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The Next Wave

Spurred by new opportunities, both at home and abroad, British pension plans are investing like never before — and pouring billions into alternatives.

Shortly after Chris Hitchen, CEO of the U.K’s Railways Pension Trustee Co., announced in March 2005 that its subsidiary, Railpen Investments, would make its maiden allocation to hedge funds — £600 million (then $1.15 billion) — he learned that his investment options would be directly influenced by an unexpected force:

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