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Retirement Funds

Alaska Retirement puts DePrince on watch for microcap equities, makes changes to DC plans

Alaska Retirement Management Board, Juneau, put a defined benefit plan manager on watch and approved several changes to its defined contribution plans, said a summary of recent board actions provided by a spokeswoman.

For its more than $22 billion pension trusts, the board put DePrince, Race & Zollo on watch for a $103 million microcap value equity strategy. The reason for the firm's watch status could not immediately be learned.

For its three defined contribution plans, which have $5.8 billion in combined assets, the board is mapping participants in State Street Global Advisors' Global Balanced Fund to an existing long-term balanced trust managed by T. Rowe Price Group.

Additionally, for its Public Employees' Retirement System/Teachers' Retirement System defined contribution plan only, the board plans to add a stable value option and map participants in the Alaska Money Market Trust to a U.S. Treasury money market option managed by SSGA.

The board's two other DC plans already have a stable value option managed by T. Rowe Price Group.

Also for its DC plans, the board directed the investment staff to create a stand-alone passive fixed-income option benchmarked to the Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Aggregate Bond index, map the existing fixed-income options to it, and evaluate core-plus fixed-income options at a later date.

Currently, there are five fixed-income options across the three plans managed by BlackRock (BLK) and SSGA.

Further information on the DC changes could not immediately be learned.

In other news, Bob Mitchell was named chief investment officer for the board's pension trusts. Mr. Mitchell had been serving as acting director following the retirement of Gary Bader on Jan. 31. Mr. Mitchell was previously deputy CIO.