IMRF seeks infra manager after dropping Oaktree commitment

Fund managers have until 1 October to submit proposals including a two-sector infrastructure strategy targeting either North American or global assets.

The Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund is seeking a closed-end infrastructure fund manager to allocate an up to $25 million mandate, following the decision last month to not pursue a commitment with Oaktree Capital Management.

Bids must come from fund managers offering investment strategies targeting at least two sectors – including transportation, utilities, energy, renewables, waste or communications – in either North America or two other geographies, according to the request for proposals the $41.3 billion pension issued. Those interested have until 1 October to respond.

IMRF’s alternative investments allocation – which includes infrastructure, private equity, agriculture and timber – is 3.9 percent as of 30 June and has a strategic target of 7 percent.

A spokeswoman for IMRF did not respond to a request for comment.

Once proposals have been submitted, IMRF will invite shortlisted finalists to make presentations to its investment committee. IMRF expects to pick a manager or managers by 14 December, according to the RFP.

The search for a new infrastructure manager follows IMRF’s decision in August to no longer pursue a $100 million commitment to the Oaktree Transportation and Energy Infrastructure Fund (Parallel). Dhvani Shah, the pension’s chief investment officer, cited “senior-level turnover” at Oaktree and changes to the firm’s strategy “in terms [of] investing a fund solely on transportation investments” as reasons for no longer pursuing the commitment.

In April 2017, Oaktree said it would segment its debut infrastructure fund into two separate vehicles targeting the transportation and energy sectors, respectively. Last July, the Los Angeles-based firm announced it had raised $1.1 billion at first close for its transportation fund but that it would no longer pursue its energy strategy.