Super Whaa? Eight Things to Do Instead of Watching the Super Bowl

first_img Take your mind off the fact that you don’t know who Richard Sherman is and play a “Spot the Broadway Actor” drinking game during USA’s Law and Order: SVU marathon. If you’re watching a B.D. Wong episode, that’s a few beers right there. Dun-dun! TAILGATE WITH LAW & ORDER: SVU PARTY WITH A RODENT Don’t forget February 2 is the best holiday ever, Groundhog Day! Yep, the day a bucktoothed rat comes out of the ground and tells us it’s going to be freezing for another month. He’s the subject of a hilarious movie, which is about to become the subject of a (hopefully) hilarious musical by Tim Minchin. Watch the whole flick (over and over and over) on CMT! RECORD A ‘LET IT GO’ COVER The internet can be cruel (#YoutubeTrolls). Get your head in the game to get those haters off your back! Pick up the newly released piano/vocal/guitar score for Frozen and learn an indie cover to blow them away. (Your mom can record it, but make sure her thumb’s not on the lens like last time.) Star Files CHEER FOR ALICE RIPLEY Seeing Broadway goddess Alice Ripley perform her solo show Ripley Reflects at 54 Below while sipping a glass of Pinot sounds like the perfect alternative to a sports bar full of screaming Giants fans. They’re playing, right? Wait, no? Oops. READ A BOOK, PEOPLE Be like Matilda: Turn off the telly and feed your brain this Super Bowl Sunday. Pick up Tim Federle’s new middle-grade theater novel Five, Six, Seven, Nate! Just try not to get buffalo sauce on the pages. View Comments PRETEND IT’S ST. PATTY’S DAY Dying to see Outside Mullingar? Head over heels in love with Once? Throw yourself an early St. Patrick’s Day party! After a few shots of Jameson and a six-pack of Guinness, you’ll be falling for a vacuum repairman in no time. Go long! And (Erinn) Go Bragh! CHANNEL FRAN DRESCHER Say “Mistah Sheffield!” Keep that oh-so-sassy cadence and say “Cindah-rella!” Franny the Nanny is about to be Carly Rae Jepsen’s stepmom, but we can’t let her forget her roots. Honor the   flashy girl from Flushing, then show her what you’ve learned at the Cinderella stage door beginning February 4. TELEPORT TO ENGLAND Few networks are battling with Super Bowl Sunday ratings, but PBS says, “When ya got it, flaunt it!” Watch new episodes of both Downton Abbey and Sherlock at their regularly scheduled times. Let’s be real, they’ve got London stage hottie and August: Osage County star Benedict Cumberbatch. Game on! Broadway fans, your secret is safe with us: We know many of you only watch the Super Bowl for the bean dip and the intermission halftime show. For football fanatics, the Super Bowl is like the Tony Awards—it’s very important. But if it’s just not your thing, don’t panic. Whether you spend the afternoon flipping back and forth to watch the Doritos commercials or decide to boycott the big game altogether, we’ve got your non-Super Bowl Sunday activities covered! (Oh, and if you’re lucky enough to be a sports fan and a Broadway fan, can you tell us what a “first down” is? Thanks!) Alice Ripleylast_img read more

Hot Shot! Shirley MacLaine Goes Out on a Limb at Hand to God

first_img View Comments Oscar winner Shirley MacLaine took in Broadway’s Hand to God at the Booth Theatre on September 30. Afterward, the talented actress headed backstage to meet Tyrone, the satanic puppet at the center of the dark comedy, and his human co-stars, including leading man Steven Boyer (see below). With MacLaine’s famous interest in sprituality, metaphysics and reincarnation, we’d love to take her out for a couple of dry martinis and deep analysis of Tyrone’s aura. Pretty sure karma’s a bitch—even for puppets. Hand to God Related Shows Show Closed This production ended its run on Jan. 3, 2016last_img read more

Coal company in India seeks bids for solar power

first_imgCoal company in India seeks bids for solar power FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Clean Technica:A major coal mining company in India has issued a tender to develop solar power projects worth 150 megawatts of capacity. The tender will be awarded for engineering, procurement, and commissioning work, in addition to 10 years of operations and maintenance contract.Singareni Collieries Company Limited (SCCL) is among the largest coal mining companies in India after the behemoth Coal India Limited. SCCL is predominantly operational in the state of Telangana in southern India, and claims to own reserves of 9 billion tonnes of coal.The company is planning to set up 150 megawatts (AC) of solar power projects across Telangana in order to meet its green energy goals. It has thus contracted services of the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) to host this auction on its behalf. The bids will thus be adjudged on a per megawatt basis, i.e. cost of the erection and maintenance of the projects.The auction comes months after the company announced plans to set up a total of 550 megawatts of solar power capacity. The company had estimated the cost of development of this capacity at around Rs 2,475 crore ($360 million), with annual savings of Rs 24 crore ($3.50 million).The 150 megawatts of capacity will be spread across five sites, with the capacity of each project varying from 10 megawatts to 50 megawatts. The auction is open only for Indian companies, which includes Indian subsidiaries of foreign companies.The tender document does not mention how the power generated from these projects would be used. It is possible that SCCL would use this power for captive use, or enter power purchase agreements with willing buyers at a later stage.More: Indian coal mining company tenders 150 megawatts of solarlast_img read more

Twitter Analysis Reflects Venezuelan, Cuban, Nicaraguan Intervention in Chile’s Protests

