DETROIT - Trustees for the Wayne County Employees' Retirement System, with $1 billion in pension assets, are close to deciding whether to hire a managed futures firm for a possible $20 million allocation, said Joseph Magda, director.
Trustees were ready to make a decision pending information it received from the firm being considered for the allocation, Mr. Magda said. He declined to name the firm being considered.
A final decision was expected soon, he said.
Dickstein exec forms own firm
NEW YORK - David J. Brail, former director of research at hedge fund firm Dickstein Partners formed a new hedge fund firm, Palestra Capital, specializing in "event-driven" investments. Mr. Brail wasn't replaced at Dickstein.
Palestra Capital is raising its first fund, Palestra Partners, which will invest in equity of companies undergoing bankruptcy, merger or other dislocations.
The fund is targeted at $10 million and is scheduled to close Dec. 31.
Potential investors include institutions and individuals; the minimum investment is $500,000.
CME gives nod to Dow
CHICAGO - The Chicago Mercantile Exchange licensed the Dow Jones Taiwan Stock Index for use in futures and options trading, the first time a Dow Jones index is being used in a futures or options contract.
The Dow Jones Taiwan Index is a capitalization-weighted index of 113 large and liquid Taiwan stocks. This index will replace the CME's previous plans to trade futures and options on its own Taiwan 100 stock index.
Separately, the Chicago Board of Trade is working directly with the Taiwanese government to assist it in creating a derivatives exchange.
LIFFE grapples with EMU
LONDON - Officials for the London International Financial Futures and Options Exchange announced their plan to deal with Europe's planned Economic and Monetary Union.
They hope to remain competitive with other exchanges whether the United Kingdom joins EMU or not.
As part of the strategy, LIFFE's leadership urged the U.K. government to keep options for joining EMU open as long as possible, in order to not diminish Britain's influence on the process.
LIFFE Chairman Jack Wigglesworth views EMU as the greatest challenge to face the exchange, but says LIFFE is up to it. In addition, London as a whole can remain a financial center even if the country is not a part of EMU, according to a statement.
While now the largest European futures exchange, and the third largest in the world, LIFFE's offerings are dominated by contracts that are likely to be directly affected by EMU.
As EMU gets closer, LIFFE officials expect a substantial convergence of short-term interest rates, and some convergence of bond prices.
CBOT, CME reach greement
CHICAGO - A joint committee of the CBOT and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange signed a letter of intent to allow common banking for their clearing firms. The committee next will study the benefits of consolidating computer hardware operations and standardizing computerized interaction with the exchanges.
In addition, the group, called the Joint Strategic Initiatives Committee, hired Electronic Data Systems to study the potential cost savings of consolidating their computer hardware operations.
CTA returns down in August
NEW YORK - Commodity trading advisers were down 1.03% on average in August, putting year-to-date returns at 0.3%, according to preliminary results from Managed Accounts Reports.
Futures markets for short-term interest rates, currencies and commodities contributed to the CTA losses, which were partially offset by gains in energy-related contracts, MAR's data show.
Mercedes M. Cardona contributed to this column.