$500 million in hedge fund searches in Florida plans

Florida State Board of Administration, Tallahassee, is planning its first search for hedge fund managers to run a total of $500 million by June 30, said Kevin SigRist, deputy executive director.

The $133.7 billion board hired Cambridge Associates as its hedge fund consultant to assist in the search, to help it structure a hedge fund program and determine how to fit it into the board’s strategic investments, Mr. SigRist said at today’s investment advisory council meeting.

“We don’t view hedge funds as an asset class, and we don’t have a specific target for hedge funds we are trying to reach,” Ashbel C. “Ash” Williams, executive director and chief investment officer, said at the meeting.

Mr. SigRist said hedge funds will be part of the $113 billion Florida Retirement System’s defined benefit fund’s strategic asset class, comprising multiasset opportunistic investments that have a 3.5% allocation and range from zero to 10%. The Florida board oversees the system.

Mr. SigRist characterized the hedge fund move as “taking baby steps” and an investment it plans to build gradually. The board plans to make the $500 million investment by June 30, the end of its fiscal year.

A hedge fund consultant would also assist on the types of strategies and vehicles, direct investment and hedge fund of funds FSBA would employ, Mr. SigRist had said in September.

Further information on the hedge fund search process was not immediately available.