Iowa Public Employees’ Retirement System, Des Moines, issued two RFPs in separate searches.
One is a search for managers to run $400 million in emerging markets fixed income. IPERS could hire more than one manager and the $400 million allocation “could vary depending on the number of managers hired,” the RFP said.
Wilshire Associates, the $27.8 billion pension fund’s investment consultant, is assisting. IPERS sent the RFP to a group of managers screened from Wilshire’s database, but any manager that meets the minimum requirements can bid.
The RFP is available on Wilshire’s website. Proposals are due Sept. 25. A hiring decision could be made in January or February.
Western Asset Management Co. is currently IPERS’ only emerging markets fixed income manager.
“The Western Asset (emerging markets debt) team has experienced some personnel turnover in the past, and the performance has not been very good,” Karl Koch, IPERS’ chief investment officer, said in an e-mail. “IPERS issued the RFP to evaluate other products and then decide whether to retain or replace Western Asset in this strategy.”
Mary Athridge, WAMCO spokeswoman, said the firm’s officials don’t comment on clients.
The other search is for firms providing managed account platform services to implement the pension fund’s liquid absolute-return strategies.
“IPERS plans to hire only one platform administrator,” Mr. Koch said in the e-mail. “IPERS staff is conducting the search on its own. It is anticipated that the size of our liquid absolute-return strategies will be $700 million notional once it is fully operational. The RFP for liquid absolute-return managers will not commence until IPERS completes building the platform. The platform is being built so that all of the liquid absolute-return strategies will be managed in separate accounts on IPERS managed platform. We will not invest in funds.”
“IPERS anticipates selecting five to 10 investment managers once the program is scaled to the intended size,” the RFP said.
IPERS seeks managed account platform firms to “support the administration and management of a diversified group of (liquid absolute-return strategies) managers as an overlay to the IPERS fund,” the RFP said.
The RFP is available on the IPERS website. Proposals are due Sept. 23. A hiring decision is expected in October or November.