Altogether, the consultancy undertook 760 searches last year globally, down from 776 in 2012.Deb Clarke, global head of investment research at Mercer, said: “The trend away from traditional asset classes observed in recent years continues, driven mainly by investors seeking to diversify their growth portfolios and ensure they incorporate multiple return drivers.”She said investors were continuing to raise their allocations to global strategies, as well as to more diverse mandates, including investment in diversified growth funds and alternative assets.The firm said demand for multi-asset strategies was still strong, and that the number of searches in this area had risen by more than a third during the year. These searches were mainly in the UK and the US, but also seen in several other regions, it said.In the UK, the number of manager searches rose by 5% last year, and assets placed climbed to $22bn (€16bn) from $17.8bn, according to the survey.International multi-asset strategies were the most popular searches there, but, in terms of the weight of assets placed, developed market equities continued to dominate search activity, it said.Search activity rose in the rest of Europe, driven primarily by a big hike in both search numbers and assets placed in Germany.Infrastructure and timber were the most popular search categories in the region, it said.In Asia, manager search activity jumped to 66 in 2013 from 17 the year before, while assets placed rose to $3.5bn from $2bn.In Australia, search activity dropped to 85 from 111, with assets placed rising to $13.7bn from $6.8bn.In the US, meanwhile, manager searches continued to decline across defined benefit (DB) and defined contribution mandates.Within DB in the country, Mercer said, equity and bond searches fell while interest in alternatives grew. The most popular search category in the US last year was emerging market equities, although Mercer said US fixed income had had the largest share of assets placed. Manager search asset volumes around the world grew last year, and the pattern of activity reflected a shift towards non-traditional mandates, according to a study by Mercer.The consultancy said its 2013 global manager search trends report showed fixed income search activity had continued to move away from government and credit-benchmarked mandates.The survey, based on activity reported through Mercer’s client base internationally, revealed the number of searches had grown between 2012 and 2013 in the UK, the rest of Europe and Asia, but had decreased in Australasia and North America.However, across these regions as a whole, the value of assets placed increased markedly, it said.
MECHANICSBURG, Pa. (Aug. 11) – It was a fun night away from the track as fans and race teams gathered at Quaker Steak and Lube in Mechanicsburg for an evening of fun and friendship.Matt Miller from the Beer Hill Gang hosted the event, which donates a percentage of food sales to the IMCA RaceSaver Sprint Car series along with raffle items provided by teams and supporters.Scott Ellerman and Jaremi Hanson had their cars on display as restaurant patrons had the opportunity to see cars up close. Several drivers were also on hand along with volunteers from the series. Dave Stewart, “the commissioner” of the Beer Hill Gang was on hand as well.A total of $1,161 was raised through the raffle and auction while the food percentage will be forwarded by the restaurant. The Beer Hill Gang has already promised to round out to $1,500 which was our goal.Money from the fundraiser pays positions $1,000 each to Pennsylvania Sprint Series drivers in positions15-30 in 2017 points $100 each.In addition to the money raised for the point fund, an additional $200 was added to the Beer Hill Cup fund via shirt sales as only a few shirts remain. The total anticipated fund for the Beer Hill Cup will round out to $2,600 which will net the winner $775, with $650 for second, $520 for third, $390 for fourth and $260 for fifth.Frontrunners Darren Miller and Scott Ellerman along with contender and current points leader Zach Newlin were on hand and discussed the excitement going into next week with Jake Waters. The interview, along with others, is on the PASS Facebook page.
