Three Trump Org contracts de Blasio canceled were about to expire anyway

first_imgFull Name* Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink Mayor Bill de Blasio and the carousel at Central Park (Getty)Mayor Bill de Blasio’s announcement that the city was terminating contracts with the Trump Organization may need an asterisk.Three of the four contracts identified by de Blasio were already set to expire in April, Politico reported.De Blasio framed the Wednesday announcement as a moralistic response to Trump’s inciting a mob that stormed the Capitol last week.“In light of this criminal act, the city of New York has determined that it is within our power to terminate all contracts with the Trump Organization,” de Blasio said at a press conference. “So, goodbye to the Trump Organization. We are not doing any business with you.”Read moreReal estate industry denounces “insurrection” in DCThe Trump Reorganization: What’s next for the president’s firm?Cushman & Wakefield, NYC cut ties to Trump Organization Message* TagsBill de BlasioNYC politicstrump organizationcenter_img Email Address* Share via Shortlink The contracts relate to a golf course in the Bronx, the carousel at Central Park and two ice skating rinks, all of which are managed by the Trump Organization.Politico reports that the carousel contract was due to expire April 9 and the contract for the skating rinks was to expire April 30.The contract for the golf course, however, runs through April 30, 2032.“The city of New York has no legal right to end our contracts and if they elect to proceed, they will owe the Trump Organization over $30 million,” Eric Trump told Politico in a statement.The city said it will deliver termination notices this week. Its lawyers had looked for a legal basis to exit Trump contracts years ago but decided against it.A slew of companies have cut ties with the family business since the Jan. 6 invasion of the Capitol.[Politico] — Sylvia Varnham O’ReganContact Sylvia Varnham O’Reganlast_img read more

Indiana’s positive test rate for COVID-19 drops two percentage points in one week

first_imgCoronavirusIndianaLocalNewsSouth Bend Market (Photo supplied/Indiana State Department of Health) As the coronavirus numbers continue to rise in nationwide, there is some good news from Indiana’s State Department of Health.The Department says Indiana’s 7-day positivity rate for COVID-19 was at 5.3% for the week ended September 1st.The previous week’s numbers suggested the rate of infections was sitting at or hovering around 7.3%.The department reported nearly 400 new cases Tuesday, bringing the state total to 100,780. More than 3,100 Hoosiers have died from COVID-19, and more than 77,000 have recovered after testing positive. Facebook Twitter By Tommie Lee – September 8, 2020 1 540 Google+ WhatsApp Google+ Facebook Pinterest Pinterest Indiana’s positive test rate for COVID-19 drops two percentage points in one week Twitter WhatsApp Previous articleOne dead, one missing from area beaches after Labor Day WeekendNext articleGuilty plea from former SBPD officer Ryan O’Neill Tommie Leelast_img read more

Trial for two suspects in Elkhart torture, murder case scheduled to get underway

first_imgIndianaLocalNews Pinterest WhatsApp By Jon Zimney – April 19, 2021 0 45 Twitter Google+ Facebook WhatsApp Google+ Twitter Pinterest Facebook Previous articleTime running out for residents to give feedback to help improve Elkhart parksNext articleFarm Bureau Encouraging Farmers to Get Involved in Their Community Jon ZimneyJon Zimney is the News and Programming Director for News/Talk 95.3 Michiana’s News Channel and host of the Fries With That podcast. Follow him on Twitter @jzimney. (Photo supplied/Elkhart County Jail) The trial for two men charged with the torture and murder of Kimberly Dyer in Elkhart was scheduled to begin this week.Donald Owens Jr., 22, and Mario Angulo Jr., 20, are also charged with robbery resulting in serious injury and criminal confinement of a Sturgis man.The crimes allegedly took place at a home on Old Orchard Lane back in November 2019.A third codefendant, Matthew Murzynski, 25, who was implicated in the same incident but not charged with murder, entered a plea agreement and will be sentenced in May.Read more about the case against the three men in The Elkhart Truth. Trial for two suspects in Elkhart torture, murder case scheduled to get underwaylast_img read more

