New York CRF suffers 22% drop in PE portfolio

Private equity was among many poorly performing asset classes for the pension, which had an overall loss of almost $50bn.

The New York State Common Retirement Fund has joined the ranks of US public pensions reporting dismal fiscal year results.

The $111 billion pension reported a net loss of 26.4 percent for fiscal 2008-2009 – nearly $50 billion – which it said “reflects the volatility in the world financial markets during the fiscal year”.

The value of its private equity portfolio fell 22 percent, while its real estate investments lost nearly 33 percent. The worst performing asset classes, however, were domestic equities, which lost 37.85 percent, and international equities, which lost 45.6 percent.

The NYSCRF is one of many large pensions to report heavy losses for the most recent fiscal year.

Harvard’s endowment, for example, reported the first ever loss in its history, a 30 percent drop . Its management company’s chief executive, Jane Mendillo, noted that “nearly every asset class did poorly. Our real estate portfolio, for example, suffered a loss of over 50 percent during the year after considering all final marks through 30 June 2009”.