The pension fund for Italy’s Banco di Napoli is tendering two €45m equity mandates, targeting managers of Asia-Pacific and US stocks.The €693m fund said it was looking to award four contracts in total – two covering the defined benefit section of fund, and two covering its defined contribution scheme.All four contracts will run for three years, according to Banco di Napoli, which added that managers would be allowed to invest only in listed equities in the two selected markets.For the sake of liquidity management, however, the pension fund will allow temporary exposure to money market funds denominated in euros. Interested managers have until 4 April to respond to the request for proposal published on the Banco di Napoli fund’s website.In other news, the UK National Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) Framework has tendered a framework agreement covering advice for asset pooling, as well as actuarial advice.The initiative, supported by seven funds including the administering authority behind Norfolk Pension Fund, is split into four distinct lots covering actuarial services, benefits consultancy, provision of governance consultancy and distinct pieces of pensions-related project work.The last lot allows for the tendering of advice regarding the creation of asset pools, being launched by the LGPS in the wake of the UK government’s attempts to increase scale within the sector in England and Wales.The lot would also allow funds across the UK to appoint specialists able to help them comply with the new regulatory requirements imposed by the Pensions Regulator.The four-year mandate, which could run for up to seven years, could be worth up to £350m (€448m) in payments to third parties.Interested parties have until 11 April to apply (the deadline was later extended to 15 April in connection with an amendment of the short description in the contract notice – a formal matter).
Wisconsin\’s women\’s hockey team scored a total of eight goals over the weekend in a sweep of Bemidji State.[/media-credit]For 39 minutes on Friday, the visiting Bemidji State Beavers played the University of Wisconsin women’s hockey team to a draw. The rest of the weekend, the Badgers showed why they own the No. 2 ranking in the country, sweeping the Beavers by scores of 3-0 and 5-2.Despite the home sweep — and impressive final record of 27-2-5 — the Badgers were edged out in the WCHA regular season race by rival Minnesota, who maintained their margin over the Badgers with two wins over St. Cloud State. With the second-place finish, UW will host No. 7-seed Ohio State next weekend in the first round of the WCHA playoffs at the Eagles’ Nest in Verona.The sweep over Bemidji State marked the last home regular season series for six seniors who leave a legacy of unprecedented success as they gear up for one last playoff run.“You look at all of them, they’ve made big contributions in the four years they’ve been here,” head coach Mark Johnson said. “They’ve been to three Frozen Fours, won a couple championships — it’s going to be tough to duplicate their careers.”The seniors — center Erika Lawler, forwards Angie Keseley and Kayla Hagen, defensemen Alycia Matthews and Rachel Bible, and goaltender Jessie Vetter — were honored in a ceremony prior to Saturday’s finale, preceding a quick start by the Badgers.Wisconsin got on the board first via a spectacular goal by junior forward Jasmine Giles. Giles received a pass in the left circle from freshman center Brooke Ammerman, maneuvered around a defender in front of the crease, and, while falling to the ice, flipped it past the Bemidji State goaltender’s left side.Two minutes later, sophomore forward Hilary Knight added to the Badger lead, skating through the Beaver defense and lighting the lamp from the front of the crease. Lawler and sophomore forward Kelly Nash were credited with assists. Before the first period was finished, Knight fed the puck below the left circle to Lawler, who found junior forward Meghan Duggan in front of the goal for the third score of the frame.For the period, Wisconsin outshot Bemidji 19 to 1 and set an early tone of domination. According to Johnson, bringing energy in the first was crucial to putting the pre-game emotions aside.“It was good to come out and establish things right away,” Johnson said. “You know the emotions of introducing your seniors, and some of the distractions that go along with that, you want to play hard right in the first period. You talk about that, but you have to go out and execute, and we did that. So, it was a very enjoyable first period to watch.”Six minutes into the second period, Bemidji State cut the lead to two, but only 24 seconds later, Knight notched her national-best 37th goal of the year on helpers from linemates Lawler and Keseley. Lawler leads the nation with 38 assists while Keseley has a career-high 30.Lawler added a shorthanded goal in the third period, giving her four points in what could be her last Kohl Center appearance. After the game, the Fitchburg, Mass., native reflected on the possible finality of the game.“Just never knowing if you’re going to come back to the Kohl Center to play or not in the NCAAs — just having that be a question — it’s definitely sad,” she said. “I’m just really lucky to have this opportunity. It really helps not taking putting the jersey on for granted, and hopefully we can make it go as long as we can.”With no pre-game festivities to generate energy on Friday, the Badgers came out flat before getting an offensive boost from unlikely sources.The game was knotted at zero for nearly two periods until freshman defenseman Brittany Haverstock scored only her second career goal to give UW the lead. Haverstock said she noticed a hole in the Bemidji defense and was able to exploit it.“The backdoor was wide open all day,” she said. “Erika made an awesome pass over. I wasn’t even sure if she really saw me back there, but it was a great play.”Six minutes into the third, another defenseman, sophomore Anne Dronen, gifted the home team with some breathing room with her fourth goal of the year — tops among defensemen.In addition to two goals by defenseman, Vetter registered her school-record 11th shutout of the year. The national record is 12, set by Harvard’s Christina Kessler last season. Vetter said the shutouts are nice, but winning is the ultimate objective.“My main goal is just, obviously I’m trying to keep the puck out, but anything to help my team out,” she said. “Shutouts always seem to help the team out — either with a tie or a win. So, if I keep those going, that’s always a good thing for the team, and hopefully that will continue.”According to Lawler, the speed of the game will help the seniors keep their last run going — if only to not let them think about saying goodbye.“You know hockey being the competitive game that it is and the fast game that it is, you don’t really have time to think about, ‘Oh, this is my last game,’” she said. “It’s more of leave everything on the ice, don’t take it for granted and just be proud to be wearing the jersey.”
After earning first team All-Big Ten honors twice, winning the 2013 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year Award and being named a 2013 national semifinalist for the Hermann Trophy — NCAA soccer’s Heisman — Wisconsin defender AJ Cochran was ready to move on to bigger things.Thursday the Houston Dynamo of Major League Soccer gave him that chance when the 20-year-old centerback was selected No. 16 overall in the MLS SuperDraft.Cochran, who would currently be in the middle of his junior year at UW, signed a Generation Adidas contract and participated in the MLS Combine last week, where he was projected by some analysts to go as high as No. 5. As a Generation Adidas signee, Cochran will not count against the Houston Dynamo’s salary cap and will have the opportunity to complete his college education later, paid for through his Generation Adidas contract.Known for his aerial prowess — a skill that gave Wisconsin a last-second win against then-reigning National Champions Indiana earlier this season — Cochran will be called upon to help anchor a team that made it all the way to the Eastern Conference Championship in 2013. Houston’s 2014 schedule is slated to kick off Mar. 8 at home against the New England Revolution.Cochran’s teammate, midfielder Tomislav Zadro also participated in the MLS Combine last week, and went undrafted through the first two rounds. The Superdraft will reconvene Tuesday for rounds three and four.