Following a five night Halloween run on the east coast, Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh will return to San Rafael, California for a Thanksgiving celebration at his own Terrapin Crossroads. Dubbed Phriendsgiving: A Musical Celebration, the November 12 event will see Phil Lesh team with guitarist Tom Hamilton (Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, American Babies), guitarist Ross James (Terrapin Family Band), pianist Holly Bowling, and drummer Alex Koford (Terrapin Crossroads Family Band).Ticketing information for Phriendsgiving: A Musical Celebration can be found here.
Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), and Deep Learning (DL) are more than just flare for an expo booth. Companies are transforming their business practices, driving productivity, and creating new opportunities with the power of data and AI. Faced with limited resources, organizations must decide whether to scale their AI processes up or out. This key decision will better leverage the talent of an organization’s data scientists, capturing operational efficiencies, transforming decision making, and delivering stronger business results.So, what are AI, ML, and DL, and how are they related? DL is a subset of ML, and ML is subset of AI – clear as mud right? AI can independently sense, reason, act, and adapt. ML and DL use mathematical algorithms to ‘learn’ as opposed to being explicitly told what to do as in expert systems (imperative programming using a lot of ‘if, then else’). ML techniques use a variety of algorithms to create mathematical models which can then be used to predict an output based on some new input. DL structures algorithms in layers to create an artificial “neural network” which can learn and improve with vast amounts of data to make a better output (a decision) based on some new input.Some characteristics of ML and DL are shown below in Figures 1 and 2:Figure 1 Figure 2As an example of ML and DL, think of the problem of predicting someone’s weight (Figure 3). It could be a simple data set with height and weight then, using ML, you come up with line of best fit. Conversely, you could have tons of image data labeled with weight, then DL could refine the model with many more considerations, such as facial features, therefore improving accuracy.Figure 3The fuel of AI is lots of data; advanced models, algorithms and software; and high-performance infrastructure. As a general rule, if you are fortunate and have all three fuels, your organization should use DL. If you have two out of three, one, or none, use ML.The AI journey is a challenge. When we talk to our customers, they cite limited expertise, inadequate data management, and constrained budgets. Their business challenge is threefold: Define, Develop, and Deploy. They must define the use cases, requirements, business goals for artificial intelligence. Then, they must develop the data sources, infrastructure, trained models, and refinement process surrounding an AI system. Finally, they need to deploy the AI-enabled systems with tracking tools and inferencing, at scale.Now that we have covered the seemingly daunting challenges of implementing AI, let’s dive into the upbeat topic of a scale up or scale out strategy for AI. Scaling up implies adding more resources to an existing system. In the case of AI, that means how many domain specific architecture elements (DSA) are in an individual server. DSA is becoming the code name to mean anything that accelerates beyond general purpose computing, such as GPUs, ASICs, FPGA, IPUs, etc. Scaling out, however, means adding more systems, each with some number of GPUs. Think of this in server terms as a 32-socket server vs 2-socket server. This is like the 30+ year old argument of mainframe vs x86 scale out. Scale out economics emerged the clear victor.For example, consider a family with independent transportation needs. The family could buy a Hennessy Venom GT – the fastest car on the planet – and one by one they could share it to rapidly meet their transportation needs. Or, they could buy n number of sufficient-performance cars and meet all their needs all the time.Figure 4Just as the family will simultaneously need to take concurrent trips, corporations on the AI journey will need more than one data scientist. Our job in technology is to make all data scientists productive all the time.The first set of data below uses MLperf (MLperf builds fair and useful benchmarks for measuring training and inference performance of ML hardware, software, and services) across the Dell portfolio of domain