Old Mutual makes Fortune 500

first_img14 July 2005Financial services group Old Mutual has joined Anglo American and BHP Billiton as South African-based companies which have made it into the top 300 global firms on the prestigious Fortune 500 list, Business Day reports.The Fortune Global 500, to be released by Fortune magazine later in July, puts Old Mutual at position 278, up from 304 the previous year.Fortune measures companies by their revenue rather than market capitalisation, the newspaper reports. Old Mutual’s revenue grew by 22% to US$20.9-billion in 2004. The average revenue growth for the top 500 companies was 13%.Despite a few slow years after it listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1998, Business Day reports, Old Mutual’s growth has taken off in the past couple of years largely because of a turnaround in fortunes at its US asset management and insurance business.“We have performed well in all our key geographical areas and we look forward to more of the same in the years to come,” Old Mutual CEO Jim Sutcliffe told Business Day.Last year, Old Mutual’s US life business increased its contribution to about half of total new life business at the group. Nearly three-quarters of its asset management clients are now in the US and UK.The inclusion of Anglo American, BHP Billiton and Old Mutual on the list shows that multinational South African companies have used their global presence to boost revenue, according to the newspaper.Anglo American moved up from 275 to 213 on Fortune’s list, while BHP Billiton increased revenue 47% in 2004 to move up 100 places to 241, Business Day reports. Mittal Steel enters the Global 500 for the first time at 253, thanks to record steel prices. Surprisingly, brewing giant SABMiller is not included on the list of the 500 biggest companies.SouthAfrica.info reporterlast_img read more

