Principal Research Scientist/Engineer VII (Huntsville)

first_img* How were you made aware of this opportunity?AU Employment websiteEmployment websites (Indeed, HigherEd Jobs, etc.)Veterans Assistance ServicesDisability Assistance ServicesNewspaperProfessional JournalListservHR emailSocial MediaState Employment ServiceWalk-inOther * Please select the answer that best describes your currentemployment relationship with Auburn University.Not a current Auburn employeeCurrent Auburn employee in position less than one yearCurrent Auburn employee in position more than one year Position DetailsRequisition NumberS239PHome Org NameEngineering AdministrationDivision NameSamuel Ginn Col of EngineeringPosition TitlePrincipal Research Scientist/Engineer VII (Huntsville)Job Class CodeHU01GAppointment StatusFull-timePart-time FTELimited TermYesLimited Term Length2 year limited term appointment, continuation of employment will becontingent upon availability of fundingJob SummaryThis is a pool posting for future vacancies in this jobclassification. Applications will be considered active for a periodof six months from the posting dateThese Openings are in Huntsville, ALThe Auburn University Huntsville Research Center ( AUHRC ) and theSamuel Ginn College of Engineering are seeking candidates formultiple positions of Principal Research Scientist/Engineer VI/ VIIin anticipation of securing contract funding in multiple areas ofengineering and science to include fields such as modeling andsimulation; systems engineering and integration; cyber securityengineering; critical infrastructure protection; advancedmanufacturing; additive manufacturing; materials science andengineering; assured position, navigation and timing; propulsionsystems and project management on multiple programs funded bygovernment and private industry. These positions will be located inHuntsville, Alabama and will report to the Associate Dean forResearch, College of Engineering. The successful candidates mayalso work with leaders of other units such as Auburn’s McCraryInstitute for Cyber and Critical Infrastructure Security, CyberResearch Center, National Center for Additive ManufacturingExcellence, and the Huntsville Research Center to identify anddevelop potential research sponsors in the strategic focus areas ofAuburn University research.Major responsibilities include providing technical expertise,through the various Auburn programs in subjects such as thoselisted above directly to government and industry sponsors.The successful candidate will provide technical support for one ormore of the following types of activities:Provide Subject Matter Expertise to senior leaders in governmentand industry related to subjects such as cyber security threats andsubsequent threat mitigation strategies and methods.Provide Subject Matter Expertise to senior leaders in governmentand industry related to protecting the nation’s criticalinfrastructure systems (energy, water, transportation, food,commerce, etc.).Provide Subject Matter Expertise to industry and governmentsponsors in the broad areas of modeling, simulation, and systemsengineering and integration.Provide Subject Matter Expertise to senior leaders in governmentand industry related to additive manufacturing, advancedmanufacturing, and advanced materials.Provide Subject Matter Expertise to senior leaders in governmentand industry related to vehicle dynamics and assured position,navigation, and timing.Provide Subject Matter Expertise to NASA and industry seniorleaders in payload integration including requirement definition andverification / validation of potential exploration payloads.Provide Subject Matter Expertise to NASA and industry seniorleaders in development and integration of NASA’s launch vehiclesand exploration programs.Collaborate with the nation’s community of industry, government,and academia on national policy and technology that affects variousdefense, aerospace, manufacturing, and related industry sectorsalong with federal, state, and local government agencies.Essential FunctionsEssential functions include, but are not limited to:Conducts contract research and creates progress and final reportsas necessary; provides technical management of research contractsand oversees the content and timeliness of contractdeliverables.Develops research proposals and budgets.Coordinates research opportunities between Auburn Universityfaculty and staff, local government agencies, and privateindustries.Initiates and cultivates relationships with agencies and industriesin order to build research and educational programs for AuburnUniversity.Establishes and grows research funding for Auburn University bypursuing local opportunities.Interfaces with Auburn University faculty and staff to build anin-depth knowledge of on-campus research capabilities.Candidate may supervise employees but supervision is not the mainfocus of the job; responsibilities could include training,mentoring, evaluating, and making or recommending pay, promotion orother employment decisions.Education LevelPhD from an accredited institutionField of StudyEngineering, science, management information science ( MIS ), orrelated technical field.Years of ExperienceLevel I no experienceArea of ExperienceEngineering and research practices and principles or science-basedprogramsRequirements for Additional Job LevelsLevel II- 2 years of professional experience;Level III – 4 years of professional experience;Level IV- 6 years of professional experience;Level V- 8 years of professional experience;Level VI- 10 years of professional experience;Level VII -12 years of professional experience;Education LevelField of StudyYears of ExperienceCandidates with a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree may substituterelevant experience toward the PhD requirement at the rate of two(2) years relevant experience per year of required educationArea of ExperienceEngineering and research practices and principles or science-basedprogramsRequirements for Additional Job LevelsMinimum Skills and AbilitiesKnowledge of contracts, grants, budget, accounting, and financeprinciples is required. Technical knowledge in advanced systemsengineering or cyber security related research projects andprograms is required.Minimum Technology SkillsMinimum License and CertificationsDesired QualificationsExtensive experience with government agencies or industry inengineering or science-based applications. Additional years ofcombined experience in planning, directing, executing, andintegrating the work and resources of government agency/industryprojects or programs; experience in business planning anddevelopment including developing key strategic partnership andrelationships with Industry, government and research Institutions;excellent interpersonal communications skills.Salary GradeSalary Range$68,700 – $282,600Job CategoryEngineeringWorking Hours if Non-TraditionalList any hazardous conditions or physical demands required bythis positionPosting Date05/22/2020Closing DateEEO StatementAUBURN UNIVERSITY IS AN AFFIRMATIVE ACTION / EQUAL OPPORTUNITYEMPLOYER . It is our policy to provide equal employmentopportunities for all individuals without regard to race, sex,religion, color, national origin, age, disability, protectedveteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, genderidentity, or any other classification protected by applicablelaw.Special Instructions to ApplicantsQuick Link for Internal Postingshttps://www.auemployment.com/postings/7188Documents Needed to ApplyRequired DocumentsResumeCover LetterOptional DocumentsTranscriptsLetter of RecommendationCurriculum VitaeSupplemental QuestionsRequired fields are indicated with an asterisk (*). * Do you have a PhD from an accredited institution inEngineering, science, management information science (MIS), orrelated technical field?YesNo * How many years of experience do you possess in engineeringand research practices and principles, or science-basedprograms?(Open Ended Question)last_img read more

