NJ Public Pension Fund Returns 13%, Approves Up to $525 Million to Private Asset Strats

$76 billion fund just misses benchmark for fiscal year 2017.

The $76 billion New Jersey pension fund reported that its investments returned 13.07% for the fiscal year ending June 30, falling just short of its benchmark return of 13.14%. The fund also approved up to $525 million toward private asset strategies at its investment council meeting held on Oct. 5.

Regarding its fiscal year performance, the fund, like many pensions and endowments in 2017, enjoyed a big rebound relative to last year when its investments were down nearly 1% for the FY ending June 30, 2016. It was also the fund’s strongest performance in three years, when it returned 16.87% in 2014.

Source: New Jersey Division of Investment

The fund’s global growth allocation was the only asset class to outperform its benchmark with a return of 18.8%, compared to the benchmark return of 18.51%. A majority of the plan’s allocations fall within global growth assets, which include: equity oriented hedge funds, non-U.S. developed and emerging market equities, U.S. equities and buyout/venture allocations.

Conversely, the real return asset class underperformed the benchmark the most, by 289 basis points yielding a return of 8.23%. The asset class is comprised of commodities, private real assets and equity related real estate.

The fund’s asset allocation as of the end of June included: global growth (57.07%), income (20.08%), liquidity (8.09%), real return (8.05%), and risk mitigation (4.22%).

Separately, at its Oct. 5 investment council meeting, the state approved up to $525 million across private asset classes, a fund spokesman told CIO. This included:

  • Up to $125 million in Stonepeak Infrastructure Fund III (real assets)
  • Up to $200 million in Chatham Private Debt and Strategic Capital Fund (private debt)
  • Up to $125 million and $75 million respectively to TPG Growth IV and TPG Rise Fund (private equity)

The state’s next investment council meeting will be held on Nov. 29.

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