Linkedin The funeral mass of the late heritage chief Denis Leonard (62), will take place today. Tributes from political, arts and business sectors continue to be paid to the Limerick Civic Trust founding director.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up A book of condolences was opened at Limerick City Hall yesterday in memory of Mr Leonard, who managed some of the city’s largest restoration projects.Mayor of Limerick Cllr Kevin Kiely said the city is indebted to the man who in 1983 established the first Civic Trust in the country. “He was a true gentleman who devoted his whole life to preserving Limerick’s architectural environment and heritage. He was one hundred per cent dedicated to improving Limerick’s environment and he always had the city’s best interests at the heart “.Mr Leonard is survived by his wife, Deirdre his three daughters Rachel, Sarah and Kate and his brothers Richard and Brian. Mr Leonard will be buried this Wednesday morning following the removal of his remains last night from The Georgian House, Pery Square to St Paul’s, Dooradoyle. The funeral will follow 12noon Mass at St Paul’s to Castlemungret Cemetery. Twitter NewsLocal NewsFuneral mass for Civic Trust founderBy admin – December 2, 2009 503 Facebook Print Advertisement WhatsApp Email Previous articleBoil notice issued in lower Shannon regionNext articleSean set for Atlantic row admin
The UK’s Local Pensions Partnership (LPP) has launched its first asset-class fund, with the pooling of its founding investors’ equity holdings resulting in the number of external managers being whittled down to three as four from Lancashire County Pension Fund’s side were dropped. The new fund is a £5bn (€5.5bn) global equity fund, which comprises the pooled holdings of its main clients the Lancashire County Pension Fund (LCPF) and the London Pensions Fund Authority (LPFA). The Royal County of Berkshire Pension Fund has not added its holdings to the equity pool, as it has not yet formally joined the LPP, a spokesman at the partnership told IPE.Berkshire is to do so early next year. Around 40% of the Global Equity Fund comprises equities managed internally, with the remainder being managed by MFS Investment Management, Robeco and Magellan, according to a statement from LPP.As at 31 March, the £6bn LCPF had five external public equity managers – Baillie Gifford, Natixis Global Asset Management (NGAM), MFS, Morgan Stanley and Robeco – and two UCITS funds managed by AGF Investments and Magellan Financial Group.The LPFA, in turn, had some £2bn of exposures to public equities as at the end of August this year, with MFS responsible for around half that.It brought the majority of its equity portfolio in-house in 2014; the in-house investments stood at £1bn before the pooling, IPE understands.This indicates that four external managers lost mandates as a result of the pooling, mainly from the LCPF’s side: Baillie Gifford, NGAM, Morgan Stanley and AGF.The LPFA brought the majority of its equity portfolio in-house in 2014. The LPP spokesman said: “We have dropped some existing managers and given larger mandates to the three on the release whom we feel share our investment philosophy.”First in a seriesIts global equity fund is the first in a series of asset class funds that LPP Investments (LPPI), the FCA-approved operator of the Authorised Contractual Scheme (ACS), intends to launch, according to LPP.The local government pension scheme organisation said it was planning to launch funds for fixed income, total return and property.Investments in more illiquid assets such as private equity, infrastructure and credit are being consolidated under special-purpose vehicles over the next six months, it added.The LPP said the new equities portfolio “provides a significant reduction in overall costs for each of the founding investors while also maintaining and improving expected investment outcomes”.The entry into force on 1 November of new UK investment regulations for local authority pension funds paved the way for the launch of the global equity fund, according to the LPP.Susan Martin, chief executive at the LPP, said: “Following our FCA and ACS approval, we have been waiting for the government to change the LGPS investment regulations. There are now no barriers to physically pooling our assets and launching the fund.”The LPP is one of the eight local government pension scheme pools that are at various stages of development in the UK.Like the London CIV, it pre-dates the government’s instruction for administering local authorities to pool pension scheme assets and is relatively far advanced.It obtained FCA approval in April 2016, at which point a spokesman had indicated to IPE that equities could be the first asset class where holdings would be pooled.The LPP sees itself as a pension services organisation and thus more than an asset pool.The venture also has a pensions administration company, LPP Administration.It does not yet have the £25bn in assets that the UK’s Department for Communities and Local Government has set out as a goal for the LGPS asset pools, but it is confident about being able to attract further clients.
