Crist, McCollum, Sink roll the dice on pension fund
Chasing bigger investment returns, the agency that manages Florida's $113.8 billion public pension fund wants to make far riskier investment bets. The state wants to reduce the pension fund's holdings in publicly traded stocks and bonds and triple its allocation to hedge funds and other private investments that are less liquid and harder to value.
Earlier this month, the head of the State Board of Administration told his bosses that rearranging the state's portfolio would benefit the nearly 1 million public employees and retirees who depend on the fund, as well as the taxpayers who underwrite the system.
"We will probably have a slightly higher level of return, with a slightly lower level of risk," SBA executive director and chief investment officer Ash Williams told Gov. Charlie Crist, Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink and Attorney General Bill McCollum.All three voted to approve Williams' plan after a few questions from McCollum and Sink and no comment from Crist. The Legislature still must approve the expansion of the alternative asset class.
Several financial experts said that expecting higher returns with lower risk is as realistic as promising weight loss on an all-you-can-eat diet.