first_imgBy Voice of America (VOA) January 06, 2020 An analysis of the tweets posted during the recent protests in Chile, reflecting that most foreign accounts supported the demonstrations and a change of government, could bolster allegations that Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua may be behind much of the unrest in Latin America.The statistical analysis of more than 4 million tweets, conducted by the Chilean company ConnectaLabs, doesn’t focus on the content of the tweets, but indicates that the polarization of messages mainly favored protests and political change or expressed disapproval of the current Chilean government.ConnectaLabs clearly indicates that most foreign accounts were Venezuelan, Nicaraguan, or Cuban, and its findings coincide with a previous investigation from the Atlantic Council think tank, which showed intense activity on Venezuelan accounts, some of them identified as being sympathetic to the disputed government.The Atlantic Council study, which studied fewer messages than ConnectaLabs, as it only covered the period from  October 16-25, indicated that 20 percent of the Venezuelan profiles that tweeted messages about the protests in Chile defined themselves as Chavista or Bolivarian.According to the Spanish newspaper ABC, several accounts that actively tweeted pro-Chavista messages in recent weeks made extensive use of hashtags to talk about the main ongoing crises on the continent, such as #ChileResiste (Resist, Chile), #EcuadorEnResistencia (Ecuador in Resistance), or #BoliviaDecide (Decide, Bolivia).The Cuban digital newspaper 14yMedio, referring to a study on social media, said that Venezuela’s disputed President Nicolás Maduro, the Venezuelan minister of Culture, and TV network Telesur and its journalists use the hashtags #chiledesperto (Chile Awakens), #chilesecanso (Chile got tired), and #lamarchamasgrandedechile (Chile’s biggest demonstration).One of the most active Cuban accounts encouraging the protests and criticizing the Chilean government is @YanetDCuba, which has also retweeted hundreds of messages from Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel, as well as from officials and supporters of the Cuban government, said 14yMedio. According to the online news portal América Digital Noticias, during the protests, the Chilean government identified other hashtags, such as: #ChileViolaLosDerechosHumanos (Chile violates human rights), #LosMilicosNoSonTusAmigos (Security forces are not your friends), #ChileNoQuiereMigajas (Chile doesn’t want leftovers), #RenunciaPiñera (Resign, Piñera), and #ChileQuiereCambios (Chile wants changes).last_img read more

How David can beat Goliath in capturing Millennials

first_imgSocial media goodwill cannot be easily matched by our competitors: In the decades leading to this one, advertisers controlled the conversation about their brands with advertising. In this era, an investment in customer service was not as appealing as money in media. Meanwhile, smaller competitors made member service investments, relying as they always have on positive word of mouth as their primary tactic in gaining new business. The amplification of word of mouth advertising through the bullhorn of social media could not have been predicted by big banks or smaller organizations, but it benefits the latter immediately while causing the former to change course.Now, all we need is evidence of success, right? As a “David” I hope not. David had no evidence that his strategy would work, but only evidence that traditional methods would not. Using a weapon customized to his strengths was his only shot at being the victor. Butler had little evidence that recruiting “no-stat all-stars” would result in success, but there was empirical evidence to show that they could not compete with traditional recruiting. Changing their recruiting strategy was the only option that resulted in a chance to win. Likewise, there is little evidence to support the idea that there is ROI in social media, but there is strong evidence to support the idea that credit unions cannot compete with big banks by using traditional media. A dollar spent here is the equivalent of a rifle volley in an open field, and credit unions cannot compete in a battle of attrition using traditional media. Conversely, a dollar spent on social media is an investment in a customized tool which gives us a clear advantage and a chance to win.If “advertising is what you pay for and PR is what you pray for” then credit union marketers got exactly what we’ve been praying for. Now, if we could just convince industry CEOs it’s what they’ve been praying for, too. Social media mitigates our competitors’ strengths or makes them counterproductive: If consumers aren’t relying upon advertisements to make their buying decisions, then the biggest advertising budget in the world is ineffective. Worse yet for big spenders is that traditional ads are generally the first step in a sales attribution chain which increasingly leads to reviews on social media. How unfortunate to spend millions of dollars to send consumers to your long list of poor reviews and a head to head competition with a more favorable competitor! Everybody loves a David and Goliath story, especially when we are in a small but virtuous “David” industry facing Goliaths. It may be part of who we are as a nation, having won our independence against all odds as a small group of virtuous colonies fighting against an empire. Even in sports, we celebrate when a clever underdog finds a way to beat an imposing opponent. It was hard not to root for the feisty Butler Bulldogs in 2010 and 2011 as they faced much larger opponents in the NCAA tournament.In each case, the smaller competitor abandoned traditional tools and tactics in favor of those which would highlight their strengths while mitigating the strengths of their opponents, or even using those strengths against them. More importantly, the tactics used could not be matched by their opponents.For David, it was the sling. Had he brought a heavy sword to fight Goliath, the Bible would be a bit shorter. Goliath’s big body made him strong, but his big head made for an easy target. His strength was now his weakness. Had Goliath brought a sling, he’d have had difficulty hitting a small and agile opponent. Goliath could not match David’s tactics – even if he wanted to.For the revolutionaries, guerilla warfare gave advantage to small groups with lifelong knowledge of the land. At a time when shooting back and forth in an open field was conventional, and the larger army with better rifles was sure to win a battle of attrition, guerilla warfare used the Red Coats’ strengths of organization, rigid structure and size against them. The patriots’ knowledge of the land could not be replicated by these foreigners.The Butler Bulldogs use a unique recruiting tactic which deemphasizes stats in favor of intangible qualities. Legacy powerhouse schools would never give up a blue chip athlete to award scholarships to “no-stats all-stars,” as MoneyBall author Michael Lewis calls them, if only for fear of boosters rioting. They could never match this tactic.In banking, the conventional tool for acquiring new business is paid advertising. The tools and tactics credit unions can use to level the playing field are already available, but many in our industry insist that we can win with conventional advertising tactics. We can’t.Consider our weakness, which is clearly size. Each of the “big four” banks in the United States holds more assets, individually, than all U.S. credit union assets combined. It stands to reason that their advertising spends, individually, dwarf the aggregate credit union spend as well. What credit unions lack in budget, they make up in the oft-recited virtues of better rates, fewer fees, and better service. Additionally, we’re an industry built upon transparency and corporate responsibility, which are important factors in millennials’ buying decisions. That’s great, except few of them have any idea that we exist. Considering the fact that only 1/3 of millennials trust TV ads, and most of them don’t own TVs anyway, our little credit union ad touting better rates and fewer fees is virtually worthless, especially considering it is probably sandwiched between two bank ads with celebrities saying the same thing.As a strategist seeking a way to capitalize upon our strengths, you’d look for a tool which places our rates, fees and service in apples to apples competition with big banks, and rewards transparency and corporate responsibility. You’d also hope to diminish the strength of banks by establishing a tool which does not rely on an advertising budget, and penalizes businesses with traditions of misinformation and customer abuse. In fact, you’d hope that a big bank’s strength in having a larger advertising budget would become a weakness, perhaps by leading interested parties to a head to head comparison. Lastly, you’d look for a tool or tactic which cannot be immediately replicated by banks. In social media, you have all of these.Social media highlights our own strengths: Consumer reviews on Facebook, Yelp etc. are not written by marketers. There is no puffery, clever wording, or asterisk chasing. No expensive compliance or PR department is approving anything, and the result is raw, unbiased, transparent and free. The smallest credit union and the largest bank appear right next to each other, with only their average review to separate them. Furthermore, consumer reviews are far more influential than polished TV ads, in both trustworthiness and usage. Millennials are about 30% more likely to trust consumer reviews than TV or radio ads, and according to a 2014 Mintel study quoted in the Chicago Tribune, “nearly 70 percent of consumers, and 82 percent of millennials, seek opinions before buying.”center_img 22SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Bradley Blue No matter what Brad were to say about himself in this bio, it would be easy to find the truth about him with a simple google search. This applies to … Detailslast_img read more

