Xcel combining 401(k)s
Xcel Energy will combine and revamp the 401(k) plans of the companies that preceded it, Northern States Power and New Century Energies, said Rick R. Rohkohl, director-dedicated funds.
Vanguard is record keeper and principal manager for the $500 million New Century 401(k) plan. American Century and Capital Research & Management also offer options, according to the Money Market Directory. Hewitt Associates is record keeper for the $500 million Northern States 401(k) plan, which offers four investment options from several managers, he said.
Xcel executives first will choose one of the incumbents as record keeper this summer, then will work on changing the investment options for the combined plan. The plans should be combined in early 2002, he said.
Boise Cascade makes change
Boise Cascade hired BlackRock to run $320 million in an active domestic core fixed-income portfolio benchmarked to the Lehman Brothers Aggregate index.
The firm will manage money for Boise Cascade's defined benefit and 401(k) plans, which have combined assets of $2.2 billion, said Wayne Rancourt, director of retirement funds.
Funding comes from reducing an active domestic fixed-income portfolio run by a manager Mr. Rancourt would not identify; that manager now will run $130 million.
The changes were made to control risk, he said.
More money to REITs
The $11.5 billion Illinois State Universities Retirement System added $45 million each to existing REIT managers Clarion CRA Securities and The RREEF Funds, said John R. Krimmel, CIO. The new funding will double their assignments to $90 million each.
The moves were the result of SURS trustees' doubling the system's REIT allocation to 2% of total assets. Funding will come from cash flow or from a $1 billion passive fixed-income portfolio managed by Barclays Global Investors.
3 funds hire execs
Terrance Slattery was named executive director of the $8.5 billion New Mexico Public Employees Retirement Association. He replaces Alice Herter, who retired Dec. 31. Mr. Slattery will start his new job June 4 at a salary around $91,000. Mr. Slattery is retirement administrator for the $3.6 billion San Bernardino County Employees' Retirement System.
William Estabrook was named executive director of the $9.2 billion Ohio Police & Fire Pension Fund, Columbus, effective May 7. He succeeds Allen Procter, who resigned in March. Mr. Estabrook is city manager of Miramar, Fla.
John Crocker was named president and CEO of the Hospitals of Ontario Pension Plan. He replaces Susan Crocker (no relation), who left the C$18.2 billion (US$11.7 billion) plan to pursue personal interests. Mr. Crocker had been CIO and senior vice president of investment management.
Putnam lays off 256
Putnam Investments will lay off five portfolio managers and four analysts as part of a staff cutback that will eliminate 256 jobs, or 4% of the work force. Names are not being released, said Putnam spokeswoman Laura McNamara.
This is the largest staff reduction in company history.
Although Putnam had $16.5 billion in net inflows in 2000, the third-best in the mutual fund industry, CEO Lawrence Lasser said market changes this year have "unwound some of that growth" and the firm must bring its expense levels "closer to what they were before last year's growth spurt."
More than half the layoffs are in operations and administration.
Hancock to appeal ruling
John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance plans to appeal a recent decision by a federal judge that could cause the company to fork over as much as $100 million to the Unisys pension fund.
Judge Denny Chin of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York ruled April 11 that Hancock owed the Unisys pension fund millions of dollars for refusing to let the pension fund withdraw surplus pension assets managed in the insurer's central investment pool for more than 50 years. The judge ordered the insurance company to alter the group annuity contract so that it no longer would be a fiduciary for the plan, and to pay Unisys the surplus pension assets, with compound interest going back decades.
"We are confident that Judge Chin's decision will be upheld on appeal," said John Berringer, partner at Kill & Olick, which represents the pension fund.
John Hancock officials expect their appeal will be heard sometime this year, said Howard G. Kristol, partner in Reboul MacMurray, Hewitt, Maynard & Kristol which represented the insurer.
Convertibles manager sought
The $600 million Oklahoma State Insurance Fund plans an invitation-only search for managers to run $50 million in convertibles, said Phyllis Carter, investment officer. Funding will come from cash. Asset Consulting Group is assisting.
2 AMG firms merge
Affiliated Managers Group brokered a merger between affiliates Renaissance Investment Management and Bowling Portfolio Management. The combined company will be called The Eden Park Group.
AMG will own a majority of The Eden Park Group, and Renaissance and Bowling managers will hold a "significant," but unspecified, equity stake, said Nathaniel Dalton, head of AMG's affiliate development program.
Investment management teams will remain separate, but the company expects to find overlap in administrative, marketing, client service and technology areas, without moving staff to a single location.
Renaissance manages $700 million in growth equity and tactical asset allocation strategies for institutional and individual investors. Bowling manages $400 million in large-cap value equities for high-net-worth individuals.
Funds drop AT&T suit
Amalgamated Bank's $5 billion LongView Collective Investment Funds dropped its lawsuit against AT&T over its charter amendment proposal to break up the company, in exchange for a structured dialogue with the funds and other shareholders. The AFL-CIO and its $200 million pension fund, as well as the $350 million Communications Workers of America pension fund, also dropped their suit.
AT&T still plans to seek a shareholder vote on amending its corporate charter to facilitate a restructuring or breakup of the company.
457s lose provider
Security First Group, a MetLife subsidiary, is leaving the public deferred compensation third-party administration business, said Hugh McHaffie, senior vice president of MetLife. The firm has relinquished its administrator work for the State of Tennessee and Texas Employees Retirement Systems' 457 plans. Tennessee's plans could not be learned; the Texas plan has hired CitiStreet.