specific architecture-enabled (DSA) servers. In Figure 5, you can see the scaling from 2 V100 GPUs in the Precision 5820 to 4 V100 in a PowerEdge C4140 to 8 V100 in the DSS 8440 to 8 in an NVLink-enabled server. The 8-NVLink server performs slightly better than the 8-PCIe-enabled DSS8440 (note the DSS8440 can support ten V100’s).Figure 5If you look closer at the individual 8-GPU scores below in following two figures, the scores are very close with exception of translation and recommendation for the two different 8-GPU cases. That said, the performance gap has closed between NVLink vs PCIe with proper PCIe topologies and better PCIe switch peer-to-peer support, and it will close more with PCI data speeds of Gen4 and Gen5 which is 16GT/s and 32GT/s respectively vs Gen3 which was 8GT/s.Figure 6Figure 7If we take the same MLPerf, compare an 8-NVLink server to 2x 4-node NVLink servers, and spread the sub benchmarks across the two servers, we can now get all the work done faster than a single 8-NVLink server (Figure 8).Figure 8This checks out because, according to Amdahl’s law, the speed-up is not linear in large scale parallelism. Thus, it is important to pick a point on the speed-up scale before it gets into the non-linear region and to stay in the scale out economic sweet spot. Figure 9 shows scaling for 1-to-4 and 1-to-8 GPUs, as you can see, 1-to-4 GPU scaling has higher efficiency across the board (Figure 9).Figure 9Mark Twain popularized the saying, “There are lies, dammed lies, and statistics.” If he were still a journalist in the Bay Area today, he would turn our attention toward the pitfalls of benchmarks. Benchmarks in the right context are fine, but reduced to simple metrics, benchmarks can cause serious problems. Leaders must understand the underlying drivers of benchmarks to make informed decisions. Continuing our scale out or in example, 2x scale out nodes outperform a single scale up node using MLperf, the best industry benchmark. The scale out C4140 is also the best MLperf-per-dollar option for AI, which reflects the optimization point of using economic scale out nodes. Additionally, if you noticed in the news, VMware recently announced the acquisition of Bitfusion, which is a scale out approach to elastic AI infrastructure.Now, this is not to say 8 GPU+ systems don’t have their place, just like we still have 8 to 32-socket x86 servers, they have their place and need. But there is an economic law and Amdahl law at play which suggest that the economics of scale out win except in the corner cases. Scaling GPUs is impacted by two main variables: data size and optimized code. If the data set is too small and scaling inefficiently with more GPUs, you end up shuffling parameters between GPUs more than doing computation on the data. Most models and use cases in practice for DL in enterprise will be best run on one GPU because of dataset sizes and quality of code. AI-proficient companies have hired skilled “ninja” programmers due to use cases/datasets that require training across 8+ GPUs to meet time-to-solution requirements. Everybody else, good luck with getting better performance on two or more GPUs than a single GPU.The fact is this, companies on an AI journey will have tens or hundreds of data scientists, not just one. It is our job in technology to make sure all data scientists are as productive as possible. If one data scientist finishes her job fast while the others are drinking coffee and waiting for their turn, the company is not productive. Much like buying a super car to share with your spouse, only one person can be happy at a time. As monk and poet John Lydgate wisely wrote, “You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.” Well, in this case you can make all the data scientist happy all the time by enabling productivity to all, all the time – by investing in scale out and proper GPU workload orchestration.I want to thank Ramesh Radhakrishnan, Distinguished Engineer, Office of Server & Infrastructure Systems CTO, Dell EMC – for the great work in these benchmarks.If you have questions, want to go deeper, or want to understand the Dell EMC family of DSA enabled servers, please contact one of our friendly Dell EMC sales representatives. For more musings on this and other topics, please follow me on LinkedIn.To read more about performance testing across Dell PowerEdge servers related to Machine learning and Deep learning, please visit hpcatdell.com.To learn more about PowerEdge servers, including the C4140 and DSS 8440, visit dellemc.com/servers, or join the conversation on Twitter @DellEMCservers.
