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first_imgAccording to Timo Ritakallio, president and chief executive at Ilmarinen, the company’s long-term investment strategy was a key element in its success.He said: “The diversification across different asset classes and also geographically has proved successful. Last year, we also succeeded particularly well in the timing of our investment decisions.”However, continuing low interest rates were reflected in the 1.2% return on Ilmarinen’s fixed income portfolio, compared with 2.4% the year before.According to Ilmarinen CIO Mikko Mursula, low interest rates prompted investors to look for alternatives throughout 2015, leading to brisk activity on the real estate markets.“Property once again proved its worth in our portfolio, with a return of 7.8%, compared with 5.4% the year before,” said Mursula.“Last year, we continued to diversify our real estate portfolio outside Finland, buying properties in Germany, Belgium and the US, among other countries.”Ilmarinen’s solvency remained strong. At end-2015, solvency capital was €8.2bn – 29.6% of the technical provisions, giving a solvency position of 2.0 times the solvency limit.In terms of its operations, however, the company said the development of customer numbers did not reach the levels of previous years.Ritakallio said: “We can be satisfied with our customer acquisition, but strengthening customer retention will be a focus area in our operations in the future.”In other news, Norwegian public service pension fund KLP reported value-adjusted and book returns of 4% and 3.6%, respectively, for 2015.KLP said good returns in the equity and property markets were the main contributors to Q4 profits, with value-adjusted returns of 2% for the last three months of the year.Sverre Thornes, chief executive at KLP, said: “Poor prospects for economic growth and persistently low interest rates have resulted in higher risk premiums for debt instruments, unsettled equity markets and low commodity prices.“Against that backdrop, it is now important to have sufficient solidity to withstand further fluctuations in the market. KLP has strengthened its financial buffers to be as well prepared as possible in facing challenging capital markets.”Under the new Solvency II rules, KLP has a solvency ratio of 187% without the use of transitional rules for technical provisions.When using these rules, the solvency ratio is 274%.The group has freed up premium reserves of NOK19.6bn with changes to its disability financing, new disability rates and special conditions for the nurses’ scheme.Thornes said: “NOK14.9bn of these assets is set to be used for solvency-promoting measures such as reducing the average guaranteed rate of return and making transfers to the risk-equalisation fund. The remaining NOK4.7bn will be returned to the customers’ premium fund.”The large influx of new customers running public sector occupational pension schemes in recent years has continued.During 2015, 22 public businesses and one municipality, with just under NOK2bn worth of assets in total, transferred to KLP.Group assets under management rose to NOK543bn, from NOK491bn at end-2014, with the growth largely attributable to these customers.In total, 91 municipalities, one county and 375 public businesses have chosen KLP as their provider since 2012. Finnish pension insurance company Ilmarinen has reported a 6% return on its portfolio in challenging market conditions for 2015, compared with 6.8% the previous year.Within its portfolio, worth €35.8bn at end-December, equities performed best, in spite of share price volatility.The return on the equity portfolio was 11.6%, with Finland, Europe and Japan the top performers.However, Ilmarinen said the US equity market return in dollars was modest, while returns from emerging market equities fell into negative territory.last_img read more

first_img Comments Published on March 20, 2012 at 12:00 pm Contact Mark: [email protected] | @mark_cooperjr BOSTON – Sitting in the middle of the Wisconsin trio at Wednesday’s press conference, Ryan Evans turned his head right and shared a laugh with Jordan Taylor. To Evans’ left, Jared Berggren stared ahead beaming as if he had just been told a joke.The thought that the Badgers, in an effort to puzzle Syracuse, would differentiate from their trademark man-to-man defense and go zone was comical to the UW veterans.‘I’ve never played a second of zone defense since I’ve been at Wisconsin,’ said Taylor, UW’s senior guard. ‘… I don’t think you’re going to see that tomorrow.’Wisconsin is the best in the nation defensively, allowing 52.9 points per game and deploying a physical, Big Ten-style man-to-man defense. Syracuse has been held to less than that number just once, in a 52-51 win over Louisville on Feb. 13. The top-seeded Orange (33-2) scored 50 points in the second half of its 75-59 win over Kansas State in the NCAA Tournament’s third round last Saturday, getting its offense back on track. But the No. 4 Badgers (26-9) defense is a difficult test standing in the way of Syracuse’s first Elite Eight appearance since 2003.The two teams play Thursday at 7:15 p.m. in the TD Garden in Boston. The winner will play against the victor of the No. 2 Ohio State and No. 6 Cincinnati matchup, a game played in the TD Garden after Syracuse’s matchup.