ALLENTOWN, Pa. — City of Allentown hired Delaware Investments to run $6 million in REITs, a new allocation for the city's three pension funds, said Barbara Bigelow, director of finance. The plans, which mirror each other and have a combined $126 million in assets, reduced fixed income to fund the move because trustees wanted to diversify, Ms. Bigelow said. The plans' asset allocation is now 50% equity, 45% fixed income and 5% real estate. PFM Advisors assisted.
SAN RAFAEL, Calif. — Autodesk Inc. hired Mercer Investment Consulting as the $165 million 401(k) plan's first investment consultant, said Kathy Guthormsen, senior manager, risk and benefits. Mercer will review the plan's 27 investment options and might suggest replacing the Fidelity Aggressive Growth and Vanguard U.S. Growth funds, which have been on watch for more than a year for performance, Ms. Guthormsen said. That decision could be made in the second quarter, she added. Vanguard is the bundled provider.
"Vanguard and its board of directors have been monitoring the U.S. Growth fund closely and will continue to do so," said John Demming, Vanguard spokesman. Sarah Friedell, Fidelity spokeswoman, declined comment.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The $163 billion California Public Employees' Retirement System committed $25 million to Levine Leichtman Capital Partners III, which will invest in debt and equity securities of small and middle-market companies based in the Western United States.
DECATUR, Ga. — The DeKalb Employee Retirement System hired active domestic equity managers Mazama Capital, EARNEST Partners, Edgar Lomax and Crawford Investment Counsel, said Paul Wright, pension administrator. Mazama and EARNEST will run $25 million each in small caps for the $1.1 billion system, Mr. Wright said. Edgar Lomax and Crawford will each run $45 million to $50 million in large caps, he said; final portfolio sizes have not been determined. Further details on investment style were not available.
Partial funding came from the performance-based termination of GE Asset, which ran a $45 million active domestic large-cap equity portfolio, Mr. Wright said. The remainder came from reducing the equity portfolios of Southeastern Asset and Gabelli Asset by $50 million each, he said. Southeastern now runs $200 million, while Gabelli handles $120 million for the plan. Tim Benedict, GE Asset spokesman, did not comment by press time. Callan Associates assisted.
EAST HARTFORD, Conn. — East Hartford Town Retirement System hired Dimensional Fund Advisors to run its $130 million in plan assets in a passive strategy, said Michael Walsh, town finance director. DFA replaced active equity managers Aeltus, Brandes and Simms Capital, and fixed-income managers William Blair and Allegiance, he said. Trustees were impressed with the academic research behind DFA's approach, he said. Newly hired investment consultant Symmetry assisted.
HONOLULU — Hawaii Sheet Metal Workers Pension and Annuity Funds hired Loomis Sayles to run a combined $20 million in active domestic large-cap growth equities for the two funds, which have total assets of $280 million, said Melvyn Murakami, administrator. Previous manager Weiss, Peck & Greer discontinued its large-cap growth product. Smith Barney assisted.
HOLLYWOOD, Fla. — The $170 million Hollywood General Employees' Pension Fund hired Cooke & Bieler and Thompson Siegel & Walmsley to run a total of $55 million in active domestic equities, said Carlos Garcia, city finance director and treasurer. Cooke & Bieler will run $41 million in large-cap value, and Thompson Siegel will handle $14 million in small-cap value, Mr. Garcia said. Funding came from the performance-based terminations of large-cap value manager INVESCO Institutional and small-cap growth manager Pilgrim Baxter, Mr. Garcia said. Segal Advisors assisted.
"We understand and respect our client's decision. We look forward to the opportunity to manage money for them again in the future," said Bill Hensel, spokesman for INVESCO parent AMVESCAP. Howard Monaghan, Pilgrim Baxter spokesman, declined comment.
INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana State Teachers' Retirement Fund hired Segal to conduct the $6 billion system's first actuarial audit, pending contract negotiations that should be completed later this month, said Thomas Abbett, CFO. Mr. Abbett said the audit "is the prudent thing to do."
The audit will review, among other areas, the models and assumptions used by actuary Gabriel, Roeder, Smith for quality as measured against best practices and industry standards. Gabriel, Roeder, Smith endorsed the move, said Mr. Abbett.
Mr. Abbett expects Segal to take about three months to do the audit.
JOLIET, Ill. — Joliet Police Officers' Pension Fund hired Founders Bank to run $10 million in laddered Treasuries for the $75 million plan, said George Stofan, trustee. Founders replaced Harris Bank, Mr. Stofan said. Plan officials conducted a shortlist search because they wanted a smaller, local bank, he said. No consultant was used.
BATON ROUGE, La. — The $700 million Louisiana Firefighters' Retirement System hired Consulting Services Group as investment consultant, effective March 1, said Steven Stockstill, executive director. CSG will replace Becker, Burke, which was a finalist in the search, Mr. Stockstill said. CSG will not immediately begin any searches or studies.
MINSTER, Ohio — Minster Machine Co. hired T. Rowe Price as bundled provider of its $20 million 401(k) plan, said Steve Kill, vice president-human resources. Previous provider Deutsche Asset was terminated because plan officials had been unhappy with the investment performance of its Scudder mutual funds, Mr. Kill said. The plan will now offer 20 investment options, up from 12, and will add a self-directed brokerage window, he said.
"While we're sorry to lose any valued client, we remain confident in the quality of our product," said Christy Pollak, Deutsche Asset spokeswoman.
