Searches and Hires

Iowa Public Employees launches search for active public markets managers

Iowa Public Employees' Retirement System, Des Moines, is searching for active public markets managers that have exhibited "persistent alpha, low alpha correlation with equity drawdowns, and low alpha correlation" with IPERS' other existing managers, said a news release from investment consultant Wilshire Consulting, which is assisting with the search.

The search, which aims to identify managers based on their ability to deliver alpha regardless of their benchmarks, represents a shift in how the $31 billion pension fund typically conducts manager searches, Wilshire said in the release.

The selection process will be conducted in three stages — a blind, quantitative screen, followed by a qualitative assessment of the top-scoring firms, and concluding with final due diligence.

Sriram Lakshminarayanan, IPERS' chief risk officer, said in an email that the main reasons for the search are "to increase the amount of active risk our managers deploy as a group" and "to search for better quality of alpha that matches with IPERS' needs."

Separate account vehicles are desired. A performance record that began on or before January 2011 is required.

IPERS' existing active public markets managers, which run about 60% of the pension fund's total assets combined, may submit proposals for strategies in which IPERS is not already invested. Those existing strategies will be evaluated in the search process.

The number of managers that will be hired and/or retained has not been determined. The RFP is available on IPERS' website. Proposals are due by 3 p.m. CDT on Dec. 8. A date for a hiring decision was not disclosed.