Indonesia’s B40 biodiesel plan back on track after palm oil prices improve

first_imgThe government has rekindled plans to escalate Indonesia’s biodiesel program after a five-month hiatus caused by weak palm oil prices and the unfolding global health crisis.Coordinating Economic Minister Airlangga Hartarto recently ordered state-owned fuel giant Pertamina to revive the program a few days after the company produced an experimental batch of new biodiesel and signed a deal to build a biodiesel catalyst factory.The minister ordered Pertamina to produce a first-ever 40 percent mixed biodiesel (B40) composed of 30 percent Fatty Acid Methyl Ester (FAME), 10 percent green diesel and 60 percent fossil fuel diesel. Global palm oil prices reached their lowest this year at 2,000 ringgit (US$476.47) a ton on May 6 but have since recovered to 2,780 ringgit a ton on July 30, according to the global benchmark Bursa Malaysia Derivatives.The government, led by Minister Airlangga, has also begun reopening the economy, which is expected to boost domestic consumption of palm oil.Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry renewables director Sutijastoto also said his office was working on a new regulation to accommodate the B40 biofuel, as the existing regulation does not require Indonesia to escalate beyond B30.“We will push it. But this might come out either this year or next year,” he said on July 28.The Indonesian Automotive Manufacturers Association (Gaikindo) has yet to voice support for the government’s B40 plan.“Gaikindo asks to be given time to prepare for the implementation of B40,” association chairman Jongkie Sugiarto told The Jakarta Post on Monday.Automakers needed time to redesign vehicles to suit the new fuel, he explained. The lower emission fuel is notorious among commercial vehicle associations for damaging engines and requiring higher maintenance.Meanwhile, Indonesia is still pushing forward with its complaint to the World Trade Organization (WTO) against European Union restrictions on palm oil-based biofuels.The European Commission concluded in 2019 that palm oil cultivation leads to excessive deforestation and passed a law to phase out its use as transportation fuel between 2023 and 2030.“We don’t need to fear those negative foreign NGOs,” said Indonesian Biofuel Producers Association (Aprobi) chairman Master Parulian Tumanggor.Producing green diesel remains much more expensive than producing B30, said Budi Santoso Syarif, deputy director of refinery subsidiary PT Pertamina Kilang International, also on Thursday.“We need incentives to make the product competitive,” he said.Pertamina also signed on July 29 a deal with state-owned fertilizer producer PT Pupuk Kujang and the Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB) to build a biodiesel catalyst factory.The fertilizer maker expects to begin construction in 2020 and finish by the second quarter of 2021. The facility will be built in the Kujang Cikampek Industrial Area in West Java.“Production is ready so the next step will be the market,” Indonesian Olefin, Aromatic and Plastic Industry Association (Inaplas) secretary general Fajar Budiyono told the Post.Topics : “I want it by July 2021,” he said in a webinar hosted by CNBC Indonesia on July 30.The biodiesel program is one of Indonesia’s many strategies to cut oil imports and lower carbon dioxide emissions. The program has been escalated since 2016 starting with the B20 biodiesel, as per Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry Regulation No. 12/2015.The minister’s order also followed state-owned Pertamina’s successful three-day trial production of 1,000 barrels per day (bpd) of D100 green diesel at its refinery in Dumai, Riau, which is Indonesia’s palm oil heartland.Minister Airlangga first announced the B40 plan in February but kept quiet about it after palm oil prices began tumbling the following months and as Indonesia redirected its resources to tackle COVID-19.last_img read more

Charlie Nicholas makes Europa League semi-final predictions for Arsenal v Valencia and Frankfurt v Chelsea

first_imgCharlie Nicholas makes Europa League semi-final predictions for Arsenal v Valencia and Frankfurt v Chelsea Comment Metro Sport ReporterWednesday 1 May 2019 12:02 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link502Shares Arsenal boss Unai Emery and Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri (Pictures: Getty)Charlie Nicholas has predicted mixed fortunes for Arsenal and Chelsea ahead of the first legs of their respective Europa League semi-finals.Struggling Arsenal welcome Spanish outfit Valencia to the Emirates on Thursday evening, while Chelsea visit Eintracht Frankfurt on the same night.Unai Emery’s Gunners appeared in pole position to finish in the top four of the Premier League before three successive defeats has seen the team drop below Chelsea into fifth.Chelsea are also enduring a difficult run, failing to win any of their last three league fixtures, but are two points clear of fifth-placed Arsenal with two matches remaining.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENTMore: 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 CityDespite Chelsea holding the upper hand over Arsenal in the Premier League, Nicholas believes it will be the Blues who suffer defeat on Thursday while Arsenal clinch a vital win.‘What’s happened at Arsenal of late is really troubling,’ the Gunners legend told Sky Sports.‘They got beat at home to Crystal Palace but what is Unai Emery’s best scenario?‘Valencia sometimes play one up front and Goncalo Guedes is the main threat, while against Celtic, Dani Parejo was the danger man – he can pick a pass and open Arsenal up. Advertisementcenter_img Emery: I don’t agree with the first yellow cardTo view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a web browser that supports HTML5 video Play VideoLoaded: 0%0:00Progress: 0%PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration Time 6:59FullscreenEmery: I don’t agree with the first yellow cardhttps://metro.co.uk/video/emery-dont-agree-yellow-card-1914580/This is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.‘Emery knows Valencia aren’t going to be overly physical so Arsenal need to play with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette closer together with Mesut Ozil back in.‘These are the types of games which Ozil can really do something in. Thursday may, finally, just be Ozil’s night. Arsenal 3-1 Valencia.’On Chelsea’s trip to Frankfurt, Nicholas added: ‘This is a tough game to predict.‘Frankfurt are doing well, they had a big comeback in the quarter-finals and will be looking at the key to Chelsea, which is Eden Hazard of course. Sarri says Chelsea were in trouble at Old TraffordTo view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a web browser that supports HTML5 video Play VideoLoaded: 0%0:00Progress: 0%PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration Time 6:02FullscreenSarri says Chelsea were in trouble at Old Traffordhttps://metro.co.uk/video/sarri-says-chelsea-trouble-old-trafford-1914562/This is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.‘They will sit back – German teams have a good structure – but Hazard can blow that structure away and is key to what Chelsea do.‘Chelsea will try and play on the counter-attack – I hope Maurizio Sarri doesn’t play Hazard as a number nine. He is easier to mark and harder to get the ball to.‘Marcos Alonso is definitely vulnerable when he plays left-back, so I am looking at a slight defeat for Chelsea that will leave them with work to do before next week’s return at Stamford Bridge. Frankfurt 2-1 Chelsea.’More: FootballBruno Fernandes responds to Man Utd bust-up rumours with Ole Gunnar SolskjaerNew Manchester United signing Facundo Pellistri responds to Edinson Cavani praiseArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira moves Advertisementlast_img read more

