Iowa Public Employees' Retirement System, Des Moines, plans to issue RFPs for two separate sets of searches totaling $1.1 billion.
In July, IPERS, which oversees $28.5 billion in assets, plans to issue the first of a series of RFPs for the implementation of a liquid absolute-return strategies overlay, which “is not expected to exceed $700 million (notional value) initially with funding coming from cash,” Karl Koch, IPERS chief investment officer, said in a statement.
IPERS plans to build a managed account platform, issuing the first of the RFPs for platform administration services.
Other RFPs will follow “for other services, such as risk reporting, operational due diligence and eventually investment managers,” Mr. Koch said.
Mr. Koch “estimated it would take 18 to 24 months to fully build the separate account platform, hire investment manages and then fund the accounts.”
The pension fund plans to post the RFPs related to the liquid absolute-return strategies on its website.
Separately, IPERS plans to issue an RFP later this summer for emerging markets debt managers.
The pension fund intends to evaluate the emerging markets debt managers as part of its review of existing emerging markets debt manager Western Asset Management, which IPERS placed on “comprehensive review status due to continued poor performance,” Mr. Koch said.
Western Asset Management, IPERS only emerging markets debt manager, manages a $400 million portfolio. Mary Athridge, WAMCO spokeswoman, said the firm's officials don't comment about clients.
Wilshire Associates, the pension fund's investment consultant, is assisting in the emerging markets debt manager review and search.
The emerging markets debt manager RFP will be posted on the IPERS website and Wilshire's website.
Separately, the pension fund hired Morgan Stanley and SG Americas Securities for futures commission merchant services, pending contract negotiations, Mr. Koch said. IPERS has no such provider now.
“IPERS plans to use (futures commission merchants) for a futures rebalancing program and will encourage or require its external investment managers to utilize the services of the FCM (or FCMs) when executing exchange-traded derivative transactions in IPERS' accounts,” Mr. Koch said.
The hirings were the result of an RFP issued in March for future commission merchant services and margin management services.
“IPERS did not receive any proposals in response to the RFP for margin management services and will explore other options for performing this function,” Mr. Koch said.