DENVER - The $2 billion Denver Public School Employees' Pension & Benefit Association soon will start a search for a consultant to conduct an asset allocation study, said Darrell Allen, investment officer.
The asset review was prompted by a pension obligation bond offering, which boosted the plan to fully funded. RFPs have not been issued, but Mr. Allen hopes a consultant will be chosen by mid-October.
The current asset mix is 30% domestic equity, 30% corporate bonds, 15% mortgages, 10% international stocks, 10% real estate equity and 5% private equity.
Indiana Public Employees
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - The $7.5 billion Indiana Public Employees' Retirement Fund will send out RFPs in 30 to 60 days for at least $1 billion worth of passive and enhanced passive equity assignments, said Garth Dickey, executive director.
The fund will be looking for a large-cap equity index manager and an enhanced large-cap equity index manager, each for at least $500 million to manage. After next week, the fund will have put about $700 million into equities, after receiving voter approval to do so last November.
The searches will come on the heels of the board adoption of new policies and procedures today, which now include the use of futures contracts for the replication of market returns, and the use of triple-B rated bonds and Yankee bonds.
Essex County Retirement Board
SALEM, Mass. - The $120 million-plus Essex County Retirement Board is searching for its first high-yield bond manager to run a $5 million portfolio, probably through a commingled fund, said Alison Ellsworth, the Segal Advisors consultant who is assisting.
The deadline for RFPs is Sept. 19.
The fund has about $45 million in bonds. Funding will come from cash.
Ohio Police and Firemen
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The $7 billion Police and Firemen's Disability & Pension Fund of Ohio added an emerging markets mandate as a result of an asset allocation study.
The board has not yet decided when it will begin the process of hiring managers to fill the mandate, said Bill Butler, deputy executive director.
The new asset mix is 41%domestic stocks, 35% U.S. bonds, 10%international equity, 8%real estate, 5%emerging markets and 1%alternatives.
The allocation to bonds decreases by 2.5 percentage points and real estate by 1 percentage point. The alternative mandate will increase by 0.5 percentage points. The previous asset mix also had a 2%allocation to commercial mortgages that will likely be considered part of the fund's equity investments.
Wilshire Associates assisted.
NEW YORK - The $600 million pension fund of the Medical Malpractice Insurance Association is searching for a small-cap growth equity manager, a new area.
SEI Investments has sent out RFPs for the search; no further information was available.
The search is part of a restructuring of the fund's equity portfolio.
Board members recently voted to transfer $85 million from the $188 million equity portfolio into short-term Treasuries, because stocks have gotten too expensive, according to Treasurer Joseph Alvear.
The equity position has been halved, to 10% from 20% and Spare Kaplan & Bischel, which managed around $6 million, was terminated.
The remaining 10 equity managers will be retained, although the amount each manages will be trimmed, said Mr. Alvear.
After the rebalancing, the equity portfolio will be 60% large-cap and 40% small-cap and midcap.
St. Louis Public School
ST. LOUIS - St. Louis Public School Retirement System officials are reviewing the $700 million fund's investment policies for a possible expansion of its asset allocation and a reduction in investment managers, said Gail Lakin, executive director.
The review process that probably won't be completed for six to nine months, Ms. Lakin said.
The fund's overall target allocation - 57%equities, 36%fixed income and 7%alternative and other investments - could stay about the same, but allocations within those broad groups could be expanded in a diversification move, she said.
She said it's too early to say how the allocation will change.
But, the fund's investment manager lineup - more than 30 firms - is likely to shrink. That's "too many," she said.
New England Pension Consultants is assisting.
RIDGEPORT, Conn. - Aquarion Co. is evaluating its defined contribution plan and may decide to add options and/or switch providers, said Linda Discepolo, manager of finance of the $15 million plan.
Metropolitan Life is the plan's current bundled provider offering four investment options. An internal committee is looking at what's in the marketplace and considering whether to expand the number of options. A timetable for a search or when changes may be made has not been established. The plan probably will stay bundled, Ms. Discepolo, said.
DALLAS - Associated Materials Inc. is considering freezing its $25 million defined benefit plan and switching to a defined contribution plan structure, said Robert Winspear, vice president/treasurer/secretary. A decision is expected within six weeks.
Aeltus, the fund's sole manager, is being considered to manage the new plan, which likely will be bundled, Mr. Winspear added.
Florida State Board
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Florida State Board of Administration is preparing for a mortgage-backed and related securities search, said Tim Parker, senior portfolio manager. The number of managers and the amounts they will handle has yet to be determined. The funding will probably come from contributions.
Also, the fund hired Salomon Brothers Asset Management, PIMCO, OFFIT Bank and BEA Associates as high-yield bond managers for its $17 billion bond portfolio.