Oxford to host New Zealand students affected by earthquake

first_img42 students from Canterbury University, Christchurch, New Zealand, will be studying at Oxford this Trinity term, under a generous scholarship programme offered by the University in the aftermath of the February 22nd earthquake.32 undergraduate honours students and 10 PhD students, studying the arts, humanities, social sciences and law, will receive $2000 NZD (about £950) each to cover travel, taxes and insurance. The colleges at which they stay will also waive tuition fees and provide residential accommodation for the term.Professor Ian Town, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Canterbury commented that the offer of assistance was made, \”immediately after news of the 22 February earthquake reached the UK,\” and that the scholarships, \”represent a tremendous opportunity for our brightest senior students to study at a world leading university for part of 2011.\”The Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University, Professor Andrew Hamilton said, \”I am immensely proud of the response from the collegiate University to the earthquake in New Zealand which had such a devastating effect on our friends and colleagues in Christchurch. We are looking forward to welcoming University of Canterbury students here next term.\”Dr Frances Lannon, Chairman of the Conference of Colleges, added, \”We hope they will enjoy their time in Oxford and benefit from all that the colleges have to offer.\”The relationship between the two universities date back to 1873, when settlers established the cathedral in Christchurch.Other students from Canterbury University are on similar exchange programs in the wake of the earthquake, largely to other institutions in New Zealand, but also to the University of Adelaide in Australia, where 500 places were offered.After the 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck the region, the university suspended courses indefinitely until the damage could be assessed. As of the 14th March, some lectures have been resumed, many being held in tents and marquees whilst work is carried out on university buildings. All courses are expected to resume at the start of next week, with catch-up classes over the Easter break to make up for lost time.Âlast_img read more

