Florida commits $250m to state growth fund

The Florida State Board of Administration has re-upped to the state's growth fund, which targets investments in Florida-focused fund managers and co-investments.

The Florida State Board of Administration is expected to make a $250 million re-up commitment to its Florida Growth Fund, spokesman Dennis MacKee said. The retirement system’s original $250 million investment has been almost entirely drawn down.

The $158 billion pension system established the fund in 2009, allocating $250 million to be divided between investments in Florida-focused private equity fund managers and co-investment opportunities. Private equity advisory firm Hamilton Lane manages the fund.

Florida

The Florida Growth Fund was created by the state legislature, which authorized the board to invest up to 1.5 percent of the Florida Retirement System Pension Plan Trust Fund in technology and growth investments in Florida-based businesses.

“Often times [with] pension funds and states, there’s a very fine line between doing economic development and investing,” Hamilton Lane vice president Greg Baty told Private Equity International. “We’re trying to deliver outsized returns to them. That’s our number one goal. And we do that in the context of investing in Florida, and by investing in growing companies in Florida we will make an impact on the economy.” 

Florida is one of many pension systems to adopt a co-investment strategy recently. Earlier this year, the Employees Retirement System of Texas approved up to 20 percent of its total private equity allocation to co-investment in slow the development of relationships with new fund managers. The California Teachers’ Retirement System also announced plans to improve its co-investment capabilities in its 2011-2012 business plan.