Ten years ago with only a handful of researchers, the University of Georgia’s Regenerative Bioscience Center made a commitment to advancing regenerative medicine in the Southeast. Today, they’re answering the challenge through studies that seek to find ways to heal traumatic brain injuries, bolster bone regeneration and develop new models for stroke research. Mortensen’s work using nanoparticles to track transplanted cell viability in vivo was recently published in Nature Communications. “There is a lot of potential in using vivo microscopy to not just watch stem cell behavior, but to selectively manipulate the cells and their environment,” Mortensen said. Kim is an assistant professor of poultry science in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. He earned his postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California, Los Angeles. His research focus is identifying compounds that can stimulate bone formation and reduce fat deposition using mesenchymal stem cells. “Our therapies with chicken (mesenchymal stem cells) could be a useful model in the potential to halt osteoporosis and promote bone growth,” Kim said.Call, an assistant professor in the College of Education, has worked on campus less than four months. He is a skeletal muscle physiologist. His laboratory combines molecular and physiological techniques to investigate how disease affects skeletal muscle regeneration. Currently, the lab is working in collaboration with Robert Guldberg, director of the Parker H. Petit Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience at Georgia Tech, to enhance delivery of bone marrow and adipose-derived stem cells to skeletal muscle. Mortensen, an assistant professor in the CAES Department of Animal and Dairy Science, moved to Athens in mid-October. He earned his postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard Medical School, where he developed a laser imaging technology that will allow the design of unique cell therapies for bone repair in disorders like osteogenesis imperfect, a genetic bone disorder that causes bones to break for no apparent cause. Under the direction of Steven Stice, a Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Department of Animal and Dairy Science, the research center has grown to almost 30 faculty members, a diverse group that fosters opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students at UGA. This newly developed study, he explained, could one day enable stroke patients to have better mobility and improved vision, hearing and short-term memory, with hope in achieving a much higher quality of life. “As we close out our first decade at the RBC, we realize that we have made great strides in the field of regenerative medicine,” Stice said. “For instance, we have currently developed the first ever swine stroke model in the U.S.” “Because the pig brain resembles the human brain more in anatomy, growth and development, this discovery can serve as a preclinical model for human neuro injury,” West said. According to West, their swine study is the first, outside of rodent and primates, to best imitate stroke recovery—similar to one that could occur in a human brain. The researchers demonstrated that induced pluripotent stem cell treatment leads to improved tissue recovery and limited brain damage. “Ultimately, these technologies may be used to improve muscle recovery after injury in aging and diseased populations,” Call said. For more information on the Regenerative Bioscience Center and its researchers, their specialties and current research projects, see www.rbc.uga.edu. The RBC currently houses 29 faculty members, 19 postdoctoral research assistants, more than 40 graduate students and approximately 75 undergraduate students. The center’s three newest faculty are Luke Mortensen, Jarrod Call and Woo Kyun Kim. In addition to swine stroke research, the RBC’s collaboration in the field of toxicology is finding new ways to detect environmental toxins and potentially prevent brain disorders, such as autism, Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy and traumatic brain injury. Additional funding for the nonprofit collaboration is leading to the continued success of “fracture putty,” a fast bone-healing orthopedic process. To test stem cell therapies in a swine stroke model, RBC faculty member Franklin West, an assistant professor also in the college’s Department of Animal and Dairy Science, has teamed up with David Hess, the head of the department of neurology at Georgia Regents University, in collaboration with other RBC faculty members Simon Platt, Shannon P. Holmes and Elizabeth Howerth. “This will help millions of Americans who have long bone fractures every year and help our military address the most costly and extensive medical problem facing our (soldiers),” Stice said.
