Warren Haynes is bringing a brand new symphonic event dubbed Warren Haynes Presents Dreams & Songs – A Symphonic Experience to debut at Asheville’s Thomas Wolfe Auditorium on Saturday, March 16th and–due to popular demand and a quick sell out–a second night on Sunday, March 17th.The hometown event will see Haynes teaming up with the Asheville Symphony Orchestra, keyboardist John Medeski (Medeski, Martin & Wood, bassist Oteil Burbridge (Allman Brothers Band, Dead & Co., The Aquarium Rescue Unit), and drummer Jeff Sipe (Aquarium Rescue Unit, Leftover Salmon). Rich Daniels, the versatile musical director of The City Lights Orchestra in Chicago and music director for FOX’s hit show Empire, will conduct. Daniels has appeared with some of the greatest names in music including Ray Charles, Garth Brooks, Dionne Warwick, and many more.Warren Haynes Presents Dreams & Songs – A Symphonic Experience has added special guest Greg Osby on saxophone, as well as Edwin McCain and Jasmine Muhammad on background vocals. According to the announcement, the band will perform a different extended encore each night, following their two-set performance with the Asheville Symphony.Edwin McCain, known for his 1997 pop hit “I’ll Be” has been absent from the jam community for decades, following his brief stint with Butch Trucks’ Frogwings, an Allman Brothers Band side-project that included Derek Trucks, Oteil Burbridge, Jimmy Herring, Count Mbutu, Marc Quinones, and John Herbert, alongside Edwin McCain in the mid-90s. When McCain left the band to pursue his solo career, he was replaced by Blues Travelers’ John Popper. Later iterations of Frogwings featured Kofi Burbridge, and often times included sit-ins from Warren Haynes, and others.The press release for Warren Haynes Presents Dreams & Songs – A Symphonic Experience notes that fans should look for Warren and the ensemble to offer, “a symphonic take on his classic, career-spanning material,” as well as material from Gov’t Mule, Allman Brothers Band, Grateful Dead, Haynes’ solo catalog, and more.Although Warren has never devoted the entirety of a symphonic show to focus in on his own music, he is no stranger to playing beside a symphony. In years past, Haynes has paid his respects to the Grateful Dead master himself, Jerry Garcia, with a unique symphonic tribute highlighted by Warren rocking out on Garcia’s Tiger and Wolf guitars.For all ticketing details, please visit Warren Haynes’ website.
New York Knicks basketball sensation Jeremy Lin was part of a teaching moment during Pei-Chia Lan’s recent talk at the Radcliffe Gymnasium. Only the image of the famous Harvard graduate was projected on the screen at the front of the hall, but Lin’s picture helped to underscore a point that Lan made about the attitude of middle-class Chinese and Taiwanese immigrant parents toward their children’s participation in team sports: They aren’t big fans.The parents find daily practices too time-consuming, with a schedule that often conflicts with Chinese language school, said Lan. Many parents also dread the “burden of socializing with American parents on the soccer field.”Author of “Global Cinderellas: Migrant Domestics and Newly Rich Employers in Taiwan,” a detailed ethnographic study of migrant domestic labor in Taiwan, Lan has brought the same rigor to her Harvard research for her next book project. As a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, she is exploring how Taiwanese and Chinese immigrants negotiate cultural differences in child rearing and how they parent transnationally.Through extensive interviews in the United States and Taiwan, Lan has uncovered several telling trends that suggest how immigration, the changing nature of the global economy, and differences in class and social status affect attitudes toward parenting.In Taiwan, Lan found there has been a real shift in parenting styles, particularly in middle-class families, one that reflects the influence of Western models. Once more concerned with authority, discipline, and control, Taiwanese parents have adopted parenting strategies based on notions of cooperation, autonomy, and trust. They have also shifted from a strict focus on academic achievement, she said. Worried about their children’s well-being in “an overcompetitive education system, they put an increasing emphasis on linking learning and fun.”The reasons for the change include the industrial revolution in Taiwan, a time when children became “economically useless but emotionally priceless.” A reduced birth rate, the emergence of the nuclear family, democratic reforms of the 1990s, and rising Western influences also help “explain the changing notion of children in Taiwan.”Middle-class parents in Taiwan, Lan said, embrace Western parenting as “a superior cultural model to help them achieve cosmopolitanism in distinction from the lower class, with limited global exposure.”In the United States, middle-class immigrant parents interviewed by Lan revealed a strong interest in their child’s academic success. But that drive, she suggested, is often motivated by a sense that their child has to make up for a racial bias.While immigrant parents see their American neighbors as “loose parents,” they themselves “highlight the Chinese values of discipline and hard work as necessary tools for their children to survive in the context of racial inequality,” said Lan.She suggested that those parents have a dramatically different idea of assimilation. They make no effort to stop their children from speaking their native language, which was something that parents in the ’70s and ’80s discouraged in an effort to ensure their children were as American-sounding as possible. Today, middle-class parents encourage their children to speak Chinese, she said, in large part as a way to make them more marketable in a global economy where China is a rising force.Working-class immigrant parents, who see relocation to a new country as the ultimate move toward a better life, instead use a more “permissive” Western-based parenting model, said Lan, in the hope that “their children, living in an ethnic enclave, will achieve assimilation to a mainstream society.”
