US - The California Public Employees' Retirement System is striking back at a media report suggesting staff and trustees increased its exposure to private equity despite warnings from its consultant.
In a news report Friday, Reuters reported former chief investment officer Russell Read and staff ignored "red flags about the growing riskiness of CalPERS' portfolio". The article also said staff moved ahead with plans to increase its private equity exposure in 2007 despite warnings from consultant Wilshire Associates.
In a press release late Friday, CalPERS denied there had been a disagreement over the level of private equity exposure in the pension funds.
CalPERS said: "To the contrary, Wilshire supported the increase to private equity and Reuters has taken information provided to it out of context. It is not uncommon for staff and consultants to be of differing viewpoints, such as when the consultant and CalPERS expressed differing views on the risk related to the asset classes of infrastructure, commodities and stocks. In that case the Board agreed to move incrementally toward a higher asset allocation on those asset classes, but there was no dispute about private equity."
The US$190bn pension fund has a 14% target to private equity.
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