Searches and Hires

South Carolina chooses Albourne as private markets consultant, returns 11.9% in fiscal year

South Carolina Retirement System Investment Commission, Columbia, hired Albourne Partners as the first dedicated private markets investment consultant for the $30 billion South Carolina Retirement Systems.

Albourne will advise investment staff on private equity, private credit, real estate and real assets investments, said Geoffrey Berg, chief investment officer, in a news release.

Albourne's five-year contract began Aug. 4; the contract includes an option for five one-year extensions.

The commission hired Meketa Investment Group as general investment consultant in April, replacing Aon Hewitt Investment Consulting. The RSIC manages the assets of the fund on behalf of the South Carolina Public Employee Benefit Authority, Columbia.

Separately, the pension fund reported net returns for periods ended June 30, the fund's fiscal-year end: three months, 2.3% (benchmark, 3.2%); one year, 11.9% (11.2%); three years, 4.2% (4.5%); five years, 7.5% (7.1%); and 10 years, 4.3% (3.8%). Multiyear returns are annualized.

The fund's net return for the year ended June 30, 2016, was -0.4%, compared to 0.8% for the benchmark.

"I am encouraged to see that the changes we have made over the past 18 months have already begun to improve our returns," Mr. Berg said in a news release about the fund's performance.

The best-performing asset class for the year ended June 30 was global public equity with an 18.9% net return and the worst was a net decrease of 5.1% for the fund's miscellaneous opportunistic allocation, a performance report showed.

The broad asset allocation of the fund as of June 30 was 47.9% global equity, 17.9% diversified credit, 13.7% opportunistic, 11.9% conservative fixed income and 8.6% real assets.

Allocations within the global equity category were 35.1% global public equity, 7.6% private equity and 5.2% equity options.

In the diversified credit bucket, allocations were 6.7% to mixed credit, 5.9% private debt and 5.2% emerging markets debt.

Opportunistic section weightings were 9.3% global tactical asset allocation, 2.8% miscellaneous opportunistic strategies and 1.6% hedge funds.

Conservative fixed-income strategy weightings as of June 30 were 10% to core fixed income and 2% cash.

In the real assets area, the private real estate allocation was 5.9%, 1.4% infrastructure and 1.3% public real estate.