Co-authorsJoseph White, Senior Distinguished EngineerJoe Ghalam, Distinguished EngineerMark Sanders, Distinguished EngineerSince joining Dell as CTO for Networking & Solutions in June 2019, I have been energized by the opportunities and the extent of technology development at Dell Technologies, as well as the deep partner engagement in R&D. Heading into 2020, our customers require distributed and automated infrastructure platforms that support a wide range of use cases from data center automation to edge and 5G enterprise verticals. Let’s take a closer, more technical look at what’s behind these trends.Cloud-native software drives intelligent automation and fabrics in data centers Advances in infrastructure automation are leading to full automation stacks incorporating OS configuration management, DevOps tools, and platform stack installers and managers. These bundles enable a new operational model based on fully-automated, zero-touch provisioning and deployment using remote tools for networking, compute and storage infrastructure. This has become a critical requirement for large deployments, delivering the ability to rapidly deploy and manage equipment with the least amount of operational cost at scale. This is a key enabler for edge use cases.Network configuration and fault mitigation is rapidly becoming automated. Telemetry data availability and integration with orchestration applications allows the network to be more than one static domain. Using data analysis and fault detection, automatic network configuration and self-healing can become a great differentiating factor in selecting one solution over another.The tools for infrastructure lifecycle management, including firmware upgrades, OS updates, capacity management and application support, are becoming an integral part of any infrastructure solution. These trends will accelerate with the help of AI software tools this year and continue to expand to every part of the infrastructure.Micro-services based NOS design fuels the next wave in Open NetworkingNetwork operating systems (NOS) are evolving into flexible cloud-native microservices designs that address many of the limitations of traditional networking platforms. One of the biggest benefits is the ability to support different hardware platforms and customize the services and protocols for specific deployments. Gone are the days when the only option network operators had was to accept a monolithic, generic OS stack with many features that would never be used. This new architecture is critical for supporting edge platforms with constrained CPU and power with targeted networking missions.Community-based NOS platforms such as SONiC (Software for Open Networking in the Cloud) have the added benefit of accelerating development through a community. SONiC is gaining momentum as a NOS for both enterprises and service providers due to its disaggregated and modular design. By selecting desired containers and services, SONiC can be deployed in many use cases and fit in platforms of many sizes.The recent increased industry involvement and community creation has placed SONiC on an accelerated path to support more use cases and features. The increased development activity will continue through 2020 and beyond. SONiC has also grabbed the attention of other projects and organizations such as ONF and TIP/Disaggregated cell site gateways. These projects are looking into ways to integrate with SONiC in their existing and new solutions and driving a new set of open networking use cases.Merchant silicon extends to cover more complex networking requirementsProgrammable packet forwarding pipelines, deep buffers, high radix, high line speeds, and high forwarding capacity merchant silicon switches coupled to a new generation of open network operating systems are enabling effective large scale-out fabric-based architectures for data centers. These capabilities will enhance both data center and edge infrastructure, replacing the need for a chassis design or edge routers with custom ASICs. In 2020, for the first time, we expect to see merchant silicon-based network solutions achieve parity with most of the traditional edge and core networking platforms, providing a scale out design that is better aligned to converged infrastructure and cloud requirements.Programmable silicon/data plane enabling streaming analyticsProgrammable data planes are maturing with P4 compilers (as the community approach) and many other available languages for creating customized data pipelines. There is also a growing number of NOSs that support programmable data plane functionality. These new software tools enable the creation of unique profiles to support specific services and use cases, including edge functionality, network slicing, real time telemetry and packet visibility. These powerful new capabilities provide control and AI-based mitigation, as well as customized observability at large scale in real time. Developers have access to the data pipeline and will be able to create new services that are not possible in traditional networking. This is going to be one of the key new trends in 2020.Storage