Top New Talent: the class of 2017

first_imgMatthew AshtonNicholson BoydSophie le Saint Adam ForrestAge: 25Job title: Account managerWorks at: Pladis Global What sets Forrest apart from peers is his versatility. Starting as an ingredient technologist back in 2013 he then became sole developer of Jacob’s Ciabatta Crackers, a brand now worth £3.6m, while developing a brand new product trialling protocol in the business. He then moved to sales where he has once again had a significant impact becoming the top sales performer in 2015. A “calming manner” and excellent presentation skills “combined with his pro-activity and determination to over achieve, has seen him deliver some outstanding results above and beyond that expected of him at his level,” said testimonials. On top of that “he has always been so willing to learn and keen to take on constructive feedback – showing his maturity and drive for improvement.” Ben VearAge: 28Job title: Head of salesWorks at: Emily CrispsSince securing a first class degree in business management and economics Vear has worked his way from Winstones ice-cream (where he “drove the business to become one of the fastest growing ice-cream brand in 2012”) to Mars, and then Bear Nibbles “showcasing his ability to work successfully at both blue chip and SME companies.” Most recently peers say “he has been instrumental” in the success of both smoothie brand Savse, where he oversaw a 600% year on year increase in listings, and then Emily Crisps where it is a similar story. “Being somebody who engages consistently with the best talent, Ben is undoubtedly the best I have dealt with,” says one testimonial. “If I could clone him, I could place a Ben Vear weekly and would be very wealthy as every business would be lucky to have him.” Matthew AshtonAge: 33Job title: Head of marketing and communicationsWorks at: Palmer & HarveySince joining wholesaler Palmer & Harvey Ashton has carved out a “unique and irreplaceable niche for himself” within the company. Recently promoted to a new role leading marketing and communications he now manages a large strategic department driving the development of a number of significant PR and event initiatives, as well as playing an instrumental role in the successful launch of a new company website in 2017 to thousands of retailers, collating work across e-commerce, channel development, IT and category departments. With a “very friendly, yet professional manner” he is described as “collaborative, communicative and diligent,” even taking time to spearhead the #DeliveringHope campaign this year using P&H vans to find missing people. Charlotte WhittleColin BuckinghamDarren Beale Anna KrettmannAge: 25 Job title: Wine buyerWorks at: Lidl UKTrained by former TNT winner Ben Hulme (now Lid’s international head of wine and spirit buying) Krettmann has risen quickly through the ranks to take sole responsibility for the discounter’s UK wine category, co-ordinating its award winning core range and bi-monthly wine cellar offer. She “has gone from strength to strength,” says one testimonial. “From increasing the core range by nearly 50% to listing unique wines such as Tokaji Late Harvest” as well as overseeing its most successful Wine Cellar of the year yet with a Hungarian focussed collection. “Further proof that Lidl is succeeding as a challenger wine competitor under Anna.” This year’s list Andrew SweeneyAge: 32Job title: DirectorWorks at: OOMF! As big name cereal brands are crunched under foot in the ongoing price war it takes a brave start-up to venture in with something new. That didn’t deter Sweeney though, the “driving force” behind the success of OOMF!, a high protein oats brand he founded in 2011 with brother Robert. Quickly securing listings in Waitrose and Holland & Barrett, before catching the attentions of Tesco and Sainsbury’s, as well as Spar, the range is now “one of the fastest growing breakfast cereals in the UK” with Sweeney the “pioneer behind the innovation” that also landed the duo one of The Grocer’s New Product Awards. Louisa PickupAge: 26Job title: General Store Manager Works at: Asda, Reddish branch Passionate about retail since she was a teen Pickup has kicked off her career with a laser focus. After working at Asda from the age of only 16, she returned straight into stores after university as section leader, moving between three different stores in the Manchester region across various roles before securing a spot on the retailer’s prestigious graduate scheme and being promoted twice in quick succession. Only two years after that Pickup achieved her ambition to become a GSM at the mults’ Reddish branch – the youngest ever in the Manchester area. “A strong a team player that “takes time to listen to others” the young GSM “has an infectious personality and engages [with] those around her in a very natural way,” said a senior colleague. Her “future looks bright.” Julia CrorkinAge: 25Job title: Food Service and Out of Home Sales ManagerWorks at: Mallow & Marsh With only three months of work experience elsewhere Crorkin hit the ground running at confectionery start-up Mallow & Marsh. Building its entire food service and out of home sales section from scratch she has evolved into an instrumental cog in the business learning fast, nurturing vital relationships and – crucially – growing accounts by a staggering 1,000% since her arrival. “She’s diligent, hardworking, has fantastic commercial acumen to get things over the line, is bright, driven and a completely unique sales person,” is the glowing praise from colleagues, who emphasise Crorkin puts “customer service at the heart of everything she does and is tirelessly focused on delivering for the customer.” Jonathon ThornJulia CrorkinKane O’Flaherty The Top New Talent awards 2017 celebrated an astonishing diversity of young talent working across food and drink,Gallery not readyTNT 2017TNT 2017Top New Talent recipients gathered at the Royal Society of Arts this weekfocallength 24flash 9cameramake Canonheight 705fnumber 4exposuretime 0.0166666675orientation 1camerasoftware Adobe Photoshop CC 2originaldate 11/14/2017 3:00:35 AMwidth 940cameramodel Canon EOS 5D Mark IIThe Grocer’s editor Adam Leyland handed out trophies to all 33 recipientsfocallength 70flash 15cameramake NIKON CORPORATIONheight 705fnumber 2.8exposuretime 0.00625orientation 1camerasoftware Adobe Photoshop CC 2originaldate 11/14/2017 2:33:03 AMwidth 940cameramodel NIKON D3Anna Krettmann, of Lidl UK and Lisa Thompson, of Burton’s Biscuit Co focallength 34flash 9cameramake Canonheight 705fnumber 4exposuretime 0.0166666675orientation 1camerasoftware Adobe Photoshop CC 2originaldate 11/14/2017 3:02:21 AMwidth 940cameramodel Canon EOS 5D Mark IITheodora Alexander, of Young Foodies speaks to one of several industry VIPs attendingfocallength 70flash 15cameramake NIKON CORPORATIONheight 705fnumber 3.2exposuretime 0.00625orientation 1camerasoftware Adobe Photoshop CC 2originaldate 11/14/2017 4:11:53 AMwidth 940cameramodel NIKON D3Charlotte Reynolds of Blooming Foodfocallength 70flash 15cameramake NIKON CORPORATIONheight 705fnumber 3.2exposuretime 0.00625orientation 1camerasoftware Adobe Photoshop CC 2originaldate 11/14/2017 4:12:53 AMwidth 940cameramodel NIKON D3Charlotte Whittle, of Mars Petcare networking focallength 42flash 15cameramake NIKON CORPORATIONheight 705fnumber 2.8exposuretime 0.005orientation 1camerasoftware Adobe Photoshop CC 2originaldate 11/14/2017 4:18:08 AMwidth 940cameramodel NIKON D3 Sven DejeanTheadora AlexanderVictoria Cartmill Read more“When I started out I was told there was no future in this industry. That prediction is as wrong today as it was then” Wayne Hudson , managing director UK & Ireland, Birds Eye“We immediately realised what a hugely successful event this was from the very first class, back in 2013. It was the buzz in the room, these brilliant young things, excited to be here and working in grocery, and seeing them seize the opportunity of this event with both hands. “It isn’t just about