State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio, Columbus, and the California Public Employees' Retirement System, Sacramento, issued RFPs to several timberland investment management companies.
Hancock Timber Resource Group has been the primary manager for the Ohio Teachers' $400 million timber portfolio and CalPERS' $1.2 billion portfolio, and is applying to continue as manager.
RFPs were sent out because heavy turnover at Hancock last year resulted in a realignment of the staff. Dan Christensen, managing director at Hancock, said: ``In this business, people put out RFPs every year.'' He added that even though seven top-ranking managers left, all have been replaced.
Herbert Dyer, executive director at the $44 billion Ohio fund, said he wanted to investigate other ways of investing in timber, including securitization, which increases liquidity. The Ohio fund issued RFPs to Timberland Investment Services, Prudential Timber Management, Forest Investment Associates, Wachovia Timberland and Hancock.
CalPERS sent RFPs to 17 timber management firms on Aug. 18, said Brad Pacheco, spokesman for the $140 billion fund. Responses are due Sept. 21.