Scottish Widows ends use of soft commissions
EDINBURGH - Scottish Widows Investment Partnership stopped the use of soft commissions paid to brokers trading portfolios managed for its pension plan clients, effective Jan. 1. Scottish Widows, with assets under management of L78 billion ($111 billion), joins Gartmore in ending the use of soft commissions, which was one of the recommendations of the Myners report.
Antares 2 fund begins asset allocation study
MADRID - Antares 2 Pension Fund, Madrid, the e3.6 billion ($3.1 billion) fund for employees of Spain's Telefonica S.A., started an internal asset allocation study, according to Santiago Valbuena, chief executive of Fonditel, the fund administrator and manager. The last study took place in 1997 when the plan was launched, and recommended a split of 35% equities and 65% bonds. But last year it was announced that 20,000 of the plan's 65,000 members are to take early retirement, and Mr. Valbuena wants to adjust the asset mix accordingly. He expects the study, which will be completed by the end of the year, to recommend a cut in the plan's equity allocation. The plan is almost entirely internally managed, with 90% of the assets invested passively. Fund managers use the remaining 10% of plan asset for tactical asset allocation strategies.
Firefighter tapped as OMERS' new chairman
TORONTO - Rick A.J. Miller was named chairman of the board at the C$34 billion (US$21 billion) Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System, said Pat Nolan, executive assistant to Dale Richmond, OMERS president and chief executive officer. Mr. Miller, a Windsor, Ontario, firefighter, has been on the OMERS board since 1997 and will be chairman for one year. Dennis Neethling and John A. Sabo were named to the board. Mr. Neethling is a retired teacher, and Mr. Sabo is the associate director of corporate services and treasurer at the York Catholic District School Board.
Code issued for emerging markets
WASHINGTON - The Institute of International Finance created a code of corporate governance for emerging markets in an attempt to attract more investments to the asset class. The code addresses minority shareholder protection, responsibilities of the board of directors, accounting and auditing, transparency of ownership and control, and the need for establishing a credible regulatory environment.