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MONEY MANAGEMENT

Illinois Municipal returns 7.9% in 2016, surpassing benchmark

Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund, Oak Brook, had a preliminary net return of 7.9% in 2016 vs. its custom benchmark return of 7.7%, said Dhvani Shah, the pension fund's chief investment officer.

For the five years ended Dec. 31, the pension fund returned an annualized net 9.28% compared to the benchmark's 8.82% return, Ms. Shah said at a meeting of the IMRF board Friday.

Ms. Shah said final investment performance data for 2016 has not been completed and will be reported at the board's next meeting on March 31.

The $36.9 billion pension fund's actual asset allocation as of Jan. 31 was 43.2% U.S. equity, 27.8% fixed income, 19% international equity, 5.4% real estate, 3.5% alternatives and the remainder in cash. Its targets are 38% U.S. equity, 29% fixed income, 16% international equity, 8% each real estate and alternatives, and 1% in cash.

Separately, the board approved details for an eventual RFP for an executive search firm to assist in finding a replacement for Louis Kosiba, IMRF executive director, who plans to retire at the end of this year. No date for issuing the RFP was announced at the board meeting.