CalPERS plans to search later this month for environmentally friendly public equity managers to run up to $500 million in combined assets, part of a "greenwave" initiative originally proposed by California Treasurer Phil Angelides. Staff at the $183.6 billion California Public Employees' Retirement System, Sacramento, recommends the system's board create "spring-fed pools" of both domestic equity and developed-markets managers. An RFP is expected to be issued April 29, pending approval of the proposal by the CalPERS board on April 18. Finalists would go before the board in October, according to a staff memo.
On March 31, CalPERS staff invested $25 million in Barclays Global Investors' iShares KLD Select Social Index Fund. Staff said the exchange-traded fund, which applies a range of social and environmental ratings, is superior to mutual funds that were considered for the program's initial investment.
CalPERS staff recommended that environmental strategies have a minimum $100 million in assets under management, instead of the system's standard $500 million minimum, because environmental investing is a new area. Wilshire noted that its database has at least 29 strategies with minimum three-year track records that meet the $100 million criterion, but only nine strategies that would meet the $500 million threshold.