Florida State Board of Administration, Tallahassee, expects to bring to a conclusion its more than 2-year-old search for a global master custodian for the $163.8 billion in assets it oversees, said John Kuczwanski, FSBA communications manager.
The FSBA selection committee, made up of staff members, plans to make a recommendation Sept. 11, selecting among the same finalists that were chosen in May 2011.
They are J.P. Morgan Chase, State Street Bank & Trust and Bank of New York Mellon, Mr. Kuczwanski said.
BNY Mellon is the incumbent global master custodian for funds the FSBA oversees, including the $134.7 billion Florida Retirement System defined benefit plan and $8.1 billion 401(a) plan. All FSBA values are as of Sept. 4.
While awaiting completion of the search process, FSBA has extended BNY Mellon's contracts twice for one-year periods both for the DB plan, which initially expired in 2012, and the 401(a) plan, which initially expired in 2011.
Mr. Kuczwanski said completion of the search was not suspended as a result of litigation stemming from a 2009 lawsuit against BNY Mellon in which Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi intervened in 2011, accusing the custodian of overcharging the Florida Retirement System of millions of dollars for foreign currency exchange.
Mr. Kuczwanski and Jenn Meale, communications director for the office of state attorney general, both declined to comment on the status of the suit. Kevin Heine said in an e-mail responding to questions BNY Mellon executives have no comment on the lawsuit or global master custodial search.
The invitation to negotiate FSBA issued to search for a global master custodian “was not suspended; there has been ongoing research over the past two years with some stops and starts along the way,” Mr. Kuczwanski said in a follow-up e-mail responding to questions.
“A timeline is being put together that will be ready by the (Sept. 11) public meeting that will provide greater detail of the activities that have occurred during the past two years,” Mr. Kuczwanski said in the e-mail.
FSBA hired R.V. Kuhns & Associates in January 2011 as consultant to assist in search process.
Ashbel C. Williams Jr., FSBA executive director and chief investment officer, will make the final decision on hiring for a global master custodian, Mr. Kuczwanski said.