New Mexico SIC hires LP Capital for private equity

The $15bn oil and gas endowment had picked StepStone Group in February but could not come to terms with the firm.

New Mexico’s State Investment Council, which oversees about $15 billion in oil and gas endowments, has given final approval to hiring LP Capital Advisors as its national private equity advisor after failing to agree on terms with its first choice StepStone Group.

LP Capital, formed in 2004, will help SIC invest the balance of about $275 million the endowment has for private equity this year. The firm also will help SIC determine whether to sell private equity holdings on the secondaries market.

It’s not clear which terms SIC and StepStone could not agree on, and a spokesperson for SIC declined to elaborate. Council announced in February that it was set to hire StepStone and was working on final negotiations with the firm.

New Mexico SIC has been searching for a private equity advisor since firing Aldus Equity in 2009, which was caught up in a pension pay-to-play scheme in New York. The council stopped making private equity commitments after firing Aldus but is committed to getting back into the asset class.

SIC has made small steps back into the asset class, committing $50 million to EIG Energy Fund XV and $40 million to Lightyear Capital’s third fund. SIC has a long-range target to the asset class of 9 to 12 percent and its actual allocation was just under 10 percent in September.