Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Police confiscated marijuana plants, like these, in Laurel on Tuesday (DEA)Authorities say they’ve busted an alleged marijuana growing operation following a raid on a man’s Laurel home Tuesday.Anton Van De Wetering was arrested and charged with growing marijuana without a license.Riverhead Town Police said the 43-year-old suspect had 57 pot plants at his Eagles Nest home.A joint investigation with The East End Drug Task Force found the alleged grower transported the plants in a box truck, police said.The truck was impounded and Van De Wetering will be arraigned at Riverhead Town Justice Court.Police added that additional charges are pending a Suffolk County Crime Lab analysis.
The pension fund of FTSE 100 publishing group Pearson has agreed two buy-ins worth £600m (€676m) each with insurers Aviva and Legal & General (L&G).The deals were agreed under an “umbrella” derisking structure, which will streamline the process for any further transactions.Clive Wellsteed, partner at consultants LCP and lead adviser to the trustees of the £3.3bn scheme, said: “The key advantage of an umbrella contract, as used by the Pearson Pension Plan, is the ability to complete future buy-ins quickly if pricing is competitive, building on the strong relationships and contract terms already in place with the insurers.”The deal secures pension payments for roughly 4,800 members. The umbrella structure is understood to be similar to that employed by the ICI Pension Fund, which has completed 11 separate buy-ins since 2013 – including five in the space of six months last year.Aviva’s tranche marked the insurer’s biggest single derisking transaction in the UK since it began expanding its capacity in 2014. This year alone the company has hired more than 30 people to its bulk annuity team.L&G, meanwhile, completed £2.4bn worth of UK pension risk transfer deals in the first half of 2017, and since June has been active in the US market, writing $120m (€102m) of business.Kerrigan Procter, CEO of L&G Retirement, said the firm was currently quoting on transactions worth a combined £15bn as demand for derisking grows.‘20% of FTSE 100 schemes would struggle in a recession’One in five defined benefit (DB) schemes attached to FTSE 100 companies would struggle to meet their benefit obligations during an economic downturn, according to research by consultancy firm Cardano and its covenant advice subsidiary Lincoln Pensions.The firms analysed funding, covenant and investment risks for FTSE 100 DB schemes – as well as using a stress-testing method employed by the Pension Protection Fund – to construct “The Worry Index”. The 20% of schemes identified as in the “worry zone” had pension risks representing 30% or more of the market value of the sponsoring company.“In such a stress scenario, the pension deficit of the FTSE 100 would increase by £100bn,” the firms claimed – equal to roughly four years’ worth of pre-tax profits.Darren Redmayne, chief executive of Lincoln Pensions, said the data was a “wake-up call” for pension schemes to fully adopt integrated risk management methods, as required by the UK’s Pensions Regulator.“A pension is only as good as the covenant standing behind it,” he said. “This has been sadly demonstrated by cases like BHS and Tata – both were members of the FTSE 100 index in the 1980s.“Companies need to be around for decades to stand behind defined benefit pension promises. Over such timeframes, markets change and economic events – such as experienced in 2008 – can be expected to occur from time to time.”Albourne Partners appointed ‘devil’s advocate’ for LGPS poolThe UK’s £12.5bn (€14bn) Local Pensions Partnership (LPP) has appointed Albourne Partners to provide independent third-party research as a check on its internal recommendations for alternative investments.The original procurement notice referred to access to external research providing a “devil’s advocate to internal investment recommendations”.Only two firms tendered for the mandate, according to a procurement result notice published earlier today.
Adam Gruda, KinguinRavelin, a company which offers services related to fraud detection via a prevention platform, has just signed Kinguin as its newest client. Together with Ravelin, Kinguin will look to continue protecting its clients from any fraudulent activity. Kinguin is one of the world’s largest online marketplaces for video games, and is constantly looking for the best way to keep its buyers and sellers safe from any online fraud. By teaming up with Ravelin, Kinguin can continue to provide its clients with the necessary security against fraud. Adam Gruda, CCO, Kinguin said in a following statement: “Kinguin has always been considered as the most secured marketplace for gamers, leading industry with the lowest fraud ratio. As customer safety is the most important value here at Kinguin, we are excited to be a part of something big along that allows us to increase marketplace security from fraudulent transactions even more”Martin O’Riada, Co-Founder and CIO, Ravelin stated: “We are proud to be part of the Kinguin story.” He also noted: “We are very lucky to work with many of the innovation leaders across a number of industries and Kinguin is a clear leader in digital goods. Securing their transactions and revenue while helping them continue to grow through great conversion rates is at the core of our success.”Ravelin uses award-winning technology to detect fraud before sales happen for online merchants. This is makes it two for two Kinguin partnership announcements in the past few days, after the arrangement with AS Monaco was unveiled. Esports Insider says: Parternering with Ravelin is a huge success for Kinguin, especially if they are one of the world’s top online marketplaces for video games. Clients will feel even safer knowing that Kinguin has top-tier fraud detection protecting them.