By Claudia Sánchez-Bustamante/Diálogo July 31, 2017 Air Force General Braulio Piris Rojas, commander of the Paraguayan Armed Forces, spoke with Diálogo during the Fuerzas Comando 2017 military competition, which was held in Paraguay for its 13th edition.Each year, Special Operations Command South, a component of U.S. Southern Command, holds a military skills competition in which the special operations commandos of armies from across the Americas vie for the coveted Fuerzas Comando Cup. Parallel to that, security and defense scholars, and military leaders from the competing nations attend a seminar to analyze regional topics together.In its 13th edition, Fuerzas Comando 2017 was held in Paraguay. While the military skills competition was underway in Vista Alegre, in the center of the country, a seminar called “Illuminating and Combating Organized Transnational and Transregional Crime Networks” was held in Asunción. Diálogo took the opportunity to speak with Air Force General Braulio Piris Rojas, commander of the Paraguayan Armed Forces.Diálogo: What is the importance of the 2017 edition of Fuerzas Comando being held in Paraguay?Air Force General Braulio Piris Rojas, commander of the Paraguayan Armed Forces: Traditionally, the missions of a nation’s armed forces have been based on a classical vision of destroying an opponent’s military forces and occupying enemy territory. However, in these new times we are living in, so-called “new threats” have emerged, which present a challenge for the military. These include terrorism; the production and trafficking of drugs and arms; money laundering and organized crime, all of which undoubtedly constitute a threat to the security of this hemisphere. Paraguay is not untouched by such scourges. In that context, this edition of Fuerzas Comando seeks to improve the tactics and techniques used in operational environments by improving training for Special Operations personnel. Then, there is the importance of this event being held in my country for the second time, as this demonstrates trust, which reflects on Paraguay as a nation: trust based on our socio-economic progress, the stability of our democracy, and the esteem that Paraguay enjoys in the community of nations.Diálogo: What does this mean in terms of the bonds of friendship and fraternity between the Special Forces of partner nations, particularly with the United States?Gen. Piris Rojas: Fuerzas Comando is an important opportunity to demonstrate to oneself, and to foreigners, the capabilities of each participant. The 2017 edition of this exercise was designed as an instrument for improving regional and multinational cooperation, supported by our mutual trust, based on a feeling of fraternal friendship, in order to more effectively confront the common threats that afflict our region. These competitions help with integration and the sharing of professional experiences between the participants, improve multinational and regional cooperation, and bolster our mutual trust. The fact that we have the United States participating, and U.S. Southern Command sponsoring this event, greatly reinforces the strong, historical bonds of friendship that unite our peoples, thus honoring our motto: “Mbarete Ñane Moiruva” (The force that unites us).Diálogo: Eight months after assuming your position, what are your main goals and biggest challenges as commander of the Paraguayan Armed Forces?Gen. Piris Rojas: As I have done since day one of my command, I am looking for the Paraguayan Armed Forces to be modern, highly efficient, and strengthened in their operational capacity so they can conduct combined operations using human resources which are recognized for their professionalism, capability, honor, and vocation of service, with roles that are tailored to facing new threats to the state, and that ensure actions which will enable us to orient our quest for effective and transparent management, cooperating on national development and bringing our forces closer to the people by taking on social and institutional responsibility, and actively participating in the nation’s commitments to international cooperation and national defense.Diálogo: What are the greatest threats to Paraguayan security? What are the Armed Forces doing to counteract them?Gen. Piris Rojas: In my opinion, the greatest threats to our security are organized criminal groups that engage in activities such as terrorism; drug and arms trafficking; kidnappings and armed robberies against state financial entities; and computer crimes that transcend borders. Within their constitutional role, our Armed Forces cooperate with other government institutions, implementing plans to use our personnel, materials, and equipment to support the agencies leading the fight against these scourges. In that sense, the Armed Forces’ High Command has the firm, sincere, and overwhelming support and political will of the Executive Branch to move forward with these plans.Diálogo: Why is joint regional coordination and cooperation between the respective armed forces important for confronting transregional and transnational security threats?Gen. Piris Rojas: The new global defense scene affirms that this is supported by two pillars – foreign relations and armed forces – and that the democratic system