“Dark Brush” was on the menu in more ways than one when Umphrey’s McGee wrapped up their winter tour with a performance at Whigfest in Tampa, Florida, on Sunday night. The closing track off the band’s new album it’s not us got its live debut during the show’s second set, while a beer of the same name—the Dark Brush Imperial Stout brewed in partnership with 7venth Sun Brewing and Hidden Springs Ale Works—was sold for the first time at the festival.With the exception of those big debuts, last night’s show was a fairly normal one for Umphrey’s McGee. The first set featured a mixture of live favorites like “Rocker Part 2,” “Higgins” and “Nothing Too Fancy” as well as offerings from the band’s two most recent albums. Among those were “No Diablo” and “The Linear” off of 2014’s Similar Skin, and “Half Delayed” and “The Silent Type” from 2017’s it’s not us.“Nothing Too Fancy”The title track from 2007’s The Bottom Half opened the second set before the band delivered the night’s big debut of “Dark Brush”. That surprise was followed by one of the night’s biggest jams—a delicious “In The Kitchen” that acted as the bread to a “Utopian Fir” > “Den” sandwich. “Crucial Taunt”—a tune that returned to regular rotation in 2017—was next up before giving way to the “Nothing Too Fancy” reprise that ended the set. Finally, the band returned for a typically-blissful “Glory” that jammed into Van Halen’s “Panama” to close out the show.Umphrey’s McGee will return to the road in a few weeks when they head to Colorado for a three-night run at the Belly Up Aspen to kick off their March tour.The Band Enjoys A Refreshing Dark Brush Imperial StoutSetlist: Umphrey’s McGee | Whigfest | Tampa, FL | 2/18/18Set I: Rocker Part 2, Higgins, No Diablo, Nothing Too Fancy > Half Delayed, The Linear, The Silent TypeSet II: The Bottom Half, Dark Brush*, In the Kitchen > Utopian Fir > Den > In the Kitchen, Crucial Taunt > Nothing Too FancyEncore: Glory > Panama*live debut
In September of last year, Dopapod dropped some big news on fans with the announcement of a yearlong hiatus that will span the entirety of 2018. After seven years as road dogs, the idea of time off resonated with the four-piece progressive jam band—comprised of Eli Winderman (keys and vocals), Rob Compa (guitar and vocals), Chuck Jones (bass), and Neal ‘Fro’ Evans (drums)—feeling that the year would allow them to write new music, spend more quality time with friends and family, and dedicate time to developing side projects like Octave Cat and Oval Sandwich.EXCLUSIVE: Dopapod’s Rob Compa Talks Allman Brothers, Phish, And Future Dopapod PlansHowever, Dopapod coupled their hiatus announcement with even bigger news: the band would be releasing a brand-new album, MEGAGEM, marking the group’s fifth studio release, ahead of an extensive fall tour that spanned through to New Year’s Eve. Especially with the hiatus looming, fans of the group relished the eight-track record. Now, with 2018 upon us and the group’s break in full swing, Dopapod has released a brand-new animated music video for MEGAGEM‘s “Mucho”.The new music video for “Mucho”, which was produced by Avalanche Artists, is truly delightful and features whimsical animations of robots by Curtis Peel. Riffing off the feel-good and ebullient feel of the MEGAGEM track and its positive, life-affirming lyrics, the vibrant video follows a robot as he discovers that’s there’s more to his dull binary life after finding a flower growing on the street and bringing it home. In tune with the overall message of the number, as Eli Winderman explained about the track, “Mucho has quickly become one of our fan favorites. I was trying to write something that was fun and that contained a lesson I’ve learned over the past few years, which is if you’re not having fun, you’re doing it wrong.”Live For Live Music is proud to premiere the official music video for Dopapod’s “Mucho”. While the band is on hiatus, make sure to keep an eye on the band via their website or Bandcamp page, as there’s a good chance the group will continue to slowly release new content sporadically in the coming months. As Rob Compa explained to us about recording MEGAGEM in the fall, “We actually recorded enough music to warrant another album coming out sometime next year.” Stay tuned, and enjoy the world premiere of the video for Dopapod’s “Mucho” below!
