U.K. sponsors given 18-month deadline for code compliance
LONDON - U.K. pension plans were given 18 months to voluntarily comply with a new code of best practices covering investment activities by defined benefit and defined contribution plans. Published by the Treasury and the Department of Work and Pensions, the guidelines concern appointing managers, setting benchmarks, wording mandates, making asset allocation decisions and corporate activism.
The government also announced it would incorporate U.S.-style principles on shareholder activism into British law, requiring fund managers and plan trustees to intervene in issues that are in shareholders' and beneficiaries' interests.
The guidelines largely are based on those published earlier this year by Gartmore Chairman Paul Myners in his review of U.K. institutional investment.Plan sponsors' adherence to the guidelines will be reviewed in March 2003 to consider whether to make them law.
In addition, Mr. Myners published 10 questions for pension plans to ask money managers in order to control transaction costs. The government earlier this year stepped back from Mr. Myners' controversial proposals that money managers absorb commission and transaction costs and charge their clients all-inclusive fees.
Siemens plan selects
State Street for custody
STOCKHOLM - Siemens' Sverige Pensionsstiftelse hired State Street as global custodian.
The 800 million Swedish kroner ($74 million) hybrid plan was set up in July to cover staff working for Siemens' Swedish subsidiary, according to Pernilla Tarning, pensions administrator.
The plan is managed externally, with a roughly equal split between equities and fixed income. Domestic investments account for 50% of total plan assets, with 46% invested in eurozone securities and the United Kingdom, and 4% invested in the United States.
Ms Tarning would provide no further details.
Singer & Friedlander gets nod
from St. James' Place unit
LONDON St. - James' Place Group hired Singer & Friedlander Investment Management to run a L135 million ($198 million) continental European equity portfolio.
The mandate is for part of St. James' unit J Rothschild Assurance's U.K. life and pension funds, and had been managed by Credit Suisse Asset Management.
St James' Place spokeswoman Emma Burgh said Credit Suisse Asset Management had been dropped following the departure late last year of lead asset manager Patricia Maxwell-Arnot.
BancoPosta hires Frank Russell
as multimanager for new fund
ROME - BancoPosta, the banking division of the Italian post office, hired Frank Russell as multimanager for a new capital guaranteed investment fund that will be marketed through its national network of 14,000 post offices.
The deal could trigger inflows to the Frank Russell funds of between 750 million euros and 1 billion euros ($689 million and $920 million) over the next month, said Pascal Duval deputy managing director, partnerships and distribution alliances, for Frank Russell.
KLM fund manager
changes name to Blue Sky
SCHIPHOL, Netherlands - KLM Pensioenfondsenkantoor B.V. has been renamed Blue Sky Group. The firm administers 7.5 billion euros ($6.8 billion) in pension assets for staff of the KLM Group. The move is part of an attempt by the firm to become a commercial third-party manager of pension plan assets.
Ross Goobey takes top spot
at TR Property Investment
LONDON - Alastair Ross Goobey, outgoing CEO of Hermes Pensions Management, was named chairman of TR Property Investment Trust, effective in January. He replaces Grant Cochrane, who will retire. Further details were not available by press time.
Andrew Huddart was named CEO of mPower, an online advice provider. He replaces Steve Deschennes, who resigned to pursue other interests, according to a written statement from mPower. Mr. Huddart was president of BARRA International and COO of BARRA Inc.