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Wednesday, 31st May 2017

John Smiles

Qualified Financial Advisor

What is the

Carbon Scorecard?

At the 21st Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change [UNFCCC] in December 2015, 197 member states negotiated an agreement to make “finance flows consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate resilient development” and to limit the rise in global temperatures to no more than 2°C above pre-industrial levels. The agreement reached the threshold for entry into force the following year, setting the trajectory for a global low carbon economy.

The investment community has been instrumental in translating these objectives into initiatives. The rhetoric has changed from “how useful are portfolio footprints?” to “how can we do more?”

Alongside listed equity, market participants are addressing the carbon risks embedded in other asset classes, from fixed income to real estate and infrastructure. They are stress-testing holdings for

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Wednesday, 31st May 2017

12 Blenheim Heights, Waterford

New to the market with Sherry FitzGerald John Rohan is 12 Blenheim Heights, an exceptionally well presented 4 bedroom detached family home in an idyllic location. Offering a high quality home on a very spacious site, the gardens comprise generous lawns together with mature shrubs & trees allowing an excellent level of privacy.

The property is located within a most popular development which offers the ideal balance of country style living but with every convenience within a very short drive.

Ballygunner school, Faithlegg Golf Club and Leisure Centre,

University Hospital Waterford together with Tesco and a choice of excellent secondary schools are all within a short drive.

Accommodation comprises of entrance hallway, sitting room, kitchen/diner/living room, utility room, 4 bedrooms, en-suite and bathroom. This stunning family home has been tastefully decorated

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Wednesday, 31st May 2017

Clune says Waterford will benefit from Regional Enterprise Development fund of 60m

Ireland South MEP Deirdre Clune has welcomed up to 60m in funding that is to be provided by Enterprise Ireland to support the regional Action Plan for Jobs. The new fund will focus on creating jobs in rural Ireland and is open to applications up until August 18th.

Clune said it is vital that we continue to invest in driving growth in rural Ireland.

“We should be looking to develop innovation hubs and business incubation centres in every small town in rural Ireland. Those centres should have fast broadband and well supported and connected networks and support systems.

“This is about providing an eco-system and a culture where we foster innovation and try and get young people to stay in rural Ireland and put their learned skills to good use, creating high

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Wednesday, 24th May 2017

Michael Garland,

bizBoost Chair,

Waterford Business Group

Who’s battling for Waterford, now that the leadership contest is heating up?

“In the blue corner” we have Simon “The Cork” Coveney. “In in the other blue corner” we have Leo “The Lion” Varadkar. Two Fine Gael political heavyweights about to slug it out in a leadership contest. After the long and protracted retirement of Enda Kenny, we can now say for certain that this is a two horse race for the leadership of FG. Perhaps a new Taoiseach of this wee green isle as well.

With two contenders having been announced, each protagonist’s fight team, will start to prepare their “Big fight plan” on just how to defeat an equally youthful opponent. The two combatants are only 38 (Varadkar) and 44 (Coveney). They are literally “Babies”, in terms of a political career. It will certainly be an

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Wednesday, 24th May 2017

John Smiles

Qualified Financial Advisor

What has happened to GARS?

Standard Life and Aberdeen Asset Management published the prospectus for the two companies’ planned merger, which was announced earlier this year.

In 2016, GARS gross inflows fell by 40%, from £17 billion in 2015 to £10.2 billion. The full year results for 2016 showed Standard Life's multi-asset arm, which manages GARS, suffered a net outflow of £3.8 billion over the year.

According to the document, GARS saw outflows of £2.8 billion over the first three months of 2017.

Over 12 months to the end of April, GARS returned just 0.4% to investors. These returns compare relatively favourably to competitor products from Aviva and Invesco, with their Multi- Strategy and Global Targeted Return funds up 1.6% and 3.6% respectively.