Sophomore setter Jenna Adams returns a ball for the Trojans in a game against Utah at the Galen Center. Photo by Tucker Judkins | Daily TrojanThe No. 14 women’s volleyball team hits the road for two of its final three regular-season road matchups at No. 4 Stanford and Cal on Wednesday and Friday. USC (20-7, 12-4 Pac-12) is coming off a five-match win streak, tying its longest of the season. The first time the Trojans met the Golden Bears (13-14, 4-12 Pac-12), USC won in four sets. Two days later, when they played the Cardinal (22-3, 15-1 Pac-12), Stanford won in four sets. For Stanford, a win against the Trojans would mean that Stanford would clinch its first Pac-12 title since 2014. Sitting at 12-4, USC has a one match hold over Washington for second place. If the Trojans beat the Cardinal, USC could have a chance to tie for the title if it wins out its season. To give the Cardinal their second conference loss of the season, USC will need to rely upon sophomore outside hitter Khalia Lanier. This past week, Lanier was named the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week and the AVCA National Player of the Week. It’s Lanier’s third conference award and her first AVCA National award, and USC’s 10th in program history. Lanier picked up 38 kills while hitting .319 and averaging 4.22 kills per set in the team’s four-set win over then-ranked No. 15 Utah and five-set win over then-ranked No. 25 Colorado. Other than Lanier, USC continues to depend on senior opposite Brittany Abercrombie. The senior put up 27 kills this past weekend. Freshman outside hitter Brooke Botkin put up 24 kills while hitting .256. Senior opposite Niki Withers put up 21 kills while hitting .304. The team’s balanced attack helped to push the Trojans over the Utes and Buffaloes this past weekend. To try and top the Cardinal, they’ll need a continued presence from the four pin-hitters. For the Cardinal, USC will need to limit sophomore outside hitter Kathryn Plummer. Against the Washington schools, Plummer put up 48 kills while hitting .329. She is the Cardinal’s go-to offensive weapon. While it could be tough to limit Plummer, USC could focus on making an impact at the net against the rest of Stanford’s hitters, similar to what the Huskies did in their four-set win over the Cardinal — their first of the season — just a week ago. To top the Golden Bears, the Trojans will need to shut down senior outside hitter Antzela Dempi. The senior hit 29 kills against the Washington schools. She also put up four service aces. The last time the two teams faced each other, Dempi put up 12 kills. With four regular-season matches to go, the Women of Troy should be able to hit their stride as they prep for the NCAA Tournament. After the matches against Stanford and Cal, USC heads out to Oregon to face the Ducks before hosting UCLA for its final regular match of the season. At Maples Pavilion on Wednesday, the Cardinal and the Troajns will celebrate Equality Night, where they will celebrate inclusion and diversity in sports. First serve will be at 7 p.m. On Friday, the Women of Troy play the Golden Bears at 6 p.m.
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Leave a CommentThe American Farm Bureau Federation, in partnership with Farm Credit, has opened online applications for the 2020 Farm Bureau Ag Innovation Challenge. In its sixth year, the Farm Bureau Ag Innovation Challenge is a national business competition for U.S. food and agriculture startups. Entrepreneurs will compete for $145,000 in startup funds.Launched in 2015 as the first national competition focused exclusively on rural entrepreneurs, the competition provides an opportunity for U.S. startups to showcase business innovations in food and agriculture. Startup funds for the challenge are provided by sponsors Farm Credit, John Deere, Bayer Crop Science, Farm Bureau Bank, Country Financial and Farm Bureau Financial Services.To apply for the 2020 Farm Bureau Ag Innovation Challenge, competitors can apply online by Sept. 30, 2019 at midnight.“It takes faith, courage and creativity to start a business,” said AFBF President Zippy Duvall. “Rural entrepreneurs face a number of additional challenges compared to their urban counterparts. These include limited access to broadband, high transportation costs and a lack of access to business networks. We’re very interested to see how entrepreneurs working in food and agriculture will use startup funds provided by the Challenge to take their businesses to the next level.”TimelineTen semi-finalist teams will be announced Nov. 5 and awarded $10,000 each. All 10 semi-finalist teams will travel to AFBF’s Annual Convention, in Austin, Texas, in January 2020, with all expenses paid, to compete in a live competition to be the Farm Bureau Entrepreneur of the Year. The 10 teams will compete in Austin to advance to the final round where four teams will receive an additional $5,000 and compete live on stage in front of Farm Bureau members, investors and industry representatives.PrizesThe final four teams will compete to win:Farm Bureau Entrepreneur of the Year award and $15,000 (chosen by judges), for a total of $30,000People’s Choice award and $10,000 (chosen by public vote), for a total of $25,000Business