US - The Teachers' Retirement System of Illinois (TRS) has placed BlackRock, which manages US$1.6bn in fixed income assets for the fund, on watch citing "organisational concerns".
The decision by the board follows closely on the heels of BlackRock’s acquisition of Merrill Lynch’s investment management arm for $1.1bn.
A spokesperson for TRS said the move was a precautional measure while the fund awaited further details of the implications of the change.
“The decision was made because of the merger with Merrill Lynch as we do not know how that will effect our assets,” she said.
In addition, the board of trustees at the $35.4bn pension fund issued a request for proposal for transition managers to assist in “portfolio restructurings and other transition activity”.
The board hired Kuhns & Associates, replacing Callan Associates, as its general investment consultant. As part of the mandate, the firm will provide “asset allocation studies, investment manager research and performance reporting”, TRS said.
The consulting brief was re-tendered after Callan’s contract expired in December last year.
Meanwhile, Lehman Brothers Asset Management of Chicago has been appointed to manage a $650m fixed income enhanced index mandate. Funding for the mandate is a reallocation from the existing fixed income index account managed by State Street Global Advisors.
Private equity committments of a total $260m have been made to Belvedere Capital Fund II; Carlyle/Riverstone III; Energy Capital Partners and Madison Dearborn Capital Partners V.
PTL has appointed Karein Davie as a client director in its Birmingham office.
The level of interest rate hedging increased to £29.5bn of liabilities in the second quarter as pension funds continued to de-risk, according to BMO Global Asset Management's research.
UK inflation has risen for the first time since November to 2.5% in July, up from 2.4% in June, thanks to rising fuel costs and the price of computer games.
The number of DB pension scheme trustees targeting a buyout with an insurer has increased significantly in the past five years, latest research from Willis Towers Watson shows.