SEARCHES & HIRINGS
Reichold Chemicals, Research Triangle Park, N.C., is searching for a small-cap value equity manager for its $250 million defined benefit plan. The search, which will be done by Shields Associates, is expected to be finished in the next couple of months. A portfolio size has yet to be determined.
Separately, Reichold hired Fischer, Francis, Trees & Watts to run 25% of the fund in U.S. bonds. Funding comes from an overweighting in U.S. large-cap stocks. Shields assisted.
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 $700 million in assets after the completion of 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. Completion is expected Jan. 1.
Most of the plan's other investment options are provided by State Street Global Advisors.
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.
Trautman Kramer & Co., New York, hired Tocqueville Asset Management to manage its first mutual fund, the Trautman Kramer Value Plus Fund.
The fund will invest primarily in out-of-favor U.S. companies, but can also invest up to 10% of assets in private placements in entrepreneurial and emerging growth companies expected to go public or merge with public companies within three to five years.
Western Reserve Life Assurance, Cleveland, hired Third Avenue to manage a value portfolio for use in its WRL Series Fund, a nonpublic mutual fund open only for Western Reserve's separate account clients.
The fund is distributed through the insurer's network of licensed insurance agents. Martin J. Whitman is the portfolio manager at Third Avenue.
BNP Gestions, Paris, hired external managers to run a fifth of two new equity fund-of-funds offered to the French retail market, and may outsource additional money over time.
Four-fifths of the funds will be managed by BNP Gestions, but the rest has been outsourced, all through SICAVs. The proportion allocated to external managers may increase over time, BNP Gestions officials said. Conquete Europe and Conquete Monde have raised 20 million French francs ($3.2 million) since they were launched March 16.
Fleming was hired for U.S. and U.K. large-cap stocks; Fidelity Investments for U.K. large-cap and Scandinavian medium- and large-cap stocks; Invesco and Credit Suisse were picked for European small-cap; Neuberger and Berman for U.S. small-cap; and Dresdner Bank's Eastern European Fund for central European stocks.
Phoenix Home Life, Hartford, Conn. added five investment options to its variable annuity and universal life products. The Big Edge and Group Strategic Edge variable annuity programs now offer 21 investment options. The new options are Seneca Mid-Cap Growth, managed by Seneca Capital Management; Engemann Nifty-Fifty, managed by Roger Engemann & Associates; Schafer Mid-Cap Value, managed by Schafer Capital Management; and Phoenix Value Equity and Phoenix Growth & Income managed by Phoenix Investment Counsel.