Alex. Brown and Legg Mason recognizedNothing like a little...

BANKING & FINANCE

October 01, 1992|By David Conn

Alex. Brown and Legg Mason recognized

Nothing like a little recognition from one's peers. Alex. Brown Inc. and Legg Mason Inc. got some of that recently when Institutional Investor magazine's "Money Management Letter" listed the two Baltimore firms among the 30 fastest-growing broker/dealer affiliates, in terms of increase in assets managed.

Alex. Brown's 1800 Capital Management topped the list with a whopping 373.1 percent growth in the year that ended June 30. Most of it came from the addition of the Alex. Brown Cash Reserve Treasury Series, a $788 million fund previously run by an external manager, which brought 1800's assets under management to $1.3 billion.

The Alex. Brown Investment Management subsidiary also made the top 30 list, with 20.3 percent growth in assets, while two Legg units -- Legg Mason Fund Advisors Inc. and Legg Mason Capital Management -- made a showing, with 13.9 percent and 10.0 percent growth, respectively.

Incidentally, Legg Mason was listed as the broker/dealer with the 10th largest amount of assets under management, at $11.1 billion.

Charity seeks firm to manage $9 million

The United Way of Central Maryland wants to hand over $9 million to some lucky recipient. Nothing new there, except the $9 million constitutes the charity's endowment fund, and the prospective recipient will be an investment firm hired to manage the money.

T. Rowe Price Associates has managed the fund since 1979; Maryland National Bank has been the custodian. The United Way assures it is not unhappy with Price's work, but merely has launched a periodic review of management.

The request for proposals sent to area investment firms reveals a few interesting things about the endowment fund.

For instance, the endowment will invest no more than 5 percent of its money in companies with direct or indirect involvement in South Africa, unless they've signed the Sullivan Principles, a voluntary code of ethics that guides the racial practices of companies doing business in South Africa.

The fund is looking for a manager that will invest anywhere from 40 percent to 75 percent of its money in equities; 20 percent to 50 percent in fixed income securities; and no more than 30 percent in cash and equivalents.

Interest and dividend from the fund, minus expenses, is paid out each July for earnings from the previous 12 months. The last such payment was $325,000, net of expenses, which represents about 3.6 percent of the $9 million fund.

The United Way of Central Maryland last year raised $39 million; it hopes to increase the donations by $1 million this year.

The United Way expects to pick a winner from the 16 bids it is reviewing by Nov. 30.

NationsBank transfer was as 'fast as light'

For those who haven't done it in a while, here's how one company pays another one $200 million, using the NationsBank Corp./MNC Financial Inc. deal as an example.

Last Friday about midday, NationsBank got the OK from the Federal Reserve Board for its investment in MNC, the first step to a possible acquisition. At that point NationsBank treasurer John Mack worked to free up $200 million by Monday, when the settlement was scheduled.

On Monday morning, lawyers for both companies met in New York to sign the papers and exchange the MNC preferred stock certificates that NationsBank can convert to about 16 percent of MNC.

Meanwhile, Mr. Mack's people instructed NationsBank of North Carolina, the bank subsidiary, to withdraw $200 million from the parent company's account at the bank and order a wire transfer with the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.

At about 2:30 a wire operator punched in the instructions for the Fed bank to transfer the money from NationsBank's account to that of MNC, which also uses the Richmond bank.

Those used to waiting about a week for out-of-town checks to clear will be frustrated to learn that NationsBank's transfer was as fast as light. It may be small solace to know that neither company earns interest on the money they keep in the Fed bank, and every transaction has a small fee attached.

T. Rowe Price hires 3 new analysts

There are a few new faces at T. Rowe Price, and one old one. The company last month hired three new research analysts, and rehired Robert Hall as a part-time consultant to research department chief James Kennedy, according to Price spokesman Steven Norwitz. Mr. Hall left Price in 1982 to start his own investment firm.

The three new analysts are:

* Lise J. Buyer, a certified financial analyst who most recently covered emerging growth companies in the PC hardware, software and distribution industries for Cowen & Co. Inc. in Boston.

Ms. Buyer will follow those computer industries as well as multimedia companies at Price.

* Hugh M. Evans III, a recent graduate of Stanford University's graduate business school, who spent two years as an analyst in Morgan Stanley's M&A department before Stanford.

Mr. Evans will cover specialty chemicals companies for Price.

* Robert W. Smith, who followed a variety of industries and helped manage a $240 million fund with Massachusetts Financial Services in Boston. His specialty is the aerospace industry.

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