From the calming and relaxing properties of lavender, to the antiviral offerings of lemon balm the Harvard Countway Community Garden offers a wealth of medicinal herbs in the heart of Boston’s urban medical area.On September 27, a bright and crisp fall day, Stephanie Zabel led a community talk on medicinal herbs as part of the garden’s harvest celebration. A curatorial assistant at Harvard’s Herbarium and an herbalist in her free time, Zabel discussed the many uses and herb-derived treatments of plants including betony, catmint, chamomile, clary sage, comfrey, feverfew, lady’s mantel, lemon balm, rosemary, and stevia. Zabel’s inviting and informative talk focused on the practical uses for many of these plants, breaking down the best way to use the herb whether as a tea, tincture, poultice, or salve.Zabel highlighted comfrey’s ability to heal external skin conditions such as eczema, bruises, and minor cuts, the extremely sweet properties of stevia, often used as a sweetener substitute, and wood betony’s affinity for treating anxiety and headaches.View a video of Zabel talking about medicinal herbs.Created in 2012 by staff, students, and faculty from Harvard School of Public Health and Harvard Medical School, the Countway Community Garden not only provides the Longwood campus with fresh vegetables, fruits, and herbs, but also serves as an educational resource. The medicinal herb garden offers opportunities for hands-on experience and research, and exploration of both the traditional and modern-day uses for medicinal plants. Read Full Story
Conductor John Eliot Gardiner has been appointed the Harvard Music Department’s inaugural Christoph Wolff Distinguished Visiting Scholar in the Music Department, supported by the Christoph Wolff Fund for Music. Gardiner—an English conductor, early music expert, and Bach biographer—is on campus to participate in a series of events February 2-8, including an open rehearsal with Harvard choral groups (Saturday, Feb. 7, at 4:30 p.m. in Memorial Church), and an informal rehearsal with the Harvard Radcliffe Orchestra and pianist Robert Levin (Sunday, February 8, at 8 p.m. in Sanders Theatre). The events are free and open to the public. There are no tickets required; seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis.Gardiner is one of the fathers of the period-instrument movement and the founder of some of its most iconic ensembles — the Monteverdi Choir, the English Baroque Soloists, and the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique. He has recorded over 250 albums with these and other musical ensembles. Gardiner has served as chief conductor of the North German Radio Symphony Orchestra and has appeared as guest conductor with such major orchestras as the Berlin Philharmonic, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, and Vienna Philharmonic.Gardiner is a Commander of the Order of the British Empire and Chevalier de la Légion d’honneur. He received Grammy Awards for Best Choral Performance (1994) and Best Opera Recording (1999).
The Medieval Institute at Notre Dame will celebrate medieval culture and the work of author J.R.R. Tolkien with a special screening of the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, co-sponsored by the Meg and John P. Brogan Endowment for Classic Cinema.The festival begins Thursday with an introduction to the films by graduate student Maj-Britt Frenze at 7 p.m., followed by a showing of the trilogy’s first movie, “The Fellowship of the Ring.” The screening will continue Friday with its second film, “The Two Towers,” at 7 p.m. The final installment of the trilogy, “The Return of the King,” will be shown Sunday at 3:30 p.m. All screenings will take place in the Browning Cinema located in the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center (DPAC).Frenze, a forth-year student in the Ph.D. program for Medieval Studies, said the film festival grew out of an effort to promote the Medieval Institute’s “Lord of the Rings” undergraduate reading group. The reading group, Frenze said, seeks to educate students about Tolkien’s work and analyze his use of medieval culture in his writing.Linda Major, director of undergraduate studies at the Medieval Institute, said Tolkien’s work was heavily influenced by medieval customs and lore.“Tolkien was a medievalist,” Major said.In the past, Major said the Medieval Institute has sponsored screenings of a number of other films influenced by the medieval period, such as the “Monty Python” movies, “Robin Hood” and “The Sword and the Stone.”Such films allow people to access medieval culture through modern day cinema, Major said.Through the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy in particular, Major said, the Medieval Institute aims to use modern cinema to introduce students to Tolkien’s writing, which blends medieval culture and fantasy.