The Aug. 7 editorial on the proposed merger of the Steelworkers (USWA), Auto Workers (UAW) and Machinists (IAM) unions commented favorably on the availability of the IAM's multiemployer defined benefit pension plan for its smaller locals.
The editorial implied that the USWA and UAW should follow the IAM's lead. The Industrial Union Department (IUD) of the AFL-CIO sponsors a similar plan for its constituent unions - the National Industrial Group Pension Plan (NIGPP).
Both the USWA and UAW have endorsed the NIGPP as their defined benefit plan for smaller locals.
Indeed, their locals, with their corresponding employers, comprise the vast majority of our participating groups.
The USWA secretary-treasurer, Leo Gerard, and the UAW vice president, Carolyn Forrest, are both trustees of the plan, as well as the IUD president, Elmer Chatak.
Stanley L. Eisner
Chairman of the Board of Trustees
National Group Pension Plan
Editor's note: The National Group Pension Plan is domiciled in Washington (the home of the IUD) and the administrative office is in Florham Park, N.J.
In the Aug. 7 special report and directory of derivatives-related firms, Gottex should have been included in the section profiling managers, rather than in the consultants section.
The Gottex funds use interest rate derivatives (both OTC and exchange traded) as their primary investment vehicle.
As of March 31, Gottex had 45 institutional investors in its derivatives funds. Martin Walton is the contact.
Gottex Evaluations is our consultancy company.
Gottex Financial Products Ltd.
Vineeta Anand's Aug. 21, page 30 article, "Pensions exec favors energy partnerships," cites rapidly rising oil demand among emerging markets as the basis for 18% to 20% return protections in oil and gas partnership investing.
Unfortunately, this logic amounts to a price bet, and betting on prices is what always gets investors into trouble with oil and gas deals.
Today, 20%-plus returns from oil and gas investing are achievable because new technologies have reduced risk and increased the number of profitable opportunities available to smaller companies which are capital-constrained because oil and gas investing is not in style at the moment. When it is in style, these returns will vanish.
Success in oil and gas investing has always been a function of technology and only sometimes a function of price movements. Consequently, your readers would be well served by an article that focuses on the importance of efficiencies in the oil and gas business instead of on the direction of oil and gas prices.
William E. Weidner
Weidner & Co.
Solon Asset Management L.P. was not included in your May 15 directory of money managers.
Solon Asset Management is a domestic fixed-income investment adviser with expertise in the mortgage-backed securities market. Currently, Solon has $510 million under management of which $450 million are discretionary U.S. tax-exempt assets.
Solon employs a value-oriented style using a fundamental top-down sector selection and yield curve positioning process an a bottom-up security selection process which emphasized mortgage-related instruments. Risk in all aspects - credit, liquidity, market, duration and convexity - is rigorously analyzed to develop portfolios which consistently outperform their indexes.
James I. Midanek is chief investment officer; Deborah Hicks Midanek is chief executive officer. They can be reached at (800) 467-6566.
Laura Manning Shoaf
Solon Asset Management L.P.
Walnut Creek, Calif.
After enjoying one of our best ever years in winning new business in North America, it was particularly disappointing not to be listed in your June 26 special report on global/international managers. We did not receive a questionnaire for this year's report.
To put the record straight, we won five new U.S. institutional tax-exempt clients with separately managed portfolios in the 12 months to March 31, and a further 25 U.S. tax-exempt clients invested in our new range of institutional mutual funds that were launched in 1994.
By March 31, 1995, total U.S. institutional tax-exempt assets were $945 million, compared with $470 million one year earlier. Add this to our assets managed for U.S. taxable clients and the total value of assets managed for U.S. clients rises to $1.11 billion.
Martin Currie Inc., Edinburgh, has $5.722 billion in total discretionary assets under management, of which $1.522 billion is for non-U.S. pension funds. The firm had $945 million in U.S. discretionary institutional tax-exempt assets on March 31: $629 million in active international equity and $316 million in active global equity.
The firm's asset mix for international accounts was 96% equity and 4% cash; equity assets were committed most heavily to Japan, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, France and the Netherlands.
Its global account asset mix was 97% equity and 3% cash; equity assets were committed most heavily to Japan, the United States, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong and France.
Martin Currie looks for growth wherever it exists in world markets and deliberately avoids any form of indexation. Fundamental in-house research drives a predominantly top-down country allocation process that combines with bottom-up stock selection to produce portfolios of growth stocks trading at reasonable prices.
All investment personnel are based in Edinburgh. The firm has been registered with the SEC since 1978. Joe Scott Plummer is chief investment officer; Keith Falconer heads the client service team.
President and Chief executive officer
Information on Effron Enterprises Inc.'s PSN database product was omitted from the database directory of your Sept. 4, technology issue.
PSN provides historical data and analysis for all categories of securities. It is interactive and runs on a DOS platform. Information is updated via diskette.
For more information on PSN, contact Effron Enterprises at (914) 939-0200, or write to Effron Enterprises Inc., 363 Westchester Ave., Port Chester, N.Y. 10573-3850.
Paul D. Margolis
Effron Enterprises Inc.
Port Chester, N.Y.