Legal & General – L&G’s bulk annuity and longevity insurance business has appointed John Towner in the new role of head of origination. He joins from Redington, where he advised both pension trustee boards and corporate sponsors on their investment, funding and risk-management strategies. Before then, he worked at Barclays Capital and Deutsche Bank.Mercer – Uwe Buchem has been named business leader for retirement at the consultancy’s German, Austrian and Swiss (DACH) business. He is replacing Mercer’s regional chief executive Achim Lüder, who stepped down from the role to focus on his other responsibilities. Buchem joined Mercer in 2002 and, in 2004, was promoted to market leader for Germany for health and benefits. He began his career at insurance group Debeka and internet insurance business Censio.Monument Group – The investment fund placement agent has appointed Karl Adam as director in the London office. He will have investor coverage responsibility for German-speaking Europe and some UK-based investors, focusing on building relationships with new institutional investors and general partners in the region. He joins from Citi Private Bank, where he was vice-president. Aviva Investors – Louise Kay has been appointed global head of sales. She will be responsible for leading global sales efforts across institutional and wholesale, including global consultants. Kay has held senior roles at Standard Life Investments and Aegon Asset Management UK.KNEIP – Keith Dingwall has been appointed to the new role of head of new business. Before joining KNEIP, he worked for 13 years at State Street Bank and International Financial Data Services in Luxembourg. Before then, he worked for a decade in JP Morgan Asset Management’s operations in the UK and Luxembourg.Pemberton – The independent asset management group, backed by Legal & General and focused on private debt and direct lending, has appointed Jürgen Breuer to head its operations in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Breuer previously established and led leverage and acquisition finance businesses for Dresdner Bank and West LB in Germany.Comgest – Arnaud Cosserat has been appointed CIO, succeeding Vincent Strauss, who will remain chief executive at the asset manager. Cosserat joined Comgest in 1996 as a portfolio manager covering European equities. He has spent the past two years in the position of deputy CIO.Kames Capital – Mark Benbow has been appointed to the fixed income team as an investment analyst. He joins from Scottish Widows Investment Partnership, where he was an analyst on the global equities team.Invesco PowerShares – Michael Huber has been appointed to the newly created role of business development director for Germany and Austria. Previously, he covered institutional clients for Luxembourg-based asset manager Assenagon. He has also worked at Goldman Sachs Group. ING Investment Management, Cardano Risk Management, Schroders, KAS Bank, Aegon Asset Management, Legal & General, Redington, Mercer, Monument Group, Aviva Investors, KNEIP, Pemberton, Comgest, Kames Capital, Invesco PowerSharesING Investment Management – Bart Oldenkamp has been appointed to the Integrated Client Solutions team at ING IM, soon to become NN Investment Partners. The manager said Oldenkamp would focus on strategic business development, working with institutional clients as well as the investment management teams to “optimise” ING IM’s solutions offering. He joins from Cardano Risk Management, a specialist risk and investment management boutique based in the Netherlands and the UK, where he was a member of the management board. Before then, he held various positions at ABN Amro Asset Management in Amsterdam and Chicago.Schroders – Theo van der Meer has been appointed senior adviser in the Netherlands. He will focus on providing specific pension scheme guidance and governance to Schroders’ institutional clients in the region. Prior to joining Schroders, he held the position of managing director within global distribution at Barclays in London. He has also held senior roles at Fidelity, Vanguard, NIB Capital, Robeco and AMRO Bank.KAS Bank – The custodian has appointed Alexander van Ittersum as market manager for the pension fund markets in the Netherlands, Germany and the UK. His responsibility is to increase activities in core markets by identifying market trends and customer needs, and translating them into new products. Before joining KAS, Van Ittersum worked at Aegon for six years, initially as product development manager with Aegon Global Pensions’ cross-border asset pooling, and later as proposition manager with Aegon Asset Management. Before joining Aegon, he was product manager for Robeco and relationship manager at Euronext.
Schmidt has named an experimental side for the non-capped fixture, which will represent a chance for the likes of Dan Tuohy, Luke Marshall, Craig Gilroy and Tadgh Furlong to make an impression on the Ireland coaching staff.Leinster’s Shane Jennings will captain a star-studded Barbarians selection on what will be his final game before retirement.Kick-off tonight in Limerick is at 7.45.
