Ohio Public Employees' Retirement System (OPERS), the Columbus, Ohio-based retirement system, is in search of a hedge fund consultant to assist in the development and ongoing monitoring of its hedge fund portfolio. In January 2010 the $70 billion retirement system announced plans to increase its target allocation to hedge funds to 3% of total assets – up from 1%. As of Q1 2010, OPERS had only invested a fraction of this target allocation in hedge funds, through two USD 50 million investments with two fund of funds managers.
Having made its first investment in 2006, the retirement system invests in hedge funds as part of its opportunistic asset investments within the defined benefit fund. The appointment of a hedge fund consultant will aid the retirement system in reaching its hedge fund investment goals and aid with its manager identification and selection process. One of the minimum qualifications that prospective consultants must satisfy is for the firm to have been in operation for at least three years and have senior members of the firm with at least five years’ hedge fund experience servicing institutional clients.
As of Q3 2010, OPERS was planning to hire up to 23 managers to manage USD 2 billion. OPERS’s current general consultant is Mercer Investment Consulting. The deadline for responses to the RFI is September 10, 2010; due diligence on all finalists will be carried out in October, with the final consultant selection scheduled for November.
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