UN hires TorreyCove as private equity advisor

The $43bn United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund has been gradually growing its alternatives programme, and recently hired the David Fann-led group to consult on private equity.

The United Nations employees’ pension fund has hired Pacific Corporate Group spin-out TorreyCove Capital Partners as its private equity advisor, according to pension documents available on the fund’s web site.

The UN’s contract with TorreyCove, which is worth $1.2 million, started on 1 May and ends 30 April, 2013. TorreyCove spun out from Pacific Corporate Group last year and is led by president and chief executive officer David Fann. The consultancy counts the Oregon Investment Council and the Illinois Teachers’ Retirement System as clients.

TorreyCove did not return a request for comment and the UN pension fund could not be reached for comment.

The $43 billion United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund has been expanding its fledgling private equity programme and last year made its first major commitments to Lexington Partners and Centerbridge Partners. As of March, the fund had a .8 percent allocation to alternative investments on a 6 percent allocation target, which it carved out in 2010.

David Fann

The pension fund was authorised by the UN Secretary General in consultation with the investment committee, the pension board and the General Assembly in 2009 to begin investing in private equity and hedge funds. The pension board had been exploring various alternative asset classes since 2008, according to a statement from the pension fund.

Last year, the fund committed $75 million to Lexington’s seventh fund, which closed on $7 billion last year, and $65 million to Centerbridge’s second fund, which closed on $4.4 billion last year.

As of 31 March, the fund made seven private equity commitments totaling $125.3 million. Spokespeople for the fund declined to disclose which firms received commitments from the fund.

Private equity at the fund is run by Tereza Hesounova Trivell, who worked for more than 11 years at fund of funds Siguler Guff. Trivell, senior investment officer in alternative investments, joined the pension fund in June 2010 and began building the programme.