Share Share UKGC launches fourth National Lottery licence competition August 28, 2020 Related Articles StumbleUpon Submit There are times when writing a monthly column for SBC News presents a challenge. This is one of those months. It’s not because of the paucity of potential content. It’s because of the sheer volume of potential content.As it happens, there is a common thread running through all that I write about below, particularly with a General Election looming and Safer Gambling Week just around the corner (the latter of which I am marking by participating in a “Responsible VIP Management” webinar on 12th November).So let’s get started.The formal launch of the Betting and Gaming Council (“BGC”) on 6th November (established “in response to calls for the industry to work together to guarantee an enjoyable, fair and safe betting and gaming experience for all”) was dominated by the announcement by ten of the UK’s top gambling companies – Aspers, bet365, Caesars, Flutter Entertainment, Genting, GVC Holdings, Playtech, Rank Group, SkyBetting & Gaming and William Hill – of what is described as “the most comprehensive set of measures from a wide group of leaders across the sector to support the UK Gambling Commission’s national strategy to reduce gambling harms”.The key safer gambling commitments underlying those measures are to:prevent underage gambling and protect young peopleincrease support for treatment of gambling harmstrengthen and expand codes of practice for advertising and marketingprotect and empower customerspromote a culture of safer gambling.David CliftonThe above announcement took place one day after share values in publicly quoted gambling companies fell dramatically on publication by the Gambling Related Harm All-Party Parliamentary Group (“APPG”) of a premature and misapprehension-laden Interim Report arising from its Online Gambling Harm Inquiry. I say “premature” because, despite the report containing some fairly blistering criticisms of the industry and regulator alike, the APPG decided in its wisdom to publish its report before meeting with either the new Gambling Minister, Rebecca Pow, or any representative from the Gambling Commission. I say “misapprehension-laden” for reasons I will explain below.The first of 28 recommendations in the report is that new gambling legislation is urgently required.Indeed, the report (chaired by Labour Party MP Carolyn Harris) carries much the same message as that espoused over the last year or so by her party’s Deputy Leader Tom Watson who, commenting last month on the Gambling Commission’s 2019 Young People and Gambling Survey (that incidentally showed a decline in gambling participation by 11 to 16 year olds), said: “the government’s soft touch approach to gambling regulation has failed. The next Labour government will bring problem gambling under control with a comprehensive new Gambling Act, which will bring gambling advertising, spiralling losses and burgeoning in-game gambling products under control”. Notwithstanding Tom Watson’s decision to stand down as Deputy Leader, we can expect the forthcoming Labour Party manifesto for the 12th December General Election to carry similar calls to those set out within the APPG report. To remove any doubt on that front, in his response to Watson, Jeremy Corbyn said “Although you are stepping down, I know we will continue to work together on the issues you have always championed and which we share a passion for: taking on …. the gambling companies”.It must also be remembered that Vice-Chairs of the APPG include Conservative Party hard-liners Iain Duncan Smith and Lord Chadlington.The former’s website records that in March this year he urged the Government to “tighten controls on the gambling industry to tackle the industry’s scandalous behaviour of incentivising vulnerable gamblers who rack up huge debts and become addicted to gambling”. Indeed, his precise words, when speaking about the industry in a Westminster Hall debate at that time, were “we need to bring the beast back under control”.On 2 August 2019, GVC and four of the other gambling companies involved in the above-announcement at the launch of the BGC asked Lord Chadlington to chair an independent committee that will recommend how best to administer funds that they commit to safer gambling initiatives. That in itself was an interesting appointment, given that just six months earlier, Lord Chadlington had written in “The House” magazine: “I am surprised to find myself not only agreeing with Tom Watson – but even urging him to be more extreme!” Notwithstanding the subsequent launch of the GVC Foundation intended to coordinate and support its corporate social responsibility initiatives, objectives and donations around the world, one wonders how GVC’s relationship with the noble peer will develop, given the following extract from the introduction to the APPG report:“We were …. appalled at the cowardly behaviour of Kenny Alexander, the Chief Executive of GVC holdings, who pulled out of appearing before the group, and failed to send a representative, shortly after receiving an email from a problem gambler which challenged the actions of GVC, copying in the GRH APPG. An industry which causes harm must be answerable for its actions.”The APPG report contains some other very strong words of criticism, not all of them justified in my view; for example:In support of its headline-grabbing call for stake and deposit limits to be introduced in online gambling to reduce