Pension funds report millions in losses amid Silicon Valley Bank collapse
Written by ABC AUDIO on March 17, 2023
(NEW YORK) — An Ohio public pension fund for teachers revealed it lost millions by holding more than $27 million in Silicon Valley Bank shares before the bank’s collapse.
The State Teachers Retirement System (STRS) of Ohio stated that the shares represented a minuscule portion of its overall holdings –.03% of the total fund — which held over $88.8 billion in assets as of June 2022. The statement confirmed that the bank had no shares of Signature or Silvergate banks, which collapsed in the past weeks.
STRS is a pension fund for over 500,000 current and former public educators in Ohio.
“The collective actions taken by the Treasury Department, Federal Reserve and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation to insure and backstop deposits have helped to mitigate the situation facing the banking industry,” STRS wrote in their statement. “STRS Ohio continues to monitor and assess the impact of these developments.”
The multi-million dollar loss comes as another repercussion of the ongoing financial crisis. Silicon Valley Bank, the 16th largest bank in the U.S., collapsed one week ago, followed by the collapse of Signature Bank. Silvergate Bank, which specialized in providing services to cryptocurrency users, also liquidated its assets earlier in March.
The financial crisis has impacted other pension funds, including North Carolina’s state pension fund and California’s public employee retirement fund.
In a statement to ABC News’ Raleigh station WTVD, North Carolina Treasurer Dale Folwell said the state’s pension fund held about $9.9 million in Silicon Valley Bank and $7.8 million in Signature Bank stock. Similar to STRS, the limited exposure to North Carolina amounted to only .01% of the total value of the impacted portfolios.
The California Public Employees’ Retirement System, which covers 1.5 million people, also revealed it had roughly $67 million in exposure to Silicon Valley Bank and $11 million in exposure to Signature Bank at a board meeting this week. The nation’s largest public pension fund with over $422 billion, CalPERS suffered a relatively small impact from the financial crisis.
The losses in California, Ohio and North Carolina represent a fraction of the losses suffered by a Swedish pension fund representing over 2.6 million people that invested over $1.1 billion in Signature and Silicon Valley Bank. Magnus Billing, the CEO of Alecta, told Bloomberg that the investments were a “big failure” and that the fund would likely write off their holdings as a loss.
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