Santa Barbara County seeks real estate consultant, terminates 6 equity managers

Santa Barbara County (Calif.) Employees’ Retirement System is searching for a real estate consultant, said Ellen Hung, assistant CEO, in an email.

The $2.4 billion pension fund issued an RFP for best practices purposes because current consultant ORG Portfolio Management’s contract began in 2010. The firm is invited to rebid.

The RFP is available from the county’s website. Proposals are due at 5 p.m. PST on March 3. Finalist interviews are tentatively scheduled for the week of June 19, with a decision expected shortly thereafter.

Separately, the pension fund terminated six equity managers as the result of a new asset allocation adopted in September, lowering targets to domestic equity to 19% from 23% and emerging markets equity to 7% from 11%.

The terminated managers are Aberdeen Asset Management, which ran frontier markets equities; Analytic Investors, which ran low-volatility domestic equities; Artisan Partners (APAM), which ran active domestic midcap growth equities; BlackRock (BLK), which ran passive emerging markets equities; The London Co., which ran active domestic large-cap value equities; and RBC Global Asset Management, which ran active domestic midcap value equities.

Assets will be redistributed among existing equity managers. Portfolio sizes were not made immediately available.

The target to real assets is being increased to 15% from 12%; international developed markets equities to 11% from 9%; non-investment-grade fixed income to 11% from 9%; private equity to 10% from 7%; and real estate to 10% from 8%.

Investment-grade fixed income is also being reduced to 17% from 21%. Manager changes for alternatives and fixed income have yet to be determined.

Investment consultant RVK assisted with the terminations.