The Cable & Wireless P.L.C. Superannuation Fund is close to commissioning an asset/liability study, said Dean Johnson, secretary of Cable & Wireless Custodian Trustee Co., Milton Keynes, England. The £1.1 billion ($1.85 billion) had planned a study last year, but it was deferred because of various sales and acquisitions. Mr. Johnson said incumbent consultant Watson Wyatt, ``probably'' would get the nod, added that fund officials are looking at other options.
Separately, the fund has hired Northern Trust as its global custodian. Northern Trust takes over custody from five of the fund's managers: Schroder Investment Management, PDFM, Fleming Investment Management, Dresdner RCM, and J.P. Morgan (for U.S. equities). About 8% of assets already had been custodied with Northern Trust. Watson Wyatt assisted.
Mississippi Public Employees' Retirement System, Jackson, is adding two new asset classes. The $10 billion system expects to issue RFPs for emerging markets equity and enhanced domestic equity index mandates in the next few weeks, said a spokeswoman. The size of each portfolio has not been determined. Officials hope to hire the managers in September. Becker, Burke is assisting.
Allegheny College, Meadville, Pa., will consider a search for a real estate manager if an increase in its real estate allocation is approved for its $80 million endowment fund.
The college's investment committee is expected to make a decision on boosting the current $300,000 real estate allocation and by how much next month, said Randy Freebourn, director of budget and treasury manager. The endowment now uses The Common Fund and, if an increase is approved, it is likely the fund will seek additional managers, he said.
Cambridge Associates is assisting.
Contra Costa County Employees Retirement Association, Concord, Calif., plans to search for an international manager for its $2.2 billion pension fund, said Chuck Barron, assistant retirement administrator. The new manager will be assigned $70 million. The fund plans to issue RFPs next month for a top-down, EAFE-mandate manager. Funding will come from a Bankers Trust international index fund the fund uses as a temporary allocation. Dorn Helliesen & Cottle is assisting.
Ann Arbor (Mich.) City Employees' Retirement System is launching a search for a manager to handle $43 million in a core-plus fixed-income portfolio. RFIs will be launched within the next four weeks with the entire search process taking eight to 12 weeks, said Robb Hubb, retirement administrator for the $325 million fund. The board approved a 40% fixed-income allocation to be split in thirds between core U.S. bonds, indexed bonds and a core-plus portfolio.
The search criteria call for a manager with skill in duration management and ability to handle up to 10% in U.S. high-yield bonds and 10% in international bonds. Callan is assisting.
Alban Tractor Co., Baltimore, added the T. Rowe Price Growth Stock Fund and The Vanguard Group Growth Portfolio Fund as options in its $40 million defined contribution plan, said Steve Scherer, personnel manager.
Alban also dropped Fidelity's Institutional Equity Fund because of turnover in portfolio managers, Mr. Scherer said. The Alban plan now has seven investment options. Mercantile Safe Deposit & Trust assisted.
Denver Board of Water Commissioners hired DeMarche Associates as a consultant on a project basis to complete an asset liability/allocation study for its pension fund.
The $150 million fund is still in contract negotiations with the firm, but expects to start the study shortly with results by the November board meeting, said Kathryn Corry, manager of treasury operations. The fund wanted to take a good look at cash flows and determine if changes need to be made in asset allocation, she said.
Tom Lundie will join NatWest Markets in London as CFO Aug. 18. He replaces Mike Ashley, who resigned in early February, but agreed to stay until his successor was in place. Mr. Lundie has been financial controller, group treasurer and capital markets at the HSBC Group for the last four years. His replacement has yet to be named.
Also, Deborah Bronston will join NatWest as managing director and director of research-U.S. equities and Alex Graham joined as managing director and head of global syndication and European equity capital markets, a new position.
Ms. Bronston, who replaces Michael Hanley, was managing director, associate direcor of research and director of analytical training at Prudential Securities, where she has yet to be replaced. Mr. Graham had been co-head of equity capital markets and syndication in Europe for Salomon Brothers with responsibility for most of Europe as well as Japan. John St. John has been named head of the area, after serving as co-head with Mr. Graham