CalPERS reviews consultant requirements as it goes to tender

CalPERS has expanded the scope of services required by its primary pension consultant, including the provision of more strategic advice and better communication between board and staff, as part of an RFP for a general consultant to be released in December. The contract with Wilshire Associates, the fund’s consultant since 1983, is due to expire in June next year.
The revised scope of services calls for the primary pension consultant to provide more strategic perspectives on market trends and potential investment opportunities, facilitate better communication between the board and CalPERS staff, and provide additional review and reporting transparency to the board.

There are two new categories under the monikers of special advisor and communications and reporting.

The role of special advisor will be to advise the board, investment committee and staff on investment opportunities and provide independent analysis of the CAlPERS total prtofolio, its programs and investment partners.

It includes advice on new investment vehicles and techniques or major changes in existing practices within the industry, and preparing a comprehensive analysis and recommendation of these activities.

With regard to communications, the new requirement is to provide regular written recommendations, reports and inputs to the board tdo keep them informed and abreast of pertinent matters relating to the total portfolio.

CalPERS conducted research of best practices in the use of primary pension consultants throughout the investment community, and then staff proposed changes to the services for the primary pension consultant.

An evaluation committee will score technical and fee proposals submitted by the filing deadline and the investment committee has the option of conducting oral interviews.

Wilshire was hired as the fund’s first consultant in 1983 and has remained its consultant through a number of competitive tenders since that time.