Hartford Courant from Hartford, Connecticut on April 1, 2015 · A8
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Hartford Courant from Hartford, Connecticut · A8

Hartford, Connecticut
Issue Date:
Wednesday, April 1, 2015
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A8 WEDNESDAY, APRIL 1 2015 THE HARTFORD COURANT BUSINESS KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS Catholic Mutual Funds Created Funds Will Be Invested Based On Church's Values, Marketed To Faith-Based Groups By MATTHEW STURDEVANT msturdevantcourant.com The Knights of Columbus has created a new class of mutual funds that will invest based on Catholic values and will be marketed to faith-based institutions such as orders of nuns, dioceses or Catholic universities. The New Haven-based Knights also created a new investment adviser firm, Knights of Columbus Asset Advisors, which is a subsidiary of the fraternal benefit society formed in 1882, which has grown into a life insurer that also sells annuities, long-term-care coverage and disability insurance to Catholic families around the globe. As of September, the Knights of Columbus had more than $95 billion in life insurance in-force, which is the face value of all existing policies. The Knights provided $200 million as seed money for the Knights of Columbus funds, which will be managed by Asset Advisors. The seed money was used to create, in late February, six mutual funds that are invested according to Catholic values. The Catholic church is a large organization with many people who likely have different ideas about how to invest a Catholic portfolio of money, said Anthony Minopoli, president and chief investment officer of Knights of Columbus Asset Advisors. But the Knights had to have a standard for investment guidelines. The organization's investment principles are based on the precedents set by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Minopoli said. "In that way, we felt ... that's a collection of all the bishops in the United States. They're speaking from a single viewpoint on Catholic doctrine, Catholic teachings and what things should and should not be within a Catholic portfolio, and our view is that would probably have the broadest appeal to the most different Catholic churches or Catholic institutions in the U.S.," Minopoli said. It means the mutual funds won't invest in companies that are involved in a practice that runs afoul of Catholic values. For example, that would include any business involved in embryonic stem cell research, abortion, contraceptives, human cloning or pornography, Minopoli said. The Knights of Columbus takes the doctrine from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and pays a global equity firm called MSCI Inc., which provides the Knights with a restricted list of companies that don't fit with Catholic values, he said. The list is programmed into the Knights trade-order entry system. In other words, the companies that don't fit Catholic values are blocked by a computer system from being added to the Knights' portfolio. It's a common misconception that money raised by a Catholic brotherhood of monks, an order of nuns, a Catholic university or any other group of the same faith gives all its funds back to the Vatican. Each is autonomous, Minopoli said. And, so, each has a FUNDS, A9 NICK UT ASSOCIATED PRESS THE SIGN AT the Charter Communications facility in Glendale, Calif., on Tuesday. Charter Communications Inc. is buying cable operator Bright House Networks LLC in a deal valued at $10.4 billion. CABLE TELEVISION TIME TO MERGE Charter Nabs Bright House Networks In Latest Pay-TV Deal By TALI ARBEL and MICHELLE CHAPMAN Associated Press Stamford-based Charter Communications Inc. is buying Bright House Networks LLC for $10.4 billion in the latest big deal in the pay-TV industry. Companies want to merge as costs for channels like ESPN have shot up, while their video subscribers have dipped and online video providers like Netflix become more popular. Combining gives them more negotiating power against programmers such as The Walt Disney Co. Last year, Comcast said that it was buying Time Warner Cable for $45 billion, and AT&T is purchasing DirecTV for $48.5 billion. Both deals are under long-running regulatory reviews. But the Comcast-Time Warner deal has raised concerns from competitors and consumer and Internet advocates, who say that too much of the country's Internet access would be under one company's control. They also say that it could hurt growing online video providers like Netflix, who need its pipes to get to consumers, and lead to higher prices. Comcast says that it works cooperatively with online video companies like Netflix and that content providers, not distributors like itself, currently have bargaining advantages. Charter's buying Bright House, which hinges on regulators approving Comcast's purchasing Time Warner Cable, is "land of small in the scheme of things," said John Bergmayer, a senior staff attorney at Public Knowledge, a nonprofit group that advocates for Internet access. "Trends in consolidation are always worrying, but this deal by itself is not as bad as some other deals out there." Public Knowledge is against Comcast's buying Time Warner Cable. Most analysts expect that the deal will go through, but some have become less optimistic. Charter and Bright House said Tuesday that the deal would create the second-largest U.S. cable operator. But they are not in any of the same markets, so their subscribers wouldn't lose the ability to switch to a competing cable company. The