Massachusetts pension plots first infra allocation

The retirement fund for Lexington, a town in Massachusetts, is making its maiden investment in infrastructure and is reviewing a possible manager selection in an upcoming meeting. The mandate could top $6m.

A $100 million town retirement plan in Massachusetts is gearing up to pick a fund manager to run a potential $6 million infrastructure mandate.

The Lexington Contributory Retirement System, in Lexington, Massachusetts will inspect who responded to a December request for proposals (RFP) for a “long-only global infrastructure manager” in a Wednesday, February 29 meeting, Marguerite Oliva, retirement administrator, said.

Oliva explained the allocation, the pension's first ever to infrastructure, could range from $3 million to $6 million. The infrastructure allocation RFP specified the system wanted to pick a single manager.

The decision to allocate to infrastructure was part of a larger portfolio rebalancing move, she explained, noting the pension chose to cleave off $12 million from its international equity allocation. Oliva cited the “volatile market” in Europe as a factor in the rebalancing.

Oliva deferred Infrastructure Investor to Meketa Investment Group, consultant to the pension, which is in charge of the manager search, noting Meketa senior vice president Henry Jung along with LuAnn Eisenhut, who is listed as a Meketa investment professional, are handling the process.

A telephone call to Jung, a long time Fidelity Investments portfolio manager in Boston, was referred to James Meketa, founder and chief executive of Meketa in California, who declined to comment.

Meketa, who founded his investment consulting company in 1978, used to work for Harvard Management Company. In addition to Lexington, Meketa is retained by CalPERS, the $225 billion California Public Employees’ Retirement System, as a consultant on infrastructure.