Connecticut Retirement Plans & Trust Funds rehires Townsend as real estate consultant

Connecticut Retirement Plans & Trust Funds, Hartford, rehired Townsend Group as real estate consultant, confirmed Lee Ann Palladino, the chief investment officer for the $26.2 billion state pension system.

Townsend Group, which has held the role since 2008, was one of three firms being considered by Denise Nappier, the state treasurer and principal fiduciary of the pension system. Townsend's current contract expires Feb. 28, and the new contract will be for five years, subject to successful contract negotiations.

The other finalists were Courtland Partners and Pension Consulting Alliance.

Ms. Nappier also approved a commitment of up to $20 million to Palladium Equity Partners IV, a middle-market private equity fund, at the Feb. 13 meeting of the state's Investment Advisory Council, which advises the treasurer on investment policies.

Also at the Feb. 13 meeting, the council interviewed State Street Bank & Trust, BNY Mellon Asset Servicing and Deutsche Bank as finalists for a master custodian search. The contract for incumbent State Street, the master custodian since 1996, expires June 30. Ms. Nappier is expected to make a selection in March.

Also, the pension system terminated ING Investment Management from a $360 million emerging markets debt allocation because key members of the ING emerging markets debt team left for another firm, said Ms. Palladino, who didn't provide additional details. The assets were transferred to four other emerging markets debt managers for the pension system. Ms. Palladino didn't name the managers, but said the pension system is not planning a new search.

Separately, the Connecticut Retirement Plans & Trust Funds reported Feb. 13 that its investment return for the three months ended Dec. 31 was 2.77%, the second quarter of its fiscal year. For the first half of the fiscal year, the return was 7.38%.