Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment Management Board will issue an RFP for general and hedge fund consulting services. The $36 billion fund's current general consultant, Wilshire Associates, and hedge fund consultant New England Pension Consultants can rebid. MassPRIM has renewed Wilshire's contract on a month-to-month basis for the past year after the public pension fund's plans to sign a new three-year contract were put on hold, first due to regulatory scrutiny and later because of the departure from Wilshire of the senior consultants handling the plan's account. NEPC was retained in October 2003 with a one-year contract with an option to extend. According to staff, the system could end up hiring two consultants or one consultant to take on both jobs.
Also this week, MassPRIM approved a plan to commit a total of $1 billion to alternative investments this year. The board also agreed to raise the amount of any single alternative commitment to $125 million from $75 million after PRIM committed only $498 million in 2004, far short of its $800 million target.
MassPRIM approved six new alternative commitments: up to $75 million to the Advent International GPE V midmarket buyout fund; up to $25 million to the Austin Ventures IX venture capital fund; up to $100 million to the Charlesbank Capital Partners VI middle-market buyout fund; up to $20 million to the El Dorado Ventures VII seed and early stage venture capital fund; up to $50 million to the Weston Presidio V fund; and up to $100 million to the TCW Shared Opportunity Fund V, a distressed debt fund.