Comments Published on April 11, 2011 at 12:00 pm Contact Michael: [email protected] | @Michael_Cohen13 Finding Refuge: Part 2 of 3Guy Hart laughed as the Agbossoumondes battled their knee-high boots. After plucking the Togolese refugee family from the Syracuse Hancock International Airport, he brought them directly to Kmart.‘Of course they’re not used to wearing heavy things on their feet, and here they are in snow boots,’ said Hart, the family’s sponsor. ‘It was really funny.’Though the boots posed problems, the rest of the store was a playground. After the family endured seven years in refugee camps in Benin, this strange place had unrecognizable objects that had to be examined.‘Wide-eyed. Absolute wonderment,’ Hart said. ‘They’d never seen anything like it. They were like kids in a candy store.’AdvertisementThis is placeholder textHart and his wife bought pants, shirts, jackets and toys for the new Syracuse residents. Their apartment on Green Street, which was provided by Catholic Charities of Onondaga County, needed to be filled.Catholic Charities had reached out to St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Bridgeport, N.Y., asking if anyone would be willing to sponsor refugee families. Hart and his wife agreed and became the personal sponsors of the Agbossoumondes.During the first few weeks, the Harts saw them almost every day. They explained how to use a stove, a washing machine and any other foreign device that Mawuena Agbossoumonde — currently a sophomore midfielder on the SU men’s soccer team — and his family had never seen.‘We didn’t know (Hart) before we came,’ said Djifa, Mawuena’s older brother. ‘But we heard there would be a lot of people waiting to help us.’And what Djifa and his family heard proved to be true. Since their arrival in February 2000, it’s the network of support the Agbossoumondes have received from the community that drives them.Multiple families have assisted in the development of Mawuena and his siblings in Syracuse, stemming from compassion and appreciation for the character and backstory of the entire bunch.For that, the family is eternally grateful. Mawuena realizes he wouldn’t be where he is today were it not for their assistance.‘I can’t really describe it because there were so many people on the way,’ he said. ‘Growing up, there were so many people that helped us.’***Karma, fate and providence. Those are the words Kenneth Schoening uses to describe how the Agbossoumonde family got to where it is today.Less than two months after the six children and their mother, Adjo, arrived in Syracuse, Schoening initiated their soccer careers.Coaching his son’s East Side Soccer team in Berry Park during April 2000, Schoening had the gumption to approach two African boys with ‘sad, long faces.’ A migrant from Africa himself, Schoening conversed with the two in French. He invited them into his practice, and a few weeks later Mawuena and his younger brother Gale were part of the team.‘I always try to go back and say, ‘What if I hadn’t run into them?” Schoening said. ‘What if I hadn’t walked up to them? Would they have been where they are now?’Where they are now is quite remarkable. Mawuena is at Syracuse, and Gale, his younger brother, plays professionally in Sweden and made an appearance with the U.S. National Team in November. Their older brother, Messan, played soccer at St. Lawrence.But before all that came East Side Soccer, a recreational league. There, Mawuena was introduced to Daniel McGowan and Kenneth’s son Charles. Both would eventually be Mawuena’s teammates at Syracuse.Through that team, Schoening introduced the Agbossoumonde boys to the Syracuse Indoor Sports Center in Liverpool, N.Y. It became a second home.The original owner, Bob Escobar, said Mawuena and Gale were there almost every day after school playing until the center closed for the night. He never charged them because he knew they wouldn’t have been able to pay.He just wanted to give them an outlet.‘To me it’s tremendous,’ Escobar said in a phone interview. ‘I look at this and know that I was part of it and helped to provide them something when they were in real need of it.’Schoening and Escobar got Mawuena and Gale involved with the Syracuse Blitz F.C. — a traveling premier team that practiced at the Indoor Sports Center. It’s what allowed their names to begin swirling among college and high school coaches later on.In all those years — from the time Mawuena was 10 until he enrolled at Christian Brothers Academy — Schoening will never forget the winter of 2000-01. Less than a year after Mawuena’s arrival, he and Gale won their first trophy on Schoening’s team.It was a lasting achievement for the former refugees.‘It was like gold to (Mawuena),’ Schoening said. ‘One of the older brothers made a comment and said, ‘You know, Coach, back in Africa, this is like gold for us to have something like this.”