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Equity firms boost pension fund

The Massachusetts state pension fund had the highest performance in private equity among large US public pension funds over the past decade, according to a new study by an association representing the buyout industry.

The $53 billion pension fund for state and public workers has reaped a 15.4 percent annualized return over 10 years on investments with firms that buy and sell companies for profit, according to the study released Wednesday by the Private Equity Growth Capital Council.

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The industry has been looking to boost its image as a major contributor to public pensions since Mitt Romney’s latest run for president, when the business practices of private equity firms came under intense scrutiny.

The Los Angeles County Employees Retirement Association and the Teacher Retirement System of Texas were ranked second and third for their private equity performance.

Beth Healy can be reached at Beth.Healy@globe.com.
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