Melania Trump Club

Melania Trump Club
Melania Trump Club

Saturday, December 26, 2009

GB shooters impress in Luxembourg


Britain's top disabled shooters were in record breaking form with a number personal bests at the Riac and Ibis Cup in Luxembourg.

The competition featured able-bodied shooters with Britain the only country to enter disability shooters as they prepare for the 2010 season.

Stilton-based Paralympic champion Matt Skelhon equalled the world record in the R3 10m air rifle prone category.

James Bevis achieved the same in the R5 category by shooting a perfect 600.

He then went on to register a personal best in the R4 10m air rifle standing with a score of 595 out of 600.

Kent's Nathan Milgate also put in some top performances and registered a score of 599 out of 600 in the R3 10m air rifle prone.

There were also international personal bests in the 10m air rifle standing for Mandy Pankhurst, Karen Butler, Adam Fontain and Richard Davies while Pankhurst and Fontain did the same in the 10m air rifle prone and Jean Guild and Andy Gardiner achieved the feat in their 10m air pistol events.

Team head coach Pasan Kularatne said: "I'm really pleased with the overall performance of the GB squad and specifically with all the international personal bests registered and the two perfect scores, which are equal to the world records.

"This competition was a great opportunity for the athletes to get vital international competition experience before the 2010 season."

Source:bbc.co.uk

Ambassador to Luxembourg: Who is Cynthia Stroum?


The American ambassadorship to Luxembourg has long been reserved as a post for rewarding political friends and benefactors of presidents. In the last 50 years, only three out of 21 U.S.

ambassadors to the tiny European country have been career diplomats. Cynthia Stroum, who was sworn in as Ambassador to Luxembourg December 7, 2009, is not one of them.

One of President Barack Obama’s biggest fundraisers, Stroum hails from a prominent Jewish family in Seattle whose patriarch was her father, Sam Stroum, a wealthy businessman (one-time owner of Schuck’s Auto Supply) and philanthropist (described as the “godfather of Seattle giving”). During the 1990s alone, her father and mother, Althea, reportedly gave $40 million to arts, educational, medical, human services and religious organizations, including the establishment of a $9 million foundation through the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle and a generous gift to help build Benaroya Hall, the home of Seattle’s symphony. Sam Stroum was also credited for helping save the Seattle symphony from going bankrupt.

Cynthia Stroum earned a Bachelor of Arts in public relations and journalism from the University of Southern California. Her professional career has included working in the television and film industries, although she is best known for helping run her family’s holding company, Sam Stroum Enterprises.

Stroum has been an angel investor in more than 20 technology, biotechnology and retail start-up companies, including Starbucks Coffee Company. She also has been active on Broadway, helping produce the 2004 production of A Raisin in the Sun, which earned her a Tony nomination.

She has served on the board of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and as the founding chairman of the board of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN). She has also served on the board of the USC Shoah Foundation Institute.

Stroum served on President Obama’s finance committee during the presidential campaign. She was one of his key bundlers, pulling in at least $500,000 from numerous individual donors, according to OpenSecrets.org. She personally donated $10,000 to Obama’s presidential inauguration.

Stroum has been a major donor to Democratic Senators Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray, both of Washington, contributing $10,000 to each. Cantwell gave Stroum a “Woman of Valor” award at a private fundraising luncheon. Stroum has made four-figure donations to Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Jon Tester (D-MT), as well as to former Senator John Edwards (D-NC).

Stroum is a single mother with one daughter.

Stroum is credited with getting President Obama hooked on Fran’s Chocolates smoked salt caramels in milk chocolate.
-Noel Brinkerhoff

Source:allgov.com/

Luxembourg bank to sell derivatives unit to Macquarie


FRANKFURT — The Luxembourg-based investment bank Sal. Oppenheim said Wednesday it had sold its equity trading and derivatives business to the Australian bank Macquarie.

Oppenheim, which is itself being bought by Deutsche Bank, did not provide financial details but according to the Financial Times Deutschland, Macquarie would pay around 50 million euros (70 million dollars) for the unit.

More than 90 Oppenheim employees would transfer to Macquarie as part of the deal, which is to close early in the second quarter of 2010, a statement said.

Macquarie would gain "access to a new range of products, a platform with state-of-the-art technology and top-class employees with in-depth knowledge of the domestic markets," Macquarie derivatives director Mark Gilbert said in a company statement.

A derivative is a financial instrument that derives or gets its value from some real good or stock, and Oppenheim trades them in Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Italy.

