Florida State Board narrows field for private equity consultant

Florida State Board of Administration, Tallahassee, named Cambridge Associates, Hamilton Lane Advisors and StepStone Group as finalists to become the board's private equity consultant, according to an FSBA statement.

The search was triggered by the pending Sept. 30 expiration of Hamilton Lane's contract as private equity consultant to the board, which oversees $156.4 billion.

In the invitation to negotiate issued Aug. 10, FSBA expanded the consulting duties to add strategic investments reporting services.

FSBA has allocated $6.4 billion to private equity and $5.9 billion in strategic investments, which consist primarily of hedge funds, distressed debt and timberland.

Because it uses a number of strategic investment consultants depending on the nature of the investment, FSBA wants to consolidate the reporting. Strategic investments consulting isn't affected by the change. Among its strategic investments consultants, FSBA uses Cambridge Associates for hedge funds, Townsend Group for timber and Hamilton Lane for distressed debt.

Ash William, executive director and CIO, is expected to make a decision to hire one or more firms Sept. 28 after taking recommendations from the FSBA evaluation team, Dennis D. MacKee, FSBA communications director, said in an e-mail.