United Parcel Service, Atlanta, is finishing an asset-liability study of its $3 billion defined benefit plan that may result in manager changes, said Mike Plourde, investments manager. The study, by RogersCasey, will be presented to board members at the end of the month. A decision on whether manager searches will be needed will be made in the next couple of months, he added.
A consortium including Bankers Trust, New York Life, two private equity funds of H&Q Asia Pacific and four private equity funds of HSBC Private Equity invested $50 million in a planned community in Shanghai.
So far, about 12 pension funds invested in the project through the private equity vehicles. Barry Hansen, president of Sealand Housing, project developer, said funds investing include those of US WEST, which invested in the HSBC Private Equity 1 fund, and Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec, which invested through the Asia Pacific Growth Fund II. It was not known how much each allocated.
The project, Shanghai Links Executive Community, is a $500 million development expected to be completed in 1999.
ANB Investment Management is marketing five new style index funds to pension funds. The firm divided the S&P 500 index into a Variable Growth Index Fund, Stable Growth Index Fund, Stable Value Index Fund, Variable Value Growth Index Fund and a Heterogeneous Index Fund. The funds started this year with seed money from ANB. The firm also is offering software to help clients choose which funds to use in filling gaps in their portfolios.
Zak Capital plans to launch a hedge fund and a small-cap product and will stop taking money for its flagship midcap equity strategy by next year. Suzanne Zak, CEO and CIO, said she is talking to a portfolio manager who would join the firm to launch the small-cap product next year. The hedge fund run by Ms. Zak could be launched before then.
Ms. Zak, former portfolio manager at Investment Advisers Inc., launched her firm in March. She plans to cap the midcap equity product at $1 billion. Zak Capital has attracted $350 million in assets, mainly from former IAI clients.
Bankers Trust started what it calls the first stable value mutual fund. The BT PreservationPlus Fund will consist of synthetic GICs. Most stable value funds are either commingled trusts or bank pooled funds regulated by insurance or banking officials. A stable value mutual fund would be regulated by the SEC and subject to the same disclosure and daily net asset value requirements as other mutual funds. Eric Kirsh, managing director at BT, said the mutual fund structure would fit better with defined contribution plans, which rely on mutual funds as investment options and as 401(k) service providers.