More than 400 companies would be able to take advantage of an increase in the ceiling on contributions to 170% of current liabilities from 150%, pension lobbyists say. That provision is part of the tax bill being negotiated between Congress and the administration.
The companies were identified in a survey of the members of the American Council of Life Insurance, the American Society of Pension Actuaries, APPWP-The Benefits Organization, the National Association of Manufacturers and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Those groups sent a letter to the Senate Finance Committee amid concerns that the provision could be struck from the package.
Wilshire Associates is asking large pension plans to participate in establishing a benchmark to measure the risk of LBOs. Although billions of dollars are being invested in LBOs, pension funds have no adequate measure of their riskiness, Wilshire officials said. Over the next two quarters, Wilshire officials expect to get the participation of plans holding about 20% of all LBO investments. Wilshire needs the cooperation of large plans to get the necessary data.
Strong Capital Management filed suit seeking about $125 million over the alleged use of its name in mass e-mailings selling cyberstripping, computer equipment and sports betting. Strong sued a number of people over e-mail advertisements it alleges used Strong's name in the return address, and was routed through Strong's Web server.
The ads, which included an ad for so called cyberstripping, were an infraction on the trademark of Strong's name and broke telecommunications laws, said Jody R. Lowe, a spokeswoman for Strong. The e-mail senders got into Strong's Web server, not its business computer systems, Ms. Lowe said.
An attorney for one of the defendants, Rick Lee, president of Over The Air Equipment Inc., declined to comment. The attorney for two others, David Smith, and Glenn Canady, both of whom have worked as bulk e-mailers, denied Strong's charges.
St. Paul (Minn.) Teachers' Retirement System launched a search for a manager to handle small-cap non-U.S. equities of developed countries in a commingled portfolio. RFPs are due back Aug. 1, said Eugene Waschbusch, secretary and treasurer of the $650 million fund. The fund expects to make about a $10 million allocation to this sector. A decision is expected in about two months.
Virginia Retirement System, Richmond, earned a record 21.9% in the financial year ended June 30, growing $4.8 billion to $26.8 billion, according to an announcement today by Erwin H. Will Jr., CIO. The pension fund's alternative investments portfolio led all asset classes, running up 30.9%, followed closely by domestic equities, which jumped 30.7%.
World Color Press, Greenwich, Conn., is reviewing RFPs for a single provider for a 401(k) plan that is being formed from the merging of 14 plans of recently acquired companies. A decision is expected by the end of September. The plan is expected to have in excess of $100 million said Pat Russo, head of the plan. The company also hired SEI Investments as manager of managers for its $150 million cash balance plan formed by combining six plans. The company terminated all managers of the old plans.
Nelson's Directory of Plan Sponsors lists Capital Guardian Trust, J.P. Morgan Investment Management and Donald Smith as World Color Press' managers.
Staffordshire County Council, Stafford, England hired Jupiter Asset Management to run a roughly £200 million U.K. equity brief, replacing Newton Investment, said Des Smallman, deputy county treasurer. Newton was replaced because of a combination of performance concerns and personnel changes, he said. Newton officials declined to comment.
The nearly £1.2 billion ($2 billion) pension fund also reappointed PDFM and Morgan Grenfell Asset Management to run about £200 million each in U.K. equities. INVESCO Asset Management was reappointed for a combined £108 million in Japanese and Pacific Basin (ex-Japan) equity mandates. Custody for the five equity portfolios, totaling £708 million, was consolidated with Northern Trust.
Republic Industries, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., added the AIM Value Fund and MFS Emerging Growth Fund to its defined contribution plan. The $5.4 million plan now has seven offerings. Merrill Lynch offers four options and company stock.
Amarillo (Texas) Firemen's Relief & Retirement Fund hired Bank One as custodian to replace Boatmen's Trust, said Dean Frigo, finance director for the city. The pension fund has $60 million in assets.
PLAN International, Warwick, R.I., hired Argus Consulting as its first consultant to do asset performance analysis and a fiduciary compliance review for the $2.5 million offshore defined contribution plan and $1 million 403(b) plan. Argus also will be reviewing alternative providers for the offshore plan, said Janet Fayle, corporate secretary for PLAN. The current provider is AIG