THE INTERNATIONAL Brotherhood of Teamsters pension fund, Washington, is asking Mobil Corp. to prevent executives from cashing in stock options within six months of the announcement of a large layoff program by the company. The shareholder proposal was inspired by the belief that Wall Street applauds companies that increase their profitability by cutting labor costs.
While the SEC agreed the company must publish the shareholder proposal in its proxy, the agency said the proposal could only apply to future, not existing stock option programs.
Chicago Area Pattern Makers pension plan board, La Grange Park, Ill., will discuss investing in real estate at its April meeting. The $114 million Taft-Hartley plan had about 10% in real estate many years ago but has no money in that asset class now, said Judith Kot, administrative manager. She said the board is in the early stages of the discussion. Marco Consulting is assisting.
Peabody Holding Co., St. Louis, is conducting an asset allocation/liability study for its $420 million defined benefit plan. The study should be finished in the next couple of months, said Roy H. Wood, assistant treasurer. He said he was ``pretty sure'' changes would be made in the manager lineup following the study. Hewitt Associates is assisting.
Oregon State System of Higher Education, Corvallis, will consider new equity managers following approval of an asset allocation study by the state investment council.
The $44 million endowment's sole manager, The Common Fund, will be losing the $26 million equity component of its balanced portfolio because of lagging performance, said Michael J. Green, interim controller. The Common Fund will continue to manage $18 million in fixed income. Common Fund officials did not return calls for comment.
The fund may invest in a U.S. equity index fund, mutual funds or place more into international equity, he said. The new allocation should be approved this month, with manager selection by May. R.V. Kuhns is assisting.
Actuarial firm Milliman & Robertson is starting a pension consulting practice to leverage its knowledge of pension liabilities to help clients manage their plans. John Ehrhardt, a consulting actuary with M&R, said the firm has done ad-hoc consulting projects for some of its actuarial clients over the last decade and some investment options selection for some defined contribution record-keeping and administration clients.
F. Jeffrey Van Orden, managing director of the new investment consulting services unit, joined M&R in January to build the consulting staff and client relationships. He was marketing director of Newbold's Asset Management.
Fiduciary and Benefit Investors announced a guarantee program designed to protect self-directed defined contribution plans against misappropriation of assets from 401(k) plans. Pat Evans, assistant vice president of Zurich-American Insurance Group, said the coverage is ``a first.'' (Fiduciary and Benefit Investors is a consortium of three organizations, including Zurich-American Insurance Group.)
The guarantee will cover contributions from the time they are withheld from paychecks until they are deposited into the 401(k) accounts, providing participants safety against potential abuses. The coverage is in the form of a surety bond underwritten by American Guarantee and Liability Insurance and Zurich Insurance (U.S. branch), both part of the Zurich-American Insurance Group.
California State Teachers' Retirement System, Sacramento, selected Pathway Capital Management as its alternative investment adviser. Subject to fee negotiations, Pathway will succeed Abbott Capital Management, said James Mosman, CEO of the $68.5 billion fund. Pension Consulting Alliance assisted.
Otter Tail Power Co., Fergus Falls, Minn., hired J.P. Morgan as domestic fixed-income manager for its $122 million defined benefit plan.
The firm will handle a $46 million portfolio, replacing Investment Advisers. Fund officials decided to change after Investment Advisers portfolio manager Mark Simenstead left the firm, said Bruce Clark, manager-compensation and employee benefits.
Investment Advisers officials could not be reached for comment. Mercer Consulting assisted.
Simon Hill joined William M. Mercer Investment Consulting, London, as a senior investment consultant, a new position. Mr. Hill's position as director of marketing strategy at NatWest Investment Management was eliminated following the bank's acquisition of Gartmore PLC last year.
Michael O'Brien was named a consultant in Towers Perrin's London-based asset consulting practice, succeeding Peter Muldowney, who was transferred to Toronto. Mr. O'Brien was head of U.K. asset consulting for Coopers & Lybrand