ICM Partners continued its European expansion with the purchase of London-based sports agency Stellar Group, the biggest acquisition in the 45-year history of the Hollywood talent agency.

Stellar, which ranked fourth last year in Forbes’ annual look at the world’s most powerful sports agencies, represents more than 800 athletes—mostly in soccer but also in track & field, cricket, rugby and the NFL—and manages current contracts totaling almost $3 billion, according to ICM.

“The world is becoming so interconnected and horizontal. The walls are all down with everything. It’s about evaluating talent and what kind of impact you can have with that talent,” says ICM CEO Chris Silbermann, who declined to disclose the price of the Stellar deal. “We feel we can apply a lot of the expertise we employ with celebrities and talent to athletes now as well. There is a natural fit.”

ICM is the smallest of the big four entertainment agencies, which also include WME, UTA and CAA. The Stellar deal heightens the competition with CAA, which launched its industry-leading sports practice 15 years ago. ICM represents stars Ellen DeGeneres, Beyoncé, Samuel L Jackson, J Cole and Khalid, as well as content creators Spike Lee, Shonda Rhimes and Vince Gilligan. With Stellar, it adds global soccer icon Gareth Bale and rising stars Saúl Ñíguez and Mason Mount to the mix.

Silbermann says they will be the foundation of a “multi-faceted” sports business that will be branded ICM Stellar Sports and will eventually include basketball, golf and tennis in the U.S., sports that are currently dominated by

ASUNCION (Reuters) – Paraguay’s Finance Minister Benigno López will step down from his ministry position in the next few days to take a senior role at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), a government source told Reuters on Thursday.

The regional lender has picked Lopez as vice president for sectors and knowledge, according to a note seen by Reuters, which would involve a three-year term starting in mid-October.

The government source said López would be formally appointed to the IDB role in the coming days. The most likely replacement is former minister Ernst Bergen, the current Paraguayan head of the bi-national Itaipú hydroelectric dam.

López is the half-brother of Paraguayan President Mario Abdo and one of the government’s main advisers. Before being Minister of Finance, he was head of the pension authority and director of the central bank, where he worked for more than two decades.

An IDB spokesman said that the bank had no comment on specific appointments, but added that newly elected IBD head Mauricio Claver-Carone was putting together a new leadership team as part of his plans.

(Reporting by Daniela Desantis; Writing by Adam Jourdan; Editing by Nick Zieminski)

Copyright 2020 Thomson Reuters.

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By Daniela Desantis



a person sitting in front of a computer: FILE PHOTO: Paraguay's Finance Minister Benigno Lopez Benitez talks to Reuters, in Asuncion


© Reuters/JORGE ADORNO
FILE PHOTO: Paraguay’s Finance Minister Benigno Lopez Benitez talks to Reuters, in Asuncion

ASUNCION (Reuters) – Paraguay’s Finance Minister Benigno López will step down from his ministry position in the next few days to take a senior role at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), a government source told Reuters on Thursday.

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The regional lender has picked Lopez as vice president for sectors and knowledge, according to a note seen by Reuters, which would involve a three-year term starting in mid-October.

The government source said López would be formally appointed to the IDB role in the coming days. The most likely replacement is former minister Ernst Bergen, the current Paraguayan head of the bi-national Itaipú hydroelectric dam.

López is the half-brother of Paraguayan President Mario Abdo and one of the government’s main advisers. Before being Minister of Finance, he was head of the pension authority and director of the central bank, where he worked for more than two decades.

The IDB did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.

(Reporting by Daniela Desantis; Writing by Adam Jourdan; Editing by Nick Zieminski)

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The comments from the leading Fed officials were the latest evidence of the central bank’s growing attention to persistent inequality in the economy — a gap that appears to be widening during the coronavirus pandemic. Black and Hispanic workers have been hit harder by the economic fallout from the Covid-19 lockdown than white workers.

The Fed itself has faced criticism for inadvertently exacerbating inequality because its emergency policies are designed to backstop financial markets and allow companies to borrow money. That has boosted the stock market, most of whose value is owned by the wealthiest Americans, even as some major companies have continued to lay off workers. Just 1.2 percent of the value of stocks is held by Black families and 0.5 percent by Hispanic families, according to quarterly Fed data.

The central bank officials Wednesday said that now is the time to face uncomfortable questions about race and the economy.

“First, we have to listen more,” Rosengren said. “This is an attempt to be listening more.”

They said that while the Fed has limited capabilities to intervene in targeted areas of the economy with monetary policy — it can’t provide grants or unemployment benefits like Congress — it does wield regulations, data and influence with other policymakers. Fed Chair Jerome Powell has repeatedly called on Congress to deliver more emergency aid to the most vulnerable Americans, including in a speech on Tuesday.

Bostic said it was important for the Fed to signal with its actions that it represents all Americans.

“We’ve got to think about how do we lean in to a number of areas that we may not actually have the specific authorities or policies that drive it,

Fire chiefs have intervened in the financial crisis affecting hundreds of thousands of high-rise leaseholders by urging insurers to think twice before they hike premiums on towers with fire safety problems.



a sign on the side of a building: Photograph: Anselm Ebulue/Getty Images


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Photograph: Anselm Ebulue/Getty Images

With some leaseholders facing increases of up to 1,200% in building insurance and others unable to get any cover, the National Fire Chiefs Council has met the Association of British Insurers to argue for a “more informed approach”. The fire chiefs are concerned that insurers have been increasing premiums sharply regardless of the degree of danger uncovered in the wake of the Grenfell Tower.



a sign on the side of a building: More than 70 people died in the Grenfell Tower disaster of 2017 but many other buildings are still covered in dangerous cladding.


© Photograph: Anselm Ebulue/Getty Images
More than 70 people died in the Grenfell Tower disaster of 2017 but many other buildings are still covered in dangerous cladding.

One group of leaseholders at the M&M buildings in London saw their premium rise from £100,000 to £700,000, increasing annual service charges by an average of £3,500.

Residents at Brindley House in Birmingham had no buildings insurance for at least six weeks this year as a result of insurers’ reluctance to provide cover, campaigners in the city said. At another Birmingham block, Islington Gate, premiums rose from £37,000 to around £200,000.

Some directors and officers of leaseholders’ management companies have also been denied cover, meaning they face huge legal bills if claims are made against them.

The UK Cladding Action Group, which represents affected residents, is also due to meet the ABI on Thursday to demand change. Social landlords have not experienced the same premium hikes, according to the National Housing Federation.

“We want a more informed approach to allow any change to insurance to be appropriate,” said Daniel Daly, head of the protection policy and reform unit at the NFCC. “We have always been concerned about the impact