State of Wisconsin Investment Board, Madison, placed Citigroup Asset Management and Aberdeen Asset Management on watch because of organizational issues, according to an internal report. Aberdeen manages $489 million in global fixed income and $167 million in emerging markets debt for the $78.6 billion system. The money had been managed by Deutsche Asset Management; Aberdeen acquired DeAM's bond unit last year. Citigroup Asset, which runs $389 million in high-yield global fixed income for the fund, was acquired by Legg Mason last year. No additional money will be assigned for the portfolios while the firms are under review, the report noted.
The investment committee plans to follow up on Citigroup in March and on Aberdeen in June.
In Illinois, the Illinois State Universities Retirement System staff is monitoring BlackRock because of its agreement to merge with Merrill Lynch Investment Managers, said Daniel L. Allen, CIO. BlackRock manages three accounts for the $14.3 billion Champaign-based fund: $546 million in an enhanced Lehman Aggregate bond fund; $403 million in a modified enhanced S&P 500 fund; and $205 million in core-plus fixed income. SURS does not have a watchlist, Mr. Allen said.
Staff plans to discuss the situation with the system's investment committee at its March 9 meeting, Mr. Allen said. Consultant Ennis Knupp has been asked to provide a report about the deal at the meeting, he added.
"It's something we're monitoring, but we don't see any changes at this point," he said.