celebrating. At TNT there is a mutual respect and an appreciation of the value of hooking up with and hanging out with high achievers in other roles. As much what you have in common – drive and ambition, making waves and making a difference – Top New Talent is a networking event like no other, in which new friends and useful contacts can be made, fuelled by a powerful combination of adrenaline, social media and booze!” Lisa ThompsonAge: 23Job title: HR assistant Works at: Burton’s Biscuits Part of a busy HR team overseeing more than 2,000 employees at Hertfordshire biscuit supplier Burtons, Thompson has showed a natural aptitude for the role. “Always challenging herself to develop” and questioning the how, what and why of the food and drink business “she has demonstrated fast track skill development” and “exceptional” skills in supporting employees,” say colleagues, backed up by a solid intellect demonstrated in securing a first class degree immediately prior to joining the company. Undoubtedly,” adds one testimonial, “she will go far” in fmcg. Kate ClarkAge: 28Job title: Customer operations leaderWorks at: Proctor & Gamble In a business with more than 100,000 employees it can be hard to stand out. But in her six years at fmcg power player P&G Clark has risen steeply through the ranks promoted through four different roles, in three different locations, each with increasing responsibility, influence and promotion. Now leading its customer supply chain team in Ireland, and convenience and discount channels in the UK one testimonial calls her “extremely commercially savvy” coupled with “a real talent for developing people” acting as a leader in the supplier’s Diversity and Inclusion scheme too. Another adds Clark is “simply best in class in her peer group and far beyond in many ways. She is knowledgeable, collaborative and strategic in everything she does and engages everyone around her on the best solutions.” Zak Manhire Four years ago The Grocer unveiled grocery’s loudest ticking timebomb.As too many skilled workers headed for retirement from the industry, far too few young people were being recruited to fill in the gaps left behind – a trend that threatened to derail the booming sector. Kirsty HenshawAge: 32Job title: Founder and Managing Director Works at: Kirsty’s and Kirsty’s Kids KitchenDescribed as “tenacious” and “hard-working” with “the enviable business acumen of being able to identify gaps in a saturated market” Henshaw set up her first brand at only 22, winning backing for her Worthenshaw’s ice-cream concept from not one, but two Dragons in the form of Peter Jones and Duncan Bannatyne. So successful was her pitch in fact it’s now, quite literally, taught in schools on the A-level business syllabus. In 2012 the entrepreneur rebranded to Kirsty’s with its Kirsty’s Kitchen brand now the only gluten, wheat, and dairy free chilled ready meal for children available in the UK, sold in 3,000 supermarkets, and bringing in annual sales of more than £6m. “Kirsty’s personal integrity, open-mindedness and willingness to listen to others, giving measured consideration to their thoughts and opinions is one of her greatest assets; but ultimately, she has the strength of character and leadership skills to make and take responsibility for all business decisions.” Alex Wright & Jack ScottAge: 25 and 27Job title: Co-foundersWorks at: Dash Water Making its debut into grocery in May ethical soft drink brand Dash Water, which uses wonky fruit and veg in its recipes, was the work of its “extraordinarily talented and super affable” founders Wright and Scott. Building on their joint background in farming the entrepreneurs were partly inspired by the highly topical plight of industry food waste in forming the brand, taking advice from charity Feedback before putting together a business plan, securing investment, creating recipes and selling the brand into the likes of Selfridges, Planet Organic and Daylesford. “All of this while harnessing a great cause in turning wonky fruit and veg into infusions that would have otherwise gone to waste.” In only a few months the pair from zero stockists to 350, and sold 100,000 drinks in their first three months alone. Adam ForrestAdam Thompson Alex Wright & Jack Scott Top New Talent 2017 was sponsored by: Colin BuckinghamAge: 30Job title: Digital Marketing manager Works at: Birds Eye, Nomad Foods Europe Social media may not be the most natural fit for frozen fish but a smooth operator like Buckingham proves it can be done. And done brilliantly. He sets “logical parameters for production costs and produces breakthrough content, with clear agency leadership and a successful application of media spend,” says one testimonial from a senior colleague.” Only a quick scroll through the brand’s lively Twitter feed demonstrates Buckingham’s creativity and skill with social content, and with digital marketing more broadly. In fact, so successful have his efforts been that “there are indicators ROI for social has surpassed TV, perhaps the first instance of this in fmcg food and drink marketing.” Charlotte ReynoldsAge: 27Job title: Founder and director Works at: Blooming Food Ltd. Reynolds has stopped at nothing in her quest to carve out a career in food. From dreaming up new award-winning products while still at university, to working as a beekeeper in France, swotting up on the food industry in China and attending agricultural conferences in Singapore. Most recently she turned a dissertation on pulses into a piece of global innovation. Her lupin crisps saw her win first place in a global innovation competition, travel to Turkey and Chicago to showcase the concept, appear on the front page of magazines, and speak at national industry conferences – all while qualifying with a first class honours degree and being voted ‘Student of the Year’ at Harper Adams University. Read more“The more customer focused, relationship focused and people focused you are the further you’ll go” .Kris Gibbon-Walsh , food programmes manager, founder and head of FareShare Go, TNT class of 2016And so our Top New Talent awards was born, intended to showcase both the huge opportunities this £200bn+ industry offers but also the diversity of young talent already making waves within its three million-strong workforce.Each year since we’ve unearthed a plethora of super talented young business executives, both passionate about their roles in the industry, and hugely ambitious to rise through its ranks. And 2017 was no exception.Gathered in the vaults of the Royal Society of Arts on Monday – in front of a select group of CEOs and managing directors from leading grocery retail players as well as sponsors The Advocate Group and InventaBrand and winners from previous years – the class of 2017 were presented with their trophies by Adam Leyland, editor of The Grocer. “This is my favourite event in The Grocer calendar,” said Leyland. “It’s incredibly inspiring. And significantly that’s because it’s about people. We’re celebrating here the next generation of superstars in food and drink. You’re making your way, with aplomb, in this endlessly fascinating, constantly changing, highly challenging and hugely important industry. And there can be no greater thrill than to witness the journey you are on.”The winners – whose dizzying career paths are captured over the next eight pages – included buyers, entrepreneurs, product developers, marketers and store managers – and that’s to name only a few of the dizzying diversity of roles represented in the class of 2017. And it’s diversity that is one of the great strengths of TNT, said Leyland. Emily HerreroFranek SmithGeorgina Pattison Louisa Wild Louisa Pickup Marcus A Proudfoot Zak ManhireAge: 33Job title: Commercial manager Works at: Costa Coffee Manhire is a multi-skilled operator. Starting out as a sales executive in the merchandise division at the AA he earned three promotions in four years to head up a £6m portfolio, all while founding and exiting three