MFA’s Forum 2013 conference started its second day in Chicago this morning with a panel discussion featuring allocators from a variety of public pensions. The session focused on how pensions approach and incorporate managed futures into their portfolios.
The panelists included John M. Barger, Board of Investments, Los Angeles County Employees Retirement Association (LACERA); Tarik H. Dalton, Investment Management Division, North Carolina Treasurer; and John Keane, Executive Director, Administrator, Jacksonville Police & Fire Pension Fund. The session was moderated by Chris Solarz, Managing Director, Cliffwater LLC.
The panel covered a number of topics, including the importance of CTAs knowing their investors and their investors’ risk appetite before an initial meeting and how funds can market their strategy in a crowded field of other managed futures funds.
Most of the discussion detailed pension funds’ current investment needs, including more allocations to alternative strategies that provide non-correlation, transparency, and liquidity. While funding gaps are real for pension funds, the panelists agreed that they cannot take on too much risk to try to make up for past losses. Panelists discussed dedicated approaches to understanding CTAs so that they can make good use of their strategies to mitigate risk and generate non-correlated performance.
Check back later today for another update from Forum 2013.