Maryland State Retirement and Pension System, Baltimore, issued an RFI for one or more firms to provide corporate governance research and proxy services related to compliance with a state law banning investments in Iran or Sudan.
Enacted in 2008, the Iran/Sudan Divestment Act requires trustees to ensure that accounts are not invested in companies doing business in the two countries.
The $36 billion retirement system’s current contract with Institutional Shareholder Services, which runs for five years at $200,000 per year, is expiring in February. ISS is eligible to bid on the new contract.
The RFI is for three contracts providing: overall corporate governance research and proxy services; Iran/Sudan research services; and Iran/Sudan engagement services.
“It’s possible there could be one contract to do all three, which is the way the current contract is,” said Michael Golden, system spokesman, in a telephone interview. The five-year contract has the option of two one-year renewals.
Responses are due Dec. 19. Further information is available online.