Company stock rules to ease
Some of the nation's largest corporations had begun considering loosening the restrictions on company stock in retirement plans even before the Enron scandal broke.
A survey conducted last October by the Committee on Investment of Employee Benefit Assets shows 20% of the companies that restrict retirement plan participants from selling employer stock they received as matching contributions expected to lift those restrictions within a year.
SEC ends inquiry
The SEC has dropped its inquiry into Dresdner RCM Global Investors' grassroots research unit, the manager has told clients. The SEC inquiry began in late 2000 and ended with no action taken, said Dawn M. Vroegop, director of marketing. SEC officials could not be reached for comment.
From Orange County to Ohio
Farouki Majeed resigned as chief investment officer at the $4.9 billion Orange County Employees Retirement System, effective March 15, said Keith Bozarth, executive director. Mr. Majeed will become assistant director of investments at the $54 billion Ohio Public Employees Retirement System.
The OCERS board is expected to decide at its March 11 meeting whether to hire a search firm to help fill the position, Mr. Bozarth said.
Tacoma picks MetWest
The $672 million Tacoma Employees' Retirement System will recommend hiring Metropolitan West Asset to run a $220 million core-plus fixed-income portfolio, said Patricia Pabst, director. The recommendation will be reviewed by the City Council March 26. The portfolio was managed by Zurich Scudder, but the firm is discontinuing that strategy as a result of its merger with Deutsche Bank, according to an e-mail from Ms. Pabst.
Wilshire Associates assisted.
Alaska hires TCW
The $13.2 billion Alaska State Pension Investment Board hired TCW to manage an active domestic small-cap equity portfolio, replacing Dresdner RCM. The size of the portfolio has not been determined. It also hired Pathway Capital Management as its second private equity gatekeeper.
Calsonic taps Putnam, CIGNA
Calsonic North America hired Putnam as bundled provider for its $58 million 401(k) plan, replacing Zurich Scudder, said Dawn Herms, human resources systems administrator. Putnam will offer 13 new investment options, up from nine; it was chosen because it offered a wider variety of options, lower administrative costs and better customer service, she said.
Separately, Calsonic hired CIGNA Retirement Services to run its $25 million pension plan, said Ms. Herms. CIGNA replaces IBJ Whitehall as investment manager, William M. Mercer as actuary and Bank of New York as administrator. The move was made to reduce costs and quicken response time, she said.
SKF hires for funded trust
AXA will be responsible for a e10.2 million eurozone active equity mandate. SSgA was appointed to a passive European government bond mandate and a passive U.S. equity portfolio worth e13.2 million and e6.6 million, respectively.
Siemens Financial Services Pension Advisory is consultant.
Wisconsin picks Pathway
The $54.5 billion Wisconsin State Investment Board hired Pathway Capital Management to handle data and analytics connected with its $2.7 billion private equity portfolio, said Jon Vanderploeg,private equity portfolio manager.
IBM's Sauvigne retiring
Don Sauvigne, director of capital accumulation programs at the $56.5 billion IBM pension fund, is retiring at the end of March after 32 years with the company.
Parker to leave WSIB
James F. Parker will retire March 15 after seven years as executive director of the Washington State Investment Board. In addition, the board's $42.5 billion defined benefit plan extended State Street Global Asset's contract for passively managing $2.5 billion in international equities through March 31, 2003.
PBGC takes over plan
The PBGC took over the underfunded pension plan of the Reliance Insurance, which is being liquidated by the Pennsylvania Department of Insurance. Reliance's plan has assets of $143 million and liabilities of $267 million, resulting in a shortfall of $124 million, according to PBGC estimates.
LACERA taps Pathway
The $26 billion Los Angeles County Employees' Retirement Association hired Pathway as its private equity adviser, subject to successful contract negotiations, said Chris Wagner, investment officer for alternative assets. Pathway replaces Hamilton Lane, whose five-year contract as adviser on the $1.4 billion private equity portfolio had expired.
Endowment goes Western
The $56 million Oregon Higher Education Endowment Fund hired Western Asset Management to run $15 million in active domestic fixed income, said Mike Mueller, assistant director-investments. Previous manager Commonfund was terminated primarily for performance reasons. Officials at Commonfund declined to comment.
R.V. Kuhns assisted.
New regulatory arm pushed
John H. Biggs, TIAA-CREF chairman and CEO, called on Congress to create a strong regulatory authority overseeing the accounting industry, with broad licensing and disciplinary powers. He even endorsed funding it with a fee on financial transactions. "We need something better for a regulatory body, and I believe that authority can come only from Congress," Mr. Biggs said.
Kramerich joins Mercer
Leslie Kramerich was named principal in the Washington office of consultant William M. Mercer, where she will head a team on legislative and regulatory developments. She was assistant Labor secretary in charge of the PWBA during President Clinton's second term.