fabrics using distributed NVMe-oF over TCP/IP solutionsNVMe has emerged as the most efficient and low-latency technology for storage access. NVME-over-Fabric (NVMe-oF) extends the protocol to work across networks using fabric-based networks (Fibre Channel, RoCE, TCP/IP). TCP/IP and RoCE have a clear cost effectiveness advantage with 100GbE being four times as fast as 32GbE FC at about 1/8th of the cost. Between those two protocols TCP/IP emerges as the solid choice due to similar performance, better interoperability and routing, and utilization of lossless networks only where needed. NVMe-oF/TCP transport provides the connectivity backbone to build efficient, flexible, and massive-scale distributed storage systems. The key to unlocking this potential is service-based automation and discovery controlling the storage access connectivity within the proven SAN operational approach and orchestration frameworks extended across multiple local storage networks through both storage services and fabric services federation.Distributed edge emerging as a requirement for Industry vertical solutionsEmerging use cases at the far edge for analytics, surveillance, distributed applications and AI are driving the need for new infrastructure designs. Key constraints are the operating environment, physical location, and physical distribution giving rise to the need for a comprehensive remote automated operational model. New workload requirements are also driving the design. For example, Gartner predicts that “by 2022, as a result of digital business projects, 75% of enterprise-generated data will be created and processed outside the traditional, centralized data center or cloud*.” New innovations at the edge include converged compute and networking, programmable data plane processors, converged rack-level design, micro/mini data centers, edge storage and data streaming, distributed APIs and data processing. We are at the start of new phase of development of custom solutions for specific enterprise verticals that will drive new innovations in infrastructure and automation stacks.Wireless first designs are driving new infrastructure platforms for enterprises and service providersThere is tremendous growth in wireless spectrum and technologies including 5G, 4G, shared spectrum (CBRS), private LTE, and WiFi, coupled with a new desire to transition to wireless as the preferred technology for LAN, campus, eetail, etc. This is driving the need for wireless platform disaggregation into cloud native applications for core, radio access network (RAN) and WiFi that support multiple wireless technologies on shared infrastructure. Disaggregation is starting at the core and moving to the edge levering edge compute with automation in a distributed model, which is bringing all the benefits of cloud economics, automation and developer access to wireless infrastructure and creating massive new efficiencies and new services.Smart NICs are evolving to address massively distributed edge requirementsThe new generation of powerful Smart NICs extend the model of simple NIC offload and acceleration by adding heavy data plane processing capacity, programmable hardware elements, and integrated switching capabilities. These elements allow many data flow and packet processing functions to live on the smart NIC, including networking, NVMe offload, security, advanced telemetry generation, advanced analytics, custom application assistance, and infrastructure automation. Smart NICs will be a key element in several valuable use cases: distributed network mesh, standalone intelligent infrastructure elements (e.g. radio controllers), autonomous infrastructure, distributed software defined storage, and distributed data processing. Smart NICs will serve as micro-converged infrastructure extending the range of edge compute to new locations and services beyond edge compute.The age of 400G – higher speeds driving new fundamental network switch architectureNative 400G switches coupled with 400G 0ptical modules are now available and breaking the 100G speed limit for data center interconnects. This is creating challenges with power and thermal, as well as space and layout, and moving the industry to co-packed optics.In addition, new silicon photonics (ZR400 and others) enable long reach Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (DWDM) transport given the availability of merchant optics DSPs. This is going to fundamentally transform networking, data center interconnect and edge aggregation by collapsing the need for a stand-alone DWDM optical networks, therefore bringing great efficiencies, automation and software-defined capabilities to the entire networking stack.Stay tuned—2020 is set to be a year packed with innovation as we strive to deliver customers the technology that will drive their businesses into the future.Additional ResourcesTechnical Disruptions Emerging in 2020 – Direct2DellEMC blog by John Roese, CTO, Products & Operations, Dell TechnologiesFour Mega-trends Disrupting Data Protection – Direct2DellEMC blog by Yossi Saad, Lead Technologist for Data Protection Strategy, Office of the CTO, Dell TechnologiesDell EMC’s 2020 Server Trends & Observations – Direct2DellEMC blog by Robert Hormuth, Vice President & Fellow, Chief Technology Officer, Server & Infrastructure Systems, Dell EMC*Gartner Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2020, 21 October 2019, David Cearley, Nick Jones, David Smith, Brian Burke, Arun Chandrasekaran, CK Lu
