New Mexico Educational Retirement Board, Santa Fe, issued an RFP for an investment consultant, said Frank C. Foy, chief investment officer of the $7.2 billion fund. Incumbent Wilshire Associates' contract expires Sept. 30; Wilshire is invited to rebid. The RFP is available at www.era.state.nm.us. Proposals are due May 20. Separately, fund officials expect to issue an RFP for a provider to study whether the fund should move new employees to a defined contribution plan; the study is required by state law. No timetable has been set for that search.
Worcester (Mass.) Regional Contributory Retirement System is searching for two equity managers. One manager will run $50 million in active domestic large-cap growth equities. Officials for the $327 million plan have concerns about the performance of the existing manager, said Kevin Leonard, the Segal Advisors consultant who is assisting; he declined to identify the current manager. The RFP is available from Rosemary Guillette at [email protected]; proposals are due May 26. Responses to the RFP and recent performance of the existing firm will determine whether a new manager is ultimately hired, Mr. Leonard said. The other firm will be the system's first S&P 500 index manager and will run about $30 million. Funding will come from rebalancing the system's domestic equities portfolio; no managers will be terminated. The RFP is available from Ms. Guillette at [email protected]; proposals are due May 23. Michael J. Donoghue, chief executive of the fund, could not be reached for comment.
Texas Prepaid Higher Education Tuition Board, Austin, issued an RFP for a commission recapture brokerage for the $1.5 billion system's five domestic equity separate account managers, which run a combined $591 million. Trades will be sent through the broker based on the firm's "ability to provide best execution of trades for the plan," according to the RFP. Questions, which must be submitted in writing, and non-mandatory letters of intent are due 2 p.m. CDT May 23, and proposals are due 2 p.m. CDT June 7. The RFP is available at http://esbd.tbpc.state.tx.us/1380docs/304/58870%5F1%2Edoc.
California Public Employees' Retirement System, Sacramento, plans to search for master custody services; the contract of current custodian State Street Bank expires June 30, 2006. Under an amendment to the current contract, State Street will move the $181.9 billion pension fund to daily reporting on July 1. CalPERS plans to issue the master custody RFP on Aug. 1. Separately, CalPERS is considering an initial investment into commodities, said Mark Anson, chief investment officer. In a speech May 10 at the CFA Institute's annual conference in Philadelphia, Mr. Anson said the plan's investment committee recently produced a white paper on commodities and is considering an investment to protect against inflation and to add alpha. He did not give further details.
Ohio School Employees Retirement System, Columbus, will search for a core-plus fixed-income manager in the coming weeks, according to money managers familiar with the fund who did not wish to be identified. One manager said officials at the $8.9 billion plan have already been talking to bond managers about the search, which will be open. The newly hired firm will handle about $150 million. The search is being conducted to replace an underperforming manager, although the sources did not know the identity of the firm. Laurel Johnson, a plan spokeswoman, declined to comment. According to the agenda for the fund's May 18-19 investment committee meeting, the plan will terminate an unidentified bond manager. The plan's most recent annual report lists its fixed-income managers as BlackRock, Dodge & Cox, Johnson Investment Counsel, Weiss Peck & Greer, Wellington Management and Western Asset Management. Calls to officials at all five firms were not returned by press time.
Illinois State Board of Investment, Chicago, issued RFPs for hedge funds of funds to manage $530 million, or 5% of the $10.6 billion system's assets. The RFP will be available from Marquette Associates, the fund's general consultant, sometime in the next few weeks. The board will be looking for hedge funds of funds that invest in equity-only strategies such as long-short or market neutral; two to four firms could be hired, splitting the allocation evenly. Funding will come from reducing S&P 500 index funds run by RhumbLine and Amalgamated, each of which manages $817 million. A due date hasn't been set for proposals, said William Atwood, executive director. Separately, the board will issue an RFP on May 20 for two core real estate managers to run $300 million each in separate accounts. Funding will come from reducing portfolios of State Street Global Advisors, which manages about $900 million in core and intermediate fixed income for the fund. The RFP will be available from Townsend, the fund's real estate consultant, Mr. Atwood said. A due date for proposals hasn't been set. The search is part of a restructuring to move the real estate allocation closer to that of the NCREIF Property Index, which is 70% core. The board has $630 million in real estate assets.