Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 33 n° 244

Posts Tagged ‘risk’

The Spinelli Group president warns of risk of irrelevance for the conference of the future of Europe

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 10 febbraio 2021

“I express my deep concern about the recent developments on the Conference on the Future of Europe, following the recently published revised Council position, which is object of discussions in the negotiations between the EU institutions in these hours”.
“While I very much believe that the Conference should start immediately, at the same time the Council document contains serious shortcomings in terms of governance, mandate, and contents. The envisaged methods for direct participation from citizens appear insufficient, and it is inappropriate, at the very least, excluding from the discussion possible suggestions for Treaty change. The outcome of the Conference should be reflected in a report to be discussed by all EU Institutions on an equal and balanced manner and not by the European Council only.”“The Conference on the Future of Europe shall be about citizens and their voices in Europe, but inadequate involvement of citizens in the process, offering them the chance to provide input or evaluate output in a meaningful manner, would seriously risk jeopardising the whole aim of the Conference.”
“Important issues also emerge on the leadership of the Conference. In this respect, it is imperative that the European Parliament, being the only institution enjoying direct expression from the citizens, occupies a central role. I believe that all political groups shall be represented adequately in the body that decides on fundamental details on the way the Conference is organised and how citizens will actually be involved.”The Board of the Spinelli Group is gathering on Wednesday 10 February to discuss its official position on the matter and will submit its considerations on the Joint Declaration and the Conference on the Future of Europe to the institutions’ negotiators and the press.The Union of European Federalists (UEF) is a pan-European, non-governmental political organisation dedicated to the promotion of European political unity. For more than 70 years UEF has been a leading voice in the promotion of European unity and an early campaigner for key milestones in the development of the European Communities and then the European Union. With 25 national sections and over 400 local groups across Europe, UEF promotes a federal Europe among citizens and political representatives at all levels of government. More on: http://www.federalists.eu.

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European values: COVID-19 emergency measures pose a “risk of abuse of power”

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 30 ottobre 2020

On Tuesday, the Civil Liberties Committee approved a draft resolution that takes stock of the state of European values in the context of national measures taken to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic, with 50 votes to 11 and 3 abstentions.MEPs concluded that national emergency measures pose a “risk of abuse of power” and stressed that any measure affecting democracy, the rule of law, and fundamental rights must be necessary, proportional and time-limited. They call on governments to consider terminating their “state of emergency” or at least to clearly define the delegation of powers to their executives, and to ensure that appropriate parliamentary and judicial checks and balances are in place.MEPs urge the Commission to conduct an evaluation of “first wave” measures, in addition to the initial comments included in its first annual rule of law report, and emphasise the need for a permanent, effective monitoring mechanism.EU countries have to “exercise utmost restraint” when restricting the freedom of movement (especially in relation to the right to family life), while the Commission should scrutinise the application of Schengen rules.MEPs warn against undue restrictions to the freedom of assembly and changes in legislation while citizens are unable to protest. In this context, the need to guarantee free and fair elections becomes even more important, especially with regards to implementing changes to electoral legislation, ensuring equal rights in campaigning, and alternative forms of voting. Disinformation threatens citizens’ health and their trust in public institutions, and has also been used as a pretext to restrict freedom of expression. The best way to tackle this, MEPs say, is by supporting independent journalism and media pluralism (including through transparent allocation of funds to media) as well as by improving journalists’ working conditions.Member states should guarantee the right to education by ensuring that classes continue and students have access to them. Furthermore, they should find solutions through technology or judicial cooperation to safeguard the rights of defendants, and to protect the rights of all persons in their prisons.MEPs finally warn that disinformation stigmatises migrants and has increased discrimination, racism, xenophobia, and hate speech against persons with disabilities, asylum seekers and refugees, people of Romani heritage and LGBTI+ persons. Parliament is scheduled to vote on this resolution during the 11-13 November plenary session.

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Consequences of Covid-19 on global order: multilateralism and democracy at risk

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 29 ottobre 2020

Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee urges the EU to take responsibility in defending rules-based world order, stressing the need to change how decisions are made in EU foreign policy. On Monday, the Foreign Affairs Committee approved, by 49 votes in favour, 6 against and 12 abstentions a report on the consequences of the COVID-19 outbreak on EU foreign policy. According to Committee members, the COVID-19 pandemic is a “game changer” in international affairs. The EU has to strengthen its internal resilience, develop new partnerships, and foster its multilateralist vision on a global scale. The rapporteur Hilde Vautmans (Renew) said: “The European Union has yet to establish its place in the new world order, and this is a weakness for both the EU and for multilateralism. A unified and prominent European presence on the world stage could help restore the global rules-based order after the damage done in recent years. However, Europeans absolutely must defend their interests internationally.” A number of governments and political leaders across the globe are using the crisis as an opportunity to furnish themselves with excessive powers, pursue their own political agendas by limiting human rights, and undermine democratic standards, MEPs say.MEPs are particularly concerned about disinformation campaigns and external attempts to compromise the unity of the EU, notably from Russia, and the politicisation of humanitarian assistance. They also highlight that the current US administration seems to be withdrawing from the multilateral system.In order to protect the rules-based global order, the EU should move towards a stronger foreign policy, MEPs say. Effective measures include a stronger mandate for the EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell to speak on behalf of the EU, for example by establishing a European seat in multilateral bodies. Also, the unanimity rule should be replaced by a qualified majority vote in foreign policy decisions.Referring to China’s attempts to position itself as the dominant global player “with an alternative governance model”, MEPs call on the High Representative to review EU-China relations, making sure that the new strategy defends European values and interests. They also urge the Chinese government to fully cooperate with an independent international investigation into the origins of COVID-19.Finally, MEPs stress the urgent need for a global sanctions regime in order to combat human rights violations.

