West Palm Beach (Fla.) General Employees Retirement System may be changing its plan structure if a city ordinance is approved that will terminate the more than $100 million current plan, buy annuities for retired employees and create a ``clone'' defined benefit plan for active employees. If the ordinance passes, the system might have to drop one of its two managers, said Alfredo Lay, pension administrator. Putnam runs $15 million in equities and INVESCO runs the rest in a balanced portfolio. It is unknown how large the second plan would be, but between 200 and 275 employees would be in the plan. A decision on the ordinance could come in July.
State Universities Retirement System of Illinois, Champaign, might increase Smith Barney Capital's equity portfolio by $75 million and changing its benchmark. Ennis Knupp is recommending the changes, which the board of the $7.5 billion fund will consider at its meeting later this month. Smith Barney now runs $124 million in a large-cap value orientation, benchmarked to a 60/40 blend of the Wilshire 5000 and Wilshire large company value indexes. Ennis recommends changing to the BARRA large value index.
Michael Price succeeded in getting an independent director elected to the board of Telephone and Data Systems Inc., New York. The election of Martin L. Solomon was confirmed Friday; he ran in opposition to a board-nominated candidate, George Off.
Mr. Solomon attracted 78% of votes cast at the annual meeting. Mr. Price and other portfolio managers at Franklin Mutual Advisers often take an active role in troubled and bankrupt companies. Franklin Mutual holds a 9.8% stake in TDS within its mutual funds.
TDS stock has been on the skids since its October 1993 high of about 57 per share, trading at 39 9/16 Friday.
The Supreme Court today refused to revive the claims of disgruntled bond fund investors who filed a class-action suit against Hyperion Capital Management. The ruling resolves a legal battle that started in 1993, after the value of three closed-end funds dropped by as much as 25% in little more than a year. Investors charged Hyperion, its managers and its underwriters failed to give adequate warning that performance could plummet if interest rates fell, as they did during most of 1993.
The decision not to take the case leaves intact an October ruling by a federal appellate court that absolved Hyperion 1997 Term Trust, Hyperion 1999 Term Trust and Hyperion 2002 Term Trust of any wrongdoing.
United Asset Management completed the acquisition of Thomson Horstmann & Bryant Inc. Terms were not disclosed. THB uses a disciplined small-cap value approach to equity management. The firm now has more than $1.5 billion under management.