NEW YORK — New School University committed $5 million to the Blue Orchid Select hedge fund of funds, said Frank Barletta, associate vice president and treasurer. Funding comes from cash, Mr. Barletta said. No consultant was used. The $125 million endowment's asset allocation is 49% equity, 27% fixed income and 24% alternatives, including hedge funds.
NEW YORK — The $6 billion New York City Deferred Compensation Plan hired BNY Asset Management to run its $2 billion S&P 500 index option, said Dean Weltman, plan compliance officer.
The option's previous manager, Vanguard, ran it as a commingled fund; BNY Asset offered the option of a separately managed account, in addition to overall cost savings, said Mr. Weltman.
Vanguard and Northern Trust were finalists. Mercer Investment Consulting assisted.
EASTON, Pa. — Northampton County Employees Retirement Fund hired CIM Investment Management to manage $67 million in a domestic balanced portfolio, said Pat Strunk, information manager. CIM will run $40 million in active large-cap core equities and $27 million in government fixed income. The $186 million pension plan funded the move by terminating Garrison Institutional for the performance of a similar portfolio, Ms. Strunk said. Peirce Park Group assisted. Thomas A. Dattilo, chairman and CIO of Garrison, was not available for comment by press time.
SALEM, Ore. — Oregon 529 College Savings Board hired OppenheimerFunds as program manager for the nearly $260 million Oregon College Savings Plan. Oppenheimer replaces Strong Capital Management, which was terminated last November after Richard Strong, the manager's founder and former CEO, was criticized for market-timing the firm's own funds. Oppenheimer will offer its own funds as well as some Vanguard index funds as investment options. Plan fees will drop from 120 basis points under Strong to 70 to 99 basis points for the Oppenheimer funds, and 45 to 60 basis points for the Vanguard funds. The transition is expected to occur in midsummer.
COPENHAGEN — PKA Ltd. hired State Street Global Advisors to run $100 million in an enhanced screened U.S. equity portfolio benchmarked to the S&P 500 index, said Arlene Roberts, SSgA spokeswoman.
The portfolio will not invest in companies deriving 20% or more of revenue from alcohol, pornography, tobacco or weapons, and it avoids those that manufacture or provide services for abortion drugs, contraception and for-profit health care, according to SSgA.
PKA runs $14 billion in assets for eight occupational pension plans in Denmark.
Officials for PKA declined comment.
WARWICK, R.I. — Rhode Island Carpenters Pension and Annuity Funds hired Weiss, Peck & Greer to run active domestic midcap core equity portfolios for both plans, said Valerie Campana, with third-party administrator Administration Services. Putnam, which ran active domestic midcap value portfolios for both plans, was terminated following market-timing charges against the firm, Ms. Campana said. "We believe that the initiatives which we have recently undertaken to earn back investor trust will be a benefit over the long term," said Laura McNamara, Putnam spokeswoman.
Separately, the annuity fund hired Northern Capital to run active domestic fixed income, replacing New England Trust, Ms. Campana said. Trustees made the change following New England Trust's acquisition by National City Corp., she said.
Ms. Campana declined to provide portfolio sizes. Segal Advisors assisted. The pension fund has $103 million in assets, and the annuity fund has $70 million, according to the Money Market Directory.
SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — The $3.68 billion San Bernardino County Employees Retirement Association hired fixed-income managers Seix Investment Advisors and Pareto Partners to manage $180 million and $100 million, respectively, said Don Pierce, investment officer. Funding comes from the fund's $813 million core bond and $1.6 billion equity portfolios, Mr. Pierce said. No managers are being terminated, he added.
SAN FRANCISCO — The $11.7 billion San Francisco City & County Employees' Retirement System committed up to $15 million to First Reserve Fund X, an energy-related buyout fund.
CHICAGO — S&C Electric Co. will move $4 million to the Vanguard Strategic Equity fund, said Mike Moses, financial services director. Funding came from withdrawing its commitment to the Strong Opportunity fund. Trustees of the $55 million pension plan made the move because of the market-timing investigation into Strong Capital, Mr. Moses said. The Vanguard fund is also one of 10 investment options offered in the participant-directed $85 million 401(k) plan. No consultant was used. Drew Wineland, spokesman for Strong, could not be reached for comment by press time.
SEATTLE — Seattle University hired State Street Global Advisors to run $40 million in an S&P 500 index fund, said Denis Ransmeier, vice president for finance and investments.
The $145 million endowment shifted its entire active domestic large-cap equity allocation to passive management, terminating growth managers Sirach Capital and Rigel Capital, value managers Davis Skaggs and Wellington Management, and core manager Alliance Capital, Mr. Ransmeier said.
The five firms handled portfolios comprising a total of $40 million; he would not say how much each firm ran. Wurts & Associates assisted.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Shelby County Deferred Compensation Plan rehired Nationwide as bundled provider of the $60 million 457 plan, said David Pontius, manager of pension investments. Plan officials began a search about 18 months ago, Mr. Pontius said. Officials reduced investment options to 25 from 50, eliminating funds because of performance and "bad press," he said. A brokerage window was added so participants could still access funds that were dropped. Mr. Pontius declined to identify the terminated options. Mercer Investment Consulting assisted.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — The $68 million Springfield Firefighters' Pension Fund rehired Banc One as sole manager of its assets, said Ray Moser, recording secretary.
RICHMOND, Va. — The Virginia Retirement System approved $205 million in follow-on private equity investments, said a spokeswoman for the $38.8 billion system. The First Reserve X fund will get $100 million; Essex Woodlands Health Ventures VI, $55 million; and Texas Pacific Group IV, $50 million. Funding will come from cash. System officials did not return calls seeking further details by press time.