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Industry News and RFP's

Municipal Employees' Annuity and Benefit Fund Active U.S. Equity Small Cap Value RFP (NEW)
 
The Retirement Board of the Municipal Employees' Annuity and Benefit Fund of Chicago is requesting proposals from qualified firms interested in providing active U.S. equity small cap value investment management services. Please review and complete the following documents. Necessary guidelines, requirements, timetables, and contacts can be found in the RFP document. Responses are due to the Fund's consultant by 3:00 PM CST on November 30, 2017. The Quiet Period for this search begins when the RFP is issued and ends when the process is declared to be complete. Click HERE to view the RFP and additional documents.
 

City of Philadelphia Passive International Equity RFP (NEW)
 
This Request for Proposal ("RFP") is being issued by the City of Philadelphia Sinking Fund Commission ("Commission") for the purpose of engaging investment managers ("managers") to manage a passive international equity index strategy for the PGW Pension Plan. Currently, the international equity portfolio is approximately $115 million, focused on multiple strategies and is both actively and passively managed.  This RFP is being issued to offer passive, total international alternative to those incumbent managers. 
 
The total amount of the Plan is approximately $535 million as of October 1, 2017. The Plan is comprised of approximately 67% foreign and domestic equities and 33% domestic fixed income and cash. The portfolio must adhere to the Plan's investment policy and the Sandy Hook and MacBride Principles which are part of this RFP. The Commission will consider a separately managed account as well as a mutual fund or commingled pool, provided that any pooled vehicles or funds satisfy the Sandy Hook and MacBride Principles at all times.
 

Proposals are due by  5:00:00 PM(EDT) December 11, 2017. The RFP is available for download at: https://secure.phila.gov/eContract/.


The City of Philadelphia Board of Pensions:  High Yield Fixed Income RFP


Please visit https://secure.phila.gov/eContract/ to obtain a copy of the RFP and apply through the City's eContract Philly online application process.. Proposals must be received no later than 5:00 p.m. Philadelphia, PA, local time, on November 8, 2017.

The City of Philadelphia - Investment Manager RFP

The City Treasurer's Office has released a new Request for Proposals ("RFP") soliciting competitive proposals from qualified investment institutions to serve as Investment Managers for the City of Philadelphia ( the "City"). The City would like to select a pool of eligible Investment Managers who will be assigned accounts to manage, as needed. The aggregate market value of all investment accounts is approximately $2.9 billion.
  
Proposals must be received no later than 5:00 p.m. Philadelphia local time on November 30, 2017. Please visit https://secure.phila.gov/eContract/ to obtain a copy of the RFP and apply through the City's eContract Philly online application process. Questions concerning the RFP are due in writing by 5:00 p.m. Philadelphia local time on November 10, 2017. 


LACERS Private Equity Consultant RFP


The Los Angeles City Employees’ Retirement System (LACERS), a $16 billion public pension fund, is seeking qualified organizations with substantial public defined benefit plan experience to provide private equity consulting services. 
Emerging organizations are encouraged to participate in this search.

 

The search document, which details the minimum qualifications each respondent must meet in order to be considered, as well as the required City forms, are available at http://www.lacers.org/aboutlacers/request-for-proposals/index.htmlThe deadline for submitting proposals is 5:00 P.M. PST on December 15, 2017.
 

The Health Science Center of Brooklyn (HSCB) Foundation, Inc. (Submission Deadline Extended to November 30)

The HSCB Foundation, Inc. is a 501 c (3) non-for-profit corporation founded in 1976. The purpose of the Foundation is to raise private funds to support the mission of SUNY Downstate, including student scholarships, faculty development and other campus needs.  Additionally, the Foundation is charged with investing and managing the Permanently restricted, Temporarily Restricted and Unrestricted Funds to support a wide range of educational activities in perpetuity.  

The purpose of this Request for Proposal is to select an independent management firm, to manage the overall investment pool, including Endowments, Temporarily Restricted Funds, Unrestricted Funds, and a Charitable Remainder Trust, currently valued at approximately $91 million.  Interested parties are asked  to submit a competitive proposal addressing the areas of interest:

  • Investment Strategy/Management of Advisory Services

  • Investment Goal Setting and Monitoring

  • Financial Reporting

  • Portfolio Structure

  • Manager Research & Selection, Oversight & Replacement

  • Transition Management

  • Rebalancing

All submissions must be received by November 6th, 2017. Click HERE to view the RFP.

LACERA Seeking Emerging Managers for Active U.S. and non-U.S. Equity Strategies

The Los Angeles County Employees Retirement Association ("LACERA"), a $53.3 billion public fund, is evaluating the capabilities of emerging manager investment management firms which offer portfolio management services for active U.S. and non-U.S. equity strategies. 
 
Responses are due at 3 p.m. (PT) on Friday, November 3, 2017.
  Please click HERE to visit the LACERA website for minimum qualifications and to download the RFP.


Illinois State Board of Investment RFP

The Illinois State Board of Investment (“ISBI”) hereby issues a request for competitive proposals (“RFP”) from qualified investment managers (“Respondent(s)” or “Manager(s)”) to provide discretionary investment management services investing ISBI’s allocation primarily to active public markets with various managers and secondarily to private markets. ISBI has a $500 million target allocation that includes public market funds and/or managers with the potential to increase that target allocation over time. The Manager will have full discretion on investment manager selection. ISBI will also consider including performance reporting as a component of this relationship. The deadline to submit the RFP is August 28, 2017, 3:00PM CST. All forms needed for submitting a response to this RFP are available on ISBI’s website at: http://www.isbi.illinois.gov/RFP.htm

U.S. Department of Treasury Notice to Financial Institutions Providing Custodial Services

The U.S. Department of the Treasury (Treasury) has issued a notice to financial institutions interested in providing custodial services as part of the wind down of crisis era program.  Treasury is merging custodial services for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), Small Business Lending Fund (SBLF), and The Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA).  Treasury's Office of Financial Stability, Office of Minority and Women Inclusion, and the Bureau of Fiscal Service want to ensure that qualified Minority Depository Institutions are aware of this notice and will give consideration to submitting a response. Click HERE for a link to this notice. 

Time Sensitive: U.S. Department of the Treasury Notice to Financial Institutions Interested in Providing Asset Management Services
 

The U.S. Department of the Treasury seeks a Financial Institution to provide asset management services for a portfolio of securities, including common shares, senior preferred shares, subordinated debt, and warrants. These Assets were issued to Treasury either under the Small Business Lending Fund (SBLF) or the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), by publicly and/or privately held institutions that participated in either of these programs. 
 
Participating Institutions include banks, bank holding companies, and a range of Treasury-certified community development financial institutions (CDFIs), including depository institutions, credit unions, and non-profit community development loan funds (CDLFs). 
 
Treasury requests proposals from, and may interview, Financial Institutions, including both buy side and sell side Financial Institutions, capable of providing asset management services for the Assets.
 

Deadline for submission is Wednesday, May 31, 2017.  
 
