Public Pensions’ Emerging Manager Programs – Challenges and Strategies

I’m a reporter with Money Management Report and I’m working on a story for Monday about public pension funds’ outreach to women-owned and minority-owned investment firms. My piece will take a look at some of the strategies used by pension funds, and some of the challenges they face. I’ve focused so far on California, where CIOs have said that their programs are harder to manage because of a California law that prevents consideration of race or gender in spending public money (their response: focus on size, rather than explicitly on race or gender). I’ve also focused on Illinois, where some funds have set (and met) more aggressive targets for investment with women- and minority-owned firms. I’m looking for an expert who can give me an overview of emerging manager programs in the U.S., and talk about some of the roadblocks public pensions face. I’d like to talk about different legal frameworks in different states, which states are focused on this and which aren’t, methods for outreach, returns from emerging managers, and the granularity of emerging manager targets (for example, do funds set goals for subsets of their emerging manager program, like investing a certain amount with African American-owned businesses?).