See Birney and Gilpin in I’m Gonna Pray For You So Hard through March 1 at Atlantic Stage 2. Show Closed This production ended its run on March 1, 2015 Q: Betty, do you remember seeing Reed act onstage?BETTY GILPIN: When I first came to New York, I went to see Reed in Blasted. I was totally altered as a person and as an actor. I was like, “Holy sh*t, that’s the kind of theater I want to do.” So doing this play with Reed is a monumental experience.Q: I’m Gonna Pray For You So Hard is a rough ride—how do you unwind after letting out so much emotionally?REED BIRNEY: Betty goes home and collapses. I’ll go out with people, but we’ve both remarked that around 3:00 in the afternoon, we both start to seize up knowing what lies ahead. It takes about 15 minutes into the play before I can relax, and then it’s actually kind of fun. But the first bit is still terrifying.Q: Have your families come to see the show? Is it tough for them to watch?BETTY GILPIN: My parents are coming soon, and originally I was like, “Just don’t come, you’re gonna be too weirded out.” But something changed and I decided they have to come. It’s weird but wonderful.REED BIRNEY: My wife, 15-year-old daughter and 18-year-old son came opening night. I hadn’t really prepared them for what this was. The first thing my daughter said was, “Dad, I’ll never pour a bottle of wine on you,” which I thought was very nice. [Laughs.] My wife wanted to come back, but my son said, “I can’t see it again.” For him, it was too sad. I’m Gonna Pray For You So Hard Related Shows Q: People are buzzing about whether this play is based on Halley Feiffer’s relationship with her own father, cartoonist and playwright Jules Feiffer. What do you think?BETTY GILPIN: Halley and I are friends, but she made it clear in the rehearsal room it wasn’t somewhere she wanted to go. We really never talked about it.REED BIRNEY: I pushed it a little more than you did. And she told me, “It’s a version of what my life could have been.”BETTY GILPIN: People sometimes say to me after the show, “You really nailed Halley’s physicality.” I’ve not for one second tried to model my performance after her. I think it cheapens it to say it’s autobiographical, or that I’m playing Halley or Reed’s playing her father. It’s not the world we’ve made.REED BIRNEY: I did a play [Anthony Rose] with Jules in Philadelphia years ago, and I found him completely charming and we had a ball. For half a second I thought, “What about Jules could I bring into this?” At one point they wanted me to grow a beard and I couldn’t because I’m doing some TV stuff I had to keep my face clean-shaven for, but then I thought, “No. I don’t want it to be that close to Jules.”In the play, David and Ella are consumed by reviews of their work. How do you feel about reading your own reviews?BETTY GILPIN: I can’t read them. I’m too sensitive.REED BIRNEY: How do you deal with people who are like, [whiny voice] “Have you seen your review?”BETTY GILPIN: I cover my ears [laughs].Q: What do you do, Reed?REED BIRNEY: For a while, I wouldn’t read them until the play was over, and then they had no teeth at all. Good or bad, it’s over.Q: You guys spend 90 minutes hurting each other physically and psychologically—is it tough to be so cruel?REED BIRNEY: I can shove Betty around, I can scream at her, we’re both up for anything. Several friends of mine have commented that we smile at the curtain call, instead of like those very serious actors who are so impressed with themselves at curtain call, like, “God, I’m so spent. I’m so amazing.” I think it’s important to let the audience know it’s just a play. We’re both fine. Thanks for coming, have a great night. From King Lear to Wicked, theater has always explored dysfunctional father-daughter relationships—but few are as psychologically disturbing as the co-dependent bond between an explosive alcoholic playwright and his impressionable actress daughter in Halley Feiffer’s I’m Gonna Pray For You So Hard. Directed by Trip Cullman, the world premiere at the Atlantic Theater Company features Tony nominee Reed Birney as David and Nurse Jackie’s Betty Gilpin as his daughter Ella. Broadway.com spent the morning with the pair and discovered that starring in the chilling two-hander has created an indelible connection between them.Q: Reed, you’re old friends with Betty’s parents—do you remember her as a little girl?REED BIRNEY: In 1990 I did The Cocktail Hour with her mother [Ann McDonough] on the straw hat circuit. We were at the Cape Playhouse in Massachusetts and Betty was there, running around in a really cute pinafore.BETTY GILPIN: Oh my God, that’s right! I was four.REED BIRNEY: It’s the only time I’ve ever seen you in a dress [laughs].BETTY GILPIN: I have a lot of memories of the Cape Playhouse. I remember the three-legged black lab that was tied up outside and the rickety ghosty dressing rooms. And I remember there was a gazebo. And when we did I Remember a Gazebo. [Laughs.] View Comments Star Files Reed Birney
Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin and administration officials today reduced Agency of Transportation damage estimates in response to Tropical Storm Irene. VTrans, which initially believed the cost of repairing all roads, culverts and bridges on the state system could exceed $600 million, now estimates the actual cost will be between $175 million and $250 million. The agency revised its estimate following two intense months of conducting repairs to more than 500 miles of state highway and some 200 state-owned bridges. The new estimate is based on Federal Highway’s Detailed Damage Inspection Report (DDIR) process and includes a contingency for unknown costs and spring repairs. ‘This is great news for Vermont taxpayers,’ said Governor Peter Shumlin. ‘Not only are we recovering from Irene faster than anyone expected, we are also conducting repairs at a cost considerably less than anyone expected.’ Administration officials explained that there are a variety of factors that account for the higher initial estimate: Standard vs. Emergency Construction: Our engineers are trained to estimate construction costs based on standard construction practices, not emergency construction practices. Normal estimates include lengthy and sometimes costly processes, such as federal and state permitting, utility relocation, environmental mitigation, design reviews, planning, scoping, municipal coordination, survey, right-of-way acquisition and legal proceedings, etc. These are part of the standard roadway process but were not a part of the emergency response during a declared state of emergency. Significantly, during Irene recovery, much of the work was done while roads were closed. This removed the timely and costly burden of trying to accommodate traffic and heavy equipment through work zones. It also eliminated the mobilization/demobilization that occurs on many ‘normal’ construction projects when you need to reopen roads at the end of each day. Vermont Strong: VTrans original estimates were based on standard construction practices, and didn’t anticipate the collaborative spirit and sense of urgency that Vermonters shared during this emergency. Irene drove people to work harder, faster, and to use innovation to get the job done more expeditiously. VTrans repaired over 500 miles of damaged road and opened 32 bridges in just 2 months; this was done in large part from the sense of urgency and teamwork that the estimators could not have foreseen. Nobody would have ever guessed we could accomplish so much in such a short amount of time, not even us. ‘We cannot emphasize enough that these are only estimates, and continue to be volatile and subject to change,’ said Deputy Secretary Sue Minter. ‘There are Irene related projects that will not be completed for years and we expect our construction costs to change through time, although we do not expect them to exceed $250 million.’ To account for new issues that the Administration anticipates may emerge over the coming months and years, a contingency reserve has been added to current estimates. This reserve will address issues that may arise in the design of permanent repairs, plus work that may need to be redone from spring high water and roadway settlement. There are numerous concerns with river stability and debris as related to sink holes and slides. While the revised construction estimate is good news for Vermont, Governor Shumlin emphasized that repairs related to Irene are still projected to exceed the amount that Vermont would normally spend during an entire highway construction season. As a result, help from Congress is still needed to ensure the heroic work conducted this fall does not have lasting financial consequences that impede the state’s ability to properly maintain its roads, culverts and bridges into the future. ‘The news today is good, but I caution that we are not out of the woods yet,’ Shumlin said. ‘The magnitude of what happened to us is still enormous, and we will need help from our federal partners to recover properly.’ Governor’soffice. 10.31.2011###
10SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading » Don’t shy away from talking about generational differences in your workplace out of fear of stereotyping or placing employees into general categories, says Sarah Gibson, an author, speaker, and generational expert.Instead, realize that conversations about how to address those differences can result in a stronger workforce, Gibson tells the CUNA News Podcast.“It’s a helpful tool. If I’m having a clash at work and I’ve run through the other pieces, maybe it’s generational. It can provide a framework to opening doors to communication,” says Gibson, who is also the president/founder of Accent Learning and Consulting. “We want to be able to unite around generations and not have this topic divide us. We want it to bring us together so we value the differences that make our teams stronger.”
