USS Hires For Move Into Hedge Funds

Mar 2 2009 | 10:56am ET

The Universities Superannuation Scheme, the second-largest British pension fund, has made a hire for its planned move into hedge funds. The £23 billion (US$32.9 billion) plan named Emily Porter portfolio manager for the Absolute Return Strategies program, reporting to Mike Powell, head of alternative assets at USS.

Porter previously worked at Key Asset Management, where she worked as an investment director focusing on event-driven and distressed hedge fund research, as well as managing multi-strategy fund of funds portfolios. Prior to joining Key, Porter worked for Asset Alliance as a hedge fund senior analyst, and ABN AMRO Asset Management as a hedge fund analyst.

USS currently has around 10% invested in alternatives and is targeting a 20% allocation over the medium term.  Since launching the program in 2006, USS has invested around £2 billion (US$2.9 billion) into alternative assets, principally in private equity and infrastructure investments. The Absolute Return Strategies program, which will invest in hedge funds, is expected to represent around a quarter of the total alternatives allocation.

“We believe that the current turmoil in the hedge fund industry represents a compelling investment opportunity for investors like USS who are able to take the long-term view,” said Powell. “The Absolute Return Strategies program will form a core part of our strategy for alternatives assets”

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