PHOENIX, Ariz. - The Salt River Project is studying a restructuring of its $130 million in 401(k) plan assets, "primarily with the main objective of expanding investment options," said Barbara Bindenagel, assistant treasurer-funds administration.
J.H. Ellwood is assisting in the study, expected to be completed in two months.
The project's $100 million salaried plan now offers four investment options, and its $30 million union plan offers two. The options are run by various managers whose identities weren't immediately available.
The $20 billion Washington State Investment Board, Olympia, is increasing its non-U.S. equity exposure to 15% from 5% of fund assets.
It's not clear whether the board will increase its allocation to its existing managers or do a search for additional managers during the next 24 months, but Basil Schwan, chief executive officer, said he thinks it's likely the additional funding could go to existing managers.
Currently, the fund has no commitment to emerging international assets, and it remains uncertain whether it will make a commitment to that area.
OMAHA, Neb. - Creighton University is considering reducing its equity allocation to 50% for its $65 million endowment fund, said Leroy A. Galles, associate vice president-finance and treasurer.
The fund currently has 60% in equities and 40% in fixed income.
Mr. Galles said the fund's board is considering reducing the equity allocation to 50%, while boosting the fixed-income share to 50%.
He said he expects the board to make a decision in the next month. He said there are no plans at this time to terminate any existing managers or to hire managers to handle the possible increase in fixed income.
First National Bank of Omaha, Kirkpatrick Petitis Smith Pollan Inc. and FirstTier Bank run both equities and fixed income. Norwest Bank Nebraska runs equities only; and Mutual of Omaha runs fixed income only.
NEW YORK - Spencer Stuart, a leading executive search firm, is launching a worldwide investment management recruiting service in response to the growing demand for leadership in the investment management field.
Creation of the new venture was driven by "greater competition for assets under management and increasing globalization of the business," said Dayton Ogden, chief executive officer.
Michael Catine and Kenneth Kring will be co-managing directors of the investment management search practice.
BADEN, Switzerland - Asea Brown Boveri Ltd. will try to pool three smaller retirement and foundation plans, with combined assets of 400 million Swiss francs ($301 million), with its 3 billion franc ($2.26 billion) pension plan, said Christolph Oeschger, pension manager.
After the assets are pooled, ABB will consider diversifying into the Pacific Basin and emerging markets, Mr. Oeschger said.
Pooling the assets will be cheaper and offer better returns, he said.
Each of the three smaller funds currently is run in a global balanced mandate by a different Swiss bank: Bank Julius Baer, Credit Suisse and Gewerbe Bank.
The target asset mix of the larger plan, managed with passive and active specialist mandates, is 45% Swiss bonds, 5% international bonds, 12.5% Swiss equities, 12.5% international equities and 25% real estate.
FORT PIERCE, Fla. - The $82 million Fort Pierce Retirement Trust Fund is considering making its first allocation to international fixed income, said George J. Bergalis, director-finance.
"If we are going to do it, we'll probably move toward the end of the year," he said. He said the fund would likely hire another manager to handle such an allocation. The amount hasn't been discussed yet, he said. Callan Associates is assisting.
ST. LOUIS - The roughly $240 million endowment of St. Louis University postponed until late summer or early fall its search for a global bond manager, endowment officials said.
The university is not now interviewing candidates or discussing the search with any managers.
No further information was available.
ROCKVILLE, Md. - The Montgomery County Council as expected passed emergency legislation to freeze the current $1.2 billion defined benefit plan and create a defined contribution plan for nonunion employees hired after Sept. 30, said Philip H. Marks, management specialist in the Montgomery County Executive's office.
The county earlier made projections that the move would save $1.4 million over the next six years, assuming 600 new employees are hired.
CANTON OF ST. GALLEN, Switzerland - The 2.6 billion Swiss franc ($1.96 billion) Canton of St. Gallen pension fund eventually may farm out a 400 million Swiss franc ($301 million) portfolio of non-Swiss bonds, said Markus Naef, the pension fund manager.
Mr. Naef currently runs the portfolio, but he also manages the fund's Swiss stock and bond portfolios. In the future, the fund may have to hire external managers, buy into funds or hire someone to run the portfolio. "I'm a one-man show," he said.
The Investment Fund for Foundations plans to appoint investment managers for at least two more funds to be introduced in coming months: a global equity fund and a multiasset fund that will invest across several asset classes, according to David A. Salem, president and CEO of Foundation Advisers, a manager of managers based in Charlottesville, Va., which sponsors TIFF.
RFPs will be sent out once the funds get the green light from the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The TIFF Investment Program, as the fund family is known, was officially launched July 1 and comprises five funds managed by more than two dozen outside money managers. Assets total nearly $160 million.
