The ACT Department of Treasury's Finance & Investment Group, which oversees A$3.5 billion (US$3.2 billion), hired Towers Watson as consultant, replacing Russell, according to Investment magazine in Sydney.
Canberra-based ACT Treasury is a group of funds that look to cover the unfunded pension liabilities of employees of the Australian Capital Territory government.
CalPERS plans to stick with Wilshire
CalPERS on April 19 voted to renew its five-year contract with general consultant Wilshire Associates, pending fee negotiations.
Selection came after the board of the $213.3 billion California Public Employees' Retirement System, Sacramento, conducted a 30-minute public interview with Wilshire and the other finalist, Rogers Casey.
A formal contract still has to be negotiated by the board and Wilshire before its current contract expires on June 30. CalPERS board members made it clear the new contract would be subject to Wilshire lowering its proposed fee.
Wilshire proposed a fee of $3.23 million for each of the five years of the new contract, up from its current annual fee of $2.864 million.
RogersCasey's bid was substantially lower, proposing a $1.9 million annual fee.
However, Wilshire received a higher overall score from board members than RogersCasey.
Wilshire emphasized its asset allocation formula while RogersCasey emphasized its expertise in global strategies.
English plan continues with Schroder
East Riding of Yorkshire Council Pension Fund, Goole, England, rehired Schroder Investment Management to run a multiasset strategy of about £675 million ($1.04 billion), an official at the £2.29 billion fund said.
The portfolio is similar to one Schroder previously managed, with separate domestic and global bond allocations as well as equity exposures to Europe, North America, Japan, Asia ex-Japan and emerging markets.
FSBA hires E&Y for retirement system audits
Florida State Board of Administration, Tallahassee, hired Ernst & Young to audit the annual financial statements of the Florida Retirement System, said Dennis D. MacKee, communications director.
The hiring, the board's first external auditor, is pending contract negotiations.
The firm will audit the financial statements of the $118.9 billion FRS defined benefit pension plan and the $5.1 billion FRS 401(a) plan annually for the next five years, starting with the current fiscal year, ending June 30. Both plans are overseen by the FSBA, whose assets total $143.8 billion.
Insight Investment gets nod from Welsh fund
Gwynedd Council Pension Fund, Caernarfon, Wales, selected Insight Investment Management to run a £130 million ($199 million) active absolute-return bond portfolio, according to an announcement on European procurement platform Tenders Electronic Daily.
The portfolio had been managed by BGI, now BlackRock, in a passive strategy, according to a previous interview with an official at the fund, which has about £850 million in total assets. Fund authorities had wanted to shift assets into an active bond strategy and issued an RFP in March 2009. Hymans Robertson advised.
JS Asset Management gets subadviser role
Highland Funds hired JS Asset Management as subadviser of the new Highland All Cap Equity Value Fund.
John K. Schneider, JS Asset founder, president and chief investment officer, will be portfolio manager of the new fund.
The fund will invest in 30 to 50 holdings across select industries.
Barnett Waddingham keeps London Borough plan client
London Borough of Hounslow Pension Fund rehired Barnett Waddingham as actuary, confirmed Michael Rust, treasury management officer.
The firm will perform a triennial reassessment of the £525 million ($808 million) fund, Mr. Rust said. The search began in September.
Illinois DC plan adds Lord Abbett, William Blair equity funds
Illinois State Employees' Deferred Compensation Plan, Springfield, added active equity options from Lord Abbett and William Blair to its $3 billion participant-directed 457 plan, according to William R. Atwood, executive director of the Illinois State Board of Investment, Chicago, the plan's fiduciary.
Lord Abbett will manage a U.S. large-cap core separate account, while William Blair will offer its International Small Cap Growth mutual fund.
Dropped as an option was the Legg Mason Capital Management Value Trust Fund for performance reasons, Mr. Atwood said. The active U.S. large-cap core equity portfolio had $109 million in assets as of Dec. 31. Mary Athridge, Legg Mason spokeswoman, couldn't be reached for comment.
The plan had 15 investment options before the changes.
J.P. Morgan gets global custody job for English trust
The £2.2 billion ($3.4 billion) John Lewis Partnership Trust for Pensions, London, appointed J.P. Morgan Worldwide Securities Services as global custodian, according to Andrew Chapman, pension investment manager.
J.P. Morgan replaces BNY Mellon; the search was part of a periodic review by the fund, Mr. Chapman said.
Maryland system commits to timberland
Maryland State Retirement and Pension System, Baltimore, committed $50 million to Hancock Timberland X, said Mansco Perry III, the $33.7 billion system's chief investment officer.
