Avis workers seek shares
A newly formed Avis Employee Owners Association last week presented demands to company management regarding an estimated $288 million in unallocated ESOP shares, in connection with the proposed sale of Avis to HFS.
The $288 million represents the value of an estimated 12 million shares at $24 per share. The association claims that because those shares are held in trust for employees, the proceeds should go to employees. The unallocated shares represent about half of the shares in the ESOP trust, according to the association.
A spokesman for the association said it isn't clear what will happen to the shares.
Company officials couldn't be reached for comment.
L.A. in emerging markets
The $5.2 billion Los Angeles City Employees' Retirement System has selected, pending final contract negotiations, Schroder Capital Management as its first emerging markets manager. Schroder will manage about $250 million, funded from cash. Asset Strategy Consulting assisted in the search.
Vermont eyes GIC firms
Vermont State Treasurer Jim Douglas is looking for a GIC manager to run about $35 million of the treasury's $105 million single deposit investment account. A decision is expected by the end of the month.
Morley Capital Management, the incumbent, is expected to reapply; Morley's contract expires July 31. The state primarily is looking at synthetic GIG managers; the rest of the account is managed by Loomis Sayles in synthetic GICs.
University taps consultant
The $65 million Arizona State University Foundation hired Wurts, Johnson as its new investment consultant, replacing PaineWebber.
Chuck Wagner, foundation director of finance, said the new consultant will be doing an asset allocation study and an investment policy review that should begin at the end of the third quarter.
N.Y. commits $150 million
The $75.8 billion New York State & Local Retirement Systems, Albany, committed $50 million to the Lazard Freres Realty Fund and $100 million to the Apollo Real Estate Fund II, said State Comptroller H. Carl McCall.
The commitments will be funded from cash flow, said Mr. McCall.
Mitchell Hutchins hired
The $716 million San Antonio Fire and Police Pension Fund hired Mitchell Hutchins Asset Management to manage a $45 million passive portfolio modeled on the Russell 1000 value index. Weir Labatt, executive director, said Mitchell Hutchins already manages $110 million in passive equity and fixed-income assets for the fund and was selected based on an internal search.
Funding will come from reallocating assets from the plan's active value equity managers, whom he declined to name.
In addition, the San Antonio system allocated $10 million to Metropolitan Life Insurance's open-end Tower Real Estate Fund.
New offshore services team
State Street Boston Corp. and the Bank of Ireland have teamed up to provide custody, accounting and administrative services to offshore mutual funds registered or managed in Dublin. The service initially will be targeted to U.S. global asset managers who want to create offshore mutual funds in Dublin.
Bank of Ireland Securities Services will provide the custody service; State Street Bank, the technology. Under terms of the alliance, Bank of Ireland will provide local expertise, including its offshore fund infrastructure and administrative staff, while State Street Bank will provide its global multicurrency accounting technology, enabling both companies to service funds locally in Dublin's growing offshore market.
Curtin joining Putnam
William J. Curtin will become managing director and CIO-fixed income at Putnam Investments effective Aug. 5. The position is new. Mr. Curtin has been managing director/chief global fixed-income strategist of Lehman Brothers.
At Lehman, a spokesman said the firm plans to find a replacement for Mr. Curtin.
McShee leaving WWW
Michael McShee, head of Watson Wyatt Worldwide's Geneva office and a key figure in the firm's continental European investment consulting practice, is leaving the firm. Mr. McShee said he still is in negotiations with Watson Wyatt on the timing and manner of his departure and could not yet discuss his plans. He said the alliance between Watson and Wyatt a year ago that formed Watson Wyatt Worldwide was a factor in his departure.
Ian Skinner, CEO of Watson Wyatt Europe, said another executive, John Anthony, will take over the Swiss office.