California State Teachers' Retirement System, Sacramento, will consider streamlining its alternative investments process following the selection of a new senior investment officer for alternative investments.
One proposal recommended by staff and consultant Pathway Capital is to allow the staff to invest in alternatives funds if CalSTRS' investment committee has approved a prior investment in a related fund with the same general partners. The staff said alternative investment general partnerships now have many more sources to raise capital and are becoming less responsive to limited partners. The $80 billion system has a target allocation of 5% of assets for alternative investments.
An ad hoc committee of CalSTRS staff and a board member could pick a senior investment officer as early as the end of October, Solomon Owayda, who had held the post, resigned in March.
Firefighters Pension and Relief Fund for the City of New Orleans will allocate 5% to 10% of total assets to hedge fund managers, said Richard Hampton, fund administrator. The $170 million fund expects to start a search in November, with two managers hired by Jan. 1. Funding probably will come from U.S. large-cap stock managers.
Smith Barney, hired Oct 1., will conduct the search. The firm replaces Prudential, which also took part in the bidding process.
Matrix Global Investments acquired Carret and Co., a value equity manager that runs close to $1 billion in assets for pension funds, foundations and individuals, confirmed Matrix President Alastair Short. Terms were not disclosed. Matrix is a holding company that acquires majority positions in money managers. It was capitalized with $60 million last month by Castle Harlan, a merchant bank.
State Street Global is researching the creation of pre-emerging market index-type funds, said Arlene M. Rockefeller, principal and head of global enhanced equities. State Street is looking at creating funds for Botswana, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Mauritius, Ecuador, Trinidad and Tobago, and Bangladesh. It likely also would create three regional funds, placing the pre-emerging markets in their respective regions.
State Street is evaluating the risk and could launch them soon, but no date has been set.
Becker Capital Management is offering a midcap value portfolio strategy to plan sponsors. The portfolio, a first for the firm, comes after the closing Aug. 1 of the its small-cap value portfolio at $600 million.
The run-up in the market and a recent hiring by the Oregon Public Employes' Retirement System forced the firm to consider closing the portfolio. Becker requires a $5 million minimum investment for the midcap strategy and runs $25 million in the new portfolio for two clients, which a source at the firm would not name.
Employee meetings is one of the most effective methods for educating defined contribution plan participants, according to a T. Rowe Price survey of 21,751 employees who attended the firm's participant meetings.
Nearly 90% of employees age 30 or under who did not contribute to their plan intended to begin contributing after attending a meeting. And 90% with incomes under $30,000 and who also were non-participants planned to begin contributing after attending. Most strongly influenced by the meetings were women and those with lower incomes. About 58% of female workers planned to increase their contribution compared with 47% of male workers.