Market Wrap

All the latest in company news, launches, splits and mergers.


CalSTRS Studies Infrastructure
CalSTRS has formed a five-person committee to further investigate opportunities for investing in infrastructure. The fund has posted a white paper by RREEF on its Web site as part of the agenda for a Nov. 2 investment committee meeting. Separately, on Nov. 3 the board is expected to hire Milliman as its consulting actuary.

North Dakota Hires Hyperion
The North Dakota State Investment Board has hired Hyperion Bay for a $50 million mortgage-backed securities mandate. It was funded out a core bond portfolio, but no managers were terminated.

PBGC Takes On Storage Company’s Pension Fund
The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. has assumed responsibility for the pensions of nearly 900 former employees of Republic Storage Systems Co., an employee-owned manufacturer of school storage lockers in Canton, Ohio. Together, the Republic Storage Systems Co. Inc. Pension Plan for Non-bargaining Employees and the Republic Storage Systems Co. Inc. Pension Plan for Bargaining Unit Employees are 47% funded, with $25 million in assets to cover more than $54 million in promised benefits, according to PBGC estimates.

Pension Funds, Nonprofits Enjoy Strong Q3 Returns
Most U.S. plan sponsors reported solid returns for the third quarter, according to Northern Trust’s universe of more than 300 large institutional investment plans, with a combined asset value of approximately $550 billion. Corporate and public pension funds gained 3.8% and 3.7%, respectively, while foundations and endowments returned 3.2%.

Snow, Summers Land At Hedge Funds
Cerberus Capital Management and DE Shaw have both made high-profile hires. John Snow, former U.S. Treasury secretary, has joined Cerberus as chairman. And DE Shaw has recruited Lawrence Summers, former president of Harvard University, to work part-time handling strategic initiatives, portfolio management, and assessing the firm’s general operations.

Principal Hires Real Estate Marketer
Principal Real Estate Investors has appointed Steve Walker as managing director of sales and marketing. He joins from INVESCO, where he was responsible for client service and marketing of real estate strategies for the eastern half of the U.S. and Europe.

Fund Industry Tops $10 Trillion
Strong inflows to The Vanguard Group and American Funds helped boost U.S. mutual funds assets to more than $10 trillion for the first time, according to quarterly analysis by Bobroff Consulting. As of Sept. 30, assets stood at $10.32 trillion. (Bloomberg)

Hong Kong Funds Turn Positive
Mutual funds in Hong Kong returned to the black last quarter after posting a loss in the second quarter. The funds returned 3.4%, led by emerging market equity funds investing in locales such as the Philippines, the Middle East and India. (The Standard)

BlackRock Alternative Energy Fund Hot Commodity
BlackRock’s Luxembourg-based New Energy Fund has grown its assets from $17.4 million to $2.6 billion in three years on strong interest in alternative energy investments. The fund is up nearly 22% for the year, compared to 14% for the MSCI World Index. (Bloomberg)