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South Carolina chooses new consultant for deferred comp, 401(k) plans; investments options changed

South Carolina Public Employee Benefit Authority, Columbia, selected Segal Marco Advisors as investment consultant for the state's $3 billion 401(k) plan and $1 billion 457 plan, which use the same lineup of mutual fund investment options.

Segal Marco's contract began July 1 and is for three years, with two one-year extensions, said Ashley Brindle, PEBA's defined contribution manager.

Ms. Brindle said PEBA decided to post an RFP for investment consulting services in 2016 to "determine what other resources might be available" after the lead consultant for the South Carolina DC plans left Summit Strategies Group, the previous consultant. Summit Strategies was permitted to rebid.

Separately, three investment option changes were made in each plan because of performance concerns:

  • Victory Munder Mid-Cap Core Growth Fund, managed by Victory Capital Management, was terminated and replaced with Hartford MidCap Fund, managed by Hartford Funds;
  • BlackRock (BLK) Inflation-Protected Bond Fund was replaced by Fidelity Inflation-Protection Bond Fund, managed by Fidelity Investments; and
  • PIMCO Total Return Fund, managed by Pacific Investment Management Co., was removed, and the assets were moved to Baird Aggregate Bond Fund, managed by Baird Funds.

Olivia Offner, a BlackRock spokeswoman, declined to comment in an email. Sean Logue, a spokesman for Victory Capital Management, and Laura Batty, a PIMCO spokeswoman, did not respond to email requests for comment about the PEBA terminations.