L.P. Washington Seeks Investment Officers –

Once the state approves its new budget, the $4 billion Washington State Investment Board, Olympia, will search for four new internal investment officers as well as two fixed income and public equity replacement officers, said Chief Investment Officer Christopher Ailman.

The board anticipates that the budget will pass before the end of the fiscal year, in July, but as of press time the request for an increase had not officially been approved, said Helen Small, chief operating officer. The new budget will provide opportunities for fixed-income, public equity, two private equity investment officers and two assistant private equity officers. Ailman said that the new staff would likely be in place by this summer. The search is being conducted in-house.

In other news, the board began searching in May for private equity consultant to replace incumbent Brinson Partners/UBS, said Small. “[The board] anticipates that Brinson Partners may be taking a different direction in the consultant business [and we] are not sure if they will bid or not,” Small said.

The Chicago-based firm informed the investment board last July that it would not be rebidding for the private equity consultant position if the contract restricted the firm from executing investment strategies. The guidelines of the contract forced the firm to present an investment opportunity then wait for the board’s approval before making the purchase, said Bon French, co-head of the private markets division. He added that during the eight-year relationship the board never rejected Brinson Partners’ investment advice but the approval process has cost the firm a considerable amount of time. Brinson Partners will continue to handle discretionary private equity investments for its other clients, a firm spokesperson said.

The Washington fund’s asset allocation mix includes 40% domestic equity, 16% international equities, 25% domestic fixed income, 9% private equity, 6% real estate and 1% cash