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Florida pension fund, Citizens hold Lehman securities

The bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers, a prestigious Wall Street firm, will touch Florida's pension funds and the state-run insurer because both hold its securities.

The State Board of Administration holds $322 million in Lehman stock and bonds. The SBA manages the state's employee fund and more than two dozen other funds, including assets for the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund and the Florida Prepaid College Plan.

Dennis McKee, a spokesman for the SBA, said the agency has an $84 million unrealized loss on its holdings.

About two-thirds of the securities are held by the Florida Retirement System and the rest is spread out in the hurricane catastrophe fund and the Lawton Chiles Endowment Fund, which helps fund Medicare.

McGee said because the SBA is such a substantial investor in the financial markets, with more than $159 billion in funds under management, the agency has a relationship with most of the large Wall Street houses.

Citizens Property Insurance holds $39.25 million in Lehman securities. Based on current market value, these securities have lost $2.3 million in value.

Of the total, $16.5 million are held in a reserve account for Citizens' windstorm-only policies. This money has been set aside to pay future claims. The remaining $22.75 million are held in the reserve account for Citizens' multiperil and commercial policies.

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