SYDNEY, Australia - The New South Wales State Superannuation Investment Management Corp. has held talks with the California Public Employees' Retirement System about cooperating on private investments in Asia.
The talks included discussions about the California system's proposed merchant bank (Pensions & Investments, March 4). Although the SSIMC, one of Australia's largest fund managers, expressed interest, no formal commitment has been made.
Elizabeth Bryan, chief investment officer of the South Wales fund, which manages A$17 billion (U.S. $13.4 billion) in retirement assets for public employees of the state of New South Wales, said fund officials are now waiting to hear back from the California fund.
Ms. Bryan said SSIMC is interested in investing in Asia, and it has expertise in private equity investing.
"We'll continue to talk if they are looking for an Australian partner and want to use Australia as a base for Asia," Ms. Bryan said.
Meanwhile, the New South Wales government is considering splitting the SSIMC into two parts, an administrative group and an investment company, and then privatizing the investment company.
Ms. Bryan said SSIMC could compete very effectively if privatized, and, if properly handled, privatization would result in the establishment of another major Sydney institution.
European buy-out funds
NOTTINGHAM, England - Management buy-outs in continental Europe totaled 3.6 billion ($5.4 billion) in 1995, down 20% from 4.5 billion in 1994, according to a survey by consultant Initiative Europe and the Centre for Management Buyout Research at the University of Nottingham.
In contrast, the value of U.K. management buy-outs hit 5.5 billion last year, up 51% from 3.7 billion in 1994.
The decline in total market value in continental MBOs reflects a drop in the number of large deals in 1995, the survey said.
The number of middle-market deals - with a value of 5 million to 25 million - held steady and actually increased in Germany and the Netherlands, the survey found. The total number of deals in 1995 declined 7.5%, to 382 from 413.
In Germany, the proportion of deals resulting from corporate divestitures rose to 58% from 33%, while the proportion of deals stemming from family-owned companies declined to 16% from 41%.
This trend reflects an embracement of divestitures by German companies, a departure from past practices, the survey said.
Edinburgh Fund Managers
EDINBURGH, Scotland - Car-ole Haddow, the popular former marketing director for The WM Co., will join Edinburgh Fund Managers July 1 as institutional sales and marketing manager, a new position. Edinburgh Fund Managers still is digesting its acquisition of Dunedin Fund Managers earlier this year.
She will work primarily with unit trusts in her new post. Ms. Haddow's husband, Ian, remains a director in The WM Co.'s technology section.
Emerging market funds
LONDON - Micropal's composite index for emerging market funds rose an average 10.73% for the first four months of 1996. Its index of equity funds, which climbed 11.29%, fared far better than its index of debt funds, which advanced 6.46%.
The best performing funds in Micropal's universe were the Korea Small Companies Trust, which surged 143.18%; Mercury ST Eastern European fund, 60.67%; Vontobel Eastern European Equity, 49.86%; Fleming FF Eastern European Fund, 48.15%; and Schroder Eastern Europe Fund, 44.92%.