harm, the APPG maintains that there is no “justification for having slot machine-style games online with staking levels above £2” on the ground that “if they are not acceptable in land-based venues they should not be allowed online”, overlooking the fact that the maximum stake permitted for a category B1 machine in a land-based casino is £5 with a progressive prize of up to £20,000.Its call for introduction of (a) stronger measures to verify the age and identity of online gambling customers and (b) a Gambling Ombudsman for dispute resolution purposes seemingly take little or no account of newly introduced more robust LCCP requirements in each of these respects.Its comment that “in offline or land-based gambling, staff are given training on how to interact with customers and how to spot the signs of more problematic gambling” but that “such mechanisms are not possible with remote gaming” implies a lack of awareness of the Commission’s recently introduced LCCP customer interaction changes and accompanying guidance.In expressing concerns about gambling operators being permitted to access financial data of customers who opt-in to open banking for the purpose of affordability checks, the APPG appears to have taken little or no account of the very useful resource this provides to operators aiming to satisfy AML requirements to establish a customer’s source of funds in higher-risk cases, failures in respect of which have been the subject of innumerable enforcement measures by the Commission in recent years, the most recent example of which has been the penalty incurred last month by Betfred.Its call for operators to ensure they do not market to those that have self-excluded takes insufficient account of enforcement by the Commission of the existing LCCP requirements in this respect as evidenced, for example, by substantial fines historically levied on the likes of 888, LeoVegas and Rank Group for past self-exclusion failings that, together, provide clear evidence that the Commission already has adequate enforcement powers, something that the APPG is now asking for it to be given.The Gambling Commission will itself be understandably concerned that the report (a) fails to reflect the fact that the protection of children and the vulnerable lies at the heart of its work, (b) pays little heed to the National Strategy for Reducing Gambling Harms published by the Commission shortly after the APPG commenced its work and (c) fails to acknowledge that, in two speeches last month by its Chief Executive Neil McArthur (the most recent of which is entitled “Raising Standards: Our Priorities, Your Opportunities”), the Commission has called on the industry to collaborate in order to address three issues that are the subject of critical comment within the APPG report, i.e. (i) how to make gambling product design safer, (ii) develop a code of conduct in relation to operators’ treatment of VIPs (and associated inducements to gamble) and (iii) consider how advertising technology can be used for social responsibility purposes. In other respects, the APPG makes predictable recommendations in relation to such matters as (a) a 1% statutory levy, (b) the use of affiliates for marketing purposes, (c) banning the use of credit cards (in relation to which we await the outcome of the Gambling Commission’s consultation that concluded on 6 November) and (d) greater regulation of loot boxes (reinforcing the recent call for this by the Children’s Commissioner for England).More extreme recommendations include requirements that UK licensed gambling companies (a) must ensure they are protecting children and the vulnerable in all countries in which they operate and (b) cease active trading in jurisdictions that have not formally legalised remote gambling.Perhaps it is no wonder that, in the face of considerably more demanding regulatory requirements and an increasingly challenging trading environment, rising numbers of gambling operators are considering the surrender of their UK licences. Anyone thinking of following suit should take very careful note of a “reminder” of the Gambling Commission’s expectations in this respect, published last month.To return to where I began, a UK General Election looms and, inevitably, Brexit is likely to attract more attention over the coming weeks than gambling.So I conclude with a reminder that during the course of October: (a) DMCS has published guidance entitled “Preparing for no deal Brexit if you work in gambling”, (b) UKHospitality has joined forces with the Tourism Alliance to publish a “No-Deal Brexit briefing note” that is more directed at the land-based hospitality sector, (c) the Government of Gibraltar has published a “Preparing for a no-deal Brexit” booklet, (d) the Isle of Man Government has published updated Brexit information on its website and (e) the Malta Gaming Authority has published “Guidance document on the Impact of the United Kingdom’s Exit from the European Union” that constitutes essential reading material for those holding or applying for MGA licences because, in addition to making specific provision in relation to limited validity recognition notices, points out that an MGA licence may only be held by a person established within the European Economic Area, which will no longer be the case when Brexit occurs.______________________David Clifton – Director – Clifton Davies Consultancy Limited Swansea City drops gambling sponsor August 21, 2020 Winning Post: Swedish regulator pushes back on ‘Storebror’ approach to deposit limits August 24, 2020
