We asked some of the leading figures from the institutions represented in the Global Investor 100 five questions on today’s private equity market. In the fourth of five articles, these executives share their thoughts on the role of direct private equity in their portfolios. You can find the other four articles in the index box to the right of this page and on the Global Investor 100 welcome page.

How big a role does direct PE play in your portfolio, and will this change in the next two years?

A spokesperson for the office of the treasurer, Connecticut Retirement Plans and Trust Funds (95)

“Primary fund commitments are the core of our PE portfolio today, while we continue to selectively use fund-of-funds strategies to access certain market segments. Currently, we do not have an active direct PE investment programme. We are, however, in the process of developing co-investment capabilities across PE and other private asset classes.”


Lorenzo Levi, operational partner, private equity, CDPQ (4)

“Currently +75 percent of [our] PE portfolio is direct investment. We will invest primarily in companies where we can exercise active governance and have board representation. We expect the percentage in direct PE to remain stable in the next two years.”


Jim Pittman, executive vice-president and global head, private equity, BCI (21)

“Over the past four years, our direct investments have grown from 20 percent to 40 percent of our portfolio. Over time, we envision an approximate 50/50 split between direct investments and PE fund investments. We like to match our relationships with managers with added capital to complete slightly larger deals. We prefer to be larger owners of equity, above 25 percent ownership, as it provides us with better information on the company’s performance and gives us governance in our investments. In this manner, we can have a better understanding of how our portfolio is performing.”


David Enriquez, head of private equity, New York City Retirement Systems (New York City Employees’ Retirement System (63), Teachers’ Retirement System of the City of New York (70))

“The boards of trustees of all five [NYC] systems approved earlier this year a private equity co-investment programme to pursue a direct strategy with a focus on New York City’s private equity managers. Through this strategic initiative, the Bureau of Asset Management private equity team will be partnering with a global co-investment platform through a separately managed account… This extension into a co-investment strategy is designed to both enhance the returns of the private equity portfolio and to deepen our relationships with our GPs going forward. We expect this programme to be operational by the end of 2020.”