EXCLUSIVE: Oliver Wood Talks New Album, Storytelling, & The Wood Brothers’ Origins

first_imgThe Wood Brothers have been making music together for the last twelve years. Their new album, One Drop of Truth is the most fun they have had in the studio, or rather multiple studios, in a long time. Oliver Wood, who is reluctant to call himself a storyteller, likes to think of their music as gospel music—the kind of music that is hopeful. No stranger to writing about darkness though, Wood finds hope in those dark places, and the songs they have written for the record are ambiguous enough to resonate universally. Live for Live Music spoke with Oliver Wood about metaphors, hopefulness, and growing up. Check out the interview below as well as the group’s touring plans for the next few months! L4LM: How did you and your brother get to really start playing together?Oliver Wood: Well, we got to playing together as teenagers. There was a small window of about two years where we were both proficient enough as musicians to play together. We had a four-track recorder. We would jam in the garage—kid kind of stuff but we were really into it. That was early on.I left the house first and went to the East Coast and eventually ended up in the South. I live in Nashville now, but I used to live in Atlanta; I moved there in my early twenties. My brother, when he left home, he moved to the Northeast—first to Boston then to New York. As late teenagers and young men, we completely separated, so when we really started playing together again as The Wood Brothers, or rather started thinking about creating The Wood Brothers, that was another fifteen years down the road.What happened was, I had a band in Atlanta the whole time called King Johnson. Chris had Medeski, Martin & Wood. We toured around as well and never had the success that Medeski, Martin & Wood had, but we worked hard. That’s where I learned how to do what I do now. It was after my brother and I became fully formed musicians that we started playing together.L4LM: What was it like when you and Chris played together for the first time professionally after having gone separate ways?OW: Medeski, Martin & Wood and King Johnson did a co-bill where we opened for Medeski, Martin & Wood. Keeping in mind that we hadn’t actually played music together in years, we had grown apart as brothers really. We were living in different parts of the country, we had different friends and different musical circles, so when we had this show together, it was a big reunion.Chris asked me to sit in, and I played a few songs with them. It just felt so natural to stand next to him and to play with him, and I just fit right in—it was so comfortable. It opened our eyes. Chris says, “It’s like looking in a mirror.” We had the same instincts. It wasn’t just about the music at this point, it was about growing up. We had grown apart as brothers, but we had also grown up and gotten rid of our baggage and competitiveness and all the other things brothers might have.Medeski, Martin & Wood with Oliver Wood – Lincoln Theatre – Raleigh, NC – 3/6/2007[Video: greg tincher]L4LM: And that show led to The Wood Brothers?Oliver Wood: Well, then we started making an effort. Whenever we could get together, we would play and start writing some things, and that just gradually led to The Wood Brothers as a fun side project. It evolved slowly and gradually but surely into a bigger enterprise where we started playing shows, made an album, and got a record deal. So we are on our 12th year of The Wood Brothers.L4LM: So, you established yourselves as individual musicians, each wrote a different story, and then the music brought you back together.OW: Yeah. It’s kind of neat. We went out, had our own experiences, and got our own life lessons and music lessons by just living out in the world and playing music. We formed these personalities that were also musical personalities. Anytime you combine musical personalities, you get new recipes for things, and that’s what we felt like we were doing.L4LM: You’ve said the new record One Drop of Truth was the most fun you ever have had making an album and that it is the most “Wood Brothers” album you have ever put out. What makes this album so authentically “Wood Brothers?”OW: Partly, just the older you get as a person, you mature and learn and grow and become more of yourself. I think that as a musical unit, we are just discovering more and more what we sound like and what feels good and authentic. You eventually just understand who you are and you get more comfortable with yourself. In a musical way, that also happens to a band, so I think just doing it for a while and working together, we have learned how to be us within the band and as a band.The reason the album was so fun to do was the way we did it. We produced it ourselves, and we spread out the process over a year. After we wrote a song, we recorded it not too long after we wrote it—as opposed to compiling all the songs and recording it over a two- or three-week time. We took our time and felt no pressure to make or record an album, so we went in there and focused on the song. We gave each song our attention for a couple days and then came back to it. That process felt much less stressful and much less of a compromise than recording