ATP CIO says building-block portfolio approach still valid amid uncertainty

first_imgThat approach has now had about a year to bed in after it was unveiled to the public at the pension fund’s annual results news conference at the beginning of February – having been up and running for some months before then.The portfolio is now built from blocks of four risk factors – interest-rate factor, inflation factor, equity factor and other factors – with each investment decomposed into the different risk factors it carries in order to be assessed as part of the overall desired mix.The method was specifically designed to succeed in all market environments and was in part inspired by the All-Weather Portfolio devised by Ray Dalio and offered as a fund by his hedge-fund firm Bridgewater.Though ATP has had an ongoing dialogue on multi-asset investing with Bridgewater for more than a decade and talked to the Bridgewater CIOs in the development phase of its risk-factor approach, Lorenzen said the Danish institution’s new multi-factor method owes more to the thinking of investment manager AQR and the academic field of “financial economics” more generally.For Lorenzen, one of the main achievements of ATP’s new multi-factor investing approach is the ability to cover both liquid and illiquid assets within the same framework.While liquid managers such as Bridgewater and AQR can restrict themselves to the liquid universe, he points out that ATP cannot.“So we have the investment strategy and risk-decision processes in place, and it will be interesting to see what the return drivers are from now on, and what is going to work,” Lorenzen said.“We’ve seen that, during the global financial crisis, ‘cash was king’, and for the past seven years ‘beta has been king’.”Balanced portfolios performed extremely well in this period, he said, with central banks’ quantitative easing programmes feeding easy credit into the system, and most asset types producing reasonable returns at the same time.Price appreciations across asset classes – risk premia compression across risk factors – have driven returns, he said. “I find it hard to imagine a similar beta-tailwind going forward, so maybe carry will be king in the years to come,” Lorenzen said, referring to the decomposition of asset returns firstly in terms of price appreciation – or depreciation – and secondly in terms of the carry components of return, come about even at unchanged prices, such as bond coupon and ‘roll-down’ on the yield curve, equity dividend-yield and illiquidity premia.The pension fund’s house view now is that interest rates – again – will stay lower for longer than previously assumed, he said.In such an environment, it is possible to generate returns on carry trades alone – borrowing at short-term rates to buy further out along the yield curve where rates are marginally higher, for example.ATP has been building up its stocks of US Treasuries in recent weeks, having pounced on the opportunity to buy interest-rate risk at better levels that opened up after the shock election of Donald Trump as the next US president in early November. “The re-pricing of US Treasuries presented a good opportunity for us to rebalance the exposure in our portfolio,” he said.Carry trading could produce tactical returns for ATP in equities, particularly if the pension fund’s assessment of stock market dynamics proves correct.“If you look at equities, we think there’s a good chance there’s going to be mean reversion,” Lorenzen said.The third component of carry, he said, is the illiquidity premium.Some 50% of the assets in ATP’s DKK100bn (€13bn) investment portfolio – which consists of the fund’s bonus reserves, and not the DKK700bn of hedging instruments used to back the fund’s pension guarantees – is now invested in illiquid investments.Because the jury is still out on what the real return drivers will turn out to be in this new phase of political and economic uncertainty and continuing low interest rates, ATP is keen to keep its powder dry for big opportunities that might arise.“We’re not going to bet the bank that carry is to be king, and that we are not going to get returns from beta,” he said, adding that a balanced set of factor exposures was the backbone in the investment strategy.“Particularly in the illiquid space, we want to be in a position to act quickly.”Certainly, ATP’s investment portfolio has seen some of its highest returns from large private equity and debt investments such as the part-privatisation of DONG Energy, and the stock-market listing of financial payments business Nets.“It is on the large deals that it’s more likely that we have an edge,” Lorenzen said.Deals are now coming up, with banks keen to do “balance sheet sharing”.Given Trump’s rhetorical focus on improving infrastructure in the US, Lorenzen said it would be interesting to see what happened in practice in the new presidency and whether new infrastructure investment opportunities did indeed emerge on a large scale.“There is so much uncertainty around this, but it’s going to interesting to follow,” he said.The development of the dollar on foreign exchanges will be a crucial factor for investment in the next phase, he said, because the US has been the main growth market in the current global economic cycle.“That is going to be diluted because of the dollar, and that’s another reason why rates are likely to stay low for longer,” Lorenzen said.Doubts around the US currency are making emerging market debt, denominated in dollars, less attractive for ATP.“I prefer corporate bonds, if there were a repricing,” he said. Six months into his new job, Kasper Ahrndt Lorenzen, CIO of Europe’s fourth-largest pension fund ATP, is seeing the institution through two major transitions.Not only is a new chief executive set take the reins in the new year, but, in common with other institutional investors around the world, in 2017, ATP faces a rarely seen level of political and economic uncertainty that its investment strategy must weather.“We will stick to the mindset we have had over the past few years, and use what we have developed – that’s still going to be valid,” Lorenzen said in an interview at IPE’s London office, referring to the institution’s current portfolio construction approach.last_img read more

