Iowa pension seeks risk management consultant

The selected firm will conduct an investment risk review on the Iowa Public Employees’ Retirement System’s private equity programme, among other asset classes.

The Iowa Public Employees’ Retirement System is seeking its first risk management consultant to assist the $20 billion pension in reviewing investment risks, evaluating current investment risk management practices, developing an overall risk appetite statement, and creating investment risk management policies and strategies.

The selected firm will work with the pension’s private equity programme. “We envision a high-level investment risk review. The consultant will probably review the different types of risk factors embedded in private equity,” said a spokesperson for the pension fund.

The consultant will be required to provide no more than three on-site work sessions to review, discuss and determine the system’s tolerance for losses due to investment risk. The firm will also be required to assist the board in developing risk management policies, strategies and procedures.

Risk education will also be part of the deal with the selected firm providing one on-site educational workshop for the staff to learn more about investment risks, risk measures, and industry risk management best practices.

“We are looking for a consulting firm that can facilitate an in-depth review and discussion on investment risks for [the] board and staff and help us develop a better sense of the system's risk appetite and what strategies we could use for managing those investment risks,” said the spokesperson. “We view it much like a strategic planning exercise, except this will focus on investment risk.”

As of 30 June, the pension allocates 13 percent to private equity, 8 percent to real estate, and 7 percent to real assets, according to pension documents.

RFPs are due by 10 November.