non-food start-ups of his own. Having managed the big four grocery accounts for the business he segued into a head of sales role at hot drinks brand Drink Me Chai where he opened up a brand new area of business, producing EBITDA double digit growth, and then moving to king of the coffee shop Costa as commercial manager heading up a multi-million pound portfolio. Described as a “talented, tenacious sales professional” Manhire “possesses a rare talent for big picture thinking and quickly identifies opportunities and makes great connections.” How did the 33 make the TNT list?Kicking off in August a record number of entries flooded in for TNT 2017. Backed up by facts, figures and glowing testimonials every single entry was carefully judged before a final selection of the top 33 were decided upon. Competition was high and many excellent nominations failed to make the cut. But there is always TNT 2018… Charlotte WhittleAge: 30Job title: Customer Marketing Manager Works at: Mars Petcare Having started out in sales Whittle has rattled through the ranks at Mars, progressing through European Brand Management and innovation, before a move into Customer Marketing and responsibility for some of the brands core customers where she has showcased “an immense passion for fmcg and business growth.” In that role she has grown sales across her territory by 10 per cent and increased product distribution by 16%, before leading the creative process across cat treat brand Dreamies. “In the face of adversity and ambiguous times through company restructures, Charlotte has continued to show her passion and enthusiasm for the industry and company, and continues to gain knowledge across the sector to become a well-rounded FMCG professional,” says one testimonial. Jethro HolmanAge: 27Job title: Beer Training & Events ManagerWorks at: Fourpure Brewing Co. What Holman doesn’t know about beer isn’t worth knowing. At only 22 he became the UK’s youngest certified beer sommelier and now works as an expert advisor for industry (and amateur beer lovers too) training up staff and senior leaders at London pub chain Young’s, and travelling across the UK meeting managers, chefs and marketing teams for Bryon Burger. Asked to help the restaurant chain mark its tenth birthday in July Holman even brewed his own beer perfectly matched to their burgers which was canned and made available at all of their 69 restaurants. As a result not only is Holman a “key member of the Fourpure team” but he’s a “well established and respected voice within the brewing industry” before he’s hit 30 netting awards and accolades. Andrew SweeneyBen Vear Charlotte Reynolds Sven DejeanAge: 28Job title: Senior Manager Performance and Governance, Procurement Centre of ExcellenceWorks at: Coca Cola European Partners When the $27bn merger between Europe’s three biggest Coca Cola bottling plants was announced in 2015 procurement specialist Dejean saw it as a huge opportunity. Making the move from Spain to the new UK HQ he not only “showed great initiative” but a clear passion for his work, and plenty of ambition to boot. That hasn’t stopped since, with the young manager frequently taking on extra tasks and activities voluntary “because they are the right thing to,” says one testimonial, developing a sound knowledge of the complex business that belies his years and using that to ensure he “excels in his tasks.” Sophie le SaintAge: 25Job title: Retail marketing executive Works at: Pizza Express When high street brand Pizza Express rebranded its supermarket range in March 2016 Le Saint was an “instrumental” force, joining up its marketing approach across retail outlets and restaurants, and products too, delivering a “well-executed and effective” relaunch, complete with special seasonal recipes and ranges. Crucially, her hard work, and skilful strategy helped nudge an additional 192,000 shoppers to pick up Pizza Express in the supermarkets over the following year. And what’s more, the cross-channel marketing approach she championed is “beginning to deliver significant results” and act as a “driver of overall sales and profit growth across the channel.” Theadora AlexanderAge: 27Job title: Founder Works at: Young Foodies Having left her role as Propercorn’s Operations and Strategy director in 2016 Alexander set out to create a way to help other fast growing food and drink brands strategise. The result was Young Foodies, a portal for young grocery brands sharing wisdom on everything from operations to finance to products, set up using Alexander’s own cash and spare hours at the weekend. The Young Foodies community now boasts the likes of Pip & Nut, Mallow & Marsh, and Savse, running events, workshops, and meetups to pool know-how. Alexander “is one of the best examples of what makes the food and drink industry such a fantastic place to ply your trade,” said those that have worked with her. “Her positivity and optimism is ubiquitous. It isn’t easy creating the next big thing, so it’s nice to know you have someone like Theodora fighting your corner.” Emily HerreroAge: 33Job title: Commercial managerWorks at: oomi brand, Winterbotham Darby Herrero doesn’t take no for an answer. Customers that fail to pick up her calls are liable to find the commercial manager on their doorstep convincing them in person and this same “impatience, persistence and urgency” drove her to develop brand new noodle brand oomi from scratch, a ‘next generation’ gluten free noodle made from sustainably sourced fish. From concept, to product to listings in Tesco, Ocado and Morrisons Herrero “doesn’t understand the meaning of resting on her laurels and listings are just the start” with the businesswoman also turning her attentions to alternative protein brand Vivera, quickly achieving UK listings in Sainsbury’s, Ocado and Waitrose. Quite simply “Emily is one of the most talented and inspiring people I have worked with.” Jonathon ThornAge: 32Job title: CEOWorks at: Pioneer Foods UK From assistant account to the “successful and inspirational CEO” of a £53m turnover business, it’s been a meteoric rise for Thorn. Under his leadership the private label cereal manufacturer has had brand new processing facilities installed, and had significant investment into its NPD capabilities, with innovation across wheat biscuits, packaging and gluten free. This dynamism culminated in the acquisition of the Fruit Bowl brand in August 2016, a move to a new 220,000 sq. ft facility and a change of name from Bokomo Foods, to Pioneer Foods. “Through this incredible journey, Jonathon has excelled as a real leader, motivating the team on a daily basis,” says one testimonial. He has “consistently impressed with his ability to empathise with colleagues” and acts as an “inspirational role model for all employees, showing them there are no limits to what hard work, dedication and talent can achieve.” Hywel EvansAge: 25Job title: Bitter, Ale and Craft Beer BuyerWorks at: Asda Joining Asda less than two years ago Evans has already had a “significant impact” on the business. The recent graduate has driven a 20% year on year rise in sales of stout at the retailer, helped coordinate its strategy for craft beer, secured ongoing relationships with niche brewers and start-ups, while gaining widespread media coverage for the range. More than 450 stores now boast a ‘craft beer shop’ in their aisles thanks to Evans and if that weren’t enough he has also championed the mults’ charitable Holiday hunger project too, providing meals to impoverished children outside term time. Evans “lives and breathes ASDA qualities and is driving excellence in our Graduate development program – a true role model,” said a testimonial. Catherine FendtAge: 22Job title: Marketing executiveWorks at: Spar UKSince joining Spar as a graduate in 2016 Fendt has fast become a linchpin of its marketing team. Described as “capable, diligent and collaborative” she has juggled multiple creative projects from day one and “works brilliantly with the wider team.” Managing