L.A. Archdiocese Eyes Alternatives –

The investment committee for the $600 million Archdiocese of Los Angeles rang in the new year by hiring a new consultant, Callan Associates of San Francisco. The board has instructed its new adviser to review the fund’s asset allocation mix, among other things, said Chief Financial Officer Jose Debasa.

“There may be some changes to our investment strategy and management structure,” said Debasa. “[However] it is too early to determine. But during the interviewing process the committee did express an interest in alternative or nontraditional investment [vehicles] because we do not have any exposure in that area.”

However, he was unsure if the board would definitely allocate a portion of the portfolio to that investment area.

James Callahan and Toni Brown of Callan Associates are currently reviewing the fund’s asset allocation mix and will submit their recommendations later this year. Based on that information, the committee will decide if the fund’s investment strategy or management structure should change.

Callahan and Brown will also review the fund’s investment policy and guidelines, along with its investment quality, liquidity, risk and the performance objectives of the managers. In addition, consultants will provide the investment committee members with quarterly reports and assist them with searches, if a search is warranted in the future.

“It was not easy [to choose a consultant], the three firms were qualified but the committee unanimously selected Callan because they were quite impressed with their presentation,” Debasa said.

The other firms who made it to the finalist round were Cambridge Associates and Canterbury Consulting. The Archdiocese of Los Angeles was forced to find a new consultant when its former advisors Lawrence Davanzo and Leslie Kautz of InvestorForce Inc., announced last summer that the company was resigning from its consulting stint, in spite of InvestorForce’s previous purchase of the institutional consulting firm Asset Strategy Consulting. Davanzo and Kautz agreed to serve as the fund’s consultants until Dec. 30, 2000.