El Paso County Retirement Plan, Colorado Springs, Colo., hired Santa Barbara Asset Management and Tortoise Capital Advisors to each manage $13 million, confirmed Howard Miller, executive director of the $261 million retirement system.
Santa Barbara will run an active U.S. dividend growth equity strategy that targets companies with market caps of $3 billion or more, while Tortoise will run the pension fund's first master limited partnership.
Watershed Investment Consultants, the retirement system's investment consultant, assisted with the shortlist searches. Sit Investment Associates and Wellington Management were finalists for the dividend growth mandate; Harvest Fund Advisors and Fiduciary Asset Management were MLP finalists.
The hires were funded through rebalancing and the terminations of LSV Asset Management, which ran $14 million in active international equities and Clarion Partners, which managed $9 million in its Lion Value real estate fund. LSV was dropped for performance, while the Clarion fund is being closed, Mr. Miller said.
James Owens, partner and director, client portfolio services, at LSV, did not return a telephone call by press time for comment on the termination.
The El Paso pension plan's board also approved committing $10.6 million to a new REIT manager that will replace the Clarion Partners fund but will not act on that until the Clarion fund closes. It also approved additional commitments of $9 million to the Vanguard FTSE All World ex U.S. mutual fund and $8 million to the GAM U.S. Institutional Trading II hedge fund of funds. As of March 31, there was about $31 million in the Vanguard fund and $19 million in the GAM fund of funds.
Also, in the next couple months, the board will discuss what to do with about $24 million in a Loomis Sayles core value fixed-income fund that the money manager is closing. Mr. Miller said the money could be transferred to another Loomis Sayles fund.