Public Pension Funds Hesitate to Combine Executive Positions

Of late, many U.S. public pension funds have been actively seeking ways to boost the compensation of their chief investment officers (CIO). But most are hesitant to combine the roles of executive director (ED) and CIO, according to investment professionals, because the skills required for each position can be very different. Alaska Dips a Toe …

Prudent PE Investors Itching to Jump on Better Pricing

The news that private equity investment in the U.S. fell by almost 50% to $41 billion in the second quarter, compared to investments totaling $80 billion in Q2 2017, may have startled some market observers, who had watched the segment hit record heights in 2017. But keen observers remain unfazed, confident that investors will soon be …

Use of Disparate Benchmarks by Public Pensions Muddies Fee Comparisons

There is little uniformity in the use of benchmarks for different asset classes among public pension plans, according to a new report from the Center for State and Local Government Excellence (SLGE) and the Boston College Center for Retirement Research (CRR). Given that pension plans pay their asset managers based on the expectation that they will beat …

Seth Magaziner, General Treasurer of R.I., Poster Child for Pension Plan Transparency

This week, IA reporter Kaitlyn Mitchell had an in-depth conversation with Seth Magaziner, the General Treasurer of Rhode Island. A young man at age 35, Magaziner, who is responsible for the administration of $8.3 billion in assets at the Employees’ Retirement System of Rhode Island (ERSRI), is running for re-election this fall, after making improvements to the …

Epoch’s New COO Values Left and Right Brain in Seeking Alpha

Philipp Hensler, who last week joined New York City–based equity manager Epoch Investment Partners, as president and chief operating officer, has alpha on his mind—on the left and right side of his brain, to be clinical. Hensler was previously president and CEO of Vontobel Asset Management. Delivering a presentation based on doctoral research he conducted …

Struggling, Small R.I. Funds Pursue Strategies to Improve Funding Status

While a number of New England pension funds, which aggregate some $2.5 billion in assets under management across 20 open and 14 closed plans, remain critically underfunded, one fund has turned around its misfortune using conservative investment strategies. Others, such as the 24.2%-funded Central Falls, Rhode Island police and fire pensions, are still in rough …

Are OCIOs Closing in on Elusive Public Pension Pot of Gold?

Moves by public pension funds this year to entrust outsourced chief investment officers (OCIOs) with discretionary oversight of substantial portions of their portfolios have industry insiders asking: Have OCIOs finally cracked the code to access public pension plan accounts? In particular, news in the summer that the $18.4 billion Illinois State Board of Investment (ISBI) voted to …

CalPERS’ New ESG Investment Boss Presents Vision for Program

Beth Richtman, the California Public Employees’ Retirement System’s (CalPERS) first managing investment director of its sustainable investment program, on July 16, delivered her first presentation to the system’s board of trustees, outlining her vision and initial steps for implementing ESG principles across the pension fund’s portfolio.  She said in the presentation that her overriding vision …

CIOs Passing on Pricey European Infrastructure, In Favor of “New World” Opportunities

Europe has, for some time, been the sweet spot for institutional investors seeking infrastructure exposure, but with so many investors chasing the same deals, supply-demand pressures have depressed returns in the asset class there. As such, some market participants are questioning why more North American institutional investment officers aren’t seeking newer or less-trodden paths to …

Renewable Energy Investments Taking Hold in Institutional Portfolios

Institutional investors are looking for opportunities to invest in renewable energy, and the markets have taken note.  In fact, more than half (54%) of the number of infrastructure deals completed in Q2 2018 were for renewable energy assets, while energy assets and utilities assets each accounted for 11% of all infrastructure deals, according to a …