New Mexico’s SWF names interim PE director

After its director of PE, Greg Kulka, retired at the end of 2016, SIC hired from within to name an acting director.

New Mexico State Investment Council (SIC), the public pension fund manager for the US state, has named an acting head of private equity after the former director retired.

An SIC spokesman confirmed Greg Kulka had stepped down on 31 December after 15 years.

David Lee, a former equities portfolio analyst at SIC, was named acting private equity director, but it was unclear when a permanent appointment would be made.

On Kulka's watch, SIC grew to a $21 billion fund that allocates 9.2 percent to private equity and has a long-term target allocation of 12 percent to the asset class, according to SIC’s meeting materials from 10 January. It began investing in private equity in 1989 and has committed at least $400 million to secondaries funds managed by Coller Capital and Landmark Partners since 2002, according to PEI data.

According to media reports, Lee joined SIC in 1998 from Pennsylvania State Employees’ Retirement System.

The January meeting material also indicated the pension is currently recruiting for a private equity analyst position to support the director.

SIC most recently approved a $100 million commitment to TPG Asia VII, which is targeting $4.5 billion, and became the first limited partner in the fund, as PEI reported.

According to SIC’s private equity performance update from the first quarter of 2016 – the most recent  available – its portfolio stood at a net asset value of $1.51 billion. Its private equity exposure was through 194 funds and generated a net internal rate of return of 11 percent since inception, as of 31 March.

For the fiscal year 2017, SIC plans to commit about $600 million to private equity to meet its target allocation, according to its annual investment plan released in July.