Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment Management Board, Boston, voted to search for at least one manager to run a total of $720 million in active global inflation-linked bonds and commodities, said Eileen O'Connor, spokeswoman for state Treasurer Timothy Cahill. The $35.2 billion pension fund, which currently allocates 5% of assets to its TIPS portfolio, would fund the new allocation by reducing the portfolio by 2 percentage points, Ms. O'Connor said. General consultant Cliffwater recommended the move to allow MassPRIM to further diversify and move into commodities. The RFP is available at www.mapension.com. Proposals are due by 3 p.m. EDT July 1. Finalist interviews are currently scheduled for July 19, and selections are set for Sept. 1 The fund is also searching for a real estate investment consultant because existing contracts are set to expire in July, Ms. O'Connor said. Current consultants are The Townsend Group and Morse and Morris. MassPRIM currently invests 7.6% of its assets in real estate, with a long-term target allocation of 9%. The RFP is available on the pension fund's website at www.mapension.com. Proposals are due at 3 p.m. EDT June 27. Finalist interviews are tentatively scheduled for July 7.
The Alabama Prepaid Affordable College Tuition Fund, Montgomery, is seeking an actuarial consultant to possibly replace Mellon ACS. Officials issued an RFP Thursday because Mellon Financial recently sold its human resources unit to Affiliated Computer Services, and Mellon's HR unit was handling the account for the $651 million fund, said Anthony Leigh, state deputy treasurer. "In May, Mellon informed the board of the sale. The original contract specified that if there is a change in the contractor, the original contract would be void and a new RFP would be issued," said Mr. Leigh. "That doesn't mean that Mellon ACS can't compete for the business, but if they are to continue with it, they must go through the RFP process." The RFP is available at www.treasury.alabama.gov. Proposals are due June 20, and a selection should be made in September.
Vermont's three main public pension plans issued an RFP through the state's attorney general for outside legal counsel to help the systems monitor and possibly participate in securities class action and other litigation. The $1.34 billion State Teachers' Retirement System, the $1.09 billion State Employees' Retirement System and the $239 million Municipal Employees' Retirement System, all in Montpelier, are seeking to create a pool of up to three law firms to provide services for two years, with two one-year renewal options. The RFP is available on the treasurer's website at www.tre.state.vt.us/index.html. Proposals are due July 29 and should be sent to Michael McShane, director, GCAL division, Office of Attorney General, 109 State St., Montpelier, VT 05609-1001. Questions can be sent to Mr. McShane by mail or e-mail at [email protected] and must be received by June 17.
California State Teachers' Retirement System, Sacramento, approved a search for domestic enhanced index equity managers. The RFP is expected to be issued by late summer, said Sherry Reser, spokeswoman for the $123.5 billion system. Further information about the search was not available. CalSTRS expects to add $2.3 billion to the $3.6 billion already managed in enhanced domestic stock index strategies. In the process, the fund will review its four existing external enhanced managers: Barclays Global Investors, State Street Global Advisors, Mellon Capital and DSI International. Pension Consulting Alliance is assisting.
Norfolk County Contributory Retirement System, Canton, Mass., is searching for an active domestic midcap growth equity manager to run about $27 million, according to an official at its consultant, Wainwright Investment Counsel. The search is exploratory because there have been performance issues with the existing manager — which the source would not identify — but the board of the $440 million plan could choose to rehire the incumbent, said the source. According to the Money Management Directory, the fund's midcap growth manager is MFS. The RFP is available on Wainwright's website at www.winvcounsel.com. Proposals are due at noon EDT June 28, and the board will likely make a selection in July or August. Joseph Connolly, pension fund chairman, did not return a call seeking comment. An assistant to John Keenan, executive director, referred questions to Wainwright.
Ohio Public Employees Retirement System, Columbus, is searching for a manager to run from $25 million to $100 million in an MSCI Emerging Markets index fund. The RFP can be viewed at the fund's website, www.opers.org.Proposals are due June 24, and finalists will be interviewed in July and August. A firm will be chosen by October, said Rich Baker, senior media relations officer for the $64.5 billion system. OPERS is not replacing an existing manager. Funding will come from an international equity portfolio. Further information was not available.
New Orleans City Employees Retirement System and general consultant Morgan Stanley are reviewing the plan's fixed-income managers and the asset class overall, said Jerry Davis, board chairman. The $380 million plan will likely finish the review early in the third quarter, Mr. Davis said. Even though the plan's existing fixed-income managers have "performed extremely well" over the past two or three years relative to their benchmarks, the board will possibly broaden existing mandates or look to hire additional managers to increase overall returns, he said. Deutsche Asset Management, Orleans Capital Management and EARNEST Partners each run between $21 million and $25 million in active fixed income.
Montana State University Foundation, Bozeman, is contemplating adding a real estate allocation to its $75 million investment pool, said James Ness, treasurer and CFO. Foundation officials are looking to diversify investments, and this would be its first foray into real estate. The investment committee could discuss the matter further at a meeting early in the summer. Mr. Ness noted that foundation officials might need to change the investment policy to permit real estate investment. If the investment committee decides to move forward with a real estate investment, consultant Monticello Associates would likely compile a shortlist of candidates. It's too early to comment on the amount to be invested or a funding source, he said.
Omaha (Neb.) Police and Fire Retirement System might conduct an asset allocation study, said Carol Ebdon, the city's finance director. The investment committee of the $414 million pension fund discussed the matter recently and could discuss it further at a meeting in July; a date for the July meeting has not yet been determined. The committee is considering the study to see if the fund's "current targets are the right ones," said Ms. Ebdon. DeMarche Associates would assist. The pension fund's target asset allocation is 55% domestic equities, 25% domestic fixed income and 10% each in international equities and real estate. The current allocation is "pretty close" to the target, Ms. Ebdon said.
E.ON UK PLC, Coventry, England, will conduct an investment review later this year, according to a company spokesman. Hewitt Associates, hired as investment consultant for the company's new £4 billion ($7.34 billion) defined benefit scheme, will assist. The firm's four pension plans were recently merged after E.ON acquired several British-based electricity companies. "The investment strategy as a whole needs to be coherent and coordinated as it is now one group and one group of trustees," said Beverley Morgan, investment consultant at Hewitt. The four pension plans have a total of 27 money managers. The combined plan should have fewer managers after the review, said Ms. Morgan, but she would not be more specific.
Fort Myers (Fla.) Firefighters' Retirement System might search for a real estate manager to run up to $4 million, said Debra Emerson, pension specialist. The $40 million plan has never invested in the asset class; the board will discuss the matter with consultant Bogdahn Consulting at the June 16 board meeting.
The Mississippi State University Foundation, Mississippi State, Miss., is considering a first-time investment in commodities. David Easley, CFO, said he is considering the asset class to provide diversification and inflation hedging for the $165 million fund. "There's no time frame at all; right now I'm just studying it," said Mr. Easley, who emphasized he does not want to talk to money management firms about the potential investment. Fund Evaluation Group is the consultant.
Schiff Hardin LLP, Chicago, is reviewing the equity portion of the firm's $50 million 401(k) plan, said Chris Blumka, retirement plans administrator. The review will be completed by the end of the summer, and plan officials could add additional investment options as a result. Ms. Blumka said the law firm is considering adding a second international equity option for diversification; it already offers the Fidelity Diversified International fund. The plan offers 11 investment options plus a brokerage window. Fidelity is bundled provider. J.H. Ellwood & Associates is assisting.