A number of institutional investors have recently appointed investment consulting firms with consulting mandates across a number of alternative asset classes.
One such investor is Employees' Retirement System of Rhode Island (ERSRI), which has appointed Cliffwater as its new private equity consultant. With this appointment, Cliffwater replaces PCG Asset Management as incumbent private equity consultant for the USD 7 billion private equity investor. ERSRI has just under 9% of its total assets currently allocated to private equity and has a 7.5% target to the asset class. Cliffwater was also recently hired by the Sacramento County Employees Retirement System (SCERS) as its alternatives investment consultant. Going forward Cliffwater is expected to help the retirement system accomplish its strategic investment plan and objectives for its alternative assets portfolio.
Croydon Council Pension, Ann Arbor Employees’ Retirement System, and New Mexico State Investment Council (SIC) have all recently appointed new general investment consultants with Aon Hewitt, Meketa Investment Group, and R.V. Kuhns and Associates respectively chosen by these alternative asset investors. Another recent change has been made by Kansas City Public School Retirement System (KCPSRS), which awarded a general consulting mandate to Segal Advisors. KCPSRS had issued an RFP for the position in December 2010, following the end of its agreement with Asset Consulting Group.
Hedge fund-wise, the USD 140 billion New York State Common Retirement Fund (NYSCRF) has hired a new hedge fund investment consultant. Albourne Partners has been hired and replaces Aksia, which had consulted for the pension fund for a number of years. Aksia’s contract was set to expire at the end of March 2011. Albourne Partners will now be responsible for the pension fund’s USD 5.6 billion hedge fund portfolio. The hedge fund investor plans to add new managers to its portfolio in 2011 and is expected to seek long/short equity and multi-strategy vehicles in the coming year.