Eight public sector pension funds in Wales have appointed Russell Investments and Link Asset Services to help pool and run £15bn (€17bn) of investments.The Wales Pension Partnership (WPP) – one of eight asset pools being set up by UK local government pension schemes (LGPS) – announced today that Link Asset Services would operate a collective investment vehicle to pool its assets.Russell has been appointed for investment advice and manager selection. The mandates for Russell and Link include portfolio construction, cost reduction, currency hedging, transition management and other services.Chris Moore, director of corporate services at Carmarthenshire County Council, described the appointments as “a significant milestone” in pooling the Welsh funds’ assets. Peter Hugh Smith, managing director of Link Fund Solutions, part of Link Asset Services, said: “We are pleased to have been selected by WPP to facilitate the pooling of the assets of the eight existing local government pension schemes in Wales.“The pooling of the assets into a collective investment vehicle means the constituent authorities will benefit from enhanced governance and the protection of a regulated tax transparent structure.”Jim Leggate, head of UK institutional and Middle East at Russell Investments, added that pooling “provides the opportunity to deliver significant savings over the long-term, which will create additional value for scheme members”.In 2016, WPP appointed BlackRock to run nearly £3bn of passive mandates on behalf of the eight pension funds, replacing State Street Global Advisors and Legal & General Investment Management. This arrangement will continue outside of the collective investment vehicle being established by Link.The LGPS pools must be ready to accept assets from early April, according to the government’s deadline.Link is one of the UK’s leading fund administration providers, and according to its website oversees roughly £45bn of annual payments across various product types.
While the departure of goal-scoring dynamos Nick Van Sicklen and Jed Hohlbein may have hampered the offense of the 2005 Wisconsin men’s soccer team, the team’s defensive core only grew stronger in a year’s time.With four incoming recruits joining four returning letter-winners in the back, the defensive outlook looks improved for a Wisconsin team that recorded only one shutout last season.“It all starts with our captain, all-Big Ten central defender Aaron Hohlbein,” head coach Jeff Rohrman said. “I think everybody is a better player because of Aaron’s presence back there. I also think there has been some great improvement by some of the other guys — Hamid Afsari, for example, has done very well. Both Andy Miller and Zack Lambo have also done a good job so far and both played great over the first weekend.”Not only did freshman standouts Lambo and Miller successfully work their way into the starting lineups this past weekend at the Big Toe Invitational, but they also played important roles in securing 2-1 victories in both matches.Against UNLV, Lambo set-up the team’s first goal of the 2005 campaign with a free kick from the left flank. Lambo’s cross found Hohlbein on the back post, whose header brought the Badgers back into the game.In the victory over Drake, it was Lambo assisting again, this time serving in the ball that produced the game-winning goal. Only 46 seconds into overtime, Lambo picked out junior forward Reid Johnson whose flick-on found sophomore Sho Fujita directly in front of the net.“I think Zack brings a very polished left foot,” Rohrman said. “He served a great ball to Hohlbein for the goal on Friday to get us going, and he also served the ball to Reid (Johnson) in overtime allowing us to win the Drake game. His ability to play well in the flow of play and also on set pieces is a pretty nice weapon to have.”Lambo, a 5-foot-10, 170-pound defender from Crystal Lake, Ill., has adapted well to the college game early on, but admits that concentration and focus are aspects of his game he must continue to improve.“The general pace of the game has been the main transition from high school,” Lambo said. “You have to know where you’re going to play the ball before you get it, so the first touch is so important. Everybody is bigger and has a little more pace to them, so it’s been tough. But, it’s encouraging because it’s making me a better player.”Along with Lambo, Miller has made great strides with the team, playing stellar defense in his first career start against Drake. The Barrington, Ill., native is a physical defender for his size (5-foot-10, 150 pounds), but, like Lambo, is still adjusting to the speed of the college game.“Coming in as a freshman, you’re obviously not as developed as some of the other guys,” Miller said. “Dealing with bigger and faster players will probably be the most difficult change. The play is a lot faster too — a hundred times faster than high school.”As Rohrman employs his new freshman talents, he can also enjoy the luxury of having veteran defenders, such as Afsari and reserve Andrew Cardona, available on his roster. “Andrew (Cardona) is a seasoned veteran with the team,” Rohrman said. “He played some key roles for us the first couple of years and right now he is in a bit of a support position for us. He’s done a great job in what we’ve asked him to do and I don’t doubt that Andrew will certainly get on the field — it’s just going to be a matter of where and when.”When the Badgers head to Milwaukee for the Panther Classic next weekend, the young men from Illinois, Lambo and Miller, will most likely be on the pitch, fighting for a win. The influx of talent will provide Rohrman with plenty of room for tinkering with the lineup this weekend and throughout the season.“We’re always looking to tweak and adjust things so that we can be sure we’re putting the 11 on the field that will work best for us going into each game,” Rohrman said. “We changed things from Friday to Sunday this past weekend and I felt they were good adjustments. Going into this next Friday, we’re going to look at a few different things back there and possibly make a few more adjustments.”
