North Carolina commits $150m to private equity

The retirement system will commit $150m to Crestview Partners.   

The North Carolina Retirement Systems has committed $150 million to Crestview Capital Partners Fund III, according to recently released meeting documents. 

New York-based Crestview Partners is currently in the market for Fund III, which has a $3bn target according to sources familiar with the fund.  Crestview is a middle market firm focusing on unusual or complex situations across a range of industries including media, financial and healthcare.   

North Carolina State Treasurer Janet Cowell reported last week that the $87.4 billion pension fund returned 10.88 percent year-to-date through March 31. The pension portfolio has a 7.25 percent overall target rate of return. 

Private equity and other alternatives account for just over 5 percent of the total portfolio and returned 3.48 percent over that period.  

The pension system has been in the news recently after a report commissioned by the State Employees Association of North Carolina (SEANC) suggested that pension officials and the treasurer herself were involved in a pay-for-play scheme. Following the report, Cowell asked the state legislature to enact a number of pension reforms including more rigorous audit procedure, independent performance reviews, and to make clarifications to the public records laws that involve the pension fund. 

State officials are also considering changing the management of the pension fund from a sole fiduciary model to a board structure. The office of the state auditor declined to comment on the issues raised in the report beyond saying “we continue to review the report”.