DETROIT— The Police and Fire Retirement System of the city of Detroit has taken Board action to hire Wilshire Associates as its new General Investment Consultant, it was announced today by Chairman Matt Gnatek. Wilshire will replace North Point Advisors, which had advised the Board since 2005.
The PFRS voted unanimously to hire Wilshire after hearing from internal staff Investment Officer Ryan Bigelow and reading his recommendation and analysis report of the five investment consultants that responded to a national Request for Proposal. The motion to hire Wilshire was made by Trustee Jeff Pegg and seconded by Trustee Mark Diaz.
“I liked their presentation and the fee proposed as well as the team that presented and will work with our Board and staff. I think Wilshire is a good fit for the Board,” said Pegg in stating why he made the motion to hire Wilshire.
The Board’s internal investment staff looked at all firms with a focus on both qualitative and quantitative factors, including: philosophy and approach to consulting and investing; the experience of the firm and its consultants; firm resources; capabilities with respect to both traditional and alternative investment research, diligence, selection, and oversight; independence and objectivity; existing clients’ performance; and fees.
“Wilshire and NEPC are the two most competent investment consultants,” stated a staff report on the analysis of the five firms. “Each firm is highly qualified with respect to organizational depth, dedication to research, and experienced lead consultants with a focus on multi-billion dollar public employee defined benefit and defined contribution plans. Additionally, each firm has dedicated resource private markets research, an area in which PFRS has significantly underperformed.”
“This Board is very proud to have achieved a funding level status of 99.9% and we will need the very best investment advice and counsel to maintain and grow the fund in uncertain economic times,” said Chairman Gnatek. “I applaud our staff and my colleagues for conducting a very thorough and professional process to identify the best investment talent to move this institution forward.”
The Police and Fire Retirement System of the City of Detroit, in accordance with its governance policies, issued an RFP for General Investment Advisors in February of 2012 and conducted interviews with all responding firms and an exhaustive due diligence and analysis of the proposals offered by each firm and their overall organizational credentials.
Wilshire Associates was founded in 1972 and employs some 300 people worldwide. The Pittsburgh-based firm has more than 120 clients and assets under advisement in excess of $680 billion. Approximately 45 of the firm’s clients have assets in excess of $1 billion and they service 15 public pension plans.