San Bernardino has $125m for private equity

The $6.4bn retirement system plans to invest in mezzanine and direct lending, distressed, secondaries, buyouts and funds of funds.

The San Bernardino County Employees’ Retirement Association approved a 2013 private equity plan that includes $125 million in planned commitments, a spokesperson told Private Equity International.

SBCERA will spread those commitments across a variety of sectors and geographies. Between $20 million and $50 million will be committed to each of the following: distressed, mezzanine and direct lending, secondaries and buyouts. The $6.4 billion retirement system also will commit between $40 million and $80 million to a diversified fund of funds, according to the NEPC recommendations adopted by the Board of Retirement at its 10 January meeting. 

The retirement association is already heavily invested in private equity – more than 18 percent of its portfolio was allocated to the strategy as of 30 September.  Although continued commitments will keep SBCERA well above its 16 percent target, advisor NEPC recommended additional commitments to mitigate vintage year risk, according to its report. 

The report also projected $125 million in SBCERA commitments for 2014 vintages, with $200 million projected for 2015. 

SBCERA investment staff could not be reached for comment at press time.

Last year, the retirement association rescinded its $25 million commitment from Apollo Global Management’s second European principal finance fund. The board approved the commitment in January 2012 but was unable to come to terms with Apollo on a contractual matter. Chief investment officer Donald Pierce was unable to elaborate, as the decision to rescind was made during the closed portion of the board’s August meeting, which is not open to the public. 

“From time to time we can’t get there with contracting,” he told Private Equity International at the time. “Sometimes things just don’t work out.”