Digging through hundreds of regulatory filings and financial reports for Pensions & Investments' annual issue on the largest 1,000 retirement plans, we uncovered a gem of transparency.
Some plans, on the other hand, do not even deem it necessary to have a website, let alone disclose their investments.
The 68-page quarterly executive summary prepared by the system's general consultant, Marquette Associates Inc., and posted on the website, included the following:
• Investment changes — accounting of all investments with managers, capital calls and distributions by alternative managers back to the start of 2007.
• Asset allocation — the system's current, target (and range), and historical asset allocations. The system also discloses how its mix compares to the typical public pension plan.
• Managers — the performance of every manager for the most recent period and historically. Additionally, a detailed holdings analysis is given for most managers. For example, real estate managers had breakouts of property investments by type, region and size of investment. Leverage and top 10 property holdings are also disclosed.
• Fees — the fee arrangements of every manager including private equity and hedge fund performance fee arrangements. Additionally, the system detailed its fees compared against the universe average. Overall, the fund had a management fee of 48 basis points compared with a Marquette study universe average of 60.
• Status report — Every manager is listed on a single page showing its status with the fund: good standing, alerted, on notice or terminated.
• Securities lending — monthly earnings from its security lending program and for the prior two years.
Other known Marquette Associate public plan clients in the P&I 1,000 have access to the same information but choose not to make it available online, which shows in stark relief that disclosure and transparency are not hard to achieve, but only take a commitment to openness by the plan.