Fort Lauderdale General Employees pension fun considers first agriculture investments

Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) General Employees Retirement System is exploring the possibility of making its first investments in agriculture funds.

The $667 million pension fund is considering utilizing the asset class as an alternative to fixed income, according to recently released Oct. 20 board meeting minutes.

The board will hear educational presentations at its meeting in January from Nuveen, UBS Farmland Investors and US Agriculture LLC after investment consultant Dahab Associates recommended considering the asset class.

At the Oct. 20 meeting, Richard Dahab, president of Dahab Associates, recommended the consideration of agriculture as an alternative to fixed income because of the expectation of little or no return from fixed income in the short term. He also noted returns from agriculture are consistent and non-correlated to the equity market, according to the minutes.

The minutes did not provide any further information on what the board may allocate to agriculture if investments to the asset class are approved.

Nick Schiess, pension administrator, could not be immediately reached for further information.

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