SDCERA searches for head of private markets

The $9.2bn pension fund’s new director of private markets will oversee the team investing in private equity, real assets including infrastructure, and real estate.

The San Diego County Employees’ Retirement Association will soon begin interviews for its new position, director of private markets, and expects to fill the position by the end of summer, a spokesperson for the system told Private Equity International.
The new director’s duties will include making recommendations on private market (which includes private equity, real assets like infrastructure and real estate) investment policy, monitoring capital markets and economic forecasts and negotiating contracts with outside private market investment managers, according to SDCERA documents.

Prior to the creation of the head of private markets, private markets duties were handled by the system’s chief executive officer and acting assistant chief investment officer, according to a spokesperson for SDCERA.

SDCERA made a total of $1.2 billion or 4.3 percent, in private equity commitments as of 31 December 2012, according to its Salient Partners’ documents. Private equity was SDCERA’s worst performing private portfolio during the period, according to the documents. Salient recommended SDCERA pursue a target private equity allocation of 25 percent within private markets.

Recently SDCERA selected Wurts & Associates as its general investment consultant. The general investment consultant provides the board and staff with advice and recommendations across its investment portfolio and helps review asset allocation, Private Equity International reported earlier.
SDCERA has seen 2.7 percent and 15.7 percent returns for the quarter and the year ended 31 December 2012 respectively, according to its website. Last October, SDCERA invested $60 million into Toronto-based DRI Capital’s Fund III, which is charging a 1.75 percent management fee on committed capital and an 8 percent preferred return, PEI reported earlier. The fund was nearing $1 billion in April.