Advertisement Metro Sport ReporterThursday 18 Jul 2019 7:59 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link195Shares Advertisement Arsenal target Everton Soares learning English as transfer speculation intensifies Everton starred for Brazil at this summer’s Copa America (Picture: Getty Images)Gremio’s Everton became a target for Arsenal when it became apparent that they could not meet Crystal Palace’s valuation of Wilfried Zaha.The Brazil international appears to be available at less than half the price of the £80m the Gunners were quoted for the Ivory Coast winger.Arsenal technical director Edu is believed to have met with the player’s agent last week and knows Everton well having worked as general coordinator of the Brazil national team before returning to Arsenal.More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man CityThe Gremio forward was an unlikely star of the Copa America over the summer, scoring three goals in the tournament and winning the Man of the Match award in the final as Brazil beat Peru 3-1.Manchester United, Manchester City, Atletico Madrid, AC MIlan and Bayern Munich have all also been linked with a move for Everton, but it appears that Arsenal have won the race for the in-demand forward.MORE: Wilfried Zaha tells Crystal Palace he wants to leave after Arsenal’s failed transfer bidMORE: Unai Emery convinced Dani Ceballos to join Arsenal in personal phone call Comment Everton looks set for a Premier League switch (Picture: Getty Images)Further evidence has emerged that Everton Soares will be moving to the Premier League as the Brazil star has been filmed learning English.The Arsenal transfer target is thought to be close to confirming a £36m move to the Gunners, and a club doctor has been sent to Brazil to conduct medical exams of the striker.The 23-year-old has already dropped a small hint that he is heading to the Emirates, by following new signing Gabriel Martinelli on Instagram, and now another clue has arrived.Everton’s wife, Isa Ranieri, posted on her Instagram Story on Thursday a string of videos of her husband learning English from his phone.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENTThe striker appeared to master the words ‘dress’, ‘jacket’ and ‘hat’ as he begins to get a grasp of the new language.
Auctioneer and agent Alistair Macmillan works the crowd to try and secure a sale. Photo: Mark Cranitch.Mr Macmillan said the sellers were interstate and found it too hard to buy in Melbourne in 2008.Their solution was to instead get a piece of Brisbane, and take advantage of the equity gain when the time was ripe.One potential buyer, Sydney Milton, was hoping to become a first-time homeowner in the area.More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this home5 hours agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor5 hours agoHe’s looking for an entry level holding that’s north of the river and close to the CBD, but they’re not easy to find.“It is hard work. I’ve done a lot of research and there’s just not much around so you’ve got to be patient,” Mr Milton said. Tough negotiation skills were on display at the auction of 28 Grove St, Albion today. Photo: Mark Cranitch.It’s been advertised as a magnificent opportunity in an inner-city suburb, but all parties stood their ground at today’s auction of 28 Grove St, Albion.The house has all the makings of a great entry-level prospect in a blue-chip position.It’s a 405 square metre lot improved with a mid-set, timber-and-tin workers cottage — a classic design for the suburb. The home is comfortable enough to live in straight away, but there’s heaps of opportunity to renovate and gain more equity.Before the event, agent and auctioneer Alistair Macmillan of Ray White Wilston was excited by the interest.“We had over 70 inspections of the property in four weeks,” he said.“If you’re a buyer and you want to get close to the city in a house on a block of land sub-$850,000, they’re few and far between.” The audience is raring to go at 28 Grove St, Albion. Photo: Mark Cranitch.The crowd of approximately 30 filled the front yard with nine registered bidders all ready to go.An opening offer of $500,000 wasn’t going to last long and with bids at $50,000 increments, it only took a moment for three very active parties to reach the $750,000 mark.Things started to slow and once the price reached $800,000, Mr Macmillan was on the phone to the out-of-town owner to seek instructions.A bit of to-and-fro ensued and the auction was reopened with highest bidder, Patrick Daniels, raising his offer to $805,000.It still wasn’t enough and the home was declared ‘passed in’.Mr Daniels said he’s keen on the area at the right price, although house hunting isn’t his favourite was to spend his days off.“A bit painful to be honest. Giving up your weekends to come and do this isn’t my idea of fun.”Mr Daniels said if he did eventually buy the home, he’d happily live in it while considering options for adding value in the future.As at the time of publication, the property has been relisted on realestate.com.au for $839,000.