Deutsche Bank is buying Oppenheim for around one billion euros (1.42 billion dollars), and Oppenheim said Tuesday that Deutsche Bank executive Wilhelm von Haller would become its new boss.

Germany's biggest bank is not interested in Oppenheim's derivatives activities however, but rather in the Luxembourg bank's impressive private wealth management portfolio, worth around 60 billion euros, analysts said.

The future of Oppenheim's merger-acquisition advisory and financial markets activities remain uncertain meanwhile, with the latter responsible for much of the bank's recent financial troubles.

It purchased in particular a big stake in the German retail group Arcandor, which has since declared bankruptcy.

Options also remain open regarding the Frankfurt-based BHF bank which Oppenheim bought in 2005 for 600 million euros.

Source:AFP

Renault Stays on Formula 1 Grid in 2010 Thanks to Luxembourg Firm


Unlike BMW and Toyota, Renault has committed to Formula 1 in 2010 thanks in large part to Luxembourg-based company Genii Capital Investment.


The highly confidential deal will be completed early next year, Renault said in a statement, and it will continue to be business as usual for the Renault F1 team. Insiders say Genii beat out rival Prodrive to the investment opportunity and took a hefty 75% stake in the outfit.




Lucky for him, Pole Robert Kubica will remain as the team's prized driver. A suitable teammate for Kubica is currently being evaluated, with China's Ho-Pin Tung being a top contender for the seat. Tung is managed by Gravity, a company owned in part by Genii head Gerard Lopez.


Despite his well-publicized reservations about Renault continuing to compete in F1, Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn approved the deal. Doubts surrounding Renault's future in F1 were spring-boarded by a mid-year scandal that saw driver Nelson Piquet admit to crashing intentionally during the 2008 Singapore GP under alleged orders from team boss Flavio Briatore and engineering director Pat Symonds.


Source: Renault, ESPNF1

Luxembourg FM: East Jerusalem does not belong to Israel

Foreign Minister of Luxembourg, Jean Asselborn, said that east Jerusalem does not belong to Israel. "If it is occupied, it does not belong to Israel," he said at the opening of a convention for EU foreign ministers in Brussels.



Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini, on his part, said the EU should not decide on the fate of Jerusalem without proper negotiations. (AFP)

He gave twice as much


To hear John Eden of Culpeper talk so ardently about his service as a medic in World War II evokes chills, especially when the scene is snow-covered Europe and the Nazis last ditch attempt to push back the Allied Forces at the Battle of the Bulge.
“When that battle come, I thought we were goners,” said Eden of the clash Dec. 16, 1944 to Jan. 25, 1945.
“(Adolf) Hitler started pushing us and (U.S. General George S.) Patton told us, he said, ‘I don’t know how much you soldiers been giving, but I want you to give twice that.’”
And they did — in the deadly cold, rooting out Hitler’s army while suffering tremendous losses. American casualties amounted to 81,000, including 19,000 killed.
Eden and his kind made up one magnificent generation — so sure of their mission of fighting evil, so united at home and overseas.
The Battle of the Bulge is one piece of that effort, but he hopes folks won’t ever forget it. Eden sure hasn’t. He said he would do it all again.

Blood and guts
This year marked the 65th anniversary of the beginning of the Battle of the Bulge in Belgium and Luxembourg so named for the bulge that was created when the German Army moved into Ardennes and split the American and British forces.
Eden, a charter member of the Battle of the Bulge Veterans group, called the Star-Exponent earlier this month about wanting to tell his story.
It sure was worth hearing.
He is rightfully proud of his World War II service, and his memories of the Bulge are as fresh as ever.
Eden donned his old medic’s uniform for the interview, except for the wool pants, which he admitted were a big snug.
He pulled out a glass case of mementos from the war too, including German brass knuckles and cigarettes, his dog tags to which he attached a German bullet — “the one that was supposed to get me,” but didn’t — an old canteen, his mother’s Bible that he carried in his left shirt pocket for the duration of the war and a pair of scissors with which he used to cut bandages on the battlefields of the Bulge.
“For 48 hours, I never batted my eyes,” Eden said of one stint during that winter of 1944. “I kept driving, hauling sick and wounded back to the hospitals. I used to rub snow in my eyes to stay awake. Now my eyes are failing me,” he added quietly, “and I kind of blame a lot of it on that.
“That was a rough time in my life,” Eden went on, again quoting Patton — “Blood and guts.”
He saw a lot of that during his time in Europe, and he did his best to reassure the soldiers who were so seriously wounded he knew they would never make it home.
One particular mission, however, stands out for Eden — the frigid December night when he drove his ambulance into the center of the Bulge to transport a surgical team to a wiped out hospital in Bastogne.

