Baring Asset Management has said it intends to convey a sense of “consistency” after the departure of key multi-asset figure Percival Stanion.Stanion, alongside colleagues Andrew Cole and Shaniel Ramjee, are to leave after a combined 48 years of service with Barings to head up a new multi-asset offering at Swiss rival Pictet Asset Management.Stanion, who joined Barings in 2001 and led the company’s multi-asset offering, was known as a pioneer in the space, before announcing his defection to Pictet in early August.In response, Barings’ then CIO Marino Valensise moved over to become head of multi-asset to lead the flagship offering as clients reacted to Stanion’s departure. According to FE Analytics, a fund research portal, Barings’ multi-asset fund suffered net outflows of £364m (€465m) in August despite seeing average monthly net inflows of more than £50m in the previous six months.Valensise told IPE the company was now in the process of managing the transition from the old management team to the new.He said his new role would see take him full ownership of the multi-asset business and chair the strategic policy group, which dictates asset allocation.“We had a mixed reaction from the consultant base,” Valensise said, “with some deciding to stay and others deciding to leave because the change was a material one.“We are now meeting with a large number of clients directly to deliver our message, which is one of consistency.”He said the process would be ongoing for the next few months, but he said, with his experience as CIO and working in the strategic policy group and multi-asset team, he was confident.Barings has hired Ken Lambden, previously of UK-based rival Schroders, to take the helm as CIO after Valensise’s shift to head of multi-asset.However, Valensise said his transition away from CIO began before the announcement of Stanion’s departure.“After the opportunity [to be head of multi-asset] materialised, I was very interested,” he said. “I wanted to do something more linked to money management.“So, to some extent, this was an opportunity for me. I was already part of the asset allocation decision entity and hired most of the team members. So I call this an opportunity.”He said once client management had finalised, the multi-asset team would once again focus on maintaining its position within the market, while introducing new products and diversifying globally.“In the UK, we will just have to continue delivering investment performance,” Valensise said.“Going forward, we will be treating outgoing clients and remaining unit holdings fairly. We are keen to do a good job there.“However, the composition of the business tomorrow will be different to yesterday. In five years’ time, the multi-asset business will probably be more diversified and international.”The trio’s move to Pictet came after the heating up of the multi-asset and diversified growth fund (DGF) rivalry in the UK.Recent moves saw Standard Life Investments (SLI) lose several key personnel to rival managers, with staff moving to Invesco Perpetual to help launch a multi-asset offering.Key SLI-figure Euan Munro also left the Scottish manager to take up the chief executive role at Aviva Investors, which in turn also launched a DGF.
Some of the supervisors are also concerned that they will not have the usual number of required poll workers due to concerns about the virus. As a solution, they want the ability to offer early voting at more sites than state law currently allows, and to operate those sites through Election Day, rather than through the preceding Sunday.“The ability to designate additional early voting sites and use those sites through Election Day resolves a critical issue for many counties — a shortage of Election Day polling locations and poll workers,” Latimer wrote.Since the governor has broad emergency powers, officials are now assessing the extent of his authority to waive longstanding election laws and to impose new rules during the pandemic.“It is important for the Department of State that it be clear that this is a collaborative effort whereby we are working with Supervisors of Elections to ensure access to democracy and elections while also maintaining public health and safety,” Lee said in a written statement.Latimer also wrote to DeSantis that he is concerned that “Florida is lagging behind nearly every other state” in claiming and using its $20.2 million share of $400 million in federal funds that has been reserved for states to run elections this year.“While we wait, the goods and services are becoming scarce,” Latimer wrote. ‘We must start ordering supplies, recruiting and training poll workers, and secure voting locations now.”Lee said she spoke on Wednesday with Commissioner Donald Palmer of the Federal Election Assistance Commission, which distributes the money, regarding Florida’s voting plans for this year.He explained that the state must first address a requirement that Florida match the federal money with $4 million of its own funds before receiving the $20.2 million.Guidelines from the commission allow Florida to count money spent by county supervisors of elections offices for coronavirus-related needs for the presidential primary, which was held March 17. Elections supervisors throughout Florida said on Wednesday that Gov. Ron DeSantis needs to “act immediately” to take steps to alleviate strains the pandemic has placed on the state’s voting systems.In a letter they sent on April 7, the 67 county supervisors of elections asked the governor to make emergency changes in rules, with elections looming this year.The supervisors also want DeSantis to access $20.2 million in federal money to help pay for various changes.Primaries for congressional, county and state legislative nominations and nonpartisan elections for school board and judges scheduled for on Aug. 18. However, mail ballots for military and overseas voters will be mailed on July 4, and early voting begins on Aug. 3 in some counties.“Our request for executive action cannot wait any longer,” Craig Latimer, president of the Florida Association of Supervisors of Elections, wrote in Wednesday’s follow up to DeSantis.Secretary of State Laurel Lee said she spoke with Latimer on Wednesday, and that her agency, which oversees elections in Florida, is “continuing our work with federal and local officials to promote accurate and fair elections for all Floridians.”Latimer, who serves as the Hillsborough County supervisor of elections, took over last Monday as president of the association. In the letter, he said supervisors “are confident we can overcome the challenges of the current health crisis with executive action that gives us more flexibility around in-person voting and Vote By Mail.”During in-person voting, he said people can expect limits on the number of voters allowed inside at any given time, and will likely see social-distancing markings.Most supervisors of elections in the state are expecting a significant increase in voting by mail.Attention Palm Beach County! Please see this important announcement from the Clerk & Comptroller, Palm Beach County about their offices reopening to the public on Monday, May 11, 2020. https://t.co/wQ2clhZId4— Wendy Sartory Link, PBC Supervisor of Elections (@pbcelections) May 8, 2020
Australian broadcaster Seven has secured a foundation partner in St George Bank for its esports platform ScreenPlay, which will launch on June 29th. Seven’s ScreenPlay will run gaming content across several digital and social media channels, including a weekly magazine style show on it’s “7 mate channel”. Former Good Game hosts Stephanie Bendixsen and Nich Richardson will cover news, reviews, live streams, game plays, interviews and cosplay for the esports platform.The partnership is designed to enable the next stage of a long-term strategic rollout for the multichannel platform, said Seven West Media chief revenue officer Kurt Burnette to RapidTVNews “ScreenPlay is already creating an authentic connection direct to the eSport and gaming community in a way never seen before in this country.”The platform will be available online at screenPLAY.seven, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and Twitch.“Esports audiences are not your typical linear TV consumers, and brands who want to reach them are utilising incremental budgets to go and find them because they are attractive young adults,” Seven Chief Digital Officer Clive Dickens told AdNews.“We’re really excited to partner with Seven and support a growing industry that Aussie families enjoy,” says Ross Miller, general manager for retail banking, St George told RapidTVNews. “St George has a long history of supporting community sports and esports is no different. We’re proud to be the first bank in Australia to back esports and help take it to the next level.”Esports Insider says: There’s more and more television/different content coming out around esports. It’s good to see Seven get a partner for the new venture, and hopefully the content is of good quality and the new platform is well received.