Texas ERS seeks director of PE

The Employees’ Retirement System of Texas is looking for a director of private equity after Patrick O'Hara announced his resignation. O'Hara is heading to Brazos Private Equity Partners.

The Employees’ Retirement System of Texas’ director of private equity, Patrick O’Hara, is leaving the pension to join Brazos Private Equity Partners, a mid-market firm based in Dallas.

O’Hara has been with Texas ERS since June 2008, having previously held the position of managing director at Esposito Private Equity Group and Patriarch Partners and portfolio manager of distressed debt investments at GE Capital.

O'Hara's position at Brazos is not clear. The firm closed its third fund in 2008 on $700 million.

The $22.5 billion system is searching for a new director who will be charged with providing primary oversight of funds allocated to the private equity asset class and supervision of private equity staff. The director of private equity will report to the director of investments.

In December, Texas ERS approved a $50 million commitment to Baring Asia Private Equity Fund V and a $50 million commitment to a new fund, ERS Private Equity Emerging Manager Fund I.

As of 31 December 2010, the pension’s private equity portfolio had a net asset value of $436 million, compared to $278 million as of 31 August, 2010. For fiscal year 2011, Texas ERS is targeting a total of $500 million in commitments to 7 to 12 funds with a range of $375 million to $625 million. The pension’s target allocation for fiscal 2011 is $100 million less than fiscal 2010, due in part to the pension’s committing $200 million over target in fiscal 2009.

Since inception, Texas ERS has invested in 26 funds with commitments totaling $1.9 billion.

Christopher Witkowsky contributed to this article.