Los Angeles County Employees' Retirement Association, Pasadena, decided to allocate as much as $200 million over the next year to an existing emerging markets stock portfolio and will study emerging markets debt later this year.
The $200 million will go to the Capital Guardian Trust Emerging Markets Growth Fund. LACERA has $424 million with the fund now. The decision was made because the county wanted to increase its allocation to emerging markets equity slightly.
The $22 billion pension fund so far has no plans to invest in emerging markets debt.
Contra Costa County Employees' Retirement Association, Concord, Calif., placed Scudder, Stevens & Clark on its watch list. Retirement Administrator Patricia Wiegert said Scudder was placed on the list as a result of the recent merger of Scudder and Zurich-Kemper Investments.
She added her board is quite pleased with Scudder's recent performance. Following an asset allocation study, the $2 billion fund placed an additional $23 million with Scudder's active fixed-income portfolio and $5 million with the firm's mortgage portfolio, bringing the total with Scudder to $388 million.
Montgomery Ward & Co. Inc.'s approximately $1 billion pension plan and $385 million 401(k) retirement plan will not be affected by the Schaumburg, Ill.-based retailer's bankruptcy filing last week, said Patrick J. Casey, vice president and treasurer of Signature Group. That group is a wholly owned financial services subsidiary, which oversees the pension fund.
The company's pension plan - which is managed almost entirely by outside money managers - has been overfunded for years, and the retailer does not anticipate making any contribution for a long time, Mr. Casey said.
Meanwhile, a PBGC spokeswoman said the federal pension insurance agency has no plans of taking over the pension plan because the company has not shut it down.
Bessemer Trust and hedge fund firm LJH Alternative Investment Advisors Inc. will form a joint venture to offer funds-of-funds.
The company will be called Fifth Avenue Alternative Investments and will allow Bessemer to expand its alternative strategy offerings. Fifth Avenue will be registered as an investment adviser with the SEC and with the CFTC as a commodity pool operator.
Quadra Capital Partners today added The Smith Asset Management Group to its line-up of money manager partners. Terms were not disclosed. Smith, a growth equity manager with $350 million under management, will buy a stake in Quadra, and in return will gain non-investment services such as reporting and marketing. Quadra now has five affiliates, with total assets of $2.8 billion.
SEARCHES & HIRINGS
Northern States Power Co., Minneapolis, hired Cadence Capital Management and Wellington Management for midcap growth U.S. equity portfolios. Each will be assigned $35 million from Northern's $1.8 billion pension fund, said Rick Rohkohl, manager-dedicated funds. Funding came from dropping Investment Advisers Inc., also a midcap manager. Callan assisted.
Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Chicago, hired GMG/Seneca Capital Management to manage a $15 million midcap growth equity portfolio. The hospital has $960 million in trust funds, said Thomas M. Satkus Jr., assistant treasurer. Funding came from a reallocation. Watson Wyatt and Northern Trust assisted.
New York Common Retirement Fund, Albany, committed $200 million to the Blackstone Capital Partners III Merchant Banking Fund, confirmed state Comptroller H. Carl McCall, sole trustee of the $80 billion retirement system. The commitment will be funded from cash.
Sisters of Charity Healthcare System, Houston, hired Boston Partners to manage $80 million in large-cap value equity for its operating fund. Michael Kelly, director/investments, would not identify the firm Boston Partners replaces or the size of the fund. Asset Strategy Consulting assisted.
Orange County Employees' Retirement System, Santa Ana, Calif., selected Bankers Trust to provide master custody and securities lending services, pending contract negotiations.
Boatmen's Trust had been the $3.4 billion Orange County fund's custodian. But Boatmen's was acquired by NationsBank in January, and in April, Bankers Trust announced it was acquiring NationsBank's institutional trust business.
Ntrew England Funds will recommend that Harris Associates be named subadviser of $213 million of the $945 million New England Star Advisers Fund. Robert Sanborn, manager of Harris' Oakmark Fund, will be one of the fund's four portfolio co-managers, if trustees approve the change at a July 25 board meeting. Harris Associates will replace Berger Associates in managing the allocation to bottom-up, value stocks