Ventura County Employees hunting for an investment consultant/fiduciary manager

Ventura County (Calif.) Employees' Retirement Association is searching for an investment consultant, confirmed Donald Kendig, retirement administrator.

Incumbent Hewitt EnnisKnupp has been consultant for 12 years and is invited to rebid.

The $3.5 billion pension fund is looking for a general consultant or a full-service discretionary consultant because the pension fund is thinly staffed, Mr. Kendig said in a telephone interview. Interested firms can submit proposals for general or discretionary consulting, or both.

Cortex Applied Research is assisting with the search.

The RFP is available on the county's website. Proposals are due April 17. A hiring decision is expected July 1.

Separately, the pension plan hired Tortoise Capital Advisors to run 3% of assets, or $105 million, in its first commitment to master limited partnerships.

The plan also committed $75 million to HarbourVest Partners to manage a secondary private equity fund of funds and an additional $75 million to Adams Street Partners for a primary private equity fund of funds. It committed $85 million to the Adams Street fund of funds in 2010.

The board is expected to allocate 7% of assets, or $245 million, to global tactical asset allocation and risk-parity strategies at the April 15 meeting. The board will consider a 50/50 split or a 70/30 split favoring either strategy.

Bridgewater and BlackRock (BLK) are the finalists for the risk-parity search; GMO, Wellington Management and Pacific Investment Management Co. are finalists for GTAA.