NCM Capital Management Group has reorganized and closed offices in Los Angeles and Minneapolis, said Victoria Treadwell, vice president, client services.
Four senior marketing professionals - Stanley Laborde, Brenda Walker, Dennis McCaskill and Rodney Hare - departed, she said. Linda Jordan, regional vice president, is the sole remaining senior marketing employee. Lawrence Verny, a midcap portfolio manager, departed in April, and Stephon Jackson, director of equity research, will leave at the end of June.
Drake Craig replaced Mr. Verny, and Wendell Mackey will replace Mr. Jackson, said Ms. Treadwell. Both were promoted from within.
Ms. Treadwell, former investment analyst with the Los Angeles County Employees Retirement Association, and Lee A. Baker, formerly a manager of pension investments at the New York Times, joined NCM as vice president of client services, new positions.
Query on Conrail
Rep. Chaka Fattah, D-Pa., has asked the IRS to explain if tax rules might prevent Conrail employees from collecting their fair share of a windfall resulting from the company's acquisition by CSX Corp.
In a letter to then IRS Commissioner Margaret Milner Richardson, Mr. Fattah asked the agency to respond to his concern "to ascertain if an IRS position is keeping Conrail employees from obtaining their money."
Mr. Fattah's office has not yet heard from the IRS.
Tobacco sale considered
An proposed ordinance introduced in the Philadelphia City Council would require the $2.75 billion Philadelphia City Municipal Pension Fund to sell holdings in cigarette manufacturers and distributors, said Marie Hauser, chief clerk to the City Council.
The ordinance will be heard in committee and then go the full council for a vote. The council ends its legislative session June 19 and reconvenes in September, Ms. Hauser said.
Simpson leaves PanAgora
Anthony Simpson, director of marketing and client services for PanAgora Asset Management in London, is leaving to pursue other opportunities. He has not yet been replaced.
CalSTRS studies realty role
Trustees of the $68 billion California State Teachers' Retirement System have asked for an outline of the costs of using real estate fiduciaries to do some due diligence work formerly done by the fund's real estate consultant. The $68 billion fund's staff recommended hiring independent fiduciaries for due diligence on specific transactions and fund recommendations.
Once the board makes a decision, possibly next month, the staff is expected to issue an RFP for a new real estate consultant. If the board approves hiring independent fiduciaries, an additional RFP could go out for a second consultant.
Institutional Property Consultants, the current consultant, resigned earlier this year. The fund expects to have a new consultant in place before January.
Illinois fund hires
Pyrford will replace Nomura Capital Management, which was terminated partially because of problems the fund saw with its investment process and to some degree performance, said Walt Koziol, director of investments.
Nomura officials did not return calls. Mercer assisted.
Indiana fund nears equity
Trustees for the $3.6 billion Indiana State Teachers' Retirement Fund will review the results of an asset-liability study at their July meeting, said Robert Newland, investment officer. The study will include the fund's first allocation to equities, following a referendum in November that allowed equity investment for state pension funds.
Following the study, consultant Callan Associates also will research related issues that are new to the fund, such as directed brokerage and proxy voting, Mr. Newland said.
Weingart hires for bonds
The $660 million Weingart Foundation hired Capital Guardian Trust and Salomon Brothers Asset Management. Each firm will get $50 million in fixed income; the money previously had been managed in-house.
Foundation officials will continue to manage another $50 million in fixed income internally, said Ann Van Dormolen, vice president and treasurer.
LACERA's Hermann dies
Robert Hermann, chairman of the $20 billion Los Angeles County Retirement Association, died Tuesday of cancer at Norris Cancer Center in Los Angeles. Mr. Hermann also was chairman of the system's retirement board. Mr. Hermann, first elected a trustee in the 1980s, was well known in the pension community throughout the country.
Putnam, Nippon Life allies
Putnam Investments formed a strategic alliance with Nippon Life Group to manage Japanese pension assets. Putnam will collaborate to develop investment products and manage assets for Nippon Life and will market international investment products with Nissay Asset Management, an investment advisory subsidiary of Nippon Life. Putnam will manage a variety of assets invested globally for Nippon Life Group.
Boersma to Kansas City
Rick Boersma was named executive director of the $460 million Kansas City (Mo.) Employees' Retirement System. He starts Aug. 4 and replaces Pat Gerrick, who joined the New York State Common Fund as director of international investments.
Mr. Boersma was administrator-investment and trust services at Illinois Power; no decision has been made on a replacement.
