SEC rejects appeal
The SEC last week decided 3-1 not to hear an appeal from investors seeking to overturn a staff decision letting four companies omit shareholder proposals on workplace issues.
Members of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility and the Amalgamated Bank of New York Longview Collective Investment Fund filed the appeal. Three of the four companies already have agreed to the investors' requests.
Tim Smith, ICCR executive director, could not say whether the group would sue the fourth company, AlliedSignal.
Brooke leaving IBM
R. Nevill Brooke, director of IBM Retirement Funds, Europe, is leaving his post April 5 and probably will seek work as a pension consultant.
Martin Jack, a senior financial manager with IBM's U.K. operation in Portsmouth, England, will take over for Mr. Brooke, who has been with IBM nearly 30 years.
As head of IBM Europe's internal pension consulting unit, Mr. Brooke offers investment advice to 12 European and African IBM pension funds with $16.5 billion in pension assets.
Funds' equity share falls
The share of the U.S. equity market held by private and public pension funds fell to 25.8%in the second quarter of 1996 from 27.5%in 1990, according to the latest available data in the Institutional Investment Report of the Conference Board.
But pension assets rose by two-thirds to $5.2 trillion from $3.1 trillion in the same period.
Mutual funds' and closed-end funds' share of the U.S. equity market rose dramatically to 11.7%from 6.4%in the period.
Wyoming OKs bill
A prudent-investor bill, passed by both houses of the Wyoming
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Legislature, is awaiting the signature of Gov. Jim Geringer. If signed into law, it would end investment restrictions on the $3 billion Wyoming Retirement System and lead to a higher U.S. equity exposure and new asset classes.
Harry Wales, the system's financial manager, expects the governor to sign the measure. If he does, the system also will study initial allocations to domestic real estate and international equities and fixed income.
Texas board reviews case
The Texas Pension Review Board asked Dallas city officials to hand over actuarial studies the officials claim show the Dallas Employees' Retirement Fund is financially sound.
A dispute between fund trustees, who claim the city's 9.2%projected annual rate of return on investments is too high, and the City Council is under review by the PRB. Fund officials put the rate of return at 8.25% which could lead to shortfalls when projected 30 years into the future.
Short-term median at 5.55%
Short-term institutional asset managers had a median return of 5.55% in 1996, down slightly from 6.09% the previous year, according to the Yanni-Bilkey Investment Consulting CA$H universe.
The decline reflected the Jan. 31, 1996, lowering of short-term interest rates by the Federal Reserve Board. Since then, the Fed has held interest rates constant.
The CA$H universe represents 115 short-term institutional portfolios and assets of about $178 billion.
ConRail mulls cutting realty
The $1.2 billion ConRail pension fund is leaning toward eliminating real estate as a separate asset class and gaining exposure through publicly traded real estate securities in its domestic equities allocation, said Thomas J. Conroy, assistant treasurer of investor relations and pensions.
The fund has a 5%target for real estate but only about 3%of assets in the category.
The fund would not pull money from real estate, but let its exposure fall as investments mature.
N.Y. commits $45 million
The $78 billion New York Common Retirement Fund committed $45 million to Heritage Fund II, a special situations fund that specializes in providing financing for family-owned firms with liquidity and ownership transition issues, confirmed New York state Comptroller H. Carl McCall.
The commitment will be funded from cash flow, he said.
Ziegler inks acquisition
The Ziegler Cos. signed a letter of intent to purchase Glaisner Schilffarth, Grande & Schnoll, a financial firm that offers investment management consulting for institutions and high-net-worth individuals. The letter calls for Ziegler to pay $2.75 million to $3.75 million for the company, depending on performance after the sale.
Oregon makes investments
The Oregon Public Employes' Retirement System, Salem, committed $900 million to private equity and domestic small-cap managers.
The fund committed $100 million to HVP V L.P., a private equity fund of funds managed by Hancock Venture Partners. It also committed $200 million each to four small-cap managers: Becker Capital, Fiduciary Trust, Palisade Capital and Wellington.
The allocation for HVP will be drawn from cash flow, said Jay Fewel, senior investment officer for the $25 billion fund. Pacific Corporate Group assisted.
The assets for the small-cap hires will come from assets parked in equity index funds. Wilshire and Russell assisted in that search.
L.A. archdiocese hires
The Archdiocese of Los Angeles hired Miller Anderson & Sherrerd to actively manage about $40 million in U.S. core large-cap equities, said Jose Debase, chief financial officer for the $400 million pension and endowment fund. Assets will come from a reallocation.
Newport News picks
The $433 million Newport News (Va.) Employees Retirement Plan hired Brandes Investment Partners to handle $10 million in international equity. Brandes will be fund's second international manager. Assets came from the fund's large-cap U.S. equity managers; none was terminated. Dahab Associates assisted.
Haworth taps 2
Haworth Inc. hired PIMCO and Loomis Sayles as fixed-income managers for its $78 million master pension trust fund. PIMCO will manage $13.8 million in its Total Return Bond Fund, and Loomis Sayles will handle $3.5 million in a bond fund.
Sanford Bernstein had managed the PIMCO portfolio but was not meeting performance expectations, said Bruce Jackson, manager of domestic finance and investments. Assets for the Loomis portfolio will come from contributions.
Sanford Bernstein officials did not return calls seeking comment. Fund Evaluations Group assisted.
Small-cap foreign eyed
The St. Paul (Minn.) Teachers' Retirement System's staff plans to recommend this spring that the board consider investing $7 million to $10 million in small-cap international equities in developed countries, said Eugene Waschbusch, secretary and treasurer of the $600 million fund.
The fund already invests in large-cap international equities and emerging markets equities, he said. Assets would come from cash.
Hospital hires Callan
St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital selected Callan Associates as its first full-service investment consultant, subject to finance committee approval.
Callan will provide investment consulting and asset allocation services for the hospital's estimated $600 million in pension, reserve and operating assets.
NSI goes with Vanguard
The $130 million pension fund of National Service Industries awarded Vanguard $50 million to manage an S&P 500 index fund.
Vanguard will be NSI's first passive manager; it was hired after a restructuring that also allocated $5 million to MetLife Realty Group and $2 million to Longleaf Partners as the fund's first real estate managers, said Chester Popkowski, vice president/treasurer.
Assets came from terminating three active large-cap equity managers - Ashland Management, MacKay-Shields and WR Lazard. The fund also plans on terminating one international equity manager, which Mr. Popkowski would not name. Towers Perrin assisted.
The company also added two funds to its $200 million 401(k) plan: Vanguard's S&P 500 fund and INVESCO's small-cap fund.
Middlesex taps Ennis
Middlesex (Conn.) Memorial Hospital hired Ennis, Knupp as the first consultant for both its $70 million pension fund and $30 million endowment.
The $115 million 401(k) plans of Neiman-Marcus Group added its first international fund. The fund, from Templeton, brings the plan's number of options to six.
Govett taps Mitchell
Keith E. Mitchell was named managing director of John Govett & Co., London, a new position overseeing its U.S. operations, including institutional investment management and its Govett Funds mutual fund family.
He previously was chief executive officer of Delaware Distributors, where he was replaced by Bruce Barton.
RJR names Rickard CFO
David B. Rickard was hired by RJR Nabisco Holdings as senior vice president and chief financial officer, replacing Robert S. Roath, who is retiring. Mr. Rickard will have general oversight of RJR's $4.7 billion pension funds.He is currently executive vice president and chief administrative officer for of International Distillers and Vintners Americas.