Niina Bergring, CIO, said: “We are very pleased with the result, considering the market situation.”Fixed income performance had lowered the overall result, she said, with the asset class ending with a return of just 1.5%.Property investments, which the company said were traditionally strong within its portfolio, returned 5.9%.Total contributions fell by 1.2% to €452.8m from €458.2m, while pensions and other benefits paid out rose 7.3% to €432m.Veritas blamed the fall in contributions partly on payroll developments, with pension client numbers declining, and partly on the fact more corporate clients had failed this year to make their scheduled contributions.Managing director Jan-Erik Stenman said he was not surprised by the slide in contributions.“We are now seeing the aftermath of the general economic situation,” he said.“In the course of 2013, the impact of globalisation hit our customers – small and medium-sized enterprises – which had hitherto perhaps fared better than large companies in the current economic situation.”Over the year, Veritas lost 1.8% of employees as clients, or 53,339 workers.Total investment assets rose to €2.4bn, up €170m from a year earlier.Solvency capital increased during the year to end at 27.8% of technical provisions from 24.1% a year before, Veritas said, adding that this meant solvency capital was 2.1 times the solvency limit. Finland’s Veritas produced a 7.4% return on investments in 2013, but saw contributions fall by 1.2% as globalisation effects hit small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the country.Reporting preliminary results for last year, Veritas said it was the positive trend in equity markets that boosted investment returns, particularly at the end of the year.The 2013 investment return was helped by listed equities, which generated the pension insurer’s highest returns at 18.3%.However, the overall return was down from last year, when investments ended the year with a profit of 11.3%.
Maine Maritime Academy senior Betsy Trenckmann celebrates aft er setting a single season record for assists during volleyball action last week against the University of Maine – Presque Isle. PHOTO COURTESY MAINE MARITIME ACADEMYCASTINE — In her final games of the regular volleyball season, Maine Maritime Academy senior Betsy Trenckmann set a single season record for assists with 774.In a doubleheader on Wednesday, Oct. 29, against the University of Maine – Presque Isle, Trenckmann garnered 23 in the first match and 26 in the second as the Lady Mariners notched a pair of 3-0 wins.The Lady Mariners finished the regular season with a record of 15-14 overall and 5-1 in the North Atlantic Conference.Second-seeded MMA will face the third-seeded Husson University Eagles in NAC semifinal action tomorrow (Friday) at 8 p.m. at Colby-Sawyer College in New London, N.H.This is placeholder textThis is placeholder textIn their season finale against UMPI, the Lady Mariners won the first match with set scores of 25-13, 25-16 and 25-7.Gillian O’Neal led MMA with 12 kills, 11 digs and nine aces.Sydney Robertson, the team’s other senior, had eight kills and added four blocks to her record-breaking career.In the second match, it was MMA by set scores of 25-7, 25-21 and 25-19.Roberson led the way with 11 kills and two blocks, Samantha Ryan had 14 digs and O’Neal had nine digs, six kills and five aces.Men’s SoccerOn Friday in Bangor, the Mariner men fell to Husson Univesity 3-1 in an NAC soccer quarterfinal match, ending their season with a record of 8-8-1.Husson jumped in front in the 12th minute when a ball deflected off a Mariner defender and into the net.The Mariners knotted the score five minutes later when Tom Samson took a pass from David Clough and put the ball into the net.The teams remained tied for the rest of the first period, with MMA holding a 10-6 edge in shots.But the Eagles got what proved to be the game-winner at the 66th minute on a shot by Stephen Berenyi.Husson added an insurance goal in the 90th minute when Andy Stevick scored on a penalty kick.Goalkeepers Marshall Spear of MMA and Brian Potter of Husson each made made nine saves.Cross-countryMMA freshman Zachary Kinsman finished 13th overall, leading the Mariners to a fifth-place finish ast the NAC cross-country championships on Sunday at Castleton State College in Whittingham, Vt.Kinsman was the second NAC rookie across the finish line with his time of 27 minutes and 30 seconds.In the women’s championship, the Lady Mariners placed ninth with Caroline Martin the first MMA finisher, placing 50th among 87 runners with a time of 25:16.Both Mariner squads will be back in action on Saturday in the ECAC Championships at Westfield State University in Westfield, Mass.
Borussia Dortmund have confirmed that midfielder Ilkay Gundogan will not renew his contract with the Bundesliga club.The Germany international’s current deal expires next summer and although it was widely believed he would not extend his stay at Signal Iduna Park beyond then, it has yet to be confirmed up until now.Last week speculation suggested that Manchester United were ‘closing in’ on his signature for a fee believed to be in the region of €30 million (£22m), before a number of other top European clubs were linked with the midfielder.The German apparently held talks regarding a possible United transfer while David Moyes was in charge at Old Trafford, with the 24-year-old seen as a natural successor to Michael Carrick.It remains to be seen whether Gundogan will follow departing coach Juergen Klopp out of the club at the end of the current Bundesliga campaign, but the German club may look to cash-in rather than letting him go on a free next year, as was the case with former striker Robert Lewandowski.Lewandowski spent four years with Dortmund and notched 74 league goals in 131 matches, though he opted not to sign a new contract and saw out the final year of his deal before joining arch rivals Bayern Munich on a free transfer. MAN UNITED BOUND?It has been widely expected that Gundogan would leave Dortmund this summer, and this news now pretty much confirms it.The German club will not want to let one of their best players leave on a free next summer, especially when they will receive in the region of £20m – £25m for him.The English press went big on the Manchester United rumours and while the hype has died down a bit, with subsequent reports suggesting the earlier ones were premature, the feeling in England is certainly that United are favourites, given he has been a long-term target and they so clearly need a midfielder of that ilk.Arsenal are in the market for someone more defensive (Schneiderlin probably) and they have Ramsey, Wilshere and Cazorla who would play in the Gundogan position. VIEW FROM GERMANY Tobias Hlusiak, Eurosport Germany: This news really isn’t a surprise for anyone following professional football. Gundogan did extend his contract one year ago when he was seriously injured, but only for 365 more days.That made it quite clear what he was up to.Dortmund presented him with a possible contract-extension months ago, but Gundogan never really thought about signing it.So they felt he was leaving. That’s why they already lined up possible replacements in Leverkusen’s Gonzalo Castro and Mainz’ Johannes Geiss. As far as Gundogan’s future is concerned, it has seemed quite certain that he would be going to the Premier league for a long time.But in the last few days more and more rumours about Bayern have emerged. Dortmund fans are afraid of losing their next top-talent to Guardiola’s squad. But my sources say that England is more likely. United seem to be in the driver’s seat.–