Bankruptcy fund picked
The $448 million endowment fund of the University of Washington committed $10 million of endowment assets to the Varde Bankruptcy Fund. The source for the new commitment has yet to be determined, but will come from either gifts to the endowment or from existing managers, said Alison Borland, assistant treasurer.
Fund officials are considering other alternative commitments with help from consultant Cambridge Associates.
Exchanges sign accord
Officials of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, SBF-Paris Bourse and Matif SA signed an agreement last week swapping the Merc's and the New York Mercantile Exchange's Clearing 21 clearing system for the bourses' NSC electronic trading system. No money will change hands, but the CME will use the NSC system for electronic trading, adopting the GLOBEX name, while the French exchanges will use the CME's clearing system. NYMEX officials are considering using the NSC system for after-hours electronic trading.
A letter of intent will enable the exchanges to license and market the entire package to other users. Implementation for the new systems is expected in the second half of 1998.
Alcan Adminco hires
Alcan Adminco hired Natcan Investment Management to manage C$200 million in Canadian equities for its C$3 billion (U.S. $2.18 billion) pension fund, said Reynald N. Harpin, vice president-pension investments.
Assets will come from T.A.L. Investment Counsel, which was dropped as manager of the portfolio. Mr. Harpin would not say why the firm was dropped.
Philadelphia taps Ivy
Philadelphia Municipal Pension Fund trustees selected the Ivy International fund as the first international stock option for the city's $185 million deferred compensation plan, said Joseph J. Herkness, director.
The plan now has five investment options.
Quadion picks Putnam
Quadion Corp. hired Putnam Institutional as bundled provider for its defined contribution plans and investment manager for its two defined benefit plans.
Putnam will handle $55 million in profit-sharing, money purchase and 401(k) assets and offer seven equity and bond funds and three lifestyle funds to participants. The previous manager, Frank Russell, offered three options; NationsBank was trustee and Mercer, record keeper.
Putnam also will use a balanced approach to run $10 million in defined benefit assets, again replacing Frank Russell. The change was made to get investments and administration "all under one roof,"said Pete Peterson, vice president, human resources. Mercer assisted.
Ethical code urged
A union-backed report called on U.K. pension funds to pressure portfolio companies to sign a code of conduct on workers rights in Third World countries.
Funded by the European Commission and leading U.K. union Unison, London-based War on Want called on unionized trustees and others to take ethical factors into consideration when making investments.
The organization also wants trustees to press companies in whom they own shares to adopt a code of conduct.
Wyoming fund hires
The $2.5 billion State Loan and Investment Board of Wyoming hired Fayez Sarofim to manage an initial $20 million in large-cap growth equity. The initial placement and future monthly installments of $10 million will be funded from cash. The board next will consider issuing RFPs for a midcap equity manager. Steve Degenfelder, deputy director, expects a search to begin in the fall. R.V. Kuhns assisted.
Dole joins Tiger board
Robert Dole, former Senate majority leader and 1996 GOP presidential candidate, joined the advisory board of Tiger Management, the hedge fund run by Julian Robertson.*His responsibilities include keeping the board apprised of legislative developments in Washington that can affect hedge funds, said Joyce Nelson, spokeswoman for Mr. Dole, now special counsel at the Washington law firm of Verner, Liipfert, Bernhard McPherson & Hand.
Dow contracts offered
The Dow Jones Industrial Average will become available through derivatives and exchange-traded funds under agreements between Dow Jones and the Chicago Board of Trade, the Chicago Board Options Exchange and the American Stock Exchange. The CBOT's Dow Jones Industrials futures and futures options contracts will have an approximate value of $75,000. The Amex offerings will include a DJIA fund and other Dow Jones index funds. A launch date is pending regulatory approval.
The Chicago Mercantile Exchange, which lost the battle to license the Dow, subsequently announced plans to introduce a smaller version of its S&P 500 index contract. The new S&P 500 futures and futures options contracts will be valued at $50 times the index one-tenth the size of existing contracts. The contracts are subject to regulatory approval.
West Africa fund set
Framlington Group launched the West Africa Growth Fund, the first fund to invest in the emerging economies of West Africa. Framlington has raised $25 million for the fund, including $6 million from the International Finance Corp. and $5 million from Caisse Francaise de Developpement and Proparco, part of the CFD Group. The Luxembourg-listed SICAV will invest in the emerging economies of the Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Senegal, Republic of Congo, Gabon and Mali, all of which participate in a free-trade zone with a common currency, the CFA franc.