Paddy Power Betfair plc Irish Betting Duty

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Paddy Power Betfair plc (LON:PPB) noted the announcement today by the Irish Government in its 2019 Budget that it is increasing the rate of betting duty payable, with effect from 1 January 2019.

The rate of betting duty is to increase from 1% to 2% of sports betting stakes from Irish customers (applies to retail, online and telephone sportsbooks) and from 15% to 25% of betting exchange commissions from Irish customers.

If these increased rates had applied to the Paddy Power Betfair Irish sportsbook stakes and exchange revenues in the 12 months ended 30 June 2018 we would have paid an additional £20 million of betting duty.

Ashtead Group plc appoint of Angus Cockburn as a non-executive director

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Ashtead Group plc (LON:AHT) today announced the appointment of Angus Cockburn as a non-executive director and chair of the audit committee as of 9 October 2018.

Angus has been Group Chief Financial Officer of Serco Group plc since October 2014. Prior to that he was Chief Financial Officer and Interim Chief Executive at Aggreko plc. Angus was also previously Senior Independent Director of GKN plc.

Paul Walker, Chair of Ashtead, commented:

“I am very pleased to welcome Angus to the Board of Ashtead. He has in depth knowledge of the markets that we operate in and Angus’s considerable boardroom experience will add to the strength, depth and effectiveness of the Ashtead Board”.

WPP Plc – Ford announces decision on advertising review; WPP retains activation business

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Over the past five months, WPP Plc (LON:WPP) has been working with Ford Motor Company on its future marketing and advertising relationships. At the conclusion of the review, WPP will be responsible for activating the Ford brand through key channels and regions, through its global Ford agency GTB as well as other WPP agencies, while Ford has appointed another agency as its lead creative agency.

WPP agencies will continue to handle activation, including media planning and buying, digital and production. These responsibilities also include Tier Two advertising work in the U.S., the China advertising operations with its joint venture partner, all Lincoln advertising, and all the Ford public relations business.

WPP will work closely with Ford on the shape of its future relationship and the impact on its people.

Aviva plc Mark Wilson steps down as Chief Executive Officer

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Aviva plc (LON:AV.) today announces Mark Wilson and the Board have agreed that Mark is stepping down today as Chief Executive Officer of the group. Mark will remain with the group until April 2019 and will assist with the planned and orderly transition.

Mark was brought in to deliver the turnaround of Aviva. The Board and Mark believe that given the turnaround has been successfully completed, it is time for new leadership to take the group to the next phase of its development.

The search for a successor will commence immediately, with internal and external candidates being considered. The process is expected to be completed within the next four months.

As confirmed in its recent half year results in August 2018, Aviva continues to perform well and remains on track to deliver its target of operating earnings per share growth of greater than 5% in 2018 and to achieve a dividend payout ratio of 55-60% of operating earnings per share by 2020. Aviva continues to op

Randgold Resources Morila’s agribusiness project gets govt go-ahead

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Randgold Resources (LON:RRS) Morila, Mali, 8 October 2018 – The Morila gold mine’s ambitious agribusiness project, designed to replace mining with a sustainable economic activity in the local community after the operation’s closure in two years’ time, has been approved by the Malian government.

In a ceremony at Morila today, attended among others by Mali Prime Minister M Soumeilou Boubeye Maïga and Minister of Mines & Petroleum Mme Lelenta Hawa Baba Ba, Randgold Resources chief executive Mark Bristow said the project would support the government’s drive to reduce poverty by promoting the agricultural sector. He noted that 80% of Mali’s population relied on agriculture, which accounted for 45% of the country’s GDP and it was estimated that as much as 50% of agricultural produce was wasted by the lack of processing industries.

“Converting Morila’s infrastructure into a base for an agri-industrial zone will not only develop an alternative economy in t

Admiral Group Plc appoint Mike Brierley as an independent non-executive director

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Admiral Group Plc (LON:ADM) The Board of Admiral is pleased to announce, with effect from 5th October 2018, the appointment of Mike Brierley as an independent non-executive director and member of the Audit Committee. On the 21 September 2018, Mike was also appointed non-executive Chairman of Admiral Financial Services Limited, the company through which Admiral’s loans business is written.

