METHUEN (MASS.) Contributory Retirement System will decide whether to diversify investments and hire new managers this summer, said Tom kelly, administrator. The $42 million system has $39.5 million in a balanced portfolio with David L. Babson & Co. and $2.5 million in international equities with Brandes Investment Partners. Brandes, its first international manager, was hired last summer.
Segal Advisors is assisting. The review will start after the system's board is expanded to comply with a new law that mandates five trustees.
PENNSYLVANIA MUNICIPAL Retirement System, Harrisburg, terminated large-cap value equity manager Newbold's Asset Management. The $700 million fund dropped the manager after trustees lost confidence in the firm because of changes over the past three years, said James B. Allen, chairman of the board. The $60 million Newbold's managed will be divided among existing managers, Boston Co. Asset Management, GLOBALT and Provident Capital Management.
Newbold's officials declined to comment.
J.P. MORGAN Investment Management will introduce a retail and institutional version of an international equity mutual fund.
The funds, the JPM Pierport International Opportunities Fund and the JPM Institutional International Opportunities Fund, will be diversified in established and emerging markets, but will not be tied to specific allocations into specific regions. The funds are intended to complement existing JPM funds with specific county or regional mandates.
IF THE STOCK MARKET drops 20% more in this dowturn, it could take some time to climb back, according to Peter Anderson, chief investment strategist at American Express Financial Advisors. The 29 market declines of 20% or more since 1900 average -34.7% and required five to six years to return to previous highs, said Mr. Anderson.
He said the industry need to "dampen down greed and reduce fear" among clients, who need to decide whether to reallocate ot ride out the downturn. He predicts it's going to be tough to make money in the market in 1997; cash probably will be the best performing asset class and a 5% return might look good.
THE TRIAL of lawsuits between four Wellington Management Co. partners and former partner Arnold C. Schneider was postponed again until April 17 because of a conflict with another trial in the same courtroom
Mr. Schneider's first witness Monday was John W. MacMurray, vice president pension and benefit investments of RJR Nabisco, a former Wellington client that followed Mr. Schneider to his new firm. Mr. MaxMurray testified Mr. Schneider did not solicit his fund's business after leaving Wellington to start Schneider Capital Management. Court proceedings Tuesday were postponed because of a late-season blizzard.
The bench trial is expected to last a week after testimony resumes.