New York City Comptroller Brad Lander and trustees of the New York City Retirement Systems announced that investments in climate solutions have now reached more than $7 billion across all systems and asset classes as of the end of 2021, well exceeding the $4 billion goal set by three of the funds in 2018. These investments in companies that are helping to facilitate a just transition to a low carbon economy build on the $4 billion divestment by three of the five funds from companies that own fossil fuel reserves, which is expected to be completed later this year.
This milestone surpasses the goals set by the New York City Employees’ Retirement System (NYCERS), Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS), and Board of Education Retirement System (BERS), in 2018 to double their investments in climate solutions from $2 billion to $4 billion by 2022. In October 2021, the three Systems adopted a goal to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040. As part of this commitment, the three Systems set a goal to reach a total of $37 billion in climate solutions investments by 2035, in line with a total of $50 billion across all five Systems by 2035.
The climate solutions in the New York City Retirement Systems’ portfolio includes investments in companies that derive a majority of their revenue from climate mitigation, adaptation, and resilience activities, such as renewable energy, energy efficiency, pollution prevention, and low-carbon buildings. Climate solutions investments in the Systems’ portfolios have grown consistently and greatly in the last several years, more than doubling in value since 2018.
Author: Brad Lander
Publication Date: 5 April 2022
Publication Site: NYC Comptroller’s Office
Pension funds around the U.S. are upping their allocations to private equity after a year of record-breaking returns. According to data obtained from Preqin, the average public pension’s allotment to private equity increased to 8.9% in 2021. In contrast, the average allocation was just 6.5% in 2012.
New York City’s pensions are among those that may see an increased allocation to the asset class in their portfolios should a new law pass. Currently, New York State implements a “basket clause,” which prevents public pensions from investing above 25% of their total portfolios in investments considered higher risk, including real estate, infrastructure, hedge funds, international equities, and private equity. The proposed law would increase that allocation to 35% for all pension funds in the state. If the law passed, the boards of New York City’s five public pensions would vote on whether to increase the “basket” for their own pension funds.
New York City Interim CIO Michael Haddad, who is responsible for overseeing investments in the five pension plans across the city, says that while the change in the law isn’t targeted at private equity exclusively, it’s likely that the asset class would increase.
Author(s): Anna Gordon
Publication Date: 10 May 2022
Publication Site: ai-CIO
New York employees and taxpayers are unwittingly financing Russian companies and the oligarch pals of Vladimir Putin with at least $519 million invested in assets now frozen by the war-mongering dictator, The Post has learned.
City and state pension systems have pledged to sell off the holdings in protest of Russia’s assault on Ukraine, but Moscow has prohibited foreign investors from dumping the stocks.
“Putin is a thug and he’s holding our money hostage,” said Gregory Floyd, a Teamsters union leader and trustee of the New York City Employee Retirement System, NYCERS.
New York City’s five pension systems – covering teachers, cops, firefighters and other city employees – have invested a total $284.5 million in 33 publicly traded Russian stocks, according to records released to The Post by city Comptroller Brad Lander’s office.
On Feb. 25, the market value of the Russian assets was $185.9 million, nearly $100 million less than the purchase price, the latest available records show.
Author(s): Susan Edelman, Thomas Barrabi
Publication Date: 14 May 2022
Publication Site: NY Post
Dovetailing on President Biden’s clean-energy initiatives shortly after taking office, two of New York City’s five pension funds voted to divest their portfolios of an estimated $4 billion from securities related to fossil fuel companies.
The New York City Employees’ Retirement System and New York City Teachers’ Retirement System voted to approve divestments on Monday and the New York City Board of Education Retirement System is expected to proceed on a divestment vote imminently, Mayor Bill de Blasio and city Comptroller Scott Stringer said in a joint statement.
NYCERS and Teachers were valued at $91.4 billion and $77.4 billion as of November, according to data from Stringer’s office. Overall, the five systems have roughly $240 billion in assets under management, constituting the fourth largest public pension plan in the U.S.
Author: Paul Burton
Publication Date: 26 January 2021
Publication Site: Fidelity Fixed Income
Oil companies are quickly losing investors, including two pension funds in New York City, as more asset managers are pivoting to renewable options in the battle against climate change and for environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investing.
The two pension funds will divest an estimated $4 billion from fossil fuel companies. NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer on Twitter called the move “one of the largest divestments in the world.”
The move to sell holdings in oil companies mirrors the divestment from tobacco companies two decades ago.
The $77.4 billion New York City Employees’ Retirement System (NYCERS) and the $91.4 New York City Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS) approved the divestments in a vote on Monday. They represent the largest pension funds within the $239.8 billion New York City Retirement Systems.
Author: Ellen Chang
Publication Date: 26 January 2021
Publication Site: ai-CIO