Agenda For Tonights City Council Meeting

first_imgFacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailShare G.ORDINANCE G-2019-22 An Ordinance to Vacation of Certain Public Ways or Public Places Within The City of Evansville, Indiana, Commonly Known as a Portion of South Frederick Street Between East Walnut Street and Lloyd Expressway Sponsor(s): Mosby Discussion Led By: Public Works Chair Adams Discussion Date: 12/16/2019 Agenda Attachment: IV.SPECIAL ORDERS OF THE DAY G-2019-20 Attachment: G-2019-17 Attachment: III.REPORTS AND COMMUNICATIONS C-2019-20 Attachment: A.ORDINANCE G-2019-16 An Ordinance to Vacate a Public Right of Way in Evansville, Indiana, Being All That Part of Hillcrest Terrace Lying South of Block Four (4) and North of Block Three (3) in Alberta Place No. 2, An Addition to the City of Evansville, As Per The Plat Thereof, Recorded in Plat Book “H”, Page 236 in the Office of the Recorder of Vanderburgh County, Indiana and Bounded on the East by Walker Avenue and on the West by the CSX Transportation Right-Of-Way. Sponsor(s): Brinkmeyer Discussion Led By: Public Works Chair Adams Discussion Date: 12/16/2019 Notify: Thomas Keith, Andy Easley Engineering, Inc. G-2019-16 Attachment: B.ORDINANCE G-2019-17 An Ordinance Amending Chapter 2.125.010 (Social Status of African American Males) of the Evansville Municipal Code Sponsor(s): Weaver Discussion Led By: ASD Chair Mosby Discussion Date: 12/16/2019 F.ORDINANCE G-2019-21 An Ordinance Granting Certificates of Convenience and Necessity for the Operation of Taxicabs for the Year 2020 (Yellow Checker Cab Company) Sponsor(s): Mosby Discussion Led By: ASD Chair Mosby Discussion Date: 12/16/2019 R-2019-31 Attachment: II.APPROVAL OF MEETING MEMORANDUM XI.ADJOURNMENT E.ORDINANCE G-2019-20 An Ordinance Granting Certificates of Convenience and Necessity for the Operation of Taxicabs for the Year 2020 (Dave’s Taxi Service) Sponsor(s): Mosby Discussion Led By: ASD Chair Mosby Discussion Date: 12/16/2019 V.CONSENT AGENDA:  FIRST READING OF ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS F-2019-24 Amended Attachment: I.INTRODUCTION civic center City Council Meeting On December 2, 2019, at 5:30 P.M. at the Civic Center MEETING AGENDA  VI.COMMITTEE REPORTS B.ORDINANCE F-2019-25 An Ordinance of the Common Council of the City of Evansville Authorizing Appropriation, Repeal and Re-Appropriation of Funds Within the Department of Metropolitan Development Sponsor(s): Weaver Discussion Led By: Finance Chair Weaver Discussion Date: 12/2/2019 B.ADDITIONAL MISCELLANEOUS BUSINESS VIII.RESOLUTION DOCKET D.ORDINANCE G-2019-19 An Ordinance Creating Chapter 10.60 (Regulation of E-Scooters) of the Evansville Municipal Code Sponsor(s): Mercer Discussion Led By: ASD Chair Mosby Discussion Date: 12/16/2019 VII.REGULAR AGENDA:  SECOND READING OF ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS A.THE NEXT MEETING of the Common Council is Monday, December 16, 2019 at 5:30 p.m. C.ORDINANCE G-2019-18 An Ordinance Amending Chapter 8.05-090 of the Evansville Municipal Code to Increase Curbside Refuse Collection Fees Sponsor(s): Brinkmeyer, Elpers Discussion Led By: ASD Chair Mosby Discussion Date: 12/16/2019 H.ORDINANCE R-2019-31 An Ordinance to Rezone Certain Real Estate in the City of Evansville, State of Indiana, More Commonly Known as 3314 Washington Avenue Petitioner: Theresa L. Weber Owner: Theresa L. Weber Requested Change: R1 to R2 Ward: 3 Melcher Representative: Kristine Beauchamp B.RESOLUTION C-2019-23 A Confirming Resolution of the Common Council of the City of Evansville Declaring an Economic Revitalization Area for Property Tax Phase-In for The Rehabilitation of Real Property at 24, 26, 34 and 40 West Franklin Street and 101 and 103 West Illinois Street, Evansville, IN  47710 Sponsor(s): Weaver Discussion Led By: Councilman Weaver Discussion Date: 12/2/2019 Notify: Ellen Horan, Growth Alliance X.COMMITTEE REPORTS A.RESOLUTION C-2019-20 A Resolution of the Common Council of the City of Evansville Approving the 2020 Budget of The Downtown Evansville Economic Improvement District, Inc. Sponsor(s): Robinson Discussion Led By: Finance Chair Weaver Discussion Date: 12/2/2019 Notify: Josh Armstrong, Downtown Evansville EID G-2019-19 Attachment: G-2019-18 Attachment: C-2019-23 Attachment: G-2019-21 Attachment: G-2019-22 Attachment: A.ORDINANCE F-2019-24 Amended An Ordinance of the Common Council of the City of Evansville Authorizing Transfers of Appropriations, Additional Appropriations and Repeal and Re-Appropriation of Funds for Various City Funds Sponsor(s): Weaver Discussion Led By: Finance Chair Weaver Discussion Date: 12/2/2019 IX.MISCELLANEOUS BUSINESS F-2019-25 Attachment: Memo Attachment: last_img read more

Let’s keep the beauty of our city.

first_imgDear Editor:On Aug. 7, I was walking in my neighborhood when I turned onto Eighth Street off of Mansfield Avenue. I was horrified to see Tico’s Tree Service leaving the block and that 22 mature trees had been cut down. It was the only block in the area with any shade on a hot day.I called city hall and was told that the residents had chosen to have their trees removed as part of a repaving and that new trees would be planted. How is it that Rutherford and Ridgefield Park have many beautiful mature trees and still maintain their streets and sidewalks?The next day I discovered that over twenty trees had been removed on the next block. I came upon one home owner who was furious with two representatives of the engineering department who were telling her that the tree in front of her house had to go. She said,” Why did you pretend that I had a choice? My sidewalk is fine. I want my tree.” Later that day her tree was gone.The scarcity of mature trees in Secaucus gives the town a sterile look and makes our homes and town hotter in the summer thus requiring extra energy use for air conditioning and sadly, little shade. I appreciate the green policies of Secaucus but this is not one of them. Kay Millerlast_img read more