GAM Trading to manage $150 million for New Mexico fund
New Mexico Educational Retirement Board, Santa Fe, hired GAM Trading to manage $150 million in an absolute-return portfolio, said Bob Jacksha, chief investment officer for the $8.7 billion fund.
GAM replaces Austin Capital and Deutsche Bank's Topiary hedge fund of funds. It could not be learned by deadline how much each ran. Austin Capital was terminated after the fund lost money from New Mexico in investments tied to Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities.
In June, the National Education Association of New Mexico, a state teachers union, sued Austin Capital on behalf of the board and the $13.43 billion New Mexico State Investment Council, Santa Fe, claiming Austin did not perform due diligence when it invested with Tremont Partners, which invested with Mr. Madoff's firm.
Deutsche Bank is getting out of the hedge fund-of-funds business, Mr. Jacksha said.
Ohio Police & Fire commits to real estate fund
The $10.9 billion Ohio Police and Fire Pension Fund, Columbus, committed $25 million to Fortress Japan Opportunity Fund, a real estate fund.
Oregon council makes $300 million in commitments
Oregon Investment Council, Tigard, which manages the $51.5 billion Oregon Public Employees' Retirement Fund, Salem, committed $100 million each to Vornado Capital Partners and OCM Opportunities Fund VIII, said spokesman James Sinks.
A separate $100 million commitment was made to Aquiline Financial Services Fund II, pending successful negotiations on fee reductions, Mr. Sinks said.
Ennis replaces Callan in San Diego
San Diego City Employees' Retirement System hired Ennis Knupp as its general investment consultant, replacing incumbent Callan Associates.
Ennis Knupp will serve on a three-year contract, contingent on successful contract negotiations, with an option to extend the contract for two additional years.
The investment committee of the $4.3 billion system replaced Callan, which had been general investment consultant for 20 years, because committee members felt it was “time for a change,” Liza Crisafi, chief investment officer, reported to the board at its meeting April 16. Staff and the investment committee members were not dissatisfied with Callan's performance, she said.
San Diego County commits to Blackstone funds
San Diego County Employees Retirement Association committed $100 million to Blackstone Capital Partners VI and $50 million to Blackstone/GSO Capital Solution, subject to completion of due diligence.
Blackstone Capital Partners VI, a buyout fund, has an initial target of $20 billion, with $9.5 billion committed as of March 2010. The fund is expected to close in May. Blackstone/GSO Capital Solution, a distressed debt fund managed by Blackstone subsidiary GSO Capital Partners, has a $2 billion target.
The commitments were made under the board's new policy of making larger commitments to fewer managers. The board has commitments to 60 private equity funds with 36 managers, said Yegin Chen, investment officer.
Association officials plan to cut the number of funds and managers by half.
Sara Lee chooses Legal & General for LDI overlay in U.S.
Sara Lee Corp., Downers Grove, Ill., appointed Legal & General Investment Management America to manage a liability-driven investing overlay covering its U.S. plan's $1.6 billion in assets, said Edwin Koopmans, Sara Lee's director of treasury.
The company, with worldwide pension assets of about $4 billion, also hired LGIMA to manage a separate U.S. credit portfolio valued around $110 million. LGIM already manages U.K. pension assets for Sara Lee. “We have had a good experience with (LGIM) in the U.K., so we decided to hire them in the U.S. as well,” Mr. Koopmans said.
He declined to specify the size and asset class of LGIM's mandate for Sara Lee in the U.K.
Acadian to run €120 million for Stork fund
Stichting Pensioenfonds Stork, Amersfoort, Netherlands, hired Acadian Asset Management to run €120 million ($161 million) in a global managed volatility equity strategy, Alfred Slager, the plan's chief investment officer, said in a telephone interview.
The strategy is new for the Stork fund, which has an estimated €2.4 billion in total assets. Plan officials want to use a minimum variance approach to reduce volatility.
Funding will come from the plan's equity portfolio, which accounts for 35% of the entire fund, but Mr. Slager wouldn't name the equity manager whose portfolio had either been terminated or reduced.
Thames Water hires Mercer as consultant and actuary
Thames Water Utilities, Reading, England, hired Mercer as investment consultant and actuary for its two pension funds with combined assets of £1 billion ($1.5 billion), according to public procurement website Tenders Electronic Daily.
The previous actuary and investment consultant could not be learned by deadline. The search began in August.
Virginia system commits to three funds
Virginia Retirement System, Richmond, committed a total of up to $772 million to three funds, according to Jeanne Chenault, spokeswoman for the $50 billion pension fund.
The system committed up to $300 million to real estate fund AMLI, $250 million in a credit strategies investment with BlackRock Kelso Mezzanine Partners, $200 million to hedge fund Clough Investment Partners and $22 million to private equity fund ABRY Senior Equity III, Ms. Chenault said.