it all in a few weeks. In this case, each song got its own attention and love.L4LM: For the song “Strange As It Seems”, was it purposefully ambiguous? The lyrics feel like they can pertain to any type of relationship.OW: Very intentional. I think that song was inspired by an idea: What if you could approach your romantic life in a dream? Like, you get all dressed up to go meet somebody, and you go to bed and encounter someone in a dream world. So then, the question is why do you want to do that? Is it someone who is dead? Is it someone who actually exists? Is it someone who you already know? It’s very ambiguous, but I saw it in very visual terms.I imagine it to be some weird cool movie abstract, where I imagine someone actually doing that—a fully clothed person getting in bed, which is an image from the song, and turning off the light. Instead of going out on the town, you are going into this dream world that you prepare yourself for. This is the first song that I have written that came with visuals, and we are conceiving of a video for it, which I am very excited about.L4LM: With the political climate and overall sense of hopelessness felt by many, do you think some of that energy went into some of the songs you put on this album?Oliver Wood: Yeah I think so, though not consciously—speaking for me, and, of course, I am not the only one who wrote music and words for this; we all collaborated quite a bit. I know that whatever you are going through in your life, whether it is personal or you see it unfold in the world, that stuff seeps in.We have a lot of metaphors on this album that have to do with water, whether it’s a flood or a hurricane or an overflowing river, teardrops, the One Drop Of Truth title. Some of the things about water make for great metaphors because it is such a life-giving thing, but it is also such a powerful thing that you can’t control. It can often make you feel a loss of control, especially if you are talking about a flood or a storm. We literally saw that this past year in the world with the crazy hurricane season we had. Figuratively, we have political hurricanes and storms and upheaval that have stressed a lot of people out too. The literal and the figurative tend to seep in there.L4LM: Do you guys consider yourself storytellers?OW: Storytellers, I never felt like storytellers like a John Prine or somebody that I think is a master like Randy Newman, I never thought of that.  I guess I don’t know what other kind of music there is. I am really a fan of the ambiguous side of things, and I love mythology. I feel like mythology and religion and everyday stuff is all tied together in some intricate way. I consider it more like gospel music in a way that it’s hopeful. Even the songs that have darkness to them are hopeful.L4LM: When I think of The Woods Brothers music—and I used the word storytelling, but its the whole vibe—it feels like something you should gather for.OW: I like that. I like songs and I like how music in general connects. That is what music if for: to connect the disconnected parts of us, with each other and ourselves. I think that is what is happening subconsciously a lot. I want to write something somewhat universal that connects people. Even if it is a dark and scary thing, if everyone can relate to it in their own way, then we have connected.L4LM: You guys are heading west starting in Phoenix?OW: Yes. We are going to the West Coast, and then I think we’ll come back east eventually. I don’t think we have done much of the Midwest since last spring, so it looks like we have a few eastern dates and a lot of midwestern dates coming in the spring. The festivals will start up in the late spring too.With The Wood Brothers tour recently started, you can check out the band’s upcoming dates below!Upcoming Wood Brothers Tour DatesFeb 22 – Belly Up – Solana Beach, CAFeb 23 – The Fonda Theatre – Los Angeles, CAFeb 24 – The Fillmore – San Francisco, CAFeb 25 – The Fillmore – San Francisco, CAFeb 27 – Kate Buchanan Room – Arcata, CAFeb 28 – Southern Oregon University @ Music Recital Hall – Ashland, ORMar 01 – Crystal Ballroom – Portland, ORMar 02 – Neptune – Seattle, WAMar 03 – Neptune – Seattle, WAMar 15 – Iron City – Birmingham, ALMar 16 – Robert Kirk Walker Theatre – Chattanooga, TNMar 17 – Ryman Auditorium – Nashville, TNApr 11 – First Avenue – Minneapolis, MNApr 12 – Majestic Theatre – Madison, WIApr 13 – Vic Theatre – Chicago, ILApr 14 – Vic Theatre – Chicago, ILApr 15 – The Pageant – Saint Louis, MOApr 17 – Taft Ballroom – Cincinnati, OHApr 18 – The Ark – Ann Arbor, MIApr 19 – The Vogue – Indianapolis, INApr 20 – Bijou Theater – Knoxville, TNApr 21 – Songsmith Gathering – Brevard, NCApr 22 – Tuck Fest 2018 – Charlotte, NCMay 19 – Dominion RiverRock Festival – Richmond, VAMay 24 – Pop’s Farm – Axton, VAMay 25 – Red Rocks Amphitheater supporting Devil Makes Three – Morrison, COMay 26 – Rooster Walk 10 – Martinsville, VAMay 27 – DelFest 2018 – Cumberland, MDJun 21 – Telluride Bluegrass Festival – Telluride, COJun 23 – Funhouse Fest – Williamsburg, VAJun 29 – Wolf Trap – Vienna, VAJul 08 – High Sierra Music Festival – Quincy, CAJul 20 – Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival – Oak Hill, NYOct 13 – Hillberry Festival – Eureka Springs, ARlast_img read more