A harrowing journey
It was about 3 p.m. the day after the battle began when a major in the hospital in Luxembourg, where Eden was stationed, called him into the office.
“Hitler’s tanks had overrun them in Bastogne — took their field hospital — so they tagged me, said, ‘Take this surgeon and his nurse and get them up there to the wounded.’ He asked me to take them around the boot of the bulge to the destination.”
The trip was a straight shot north, about 60 miles, with Eden weaving in and out and all around the Germans, turning back to avoid downed bridges and nearly getting caught up at several points.
“I knew the directions, had maps and an assistant driver who was pretty good,” he said. “I’d start up this road, knowing Hitler had dropped hundreds of soldiers over behind that line, killed our boys and took their uniforms — they had our uniforms on — so it began to get frightening. You didn’t know if he was a German or what he was trying to get you into.
“It was dangerous.”
Still working his way around the bulge, Eden said he’d start to go up another road before being advised to turn around — “The Germans are right there and they’re fixing to blow up that bridge.”

Passwords and medals
At supper time, Eden and his medical team dined with the 101st Airborne near the Sedan Forest before continuing on through the thick of the battle.
Soon after, they ran into a road block.
“One of the 82nd has his bayonet on me asking, “What is the password? I said, ‘Password? I don’t know it. I’m not from around here,’” Eden said.
Further pressed, the medic told the guard he lived in Virginia.
“He said, ‘What newspaper do you read?’ and I said, ‘The Washington Post.’ That got us through.”
For future reference, the guard told Eden before sending him on their way, the password was, “Babe Ruth.”
Still making his way around the Bulge, Eden crossed over into British territory and met up with a Brit on a motorcycle.
“He said, ‘Old chappy, where are you trying to go?’ I said, ‘I got a surgical team here trying to get up to Bastogne,’ and he told me to follow him. The next morning by 8 o’clock, I got into Bastogne.”
Heavy snow was falling as Eden headed back to from where he started. Driving farther into the countryside, he noticed tanks American tanks stuck in snow drifts. So were soldiers’ bodies.
“It was some time before the snow melted and we found them all,” Eden said.
He considered his transport of the medical team during the Battle of the Bulge his greatest accomplishment of the war.
“I was real happy about it and I still feel good,” Eden said.
He always felt he should have got a medal for that harrowing journey, but it never came.
“I still am thankful that a played a part in it,” Eden said.

He applied himself
There was never any question that he would join the Army to fight in World War II. For Eden, like most others from the Greatest Generation, it was about personal responsibility.
Before enlisting in Lynchburg in 1942, he married Phoebe — a local girl from Jeffersonton that Eden met while working on the road crew that extended Route 229 from Rixeyville north to U.S. 211. Eden grew up in rural Tennessee, the son of sharecroppers and one of 12 children.
He came to Virginia during the Great Depression in search of work and got a job through Roosevelt’s WPA program helping to build Skyline Drive.
Eden could have gotten a deferment from service in World War II, but there was no way.
“I told my boss, ‘No. I want to go ahead and fight the Germans over there and stop them from coming over here and killing our women and children.’ I seen how he wanted to rule the world,” he said.
Armed with a childhood of hard work on the farm and an eighth-grade education, Eden expected he’d be assigned to an engineering crew, building bridges and roads and such.
“They picked me for the medics,” he said, suspecting, “They knew I helped people, that I had sympathy for people.”
Eden excelled during the medical training, learning every pressure point and bone in the human body. He put the medics from up north, many of who had college educations, to shame with his high marks.
Soon enough, Eden gained as a name as a respected medic. It’s a lesson he has carried with him since.
“I told my kids my whole life, ‘If you apply yourself, you can learn it.’”
He credits his intensive training for getting him through World War II and the Battle of the Bulge, as well as a little something else.
“I never forget to say my prayers.”

Source:starexponent.com/c

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Pictet Luxembourg joins Calastone's network

Calastone, the independent cross-border transaction network for the mutual funds industry, said Pictet & Cie, the Luxembourg-domiciled fund provider, had signed an agreement to make its funds available via its network.

Through Calastone, providers are able to offer their open-architecture funds to a wide variety of investors irrespective of domicile or preferred messaging protocol.

Kevin Lee, managing director at Calastone, said: "Luxembourg is a key market for us. The mutual fund community has asked us to help them automate their trade, execution and settlement flow, and, by connecting to Calastone, remove the dependency on fax, now widely recognised as a legacy inefficiency."

