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University of California moves bulk of cash into alternatives

The University of California endowment, Oakland, shifted a significant portion of its cash holdings into alternatives.

At its televised meeting, Edmond Fong, senior managing director overseeing absolute return, said that the office reduced the $11.7 billion endowment's cash position to 2.1% from 7.5%. As of Sept. 30, it moved about 60% of its cash position to real estate, 20% to real assets and 15% to absolute return.

"We had been talking about our desire to remain opportunistic, but also at the same time, we were concerned with the fact that this growth risk factor was so dominant in our portfolios that we actually wanted to diversify as well," Mr. Fong said at the Jan. 15 meeting.

As of Dec. 30, the endowment's allocation was 38.6% public equity, 22.4% absolute return, 14.2% liquidity, 13.3% private equity, 7% real estate, 4.2% real assets and 0.4% cash.