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Health Care
OPERS Announces Selection of Investment Consultant
Contributions invested earlier under new employer schedule

May 23, 2007

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio Public Employees Retirement System (OPERS) Board of Trustees announced today the selection of Mercer Investment Consulting for general investment consulting services. Mercer will begin providing consulting services July 1 pending successful completion of contract negotiations.

Ken Thomas, chairman of the OPERS Board of Trustees, said that Chicago-based Mercer and Ennis Knupp & Associates, OPERS' current investment consultant and other finalist, are both excellent investment consulting firms with strong track records and extensive investment expertise.

“While either firm would have served the OPERS board well, it is Mercer's global presence and deep resources that will support OPERS' goal of achieving the best risk-adjusted performance,” Thomas said.

Thomas said that Mercer will provide consulting services for both the pension and health care funds as well as the defined contribution fund that total more than $80 billion in assets. In addition to providing investment consulting services to the board, the scope of the agreement with Mercer will include performance reporting and monitoring, manager evaluation, and market research and education of the board and staff.

Thomas said that the selection of Mercer was the result of a comprehensive request for proposal process that included extensive interviews and on-site due diligence visits by board members and investment staff, scoring and ranking of capabilities and in-depth review of findings. Ennis Knupp & Associates has served as the OPERS Board of Trustees' investment consultant for the past six years. On behalf of the board, Thomas said he would like to thank Ennis Knupp for the high level of service the firm has provided to the board.

Mercer Investment Consulting is a leading global provider of investment consulting services. In addition to investment consulting, the Chicago-based firm also provides a variety of other services including risk management and investment monitoring. The firm is more than 30 years old and serves clients in 35 countries.

With assets of more than $80 billion, OPERS is the largest state pension fund in Ohio and one of the largest pension funds in the U.S. OPERS serves more than 900,000 members, including over 200,000 retirees and beneficiaries. OPERS consists of two funds: a pension fund with more than $68 billion in assets and a health care fund with approximately $13 billion in assets.

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Richard A. Baker, APR
Ohio Public Employees Retirement System
(614) 222-6647

Contact: Michele Kowalik
Ohio Public Employees Retirement System
(614) 222-5614

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