By Dialogo December 22, 2009 Lionel Messi is the FIFA World Player of the Year after leading FC Barcelona to an unprecedented trio of Spanish and European titles. The 22-year-old Argentine beat 2008 winner Cristiano Ronaldo, 2007 winner Kaka, and his Barcelona teammates Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta in voting among national team captains and coaches. The award caps a perfect year for the winger. Messi won a Spanish league and cup double and the European championship last season. He added another title with an extra-time goal Saturday to beat Estudiantes and give Barcelona its first Club World Cup. Messi, who accepted the award at a FIFA gala in Zurich said “I’m extremely happy. We’ve just ended a historic year, a perfect year in which we’ve won every competition we’ve played in. We just needed to take this last step and everything has worked out how we wanted. It’s amazing.” The 22-year-old won the award for the first time, beating last year’s winner Cristiano Ronaldo, his two clubmates Andres Iniesta and Xavi and Brazil midfielder Kaka. He was presented with the trophy at a glittering awards gala in Zurich.
Defined contribution (DC) pension schemes in the UK have invested much less than peers abroad in socially and environmentally beneficial investments because trustees seem unsure whether they are allowed to, according to a new report.The Law Commission, a non-political body that recommends legal reform where needed, has confirmed in a government-prompted report that there are no legal or regulatory barriers to pension schemes making socially responsible investments.Law commissioner Stephen Lewis said: “Defined contribution pension schemes will be investing billions of pounds over the next decade, and it’s only right that they seek to get the best returns for their clients.”However, it was possible to ‘do well and do good’ at the same time, he said, adding that large amounts had been invested in Australia and other countries in infrastructure, which had benefited savers and society. “In the UK there seem to be some misconceptions as to whether this is allowed for these pension schemes,” he said. “We’re clear, legally, there’s nothing to stop them doing the same.”The government asked the commission late last year to assess to what extent pension schemes should consider issues of social impact when making investment decisions, and to identify any legal barriers.Since auto-enrolment was introduced in the UK five years ago, total DC investments have rocketed and are expected to reach around £1.7trn by 2030, the commission said. This had raised questions about how the new pension assets were to be invested and whether at least a proportion could be invested for the wider social good.“Investment in property and infrastructure has the potential to provide financial returns and address social concerns at the same time,” it said.However, DC schemes in the UK lag behind the rest of the world in investment in property and infrastructure.“Less than 5% of funds are invested in property and the Law Commission has not found any examples of infrastructure investment by UK defined contribution pension schemes,” the commission said.Defined benefit (DB) schemes, on the other hand, were already investing in social impact projects like infrastructure. This included £370m for the Thames Tideway Tunnel to upgrade London’s sewerage system, raised through the Pensions Infrastructure Platform.Large Australian funds invested around 8% of assets on average in infrastructure in their default arrangements, it said.UK law lets pension trustees make investment decisions based on non-financial factors – such as environmental and social concerns – provided that they have good reason to think scheme members shared the concern, and that there is no risk of significant financial detriment to the fund. Sustainable and responsible investment lobby group UKSIF welcomed the report, which it said echoed things for which its members had been asking for some years.“The government should change the investment regulations and the FCA should reflect ESG in its regulations with respect to [independent governance committees] and pension providers,” said Simon Howard, chief executive of UKSIF.Meanwhile ShareAction, an organisation promoting responsible investment, urged the government to accept the commission’s recommendation to change pensions investment regulations to clarify that trustees can take ESG concerns into account.“A change in the investment regulations would prevent trustees from using this uncertainty as an excuse for inaction,” said Bethan Livesey, head of policy and research at ShareAction.
Published on March 9, 2016 at 5:26 pm Contact Jesse: [email protected] | @dougherty_jesse WASHINGTON — Frank Howard picked up his dribble and locked his eyes on Michael Gbinije. That was the start of his mistake.Then he threw the ball without ever seeing James Robinson dart into the passing lane. That was the brunt of it. Then Robinson dribbled down the court, sidestepped past Howard and converted a layup to give Pittsburgh a two-point lead it never gave up. That was the result.“I should have taken Frank Howard out of the game, but I just thought that he had been playing well,” SU head coach Jim Boeheim said. “I should have taken him out and put Trevor back in. It was my mistake.”Before that costly turnover — which came with the game tied and 1:08 left — Howard was at the center of Syracuse’s (19-13, 9-9 Atlantic Coast) comeback in a heartbreaking 72-71 loss to Pittsburgh (21-10, 9-9) in the second round of the ACC tournament at the Verizon Center on Wednesday. He tied a game-high with five assists and, just by being in the game, allowed Michael Gbinije to work off the ball and pace the Orange with 24 points. His length played a key part in SU’s full-court press, which kickstarted a game-tying 14-2 run in the final 4:18.But the late turnover, despite having a small effect on his final line, remains the most memorable play of his performance.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“As a point guard you have to see it,” Howard said. “If you don’t make that play at that time of the game, I feel like, it hurts.”Howard played 18 minutes while Trevor Cooney — who eventually missed a game-winning 3 attempt in the final seconds — played a season-low a season-low 24. Boeheim said Cooney wasn’t hurt, and Cooney said he wasn’t given an explanation for the decreased time and sitting for most of the second half. Whatever the reason, it put Howard at the head of the Orange’s offense in crunch time of his first-ever postseason game.He handled it precociously, loosening Pittsburgh’s air-tight man-to-man defense with consistent penetration. That freed up Gbinije and Malachi Richardson on the wings, and Richardson particularly used that space to attack closing-out defenders off the dribble. He also created opportunities for Dajuan Coleman, who finished with 11 points and 11 rebonds, off passes and on the offensive glass.“Coach always tells me he wants me to play downhill, go to the basket,” Howard said. “That’s what I really try to do, just try to make sure I get past someone and make a play or finish at the rim. That’s basically it.”And when Syracuse needed him to facilitate to the best of his ability, Howard was sure Gbinije was in clear space. A split second before, Gbinije had run around an off-ball screen and Howard said he expected Robinson to “play Gbinije’s hip,” which would have allowed him to comfortably fit a pass in.Instead, Robinson surprised Howard by leaving Gbinije and stepping into the passing lane. A play drawn up for Gbinije quickly sped the other way. It was the first domino to fall in an eventual one-point loss, which could put Syracuse on the wrong side of the NCAA Tournament bubble come Selection Sunday.“He’s a young talent, and hopefully we’ll need him in the future,” said Gbinije, smirking uneasily at the Orange’s murky Tournament hopes. “So you just want to tell him next play. I know he’s good, I know he’s a confident guy. He’s probably ready to bounce back.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+