Deutsche completes deal for Zurich Scudder U.S. business
FRANKFURT - Deutsche Bank on April 8 completed its acquisition of Zurich Scudder Investments' U.S. business. The total value of the deal was $2.5 billion. The Scudder name will be retained for U.S. mutual funds only. Integration of the two firms will be completed within about 100 days, according to a statement from the company.
Scudder's U.K. investment manager, Threadneedle, was not included in the transaction.
Deutsche Bank will acquire Zurich's asset management businesses in Germany and Italy in the second quarter. Deutsche will sell some of its insurance assets to Zurich as part of the deal.
Studies track asset mix shifts
LONDON - U.K. pension plans increased their allocations to international equities and non-government bonds in 2001, with more than two-thirds of plans using scheme-specific benchmarks, according to a survey by Russell/Mellon CAPS. U.K. equity allocations fell to 47.4% of total assets, their lowest level since 1993, said Alan Wilcock, head of research and development. Meanwhile, U.S. equity allocations by U.K. plans were at 7.2% of total assets in 2001 - their highest level in more than 10 years - compared with 4.7% at the end of 2000.
The Russell/Mellon CAPS survey was conducted across 1,600 U.K. pension plans holding L352 billion ($503 billion) in total assets.
However, a new study by Goldman Sachs' derivatives and trading research unit found U.K. pension funds may quicken their shift to bonds, while continental European pension funds may slow the rate of growth into equities in coming years.
U.K. plans, with nearly e1.6 trillion ($1.4 trillion) in assets, have been shrinking equity allocations by one percentage point a year since 1993. But that rate could double this year, resulting in a sale of e32 billion in equities, mostly domestic, the Goldman report speculates.
Meanwhile, continental European pension funds may reduce the rate of growth in their equity portfolios from nearly two percentage points a year. "If this rate halves to 1%, we expect e27 billion to flow into equities" - two thirds of which would flow into pan-European equities, the report said.
VGZ hands investmentS to Goldman Sachs
NIJMEGEN, Netherlands - Zorgverzekeraar VGZ hired Goldman Sachs Asset Management to run its entire investment portfolio of €922 million ($812 million) in a fiduciary mandate, said Bert Rensen, VGZ spokesman.
GSAM replaces ABN AMRO, Fortis and Robeco, which ran e230 million each in balanced portfolios. GSAM had managed a e230 million balanced portfolio for the company.
Mr. Rensen said performance of the three incumbent managers had been "very good" but VGZ wanted a manager that could handle all aspects of running the portfolio.
GSAM will be responsible for asset allocation, benchmarking, risk budgeting, manager selection and manager monitoring, said Ruud Hendricks, GSAM head of institutional sales and marketing-continental Europe (excluding Austria and Germany), Middle East and Africa.
Dutch pension plans post 2.8% loss in 2001
AMSTERDAM - Dutch pension plans posted an average investment return of -2.8% in 2001, due to poor returns in global equity markets and a weak euro, according to a new report. Still, Dutch plans increased their average overall equities allocation to 44% of total assets from 41% at the end of 2000. The average return over five years for the 125 plans surveyed was 8.6%.
The report, by the Dutch Association of Industrywide Pension Funds and the Company Pension Funds Organization, in collaboration with WM Co., excludes the pension funds of the e147 billion ($129 billion) ABP, Heerlen, and e49 billion PGGM, Zeist, because of their size.
Devonport Royal slates asset-liability study
PLYMOUTH, England - Devonport Royal Dockyard Ltd. Pension Scheme plans to undertake an asset-liability study, said Neil Skinner, pensions manager and secretary. The L680 million ($971 million) plan's asset allocation is 30% fixed income, 70% equity.
Separately, the plan sold all of its direct property holdings, raising L30 million; the money will be added to its existing equity holdings, Mr. Skinner said. CB Hillier Parker Investors was instructed to sell the properties last year after plan officials dropped manager Royal London Asset Management.
The property investment was 5% of total assets.
Lombard Odier picks international equity CIO
LONDON - Fabrizio Pierallini was named chief investment officer for international equities at Lombard Odier, a new position. Mr. Pierallini was CIO for international equities at Vontobel USA; Rajic Jain, deputy international equity manager, will replace him, said Thomas Wittwer, Vontobel vice president.
Australian Retail trust hires Standish Mellon
SYDNEY - Retail Employees Superannuation Trust hired Standish Mellon to manage US$110 million in active global fixed income, said Frank Roncevic, compliance manager. Funding came from terminating a $90 million passive fixed-income portfolio run by Value Capital Management; the remainder came from cash, he said.
John Nolan & Associates advised on the hire.