It may not be ethical or prudent to always hire the best manager and it certainly isn't practical.
In the Nov. 1 edition of Pensions & Investments, I proposed a series of steps for choosing the best managers. The first step was to consider all 20,000 mutual funds in the Morningstar Inc. database. By the last step, this was reduced to less than 30 funds. The PRI optimizer would have further reduced this to a dozen mutual funds actually selected for portfolios. I have yet to find any pension sponsor who would consider such an "open architecture" approach. The common practice is to select a platform such as Fidelity's approximately 1,000 funds, or a handful of managers picked by a consultant.