MINNEAPOLIS -- Medtronic Inc. expects to merge the $100 million in pension assets of Physio International Control Corp. into its nearly $1.3 billion in pension plans by May 1, said Robert Moe, senior benefits manager for Physio. Medtronic acquired Physio of Redmond, Wash., in September.
INVESCO, the sole manager for Physio's $70 million defined benefit plan, and manager of a balanced fund for its $30 million defined contribution plan, will be terminated. Mr. Moe, who declined to say if there were other managers for its defined contribution plan, did say INVESCO is the only manager change that will take place.
Vanguard will take over the INVESCO accounts. It is the sole manager for Medtronic's $800 million 401(k) plan and runs a large-cap U.S. equity portfolio for its $224 million defined benefit plan. The remaining $267 million in pension assets are in an ESOP.
Dale Beumer, vice president and treasurer for Medtronic, declined to discuss current managers for its defined benefit plan or any possible manager changes.
Marshfield Clinic makes switch to outsourcing
MARSHFIELD, Wis. -- The Marshfield Clinic outsourced the record keeping and administration of its $190 million 401(k) plan and $520 million money purchase plan to Northern Trust. Both plans are now internally administered and valued quarterly; Northern Trust will offer daily valuation, employee education and communications.
Thomas E. Bauer, manager, retirement plans, said the 401(k) plan will continue to offer seven investment options from various managers, although two options in similar asset classes, which he wouldn't identify, may be merged and another added later. Northern Trust manages an S&P 500 index fund for the 401(k) and money purchase plans, as well as a fund based on the S&P BARRA Value index.
The money purchase plan may be converted to allow participant investment control and other features, he said. The switch to outside record-keeping services will facilitate changes in plan design for the larger of the clinic's two defined contribution plans. Northern Trust is scheduled to take over record keeping of the plans May 1.
Genesco plans asset allocation study
NASHVILLE -- Genesco Inc. is expected by June to begin an asset allocation study, said Matthew Johnson, treasurer for the $87 million defined benefit plan. The study could lead to changes.
Labor picks key votes for proxy season
The AFL-CIO Office of Investment has announced its 35 "key shareholder votes of 1999."
Among the more controversial resolutions: putting an employee representative on the board -- at Merck -- and capping CEO pay --at Citigroup, which has a resolution pending that seeks to establish a maximum ratio between the highest and lowest paid employee.
Avondale Industries faces three governance resolutions sponsored by employee members of the company ESOP. Companies with two shareholder resolutions pending are Chubb, GE, Great Lakes Chemical, Home Depot, J.C. Penney and Tyco.
State fund considers condensing bond benchmarks
PHILADELPHIA -- The Phil- adelphia Employees' Retirement System is considering changing its three bond benchmarks to one, said Marc Bonavitacola, acting CIO for the $4.6 billion system. The fund uses the Lehman full-and intermediate-duration and international fixed-income indexes for benchmarks. It's looking to change to the core-plus Lehman aggregate, he said.
The change is due to an asset allocation study the plan completed last year. It would affect the system's six active bond managers, he said. Philadelphia Municipal Employees' current bond portfolio totals $1.4 billion.
Law enforcement trust trims custodians
INDIANAPOLIS -- The Marion County Law Enforcement Trust terminated four previous custodians and kept Key Trust as custodian. The terminations resulted from a decision to use one custodian instead of five, said Larry McHenry, board chairman for the $100 million defined benefit plan. Terminated were National City, First Chicago NBD, Banc One and Union Federal Savings Bank. All rebid.
Cement & Concrete Workers contemplates plan renovation
FLUSHING, N.Y. -- The Laborers District Council, Cement & Concrete Workers, Locals 6A, 18A and 20 is expected to begin a review of its managers by the end of the month to determine if changes are necessary, said Silvana Baldo, acting administrator for the $200 million defined benefit plan. No timetable was set for completion.
Pioneer Group spins off venture management company
BOSTON -- Ascent Venture Management Inc. and a private equity fund run by Landmark Partners Inc. have purchased the investments run by Pioneer Group's domestic venture capital business for $35 million, said Walter Dick, managing director at Ascent.
In connection with the purchase, the entire former four-person management team and six-person support staff from Pioneer Capital, a subsidiary of Pioneer Group, spun off into a new venture management company, Ascent, to manage the investments, which total around $100 million.
Investors in the funds include the pension funds of the Massachusetts cities of Worcester, Cambridge, Brockton and Lowell; Worcester County, Worcester, Mass.; Middlesex County, East Cambridge, Mass.; Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, Boston; and Massachusetts Housing Finance Agency, Boston.