the symbol group’s award winning ‘Shop & Win’ campaign over the past 12 months Fendt worked across traditional and digital media delivering the multifaceted campaign’s best results yet with a voucher redemption rate of 21% and an increase in basket spend of 14%. The young marketing executive has also taken a fresh look at its multi-million pound POS budget delivering brand new ideas for retailers. “Catherine has the wonderful ability of taking complex projects and making them look simple to manage. She has proven that she is able to work with people across the organisation to deliver solutions that always have the customer at their heart.” Darren BealeAge: 34Job title: FounderWorks at: Musclefood.com Launching online health food retailer back in 2013 founder Beale was in a prime spot to capture the growing appetite for high protein products in grocery. With turnover now exceeding £50m and 53,000 items sold off its website daily the entrepreneur has produced an unending stream of innovation from what he claimed was the world’s first Protein Pizza to its Live Clean Range and Easy Cook stir-fry’s. Now the founder is muscling into the high street too with products already stocked in over 300 Musgrave-owned c-stores in Ireland, and listings recently confirmed in Sainsbury’s Local, Co-Op and Spar. Popular with Olympians and Premiership footballers growth at the business shows zero sign of slowing down, with an ever growing social following too of more than one million. Louisa WildAge: 35Job title: National account manager Works at: Broadland Wineries “Passionate, creative and tenacious” Wild is no one tricky pony. Within her first five months at Broadland Wineries she’d secured brand new listings in one of the mults, and has followed up with 20 more, and three new national accounts. She’s dreamed up NPD too with her concept TrimVin – low-calorie, lighter-alcohol – launched in September. “If a product isn’t in the Broadlands portfolio, and the business agrees the opportunity is there, I have it created,” says the national account manager, who has also thrived in sales and marketing roles at Refresco Gerber. “Whether it is finding new ways to engage with buyers by creating a portfolio of concepts, or number crunching scenarios ahead of the annual wine duty increases, [Wild] has a positive approach, is keen to find solutions and create long term relationships with our customers,” said one testimonial. Franek SmithAge: 28Job title: TraderWorks at: Dunns From his base at pulse and seed processor Dunns, one of the oldest agricultural businesses in the UK, Smith has clearly developed exceptional relationships with his customers. “An outstanding young person” that has “continually impressed me with his can do attitude and ability to complete multiple complex tasks in a fast and accurate manner,” says one, of their dealings with the young trader. Not only managing the day to day sales of the core commodities demanded by his customers Smith also oversees crop processing, grower contracts, open days and staff management within the business, a heavy workload that reflects his huge competence. Marcus A ProudfootAge: 26Job title: Director Works at: G W Proudfoot LimitedLooking after 180 employees across five branches of the family supermarket chain, Proudfoot might be the youngest in the company to take on such responsibility but he’s proven himself more than up to the job. Described as “hugely passionate and driven” the director is a highly capable project leader, with successes that include the recent redevelopment of a pub into the fifth new opening of 2016, with the store now showing “excellent performance” year on year. Proudfoot “has a sharp mind, is dynamic and engaging and cares passionately about our team and the business,” said one testimonial. Not only does he deliver “great results” but he brings “great personality, warmth and true values-led leadership to the business.” Nicholson BoydAge: 28Job title: OwnerWorks at: Pickles In 2016 Boyd took a rundown discount shop shifting detergent and instant coffee for a quid and turned it into (surely) the poshest grocer in Hackney. Stocking craft beers, artisanal breads and local Bermondsey honey Pickles is a haven for foodies looking to stock up on premium groceries in a painfully hip setting, with a pizzeria and coffee bar tacked on too. Northern Irish Boyd is the driving force behind its success and takes its food credentials seriously, living in Italy for a spell to learn the art of pizza making and consulting numerous coffee experts too to find the perfect blend. Opening to rave reviews his destination grocer reflects an entrepreneur clued up on just where the industry is heading. And all before he hits 30. Georgina PattisonAge: 33Job title: Commercial directorWorks at: Deliciously Ella From blog to recipe books to energy balls launching in the major supermarkets the Deliciously Ella brand has gone from strength to strength, and making a “massive contribution” to its success is commercial director Pattison. Establishing and managing its retailer relationships, securing lucrative listings and developing launch plans, all with only a small team behind her, Pattison has led “with enthusiasm and efficient use of time.” A head for figures and a “great leader” to boot, “without Georgina, we wouldn’t be in 3,000 stores and with revenues in the millions, achieved in less than 12 months from launch,” say her colleagues. Kane O’FlahertyAge: 29Job title: Head of creative Works at: Piccolo Foods Vibrant, colourful, distinctive design characterises organic baby food brand Piccolo and that’s all down to the skills of its creative maestro O’Flaherty. Trained up by leading design agency Big Fish before a stint at Metcalfe’s and then Itsu, the designer joined Piccolo in its early days working with his two co-founders to secure investment and tasked with setting the brand apart in the competitive baby food category. And what he delivered “is a real tribute to his talent,” say his peers. “What O’Flaherty has done with Piccolo is cleverly combine gorgeous illustrations that he has brought to life – therefore engaging the parents, whilst also putting the essential touch of fun that nursery brands need.” Hywel EvansJethro HolmanCatherine Fendt Victoria CartmillAge: 25Job title: Assistant Product Development Manager Works at: U.M.I Foods A fantastic work ethic sees “bubbly, talented and bright” Cartmill couple her full-time role at U.M.I Foods with studying for a business Masters. Buoyed by an extensive knowledge of the industry borne from work alongside major food producers she has collaborated across a number of NPD projects for the supplier, overhauling internal processes and boosting profit margins, all while extending – and improving – its pre-prepared vegetable range. In fact, over the past 12 months Cartmill has had no less than 18 successful product launches, all now being sold in the mults nationwide. “Her collaborative approach,” tenacity, and organisation skills are all praised in testimonials, with one adding that her “infectious energy and inspiring passion make her a delight to work with.” Kate ClarkKirsty Henshaw Lisa Thompson Adam ThompsonAge: 30Job title: Commercial directorWorks at: Rebel Kitchen Joining health brand Rebel Kitchen in 2015 peers say that Thompson has been largely responsible for the exponential growth the business has seen in that time, building a team up from five to 26 people and adding £4m in sales. His strategic direction also saw the business switch to 100% organic without increasing end prices to consumer, and acquire the Unoco brand in 2016, with four “thriving” product ranges now in its portfolio and products now sold in over 20 global markets. Testimonials say “his desire to constantly push boundaries led to the launch of our most ambitious product yet, Mylk, a plant based drink that tastes just like real dairy” while he has nurtured a “progressive work culture” thriving under his leadership. last_img read more

