News from Hodge Bank
A £1m investment from the Hodge Foundation will see Cardiff University experts join forces to explore the role the brain’s immune system plays in some of the most common brain disorders like Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia and epilepsy.
The new five year partnership will establish The Hodge Centre for Neuropsychiatric Immunology and bring together leading experts in both neuroscience and immunology.
The Centre will facilitate collaboration between Cardiff University’s Neuroscience and Mental Health Research Institute and Systems Immunity Research Institute under the leadership of their respective directors, Professor Jeremy Hall and Professor Paul Morgan.
Julian Hodge Bank, will move to new headquarters in the centre of Cardiff next week as the business continues to drive impressive growth.
The only bank with it’s HQ in Wales is moving its 140 staff to the 1 Central Square office scheme at the wider Central Square regeneration project - in an investment that will bring all its operations under one roof.
With pensions and annuity reform back on the political agenda, Nicholas Barr, Professor of Public Economics at the London School of Economics, will present his thoughts on pensions at April's Julian Hodge Institute of Applied Macroeconomics annual lecture in Cardiff.
Prof Barr, whose experience includes working at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, will tell an audience of some 180 guests from the Wales business, banking, legal and higher education communities, what is right and wrong with pensions in the UK.
The author of over 20 books, including The Economics of the Welfare State and Pension Reform: A Short Guide (co-authored with Peter Diamond), his lecture will look at recent developments in economic theory and explain why funded pensions are not necessarily a solution to demographic change.
Drawing on experience reviewing pensions for governments in Chile, China, Finland, Sweden and South Africa, Prof Barr will then go on to criticise pension freedom and too-frequent pension reform and suggest a longer-term view and what action is needed to improve the operation of annuities markets.
The holder of a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, Prof Barr (pictured) has also served as a member of the World Economic Forum's Global Agenda Council on Demographic Shifts and the Global Agenda Council on Ageing Societies.
Though not discussed in the lecture, Prof Barr also has a long involvement in the debate about higher education finance, arguing that students' living costs and tuition fees should be fully covered by income-contingent loans.
The Julian Hodge Institute of Applied Macroeconomics was established 17 years ago in association with the Cardiff Business School. Its aim is to carry out research into the UK economy and the UK's relationship with other European economies.
Its director is Prof Patrick Minford of Cardiff Business School, who is also economic adviser to Julian Hodge Bank. The lecture takes place on April 27 at Jurys Hotel, Cardiff.
Julian Hodge Bank has reported an increase in real estate lending in 2015 – with the 2016 pipeline showing signs of continued buoyancy.
The commercial lending team provided over £110m into new deals – double the figure for 2014 – as the bank saw strong levels of investor and developer real estate activity across most geographical areas.
Schemes included £11m for a permitted development rights (PDR) property conversion in central Birmingham, as part of the bank's increased focus on the Midlands market, as well as an £18m lend on a residential development in London.
In addition it has funded a number of student accommodation and mixed-use projects in London, Wales and the South West.
Around £30m specifically went into financing projects in Wales. These included Nextcolour's development in Swansea, where the former Mumbles cinema and amusement arcade is being converted into retail outlets.
Kevin Beevers (pictured) commercial lending director at Julian Hodge Bank, said: "Among property investors and developers, real estate is viewed as a sound investment and we are seeing some exciting schemes coming forward.