Cook County Annuity & Benefit Fund, Chicago, returned 2.5% on its investments in the fourth quarter and 6.13% for 2014 on the strength of its real estate investments.
Both returns were above their respective custom benchmarks of 1.75% and 5.8%.
The pension fund ended last year at $8.8 billion, up 10% from a year earlier.
For the quarter, its alternatives investments — private equity and hedge funds — had the highest return, at 8.27%, vs. its 5.25% custom benchmark, according to a report by investment consultant Callan Associates to the pension fund’s investment committee Wednesday.
Real estate returned 7.15%, four percentage points above its 3.15% benchmark; U.S. equities, 5.77% vs. 5.24%; fixed income, 1.09% vs. 1.79%; and international equity, -2.54% vs. -3.81%.
The pension fund’s 21% international equity portfolio helped drive overall performance for the quarter despite the loss, given that it outperformed its benchmark by 127 basis points, Callan said.
For 2014, real estate returned 18.8%; U.S. equity, 10.76%; fixed income, 6.13%; and international equity, -4%. The alternatives portfolio return and benchmarks for the year were not available by press time.
The pension fund’s asset allocation is 30% U.S. equities, 25% fixed income, 21% international equities, 14% alternatives, 9% real estate and 1% cash.