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New Jersey Bill, Now on Christie’s Desk, Would Expand Pay-to-Play Rules for Pension Investments

With all the drama surrounding New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s latest round of pension changes, one big pension-related development has been overlooked: on Monday, state lawmakers approved a bill that would expand pay-to-play rules as they relate to pension investments. The bill, which would increase transparency around fees paid to private investment ...
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Pension Asset Growth Outpaced GDP Over Last 10 Years

The value of U.S. pension assets has outpaced GDP growth over the last decade, according to data from Towers Watson. In that time frame, pension assets have grown at a rate twice that of the country’s GDP. From the Wall Street Journal: Pension investments in stocks, bonds, cash and alternative assets such as real estate have surged relative to the ...
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Study: Pension Funds Can Work Harder To Be Long-Term Investors

A new paper by Keith Ambachtsheer and John McLaughlin dives into the question: Do pension funds invest for the long term? Nearly all pension funds would identify themselves long-term investors if asked. But the paper reveals that there is a gap between that sentiment and the funds’ actual investment strategies. From ai-cio.com: The authors […] ...
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UK To Debate Ban on Secret Pension Fees

The UK government will consider a ban on secret pension fees in light of a proposition from Lord Mike German to improve the transparency of pension investments. More from the Financial Times: The UK government is to debate a ban on non-disclosure agreements that conceal fees between pension funds and asset managers, in a bid to provide individuals ...
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Lowenstein: Do Pension Fund Make Investing Too Complex?

Former New York Times financial writer Roger Lowenstein wonders in his new Fortune column whether pension investments have become too complex. Lowenstein’s thesis: Pricey consultants have convinced many pension funds to pile into private equity, real estate and hedge funds, which don’t necessarily promise higher returns or long-term investing. […] [Pension ...
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New Mexico Pension Reaches Settlement With Ex-Chairman Marred By Scandal

Bruce Malott, the ex-chairman of the $11 billion New Mexico Educational Retirement Board, is currently the defendant in five separate lawsuits stemming his handling of pension investments, which were allegedly marred by conflicts of interest. Mallot resigned from the pension fund as a result of the controversy. But he claimed that the Retirement Board ...
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Pension Funds, Asset Allocation and Bad Habits

All too often, investors can fall victim to recency bias and return chasing. Pension funds, it turns out, are no exception. Three researchers – Andrew Ang, Amit Goyal and Antti Ilmanen – analyzed 978 pension funds’ target allocations over a 22-year period to determine whether the funds were chasing returns, and the cost of such chasing. The paper ...
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San Diego Fund To Consider Firing Risk-Keen CIO

The San Diego County Employees Retirement System (SDCERS) is by now notorious for its risky investment strategies, which include heavy use of leverage. Pension360 has covered the pension fund’s board meetings this month, during which some trustees wondered aloud whether the fund should dial back risk. Now, the board is considering another item: whether ...
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Growth Slower, But Still Steady For World’s Largest Funds in 2013

The annual pension fund survey from Pensions & Investments and Towers Watson contains news for both optimists and pessimists. Glass half-empty: The world’s largest pension funds saw less growth in 2013 than they did in 2012. Glass half-full: 2013 still marks the 5th consecutive year of positive growth for those funds. All the details from Pensions ...
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North Carolina Fund Draws Fire For Fees, Conflicts of Interest

North Carolina Treasurer Janet Cowell is the sole trustee of the state Retirement System. That gives her power and control over the state’s pension investments that very few Treasurers share—but it also puts her in a position to take the brunt of the blame when things don’t go as planned. Cowell is drawing an especially large amount of flak the ...
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