Coral Gables (Fla.) Retirement System selected Merrill Lynch as investment consultant, pending contract negotiations, said Kimberly V. Groome, administrator. The $200 million plan terminated previous consultant UBS Financial in March, Ms. Groome said. Plan officials are deciding whether to proceed with litigation against UBS, alleging that its failure to recommend asset allocation changes cost the plan more than $50 million between 2001 and 2002, according to minutes of the March 26 board meeting. Custodian Northern Trust is serving as interim consultant; Northern Trust was a finalist in the search, along with Burgess Chambers and Milliman USA, she said. Merrill Lynch is expected to take over in July.
"UBS believes the retirement board's initial claim to be entirely meritless, and we will vigorously defend it if it is brought," said Peter Casey, UBS spokesman.