Texas Pension Bets Bigger on Hedge Funds as Others Back Away
Texas, which has long prided itself on independence, is bucking the national trend on hedge funds.
As large pension funds across the U.S. shy away from hedge funds because of concerns over high fees and mediocre returns, the Texas County & District Retirement System injected $100 million into Putnam Bluescale Fund LP on Nov. 1, data on its website shows. The $28.6 billion system reported having $6.26 billion invested in hedge funds as of Sept. 30, with about half a billion allocated this year.
The growing outlay stands in contrast to some other pensions that have reduced their exposure in recent years. The California Public Employees Retirement System, the nation’s largest, decided to pull its entire hedge-fund allocation in 2014, and has recently weighed doubling its bond allocation to reduce risk. The New York State Common Retirement Fund and Illinois State Board of Investment shrunk investments more recently, citing concerns including the industry’s traditional 2 percent management fees.
The Texas retirement system said by email that it invested in the fund because it liked “its return and risk profile.”
The system’s investment would almost double Boston-based Putnam Bluescale’s assets, which were listed at $116 million, according to a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing in September. The fund started in 2012 and changed its name from Putnam TMT Long/Short Fund LP in the last year.
Putnam Bluescale declined to comment on the investment.