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe Orange’s success against KSU came against the Wildcats’ man-to-man defense. Before that, Syracuse displayed trouble in matchups with zone defenses.So the question of whether Wisconsin would consider breaking out a zone defense was not out of left field with regard to the matchup. But Taylor said he heard head coach Bo Ryan say he played it one possession, was scored on and never went back.Wisconsin plays a physical, tough man-to-man, and it plays it very well.‘They stay in front of you,’ guard Brandon Triche said. ‘They’re not a team that’s going to overplay too much, try to pressure you too much, but they almost keep you in front so much that it makes you want to speed up and makes you want to do things that you’re normally not accustomed to, just because there’s not going to be as many easy shots.’One of the strongest aspects of Wisconsin’s man-to-man is its help-side defense. Ryan said the Badgers call their help-side defense ‘policemen.’ Triche said the way UW helps on defense is similar to a zone.The support system Wisconsin’s players provide on defense allow UW to protect in the paint and on ball screens. Against Syracuse, it could also be a factor if the Orange guards try and beat the Badgers off the dribble.‘They’re not going to give you anything,’ SU head coach Jim Boeheim said in his press conference Wednesday. ‘You’re not going to get anything easy against them. You have to execute and play well on the offensive end of the court.’All season long, the Wisconsin players have forced teams into low-percentage shots near the end of the shot clock. The Badgers rank 10th in the nation in field goal percentage defense (38.5 percent) and fourth in 3-point shooting percentage defense (28.8 percent). UW has allowed its opponents to make just 3.54 3-pointers per game – tops in the country.Syracuse got past Kansas State thanks in part to a 6-of-9 shooting game from 3. But as Triche said, Wisconsin’s defense sticks with its assignments. If the Orange drives, UW is not likely to overcompensate and allow a Syracuse guard to kick the ball out for an open triple.Syracuse assistant coach Mike Hopkins said the Badgers look even better on tape than they do on the score sheet. There’s a sense of the time Wisconsin commits to perfecting its defense, Hopkins said, and the players have high basketball IQs.‘You’re getting one shot, and it seems like you’re always taking a contested shot,’ he said, ‘and that’s what great defensive teams do.’Syracuse has been successful in matchups with man-to-man by utilizing its length, athleticism and ability to run. The Orange enters Thursday’s game against the Badgers with slight advantages in size and athleticism once again.But not many teams have attacked Ryan’s defense and succeeded. The Badgers have allowed 70-plus points in two of 35 games.Syracuse wants to be the third. And guard Scoop Jardine said it will be more about what the Orange does to execute on offense that determines the outcome.‘We’ve just got to run our sets, whatever defense the team is in,’ Jardine said. ‘We know they play like a soft man, where they’re going to help a lot, and they’re very grounded on defense. ‘They’re a very smart defensive (team). We know that, so we have to move the ball and help each other get open and get better shots, and I think if we do that, we should be fine.’[email protected]center_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

first_imgDES MOINES — House Republicans have scaled back their plan to change the commission that nominates judges for district courts, the Iowa Court of Appeals and the Iowa Supreme Court.Drew Klein, a lobbyist for American for Prosperity,  said the amendment making those changes is still a good step toward making the commission more accountable to Iowans.“I don’t think the amendment would have arrived to the committee if it were not necessary to secure votes,” Klein said.Late Wednesday afternoon, all but one Republican on a House committee voted to let lawyers continue electing fellow lawyers to the Judicial Nominating Commissions for district courts, but legislative leaders from both political parties would start choosing half the members of the commission that selects nominees for the Iowa Supreme Court and Court of Appeals. Representative Steven Holt, a Republican from Denison, said the bill may get more tweaks as it advances to House debate.“Iowa has a great judicial system, but that does not mean that improvements cannot be made,” Holt said.Representative Andy McKean, a retired attorney from Anamosa, was the only Republican to vote against the changes.“There’s an old saying: ‘Be careful what you pray for,’” McKean said. “In my opinion, this bill adds a new political dimension to the way we nominate judges in the state of Iowa and I think it may very well come back to bite the proponents of this bill.”Late this morning, Republican Governor Kim Reynolds revealed her second pick for an opening on the Iowa Supreme Court. James Carney, a lobbyist for the Iowa State Bar Association, said that shows the current system for choosing Iowa judges works well.“With Chris McDonald going on, he’ll be a great addition to the court,” Carney said. “With that, there’ll be five Republicans on the Supreme Court and the two Democrats will be leaving in the next four years, we know for sure.”The retirement age for Iowa Supreme Court Justices is 70.Democrats in the legislature are opposes to changing the system for nominating judges, but Republicans hold a majority of seats in the Iowa House and Senate.last_img read more