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Flash – Dollaro indicatore di risk on/off durante picco (US) crisi virus, come accadde nel 2008

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 9 aprile 2020

A cura di Antonio Cesarano, Chief Global Strategist, Intermonte SIM. “La correlazione EurUsd vs SP500 è piuttosto erratica e diventa più marcatamente inversa di fronte a un calo forte dei mercati azionari. In questo caso, nelle ultime settimane di febbraio, il forte calo del SPX dal record storico del 23 febbraio si è tradotto in un apprezzamento dell’euro. Questo è accaduto in buona parte a causa di chiusure di posizioni di carry trade finanziate in eur che nel tempo è diventata la principale valuta di funding dei carry trade grazie a tassi in profondo negativo. Dall’1 marzo emerge un andamento molto correlato. In altri termini le fasi di risk on sono accompagnate da dollaro debole e viceversa. Questo perché, entrando nel vivo della crisi, aumenta anche la sete di dollari nel mondo a causa dell’emergente crisi di liquidità con diverse aziende nel mondo a caccia di dollari finanziate spesso attingendo a linee di credito bancarie. A questo proposito basti citare le corpose linee di credito che, ad esempio, diverse aziende del comparto auto stanno attivando (ultima Daimler) e/o già tirando (Ford e GM). La necessità di dollari è forte anche dal lato emergente, visto che una quota marcata del funding delle aziende (oltre che dei governi) è in dollari. Per questa ragione la Fed ha attivato due linee per cercare di far affluire dollari in tutto il mondo e dissetare così gli assetati nel più breve tempo possibile.
In estrema sintesi, da queste considerazioni emerge come nei prossimi giorni, a mano a mano che si entrerà nel pieno della crisi virus (Usa, Giappone e India), il dollaro potrebbe continuare a essere un semplice indicatore molto importante per sondare l’umore dei mercati e le possibili tensioni latenti.Pertanto, nella fase centrale della crisi virus Usa, un contesto di dollaro in apprezzamento mediamente (nel senso di non tutti i giorni in modo lineare, molto dipende anche dall’entità e dalla velocità dell’apprezzamento anche a livello intraday) diventa indicativo di un contesto di risk off.

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Global risks report

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 25 gennaio 2020

Di Donato Speroni. Ogni anno, alla vigilia dell’incontro di Davos, il World economic forum (Wef) diffonde il Global risks report, ricavato da un’indagine tra top manager ed esperti sui maggiori rischi che corre l’umanità, in termini sia di gravità che di probabilità. Rispetto all’anno scorso, si accentuano le preoccupazioni (e il pessimismo) per il fallimento degli accordi sul clima, per l’impatto dei fenomeni meteorologici estremi, per la perdita di biodiversità. Se poi si analizzano le risposte dei “global shapers” cioè del network del Wef che riunisce giovani impegnati in dialogue, action and change, si vede che per ciascuna di queste catastrofi le preoccupazioni dei giovani sono ancora maggiori.
La domanda che sorge spontanea, se si guardano i grafici del Rapporto, è come mai i potenti del mondo, consapevoli dei rischi che stiamo correndo, non si impegnino maggiormente per cambiare rotta. Sembra quasi che a Davos si assista a un teatrino (nel primo giorno, da una parte l’attivista Greta Thunberg, dall’altra il negazionista Donald Trump) senza davvero rendersi conto dell’entità della posta in gioco.Una parziale risposta può venirci da un rapporto appena diffuso dalla Banca dei regolamenti internazionali sul “cigno verde”, cioè sui rischi alla stabilità finanziaria che derivano dal cambiamento climatico. Nell’abstract si legge cheIl cambiamento climatico pone nuove sfide alle banche centrali, ai regolatori e dai supervisori (…) La valutazione dei rischi correlati al clima nel monitoraggio della stabilità finanziaria è particolarmente difficile per la totale incertezza associata con un fenomeno fisico, sociale ed economico in continuo cambiamento e tale da coinvolgere complesse dinamiche e reazioni a catena. Le analisi tradizionali dei rischi, costruite guardando al passato, e anche i modelli esistenti clima – economia non possono anticipare con adeguata accuratezza le caratteristiche che avranno i rischi legati al clima. Tra questi, quello che definiamo “cigno verde”: eventi finanziari con un potenziale estremamente distruttivo che potrebbero portare alla prossima crisi finanziaria sistemica.
Le verità è che siamo in un territorio inesplorato, nel quale le esperienze precedenti valgono ben poco; non ci sono modelli econometrici o scenari sociopolitici che possano dirci con un ragionevole grado di approssimazione quello che può accadere. Da questa analisi si può intuire il problema che angoscia anche i grandi del mondo che sono convinti di dover intervenire: l’entità della trasformazione è troppo grande per poter essere gestita con successo; meglio occuparsi di problemi “risolvibili”, che possano fornire anche un ritorno elettorale. (fonte: Asvis, Alleanza per lo sviluppo sostenibile)

