Maryland Beefs Up Emerging Manager Program, Allocations

September 9, 2008 ( - The Board of Trustees for the Maryland State Retirement and Pension System has announced the selection of six new program managers to expand the System's emerging manager program.

The six firms retained as program managers for the Maryland Developing Manager Opportunity Program (MDMOP) are:

  • Attucks Asset Management,
  • Bivium Capital Partners,
  • Capital Prospects,
  • FIS Group,
  • Leading Edge Investment Advisors, and
  • Progress Investment Management Company.

The six firms join Northern Trust Global Advisors, which was retained by the System when the program was initiated in April 2007. Northern Trust currently has responsibility for the oversight of ten managers with approximately $350 million in assets for the System. In April 2008, the Board of Trustees voted unanimously to double the system’s allocation to the Emerging Manager program.

“The expansion of our program is aimed at identifying excellent performing investment managers that may have otherwise been overlooked due to the firm’s size or relative newness to the marketplace.   It will continue to beneficially increase the diversity of our managers,” noted Nancy K. Kopp, Chairman of the Board of Trustees and State Treasurer, in a press release.  The State Retirement and Pension System of Maryland is charged with the fiduciary responsibility for properly administering the retirement and pension allowances of 103,000 retirees and beneficiaries as well as the future benefits for over 188,000 active participating members, including state government employees, teachers, law enforcement personnel, legislators, judges and local government employees and fire fighters whose employers have elected to participate in the system.

Vice Chairman and State Comptroller Peter Franchot said, "This expansion of the Emerging Manager Program is a very positive step in the right direction. It will enable us to invest assets with some of the most talented and successful small managers within the investment community. Furthermore, this commitment will lead to a meaningful increase in the diversity of the System's managerial pool, as most women and minority-owned firms are emerging managers."

The investment managers selected for the program will be integrated into the system's overall portfolio and be evaluated in the same manner as other managers with no special consideration given to their status as an emerging manager.  

The System's Chief Investment Officer, Mansco Perry, reported the System will allocate a minimum of $200 million to each of the six new program managers and that Northern Trust also would receive an incremental allocation. Perry and his Investment Division staff have been designing the revamped program and working with the seven program managers to identify potential investment managers since Perry arrived last April, according to the announcement (see  MD Fund Taps new CIO ).  

It is anticipated that investment managers in the program will begin to receive funds in October. The investment managers will be hired to manage in the domestic equities, international equities, global equities and fixed income asset classes. Staff at the Maryland system is said to be exploring the feasibility of expanding the program to other asset classes.