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Wednesday, 3rd December 2014

A Professor in the School of Business at Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) travelled to Abu Dhabi on 22 November as part of an OECD team to review processes and policies aimed at boosting the entrepreneurial and SME ecosystem in Abu Dhabi.

Prof Bill O’Gorman, who is Director for Research Centre for the Enterprise Development and Regional Economy (CEDRE) centre in the School of Business, was invited to join the team by the OECD based on his and CEDRE’s work on innovation, entrepreneurial regions and regional innovation systems since 2004.

According to Prof. O’Gorman, "Not alone is this international recognition for the work CEDRE is doing as regards enterprise/innovation policy and regional innovation systems, it is also an opportunity to bring international good practice back to the South East of Ireland. This enhances WIT’s role and contribution as a key driver in

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Wednesday, 26th November 2014

John Smiles

Qualified Financial Advisor

What does it mean

when my pension scheme is insolvent?

Every Defined Benefit pension scheme must produce an actuarial funding certificate every three years, which certifies the solvency of the scheme. The issue does not arise in relation to a Defined Contribution scheme as the benefits available are directly linked to the value available within the fund and there is no promise of a pension being calculated on the basis of the number of years of membership and final salary.

The solvency of the defined benefit fund is measured as if the scheme was going to be wound up on the date of the certificate. The fund is not technically solvent if its total assets are less than its total liabilities. The employer and trustees must arrange for a "funding proposal" to be prepared by an actuary, and presented to

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Wednesday, 26th November 2014

An interdisciplinary team of four students from the School of Engineering at WIT were victorious in the first annual national Passive House Association of Ireland (PHAI) Design Charette, held as part of the PHAI ‘See the Light 2014’ conference (http://www.phai.ie). The event was hosted by the UCD Earth Institute. Nine teams participated in the competition from University College Dublin, Dublin Institute of Technology, Cork Institute of Technology, University College Cork, Carlow Institute of Technology, University of Limerick and Waterford Institute of Technology.

The competition was a 24 hour Design Charette with the objective of proposing a design for a specific site in Dublin with the main driver of low energy design incorporating the Passive House design standard. The Passive House standard is the world’s leading standard in energy efficient construction. It requires little energy to achieve year round comfort

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Wednesday, 26th November 2014

Well known licensed premises Mc Loughlin's pub on O Connell Street in Waterford city has been sold by Sherry fitzGerald John Rohan. Quote an institution to Waterford people, the premises has been in the Mc Loughlin family since 1936. While the area has seen phenomenal changes over the years, Mc Loughlins has retained its warm, traditional style.

According to selling agent John Rohan "As Mc Loughlins includes residential accommodation over the licensed premises, it offers a great opportunity to the new owner to either live overhead or rent out as a separate unit. In this way, the property can operate as a successful business together with providing a rental income.

This year has been particularly active in the sale of licensed premises," continued Rohan. " The prices at which pubs can be purchased now make them a really viable option for a

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Wednesday, 19th November 2014

John Smiles

Qualified Financial Advisor

How important is customer service in business?

Businesses have not always been aware of the importance of customer service to its success.

A recent example of just how important came with Ryanair's 6 Month Financial Results to the end of September. All major financial metrics were up: passenger numbers, after tax profits, revenues, load factor and average fares. Naturally other factors are impacting positively on Ryanair's recent performances (lower oil prices, pick-up in consumer sentiment, more forward bookings, etc.) but as was well documented earlier in the year Ryanair has changed their customer interaction approach from a "take it or leave it" philosophy to more of a "how can we help" model.

Previously, Ryanair built their success on a "no nonsense, pack them in" business model, citing industry low prices as reason enough for consumers to use their service over

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Wednesday, 19th November 2014

Bishopscourt, Grantstown, Waterford

New to the market with Sherry Fitzgerald John Rohan is a property in Bishopscourt, Grantstown, Waterford offering a fantastic lifestyle opportunity. Located in one of the most sought after areas in Waterford, this property comprises a detached two storey residence, together with numerous outbuildings and sitting on a handsome site of circa 21 acres.

