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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

BlackRock First in UAW's VEBA Line

News summary by MFWire's editors

The initial award of an RFP from the automaker VEBA underscores the conservative nature of the newly-created trust. The Wall Street Journal reports that in January BlackRock won a $2.2 billion mandate for cash and equivelants from the UAW Retiree Medical Benefits Trust, which is part of the voluntary employee benefitiary association created by what were the Big Three automakers that holds nealy $45 billion in assets.

The UAW VEBA was funded with contributions frmo GM ($23.6 billion), Ford ($15 billion) and Chrysler ($6.8 billion).

BlackRock's mandate is the first of what could be many awards. The medical benefits trust has issued RFPs for both fixed income and equity managers, according to the paper. Half of the portfolio will be allocated to global equities and 25 percent to core fixed income. The remainder is allocated to TIPs and long-term fixed income. Ennis Knupp & Associates Inc. is the consultant to the trust.

The trust also is liquidating more risky holdings in five hedge funds along with some real estate and private equity portfolios.

The decisions on the RFPs are in the hands of 11 trustees, and Eric Henry, chief investment officer. Henry had been executive director and chief investment officer of the $15.6 billion Texas Municipal Retirement System.

Henry is trying to create a conservative portfolio in the recognition that the trust as no plan sponsor backing it. 

Edited by: Sean Hanna, Editor in Chief

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