Denmark’s AP Pension has said it cut pension costs for scheme members by 10% in the first six months of this year on the back of the continuing cost-saving effects of its merger with financial sector scheme FSP Pension two years ago.Costs per member fell to DKK1,016 (€136.27) in the first half of 2014 from DKK1,133 in the same period last year.Reporting a few interim figures ahead of its official first-half report, AP Pension also said regular pension contributions increased by 6.9% to DKK2.4bn in the January-to-June period from DKK2.3bn in the first six months of 2013.Søren Dal Thomsen, managing director of AP Pension, said: “We can already see that the result in the period after we closed the books at the end of June has been very good, and that is making a further contribution to the positive development.” He described the fall in costs as one of the most positive elements of the half-year figures.“It shows us the merger with FSP Pension, which we conducted in 2012, is working and that the expected savings are continuing to materialise,” Dal Thomsen said.Traditional guaranteed with-profits pensions produced a return of 7% in the first half, and unit-link pensions generated an average 4.7% return.In the first half of 2013, traditional pension products made a 1.9% investment loss while unit-link products produced returns of between 3.1% and 7.3%.In other news, the chief strategist of Denmark’s largest commercial pension provider PFA Pension warned that shares in social media companies should be viewed with caution and were too expensive.Even though both Twitter and LinkedIn recently reported positive interim financial figures, the sector is high-priced, he said.Henrik Henriksen, chief strategist at PFA Pension, said: “The shares are very expensive in relation to how much the companies are actually earning, so this is not an area we are particularly keen on.”Last week, Twitter reported revenue of $312m (€234m) for its second-quarter financial period, up 124% from the same period the year before.This was followed by LinkedIn’s report of a 47% year-on-year increase in sales to $534m.Henriksen said that, while the interim reports from both companies had prompted fillips in their share prices, this had simply been a reaction to the fact the numbers were better than expected, and also the fact that the shares had performed badly so far this year.The high prices of shares in social media firms were driven in particular by hopes about the amount the companies could earn in future, and this made them unsafe investments, he said.“It is true that, compared with before, these companies have some exciting and more sustainable business models,” he said.“But the question remains how much will they cost, and how much future growth is priced into the shares.”
JEFF SCHORFHEIDE/Herald photoAfter a grueling series in which the Wisconsin men’s hockeyfinesse players were bottled and bodied up by a suffocating North Dakotadefense, they head to Colorado College for open ice and air.The large sheet that No. 7 CC (5-3, 5-1 WCHA) skates on willplay into No. 9 UW’s strengths. “It gives our skill guys more time, that’s for sure,” seniordefenseman Kyle Klubertanz said. The series could very well translate into piles of goals,something that piques forward Ben Street’s interest.”Me being a forward, I’d love to get some scoring going,”Street said, also noting that the Tigers are talent-laden as well. “Everyone’sgoing to be chasing each other all over the rink so it’ll be tough.” It is particularly intriguing for Street and linemate KyleTurris, Wisconsin’s two leading scorers with 11 and 14 points respectively,because they were effectively shut down against North Dakota. For Turris, theNo. 3 overall pick in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, the series was particularlyrough, as he was shoved around by Sioux defenders. “It was frustrating this past weekend because [North Dakota]did a real good job, but it’s something that us as a line and him as a playerare going to have to get used to and battle through,” Street said. “He’s going to adapt, I mean it’s not the first time it hashappened in his life,” UW head coach Mike Eaves added. To alleviate some of that pressure and wanting to switchthings up to find the right mix, Eaves will move senior Matt Ford to the frontline. “The way things went Saturday, because of the way Matthewhas been playing and the experience he brings, so perhaps that’ll be thechemistry we’re looking for with Ben and Kyle to see if we can get some offensefrom them,” Eaves said. The switch is an intriguing one, as it will put Turris andFord on the same line for the first time ever. In order for the newly alignedfirst line to have some success, they’ll have to get the puck past a talentedgoaltender.Freshman Richard Bachman has played an integral role inColorado College’s conference-leading 5-1 record. Last Saturday he stopped 34Minnesota-Duluth shots to earn WCHA Rookie of the Week. He’ll be matched upagainst another Player of the Week, Wisconsin goalie Shane Connelly. The UW junior had a tremendous weekend as he compiled 74saves, including a 43-save shutout last Friday. It was what Eaves has beensearching for from his starting netminder all season, and Connelly’s coachhopes it can continue. “We were looking for that kind of performance, and heprovided it for us. Now his next step is to continue on that path and beconsistent,” Eaves said. “That’s what makes good athletes great.” Wisconsin (5-3, 2-2) will also need to be ready to play onback-to-back nights — a feat this year’s team has yet to accomplish, accordingto Street. “We need to play both nights — we haven’t done that yet —and we need to play a full six periods too,” he said. “We’ve had a few lapsesthat have hurt us, and we’ll come in one night, maybe not too prepared, alittle too nervous or something and it has cost us.” As one of the handful of upperclassmen on the team, andleaders on offense, it is Street’s job to make sure that his teammates staylevel-headed following a dominating win or devastating loss. “What you did Friday night means nothing toward what you doSaturday night,” Street said. “Usually the games are so completely differentthat you’d think they were played months apart; tell the guys to get back toneutral here, we’ve got another game, a job to do — that’s the importantstuff.”Although the two teams face each other every year, sometimestwice, the Wisconsin players admit that they aren’t too familiar with ColoradoCollege. That’s because like the Badgers — they have seven freshmen playingregularly — the Tigers are young. “Idon’t really know too much about them,” Klubertanz said. “I heard they canskate, so we’ve just got to hit them; shut them down and hit them.”
