|Connecticut Retirement Plans and Trust Funds|
Despite its location in the heart of hedge fund country, Connecticut Retirement Plans and Trust Funds was notably late in starting to invest in this asset class. But over the past two years, the Hartford-based organization, which manages $24 billion in public pension and other state assets, has started to implement an absolute-return program.
In early 2012, Connecticut made a smart move by hiring Terrence Purcell, who founded long-short equity hedge fund firm Purcell Capital Management, to lead its hedge fund and private equity investment effort. Under Purcell, 44, who has an undergraduate degree from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA in finance from New York University, the venture is off to a strong start. For the first quarter of this year, the Connecticut absolute-return portfolio returned 4.3 percent, making it the pension funds top-performing alternative asset class.