The minimum qualifications for this opportunity are listed on page 8 of the solicitation, and, among other things, includes the following:
 
The Financial Institution must have at least $5 billion in dollar-denominated assets under management or have engaged in financial services transactions, including capital raises, branch acquisitions/sales, loan sales/purchase, management buy-outs and mergers and acquisitions, with an aggregate value of at least $1 billion. 
Experience with institutions having less than $10 billion in assets is preferable.
 

Please click HERE to view the RFP.


Office of the Illinois Treasurer - Multiple RFP's

 
Investment & Administrative Consulting Services RFP 370-200-17-007
Click HERE to view the RFP.

Proposals are due by 2:00 p.m. CT on November 14, 2016 

Investment Grade Corporate Credit Emerging Manager RFP 370-500-17-003
Click HERE to view the RFP.

Proposals are due by 2:00 p.m. CT on October 21, 2016
 
Taxable Municipal Bond Emerging Manager RFP 370-500-17-004
Click HERE to view  the RFP.

Proposals are due by 2:00 p.m. CT on October 21, 2016
 
Los Angeles City Employees' Retirement System (LACERS) Private Equity Consultant
 
Click HERE to view the RFP.
 
The deadline for submitting proposals is 5:00 p.m. on December 5, 2016.

Sens. Booker, Warren Lead Letter to Railroad Retirement Trust Urging Them to Prioritize Diversity When Selecting Asset Mangers


On September 21, 2016, U.S. Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), sent a letter to William J. Carr III, interim CEO of the National Railroad Retirement Investment Trust (NRRIT) asking the Trust to clarify details around the current process of how it identifies and selects external managers to handle the assets of federal employees. They were joined on the letter by Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Bernie Sanders (D-VT), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), and Robert Menendez (D-NJ).

“Our economy and nation thrives when we develop inclusive political and economic institutions. Therefore, it is in our national best interest to share in a common goal of ensuring government better represent the diversity of our nation,” the Senators stated. “We believe there is a great opportunity for your plan to set a clear example for institutional investors and the PBGC’s initiative could be a model for increasing investment with diverse managers across all asset classes… Accordingly, we request that you submit a plan that outlines how the NRRIT could similarly create a program for smaller and diverse asset managers,” the Senators concluded.

In July 2014, Senator Booker led his colleagues in raising “the severe underrepresentation of diverse and emerging managers” at the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), after learning that the PBGC had allocated $0 of its over $85 billion in assets to diverse managers. In May of 2015, the PBGC launched a pilot program for smaller asset managers and earlier this year, the agency allocated $875 million to five investment managers selected for the pilot.

The full text of the letter can be found here

Illinois State Board of Investment Request for Competitive Proposal: Active or Passive High Yield Fixed Income Manager 


The Illinois State Board of Investment (ISBI) issued a request for competitive proposals (RFP) from qualified investment advisory firms interested in providing active or passive, high yield fixed income investment advisory services in order to diversify ISBI’s fixed income investments. The benchmark for this separate account allocation will be the Barclays U.S. Corporate High Yield Index. 

All forms needed for submitting a response to this RFP are available on ISBI’s website at http://www.illinois.gov/isbi/Pages/RFP.aspx. Respondents to this RFP are responsible for monitoring ISBI’s website for information pertaining to the RFP while the RFP is outstanding. Click HERE to view the RFP. The RFP is due on Friday, September 9, 2016 by 3 p.m. CT.


Illinois State Board of Investment Request for Competitive Proposal: Active, International Emerging Market Equity


The Illinois State Board of Investment (ISBI) issued a request for competitive proposals (RFP) from qualified investment advisory firms interested in providing active, international emerging market equity investment advisory services in order to diversify ISBI’s international equity investments and complement existing advisors within the asset class. The benchmark for this separate or commingled account allocation will be the MSCI Emerging Markets Equity Index. 

All forms needed for submitting a response to this RFP are available on ISBI’s website at http://www.illinois.gov/isbi/Pages/RFP.aspx. Respondents to this RFP are responsible for monitoring ISBI’s website for information pertaining to the RFP, while the RFP is outstanding.  Click HERE to view the RFP. The RFP is due on Friday, September 9, 2016 by 3 p.m. CT.


Walters Art Museum Launches Investment Manager Diversity Initiative
 

In a press release from July 28, 2016, the Walters Art Museum announced the launch and hiring four MWBE firms as part of their Investment Manager Diversity Initiative.

As part of a commitment to diversity and inclusion, the Walters Art Museum has launched a new initiative to hire diverse-owned investment firms to manage a portion of the Walters’ endowment portfolio, which is valued at $116 million. The Investment Committee of the Walters led the initiative, which was strongly supported by the museum’s Board of Trustees.
 
“I am excited that the Walters has been able to take this critical step in aligning investment policy with inclusive practices and excellence in performance,” said Board President Ellen Bernard. “We made it a priority to engage more minority and women-owned investment management firms. “By doing this, we are adding a group of high performing managers to the Walters’ investment portfolio.”
 
The Walters used an objective process to identify the best-in-class independent money managers to oversee a portion of the funds. In partnership with the museum’s investment consultant, Marquette Associates, the Walters’ Investment Committee selected four diverse-owned firms that consistently outperformed their respective asset-class benchmarks over a one, three, five and 10 year period.
 
·      
Brown Capital Management, a Baltimore firm with more than $7 billion in assets under management (AUM), was selected to manage a portion of the portfolio assets allocated to International  Equity. Brown Capital’s International Equity Fund Investor Class is rated five-star (highest rating) by Morningstar, Inc.;
 
·      
Channing Capital, based in Chicago, Illinois, has a noted record of investing in         U.S.- based small-to-medium-sized undervalued companies. With over $2.5 billion in AUM, this boutique investment firm has consistently generated a return on its small cap value service in excess of 200 basis points (net of fees) over its benchmark during the  short- and intermediate-term, and since inception;
 
·      
Elizabeth Park Capital Management, located in Cleveland, Ohio, is an equity hedge fund manager focused on small/mid-cap banks and thrifts and select mortgage real estate investment trusts. Since 2008, Elizabeth Park has been a consistent top quintile, risk-adjusted performer among similar U.S. bank-focused funds; and
 
·      
Garcia Hamilton & Associates, a Houston, Texas-based high quality domestic fixed income firm with more than $7 billion in AUM, was named 2010 Core Fixed Income Manager of the Year by Emerging Manager Monthly, Intermediate-Term Fixed Income Manager of the Year for 2014 and Fixed Income Intermediate – Term Manager of the Year 2015 and 2016 by Institutional Investor magazine.
 
“We hope to create a ripple effect in the arts community in Baltimore and nationally in the art museum field, encouraging other non-profit organizations to hire diverse-owned firms to manage their endowment portfolios,” said Julia Marciari-Alexander, Andrea B. and John H. Laporte Director of the Walters Art Museum. “Together we can transform our institutions and communities and build a more diverse and inclusive economy.”



