New Castle News

Closer Look

May 6, 2014

City pension continues growth

NEW CASTLE — New Castle’s employee pension fund continues to show steady growth.

The fund showed an increase of $336,770, or 1.19 percent, for the first quarter of this year, according to reports presented by the fund’s investment managers Monday.

The total of the portfolio was $29,601,198, as of March 31.

The managers presented their report at the quarterly meeting of the pension fund board of trustees. Making up the board are the mayor, the five city council members and three employees representing police, firefighters and non-uniformed personnel.

As of March 31, Huntington Private Financial Group’s value was $16,290,015 while Ameriprise Financial’s was $13,311,183.

Huntington’s share of the portfolio increased by $103,972, or 0.65 percent, for the quarter.

Amerprise’s share increased by $232,798, or 1.85 percent.

The gain is net of fees paid to investment managers and distributions to beneficiaries.

The portfolio combined underperformed the benchmark index. Huntington’s performance fell below the index, which increased by 1.14 percent. Ameriprise outperformed the index for the quarter.

The index is a composite of Standard and Poors, Morgan Stanley, Barclays and U.S. Treasury bills.

The gain in the portfolio was attributed to a good showing in the stock market.

Joseph Sniezek of Huntington said the reason his firm underperformed the index “was our international exposure,” specifically the poor performance of one of its managers, Thornburg International.

“We will be taking money from Thornburg International,” he told the board.

Equities did well overall for the quarter, he said, even with a bad March.

Eugene Gabriel of Ameriprise attributed the good showing to a diversification.

“We’re in multiple sectors,” he said, adding that two of every three showed positive results.

He specifically noted the health care fund, which had a 9.83 percent gain for the quarter.

Gabriel also pointed out the bond portfolio outperformed the benchmark by three percentage points.

(Email: jmanna@ncnewsonline.com)

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