The hardest place in QLD to sell a house is by the beach in Townsville

first_imgSellers and real estate agents in Nelly Bay also have their work cut out for them, with houses on the market for 149 days before selling. It makes the suburb the second hardest place to sell a house in Townsville.In Bohle Plains, Thuringowa Central, Balgal Beach and Deeragun, houses were on the market for over 80 days.Houses in Belgian Gardens are the quickest to sell in Townsville, with an average of only 30 days on the market.In Oonoonba, North Ward, Pimlico, Jensen, Vincent and Currajong houses also sell in less than 40 days on average. The second hardest suburb in Queensland to sell a house is Gladstone, with houses on the market for an average of 202 days.TOP 10: Where houses are on the market longest in Townsville Suburb Median number of days on market Peter and Amanda Clune bought this house at 134 Toolakea Beach in Bluewater for it’s acreage and the quiet lifestyle.“It’s away from the hustle and bustle and there’s no Woolworths supermarket close by so it’s just a nice quiet area.“We looked at Alligator Creek and Black River and as soon as we saw this one we just thought ‘wow,’ and it was exactly what we wanted.”Explore Property agent Allison Gough, who sold the property to the Clune family, said buyers looking in Bluewater wanted different things to those looking in areas like North Ward. How this local tradie saved his way to four sound investments by 22 “As you head out and up along the beaches your buyer pool can sometimes change, the amount and type of buyers looking in North Ward is very different to Bluewater,” Ms Gough said.“Bluewater is predominantly acreage and sometimes those buyers look for a very long-time.“Overall the number of properties in Bluewater is a lot less than in bigger suburbs and that can affect the turnover when compared (to other suburbs).”More from news01:21Buyer demand explodes in Townsville’s 2019 flood-affected suburbs12 Sep 202001:21‘Giant surge’ in new home sales lifts Townsville property market10 Sep 2020 Toolakea Beach resident Peter Clune with Charlotte, 3, and Harrison, 6. Picture: Evan MorganTOWNSVILLE’s beachside suburb of Bluewater is the hardest place in Queensland to sell a house.Properties are on the market for an average of 216 days in the area, shows the most recent data released by CoreLogic.READ MORE Townsville residents sitting on property goldcenter_img Enjoy luxury and convenience in this custom-built forever home READ MORE Bluewater 216Nelly Bay 149Bohle Plains 102Thuringowa Central 85Balgal Beach 80Deeragun 80Burdell 79Garbutt 77Alice River 74Condon 71 In North Queensland houses stay on the market for an average of 58 days, just over a quarter of the time they’re on the market for in Bluewater. However, for Peter Clune and his wife Amanda, buying their property in Bluewater was a “no-brainer,” with acreage and the quiet life being the main selling point. “We came out here and had a look around and it just felt like the country to me,” Mr Clune said.last_img read more