RFP:  New York City Retirement Systems Real Estate Consultant 


The Comptroller of the City of New York (the "Comptroller"), acting on behalf of the New York City Retirement Systems, has prepared a Request for Proposals ("RFP") to identify a firm or firms to provide strategic real estate investment consulting and support services, including services for real estate related economically targeted investments (“ETIs”). Consistent with the policies expressed by the City of New York, participation by City-certified minority-owned and women-owned businesses or partnership arrangements with minority-owned and women-owned consultant firms are encouraged. Additionally, participation by small and New York City-based businesses is encouraged.
The RFP will be available for download at www.comptroller.nyc.gov.
  • You must register to download the RFP.
  • Select “Forms & RFPs” then “RFPs & Solicitations” then “Asset Management RFPs & Solicitation”
  • Click on link provided to “Register.”
Proposals are due by August 25, 2016 by 4:00 p.m. (EDT). Questions about the RFP should be e-mailed to Noreen Pye at REConsultant@comptroller.nyc.gov by August 9, 2016. 


RFP: State of Illinois Secure Choice Market Analysis

The Illinois Secure Choice Savings Board (“Board”) authorized the Illinois State Treasurer’s Office (“Treasurer”) to issue this Request for Proposals (“RFP”) for a Market Analysis Report (“Report”) on behalf of the Board. The successful Respondent (“Contractor”) shall provide the Board and Treasurer with a final report, analyzing the financial feasibility of Secure Choice, including, but not limited to, determining when the Illinois Secure Choice Savings Program (“Secure Choice”) will be selfsustaining, as well as recommendations for how to optimize Secure Choice participation and performance. Respondents must submit their Proposals by 2:00 p.m. CT on September 6, 2016.

RFP 370-200-17-00 can be found at the following link: 
http://illinoistreasurer.gov/Office_of_the_Treasurer/Procurement/Procurement_Opportunities
 
NASP-Detroit Member Portia Roberson, Newly-Elected Chair, Detroit Police & Fire Pension - Makes History


The Detroit Police & Fire Retirement System has elected Attorney Portia Roberson to serve as Chair of the Board of the Detroit pension system. Roberson, who serves as a Board appointee of Mayor Michael Duggan, is the first ex-officio African-American woman to serve as Chair of the Board of the $3.2 billion pension system, serving some 8,000 retired police and fire and approximately 3,500 active duty first responders. Roberson is an attorney and heads the Civil Rights and Ethics Division for the City of Detroit. In an official statement Roberson shared:  "I am honored to serve the members and beneficiaries in this leadership role as Chair at a time when we continue to establish best practices for operations and investments to make the Police and Fire Retirement System a model for the nation."
 
NASP and NASP Detroit overwhelmingly applauds the accomplishment of Attorney Roberson and is proud that the Detroit Police & Fire Retirement, has maintained the tradition and spirit of inclusion that has defined the City of Detroit and the Detroit Pension Systems over the years.


Top Pensions Fight to Boost Diversity Despite Recruiting Challenges, Fundfire, June 24, 2016


While many public pensions haven't talked about increasing staff diversity, many  have focused on the importance and strategized around it.  Pension funds, organizations, asset managers and other stakeholders all know and agree that more work needs to be done.

A recent article in FundFire noted that while some pensions are still working on increasing diversity,  New York City Pension System’s Bureau of Asset Management has a staff with a make up similar to the city it serves. Forty-seven percent of the workers are white, 22% are African-American, 24% are Asian and 7% are Hispanic. Nearly two out of five investment staffers are women and several members of the senior team are women and minorities.

CalSTRS has an investment staff that is 52% white and has been vocal of its support for diversity.  FundFire reported that since he became CIO in 2000, CalSTRS’ CIO Chris Ailman has strengthened efforts to promote diversity including recruiting trips to campus groups representing minorities, creating internships, pushing hiring managers on the topic and not accepting non-diverse slates of candidates from recruiters. And on the 12-person investment team of the  IMRF. there are five minorities and five women.

“For some states it’s not even on their radar screen. They’ll say ‘yeah, that’s something we need to do,’ but there doesn’t appear to be any emphasis or strategy around it, but for some larger plans there is a strategy around it,” said Michael Kennedy of executive recruiting firm Korn Ferry.

View full article via FundFire.


CalPERS to Commit Up to $11 Billion with Emerging and Transition Managers by 2020


CalPERS will hold a global solicitation process for its new 
Transition Manager Program that will seek investment proposals from eligible mid-size external investment managers. The solicitation will open in July 2017. Commitments range from $50-$300 million in the Real Estate and Private Equity programs, and $500 million to $1 billion in the Global Equity program. This is in addition to the new commitments to CalPERS' Emerging Manager Programsof up to $4 billion during the same period. The goal is to identify and place up to $11 billion in new commitments with qualified managers by 2020. Click HERE to view the full press release. 

In addition, click HERE to view the Targeted Investment Programs Update which among other things, outlines  CalPERS' exposure to emerging and diverse managers, as well as the timeline for the deployment of capital in both the Emerging and Transition Manager programs. 


Office of Illinois State Treasurer Michael Frerichs  Procurement Opportunity for “ABLE Services” 


The Office of the Illinois State Treasurer  is issuing this Request for Proposals (“RFP”) for programmatic services for an Achieving a Better Life Experience (“ABLE”) program for the benefit of a multi-state ABLE Consortium (“Consortium”). The Consortium currently consists of Alaska, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island but, as more fully described in the RFP, additional states may be added. This RFP seeks a provider for the following four core ABLE components: 1) investment management, 2) administrative services, 3) customer service, and 4) outreach material support (collectively, the “Program”). The Consortium welcomes proposals that model a traditional 529 plan design, a Health Savings Account (HSA) approach, or an alternative innovative approach.

The RFP is due by 2 pm on August 1, 2016. Click HERE to view the RFP and addendums.
New York State Deferred Compensation Plan Active Emerging Markets Equity, Passive U.S. Core Fixed Income, and Active Core Plus Fixed Income Asset Management Services Search

The State of New York, through the New York State Deferred Compensation Board, is seeking formal written proposals from Financial Organizations to provide Active Emerging Markets Equity, Passive U.S. Core Fixed Income, and Active Core Plus Fixed Income Asset Management Services for the New York State Deferred Compensation Plan.

To receive consideration, 2 (two) proposals must be sent via hard copy to the Board office and an electronic copy via email to Callan Associates by 5pm on July 29, 2016.
All respondents must enter their firm and product information into the Callan database by July 29, 2016 in order to be considered for this RFP. Callan will review the database as part of the evaluation process. Click here to complete Callan's Manager Questionnaire.

NYC Comptrollers Office: Carbon Footprint Analysis and/or Climate Risk Investment Strategy RFP 

The Comptroller of The City of New York  has prepared and is distributing a Request for Proposals (“RFP”) to identify a firm or firms to provide a Carbon Footprint Analysis and/or to identify a Climate Risk Investment Strategy Consultant for one or more Systems. Consistent with the policies expressed by the City, proposals from certified minority-owned and/or women-owned businesses or proposals that include partnering arrangements with certified minority-owned and/or women-owned firms are encouraged. Additionally, proposals from small and New York City-based businesses are also encouraged.
To download a copy of the RFP, which fully describes the scope or work, minimum requirements, and proposal submission procedures click on link provided to “Register” by visiting: http://comptroller.nyc.gov/forms-n-rfps/rfps-n-solicitations/. Proposals are due July 7, 2016 by 3 p.m.


