The Association for Investment Management and Research proposed new standards governing soft-dollar arrangements between money managers and brokerage firms.
Under the proposal, the definition of soft-dollar arrangements would be expanded to include proprietary research provided by Wall Street brokerage firms in exchange for securities trades; trades in which brokerages make money based on the spread between the selling and buying prices of securities; and products and services that help money managers make investment decisions.
The proposal also would require money managers to provide information regarding their soft-dollar brokerage practices to clients upon request.
Traditionally, the definition of soft-dollar arrangements has included products or services provided to money managers by firms other than the broker executing the trade. The traditional definition also refers to trades executed for a commission.
Board of Public Utilities of Kansas City, Kan., is considering adding an international government fixed-income mandate to its defined benefit plan's asset allocation.
The decision follows the completion of an asset allocation study by DeMarche. The board will talk to current international equity manager Lazard Freres about running the new bond portfolio. The firm now manages $20 million. The implementation process isn't likely to begin until at least late February, said George Dalton, administrator of the $270 million fund.
The Morgan Stanley Capital International World Index fell 2.8% in dollar terms in the fourth quarter, while the MSCI-EAFE index declined 8.2%. MSCI's Emerging Makets Free index fell 17.8% in the quarter.
The biggest gain among developed markets was in Switzerland's market, up 8%. Malaysia's market trailed with its 38.7% loss for the quarter. Among emerging markets, the quarter's best performer was Turkey's market, up 24.5%; South Korea's market was the group's worst performer, with its whopping 64.5% decline for the quarter.
For December, the MSCI World Index inched up 1.1% in dollar terms, while the EAFE index gained only 0.7%. During December, the MSCI-EMF index rose 2.2%.
U.K. pension funds had a 16% total return in 1997, according to estimates by WM Co. The total return compares with a 10.7% return in 1996.
Last year's returns were buoyed by a 22% return from U.K. equities, comprising 54.1% of British pension assets at year end. European equities, accounting for 9% of assets, provided a 28.4% return. North American stocks, accounting for only 4% of assets, provided a 33.9% return. Returns were dragged down by Asian equity returns. Japanese equities, at 3.1% of assets, lost 18.7%. Pacific Basin (ex-Japan) stocks, at 2.5% of assets, fell 31.3%.