Phish Brings Their Summer Tour To A Close With Rowdy Final Night At Dick’s

first_imgLoad remaining images Photo: Jeremy Scott Phish returned to Dick’s Sporting Goods Park last night for the third and final show of their annual Labor Day run. After a wild night one and an up-and-down night two, the band fell somewhere in the middle on night three, with a show that had several highlights and a few notable swing-and-misses. Phish turned in a fair amount of improvisation while remaining somewhat reserved in their song selection (and that can be said for all three nights of the weekend in Colorado), and they seemed to be somewhat out of sync for much of the show. While Sunday night’s performance was ultimately a good one, it lacked the punch of some of the band’s standout shows this summer, and certainly some of the shows that have made the Dick’s Sporting Goods Park venue legendary over the years.Watch the full show below from Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on 9/3/2017, courtesy of LivePhishPhish started things off with a rarity in “Buffalo Bill”. Performed for only the nineteenth time since its debut in 1992, this was the first version of the track since it was busted out last Fall at the Verizon Theatre in Grand Praire, TX. After the quick run through “Buffalo Bill”, Phish launched into a solid version of “The Moma Dance.” The song was played in a slightly higher key than usual by bassist Mike Gordon, giving the part a particularly melodic feel. The band was loose and aggressive, which led to a somewhat sloppy delivery of the song. However, when the band reached the song’s jam section, they harnessed that aggressive approach for a short piece of improv that sounded somewhat like the jam section in “Walk Away.”“Birds of a Feather” was up next, and Gordon continued his melodic bass playing. Guitarist Trey Anastasio comped his way through the song’s chorus, adding flourishes and tasty licks to give the song a unique feel. “Birds of a Feather” doesn’t get stretched out that often, and this could be called another “standard” version of the song, but their “standard” version is often reminiscent of the band’s early-1990s aggressive style of playing, so it almost always works. The band made their way through the song with ease, before keyboardist Page McConnell brought the song to a close with a quote from “The Birds.” A quick “Sugar Shack” batted cleanup, and it contained some expected and familiar flubs throughout the song’s composed section by Anastasio. He just can’t seem to get that one right in 2017.The band then delivered McConnell’s Vida Blue-era track “Most Events Aren’t Planned,” which was performed by Phish for the first time ever during the final night of this summer’s Baker’s Dozen residency at Madison Square Garden. The song was one of the biggest surprises of the residency, and it was just as surprising to see it make the setlist once again at Dick’s. The track features a prog-rock vibe and a Genesis-style groove that really allows for the band to get comfortable and lock in. This version was, of course, filled with improvisation, with Anastasio pushing a rhythmic theme that defined the early portion of the jam. He utilized echo and delay effects while McConnell created a wild array of sounds with his synthesizers. Page moved over to his organ, adding some piercing stabs that acted as a catalyst for Anastasio, who responded in kind. Finally, Gordon entered the fray with another melodic bass part, and the band was off and running with an exciting piece of rock ‘n’ roll improvisation. The jam sounded similar to “First Tube,” and as such, it was high-octane and thumping throughout.A bouncy “Back on the Train” was trotted out next, and the band made their way through the fan favorite with a fun and bright type I jam. “Leaves,” a newer song that was debuted this summer, followed “BOTT,” continuing the hot-and-cold first set. The song was pretty and blissful, although the vocal harmonies left a bit to be desired. Fortunately, Anastasio started up one of their most classic songs, “The Wedge”. The band worked their way through the song before quickly moving into “46 Days” with a flat transition that found the band trying to incorporate some start/stop elements that didn’t quite land. A dark and dissonant jam emerged out of “46 Days,” and the band built it up methodically towards a raging climax. Anastasio included a brief vocal jam at the tail end of the jam to mark this a unique version of the song.The band closed out set one with a wild “Bathtub Gin” that contained a number of musical ideas. After working through the song’s form, the band put together a delicate piece of improvisation that slowly built towards a triumphant peak before bringing set one to its natural conclusion.Phish returned to finish their final set of the summer with a monster “Down With Disease.” They worked through “DWD” with excitement, bringing a huge amount of energy with them into the lengthy improvisation that song is known for. The band found themselves moving into a blues rock sound before they dissolved into a quiet and ambient space, which built in its ominous