PBGC Selects Firms for Smaller Asset Manager Pilot Program


On June 10, 2016, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation selected five investment management firms to participate in its pilot program for Smaller Asset Managers.

The Smaller Asset Managers Pilot Program, announced last year, was created to reduce barriers that smaller investment firms face when competing for the agency's business. Before the pilot program, these contracts were out of reach because the minimum required assets under management, often in the billions, were too large for small firms to qualify.
Each of the firms will be responsible for investing $175 million in US core fixed income instruments. NASP affiliated firms competed in the RFP process. NASP is pleased to note that 
Pugh Capital Management, Inc., in Seattle, Washington was one of five firms selected. To read the full press release, please click HERE.
Los Angeles City Employees’ Retirement System (LACERS) RFP

LACERS, a $14 billion public pension fund, is seeking qualified organizations with substantial public defined benefit plan experience to provide general fund consulting services. Emerging organizations are encouraged to participate in this search. The search document which details the minimum qualifications each respondent must meet in order to be considered, as well as the required City forms, are available by clicking HERE.
 
The deadline for submitting proposals is 3:00 P.M. PDT on June 27, 2016.


State of Illinois Corporate Governance Services RFP


Illinois State Treasurer Frerichs office has posted a new procurement opportunity for Corporate Governance Services (370-500-16-002). The RFP is due at 12 p.m. CST on June 30. Please click HERE to view the full RFP.
Illinois State Board of Investment RFP: Private Equity Consultant 

The Illinois State Board of Investment (“ISBI”) has issued a request for proposal (“RFP”) from qualified private equity investment consultants (the “Consultant” or “Respondent”) to provide support services to assist ISBI’s Staff in the ongoing development and diversification of its private equity portfolio.  The Consultant will provide assistance in strategic private equity investment planning, as well as due diligence support, for proposed private equity partnership commitments.  ISBI is seeking proposals from a wide-range of qualified and diverse Respondents. 

A copy of the RFP, including applicable deadlines and other relevant information, may be viewed and downloaded at http://www.illinois.gov/isbi/Pages/RFP.aspx. The deadline to submit the RFP is Friday, April 29, 2016 3:00PM CST. Please review the RFPs carefully for details regarding minimum qualifications and proposal deadlines.

Illinois State Board of Investment RFP: Emering Market Debt 


The Illinois State Board of Investment is soliciting proposals from qualified investment advisory firms interested in providing the following: (1) a an active, Emerging Market fixed income product benchmarked against the JP Morgan Government Bond Index (GBI)-EM Global Diversified and/or JP Morgan Emerging Market Bond Index (EMBI) Global Diversified; (2) a passive, Local Emerging Market fixed income product benchmarked against the JP Morgan Government Bond Index (GBI) – EM Global Diversified; and (3) a passive, Major Emerging Market fixed income product benchmarked against the JP Morgan Emerging Market Bond Index (EMBI) Global Diversified.

A copy of each of the Requests for Competitive Proposals may be viewed and downloaded at http://www.illinois.gov/isbi/Pages/RFP.aspx. The deadline to submit the RFP is Friday, April 29, 2016 3:00PM CST. Please review the RFCPs carefully for details regarding minimum qualifications and proposal deadlines.

The MSRB Board Application

The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) is reminding municipal market participants of the February 19, 2016 deadline to apply for a position on its Board of Directors. The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) Board of Directors consists of 21 members who are knowledgeable of matters related to the municipal securities markets. These members include 11 representatives of the public and 10 representatives of regulated entities in the municipal market. Members of the Board of Directors meet throughout the year to make policy decisions, authorize rulemaking, enhance market transparency systems and oversee operations. A professional staff manages the MSRB’s day-to-day operations under direction of the Board of Directors.

To be considered for a position on the Board, 
please complete the application available on the MSRB’s website. All applications must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. ET on February 19, 2016.
Office of the Illinois State Treasurer (Multiple)
 

The Office of the Illinois State Treasurer  is issuing this Request for Proposals for an External Investment Advisor for the Illinois Secure Choice Savings Program. The Advisor shall assist the Treasurer and the Secure Choice Board in the Secure Choice investment pools ("Pools"). Respondents must submit their Proposals by 12:00 p.m. CT on November 9, 2015. Click here to view the RFP. Note  addendums by clicking HERE.
 
The Office of the Illinois State Treasurer is issuing this Request for Proposals for a program administrator and external investment advisor for the Technology Development Account II. The Program Administrator will provide investment and advisory services. Respondents shall submit their Proposals by 2:00 p.m. CST on December 8, 2015. Click here to view the RFP.
 
The Office of the Illinois State Treasurer is issuing this Request for Information to assist it in retaining legal guidance on the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974  with respect to the Illinois Secure Choice Savings Program. Lawyers or law firms that submit responses shall submit their responses to this RFI by 2 pm on November 13, 2015. Click here to view the RFI.

LACERS  RFP Re-Posting - Active Small Cap Value Equity Search (Posting: 
November 4, 2015)
The Los Angeles City Employees’ Retirement System (LACERS) administers an investment portfolio with approximately $14.3 billion in assets. LACERS is seeking one or more qualified investment management firms to actively manage up to approximately $229 million in an active, long-only, separate account, publicly traded U.S. small cap value equity investment strategy. The proposed strategy must currently be benchmarked against the Russell 2000 Value Index.

The search document, which details the minimum qualifications each respondent must meet in order to be considered, as well as the required City forms, is available on LACERS website: lacers.org and at the website of LACERS General Fund Consultant, Wilshire Associates:  http://www.wilshire.com/investment-consulting/manager-research/manager-search

Firms that responded to the search released on June 3, 2015, must submit new proposals to be considered for this mandate.


Deadline to submit proposals: Friday, December 11, 2015 @ 5 p.m. PST
Deadline to submit questions via e-mail: Thursday, November 12, 2015 @ 5 p.m. PST (
E-mail mgrsearch.neill@wilshire.com, with the name of your firm along with the phrase ‘Active Small Cap Value Equity Mandate Search’ appearing in the subject line)
Response to Written Questions posted on Wilshire's website and found here.


LACERS Active Public Markets MLP Mandate Search RFP (Notice: October 7, 2015)

The Los Angeles City Employees’ Retirement System (LACERS) administers an investment portfolio with approximately $14 billion in assets. LACERS is seeking one or more qualified investment management firms to actively manage up to approximately $70 million in an active, long-only, publicly traded master limited partnership (MLP) strategy. The proposed strategy must currently be benchmarked against one of the following benchmarks:  Alerian MLP Index, S&P MLP Index, Cushing 30 MLP Index or the Wells Fargo MLP Index.
The deadline for submitting proposals: 5 p.m. PST, Wednesday, November 4, 2015
The deadline for submitting written questions via e-mail: 5 p.m. PST, Friday, October 16, 2015 
The search document, including minimum qualifications and accompanying documents such as  the required City forms, and the questionnaire is available at:  
  • LACERS Website
http://lacers.org/aboutlacers/request-for-proposals/rfp/Investments/20151007-active-public-markets-mlp-search/index.html 
  • LACERS General Fund Consultant, Wilshire Associates: 
http://www.wilshire.com/investment-consulting/manager-research/manager-search
Should you have any questions regarding the search parameters, please email them to mgrsearch.neill@wilshire.com, with the name of your firm along with the phrase ‘Active Public Markets MLP Mandate Search’ appearing in the subject line, prior to 5:00 P.M., Pacific Standard Time, on Friday, October 16, 2015. 

