Private Equity Boosts CalPERS in ‘06

Mar 15 2007 | 11:31am ET

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System again enjoyed double-digit returns last year, and it has private equity to thank.

The largest pension fund in the U.S. earned 15.4% in 2006 before fees. Its alternative investment management program, which houses its private equity and venture capital investments, was a big part of it, returning 20.9% last year. Its benchmark rose 17.7%.

"We had a very strong fourth quarter of 2006, with an overall portfolio gain of 6% for just those three months,"  said Charles Valdes, chair of the $230 billion fund's investment committee.

Real estate was also a major piece of CalPERS’ winning puzzle for the year, as it rose 27.6%, compared to 17.6% for its benchmark.

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