categoriesEntrepreneurs and startups with businesses in the following categories are encouraged to apply:Farm, ranch, greenhouse, aquaponicsInput product or crop varietyMethod or tool for growing, monitoring or harvesting crops or livestockProduction support servicesRetail, agritourism or farm-to-table businessFood/beverage/textile product or ingredientMethod of production, preparation or packaging of food/beverage/textile products or ingredientsValue-added processing including yogurts, cheeses and processed meats, wineries, breweries, cideries and distilleriesEntrepreneurs must be Farm Bureau members to qualify as a top-10 semi-finalist. Applicants who are not Farm Bureau members can join Ohio Farm Bureau. Detailed eligibility guidelines, the competition timeline, videos and profiles of past Challenge winners are available.Photo caption: Steven Brockshus, founder of FarmlandFinder and 2019 Farm Bureau Entrepreneur of the Year, competing live at the 2019 AFBF Annual Convention. Photo credit: American Farm Bureau Federation Leave a Comment
A friend of mine used to be a long-haul truck driver. At one point he even became a trainer working with new drivers.Over dinner recently, I asked what was one key lesson that he would want to impart to any new driver. While he was thinking about it, his wife lit up and offered this advice (which I’m sure is not from the company manual): make sure your seatbelt is removed before you begin a hot swap.In trucking, a hot swap occurs in a truck being driven by a team of two drivers when they are in a real hurry to make a delivery. When one is ready to take a break and turn the wheel over, rather than taking the time to stop, they may decide to trade places while the vehicle is moving down the highway. Hot swapping green building techniquesWhile I’m sure that experienced drivers can “hot swap” quite, um, professionally, it is an inherently unsafe practice. This is underscored by the fact that you have to remove your seatbelt, in a speeding tractor-trailer, before you can even begin!When I heard this, it felt to me a lot like a situation we face with some regularity in green building. We are racing to make our buildings safer, healthier for occupants, less-polluting, and lower carbon. But we are behind in that race. For example, we have been paying serious attention to the health effects of building materials on indoor air quality for only about 20 years. We have been inventing new chemicals that affect our indoor air quality for well over 100 years.Unfortunately for the builder, homeowner, or renter who simply wants some reliable advice on what to worry about from an environmental perspective, and what not to worry about, things sometimes change or crop up unexpectedly. And we’re not usually completely ready with a seamless hot swap. Remember when compact fluorescent bulbs first came out? Remember the first low-flow toilets? Best forget them. Why the fuss now?As Steve Owens, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, put it, “There has been an increase in recent years in promoting the use of foams and sealants by do-it-yourself energy-conscious homeowners, and many people may now be unknowingly exposed to risks from these chemicals.” You can add to that a growing number of complaints about adverse health effects from homeowners and occupants of office buildings where SPF has been applied during energy retrofits. EPA’s SPF action plan for MDI is being developed within its Design for the Environment (DfE) program under jurisdiction from the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), which requires U.S. chemical manufacturers, importers, processors, and distributors to report to EPA any information suggesting that one of their chemicals “presents a substantial risk of injury to health or the environment.”While the reported data is technically public information, penetrating it is very difficult, in some measure because manufacturers often claim confidentiality for proprietary components in their chemical formulations. But the cumulative evidence to date has moved EPA to take real action on this issue, mainly to gather reports of adverse health effects from manufacturers, and to consider initial rulemaking for both consumer-applied and professionally applied SPF products.The action plan leaves open questions about how far EPA will go to clamp down on these products, but it’s safe to think of this as a shot across the bow from EPA for the SPF industry. We don’t know much about SPF offgassingIn addition to the presence of MDI in the product, the chemical reaction and curing of SPF can produce other chemicals of concern: excess isocyanates, aldehydes, amine catalysts, and other volatile organic compounds (VOCs). We don’t know much about the nature and quantities of offgassing of these substances, the curing rates of SPF, or how health risks can change with improper environmental conditions or mixing ratios during the SPF process.To that end, there is a new ASTM standard under development. John Sebrowski, a senior associate scientist with Bayer MaterialScience and chair of the task group working on this ASTM standard, is helping develop a standard practice to establish re-occupancy times after onsite SPF application. “We are currently getting