When President Obama delivers his first State of the Union address tonight (Jan. 27), Harvard freshman Janell Holloway ’13 will be watching from the first lady’s box in the U.S. House chamber.The White House bestowed the honor on Holloway in an effort to reach out to young people and as a reward for her White House service last summer as a D.C. Scholar, following her graduation from high school.“The president and first lady have been opening up the White House in new ways, and they’ve made a special effort to make this a place for young people to learn about the world around them,” said White House spokeswoman Moira Mack.Holloway, one of two students chosen for the honor, said she was thrilled to learn she’d be at the event, during which the president lays out his policy agenda for the year, up close.“It was like something out of a movie,” Holloway told the Boston Globe. She said she had met first lady Michelle Obama during her internship. “She’s really cool in person, really down to earth,” Holloway said.At Harvard, Holloway is a member of the campus chapter of the Red Cross, the CityStep dance troupe, and the Black Students Association. While in high school, she made documentaries on the Tuskegee Airmen’s role in World War II and the influence of black radio on the Civil Rights movement.
Cautious investors keep lid on U.S. metallurgical coal expansion FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):U.S. metallurgical coal producers have enjoyed supportive international pricing trends since fall 2016 but continue to report logistical and capital constraints keeping a lid on further growth.The industry has had two years to get comfortable with improved metallurgical coal pricing after a years-long downturn in prices for the commodity played a big role in pushing major coal names such as Peabody Energy Corp. and Arch Coal Inc. into bankruptcy. While metallurgical coal producers eye potential for growth in places such as China and India, U.S. producers have brought on little new capacity, even as an already-constrained supply situation continues to tighten, in part thanks to limited access to capital and difficulties securing transportation.“The key thing is confidence,” Ian Cameron, senior director in iron and steel with consultant Hatch Ltd., said during a Nov. 7 panel discussion on opportunities and threats in the coke and coal sector at the 2018 MetCoke World Summit in Pittsburgh. “Is this something that can sustain itself long enough to pay for major, major investments, not only in mines but in cokemaking facilities?”The ownership of several U.S. coal companies that produce metallurgical coal changed drastically in the wave of bankruptcies that swept the sector. New investors want to see a return on their capital much more than they want to see production totals rise, said Mike Nobis, director of coal trading at DTE Energy Services Inc.More ($): Despite price improvement, lack of confidence stymies U.S. met coal investment
ITV is in discussions with its pension scheme trustees over the potential sale of London Television Centre, which was pledged to the scheme as a contingent asset in 2014.In a third-quarter trading statement published yesterday, the UK broadcaster said it was negotiating with trustees of the £3.9bn (€4.5bn) scheme regarding the provision of a “suitable equivalent asset”.“The proceeds of the sale of the South Bank site could be used to replace the £50m asset security and to reduce ITV’s net debt position,” the company stated.ITV also reported a net surplus of £9m for its defined benefit (DB) arrangements as of 30 September. This marked a £77m fall in the surplus from the end of June. BNY Mellon has secured its position as custodian for RPMI Railpen, one of the largest pension funds in the UK.It was reappointed after a competitive tendering process, according to a press release. It has been a provider to the £28bn multi-employer scheme for 22 years.Paul Nathan, chief operating officer at RPMI Railpen, said: “Through a major transformation programme at Railpen, as we bring significant asset management capability in-house, BNY Mellon has demonstrated not only the quality of its service proposition but also its flexibility and professionalism.“A robust operating model is essential to ensuring that Railpen continues to meet its mission to pay pensions, securely, affordably and sustainably. We are very pleased BNY Mellon will be supporting us with this over the coming years.” The company’s contribution schedule was agreed based on a 1 January 2017 valuation, when the scheme had a £470m shortfall. As such, ITV said it expected to contribute roughly £80m to the pension scheme this year and £75m next year.DB consolidator appoints service providers ahead of launchClara Pensions, a commercially backed consolidator for UK DB pension schemes, has appointed several third-party service providers as it prepares to reveal its first clients.Consultancy group Hymans Robertson has been appointed as the company’s actuarial adviser, having been advising the Clara team on several areas since the beginning of 2018.Eversheds Sutherland has been chosen as legal adviser to the company’s independent trustees, while CMS will continue as Clara Pensions’ legal adviser, a role it has had since last year. Ross Corporate Services, a London-based governance specialist, has been named as scheme secretary.RPMI Railpen reappoints BNY Mellon as custodian