Maine considers early backing for GTCR X

Chicago-based GTCR plans to raise $3bn for its 10th fund.

The Maine Public Employees’ Retirement System is considering making a commitment to GTCR Golder Rauner’s tenth fund, which is targeting $3 billion.

“We’re finishing up our review of [the] fund. We’ll likely invite GTCR … in for an interview at the office,” Andrew Sawyer, MainePERS’ chief investment officer, told PEO in an interview.

Sawyer declined to discuss how much the pension is considering committing to GTCR, but said MainePERS has typically committed between $15 million and $30 million.

GTCR, which has about $8 billion under management, only launched Fund X in the last few months. The firm’s prior fund collected $2.75 billion in 2006. The firm, founded in 1980, partners with management teams to target specific sectors.

Maine launched its private equity programme in 2008. The $8.4 billion pension has committed to five private equity managers so far, including Blackstone, HIG Bayside, Carlyle, Hellman & Friedman, and Oaktree. Maine also awarded consultant Cliffwater a $100 discretionary mandate for secondaries. So far the pension has not made a secondaries purchase. Cliffwater is Maine’s private equity consultant.

MainePERS has committed a total of $230 million to private equity since the programme’s inception. The pension has a 5 percent allocation target to the asset class.

“Private equity is a return enhancer. It’s really to increase the overall expected return of the overall fund,” Sawyer said.

Maine wants to commit $220 million to private equity managers in 2010, and has so far committed $115 million. Last year the pension committed $45 million.

MainePERS board also created a 5 percent allocation to infrastructure in 2008. The pension has committed to six infrastructure managers for a total of $349 million.