JEFF SCHORFHEIDE/Herald photoThe proverbial monkey is finally off Kyle Turris’ back.With a goal three minutes into the third period of Saturdaynight’s matchup against St. Cloud State, Turris broke a streak of nine gameswithout scoring a goal. If that slump doesn’t seem too daunting, consider howTurris started the season.Coming to Wisconsin with the most preseason hype of anyplayer in recent memory — he was the No. 3 overall pick by Phoenix in the NHL EntryDraft — Turris didn’t disappoint early in the year. Through the team’s firstfour games, the freshman from British Columbia netted five goals, tallied sevenassists and at one point led the nation in scoring.But then the WCHA season started, and the freshman phenom’storrid pace cooled down. He managed to record just four assists through ninegames and had five games in which he didn’t score a single point.So it came as no surprise to see Turris get a bit moreexcited Saturday than after any of his previous goals.”It feels really good,” Turris said of his goal. “It wasjust a matter of time.”Turris jumped around between a few different lineupsSaturday, starting the night off on the top line with Ben Street and PodgeTurnbull, but he skated with Michael Davies and Aaron Bendickson when he scoredin the third. The movement between lines allowed Turris to fire off agame-high seven shots on goal, including three in the final period.”I was getting lots of shots, I was hitting posts,” Turrissaid. “I was getting lots of great passes from [Street] and Bendickson andPodge and Davies.”Finally, one of those shots went in. Bendickson and DavisDrewiske were credited with the assist as Turris beat St. Cloud State netminderJase Weslosky to tie the game up at 3-3. Josh Engel would later add his secondgoal of the game to give Wisconsin a 4-3 win.”I think it was lucky,” Turris said. “It kind of wentthrough his arm. I just tried to throw everything on net, tonight especially.”After the goal, the entire Wisconsin bench jumped up incelebration, all knowing the pressure Turris had relieved with his goal.”I think all you need to do is look at the bench after hescored,” head coach Mike Eaves said. “His teammates were still pounding him onhis shoulder pads.”Eaves said Turris’ teammates empathized with the freshman,as they have all been through ups and downs in their careers.”That’s a nice weight to be lifted off his shoulders,” Eavessaid. “His teammates feel for him, because they know that he’s a gifted playerand they … have all gone through similar kinds of slumps like that. For anoffensive guy, it’s a struggle.””Kyle is a great player,” said forward Josh Engel, whorecorded two goals in Saturday’s win. “He’s going to be one of those greatplayers in the NHL, too.”Perhaps another reason for the Badgers’ celebration afterthe goal was what it meant for them as a team. When Turris has found the netthis season, Wisconsin is 4-1. When Turris is held without a goal, UW is just3-5-1.”They were really happy for him,” Eaves said. “They know,too, that if Kyle’s being productive, we have a better chance of beingsuccessful on the ice.”Turris’ score came at a crucial time in Saturday’s game.After jumping ahead to an early 1-0 lead, UW eventually fell behind 3-2 headinginto the final period. For a team that had recorded just one sweep prior to theseries, Eaves knew the third period would be the biggest of the weekend.”This is our sixth period. This is the period when you growas a player,” Eaves said. “If you want to become a champion player or achampionship-caliber team, this is the period where you have to show yourworth.”With his goal to tie the game, Turris certainly showed hisworth and reminded fans why he was so highly touted coming into the season. Andfor Turris, he hopes the goal is a sign of things to come.”I just got lucky on one, so hopefully they’ll start cominga bit easier,” Turris said.
Limerick go in search of a second Munster title in three years when they face Cork at the Gaelic Grounds, in a repeat of the 2011 provincial final.The winners of that one will face Galway in the All Ireland semi finals.Despite fine wins over Clare and Tipperary to date, Limerick corner-forward Peter Casey says nothing can be taken for granted tonight. Kilkenny await the winners of the Ulster final pairing of Derry and Down.Derry have been beaten in the last three Ulster finals, while Down haven’t won since 2004.Both of tonight’s games throw in at 7.30. Photo © Tipp FM