OMAHA, Neb. - The $1.2 billion pension fund of ConAgra Inc. is beginning asset-liability and asset allocation studies, said Douglas Fehr, manager-short-term funding.
Among issues, he said, "We're trying to see if we need more small-cap exposure or more international exposure." But he noted the studies might point to other allocation areas as well.
The fund has 55% in U.S. equities - including 5% in small-cap - 5% in international equities, 30% in fixed income, 5% in venture capital and 5% in cash.
Mercer is assisting in the studies, which the fund hopes to complete in the fall.
Contra Costa County
CONCORD, Calif. - The $2.2 billion Contra Costa County Employees' Retirement Association will issue an RFP this month for an international equity manager, said Chuck Barron, assistant retirement administrator.
The fund is seeking a top-down, EAFE-mandate manager to run $70 million.
Funding will come from a Bankers Trust international index fund the fund uses as a temporary allocation.
Dorn Helliesen & Cottle is assisting.
MEADVILLE, Pa. - Officials of the $80 million endowment of Allegheny College will consider a search for a real estate manager if an increase in its real estate allocation is approved.
The college's investment committee is expected to make a decision on boosting the current $300,000 real estate allocation and by how much this 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.
JACKSON, Miss. - The $10 billion Mississippi Public Employees' Retirement System expects to issue RFPs for emerging markets equity and enhanced domestic equity index mandates this month.
Both sectors are new for the fund.
A spokeswoman said the size of each portfolio has not been determined. She said fund officials hope to hire the managers in September.
Becker, Burke Associates is assisting.
MINNEAPOLIS - The $600 million Pillsbury Co. 401(k) plan might add investment options, said John E. Bohan, vice president-pension investments.
Among other possibilities, it is considering offering an international equity fund. The plan is looking at both American Express, which provides its investment funds now, and other service providers. It hopes to make a decision by the end of the year.
The plan has four funds now - fixed-income, S&P 500, growth equity, value equity - and also company stock and a self-directed brokerage option.
Alaska Forest Association
KETCHIKAN, Alaska - The $30 million defined benefit plan of the Alaska Forest Association is conducting an asset allocation study to change its "very conservative" portfolio, said Judy Auger, benefits administrator.
The fund will be looking to increase its U.S. equity allocation with its current managers, I.C.M. Asset Management and Columbia Management, which run balanced portfolios.
The $30 million plan's current asset mix is: 37% U.S. stocks, 4% international stocks, 36% bonds, 18% GICs and 5% cash.
Wurts & Associates is assisting.
COATESVILLE, Pa. - Executives at the $400 million pension fund of Lukens Inc. are planning to do an asset allocation study toward the end of the year, said Barbara L. Gasper, assistant treasurer.
"Maybe some changes will come out of that," she said.
The fund's current allocation is 60%equities and 40%bonds and cash.
This is the fund's first asset allocation study in three or four years.
Ann Arbor City
ANN ARBOR, Mich. - The $325 million Ann Arbor City Employees' Retirement System will begin this month to search for a manager to handle $43 million in core-plus fixed-income.
RFIs will be launched in August, with the entire search process taking eight to 12 weeks, said Robb Hubb, retirement administrator.
The board approved a 40%fixed-income allocation to be split in thirds among 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 domestic high-yield bonds and 10%in international bonds.
Callan is assisting.
CHICAGO - Officials of the $1.3 billion Chicago Laborers Annuity & Benefit Fund will take a look at the fund's overall asset mix and will consider increasing its equity exposure, said James Capasso, executive director.
The examination follows recent approval of a prudent investor rule. The asset mix now is 60%stocks and 40%bonds.
The fund also is looking at managed futures and has completed interviews with RXR and Baldwin, in a joint meeting with the Chicago Municipal Employees' Annuity & Benefit Fund. Fund officials are still discussing whether to invest in the asset class.
Becker, Burke is assisting.