New York City Retirement Systems Notice of Search for Fixed Income Passive Index Pool of Managers (Notice: July 22, 2015)
 
The Comptroller of the City of New York (the "Comptroller"), acting on behalf of the New York City Retirement Systems and related funds (the “Systems”), is conducting an investment manager search ( “Search”) to identify a pool of prospective investment management firms to manage one or more U.S. Fixed Income Passive Index and Emerging Markets Debt Index Portfolios for the System(s).
 
This Search is being conducted in accordance with the newly adopted investment manager search method as set forth in Section 3-15 (Investment Manager Notice of Search) of the Procurement Policy Board Rules of the City of New York (“PPB Rules”).
 
How to Participate in this Search: To be considered, investment management firms must comply with the following requirements:
 
1.      All candidates should carefully review the Notice of Search and the Minimum Requirements described in Section B. Interested candidates, including incumbent managers, that meet the minimum requirements, must enter their information in the following two databases in order to be considered by each of the Consultants.
a.       The Consultants will review the following databases and provide BAM with a written report identifying the Investment Managers who meet the minimum requirements set forth in this Notice of Search.
b.      For Callan, investment firms must submit their information directly to Callan’s database; for Rocaton, SIS, NEPC and Buck, investment firms must enter their information into eVestment Alliance’s database.
 
Information on requirements for entering information into these databases can be found at: http://www.callan.com (click on “data & tools”, then click on “Manager Questionnaire”) and https://www.evestment.com (click on register/submit data in the upper right hand corner).

Current and accurate data (as of June 30, 2015) must be in the above databases no later than August 19, 2015. 

2. All candidates must ensure that they completely identify the firm and product information, in the above databases. Additionally, candidates must ensure that the information is current and accurate.
 
3. Candidates with multiple eligible products must provide database entry for each product.
 
4. There is no fee for entering information into either of the databases. Managers are advised that information in the database may become part of any contract which results from this Search.
 
Minority-owned and women-owned businesses or partnership arrangements with City-certified minority-owned and women-owned investment firms are encouraged. Additionally, participation by small and New York City-based businesses is encouraged.
 
Please see the Notice of Search posted on the Comptroller’s website at  
www.comptroller.nyc.gov for minimum requirements, as well as easy steps that managers can take to ensure they are considered as part of this solicitation.
Select: “Forms & RFPs” >>> “RFPs & Solicitations” >>> “Asset Management RFPs & Solicitation” and click on link provided to “Register” .
Dodd-Frank Five Years Later: More Stability, Transparency and Accountability on Wall Street (Press Release from US House Financial Services Committee Democrats, July 21, 2015)
Five years after its passage, a new report from Democratic staff has concluded that while the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act has been successful in the face of constant attack, more must be done to ensure all Americans can benefit from our nation's recovery. The findings were announced as part of a comprehensive report released by Democratic staff on the Financial Services Committee, at the direction of Ranking Member Maxine Waters (D-CA).

The report highlights the law’s accomplishments since its enactment in 2010, threats to full implementation and next steps in bridging the “recovery gap” for Americans left behind in the post-crisis economy. The report also details repeated Republican efforts to undermine the law, including Republican document requests that have forced regulators to produce over 23,000 pages of responses, reduced funding for Wall Street’s cops, and attempts to stall reform through numerous bills designed to weaken, delay, or repeal important components of the law. Some in the financial services industry have also sought to delay the law through the legal process, by filing at least 11 lawsuits, four of which led to the withdrawal or re-proposal of federal regulatory rules. 

According to the report, Dodd-Frank has empowered regulators with vital tools to prevent a future crisis. And five years later, they have made significant progress, working to fully implement the law, monitor the financial system for risks to its health, finalize rules to help prevent future bailouts, increase transparency in the once-opaque derivatives market, rein in credit ratings agencies, and institute new investor protections. 

Among its more signature achievements, the establishment of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) under Dodd-Frank has led to more than $10 billion in relief to 17 million Americans who’ve fallen victim to the same types of practices seen in the run-up to the 2008 crisis. As a critical source of protection for service members and consumers, the CFPB has also finalized rules that would both ensure that borrowers have the ability to repay home loans and that many of the tricks and traps seen during the subprime crisis are absent from those loan terms. 

The report also provides a roadmap for regulators and Congress to “bridge the recovery gap” while also addressing small financial institution concerns. 
The full press release can be found here.
Full text of the report can be found here
An executive summary of the report is here.

Final Interagency Policy Establishing Joint Standards for Assessing the Diversity Policies and Practices of Regulated Entities Established
On June 4, 2015, The Department of the Treasury, The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the National Credit Union Adminstration, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission released the interagency policy statement. NASP, as well as other associations, companies, and others provided comments to the initial proposal from December 2013 through February 2014.
The statement is part of Section 342 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (Dodd-Frank Act or Act) which required the OCC, Board, FDIC, NCUA, CFPB, and SEC  to each establish an Office of Minority and Women Inclusion (OMWI) to be responsible for all matters of the Agency relating to diversity in management, employment, and business activities and  instructed each OMWI Director at agencies with regulated entities to develop standards for assessing the diversity policies and practices of entities regulated by the Agency. 

Click HERE to view the Final Standards Issued.
Click HERE to view NASP's comment to the initial proposal submitted to the Federal Register.

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC): Smaller Manager Pilot Program for U.S. Core Fixed Income Asset Management & Outreach Seminar Scheduled
 
The PBGC is a Government owned corporation, established under Title IV of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) of 1974. The PBGC has a requirement for active investment management services for a US core fixed income portfolio with allocations ranging from $50,000,000.00 to $250,000,000.00. The portfolio objective will be to provide a total rate of return over a full market cycle that exceeds the portfolio benchmark (Barclays Capital US Aggregate Bond Index) at appropriate levels of risk.

This requirement will be available for Full and Open Competition. The appropriate NAICS code for these services is 523920 Portfolio Management with a small business size standard of $38,500,000.00. The anticipated period-of-performance for this requirement is a one (1) 12-month base period and four (4) 12-month option periods.
In order to be eligible for award, all responsible sources must be registered with the System for Award Management (SAM) and may register online at the website, www.sam.gov.
 
The PBGC will be holding an industry outreach program on June 8, 2015 to provide information to interested parties in regards to conducting business with the Federal Government. This outreach program will be held at 1200 K Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20005 at 9:00 AM EST. RSVPs and any questions in regards to this event shall be submitted no later than June 01, 2015 to smallmgrpilotprogram@pbgc.gov and shall include the names of the attendees and the firm that they are representing.  

