OECD Centre on Green Finance and Investment – PensionDanmark chief executive Torben Möger Pedersen has joined the advisory board of the OECD’s new Centre on Green Finance and Investment. The centre aims to support the transition to a “green, low-emissions and climate-resilient” global economy by producing policy-orientated research and analysis on green investment and finance.Jupiter – Alejandro Arevalo has been appointed to build the company’s emerging market debt strategy. He will join as a fund manager later this year from Pioneer Investments, where he has worked for four years as an emerging market corporate debt portfolio manager. Before then, he worked on emerging market debt strategies at Standard Bank Asset Management, Gibraltar Bank and the International Bank of Miami.International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) – Sue Lloyd has been appointed vice-chair at the IASB. She has been employed by the IFRS Foundation since 2009. She was director of capital markets and senior director of technical activities before being appointed as a board member in 2014. She has experience in investment banking from the UK and Australia and is a former member of the Australian Accounting Standards Board.RJ O’Brien & Associates – The Chicago-based futures brokerage and clearing firm has appointed Daniel Staniford as executive director, responsible for institutional business development in New York and London. Prior to joining RJO, Staniford spent 13 years at Citigroup Global Markets, serving most recently as managing director of rates sales.Pemberton – The independent asset management group backed by Legal & General has appointed Ben Gulliver as portfolio manager. Before joining Pemberton, Gulliver spent four years at ANZ Bank as global head of credit training.Xerox HR Services – Adam Michaels has been appointed as principal and senior investment consultant. He joins from LCP’s investment department, where he had been a partner since 2010, responsible for a portfolio of UK pension scheme clients and leading LCP’s research in real assets. Fondo Cometa, Candriam Investors Group, PIMCO, Bayside Capital, OECD Centre on Green Finance and Investment, PensionDanmark, Jupiter, Pioneer Investments, International Accounting Standards Board, RJ O’Brien & Associates, Citigroup Global Markets, Pemberton, ANZ Bank, Xerox HR Services, LCPFondo Cometa – Maurizio Benetti has been appointed president of Italy’s largest private pension fund, Fondo Cometa, the national complementary scheme for metal industry workers, by the fund’s board of directors. He succeeds outgoing president Annamaria Trovò. Bennetti has had long experience in the field of collective bargaining, corporate welfare and pensions, the fund said. Over the years, he has been head of studies at Italian metalworkers’ federation Fim-Cisl National, and was also a member of the Cometa pension fund’s executive board, as well as its deputy president from 2005 to 2008.Candriam Investors Group – Elias Farhat has been appointed chief strategy officer. He started his career at Bain & Company in Paris and remained at Bain for 12 years. In 2002, he founded his own advisory firm, Velocity Advisors, to assist investors on their acquisitions. He was also a partner at Capital E Advisors, an asset manager with investments in thematic private equity, and has held various board and advisory positions in several companies.PIMCO – Alice Cavalier has been appointed senior vice-president on the alternatives team, focusing on the analysis of stressed and distressed investments in Europe. Based in London, she joins from Bayside Capital, the distressed debt and special situations affiliate of private equity firm HIG Capital. Before then, she worked as an analyst in the leverage and acquisition finance department at Morgan Stanley.