Mike Brierley has 35 years’ experience in Chief Financial Officer (CFO) roles within the financial services industry. Most recently Mike was CFO of Metro Bank PLC between 2009 and 2018, helping lead the business from start-up to a profitable FTSE250 bank. He has been a director of Barclaycard responsible for business risk and, between 1999 and 2006, held a variety of roles with Capital One Bank (Europe) PLC including CFO Europe, CFO UK and Managing Vice President and Chief Enterprise Risk Officer Europe. Mike is a Fellow of The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wale

Melrose Industries appointment of Liam Butterworth as CEO

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Melrose Industries (LON:MRO) today confirms the appointment of Liam Butterworth as CEO of its Automotive Division, which comprises the GKN Driveline and GKN ePowertrain businesses, commencing in early November.

Liam comes with a wealth of automotive experience, beginning with an early career at Lucas Industries and TRW prior to joining FCI Group’s Motorised Vehicles Division in 2000. He held a number of management positions before being appointed as Motorised Vehicles Division President and General Manager in 2009. Liam went with the business when it was acquired by Delphi Automotive plc in 2012, becoming President of Delphi’s powertrain business in 2014 and then Chief Executive Officer and President of Delphi Technologies plc as part of last year’s spin off.

Melrose Chief Executive Simon Peckham said: “We are pleased to have secured Liam to lead our Automotive Division. His substantial leadership experience in the sector will be of gre

Smurfit Kappa Group launched a new global inclusion and diversity programme

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Smurfit Kappa Group (LON:SKG) has launched a new global inclusion and diversity (I&D) programme to embrace and celebrate its global, multi-cultural workforce.

The new ‘EveryOne’ initiative has been rolled out across Europe and the Americas to encourage all employees to play their part in creating an even more inclusive workplace.

The launch of the new campaign is another step forward in Smurfit Kappa’s commitment to inclusion and diversity. For many years, the company has run an ‘Open Leadership’ development programme for managers which is based on several principles including self-awareness, embracing learning and making the most of diversity. The launch of ‘EveryOne’ develops and extends the inclusion and diversity and element for all levels of the organisation.

Speaking about the launch, Smurfit Kappa Vice President of Human Resources, Gianluca Castellini, said: “We are very excited about launching EveryOne. Th

Legal & General Group completed £2.4 billion buyout for the Nortel Networks UK Pension Plan

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Legal & General Group (LON:LGEN) – Legal & General Assurance Society Limited today announced that it has completed a £2.4 billion buyout for the Nortel Networks UK Pension Plan, covering around 15,500 pensioner members and around 7,200 deferred members.

The Plan’s sponsor went into administration in 2009 and the Plan entered a Pension Protection Fund assessment period, where it has remained whilst insolvency proceedings were on-going. With these proceedings now resolved, the Plan has been able to secure benefits in excess of PPF levels and will exit the PPF having secured the buyout with Legal & General.

The financial metrics and Solvency II capital strain of this transaction are in line with previous levels reported by Legal & General.

Nigel Wilson, Chief Executive, Legal & General Group, said:

“This transaction brings our total volume for global pension de-risking business to more than £8.4 billion for t

easyJet Plc Directorate Change

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easyJet Plc (LON:EZJ) today announces that Adèle Anderson, Non-Executive Director, has informed the Company that, after seven years, she intends to step down from the Board following the Company’s 2019 Annual General Meeting, expected to take place on 7 February 2019. She will also step down from her position as Audit Committee Chair with effect from 1 January 2019.

Julie Southern, Non-Executive Director, who joined the easyJet Board on 1 August 2018, will become Chair of the Audit Committee with effect from 1 January 2019.

John Barton, easyJet Chairman, said:

“On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank Adèle for her important contribution over the past seven years to the easyJet Board and specifically in her role as Audit Committee Chair. She has brought deep understanding and acumen to her responsibilities and she leaves us with our gratitude and best wishes.”

“I am very pleased to welcome Julie as Audit Committee Chair. Gi