ready to conduct research using micro-scale chambers and thermal desorption techniques to measure emissions,” he said. The issue of the day? SPF safetyThe issue of the day is spray polyurethane foam (SPF) insulation products. Last month the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a new action plan for a key family of chemicals used in SPF. Isocyanates, such as MDI (methylene diphenyl diisocyanate), are chemicals that react with polyols to form polyurethane. They can also cause skin, eye, and lung irritation, asthma, and chemical sensitization when absorbed through the skin or inhaled.Polyurethane is in a lot of stuff, from foam mattresses to bowling balls. When it is fully reacted or “cured,” it is stable and its chemistry is not a significant concern. Some products, however, such as adhesives, coatings, and spray foam, react while being applied by builders or homeowners doing insulation retrofits, and continue to react for some hours afterwards, and may contain “uncured” isocyanates to which people may be exposed.This is not news: worker protection protocols and quality assurance programs for SPF installation were developed by the SPF industry decades ago. Safe re-entry timesWhen asked what relationship the current ASTM draft standard and research might have to the existing protocol offered by Bayer MaterialScience (which recommends re-occupancy times of 12 hours and 24 hours for workers and occupants, respectively), Sebrowski responded that the protocol would be used as a starting point, but “we are also investigating other approaches to measuring the emissions.”According to EPA, safe re-entry times put forward by manufacturers vary between 8–24 hours for one-component SPF and 23–72 hours for two-component SPF. But more research and standardized testing is clearly needed. EPA is not working alone on this issue; several other federal agencies — including the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission — are part of the team. Each is concerned about protecting workers or consumers from health effects from the increasingly prevalent site-applied SPF. Should we stop using SPF?“I think you have to be careful when you discuss the toxicity of spray foam,” says David Price, environmental scientist in the indoor environment division of EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation. “I have not seen any information at this point that there is any hazard to occupants.” While Price supports EPA’s decision to gather data on possible post-occupancy issues with SPF, he doesn’t want the public to “find the accused guilty before you hear the case.”Price has seen some of the anecdotal evidence as well as some of the scientific findings, and says that no cause-effect relationship has yet been found between SPF installation and post-occupancy illnesses. “It’s appropriate for EPA to look at this stuff; that’s what we do,” Price said. “But I’m very sensitive about tagging a product as ‘of concern’ or ‘may be toxic’” before the data has been gathered and reviewed. Environmental Building News contacted several builders and foam industry professionals, and found that most were unwilling to be quoted on an issue they deemed sensitive and still-unfolding. One leading green remodeler offered this perspective: “I have stopped using SPF in any of my projects at this point. I simply can’t and won’t jeopardize my clients’ health and the reputation of my company by using building materials with the emissions profile of SPF.”Since this news came out, comments on message boards that I have seen have tended toward defense of SPF and annoyance (that’s putting it politely) at EPA. The undercurrent seems to be: Is the whole industry going to get stained because of some untrained DIYers? Let’s hope that the general public doesn’t jump to conclusions too rapidly — that EPA gathers its data and that its process works. And let’s be real: not all SPF insulations jobs are perfect — some have even ended tragically. Recommendations for continued useSPF has unique advantages that can be difficult to replace. If you decide to continue using it while EPA continues its work, here are some recommendations.Make sure that your SPF contractor installs SPF correctly, employing quality control/assurance protocols such as the following the Spray Foam Quality Control – Canadian Installation Requirements, or the ABAA Quality Assurance program.Follow current EPA recommendations on a safe approach to installation, from the publication Quick Safety Tips for SPF Users.If you are a homeowner or building manager or employee in a building in which SPF will be installed, follow EPA’s Steps to Control Exposure.Also, stay tuned; the SPF industry is working on a new class of SPFs — hybrid non-isocyanate polyurethanes (HPINUs) — that may pose much less serious occupant and worker health issues than our current slate of SPF building products.What do you think about the SPF issue? Do you use it, or not? Why? Let us know below.Tristan Roberts is Editorial Director at BuildingGreen, Inc., in Brattleboro, Vermont, which publishes information on green building solutions.Note: Peter Yost, residential program manager at BuildingGreen, and Paula Melton, associate editor, contributed reporting to this column.
