US - New York retirement funds lost 14% of their value during the fourth quarter of 2008, according to figures released by the state.
Although the "sputtering fiscal climate" was blamed for the majority of the losses, state comptroller William Thompson said diversification had helped to shield the funds from some of the worst performance.
He commented: "At the start of my tenure as comptroller, I worked with trustees of the pension funds to markedly diversify the Funds, steps that have shielded us from suffering the crippling losses faced by so many other funds amid a down market.
"The choices trustees have made are positioning the pension funds to better weather this downturn and revive over a long-term horizon."
The funds also announced a success in their 'say on pay' campaign, aimed at allowing shareholders to have greater influence on executive compensation and remuneration.
Comptroller Thompson said a joint shareholder resolution by the five funds against clothing retailer Charming Shoppes had been withdrawn after the company agreed to adopt the resolution.
Thompson said: "Shareholders deserve to have their voices heard regarding the compensation being doled out to corporate executives at a time when most families are struggling to get by.
"By agreeing to provide shareholders a vote, Charming Shoppes has approved a more transparent and accountable process of compensation."
New York City public advocate Betsy Gotbaum added: "Tying executive compensation to superior performance is the hallmark of good corporate governance. Charming Shoppes' agreement to provide shareholders with a non-binding vote on the pay for company executives is a victory, not just for New York City, but for all shareholders who must hold corporate executives accountable.
"All public corporations should follow this lead and heed their shareholders demands for reasonable executive compensation."
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