CHICAGO - The $1.2 billion Robert R. McCormick Tribune Foundation is considering its first asset allocation to venture capital and is completing a search, said Louis J. Marsico Jr., director-finance and administration.
It could allocate $10 million to venture capital. It has a finalist manager under review and isn't considering any more candidates. Advisory Research is assisting.
Funding may come from a reallocation. The foundation may make a decision by the end of the year.
Baton Rouge nears
core bond hiring
BATON ROUGE, La. - The $600 million City of Baton Rouge & Parish of East Baton Rouge Employees' Retirement System will select a core domestic fixed-income manager from two finalists for the $100 million placement.
Finalists are Western Asset Management and BlackRock Financial Management.
Selection is expected before the end of November pending on-site visits, said Jeff Yates, plan administrator.
ICM Asset may move off
LA County farm team
PASADENA, Calif. - Los Angeles County Employees' Retirement Association will interview ICM Asset Management Nov. 19 to decide whether the firm should move out of the fund's emerging manager program and onto its regular manager roster.
ICM now manages about $20 million for the fund in a small-cap value portfolio. If the firm is hired as a regular manager, its portfolio could grow to as much as $150 million, said a spokeswoman for the $22 billion fund.
The money might come from a $150 million Russell 2000 index fund LACERA has with Bankers Trust, but other options also will be considered.
PBGC takes over
WEST ALLIS, Wis. - The PBGC is taking over the pension plan of Allis-Chalmers Corp. The plan has $209 million in assets and $272 million in liabilities.
The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp.'s action covers nearly 9,000 former workers and pensioners. The company now has 40 active workers, only five of whom are covered by the plan.
The company, which has not made any contributions to its plan since January 1996, asked the PBGC to take over. In exchange, the PBGC will receive 35% of the company's stock.
The PBGC had previously taken over 11 Allis-Chalmers pension plans that were shut down in 1985.
Gordon Food Service eyes
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - Gordon Food Service is studying record-keeping changes for its $150 million combined 401(k) and money purchase plan, said John M. Gordon Jr., manager-finance.
The plan employs three investment managers directly, plus five others through Smith Barney Consulting and about another 20 through Frank Russell.
It is considering joining with another firm to assist with record keeping, now done in-house, or upgrading its internal system platform or doing a combination of both.
He said it's unlikely the firm would outsource all of the record keeping.
The firm is studying the issue and hasn't set a timetable for implementing the change.
Turner Investment buys
Solon Asset Management
BERWYN, Pa. - Turner Investment Partners Inc. has agreed to buy Solon Asset Management L.P., a fixed-income fund management firm with about $350 million in assets, for an undisclosed amount.
Turner Investment late last month signed a letter of intent to acquire Solon, which is owned by James and Deborah Midanek. The acquisition, Turner Investment's first, is intended to broaden and enhance the company's fixed-income business, Stephen Kneeley, the firm's co-founder, said. Turner Investment is a stock manager that oversees about $2.3 billion in assets.
Solon, based in Walnut Creek, Calif., manages high-quality, fixed-income assets, including two highly rated no-load mutual funds. Solon specializes in mortgage-backed securities.
CalSTRS picks securities
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The $80 billion California State Teachers' Retirement System appointed Boston Global Advisors as a securities lending agent for international equities, said Patrick Mitchell, CalSTRS CIO.
The amount has not yet been determined.
Those securities not parceled out to BGA will continue to be loaned through CalSTRS' master custodian, State Street Bank.
Mr. Mitchell said the fund uses multiple lenders for its U.S. portfolios. By doing the same with international equities, it can apply different strategies with different vendors, he said.
The fund has $16.9 billion in international equities.
PNC Bank buys
Stolper & Co.
PITTSBURGH - PNC Bank Corp. purchased Stolper & Co., a money manager that serves high net worth individuals, for an undisclosed amount.
PNC merged Stolper with PNC's family wealth management group to form Hawthorn, which will target individuals and families with $25 million or more in net worth.
Hawthorn's name comes from the hawthorn tree, "which is regarded for its strength and stability, its ability to prosper under myriad conditions, and the protective nature of its branch structure," a PNC statement said. Two of the three Hawthorn managing directors come from Stolper.
The combined firm has $10 billion under management and almost $7 billion in custody and reporting relationships, according to a PNC statement.
System may take advantage
of new Illinois law
AURORA, Ill. - The Aurora Police & Fire Pension System is considering moving up to 35% of its $104 million fund into equities because of new state legislation that expands the investment authority of police and fire funds.
Currently, the fund only invests in Treasury bonds and bills with managers 1838 Investment Advisors and Zurich Investment Management.
Fund officials will meet at the end of October to discuss possible investment strategies.
Smith Barney is the fund's consultant.
NY Teamsters gives nod
to equity strategy
UTICA, N.Y. - The $1.6 billion New York State Teamsters Conference Pension and Retirement Fund allocated an additional $50 million to existing money manager Mitchell Hutchins, to be invested in a yield-enhanced equity strategy, confirmed Peter Carre, fund counsel. Mitchell Hutchins now manages more than $97 million for the fund.
The allocation was funded with money from a terminated money manager Mr. Carre declined to name.
Michigan fund buys
stake in real estate firm
LANSING, Mich. - The $35 billion State of Michigan Retirement Systems paid $150 million for an undisclosed stake in Edens & Avant, a real estate operating company, said Phil Van Syckle, head of mortgage and real estate.
