Homemakers fund hires managers
ROME - Famiglia, the private pension fund for homemakers, recently appointed San Paolo-IMI Institutional and Pioneer Investments, both based in Milan, to manage its assets.
The two managers will share the fund's current e500,000 in assets, according to Lorenzo Gasparrini, member of the board of the Rome-based Federation of Italian Homemakers' Associations, which sponsored the fund. "When the fund reaches a certain level, Schroder Investment and Deutsche Asset Management will come on board." The level to add the managers has not been decided.
At that point, he said, the fund will be able to offer a number of other investment options. Now, it only offers a single, conservative option.
Adelaide Consulting, Rome, assisted in the hires.
Authorization for the hires is pending from the COVIP, the regulatory body for Italy's private pensions industry.
Banca di Roma is the depository bank and administrator for the fund, which is Europe's first-ever for homemakers. It has 5,000 members out of a potential 500,000.
BAE Systems may close schemes to new members
FARNBOROUGH, England - BAE Systems PLC may close its pension plans to new members upon completion of an internal review, the company confirmed. Its seven defined benefit pension schemes have L9 billion ($13.9 billion) in total assets. According to broker estimates, the firm's pension liabilities have grown to L1.3 billion, up from L445 million at the start of the year.
Company spokesman Richard Coltart said the review, assisted by Jardine Lloyd Thompson Benefit Solutions, is expected to result in one of two options: closing the schemes to new members and replacing them with a money purchase plan, or dramatically restructuring the existing schemes to reduce pension liability cost. That option could include moving from a final-salary calculation to other forms of benefit calculation, or raising the contributions required from members.
"Like many other companies, we are having to look at the options in front of us. The report will be finalized next month, and a decision will be made thereafter," Mr. Coltart said.
AEGON in talks to acquire pension administrator
GRONINGEN, Netherlands - AEGON Nederland is in exclusive negotiations to acquire all existing stock in TPG KPN Pensioen, which is known as TKP.
TKP is the pension administrator for six Dutch pension plans, including the Groningen-based KPN and TPG; those two funds alone have a combined e6.5 billion in assets. Negotiations are expected to conclude in the coming weeks.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
"TKP wishes to expand its position in this market by gaining more pension funds as customers and, in this, has AEGON as a strategic partner which wishes to invest in TKP and its ambitions," said Hans Hokke, managing director of TKP.
Jan Overmeer, AEGON board member, said, "This acquisition will provide us with immediate access to a market that is new for AEGON ... larger (Dutch) pension funds. We wish to retain TKP's know-how in Groningen. And we want to expand its specific expertise further in order, in due course, to become a player in this field in Europe."
European firms wary of U.S. governance reform
Some European companies will have trouble complying with U.S. corporate governance reforms, according to a Citigate Financial Intelligence survey of 50 such companies listed on the NYSE and Nasdaq. Officials from 16 of the companies surveyed think either specific legal issues would prevent full compliance, or they need clarification to determine their companies' ability to comply, said John McInerney, senior director.
German corporate respondents are particularly concerned that a domestic requirement for workers' representation on the supervisory board conflicts with the definition of independent director under the new Sarbanes-Oxley law.
The new law requires that independent audit committees be in place by April 26, or the companies could face delisting from U.S. stock exchanges, he said.
An SEC spokesman couldn't immediately address the concerns cited in the survey.
FTSE creates European Sector Index series
LONDON - FTSE Group launched the FTSE European Sector Index series, a set of eight tradable indexes with exchange-traded funds issued by Barclays Global Investors, according to Tim Tindall, FTSE spokesman.
The new index series covers eight of the most traded sectors in Europe, developed in response to the increased trend toward sector-based investment.
The traded sectors are: banks; consumer cyclicals; consumer non-cyclicals; media; oil and gas; pharmaceuticals and biotechnology; technology; and utilities.
Bank of East Asia named Banc One distributor
HONG KONG - Banc One Investment Advisors hired Bank of East Asia to distribute One Group Global Funds in Hong Kong.
One Group Global Funds is an offshore fund series that includes money market, longer-maturity fixed-income and diversified equity funds.
Brazil local currency mezzanine fund formed
SAO PAULO - Darby Overseas Investments and Stratus Investimentos formed a joint venture to sponsor Brazil's first local currency mezzanine fund.
"Creating a mezzanine fund denominated in Brazilian real will enable domestic investors, mostly local pension funds, to diversify their portfolios by allocating their resources in long-term assets," Nicholas F. Brady, Darby chairman, said in a statement.