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Plymouth Rock Assurance® Acquires Rider Insurance Company

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 20 ottobre 2019

Plymouth Rock Assurance today finalized its acquisition of Rider Insurance Company. New Jersey-based Rider is the largest motorcycle insurance provider in the state, and the only carrier serving the motorcycle community exclusively. “We look forward to focusing on the motorcycle insurance segment of the business and expanding our current product offerings,” said Gerry Wilson, President and CEO of Plymouth Rock Management Company of New Jersey. “Plymouth Rock and Rider share a common history built on trust and reliability, and we’re excited to welcome a new group of customers and riding enthusiasts to Plymouth Rock.” Plymouth Rock, rated A- (“Excellent”) by A.M. Best and specializing in auto and home insurance across the Northeast, will now look to expand its motorcycle insurance business with the acquisition of Rider Insurance. The acquisition of Rider by Palisades Safety and Insurance Association, a Plymouth Rock company, was approved earlier this month by the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance.

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MSCI to Strengthen Climate Risk Capability with Acquisition of Carbon Delta

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 12 settembre 2019

MSCI Inc. (NYSE: MSCI), a leading provider of critical decision support tools and services for the global investment community, announced today that its subsidiary, MSCI Barra (Suisse) Sàrl, has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Zurich-based environmental fintech and data analytics firm, Carbon Delta AG (“Carbon Delta”). Founded in 2015, Carbon Delta is a global leader for climate change scenario analysis. Together, MSCI and Carbon Delta will create an extensive climate risk assessment and reporting offering for the institutional market, providing global investors with solutions to help them better understand the impact of climate change on their investment portfolios and comply with mandatory and voluntary climate risk disclosure initiatives and requirements. Voluntary reporting initiatives are being led by entities such as the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) and the United Nations-supported Principles for Responsible Investing (UNPRI), while mandatory disclosure requirements are quickly developing across the European Union and North America.The Carbon Delta integration will expand MSCI’s robust suite of climate risk capabilities with state-of-the-art modeling technology that supports climate scenario analysis and forward-looking assessment of transition and physical risks, as well as extensive company-level analysis of publicly traded companies globally. This will be offered as MSCI Climate Value-at-Risk, an innovative and pioneering climate risk metric that calculates the impact of climate change on a company’s market value and helps investors understand and quantify these risks within their portfolio.The Zurich office will act as MSCI’s Climate Risk Center, the focal point for the development of climate change risk analytics and tools. The aim will be to develop strong partnerships with leading academic and research institutions around the world to advance the use of climate science for financial risk analysis, building on the relationships already forged by Carbon Delta.

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State Street Joins Global Leaders to Address Climate Change Risk at Vatican Gathering

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 16 giugno 2019

State Street Corporation (NYSE: STT), (State Street), today announced that it has signed Participant Statements on Climate Risk Disclosures and Carbon Pricing following the “Energy Transition and Care for Our Common Home” summit hosted by the Vatican’s Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development and the University of Notre Dame.During the Vatican’s second climate change gathering of this kind, State Street’s president and chief executive officer, Ron O’Hanley, joined leaders from the investment and oil and gas sectors to discuss effective action to keep global warming below the two degrees centigrade threshold.“We applaud the Vatican and the University of Notre Dame for bringing together this diverse group to explore constructive ways to transition more quickly and effectively to a cleaner energy world,” said O’Hanley. “We endorse the energy companies’ call for a market-based carbon pricing mechanism and will work with the companies in which we invest to improve climate-related risk disclosures.” This is aligned with the efforts of the Taskforce on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), which State Street joined in 2017.State Street has long believed that corporate boards have a responsibility to effectively oversee the assessment of material risk to long-term strategy posed by climate change, including the implications of transitioning to a low carbon economy. In 2017, State Street Global Advisors, the asset management business of State Street, called on oil and gas companies to improve the reporting and disclosures related to climate change risk assessment.www.statestreet.com.

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Awareness of Fatty Liver Disease Remains Low Among Most At-Risk Patients

