TCW Asset Management has been selected to manage an opportunistic MBS portfolio for the Pennsylvania Public School Employees' Retirement System (PSERS), confirmed Evelyn Tatkovski, spokeswoman for the $45.4 billion plan.

Tatkovski said the firm was awarded up to $500 million to invest "as opportunities arise."

Additionally, documents on the plan's Web site note "staff, Wilshire and TCW believe that there is currently a significant market opportunity to earn superior risk-adjusted returns due to the dislocations in the credit markets." Tatkovski added the plan has guidelines in place that cap this type of investment at no more than 2% of the fund.

Wilshire Associates assisted with the selection of TCW. The firm already manages a $200 million credit opportunities fund for PSERS. Funding for the new mandate will come from cash.

The plan's asset allocation consists of 21.7% non-U.S. equity, 19.8% U.S.
fixed-income, 18.6% private markets, 18.4% U.S. equity, 12.7% real estate, 3.1% commodities, 2.9% cash and cash equivalents and 2.8% global fixed-income, according to its Web site.

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