Air Liquide America Corp.
HOUSTON - Air Liquide America Corp. hired IDS Institutional Retirement Services to provide fully bundled services for its new $82 million 401(k) plan, effective Jan. 1.
IDS will provide investment management through six mutual fund options, record keeping, participant investment education and communications, and trust services. Mark Cordingly, senior benefits consultant, said the new plan design will virtually eliminate paper from the administration process and "take us a level or two ahead of where we've been in the past."
Air Liquide America was formed by the merger of Big Three Industries and Liquid Air Corp. at the beginning of this year; the new 401(k) plan was formed from the 401(k) plans of both companies. IDS was the bundled vendor of the Big Three Industries plan prior to the merger; Wells Fargo Nikko was the bundled provider for the Liquid Air plan.
California Public Employees
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The $78 billion California Public Employees' Retirement System has approved committing between $40 million and $60 million to Rice Partners II L.P.
The partnership is being formed to create a portfolio of subordinated debt and equity investments issued primarily by private middle market companies that seek financing for acquisitions, capital for growth or financing for recapitalization.
Chicago Community Foundation
CHICAGO - The $26 million Chicago Community Foundation revised its investment strategy, cutting to one from four its active managers and investing the bulk of its assets with passive managers, said Carol Crenshaw, controller.
The change was fee related, not because of performance, she said.
The foundation hired Abacus Financial Group to manage a $7 million active fixed-income portfolio; ANB Investment Management and Trust, $12 million in an S&P 500 index fund; Columbus Circle Investors, $3.5 million in the Small-Cap Taxable Trust, which tracks the Russell 2000; and The Investment Fund for Foundations, $3.5 million in the TIFF International Fund, a fund that tracks the MSCI All Country World Ex-U.S.A. Index and includes developed and emerging markets.
Weiss, Peck & Greer; Disciplined Investment Advisors; Goldman Asset Management; and Harris Associates will be terminated Sept. 30.
CHICAGO - Making its first move to managed futures, the $1.2 billion Chicago Transit Authority Employees' Retirement System selected Hart-Bornhoft Group to run a $30 million program, said a spokesman.
The selection is tentative awaiting approval of contracts and other terms. Wellesley Group assisted.
Hart-Bornhoft will run a manager-of-managers program, selecting and overseeing a group of commodity trading advisers, which will actually invest the money.
Cho Hung Bank
SEOUL, South Korea - Making its first venture into the area, Cho Hung Bank, one of the largest commercial banks in South Korea, hired Sakura Dellsher Inc. to run $3 million in managed futures.
The new program "is just the beginning of our future expansion into derivatives markets," said Soo Young, the Cho Hung's general manager-international finance department, in a statement.
Independent Insurance Co.
LONDON - Independent Insurance Co. Ltd. hired Jones Lang Wootton to manage a U.K. real estate portfolio with an initial allocation of 10 million ($15.8 million). The insurer, which has 89 million in assets and 177 million in technical reserves, previously had been too small to invest directly into property, explained John Blakemore, company secretary.
JACKSON, Miss. - Making its first move into equities, the $22 million 401(k) plan of Jitney-Jungle Stores of America Inc. hired Howard & McInnes, a mixed-cap value equity manager, and Deposit Guaranty National Bank, a large-cap growth equity manager, said Roger P. Friou, vice chairman.
The plan will allocate 20% to equities, splitting it about evenly between the two managers. Funding will come from cash flow, taking about a year, based on the typical weekly total contributions of employees and the company of about $80,000 to $90,000, Mr. Friou said.
The plan has 70% of its assets in GICs and the rest in bank CDs.
Borough of Lambeth
LONDON - The 300 million ($465 million) London Borough of Lambeth Superannuation Fund decided following a search to retain balanced managers PDFM and Morgan Grenfell Investment Management, said Harry Musisi, group accountant for treasury and superannuation fund.
The firms roughly split the pension fund's assets and are based in London.
Also considered were Mercury Asset Management and Baillie Gifford.
Hymans Robertson was the consultant in the search.
DURHAM, N.C. - The $47 million Liggett Group Inc. defined contribution plan has chosen Twentieth Century Services to provide bundled record-keeping services and four of five investment options.
The options are: Twentieth Century Ultra Investors, an aggressive growth stock fund; Balanced Investors; Select Investors; and International Equity. The fifth option, a capital preservation trust, will be provided by Bankers Trust.
The retirement plan covers 2,000 Liggett Group employees, most of whom work at the company's headquarters.
Twentieth Century is providing daily valuation, record keeping, customized communications and other services, including 24-hour audio response unit access.
Maryland Electric Industry
BALTIMORE - The $103 million Maryland Electrical Industry Pension and Severance and Annuity Trust hired Marco Consulting Group as general consultant, replacing SEI, said its administrator, Theodore Demasse, Eugene & Eugene Associates, Baltimore.
