Disney selloff set
The Texas Board of Education, Austin, voted last week to divest the $43 million in Walt Disney Co. stock that is held by the Texas Permanent School Fund.
The $17.1 billion fund has not developed a specific plan to liquidate the 460,000 shares. The shares will be divested "expeditiously," a board spokeswoman said. The board was concerned over the content of films that Disney subsidiary Miramax Films has released.
SEC looks at Y2K
The SEC has proposed that registered investment advisers report on preparations for the year 2000 problem.
The proposed rule would require investment advisers to report on steps they have taken, and will take. The report, to be made using a form the SEC is calling ADV-Y2K, would require similar information regarding any mutual funds they manage.
The year 2000 problem stems from computer programs and chips that don't recognize the year 2000, and as a result may not run properly or at all.
Fund eyes new portfolios
The $206 million Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers Industry Pension Fund will add a small-cap to midcap portfolio and an international equity portfolio in the fall.
Trustees have yet to decide the sizes of the portfolios, but will interview prospective firms on Oct. 28.
Innovest Portfolio Solutions will issue RFPs.
New Maryland chief
Michael Barnes will replace Louis L. Goldstein as Maryland State Comptroller and as chairman of the board for the $27.8 billion State Retirement and Pension System of Maryland. Mr. Goldstein died Friday.
Mr. Barnes was appointed to serve as comptroller until the end of Mr. Goldstein's term, Dec. 31. He is expected to run for the office this fall. Mr. Barnes was a private attorney before the appointment.
Pension bill coming
Sens. Bob Graham, D-Fla., and Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa, are expected to introduce a broad-based bipartisan pension bill next week. The bill would help small businesses set up retirement plans, improve pension portability, and ensure women get their fair share of pensions.
The bill also aims to ensure that working Americans receive their pensions when they reach old age and eliminate tedious paperwork requirements for employers. Among its provisions, the legislation would give temporary and leased workers an opportunity to participate in retirement plans; give small businesses tax credits to ease the administrative costs of setting up new retirement plans; and let job hoppers switch among 401(k) plans, individual retirement plans, 403(b) or 457 plans.
Strong returns for 2 funds
The $10 billion Kentucky Retirement System and $10 billion Kentucky Teachers Retirement System both exceeded their investment goals over five years, thanks largely to domestic stock allocations of 68%and 52% respectively.
KRS reported a return of 24.2%for the year ended June 30, 1997; KTRS reported 19.6%for the same period. KRS has an actuarial assumption of 8.25% KTRS has an assumption of 8%
1st step in merger
Achmea and Rabobank will form a joint venture covering money management, insurance and other areas Jan. 1, the first step toward a full merger of the two Dutch financial institutions.
The joint venture will create a Dutch powerhouse with 260 billion guilders ($126 billion) under management. Another 40 billion guilders will be managed outside the joint venture. A full merger is expected within three years.
Rabobank has a 50%stake in Robeco Group with an option to buy the rest. Robeco recently acquired Weiss, Peck & Greer, and also owns RREEF Funds and a minority stake in Smith, Graham & Co.
Achmea earlier this year announced a merger with Dutch money manager and administrator PVF Concern.
Bond firm formed
Riverside Capital Advisers has spun off its $135 million high-yield bond operation into a new firm, Biscayne Capital Management. Biscayne will focus on gaining institutional business. The new firm's principals are former Riverside high-yield portfolio managers, Michael Bowen and Thomas Krasner, who have a minority ownership in Biscayne.
Riverside, a manager of alternative fixed-income investments, has $165 million in assets under management remaining.
More shareholder power
The balance of power between large corporations and large shareholders is shifting to the shareholders, said Sarah Teslik, executive director of the Council of Institutional Investors.
Speaking July 9 at a conference of the International Corporate Governance Network held in San Francisco, she said some shareholder rights issues, such as the elimination of poison pills, are consistently getting more than 50%of shareholder proxy votes.
That is new and surprising, she said, but while the balance of power is shifting, shareholder power is still "phenomenally small."
Hospital selects firm
Boca Raton Community Hospital hired Northern Trust Global Investments to manage a $58 million fixed-income portfolio. Susie McGibany, CFO, said Northern replaced First Union. The hospital's pension fund is $60 million, endowment fund $120 million and operating fund $35 million. Mercer Investment is Boca's consultant.
Foundation hires 2
The $1.4 billion Doris Duke Charitable Foundation hired Farallon Capital and Angelo Gordon & Co. as absolute return managers.
Each firm will manage $25 million in multistrategy arbitrage portfolios. The funding comes from a reallocation of the portfolio. It is expected the foundation will hire a couple more absolute return managers over the course of the summer, said Alan Altschuler, CFO.
Cambridge Associates assisted.
Chiquita picks Putnam
Chiquita Brands International, Cincinnati, hired Putnam Investments as bundled provider to its $31 million 401(k) plan.
The investment management services were formerly provided by Fidelity, Morley Capital Management and Vanguard. Coopers & Lybrand was record keeper, according to Jack Wagner, Chiquita's director, human resources, systems and administration.
Strong leaves Watson Wyatt
Mike Strong is leaving his post as senior investment consultant at Watson Wyatt Worldwide in England to become international investment director this fall at Fidelity Management Trust.
System's debut delayed
Chicago Board Brokerage delayed the opening of its MarketPower electronic bond trading system to July 31 in order to allow for further testing of the system.
The system was to open July 13, but instead will begin beta-testing on that date.
In addition, Cantor Fitzgerald, the bond broker, is seeking an injunction preventing MarketPower from starting up because of a legal dispute over the system's technology.
3 join Nicholas-Applegate
Edmund W. Keeley Jr., Philip J. Miller and Victor J. Raskin have joined Nicholas-Applegate Capital Management as value equity portfolio managers, new positions. All three were managing directors at Smith Barney Capital Management, where a search for their replacements is beginning.
Manager hires executive
Jeffrey B. Lane was named a principal, chief administrative officer and member of the executive committee at Neuberger & Berman, a new position. Mr. Lane, who will be responsible for administrative functions at Neuberger, effective July 21, was previously vice chairman at Travelers Group, where he oversaw administrative functions. A spokeswoman at Travelers said a replacement has not yet been named for Mr. Lane's position.
Gartmore taps marketer
Dick Hoag was named to the new position of managing director of business development for Gartmore Global Partners, a joint venture between NationsBank and Gartmore Investment Management. Mr. Hoag was global sales director for Bankers Trust's investment management operation.