013 Iron Bowl over footage of the llamas evading capture.Take a look, and a listen:Well-done, and it seems like the white llama at least is a higher-rated prospect than Kick-Six hero Chris Davis was.BREAKING: We now have a new no. 1 player in the @247Sports Composite! #llamas #TeamLlama pic.twitter.com/G4YYY2J27u— 247Sports (@247Sports) February 26, 2015last_img

Whats The Best Way To Build a Major League Baseball Team

“Moneyball” told the story of a plucky Oakland A’s team that exploited market inefficiencies, overcame the loss of several excellent players and went on to have one of the best seven-year runs in franchise history. Today’s A’s have won two straight AL West titles and are in the hunt for a third. They also have fewer elite homegrown players than their predecessors did a decade ago — even the most hardcore baseball fans would have a tough time naming a single A’s superstar. Given their lack of top talent, and the extremely subtle methods they’ve used to build a winner, you could argue that today’s A’s are even more “Moneyball” than their forebears were.The A’s lack of reliance on star players, combined with their recent success, has engendered numerous articles singing their praises and extolling the virtue of a team that uses balance, depth and versatility (and not star power) to win games. Hell, even the defending champion Boston Red Sox — a big-revenue ballclub with a $155 million Opening Day payroll — embraced the power of roster balance and depth to win it all.It’s easy to praise that kind of balanced approach as shrewd. It’s equally easy to denigrate teams that spend a boatload of money on a few famous veterans, leaving the rest of the team fighting for the last few dollars left. But is one tack really more effective than the other? If you want to build a winning baseball team, which strategy works best — a balanced roster, or one made up of stars and scrubs?To answer this question, we used a favorite tool of economists: the Gini coefficient. Typically, the Gini coefficient measures income distribution among a large group of people. We can apply the same principle to roster construction, by using wins above replacement. The Gini coefficient runs on a scale of 0 to 1, with the most unequal distribution coming closer to 1, and more balanced distribution shading closer to 0. A stars-and-scrubs roster would have more WAR variance among players and thus a higher Gini score. A balanced roster would have players bunched closer together by WAR, and thus a lower Gini score.The baseball statistics site FanGraphs’ version of WAR is calibrated to reflect year-end win totals. So if you have two teams generating 50 wins at the end of the season, one with a stars-and-scrubs roster, the other with a balanced squad, the team that will perform better is … neither. After 162 games, wins are wins, regardless of how you acquire them.The best way to solve this problem is to use monthly WAR data, which the good folks of FanGraphs were able to provide. We looked at WAR and WAR distribution for the month of April each year from 1974 through 2013.1Only one season, strike-shortened 1995, wasn’t included in the results. We ran month-by-month Gini data for every team going back those 40 years, tracking WAR inequality for the month, then comparing that result to WAR totals for the rest of the season, to see which of the two roster construction methods yielded more wins.The result? Having a larger Gini coefficient (as you’d see in a stars-and-scrubs roster) is ever so slightly associated with better outcomes over the rest of the season. However, the effect wasn’t large enough to be statistically significant, so this analysis says a team should probably just be indifferent about which approach it uses to build a roster.Of course, this merely tells us about future outcomes for teams that have certain WAR distributions in April. Trying a different route, we split up the monthly data into half-seasons, to see whether this finding (that Gini doesn’t matter after controlling for WAR) holds for a different timeframe. We computed each team’s WAR Gini number for each half-season — June and before, and July and after. Once again, we found that the Gini number was nowhere near statistically significant.Taking one last stab at the problem, we broke seasons up into even and odd months, just in case there was something about a pre- and post-July sample of games that might skew the results. At last, we found a Gini coefficient that was pretty close to being statistically significant. But here’s the thing: The effect was still very small for the purposes of measuring real-life wins and losses. For every one standard deviation of change in the Gini number, you get 0.37 wins per 162 games2In order to account for teams playing different numbers of games in different chunks of the season, the regression was run on WAR per game numbers. We multiplied the regression coefficient by 162 to arrive at the per-162 game rate. — about the same effect as replacing the crappy last guy on your bench with a slightly less crappy 25th man.Looking at the numbers as a whole, we arrive at this conclusion: Build a balanced roster or a stars-and-scrubs roster. Either way, which players are good, and how good they are individually, doesn’t make any difference after we control for how good the team is in the aggregate. The moral of the story is to find players who generate as much value as possible, in whatever combination, period.But if the way teams get their wins doesn’t matter much when looking at the forest, there might still be some lessons we can learn by zooming in on a few trees. Specifically, the most and least balanced teams in our data set.The most imbalanced team during our 40-year stretch was the 2004 Arizona Diamondbacks. And man, did they suck. The D-Backs won just 51 games that year, and lost 111. Only one team in the past 40 years lost more games: the 2003 Detroit Tigers, who went 43-119.3The 2013 Astros likewise posted a 51-111 record, matching those lousy ’04 Diamondbacks. The Astros have been roundly criticized for tanking — not for losing on purpose per se, but for running out an anachronistically tiny $26 million payroll last year, and being content to pocket No. 1 draft picks. They’ll pick first again in this year’s draft, and are the favorites to do so next year, too. Those Diamondbacks employed Randy Johnson, who in 2004 reeled off the seventh-best season by any starting pitcher in the past 40 years, racking up 9.5 wins above replacement.4Tying with 2000 Randy Johnson and 1995 Randy Johnson. In fact, the Big Unit posted five of the nine best seasons by any pitcher in that four-decade span, with Roger Clemens and Pedro Martinez claiming two top seasons each. Randy Johnson was really, really freaking good. Only one other player on that D-Backs team, fellow starting pitcher Brandon Webb, produced more than two wins above replacement that year; a two-win player is a league average player, which means only two members of the ’04 Diamondbacks even managed to be better than average.Turns out that D-Backs club wasn’t unique when it comes to an extreme stars-and-scrubs roster and lousy results. The 16 teams with the biggest WAR distribution in our study all finished below .500. Combined, they averaged fewer than 64 wins per season. You can win quite a few games with LeBron James and a bunch of crummy players, because the best basketball players deliver far more value than the best baseball players.5There are many reasons for this, but it boils down having only five basketball players on the court at the same time, and the best players not needing to wait their turn in the same way that an elite hitter has to wait for eight other guys to bat before he can stride to the plate. One superstar and 24 Oompa Loompas gets you nowhere in baseball.The most balanced team in our study was the 1976 Pittsburgh Pirates. The Buccos won 92 games that year, led by strong contributions from multiple quality players. The team’s top five starting pitchers all delivered above-average seasons, with Bruce Kison, Jerry Reuss, Doc Medich, John Candelaria and Jim Rooker all producing two or more wins above replacement. Six of the eight position players with the most plate appearances — Richie Zisk, Al Oliver, Dave Parker, Frank Taveras, Bill Robinson and Manny Sanguillén — produced above-average seasons.Here again we find that at the extremes, roster composition does seem to matter. The eight most balanced teams in our sample all finished at .500 or better, averaging 94 wins a season.Really, it comes down to this: There are advantages and disadvantages to both roster-building approaches. Assembling a deep and balanced group of players insulates you against one injury torpedoing your entire team. But there are still legitimate reasons to pay the best players $25 million a year or more; an elite baseball player might not be worth 20-plus wins the way the top NBA superstars are, but tacking seven, eight or more wins onto your team’s ledger can make a big difference.Even the scrubs element of the stars-and-scrubs approach can be a blessing in disguise. If a severely imbalanced team gets to the trade deadline and is in contention, it’s much easier to acquire a decent player who’ll be an upgrade over its terrible existing option than it is to do the same for a balanced team that already has decent players at every position.We might get a few more test cases on both ends of the spectrum this year. The deep and balanced A’s are tied for first place in the AL West. On the other hand, the New York Yankees project as one of the most extreme examples of a stars-and-scrubs roster. They employ multiple high-value players like Masahiro Tanaka, Hiroki Kuroda, Jacoby Ellsbury, Brett Gardner, Carlos Beltran and Brian McCann, but also a highly questionable infield that includes Mark Teixeira with a bum wrist; aging, injury-prone second baseman Brian Roberts; a third-base combination of Yangervis Solarte and Kelly Johnson that’s off to a hot start but figures to regress dramatically; plus Derek Jeter, the Hall of Fame shortstop now on his last legs. So far, that approach has worked, with the Yankees leading the AL East, and the possibility of trades to upgrade weak positions looms in June and July.6Acquiring quality second baseman Aaron Hill from the last-place Diamondbacks makes so much sense, it’s criminal. And that’s before we even touch the close relationship that exists between Yankees general manager Brian Cashman and Arizona GM Kevin Towers.A poor team like the A’s might have no choice but to pursue that balanced method, since they lack the big revenue stream that would allow them to pay multiple veteran superstars. Doubly so without the army of homegrown stars like Barry Zito, Tim Hudson, Mark Mulder, Jason Giambi, Eric Chavez and Miguel Tejada who led the way for the “Moneyball” A’s. Meanwhile, the Yankees might never be able to resist the siren song of a $100 million (or $275 million) player. If the two approaches deliver similar results, that could be an equalizer for low-budget teams trying to keep up with their richer rivals. read more

