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EIOPA plays down impact of IORP II sustainability rules

first_imgAn amendment to IORP II addressing sustainability matters would not have to mean “a major overhaul”, according to the chairman of the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA).Speaking to journalists at the supervisory authority’s annual conference in Frankfurt, Gabriel Bernardino said that, if EU legislators voted to empower the European Commission to issue rules on sustainability under the IORP II directive, this would not mean “a huge disruptive change”.It was more a case of “fine-tuning” and including a reference to the need for pension funds – and insurers – to consider environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) factors in their risk management, he suggested.It was also meant to ensure that “these elements related to the necessary analysis of risk related to ESG factors should be included in the way that both insurers and pension funds work on a daily basis”, he said. Gabriel Bernardino addresses EIOPA’s 2018 conferenceWhether or not the Commission is empowered to make such an amendment depends on the outcome of an EU legislative process related to its sustainable finance action plan. Members of the European Parliament recently narrowly voted against an amendment to remove delegated acts in IORP II from the one of the proposals, retaining the text proposed by the Commission.However, several member states – France, Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden – have written to the Austrian government, which has the rotating presidency of the EU Council, to ask for the delegated act concept to be deleted.There is concern in some jurisdictions that amendments made via delegated acts will result in prescriptive rules without any room for national implementation, and that the same set of rules will be issued for both insurers and pension funds.IORP II includes several new ESG provisions related to areas such as risk management, but it does not require the integration of ESG criteria in investment decisions. EIOPA has been asked by the Commission to deliver technical advice on potential amendments to EU rules requiring the integration of sustainability risks in investment decision-making. The mandate relates to the Insurance Distribution Directive and Solvency II, but EIOPA has also been asked to bear in mind that a so-called “delegated act” could be adopted under IORP II.last_img read more

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UG to boost post-graduate programmes this September

first_imgRegistrar of the University of Guyana (UG), Dr. Nigel Gravesande, has said the academic advancement of staff is critical in order for the institution to boost its post-graduate programmes, especially at the level of Master’s degrees.He indicated this position in a recent interview with Guyana Times, wherein he disclosed that for the upcoming semester in September 2018, there will be additional programmes at the post-graduate level.“We do have a PhD is Bio-diversity, and we have some Masters programmes in Business. We have just launched a Master’s degree programme in Social Work. We are going to be rolling out, from September, a Master’s degree programme in Psychology, (and) there is on the books a Master’s degree programme in Biology,” the senior academic functionary highlighted.According to information received, the Centre for Communication Studies (CCS) is also undertaking preparations to begin a Master’s programme in ‘Visual Communication.’It was in early March that UG’s Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Professor Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith, noted that the country’s premiere institution was embarking on several measures to offer a better quality of service across the university’s campuses, faculties and departments. At that point, it was announced that the university currently has 113 programmes at various levels being offered, including certificates, diplomas, bachelor’s degrees and post-graduate diplomas. However, Guyana Times was told that only 12 of those programmes are for Master’s degrees.While some are calling for UG to increase its number of post-graduate programmes, Dr. Gravesande has cautioned that the institution has to respond to the developmental needs in the formulation of such programmes.“As the enabling environment and the economic needs intensify, divisions [will] roll out more Master’s degree programmmes,” Gravesande observed.He, however, noted that for this to be realised, the university has to ensure that more members of its academic staff attain a PhD (Doctor of Philosophy).“You have to ensure that there is an environment where you have credible professors at post-doctoral experience; and for those teaching in the Master’s degree programme, supervising thesis [should have] at least a PhD. So there has to be the simultaneous raising of the intellectual capital at the faculty level,” he noted.“There are a number of faculty members and administrators who are taking up scholarships, who are going on sabbatical, undertaking research leading to terminal degrees; and the university’s administration had attempted vigorously and consciously to create an enabling environment whereby these opportunities can be made available to faculty members, and encourage them to take up (those opportunities),” he added.The Registrar also said the magnitude of material for which students are going to research highlights the need for library resources to be “absolutely there”.It was on March 1 that the University secured a Caribbean Development Bank (CDB)-funded project worth over $31 million (US$150,000) to complete the first phase of the brand new University of Guyana Library.It was reported that the new library will be more spacious, will have enhanced features, and will be located over the canal that lies west of the current building. The CDB said the new facilities will be environmentally resilient and social inclusive as a place of study.Professor Griffith observed that this latest improvement forms part of a grander infrastructural overhaul. (Shemuel Fanfair)last_img read more