Arab Center Wed, 21 Jul 2021 20:32:07 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Arab Center 32 32 Highest-paid gig in town rains £ 12million a head – but are non-exes still independent? | Nils Pratley Wed, 21 Jul 2021 19:48:00 +0000

S166 millionaires were created Wednesday in the City. Well, strictly speaking, the fortunes of the investment professionals at private equity firm Bridgepoint were not “created” all at once. On the contrary, listing the company on the stock exchange crystallized the value of the shares they already owned and allowed them to sell a few.

But, however you think of the numbers from this £ 2.88bn IPO, they illustrate how private equity is challenging investment banking for highest paid gig status in the financial game. .

With 27 billion euros (£ 23 billion) under management, Bridgepoint is big, but not like KKR, CVC or Blackstone. Still, the combined 78% stake before the happy 166 IPO was worth £ 2bn on listing, or £ 12m per head on average.

The loot is obviously not evenly divided between the Bridgepoint brothers. It can be seen from the prospectus that Executive Chairman William Jackson sold shares worth nearly £ 8million in the IPO and ended up with a stake worth £ 33million, or £ 42million after shares rose a quarter on the first day of trading.

Frédéric Pescatori, head of operations in France and Southern Europe, is even prettier: he still has shares worth £ 85m after selling a bundle for £ 16m. Even at the bottom of the ladder, however, the juniors among the 166 are still probably considering a million or two.

Still, one could consider Bridgepoint to have been very successful and its market value the result of decades of effort since a management buyout by NatWest.

The same cannot be said, however, of the very unusual – and very significant – signing fees, billed as “up-front fees”, that Bridgepoint paid to its new non-executive directors.

Archie Norman, the senior independent director, received £ 1.75million, or £ 962,000 after tax, on top of his more standard fee of £ 200,000 for filling the part-time role. Three other non-executives, including ITV chief executive Carolyn McCall, were awarded £ 500,000 just for climbing on board.

They must have used the money to buy shares in Bridgepoint, and, yes, they are all hired individuals in British corporate life. But, come on, the initial signing bonuses of this size for non-executives push the boundaries of their independent director status.

These are the people who are supposed to deliver the scrutiny through the eyes of a stranger. Maybe the arrangement looks normal from inside the Millionaire Factory, but in terms of commonly understood governance, it really isn’t.

Inclusion pays off

“The Bank of England recognizes that in order to continue its mission, it must reflect the diversity of the people it serves. It has not always been the case. “

No, it wasn’t Andrew Bailey, the BOE governor, who pledged on Wednesday that Threadneedle Street would do more to tackle systemic racial inequalities. It was his predecessor, Mark Carney, in a speech in February 2017. Indeed, Carney, at the same address, said the central bank had three years ago “made diversity and talent a central pillar” of the first strategic plan.

You see the picture: the latest critical report from the Bank’s governing body, which found “material disparities between lived collective experiences, career opportunities and the results of ethnic and white minority colleagues”, comes after years of promises of personal improvement from the bank’s management. .

One of the suggestions in the report is to empower senior managers through their salaries, to achieve inclusion goals. It’s a better idea than another round of Carney-style speeches.

Then again

Another earnings statement, yet another improved profit forecast for Next, the high street retailer that makes it easy. It’s now been six upgrades since the big downgrade at the start of the lockdown in March 2020.

Lots of skills, tight cost control, and strategic planning lie behind the outperformance, but what’s amazing is that the city is taken by surprise every time. Shares rose 7.5%.

At least three of the four factors cited by chief executive Simon Wolfson to explain the “surprisingly strong sales performance” in recent weeks could be detected by looking out the window or following the news. It was hot in late May and early June; fewer vacations abroad boosted domestic spending; and consumer savings have increased.

Wolfson expects things to slow down in the second half of Next’s fiscal year as some of those factors dissipate. It will be in the right direction – but don’t be shocked if things improve again.

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Why COVID strengthens the case for stamp duty elimination Wed, 21 Jul 2021 19:30:00 +0000

Of course, economists have argued for decades for stamp duty to be abolished and replaced with a broad-based property tax.

Why? Because property taxes are impossible to dodge – you can’t hide the land – while stamp duties are more easily avoided by simply not changing homes.

Workers can benefit from being close to their workplace. Credit:Rob homer

And why is this important? Because economies thrive when people and resources are free to move to where they can be used most productively.

