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Dallas pension fund’s 2015 returns sink

The Dallas Police & Fire Pension System attributed its 12.6% loss to private equity and real estate investments.

Fresh on the heels of its chief investment officer leaving, the Dallas Police & Fire Pension System (DPFPS) posted double digit losses last year, according to its just-released 2015 annual report.

The Texas pension fund’s net position decreased by $396 million, representing a 12.6 percent loss for 2015, net of fees, due to lacklustre performance in real estate and private equity. Those asset classes posted losses of 31.7 percent and 20.2 percent, respectively. The Dallas-based LP’s best performing category was natural resources, which posted a positive 11 percent return.

The 2015 performance rout came just before the fund rejigged its asset allocation, a move which was signed off at its 10 March meeting. Its asset allocation in 2015 included 15.3 percent of private equity and no private debt. Both categories will have targets of 5 percent under the new portfolio makeup.

James Perry, the former CIO of DPFPS, left the fund after barely a year on 19 July when he accepted a position at Maples Fund Services. Perry had accepted the Dallas job in August 2015. Investment consultants at NEPC will help DPFPS transition to its new asset allocation as the pension fund searches for a new CIO.

Executive director Kelly Gottschalk could not be reached to comment on the 2015 losses or whether the results and Perry’s departure were related. Perry did not respond to request for comment.