Click HERE to learn more about the PBGC.
Click HERE to view detailed information about the program (Solicitation Number: PBGC01-RP-15-0025)


It is anticipated that the Request for Proposal (RFP) will be issued on FedBizOpps (FBO) at www.fbo.gov on or around June 15, 2015. This date is approximate. Interested parties are responsible for monitoring the FBO website for the most up-to-date information. 
NASP Corporate Partner Capri Investment Group Expands and Restructures
 
On March 31, 2015, Capri Capital Partners, LLC, became part of Capri Investment Group (“CIG”), an umbrella that will represent all Capri-affiliated companies and partnerships involved in real estate investment management globally. This represents a restructuring and expansion for the company, which has $3.7 billion in assets collectively under management as of December 31, 2014.
 
CIG consists of five major SEC-registered entities: Capri Capital Partners, Capri Retail, Capri EGM, Capri Global Capital (Cayman) and Capri Africa. All affiliated companies will be referred to as CIG companies in external branding and marketing initiatives going forward.
 
“CIG is in active expansion domestically and globally, which necessitates the creation of separate teams around the world to execute distinct investment mandates,” says CIG Chairman and CEO Quintin E. Primo III. “This has made it more important than ever for us to rally around common strategic, business and operational initiatives, and reinforce our special and distinctive corporate culture. Uniting our businesses under one umbrella organization helps achieve this and allows us to continue to provide the highest possible level of service to our many institutional clients.”
 
CIG consists of five major operations:
  • Capri Capital Partners
  • Capri Retail
  • Capri EGM
  • Capri Global Capital
  • Capri Africa
In addition to his role at the helm of CIG, Mr. Primo is chairman and CEO of Capri Global Capital, LLC (Cayman) (“CGC”). Since its formation in 2008, CGC has been successful in developing key strategic relationships in the targeted growth markets of Africa, India and the Middle East. Leveraging Capri’s U.S. expertise, CGC is pursuing high-return opportunistic investments in these markets resulting from the emerging urbanization and growing demand for modern commercial and residential properties.
 
Click HERE to read the full press release on Capri Investment Group’s website.

New York State Common Retirement Fund: Emerging Manger RFI for Fixed Income Investment Management Services 

Pension Consulting Alliance, Inc. (PCA) working with the New York State Office of the State Comptroller, acting on behalf of the New York  State Common Retirement Fund (CRF), has prepared and is distributing this RFI to identify emerging investment management firms to manage Fixed Income portfolios for the CRF. Proposals are due February 6, 2015.

SCOPE OF SERVICES
 
The current CRF Fixed Income portfolio is composed of investment grade securities and is primarily managed internally by the New York State Office of the State Comptroller Division of Pension Investment & Cash Management. The fund is initiating a program to broaden its exposure to Emerging Managers and is seeking to complement the internally managed Investment Grade Fixed Income portfolio.
 
This RFI is soliciting proposals for Emerging Managers to manage separate accounts focused on the following Fixed Income market segment products. Each product will be managed separately.  Proposal for each product will be reviewed and rated separately.  Proposers may submit proposals for one or more mandates:
  • Inflation Protected Fixed Income Product (U.S.TIPS or Global Inflation Protected securities (“GILBs”) mandate)
  • High Yield Debt Product
  • Emerging Markets Debt Product
  • Structured Debt Product
Click HERE for the MS Word Version of the RFI from PCA.

Click HERE for the PDF Version of the RFI from PCA.

Sciens Fund of Funds Management Ltd. RFI
 
Sciens Fund of Funds Management Ltd. has released an RFI for women & minority-owned emerging hedge fund managers. 
 
Please contact em@sciensam.com for a copy of the RFI.
 
 
Los Angeles Fire and Police Pension Plan RFP - Large Cap Domestic Equity Emerging Managers 

The Los Angeles Fire and Police Pension Plan (LAFPP) is a defined benefit public pension plan serving approximately 25,000 active and retired Plan members and beneficiaries.  The Plan is directed by the nine-member Board of Fire and Police Pension Commissioners, and is administered by the City of Los Angeles’ Department of Fire and Police Pensions. The Plan’s assets are managed externally by investment management firms and advisors under contract to the Board, and monitored by an in-house Investment Staff.  The current total value of the pension fund is approximately $18 billion.
 
The Board desires to retain qualified Emerging Investment Management firms to manage a portion of the Plan’s Large Cap Domestic Equity assets. The account size may be approximately $20 million - $25 million per firm.  The number of mandates awarded depends on the responses received and their fit with the existing LAFPP Domestic Equity portfolio.
 
Firms meeting the below listed minimum criteria are invited to complete and return the Request for Proposal (RFP) Questionnaire and supporting documents.
Qualifying firms must:
  • Have no more than $2 billion of assets under management.
  • Have a minimum of $30 million of institutional assets under management.
  • Have a minimum of $10 million of assets under management in the strategy being proposed for consideration.
  • Have at least one tax-exempt client.
  • A minimum of five years of experience for the Portfolio Manager managing the    strategy as of December 31, 2014.
  • A minimum of one year of operation as an investment management firm as of   December 31, 2014.
  • The strategy must be available in a separate account vehicle.
The deadline for this RFP is 4 p.m. on Friday, February 6, 2015.
  • CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE RFP
  • CLICK HERE TO VISIT LAFPP'S WEBSITE
Los Angeles City Employees' Retirement System (LACERS) RFP for U.S. Small-Cap Growth Equity Investment Services
 
The Los Angeles City Employees’ Retirement System (LACERS) administers an investment portfolio with approximately $14.0 billion in assets. LACERS is seeking one or more qualified investment management firms to actively manage up to approximately $256 million in an active, long-only, publicly traded U.S. small cap growth equity investment strategy. The proposed strategy must currently be benchmarked against the Russell 2000 Growth Index.

The search document, which details the minimum qualifications each respondent must meet in order to be considered, as well as the required City forms, is available on LACERS website: http://bit.ly/1Evp0lX and at the website of LACERS General Fund Consultant, Wilshire Associates:  http://www.wilshire.com/investment-consulting/manager-research/manager-search.
The deadline to submit the RFP is 5:00 p.m. (PST) on Wednesday, December 17, 2014.

Written questions via e-mail are due by November 17, 2014 at 3:00 p.m. (PST). Responses will be posted on Wilshire's website on  November 25, 2014.
Should you have any questions regarding the search parameters, please email them to mgrsearch.neill@wilshire.com, with the name of your firm along with the phrase ‘Active Small Cap Growth Equity Mandate Search’ appearing in the subject line, prior to 5:00 P.M., Pacific Standard Time, on Wednesday, December 17, 2014.  All details and documents can be found at http://bit.ly/1Evp0lX.
 


Los Angeles Police and Fire Pension Plan Domestic Fixed Income RFP for Emerging Managers
 
The Board of the Los Angeles Fire and Police Pension Plan (LAFPP) desires to retain qualified Emerging Investment Management firms to  manage a portion of the Plan’s Domestic Fixed Income assets. The account size may  be approximately $20 million - $25 million per firm. The number of mandates awarded depends on the responses received and their fit with the existing LAFPP Domestic  Fixed Income portfolio. The deadline for submitting proposals is Friday, November 14, 2014.
 
Please click HERE to view the RFP including minimum requirements and submission instructions.
 