Meat Processing Safety

first_imgPoultry researchers at the University of Georgia are partnering with a team from Kansas State University to study how to effectively control the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in the nation’s meat and poultry processing facilities.The study seeks to protect meat plant workers and their surrounding communities from the spread of COVID-19 through practical solutions. The research is funded by a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.Harsha Thippareddi, John Bekkers Professor in Poultry Science at UGA, and Manpreet Singh, poultry science professor and interim head of the UGA Department of Food Science and Technology, are co-directors of the project along with A. Sally Davis, an assistant professor of experimental pathology in the Kansas State College of Veterinary Medicine. Thippareddi and Singh provide extensive poultry experience and industry connections from the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and, with backgrounds as food safety specialists, will lead the grant’s industry outreach efforts.A key objective of the project will be verifying the effectiveness of many of the approved cleaners and sanitizers for inactivating SARS-CoV-2 during plant processing and sanitation operations.“Because there have been a number of outbreaks among employees in meat processing plants, there is always a perception that food or meat can be contaminated as well,” said Thippareddi. Frozen chicken wings imported to China from Brazil in August tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, he said. “This is a potential issue and we need to know the answers to what the risks to humans are if the coronavirus is present in food, and will it survive in the food or will it be destroyed during cooking and other food processing operations?”Using Kansas State’s Biosecurity Research Institute, a high-containment research facility, researchers will study various potential contamination methods for meat and poultry, how long the virus survives on meat products, how various storage and preparation methods influence the infectivity of the virus and what product-treatment methods can be used to mitigate the virus on food products.”Nationally and internationally, many facilities that produce meat and poultry products have been temporarily closed because of COVID-19 outbreaks,” said Davis, Kansas State’s project director of the grant. “This has put a major strain on food production, limiting the amount of meat and poultry on grocery store shelves and disrupting food and feed supply chains across the globe. Research is necessary to understand why SARS-CoV-2 is such a problem in meat and poultry processing environments and how we can mitigate the problem.”While animals, such as cattle, swine and chickens, do not carry the virus, infections with SARS-CoV-2 are primarily thought to occur by exposure to microdroplets in the air generated by infected workers.“The ultimate goal would be for us to better understand how the SARS-CoV-2 virus — if at all — can be transmitted through meat and poultry and through contact surfaces in poultry plants,” Singh said. Thippareddi added that “people working in meat processing plants may have the illness and, if it is aerosolizing, the virus can get onto the meat. If it is on the meat, it can get to people. All the poultry processing plants are taking preventive measures to stop the spread of the virus, because if you can prevent people from getting the virus and keep the virus from being aerosolized, you can prevent it getting onto the food.”The team will evaluate potential sources of exposure and determine the amount and the longevity of infectious virus that is present during and after meat processing and packaging activities. Researchers seek to identify, develop, validate and deliver practical cleaning and disinfection strategies, in addition to developing mathematical models to predict and reduce the risk of SARS-CoV-2 exposure in meat and poultry processing facilities.The project will also rely on input from an industry advisory board composed of senior level directors of food safety and plant operations at Hormel Foods, Smithfield Foods, National Beef Packing Company, Cargill Protein North America, JBS USA, Wayne Farms, Jennie-O Turkey Store, Tyson Fresh Meats and Costco Wholesale.Thippareddi and Singh will conduct site visits at various meat and poultry processing plants to evaluate current processing methods and to lead discussions with processors on COVID-19 mitigation strategies, develop new food safety training materials based on the needs of meat processors of varying sizes, conduct web-based trainings based on the research outcomes of the project, and assist in publishing the research findings.“The goal is to provide guidance to the meat-processing industry in the form of science-based best practices,” Singh said.For information on the UGA Department of Poultry Science, visit poultry.caes.uga.edu.last_img read more

