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CalPERS Generates 2.4% Return for FY 2015

California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) returned 2.4% in fiscal year 2015 – ended June 30th, 2015. This was CalPERS’ worst performance since 2012 when it generated a 1% return. Listed equities were a major drag on performance, along with private equity. The pension giant had an internal goal of 2.5%, far below its targeted long-term pension return of 7.5%. At June 30th, CalPERS had a bit more than US$ 301 billion in assets. Other pensions globally have fared better. Japan’s GPIF, the largest pension in the world, earned 12% in the year ended March 31.

“Despite the impact of slow global economic growth and increased short-term market volatility on our fiscal year return, the strength of our long-term numbers gives us confidence that our strategic plan is working,” said Ted Eliopoulos, CalPERS Chief Investment Officer in a press release.

CalPERS is in the midst of a significant re-organization regarding its investment office. The pension system dropped hedge funds and is looking toward reducing alternative asset manager relationships – essentially halving them by 2020. CalPERS is also putting up its timberland assets for sale. Those assets generated a -0.3% return in FY 2015.

Asset Class Returns

Asset Class FY 2015 Return Performance Against Benchmark
Public Equity 1.0% (31) bps
Private Equity 8.9% (221) bps
Fixed Income 1.3% 93 bps
Real Assets 12.4% 90 bps
1. Real Estate 13.5% 114 bps
2. Infrastructure 13.2% 932 bps
3. Forestland -0.3% (1,094) bps
Liquidity 0.90% (77) bps
Inflation Assets -11.5% 147 bps
Total Fund 2.4% (9) bps

Source: CalPERS

SWFI First Read, December 15, 2017

Gaw Capital Sells Cross Tower Shanghai Building

Hong Kong-based Gaw Capital Partners has agreed to sell the Cross Tower, a 24-storey commercial building in Shanghai, to World Union Investment Management, for 2.66 billion RMB (US$ 402 million). The tower is located in the Huangpu district.

RDIF Portfolio Company Geopharm Plans to Increase Insulin Production

Russia-based Geopharm is a portfolio company of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF). Geopharm signed a special investment agreement with the City of St. Petersburg, Russia. Geopharm plans to invest more than 3.3 billion rubles in building a complex to meet insulin production demands.

Norway’s KLP to Exclude Companies with Oil Sands Extraction via Revenue Threshold

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NZ Super Resumes Government Contributions

The New Zealand Superannuation Fund (NZ Super) has resumed receiving contributions from the New Zealand government in the face of rising obligations as an increasing proportion of the country’s population approaches retirement. According to a statement released by the fund’s managing Board of Guardians, the government plans on investing US$ 5.3 billion into NZ Super between now and June of 2022, with the first payment scheduled for December 15, 2017.

Policymakers believe the resumption of government contributions, which were halted in July of 2009, is expected to ease the burden on the country’s current taxpayers and future generations. Withdrawals from NZ Super are expected to peak in 2078, at which point the fund will be covering 12.8% of New Zealand’s pension obligations. The new wave of contributions will initially be invested in passive, low cost equity and bond investments, according to Catherine Savage, Chair of the Guardians.

Recent Performance & Leadership Change

NZ Super has enjoyed one of its best annual performances since its founding in 2001, with a reported return of 20.7% before tax for a 12-month trailing period ended June 30, 2017, up 5 billion NZD (US$ 3.6 billion) compared to 2016. NZ Super generated 21.85% annual return in its global equities, developed market portfolio, according to its 2017 annual report.

NZ Super faces a changing of leadership in the coming year with the exit of chief executive Adrian Orr, who will leave the Fund officially in March of 2018 to serve a five-year term as Governor of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand. Mr. Orr has earned a spot numerous times in the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute’s Public Investor 100 annual ranking over the years, most recently in 2017 at #3.

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iZettle Raises US$ 47 Million in Series E, Prepares for 2018 Listing

Card transaction platform iZettle AB has raised another US$ 47 million in Series E funding, this time with new backing from Sweden’s AP4 and early-stage venture capital firm Dawn Capital. Previous investors in the Stockholm-based payments business include American Express, MasterCard, Intel, and Spain’s Santander Group. With US$ 235 million in equity to date, iZettle is quickly approaching an estimated valuation of US$ 1 billion.[ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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