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 5 maggio 2019

The results of a new survey released last week at the 3rd Annual NASH (nonalcoholic steatohepatitis) Summit in Boston show that even among patients most at-risk for the fatty liver disease, awareness of the condition remains low.Global clinical trial enrollment company Continuum Clinical, which conducted the survey, found that among Americans with co-morbidities most associated with NASH—including type 2 diabetes, obesity, and hypertension—only 6% have ever heard of NASH. In a previous survey Continuum conducted of 1,000 Americans, unaided awareness of NASH was only 2%.”Low public awareness of NASH and fatty liver disease is a barrier to clinical trial enrollment,” said Cathleen Dohrn, Ph.D., Continuum Clinical’s Senior Scientific Director who presented the findings at the Summit. “NASH clinical trial sponsors need thousands of patients in order to find the first treatment for this condition, which will necessitate increased awareness and diagnosis of NASH.”According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, NASH is an advanced form of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), a condition in which excess fat is stored in your liver and is not caused by heavy alcohol use. NAFLD is one of the most common causes of liver disease in the United States, and a precursor to NASH. Experts estimate that about 20 percent of people with NAFLD have NASH.Continuum also found that 48% of at-risk Hispanic/Latino respondents were most concerned about liver disease versus 32% of the total population surveyed. In addition, Hispanic/Latino respondents were more significantly more interested in learning about a hypothetical NASH clinical research study (62% versus 49% of the total population).”NASH disproportionately affects the Hispanic/Latino population, so having confirmation that this cohort is interested in clinical research signals to us that a special effort must be made to ensure clinical trial enrollment is inclusive,” Dohrn said.
To help explore strategies on how pharmaceutical companies can tackle this patient enrollment challenge, on May 22 Continuum Clinical will host a webinar on overcoming NASH clinical trial challenges with Wayne Eskridge, CEO of the Fatty Liver Foundation, and Qin Ye, MD, MS, associate principal of ZS Associates.

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“Governance, Risk and Compliance – The Bolivian Insurance Industry”

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 27 febbraio 2019

Report is the result of extensive research into the insurance regulatory framework in the Bolivia. It provides detailed analysis of the insurance regulations for life, property, motor, liability, personal accident and health, and marine, aviation and transit insurance giving insurers access to information on prevailing insurance regulations, and recent and upcoming changes in the regulatory framework, taxation and legal system in the country.
The Autoridad de Fiscalizacin y Control de Pensiones y Seguros (APS) is the government authority responsible for the supervision and regulation of the insurance industry in Bolivia. The Insurance Law of 1998, Supreme Decree 25,201 of 1998 and the Code of Commerce of 1977 regulate and govern insurance and reinsurance operations in the country.The Insurance Law was enacted as Law No. 1883 on June 25, 1998, while the Code of Commerce 1977 was introduced as the Law No. 14,379 on February 25, 1977. The subsidiary legislation, Supreme Decree 25,201 issued on October 16, 1998, pursuant to the Insurance Law, stipulates the detailed regulations for the supervision of insurance activities.The report specifies various requirements for the establishment and operation of insurance and reinsurance companies and intermediaries. It also includes the scope of non-admitted insurance in the country.

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2-Day Course on Credit Risk Management

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 16 febbraio 2019

The objective of this course is to give participants an overview of the end to end approach to credit analysis from origination through to documentation signing.By attending this practical 2-day course, you will gain the skills to analyse the specific risks applicable to an individual business, and how to establish tools and methods to protect the lender’s position against those risks. You will also gain the ability to develop a strategy to effectively monitor transactions to capture early warning signals of credit quality deterioration.Through a wide variety of case studies and exercises, from a number of industries and geographical locations you will reinforce the major learning outcomes. The course is highly practical and participants will be encouraged to share their experiences through exercises and group discussions.

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Regulatory Changes and Growth Set to Boost Reinsurers’ Share of Asia Risk

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 9 novembre 2018

In this episode of A.M.BestTV, attendees at the annual Singapore International Reinsurance Conference (SIRC) said market growth, combined with regulatory changes that emphasize solvency standards, should raise the amount of insurance premiums collected in Asia that is ultimately ceded to reinsurers. Click on http://www.ambest.com/v.asp?v=sirc21118 to view the entire program.The hot topic at this year conference in Singapore: how to increase reinsurance growth in Asia, which contributes less than 30% to the world’s insurance premiums and less than 15% to the entire reinsurance industry.“The ones that represent the most potential are the markets that show the biggest economic growth,” said William Ho, head of reinsurance, Asia, MS Amlin. “That is where the potential is and is why so many of us reinsurers and insurers are trying to grow in this region.”Jayne Plunkett, chief executive officer, reinsurance, Asia, Swiss Re, believes that China will be the area that will offer the most growth.“I think we will see most of the growth coming from China,” she said. “Part of that reason is because the regulator in China has a very disciplined and proactive approach about building the marketplace around liability, agriculture and health.”

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First Clients Go Live on GTreasury’s Single Solution for Treasury and Risk Management

