GREENWICH, CT – To ensure accurate information is circulated, it seems appropriate to share an update on the investment performance of the Town’s Retirement System.
Recently, numbers have been bandied around on the radio, in print and in the public arena that the Town of Greenwich Retirement portfolio is down 28%. This is not true. Today, the Retirement Board held its monthly meeting with our financial advisor, Neuberger Berman, and reviewed the plans’ performance. For the nine months of the Fiscal Year ending March 31, 2020, the Town of Greenwich portfolio is down 8.26%. This number has a one quarter lag for the investments held in privately placed equities and fixed income, so it does not reflect the performance of those investments for the first quarter of this year, which make up 24% of the portfolio. The most accurate and up to date performance measurement is derived from the 76% of the portfolio that is invested in the public markets. For the nine months ending March 31st, the public market investments are down 11.75%.... a far cry from 28%.
These performance numbers do not reflect the strong rebound in the public market that has taken place in the month of April. In the Retirement Board’s discussion this morning with Neuberger Berman, we understand that it is their estimate that the public market investments are now down closer to 6% ‐ 8%, and that the private market investments will probably come in even better after the quarter lag catches up.
While no one can foretell how the next two months of the Fiscal Year will play out, in the public markets, it is not unreasonable to make the assumption that come June 30th, we should expect the retirement plan to be down for the Fiscal Year around 6%, maybe more, maybe less. But 6% is a fairly good base to work from for now. Given what appears to be this magnitude in decline in the portfolio, I estimate that the additional contribution from the Town to the Retirement System (the Annual Required Contribution or ARC) for the next Fiscal Year to be in the range of $2 ‐$4 million higher than what was previously estimated.
In closing I want to add this last thought. The Retirement Plan staff—Kenneth Berkson and Daniela Barcello, Department Heads—Mary Pepe and Peter Mynarski, and Neuberger Berman have all done an extraordinary job in a difficult environment. There is no play book for what has transpired, and they have all risen to the challenge of making the administration of the plan and the management of the assets work on behalf of the plan participants and the taxpayers of the Town.
Joseph L. Pellegrino, CFA Chairman of the Retirement Board
For more information, contact Kenneth Berkson, Retirement Administrator to the Town of Greenwich Retirement Board, at email@example.com.
Board of Estimate and Taxation
Board of Selectmen