AP7 cuts gearing and adds risk-factor investments

first_imgSweden’s AP7 plans to introduce factor investing into its portfolio for the first time as part of a risk-reduction exercise.The national pension fund that provides the default option in Sweden’s Premium Pension System (PPM) will also lower the gearing on its equity portfolio.The SEK430bn (€41.4bn) pension fund said: “As a step in implementing the new strategic portfolio, which was decided in 2016, AP7 is now starting to invest in factor premiums.”The goal, it said, was to invest 10% of the fund in these strategies over the next few years. 
“At the same time, the normal level of leverage is being reduced to 25%,” it said. This is reduction from the previous normal level of 35%.However, the actual level of gearing was to be set even lower, at 15% percent, AP7 said, due to its previous assessment of market valuations.At the end of December, the pension fund’s actual level of gearing was around 25%, according to its 2017 annual report.Since 2010, a central part of AP7’s management strategy for its SEK396bn equity fund – which accounts for the vast majority of its overall assets – has been passive exposure to a global index with leverage of 50%. AP7’s default option pension product, known as AP7 Såfa, is a lifecycle fund combining AP7’s equity and bond funds.In 2015, AP7’s board opted to halve the actual level of gearing to 25% because stockmarket valuations were considered high. In December 2016, when presenting a new strategic portfolio to be implemented by 2020, it reduced the normal leverage to 35% from 50% in order to increase the room for manoeuvre associated with the change.The first step in introducing other risks then began in 2017, and involved increased exposure to emerging markets and private equity, AP7 said.The pension fund said the new management strategy was aimed, in particular, at reducing risk through diversification.“Another central part of the strategy is to systematically apply more dynamic risk-taking, where the fund’s overall risk level is adjusted to extreme market valuations,” it said.In February the pension fund put out a tender for advice on “active alpha” procurement, in part of its move to add risk-factor investments to its portfolio.last_img read more

USC professor’s work inspires debated ESPN channel

first_imgThe coverage of women’s sports in the mainstream media is about to get a huge boost, thanks to USC professor of sociology and gender studies Michael Messner.Katrina MacGregor | Daily Trojan In June, Messner co-authored a study for the Center for Feminist Research at USC that revealed how media giants, especially ESPN, were starving women’s sports coverage. As a result, ESPN is launching a brand-new channel, called espnW, that is marketed specifically toward women. The channel will launch online this fall, with the possibility of becoming a television channel in the spring.“They’ve made the commitment,” former professional tennis star Billie Jean King told The New York Times. “I don’t think there’s ever been this much planning, research and commitment before.”Messner’s study found that ESPN’s flagship program SportsCenter devoted only 1.4 percent of its coverage to women’s sports last year, as opposed to 2.1 percent in 2004. It also found 96.3 percent of the lead stories on SportsCenter and on KNBC’s, KCBS’ and KABC’s sports news segments came from men’s sports.Though adding espnW seems like a step in the right direction, Messner isn’t so sure.“Yes, it’s going to give women’s sports fans a place to go,” he told The New York Times. “But it might ultimately ghettoize women’s sports and kind of take ESPN off the hook in terms of actually covering them on its main broadcast.”Messner’s argument is met with mixed reaction in the female community. Although espnW will initially start out with a blog, online streaming video content and even a platform for mobile phones, it puts women on a different level, and some women see it as condescending.“For those of us that have worked really hard to keep up with the boys, that’s kind of tough to hear,” said Julie DiCaro, the author of a Cubs fan blog, A League of Her Own, to The New York Times. “It seems like this is the broadcasting equivalent of making something pink and putting sparkles on it.”The vice president of espnW, Laura Gentile, said the logo will not have pink in it and will cover mainstream sports as well as women’s sports. According to research done by each separate league, women make up a vast number of professional sports fans: 44 perfect for the NFL fans, 36 percent for the NBA and 45 percent for the MLB.EspnW will cater to this population as well, and large companies see promise in the network — as Gatorade and Nike are founding sponsors. Gentile hopes that this network can become a staple in young women’s lives.“The idea is potentially cultivating this fan base of women’s sports fans, where 10 years from now, girls are growing up truly feeling like ESPN is made for them and ESPN is truly their brand,” she told The New York Times.If that is the case, Messner and USC have something to be proud of.last_img read more

