New York City Retirement Systems' five pension funds might make maiden allocations to hedge funds this year, as well as allocations to infrastructure, commodities, 130/30 and other alternative investment strategies. In the next few months, staff in the office of New York City Comptroller William C. Thompson Jr. will ask trustees of the five pension systems, which have a combined $100 billion in defined benefit assets, whether they are ready to invest in hedge funds, Joseph Haslip, deputy comptroller for pensions, said in an interview. The move follows more than two years of education.
If one or more of the fund boards decides to make an investment, a specialist consultant will probably be sought to assist staff in designing a hedge fund investment program, and a portable alpha approach using hedge funds of funds as the alpha engine is likely, Mr. Haslip said. Asset allocation reviews will be performed for each of the pension funds, which will likely raise the prospect of investing in other cutting-edge alternative investment strategies such as infrastructure, commodities, 130/30 strategies and more esoteric investment vehicles, Mr. Haslip said. Education will begin soon on the first two asset classes.
Mr. Thompson's office is the investment adviser and custodian to the five pension funds that cover city workers, teachers, police, fire and board of education employees.