Arizona Public Safety Personnel Retirement System, Phoenix, tentatively approved hiring BlackRock to manage up to $200 million in global TAA, in both separate accounts and commingled funds, confirmed James Hacking, administrator of the $6 billion system.
Along with the hiring, the system added $80 million to Bridgewater's existing GTAA portfolio, raising it to $200 million. The mandate is part of the system's global equity portfolio.
“The (GTAA) strategies seek to exploit inefficiencies across global markets,” Mr. Hacking said in a telephone interview.
The system also hired Crestline Investors and FrontPoint Partners to run $150 million each in the system's first allocation to portable alpha strategies.
Mr. Hacking said funding for the GTAA and portable alpha hires will come from the system's equities exposure, much of which is in index funds run by SSgA, adding that the portable alpha strategies aim to “add value above index returns.”
All hires are subject to due diligence.
Separately, the system committed up to $40 million to Littlejohn Fund IV. “Littlejohn will make (private equity) investments in what they call middle-market companies, primarily in manufacturing and distribution,” he said. “They are companies that are underperforming or distressed.”
Millennium Technology Value Partners II received a commitment of up to $20 million. Mr. Hacking said the fund specializes in secondary direct investments in venture-backed technology companies.
The system also increased its investment in the ORGAZ Secondary Opportunity Fund, a fund jointly owned with ORG, to $65 million from $40 million. Additionally, the board added $25 million to its original $40 million investment in Timbervest Partners.
Mr. Hacking also said that for the first seven months of the fiscal year — July 1, 2009, through Jan. 31 — the rate of return for the overall fund was 14.16%, vs. the custom benchmark return of 12.9%. The system's asset allocation as of Jan. 31 was 29.8% U.S. equities, 21.12% fixed income, 19.41% non-U.S. equities, 9.74% real estate, 7.1% credit opportunities, 6.78% private equity, 4.91%; real assets, and 1.14% short-term investments or cash equivalents.
AvSuper goes with Genesis for emerging markets
AvSuper, Canberra, Australia, allocated A$25 million (US$22.5 million) to an emerging markets trust run by Genesis Investment Management, according to Investment & Technology newspaper.
This is the A$1 billion fund's first dedicated investment in emerging markets and raises its emerging markets allocation to 12% of its international equities portfolio from 5%.
Previously, AvSuper gained a slight exposure to emerging markets through its investments with global equity managers. “But now we've decided to get a more significant exposure and use an experienced, dedicated manager,” said CEO Michelle Griffiths.
The investment is among those instigated by a review of the fund's portfolio made by JANA Investment Advisers after it replaced Russell as the fund's asset consultant seven months ago.
Legal & General gets the call from Cornwall County
Cornwall County Council Pension Fund, Truro, England, appointed Legal & General Investment Management to manage about £50 million ($77 million) in passive global equities, according to Jackie Shute, treasury and investment manager.
The portfolio, which might be broadened to include other passively managed asset categories, was funded by terminating an active U.K. equity strategy managed by AllianceBernstein. Fund officials wanted to shift assets to global equities, Ms. Shute said.
An RFP was issued in December 2008. Hymans Robertson advised.
E.ON hires Cardano for investment services
E.ON UK PLC Pension Scheme, Coventry, England, hired Cardano as investment services provider for the entire £5 billion ($7.6 billion) fund, according to Phil Page, client manager at Cardano.
Cardano will provide asset allocation, liability hedging and manager selection services. “In line with any advisory mandate, we will conduct a full investment strategy review,” Mr. Page said in a telephone interview.
Neil Smith, CEO of the fund, could not be reached by press time for comment. In a news release from Cardano about the appointment, he said, “Recent events have shown how important it is for trustees to focus on the funding position and to manage risks but also to adopt an innovative approach to generating returns.”
Mr. Page declined to say which managers had run the fund's portfolio.
FSBA goes activist with Cevian, Knight Vinke and P2
Florida State Board of Administration, Tallahassee, hired corporate activist hedge funds Cevian, Knight Vinkeand P2 Capital, pending contract negotiations, and is considering hiring Ramius as well. Although each firm could run from $75 million to $250 million, no allocations have been determined. The board oversees $137.9 billion in assets.
Franklin Templeton hired by Romanian fund
Fondul Proprietatea, Bucharest, Romania, hired Franklin Templeton to manage the fund's €2.4 billion ($3.2 billion) in assets.
The fund was established in 2005 to compensate Romanians whose property was confiscated under the former Communist regime, according to David Smart, global head of sovereign funds and supranationals at Franklin Templeton.
The fund had been managed internally.
