Arkansas Local Police, Fire allocates combined $121 million to 5 firms

Arkansas Local Police and Fire Retirement System, Little Rock, hired five managers to run a combined $121 million, according to recently released minutes of an April 16 board meeting.

The $1.2 billion pension fund hired Lazard Asset Management to run $50 million in domestic large-cap equity; Fisher Investments to run $26 million in the pension plan's first emerging markets equity hire; NewSouth Capital Management to run $25 million in domestic smidcap value equity; and Congress Asset Management to run $10 million in domestic midcap growth equity, according to the minutes.

The pension plan also committed $10 million to PIMCO BRAVO II, a debt-focused opportunistic fund managed by Pacific Investment Management Co. The plan invested in the first Bravo fund as well.

Funding for the hires comes partially from the termination of a $60 million domestic small-cap equity strategy managed by 300 North Capital for performance. Richard Campagna, 300 North CEO and chief investment officer, did not immediately return a telephone call for comment.

The rest of the funding came from cash and an exchange-traded fund.

Investment consultant Stephens assisted.

A phone call to David Clark, executive director, was referred to Larry Middleton, the pension fund's consultant at Stephens. Mr. Middleton did not return a telephone call by press time.