Globally, a number of institutional investors have finalized their search for qualified firms to either provide general investment consulting or alternative asset consulting services. UK-based, Croydon Council Pension Fund recently removed Mercer Investment Consulting from its consultant roster. The GBP 591 million pension fund has selected Aon Hewitt to act as its new general investment consultant. The new appointment was made at the beginning of the year and Aon Hewitt will now be responsible for conducting a strategic and structural review which will be completed in time for the next trustee meeting in May.
In the US, Ann Arbor Employees' Retirement System recently selected Meketa Investment Group as its general consultant, and Employees' Retirement System of the City of Milwaukee (ERS) hired Callan Associates to provide similar services. Meketa’s appointment concludes a search which began on June 1, 2010, when the retirement system issued an RFP for an investment consultant. Callan Associates replaces Mercer as ERS’ consultant but dissimilarly to Croydon Council Pension Fund’s replacement, this appointment is as a result of Mercer announcing late in 2010 that it would no longer service public defined benefit fund investors based in the US.
In the alternatives space, Sacramento County Employees Retirement System appointed Cliffwater as its alternatives consultant. At its January board meeting, the board of trustees and investment staff expressed their belief that Cliffwater offered the best fit for SCERS. Cliffwater is expected to help the retirement system accomplish its strategic investment plan and objectives for its alternative assets portfolio. In the coming weeks SCERS is also expected to reach a decision on an investment consultant appointment. SCERS is looking to replace incumbent, Mercer Investment Consulting. SCERS is an active investor in private equity, hedge funds, and real estate.