West Virginia Investment Management Board, Charleston, soon will begin an asset allocation and liability study in anticipation of eventually hiring its first equity managers, said H. Craig Slaughter, executive director.
The board yesterday hired Summit Strategies Group as its first investment consultant. The firm will conduct the study and also will assist with future equity manager searches, which could be as much as a year off. The investment board manages $5.5 billion, including a $2.96 billion pension fund.
Summit's initial mandate includes educating fund trustees on the securities markets. The fund now is invested entirely in bonds and cash, but recently received permission to add stocks. Mr. Slaughter expects the study to be completed within six months.
Callan, Wilshire, Hewitt and RogersCasey were finalists in the consultant search.
State Universities Retirement System of Illinois, Champaign, may search for an international equity manager for its $9 billion pension fund, according to a trustee memorandum. Trustees will consider the move at a meeting later this month as part of a recommendation to boost international equities to 20% from 17.5% of assets.
Ennis Knupp will recommend the trustees hire an active international equity manager to add to the three the system now uses. The consultant also will recommend raising the international equity target to 22.5% over time.
Board of Public Utilities of Kansas City, Kan., is considering a small-cap to midcap equity manager search and allocating more to existing real estate and international equity managers, following an asset allocation study. The board of the $270 million defined benefit plan will meet Dec. 23 to discuss the results of the study done by DeMarche.
If the board approves a manager search, it likely would not be done until the second quarter.
Officials have yet to determine the size or style of any new portfolio. The board also will decide after the first of the year whether to allocate additional assets to real estate managers MetLife and Prudential, which together manage 2% of the assets.
Hartford Financial Services Group created an investment management subsidiary and moved $48.2 billion in internal assets to the new firm.
The subsidiary, called Hartford Investment Management, will pursue outside business, specifically targeting U.S. institutional assets.
The bulk of the assets now are invested in an array of fixed-income products using a relative value approach. About $4.5 billion is in equities, using a quantitative approach with a growth or value style. The firm plans to offer both kinds of portfolios to outside clients.
New Jersey state lawmakers are expected to pass legislation before the end of the year that would allow the $60 billion New Jersey Division of Investment, Trenton, to use out-of-state banks as custodians, said Roland M. Machold, director. The fund now can use as custodian only banks with principal offices in New Jersey. But with merger frenzy gripping the banking industry, the pension fund is running out of local banks.
The fund has three custodians, Bankers Trust New York, a New York bank with custody operations based in New Jersey; CoreStates Financial, which acquired New Jersey National Bank, one of the fund's custodians; and First Union, which bought First Fidelity Bancorp/N.J., another custodian of the fund.
SEARCHES & HIRINGS
Sacramento County Employees' Retirement System, Sacramento, Calif., will conduct a consultant search. RFPs are expected to be out the first week of January, said Jeffrey States, CIO of the $2.7 billion fund.
Pension Consulting Alliance's contract, which expires at the end of December, was extended through the first quarter. PCA will be allowed to bid again. The search should be finished in time for an asset allocation study to start the end of March.
Also, as a result of an equity allocation review, Alliance Capital's $175 million S&P 500 index portfolio will be switched to an index portfolio tied to the Russell 1000 Value Index.
Pennsylvania Municipal Retirement System, Harrisburg, hired Forest Investment as its first timberland manager. The firm will run $20 million, from new contributions to the $800 million fund. Dahab assisted.
Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission of New Brunswick, Saint John, hired Northern Trust as custodian, said Warren H. Gerow, manager-treasury and investments. The incumbent Royal Trust, State Street and CIBC-Mellon also vied for the assignment. The insurance fund has C$600 million (U.S. $421 million) in assets.
Sol Raso will leave his job as director of real estate for the $23 billion Public Employees Retirement Association of Colorado, Denver, to become vice president, client relations in real estate manager RREEF's Chicago office. The position is new. A replacement at the pension fund has not been selected