Louisiana Department of the Treasury, Baton Rouge, issued an RFP for at least one active domestic fixed-income manager to run a total of $200 million for the state's $900 million Medicaid Trust Fund, said John J. Broussard, CIO. The money had been internally managed by previous CIO Cooper Harrell, who retired March 1. The RFP is posted on the treasury department's website, www.treasury.state.la.us, with responses due April 8. Selections are expected this summer, Mr. Broussard said. PRIME Asset Consulting is assisting.
Lumina Foundation for Education, Indianapolis, is searching for two active domestic small-cap managers to run a total of $90 million, said Nathan Fischer, vice president-investments for the $1.1 billion fund. The managers will split the money evenly, and foundation officials hope to make selections in April. Funding will come from $90 million in Russell 2000 iShares that the foundation is cashing in. Managers may contact the fund or consultant Cambridge Associates for inclusion in the search. The foundation also is searching for private equity managers to bring the fund to its 5% private equity target, from the current 1%, said Mr. Fischer. He estimated it will take a couple of years to reach the target. Cambridge is assisting.
Ohio Police & Fire Pension Fund, Columbus, might issue an RFP by the end of this month for a general investment consultant, said David Graham, spokesman for the $8.1 billion system. Personnel changes at incumbent Wilshire Associates led to the move, Mr. Graham said, but Wilshire can rebid. Resignations from Wilshire in the past month included Stephen Nesbitt, who ran its consulting and funds management units, and senior consultants Dennis Sugino and Kathy Barchick..
Duluth (Minn.) Teachers' Retirement Fund Association might begin a search in April or May for an active international core-plus equity manager to run $35 million. The plan terminated Putnam Investments, the portfolio's previous manager, in November because of market timing and trading abuse accusations. The search has been delayed because "we were wary of who we should choose," given continued revelations in the mutual fund scandal, said J. Michael Stoffel, executive secretary. The assets now are in an EAFE index fund run by Wells Fargo, custodian to the $300 million plan. Separately, plan trustees will begin to look at alternative investments in about six months and may adjust the plan's asset allocation, Mr. Stoffel said. Under consideration will be private equity, venture capital, real estate and timber, but not hedge funds; Mr. Stoffel said trustees have studied them but are not willing to commit yet.
Missouri Deferred Compensation Commission, Jefferson City, plans to search later this year for a third-party administrator and investment provider for its 457 plan and two 401(a) plans, which have combined assets of $1 billion, said Allen Scott, employee benefits manager. RFPs will be issued after the commission completes a shortlist search for a general consultant for the three plans, with a hiring expected in June, he said. Five-year contracts of PEBSCO, the current TPA, and Nationwide and Prudential, the current providers, expire May 30, but will need to be extended, Mr. Scott said. The three incumbents will be invited to rebid, he said. A time frame for the RFPs has not been finalized. The plans mirror each other and offer 32 investment options.
Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System, Nashville, expects to issue an RFP in the fourth quarter for a general consultant, said Tom Milne, CIO of the $26 billion system. The five-year contract of incumbent Callan Associates will expire in February 2005, and state law requires the plan to conduct an open search, Mr. Milne said. Further details about the RFP have not been determined.
Fairfax (Va.) County Uniformed Retirement System is conducting an asset-liability study, and the $680 million Fairfax County Police System may conduct a similar study later this spring, said Laurnz A. Swartz, executive director. New England Pension Consultants is assisting the $749 million uniformed plan. Both systems assume a 7.5% long-term rate of return on assets, which Mr. Swartz believes is "still supportable"; the two plans will also consider whether to add exposure to alternative investments. Mercer Investment Consulting is the police plan's consultant.
Gonzaga University, Spokane, Wash., is conducting an asset allocation study, the first in three years for the $89 million endowment, said Rick Jones, controller. It will be finished in four months and changes are expected, Mr. Jones said, although he did not elaborate. Wurts & Associates is consultant.
Louisiana School Employees' Retirement System, Baton Rouge, will begin an asset allocation study before the summer, said Julia LeBlanc, CIO. The study will be the $1.4 billion system's first in about four years, Ms. LeBlanc said. Results are expected in August or September. Consultant Segal Advisors will work with actuary Hall Actuarial Associates.