New Orleans Firemen's Retirement System officials are working to get a bill introduced in the state Legislature to raise the cap on equity investment by public funds, said Richard Hampton, secretary, treasurer and administrator for the $150 million fund.
``We're missing a lot of opportunity'' not being able to invest more than the mandated 55% cap for equities, Mr. Hampton said. He thinks legislators are ``amenable'' to change, though not as high as the 75% cap he wants; a rise to 65% would be more likely, he said.
AIMR completed a draft of global performance presentation standards for international money managers in an effort to create a single set of rules for presenting performance worldwide, said Michael S. Caccese, AIMR general counsel.
The standards will be similar to the guidelines used by U.S. managers but will address several country-specific issues. AIMR staff plan to present the draft to its global standards committee in London next week. The rules will be circulated for comment and a final version should be completed in 1998.
SEARCHES & HIRINGS
Norfolk Southern Corp., Norfolk, Va., is searching for international equity managers for its $1.2 billion pension fund, said James N. Bayley, director-financial planning. The fund could hire one or two managers. It expects to continue the search until the end of the month.
The search is the result of a move to increase the fund's international equity allocation to 12% to 14% of the total fund. It now has roughly 7% allocated to international equities. Assets will come from a reallocation. Hamilton & Co. is assisting.
Detroit Policemen & Firemen Retirement System, with $2.5 billion in assets, expects to begin a search for a custodian. RFPs are expected to be issued in about two weeks. Watson Wyatt will be assisting.
The fund's current custodian is Comerica Bank, which could be included in the search, said Tom Zdrodowski, the fund's executive secretary.
Baltimore City Retirement Systems hired the Milwaukee office of Loomis Sayles to manage $320 million in fixed income, said Harry Deitchman, chairman.
Loomis will manage $200 million in immunized assets and $120 million in intermediate fixed income for the $2.6 billion fund, Mr. Deitchman said. Loomis replaces Lincoln Capital Management, which was terminated for reasons Mr. Deitchman declined to specify. Evaluation Associates assisted.
Arkansas Teacher Retirement System, Little Rock, hired Hyperion Capital for a $100 million mortgage-backed securities portfolio, said G. Wayne Greathouse, associate director-investments. Assets will come from cash held by equity managers as the $5 billion fund trims its equity exposure slightly.
The fund also is nearing the completion of a core fixed-income search for a $100 million placement. A list of candidates is expected by the end of March.
Strathclyde Pension Fund, Glasgow, named Hill Samuel Asset Management to manage a £100 million U.K. small-cap equity mandate. The fund has £4.2 billion ($6.8 billion) in assets.
Hill Samuel replaces M&G Investment Management. While M&G met its performance target, returns had weakened toward the latter part of the period, said Geoff Singleton, Strathclyde Regional Council's deputy director of finance. Changes in the portfolio manager also was a significant factor, he said.
Richard Hughes, head of U.K. equities at M&G, said the small-cap team had been strengthened, ``but there has been a change and that does cause uncertainty.''
Hymans Robertson was the consultant.
Oregon State University Foundation, Corvallis, hired Rowe-Price Fleming International as the first international equity manager for its $140 million endowment fund. The $15 million will come from cash. The investment committee added the asset class after recommendations from R.V. Kuhns, said foundation CFO Ronald Theberge.
University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minn., with $170 million in endowment and other assets, hired Ark Asset Management to run $15 million in large-cap value equities, said Carol Peterfeso, assistant treasurer. Assets came from a reallocation and the termination last year of Sanford Bernstein, which had run large- and small-cap value equities.
St. Thomas also hired the Clifton Group to use futures contracts to invest idle cash balances in U.S. equity and U.S. bond markets.
Donald Brydon will become CEO of AXA Asset Management Europe on April 23. He also will join the executive committee of AXA-UAP, the Paris-based insurance giant.
Mr. Brydon most recently had been acting chief executive of Barclays de Zoete Wedd, the investment banking arm of Barclays Bank