Read More »

‘It’s a balancing act’

first_img“Perpetuity” is supposed to go on forever. For Luis Viceira, an investment management expert and the George E. Bates Professor at Harvard Business School, that’s the word that makes the task of managing University endowment funds particularly challenging.Viceira spoke with the Gazette about the importance of Harvard’s endowment — and university endowments in general — in creating an enduring institution that will benefit not just today’s students, but generations of them to come.Endowments, Viceira said, create the financial stability and flexibility that, in Harvard’s case, have allowed the institution to weather financial storms and renew its physical plant — highlighted by the recent reopening of Dunster House — as well as provide new space for teaching and research, pursue talented faculty, provide financial help to students, and ensure that the University is open to all who are qualified, regardless of financial circumstances.The challenge of consistently setting and meeting investment targets that will preserve an endowment’s purchasing power was illustrated recently when several public university endowments fell short of long-term investment targets, with Ohio State University, the University of Florida, the University of Texas, and Indiana University all reporting returns below 5 percent. Harvard’s 2015 endowment results haven’t yet been released, but the endowment’s importance to the University hasn’t diminished. The fiscal 2014 endowment distribution provided $1.5 billion to Harvard’s everyday operations, more than a third of the 2014 budget. Viceira explained how endowments operate.GAZETTE: What purpose does a university endowment serve, and is Harvard’s endowment different from other endowments?VICEIRA: An endowment is essentially a pool of money that comes from donors who want to help fund the operations and the mission of the University. They typically feel strongly that they want to ensure the long-term financial stability of the institution, which implies that it not be too highly dependent on tuition revenue. Their expectation usually is that it should be there for the long term, not just to fund current expenses.The Harvard Endowment GAZETTE: What is “long term” in this context?VICEIRA: Well, any donor would like Harvard to be here for the next 400 years, like it has been here for the last almost 400. They want what they give to outlast a generation and help future generations.GAZETTE: You described the endowment as “a pool of money.” Can it be used however the University decides it is needed?VICEIRA: The assumption that it can be spent any way we want is not exactly true. When donors typically give, they do it in a restricted fashion. They say the money has to be used for a specific purpose: to fund this lab, to fund this chair, to fund this institute, and for nothing else. And [they] expect it to be wisely invested and preserved so it can fund this chair or lab or institute “into perpetuity,” which is usually the language used.So an important fraction of the endowment is restricted (about 70 percent in Harvard’s case). There is also unrestricted giving that has fewer constraints on how it can be spent. But, nonetheless, there is an expectation that it is going to be wisely spent, and certainly not all at once.You were asking how Harvard is special. Unlike other universities, each School has its own endowment. It’s pooled together for investment and administration purposes, but it is not a big pool of money that the University can decide to spend any way it wants.GAZETTE: You mentioned stability over time. Can you talk about the endowment’s role in insulating a university from increases and declines in other revenue sources over time?VICEIRA: Endowments can help in downturns to avoid drastic oscillations in your operating budgets.The financial crisis was an example. The endowment suffered losses in line with the losses experienced by other endowments. But there were also constraints on other sources of funding: grants from the federal government, research money, and other types.Without the endowment, the University probably would have been forced to a much more dramatic reduction in the operating budget than it was. The University acted responsibly and all Schools tried to be conservative in how they were spending. But the endowment acted as a cushion to prevent drastic increases in tuition or drastic layoffs.It is also very important to mention that Harvard has a triple-A rating. It is very unusual to have an institution