“We’re exposing the medieval roots of Tolkien’s Middle Earth,” Frenze said.A professor of Medieval English at Oxford, Tolkien’s acute knowledge of medieval history lent itself to a number of the literary elements in the “Lord of the Rings,” Frenze said.“Tolkien took many themes from [medieval] texts, such as dragons, riddles and many of the names of his characters,” Frenze said.Frenze said Tolkien’s work has had a lasting influence on fantasy writing and cinema. The genre owes a majority of its success to Tolkien and other prominent authors such as C.S. Lewis and Charles Williams, she added.“Tolkien was pivotal in making fantasy as popular as it is,” Frenze said.The Medieval Institute hopes the festival will help spread appreciation of Tolkien’s enduring impact upon the genre, Frenze said.The Medieval Institute is offering two free tickets per individual for each film. Students may reserve tickets through the organization’s website and collect their tickets at the DPAC box office. Reservations must be made by Wednesday. Additional tickets may be purchased through the DPAC box office.Tags: Browning Cinema, J.R.R. Tolkien, lord of the rings, Medieval Institute
By Dialogo January 16, 2012 The Los Zetas drug cartel has for years collaborated with a Lebanese man who has ties to the militant Middle East Shiite group Hezbollah, according to U.S. federal authorities. Ayman Joumaa, 47, has coordinated cocaine shipments and laundered money for the cartel, U.S. authorities said. Joumaa, also known as “Junior,” was indicted by a federal grand jury in Alexandria, Va., on Nov. 23, said U.S. Justice Department officials, who released details of the indictment on Dec. 13. Joumaa is accused of conspiring to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine and conspiring to commit money laundering, U.S. justice officials said. If convicted on these charges, he faces a maximum penalty of life in prison. A sign of Iranian activity in Latin America? A Hezbollah-Zetas link could have far-reaching political implications for Mexico, the United States and Iran, analysts said. Such a connection could signal the beginnings of increased influence in Latin America by Iran, a Shiite nation that reportedly is seeking the capability to build nuclear weapons. Joumaa is not believed to be in custody, and his exact whereabouts are unknown. The New York Times said it called him in Beirut but did not reach him. The indictment alleges that Joumaa has ties to Medellin, Colombia, the onetime cocaine capital of the world. It also publicly links Mexican drug cartel activity to a major bank in Beirut. U.S. officials suspect the bank is a supporter of Hezbollah. “Money fuels the drug trade, and Mr. Joumaa is alleged to be at the center of it all – working with those producing the vast majority of the world’s cocaine to get their drugs safely into the hands of Mexican cartels, and then moving hundreds of millions in proceeds all around the world so the money can’t be traced back to them in Colombia,” said U.S. Attorney Neil H. MacBride, whose territory includes the Eastern District of Virgnia. “Organized crime networks know no borders, and neither can U.S. law enforcement. My office has a long tradition of tackling international crimes occurring in our district, and this case is yet another example that we are now aggressively taking that fight abroad,” MacBride said Tuesday. U.S. Drug Enforcement Administrator Michele Leonhart agreed. “Ayman Joumaa is accused of facilitating the shipments of huge amounts of cocaine for the United States while laundering the proceeds all over the globe,” said Leonhart. “According to information from sources, his alleged drug and money laundering activities facilitated numerous global drug trafficking organizations, including the criminal activities of the Los Zetas Mexican drug cartel. DEA and our partners will continue to expose and dismantle these worldwide networks.” In January, the U.S. Treasury Department labeled Joumaa a drug kingpin under provisions of law informally known as the “Kingpin Act.” At that time, U.S. officials described Joumaa’s alleged smuggling and money laundering activity in South America, Africa and Europe. A long partnership with Los Zetas But the indictment details his alleged heavy involvement with Los Zetas and Mexican transnational criminal activity. For example, it alleges Joumaa coordinated the smuggling of at least 85 tons of Colombian cocaine through Mexico in partnership with Los Zetas. Between 1997 and 2010, the indictment charges, Joumaa laundered hundreds of millions of dollars in drug proceeds on behalf of Los Zetas. The indictment