PHOENIX — The Arizona Public Safety Personnel Retirement System approved a commitment of up to $25 million to Mesirow Financial Capital Partners IX. Another commitment of up to $20 million was made to Conservation Forestry Capital I, a timber fund, pending contract negotiations, said James Nielsen, chief investment officer. The board wanted to add the asset class for diversification, said James Hacking, executive director. No consultant assisted.
BEDFORD, England — Bedfordshire County Council Pension Fund invested £20 million ($39 million) in JPMorgan Asset Management's Sterling Managed Currency Plus Fund, said Geoff Reader, Bedfordshire's head of pensions and treasury management. The £1.05 billion plan funded the investment from cash. Portfolio diversification was the main reason behind the move, Mr. Reader said. Bfinance assisted.
CHICAGO — Firemen's Annuity and Benefit Fund of Chicago hired Logan Capital Management to run $50 million in active domestic large-cap growth equities, said Lisa Peters, managing director at Logan Capital. Michael Moran, chief investment officer at the $1.3 billion plan, did not return calls for additional information.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Colorado County Officials & Employees Retirement Association selected the UMB Scout Small Cap Fund to replace the ABN AMRO/Veredus Aggressive Growth Fund as an investment option in the system's $686 million 401(a) plan and $125 million 457 plan, confirmed Jacob Kuijper, executive director.
"We were looking for a less volatile" small-cap growth equity option, Mr. Kuijper said. Poor returns were also a factor in the decision, he said. Andrea Lewis, ABN AMRO spokeswoman, said her firm does not discuss client matters. Innovest Portfolio Solutions assisted.
AMSTERDAM — Pensioenfonds voor de Grafische Bedrijven hired Goldman Sachs Asset Management to run a €240 million ($312.18 million) active quantitative equity portfolio, Chief Investment Officer Dirk Wieman said.
The allocation is part of a more extensive portfolio restructuring by the €10 billion pension fund for the Dutch printers and media industry. Since summer 2006, the fund has been outsourcing about 90% of its €4.2 billion equity portfolio, Mr. Wieman said.
The remainder of the equity portfolio remains internally managed. Another 47% of the fund is allocated to fixed income, and the rest to alternatives, including real estate and commodities. Fund officials will be considering whether to invest in infrastructure, private equity and structured notes and bonds, Mr. Wieman said. "The philosophy behind it is diversity," he said.
COPENHAGEN, Denmark — Industriens Pensionsforsikring appointed State Street Global Advisors to run a $65 million active Japanese small-cap strategy, Chief Investment Officer Jan Oestergaard, confirmed in an e-mail. The 42 billion Danish kroner ($7.3 billion) pension plan will fund the allocation from cash, according to Mr. Oestergaard.
LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles City Employees' Retirement System made two real estate commitments: up to $30 million to Buchanan Fund V and up to $10 million to MacFarlane Urban Real Estate Fund II, said a fund official who declined to be identified. It also made two private equity commitments: up to $20 million to Hellman & Friedman Capital Partners VI and up to $15 million to CHP II, managed by Cardinal Partners.
System officials also extended the contract of Marvin & Palmer until June 30 for a $131.9 million active EAFE core equity portfolio. The contract expired Dec. 31, and the board is scheduled to review the fund's non-U.S. equity managers at its Jan. 16 retreat.
Officials also extended INVESCO Realty Advisors' contract until Jan. 27, 2008. The firm manages a $100 million core/value-added mandate for the fund.
PASADENA, Calif. — Los Angeles County Employees' Retirement Association committed $25 million to Excellere Capital Fund, a private equity fund, said Christopher J. Wagner, senior investment officer, private equity, for the $36.7 billion fund.
BOSTON — MFS Investment Management hired JPMorgan Worldwide Securities Services to provide global custody, fund accounting and securities-lending services for a portion of MFS' $175 billion in assets under management, confirmed John Reilly, MFS spokesman. He could not provide further details at press time.
SANTA FE, N.M. — New Mexico Public Employees Retirement Association hired Northern Trust to manage between $500 million and $600 million in an MSCI EAFE index fund, said Robert Gish, chief investment officer of the $12.5 billion fund. Northern Trust already manages a $900 million S&P 500 index account and a $500 million Russell 1000 index account for the fund. No RFP was issued. The move was the result of a December vote to restructure the fund's $3.4 billion international equity portfolio.
ST. LOUIS — St. Louis Public School Retirement System board approved committing up to $10 million to Pantheon Global Secondary Fund III and $10 million to Smith Whiley's Pelham Fund III, both private equity funds, confirmed Andrew Clark, executive director. Funding will come from a general rebalancing, and the move is being made for diversification. The $1.1 billion pension fund now has about $40 million in the asset class.
New England Pension Consultants assisted.
SAN FRANCISCO — The $15 billion San Francisco City & County Employees Retirement System approved private equity commitments of up to $40 million to Thomas H. Lee Fund VI, a buyout fund; and up to $20 million each to Technology Partners Fund VIII, which makes early and late-stage venture capital investments in life science and core industries; and Sankaty Credit Opportunities Fund III, which invests in distressed bank loans, mezzanine investments and structured products.
GLASGOW — Strathclyde Pension Fund hired AllianceBernstein, INVESCO Perpetual, Edinburgh Partners and Lazard to run an undetermined amount in unconstrained global equity strategies, said Bill Kirk, senior pensions officer for the £8.9 billion ($17.3 billion) fund. Funding will probably come from terminating a £1.4 billion active multiasset mandate managed by Schroders, according to sources who declined to be identified.
"One of the recommendations from a recent review of the investment strategy was that the fund should accommodate unconstrained, long-only global equity mandates in its structure," David Crum, Strathclyde's chief pensions officer of investments, said in a statement. "The rationale behind this recommendation was to ‘free' investment managers from a benchmark-driven mindset, to allow asset managers to populate a portfolio with their best investment ideas, and to hold stocks which they wanted to own — as opposed to having to own (stocks) to manage risk relative to a benchmark index."
Hymans Robertson assisted.
COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Texas A&M Foundation selected Northern Trust to provide custody and investment services for $850 million in its long-term investment fund, confirmed Janet Handley, investment director at the $1.1 billion foundation. Northern will provide securities lending, performance measurement and risk analytics. Ms. Handley declined to identify the previous provider. No consultant assisted.
The foundation also selected Northern Trust Global Investments, the company's asset management arm, to manage a $70 million enhanced cash investment portfolio. Ms. Hanley said the assets are part of the long-term investment fund, but foundation executives decided to break it out for more investment control and to negotiate better fees.
CHEYENNE, Wyo. — The Wyoming Retirement System selected the INTECH Managed Growth Fund as an investment option for its $260 million 457 plan, confirmed spokeswoman Polly Scott. The fund will replace the American Century Ultra Growth Fund, which was removed because of "ongoing underperformance and manager changes," according to a letter to plan participants from Jim Applegate, chairman of the board of the Wyoming system. Brian Spano, a spokesman at American Century, declined to comment.
The system also added the Barclays Global Investors Lifepath Portfolios to replace the Vanguard LifeStrategy Funds; the board made the change because it wanted to offer target-date funds, the letter said.