nature until Jon Fishman kicked into gear, pushing the band to another depth. Anastasio added some guitar stabs before settling into a jangly speed-funk vibe, with McConnell freaking out on his synth. The band dropped back into a meditative, ambient sound. Fishman dropped out on drums but jumped on the Marimba Lumina, and the band entered true freakout territory with some spooky sounds.The prolonged ambient segment fizzled out and Anastasio quickly started up one of the band’s most reliable modern jam vehicles: “Light.” Often playing the role of landing point and launch pad, “Light” once again bridged the gap of an amazing jam segment. Phish utilized this “Light” perfectly, jumping into an exploratory and psychedelic jam. Anastasio returned to some Allman Brothers-esque jamming for a moment, and the band really seemed comfortable, taking their time building the “Light” jam up to a power-chord heavy, hard rock moment that led to a screeching peak from Anastasio. He was reminiscent of “Machine Gun Trey,” at times, before dropping into a funk groove that signaled the beginning of “Rise Up/Come Together”, the guitarist’s new song that has found a nice home in Phish setlists this summer.After a spirited performance of the new song, the band started up “Piper.” The song is overdue for a standout version. Anastasio’s playing has been focused for most of the second set so far, confidently leading the band from one improv scenario to another. Here, the band quickly moved into a funk space that allowed for them to drop into a groove and stay there for a while. Gordon led the band with a Bass melody, while McConnell turned to his Yamaha keyboard and served up some plinko type sounds. Trey turned on his echo and started entering the mix more prominently. He delivered with a Santana-esque solo the pushed that band into overdrive, with more blues guitar shredding leading the way towards a huge climax.The band quickly faded out and moved into the venue-appropriate “Meatstick.” After the song’s now-mandatory Japanese lyrics, it was quickly brought to an end, skipping the improv that is typical of most versions of the song. The band opted instead to  and start up the weekend’s first cover, a pulsating  “2001.” This version started up with some interesting sound effects that seemed to come from Anastasio’s Kaoss pad, which is first used when the band performed “Everything In Its Right Place” by Radiohead during Lemon night at the Baker’s Dozen. Of course, Trey eventually turned back to the guitar to lead the band through “2001” and right into “Possum.” The old favorite was welcomed with a huge explosion of energy from the crowd, glow sticks raining down from the sky as the excited audience was whipped into a frenzy. “Possum” contained a major tension/release jam that blasted things off into orbit. Phish closed out the set with a fun take on “Suzy Greenberg.”For the encore, Phish busted out “Waste.” It was a fitting way to open the encore, after an amazing summer that will stand out as one of the best of all time for Phish. Both the relationship between the members of the band and the relationship between band and their fans have never been in a better place, and, as we saw at the end of the Baker’s Dozen with the band’s final encore opener of “On The Road Again,” these guys are emotional, so this song is perfectly placed in that regard. After that display of raw emotion, Phish switched gears for a raucous “First Tube” that served as the final song of the evening and of the run. The energy is always high during “First Tube”, and, even if it wasn’t the cleanest delivery of the song in the band’s history, the crowd responded with waves of energy, one last romp with Phish before the summer is over.In the end, save for the uneven first set, Phish finished up the weekend with a strong show. The powerful second set was well-crafted, with no identifiable down moments to speak of. The weekend as a whole, however, was good but not great. Sure, tonight and Friday both featured lights-out, second sets (with Friday taking the cake for set of the weekend), but therun weekend lacked the gravity of previous editions of the Dick’s residency. There was no special set, no message spelled out in the setlist, no guests, no gags, and, it could be argued, an overall lack of creativity in the song selection all weekend long. Call it Baker’s Dozen fatigue, if you will.With rumors abound that the band will soon announce their New Year’s Eve Plans–believed to be a return to their new home court with a four-night run at  Madison Square Garden–fans may not have to wait that long to get their next fix of Phish. As of now, the band has no future tour dates announced. Thanks for reading our Phish coverage all summer long!Phish | Dick’s Sporting Goods Park | Commerce City, Co | 9/3/2017SET 1: Buffalo Bill, The Moma Dance, Birds of a Feather, Sugar Shack, Most Events Aren’t Planned, Back on the Train,Leaves, The Wedge, 46 Days, Bathtub GinSET 2: Down with Disease > Light > Rise/Come Together > Piper > Meatstick, Also Sprach Zarathustra > Possum > Suzy GreenbergENCORE: Waste > First Tubelast_img read more