Greek shipowner Performance Shipping has signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) to dispose of Rotterdam, a 2008-built Post-Panamax containership.The 6,494 TEU vessel would be sold to an unaffiliated third party for USD 18.5 million before commissions.Although Performance Shipping has not disclosed the buyer of the ship, VesselsValue’s data shows that the company in question is Greece-based Chartworld Shipping.The Marshall Islands-flagged boxship is scheduled to be delivered to its new owner by May 15, 2020.“The sale of one of the two remaining containerships in our fleet will increase our cash position to around USD 46 million,” Andreas Michalopoulos, the company’s Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer, commented.“This cash amount, together with the low leveraged assets, provides a total valuation well in excess of our current stock market capitalization. We are confident that this discrepancy will soon be either greatly reduced or disappear entirely as we steadily increase our presence in the Aframax tanker market.”Upon completion of the aforementioned sale, Performance Shipping’s fleet will consist of one Panamax container vessel and two Aframax tankers. The company also expects to take delivery of one Aframax tanker by the end of January 2020. read more
LOS ANGELES — They won’t retire his laptop and hang it from the stadium facade. But the Dodgers do not plan to hire a new general manager to replace Farhan Zaidi any time soon.“This offseason has been too chaotic on a number of fronts to be able to slow the game down enough to focus on that,” Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said, acknowledging he has not interviewed any replacement candidates. “It’s something we’ll think about over the course of the season and think about again next offseason.”Zaidi left after four years as the Dodgers GM under Friedman in early November to become president of baseball operations for the rival San Francisco Giants. He was just one of multiple departures from the Dodgers coaching and front-office staff this winter.Friedman said the team received approximately 30 requests from other teams to interview members of the Dodgers’ organization this winter. When that request was granted, the staff member involved almost inevitably received a job offer and left for a new team. Cody Bellinger homer gives Dodgers their first walkoff win of season Dodgers’ Max Muncy trying to work his way out of slow start Dodgers hit seven home runs, sweep Colorado Rockies How Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling topped the baseball podcast empire Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Fire danger is on Dave Roberts’ mind as Dodgers head to San Francisco “We’ve got a really talented group of people in the office,” Friedman said. “Everyone’s kind of stepped up and done a little bit more.”Nonetheless, Friedman has called Zaidi’s departure “a big loss” for both the Dodgers and himself personally. Among the departures along with Zaidi this fall were coaches Chris Woodward (Rangers), Luis Ortiz (Rangers) and Turner Ward (Reds), baseball operations analyst Ehsan Bokhari (Astros) and minor-league hitting coordinator Paco Figueroa (Phillies).Sign up for our Inside the Dodgers newsletter. Be the best Dodger fan you can be by getting daily intel on your favorite team. Subscribe here.A year earlier, the Dodgers lost Alex Anthopoulos (Braves) from the front office along with Gabe Kapler (Phillies) and Jeremy Zoll (Twins) from player development, among others.Friedman indicated there would be some restructuring of front-office roles with a number of people assuming expanded duties to make up for the absence of a GM. He has mentioned senior vice president of baseball operations Josh Byrnes, director of baseball development and scouting Alex Slater and director of player development Brandon Gomes, in particular, as stepping up to fill the needs.Related Articles “There was a real rhythm Farhan and I had gotten into,” Friedman said.“Farhan and I didn’t delineate things in perfectly clear ways. We just worked together, divided and conquered. If as we were working together one of us was kind of diving into something to focus on, the other would go focus on something else. It wasn’t necessarily perfectly laid out like, ‘These are your responsibilities and this is what I’m focusing on.’ So now, it’s just been involving more people in things and going at it that way.” read more
