Piedmont Investment Advisors L.L.C. is quickly moving up the ranks of the nation’s largest black-owned asset managers. The Durham, North Carolina-based firm recently received a $100 million investment from the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS), the nation’s largest public pension fund, boosting Piedmont’s assets under management to $1.5 billion in March.
Piedmont was selected after CalPERS hired investment management and consulting firm Legato Capital Management L.L.C. as a strategic adviser. Legato’s job was to identify a money management firm with less than $2 billion in public equity or high-yield securities to serve as one of the portfolio managers for CalPERS Manager Development Program II. MDP II is specifically designed to tap unexplored potential in the emerging manager market.
CalPERS and Legato also made an undisclosed, joint equity capital contribution, giving them a minority, non-controlling stake in Piedmont. “Piedmont has a very solid investment process as well as a highly talented team of investors,” says Victor Hymes, Legato’s CEO. Eight of the country’s 20 largest plan sponsors are clients of Piedmont.