is one that offers better development opportunities for a nation, beginning with the principles of liberty, tolerance, and justice. There is no doubt that regional cooperation is indispensable for combating these transnational and transregional crimes. These threats stem from new ways of committing crimes and they require new mechanisms and new regional associations to combat them, as the criminal organizations have expanded their borders. That is why the key to defeating these transregional and transnational organizations is cooperation.Diálogo: Paraguay has a long history of participating in United Nations Peacekeeping Operations. It has done so since 2001 in six missions around the world, in particular, as part of the contingents from partner nations such as Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay. Why is this participation important for the country itself? And what is the importance of the relationships forged and the lessons learned from doing it as part of the contingents of sister nations?Gen. Piris Rojas: Paraguay’s participation in Peacekeeping Operations under the Mandate of the United Nations has long been the burning desire of generations of military officers, ever since these operations were first implemented in 1948, when the Security Council approved the deployment of United Nations military observers to the Middle East. Facilitated by Argentina, that desire became a reality when, in 1998, officers from the Paraguayan Armed Forces were deployed as members of the General Staff of the Argentine Task Force in the United Nations mission in Cyprus. The joint participation of the Argentine, Brazilian, and, recently, the Uruguayan Armed Forces, that we maintain even today, has been highly positive, as the knowledge and experience acquired by our personnel on the planning and doctrine employed for these operations has given us the capacity to deploy a contingent under our own flag, which would have been undoubtedly much more difficult if we had not previously had that experience. Another positive aspect of this joint participation has been our bonds of friendship with other forces, which have a positive effect on the bilateral relations between our institutions. Following these participations, our bilateral ties and joint operations have been strengthened, and today they are more positive and more fluid.Diálogo: Would you like to add anything else for our readers?Gen. Piris Rojas: I would like to end by thanking U.S. Southern Command for their invitation to have Paraguay be the host of this competition for the second time, which is so important for the militaries across the Americas, and Diálogo for the opportunity to do this interview.
continue reading » CUNA, working with a large group of state lawmakers around the country, has secured support for the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act (H.R. 1595). The bill would protect financial institutions that serve legal, cannabis-based businesses, and CUNA has made support of the bill one of its top advocacy priorities during the August recess.While CUNA takes no position on the legalization or decriminalization of cannabis, it supports credit unions’ efforts to serve their members. CUNA has called on Congress to provide protections for credit unions that serve such businesses in states where it is legal due to the public safety risk it presents.CUNA has testified before both the House Financial Services Committee and Senate Banking Committee in support of the SAFE Banking Act.The SAFE Banking Act passed the House Financial Services Committee in March with a bipartisan 45-15 vote. ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr CUNA
ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading » Have your board and staff leadership teams been running a little hectic lately, as you respond to COVID-19? As things slowly start to get more settled, it could be a good time to re-ground yourself in governance best practices.Ideas about what constitutes good governance have been evolving in recent years, as boards have responded to the substantial growth in oversight responsibilities. Some of the areas in which governance practices are evolving include:Role of governance and nominating committeesRole of other board committeesRole of supervisory committees
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The UK government’s attempts to end excessive pension fund charges have been thrown off course after its own regulatory policy committee (RPC) branded a key government document “not fit for purpose”.The committee – which scrutinises government proposals before they become law – has given a “red” opinion on the impact assessment carried out by the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) on proposed legislation to reduce pension fund charges.Impact assessments are normally carried out as part of the legislative process to estimate the likely costs and benefits, as well as associated risks, of proposed legislation that has an impact on business, civil society organisations, the public sector or individuals.The RPC then provides an opinion on the quality of analysis and evidence presented in the impact assessment, which will help determine whether the legislation goes ahead. The government’s pension charge