Orange County Employees Retirement System, Santa Ana, Calif., invested or committed $525 million to four funds, according to a report to the board of the $19.3 billion pension plan.
OCERS invested $200 million each to an international value equity fund, Artisan International Value Fund, managed by Artisan Partners and an international equity growth fund, GQG Partners International Equity Fund, managed by GQG Partners. OCERS made the investments to build out its international equity portfolio as a result of a new asset allocation adopted by the board in April that increased the pension plan's global equity target to 47% from 35%, with 25% to U.S. equities, 13% to international developed equity and 9% to emerging markets equity.
OCERS had $9 billion in global public equity as of Dec. 31, including $2.8 billion in international developed equity and $1.5 billion in emerging markets equity.
Pension officials also committed $75 million to opportunistic real estate fund Oaktree Real Estate Opportunities Fund VIII, managed by Oaktree Capital Management, and also invested $50 million to Waterfront CP Master Fund, an equity market-neutral fund focused on publicly traded real estate and infrastructure securities. The fund is managed by Waterfront Capital Partners.
Separately, OCERS staff expects to report to the board on possible investment consultant searches. The investment committee at its Feb. 24 meeting extended the contracts of its general investment consultant, Meketa, its private equity consultant, Aksia, and its real estate consultant, Townsend, to April 1, 2022.
CIO Molly A. Murphy sought the contract extensions to give pension officials time to fully implement their new asset allocation and put into place the outlines a possible private equity co-investment program, she said at OCERS Feb. 24 investment committee meeting. The committee is currently in the midst of educational sessions on private equity co-investments. What's more, the contract extensions would allow time for current COVID-19 travel and other restrictions to be lifted, giving staff the ability to hold in-person meetings as part of the search process. She said that first-round meetings held as part of the searches are to be conducted virtually and does not anticipate in-person meetings to be held until 2022.