But what happens if the Lakers go on a significant losing streak? Appear out of playoff contention? Or, in the worst-case scenario, become a team competing for pingpong balls in the NBA Draft lottery? At what point will players shift their competitiveness into making a resume tape full of highlight reels at the expense of team play?“Well, they probably won’t be playing a whole lot,” D’Antoni said, laughing. “That takes care of itself. They’re more professional than that. You won’t have any unselfish players.”Though the Lakers want Bryant back even he’s in a sense playing both to prove his monetary value. He’s in the last year of his contract that will pay him $30.5 million. For the sake of maximizing their financial flexibility in the free agent chase and harsher luxury taxes stemmed from the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement written two years ago, it’s likely Bryant will have to take a pay cut, though it’s unclear how much. Same for Gasol, who’s in the last year of his contract worth $19.3 million.“The better I perform, I’m sure the more interested they’ll be to try and sign me, I guess,” Gasol said. “Guys are going to go all out. That’s the positive part of it. There’s no security for next season. You’re in a position to give it your best, give it your all, earn your next paycheck, next contract.” The other players in that situation include Steve Blake ($4 million), Jordan Hill ($3.5 million), Chris Kaman ($3.2 million), Jodie Meeks ($1.6 million), Jordan Farmar ($884,293) and Wesley Johnson ($884,293).All of them have something to prove.Kaman, a 10-year veteran, wants to show he can become an All-Star player after having a few injury-plagued seasons. Johnson remains eager in shedding his reputation as a bust after being picked fourth overall in the 2010 NBA draft. Meeks vows he’ll become more than a feast-or-famine outside shooter. Both Blake and Farmar may compete against each other both for the backup point guard spot and for their future. Farmar received a buyout out of his three-year, $10.5 with a Turkish basketball team so he could join the Lakers again after becoming a key reserve in the team’s championship runs in 2009 and 2010. He left Turkey with some additional perspective on how to handle uncertainty.“I learned in Europe that everyone is on a one-year deal out there,” Farmar said. “They have to play another year in order to get another contract. For me it shouldn’t matter if you have five years guaranteed or on an expiring contract. You should approach the game the same way every time you step on the floor.”Easier said than done?“You have stress if you don’t play well or you get hurt,” Kaman said. “But on the other side, you want to play well, but you don’t want to force anything. You don’t want to try to do too much. The best part is not to think about it and just go out there and play. Work hard everyday like you’re supposed to, and get yourself ready for the season. When each opportunity comes, take advantage of it. That’s all you can do.”Time will soon tell whether the Lakers maintain that mindset. “We know if we all play well in this system, there’s lots of opportunities that we can get,” Farmar said. “We’ll all have a chance to show what we can do. That’s what it comes down to. At the end of the day, we’re a team and trying to win games. We’ll respect the process, respect each other and make it happen.” Laker fans don’t utter this phrase too often: “Wait till next year.”But with uncertainty surrounding Kobe Bryant’s health, Dwight Howard’s departure and a revamped Western Conference, some have already looked ahead toward next July when the Lakers will make a run at the NBA’s top free agents, including possibly LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony. For those that believe the Lakers have nothing to play for, try telling that to Pau Gasol. Or Chris Kaman. Or basically the entire Lakers’ roster.The Lakers only have three players under contract beyond next season, including Steve Nash, Nick Young and Robert Sacre, leaving them with plenty of money to throw at the free agent market. That also leaves the Lakers’ roster with plenty to prove, knowing every good or bad performance could determine the size and length of their next contract. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error “I think players look at it as an opportunity,” Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said. “They clearly get guidance from their agents. But I’m sure their agents are saying, ‘If you play well in Los Angeles, they have all this cap room and financial flexibility a year from now. This is a great opportunity for you.’ “In years past, when we were so far over the cap, I’m sure a lot of agents said, ‘Listen, even if you play it well, they’re only going to sign minimum guys. I don’t think that’s the case. I’ve talked to a bunch of agents and I think they feel this is a good spot for players.”That could mean a few things for the Lakers. Good news. Bad news. Perhaps a mix of both. Team accounts describe the Lakers’ practices through two weeks in training camp as competitive and positive, partly perhaps players realize their play affects their role. That, in turn, could influence their NBA future. “We have really good guys who know they’re not going to be successful without the other guys,” Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni said. “They are very attentive with what they’re doing in trying to buy in.”