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 6 novembre 2018

The first corporate treasury clients to use both cash and risk capabilities on GTreasury’s new single SaaS solution for treasury and risk management are now live, GTreasury announced today at the annual conference of the Association for Financial Professionals (AFP), taking place in GTreasury’s headquarter city, Chicago. Visitors there can see a demonstration of GTreasury at booth. GTreasury selected key clients from North America, EMEA and APAC to take part in the BETA testing of its integrated treasury and risk functionality. Testing began in August this year, after GTreasury’s April 2018 acquisition of Sydney-based Visual Risk, provider of the region’s leading risk management solution, which like GTreasury, was built on the Microsoft technology stack. GTreasury now offers any combination of Cash Management, Payments, Financial Instruments, Accounting, Banking, Risk Management, and Hedge Accounting in one SaaS solution.“Our migration to the new solution has been seamless, mainly down to the expertise and attention of the fantastic customer services team,” says Ed Hawthorn, Treasury Operations Manager at CPA Global, one of GTreasury’s BETA clients. “Equally, the new solution is extremely intuitive and user-friendly, which is making its functionality and rollout to other areas of Finance outside of Treasury an infinitely easier experience.” “This announcement confirms Aite Group’s research findings that—to support corporate treasurers’ specific business workflows— innovative treasury solutions take the form of platforms that integrate core treasury functions (e.g. payments, cash, liquidity) with ‘mission critical’ components (e.g., hedge risk management, FX and money market management),” says Aite Group Analyst Enrico Camerinelli. “We are very excited for this milestone moment in corporate treasury,” says Alok Tyagi, GTreasury’s Chief Product and Technology Officer. “What this means for the treasury function is that it now has a modern technology platform – a digital backbone, if you will – that gives treasury teams the data and digital tools to innovate an end-to-end workflow that works for their organization. With the free flow of data across all treasury activities, teams will gain the clarity and insight needed for more informed decision-making.” As a Lean Agile shop practicing continuous improvement and delivery, GTreasury leverages direct customer feedback and usage insight data to deliver impactful new customer value in every release. GTreasury acquired Visual Risk in response to requests from clients and prospects who wanted to perform both cash and risk activities within one system.

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Investec Asset Management nominato Emerging Markets Manager of the Year agli Insurance Asset Risk Awards 2018

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 30 marzo 2018

Investec Asset Management, società di gestione globale indipendente con 141 miliardi di dollari americani di masse in gestione, è stato nominato Emerging Markets Manager of the Year agli Insurance Asset Risk Awards 2018, tenuti a Londra.
Il premio Emerging Markets Manager of the Year riconosce le abilità di Investec Asset Management nella gestione degli asset dei mercati emergenti per conto di compagnie assicurative. Il premio sottolinea così la consolidata esperienza globale di Investec nei mercati emergenti per quanto riguarda le capabilities sia rispetto al mercato pubblico sia privato, evidenziando l’impegno della società nell’offrire servizi di asset management pensati per le esigenze dei clienti assicurativi e i loro obiettivi di investimento specifici. Con oltre 80 professionisti dell’investimento dedicati ai mercati emergenti, la società mette a disposizione dei propri clienti esperienza e insight di investimento attraverso un’ampia gamma di strategie dedicate ai mercati emergenti e di frontiera. Le strategie specialistiche intendono offrire innovative fonti di rendimento corretto per il rischio per assicuratori e riassicuratori all’interno dei mercati emergenti, ad esempio l’Investec Emerging Markets Corporate Debt Strategy, che permette di accedere a questa promettente asset class considerando al tempo stesso i vincoli di credit-rating degli investitori.
Gli Insurance Asset Risk Awards riconoscono l’eccellenza nel campo dell’asset e investment management per il settore assicurativo negli ultimi 12 mesi: i vincitori sono coloro che si distinguono per leadership e best practice all’interno del settore.Domenico Ferrini, co-Chief Investment Officer, ha commentato: “Questo riconoscimento consolida il track record che abbiamo costruito con pazienza nel settore dei mercati emergenti. Siamo lieti di questo premio. Uno degli aspetti che ci differenzia è la nostra capacità di creare capabilities di investimento di successo dove individuiamo un’opportunità di lungo periodo. A fare davvero la differenza è il nostro DNA, radicato nei mercati emergenti, insieme al percorso di crescita intrapreso, che ci ha resi un player degli investimenti internazionale.”

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Male-pattern baldness and premature greying associated with risk of early heart disease

