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 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%.
Health Services Retirement Plan, New York, is considering emerging markets as a new asset class and renewing its commitment to real estate, said Elizabeth Groenert, assistant director. The two asset classes are expected to be discussed by trustees in early March. Currently, the $320 million fund has $3 million in a real estate equity group trust with Heitman Capital that is being dissolved.
The board is looking at REITs, she said. It is too early to tell how much could be committed to either asset class. Ennis, Knupp is assisting.
Separately, a replacement is being sought for Elenita Bader, executive director of the pension plan. Ms. Bader left in November. The company has hired a search firm, said Ms. Groenert.
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.
AT&T remains the stock most widely followed by U.S. analysts, according to an annual survey by Nelson Publications. Runners-up were Time Warner, The Limited, Motorola and MCI Communications. Among foreign stocks, Royal Dutch Petroleum was on top for the sixth straight year, beating British Petroleum, Glaxo Wellcome, Northern Telecom and SmithKline Beecham.
Whether domestic or foreign, oil and energy industries again provided the largest number of most closely followed companies. Banking and retail stocks were the next most followed in the United States, while mining was the next most followed sector in international.
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.
Laureen Vaughn, formerly Laureen Casper, was named executive director of the Massachusetts State Retirement Board. She replaced Frank McCauley, who has retired. Ms. Vaughn remains director-deferred compensation for the state of Massachusetts.
Joan McCallen was named to the newly created position of executive vice president of ICMA Retirement Corp. She will be responsible for overseeing ICMA's operation and business objectives.
Ms. McCallen had been president of Financial Administrative Services Corp., a subsidiary of Great-West Life. She managed the company's 457, 403(b) and 401(k) and other life insurance products. Doug Wooden, senior vice president of financial services at Great West, will assume her duties until a replacement is found.
Robert W. Carter was named treasurer of the $220 million Georgia Peace Officers Annuity and Benefit Fund, Griffin, Ga.
He replaces Flynt Langford, who retired. Mr. Carter was hired by the fund six months ago as assistant treasurer for the transition; prior to that, he was in charge of the Sheriff's Retirement Fund of Georgia for 24 years