Nine institutions are making or eyeing asset shifts, many of them in international.
The $7.3 billion Massachusetts State Teachers' and Employees' Retirement System, Boston, approved a new asset allocation policy that increases its international equity exposure to 18% from 10%.
The fund won't hire new international managers until it evaluates its currency policy, said Deputy Treasurer Joseph P. Craven.
Other changes include a 10 percentage-point decrease in bonds to 33% and a one percentage-point increase in real estate and alternative investments, bringing each to 4%. The fund's allocation to domestic stocks will remain unchanged at 41%.
Another fund - the $110 million Furman University endowment, Greenville, S.C. - is planning to increase its international stock exposure.
The endowment wants to raise its allocation to international equities to 25% from 12%, said R. Wayne Weaver, vice president-business affairs. The endowment will make the move gradually during the next 18 months.
The new allocation will come from reducing cash, now about 10%, and by selling some domestic equities.
Also, the investment policy committee of the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, will recommend to the Board of Regents a policy to allow more investments in foreign securities.
The institution long has been free to invest some assets overseas. The new policy would allow a larger sum to be invested in a more coordinated way, said spokeswoman Mary Combs.
The Board of Regents meets Jan. 30; the foreign investing policy might be considered then.
The institution had about $386 million in investible assets as of Sept. 30, 1993, the latest figure available.
First-time investments in foreign markets are on tap for the approximately $100 million endowment of the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque.
The fund will make its first move into international equities, the result of an asset allocation study by Mercer.
About $10 million will be invested in international stocks, and one or more commingled international equity managers will be hired, said C.W. Vickers, endowment manager.
Funding will come mainly from a reduction in fixed income. The study recommended reducing the endowment's overall fixed-income allocation to 40% of assets from 45% and raising equities to 60% from 55%.
Meanwhile, the University of Toronto, with combined pension and endowment assets of C$1.73 billion, is undertaking an in-house asset allocation study.
The study will examine the funds' entire investment strategy, including how much to invest internationally. The funds now have 23% of assets outside of Canada and that is likely to increase, although by how much is not known.
And, trustees for the $40 billion New York State Teachers' Retirement System, Albany, voted to allow the fund's passive international managers to increase their exposure to Japanese equities to 50%, up from 40%, said Donald Blaha, a spokesman for the system.
The decision reflects Japan's weighting in the Morgan Stanley Capital International Europe Australasia Far East Index, he said.
The $1 billion pension fund of Consolidated Rail Corp., Philadelphia, plans to boost its allocation at the expense of domestic equities.
The fund adopted the recommendations of an asset allocation study that called for a five percentage-point increase in foreign stocks during 1995 and a corresponding reduction in reduce domestic stocks.
Thomas J. Conroy, director of pension assets, said no new managers will be hired. Instead, incumbents Capital Guardian and Baring International will divide the new international allocation.
The pension fund currently has 11% in international stocks and 49% in domestic equities. Callan Associates Inc. performed the study for Conrail.
On the bond side, the Ontario Municipal Employees' Retirement System, Toronto, has begun to invest in non-Canadian issued government debt in Japan, Germany, France, the United Kingdom and United States.
The C$20 billion fund allocated about 2.5% of assets to the strategy, and is handling it in-house.
Sam J. Wiseman, portfolio manager of external funds, said the fund will invest only in "top-rated debt" in the designated countries.
On the defined contribution side, Gunderson Clinic Ltd., La Crosse, Wis., might add the first international equity and first domestic long-term bond options to its approximately $160 million money purchase plan and $25 million 401(k) plan, said Gary Wickus, director-clinical chemistry and chairman-employee benefits committee.
The committee plans in the first quarter to survey participants to see how much they would allocate to the new options. If interest is high enough, the clinic would add the two options for 1996.
The decision would have to be made by August to allow time for employees to make their single annual investment allocation.
Investments in both plans are directed by participants. Both plans have the same three investment options, which are run by six different managers.
Mr. Wickus said the clinic probably would begin the new options by adding two no-load mutual funds, although if the allocation is large enough separately managed portfolios would be used.
He said the committee will review mutual funds to pick two for the new options.
WHN Investor Services is assisting the fund.