Fresno hires IFM to manage new infra allocation

The Fresno County Employees’ Retirement Association has hired global fund manager IFM to manage its new infra allocation.

The Fresno County Employees’ Retirement Association (FCERA) has selected Melbourne-based IFM Investors to manage the portion of its $3.7 billion portfolio it has allocated to infrastructure, FCERA’s retirement administrator Phil Kapler confirmed on Wednesday.

The FCERA board decided in January to launch an infrastructure allocation for the first time, setting the target at 3 percent of its portfolio or between $110 million and $120 million, Kapler told Infrastructure Investor.

The pension fund had also been in talks with Borealis, the infrastructure direct investment arm of Canadian pension Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement Scheme (OMERS) before deciding to proceed with IFM.

Until now, any investment in infrastructure would fall under FCERA’s ‘Alternative Investment’ category. That allocation includes hedge funds, private equity and commodities, but does not list any infrastructure investments separately, according to the pension fund’s Investment Results report for the third quarter of 2013, the latest data available on its website.

Established under the County Employees Retirement Law of 1937, FCERA is an independent association that provides retirement benefits to eligible employees of California's Fresno County.

Owned by 30 major not-for-profit pension funds, IFM had A$50 billion (€32.8 billion; $45.0 billion) in assets under management as of December 31, 2013, of which A$19 billion is invested across every infrastructure sub-sector. The firm holds interests in 26 infrastructure companies in Australia, North America and Europe.

In addition to infrastructure, IFM also invests in debt, equities and private capital.