Edens & Avant operators shopping centers in the Southeast, said Joe Edens, chairman.
Trade unions merge
pension, annuity funds
ROSINDALE, Mass. - Painters & Allied Trades District Council 35 and the Glaziers & Glass Workers Local 1044 are merging their pension and annuity funds.
The merged organizations will have about $115 million in pension assets and $53 million in annuity assets.
Merger agreements are being negotiated, said Sharon Sagany, fund administrator for the Painters.
The glaziers fund now has two managers and the painters fund has seven. Ms. Sagany declined to comment on what, if any, changes would be required after a merger.
The consolidation of the funds' managers is expected to be discussed at the Painters' next investment meeting on Nov. 21.
Senate OKs bill
to help smaller managers
WASHINGTON - The Senate passed legislation Sept. 26 that ensures small, state-regulated money managers can continue to advise corporate and union-sponsored pension plans.
The legislation, S. 1227, introduced by Sen. Jim Jeffords, R-Vt., amends federal pension law to allow money managers to advise pension plans even if they are not registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Last year's changes in securities laws cut off money managers with assets of less than $25 million from federal regulatory oversight.
Mr. Jeffords introduced the legislation because the Employee Retirement Income Security Act insists that all pension fund investment advisers must be registered with the SEC.
The legislation is effective July 8, 1887, the date the changes in the securities laws kicked in.
Lawmakers in the House have not yet voted on a similar bill introduced in the House on July 23 by Reps. Harris Fawell, R-Ill, Rep. Donald Payne, D-N.J., and William F. Goodling, R-Pa., chairman of the House Education and the Workforce Committee.
New Pioneer Group unit
BOSTON - The Pioneer Group Inc. formed Pioneer Global Institutional Advisors, which will consolidate in one place all of the company's institutional marketing, client reporting and product development.
The new unit will expand the menu of offerings for institutional investors, beyond its mutual fund, domestic and international separate account, international and commingled fund businesses.
Stephen G. Kasnet will lead the effort; Mr. Kasnet will continue in his role as president of Pioneer Real Estate Advisors Inc.
Christopher C. Abbott was hired as a managing director of sales for the group. He previously was in institutional sales at Putnam Investments, Boston, for seven years.
Mr. Abbott's replacement will be named shortly, said a Putnam spokeswoman.
Quincy fund interviews
QUINCY, Mass. - The $186 million Quincy Retirement System is finishing a search for an active international equity manager using the MSCI EAFE index as a benchmark.
Trustees interviewed finalists for the $10 million to $15 million assignment. The amount is slated to come from domestic equity assets. Final selection is expected by the end of October. Watson Wyatt is assisting.
Ohio Police & Fire
hires manager monitors
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The $7.2 billion Police and Firemen's Disability & Pension Fund hired Standard & Poor's Corp. and The Plexus Group to help monitor managers.
S&P will review each U.S. equity and bond manager's compliance with the fund's investment guidelines. Plexus will monitor trade execution.
The fund hired the two companies in an effort to adhere to a new state mandate that calls for the reduction of the plan's liabilities. The monitoring had been handled mainly in-house.
New York city plan
hires education vendor
NEW YORK - New York City Deferred Compensation Plan hired ICMA as its education and communication vendor. The firm replaces FASCorp, which will continue to provide record keeping for the $2.5 billion plan.
ICMA will conduct various presentations for current plan participants and potential new enrollees. Mercer assisted.
Salomon Smith Barney
may hit trading high
NEW YORK - The new Salomon Smith Barney Holdings Inc. is expected to have the highest trading volume in listed and NASDAQ securities, according to officials with BlockDATA, Boston.
Salomon Smith Barney Holdings Inc. was formed by the announced acquisition of Salomon Brothers Inc., New York, by Travelers Group, New York.
Based on current trading, Salomon and Travelers have the highest trading volume in those securities, according to BlockDATA. BlockDATA is a service that ranks more than 250 brokerages that advertise over the AutEX network, an electronic financial information network.
to housing program
NEW YORK - New York City Employees' Retirement System allocated an additional $100 million to the Chase Community Development Corp. Multi-Family Home Project, a program that rehabilitates buildings in New York City, said Adam Barsky, acting chairman of the board of the $45 billion fund. The retirement system previously invested $100 million with Chase.
Trustees also hired Robinson, Silverman, Pearce, Aronsohn & Berman, a law firm that will advise the system on its investments in tobacco stocks. NYCERS has about $360 million invested in tobacco stocks.
Ambassador REIT hires
Merrill Lynch as adviser
CHICAGO - Ambassador Apartments Inc., a public REIT, hired Merrill Lynch & Co. as its financial adviser to help the company maximize shareholder value, said David Glickman, chairman.
Funds making direct placements into the company include: Public Employees' Retirement System of Ohio, Columbus; Commonwealth of Pennsylvania State Employes' Retirement System, Harrisburg; the pension fund of General Motors Corp., New York; and The State Teachers' Retirement System of Ohio, Columbus.
CREF stock fund
hits a milestone
New York - The CREF Stock Account has become the first fund managed by a single manager to top $100 billion under management.
The fund, launched in 1952, was the country's first variable annuity. Two-thirds of the fund is indexed to the U.S. stock market and the balance is actively managed in domestic and international stocks.