Pension issues prominent
The Senate Finance Committee's agenda this year will feature retirement issues prominently, according to Chairman William V. Roth Jr., R-Del.
He intends to push for further expansion of IRAs by raising the $2,000 annual contribution cap, as well as hearings on how well 401(k) plans are working and examination of proposals to reform Social Security.
Meanwhile, a White House official said President Clinton's State of the Union address Jan. 27 is expected to include Social Security, payroll deductions for IRA contributions, tax credits for small businesses to set up simplified defined benefit plans and faster vesting of 401(k) plan employer matching contributions.
Russell wins Lillywhite
George F. Russell Jr., chairman of Frank Russell Co., is the recipient of the EBRI Lillywhite Award, presented Jan. 22 during Pensions & Investments' 1998 Defined Contribution Conference. Winners of the Lillywhite award have made significant contributions to the investment management and employee benefit fields, and whose service has enhanced America's economic security.
Belgians issue proposals
The Belgian Commission on Corporate Governance issued a draft code of best practice that tracks the United Kingdom's Cadbury Code.
The recommendations are expected to be made final in June.
The report includes a strict definition of independence for outside directors, says boards must have "a sufficient number" of independent directors, says boards should be limited to 12 members and calls for splitting the role of chairman and chief executive.
Hart Bornhoft reinstated
San Diego County Employees' Retirement Association reinstated Hart Bornhoft Group as one of its futures manager-of-managers. The firm will manage the same amount it did before, about $56 million of the San Diego's roughly $150 million managed futures allocation.
Hart Bornhoft lost about $6 million for the $3.3 billion pension fund last year when a futures fund managed by Victor Niederhoffer collapsed. The loss triggered an automatic suspension of Hart Bornhoft's allocation.
Brian White, retirement administrator for the county, said Hart Bornhoft has expanded and improved its risk control oversight.
Terry forming new firm
Donna Terry, former president and CIO at Barnett Capital, is opening a new asset management firm that will manage cash, fixed-income and equity portfolios for institutions and high-net-worth clients. Ms. Terry's position was eliminated after NationsBank Corp. bought Barnett's parent.
Venture capital fund closes
Information Technology Ventures closed ITV II, a venture capital limited partnership, raising $130 million from pension funds and endowments. New investors include the Los Angeles County Employees' Retirement Association, the pension fund for Hewlett Packard Co., the Amherst College endowment and Endowment Advisers Inc., a fund-of-funds sponsored by The Common Fund.
Investors from the first fund that invested in ITV II are the California Public Employees' Retirement System and the University of Texas endowment.
Scarlata joins N.Y. Common
Richard Scarlata has been appointed assistant deputy comptroller for real estate for the $95 billion New York Common Retirement Fund.
Mr. Scarlata previously was president and CEO of Rockefeller Center Properties, a mortgage REIT. He replaces Alan Sullivan, who left the fund late last year.
BARRA, Caps team up
BARRA and CAPS formed a joint venture to offer a risk analysis and reporting service to U.K. pension funds. Risk Reporting Ltd. will provide quarterly and annual reports that identify risk compared to benchmarks, peer groups and cash. Included in the service will be style analysis, and the identification of the sources of risk.
Arkansas PERS exec dies
Kie Hall, executive director of the $3.3 billion Arkansas Public Employees Retirement System, died Jan. 17 after a long battle with cancer, said Bill Van Cleef, assistant director. The board of trustees will meet Monday to name an acting director and begin a search for a new executive director, Mr. Van Cleef said.
Stewart A. Dier has been named director of fixed income with the $21 billion Pennsylvania State Employes' Retirement System, Harrisburg. Mr. Dier replaces Diane Sterthous, who last year was named director of alternative investments.
Mr. Dier was a supervising analyst with the New York City Employees' Retirement System.
Teeside taps RBS Trust
Teeside Pension Fund consolidated its global custody arrangements with RBS Trust Bank effective Feb. 1.
Previously, the 780 million pounds ($1.27 billion) pension fund had used four custodians, but decided to consolidate in the interest of efficiency and cost-savings, said Fred Green, head of investments at Middlesbrough Borough Council, which administers the fund.
Midland Securities Services had provided custody for domestic securities; Bankers Trust for Far Eastern securities; Merrill Lynch for U.S. securities; and BZW Securities for continental European equities.
New Orleans fund hires
The $170 million Firefighters Pension and Relief Fund for the City of New Orleans hired Scudder Kemper Investments and Loomis Sayles as its first high-yield bond managers. Each will manage $10 million.
Funding will come from existing core bond managers, none of which will be terminated. Smith Barney assisted.
Charlotte Firefighters hire
The Charlotte (N.C.) Firefighters Retirement System hired Wachovia Bank as custodian to replace United Carolina Bank. Callan Associates assisted.
SocGen to buy Yamaichi
Societe Generale Asset Management reached an agreement to purchase 85%of the capital of Yamaichi International Capital Management. Terms of the stock purchase agreement, which should be signed Feb. 15, were not disclosed.