Florida wants DC hopefuls to 'clarify' responses
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - The Florida State Board of Administration invited the 16 service providers that responded to its RFI for bundled providers for its new defined contribution plan to "clarify" their original responses.
Those responses will be rescored and the SBA's board of trustees - comprising the state governor, treasurer and comptroller - will select another list of finalists, said Elizabeth Mozley, SBA spokeswoman.
Board staff had selected five finalists Aug. 6, but VALIC and Sun America - which were not among the firms chosen - subsequently served notice that they planned to challenge the selection process with an administrative law judge. The SBA's trustees told board staff they wanted more "choice," but did not clarify what they meant by choice. As a result, the SBA cancelled its on-site visits of finalists, already in progress.
A deadline hasn't been set for the clarifications, Ms. Mozley said.
Siphron walks away from Orange County mandate
SANTA ANA, Calif. - Siphron Capital Management resigned as investment manager to the $4.9 billion Orange County Employees Retirement System, Santa Ana, Calif., said David C. Siphron, president of the firm. Siphron managed domestic large-cap growth equities for the pension fund.
In a written statement, Siphron cited "basic philosophical differences concerning the OCERS investment portfolio between Siphron Capital and certain OCERS board members as well as its chief investment officer, Farouki Majeed." He would not comment further. Mr. Majeed could not be reached for comment by deadline.
UBS PaineWebber to drop Bradford 401(k) plan
NEW YORK - UBS PaineWebber will terminate the $294 million 401(k) plan of J.C. Bradford & Co., which PaineWebber acquired last year, said Bob McCoy, plan administrator. Participants can receive cash distributions or roll over assets into PaineWebber's $782.9 million 401(k) plan if they remain with the firm.
NTGI, Helaba create European joint venture
LONDON - Northern Trust Global Investments (Europe) formed its first European joint venture with Landesbank Hessen-Thurigen, also known as Helaba.
The new company, Helaba NorthernTrust GmbH, will provide advisory services to Helaba Invest, Helaba's asset management arm, enabling it to offer U.S. corporate bonds and high-yield bonds to its clients, said Egbert Sauer, head of fixed income. Helaba Invest and Helaba Trust, Helaba's research company, each will have a 25% stake in the joint venture. Helaba Invest has e7.2 billion ($8 billion) in assets under management from German institutions.
Gordon Hogarth, Northern Trust head of European marketing and sales, said the group also hopes to take advantage of growing demand for equities among Helaba clients.
Nicholas J. Ring of NTGI and Hans-Ulrich Templin of Helaba, both managing directors, will oversee the new company.
Survey says: More DC participants try playing it safe
ROCHESTER, N.Y. - A Harris Interactive online survey of 1,200 defined contribution plan participants showed 28% have moved from volatile to more-stable investments because of disappointing stock market returns in the second quarter, up from 14% in the first quarter.
The survey also showed 80% of small and midsize company employees are "very concerned" about their financial futures, up from 74% in the fourth quarter of 2000 but down from 84% in the first quarter of 2001. At the same time, 30% of respondents said they plan to contribute more to their qualified plans or individual retirement accounts because of recent legislation raising the tax-deferred amount employees can contribute.
Principal Financial Group commissioned the survey.
PSCA touts need for investment policy statement
CHICAGO - Profit Sharing/ 401(k) Council of America released a white paper encouraging defined contribution plan sponsors to have a written investment policy statement and created a sample statement, both of which are available at www.psca.org. The white paper and sample statement were prepared by a group headed by Bob Richey, senior vice president of the asset management group of American Express Retirement Services.
SunAmerica to consolidate 11 American General funds
NEW YORK - SunAmerica Asset Management, the investment management arm of AIG, plans to merge 11 of the 24 American General North American funds into similar SunAmerica funds following AIG's acquisition of American General, according to SEC filings. SunAmerica is seeking shareholder approval for the move.
SunAmerica spokeswoman Sonia Fiorenza would not comment on the filings. Officials from American General were unavailable for comment by press time.
Prudential broadens online custom report offerings
NEWARK, N.J. - Prudential Retirement Service expanded its Online Retirement Center to allow institutional plan sponsors to create, generate and download custom reports with information about their defined contribution plans.