Workers benefit when they can live closer to their workplace. Retirees benefit when they can downsize and unlock some of the equity in their family home to fund their retirement. Young families benefit when they can move to larger homes that meet their needs.

So how would a property tax work?

It’s literally the multibillion-dollar question – roughly equivalent to the massive hole that would be blown into the state government’s coffers if it chose to forgo stamp duty revenues.

To fully replace this lost revenue, a property tax would need to be applied at around 0.44% in Sydney and 0.50% in Melbourne, according to the report’s modeling.

This tax would only apply to the “unimproved land value” of the house, which is typically about two-thirds of a house’s total value. So for a $ 1,000,000 property, and assuming the land value was around $ 666,000, that works out to an annual property tax of around $ 3,000 per year.

Would you pay it?

The movement is not without precedent. In 2012, the ACT government began a 20-year transition to phase out stamp duty and gradually increase property tax. Last year in New South Wales, Treasurer Dominic Perrottet signaled his determination to abandon the inefficient tax for good in favor of a property tax.

Consultations continue, but the NSW government has indicated it prefers homebuyers to be able to choose whether they want to pay the current new property tax or choose to continue paying the old duty rates stamp instead.


How would a rational NSW buyer decide? Mostly, it would depend on how long they intended to stay at home. According to the NHIFIC report, the average period of house ownership in both NSW and Victoria is around 12.5 years. That is, on average people move every 12 and a half years or so. Of course, some people stay there much longer and might end up paying more in permanent property tax than they would in initial stamp duty.

According to the modeling of the report, a Sydney resident who bought a million dollar house and stayed there for more than 13.8 years would end up paying more outstanding property tax than if they had opted for a right initial stamp.

In Melbourne, the buyer of a million dollar home would end up paying more property tax after 16.5 years – given the relatively higher cost of the stamp duty.

But given that the average length of housing tenure – at 12 and a half years – is shorter in these two scenarios, the report’s authors conclude that most buyers at this price point would opt for property tax.


Of course, a much simpler option would be to simply order that all new property sales must fall under the new property tax regime.

Either way, dropping the high initial stamp duty would encourage more people to move, the report concludes. According to NHFIC CEO Nathan Dal Bon: “Households that are considering downsizing and increasing the workforce, or simply looking for more space when working from home during COVID-19 would not be penalized. “

However long it takes us to get there, a world free of stamp duty would be a world in which more Australians have greater freedom to settle in housing better suited to their needs.

Let’s just hope that home hair salons and home school facilities are not required features for too long.

Jessica Irvine is an economics editor.

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UCLA receives million dollar challenge grant to expand teaching in Israeli studies Wed, 21 Jul 2021 19:20:14 +0000

UCLA Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for Israel Studies Received a Matching $ 1 Million Challenge Grant from the Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation to Support Expansion of Teaching on Modern Israel at UCLA .

The grant would match up to $ 1 million in new donations from other donors to the Nazarene Center, for a possible total of $ 2 million in endowment funds to strengthen teaching in Israeli studies. Funds can be used to help support a new faculty member, guest speakers or visiting professors.

“I am delighted that the Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation is making another very generous donation to support Israeli studies at UCLA,” said Dov Waxman, professor of Israeli studies at the Rosalinde Foundation and Arthur Gilbert at UCLA and director of the Nazarian Center. “The new donation will help UCLA expand its teaching on modern Israel and further strengthen UCLA’s position in the growing field of Israel studies. This commitment by the Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation is also a major vote of confidence in the work of the Nazarite Center for Israel Studies.

To receive all matching funds, the Nazarian Center, part of the UCLA International Institute, is seeking an additional $ 1 million in donations by June 30, 2027.

The foundation has a long history of supporting Israeli Studies at UCLA, having made its first donation to Israeli Studies in 2004 and, in 2006, donating to establish the chair currently held by Waxman.

► Find out more about the Matching Gifts program on the Nazarian Center website

“We are very pleased with our long-term partnership with UCLA and the Younes & Soraya Nazarian Center for Israel Studies,” said Martin H. Blank Jr., administrator of the Gilbert Foundation and member of the Nazarian Center Community Advisory Board. . “With this matching grant, we want to advance exceptional teaching about modern Israel at UCLA and beyond, and promote humanities courses in particular, so that students have a better understanding of the country in all. its dimensions. “

The grant creates the Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation Endowment for Teaching in Israeli Studies, and it earmarks funds for the Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation Award for Excellence in Teaching Israeli Studies, an annual award of $ 5,000 to recognize outstanding teaching on Israel by a professor professor at any American university.

