El Paso (Texas) Firemen and Policemen's Pension Fund hired Merrill Lynch as transition manager for $53 million that had been managed by Montag & Caldwell in an active large-cap growth equity portfolio; the money is parked in an S&P 500 index fund run by Merrill Lynch, said Robert Stanton, administrator. Montag & Caldwell was terminated because the $520 million plan is shifting its large-cap strategy to more passive management, he said.
System officials will search for a firm to permanently manage those assets in a large-cap index fund as well as provide other bundled services such as directed brokerage, securities lending, custody and benefit payments. "If we don't come to an agreement with an investment manager that can provide those ancillary services, we'll probably keep (the money) at Merrill," he said. Details about the search have not been determined yet.