× DAY OF THE DEAD — Grade 4 students at Midtown Community School celebrated Day of the Dead by making their own masks. The children enjoyed learning about this bright and colorful Mexican holiday.
While their fellow students attended events on campus such as the pep rally and football game last weekend, Notre Dame’s Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) members participated in a weekend of training exercises at Michigan’s Fort Cluster. The weekend was a valuable experience for all members of the ROTC, especially for the juniors as they prepare to attend “Leadership Development Assessment Course,” the ROTC’s biggest summer evaluation, said Jim Hasson, a Notre Dame senior and ROTC cadet. “The purpose of the training was to build basic military attributes among the underclassmen and to further develop the leadership attributes of upperclassmen, particularly the juniors,” he said. Each grade level of ROTC participants was assigned a different role within the training session, Hasson said. The senior class taught classes on basic skills and tactics that were to be used in the field. To build their leadership skills, the junior class led the squads on field missions. The sophomores and the freshmen took part in the program led by the upperclassmen to learn important skills and leadership. Hasson said the weekend included training exercises with individual missions for each cadet to complete, such as day and night navigation. During the night navigation operation, Hasson said each ROTC cadet received an eight-digit grid location at 10 p.m. For the next three hours, each cadet was expected to navigate to five different grid locations using only a compass and map. Hasson said the students also completed squad level tactics training, which involved groups of 11 or 12 cadets working together on skills such as movement and contact, squad attack, reconnaissance operations and ambush attacks. Hasson said the training weekend was successful overall. “Over the course of the weekend, all participants showed great developments in both their tactical skills and leadership styles while keeping a positive attitudes,” he said. read more
Investments are an integral component of the business strategy. Investment strategy should be developed in light of a credit union’s unique financial structure and strategic objectives.Understand how the whole financial structure works together. For example, if the lending portfolio includes a significant amount of long-term loans, investments can be purchased to offset interest rate risk while still contributing some yield. Conversely, a shorter or more variable rate loan portfolio might be complemented by some higher-yielding mortgage-backed securities (MBS) or fixed rate collateralized mortgage obligations (CMO).Most importantly, ensure management and the board have a clear and holistic understanding of the investment strategy and how it fits with the financial structure and overall strategic objectives. Get agreement as a group on investment risk appetite, stick with it, and manage to it. Document the rationale for major decisions and review the strategy regularly.Understanding the bigger picture can then make it easier for you to evaluate individual investment decisions. As you review investments with different structures and yields, the overall strategy objectives will provide clarity to the choices you make. continue reading » 1SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr read more
How this planned investment exercise proceeded depended entirely on the investment opportunities that arose, he said.He said it was impossible to say exactly how much new investment money ATP would put into real estate, adding: “It very much depends on price, quality and location. We are primarily interested in high-quality real estate with strong tenants on long leases.”ATP’s search is mainly geared towards direct investments in Denmark and Northern Europe, according to Gade Jepsen.ATP reportedly sold a DKK90bn portfolio of index-linked bonds back in 2012.“We will buy index-linked bonds again when we find them attractive on an absolute basis and relative to other inflation investments,” Gade Jepsen said.Across asset classes, investors are now facing a period of low prospective returns, he said. “But there are real estate investment opportunities that are quite attractive, especially compared with index-linked bonds,” he said. ATP expects its real estate investments to yield quite attractive real returns but without adding too much risk to the investment portfolio.“Investments like our recent €400m Galaxy transaction in Brussels matches ATP’s wish for long and stable cash flows from well-located properties with low risk,” Gade Jepsen said.Earlier this month, a partnership in which ATP has a 90% share paid €475m for the North Galaxy office property in Brussels, which is let on a long-term lease to the Belgian Ministry of Finance.“As a pension company, we like these inflation-adjusted cash-flows from prime real estate because they maintain the purchasing power of the pension savings,” he said.ATP has increased its allocation to real estate to 5.1% of total assets from 4% at the end of 2012, with the pace of this expansion rising in recent months.Between the end of 2012 and the end of 2013, the pension fund’s real estate assets rose in absolute terms to DKK27bn from DKK23bn, and as a proportion of total assets to 4.3% from 4%.From January to May 2014, however, the relative allocation has grown by 0.8 percentage points. Danish pensions giant ATP is on the hunt for new high-quality real estate investments in Denmark and Northern Europe and aims to increase its current property allocation of DKK30bn (€4bn). The DKK600bn statutory pension fund is steering clear of new investments in index-linked bonds for the time being due to market pricing and sees real estate as good investment class for maintaining the buying power of its pension savings. Henrik Gade Jepsen, ATP’s CIO, told IPE: “We are interested in high-quality real estate, but we have not allocated a certain amount to real estate investments.”He said this investment expansion would increase ATP’s current allocation to property of approximately DKK30bn, but added that there was no specific target. read more