proposals suggest three options: do nothing; improve disclosure of charges; and set a charge cap on the default fund for automatic enrolment.The RPC said: “The evidence presented does not adequately demonstrate why Option 3 is considered to have a zero net impact on the pensions industry.”According to the impact assessment, Option 2 – which requires an increased disclosure of information by pension providers – is expected to cost the industry £172m (€204m), whereas Option 3 – an industry-wide charge cap in qualifying pension schemes – is only expected to cost the industry £19m.But the RPC said: “It would appear some pension providers may be making excessive profits above the expected norm. If this is the case, then Option 3 will result in a profit reduction for many of these firms. The evidence as it is currently presented does not adequately demonstrate why Option 3 is considered to have a zero net impact on the pensions industry.”It added that certain other potential costs did not appear to have been identified – for instance, ongoing costs to pension providers for providing the required information on charges under Option 3.The RPC’s report also said that, given the fact most pension charges are currently no more than 1%, a possible effect of a charge cap would be that providers charging less than this cap would tend to increase their charges to the level of the cap without losing customers.“The likelihood and impact of this outcome should be explored in more detail,” it said.It also questioned why a combination of Options 2 and 3 had not been discussed, given that they appear to result in different benefits – i.e. better transparency under Option 2, and a charge cap under Option 3.Darren Philp, head of policy at The People’s Pension, said: “The government’s charges impact assessment has been shown the red card by its own regulatory policy committee.“This was a consultation that lacked detail and was built on sand, and the government now needs to rethink and pick up the gauntlet thrown down by the recent Office of Fair Trading (OFT) report to improve transparency and comparability across pensions.”Alan Morahan, principal at Punter Southall, said: “The impact assessment states that, if a cap of 0.75% is introduced, 90,000 employers will no longer be able to use their existing pension scheme for auto-enrolment.“It goes on to state that the transitional cost of setting up alternative pension provision would be around £55m.“This implies an individual employer cost of around £611, which is a significant underestimate.”Morahan said the costs of successfully completing auto-enrolment for a smaller employer would be an order of magnitude greater, at around £5,000, with provider selection, negotiation and implementation costs of around £3,500.A more accurate cost estimate would therefore be £315m.“We would urge the DWP to give a clear indication that any of the proposed changes will not be implemented for at least 12 months,” Morahan said.“This would give employers and the pensions industry time to deal with the huge numbers reaching their auto-enrolment staging date in the first half of 2014.”
The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) has approved proposals from its interpretations committee to make two amendments to International Accounting Standard 19, Employee Benefits (IAS 19).The move came during a 22 January meeting of the board in London.Board members also voted to issue the two amendments for public comment as a single exposure draft.The amendments cover: the effect of actions by the trustees of a defined benefit (DB) pension scheme to limit a sponsor’s ability to recognise a plan surplus in its accounts; andhow a plan sponsor calculates current service cost and net interest costs following remeasurement of its net DB liability following a plan amendment or curtailment.The impact of the plan surplus amendment could be most keenly felt in the UK, staff acknowledged in a meeting paper presented to the board.Staff acknowledged that the amendment could be of interest in the UK, where trustees can enjoy “unilateral powers to buy annuities (without changing a pension promise)”.The accounting rules for DB pension obligations under International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) are set out in IAS 19.The first of the two amendments discussed by the IASB on 22 January concerns a document known as IFRIC 14, a guidance document that explains how DB sponsors should apply the so-called asset-ceiling under IAS 19.The document was originally published in 2007 by the IFRS Interpretations Committee’s predecessor, the International Financial Reporting Interpretations Committee, or IFRIC.At issue is paragraph 58 of IAS 19, which limits the measurement of a DB asset to the “present value of economic benefits available in the form” of refunds from the plan or reductions in future contributions to the plan.Interacting with this requirement in IAS 19, IFRIC 14 deals with the interaction between a minimum funding requirement and the restriction in paragraph 58 on the measurement of the DB asset or liability.When a DB plan sponsor applies IAS 19, it must first measure the DB obligation using the projected unit credit method, on the one hand, and fair value any plan assets on the other.This