The California Public Employees Retirement System, the largest public pension fund in the U.S., said it replaced a unit of BlackRock Inc. as the manager of its $1 billion apartment complex real-estate portfolio.
The decision comes after Calpers, as the fund is known, was forced to write off a $500 million investment with BlackRock in New York City’s Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village through a partnership with Tishman Speyer Properties LP. Calpers said it was consolidating the apartment portfolio with GID Investment Advisers LLC, an affiliate of The General Investment & Development Cos.
Calpers suffered a 37 percent loss in its real-estate holdings in the fiscal year that ended June 30, a decline equivalent to 1.3 percent of the pension’s market value at the time. Despite the loss, the fund earned 11.4 percent for the year as its stocks, bonds and private-equity funds rose.
“By consolidating our core multifamily portfolio under a single partner/manager, we anticipate lower costs, improved efficiency and enhanced performance,” said Ted Eliopoulos, who heads Calpers’ real-estate investment division
BlackRock Realty Advisors had managed the apartment complex portfolio since 1998. BlackRock’s real estate unit teamed with Tishman Speyer to buy the Manhattan developments for $5.4 billion in 2006. The pension said last November it was reviewing its ties with the New York company following the loss.
BlackRock is the largest global investment management firm, with $3.2 trillion in assets.
“As a matter of policy, we do not comment on client activity,” said Lauren Terngrove, a spokeswoman for BlackRock, in an e-mail.
Closely held GID will manage investments in 57 apartment projects with 14,674 units in 13 states valued at about $1.1 billion, Calpers said. Boston-based GID currently manages about $5.3 billion worth of apartments at 127 properties across the U.S., according to the release.
Calpers also wrote off a $970 million investment last year in the Newhall Ranch project north of Los Angeles. The developer, LandSource Communities Development LLC, entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization after failing to restructure debts.
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