The New Mexico Public Employees Retirement Association, Santa Fe, retained existing small-cap growth manager IDS and canceled a search for a small-cap value manager, said Jeff States, investment director. The action was taken because trustees of the $5 billion fund are awaiting the results of an asset allocation study being conducted by Wilshire Associates in May.
In addition, Mr. States said legislation pending in New Mexico that would extend its maximum allocation to international equities beyond the current 10% limit could affect its asset allocation decisions in coming months.
Amway Corp., Ada, Mich., is considering freezing its defined benefit plan, said Allen D. Engel, manager-financial projects.
The plan has about $40 million in assets, run by three managers. Barclays Global manages equities and fixed income in passive portfolios; Putnam runs active international equities; and Neuberger & Berman runs active small-cap stocks. DeMarche Associates, its consultant, isn't involved in the current study.
If the plan is frozen, participation would move to the company's 401(k) and profit-sharing plan, which has about $220 million in assets, all run by Fidelity. A decision could come in midsummer.
The Lone Star Opportunity Fund raised $400 million on its way to a final closing of $450 million, company officials said.
Investors in the real estate fund include the Washington State Investment Board, the State of Wisconsin Investment Board, the Houston Firemen's Relief & Retirement Fund and endowments for Harvard University and Stanford University. P&I Daily previously reported the Oregon Public Employes' Retirement System and the Illinois Teachers' Retirement System committed to the fund.
Lone Star was formed by senior managers of Brazos Fund..
Lazard combined its British and American asset management operations into on the We global entity called Lazard Asset Management. The merger of Lazard Freres Asset Management in the U.S. and Lazard Brothers Asset Management in the U.K. is subject to regulatory approval. The U.S. firm runs $45 billion in institutional and private accounts and has a family of mutual funds. The U.K. firm runs specialized unit trusts, private and pension accounts.
Principal Financial Group received formal approval from Mexican authorities to operate a private pension fund management firm with Mexican partner Abaco Financial Group. The firm will be called AFORE Confia-Principal.
The two companies also will work to develop a life insurance business.
Tobacco stock index options will begin trading on the American Stock Exchange March 5. The Tobacco Index is equal weighted and will be reweighted quarterly.
SEARCHES & HIRINGS
The Worcester Retirement System, Worcester, Mass., is searching for a small-cap growth manager, said James A. DelSignore, city auditor and trustee. Dahab Associates is overseeing the search, which could take until April, when the $232 million system could begin reviewing candidates.
The new manager would be assigned $8 million. Assets would come from reallocation and cash flow. The current small-cap growth manager, Investment Advisers, which runs about $8 million, would be unaffected.
San Francisco City & County Employees' Retirement System board approved a maximum $50 million investment in TPG Partners II, a value-oriented alternative investment fund that invests in transactions such as restructurings. The allocation from the $8 billion fund will come from cash. Cambridge Associates assisted.
Nevada State Industrial Insurance System, Carson City, hired five equity managers in a move to passive management.
Vanguard, Bankers Trust, State Street Global and Fidelity will run $24 million each in S&P 500 index portfolios. T. Rowe Price received about $8 million in an overflow S&P 500 index portfolio.
The new managers for the $1.2 billion fund will replace Independence Investment Associates, which managed a little more than $100 million in core U.S. equity. The firm had fairly good performance, said J.R. Clark, director of investment and accounting, but was not beating the index. Officials at Independence did not return calls for comment. Mercer assisted.
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill hired Smith Capital to manage $15 million in ``focused strategy'' equity for its $550 million endowment fund. Assets for the portfolio and additional equity allocations will come from Lynch & Mayer, whose $50 million large-cap portfolio was eliminated.
About $10 million of the Lynch & Mayer portfolio will be placed with existing small-cap equity managers. Lynch & Mayer will continue to run about $50 million in midcap equities, an increase from the $23 million it had managed.
The search and reallocation were done in-house