Big numbers for the big horses at the Ohio State Fair

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Matt ReeseCattle people love cattle shows and hog people love hog shows but pretty much everyone loves draft horse shows. And, fortunately for those in Ohio, the Ohio State Fair has five impressive days showcasing the largest livestock on the grounds.The Ohio State Fair draft horse competitions are among the top in country.“It truly is outstanding. I see it grow every year. I am so proud of it and I think it is great entertainment for all of our visitors who come to the Fair,” said Virgil Strickler, Ohio State Fair manager. “They get those horses decked out in their harnesses and the wagons they are pulling — that is just something you don’t see every day. And to see those six-horse hitches out there in the coliseum at one time for the Governor’s Cup is just phenomenal.”In the background of those impressive horses at the Ohio State Fair is Ron Mack, who has served as the Ohio State Fair Draft Horse Superintendent since 2001. Mack loves that so many State Fair visitors get to see the draft horses because he has a long history appreciating draft horses himself.“When I was about 8 my uncle was farming with draft horses and he needed help on the farm. He didn’t have any kids yet and needed help. When he made hay, he’d load the hay and I drove the horses. When he made maple syrup in the woods, I’d help and keep him company. I fell in love with horses,” Mack said. “When I got older I was able to buy a farm in 1977. I was really ill with cancer and I wanted to buy a draft horse before I kicked the bucket. I bought my first draft horse in ‘82. I went from one to as many as 12. I started hitching and learning and teaching myself. I showed Belgians at the Ohio State Fair from 1982 up through when I started running this show. I had been going to six state fairs and 10 or 15 county fairs and so on. I have done some judging too. I slowed down showing in ‘99 and 2000.”Outside of the draft horse world, Mack had a career as a teacher, coach and athletic director. The discipline and people skills he learned in his career have served him — and the Ohio State Fair draft horse shows — very well.“I try to get along with everyone and I have a lot of discipline in my background as a teacher and coach. You have to have some passion but bend a little here and there without losing what you represent,” Mack said. “The State Fair had shows for seven or eight different breeds back when I started. Now there are really just two shows — the draft industry and 4-H are the only horse shows at the State Fair. We are fortunate that Virgil Strickler, when we went from a 17- to a 12-day show kept us at a five-day show. We were one of the few that did not get cut period. We’ve gotten bigger and better since then and we have really grown in the last four or five years. Virgil has been a huge supporter and should be credited for much of this progress.”A highlight of the draft horse shows is the Governor’s Cup, featuring an impressive six-horse hitch competition.“Our Governor’s Cup was started back in 2002 and we have had some of the best six-horse hitches in the country come through there. The first year we invited the two six-horse hitch winners from each of the breeds: Belgian, Percheron, and Clyde/Shires — that first year we had six in the Governor’s Cup. It was sort of a championship class. We raised around $5,000 for awards to get it off of the ground. After that we allowed anyone in and we got up to 21 hitches then it fell back to 16 or 18. We are hoping for 30 in the Governor’s Cup this year. Last year we had 27 and it was the largest six-horse hitch competition in North America. People who come to the Ohio State Fair usually end up being in the top of the North American hitches.”The early success of the Governor’s Cup at the Ohio State Fair put the draft horse program in a very strong position nationally in the North American Six-Horse Hitch Classic Series. In the Series, six-horse hitches across the United States and Canada compete at agricultural exhibitions to accumulate points for the Classic Series that includes 60 qualifying shows.“They have a championship at the end in Oklahoma or Denver or Pennsylvania. They started the series around ‘87 and if you hooked a six at the big fairs they kept track of the points. The Classic has helped the industry big time,” Mack said. “At the Ohio State Fair, we host more Classic Shows than any other fair. We have six Classic shows for the draft horse industry. There is a Classic show for each of the three breeds and the Governor’s Cup for each breed. If you don’t come to the Ohio State Fair, you’re probably not going to make it to the championship.”Involvement in the Classic Series requires higher payouts, which also has helped Ohio State Fair draft horse numbers.“We don’t have the most money in the country but, for example, we have gone from $5,000 to $12,000 in the Governor’s Cup. The top dollar award is maybe $1,000 and the minimum is $200. If you enter, it costs you $50 so at least you get back what you put into it. The six-hitch people at the Fair average about $1,000 in entry fees and stall fees to come and they go home, on average, with $2,000,” Mack said. “The total is around $87,000 that is available to win for draft horses at the Ohio State Fair.”Big awards are needed for the big, expensive, animals.The All Star Farms Hitch was the winner of the 2017 Ohio State Fair Governor’s Cup. Photo by Ken Siems, PSD Photo., www.psdphoto.net.“If you take the dollars invested in wagons, carts, harnesses, semis, trailers, employees, salaries, horses — when you add it all up it is very expensive,” Mack said. “Some show four months a year, some show nine months a year. You can pretty much show year round any more and they travel with crews of four to five people with all of that equipment.”The draft horse numbers have also increased because of efforts to cater to the super-sized challenges and needs of draft horse exhibitors.“The first thing I did when I took this job was meet with the Fair people. I went in with my briefcase. I asked where the hot seat was and they said, ‘Over there.’ I went over 13 items I thought draft horse people would like to see changed. After an hour and half I had 11 of the 13 OKed. I thought that was doing pretty well,” Mack said. “Then I asked to meet with the Highway Patrol a few days before the Fair. I went to their office and said, ‘Look, I want to work together and I want to help. If you have a problem with any of my people parking here and parking there and coming in the wrong gates, call me and let me handle them, unless it is an emergency.’ I told them we wanted to cooperate and get along. I always meet with the Highway Patrol now every year. I work with them on a first name basis and we get along. They have been fantastic. They listen, they are super good people and they have been flexible.”That flexibility extends to the exhibitors’ stay at the Fair as well.“We’ll have around 800 draft horses and ponies at the State Fair, but they are not all there the whole five days, which helps,” Mack said. “We are fortunate in that most fairs require people to come from a deadline to a deadline. We have a policy that you can come and go when you want to.”Mack, now 83, has enjoyed watching draft horse entry numbers climb during his tenure due to his efforts.“Being as old as I am they asked me if I had an assistant. If I was going to have an assistant, I wanted someone who I could get along with who works like I do. Sometimes it is not a good thing to have family and friends working with you, but I have a granddaughter — Chelsea Ball — who sees things the way I do and she has a backbone. She is interested in helping and now she is my assistant. She runs the office and runs the computers. She can run the whole thing if I’m not there,” Mack said. “Getting ready for the show is a challenge and the seven days we are there for the shows are intense. The days start at 7:30 and then at night I spend a lot of time wining and dining with the people. That is part of getting to know people and understanding what they need. If you like it and live it there really is no tough part.”From July 30 through Aug. 3, Ohio Ag Net (ocj.com) will be live streaming draft horse shows from the Ohio State Fair, including the Governor’s Cup on Aug. 2.“We are going to live stream shows each night,” Mack said. “Being an old guy I don’t always get into the computer stuff, but I think it has helped us and will help us. I don’t understand all of it but it is amazing what it has done for the industry. I think overall it is going to be great for us and help more people get interested in draft horses — and we can brag and say we have some of the best hitches in North America at the Ohio State Fair.”last_img read more

