Vermont Treasurer James H. Douglas is pushing for legislation to establish a defined contribution retirement plan to cover 777 ``exempt'' state employees. Under Mr. Douglas' plan, the employees would be eligible to contribute a percentage of their salaries to individual accounts, and the state would make a fixed contribution to each of them.
If the plan is enacted, eligible employees would be able to transfer retirement savings from the current state pension plan to the new plan. Mr. Douglas expects between 35% and 75% of eligible workers will choose the new plan, and the new plan will have a negligible effect on the Vermont State Retirement System.
Carpenters Pension Trust Fund of Southern Florida, Hialeah, will be interviewing two U.S. large-cap stock managers at its March 23 board meeting, said Carl Mayes, benefits coordinator.
Mr. Mayes said the presentations are informational, and it's not certain whether a firm will be hired or any managers terminated. He declined to name the managers. The fund's asset mix is 60% stocks and 40% bonds. IPS is assisting. The $155 million fund has Lazard, MacKay-Shields, Oppenheimer and SunTrust as core equity managers.
Heitman Capital Management settled the lawsuit it brought against the $826 million Pennsylvania Municipal Retirement System in 1996 regarding the pension fund's investment in JMB Group Trust IV. A Heitman spokeswoman said the suit was settled amicably. Both sides declined to comment on the settlement.
Heitman alleged PMRS threatened to sue if the manager didn't make a private agreement with the system regarding alleged mismanagement of Group Trust IV. Heitman then sued PMRS alleging the secret agreement would be a breach of the firm's fiduciary duties to other investors.
PMRS invested a total of $11 million in Group Trust IV. The investment was marked down to $4.6 million shortly before the filing of the lawsuit.
City of Kansas City (Mo.) Employees' Retirement System changed its three fixed-income portfolios following a review, said Rick Boersma, retirement administrator.
Standish, Ayer & Wood, which handled a $75 million core bond portfolio, now will run a core-plus portfolio, allowing the firm to invest in international, emerging market and high-yield bonds. Phoenix Duff and Phelps' $70 million core portfolio was changed to include the same type of bonds, but will be invested by sister company Phoenix Investment Counsel. Smith Graham now will manage $40 million in a core bond portfolio. It previously managed a short-term government mortgage portfolio. DeMarche assisted.
Cushman & Wakefield bought a minority interest in Apogee Associates that will allow Cushman, a real estate broker, to expand into real estate investment banking and capital markets activity.
Apogee is a real estate securities advisory firm specializing in REITs, commercial mortgage-backed securities and capital market strategies. Terms were not disclosed.