BlackRock extended the withdrawal periods of its Direct Property Fund and Direct Real Estate Fund (Aust) up to 18 months. It stopped withdrawals from the BlackRock Combined Property Income Fund until further notice.

The Fund Executive Association (FEAL), in partnership with AMP Capital Investors, has awarded HESTA’s chief executive officer Anne-Marie Corboy its annual Fund Executive of the Year Award.

Legg Mason added Beau Titchkosky and Peter Adaley to its local distribution team, and Patrick Potts as an analyst in its Australian equity team.

Mercer inked a five-year deal to priovide superannuation administration, helpline and online services to the participating employers and members of the $1.1 billion IAG & NRMA Superannuation Plan.

The Future Fund’s 60 per cent-plus cash weighting helped it to a 1.54 per cent net return for the year to June 30 2008. Its potential role as a provider of liquidity to a raft of institutions was widely speculated upon, but it was said to have passed on a stake in London-based private equity group Apax Partners.

Victorian Funds Management Corporation said chair Mike Fitzpatrick would not seek reappointment at the end of his three year term in January 2009.

BNP Paribas Securities Services extended until 2014 its contract to provide custody and fund administration services to AMP Group.

June’s global Chartered Financial Analyst exams saw 42 per cent of a record 92,081 candidates pass. A record 2215 Australians sat the exam.

Eleven Australian funds made the Watson Wyatt/Pensions & Investments annual ranking of the world’s top 300 pension schemes. They were Future Fund (ranked 66), State Super (89), Australian Super (121), UniSuper (124), QSuper (143), PSS/CSS (186), FSS-NSW (230), REST (238), with new funds to the list being Hesta (260), Construction & Building Super (275) and Telstra Super (295).

Multimanager Ipac replaced two managers in its $3.5 billion global equities portfolio. Enhanced Investment Technologies and Arrowstreet Capital were awarded $806 million between them, usurping Capital International and Wellington Asset Management.

Watson Wyatt appointed former InTech CIO, Hugh Dougherty, as head of manager research (Australia), replacing Roz Amos who’s returned to the UK with the firm. Michael Blayney was promoted to head a new Australian team, the Portfolio Construction Group. Vanguard claimed investors in its index funds and PSTs saved over $5 million through ‘crossing savings’, in the year to June 30, 2008. A ‘crossing’ saving occured when monies to be invested in a Vanguard fund were used to meet client withdrawals received on the same day.

Qantas Super pulled its $300 million foundation mandate from value Aussie equities manager Constellation Capital, and will also seek to sell its shareholding in the firm.

And search these headlines at the I&T News archive –

Catholic Super changes asset consultant and drops BGI in favour of boutiques

Buyer found for Legg Mason master trust

Mercer Aussie equities research chief lost to super

BTIM cuts sales veteran loose as 10 told to walk

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