Los Angeles Police and Fire Pension Plan Small- and Micro-Cap Domestic Equity RFP for Emerging Managers
 
The Board of the Los Angeles Fire and Police Pension Plan (LAFPP) desires to retain qualified Emerging Investment Management firms to  manage a portion of the Plan’s Domestic Small- and Micro- Cap Domestic Equity assets. The account size may  be approximately $20 million - $25 million per firm. The number of mandates awarded depends on the responses received and their fit with the existing LAFPP Domestic  Equity portfolio. The deadline for submitting proposals is Friday, November 14, 2014.
 
Please click HERE to view the RFP including minimum requirements and submission instructions.
 
Los Angeles City Employees' Retirement System Bank Custody and Securities Lending Services Search
 
The Los Angeles City Employees’ Retirement System (LACERS), a $14.4 billion public pension fund, is seeking proposals for bank custody and securities lending services. Emerging firms are encouraged to participate in this search, subject to RFP minimum qualifications.​The deadline for submitting proposals is 5:00 P.M. PST on Friday, November 7, 2014.
 
The RFP including minimum requirements and submission instructions is available on the LACERS website.


Notice of  Search: The Comptroller of the City of New York/New York City Retirement Systems Seeks Developing Managers for Fixed Income/Core Plus Investment Management Services
 
Please read carefully as this is a recently adopted procurement method. 
 
The following Systems are participating in this Procurement: 
  • The New York City Employees’ Retirement System (“NYCERS”)
  • The Teachers’ Retirement System of the City of New York (“TRS”)
  • The New York City Police Pension Fund, Subchapter 2 (“Police”)
  • The New York City Fire Department Pension Fund, Subchapter Two (“Fire”)
  • The New York City Board of Education Retirement System (“BERS”)
Minority-owned and women-owned businesses or partnership arrangements with minority-owned and women-owned investment firms are encouraged. Additionally, participation by small and New York City-based businesses is encouraged.
 
How to Participate in this Search:
 
To be considered, investment management firms must comply with the following requirements:
 
1.      All candidates should carefully review the Notice of Search and the Minimum Requirements described in Section B of the RFP.
 
Interested candidates, including incumbent managers, that meet the minimum requirements, must enter their information in the following two databases in order to be considered by each of the Consultants.  The Consultants will review the following databases and provide BAM with a written report identifying the Investment Managers who meet the minimum requirements set forth in this Notice of Search. 
 
For Callan, investment firms must submit their information directly to Callan’s database; for Rocaton, SIS, NEPC and Buck, investment firms must enter their information into eVestment Alliance’s database. Information on requirements for entering information into these databases can be found at:
 
www.callan.com
  • Click on “data & tools”, then click on “Manager Questionnaire”
www.evestment.com
  • Click on register/submit data in the upper right hand corner.
2.       All candidates must ensure that they completely identify the firm and product information, in the above databases.  Additionally, candidates must ensure that the information is current and accurate.
3.      Candidates with multiple eligible products, for example Fixed Income Core Plus products must provide database entry for each product.
4.      There is no fee for entering information into either of the databases. Managers are advised that information in the database may become part of any contract which results from this Search.
 
Current and accurate data (as of March 31, 2014) must be in the above databases no later thanOctober 7, 2014.
 
Please see the Notice of Search posted on the Comptroller’s website at www.comptroller.nyc.gov for minimum requirements, as well as easy steps that managers can take to ensure they are considered as part of this solicitation.
  • Select “Forms & RFPs” then “RFPs & Solicitations” then “Asset Management RFPs & Solicitation” and click on link provided to “Register”.

NASP Board of Directors Adopts Retirement Security Statement Affirming Support of Defined Benefit Plans 

On June 22, 2014, the NASP Board of Directors voted to adopt a statement affirming the associations’’ commitment to defined benefit plans to ensure retirement security of public employees.

On the adoption of the statement, Les Bond, board chair, NASP, said “Public sector employees have been the nation’s civil servants – playing important roles in society as educators, firefighters, police-officers – with the promise of retirement security. It is imperative that we honor the social contract that enabled municipal employers to attract and retain talented individuals to careers in public service.”

Orim Graves, executive director of NASP added “We are committed to working with the SEIU and ensuring that NASP members and public pension plans continue to work together in ensuring retirement security for thousands of public sector employees. NASP believes that in addition to the important role of defined benefit plans, defined contribution programs and personal savings plans are effective ways for future retirees to augment their retirement income as well.” 

To view the statement in a letter addressed to the SEIU, please click HERE.

Exciting International Opportunity for Early Career Financial Services Professionals: The City Fellowships Program is Currently Recruiting

City Fellowships is a unique international fellowship. It offers an opportunity to gain in-depth experience and knowledge of global markets with Goldman Sachs, one of the world’s leading investment banks, in the City of London. Successful candidates will be given the opportunities and responsibilities of a full-time staff member for 50 weeks and will have the ability to gain from the applied work experience and the technical skills training available through Goldman Sachs University.
 
Requirements include:
  • At least 3 years of full-time work experience in professional services or financial services.
  • Experience in the financial services sector is preferable but applicants with experience in a related field will also be considered.
  • Strong interpersonal, communication, written and presentation skills.
  • Demonstrated track record of success, creativity and innovation in their prior work/educational experience.
  • Be a US citizen or US Permanent Resident.
The deadline to apply is July 11, 2014.
 
Successful candidates will have the ability to:
  • Acquaint themselves with and explore new career paths within the financial services sector.
  • Gain from the applied work experience and technical skills training.
  • Expand their professional network through programming and events.
The compensation package will be in line with the London financial services industry and includes base salary, access to the firm's discretionary bonus scheme, medical and pension benefits and more! Successful candidates will receive full support with regards to the necessary work permit applications and relocation expenses.

Please visit www.cityfellowships.com for full details including application instructions.

The City of Philadelphia Board of Pensions and Retirement is Seeking Diversity, Local and Emerging International Equity Managers

The RFP was issued on December 20, 2013 and is due on January 13, 2014.   To view the RFP and additional details, please visit: http://www.phila.gov/contracts

 
  • Select the "eContract Philly" link
  • Select the "New Contract Opportunities" link on the left
  • Select the Pension Board in the drop down box
  • Select Opportunity Number 21131217141331
As noted in the RFP instructions, questions should be emailed to Dominique Cherry (Dominique.cherry@phila.gov) and Christopher DiFusco (Christopher.difusco@phila.gov). 

The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board(MSRB) to Focus on Key Issues Affecting Fairness, Transparency and Efficiency in the Coming Year
 
The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB), the regulator of the municipal market, each year sets clear priorities and engages market participants in constructive dialogue about effective ways to achieve these priorities. In the coming year, the MSRB is focused on implementing a regulatory framework for municipal advisors and improving pricing for investors and issuers as its top priorities.

Read the full summary issued by the MSRB to NASP by clicking HERE

In addition to top priorities, the MSRB continues to focus on improving regulatory efficiency by streamlining or consolidating MSRB rules and related guidance and aligning the MSRB rule book with the rules of other regulators as appropriate.

The MSRB also remains committed to providing education, outreach and market leadership on a range of municipal market topics. Its online Investor Toolkit and State and Local Government Toolkit are frequently updated with new information and resources. The MSRB is also expanding its use of video to educate investors and issuers about working with financial professionals in the municipal market.