Vermont Tech Receives $25,000 to Help Fund Summer Bridge Program

first_imgVermont Tech Receives $25,000to Help Fund Summer Bridge ProgramRANDOLPH CENTER, Vt-Vermont Technical College this week received a $25,000 grant from the J. Warren and Lois McClure Foundation, a supporting foundation of the Vermont Community Foundation.The money will be used to support Vermont Tech’s Summer Bridge Program, which helps incoming freshmen prepare for the college level math and English courses they’ll need to succeed in most of the college’s rigorous programs.While the Summer Bridge program is affordable in comparison to academic year tuition, board and fees, it has in the past been a deterrent to low- to moderate-income students who count on their summer break to earn money for the academic year. The college estimates that between 10 and 15 students each year choose not to enroll at Vermont Tech because of the cost of the Program.The Summer Bridge program is required for students applying to the Applied Science Program and will shorten by one year the time required for engineering students to graduate. The program provides courses in Math, Physics, Computer Skills and English. Students who do not enroll in the program are often required to take remedial courses elsewhere, potentially postponing their entry to Vermont Tech.An estimated seventy percent of Summer Bridge students are “first generation” (the first in their families to attend college) and a large majority of these are Vermont residents. The program typically enrolls between 30-50 students.Founded in 1986, the Vermont Community Foundation is home to over 500 charitable funds. With more than $160 million in assets, (December 31, 2007), it ranks among the top 10 percent of community foundations nationwide for total assets and gifts received. The Foundation helps Vermont-based philanthropists and organizations gain knowledge about community needs; deepen their understanding of ways strategic philanthropy can make a difference; nurture innovative practices and invest in the most promising models for lasting change; and increase Vermont’s philanthropic capital by inspiring new giving opportunities.Vermont Technical College is the state’s only technical college and is one of the five Vermont State Colleges. Graduates from Vermont Tech enjoy a 98% job placement rate; 90% of the student body comes from Vermont; and in 2007, 87% took jobs in Vermont, growing and improving the state’s workforce.last_img read more

An excellent initiative of the Zagreb County Tourist Board in the promotion of local winemakers

