Searches and Hires

Alameda County Employees picks William Blair for small-cap growth equity

Alameda County Employees' Retirement Association, Oakland, Calif., hired William Blair & Co. to manage about $120 million in active domestic small-cap growth equities, said Agnes Ducanes, administrative specialist, in an email.

The $8.1 billion pension fund conducted a shortlist search in the fall due to the underperformance of current manager Next Century Growth Investors, which runs a similar portfolio. Next Century was included in the search.

Thomas Press, Next Century Growth's chairman, CEO, partner and portfolio manager, said the company underperformed from 2014 to 2016 when high-growth strategies in general struggled. Since then, the manager's strategy has "vastly" outperformed the market, Mr. Press said. He said he wishes ACERA the best, and they were a "great client."

The other finalists were Granahan Investment Management, Pier Capital and Virtus Investment Partners.

As of March 31, the actual allocation to domestic equity was 32.6%.

Investment consultant Verus Advisory assisted.