7 managers round out Irish National fund lineup
DUBLIN - Ireland's National Treasury Management Agency, Dublin, hired seven managers, completing the lineup for its e8 billion ($7 billion) National Pensions Reserve Fund. Lord Abbett will manage e410 million in North American value equities; Goldman Sachs Asset Management International, e410 million in North American growth equities; INVESCO Institutional, e420 million, North American enhanced index equities; Schroder Investment Management, e93 million, Pacific Basin equities excluding Japan; Daiwa SB Investments and J.P. Morgan Fleming Asset Management, e125 million each, Japanese equities; and Irish Life Investment Managers, e420 million, long eurozone fixed income.
CPP Investment Board commits to Apollo
TORONTO - The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Toronto, committed C$236 million (US$150 million) over the next five years to Apollo Investment Fund V. Earlier, the board committed C$140 million over five years to Bridgepoint Capital for investment in midmarket buyout opportunities, equally divided between the United Kingdom and continental Europe, and C$80 million to Lexington Capital Partners V, which invests in secondary market opportunities.
Since June 2001, the C$14 billion board committed a total of C$2.7 billion to private equity and formed relationships with 15 private equity firms. The board so far has invested 4% of total assets in private equity; its target is 10% of assets.
East Riding looking for int'l managers
BEVERLEY, England - The L1.3 billion ($1.8 billion) East Riding of Yorkshire Pension Plan is searching for international equity managers to run a total of L200 million. Funding will come from terminated manager Schroder, which handled L266 million in international equities and L230 million in U.K. equities. Plan officials would not comment on the termination.
Tom Du Boulay, plan spokesman, said some of the equity assets will be managed internally; the plan already manages a large proportion of assets internally. He would not give further details.
Steve Button, head of finance services for the plan, said an RFP has been issued, but he would not comment further.
Study: World equity outlook dims
NEW YORK - The world equities outlook deteriorated in the past month, according to the Merrill Lynch Fund Manager Survey. The survey's Stock Market Conditions Indicator, a survey measuring investor sentiment, was 7.2 in April, down from 12.1 in March. Institutional investors surveyed said the decrease was due to lowered profit expectations, the prospect of rising interest rates, apparently overvalued equity valuations and decreased optimism on the part of investors.
Thirty-eight percent of the managers surveyed chose to underweight U.S. equities, while only 27% chose to underweight Japanese stocks. "There's a lot of negative sentiment toward the U.S. market, which is seen as the most overvalued," said David Bowers, Merrill Lynch chief global investment strategist.
Brennan named chairman, CEO at Baring
LONDON - David Brennan was named chairman and CEO of Baring Asset Management, effective July 1, when incumbent John Bolsover will retire. Mr. Brennan was CEO of Baring's investment management group. He will be replaced by Peter Wolton, previously head of retail at Schroders. Mr. Wolton left Schroders last year to complete an advanced management program at Harvard Business School.
Darby Overseas acquires Prumerica Asia
HONG KONG - Darby Overseas Investments acquired Prumerica Asia Infrastructure Investors from an affiliate of Prudential Financial, said Nicholas F. Brady, Darby chairman. Terms were not disclosed. PAII, which will be renamed Darby Asia Investors, is the Hong Kong-based manager of the $246 million Asian Infrastructure Mezzanine Capital Fund, which provides mezzanine capital for infrastructure projects and companies in emerging market countries in Asia.
Major investors in the fund include pension funds from Asia and the United States as well as Prudential Insurance Co. of America and a number of Japanese insurance companies, led by Nippon Life. The Asian Development Bank is a core investor in the fund.
Gartmore to establish hedge funds-of-funds unit
LONDON - Gartmore Investment Management plans to set up a hedge fund-of-funds business later in the year, said Glyn Jones, Gartmore CEO. The new business will use only external hedge-fund managers, because the firm's in-house funds are near full capacity, he said. The group also plans to launch internally managed hedge funds, including a global macro fund, he added.
Gartmore's hedge funds had $2.3 billion in assets under management at the end of December.
Separately, Gartmore will open a sales and marketing office in Paris, targeting retail and institutional business. The group recently opened offices in Milan and Madrid, said Frances Davies, head of global institutional business.
Close Brothers closes 6th private equity fund
LONDON - Close Brothers Private Equity closed its sixth private equity fund, raising $286.7 million for middle-market U.K. investments. The fund was the firm's first to include investors from the United States and Europe, including the $20.2 billion pension fund of Lockheed Martin Corp., Bethesda, Md.; and J.P. Morgan Fleming Asset Management, private equity manager for the $17 billion AT&T Corp. pension fund, Basking Ridge, N.J. Returning U.K. investors include the $3.19 billion Lancashire County Council Pension Fund, Preston; and the $13.5 billion National Westminster Bank Pension Funds, Croydon.
BerchWood Partners assisted.
Non-U.S. futures, options volumes soar
WASHINGTON - Trading volume of futures and options on non-U.S. exchanges increased 68% in 2001, while U.S.-based futures and options trading grew 35%, according to a news release from the Futures Industry Association. The surge in international trading was spurred by interest in financial futures, which rose 75%, according to the FIA. Global trading of futures and options on equity indexes skyrocketed 118% last year.
Eurex remained the top futures exchange in the world as measured by volume, with 435 million contracts traded in 2001, an increase of 50% over 2000. The Chicago Mercantile Exchange ranked second, with 316 million contracts traded, a 62% increase over the previous year.
The Korea Stock Exchange last year became the world's biggest exchange, by volume, for both futures and options contracts thanks to demand for its new small stock index contract, the Korea Composite Stock Price index; 855 million contracts changed hands in 2001, a 300% increase over the previous year.
Software firm opens office in Canada
TORONTO - Eagle Investment Systems, a software provider to institutional investors, opened its first Canadian office in the TD Centre Tower in Toronto. Staff in the new office will assist Canadian clients in the implementation of T+1 trading settlement. Unlike the United States, Canada does not have a mandated date for the implementation of T+1, said Laura Norwood, vice president-marketing.
Nat'l Bank Financial, Putnam Lovell merge
MONTREAL - National Bank Financial, a subsidiary of National Bank of Canada, will merge with Putnam Lovell Group, parent of Putnam Lovell Securities. Terms were not disclosed. The deal is expected to close in May, pending regulatory approval in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom.
Jennifer Keese, Putnam Lovell spokeswoman, said the firm's business strategy, client service and senior management there will not change.