Duke Energy Corp., Charlotte, N.C., the new energy firm resulting from the merger of Duke Power Co. and PanEnergy Corp., will move the investment management operations of the combined company to Charlotte.
Jeffrey French, Duke's manager of long-term investments, will assume the investment responsibilities formerly handled by PanEnergy's Jennifer Tyler, manager of investments. Mr. French said it is too early to speculate on how the merger will affect the management of retirement plan assets.
Employee benefit assets of the merged companies total almost $4 billion. Duke Power has defined benefit assets of about $1.7 billion and a stock purchase-savings program of about $1 billion. Houston-based PanEnergy's pension plan has $810 million in assets; its employee savings plan, about $425 million.
Ann Arbor (Mich.) City Employees' Retirement System could be searching for a fixed-income manager as soon as July, said Robb Hubbs, retirement administrator.
The investment committee for the $300 million fund is setting requirements for a new manager and will give its recommendations at the July 17 board meeting. The new manager would replace Lexington Global Asset Managers, terminated last month. The $50 million it managed temporarily was invested in State Street Global Advisors' Lehman aggregate index fund. Callan will be assisting.
The stock market is likely to move meaningfully lower before it moves meaningfully higher, a report by PaineWebber says. And a ``bump in the road'' could spark a pullback of more than 10%. Although long-term fundamentals remain positive, the firm's normal p/e models suggests the stock market is better than 15% overvalued.
The firm identifies 21 S&P 500 stocks that are at the bottom of its equity valuation model and have above-market gains so far this year. The stocks are: Navistar; Caliber Systems; McDermott; Paccar; Cummins Engine; Scientific-Atlanta; USAir; Advanced Micro Devices; Maytag; Coors; Autodesk; LSI Logic; Bausch & Lomb; Inland Steel; Exxon; Reynolds Metals; National Semiconductor; Champion International; Bay Networks; Dover; and Royal Dutch Petroleum.
Templeton Worldwide is finding more cheap stocks in Asia outside Japan and fewer in the United States for its global equities portfolios. The firm, with $60 billion to $70 billion of global equities under management, now has about 12% in Asia ex-Japan. That's about double the amount about two years ago, said Sandy Nairn, Templeton's global equity research director in Edinburgh.
He expects further allocations to companies in Asia of about one to two percentage points. Money is largely coming from Templeton's North American exposure.
BlackRock Financial and Trepp & Co. formed a joint venture to provide commercial mortgage-backed securities data and analytics software. The venture, Trepp Management Services, will make the ``CMBS Deal Library'' available through subscription to traders and investors. The software will contain updated loan and bond information and allow users to perform real estate market analysis. The CMBS Secondary System, which includes the CMBS Deal Library, will be shipped in July.
School Employees Retirement System of Ohio, Columbus, hired Sanford C. Bernstein to run $25 million in an emerging markets commingled portfolio and CRA Real Estate Securities to run $25 million in a REIT separate account, subject to contract negotiations. The allocations will be funded from cash. Frank Russell assisted the $6 billion fund with the emerging markets search. The REIT manager search was done internally.
Oklahoma Firefighters' Pension and Retirement System, Oklahoma City, hired Asset Consulting Group as consultant, said Robert Hollander, executive director of the $1.3 billion fund. The firm probably will assist with an asset allocation study in the third quarter. Incumbent DeMarche declined to rebidt.
RMC/Vanguard Financial Services, Houston, selected Oppenheimer Funds to take over investment management and administration for its $250,000 401(k) plan. The fund will offer six diversified Oppenheimer investment funds. A fund official declined to name the previous provider. Mass Mutual will continue as record keeper. Post Oak Capital Advisors assisted in the search.
St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minn., hired Thomson Horstmann & Bryant to manage, in small-cap equities, 20% of the school's $90 million endowment, said Linda Roiger, assistant treasurer. Funding will come from a reallocation. DeMarche Associates assisted.
John P. Callaghan joined Morgan Grenfell Capital as the third co-manager of its small-cap equity team specializing in health-care and technology stocks. He replaced Robert Kern, who left to form his own firm. Mr. Callaghan had been a portfolio manager for Odyssey Partners, which is dissolving