Florida To Jump Into Hedge Funds, Boost Private Equity

Jun 9 2010 | 9:34am ET

The Florida Retirement System is taking the plunge into hedge funds, allocating 6% of its $109.5 billion in assets to the alternative asset class. The move comes amidst a raft of changes at the public pension fund that will dramatically increase its exposure to alternative investments.

In addition to the hedge fund allocation, Florida will increase its allocation to private equity from 3.5% to 5% under plans approved by the Florida State Board of Administration yesterday. It will also move 2% of its assets into infrastructure and an unspecified amount into commodities and timberland.

The hedge fund allocation will be evenly divided between absolute return, long/short equity and open mandate strategies.

Still, before the new asset allocation, based on an asset/liability study presented Monday by consultant Ennis Knupp, can be fully implemented, the Board of Administration will have to go to the state’s legislature to raise FRS’s 10% cap on alternatives.

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