The median core large-cap fund in the PIPER commingled funds universe beat the S&P 500 index in the quarter and the year ended Dec. 31, while the overall median equity large- and small-cap funds underperformed. The median core large-cap fund returned returned 8.6% for the quarter and 23.5% for the year. The index returned 8.3% for the quarter and 23% for the year.
The median large-cap value manager also squeaked by the index for the quarter with 8.7%, but underperformed the index for the year with 21.9%.
Small-cap stocks took the biggest hit during the quarter. The median commingled small-cap fund returned 3.3%, underperforming both the S&P 500 and the Russell 2000, which returned at 5.2%. For the year, the median commingled small-cap fund returned 20.8%, better than the 16.5% return of the Russell 2000.
The overall commingled bond fund in PIPER returned 2.9% for the quarter and 4.1% for the year. By contrast, the Salomon Broad Bond Index returned 3% for the quarter and 3.6% for the year. The median limited-duration bond fund was the best performer for the year with 5.1%. For the quarter, the median long-duration bond fund was highest with 4.4%.
Diversified Investment Advisors is offering three proprietary strategic allocation funds in variable annuity form to 403(b) retirement plans of non-profit organizations.
Diversified has offered lifecycle funds to other retirement plans for nearly four years. The new funds, like those, will include conservative, moderate and aggressive investment strategies run by several subadvisers for each asset class. The three funds have a mix of 12 portfolios managed by separate firms. An in-house portfolio manager allocated the assets.
The Chicago Mercantile Exchange filed for government approval to trade futures and futures options on the South African rand. The contracts would be on 500,000 rand ($107,000) and would expire quarterly.
SEARCHES & HIRINGS
The Massachusetts Deferred Compensation Plan, Boston, with $1.4 billion in assets, has sent out a request for proposals for a universal life investment option, according to Laureen Vaughn, director-deferred compensation. The incumbent, People's Security Life, is in the running. A decision will be made by the end of February. Proposals are due by Feb. 19. The universal life investment accounts will have a cash value.
Ms. Vaughn, formerly Laureen Casper, recently was named executive director of the Massachusetts State Retirement Board, replacing Frank McCauley, who has retired. Ms. Vaughn remains director-deferred compensation for the state of Massachusetts.
College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, Mass., is getting ready to launch a search for an additional manager to handle an increased alternative investments allocation, said William Durgin, vice president and treasurer at the college.
Following an asset allocation study, the investment commitee boosted the target allocation for private equity and/or venture capital commitments to 5% from less than 1% of total assets. The investment committee decision will depend on the viable commitments that are found.
Bioventures, a local firm, is the $240 million endowment's sole venture capital specialist, managing $500,000, he said. The funding for the new manager will come from cash.
The search is expected to take three to four months. Mercer is assisting.
Thomson Holdings, Stamford, Conn., hired Schroder Capital Management International as its first emerging markets equity manager. Schroder will manage 5% of the $750 million defined benefit plan.
Also, Putnam Investments will manage about $112 million, or 15% of total assets, in international equities, an increase from 8%, said James A. Loring, director of benefits.
The moves were prompted by an asset allocation study that called for an increase in international holdings. The study was conducted following the acquisition of West Publishing.
Towers Perrin assisted.
First Farmers National Bank in Converse, Ind., with $145 million in trust assets, has hired First Third Bank to provide custody. Company officials declined to name the former provider.
Joan McCallen was named to the newly created position of executive vice president of ICMA Retirement Corp. She will be responsible for oversseing ICMA's operation and business objectives.
Ms. McCallen was formerly the president of Financial Administrative Services Corp., a subsidiary of Great-West Life, a Canadian insurance company. She managed the company's 457, 403(b) and 401(k) and other life insurance products. Doug Wooden, senior vice president fo financial services at Great West, will assume her duties until a replacement is found