Asset manager quartet seeks to drive biodiversity up investors’ agenda

first_imgAXA Investment Managers, BNP Paribas Asset Management, Sycomore Asset Management and Mirova have called for investors to turn their attention to the preservation of the planet’s biodiversity in the same way they have addressed climate change.The group is looking to find a data provider capable, on a large scale, of measuring companies’ biodiversity impact. The asset managers said many tools had been developed over the past few years, but these were largely focussed on climate change.They argued it was equally important to preserve species and ecosystems. Citing a May 2019 report from the Intergovernmental Panel for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, the asset managers said one million species were facing extinction.“Biodiversity plays a vital role, and its collapse would jeopardise the future of humanity,” the asset managers said in the statement. “Today, AXA IM, BNP Paribas AM, Mirova, and Sycomore AM are joining forces in order to raise awareness in the financial community and develop the necessary tools for investors to respond to this threat.”Methodology requirementsAccording to the asset managers, the methodology they would like to see developed should adopt a lifecycle approach, factoring in the entire supply chain from product use to “end-of-life”.Another key requirement is that the methodology should be compatible with public taxonomies and internal environmental assessment systems already in use, and the data provided must simplify portfolio performance assessment in relation to an index.The approach must be applicable to companies active in the main market indices, and ideally also compatible with other asset classes such as unlisted equities, infrastructure and real estate.The asset managers also want the methodology to be capable of assessing how exposed companies are to “the challenges presented by biodiversity” in addition to the companies’ impact on biodiversity itself.“We hope the tool we develop will be used by all market players, and that it will become a benchmark tool,” said specialists* at the four different asset managers.The deadline for applications is 31 March.*Julien Foll, responsible investment analyst at AXA IM; Robert-Alexandre Poujade, ESG analyst at BNPP AM, Sarah Maillard, SRI analyst at Mirova, and Jean-Guillaume Péladan, head of environmental investments and research, and portfolio manager at Sycomore AMlast_img read more

Rank Group becomes first operator to trial Experian ‘affordability check’ tool

first_img UKGC hails ‘delivered efficiencies’ of its revamped licence maintenance service  August 20, 2020 Submit Global consumer comparisons and credit score data provider Experian has launched the industry’s first ‘affordability check’ tool, helping operators’ asses, identify and better understand customer risks, behaviours and affordability.In its product notes, Experian details that the affordability check tool becomes valid at the ‘most appropriate point for customers’, helping betting firms identify account changes or specific behaviours that may indicate increased customer risks.Experian online gambling partners will allow customers to enable affordability check functions, which reference Experian ‘Open Banking’ systems, allowing operators to understand a player’s disposable income metrics.Updating the market, Experian has revealed that Rank Group will become the first UK operator to utilise the affordability check tool on a ‘proof-of-concept’ trial, which will launch within the coming weeks.Rank’s Director of Customer Diligence, Rory Howard, commented: “Rank Group welcomes this initiative. It’s a fantastic opportunity for gaming organisations to work collaboratively with an organisation such as Experian which is licensed to use Open Banking. The automated exchange of data in association with advanced analytics will enable us to help our customers gamble within their means.”Experian launches its first online gambling service, as the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) opens an industry stakeholder consultation on credit wagering, detailing that new regulations may follow.Furthermore, bolstering customer control safeguards, closing 2018 UK highstreet banks Barclays, Lloyds, Santander and RBS moved to introduce ‘gambling block’ components across their digital verticals.Tom Blacksell Managing Director of B2B at Experian, backs the affordability check tool as a further UK gambling responsibility and compliance feature“Innovative Open Banking services can help the gaming industry to protect its customers from problem gambling. People who choose to share data can prove they are gambling at a level they can afford, while gaming companies can meet their responsibilities to keep customers safe.“Experian is already in discussions with a handful of the biggest gaming companies in the UK, who can see the importance of this affordability check. It is one of many new services we are working on to bring the benefits of data sharing to businesses and their customers.” UKGC launches fourth National Lottery licence competition August 28, 2020 Winning Post: Swedish regulator pushes back on ‘Storebror’ approach to deposit limits August 24, 2020 StumbleUpon Share Related Articles Sharelast_img read more

Woman accused of racist attacks in Des Moines area ruled incompetent for trial

first_imgDES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A woman accused of hate crimes in the Des Moines area, including intentionally running over a girl she thought was Mexican, has been ruled incompetent for trial.42-year-old Nicole Poole is charged with assault in violation of individual rights for an incident at a convenience store and with attempted murder. Police have said she intentionally ran over two children with her SUV. Both survived.On December 30th, a judge ordered an evaluation for Poole after her attorney reported that he’d only just met Poole but that he thought she was incompetent to stand trial. The prosecutors didn’t fight the defense request for a psychiatric evaluation.After hearing hearing evidence and arguments, the judge ruled Tuesday that the defendant is suffering from a mental disorder which prevents her from appreciating the charges, understanding the proceedings or assisting effectively in her own defense.The judge suspended case proceedings and ordered state treatment for Poole to restore her to competency. An April 21 hearing is scheduled to reconsider the matter. Authorities have said Poole drove her SUV onto a sidewalk in the Des Moines suburb of Clive on December 9th to hit 14-year-old Natalia Miranda. The girl was hospitalized for two days. Clive Police Chief Michael Venema has said Poole told officers she targeted Miranda because the girl “is Mexican.”After the hit-and-run, West Des Moines police say Poole went to a convenience store and threw items at a clerk while directing racial epithets at him and customers.Poole also is charged with attempted murder for driving over a Des Moines curb on the same day to hit a 12-year-old black boy.last_img read more

