New Mexico PERA budgets $100m for private equity

The $10.5bn pension, which has not yet made a commitment in 2010, is targeting buyouts, venture capital, distressed and non-US funds for its private equity portfolio.

The New Mexico Public Employees’ Retirement Association is considering setting aside $100 million this year for investments in private equity.

The pension, with $10.5 billion in assets, budgeted $120 million for private equity commitments last year. New Mexico PERA also will consider putting $50 million to work in real estate partnerships this year, and $45 million for real asset investments, which includes infrastructure.

The pension's board will make a final decision on the allocation budgets later this month.

New Mexico PERA has not yet made a commitment to private equity this year, according to Julian Baca, deputy investment director with the pension.

Strategies the pension will target this year are buyouts, non-US funds, distressed investments and venture capital, Baca said.

The pension has a 5 percent target to private equity and an actual allocation of about 2 percent. For alternatives in general, the pension has a target of 15 percent and an actual allocation of 13 percent.

New Mexico PERA is building its infrastructure portfolio, and has not yet committed to a manager. The pension was looking at Alinda Infrastructure Partners, but the pension ultimately declined to commit to the firm.

“It was the comfort level of the board with the fund,” Baca said. “[The board] was accustomed to seeing funds with longer track records.”

The pension is considering two more infrastructure funds for commitments, but will likely only make one infrastructure commitment this year.