Morneau Shepell accelerates growth in the Caribbean and South America

September 23, 2014

NASSAU, Bahamas, Sept. 23, 2014 /PRNewswire/ – Morneau Shepell (TSX: MSI), the largest company in Canada offering human resources consulting and outsourcing services, today announced that it is strengthening its pension consulting business in the Caribbean and South America through a strategic hire and the establishment of Morneau Shepell (Bahamas) Ltd., based in Nassau. The company announced that it has hired Derek Osborne, a senior pension actuary and an expert in social security schemes, who has been servicing government and business clients in the Caribbean and South America for more than 15 years.

“We are extremely pleased that Derek Osborne has joined Morneau Shepell,” said Al Kiel, Managing Partner & International Practice Leader at Morneau Shepell. “Derek’s reputation as an expert in social security and a leading pensions actuary in the Caribbean will significantly enhance our market presence in the region, and is an endorsement in providing exceptional service to our clients.”

“With this strategic hire, we are expanding our international pension consulting business,” added Kiel. “It is also in line with our calculated plan to grow our business profitably through growth that complements our existing service offerings, and expands our market presence.”

“It is with great enthusiasm that I join Morneau Shepell in the Retirement Solutions and International Practice area,” said Derek Osborne. “I am delighted to become a part of Canada’s largest human resources consulting and outsourcing firm. Working for Morneau Shepell will give me access to the latest technology and a network of professionals locally and internationally to serve our clients.”

Derek has served clients in 12 countries in the Caribbean and South America for more than 15 years.

This hire is not expected to have a material impact on Morneau Shepell’s financial performance in 2014.

About Morneau Shepell Inc.

Morneau Shepell is the largest company in Canada offering human resources consulting and outsourcing services. The Company is the leading provider of Employee and Family Assistance Programs, as well as the largest administrator of retirement and benefits plans and the largest provider of integrated absence management solutions in Canada. Through health and productivity, administrative, and retirement solutions, Morneau Shepell helps clients reduce costs, increase employee productivity and improve their competitive position. Established in 1966, Morneau Shepell serves more than 20,000 clients, ranging from small businesses to some of the largest corporations and associations in North America. With approximately 3,600 employees in offices across North America, Morneau Shepell provides services to organizations across Canada, in the United States, and around the globe. Morneau Shepell is a publicly-traded company on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: MSI). For more information, visit

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Tribute Paid To ‘Yesterday’s’ Caribbean Children

September 23, 2014


Honored at the ‘Yesterday’s Children Event by Brooklyn Senator Kevin Parker and Caribbean American media personality, Glenda Cadogan were L-to-R: Dossie Gittens 105 yrs; Olive Sutton, 102 yrs of Barbados and T&T; Henry Boniface Larcher 93 of St. Lucia; Dorothy Weston; 89 and Ruby Sutton,83, of T&T and Dosie Gittens,105yrs of Guyana.

News Americas, BROOKLYN, NY, Tues. Sept. 23, 2014: The annual “Salute to Yesterday’s Children,” a Mauby Media Services invitation-only affair giving well-deserved acknowledgments to a group of select individuals, was held on Sept. 21 at St. Stephen’s Church Community Hall in Brooklyn.

This year’s honorees included Dossie Gittens 105 yrs; Olive Sutton, 102 yrs of Barbados and T&T; Henry Boniface Larcher 93 of St. Lucia; Dorothy Weston; 89 and Ruby Sutton,83, of T&T and Dosie Gittens, 105yrs of Guyana.

“A Salute to Yesterday’s Children” was born out of a desire to celebrate senior citizens, many of whom sacrificed their own desires and ambitions so that their children can become the high achievers of today’” said Mauby Media Services director Glenda Cadogan.

The event featured an African drum procession, the presentation of gifts, special performances including storytelling and drumming. Cadogan said each honoree will also have celestial star named for them through a registry service.



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Dunkin’ Donuts Announces First Global Coffee Day Celebration for Monday, September 29

September 22, 2014

Dunkin' Donuts Hot Logo. News Americas,  CANTON, Mass.,Sept. 22, 2014: Dunkin’ Donuts, one of the world’s leading baked goods and coffee chains, today announced a special deal for coffee lovers across Latin America and the Caribbean. On Monday, September 29, participating Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants across the region will offer guests a free small hot or iced coffee (while supplies last) with any food purchase in honor of the brand’s first Global Coffee Day celebration. Certain restrictions apply by country. See store for details.

