Searches and Hires

NYC Retirement Systems launches search for $10 billion emerging markets equity portfolio

New York City Retirement Systems is searching for active emerging markets equity managers, according to the website of Scott Stringer, the city comptroller and fiduciary of the five pension plans within the $193.5 billion system.

"We are conducting the search at this time to refresh our pool of emerging markets managers," Tyrone Stevens, a spokesman for Mr. Stringer, said in an email.

Emerging markets equity accounts for approximately $10 billion in plan assets. Current manager allocations range from $370 million to $3 billion, the website said. "The actual amount invested in such strategies may increase or decrease after this search," the search notice said. Incumbent managers must rebid.

The incumbent managers are BlackRock (BLK), Lazard Asset Management, Baillie Gifford, Acadian Asset Management, Parametric Portfolio Associates and Dimensional Fund Advisors.

Strategies must be benchmarked against one of three indexes — MSCI Emerging Markets, MSCI Emerging Markets IMI or MSCI Emerging Markets Small Cap.

"Managers are expected to manage portfolios as separate accounts or in commingled vehicles comprised only" of the city pension funds, according to the search.

The pension system is using a search process permitted by city law that allows the bureau of asset management within the comptroller's office and the five pension funds "to review a broad universe of investment managers," the website said.

Pension fund officials and consultants for each of the pension funds will use industry databases "to identify the universe of active emerging markets investment management firms and strategies," the search notice said. The consultants "will review information posted in the databases to identify firms that meet the minimum requirements."

For two of the pension funds, applicants must submit information directly to databases managed by the respective investment consultants, Callan and Wilshire Associates. For three funds, applicants must submit data to an eVestment database, which will then be reviewed by the funds' respective consultants — NEPC, Rocaton Investment Advisors and Segal Marco Advisors.

Applicants must submit data by March 15. Interviews and selections will take place between May and September. New contracts will start in December. Initial contracts will be for three years with renewal options up to an aggregate of six additional years, the website said.