Texas Employees Retirement System, Austin, has begun a search for international equity managers.
An RFP posted Jan. 24 showed investment officers of the $28.6 billion fund seek international equity managers for the fund's "select pool of advisers" they can invest with on an "as-needed basis," according to the RFP, available on the Texas Electronic State Business Daily procurement website.
Currently, three managers are listed on the fund's website as international equity managers: Fisher Investments, Franklin Templeton Institutional and Lazard Asset Management. These firms managed a total of $4.6 billion as of Sept. 30, according to an ERS investment report.
In October, Texas ERS said it was terminating Fisher Investments from a $350 million actively managed international equity portfolio. Whether the fund has completely liquidated its allocation to Fisher Investments could not be learned.
The international equity strategies managed for the system by Franklin Templeton and Lazard could not be learned.
Mary Jane Wardlow, the fund's spokeswoman, said in an email that the system’s routine rebidding process and “the RFP is part of our ongoing strategic plan to refresh ... ERS’ bench of approved (international equity) managers. The process permits staff to be tactical ... by allowing external advisers’ portfolios to be funded and defunded.”
“Staff are taking a new look at the international (equity) asset class with the goal of finding qualified managers with differentiated strategies to complement ERS’ internal management,” Ms. Wardlow said.
ERS investment officials have not decided the number of new international equity managers that will be added to the select pool or the number of firms that will be funded.
Funding and portfolio construction decisions will be made at the end of the search process, Ms. Wardlow said in the email.
Preliminary applications are due by 10 a.m. on Feb. 19, and final applications must be returned by 5 p.m. on May 7, the RFP said. Interviews with potential candidates will take place in September and October and manager selection will be made in October.