The property is situated only 1 km from the Williamstown Road and within a short drive of University Hospital Waterford, a choice of excellent schools, Tesco, Ardkeen Stores, Woodlands Gym & Leisure Centre, Waterford Airport and the city centre. It is also within easy reach of Tramore and The Outer Ring Road /City Bypass.

According to selling agent John Rohan of Sherry FitzGerald John Rohan "The dwelling house enjoys complete privacy and is approached by a tree lined driveway, with a garden to front set in

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Wednesday, 19th November 2014

687 properties have been sold in Waterford between January and September 2014 – a 39% increase on the same period in 2010 – according to a report published today by ValueMyProperty.ie. Ireland's newest online tool for independent property reports and valuations, ValueMyProperty.ie reported Tramore, Dungarvan, Dunmore, Ring and Ferrybank as having the highest volume of sales so far this year, followed closely by Lismore and Cappoquin. It also reviewed the availability of 3 bedroom semi-detached houses in the most sought-after areas in Waterford, which are a popular choice for families looking to upsize.

"We are seeing a consistent and steady growth in the number of property transactions in county Waterford over the last four years,” said Tim Kelly, Director, ValueMyProperty.ie. "The 3-bed semi-detached house is a very popular choice for families across the country. The problem is that there aren't enough

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Wednesday, 12th November 2014

John Smiles

Qualified Financial Advisor

What are money laundering requirements?

Money laundering is the processing of cash and assets obtained from criminal activities to disguise their illegal origin. It is a world-wide problem and governments have been taking major steps in recent years to combat it.

The Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) Act 2010 updates Irish anti-money laundering and terrorist financing legislation and brings it in line with the requirements of the third EU Money Laundering Directive (2005/60/EC).

To help the financial services industry understand and apply the requirements set out in the Act, a set of Core Industry Guidelines was created. A key feature of the Core Guidelines in the area of customer due diligence, is the concept of a 'risk based approach'.

This means each company assesses the risk of money laundering or terrorist funding associated with its products, customers and delivery

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Wednesday, 12th November 2014

170pc rise in home improvements reported as homeowners invest in renovations and extensions and avail of Government tax incentives

The number of property owners opting to renovate and extend their homes has increased by almost 170pc since 2010 according to the website http://www.tradesmen.ie. The launch, earlier this year, of the Government's Home Renovation Tax Scheme has supported economic growth and employment and the website recently celebrated the 100,000th job posted on the site with a value of more than €90 million for tradesmen and the local economy. Spending on extensions and conversions remains the highest outlay in the home improvements sector and the number of homeowners opting to source building professionals to work on their properties through Tradesmen.ie increased by a significant 230% in the three year period 2010-2013.

Last October, the Government announced significant tax incentives for home improvements

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Wednesday, 5th November 2014

Qualified Financial Advisor

What is the Comprehensive Assessment of European Bank Balance Sheets?

The European Central Bank (ECB) commenced a rigorous analysis of European bank balance sheets over a twelve month period beginning in November 2013. Despite the complexity and scale of this undertaking, the central bank is set to provide lenders with the results on October 24 with a public release two days later. The test comes ahead of the ECB assuming fully responsibility for banking supervision under the Single Supervisory Mechanism in November 2014 and is another step towards full scale banking union and also includes deposit guarantee schemes and bank recovery and resolution directives.

The ECB has stated that the money transmission mechanism in Europe is broken. Despite a number of initiatives put in place, lending to individuals and especially SMEs continues to fall and the cost of borrowing varies

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Letters to the Editor

  • Our View

    Smoke gets in your eyesA recent report into the sale of illegal cigarettes, also known as 'illegal whites', has shown how prevalent and how pervasive the entire operation in the country is. Waterford is no exception to this and the sale of 'illegal whites' in the city and county, is at least on an anecdotal level, widespread.It is estimated that 1 in every 4 cigarettes smoked in the country is illegal and it costs the exchequer almost 250 million euro while others put the loss at a figure of 500 mi …

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