University Healthcare System Defined Benefit OCIO RFP Case Study

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North Pier Search Consulting led a University Healthcare System’s search for an Outsourced Chief Investment Officer (OCIO) for their $385 million plan.

Following the acquisition of a regional healthcare system, the university’s investment management company hired North Pier to educate the university’s investment management company and the retirement plans’ Investment Committees on the benefits and risk associated with various investment management models, including traditional consulting and OCIO.


Determine the best investment oversight and governance model for two frozen defined benefit plans and two frozen Voluntary Employees’ Beneficiary Association Plans (VEBAs) that were supported by two different investment consultants. Once determined, North Pier assisted in finding the optimal single solution for both the DB and VEBA plans for the healthcare systems and the university.

Process & Findings

To begin the search process, North Pier conducted onsite, in-person Committee and staff interviews and also provided fiduciary education to educate the client on the state of the industry, and the advantages and risks of different service models (internal CIO vs. consultant-driven vs. OCIO).

Once a comprehensive client profile was constructed and qualified candidates were identified, the RFP was issued to candidates. North Pier then standardized responses and performed quantitative performance analysis and a qualitative evaluation of candidates.

The Committee then used the information provided in a decision ready report format to determine finalists. Once North Pier completed due diligence and reference checking on finalists, North Pier facilitated finalist presentations with three firms.


A new firm was selected by the Committee, offering:

  • The flexibility to evolve from a consulting model to an OCIO over time, as desired by the client.
  • Annuity buyout expertise
  • Excellent track record of risk adjusted returns
  • Lower fees:
    • Although the new firm was not the lowest cost provider, the cost of consulting services were reduced by ~50%.

All aspects above contributed to the Committee’s selection of the new provider for their plans.

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