WR Lazard acquired Pecksland Associates, an equity manager. The deal is expected to close on Friday; terms were not disclosed. Pecksland will be merged with WR Lazard Asset Management and its chairwoman, Phoebe Zaslove, will be CEO of the combined entity, to be based in a new Boston office. The combination creates a firm with $1.4 billion in assets, said Marianne Camille Spraggins, CEO of WR Lazard. The firm will expand its product offerings after the merger.
Litton Industries, Woodland Hills, Calif., is considering new options for its $750 million defined contribution plan. The investment committee is looking to consolidate some options and add two or three later this year, said Christopher Ranieri, director of pensions and group insurance.
The fund currently has four options in place that are managed by five managers. They are an equity fund jointly managed by Jennison Associates and Tukman Capital Management; a bond fund run by MacKay-Shields Financial; a GIC fund handled by Bankers Trust; and a money market fund run by Brown Brothers Harriman.
The Contra Costa County Employees' Retirement Association, Concord, Calif., is conducting an asset allocation study that it expects to complete in April. Consultant Dorn, Helliesen & Cottle is handling the study.
In the meantime, the $2 billion fund has hired Bankers Trust to temporarily manage a $55 million GDP-weighted international equity indexed portfolio. The money had been actively managed by an unidentified firm that was terminated for performance reasons, said Chuck Barron, the fund's assistant retirement administrator. Eventually, the fund plans to conduct a search for an active, top-down international equity manager, said Mr. Barron. No search timetable has been set.
PIMCO and Singapore-based Pacific Asset Management formed a strategic alliance to serve institutional investors in the United States and Asia-Pacific region. PIMCO, which opened an office in Singapore last year, will acquire up to 49% of Pacific Asset Management. The alliance will allow PIMCO to use Pacific Asset Management's Southeast Asian currency and fixed-income expertise, while Pacific Asset Management will benefit from PIMCO's U.S. resources. Managing partners Ho Tian Yee and Greg Seow will continue to manage the firm.
SEARCHES & HIRINGS
The Rhode Island State Investment Commission, Providence, hired Fidelity Investments as administrator for its $83.6 million 457 plan. Aetna Life Insurance and Variable Annuity Life had offered a life insurance-based plan to the plan's.
Battle Creek (Mich.) Police and Fire Retirement System decided to split its $75 million in assets among five outside managers. Hired were Rohr Asset Management for large-cap value; Oak Associates for small-cap growth; Loomis Sayles for corporate fixed-income; Grantry & Co., for international core equity; and Madison Investment Advisors for intermediate-term bonds. Old Kent Bank as trustee had handled all of the fund's investments and will continue to run a total of $1 million in cash.
The new managers were hired to improve performance and diversify the plan's assets, said Stan Schubinski, city treasurer.
McDonald & Co. assisted.
NASL Financial Services, Boston, named subadvisers to offer 17 new portfolios in its Venture Annuities roster and added seven additional portfolios managed by existing managers. Miller Anderson & Sherrerd was chosen to manage value equity and high yield portfolios; Pilgrim Baxter to manage a growth portfolio; Rowe Price-Fleming International for international stock; and Warburg Pincus for emerging growth.
Also, T. Rowe Price was selected for its science and technology portfolio; Founders Asset Management for its Worldwide Growth and balanced portfolios; and Manufacturers Adviser for its Pacific Rim emerging markets, quantitative equity, real estate securities and capital growth bond portfolios.
With the additions, Venture Annuities offers portfolios managed by 14 subadvisers.
Concord National Life Group, Indianapolis, hired Conseco Capital Management to manage $12 million in fixed income for the insurance company's reserve account.
Asset Allocations had managed the entire $26 million in fixed income and will continue to handle the remaining part of the portfolio. ``We wanted two sets of financial minds working on the account,'' said Kas Nelson, executive vice president. Both firms will handle a broad spectrum of fixed-income investments, he said. The search was completed in-house.
BMW of North America hired Diversified Investment Advisors to provide retirement planning education to employees for both the company's $15.5 million defined benefit plan and $19 million defined contribution plan. Diversified already is the sole manager of the company's defined benefit plan