Florida's municipal police and fire pension funds now have the authority to invest up to $700 million in foreign markets.
The authority comes after a three-year battle in the state Legislature to pass a bill that allows the funds to invest up to 10% of their $7 billion combined assets in international securities. Now that the bill is law, most of the 400 plans statewide are expected to make asset allocation changes, although most trustees have yet to discuss specifics.
For the $800 million Jacksonville Fire and Police Pension Fund, the law likely will free up $75 million to $80 million for the new asset class, said John Keane, administrator.
At the fund's June 18 board meeting, Mr. Keane plans to recommend investing the maximum 10% in international issues. A timetable has to be set and the split between stocks and bonds has to be determined. Consultant Merrill Lynch will prepare RFPs for managers after the board approves a new asset allocation.