Joseph DeSantis was named a chief investment officer at Fidelity Management & Research and will oversee a portion of the firm's domestic equities operations, confirmed Fidelity spokeswoman Sophie Launay.
The position is new.
Mr. DeSantis will report to Bruce T. Herring, group chief investment officer for FMR Co., who has been overseeing both a range of domestic funds, including growth, core, capital appreciation and midcap offerings, as well as international developed markets and emerging markets funds, Ms. Launay said.
Mr. DeSantis, who joined FMR last month, was CIO of fundamental equities at Evergreen Investments until April 2009. He couldn't be reached for further comment.
N.J. unfunded liabilities rise
New Jersey state pension system's unfunded liabilities rose 17.5%, or $8.05 billion, to $53.86 billion in the 12 months ended June 30, Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff, state treasurer, announced Dec. 23.
During this period, the system's funded ratio dropped to 62% from 66%.
The market value of the pension system's assets as of June 30 was $70.52 billion, according to a Treasury Department news release.
Mr. Sidamon-Eristoff said in the release that the latest numbers reinforce the need for the state to adopt a series of proposals made by Gov. Chris Christie in September.
The recommendations include raising the retirement age for state workers and eliminating cost-of-living increases in benefits paid to current and future employees.
J.P. Morgan, Florida settle
J.P. Morgan Chase agreed to pay Florida $25 million to settle allegations it sold unregistered securities to a state-run municipal money market fund that suffered a run on deposits because it held defaulted debt, according to Bloomberg.
Participants in Florida's $6.9 billion Local Government Investment Pool, now known as Florida Prime, will get $23 million of the settlement to reimburse them for losses in 2007 on asset-backed securities, some of which were sold by J.P. Morgan to the fund's overseer, the $147 billion Florida State Board of Administration, Tallahassee, said Attorney General Bill McCollum in a statement on Dec. 22. The rest will pay fines and related costs, he said.
Mr. McCollum said the bank's J.P. Morgan Securities unit had violated Florida law by selling unregistered bonds to the fund.
J.P. Morgan “desires to resolve this matter to avoid the burden and cost of any litigation, and accordingly does not admit or deny” the findings of Florida's investigation, the company said in the settlement agreement.
Russell unit CEO out
Penny Zuckerwise, CEO of Russell Investments' Americas Institutional business, left the firm to pursue other opportunities.
A Russell spokeswoman said Ms. Zuckerwise, who was based in New York, decided not to relocate to the company's headquarters in Seattle, as preferred by company executives.
The spokeswoman had no further information on Ms. Zuckerwise's plans, and Ms. Zuckerwise couldn't be reached for comment; she had joined Russell on May 3.
Greg Gilbert, a managing director as well as president and CEO of Russell Investment Services, has been named CEO, Americas Institutional.
Ian Battye, managing director, implementation services, Europe, Middle East, Africa, will succeed Mr. Gilbert as managing director, Russell Investment Services. It could not be immediately learned who will fill Mr. Battye's previous position.
Senators to DOL: Back off
Sens. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., asked the Department of Labor to put the brakes on a controversial proposed rule that would expand the pool of retirement plan service providers considered to be fiduciaries to include consultants who appraise investments, according to a letter sent Dec. 20 to Labor Secretary Hilda Solis.
The senators asked for an extension of the public comment period on the proposed rule for at least 30 days beyond the current deadline of Jan. 20; that Labor Department officials meet with Vermont lawmakers and ESOP sponsors “to review and explain the proposal”; and to hold an open meeting to take public testimony on the subject.
Gloria Della, a DOL spokeswoman, did not respond to requests for comment by press time.
Philadelphia CIO joins N.J.
Christopher McDonough was named deputy director of the New Jersey Division of Investment, which manages $71 billion in state pension fund investments, confirmed Andrew Pratt, a spokesman for the state Treasury Department.
Mr. McDonough will begin in January. He will replace Ray Joseph, who is taking a job outside state government. Mr. Pratt would not comment further; Mr. Joseph was not available for comment.
Mr. McDonough was CIO of the $3.7 billion Philadelphia Board of Pensions and Retirement. His last day will be Dec. 31. Rhonda McNavish, deputy CIO, will be acting CIO until the pension board chooses a successor, said Francis Bielli, executive director of the board.
Carlyle nears AlpInvest deal
Carlyle Group is nearing an agreement to buy AlpInvest Partners, a Dutch asset manager that has invested more than e40 billion ($52 billion) for clients in private equity funds, three people with knowledge of the discussions told Bloomberg News.
Carlyle may sign a deal as early as January, the people said, asking not to be identified because the talks are private. Executives at the buyout firm have informed their limited partners about the talks because a takeover of the Amsterdam-based fund of funds may make Carlyle a competitor for some of its investors.
Iain Leigh, a managing partner for AlpInvest, and Christopher Ullman, a spokesman for Carlyle, declined to comment.
Fidelity exec departs
Peter Cieszko, president of Fidelity Investments Institutional Services, is leaving at the end of January “to pursue opportunities outside of the organization,” confirmed Fidelity spokesman Vin Loporchio.
Scott Couto, executive vice president and head of investment product management, marketing and investor consulting services, was named interim head while a search begins for a permanent replacement.
Mr. Cieszko couldn't immediately be reached for comment.
Interim tag shed
Thomas Moutes was named general manager of Los Angeles City Employees' Retirement System, pending confirmation from the City Council and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, confirmed Juan Garcia, spokesman for the $10 billion system.
Mr. Moutes, assistant general manager since 2007, has been interim general manager since October when Sally Choi resigned to become administrative director of the $5.5 billion Motion Picture Industry Pension & Health Plans, Studio City, Calif.
Ministers back pooled pensions
Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said he and his provincial counterparts have agreed to create “pooled pensions,” which will make it easier for small companies and the self-employed to participate in registered pension plans.
“We want all Canadians to save more for their retirement,” Mr. Flaherty told reporters following a meeting on Dec. 20 with provincial finance ministers in Kananaskis, Alberta.
The finance ministers are divided, though, on whether to consider increases to the C$138.6 billion (US$136.1 billion) Canada Pension Plan, Ottawa, a mandatory system in which workers and employers contribute.
Quebec Finance Minister Raymond Bachand said it is too early to make any changes to the Canada Pension Plan.
“We're taking the position we should make further studies,” Mr. Bachand told reporters in Kananaskis. “Not right now, but not necessarily never.”