TIAA-CREF’s OCIO Manager Wins Sizeable Mandate

TIAA-CREF’s OCIO unit Houston-based Covariance Capital Management won a big mandate. Covariance Capital, a group that focuses on endowments, is led by Kevin Nee, the former President of Wilshire Private Markets, a unit of Santa Monica-based Wilshire Associates. The firm won a contract to manage a US$ 770 million church portfolio for Boston-based Christian Science Church. The deal adds around 33% worth of assets to Covariance Capital’s total asset under management which stood at US$ 2.3 billion on June 30, 2015.

OCIO stands for outsourced chief investment officer. The OCIO search lasted for almost a year. The search was led by investment consultant NEPC.

The OCIO market is highly competitive as it has a low barrier to entry compared to other asset management services. However, endowments who choose to go the OCIO route are expecting more customization and bespoke services at a lower cost when selecting OCIO managers. For Covariance Capital, the association with TIAA-CREF, brings significant advantages.

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