Beneficiaries were given shares in the fund, which holds stakes in Romanian companies. The fund, which is owned by the government and shareholders, will be listed on the Bucharest stock exchange in order to create liquidity for shareholders.
Franklin Templeton will open an office in Romania as a result of the hiring.
Hertfordshire County to use CB Richard Ellis Investors
Hertfordshire County Council Pension Fund, Hertford, England, hired real estate manager CB Richard Ellis Investors to run £150 million ($224 million), according to Tenders Electronic Daily.
Mercer assisted in the search, which began in October.
Nicola Webb, group finance manager at the £1.9 billion fund, did not respond to requests for details by press time.
Ibbotson goes with Atom Funds in Oz
Ibbotson Associates in Australia hired Atom Funds Management, an Australian small-cap boutique, to run A$60 million (US$53.9 million), according to Investment & Technology newspaper.
Atom will run a portion of Ibbotson's A$1.1 billion Australian Shares Active Trust.
Atom is majority owned by Sanlam, a South African financial services firm.
Newton to run some assets for Isle of Wight
Isle of Wight Council Pension Fund, Newport, England, hired Newton Investment Management to run up to 30% of the £210 million ($324 million) fund's total assets in an active bond portfolio and Majedie Asset Management to handle up to 40% of assets in U.K. equities, according to an announcement on Tenders Electronic Daily, a European public procurement platform.
Schroder Investment Management was reappointed to manage an active global equity mandate worth up to 50% of the total assets and a real estate portfolio potentially totaling up to 20% of the fund. Schroder had managed the entire fund in a multiasset mandate.
In 2008, fund officials made the move to diversify its stable of money managers, according to council documents at the time.
David Burbage, director of resources for the council, could not be reached by press time for further information. Consultant Hymans Robertson advised.
Danske Capital to subadvise for Swedish fund
Lansforsakringar Fonder hired Danske Capital to subadvise on its 2.8 billion Swedish kronor ($390 million) Europafond active European equity mutual fund, said Henrik Bak, Danske's vice president and head of institutional business.
Danske will manage the entire mutual fund in a high-dividend European equity strategy, Mr. Bak said.
Danske replaces Goldman Sachs Asset Management, according to a Danske news release. Mr. Bak would not comment on why Goldman Sachs was terminated.
Eva Gottfridsdotter-Nilsson, managing director of Lansforsakringar Fonder, was unavailable for comment.
Minnesota State Board goes with INTECH
Minnesota State Board of Investment, St. Paul, hired INTECH to manage at least $500 million in a domestic enhanced index equity strategy, Howard J. Bicker Jr., executive director, said in an interview.
Trustees of the board, which managed $53.5 billion as of Dec. 31, decided at a Feb. 25 meeting to add a fourth enhanced index equity manager to further diversify the board's $7.3 billion domestic enhanced index allocation.
Funding will come from an as yet unspecified reduction of the $2 billion-plus mandates managed by each of the three existing managers: BlackRock (formerly managed by BGI), J.P. Morgan Investment Management and Mellon Capital Management.
Separately, the board committed $100 million to a new private equity fund, Audax Mezzanine III, Mr. Bicker confirmed.
Two of the board's existing private equity managers, Varde Partners and TCW Asset Management, received commitments of $150 million each to the Varde Fund X and TCW Energy Partners XV. Another existing manager, EBF & Associates, received a commitment of $100 million to the Merced Partners III Fund. Previous SBI investments and commitments to these managers were $101 million to Varde Fund IX; $95 million to TCW Energy Partners XIV, and $75 million to Merced Partners II.
Summit Strategies to consult for Nashville fund
Metropolitan Government of Nashville (Tenn.) and Davidson County Employee Benefit Trust Fund hired Summit Strategies as general consultant, pending contract negotiations, confirmed Fadi BouSamra, chief investment officer of the $1.8 billion fund.
Summit succeeds Segal Advisors, whose five-year contract with the fund expired in October. Segal was invited to rebid. The new contract also is for five years, Mr. BouSamra wrote in an e-mail response to questions.
“We were looking for an independent firm that had the research and capacity to support us going forward, and we think we found a good match,” Mr. BouSamra wrote.
Separately, Mr. BouSamra wrote that the system is continuing its work on developing a custom hedge fund program, adding that it still is uncertain when an RFP will be issued. The system's first hedge fund allocation is expected to make up 10% of the overall portfolio.
New York State makes more alternative commitments
New York State Common Retirement Fund, Albany, committed $230 million to the Finisterre Emerging Markets Fund, a hedge fund, and $100 million to Brookside Capital Partners, an equity long-short fund, according to a news release.
