Church Of England Pension Hires BlackRock, Bridgewater, Winton

Jul 27 2012 | 10:34am ET

The Church of England has invested a small amount of its £1.1 billion pension fund in three hedge fund managers.

The Church of England Pension Board awarded the mandates last year, it said in its annual reports. BlackRock Advisors, Bridgewater Associates and Winton Capital were the beneficiaries of the state church's largesse.

The hedge fund investments are part of the CoE's global tactical asset allocation portfolio, which makes up 6% of its total assets.

The three hedge funds picked "combine large parental backing and good returns and they're not Johnny-come-lately," Pierre Jameson, the pension's investment officer, told Reuters. "They've been around for a while, have an enviable long-term track record and in many ways we feel quite fortunate to be able to invest in them."

Those words stand in stark contrast to the fire-and-brimstone talk of two top Anglican clerics four years ago. The Archbishop of Canterbury, in his 2008 Easter sermon, took issue with greed and the "grabbing of things in the world," while the Bishop of Rochester suggested that hedge funds were "amoral forces" and warned that they "need to ensure that the poor are not disproportionately affected" if they wish to get to heaven.

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