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 …

Stamford Police Pension Board Reaps Payoff from Securitized Products

The Stamford Police Pension Board has gradually shifted its $37 million traditional fixed-income allocation to multi-strategy-securitized credit and hedge funds. The move is continuing to pay off.  On a year-to-date basis, through March 31, Stamford pension’s securitized credit exposure was up 8.5%, while its standard fixed income index, the BloombergBarclays US Aggregate Index was down …

Cambridge Hires Diversity Manager To Boost Women and Minority Manager Offerings

Cambridge Associates has hired Jasmine Richards as senior investment director, manager diversity, based in the firm’s Boston headquarters. Richards joined the consultancy to lead its ongoing initiatives to identify and research institutional investment managers in all public and private asset classes that have diverse owners or leaders, including women and people of color. The goal is to increase …

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 …

Hawaii’s Controversial Options Strategy Looking Good Even after CIO’s Departure

The options strategy implemented by Vijoy Chattergy, the former chief investment officer of the $17 billion Honolulu-based Employees’ Retirement System of the State of Hawaii (HIERS), which targets equity like returns with 2/3 the volatility of equities over a full market cycle, is still performing well, even after his departure. “Today the strategy remains fully collateralized, and …

Illinois U. System to Replicate $5 Bn in Equities with Exchange-listed Options  

The Champaign, Illinois–based State Universities Retirement System of Illinois (SURS), with approximately $20 billion in assets under management (AUM), is using an exchange-listed options strategy to hedge what some observers perceive as a U.S. equities market on the cusp of a painful tumble, in order to beat the market. “Some option strategies can trail. But …

AIC Taps New Chairman; Mass PRIT Tops 2018 Public Pension Study

The American Investment Council (AIC) has elected Steve Klinsky as chairman of its board of directors. Klinsky is the founder and chief executive officer of New York-based New Mountain Capital, a growth-oriented private equity firm that manages more than $20 billion of assets. Separately, AIC recently released its 2018 Public Pension Study, with the Massachusetts …