Iwobi back in contention for Everton after recovering from a knock

first_img Promoted Content6 Ridiculous Health Myths That Are Actually TrueA Hurricane Can Be As Powerful As 10 Atomic BombsBirds Enjoy Living In A Gallery Space Created For Them7 Netflix Shows Cancelled Because They Don’t Get The RatingsMind-Bending Technology That Was Predicted Before It AppearedWho Is The Most Powerful Woman On Earth?The Funniest Prankster Grandma And Her Grandson10 Risky Jobs Some Women DoBest & Worst Celebrity Endorsed Games Ever Made5 Of The World’s Most Unique Theme Parks7 Ways To Understand Your Girlfriend BetterPink Pineapples Exist – In Case You Didn’t Know Loading… Speaking at his pre-match press conference, Ancelotti confirmed Branthwaite and Holgate were both unavailable for the game along with long-term absentees Jean-Philippe Gbamin (Achilles) and Cenk Tosun (ACL). Defender Branthwaite sustained an ankle injury during Everton’s 3-0 win over Salford on Wednesday night and the 18-year-old is expected to be unavailable “for three to five weeks”. Holgate, meanwhile, continues to be sidelined with a toe injury and Everton boss Ancelotti said the Club could enter the transfer market to boost their centre-back options. The Blues have already signed four players this summer – Niels Nkounkou, Allan, James Rodriguez and Abdoulaye Doucoure. “Jarrad has a problem with his ankle,” said Ancelotti. “He doesn’t need surgery but will need to rest for around one month. read also:Everton future looking bleak for Alex Iwobi “With Mason, we have to follow the advice of the doctors and medical staff. He is out for two or three months. “But, honestly, he feels good at the moment. He is walking in the swimming pool without any problem “The other players are fit and ready to play.” He added: “We are looking for a centre-back, if the [transfer] market offers something.” FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Everton manager, Carlo Ancelotti, has confirmed that Nigeria’s Alex Iwobi has fully recovered from a knock and he is in contention for the regular shirt against West Brom on Saturday. Everton centre-back pair Jarrad Branthwaite and Mason Holgate will miss Saturday’s clash with West Bromwich Albion at Goodison Park, but  Iwobi is back after recovering from the injury which kept him out of the Blues’ victories over Spurs and Salford City.last_img read more

UPDATED: Weekend rains vary throughout region

first_imgWilmington, Oh. — Weekend rains varied a great deal according to the National Weather Service. Allen Randall says gauges in the Friendship area recorded about three inches of rain while gauges in the northern portions of Ripley County had about one inch.Forecasters issued a flash flood warning for the area at 1 a.m. Monday for all of southeastern Indiana and some parts of northern Kentucky.Rain is expected to move off to the east by noon Monday and the forecast looks dry through at least Wednesday.In Switzerland County, the sheriff’s department received a report of a van with 12 passengers in the water on Nell Lee Road.  The driver of the van was attempting to cross a ford in the road and became stuck.  All passengers were safely removed from the vehicle and no injuries were reported.last_img read more

Batesville Area CYO Basketball Scores

first_imgBatesville Area CYO Basketball ScoresSunday  (1-5)  St. Louis #1 defeated St. Mary’s #1(Greensburg) by a score of 62-29. Leading the way for St. Louis was Chris Anderson with 25, Seth Gausman with 9, and Jon Thompson with 8.  Seth Gausman has now scored 102 points in 6 games along with 90 total points for Jon Thompson.    St. Louis #2 defeated St. Mary’s #2 (Greensburg) by a score of 50-38. Leading the way for St. Louis was Kurt Siefert with 23, Adam Vogelsang with 11 and Luke Wilson with 11.  Other scores from the Weekend.   St. Maurice/Immaculate Conception (Napoleon) defeated Holy Family (Oldenburg)  by a score of 52-47. All Saints #1 (East Central) defeated St. Michael’s (Brookville) by a score of 66- 25. All Saints #2 (East Central) defeated St. Catherine’s Of Sienna by a score of 61-29.     CYO will be back in action Sunday, January 12, with the following. Games Played at St. Louis. 1:00 All Saints #1 vs St. Catherine’s of Sienna. 2:15 All Saints #2 vs St. Louis #1. 3:30 St. Louis #2 vs St. Maurice/Immaculate Conception. Games Played at Brookville. 1:00 St. Michael’s vs St. Mary’s #1. 2:15 Holy Family vs St. Mary’s #2.  Courtesy of Bruins Coach Fuzz Springmeyer.last_img read more

