A number of US retirement systems are in search of firms to provide them with general investment consulting services. State Universities Retirement System of Illinois (SURS), the USD 13 billion retirement system, is looking for a consultant to work with and provide assistance to SURS’s eight-person investment team. As stated in the RFP, the initial term of the contract will be for five years. SURS does not renew or extend any consulting contracts, but at the end of the term of a contract, the consultant is eligible to compete for a new contract as part of a competitive proposal process. Responses to the RFP are due by August 12, 2010 with the contract awarded to the selected firm on December 31, 2010.
On July 26, 2010, Colorado Public Employees’ Retirement Association (COPERA) issued an RFP for a consultant. Notable minimum requirements for respondents include the following: the firm must have been in operation as an investment consultant for at least five years; and the individual assigned to COPERA must have at least seven years’ experience in the investment consulting field. Responses are due by August 27, 2010 with the contract scheduled to be awarded on December 1, 2010.
Another retirement system in search of a general consultant is the USD 7 billion Cook County Pension Plan. It is inviting proposals from qualified investment consulting firms to assist the fund’s investment staff, provide a package of investment consulting for both traditional and alternative investments, and provide performance measurement services. It will be a three-year contract with the deadline for responses on August 18, 2010.
In the UK, Shropshire County Council Pension Fund recently sent out a tender for a general consultant. Following a ten-year relationship with Russell Investment Group, the pension fund is looking for a consultant to oversee and provide advice on both its traditional and alternative investments. Some of the services which the consultant must provide include general investment advice, strategic advice on the fund, manager search and selection, and manager oversight. Russell Investment Group was welcome to reapply. All responses were due by August 2, 2010 and the contract is set to begin in October.
On a private equity-specific basis, Teachers' Retirement System of the State of Illinois (TRS Illinois) is in search of a private equity co-investment consultant. TRS Illinois recently extended its contract with private equity consultant, PCG Asset Management, and is now in search of a co-investment consultant as part of its push to implement a recently created tactical investment plan, which involves the development of a co-investment program. The consultant is expected to advise TRS Illinois on an ongoing, as-needed basis in matters involving its direct investments in the private markets. The final selection shall be made on August 5, 2010, with the contract commencing on September 1, 2010.
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