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 1 dicembre 2017

indiaKolkata, India Male-pattern baldness and premature greying are associated with a more than fivefold risk of heart disease before the age of 40 years, according to research presented at the 69th Annual Conference of the Cardiological Society of India (CSI). Obesity was associated with a fourfold risk of early heart disease. The congress is being held in Kolkata, India, from 30 November to 3 December. Experts from the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) will present a special programme. “The incidence of coronary artery disease in young men is increasing but cannot be explained by traditional risk factors,” said author Dr Sachin Patil, a third year resident at the U.N. Mehta Institute of Cardiology and Research Centre, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India. “Premature greying and androgenic alopecia (male-pattern baldness) correlate well with vascular age irrespective of chronological age and are plausible risk factors for coronary artery disease.”This study investigated the association of premature hair greying and alopecia patterns in young Indian men with coronary artery disease. The study included 790 men aged less than 40 years with coronary artery disease and 1 270 age-matched healthy men who acted as a control group.All participants had a clinical history taken, electrocardiogram (ECG), echocardiography, blood tests, and coronary angiogram. Participants were given a male-pattern baldness score of 0 (none), 1 (mild), 2 (moderate), or 3 (severe) after analysis of 24 different views of the scalp. A hair whitening score was determined according to the percentage of grey/white hairs: 1: pure black; 2: black greater than white; 3: black equals white; 4: white greater than black; 5: pure white.
The researchers analysed the correlation between premature grey hair and alopecia with the complexity and severity of angiographic lesions (an indicator of coronary artery disease) and compared the results between the two groups.The researchers found that young men with coronary artery disease had a higher prevalence of premature greying (50% versus 30%) and male-pattern baldness (49% versus 27%) compared to healthy controls. After adjusting for age and other cardiovascular risk factors, male-pattern baldness was associated with a 5.6 times greater risk of coronary artery disease (95% confidence interval [CI] 4.0–7.8, p<0.0001) and premature greying was associated with a 5.3 times greater risk (95% CI 3.7–7.5, p<0.0001).Male-pattern baldness and premature greying were the strongest predictors of coronary artery disease in young Indian men followed by obesity, which was associated with a 4.1 times greater risk (95% CI 2.8–6.0, p<0.0001). Diabetes mellitus, hypertension, family history of premature coronary artery disease, central obesity, higher body mass index, dyslipidaemia and smoking were predictors of coronary artery disease but to a lesser extent than male-pattern baldness, premature greying, and obesity.
Principal investigator, Dr Kamal Sharma, associate professor, Department of Cardiology, U.N. Mehta Institute of Cardiology and Research Centre, said: “Baldness and premature greying should be considered risk factors for coronary artery disease. These factors may indicate biological, rather than chronological, age which may be important in determining total cardiovascular risk. Currently physicians use common sense to estimate biological age but a validated scale is needed.”Dr Dhammdeep Humane, lead author, senior cardiology resident, U.N. Mehta Institute of Cardiology and Research Centre, added: “Men with premature greying and androgenic alopecia should receive extra monitoring for coronary artery disease and advice on lifestyle changes such as healthy diet, exercise, and stress management. Our study found associations but a causal relationship needs to be established before statins can be recommended for men with baldness or premature greying.”Dr K. Sarat Chandra, CSI President Elect, said: “It is an established fact that premature coronary artery disease is becoming more common in India with each passing day. We do not know the exact reasons behind this. The present study suggesting that premature greying and male-pattern baldness could be important risk factors goes a long way in our understanding of this riddle.”
Professor Marco Roffi, course director of the ESC programme at CSI and head of the Interventional Cardiology Unit, Geneva University Hospital, Geneva, Switzerland, said: “Assessment of risk factors is critical in the prevention and management of cardiovascular disease. Classical risk factors such as diabetes, family history of coronary disease, smoking, sedentary lifestyle, high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure are responsible for the vast majority of cardiovascular disease. It remains to be determined whether potential new risk factors, like the ones described, may improve cardiovascular risk assessment.”

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Voting rights at risk

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 30 agosto 2017

trump11One of the most significant milestones in our nation’s journey to equality was the passage of Voting Rights Act.This journey was not an easy one. For decades, African Americans were subjected to widespread voter intimidation efforts and laws designed to keep them from the polls. But they refused to accept injustice.Civil rights activists organized protests and courageously endured unspeakable acts of violence by those who wanted to disenfranchise them. Then in 1965, African Americans’ heroic activism ushered in change. President Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act, which outlawed discriminatory voting practices and put protections in place to stop any attempts at discrimination in the future. It’s been 52 years since the Voting Rights Act became law. Yet sadly, we still can’t take this fundamental right for granted. In 2013, the Supreme Court gutted a key protection in the Voting Rights Act.Congress has the power to restore it, but President Trump has made it clear to his party that addressing voter suppression is not a priority. Instead, President Trump and his commission on “election integrity” prefer to investigate made-up claims of voter fraud. He wants to give the GOP justification for passing restrictive voting laws that unfairly target minorities. Generations of civil rights activists risked their lives to secure the right to vote for all Americans. As a Veteran, I fought to defend this country and the democratic principles it was built on. We can’t let our efforts be undermined.

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Bristol-Myers Squibb and Pfizer to Highlight Commitment to Reducing the Risk of Stroke Caused by Non-Valvular Atrial Fibrillation

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 22 agosto 2017

barcellonaBarcelona Spain 26-30 August Congress 2017, organized by the European Society of Cardiology Investigational data from the EMANATE [Eliquis evaluated in acute cardioversion coMpared to usuAl treatmeNts for AnTicoagulation in subjEcts with non-valvular atrial fibrillation (NVAF)] clinical trial will be presented during the Late-Breaking Science hot line session and official ESC press conference. EMANATE is a Phase 4 clinical trial exploring Eliquis® (apixaban) versus standard of care (parenteral heparin and/or oral anticoagulation with a vitamin K antagonist) in patients with NVAF expected to undergo cardioversion to re-establish a regular heart rhythm. In addition, analyses from ACROPOLIS™ (Apixaban ExperienCe Through Real-WOrld POpuLatIon Studies) – the real-world data program which aims to contribute to the growing body of evidence related to anticoagulation – will be presented at this year’s ESC Congress. These analyses focus on the use of Eliquis in routine clinical practice, including in NVAF patient populations considered at high risk or particularly vulnerable to stroke or major bleed due to age, risk prediction scores, and other cardiovascular comorbidities.“We are proud to share both clinical trial results and real-world data analyses that continue to support the medical community in the advancement of patient care and add to the body of evidence for Eliquis as a treatment for DVT/PE and for reducing the risk of stroke in NVAF patients,” said Christoph Koenen, M.D., MBA, VP, Development Lead, Eliquis, Bristol-Myers Squibb. “These data supplement our pivotal trial results, providing additional insight into how Eliquis performs in specific clinical settings such as cardioversion and broad patient populations representing common clinical practice settings.” Initial findings from a Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS)- and Pfizer- commissioned global policy research project conducted by The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), the research analysis division of The Economist Group, will also be presented at the ESC Congress. These findings bring attention to the global disparity of stroke risk reduction policies, and inadequate detection of risk factors for stroke – including NVAF – in clinical practice. The full report, which will be released by The EIU on September 21, is part of the BMS-Pfizer Alliance’s commitment to collaborating with patient advocacy and research organizations around the world to uncover barriers to atrial fibrillation screening and appropriate treatment to reduce the risk of stroke for patients with NVAF.