Pardew defends lack of movement

first_img The 52-year-old went into the final days of the transfer window desperately hoping to land at least one attacking player, but ultimately had to be satisfied with just the arrival of loan signing Loic Remy, who had turned down Tyneside for QPR seven months earlier. A statement released on his behalf was a masterpiece of diplomacy, acknowledging both owner Mike Ashley’s January investment in Mathieu Debuchy, Massadio Haidara, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Moussa Sissoko and Yoan Gouffran, and Kinnear’s ultimately unsuccessful efforts to bolster his squad further. Pardew said: “We are delighted to have brought Loic Remy to the club in this window and we believe he will form an exciting and effective partnership with Papiss Cisse. “Joe has worked hard on numerous targets, particularly an additional offensive player. However, some of the options that were available within our financial means were not as good as the players we already had and there is no point bringing in new players unless they can improve us and take us forward. “We did the majority of our business in the January window, signing five excellent first-team players. With the strong squad we have we should all approach the season in a positive, optimistic frame of mind.” However, Pardew’s attempts at conciliation are likely to cut little ice with fans who were furious at Kinnear’s appointment in June and little short of apoplectic at his performance since. Mark Jensen, editor of online fanzine www.themag.co.uk, said: “Basically if anybody still believes that Joe Kinnear was brought in to co-ordinate incoming transfers, then their glass isn’t half-full, it’s overflowing because clearly I don’t think there’s been any real intention of bringing any players in unless it was an absolute bargain or if they had sold somebody. “Exactly what his role is is a good question. I’m guessing his role was to come in and shake things up, and instantly you saw [managing director] Derek Llambias walk out of the door. “I don’t think you will find too many fans who don’t believe Mike Ashley is attempting to use Joe Kinnear to get Alan Pardew out of the door.” Kinnear has repeatedly insisted he is no threat to Pardew and that the pair enjoy a good working relationship. Newcastle boss Alan Pardew has moved to defuse a backlash against director of football Joe Kinnear after his failure to make a single permanent summer signing. The 66-year-old has also claimed the manager agreed that the current squad was strong enough to finish in the top half of the table during their early discussions, but Pardew was at pains to make it known during the final days of the window that he wanted to strengthen further, although to no avail. Jensen said: “I had the lowest expectations possible for this transfer window, and have got to say that Mike Ashley has exceeded those very, very low expectations. “I was telling people before it all kicked off in June that I didn’t expect Newcastle to sign many, maybe one or two players, maybe one or two if we sold somebody. “But I never thought we would be in the mad position of basically buying nobody and in reality having a smaller squad than last year, when we struggled. “We have got people now on the bench who would have been behind the likes of James Perch and Danny Simpson last season. “The thing that strikes me more than anything is that the margin for error is so minute. “We all know there is a small handful of players who make or score goals or are capable of doing so. We saw last season when [Yohan] Cabaye and [Hatem] Ben Arfa were injured that we struggled to create chances and score goals, especially with Demba Ba out of the door. “In one word, ‘disbelief’ sums it up. But on the other hand, you almost take it for granted now that at a time when every single club is spending the extra money they are getting from the TV deal, Newcastle stand out like a sore thumb. “It could backfire massively. Last season, they had the safety net of making money available in January and we got out of jail. Who’s to say it would work out a second time?” Pardew can at least take consolation from Yohan Cabaye’s continued presence at the club after Arsenal failed to meet Newcastle’s valuation despite weeks of speculation. Press Associationlast_img read more