does not specifically mention Hezbollah, but U.S. law enforcement officials said evidence points to an indirect connection between the Mideast terrorist group and the Mexican transnational criminal enterprise. And perhaps the strongest evidence of that connection is the Beirut-based bank with a Canadian presence named the Lebanese Canadian Bank. In February, Treasury invoked a rarely used provision of the U.S. Patriot Act (which was signed into law after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks) to declare the bank an institution with “primary money-laundering concerns.” This declaration made the bank off-limits to other U.S. financial institutions. The announcement of the indictment against Joumaa is not the first time U.S. officials have alleged connections between Mideast figures and Mexican drug cartels. In October, U.S. authorities arrested an Iranian-American who is charged with trying to recruit Mexican drug cartel hit men to assassinate a Saudi diplomat on behalf of Iran. Drug cartels and terrorists group seen as working together “Very powerful trafficking groups and terrorists organizations are coming together,” a former U.S. DEA administrator, Michael Braun, told a Congressional committee at an Oct. 13 hearing into the alleged assassination plot. U.S. officials said they’re worried that Hezbollah may be sharing knowledge of how to build sophisticated bombs with Los Zetas. Hezbollah is also known for its tunnel-building knowledge – a key tool that has been employed in Mexican cartels to smuggle drugs into the United States. Hezbollah has long been considered a terrorist organization by the United States and is blamed for several high-profile attacks against U.S. facilities in recent decades. The most notorious assault linked to Hezbollah was the 1983 suicide bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, in which 60 people, including scores of U.S. Marines, were killed. Hezbollah fought a bloody war against Israel in 2006. Since then, the group’s political arm has made increasing efforts to appear as a legitimate political faction of the Lebanese government. But the New York Times reported this week that the very war it waged against Israel might have encouraged Hezbollah to increase its criminal activity in Latin America, to help fund the group’s political efforts. Joumaa appears to be a key link in this connection. The Lebanese citizen is said to speak Spanish fluently, and is believed to have lived in Colombia until about 11 years ago, when he returned to his native Lebanon to escape increased law enforcement scrutiny.
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Both of Long Island’s groundhogs saw their shadows, predicting six more weeks of winter Monday—but even more inauspiciously, Brookhaven town officials cancelled their official Groundhog Day event due to the winter storm.The prognostication from Malverne Mel and Holtsville Hal was a departure from last year when they both didn’t see their shadows, effectively forecasting an early spring. This Groundhog Day, Malverne Mal was the first out of the gate, so to speak, to prognosticate, while Hal’s handlers said plowing the roads trumped the furry friend’s long-term forecasting festivities at the Brookhaven Wildlife and Ecology Center, where the rodent call his hole his home. In the end, however, Hal’s appearance concurred with his fellow species celebrity on Long Island.“Unfortunately, Hal did see his shadow and is reporting there will be six more weeks of winter,” said Highway Superintendent Daniel Losquadro, whose workers were on hand to record the observation. “While this is certainly not the prediction we were hoping for, the Brookhaven Highway Department will be out in force continuing our tireless efforts to address whatever Mother Nature brings our way this winter.”This year, Mel and Hal agreed with the nation’s most famous groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil. Staten Island Chuck in New York City didn’t see his shadow, predicting an early spring. Hal and Mel both saw their shadows two years ago.Both the National Weather Service and the Old Farmer’s Almanac previously forecasted above-average snowfall this winter, but—besides some days of flurries—few flakes had fallen until the first blizzard of 2015 hit last week, dumping 30 inches of snow on the North Fork.NWS forecasters said a mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain falling on LI Monday was expected to freeze after sundown, making for icy roadways during the Monday evening rush hour commute.—With Spencer Rumsey
