PA SERS considers commitment to BC Partners

The $24bn pension, which has been slowly committing to private equity this year, has invited BC Partners, Meritech Capital and SFC Energy Partners in for interviews as it considers making commitments to the firms.

The Pennsylvania State Employees’ Retirement System is considering making commitments to BC Partners, venture firm Meritech Capital Partners and energy fund of funds SFC Energy Partners.

PA SERS has invited the three firms in for interviews, after which the pension will decide whether or not to commit. Staff has recommended commitment amounts for the funds, but those are approved only after the interviews, according to a pension spokesperson.

PA SERS is considering commitments to BC European Capital IX, which recently launched with a target of €6 billion; Meritech Capital Partners IV, which is targeting $425 million for late-stage financing of venture-backed technology companies; and SFC Energy Partners II, a fund of funds that focuses on energy related funds. A target for SFC II could not be determined by press time.

The $24 billion pension has resumed making commitments to private equity after a year of backing away from the asset class to battle over-exposure. Last year the pension dropped its target to alternatives to 12 percent from 14 percent. Its current allocation stands at about 26 percent.

This year, PA SERS has made follow-on commitments to Oaktree, Avenue Capital, JMI Equity Partners, JH Whitney and Advent International.

Also, the pension’s chief investment officer, John Winchester, will retire in January. The pension board initiated a search for a new CIO at the meeting Wednesday. Deputy CIO Tom Brier will serve in an acting capacity until the pension hires a new CIO.