Virginia Retirement System, Richmond, has changed the benchmark for its international equity managers. The board approved the move to Salomon Smith Barneys BMI Global ex-U.S. index from the MSCI All Country World ex-U.S. index, said Nancy C. Everett, chief investment officer. Salomons index appealed to the funds investment staff because it is transparent and methodically driven. Its seamless across all regions, Ms. Everett said, adding it would enable the fund to hire managers matching index geographic and market-cap slots, such as large-cap Asian equity.
The move, approved in December, has not yet translated into changes for the $38 billion funds managers, but investment staff are looking at the roster of international managers in the normal course of business, she said, adding the fund might shift allocations among managers as a result of the benchmark shift.
The fund has a 15% allocation to international equities. Forty percent of that allocation is managed passively; 47% is in active developed markets; and 13% in active emerging markets.