with a triple-A rating. A big part of that is because we have a healthy endowment. It allows us to access capital markets when many of those markets are closed to other institutions and corporations.An example was the winter of 2009, when Harvard was able to issue debt in the public markets when many actors in those markets simply did not have access. We did, and part of that was the fact that, even with the losses the endowment experienced in the crisis, we still had a healthy endowment that could back up that debt.GAZETTE: What would the difference be in interest paid on debt if we were only AA-rated?VICEIRA: The debt spreads or interest differentials vary over time, but it could be as high as 0.75 percent. This might seem small, but in dollar terms can be quite significant. If we were rated BB, the spreads would be much larger, in the range of 2 or 3 percent. And the cost differential widens considerably in recessions. In recessions, access to debt markets is more constrained, and your rating makes a huge difference on your cost. Obviously the cost increases for everyone, but the spread of the cost differential between highly rated institutions and low- or junk-rated institutions increases.GAZETTE: Is it safe to say that having a triple-A rating allows Harvard to do more with a fixed amount of money?VICEIRA: Yes, at a cheaper cost.GAZETTE: How much of the endowment is paid out to fund University expenses every year, and how is that figure arrived at?VICEIRA: On average, between 4 and 5 percent of the endowment is distributed as payout to the Schools every year. That’s decided based on what we think is a reasonable amount that will [still] sustain the endowment’s value in the long run, after inflation, so that pool of money will be there, available to spend in perpetuity.So, say you decide to spend 4 percent, and let’s say we expect inflation to be 2.5 percent. In order to keep the endowment at the current level into perpetuity, we have to make a long-run return on endowment of 6.5 percent. If we think of spending 5 percent, you’re talking a 7.5 percent return.So, the question is: “What reasonable rate of return do we think we can obtain by wisely investing the endowment without incurring undue risk?” If we think that number is something like 7.5 percent, we can afford to spend 5 percent per annum on average and still maintain the real value of the endowment — the inflation-adjusted value of the endowment — for the long run.GAZETTE: So is it a balancing act really between …VICEIRA: It’s a balancing act between what we think we should spend — and how much we expect inflation to be — and what we think we can reasonably get in the long run without exposing the University and the endowment to undue investment risk.Say we concluded that 7.5 or 8 percent is a reasonable return on endowment in the long run. There are not safe assets today that pay you that kind of return. In fact, the safest securities out there in the long run are inflation-protected Treasury bonds, or TIPS, and 30-year TIPS are paying something like 1 percent per annum, plus inflation. So clearly we need to take some investment risk.A recent op-ed in The New York Times suggested higher education endowments should spend 8 percent per year. At 2.5 or 3 percent inflation, that means we should be targeting a return on the endowment of 11 percent per annum. It seems to me there’s no way in today’s capital markets that you can do that without assuming a lot of investment risk, which would expose the endowment to potentially very large losses in market downturns.I should also mention that the type of inflation that we face as a university tends to be, on average, higher than the type of inflation reflected in the Consumer Price Index because we tend to be more consumers of services and exposed to more health care inflation. The University tends to measure inflation in something called the Higher Education Price Index, which tends to run higher than CPI inflation. So we’re not looking at just 2.5 percent CPI inflation, but probably more like 3.5 percent, which poses even more demands on the returns of the endowment.GAZETTE: So in order to spend 8 percent of the endowment a year, you would have to add an increment for inflation, and then with that as your investment target you would need to pursue riskier investments?VICEIRA: Much riskier investments than is currently done.GAZETTE: Which may work in some years, but in other years ….VICEIRA: [It] might not work, and expose us to large losses that ultimately might backfire, in the