Ohio’s quirky Christmas

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Matt ReeseThere is definitely something special about Christmas on a farm, but Ohio’s small towns and cities know how to spread a little holiday cheer as well. Here are some fun (and quirky) Christmas happenings in small towns around Ohio worth celebrating. PortsmouthThis Scioto County seat has had its share of struggles in recent years, but efforts are underway to turn the city around in a positive direction. Those efforts include spreading some Christmas cheer in 2018 with a month-long Winterfest. The Market Square in the city’s Boneyfiddle District has been transformed into a winter wonderland with outdoor ice skating, thousands of lights, and a modern take on an old-fashioned, downtown Christmas. On Dec. 15, Portsmouth is looking to break the world record for the most people simultaneously caroling. The current record is 1,822 held by Waukesha, Wis. The folks in Portsmouth are looking for 2,000 carolers at 7 p.m. on the 15th. All are welcome and it is free to participate.The holiday festivities are part of a broader effort to revitalize Portsmouth, said Matthew Seifert, president of Friends of Portsmouth.“We did a river cleanup after the floodwaters receded in the spring. That led to some momentum to do some other small projects including a movie night for families downtown in Portsmouth and then Plant Portsmouth. We ended up setting a world record for most people simultaneously potting plants. We had 1,405 people come out and we also did a massive cleanup of downtown,” he said. “For Winterfest, we were able to rent an artificial skating rink that simulates the ice skating experience. We built a larger event around that to create a destination for downtown during the Christmas period. Winterfest officially started on Dec. 2. The weather was perfect. It was sunny and 65. We had a couple thousand people come through and the ice rink was never without a line. We have a vendor village, carriage rides, Santa’s workshop where kids can tell Santa what they want for Christmas, and people exit through the Friends of Portsmouth gift shop which has different holiday themed items, many made by local artisans. We have a live nativity scene and multiple events happening through the month.”The efforts have given the city some hope this holiday season.“We have seen so many people excited to participate. One thing that has been necessary to repair in this community, I think, is the morale. For a long time, from economic depression, to the drug epidemics and everything else, the community has really felt beaten down. They are looking for things to feel proud of and we are seeing a lot more of that lately,” Seifert said. “People are excited and talking about Portsmouth and Scioto County in ways they haven’t for a long time.” AnsoniaOn Dec. 1, the Ansonia Community Pride organization hosted its inaugural Lighted Tractor Parade to showcase Darke County’s agriculture.“The community loved it!” said Erin Horst, who helped coordinate the event. “Many farmers are already talking about what they want to do for next year. We really lucked out that the rain cleared and the parade went off without inclement weather. If we can just have a normal fall and get harvest over early next year, that might help with participation.”The parade included 36 tractor, RTV and golf cart entries, with the majority being tractors. The entry fee for the parade was a donation to the Ansonia Food Pantry and it raised over $800, Horst said. Businesses stayed open late for the parade to cap off the day of events that started with a pancake breakfast and included a visit from Santa.Ansonia Community Pride organized the event that builds on other recent community activities including hanging banners honoring local veterans, paintings in town, and numerous community events. Plans are already being made for the 2nd Ansonia Lighted Tractor Parade on Dec. 7, 2019. CliftonWhile the tiny village of Clifton is fairly understated most of the year, it sets the heavens aglow during the holidays thanks to the legendary Christmas light display at Clifton Mill. The Satariano family that owns the mill is once again dazzling thousands of visitors with an incredible 4 million-light display. The display was recently featured on the ABC TV Show The Great Christmas Light Fight “Heavyweights” episode that includes the nation’s top holiday light displays. Clifton Mill won the top prize of $50,000 for the best display. The episode aired in early December.The tradition of the Christmas lights stems from the Satariano family tradition of decorating their family home each year while current owner Anthony Satariano was growing up. After buying the mill, it only seemed natural to continue the tradition on a bigger scale.“We bought 100,000 lights thinking that would be enough. We learned a lot. People would pull in and say, ‘Wow this is really neat.’ We just did more of it after that to share with people,” Satariano said. “We can get several thousand visitors on a good night.”The Clifton Mill is also in the running to win Best Public Holiday Lights Display for USA Today. You can see the contenders and vote for Clifton Mill at 10best.com/awards/travel/best-public-holiday-lights-display/. The national winners will be announced Dec. 21.last_img read more

