Florida Prepaid College Board, Tallahassee, hired BlackRock to manage $2 billion to $2.5 billion in an active liability-driven investing fixed-income portfolio for the Stanley G. Tate Florida Prepaid College Program, said Bert Wilkerson, director of finance, accounting and risk management.
The $15.6 billion 529 plan's board issued an invitation to negotiate in December because incumbent manager Columbia Threadneedle Investments' LDI team had left the firm. Columbia Threadneedle did rebid for the services. Other finalists were Allianz Global Investors, Insight Investment and Western Asset Management.
Standish Mellon Asset Management Co., Neuberger Berman and Northern Trust Asset Management are the other managers in the LDI fixed-income portion of the program's portfolio, each managing between $2 billion and $2.5 billion.
The investment strategy of the prepaid program is only to meet the actuarially determined liability projections, and LDI fixed-income strategies make up 85% to 100% of the program's total assets.