SDCERS' Preliminary 2011 Investment Returns are Highest Since 1987

Date: Aug 25, 2011


The San Diego City Employees’ Retirement System reported a 23.8% return on investments for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2011, adding approximately $1 billion to the pension fund and resulting in its strongest performance since 1987.

“SDCERS’ portfolio benefitted from strong capital markets returns and an improving global economic environment,” said Liza Crisafi, SDCERS’ Chief Investment Officer. “We are very pleased to see these results, and to report that our Trust fund assets are now higher than before the financial downturn of 2008.”

Favorable returns across the broad asset class spectrum contributed to the fund’s performance, which also exceeded its benchmark of 22.3%. Domestic equities were up nearly 33%, where SDCERS had placed approximately 40% of its assets. Additionally, a bias towards small capitalization stocks contributed to the returns, as small caps outpaced large capitalization stocks by nearly seven percentage points.  International equities and real estate were also notable contributors, returning 31.1% and 20.9%, respectively, over the trailing year.

Mark Hovey, SDCERS’ Chief Executive Officer, noted that the $1 billion of earnings raised the total Trust fund balance to $5.2 billion as of June 30, 2011.  Returns above the actuarially assumed 7.75% rate of return will be used to reduce the Unfunded Actuarial Liability.

“Sound investment strategies and a long-term approach have enabled SDCERS to weather the financial downturn of 2008 and to continue strengthening the health of the Trust fund,” said Hovey. SDCERS’ long-term results, dating back to 1983 when SDCERS entered the equities market, are approximately 9.5% on an annualized basis.*

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