Cash balance fight continues
Boeing's engineering union is expected to overwhelmingly reject a new contract offer that would move all union workers into Boeing's cash balance plan on Jan. 1, without giving them the choice of staying in the traditional pension plan.
Stanley Sorscher, executive board and negotiating committee member for the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace, said union members had hoped to choose between the old and the new plans, but the company said that was impossible. The union's contract with Boeing expires Dec. 1.
Louisiana funds file suit
The $1.4 billion Louisiana School Employees' Retirement System and the $1 billion Louisiana Municipal Police Employees' Retirement System have filed a class-action lawsuit against Warner-Lambert Co.
The complaint, filed in Delaware chancery court, seeks to prevent the company's board of directors from allegedly breaching fiduciary duties to shareholders by merging with American Home Products. The funds allege the breach occurred when Warner-Lambert agreed to merge with American Home without giving due consideration to a competing bid by Pfizer Inc.
The pension funds collectively hold more than $10 million in Warner-Lambert common stock.
CalPERS to vote on managers
Trustees of the $156 billion California Public Employees' Retirement System were expected to vote Nov. 15 on investing $100 million in Blackstone Mezzanine Partner, a debt-oriented mezzanine fund.
The board also will vote on renewing contracts for one year with Dimensional Fund Advisors, which manages a $1.5 billion passive small-cap portfolio, and three currency overlay managers: Pareto Partners, which runs $4.4 billion; Credit Suisse Asset Management, $2.2 billion; and State Street Global Advisors, $900 million.
The contract of Metropolitan West Securities, which provides securities lending for the fund, also is up for a one-year extension.
Tradestreet to move team
Tradestreet Investment Associates will be moving its equity team to St. Louis, from Charlotte, N.C., said Mike Kenneally, chief investment officer of Bank of America Asset Management Group.
The move is part of a strategy to consolidate the money management firms of Boatmen's Capital Management; Sovran Capital Management; Tradestreet and Bank of America Investment Management under a single name with integrated investment platforms.
The new name will be Banc of America Capital Management.
Mr. Kenneally said the client servicing team likely will stay in Charlotte, along with managers of short-term investments.
Cincinnati taps firm
Investment officer Jack Walsh said officials decided to set up the portfolio because the fund had exceeded its target allocation for domestic large-cap value .
S. Carolina narrows search
The South Carolina Retirement System named finalists for three of its equity mandates, said Sandra Morelli, a principal at William M. Mercer, the $18 billion fund's consultant.
Finalists for the system's $480 million large-cap value mandate are Sanford C. Bernstein, Flippin Bruce & Porter and Institutional Capital. Finalists for its $300 million large-cap core mandate are Chicago Equity Partners, J.P. Morgan and Wellington; and finalists for its $90 million small-cap to midcap core mandate are Aeltus, Farrell-SL and Fidelity.
All finalists are scheduled to be interviewed Nov. 23. Final approval is expected in January.
New BondEdge due
Capital Management Sciences will release in February the latest version of its BondEdge software, which will include access to a new non-dollar bond database compiled by the International Securities Market Association.
The database will allow users to analyze non-dollar bond portfolios; previously, users had to input non-dollar security information in order to use the BondEdge multi-currency component. The ISMA database comprises 17,000 non-dollar-denominated securities in more than 70 countries.
Natick hires consultant
The $62 million Natick Contributory Retirement System hired Watson Wyatt as its investment consultant, said Kathleen Bacon, director. Wainwright Investment Counsel had been terminated earlier this year because of differences of philosophy, Ms. Bacon said. Watson Wyatt will resume searches for a real estate manager and a fixed-income manager, which were put on hold until the new consultant was hired.
Convergent buys firm
Convergent Capital Management, an investment management holding company, acquired a majority interest in Security Trust, an independent trust company administering about $2 billion in assets for money management firms, brokers, custodians, third-party administrators and defined contribution plan record keepers. Terms of the deal were not released.
STM will work with Convergent's 10 investment management affiliates to provide trust services such as product bundling for 401(k) plans, charitable trusts and custody coordination and communication for institutional and individual clients.
Realty deal to broaden
The New York State Common Retirement Fund and General Growth Properties announced they will expand their jointly owned regional mall portfolio. Each will contribute several malls to form a new company to be known as GGP/Homart II. It will be an affiliate of GGP/Homart, which is 50%owned by the $115 billion pension system and 50%by General Growth. The deal is valued at $1.3 billion.
Wilshire 5000 changing
Wilshire Associates is making the Wilshire 5000 index available in real time and is changing its name to the Wilshire 5000 Total Market index.
The index, which will be updated at 15-second intervals, will be available in real time via market data vendors such as Comstock, Bloomberg, Reuters and Bridge Financial, as well as at the Wilshire Web site, www.wilshire.com.
Rominger joins Goldman
Eileen Rominger joined Goldman, Sachs as managing director and CIO for value equities. She replaces Paul Farrell, who becomes Goldman's global research coordinator on the global equity portfolio management team.
Ms. Rominger previously was a managing director and portfolio manager at Oppenheimer Capital