sense that they might end up depleting the endowment. While it is true that the endowment has performed very reasonably, I would not bank on the past to project the future.The prudent thing is to be conservative about what we should expect going forward. Of course, if one has the view that the endowment should be depletive, you can spend 8, 20, 25 percent per annum and deplete the whole endowment in four years, but is that what the donors intended? No.Could that even be feasible? Probably not, because many of these endowments are restricted on how they can be spent. But even if they weren’t, is this something that our alums would like us to do, or our donors would like us to do? Quite frankly, I don’t think so.GAZETTE: The endowment, as you mentioned, has exceeded 8 percent returns with a fair amount of regularity, but it’s fallen short of that as well.VICEIRA: One example is 2008-2009 fiscal year.GAZETTE: When it lost 30 percent of its value.VICEIRA: About 27 percent.GAZETTE: Has the share of the operating budget paid for by the endowment been increasing?VICEIRA: I believe the distribution of the endowment has increased well above inflation historically. Whether that becomes a larger fraction of the operating budget is a different matter. That depends on how much you decide to increase expenses at each School, and how much revenue from other sources increases. If I get a dividend increase well above inflation, but decide to increase my expenses even more, my dividend distribution now funds a smaller fraction of my budget. Historically, some Schools have kept the fraction of their operating budgets funded out of endowment distributions steady, while others have seen increments.GAZETTE: Harvard manages its endowment using both in-house and external managers. How did that system come about, and why not just use external managers?VICEIRA: Harvard is one of the very few that manages an important fraction of the endowment internally. That was a conscious decision because it was deemed — and I think it’s right — more cost-effective.If those monies were managed externally, as happens at most other endowments, the amount paid in fees would wind up exceeding what we pay to the internal managers. And the compensation of these managers is based on whether they can get better performance than, say, passive investments.So when there is a performance payment, it is because we are better off after paying the managers than we would be if we were paying for a cheaper but passive investment in that type of asset class or for an external manager. The question is: Do we get more than it costs us?GAZETTE: How does the system of financing a private university with the assistance of an endowment compare to other models of university financing? I’m thinking of public universities that rely more heavily on money from the state every year. Is one more financially stable than the other?VICEIRA: Public or private universities that don’t have significant endowments typically have to fund operating budgets from tuition. And, in the case of most public universities, [with] state governments allocating resources to them, that allocation is very sensitive to fiscal crises in the state, recessions in the state.It’s not a high priority. It seems in many cases more like discretionary spending than probably it should. And it doesn’t grow very steeply over time, if at all, after adjusting for inflation. These institutions that don’t have endowments have a lot less flexibility in how they can fund capital investments necessary to maintain their physical plants, maintain their labs. They have a lot less flexibility in hiring talent.I think that’s very important. Luis Viceira at the Business School just needs someplace to sit and a laptop or a desktop. But if you are bringing in the world expert in Alzheimer’s to work at Harvard, at the Medical School, say, or the top researcher in genetics, they typically need huge investments in labs, physical plant, lab equipment, enormous teams. And talent is very scarce. Institutions that depend very heavily on tuition revenue or public subsidies are extremely limited in what they can do.[Faculty] need resources to be able to do their best work, and the endowment makes a big difference in having the flexibility to be able to attract the best and most talented researchers and teachers you want. It’s important.It’s a distinctive advantage of this University, with consequences for the University and for future generations of students, both undergraduates and graduates.last_img read more