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Marijuana associated with three-fold risk of death from hypertension

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 9 agosto 2017

marijuana plant in flowering, bid bud cannabis

marijuana plant in flowering, bid bud cannabis

Sophia Antipolis. Marijuana use is associated with a three-fold risk of death from hypertension, according to research published today in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology. “Steps are being taken towards legalisation and decriminalisation of marijuana in the United States, and rates of recreational marijuana use may increase substantially as a result,” said lead author Barbara A Yankey, a PhD student in the School of Public Health, Georgia State University, Atlanta, US. “However, there is little research on the impact of marijuana use on cardiovascular and cerebrovascular mortality.”
In the absence of longitudinal data on marijuana use, the researchers designed a retrospective follow-up study of NHANES (National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey) participants aged 20 years and above. In 2005–2006, participants were asked if they had ever used marijuana. Those who answered “yes” were considered marijuana users. Participants reported the age when they first tried marijuana and this was subtracted from their current age to calculate the duration of use.Information on marijuana use was merged with mortality data in 2011 from the National Centre for Health Statistics. The researchers estimated the associations of marijuana use, and duration of use, with death from hypertension, heart disease, and cerebrovascular disease, controlling for cigarette use and demographic variables including sex, age, and ethnicity. Death from hypertension included multiple causes such as primary hypertension and hypertensive renal disease.Among a total of 1 213 participants, 34% used neither marijuana nor cigarettes, 21% used only marijuana, 20% used marijuana and smoked cigarettes, 16% used marijuana and were past-smokers, 5% were past-smokers and 4% only smoked cigarettes. The average duration of marijuana use was 11.5 years. Marijuana users had a higher risk of dying from hypertension. Compared to non-users, marijuana users had a 3.42-times higher risk of death from hypertension and a 1.04 greater risk for each year of use. There was no association between marijuana use and death from heart disease or cerebrovascular disease.Ms Yankey said: “We found that marijuana users had a greater than three-fold risk of death from hypertension and the risk increased with each additional year of use.”
Ms Yankey pointed out that there were limitations to the way marijuana use was estimated. For example, it cannot be certain that participants used marijuana continuously since they first tried it.She said: “Our results suggest a possible risk of hypertension mortality from marijuana use. This is not surprising since marijuana is known to have a number of effects on the cardiovascular system. Marijuana stimulates the sympathetic nervous system, leading to increases in heart rate, blood pressure and oxygen demand. Emergency rooms have reported cases of angina and heart attacks after marijuana use.” The authors stated that the cardiovascular risk associated with marijuana use may be greater than the cardiovascular risk already established for cigarette smoking.“We found higher estimated cardiovascular risks associated with marijuana use than cigarette smoking,” said Ms sigaretteYankey. “This indicates that marijuana use may carry even heavier consequences on the cardiovascular system than that already established for cigarette smoking. However, the number of smokers in our study was small and this needs to be examined in a larger study.”“Needless to say, the detrimental effects of marijuana on brain function far exceed that of cigarette smoking,” she added.Ms Yankey said it was crucial to understand the effects of marijuana on health so that policy makers and individuals could make informed decisions. She said: “Support for liberal marijuana use is partly due to claims that it is beneficial and possibly not harmful to health. With the impending increase in recreational marijuana use it is important to establish whether any health benefits outweigh the potential health, social and economic risks. If marijuana use is implicated in cardiovascular diseases and deaths, then it rests on the health community and policy makers to protect the public.”

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Risk of heart transplant rejection reduced by desensitising patient antibodies

