United Asset Management is considering a possible acquisition of Trust Co. of the West. Sources said UAM officials have been doing due diligence recently on the $53.3 billion firm, which has been on the block since late last year. Spokesmen for UAM and TCW declined to comment.
Acquiring TCW would not be a stretch. In an interview last November, UAM President Norton Reamer told P&I the company could carry out a purchase of a manager with $50 billion under management or more, and had the resources to pull off a deal priced at up to $1 billion. Sources put the price tag for TCW around $800 million.
The SEC has requested input from corporations and investors on improving the shareholder proposal process.
Among the issues being studied, the SEC's survey to companies and shareholders asks if both investors and companies would prefer to vote on proposals over the Internet, instead of placing proposals in a company's proxy statement. The survey also asks whether proposals on workplace issues should be allowed and whether a system should be adopted that would allow companies to accept shareholder proposals on only one issue. Another topic being explored is whether companies should be allowed to place a cap on the number of resolutions accepted.
Based on the comments the SEC receives, it plans to craft recommendations as early as this summer, said Brian Lane, director of the SEC's division of corporation finance, speaking at a conference of securities lawyers in Coral Gables, Fla., today.
Metropolitan Life Insurance is consolidating its international and real estate asset management subsidiaries under its State Street Research & Management subsidiary, following last year's merger of its fixed-income subsidiary Met Life Investment Management with State Street Research.
Global Funds Management, a London subsidiary that manages about $1.3 billion in international equity and fixed income, will be merged sometime in the next month, said Ralph Verni, president and chief executive officer of State Street Research. Its fixed-income staff will be merged with State Street Research's existing fixed-income department, while the equity staffers will become an international equity team within the firm; both teams will remain in London.
Met Life's real estate subsidiaries, Met Life Realty Group and Metric Real Estate, will be brought together in late March or early April. The resulting subsidiary will manage about $3 billion and remain a separate business entity.
The Amalgamated Bank of New York LongView Collective Investment Fund formally asked SEC commissioners to overturn a staff opinion that Monsanto Co. may exclude from its proxy an investor request to prepare a report on its affirmative action policies and programs. The SEC's division of corporation finance had given the company permission to exclude the proposal on grounds it deals with ordinary business.
Gaz Metropolitain, Montreal, hired Adenda Capital to manage a Canadian fixed-income portfolio, said Edward Doucet, manager of its C$150 million (U.S. $111 million) pension fund. Adenda will be assigned 20% of the fund. Funding came from a reallocation. Sobeco Ernst & Young Inc. assisted.
The Atlanta General Employees' Pension Fund, with $513 million in assets, selected Gray & Co. as the new investment consultant, said Sheila Brown, a trustee. Gray replaces the joint venture between Watson Wyatt and Washington Hackett, which was a finalist in the search.
Zippo Manufacturing, Bradford, Pa., hired Diversified Investment Advisors to manage a high-yield bond fund for its almost $50 million pension fund, said Robert R. Jackson, CFO.
Also, Zippo changed its strategic investment policy for its pension fund to allow more latitude in equities. It increased the policy allocation range to between 30% and 70% from between 30% and 60%. Its recent equity allocation was 52%.
The size of Diversified's allocation was not available. Funding came from a reallocation.
The San Francisco City & County Employees' Retirement System has approved an allocation of up to $20 million to ABRY Broadcast Partners III, an alternative investment fund. The limited partnership invests in broadcast and broadcast related properties. The $7.5 billion city pension fund has about 3.8% of assets in alternative investments.
St. Louis Water and Sewer District hired two bond managers to split a $25 million portfolio that had been run by Patterson Capital. Llama Asset Management will run a $5 million portfolio; Income Research & Management will run $20 million. Karl Tyminski, executive director of the $85 million system, said the change was made for structural rather than performance-related reasons.
The district's $10 million 457 plan changed fixed-income options. The Vanguard Total Bond Index Fund will replace the Federated Short/Intermediate Bond Fund