The Federal Reserve Board Open Markets Committee, as had been widely anticipated, left short-term interest rates unchanged following the conclusion of its two-day meeting today. The Fed funds rate, the key overnight lending rate targeted by the Fed, was last altered in March 1997 when the Fed raised it 25 basis points to 5.5%.
``I suspect that the Fed is quite pleased with the recent trends of strong growth, low inflation and tight labor market,'' said Stephen Gordon, director-fixed income at Warren D. Nadel & Co., Greenvale, N.Y.
PNC Bank is combining its asset management entities into a single unit, placing four investment managers under control of BlackRock Financial Management. The combined entity will have more than $100 billion in assets under management.
Provident Capital, a domestic value equity manager, and PNC Equity Advisors, a domestic growth equity manager, will become a single equity group within BlackRock. Also, CastleInternational, an active international equity manager, will take on the BlackRock name but will remain in Edinburgh, Scotland. PNC Institutional, a money market fund manager, will continue in Philadelphia under the BlackRock name.
PNC's $15 billion retail mutual fund family, Compass Capital Funds, will be renamed BlackRock Funds. The PNC Asset Management Group will be renamed BlackRock Inc., said BlackRock CEO Laurence Fink.
Boston Retirement System will be reviewing its $600 million large-cap U.S. equity portfolio in order to consolidate managers.
The $2.3 billion fund's large-cap value, large-cap growth managers and index managers probably will come under review next month. Officials are looking to eliminate style overlap among managers in order to maximize returns and lower fees, said Donna Mueller, executive director. Callan is assisting.
Separately, the board will interview three firms to manage an $80 million to $100 million core enhanced EAFE international portfolioto replace a firm that will be terminated because of style overlap.
Ms. Mueller would not name the firm that will be let go or the firms that will be talking to the board Feb. 25.
Arlington Heights (Ill.) Police Pension Fund plans to hire its first consultant to conduct an asset allocation study, performance monitoring and manager searches, said Gerald Besenhofer, board president.
The $35 million fund plans to send RFPs to at least three firms. Mr. Besenhofer expects RFPs to go out late this week or early next week. He would not name the firms on the list to receive RFPs.