Hoornstra: A game of skill is embarking on a season of survival

first_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error At least we can’t accuse Major League Baseball of being hidebound to tradition. Not anymore. Three weeks from now, the 2020 season will begin with:A 60-game regular season scheduleNo fans in attendance, in some parks if not allA runner on second base to begin the 10th inning of tied gamesDesignated hitters in both leagues“Unsportsmanlike conduct” penalties for arguing within six feet of an umpirePlayers with face coverings – optional on the field and in the dugout, mandatory in training roomsA prohibition on spittingRules for the hotels – everything from room service protocol to air conditioning settings – where teams stay during road tripsMinor leaguers who are available for call-up, but no minor league gamesFor such a staid institution as MLB, these statutes equate to bending over backwards, performing a backflip, then a cartwheel, then a somersault, all in the name of imposing a lucrative pastime upon a continental hot zone. The rules are sweeping and draconian. They were also necessary for getting players back on the field – if not keeping them safe.Wednesday, one Major League Soccer team said six of its players tested positive for COVID-19 after reporting to their tournament bubble in Orlando. That carries at least two reminders for baseball. One, that an early draft of the 2020 season in which teams competed in separate Florida and Arizona “bubbles” was far from airtight. Two, that the novel coronavirus can infect one-fifth of a team’s roster without regard for its spitting protocol.It’s hard to imagine a less sensible location to play baseball right now than a major city in the United States. Some of these cities recorded a sudden surge in positive COVID-19 tests over the past week. Then again, it might not matter where the games are played. The best-laid schemes of owners and players often go awry. A deadly virus doesn’t care if a three-batter minimum rule for relief pitchers was a hot topic six months ago. Should we consider a .400 batting average in a 60-game season legitimate? Should we attach an asterisk to the World Series champion in the official record books? We should be so lucky if these concerns are front and center on Nov. 1.For now, there are bigger questions at hand. How legitimate is the season if one team loses its entire starting lineup to the coronavirus? What if it can’t field 25 players, the minimum required by MLB’s 2020 operations manual? The manual consists of 33,286 words, but it does not include a Disaster Plan specific to the coronavirus.That ostensibly leaves the league’s previously established Disaster Plan in place. This plan specifically outlines the protocol for an “epidemic illness” that causes “the death, dismemberment or permanent injury from playing professional baseball” of at least five players after Opening Day. It authorizes commissioner Rob Manfred to pause or cancel a team’s season after consulting with the MLB Players Association. It also authorizes a “Rule 29 draft” in which an affected team can restock its roster by selecting up to five players from another team’s roster.The idea of a Disaster Plan usually conjures nightmares of an unforeseen event, like a plane crash or a bus accident. The potential for a COVID-19 outbreak weakening a man’s lungs for three months is entirely foreseeable – on a team-wide scale, let alone among five players. The terms of the plan have never been more important.But just because the commissioner can hold a dispersal draft in the middle of August doesn’t mean he should. What if the Dodgers and Angels have to surrender five players each to another team, simply because they avoided the virus and the other team did not? In the midst of such an abbreviated season, does that seem fair?center_img Baseball history isn’t the best lens for answering these questions. Think of it more like a typical NFL season. The potential for a player to miss the full season is so high, it becomes a game of Next Man Up (to borrow the title of John Feinstein’s book about the 2004 Baltimore Ravens). It’s no surprise that four players – Ian Desmond, Joe Ross, Ryan Zimmerman and Mike Leake – voluntarily opted out of the season prior to Wednesday, the league-wide “summer camp” report date. For some, the cost of playing will outweigh the benefit.When the players opted out, the process of crowning a champion began. Baseball is a game of skill, but this season will be one of survival – one the players effectively agreed to when they gave Manfred the right to impose a season of any length. In a national radio interview Wednesday, Manfred said “we weren’t going to play more than 60 games no matter how the negotiations with the players went.” Whether that’s because of economic concerns or health concerns is a moot point now. It’s game on.We’ll see 60 more games than any minor-league team will play in 2020. We’ll see 60 more here than in Mexico; the 16-team Mexican Baseball League put safety first Wednesday and canceled a season that was scheduled to begin Aug. 7. And that might be a good thing.We can dream about the sight of Mookie Betts in a Dodgers uniform, and Shohei Ohtani on the mound for the Angels, when the time comes. For now, CDC recommendations and public-gathering restrictions are changing by the week. It still feels too soon.A 60-game season will feel short. The empty ballparks will look weird. You might even miss the sight of players spitting and managers arguing with umpires. But don’t miss the forest for the trees. If a World Series champion is crowned in 2020, it will mean baseball either managed to keep a virus at bay, or tolerated more risk to human livelihood than it should have.There won’t be much middle ground. That’s too much to contain in a single asterisk.last_img read more

