Staff of the Ontario Teachers Retirement System, North York, with about C$50 billion (U.S. $36 billion) under management, are working to apply value-at-risk, a risk control technique, to the fund, said Robert Bertram, senior vice president-investments.
Value-at-risk would become a part of the system's investment decision-making process, but the particulars on how, and if, the process would work haven't been determined, he said. Value-at-risk is a statistical method of valuing the potential losses of a portfolio under given market scenarios. Conclusions on the effort could be available in July or August.
Nestlé S A's pension fund will pick managers to run 7% of its 5 billion Swiss franc ($3.4 billion) in assets in private equities and hedge funds in the second half of the year.
Jean-Pierre Steiner, vice president and corporate pension director for the Vevey, Switzerland, fund, said an asset/liability study concluded four months ago recommended increasing alternative investments to 14% from 1% to 2%. The fund already has invested half of that allocation in emerging markets equities, but he declined to name the managers. The remaining 350 million franc allocation will be split among venture capital, mostly in the United States; U.S., Asian and European private equities; and hedge funds.
Buck conducted the study. The new asset mix is 51% equities, 20% bonds, 15% real estate and 14% alternatives.
The MSCI World index climbed 3.1% in dollar terms vs. a 0.4% gain for the EAFE index in April. For the month, the MSCI Emerging Markets Free index fell 0.2%. Among developed markets, the three top performers were the U.S., 6.4%; Spain, 5.7%; and Japan, 3.6%. Laggards were Malaysia -11.3%; Sweden, -8.5%; and Singapore, -5.4%. Among emerging markets, China's domestic free market shot up 22.2% in dollar terms, while Sri Lanka rose 15.4%. The Philippines free index fell 17%.
A union representing May Department Stores employees launched a proxy contest to force the company to eliminate its poison pill. The Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees and an affiliate are asking shareholders to vote at the company's May 23 annual meeting to eliminate the current poison pill and to require May to seek shareholder approval before adopting a new one.
The group filed suit in U.S. District Court in New York to block management from exercising discretionary authority to vote against the proposal.
Barclays Global Investors Canada, Toronto, created the Barclays Manitoba Flood Relief Effort to help Red River flood victims in Manitoba. The initial $25,000 donation from Barclays will be used by the local Red Cross to provide disaster relief.