Mr Lee said Calastone's full settlement service was "changing the mutual funds landscape", enabling all firms to benefit from straight-through processing (STP).

"It is our ultimate aim to offer the entire mutual funds industry complete front-to-back STP regardless of participants' incumbent technology or connectivity preference."

Laurent Moser, head of Pictet Funds transfer agent services at Pictet & Cie, added: "We have been impressed with Calastone’s progress in a relatively short period of time, and we are pleased to be connected."

Source: ftadviser.com/

Qatar Lists USD 7 Billion Bond Issue On Luxembourg Stock Exchange

On 24 November 2009, the Luxembourg Stock Exchange admitted to trading a sovereign bond issue from the state of Qatar, for a total amount issued of USD 7 billion.

This bond issue was composed of 3 tranches with respective maturities at 2015 (4.00% coupon), 2020 (5.25% coupon) and 2040 (6.40% coupon). Qatar intends to use the net proceeds from the issue for general funding purposes, including contingency funding for state-owned entities, infrastructure investments in Qatar, growth of its hydrocarbon sector and for potential investments in the international oil and gas industry.

In 2009, the Luxembourg Stock Exchange also listed two other issues of the state of Qatar for an amount of USD 3 billion.

The Luxembourg Stock Exchange has long been especially active in the listing of international debt securities. It listed the first Eurobond in 1963 and as regards sovereign debt it today has 1,814 quotation lines from 70 countries and states, including sovereign issues from Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates. It also lists corporate bond issues from Kuwait, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.

Source: mondovisione.com/

Elektromotive heads to Belgium and Luxembourg

UK based Elektromotive is making headway in the electric vehicle recharging market after appointing ThePluginCompany to install networks of charging stations across Belgium and Luxembourg.

Pilot schemes will begin almost straightaway, with 20 Elektrobay units to be installed in the country by the end of the year with further rollouts planned in 2010.

The first project starts in Brussels at the headquarters of LeasePlan, the world’s largest vehicle management and leasing provider. Installations at other LeasePlan locations will follow next year, supporting the company’s commitment to increasing the availability of both low and zero emission vehicles within its European fleet.

In addition, Elektromotive and The PluginCompany will work together to educate businesses and legislators in Belgium and Luxembourg about the benefits of zero emission motoring as well as the need for compatible recharging infrastructures. They will then detail the steps that can be taken to quickly implement the Elektrobay networks ahead of the arrival of new electric and plug-in hybrids which are scheduled to be launched over the next three years.

The first Elektrobay was introduced in Westminster, London, in 2006 and by December 2009 there will be more than 120 across the capital with a further 90 charging stations installed in cities and shopping centres around the UK. Elektromotive has also exported its technology to the Netherlands, Iceland, Saudi Arabia, Ireland, Germany and Sweden.

Source: thegreencarwebsite.co.uk/

Pictet Luxembourg joins Calastone's network

Calastone, the independent cross-border transaction network for the mutual funds industry, said Pictet & Cie, the Luxembourg-domiciled fund provider, had signed an agreement to make its funds available via its network.

Through Calastone, providers are able to offer their open-architecture funds to a wide variety of investors irrespective of domicile or preferred messaging protocol.

Kevin Lee, managing director at Calastone, said: "Luxembourg is a key market for us. The mutual fund community has asked us to help them automate their trade, execution and settlement flow, and, by connecting to Calastone, remove the dependency on fax, now widely recognised as a legacy inefficiency."

Mr Lee said Calastone's full settlement service was "changing the mutual funds landscape", enabling all firms to benefit from straight-through processing (STP).

"It is our ultimate aim to offer the entire mutual funds industry complete front-to-back STP regardless of participants' incumbent technology or connectivity preference."

Laurent Moser, head of Pictet Funds transfer agent services at Pictet & Cie, added: "We have been impressed with Calastone’s progress in a relatively short period of time, and we are pleased to be connected."

Source: ftadviser.com/

Launch of “Luxembourg Alternatives UCITS Platform” (LAUP) boosts renewal of hedge funds industry

• UCITS hedge funds address the traditional concerns related to the off-shore hedge fund industry, by ensuring stricter investment diversification, more rigorous risk management, better transparency, improved liquidity and superior controls.

• “Luxembourg Alternatives UCITS Platform” or “LAUP” provides hedge fund managers with an independent and open-architecture UCITS platform.

• Luxembourg is ideally positioned to become Europe’s leading hedge fund UCITS hub, already dominating the long-only UCITS funds space.

• The adoption of UCITS III funds represents the hedge fund industry’s pre-emption of the European Union’s Directive on Alternative Investment Fund Managers.