“This gift from the Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation provides an excellent opportunity to foster education and knowledge of modern Israel,” said Richard S. Ziman, administrator of the foundation and member of the community advisory board of the Nazarian Center.

Established in 2010, the Nazarian Center sponsors courses for students on the history, politics, society and culture of Israel. The internationally renowned center also supports research in Israeli studies, organizes public programs, and hosts academics, policy makers and visiting artists.

“UCLA is deeply grateful to the Gilbert Foundation for this generous grant and for its continued support to the Nazarian Center,” said Cindy Fan, UCLA vice-president of international studies and global engagement. “We are delighted that the grant is focused on education.

The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation funds programs that promote education, tolerance, social services, health care, and the arts in Southern California and Israel.

/ Public distribution. This material is from the original organization and may be ad hoc in nature, edited for clarity, style and length. See it in full here.

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UPPZ pledges to pay all traditional chiefs a salary – the mast online Wed, 21 Jul 2021 13:18:51 +0000

UPPZ presidential candidate Charles Chanda says the only problem with Zambia is that people are choosing leaders who have many pockets.

And Chanda says the government’s decision to engage in the civil servant debt swap is a sign that there is money in Zambia.

Present in Radio Maria’s good governance program, Chanda said the country has money that can be used for various programs.

“As UPPZ, we have a policy in place to ensure that chefs and leaders are put on the payroll. We have counselors and they are on the payroll but the counselors do not make roads in the villages. They don’t bring water to the villages, ”he said. “But when you look at the chiefs and chiefs, they are the ones who stay in the villages and they are the ones who work. For us, we’re going to make sure that the chiefs and chiefs, whether they are published in the Gazette or not, get something from the government. They will be put on the payroll. “

Chanda said he could justify where he would get the money to pay chefs and chefs on a monthly basis.

“Look at our ridings here in Chipata. We have ridings, and in those ridings we have chiefs who do not have vehicles. But a deputy who does not stay in the constituency but stays in Lusaka, the government gets a vehicle – a 4 by 4 giving a deputy but the chiefs and chiefs do not have motorcycles or vehicles and yet they are the ones who stay in places where there are no bridges, ”Chanda added. “For me, as Charles Chanda, I don’t agree with this kind of keeping people. I want to serve the chiefs and all the chiefs and indunas so that they know that God has heard their cry now. There is no justification for the chiefs not being able to receive a vehicle when the hon. Member has one. ”

And Chanda said the government’s quest to take back loans from officials has proven that there is a lot of money in the treasury.

He wondered, however, why the government could repay loans to people who were still working.

“The problem is, we normally choose leaders who have a lot of pockets that don’t fill in five years. Even 10 years is not enough. This is why you see that when the time comes for the elections, others will say “my time is not over yet”. It is not the time that is not over, they just want to say that ‘my pockets are not full’, ”said Chanda. “This time the government wants to pay loans to civil servants, which is why we say the money is there. Why should the government get the money and pay off someone’s loan while they are working? You know sometimes I sit down normally and ask God “What have we done in Zambia to get the leaders to make policies that we would all agree is from God!” You can’t tell me that this policy of paying loans for working people… This policy is not from God. “

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Government funds earmarked for a single purpose should only be used for that purpose Wed, 21 Jul 2021 10:01:11 +0000

When the Florida legislature meets in Tallahassee, a sweep of the Sadowski Housing Trust Fund to fund projects unrelated to housing usually follows.

The State Documentary Stamp Duty on Real Estate Sales provides Sadowski Funds with $ 423 million per year for state agencies and local governments to develop initiatives to help people own housing and pay for housing. rent. The funds are critical for Palm Beach County and much of Florida as the housing market becomes less affordable. Yet heads of state too often see funds as nothing more than a piggy bank for other budget priorities.

After years of plundering the only funds intended for affordable housing initiatives, lawmakers this year came up with a strange solution: they would not touch the funds, in exchange for a permanent reduction in the amount it provides for housing.