Hyperfast star was booted from Milky Way

first_imgA hundred million years ago, a triple-star system was traveling through the bustling center of our Milky Way galaxy when it made a life-changing misstep.  The trio wandered too close to the galaxy’s giant black hole, which captured one of the stars and hurled the other two out of the Milky Way.  Adding to the stellar game of musical chairs, the two outbound stars merged to form a super-hot blue star.This story may seem like science fiction, but Harvard astronomers using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope say it is the most likely scenario for a so-called hypervelocity star, known as HE 0437-5439, one of the fastest ever detected.  It’s blazing across space at a speed of 1.6 million miles (2.5 million kilometers) an hour, three times faster than our Sun’s orbital velocity in the Milky Way.Hubble observations now confirm that the stellar speedster hails from the Milky Way’s core, settling some confusion over where it originally called home.  The findings have been published online in The Astrophysical Journal Letters.Most of the roughly 16 known hypervelocity stars, all discovered since 2005, are thought to be exiles from the heart of our galaxy.  But this Hubble result is the first direct observation linking a high-flying star to a galactic center origin.“Using Hubble, we can for the first time trace back to where the star comes from by measuring the star’s direction of motion on the sky.  Its motion points directly from the Milky Way center,” says astronomer Warren Brown of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Mass., a member of the Hubble team that observed the star and the paper’s lead author.  “These exiled stars are rare in the Milky Way’s population of 100 billion stars.  For every 100 million stars in the galaxy lurks one hypervelocity star.”The movements of these unbound stars could reveal the shape of the dark matter distribution surrounding our galaxy.   “Studying these stars could provide more clues about the nature of some of the universe’s unseen mass, and it could help astronomers better understand how galaxies form,” says team leader Oleg Gnedin of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. “Dark matter’s gravitational pull is measured by the shape of the hyperfast stars’ trajectories out of the Milky Way.”The stellar outcast is already cruising in the Milky Way’s distant outskirts, high above the galaxy’s disk, about 200,000 light-years from the center.  By comparison, the diameter of the Milky Way’s disk is approximately 100,000 light-years.  Using Hubble to measure the runaway star’s direction of motion and determine the Milky Way’s core as its starting point, Brown and Gnedin’s team calculated how fast the star had to have been ejected to reach its current location.“The star is traveling at an absurd velocity, twice as much as the star needs to escape the galaxy’s gravitational field,” explains Brown, a hypervelocity star hunter who found the first unbound star in 2005.  “There is no star that travels that quickly under normal circumstances – something exotic has to happen.”There’s another twist to this story.  Based on the speed and position of HE 0437-5439, the star would have to be 100 million years old to have journeyed from the Milky Way’s core. Yet its mass – nine times that of our Sun – and blue color mean that it should have burned out after only 20 million years – far shorter than the transit time it took to get to its current location.  The most likely explanation for the star’s blue color and extreme speed is that it was part of a triple-star system that was involved in a gravitational billiard-ball game with the galaxy’s monster black hole.  This concept for imparting an escape velocity on stars was first proposed in 1988.  The theory predicted that the Milky Way’s black hole should eject a star about once every 100,000 years.Brown suggests that the triple-star system contained a pair of closely orbiting stars and a third outer member also gravitationally tied to the group.  The black hole pulled the outer star away from the tight binary system.  The doomed star’s momentum was transferred to the stellar twosome, boosting the duo to escape velocity from the galaxy.  As the pair rocketed away, they went on with normal stellar evolution.  The more massive companion evolved more quickly, puffing up to become a red giant.  It enveloped its partner, and the two stars spiraled together, merging into one superstar – a blue straggler.“While the blue straggler story may seem odd, you do see them in the Milky Way, and most stars are in multiple systems,” Brown says.This vagabond star has puzzled astronomers since its discovery in 2005 by the Hamburg/European Southern Observatory sky survey.  Astronomers had proposed two possibilities to solve the age problem. The star either dipped into the Fountain of Youth by becoming a blue straggler, or it was flung out of the Large Magellanic Cloud, a neighboring galaxy.In 2008 a team of astronomers thought they had solved the mystery.  They found a match between the exiled star’s chemical makeup and the characteristics of stars in the Large Magellanic Cloud.  The rogue star’s position also is close to the neighboring galaxy, only 65,000 light-years away.The new Hubble result settles the debate over the star’s birthplace.  Astronomers used the sharp vision of Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys to make two separate observations of the wayward star 3 1/2 years apart.  Team member Jay Anderson of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Md., developed a technique to measure the star’s position relative to each of 11 distant background galaxies, which form a reference frame.The team is trying to determine the homes of four other unbound stars, all located on the fringes of the Milky Way.“We are targeting massive ‘B’ stars, like HE 0437-5439,” says Brown, who has discovered 14 of the 16 known hypervelocity stars.  “These stars shouldn’t live long enough to reach the distant outskirts of the Milky Way, so we shouldn’t expect to find them there.  The density of stars in the outer region is much less than in the core, so we have a better chance to find these unusual objects.”– Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics –last_img read more