Storebrand, one of Norway’s largest pension providers, has agreed to buy asset manager Skagen.Once complete, the transaction will make Storebrand Norway’s largest provider by assets under management, according to IPE data. In a statement, Storebrand said it planned to pay Skagen’s current owners a total of NOK1.6bn (€169m), paid through a combination of Storebrand shares and cash, with the possibility of further gains subject to Skagen’s performance.Skagen – also a Norwegian firm but with branches across Europe – will operate as a separate company within the Storebrand group. Investment processes and philosophy would not change, the asset manager said. “In the current dynamic environment for the asset management industry, Skagen is delighted to be acquired by such a strong and well-resourced parent company,” the asset manager’s statement said. “The transaction will deliver real synergies and maximise the long-term potential of Skagen, allowing the company to develop in the best interests of its clients.”Storebrand CEO Odd Arild Grefstad said the acquisition was “an important building block” in the group’s growth strategy, while the group’s asset management CEO, Jan Erik Saugestad, highlighted the potential for growth in institutional provision.“Skagen is a contrarian and independent asset manager, held in high esteem by their clients,” Saugestad said. “We believe in their active investment philosophy, and will protect this along with their strong brand.”Øyvind Schanke, CEO of Skagen, added that his firm would have “greater ability to invest and innovate” due to its new owner’s resources.According to IPE’s annual Top 400 Asset Managers survey, Storebrand managed €63.5bn at the end of 2016. Skagen ran roughly €9bn.Storebrand said the acquisition would more than quadruple its share of the Norwegian private fund savings market from 4% to 17%.The deal is subject to regulatory approval in Norway and Sweden and is expected to complete before the end of this year.
Three unions have withdrawn their representatives from the accountability body (VO) of the Dutch sector scheme for dental technicians at the urgent request of the pension fund’s board.The board of Tandtechniek had ruled out further co-operation with the VO, which represents the scheme’s membership, as the accountability body was considering an appeal against a verdict from the Netherlands’ corporate court.The board feared that this could further delay the ailing pension fund’s plan to join the €197bn healthcare scheme, scheduled for 1 October.Last month the corporate court rejected the VO’s request for an investigation into alleged mismanagement by Tandtechniek’s board. The VO also asked to replace the board by an administrator. The court ruled that the body’s responsibilities weren’t as extended as it thought. Henk van der Meer, employee chair of Tandtechniek, said: “We don’t have time for such an appeal procedure, and we aren’t actually interested in it either. This will demand energy which we [would] rather spend on the collective value transfer.”Following a meeting with the accountability body, the board did not believe the VO would change tack either, Van der Meer added.He said that Wolter Jagt, employer representative in the VO, had already stepped down of his own accord as he didn’t agree with the decision to appeal the court’s ruling. The Tandtechniek scheme faces more cuts when it joins PFZW in October‘Give members more say’Responding to the developments, Arie Slottje – now also a former VO member – suggested that the board had obstructed the regular judicial process, as its request to the unions had effectively blocked the VO’s appeal option.In his opinion, the court hadn’t really addressed the questions posed by the VO, instead ruling that that the VO could not do anything whereas the board could do as it pleased.“The participants who pay can’t decide or ask anything, but are subject to risks and losses,” he said.Slottje referred to the low funding of Tandtechniek, which stood at 92.7% of liabilities at year-end, following several rounds of rights cuts during the past few years.Joining PFZW, which has a coverage ratio of 98.6%, would make additional cuts inevitable.Citing Tandtechniek’s annual report over 2016, Slottje said that participants had already lost at least 20% of their pension rights. “The chances to make up for this are virtually zero,” he said.Slottje, who took his PhD on decision-making processes at company pension funds, argued that participants themselves should get an increased say at the expense of the unions, “as unions represent no more than 18% of the Dutch working population”.