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NYC Pension Chief Seeks $500,000 Managers Not Wall Street

Bloomberg – New York City’s $140 billion retirement system pays Wall Street money managers about $360 million a year, the only one of the 11 biggest U.S. public-worker pensions that refuses to manage any assets internally. Larry Schloss, the city’s chief investment officer, says the practice must end.

Schloss, 58, points to Ontario’s C$130 billion ($126 billion) teachers’ pension fund, which has returned an average 9.6 percent annually on its investments since 2003 — 1.6 percentage points better than New York’s funds. The Canadian system reaped those gains mostly without paying outside asset managers. Schloss says the same in-house approach could work in New York.

“I’m not looking for John Paulson,” said Schloss, who earns $224,000 a year, referring to the billionaire hedge-fund manager. “I’m just looking for a VP at MetLife (MET) who makes 500,000 bucks.”

The 38 staff members in the city comptroller’s Bureau of Asset Management oversee five funds for police, firefighters, teachers, school administrators and civil-service workers. They get paid an average of $100,000 a year, less than the median base salary of a first-year Harvard MBA graduate. They farm out asset management to more than 300 firms.

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