I’d get teacher pensions out of hedge-funds altogether. Retired teachers would be aghast if they truly understood how their money is being “invested”.
Amid questions and criticisms regarding the State of Rhode Island’s hedge-fund investments, Rhode Island General Treasurer Gina M. Raimondo has released a breakdown of fees.
In documents released to The Providence Journal and a table posted on the treasurer’s website, Raimondo reports that the state paid $15.9 million in fees last year on Rhode Island’s $1 billion hedge-fund portfolio.
That number, slightly higher than the $15.8 million the treasurer told the Journal last month, is now broken down for the first time among the state’s 20 hedge funds. The largest fee, $1.9 million, went to OZ Domestic Partners, a fund that has $89 million in state pension money and has returned 13.57 percent over the past year, after fees.
Five other funds top the $1 million mark in fees. Those numbers only reflect about half of the 2012 fiscal year, which ended June 30, 2012, since the state Investment Commission didn’t start moving into hedge funds until the end of 2011.
The fees are broken down into two components — a management fee that is generally 1.5 percent of the money being invested (the industry norm is 2 percent) plus a performance fee that is generally 20 percent of any gains.
However, because performance fees are not billed to the state and only recorded annually, Raimondo’s office says it cannot provide the dollar amount of fees that hedge funds have collected since last summer. That information, reported annually, will become available after the close of the current fiscal year, which is June 30, 2013.
Despite the high fees, Raimondo defends hedge funds as an important counterweight to the state pension funds’ stock-market investments, one that won’t keep pace with stocks in a bull market but will reduce volatility and protect pensioners in a stock-market plunge.
Rhode Island’s hedge-fund portfolio, which constitutes 15 percent of the $7.7 billion pension fund, has gained 9.36 percent over the past year.