The Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) has created the position of COO, appointing Peter de Graaf to the role.A Dutch national, de Graaf joins from London-based management consultancy Carnstone Partners LLP, where he spent the last seven years as a senior partner.This included leading the firm’s work on capital-market projects with clients and partners such as the Pension Protection Fund (PPF), Risk Metrics/MSCI and WHEB Asset Management. De Graaf will be based in London and report directly to Fiona Reynolds, PRI’s managing director. He starts on 1 December.Before Carnstone, De Graaf was managing director and a member of the board at environmental data provider Trucost.He worked there for nearly two years, and before that spent five years at FTSE, first as managing director for the EMEA and then as managing director for public affairs.As COO at the PRI, de Graaf will have overall operational responsibility for company-wide key projects and for implementing the strategic plan and annual business plans across the PRI, ensuring ongoing oversight and reporting against these plans.He will also be the chief programme officer, which will include implementing new programmatic strategic initiatives.He will work with the managing director and directors to implement the operational and “cross-organisational” aspects of a new 10-year Blueprint for Responsible Investment.Fiona Reynolds said: “The PRI has grown enormously in recent years, which means that, to meet the ongoing needs of our members, and develop new capabilities in the future, we now need a very senior individual who can coordinate projects and deliverables across the whole of the PRI.”
Tyson Fury kicked off the New Year in the same way he ended the previous one: noising up a fellow heavyweight giant.Having gotten under the skin of Wladimir Klitschko before beating the Ukrainian to claim Wlad’s WBA Super, WBO and IBF titles in the ESPRIT arena in Dusseldorf in late November, the ‘Gypsy King’ turned up to watch WBC champion Deontay Wilder KO Poland’s Artur Szpilka in Brooklyn.Wilder is 36-0 after a 35th knockout of his career in the ninth round. He laid out Szpilka with a brutal right hand – the Pole needed medical treatment seconds after the beating by the ‘Bronze Bomber’ – but Fury isn’t running scared of a man he recently described as a “basketball player”.Jumping in the ring to confront the victorious Wilder, the Mancunian roared: “There’s only one Tyson Fury.”“I don’t play this, said Wilder. “You should have been an actor. When we do step in the ring, this ain’t wrestling, this ain’t the WWE, baby. “When you do step in this ring with me – if you do because this should’ve been done a long time ago – you can run around like you’re a preacher all that you want but when you step into that ring I promise you I will baptise you.“Make the date Tyson. Make the date.“We all know Fury is just a phony.”The response from Fury was typically forthright.“Any time! Any place! Anywhere!” said Fury. “Like I did Klitschko, I’ll beat you, ya bum, You’re a bum.” Fury is due to confront Klitschko in a rematch this year, but there is talk of a meeting with Wilder in the UK or the US later this year. Assuming he is still champion by then.WATCH THE VIDEO–
MORE FANTASY BASEBALL: Ultimate 2019 cheat sheet | All-Bust Team2019 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers: All-Breakout TeamEligibility based on Yahoo’s default settingsCatcher: Tyler Flowers, Braves. Flowers has been a sneaky-good platoon bat since arriving in Atlanta in 2016, and his renowned pitch-framing skills combined with the departure of Kurt Suzuki could lead to an uptick in playing time for the veteran catcher. He’ll now be spelled by Brian McCann, an injury-prone backstop who managed to play just 63 games last season. Flowers hit .270 in ’16 and .281 in ’17; a BABIP well below his career norm last season should bounce back in ’19 and lead to another solid batting average, particularly against lefthanded pitchers. He should also be bankable for double-digit home runs, something he’s done in three of the past six seasons despite playing a part-time role. Oh, and there’s this: Flowers has maintained a significantly higher average exit velocity and launch angle than league average for four straight seasons. He’s not flashy, but if used properly, there might not be a better late-round option at catcher.First base: Tyler White, Astros. There are several sleeper contenders at this position, including Josh Bell and Jake Bauers. But perhaps no one has the upside of White, whose potential limitation may simply be playing time. Evan Gattis, Houston’s primary designated hitter in 2018, is no longer under contract, while first baseman Yuli Gurriel will soon turn 35. That could give White enough room to blow away his previous career high in games played and join rare fantasy company in hitting above .270 with 25 home runs and 80 RBIs. Last year, White delivered 12 home runs and 42 RBIs in just 66 games. His righthanded, uppercut swing is built for Minute Maid Park, where the Crawford Boxes pad his power numbers. The 17-degree launch angle on his stroke gives him elite lift. Plus, Houston’s high-octane lineup should provide plenty of opportunities to score and drive in runs that might not be present for Bell or Bauers.2019 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers:Catcher | First | Second | Third | Short | Outfield | Starter | Each teamSecond base: Daniel Robertson, Rays. Robertson has always been considered a high-caliber prospect, all the way back since his time in the A’s system. Drafted in the first round of the 2012 MLB Draft, he finally began putting it together last year, though his impressive campaign was hindered by a sprained thumb in August that should be healed by now. Robertson played four different positions, hit nine home runs and posted a .797 OPS in ’18. He’ll be overlooked because he’s playing in Tampa Bay and playing time could be an issue early in the year, but this is a legitimate young talent who can fill several premium positions on your roster if he starts getting regular at-bats.Shortstop: Corey Seager, Dodgers. Seager has an ADP of around 81 in both Yahoo and ESPN leagues, which is kind of crazy considering what he’s done during his brief MLB career. Sure, he underwent Tommy John surgery and a hip procedure last year, but before that he was an elite middle infield