W. Va. Seeks Alternatives Consultant

Apr 5 2007 | 11:56am ET

The alternatives bug has bitten another pension fund: The $9 billion West Virginia Investment Management Board is issuing a request for information for alternative investment consultants within the next few weeks to explore the world of hedge and private equity funds. 

“This is really trying to canvass the field, so we don’t know what we want yet,” said Craig Slaughter, WVIMB executive director.

“Summit Strategies Group is our current consultant, but we just think that this is a worthwhile new universe and it is appropriate for us as fiduciaries to explore the possibilities. Summit does provide alternative consulting services and we very much consider them a strong candidate for this mandate.”

The fund’s move comes on the heels of legislation allowing the system to invest 20% of its capital in alternative investment strategies.

“The bill opens up a new group of assets and strategies for the investment management board to utilize,” Slaughter said. “I think the quality and efficacy of hedge funds is broad as broad can be, and I suspect that there are hedge funds that would be attractive to us while there are quite a few that we wouldn’t want to touch with a 10-foot pole.”

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