OCERS commits $150 million to private equity

 Meeting documents show the pension will also pre-commit another $25 million  

The Orange County Employees Retirement System has committed $150 million to three private equity funds according to recently released meeting documents. The commitments will be for the 2015 calendar year.

The pension will commit $75 million to Pantheon Ventures in a follow-on investment. OCERS has had a long time relationship with Pantheon, and picked the firm to manage its new fund of funds platform that offers multiple public pensions access to private equity as PEI reported in March.

Another $50 million will go to Abbott Capital, also a continuation of previous investment relationships. Abbott is believed to be nearing the target on its Abbott Capital Private Equity Fund VII vehicle which launched last year. That fund had a $1 billion target which was lowered to $500 million earlier this year, according to Private Equity International’s research and analytics division.

Finally, $25 million will go to Adams Street, another incumbent manager for the pension. Adams Street has seen a bit of internal shuffling after CIO Hanneke Smits announced in July that she would resign at the end of this year. In September, the firm announced that Kelly Meldrum and Jeff Diehl have been promoted to manage those responsibilities, PEI reported.

In addition to 2015’s allocations, the pension has also approved a $25 million pre-commitment for 2017-18 to Pantheon as a subscription to a “dry powder portfolio reserve” to initiate timely pro-cyclical investments in recessionary/contracting capital markets.

NEPC served as the investment consultant for the pension on these allocations.

Through October 31, 2014 OCERS’ total fund has a year-to-date positive return of 4.95 percent, and recorded a positive return of 0.52 percent during the month of October.

As of October 31, 2014, OCERS' total fund was more than $11.8 billion.