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 2 maggio 2017

antibioticiParis, France. The risk of heart transplant rejection can be reduced by desensitising patient antibodies, according to research presented today at Heart Failure 2017 and the 4th World Congress on Acute Heart Failure. The breakthrough comes on the 50th anniversary of heart transplantation.Before heart transplantation the serum of heart transplant candidates is tested for levels of anti-human leukocyte antigen (HLA) which could bind to donor HLA antigens and cause rejection of the organ. At the time of transplantation, a virtual crossmatch is conducted to determine if the patient’s anti-HLA antibodies are directed against the donor’s specific HLA antigen – if yes, they are called “donor specific anti-HLA antibody” (DSA).
“Most centres do not perform heart transplantation in patients with a high DSA level since the risk of antibody-mediated rejection is high, particularly hyper-acute rejection,” said lead author Dr Guillaume Coutance, a cardiologist at Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital in Paris, France. “Patients then have to wait for a donor with different HLA antigens.”To reduce the chance of rejection in these patients at high immunological risk, in 2009 Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital began a desensitisation programme. The current study analysed the impact of the programme on survival after heart transplantations performed during 2009 to 2015.The type of desensitisation patients receive depends on their DSA level, which is measured by mean fluorescence intensity (MFI). An MFI between 500 and 1000 is considered “low DSA” and an MFI above 1000 is considered “high DSA”. All patients receive anti-thymocyte globulins and conventional immunosuppressive therapy (calcineurin inhibitors, mycophenolate mofetil, and corticosteroids).On top of this, patients with low DSA levels receive intravenous immunoglobulins. Patients with high DSA levels are treated with plasmapheresis before and after transplantation, followed by intravenous immunoglobulins after the complete cycle of plasmapheresis.The study included 523 patients who were 50 years old on average and 77% were men. Nearly half (46%) of patients had no DSA, 17% had low DSA, and 37% had high DSA levels. Patients were followed-up for an average of 3.7 years and survival was compared between the three groups.Compared to patients with no or low DSA, those with high DSA were more often younger, female, and had a ventricular assist device. The length of survival after transplantation was similar between the three groups, even after adjustment for age, sex, and having a ventricular assist device before transplantation. Survival at one year and at the end of follow-up was 79% and 73% for those with no DSA, 80% and 72% in patients with low DSA, and 84% and 76% in patients with high DSA levels, respectively (p=0.85). Antibody-mediated rejections were more common in patients with high DSA levels (27% versus 6% in patients with no DSA). These rejections occurred early (a median of 28 days after transplantation) in patients with high DSA levels but they had no impact on survival and could be treated. Patients with high DSA levels had more bleeding complications due to perioperative plasmapheresis. Dr Coutance said: “By desensitising patient’s antibodies, those with high immunological risk experience similar survival to patients without DSA. Pre- and post-operative plasmapheresis results in a dramatic drop in DSA levels, which reduces the risk of hyper-acute rejections and early antibody-mediated rejections. Intravenous immunoglobulins will neutralise DSA for weeks.” “Despite this regimen, antibody-mediated rejections were frequent but they were not associated with poor outcomes,” added Dr Coutance. “Two factors might explain these good results: early diagnosis of rejection with repetitive routine biopsies, and aggressive treatment of rejections with plasmapheresis and intravenous immunoglobulins even in subclinical rejections. The increased bleeding risk is explained by the loss of coagulation factors during plasmapheresis which is important but does not seem to impact survival.” He concluded: “This desensitisation programme could shorten waiting times and increase access to transplantation for patients at high immunological risk. However, it will probably not increase the number of transplantations since donor shortage is the limiting factor.” Authors: ESC Press Office.

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Grey hair linked with increased heart disease risk in men

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 9 aprile 2017

cardiologiaMalaga, Spain. Grey hair has been linked with an increased risk of heart disease in men, in research presented today at EuroPrevent 2017.Ageing is an unavoidable coronary risk factor and is associated with dermatological signs that could signal increased risk,” said Dr Irini Samuel, a cardiologist at Cairo University, Egypt. “More research is needed on cutaneous signs of risk that would enable us to intervene earlier in the cardiovascular disease process.”Atherosclerosis and hair greying share similar mechanisms such as impaired DNA repair, oxidative stress, inflammation, hormonal changes and senescence of functional cells. This study assessed the prevalence of grey hair in patients with coronary artery disease and whether it was an independent risk marker of disease.This was a prospective, observational study which included 545 adult men who underwent multi-slice computed tomography (CT) coronary angiography for suspected coronary artery disease. Patients were divided into subgroups according to the presence or absence of coronary artery disease, and the amount of grey/white hair.The amount of grey hair was graded using the hair whitening score: 1 = pure black hair, 2 = black more than white, 3 = black equals white, 4 = white more than black, and 5 = pure white. Each patients’ grade was determined by two independent observers.
Data was collected on traditional cardiovascular risk factors including hypertension, diabetes, smoking, dyslipidaemia, and family history of coronary artery disease.
The researchers found that a high hair whitening score (grade 3 or more) was associated with increased risk of coronary artery disease independent of chronological age and established cardiovascular risk factors. Patients with coronary artery disease had a statistically significant higher hair whitening score and higher coronary artery calcification than those without coronary artery disease.In multivariate regression analysis, age, hair whitening score, hypertension and dyslipidaemia were independent predictors of the presence of atherosclerotic coronary artery disease. Only age was an independent predictor of hair whitening.“Atherosclerosis and hair greying occur through similar biological pathways and the incidence of both increases with age,” said Dr Samuel. “Our findings suggest that, irrespective of chronological age, hair greying indicates biological age and could be a warning sign of increased cardiovascular risk.” Dr Samuel said asymptomatic patients at high risk of coronary artery disease should have regular check-ups to avoid early cardiac events by initiating preventive therapy.
“Further research is needed, in coordination with dermatologists, to learn more about the causative genetic and possible avoidable environmental factors that determine hair whitening,” she added. “A larger study including men and women is required to confirm the association between hair greying and cardiovascular disease in patients without other known cardiovascular risk factors.”She concluded: “If our findings are confirmed, standardisation of the scoring system for evaluation of hair greying could be used as a predictor for coronary artery disease.”

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