The Greater Manchester, Clwyd and South Yorkshire UK local authority funds have committed to a £60m (€83.7m) small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) development fund.Launched by Foresight Group, it will target SMEs in the North West of England.The fund has attracted £20m from the Greater Manchester Pension Fund (GMPF) – at £17.6bn, the UK’s largest local authority scheme – and an undisclosed amount from the South Yorkshire Pensions Authority and Clywd Pension Fund.The fund will make private equity investments of up to £5m in businesses based in the English regions of Cheshire, Cumbria, Lancashire, Manchester, Merseyside, North East Wales and South Yorkshire. Foresight will open an office in Manchester to oversee investments, which it said would be across all sectors and types of private equity.Kieran Quinn, chairman at the GMPF, said: “This is an excellent example of local government pension schemes working collaboratively to generate commercial returns and provide a positive impact on the local economy.”The GMPF has previously spoken of the challenges in maintaining its 5% target allocation to private equity due to the rate at rate at which the asset class recycles capital.Bernard Fairman, chairman at Foresight, said the fund would seek to support a government initiative to revitalise growth in the UK’s North.“The region,” he said, “has a large number of underfunded SMEs, particularly within the niche engineering and hi-tech manufacturing sectors, creating opportunities for the fund to stimulate growth, generate jobs and deliver healthy risk-adjusted returns to investors.”Colin Everett, chief executive of Clwyd’s administering authority Flintshire County Council, added: “We are keen to collaborate with other local government pension schemes and believe this fund will provide a sustainable local economic impact along with commercial returns.”The GMPF’s £20m investment comes shortly after its £500m infrastructure joint venture with the London Pensions Fund Authority made its first investment, committing to a biomass fund.
Ripley County, Ind. — A Dillsboro resident was injured in a single vehicle crash in Ripley County Monday.A report from the Ripley County Sheriff’s Department says around 1 a.m. a car driven by David Blane Beck, 18, was traveling south on State Road 101 when he fell asleep and drove off the roadway. The vehicle flipped onto its top injuring the driver. Beck was treated for an arm injury at the Dearborn County Hospital.
Press Association Agger moved to Anfield in January 2006 from the Danish club for a £6million fee and has gone on to make over 200 appearances for the Reds since then, but will now return to the club where he began his career. “Liverpool have been such a big part of my life and my family’s lives for so long, that leaving is extremely difficult,” Agger told Liverpoolfc.com. Defender Daniel Agger has brought an end to his eight-and-a-half-year stay at Liverpool by moving back to Brondby. While he was often a first choice centre-back during much of his time on Merseyside, several injuries have stalled his career and he had slipped down the pecking order in the last couple of seasons under Brendan Rodgers. He made just 20 Premier League appearances last season, despite being club vice-captain, and has not featured at all in this campaign as Rodgers appears to have settled on a first-choice partnership of Martin Skrtel and Dejan Lovren in the centre of defence. Despite reports linking him with a move to Spanish giants Real Madrid or Barcelona over the summer, Agger was adamant he would only leave Liverpool for a return to the club where he made his name. “The opportunity arose for me to return home to Brondby and at this stage of my career it felt like the right decision for me,” Agger added. “I wouldn’t leave here to go anywhere else and that has been proven by my actions in recent seasons – I have turned down many offers to move to other Premier League and European clubs.” The 29-year-old, who has 64 caps for Denmark, played a significant part in Liverpool’s run to the Champions League final in the 2006/07 season, while he helped them to lift the League Cup five years later. Rodgers added: “We’ve been discussing Daniel’s future with him during the close season and I know this is a decision he has reached after much soul searching and deliberation.”