There may be little leisure available this summer for money managers and pension fund executives, because of fears of the year-end computer changeover.
Plan sponsors have been pushing hard to get all searches and asset allocation changes done far in advance of the last months of the year, said John Brown, head of the $72 billion institutional business of Putnam Investments, Boston.
"We expect it will slow down dramatically in the second half of the year," he said.
It is unknown how smoothly the world's computer systems will turn over to 2000. In the event of a system shutdown, pension funds want to have all of their business neatly in place, sources said.
While traditionally the last quarter of the year is slow, some plan sponsors think it might be even slower this year.
Thomas Lopez, chief investment officer of Los Angeles Fire & Police Pension System, believes some pension funds are postponing custodian searches because of Y2K. Trustees of the $11 billion fund have not decided to put off searches because of the date change, he added.
Rumors of decreased activity also have surfaced at the University of California in Oakland, where Treasurer Patricia Small oversees a $37 billion pension fund as well as a $4 billion endowment fund. She has heard some will stop trading, but remains hesitant about going that far.
"We're a global society. I'm sure there has to be glitches," Ms. Small said about the dilemma.