Michigan Municipal Employees to seek frontier markets managers

Michigan Municipal Employees' Retirement System will begin searching for two more active frontier markets equity managers in the second quarter, said Jeb Burns, chief investment officer of the $8.9 billion pension fund.

Inquiries from interested firms should be directed to MERS' Lansing headquarters, Mr. Burns said.

In December, the pension fund's investment committee approved the allocation of $82 million each to the first two firms of a planned quartet of active frontier markets equity managers. Hired were Frontier Market Asset Management and Consilium Investment Management.

While frontier market investing is somewhat capacity-constrained now, Mr. Burns said; “five years from now, there will be more capacity as these markets mature. We want to be early in investing in these markets.”

Allocation sizes and selection timing information was not available.

Separately, MERS's investment staff is conducting an invitation-only search for two active small-cap emerging markets equity firms to split management of about $180 million, Mr. Burns said selection and funding of the managers will happen in March.

The pension fund's investment committee also approved nearly $200 million of commitments to alternative investment managers from its diversified strategies portfolio.

MC Credit Partners received a $100 million commitment to its direct lending strategy. Commitments of $50 million and $45 million, respectively, were awarded to litigation financing specialist money managers Longford Capital Management and Gerchen Keller Capital.