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Lincoln’s Cooper Shifts to Private Equity as Hedge Funds Falter

  • Private equity expected to be 90% of alternatives by 2018
  • Investment chief seeks to boost commercial mortgage lending

Ellen Cooper, the former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. money manager who is chief investment officer at Lincoln National Corp., plans to boost the insurer’s holdings of private equity while reducing allocations to hedge funds.

By 2018, about 90 percent of its alternatives portfolio will be in private equity with the rest in hedge funds, the Radnor, Pennsylvania-based company said Thursday in a presentation. That’s up from 67 percent last year. While the company invests mostly in fixed-income holdings in a portfolio valued at more than $100 billion, Cooper counts on alternatives like private equity to boost returns at a time when interest rates are near record lows.