NEW YORK - Marcia Myerberg, formerly a senior managing director of Bear Stearns & Co., launched Myerberg & Co., a fixed-income investment management firm specializing in mortgage-backed securities.
Robert Soifer, formerly a managing director in Bear Stearns' fixed-income department, is the firm's managing director and head of sales. Kirsten Nelson-LoBrutto, formerly the director of the mortgage-backed securities division of NatWest Financial Markets Group, is head trader. Sales director Kathryn Peach, former asset allocation and senior financial analyst with General Electric Investment Corp., is the firm's pension specialist.
The Pension Issues Coalition issued a white paper criticizing the need for PBGC legislation requiring companies to accelerate funding of underfunded pension plans and making it harder for companies to promise increased benefits without first fulfilling current obligations.
The coalition, composed of companies representing such industries as airlines, automobile and steel, said the current PBGC reform bill makes false assumptions about the agency's financial condition. The PBGC's increasing deficit can be pinned mainly to a change in the agency's accounting procedures, which uses a lower interest rate assumption and a more conservative mortality table to value liabilities, the coalition said.
Forcing companies to adhere to the PBGC legislative funding schedule would reduce companies' ability to weather business cycles and make investments needed to stay competitive, the coalition said.
BOSTON - Massachusetts Financial Services has launched a new global asset allocation fund.
The MFS World Asset Allocation Fund will invest in U.S. and non-U.S. stocks and bonds. The open-end mutual fund, which will include A, B and C shares, will close to new investments on Aug. 5 and reopen in the fall.
A team of senior investment officials will review the asset allocation each month or more frequently if market conditions warrant. Individual security selections will be made by portfolio managers for each sector.
WASHINGTON - The International Finance Corp. joined IBCA Ltd., Europe's largest credit-rating agency, and other partners to form Pakistan Credit Rating Agency, the country's first debt-evaluation service.
IFC, a private-sector arm of the World Bank Group, took a 20% equity stake in the new agency, while IBCA took 40% and the Lahore Stock Exchange, the second-largest exchange in Pakistan, took 30%. Other investors weren't identified.
Information was unavailable on how much investors paid for their equity stakes.
IFC's investment is its first in a credit-rating agency.
LONDON - U.K. real estate returns slowed for the second consecutive month, returning only an annualized 1.2% in May, according to the Investment Property Databank.
The falling returns suggest a yield-driven upturn will prove difficult to sustain, the report stated.
U.K. property prices started surging in late 1993. But the total return for the last three months was only an annualized 6.1%, suggesting that the second quarter return will not match the annualized 7.8% of the first quarter.
Total return for the year to date is an annualized 10.9%, IPD said.
STAMFORD, Conn. - The Financial Accounting Standards Board has decided to address accounting for decommissioning of nuclear power plants.
The board also agreed to seek information from other industry groups about removal or site restoration obligations that may be similar to decommissioning and to consider whether the accounting decisions should be applied to those other industries.
"The objective of the project is to determine if and when a liability for decommissioning should be realized," said Dennis R. Beresford, FASB chairman.
FASB's decided to address the issue at the request of the Edison Electric Institute, whose members operate nuclear power plants.
NEW YORK - J.P. Morgan and the Industrial Credit and Investment Corp. of India Ltd. have formed a joint venture to develop, manage and market mutual funds to investors in India.
This is J.P. Morgan's second joint venture with the firm, a privately owned development bank and one of India's largest financial institutions.
The two firms also formed an investment banking joint venture company in December 1992.
Great American Reserve Insurance, a subsidiary of CCP Insurance Inc., Carmel, Ind., has entered into a marketing alliance with Annuity Specialists Inc., the largest marketer to 403(b) plans in the United States, to market tax-sheltered annuity products for Great American.
The firm will market the products in all states except Florida, Michigan, Ohio and Texas.
Great American's products will be marketed by the sales force of Annuity Specialists, which has 3,500 agents.
Great American will be one of three firms whose variable and fixed annuity products are marketed by ASI, said Lynn C. Tyson, president and chief marketing officer of CCP.
The Labor Department's Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration is seeking nominees to fill five three-year terms on the ERISA Advisory Council.
The council make recommendations to Labor Secretary Robert Reich on pension and retirement-related issues.
Five council members will be leaving in the autumn when their terms expire.
The five members leaving the council are:
R. William Dozier Jr. of Fringe Benefits Design, Oklahoma City, who represents actuarial consultants on the council; William M. Song of Davies, Roberts & Reid, Seattle, who represents multiemployer plans; Anne E. Moran of Miller & Chevalier, Washington, representing employers; Sandra J. Kinet of Bear Stearns & Co., representing money managers; and David M. Certner, legislative tax counsel with the American Association of Retired Persons, Washington, who represents pension beneficiaries.