The stars were on the field, in the stands and among the crowd as Mohali came to a stand still to witness the culmination of days of expectation, nervous anticipation and chestthumping patriotism. The lazy roads of the city met at one point on Wednesday as the PCA Stadium here burst at its seams to accommodate all the politicians, VIPs and celebrities who came from all over the country to be a part of a spectacle that was the World Cup semi-final between India and Pakistan.There were frequent traffic jams on several routes – except the one meant for VVIPs – before the match.On Wednesday, the Chandigarh airport remained one of the busiest destinations with several chartered and scheduled flights landing and taking off prior to the match.As the Indian and Pakistani teams warmed up before the toss, the 28,000 fans had a tough time sifting through the personalities on and off the field.It is not often that the crowd turns its back when Sachin Tendulkar is going through the drills near the boundary. But that is what happens when Aamir Khan, Rahul and Sonia Gandhi, Mukesh Ambani, Vijay Mallya, son Siddharth, Deepika Padukone, Shashi Tharoor, along with various tinsel-town stars, turn up.But even these distinguished guests had to take a back seat as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistan counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani made their way to the ground. They were greeted by ICC president Sharad Pawar, BCCI president Shashank Manohar and PCB chief Ijaz Butt and were presented mementos.advertisementThe two then made their way to the playing arena, where the Indian and Pakistani teams stood side by side, soaking in one of the most mesmerising sights in competitive sport – the national anthems of two countries joined by a common yet turbulent past. As soon as the anthems were played out, the two PMs came out on the field and met the players and wished them the best.If any player was trying to keep the political and cultural significance out of his mind, the meeting with the heads of state put them face to face with stark reality; it was more than just a semifinal.Manmohan Singh first met Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi, who then introduced the rest of the squad to the PM, with Gilani right behind him. It was then the turn of Gilani to give his best wishes to Dhoni and his boys. However, the Indian skipper only greeted the two dignitaries and didn’t introduce his players to them, allowing the two to meet the squad themselves.All formalities done, it was time for business to start and the fans who had thronged the stadium in all shades of blue, with a smattering of Pakistan fansin green, to shout their hearts out and cheer for some high-voltage cricket.Though the Pakistan fans were outnumbered, they did everything in their capacity to lift the eleven players from just across the border.The overpowering presence of police, commandos, paramilitary, special forces and dozens of bomb-sniffing dogs did have most present at the venue a bit edgy. The security personnel even frisked policemen in charge of manning the stands at the PCA gates.There was tension when two senior Punjab police officers were not let in. Later, senior police officers intervened to diffuse the situation. But once the first ball was bowled by Umar Gul, all apprehensions faded away as it was time to watch cricket.
It’s still hard to tell much about the car’s design, but it’ll definitely have an exotic shape. Aston Martin Aston Martin on Tuesday gave us a better look at Project 003, its next hypercar that is due to launch in late 2021. While we’ll still have to wait some time for more details, the latest teaser photo is a fair bit more revealing than the line-drawing sketch Aston released in September 2018.The codename Project 003 signals that it’s the company’s third hypercar project, following the Valkyrie (which was 001) and the Valkyrie AMR Pro (codenamed 002). Aston wants Project 003 to superlative performance, with the company promising it will “possess class-leading dynamics on both road and track.”Project 003 is set to use a turbocharged gasoline engine and a hybrid powertrain, and it’ll have active aerodynamics and active suspension to further improve its handling performance. But don’t think that means this is a track-only special: Aston promises the car will be homologated for road use worldwide, with both left- and right-hand-drive variants. Also in the cards: “space for luggage” and other “practical concessions to road use.””It was always the intention for the Aston Martin Valkyrie to be a once-in-a lifetime project,” Aston Martin Lagonda president and chief executive Andy Palmer said in a statement. “However, it was also vital to us that Valkyrie would create a legacy: A direct descendent that would also set new standards within its own area of the hypercar market, creating a bloodline of highly specialised, limited production machines that can exist in parallel with Aston Martin’s series production models.”While Project 003 will definitely be a rare car, it’s still going to be built in much greater volumes than its predecessors. Aston Martin built only 150 Valkyrie road cars and 25 Valkyrie AMR Pro track cars. Stay tuned over the coming months as Aston gradually trickles out more information on its next hypercar. 2020 Hyundai Palisade review: Posh enough to make Genesis jealous 2020 Kia Telluride review: Kia’s new SUV has big style and bigger value Tags Review • 2019 Aston Martin Vantage: Beauty is a beast More From Roadshow Share your voice More about 2019 Aston Martin Vantage 25 Photos Aston Martin 2020 BMW M340i review: A dash of M makes everything better 0 Preview • 2019 Aston Martin Vantage: A fresh take on a modern classic 2019 Aston Martin Vantage: V8 power and elegant style Exotic Cars Performance Cars Post a comment Aston Martin