“National Coffee Day has always been one of our favorite days in the U.S., which is why we are so excited to be celebrating our first Global Coffee Day at our restaurants worldwide,” said John Costello, President, Global Marketing and Innovation, Dunkin’ Brands. “Our coffee helps to keep our guests running all day long and brings joy to customers at Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants around the world every day. We hope our guests across Latin America and the Caribbean enjoy this special offer on September 29.”

For three years running, Dunkin’ Donuts has celebrated National Coffee Day in the United States by treating guests to various special offers nationwide. This year marks the first time Dunkin’ Donuts is extending this promotion globally and thanking fans worldwide for their loyalty and support of the Dunkin’ Donuts brand. On September 29th, guests at participating Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants in Aruba, the Bahamas, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama and Peru can enjoy a free small hot or iced coffee with any food purchase while supplies last.

Dunkin’ Donuts has been a coffee leader for more than 60 years and sold approximately 1.8 billion cups of coffee globally in 2013. In fact, the brand’s name originated from the idea of pairing delicious, high-quality coffee and donuts, as people enjoyed dunking, or dipping, their donuts into their coffee, inspiring the name Dunkin’ Donuts. Dunkin’ Donuts uses 100% Arabica coffee beans for its Original Blend, and the company’s coffee specifications are recognized by the industry as a superior grade of coffee. Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants across Latin America and the Caribbean offer an extensive variety of hot and iced coffee choices, including flavors such as Original Blend, Hazelnut and French Vanilla. The brand also offers cappuccinos, espressos and lattes.

About Dunkin’ Donuts

Founded in 1950, Dunkin’ Donuts is America’s favorite all-day, everyday stop for coffee and baked goods. Dunkin’ Donuts is a market leader in the hot regular/decaf/flavored coffee, iced coffee, donut, bagel and muffin categories. Dunkin’ Donuts has earned the No. 1 ranking for customer loyalty in the coffee category by Brand Keys for eight years running. The company has nearly 11,000 restaurants in 33 countries worldwide. Based in Canton, Mass., Dunkin’ Donuts is part of the Dunkin’ Brands Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: DNKN) family of companies. For more information, visit


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Hard Beat’s Felicia Persaud Profiled In The West Indian

September 21, 2014

Felicia Persaud at Invest Caribbean Now 2014

Felicia Persaud being interviewed by Kara Coleman of One Caribbean Television at Invest Caribbean Now 2014 in NYC.

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Mon. Sept. 22, 2014: Hard Beat Communications’ Felicia J. Persaud is in the spotlight of the Annan Boodram column in the West Indian newspaper of New York.

Read full piece here. Congrats Felicia.

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Hundreds Of Millions Worth Of Cocaine Seized In Caribbean Sea

September 18, 2014


A U.S. Coast Guardsman offloads cocaine at Coast Guard Station Miami Beach, FL on Sept. 18, 2014.

By NAN Staff Writer

News Americas, MIAMI BEACH, FL, Fri. Sept. 19, 2014: Approximately US$173 million worth of cocaine has been seized in the Caribbean sea since January, a News Americas Now analysis of all U.S. Coast Guard drug busts since the start of 2014 has found.

The latest cocaine seized was offloaded in Miami by U.S. Coast Guards at the Miami Beach Station Thursday afternoon, Sept. 18th, in South Florida.

The batch was approximately 719 kilograms worth an estimated wholesale value of more than $23 million and was the result of a successful drug interdiction northeast of Panama on Sept. 8, 2014.

The latest seizure marks the third time in recent weeks in which large quantities of illegal narcotics were seized from cargo vessels.

“Drug smuggling organizations continually try to shift their tactics to avoid interdiction by the Coast Guard,” said Cmdr. Timothy Cronin, deputy chief of enforcement for the Coast Guard 7th District.  “Our goal is to prevent illegal drugs from reaching American shores and to reduce the destabilization effects they have on our neighboring countries in Central America. We will continue to lawfully stop and search vessels we suspect may be involved in maritime illicit trafficking.”

There have been several other huge coke busts this year.

On Aug. 28, the Coast Guard Cutter Legare boarded a 165-foot Panamanian-flagged coastal freighter and seized 1,500 kilograms of cocaine worth and estimated wholesale value of approximately $49.9 million.

