New York City Comptroller John C. Liu is so proud of the city public pension system's emerging managers program, he went all the way to California to praise it and to outline goals for its expansion.
“They have shown how their relatively small size can be an advantage, because it allows them to move quickly to seize opportunities,” according to the text of his keynote address at the National Association of Securities Professionals' annual pension and financial services conference in Los Angeles on June 15. “They have exposed us to niche investment areas that are typically overlooked by large managers.”
Now, the pension system wants to expand the emerging manager program by committing more dollars, using more asset classes and searching for more companies, Mr. Liu said.
As comptroller, Mr. Liu is investment adviser to, and custodian and trustee of, the five city pension funds with aggregate assets of $118.5 billion. In aggregate, the various funds have committed to emerging managers $271 million for real estate investments, $1.4 billion for public markets and $1.3 billion for private equity, Mr. Liu said.
“Presuming that we find the appropriate mix of managers, it is my goal to expand our $1.4 billion currently under management (in public markets) to approximately $2 billion,” Mr. Liu said. “In addition, we are looking at potentially increasing the definition of an emerging manager from $1 billion in assets under management to $2 billion.”
Mr. Liu also said the trustees of the various New York City pension plans “have agreed to consider expanding” the emerging managers program to include other asset classes such as international equity and fixed income.