Ohio PERS hires Hewitt EnnisKnupp

The $76bn pension’s previous alternatives consultants were Hamilton Lane for private equity and Townsend Group for real estate.

The Ohio Public Employees’ Retirement System (OPERS) has hired Chicago-based consulting firm Hewitt EnnisKnupp as its alternatives advisor, a spokesperson for OPERS told Private Equity International.

The $76 billion pension previously used Hamilton Lane as it consultant for private equity and Townsend Group for real estate. Cambridge, Massachusetts-based investment consulting firm New England Pension Consultants was reportedly also in contention for the job of OPERS’ new alternatives advisor.

Last May, the San Diego City Employees’ Retirement System – which is currently searching for a consultant to help it implement an infrastructure allocation – hired Hewitt EnnisKnupp to evaluate its portfolio and determine whether its asset mix was appropriate. Hewitt EnnisKnupp eventually recommended, and the pension’s board approved, a new asset allocation which included an allocation to infrastructure, targeted at 3 percent.

In January 2010, OPERS hired former chief investment officer for the Pennsylvania Public Employees’ Retirement System and 25-year investment veteran John Lane as director of investments. The pension revised its alternatives asset allocation increasing the private equity asset class from 5 percent to 10 percent in June 2009.

OPERS is the largest public pension fund in Ohio and the 12th largest public pension fund in the United States, according to pension documents. Private equity managers backed by OPERS in the past include Hellman & Friedman, Warburg Pincus, Bridgepoint, CCMP Capital and Paul Capital Partners.

Hewitt Ennis Knupp was established in 2010 when Hewitt Associates, formerly known for providing LPs with administrative services including record keeping and human resources outsourcing services, acquired advisory firm EnnisKnupp.