LACERA ponders opening a European office

The $51bn pension may also hire more private equity staff.

The Los Angeles County Employees’ Retirement Association is contemplating opening an overseas office and expanding its private equity team.

LACERA, which has 9.2 percent of its $51 billion fund in private equity as of 28 February, has begun initial research into establishing a European branch and hiring additional private equity staff, according to materials for its 12 April board of investments meeting.

The pension currently has a public and private equity committee of five members plus two staff members, chaired by board member Herman Santos, according to its website.

The April meeting materials showed LACERA expects its new chief investment officer Jon Grabel to make a final recommendation on the expansion plans.

A LACERA spokesman declined to comment.

LACERA recently hired Grabel from the Public Employees Retirement Association of New Mexico as its chief investment officer, after a near two year  vacancy for that role. Emerging Manager Monthly first reported on Grabel’s move.

Former CIO David Kushner quit in May 2015 after three-and-a-half years to join investment consultant NexTier Consulting Solutions as a senior consulting principal, according to his LinkedIn profile. Since Kushner’s departure, principal investment officer Vache Mahseredjian had been the interim CIO at LACERA, as he is identified in various meeting materials.

The pension is also actively gathering private equity-related carried interest and management fee data to release it for its first time. As reported last month by PEI, LACERA hired accounting firm Kreischer Miller to begin the fee audit process, which is expected to be finished by June.

So far this year, LACERA has made two private equity commitments. Last month, the board approved a $100 million commitment to One Rock Capital Partners II, a buyout fund targeting control investments in small North American companies, and a $200 million commitment to Silver Lake Partners V, a tech-focused vehicle targeting $12.5 billion in its ongoing fundraise.