fantasy bat. If Seager returns to his age-22 or 23 season levels, when he averaged 24 home runs, 74 RBIs and a .867 OPS, he would be worthy of a much higher selection than 81. He’s about to turn 25, so it’s also within reason for him to better those outputs amid a solid all-around Dodgers lineup.2019 Fantasy Baseball Rankings:Catcher | First | Second | Third | Short | Outfield | Starter | Reliever | Top 300Third base: Yoan Moncada, White Sox. It’s very difficult to find a 20/20 threat outside the first 10 rounds, but Moncada could be that guy in 2019. Like Cubs star Javier Baez, who has long struggled with plate discipline, the multi-talented Moncada seems a few minor tweaks away from a huge breakout. Even if his batting average never impresses, a 20-HR, 20-SB season could soon become the norm for the uber-talented youngster. It’s important to note he won’t be eligible at 3B on draft day, only 2B, but reports out of Chicago suggest he’ll man the hot corner once the season starts.Outfielder: David Dahl, Rockies. When healthy, Dahl can be one of the best 25 fantasy outfielders in baseball. The problem is that so far in his MLB career, he’s struggled to stay on the field. Almost every projection system has Dahl capitalizing on Coors Field to blast 25 home runs and drive in 80 to go along with double-digit steals. That kind of production would make Dahl a bargain at his current ADP of 94, especially if you choose to focus more on other positions in the early rounds.2019 PROSPECT RANKINGS: Top 50Outfielder: Randal Grichuk, Blue Jays. Most people will not pay much attention to Toronto for fantasy purposes, obscuring the value Grichuk can provide. Almost everything points to his standout 2018 season being a building block for bigger things in the future, and at 27 he’s at the perfect age to put in a career year. Last season, Grichuk ranked in the 82nd percentile in exit velocity, the 80th percentile in hard-hit percentage, the 84th percentile in expected slugging percentage, and the 81st percentile in sprint speed. A 30-HR season is on par with his those metrics, and his underrated speed on the bases could translate to a surprising stolen base tally.Outfielder: Ramon Laureano, Athletics. The Astros essentially gifted Laureano to the A’s for nothing last offseason, which now looks like a mistake. Laureano was an instant hit in Oakland, notching a walk-off in his debut against the Tigers and making perhaps the throw of the season from center field. He has the potential to hit 15 home runs and steal at least 20 bases, but because he was a midseason call-up in 2018, he’ll go unnoticed by many fantasy owners.MOCK DRAFT SIMULATOR: Perfect your draft strategyPitcher: Jesus Luzardo, Athletics. Luzardo’s ceiling is American Rookie of the Year, and given Oakland’s barren rotation, he should get every opportunity to start 25-plus games in 2019. Last year, he started in High-A and finished with a flourish in Triple-A, ending the year with 129 strikeouts in 109.1 minor league innings across levels. There is Sonny Gray potential in this kid.Pitcher: Joe Musgrove, Pirates. The pedigree and strikeout stuff has always been there for Musgrove, and it’s just a matter of whether he can put it all together over a full season. His 3.59 FIP last year indicated he may be turning a corner, and his K/BB rate is already well above league average. Among mid-tier starters, this is one of the higher-upside options.2019 Fantasy Baseball Rankings Tiers, Draft StrategyCatcher | First | Second | Third | Short | Outfield | Starter | CloserPitcher: Nick Pivetta, Phillies. The 10.3 K/9 jumps off the page for Pivetta, and his reasonable walk rate and 3.80 FIP show he can be an elite fantasy starter with the right batted-ball luck. He’ll likely get more run support this year behind Philadelphia’s revamped lineup, meaning 10 or more wins should be easy to reach. A comfortable ceiling might be something along the lines of Aaron Nola’s 2017 campaign, which would be more than enough to satisfy fantasy players.Pitcher: Joey Lucchesi, Padres. Lucchesi is another guy whose strikeout stuff can vault him into the upper echelon of fantasy pitchers. Unlike Pivetta, though, he battled injuries last year and did not command the strike zone quite as effectively. Drafting Lucchesi means hoping Petco Park can bring his ERA down to the 3.70 range, a gamble that comes with a big potential payoff.Pitcher: Shane Bieber, Indians. Bieber has come up through an Indians system that’s repeatedly proven it can develop young pitchers, and while his surface numbers were not overly impressive in 2018, the advanced metrics suggest he’s about to break out. His 3.23 FIP and inflated .356 BABIP each point toward improvement this year, and his glowing scouting reports speak for themselves. Top MLB ProspectsCatcher | First | Second | Third | Short | Outfield | Pitcher | Top 50Reliever: Matt Barnes, Red Sox. With Craig Kimbrel no longer under contract, Barnes will have an opportunity to lock down one of the premiere closer roles in baseball. Kimbrel saved 42 games last season, and Barnes would likely get a similar number of late-game opportunities should he win the job. In fact, Barnes actually had a better K/9 than Kimbrel last year, though his erratic command at times cost him.Reliever: Jose Alvarado, Rays. After notching eight saves in an impressive 2018 season, Alvarado will reportedly serve as a traditional closer in 2019. That’s good news for fantasy owners, given the lefty’s 11.25 K/9 and 2.27 FIP a year ago. While it’s always difficult to trust Tampa Bay’s reliever usage, Alvarado could be well worth the risk given the team’s likely playoff contention. While it’s smart to start with draft picks high in the rankings when assembling a fantasy baseball roster, it’s also important to take on some risk in order to elevate your team’s ceiling, at least in the middle and late rounds. Over the past couple of seasons, sleepers such as Aaron Judge and Mike Clevinger have been selected in the late rounds before emerging as top-tier producers, showing the importance of projecting more than a few breakouts on your cheat sheet.So, if you’re hoping to pinpoint the next batch of fantasy baseball steals, this lineup made up entirely of sleepers is a good place to start. Each carries risk of not panning out, but at least a couple should enjoy breakout campaigns that change the landscape of your fantasy league.