Brunner Mond U.K. Pension Fund, Manchester, England, hired Mercer as fiduciary manager of its £140 million ($218 million) fund, confirmed Dan Melley, principal and head of U.K. business development for Mercer.
Mercer will perform asset allocation, portfolio construction and manager selection on a delegated basis, and will manage the fund's assets using its dynamic derisking services approach, Mr. Melley said in an e-mailed response to questions.
Mercer was the fund's actuary and investment consultant, Mr. Melley said. A spokesman at Brunner Mond could not be reached by press time.
Delphi Automotive Systems U.K.
Delphi Automotive Systems U.K. Ltd., Milton Keynes, England, hired Mn Services Investment Management UK to be fiduciary manager of its £450 million ($698 million) pension plans, Delphi spokesman Richard Gotch confirmed.
Mn Services will advise pension trustees on investment strategy, and handle dynamic asset allocation, manager selection, risk management and other services on a delegated basis. Mn Services will use its multimanager pools to handle manager selection, according to a Mn news release. The company declined to provide additional information, Mr. Gotch said.
Central Bank of Ireland
The Central Bank of Ireland hired BlackRock Solutions to value hard-to-sell debt held by the country's banks as European regulators attempt to resolve the sovereign debt crisis, according to Bloomberg.
BlackRock Solutions will price the assets of six banks as part of a review of capital requirements, the Central Bank of Ireland said Jan. 6 in a statement. Boston Consulting Group will help with project management, and the investment banking unit of Barclays will provide banking advice, the Dublin-based central bank said.
BlackRock's assignment marks the first time the firm is advising a European government in connection with the region's debt crisis, which started last year when Greece needed a bailout. BlackRock Solutions, the unit that evaluates mortgage bonds and hard-to-sell securities, was picked by the U.S. government in 2008 to oversee tainted portfolios at the peak of the financial crisis and value assets previously held by American International Group and Bear Stearns.
Ireland on Nov. 28 was forced to resort to an e85 billion ($111 billion) aid package led by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund after bailouts of lenders such as Anglo Irish Bank Corp.
As part of the aid, Ireland's central bank agreed to reduce the size of its loan portfolios by “steadily deleveraging” the banking system. After establishing an asset management agency last year to dispose of about e71 billion of commercial real estate loans, the central bank is considering starting a second one to explore a restructuring of the debt.
The BlackRock Solutions unit specializes in assigning values to and measuring risk in bond portfolios, especially those that have illiquid securities and mortgage-related debt.
Bobbie Collins, a BlackRock spokeswoman, confirmed the firm was appointed by the Central Bank of Ireland but declined further comment.
Oklahoma Firefighters United Association Locals 14, 24
Oklahoma Firefighters Pension and Retirement System, Oklahoma City, rehired State Street Global Advisors to run more than $400 million in four index funds and State Street Bank as the $1.6 billion system's master custodian, confirmed Robert Jones, the system's executive director.
SSgA manages $114 million in a Barclays Capital Aggregate Bond index fund; $104 million in an Equal Weighted S&P 500 index fund; $95 million in the Barclays Capital Intermediate Aggregate Bond index fund; and $91 million in an S&P 500 Cap Weighted Equity index fund.
He said the system launched a search in February for both index manager and custodian to see what was available in the market.
Also, the board named active domestic growth managers Lord Abbett and TCW Asset Management as finalists in the system's search for a manager to run small-cap equities, and Delaware Investments and Century Capital Management as finalists to run smidcap stocks. The portfolio holds up to $105 million in small caps, smidcaps or a combination of the two.
A decision on the manager and the investment style is expected in January or February, Mr. Jones said in a telephone interview. Funding will come from the current small-cap growth manager Waddell & Reed Investment Management, Mr. Jones wrote in an e-mailed response to questions.
Waddell & Reed “was one of the nine initial finalists for the small-cap growth portion of the search,” Mr. Jones wrote.
United Association Local Nos. 14 and 24, Lodi, N.J. hired MassMutual Retirement Services as provider of the merged $113 million Taft-Hartley annuity plan, according to a MassMutual news release. The union locals represent about 1,520 plumbing-trade professionals in New Jersey, according to the release.
Further details could not be immediately learned. Neither Kenneth Pouch, MassMutual managing director of Taft-Hartley sales, nor Eric Boyce, business manager of locals 14 and 24, could be reached for comment.