Gundogan on why City must win the Champions League

first_imgIlkay Gundogan believes Manchester City must win the Champions League to be noted as an elite football club.The Citizens have managed just one semi-final in their pursuit for Europe’s greatest prize in football and Gundogan feels they ought to break the jinx.Having won every trophy in the domestic scene, the Champions League is one prize that is still eluding the club.“We’ve experienced a lot in the Champions League in recent years – not all of it positive, of course, and we should’ve won it at least once,” said the Germany midfielder via the Mirror.“Every club, every team, every single player would like to lift this trophy sometime. The competition to win it is so big year in, year out, so your chances are not that good, but there’s a team that wins it every year.“If you want to be in the international elite, as a club, and as a player, you need to clinch this trophy.“If we were to win it someday, the club would enter a new era – the same level as Real, Barca, Bayern or Juventus .”City are expected to take the next step by overcoming Gundogan’s hometown club Schalke in the last 16.Time for the knock-outs! ⚽️Sergio Ramos, Champions League, Real MadridSergio Ramos would love a fifth Champions League trophy Manuel R. Medina – September 10, 2019 According to Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos, winning a fifth European trophy with his club would be crazy, but he wants to do it before retiring.Who’s getting pumped for Wednesday?#s04vcity 🔵 #mancity pic.twitter.com/j4yZADHTH1— Manchester City (@ManCity) February 18, 2019The first leg is in Gelsenkirchen on Wednesday and Gundogan accepts City are hot favourites because of the club’s contrasting fortunes.The gulf in class between the two sides is huge with Pep Guardiola’s men chasing the Quadruple, while Schalke are struggling in 14th place in the BundesligaHowever, Gundogan claims they must be wary of the threat the German side pose.“We are clear favourites in this tie and rightly so,” he said. “However, every team in the last 16 has earned the right to be there.“Because of that, we’ll respect our opponents and prepare for it as if it’s a final because it’s the knockout phase and every mistake can be severely punished.”last_img read more