The Stanford University endowment, Menlo Park, Calif., allocated 1% of its assets to a passive, non-leveraged investment in Goldman Sachs Commodity Index futures contracts, industry sources say. Stanford has $3.6 billion in its endowment, according to the 1996 Nelson's Directory of Plan Sponsors. The allocation is a pilot program being run in-house, and some in the industry said record open interest in the GSCI contract at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange was in part caused by Stanford's program. Commodity allocations are generally used to hedge against possible increases in inflation and to try to dampen overall volatility in a portfolio.
Officials for The Common Fund have come up with final figures for losses taken in a securities lending program at First Capital Strategists, and have requested the return of $1.4 million from former Common Fund members.
Unauthorized trading on behalf of The Common Fund resulted in total losses of $137.6 million, said David Storrs, president and chief executive. A $3 million reserve for securities lending losses will cover some of that, he said. In addition, an anonymous money manager for The Common Fund made a $1.6 million contribution to the fund, according to an October memorandum to members.
About 1%, or $1.4 million, of the losses has been allocated to investors that are no longer members of the fund, and have therefore been asked to give back some of the money they received when selling out of the fund, Mr. Storrs said. Continuing members are receiving a credit or debit of shares, he said.
The $50 million Unigard Insurance Group defined benefit fund, Bellevue, Wash., is considering a full asset allocation study, said Theodore R. Olson, manager-investment department.
He expects the pension committee to decide by the end of January whether to pursue the full study, or make new allocations in small-cap and/or international equities. If it decides on small cap, he expects the fund to start a search in the first quarter, funding the new manager with about 5%, or $2.5 million, of the total fund. If it decides to raise international, it would increase its allocation to 7% from 5%, mostly likely placing it all with existing international manager Brandes Investment Partners. The decision will depend in part on which better reduces risks and enhances return.