Searches and Hires

Iowa Public Employees chooses 5 active managers, stable of transition managers

Iowa Public Employees' Retirement System, Des Moines, hired five active managers to run a total of seven strategies and three transition managers for the $32.4 billion plan, confirmed spokeswoman Judy Akre in an email.

At its Sept. 20 meeting, IPERS hired Acadian Asset Management for a non-U.S. equity strategy; BMO Global Asset Management to run its disciplined international equity strategy; BlackRock (BLK) for its fixed-income global alpha fund and scientific active equity platform; PanAgora Asset Management to run its Dynamic International Equity and Dynamic International Equity Extended Alpha funds; and PGIM Fixed Income's U.S. liquidity relative value strategy.

The BlackRock and PGIM bond strategies are considered unconstrained fixed-income hedge funds, while PanAgora's extended alpha fund is a long/short strategy. BlackRock's scientific equity platform includes long-only and long/short strategies.

Funding sources and amounts will be determined once contract negotiations near completion.

Also, the pension fund hired BlackRock, Northern Trust Asset Management and Russell Implementation Services to provide transition management services. An RFP was issued in August. BlackRock, Russell and State Street were the previous transition managers.

Also at the meeting, Kalytix Partners presented its report on IPERS' proposed internal investment management concept. The report found the concept to be economically feasible and the board's current governance structure to be solid, "but identified risk management and management compensation as two major issues that IPERS must address if it wishes to pursue internal management," said a report from Karl Koch, IPERS' chief investment officer.

IPERS' investment portfolio returned 7.97% net of fees for fiscal year 2018 above its policy benchmark of 7.79%.

As of Dec. 31, IPERS' asset allocation targets were 27% core-plus fixed income, 22% domestic equities, 15% international equities, 11% private equity, 7.5% private real assets, 7% public real assets, 3.5% public credit, 3% each global smart beta equities and private credit, and 1% cash.