BLOG: Quick Q&A with Governor Wolf on the Budget Compromise and Why It’s Important for Schools

first_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitter Schools That Teach,  The Blog,  Videos Watch this quick Q&A with Governor Wolf to hear more on the latest budget compromise and why it’s so important for Pennsylvania’s schools. By: The Office of Governor Tom Wolf Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolfcenter_img BLOG: Quick Q&A with Governor Wolf on the Budget Compromise and Why It’s Important for Schools December 05, 2015last_img read more

Resaver postpones personal pension procurement

first_imgThe pre-qualification questionnaire was an early step in a plan to offer pension provision for freelance researchers.According to the consortium, a lesson from the procurement attempt was that the pan-European personal pension product (PEPP) – for which the European Union is laying the groundwork – would be a more suitable solution for mobile researchers.“One key outcome of discussions with potential providers was that personal pensions products are today mainly a local business with limited [cross-border] involvement,” it said. “Large market players are currently not organised in a way to react to this type of pan-European procurement procedures in the personal pension market.”The Resaver consortium had split the procurement into 31 sub-contracts, for each of the countries in the European Economic Area.Filip Hemeryck, senior consulting actuary at Aon Hewitt in Belgium, which advises Resaver, suggested the timing of the procurement process – with the PEPP regulation still going through the legislative process – might have been an issue.For example, one insurance company had indicated the duration of the contract – three years – was an issue because if the PEPP regulation kicked in in the meantime it could not be certain that the product it had proposed for Resaver was the right solution.  The consortium had said its initiative could be considered as a first step up towards a PEPP product for researchers. Resaver said it would likely start a new tender procedure in the near future and was committed to offering cross-border pension provision for researchers without an employment contract.“Experience from the current tender process shows that this issue may be resolved once the PEPP regulations result in real pan-European players [in] this market,” it added.The European Commission published a proposal for a PEPP regulation in June, and the European Parliament’s lead on the PEPP has drawn up amendments. The parliament is due to debate the proposal in the coming months. The Resaver Consortium has postponed a search for personal pension providers because there were too few candidates in the first stage of the procurement.Less than three providers filled in a “pre-qualification questionnaire”, according to an EU tender notification, which the organisation said was not enough to make for a competitive procedure with negotiations. It had therefore decided to stop the procurement “at this point”.In a statement Resaver told IPE: “We believe this to be the best decision for the individual researchers. As we want to have the best solution available currently on the market for the researchers population, postponing seems to be the best strategy.”The consortium is the organisation behind the cross-border pension scheme for European researchers. It already has an occupational pensions vehicle, the Resaver Pension Fund, for researchers with an employment contract.last_img read more