N.C. Legislature OKs system's move to alternatives
RALEIGH, N.C. - The North Carolina House of Representatives approved legislation that gives state Treasurer Richard H. Moore the authority to invest up to 5% of the assets of the $59 billion North Carolina Employees' Retirement System in alternative investments, and to add private equity and hedge funds to that category. The system now can invest up to 1% of assets in alternatives. The bill earlier had passed the state Senate and now goes to the governor, who is expected to sign it.
Nature Conservancy to put
5% of assets in alternatives
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - The Nature Conservancy, approved allocating up to 5% of total assets to alternatives, said John W. Bolton, director of investments. Mr. Bolton will work with Alfred Berkeley, chairman of the investment committee, to choose managers. An RFP will not be issued. The $850 million foundation plans to use funds of funds specializing in hedge funds and private equity. Mr. Bolton hopes that manager selections will be presented at the next board meeting, scheduled for February.
Neither the number of managers to be selected nor the amount for each allocation has been determined, Mr. Bolton said. Funding will come from rebalancing.
L.A. Deferred to mull adding
advice to 457 plans
LOS ANGELES - The City of Los Angeles Deferred Compensation Board later this month will consider a proposal to add investment advice for participants in its two 457 plans, which total $1.6 billion, and revise the mirrored plans' investment options, said Steven Montagna, management analyst. The board also will consider adding a socially responsible fund and/or asset allocation portfolios, and possibly expanding the plans' brokerage window.
MassPRIT funded status down
3 percentage points in 2000
BOSTON - The Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment Trust's funded status dropped three percentage points in 2000.
The funded ratio of the $29 billion pension fund dropped to 82.1% as of Jan. 1, from 85.2% on Jan. 1, 2000, according to an actuarial report done by the Public Employees Retirement Administration Commission, which oversees pension systems in the state. Until last year, the funded status had been improving since 1990, when it was 39.8%.
OVP venture cap fund has first closing at $160 million
KIRKLAND, Wash. - OVP Venture Partners raised $160 million in its initial closing for its OVP VI venture capital fund, which will invest in early stage information technology and communications companies in the Northwest. The fund, together with a side-by-side fund backed by leading entrepreneurs, is expected to close in the first quarter and raise a combined $200 million.
Investors include the $38 billion Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund, Salem; $42.6 billion Washington State Investment Board, Olympia; $155 billion California Public Employees' Retirement System, Sacramento; $6.6 billion Dow Chemical Co. pension fund, Midland, Mich.; and the $944 million Indiana University Foundation, Bloomington.
open new firm
TORONTO - Arrowstreet Capital and Connor, Clark & Lunn Investment Management, a Canadian investment manager, formed a new company, Connor, Clark & Lunn Arrowstreet Capital. The new firm will provide global, international and U.S. equity management capabilities for Canadian institutional clients. CC&L Arrowstreet's headquarters will be in Toronto. Dennis Perry, a senior partner in CC&L, will be president, and Bruce Clarke, Arrowstreet managing partner and president, will be chairman.
Securian, mPower strike deal
on investment advice
ST. PAUL, Minn. - Securian Retirement Services, a business unit of Minnesota Life Insurance, entered into an alliance with mPower to provide online investment advice to the 2,000 retirement plans Securian services. Securian had offered only education and guidance. In addition to advice, mPower will offer supplementary education and market perspectives.
Bank of New York buys
NEW YORK - Bank of New York will acquire Westminster Research Associates, which provides independent research products and services to the investment community. Terms were not disclosed.
Westminster Research will become part of the bank's brokerage and clearing services sector, which focuses on the institutional and broker-dealer community and helps improve performance through best execution practices and efficient clearing. Westminster Research also will provide a trading strategy allowing investment managers to execute through a network of top-tier institutional trading desks.
South Florida apartments
NEW YORK - TIAA-CREF purchased four apartment properties in South Florida from General Investment & Development Co, Boston, said Jim Tolve, TIAA spokesman.
