Executives of Advanced Investment Technology are doing research on how to create an international equity offering using the firm's artificial intelligence and genetic algorithm techniques, said Douglas W. Case, director of equity portfolio management.
The international product would rely on individual stock-specific forecasts and relative country valuations. AIT hopes to offer the product by the third quarter, Mr. Case said.
AIT's midcapitalization strategy returned 27.9% gross of fees in 1996, compared with the S&P MidCap Index return of 14.3%. Its core U.S. equity product, as measured by a mutual fund it managers, returned 27.2% in 1996, compared with the Frank Russell 3000 return of 21.8%.
A memorial Mass will be said for Roger Bransford at 4 p.m. Feb. 6 at the Church of Our Savior, 39th Street and Park Avenue, New York. Abbot Gerard from the Delbarton School in Morristown, N.J., who taught Mr. Bransford in high school, will say the Mass. It will be followed by a gathering at the Kitano Hotel on Park Avenue. Further information may be obtained from Anne Russell, Oppenheimer Capital Corp., at (212) 374-7385, or Catherine A. Higgins, Towers Perrin, (212) 309-7385.
SEARCHES & HIRINGS
Iowa State University, Ames, is interviewing short- to intermediate term fixed-income managers to invest the assets of a $5 million to $6 million building fund. Assets will be taken from the endowment fund. The board of directors is interviewing candidates; a selection is expected Feb. 5. Jeffrey Slocum & Associates is assisting.
Separately, the university hired Alliance Capital to run $40 million in an enhanced S&P 500 index fund for its $138 million endowment. Alliance replaces INVESCO, which had managed the $40 million in an active large-cap equity portfolio. The termination of INVESCO was not related to performance; fund officials wanted to switch to an index fund, said Thomas C. Hawkins, vice president of development services.
The San Diego County Employees' Retirement Association made its first move into long-short investing with a $10 million allocation to Numeric Investors, according to CIO Richard N. Rose. The $2.9 billion fund aims to eventually increase its exposure to the strategy but is testing the waters now, he said. The strategy is being treated as part of the overall equities portfolio, not a separate asset class. The fund got tired of paying high fees to active stock managers for delivering marketlike returns, Mr. Rose explained as the reason for the move.
Humana Inc., Louisville, Ky., added two new options and replaced one manager for its $360 million defined contribution plan. Fund officials added a domestic fixed-income fund from PIMCO and a large-cap equity fund from IDS, bringing the number of fund options to nine, said James W. Doucette, vice president and treasurer.
Mercer assisted in adding a balanced fund by INVESCO, replacing a similar fund managed by Fidelity, which was terminated because of performance,he said. Fidelity officials would not comment on its performance.
Separately, Humana hired John A. Levin Co. as the first outside money manager for its $67.5 million foundation. The firm ultimately will manage $4.5 million in large-cap value domestic stocks, Mr. Doucette said. The rest of the foundation's assets will continue to be managed internally. The expertise of Humana's in-house investment team in fixed-income investments prompted the foundation to bring an equity manager on board, he said.
The search was conducted in-house.
St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minn., hired Washington Square Advisers to manage $15 million in domestic bonds for its $90 million endowment fund. Assets came from a manager that Alan Norton, treasurer, declined to identify. However, he said the manager still handles $27 million in a balanced portfolio. DeMarche assisted.
Abitibi-Price Inc., Toronto, is completing a search for a non-North American global equities manager, said Fred L. Baldwin, assistant treasurer, overseeing the company's C$900 million (U.S. $671 million) pension fund. He declined to name the firm selected at this point, but plans to announce the appointment in a couple of weeks. The new manager will be assigned C$40 million, Funding will come from a reallocation among U.S. and Canadian equity managers; all will be retained. Mercer is assisting in the search.
Chau Nguyen-Connell was named managing director, sales and client services at NMFM North America. She replaces Robert Preston, who was promoted to president of the U.S. marketing arm of National Mutual Fund Management, an international equity manager 51% owned by AXA Group.
Ms. Nguyen-Connell had been U.S. marketing director of Citibank Global Asset Management, where she has not been replaced yet