The most likely outcome in every Premier League game this week, according to stats

first_imgCan’t pick a winnner and need some help while guessing the results in talkSPORT’s Predictor game? You aren’t the only one!Around the world fans of the Premier League try and predict the scores in every game as they attempt to win some great prizes on offer. 4 REVEALED tense 4 predicted SORRY gameday cracker latest Tottenham v CardiffTottenham win – 81 per cent chance of happeningCardiff win – Five per cent chance of happeningDraw – 14 per cent chance of happeningWatford v BournemouthWatford win – 49 per cent chance of happeningBournemouth win – 25 per cent chance of happeningDraw – 26 per cent chance of happeningManchester United v NewcastleMan United win – 62 per cent chance of happeningNewcastle win – 14 per cent chance of happeningDraw – 24 per cent chance of happeningFulham v ArsenalFulham win – 22 per cent chance of happeningArsenal win – 56 per cent chance of happeningDraw – 22 per cent chance of happening Most Popular Premier League News revealed Green reveals how he confronted Sarri after Chelsea’s 6-0 defeat at Man City Boxing Day fixtures: All nine Premier League games live on talkSPORT Liverpool v Manchester City is the biggest clash of the weekend. The average first-team salaries at every Premier League club in 2019 whoops center_img 4 4 How Everton could look in January under Ancelotti with new signings Everyone has their own different ways of attempting to forecast the result and statistics are more often being used.One such producer of these is FiveThirtyEight but what outcomes do they think will happen? Find out below. changes Guardiola-inspired tactics: Is this how Arsenal will line up under Arteta? Sky Sports presenter apologises for remarks made during Neville’s racism discussion Which teams do the best on Boxing Day in the Premier League era? Brighton v West HamBrighton win – 43 per cent chance of happeningWest Ham win – 30 per cent chance of happeningDraw – 28 per cent chance of happening Liverpool news live: Klopp reveals when Minamino will play and issues injury update Did Mahrez just accidentally reveal Fernandinho is leaving Man City this summer? silverware England’s most successful clubs of the past decade, according to trophies won Burnley v HuddersfieldBurnley win – 48 per cent chance of happeningHuddersfield win – 23 per cent chance of happeningDraw – 30 per cent chance of happeningCrystal Palace v WolvesCrystal Palace win – 46 per cent chance of happeningWolves win – 26 per cent chance of happeningDraw – 29 per cent chance of happeningLeicester City v EvertonLeicester win – 51 per cent chance of happeningEverton win – 23 per cent chance of happeningDraw – 26 per cent chance of happening Southampton v ChelseaSouthampton win – 19 per cent chance of happeningChelsea win – 57 per cent chance of happeningDraw – 24 per cent chance of happeningLiverpool v Manchester CityLiverpool win – 38 per cent chance of happeningManchester City win – 37 per cent chance of happeningDraw – 26 per cent chance of happeninglast_img read more