Cometa, the private pension fund for Italy's metal workers, is seeking to hire a maximum of six managers in the 400 billion lire ($223 million) fund's first move to outside management. The Milan-based fund will hire managers to run three different balanced approaches: "conservative," with a breakdown of 10% stocks and 90% bonds; "income," with stocks comprising 10% to 30%; and "growth," with stocks comprising 70% to 90% of the total. Portfolios will be invested in euroland, U.K., Swiss, U.S. and Japanese securities; allocations for each area have not been set. Applications must be received by May 4; a selection will be made by the end of June. Details (in Italian) are available at www.cometafondo.it. No consultant is being used.
Melrose (Mass.) Contributory Retirement System, with $43 million in assets, is searching for a style rotation investment manager that will overweight domestic growth or value stocks, depending on what is in favor. The portfolio will be $6 million. Proposals are due May 5. The fund has been contemplating such a hire for some time, said Kevin Leonard, the Segal Advisors consultant who is assisting. Money for the new mandate will come from Fleet, which manages the bulk of the pension fund's assets in a balanced portfolio.
City of Fitchburg (Mass.) Retirement System, with $61 million in assets, is searching for a core equity manager and a core fixed-income manager. The search was prompted by the departure of the portfolio manager who ran the bulk of the pension fund's assets in a balanced portfolio at Family Bank. The pension fund, which uses Family Bank as its custodian, also is searching for a new custodian, said Kevin Leonard, the Segal Advisors consultant who is assisting. Family Bank intends to participate in all three searches, Mr. Leonard said. The equity manager will run $24 million; the fixed-income manager, $27 million. RFPs for the two investment manager searches are due May 21. Custodian proposals are due May 7.
Kyocera International, San Diego, is considering a search for a large-cap growth U.S. equity manager to diversify its $40 million defined benefit plan, said Dan Pollard, manager of the treasury department. Mr. Pollard said if a search is launched, funding for the as-yet-undetermined allocation will come from reducing a large-cap value U.S. equity portfolio managed by Fox Asset Management. No timetable was set for a decision.
Plymouth County (Mass.) Retirement System is planning to search for a real estate manager to run $10 million in a core open-end portfolio, John McLellan, county treasurer, said. The $350 million fund will send out RFPs in the next few months. Separately, the fund hired three domestic stock managers to run a total of $40 million that previously was managed in-house. The $350 million pension fund hired Freedom Capital to run $15 million in a commingled-style rotation fund; Boston Co. Asset Management to run $15 million in midcap growth; and Aeltus, $10 million in small-cap growth. Dahab Associates assisted.
State of Hawaii Employees' Retirement System, Honolulu, added alternative investments as a new asset class and may search for additional managers for small-cap to midcap U.S. equity, global fixed-income and real estate mandates after adopting a new asset mix, said Nathan Fischer, CIO for the $9 billion fund. The new asset mix is 41% domestic equity; 17% international equity; 18% domestic fixed income; 10% global fixed income; 9% real estate; and 5% alternative investments. The previous mix was 38% domestic equity; 16% international equity; 31% domestic fixed income; 5% global fixed income; and 10% real estate. "We definitely need to start moving some money around to meet these new allocations," said Mr. Fischer. While no timetable was set for when searches may begin, no current managers are expected to be terminated, said Mr. Fischer. Callan Associates conducted the study.
City of Sarasota (Fla.) Firefighters' Pension Plan is expected to decide at its May 19 board meeting whether to begin an asset allocation study for its $80 million fund, said Benita Saldutti, pension manager. The current mix is 65% domestic equity, 30% domestic fixed income and 5% cash. Ms. Saldutti said Merrill Lynch will conduct the study and may be assisted by the plan's actuary, Gabriel Roeder Smith.
Nissan Motor Manufacturing Corp.., Smyrna, Tenn., is expected to begin an asset allocation study next quarter for its $146 million defined benefit plan, said Jay Young, senior treasury analyst. The current mix is 45% domestic equity, 20% international equity and 35% domestic fixed income. LCG Associates will conduct the study.