Iowa Public Employees' Retirement System, Des Moines, hired NorthStar Financial Services Group to provide managed account platform services for it liquid absolute-return strategy program, said Karl Koch, chief investment officer, in a statement.
IPERS, which has $28.1 billion in assets, plans to issue an RFP for liquid absolute-return managers after it completes building the platform, which will enable all the liquid absolute-return strategies to be managed in separate accounts on the managed platform. IPERS expects to hire five to 10 investment managers once the program is in place. The platform will have a $700 million notional value once it is fully operational.
The NorthStar hiring, which is subject to final due diligence and negotiation of contract terms, is the result of an RFP issued in September.
Separately, the pension fund authorized Pathway Capital Management to commit up to $800 million to private equity funds in 2016. Pathway is a fund-of-funds manager that has full discretion to make private equity commitments on behalf of the pension fund.
Also, the pension removed PanAgora Asset Management from watch due to improved performance over the last 12 months in a $740 million S&P 500 enhanced index strategy.
IPERS also reported its funding ratio improved, rising to 83.7% as of June 30 from 82.7% the year before, according to an actuarial valuation report presented by actuary Cavanaugh Macdonald Consulting.