One possible explanation for this flight from GARS might be volatility or the lack of it. Volatility measures the

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Wednesday, 24th May 2017

Business leaders from across the South East gathered in Kilkenny this week to explore how best to build greater management capacity within their businesses. The gathering took place in the Lyrath Estate Hotel, Kilkenny at a learning and development conference co-hosted by Waterford Chamber Skillnet, County Tipperary Skillnet and Carlow Kilkenny Skillnet. Over one hundred delegates from small, medium and large enterprises in counties Carlow, Kilkenny, Waterford, Wexford and Tipperary attended the conference.

Paul Healy, Chief Executive of Skillnets, opened the event and urged businesses to avail of the support available to them to build management expertise through their local Skillnets-funded training networks. “Skillnets provides funding to over sixty training networks; they in turn provide learning and development expertise, subsidised training and networking opportunities to businesses throughout Ireland. Enhancing management capacity, particularly in SMEs, is a national policy imperative and a

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Wednesday, 17th May 2017

Michael Garland,

bizBoost Chair,

Waterford Business Group

Cue the reviews!

On Sunday night the much anticipated “Redwater”, started on our national broadcaster RTE (it will be screened at a later date, on the BBC, in “Old Blighty”), stimulating much Facebook chatter, airwave media interest and lots of other social media attention.

You could not avoid the fact that you just had to be in front of the gogglebox, settled with a cup of tea, just after Jean delivered her Sunday night weather forecast. The families of Waterford sat around their “Custard and jelly”, like the good old days, and eagerly tuned in to see who they might recognise as an extra on the drama and what scenery they could identify, being a place they might have visited, walked or have swam.

The village of Dunmore East would broadcast the show “live”, on the biggish screen outside

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Wednesday, 17th May 2017

John Smiles

Qualified Financial Advisor

More pension reform is on the way

Pension reform and consolidation of defined contribution (DC) pension structures is high on the agenda of the Pensions Authority in the lead up to implementation of Institutions for Occupational Retirement Provision II Directive (IORPs II) and introduction of a Universal Pensions Scheme. The current deadline is Q4 of 2018 for rationalisation of pension products and Q1 of 2019 for IORPS II.

The Pensions Authority’s draft report on “Governance and Simplification of Supplementary Pensions” to the minister for social protection in January 2017 cites a clear objective “to improve as far as possible the outcome for pension savers”. The Pensions Authority has not yet elaborated on their definition of an “improved outcome for pension savers”, but one of the key published proposals is “the number of schemes in

Ireland should be reduced from the

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Wednesday, 17th May 2017

KBC Bank Ireland have announced that as part of

KBC Bright Ideas it has doubled its support fund to €200,000 and launched a new scheme for Ireland’s leading social innovators and entrepreneurs. KBC’s

Business Bright Ideas will assist for-profit organisations in the business of having a positive impact on a city or community by addressing a particular social need.

Following a judging process a top award of €50,000 will be granted to the winning applicant who can show how the funding will help have a positive impact on communities. A total of €100,000 will be shared among the top entrants.

Meanwhile KBC’s Bright Ideas community support initiative returns for a fourth year to support individuals and organisations which are transforming and improving the lives of others in their locality. KBC is calling on community groups across the country to apply for financial support for

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Wednesday, 17th May 2017

Sinn Féin TD and member of the Public Accounts Committee David Cullinane today welcomed the news that the Grace case whistle blower is to appear before the Public Accounts Committee in private session. The Waterford TD said:

“This is good news. The whistle blower requested this meeting. It is a request I supported and I am happy to say the Committee has agreed.

“The Grace whistle blower has done this state an enormous service at great personal cost.

“It is important for our work on the PAC that we are able to hear first-hand from the whistleblower.

“It is also important that the HSE appears before the PAC afterwards and answers questions and queries raised by the testimony of the whistle blower where possible given the ongoing investigations.”

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Letters to the Editor

  • OUR VIEW

    Paradise papersOne of the most surprising things about the release of the copious amounts of tax details of some of the richest people on the planet wasn't the names of the people involved but the fact that three of them were actors from Mrs. Brown's Boys. Between them the three had accounts nearing 2 million euros in off-shore accounts and let's face it, these people aren't exactly Robert De Niros or Meryl Streeps but three bog standard, and that's putting it mildly, actors, from a middling comedy serie …

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