Iowa ‘In No Hurry’ To Fund Hedge Funds

Oct 3 2008 | 2:00am ET

Another big pension plan is rethinking its hedge fund commitments amid the daily flurry of bad news hitting the industry.

The Iowa Public Employees’ Retirement System told FINalternatives that it staff and consultant are reviewing what impact the new investment landscape could have on the risk and returns of hedge funds and funds of funds. The $20 billion plan said it has not invested any money in hedge funds to date, and, given current market conditions, “we are in no hurry to fund them at this time.”

IPERS’ investment board in July approved hiring funds of hedge funds Blackstone Alternative Asset Management and JPMorgan Alternative Asset Management after a year-long search. Both firms were to get $300 million each, with funding taking place over a two-to-three-year time horizon.

IPERS’ decision to balk at hedge funds follows the $11 billion School Employees Retirement System of Ohio’s decision to put the brakes on its own hedge fund investments, blaming ongoing problems in the financial markets.

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