Henderson Group has emerged as the leading bidder for the bulk of SunTrust Bank's RidgeWorth Capital money management arm, sources say.
Henderson Group appears to have the edge over other bidders, including AllianceBernstein, for the higher margin pieces of the business.
Sources say Henderson is interested in the roughly $36 billion of non-money market assets in a variety of institutional and retail fixed-income and equity strategies. Bankers believe the price tag for that business will be between $300 million and $400 million.
RidgeWorth is a holding company with eight boutiques that oversee combined client assets of about $65 billion. The largest is fixed-income manager Seix Investment Advisors.
Henderson isn't likely to acquire the group's stable-value and money-market boutique, StableRiver Capital Management, which has more than $28.2 billion, bankers say.
Andrew Formica, CEO of publicly traded Henderson Group, didn't immediately respond to phone calls and e-mails seeking comment. Spokeswoman Laura Cook said the company doesn't comment on market speculation.
David H. Eidson, chairman and CEO of RidgeWorth Capital, didn't immediately respond to phone calls seeking comment.
Santa Barbara starts search
Santa Barbara County (Calif.) Employees' Retirement System has begun searching for its first chief investment officer, said Vince Brown, CEO of the $1.7 billion system.
The opening is part of a restructuring “given the size and future growth” of the fund, he said.
Executive recruiter Alliance Resource Consulting is conducting the search. Those interested should apply online at http://www.allianceresourceconsulting.com or call Eric Middleton, ARC managing partner, at 562-901-0769 or e-mail him at [email protected] Applications are due April 30.
SEC rewards seen as lax
The SEC, which is seeking more authority to pay tipsters, inadequately tracks whistleblowers' complaints and lacks policies for determining the size of awards, according to a Bloomberg story on an SEC report.
“The current SEC bounty program is not fundamentally well-designed to be successful,” SEC Inspector General H. David Kotz said in the report released April 1.
The SEC has asked lawmakers to expand its authority by letting the agency give bounties for any tip that results in a monetary sanction exceeding $1 million.
The agency now has power to reward tipsters only in insider-trading investigations.
The SEC should improve its bounty-application process and make sure petitions are reviewed in a timely and adequate way, Mr. Kotz said. He also urged the agency to revise its criteria for judging the value of tips and its guidelines for determining the size of awards.
Robert Khuzami, SEC enforcement director, said the agency is centralizing its process for receiving, reviewing and acting on tips.
Legislation under consideration by Congress would replace the bounty program, so the agency should incorporate Mr. Kotz's recommendations in the new system rather than amend the existing one, Mr. Khuzami said.
TopSource likes Putnam
TopSource named Putnam Investments as its preferred bundled provider of defined contribution services for its 53 member companies in the grocery and retail cooperative.
“We (have) worked with our members to aggregate our collective buying power and deliver measurable savings,” David Picarillo, senior vice president of TopSource, said in a news release issued by Putnam announcing the agreement.
“Many of our members are looking to improve the retirement plan they offer their own employees while reducing their overall employee benefit costs.”
In an interview, Mr. Picarillo said Putnam was the preferred choice for TopSource's member companies, which have about $5 billion in combined DC assets.
He said member companies still can select their own DC provider, adding that Putnam was chosen to “create a commonality” of DC services for its members.
N.Y. makes 2 commitments
The $129.4 billion New York State Common Retirement Fund made a total of $65 million in follow-on commitments to absolute-return managers in February, confirmed Robert Whalen, a spokesman for State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, sole trustee.
King Street Capital received an additional $40 million, raising the plan's total commitment to $140 million, and the Comac Global Macro Fund got an additional $25 million commitment, boosting its total to $125 million.
Coke gets VEBA approval
Coca-Cola Co., received final authorization from the Department of Labor for its approach to funding retiree health-care benefits through a special trust and Coca-Cola's captive insurance company, according to Business Insurance, a sister publication of Pensions & Investments.
The final authorization was published in the April 2 Federal Register.
Coca-Cola established the VEBA in 2006 and contributed $216 million to the trust.
Coca-Cola still is waiting for a private letter ruling from the IRS involving tax issues related to the transaction.
DoubleLine staffer quizzed
A DoubleLine Capital employee was questioned by an agency associated with the U.S. Treasury's Legacy Securities Public-Private Investment Program over a lawsuit against DoubleLine by TCW, according to a DoubleLine filing with the SEC.
Neither the agency nor the employee was identified in the filing.
TCW's lawsuit against DoubleLine, founder Jeffrey Gundlach and three others at the firm — all former TCW employees — accuses them of stealing TCW property, fraud and breach of fiduciary duty.
That lawsuit, filed in January, followed TCW's December termination of Mr. Gundlach, who oversaw the PPIP investment while CIO for fixed income at TCW.
Treasury spokeswoman Kristine Belisle would neither confirm nor deny the existence of an investigation.
Nuns get banks' attention
Shareholders will vote starting this month on proposals sponsored by the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth and 14 other religious organizations, Bloomberg reports. The proposals ask Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan Chase, Citigroup and Bank of America Merrill Lynch to give more information on the collateral used in their derivatives trading.
It's the first time the four banks, among the largest U.S. swaps dealers, will put to a non-binding vote a call to explain how collateral of derivatives customers is used and to keep it from other accounts.
The SEC, in February and March decisions, backed the religious groups' bid to put the proposal up for a vote by shareholders of J.P. Morgan, BofA Merrill Lynch and Citigroup. Goldman Sachs agreed separately to add the resolution to its proxy statement.
The religious groups, which are members of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, hold shares in the four banks ranging from 100 at Goldman Sachs to 63,977 at Citigroup.
J.P. Morgan spokeswoman Jennifer Zuccarelli, Goldman Sachs spokesman Michael DuVally, BofA spokesman Scott Silvestri and Citigroup spokesman Stephen Cohen all declined to comment beyond the companies' proxy statements.