The $906 million pension fund's board approved the hiring at its Dec. 12 meeting, recently released minutes show.
Funding comes from a reduction in the portfolio of active domestic small-cap value equity manager Barrow, Hanley, Mewhinney & Strauss, reducing the portfolio to about $30 million.
The reason for the hiring was not provided. As of Nov. 30, Barrow Hanley was the pension fund's sole active domestic equity manager, according to an investment report on MERS' website.
Northern Trust Asset Management runs two passive domestic equity portfolios, which had a total of $223 million in assets as of Nov. 30. The actual allocation to domestic equities as of that date was 30.6%.
Christopher Saik, chief investment officer, could not be immediately reached to provide further information.