San Diego County Employees Retirement Association board voted 8-1 to search for an internal chief investment officer, effectively terminating its outsourced CIO, Salient Partners, said Samantha Begovich, a board member of the $10.45 billion pension fund.
David A. Myers, SDCERA’s vice chairman, cast the sole dissenting vote.
The decision was made on Friday. The board could discuss transition plans as early as its Dec. 4 meeting. Ms. Begovich said she plans to suggest the board establish a “blue-ribbon committee” made up of retired corporate executives from San Diego County that could manage the plan’s investments in the interim. The board has not yet decided whether to retain Salient as a money manager. Salient now manages more than $2 billion in risk parity and $300 million in a managed futures program.
SDCERA has yet to send a letter of termination to Salient Partners.
“Salient Partners, serving as SDCERA’s outsourced CIO, will continue to execute its full range of contractual duties over the duration of whatever transition period the board establishes,” said a written statement from Salient Partners.
Lee Partridge, chief investment officer of Salient, declined to comment beyond the written statement.
The statement concluded: “Over the past five years, Lee Partridge and team have generated a 10.2% annualized net return, delivering more than $4.4 billion to SDCERA plan members with less risk than 80% of similarly sized pension plans. … We are proud of our work and service to the SDCERA plan, which is $10.45 billion strong as of Sept. 30, 2014.”