Good intentions backfire on Iowa St in NCAA case

first_imgby Ryan J. FoleyWhen Iowa State brought Keith Moore back as a student assistant in 2010, the university was hoping for another high-profile success in a program that helps former athletes return to finish their degrees.Instead, it may get sanctioned for major NCAA recruiting violations for the first time in 27 years.University officials say their well-intentioned effort to allow Moore to assist the team while he completed a bachelor’s degree went wrong, leading to a two-year NCAA investigation that could result in sanctions for the school and coaches found to have improperly contacted recruits.The university has since discontinued the practice of assigning former players as student coaching assistants and is now facing questions about whether it properly vetted, trained and supervised Moore during his eight-month stint in Fred Hoiberg’s program. The NCAA infractions committee is likely to closely scrutinize the program’s relationship with Moore — who had previously worked as an AAU coach with top Iowa high school players — when deciding on the punishment, experts say.“Where they are vulnerable is the former player they brought back that has a relationship with the AAU. That raises a red flag to me,” said B. David Ridpath, an NCAA compliance expert at Ohio University. “If they do bring former players back, they have to be fully educated and aware of what’s going on. If I’m the NCAA, I look at this and say, what did you do to train this man to be part of the staff?”The 50-year-old Moore, who played for the Cyclones from 1979 to 1981, had kept in touch with the athletic department, including director Jamie Pollard, and expressed an interest in returning to graduate, said Steve Malchow, senior associate athletic director. The department’s continuing education program covered the cost of Moore’s tuition, fees and books. The department assigned Moore to work with the team, focusing on player development.Cyclones track star Danny Harris, a silver medalist in the 1984 Olympics, worked as a track assistant before finishing his degree in May 2010. His graduation was widely praised as a story of redemption because he had been banned from track after struggling with substance abuse. Former basketball star Jeff Grayer had also returned to finish his degree under the program, which improves the university’s academic progress rate, tracked by the NCAA.Moore had been a fan favorite, a guard who set a school single-season record for assists. But he fell on some hard times in the 1990s and early 2000s. According to court records reviewed by The Associated Press, he struggled to hold a job, was jailed for refusing to pay court-ordered child support and twice faced drug charges that were dismissed.University policy calls for background checks for full- and part-time regular employees. The university did not conduct a background check on Moore because it considered him a student and nothing in his past precluded him from being enrolled, Malchow said.“Lefty was not an employee,” Malchow said.Moore was charged in Des Moines in 2002 with possession with intent to deliver after a criminal complaint alleged he had electronic scales and more than five grams of a powder that tested positive for methamphetamine. The case against Moore was dropped after a co-defendant pleaded guilty and gave a statement exonerating him. Moore had been charged in 2001 with possession of cocaine after a traffic stop in Ames, but that case was dismissed after he disputed the substance was cocaine and police lost whatever it was, records show.Moore was ordered to serve 15 days in jail in 2001 after he fell more than $25,000 behind on support obligations for two children he fathered with an Ames woman, records show. A judge criticized Moore for a “willful and intentional disregard” of his obligations, and months before rejoining Iowa State in 2010, the state’s child support recovery unit took steps to seize some of his income — including funds from a bank account of Elevate Basketball, a nonprofit he had founded in North Carolina, records show.Otherwise, Moore’s coaching career was looking up. He had worked as an assistant for the Iowa Energy, an NBA developmental league team. He was also head coach for a 15- and 16-year-old AAU team based in Ames, the All-Iowa Attack. He had developed a particularly close relationship with Des Moines standout Peter Jok, who was already drawing interest from Iowa State and other colleges.A university report released last week found that Moore stayed in contact with several former AAU players in violation of rules that limit contact with recruits. His activities — 160 text messages and 12 phone calls to five players, including two who were being recruited by the Cyclones — were uncovered in 2011 when Hoiberg ran into Moore at one of Hoiberg’s son’s AAU games.The school found that its staff made 79 impermissible calls and failed to log another 1,400 calls during a three-year period, which were considered major violations because of the number of calls and inadequate monitoring by the university. The school, Moore and five current and former assistants could face sanctions.Moore told university investigators he knew he had to reduce contact with AAU players, but wasn’t clear on NCAA rules governing texting and didn’t view his contacts as recruiting. He did not respond to inquiries from NCAA investigators, and has not granted interviews.The university said it stopped recruiting players Moore had contacted (Jok has committed to Iowa), and relieved him of his duties. Its report characterizes the violations as inadvertent and not an attempt to gain advantage.Malchow said the department has decided it will no longer allow former players to work with specific teams as they finish degrees.“Their purpose is not to become a future coach. It’s to get a degree,” he said.Associated Press Writer Barbara Rodriguez in Des Moines and freelance writer Alex Halsted in Ames contributed. FACING SANCTIONSS–In this Nov. 12, 2010, file photo, Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg stands with student assistant Keith Moore, right, before an NCAA college basketball game against Northern Arizona in Ames, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)last_img read more