Amalgamated Bank of New York has agreed to buy an 80% stake in First Trade Union Bank, said a spokesman for the seller. First Trade Union Bank, is owned by the $800 million Carpenters Combined Benefit Funds of Massachusetts, Boston. Its parent, Los Angeles-based First Trade Union Trust, specializes in union pension plan administration.
Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
The agreement is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to close by the end of the first quarter.
Extreme winter weather conditions hampered pension fund offices across the Midwest today.
At the Iowa Public Employees' Retirement System, Des Moines, a recorded phone message stated the office was closed because of the inclement weather. And a phone message at the Kansas Public Employees' Retirement System, Topeka, asked callers to try back on Tuesday. The State of Wisconsin Investment Board, Madison, remained open despite some heavy snow.
``Everybody got in today,'' said Vicky Herring, a spokeswoman.
In Lincoln, Neb., the Nebraska Public Employees Retirement Systems offices also remained open.
Very little staff is here today, but we're still open,'' said a staffer.
More than 40% of CEOs around the world say their companies now take into account an aging work force in their long-term business plans, according to a survey by Watson Wyatt Worldwide.
Evidently, there is good reason for doing so. Watson Wyatt's survey found 88% of the 773 CEOs responding see a link between workers' age and their productivity. Specifically, as a worldwide average, chief executives believe productivity peaks at an average of 43 years of age. This level of productivity is sustained for an average of 15 years before falling off, the CEOs said.
``But early retirement en masse for this huge demographic group isn't an option,'' said George Bailey, global director of Watson Wyatt's human capital group. ``Companies cannot afford to lose so much talent and experience all at once, especially when there are comparably fewer younger workers to take their place,'' he said.
One innovative way companies can raise their work forces' productivity is through flexible work arrangements. According to a different Watson Wyatt study, in the next two to three years, 90% of U.S. employers will allow employees to work from home and 75% will institute job-sharing policies.
ING Barings trimmed its Latin America GDP growth forecasts for 1998. The firm also expects slower progress in the reduction of inflation and additional currency weakness because of spillover from the Asian crisis.
Overall, the region will register real GDP growth of less than 3.5%, this year, down from 5.25%, forecasted Arturo Porzecanski, ING Barings' chief economist for the Americas. For several countries, ING Barings has cut its GDP growth forecasts from expectations of two months ago. Countries with reduced 1998 growth forecasts are: Chile, trimmed to 5.5% from 6.5%; Colombia, 4.4% from 4.8%; Ecuador, 2.5% from 3.4%; and Mexico and Venezuela, both cut to 5% from 5.5%.
London International Financial Futures and Options Exchange adopted plans to create an automated trading system that will lead to a change in how the exchange is owned.
The automated system, called LIFFECONNECT, is scheduled to offer equity options trading in November and futures contract trading about a year after that. The system will run concurrent to LIFFE's open outcry trading methodology.
LIFFE now offers one trading right for each share owned. That relationship is likely to change, given an electronic system will have traders managing from all around the world, a spokeswoman said.
Elgin (Ill.) Police Pension Fund is looking to add equity index funds to its asset mix, following a change in the fund's investment policy.
The board approved increasing the fund's equity allocation to 35% of total assets in compliance with a state law that took effect Jan. 1.
The $32 million fund is reviewing information it has received on specific funds and will be meeting later in the year to decide. James Lamkin, trustee, had no additional information on the number or type of funds to be added or how much money would be awarded. The board is conducting the search internally.
Colorado State Bank & Trust, Denver, created a new mutual fund family, the Aristata Funds, by converting $175 million of collective trust funds into three mutual funds. Tempest, Isenhart, Chafee, Lansdowne & Associates was retained as the subadviser for the no-load Aristata Equity Fund, Quality Bond Fund and Colorado Quality Tax Exempt Fund. Tempest, Isenhart has managed the assets for the funds' 21 years of existence as collective trusts.
CORRECTION: It was incorrectly reported in the March 6 issue of P&I Daily that Henry Cavanna, a managing director at J.P. Investment Management, is retiring from the firm