***Nick Ashenburg wasn’t sure how Anani found his way onto the Syracuse Blitz, but he was curious about the newcomer. So when Anani — the fourth of the six Agbossoumonde brothers — needed a ride home, he asked Nick’s parents to help.‘I think we were all intrigued,’ Nick said. ‘So one ride turned into many rides, and many rides turned into coming over to the house and spending holidays together.’That one ride was the beginning of what would effectively become an invitation by the Ashenburgs for the Agbossoumondes to join their family.With Anani and Nick playing together on the Blitz, the Ashenburgs were introduced to the rest of the family. Nick’s younger brother Ben would become a teammate of Mawuena’s at CBA after his family helped get him into the school.Ben and Mawuena became best friends.‘Mawuena and Ben lived like brothers,’ said Alicia Ashenburg, the mother of Ben and Nick. ‘They went to school together every day. They came home together almost every day from eighth to 12th grade. And then they went to practice together. They were literally like glue.’Mawuena began playing varsity soccer for CBA in the eighth grade. He played four seasons of soccer at CBA and was named to the 2006 Post-Standard All-CNY First Team. In his senior year, he was the kicker for the football team.Between school, homework and soccer, Alicia washed Mawuena’s school uniform nearly every night. And the whole family helped the young boys with schoolwork.‘The Ashenburg family kind of like took me in as their son,’ Mawuena said. ‘They helped me with everything.’The help was appreciated by Adjo, who worked on an assembly line as her first job. She later worked for Arcom and then at the old Hotel Syracuse. Often, she worked two jobs at once.The Ashenburgs had the family over for holidays as well. Ben, Nick and their mother all remember the Christmas of 2001, in which they took most of the Agbossoumondes to a midnight mass at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.After the mass, the Ashenburgs gave gifts to the Agbossoumondes. The prize was an Xbox.‘They were just so happy and so grateful,’ Ben said. ‘And now they’re giving us presents. It’s really just come full circle.’***Inside the St. Francis of Assisi Parish, the success of the Agbossoumonde family resonates. Pinned to the Youth Events bulletin board is a story from The Catholic Sun about Mawuena and his sister Dovenin.Directly beneath it is a newsletter requesting contributions for a linen drive that benefits the Catholic Charities Refugee Resettlement Program.Perhaps it’s a sign. Above is the example of what a refugee family can become. Below is what one can do to give another family a chance to be like the Agbossoumondes.‘We’ve remained very close personal friends,’ Hart said. ‘Not just my family with them, but other families in our parish have maintained that type of relationship with them.’The people of the parish aren’t alone. Mawuena and his family have remained close with everyone who has helped them since their arrival in Syracuse. And now that they are settled, they give back.L.J. Papaleo, Mawuena’s teammate at SU, went through a devastating stretch in which both of his grandparents passed away in the span of two weeks. By his side was Mawuena, asking to attend the funeral services.‘That meant a lot because he didn’t know my grandparents,’ Papaleo said. ‘He knew me, and he knew we needed someone to lean on in a hard time.’McGowan, who played with Mawuena years ago through East Side Soccer, said his choice to come to Syracuse was based largely on Mawuena being here to help him transition.‘I transferred from Hamilton College mainly because Mawuena was here,’ he said. ‘If he wasn’t here, I probably wouldn’t have come.’Looking back on where they were, Adjo said she could never have imagined a life like this. Coming from where they did, it seemed absurd.But Papaleo didn’t see it unfolding any differently. The Agbossoumondes entered the hearts of the people in the Syracuse community so quickly that their bright future was inevitable.‘They’re such great people that you want to help them,’ Papaleo said. ‘If it wasn’t these three or four families we’ve been talking about, it would have been three or four other families. Everyone wants to help them.‘It wouldn’t have been a problem for them to succeed here in America.’[email protected] Facebook Twitter Google+
