Montgomery Asset acquired
Commerzbank Aktiengesellschaft reached agreement to acquire Montgomery Asset Management from Montgomery Securities.
Terms were not disclosed, but industry sources estimated the firm was worth $250 million to $300 million. MAM has about $8 billion under management.
The firm will retain its name and become an independent U.S. affiliate of Commerzbank Asset Management, the bank's wholly owned subsidiary based in Frankfurt, said R. Stephen Doyle, chairman and CEO of Montgomery Asset Management. Management retained a minority stake in the firm, and all portfolio managers and executives have made long-term commitments, he said.
PBGC has surplus
The PBGC is expected to announce on Monday its first-ever single-employer plan surplus. Last year, the agency reported a $315 million deficit for single-employer plans.
CTA cashes out
Trustees of the $1.6 billion Chicago Transit Authority Retirement System decided to take $30 million from an equity index portfolio managed by ANB Capital Management. About $9 million will fund benefits for the first round of employees taking advantage of the CTA's early retirement program.
Daniel Perk, executive director, said ANB will continue to manage about $67 million in the portfolio.
Trustees will decide April 22 if some of the $30 million might go toward funding outstanding real estate commitments.
Signet unit for sale
Signet Banking put part of its corporate trust business on the block for an undisclosed price. The business, which includes bond trustee and paying agent services, is a small and profitable part of the banking company but "not one of our strategically targeted businesses," said Teresa G. Jones, director of investor relations.
PRIM seeks consultant
The $18 billion Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment Management Board will issue an RFP for a consultant. Its contract with incumbent Wilshire expires in June; the firm is expected to re-apply.
The board also was expected to review the number of bond managers last week, but Executive Director Greg White said he would not disclose details until managers were notified.
Search at BankAmerica
BankAmerica is searching for an international equity manager for its $3.4 billion pension fund.
The manager will handle about $120 million, replacing an unidentified active international equity manager in the process of being terminated, said Elsie Fletcher, vice president and senior manager, pension asset management.
The fund is working with consultant Frank Russell and compiling a list of candidates.
A decision is expected at the June board meeting.
The Labor Department was expected to release a proposed regulation March 27 that would establish a window for employers on submission of employee contributions into IRA accounts under the new SIMPLE retirement program.
Employers would have 30 days after the month of the deposit. Current rules require employers to make employee contributions no later than 15 business days after the month that the employer withholds the money from the employee's paycheck or receives a check.
Baltimore review set
The $2.7 billion Baltimore Retirement Systems is conducting a "top to bottom" review of asset allocation and manager performance that could result in some manager changes, said Thomas P. Taneyhill, administrator.
The system - made up of the Baltimore Employees' Retirement System and the Fire and Police Retirement System - hopes to complete its review in a few months, Mr. Taneyhill said.
The system now has 48% in U.S. equities, 12% in international equities, 19% in TAA, 17% in fixed income and 4% in real estate.
Florida adding junk bonds
The $62 billion Florida State Board of Administration is adding high-yield bonds to its fixed-income portfolio, said Barbara Jarriel, CIO-fixed income.
The fund will commit 1.3% of assets to the bonds, she said. Executives plan on screening new managers and compiling a candidate list using the Wilshire Compass database. The search should be completed by July.
Fund officials still are searching for a MSCI EAFE manager and a domestic large-cap value manager, she added. Specific amounts have not been determined for the searches. The international search should be completed in the next few weeks; the large-cap search is still in the initial screening phase.
Ennis Knupp is assisting.
Roanoke mulls search
The City of Roanoke (Va.) is considering a search for a small- to midcap equity manager for its $236 million pension fund.
The manager would replace Newbold's Asset Management, which was terminated for performance, said Doris Peters, administrator. A search has not yet started, and no timetable or amount has been set. Newbold's managed $30 million, said Joyce Sparks, fund accountant.
Newbold's officials did not return calls.
Fiduciary Capital Advisors is assisting.
Transit fund picks Barclays
The $675 million pension fund of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority hired Barclays Global Investors to manage about $65 million in an enhanced core U.S. equity fund.
Assets had been in an index portfolio managed by Bankers Trust, said Donna Robinson Mills, senior investment manager.
Asset Strategies assisted.
Endowment taps Vanguard
University of Puget Sound hired Vanguard as a U.S. equity index fund manager for its $128 million endowment. Vanguard will run about $16 million, joining Becker Co. in replacing The Common Fund, which was dropped as a domestic equity manager about a year ago, said Mike Rothman, vice president for finance and administration.
The Common Fund continues to manage $12 million in international equity.
Frank Russell assisted.
Foundation names 2
The $390 million Rockefeller Brothers Fund committed to two limited partnership funds as a result of rebalancing. The fund committed $7.5 million each to the Contrarian Capital Management's Distressed Securities Fund and The Investment Fund for Foundations' TIF Partners One Fund, an alternative investment fund of funds. Assets came from cash and a decrease in the bond allocation to 25% from 35%, said Benjamin Shute Jr., secretary and treasurer. Cambridge Associates assisted.
The $1.1 billion pension fund of Rohm & Haas named J.P. Morgan, PIMCO and BlackRock as finalists in a search for a broad market bond manager. The new manager will run about $100 million and should be in place by the end of April, said Robert Worthington, manager of corporate finance.
Frank Russell is assisting.
Carpenters hire Meketa
The $800 million Carpenters Combined Benefits Funds of Massachusetts hired Meketa Investment Group as full-service consultant, said Bethany Woods, executive coordinator.
Meketa, which replaces The Hannah Group, will review the funds' long-term asset allocation and cash management strategies.
County keeps Mercer
The $1.3 billion Milwaukee County Employees' Retirement System retained incumbent Mercer following a review of its pension consulting relationship, said Jac Amerell, director.