pay-TV industry overall has been slowly shedding vid eo subscribers in recent years, according to an analysis by MoffettNathanson analyst Craig Moffett, who expects that trend to continue. New options for video that appeal to "cord-cutters" have sprung up in recent months, such as a Web version of HBO, an online set of about 20 channels from Dish called Sling and a $50-a-month service from Sony. Charter Communications Inc. has been trying to grow. It wanted to buy Time Warner Cable Inc. but got outbid by Comcast Corp. With the Comcast-Time Warner deal, however, it is already growing substantially, paying $7.3 billion for L4 million Comcast subscribers and getting a one-third stake in a new company with 2.5 million existing Comcast customers. Charter is currently the fourth-largest cable operator in the U.S., with 4.3 million video customers, mostly in the Midwest, West and South. Bright House Networks LLC is the sixth-largest with 2 million customers, mostly in Tampa and Orlando, Fla., but also in Alabama, Indiana, Michigan and California. According to a client note by Moffett, Bright House also has "a strong reputation for service and customer satisfaction," a rarity among cable companies. AdvanceNewhouse, the parent company of Bright House, will own 26.3 percent of the combined company. Charter is paying it $2 billion in cash and the rest in stock and preferred units that convert into common stock of the new company. HARTFORD Website To Help Residents Find Jobs Goal Is To Reduce Unemployment By MARA LEE maraleecourant.com HARTFORD - The city of Hartford has launched an online resume database to help employers find city residents to hire. This will become more important in coming months, as Mayor Pedro Segarra has said there will be mandates for construction companies working on the Hartford Yard Goats stadium to hire city residents. When the stadium opens, city residents will also be given priority for jobs, the lease agreement says. Segarra, Council President Shawn Wooden and Councilwoman Cynthia Jennings announced the new site, JobsforHartford.com, on Tuesday. "This is about getting Hartford residents back to work and ensuring that they benefit from current and future development that comes to the city," Segarra said. According to census data, in 2013, only 31 percent of city residents between the ages of 16 and 64 worked full time for the whole year. An additional 35 percent didn't work at all. Even including part-time workers, only 41 percent of the working-age population worked the whole year. "Reducing unemployment in our city and creating economic opportunities for our residents are high priorities for the city council," Wooden said. The Hilton Hartford Hotel has an employment agreement with the city that sets a goal of making a majority of its hires Hartford residents. Deb Kapchus, director of human resources at the hotel, said the new site would be a great resource. Initially, the site is a way for employers to find candidates, but eventually, employers will be posting jobs, as well. Any companies interested in posting positions on JobsforHartford.com may call Hartford Hires Task Force Chairman Eloy Toppin at 860-757-9788 or email etoppinhartford.gov. PHOENIX COS. $213 Million Net Loss Reported For 2014 By MATTHEW STURDEVANT msturdevantcourant.com The Phoenix Cos. reported a net loss of $213.2 million in 2014 and spent tens of millions of dollars on audit fees and expenses related to the company's restatement of financial filings, according to filings Tuesday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Last year, the Hartford-based life insurer and annuity company spent $73.3 million in expenses related to its restatement of finances to the SEC, and $29.3 million in audit fees, according to SEC filings. Pricewa- terhouseCoopers LLP is providing auditing and accounting services to the life insurer and annuity business. Phoenix reported a net loss attributable to the company of $140.3 million for the last three months of 2014, compared with net income of $143.1 million during the same period in 2013. The company reported a net loss of $213.2 million for the year, compared with a net income of $26 million in 2013. The 2013 net income figure reported Tuesday differs from what the company reported in August, net income of $5.1 million for 2013 the first time in six years Phoenix was profitable. Phoenix's net losses in other years have been changed from earlier filings, too. The company reported on Tuesday it had net losses of $165 million in 2012, $38.9 million in 2011 and $30.5 million in 2010, according to SEC filings. Phoenix had previously reported net losses of $168.5 million in 2012, $30.7 million in 2011, $34.4 million in 2010. The company has reported in the past that it had a net loss of $407.1 million in 2009. "Management concluded that the errors identified in the fourth quarter and full year 2013 and second quarter of 2014 are in areas of internal control over financial reporting previously identified and disclosed," the company wrote in Tuesday's filing. On April 1, 2014, Phoenix filed its annual report for 2012 and a restatement of financial statements from 2012, 2011 and 2010. Phoenix CEO and President James D. Wehr said in a statement: "In 2014, Phoenix dealt with a mix of challenges and positive developments. While we made meaningful headway on our business objectives, we had a large net loss for the year. We also concluded a complex restatement process and caught up on our SEC reporting obligations."

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