PORTLAND, Ore. - Columbia Management Co., which manages about $910 million in domestic equities for the $25 billion Oregon Public Employes' Retirement System, Salem, remains under scrutiny by the Oregon Investment Council following Columbia's sale to Fleet Financial Group.
Executives of Portland-based Columbia told council members in late August that the $400 million purchase of Columbia by Boston-based Fleet will bring stability and new distribution opportunities to Columbia.
But council members, who had placed Columbia on a watch list earlier this year, said they still aren't sure how the transaction benefits the pension fund. They asked Columbia to send a Fleet representative to Oregon to discuss the firm's future.
A council member said he expects a decision within the next two months on whether to let Columbia continue to manage the state money.
Columbia started managing money for Oregon's fund in 1971, when the fund had about $200 million in assets. Over the years, the firm and the fund have grown together.
Two years ago, Columbia managed about $1.2 billion for the state, which pulled back and reallocated $600 million, partly to avoid an overconcentration of assets in the hands of a single manager.
Since then, Columbia has rebuilt the state's stake to about $910 million.