Mr. Demasse said the trust has no plans to make any changes. The electrical union has a $63 million pension fund and a $40 million severance and annuity fund.
Nestle USA Inc.
SOLON, Ohio - Nestle USA Inc. added two managers and four lifecycle funds for its 401(k) plan, and switched to real-time record keeping and daily valuation, said David Kaiser, vice president of retirement benefit administration and investments.
Hired for the company's unbundled 401(k) plan were Rowe Price-Fleming International Inc., for an international stock option, and Frank Russell Co.'s Equity II fund for a small-company stock option, Mr. Kaiser said.
The fund will offer four new internally designed lifecycle funds that are made up of combinations of the two new options and the existing options of guaranteed, balanced, and company stock portfolios, he said. Employees can choose to participate in either the lifecycle funds as a group, or the investment options as a group, but not both, he said.
Nestle also added a new education program, a telephone voice-response system, and an on-site service center for those who want to speak with someone, he said.
Hewitt Associates, Lincolnshire, Ill., is the plan's record keeper and consultant on the defined contribution side. With Hewitt, Nestle has the option to combine its defined benefit, defined contribution and welfare benefit administration into one report, and is considering doing it, Mr. Kaiser said.
DEDHAM, Mass. - The approximately $200 million Norfolk County Retirement System hired the Bank of Ireland to manage about $7.5 million in international equities and Guinness Flight to run about the same amount in global/international fixed income.
Funding came from withdrawing assets from the Pension Reserves Investment Trust, said Robert Hall, treasurer of Norfolk County and chairman of the retirement system.
Ogden Services Corp.
NEW YORK - Ogden Services Corp. added The Fidelity Magellan Fund and the T. Rowe Price International Stock Fund to its $108 million 401(k) plan, bringing the plan's investment options to six funds.
Tina Turnzo, communications manager, said the company's objective was to add diversification to the plan by expanding investment options.
Hewitt Associates assisted.
Sierra Investment Advisors
NORTHBRIDGE, Calif. - Sierra Investment Advisors has selected subadvisers for four new mutual funds.
A growth fund investing in the United States and abroad will be managed by Janus Capital; a short-term, high-quality bond fund will be managed by Scudder, Stevens & Clark; and insured municipal funds for Florida and California will be run by Van Kampen Merritt Investment Advisory, Oakbrook Terrace, Ill.
Boston Safe will be the custodian for the funds.
FORT MCMURRAY, Alberta - Syncrude Canada Ltd., Fort McMurray, hired Acumen Financial and Canadian Wealth Management to jointly provide personalized participant financial planning services.
Canadian Wealth Management will use Acumen software to provide financial profiles of Syncrude employees that integrate defined benefit and defined contribution plan assets with savings outside the retirement plans. A five-year implementation plan will provide services to employees age 45 and older, said Aurel Langevin, human resources adviser. Syncrude's pension assets total C$440 million.
University of Illinois
URBANA, Ill. - The $230 million University of Illinois Foundation endowment hired three managers to nearly triple its real estate allocation, said Douglas E. Beckmann, director-cash management and investments.
It assigned $3 million to Metropolitan Life, $5.5 million to AMB Institutional Realty Advisors and $5 million to TA Associates Realty. All three investments are privately placed REITs. Townsend Group was the consultant.
The move will bring the fund's real estate allocation close to its policy target of 10%. About 3% already is in a REIT run by the Common Fund.
Funding for the new managers will come over the next year by reducing a balanced fund run by Miller Anderson Sherrerd. Miller Anderson will retain $42 million.
University of Minnesota
MINNEAPOLIS - The $900 million endowment of the University of Minnesota made a $20 million commitment to the Asia Corporate Partners Fund, which is expected to close at $250 million. The fund is sponsored and managed by Lynch & Mayer Asia and China Development Corp.
The endowment also recently committed $10 million to the $85 million China Walden Venture Investments fund sponsored by Walden Group. The allocations are the first non-U.S. alternative investments made by the fund.
Wisconsin Power & Light
MADISON, Wis. - Wisconsin Power & Light Co. hired Alpha Consulting Group, Milwaukee, to evaluate the company's 401(k) plan structure.
Alpha will conduct feasibility studies to first determine whether the company should combine the separate plans of three subsidiaries in non-utility business areas into a single plan, which would total more than $50 million.
Ed Gleason, vice president and treasurer of WPL Holding Co., said the company will then consider whether to create a single, companywide 401(k) master plan, which also would include the $48 million 401(k) plan of the company's core utility business, Wisconsin Power & Light.
Whatever the outcome of Alpha's study, Mr. Gleason said the company expects to make a decision about 401(k) plan consolidation by the end of the year. Whatever form the new plan takes, daily valuation record keeping and expanded investment options are definitely the company's objective.