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York When thinking of New Year’s Eve parties, people often think of the world famous Times Square ball drop. But there are dozens of events on Long Island to ring in the New Year without the stress of getting into Manhattan. From afternoon family fun to late night galas, venues across both counties will be toasting to resolutions for the coming year and singing Auld Lang Syne for the year gone by.The All Star Family Happy New Year’s Eve PartyUnlimited bowling (min. 6), champagne. The All Star, 96 Main St., Riverhead. theallstar.com $25 (Children), $40 (Adults) 4:30-7:30 p.m. Dec. 31.Family New Year’s Eve PartyThree-course meal or finger foods, dessert, meet-and-greet, champagne and sparkling cider, Holiday Express Train Ride and Yo Ho Holiday Light Show. Bayville Adventure Park, 8 Bayville Ave., Bayville. bayvilleadventurepark.com Lunch – $29.95 (Adults and Older Children), $18.95 (Children under 12). Dinner – $33.95 (Adults and Older Children), $22.95 (Children under 12) 12:30-3 p.m., 5:30-8 p.m. Dec. 31.Kosher Komedy New Year’s EveComedians, four course dinner, champagne, raffle. Brasserie HaLevi, 600 Central Ave., Cedarhurst. brasseriehalevi.com $95 plus service charge, tax and gratuity. 8:30 p.m.-1 a.m. Dec. 31.NYE at the BrokerageChampagne, comedy show. The Brokerage Comedy Club, 2797 Merrick Rd., Bellmore. brokerage.govs.com $40-$75. 7:30 p.m., 10:15 p.m. Dec. 31.New Year’s Eve GalaCocktail reception, Live music, dinner, champagne. CM Performing Arts Center, 931 Montauk Hwy., Oakdale. cmpac.com $75. 8 p.m. Dec. 31.New Year’s at East Islip LanesFamily Party (3 – 7) – $24 per person (dinner, bumper bowling). Evening Party (9- 1) – $41 (adults), $31 (children 12 and under), (buffet, champagne, bowling). East Islip Lanes, 117 E. Main St., East Islip. eilanes.com 3-7 p.m., 9 p.m.-1 a.m. Dec. 31.Third Annual New Year’s Eve PartyFree champagne toast at midnight. The Emporium, 9 Railroad Ave., Patchogue. theemporiumny.com $15. 9:30 p.m. Dec. 31.NYE at Governor’s Comedy ClubComedy show, champagne. Governor’s Comedy Club, 90 Division Ave., Levittown. govs.govs.com $40-$75. 7:30 p.m., 10:15 p.m. Dec. 31.52nd Annual New Year’s Eve PartyBlack and White Masquerade, five course dinner, dancing. Gurney’s Inn and Spa, 290 Old Montauk Hwy., Montauk. gurneysmontauk.com $145 per person, $540 per couple with overnight accommodations and party packages. 7 p.m. Dec. 31.Champagne and ChandeliersHotel Indigo, 1830 West Main St., Riverhead. hotelindigo.com $150 per person, $495 per couple premium package plus tax and fees9 p.m.-2 a.m. Dec. 31.New Year’s EveWatch the new movie, Unbroken, the ball drop on big screen and toast champagne. Island 16: Cinema de Lux, 185 Morris Ave., Holtsville. showcasecinemas.com $20.15. 9:30 p.m. – 12:15 a.m. Dec. 31.New Year’s at Lombardi’s on the Sound.Great Gatsy-styled gala. Lombardi’s on the Sound, 44 Fairway Drive, Port Jefferson. lombardisonthesound.com $140. 8 p.m.-1:30 a.m. Dec. 31.Fishes & Butterfly Wishes Family New Year’s EventDinner, Crafts for Kids, champagne. Long Island Aquarium and Exhibition Center, 431 East Main St., Riverhead. longislandaquarium.com $60 (Children and Seniors), $55 (Children and Senior Members), $95 (Adults), $85 (Adult Members), Free (Children 2 and under) 6:30-11 p.m. Dec. 31.NYE at McGuires Comedy ClubComedy show, champagne. McGuires Comedy Club, 1627 Smithtown Ave., Bohemia. mcguires.govs.com $40-$75. 7:30 p.m., 10:15 p.m. Dec. 31.New Year’s Eve Bash 2015Cocktail Hour, drinks, champagne, DJ. The Meadow Club, 1147 Route 112, Port Jefferson Station. themeadowclub.com $95. 8:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m. Dec. 31.New Year’s Eve 2015 Holiday PartyDinner, champagne. Monsoon Asian Kitchen and Lounge, 48 Deer Park Ave., Babylon. monsoonny.com $100 per person, $50 for open bar only. Dec. 31.Mr. Beery’s Annual Happy New Year 2015Champagne, food, drinks. Mr. Beery’s Pub and Music Night Club, 4019 Hempstead Tpke., Bethpage. $30. 11 p.m.-2 a.m. Dec. 31.Mulcahy’s New Year’s Eve partyOpen bar, DJ, buffet. Mulcahy’s Pub and Concert Hall, 3232 Railroad Ave., Wantagh. muls.com $35. 9 p.m.-12 a.m. Dec. 31New Year’s PartyThe Nest Bar and Lounge, 382 East Meadow Ave., Suite A, East Meadow. thenestbar.com 9 p.m.-1 a.m. Dec. 31.New Year’s Eve at Ocean RestaurantFive course dinner, champagne. Ocean Restaurant, 333 Bayville Ave., Bayville. thecrescentbeachclub.com $59 plus tax and gratuity. Dec. 31.Dark Star OrchestraContinuing the Grateful Dead Experiences – Cosmic New Year’s 2014-15. The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $64.75-$145.25. 8:30 p.m. Dec. 30, 31.Leather and Lace Presents NYE Ball of ConfusionAlternative dance party, DJ. Revolution Bar and Music Hall, 140 Merrick Rd., Amityville Revolutionli.com $15 advance tickets. 