Steamfitters Local 602, Landover, Md., hired Marco Consulting to provide proxy voting services for its $200 million pension fund. Marco will be looking at domestic companies only. The Taft-Hartley fund currently invests $100 million in U.S. stocks. The search was done internally. Nearly three-quarters (72%) of CEOs around the world, including 75% of those in the U.S., say policy-makers should fundamentally restructure current national retirement programs, according to a survey by Watson Wyatt Worldwide. Of the CEOs surveyed, 80% say they face an aging population that will strain the national retirement system.
Also, 88% of executives surveyed said they favor replacing all or part of the national retirement system with a form of private savings accounts. Watson Wyatt's survey contains responses from 773 CEOs in 23 countries.
Reichold Chemicals, Research Triangle Park, N.C., hired Fischer, Francis, Trees & Watts to manage 25% of the total fund in U.S. bonds. The funding comes from an overweighting in the U.S. large-cap stock portfolio. Shields Associates assisted.
Separately, the company is searching for a small-cap value equity manager for its $250 million defined benefit plan. The search, which will be done by consultant Shields, is expected to be completed in the next couple of months. A portfolio size has yet to be determined.
FirstEnergy Corp., Akron, Ohio, will add the Armada domestic equity growth fund, managed by National City Bank, to its 401(k) plan. When it's added July 1, the new fund will bring to eight the number of investment options for the plan.
The plan will have some $700 million in assets after the consolidation of the 401(k) plans of its predecessor companies, Ohio Edison Co. and Centerior Energy Corp. Each company now has a plan of about $340 million. Most of the plan's other investment options are provided by State Street Global.
Qualex Inc., Durham, N.C., added a midcap equity fund managed by DePrince Race & Zollo to its defined contribution plan.
The fund will replace the Driehaus Midcap Equity Fund, whose performance was not in line with the $118 million plan's investment objectives, said Gary Strobel, benefits manager. Performance Analytics assisted.