Minnesota State Pension to Seek General Consultants

In addition to investment objectives, the consultants will also research ESG investing strategies, and DE&I initiatives in investment programs.

The Minnesota State Board of Investment (MSBI) is seeking general consultants for a five-year contract with the state pension plan. The fund is planning to put out a request for proposals (RFP) on June 14. 

Current investment consultant contracts with Aon Investments and Meketa Investment Group are expected to expire next year, though both can reapply for the contract, according to a notice released Tuesday from the MSBI.

Aon has been with the pension plan for the past five years; Meketa, since the 1990s. The pension plan is required to rebid for services every five years. 

General consultants will be advising the board of trustees and investment team at the $116.8 billion allocator. The four trustees at the fund are the state governor, who also chairs the board; the secretary of state; the state’s attorney general; and the state auditor. There are 26 staff members on the investment team, about half of whom are investors. 

Over the past several years, the two general consultants have helped the pension fund evaluate environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investing strategies, particularly the impact of climate change on the portfolio. They have also helped the pension fund research how to address diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) in its investment programs. 

“These were issues we’ve been talking about the past couple years. We believe we need more research and evaluation of these topics. Climate risk and DE&I are important topics that staff will continue to focus on over the next biennium. We anticipate that our consultants will play an instrumental role in assisting the MSBI in addressing these issues,” said Mansco Perry, chief investment officer at the state pension fund.

This is in addition to the major responsibilities consultants will have advising on investment objectives, asset allocation, manager selection, and performance measurement. 

Proposal submissions will be due by July 8 on the pension fund website. The pension plan also employs a third consultant, Albourne, to advise on private markets.

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