The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) announced last week that it again picked Santa Monica, Calif.-based Wilshire Associates as the primary pension consultant to its $182 billion fund.
This didn’t come as any surprise to the firm. It has served CalPERS in that capacity for the past 22 years. Wilshire is credited with overseeing CalPERS Permissible Market Equity Policy and authoring a study of the effects of the pension fund’s policies. The latest agreement is a three-year contract, effective July 1, and comes with the option of two one-year extensions. CalPERS says that the contract with Wilshire is subject to final negotiations of fees, terms and conditions.
In addition to naming Wilshire its primary pension consultant, CalPERS also announced it is allowing more investments around the globe. CalPERS announced that it added Argentina, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Turkey to its list of permissible emerging equity markets. Countries forbidden for investment by CalPERS are Colombia, China, Egypt, Indonesia, Morocco, Pakistan, Russia and Venezuela.
The forbidden countries are based on political stability, transparency and labor practices. The pension fund cited Sri Lanka’s political improvements and Thailand’s expanded market capitalization as reasons why they are no longer forbidden from investments.