Army Boys Sports Company athletes shine in Khelo India Games

first_imgOur Sports ReporterGUWAHATI: Army Boys Sports Company athletes of Army Sports Institute (ASI), Pune put up a sterling performance in the recently concluded Khelo India Games in Guwahati with a rich haul of 22 gold, 13 silver and 15 bronze medals. The games saw notable performances from Uttam Yadav in 1500m and local boy weightlifting prodigy Sidhanta Gogoi who will likely break into the senior elite this year.The ASI boys were responsible for 4 new records in these games. Participating from their respective States, they were the major talent contributors to the two top medal winning States – Maharashtra and Haryana – with participation of 26 boys and 23 boys respectively. The achievements of Army Sports Institute are special as they participated in only five individual sports with a relatively small contingent. The premier institute is the conveyor belt to national camps in seven Mission Olympic Sports. It has produced some of the top sportsmen in the country. Current top players include world No. 1 wrestler Naib Subedar Deepak Punia and world medal-winning pugilists Naib Subedar and Amit Panghal. The institute is aiming towards maiden Olympic glory in the upcoming Tokyo Olympic Games.Also Read: Assam finish at 7th place with 76 medals in 3rd Khelo India GamesAlso Watch: Minister of State for Education Smt. Vibhavariben Dave addresses Academia in Guwahati.last_img read more

Topping director serves her last day after changes to Fund

first_imgAfter working with the Norman Topping Student Aid Fund for 11 years, Christina Yokoyama concluded her last day as Topping director Thursday.The USC administration made changes to the Norman Topping Student Aid Fund, eliminating Christina Yokoyama’s position as the program director. Daniel Zhu | Daily TrojanFor nearly a month, Topping scholars organized several efforts to reverse the University’s decision to eliminate Yokoyama’s position. However, the provost’s office stood by its decision to enforce these structural changes in order to expand the program, the University stated.“We will be working with the governing board, current students, alumni and student governments to expand the Topping Fund while maintaining the programming and support that are the hallmarks of its success,” Andrea Hodge, the vice provost of undergraduate programs, said in a statement to the Daily Trojan. “This growth will allow a larger number of undergraduate and graduate students with high financial need and a commitment to community service to become Topping Scholars.”Topping scholars, colleagues and faculty members gathered at Student Union for a farewell reception for Yokoyama on Thursday. At the reception, Yokoyama thanked scholars for their unwavering support and determination following the University’s elimination of her position.“It was a rough day because this is not going to be my normal routine anymore,” Yokoyama said. “It was really hard but really wonderful at the same time. I think that was necessary for me to move on to my next step … to have a sense of closure.”Topping scholar Melissa Baldjieva, a sophomore majoring in business administration, said that many attendees also helped Yokoyama clear out her office and load boxes of her belongings into her car. While the Topping program hosts several events in the office for the scholars, the turnout at the reception was exceptionally high, Baldjieva said. “The Topping office was full, and there was barely a place to sit,” Baldjieva said. “It just comes to show how important Christina was to our people.”As for the future of the Topping Fund, Hodge called for a Topping Governing Board meeting on Feb. 15, Yokoyama said. She and the Board members said they are unaware of what will be discussed at the meeting.Topping scholar Sabrina Enriquez, a senior majoring in mathematics, said she has been meeting with Hodge and Vice President of Student Affairs Ainsley Carry to transfer the jurisdiction of the Topping Fund from the University’s Office of Undergraduate Programs to Student Affairs. Enriquez said that Carry watched the #SaveTopping rally on Jan. 18, and spoke with Enriquez about potentially making the switch. “[He] knows students are distressed and his staff had been telling him how a lot of Topping students were going to the cultural centers more because they’re no longer comfortable with the Topping options,” Enriquez said. “He was interested in seeing how he could help his students.”Enriquez said that if the Topping Fund moved under Dr. Carry’s leadership, “a lot of the problems that [the scholars] have with Hodge’s leadership will be addressed.” According to Yokoyama, the Topping Fund was originally a program within the Division of Student Affairs but was later categorized as a financial aid program. In 2013, the Topping Fund was relocated to the University’s Undergraduate Programs. “I think Student Affairs will be a much better fit,” Yokoyama said. “I think there will strictly be academic support which you could find anywhere at this University, but it’s the emotional support and the balance of the two that makes this program so special.”The next few weeks will focus on further internal structure review of the Topping program with Carry and the provost’s office.“People [are] feeling like we lost and the fight is over, but I want to emphasize that by no means is the fight over as far as we’re concerned,” Enriquez said.last_img read more