U.S. miner Contura Energy looks to accelerate exit from thermal coal market

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):Contura Energy Inc. is speeding up the exit of its thermal coal operations to focus on metallurgical coal as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact the broader coal sector.The company recorded a second-quarter net loss of $238.3 million, or a loss of $13.02 per share, down year over year from a net profit of $24.3 million, or $1.25 per share. The company also noted a noncash asset impairment charge of $162 million. Contura, which completed its exit of the Powder River Basin earlier this year, continues to streamline operations and focus on coal used by steelmakers rather than power generators.“We recognize that the world is transitioning toward an economy that relies less on fossil fuels for power generation, and we therefore have accelerated our strategic exit from thermal coal mining,” CEO David Stetson said during an Aug. 7 earnings call. “To put a finer point on our strategic direction for the next couple of years, I expect our portfolio optimization initiatives … will make us the leading pure-play met coal company by the end of 2022.”Stetson said the transition is well underway and that once the company’s portfolio is optimized, Contura expects to be able to ship up to 14 million tons of metallurgical coal annually, with less than 1 million tons of thermal coal shipments per year.Earlier in the year, the company announced it was shortening supply agreements for coal from its Cumberland mine and would not invest in a new impoundment project at the site. Contura will continue to market the Pennsylvania thermal coal mine for sale until the end of 2022, when its customer contracts expire, and will cease production if it does not find a buyer.The company also said it plans to idle its Kielty mine and the Delbarton prep plant in West Virginia due to uneconomic pricing and cost structures. The mine is expected to cease production in the next six weeks. At the same time, the company has made progress on three of its new metallurgical coal mining operations, Stetson noted.[Taylor Kuykendall]More ($): Contura accelerates exit from thermal coal due to global pivot from fossil fuels U.S. miner Contura Energy looks to accelerate exit from thermal coal marketlast_img read more

Love Child follows a ‘secret’ family as they flee Iran, after an illegal affair

first_imgSix years in the making, Love Child documents their journey across borders and through the immigration system. The BBC’s Alex Stanger spoke to Leila and director Eva Mulvad about the documentary, which is available on streaming services. – Advertisement – When Leila met Sahand they were unhappily married to other people. The pair started an extra-marital affair, an illegal act in their homeland, Iran. When Leila had a baby she knew they had to flee. – Advertisement –last_img

Dorset Bourne to be riled

first_imgWould you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletters To access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week.last_img

Age shall not weary them

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

AM roundup: StepStone, Swiss Capital, AllianzGI, Sound Harbor, Moody’s

first_imgAs part of its acquisition of Swiss Capital, it launched a private debt and hedge fund platform.It will expand StepStone’s European presence to around 90 professionals across three offices.Swiss Capital’s management team will continue to lead the private debt and hedge fund teams and be responsible for the management of the two businesses.In other news, Allianz Global Investors is to acquire Sound Harbor Partners, a US private credit manager.The firm will be part of AllianzGI’s private debt platform, which will incorporate the Sound Harbor team.The value of the transaction has not been disclosed.Sound Harbor is led by Michael Zupon, a former partner at the Carlyle Group, and Dean Criares, a former partner of the Blackstone Group.Sound Harbor is focused on alternative investments in corporate loans, direct lending, distressed debt and opportunistic credit.The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2017.Lastly, Moody’s has changed its outlook on the global asset management industry from stable to negative.It said this was because “the acceleration of flows into low-fee passive products from actively managed funds, and regulatory initiatives constraining sales, have disrupted the industry”.The ratings agency said proposals recently announced by the Financial Conduct Authority “to reshape UK asset management” were credit negative for active managers.In mid-November, the UK regulator published its interim report on its asset management market study, saying that it found weak price competition among actively managed funds. StepStone Group LP, a US private markets and real assets investor, today announced that it has closed the acquisition of Zurich-based Swiss Capital Alternative Investments.The transaction was originally announced in May this year and had been subject to regulatory approvals.Swiss Capital is a private debt and hedge fund “solution provider” with more than $6.5bn (€6bn) in assets, targeting institutional investors primarily in Switzerland, Germany and Austria.StepStone is a global private markets firm with around $28bn in assets and overseeing more than $100bn of private capital allocations.last_img read more