8 p.m. Dec. 31.New Year’s Eve PartyFamily games and activities. Safari Adventure, 1074 Pulaski Rd., Riverhead. thesafariadventure.com $16 (children), $10 (toddlers), $3 (adults), plus tax. 5-8 p.m. Dec. 31.Rock ‘n Glow New Year’s PartyThree hours of bowling, champagne. South Levittown Lanes, 56 Tanners Lane, South Levittown. kpsearch.com Twilight Family Party (5 -8) – $30 per person or $150 per lane (6 people). Moonlight Family Party (9:30 – 12:30) – $35 per person or $170 per lane (6 people)5-8 p.m., 9:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. Dec. 31.Stephanie O’s New Year’s Eve Dance PartyDancing, champagne. The Space at Westbury, 250 Post Ave., Westbury. thespaceatwestbury.com $69 (Banquette Seating), $49 (General Admission) 9:30 p.m. Dec. 31.New Year’s Laugh, Dine, and Dance!Comedy show, DJ, champagne. Suffolk Theater, 118 East Main St., Riverhead. suffolktheater.com $45. 6:30 p.m. (Bar and Restaurant), 8 p.m. (Show) Dec. 31.7th Annual New Year’s Laughin Eve 2015 Comedy ShowTheatre Three, 412 Main Street, Port Jefferson 6 p.m., 8 p.m. Dec. 31.Family New Year’s Eve PartySkate rental, pizza, countdown. United Skates of America, 1276 Hicksville Rd., Seaford. unitedskates.com $20. 5:30- 8:30 p.m. Dec. 31.Great Gatsby GalaVilla Lombardi’s, 877 Main St., Holbrook. villalombardis.com $135. 8 p.m.-12 a.m. Dec. 31.Celebrate NYE with O El AmorChampagne, masks, first drink on the house. 89 North Music Venue, 89 North Ocean Ave., Patchogue. 89northmusic.com $30. 9 p.m. Dec. 31.
Natixis and La Banque Postale (LBP) have agreed to combine their fixed income and insurance-related asset management businesses within a new entity.According to a statement, the merger of the relevant businesses of Ostrum Asset Management and LBP Asset Management is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of this year, subject to obtaining regulatory approvals.A spokesperson for Natixis confirmed that the new entity will be called Ostrum Asset Management, and said the businesses of the former Ostrum that aren’t being combined with LBP AM will be integrated into other Natixis investment affiliates.La Banque Postale said LBP AM and its subsidiary Tocqueville Finance, were “strengthening their position in predominantly SRI multi-specialist conviction management”. Natixis and La Banque Postale are to own 55% and 45%, respectively, of the new Ostrum Asset Management via their asset manager subsidiaries. The new entity will start with more than €415bn in assets under management, based on end-May figures.“The project was conceived in response to the evolution of the market and will be transformative for the asset management industry”NatixisNatixis said the merger project “was conceived in response to the evolution of the market and will be transformative for the asset management industry”.Ostrum Asset Management would seek to quickly grow its volumes and to play a central role in driving the consolidation of the European market in the coming years, it added.The new Ostrum Asset Management will offer investment management for fixed income and credit assets as well as “technological and operational services”, which a spokesperson for Natixis said could include outsourcing services for other asset managers.Philippe Setbon, chief executive officer of Ostrum, will lead the new company, while Mathieu Cheula, who will join LBP AM’s management board from 1 September, will be deputy CEO.Alongside Setbon and Cheula, the new firm’s executive committee will be comprised of asset management professionals drawn from both Ostrum AM and La Banque Postale Asset Management: Ibrahima Kobar, CIO; Guillaume Abel, head of business development; Valérie Derambure, head of finance, strategy and transformation; Julien Raimbault, head of operations and IT/technology; Emmanuelle Portelle, head of compliance and internal control; Rémi Ardaillou, head of risk; and Sylvie Soulère Guidat, head of human resources.Ostrum Asset Management is the former Natixis Asset Management, having been renamed in April 2018.Citigroup executive to take over from Skeoch at SLAStephen Bird has been chosen to succeed Keith Skeoch as chief executive officer of Standard Life Aberdeen (SLA).Bird, who was most recently CEO of global consumer banking at Citigroup, will start as CEO-designate on 1 July and take over fully from Skeoch after a handover period and subject to regulatory approvals.SLA said it envisaged the transition would take place by the end of the third quarter.At that point, Skeoch will be standing down from the board after some five years as group CEO and 14 years as a director. He will serve out the remainder of his contract as non-executive chairman of the Aberdeen Standard Investments Research Institute.Skeoch was originally co-CEO of SLA alongside Martin Gilbert, co-founder of Aberdeen Asset Management, following the latter’s merger with Standard Life, where Skeoch had been CEO. SLA then scrapped the co-CEO model.Bird had been at Citigroup for 21 years before retiring in November last year. He was CEO of global consumer banking from 2015, having been the CEO for all of Citigroup’s Asia Pacific business lines before then.Sir Douglas Flint, chair of SLA, said: “The transition from Keith Skeoch was always going to be a challenge to deliver, given the incredible scale and range of his contributions to the success of the company over many years. I am however extremely pleased to say we have found a truly worthy successor.