New Travelers stock plan
Travelers Group will grant company stock options to all employees outside of its 401(k) plan if the company doesn't receive government approval to contribute options to the plan.
A Travelers spokesman said the company will proceed with a plan to issue stock options to all employees equal to 10%of compensation with a $40,000 compensation cap.
The IRS is reconsidering its earlier ruling that would have cleared the way for Travelers to become the first company to contribute stock options to its 401(k) plan. The Labor Department also has delayed approving Travelers' application for a prohibited transaction exemption to contribute options to the plan.
House panel OKs decimals
The House Subcommittee on Finance and Hazardous Materials last week passed legislation requiring stocks to be traded in decimals instead of in increments of one-eighth. The bipartisan legislation will be debated by the House Commerce Committee next month. The bill requires the SEC to adopt a rule switching the stock markets to decimal trading within a year after passage of the legislation.
Retirement summit sought
The House of Representatives last week passed legislation that would convene a national summit on retirement savings at the White House. It also would direct the Labor Department to educate the public on retirement savings through an Internet Web site, town hall meetings and educational materials. The legislation was introduced by Rep. Earl Pomeroy, D-N.D. Companion legislation is pending in the Senate.
Mr. Pomeroy also introduced legislation that would create a commission to examine the extent of the retirement savings crisis and recommend ways to help secure retirement benefits of older workers.
N.Y. fund exec leaves
Anne Collins, senior investment officer for alternative investments for the New York State Common Retirement Fund, left to become an assistant fund manager with Fleet Equity Partners.
Ms. Collins' departure follows that of former alternative investment head Tom Laders, who joined Fleet in September 1996. A timetable to fill her vacancy has not been determined.
ANB staff changes
Kristen Hart, manager-passive fixed-income division at ANB Investment Management, will take on responsibility for both equity and fixed-income passive management activities, a new position. Paul Daley, who has been manager-passive equity division, is joining the institutional brokerage area of Merrill Lynch Capital Markets this week as a vice president.
Katrina Muizniek will assume Mr. Daley's duties for managing the commingled S&P 500, S&P growth and S&P value index funds and will continue her current duties of managing ANB's non-ERISA counterparts of those three funds.
Louisiana School picks ANB
The $1.2 billion Louisiana School Employees Retirement System hired ANB Investment Management as its first passive equity manager. Patrick Cosper, executive director, said ANB will manage a $150 million S&P 500 portfolio. Assets will come from a terminated active equity manager he declined to identify.
University taps hedge fund
Wake Forest University will commit a $25 million piece of its endowment to the Tiger Hedge Fund by the end of the year, said Louis Morrell, vice president for investments and treasurer. The $640 million fund will place $10 million with the fund initially. Assets could come from existing U.S. equity managers, but nothing has been determined, he said.
Citibank teams with Russell
Citibank will offer Russell Data Services performance measurement services to its global custody clients under a joint marketing agreement. Citibank clients also will be able to use Russell performance attribution and portfolio analysis services.
BARRA forms new unit
BARRA formed a unit that will consult to investment managers. BARRA Strategic Consulting Group combines the former RogersCasey Manager Services with BARRA analytical support. BARRA Strategic will assist money managers in business development, relationship management strategy, investment integrity review, market research and other areas. John Casey will lead the new group.
Chicago Park fund hires
The Park Employees Annuity and Benefit Fund of Chicago hired Wellington Management as its first active international equity manager. Wellington will manage an initial $10 million for the $520 million fund. Assets will come from a reallocation among domestic managers. Ennis Knupp assisted.
Transit fund hires
Manhattan & Bronx Surface Transit Operating Authority Pension Plan hired Montag & Caldwell for its $400 million pension fund, said Anthony M. Patten, deputy director-payroll and pension services and secretary. It will run a $35 million large-cap growth equities portfolio. Assets came from cash flow. Callan Associates assisted.
New standards coming
The SEC and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants agreed to create a new body to establish independent accounting standards for auditors of public companies. Chancellor William Allen of the Delaware Court of Chancery will serve as president of the new group, the Independence Standards Board, starting in July. Other board members, drawn from the accounting profession, will be named in coming weeks. The organization is being created in response to the merger and restructuring of accounting firms and the increasing complexity of relationships between auditors and their client companies.
Owens-Corning Fiberglas Corp. hired Fidelity as bundled provider for its $390 million savings and profit-sharing 401(k) plan.
Fidelity will provide investment management, daily valuation, record keeping and participant education. The plan will have 12 investment options: eight Fidelity funds and the plan's previous four options.
Watson Wyatt was the previous record keeper.
Worcester taps Loomis
Worcester Retirement System, Worcester, Mass., hired Loomis Sayles for its $233 million pension fund, said James A. DelSignore, city auditor and trustee. Loomis Sayles will run a small-cap growth stock portfolio. It will be assigned $8 million. Assets will come from maturing GICs and a reallocation. Dahab Associates assisted.
Bernstein book wins award
Peter L. Bernstein, the author of "Against the Gods: The Remarkable Story of Risk," was awarded the Edwin G. Booz Prize for the most insightful, innovative management book published in 1996. Mr. Bernstein founded The Journal of Portfolio Management in 1974 and is a trustee and member of the finance committee of CREF.
2 investment options added
The Iron Workers District Council of New England will add the Rosenberg Small-Cap fund and the Templeton Foreign Fund to its lineup of defined contribution plan options July 1.
With the addition, the $70 million plan will have nine options.
Record keeper KPMG assisted in the research of new options, said Thomas Broderick, fund administrator.
2 hire Diversified
Crazy Shirts Inc. hired Diversified Investment Advisors as its first bundled provider for its $13.5 million profit-sharing and 401(k) plan.
Diversified will provide 13 funds and will replace two unidentified money managers and mutual fund providers used when the two plans were run separately, said CFO Dennis Taylor. Smith Barney Consulting assisted.
Diversified also was hired for bundled services by Carleton Technologies Inc. for the company's $7.5 million 401(k) plan.
Record keeper KBM Management was dropped, as were INVESCO, Federated Investors, Fidelity and Warburg Pincus as fund providers. The plan now has nine investment choices, up from five.
Union files proposal
The Communications Workers of America/International Typographical Union pension fund is asking Digital Equipment Corp. to ensure that its chief executive and chairman are two separate people to keep control of the company balanced. The $1 billion pension fund, which owns 48,000 Digital shares, filed a shareholder proposal on the issue May 20.
Putnam units combined
Putnam Investments has consolidated its domestic and international equity groups as a single department under the leadership of Tim Ferguson, senior managing director. In the new post, Mr. Ferguson will continue to oversee the international equity group as well as the domestic equity group formerly headed by Peter Carman
Mr. Carman resigned to join Citicorp as head of global asset management.
"World-class investment management requires a truly global approach," said Putnam president and CEO Lawrence J. Lasser in a release.
"This change . . . will better leverage the talents of these now separate groups."