The $54 billion State of Wisconsin Investment Board, Madison, is searching for quantitative large-cap equity managers and Standard & Poor's 500 enhanced index fund managers in its first move to external active U.S. equity management. The RFP deadline is Feb. 16. The board expects to assign portfolios of $300 million to $500 million for each. The Wisconsin board is looking for quant-based managers using optimized portfolios or other disciplined techniques. Enhanced index managers that use derivatives to achieve their returns won't be included. A performance-fee arrangement might be used. Michael McCowin, CIO, said the hiring of external managers does not signal a broad move away from the fund's largely internal management focus. More information is available at www.assetstrategy.com, the Web site of Asset Strategy Consulting, which is assisting.
The $9 billion San Francisco City & County Employees' Retirement System was expected to send out RFIs in a search for a multifamily housing real estate manager. The fund's $85 million portfolio is managed by SSR Realty Advisors, which is expected to seek re-hiring. A followup RFP probably will go out around the second week of February, and might be due back in early March. A final choice might be made in April. Dates are still tentative. Townsend Group, the fund's real estate consultant, is assisting. The fund decided to do the search as part of a yearly review.
The $5.75 billion New Mexico Public Employees' Retirement Association, Santa Fe, will conduct a consultant search because the fund's contract with Wilshire is set to expire. Consultant RFPs probably will be issued Feb. 5 and will be due back March 20. Wilshire, whose contract expires June 30, will be allowed to bid. The fund probably will do an asset allocation study once a firm is selected, said Robert Gish, director of investments. The fund also will start a search for an international EAFE manager, probably in March. Capital Guardian, which manages the $487 million mandate, will be included in the search. Officials also plan to finish a securities lending agent search by the end of this month. Swiss Bank, the fund's current agent, was allowed to re-bid.
The $55 million Salem (Mass.) Retirement System will be searching for real estate and domestic small-cap managers. The system will send out RFPs for managers in both asset classes next month, said Larry Marino, the Segal Advisors consultant who is assisting. The pension fund plans to allocate between $3 million and $4 million each to the real estate and small-cap manager. Money will come from the proceeds of the portfolio of 1838 Investment Advisers, terminated last year. The Massachusetts pension fund, which recently hired Segal, also is planning to revamp its investment policy statements. The fund has about 57% in equities and 42% in fixed income.
North Slope Borough Permanent Fund, Barrow, Ala., will conduct searches, after increasing its equity exposure by 20%. The implementation of a new mix of 10% S&P 500 stocks, 40% large-cap value, 5% large-cap growth, 10% small-cap core, 10% foreign stock, 15% domestic core bonds, and 10% global bonds will be discussed sometime next month. Currently, the $380 million fund has five balanced managers: Chancellor, Invesco, Provident, Fox Asset Management and Alaska Permanent Capital Management Co. The board will consider existing managers in the new mandates, except in the new asset classes of small-cap, international stocks and global bonds. Asset Strategies is assisting.
Chicago Laborers' Annuity & Benefit Fund trustees heard recommendations from consultant Becker, Burke suggesting the $1.4 billion fund add small-cap equity to its asset mix and increase its allocation to international equity. The board will make final decisions on asset allocation and whether manager searches will be done at its April 16 meeting. The fund's current mix is 44% large-cap stocks, 2% international equity, 46% U.S. bonds, 5% cash, 2% real estate and 1% venture capital.
The Sisters of Mercy Regional Community of Detroit Inc., Farmington Hills, Mich., is considering REITs as a new investment for its $700 million defined benefit plan, said Kamar Amanullah, administrator. The plan has a 5% allocation to real estate now, which is in commingled portfolios. Trustees will decide whether to conduct a manager search in May after the investment committee meets, Ms. Amanullah said. Evaluation Associates is assisting.
The $8.2 billion Hawaii Employees' Retirement System, Honolulu, will start a search for its first timberland manager late in the second quarter, said Stanley Siu, fund administrator. A portfolio size has yet to be determined. Callan Associates will assist. Fund officials also expect to finish a search for its first chief investment officer in May or June. The deadline for applicants is Feb. 2. The CIO will assist Mr. Siu in overseeing the fund.
The 1.5 billion-plus Swiss franc ($1 billion) Pension Fund CIBA Specialty Chemical, Basel, Switzerland, hired Complementa Investment-Controlling AG, St. Gallen, to conduct an asset allocation study, said Wilhelm Inderbitzin, head of the pension fund. The study is expected to be completed over the next two to three months. The specialty chemical company was spun out of Novartis AG last year.