Read More »

Extension Academy

first_imgFor more information on UGA Extension’s impact in Georgia, visit extension.uga.edu. Fifteen University of Georgia Cooperative Extension employees graduated this month from the 2018-19 UGA Extension Academy for Professional Excellence — an internal program aimed at developing the next generation of leaders.The program is designed to teach leadership skills to early- and mid-career UGA county Extension agents, state specialists and personnel from the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and College of Family and Consumer Sciences. Ultimately, the training is an effort toward fulfilling UGA Extension’s mission of helping Georgians become healthier, more productive, financially independent and environmentally responsible individuals.Extension Academy participants completed three leadership institutes offering intensive, three-day personal and professional development trainings facilitated by the CAES Office of Learning and Organizational Development (OLOD).Participants in the leadership program have been identified as potential leaders for the organization, or are current leaders, who are interested in enhancing their leadership skills.”Extension Academy is the first tier of leadership-development training for professionals working in UGA Extension and is closely aligned units within our college. This class of graduates look forward to potential leadership opportunities with the organization and will lean on the information and network they gained in this program as they lead,” said Lauren Griffeth, UGA Extension leadership specialist and organizer of the academy.Tripp Williams, UGA Extension county coordinator in Columbia County, says he learned a lot about his management style and how it affects his team through the Extension Academy.“I was able to identify leadership strengths and opportunities for growth to achieve our office goals and my personal career goals,” he said. “I feel the leadership academy is a vital part of continuing education for Extension agents as it equips us to be confident leaders in our offices, communities and state.” Kelle Ashley, the UGA Extension 4-H and youth development agent in Oconee County, applied for Extension Academy because she saw the program as an opportunity to grow professionally.“Extension Academy was a great experience.  After each session, I felt ‘recharged.’ I’d return to my county office with a plan to take on new challenges both professionally and personally,” Ashley said. “This experience was also a great way to connect with colleagues from around the state. Creating this new network of Extension professionals has helped me better appreciate how each one of them brings value to our organization.” The opportunity to receive advanced leadership training in a small setting is what convinced Clark MacAllister, UGA Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources agent in Dawson and Lumpkin counties, to participate in the program.  “I had been in Extension for a few years and I had established a decent reputation in my counties. This allowed me some room to take time for extra trainings,” said MacAllister, who joined UGA Extension seven years ago. “Even though I still feel ‘new’ in some ways, I’ve got to be a good example to the younger Extension agents coming up behind me.”He said the Extension Academy courses helped him learn more about himself with an end goal of helping him better interact with others.“The program makes you look inside and examine your own personality; how you are perceived by others and how you react to stress and conflict,” he said. “I learned how small actions can have big consequences when you are interacting with coworkers. It was uncomfortable at times to discuss my own personality habits, but in understanding these I can now adjust to become a better leader within my office and my community.”After completing Extension Academy, MacAllister says he would recommend the program to other Extension agents who are interested in expanding their leadership skills.                              This year’s Extension Academy participants are:Leigh Anne Aaron, Family and Consumer Sciences agent, Oconee and Morgan countiesKelle Ashley, 4-H agent, Oconee CountyStephanie Benton, 4-H agent, Early CountyPam Bloch, 4-H agent, Gwinnett CountyKasey Bozeman, county Extension coordinator and 4-H agent, Liberty and Long countiesPaul Coote, director, Burton 4-H CenterTim Davis, county Extension coordinator and Agriculture and Natural Resources agent, Chatham CountyClark MacAllister, county Extension coordinator and Agriculture and Natural Resources agent, Dawson and Lumpkin CountiesMerritt Melancon, public relations coordinator, UGA Extension, Office of Communications and Creative ServicesSusan Moore, Family and Consumer Sciences agent, Laurens CountyJustin Shealey, county Extension coordinator and Agriculture and Natural Resources agent, Echols CountyHeather Shultz, 4-H livestock programs coordinator, UGA ExtensionCindee Sweda, Family and Consumer Sciences agent, Spalding CountyTrish West, county Extension coordinator and 4-H agent, Bryan CountyTripp Williams, county Extension coordinator and Agriculture and Natural Resources agent, Columbia Countylast_img read more