Andy Enfield photographed by Brian Chin | Daily TrojanMen’s basketball recruit J’Raan Brooks announced his decision to decommit from USC and reopen his commitment on Twitter last Friday afternoon. “Due to unforeseen circumstances stemming from the recent news that has come to light in regards to the Trojan basketball program — I have decided to reopen my commitment to examine other available options,” Brooks said in his tweet. “While USC is still very much a possibility, the uncertainty of their situation has led me to believe I should reassess my own.” Brooks, a 6-foot-8 forward from Seattle, becomes the first of head coach Andy Enfield’s three 2018 recruits to decommit from the program just three weeks after news broke of an FBI investigation of assistant coach Tony Bland and multiple other Power Five basketball schools.While Brooks is staying away from USC for the time being, the Trojans are still an option for the four-star recruit in the future — if Enfield and the rest of his staff escape NCAA sanctions.“I have nothing but the utmost respect for Coach Enfield, the rest of the staff, the school and fans of the program,” Brooks said. “However, I need to make sure what I do is best for my future, and ensure I am making an informed decision, while seeing how this process transpires.”Brooks has been quiet regarding potential schools of interest since his announcement last weekend. Washington, a school just three miles north of where Brooks played high school ball at Garfield High, is in the hunt for Brooks, along with Pac-12 rivals Cal, Stanford and Washington State.The rest of the 2018 class, four-star recruits Taeshon Cherry and Kevin Porter, remain committed to USC for the time being despite the allegations surrounding Bland, the Trojans’ head basketball recruiter.Cherry, a 6-foot-8 forward from San Diego’s Saint Augustine High, decided to come to USC due to his close relationship with Bland.“I have a good relationship with Tony and Enfield,” Cherry said in an interview withScout.com. “Their style of play really fits my style of play, and it’s a perfect fit for me.” Cherry is listed as ESPN’s 22nd-best player in the 2018 class and announced his commitment just days after Brooks.Fellow Seattle resident Porter, a 6-foot-5 shooting guard from local Rainier Beach, remains committed to USC despite offers from UCLA, Memphis and Washington, among others.For now, Enfield brings back most of his 2016-17 roster, along with three top 2017 recruits in Charles O’Bannon, Jr., Victor Uyaelunmo and Jordan Usher. But questions still remain for the Trojans come 2018 and beyond. Along with senior guards Jordan McLaughlin, Kurt Karis and Elijah Stewart, starting junior forwards Bennie Boatwright and Chimezie Metu are expected to leave school early to try their luck in next year’s NBA Draft.With starting jobs up for grabs in 2018, USC could potentially land another recruit in Brooks’ place if he decides to forgo Enfield’s offer. Of ESPN’s top 100 recruits for 2018, just three have signed letters of intent. Along with local five-star center Bol Bol, USC is still in the hunt for No. 1 overall prospect R.J. Barrett and four-star prospects Elijah Weaver, Khavon Moore and Kamaka Hepa. Considering both Bol and Barrett have fielded offers from top-flight programs like Kentucky and Arizona, USC would be more likely to land Weaver, Moore and Hepa if Brooks elects to sign with another team.If those targets aren’t interested, Enfield and company could potentially save that scholarship for a top player in the loaded 2019 class. While top overall recruit James Wiseman is likely to stay put in the southeast,11th-ranked shooting guard Cassius Stanley from Sierra Canyon or 16th-ranked forward Onyeka Okongwu from Chino Hills could be drifting toward USC. Regardless of undecided recruits in 2018 and 2019, USC awaits the verdicts in the FBI investigations with fingers crossed. The Trojans open their season at home against Cal State Fullerton on Nov. 10.