US - Two new Mexico-based pension funds and the Baltimore Fire and Police retirement system are among the US-based investors burned by the alleged US$50bn Ponzi scheme run by Bernard Madoff.
The $12bn New Mexico SIC fund had a combined $18m invested through two hedge fund of funds, said Mr. Wollmann.
The SIC has over 400 relationships with hedge funds, but the Madoff investments raised no red flags, said Mr. Wollmann. Asked is the system is overly diversified with its hedge fund assets, he said: "That's something we will be assessing going forward." The system has a 10% allocation to hedge funds.
The Baltimore fund, meanwhile, can potentially lose up to $3.5m- angering because the loss is due to fraud, but a drop in the bucket compared to what most pension funds have lost due to steep drops in the equity market, said Mr. Fugate.
Baltimore's losses stem from a hedge fund of fund run by UBP Asset Management. The system invested $73mill in a hedge fund of funds managed by UBP which had a 5% - 6% exposure to a Madoff fund, said Mr. Fugate. Officials at the system are redeeming their assets with UBP, he said.
Officials at UBP in New York could not be immediately reached while Jérôme Koechlin, spokesman at parent company Union Bancaire Privée in Geneva, declined to comment.
Madoff's alleged scheme was not limited to US investors. Officials at Liverpool-based Merseyside Pension Fund announced in mid-December the system had about a £2m ($2.9m) exposure through a Bramdean Alternatives fund of funds.
"Events are still unfolding but the impact on Merseyside Pension Fund's assets appears to be minimal, relating to a very small percentage of overall investments," according to a press release from the £3.7bn scheme.
In a statement, officials at Bramdean said: "The Madoff business has been subject to due diligence by many of the most experienced professionals in the global markets, including our own advisers RMF Investment Management - Nassau branch, which is part of MAN Group… The alleged failure raises fundamental questions about the regulatory system under which this has happened and no doubt this will be the subject of intense debate as the facts emerge."
Bramdean declined to comment further.
Ira Sorkin, Madoff's attorney, declined to comment.
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