Asset Owner Spotlight: Robert “Vince” Smith, CIO, New Mexico State Investment Council

Institutional Allocator Managing Editor Leslie Kramer spoke recently with Robert “Vince” Smith, chief investment officer of the New Mexico State Investment Council (NMSIC), a sovereign wealth fund, based in Santa Fe, NM, with a $24 billion permanent endowment.  Smith shared his career trajectory leading to his current job, his passion for his work, the Council’s …

The Future of Obligations-Based Investing, Preserving DB Benefit Plans

Panelists at Markets Group’s Sixth Annual Texas Institutional Forum, in Austin, gathered together to tackle the pros and cons of implementing obligation-based or liability-driven investment (LDI) policies at pension funds. The discussion was predicated on the idea that the typically complicated process of administering the investments of a pension plan can be simplified, somewhat, by focusing on a fund’s …

Cal. State’s Controller Betty Yee Speaks from her Seat on CalPERS, CalSTRS Boards

Betty Yee, California’s 32nd state controller and chief financial officer, will this week deliver the Breakfast Welcome Address at Markets Group’s 6th Annual California Institutional Forum in Sonoma. Yee is a board member of the $346.8 billion California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) and the $219.2 billion California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS), the two …

Texas ERS, PAAMCO Begin Building Applicant Pipeline for HF Seeding Platform

An innovative joint-venture, emerging hedge fund seeding and support platform launched by the approximately $28.5 billion Employees Retirement System of Texas (ERS) and Pacific Alternative Asset Management Company (PAAMCO) during the summer, has whittled a field of hundreds of emerging firms vying to participate in the platform down to an initial “pipeline” of 35 firms, …

MOSERS Seeks Consultant for Illiquid Alternatives

The $8.5 billion Missouri State Employees’ Retirement System (MOSERS) has issued a request for proposals seeking a specialty consultant for illiquid alternatives. The system’s current allocation to illiquid alternatives is approximately 25% of assets, or about $2 billion, according to MOSERS’ CIO Seth Kelly. MOSERS hired a Board Investment Consultant, Verus, to fill the general …

Arizona PSPRS Rejects Active Management of U.S. Public Equities

When investing in U.S. equities, index funds are the way to go, according to Bill Thatcher, portfolio manager, equities and private credit, at the $10 billion Arizona Public Safety Personnel Retirement (AZ PSPR). He says he’s done the research to prove it. Thatcher will publish his research on the active versus passive question, which touts his …

Pension, E&F Investment Pros Cautiously Optimistic on Hedge Funds

Though just five percent (or 400) of 8,000 hedge funds (HFs) are even considered investable, according to Joe Marenda, a managing director and hedge fund specialist at Cambridge Associates, “the beauty [of hedge funds] is really in the eye of the beholder—based on portfolio need,” he said. Though institutional investors are currently holding their allocations …

Underfunded Plans and Poor Returns Go Hand in Hand: CRR Study

A recent study released by The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, titled Stability in Overall Pension Plan Funding Masks a Growing Divide—which looks at the funding ratios of state and local pension plans around the country—finds that the pension plans that ranked lowest in terms of funding status also reported the lowest returns on their …

Kentucky’s Pension Funding Ratio Tumbles; Fund Accelerates CIO Search

The assets-to-liabilities funding ratio of the Kentucky Retirement System (KRS) in Frankfort fell to 12.9% on June 30, from 13.6% earlier, according to a report to the system’s board by the fund’s actuaries last week.  Some at the fund expect the ratio to fall further before bottoming out. The pension fund had approximately $2 billion …

IA Strategy: NMSIC Formulates Pre-Recession Strategy: More Cash, Less Public Equities

Robert “Vince” Smith, chief investment officer (CIO), of the $24 billion New Mexico State Investment Council (NMSIC), a permanent endowment for the state of New Mexico and the third largest domestic sovereign wealth fund in the U.S., is all about planning ahead. In a roundtable discussion at MarketsGroup’s Southwest Forum in New Mexico, in September, Smith said …