Illinois SURS Seeks Fixed-Income Manager of Managers

Strategies include global investment grade, high yield, global bank loans, emerging market debt.

The $18 billion Illinois State Universities Retirement System (SURS) is searching for a fixed-income manager of managers to provide diversified global credit strategies.

According to a SURS proposal request, the underlying portfolio strategies may include global investment grade, high yield, global bank loans, and emerging market debt segments. The underlying managers will need to fit the Illinois statute definition of minority, female, and persons with a disability-owned firms. Meketa Investment Group, SURS’ general investment consultant, will assist in the evaluation of respondents.

SURS will consider organization, resources, experience, investment team, commitment to diversity, performance, fees, and level of detail provided in the response to the request for proposal.

For consideration, firms need to have a minimum of $1 billion in  assets under management as of the end of 2019, although qualified women, minority, or disabled-owned businesses are exempt from this. They will be evaluated for further consideration at SURS’ discretion.

Applying firms must certify that the fees, costs, or pricing charged to SURS will not exceed the fees, costs, or pricing charged to any of its other clients for the same or similar level of services. Proposing firms also must be either registered as an investment adviser under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 or a bank as defined in the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. Otherwise, the firm must factually explain how and why they claim to be exempt from registration.

Existing managers in the lineup include New Century Advisors, LM Capital Group, Integrity Fixed Income Management, RVX Asset Management, and GIA Partners, which manage a total of $350 million for the retirement system.

Proposals must be received by Feb.  7 and candidate interviews will be held later that month. SURS expects a decision by Mar. 12.

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