Rhode Island Employees’ pension fund casts net for fixed-income managers

Rhode Island Employees' Retirement System, Providence, is searching for one or two managers to run $400 million total in fixed-income assets, confirmed Joy Fox, spokeswoman for state Treasurer Gina Raimondo.

The $7.5 billion pension fund is looking for a portfolio of securities “insulated from changes in the overall level of interest rates,” such as bank loans, short-duration high yield and variable-rate debt, according to the RFP. It will be the pension fund's first investments in those areas. The selected manager or managers will have discretion to allocate opportunistically among the acceptable fixed-income classes.

The search is the second part of a restructuring of the fixed-income portfolio, Ms. Fox said in an e-mail. The State Investment Commission previously reduced exposure to longer-duration credit, specifically high yield and mortgages. Ms. Fox did not specify the allocation changes but said no managers would be terminated as a result of the search.

The portfolio will be a component within the pension plan's real-return portfolio.

Pension Consulting Alliance is assisting.

The RFP is available from the treasurer's website. Proposals are due at 3 p.m. EST Nov. 26. A hiring decision is expected in the first quarter.