FirstEnergy Corp., Akron, Ohio, is said to be considering the first-time addition of hedge funds or fund of funds as investment options for its $3.5 billion pension plan. One money manager who asked not to be identified, citing conversations with plan officials, said the company is looking at the idea to beef up returns and ease underfunding concerns. At the end of last year, the plan was underfunded by $847 million, or about 25.5%, according to its annual report.
Don Perrine, director, investment management, said there are no specific plans to search for hedge funds. "We're always looking at new strategies. It's the course of normal business to be aware of what's available out there," he added.