South Carolina Retirement System sticks with Putnam on risk parity

South Carolina Retirement System, Columbia, extended Putnam Investments' contract to manage a $915 million risk-parity allocation for an additional five years, said Adam Jordan, acting CEO, in an interview.

The $26 billion South Carolina Retirement System Investment Commission made the decision at its Nov. 8 meeting.

Commissioners also approved a $50 million commitment to Warburg Pincus Fund XI, its second to the private equity fund series. The retirement system already invested or committed a total of about $80 million in Warburg Pincus Fund X.

The commission also heard a presentation from Hershel Harper, the system's chief investment officer, on recommended changes to the fund's internal asset management program. In his written report to commissioners, Mr. Harper suggested internal investment staff take over management of passive U.S. equity strategies because it would reduce cost, improve control and transparency, reduce the external manager roster and serve as a retention incentive for employees. Mr. Harper outlined a process that would eventually allow adding enhanced indexing and passive non-U.S. equity to the internal asset management team.

Mr. Jordan said the commissioners did not approve the program citing budget concerns; the move would require the fund to recruit more staff and expand the internal infrastructure.

Hewitt EnnisKnupp, the system's investment consultant, also presented the early stages of an asset-liability study it is conducting for the South Carolina fund, noting that risk analysis will be presented at the commission's February meeting and in May, portfolio diversification analysis and a development plan for implementation of asset class changes will be discussed.