Investments Committee meets in Beijing, China

The Investments Committee of the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund held its first meeting in Beijing, China on 10 and 11 May 2010.

The members of the Investments Committee and the Investment Management Division reviewed the performance of the Fund and the increasing importance of China in the investment portfolio.

The Investment Management Division internally manages 95 per cent of the Fund’s portfolio, which amounted to the equivalent of US$38.3 Billion or 261.7 billion renminbi.  The Fund is the world’s most globally diversified pension fund, generating a 20.3 per cent return in 2009.  As of 31 March 2010, the Fund had investments in more than 39 countries, 7 international/regional institutions and 27 currencies.

The General Assembly, besides vesting the responsibility and authority to invest Pension Fund assets in the Secretary-General, has also adopted four criteria to guide Pension Investments: safety, profitability, convertibility, and liquidity, which are adhered to under the careful stewardship of the Investment Management Division.

The Committee is composed of distinguished investment experts under the Chairmanship of the former Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York William McDonough, who presided over the 205th meeting of the Fund. Members attending are nationals of Argentina, Botswana, China, France, Germany, India, United States, and Switzerland.

The Secretary-General is responsible for the investments of the Fund, which includes 23 member organizations, a list of which can be found on the UNJSPF website.  The Representative of the Secretary-General, Warren Sach is appointed to oversee the Investment Management Division and to represent the Secretary-General on the matters in the Investments Committee.

In the meeting with Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qi Shan, held at Zhong Nan Hai, Mr. Sach, Mr. Simon Jiang, a member of the Investments Committee, and Ms. Suzanne Bishopric, Director of the Investment Management Division, discussed the successful long term performance of investments made by the Fund in China and 39 other countries, as well as the economic outlook for the world economy.

As of 31 March 2010, the market value of the Fund’s assets stood at US$38.3 billion, an increase of 32.1 per cent from 31 March 2009. The Fund ‘s portfolio had an equity asset class weighting of 65.6 per cent, a fixed income asset class weighting of 28.6 per cent, a real estate asset class weighting of 3.6 per cent and a short term weighting of 2.2 per cent.

For the period 31 December 2009 to 31 March 2010, the preliminary performance numbers indicate that the fund outperformed against the policy benchmark by 17 basis points. The Fund’s policy benchmark is comprised of the following components: 60% MSCI All Country World Index, 31% Barclays Global Aggregate Bond Index, 6% NCREIF Open End Diversified Core Equity Index and 3% Merrill Lynch 91-day T-bill.