Key city, state pension funds say they have no crypto exposure – Crain’s Chicago Business

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The $64 billion Illinois Teachers Retirement System “has no direct or indirect exposure to cryptocurrency,” said Dave Urbanek, spokesman for the fund, which has 172,000 active members.

Similarly, Michelle Holleman, spokeswoman for the Chicago Teachers Pension Fund, said fund executives have checked with their financial managers and determined that it “does not have any direct or indirect investments in crypto account.” It had $13.4 billion in assets and 65,000 members as of June 30, 2021, according to its most recent annual financial report.

The city of Chicago also checked after news accounts began to emerge that some large investment funds were involved in crypto, if not directly then via pooled accounts such as venture-capital companies that directly invested themselves.

“The pension funds have no exposure to crypto, either directly or indirectly, and there are absolutely no plans to have any in the future,” said Kate LeFurgy, communications director for Mayor Lori Lightfoot.

Officials at the $45.5 billion Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund, which makes investments for towns and cities outside of Chicago, did not immediately return calls. But Brad Cole, executive director of the Illinois Municipal League, says he checked with IMRF after receiving inquiries from members and was assured that there were “minimal” if any crypto investments.

The Illinois State Board of Investment, which places funds for retirement systems that cover state white-collar workers, judges and legislators, also did not immediately return calls.

Financial insiders say crypto was on the verge of becoming a widely accepted investment vehicle until its recent difficulties. At least one sizable U.S. fund, the Virginia-based Fairfax County Police Officers Retirement System,  invested 7% of its assets in crypto and has stood by the investment, asserting that recent turmoil is merely “the washing out of weak players or potentially inappropriate actors.”

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December 7, 2022 at 04:59PM

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