calculation will produce either a DB asset or liability at the balance sheet date.Where a plan is in surplus, the sponsor recognises the lower of any surplus and the IAS 19 asset ceiling – that is, the economic benefits available to the sponsoring entity from the surplus.However, a constituent has asked the committee to consider whether preparers should take account of events that might disrupt the plan unfolding in line with the IAS 19 assumptions when they apply IFRIC 14.An example would be the trustees of a DB scheme whose future actions could reduce the ability of a sponsor to recognise an asset.For example, the trustees of a plan might have the power to augment members’ benefits or wind up the plan and purchase annuities.The committee previously discussed the issue during its March, May, July and September meetings last year.As for the impact of the proposed amendment, staff noted in their meeting paper that if a plan is closed to accrual of future benefits, “the impact of this issue could be significant”.This is because, staff continued, the “economic benefits from reductions in future contributions are not available (i.e. economic benefits are available only from a refund of a surplus)”.Outreach conducted by staff on the likely impact of the changes has “implied that this issue could have significant impacts on some cases and that diversity in practice exists”.Separately during the meeting, the IASB also tentatively agreed with the recommendation from the IFRS IC to amend IAS 19 to clarify the treatment of plan amendments, curtailments and settlements.The board confirmed DB sponsors should determine current service cost and the net interest for the remaining period after a plan remeasurement has occurred using the assumptions arising in the remeasurement.In addition, the board agreed that a sponsor should base the calculation of the net interest charge for the rest of the reporting period on the remeasured net defined benefit liability or asset.It also clarified the treatment of current service cost arising either before or after a remeasurement.The board said service cost arising in the current reporting period before a plan remeasurement occurs remains a component of current service cost and not past service cost.Service cost under IAS 19 is the cost borne by an employer of providing a retirement plan.The net interest charge is calculated by multiplying the net DB asset or liability by the sponsor’s chosen discount rate.Subject to confirming that the board and the IFRS IC have complied with formal due process requirements, the board will issue the proposed amendments in a combined exposure draft for public comment.
The taxonomy is to be developed through delegated acts, with the first due to be adopted by the European Commission by the end of 2020 and to start applying as of the end of 2021.Antti Savilaakso, research advisor at Impact-Cubed, said: “We anticipate asset managers and asset owners alike to want to get an early insight into what their own portfolios will look like through [the EU green taxonomy] lens and be able to start preparing for the disclosure requirements.“There is a risk for many investors that their funds could be labelled as ‘greenwash’ if they fall outside what EU regulators define as sustainable. That is why this new pre-screening service, or greenwash checker, will be an important tool for many investors.”Arleta Majoch, product specialist at Impact-Cubed, said the tool would help investors anticipate how their portfolio would look under the taxonomy framework.“It can help them prepare for in what light their approach could be cast if it’s not fully captured, and to help them start thinking about their own messaging, about reclaiming the narrative,” she told IPE.According to Impact-Cubed, the tool provides complete coverage of listed markets as well as private assets. It is thought to be the first of its kind to come to market, with other providers having products in development.Impact-Cubed is the company behind a portfolio impact assessment model that has been used by institutional investors such as the Church of Finland.The European Parliament and European Council reached a political agreement on the taxonomy regulation on 18 December.The technical expert group (TEG) on sustainble finance is understood to be due to publish taxonomy implementation guidance next month. Recommendations from TEG are to be the first input into the Commission’s work on developing the delegated acts. A tool has been launched to help asset owners and asset managers prepare for how their portfolios or investment products could look under the forthcoming European Union system for defining what economic activities count as environmentally sustainable.Developed by Impact-Cubed, the tool is intended to give investors the insight they need to anticipate and avoid having funds or portfolios labelled as amounting to “greenwashing”.One of the European Commission’s aims for the regulation for the so-called taxonomy, or “green list”, is for it to curb misleading marketing.Under the regulation, funds and pension products marketed as green or sustainable will need to back this up by reference to the taxonomy, and those that do not will have to make an explicit statement about this in a sort of disclaimer.