first_imgCan other tourist boards join this action and make the same or similar promotion in their area, and thus at least a little help to local winemakers who are also directly affected by this situation? By the way, the vineyards of Zagreb County belong to the wine region Bregovita Hrvatska. They are located on elevated terrains, which are the slopes of mountains and lower mountains, which on their southern slopes have excellent conditions for the production of high quality grapes.  You still get to react – it takes one call and one post on the social network. Among the most successful projects, county brands stand out – such as the Kingdom of Zelina and the Portuguese Plešivica. There are also three wine roads – Samoborska, Plešivička and Zelinska, while in the Ivanićgrad region bordering Moslavina, there is a “Land of Scarlet”. In a moment of emergency or crisis communication, the worst thing is not to communicate. While most tourism entities recycle old content, it is certainly commendable to see such initiatives and different communication. Small but important details that make a difference. Maybe these moves, like many others, will not make a significant difference, because realistically in this situation where tourism, as well as practically the whole economy, cares, there is simply no measure or action that will make a “miracle”, but it shows a sign of attention and how cared, which is a very valuable currency today. Also, another good move by the Zagreb County Tourist Board should certainly be pointed out. As there were excellent initiatives to open FB groups with a list of local family farms that sell products and deliver as well as the boom of opening web stores for the same, Zagreb County Tourist Board made an effort and gathered all e-markets in Zagreb County in one place. The Zagreb County Tourist Board, in cooperation with the famous GRIFFIN Sparkling Wines winery from Plešivica, has launched a “prize game” on its official Facebook page in which participants will have the opportunity to win a bottle of Griffin Dark Side champagne for the Easter table. e-MARKETS #kupujmolokalno In the coming days, more winemakers from the Zagreb winery will join this promotion, points out Ivana Alilović, director of the Zagreb County Tourist Board, such as winemakers from the Zelina Wine Road, Škrlet from Moslavina, wines from the Samobor area, etc.… Of course, this action will not sell hundreds of wines, but it certainly gives a positive example and a different way of communication, and thus the promotion of local products. According to county data, Zagreb County, with its 5 million vines planted on more than 900 hectares, is at the very top of the Republic of Croatia in terms of the number of winemakers, wine labels, wine roads and wine-growing and wine projects in general.  The promotion lasts until Thursday (April 09.04), and you can find more details on the official FB page Zagreb County Tourist Board . An excellent move by the Zagreb County Tourist Board, since these moves promote local wineries, ie winemakers from the Zagreb County. The climatic characteristics of the Zagreb County area have conditioned the development of a typical continental assortment. These are the same varieties as in neighboring countries, and introduced in these areas a hundred years ago (mostly Chardonnay, Rhine Riesling, Pinot Noir, Gray, Black, Sauvignon White, Silvanac Green, Graševina). Many vineyards also grow old Plešivica varieties ( eg žuti plavec), in the Zelina area the original variety kraljevina, and according to Moslavina also the autochthonous škrlet. Of the international black varieties, portugizac, syrah, merlot, cabernet sauvignon are important. In the multitude of information and communication noise, it is good to have a list in one place. Look for online markets in the Zagreb County here Wine region – Bregovita Hrvatskalast_img read more

Hailstorm hits Karo regency following increased activity of Mt. Sinabung

first_imgA hailstorm reportedly hit part of Karo regency in North Sumatra on Thursday, following increased volcanic activity of Mount Sinabung in the regency.The hailstorm occurred in Tiga Panah district on Thursday afternoon for around 20 minutes. The volcano had spewed out a 4,000-meter column of ash a day earlier.”[The hailstorm] lasted for 20 minutes, starting at 6:15 p.m. Luckily, everything is alright,” Tiga Panah resident Krisnanto said, adding that nobody was injured by the falling ice pellets.Read also: Karo farmers suffer Rp 41.8 billion in losses due to Mt. Sinabung eruptionAn employee of the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG), Desy, said the unusual phenomenon had occurred due to the increasing supply of volcanic ash in the atmosphere, which can eventually lead to the formation of cumulonimbus clouds.”These clouds are capable of producing hail, thunderstorms and strong winds,” she explained.A similar phenomenon occurred in the regency some three years ago, when 170 families in Beras Jahe district were forced to abandon their houses as a result of roof damage. The storm carrying ice the size of marbles had also damaged roughly 315 hectares of farmland, causing losses totaling hundreds of millions of rupiah. (vny)Topics :last_img read more