Men’s basketball: Wisconsin’s Happ, Hayes tear the Terps 71-60 behind huge second-half performance

first_imgAfter dropping two in a row for the first time all season, the University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team rebounded with a statement win over No. 23 Maryland at home Sunday with Big Ten title implications on the line.The No. 11 Badgers (22-5, 11-3 Big Ten) battled back and forth with Maryland between minor lead changes throughout the majority of the first half. The offensive production by both teams quickly turned into a competition between Wisconsin forwards Ethan Happ and Nigel Hayes, and Maryland’s star guard Melo Trimble.UW’s two star big men combined for 16 points and 5 rebounds for the Badgers, while Trimble went 5-of-8 from the floor with 15 points for the Terrapins. Trimble began to take charge in the final moments of the first half, sinking back-to-back 3-pointers for Maryland on their final two possessions and giving the Terps a 6-point cushion heading into the locker room.To the surprise of many, senior guard Bronson Koenig entered the game to replace freshman guard D’Mitrik Trice barely five minutes into the first half. Wisconsin head coach Greg Gard announced Saturday Trice would be starting in place of the injured (calf) senior guard Bronson Koenig.“Not knowing how good Bronson was going to be [Sunday], I decided yesterday that Trice was going to start regardless,” Gard said.Koenig had started 85 consecutive games for the Badgers – a streak that began in the 2014-15 season – prior to missing Wisconsin’s loss to Michigan last Thursday night.Men’s basketball: Badgers will be without Koenig on the road against MichiganAfter sitting out both practices this week, University of Wisconsin men’s basketball senior point guard Bronson Koenig will not play Read…Koenig was a nonfactor in the first half to say the least. The Badgers second-leading scorer logged a full 14 minutes but was held to zero FG from the floor despite three attempts. Luckily for Koenig and the Badgers, there’s always a second half in basketball.Second halfWhile Koenig returned to the court in the first half as a player, the second half witnessed the return of Bronson Koenig as a scorer.In a span of 37 seconds, Koenig nailed his first 3-point attempt of the half to tie the Terps at 36 before taking the ball back down the court and draining a long two to give UW its first lead of the half — a lead Wisconsin wouldn’t surrender for the remainder of the game.“Everybody had a hand in the outcome,” Gard said. “We played more mature in the second half. We grew up during the 15 minutes we sat in the locker room.”Koenig’s offensive boost came during a 9-0 Wisconsin run, over which the Badgers knocked down five consecutive baskets as part of a 7-of-11 shooting stretch. Yet, thanks to Trimble’s 27 points and debilitating 3-point accuracy, the Terps weren’t ready to go quietly.Halfway through the second half, Maryland had sliced Wisconsin’s lead down to a mere 3 points as fouls became a problem for both teams. Sunday’s game against Maryland witnessed more foul calls (48) than the Badgers have seen all season.The foul charges weren’t limited to the players either. With a 4-point game at just less than 9:30 to go, Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon was issued a technical foul after throwing a fit of rage while voicing his displeasure with the officiating.With less than eight minutes remaining, two key big men from each team – including three starters ­– were forced to ride the pine as spectators with four fouls each. Maryland starting forward Damonte Dodd’s foul trouble held the 6-foot-11 senior to only 14 minutes on the floor with zero points to show for it.Softball: 4-0 Badgers look to remain undefeated against USFThe University of Wisconsin Badgers softball team started their season in the best way possible. It began in Cedar Falls, Iowa, Read…For Wisconsin, Sunday’s game was won from the paint. While both teams were plagued with excessive fouls, Wisconsin’s star forwards Happ and Hayes dominated the Terrapins around the rim.“3-13 in the paint in the first half, 11-17 in the second,” Gard said. “I’m not a mathematician but I know that’s a lot better.”Nigel Hayes finished with a double-double (21 points, 10 boards) and with the addition of Happ’s performance the pair combined for 41 points and 17 boards, along with 25 trips to the free throw line.“They [Happ and Hayes] were terrific, we couldn’t guard them,” Turgeon said. “We couldn’t double them.”While Hayes and Happ headlined the win, redshirt freshman guard Brevin Pritzl’s performance was perhaps the story of second half for the Badgers. The redshirt freshman guard totaled 23 critical minutes off the bench, and his seven rebounds plus seven assists brought an added electricity to the Badgers game toward the end of both halves.As Trimble’s buckets kept falling, Maryland brought it within four points with less than seven and a half minutes left until a second effort by Pritzl on an offensive rebound kicked off a Badgers 8-0 run to seal the game.This late game push was enough to prompt Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon to pull Trimble from the game for the final four and half minutes of his team’s loss. In the absence of their star player, the Terps finished the game riding a near seven-minute drought without a basket before a layup finally fell with 25 seconds remaining.Wisconsin ended the second half with only one turnover, which was committed with less than two minutes remaining, compared to seven in the first half.last_img read more

