Orange County Employees Retirement System, Santa Ana, Calif., issued RFPs for a real estate consultant in late October. The $4.4 billion fund is undertaking the search because previous consultant PMRealty's contract expired, said Farouki Majeed, investment officer.
Public School Retirement System of Missouri, Jefferson City, issued RFPs Oct. 25 for an enhanced core domestic bond manager to replace Agincourt Capital. Agincourt -- created by former Sovran Capital employees -- originally was hired to run a $1.4 billion intermediate bond portfolio previously managed by Sovran. When Agincourt was hired Craig Husting, chief investment officer of the fund, said trustees wanted continuity in asset management, but were planning to look at a full range of options at their October meeting. Trustees for the $21 billion fund will select finalists Dec. 13 and conduct interviews Jan. 18.
California Public Employees' Retirement System, Sacramento, with $157 billion in assets, will search for international equity and bond managers starting in the fourth quarter, as a result of a sweeping series of changes adopted for its $36.3 billion in international investments. The board approved a more flexible approach. Passive investments will range between 60% and 75% of the fund's $30.7 billion in international stocks, while actively managed foreign stocks will range between 25% and 40%. Currently, the split is 75% passive and 25% active. The fund also will consider adding enhanced indexing or other lower risk and moderate return strategies, and will consider qualified firms that don't fit into rigid categories. An indexed contract with State Street Global Advisors will be renewed for another year.
Louisiana Assessors Retirement System, Baton Rouge, will search for a domestic fixed-income manager after a review of the $102 million fund's investment policy is completed. Cathy Wells, executive director, said her goal was to issue an RFP for a bond manager by the end of the year and to hire a firm before the end of the first quarter. Portfolio size has yet to be determined, but right now the fund has 40% of its total assets in an internally managed bond portfolio, Ms. Wells said.
District of Columbia Retirement Board, with $1.7 billion in assets, approved a search for a second international equity manager for developed markets to complement existing manager Bank of Ireland, but asked that investment consultant BARRA RogersCasey first conduct a study to help the system decide whether it should search for an active or passive manager. Bank of Ireland manages $356 million for the system; trustees will wait for BARRA RogersCasey's report before deciding how much of that to shift to the new manager. BARRA RogersCasey also recommended the system consider hiring a currency overlay manager sometime next year.
Alameda (Calif.) County Employees' Retirement Association investment committee asked consultant Dorn, Helliesen and Cottle to update its current asset allocation by January. The review would examine the fund's allocation to emerging markets, putting on hold a potential manager search. According to a summary of the committee's Oct. 13 meeting, board members David Safer and Charles Harrington said they preferred using the $3.5 billion fund's international portfolio to implement a position in emerging market equities, rather than have emerging markets as a separate asset class. The fund has a target of 20% to international equities and 3% to emerging markets. Betty Tse, investment officer for the $3.5 billion fund, also asked the investment committee to keep Global Asset Management on probation for three months, according to the summary.
The Virginia Tech Foundation, Blacksburg, Va., will consider asset allocation changes at its early December meeting, said John Cusimano, director of investments and debt management at the $500 million fund. Trustees will be looking into increasing alternative investments to 15% of total assets from 8%. Consultant Cambridge Associates also will propose an allocation to domestic core-plus fixed income, Mr. Cusimano said.
Sheet Metal Workers, Cleveland District, Local 33, may search for a new large-cap value U.S. equity manager to replace Bartlett & Co. if its performance does not improve, said Barbara Hami, administrator. Bartlett runs $12 million for the $100 million defined benefit plan. "Almost every value manager (these days) is having a style performance problem," said Jim Miller, Bartlett chief executive. Ms. Hami said the board will discuss the matter further at a January meeting. Summit Strategies Group is assisting.
Phoenix City Employees' Retirement System started an asset allocation study after voters approved a referendum allowing the prudent-investor rule to be used in managing the $1.3 billion pension fund. Trustees gave consultant Becker Burke directions on conducting the study. The current asset allocation is 55% domestic stocks and 45% domestic bonds, said Duamel Mellon, plan administrator. He expects the study to be completed in the next two to four months.