San Diego pension considers consultant RFP

The $9.1bn retirement system would finalise its decision on the general investment consultant RFP on 18 April.

The San Diego County Employees Retirement Association’s Board of Retirement voted to issue a request for proposal for a general investment consultant at its meeting Thursday. 

The $9.1 billion retirement system will issue the RFP on 14 January, according to a plan submitted by chief executive officer Brian White. Following an evaluation of submissions, the board would then approve its final selection on 18 April, according to Thursday’s meeting materials.  

Submissions will be considered based on experience, personnel, analytical support, strategic vision and fee proposals, according to SDCERA documents. 

Although the motion to approve the RFP carried, SDCERA may reissue the RFP as a ‘request for qualifications’, which some on the board believed would allow for greater leverage in negotiation of terms with prospective consultants. Retirement system staff will assess what an RFQ would entail pursuant to the board’s request, a spokesperson told Private Equity International. 

The investment consultant will provide the board and SDCERA staff with advice and recommendations across its investment portfolio, as well as assist in the formation and review of strategic goals, asset allocation, objectives and policies, according to SDCERA documents. 

The role entails regular analysis and performance measurement of SDCERA’s investment portfolio, which includes an $847 million private equity portfolio that counts for 10 percent of the retirement system’s assets, according to its 2011 annual report. 

SDCERA’s current general investment consultant is Hewitt EnnisKnupp.  

In October, SDCERA approved a $90 million re-up with GSO Capital Partners’ second rescue fund. That commitment was $30 million more than the amount recommended by investment staff in the agenda, though it is unclear why the retirement board exceeded the recommended amount.