On Aug. 10, the Coast Guard Cutter Tampa located 973 kilograms of cocaine worth an estimated wholesale value of more than $32 million aboard a 226-foot Panamanian-flagged freighter while patrolling off the coast of Haiti.

In May, 35 kilograms of cocaine worth a combined wholesale value of more than $3 million was seized in the southwest Caribbean Sea while in April, during a patrol, the crew aboard the Spencer interdicted 1,327 pounds of cocaine off the coast of the Dominican Republic 35 kilograms of cocaine worth a combined wholesale value of more than $3 million.

On the evening of March 19, crewmembers aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Legare pursued a go-fast vessel in the southwest Caribbean Sea prompting the suspected smugglers to jettison 900 kilograms of cocaine, worth an estimated wholesale value of $30 million, into the water.

And on Jan 22, The Coast Guard offloaded 2,500 pounds of cocaine, worth an estimated $37 million wholesale value, seized in a historic multi-national counterdrug operation south of the Dominican Republic.

The news comes as U.S. President Barack Obama identified twenty-two countries as major illicit drug-producing or drug-transit countries for this year. The majority are in the Americas are include: the Bahamas, Belize, Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, and Venezuela.

Under the Foreign Relations Authorization Act (FRAA), the United States President is required each year to notify Congress of those countries he determines to be major illicit drug-producing countries or major drug-transit countries that “significantly affect the United States.”



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Chikungunya Death Toll In The Caribbean Passes 100 Mark

September 16, 2014


Chikungunya has been dubbed the ‘bend up’ disease. (PAHO image)

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Weds. Sept. 17, 2014: The death toll from the mosquito-borne viral disease Chikungunya continues to rise in the Caribbean, now passing the 100 mark, health officials say.

The Pan American Health Organization, (PAHO) puts the death toll from the disease in the region to 113 people in its latest report.

The French Caribbean territories of Martinique and Guadeloupe have reported the most deaths from the disease, according to PAHO.

Fifty-five deaths have been linked to the virus in Martinique since last December, when the disease was first detected in the Americas while 49 deaths were reported in Guadeloupe.

Six deaths have been reported in the Dominican Republic and three in St. Martin, where the virus was first found in the Americas.

A total of 706,000 suspected and 8,651 confirmed Chikungunya cases have been reported in the region.

Chikungunya’s symptoms include acute fever, followed by a longer period of joint pains in the extremities that may persist for years in some cases. Other symptoms include muscle pain, headache, nausea, fatigue and rash.The disease shares some clinical signs with dengue, and can be misdiagnosed in areas where dengue is common.

The disease is transmitted to humans by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes like dengue fever and while no specific treatment is known, medications can be used to reduce symptoms.

The name ‘chikungunya’ derives from a word in the Kimakonde language, meaning “to become contorted” and describes the stooped appearance of sufferers with joint pain (arthralgia).

There is no specific antiviral drug treatment for Chikungunya. Treatment is directed primarily at relieving the symptoms, including the joint pain using anti-pyretics, optimal analgesics and fluids. There is no commercial chikungunya vaccine.


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Puerto Rican Jailed For Child Porn

September 16, 2014

Puerto-Rico-jailNews Americas, SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico, Weds. Sept. 17, 2014: A 26-year-old man Puerto Rico will spend the next 15 years in prison followed by 10 years of supervised released, for production of child porn.

Pedro Luis Baez-Torres, of Cidra, was recently sentenced over a year after his Sept. 5, 2013 arrest at his place of work in Cayey stemming from a Puerto Rico Police Department referral which revealed he allegedly requested sexually explicit images from a 14-year-old female minor.

According to the criminal complaint, Baez-Torres obtained the victim’s Kik nickname through one of her classmates. Kik is a smartphone application that allows users to communicate by video and instant message over the Internet. During the initial conversations between Baez-Torres and the victim, Baez-Torres asked her to send him pictures of her fully clothed, but the requests turned more demanding when he began to request more sexually explicit photos.

The complaint further alleges that the victim complied with Baez-Torres’s requests and sometime between May and July she sent Baez-Torres more than 30 images of herself completely nude in various sexually explicit poses.

