OAKLAND, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--SPI Strategies, LLC (“SPI”), the registered investment advisory subsidiary of Blaylock Beal Van, LLC, announced today that the Municipal Employees’ Retirement System (MERS) of Michigan has promoted the firm to a “Core Mandate” within the Fund’s Diversifying Strategies portfolio and increased its allocation to $100 million. SPI was previously an Emerging Manager for MERS, the retirement services company that was created to administer the retirement plans for Michigan municipalities on a not-for-profit basis.
SPI a year ago received $25 million in seed funding from MERS to manage a long/short equity portfolio designed to outperform the S&P 500 while minimizing downside risk and volatility. For the 12 months ended March 31, Long Alpha Plus finished just 12 bps shy of the S&P 500 (17.05%* vs 17.17%) on 61% of the risk. The portfolio bested the HFRI Equity Hedge (Total) Index by 475 bps for the period ended February 28, the latest available reporting period for the index.
“MERS was on the forefront of Public Pension Plans who first appreciated the potential of so-called robo managed funds, quantitative funds that rely on computer models to oversee a portfolio,” said Steven Singleton, SPI’s chief investment officer. “We are extremely appreciative for MERS’ initial support of SPI and very pleased with how our portfolio has performed.”
Jeb Burns, MERS’ Chief Investment Officer, also praised SPI’s investment performance.
“The hedge fund industry is experiencing a wave of fund closings because of poor performance and high fees,” said Burns. “But hedge funds that perform as they are designed to do continue to prosper. MERS takes great pride in having been among the first to appreciate SPI’s quantitative strategies, which SPI offers at a significantly lower cost than most of its hedge fund rivals.”
ABOUT SPI STRATEGIES
SPI Strategies is a quantitative equity manager deploying “robo-inspired” portfolios for institutional and retail investors. Utilizing its proprietary platform, ELROI-Research Analytics®, the firm models active and alternative strategies blending fundamental, technical and quantitative factors to address the various style/sector/size/directional components of the domestic US Equity market.
ABOUT MUNICIPAL EMPLOYEES’ RETIREMENT SYSTEM OF MICHIGAN
The Municipal Employees' Retirement System (MERS) of Michigan is an independent, professional retirement services company that was created to administer the retirement plans for Michigan municipalities on a not-for-profit basis.
The team at MERS is made up of top industry experts who use fiscal best practices to give members peace of mind and security in their retirement. MERS listens and works in partnership with its members to deliver a superior value that meets their members' needs.
MERS proudly serves more than 115,000 participants, including local firefighters, nurses, and the men and women who plow Michigan’s roads and keep communities safe.
*Preliminary unaudited results, net of fees for the period 3/31/2016-3/31/2017. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.