The USC Shoah Foundation honored President Barack Obama with its annual “Ambassador for Humanity” award Wednesday night at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Century City, California.The Shoah Foundation has dedicated itself to collecting testimony from survivors and witnesses of genocides, including the Holocaust, the Rwandan Genocide and the Nanjing Massacre. The institute also announced the establishment of the Center for Advanced Genocide Research late last month.President Barack Obama speaks about the importance of remembering the past in moving toward the future at the USC Shoah Foundation’s Ambassador for Humanity Gala on Wednesday — Photo courtesy of Josh Grossberg“Even though you can’t fix everything on your own, you do what you can … Capturing one story on film can make an impact,” said Shoah Foundation founder Steven Spielberg of the institute’s mission.Comedian Conan O’Brien hosted the star-studded gala, at which singer-songwriter Bruce Springsteen performed and actor Liam Neeson was a special guest. Other speakers included USC President C.L. Max Nikias and Shoah Foundation Executive Director Stephen Smith. All the speakers focused on the importance of remembering past tragedies in moving forward.“The purpose of memory is not simply to preserve the past, it is to protect the future,” Obama said during his remarks.Educating younger generations, a main priority of the Shoah Foundation, was also a focus of the night. Prior to the main event, there was a cocktail reception during which guests could both mingle and learn more about the Shoah Foundation through exhibits and a classroom presentation.One special exhibit was hosted by Ruth Hernández, a 14-year-old high school freshman from Pennsylvania whose video, “Voices of Our Journey,” was selected as a winner in the Shoah Foundation’s nationwide IWitness Video Challenge.“We talked a lot about immigration in our video. Many people come to the United States because it’s the land of opportunities. But people are sent back to their countries, or they’re ripped away from their families,” Hernández said of her project.Hernández and other students who have participated in the IWitness program had an opportunity to see Celina Biniaz, a Holocaust survivor who testified about her story via the Shoah video archives, speak in person at the event.Biniaz was the youngest worker in Oskar Schindler’s factory when she was 13 years old. Schindler saved her, along with his other workers, in a story that has become memorialized in Spielberg’s movie Schindler’s List.“Oskar Schindler gave me my life, but Steven Spielberg gave me my voice,” she said.After Biniaz spoke about her involvement with the Shoah Foundation, high school teacher Michelle Sadrena Clark discussed using the testimonies to educate her students. After Smith explained the mission of the foundation, O’Brien was brought on stage to help lighten the mood.Shoah Foundation Founder Steven Spielberg presents President Barack Obama with the Ambassador for Humanity award. — Photo courtesy of Josh Grossberg“Steven decided he wanted someone to come onto this stage, after all we’ve seen and heard, and get the crowd laughing. Well, I don’t know who Steven got, but man do I pity that guy,” O’Brien cracked.O’Brien also touched on one of Angelenos’ favorite topics: traffic. Due to Obama’s presence, many streets in the area were temporarily closed, leading to increased gridlock.“I know you [President Obama] left Washington six hours ago, but I left Burbank seven hours ago,” he joked.O’Brien then introduced Springsteen, who performed two of his songs, “Promised Land” and “Dancing in the Dark.” Afterward, Spielberg praised Springsteen for his philanthropic efforts, calling him the “hardest working lyrical poet for our common humanity.”Spielberg went on to introduce Obama by discussing the work the president has done to combat genocide. In winning the Ambassador for Humanity award, Obama joins past honorees George Clooney, Jeffrey Katzenberg and Bill Clinton, among others.“Last year, in the first ever presidential directive on this challenge, he demonstrated his commitment to our cause by declaring that preventing mass atrocities and genocides is a core national security interest and a core moral responsibility of the United States of America,” Spielberg said of Obama’s qualifications for the honor.Obama focused his speech on the “sacred duty of memory,” praising the Shoah Foundation’s mission to educate people about past atrocities in order to inform society moving forward.“For setting a light, an eternal flame of testimony, that can’t be extinguished and cannot be denied, we express our deepest gratitude,” he said.Despite the guest of honor’s office, the event did not get political, save for one remark by the president on ways society must continue to remember the Holocaust.“It’s up to us to speak out against rhetoric that threatens the existence of a Jewish homeland and to sustain America’s unshakeable commitment to Israel’s security,” Obama said to applause from the crowd.Soon, however, the president returned to the gala’s overall theme of fighting bigotry through education.“We cannot eliminate evil from every heart and hatred from every mind, but what we can do and what we must do is make sure our children and their children learn their history so that they might not repeat it.”