The fund also terminated large-cap equity managers Brandywine Global and Lynmar Capital Group, according to the release from Thomas DiNapoli, state comptroller and sole trustee of the $129.4 billion fund. Brandywine ran $220 million in value, and Lynmar managed $42 million in growth.
Separately, the fund added $50 million to an existing $100 million commitment with the Invesco Mortgage Recovery Feeder Fund, part of the federal Public-Private Investment Program.
Robert Whalen, spokesman for the fund, could not be immediately reached for further details.
Ohio BWC hires SSgA, BlackRock for passive mandates
Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation, Columbus, hired SSgA and BlackRock to passively manage the bureau's $1.2 billion Disabled Workers' Relief Fund and $250 million Coal Workers' Pneumoconiosis Fund, confirmed Michelle Gatchell, spokeswoman at the $24.5 billion fund.
SSgA will passively manage 89% of the disabled workers' fund; 35 percentage points in U.S. TIPS, 34 percentage points in domestic fixed income and 20 percentage points in U.S. equity. Also, SSgA will run 93% of the coal workers' fund; 40 percentage points in U.S. TIPS, 39 percentage points in U.S. fixed income and 14 percentage points in U.S. equity.
BlackRock will passively manage the international equity allocations of the two funds, 11% of the disabled workers' fund and 7% of the coal workers' fund.
Ms. Gatchell could not provide funding information or further details by press time.
BlackRock unit gets the call from Oklahoma Public system
Oklahoma Public Employees Retirement System and Oklahoma Uniform Retirement System for Justices and Judges, both in Oklahoma City, each hired BlackRock Institutional Trust to manage passive TIPS, confirmed Tom Spencer, executive director of the $5.9 billion OPERS.
BlackRock will run $200 million in OPERS and $7 million in the judges and justices system, which has $216 million in assets, Mr. Spencer wrote in an e-mail.
“This is a new mandate for the plans and is being funded by reducing their exposure in its long-term U.S. Treasury portfolio which is managed by Hoisington Investment Management,” Mr. Spencer wrote.
Oregon restructures equity portfolio, ups passive allocation
Oregon Investment Council, Tigard, which manages the $51.5 billion Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund, Salem, has restructured its $20.8 billion equity portfolio, increasing its passively managed target allocation by five percentage points to 25% of the portfolio and reducing its actively managed target by five percentage points to 75%, said spokesman James Sinks.
As part of the restructuring, staff will manage an internal synthetic Russell 2000 Index portfolio of undetermined size, and hired Dimensional Fund Advisors for a $100 million emerging markets small-cap strategy and Westwood Global Investments for a $100 million emerging markets strategy, Mr. Sinks said.
The council will also put some of the $1.7 billion invested in the AllianceBernstein Global Style Blend portfolio into a $726 million global strategic value and a $311 million global research growth separate accounts, with a smaller global research growth allocation in favor of passive assignments.
Separately, the council will commit $100 million to Sageview Capital's Community Bancorp, a private equity fund, contingent on successful contract negotiations, Mr. Sinks said.
If a deal is worked out, OPERF's commitment would be contingent on Community Bancorp's raising a minimum of $500 million. The Sageview team is committing $10 million.
British public plan hires Henderson Global
South Yorkshire Pensions Authority, Barnsley, England, hired Henderson Global Investors to run up to £300 million ($452 million) in U.K. corporate bonds, said John Hattersley, manager of the £3.8 billion fund.
Henderson replaces UBS Global Asset Management and WAMCO, which managed £200 million each in bond mandates that included government debt. The mandate was changed to focus only on corporate debt, Mr. Hattersley said; government bonds are now managed internally. UBS and WAMCO were able to rebid.
Hymans Robertson assisted.
Deloitte gets investment consulting gig from Westminster
Westminster Council Pension Fund, London, hired Deloitte as investment consultant and Amaces as custodian bank consultant, and rehired Hewitt Associates as actuary, said Ian Woodall, chief investment officer of the £630 million ($945 million) fund.
Deloitte replaces Mercer as investment consultant. Mercer, whose contract had expired, was allowed to rebid when the search began in June.
Amaces replaces Mercer Sentinel in the role of selecting and monitoring the fund's global custodian, BNY Mellon. Mr. Woodall said the monitoring is part of the fund's regular governance process.
Wilshire Mutual Funds hires Pyramis, UBS as subadvisers
Wilshire Mutual Funds hired Pyramis Global Advisors and UBS as subadvisers of the Wilshire Large Cap Core 130/30 fund, effective March 1, according to an SEC filing.
Larry Davanzo, president of parent company Wilshire Associates, declined to provide details.