MPLT eyes diversifying assets


The Marianas Public Land Trust has approved the hiring of four new money managers in line with its desire to diversify its asset allocation.

MPLT board chair Martin Ada, vice chair Maria Frica Pangelinan, and trustee Melchor Mendiola voted Friday to hire four new money managers that will handle the trust’s portfolio.

There are currently six money managers handling MPLT’s assets: Metropolitan West, Lazard, MacKay Shields, Garcia Hamilton, Seix, and Templeton.

The board voted Friday to replace Metropolitan West with two new money managers—Atalanta Sosnoff and Aristotle Capital Management—which were the top two scorers in the recent search conducted by the trust’s investment consultant, Morgan Stanley.

Two more money managers were hired for new asset classes. These are CBRE Clarion Securities, which will handle the Real Estate Investment Trust or REIT, and Tortoise Capital for the Master Limited Partnership, or MLP.

With this decision, MPLT now has a total of nine money managers.

According to Ada, the changes are in line with the trust’s goal of diversifying the agency’s investment. He described the process as “standard procedure” and the managers’ selection was based on the recommendation of Morgan Stanley.

“This is why we meet each month and review the flash reports from our investment consultant [Morgan Stanley], who watches the performance of all the money managers. If we see our money managers not performing satisfactorily, the trustees have the authority to replace them immediately,” he told Saipan Tribune.

Ada is optimistic that adding new asset classes in the portfolio will continue to grow MPLT’s assets for the CNMI government.

Friday’s meeting was attended by Jason B. Miyashita, VP senior investment management consultant of Morgan Stanley.

Every end of the fiscal year, MPLT remits earnings from these investments to the CNMI general fund. The money then goes to the budget for government’s essential services and programs.

Moneth G. Deposa | Reporter

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