The Time for Building Green Homes has Arrived

first_img_The Link Between Energy Efficiency and Our Country’s Best Interests Are Now Well Understood. Here’s five reasons why the time is ripe to build and remodel green_In my last semester of architecture school, I took an elective solar and energy-efficiency course. My life changed immediately and forever. And now, almost 35 years later, it appears the building industry has caught up and it’s time for “green.” Why now? I’ve got five reasons:1. Consumers are watching their pocketbooks.And they are increasingly concerned about extremely volatile energy prices. When both Democratic and Republican presidential candidates share a commitment to a Manhattan Project-scale investment in renewable and energy-efficiency technologies, there should be no debate on the future direction for housing. The market is responding as consumers increasingly demonstrate a preference for energy efficiency when choosing products ranging from lightbulbs, to cars to appliances to homes.Also, the link between energy efficiency and our country’s best interests is now well understood. This includes the numerous detrimental impacts on our national security and economy with an unprecedented transfer of wealth occurring as Americans send approximately $700 billion to foreign countries annually to import oil to the United States. Consumers constantly bombarded with visual images depicting profound climate-change impacts (melting glaciers, drowning polar bears) understand good planets are hard to come by.2. We’re not in Kansas anymore; builders can’t compete on price.Nearly 2 million foreclosed homes at bottom-barrel prices are dominating sales, and about 1 million vacant homes are waiting in the wings to go on sale. If you’re a builder competing with these used homes based on price, you’ve got two hands tied behind your back. Moreover, the market for traditional new homes continues to shrink as demographic trends suggest 70 million-plus baby boomers and an equal number of baby boomer children seeking smaller homes and urban living.As the universe of buyers who qualify for financing continues to shrink, builders need much more to offer than dollars per square foot and granite counters. Green and energy efficiency allow them to feature a compelling performance advantage compared with minimum-code homes. And for those builders willing to train their sales staff, it is often easy to show that green homes cost less to own when the cost of additional green features is easily offset by lower operational costs.3. Quality is no longer invisible.The infrared camera is poised to rock the housing industry. With this technology coming down in price from more than $30,000 to less than $4,500, the home-building industry is now vulnerable to affordable X-ray vision that exposes overall quality and common defects. This will be particularly true as home inspectors associated with approximately 70% of all existing home sales increasingly include infrared diagnostics with their inspections. Infrared cameras also present an opportunity because energy-efficient construction practices render more than 90% of the competition visibly obsolete.4. The Internet makes consumers much smarter.Over 80% of home buyers now research on the Web before buying a new home. And they have so much more information about quality (for example, the J. D. Power Web site), energy efficiency (the Energy Star for Homes Web site), costs (the Zillow Web site), and green (over 50 national and regional green housing programs with Web sites). There’s even a Web site in England, sure to become available in the U.S., that allows home buyers to enter an address to review an infrared camera satellite image comparing thermal performance to other homes of interest. The satellite image serves as a quick snapshot of quality based on relative heat loss through the rooftops. As the Home Energy Rating System (HERS) industry continues to develop an impressive national infrastructure, it offers consumers another new and important source of independent home-evaluation information before purchase.5. The risk of inaction is too great.The U.S. automobile industry is effectively a poster child for “head in the sand” business strategies. By ignoring leadership in fuel efficiency, safety, durability, quality, and innovation for decades, American manufacturers have fallen into the depths of irrelevance, from which they may never recover. Even if they can somehow survive, they are not expected to regain the industry stature they once owned.The housing industry is facing the same challenges and opportunities, but no builder should expect a government bailout for inaction. Fortunately, builders across the country have finally connected the dots and are anxiously looking to demonstrate more-effective leadership.It’s been almost 10 years since then–National Association of Home Builders president Charlie Ruma spoke his often-quoted line in 1999: “If you’re not building green in 10 years, you won’t be building.”That time has arrived.–Sam Rashkin is National Director of Energy Star for Homes. He lives in northern Virginia and works in Washington, DC.last_img read more

