Wednesday, August 4, 2021 / by Ken Couture
We are all familiar with the economic engine that drives the state of Nevada—at least most of us are. Tourism, gambling, mining, manufacturing, and logistics have received due attention as the country's economic driving force.
However, many Nevada residents rely on an economic engine they may not have thought of: hedge funds. Hedge funds are a poorly understood but important component of our economy and our financial system. Recent attention from Washington, D.C., has been on unfair hedge funds and misguided politicians trying to score points with damaging proposals that could cause economic hardship across Nevada.
Many people don't realize that pensions, nonprofits, and college foundations invest in hedge funds to grow their market portfolios. It's happening all over the country and it's happening here in Nevada. As the hedge fund's managed portfolios grow, the resulting profits are passed on to the underlying investors. In many cases, that means retirees, charities, and aspiring students.
The institutions representing these investors mainly rely on hedge funds to ensure their financial stability, so that they can provide for those who depend on them. If D.C. and Carson City don't figure this out and over-manage hedge funds, those fundamental investors will be the ones feeling the pain.
To provide this security, Nevada pensions are heavily invested and dependent on hedge funds. The Southern Nevada Culinary and Bartender Pension Plan is investing $ 159 million for the 107,812 plan members, many of whom work in our state's vibrant and world-renowned hospitality industry. The Pension Plan of Local 525 of the United Association of Plumbers and Steam Installers is investing $ 24 million in a hedge fund for 1,764 plan members.
The financial security of thousands of our workers depends on the sophisticated investment strategies hedge funds use to grow portfolios.
A recent article in MGM explained how a hedge fund, Blackstone's Real Estate Investment Trust, enables MGM to improve financial flexibility and secure new growth opportunities by selling real estate assets to Blackstone. Hedge funds are now one of the largest landowners in Las Vegas, and these funds are helping to fuel the city's economic recovery.
Similarly, charities and non-profits do a tremendous amount of good for Nevada. Communities both large and small rely on them for a wide variety of services and acts of goodwill.
As president of the National Association of State Treasurers, which strives to provide financial education and education to underserved communities, I have witnessed first-hand the value of charities, as well as difficult to get them financed. This is where hedge funds come in, taking investments from charities and nonprofits and growing them over time, delivering benefits to our communities through the organizations that serve them. their service.
Institutions like Gabelli, which I lead as executive director, and UNLV institutions have all invested tens of millions of dollars in hedge funds. As these investments are managed and developed by hedge funds, so too are the tangible impact they have on their communities.
The message from everyone who invests in hedge funds is clear: This vital component of the economy exists on Wall Street but gives it to Americans on Main Street, as well as the Las Vegas Strip. Lawmakers need to remember what investments in hedge funds are for. Sanctions designed to punish hedge funds will only hurt Nevada's retirees, charities, and hard workers.
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