“I am delighted to welcome Stephen to Standard Life Aberdeen and am looking forward to working with him. He is an inspiring leader with a great track record and experience in leading businesses to harness digital technology to improve both productivity and the client and customer experience.” Following the Bird-Skeoch handover, the SLA board will comprise two executive directors, eight non-executive directors and the chairman. The board will be made up of five women and six men.
Urbis director Paul Riga.The average sale price recorded for the September quarter was $733,000, with three quarters of sales made in projects aimed at the middle to high end of the market. New apartments in Brisbane’s inner east were the most affordable, with an average sale price of $519,000, while Brisbane CBD was the most expensive at $1.1 million. And while sales are growing, supply is easing, with only 403 apartments approved across inner Brisbane during the September quarter — down from 1,674 the previous quarter. More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus15 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market15 hours agoThere were 420 new apartments sold in Brisbane in the September quarter, according to Urbis. Image: AAP/Darren England.Mr Riga said that while the pick-up in sales was welcomed, it had not been easy for developers to attract buyers.“Despite the higher transactions in this quarter, sales are certainly not easy, and for all developments recording strong results in this quarter, it has been on the back of extremely hard work, and for some developers, many years of building trust with buyers,” Mr Riga said. MORE: How to beat Brisbane’s median by $200k New high rise apartments in West End. Picture: Mark Calleja.Urbis director Paul Riga said stable prices, tightening vacancy rates and relatively strong yields had been key attractions for investors.“The increasing number and proportion of investor purchasers across a variety of projects is an indication that longer-term confidence still exists for the inner Brisbane apartment market,” Mr Riga said.More than 80 per cent of those apartment sales were in Brisbane’s inner south, on the back of two major project launches — ‘The Standard’ by Aria in South Brisbane and ‘Silk One’ in Woolloongabba. Both projects had highest number of apartment sales during the quarter. The number of new apartments sold in Brisbane in the past quarter was the strongest in two years, according to Urbis. Image: AAP.THE number of new apartments sold in Brisbane in the past quarter was the strongest in two years, signalling the worst is over for the city’s unit market.In the three months to October, 420 new apartments were sold — the highest number since December 2016, according to a new report by independent consultancy, Urbis.Interstate investors drove the recovery, making up 54 per cent of the sales, while owner occupier purchases dropped to 15 per cent. RELATED: Brisbane housing market “back on the map” Only four new apartment projects are expected to launch in Brisbane in the next six months, according to Urbis. Picture: Richard Walker.Only four projects expected to launch in the next six months, bringing around 950 new apartments to market. “We are not expecting continued quarters of sales at this level due to limited levels of new supply, however overall this quarter has highlighted that there is still demand in the inner Brisbane apartment market and the right drivers are present,” Mr Riga said. He said the Brisbane unit market had been “resilient” in the face of oversupply fears. “We were penned to see … higher vacancies, empty apartments and price falls,” he said.“We haven’t completely been remiss of that; we have seen, in some precincts and some developments, higher than normal vacancies and, in some developments, hits to the price points, but I think if you look at the market from a macro perspective, it’s actually performed quite well.“The amount of supply we’ll see built and completed will continue tapering off until 2020. “That gives the market time to absorb the product being built — and it has been doing that fairly well.”