IRVING, Texas - 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, Dartmouth College and Stanford University.
Previously, it was 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, a $350 million real estate partnership that is in liquidation.
Texas utilities take time on fund merger
DALLAS - Executives for Texas Utilities Co. and ENSERCH Corp. have begun preliminary work on how to combine assets of the two Dallas-based companies, which are in the process of merging, said John E. Thompson Jr., trust investments manager for Texas Utilities.
Texas Utilities has $1.2 billion in pension assets, and ENSERCH has $270 million. Assets will remain separate until after the merger of the two companies is completed, which is expected to occur in April, Mr. Thompson said.
Alsks board to hire real estate consultant
JUNEAU, Alaska - Alaska State Pension Investment Board, Juneau, is interviewing four real estate consultants for its $8 billion pension fund.
The new consultant, the fund's first for real estate, will assist in hiring managers for the $720 million real estate allocation. Of that amount, $194 million already has been placed with managers, said Matt Holbert, real estate investment officer. The search is being done in-house.
Amway could freeze defined benefit plan
ADA, Mich. - Amway Corp. 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 Investors 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.
New Orleans officials work to boost equities
NEW ORLEANS - The 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% in equities, Mr. Hampton said.
He 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.
Equitable real estate buys piece of manager
BERKELEY, Calif. - Equitable Real Estate Investment Management Corp. acquired a 50% ownership stake in AMB Rosen Real Estate Securities L.L.C., a public real estate investment trust money manager, now renamed ERE Rosen L.L.C.
The other 50% is owned by Kenneth Rosen and Michael Torres, the principals. Equitable bought its interest from AMB Institutional Realty for an undisclosed sum.
The REIT company - which has $170 million under management - will continue its operation from Berkeley, Calif.
Illinois Universities seek global custodian
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The $7.5 billion State Universities Retirement System of Illinois is searching for a global custodian, said James M. Hacking, executive director.
Mr. Hacking said all the major custodial banks - including incumbent Northern Trust - submitted RFPs; no other candidates are being sought.
The system could make a decision this month.
Texas Firefighters fund to pick consultant
AUSTIN, Texas - The $21.5 million Texas Firefighters' Pension Commission selected four finalists for consultant - John Vann Co., Pension Consulting Services, Investment Consulting Services and Merrill Lynch.
John Vann Co. is a new firm started by the fund's former consultant John Vann, who left incumbent Dean Witter Investment Services in August.
A new consultant should be chosen in June.