Dino Babers: ‘I just need to see something different’

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Comments At his weekly press conference Monday, Dino Babers consistently referred to his desire to see something different defensively. “The big thing is we’re trying to get a change,” Babers said. “I’ve already mentioned previously that I just need to see something different. I just thought we weren’t moving in the direction I thought we should be moving in.”It was his first time addressing the media since firing defensive coordinator Brian Ward after giving up nearly 500 rushing yards to Boston College. Diving straight into questions — and letting reporters bring up the topic of Ward’s dismissal — Babers said he thinks Syracuse (3-6, 0-5 Atlantic Coast) needs to put its best defensive personnel in positions to impact the game more ahead of a matchup at Duke (4-5, 2-3), though he didn’t specify what that might look like. To date, Babers hasn’t seen it and decided that the time had come to make a change.“It wasn’t one thing, but it was a lot of things,” Babers said, “which I’m not going to get into.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textCurrently, defensive ends coach Steve Stanard is serving as the interim defensive coordinator. He’ll have a “blank slate” to start “painting a portrait” that Babers will use to judge whether he wants to keep Stanard in the position or seek outside talent. Ward, who served as Babers’ defensive coordinator for the head coach’s entire tenure at SU and Babers’ last year at Bowling Green until his firing, led a defense that’s regressed this year. After pitching a shutout in the opener, the Orange’s defense was missing in action against Maryland, a 43-point drubbing. After a strong start against Clemson the following week, it seemed the beatdown in College Park might’ve been an aberration.But after keeping Syracuse afloat while the offense floundered against North Carolina State and Pittsburgh, the Orange defense finally cracked. In two games against Florida State and Boston College, SU surrendered 93 points, 737 rushing yards and struggled to tackle on first contact, let alone make enough impactful plays. For Babers, it was time for a tough call.“When something like this happens it’s really, extremely personal,” Babers said. “You’re talking about someone that has been a part of our family for a long time.”Ward stuck to the base 4-3 and nickel schemes that have been staples of his time in charge of SU’s defense. And running some of the same sets that the Orange dominated in 2018 with, Syracuse never got the turnovers and impact plays it needed. The stars of last year — Andre Cisco, Alton Robinson and Kendall Coleman — haven’t come close to matching prior production, either.It’s unclear what changes in personnel, schemes and play calling tendencies Stanard might bring. But in a season where Babers has already said SU’s “best players have to be our best players,” it’s likely Stanard and the rest of the coaching staff will shake it up to unlock their stars and, hopefully, the rest of the defense.Other notesWith only three games remaining, defensive lineman McKinley Williams, who has missed every game with a lower-left leg injury, will be eligible to medically redshirt — as will center Sam Heckel. Babers said he wouldn’t expect Williams to make a return this season.Babers was barely asked about the Blue Devils, SU’s upcoming opponent, but did laud Duke head coach David Cutcliffe as the smartest coach in the conference, calling him “the smartest guy in the room” when all 14 coaches are together 0n media day. center_img Published on November 11, 2019 at 2:45 pm Contact Andrew: aegraham@syr.edu | @A_E_Grahamlast_img read more