Ghaziabad: Twelve persons, including the MLA of Dhaulana area, Aslam Chaudhary, have been booked by Ghaziabad police for allegedly trying to acquire the land owned by Gram Panchayat in Masuri area and thrashing the security supervisor and two other guards deployed at the land. Taking cognisance into the matter, the administration has imposed CrPc section 144 in order to maintain law and order in the area.Cops said that nearly a dozen goons allegedly barged in to the land after breaking the broke boundary walls on Sunday. “The accused persons also thrashed the security supervisor Ashok Kumar Jain and two other guards deployed at the land. It has been alleged that the goons were working for the MLA,” said police. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murder”The land belonged to Gram Panchayat but in 1958, the land was sold to DCM company for its development. After some years the company had sold this land to a Delhi based businessman Gopal Kawatra. However, some of the villagers had moved to high court claiming that the land was belonged to them but apex court had given the judgement into the favour of the businessman in 2018,” said Naresh Kumar Singh, Station House Officer of Masuri police station. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchingsThe officer said that an FIR has been lodged against twelve persons including the MLA under section 147 (punishment for rioting), 148 (rioting, armed with deadly weapon), 149 (Every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object), 427 (Mischief causing damage to the amount of fifty rupees), 307 (attempt to murder), 448 (Punishment for house-trespass) and 506 (Punishment for criminal intimidation) of IPC. Meanwhile, police have imposed CrPc section 144 in the area to maintain law and order. read more
Kenyan McDuffie represents Ward 5 on the D.C. Council.D.C. Council member Kenyan McDuffie (D-Ward 5) is the chief author of a bill to prohibit credit checks of potential employees until a conditional offer is made. He introduced the bill, The Fair Credit History Steering Act of 2015 to his colleagues on June 2. McDuffie wants to use the legislation as a vehicle to help more District residents obtain employment.“This bill will abolish restrictions that unjustly exacerbate challenges faced by applicants who are already having difficulty with finding employment and making ends meet,” McDuffie said. “As a result, we will create economic opportunities for more of our vulnerable residents.”The Fair Credit bill will prohibit an employer from considering a job applicant’s credit history during the hiring process, and will restrict an employer’s inquiry into an applicant’s credit history until after a conditional offer of employment. The bill would allow certain employers exemptions from enforcement, like financial institutions.The legislation establishes a complaint process for aggrieved potential employees and a penalties component for alleged employer violators. The D.C. Office of Human Rights would be responsible for enforcing the bill.According to a May 2013 online article, “Discredited: How Employment Checks Keep Qualified Workers Out of a Job” by Amy Traub, one in 10 people who are unemployed have been informed that they would not be hired because of negative credit report information. The article, cited by McDuffie in a statement, showed that one in seven denied job applicants were advised that they were not hired because of their credit. The article also showed that people of color and the chronically unemployed are adversely affected when their jobs search depends on creditworthiness.D.C. Council members Brandon Todd (D-Ward 4), Yvette Alexander (D-Ward 7), LaRuby May (D-Ward 7), Vincent Orange (D-At Large), Charles Allen (D-Ward 6), Elissa Silverman (I-At Large) and Brianne Nadeau (D-Ward 1) have indicated favorable interest in McDuffie’s bill. Todd, who reportedly declared bankruptcy earlier in his life, thinks this bill is needed.“I strongly believe that past mistakes should not prohibit our residents from attaining future success,” Todd said. “This legislation will provide those with perseverance and discipline an opportunity for a fresh start.”Doyle Mitchell, the president and CEO of Industrial Bank, one of the country’s largest Black-owned banks, said Industrial conducts credit checks for potential employees. “We would not turn somebody down solely based on poor credit,” Mitchell said. “It is part of the application process because our employees handle large amounts of cash.”Thomas Penny, the general manager of the Courtyard by Marriott Convention Center in downtown Washington, said that as a matter of policy, they don’t conduct credit checks until a conditional offer is made, which is what McDuffie’s bill mandates. “When we do a credit check, it is position-specific,” Penny said. “If a potential employee will be working in the food and beverage area or housekeeping, credit is not as critical as if they are handling cash. We handle these matters on a case-by-case basis.”Both Mitchell and Penny say they have hired some people with less than perfect credit because they felt that the applicant would be a good, trustworthy employee.Harry Wingo, the president and CEO of the D.C. Chamber of Commerce, said that he and his staff are examining McDuffie’s legislation. “We at the chamber support any effort to remove barriers to employment,” Wingo said. “However, we have to look at hard at any effort to restrict businesses in the operation of their businesses.”Wingo said that background checks, whether credit or character, are vital for a business to determine the best applicant for a particular job. “We look forward to working with McDuffie on the details of this bill,” he said.D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) said that she hasn’t read McDuffie’s bill but will approach with an open mind. “I am always looking for ways for people to get jobs,” Bowser said. “My ears are always open for that.” read more