Read More »

Dys promoted to reporter, Melendez joins News staff

first_img Dys promoted to reporter, Melendez joins News staff Britt Dys has been promoted from advertising specialist to assistant editor of The Florida Bar Journal & News. And Melinda Melendez has joined the Bar to become the advertising specialist handling classified ads.Dys, 28, from St. Petersburg, is a 2002 Florida State University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in communications and a minor in creative writing. She joined the Bar’s staff in March 2003. Her new duties include compiling the New and Notes, Benchmarks, and On the Move columns for the News, as well as writing occasional news stories. She will help edit articles for the Journal. She can be reached by e-mail at [email protected] or by calling (850) 561-5689.In her spare time, Dys is an avid reader, creative writer, and amateur artist.Joining the Bar Journa l & News this month is 23-year-old Melendez, who came from Connecticut to attend Florida State. A 2003 FSU graduate, Melendez earned dual bachelor’s degrees in English and Humanities. She is an actress, singer, and dancer, with the Tallahassee group Theatre a la Carte.Melendez can be reached by e-mail at [email protected] or by calling her at (850) 561-5695. Dys promoted to reporter, Melendez joins News staff December 15, 2003 Regular Newslast_img read more

Read More »

Where there’s a will, there’s a way

first_img February 15, 2004 Regular News Where there’s a will, there’s a way President-elect Kelly Overstreet Johnson and Florida Medical Association President Carl Lentz recently launched a joint public service campaign to encourage Floridians to prepare living wills and to designate health care surrogates. Johnson said the lawyers’ and physicians’ groups are making statutory living will and health care surrogate forms available to their members from their respective Web sites. (www.flabar.org or www.fmaonline.org.) Members are being asked to duplicate these forms and make them available to all who visit their offices. The Bar’s Speakers Bureau also has recruited members of the Elder Law, Health Law, and Real Property, Probate and Trust Law sections to volunteer as speakers to address civic and community organizations throughout the state on living wills and other end-of-life issues. Where there’s a will, there’s a waylast_img read more

Read More »

