Massachusetts pension seeks PE manager

The Essex Regional Massachusetts Retirement Board wants to begin investing in private equity, and is seeking an advisor for an $8 million fund of funds programme.

The Essex Regional Massachusetts Retirement Board is looking for a private equity advisor to manage a new private equity initiative. The $238 million pension is looking to invest roughly $8 million in fund of funds, according to a request for proposals.

The US pension has retained Segal Advisors to conduct its search, and has set a deadline of 1 October for submissions. In the RFP, the pension said it will require that potential fund managers are registered with the SEC as investment advisors or are exempt from registration, have at least five years of experience in making private equity investments for institutional investors, and have managed one or more investment funds with total capital exceeding $50 million, among other criteria.

For the past two years, the pension has been trying to boost its flagging returns. It has reduced its bond allocation from 40 percent to 15 percent, increased its international investment from 10 percent to 15 percent, increased real estate investment from 5 percent to 10 percent, and added hedge funds as a new asset class to which it allocated 7.5 percent of its assets. The pension’s entry into private equity will be the latest stage of this initiative.