The Universities Superannuation Scheme, the second largest UK pension fund, has made its first hire for its planned move into hedge funds.
Emily Porter has joined as a portfolio manager for the absolute return strategies programme and will report to head of alternative assets Mike Powell.
Powell says: 'I am very pleased to announce the addition of Emily to the alternatives team at USS to help launch our hedge fund investment programme. Emily is the first of a number of hires we will be making in this area to build our in-house hedge fund selection capability.
'We believe that the current turmoil in the hedge fund industry represents a compelling investment opportunity for investors like USS who are able to take the long-term view. The Absolute Return Strategies programme will form a core part of our strategy for alternatives assets.'
Porter previously worked at Key Asset Management where she was employed as an investment director focussing on event driven and distressed hedge fund research, as well as managing multi strategy fund of hedge fund portfolios.
Prior to joining Key Asset Management, Porter worked for Asset Alliance as a hedge fund senior analyst, Aurum in hedge fund analysis and ABN Amro Asset Management as a hedge fund analyst.
USS currently has around ten per cent invested in alternatives and is targeting a 20 per cent allocation over the medium term. Since launching the programme in 2006, USS has invested around GBP2bn into alternative assets, principally in private equity and infrastructure investments. The Absolute Return Strategies programme, which will invest in hedge funds, is expected to represent around a quarter of the total alternatives allocation.
USS is the second largest pension fund in the UK and the principal pension scheme for UK universities, acting for 378 universities and academic institutions. It has in excess of GBP23bn in assets as of 31 December and approximately 250,000 members.