POLITICO Pro Q&A: Phyllis Borzi
By Kevin Cirilli 11/6/2013
 
Phyllis Borzi wants to make sure broker-dealers aren’t messing with grandma’s retirement savings.
Borzi, the Labor Department’s assistant secretary for employee benefits security, says her “No. 1 regulatory priority” is issuing a rule requiring broker-dealers to follow a fiduciary standard — meaning they would legally have to act in their customer’s best interest.
The issue is whether broker-dealers sometimes push financial products that make them more money but may not be good investments for their clients.
 
But Borzi’s push comes as Securities and Exchange Commission officials figure out whether they should issue a fiduciary standard of their own, as the 2010 Dodd-Frank law mandates the agency to investigate. Labor has jurisdiction over retirement accounts, which is where Borzi’s rule would come into play.
Borzi’s critics — including a group of bipartisan lawmakers — say she should wait for the SEC before acting. They argue that two rules would cause compliance headaches and lower the financial incentive for broker-dealers to take on smaller accounts, the same clients Borzi hopes to help.
Last month the House passed 254-166 a bill that would require Labor to hold off on its rule until the SEC has issued its own.
 
In an interview with POLITICO Pro, Borzi makes the case for why a Labor rule is needed, weighs-in on legislation moving through Congress and offers a new look into how her proposed rule would impact broker-dealer commissions.
 
The following are excerpts from the interview:
Q: Thanks for speaking with us. First things first, why do you care so much about this issue?
A: It’s my No. 1 regulatory priority. There’s been such a radical change in the market place. Congress passed [the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974] just before I got into this business. Back then, most people had traditional pension plans… they weren’t really required to do much in terms of deciding any of these financial things. That world is unfortunately gone.
 
Last month, you said publicly that Labor could send the White House Office of Management and Budget a proposed rule by year’s end. Does that timeline still stand?
I’d really be hesitant to say anything like that now because I genuinely don’t know. And so I don’t really like to speculate on a time frame because there are a bunch of moving parts. … We’d like to get it out sooner rather than later but that doesn’t translate into any particular date.
 
Your push for a new rule has been met with some Hill opposition. Legislation that Rep. Ann Wagner (R-Mo.) introduced in the House passed 254-166 last month. Are you surprised at how much of an interest lawmakers have taken on this issue?
I think policymakers whether they’re in Congress or the administration — I think there’s lots of interest in retirement issues.
 
Still, 30 House Democrats voted to support Wagner’s legislation — even after White House advisers issued a statement saying they’d recommend that President Barack Obama veto the legislation if it made it to his desk. What do you make of the White House involvement?
I’ll let the White House speak for themselves. … But I thought it was very clear as to the concerns that the administration had. But you know, right now I’m trying to not get distracted by all of these things. I just want to focus on getting this out and getting it right.
 
Have you been surprised at the division among Democrats on the issue?
We’re just trying to get this rule right. I just try to not to get distracted by this stuff. There’s a broader debate, but I try to keep myself focused on getting our rule out. Part of the problem is that until we get the rule out people can say anything they want with what it does or doesn’t do. It’s really important to get the public debate focused on what we’re actually proposing rather than what people think we’re proposing.

The industry has criticized how your rule might impact their payment model, particularly with how they earn commissions when the make sales. You’ve said in the past that you’re not going to touch commissions —
I didn’t say that. I didn’t say we weren’t going to touch commissions. I said we weren’t going to end commissions. The traditional kinds of commission aren’t really the source of the problems.
The issue that we’re concerned about are things the industry calls commissions but they’re really payments that are really — the industry hates it when I call it this — obscure payments, or preferential distribution payments. They’re payments that are given not necessarily for specific services rendered, but for pushing their products.
 
What would be a way to fix that?
You just have to wait until the rule comes out. We’re in the stage of rule-making where I can’t say anything specific. One thing I can say is that we’re not going to outlaw commissions completely.
 
Broker-dealers argue that the rule is unneeded, in part, because their industry is already based on consumer trust. If they weren’t acting in consumers’ best interests — they wouldn’t be in business. Why does their payment model need to be changed?
If what they’re doing today is based solely on what’s in their customers’ best interest, than their behavior shouldn’t have to be altered. But if that’s not what they’re doing than they need to refocus their efforts.
 
Any update on your interactions with the SEC?
We’ve had a long-standing relationship with the SEC. We’re in regular contact with them not just on this issue but on a wide-ranging set of issues. But they have a statutory framework and we have a statutory framework and they’re different. They’re not incompatible, but they’re just different.
My goal is not that we’ll have the same standard, but that we are working with the SEC to ensure that whatever we put out and whatever they put out meets the following criteria: That compliance with one won’t put you out of compliance with another.
 
But if a firm has to follow two separate types of rules while advising one client on his or her retirement and savings plans, isn’t is plausible there would be confusion?
There’s already confusion. If I’m a consumer, I believe that people who give me advice on both sides of this — whether it’s for my general savings, but most particularly for my retirement savings — have my best interest in mind and aren’t just recommending things that’s in the broker’s financial interest. Consumers are already very confused by this lack of symmetry.
 
Could the industry get a phase-in period where the rule could come out and there be a phase-in period?
When we propose the rule, we’ll also propose a date that the rule will become effective and people will be able to comment on it. That will be part of the debate.
 
Looking at the industry as a whole — there are so many different types of names for different types of advisers: financial advisers, broker dealers, investment advisers, financial planners, to name just a few. Doesn’t that also lead to a lot of consumer confusion?
Unlike other industries, this industry has literally no barriers to entry. Anybody can hold themselves out to be an expert whether they are or are not. But that’s why having a standard that applies across the board to anybody who gives advice — regardless of what they call themselves — is an extraordinary part of consumer protection.
 
Longer-term, is that something the industry and regulators are going to need to address beyond fiduciary rules?
I know that issue is something the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has been working on… They’ve issued a report [in April] that having some sort of uniform credential. We don’t happen to be working on that particular issue but we support their efforts.
 

Upcoming Facebook IPO Includes 10 Minority and/or Women Owned Firms
On Wednesday, March 7, 2012, Facebook updated its IPO filing and included several minority and/or women owned firms, many which are NASP partners. The following firms are part of one of the most highly anticipated social media IPO’s:

Blaylock Robert Van – A minority-owned investment banking and financial services company in Oakland, Calif.
Cabrera Capital Markets LLC— A Hispanic-owned broker-dealer headquartered in Chicago.
CastleOak Securities L.P. – A minority-owned a New York boutique investment bank.
C.L. King & Associates Inc. – A woman-owned broker dealer and investment bank.
Lebenthal & Co., LLC—A New York based woman-owned broker-dealer.
Loop Capital Markets–An African American-owned investment bank and brokerage firm headquartered in Chicago.
M.R. Beal & Company—An African American-owned full service broker-dealer headquartered in New York.
Muriel Siebert & Co.—A woman-owned discount brokerage in New York.
Samuel A. Ramirez & Co.—A Hispanic-owned investment bank based in New York.
The Williams Capital Group, L.P.—An African American-owned full service broker-dealer based in New York.