Illinois university fund mulls search
The State Universities Retirement System of Illinois, Champaign, might search for an international equity manager for its $9 billion pension fund, according to a trustee memorandum. Trustees are expected to consider the move at a meeting later this month as part of a recommendation to increase its international equity allocation in the near term to 20% from 17.5% of the fund's assets. Ennis Knupp is expected to recommend the trustees hire an active international manager to add to the three international equity managers the system now uses.
The $7.2 billion Police and Firemen's Disability & Pension Fund of Ohio's trustees are scheduled to meet Dec. 16 to consider changes to its $3 billion U.S. equity portfolio as a result of a review by Wilshire Associates. Alan Procter, executive director of the Columbus-based fund, said it is possible manager searches would be required to implement the proposed changes. He declined to speculate further on the results of the review. The fund also plans to review its domestic bond and international equity portfolios. Those reviews then will be followed by an emerging market manager search. A specific timetable for the reviews and searches has not yet been established.
The $2.7 billion Sacramento County Employees' Retirement System, Sacramento, Calif., is getting ready to conduct a consultant search. RFPs are expected to be out the first week of January, said Jeffrey States, chief investment officer. Pension Consulting Alliance's contract, which expires at the end of December, was extended through the first quarter. PCA will be allowed to bid again. The search should be finished in time for an asset allocation study, expected to begin by the end of March.
The Board of Public Utilities of Kansas City, Kan., is considering a small-cap to midcap equity manager search for its $270 million defined benefit plan, and allocating more to existing real estate and international equity managers, following an asset allocation study. The board is expected to meet Dec. 23 to discuss the results of the study, conducted by DeMarche Associates. If the board approves a manager search, it likely would not be done until the second quarter of 1998. Officials have yet to determine the size or style of any possible new portfolio. The board also will decide after the first of the year whether to allocate additional assets to real estate managers MetLife and Prudential, which together, manage 2% of the assets.
Atmos Energy Corp., Dallas, is discussing adding international equity as an asset class for its $268 million defined benefit plan, said Steve Harmon, manager of employee benefits. Plans are still in the conceptual stage and the specific size of the new portfolio is not yet known, he said. More should be known after the first of the year. LCG Associates is assisting.
The $40 billion Washington State Investment Board, Olympia, is considering investing in international real estate. Staff likely will conduct due diligence on the asset class, a new one for the board, in the next few months, said James Parker, executive director.
Orange County Employees' Retirement System, Santa Ana, Calif., plans to add small-cap value stocks as a new asset class next year, said Ray Fleming, retirement administrator. He said the amount and source of funding have not yet been identified, but the fund will conduct a search in 1998. The $3.6 billion fund's pension consultant, Callan Associates, is expected to direct the search.
The Chicago Mercantile Exchange is searching for a new investment option for its $26 million 401(k) fund, said Paul O'Kelly, senior vice president and general counsel. The exchange has no timetable for completing the search. The fund offers 11 investment choices managed by Fidelity. Mr. O'Kelly said the fund will look at managers outside Fidelity and its network. He said the fund could add more than one new choice to integrate with the Fidelity choices. He said officials are considering emerging markets or another international portfolio, although they will look at other areas as well.
The $5.5 billion West Virginia Investment Management Board, Charleston, soon will begin an asset allocation and liability study in anticipation of eventually searching for its first equity managers, said H. Craig Slaughter, executive director. Summit Strategies Group, the board's first investment consultant, will conduct the study and assist with future equity manager searches, which could be as much as a year off. The investment board's $5.5 billion includes a $2.96 billion pension fund. The fund now is invested in fixed income and cash, but recently received permission to add equities. Mr. Slaughter expects the study to be completed within six months.
The $1.1 billion Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County Benefit Board, Nashville, is searching for a domestic large-cap value equity manager. The $1.1 billion fund's consultant, PaineWebber, is planning on selecting two large-cap managers to be interviewed at the board's February meeting. No RFPs will be sent out and the fund will not accept phone calls from managers, said James Luther, executive director. Trustees also are expected to decide next year whether to begin a search for REIT manager.