Sharing sales best practices between vehicle protection partners

first_imgWhen adding new products to their portfolios, financial institution executives have many issues to consider. A well-thought out introduction and delivery of new products to the customer is essential to a smooth rollout. This is especially the case with vehicle protection products like Guaranteed Asset Protection (GAP) and Major Mechanical Protection (MMP) coverage. From their first touch of the product to their last, the customer’s experience should be consistently positive, especially in a digital age where experiences are so easily shared across social networks.There are a wide variety of GAP and MMP providers in today’s marketplace, but very few of them take an approach that addresses two critical requirements: effortless delivery for loan officers and optimal customer experience. True partners recognize the importance of working with a financial institution to deliver upon its promises and go beyond providing a product to sell—they should look to improve a financial institution’s processes with innovative technology, thorough training, and a great product.Gain Effortless Delivery for Loan Officers The starting point for effortless delivery of vehicle protection products is the quoting and sales system organizations use to introduce and offer borrowers the products. To be truly effective, the technology must be fully integrated with the financial institution’s loan origination system. When it is, the products can easily and consistently be presented during the vehicle loan closing process. continue reading » 7SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Read More »

Governor Wolf Orders the Commonwealth Flag at Half-Staff to Honor Former Greensburg Fire Department’s J. Edward “Hutch” Hutchinson

first_img April 17, 2018 Flag Order,  Press Release Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf has ordered the Commonwealth flag to fly at half-staff at all Commonwealth facilities in the City of Greensburg to honor the former chief of the Greensburg Fire Department.J. Edward Hutchinson, 96, passed away on Sunday, April 15, 2018.The Commonwealth flag shall be lowered immediately, Tuesday, April 17, 2018, until J. Edward Hutchinson’s interment. All Pennsylvanians are invited to participate in this tribute.The United States flag shall remain at full staff during this tribute. SHARE Email Facebook Twittercenter_img Governor Wolf Orders the Commonwealth Flag at Half-Staff to Honor Former Greensburg Fire Department’s J. Edward “Hutch” Hutchinsonlast_img

Read More »

​Nordic roundup: Alecta ramps up robotics ahead of 2023 ITP bid

first_imgTotal assets under management rose to over SEK900bn (€85.6bn) for the first time, it said, with the increase a result of returns and positive inflows from contributions. At the end of March, Alecta was managing SEK877bn, with its DC product assets totalling SEK123bn and its DB product holding SEK782bn.PFA invests €180m in Dutch green bonds Sweden’s largest pension fund Alecta is increasing automation within its operations as it attempts to remain competitive in the next bid for default provider of the country’s supplementary occupational pension system (ITP).Announcing results for the first half of this year, the fund said under its development plan to win the next five-year contracts – dubbed “Alecta 2023” – it had set goals to offer long-term, strong returns and improve efficiency by, among other things, upping its use of technology.Chief executive Magnus Billing said: “In the first half of the year, we have, to name a few things, launched methods to measure and increase the degree of automation of different processes and we have also put a robot to work for pension calculations.”In the first half of 2019, the pension fund said its defined contribution (DC) product Alecta Optimal Pension generated a return of 11.8%, while its defined benefit (DB) product returned 8.5%. Henrik Nøhr Poulsen, PFA PensionPFA Pension, Denmark’s biggest commercial pension fund, invested over DKK1.3bn (€180m) in the recent Dutch government green bond issuance.The DKK575.8bn fund said the bonds would help the Dutch state achieve its climate goals and contribute to a green transition. Last month, Danish pension fund administrator PKA said it had put DKK1bn into the newly-issued securities.Henrik Nøhr Poulsen, PFA Pension’s CIO, said: “Green investments are increasingly in demand and are therefore expected to have a good potential for generating extra value on both the climate account and the pension savings.” The fund’s investments in renewable energy totalled DKK8.6bn last year. While the green bond market was still limited in relation to the global bond market, it continued to grow year on year, the Copenhagen-based fund said.“Sustainability and accountability have become an integral part of the way we invest,” Nøhr Poulsen added. “And in relation to the transformation that is currently under way to limit the temperature increases, it is important that we, as a long-term investor, make a positive contribution to the green transition and help to back up the Paris agreement and the UN’s world goals.”last_img read more

