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NYC Pension Votes to Scrap $1.5 Billion Hedge Fund Portfolio

  • D.E. Shaw and Brevan Howard among managers to be fired
  • City joins those questioning high fees, lackluster returns
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New York City’s pension for civil employees voted to exit its $1.5 billion portfolio of hedge funds and shift the money to other assets, deciding that the loosely regulated investment pools didn’t perform well enough to justify the high fees.

The action Thursday by the trustees of the $51 billion Employees Retirement System, known as NYCERS, may signal a growing willingness among public pensions to pull their money from the investment vehicles, whose highly paid managers have become a political lightning rod and have frequently failed to outperform. In September 2014, California’s Public Employees’ Retirement System, the largest U.S. pension, divested its $4 billion portfolio saying it cost too much and was too small to affect its overall returns.