On Aug. 26, 2013, HSI special agents executed a federal search warrant at Baez-Torres residence in Cidra and seized his cellular phone. A preliminary forensic examination of the cellular phone revealed the presence of approximately 122 images depicting the victim in a sexually explicit manner.


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Cocaine Inside Computer Bag At JFK

September 14, 2014


The seized laptop bag with the cocaine. (US CBP image)

News Americas, JAMAICA, N.Y., Mon. Sept. 15, 2014: Over three pounds of cocaine with an approximate street value of  US$55,000 was recently founded in the computer bag of an arriving passenger from the Dominican Republic at the John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York.

U. S. Customs and Border Protection officers stopped Ortega Tejada who arrived on a flight from Santo Domingo and during the course of the inspection, CBP officers noticed the computer bag was unusually heavy and the sides were thicker than normal.

The officers probed the computer bag and discovered a white powdery substance which tested positive for cocaine.

Tejada was arrested for the importation of a controlled substance and was turned over to Homeland Security Investigations.

Tejada now faces federal narcotics smuggling charges and will be prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the U.S. Eastern District Court of New York.

“This latest seizure demonstrates the vigilance of our CBP officers, and their excellence in detecting those who would try to smuggle these illegal substances,” said Robert E. Perez, director, Field Operations New York.


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Markel Global Reinsurance adds Erik Manning, Jamie Welsby and John Duda to its team

September 11, 2014

RICHMOND, Va., Sept. 11, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Markel Corporation (NYSE: MKL) announced today that Dr. Erik Manning and  Jamie Welsby have been appointed Managing Directors of Markel Global Reinsurance (Markel Re), Markel Corporation’s reinsurance operating division. In addition, John Duda has been appointed Assistant Vice President, Reinsurance Underwriter for Markel Re.

Jed Rhoads, President and Chief Underwriting Officer, Property Reinsurance for Markel Re, commented, “We are very pleased to be adding Erik, Jamie and John to our Bermuda leadership team. They bring a wealth of knowledge and experience in the managed third party capital property reinsurance business that will be an asset to us as we seek to expand our presence in that marketplace. They will enhance our analytical capabilities and help develop a broader product offering, as well as assist with fundraising and the servicing of our clients, brokers, and investors. Their activities will not be limited to the assumed retrocessional reinsurance we write on Markel paper and New Point, our eight year old special purpose insurance vehicle.

“Erik, Jamie and John will bolster our existing Managed Cat and Retro team located in Bermuda that currently comprises Andrew ‘Barney’ Barnard, Crystal Doughty and Elena Marshall. We are committed to the retrocessional market and growing our managed third party capital business.”

Erik Manning recently served as Managing Director, Specialty Practice for Guy Carpenter Bermuda. Previously, Erik was Director, ICG/DCM at Deutsche Bank (based in London). Prior to joining Deustche Bank, he was Senior Structure, Insurance Linked Securities at ABN, AMRO. He has also worked at RK Carvill and Company, Ltd. Erik earned his bachelor’s degree from Appalachian State University and his master’s degree from University of Sheffield. He has a doctorate degree in Theory of Risk from Birkbeck, University of London.

Jamie Welsby was most recently Principal at Logic Reinsurance Underwriting Management, Ltd., which he co-founded. Prior to helping create Logic, Jamie was Head of Property Reinsurance at RBC Reinsurance in Toronto. He has 23 years of reinsurance underwriting and management experience. He also worked with GE Insurance/Frankona, where he held the positions of Global Property Portfolio Leader, Global Catastrophe Leader, and Pricing Actuarial Leader based in Munich, Germany. Jamie is a graduate of McMaster University.

John Duda most recently served as a Portfolio Manager for Logic Reinsurance in Toronto. His experience also includes roles at Benfield (then Aon Benfield) and Guy Carpenter, working in the Canadian and Advisory teams. John has an analytics background and has focused on the placement of property catastrophe business. He has also worked for Zurich Financial Services in London. John earned his bachelor’s degree in Math from the University of Waterloo.

About Markel Corporation
Markel Corporation is a diverse financial holding company serving a variety of niche markets. The Company’s principal business markets and underwrites specialty insurance products. In each of the Company’s businesses, it seeks to provide quality products and excellent customer service so that it can be a market leader. The financial goals of the Company are to earn consistent underwriting and operating profits and superior investment returns to build shareholder value. Visit Markel Corporation on the web at

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