***

In response to the continued growth in market demand for UCITS III hedge funds and funds of hedge funds, Luxembourg Financial Group (LFG) and Ganymede Partners (Ganymede) announced the launch of the “Luxembourg Alternatives UCITS Platform” or “LAUP”. LAUP is a one-stop independent and open-architecture platform for hedge fund managers to set up a UCITS III hedge fund or fund of hedge funds.

Hedge Funds established as UCITS III offer protection for investors through a regulated framework which ensures the safe-keeping of assets, risk control, transparency, diversification and liquidity not typically associated with alternative investments vehicles.

More than half of European hedge fund companies either plan to launch regulated, onshore versions of their strategies or have already done so, according to HedgeFund Intelligence, a research group. The adoption of UCITS III funds represents the hedge fund industry’s pre-emption of the European Union’s Directive on Alternative Investment Fund Managers.

Luxembourg is the largest fund centre outside of the United States and almost 70% of UCITS III funds which are authorized for cross-border distribution in the European Union are domiciled in Luxembourg.

LFG currently manages a large range of Luxembourg-domiciled vehicles, including UCITS III funds, and will now open up their platform to hedge fund groups seeking to establish UCITS III hedge funds, effectively providing a turn-key solution to the creation of a UCIT III hedge fund or UCITS III fund of hedge fund. Only the largest hedge fund groups will be able to justify the time and costs to gain their own UCITS III management licenses which is why most turn to platform providers as a much quicker, cheaper and more effective option.

LAUP also brings together a number of specialists in the hedge fund industry. Johan Groothaert, CEO of LFG, and Gareth James, founder of Ganymede, together pioneered at Deutsche Bank the certificate ...

Source: opalesque.com/

Luxembourg Financial Group (LFG) and Ganymede Partners have launched

Luxembourg Financial Group (LFG) and Ganymede Partners have launched an open-architecture platform for managers seeking to create a UCITS III hedge fund or fund of hedge funds.

Luxembourg Alternatives UCITS Platform (LAUP) has been created in response to the growing demand for UCITS III compliant funds, the firms explained.

UCITS III stipulates a number of requirements aimed at protecting investors, covering areas such as transparency, diversification and risk control.

“The UCITS III framework is very attractive for those managers seeking to target private clients across Europe, but it also acts as a stamp of approval for institutional investors looking for regulatory certainty of custody, liquidity and transparency,” said Gareth James, Ganymede founder.

“For investors with the resources to carry out their own operational due diligence, and the investment size to dictate their own terms, there may be more appropriate unregulated vehicles.

“However, for the majority of hedge fund investors, UCITS III offers this framework of certainty, and after Madoff and other losses last year, it is no coincidence that more and more investors are turning to UCITS III for their hedge funds this year.”

LFG and Ganymede also suggested that the increased adoption of UCITS III is being fuelled by a desire to pre-empt the proposed EU Directive on Alternative Investment Fund Managers, which has received criticism from a number of individuals and institutions in the alternatives space

Source: isj.tv/

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Luxembourg Twitter


Luxembourg (pronounced /ˈlʌksəmbɜrɡ/ officially the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg (Luxembourgish: Groussherzogtum Lëtzebuerg, French: Grand-Duché de Luxembourg, German: Großherzogtum Luxemburg), is a small, landlocked country in western Europe, bordered by Belgium, France, and Germany. Luxembourg has a population of under half a million people in an area of approximately 2,586 square kilometres (999 sq mi).

Luxembourg is a parliamentary representative democracy with a constitutional monarch; it is ruled by a Grand Duke. It is the world's only remaining sovereign Grand Duchy. The country has a highly developed economy, with the highest Gross Domestic Product per capita in the world as per IMF and WB. Its historic and strategic importance dates back to its founding as a Roman era fortress site and Frankish count's castle site in the Early Middle Ages. It was an important bastion along the Spanish road when Spain was the principal European power influencing the whole western hemisphere and beyond in the 16th–17th centuries.

Luxembourg is a founding member of the European Union, NATO, OECD, the United Nations, Benelux, and the Western European Union, reflecting the political consensus in favour of economic, political, and military integration. The city of Luxembourg, the capital and largest city, is the seat of several institutions and agencies of the European Union.

Luxembourg lies on the cultural divide between Romance Europe and Germanic Europe, borrowing customs from each of the distinct traditions. Luxembourg is a trilingual country; German, French and Luxembourgish are official languages. Although a secular state, Luxembourg is predominantly Roman Catholic.