July 5 (Bloomberg) -- New York City’s pension funds gained the most in 13 years last fiscal year after the hiring of new asset managers and improved stock and bond markets, Comptroller John Liu said.
The funds were valued at about $119 billion in the year that ended June 30, up more than 20 percent from $97.8 billion a year earlier, according to preliminary estimates released today by Liu, whose office oversees the pensions.
“While the markets remain volatile, we have vigorously pursued a diversification strategy to enhance our returns while lowering pension costs to the city,” Liu said in a news release. The office hired people to target asset classes such as stocks, hedge funds, fixed income, private equity and real estate, he said.
U.S. public pension-fund assets rose 3.6 percent during the first three months of the year, the U.S. Census Bureau said June 30. Assets of the 100 largest plans grew by $93.9 billion in the first quarter to $2.73 trillion, up from $2.64 trillion on Dec. 31.
Pensions have benefited from the stock market’s rebound since March 2009. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index gained 5.4 percent in the first quarter after climbing almost 13 percent last year and 23 percent in 2009. Pension holdings of stocks rose 3.4 percent, or $29.3 billion, to $896.4 billion in the first quarter, the Census Bureau said.
--With assistance from William Selway in Washington. Editors: Jerry Hart, Stephen Merelman
To contact the reporter on this story: Sarah Frier in New York at Sfrier1@bloomberg.net.
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