Read More »

​Swedish FSA pleads for transitional rules on IORP II due to COVID

first_img“It is therefore important that a legislative amendment comes into effect as soon as FI can decide on the cases before the turn of the year,” the authority wrote.In its initial assessment, FI said the applicants’ operations were basically sound, and in normal circumstances they would have good prospects in the long-term of meeting capital requirements.“However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the volatility prevailing in the markets as a result of the outbreak, FI sees a risk that one or some of the occupational pension funds may find it difficult to live up to set capital requirements at the time of FI’s decision about transformation,” it said.Overall, FI argued in the letter – signed by its chief counsel Eric Leijonram and senior lawyer Nanny Hiort, there were good reasons for introducing such transitional provision, because the regulation on occupational pension companies was well suited to the pension funds applying, and the funds were also deemed to be viable.“At the same time, the consequences that could arise if transitional provision is not introduced are significant since an occupational pension fund has to go into liquidation if an application for conversion from a subsidiary to an occupational pension company is refused,” FI wrote.The eight applicants for conversion to occupational pension companies are PP Pension, Pensionskassan SHB, Sparinstitutens Pensionskassa (SPK),  Försäkringsbranschens Pensionskassa (FPK), Svensk Handel, VFF Pension, Kåpan and Svenska Kyrkans Pensionskassa, FI confirmed.To read the digital edition of IPE’s latest magazine click here. Occupational pension funds in the process of converting to Sweden’s new IORP II regime could be liquidated unless certain transition rules are put in place, the regulator has warned, because the pandemic’s effects on markets might make them fail capital requirements.The Swedish FSA (Finanstilsynet, FI) has written to the Finance Ministry asking for transitional provisions to be added to legislation translating the EU’s IORP II directive into the domestic rulebook.The authority said it needs new legal wording added to allow it to approve the conversion of mutual benefit societies (understödsföreningar or pension funds) offering occupational pensions to occupational pensions companies (tjänstepensionsföretag) by the end of this year – even though some may not meet the capital requirements at that point.The watchdog was handling eight occupational pension funds’ applications for conversion to occupational pension companies in accordance with the IORP II Act (2019: 742), and all but one had asked for the conversion to take effect from 1 January 2021.last_img read more

Read More »

DSME presents in-house developed LNG containment systems

first_imgSouth Korean shipbuilder, DSME held a demonstration of its self-developed LNG cargo containment systems ‘Solidus’ and ‘Mctib’, and an indirect glycol water type re-gasification system at its Energy System Research Center in Geoje shipyard.More than 80 representatives from a group of ship owners, oil companies and class societies attended the demonstration and observed the ‘Solidus’ & ‘Mctib’ real mock-up tanks and re-gasified LNG processing by the indirect re-gasification system.DSME LNG re-gasification system applied indirect glycol water heating type vaporizer based on results of various tests using LNG and it is expected to lift competitiveness of DSME’s LNG-FSRU by saving its initial and operating costs.BW Gas contracted the world’s first FSRU with this technology and the ship is scheduled to be delivered to BW group in 2019, DSME said in a statement.Solidus is a membrane type cargo containment system, which maximizes safety of the containment system by adopting two metallic barriers and insulation material that has been developed in cooperation with BASF. Solidus boasts a daily LNG boil-off rate (BOR) of 0.049 percent, which is 30 percent higher performance compared to the currently lowest level of 0.07 percent. This means that a 170,000 cubic meter LNG carrier can transport its cargoes more efficiently and can deliver more LNG annually.DSME claims that its total LNG cargo that can be saved by using the Solidus system is estimated to be worth about $11.25 million during 25-year operation.The shipbuilder developed the Mctib, an independent IMO Type-B Tank that uses high manganese steel jointly with POSCO. It has high impact-strength and can optimize space in comparison with the other independent tanks of type-B. It also reduces the material cost significantly, enhancing its cost competitiveness.last_img read more

Read More »