Financially ailing WMX Technologies Inc., Oak Brook, Ill., today announced a major restructuring plan to return the company to its roots in waste management. The company plans to sell $1.5 billion of assets in the next two years, cut capital spending and eliminate 3,000 jobs by the end of the decade, including 1,200 this year. The board also approved a $1 billion-plus share repurchase program.
WMX has been under fire from LENS Inc., the Washington relationship investing fund, which had asked the company in December to get help to develop a restructuring plan.
WMX also announced today that Paul Montrone, one of four people suggested by LENS, will join the company's board.
Sen. Carol Moseley-Braun, D-Ill., said today laws protecting retirement security for spouses of workers in private plans should be extended to public plans.
Speaking at the National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems in Washington, Ms. Moseley-Braun said spousal consent forms and honoring qualified domestic relations orders are basic protections federal pension law now extends to spouses. But she reported that half of all public plans do not require spousal consent when a worker waives spousal survivor benefits. In addition, 11 states do not honor court orders requiring plans to divide benefits in a divorce.
Libbey-Owens-Ford Co., Toledo, Ohio, hired two managers following a reallocation of its $290 million defined benefit plan, said Jeffrey T. Bowman, treasurer. Genesis will manage $14 million in an emerging markets portfolio, and Moody, Aldridge & Sullivan, $28 million in the fund's first domestic midcap value portfolio.
Active large-cap managers Columbus Circle Investors and Newbold's Asset Management were terminated; the fund shifted the assets to large-cap index funds.
Following a study by Hewitt Associates, the fund changed its asset allocation to 35% in large-cap equities from 45%, 10% in midcap equities, 15% in developing markets, 10% in small-cap stocks, 5% in emerging markets and 25% in fixed-income.
Pennsylvania State Employes' Retirement System, Harrisburg, hired four managers to handle $175 million in real estate and private equity.
The $18 billion fund allocated $56 million each to Blackstone Real Estate Partners II and Westbrook Real Estate Fund II, and $38 million to Starwood Opportunity Fund IV, all for opportunistic real estate.
The fund also hired Hancock International Equity Partners II, an international private equity fund of funds, for a $25 million allocation.
Indiana Energy, Indianapolis, replaced First Chicago NBD as fixed-income manager and trustee for its $75 million defined benefit plan.
PIMCO and Loomis Sayles will split the $23 million portfolio. ``We felt like they weren't managing the account in the style we wanted,'' said Brook Smith, manager of cash and pension assets. Both firms will manage core fixed-income and below-investment-grade issues for diversification.
Bank of New York replaced First Chicago NBD as trustee.
Oxford Financial Advisors assisted.
New Mexico Public Employees' Retirement Association, Santa Fe, re-hired Smith Breeden Associates to manage a $500 million fixed-income portfolio of mortgage securities.
Smith Breeden had managed the portfolio until July, when its contract was not renewed because of technical issues regarding state procurement rules, said Jeff States, investment director of the approximately $5 billion fund.
The issues were clarified and a search was conducted. Putnam had been managing the assets on an interim basis, he said.
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, allocated 2% of its $2.2 billion in mostly endowment assets to passive commodities, said Norman Herbert, treasurer.
Existing manager First Quadrant will handle the $66 million allocation tied to the Goldman Sachs Commodities Index for Michigan's long-term portfolio, which is mostly endowment assets, he said.
Also, Michigan committed $20 million to Advent Realty Fund IV, a real estate fund managed by TA Associates. No further information was available.
Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) Policemen's & Firemen's Retirement System hired Bank of New York as custodian for its $250 million pension fund, said Lynn Wenguer, pension administrator
Bank of New York will be replacing SunTrust.
``We needed something a little more state-of-the-art,'' Ms. Wenguer said in explaining the reason for the change