US – The 165 billion-dollar CalPERS pension fund has selected a pool of four consultants to assist it in special projects.

The Sacramento-based California Public Employees' Retirement System said the pool includes: Pension Consultant Alliance, Russell Investment Group, RV Kuhns & Associates and Strategic Investment Solutions.

"In today's rapidly changing marketplace, it is important that we have special experts to help advise us," said Sean Harrigan, CalPERS’ president. "We can tap these consultants for expert advice in specialized investment areas and to provide research, analysis and recommendations on key investment issues facing the system."

CalPERS said it may also call on consultants in the pool to help it with asset allocation, investment policies and manager selection.

It confirmed that it has renewed the contracts for all five of its external high yield managers for one year. Its high-yield portfolio is worth around 958 million dollars. The managers include Highland Capital Management, ING Ghent Asset Management, Nomura Asset Management, PIMCO and Shenkman Capital Management.

"Our high yield managers are doing their job," said investment committee chairman Rob Feckner. “It is providing diversification and enhanced returns to our portfolio."

The fund said it has earned a 12.8% return on its high yield investments since the portfolio launched in February 2002.