SURS seeks manager for annual $300m mandate

The $17bn pension fund wants to hire a manager to help it achieve diversification across vintage year, industry sector and strategy type.

The State Universities Retirement System (SURS) of Illinois is searching for primary and secondaries fund of funds managers to help it invest up to $300 million per year through 2017.

The pension fund wants to hire one more firms to manage a diversified portfolio including venture capital, buyout, special situation, mezzanine and distressed/restructuring strategies, according to a May Request For Proposals.

SURS prefers the platform to be global and is seeking diversification across vintage year, industry sector, and strategy type.

The pension fund had $850 million to invest as part of its three-year private equity funding plan which stretches from 2015 to 2017. The portfolio comes from SURS’ defined benefit programme which had $16.6 billion in assets as of 31 March and has a 6 percent target allocation to private equity.

The successful manager should have had at least $5 billion in assets under management as of 31 December, at least half of which is managed for US institutional investors, and should have been in operation for at least five years as of the same date.

Interested managers have until 29 July to submit proposals.

SURS manages retirement plans for more than 200,000 participants in Illinois and operates both a defined benefit plan and a defined contribution plan, according to the RFP.

Its current fund of funds and secondaries managers include Adams Street Partners and Pantheon, according to PEI Research & Analytics.