New HBS approach to increase transparency – Clifford Chance

first_imgHe said the industry group questioned “what had driven EIOPA to come up with new proposals”, lacking a formal request from the European Commission.Kloosterboer also noted that the period for the industry to comment on EIOPA’s recommendations, as well as the amount of time the supervisory authority would have to flesh out technical specifications, would be very short – particularly “given its intention to introduce new regulation in early 2015”.But Clifford Chance’s Van Meerten claimed the suggested frameworks were of “sloping strictness”, varying from a “Solvency II-ish” regime to an alternative in which the HBS could by deployed as a risk-management tool.“The introduction of the last and least strict model doesn’t even require new European legislation for capital requirements,” he said.“In the last model, the HBS is part of the governance and risk-management of pension funds.”Van Meerten acknowledged that EIOPA’s six frameworks were not appropriate for purely defined contribution schemes, including the Dutch pensions vehicle PPI, and said the advisory body would come up with additional proposals for this category.The legal expert also argued that the fact EIOPA wants assets and liabilities to be discounted against market rates, rather than just liabilities, is a positive.“Such a balanced approach seems much more logical,” he said.“As a result, Dutch funds might no longer be allowed to calculate their contributions against expected returns.”He also noted that the higher buffer requirements in the initial HBS proposals – previously criticised by the Dutch pensions sector – had now been forced on pension funds through national legislation, including the new financial assessment framework (FTK) in the Netherlands.He said the delegated competence for the European Commission to issue additional rules might have been removed from the revised IORP proposals, but he added that the debate over the issue was not over.“The important European Principal Treaties grant the EC the competence to issue detailed rules, which could also apply to prudence requirements for pension funds,” he said. EIOPA’s new principles-based approach to the proposed holistic balance sheet (HBS) is a positive development, as its central thrust is to increase “clarity” for pension funds’ participants, according to Hans van Meerten, an expert in European pensions at law firm Clifford Chance.He argued that all six of EIOPA’s suggested frameworks for the HBS focused on providing clarity on the composition of pension assets, when and how rights cuts are permitted, and how the principle of solidarity is shaped.The Dutch Pensions Federation, however, was sceptical.Its spokesman, Gert Kloosterboer, said: “We are not yet convinced of the benefit or the necessity of an HBS approach combined with quantitative rules.”last_img read more

Lakers barely avoid ending on wrong side of history with 119-115 win over Minnesota

first_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error “We have to play hard and have to play with a lot of energy,” Lakers coach Byron Scott said beforehand. “Our effort has to be at a maximum effort. If we do that, we feel we have a good chance to win.”The Lakers (10-41) mostly did that against the Timberwolves (14-36).Although Scott considered it a “50-50” chance Bryant would play with his continuously sore right shoulder, Bryant looked spry and efficient with 38 points on 10-of-21 shooting, five assists and five rebounds in 33 minutes. Lou Williams added 20 points. And the Lakers’ young core showed growth. D’Angelo Russell looked assertive attacking the basket with 18 points on 6-of-12 shooting and three assists in 28 minutes, despite sitting the final 3:36. Julius Randle looked active on defense and even showed an occasional hook shot en route to 15 points and 12 rebounds. Jordan Clarkson added 16 points, marking the 28th time in 29 games he cracked double digits. The Lakers nursed a 66-52 halftime lead, which marked the most points they scored in a half this season. But then the Timberwolves went on a 7-0 run to take a 102-101 lead with 5:15 left. That’s when Bryant took over. “However we have to get it done, ugly, pretty, scrappy, we got to get it,” Randle said. “No matter how it comes, we have to get a win.” The Lakers had not played so poorly since the 1993-94 season, when coach Magic Johnson oversaw the team closing out the campaign with a 10-game losing streak.“Buck and I talk about a whole lot of things,” said Scott, who played with Johnson during the Showtime Era. “But losing streaks aren’t one of them,”Scott could only chuckle on Johnson’s short-lived coaching experience. “When I saw him coaching, I thought, ‘This isn’t going to work,’” said Scott, who added Johnson said during his NBA career he wanted to become a businessman. “When you’re a coach and like him as a Hall of Famer and one of the best players ever to play the game, sometimes it’s hard for you to swallow when guys weren’t as focused and prepared.” The Lakers mostly looked that way, however, against Minnesota, morphing a season full of boos into a night’s worth of cheers. center_img Kobe Bryant scored seemingly any time he shot the ball. His supporting cast provided a dangerous mix of options. The Lakers nursed a double-digit lead for most of the night. And Jack Nicholson sat courtside at Staples Center enjoying the show.It looked like the Lakers would not end on the wrong side of history by mimicking the glory years when a regular-season game meant idle time before the real (post)season started. But then they flashed back to their normal selves.The Lakers still secured a 119-115 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday night at Staples Center, snapping both a 10-game losing streak and avoiding setting a franchise record for most consecutive defeats in a season. But they nearly blew a 16-point lead in the process. The result did not become secure until Bryant scored 14 of the Lakers’ final 18 points. He hit a 20-foot jumper over Minnesota forward Andrew Wiggins for a 113-110 lead with 26.4 seconds left. Bryant then made six foul shots for the final cushion. last_img read more