SEARCHES & HIRINGS
The $510 million Marin County Employees' Retirement Association, San Rafael, Calif., shifted its asset allocation to favor global investing at the expense of domestic fixed income.
The fund created a new asset class - global fixed income - and assigned it 5% of total assets, while international equities increased to 18% from 5%. Domestic fixed income, meanwhile, dropped to 23% from 40%. Domestic equities increased to 42% from 40%, and real estate was left unchanged at 12%.
The nearly $515 million Baton Rouge (La.) & Parish of East Baton Rouge Retirement System shelved its search for a small-cap equity manager, said Jeff Yates, interim retirement director. Mr. Yates said the board gave no reasons for canceling the search, expected to result in a $10 million assignment. The fund had narrowed the search to a single finalist, Duncan-Hurst Capital Management.
Trustees of the $35 million Everett (Mass.) Retirement System voted to increase venture capital investments in the New England Growth Fund II by $1.25 million, said Ann Fournier, executive director. The system currently has $500,000 in the fund. The additional money will come from city contributions.
The PBGC today issued final rules that will create a clearinghouse to help employers find missing employees who are owed pensions.
Starting in 1996, employers that have already tried to find a former worker can turn the benefit owed - and the job of finding the employee - over to the PBGC. As an alternative, the employer can buy an annuity for the missing participant, and give that information to the PBGC. These rules apply to fully funded plans that terminate.
Employers' efforts to educate plan participants are finally bearing fruit, a new survey by Foster Higgins found. Some 69% of the 741 defined contribution plan sponsors surveyed this year said they had seen an increase in plan participation as a result of new communications efforts. Meanwhile, 78% of respondents said their educational efforts had some impact on asset allocation.
But not all efforts at education were so successful: 29% of sponsors saw no change in plan participation and 1% reported a decrease after a communications campaign. And 51% of employers said they will change their communications approach during the next two years.
Asea Brown Boveri Inc., Norwalk, Conn., added three investment options to its $800 million defined contribution plan, and changed record keepers. ABB added the Fidelity U.S. Equity Index Commingled Pool, the Morgan Stanley Institutional Fund-Emerging Markets portfolio and the PIMCO Total Return Bond Fund. The plan retained its existing investment options: three other Fidelity funds; Vanguard Wellington; a T. Rowe Price international stock fund; and a stable value option managed by John K. Dwight.
Fidelity Institutional Retirement Services was picked for daily valued record keeping, as well as trust and administration, employee communications and education and an automated voice response system.
Hewitt was the previous record keeper.
Rockford Products Corp., Rockford, Ill., selected Putnam Investments to provide bundled services for its $38 million defined contribution plan. Starting March 1, Putnam will provide investment management, as well as daily valued record keeping, administration, employee communication, investment education and an automated voice response system. Putnam replaces CIGNA. First of America Bank will continue as trustee.
Eight Putnam funds will be available as investment options as well as a company stock option, which Putnam will administer