Temple University, Philadelphia, is taking a serious look at its investment policy and could reorganize management of its endowment and operating fund assets, most of which are managed internally, said Laurence Connely, assistant treasurer.
The university's investment committee handles $414 million of the $514 million in endowment and operating assets in-house. GMG/Seneca Capital manages bonds, The Common Fund handles a balanced portfolio for both funds, and Mellon Capital manages bonds for the operating fund. Mr. Connely said it's expected more of the money will be externally managed, but it is still too early to say.
Mercer is conducting the investment policy study, which should be finished in early June.
University & Community College System of Nevada, Reno, is reviewing its bond portfolio and looking at creating an alternative investment allocation for its $175 million endowment fund. The $40 million fixed-income portfolio has been a ``drag on performance,'' said Tim Ortez, director of banking and investments. Sanford C. Bernstein is the fund's domestic bond manager and The Common Fund handles global bonds.
Trustees also are considering investing in REITs and hedge funds to increase returns. The system is allowed to invest up to $10 million in alternative investments, but has chosen not to invest in the area so far.
The outcome of the review is expected at the May 21 board meeting. Cambridge Associates is assisting.
New York State Teachers' Retirement System, Albany, with $58 billion-plus in assets, will continue to underweight tobacco stocks for the foreseeable future. Fund trustees decided several recent court rulings support the continuation of the policy. The fund underweights tobacco stocks by up to 25% compared with the Russell 3000 index.
The fund also will continue to press tobacco companies to limit marketing to youth and take other steps to cut their potential exposure to lawsuits. The fund will support shareholder proposals that ask companies to voluntarily stop targeting youth and those that ask them to sell off non-tobacco businesses.
The Council of Institutional Investors is conducting a survey of soft dollar practices among its 100-plus members, confirmed Ann Yerger, director of the group's research service. The group will use the information to summarize the soft dollar, directed brokerage and commission recapture practices and policies of its members, which include public pension funds, union pension funds and corporate plans with aggregate assets of more than $1 trillion, Ms. Yerger said.
Council members also agreed to support legislation introduced by Reps. Michael G. Oxley, R-Ohio, and Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., that would require the stock exchanges to adopt the decimal system for stock trades.