Mention McDonald’s to someone today, and they’re more likely to think about Big Mac than Big Data. But that could soon change. As the fast-food giant embraced machine learning, with plans to become a tech-innovator in a fittingly super-sized way. McDonald’s stunned a lot of people when it announced its biggest acquisition in 20 years, one that reportedly cost it over $300 million. It plans to acquire Dynamic Yield, a New York based startup that provides retailers with algorithmically driven “decision logic” technology. When you add an item to an online shopping cart, “decision logic” is the tech that nudges you about what other customers bought as well. Dynamic Yield’s client list includes blue-chip retail clients like Ikea, Sephora, and Urban Outfitters. McDonald’s vetted around 30 firms offering similar personalization engine services, and landed on Dynamic Yield. It has been recently valued in the hundreds of millions of dollars; people familiar with the details of the McDonald’s offer put it at over $300 million. This makes the company’s largest purchase as per a tweet by the McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook. The burger giant can certainly afford it; in 2018 alone it tallied nearly $6 billion of net income, and ended the year with a free cash flow of $4.2 billion. McDonalds, a food-tech innovator from the start Over the last several years, McDonalds has invested heavily in technology by bringing stores up to date with self-serve kiosks. The company also launched an app and partnered with Uber Eats in that time, in addition to a number of infrastructure improvements. It even relocated its headquarters less than a year ago from the suburbs to Chicago’s vibrant West Town neighborhood, in a bid to attract young talent. Collectively, McDonald’s serves around 68 million customers every single day. And the majority of those people are at their drive-thru window who never get out of their car, instead place and pick up their orders from the window. And that’s where McDonalds is planning to deploy Dynamic Yield tech first. “What we hadn’t done is begun to connect the technology together, and get the various pieces talking to each other,” says Easterbrook. “How do you transition from mass marketing to mass personalization? To do that, you’ve really got to unlock the data within that ecosystem in a way that’s useful to a customer.” Here’s what that looks like in practice: When you drive up to place your order at a McDonald’s today, a digital display greets you with a handful of banner items or promotions. As you inch up toward the ordering area, you eventually get to the full menu. Both of these, as currently implemented, are largely static, aside from the obvious changes like rotating in new offers, or switching over from breakfast to lunch. But in a pilot program at a McDonald’s restaurant in Miami, powered by Dynamic Yield, those displays have taken on new dexterity. In the new McDonald’s machine-learning paradigm, that particular display screen will show customers what other items have been popular at that location, and prompt them with potential upsells. Thanks for your Happy Meal order; maybe you’d like a Sprite to go with it. “We’ve never had an issue in this business with a lack of data,” says Easterbrook. “It’s drawing the insight and the intelligence out of it.” Revenue aspects likely to double with the acquisition McDonald’s hasn’t shared any specific insights gleaned so far, or numbers around the personalization engine’s effect on sales. But it’s not hard to imagine some of the possible scenarios. If someone orders two Happy Meals at 5 o’clock, for instance, that’s probably a parent ordering for their kids; highlight a coffee or snack for them, and they might decide to treat themselves to a pick-me-up. And as with any machine-learning system, the real benefits will likely come from the unexpected. While customer satisfaction may be the goal, the avenues McDonald’s takes to get there will increase revenues along the way. Customer personalization is another goal to achieve As you may think, McDonald’s didn’t spend over $300 million on a machine-learning company to only juice up its drive-thru sales. An important part is to figure how to leverage the “personalization” part of a personalization engine. Fine-tuned insights at the store