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Monday, Feb 6, 2023
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Portfolio Yields Modest Return for County Pension Fund

The San Diego County Employee Retirement Association, the pension fund for retired and current county employees, said March 20 that returns on its marketable securities portfolio were 0.77 percent from July 1 to the end of February.

That figure doesn’t include the value of its real estate and nonmarketable securities such as venture capital and private equity investments. Those returns will be provided sometime in the future, says fund Chief Executive Officer Brian White.

The $8.8 billion fund generated a return of 11.2 percent in 2007, beating its peer group (pension funds greater than $1 billion) average of 8.7 percent.

A hefty chunk of the county fund, $1.6 billion or 20 percent, is invested in hedge funds, which the county calls its alpha engine investments. That group of about a dozen different funds generated a 4.47 percent return for 2007, but for the six months ended Dec. 31, the engine began sputtering, losing 0.65 percent.

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In 2007, the fund lost about $95 million as a result of investing in Amaranth Advisors, a Connecticut hedge fund that imploded from highly leveraged investing in energy contracts. The county is suing for the funds.

, Mike Allen

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