AFT NewsPensions

New Jersey slashes hedge fund allocation amid poor returns

By Svea Herbst-Bayliss

New Jersey’s state pension fund plans to slash its hedge fund investments by half, becoming the latest large investor to protest high fees and poor returns after New York and California made similar moves.

The New Jersey Investment Council on Wednesday unanimously voted to reduce its exposure to hedge funds to 6 percent from 12.5 percent, the state and a union official said.

The state has roughly $9 billion invested in hedge funds including ValueAct Capital Partners, Brevan Howard LP, and Och-Ziff Capital Management.

The decision followed months of mounting pressure from unions that complained about the pension funds paying hundreds of millions of dollars in fees to poorly performing hedge funds.

“It was done because hedge funds have failed to deliver,” American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten said in a statement, praising the decision for saving “working people hundreds of millions over the coming years.”