Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionRe Feb. 21 article, “Union College introduces new leader”: Let’s stop with the firsts.Union College appoints a well-qualified and distinguished man as its next president and what is your lead take on it? “Dr. David Harris will be the first African-American …” Seriously?I think the picture would lead us to believe that he is black. How about leading with his job record, accomplishments, preparation? No, jump right to race. Not only is that divisive, but in a way cheapens his accomplishment. Was he the best candidate in the field (I would imagine he was) or was he the best black candidate?Martin Luther King Jr. wanted us to move to a place where a person is judged on the content of his character, not the color of his skin. You led with the latter when the former would have served everyone better.John MetalloSlingerlandsMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusAlbany County warns of COVID increaseFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?
A 30% cap on foreign currency exposure has hit Austrian Pensionskassen investment returns in recent years, according to consultancy Mercer.“The cap has limited the domestic pension funds considerably and lost them chances for additional returns,” said Michaela Plank, retirement expert at Mercer Austria.In a low interest rate environment in developed markets it was particularly important for institutional investors to seek returns in other areas of the world, she added.All existing investment caps for Austrian funds will be lifted when the country implements the EU’s IORP II directive, now scheduled for October. The necessary revisions to the Austrian law governing pension funds – known as PKG – was due to pass through parliament before summer but a technicality means it will have to wait till October.However, the Austrian pension fund association FVPK told journalists this week that the amendments, including the abolition of quantitative investment caps, would be agreed on by a majority. Andreas Zakostelsky, FVPKCredit: Franz HelmreichAndreas Zakostelsky, chairman of the FVPK, confirmed that the two coalition parties in the government, the conservative ÖVP and the far-right FPÖ, were “in full agreement” on the package.Regarding other amendments demanded by the IORP II, Austria had “almost no need for amendments”, he added. Most of the EU directive’s standards for transparency, information, governance and risk management are already part of the domestic legal framework.Mercer’s Plank also emphasised that Austrian pension funds already had the risk management in place to be given free rein regarding their investment allocations.Under the proposed amendment to the PKG, every pension fund would have to set down its own allocation guidelines, which would then be approved by the financial market supervisor FMA.Regarding reforms, however, the FVPK was much more excited about next year as the government promised a major tax overhaul. This is expected to include incentives for companies to set up pension plans and an improved tax treatment of additional member contributions.“The time is ripe for a balanced three-pillar pension system,” said Zakostelsky.He said the government had been “pleasantly clear” in its commitment to this goal when it published its agenda last year.So far, however, the coalition was more focused on other topics including Austria holding the rotating EU presidency until December.
Magseis has expanded its global operations and relocated its head office to Lysaker, Norway, effective April 09, 2018.Per Christian Grytnes, acting CEO said: “The new offices enable all Magseis Oslo based staff to work from the same premises. We are expanding our global operations and the new headquarters will support efficient implementation of Magseis growth plans.”In addition, the company has recruited CFO and SVP Sales & Marketing who have now started with Magseis.Tom Henrik Sundby, CFO has more than 25 years’ experience in finance and management positions. He came from the position as finance director of BerGenBio.Previously, he was based in Dubai, UAE, where he held the position as CFO of Polarcus for 8 years.Sundby holds a Master of Business Administration degree with Honours both from BI Norwegian Business School and ESCP, France.Furthermore, Andrè Bjørvik, SVP Sales & Marketing, with 15 years of seismic industry experience, primarily within sales and marketing, has joined the team. He has for the last 10 years worked in PGS, where he has been leading the Europe sales division while based in Oslo and London.Bjørvik holds a Master in Geology from University of Oslo.