BMKG warns of extreme weather during transition to rainy season

first_imgThe Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) has called on the public to prepare for extreme weather and possible natural disasters as many parts of the country shift to the rainy season.BMKG weather forecasting department head Miming Saepudin said several regions would likely see heavy rain and thunderstorms in September.”Heavy rainfall is predicted in the north of Sumatra, especially along the west to north coastal area,” Miming said on Monday, as reported by tempo.co. He said heavy downpours were also expected in the northern part of Central Kalimantan, parts of West Kalimantan, as well as the northern parts of Sulawesi, Maluku, North Maluku and Papua.Miming noted that several other regions could experience droughts in September, even though the peak of the dry season had passed in August.”The regions that need to stay alert for potential droughts are East Java, Madura and parts of Bali, most of West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) and East Nusa Tenggara (NTT),” Miming said.”Based on our current data, these regions will not see rain for quite some time,” he added.About 85 percent of the country, he said, remained in the dry season, while the remaining 15 percent had begun to enter the rainy season.”From September to November, we have to stay alert for extreme weather, such as tornadoes, heavy downpours and thunderstorms because these occur more frequently during the transition to the rainy season,” Miming said. (nal)Topics :last_img read more

Bulk annuity pricing power to ‘see-saw’ between UK schemes, insurers

first_imgEmma Watkins, a partner at LCP, said: “After the first quarter of 2014, we thought there was a position where demand was starting to outstrip supply, and we could see a scenario where insurer pricing became less competitive.”The Budget announcement in March removed the need for individual DC savers to purchase annuities.This meant insurers with both retail and bulk annuity businesses shifted capacity to the bulk space over expectations that individual sales would plummet.“The see-saw levelled out again,” Watkins said, “and the competitive pricing seen at the end of 2013 and early 2014 continued.”The LCP report also highlighted potential growth in demand.Analysing 53 of the FTSE 100’s constituents, 10 company schemes were 80-100% funded, with six of those already insuring some longevity risk.The consultancy’s market expectations for 2017 predict the number of funded schemes will rise to 23, representing £125bn of longevity premiums for insurers to write.Watkins said, by the end of 2015, demand is likely to shape the dynamics of the market.“Insurers can easily write £10bn a year,” she said. “But if pushed, and given the sort of noises insurers are making about their appetite, there could be up to £15bn in capacity.”Watkins said, with insurer Legal & General looking to write £4bn-5bn a year and Prudential, Rothesay Life, Pension Insurance Corporation and Aviva around £2bn, the market has more potential than the expected £10bn.This is even before other annuity insurers enter the market to survive the post-Budget environment.In April, IPE revealed LV= was looking to enter the medically underwritten bulk annuity space due to falling sales in individual annuities.“But this would require demand to go up in the same fashion, and that will be dictated by market conditions [on funding levels and Gilt prices],” Watkins said.The LCP report also highlighted a growing trend for larger schemes to move away from longevity swaps and more towards insurance buy-ins.The consultancy said options were opening up to larger schemes, whereas transactions worth more than £1bn were previously limited to longevity swaps, due to the high cost of transactions for buy-ins.Watkins said the sophistication of insurers meant the cost of swapping assets had decreased, making a buy-in more attractive.This was shown by the £3.6bn buy-in arrangement for the ICI Pension Fund and the £1.6bn for the Total UK Pension Plan.However, she added that longevity swaps still made sense for the significantly larger schemes that were not looking towards buyouts in the near future.“If you are holding Gilts and corporate bonds to match pensioner members, investing in a longevity swap probably means you would have to re-risk your investment strategy,” she said. “For some schemes, they do not have the willingness or expertise to do that, so a buy-in makes more sense. But for a large sophisticated scheme, a longevity swap may make sense.”This was shown by the £16bn longevity deal organised by the BT Pension Scheme and Aviva’s pension fund.The UK bulk annuity market continued to grow as the CTL Engineering Pension Scheme wound up its liabilities with a £12m buyout.This followed deals by the Unilever and Panasonic pension schemes, as sponsors respond to favourable market conditions. The balance of power in the UK’s bulk annuity market will continue to shift between pension funds and insurers as meddling through market conditions and outside forces continues.LCP, a consultancy, published its seventh annual report on the longevity insurance market and said it expected annual transactions of £10bn (€13bn) in bulk annuities to become the new norm.The market in 2014 stormed ahead of previous levels and was close to reaching last year’s £7.5bn annual total by the end of June, backed by increasing demand and insurer appetite.LCP expected the balance of power to shift to insurers until reforms were made to the individual defined contribution (DC) market.last_img read more