TIAA-CREF paid an estimated $80.1 million for the four properties, located in Boca Raton, Deerfield Beach, Margate and Plantation.
QUINCY, Mass. - CitiStreet is partnering with 401kExchange to add online research, service provider ratings and quotes to CitiStreet's small plan sponsor website.
Shaker halts accepting long-short equity strategy assets
CLEVELAND - Shaker Investments no longer accepts assets for its long-short equity strategy, represented by two domestic hedge funds, Shaker Investments and Shaker Investments (QP), and an offshore hedge fund, Shaker Heights Investment Fund. The company has nearly doubled assets under management during the past 18 months, to about $2 billion.
David R. Webb, executive vice president and manager of the long-short strategy, said in a statement that the funds were closed "to protect the best interests of existing investors ... we did not allow the funds to grow unwieldy."
Cambridge venture cap index
down 6.6% in 2nd quarter
BOSTON - Cambridge Associates LLC U.S. Venture Capital index posted a net return of -6.6% for the quarter ended June 30 and a net return of -26.4% for the year. In comparison, the S&P 500 rose 5.85% for the quarter, but lost 14.4% for the one-year period, while the Nasdaq gained 17.4% in the quarter and lost 45.5% for the year. Cambridge's U.S. Private Equity index gained 2.3% for the quarter ended June 30 and lost 12.2% for the 12 months.
ICV finalizes Sterling Foods
NEW YORK - ICV Capital Partners announced it has completed the acquisition of Sterling Foods Inc. in a deal valued at $35 million.
Sterling is the first investment for the $130.5 private equity fund, which committed $15.1 million in equity to the transaction. Heller Financial provided $21 million in a senior credit note. Investors in the fund include the $155 billion California Public Employees' Retirement System, Sacramento; $12 billion State Universities Retirement System of Illinois, Champaign; and $2 billion Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, Boston.
NationsBank creates 3
value equity mutual funds
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - NationsBank filed SEC registrations to create three new value mutual funds, large-cap, midcap and small-cap. They will be managed by Lori Ensinger and Diane Sobin, who joined subsidiary Bank of America Capital Management this summer. Spokesman Joe Fascino said he couldn't discuss the funds in detail because of SEC registration restrictions.
GoldK adds Paradigm
to acquisition list
WALTHAM, Mass. - GoldK, an online 401(k) provider, acquired Paradigm Financial, a third-party administrator and retirement-consulting firm. Terms were not disclosed. Paradigm specializes in the administration of 401(k), profit-sharing and money-purchase plans.
The acquisition is GoldK's third this year. It already purchased the Retirement Plan Services division of Gallagher Benefit Services of Michigan and A.C.G. Associates. The Paradigm acquisition brings it an additional 120 plans and $55 million in assets under administration.
Banc of America's McManus ups equity allocation
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Tom McManus, chief investment strategist at Banc of America Securities, raised the equity allocation in his model portfolio for institutional investors with a midterm to long-term investment outlook to 70%, from 60% in late September. Mr. McManus had held that 60% weighting since February 2000, said John Roehm, a company spokesman. "This is the first real positive stance he has taken in a long time," Mr. Roehm said.
Mr. McManus, who has kept a constant 5% in cash, reduced his allocation to bonds to 25% from 35%.
Artisan to launch international
small-cap equity fund
WASHINGTON - Artisan Partners registered a new international small-cap fund with the SEC. The lead manager of the fund will be Mark Hockey, backed up by Linda Ba, Michael Carruthers, Charles Hamker and Stanley Shpetner. The filing notes the fund will be closed to new investors when it reaches $500 million.
Strong plans changes to
American Utilities Fund
MENOMONEE FALLS, Wis. - Strong Capital Management filed a proxy with the SEC regarding proposed changes to the $273 million Strong American Utilities Fund. Shareholders will be asked at Dec. 7 meeting to approve a change in investment strategy to transform the utilities fund into an active large-cap domestic value equity fund. Subadviser W.H. Reaves will be retained if shareholders approve the proposal.