Maryland Plan Seeks PE Advisor

The $26.7 billion State Retirement Agency of Maryland’s Retirement & Pension System has launched a search for a private equity consultant after terminating several of its private equity investment managers last March.

Joe Coale, spokesman for the retirement system, says that a dedicated private equity consultant would be a first for the Baltimore-based pension fund.

About 2% of the fund’s assets – or $534 million – currently sit in private equity funds managed by firms like Adams Street Partners and HarbourVest Partners, both of which are based in Boston.

“We have been in this area [private equity] for a while and we want a little more exposure,” Coale says. “The board feels that we need professional guidance in this area.”

A private equity consultant would advise the pension fund on its investment strategy and screen its investment opportunities. The March terminations were part of a massive restructuring recommended by the plan’s overall consultant, Ennis, Knupp & Associates.

The requests for proposals, which should be submitted to Victoria Willard, the plan’s managing director, are due Jan. 23.