Sens. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., and Jim Jeffords, R-Vt., today reintroduced the ProSave legislation, which would allow employees of small businesses to take their retirement savings from job to job. The plan would entail setting up a government-sponsored, privately administered pension clearinghouse, modeled along the lines of TIAA-CREF and the federal Thrift Savings Plan, administered by the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board, which would run the investment options.
Vermont State Teachers' Retirement System trustees reversed their position and decided to dump the fund's $10 million in tobacco stocks. The divestiture will be done over time, in concert with money managers, said Robin Strader, administrative assistant to state Treasurer James H. Douglas. The $776 million system joins two other state funds, the state employees' and municipal employees' retirement systems, which voted at the beginning of June to sell tobacco stocks.
Nursultan Nazarbaev, president of Kazakhstan, signed legislation creating a private pension system for the Asian country.
The new system, which takes effect Jan. 1, calls for employers to contribute 15% of workers' salary and employees to contribute 10%. Individuals also will be allowed to make additional voluntary contributions. Current retirees will still receive pensions from the government's central pension fund. As part of the program, retirement ages will rise in Kazakhstan. For men, the retirement age will rise to 63 from 60, and for women, to 58 from 55.
The Province of Prince Edward Island, Charlottetown, is rewriting its investment policy statement for its C$480 million (U.S.$340.8 million) pension fund, said Harold Parker, investments officer.
The fund expects to have its new statement in place by March 31 when the contracts expire for its four existing managers. The four, all balanced managers, are Beutel Goodman, McLean Budden, Sceptre and Altamira.
Comstat Capital is assisting a subcommittee of trustees and the staff. While there are no preconceptions, he said the new policy could call for the fund to go more aggressively into equities and use separate accounts. The fund now has about 60% total in equities.
New York Common Retirement Fund, Albany, consolidated alternative and real estate investing under the direction of Alan Sullivan, assistant deputy comptroller, said a spokesman for H. Carl McCall, the sole trustee of the $88 billion fund. Day-to-day management of alternative investments will be handled by Michael Arpey, senior investment officer. Mr. Arpey, who joined the comptroller's office in 1995 as an investment officer, replaces Anne Collins, who left last month to join Fleet Equity Partners. Real estate investing will continue to be directed by Joseph DelCasino, chief real estate investment officer.
University of Oregon Foundation, Eugene, is considering adding more alternative investments and is reviewing its strategic asset allocation. The foundation is looking into hedge funds, LBOs, oil and gas investments or an emerging markets mandate. The $200 million fund now has 16.5% in alternatives and has the leeway to allocate up to 20% of the portfolio to the asset class.
Any changes that may be made may take from one to three years to be implemented, said Peter Rothschild, chairman of the investment committee. The board is scheduled to meet again in October.
Dreman Value Management said today it agreed to another five-year contract to subadvise the $1.9 billion Kemper-Dreman High Return Equity Fund, subject to shareholder approval. David Dreman, chairman and controlling stockholder of Dreman Value Advisors, will remain the fund's portfolio manager.
Texas Municipal League Intergovernmental Risk Pool, with $320 million in assets, hired Voyager Asset Management to run an $80 million U.S. bond portfolio. Other finalists were INVESCO and Smith, Graham. The search was conducted internally following a rebidding of the contract, which had been with Graham & Co. for the past four years.
Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, N.Y., hired Northern Trust to replace Bank of New York as custodian for its $450 million endowment fund. The change was made to get more timely accounting and performance reports, said Jay Yoder, director of investments. Fees also will be lower. Kohlberg & Associates assisted.
A BONY spokesman declined to comment.
David Waldman has been appointed managing director and chief investment officer for Putnam Investments' taxable investment-grade bond unit. He will report to William Curtin, managing director and CIO of the fixed-income investments department.
Mr. Waldman had been senior vice president and senior portfolio manager at Lazard Freres Asset Management; a spokesman declined to comment on his replacement