January 21, 2013, 6:53 p.m.
The California Public Employees’ Retirement System is poised to top a record $260 billion in assets, the market value it held before the global financial crisis wiped out more than a third of its wealth.
The largest U.S. public pension, with half of its money in publicly traded equities, was worth $253.2 billion on Thursday, or about 97% of the pre-recession high set in October 2007. The fund returned 13% in 2012, about the same gain as the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index.
“A lot of the improvements in portfolio returns is simply reflective of the return of the market,” Chief Investment Officer Joe Dear said. “But there is still an important lesson there, which is that when the crisis was full on, we didn’t drastically reduce our equity exposure.”
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