Batangas grabs solo 2nd

first_imgTeam Batangas made short work of AMA Online Education, 95-76, to take solo second in the 2017 PBA D-League Foundation Cup Thursday at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.ADVERTISEMENT WATCH: Firefighters rescue baby seal found in parking garage MOST READ Jared Bautista topscored for Batangas with 22 points, while Joseph Sedurifa and Cedric Ablaza combined for 27 points and 15 boards.Batangas coach Eric Gonzales believes his team, which improved to 3-1, had made the most out of the lessons learned from last conference.“It’s a big thing that they absorbed what you want in a team,” he said.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutStill, Gonzales thinks that there are still things that his players need to improve, such as their discipline and timing.“Whenever we play defense at the backcourt, that’s where we create offense for the opponent,” said Gonzales.Batangas—which started strong with a 17-4 run in the first quarter—spoiled another solid outing of AMA’s Andre Paras, who grabbed 22 rebounds on top of 10 points and four blocks. Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games What ‘missteps’? World’s 50 Best Restaurants launches new drinking and dining guide Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chicken Benjie Paras proud to see son Andre prosper in D-League Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chicken 1 dead in Cavite blast, fire Jordan delivers on promise: 2 Cobra choppers now in PH In the second game, Centro Escolar University tripped Zark’s Burgers, 78-62, for a 2-2 record.Rodrigue Ebondo, who already posted a double-double in the first half, finished with another stellar performance of 23 points, 21 rebounds, two blocks, a steal and an assist to lead CEU. —KRISTOFER PURNELLSports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next View commentslast_img read more

Gov’t Meets Six of 10 EGC Policy Recommendations

first_imgStory Highlights Additionally, he noted that the Ministry completed work to develop the framework for public debt reduction through a programme of State asset privatisation and sale. Mr. Lee-Chin also advised that the Ministry of National Security has commenced a feasibility study to create a Global Jamaican Immigration Card for issuance to members of the Diaspora. The Government has met six of the 10 Economic Growth Council (EGC) policy recommendations targeted for implementation during the April to June quarter.EGC Chairman, Michael Lee-Chin, made the disclosure at the presentation of the Council’s third quarterly report at the Spanish Court Hotel in New Kingston on Thursday, July 27.The policy recommendations come under three areas of reform – business climate, specifically public procurement; asset utilisation, in particular debt reduction and State asset privatisation; and Diaspora involvement in relation to immigration.Mr. Lee-Chin said that among the targets met in the area of business climate reform was work by the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service to draft the Public Procurement (Techniques, Procedures and Offsets) Regulations and Public Procurement (Reconsideration and Review) Regulations, which were completed and tabled in Parliament in May.Additionally, he noted that the Ministry completed work to develop the framework for public debt reduction through a programme of State asset privatisation and sale.The Chairman noted, however, that the May timeline to finalise and table the Public Procurement (Registration and Classification of Suppliers) Regulations, and complete the Handbook of Public Sector Procurement Procedures were missed.“The Ministry of Finance and the Public Service has advised that they are actively working on the establishment of the Public Procurement Commission, which is a prerequisite for the tabling of the third (set of) regulations,” he said.“Public procurement is an important tool for stimulating economic growth and development. The central government and its public bodies, together, purchased approximately $100 billion of goods and services last year. We are, therefore, urging the Ministry of Finance to urgently finalise the regulations and enact the Public Procurement Act,” he emphasised.center_img The Government has met six of the 10 Economic Growth Council (EGC) policy recommendations targeted for implementation during the April to June quarter. Mr. Lee-Chin also advised that the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) met the April timeline for the creation of a protocol supporting the establishment of enterprise teams to handle transactions related to improving the scalability and efficiency of the privatisation and sale of State assets as well as the public/private partnership process through which these would be pursued.Additionally, he said the DBJ submitted a protocol and framework to Cabinet for the outsourcing of privatisation processes to for-profit firms.The Chairman pointed out, however, that Urban Development Corporation (UDC) and Factories Corporation of Jamaica, which fall under the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, missed the May timeline for the submission of a plan to divest up to 20 per cent of their assets.“The Ministry is finalising the submissions with respect to the UDC’s assets, and the FCJ’s Board is working on a list of assets to be proposed for divestment,” he informed.Mr. Lee-Chin also advised that the Ministry of National Security has commenced a feasibility study to create a Global Jamaican Immigration Card for issuance to members of the Diaspora.This exercise, which got underway in May, is being undertaken by the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute for Social and Economic Studies (SALISES) at the University of the West Indies Mona Campus in St. Andrew.Chairman of the EGC’s Diaspora Engagement Subcommittee, Dr. David Panton, told delegates attending the just concluded Jamaica 55 Diaspora Conference that SALISES was selected through a competitive tender process.Meanwhile, Mr. Lee-Chin advised that while regulatory amendments that will facilitate the investment of pension funds in a wide range of products have been drafted, the June timeline for their tabling in Parliament has been deferred to allow for further analysis and consultations.last_img read more