San Fran cuts Ark
The $12 billion San Francisco City & County Employees' Retirement System terminated Ark Asset Management for underperformance, said Clare Murphy, executive director.
Ark had managed a $170 million large-cap value equity portfolio that had been reduced "many times" from a peak of $529 million in August 1997, she said.
A spokeswoman for Ark declined to comment.
The assets will be part of $222 million reallocated from U.S. equities to other asset categories and to fund benefit payments.
Asset Strategy assisted.
Investment approaches eyed
Deutsche Asset Management has formed a joint development project with Andrew Lo, director of MIT's Laboratory for Financial Engineering, and his firm, Alpha Simplex Group, to develop new quantitative investment approaches.
"We think Andrew is one of the finest financial thinkers," said Joshua Weinreich, managing director of Deutsche Asset.
Mr. Weinreich said Deutsche Asset Management would be adopting more quantitative and absolute return strategies, including hedge funds.
Maine dumps bond firm
Trustees of the $7.5 billion Maine State Retirement System terminated Standish Ayer & Wood, which had run $200 million in active fixed income. Executives at Standish Ayer did not return calls by press time.
Separately, in a move to rebalance, the fund is moving $100 million from a State Street Global Advisors' Wilshire 5000 fund to an active fixed-income fund run by TCW.
Special mandate given
Norfolk County Council Pension Fund trustees hired Societe Generale Asset Management U.K. Ltd. to run a 200 million ($317 million) U.K. equity mandate with a special emphasis on corporate governance, environmental stewardship and sustainable development.
Incumbent M&G Investment Management was terminated.
SGAM also will coordinate corporate governance work by the plan's other managers, Deutsche Asset, Henderson Investors, Norwich Union Investment Management and Fidelity Pensions Management.
The fund also appointed Northern Trust as global custodian. Previous custodians were Deutsche Bank and HSBC.
Hymans Robertson advised.
CalPERS picks search firm
The $171 billion California Public Employees' Retirement System hired Pendleton James Associates to search for a successor to former CIO Sheryl Pressler. A decision on her replacement is expected by July.
New asset management sub
In the next four to six weeks, New York Life will be putting the final touches on the formation of its new asset management subsidiary, New York Life Asset Management. New York Life also earmarked $500 million to buy additional money management firms to fill in the missing pieces.
The new $130 billion asset management subsidiary will comprise the insurance company's eight primary asset management businesses: MainStay Management a manager of retail and institutional mutual funds; MacKay-Shields, a stable value manager; New York Life Benefit Services, a bundled defined contribution provider; Monitor Capital Advisors, a quantitative manager; Madison Square Advisors LLC, a subadviser for MainStay; and the securities and real estate groups.
Private equity firm formed
Steven Rattner, David A. Tanner, Peter R. Ezersky and Joshua L. Steiner, four former Lazard Freres executives, formed Quandrangle Group, a private equity investment firm that will specialize in the media and communications industries.
According to industry sources, the firm already has $250 million in commitments and expects to put together a total of about $1 billion to invest.
Simon Fraser taps 2
Simon Fraser University hired Putnam and McKinley Capital to manage C$5 million (U.S.$3.4 million) each in U.S. and EAFE equities for the university's C$120 million defined benefit plan, said Alan Black, pensions benefits manager. The search was conducted in-house.
New global CIO
Andrew Skirton was appointed global chief investment officer for index management at Barclays Global Investors.
Mr. Skirton will be based in London and continue his responsibilities as BGI's chief investment officer for Europe.
He takes over from BGI Vice Chairman Larry Tint, who last October was appointed acting CIO of index management, following the departure of Jim Creighton.
Foundation president leaving
Stephen Viederman will retire as president of the $86 million Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation effective March 31.
He will be replaced by Victor DeLuca, who has been a program officer at the foundation for about eight years.
Mr. Viederman has been with the foundation 14 years as its chief executive. In 1991, he helped lead the foundation to its "mission" investing policy, which applies social-investing screens to all of the foundation's investments when possible.
Jersey City picks 2
The $71 million City of Jersey City (N.J.) Employees' Retirement System hired Groupama Asset Management to run $10 million in domestic large-cap growth equity and SG Cowen to run $10 million in domestic large-cap value equity.
Funding came from existing managers PIMCO Funds, which will continue to manage $2 million in small-cap to midcap equity, and Smith Barney, which will continue to manage $18 million in core equity. The fund had been heavily weighted in value equity, said Stephen McGuire, pension fund manager.
Prudential and Smith Barney assisted.
DC plan adds option
Alaska State Pension Investment Board added Citizens Index Fund to its $1.8 billion supplemental benefit system defined contribution plan, bringing the number of options to nine, said Michael Cheung, investment officer.
The Index Fund is a passively managed mutual fund based on Citizens' market-weighted index of 300 socially and environmentally responsible companies.
Private equity switch
Ashu Rajbhandari, former senior investment officer for private equity at Washington State Investment Board, joined Thomas Weisel Partners, a private equity firm. Tom Ruggles, an investment officer at the $41 billion system, was named acting senior investment officer for private equity for the fund