level are one thing, but Easterbrook envisions something even more granular. “If customers are willing to identify themselves—there’s all sorts of ways you can do that—we can be even more useful to them, because now we call up their favorites,” according to Easterbrook, who stresses that privacy is paramount. As for what form that might ultimately take, Easterbrook raises a handful of possibilities. McDonald’s already uses geofencing around its stores to know when a mobile app customer is approaching and prepare their order accordingly. On the downside of this tech integration When you know you have to change so much in your company, it’s easy to forget some of the consequences. You race to implement all new things in tech and don’t adequately think about what your employees might think of it all. This seems to be happening to McDonald’s. As the fast-food chain tries to catch up to food trends that have been established for some time, their employees seem to be not happy about the fact. As Bloomberg reports, the more McDonald’s introduces, fresh beef, touchscreen ordering and delivery, the more its employees are thinking: “This is all too much work.” One of the employees at the McDonalds franchisee revealed at the beginning of this year. “Employee turnover is at an all-time high for us,” he said, adding “Our restaurants are way too stressful, and people do not want to work in them.” Workers are walking away rather than dealing with new technologies and menu options. The result: customers will wait longer. Already, drive-through times at McDonald’s slowed to 239 seconds last year — more than 30 seconds slower than in 2016, according to QSR magazine. Turnover at U.S. fast-food restaurants jumped to 150% meaning a store employing 20 workers would go through 30 in one year. Having said that it does not come to us as a surprise that McDonalds on Tuesday announced to the National Restaurant Association that it will no longer participate in lobby efforts against minimum-wage hikes at the federal, state or local level. It does makes sense when they are already paying low wages and an all time high attrition rate hail as a bigger problem. Of course, technology is supposed to solve all the world’s problems, while simultaneously eliminating the need for many people. Looks like McDonalds has put all its eggs in the machine learning and automation basket. Would it not be a rich irony, if people saw technology being introduced and walked out, deciding it was all too much trouble for just a burger? Read Next 25 Startups using machine learning differently in 2018: From farming to brewing beer to elder care An AI startup now wants to monitor your kids’ activities to help them grow ‘securly’ Microsoft acquires AI startup Lobe, a no code visual interface tool to build deep learning models easily read more
Tags: Rocky Mountaineer, Travel Alert, WestJet VANCOUVER — Both Rocky Mountaineer and WestJet have released new updates to service in light of the ongoing wildfires in British Columbia and Alberta.Due to the wildfires in the Caribbo area, Rocky Mountaineer’s train departures on the ‘Rainforest to Gold Rush’ route have been affected. “We have put in place alternative plans for guests travelling on this route that involved travelling by both motorcoach and train,” said the company.The schedules for the trains travelling via Kamloops on First Passage to the West (between Vancouver and Lake Louise/Banff) and Journey through the Clouds (between Vancouver and Jasper) are not affected. However, due to hazy skies in some areas, the visibility of scenery and air quality may be impacted at some points along the journey due to the wildfires.Passengers are asked to stay up to date on the situation by going to rockymountaineer.com/alert.WestJet has extended its discount offer to those impacted by the tragedy. The airline is offering 25% off for bookings between YXS and all Canadian and U.S. destinations, as well as 25% off for bookings between YLW/YYF/KYA and all Canadian and U.S. destinations.More news: Beep, beep! Transat hits the streets with Cubamania truckTravel dates run from Aug. 4-Aug. 21, 2017. Bookings must be made by Aug. 14.For both GDS bookings and WestJet Agent (TA Web) bookings, use account code DEWF4WT. For SIREV/Revnet/Contact centre bookings, agents are asked to call the Travel Support Team at 1-877-664-3205.WestJet has also decided to waive change and cancel fees for all existing bookings made to/from and via YLW/YXS/YYF/YKA to/from Canadian destinations on or before July 9 for travel through Aug. 21, 2017.For GDS bookings, there is no need for agents to call to receive a waiver code for clients. Simply add the generic waiver code 201707yxs in the endorsement field and process the exchange or refund in the GDS. Friday, August 11, 2017 Posted by Travelweek Group Rocky Mountaineer, WestJet update travellers on BC wildfires Share << Previous PostNext Post >> read more